Operating Procedures

The blog is finite. Every once in a while, I will delete everything and start anew.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Another update, movement forward and discoveries

An update following my appointment with my doctor (DNP), late last month. We have cut my medication by a third, and so I am now taking 1000mg of Metformin with the evening meal. Of course I promptly came down with a cold following the holiday exposures to fragrances (i.e., being around other people), and I still am working to clear my chest. I think the cold virus has given up, however. My blood oxygen level is above 90% again, and my pulse rate is back down from the triple digits. My blood sugar is coming back down more slowly, but I did have a FBG level of (?) 113mg/dL this morning, and several before-meal readings in the 90s.

Doing some online research into remaining relatives of my father's generation, I discovered that my aunt Essie died on October 30th. I had missed that because there was, evidently, no funeral or obituary, but a simple death notice at the nursing home where she had been a long-term resident. Our family last name was not mentioned in the death notice, only the last name of the man to whom she was married.

I keep thinking that Today, I will start my journey through Finding Water, by Julia Cameron. I bought the three-book volume years ago (a HB, when it first came out). I have not yet gotten there. And my blogging catch-ups seem to be taking the place of Morning Pages. I have no idea what to do for the daily walks or Artist's Dates, since I cannot walk alone or venture into areas where I might encounter fragrances, engine exhaust, smoke, or volatile chemicals.

One idea that I've had about the weekly Artist Date involves music. I no longer listen to it, more than a once through when a CD first arrives in our mailbox. I have six CD trays of classical and jazz music that my sister passed on to me when our uncle on the East Coast died. When they first arrived, I listened to a number of them, but he was recently gone (4 November 2003, age 83, which is on the young edge of the range for our family), and it made me very sad. I should try it out to see if it would work, now, to reintroduce music into my life. (Even take another stab at getting back into playing the piano.)

Time to get up and move around, again, and decide on something safe to have for lunch.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Update, September 2017

A lot has happened during the past ten months. Following my aunt D.'s death in October 2016 and my mother's death on the 15th of November 2017, my father died, a few months after his 100th birthday, followed by three of his brothers, my last uncle on my mother's side, and on the 5th of this month, one of my last three aunts, my father's sisters. In December of last year, I was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. I've lowered my weight by 37 lbs. and my A1C by 5.5%, and before the end of this year, my doctor wants to discuss how much to reduce my medication, with the possibility that I can rely for the most part on continuing with exercise and proper diet.

Through hospice, I enjoyed working with a grief counselor, who came to my home every month or so, our last visit being during August's second week. Since I have fragrance and chemical sensitivities, I cannot do groups or other possibly toxic environments. Our meetings have had a profound effect on my grieving process and the ways in which I recognize and can deal meaningfully with the inevitable and unexpected losses of life.

Our parents' estates were settled, the last of the paperwork going through in...August? This month? I have forgotten. The brother and his wife who provided so much help to our mother during her final year bought the house for as low a cost as we could justify; if they have not already done so, they should very soon be moving in, needed repairs having been made. Everyone chose favorite keepsakes from the house, personal papers went to the sister who volunteered to transcribe and preserve letters, family history, and such, and the remainder, clothes and appliances and excess furniture, was given to charity or hauled away by city waste disposal department.

From my mother's trove of quilting creations and supplies, my sister-in-law from the Twin Cities asked me to choose a quilt top or two, which she has promised to make into finished quilts for me as she has time. And so I will have at least one more of Mother's quilts...if only to cover me in my coffin, although I look forward to using it as a bed cover at night. I must mention that to her and to my husband. At the memorial services and funerals that I have attended recently, I have found such things to be meaningful to many mourners. If nothing else, it gives people an extra something to talk about.

In my dreams just before waking, Mother looks happy and much younger. In her forties to early fifties, which is when we spent the most time together.  She was wearing her favorite red t-shirt to which she had added embroidery and her blue shorts, casual and relaxed. When I last saw her, she was coming out of the woodworking shop in the back yard, which my husband and I have built during this summer. She smiled as she walked toward me, just before I awakened.

I intend to post this at my other blogspot blog, where I place occasional updates, as I do here. More often I can be found at WordPress (themomentsbetween, straycoffee, quiltedpoetry, theartofdisorder). And Mother's website is still RhodaBerry, also at Wordpress.com, where there are photographs of her art and her quilts, the family, and a page about the books that she finished and published before her eyesight failed, the last one or two years of her life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


On the 15th of this month, sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 in the evening, my mother died. The celebration of her life will take place the evening before my father's 100th birthday party, which is in the home town. Out of the six of us, the remaining children, at least four of us are scheduled to be there for at least parts of the gathering. My health is questionable, but I do plan to try for ... I guess, just a chance to see the others of us who show up.

My random drawing of tiles to focus on for writing, prayers and meditation, this week, were Surprise, Change and Contentment. I think that those will be useful.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Today I canceled my commercial webhosting account. I am not getting back into any commercial activities on the Internet or here at home, and so there is no reason to pay commercial rates or use commercial web space. Thus quiltedpoetry(dot)com has, theoretically, at least, disappeared from the Internets.

I could have waited until March, but just wanted to get it out of the way. Since I have not been using the space or the domain emails for many months, I was concerned that I might forget. Better to take care of it four months ahead of time than to let it slide into new charges.

I should also mention that I am finally dropping the nickname "Liz", which is an unfortunate holdover from childhood, although not quite so bad as "Bess",  by which name I was called during my 15+ years in data processing with a regional (now nationwide) financial institution. It was during those years that I sought a name change, but it failed to take root.


P.S. My miscellaneous blog is Stray Coffee Breaks at WordPress. Other URLs are listed at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Settling into the New Year

I had a horrid time in December with the flu (or it might have been bronchitis), several head colds in January, and continuing, intermittent breathing problems. Since sometime in November, I dropped twenty pounds (was more, but I recovered three during the last week). Not hungry, and so, not cooking. We've eaten out too often, which has exacerbated the problem(s).

After discontinuing the online presence of the four domains and one web hosting account, I have brought back the email addresses for my former business domain, forwarding to this Gmail account. (The lizbennefeld domain has expired.) The three domains that still have a couple years to run point for now to quiltedpoetry.com. My poems from SFPA's online Halloween reading are now up, text and audio, along with some of my Halloween art contributions to the pages. The next time I'm feeling up to it, I will start to add email addresses to the other two domains: just my first name and my most common nickname for each. (Love random password generators!)

The weather has been suitable for frost ferns on the windows, but lamentably, snow is lacking. I am still hopeful, however. I've named this piece "Spiders' Nest".

Saturday, December 13, 2014

On the Move

Things are finally on the move. I have canceled my web hosting for the lizbennefeld.net account at POWWEB (about whom I have no complaints whatsoever); domain name and hosting are to end shortly after the first of the year.  Also sitting on that site are the other domains that I used in part to promote my writing, editing and photo art activities. While those three domains (Quiet Spaces, Postcard Art and The Written Word) will be disappearing at least for a while, and possibly until they expire two to three years from now, the email addresses for those domains are going away.

I quit doing the academic work in 2009, and I started handing off the job search work in 2012. Due to the changing needs of my final business client in August of 2014 (30 years, pretty close to the day, from when I left corporate to start my own business), I am fully retired from freelance work. (I'm not counting my photo art or creative writing as freelance, but as part-time hobbies, these days.)

Still contactable through this Gmail account (elizabethbennefeld). Would love to hear from former clients, classmates and friends!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Getting a feel for things

I have started several of my blogs again. PostcardArt.net Has some photos and thoughts to accompany them. I'm getting a little more dramatic with them. Autumn leaves have potential for color and texture manipulation, and I'm enjoying that exploration.

The Written Word has much of my previously published work, as well as lyrics for a song for contemporary worship that was performed by the small music ministry group. I liked it, although it wasn't the music I had heard in my head.

 The Art of Disorder has turned out to be a handy place to keep track of health issues, vital signs, medications, etc. I'm not maintaining PatchworkProse (.com) the way I did when I first started using it. I am reading greater numbers, not just the non-genre stuff, again.

Quiet Spaces is going to turn back into a foodie blog. Conceptualizing, cooking, and eating the results is an enjoyable series of activities. As I'm breathing better, I hope to expand that once again to trying out new exercises to continue my move into health.
While it's not being used as often as I had envisioned, the Quilted Poetry site (private blog) is handy for writing poetry. I feel relaxed there, because nobody is reading what I am writing. This is nice.

 I think I will be an eccentric who hides away and scribbles, and in the end all of the works of art I've created will be extinguished...rather like bubbles floating to the top of the ether and bursting to let the rarified air out into the cosmos. Or sparks floating upward briefly from the campfire into the endless night. :D