#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—won 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!


#WeekendCoffeeShare | Saturday, 17 June | Rain in the Forecast

Good Day!

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would make a cup of Toddy coffee for you from my home-made coffee concentrate and water, milk, or cream.  I’ve also got ice water and hot water for tea (Tetley teabags) or instant cocoa. The back yard is sunny, and there’s a light breeze. The eastmost cotoneaster bush makes a nice shade for sitting and visiting, camping chairs on the paving stones in front of my garden shed with a step stool taking the place of a coffee table.

If you haven’t had breakfast, I could put something together for you. My own breakfast took place about three hours ago. On Thursday, we went shopping, so that I could cook meat for meals for the next three or four days. I got burger patties, but then my husband decided that he wanted pizza, and so I had hamburger two days in a row. I also roasted chicken breasts and pan-fried a tuna steak. Since I am supposed to be controlling calorie intake as well as carbohydrates, I limit the meat portions to 2 ounces, which has turned out to be quite enough. Tuna is good cold, or, as with this morning’s breakfast, hot, with poached egg on toast.

poached egg with pan-fried tuna steak and a slice of millet-and-chia seed g-f bread
Breakfast: Poached Egg, Toast, Tuna Steak (2 oz.)

I have been waking early, this week, but taking naps during the day, and that’s worked out well. It gives me “thinking time” before dogs or husband wake up. And centering/praying/meditating (not sure how to label it), followed by checking my blood oxygen level (SpO2=94%) and pulse rate (56 bpm). Then I check my blood glucose level (115 mg/dL), the weather report (80% chance of rain, thunderstorms), and the morning news briefing (oy vey!). My blood pressure is almost always low, and so I only check that periodically.

The work on the woodworking shop has gone slowly, this past week. Al and my brother-in-law picked up a door and locks for the workshop, and we are to be installing that today. Al is pretty sure that the two of us can handle the lifting and holding in place. There are several other tasks that can be taken care of during the rain days that are forecast for the week. I should have taken a photo of the glass window in the door. (Hope I remember to take a picture to show for next weekend. It’ll look its best with the light showing through it. Not stained glass or anything fancy, but not plain, either.)

We have the Tyvek building wrap still in place after the storms went through. The neighbor’s willow tree, however, dropped a large branch on top of my new wildflower garden. The garden, which is 12.5 ft. long and 4 ft. wide, has a lot of different sorts of clover in it as well as Oxalis (wood sorrel); since my annual and perennial wild flax is growing up amidst it, I hesitate to pull anything in bulk. Blooming so far are the California poppies, Wallflowers, Sweet Clover (ate a lot of that as a child), Oxalis, and (I believe) Baby’s Breath. I had no idea that the last mentioned is a member of the carnation family!

Willow Tree Branch in the Wildflower Garden


If we were having coffee, this morning, we could just sit together in the quiet for a while, relaxing to better enjoy the time away from everything but the now. And, perhaps, flowers.

As with previous weeks, this one involves appointments. Last week, Al had a dental appointment, with another scheduled for the last week in June. This week, I have a blood panel and another couple lab tests coming up, followed within a few days by an appointment with the diabetes educator. Sort of a six-month check-up, I guess. I believe that things are going quite nicely in that regard, and so am looking forward to visiting with her again, and also to the meeting’s being quite short. I have no questions. I am enjoying the ADA online community; I am not a participant, really, but I get a lot from reading the posts, the questions and answers.

Best wishes for your weekend and the week before us!



WeekendCoffeeShare, originating with Diana at Part Time Monster, is hosted by Emily at NerdintheBrain.com, where you will find her current post and the InLinkz icon, leading to links to other #WeekendCoffeeShare participants’ posts.


#WeekendCoffeeShare, 11 June 2017 | Getting it Right

Across the Back Fence

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would offer you a lap robe, and we would settle into a huge, comfy sofa to visit, sound of rain on the roof. As long as we are in this virtual setting, we should enjoy the sunrise and the seasonable weather in comfort. I’ve hot milk here for making hot coffee or cocoa, or I could brew a pot of black tea. The dishes are washed, the puppies are still asleep, and I’m settled in, potentially without interruptions for a little while.

The past week has been … varied. Monday, with my visit with the grief counselor, was productive. We visited about thoughts I had related to the book that she had loaned me from her library. The recognition of sources of “nonfinite” grief as a result of my processing the loss of my parents, this past winter, seems to have lifted a huge burden. In token of which, I scheduled our next appointment for three weeks ahead, rather than four or more. I have (a) wondered whether the “high” of these realizations might result in a “low” in the short term and (b) considered that it may be helpful to review with the counselor the processes and changes that come out of these next few weeks.

My husband and I picked up copies of the seven poster-sized photo montages that were created for my father’s and mother’s memorial/funeral services from the funeral home with the goal of finding frames for them. I expect to find their presence to be helpful in recalling life with them when we, all of us, were much younger. I have had some thoughts about how much, if anything, I really want to write about my parents or my life with them, as I remember it, during my childhood. In token of which, I scribbled out a poem on Saturday that touches on what I see as a potential personal problem with getting involved in my writing a memoir.

“Getting it Right”

I write the story of my life
one day at a time, taking care
to leaf through previous pages,
editing events, adjusting
back stories, tidying errors
and casual mistakes
that I would not have made,
had I known then what I think
I know today…subject
to further alterations
as seem prudent at the time.

There is time. There is always
time to get it right. There is
an eternity to get it all right.
Written out finally with no mistakes.

Copyright © 2017-06-10, by E.W. Bennefeld.

I suspect that if I got involved in writing a memoir, I would end up writing fiction, rather than remaining objective (i.e., in contact with the reality of my life). There are things that I choose to remember, things that I choose not to remember, and then the details and general sweep of life that are most likely interesting only to me (or not so interesting). When my mother wrote her “memoir”, she gave it the title of Selective Memories. I think she nailed it!

On Thursday, Al’s younger sister and her husband came over to help with wrapping the workshop building in house wrap in preparation for the siding (which he has yet to order), the windows, and the doors. It will be nice, not having to haul the tools into and out of the garage. I’ve made a case for deadbolt locks and wireless/cable surveillance system. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

I woke up, this morning, with sinus trouble, which I suspect is the result of an increase in humidity. The rain? Natural watering is undoubtedly good for the garden. I finally see tiny wild flax plants in the new garden plot. We are talking about putting a more permanent fence around it. A little higher, since the dogs are jumping in and out over the three-foot, decorative, wire fencing. We also, while we were at it, this week, removed the protective fence around the gazebo, meant to keep the dogs from digging out the gravel to get to the rabbits that had their hideaways underneath. Our current dogs, while they enjoy racing the rabbits to the back fence, do not seem inclined to try to dig them out from where they’re lurking. If necessary, another (permanent) fence around the gazebo. They eat the plastic fencing.

I am glad that we’ve had the chance to get together, this weekend. Why do I feel like I’ve been doing all the talking? I hope to get to many more blogs, this week, than I did the last, to find out what you’ve been up to.

Best wishes for the week to be!


 P.S. Be sure to visit Emily at NerdintheBrain.com to read our host’s WeekendCoffeeShare post and find the Link-up to other participants’ posts for this weekend!

Sunday night’s #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee together, today, we might have a lot to talk about.  First of all, the first flower has appeared in my new  wildflower garden. I came upon it when I first brought the puppies outside, this morning. The Scampers went to the groomers for the first time in two months, this past Friday, and they look like totally different dogs!

The past week was eventful. On Monday morning, we attended the Memorial Day services in my home town. This is the first year that my father has not been there, has far as I can remember, since he first took the job (1957, I think,) caring for the cemetery grounds. We were back there on Tuesday for our dental appointments. The middle of the week was a blur. I don’t recall what was happening, but on Friday the puppies had their appointment, and I have only one appointment to keep for the coming week, due to some rescheduling.

I’ve received two of the items I bid on and won in the Con-or-Bust fund-raiser auction. I got a signed, four-volume set of Sherwood Smith’s Inda novels, a series that I totally love! I also bid on a limited edition hardcover of Gold, Isaac Asimov’s final short stories and essays. Both my husband and I grew up reading Asimov’s books.

The wind has been blowing around a lot of the fine-grained dirt that we received when the yard was resloped, a couple of years ago. I have a fresh coat of it on all of the surfaces every few days. Today, I took a watering can around and wet down the bare/barren dirt. Going to look into buying, if they still make such things, pre-seeded garden strips. Figuring to put down another layer of coffee grounds to hold moisture, put the strips on top, and then a coat of dirt to keep damp until something grows.

I would invite you into the back yard, where the cotoneaster bushes make a nice sunshade, and we could have coffee in water-cooled shade. (I’ve been running the lawn sprinkler over the wildflower garden in the back yard and the patch where we took out one of the bushes and put down grass seed, which is finally growing!)

I have been spending much time in the back yard, both resting my eyes (avoiding the computer) and keeping tabs on the Scampers. I think I’ve finally gotten them to associate the words “rabbit” and “bunny rabbit” with the rabbits that they chase and bark at, each day. Enthusiastic wagging of puppies’ tails, now, at the words. Such fun!

I also have been resting in response to current events. I believe it is a good thing that my parents did not live any longer. They followed world news reporting quite closely and had definite opinions on current events. While I do have opinions, I cannot afford the frequent adrenalin responses. On a happy note! The funeral home (for which my father worked in a part-time position in addition to selling tomb stones and serving as cemetery sexton) is printing off copies of all of the photo montages they put together for the parents’ memorial/funeral gatherings. Not a lot of wall space…but there are seven of them, and I can rotate through them in a week. I’m thinking about doing some writing about growing up in the family, and I believe I would enjoy having the pictures close at hand. We found an awful lot of old photographs, including WW II, their wedding, and separately when they were stationed overseas (Army and Navy).

The puppies seem to want to go outside, again, and so I must close this. Don’t forget to stop by Emily’s blog (Nerd in the Brain); she hosts the event, and there will be links to other folks’ Weekend Coffee Share posts for this weekend.

Best wishes for the week to come!