Weekend Coffee Share, On Relating and Forgiveness

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer, accompanied by the music of Agnes Obel. It’s a good day to invite tranquility in. I’m getting my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today and following up an eventful, slightly stressful wake packed full with just, well, too much for my liking. Still, I managed.

State testing was the first challenge, though nothing compared to handling the emotions of my son moving out ON THE VERY SAME DAY. However, I focused all day on the positives and paced the aisles as the students whittled away at their thoughts and words for a state writing test. My ex had flown down to help my son move and get all things in order as possible. The students had my attention; I kept the thoughts at bay. I felt happy that my son is stepping into independence, happy that I may have a new sort of freedom now that my son is moving out on his own. All the while acknowledging that I felt relief and a little worry at the same time, but knowing that this is a necessary step.

My son and my mother, circa 1997-98.

I got to see it after work on Wednesday. The place is small, a studio apartment, but the landlords put in a new stove and ceiling fan. There is faux wood flooring which looks very nice. He got his bed and long dresser in there, has to keep his bike inside, and there’s a bookshelf. There is no room for a sofa. Mom and I decided to get him some folding cloth chairs and TV trays.

After seeing the place, my ex-husband took me, my mom, and my son out to eat a steak dinner. My son was so tired, and my ex was talking a lot about details and ways my son could improve his life, get a car, etc. I’ve mentioned before that my son had a bad car accident three years ago. He also has a mood disorder that is mostly kept in check. He gets lost in the details, and it is not wise to throw too many at him at once. He truly needs to take it one day at a time, but I am proud of how he lined up all he needed to do to get this apartment. He does not have a high-paying job but makes enough to pay me rent, so now he’ll see what true independence is.

It is true that my ex-husband can worry a detail down to a fine thread. Sadly, I guess that is one thing we had in common. He is more of a “You’ve got to do this” sort of person. I am more of a “You need to do this, and if you don’t get that done, what is your back-up plan?” gal. Obviously, we did not get along well enough to stay married; it only lasted 5 years, so dating and marriage for us lasted seven years, and my son was only 2 1/2 years old when I had to leave that marriage, after two failed marital counseling attempts. I felt controlled, manipulated, trapped. He would get onto me about who I befriended and talk them down to me, also accusing me of affairs with male co-workers (which did not happen at all). He stressed me out a lot.

In the years we were together, I had some depression, had a rough post-partum year, and his drinking was problematic. Sometimes I wonder if stress during pregnancy led to my son’s emotional state. I have often been very wary of my ex when he’s back around. I sent my son to live with him one summer six years ago, and it did not go well at all; my son was anxious to come back a month later. I have to try to avoid blame, yet I do feel I’ve forgiven him.

There’s a funny thing about forgiveness. It means “to grant pardon” or “cease to feel resentment.” It is healthy for us, they say, and can prevent the toxicity of such feelings to ruin us. Still, I want to point out that forgiveness does not mean letting down boundaries, which exist for a good reason: self-preservation. In my past year of self-improvement and looking inward, I have been re-establishing and exercising boundaries in relationships with family, at work, and with others. You can forgive someone, but still keep the boundary up. I’ve given past relationships a second chance and learned things didn’t work the first time for a reason. It is not a lesson lost.

My mother is impressed in the changes she sees in my ex. Yes, I’ll admit there is some goodness in that man and he seems to have straightened up. He is here when my son really needs him. I am allowing him to do that. He bought a microwave and some other things for my son’s apartment. The two of them may be bounding, and that’s good. So, I sat at dinner and enjoyed it whole-heartedly, telling him what a handsome son we have and how I love my son.

It is notable that, I have been divorced from my ex for twenty-two years. I dated a few other men after, but I have currently been dating the same man, Kenny, for eleven years now. That relationship provides me some freedom to be my own person and has allowed me to determine what I want: to come forward in my writing, to communicate with the world instead of hiding. I relate to others more freely and have found it benefits my teaching by showing I care and have empathy, benefits how I relate to co-workers, and not being afraid of relating to others makes me feel better about myself. I had a past full of secrets kept from my mom, a therapist, friends. Where I learned I shouldn’t tell my husband everything for fear of being judged or having it spun out of context. I have learned I’m imperfect but pretty awesome as I am.

My current boyfriend, Kenny, has boundaries and likes an amount of time to himself. I am finding that, so do I. Therefore, I am happy with all that has come about. I do wish some things had happened differently and had gone better for my son, but I am going to make the best of today and perhaps make it better.

So, I sat across from my ex-husband, with my son to the left of me who looked quite tired from working the usual hours and moving in the afternoon. My mother was to the right of me, raising a glass of wine, wishing for a good transition and new life opportunities, smiling at us all. I smiled and thanked my ex-husband for the dinner. I hugged my son and said “I love you” as they left. Then, I went to Target and happily bought some chairs and TV trays to support my son in his move.

Thursday I had a usual workday with Spring-springy middle schoolers and evening time to myself for exercising. Friday after work, I had dinner and caught up on my sleep. It has also been a wake-up-at-2 a.m. and struggle to sleep again week. I made up for it last night. So, this morning it is coffee and a vaccine shot at 11 a.m. I look forward to more rest later!

Have a good weekend, my friends. I wish you all a reconciliation with your past events and/or decisions, a present that cannot be controlled but only appreciated, and a belief in a hopeful future!

Weekend Coffee Share, 8/08/20. A New Contract

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. This week, I decided to focus on filling the days that are left of my summer with things that I want to do. I otherwise might have been obsessing about the upcoming school year, and what a waste of time that is! Too much COVID anxiety could get in the way of living. I have a mask to be careful, so the worry is not needed.

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This week, I met a friend and we took our dogs to the dog park for a blissful hour chock full of cuteness! My dog, Bixby, also got a haircut this week and looks so adorable! I went to Physical Therapy twice, and that is easier now. I am doing well, and the PT and I decided when my last appointment would be. I’m nervous, but I will ask questions at the next appt. to hopefully become more confident. Wednesday, I went to the beach with my son again. Any time I go there, the stress melts away the closer I got. I felt tension build up in my body as we left. It seems a constant struggle at times. Friday was not a great day; my sleep was affected because I slipped out on the patio after it rained. It seems the only pain was in my left leg; sadly, that is the side I sleep on due to my shoulder most nights. So it made sleeping more uncomfortable. But I exercised after slipping, and I think that was the right call. I will do more stretching today.

I’ve been thinking lately, that many of us seem to have a contract with ourselves, that we may have a job that serves others, and we sacrifice so much of ourselves for it. I really do not want to put my happiness on the line for a job, so my new life contract is to put my health and mental well-being first. If I don’t have those things, I cannot help anyone and cannot attend to anything else. Next is my family, third is God. Does that seem strange? Well, I believe that honoring my family is honoring God, so maybe those two go together. Many of us also put volunteerism in the ‘serving God’ category, allowing it to get in the way of time with our family. This is why it is not moved up. Moving on. Fourth is my job. It cannot get in the way of the first three. If it does, then I am hurting myself and doing this life thing all wrong. Fifth, a balance between my friends and my hobbies or passions, depending on how social I may feel. I cannot go without either of them; I need them both, but my hobbies and passions do require time to myself. That’s it. Pretty simple, right?

In the writing/book world, there is not much going on except for the production of Malachi, Ruse Master in audiobook. We don’t expect it to be finished until some time in Sept., but I am meeting through Zoom today with the producer of the audiobook. Then, I can find out how he is progressing. Exciting!

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I also posted a short story you may like in response to the one word prompt from Ragtag Community on WordPress.  Read it here: Home. #homeless

That’s all for today.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend and have a great week to follow!

Weekend Coffee Share, an Island

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“No man is an island” -John Dunne

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali. It has been another week full of Live meetings with my sixth graders, the usual online teacher stuff, a broken down computer, and self-publishing a book, which made for a happy break from loneliness or monotony. So, I ordered a new laptop. I use the work laptop, but the microphone does not work, and I’ve been too lazy to take it in to the designated repair center. I’m happy about the new book. One regular reader has told me I’ve taken an “artistic leap,” as it focuses on one character, a young man going through his identity crisis after dropping out of college and obtaining a job where lies and pretending earn his pay.. Give it a look if you like! it intersects with some characters and events from undercurrents in time, but it can also stand on its own.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX

In the last month, I’ve had a pain flare-up, likely due to stress and fear. The news stirs my fear, and going to the grocery store in a mask is weird, but I do it. I feel like I have severe OCD, anxiety, paranoia, and agorophobia. Well, 80% of the world also does right now. I do have arthritis, but there may also be something else. I did so well after physical therapy at the start of this year, but the pain is back intermittently, and I aggravated it by going gung-ho two weeks ago trying a new exercise with light weights. Turns out I should not ever lift anything above shoulder level. 😦 No one told me that; I had to learn the hard way. )

It is relevant that I am currently reading something by Sarno about the Mind-Body Connection. It’s quite interesting, about how emotions or past trauma can cause or prolong chronic pain. Also, certain personality types are more prone to tension-myositis. When I explore these ideas, I feel more in control. Though, I am not really, but I feel it becomes possible.

Family

I am blessed that I have my family here, though. My 78 year old mother, and my 24 year old son. He had his birthday last Sunday and we took a walk in a park just he and I, then came home and my boyfriend came over and we all ordered a great meal from Outback. I bought a cheesecake the day before, so we pigged out on all of that. My dog is also great company in these times; he seems to enjoy having us here, since Mom and I are always here, and my son is here a few days a week since he is working between 20 to 30 hours a week.

My dog has been anxious, though. Perhaps it was because of a stormy day the other day. He seemed to really like energy, or maybe he was preoccupied. And when the storm started, he was very on edge. I had walked him for, and noticed stickers and his leg, so I tried to get one out and he snarled and snapped at me. That is unusual. I kept telling him it was okay and then he started licking my hands as if he really felt sorry. He’s really a good dog. His age in dog years right now would be about 58, sort of young to be a cranky old man. But maybe he’s getting arthritis or something like that similar to what’s going on with me.

My mom took him to the vet, and she said everything looked kind of normal but based on what we had told her she was going to do some blood tests. We are still waiting on the results, but also based on what we had told her, she gave him a chewable medicine and I’m just going to call it doggie Prozac. It seems fitting. He’s in really good spirits today, but not really eating much. So, we pray there is nothing really seriously wrong. He was a stray for three years before becoming hours, and I know there were some hard times, it was evident when we first brought him home. I consider him to be a dog with PTSD, God bless him. I love that dog.

Last night I stayed up a little too late watching Homeland on Showtime with my free trial. I am definitely hooked on that show, as it has many twists and turns and OMG moments. It was a treat to myself to binge watch something again, as I can’t do that much during the week. I do try to take at least two yoga classes per week and I exercise on the back porch about two times a week, trying to stay healthy. Balance, right?

As I mentioned before, my arm and shoulder are kind of bugging me today, so I am writing this via speech to text on my phone. I do need to go back and check for errors. I hope you all have as good a week as possible and taken some sunshine. If I have not visited your weekend coffee share today, please feel free to leave your link in the comments area. I can visit your post via my phone. I’m planning to take it easy today. 🙂 Sending a virtual hug!

Weekend Coffee Share. An Insomniac’s Diary/ Slice of life

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette T. You can find her site and Weekend Coffee Share at https://antoinettetrugliomartin.com/2019/12/06/tis-the-season/  **It is half a cup of hazelnut coffee for me, and whatever you would like as I share my partial sleep/lack of sleep diary for the week.   It’s not as funny as Bridget Jones’ diary, but I think I am just as honest, so there’s that.  🙂  I am hoping some of you may have similar experiences.  Truly, there were several things competing for the heaviest weight on my mind this week.  My physical health and my quality of sleep are two of those things.  I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook about it, partly because I know a few people who at times will post that they can’t sleep or can’t believe they are up at 4 a.m. and can’t get to sleep again.  I have found one or two friends who will chat with me on Messenger when I can’t sleep.  It helps to know you are not the only one with insomnia.

Why is this happening, though? I started physical therapy 8 days ago, and I have leg exercises to do morning and night.  The first two days I was so energized and waking up early.  However, I suspect I should do the night exercises earlier, maybe before dinner.  It will just take some shuffling of my schedule, and I am vowing to bring less work home.  The sad news of a friend’s passing was also something I had to mentally process.  May he rest in peace.

The week in a nutshell:

12/02: Woke up at 4:30 a.m.  Maybe it was the recent news of a dear friend/co-worker losing his battle with cancer.   This is such a big loss for my school and the community.  Maybe it was also partly a change of energy due to having started physical therapy this past week.  My mind was definitely a bit too busy after I woke and tossed/turned from sciatica ( a frequent occurrence).  FB post reads:  Insomniac thoughts: Nothing to see here, my brain is just rattling its cage. #overthinkersareus  

12/03: From my post:  I slept in until 5:23, I have a busy brain and a full cup of coffee, and this student artwork ( blue and pink origami bird) waits for me at my work computer. Started PT for the back and it’s going well. Should be working on the shoulder in the next few weeks. I feel stronger. It’s worth the investment, and I’m trying to work on my mindset. My body must keep up with my brain or they’ll ruin each other. I think my energy level is better, but yesterday was rough due to emotions and lack of sleep.

12/04:  Woke up at about 4:30 a.m. again.  Sciatica.  My doctor and I will discuss this tomorrow.  Scoured Facebook for something to lighten my thoughts and make me laugh.  Posted a funny meme of a rebellious woman not heeding her boyfriend’s command to ‘not drink the whole bottle of wine and act retarded.‘ She sports cut-off denim shorts, an empty wine glass, and Batman cape and mask.  Good for her!  I hope her boyfriend crawled away in shock and shame that he can’t handle this free-spirited girl.  I checked, and my boyfriend totally would not stop me if I wanted to do this. 🙂

12/05- Did not post about my sleep, but I think I slept through the night, so tired.  I did post about my friend who passed, as his visitation was going to be that evening.  Spoke to my doctor in the afternoon appointment about my sleep issues and leg pain.  He agrees the PT is the best thing, staying active is the best thing for arthritis and recurring pain.   For now, I am going to try melatonin at night.  I just spilled out all about my friend’s passing and the many things in the last three years that could have caused my pain: emotional family events, a car accident in ’16 that set off my nerves.  This is good.

12/06- I don’t think I got any actual sleep Thursday night.  My legs and sciatica were bugging me and I could not find my sciatic magnet therapy cuff.  It was cold in the air but I knew I couldn’t make it too hot in the house.  That, and I’d had the PT and a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, lots to think about after the Dr. appt., and the PT included new exercises for the hips, which are pretty unbalanced, by the way (so I’m not used to the hip work that was introduced I probably really need it though).  The visitation for my friend occurred Thursday evening.  I got to meet his family, tell them why he was important to me.  There were so many co-workers I hadn’t seen in years except maybe Facebook, and we did some catching up and laughing about the best memories we have of Ron.  He was loved by so many.  The next morning’s post was me giving myself a pep-talk:

Ah, morning. Despite my lack of sleep, I will make the best of today! I plan to appreciate the students who like to give me hugs, the girls who are writing their paranormal version of the story I’m teaching them, the kids who just started Scholar Bowl and were so excited to tell me about it, and the awesome co-workers I get to work with. From brave new teachers who teach despite horrible news and opinions of teachers these days, to seasoned teachers who keep coming back due to their unstoppable warrior spirit that is, above all, fueled by love for their fellow man and hope for a better future. Life is good!

Sunrise524403_3714407267762_133138129_n Sunrise of hope.

I have been working through this.  I am not the kind who stays home to deal with my emotions.  The lack of sleep didn’t stop me, I liked being around the energy of middle schoolers.  My boss spoke to me early in the week and seemed very understanding of the processes I’m going through.  I’m still pushing through the PT and I know that my mental state is always the best when I feel strong physically, and my physical state is affected if I allow myself to become a bundle of nerves.  One of my relief mechanisms, writing, will not work if sitting in the computer for too long causes me back pain, which it does despite buying a special cushion for the sits bones.  By the way,I mentioned melatonin.  I started that Friday night.  Of course, I was so super tired.  I did my leg exercises from 7:30 to 8, and I fell asleep shortly after the dog-walking right after 10 o’clock.  So melatonin might have helped. I will be repeating and observing its effectiveness.

If you have read all of this, thank you for the patience.  I feel self-centered, but it has helped for me to get the events all together and the possible triggers/antecedents.  Perhaps some of you have been through some of these things? Please share if you are comfortable doing so.  I actually hope my Insomniac’s Diary does not go on a long time, I do not really want enough material for a whole book. 🙂

That was my week.  How was yours?

 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share. Get it together, girl! #balance

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali . I’ll admit, sometimes I can feel myself getting too perfectionistic and being too hard on myself, feeling like nothing I do is enough. At times, I feel like I have to have a little talk with myself, trying to calm myself down. It has been a stressful week. Suffice it to say, teaching is not an easy job. That may not be the only issue. Maybe it was just difficult to transition from Winter break self-care to reanimating my driven self in order to be a quality teacher, yet feeling I have little time now to do anything about my writing goals. Still, I’m always reminded that balance is so important.

I almost took a picture of the scowl on my face on day this week, because I partly was just mad at myself for letting my perfectionism force me to work late and miss my yoga class.  I was also mad at my job for requiring so much of me.  With my writing, I can go at my own pace, but let me be honest, it is not what pays the bills right now.  I suppose I needed an attitude adjustment, and I am not completely sure what got me off balance.  I need to be mindful of this in the future.

Since I missed yoga on my favorite Zen yoga night, I had to lay out the mat at home, so therefore, yoga had to include some dog play.  That is perfectly alright!  He always makes me smile!  We took him to his fourth week of dog training today, which is always fun, and we see lots of other dogs in the Petsmart store where he trains.  He loves that part, too!

What goes in our brains is also very important, and it can’t always be work, work, work. I’m listening to this classic on Audible, while I’m also reading a YA Fantasy book on Kindle. I always have reading goals and plans, and sometimes I participate in review groups ( no time for those right now). I feel badly if I don’t have time to read, and I suspect my brain got lazy over WInter break with lots of Netflix time.  I did read, just not at a fast pace.  Anyway, listening to Dorian Gray is nice while taking a bath.  The language is very descriptive and flowery, somewhat advanced if not archaic, and the narrator’s voice is relaxing.  Reading this in book form would take me a while.  I must add, it got really intriguing in Chapter fifteen and sixteen today!  Hey, it got my mind off of work, even though I did do an hour’s worth of work this morning.  I didn’t finish, but an hour was all they were getting this morning.  This is MY weekend!

Having said all that, I felt like my job was taking oved my life this week, but here I am, writing on my blog! It makes me feel more like myself; it makes me feel unstoppable, and by the way, that was my word for this year: unstoppable. Even though I’ve added a lot of goals to take me to another level at my job, I am going to be unstoppable and keep on writing, enjoying my life, and meeting those goals. I may adjust the pace, but I shall never stop!  Have a great week, my friends.  I am planning on more balance and self-care this coming week.  🙂

Weekend Coffee Share, Back to School for Teachers

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com!  Teachers are back at work, so that has been my life this week.  I crashed early every night, sometimes on the couch.  I even skipped yoga Weds. night, but at least I got in 20 minutes on the Gazelle last night.

In addition to teaching English Language Arts this school year, I will teach one elective class of 7th and 8th grade Journalism.  It will be an introductory class.  I have a few ideas, such as showing clips of newscasts and having students detect any bias in the reporter, as well as, overtime, having them produce a newsletter.  Most students did not get this class by choice, so it will be my challenge to keep them interested, I suppose.  I will be teaching more Gifted students in my Language Arts classes as well, and I think that will be interesting.  In fact, I will likely take another course on teaching Gifted students this fall.

Along with what I am teaching, there are the extra things they want us to do.  A blogger wrote about this phenomenon at jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com.  He urges teachers to not work beyond contract time (4:25 each day).  Others responded to him that our CAST (teacher performance rubric) actually consists of all the extra things that one has to work beyond contract time to fulfill.  Being a member of a professional learning community, committees, etc. are some of the ways a teacher works beyond their “teaching” day.  Staying within contract time for some means bringing more work home.  It also means not participating in some of these committees or extracurricular activities.  I have volunteered for one or two things so far and am being asked to do more.  I’ve said “I don’t think I can,” or simply “No.”  I have to really think before taking on anymore.  Taking on nothing can mean a lower teacher eval score, which means, when that test score (VAM) number for the last 3 years comes from the state, it could even lower my teacher evaluation more.    This VAM number consists of a mysterious high level formula that I don’t think many of our brightest Math teachers even understand.

I love inspiring young people, but I hate the politics of this job.  This is why I stay in the Union.  Case in point: this one week of teacher planning is sooooo overwhelming, I have not even written a thing this week.  This is the first writing I have done.  I imagine it will be like this for a few weeks, though I’ll try to participate in a flash fiction challenge.  So, in some way, a teacher’s right to say no to taking on one more club, committee, or responsibility needs to be protected by SOMEONE!  I constantly seek balance. I’ve already said yes to a few things, and I’m making it a point to reach out to new teachers and make their transition smoother.

I have received some devotions books from fellow blogger, Rick Christensen at https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/, and they are delightful!  They are all about Gentle Witnessing, which is something I am trying to do more.  Not just keeping to myself, I want to share my strengths with those it may help.  Right now, my strength is that I have taught for 18 years under 6 different principals with 5 different schedule cofigurations.  I can be of help to a brand new teacher.  Two years ago, an emotional storm in my life and family made me what I feel to be the weakest link in my school for a period of months.  I still did my job, but I was a shell of what I actually could be.  I plan to do much better this year, but again, I need to balance it and rest while at home, write when I am moved, give time to my family and faith community, and have fun with friends and the boyfriend.  Sunday I plan to go to church and afterward, see a movie with my son, since he is off.  Balance.  I will try!

Please visit https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/ and read a little of it.  If the message resonates with you, follow his blog and/or check out his devotionals!

Bloggers, feel free to join and share in the Weekend Coffee Share conversation at Weekend Coffee Share 8/10/18

 

 

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare, Feels Like Summer!

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com. If we were having coffee today on July 1st, I’d tell you that:

*I still drink hot coffee, despite how warm it is outside, and that warmth seems to glide through the windows.  Heaven help me though, I cannot thrive in a blacked-out room.  There are some days I’ll put an ice cube or two in my coffee, though.  How about you?

*It’s been another week of book promotion and finding people who will review my book, which means contact numerous book bloggers.  You know, I did a LibraryThing giveaway, and I keep wondering when those reviews will trickle in?  I should not be so hasty, though.  This book is at least twice the length of the books I have published in the Made for Me series.  I just don’t know what to expect, and I felt like I started ahead of time as needed.  Oh well, start sooner next time!  Got it.

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I’ve been doing more visual promo graphics for Detours in Time with Canva, and I posted a few here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/detours-in-time-visual-book-promo-fun-with-canva/  I plan to make a visual book post once a week here.

Here is one that sets some character background:

DetoursMemeMilt1 look fifty,

Find a few more here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/detours-in-time-visual-book-promo-fun-with-canva/

*I have not been writing much because of all the promo attempts and writing author interviews.  Okay, that is writing.  I haven’t been doing the fiction writing that I love. I did, however, write a short story for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt.  Check it out:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/fffaw-the-search-ends-at-daylight/

I also wrote an eerie short story last night.  I am not sure when I will drop it on the world, but I had to get the thoughts in writing, and I feel better for doing so.

*Other than that, there has been a lot of family time.  My mother and my son currently don’t drive, but I think things are coming together.  At any rate, I get to spend a lot of time with them and our dog this summer.  I also had a little getaway with my boyfriend for his birthday weekend.  I wrote a short post on these happy glimpses of summer as well:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/summer-glimpses-beyond-book-stuff/  This includes my goal of yoga two times or more a week, which I’m proud to say I am doing!

*I spent an hour yesterday visiting an elderly lady from my church.  I volunteered to do this; I do a few volunteer things through my church.  I was nervous when I first started visiting two years ago, but she is so kind.  She has memory problems, but she is in a really nice Assisted Living community.  When I got there yesterday, one of the directors had been urging a few of the wheelchair bound patients to move down the halls in their chairs.  She had been doing that too, so I continued to wheel her around.  She loved it.  Movement is so good for anyone’s mind.  Then, we sat out back in the shade, just a short while.  She seemed so much happier than usual.  I am glad she has some good days, but I can even tell on not-so-good days that she is so appreciative of my visit, and she offers help to any others there; though I don’t think she could get up and fetch a glass of water, by gosh, she would try.  That’s part of memory, forgetting  certain things you can no longer do.  I learn so much about attitude from her.  I learn a lot about the mind, as I have learned from the nervous breakdown of one of my family members.  I am not an expert on the brain, but I am learning that some things can spark a healthier brain, and I am learning to listen, even when things don’t make sense.

So, there’s my week in a nutshell!  That kind of fits, whith my hazelnut coffee!  How was your week?  Leave me a comment, and go and check out other coffee shares at http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-with-a-big-ol-announcement/

Perhaps you will share your own?  Click on the link up button and follow the steps.

Have a great week!

Summer Glimpses, Beyond Book Talk

I am getting a little time for rest, relaxation, fun, and self-improvement this summer. That’s what summer is for! And while I’m working like mad to promote my book and have decided I’ll teach a Creative Writing class in addition to 6th grade English this year, I’m working on my sanity, as I should!

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I’m spending time with my son and our dog at the park, before noon. Note the wonderful trees! (I promised my son relative web anonymity). Family time is good for the soul.

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Speaking of family time, I’ve already mentioned the mom time, since she is on the mend. We’ve enjoyed a lot of Rom/Com.s together. My favorite: Kate and Leopold. (A time travel rom.com. Of course I love it)!

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There’s nothing like a beach getaway. My significant other had a birthday, and we’re starting to make the birthday beach getaway a tradition. This is the guy who sings Bohemian Rhapsody with me.  Not in public (not yet). 🙂 Getting away is great for my sanity. We had great food, relaxation on the beach, pool and Jacuzzi time, and we’re pictured here after some sunning, enjoying lunch in an open air restaurant called Oasis.

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Bringing new meaning to “down dog.” I’m hitting the yoga studio 2-3 times weekly, and trying trying to work the yoga and program in between. I won’t get it done if I let my dog in the room though!

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My brother’s wife is visiting, and we had dinner on the Riverside of town last night. It’s kind of an artsy area but seems to be getting gentrified. Still, the Wall Street lounge has been there for ages. We didn’t go in, but I was quite taken by this mural. It’s a slice of our town’s history.

I hope you all are having a great summer.  Thanks for stopping by!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Books, Dogs, and Yoga.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com.  It goes like this, If we were having coffee today, on the 24th of June, I’d tell you that:

I actually worked on a book manuscript today!  (Not the one I just published).  Well, the draft is already written, but little bits and pieces have been coming to me, and today I finally decided to add them in.  I can’t tell you my word count, because I only do that during NANOWRIMO.  I’m sure I’ll be adding more to this one.  It felt so good, because it seems such a long time since I’ve done that.  You see, I’ve been working on promoting my new sci-fi release, and most of my writing efforts have gone into that.  I must say, though, I really miss entering the Flash fiction challenges, and I need to get back into it.  The Weekend Coffee Share has been my one semi-regular post in the blogger community.   DetoursPaperback_5211604616564778768_n  Photo:  Detours in Time is my new sci-fi release.  Buy link is in my footnote!

You see, I’ve been writing blog guest posts and answering interview questions in order to get featured on other blogs.  I’ve been contacting book bloggers about reviews and writing those e-mails, as well as searching my book for some really good teaser quotes to add to my Canva graphics.  I published a post earlier this week that explores part of the background in Detours in Time, which is the 1990s.  Find it here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/10-reasons-the-1990s-were-not-so-bad/ This week, I was also part of a blog tour that I signed up for through a blogger in Ireland.  Each day, a different part or element of my book was revealed. Friday, my first page was featured at https://thefirstpageblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/419/  Please do go and check it out!

DetoursMeme1 (2) The book promo graphic that I made on Canva and posted Thursday.  It’s a quote teaser from Detours in Time.  If you couldn’t tell, it’s a time-travel book. 🙂

You may also want to visit this link this weekend, where my book is being featured and a giftcard giveaway takes place when you sign up for my newsletter (a once or twice monthly update) and follow my social media:  https://eskiemamareads.blogspot.com/2017/06/eskiemama-dragon-lady-reads-saturday_24.html

Other than writing and book promo, I’ve been reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.  The social dynamics from that era are interesting.  I have also been going to yoga class and trying some yoga at home.  I go to the studio at least twice a week, get some cardio at some point, and then try to get on the mat at home a few days.  The yoga at home doesn’t last long.  My dog thinks I’m just having fun, so he comes and rolls around on the mat.  It’s a little distracting, but I get what yoga  I can until he just has to have attention.

IMG_0312Dog on the mat!  Not distracting at all. 🙂

So, all the writing and typing gets my shoulders in knots.  Therefore, I had to have a massage yesterday.  It was great!  Later today, I am headed to St. Augustine Beach with my boyfriend Kenny.  We’ll get some beach time, and then later, we’ll have a really good dinner.  It’s his birthday weekend!  I so need a little getaway.  We may get to the shops, unless it’s too hot.  This heat has been overwhelming at times.  Even lukewarm coffee gets to me.  My room also has thin curtains so the sun comes in, full force and bright.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though.  My corner should be and needs to be sunny to maintain my state of mind.  I can always go to another room to cool off!

On the home range, things are still going well.  I had to catch my attitude, as I am the only driver in my family right now.  I am not used to being a caretaker for the family.  For my child, yes, I’m used to that.  I had to check my attitude, though.  It left me feeling petty.  I gifted my mom with a pack of Klondike bars, though, and she was so appreciative.  Everyone seems to be on the uphill climb lately.

Well, that’s my week.  How about yours?  Please leave me a comment, and visit Emily’s Coffee Share.  You may even want to post your own #weekendcoffeeshare.    http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-where-life-just-keeps-being-fun/

Have a great weekend!