Weekend Coffee Share, Family, Friends, Food, and Art

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair for a coffee chat!

It has been a busy week with my health goals and work. My personal time mostly involved paying bills and trying to consciously relax myself in order to sleep at night. Part of that process has been essential blue oils and breathing exercises. One night it all worked, the next it didn’t. The night I added yoga to the mix made falling asleep easy! I still woke up way too early, though.

Of course, waking and then tossing and turning is a result of my shoulder issue. However, Wednesday afternoon the orthopedic doc gave me an intra-articular steroid shot through into my shoulder joint. Well, the next day I could move it more, and my spirits sure felt better! I’ve been assigned to 5 more weeks of physical therapy.

Hopefully, it all works so I won’t need surgery. Good thing I did get some relief, because Friday, I coordinated picture day at school. It was quite a busy day, but I had some student helpers and other staff also helped. I was glad when it was over!

My son is starting orientation for a new job Monday. Such happy news! We celebrated with a good dinner Thursday.

Besides having my son’s job to celebrate, I’m glad to report that this weekend was packed full with activities designed to de-stress and relax me!

Saturday was a great day for a massage; I started with green matcha tea and juice, ending the day with a dinner of Japanese Hibachi with my boyfriend. Sunday, I had brunch with some gal pals, and it was scrumptious! I hadn’t seen some of these ladies in a few years, so it’s great to have a regular brunch meetup with them now. I had quiche, grits , salad, and an indulgent cup of coffee ( a rare treat for me these days)!

Yum! “Broads Who do Brunch!”

Later in the day, I had the honor of attending the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit. Our neighbor got us tickets. It was a beautiful, touching experience, and I’m so thankful I got this chance!

Beyond Van Gogh, in the Jax Downtown Immersive Art Space.

I hope you all have a great week ahead!

Paper Stars and Green Fizz, #amwriting

From a prior prompt at https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2022/03/01/march-2022-writing-prompts/

She taught me that it was okay

To give my brain a break

And let my hands take over.

When I failed the goal,

We laughed, and I tried again.

I didn’t notice my brain working,

I only heard it humming

As my fingers danced

Along the paper folds, then shook up

The bottle, creating a mess.

She helped me clean it up

And make it beautiful,

Trusted me to create, and praised

My creation that I insisted she keep.

The next day, I listened

With pencil poised,

Ready to do equations…

But I’d already learned

The most important lesson:

I could do whatever I sought to do.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2022

Weekend Coffee Share, Surprises or Subtle Transformations

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Come sit on the back porch with me for your morning beverage of choice. It promises to be a slow-moving, sticky Southern day here in North Florida. What would we discuss if we were having coffee today?

Well, Bixby has sniffed around and has already retreated to the house . He certainly doesn’t miss his stray-dog days! Though, he likely will come out again. My drink of choice today is cold, green matcha tea. I am allowing myself to move quite slowly. I hope you don’t mind the pace. Stop a while and relax. I have cardio later, but it can wait!

I’ve had plenty of time lately to take in my surroundings, to stop and smell the roses. Sitting on the porch provides a lot of lovely views of nature. I haven’t seen as many birds lately, but there are other sights.

I’ll be praising the rain again later today. It sure pleases the plants!

This week, I did a little bit of writing for continuation of my short story, Crossroads Diner #205. I hope to extend it to novella-length. Again, slow-going, but I am not fretting over that. I’m allowing myself to move when the muse moves me, and to work on other things when it doesn’t. I am still journaling daily this summer as I eat a slow, relaxed breakfast. It is so good for my relaxation levels.

My journaling experience is accompanied by affirmations by Louise Hay in her journal titled A Garden of Thoughts. Coincidentally, I’m taking an online course on teaching students with special needs, and we are currently learning about Growth Mindset, a very important thing, and I am feeling more enthusiastic about my job and this training than I thought…but let me tell you about my growth in regards to journaling.

Journaling is a part of many self-help programs: AA, chronic pain (TMS) sufferers, etc., because self-reflection helps a person look at how they dealt with things in the past and how they can change it. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and a chronic pain sufferer. Admittedly, I still suffer frequent arthritis pain, and just saw the doctor for a steroid shot in my shoulder this Wednesday. The journaling has really helped my mindset. I’ve often in the past felt like I was less of a person or didn’t deserve great things, that it was just the way it was. That I was limited. I think I addressed the shoulder pro-actively, as I plan to stay active and now I’m stretching it a little more each day.

Breaking out of self-limiting mindset is extremely important. Each of the affirmations in A Garden of Thoughts is highly positive, and I can’t always believe all of them, but I have my own take on them, and I am glad to see the words. For example, today’s affirmation: “I celebrate today, another precious day on Earth. I shall live it with joy. Today I am a new person.” Yet, I just couldn’t agree that today I was, or even ever needed to be a new person. Still, I am not the same-old me. I am much more relaxed than I was six weeks ago, no surprise there.

It does feel like I’m celebrating every day by taking time to smell the roses. This is something that summer provides me, so it’s not entirely new; it is cyclical. I am so habitual. I have my routines: a slow breakfast of cereal heaped high with fruit, a little turmeric powder on top, and more recently, Reiki music during breakfast, and the journaling habit which helps me stay off the computer until after breakfast.* I do feel my stress and intensity melting away a little more each day. My thoughts are: “Today, I am even a little more self-accepting; today I am just a little more grateful, less fearful, and more in love with my lot in life. ”

Each day, I am growing less rigid about outcomes and more determined to enjoy the journey and those who are with me on this journey. I am setting my expectations free, because now is a break from the rat race, so this is the time to do so, and I am getting better at that gradually with each passing day.

No big, sudden surprises, but the gradual realization that I am in love, that I love myself even more, and that I can handle this world and this life, perhaps even handle it well! I’ll continue to celebrate it daily. Perhaps when I return to the ‘rat-race’ this fall, I will maintain this mindset.

Thank you visiting me for a coffee (or tea) chat. What’s new with you?

Weekend Coffee Share, Lazy Summer Lounging

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This last week was very relaxing and maybe even lazy, once I got the vacation laundry done. There were two days of teacher training, however, but Friday gave me a renewed chance for lounging. 🙂

Schultz Center, training and conference center.

The training we received was very informative. Despite English teachers having new standards, new curriculum, and a new text, I left with the feeling “I can do this!” The lesson plans are more clear, and the text completely links with our new state standards, so I’m quite happy with this! I also had a great lunch with a teacher friend at the Garden Cafe!

Since our vacation, I’ve had a sore/stiff shoulder and my boyfriend has a knot in his back muscle near the shoulder blade. For me, it was likely from doing a backstroke while lounging in the Coco Cay waters. For him, it’s definitely from carrying luggage that included my cosmetic carry-on . We both seem to agree that vacation was still worth it!

Here, I’m wearing my obsidian necklace from Chichen Itza, Mexico from Chris. Hard to tell here, but it’s a Tree of Life.
Journaling is part of my summer writing plan that helps me work on mindfulness and gratitude!

On Writing

I wrote probably one page this last week on Ellie, the Time Traveler. I also jotted down thoughts and ideas for continuing Crossroads Dinner #205. I’ve really been distracted by the shoulder. However, I’m still journaling by hand almost daily. Here are some thoughts on being part of the rhythm and flow of life:

From the July 1st prompt: I heard in a pain podcast, “Don’t be fearless, but fear LESS.” (Pain Free You). My thoughts are that we cannot help but to have feelings, but we can try not to over focus on them. This morning, it’s easy for me to trust the process of life. I know all my loved ones are safe, and I’m sitting in a room blessed by Sunshine peeking through my blinds.

Grasshoppers are making joyful noise out in the day as the temperature climbs. It is peaceful. I am noticing it all. On cloudy, rainy days, I need to also spend more time noticing, just observing, because it is also a part of life’s Evan flow, the cycles of nature. I can notice what’s around even if it’s not what I wanted or expected without judging, even if it changes my plans. The dance of nature is so awesome to observe!-PC

That’s where I am right now. I see my doctor about the shoulder next week and will have coffee with a writer friend Thursday. It is sure to be at least a two hour coffee chat! Have a great day, and I hope you find time to relax. Bixby certainly is a guru at this!

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!

Bixby, the Wonder Dog

A true story.

Once, there was a dog at the Humane Society who was loved by all. They named him Bixby. One particular family fell in love with his sweet nature and sad, puppy-dog eyes that begged for a home. So they adopted him and gave him a home, much to the regret of many others who were considering adopting him. He hated living behind the bars amid the noise of so many barking and crying dogs and charmed any who seemed they could potentially rescue him from such a life. This time they came back. Timing is everything!

Bixby lived his life knowing that he was truly a huge personality lodged inside a small body, think of a chihuaua mixed with a fox. He barked loudest at the dog park, because he know he could take any of those big dogs on the other side of the fence; He was tough.

A visiting friend once joked that he wasn’t a real dog, but was more of a toy dog. Bixby knew he would prove them wrong. This friend came to visit once, and Bixby was let out of the door. He ran toward the visitor then across the street with the sudden urge to urinate. Once relieved, he ran back, only to run into a passing car. Being a small dog, he was under the car without catching a blow, except for a cosmetic plastic piece that hung down and dragged him a little. He squealed loudly, the car stopped, and Bixby got free!

To my shock, he ran toward me with renewed energy. I didn’t see what happened, but I heard the squeal of the tires and my dog’s startled scream. The driver had stopped, and he came out of the car with concern on his face, “Is he okay?” he asked. Bixby was running around the yard in excitement, so much going on! He didn’t even bark at the driver, who then asked, “Are you okay, little guy?” He reached down to pet the dog but Bixby was just running around excited, possibly on adrenaline. All I could notice was he had some fur that was coming off in one spot, and I touched it, but he gave no sign of pain.

My friend told me about what he saw and remarked, “You know, that is one benefit of being a little toy dog. If he was a large dog, he would have been struck down.” This little dog who earlier wanted to jump in my lap at the coming sounds of a thunderstorm was running around as if to brag surviving a car running over him…”Yeah, I survived, that’s right!” He needed to survive; it’s not time for him to go. We still need to be around to comfort each other.

Fearless!

Weekend Coffee Share, Get into the Spirit!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today, I’m having a fruity V8 with green tea. What’s your beverage of choice?

No snow, just Florida sun!

‘Tis the season and Merry Christmas! It feels strange saying that in the midst of weather that reaches a high of 80 degrees. Yesterday I was out in it. I chaperoned a group of 7th and 8th grade NJHS students ringing the bell for Salvation Army outside of a local grocery store. We were sweating for sure, but they kept it up, ringing the bells. I started singing Christmas carols, maybe because I was growing delirious from the heat…or maybe not. 🙂

Too hot for a Santa hat, but I wore my best festive mask!

Good thing I went to bed early Friday night! I was tired from this whole week of school and finishing grades. In fact, one evening, I went home and ordered my dinner through Door Dash so I could put my feet up while I waited. Thursday at 6 p.m., I attended a musical production of Matilda Jr. put on by several students in our school, many of whom I teach or have taught. It was fantastic, and they gave it their all!

The spirit of minimalism lives on in my household! I am content with this tree that fits into our home that houses three generations, mother, adult son, and grandmother. The amount of gifts is just right. However, I received a Christmas check this weekend. What’s the first thing I did with it? I ordered a green Christmas t-shirt. 🙂 Well, I wouldn’t have done that otherwise, and why not spread good cheer?

Okay, the Weekend Coffee Share is late, and it took me three sittings to complete it and then to remember I had to finish and send it. It’s my Winter break, so deadlines are a little fluid. I had a massage yesterday and then rested a while before having dinner with my boyfriend. My one regret about this post is that I could not join the inlinks for the Weekend Coffee Share community. You might be surprised to learn the temperature right now as I finalize this is just below 60. I hope you all have a great week, and a Merry Christmas of happy holiday!

Weekend Coffee Share. Lit!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today is half-caff coffee day for me. Enjoy whatever you like, and pull up a chair for this virtual cafe-chat!

Coldplay sets the musical ambiance, and my once-again-fluffy dog wanders about, summer haircut growing out. It has been a nice, cool few days here in Northeast Florida, but today feels warmer. Still, it is lovely out. Autumn is here. I enjoyed a Thai dinner with my friend last night. The sun set through the window as we ate, conversed, and laughed. It is setting earlier these days. Sometimes that’s the main indication of a season change in my corner of the world. I’m sort of used to it. 🙂 My ‘friend’ is a young man I dated 2o years ago, and we re-connected a few months ago. I think we are good for each other at this point in our lives.

This last week was full of activity, and I’m keeping quite busy lately. I’m running the yearbook club this year, and meetings with students will start Monday. In National news, last week was #ReadaPoemtoaChild week. I have a Poe t-shirt, so I read a poem by Poe to my class, a lesser known poem called The Magician. My students loved it.

My life is Lit! 🙂

I asked a student to take pictures. The kids loved it! My teacher friend next door read a poem by Maya Angelou and dressed in a lovely African-style print, touching on the history of our nation at the time the poem was printed. She incorporated some Civil Rights background. It’s really awesome when we can all communicate and pull something together like this on our own. Sadly, so many days we’re too concerned about ourselves and what’s going on behind the doors of our own classrooms.

Still, now and then the magic comes together. So, we keep taking chances that it will work. We must try, right?

As far as writing, I am so busy with life, and I don’t like sitting at the computer for too long. There are ongoing ideas that will be finished further down the road. However, I am getting ideas for Janie and second chances, so that is the basis for my new writing idea, which is a short story, length to be determined. Janie is in my published short story of this summer called Crossroads Diner #205. Find out more about this Kindle story here, which also has a theme of second chances: https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN

Thanks for stopping by for a brief chat. I am off to get a hair trim soon. Monday is picture day at school! Have a great week, everyone.

Weekend Coffee Share, Fall Frenzy

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a day for matcha green tea, since yesterday was my half-caff day. I am sticking to the green tea routine with coffee as a treat maybe twice a week. Sleep is more important to me these days.

The weather report was promising rain, but the sun has been peaking in and then fading out this morning. I think rain will come later. My week was so busy, I hardly had time to read, and writing seems to be just sporadic these days. This pandemic and my teaching job seem to cause a special kind of stress, and since I’ve dealt with stress a long time in my own ways, this was also a week for sciatica and on/off back pain. I may have to get back to using the Curable app or at least following meditations on Youtube. Yes, I have been the kind of person who internalizes stress or anxiety and holds in anger or resentment. I’ve been trying to deal with it, but then, sometimes I get too busy.

I can tell myself I have an important job, and that I am making a difference, but I have to maintain the downtime for myself. This is most noticeable with the Back-to School swing. I had summer off and dealt with a lot of things in my life, so now I’m busy again. This weekend is a respite. I saw my (new/old flame) boyfriend last night for a delicious Italian dinner, and today I am getting a pedicure. Outdoor time may be in order, since the sun is holding steady currently. I’m still relaxing after breakfast, though.

There is not much that’s interesting to share except that I’ve been enjoying my students in the Newspaper Club, who write about what they want and accept editing suggestions gracefully; boy, do they ever love to write! It’s refreshing. I’m sponsoring the Yearbook Club, and we’ll start meeting and get geared up on the 27th. Work was been hectic with grades due last Friday and then an online Open House in the evening this past Tuesday. I’m working on time-management and have a true need to work-smarter-not-harder.

I’ve been reading a fiction book about Bigfoot. I may explore the whole series, it’s kind of interesting. Books have to catch my attention these days, and it is easier for them to lose me, a result likely of the pandemic, all that is going on, and maybe because of my age and how I handle my stress and responsibilities. As I said, writing is sporadic, but last week I posted a poem in response to the Ragtag Daily prompt. View it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/a-kaleidoscope-rdp/

This morning, I received a notification from a genealogy site I belong to called Family Search. I used to be all into that sort of thing; I have a lot of family lines from different places and love knowing ‘where I’m from’ and about my ancestors. My paternal aunt lives in Utah and has been very active in searching those family roots and introduced me to Family Search. All I have today is photos, one from mom’s side and an ancestor from the Denmark line, and one from my dad’s line from the Johnston’s, a relative from England but of a line that could be also Scottish.

I love looking at these old photographs. I haven’t been as active in searching these things as I was in 2013, but they send me hints, so I know I have some living relatives who are cataloging and collecting, so it is very worthwhile for me to belong to such a site. I used to try to construct the background stories of my ancestors. I think that’s what got me started in writing fiction. Historical fiction is also very interesting to me.

Well, I had plans and ideas for today, but I don’t stick to a constrained schedule on Saturdays, except that there’s a 3:00 appointment for the pedicure. I hope you all have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share. Where I am

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today was a green tea day for me, and very much a rest and restore day. Yesterday after work, I got a cold tea at Starbucks and sat outside, since the air was breezy and nice for a change. Their inside seating was closed off anyway, thanks to COVID.

Time to rest and restore. I deserve it. I got my exercise this morning and walked the dog for a while. The fresh air was great once again.

A post came up in my Facebook memories feed that I’d like to share. I’m sort of in a peaceful place with life and acceptance right now, but I realize I need to stop expecting something bad to crop up, and I certainly need to disengage from COVID news or mask controversy! Maybe more gratitude is what I need.

I wrote the following post when thinking of the lotus and all it represents: “Be the lotus flower and rise out of the muck. Don’t be ashamed of your low beginnings or that you were underwater last week. Be all that you can be the minute you feel the sun on your face; embrace your beginnings or your dark yesterdays, for they brought you to where you are right now.”

Yes, this is where I am today. Gratitude. I think I should ponder on that again.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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