Weekend Coffee Share, Virtually Social

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  It’s half-caff for me, with creamer and honey to boost my immune system.  Not that I should worry, I’ve been social distancing quite well and wearing a mask in public.

Last night, I invited three teacher friends to a Zoom card party called Cards Against Quarantine.  It is very cheeky, inappropriate fun!  One of the gals lives in Hawaii now but is moving back this summer, so we talked a long time after the card game.  I’m not used to staying up that late, but it was great fun.  I’m glad I downloaded that game.  Otherwise, it’s mostly work, work, work and streaming shows or movies these days.  I do manage to keep exercising, though.  I got my mile in this morning on the Gazelle.  Got to stay healthy!

On the topic of health, I went for x-rays Thursday.  I should hear from my doctor next week. I don’t think there is a tear, so perhaps what I feel is muscular.  I’m steal reading about the mind-body connection.  I am a personality type that holds a lot of tension in my body and often find it difficult to shut off my mind.  Yoga helps, but I skipped it yesterday due to feeling limited with my arm.  I am on the computer daily because of teaching online and have not spent much time writing my next novel.  That will certainly come this summer when I have more free time!  In the meantime, I bought playdough to play with and create things.  I also plan to schedule more online card parties or ‘girls’ nights’ for sure!

School ends in thirteen days. I hope to plan a fun last day in a Live meeting.  We discussed sharing poems and perhaps making one into a song.  One student volunteered to play guitar and another to play piano in the background.  I think it will be a melodious, joyful way to end this crazy school year!

I do hope you all are well and will have a great weekend.  If you are interested in any of my books, check them out at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716  or find my latest, a great place to start, at Malachi, Ruse Master

In a few days, look for my post about writing 9-11 and COVID-19 into my novels!

Weekend Coffee Share, Looking on the Brightside

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I had a nice morning sitting outside with the dog with my coffee, then a little exercise to follow.  I am reflecting on my health today, my personal improvement progress, and my writing journey.  Grab your favorite beverage of choice and pull up a chair!

You can see Bixby loves the fresh air and hearing the breeze and trees!

In book news, Malachi, Ruse Master, my latest book, got a 5 star review and seal from Reader’s Favorite. It is a sort of cross-genre, and while it certainly fits the Young Adult genre, it would be well-love by readers of any age from teen and up.  See reviews details at my earlier blog post:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/malachi-ruse-master-earns-a-readers-favorite-5-star-review/

 

Limiting words and thoughts: Hmmm, like pain, stress, anxiety, tired. I am not a sufferer, but rather, victorious and resilient. I know I can do this even when I falter. I am still working on it, a work in progress , we could say.

On the topic of health, mental and physical, I have finished the Prednisone medication for my shoulder (rotator cuff impingement) and received an x-ray order. I will go in the next two weeks. At the start of this week, I was feeling so weary and pained, and the medication he gave me along with a higher dose NSAID made me feel loopy. Afternoon naps were necessary on Monday and Tuesday.   It was slightly better at the end of the weekm though.  I am still working on the mind/body connection when it comes to chronic pain and just finished reading a book on the subject.  It really involves looking inward at your stresses, pressures, or past negative emotions. It is called The Mind Body Prescription by Sarno.  I am sure to read more books on the subject.  It encouraged me to make a list on the things that bother me. I now have another book on the subject but can’t recall the title. I will share as I start reading.

All is well with my family, and I am still teaching online.  There are just short of three weeks left now.  A lot of students sent me kind messages in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, and I loved it.  I miss seeing them.  The computer is not the same, but we will all grow this this, and I hope they know I am still there.  

I do hope you all will enjoy Mother’s Day tomorrow!  Mom, my son, and I are planning on having a seafood meal and perhaps a walk in the park, not too close to any crowds.  Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share: Set back, but Still Moving Forward

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  It’s half-caff for me today, and whatever you would like, since we are doing this virtually.

I’ve had a slight personal setback, but it won’t stop me.  After a slight accidental discovery 2 weeks ago (that I cannot do exercises that involve my arms above my head with a 3-pound weight), I consulted the doctor yesterday. It has been hurting for this full two weeks, and my mobility seems even more limited in that arm.  The doc says I have a rotator cuff impingement. It does not feel good. I’ll be taking Prednisone for a few days hoping to avoid a steroid shot. I have to go light on the weights, but I’ll just find new ways to move this arm and shoulder. He showed me some stretches I should do that do not involve weights.  I’ll still do online pilates barre tomorrow, just without weights. 

We also had a scare this last week.  My mom had horrible heartburn and pain in her chest.  She said ‘It’s just my esophagus, I’m sure,’ but I insisted she call the doctor Monday.  They said she’d better go to the ER, ‘just in case’ there was something going on with her heart. At the ER, they decided she needed a stress test, so she waited overnight at the hospital in a room. Her test was in the morning, results didn’t come back until after noon, but her heart was fine.  She has to see a surgeon about her gallstones, though. We’re just thankful it is not her heart! With all of this social distancing, I feel really close to my family in my home.  Sadly, I could not visit her in the room.  I am just glad that little scare is over!

In book news, my most recent book,  Malachi, Ruse Master got its first, and it is 5 stars!  This same reviewer stated that I seem to have made an “artistic leap” with this one, and I find that quite a compliment!

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“Malachi is a living, breathing character, likable, flawed, believable, who grows in wisdom page by page. I lived his adventures with him, sympathizing with him as he faced his dilemmas.

I read almost the entire book in one sitting, stopping only after midnight had come and gone. Now I look forward to Pamela’s next book.

I heartily recommend this book. If you have not yet read the Detours in Time series read this first. Then look for Malachi again.” -Steven, Amazon Review

Malachi, Ruse Master is deeply character driven and connects to Detours in Time book 2 (Undercurrents).  As the reviewer stated, you wouldn’t need to read any of the others first.  There is a lot of mystery in Malachi, Ruse Master and just a hint of sci-fi; it is telling Malachi’s story. He’s a twenty-year-old trying to find his way and his place in life.  What ensues is quite a roller-coaster ride!  You might like it.  Find it here:


https://www.amazon.com/Malachi-Ruse-Master-Character-Spin-off-ebook/dp/B086VYJYZX

I thank you for stopping by and reading my blog post! How was your week? 

Weekend Coffee Share, an Island

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“No man is an island” -John Dunne

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali. It has been another week full of Live meetings with my sixth graders, the usual online teacher stuff, a broken down computer, and self-publishing a book, which made for a happy break from loneliness or monotony. So, I ordered a new laptop. I use the work laptop, but the microphone does not work, and I’ve been too lazy to take it in to the designated repair center. I’m happy about the new book. One regular reader has told me I’ve taken an “artistic leap,” as it focuses on one character, a young man going through his identity crisis after dropping out of college and obtaining a job where lies and pretending earn his pay.. Give it a look if you like! it intersects with some characters and events from undercurrents in time, but it can also stand on its own.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX

In the last month, I’ve had a pain flare-up, likely due to stress and fear. The news stirs my fear, and going to the grocery store in a mask is weird, but I do it. I feel like I have severe OCD, anxiety, paranoia, and agorophobia. Well, 80% of the world also does right now. I do have arthritis, but there may also be something else. I did so well after physical therapy at the start of this year, but the pain is back intermittently, and I aggravated it by going gung-ho two weeks ago trying a new exercise with light weights. Turns out I should not ever lift anything above shoulder level. 😦 No one told me that; I had to learn the hard way. )

It is relevant that I am currently reading something by Sarno about the Mind-Body Connection. It’s quite interesting, about how emotions or past trauma can cause or prolong chronic pain. Also, certain personality types are more prone to tension-myositis. When I explore these ideas, I feel more in control. Though, I am not really, but I feel it becomes possible.

Family

I am blessed that I have my family here, though. My 78 year old mother, and my 24 year old son. He had his birthday last Sunday and we took a walk in a park just he and I, then came home and my boyfriend came over and we all ordered a great meal from Outback. I bought a cheesecake the day before, so we pigged out on all of that. My dog is also great company in these times; he seems to enjoy having us here, since Mom and I are always here, and my son is here a few days a week since he is working between 20 to 30 hours a week.

My dog has been anxious, though. Perhaps it was because of a stormy day the other day. He seemed to really like energy, or maybe he was preoccupied. And when the storm started, he was very on edge. I had walked him for, and noticed stickers and his leg, so I tried to get one out and he snarled and snapped at me. That is unusual. I kept telling him it was okay and then he started licking my hands as if he really felt sorry. He’s really a good dog. His age in dog years right now would be about 58, sort of young to be a cranky old man. But maybe he’s getting arthritis or something like that similar to what’s going on with me.

My mom took him to the vet, and she said everything looked kind of normal but based on what we had told her she was going to do some blood tests. We are still waiting on the results, but also based on what we had told her, she gave him a chewable medicine and I’m just going to call it doggie Prozac. It seems fitting. He’s in really good spirits today, but not really eating much. So, we pray there is nothing really seriously wrong. He was a stray for three years before becoming hours, and I know there were some hard times, it was evident when we first brought him home. I consider him to be a dog with PTSD, God bless him. I love that dog.

Last night I stayed up a little too late watching Homeland on Showtime with my free trial. I am definitely hooked on that show, as it has many twists and turns and OMG moments. It was a treat to myself to binge watch something again, as I can’t do that much during the week. I do try to take at least two yoga classes per week and I exercise on the back porch about two times a week, trying to stay healthy. Balance, right?

As I mentioned before, my arm and shoulder are kind of bugging me today, so I am writing this via speech to text on my phone. I do need to go back and check for errors. I hope you all have as good a week as possible and taken some sunshine. If I have not visited your weekend coffee share today, please feel free to leave your link in the comments area. I can visit your post via my phone. I’m planning to take it easy today. 🙂 Sending a virtual hug!

Weekend Coffee Share: Paint me Strong and Free.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.

This week, I have seen the past two years of writing and story building come to fruition. I hit publish on the Malachi, Ruse Master paperback last night, and the e-book has been put on pre-order this past week.  This book is an extension of Malachi, and intriguing character from Detours in Time, Book 2, and follows him through his story and his intersection with Milt from the Detours in Time series. Through 4/22, you can get the Malachi, Ruse Master Kindle e-book for just .99 on pre-order here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX
Today,  I am tired and my arm hurts. I’m surviving, since living in my head suits me fine, and I can’t imagine adjusting well to a regular schedule again. I’m enjoying online teaching and the interaction with the kids who do show up, and I try to find ways to streamline my work.  Today is arm day; it will be long and drawn out at my own pace.
I’m publishing a book but can barely find the focus to write and read these days. I think I’ll just record my thoughts. What do you think? It’s about a girl who escapes painful, difficult situations by flying around the room.
“Come back down here now!”
“No.”
The best, safest state of mind is a mix between reality and imagination. Take what you like of reality and paint it in the colors you would wish to see, like a starry night sky, like me swimming through the cosmos. Take what you don’t like, and paint yourself conquering it.  I wanted to create this scene with play-doh, but it will take a month to arrive from Amazon.  Hmmm, maybe I’ll still do it. 🙂
I have lost nothing in this pandemic but the old routine, and I have gained more time to look inside myself and examine my old habits and coping mechanisms, something that could help me to change for the better.  Or, it could all help me decide to change my surroundings.  This time has led me to embrace myself, thorns and all.  May you all gain something out of this time confined to your homes.  I extend my warmest thoughts to those who are experiencing loss.  I’d also love to hear if you all have ideas coming forward for you with all of your extra time.  I don’t feel I can put them into action yet, but tomorrow could be different!
Our mayor opened the beaches here in North Florida yesterday evening, and I see the crowds of people on the news. I envy them, yet I cringe. I could never forgive myself if I brought home this virus to my 78-year-old mother.  So, I am staying put.  Maybe I’ll walk the dog later.
Have a peaceful week!

Weekend Coffee Share, Greetings from My Little Corner

 

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Morning, Day 14 of Social Distance Haiku by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c)2020

Morning birds sing out

Mankind has taken a pause

Breathing and waiting.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.

It’s a beautiful morning, and it’s poetry month, so I thought I’d share a haiku reflecting some thoughts on nature (and mankind’s place in it).  I took a nice walk twice around the block in 83 degree weather this morning, sun shining and nature in all of its glory.  There were a good number of people out, most on their own.  A man with his child in a stroller waved at me.  A boy on a bike was riding me way but then turned around in a circle.  Good move, I thought.  Socially distance yourself.  A woman was walking my way, talking on the phone.  She seemed oblivious to me.  So I moved to the sidewalk on the other side of the road.   Still, it was nice to be out in this wonderful day.

I feel a little cut off from this community, since I have been trying to get a grip on the online teaching requirements and methods our county is using.  Still, I have to tell you, it has been overall positive for me! The students are so polite online, and I’ve received several e-mails from parents expressing appreciation.  I wrote a post on Medium here, this is a link which does not require membership:

A Day in the Life: Teaching in the Coronavirus Era 

I am learning a whole lot from this experience, and while we owe the doctors and nurses of our world a debt of gratitude, I am pleased to feel as if I have a purpose in this whole situation.  It is good for my mind.  I am also trying to exercise regularly; I take yoga or pilates online a few times a week. The outdoor walks are also helpful, providing my Vitamin D and a feeling of well-being.  Hearing the news does not help.  I only turn on Netflix and try not to look at any news reports more than once a day.  The stress and anxiety do not help me sleep, you know.  I started The Witcher earlier as I love to watch Henry Cavill, and my son and I sometimes watch Money Heist together, though he is way ahead of me!

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and I will be viewing my church service online.  Maybe I will wear a dress, just to get a sense of normalcy.  When I have to go to the store this week, I will wear a mask and gloves.  The mask was bought for me last year when the flu virus seemed bad; I work in a germ factory being a middle school teacher, but there has not ever been a germ like this.

My manuscript, Malachi, should be ready for release in 2-3 weeks.  My formatter got it formatted, and I need to check those files and get the paperback cover done.  It’s happening!!! I am excited.  We all need something to read right now.  Please stay tuned….

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Malachi is a college drop-out who just lucked out and fell into an unusual job, once that promises excitement, a good rate of pay, and the chance to put his acting skills to work.  Will Malachi do anything for a dollar?

I am still sort of working on the description and bi-lines for this book.  Malachi is sneaky, a great actor, and really good at lying.  He also needs a good meal.  The book is somewhat of a young adult/new adult book, appropriate for those 16 and up.  Malachi gets a chance to find out who he really is.

I hope you all have a great weekend with family or loved ones, practicing your social distancing and staying away and safe from coronavirus.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share, Surviving Sequestration

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  I only had half-caff today, but it really invigorated me, maybe because I finally got at least six hours of sleep last night!

I have made it through week 1 of online teaching! Our school district was told there would be no return to school until April 15th, but I suspect it will be longer than that.  I worry about our world, I worry about strangers I pass by in the store, and I worry about how much worse this might get. But I am really happy that I am able to connect with my students again and have some sort of influence on their lives and how they view their world.  I’ve seen students helping each other while online when I can’t reply to their questions right away, and they seem so grateful to be able to chat with me on our educational platform, too!  For a brief while, I forget what is happening outside.  I try to focus on the positives and tell them some jokes.

Sent from a student in the Microsoft Teams chat after being told to start on The Giver or read a book they already have at a set time daily:
“Can’t wait for reading I have a good book to read!” Another messages at 1:50- ‘Yay! Reading time!’**

They warm my heart! Do they know how such things keep me going?  I’ve tried really hard to distract their minds from world news and fill their heads with imagination and art. A number of parents e-mailed me thanking me for being so positive in my educational videos, stating that my videos make the student feel part of a classroom again, somewhat back to normal. Though I admit, I did not teach anything new yet except for how to navigate a new learning platform and turn in assignments, and that is likely the way it should be.  

The above shows my go-to hairstyle these days.  I have canceled hairdresser appointments two weeks in a row.  I am afraid to be around people in that close capacity right now.  My mom is 78 and I don’t want to bring a virus back to her!  I re-scheduled for two weeks from now.  We’ll see.  Meantime, I am growing my hair and putting it up.  I am trying to take at least two yoga or pilates classes online per week and to do ab exercises along with my arm/shoulder workout every other day.  I’ve found many helpful online exercise videos, too.  So, my health is holding

After watching my church’s service online, I went to the grocery store this morning, and guess what: no toilet paper.  I have some on order from Amazon, and a friend ordered extra through some other shopping app.  They told me at the checkout that I could not get more than two of any particular canned food item.  I wish they had started that with toilet paper before this whole fiasco first happened! Sadly, I had 8 cans of Chef Boyardee since I wanted to donate some of them to a Food Bank.  The cashier apologized and said they were just being really strict about that.  

If you are interested in a dystopian/apocalyptic story, you can download my free short story here at https://bookhip.com/HPNJFT  It is called “They Shall Inherit the Earth. I also started on a love story, set in these times of Coronavirus.  It is a little more hopeful and should be available next week or so, and will also be free!

Take care my friends!  Stay healthy and stay sequestered.  We can do this!