Weekend Coffee Share, Home

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,ย  hosted by Natalie the Explorer.ย  The drink for me is green tea today, and the background music is peaceful ambient. Actually, Saturday got away from me; I started this post yesterday but was not quite finished until this Sunday morning. Bear with me please! There is some good to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been postingย  a little this week about my trip to Rochester,ย  NY, a much needed getaway.. I returned Monday at noon, and boy, was Bixby ever glad to see me! I was glad to get home, as there was a lot going on here while I was on vacation. There has been a family situation, and I am trying not to let it get me down. Sadly, my reading has brought me to the term Anosognosia, which describes what one of my loved ones is going through: refusal to accept that one is ill and needs medical help. The serenity prayer is going through my head so often now. Unconditional love means we love each other no matter what.

The Serenity Prayer also helped me get through a sudden, unplanned repair to my car. Sigh. I can handle it, but I can only handle my own reactions. I’ve been happy to see my local family and friends again, though.

Back in Florida, I’ve enjoyed sitting on my back porch in the sun eating breakfast a few times, but I fondly remember sitting on my friend’s patio in Rochester eating breakfast,  lunch, and sometimes dinner. I even caught a beautiful sunrise once! Rochester is also home to many beautiful and historical sites.

The statue of Frederick Douglass, who is buried in Rochester.

There was a lot to enjoy of nature, whether rain or shine! We actually found Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in the rain with rain ponchos on, but did not find that of Frederick Douglass. His statue, however, was located in the nearby park which we visited later at night. Such a beautiful sight.

Hennessy River Falls. Beautiful in rain or sunshine.
Lacy Acres Farm in Bloomington, New York

My friend and I also met my cousin at an alpaca farm, which made for a lovely day and a relaxing tour. We got to feed them and pet them too! I published more photos and details of that in a post this week: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/the-alpaca-shag-rdp/

My summer break will end soon, but I am at peace with that! I like knowing I can pay for my car repairs, and I certainly want to plan for future vacations. Considering I really love teaching overall, I don’t mind getting back to that while earning a paycheck, but I am planning future vacations. ๐Ÿ™‚ Life is short! All I can do is do what I enjoy, live up to my responsibilities, and be there for those I love while respecting my own needs, which likely looks different for all of us.

Have a great weekend and an even better week to come!

The Alpaca “Shag.” #RDP

In what is sounding like a peaceful, ambient track in my head, I’m remembering my day in upstate New York at the Lazy Acres alpaca farm. The tour is one hour and starts with loads of facts about the raising of these lovely animals as well as a tour of the shearing areas and barns on the property. One such fact is the shearing of the alpacas once a year, to control their wooly shag, as it is much warmer in this climate than the climate of their ancestry.

Set in a green, hilly area of upstate New York, Lazy Acres alpaca farm is lovely, and the animals are quite peaceful. We explored the farm on a beautiful, 75 degree day that felt like Spring to me (a resident from Northern Florida). I’d been visiting an old friend that used to work with me in Rochester, and found out my cousin was in the area. So, we arranged to meet her at the alpaca farm as well as her son, his wife, and their family.

A muddy walkway covered by wooden planks led to green pastures. It had rained profusely the day before. However, the sun shone brightly on us, and the visit was worth the muddy shoes. Our tour guide, a young college girl, told us that alpaca are not as agressive as lamas or camels. I found this to be true. While feeding them, I felt the alpaca’s teeth graze my hand, but not even in a nibble; it was just accidental as their lower teeth are in an underbite.

Baby alpaca!

The children on the tour (I think you’d call them my third cousins) were quite engaged and interested. We grown-ups were charmed as well. The animals let us pet them as well as feed them. When the food ran out, they did, of course, lose interest. Not surprising, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

I highly recommend such a tour for anyone who needs a brief escape from the worries of their life or just an escape from the rat race. Children who love animals will find it quite engaging as well! One of the alpacas had MIA on her tag, so I started calling her Mia. I assumed this alpaca was female, it answered to Mia anyway, and I could pet her after my food was gone. Though, maybe it was because my friend had some food left….

It makes me wonder what it would be like to only be concerned with only the most basic of needs: eating, digestion, shelter, family. The cares of the outside world, the ‘rat-race,’ cannot penetrate their peaceful exterior. My favorite alpaca, Mia, was actually quite a ham ๐Ÿ™‚

Unbothered. ๐Ÿ™‚

This was a perfect day!

*The Ragtag Daily prompt is given daily. You can find their site and today’s prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/ragtag-daily-prompt-thursday-shag/

The alpacas were my first thought when I saw today’s word prompt: shag. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend Coffee Share, Summer Travels

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,ย  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m on vacation this week! Bixby is back home with my mother. He’s going to smell another dog on me when I get home, which is sure to be interesting! I’m on the back deck at Hannah”s house, and I’ve witnessed a sunrise in a new city ( working my way through a bucket list item). ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunrise on the back deck!

My coffee today contains hazelnut milk, and is stronger than usual. We are walking every day there is not rain, so I’m using up the excess energy! Enjoy your beverage of choice and pull up a virtual chair on the back deck. The weather in Rochester, New York is pleasantly cool today with chances of rain.

The art in this place is amazing! It has a small town feel with an art school and several museums within walking distance of my friend’s apartment. It seems like a wonderful Arts community as well!

The door to the Memorial Art Museum.

Another place of interest was Erie Canal. It made me think of Holland, a place I’ve never been. It was just nice to see it. We sat with a drink and took in the views and breeze. The next day, we had dinner thereoverlooking the water while a jazzy band played outdoors.

At Erie Canal, outside Lock 32 Brewery. Grapefruit Sessions was awesome!

My friend was so kind to invite me to stay here this summer, and her dog was also an excellent host and play buddy!

I really have enjoyed Hannah’s sweet dog, a big, affectionate mixed-breed. I do miss Bixby, though.

I made sure Hannah got a signed copy of Detours in Time!

There is not a whole lot of writing going on right now, but I am getting inspired! 28 days of Ellie, my current writing plan, paused at day 6, and I’ll return to it when I’m back. For now, there is a lot of walking, taking in new sightsย  and laughter with an old friend. I believe anything that warms the heart can inspire a writer’s soul!

Thanks for visiting me for a weekend coffee share! I hope all is well in your corner of the world. Have a great weekend!

Aladdin’s restaurant at Erie Canal.

Weekend Coffee Share, Balance on the Tight Rope

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I am once more drinking green tea today. Tomorrow, there will be coffee! It is a treat for me maybe three days a week. In the background, my ‘cafe’ is playing Living Room songs by Olafur Arnalds. It’s sort of emotional. Perhaps it will invoke some deep poetry in all of us, huh?

I am in a poetry mood lately. There is a lot going on in my family, and I am being told by people close to me not to tell others so much. What they don’t understand is that I am a writer. I either make up fantastical fiction or I tell my story. It is mine to tell. I process things, and I share them because I should never be ashamed of the battles I have fought for good reason, and perhaps it will help someone else who is suffering in silence. I just won’t suffer like that anymore. As Sylvia Plath once said, “everythingย in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Having said that, I am not spilling my guts here. There has been a lot going on in my family and I never know if I’m saying the right thing or reacting the best way. I suppose that’s because I’m human. However, I have been building a community. I am more open with others and honest; some have a lot in common with me, and others are just good listeners. They are my friend because I am no longer closed up, no longer flying under the radar or not really present. I wrote a poem this week about how it feels to be a mother, daughter, friend, woman who makes mistakes or is told she is doing the wrong thing, and how I must judge myself less. It is titled Life’s Ceaseless Circus and can be found here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/lifes-ceaseless-circus/ Being an adult, I will deal with any fallout from mistakes I make. I try to treat others this way as well. As a mother, I may not have always treated family members with that attitude, but I am learning.

Lately, life has seemed like a traveling circus, going through rough terrain, hills, valleys, deserted roads and sometimes, fun towns. Get to a peaceful place, then get pulled into steep hills again. If you can love unconditionally, there is no way out, just enjoy the views and brace yourself for rough times. I believe I can maintain boundaries, take care of myself, and still love unconditionally. I am trying anyhow.

I have been through a breakup in the last few months, yet he still checks in and asks about my family. My ex-husband now lives in town again and is friendly with my family, but I live my own life. I am talking to and associating with friends I had not spoken to in a long time because of the whole focus of raising my kid the best way. He is grown now, making his own choices. I don’t make my choices with him at the center anymore. I make my choices with what is best for me in a way that I intend not to hurt others. I’m trying to live my life in a way that practices acceptance of others and kindness. I know I still at times shut others out; it seems I have to temper that need to maintain balance.

So, I’m learning and trying to practice forgiveness and acceptance, and that is something one must temper with boundaries. I believe it is totally possible. In the spirit of second chances, I wrote the story Crossroads Diner #205 and have self-published it for entry into a Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest. It is free to read in Kindle Unlimited. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN

Besides writing poems for the blog and my short story, I am beginning ’28 Days of Ellie.” Each morning, I will write at least one entry either about her personality, her likes, dislikes, beliefs and/or dialogues with her and other characters. Since I finished the book on Sould Coaching, I decided this would be a fun, creative way to boost my writing and make my character become real. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend, and an even better week next week! I am planning to travel a little. You’re sure to hear about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend Coffee Share, Earth Week and Care for our Physical Presence

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, in which I have reached Earth Week in the 28 days “Soul Coaching” book. Earth Week (and Fire Week too for that matter) has been full of water. Rain, rain, rain. At any rate, as we sit in my ‘cafe’ with Agnes Obel in the background, a solid favorite with beautiful piano notes, I drink green macha tea and I am so grateful for the sunshine this morning.

Yesterday, we had a morning of sunshine as well, which was such a blessing after days and days of gray wake-ups and rain. After breakfast, I sat in the sunshine in my driveway with the dog at my side. He sought the shade of my chair after a few minutes. I don’t really know how many minutes. Do I really have to know? My skin felt good, my eyes were shut, and my dog did not complain. I seem to know when is too long for Vitamin D exposure. My body and spirit did need those few moments to warm me, especially since I was suffering from a sinus infection this week.

Yes, ironic isn’t it, that during Earth Week I had a body that did not allow me to do a five mile walk or get out of the house much? The rain discouraged me, too. I got the appropriate rest, ate well, slept late when I could. I exercised to an extent that did not push things too far. I read, continued the 28 days book, and took care of Bixby. I do think I appreciated the earth in fitting ways. That one morning of sunshine was wonderful, since I was just feeling well again.

I certainly would have done more if I felt up to it, but I imagine I’ll make up for it next week. It has been too long since I walked the beach! Two weeks, at least, and it is such a centering practice for me. A part of Earth week in the book suggests imagining being a rose, a willow tree, or a pebble. I would prefer being a willow tree or a pebble. The willow is motherly and familial, peaceful, and soulful. The pebble is a young child/ tomboy’s dream, always useful–be aware I climbed trees when I was a child! I would not choose the rose, for I feel I’ve lived that: the sweet flower pruned to look good and often plucked to die in a vase. Sigh, the plight of many women before this generation; the vase being a ‘good’ marriage that puts a girl on a shelf. Yet, I was allowed to climb trees! Not so bad after all, but society sort of tried to hold us back, you know? Things are changing though, but I digress.

Earth week reminds me of my kinesthetic field. A quiz once told me I was equally visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Sometimes I just dwell on one, but my life is happiest when I honor all of them. So, I’ll seek to do my 5 mile walk in a few days! I’ll sit in the sunlight again, soon. I will laugh with a friend again as I did yesterday….no details needed, it’s just something I am wisely making room for in my life even through stress or rough days. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I will always add music and buy clothes that hold a color that draws me in. Perhaps it will soak up the sun into my spirit more strongly, but am I digressing again? ๐Ÿ™‚

Bixby also knows the benefits of Vitamin D!
Crossroads Diner is a short story I self-published this week!

In the realm of writing, I self-published a short story that is sort of supernatural and metaphysical in nature. You can find it on Amazon by searching Crossroads Diner Kindle. There is a contest I have entered through an online Book club, and I also just want people to read it. Reviews on Amazon are a great way to get feedback on this story’s ideas and are so appreciated! I plan to work more on the Ellie manuscript this summer, though I do have my little trip to Rochester coming up. I so look forward to it!

So, as of July 1,we’ve made it through the first half of the year! I survived the first half, including the end of a pandemic teaching year. My son is still not speaking to me or his dad, not to anyone in the family. He had an issue in his life, and I wanted him to solve it a certain way; he did not want to do that. It seems he’s doing it his way, and I pray it works. Now, I send him loving or encouraging texts. That’s all I can do, since he is grown. I am still trying to live my own life, since I know he’s living his own life. I am practicing acceptance. He is venturing into his own life and will reach out to family again when he’s ready. I believe that.

Flashback photo…

The rest of the year may bring more changes, and they may be wanted or unwanted. I am going to have faith that I have instilled strength and willingness to work hard in my son. I am going to keep laughing for the sake of laughing. I will surround myself with those who encourage me to smile and laugh yet listen if I need an ear. I will accept others for what they are and give them leeway to be that while trying to bring out their best. I am going to move toward tomorrow fearlessly and avoid expecting the worst; yet if it approaches, I will battle it like the warrior that I am, like a flexible, sturdy oak or an empathic willow tree (depending on the day :).

So, how’s that for setting my intention for the next six months? I don’t remember what my New Years’ resolution was, and who cares? I think I’ll set six months’ intentions each year, one at summer solstice and one at winter solstice–a great way to honor the physical world and this Earth that we have been granted by a marvelous Creator. Enjoying nature brings me closer to my spirit. I hope to do more of that this week!

**Weekend Coffee Share is a Bloggers’ Community share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Visit her Coffee Share and get details at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/07/02/what-made-june-joyful/

Weekend Coffee Share, Of Fire and Water

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. After a matcha green tea, I am taking my time this morning. Why? Because I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

It is Fire Week in the Soul Coaching book, which involves stepping out of the usual routines. It being summer, I get to step out of my work routine anyway! One new addition to the routine is walking 5 miles on Tuesday evenings with a Meetup group, traipsing through neighborhoods I don’t normally frequent and seeing wonderful new sites. I do know one person in the group, but taking these walks is a new thing for me, and I love it!

Strange angle, but I had to catch that awesome sunset too!

There has also been plenty of time to rest, take my time, and live in the moment. If that is the water part of my life, it is a slow-moving, lazy river. I love those, and they certainly represent living in the moment. It is such an important thing to do, isn’t it? Of course, we may not be able to do it all the time. Still, living with uncertainty with all of the shake-ups and changes in my life recently has made living in the moment necessary at times. I have to maintain the balance.

Bixby does the dance of ‘living in the moment ‘ so well!

In honor of Fire week, I wrote a post with a poem all about fire and what the flame means in regards to moving forward. You may view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/06/23/respecting-the-flame-poetry/

Perhaps I will blog more on my journey through the Soul Coaching book, if the spirit moves me. It has become a welcome routine every morning with a long, drawn-out breakfast. When it is done, I’ll be changing up my routines again. I actually worked on writing the Ellie book this week. There will be more of that to follow!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for stopping by for my coffee share!

Friday Fictioneers, Father and Son. #flashfiction

PHOTO PROMPT ยฉ Alicia Jamtaas
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“Oh, look! An overgrown house!” Billy called.

“Look closer, son,” Dad replied.

“Hmm.” Billy stopped. “It looks small. Was it a
doghouse?”

Dad sat down on his heels. “That’s what they say.”

“Where’s the house for the people?” Billy asked.

“It burned to the ground. Miraculously, the dog’s house didn’t.”

“So, the family didn’t live?” Billy asked.

Dad shook his head.

“And the dog? Maybe he was in the doghouse,” Billy inquired.

“They never found the dog,” Dad answered.

“I think he ran off. I hope he found a new family.” Suddenly, a
bark made Billy jump.ย  โ€œLetโ€™s go now.โ€

(c) 2021, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

ย 

ย 

Weekend Coffee Share, Of Sunrise and 1,000 Mornings

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been a green tea day for me. Enjoy whatever beverage you like! “Caution” by the Killers is playing in the background, a lively, hopeful tune.

This past week, I had an opportunity for walking the beach with a good friend. I’m still reading the 28 days of Soul-Coaching book, so maybe it colors everything I see, including a gray day! On Beach-walking: “The skies above may be gray, but my feet are grateful to be grounded on cooler sand and pavement today as I connected with the earth while beach walking with Judy.” She and I just talk and talk, about anything. It’s awesome and we enjoy it!

Morning Beach-walking with my son, circa 2006.

On the subject of mornings, I have found that I’m regularly waking up this summer before 7 a.m., due to the angle of the sunlight through my window. It peeks through the slats in my blinds and comes through the sheer curtain that hangs there. I don’t mind it, because at other times of the day when I am in there, I find the sunlight cheering. Not only that, but it will be helpful to be used to waking early when I have to go back to work. I’m not really a night owl anymore. I’m probably healthier this way anyhow.

From a poetry book I just finished reading, titled 1,000 Mornings by Mary Oliver: “…who would cry out to the petals on the ground to stay, knowing as we must, how the vivacity of what was is married to the vitality of what will be? ” This poem was called LINES WRITTEN IN THE DAYS OF GROWING DARKNESS. I’ve been pondering a lot about my past and the changes that have occurred in my life, how everything happens for a reason, and I’m trying to make those reasons positive, not always easy, right? I’m also discovering that there is a Season for everything. You have to see it for what it is. I’m still working on that, and can’t really be any more specific at this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

My house is still too quiet at times though. I am not working this summer, so it really is noticeable, the absence of my son. July is travel month; that will be sure to help. I am still catching up with old friends, which is very fulfilling. Sometimes you can easily be open and honest with someone if you’ve known them a really long time, no matter how long it’s been since you conversed.

Mom had a cataract surgery this week, and I drove her. It went smoothly, and she is noticing a difference already. Her appointment was really early Wednesday, so when we returned home, I slept a lot. The silence is good for that, but it still seems too silent for me. Bixby seems to have adjusted. I just have to keep busy with reading, writing, reaching out to people, etc. That is the plan.

In the writing arena, I have been working on a short story for publication in early July. It is going to be part of a contest. I will definitely let you all know when the publication date comes closer. The book about Ellie is in my mind, but I haven’t made more progress yet. I decided I have to outline the ideas, and I likely need a full-throttle coffee day, since I have not had one in a good while. Then I could possibly work on it for several hours. It just may tickle the muse into inspiring me!

That is all I have for this week. I’m still getting a lot of down time and relaxation, and I’m sure that is just what I needed this summer. I hope you all are doing well and will have a great weekend! Happy Father’s day to those who are fathers.

You may visit Natalie’s Coffee Share and view those of others in the blogger community at http://natalietheexplorer.home.blog

Weekend Coffee Share,ย  Old Souls and Thunderstorms

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Summer break is here, and in NE Florida, we don’t have to wait for Summer Solstice; there is plenty of sunshine already!

We have had a few strong thunderstorms. After work Monday, I came home and started some laundry. The skies got dark, and thunder started rolling. The anxiety my dog gets sometimes is very real. He paced, getting very nervous. I lay on my bed reading on my phone, and he jumped up so as not to be alone. Then hopped back down to pace again, panting as if he’d just run a mile.

I tried giving him a calming chew, sensing his heart must be racing like mad, but he wouldn’t take it. A few more turns of that dance, and I finally got him to take a calming chew as I held him in my arms. Poor guy, his anxiety seems to be worse as he ages. I went to my bed and he got up there and laid across me, so I couldn’t do much. He’d scratch at my arms, not very comfortable.

I decided I’d get off my phone and just hold him; after all, I was worried about him. It took a while, but his heart rate slowed, and he nestled into the crook of my arm. Finally, we both napped. My poor little anxious furbaby. I figure he had a rough time all alone with storms in his life as a stray dog. He’s now ten years old, and we’ve had him for 6 years, but it seems his fear and trauma from the past life are not easily forgotten.

Calm after the storm

The workday Monday consisted of finishing packing up my classroom. Yes, I finally was ready to move forward to summer. Of course, I have some travel plans for July and beach time in June. I’ll also be looking out for my mom when she gets her cataract surgery next week. Tuesday, I got some repairs on my car and started another summer goal, which is reading a book that involves 28 days of soul-searching. It also has ideas for journaling, so I started all that when I got back from the auto-shop.

As it was, I ran late getting to the auto-shop appointment, and my hair was still wet. No big deal, though. The Soul-Coaching book encourages accepting ourselves as we are, and there’s a lot about de-cluttering.

Tuesday night, I joined a walking group that meets weekly. We went 5 miles through some lovely, historic neighborhoods. I really enjoyed that, though my legs were screaming afterward. I think I’ll try it again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Never mind that I took a one hour walk on the beach with a friend the next day. I did enjoy the sunshine and the company. She and I talked so much! If I keep it up, it’s shaping up to be a healthy summer ! Here’s a random shot from the hip:

Don’t ask me whose legs these are….

I actually don’t know whose legs those are, but I had to post it because it’s quite funny when a camera develops a mind of its own!

Still trying to get inspired to write more of Ellie’s story, a time travel adventure with an awesome femme-fatale. I got her into a rough spot and have to really think about the bridge for their to the end. I already have the end in mind:) I’m sure to return to her this summer, but I think I’ll try to outline everything. I am a mix of planner and pantser when it comes to writing books. Nothing wrong with that!

So, that’s my life as of late in a nutshell. I’m rolling with the punches/changes. No sweat! Haha… I hope you all have a great weekend.

One or Two, All Together. #RDP #poetry

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

(c) 2021, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

They say the loneliest number is one,

but when all is said and done

Together can become empty, and you ask why?

Sometimes there’s a point, they no longer look you in the eye.

******

Sometimes, when you are just one

reaching out to many, you feel more whole

because when trying to stay together,

you denied and shuttered areas of your soul.

*****

You may be blessed to stay together,

or as one, you can still withstand the weather

You be you; as one or part of two, neither one is better.

***

***Subscribe to the Ragtag Daily Word Prompt; join in one day and see what comes out in words. See today’s Word Challenge prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/rdp-wednesday-together/

Subscribe to their blog for daily word prompts at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com