Weekend Coffee Share, Spring Forward

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Green Tazo tea with ginger is my wakeup elixir for this morning. How about you?

Bixby and I are on the porch in mild temperatures. However, the wind is quite gusty, and I read that it’s going to usher in some quite cooler temperatures. They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. It was raining throughout the day yesterday. Thus started my Spring Break.

I will say this, the rain certainly inspires our greenery to be even greener!

Muddy grass won’t stop Bixby! 🐾

I wasn’t bothered by the weather, though. I left work yesterday and headed to the mall, where I bought some super comfortable shoes. They are also cute, though you can’t tell they have zippers on the sides.

I’d wear sneakers every day, if I could.

They are sort of a sneaker style, but the material kind of dresses them up. Work wear, in my opinion.

After the mall, I went to meet my boyfriend. We spent some time together and had excellent barbecue for dinner! We also watched Curb Your Enthusiasm and laughed out heads off. We are both Seinfeld fans and have an odd sense of humor. πŸ˜†

So, I get to rest and blow off steam for a week. I really need that. I’m not sure what’s up today, but I’m sure I’ll have some family time. I hope to get some writing done for Ellie’s story in the upcoming days. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be going with my boyfriend and some friends to the Celtic Fest, my favorite activity to ring in the spring!

Never mind that I’ll have to be layered up for Celtic Fest. It was cancelled two years in a row due to COVID-19. I’m so excited to go again. I’ll soak up the laughter and great music. Who says there can’t be a Springtime of the soul in the midst of chilly, gray weather?

Wearing the green 🍏

Have a great weekend all, and a happy week to follow!

*Currently rereading Wuthering Heights

*Currently writing Ellie, the Time Traveler

*Currently loving the music of Albannach and playing Wordle or Blokudoko

Weekend Coffee Share, Old/New

Coffee with in house-entertainment! Bixby with his new toy.
Antique – Image by KL Caley

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On a mild weather day that feels like early Spring, watching my dog ham it up with his play toy, I sip a Starbucks blonde roast and in true T.S. Eliot fashion, I ask, “How shall I spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways?”

Truly, it is one of my favorite quotes from Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, so please indulge me. Sometimes I’m not sure what to write for the Coffee Share, (I get tired of saying what I did each day or all week) so I looked for inspiration today, and remembered the Eliot quote from a poem he wrote 50+ years ago. The photo is from the #writephoto challenge that has been around a few years, and it is now shared and hosted at the site https://new2writing.wordpress.com/category/writephoto-challenge/ . I have used the hashtag and challenge before, thought it’s been a while. However, today’s concept is quite fitting.

In the photo, old furniture and collectibles sit together in what may be an antique shop. Being an allergy sufferer, I’m seeing lovely things but imagining dust. My mind says, ‘Out with the old, in with the new’….but only with moderation. Keep what works, and throw out what doesn’t, right? At any rate, some things are old but worth keeping, and sometimes what is old for one of us is new for another.

In my life, I started out last week feeling very confident, then it ended with some stressors with my job and extra club responsibilities. I’m sure it will work out. I’ll just focus at the positives. I am encouraging young people to write, and how could I do better than that? I also have opportunities for creativity, something I must have to thrive in a job. I am a nurturer and a creative. These opportunities at my job are important, since my son is grown now and my parenting is more hands-off, as should be.

My family life is slightly stressed, as I have an uncle who recently passed away after a COVID hospitalization. May he rest in peace. Relatives have told us he didn’t wear a mask in public and wasn’t vaccinated. He was almost eighty-years-old. My son has been sick with cold symptoms but tested negative for COVID, thank goodness. My boyfriend has been really sick with similar symptoms and is now better. I’m just carrying on. I did get my booster shot just over two weeks ago. I will mask up when I am moving around my classroom or sitting with students to help them.

Writing has been sporadic for me, but I wrote a first draft of Janie’s story that gives a little closure for her, so that’s something new. Janie is a character from my published short story, the eerie Crossroads Diner #205, which is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098269VSN and won Honorable Mention in a short story contest from Rave Reviews Book Club. My boyfriend was the one who encouraged me to continue the story for Janie. There are other characters who deserve their closure: Cowboy, Maria, Raul. I’m getting ideas! πŸ™‚

Truly, writing is something that should remain new, with a constant flow of ideas. Ancient stories can always have an appeal. So, ‘out with the old,’ in my wishes, will be the writer’s block and the feeling that I don’t have time to write or market anymore or the feeling that I don’t have the energy, confidence, or ideas to still actively BE a writer. In with the new: ideas, energy, and spirit! I’ve decidedly recently that I should use my energy spurts efficiently to save up for retirement time, when I use my well-deserved rest and relaxation, keeping a balance, of course.

So, today is a day, one day for rest and relaxation. I sleep late, take my time with breakfast, go to get Starbucks coffee with my son. I’m seeing lots of binaries here. Work/rest, Old/New, Maintain/Release. I guess that’s where I am. My son and I are about to take the walk on a mini-trail hike, an old practice we haven’t done in years, so we need to make it new again. Have a great weekend, everyone!

**You may find out more about Natalie, our host of the weekly Coffee Share at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

.99c Kindle deal–Sci-fi series

Books 1 & 2 in the Detours in Time series

Need a good book getaway? Both Book 1 and Book 2 of the Detours in Time series are currently just .99! Book 2, Undercurrents in Time, is on Kindle Countdown through Monday, 11/29. Both are full-length books packed with a lot of adventure.

If you’ve already read Detours in Time, read Undercurrents in Time and witness Tabitha’s bold move out of her identity struggle. (JUst .99c on a Countdown deal in the U.S. and U.K. https://www.amazon.com/Undercurrents-Time-Book-Detours-ebook/dp/B07DCCQS3N

Take the journey!

Marriage and motherhood can make life feel awfully different, but aren’t we still the same person inside? Join Tabitha’s journey!

“Thought-provoking time-travel with a sound focus on humanity.” -Amazon reviewer

Get a free taste of my Detours in Time series! #free #prequel

Free for a limited time! A prequel to Detours in Time, this 29 page short story has a hint of romance and sci-fi flair.

A scientist learns that a distraction in female form might be just the motivation he needs to make a breakthrough discovery…

“Awesome storytelling and storyline!” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQL5NNM

To accompany the above deal, I’ve made Detours in Time, the full-length novel of Milt and Tabitha’s inaugural journey through time, .99 for a few weeks…just in case your interest is piqued! Read the award-winning novel: https://www.amazon.com/Detours-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF

The Alpaca “Shag.” #RDP

In what is sounding like a peaceful, ambient track in my head, I’m remembering my day in upstate New York at the Lazy Acres alpaca farm. The tour is one hour and starts with loads of facts about the raising of these lovely animals as well as a tour of the shearing areas and barns on the property. One such fact is the shearing of the alpacas once a year, to control their wooly shag, as it is much warmer in this climate than the climate of their ancestry.

Set in a green, hilly area of upstate New York, Lazy Acres alpaca farm is lovely, and the animals are quite peaceful. We explored the farm on a beautiful, 75 degree day that felt like Spring to me (a resident from Northern Florida). I’d been visiting an old friend that used to work with me in Rochester, and found out my cousin was in the area. So, we arranged to meet her at the alpaca farm as well as her son, his wife, and their family.

A muddy walkway covered by wooden planks led to green pastures. It had rained profusely the day before. However, the sun shone brightly on us, and the visit was worth the muddy shoes. Our tour guide, a young college girl, told us that alpaca are not as agressive as lamas or camels. I found this to be true. While feeding them, I felt the alpaca’s teeth graze my hand, but not even in a nibble; it was just accidental as their lower teeth are in an underbite.

Baby alpaca!

The children on the tour (I think you’d call them my third cousins) were quite engaged and interested. We grown-ups were charmed as well. The animals let us pet them as well as feed them. When the food ran out, they did, of course, lose interest. Not surprising, right? πŸ™‚

I highly recommend such a tour for anyone who needs a brief escape from the worries of their life or just an escape from the rat race. Children who love animals will find it quite engaging as well! One of the alpacas had MIA on her tag, so I started calling her Mia. I assumed this alpaca was female, it answered to Mia anyway, and I could pet her after my food was gone. Though, maybe it was because my friend had some food left….

It makes me wonder what it would be like to only be concerned with only the most basic of needs: eating, digestion, shelter, family. The cares of the outside world, the ‘rat-race,’ cannot penetrate their peaceful exterior. My favorite alpaca, Mia, was actually quite a ham πŸ™‚

Unbothered. πŸ™‚

This was a perfect day!

*The Ragtag Daily prompt is given daily. You can find their site and today’s prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/ragtag-daily-prompt-thursday-shag/

The alpacas were my first thought when I saw today’s word prompt: shag. πŸ™‚

Weekend Coffee Share, Balance on the Tight Rope

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I am once more drinking green tea today. Tomorrow, there will be coffee! It is a treat for me maybe three days a week. In the background, my ‘cafe’ is playing Living Room songs by Olafur Arnalds. It’s sort of emotional. Perhaps it will invoke some deep poetry in all of us, huh?

I am in a poetry mood lately. There is a lot going on in my family, and I am being told by people close to me not to tell others so much. What they don’t understand is that I am a writer. I either make up fantastical fiction or I tell my story. It is mine to tell. I process things, and I share them because I should never be ashamed of the battles I have fought for good reason, and perhaps it will help someone else who is suffering in silence. I just won’t suffer like that anymore. As Sylvia Plath once said, “everythingΒ in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Having said that, I am not spilling my guts here. There has been a lot going on in my family and I never know if I’m saying the right thing or reacting the best way. I suppose that’s because I’m human. However, I have been building a community. I am more open with others and honest; some have a lot in common with me, and others are just good listeners. They are my friend because I am no longer closed up, no longer flying under the radar or not really present. I wrote a poem this week about how it feels to be a mother, daughter, friend, woman who makes mistakes or is told she is doing the wrong thing, and how I must judge myself less. It is titled Life’s Ceaseless Circus and can be found here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/lifes-ceaseless-circus/ Being an adult, I will deal with any fallout from mistakes I make. I try to treat others this way as well. As a mother, I may not have always treated family members with that attitude, but I am learning.

Lately, life has seemed like a traveling circus, going through rough terrain, hills, valleys, deserted roads and sometimes, fun towns. Get to a peaceful place, then get pulled into steep hills again. If you can love unconditionally, there is no way out, just enjoy the views and brace yourself for rough times. I believe I can maintain boundaries, take care of myself, and still love unconditionally. I am trying anyhow.

I have been through a breakup in the last few months, yet he still checks in and asks about my family. My ex-husband now lives in town again and is friendly with my family, but I live my own life. I am talking to and associating with friends I had not spoken to in a long time because of the whole focus of raising my kid the best way. He is grown now, making his own choices. I don’t make my choices with him at the center anymore. I make my choices with what is best for me in a way that I intend not to hurt others. I’m trying to live my life in a way that practices acceptance of others and kindness. I know I still at times shut others out; it seems I have to temper that need to maintain balance.

So, I’m learning and trying to practice forgiveness and acceptance, and that is something one must temper with boundaries. I believe it is totally possible. In the spirit of second chances, I wrote the story Crossroads Diner #205 and have self-published it for entry into a Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest. It is free to read in Kindle Unlimited. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN

Besides writing poems for the blog and my short story, I am beginning ’28 Days of Ellie.” Each morning, I will write at least one entry either about her personality, her likes, dislikes, beliefs and/or dialogues with her and other characters. Since I finished the book on Sould Coaching, I decided this would be a fun, creative way to boost my writing and make my character become real. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend, and an even better week next week! I am planning to travel a little. You’re sure to hear about it. πŸ™‚

Respecting the Flame, #poetry

Photo by Skully MBa on Pexels.com

Today was my 15th day in the “Soul Coaching” book which gives 28 days of digging deeper and examining our lives with each week representing one of the four elements.

This is Fire Week. As you can tell from Monday’s Flash fiction post, the concept of fire has been present in my thoughts and my life, with its ability to destroy and rebuild things, to give us opportunities to start anew, etc. I, however, have found a need for balance. Still, fire showed up in my life and I said, “Okay. I will survive.” I had to let go of some things I held dear and move on toward newness. As the book says, “face your shadow self,’ and ‘examine your fears.’ I am now aiming to thrive amidst the fires of change and maybe even use them to my benefit.

This has inspired me to write a poem this week:

Respecting the Flame, (c) 2021

Some people never feel the burn

they fear it and won’t let the tables turn.

They won’t even let it smolder long

They feel it will destroy and set things wrong.

True, a fire can diminish all in its wake,

but remember its sharp ability to create–

to make something new of what was before,

to push us forward and knock down stubborn doors.

Fire symbolism turns up in expected places this week! Evening walk.

Releasing the Pain. #poetry (Revisited)

Photo by Vijay Sadasivuni on Pexels.com

Originally published (c) 2009 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I write, I express

and I press so hard

The hurt in my shoulder

like little glass shards

****

I focus, I strive

My thoughts so intense

The weight on me

at times feels so dense.

*****

Pop! I let the pressure out, let it rise

like a balloon at its demise…

Powerless, away with the wind it goes

The fear and the pain that I once held so close.

*Revised version, 2021

The Occupation

From https://randomwordgenerator.com/picture.php

(c) 2021 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Fear took its place

at the center of my heart

Can you tell fear and love apart?

It spread to my nerve endings

Put me on edge, no pretending.

A heart frozen can not be open.

A heart that flees has no hoping.

A heart always ready to fight

Is not occupied by light.

You will not know the peaceful dove

because fear overshadows and poisons love.

The calm of feeling I belong,

A hug or a tranquil inner song

Help refocus me when everything feels wrong…

Focus on fear brings darkness and blight

Love and forgiveness let in the healing light.

Which will show in your face?

Fear and distrust have no grace.

Fear’s stronghold can be released,

Love must always start with peace.

Sanctuary in the Wide Open

Poem by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2020

The place I can go to escape it all

Is really not a place at all.

It’s not designed for us to go hide

There’s no door that lets you go inside….

But yet I run there to escape the chase

To hide out from the rat race,

And laugh at what I’d tried to chase…

None if that would soothe my soul…

Success or money won’t make me whole.

My sanctuary is the wide open

Freedom from worries unspoken,

No need to answer my phone here,

Seagulls and waves are all I hear.

I didn’t need a dark space to hide,

I needed free space to clear my mind.

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