Coffee Break · Good Morning

Midmorning tea

The tea is English Breakfast (a blend); my favorite, but last night’s brew and not warmed up. I have been out twice, now, to take photographs of the wild flax flowers in the side garden, knowing that in a month, there will be none left. On my first outing for photos, I also photographed bittersweet (climbing) nightshade, which after some years of absence, is growing up through the NNW corner of our backyard fence. A few of the berries are still orange, but others are a bright and intense red.

I am looking forward to taking part, beginning Saturday, in a noncredit class in The Artist’s Way, going through it with the class led by an associate professor whom I met in an online Artist’s Way “graduate” group in the early 2000s.

I am expecting to receive the Day 2 10-Questions event through Reboot. Third year. The first question, although expected, has floored me. I am going to tackle it again after I get done with some chores around the house (and make a fresh pot of tea).

Now that the weather is turning cooler, I am feeling more comfortable in my own skin. Doing more of the physical chores around the house. I am not reading so much, as a result. Poetry is flowing more slowly, but it just pop in when I focus on it. One thing that helps is that I finally came across the place where I had set all of my glass cases (with eyeglasses in them) where I would be certain to remember the location. Temporarily, they’re all (except for sunglasses) sitting in my bedside shelving, where they’ve only been buried in papers once.

Having eaten my dinner salad as a bedtime snack, last night, I am thinking “soup” for lunch with a hard-boiled egg on the side.

Life Through My Windows · Personal · Tea Time · Writing

Shuffling life

I have been sorting through my digital and paper files, this spring, as part of our plan to evaluate, sort, and organize/toss what has been accumulating since my health hit a bad spot and I had to put aside my freelance writing, editing, and photo art activities.

I have started typing the poems from the mid-fifties through the end of the nineties that I want to keep. Basically, so that they will be available for me to read and possibly also for friends and family to choose from as keepsakes.  In case I become incapacitated or die before I can go back to make up a chapbook or two of my favorites to give to extended family in remembrance.  Many of the poems that I love the most are not those that have been published or reprinted. I want to read and remember and put safely aside the poems that have so much meaning to me. Those that I want to keep close to hand.

So many people…so much love…so many now gone. I want to remember.

Coffee Break · Life Through My Windows · Nattering · Personal · Tea Time

Wednesday, midmorning tea

b+w: grasshopper on a leaf in the garden
Grasshopper in August

In truth, I started writing this at midmorning, but time got away from me. The temperature is -4°F/-20°C with a wind chill temperature of -21°F. It seems odd to me, seeing the Hazardous Weather Outlook embrace both wind chill and river flooding in the same set of announcements. I woke up, waking the Scampers also, a bit after seven o’clock, this morning. We have gone through all of the minimal, necessary morning chores, and have climbed back into our respective beds, Charlie at Al’s feet and Thadd at mine. Continue reading “Wednesday, midmorning tea”

Good Afternoon · Life Through My Windows · Nature · Personal · Photography · Tea Time

Melting Snowdrifts | Tea after lunch

The Red River going through Fargo is a foot or so from the “Minor Flooding” mark, now, and it looks like we are not going to get to the Major flood stage at all, even with the forecasted rain. Expect that we will not get up to thirty feet at the river’s crest, here, as things stand. They quit making more sandbags as of the last shift on Friday, I think.

Last night and today have been cold enough to stabilize what’s left of the snowdrifts in the back yard, and so the Scampers have had nice runs across the snow. Al is off to have his favorite soup (lasagna) at his favorite coffee shop. I have the laundry in the dryer, and the Scampers are asleep at my feet.

I am looking at Naomi Novak’s latest book and wondering if I want to order it from eBooks dot com. While I lost interest in her military dragons series a couple books in, I did like her first fairy-tale novel. This new one is a twist on the Rumpelstiltskin theme.

Toddy coffee and a square of chocolate at waking; a heel of buttered bread and a cup of carrot-cashew soup at mid-morning. Seriously considering quinoa with cranberries and spinach and a chicken sandwich with lots of mustard after I get the laundry out of the dryer and folded.

Mixed feelings about the Global/NaPoWriMo poem-a-day happening for April. My poetry-writing group has come together for it (bring your own prompt, this time), which substitute should be better than a full months of prompts that I do not like at all.

Also, I will not be limited to haiku/senryu/tanka/&c. I was going to do warm-up poems leading into April, but only got one done. My theme—just to get me started—is “Memories”.

The dryer calls!

This sanity break is brought to you by a nice hot cup of English Breakfast loose-leaf tea.


Coffee Break · Life Through My Windows · Tea Time

Midmorning Tea

The Morning Garden

I started out the day with a cup of Toddy coffee (12g carbs) and 10 grams of very dark chocolate (3g carbs) while the Scampers were in their kennels, eating breakfast. The ground was still wet where the sunlight hadn’t reached, which was almost all of the back yard. Very cold feet, as my moccasins got soaked. Lovely day, though, with a brisk wind and few clouds. Unlike Tuesday, there were flowers in the backyard garden, in spite of there being a frost warning. (I believe the warning was issued for tonight, also, but only for the upper river valley for both nights. I should check the weather history; I am positive that I saw my breath in the air, yesterday morning, when no flowers appeared at all in that plot.)

Time has drifted by, and while I have now tea beside my chair, this is no longer mid-morning. The Scampers have gotten me out to the back yard any number of times, so far, to check on noises around the neighborhood. And I’ve eaten the last of the rotisserie chicken that we picked up during yesterday morning’s outing.

Yesterday afternoon, the other of us visited the ophthalmologist, who got rid of the cloudiness of the left eye after the cataract surgery, last year. By the end of the evening, he was quite happy with the results. We celebrated by going out for supper to Denny’s restaurant to eat. My blood sugar was okay, this morning, but the allergies are not, and the pollen index is 10.3 (?) on a scale of 1 to 12. I should not have spent so much time taking photographs in the gardens. Drinking tea and doing my breathing exercises.

Mention was made of waking up at night to write. The urgency of the moment. I wrote a lot of poems that way during the 30-day NaPoWriMo event that accompanies National Poetry Month. Once again, I wrote a poem for each day, although not always in response to one of the prompts provided. The poem below relates vaguely to one of the prompts for Day 21. I was looking through my early poems from this year, enjoying memories of writing together with a group of folks (email exchanges, conversations).

I sometimes wonder if I write so much simply because there are so few people in my world to talk with. Or, if I simply have nothing to say to anyone else; i.e., not able to carry on a conversation. I suppose I would worry people, should I start talking to myself instead of putting my thoughts into paper journals and computer files.

The other of us has begun his work day, continuing to paint the house. I am moving on to wash the dishes. Thanks for being here!

Best wishes for the day,

open notebooks
Rewriting the World

Bring Your Own Plot

Print has gotten smaller
in books as years go by
and letters crowd the line
with two or more ascenders
where only one should be, and
below the quivering baseline
the descenders stub their toes

I do not know what choice to make
to maximize these story times—
read very fast for fleeting joy…
or memorize my favorite lines
to savor when the light fades
and shadows darken all

We will call up treasured stories,
the characters and I, and we
will plot out better endings
in which none of us will die

Copyright © 2018-05-02, by Elizabeth Bennefeld. Written for the 2018 NaPoWriMo event and posted on my The Written Word blog.

Good Night · Tea Time

One A.M. and Oolong Tea

Most Monday mornings, the other of us gets up early to go off for a couple hours of volunteer work. I got to sleep in, since he lets the dogs out and then feeds them before he leaves. And after my five o’clock meal, when the dogs have their supper, I lay down for a short nap that lasted nearly three hours. And so I am up, still, and drinking “Himalayan Shilla” oolong tea.

The day was rainy with intermittent breaks between rain showers and thunderstorms. I managed to get in four miles on the exercise bike after my five o’clock meal, and then again after I awoke, just before nine-thirty, another four miles while reading a few more chapters in Imager’s Battalion, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. The Scampers came out into the gazebo with me and lay about on the quilt on the floor, and I ran the space heater. It’s quite cool outside, these days.

I do not think that this is one of the years when my wildflower garden will continue to produce flowers into November. Or, possibly, not into October, either. I didn’t take a lot of photographs, today, although some nice ones of hoverflies on hawk-weed and wild flax flowers and a grasshopper sitting on the fence.

I also got my not-a-haiku poem written for the weekly Ronovan Writes Haiku poetry challenge.  The prompt words were hero and coward. It is rare that I get a poem written to his prompts on the day the prompt is posted. A couple words I will change, once I think about it, for aesthetic reasons, but I’m pleased with the general tenor of the verse.

(For the most part, I post those prompt responses at QuiltedPoetry dot Net. A lot of my poetry also lands on TheWrittenWord dot Net, which was my business domain until I retired at the end of 2012, except for finishing up with long-term clients and projects.)

I think I can get to sleep, now. Leaving you with a photograph from September of last year, when we enjoyed an extra hatch of Painted Lady butterflies that hung around my wildflower garden and the entire back yard for weeks.

Dining at the Dandelion

Good night, and best wishes for the week!