Saturday Morning 08/18 #WeekendCoffeeShare

Good morning! I am glad that you stopped by for coffee and a visit. If you’d showed up when I started writing this post…I would have fallen asleep, which would not have been good. The other of us turned out the bedroom light; I woke briefly, around 1:30 in the morning, to say “good-night” and once more fell asleep.

The photos above are of the western sky at 7:30, last night. No clouds, but smoke carried by the winds from fires in Canada. Are there Air Quality warnings where you are, also? There have been entire years when I have not resorted to taking an antihistamine tablet. but I have taken one three nights in a row, now. We do expect rain after midnight, Saturday, which is expected to clean the air.

My outside visits have been short, this week, due to the smoky haze. The smoke makes for richer colors in some of the wildflowers, light waves filtered through the particulates. I have enjoyed playing with the photo editing software, fooling around with the color balances and saturation.

If we were visiting together, today, at our house, there would be some new beverage options. Two of my tea infusers broke, this past week, and I forgot several times that I had a pan on the stove, heating water for tea. I had saved enough money that I could buy an electric water kettle at my favorite kitchen-wares store, along with replacing the infusers with stainless steel ones.

I can now heat water to the preferred brewing temperature for the various types of tea in the cupboard: green, black, and oolong. My favorite teas are oolong, but I like a nice, strong “breakfast blend” in the morning, once I’ve had my breakfast of Toddy coffee (mixed with whole milk, rather than water) and 10g of very dark chocolate. That’s 200 calories, 15g of carbohydrates, for breakfast.

The Scampers have been fed and made a couple visits to the back yard; they’re now taking an after-breakfast nap. While I was outside, I got a snapshot of the “clear” sky and morning sun. There is a smoky haze, but the sky is cloud-free. I am destined to put in the majority of my exercise, today, on the elliptical machine in the front room. Yesterday, I put in 4.5 miles on the exercise bike in the gazebo, and in the evening, 5 minutes or so on the elliptical, which is more strenuous (and less aerobics time?).

Smoke Haze

This week, I posted my #RonovanWrites #Haiku on my The Moments Between blog:
“Fooling Around With Flowers” post. I also reblogged several of my poems from years past. As my brother’s wife is in hospice care, my mind turns to thoughts of my late mother and her passions, and so I donated the remainder of my allowance for this month to the local food bank. I’ve certainly got enough books on my “to be read” list to carry me through not just the rest of August, but through the end of the year.

If we were enjoying a cuppa whatever (I’ve moved on to Irish Breakfast tea), this morning, in the front room, I would confide that the isolation imposed over the past years since my (medically necessary) retirement has become wearisome. It came on gradually, as my energy lagged, but still… I have become unaccustomed to actual interaction with people. I may never be well enough to brave the human-made environmental hazards that affect my breathing &c. I remember the years when I exchanged letters with people around the world via postal service. We grew busy as life moved on, more insular, and those contacts inevitably faded away; life’s focuses changed, people died. The Internet seems to be more ephemeral.

Thanks for the visit! I look forward to reading your weekend posts throughout the coming days. Best wishes for your weekend and the week ahead!

Lizl


Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday August 17 th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday August 21 st at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”! — Allison, host, at eclecticali.wordpress.com.

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Relaxing | #WeekendCoffeeShare 10 August 2018

Greetings from the wildflower patch! If we were getting together for coffee, this weekend, I would have big pot of medium roast ready to share (honey, not sugar; milk, not cream). You might find what you want in the way of tea in greater variety, since I do bulk shopping for that, and the shipping box just arrived this morning. I keep this up, and I’ll have to look for some air-tight canisters or tins. English and Irish breakfast tea, and some more Emerald Green Tips loose tea. I still have a couple of choices in Oolong teas.  Bottled and filtered cold water, of course.

If we were having a visit, this afternoon, I could show off photographs from my wildflower gardens (back yard and the south side of the garage). I had also scattered seed at the front of the house, but only a few plants of Baby’s Breath appeared. The south side garden was late to make an appearance, but now that I know what plants will bloom and what is flowerless weed, I’ve been pulling a lot of stuff and using old coffee grounds for mulch. While I bought a drought-resistant seed selection, I am not putting my trust in that. It’s hot out there!

A few of these shots are from this morning, but most are from backyard outings this afternoon with the Scampers.

If we were visiting together, I would share the latest in family news. Last night, just as I was falling asleep, I got a text letting me know that the health of a close relative has deteriorated further. The spouse believes that the time is short, and that is realistic. Believe it’s time to drop another donation check in the mail to the local hospice association. They have been generally wonderful!

I am continuing to listen to music, which I have not done in years. I have been transferring my uncle Jess’s classical and jazz CD collections to digital format (hopefully) before they deteriorate. When I was in college and later (1960s-70s), he recorded reel-to-reel tapes for me from NYC radio stations, and I discovered that I loved a lot of the jazz he mailed to me. After he died, I got the CDs, which my sister on the east coast shipped to me.

My week has involved both gardening (mulching new wildflower plants) and taking lots of photographs. I have yet to write letters, wash dishes (I have been using mostly paper/plastic, this week, what with abounding scatter and all.) I have, I think, written off the meteor shower, assuming that the continuing smoke in the air will obscure the view. I do still have the binoculars at hand.

I would ask how your week has gone, and what you are looking forward to during the weekend and next week.

Next, I must wake and feed the Scampers. Maybe, then, the three of us will have an after-supper nap. I think that would be good.

Thank you for stopping by! I’m looking forward to visiting the other Weekend Coffee Share posts. More than I got through last weekend, since the pace is considerably slower for the time being.

Best wishes!
Lizl

P.S. I’ve been writing some poetry, this week and last, which you can find, if interested, at quiltedpoetry.net/blog (hosted by WordPress).


My thanks to Allison for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! You can learn more about it at her blog: EclecticAli, where you will also find a Links button with connection to blogs of other participants in Weekend Coffee Share for the current week. Also, you can search out the #weekendcoffeeshare hashtag.

Sleepy Sunday, 2018-08-05 | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Under the Cotoneaster branches

Welcome to the weekend that has almost vanished! I have drunk all of the Toddy coffee, but I do have water for tea (oolong of several varieties and a lovely green tea) and Al’s brewed Folgers. Cold, filtered water in the refrigerator. Snacks are hard to come by, since I have not been feeling well and hence have no carbohydrates to offer.

At least two days in a row —perhaps three—I have awakened at five thirty or so in the morning, pain in back of my eyes and high blood sugar. I have a cough, and my oxygen level is lower than it should be. Part of that may be that I turned off my air cleaner, middle of the week, instead of having Al clean out the dust, so that I could put a new filter in. Al has been sleeping late, this week. He is planning his vacation (a long weekend with the ham radio guys) and assembling his electronics.

I had forgotten that yesterday was Saturday, and got up thinking “beginning of the weekend”. We did take care of the grocery shopping, yesterday. We decided to not go out for dinner, but to try to accomplish at least some items on our lists.

I am looking forward to clearing the grass and dead plants from the wildflower garden, hoping that some of the later blooming seeds will grow, given more clear space. I’ve lots of seed pods from the first growth of wild flax and hope to see a second season from them before we get a hard frost.

This has been an uncomfortable week generally for looking back/looking forward. My mother left me a lot of cloth, thread, embroidery machine, and other quilting supplies. When we talked together, I was quite enthusiastic about getting back into thread work, having done a lot of embroidery and cross-stitch when I was in my thirties and forties. Just waiting for retirement to start up with it again. I find that it no longer holds my interest.

While “I am not really doing anything with it”, I enjoy the wildflowers and insects, reading, and writing. Sitting in the back yard, the Scampers napping close by, watching the clouds and listening to the murder of crows that have been camped out in the nearest cottonwood tree, this past week. I think. I wonder at things. I look around me. Something in me, when I find myself feeling that I should be accomplishing something, says, “Wait. It’s not the time.” Which I listen to, because I don’t have a clue about options, possibilities, or even inclinations. I am fallow ground. Not recovered or yet renewed. Maybe I’ll simply continue to produce haiku and wildflower photographs. Or maybe not. Waiting to learn what comes next.

I hope that you are enjoying your weekend! The weather here is cool and quite lovely.

My thanks to Allison for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! You can learn more about it at her blog: EclecticAli, where you will also find a Links button with connection to other participants in Weekend Coffee Share for the current week.

Best wishes, and take care!
Lizl

large and small, brown teapots

Miscellanea : #WeekendCoffeeShare on Saturday, 9 June

Backyard Gazebo

Welcome to my back yard! This afternoon, I am enjoying a pot of “ti kuan yin goddess of mercy” oolong tea from Stash Tea online. Bribing myself to drink less coffee to cut back on the carbohydrates. While I drink tea “straight”, I make my coffee from homemade, cold-brew concentrate added to whole milk. It’s a meal in itself; I am trying to limit myself to once or twice a day.

If we were having coffee together, today, I would invite you outdoors. I am sitting in a camp chair that’s stored in my gazebo. It is under the bending branches of the cotoneaster bushes and out of the direct sunlight.

The dogs seem to like the sunshine. My previous two dogs (Ladd and Samantha) were black cocker spaniels, and both of them enjoyed “sunbathing” also.

Out in the Sun

The week has been a quiet one. On Wednesday, we traveled to the home town for our semi-annual dental appointments. Al got two fillings while I waited, since there was an open time slot in their schedule and it saved us making an extra trip. I have orders to floss more often, please, and brush at the gum line.

Al ordered blinds for the workshop windows. He finished installing them, this afternoon, and then headed out to do some shopping (undoubtedly for the workshop) and coffee at his favorite restaurant. I have gotten the laundry washed and dried, but not put away. the kitchen is looking pretty good. Using plastic utensils and paper plates and bowls help a lot, except for the cooking necessaries, helped a lot with that. Paper plates in a large stack. The stores must be thinking “picnic”!

Incoming Weather

I am seeing definite storm-type clouds to the north-northwest. Hot as it is, I should expect there might be rain, tonight. The backyard neighbors have put up chicken wire on their side of our fence, and so we are not enjoying many visits from the neighborhood rabbits. I miss them very much.

We took extreme measures to try to protect the rabbits from trying to get through the fence at the break where the gate leaves a gap, here in the back yard. The first day that the chicken wire was placed to block that gap, a rabbit trying to outrace our dogs went through and ended up trapped between our metal fence and the chicken wire, which was too tall for him to get himself out of without a terrible struggle to reach the top, clawing at the chicken wire.

Blocking the Way

We have bolted a board to the gate posts high enough that the rabbits will not try to get through, there. we have left a space beneath the front gate where they can come and go. Our new neighbor to the south is planning to put up a privacy fence between his yard and ours, and so there will be no place from which to watch the rabbits except for between our houses and across the street through the front-room window.

The one concern that I do have is that the spouse of a family member has entered hospice care, this week. Not unexpected, but still…even the inevitable can be jarring.

I have started going to bed earlier, which, oddly, is resulting in my sleeping later into the morning. And so, I must get up promptly to get good photographs of the wildflowers.

I have enjoyed this time visiting with you. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and beyond!

Best wishes!

Lizl

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Alli at  her Eclectic Alli blog. and the InLinkz link is here, where you will find links to other Weekend Coffee Share participants.

Variety and Uncertainty | #WeekendCoffeeShare on 12 May 2018

Wild Violets in the Back Yard

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share for May 12th . If we were having coffee together, this Saturday, I would tell you about my week. I am waiting to hear from my younger sister, who is to be driving from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minn. airport to our home town, today. She will be staying there for a few weeks to explore more of our parents’ papers; one of my brothers, who still lives in the home town, was able to buy the house and do the needed repairs and improvements, and he and his family have moved in there. I look forward to spending some quality time with my sister while she is in the Midwest. She has promised to spend some of her “time off from research” visiting with family and friends in the area.

If we were having coffee together, I would share, again, two of the poems that I wrote this past week. The first, “Eventide”, is one that I wrote last night when I stepped outside the door just after sunset when everything was still. It does come with a photograph (link) from last night, but the poem works without it, I think.

the wind rests quiet on the land
faint sunlight shrinks behind
tree branches and blue clouds
pasted on a blue-grey sky

birds sing summonings
then nestle into nests
for warmth throughout
a night with which the cold
returns too soon

cling to the cold, a shield
against the warming days

Copyright © 2018-05-11, by Lizl Bennefeld.

The second poem from this week that I would like to share is a tanka that I wrote on the tenth. It stems from a haiku that I wrote for last Monday’s Ronovan Writes Haiku weekly challenge: Ire & Fire. That translated into thunderstorm and rain.

a sudden rainstorm
has drowned my warmth and sunshine
ah, blanket! fire!

three young rabbits nest nearby
broad leaves, their umbrella

Copyright © 2018-05-10, by Lizl Bennefeld.

I have written several posts, this week, on my Patchwork Prose blog about some unexpected discoveries and realizations that have begun to grow during April’s poem-a-day activities. I would tell you that two of the upshots from that so far are dropping my NY Times subscription and “un-following” or dropping groups on Facebook. Uncluttering more than my bed sitting room, closets, and miscellaneous boxes of miscellanea.

I also would share that my husband and I are working together on making and adding soffit boards to the workshop that’s in progress in the back yard. The electrical inspection went well. No hitches whatsoever, so we’re good to go on adding the final trim and painting.

There is now a push to clean off the longer desk in my bed sitting room, since my husband is moving his two-wall desk to the workshop and wants the soon-to-be-spare desk from mine to take its place. I also have been spending more time in the back yard, playing with the dogs.

Best wishes for your week!

It seems that my husband has supper plans…

Until later!
Lizl

Thank you to Allison (Eclectic Alli) for hosting #WeekendCoffeeShare. The InLinkz is HERE and Allison’s post for this weekend is here: https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/weekendcoffeeshare-next-week-boutofbooks/

The meditation blessings that I drew for the coming week are Resolve, Innovation, and Strength.