Variety and Uncertainty | #WeekendCoffeeShare on 12 May 2018

Wild Violets in the Back Yard

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share for May 12th . If we were having coffee together, this Saturday, I would tell you about my week. I am waiting to hear from my younger sister, who is to be driving from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minn. airport to our home town, today. She will be staying there for a few weeks to explore more of our parents’ papers; one of my brothers, who still lives in the home town, was able to buy the house and do the needed repairs and improvements, and he and his family have moved in there. I look forward to spending some quality time with my sister while she is in the Midwest. She has promised to spend some of her “time off from research” visiting with family and friends in the area.

If we were having coffee together, I would share, again, two of the poems that I wrote this past week. The first, “Eventide”, is one that I wrote last night when I stepped outside the door just after sunset when everything was still. It does come with a photograph (link) from last night, but the poem works without it, I think.

the wind rests quiet on the land
faint sunlight shrinks behind
tree branches and blue clouds
pasted on a blue-grey sky

birds sing summonings
then nestle into nests
for warmth throughout
a night with which the cold
returns too soon

cling to the cold, a shield
against the warming days

Copyright © 2018-05-11, by Lizl Bennefeld.

The second poem from this week that I would like to share is a tanka that I wrote on the tenth. It stems from a haiku that I wrote for last Monday’s Ronovan Writes Haiku weekly challenge: Ire & Fire. That translated into thunderstorm and rain.

a sudden rainstorm
has drowned my warmth and sunshine
ah, blanket! fire!

three young rabbits nest nearby
broad leaves, their umbrella

Copyright © 2018-05-10, by Lizl Bennefeld.

I have written several posts, this week, on my Patchwork Prose blog about some unexpected discoveries and realizations that have begun to grow during April’s poem-a-day activities. I would tell you that two of the upshots from that so far are dropping my NY Times subscription and “un-following” or dropping groups on Facebook. Uncluttering more than my bed sitting room, closets, and miscellaneous boxes of miscellanea.

I also would share that my husband and I are working together on making and adding soffit boards to the workshop that’s in progress in the back yard. The electrical inspection went well. No hitches whatsoever, so we’re good to go on adding the final trim and painting.

There is now a push to clean off the longer desk in my bed sitting room, since my husband is moving his two-wall desk to the workshop and wants the soon-to-be-spare desk from mine to take its place. I also have been spending more time in the back yard, playing with the dogs.

Best wishes for your week!

It seems that my husband has supper plans…

Until later!

Thank you to Allison (Eclectic Alli) for hosting #WeekendCoffeeShare. The InLinkz is HERE and Allison’s post for this weekend is here:

The meditation blessings that I drew for the coming week are Resolve, Innovation, and Strength.


Serenity and Variety | #WeekendCoffeeShare on 28 April

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share for the week of April 22–28. If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would tell you about the themes for our week.

  • This week, as with the previous three, I spent much time concentrating on writing poetry during National Poetry Month. And buying and reading books of all sorts.  The week has been cluttered, though, with unexpected events.
  • The first was the death of one of my husband’s last two aunts. He and his sisters made the 3-hour drive to attend her funeral and interment on Tuesday morning and returned at the end of the afternoon.
  • And I managed to upset my digestive system, somehow. Gastroenteritis. I do not know if it was food poisoning, a reaction to the strong onion in the beef roast, or something else. I was quite miserable, Wednesday evening, and had a lot of trouble sleeping, that night.

I would share my two favorite poems from this week. The one I liked the best is the tanka that I wrote today (Friday). It’s a whimsy that popped up when I finally got round to responding to Monday’s prompt at Ronovan Writes: Party and Beat. Except that in my preferred version, I didn’t use the word “beat”.

waves ripple ashore
playing footsies with strangers
then slipping away

wind and sand party along
the beach … catch me, if you can!

The other was written on Wednesday; the prompt was supplied by the group of poets with whom I have been writing. I expect that adding a title to a tanka is not the thing, but it helped to frame the prompt.

As Far As The East Is

the sun rolls along
west is ahead—east, behind
just a glance away

In the bright light, all shadows
are behind me as I face the sun.

I appreciate poem-a-day challenges. They help me  focus on the closer aspects of life and not fuss about things that are (a) beyond my control or (b) none of my business.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I could offer you some Toddy coffee. I made a fresh batch of coffee concentrate, today, and I’m looking forward to trying it out. I am almost out of oolong tea, and must get back to the Stash web site to order more; I am favoring the loose leaf over teabags, these days, since I found all of my tea ball infusers while cleaning out long-neglected “miscellaneous” drawers in the kitchen, earlier this month.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Al will be painting the ceiling in the workshop building in the back yard, and I will be trying to organize files on the new-to-me computer. Some of you may remember that last December, both of my laptops died horrid deaths. I bought a small 13″ HP with limited storage and memory to tide me over, with the help of a couple external hard drives. Still, I was left without enough disk space to hold my working photography archive; I also needed an optical drive, since most of my backups are on CD/DVD disks. The greatest factor, however, was the numerical keypad, on which I rely for the nonstandard characters whose codes I have at my fingertips after all these years. I was fortunate to come across the same model that my husband bought, several years ago, and at a semi-reasonable price. I still have to replace my Paint Shop Pro software.

Anyway, thank you for visiting and (if you’ve gotten this far) listening to my nattering. I think that the “morning pages” Julia Cameron talks about are, for me, evening pages. This is the time of day night when my mind is filled with stuff that needs dumping to the page.

I’m going to go brush my teeth and climb into bed now. . . .  fading away . . .


Thank you to Eclectic Alli for hosting #WeekendCoffeeShare. The InLinkz is HERE and Alli’s post for this weekend is here:

Tea at Bedtime | #WeekendCoffeeShare – 30 Sept. ’17

Painted Lady on a Black-eyed Susan flower in the garden
Painted Lady in the Garden

If we were having coffee together, this evening, our visit might be a bit short. I’ve gotten sleepy, and I just might fall asleep before I finish this post. There is left-over coffee that can be heated, if you’d like. Also, I could brew some decaf or pour you a cup of black tea. I am having Irish breakfast tea, brewed strong, because I dare not take antihistamine again so soon. While the pollen counts are low, I am still spending too much time outside.

If we were having coffee together, or in my case, hot tea, I would confess that Friday was a busy day. Al finished digging the trench for the electrical power conduit, and I helped feed the wires through it to the woodworking shop. We’re now ready to call the inspector have the work checked before we fill in the trench.  We then wandered out to do some last-minute shopping. The Scampers needed more food in the house, so that they can have breakfast in the morning. As for me, I needed some more green salad makings and brick cheese, and the store where we usually buy groceries doesn’t carry greek yogurt in the brand that doesn’t have extra ingredients added to it, so there was another stop to make a long the way.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would mention that I sent in my three tanka for this week’s assignment, and again, the instructor’s observations were helpful and encouraging. I thought I might share a couple of the poems that I wrote, this past week. The tanka are more comfortable for me to write because they have fewer restrictions; they seem to allow more variety and informality. Or perhaps I am compulsively formal in writing haiku, which I feel I need not be with the tanka.


quiet room
one picture on the wall
pasture, autumn trees
memories still too close


a Painted Lady
finds my tickseed flower
the shutter clicks
her cameo appearance
in my photograph


puppies asleep
by bowls and tennis balls
my empty lap . . .
soon enough they’ll wake
warm tongues and wagging tails

Copyright © September 2017, by Elizabeth (Lizl) Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

These three weeks have gone by too fast. I’ve received the guide/assignment for week 4, the last week of the online workshop on Japanese poetry. I will continue to write both the haiku and the tanka poems. I hope that I will do a much better job of it, now, especially the haiku, than I have over the past fifty years. There is a depth to the terseness that is awesome.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would regretfully say, “Good night!” The Scampers are sound asleep, and so is Al, finally. I’ve only, now, to pick out a photo for this post, and I can turn in, too. A lot of time is saved for productive activities; I seem to have quit watching television, and I never did listen much to the radio. I am actually going to bed, again tonight, having washed all of the dishes, silverware and cooking pots of the day.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and a successful week. Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to visiting with you again next weekend, if not before.

Best wishes,

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Mist and Rain

I woke up this morning, later than usual, and went out with the dogs and my camera, to find that yesterday afternoon’s mist carried over into today. The sky is still cloudy, the humidity is high (78%), and the temperature is 67 °F. Quite nice for working outside, which Al is doing, today, putting wood filler over the nails where we put up the siding, yesterday, on the in-progress woodworking shop.

It’s just past noon, and so there’s still warm coffee, if you’d like some. I’m having Tetley Tea, and there’s still bottled water in the refrigerator, along with milk and coffee concentrate, if you would prefer your coffee cold. Today, probably not.

Yesterday we finished measuring, cutting, and putting up the siding on the north side of the workshop. It was fun. Windy, though. By midafternoon, we decided that we’d had enough, and so did not put up the rest of the siding on the west side. The south side (the entrance) is pretty much finished. After checking respective emails, we decided to go out for an early supper, payday having been on Wednesday, and then caught up on other, neglected activities…but not the dish washing. That’s still waiting for me.

I have been enjoying a new-to-me course provided by WordPress’s Blogging University: Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. [I’m putting those daily exercises on my blog at The Written Word.]  I’m hoping to get warmed up with these assignments so that I will be attentive for the 4-week poetry workshop I signed up for, which begins on 11 September.  The workshop is Introduction to Japanese Poetry, taught by Naomi Beth Wakan. I’ve got her book, Haiku: One Breath Poetry. Looking forward to it.

My last meeting with the grief counselor was on the seventh of this month. I’ve been enjoying having these poster-size photo montages from my parents’ memorial services and from Father’s 100th birthday party in December. I rotate them, two at a time, rather than trying to put up all seven at once. Nice to look up and see them there, singly, together and with their siblings or mine. I have read some helpful books, both textbooks and self-help, recommended by the counselor and others that I have found. Some poetry books have been particularly helpful. I also have written poems of my own concerning death, grief, and mourning, both personal and more in the abstract.

In the midst of the mist, I took some photographs in the wildflower garden, this morning. Although the wildflowers are dying out, pretty much, there still are a few poppies hanging on, plains coreopsis, and my favorites, the blue wild flax. I hope that they will do well in this new garden space, over the years.

I am thankful that we have had this visit. I do enjoy these weekend coffee get-togethers. Here are links to Diana’s [host for Weekend Coffee Share] post for this weekend and the InLinkz URL, which also can be found on Diana’s #WeekendCoffeeShare post, ParttimeMonsterBlog.

Best wishes for you and yours, this coming week!