A week in the life . . .

I was together enough to write a WeekendCoffeeShare post, this week, for my Stray Coffee Breaks blog, but still have to write a haiku for RonovanWrites.

Playing a little bit of catch-up, having been sidetracked on household chores. My online photography workshop began on Monday (a 6-week course), and I am trying to decide how to approach the material and assignments. In the meanwhile, I also am sorting through fifteen years of photo archives, looking for examples of work that…I am pulling some of it from my Facebook download and using my JPGMag account as a quick index for locating other pieces.

In the meanwhile, these are a few of the photographs that I’ve taken since my last post.

I think that I will eat a sandwich, and then settle in to put together a post to the interactive closed workshop group. Such fun! (I imagine that I am the oldest person in the class, but still am waiting for the rest to post.

In other news, I learned that Al’s last aunt, Patricia, died in the middle of the night. Pat and her late husband, children, and grandchildren are centered in the Twin Cities and the Chicago area. I believe that one of Al’s sisters will be in the vicinity and able to attend the funeral, assuming that they can make arrangements for the coming weekend. With the respiratory problems and allergy season, it’s a given that I cannot make the trek south. I need a good, hard frost or two before the pollens are gone until spring.

I have not yet gotten through the first (17-page) course outline and discussion, so I am going to have an interesting night.

Best wishes for your week!
Lizl

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Flower Flies

Hoverflies, sometimes called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae.

Photos from Saturday:

A few photographs of Sunday’s photographs:

The smoke in the air from the wildfires has abated for the time being, and I think that the rains, last night, helped a little with the pollen. I have enjoyed getting outside with my camera. I am not certain that I will be exercising in the gazebo, today, however.

A week from tomorrow, the Photography workshop that I signed up for should begin. I am looking forward to that.

There was a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, which woke me. And so, I slept in until quite late. After eight o’clock, I think. As a result, the day has sped away. I am pleased that I took care of the laundry and household chores. Why are there always dirty dishes in the sink? On our next outing for groceries, we must also get some paper plates.

Best wishes for your day and week!

Morning Photos | Saturday, 11 August 2018

This morning, I decided to water the back garden before the sun gets high and the temperature, hot. These photos were taken in the south-facing side garden. As usual, the Scampers barked and tried to get through the gate (or, at least, get to what I was trying to photograph).

puppy, trying to get through the fencing to eat a tiny coreopsis flower
Eek! Scamper Attack!

I’ve been having so much fun, I’ve forgotten to eat, which is not a good thing. We still have smoky haze, and it looks as though the temperature will be in the low 90s F. Once again, the five top cities for pollen count, according to Pollen (dot) com, are in North and South Dakota. That’s me, folks! Whoopy!

Imagine I’m going to entertain myself again today by practicing arpeggios instead of pedaling my exercise bike, which is in the backyard gazebo.

And the skies cleared…

The sky was cloudy, and there was a mist of rain carried by gusty winds, until into the early afternoon.  Then the winds died down and the sky cleared. Throughout the afternoon, I listened to the sounds of the airplanes going past as pilots timed and rehearsed their acts for the air show, this weekend. Too many mosquitoes, today, for me to sit outside and watch for the jets speeding past. They’ve another day for practicing, and so I might get out there tomorrow. Or wait for the shows on the weekend days. Normally we (our house) are close to the flight paths, so we have good views. (I dug out the weather-spotting binoculars, a few weeks ago.)

These photographs were taken just before the Scampers’ five o’clock dinner. I (unfortunately) frightened the resident rabbit away from the side garden (which has not managed to produce flowers, this summer).  Thadd only took notice as the rabbit’s hind feet disappearing around the corner of the neighbor’s garage. After the dogs ate, we went outside, again, and I managed three and a half miles on the exercise bike in the gazebo. Far short of yesterday’s sixteen miles; perhaps I will have opportunity after the Scampers are in their kennels for the night.

yellows and oranges
rays of the sun soon to set
backlit petals glow

next after last, days go by
their glow passes…petals drop

Copyright © 2018-07-26, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.

Monday’s Flowers

The cold weather last night was hard on the tulips. These photographs are from last Monday. I did get outside for photographs, also, in spite of the winds. Not all of the tulips had opened up, yet, and so I am hopeful that the next batch will bloom and be photographed in turn.

Today I am engaged in sorting, tossing, shredding, &c, to regain enough bookshelf space that I can organize and put away at least the books that have migrated to my bed sitting room. Before I get on my exercise bike, which lives in the gazebo (which is now minus Al’s mother’s one-seat balcony swing, having gone off with a sister), I must remember to turn on the space heater for half an hour. Otherwise I might freeze to death!

Lizl

P.S. I really do enjoy the sorting/tossing…but I don’t think I’ve done a thorough job of it since we got married, twenty-five years ago, and I moved from apartment to the house.

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!

Yesterday’s Snow

Thursday night and Friday, we got a new coating of snow, which involved a lot of shoveling and snow-blowing time on my husband’s part. I got to spend some of that time visiting with my sister in New England by telephone. We have determined that we talk together more often. It was good to catch up on what’s happening with the family. Neither of us is an initiator when it comes to making telephone calls. After the snowfall ended, I got out into the back yard with my camera, and also took some shots from the front door.

 

Cotoneaster Fruit
Fruit and Branches
Snow on Top
Snow on Branches

Generally, things have been going well at our house in spite of stuffy heads and some coughing. The dogs are in need of a trip to the groomer’s shop. I had to trim the hair around Thadd’s eyes, so that he could see. Charlie’s hair is finer and straight, while Thadd’s is totally curling and bushy.

We went to a visitation, yesterday evening, and had planned also to attend the prayer service for a man who was pastor at the church we attended when we got married, +25 years ago. Unfortunately, the receiving area had a very low ceiling, and there were lit candles, and so we ended up leaving after ten minutes or so. There were too many people in line to talk with his widow. I slept okay, last night, but still coughing, this morning. Will send a note to the family, once I replenish my stationery supply.

Having no decent pens, I’ve mail-ordered a couple that should be the right size and weight for my hand. Larger ones, which I have not bought for many years, are better, because I don’t get cramps in my hand from writing, like I do with the skinny ones, which I seem to clench at to keep them from slipping from between my fingers.

Ah! The time has slipped away, and I must eat breakfast.

Best wishes for your day!

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

Blue wild flax, work day

In the midst of the day’s work on the workshop in the back yard, I took out some time to play with the dogs and take photographs in the (now fading) wildflower garden. The night temperatures are pretty low, and there’s been relatively little rain. Rain and thunderstorms figure in the forecast quite often, but actual storms and precipitation just aren’t making it to our town very often.

I spent a lot of the day at the top of a tall ladder. There was wind, and so I have ended up with a sinus headache. The hot tea will take effect, soon, and I’ll be able to get back to sleep. (That is, soon after I heat the water and steep the tea.)

The first week of my four-week poetry workshop approaches, and I have to decide which of the haiku I’ve written, I should send to the instructor. Between my aunt Marion’s funeral and burial on Monday and acting as carpenter’s assistant, the week has been quite scattered. This coming week, I have to go in for a blood panel, and then an appointment with my doctor. Nine-month check-up on the progress with the type 2 diabetes. One needs the lab results to know for certain, but I think it’s going great.

Also, I am supposed to make appointments with eye and foot doctors. I am not ready for any new adventures, right now, and so I am not making those appointments yet. The past twelve months have held quite enough events as it is.

Now that Mother is no longer acting as gate-keeper for contacts with the broader family on my father’s side, I have gotten a couple of email addresses. I’ve gotten a response to the one email I sent out, this week, and a new-to-me cousin on the west coast is favorable to the notion of making and maintaining contact. By token of which, we are now “Friends” on Facebook. I still don’t have emails for the cousins that I met at the funeral on Monday. Hopefully, information on those will be forthcoming. Two of them are people that I met in 1969, when I stayed with the family for a week, and I also met the widow of the third cousin and their offspring, Monday. Lovely people!

Thursday – Before Friday’s Rain

I don’t know how we have reached the end of this month already! Today, we went shopping for meat, fish, and salad greens. Then Al started work again on the workshop, calling upon me sporadically to lift, steady and hold siding while he measured the boards for cutting and then trimmed and nailed them in place.

Yesterday, I got a couple loads of laundry washed. Still trying to make inroads into the dish-washing. The dogs are asleep on the sofa, right now, and looking so very peaceful. Charlie did find something inviting to roll around in, in the back yard, but I never did figure out what it was.

My current bed (recliner) is on its last breath of life, and I am still waffling on how I want to replace it. Al’s fell apart, last weekend, and so at the beginning of the week, we went shopping and found one that he likes. We’d thought to get mine at the same time, but I’m not feeling decisive, this week.

I did sign up for the 20-day Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration course at WordPress. That’s at TheWrittenWord.net. Also, I have made private the posts at TheArtOfDisorder.net before the summer, mostly. I am hopeful that I will begin using that domain (another WP blog) for challenges and such. A lot of that blog revolved around trying to cope, and then getting organized, and then tracking my health, and such. I decided to put a lot of that aside for the time being, as far as topics go.

The pollen season is back in full force. Spring = tree pollen, Fall = ragweed (and nettles and sagebrush). I long for the first snowfall!

snow piled on tree branches
Snowfall