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, Change for the Better

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer! It’s a coffee day, half-caff, that is. It is Sunday and I’m almost ready for church, multi-tasking with a million coffee-inspired ideas in my head that don’t all relate to where I’m going this morning. Okay, some of them do, but I am seriously multi-tasking in my head.

Change is on the wind these days! I’m not talking about a change of season; here in Northeast Florida we won’t get that until probably October if we’re lucky, barring the approach of a hurricane, which is approaching the west side of my state currently. No, I’m talking about changes in my life.

Who’s afraid of change? Not I! Yesterday was a good day. I got my lowlights and and highlights! My hair is getting longer, gradually. However, some changes have been more sudden. In the last month, my son moved back home with me (for the best at this time), he got a new job, I started a new school year, I became yearbook advisor at school, and the guy I’m dating moved closer. I’m optimistic about all of it! My son had a rough summer but is ‘getting it together. I have faith that the good will continue.

Sudden change can be an adjustment, and I’m sure experiencing that, but it all seems to be okay! I’m happy to help my son out. I’m getting paid for the new responsibility at school, and as I’ve gradually learned, I enjoy and flourish with the nurturing of students’ skills in extra-curricular areas. I love helping them to grow socially and emotionally.

I myself am learning new things, and it seems to be great for my brain. As long as I make time for relaxation and sleep, I think this is a positive road for me. So, today I am seeing bright skies, and not just because it is sunny and hot outside!

This week, I’ve been promoting a prequel to my Detours in Time series, The Temporal Test. Reviewed as “Awesome storytelling and storyline!” You might enjoy this short read, longer than a short story and slightly shorter than a novelette. Get a free download here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQL5NNM Also, I’ve put Detours in Time, a full-length novel, at a reduced price of .99 for a limited time. https://www.amazon.com/Detours-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF It is an award-winning #scifi book with a sweet romance included and has been enjoyed by readers of all ages.

It has been a while since I actively promoted my published books. Take a look if you are so inclined. 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, Outlook Adjust

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s nice and sunny, and I’ve imbibed cold green tea today. Bixby is at my feet, and Indie Folk music is playing, a calm, light atmosphere.

Bixby had his end of summer haircut and is cute as always…

I’ve been back at school for a week, attending meetings, taking training, and planning my classroom set-up. It appears I’ll have a lot of low level learners in addition to Advanced classes with Gifted students, so I’ll have three different types of classes to teach for English Language Arts. I’m expecting a challenge, and I’m nervous.

I can still find inspiration, though.

I still believe there are students I can reach and that I reached several last year. Perhaps I just need to believe in myself more as we start anew again with another set of students, while recalling what I’ve learned from last year’s kids.

At the back of my mind and in the forefront of the news is the COVID situation. Florida has had a lot of COVID hospitalizations in the last few months and a few deaths as well. At work, we are required to wear a mask for 30 days. I’ll do that to benefit a child. However, not all students will be wearing one, as they are not required to.

If you think these policies are sort of confusing, I agree. I’m being careful even though I’m fully vaccinated. Some vaccinated folks are still getting COVID, but I believe the symptoms are allayed in most.

On the bright side, I got together with my companion last night. He took me out for steak dinner, and I had flavored brussel sprouts on the side that were scrumptious! Well, so was the steak, and the company. 😉

My writing feels like it’s suffering. My emotions are overwrought over my struggling family member who barely speaks to me lately. My intellect is challenged over my upcoming school year. But I still find time to meet up and laugh with this man who listens and lightens my mood, and I have some dinner plans with friends for next week. All are forms of self-care.

Perhaps my writing situation is different since I don’t like to sit still much lately. Fact: I’m laying on the couch typing this on my phone. When done, it’s time to exercise. I’ve written little bits of Ellie’s story in a notebook. We adapt as needed, I guess. I also wrote about Special Family Dynamics based on reading I have done about dealing with a family member who is ill. You can view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/navigating-special-family-dynamics/ It is based on what has been foremost in my mind lately, and I wrote it to condense things that I have learned as reminders to myself on how to manage emotionally.

Don’t worry, I’m not done sharing stories yet, fiction or non. This Coffee Share is my way of sharing little bits of my story. I thank you for reading this far. How has your week been?

Weekend Coffee Share, Schooling in the COVID Era

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Ali.  It’s a half-caff day! I am introverting because it’s better than trying to communicate with a mask, something I am growing tired of.  I’ve been back to work since 8/12 and started teaching students on 8/20; while it’s been great seeing work friends and trying to joke and get to know my students, they don’t get it through the mask mumbling. I can’t wait to communicate and laugh freely, to high-five and hug without fear. But that’s not where we are.

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This starts year 21 of teaching for me.  It is hard sometimes to teach in a mask, and the air from my speaking makes it hotter inside the mask.  Yesterday, I put on the face shield and took the mask off, staying way in the front of the room.  In the back of this picture above, you see the desk shields.  Students have to look around them to see what I’m writing on the board.  They also have a lot to adjust to just as we teachers do.
I finished my physical therapy for the frozen shoulder. I’m not 100% (and the doc had said that would be the case), but still, the difference is amazing! I’d say I am somewhere between 80 and 90% now.  Of course, I’m continuing the exercises I learned in physical therapy.  This is the second time I’ve been through it, but I forgot some important details from the 1st time to the second even though it was only four months.  I also was quite fearful to do too much after I’d hurt my shoulder this time, thus, getting the frozen shoulder.

So, it was good that I was pushed little by little to exercise it, and I stuck with the same PT which made it easier to trust the process and to believe it when he said I could do this. Believe me, I can do things now with my arm and shoulder that I was afraid to do for years!  We talked about limits and he thinks I could do anything within reason. I can be the judge.  I’ll ask the doctor about this next month, too. Should my next adventure be skateboarding, skydiving, axe-throwing?

Anyhow, for now, my adventure is teaching middle schoolers in- person during the COVID pandemic, keeping them safe from others and themselves while opening up their minds to Literature and our language. At the moment, I feel ready to head up this mountain. Actually, sky-diving sounds good right now, since I’m such a risk-taker. 🙂

I got my exercise in for today on the Gazelle exerciser on my porch and did my arm/shoulder exercises.  Other than that, I am indoors, socializing on social media and actually, doing a little bit of writing!  I am working on the novel in progress, Ellie the Time Traveler, and she is going to intersect with Malachi in true star-crossed lovers fashion! Love can be bittersweet…..

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That’s all I’ve got for today! I am feeling pretty good, glad to be writing again and not wearing a mask for a while.  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

 

Weekend Coffee Share. I Feel Good!

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali!  My coffee is still brewing, please give me a moment….

Pull up a chair and grab a cup of whatever gets you going!  As I was saying, I feel good, I wasn’t sure that I would… However, I feel like I am slowly leaving the club of overthinkers, OCD sufferers, etc.  Intentionally; it has taken some work!  Sleep was spotty last night, but I woke up to drive my son to work feeling good about life.  Maybe it is just that all of the techniques I’ve been trying are finally coming together and working.  In fact, sleep is my main complaint right now, but I feel okay waking up.

In the last week, I have: *visited an orthopedic surgeon. No surgery recommended! I have frozen shoulder, and he’s suggesting a shot to the shoulder joint. It is now scheduled for next Tuesday. Maybe it’ll help me sleep better!

*Attended physical therapy twice. On Thursday, he moved me to more strength-building exercises, and I was quite sore the next day, but I still feel good about it! This can help keep me healthy. My plan is to stay active the rest of my life.

*Gone to the beach for a 35 min. walk with my son.  It was peaceful and awesome! First beach visit this summer; certainly not the last! I find walking on the beach to be very meditative, and it puts me in a state of gratitude.

*Written a little of my upcoming book, Ellie, the Time Traveler and edited my short story, Crossroads Diner #225.

Ellie60163761_2307068182890086_4478659740125102080_n Ellie is a mysterious character who surfaced in Undercurrents in Time and haunts the main character in Malachi, Ruse Master.

*Watched a FOUR and 1/2 HOUR school board meeting, whereby they decided to delay school start until 8/20 (It had been 8/10) and start with staggering the days for middle and high school, yet elementary gets 5 days of instruction.  Parents can opt for their kids to get fully online learning.  People have many differing opinions on this, but remember, kids in school are a hotbed of germs, and Florida is currently a hotbed for COVID-19. I myself have bought face shields, masks and scrubs that I can wash right on my return home.  I also plan to get tested for COVID weekly.  I hate that the meeting took so long; I had to sit for more than four hours straight with bated breath.  *sigh*  I just had to hear the decision.  It directly affects my life.

*Went to the chiropractor for my spine health and enjoyed the hydra-bed and EMS for neck and shoulder.  As you have probably inferred, it takes a village to straighten me out or to keep me straight!  But I am getting into a good frame of mind for a new school year that promises to be super-weird and possibly stress-inducing, and I feel great about myself!

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I am also fully convinced I can handle it all.  How was your week?  Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share. My Calling. 8/10

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

 

I’ve had a fruit V8 and now it’s time for my half a cup of coffee. You may enjoy whatever you like!  It will likely be another hot day.  It has already been a good morning.  Back to School season is in full swing, and I have been up before or at 6 a.m. all week, working non-stop either physically, to prepare my room, or mentally, to prepare my lessons.

I stayed up ’til midnight last night and woke up promptly at 6:30 a.m.  No 8-hour sleep-in for me.  I’m already getting into the grind, but I rebelled. After laying in bed, stretching and mentally preparing myself for not being able to sleep late for a year, I spent 20 uninterrupted minutes sitting on the porch watching Bixby’s nose twitch and ears perk. He enjoyed it too, I’m sure.

We observed a lot, like the fact that the sun felt good and my new neighbor gets picked up on a Saturday by a big truck blaring Spanish talk-radio, and some other neighbor’s brakes squeal, and the next door neighbor goes out on his ten- speed at 8 a.m. Also, there was still dew on the ground, so I knew I couldn’t get sunburned, on the porch, at 8 a.m. Nice start to the day! Now my brain is awake.
I need to continue porching it through the fall season, too! 

This video is from a July morning on the porch.  I thought you would enjoy it.  Bixby features frequently in my blog posts and Weekend Coffee Shares.  He is my adopted shelter dog and also a girl’s/writer’s best friend.  We go on adventures together and we sit and observe the world together.

 

Since I have mentioned Back-to School, I want to tell you how truly wonderful it is to take the road less traveled.  I went to a training this week that was not packed full, none of my friends were going to  it.  It was about helping kids understand advanced text.  The instructor spoke to me right away and offered me a matchbox car.  That was fun!  Then we had to talk to others about why we chose the one we chose.  We loved talking about that.  When we answered a question, he asked our name and asked the whole ‘class’ to say “Thank you, Pam.”  There were about 40 people in there, but we talked, we moved around, we used our brains.  We were actively learning, and that’s what we need to do with our students.  This was a wonderful break from an over-crowded meeting room with people on their laptops while someone at the front ‘talks at us.’ It got me really pepped up for what I need to do daily, which is, get to know my kids, and then inspire them to do the work that will help them learn the most.  I think about writing full-time, but I know my work in the public school system is not yet done.  It isn’t easy, and many spend just 1-5 years teaching in public schools, but what is best for the kids? I want to do what is best.  This is were we determine or help affect the culture of our nation in the future.  It feels like an important calling to me.  Writing keeps me sane, but maybe my writing will also inspire someone and get them thinking about how we treat each other?  That can be done in any genre.

On the writing front,   the Malachi manuscript is still with beta readers, and I am entertaining ideas for the cover.  I will be taking my last Teaching Gifted endorsement course this fall, so I may have to slow down progress on that manuscript, but I am holding to a goal of publishing it in the first few months of 2020.  Progress is being made on both of my Detours in Time series books to be produced in audio version.  I’m excited!  Detours in Time may be available for audio purchase in about a month! I just finished listen to the first narration and have sent corrections requests.  Yikes!  This is an awesome feeling.  My narrator for Undercurrents in Time is also getting started.  I’ll share more on that later.  In the meantime, here is a brief clip of the narration for Detours in Time:

https://www.untiedmusic.com/emory/Chapter_11_teaser.mp3

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That’s what’s going on in my world!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!  I know I need to exercise now, but I think a hot bath may also be on my schedule for today.  I think I have worked for it.  🙂

Weekend Coffee Share. A start and an end. 8/03

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Have a coffee, hot or iced, a tea, or whatever you like. For me, it’s an energy V8 juice. I’m still experimenting with reducing my coffee dependency. We can sit on the porch if you like. I must warn you, it’s 80 degrees and very humid in this corner of Florida today!

My dog Bixby will gladly join us. He likes to hang out where his people are. Just water for Bixby! He is looking dapper since he got a haircut yesterday, for that matter, so did I!

As a teacher, my summer is almost over, but a new school year is just beginning! July went by in a flash! In case you weren’t aware, teachers not only bring home work throughout the school year, but many teachers are currently shopping for classroom supplies already, checking class rosters, looking up student information, and already doing the background work to know their students’ need. I started that Friday. I wasn’t getting paid. It only lasted an hour; I had so much else to do. So, I’ll get off that soapbox now and ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for this new school year.

Author Progress Notes(2)

On the writing front, I am awaiting beta reader feedback for the WIP, Malachi. Ellie’s story is becoming a work in progress, more to follow later. I’ve spent at least a week going though the narration of Detours in Time to compile editing notes for my narrator. I should finish the last chapter today! It will happen soon, I can feel it! That and, I am waiting on a 15 minute checkpoint from a separate narrator for Undercurrents in Time. I really felt it needed a female voice, and I feel confident of my narrator. I can’t wait to share the news when these audiobooks hit the shelf at Audible! Since I already brought up the weather, let’s move on. Also possibly pertinent, is that I am making an effort again to grow my Mailchimp newsletter list. If you are an author, you may also know that everyone says we need a list, but I am still trying to make it work for me!

Also in the writing arena, I posted a poetic response to Friday Fictioneers about a week ago. I’d love for you to read it: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/break-the-endless-loop-amwriting-fridayfictioneers/

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and if you take your coffee hour on the porch, be sure to cool off afterward in front of a fan, and water the dog!  Summer break is almost over for me, but summer is still in the air!

#WeekendCoffeeShare, Recouping from Vacation

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

Coffee is a must today!  I’ve been quite sluggish for the last week.  You see, my son and I traveled to Rhode Island for five days in mid-July to see my dad.  It was beautiful there!  I’ll be honest, my dad is no dottering old man.  He works full-time at age 74, attends many community functions, and holds a position of leadership in his church.  He also lives a very healthy, active lifestyle despite having had three heart attacks.

Dad’s active lifestyle was witnessed firsthand by my son and me.  I mean, Dad had things planned for almost every day we were there.  He rents an apartment very near the beach in R.I.  We walked from there to the beach many times.  The weather was heavenly.  Even on days he called humid, I was pretty comfortable, as it always seemed to be at least 10 degrees lower than it would be in Florida.  Our activities ranged from walking to the “Clam Shack” for clam chowder, to the beach, walking on the famous and gorgeous “Cliff Walk” that was about 4 miles one afternoon, and walking to the town of Newport the next day.  He took us on a ferry to tour lighthouses on the bay and took us sailing with his friend who owns a sailboat.

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This is where I got to see his stubborn spirit that has likely been around since youth.  He has had to be self-reliant all his life, as his family grew up poor.  Having many siblings meant his parents had to send him to a farm to work in the summers.  He entered the Navy in his twenties, and I guess his love for the sea never left him. His friend also sails several times a week, and they are quite the pair, fearless old men with sea legs.  🙂  We went way out beyond the bay and toward the sea.  My son went down to the cabin, but one of the guys said that would make a person feel more queasy.  After a while, I went there too, just to feel I had something to grab. (There was a table attached to the floor).  I felt shaky, weak, and ready to be sick.  None of us did, though.  Soon, we were heading back from the sea and into the calmer waters again.  We were out there for hours.  I could safely say that I enjoyed 80% of our sailing excursion.  Overall, it was a good experience.  My discomfort was a minor thing; I didn’t ask them to head back, though I am sure at one point I asked “when” we’d head back.  The calmer waters allowed for some beautiful views.  At the end, I had to admit the old man was tougher than I was.

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It was a really enjoyable trip, though, especially the Lighthouse ferry boat, and I attended church with my dad at a Center for Spiritual Living. It was great, and all of his friends there were quite lovely.  He took my son kayaking one day, and I walked to the beach to enjoy the lovely weather.  All in all, it was nice spending time with my father, and I even got some bonding time with my son.  He learned a little bit more about who we are.  When it was time to head home, I was probably good and tired.  The airline flight and getting home at 1 a.m. didn’t help.  The next day, I got new car tires.  The day after, I woke up with a cold, and it grew more harrowing day after day, but I just stayed in, rested, and took the Mucinex.  A week later, and I’m still awfully sluggish in the morning.  At least the big excitement of this summer is over.  All that is left is my mom’s birthday next week.  July is, in a big way, about family this year.  August 6th, I head back to work teaching.  There will be lots of changes this year, but today it is still summer break, so I need to honor that.

Thanks for stopping by for my Weekend Coffee Share!  Have a great weekend.  How was your week?  Are you looking forward to summer’s end?

 

 

 

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