After the storms

We had a number of thunderstorms. (I slept through two Code Red storm alert calls, the phone within 30 inches of my head.) Tuesday night’s took out most of the Sweet Williams and in the early morning, a lot of the day’s new blooms. The rain has, however, encouraged some new flowers. The pollinators were also in evidence.

Some of my favorites from the past few days, now. Clicking on the photo and likewise on the attachment page should bring you to a larger version of the picture.

4 July 2018

5 July 2018

3 July 2018

While the U.S. Independence Day fireworks (illegal, but omnipresent) were loud, including someone shooting off the stuff on the street in front of our house, the Scampers and I weathered the noise. I put on some opera music (mostly tenor arias and operatic songs), and the dogs soon fell to sleep. I later switched to Mozart symphonies, and they napped until it was time for their last snack and outing and into their kennels for the night. I am quite happy that the celebration is over for another year.

Our dogs are accustomed to joining us in the gazebo for thunderstorms, and so the loud noises do not upset them. I jump when the strikes are too close. When we were children, we lived in a large house on a double lot that had ten or more gigantic cottonwood trees that inevitably drew lightning strikes. And we would be out in it, since the water buildup in the basement window wells (we started out living in a “basement house”, the main floor not added until the ’50s), with our little buckets, bailing out the water before the windows could pop open and send the water into the living room, bathroom, and bedrooms. Such fun!

The Week that Was…Sleepy

Charlie, Taking an Evening Nap

I have been taking a lot of naps, this past week. I also have not slept well during the night. Not sure which is the cause, and which is the effect. Sunday evening, I went to bed before nine o’clock and fell asleep directly. While I did wake up around two o’clock in the morning, I managed to sleep again until eight-thirty, when Al woke me.

The weather has been quite warm, this week. For a while it looked as though there would be snow accumulation by bedtime, but I don’t think it ever got cold enough. Mostly, there was light rain to help melt away the edges of the remaining snowbanks around the yard. Except for the north side of the garden shed, where because the sun never hits that side, the ice keeping the door from opening is the last to melt away in the spring.

I have been concentrating on not concentrating on anything other than chores and minding my diet. Saw the dentist, last Wednesday, and have to go in next week for fitting the crown and taking filling a small cavity. The numbness is only now fading from the local anesthetic. May try having the cavity filled without using the topical or local, since the cavity is small. Goes much better when it can be managed.

Tonight I am up late, once again. Reading, this time. The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, a change of pace, having reread The Others series (Anne Bishop) from beginning through Lake Silence.

Too much to think about, the lot of it distracting me, when I would rather relax and recuperate. And so I seem to be managing that. My last BG reading was in the 90s, BP 109/61, and my blood oxygen level is at 97% and holding up without breathing exercises, for a change. I even spent twenty minutes or so on the elliptical machine, this morning. (That would be Monday morning.) The day blends into the next without my noticing. Before I married, when I started freelance editing/writing, I would sleep when tired, work when not, and eat when I remembered to do so. Totally unstructured. It was so much easier, all boundaries but the walls, floor and ceiling of the apartment and contents seeming amorphous.

As during my college years. I wonder if I will attend the 50th class reunion events, come autumn. I floated through those years, also, and many years after. Unstructured. Absorbing. Writing poetry, constructing crossword puzzles, journaling…reading everything and playing the piano a lot. I think I didn’t pay attention. Not to the outside.

I ask myself if I would change that, were I able. And I think not. I have arrived here, and I like it.

I will like it if I go to sleep before two o’clock. That would be about twelve hours since I started writing this post.

Good night!


All set up for Thanksgiving Dinner with my husband’s family, hosted in 2013, as this year, by his oldest sister.

Table set for 10 prior to the holiday meal
Thanksgiving Dinner

I was not able to spend the entire evening with the family for Thanksgiving, this year, and so, no new photographs. This year, a second table was added, filling the living room. Little children, growing up. Shy toddlers. Boys attending elementary school. Grandparents. A great-grandparent. Aunts and uncles.

It’s good to see and get to know the next generations. I hope that during the end-of-year holidays I will have another opportunity to spend some time with them.

Later in the evening, my husband brought home with him the makings of a nice dinner for me, which I enjoyed.

This coming Sunday, we will celebrate my birthday. Just my husband and I, this time. I hope, then, to be well enough that we can go out to dinner. Otherwise, the “To Go” menu.

There was mention of a Thanksgiving gathering at my parents’ home on Saturday. They no longer entertain, and so our brother who lives in the same town, and hopefully also our brother’s daughters and their families, will stop by for a short visit. Visitors are disrupting and tiring, even when welcome, and groups do not allow for individual togetherness, nor does playing host. Not when one is much older.

_へ__(‾◡◝ )>



Recoveries: SpO2=94%, P=67 bpm


May 13

Looking back to years in which the foul weather didn’t eat my flowers and the weeks were sunny. It’s nice to have a working furnace, again, since it seems we are to have more cold, wet weather.

I had written a poem inspired by the weekly prompt, but decided that I should submit it for publication to a journal or two, instead of publishing it. And so I must come up with another, if I can settle on another bit of imagery. Al has suggested resurrecting my childhood. Oh my gosh . . . I can see how that can be done. Maybe not my childhood, but various time spans.

In the meantime, we went to the butcher shop. I have now cooked, for the coming week, three and a half pounds of chicken breast, which reside in freezer bags, waiting to be called up, again. I thawed and cooked liver and onions for breakfast, and half of that is also waiting for another meal. And a bone-in, precooked ham, which has been reheated, deboned, and carved into easy-to-slice portions for sandwiches.

The happiest outcomes are the seven little jars of fresh yogurt tucked into the refrigerator an hour ago and all the cups, plates, cooking utensils and flatware cleaned and put away. Except for my Toddy coffee cup, which is still half full.

Al has a dentist appointment in the morning, and so I will be up early again today. (Tuesday, I woke up at 7:30 a.m., but I’d gotten to sleep before Midnight.) I don’t think we have any events on Thursday. I believe I would like to sleep in on Thursday.

It will be strange, not having flowers, this summer. Assuming that we are able to make arrangements to have everything dug up and more dirt hauled in for landscaping. When/if I once more have flowers growing in the yard, I will think about making cards and wall art, again. Never, though, on a grand scale. Which reminds me that I must find out how to use my iPhone as a hotspot.

Too many things to do, too much to think about.

Looking Back, Going Home

These photos were taken, I think, in 2004, 2005, or both (soon after Al bought our first digital camera), on trips to the home town. My father was the cemetery caretaker during the summer beginning, I think, when I was in jr. high school. My brother and I worked for a dime an hour as his assistants, getting the cemetery ready for Memorial Day observances, and then the rest of the summer as needed for general grounds keeping. We continued those jobs until employed by the city as assistant swimming instructor (me) or lifeguard (brother).

The town is a bedroom community now, but when I was going to school there, I think the population total was around 1,200. The fringes are built up, but the “old” town is pretty much the same as it was when I lived there, more than 50 years ago.

Holidays and Family

I think I started avoiding the parents’ home at the holidays during my first years after college. My job in IT made it easy to do because of the holiday work schedule. End of year is an exciting time in a computer center. It’s all about deadlines. After leaving to start my own business, my holidays vanished. That was the time when clients who had time off from their own jobs could leave their family members at home to take care of holiday preparations while they got their special projects over to me to finish up before Christmas or before New Year’s Day. When I made it home, I slept through a lot of the festivities…or wanted to leave early and get back to my place to catch up on my sleep.

Money was tight during most of the thirty years I ran my own business. Marriage, eight years into the thirty, added emotional support, expanded resources, a car, and a second Christmas and Thanksgiving Day to get to every year. One year, a couple years into self-employment, there was no money for a Christmas present for the parents. And so I wrote a poem, copied it (calligraphy, special paper) and mounted it in an old picture frame.

My parents no longer entertain at Christmas. My own siblings have scattered and formed their own holiday patterns and customs.

And so, looking back to a holiday season decades ago, this is the poem that I wrote:

Born of Love
Elizabeth W. Bennefeld

You taught me how to stand apart,
to understand and be myself.
You gave me the courage to walk alone
when none would join me.
You showed me how to look through words
into the worlds that others live in.
You taught me how to listen
with my heart and dare to make
no judgments
but those born of love.

Note: This poem was written as a Christmas gift to my parents and later published in an anthology featuring works of members of the Australian Chapter of RWA, (WordCraft Publishers, 1999.  Copyright © 1986/1999, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld. All rights reserved.