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.

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Early #weekendcoffeeshare Coffee Break

large and small, brown teapots
Tea for Two

Tea, actually, this morning. I am tempted by coffee, but making it at this time of the morning would wake the puppies, and I am not ready for that, yet. Although I am happy that you’ve made it here for a visit. And supplying virtual coffee is not a problem!

If we were having coffee/tea together, this weekend, I would apologize for having missed so many weeks in a row. While I have put together pages for Photo Challenges and occasional poetry prompts, I haven’t gotten much done that involves verbal output. I spent too much time around people during the holiday season, and ended up with an irritation of the lungs. My husband and I both came down with lingering colds (perhaps the flu?) that slowed us down a lot. Four weeks later, I still am tired, although  I am grateful that my blood sugar numbers are finally down, again, and the coughing has eased.

If we were having a visit together, this morning, I would tell you that the work on the workshop in the back yard has picked up, again, with the addition of wall boards applied to the wall between the two rooms of the workshop. Outside temperatures during January have been miserable, and our electric bill has quite skyrocketed, heating the (for most of the time uninsulated) building with electric heat. Insulation, inner wall boards, and adding a ceiling and attic insulation should help ongoing. January is the coldest month, here. The outside temperature here, right now, is minus 3 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 C) with a forecast high of 5 degrees above 0.

I would mention that I was able to put together photos for two weeks’ worth of WP weekly photo challenges, only one of which is on the Stray Coffee blog: Variations on a Theme: Hoarfrost. At The Art of Disorder, there is another current challenge: Blue Wild Flax: Flowers and Variations, and one of insects in the wildflower garden at The Moments Between.

On Tuesday I had a get-together (one of the last, I expect) with the bereavement counselor. I had, since their last visit, learned of another death in the family. With the older generation gone, the lines of communication have broken down, and so I learned of that death, which occurred in the last days of October, by chance, since that aunt’s death notice did not include our family name. Only one of my father’s 11 siblings is still alive, now. An aunt who is a handful of years older than I am. She and I never spent much time together, once we had graduated from high school. One of my husband’s aunts celebrated her 100th birthday, this month, though. That extended family is much more tightly connected through the generations, thanks to frequent (annual?) family get-togethers and FB contacts.

And on Saturday the 20th, my college advisor died. We visited often for the first decade or so after I graduated from college, and every few years after that until I got married in the early 90s. Did some work for him later on; I believe he’d retired by then. I hope that the memorial service at the college will be at a time and date when I can attend.

I find that in spite of getting a solid night’s sleep, I have run out of energy, and so must take a nap before confronting the rest of the day. Thanks for the visit, and I offer best wishes for this new week!

Best regards,
Lizl

P.S. My poem for Ronovan Writes Haiku is on my Quilted Poetry site: Singing Sentinels. The #WeekendCoffeeShare folks and #DSFWeeklyRewind folks can be found at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/weekendcoffeeshare-empty-weekend/ and https://daisysmileyface.com/2018/01/27/dsfweeklyrewind-on-the-bayou/.

17 December 2017 | #WeekendCoffeeShare

Watching for Rabbits

Good afternoon! I am happy that you have stopped by for coffee. I’ve got Toddy coffee concentrate, and also hot brewed Folgers that I put on for Al, this morning. I’ve had my coffee with breakfast (Toddy concentrate with milk), and am now enjoying a cup of Oolong tea.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would share my hassles in getting back on-line and setting up the (remaining and new) computers so that I can access files and web sites—not working out exactly as I’d hoped, but possible in the interim—and get some actual creative work done.  My remaining desktop computer, a Lenovo IdeaCentre, has a very small HD and is not adequate to hold my photograph archives. The little Lenovo 2-in-1 is more of a tablet with a detachable keyboard, and the place-holder I purchased (on sale at Best Buy) has only a solid state drive with less usable space than my most recent flash drive.

In the midst of all else, by computer printer, an HP inkjet which I also used for work before I retired, quit printing legible copy, and no print head cleaning or realignment resulted in any slow–down of ongoing deterioration. I am back to going through the pre-Christmas sales advertisements.

The one thing that I have accomplished to my satisfaction is getting all of my email accounts to work on the desktop with SMTP, so that I have both local and web copies of my mail. My next priority is to rearrange the files on my backup external HD’s so as to clean off at least one of the largest external HDs for comprehensive photo archiving.

For the Photo Challenge prompt at WordPress, this week, I posted a photo without poem or commentary: Ascend into Heaven. I managed to write a few poems, this week, which I posted on my Quilted Poetry blog: Steam and Rivers, a tanka for last Monday’s Ronovan Writes Haiku challenge and Evening Silence, which contains both a tanka and a prose poem.

You can see that I live a very dull life, here. Computers and medical tests. And books. Currently, I am rereading the Samaria series by Sharon Shinn, one of my most favorite authors. Immediately previous to that, I read her series, Elemental Blessings. I count the Samaria books as science fiction, but those in the Elemental Blessings series are definitely fantasy and just as much fun. I finished my reread of L. E. Modesitt Jr.‘s science fiction books earlier last week with The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue with Winds and Accompaniment. I have now returned to rereading the Imager Portfolio series and am awaiting the next volume with all eagerness. I have not yet finished the second volume of Francis Fukuyama’s Political Order books. Too disheartened, I think, to see things playing out in the world as it is.

I would mention that on Friday, Al drove with his siblings and others to the Twin Cities for his uncle’s funeral. The weather was not as bad as expected, and they were able to spend much time visiting while they were there. They also stopped along the way to and from for meals and conversation among themselves. Still no sign of an obituary for cousin Nora. I do wish that I had contact information for that branch of the family in Washington state. I am grateful that we were able to visit a while when she was back in Minnesota in September for her mother’s funeral. The first time in decades!

While Al is working his volunteer shift, this afternoon, I have washed some of the dishes and put a chuck arm roast into the oven. I am considering taking a nap until the oven timer goes off. 💤

I am adding a link to Alli’s Eclectic Alli web site, where I will be adding my link for Weekend Coffee Share.  Unless I hit the wrong button and delete this entire post again!

Best wishes for your week!

Lizl

I also found this week’s post of #DSFWeeklyRewind: at DaisySmileyFace.

An overwrought week #weekendcoffeeshare

It is good, arriving at this time of the night with chores abandoned. The dirty dishes will still be in the sink and dirty when I wake up, tomorrow, and the laundered clothes will still be draped over the office chair, after all. The time is 11:00 p.m., and I am happy to welcome you to join me for … perhaps not coffee, at this time of night, but a virtual beverage of your choice and apple slices. The grocery has put some nice Braeburn apples on sale for the holidays at ninety-nine cents a pound, and so we bought half a dozen, this evening. Delicious!

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would tell you that the week’s been tough. It started out well enough with an appointment with my bereavement counselor; we decided that we would schedule one more appointment: just before the New Year’s Day weekend. Between October 20, 2016 and September 8, 2017, I lost two aunts, three uncles, and both parents. This week, on December 6, my cousin Nora, on the west coast died; I met her and her brother for the first time since I stayed with them for a couple of weeks in Seattle in 1969, when they came back to Minnesota for their mother’s funeral in September. Both her brother and she remembered me, and we had a great time talking.

I also met the widow of my cousin Jim and their two boys, and she and I had a wonderful time visiting on a variety of topics. I was in the process of trying to get hold of contact information, so that I could write to her. I did get such information from one of my other cousins who lives near Seattle, so at least I feel connected to a larger family group, now.

Late this afternoon, we learned that uncle Don, Al’s mother’s brother, died today (the ninth), just before six o’clock p.m. Arrangements for both funerals are to be announced. I cannot fly back to Seattle, and Al’s family gathering will in any case be in the Twin Cities.

A couple of nights ago, I came back into the front room to find my laptop computer on the floor, partly under the rocking chair and no longer functional. I expect that either I had not balanced it properly on the lap desk or one of the dogs tried to jump up into the chair, as they often do, and brought the lap desk and computer crashing down. Al has ordered a cable kit to try retrieving files that had not yet been backed up; some of the fittings inside the computer were broken, but the drive itself looks okay.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would be grateful, because I really needed a break from putting together the information to do my writing on this older computer (that died after the upgrade to Windows 10, but came back with the various upgrades over the past two years). I found an email address I quit using and had forgotten about as I rooted around for web hosting passwords etc., and also came across the instructions for manually setting up my email client. And so I have all of my accounts coming to one computer/one email program! Secure!

Now that I am accessing everything again, and only lost a month’s photo archiving, I must get on-line to find a replacement computer. I wore this HP into the ground, and a couple of the keys are…unreliable.

And now it’s nearly midnight, and I must try to get more than four hours of sleep, tonight, or I will be good for nothing, tomorrow. I have run out of apple slices, and must warm some milk, now.

I hope that your week has been uneventful as you might wish it to be, but  also enjoyable and, if appropriate, productive!

Best wishes for the remainder of 2017!

Lizl

P.S. Here is the link information for a weekendcoffeeshare post with a linky to others: https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/

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.

Lizl

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