An overwrought week #weekendcoffeeshare

It is good, arriving at this time of the night with chores abandoned. The dirty dishes will still be in the sink and dirty when I wake up, tomorrow, and the laundered clothes will still be draped over the office chair, after all. The time is 11:00 p.m., and I am happy to welcome you to join me for … perhaps not coffee, at this time of night, but a virtual beverage of your choice and apple slices. The grocery has put some nice Braeburn apples on sale for the holidays at ninety-nine cents a pound, and so we bought half a dozen, this evening. Delicious!

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would tell you that the week’s been tough. It started out well enough with an appointment with my bereavement counselor; we decided that we would schedule one more appointment: just before the New Year’s Day weekend. Between October 20, 2016 and September 8, 2017, I lost two aunts, three uncles, and both parents. This week, on December 6, my cousin Nora, on the west coast died; I met her and her brother for the first time since I stayed with them for a couple of weeks in Seattle in 1969, when they came back to Minnesota for their mother’s funeral in September. Both her brother and she remembered me, and we had a great time talking.

I also met the widow of my cousin Jim and their two boys, and she and I had a wonderful time visiting on a variety of topics. I was in the process of trying to get hold of contact information, so that I could write to her. I did get such information from one of my other cousins who lives near Seattle, so at least I feel connected to a larger family group, now.

Late this afternoon, we learned that uncle Don, Al’s mother’s brother, died today (the ninth), just before six o’clock p.m. Arrangements for both funerals are to be announced. I cannot fly back to Seattle, and Al’s family gathering will in any case be in the Twin Cities.

A couple of nights ago, I came back into the front room to find my laptop computer on the floor, partly under the rocking chair and no longer functional. I expect that either I had not balanced it properly on the lap desk or one of the dogs tried to jump up into the chair, as they often do, and brought the lap desk and computer crashing down. Al has ordered a cable kit to try retrieving files that had not yet been backed up; some of the fittings inside the computer were broken, but the drive itself looks okay.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would be grateful, because I really needed a break from putting together the information to do my writing on this older computer (that died after the upgrade to Windows 10, but came back with the various upgrades over the past two years). I found an email address I quit using and had forgotten about as I rooted around for web hosting passwords etc., and also came across the instructions for manually setting up my email client. And so I have all of my accounts coming to one computer/one email program! Secure!

Now that I am accessing everything again, and only lost a month’s photo archiving, I must get on-line to find a replacement computer. I wore this HP into the ground, and a couple of the keys are…unreliable.

And now it’s nearly midnight, and I must try to get more than four hours of sleep, tonight, or I will be good for nothing, tomorrow. I have run out of apple slices, and must warm some milk, now.

I hope that your week has been uneventful as you might wish it to be, but  also enjoyable and, if appropriate, productive!

Best wishes for the remainder of 2017!

Lizl

P.S. Here is the link information for a weekendcoffeeshare post with a linky to others: https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/

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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.

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!

Lizl

Sunday Afternoon’s #WeekendCoffeeShare

If We Were Having Coffee this morning, I would be late! I enjoyed a nice sleep-in until 0830, Al’s having gotten up sometime earlier, I think, to let the Scampers outside (usually sometime between six o’clock and seven-thirty). I now am writing my WeekendCoffeeShare post instead of eating my already late lunch. That being said, I do currently have hot water for tea or coffee, bottled water, milk, and a couple cold, left-over cans of Barq root beer. There’s also cheese. (Al ate all the rest of the doughnut holes last night. Not on my diet!)

The week’s been busier than I’d thought it would be. The joists are now up on Al’s workshop; a cousin and his crew, unable to get over here last Monday, did make it on Tuesday to put the boards on the roof. Al’s decided to do the rest of the roof himself. Hopefully the tar paper will go on easier when there’s no driving sun or wind gusts. This next try will most likely be on Tuesday, allowing for Monday afternoon/evening rain.

my husband's workshop project, himself on the roof, ladder leaning against the unfinished building
Progress

I would tell you that I got to do some lifting and carrying and holding boards in place while he nailed them down. I enjoy being able to help, even a little, with his project Getting quite excited about this, as he will have many, many happy months spent finishing the building inside and out.

I’d share with you that I have had fun taking flower photos during the breaks. I have, however, been more tired than I’m happy with and am taking more frequent naps during the day. I have ordered an extra reading copy of Coming Up for Light and Air: Poems by Barbara Crow, so that I will be able to find it when I need it. I do not, of course, know details—no personal information. The poet and her husband lost a child, and among her poems I feel avoidance, recognition and resolution, and an acceptance of grief as life goes on. I am finding that reading through these poems helps me to process my own grief over the loss of my sister and my parents. And, this morning, strangely enough, the loss of two siblings in their first days of life, whom I never got to meet in this lifetime.

Of contemporary poets, there are two whose volumes I keep close at hand with one or two extra copies: Barbara’s Coming Up for Light and Air and Samih al-Qasim’s Sadder than Water. At times, they are too real, but that is good. I do not wish to step out of reality, but to embrace it in all of its aspects. This is difficult, because I am cut too deeply by it and bleed too much.

Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present

I’ve a long-standing love–hate relationship with those lines from “Burnt Norton”.

Tomorrow, I have my next meeting with the grief counselor. I’m coming up on six months since my mother died and two and a half months since Father died. The poems that I wrote concerning them, the last day of April, the poetry-writing month, do so characterize the differences in our individual relationships.

I have signed up for the message boards at the American Diabetes Association web site and also a two-year (12-month) subscription to their magazine, which comes with a digital edition. I still have to make an introductory post, this weekend.

This week’s indulgence: On Monday, I ordered (and yesterday received by USPS) a set of “blessings” tokens based on Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. They often lend an unexpected angle of perception on events and…add a filter, perhaps, to provide a range of helpful perspectives. Another writing prompt, if you will! I write my life! I had been using paper tiles, but finding them useful generally, I decided to go with a more durable set. They will not wear out or lose their print so fast as paper.

Thank you for visiting, once again! I’ve enjoyed your company. Looking forward to reading your #WeekendCoffeeShare post and meeting with you soon.

Best wishes,
Lizl

Please stop by Emily’s Nerd in the Brain blog to read her post. There you also will find the InLinkz button with links to other #WeekendCoffeeShare participants.

Snowy Sunday | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Cotoneaster branches in the mid-morning sunlight
Snowy Sunday Morning

It’s just about time for afternoon tea, here. I’m happy that you’ve stopped in for a visit. The puppies will be waking from their nap, soon, and then things will be lively, again.

The week has been disjointed, here, as I have met with the dietitian and tried to implement the suggestions for variety, but failed miserably. My body does not like carbohydrates, and so I must cut most of them out of my diet, again. My weight loss has stabilized, now, however, within the “overweight” range, rather than “obese”, and I expect the pounds to continue dropping off, since I am maintaining the 1400-calorie diet. Just rearranging menu items a bit.

Yesterday, we took advantage of a local sale to buy (finally) replacement flooring for our kitchen. The previous tiles have been cracking and chipping off in pieces for the last few years. Since my husband has been planning (although the sudden, prolonged cold and snow will set back his timetable) to start work on the spring construction and carpentry in building his workshop in the back yard on March 1, if I don’t get the kitchen flooring installed before that project starts, it will be another twelve months or more before it’s done.

On Thursday, we made a run out to the town where the family home is, to pick up some more items that will allow my brother who is buying the house from Father to begin needed repairs and renovations, so that he and his wife can move in, once the purchase has been completed.

I must tell you that I am so pleased by the way the siblings are working together, accommodating one another’s needs and wishes regarding property to be discarded or divided. Great troupers, one and all.

After having given away my Great Books of the Western World, purchased in the late 70s, to the family of a son of one of my brothers, I have ended up with my parents’ well-worn set, purchased in 1960 or earlier, I think, since the first volume of the yearbook, Great Ideas Today, was published in 1961. My parents continued to buy the yearbooks into the mid- to late 1970s, which is when I bought my own set, and also bought the yearbooks as long as they were published. I believe the series ended in 1999 or 2000. And so I now have the complete and total set (although one volume of Shakespeare was almost totally worn out over the years) of Great Books, Great Ideas Today, and the 10 accompanying study guides, which my parents bought, but I borrowed singly as requested, once they were no longer in regular use. I am glad. I had begun to regret having given up the set, once it was housed elsewhere. Now, I have the books in which I originally had made notes while reading. So, just as well!

The snow has fallen, but is melting off somewhat. My puppies are beginning to stir, and so I must close this. I hope that your week is filled with satisfying activities and welcome surprises!

Bests,
Lizl

This week’s WeekendCoffeeShare Linkup and Post from our host can be found here: NerdInTheBrain’s blog. Enjoy!

P.S. Earlier this (Sunday) evening, my brother who lives in our home town called to let me know that our father, Roy, had just died, and he asked me to call siblings to let them know. The brother who is the executor is, of course, the one who has not been reachable. Talked or IM’ed with everyone else. Three and a half months, approximately, since Mom’s death. Dad had said only, when we were there on Thursday, that he was tired. But he’d been detached since Mom died.