Patchwork Prose and Quilted Poetry



The Process

I’ve been running a trace route from my ISP to the host of this blog, and some of the times for hops are really long. And I am beginning to rethink what I want to do with these spaces that are not hosted by WordPress dot com. After importing nearly all of my Quiet Spaces/The Written Word posts and pages into Quilted Poetry dot net (which domain is vanishing from WP), I find that I just want to delete the installation and data on the QS/TWW site and start over fresh. I do want to have a couple of blogs that are independent of WP and Google, and I want them to work halfway decently. I do hate to think of how many times (I am so glad that I have not kept count) I have simply deleted everything and started over again after a suitable break.

It is the writing that needs saving. All of the photographs are backed up on my external HDs (with copies in the bank vault). I could go ahead and wipe everything out.

I realize that over the years, I delete and restart very often. My domains at SFFNET, POWWeb, WorldNet and AOL have come and gone without a pain. Their contents are spread across the years of site backups. What I have enjoyed the most is the new beginnings.

As I get older, the process of restarting becomes complicated, because I take longer to dump and restart, and therefore the “how to” has changed more by the time I get to that point.

I realize that such is not the case after sixty-some years of writing essays, stories, poetry and all else, but it’s almost as though I take photographs and write poems and stories (and a lot of nothing) in order to have something to build a blog or web site around. I would not want to admit to how many gadgets and such that I took apart and then could not reassemble.

An artist/writer for the sake of having art to frame? Oh, dear!




Settling in


I have installed the new Gutenberg WordPress engine on this blog, but am still using the Classic Editor. And I have reinstalled the Jetpack plug-in, paying for the Spam filtering but no other fees. Oddly, having accomplished those things, I find that I have nothing to say.

In order to accomplish anything of substance on this tiny computer, I have had to move almost everything off to an external hard drive (which I must then pass on to my weekly and monthly backup drives, to rotate through several off-site locations). That means, I will have to keep detailed (relatively) notes on what I am putting where, so that I can find things, again. must make a backup HD of all my ebooks, and then a backup of that. I have been buying them since the nineties, and the majority are not DRM locked. 

On this computer, I write poetry, do initial scanning and weeding out of daily photographs, and read ebooks. I do like web mail. Which reminds me, I just renewed my favorite domain name for another four years.  I’ve checked my cpanel, and I have plenty enough space for including both poetry and photographs, so long as I don’t go hog wild on pixels.

Later this week, I have an appointment with the diabetes educator, which is always enjoyable fun. I would prefer to meet with her every six months. Not going to happen, but it would serve the purpose.

My back-up has finished for this computer, and so I must wrap things up and go to sleep, now.

To close, a photograph from the past seven days.

a brown, curled willow leaf resting on the edge of a paw print in the snow

Leaf & Melting Snow

Early in the morning


All Tuckered Out

I have realized that turning off comments on a blog is strange. However, almost all of the comments on this blog have been spam, and I am tired of deleting the files that Akismet sets aside for review.  Now that I’ve recently paid for two years of spam protection services. Therefore, I have shortened the open period for comments to one week.

An odd thing . . . wanting a blog where I can feel that nobody’s listening.




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It’s been a while


Fallen Cottonwood Leaf

I have found myself neglecting this blog, again, and I am not sure why. First, I think, I have had a lot to concentrate on, these past few years. Over the past 23 months, we have lost 14 family members (including extended family), and as I am coming up on the first of the second anniversaries of the deaths, I am bogging down, again.  Friday will be the second anniversary of the death of my mother’s last sister, and the 15th of next month marks the second anniversary of Mother.  Father’s follows in another three and a half months from her death.

I do not have a bereavement counselor at this point. (I will revisit that decision if the impending death of a relative currently in hospice care upsets the apple card and all else tumbles out in reaction to the event.) It is okay to experience grief and then move on.  I know that grief is an experience that does not last forever.

Anyway, as things are changing in the computer/Internet world, and as I grow older, my energy level wanes, I begin to rethink the extreme compartmentalization of my life across so many blogs and domains.  Into my seventies by a ways, there are things that I should be doing with what time and energy left to us. For one thing, serious divestment of possessions. Last week, I threw away almost all of my software and backup CDs and DVDs, and I am now sorting out the documentation and user manuals from the poetry and literature. I accepted too many items from the parents’ estates, and now must decide whether to toss things while nobody is watching…or mention items to determine whether someone else in the family things that they want something enough to pay for shipping, saving me the city landfill disposal fees.

I talk to myself, here. Nobody visits. Nobody reads what I write, and there is comfort in that. Still, I wonder if mere sentimentality justifies paying the fees for this space. (I am not investing in SSL at such a price as is charged here; my other web host includes it as a courtesy, part of the hosting package. I do not collect information of any sort, and so that seems useless.)

With the advent of the new Word Press editor (and the death of MySql, as I understand is happening), will there be aggravations that are not worth my coping time?  Should I drop the email accounts from the domain package? Switch current lists to different domain addresses?

My on-line life is sequestered and maze-like. I must make it less so. More “fireproof”.

My first step in all of this has been to dump the Jetpack plugin. I do not actually need it.

Now that my six-week photography workshop has ended, and before I start to go through the weeks’ essays and exercises again, I need to get back into writing, for which this is a first step.

Sort of.

I did write two poems, this week: one for Ronovan Writes Haiku, and another just on the spur of the moment.

Out with Dad

picnic box waiting…
bikes propped up against the fence
walking hand in hand

together, now, and happy
loving spirits, free again

Copyright © 2018-10-23, by Liz Bennefeld.

The pictures to go with it are on my Quilted Poetry blog:  “Still in Love”.

The other,  written the previous day, is the Ronovan Writes Haiku challenge, and the photograph is not necessary to the poem. The post title is “Leaves and Starlight”:

icy fingers brush
the hillside trees with color
rabbit seeks his nest

nature compasses the night
with artful clouds and starlight

Copyright © 2018-10-22, by Liz Bennefeld.

Oh! And following up on the New York to Nome book (see a previous post, tag new-york-to-nome), I enjoyed it thoroughly. It got a bit rushed toward the end, but I can see that repeats of previous conditions, only spring instead of autumn, would not have added much to the impact of the tale.

And another surprise to me. As I get farther into the “diabetic diet” experience, I find that my allergies to paper and ink are somewhat abating (although not recently printed advertising, catalogs or newsprint), I am able to read printed books more comfortably. Hardcovers, anyway. I need not feel that purchasing HBs to back up my ebooks wastes money. Only a lot of bookshelf space.


Sorting and Tossing my Life | #Thinking-Time 102


Progress has been made with clearing out junk in the bookshelves to make more room for books, this week. I had hoped to put out a few boxes of books for people to go through on Spring Clean-up Week, but we had rain and wind, and I hated to put out the books, only to have them ruined.

photo, copyright © Elizabeth W. Bennefeld, 2018-05-10.

Two Shelves for Books

Amongst the miscellanea I found Aftermath, a CD of orchestral works by Stephanie Wukovitz, which I got from CDBaby many years ago. For the time being, I have a computer with a player on it, so I am able to listen again to her music.  Lovely.   I’ve just now discovered that she has a channel on YouTube. Go! Listen!

The day has passed unregarded and unremarkably. I shred a book of carbon-copy receipts from at least ten years ago, and also some writings in “blank books” in which fewer than half a dozen pages were written upon. Inane notes. I have no idea why I’ve retained them until now.

I found two CDs that I had made of photographs and poems, to give to our families as “stocking stuffer” presents, which his nephews refused to accept. For fear, I think, that they would be expected in future years to reciprocate. Today, I tossed the CDs into the wastebasket. I have discovered that I have not since let myself care for them overmuch.  Intellectually, I can relegate it to a difference in cultures. That’s okay. I was blindsided, but I have adjusted to who they are, as well as what I need.

Emotionally, I find that I still  hesitate to be vulnerable to them, again. The joy went out of giving to members of that family, other than to my husband’s siblings and cousins of our generation, but I have found other people and organizations to which I can give freely. That is satisfaction enough.

Throughout my life I have stepped off onto too many steps that are not there, lost my balance, and fallen down and often hurt myself.  I think that these days, I concentrate on just getting up and going on, rather than trying to puzzle out why the step I was expecting was not there.  The surprises of life are most often unpleasant ones.

However, my expectations do not, nor should they, rule the world. My mental and emotional constructs do not constitute the basis of or guidelines for right thought and action. They are the perspective from which experience and act in the world.  God is Truth. I can work to be trusting, but to be all-knowing is beyond me. I cannot judge, because I am not omniscient. Nor am I the pattern card of patience or concern. I muddle along. Not even doing “the best I can”, most of the time, but merely concentrating on getting through my days taking care of what is at hand.

However, my perspectives are my own. And hard won. I pretty much sit on ’em, my perspectives, difficult to be moved, and not inclined toward easy change. Aren’t we all?!?


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Glo/NaPoWriMo 2018 | Thinking Time 102


There’s not much to equal the behind-the-scene thinking that goes on when one is concentrating on pursuing a particular goal. In this case, writing a poem for each day during the GloPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo 2018 poetry-writing challenge. It took at least a week to gather my poems together, write something for each of the days I had missed, and post all of them to one blog site. That would be The Written Word at Home Journal at Quiet Spaces.

A lot of disquiet arose during the past five weeks concerning things I had chosen not to address regarding decisions that should be considered. Points of avoidance. One of the sore spots is being targeted for other people’s (or organizations’) projects and priorities.

The primary impetus for change was the encroachment of the New York Times into my head space with priorities, projects, and solicitations that in actuality have little to nothing to do with my own. So, while I have had a subscription there since 2011, I got on the telephone, first thing this morning, to have a talk with the “Customer Care Advocate,” since there is a check-list of persuasions to go through before the account can be closed. The last time I went through that process, I settled for a half-price subscription for 12 months if I would stay with them. (The first offer was a third off.)

Media. Over the past many years, I have cut down on movie going (not many I would want to see), watching television (even the good shows went downhill after the first season), listening to radio (cannot stand the talk shows, the interruptions in the music, the general irritation of noise in my environment), magazines (subscription to The New Yorker lasted for one issue before I canceled it; I’d forgotten how much it does not publish anything that interests me…if only I could find those gems), and newspapers.

At its most basic, there is the problem of the not-truths, the not-information, and the not-healthy information flow.  Cannot tolerate it, right now.  And I do not have the inclination or patience to go looking for a cleaner spring to drink from, and so the drinking water is going through a series of filters.

Reuters seems relatively fact based and doesn’t turn my stomach. Fairly often, NPR has articles that interest me.

What I miss are discussions without rancor about things that are real and that matter, whether thoughts, events, wishes, or feelings. Respect for differences. Recognizing that not agreeing is not the same as disagreement. Many years ago, before I married in the early nineties, there was a woman that I enjoyed talking with.  I discovered that she believed I could not like her (or she, me) because we did not agree on some beliefs she felt it necessary to have in common.



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