Weekend Coffee Share, Balance for Self-Respect

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This morning had me longing for green Tazo tea, and after brewing it, I added my chocolate ashwagandha powder, which makes it even more tasty, and supposedly has great health benefits.

No, it’s not easy being a princess! 😉

Note the cup. I think my mom gave it to me. After I had a surgery 10 years ago, as I recovered I would ask for things. She said, yes, the precious needs some water, here you go. I think sometimes she said princess, but I jumped on the precious comment and mimicked gollum from The Lord of the rings: “Precioussss!” She would just look at me strange. My boyfriend Chris sometimes refers to me as a princess. It’s his fault, as he often treats me like one, LOL!

Is it any wonder I had a former boyfriend who said I was “The princess and the pea?” Look up the story if you’re not familiar. I believe it’s a fable. Anyhow, I think it’s because I’ve had pain sensitivity for a number of years; I can’t sit in a hardback kitchen chair for too long, can’t walk too far in high heels, etc. I mentioned the story to Chris and said,” That just serves to show, I am a real princess!”

From my Louise Hay affirmation journal.

Interestingly, today’s prompt from my Louise Hay journal is about feeling good getting older and being at peace with one’s body. In many ways, I have more confidence in how I look, and I do honor and respect my body more as I get older. Some of it is realizing I didn’t always have a healthy attitude about it: I felt it wasn’t as good as others’, thought it didn’t look good enough, didn’t feed it right. I’m constantly seeking to keep it healthy now and to strike a balance between body and mind.

I’ve had to work harder on this because I’ve had chronic pain of one kind or another for a few years. Google defines chronic pain as “persistent pain that lasts weeks to years.” So, some things can aggravate me worse than they do others. Some days, it’s really hard to drag myself out of bed, put some pep in my step, and be ready for what I may need to face is the world of middle school education. But, I do it. I don’t wake extra early to go to committee meetings anymore. I think I have the right to decide if something is to much for me.

This is how I can be at peace with my body. Again, there has to be a balance between body and mind. This is why writing these days is slow-going for me. I won’t force myself to play out a plotline idea by sitting at the computer munching chips and typing for hours on end, my back screaming at me for being in a chair too long, (no matter how comfortable that chair is), a crick in my neck aching me from looking at the computer screen so long, basically, my body screaming for my mind to just slow down. Hmmm, yes, I try for balance now.

Bixby and his winter ‘hairdo.’ 🙂

My dog, Bixby also prefers I don’t spend hours glued to the computer screen. In the long run, when one seeks to find balance and be kinder with oneself, isn’t a dog a valuable source of sage wisdom?

This ends my coffee share on a high note. Trust the wisdom of the dog: enjoy loved ones, show them you care for them, when it’s time to play, do so with reckless abandon, and when it’s time to rest, rest as much as you need!

Have a great weekend!

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A Day in My Life, Day 30

Day 30 of #ADayinMyLife, Jan. 31st:

It was another day of weather around 80 degrees and of teaching students to write and to read closely, which went alright. I got a lined journal/notebook I had ordered from Amazon.

Tonight, Chris and I are planning to go to trivia. Of course, as he mentioned, sometimes the trending mood of my day can wipe me out and make me change my mind. He is pretty patient with that, as should be! He has some special nicknames for my moods. Let’s keep in mind, shoulder pain, any pain, lack of sleep, workday stress, any of it can wipe me out. I do have ways I try to deal with it, but there are good days and bad days.

Regarding my nicknames: there’s protective Pam, willing to take down anyone crossing him in his day ( a humorous exaggeration, of course). Then there’s Krampus Pam, who will step on anyone who gets in the way of me and my dinner. She’s concerned with her needs and has disdain for poorly managed restaurants, traffic, and bureaucratic red tape or over-encroaching laws. Rightfully so!

Let us not forget Creme brulee Pam. The weekend that he took me to Savannah last December, we had to wait for dinner but found another restaurant with outdoor seating, and the 65 degree weather felt perfect! We enjoyed our conversation and laughter. The waitress thought we were newlyweds! I wanted to introduce him to creme brulee. I don’t have it very often, so when I do, it’s a special occasion! The restaurant didn’t serve it but provided a great dinner! Afterward, we searched for a dessert spot.

Historic Savannah, Georgia.

Google came to our aid. We had walked to the restaurant, and my feet were complying, so we used Google maps to walk to the dessert restaurant, not without a few wrong turns in the cover of night, down streets he said were not the ‘good side of town.’ Still, we walked arm in arm; I was feeling satiated by dinner and in happy anticipation of creme brulee. The street corners didn’t look so bad. We passed many art galleries and art college extensions. (I want to go back during the day when they’re open)! Finally, we got to our dessert spot.

There was a line, but Chris and I waited together using good conversation and laughter to keep our spirits up. Once we got in and received our creme brulee, there were no seats inside, so we shared it with a fork standing on the street corner, with a kiss and a laugh, oblivious of other tourists. Creme brulee Pam doesn’t let ANYTHING dampen her mood, because she knows something good is on its way. I am capable of being like that. Gratitude helps, having a pleasant goal in mind helps! Well, I was also on vacation with him. You see, being a Gemini, I can own up to having all these different personas!

Ah, I like these memories. On that note, I think I’ll close my post. It is the end of the 30 blogging challenge, and I did it, for myself, despite one post that I actually wrote and finished then fell asleep and had to send it the next day once I remembered. LoL! I wanted to do something different in this post; I hope it held your interest. Have a good evening, everyone!

A Day in My Life, day 29. #RRBC

Jan. 30, Day 29 of #ADayinMyLife

Yikes! The 30 day challenge is almost over! I plan to blog more, though. This has helped me get in the habit. Plus, I have to keep getting the word out about what’s happening in my state.

I had a fairly productive day at work. My first class is Language Arts, and while they sometimes need help with focusing, they are pretty good kids! Second block was Journalism/Yearbook, and we were loading photos again to the yearbook site

After work, I walked out into 80 degree weather, and headed to physical therapy. It went fairly well. Then I went to grab a bite to eat at Chicken Salad Chick, a Southern style sandwich shop. Do you think I ate healthy enough? Keep in mind, I didn’t eat the cookie. 😁

Wheat bread, a Fruity Fran, and broccoli salad!

I’m going to the gym for some cardio. Nothing intense, just 30 minutes on the bike. Have a great evening!

A Day in My Life, Day 28

Jan. 29th- Day 28 of #ADayinMyLife

Welcome to Sunday sit-back-and-relax! I sleep in late, which was so much needed, and spent time with my man last night sharing laughter and a little poetry, which was also much needed!

My side of town was mercilessly busy last night. Chris and I had a hard time getting seating at Chili’s, so we went to a smaller scale place for him to get a burger. I was chilly,so I had soup and a Mediterranean wrap.

After that, we went to his place and started watching The Palest Blue Eye on Netflix. One of the characters is a young Edgar Allan Poe. It is quite intriguing those slow-moving. I believe I fell asleep halfway through, and Chris understood, because sleep is important to both of us!

At any rate, this morning, I’ve been hanging out with my dog, Bixby, listening to Alanis Morrissette’s A Jagged Little Pill. Oh, it brings back memories of the 1990s, of my divorce, of my reintroduction to freedom, and the first time I started dating Chris a year after my divorce. It was not the right time for us back then. Anyhow, it also later got me through lonely times as well, learning to enjoy just spending time with myself.

Internet image of Alanis’ album.

After her album, I went back to listening to Lord Huron, a more relaxing vibe for today. It was mostly a day for errands to prepare for the new work week, but I had time to relax and read. After dinner, my son and I watched the last halt of The Pale Blue Eye. In it, Poe is a young cadet at a military academy where several murders occur and helps in solving them. In reality, Poe did attend the Military Academy in Virginia. The actor has an eerie look as you’d think young Poe would have. All well done!

Have a good night, everyone. I’m amazed that I’ve done 28 days of blogging daily!

A Day in My Life, and #weekendcoffeeshare: Causation. #RRBC

Welcome to my #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Natalie the Explorer, and A Day in My Life, Day 27, Jan. 28th.

My morning beverage was Zen green tea with just a dash of caffeine, and chocolate ashwagandha mix sprinkled in, which livens up the taste and supposedly has really good health benefits. My breakfast was the usual.

Now, take the following with a grain of salt, because I don’t always agree with everything this man says, and that is my right. While listening to Dan Bruglio’s “Pain Free You,” this stood out to me: “It feels good to think about (or be involved in) something other than your struggle.” I’ve read something like this before and it rings true in my experience.

This applied greatly to my week this past week. I and several teachers had planned fun activities and challenges for Literacy Week. It was slightly tampered by learning that the district wanted us to empty off our bookshelves the first day of that week! However, we carried on with our activities, and I kept trying to encourage the kids to take part. Many showed their creativity and worked really hard. It was a busy and emotional week. I woke up aching terribly in both shoulders, biceps, and my hand Friday morning after doing the shoulder workout at home Thursday night.

Now, keep in mind, I did the shoulder workout with my physical therapist’s instruction Monday night, and my pain the next morning was nothing like this. He pushes me more than I push myself! So, was the stress and negative emotion of this week getting to me?

I don’t know. I will say, going forward and encouraging kids to creatively produce bulletin board designs and two-sentence stories drove me forward and helped me to keep hope when it seemed like lights were going out on our educational landscape in my state. Kids, teachers, and Admin worked together to have Literacy Week. We have to find creative ways now to encourage literacy in our students.

For lunch today, I took my mom to Avonlea Antiques for their “Full Circle” cafe. The decor is sort of eclectic. I love the cow print booths! My mom ordered tea, and our turkey sandwiches had green apple on them and an herb mayonnaise. It was scrumptious!

So, I pushed onward with shoulder exercises today, not pushing as much as PT would push me, because I know I’ll be back at physical therapy Monday. I felt I shouldn’t push too hard after the pain I was having yesterday. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for stopping by for a glimpse into my world!

A Day in My Life, One Week Closes #RRBC

Jan.27th- Welcome to day 26 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 5 of Literacy Week. I hate to see Literacy Week come to a close, but I’ll admit there was a whole lot of planning involved, and I am tired, ready for the weekend, for sure!

We had a two-sentence story contest this week, and all entries were due today. It was a lot of fun reading their entries! I had two other teachers helping with the judging and decision of the sixth grade winners. There were some very descriptive stories with imagery, personification, and alliteration. They only had two sentences to work with, but they found ways to wow us!

There is a whole thread on Reddit of funny two-sentence stories. Check it out! I made up a few two-sentence stories during the pandemic. One of my favorites:

I was worried about the flight, but I have reassuring friends. The dragon says, “Who needs an airplane anyway ?” -PC

Literacy Week brings back memories, memories of my mom reading to me, my lower grades teacher teaching me and encouraging me to read, my 7th grade teacher (Mr. Troje) having us read A Tale of Two Cities, my Senior year English teacher giving us choices of books to read, my dad for gifting me with Little Women, and many others who inspired me through the years . Mr. Troje died of cancer about ten years ago.

My mother encouraged my reading by letting me learn about life from books. She’d have books on her nightstand, and I’d take them to read. She allowed me to do that. I read beyond my age. I tried hard to enjoy Literacy Week this year, because we need joyful occasions in a middle school to celebrate with the kids.

So, now the question is, how do I share one of the things I love most with my students? How do I flourish in a job where I feel censored in this state? I keep looking for positives. Sometimes I find them. The questions I have asked here are still to be answered.

That’s a day in my life, that closes a work week in my life. Happy Literacy week. Go and read a book of your choice, and be thankful you can choose!

*Any opinions I express on my blog are strictly mine and not those of my employer.

A Day in My Life: Give and Take, Teach and Learn

Jan. 26th. Welcome to Day 25 of #ADayinMyLife. and Day 4 of Literacy Week. I was so tired last night, I fell asleep before posting yesterday’s post. I sent it just this afternoon when I finally realized. I certainly did get my sleep last night!

So, today in Literacy Week, we celebrated the strategy of visualizing while reading a book. A few students made some art and drawings. A few others wrote entries today for our really-short story contest.

Mala’s story has my students intrigued, girls and boys alike! (The girl who stood up to the Taliban for the right of girls to get an education)

After announcing the other day that students could no longer borrow books from me probably for the rest of the school year, I asked if any of them would like to get the book checked out that we are reading excerpts from for my lessons. (Which is approved in the curriculum). I had about 8 students out of two different classes raise their hands. They were able to get them from the school library to take home today. That warms my heart, and I needed that for the following reason: Our library books are all covered up now. 😦

Three to five years ago, they sent off all of our biography and nonfiction books in the library somewhere, got rid of those particular bookshelves, and made a dedicated testing area. I was so hoping it wasn’t an indicator of changes to come, but it does seem that it has been an indicator of our state’s priorities. *Keep in mind, that this is my opinion and not necessarily that of my employer or of any state leadership.

Here I am, exercising my first amendment right. At any rate, my yearbook / Journalism class came in all boisterous as usual, but we got a lot done. There were photos to be downloaded from our cameras, photos to be tagged, students I needed to meet with about some changes to be made to their pages. It was quite productive!

Some of my energetic students, the type always finishing work early, helped decorate a bulletin board outside my room this week. They had the ideas, I supplied the materials, all of which I had in my cabinet. I love their creativity!

A Newspaper theme!

Wow! There is still some hope. I love many things about my job. I guess today has been a day for receiving appreciation and sending out gratitude! Have a great evening, everyone!

A Day in My Life, day 24

Welcome to day 24 of #ADayinMyLife and day 3 of Literacy Week. Today was wear-red-if-you’ve-ever-read-a-good-book day! There were many in red. Some of my yearbook members took pictures around school. I can’t wait to see them!

In conversations with many people, there arose a question of why schools are shutting down their libraries and hiding classroom libraries until further notice. A Facebook group led me to this Florida House bill, on which our state leadership added the requirement of one media specialist vetting all books for the school. It’s lengthy, so scroll down half of the page to get to the pertinent bits:

https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/25/governor-ron-desantis-signs-bill-that-requires-curriculum-transparency/

I went home and exercised on the porch, talked to Chris, then fell asleep early. I didn’t sleep so well the night before. Who could blame me, with all this crap going on. I was so tired or even forgot to post this on the correct day. Good thing I’m not in a contest anymore! Thanks for stopping by and reading about my life, and I will have this day’s post up definitely later on.

A Day in My Life, Day 23 #RRBC

January 24th. Welcome to day 23 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 2 of Literacy Week.

Today was Talk up a Good Book day at my school. I had to start my first class by explaining the empty bookshelves. It’s hard not to be too opinionated, but I did alright. This class particularly didn’t like the fact that books are not available to them now. They were my standard class, so I’m glad they care. They are pretty good kids!

Three of them actually requested to get the book,”I am Malala” checked out to them when I offered, which is allowed since her book is part of our curriculum. This warmed my heart! We have read excerpts in the last two weeks from it.

Anyway, students saw a teacher video we prepared about books that we remember from our youth. Then, they were able to record their own “book talk” on Flip grid. I had three students who actually recorded their own. It was so cute!

Flipgrid.

After all of that, I had News/Podcast Club, which went by quickly. Since I stay late on Tuesdays, I frequently go to trivia with Chris and another couple, which is always fun and challenging.

Have a great evening, everyone!

A Day in My Life, Day 22: Literacy Week begins #RRBC

Jan. 23rd: Day 22 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 1 of Literacy Week!

We wore black and white today to represent newspapers. I pre-recorded a video describing what newspapers remind me of, memories of my youth when my dad would get engrossed in a newspaper. (Mom was always the one engrossed in books. I was fated to become a writer and an English teacher:)) Anyway, here’s the video I made: https://youtu.be/F5vrGODSr3c

I showed it to my students. They seemed to like it and were impressed that I had a YouTube channel. Yikes! Doesn’t everyone? My educational YouTube channel is private, and the videos only available to those with whom I’ve shared the link.

My bookshelves at 10:30 a.m.

So, I did as I was told to do. Day 1 of Literacy week , and my bookshelves were almost empty at 10:30. Books all hidden away. I explained why to my students, state statute 847.012….they didn’t get it.
*
I cleaned off the bookshelf during class, and many kids were socializing and cutting up, but I had to do this. I couldn’t go in early. I do feel bad for my students, though.
*
I look back to the first year I started teaching and our county’s push for us to have a “print -rich environment” with reading choices, and I could just cry. It makes me want to leave teaching, but I won’t leave these kids behind. I hope to teach them to be very aware of what’s going on in the world and in our state.
**This is my first hand experience, not even opinion! However, I’m sure you can figure out my opinion, and any opinions shared here are my own and not those of my employer.

Right after work, I left to go to physical therapy. It seems to be going alright. After that, I stopped for a bite to eat and a woman at the table next to me asked for my prayers. She’s waiting to hear about a job interview she had a few weeks ago. She got caught in the rain yesterday. I’m not sure if she has to take the bus or is homeless. Most would tell you if they are. She didn’t want anything from me but to be heard. Send out an anonymous prayer, won’t you? She really is trying.

So, my evening is winding down, but I’m on my Gazelle exerciser typing this out. My phone makes that possible! The WordPress app is a wonderful thing for a writer.

That’s my day in a nutshell: the good a bad. What a rollercoaster! Have a good evening, everyone!

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