Weekly photo challenge: Variations on a Theme | Hoarfrost

Foggy Morning

This week, show the same thing — an object, place, or person — presented in several different ways.

Variations on a Theme: Hoarfrost

On Wednesday, I assembled a Variation on the theme of Blue Wild Flax Flowers at The Art of Disorder.


#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!



Love to Cook, Forget to Eat

Daily Post Prompt: Live to Eat:

Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?

I used to live to eat, I think. When I traveled in my younger years, I planned my trips and vacations around exploring restaurants. I spent an entire ten days in a town between my then hometown and Seattle at a hotel near a restaurant that had fresh seafood flown in from the west coast. The other consideration was whether or not the weather was good enough that I could spend the rest of my time walking about. I usually found an outdoor spot where I could sit to read.

I went twice also to the Seattle area and ate fast-food seafood on one of the piers; I don’t remember if I traveled by train or airplane, that time. I’ve also eaten at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Manhattan and several other sit-down and fast food places there, as well as buying breakfast early in the morning from a street vendor. I’ve gotten no farther north than Winnipeg or south than Omaha and New Jersey/ Maryland/ Washington, D.C., and more often found myself in southern Minnesota. That was before I discovered that I am allergic to wheat and gluten intolerance runs in my family. At that point, 1990, I started studying about and learning how to cook.

These days, while I may become preoccupied with other activities and skip a meal…or a day or more of them, I would travel no farther than the grocery store, butcher shop and local farmers market for supplies, and then do my own cooking.

For example, this morning’s breakfast. And, yes, I do commonly take photos of my meals, so that I can scan my photo archive for a picture of a meal or entrée or gluten-free baked product that I can’t quite recall. While I now eat to live (when I remember), feeding myself has become another creative activity. My husband has his own set of (if it’s healthy, it can’t be enjoyable) favorite foods, but where our tastes mesh, we share.

2 eggs scrambled, redcurrant jelly, melon slices and water
Sunday Breakfast

I best like accessorizing simple foods. The scrambled eggs were dusted lightly with paprika, garlic powder and white pepper and accompanied by red currant jelly and melon slices. Water for the day is filtered into a couple of pitchers and chilled in the refrigerator.

I also go wild with soup stock and Crock Pot meals and ad lib the g-f casseroles and breads.

Daily Post Prompt: Young at Heart

Daily Post Prompt: Young at Heart.

What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

Since living past age 35, I haven’t much thought about aging. I have had chemical/fragrance sensitivities since high school, food and respiratory allergies—physical conditions that I am used to dealing with, and so those are non-issues. My mother has many of the same, and she is active, still seeing to the needs of house, husband, &c. and she still has a sharp mind and a … weird sense of humor. My father is jovial, physically fit and active, getting out every day to have coffee with the “boys” downtown. He manages the life and activities and camaraderie he has always enjoyed, keying down to what’s comfortable to him. I look at them and say to myself, “Yeah, I can do that.”

With my parents as examples of adapting to and enjoying life in their 94th and 100th years, I am prepared to copy with physical, financial and social changes. I have modified my lifestyle, retiring half a year before my 66th birthday and dropping some lifetime pursuits to make more space for down time, resting, correspondence and self-expression (blogging, art work, et al.), prayer and meditation.

Although I have spent my life wrapped up in music, both as a listener and as a lyricist (mostly for my own amusement), singer, and instrumentalist, I found it relatively easy to drop the music for more time to read, returning to political philosophy, social theory and ecology. Although I am considering having the piano tuned, once we have finished house and grounds repairs. (I cannot get to the piano, since most of the downstairs movables have been stacked in the living room since the spring of 2014.) As I can no longer maintain a vegetable garden, I sow wildflower seeds and watch the insects among the blooms from May through October and sometimes November.

While having respiratory problems and diminished eyesight require shifts in activities, there are always new things to learn about, thoughts to pursue, poems to write, photographs to take, art to create. And more, too, I find myself digging in, seeking out and enjoying the activities and interests that my husband and I have in common. Making dates to spend time conversing over meals out, as well as setting the house and its innards to rights while we are still up to doing so physically.

Life is life. It’s ups and downs, crises and contentment. Love, joy and loss, but always revolving around…centering on what is truly important but which can never be taken away. Even with the pain of the losses—obituaries are more often for people our age and younger, and not just the aunts, uncles and parents—there is nothing we will ever face that has not been faced and endured with optimism and confidence by many more than ourselves.

Both of my husband’s parents have died. Out of the nine of my parents’ children, six of us are still alive. My own body chemistry does not deal well with medicines or medical facilities, and so my end of life will be relatively uncomplicated. Loss and heartbreak and death are as much a part of life as love, joy, faith and peace. The one set doesn’t over power the other. They are part of the life that we all live, but they do not define us.

Romans 8:38-39 is real. We go along, at last, for the ride, hanging on with both hands to the one who’s holding onto us.