Time out

I will be taking some time off during December to focus on other matters than blogging. First, as I mentioned (elsewhere?), I bought a paper journal, last month, and I am working on writing more and more often by hand, rather than by keyboard. I am enjoying that, but want to get into the habit of writing on paper first, rather than “taking notes”.

That’s been reinforced, this week, by the hard drives on both of my laptops developing fatal errors that the recovery routine can’t repair. The newer laptop was injured on Wednesday in an encounter with the floor. I didn’t come into the room in time to discover which dog knocked it over. The second, the older one, had been developing problems years ago (which is why I quit using it so much), and it entered a death spiral earlier today.

I expect that I have all of the passwords, and I plan to get back into my email during the coming week. (I believe I have the essential accounts working.) The tablet (2-in-one) is awkward for writing and has no backlit keyboard, which lately has become a necessity. Using a USB keyboard in the interim. Not fun, but I can see these larger keys a lot better. 😀

Too, as you might recall, there were seven deaths in the family between October 2016 and September 2017. Both of my parents, two aunts, and three uncles. This week, we lost an uncle from Al’s family, and I lost a cousin with whom I had become reacquainted after 48 years, when we met again at her mother’s funeral in September. Which took place in old home town close to here; their family was established in the Seattle area, where I visited for some weeks, just out of college. I was so happy to see her (and her brother) again after all those years. I am so glad that she and I remembered each other—and fondly—and we enjoyed what time we had to be together, again.

I have not been sleeping well, recently, and I am quite tired. Looking forward to meeting with the bereavement counselor again between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We can talk about the continuation of deaths in the family and how I am coping. Not comfortably, but instead trying to be present to the pain and loss. Part of life…part of the richness in the tapestry of memories.

Best wishes for the holiday season!

Much love,
Elizabeth

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A beautiful fall day

A beautifully cloudy day, but naught to catch my eye but fallen leaves, and those are not covered by any snow at all. The weather has been dry and windy, and I despair at keeping the floors clean, since dust blows in each time the doors are opened.

During November (2017), I took part in a “poem a day” activity with the same group who got together for NaPoWriMo in April. I still am working on a few that need more attention; the remainder are on my Quiet Spaces journal, The Written Word at Home (the “posts” link).

Photos from Wednesday

We have a few days yet to finish readying the back yard for winter. The air exchangers are installed in the new workshop and working properly, and Al has added a couple of garage heaters as back-ups for when it’s too cold for the alternate method to work efficiently. The attic is insulated, and plywood obtained to close it off from the ground floor. On Thursday, trenching for the radial antenna wires, while I wash the gazebo windows. Now that the place is rewired, my gazebo has its own electrical circuit, so I can run my space heater on high when I go out there to use the exercise bike during the winter.

While I have been writing a poem or more for each day (poem a day during November), I haven’t gotten one on my web site (TheWrittenWord.net) for Wednesday, yet, or one written for Thursday. The end of the month will be a bit of a rush, with my birthday on Wednesday and dental appointments on Thursday.

I am very tired, this week, and I am not certain that I am up to dinner with Al’s family, this year. I am so very tempted to stay home and nap, instead.

Hoping that Thanksgiving Day is a blessing to folks as needed.

 

Lizl

 

Memories of Mother | In the Company of Women

Remembering my mother, who died a year ago this week. One of the poetry prompts for this week was “When I see my mother”; I am having difficulty writing a poem in response. Perhaps I could combine it with the prompt for the next day, “I am to blame”, and explore that in various aspects.

I still have the poster-sized photo montages (all 7, from Mother’s and Father’s memorial services) out in the front room, where I can see one or another. Oddly, that lessens feelings of loss. Provides a companionability and a lifting of the heart.

Lizl's Coffee Breaks

My mother, Rhoda Elleen Berry Wicker, died in the early evening, two days ago. It was two months after she went from home to emergency department by ambulance, after a fall, and then from hospital to nursing home, under the care of Hospice. I had the medical power of attorney, and Mother was not happy when my sister-in-law called me for the EMTs, to give them permission to transport her 25 miles to the nearest ER/hospital here in Fargo, where Al and I live. Not too much later, she no longer recognized me, but thought that I was her sister Alberta.

When she died, it had been some time since I had visited her room and found her awake, although I know she had interacted with staff throughout the past week. There was no marked decline noted by staff; she slipped away, just quit breathing. And nobody would have noticed…

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Fallen leaves

 

The day was cold, dry and windy, although warmer and calmer than the day before. Most of the snow has melted away, and precipitation does not figure into the weather forecast before Wednesday.

I have bought a paper journal, after all these years. Now, to overcome the hesitation to fill the pages with less than brilliance, ending up with a book of pristine pages and my thoughts and poetry scattered in text files throughout six computers and blog posts on the Internet. Actually, I am finding that my skin sensitivities are lessening, and I think the archival-quality paper may not irritate my hands. I’ve also bought colored pens.

I enjoy writing. It’s okay to “ruin” good paper when playing with words and sketches. (And, no, I have no talent for drawing. Whatsoever!)

Black & White Photographs

I just finished up with a challenge to post a black-and-white photograph a day for seven days.

Seven days. Seven black & white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day. I did not, however, challenge anyone else to do likewise.

These are the seven photographs that I selected as a sampling of my life. You will note that I did not include the Scampers, cute as they are. Too difficult to pick just one.

I rather like the black and white. More stark? Ah…elegant? More crisp in some cases. I like particularly the texture of the tulip petals.

Photographs. Copyright © 2005-Present, Lizl Bennefeld, photographer. All rights reserved.

Supper is in the oven: Baked Chicken Breasts

Our butcher posted his weekly specials, this week, on his web page. We had been forgetting to stop at that store, somehow, without specials posted, even though we did not always take advantage of them. I had been wanting to bake chicken breasts, and that was one of the three specials, so we stopped by the shop before Al went off to his volunteer work, this afternoon.

With two pounds of meat, I washed and dried the chicken breasts, rubbed them lightly with olive oil, added seasoning to top and bottom (crushed peppercorns, sea salt, and cumin), and put the baking dish into the oven for forty minutes at 350°F. Twenty minutes to go!

The strong winds, combined with heavy rain, this morning, pretty much beat down and soaked the plants in the backyard wildflower garden. The ornamental clover is still doing well, and there are some Black-eyed Susan and Siberian Wallflower plants that still have blooms, but that’s about it. The blue wild flax … may dry out. If not, I will be taking photographs of fallen leaves until the snow flies.

In this morning’s rain, I saw two Northern Flickers hunting out bugs in the front yard. I’m glad that they are still around. I don’t imagine that the raptors do much hunting in the midst of thunderstorms or torrential downpours. (See Hunting Circles for background.)

Leaf and Flower

autumn leaves fall
blown against the fence by strong winds
sharp raindrops turn to icy snow

Written in response to WP Daily Post Prompt: Leaf.

Photos and verse, Copyright © 2017, September, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.
All rights reserved.