Weekend Coffee Share, 8/01. It’s Not Over Yet! Summer, 2020

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  Grab a cup of whatever is your preference! I am having half-caff and Advil this morning.  Miles Davis plays in the background. I’m getting a haircut later and a massage tomorrow.  I don’t know if I can afford it, but I do have a credit card. 🙂  Enjoy the ambience for a little while!

It has been a week full of doctor visits and annual check-ups as well as a shot at the orthopedic surgeon’s office on Tuesday.  Remember, it takes a village. 🙂 The shot was in my shoulder joint (intra-articular shot), and there was a numbing shot first, after which I did not feel any pain nor did I know when the actual steroid shot occurred. The nurse on my other side asked me something and we got onto the topic of returning to school to teach, and that I am learning a few ASL signs for when I need to communicate but have my mask on. We discussed the signs we know and then, it was all over.  They did a good job of distracting me and keeping me calm and cool.  I just lay around the rest of that night and had slight discomfort from it the next day. I was back at physical therapy on Friday. I’ve been working hard on that for 7-8 weeks and it may end soon, but I’ve been told with frozen shoulder I need to keep working on it at home; it may take a year to fully resolve.

I am so done with feeling old and want to do stupid, youthful things again…read that as fun things.  Nonetheless, we celebrated my mom’s 79th birthday Thursday night and I was able to cut my own steak! It was very tender, I will admit, but still a win! A month ago, I couldn’t quite do that.  I am not writing much lately as it’s hard to sit down for very long.  Whether this is a new focus issue or me avoiding sciatica, I can’t say.  I will say that I prefer to get up a lot to take breaks from the computer. It probably is a result of the online teaching I did this Spring.  I did publish a nice poem on WordPress this past week in response to the Ragtag Daily word prompt; it was about our human condition and the current world situation. View it here: By Design, a Poem

20190530_200427 Me and Mom (2019). She has many more years left!

I had lunch with some retired teachers yesterday and then later chatted with a current teacher friend about my health ailments.  I also developed a mood yesterday that hasn’t been helped by lack of sleep, (which just became problematic in this last year and may be due to hot flashes and overthinking, go figure), so I have decided that getting old sucks.
I want to develop a ‘getting older’ attitude that says “I am wise, and I know the little stuff doesn’t matter.  I know my day can be GREAT without brushing my hair or buying the most expensive makeup.”  I want to use this as an excuse to be silly, do zany things, and make questionable stylistic choices. I want to break out of society’s assumptions and chains! Aches or not.  I do sometimes worry that I will overstep my limits and hurt myself, but living in fear is not my new M.O.!

Mind you, I am careful, and I sure don’t travel much in our current situation, which is why I’m pondering and looking for physical activities. I suppose it is boredom, mid-life crisis, or just wanting to actually feel I am LIVING while I can. (It’s not over yet, you know). I want to stay active and be healthy, as staying physically active could also possibly put me on a new path, not the path of pain I have felt stuck in for a good 5 years or so, partly as a result of emotions and life stress.  I polled some Facebook friends, and I’ve gotten suggestions such as: horseback riding, paddle boarding, trying wine in every county in Florida (totally doable), solo travel (not sure about that), and getting a kick-start scooter.  We shall see! I definitely want to hike some more.  Summer is not over yet, and I have a little time left to enjoy the beach.

Florida news: In my state, we now have 465,000 cases of COVID according to cdc.gov.  My county has 20, 816 cases.  School is going to re-open on 8/20. Teachers are starting back for planning/training on 8/12.  We’ll see what happens, I suppose.  I for one will have plenty of masks at the ready and I’ll also wear a face shield.

I hate that I still can get in such a negative mood like I did yesterday, but reading the book Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety has been providing nuggets of wisdom for about a month since I started reading it.  This is how I proceed with non-fiction books; I devour a fiction book in a week but take a break now and then to read part of whatever NF or self-help book I am currently on.  Anyway, here’s what inspired me:  “When we fear that ‘something bad is going to happen,’ or when we get upset because ‘everything went wrong today,’ we are also suffering from our own judgments. Refraining from judging and blaming allows us to enter the sacred realm of unconditional acceptance where we are ‘good enough’ and nothing ‘bad’ will ever happen to us.”….”If we truly want to emulate the divine, we will cultivate unconditional acceptance.” So there it is; let’s stop being so hard on ourselves, stop believing the worst, and start seeing the positives in everything! I am working on it.

I hope that you all have a great weekend and find the good in everything you see!  I am going to do my best to put on a youthful attitude.  It just might require a nap this afternoon…

Weekend Coffee Share, Just Sweat it Out!

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

I’ve spent months not sleeping well and getting endless e-mails due to webinars you signed up for but never attended. Free yoga/workout videos.  Mindfulness webinars.  I can read the book, but attending a webinar is just not appealing to me these days.  Journaling has been an awesome task to help mindfulness.  I personally am tired of sitting at my computer for webinars and ZOOM meetings.  I started taking more walks in my neighborhood, in the hot sun, just to move and to sweat, and it also is great for my mind, helping to stop any worry or obsessing.

I’m trying to keep calm amidst COVID fear and worries, as well as the preoccupation with how kids will return to school this August, whether it will be online or in-person, and how we will keep them (and teachers and staff) safe and healthy.  This summer started out with me in a bad place due to my shoulder injury and pain, as well as my mind feeling flaky, spaced out, and unfocused.  Lately, I have been working on a picture puzzle and have made great progress. I  am also occasionally playing a word game on my phone to try and rebuild my focus and intellectual ability.  Worry can really eat away at all of these things.  I can’t just let me mind settle into a pattern of preoccupation with worry, so much so that I cannot focus on things I enjoy or that are important to me.  You know, the fear that surrounds pain, it isn’t so bad anymore.  In 2015, with huge family/parenting stresses and the advent of this arm pain, I went around fearing I wouldn’t live too long.  I remember getting a will.  I don’t feel that way now, and it makes a world of difference!

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On the subject of COVID, I live in Florida, and we are having a boom in COVID cases.  There are still several people I run into in public who do not wear a mask when out.  My state now has more than 300,000 cases. I am pretty careful and wear a mask anytime I am in public, but if I’m outside walking alone or with the dog, I don’t wear one. It is awfully hot, you know.  My son and I went for a free COVID test last Weds. just to ensure we are still healthy.  I wanted to get one before school starts.  It will be a few days before results come back.

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Earlier, I got my exercise in on the Gazelle on my back porch.  It felt so good to come back in and let the air conditioning cool the layer of sweat I had acquired.  I’m using some good habits, and I want to keep them up!  My shoulder issue is getting better, but my arm and hand hurt often and it slows me down from writing.  Still, that is okay; to everything there is a season, and I am not in fear that it will control the rest of my life.  Maybe I am just determined not to let it.  I am still supposed to see an orthopedic surgeon this week because my doctor wanted an opinion.  We will see what happens!  Well, it’s time for me to relax, read a book, and maybe even take a nap. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/04/20. Liberty and Justice for all!

Happy 4th of July, and welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  It has been so hot here in Northeast Florida.  Grab your favorite beverage; I’ve got the AC on high!

This week has been relaxing, yet challenging. I started off with a physical therapy appointment, then had a relaxing coffee get together with a writer friend at my house.  The physical therapy IS, at times, challenging.  More on that later. The coffee was mostly relaxing; we talk about where we are in our current works in progress and what our plans may be. I talk a lot about my shoulder because it has slowed down my writing and my time at the computer. We talked about our loved ones: her grandson and my son.  We can talk for hours! I rarely do stuff like this anymore.  Don’t worry, we were at a good social distance in my house, and I played some good jazz in the background. 🙂

I am making progress with the shoulder. With the guidance of my physical therapist, I am now able to place my hand on my hip.  He encouraged me to move my right hand and arm behind my back, something which I have not done in a very long time and would not have on my own. To think, I used to be able, just 3 or 4 years ago, to reach both hands behind my back in the prayer hands position.  Not any more.  But I’m gradually working through the pain.  I often come back from physical therapy ready for a nap. That is okay! My hard work is paying off! I will get my mobility and capabilities back. I have goals: axe throwing for one.  I may or may not be kidding. We shall see!  I also plan to be able to do more upper body yoga moves, without having to modify so much.  I do have an appt. with an orthopedic surgeon on 7/21.  My hope is that I don’t need surgery that badly.  I will be working hard on my mobility until then!

Of course, COVID-19 gives me a little anxiety and on days it really bugs me, I feel so obsessive-compulsive.  It’s not every day, though. I do still get hot flashes at times, and one day, that led me to take my temperature five times until it finally appeared to be lower.  What is going on with me?  There were no other symptoms.  What doesn’t help, is that our governor is bound and determined that kids will physically be in school to start the year in August.  At my least check, we had 166,000 COVID cases in Florida.  My city and county evidently had a big rise in cases yesterday.  I wish I could go to the beach this weekend, but I probably won’t. I do plan to go Georgia with my boyfriend and see his dad.  I plan to be careful and not catch COVID. I don’t think it is prudent or careful to have all these kids in school. Yet, the district has spent money on plastic dividers.  I guess they’re not even considering us being online for a while.  WHATEVER! I’ll get through it. My friend suggested wearing scrubs, which wash easily, instead of our good clothes. That may be a plan.

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I hope all is well with you all.  We can survive this.  We can even thrive in our own ways. Though I am not writing as much, I am journaling daily to help myself mentally not just deal with, but overcome the pain.  I bought sidewalk chalk and drew little pictures outside my front door.  I plan to do more of this, as well as making a miniature living room out of playdough. 🙂  

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Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

If you’d like to learn more about my books; the first two in the Detours in Time series are just .99 in Kindle format through Sunday.  Click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0711ZW6XF (Detours in Time), or  Book 2 (Undercurrents in Time) at  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DCCQS3N .

Have a great week, and a happy, safe Independence Day!  I feel us gradually moving closer to “Justice for all.” May the tides keep turning that way, and may we hold true to our promises as a nation. 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share, of COVID, Birthdays, and Healing

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali on WordPress.  Today is pretty hazy due to the sand ‘storm.’ It is very hot though.  I am moving slowly, which I guess I can afford to do at this time.  Thank God for lazy summers!

My state, (Florida) when I last checked, now has 111,724 cases of COVID 19.  I go places and still see people not wearing masks.  As of yesterday, all bars in Florida are closed. (Unless 50% of their sales are from food).  Three people that I know have recently stated that they either a. no someone who tested positive or b. have a family member who has it AND has tested positive. The younger generation is testing positive far more often now.  I did convince my fifty-something boyfriend to wear a mask to Old Navy when we went to buy him his birthday present yesterday. I have not been able to convince my 24-year-old son to wear one, even though we have some at home.  Perhaps masks will be made mandatory soon.  I am not going to worry, but I am going to take the precautions, as I have been.

Speaking of birthdays, my boyfriend had another birthday two years ago! He’s now in his upper fifties! We went out to Longhorn Steakhouse where I treated him to a steak dinner and discovered an ‘axe-throwing’ place in the area.  Maybe plans for the future when I have full shoulder mobility?  We both love the age we are, no matter what age that happens to be on any given year; we joked about me wanted to write Pixies song lyrics all over my sidewalk in chalk (scandalous) and him wearing a shirt saying, “In my defense, I was left unsupervised.”  Gen-X is the best!  We both also like to joke about being sore in the morning and waking with aches and pains. Laughter is the best medicine! Definitely an aging thing, but my joke is, when I have a birthday, I say, “No matter how old I get, you’re always older!” 😉

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As you can see, we both love to go for the ‘no-brush’ style!

On aging, I want to tell you that I’m making progress with my shoulder pain.  Three weeks ago, I could not put my right hand on my hip due to the pain of putting my arm in that position. (Shoulder impingement likely affected arm & hand also). With 2 weeks of PT behind me, I was able to finally place my right hand on my hip! (Albeit it at an awkward angle). I can also raise my arm higher!  I am so happy that I’m making progress, and it makes me want to keep working even harder! I was referred to see a surgeon, and I’ll do so, but I am going to keep moving forward as if I did not need surgery, as if staying active and complete the physical therapy will totally heal me.  I believe that it is possible.  Time will reveal if that is all I need, but I am going to give it my all.

As far as writing, it is going very slowly for my work in progress, but I had accepted that at the start of summer due to the pain I was feeling.  The audiobook for Malachi, Rusemaster is in progress as I now have a narrator and we have made a contract.  Woo-hoo!  I have also decided to choose certain days this summer in which I will share a short tale from the blog archives; I have several, and many of you may not have been following me for long.  I’ve been at this blogging habit for four and a half years now!  Life is good. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by! Please share about your life and your week, and if you want to learn more about my books,  please visit Pamela Schloesser Canepa, Amazon Site

Have a great weekend and enjoy this coming week!

The Coconut Village, A Self-Love Story

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I had just spent a whole year single after a devastating break-up.  My job came through with a bonus at the end of the year, so I was going to travel.  The Bahamas became my destination.  Beautiful beaches, 80 degree weather, sunshine, and beautiful people with rich accents would fill my vision and my world for a few days.  Travel by cruise ship was my choice.  As we are stuck in our various hometowns due to COVID right now, it does me some good to look back on these memories.

It didn’t take long to decide who I would take.  There was no one I really wanted to go with me, no girls-gone-wild trip for me, and I wasn’t convinced I’d want to meet a man on a cruise ship.  This vacation was for ME.  I didn’t want to leave my ten-year-old son with my ex-husband, though, so I took him with me.  He was such a great kid for a ten-year-old.  I did not regret my choice.

Being the only adult in my partner, I got to make the decisions on where we would go, what tours we would take.  It all worked out! I kept track of my charge, planned our tours and agenda, and still had fun.  We took a tour of Queen Mary’s steps, a flamingo farm, and other lovely sites. Then, we took time to enjoy a beach a little bit away from the tourist hotels.

I paid for a cab which was more like a mini-van that could hold several people.  We found our beach that was riddled with gnarled trees, white sand, and coconut trees.  We sat, waded in the water, he swam, and I just wanted to relax on my towel.  Looking back, I feel as though I forgot to worry about a thing in the world, except keeping an eye on my son; but he was keeping track of where I was and did not want to wander either. I was home base.  I don’t remember us arguing about a single thing on that trip.

After a while, a woman is walking by and says to me, “Do you want’cha hair braided?”

“How much?” I ask.

“Six dollars per braid.”

“How about the whole head, just across the front?”

“Fifty dollars.”

I pulled the cash out of my pocket and said, “Okay.”  I explained to my son that I could not turn my head, and he HAD to stay in my sight.  He did. He sat and gathered some coconuts.  She began to braid. We talked about my son, her family, where I was from, and I forgot to worry about her fingers in my hair.  I forgot to worry about people I don’t know walking up to me.

A man came up with a box. “Coconut and rum! Two dollars.”  I forked out the money and forgot to worry about drinking something from a box carried by a man on the beach.  It was tasty.  I forked out more money and I don’t know how many I had, but nothing too crazy.

My son started going a little further and gathering more coconuts, adding in what I drank from.  I bought him his own coconut (minus the rum) to enjoy the coconut milk. He kept gathering more and when he had gone a little too far, came back when I called.  I explained that he had to stay safe and I couldn’t get right up.  When she finished my hair, I looked like a blonde Caribbean girl, or just like me trying to look Caribbean? It was cute, anyhow. 🙂

As it got closer to evening than afternoon, we had to walk back to find another cab.  No problem.  We got into a cab that was full of young guys having a party time.  Oh great, I thought.  They were a little noisy, but I joined in as they started singing old Motown hits.  It was so fun, and my son just looked at me and laughed. I can still picture the look on his face.

The next day, we woke up on the cruise ship and went to the pool.  I just took in the sunshine and the breeze. I was a little hungover.  He sat there quietly. When he went in the pool, he told me where he was going. I kept my eyes open, still relaxed, and soon, our dinner table partners, a woman with her grandson, came up and said hi, so my son had someone to play with in the pool.  He had a ball, and I sat there and relaxed.

It was a buffer time between a bad break-up and my son’s angst-riddled, terrible teens.  But this vacation served to show me there are rewards when you just let yourself do WHAT YOU WANT to do. It also gave me a focus to look back on when those teen years happened, to remind me that, yes, my son really is a good person, and we can get along quite well. Sometimes, making time for my son has been an important act of self-love.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing our History into our Fiction

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Pixabay photo.

I’ve decided to write COVID-19 into my current fiction work-in-progress. Doing so makes me think of Stephen King’s The Stand with a shudder. Stores closed, streets practically empty. That is, until two weeks ago, when governors started announcing gradual re-openings. I am still playing it safe, though. If you were to write COVID-19 into your current work-in-progress, would you mention toilet-papergate? Stores running out of hand sanitizer? Stores with signs up requiring you to wear a mask? These are unprecedented times, and they are worth remembering and writing about. In my novel, the character will travel to our times from the earlier 2000s and will see some of those things. I do not plan to make it tragic, though. Still, who knew this would become our reality?

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In my most recent work of published fiction, Malachi, Ruse Master, I have written a whole chapter on Sept. 11th, 2001. My character is a young man living alone in the D.C. area. An ordinary day turns into an exercise in fear and uncertainty as news reports come in about the attack on the World Trade Center and the plane that headed for the Pentagon. The emotions were real, I experienced them and recall clearly what 9-11 was like.

I did a little research on what it may have been like for someone living in the D.C. area during 9-11 to get my facts straight. I do not know anyone who lived there at the time. I had lived there as a child, and I’m always reminiscent of the Potamac River and the weather changes. Living in Florida, the seasonal distinctions are not as clear. So, having a character living in that area around that time lent itself to writing that event into the setting. I feel that this is a way to frame the events of a novel, adding something we are all familiar with.

Like my character, Malachi, I did not really have a feeling of community reinforced for me. I just felt more alone. Though, I suppose, that is a result of terror. So why add such a horrible event into the setting? Because it is something we all remember, in many different ways. I also feel it helps us sympathize with the character. The book is considered a young adult novel, but it is not written specifically for young adults. It is something we all can identify with in some way; we’ve been there. My hope is that readers of all ages will find something to identify with in this book. You can learn about or get a copy of Malachi, Ruse Master at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX

As I grow in my writing journey, I am finding the importance of setting in a book, how it makes readers connect to the characters in the events. In a sense, a setting in any book is a character in itself.

What historical event have you lived through, and which fiction books express the experience well for you?

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!

Weekend Coffee Share, A New Routine

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  I’ve got to say, my coffee is sooo good today!  Maybe I am just feeling a sense of gratitude, trying to make the best of strange times.  I am beset with a lot of changes, as most of you probably are, too.

I’m a 6th grade teacher switching to online teaching to keep with the times and the state protocols. I’ve done my best to find the positives. Here is an intro video I did in the spirit of optimism:

https://youtu.be/5lLWXmpEMt8

(Yes, I know, I touch my face too much, especially when I’m feeling warm, a not-so-strange phenomenon for a woman my age :)).

So, here are five things you can do with online learning (or teaching) that you could not have done in a classroom:

1. Clip your toenails during a lesson

2. Wear sunglasses and a hoodie while completing (or grading) assignments (Good for students or teachers)

3. Raid the refrigerator for snacks as you wait for a student to give an answer

4. Pet your dog or cat, or your pet snake for what it’s worth….

5. Wear pajama pants. Really, no one will know!

I am going to enjoy the dog access the most!  (He has appreciated me being home more).  Seriously, though, I have been missing seeing my students.  I have posted to my Class Dojo a few times this last week as we had a week added to our Spring Break.  Well, now we have three more weeks off of school (at least), and Monday we will be starting online learning.  Schools in some states are out for the rest of the school year, and state testing is canceled here in Florida.  So, I am looking forward to communicating with my students and their parents.  I just have to go easy on my arm and the mouse-clicking.  I will say, yesterday after my home workout for the arm and shoulder, it felt better, despite being on a long conference call and setting up my classes online.  There is hope!

Nature is buzzing around us, even though we are avoiding many things.  A lot of parks are closed; nature is unbothered.  Birds chirp when I wake to silence, as no cars are starting up this morning.  I read that pollution has reduced drastically in China, and Venice canals are much cleaner.  Yes, we can be a parasite on this Earth.  I won’t go doom and gloom, okay.  I love the sound of birds in the morning!  My dog is happy, and I will take him for a walk later.  The sun has been shining constantly.  We will be fine!  I had some down evenings of worry and despair, but that was five days ago.  My church book group had a Zoom meeting for our discussion Thursday and will have an online service Sunday, so I’m feeling more connected.  Maybe now that I have more purpose and will be teaching my kids again, I feel better.  I can make other people feel better, since I’ve been actively seeking to learn what I can to calm my anxiety. Instead of feeling alone, we should all take this time to reflect and learn to unplug.

relax-569318_1280 Pixabay photo.

I loaded an app for meditation called Insight Timer.  I really like it so far! The Curable app for chronic pain and Mind-Body issues also has great meditations.  I signed up for an online course on Mindfulness which will yield a certificate when done through New Skills Academy online.  There is a lot about meditation in there.  I am exercising with things I learned in physical therapy and also logging in to see virtual yoga and abs classes through my yoga studio which is closed currently.  All of this is keeping me healthy; heck, it is keeping me going!  We have many ways to stay connected.  Let’s practice them!

I have also finished editing my manuscript for the Malachi novel, which is focused on a young adult man taking an unusual job to make ends meet.  This job forces him to face his own ideas of right and wrong.  There is now formatting and a final proofing.  Maybe it will be out in a month? I will let you know!  Here is a preview of the cover:

MALACHI.RUSEMASTER.eBOOK

Malachi, Ruse Master is a young adult novel with hints of sci-fi, as it intersects with characters and some events in the Detours in Time series.  People of all ages should enjoy it, as it can take you back to your own identity struggles and clamoring for independence as a youth.  There is plenty of action and adventure, too. I will follow it with a novel devoted to Ellie, whom we have already seen as a child, a teen, and an old, demented woman.  She will intersect with Malachi in this novel and then have her own story in a novel to come out in 1-2 years.  Time is not linear, you know!

If you have read Detours in Time, you should read the follow-up, Undercurrents in Time, in which Malachi is first introduced. I have reduced it to .99 for the remainder of the month.  Find it here:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCCQS3N

Stay well, my friends.  Do the things you love or find new things to love doing.  Read books.  Ask your writer friends about their books.  Write a book!  Exercise indoors or in your backyard.  Stop and breathe the fresh air, and find a reason to laugh, with your family, with your dog, yourself, with your friends online.  We will survive!

 

Weekend Coffee Share, from a Safe Distance, of Course….

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  If nothing else, we can keep in touch online, sharing a cyber latte, tea, or whatever you like!

I just came back from the Auto Shop where I was watching my son change my battery. He works there, and texted to tell me it wasn’t too busy.  Man, time flies! Photo circa, 2018.  I am quite proud of how well he is doing, learning to be an adult.  He asked me how my day was going and opened the door for me.  I guess I raised him right!  Friday night, I went with him to the Mexican restaurant down the street, an upbeat placed called One Night Taco Stand.  We enjoyed it and ordered a drink.  I felt so brave being out in this time of much fear of other people.  Now, however, I am thinking a lot about my 77-year-old mother and her health and safety.  The three of us all live together, and I’d hate to bring a virus home to her.  So, I am not going much of anywhere today.  I’m editing a book and reading a good bit.  I wrote a flash fiction response to the Ragtag Community’s Daily word prompt.  Click here to give it a quick read:  Isolate (Flash Fiction)

Having sat outside with the dog for 10 minutes in the sun, I’ve been back indoors other than driving out to the Auto shop.  I also had signed up for an online course in Mindfulness and started some of those modules today.  It is something I enjoy learning about that is also very good for me, helping me to not be too worried or anxious during this world’s events.  I’ll do more of that and the editing this week, since public schools have an extended Spring Break for two weeks now.  Above, I am sporting what is now called Quarantinehair.  Yes, there is actually a hashtag for it, found on Instagram. It is quite an easy ‘do, no brush!

Have a good week, my friends.  Do not stress too much, but stay healthy and safe!