A Coffee Break | #WeekendCoffeeShare

The time here is 11:45 a.m., Sunday, and I have settled in to write a Weekend Coffee Share post, at last. I’m sure that everyone has forgotten me, it’s been so long a time. Thank you for joining me for coffee!

If we were having coffee together, this morning, you would have some choices: bottled water, Toddy or hot-brewed coffee with or without milk, and black or oolong tea. I just finished my first meal of the day: scrambled eggs with cheese and hot Toddy coffee. I am not calling the meal “breakfast”, but instead, “lunch”. Perhaps I will even things out by having a larger bedtime snack.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that I have now had two meetings with my new grief counselor. J.R. is…much younger than C. She seemed more relaxed at our second meeting, and so we conversed, as new friends would (except that we did not have the sort of in-depth exchange meant to form a base for a longer relationship). Quite appropriate, professional, but relaxed and natural interchange.

I remember my training, twenty-some years ago, for Stephen Ministry, and the constraints involved. I myself am a “let’s fix this” (or, worse, “let me fix you”) person, and it was difficult at first to confine myself to supportive listening. I believe that I no longer … jump down people’s throats. Retiring from personal (job search, academics, etc.) consulting, five plus years ago, has helped with that. Stomped it out? Don’t I hope!?! I should think that grief counseling might have a higher burn-out rate than substance abuse counseling. I would not take on either role.

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would tell you that this past week in particular was rough because of our annual volunteer appreciation dinner at the marksmanship center (which is volunteer staffed and maintained). On the evening of last year’s dinner, I received the telephone call from the care center that my mother had died in her sleep. They were unsure of the time, because she was not attended, there having been little indication that her death was imminent. I found myself dreading the dinner, until I figured out why. Last year, it was on the fifteenth, and this year it was on the sixteenth of the month. All in all, it’s been a good transition, however.

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would tell you that I did decide to join in the group for writing a poem a day during November. That’s the same group, more or less, that I participated in for April’s NaPoWriMo challenge. I have been posting them at Lizl’s Quiet Spaces Journal: “The Written Word at Home”. Ending this post is the most recent poem that I have posted.

I was invited to participate in the “seven black&white photos in seven days” activity on Facebook, and I posted those photographs on my TheMomentsBetween WordPress blog afterwards.

If we were having coffee together, I would confess to you that after more than twenty-five years, I have purchased a physical, leather & paper journal book, again. I realized that part of my hesitation in writing anything down is that when I make a mistake with a computer file, I can go back and correct it, while I cannot with ink and paper. Not archival quality, anyway! I want to give myself permission, I suspect, to make mistakes unapologetically. And let ’em stand.

Thank you for dropping by! I look forward to the coming week, and I wish you the best for the days to come.


my parents, their courtship
When She Was Young

“When I See my Mother” (Writing Prompt)

When I see her now
she looks so much younger—
filled with song

vigorous and happy, radiant…
sorrows past, still in love

—Elizabeth W. “Lizl” Bennefeld, Copyright © 2017-11-18.

Source: Seeing Mother (Poem a Day, Day 16, reposted on QuiltedPoetry.net)

Note: My mother died on 15 November 2016 (age 94), and my father, a little more than 3 months later, (age 100).

Hosts: Eclectic Alli


#WeekendCoffeeShare | Saturday, 17 June | Rain in the Forecast

Good Day!

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would make a cup of Toddy coffee for you from my home-made coffee concentrate and water, milk, or cream.  I’ve also got ice water and hot water for tea (Tetley teabags) or instant cocoa. The back yard is sunny, and there’s a light breeze. The eastmost cotoneaster bush makes a nice shade for sitting and visiting, camping chairs on the paving stones in front of my garden shed with a step stool taking the place of a coffee table.

If you haven’t had breakfast, I could put something together for you. My own breakfast took place about three hours ago. On Thursday, we went shopping, so that I could cook meat for meals for the next three or four days. I got burger patties, but then my husband decided that he wanted pizza, and so I had hamburger two days in a row. I also roasted chicken breasts and pan-fried a tuna steak. Since I am supposed to be controlling calorie intake as well as carbohydrates, I limit the meat portions to 2 ounces, which has turned out to be quite enough. Tuna is good cold, or, as with this morning’s breakfast, hot, with poached egg on toast.

poached egg with pan-fried tuna steak and a slice of millet-and-chia seed g-f bread
Breakfast: Poached Egg, Toast, Tuna Steak (2 oz.)

I have been waking early, this week, but taking naps during the day, and that’s worked out well. It gives me “thinking time” before dogs or husband wake up. And centering/praying/meditating (not sure how to label it), followed by checking my blood oxygen level (SpO2=94%) and pulse rate (56 bpm). Then I check my blood glucose level (115 mg/dL), the weather report (80% chance of rain, thunderstorms), and the morning news briefing (oy vey!). My blood pressure is almost always low, and so I only check that periodically.

The work on the woodworking shop has gone slowly, this past week. Al and my brother-in-law picked up a door and locks for the workshop, and we are to be installing that today. Al is pretty sure that the two of us can handle the lifting and holding in place. There are several other tasks that can be taken care of during the rain days that are forecast for the week. I should have taken a photo of the glass window in the door. (Hope I remember to take a picture to show for next weekend. It’ll look its best with the light showing through it. Not stained glass or anything fancy, but not plain, either.)

We have the Tyvek building wrap still in place after the storms went through. The neighbor’s willow tree, however, dropped a large branch on top of my new wildflower garden. The garden, which is 12.5 ft. long and 4 ft. wide, has a lot of different sorts of clover in it as well as Oxalis (wood sorrel); since my annual and perennial wild flax is growing up amidst it, I hesitate to pull anything in bulk. Blooming so far are the California poppies, Wallflowers, Sweet Clover (ate a lot of that as a child), Oxalis, and (I believe) Baby’s Breath. I had no idea that the last mentioned is a member of the carnation family!

Willow Tree Branch in the Wildflower Garden


If we were having coffee, this morning, we could just sit together in the quiet for a while, relaxing to better enjoy the time away from everything but the now. And, perhaps, flowers.

As with previous weeks, this one involves appointments. Last week, Al had a dental appointment, with another scheduled for the last week in June. This week, I have a blood panel and another couple lab tests coming up, followed within a few days by an appointment with the diabetes educator. Sort of a six-month check-up, I guess. I believe that things are going quite nicely in that regard, and so am looking forward to visiting with her again, and also to the meeting’s being quite short. I have no questions. I am enjoying the ADA online community; I am not a participant, really, but I get a lot from reading the posts, the questions and answers.

Best wishes for your weekend and the week before us!



WeekendCoffeeShare, originating with Diana at Part Time Monster, is hosted by Emily at NerdintheBrain.com, where you will find her current post and the InLinkz icon, leading to links to other #WeekendCoffeeShare participants’ posts.


Going to be a short night

I do not know why my puppy became restless, again, after he’d gone to bed. That happened several nights ago, also, and we went short on sleep then, too. The dogs are now quiet, but I’m not ready to sleep, now.

My appointment with the doctor went nicely. All of the lab reports showed improvement, as well as my weight loss, blood pressure and SpO2. I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds since the middle of December, and my A1C is within three tenths of a percent of the doctor’s goal for me: a drop from 11.7% to 7.3%. And so, no more appointments with the medical staff until June.

As I was visiting with my doctor about my father’s dying, last month, I realized that I want to talk about it some more, but visiting with family members will not be helpful. They undoubtedly are going through their own feelings and grieving processes now, after losing both parents and an aunt in such a short time. I’ve kept the name and phone number for the appropriate person to call at the local hospice organization. Believe that I will give her a call on Thursday or Friday.

I do have another appointment with the dentist toward the end of May. By then, my mouth should be healed, and I can have that last filling done.  Since the tooth extraction, last week,  I am looking forward to down time.

Al is hoping to get started on his workshop, this week. Some final measuring and figuring. He’s already made some sturdier sawhorses. Too, he finished installing the new kitchen floor, which is wonderful! It’s much easier to keep clean. Which is important, since the puppies are tracking in mud, and Al is tracking in sawdust. (*・▽・*)

I am happy to have made it to this time of the evening when I have had a little time to myself for writing. Even a little bit!

Believe I can get to sleep, now.



Weekend Coffee Share 12-18-16 – Juggling Act

If we were enjoying a get-together for coffee, this weekend, it would be between my naps, because I feel somewhat exhausted. I do have coffee concentrate in the refrigerator and can heat some water for tea or instant cocoa.

I would remind you that last weekend included my mother’s memorial on Friday evening and my father’s 100th birthday party on Saturday morning. The siblings have been posting many of the photographs that they took to their Facebook accounts so that we can share.

I would tell you that the big event for me, this week, was my clinic appointment for a physical, for which I’d had to wait for months. At which time blood tests were taken and the results sent to my personal clinic account to download and review. I had expected that my cholesterol would be high, but I had not expected such a large number for the glucose level. That makes three out of the six of us siblings, now, with type-2 diabetes, and a third on a “watch list”. It’s odd that I didn’t know, except for my youngest brother, that any of the others had a problem with blood sugar levels. And one of my old friends from my last corporate IT job, with whom I do occasionally have a coffee get-together, has type-2 diabetes, which she’d never mentioned, but got it under control with diet and medication years ago, and now continuing just the diet, but monitoring her blood sugar levels daily.

One complication of this is that the DNP wants me to wait with my oral surgery until my glucose level is below 200, and I don’t think that’s going to happen before the cavity reaches the nerve. A problem because the only pain killer I can safely take is aspirin. The other is that I cut down on the amount of food I eat, even though recently, I have been losing weight (8 more lbs in the past 3 months). I have had three doses of prescribed medication, one each morning with breakfast, and I am feeling exhausted.

I went online to go through my test findings for my last two physicals (2012 and 2013) and found high readings in 2013. Leaves me wondering at what point this should have been brought to my attention; at that point, I was concerned about the anemia and didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the results.

This weekend, I am sorting through things and quite happy to be able to visit with you about them. One task ahead of me is organizing my eating. I did find a book of gluten-free recipes for diabetics, which looks like it will be some help. (I couldn’t get an appointment with the clinic’s diabetes dietitian until the middle of January.) We have no actual meal times in this household. Probably because we each were single and working a variety of shifts (evening or night, by preference). Faced with set meal times and proper distribution of food types and calories to plan (and stick to the plan).

Looking forward to Christmas, it looks as though there will not be any gatherings for us on the Christmas weekend. Scheduling problems has left Al’s siblings looking for alternative evenings before folks head off for the celebrations of significant others out of state. I do not know how involved my father will be with my brother Eric’s family in the home town. I must contact them to find out, so that Al and I can try at least to get together with my father sometime that weekend. (Al’s preference is to sleep in and ignore this family holiday completely. I’m pretty sure that I am not happy with that plan.)

I had better close this and tend to my puppies, who are not weathering my too-frequent naps. I hope that each of you enjoys your respective celebrations and are able to spend as much time with family and friends as you choose!


P.S. Don’t forget to stop by Part Time Monster Blog, our host Diana’s site, with her post and the linkup button.

PPS: The photograph is of me and one of my nephews at my father’s birthday party, last weekend. Such fun, getting together.


Weekend Coffee Share | Sunday, 17 April

If we were getting together for coffee (or tea), this weekend, I would welcome the company. The week was fraught with crises and problems that were not addressable, which resulted in my passing off many responsibilities, perhaps permanently, to siblings and in-laws.

First, though, a picture (relatively large, as I’ve uploaded it) from Saturday’s mundane chores. Al spent the rain-free days, this week, severely trimming back the cotoneaster shrubs, so that we can get through to the fence without getting cut up by branches. The Scampers wanted to help.

Al and the Scamper puppies scattering seed beneath the cotoneasters
17 April 2016
Lizl Bennefeld

A large pile of brush has accumulated on the boulevard in the wake of the burst of energy. Al finally gave in and hauled the rakings to the drop-off site, even though the city is supposed to be picking such up until the first week of May. Probably changed schedule because of the early melt and spring weather. If you lived closer to me than you do, I would ask if you’d like a spinet piano. We are trying to downsize, and I seriously consider giving it away. I also have been sorting (the thousands of) books with hope of shedding at least 75% of them during Spring Clean-up Week. Donating turns out to be too complicated and involves time and effort I cannot devote to it.

If we were having coffee together, I would share with you some of the crises of the early weekdays. On Tuesday, as my father was being released from the hospital and returned home by van to the parents’ home town, I was on my way to the emergency department of the same hospital with breathing problems. The first time since 2013, I believe, that I’d gone to the ED for that particular problem. I am not recovering as quickly as I would like, and I do not wish to be making on-the-spot decisions related to my parents’ lives. That leaves two siblings who live in the same state, one in the same village and one about 400 miles away.

Part of the problem, but certainly not all, was the extended visit to the folks’ place the previous Friday, where I tried to help my mother become reacquainted with her computer. After I left, as it turns out, she could not remember (or read) which icons to click on to go to any of her activities and somehow, it seems, locked herself out of the computer. She deemed this to be my fault, even though the computer and printer worked correctly before I left their home. And so she sent one of my brothers to buy her a “less complicated” computer at Best Buy with the intention of hiring the Geek Squad to help her whenever she has problems. I find this worrisome. They are not inexpensive.

On a brighter note! Al took me out to supper, last night. [Salmon and veggies!] And brought home a spiral-cut ham, on sale from our butcher shop, and also a multi-grain, gluten-free loaf of bread for making sandwiches. And I really have quit worrying, to the extent that I can go to bed at night and sleep through until morning.

I hope that your weekend has gone well and that the coming week proceeds smoothly.

P.S. Check in at PartTimeMonster’s blog for Inlinkz and more posts!