June 1 #WeekendCoffeeShare : Wind and Rain and Sunshine

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storm clouds to the West of us
Storm Clouds

This has been a week of dramatics and dynamics. No rain at the moment, the wind speed is (down to?) 17 mph. Still looks as though the worst of the weather will miss us, here. I rather like thunderstorms. Ah! The wind has come up, and the rain has begun.

The Scampers, the Gazebo

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would invite you to join me in the gazebo, where we have windows on all sides of the eight-sided building. We built with gazebo with two objectives in mind. First, we wanted to be able to watch the storms come through, no matter which direction they are coming from. Second, the gazebo is screened and well ventilated (deck floor and open eaves in the summertime), because I am allergic to both insecticides and insect bites. You missed helping me take the foam blocks out of the eaves/rafters. I removed the cardboard that covered the deck floor, so that there is air flow from beneath the gazebo, up to the top and out.

The upsets, this past week and more, has come mainly from WordPress eliminating community service and educational resources to concentrate on more marketable and cost-effective functions. If they are setting it up for a lucrative buy-out, I will be sad. In the meanwhile, I look to retaining and extending my comfort/support network of people around the world. I have very much enjoyed getting to know people and become comfortable in new friendships.

If we were together, having another cup of coffee, I would tell you about the communities I enjoyed on Usenet’s newsgroups, before they vanished. Also, most recently, the SFF Net newsgroups and web hosting, bending with economic and social trends, closed down. Their computer business (as opposed to the web hosting “hobby” activities) needed their resources. I had a membership and web site there since (I think) the fall of 1996 until my health made it difficult to continue coding my own pages. I am happy that so many of my friends from SFF Net found their way to Facebook, where we have maintained ties.

Change is a fearsome thing. When it imposes itself on my world, I must admit, my first need is to bend my world into different shapes to keep as much as possible in the same or similar places, serving the purposes that I’ve established to maintain my comfort and my self-identity. My mother was on the Internet into her nineties, and I was able to take care of her web site for her when she could not. There will be no such support person to take care of that for me. I have hope that as the Web expands, these forms of communication and networking will be maintained, providing communication and enhancing well-being as the population ages.

I would show you the latest pictures from my garden, its being too dark right now to walk into it and point out the wildflowers that have bloomed and those on the brink of doing so. My Plains Coreopsis are not in sight, and so I plan, once the rain gets started again with the promise of some days of precipitation in a row, to sow what’s left from last year’s wildflower seed packet in the garden and also along the side of the house where the tulips are currently drying out. (I must dig up the bulbs, later in the season, and separate them for replanting. I need to find guidelines on which bulbs to replant and which to discard.

Time has gone by so fast, and I must join Al for “puppy time”, so we can put the Scampers to bed. Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to visiting with you during the weekend! Best wishes to you!

Much love,

Lizl

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Late-Evening Coffee

It’s been a short day, actually, even though the hour is late. I didn’t get out of bed until almost 9 o’clock, when the puppies awoke. Five hours from now, the temperature is forecast to be 32°F. Therefore, I spent as much time as I could taking photographs of flowers around the yard on Wednesday.

Somewhere along the line, I got a puncture wound. Sort of. I think it looks like an insect bite. Just above it, in the crook of my elbow, I’ve a large swelling. Sort of like a squishy, half-sized golf ball. If I were to take my blood pressure, I’d have to take it on the right arm rather than the left. I have taken two antihistamine tablets, which is—I know—not a good idea, taking two four-hour tablets at once. But I’ve done it a couple times before when I had a serious allergic reaction, and it’s been … okay.

It’s possible I got a bug bite, Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, I helped with carrying discards out to the boulevard for Spring Clean-up Week; our pick-up day was Tuesday, but they didn’t come around until Wednesday with the trucks. Either carrying stuff or pushing through branches, going after the dogs … too many possibilities! If the arm is still swollen when I wake up in the morning, We’ll see about a visit to the walk-in clinic. Now that I have had Toddy coffee, I ask myself if I should put on a pot of regular coffee to brew, since I’ve often found that to help with allergic reactions. Or just leave it alone.

Some photos from Wednesday

Al woke up, and I got some cortisone cream from his stash, before he went back to bed. And so I’m sitting here, talking to myself, and wondering if I want to brew a pot of tea, as long as I’m up. Or not…the puppies are getting restless, and I don’t care to take them outside while I’m feeling dizzy. Ah! I have found my own tube of skin cream! And a sheet to throw over the rocking chair to protect my bare arms.

I am finally managing, I think, to quit worrying to death decisions about Internet activities. The New York Times, I have realized, wants to be more than my source for news, and really don’t want to … become one with its culture? I got my first digital subscription to the newspaper in 2011. Time to walk. I have also, since I first came across their site, been reading Reuters, and I think I am happier getting the news reports from them. I will miss the crossword puzzles, but I think that I have to maintain a subscription to the newspaper in order to get access to the crosswords. I do believe that the last straw came when NY Times blocked my ad blocker; paying nearly two hundred dollars a year for the subscription would include undisturbed reading of their newspaper.

Looking back, though, it was inevitable. I do not watch videos. I do not listen to audio reports. I find that I no longer watch TV, because it irritates me and I move on to actually doing something instead. I have not listened to radio (other than the amateur bands) for so long that I do not remember when there last was a radio in the house. I am allergic to paper/ink in commercial printing; magazines and newspapers move too quickly from printer to end-user, leaving not enough time for the product to out-gas. Huh! Get into my 70s, and I become opinionated. That’s funny! I think I’ll go find the Oolong tea and brew a short pot of it.

I have gotten into the habit, thanks to years of rereading Sharon Shinn’s books, of using her “elemental blessings” cards (coins, in the books) to haul me off grumping. I’ve just drawn three blessings cards from the bin to consider, this evening. I will drink my tea and contemplate how I can use the blessings of Kindness, Patience, and Resilience in my immediate life.

a sudden rainstorm
has drown my warmth and sunshine
ah, blankets and fire

 

 

Where did the weekend go? | #WeekendCoffeeShare

The weekend—this past week—has been cluttered, and I have lost my way in the midst of it all. I’d welcome the chance to sit down with you for coffee and hear about how your week has progressed. Toddy coffee, here, and carrot sticks. Also, Tetley tea (black and strong) and a pitcher of filtered water in the refrigerator.

I have been escaping to enjoy taking photographs in the wildflower garden and to put in miles on my exercise bike, which lives in the screened-in gazebo in the back yard. While there still are lots of weeds in the back yard, I am making progress in getting them pulled, now that the plants that I wanted in the garden are getting large enough to identify.

Much progress has been made on the backyard workshop, and I’m being called upon less often to lift and carry, now that the doors and windows close. And there have been fewer storms and fewer branches being blown into our yard. The Scampers adjusted quickly to the noises of the Independence Day celebrations here in town. Even when the fireworks sounded loud enough to be just outside our own door. I guess the process of accustoming the dogs to the fierce thunderstorms has added benefits. I have high hopes for getting through this fall’s fireworks association convention and demonstrations that rock the house even from the next town over, without even keeping the dogs awake.

I finally remembered to order refills on the Scampers’ Flea and Tick pills, this weekend. As it turns out, the website we order from keeps a copy of the vet’s approval and our orders, so all I have to do is click the correct medications and fill in my gift card number of the month.

This has been a “keep busy” week, and I have been putting in a lot of time on the elliptical machine (living room) and the exercise bike (gazebo), which has been bringing down my blood glucose level. Although I forgot to take my medication, this morning (not the first or second time, this week). Seems, however, that my numbers are staying down even so, and I expect that sticking to my diet and exercising help with that.

I must share with you that I have made no progress on getting together socially with anyone here in town. Although a poet friend (an acquaintance, I suppose, really) found that she would be stopping here on her way to a wedding in central Minnesota. She’d never before visited North Dakota, but has relatives in the same town in which I live. I found that I very much enjoyed visiting with her about her poetry activities and family history and current events. I do not recall the last time I offered to fix a meal for a guest. I spoke with … someone, grief counselor or diabetes educator, about my needing to make contact and form some relationships with people locally. I wonder, now, as I find I’ve gotten out of the habit over these many decades.

Happy that you have stopped by, and I am looking forward to visiting other blogs, as I am able, on the #WeekendCoffeeShare circuit. I understand that both NerdintheBrain.com (Emily) and PartTimeMonsterblog.com (Diana) have links to the Linkz page where the participants in Weekend Coffee Share are placing their links, this weekend. Diana is taking over as host, again, after her needed time off.

Hope that you’re enjoying life! I plan to visit again soon!

Best regards,
Lizl

#WeekendCoffeeShare, 27 May 2017: A Holiday Weekend

If We Were Having Coffee Together, this morning, I would have pictures to show you from this past week. We could sit in the back yard, but Al is putting shingles on the roof of his workshop, and I’d hate for him to be distracted.  We could, however, have cookies from Tim Horton’s, dropped off unexpectedly by a neighbor. There was a delivery, evidently, at his wife’s office, but because of the holiday weekend, there was nobody else to eat the baked goods, and so we were the recipients of muffins and cookies. Al will eat the muffins, though, on his next coffee break.

A Morning Treat from the Neighbors

(The neighbor stopped to visit with Al, and so Al’s taken a coffee break, now, with the muffin that has nuts on top of it—upper right.)

I’ve been pulling weeds in the garden, off and on, where I can distinguish between wildflowers that I want and weeds that I don’t, even if they do flower. So far, I have identified a couple of plants that I am almost positive are blue wild flax. So few that I am tempted to order a quarter pound of seeds from the online company I got the seed packets from.

I would mention that our “new” soil is sandy loam that is devoid of organic material (aside from the millions of White Campion seeds that arrived with it). I have been adding spent coffee grounds to the soil in hopes that there will be some substance to hold moisture, rather than the rain’s just running off and flowing away into the storm sewers. That’s supposed to be a good soil for growing wild flax, assuming, as I am, that the watering still needs to be addressed. Good drainage, I’m figuring, is the point of it.

Wild Flax (?)

Other than that, I took a tour of other flowers, including the last tulip. There are more tulip plants, but some were eaten at by the rabbits before they could bloom, and others did not produce fully mature buds, and so no flowers to bloom. I do love the dandelions, however, and the cotoneasters are flowering. And I found a small group of wild violets that were not touched by the lawnmower when Al did yard work, earlier in the week. I’m also letting my chives flower, because I love the flowers, and I don’t use chives in bulk, and so will not be bothered by the plant’s energy put into reproduction.

I expect that we will be going to the Memorial Day services at the hometown cemetery on Monday. (I must find out what time the services will be and whether we will get there for the services or just stop at the graves. This will be the first year that final preparation of the cemetery grounds will not be personally overseen by my father. My mother had a page on her web site (which I’m maintaining for the time being, In Military Uniform, with pictures of those of us who served in the military. Of the five, Chris and Matt are still living. I wonder, sometimes, if I should link the obituaries to the parents/sibling’s web pages on Mother’s web site. I do hope that there will not be a thunderstorm over the cemetery on the day. If there is, we may rethink our plans.

I’m glad that you’ve stopped by. I have enjoyed the visit, even though you are not in the chair beside me. It’s nice to be able to talk and know that someone else is listening/reading.

Best wishes!
Lizl

P.S. Weekend Coffee Share, previously guided by Part-time Monster, is now hosted by Emily, whose blog post is here at Nerd in the Brain, with an inLinkz button that provides links to other Weekend Coffee Share participants.

Wednesday Morning, 11 May 2016

The Scampers, Lost in Thought
Morning Meditations

The most difficult task when taking wildflower photographs in the back yard is getting a shot of the flower without a Scamper (or two) in the frame. This morning, I took photographs of tulips in the side yard, which is not fenced in, and that worked much better.

Raindrops remained on some of the flowers and leaves. I like the way my surroundings are reflected in the droplets. Many little drops, all reflecting the same view.

Tulip with Rain
Tulip with Rain/May 2016

The Scampers woke me at 7:30 a.m., and I’ve been up ever since. Still hoping for a nap before they’re ready for lunch. This morning’s noise event was triggered by a Utility Services company, come to put up flags in the next-door back yard, so that our new neighbors can safely prepare a garden bed. Thaddeus has decided that he’s a guard dog. Charlie’s decided that he’s quite handsome and flops down to strike poses whenever I’ve a camera in hand.

I was able to sort and load many boxes to set out on the curb during Spring Clean-up Week. About half the books, the trumpet and the cornet were picked up before the city trucks came past to haul away the rest. We emptied many shelves. The Great Books set, which Tim said one of his sons would want, is sitting in the garage. I have neither offer to haul them away nor address to which I could ship them, next payday. I am also waiting to hear from the person who supposedly wants our piano.

More naps will help me to feel relaxed.