#Weekend Coffee Share. Dogiversary!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com!

I hope you don’t mind being sniffed! My dog is very curious around new people. Don’t worry about setting your coffee down; he has never tried to get into my cup and seems to understand the need to sit around and take one’s time with a cup of java.

Life has been busy like usual, but I had some time with old friends Thursday at dinner, and then Friday was a day off from work, so I had lunch with some old friends who have now retired, and we did a little shopping. It was a slightly indulgent day, but the best part was the laughter! I really enjoyed myself.

When I got home, my dog came running to the door to see me, as always.  He manages to always make me feel loved and missed.  Tomorrow, it will have been four years since we adopted this furry bundle of fun and days later, were allowed to bring him home!

It was Nov. 11, 2014.  Work was super-stressful for me.  My son was going through some personal trouble and had dropped out of college for the first time.  He was not working and seemed depressed most days.  I was feeling inadequate as a mom.  I’d write poems now and then to express my feelings, but nothing longer than that.  I had stories inside of me but didn’t know which story I could share with the world, or how.  My hand and arm would get sore from typing I did at work; I wasn’t sure I’d ever write the way I wanted to.  I’d thought of having a dog before, but the thought of having another mouth to feed and a living thing that needed attention just seemed like nothing but another responsibility. Still, my son was alone at home during the day, and people with dogs looked so happy and active.

So, Mom and I talked about it a lot.  She went with my son and found the sweetest dog in the puppy room.  He wasn’t a puppy, but rather three years old, and just too small for the big dog area.  Mom came home and said she was in love.  If we got a dog, she really wanted Bixby.  So, having a day off on Veteran’s Day and with Jacksonville Humane Society running an adoption special, I took my son up there to see this dog.  Mom was at work.  Guess what?  She was right.  He was special, and such a sweet dog.  The sign said “pomeranian mix.”  It was mostly in his tail.  🙂  He was skinny with a choppy haircut. The worker lifted him out of the cage; he seemed scared.  We got into a visiting room, and he sniffed like crazy, then peed on the floor.  I started the paperwork.  He let me hold him briefly, then got up to pee on the floor again.

Bixby21110141504-01 Upon meeting: Skinny, curious, and a little hopeful but unsure.  

I’d have to wait two days, because he was on a stray hold.  I requested the neutering, and they’d give him any other shots, etc.  I hated leaving there without a dog, but going back was exciting!  I’d already bought a leash, but learned it was not a good leash, so they gave me a plain, cloth leash.  I paid at the checkout, and my son held the dog.  He was an excited and scared canine.  “Get me out of here!”  “Wait, where are we going?  Is it better there?”  And then there was a defensive pit behind the cashwrap next to the cashier who barked back and forth with my dog and even lunged a little.  It had been abused and her hair was following out, due to stress, the cashier said.  I don’t think it would have fared well out with all the other barking dogs.  Poor girl.  We held on tightly to our new dog.  Finally, we were leaving, and I had to let him down to walk, but it was awkward with him on a leash.  Maybe he wasn’t used to one.

We came home and surprised my mother.  (The three of us live together).  “Oh, Mom, I have to show you something.” The dog, sniffing around like crazy.  My mom was so ecstatic when she saw him.  He was sickly for a few days, maybe due to the switch of dog food or the neutering procedure, but we gelled as a family.  I took to walking him and being awakened at sunrise by the dog to take him out to water his favorite lamp post.  The fresh air was good; seeing sunrise was wonderful.  Walking him at night was good exercise.  I really enjoyed this.  There are three of us here, so I usually only walk him once a day now.  It seems I was able to handle the responsibility; I just needed to make room in my life and in my heart for this.  I think it made my heart bigger.

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My son did not take to the dog ecstatically; it was just another responsibility.  A few times, he asked why I wanted a dog.  I told him it was fun, and it was.  Our first time at the dog park months later was the cutest thing. Bixby loved it, but my son just took a long walk.  Now, years later, he plays with the dog more, and if asked, he will walk him.  He smiles when playing with the dog and when hold the leash if we go to the trails to walk.  It obviously has enriched his life as well.  The dog will be in my mom’s room at bedtime, and sometime in the middle of the night, he seems to end up on my bed.  I tell people he loves us equally.  He has two mamas to spoil him, and my son to play rough with, as well as my boyfriend who loves to play chase with him but also will stroke his belly.  Bixby will stay still at least an hour for a good belly rub.

BixbyAttentionSpring.1511017189_10204309156118039_5310059356135541166_n  Winter fur.  We normally keep him trimmed! 🙂

Since getting the dog, I have added several other things to my life, such as service to my church and writing and self-publishing.  I think getting Bixby was just the start of it, helping me to say “Yes, I can do this” and to make time for wonderful things that are rounding out my life and who I am as a person.

So, this ends my dog-centered Weekend Coffee Share.  My Cold brew Con Leche was delicious.  I hope you have enjoyed your choice of java as well.  My dog is currently at the front window, guarding me from whoever had just walked by.  You’ve got to appreciate their efforts to love us, calm us, and protect us.

 

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Bixby is the star of my short book, From Lost to Loved, a Stray Dog’s Tale.  I tried to imagine why such a great dog would ever be a stray.  It makes a great gift in paperback for doglovers young or old (Age 8 to 98+), and has a happy ending.  If you want to read it first on your own, it is in Kindle for free for a limited time.  Find your Kindle copy or order a paperback at: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Loved-Stray-Dogs-Tale-ebook/dp/B073XTV2JF

Lost to Loved

A wonderful experience of combining two things I really love!  Have a great week!

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#Weekend Coffee Share. Of Coffee…. and Books!

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8 a.m.- Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com! Today is the day of my first ever book-signing, something I have been dreaming of since I first decided I might like being a writer at age twenty. Pardon me if I am a little distracted….I will be adding to this post later, after the book signing, so that I can tell you how it went! For now, I have half a cup of coffee with cream, as I am sure to grab a cup later at the coffee shop directly across from the bookstore, San Marco Books.

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I’ll be signing my novel, Detours in Time, and the sequel, Undercurrents in Time. Detours in Time is my pride and joy. Undercurrents is also special to me, but with a different tone and focus. It’s like knowing you want liquorice, but today you want red liquorice, and yesterday only black liqourice would do. I’ll be signing the books at a lovely little indie bookstore in the best of areas, sitting at a table at the front of the store on a beautiful day in Florida! Excuse me, I need to stop talking about it and actually do this!

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10 p.m.- Okay, so the day is now over! I had more than half a cup of coffee. However, I had no more than that. A friend offered to get me something at the sandwich shop across the street, and I asked for sweet tea. It got me a little wired. Perhaps that was due to my already being nervous and excited. It worked out though. The weather was wonderful. I had lots of supportive friends come out, some I hadn’t seen in quite a while, and I talked to plenty of new people about my books, passing out postcards with my website info. This one friend really surprised me though:

Turns out, a few of my friends surprised me by wearing t–shirts they got made just for the occasion! My heart was aflutter. Just for me? I have the best friends in the world, and I feel so loved! They gave my mom a shirt as well, since she is my number one supporter and fan!

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This day was a dream come true. Do you know just how long I’ve dreamed of this? My heart is full!

Follow the current Weekend Coffee Shares here:  Weekend Coffee Share 11/03

#Weekend Coffee Share. Of Introverting, Business, and Balance

Weclome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali WordPress. I have so much going on in my head I can’t type prose right now!  Nor can I churn out an emotional poem. Perhaps I am using the other side of my brain more this week?  Grades are due in the next week, and I have been pulling my hair coming up with personalized plans for my students to make strides in the reading standards for English Language Arts.  Yes, it’s a little analytical for me.  But I’ll get it done!  Add to that the online course I am taking.  Ugh…

There is good news, though:  a Book signing is scheduled for my first full-length novel, Detours in Time, and I will also have some of the sequel, Undercurrents in Time at the book signing on Sat., Nov. 3rd, 10 am to 2 pm at San Marco Bookstore in Jacksonville, FL, in case any of you are in town!  I’m excited, and I’m planning, thinking about marketable tactics, planning a good night’s sleep the night before. (Hope it works)!

So, this weekend is that of an introvert’s lifestyle.  Analyzing data, working on personalized plans, and grading while sitting in the living room with my son watching “Logan,” a tale of the aging Wolverine.  I love to nerd out.  Luckily, I’d seen it before, or I’d have to put the work down!  I suppose this counts as quality family time with my twenty-two year old son?  After he went to bed, I chilled out with Netflix’s “Maniac,” a truly weird, yet engaging tale.  Last weekend, my boyfriend and I discovered “Unbreakable” from 2000, and now I want to watch all the others in the series!

In all this, I have been feeling the aches of arthritis pain this week, and I skipped yoga again!  Big mistake.  A little walk this morning made me feel better though.  Yeah, it’s truly an introverting weekend, but don’t read me wrong.  I am planning a lot of socializing in November and will have my conversation face on for the book signing!  I love talking about my books!  Overall, I am still going.  I can’t stop.  My big break may be just around the corner, or, I may be working on the side hustle until retirement allows me to write full-time.  Either way, I can do this!

Thank you for the visit.  My coffee really energized me this morning, and I am well-rested after last night!  I hope you feel fueled this morning as well.  Have a great week!

#Weekend Coffee Share. A Poem for Every Emotion.

Cappuccino, Coffee, Cafe, Empty  An empty cup means we have filled our hearts with fellowship and companionship, no matter how briefly.

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com.  I am full of emotions today.  Full of love for my job where I can share my love for reading and writing with some cute, young, sometimes challenging, and at times, fun students.  Full of disappointment over my hurting arm and hand and the brief stop my writing has done for the time being, therefore this is a short post.  I’m also full of confusion and despair over the turn our country is taking for women.  Yet, I am full of hope that we have some control over the way things will turn.  The wheel keeps on turning.  I am simply going to draw a little picture here:

Freedom, (c) 2018

We are not considered the ones in charge

Yet, we are full of power

We are the thorny plant and not the flower.

We are the wild brush of the jungle.

No longer tame,

no need to be restrained.

When I hold my tongue to spare your feelings,

Or sit, thinking I can’t reach the ceiling

I have believed all that they said

Politics have ruled my heart and head.

When I am too diplomatic, my thoughts sour

Stuck in this headspace, a day or an hour,

so here, I’m going to spill it on the table

Let it form it’s lovely colors, if it’s able.

If you’ve listened, and really heard

You are my friend by deed, and not just word.

 

Thank you for hearing me out.  I think I needed this.  I hope you all have a lovely week.  Visit Alli’s blog to share your own post or to visit others! https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/category/series-of-sorts/if-we-were-having-coffee/

 

Avoiding Bottleneck. #WeekendCoffeeShare

 

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Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

Welcome to the Weekend Coffe Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli.

This morning, I woke up with a song in my head by Alt-J, and that is a good thing!  It’s called Dissolve Me, one of their more relaxing, upbeat tunes.  I am now playing music by Lana Rey, one of my current musical obsessions, and my coffee is not done yet.  Hope you don’t mind.  I’ve gone light on the coffee this last week.  Perhaps I need that to stay calmer and mellow right now.  I certainly need a calmer stomach.

You see, this past week was a storm of esophagal proportions.  No, you wouldn’t normally put those words together, but… that’s how it felt.  So I took Monday off. Then, I went in to work Tuesday morning and….went home after noon, head spinning, stomach still hurting.  Yes, I brought work with me so it wouldn’t all get stacked up with more work at school.  After some grading, I slept much of Tuesday afternoon and night.  I missed yoga this week and did not see the chiropractor, two must-haves in my current search for calm and well-being.  I think we all need to seek calm and well-being.  Just look at the national news.  Gladly, I missed out on every little detail, but people are posting daily in reaction to this news of the Kavanough fiasco.  Some, several times a day.  It’s almost too much to fit into my head, but I want everyone to understand something.  Women used to get shocked by the reality of their gender and what they had to accept.  Then, they would just give up.  Now, all of that is changing.

Now, I suppose my politics will shine through here despite my being very general and vague on what my political stance is.  However, people are vilifying the woman for “coming forward now.”  Perhaps it’s because his face is plastered all over t.v. as the latest nominee for Supreme Court?  Makes it hard to forget past events.  Makes it hard to forget someone who wrecked your young life, if he is guilty, of course.  I am sick of this world making villains out of accusers, before all the facts are out.  I am sick of seeing young, white men let off the hook because of being ‘young and stupid’ or having ‘affluenza.’ Yeah, they can stick that word somewhere south and let it never see the light of day again.  These things are up front in the news much more lately.  Why?  Because women won’t just take it like we used to.  Maybe the tides are turning.  Maybe women will have enough support to stand up and speak for what has happened, because I sure feel it never used to be that way.

So, while people were posting all over social media their opinions of this latest news fiasco, I have been posting daily a photo of a once banned book that I have either read and loved or actually taught in school.  I am proudly in support of intellectual freedom, of people having the right to tell their stories for the purpose of either sharing truths or revealing universal truths wrapped in fictional whimsy.  As a young one, I learned of horrible realities in the pages of Stephen King’s fiction, but I also was presented with incredible heroes who fought evil and stood up to their fear.  I think my mother wanted that for me, and therefore, did not limit my reading material, and I am all the better for it.

Okay, my plan was to relax a little today, but I think I’d better let my coffee cool since I got a little warmed up with this post, unintentionally.   My friends, please do not obsess over the latest news, there is so much more to life.  There is so much more to you, and me.  Your side may win or lose.  There are only so many things you can change, and posting every 30 minutes on Facebook is not going to change it but will only add to the hyper-stress of this modern world.  I will speak my peace, but I will leave it there and concentrate on other things as well…my dog, my family, my spirituality, physical well-being, the busy work of my job and the inspiring moments of teaching, along with great books, and writing!  Writing, something I don’t do enought lately, but there’s this post. 🙂  I apologize if this was such an outburst.  Sigh.  But I feel better having shared with you.

By the way, I haven’t been writing much as I am so busy, but a week ago, a wrote a flash-fiction in response to a photo that is a nice little get-away.  Care to take a glimpse?  Flash Fiction FFfAW

Have a great week, everyone!

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Full Cup, Please!

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Welcome to my 9/15 entry for the #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  Please  bring the beverage of your choice, or enjoy a Gevalia Keureg coffee like I am having.  I know I am not the best hostess, but you’re here for the conversation, right?  😉

Thank God it’s Saturday!  It has been a busy week, with full cups of coffee daily!  Monday, I went to the chiropractor after my day of teaching, which is something I’ve been doing weekly for about a month. I went to a chiropractor before, but it has been three years. My only thought is, why did I put this off for so long? I always feel so much better after leaving there, except for my neck, which I have to hold steady and face it straight ahead for a few hours. The neck always seems to need adjustment and is much better the next day. So that is something for my health that I added to my schedule. Tuesday, I went to work in a skirt and sleeveless blouse for a morning meeting, then after work, I stayed and had a small dinner on-site so that I would be ready for Open House that night. This meant I was on-site at school for 12 hours that day, which is a little too much for me.  The rest of the week, I didn’t do much outside of the work schedule, partly because grades were due Friday.  I probably brought a little more paperwork home than usual. Ugh.  My wrists have bothered me for for a little over a week, and I really feel that today. I think it’s arthritis and/or my body is reminding me how old it is getting. Thanks, bod! However, I am making adjustments today so that I can write!

I have decided to bring out my Dragon headset again. This was a gift from my mom about four years ago and it lets me speak my thoughts into the microphone, and then edit later. I haven’t used it in a while, probably because of the misunderstandings it seems to have when I speak. Trust me, they are minor, and I have my hands crossed comfortably while this post is actually getting written. Perhaps Dragon will help me get a lot of writing done without much pain to my wrists. Believe me, I had really put off writing for a while due to the discomfort I had felt starting probably four or five years ago. However, when I look back to that time, I also realize there was probably a little bit of depression going on with me, and that can really paralyze one’s dreams and goals. I just kept thinking, this will only get worse with age; there’s no way I can keep working.  How can I write that book I want to publish?

At any rate, today I am thankful that I pushed past those feelings.  I think I hurt just as much now, but not as much inwardly.  My inner voice tells me, “Crap, it hurts, but I’ve got to get up and do as much as I can today, there are lots of people worse off than I am!”   Whereas, that voice used to say, “Why do I have to hurt so much? I can’t do this, I can’t do that….”  Well, now I’m doing it anyway.  Mind over matter.  I have heard that as we get older, we get more stubborn, and I think pain is all relative.  🙂  However, I realize I do seem to get cranky more towards others, or maybe I have less patience due to chemical/hormonal changes.  Well, it’s natural, and I do try to think before speaking.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I am pretty patient with my middle-schoolers; after all, they are middle-schoolers!

So, I didn’t get much writing done this week, but I got a student newsletter finalized for my Journalism class!  I am so proud of them and their work.  I got some beta reader notes for my short prequel story starring Milt and Tabitha from Detours in Time, so I hope to be working on that in just a few minutes.  I am working to make this statement come true:  “If you dream it, you can do it.”  I have so many writing ideas for the next few years!

On that note, I am off to editing land.  I hope you all have a great weekend and a great week, and thanks for stopping by!  Visit other Weekend Coffee Shares from the blogging community at Eclectic Ali.  Namaste and God bless!

Weekend Coffee Share. BE YOU!

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com.  It has been a good week, but I am going to be somber for a moment.  I want to share my sorrow and respect for those killed and/or wounded in Jacksonville, Florida at the shooting last weekend.  A place I have frequented for art shows, music concerts, or just river gazing was shot up and turned into a danger zone.  It is a sad day and age when a sick individual can ruin a fun day over a video game tournament.  That others had to lose their lives or run in fear to safety saddens and maddens me.  It also fuels me as an educator.  Trainers and Admin. have been reinforcing that we need to establish relationship with students, and it has never been more important than in this day and age.  Just asking if they are okay when you sense something is off could make a difference.  I truly believe this, and I am trying to infuse it into my daily practice.  It starts young.  I can understand a child’s belief that society sucks, especially when hearing of such news events, but I never want a kid to think that there is no one at all who cares. It is a scary world we live in, and that means, even more, that we need to be a light in this dark world for others.

Dancegiphy You are beautiful.  Be you.

I do not intend for this focus of this week’s coffee share to be a shooting, or the village’s responsibility for an individual child, including our lone wolves.   I’ve previously written on this subject due to my experience with the lone wolf in my family whom I am still trying to encourage to be an active member of society and to develop bonds with those other than myself.  I am seeing hope there, though.  🙂  I want to say that “Lone wolf” does not mean a sick mind.  It could mean so many other things, besides the autistic or MI spectrums.  We are all individuals, and everyone deserves respect.  They also need love, whether they show it or not.

Having said all that, let’s come up for air.  I attended our middle school’s dance last night and was amazed and inspired by the diversity of attendees and the smiles on their faces.  Little sixth grade girls with pretty dresses, eighth grade girls with army fatigue pants or skinny jeans, dyed hair, braided or plated hair, hair brushed perfectly straight, kinky hair, me with 5 o’clock tired hair,  hoppers, dancers, chasers, and observors.  Booty-shakers and twisty dancers.  It was wonderful, because everyone that was there belonged there.

I look back to my youth and remember that I did not attend a single school dance in high school, though I wanted to.  Something kept me from going; I thought I didn’t belong.  I think I was depressed.  I also wanted to try out for cheerleading, baton, and something else, but I never did.  Somehow, I talked myself out of it just as I did with applying for jobs until one day I took a terrifying drive (that I almost talked myself out of) to my first job interview for my first job.  Things were hard for me at times.  I don’t know if I just needed to kick myself more often or if I needed a voice, a mentor, to guide me and push me, tell me I could do it, and if I didn’t make the team or squad, I could try for something else.  I joined a Pep Club and didn’t really speak up or participate much.  I just know what it is like to be growing up and to feel so terribly awkward.  I wrote poetry, which helped, but I hid it away from everyone.

I have also had a rough time in the last 5 years, dealing with family events.  Until one day, something wonderful happened and I got to see my favorite poet of twenty-five years speak in front of a group.  I felt special.  I thought, “Why did this happen?  Will I win the lottery now, win a trip to Italy?”  Was it a sudden stroke of luck?  No, it was God speaking to me right in the most special corner of my heart, where my love for Literature resides.  I was inspired to write, to produce, to enter contests, and ultimately to self-publish.  This was my route to feeling better about life, in addition to a lifelong reading obsession.  If I lost a contest, I kept writing and entered others or found another way to share my writing.  God gave me this, and sometimes the only reason I do it is to keep my mind and my heart whole, as the use of my imagination is the greatest high-on-life experience ever, but I can do a lot better for the world when I am in that state of mind.  My hope and prayer today is that those out there feeling lost will find that one thing that erases all of the negativity and embrace it.

Thank you for reading this far!  If you want to know more about my writing, please visit My Published Books which also contains a link to my Amazon author site.  You may also want to join the Weekend Coffee Share or see other shares: Coffee Share at Eclectic Ali , 9/01