white cup, black tea

Weekend Coffee Share : 21 October 2018

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! This is a time to catch up with everyone’s news from last week, plans for the next, and current preoccupations (see our host Allison’s Coffee Share page for this week at her blog, Weekend Coffee Share and Linky-List button, where you’ll find links to other participants’ blogs).

Welcome! The tea is hot, and the coffee is cold-brew (with or without milk). No nibbles, tonight, though, unless you like hazelnuts.

If we were getting together, this evening, I would tell you that I am quite tired. The six-week photography workshop, led by Andy Ilachinski, has come to an end, and I am going to miss the people and activities. My husband and I have spent some time, this evening, talking about it: simplicity and silence. Those two characteristics describe my lifestyle, and also my husband’s to an extent. Although he likes to go out among people nearly every day.

For myself, I feel as though I am drawing more into the quiet as the days and years continue to roll past outside the windows. The workshop, even with its limited membership, involved much more exposure to and interaction with people than I am used to having since retiring from my freelance work. My freelance work, aside from the photo art, which I sold online, was people intensive. I am still luxuriating in the silence. The lack of interruptions. People contact being voluntary. This past week, I chose to go with my husband to the annual business meeting of our member owned and operated marksmanship center in a neighboring town. Enjoyed being among people and visiting before and after the meeting, but happy to be home again with time to unwind before going to bed.

I would mention to you my preoccupation over the past six weeks with photography, the weekly essay and accompanying exercises and background reading. I found myself with a reluctance to write during the past month and a half. I think that being focused on the workshop activities shut down other creative functions for the time being. I am wondering how long it will take to shake off the intensity and widen the filters.

I am considering a review—a redo—of the workshop at a more leisurely pace, incorporating my writing with the photography, since that has been my normal mode of creativity over the past fifteen years. Farther back than that, since before I began having health problems, much of my time was occupied by playing piano and recorder.  Two things from home that I found I could not live without, upon graduating from college, were the Great Books of the Western World and my own piano.  And then, when I became allergic to smoke, I began to acquire my own library rather than borrowing books from the public libraries.

Well, thanks for dropping by. I have enjoyed visiting with you. Looking forward to reading your blog, tomorrow. The time has escaped me, and everyone else has settled in for the night.

Best wishes for you, this coming week!




Weekend Coffee Share, 12 October 2018

cup of black tea on a table
Time for Tea

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! This is a time to catch up with everyone’s news from last week, plans for the next, and current preoccupations (see our host Allison’s Coffee Share page for this week at her blog, Eclectic Ali, with links to other participants’ blogs for this weekend).

The Scampers are sound asleep on the love seat across from me, and the other of us is at the marksmanship center, taking his turn as Range Safety Officer for the twice-monthly Ladies Night activities. So, we have hot brewed coffee, homemade cold-brew coffee concentrate and filtered water, and tea in green, black, and oolong varieties.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would tell you that I have been enjoying the six-week photography workshop I’ve been participating in. Sunday will be the beginning of the final week. There is enough study material to occupy me totally for the rest of the winter. It is much more involving, in many ways, than either reading books or writing. In the same way, I enjoyed playing sports, but not being a spectator, I suppose.

The week apart from the workshop was exciting as far as the weather went along. We had cold, rain, sleet, rainstorms and a snow storm that left us with inches of the white stuff, fallen leaves, dead flowers, and cotoneasters with branches weighted with ice ’til they swept the ground. There has been a lot of rough weather across the country, this week, and I feel fortunate that for us, at least, we will be getting a warm-up, so the snow can melt and we can finish up the final house refurbishing before the snow comes to stay. The other of us has the front painted, ready for us to put the outer window back on; he painted the window frames, cleaned and reset the glass.

It is a good thing that we are not together in person for our coffee time. I have my season’s change stuffy nose, a bit of coughing, and raw throat. Glad that I got my flu shot early, again this year.

I would tell you that I am rereading a favorite series of books while I wait for the next novels of series in progress by favorite authors. I am rereading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover novels. Currently, I am in the middle of The Alton Gift, which is, if I remember correctly, the first of the Children of Kings story arc. In light of ongoing activities in the “real world”, the previous book, Traitor’s Sun, served as a mirror that reflects a distorted world.

I can’t face rereading Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay. The first book, origins of political order to the French Revolution, was tough enough, but helpful in understanding what was happening currently. We, personally, determined to give no hostages to fortune, as the saying goes. One does what one can and does not lame or maim oneself because one cannot do more or what is needed at the moment in a specific circumstance. Many individuals, many gifts.

If we were having a cup of tea together, this evening, I would be apologizing for fussing about and offer you an apple. A cool, juicy apple. Or, if the other of us left any in the fridge, some sea salt and caramel ice cream (which is not on my diet).

I extend my best wishes to you and yours for the coming week. Do not go on a walk-about in 40 (or 140) mile-an-hour winds or stories-high waves. Keep warm, keep safe!

I have again enjoyed having this chance to visit with you. Looking forward to reading as many coffee share posts as I can.

Hugs & much love,


In Case of High Water

#WeekendCoffeeShare 2018-10-07: Long Weekend

Time for Tea

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! This is a time to catch up with everyone’s news from last week, plans for the next, and current preoccupations (see our host Allison’s Coffee Share page for this week at her blog, Weekend Coffee Share).

Welcome! Reminiscent of working years, I note that tomorrow is a postal holiday, when I would not have had to go to work. I actually took those days as holidays, also, during my freelancing years. One should savor unstructured time as one can.

If we were coming together to visit, I could offer you hot or cold-brew coffee, green and black tea, and also oolong, of which I ordered another 200g at a reduced price, its being on clearance. Also at a discount, I think, another pound of English Breakfast black tea, which is going down really nice. That lives in a sealed canister, so as not to dry out before I use it.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, we would be listening to puppy snores from the love seat across from us and also the TV; my husband is watching a Columbo rerun. I am thinking of ordering a second set of earphones. One for each room that holds a computer.

I must confide that it is taking longer than I had hoped for the aftereffects of the chemical exposures to wear off—mostly from the college 50th reunion, last week, Thursday through Saturday. I have had some trouble concentrating. The 26th wedding anniversary dinner went much better than I expected. I slept a lot, this past week. I am glad that we decided to postpone dinner by a week. Was a good thought.

The photography workshop is going nicely. One of the topics for this past week was light. During the course of the week, I discovered how to adjust the aperture priority setting. I had fun with that, even when I could not yet retain the workshop lecture material. I’ve a whole stack of things to read and do, once the workshop is over. I anticipate many enjoyable hours devouring and digesting the essays and lecture materials and looking through the many examples. The workshop is indeed the basis for extended study. I am so very glad that I signed up for it, but sorry that it lasts only two more weeks.

I am including a few of my favorite “new” photographs. That is, beginning with the beginning of September…

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…as well as two pictures from this past week.

The 4 O’Clock flowers did not make it through the freezing temperatures, but some of the others have, so far. Our weather forecast calls for winds, rain, and cold, now. I haven’t really gotten my balance back, yet, so I expect I may not get out with my camera until we have favorable weather, again, except for taking the Scampers into the back yard.

Speaking of the Scampers…the Scampers are speaking and I must take them into the back yard. I hope that you have enjoyed your weekend. Best wishes for the week to come.

Love & hugs,


#WeekendCoffeeShare 2018-09-29: Catching Up on Sleep

Time for Tea

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! This is a time to catch up with everyone’s news from last week, plans for the next, and current preoccupations (see our host Allison’s Coffee Share page for this week at her blog, Weekend Coffee Share).

Welcome to you! Tea’s wet, and water’s hot for cocoa or Toddy coffee (concentrate made fresh this week).

We are finished with college reunion activities for the year. The next scheduled class reunion is the 55th graduation anniversary in 2023. We went to one evening reception, one noon luncheon, and one breakfast. We actually saw people that we knew and had a chance to visit with and get to know (as well as one can under such circumstances) new people that we would have liked to get to know better. Mary Jane and Stewart, to name only two of the group.

Do you attend class reunions? How do you feel about them? My husband remarked, this afternoon on our way home from the grocery store that the things that he noticed in particular were that the alumni in our class looked to be in remarkably good health and that almost everyone he talked with was a “professional”. The definition that made the most sense to me, I found in Wikipedia: “With a reputation to uphold, trusted workers of a society who have a specific trade are considered professionals.”

At the breakfast, they had a memorial ceremony for classmates who now are dead. They lit a votive candle for each of the 49 deceased. If I had noticed sooner, I would have left the room before my blood oxygen level went down to 80%. I spent some time outside, doing deep breathing exercises before the group regathered in the hallway for the class photograph. This time, I did not count myself as being one of the taller class members and planted myself in the front row. And smiled.

We got our freeze, here, but most of the flowers on the south side of the yard were not killed off by it. (There is nothing left of flowers in the backyard garden but seed pods and dead or dying stems and leaves.) After a long nap and a grocery run, I took some photographs of the garden, thinking each day that it is my last chance until the tulips start to come up sometime in April.

My six-week photography workshop enters its fourth week on Monday. It has become quite exciting. I very much look forward to these next two weeks, addressing tone, lighting, simplifying the image, and such. As we are simplifying our photos/subjects, my subjects pool is cutting itself down. (Cold weather!)

I was not up to using the exercise bike, the later part of the week. Tonight, I did some lifting with the hand weights, though. I think that helped me to relax. Too much activity, this past week. Time to rest, again. Napping is good. Adding in eight hours of sleep at a stretch would also be a good thing.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope that your weekend is continuing as you would wish and that the new week will be engaging and renewing.

Best wishes,

The URL for the InLinkz is Here with links to blogs of people participating in Weekend Coffee Share.

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Awake in the night

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us!

What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List (at Eclectic Alli’s), and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! [Snabbled from Eclectic Alli’s blog]

If we were sharing our coffee (or tea) break, I would be quite happy that you are here. I am about to put on water for tea, but there’s also filtered water in the refrigerator and Toddy coffee concentrate.

This has been the second week of the six-week online photography workshop, the first week to concentrate on methods and theory: seeing and expanding awareness of the subject through observation and contact. This is the material that most concerned me, since in the normal course of things, I don’t seem to store what I see as an image. It is possible that the image is there in my mind, my mind observing it as I make a list of characteristics in verbal or written form. But I am not aware of seeing it.

As years go by, do you find family members sharing information that was (seems to have been) common knowledge within the family circle, but that did not make its way to you? Leaving home for college at age seventeen and not going back, again, but for the Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas family gatherings, I did not spend much time as an adult with my siblings. Information passed through my mother and sometimes my father, and I have discovered that my parents’ sense of privacy blocked communication generally with siblings. Gatekeeper. Now that the parents are gone, and I’ve started having some contact with siblings, hearing about them and their families, I am learning about traits that we share, siblings and their children and grandchildren. And traits that we don’t share. Not everyone has the same quirks.

Anyway…if we were having coffee together, this morning, I would show you around the newly painted house. It is now a brilliant red with white trim and dark brown framing, house numbers and mail drop lid in gold-colored metal, and not a pale rose with dark rose trim and silver numbers. The house and outbuildings are painted to match. THe shutters and outer front window are in the workshop, where the other of us can sand, repair, and paint them without concern for the season’s cold damp and rains. It seems colder, this year. The flowers in the back garden seem to be done for the year. In years past, the blue wild flax was flowering into November. The painting was carefully done on the south side, trying to avoid damaging the daisy and other types of flowers that still grow there. The crickets are out, the bees have vanished, and I stepped on a wasp in the grass around the back garden. And so I spent some time, over the days, soaking my instep in vinegar and cold water.

The photos, this week, are a photo for each day, last Sunday through Friday night. I find that while I am learning about how others observe the world and make photographs, I am not taking so many, myself. It’s “I can’t see a picture in my mind”, “I am not able to draw what I see, because I am clumsy with a pencil and cannot relate lines on the page to what my mind sees but only as long as I am looking at the object” and “what is the matter with me, that I cannot do these simple things?” I don’t know if it is reassuring to learn that I am not the only one in the family with one or another of these family traits, or frustrating to know for certain that this is what I have to work with. Looking for some object and not finding it, because I do not recognize or even see it when my eyes scan surfaces in the house. I have lately discovered alternate methods, and I wonder how I got into my seventies not knowing about kinetic and touch memory.

And then I think, what a marvelous life I have led. Doing what interests me; living, traveling, and working in so many settings with such an astounding variety of people; having been able to work from home since my late thirties. Reading so very many books (so very many times, some of them). The allergies, sensitivities, and other factors may limit my contact with other people and places, now, but I have known and spent time with people and gotten to know them. Time passes and the world changes over time. Here and now is good, too.

I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying your weekend. May we meet again.

Wishing you a lovely week and all good things!