Weekend Coffee Share, 12 October 2018

cup of black tea on a table
Time for Tea

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! This is a time to catch up with everyone’s news from last week, plans for the next, and current preoccupations (see our host Allison’s Coffee Share page for this week at her blog, Eclectic Ali, with links to other participants’ blogs for this weekend).

The Scampers are sound asleep on the love seat across from me, and the other of us is at the marksmanship center, taking his turn as Range Safety Officer for the twice-monthly Ladies Night activities. So, we have hot brewed coffee, homemade cold-brew coffee concentrate and filtered water, and tea in green, black, and oolong varieties.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would tell you that I have been enjoying the six-week photography workshop I’ve been participating in. Sunday will be the beginning of the final week. There is enough study material to occupy me totally for the rest of the winter. It is much more involving, in many ways, than either reading books or writing. In the same way, I enjoyed playing sports, but not being a spectator, I suppose.

The week apart from the workshop was exciting as far as the weather went along. We had cold, rain, sleet, rainstorms and a snow storm that left us with inches of the white stuff, fallen leaves, dead flowers, and cotoneasters with branches weighted with ice ’til they swept the ground. There has been a lot of rough weather across the country, this week, and I feel fortunate that for us, at least, we will be getting a warm-up, so the snow can melt and we can finish up the final house refurbishing before the snow comes to stay. The other of us has the front painted, ready for us to put the outer window back on; he painted the window frames, cleaned and reset the glass.

It is a good thing that we are not together in person for our coffee time. I have my season’s change stuffy nose, a bit of coughing, and raw throat. Glad that I got my flu shot early, again this year.

I would tell you that I am rereading a favorite series of books while I wait for the next novels of series in progress by favorite authors. I am rereading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover novels. Currently, I am in the middle of The Alton Gift, which is, if I remember correctly, the first of the Children of Kings story arc. In light of ongoing activities in the “real world”, the previous book, Traitor’s Sun, served as a mirror that reflects a distorted world.

I can’t face rereading Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay. The first book, origins of political order to the French Revolution, was tough enough, but helpful in understanding what was happening currently. We, personally, determined to give no hostages to fortune, as the saying goes. One does what one can and does not lame or maim oneself because one cannot do more or what is needed at the moment in a specific circumstance. Many individuals, many gifts.

If we were having a cup of tea together, this evening, I would be apologizing for fussing about and offer you an apple. A cool, juicy apple. Or, if the other of us left any in the fridge, some sea salt and caramel ice cream (which is not on my diet).

I extend my best wishes to you and yours for the coming week. Do not go on a walk-about in 40 (or 140) mile-an-hour winds or stories-high waves. Keep warm, keep safe!

I have again enjoyed having this chance to visit with you. Looking forward to reading as many coffee share posts as I can.

Hugs & much love,

Lizl

In Case of High Water
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#WeekendCoffeeShare Sept. 2 : Balancing Act

insect family Syrphidae: flower fly, or syrphid fly or hoverfly
Flower & Flower Fly

A lovely afternoon for coffee or tea. Outside, the grass is green and the late summer/autumn flowers are blooming. I had thought for a while that there would not be any, but adding organic material along the house on the south side finally brought results.

I am still enjoying my new electric water kettle and as a result drinking much more tea. I have discovered that buying good tea in bulk allows for sifting out the dust and using just the reasonably sized tea leaf. So, coffee choices are drip or Toddy coffee, both medium ground Folgers, and Oolong, Green, and English and Irish Breakfast tea blends. White cheddar and bread cheese for snacking. We have not been to the grocery store for a while, since the other of us has started repainting the house.

the scampers, sleeping scattered across the floor, beaver and squeaky ball

This past week, I don’t seem to have written much poetry. I will supply links for the few that I put in my Quilted Poetry blog.

    • Getting on with Getting On for the weekly Ronovan Writes Haiku poetry prompt
    • Nighttime reassurances from I know not where, written in the middle of the night, and
    • something poetic, but different: Excerpts from Letters, some paragraphs from letters that my father wrote to Mother while they were stationed at different posts/assignments during World War II. Mom was in the Navy, and Dad in the Army, but both in the Pacific Theater. They married a few months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I ended the week by giving in and taking a dose of Albuterol, last night, because I found I was not well enough to be exercising. Breathing was bad, and congestion was beginning. The air was free of smoke (but not pollen) during a lot of intervals, during which I snuck outside with my camera to take photographs of the flowers and insects. (Some of them are on Facebook and posted as Public, although most have limited audience limitations. my url over there is ewbennefeld, preceded by the facebook dot com / ).

This morning, while the Scampers were exploring the back yard, I took a few pictures. Thanks to the mid-night thunderstorm (0.6″), many flowers that were growing vertically are now approximately horizontal…but still blooming and not lacking moisture.

It seems as though my day has started up, again. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! I look forward to visiting, finding out what you are enjoying, looking forward to…whatever is important to you! Or just nattering, a bit.

Thanks to Allison, once again, for hosting the #WeekendCoffeeShare. Her post and the Links button can be found on her web site at EclecticAli at WordPress.com.

Best wishes!
Lizl

Sunday Morning | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Sun and Shadows

Welcome! Nearly three o’clock in the morning, and I have finished off my coffee for the night and switched to water. The selection of virtual beverages, however, is almost endless, so help yourself to whatever appeals to you. There is, however, a package of strawberries in the refrigerator, and Greek yogurt to go with them.

Coffee for a chance-met catching up

Hot tea for an intimate coze

Soda pop beside the town square’s fountain

For friendly nattering

This has turned out to be a low-key weekend, so far. The highlight of Saturday was a telephone call from my sister, who lives in New England. Not heard from for quite a time because of aversion by both parties to initiating telephone calls … and writing letters, also, I expect. Our mother used to call each of us quite frequently until the last two or three years of her life.  My sister and I have visited several times in recent years. She is still able to travel. I am not, due to fragrance sensitivities and low blood oxygen levels. Her visit in May included a day trip to a state park familiar to our family.

rainbow sky

a letter from your home to mine

rainfall in the desert

Neighbors across the back fence are “babysitting” two huskies for relatives, this week and next, and our two dogs have taken exception to theirs. Just when the dog belonging to our new neighbor to the south seems to be calming down a bit when our Scampers start barking at him/her, we again hear canine barks, screams and howling. I bring the Scampers inside and get some chores out of the way.

cups and dishes piled high and nearly dry

hot soup in paper bowls

If we were enjoying a cup of coffee (tea, hot soup, water) together, tonight, I would tell you that I have, for many decades, used random drawings (coins, cards, page-sentence-word numbers, photographs, &c,) as starting points for writing, meditation, focus and such. For the past five years or so, I have been using, among other resources, elemental blessings tiles from Sharon Shinn’s “Elemental Blessings” series. I added a couple of sets of the (?) 45 tiles to the first, since the characters in the books seem usually to select tiles (in the books, coins) at random from a container that contains multiple sets. Three is the most typical number of blessings drawn. After midnight, I drew three blessings tiles for the new week: Surprise, Surprise, and Hope.

afternoon clouds

shadows across the garden

bees humming lullabies

That set me to thinking about what might surprise me, since I’ve been quite glum (I must quit reading news…even off the Reuters web site, where they seem to pretty much stick to facts), this past month or so. Hope is a great blessing in any life, I expect, and it’s a shocker to me, realizing that my feeling hopeful would surprise me. I normally am a cheerful optimist.

I also am, or try to be, a realist. Feelings, mood, attitude–I think that those are responses to life, not states of being. Not dictated by the world around me, but my answer to those external events, both present and anticipated.

What dictates the structure of my life? What are my expectations? What will I accept or reject or clandestinely counter by living my  life in my own way?

Thank you for joining me, this weekend! I have enjoyed our visit, but I must get to sleep, now. There is a limit to how far I can stretch the benefits of a two-hour evening nap. And the last of the laundry is out of the dryer, so I have no more excuse for the random lights and noises in an otherwise sleeping household.

Much love,

Lizl

Thank you to Allison of the Eclectic Alli blog for hosting Weekend Coffee Share. The InLinkz link can be found on her Coffee Share post for this weekend: A time to reflect…

 

So soon, another Sunday

clean cups and tea bags

Saturday night, actually, but it’s too late for coffee. Weekend Coffee Share, and I’m tucked into bed with a cup of water.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would tell you that I have not done much to the point, this week. I’ve taken a lot of naps, read/reread a few books, and probably not stuck to my diet as much as I ought to have. It’s been too cold to try to heat the gazebo enough to exercise out there. With the wind chill, temperatures even during the day have been down in the Gosh Awful to Downright Nasty range. Wearing two pair of slacks and three shirts under my winter jacket (not the parka, yet…still not that cold), when I do go outside, and a shawl scarf to cover my head, neck and shoulders.

If we were having coffee together, I would admit that my biggest accomplishment of the weekend has been to fill out the survey that I received from the Hospice organization some days ago and put it in the envelope to mail out on Monday. On the survey form, a frequent option for selecting an answer to a question was “Don’t remember”. Sensible, given that the bereavement services were available for a full thirteen months after the death of the family member.  I would tell you that I am quite done with the bereavement counseling except for returning the last two books that I borrowed from them and thanking the most recent counselor for her presence during the last months. Since I have fragrance/chemical sensitivities, I cannot take part in support group activities, and so it has been nice to be able to get together with a counselor every month or so to talk.

I have done little writing over the past month or so, and that has puzzled me. While both of us have been fighting off colds (and perhaps a touch of the flu…once again, Al didn’t get a flu shot), I would have thought that I would be writing as customary at least every day or two. I have not. I realized, today, that I have been relaxing. Resting. I have not, for a while, now, been tense…stressed…compulsively doing. I haven’t been this relaxed, I think, since before my mother  became unable to come to town to visit and her hearing became worse, so that phone calls became difficult. I forget my phone in another room and do not panic if I am not where I can hear it ring. I do not even think about not being available. Relaxed enough to let everything go to voice mail.  I think that this is a good thing.

If you and I were having coffee together, I would show off some of the photographs that I have taken during the week. That’s really where I have taken my enjoyment recently.  These are my favorite photos from our snowy Saturday:

I have also taken a lot of photographs of The Scampers, this week, since we have spent so much time together in the front sitting room. Just a few of my favorites, here:

I am afraid that I am going to fall asleep quite soon, and so I must say good night, with apologies for not having gotten the link information for the post, this week.

My best wishes to you for the coming week,

Lizl

P.S. Click here for the LinkLinkz link-up page. Eclectic Alli is the host for @WeekendCoffeeShare. This week’s post can be found here.

So long a weekend…

The puppies’ potty training is continuing, as is their adjustment to the sights and sounds of the out-of-doors. Our house is close to being on an airport flight path; they sometimes come overhead. The new neighbors are working with power tools in the back yard. And there’s a pileated woodpecker hanging out in the cottonwood tree across the back fence that has unnerved the puppies occasionally, too.

More fun is their having discovered sticks. Branches long enough that they can pull each other around the yard, playing tug of war as each puppy tries to gain possession.

puppies with long sticks

puppies with long sticks

This evening, we put the puppies in their kennels for a nap around five thirty, and then went out to dinner. That that was good.

Then I cleaned out of the refrigerator all of the food that we didn’t get a chance to eat, the past week or so, and laundered all of my skirts and shirts.

Now I have to finish proofreading the SFPA’s annual poetry anthology (poems nominated for the Rhysling Award). I didn’t get as much accomplished over the weekend as I’d hoped, so I’m going to have to concentrate on it, Monday.