A quiet weekend | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Welcome! If we were having coffee together this afternoon, I once again would be serving hot Toddy coffee with milk. (Cold water in the frig and Tetley tea bags in the cupboard.) It’s been a rough few days with the allergies, and so I am staying inside, mostly. Exercise on Saturday consisted of uncounted time on the elliptical machine and five miles on the exercise bike in the gazebo; today, I quit after three miles on the exercise bike.

Limited time in the garden, which is pretty much not worth looking at, right now. The grasshoppers have gotten into it and eaten the few blue wild flax flowers that came up. They’ve now started in on the smaller poppies. The cornflowers and prairie coreopsis are doing well, however, and I have hopes for (what I think is) the sunflower plant on the south side of the house.

Still, I did get some photos taken yesterday and today before the allergies took hold. I sleep in a room with an air cleaner (HEPA filter); I forget from one year to the next how essential it is to sleeping with allergies. ūüėÄ

Sunday’s Flowers


Saturday’s Flowers in the Rain

On Saturday, Al and I went out to dinner at Denny’s, where I ordered the salmon (from the salmon skillet, which I cannot eat as on the menu) and steamed broccoli, which was kind to my blood glucose level. Then we went to Target to buy five of the last six cheap 2ft x 3ft poster frames which we are using, along with the two previously bought to try out, to frame the seven poster-sized photo montages from my parents’ memorial services and my father’s 100th birthday party, which was the day after Mother’s memorial service. Fantastic, having them available to me to look at. I am not hanging them all at once, but am propping them up or hanging them one or two at a time. It makes me happy, seeing the pictures across the decades of smiling faces. Memories of parents, their siblings and us getting together with them and their children. The holidays. The vacations that I missed, being the oldest and away at school and then working, by the time the next six of us were old enough to go on vacations. They did a lot of stuff I never even heard about, before looking at the photos with my siblings at these last family gatherings.

That reminds me that I look forward to seeing the family home, redone by Eric (brother) and Cheryl (his wife), who’ve bought the house and have been putting it to rights. I am excited to see it, having been quite impressed by what they’d already done with it the last time we’d dropped in there.

It would be fun, I think, to have regular “coffee share” times with the family members who still are within this thirty-mile area. I wonder if you get together a lot with your various family groups. We all seem to have scattered, us kids, getting together with the in-laws’ families, but not our own. Sort of like being orphaned.

Al and I turn seventy-one, this year. I am concerned that we will have trouble maintaining relationships, getting together face to face, scattered as we are from New England to California. I could, if I had to, handle a trip by rail; I had too much trouble with air quality traveling by air, the last time I flew East, which was in 2007, I think. Not sure that I could do it again and be able to walk off the plane at the other end of the journey.

Again, I was late getting to this, getting together for a visit, and I must move on, now. The Scampers are eating their supper, and I have to look to getting organized to fix supper.

Be sure to stop by Diana’s Part Time Monster blog for her post and the Links button where you can find links to other WeekendCoffeeShare posts of the week.

Best wishes for you, your family and friends, during the coming week!


#WeekendCoffeeShare : How can it already be *next* weekend?

If we were getting together for coffee, this weekend, I’d invite you to have a chair in the backyard gazebo. There’s noise from a lawnmower down the block, but keeping the windows closed on that side helps. The dogs are wondering if I’m here for a while, so they should lie down, or, if I’m headed back to the house…and the dogs decided to bark at the nextdoor dog, owner and their company, so we’re inside the house, again. Ah, well.

You know how, when you’re walking along (metaphorically) and the ground drops away under your feet? That’s sort of what I’m feeling like, today. I’m not an outgoing, out-and-about person, but if I had been, I would have isolated by now.

I very much do not like discord. Even more, I do not like bullying or attempts at thought control or imposition of a narrow “norm” for acceptable thinking and determinations of judgments. I’m pretty much live and let live. I want to understand people, rather than establish or enforce some sort of conformity to arbitrary guidelines for “proper” thinking.

I don’t suppose that a turtle shell can pass for a cocoon. Spinning a cocoon implies not just comfort, but also a longer-term separation from the outer world. Perhaps I will be a turtle, pulling back into my shell for a while, instead.

I would tell you instead of my purchase of two poster-size frames, which I got to hold two of the photo collages from my parents’ memorial services. I have enjoyed propping one or another of them against the wall that I face, sitting here in my rocking chair, so that I can look up and see the two of them standing or sitting together or in a family setting during the holiday seasons. It’s not that I went running to my parents (or other family-of-origin ¬†members) when upset, because I didn’t, even though I suspect they often wished that I would. Rather, it’s knowing that that pattern is not going to change, now. Not within my lifespan, anyhow.

We could take our cups outside and visit my backyard garden. Now that most of the flowers have come up and bloomed, some are already dying off, and others are taking their places. ¬†My most favorite, the annual and perennial blue wild flax flowers, have finally appeared. ¬†This is my first year with the California Poppy, Forget-Me-Nots and Siberian Wallflowers. Also, I’ve several types of Coreopsis flowers, the only one of which I recognize is the Plains Coreopsis. I have taken hundreds of photographs, perhaps half a thousand, over the past week and a half. One of my joys is finding a bee or a tiny hoverfly in a picture of a flower. The garden, the gardening, weeding and picture taking can be totally absorbing.

In the back yard, I could also show you the progress that we have made on building the woodworking shop. We are almost ready to add the soffits and order the wood siding. Al plans to paint the undercoat (which I cannot be around because of the chemical fumes) and let the boards dry thoroughly before adding the “safe” paint, which I then can be around and help put the siding up.

My health is generally improving, and I am sleeping through the night almost every night. I am (mostly) remembering to eat and take the medication on time. The blood sugar level continues to drop, and my blood oxygen level is in the normal range nearly always.

I continue to enjoy rereading old favorites from my library. I recently finished rereading¬†The New Acadians¬†by Evangeline, who was an ancestor of ours, and Rudyard Kipling’s¬†Kim,¬†which I pull out at least once a decade. I always learn/discover something new each time I read the book. Next on my reread list is Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg series, followed by Cluny Brown.¬†I came across my mother’s copy of Cluny Brown,¬†and so I now have a falling apart “reading” copy and one that’s not quite so bad and should last until I can no longer see.

In other rereads, I am just finishing the Harper Hall series by Anne McCaffrey and the Empire and Ecolitan series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr., to be followed next, I think, by Mindy Klasky’s¬†Season of Sacrifice,¬†which is still my favorite among her books.

I will close with some photographs from the garden for you to enjoy. Be mindful that Diana at Part Time Monster is back from her recent time away to host Weekend Coffee Share. You will find the link to the URLs of other Coffee Share participants there; look for the Links button at the end of her post.

Best wishes for your week!


Where did the weekend go? | #WeekendCoffeeShare

The weekend‚ÄĒthis past week‚ÄĒhas been cluttered, and I have lost my way in the midst of it all. I’d welcome the chance to sit down with you for coffee and hear about how your week has progressed. Toddy coffee, here, and carrot sticks. Also, Tetley tea (black and strong) and a pitcher of filtered water in the refrigerator.

I have been escaping to enjoy taking photographs in the wildflower garden and to put in miles on my exercise bike, which lives in the screened-in gazebo in the back yard. While there still are lots of weeds in the back yard, I am making progress in getting them pulled, now that the plants that I wanted in the garden are getting large enough to identify.

Much progress has been made on the backyard workshop, and I’m being called upon less often to lift and carry, now that the doors and windows close. And there have been fewer storms and fewer branches being blown into our yard. The Scampers adjusted quickly to the noises of the Independence Day celebrations here in town. Even when the fireworks sounded loud enough to be just outside our own door. I guess the process of accustoming the dogs to the fierce thunderstorms has added benefits. I have high hopes for getting through this fall’s fireworks association convention and demonstrations that rock the house even from the next town over, without even keeping the dogs awake.

I finally remembered to order refills on the Scampers’ Flea and Tick pills, this weekend. As it turns out, the website we order from keeps a copy of the vet’s approval and our orders, so all I have to do is click the correct medications and fill in my gift card number of the month.

This has been a “keep busy” week, and I have been putting in a lot of time on the elliptical machine (living room) and the exercise bike (gazebo), which has been bringing down my blood glucose level. Although I forgot to take my medication, this morning (not the first or second time, this week). Seems, however, that my numbers are staying down even so, and I expect that sticking to my diet and exercising help with that.

I must share with you that I have made no progress on getting together socially with anyone here in town. Although a poet friend (an acquaintance, I suppose, really) found that she would be stopping here on her way to a wedding in central Minnesota. She’d never before visited North Dakota, but has relatives in the same town in which I live. I found that I very much enjoyed visiting with her about her poetry activities and family history and current events. I do not recall the last time I offered to fix a meal for a guest. I spoke with … someone, grief counselor or diabetes educator, about my needing to make contact and form some relationships with people locally. I wonder, now, as I find I’ve gotten out of the habit over these many decades.

Happy that you have stopped by, and I am looking forward to visiting other blogs, as I am able, on the #WeekendCoffeeShare circuit. I understand that both NerdintheBrain.com (Emily) and PartTimeMonsterblog.com (Diana) have links to the Linkz page where the participants in Weekend Coffee Share are placing their links, this weekend. Diana is taking over as host, again, after her needed time off.

Hope that you’re enjoying life! I plan to visit again soon!

Best regards,

#WeekendCoffeeShare on 2 July 2017: A long week

If we were getting together for coffee, this evening, we could sit in the back yard and visit for a while. Until it gets dark and the illegal fireworks and noise makers start up, again. Some years it is difficult to breathe because of the combustion byproducts. I have come in with the Scampers, where quiet will prevail for a while longer.

If you’d like coffee (drip or cold brew), I could offer you a muffin to go with it, tonight. A neighbor brought over a box of muffins and cookies, late this morning, and my husband had me put some away in the freezer. The wonders of the microwave! Instantly thawed muffins and fresh-frozen fruit!

There have been people in my week. On Monday I met with the grief counselor, and I enjoyed talking with her. I am more determined, now, to try establishing some social contacts that involve in-person interaction. It does feel different, although mostly I think it’s not having a lot of time to ponder how to respond and what I might want to say in the course of a give-and-take conversation. (No, I don’t Skype or do instant messaging, either.)

And toward the end of the week, an Internet friend dropped by in the midst of a few days of visiting at the home of relatives here in town. She’s from California, but travels a lot, and couldn’t pass up the chance to add North Dakota to her list of states she’s been in. And, our having known each other for years through the SF Poetry Assn., it followed. I even got to fix a light lunch for the two of us, since Al had volunteered for an extra shift at the marksmanship center over the noon hour. It is remarkable, how I felt that I had known her practically forever, and was comfortable visiting. (I had previously bought her recent poetry book [then lost it, and ordered another, then found the first, again] and was happy to have her sign it for me. Just the one copy.)¬†

I’ve gotten both of the manuscripts for the two prequel “Lady Astronaut” books (by M.R. Kowal‚ÄĒwon the bid in the Con-or-Bust online fund-raiser auction), read one, and am starting on the second. Lovely! I look forward to reading the final version, next year. I very much enjoyed the

This weekend’s splurge was beef liver. Yes. Really! Bought enough for three meals, cooked it up with onions, and ate Meal the First for today at lunch.

I must mention (and would take you on a¬†very brief¬†tour of) the woodworking shop that we are building in the back yard. Al has painted a “test” board of the siding we’ve chosen for the shop with the color that we’ve chosen. The primer is oil based, which I can’t be around at all, but it’s got a short drying time, and the outer layer will be a different (safe to breathe) sort of paint. Two thirds of the building will be Al’s woodworking space, and the other third will be a multi-purpose hobby room.

Just Looking Around

It’s time for our local amateur radio Sunday Night Net, and Al’s net control, this evening. I should sign off, now, so I don’t miss all of it. I’m glad that you stopped in for a visit.

Best wishes for the coming week!

P.S. I hope you’ll have time to stop by Emily’s blog, who is the current host of Weekend Coffee Share: NerdintheBrain.com, where you’ll find “a big ol’ announcement” and the link button to other people’s Weekend Coffee Share posts.

#WeekendCoffeeShare 2017-06-24 | Downsizing

If we were having coffee (or tea or cold water) together, tonight, you might enjoy the company of my dogs, who are sleeping on the love seat across the room from me. We have anti-plaque spray for the Scampers in the evening; they put up token resistance, and then allow the spraying, but they sulk, afterwards and refuse to look at me!

The Scampers

They’ll let you pet them, however. They’re not unhappy with you. Just me.

Al’s gone out to run some last-minute errands and stop for coffee, coming or going. That leaves me some writing time. If we were getting together, I would tell you that I have been helping with the lifting and carrying for the woodworking shop that’s in progress in the back yard. We’ve fitted the door (deadbolt and regular locks) and the windows. Still no decisions on the siding, which must be ordered. And it’s been too rainy to finish the shingling (just the rows at the peak), and the wind’s been continuous, which has made gardening and picture-taking rather challenging.

Tomorrow, we are gathering things around the house that need to be transported to the city landfill. I’ve piano music and a gigantic collection of cookbooks (mine, my mothers, church projects, &c.) that I will not be using anymore. Also, a large stack of floppy disks and cases that must go.

From the kitchen cupboards, we are throwing away¬†all¬†of the seasonings, herbs and spices that were purchased before the current year (except for the saffron, which is sealed in a glass jar¬†in¬†an envelope). Over the decades too many things have accumulated. Also, some food items that¬†may¬†not be spoiled, but probably aren’t good for one, if they’ve lasted this many years.

I would also share with you the news that my blood sugar level has sunk to a 90-day average of 135, with a corresponding A1C of 6.5% (the good range is 4% to 6%, and mine, six months ago, was 11.7%). With this being the in-between too hot and too cold parts of the year, I have been doing well with exercising, which has been fun.

If we were together, I would share also my delight in the manuscripts I bid on in the Con or Bust fund-raiser auction that took place several months ago. I’ve both of them in hand and have read the first book once through and am eager to finish the second. I’ve enjoyed reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s ¬†novels in the past, in particular, the “Glamourist Histories” series (Regency fantasy novels). These two current two books for which I have printouts are science fiction, and a lot of time is going into the reading of them.

I have suddenly run out of time. Back later to wrap this up!


20 hours later:  Obviously, I am not going to get anything more written here, this weekend. Laundry, helping a bit with the workshop building, dogs, filling boxes, and too many other things to contemplate!

Here is the link to Emily’s WeekendCoffeeShare post: HERE which also includes links to other participants. Best wishes for your week!