A quiet weekend | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Welcome! If we were having coffee together this afternoon, I once again would be serving hot Toddy coffee with milk. (Cold water in the frig and Tetley tea bags in the cupboard.) It’s been a rough few days with the allergies, and so I am staying inside, mostly. Exercise on Saturday consisted of uncounted time on the elliptical machine and five miles on the exercise bike in the gazebo; today, I quit after three miles on the exercise bike.

Limited time in the garden, which is pretty much not worth looking at, right now. The grasshoppers have gotten into it and eaten the few blue wild flax flowers that came up. They’ve now started in on the smaller poppies. The cornflowers and prairie coreopsis are doing well, however, and I have hopes for (what I think is) the sunflower plant on the south side of the house.

Still, I did get some photos taken yesterday and today before the allergies took hold. I sleep in a room with an air cleaner (HEPA filter); I forget from one year to the next how essential it is to sleeping with allergies. 😀

Sunday’s Flowers

 

Saturday’s Flowers in the Rain

On Saturday, Al and I went out to dinner at Denny’s, where I ordered the salmon (from the salmon skillet, which I cannot eat as on the menu) and steamed broccoli, which was kind to my blood glucose level. Then we went to Target to buy five of the last six cheap 2ft x 3ft poster frames which we are using, along with the two previously bought to try out, to frame the seven poster-sized photo montages from my parents’ memorial services and my father’s 100th birthday party, which was the day after Mother’s memorial service. Fantastic, having them available to me to look at. I am not hanging them all at once, but am propping them up or hanging them one or two at a time. It makes me happy, seeing the pictures across the decades of smiling faces. Memories of parents, their siblings and us getting together with them and their children. The holidays. The vacations that I missed, being the oldest and away at school and then working, by the time the next six of us were old enough to go on vacations. They did a lot of stuff I never even heard about, before looking at the photos with my siblings at these last family gatherings.

That reminds me that I look forward to seeing the family home, redone by Eric (brother) and Cheryl (his wife), who’ve bought the house and have been putting it to rights. I am excited to see it, having been quite impressed by what they’d already done with it the last time we’d dropped in there.

It would be fun, I think, to have regular “coffee share” times with the family members who still are within this thirty-mile area. I wonder if you get together a lot with your various family groups. We all seem to have scattered, us kids, getting together with the in-laws’ families, but not our own. Sort of like being orphaned.

Al and I turn seventy-one, this year. I am concerned that we will have trouble maintaining relationships, getting together face to face, scattered as we are from New England to California. I could, if I had to, handle a trip by rail; I had too much trouble with air quality traveling by air, the last time I flew East, which was in 2007, I think. Not sure that I could do it again and be able to walk off the plane at the other end of the journey.

Again, I was late getting to this, getting together for a visit, and I must move on, now. The Scampers are eating their supper, and I have to look to getting organized to fix supper.

Be sure to stop by Diana’s Part Time Monster blog for her post and the Links button where you can find links to other WeekendCoffeeShare posts of the week.

Best wishes for you, your family and friends, during the coming week!

Lizl

#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!

Lizl

 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!

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.

April 23 #WeekendCoffeeShare: A Wet, Rainy Weekend

Thank you for stopping by, this afternoon for coffee, tea or water. Today’s gather includes cheese (cheddar, swiss, havarti and marble jack, I think). I’ve eaten all of the almonds, but there are still a few apples to go with the cheese.

building in progress
Saturday’s Work

If we were having coffee together, today, I would take you to the back door and show you the progress that my husband and I have made on his workshop. I’ve done some lifting and carrying, and last night I helped cover the few boards that we could not carry back into the garage with a large sheet of plastic. Weighted it down with scrap lumber, so that it wouldn’t blow away in the strong winds.

I would also, if you don’t mind getting a bit wet, show you the tulips at the side of the house. They’re pretty, even closed up against the wind and rain. There has been enough rain and warm that grass is growing happily in the back yard in great profusion. This means that the rabbits are switching to new grass for their meals from the tulip leaves that they’ve preferred, mainly because that’s what’s been here and beckoning. It does appear that the temperatures will not be low enough to kill off my germinating wildflowers in the back garden, even if we do get some snow, this week.  We are going to look at the garden shop to see if there is fencing (still easily lowered for weeding) that the dogs cannot get through or over. So far, they’ve mostly been tromping down the sown seeds, but now they’re putting the sprouts in danger.

Closed Against the Cold

If we were having coffee together, I would be tempted to worry about my feeling tired and a bit down, this past week. I have been having some trouble concentrating. Especially, I am forgetting to eat, or, remembering to eat, I forget to take my diabetes medication. As a result, I’m trying to work out a method, having forgotten my morning meds until noon, too many days in a row, for remembering what I am to do, first thing in the morning. I have been going to bed and immediately to sleep, this week, much earlier than I am used to. But I am tired. When I wake up, still before my husband, I get involved in taking the dogs out, because it’s later than it should be, and they are desperate. Once the dogs are outed, fed, watered and taken out, again, I sit down to read the news, or even make my breakfast, but I am both too distracted and not enough awake to register the fact that I am indeed not following a proper routine. When lunchtime rolls around, I do notice my pill caddy sitting on the table beside me, and sure enough, the morning pills are still in there. On other occasions, I have forgotten what day it is and checked the wrong bin on the caddy.

I am thinking, perhaps, a series of appointments in my phone calendar with alarms to ring when I am to stop what I’m doing and check to see what I am supposed to be doing. Ah, my!

The poetry writing has gone well, this past week. I’ve got one day’s poems to get up on the relevant blog, and I’m only behind one day in the writing. I am so fortunate that at least my husband enjoys and appreciates what I write and tells me so. We even talk about some of the poems. I am grateful that we share interests enough to understand and respond to one another’s activities and interests.

Thank you for the time that we’ve spent together. I look forward to our next weekend coffee share. Take care, and have a good week!

Lizl

P.S. Emily is our current host for Weekend Coffee Share. Please visit her blog (HERE), where you’ll find her post for this weekend and the link-up to posts by other participants. Enjoy!

The building project et al.

All the framework for the walls is up. Measuring and fine-tuning, now, before adding the top wall plates.  Al has a tentative timetable in mind for getting more folks over here to help with the ceiling joists when they’re delivered. Aside from his sister and her husband’s coming over that one afternoon, I’m delegated to lift, carry tools and materials, brace supports, and hold the tape measure. Such fun!

In other news, the second meeting with the grief counselor from Hospice shook out some stuff that I am needing to address. Thinking about focusing my writing in that direction; I seem to have put aside the poem-a-day project. However, as I contemplate what needs contemplation, pieces that I have written come to mind. I expect that I will follow through with, (as I mentioned on the relevant blog before I started the National Poetry Writing Month group activities), reposting poems that I wrote previously, rather than pushing myself to write new ones, as seems necessary and appropriate.  I think I’m only behind three days (counting today) in posting a new one each day.

Also, I got a nice surprise this morning, when I checked my fasting blood sugar level. It was 112, which is the lowest it’s been since I started taking the medication for type-2 diabetes, the middle of December. The readings evening out, and the average drifting lower. Didn’t weigh in, this morning. Concentrating again on “what”, rather than “how much”.

I did pick up a “nourish bowl” at the local grocery, last time we went out to resupply. I like the idea, enjoyed the food, and am thinking about making some lists and doing up some of those for myself with my choices of veggies, roughage and the rest. Another activity to get me on my feet and doing.