Recovery time

We have a date for uncle Don’s funeral. I must wash Al’s white shirt, today. I’ve not seen further news concerning a memorial on the West Coast for my cousin.

I did go shopping at Best Buy, yesterday, and found a mid-range laptop on sale that will tide me over until I figure out what I want for photo editing and artwork. The drive is solid state and not large, so my flash drives and external hard drives will see more use. I must see about sorting through and consolidating things…erasing old client files as I find them, &c.

I am distressed that I cannot find an email client that will handle multiple accounts with accommodations for alternate mail server set-ups. Opera Mail reminds me of Pegasus Mail, and not in a good way. Thunderbird will not do. It seems that Microsoft no longer offers downloads or support for Windows Live Essentials. That was my go-to program. Since I do have a small desktop computer (Lenovo IdeaCentre) that does have Windows Live Mail installed, I will update my information there and use that for consolidated mail downloads and reading. It’s not as though I need to know instantly—or even every day—when an email arrives.

I am not so sanguine about not having a keypad on this computer. Must read the instructions to find out if there is an option.  Or learn how to enter the nonstandard symbols and punctuation marks without it.

Also, all of my photo-editing software died with the two now defunct laptop computers. I must figure out where to store (and make a back-up for) my photograph archives. I missed backups for less than a month of photographs from my own photo shoots, none of which were remarkable. The best ones ended up online here and there. I may have to buy another 2-TB external hard drive to add to the desktop computer, whose own hard drive is not large.

Still, I am not sleeping well, and I find that uncomfortable, especially since I am trying to do detail work, here. My short-term memory function sidetracks as my mind wanders. Too many losses and too much stress on that account, and while I know it’s temporary, it’s disconcerting.

I’ve come to the end of my Toddy coffee and cheese. The temperature is 25°F in the gazebo, which is not impossible. I may next turn on the space heater to warm up the exercise bike for after-lunch exercising. I do believe that I will have a breakfast for lunch, today. Cheesed eggs and a turkey breakfast sausage.

It feels good to write an actual blog post instead of hunting for log-in information. Perhaps now I will sleep more soundly at night and even be able to take daytime naps.

 

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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/

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.

Lizl

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

Snowy Saturday, October 28 | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Honey, It’s Cold Outside!

Welcome to my World!  If we were getting together for coffee, today, I would welcome you to a hot cup of coffee … or maybe hot chocolate. We have had our first real touch of snow, a promise of winter. Perhaps more to come during the next week and an accumulation of snow on the ground.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, you would have missed the moving of the remaining bales of insulation to the workshop-in-progress in the back yard, and the carrying to the basement the paint cans. Painting the siding is officially postponed until spring. Unless we get much more of a warm-up than I can imagine, right now.

As expected, I never did get a Halloween poem recorded for SFPA’s Online Halloween Poetry Reading page, this year. Or even art work sent in. I have been feeling quite high-strung, and I am not sure what is unsettling me. Perhaps it is just the long string of “first anniversaries” that began with the death of my mother’s sister in October of last year. My mother died a year ago on November 15. In total, from last October to this, I lost both parents, two aunts, and three uncles.

I did put in a call to Hospice, and a new-to-me bereavement counselor will be making a visit to the house on Halloween afternoon. I do expect that being able to talk with her about my thoughts and feelings will help me feel more settled.  It is too bad that the previous counselor moved on from her position when she did, from my perspective. But I am adaptable.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would share with you my latest “project” as I move back into poetry writing after my four-week Japanese Poetry workshop that ended on October 6th. The woman who headed up our NaPoWriMo (Poetry) group in April is hoping to form a group to repeat the “write a poem a day for a month” activity during NaNoWriMo (Novel) month. [Look here to take a look at my poems for April 2017.] While I have written several books during NaNoWriMo and, earlier, April Kihlstrom’s “Book in a Week” challenges, I have discovered that I have no tolerance for rewriting or editing a work of that length. I am sticking to short poems. And hopefully, eventually, essays and memoir pieces.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would share that my husband and I enjoyed a nice coze, earlier, a puppy on each lap, talking over the events of the day, plans for tomorrow’s supper, and options for various aspects of finishing the inside of the workshop, in the midst of general conversation. It was a shame to have to wake up the Scampers, so that they could go into their kennels to sleep for the night. It has been a comfortable evening. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Best wishes for you, this weekend and the coming week,

Lizl

P.S. Thank you to Eclectic Alli for hosting Weekend Coffee Share. Here is the link to find more #WeekendCoffeeShare posts.

After Sunshine, Rain | #WeekendCoffeeShare | 14 October 2017

FM Community Band

all is still
but the raindrops falling
on the street

An afternoon for nostalgia! The rain has been coming down, off and on, for hours, and according to the forecast, that won’t end until early morning. I’ve got water hot and ready for tea (black and Oolong only, this week), coffee concentrate, and cold water from the refrigerator.

If we were having coffee together, this afternoon, I would invite you to look through the old photographs that my sister on the East Coast sent to me; they were in the materials she took back with her from the family home after Father’s funeral—a selection of pictures that she thought I might enjoy having, after she’d scanned all of them into her computer.

We put off grocery shopping until late afternoon, so Al could get the electrical work done in the workshop he’s building in the back yard. Yes, ongoing! He hopes to have the electrical inspection done within the next week or two. Now that groceries have been secured, he has another list for the shop. I spent yesterday evening catching up with laundry, and tonight I will be cooking meat for the week to come.  I have a lot of salad greens, nuts, broccoli, and a summer squash. I still am trying to cut more carbohydrates out of my diet to lower my blood sugar and keep it low as I cut down on the medication. I have been working to fine-tune the timing: when I can eat carbs and have the least reaction to the blood sugar levels. Times of the day and what foods to eat first and by how much lead time.

If we were having coffee together, today, we could take our cups to the gazebo, where I now can heat it without the space heater’s blowing a fuse! I put the foam blocks in the eaves, which are left open during the summer for increased air circulation. That is, letting the hot air out the eaves while cooler air comes in from beneath the floor. Which reminds me…I have to go out there and turn on the heater, so that when I exercise in the gazebo, it already will be warm.

Back, again…the weekend has taken another turn, and so I must end this post. Did not get enough sleep, last night, and now I can’t stay awake.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend!

Later!

Lizl

P.S. In the leading picture, I am the second person (in the trumpets row), and my youngest sister is in the row in front of me, second person from the left; she played clarinet.