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May’s Challenging Weekend Coffee Share

“I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”

T.S. Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Happy weekend to Natalie and friends,

Fold up your legs in your softest chair, put your arms around them and let’s share our week’s happenings.

Last night as we dined with neighbors, each of us shared a memory from our background and where we started geographically. Earlier Roger had split the room, male and female by moving his chair to hear the male conversations. We females covered the gamut and solved the world’s many problems.

As I drink my coffee this morning, I’m playing with Adobe Bridge and my Black and White Photos today. Cee’s topic is “Two of Anything.” I love photos that focus on the topic, and most of mine don’t have that. I paint with a broad stroke.

Today I chose a picture of Manny and a stranger meeting on the streets of Berkeley taken in 2013 to start experimenting.

After cropping and changing them to B & W, I spent quite a few futile hours trying to make it better.

Which do you like best?

Here are some other images I played around with.

bride and flower girl in Balboa Park

Other Challenges that Influenced this Post

May Weather

“I will show you fear in a handful of dust”.

T.S. Eliot “‘The Burial of the Dead” a play on an Anglican burial service “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”

The forecast is for WINDY to WINDIER but getting warmer. Based on Eliot’s verse, those dusty souls twirling and milling around high in the air today must be laughing as we here below struggle to breathe. Our whirly gigs and wind chimes love it.

We had several days in the 80s compared to Scottsdale in the 100s. There were lots of new wildflowers blooming, though.


Hammad’s Weekend Skies in May



LAPC #201 Triptychs

Your post should have three separate images that are somehow related. There is a special word for this art of three – triptych. The shape may be seen in Christian Iconography and became a common conventional style for altar artworks in the Middle Ages, from the Gothic era forward, both in Europe and overseas.

Leya to see a world in a grain of sand
Palm Desert Marriott Shadow Ridge Resort Triptych
Local Artist Ceramics at the Prescott Doggie Faire

Curating Other Areas of Life

Uhm… I found a turquoise lizard and saw other cool bird eggs in my neighbor’s wreath.

I took too many photographs that make great puzzles. So … Yeah – lots of wasted hours. I’m not sure how to curate an addiction.

Reading What’s on Your Bookshelf?

I tried, I really did. I would sit down to read and … “drift away.” I got a little bit of the T.S. Elliot poetry book read. Fortunately, it was on Kindle so I could look up every other word.

A Descriptive Highlight

Description writing is hard for me. I love Eliot’s use of personification to describe the smokey London air in 1915.

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzel on the windowpanes. Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening. Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains. Let fall on its back the soot that falls from chimneys.

T.S. Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”


I killed my Fitbit. It was supposed to be waterproof, but I guess it didn’t like the spa. So now I can’t brag about my steps. However, I worked out at the gym twice this week and exercised in the pool once. That’s worthy of a pat on the back, I think.

Social Life

It’s been a busy month for sociability for the Ingrao family. When we came back we had four dinner or lunch engagements, and one more scheduled for tomorrow.

Ongoing on Always Write

That’s a wrap for today. If we drink any more coffee, we will float away and not sleep a wink Have a beautiful week.

58 replies »

  1. ok…truth…my favorite line was once the guys moved ways the ladies solved all the worlds problems. hahaha. If only they would listen to us, right?

    I liked the first cropped photo of Manny and the cat. and I loved the emotion you captured of the bride and girl in Balboa. Very nice selections. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I read your post earlier and apparently didn’t comment…haha…or I did and now it will be doubled. Love all your photos. It’s fun playing with b/w isn’t it. I love the photos with the clouds and that lizard. So cool.


  3. I prefer Manny in the B&W on the left or the bottom right. I noticed the Fitbits are having a shorter lifespans. I killed mine in less than a year. Instead of buying a new Fitbit, I decided to buy an off-brand called Amazfit for $50. I am really happy with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a much better price. Cee said she got an Apple watch. I’m going to do without for a while. My phone will keep track of my steps if I remember to take it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, my! I’ve never seen so many replies. I liked the largest cat with Manny photo. The T.S. Eliot writing, showcasing his personification wowed me. I’ll have to read the poem now. I’ve heard of it but not read it. Triptych is widely studied in Art History. I was an Art History minor; so I was familiar with the form. The sky lower left amazed me. Yes, lovely photo of you. Sorry I couldn’t talk yesterday. Soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Monica, sorry I couldn’t talk tonight. We had a neighbor over for dinner and cards. They are only here part time, so we’ve just said hi and petted their adorable dog until tonight. It was so much fun. Wish you could have met them. His name is Jack! Wasn’t that personification amazing. I wish I could think like that. Reading the last few books I’ve been struggling to finish makes me realize how much my education is lacking. There is so much to learn. I wish we could have been in book club together. I envy you that! 🙂 Have a great time with all your company. 🙂


  5. What a concise weekend share, Marsha! I loved how you wove the weekly challenges into it so brilliantly. I particularly adored your quotes and TS Eliot’s description of the London air was so vivid. That was sheer poetry. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. loving your conversations and friendships here.
    Your tenacity and time in creation makes me feel better about the time I spend here too.. ha.
    LOVE how you improved your picture… much more vivid and my fav is the one with the bride and flower girl but then I have a wedding coming up so a little partial. 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bride seems to be a favorite. I should have shown the original on that one, too. It’s amazing how much different they look cropped. 🙂 Thanks for spending the time to read and comment. All of it does take time, Cindy, but it’s what we do.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Marsha,

    I somehow managed to never hear of the word, triptych, before reading your post.
    That’s cool, but does it work for art forms other that photos or visual art? i.e. can one component be written, like a short poem or, be still my heart, a 99-word story, with both header and footer supportive photos – or is that just a story with two photos?

    Not sure it matters, but I just want to be able to say I produced a triptych, I guess.

    Okay – it’s time for me to start thinking about my August commitment to you. I’ve had a couple of ideas but so far they’re all longer than 1K words.

    I’ll get it sorted soon but really look forward to each Story Chat.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary, you have such a grappling mind. You are such a learner. That’s one thing I admire about you. The word is new to me, too, so I’m not much help. Colleen Chesebro or Charli might be more knowledgeable about the use of the term regarding writing. It’s an interesting concept, though. The Haiban is a combination of poetry and prose, and is in a sandwich form. You’d enjoy that if you haven’t tried it. 🙂


  8. You sure covered a lot of challenges in your post with a lot of cool photos. Fitbit watches only work from between 6 to 9 months. So a few years ago I switched to Apple Watch. They are more expensive, but well worth the price because you don’t have to replace them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know that! You are SUCH a wealth of information. I will wait a bit to replace it – got to budget myself.


    • P.S. I really enjoyed the BW challenge. It was a huge challenge to me. I think I figured out how to save the masked picture, but I never did figure out why. 🙂


  9. Wow Marsha – you covered it ALL in this one! I loved your description of the evening dinner conversation – how is it we always end up breaking into gender groups LOL? And of course thanks for the shout-out and examples of triptychs – yes, a mouthful indeed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What great photos, Marsha, especially of your cat and the elderly gent with the beard! My youngest and eldest sons are into photography too, and the youngest also makes videos for his company. All fascinating! Keep on clicking… xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words, Joy. The elderly gent’s friend with a beard is one of my good friend’s husbands. They have the most amazing yard. He builds things constantly, and they run an event venue out of their home.

      I envy your sons’ abilities. They have grown up with digital photography and they will take it so far. Lucky you to have them around and to enjoy their videos. I have been very poor at videos for a very long time! 🙂


  11. Great photos Marsha and such a contrast between the black and white ones and the lovely flower colours. That bride and bridesmaid picture was my favourite – but I loved all the colour themes too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Leanne. The wedding was one of those serendipitious events that we happened to experience. The picture was okay, but cropping made it so much more interesting. How are you doing with your hip?


  12. pS
    I am glad you linked
    Your other post (coffee bounced) because I enjoyed it and left a comment there (so happy your are finding time for the “staying alive” book!
    Honored actually

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like that photo of You and the bird – in som ways you have not change at all! A nice natural glow of joy …
    –the hand in the pocket of Levi’s jeans was a cool image!

    – and like the ceramics for the triptych theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. How absolutely beautiful is T.S Elliott’s writing? So atmospheric. Loved the wildflowers and your playing around with black & white photos too – especially the bride and flower girl…there’s definitely a story there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jo, thanks for reading. I’m sure there was a story with the bride. Our side of the story was that we were enjoying Balboa Park and happend to get into the center of a wedding photo session. I decided to take a few pictures. I’m amazed at T.S. Eliot’s ability. I wonder how long he labored to find the right words? It would take me a million years to write like that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you Marsha for your weekend coffee share. You’ve got a wonderful photo collection in this post. I think you curated your photos very well 🙂 I love the images of flowers and blue skies with the white clouds. I’m glad to hear you’ve been having fun socializing with family and friends. Great job getting your exercises done. Have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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