July 13: Ups and Downs | Weekend Coffee Share

large and small, brown teapots

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! There is Toddy coffee, if you like, but also a pot of Oolong tea, which I have been enjoying, today. The week has been…awkward. My husband was coming down with something, I don’t know what, and became quite ill, Wednesday evening. Much better, today, and so he was up and around, finally going out to his workshop to build tables for the ham radio room. Things come to a grinding halt in the house when one of us is ill. Fortunately, that is not often.

During the week, to get out of the house (out of the way), the puppies and I spent a lot of time in the back yard, where I pulled weeds and took a lot of photographs. I also put in much more time on the exercise bike in the gazebo, most days, and spent more time there.

Almost every day, I post some favorite photographs from the morning shoot (flowers, wildflowers, miscellanea) in the back yard at the JPG Mag web site. This week and last, I got some really good pictures, and I was nominated for “Member of the Week”. Pleased to say that I was selected, today (selections are made on Fridays), and there is an announcement post HERE with a few of my photographs, a snapshot of me, and a link to my photo gallery.

This was a more active week than usual, although I did not get out of the house after Monday evening, when we attended a visitation at a funeral home in the next town.  The brother of one of our good friends died; my husband knew his mother, who lived in the same town when they were young. There was a great gathering of relatives and friends.

I did not write a lot of poetry, this week. (See photographs.) But I did manage to do one for the Ronovan Writes Haiku weekly challenge. It was odd. Based on a stray train of thought that seemed improbable until I got into it.

These past few weeks seemed unwelcoming, and so I tried to concentrate on activities close at hand. Things within reach that I could actually do something with/about. While I was on the exercise bike, this week, I read three novels in a favorite fantasy series by Sharon Shinn. I have read through a number of her series, this year. Her series and L. E. Modesitt’s novels are the most rereadable, right now. I am not in the mood for Pern (McCaffrey) or military SF. I did find a new book in Sheila Connolly’s Relatively Dead series. That was wonderful. And I pre-ordered Murder at the Mansion, which is next on my to-be-read list and was just released.

My blood pressure is still low enough that I’m not to worry about it, and I had to use my nebulizer, last week, but I suspect my blood sugar is doing better because of the increased exercise and decreased stress.

I don’t know what I can blame the disjointedness of my thoughts. Probably thinking about too many things at the same time. Thanks for the company, this evening.

Best wishes for your week!

Note: Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli. Her post for this week is HERE, and the InLinkz link also can be found on that page where you’ll find other participants in this week’s Weekend Coffee Share.


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

Halloween Poetry Reading #SFPoetry


The Science Fiction Poetry Association’s annual Halloween Poetry Reading available for viewing/listening. Every year various members of the SFPA record their Halloween/Spooky poems and submit holiday pictures for the page.

This year, I have recorded the poem, pretty much unchanged, that I posted recently on this blog. You’ll also find some of my photo-art pieces there.

I hope that you’ll stop by the page to look at the art work and listen to some of the MP3 recordings of Halloween poetry. We’ve got a nice lot of poems and pictures again this year. (There are links to previous Halloween Poetry Readings starting with 2006.)

A poem – “Mouse Dreams”

Snow and ice over long grass
First Snowfall

“Mouse Dreams”

Beneath the covers
of snow and multicolored
leaves, mice dream warm dreams.

Grasses form their beds,
gathered on thick mattresses:
sweet, late-summer seeds.

In winter colors,
now, the world is white and black…
brown in hope of spring.

Copyright ©  2015-11-16, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.
All rights reserved.

Most field mice don’t make it to their second year of life, but in protected areas they can live years longer. As in our house as we were growing up.

There were lots of cats in our home, and they came and went as they pleased. And so Mother Cat would go outdoors of an evening, catch a field mouse or house mouse, and bring it inside (with our mother’s cooperation) and dow into the basement, where she would gather her kittens around her and teach them how to attack a mouse. Inevitably, some mice were wiser and more skillful at getting away from kittens than the kittens were in catching mice.

And so we had a mouse population long after the last of the cats had died and been buried. I was fortunate not to have personal encounters with them. I did, however, keep pet mice for some years. Mice are nice people. — Lizl

I wrote this for Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge #71: Cover & Color, but it really belongs here. I am not sure these three haiku qualify as “fleeting moments” involving nature…Unless the mice are dreaming about summertime and running through the green grass.

I probably need more coffee. Good morning!