16 September ’17 – A Wet, Rainy Weekend | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Cotillion Butterfly on an Irish Daisy

Welcome to my blog home for Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. (According to her tweet, three hours ago, their Internet is down, and so there will be no “linky” on her page, this weekend, or a coffee post from her.)

If we were having coffee together this morning, I would let you know that although it’s getting on toward lunchtime, my husband is out in the back yard in his new workshop, showing it off to a ham radio buddy. There’s Irish Tea, Tetley Tea (black), and Toddy coffee concentrate, for which I can heat water, milk, or both, as you like. I’m minding the dogs, eating cheese and unsalted almonds, and not paying much attention to the outside world.

If we were having coffee together, I would invite you to the back yard (right now, the rain is not heavy enough to require an umbrella) to show off the progress we have made, this week. Al and I got the last of the siding up, yesterday morning, and he’s gotten a good start on applying wood putty and sanding; we have the paint for primer and outer coat, but he’s decided that he also needs to paint the concrete floor before anything else happens. I am on a roll with getting blog posts written and poems tweaked, and so he’s volunteered to add the grocery shopping to the end of his list.

If we were having coffee together, today, I would tell you that I’m very happy I signed up for the workshop I’d mentioned. I finished my first week’s writing for the four-week Introduction to Japanese Poetry workshop I enrolled in, last month. This week’s assignment is to write more haiku, read some essays on haiku, and go back to writing haiku according to the guidelines presented in Week #1’s assignment. Two poems I wrote this week that I did not submit to the instructor for critiquing. (Only sent the best three of the lot.)

a Cotillion lands
on the Irish Daisy in my lens–
a cameo appearance

puppies, fast asleep
midst bowls and tennis balls…
my empty lap

Copyright © 11-16 September 2017, by Elizabeth (Lizl) Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

I have started (and stopped and started again) responding to WordPress daily and weekly prompts at my WordPress site The Art of Disorder. The weekly photo challenges I responded to are Waiting and Structure, and the Daily Prompt (today’s) is Recreation. I also follow the Ronovan Writes Haiku weekly challenge, but I have left them at QuiltedPoetry.net. The 20-day self-directed WordPress class on Everyday Inspiration has been completed and can be found at Lizl’s Quiet Spaces Journal.

This has been an emotional week, first to last. On Monday, Al and I attended my aunt Marion’s funeral and interment at the old church in a village on the rural mail route my father covered for so many years. Inspired by meeting two cousins from the West Coast that I hadn’t seen since 1969, and whose contact information I didn’t even think to as for, and the widow of a Marion’s other son, who died in 2001, along with their two sons. If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that I was able to get an email address for another cousin living in the same area, who had been in correspondence with my brother in Minneapolis, and she and I are now “Friends” on Facebook. A lot of my father’s siblings moved to the Seattle area and Alaska (Eagle River area) after the end of WW II and/or the Korean War and continuing. His youngest sister was only a couple of years ahead of me in school, although I did not know it at the time.

I would tell you about my discovery that relatives on my father’s side of the family have tried to get contact information for myself and siblings over the years, but my mother would not give out any information. And of course, she did not mention that requests had been made. Mother was a very private person, and that sense of privacy extended to protecting information about her children and following generations.

If we were having coffee together, I would enjoy just sitting with you in the shelter of the gazebo, a few steps from the woodworking shop, listening to the wind brushing the leaves of the hedge behind us and the raindrops that soon will be beating against the shingles of the gazebo roof. There is something about sitting in silence (or lying in bed near an open window at night), listening to the wind and rain, cricket sounds, and birds murmuring to each other in the dark, that washes away the muscles’ stress and the clamor of the next day’s activities waiting to be worried.

Thank you for stopping by, this weekend. I enjoy our visits and look forward to our getting together again.

Best wishes for your week!

Lizl

 

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What a week! | #WeekendCoffeeShare, 9 September 2017

A Hoverfly in the Garden

Welcome! If we were getting together for coffee, this evening, I could offer you Toddy cold-brew or coffee piping hot from the coffee maker. There’s also filtered water and a couple different kinds of black tea. I’m afraid we’re still working our way through the 1-carb. postage stamp-sized gluten-free crackers, but this weekend I have some “Seriously Sharp” cheese to go with them. Grab a chair!

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that I finished the 20-day WP Writing course that I’d signed up for. Today, I wrote the Day 20 Wrap-up post. I think that this link will bring up the page with all the daily assignments: Finding Everyday Inspiration, but they’re in reverse order. I really enjoyed it, more so when I found more people going through the course and could read their posts, also.

As an added bonus, as far as I am concerned, I got my first handout for my four-week workshop, Introduction to Japanese Poetry, which included an introduction to the subject, examples, discussion, and an assignment for the coming week. I was quite happy to receive it, since I learned, yesterday, that we have another family funeral coming up, this week. We did not find out about the last two in time to attend; well, one was on the West Coast, which we couldn’t have made it to in any case.

The most recent is the funeral for my aunt who died on Tuesday of this week. Three more uncles died over the spring and summer, two on my father’s side and one on my mother’s side of the family. Father died at the end of February, Mother at the middle of November 2016, and her last remaining sister on the 20 October 2016. That’s now seven within ten or eleven months. I hope for a quiet autumn.

In the midst of all, I would tell you that I have finally finished reading both of the manuscripts that I got at the Con-or-Bust fund-raising auction. They are Fated Sky and The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal. They’re fabulous! I would tell you that the dream of my childhood, all the way through high school, was to go into space and be the first person to land on Mars. Well, that’s what these alternate history “Lady Astronaut” books are all about. Getting to Mars! Most, most lovely! My goodness! I can hardly wait for the finished books to put on my shelves and read the final texts.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would tell you about my dwindling variety of wildflowers in my garden. The flax and plains coreopsis are rapidly going to seed, and enough of the other plants have died out that I am able to weed out both those and the ragweed plants for disposal. Al brought home the new fencing for that garden, and I hope to find a cool, low-pollen day with minimal wind, so that I can take down the old fencing, trim out the weeds along the old border, and put in the new panels. We were fortunate that there were enough panels to put around the garden; when I found the ones I wanted, we discovered that they were on clearance at a reduced price. And if I had needed even two more panels, we would have had to go to two different stores to buy enough.

And I am talking too much, again! Sorry about that! I look forward to hearing about what is happening where you are.

Best wishes!

Lizl

P.S. Our hostess, Diana, has her blog up at her Part Time Monster Blog, and the InLinkz button leads to URLs of others who are participating in this weekend’s WeekendCoffeeShare.

Late, again | #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee together, this afternoon, I would admit that I’ve been drinking Toddy coffee, strong, all day. Today’s allergy index for today is 11.4 on a scale of 1 to 12, and strong, hot coffee is a great help in clearing my breathing passages. If that coffee is too strong for you, let me know! I can add cold milk or a couple of ice cubes to it. I am remiss, not having offered cheese, fruit, or gluten-free crackers to go with the coffee.

yellow california poppies, reversed colors
Blue Poppies
Flower Art

I am so late with this blog post that I’m using it for the beginning of September, rather than the second week in August. I have not, at least, missed this weekend entirely.

If we were having coffee together, this afternoon, we would have to be quiet. My husband has gone back to bed to read, taking the entire day off from working on the woodworking shop in the back yard. He took the cookies with him, and they’re all gone, now. Hence, the crackers and cheese. He and I have made much progress with siding and soffits, but got off track, the past few days, with errands and grocery shopping.

If we were having coffee together, today, I would admit to you that I also have taken the day off, pretty much, and spent a lot of time in the back yard with the Scampers and the camera. Although I’ve enjoyed taking photographs of the flowers, other items have drifted in on the breezes.

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that I have been enjoying the WordPress self-directed Writing course: Finding Everyday Inspiration (see my blog at TheWrittenWord.net), but I’ve gotten behind. My hang-up is the word “critique”. I cannot think of anything that I am thoroughly enough grounded in that I have the expertise to critique it. I do recall that I was one of the two people in my Literary Criticism class in college to receive an “A” for the course. (Both of us were taking the course for Philosophy rather than English credit, much to the disgust and amazement of the professor teaching the course.) Anyway, I may give in and write a “review” of something, just to get that day’s assignment off my back.

If we were having coffee together, I would mention that I have redone my “Art of Disorder” blog, changing the majority of my posts before this summer from Public to Private. I expect to be doing WordPress and other challenges there (except for poetry challenges, which will mostly remain at QuiltedPoetry.net, where the rest of my poetry rough drafts are.)

Speaking of poetry, if we were having coffee, this afternoon, I would tell you that I received an email from the person who is leading the Introduction to Japanese Poetry, welcoming me and confirming the start date. That would be the eleventh of this month. I do intend to have the Finding Everyday Inspiration course finished up before than.

Thank you for stopping by for coffee, this afternoon. The Scampers have gone out with my husband to look over the workshop project. I expect that I may be called upon again to help with lifting and carrying, once he’s decided on today’s “To Do” list.

I invite you to stop by the blog of our host, Diana, at Part Time Monster Blog, where you will find her weekend post and a Link button leading to URLs for posts from other Weekend Coffee Share folk. (Or if the Link button isn’t working yet, check #weekendcoffeeshare on WordPress, Twitter, &c.)

Best wishes for the coming week!

Lizl

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Mist and Rain

I woke up this morning, later than usual, and went out with the dogs and my camera, to find that yesterday afternoon’s mist carried over into today. The sky is still cloudy, the humidity is high (78%), and the temperature is 67 °F. Quite nice for working outside, which Al is doing, today, putting wood filler over the nails where we put up the siding, yesterday, on the in-progress woodworking shop.

It’s just past noon, and so there’s still warm coffee, if you’d like some. I’m having Tetley Tea, and there’s still bottled water in the refrigerator, along with milk and coffee concentrate, if you would prefer your coffee cold. Today, probably not.

Yesterday we finished measuring, cutting, and putting up the siding on the north side of the workshop. It was fun. Windy, though. By midafternoon, we decided that we’d had enough, and so did not put up the rest of the siding on the west side. The south side (the entrance) is pretty much finished. After checking respective emails, we decided to go out for an early supper, payday having been on Wednesday, and then caught up on other, neglected activities…but not the dish washing. That’s still waiting for me.

I have been enjoying a new-to-me course provided by WordPress’s Blogging University: Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. [I’m putting those daily exercises on my blog at The Written Word.]  I’m hoping to get warmed up with these assignments so that I will be attentive for the 4-week poetry workshop I signed up for, which begins on 11 September.  The workshop is Introduction to Japanese Poetry, taught by Naomi Beth Wakan. I’ve got her book, Haiku: One Breath Poetry. Looking forward to it.

My last meeting with the grief counselor was on the seventh of this month. I’ve been enjoying having these poster-size photo montages from my parents’ memorial services and from Father’s 100th birthday party in December. I rotate them, two at a time, rather than trying to put up all seven at once. Nice to look up and see them there, singly, together and with their siblings or mine. I have read some helpful books, both textbooks and self-help, recommended by the counselor and others that I have found. Some poetry books have been particularly helpful. I also have written poems of my own concerning death, grief, and mourning, both personal and more in the abstract.

In the midst of the mist, I took some photographs in the wildflower garden, this morning. Although the wildflowers are dying out, pretty much, there still are a few poppies hanging on, plains coreopsis, and my favorites, the blue wild flax. I hope that they will do well in this new garden space, over the years.

I am thankful that we have had this visit. I do enjoy these weekend coffee get-togethers. Here are links to Diana’s [host for Weekend Coffee Share] post for this weekend and the InLinkz URL, which also can be found on Diana’s #WeekendCoffeeShare post, ParttimeMonsterBlog.

Best wishes for you and yours, this coming week!

Lizl

 

Cloudburst | #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee together, this afternoon, it would be because of the sudden cloudburst—lots of rain. Water’s heating for tea or Toddy coffee (concentrate’s in the fridge).

Quite a bit of the week has been devoted to hauling around siding, measuring, cutting and nailing the boards in place. Aside from minimizing my time spent at the top of tall ladders and declining to use the pneumatic nailer, I’ve been participating in the project. It’s fun, but it eats up a lot of time. The good thing is that I can lock stuff in the shop building, now, instead of having to haul so much back into the garage.

Not much else has been accomplished around the house. I did decide to take advantage of two opportunities that came to my attention, this week. First, I have been looking for a 1st edition hardcover of Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order, the dog having eaten most of the cover off of my original copy; I found a couple places that still have copies for sale. (My permanent library is in paper, not wanting to trust all to the availability of electronics/electricity.) The second came about when someone emailed to myself and other contacts information about an on-line workshop to take place this fall, Introduction to Japanese Poetry; I have registered for it, and ordered a book written by the person who is conducting the workshop.

I find that I am quite tired, now that I’ve wound down from the day’s work. I think that I will settle back and take a nap while the puppies sleep across the room from me on the love seat. Surely they will wake me when Al has returned from running errands.

Thanks for keeping me company on my break. I look forward to visiting you later in the weekend. Please stop by Diana’s blog, Part Time Monster Blog, later in the weekend, for her Coffee Share post and the links to others participating in Weekend Coffee Share. #WeekendCoffeeShare posts can also be found on Twitter.

Best wishes for your week!
Lizl