#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!

What Time Is It? | #WeekendCoffeeShare

I enjoy having an extra hour in the day, but I wonder how to heat some coffee without wakening the Scampers and losing the peace and quiet of the hour.

If we were getting together for coffee, this morning, we would have to talk softly…or take extra quilts out to the gazebo to supplement the warmth of the space heater. Since Al and I have gathered and tossed so much junk (So many trips to the landfill to unload the unwanted!), there is room to move without tripping over things. I do wonder, now, whether I also should discard my many-years-old, $5 exercise bike, or save it for Spring Clean-Up week at the beginning of May. Recognizing that I will not be riding over city bike trails in the near future, the bicycles are now stored out of the way in the gardening shed.

I would tell you of the attempt at balance between the two of us. Al decided to build a workshop, and I…I decided that I needed an elliptical exercise machine. They were on sale at the right size and weight for under $200 at a local outlet, and so I now have one taking up an acceptable amount of space in my living room just next to the piano, which, if you’ll remember, I decided not to give away after all, last spring. Thaddeus ate a rubber bolt cover, and now the rest of them are living in a cup in the kitchen until the Scampers both outgrow their appetites for the inedible.

A lot of changes have taken place over the past several weeks. Mother is experiencing much more anxiety since learning that Father has opted to move to assisted living for the winter. I would tell you of my indecision over whether to share with Mother the news that I received from a cousin that the last of her siblings died on the 26th of last month, under the care of hospice, at age 98. I have updated Mother’s obituary to include the deaths in her family since 2012 and will send the revised copy to the funeral home where Father has his on file. Mother’s sisters settled in their home state of Iowa, and I don’t think our families got together after I was in elementary school (oldest of 9 children, me).

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would tell you that the seeds in my new garden space, taking advantage of a continued warm autumn, have decided to germinate. It’s a good thing that I bought far too many seeds for my 50-square-foot wildflower garden, because I will have to put down more seed, once the temperature drops and stays there until spring.

I have brought out some more of my photocopied sheet music and am attempting, after faithfully completing my finger exercises, to relearn a favorite piece by C.P.E. Bach (Solfeggietto in C minor) that I don’t think I’ve played in decades.

The dishes have been washed by end of day for most of the week. For a change. The laundry is caught up. I have been waking up in the middle of the night for extended periods, but I am getting to bed early and taking naps when I should, and so I am feeling more rested.

Following the upsets of the week, I would tell you, we have gone out to a restaurant for dinner two evenings in a row (which has helped reduce dish washing), and I have come home to exercise and play the piano with abandon rather than precision, mostly, and I am managing to maintain relatively stress free.  Also, I have a new acquaintance with a cousin and permission to remain in contact. I do enjoy writing and receiving letters.

I hope that your week has been successful! Best wishes for the new week!



P.S. Don’t forget to visit the blog of our Weekend Coffee Share host, Diana, at Part Time Monster Blog (where you also will find links to other participants).

Vitals (just to keep track): SPO2=95%, P=67 bpm, BP=120/75



August 14 | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Welcome! Today’s beverage is Toddy coffee, hot or cold and made with water or whole milk. Or just the milk or the water. Time is short, but I can take a break.

If we were having coffee together, this afternoon, I would ask you to forgive the mess. We’ll go out to the gazebo. The puppies are still excited from my husband’s arrival home after a long (4-day) weekend of camping. As soon as he’s caught up on unpacking (and a nap), we must go out to find some groceries. He and some ham radio buddies take off a long weekend or a week sometime every summer to spend time together and try out their radio equipment. Sort of an extended ARRL field day just for them. Some people go fishing, but not these guys.

I would not complain about being left alone with the puppies. My extended weekend left me alone to see to the puppies, the cooking, laundry, cleaning and weeding. However, I did enjoyed the relatively unstructured time for napping, piano playing and staying up reading late at night.

Also, I would share with you the news that a number of people among my circle of Internet friends or spouses of friends have died during the week. Also, here in town, the father of one of my nephews; because of my husband’s camping trip with the commitment to pick up one of the attenders at the airport, we did not make it to the private funeral on Thursday. I was sorry to miss the service.

I would tell you that while I am sorry to have missed days of exercise, although I did play the piano, I am doing well with the hot, humid weather as a result. That is, I am breathing comfortably and sleeping through the night. Nothing hurts! I did, however, let the SFPA folks know that I will not be helping to run the online Halloween poetry reading, this year.

Too many things are happening between now and then, with the potential for everything to fall apart, and as I did not deal well with the stress of the reading last year, I thought it best to pass the responsibilities on to others who might be interested. If nobody steps up to help? So be it. It’s not something that must go on forever.

My new glasses are of much help, both for distance and for playing the piano. And I can now read the ingredients from the product labels in the grocery store.

When The Scampers and I went out first thing this morning, the sunlight had not yet hit the wildflower patch, and I took a lot of photographs, more on each trip out. There was one surprise, though, when Charlie reacted to a bird that had gotten caught up in the dead branches of the tree across the back fence (which tree is to be taken down during the coming week). I managed to get several photos of it. I believe it’s the peregrine falcon that’s been hunting this neighborhood during the past week. The falcon got straightened around and soon flew off, again. I enjoy seeing them fly and wonder if (I haven’t kept track) if it’s the offspring of one of the falcons I’ve seen hatched and grown up here in town. There’s a nesting box and web cam near the top of one of the bank buildings in the south end of the downtown business district.
Oops! Must go, now! I hope you have a week of quiet marvels and satisfying activities and interactions.



Please visit Diana’s Weekend Coffee Share Post, where you will also find the InLinks button that will take you to the links of others participating in this week’s WeekendCoffeeShare. Enjoy!

#WeekendCoffeeShare | Life is Good | 16July16

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I could offer cold Toddy coffee, Folgers medium drip brew, and several kinds of black tea. We’ve got some half-and-half, sugar and honey to add. Also, I made up a pitcher of lemonade, last night, and still have enough for three or four servings.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would share some progress made concerning my parents. Well, not exactly, but I did have the chance to visit by email with my brother who’s not local and working on an ongoing project (he’s an independent consultant, having taken early retirement and now picking the jobs he wants to take on). He and the brother in my parents’ home town (and his wife, who drops in daily on the parents) are to speak together about options, available and/or acceptable to everyone concerned.

I am sharing some of the photo art I contrived from one of the pictures that I took this morning in the wildflower garden. That would be the flower garden with blue wild flax, a pair of wild sunflowers, and common thistle (most of which I have photographed and then pulled up by the roots).

This fall I must prepare the garden for planting after the ragweed pollen season, but before the hard freeze, since the spring tree pollen is what really lays me flat. Although the ragweed in the fall gives me the most lung congestion. I’ve a whole 6 oz. of wildflower seeds that never went into the ground, because we have been busy fighting the bindweed, thistles, and other unwanted (and some still unidentified) weeds that came in with the fresh dirt that was brought in last summer to bank up the sides of the house. Which reminds me to mention that we have had heavy rains, but no basement seepage, this year, and so we are trusting that remediation measures will not have been for nothing.

The ringer on the telephone in my mother’s room had been turned on low, but is now turned up, again. When I called this week, on Friday, the phone was answered, but by my brother (whose wife drops in daily to visit with our parents and do errands). He promised to let our mother and father know that I had called. So, no chance to visit with either parent, but at least I know that they are okay. He was doing some chores and visiting with them when I called.

As for myself, all was well for most of the week. These past few days I hadn’t enough strength to do the miles on the exercise bike (I’d pedaled 3.5 miles on each of the past two or three days). I did practice the piano until today. Although the pollen count is extremely low, we haven’t had a lot of rain for a few days, so I guess there was other stuff in the air. I may start splitting my night, so that I am up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning to get outside and exercise before people start mowing their lawns or drying clothes to see if that helps. Today I’ve taken a lot of naps, taken photographs and played a bit with the computer photo editing software.

At eleven o’clock I prepared and ate a large salad that had lots of mixed vegetables in with the salad greens, as well as three hard-boiled eggs, along with diluted cranberry juice. Then, a nap for between two and three hours.

I’ve sat in the back yard with the dogs, but taken no more photographs. I’m currently rereading Scepters, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. Thanks to the Apple iBook settlement, I have an extra $100 of book money, and so I replaced the four hardcover volumes of Anne Bishop’s The Others series.

I had given my first print editions to a friend, but I am not a collector, and so I do not care if the books are not from the first printing. Book five comes out, I believe, in March 2017. I wonder with each book that comes out whether the character that bears my name will finally come to a bloody end; she has rated only mentions, but not appearances or dialogue. Ah, well! She is being useful in the story’s background.

I always preorder books I want in my permanent physical book library; the hardcovers seem less toxic, once they have aired out. I think it’s because the paper does not deteriorate so rapidly.

I’m glad that you’ve joined me, today, for the Weekend Coffee Share. I trust that you will also visit Diana’s WeekendCoffeeShare post, where you will also find a Links button that leads to the links for other participants’ blog entries. I think there also are hash tags on Facebook and Twitter.

Many thanks!


P.S. Do you have a “comfort” author to whose books you retreat in order to come to a point of rest?

Pulse=72 bpm, SpO2=94%
Exercise: Resting


But it’s still early

Even though I got up 12 and a half hours ago, I feel like I should go to bed and get some sleep. I think that a bowl of tomato soup would encourage that. Or a cup of Oolong tea? Or both?

I wrote my poems for both Poetry 101 Rehab and RonovanWrites poetry challenges. Two short haiku (i.e., in this case, 5-7-5: prose in haiku form). I used to write protest poetry, way back when. Well, I guess I still do, but more environmentally based than life lost through shoot ’em up wars.

Sometimes…sometimes one simply has to walk away until one is more likely to maintain a positive or neutral approach, rather than generating a negative effect.


BP = 109/73; SpO2 = 96%; P = 76 bpm