Weekend Coffee Share, Living Vicariously or Just Living

Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Cold matcha green tea accompanied my healthy breakfast today. I want to keep my brain relaxed!

I had my shoulder MRI, an open MRI, after work yesterday. I will say that I prefer an Open MRI to the other option, but it was horrible having to keep my arm still, because it also gets pained lately. The pain in my arm was worse after the MRI, maybe from just holding it so still and becoming stiff.

Still, I am just really glad that I now have gotten that done, and I can meet with the orthopedic doctor in about 10 days to hopefully find out what’s going on and what my options are to improve my quality of life. It surely is affecting many areas of my life: my moods, my enthusiasm, my sleep. I still force myself to get my cardio though. It’s not as much as it used to be but it is done regularly, at least three times a week.

This morning, after a much-needed massage,I had 5 minutes of stretch then a mere 15 minute walk and it almost did me in today. Talk about humid!

After a smoothie for lunch, I went to the hair salon to get my hair trimmed and highlighted, a true treat! Lots of girl talk. I was still so relaxed after the massage and almost dozed in the chair. It is a true self-care day. I deserve it!

Not much excitement for the weekend, but that’s okay, since I’m getting relaxation. I’m still living vicariously through my dog, Bixby’s imaginary life! Here’s my latest Canvas creation:

He is part Chihuahua, after all!

Gee, I remember the nights in my 20s hanging out with friends, then heading for the TacoBell drive-thru. I don’t even dare eat their food anymore!

That’s what I am up to. How’s your weekend?

Weekend Coffee Share , in Metaphors

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m moving like a conversation with a true Southern grandma on a hot porch. So I guess this calls for tea. 🙂 Have whatever you like.

Part of this long conversation on the porch would include long pauses, allowing one to take in the scenery, which is beautiful. It’s not the Mexican Riviera, but it is beautiful nonetheless. If you decide to love your life, it must be an unconditional embrace of the ups and downs and quiet moments of greenery, sunshine, or moonlight. In my humble opinion. 🙂

Chai tea the way I like it on the porch.

Yes, my first week of school went smoothly with the students, but I had a setback with the shoulder that involved more inflammation in my shoulder, arm, and hand. I have to use a computer at work but do so sparingly. I’m asking others for help with carrying heavy things and writing on the board. So, this is still a mystery. I will say that I seem to benefit from the energy of my 6th grade students and younger colleagues, so I’m grateful for that! Humor is an elixir that helps me survive each day.

An appointment in 10 days should give me some answers on the shoulder situation. I was quite teed at my primary doc’s office for never answering the phone this week and headed to a Care spot instead for help with the inflammation.

I feel like the man in the movie who only had 100 words left to speak for the rest of his entire life. He had to make them count. So, that’s my excuse for keeping this short. Honestly, I just woke up and started this on my phone. Half of it is through text to speech. LOL. I guess one benefit of text to speech is that it forces a person to really speak clearly or there will be a lot of ” typos.”

Oh well, I was able to sleep in late today and wake with my dog, my canine sympatico, at the foot of the bed. So I thought I’d keep this short, but it doesn’t seem that short. Such are the best laid plans of mice and men.

How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share: Animals, Art, and Loved Ones

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been a calm week before the storm of teacher pre-planning coming next week. Grab your favorite morning beverage and let’s chat!

It has been hot as the Dickens around here. I’ve had shoulder therapy appointments and one day of helping get 6th graders familiar with our school grounds. I made some calls about seeing an Ortho doc and hopefully getting x-rays. Tuesday evening was a pleasant, fun excursion to the Cummer Museum of Art. Chris, my mom, and I had a taco dinner before we all went to the museum.

My favorite sight was their tree in the gardens.
The gardens and the St. John’s River are in the background

One morning this week, I enjoyed the wildlife on my porch before the humidity took up residence for the day.

This one appears to be shedding!
Huge, but lovely moth.

At the same time part juggernaut and part cuddle buddy, unafraid of huge dogs but frightened by thunderstorms, Bixby does it again. One day, Mom tells me that before I woke up, Bixby was out back, and she was in the kitchen. At one point she heard Bixby outside whimpering like he was hurt. Well, when I woke up and went into the living room, what did I see but a dead wasp on our floor! And Bixby, he’s just fine.

I swear, this dog might be a honey badger!

So, that’s my week in a nutshell. How are things with you?

Morning Meditations (help from Louise Hay)

Woman with busy-brain learns to meditate and focus her mind on positivity with a little help from the right books.

Do you struggle with meditating like I do? Here’s my latest tool.

So, you have a busy brain? You wake up with a drumbeat in your head thinking of all that you need to do, or you struggle to get up and feel positive about your day in any way? Have you tried meditation, they ask. Ha. My busy brain struggles to meditate and needs all the help it can get. Here’s what’s working for me lately.

Last summer, my holistic friend Kim gave me a lot of journals and self-health books. Since I love books, self-help books and journaling are both things I love to spend my time with, and being a teacher on summer break allows me exactly that! I started last year with the Soul Coaching, 28 days book with focused each week on one of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Believe me, I had a few seriously negative things that I needed to get through last year, but I began to open my eyes more to God’s blessings all around me and to learn more about myself and my spirituality through them.

This year, I am using the Affirmation Journal by Louise Hay pictured above. It really centers my mind each morning on positive things that exist in my life and helps set up my mood for the day. Things are going quite well for me this year, but summer is a time I could be dangerously lazy and develop serious kinks in my neck from reading on the couch or sitting at the computer for countless hours, starting with breakfast even. Being my age, I at times struggle with focus as well and may have 20 tabs open at once, so starting my day with breakfast and writing in this Affirmation Journal helps me to get centered with a positive mindset. Another goal I have is to be more active and have several breaks from sitting, writing, or computer time. So, getting centered in the morning helps me all around.

Sure, I could Google positive thoughts or daily affirmations. No, never mind, I can’t. I would be distracted by the latest drama between two celebrities suing each other over their broken, toxic marriage, or even by Amazon telling me what I should buy now. I could read a Bible passage and reflect on that. No, some of those passages are quite confusing. I was raised on the Bible, and it has its purposes, but if you’ve read it, you know it’s confusing. I’ve had preachers preach that you can’t just pick and choose what passage you wish to read. Sometimes I do agree, other times, I may seek it out. At any rate, I have found this book helpful as it asks for my interpretation and reflection on each thought.

Here is an example based on the thought: “I now accept all good as normal and natural for me….”

I think this entry had a lot to do with gratitude as well, but accepting good things for exactly what they are has been a struggle for me at times, having “busy-brain.” I just want to share what has worked for me lately.

Blessings to you all for a happy week and great summer!

Weekend Coffee Share, Succeeding

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today’s cup is a donut shop brew, and man, it tastes great with vanilla creamer and a cacao ashwaganda powder blend ( more on this later). It’s quite a warm day, but I wanted hot coffee, so why not? I am really overdue for this.

I’m proud to report that Summer Break has started, and I’ve already had two celebratory naps in three days! My sleep schedule is going very well. I also made my first trip to the beach for a one hour beach walk with my friend Judy yesterday. The sun was hot, but the breeze was lovely, and the conversation always just flows between the two of us. I feel very successful at enjoying summer break so far!

So far, I’ve had extended breakfast time each morning, enjoying my cereal and fruit with juice and either coffee, chai tea, or green tea. I’m trying to write in my affirmations journal at breakfast time instead of perusing social media or daily news. It should help my relaxation! Considering, news and social media lately has been all about deadly shootings and a celebrity studded abusive relationship. Seriously, who needs to ponder those things delay? Makes it hard to enjoy your life

I’ve started a trial of a cacao ashwaganda blend in coffee or a cup of tea. Ashwaganda is supposedly good for anxiety (and sleep as a result), hot flashes, and achy joints. I will say, I had it in my hot green tea a few days last week, and the day I had to move around and clean up my classroom, I felt I had the energy and strength that was needed. Of course, I was a little sore the next day, but I think I should probably expect that. So, I’m hopeful. I just need to pay attention to how I feel and recognize if it’s really helping. Has anyone out there tried ashwaganda? What were your thoughts?

My dog had a visit to the vet Thursday, and his report was good, though his nerves were awful. Thankfully, his bordatella vaccine was oral. I brought up his snarling at night, and the vet indicated it was a “grumpy old man” issue. Not a big deal. 🙂 I still need to get him to the dog park and let him work out some energy. 🙂

Season 4 of Stranger Things is my current streaming habit, which is entertaining, but the first two episodes weren’t totally connecting with past seasons for me. There are plot holes, but I still love the characters. If you haven’t watched seasons one through three, you’ll feel sort of lost. My boyfriend was asking lots of questions. On the horror scale, it is great, though. I’ll give it that, and I plan to watch the rest.

Overall, I’m feeling great about summer break. It only took me one day of feeling listless to transition to my summer self, and that may have been sheer exhaustion as well. I’m going to love the next two months of freedom! I hope you all have a great weekend and a happy summer! I can’t wait to have some travel experiences to share. 🙂

Weekend Coffee Share, a Gen X-er Re-purposing

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m sure you could share a more exciting life, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, so let’s share!

I’m with the dog on the back porch with my Zen green tea, taking in sun on my legs but not the face. You see, I’m suffering from eye strain and sensitivity today, whether from computer blue light effects or the sunlight. My eyes are sensitive to the sun, for sure. It’s ironic, how we pine away for some sunshine on the gray days, and then must protect ourselves from it when it shows its full glory for days in a row.

Full glory certainly describes the sunshine here in Northeast Florida. These last few days have been so beautiful, with temperatures that didn’t cross the 80 degree barrier! Maybe I’m feeling effects of too much laptop/ phone time, because I wake up with itchy, dry eyes. Allergies don’t help. I spent my cereal time ordering a Lutein supplement.

No worries, I now have 3 sun hats for my summer cruise vacation; two are sort of hippified*, and the other is safari style. Sunhats are a must at my age! I’m ready for everything. I’m also supposed to go to a baseball ⚾ game with my boyfriend tonight. So, a nap is in order. Must rest those eyes!

*Hippified: evidently I have just coined this term, though I thought I’d heard it before.. It means they seem to be a throwback to hippie styles. Vintage is always in, right?

Flashback to my Bahamas cruise in 2006. I supported local business by saying yes to getting some braids on the beach.

I seem to be avoiding writing a lot lately due to the requirement of sitting at a chair and staring at a screen for so much time. The ideas are coming though, here and there, and I write them down a few words at a time in good faith that I will later elaborate on them and sketch them out. I mean, so much can happen in a diner; people from all walks of life cross paths, and futuristic time travelers are bound to meet up with some very objectionable technology at first sight. See, part of writing is the zinger of an idea that pops into your head.

The other half of good writing is the self-discipline and organizational skill to sit down and flesh those ideas out, organize them, tame them, make them make sense, rewrite them into a harness; harness those wild mustangs….or they’ll be gone forever. It’s all changing for me, but I’m glad I wrote a lot when I first started, as I learned a lot too. Maybe my purpose is changing a little?

I’ll keep you posted!

How has your week been? What’s knocking around in your head? I really can’t wait to have some travel to write about!

Weekend Coffee Share, 3/26/22

Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the explorer. And I am relaxing after having slept in late when my back started screaming at me. My drink this morning is a Tazo Zen tea, a green tea which actually does have caffeine but not as much as a coffee would.

Maybe it seems strange that I am not drinking coffee during a weekend coffee share, but I am just trying lots of different things lately for my health and my stress levels. Both of these are intricately related at any rate.

My weekend started out pretty low-key, and I was a bit tired after my work week, so I ordered in for dinner, and just laid around with my dog and later watched Netflix. I got to see my son playing with the dog which was fun to watch for a while, before he went out to dinner.

Spring is such a beautiful time of year, but I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of last year. I’m trying to remind myself of how far things have turned around with my son and my family, and if the people who helped me through those times. It is a work in progress. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy, but it is tiring me out.

This is just where I am at the moment, I don’t mean to complain! My boyfriend and I are planning a vacation for this summer, and that has been fun to plan. The end of my school year is approaching, so that’s a good thing. At the moment I am contemplating what my exercise of the day will be, and it is sure to involve some yoga, because maybe that will help my back. I probably need a good amount of stretching.

It seems that pain is quite a distractor, and my teaching job requires a huge amount of multi-tasking. I must have pulled my back in the last day or two, becuase yesterday at work was rough during my classes, when two kids need help at the same time and often interrupt each other. They say we must train them not to do that, but it is a process that needs so much repetition. Anyhow, my main goal is not to let pain stop me from moving. A physical therapist once said that mine is a stability problem and not a mobility problem. Sounds believable, so I plan to do more yoga at home with an online site called Yoga Collective.

I’m still finishing up the audible version of Wuthering Heights. Bronte definitely created some twisted, messed up characters and relationships. It isn’t a book to rush through, though I feel the best parts were earlier in the book.

The sunshine is inviting, so maybe I’ll heed that call! Have a great weekend everyone, and a great week to follow!

Weekend Coffee Share, January Exiting

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It is not quite 40 degrees yet here, with last night in the 30s and a wind chill in the 20s. We’ve had unusually cold weather here in Northeast Florida lately. Since I had hot coffee yesterday, I’m drinking green tea with ginger today.

If you follow my blog, you know that I don’t drink coffee everyday, and I’m a believer in health benefits of green tea. Today’s tea is Tazo green tea and does have a caffeine content, something I prefer in the morning. 🙂 What is your morning drink of choice?

With this recent cold weather, I’ve felt like being in semi-hibernation mode. Rarely is it this cold for so long in my area. My sinuses have been a pain, but I never have a fever. Being an allergy sufferer, I chalk it up to that and just add Mucinex to my routine.

My dog Bixby is in need of a haircut or trim, but I’m letting him keep his fluff through this cold weather. He is a cutie and a great companion during the cold spells. I just have to let him out to the backyard and try to walk him at least once a day.

Every morning with my dog is a little bit like Christmas. Once he’s ready to get up, I’ll say “Wanna go outside?” He responds by jumping off the bed and trotting to the back door. I let him out with the door slightly closed with a sliver of air; once done, he comes barreling through and trots back in. He always seems to leave the door open. He’s so fun to watch! He’s overdue for a dog park visit….as soon as it warms up again, hopefully in February!

January is over soon, and I’m fine with that. February is short, and then March brings Spring Break for me and milder weather at some point. Work keeps me really busy, as always, so it’ll pass quickly, I’m sure.

In January, I read two books: one was The Curse of Lochness, obviously about the Loch Ness monster, imbued with all sorts of local lore and myth. Quite interesting, but chilling. I found the book through an Amazon search of books about Bigfoot, which cross-referenced with other books of folklore and monsters, a subject of interest. The other was a novella introduction to a series called The One Chosen: the Diadodz Short Story, which I’d found in a Christmas online event for the Rave Reviews Book Club, of which I am a member.

I’ve also been re-reading Wuthering Heights since December. It’s a classic that always stuck with me for the characterization of Heathcliff and Catherine. There is so much exposition, that I cannot read too much of it at once, so it’ll take a while, but I’ll continue. In the meantime, I’ve started an espionage story that hopefully is fast-paced. I’ll tell you more later!

My Netflix habit is quite active, what with the semi-hibernation mode I seem to be in. My son and I enjoy watching Blacklist; James Spader is a dynamic actor! Mom and I like to watch Grey’s Anatomy, and Seinfield is a lifelong love of mine that will keep perpetuating itself! I am almost done with the whole series that I started shortly after it became available on Netflix.

That’s my life for now. I hope you all are well, and please keep warm! I’m pleased to see we do have some sunshine today, at least. We haven’t had much of that for about a week. Good day!

Weekend Coffee Share, What Works for Me

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s 38 degrees outside, but it’s warm and toasty in my house. We Floridians are not so brave with cold weather. Most of us, that is. After eating cereal, I’m drinking green matcha tea in my quest to be healthy. I ran out of half-caff coffee today and don’t think I can handle the full throttle coffee more than 1-2 times a week.

It seems to me that I have to drink copious amounts of water if I’m habitually drinking the coffee ‘zilla.’ Otherwise, my legs may bother me. Yeah, I know I sound old. I’m pretty sensitive to the slightest changes though, because I don’t want small things to get worse. I intend to have an active body for many more years. Movement is very important to me at this point in my life!

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

For breakfast, I had Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran, mixed with Great Grains with blueberries and sliced banana with turmeric mix powder sprinkled on top in an effort to maintain my fiber, energy levels, and address arthritic pain. Two servings of fruit, one of grain, and one of dairy. The Nature’s Path has an overall rating of close to 5 stars, but the flakes look like think carboard cut into flakes, hence the reason I mixt it with Great grains, something I’m familiar with, which makes it more acceptable to me. The Nature’s Path is expensive, so I might not always buy that.

My boyfriend thinks my breakfast habit sounds atrocious, but it’s really healthy, and I consider it a simple, yet comforting feast on a daily basis. He’s never been married and has lived alone without a female influence for a long time. He’s trying to be healthier now, due to my influence, so he says. He’s approaching 50. 🙂 When we went to Savannah recently, we ate in a Bed and Breakfast with dishes inspired by Indian influences. I loved the spices on their potatoes! He is allergic and had to get the spices left off. I think I was affected by turmeric at first years ago, but I never had dangerous reactions and seem to have developed a tolerance.

I’ve been compared to Sheldon Cooper when it comes to my dietary habits. So be it; I know what works for me! I love Thai food, Mediterranean, Chinese, and sometimes Mexican as well as usual American favorites, all with mild spice. However, I bought a turmeric ketchup recently and love it on my grass fed burgers at home. (Who knew burgers could eat grass, right?) 😉 Still, when I go to these types of restaurants, I usually order the same thing. I know what works for me. Having been told I had a slight milk allergy encouraged me to avoid cheese frequently. Some say I obsess over food or seem a little O.C.D. about it. Hey, it works for Sheldon, why not me?

On the writing front, I am tired out from the day job and don’t do much on the writing front currently except to jot down ideas, and I still have them, thank God! I wrote a second installment for Crossroads Diner, a runner-up in Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest, and now have an idea for a third, that, yes, I have written down! They could all be read as stand alone. I love the idea of many flawed people, some holding up a perfect facade, others carrying their scars outwardly, all coming together by chance to rectify themselves or make their way.

Ellie is still in my notebook, crossing paths with Malachi, who has made it into publication since almost two years ago! You can learn more about my writing and books at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716

Next week is Literacy week, which got me thinking about my writing and where I am going with it. I am investing in several different genres now. I still don’t know if I might streamline it and stick with just one. It seems I am largely writing for myself and my moods, and it is cathartic quite often. I’ll have fun talking about books I’ve read and learning what my kids like to read next week. It’s time for me to get out of this chair though, and get a little exercise for the day. Tomorrow, I’ll have a massage to prepare for the week.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, Grateful!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog It’s sunny today, but temperatures will be in the sixties. My morning drink is match green tea, since I had coffee yesterday.

It’s a great week to be grateful, so I’ll organize this post into 10 things I’m grateful for.

1. I’m grateful for two days off followed by this weekend! It gives some good time to pause and reflect.

2. I’m grateful for family, and Thanksgiving gave us time to spend time together. It was different, since my ex-husband was at out dinner, but it all went well. My mother cooked a great meal, and I helped.

3. All of us, when given a chance to speak our gratitude, are so grateful for my son being with us at the table and doing well in his life right now. He, my mother, and I, walked to Starbuck’s yesterday for a coffee. That was my only contribution to Black Friday. I love the atmosphere at Starbucks, including the jazz music!

4. I’m grateful for my dog, Bixby, an important member of our family!

Dog yoga!

5. I’m grateful for my friends that are constantly there for me, and that includes my companion, Chris, and I’m thankful for the twists and turns that helped me reconnect with him. I’m thankful for several friends who helped see me through a tormentuous family issue this past summer. I think I learned to reach out, and I have not regretted it!

6. My job is a blessing, and I am grateful. I’m able to share my gifts and help others appreciate things that I love, such as reading and writing. I’m glad to be employed and to afford things I need, although I’m becoming sort of minimalist with finances. I don’t spend money just to spend anymore. One day I’ll need a retirement strategy. 🙂

7. I feel gratitude when walking through nature, usually with my dog. We’ve actually had some seasonal colors and a recent cooldown, albeit a mild one.

8. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and for the people who have commiserated with me on this writing journey so far. I’m not sure what the next turn is; I’m really feeling a minimalist change in the wind, and considering Kindle Vella. Anyone have experience with this? If you’d like a taste of my fiction writing, I have two books that are currently .99, Detours in Time (always for .99) and Undercurrents in Time (ending Monday, 11/29). https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716

9. I am grateful for this blogger’s community! Many here are writers, whether full-time or on the side. Some of you post here regularly, and I’m thankful for your thoughts on my posts and for what I can learn from your posts!

10. Last, but not least, I am grateful for my health! Recent checkup tests have been good, I eat fairly healthy, and I’m about to go to the gym with my son today.

Current mystery: my hair believes it is straight again. 🙂

There is so much I can’t control, but acceptance, humor, and an attitude of gratitude are helping me to see the best in whatever comes my way!

Peace and blessings, my friends!

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