Aside · Coffee Break · Coffee Time · family · Life Through My Windows · Personal · Photography · Poetry · Weekend Coffee Share

When leaves fall . . .

December Leaves

Welcome to my blog! I have just made more hot tea and am fixing lunch—Greek yogurt with thawed mango chunks and blueberries. There’s a fresh batch of homemade coffee concentrate in the refrigerator. Help yourself or bring your own munchies and brew!

Another week almost finished up! I have been taking time off from things this week, again. I have been sleeping more, exercising, rereading some favorite novels, and making some progress on cleaning and redoing the books on the front-room shelves. In my room, I still have boxes of books and electronics that we hauled out of the basement, a few summers.ago, when we got water seepage from heavy rains. I am now ruthlessly tossing things. Also, I need to get some of the picture frames back on the walls and out of harm’s way. I have one (framed) embroidery sampler from the late 1800s that I need to unframe and send to a relative on the east coast; her first name is the same the girl, a direct ancestor, who embroidered the sampler. I think that it should not have been kept under glass. My sister will know what to do with it to preserve it without more damage.

My last Artist’s Way session (13-week course through the U of Wisconsin-Platteville with Prof. Sean Shannon) was last weekend. To maintain the framework somewhat, I decided to continue on my own by rereading Julia Cameron’s book It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. I also have on hand Naomi Wakan’s Write Away (prompts for a healthy life). (I ordered two copies , which are available from a business near her home, and both were autographed, which I had not expected, but much appreciate.) Naomi’s book is much more utilitarian, coming from experience without extraneous sidetracks. I may intersperse the exercises. I may find that I want to stick with Naomi’s. I logged onto B&N’s site and found three more books (available only as paperbacks) that I can add to my library. They should be arriving two and three weeks from now.

My mother left many completed quilt tops in her fabric arts room when she died. One of my sisters-in-law took them, along with the many shelves of Mother’s materials stash, to put to use as she could for various and worthwhile projects. I hope that much of it is donated to charities, whether as quilt tops or finished quilts. Before they left with the items that fell to them to distribute, I chose two quilt tops, which my sister-in-law has quilted for me. Finally, in the midst of the pandemic, she and my brother made the long drive to bring them to me/us, this week. They felt that shipping was too uncertain to trust them to. My sister-in-law does exquisite quilting, finishing them almost as fine as Mother would have.

The four of us enjoyed supper together at the local Denny’s Restaurant. It was interesting, being out and around people talking and enjoying one another’s company. I had missed fried eggs with hash browns and bacon. Something I do not make for myself. (That would be the potatoes, which I do not keep in the house. I do, however, have a frozen veggie pasta meal in the freezer. The stuff with the cheese sauce.) We three oldest siblings have gotten together on Zoom a few times, these past two years, but being together in one place is something we have not done for a very long time, other than the parents’ funerals, the winter of 2016-17.

when leaves fall
they give themselves back to earth
to rise again
transfigured into flowers
clothed in butterflies

and dreams

[tanka.] lizl bennefeld, © 2021-12-17

Although I have been writing some poems in December, I am not focusing on writing. I very much enjoyed joining with other participants during February 2021 for the February National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo). I plan to write more haiku, tanka, and other (in English) Japanese poetic forms during January, leading up to the poem-a-day activities in February 2022. My reading has been mostly rereading favorite books. I found a number of them lost among the volumes that had accumulated on the front-room bookshelves. Found a favorite ebook that I had thought lost; a science fiction book by my friend Melisa Michaels, now deceased. Had a good cry. Missing her a lot. I am happy that she and her husband bought property and lived for a while in the same state we do, so we were able to get together more than once during that all too brief time.

Time has passed so quickly, and I must tend to the Scamper dogs and start in on the laundry, once Al is out of the shower. I am grateful that you have stopped by for a while.

If you visit the blog (link below) of Natalie the Explorer, you will find her weekly Weekend Coffee Share post and a Links app with links to the other Weekend Coffee Share participants. Enjoy! Natalie is taking a two-week break from the Weekend Coffee Share feature on her blog, and so the next will be on 7 January 2022.

Best wishes for the coming week and the new year!

Lizl

Good Books Beautiful Lights

Photography · Poetry · Writing

Day 8 NaNoWriMo – shahai

photoart by liz bennefeld

summer memories
blue wild flax flowers
and
tiny hoverflies

[shahai.] Copyright © 2021-11-08, by Liz Bennefeld.

A shahai is, as I understand it, an illustrated haiku or tanka. A photo + the poem. I would favor not putting the poem on the photo itself for the sake of readability (size factor). Not sure if this would be the same as a photo-haiga. Or perhaps it would be considered differently if the photograph was taken to go with the poem or the photo and poem were created in conjunction with one another. (I took this photo, for example, in July of 2015, and altered it using a photo editing app. Would that make a difference? I don’t know.) —EWB

Coffee Break

Summer Weather

This morning, there were flowers! Not lots, but in spite of the wind, there were enough still intact at 9 o’clock that I captured a few usable flower photographs.


Also took pictures of clouds to the northwest of us, which part of the sky was previously obscured by the tree that was taken down, last week. The forecast high for yesterday was at first 90°F, but ended up at 88°. Yesterday’s forecast high for today was 94°, which was lowered by 4 degrees. I am hopeful. And I would welcome a warm rain just at sunset. As it is, the day where we are is sunny. Later on, there will be shadows from the cotoneasters to allow for sitting outside of the gazebo.

looking NW, trees, sky and clouds

Last night I backed up the photography archives twice, two separate external HDs. The next time that I have some money collected, I plan to get a couple of dedicated off-site storage drives and trade them off to the safe deposit box every week. Probably on Wednesdays, when we usually stop at the butcher’s shop.

I am devoting some time to visiting blogs that I have not gotten to over the past month or so. And also, I hope to write a poem or two before the clock moves into another day.

Coffee Break · Good Morning · Nattering · Nature

Looking Into Light

monarch (or viceroy butterfly, black & white, reverse

I awoke at 7 o’clock or so to quiet. So much more restful than waking to the sounds of the Scampers, wanting to get out “Now, please! A welcome change of context for the morning’s light.

At the end of yesterday’s last visit into the back yard to play with the Scampers, as opposed to just letting them outside on their own to inspect the perimeter for foreign aromas, I happened to see a Monarch butterfly (or, perhaps, a Viceroy) settle briefly on a cotoneaster branch to my left. I had time to take three photographs before it continued on. Shooting into the sun, the pictures were close to silhouettes.

Making a negative image of the best of the photographs, increasing the contrast, and then changing it to black and white, I finally was able to see the patterns on the butterfly’s wings. Changing the picture, changing the context.

The way that I view relationships is changing. I find myself thinking of people in the context of who and where we were, rather than in the present, where, because of changes in circumstances, activities, lifestyles, it appears that the relationship exists only in the past. In the today, conversation is cursory. An embarrassment that, after a warm greeting of recognition, turns to incidentals and then flight. Sometimes with promises of “visiting” longer when there is time. Sometimes, more honestly, not.

My “now” has turned inward and my awareness has expanded beyond myself and my circle of now-distant friends. I do not know if it would be because their interests are not mine, nor mine, theirs. We do not take time to find out. When I think of them, people I once knew and loved in a different context, I remember them (and myself) as in that different world, in which we once lived.* That framework doesn’t exist anymore. With some folks, there is an automatic rebuilding as we take time to converse and discover the new and still existing ties that connect us with the past and to each other. Less often as the distance lengthens.

I am going to pour another cup of coffee for myself and set about making breakfast. We ate out, yesterday, and I’ve half a grilled salmon dinner waiting for me in the refrigerator. I think it would be good with scrambled eggs.

Hope that your day is proceeding as you would like!

Lizl

*Context.

-*^*-

“your smile, remembered”

what were those hours and minutes
when measured against decades
of a long life well and fully lived?

a smile, briefly known and always loved,
the joy of songs and sighs and laughter
faded now in the vacuum left behind,
short-lived breeze that warmed,
then cooled again

the absence of your touch…
your lips remembered always
as soft whispers on my neck

Copyright © 2016-08-21, by Lizl Bennefeld. Originally published at my QuiltedPoetry blog.

Coffee Break · Nature

Playing with photographs

negative image and texture manipulation of a blue wild flax flower
Blue Flax Costumed in Yellow and Red

Colors, false or true
Neither form nor shape are new
Wild flax in costume

As I mentioned in my previous post, I love playing with my photos. During the seasons of flowers, I sometimes take hundreds of photographs during the course of a week. While I do enjoy the natural beauty of flowers, I also like to explore different shades, shadows, perspectives and colors that are brought out/brought together when I play with the color channels and textures.