Weekend Coffee Share, Full Moon Effects

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer.  It’s a nice, breezy day, and I’m enjoying some half-caff with vanilla cteamer. Pull up a chair!

I enjoyed my breakfast this morning, as well as  a stretch for my back followed by  a short gym visit with my son where I used the stationary bike. I was feeling tired this morning. I wonder how this week’s full moon may have affected that?

I drove home from dinner at the neighborhood Thai restaurant last night, looking at that beautiful moon.When talking to my friend later, he said, ” Do you  think the full moon affects your aches and pains?” It’s true, I was really feeling them yesterday. 

Each little “lotus” is plastic and has edges.

At any rate, my morning laziness included stretching out and laying on my lotus mat, which I also call my pin needle mat. It’s theoretically supposed to release the chemicals you’d produce during acupuncture, and to be honest, I do feel relaxed after it sometimes even fall asleep on it. I ordered it online. If my issue is anxiety, it could also have therapeutic results.

Is anxiety my issue? I’ve mentioned here before about the Mind Body connection with pain. Yes, I somewhat believe in it. I work on improving physically and mentally. However, I haven’t paid enough attention to my dog, another source of fun and relaxation. He will get a trio to the park during Thanksgiving week. I mean, I’m off 3 extra days! This morning, I threw the ball for him as I ate breakfast.

Here he is, anxiously awaiting me to throw the ball!

He’s small enough, and the ball is soft enough that I can throw it inside. In addition, he’s so darn cute when he’s anxious and excited! This 10 year old dogs acts like a puppy again. It puts a smile on my face. 🙂

So, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving holiday with local family, I’ll see my friend/companion Friday, and there will be dog-play time! Other plans will surface, I’m sure, but simple is the way for me these days!

I hope you all have a blessed, fun, and happy Thanksgiving!

Weekend Coffee Share, Honor Thyself

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This week brought a short work week, something most of us in the education field have welcomed! It’s below 70 today, which is cooler than it was yesterday, so I am enjoying some hot coffee!

This past Thursday, besides being Veteran’s day, was also the 7 year anniversary of bringing home our dog, Bixby, from the Humane Society. With a sullen teen/young adult in the family who didn’t talk to us much at that time, my mother and I were thrilled to bring a furry toddler home that wagged its tail anytime we came home! My son has even built a bond with this enthusiastic canine. He has changed our lives.

I am constantly reminding myself to love my life and where I am right now, instead of jumping ahead to the future and looking for guarantees; It’s hard. However, life is better than it had been months ago. My family is in a good place, my son is doing well, and I have steady employment. I won’t focus on the stresses of my job at this moment. 🙂

Seen at the mall last night. Too soon, too soon.

Still, the season may be affecting my moods a little bit. I am fortunate that I could reunite with my old friend/boyfriend who listened through a lot of my hardships this summer, and we enjoy spending time together, but I think back to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday; I have memories and start thinking how different this year will be. I am mindful that I am not alone but sometimes wonder why. Would I be okay if I was alone? So I am seeking more activities to do in my spare time and hopefully to meet more like-minded people. You can’t just rely on one person.

However, I am quite close to my mother, and my son and I are getting along well, even though he isn’t predisposed to being loquacious. I’m still investing in his well-being though. I took him to the mall yesterday to pick up something his dad ordered for him, then we ate in the Food Court. I had honey bourbon chicken with rice and veggies. It was tasty, but maybe not so healthy. I was glad we did something together, as my weekday life keeps me so busy right now. I am really hoping and praying for a teacher raise soon as I want to focus after school time on healthy living next year instead of seeking to supplement my pay.

The approach of the holidays also has me looking back on this year. This year reminded me that anything can change on a dime. I suppose we just have to see the silver lining in those changes. I mean, my son did change for the better. His dad is now in the picture for him, and though those dynamics sometimes stress me out, I do not have to live with him anymore, and my son is doing well living in my home again but being able to spend time with his dad weekly.

Sometimes I write in a gratitude journal in the morning. Yes, I have to actively practice gratitude, mindfulness, listen to a pain podcast sometimes to keep the negativity at bay. Gratitude can retrain the brain., but I’ve also learned to stay away from people who increase my negative thoughts. Trying to honor myself. Holidays can stress me out, but I am going to plan some low-stress time with loved ones. Then, I can be grateful for the time I have with them.

There’s my holiday survival plan. Thank you for reading! What’s your plan?

Weekend Coffee Share. Where I am

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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, Of Fire and Water

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. After a matcha green tea, I am taking my time this morning. Why? Because I can. 🙂

It is Fire Week in the Soul Coaching book, which involves stepping out of the usual routines. It being summer, I get to step out of my work routine anyway! One new addition to the routine is walking 5 miles on Tuesday evenings with a Meetup group, traipsing through neighborhoods I don’t normally frequent and seeing wonderful new sites. I do know one person in the group, but taking these walks is a new thing for me, and I love it!

Strange angle, but I had to catch that awesome sunset too!

There has also been plenty of time to rest, take my time, and live in the moment. If that is the water part of my life, it is a slow-moving, lazy river. I love those, and they certainly represent living in the moment. It is such an important thing to do, isn’t it? Of course, we may not be able to do it all the time. Still, living with uncertainty with all of the shake-ups and changes in my life recently has made living in the moment necessary at times. I have to maintain the balance.

Bixby does the dance of ‘living in the moment ‘ so well!

In honor of Fire week, I wrote a post with a poem all about fire and what the flame means in regards to moving forward. You may view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/06/23/respecting-the-flame-poetry/

Perhaps I will blog more on my journey through the Soul Coaching book, if the spirit moves me. It has become a welcome routine every morning with a long, drawn-out breakfast. When it is done, I’ll be changing up my routines again. I actually worked on writing the Ellie book this week. There will be more of that to follow!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for stopping by for my coffee share!

Weekend Coffee Share,  Old Souls and Thunderstorms

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Summer break is here, and in NE Florida, we don’t have to wait for Summer Solstice; there is plenty of sunshine already!

We have had a few strong thunderstorms. After work Monday, I came home and started some laundry. The skies got dark, and thunder started rolling. The anxiety my dog gets sometimes is very real. He paced, getting very nervous. I lay on my bed reading on my phone, and he jumped up so as not to be alone. Then hopped back down to pace again, panting as if he’d just run a mile.

I tried giving him a calming chew, sensing his heart must be racing like mad, but he wouldn’t take it. A few more turns of that dance, and I finally got him to take a calming chew as I held him in my arms. Poor guy, his anxiety seems to be worse as he ages. I went to my bed and he got up there and laid across me, so I couldn’t do much. He’d scratch at my arms, not very comfortable.

I decided I’d get off my phone and just hold him; after all, I was worried about him. It took a while, but his heart rate slowed, and he nestled into the crook of my arm. Finally, we both napped. My poor little anxious furbaby. I figure he had a rough time all alone with storms in his life as a stray dog. He’s now ten years old, and we’ve had him for 6 years, but it seems his fear and trauma from the past life are not easily forgotten.

Calm after the storm

The workday Monday consisted of finishing packing up my classroom. Yes, I finally was ready to move forward to summer. Of course, I have some travel plans for July and beach time in June. I’ll also be looking out for my mom when she gets her cataract surgery next week. Tuesday, I got some repairs on my car and started another summer goal, which is reading a book that involves 28 days of soul-searching. It also has ideas for journaling, so I started all that when I got back from the auto-shop.

As it was, I ran late getting to the auto-shop appointment, and my hair was still wet. No big deal, though. The Soul-Coaching book encourages accepting ourselves as we are, and there’s a lot about de-cluttering.

Tuesday night, I joined a walking group that meets weekly. We went 5 miles through some lovely, historic neighborhoods. I really enjoyed that, though my legs were screaming afterward. I think I’ll try it again. 🙂

Never mind that I took a one hour walk on the beach with a friend the next day. I did enjoy the sunshine and the company. She and I talked so much! If I keep it up, it’s shaping up to be a healthy summer ! Here’s a random shot from the hip:

Don’t ask me whose legs these are….

I actually don’t know whose legs those are, but I had to post it because it’s quite funny when a camera develops a mind of its own!

Still trying to get inspired to write more of Ellie’s story, a time travel adventure with an awesome femme-fatale. I got her into a rough spot and have to really think about the bridge for their to the end. I already have the end in mind:) I’m sure to return to her this summer, but I think I’ll try to outline everything. I am a mix of planner and pantser when it comes to writing books. Nothing wrong with that!

So, that’s my life as of late in a nutshell. I’m rolling with the punches/changes. No sweat! Haha… I hope you all have a great weekend.

Weekend Coffee Share, Another Year

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Having been fortunate enough to sleep in this morning,  I am drinking hazelnut half-caff this morning! Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage. I decided on Kraugbin for our musical cafe ambience this morning.

I’ll regale you with my wisdom. Heh, scratch that. How about tales of my topsy-turvy life and how I’m managing? Though I’m not a fan of reality lately,  I sure won’t let it defeat me. I’ll let it throw its punches and I’ll fight back. All metaphorically, of course.  You can tell me about your life lately.

If you don’t know me, I’ll just tell you I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder 1.5 years ago. I am no longer ashamed of this.  Being a writer, blogger, etc., I am in a place to share about myself in ways that may help others or that may simply connect me with other like-minded individuals.  Holding it in prevents many opportunities for me to be myself, encourage others, and to be honest about my life.  In fact, holding things in has shut me down in many ways throughout my life.  That is no longer my MO. I’ve been dealing with the anxiety, and I got through the pandemic as well as teaching middle schoolers; then suddenly, around my son’s twenty-fifth birthday,  two important people in my life have left my life.

It is my birthday today, and two days ago I felt I didn’t have the energy to even acknowledge it.  I am not ashamed to say that.  I am a human being with emotions.  However, I’m determined to always survive the storm.

So, I decided to just indulge in some of my favorite things this weekend.

Mom and I started by going out for Thai food and a glass of wine. A church friend, also a Gemini, invited me to her house for steamed crab and salad for lunch today.  I invited my mom, and neighbor, and a co-worker, another empty-nester mom for dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant.  Tomorrow, I shall take my dog to the dog park, something that always fills me with joy whether there are people there or not.  If there are other people there, they are dog-people, the best kind ever!

I feel good about my health, fitness, and my habits. I feel good in the skin I’m in!  Though I still struggle with pain at times, I don’t let it stop me.  In fact, the summer I was told I had arthritis, 8 years ago, was a summer I spent on the couch reading a 1,000 page book.  Of course, I still do read, but I mix it up with movement or using the phone Kindle while on my porch exerciser.

So, my life is just slightly topsy-turvy, but I still know what are my favorite things and have the means to fill my life with them, as well as being surrounded by positive people that encourage me constantly!

I’m getting ready soon to have that lunch with a fellow Gemini, and Mediterranean food later. It promises to be fun and life-affirming!

Have a great weekend, all!

Weekend Coffee Share, Gone to the Dogs!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, on a quiet morning that touches us lightly with a little sunshine and very little humidity. Sixty-five degrees on a morning in Northeast Florida is truly a blessing. My drink of choice is Half-caff hazelnut coffee, and Miles Davis plays in the background in my home ‘cafe.’

We are dog-sitting this weekend. Lucy, a small, energetic curly-haired dog runs around with Bixby and then sits at my feet. Bixby is not sure what’s going on. He’s used to being top-dog, the only dog. My mother is still sleeping, and he has gone back to snuggle with her. A dog for everyone! Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Just a rhetorical question.

Morning outing in the yard.

The sunshine on the house is quite lovely, and Bixby’s fluffy tail frequently expresses his enthusiasm! The dog situation this weekend is a bright spot for me. Instead of looking to the skies and wondering why, I am looking down to the ground at the creatures that were put in our care by the creator to keep us company and make us focus on living. That’s what they do, and so should we.

Dogs are exceptional companions, that’s why they make great emotional support animals. Bixby helps remind me that one does not always need to act their age, and that it is always helpful and appropriate to sniff the air on a beautiful day! It helps me forget my worries, such as why my son is not speaking to me, why my relationship went south, why so much change had to happen at once.

In fact, this Mother’s Day was the first one in which my son was not present. He is not speaking to me. My ex-husband was supposed to bring him to a restaurant and we’d all have dinner, but instead it was my ex-husband treating my mom and me to dinner with much conversation centered around my son. Not all of it though. He seemed to sensed the talk was bringing me down and changed the topic. I took Mom to the restaurant early to have a drink at the bar, though, and she enjoyed that. She likes being social.

Me and my mom, 2021. ❤

I’d have to say, though, that my Mother’s day was nice if I don’t factor in the missing element. Then, this past week at work just grew to be so stressful. It’s the end of the year, teachers are worried about testing, and the kids have the Spring fever. Ugh. So, the dogs are nice company today, and I had a nice dinner last night with an ex-boyfriend from years ago. We had kept in touch through e-mail, and I contacted him recently about all I had going on and suggested we meet-up because I always found him easy to talk to. He agreed to meet.

When one does this, it could mean let’s start a friendship again, let’s have fun, or even more. One does not have to dwell on ‘what it means’ though. We were able to talk quite easily, and that is good. We haven’t seen each other in twenty years. While I am not looking to jump into a relationship, I know when I find someone easy to talk to that I value their time. Along with female friends, I do have male friends that I talk to these days, but I don’t see them as anything but friends. I am going to give myself some space to be my own person. Reaching out though, is one thing I am getting good at. He asked lots of questions and I went through my stories while he listened.

It’s always good to have a friend who listens. It is much better to spend time with someone who knows some of your quirks as well as qualities. This is why I take this kind of chance. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex, or dating after a break-up (this time from an 11-year relationship), can cause anxiety in itself. Sometimes I have felt like I should just spend all my time with the dog and my female teacher friends and just forget socializing with the opposite sex.

In telling my stories, I found that I would lose train of thought a lot, and forget what I was talking about. My short-term memory at times seems affected in that way, and I wonder if my anxiety has caused that or if, as the doctor said, I have ADHD. If so, that means I suddenly developed it in the last few years, or it could be the brain-fog women get as they move up in the years. Ah, something else to worry about? I should just laugh it off. With my students, I sometimes call myself the absent-minded professor.

I can remember conversations from twenty years ago and moments from my childhood, but in a busy classroom or while conversing in a crowded restaurant, I can forget what I was just talking about. So, I have not lost my memory, it’s just a short-term memory thing. As I tell my students, sometimes very intelligent people can forget things, or….”I have an awful lot in my mind, sometimes something won’t take hold.” 🙂 Not making excuses at all. Repetition helps memory. I tell them that as well. It’s all part of the evolving me, no problem. I still think I’m alright. I have a lot less shame and self-judgment which leaves a lot more room for honesty.

All of this sort of fits in with my ongoing novel about Ellie, my on and off work-in-progress, as I have been more focused on working on me lately. Ellie’s story lives on, though, and is developing with everything I learn. She is not me, but I am a part of her. It’s gonna be great. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my ‘cafe’ for a coffee chat. Weekend Coffee Share is hosted every weekend by Natalie the Explorer. Have a great weekend!

In Pursuit of…

Peace of mind

(C) 2021 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

It’s our right.

How much does the pursuit of happiness cost?

Is it found in a mall,

In a thrift store, or a horse stall?

Does it result in a mountain of clothes on your closet floor

Or moments in the sun, fluffy dog at your feet on the floor?

Is it day after day working hard and staying late

Pursuing the money, or….is it the simple fun you can create?

I find that my stuff starts collecting dust

One thing hides another, and I forget what the motive was.

Maybe happiness is to be minimalist and free

To enjoy a given moment and just

Be.

Happiness means different things for each of us.

I hope to find the answer to this.

I’ll make sure to let you know

If I find true bliss.

***Written in response to the word of the day prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/03/08/rdp-monday-pursuit/ Visit the link and check it out!

#WeekendCoffeeShare, My World

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where we sit and respond to the ideas that form in our minds, accompanied by the cutest mutt at my feet and David Bowie music in the background. I think it’s a nice little coffee shop, personally. I’m drinking green matcha tea, but you may have your drink of choice. The sun is up, and I’m feeling bright today!

A new day is dawning! There are a lot of changes in our nation coming up, and in my mind as I navigate my health. I try to deal with the worry; it’s a little chaotic, but one can choose to harness the chaos in order to create or destroy. I have new ideas and hope something is going to pan out at work. This would be a bright spot in my work-week while we grow closer to testing season, which, as I live in Florida, is sure to be thrown at us like it’s business as usual despite the COVID pandemic. You know state testing is a money-making venture, right? (*This is not necessarily the opinion of my employer; these are my views alone).

Meanwhile, I am investing in the socio-emotional aspects of teaching and my students’ needs. I’ll admit, there are some I don’t reach, but most of my days are pleasant despite the chaos of middle-school changes. We can harness the chaos and use it for good! I believe that. I will present the proof when it presents itself, LOL! Still, believing it is keeping me going right now. At home, I am keeping up with exercise, eating healthy, and filling up my mind then learning to tune it down when it’s time to relax. I’ve found working a puzzle keeps me from worry, and good thing, because it’s hard to maintain a social life during the pandemic.

Yeah, I haven’t perfected it yet. This week I’ve been making up creative projects for my Highly Advanced and Gifted kids based on Fears and Phobias or Animal Wisdom. It requires some work time at home. I’ll work a little more on that while the ‘cafe’ is quiet. My dog deserves a walk later though, and I could use the sunshine.

I may have mentioned before that I have a little bit of writer’s block lately. I am dealing with anxiety and ways to tune down the noise when I need to sleep. Journaling helps me release frustrations, and I am not at the point where I can share all of this or convert it to cathartic fiction, though I believe that may happen one day. I did write a poem based on fear and how it blocks our creative energies and ability to be there for others or to show love. You may read it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/01/08/the-occupation/

It’s quiet in this cafe right now except for the music playing and the occasional pitter-patter of my dog’s feet on the tile floor. Right now, Harlem River by Kevin Morby is playing, a new song I discovered by accident, a little jazzy, bluesy, and sultry with electric guitar in the background. Check it out! I’m typing while it’s quiet, but I look forward to your shares of what’s going on in your world. Have a great week, everyone, and be optimistic. Change can be a great thing, and if it’s not, we will adapt until change will come around again!

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