Weekend Coffee Share, Living Vicariously or Just Living

Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Cold matcha green tea accompanied my healthy breakfast today. I want to keep my brain relaxed!

I had my shoulder MRI, an open MRI, after work yesterday. I will say that I prefer an Open MRI to the other option, but it was horrible having to keep my arm still, because it also gets pained lately. The pain in my arm was worse after the MRI, maybe from just holding it so still and becoming stiff.

Still, I am just really glad that I now have gotten that done, and I can meet with the orthopedic doctor in about 10 days to hopefully find out what’s going on and what my options are to improve my quality of life. It surely is affecting many areas of my life: my moods, my enthusiasm, my sleep. I still force myself to get my cardio though. It’s not as much as it used to be but it is done regularly, at least three times a week.

This morning, after a much-needed massage,I had 5 minutes of stretch then a mere 15 minute walk and it almost did me in today. Talk about humid!

After a smoothie for lunch, I went to the hair salon to get my hair trimmed and highlighted, a true treat! Lots of girl talk. I was still so relaxed after the massage and almost dozed in the chair. It is a true self-care day. I deserve it!

Not much excitement for the weekend, but that’s okay, since I’m getting relaxation. I’m still living vicariously through my dog, Bixby’s imaginary life! Here’s my latest Canvas creation:

He is part Chihuahua, after all!

Gee, I remember the nights in my 20s hanging out with friends, then heading for the TacoBell drive-thru. I don’t even dare eat their food anymore!

That’s what I am up to. How’s your weekend?

Weekend Coffee Share, Remnants of a Happy Start

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair in your favorite beverage. It’s a green tazo tea day for me, because I am moving at my own pace. Let’s enjoy a little chat.

It’s a 3-day weekend for me, and yesterday was a payday, so I rang in the weekend by going to St Mary’s seafood and having a delicious dinner. My mother and our neighbor Bonnie met me there. There was ’80s music playing in the background, so it really put me in a cheery mood to start this weekend.:)

Remnants of a Happy MEAL.

Grilled Alaskan Pollock, sauteed green beans, rice pilaf and some hush puppies. Scrumptious! I told my boyfriend about it, and he said he really wished he could have been there. He has been fighting sinus troubles and a bad cold.

Work is starting to get a little stressful, but I am going to relax and be lazy with reckless abandon this weekend, because I deserve it. My dog seems to approve of that sentiment.

If you know me, then you know that I feel creatively challenged right now because of my hand arm and shoulder pain/ impingement, which is taking too long to resolve; writing is really hard to do right now. I did get an idea to share a photo of Bixby in a chilled out mood sitting on the stoop. I posted it as a social media story with the Rolling Stones song, Waiting For A Friend. Perfect!

That song to me seems to start out so relaxed and unassuming, just the guy sitting on a stoop watching his surroundings on a weekend evening. Somewhere, somehow, at the end, we get the horn playing and suddenly the song just sounds so magical to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always loved it! 🙂

I plan to do more of these with Bixby, maybe with the advent of every weekend and giving him a different caption.

I mean, the look on his face! It could be taken so many different ways. I am having fun with this, I hope other people see the humor that I see. If not, I’m just glad I can see things the way I see them, and y’all are missing out. LOL. At least I can make myself laugh. 🙂

I think we’ll end this conversation on that note. Life is always laughable, right? At times, I have said “Life is a Seinfeld episode.” Or, Seinfeld is life. It gets me through the trying times!

Thanks for listening. I hope all is well with you all and that you find a smile or laugh in your coffee cup this morning. Take care!

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I have just a few minutes before getting ready to go get a massage, so this is a breakfast/ coffee chat. Grab whatever beverage you like!

Do you think I use enough anti-inflammatory foods in my breakfast? That’s turmeric powder on my cereal and in the background is an ashwagandha chocolate powder that I put in my hot tea. It actually tastes pretty good! I’m still dealing with the shoulder/arm/hand pain though, and I’m going to see the orthopedic doc this week. At least we’ll see if this needs surgery or is just an inflammatory problem (said appointment is in September. One thing at a time)!

I think I eat pretty healthy foods. My only change I could make is sugar free juice and gluten free cereal. 😭 I’ll only do that if I have to. Time will tell.

In brighter news, Bixby dog got a haircut this week! He’s always a little nervous after going through that sort of day, so I make sure to give him extra attention for looking so cute. As you might guess, he loves it!

School is going well and we’re getting used to an online textbook. I think I’m getting the hang of it! So, today I pamper myself: massage and pedicure. I’m worth it and I work hard for my paycheck.

I also posted today about my book, Undercurrents in Time, because, after all, I am a writer and author, despite my current physical setback. News club will meet after school Monday, so I can encourage a whole new set of young writers, and that warms my heart!

Have a great weekend and a better week to come!

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It is getting to be that time of Summer where these hot hot days and/or the lack of structure in my schedule have led to me not really knowing what day it is!

Luckily, it occurred to me that this is Saturday. Today’s morning Brew is a donut shop blend, most delicious! I had a breakfast date with a friend yesterday morning, and drank my cold green tea before leaving. Some decaf coffee at the breakfast shop left me wanting the real thing, so today, I will reward myself. Sit down, grab your favorite coffee or tea, and let’s chat!

Having slept in a little early, I found that a quiet (but growing more impatient by the minute) Bixby needed a walk right away. So, I’ve already tended to that, and my coffee cooled off while I was gone, which is a good thing today. While it is quite hot out, the sun is not in full force, but the humidity is in full effect.

It would seem that the summer heat and humidity tend to help mushrooms flourish, as we have a lot of new crops of them around the neighborhood. I love looking at them, maybe that’s just me.

It has been an unproductive week in the area of writing. I went to a chair yoga class at the library this week, and the type of stretching we did was great for my shoulder, which is not completely back to normal but felt so good after the class. I plan to go back in the next couple of weeks before school starts. We’ll see what happens with the shoulder!

I did write a poem entry this week in response to the Ragtag Daily prompt, Toys. I think I was all over the place with that one, or perhaps you just notice a change in tone as you read to the end of the poem. Check it out: https://wp.me/p7aqV2-30u

I got a haircut with a little more emphasis on bangs. I think I’ll like it if it’s low maintenance! I won’t really know until I need to style it for myself.

We have my sister-in-law visiting this afternoon, since she is in town. I haven’t seen her in a while, so that should be fun. Bixby I’m sure we’ll be excited, because it’s one more person to give him attention, and since it has started to rain outside, there is not much else for him to do.

I hope you all are having a great weekend and enjoy your week ahead!

Weekend Coffee Share, Surprises or Subtle Transformations

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Come sit on the back porch with me for your morning beverage of choice. It promises to be a slow-moving, sticky Southern day here in North Florida. What would we discuss if we were having coffee today?

Well, Bixby has sniffed around and has already retreated to the house . He certainly doesn’t miss his stray-dog days! Though, he likely will come out again. My drink of choice today is cold, green matcha tea. I am allowing myself to move quite slowly. I hope you don’t mind the pace. Stop a while and relax. I have cardio later, but it can wait!

I’ve had plenty of time lately to take in my surroundings, to stop and smell the roses. Sitting on the porch provides a lot of lovely views of nature. I haven’t seen as many birds lately, but there are other sights.

I’ll be praising the rain again later today. It sure pleases the plants!

This week, I did a little bit of writing for continuation of my short story, Crossroads Diner #205. I hope to extend it to novella-length. Again, slow-going, but I am not fretting over that. I’m allowing myself to move when the muse moves me, and to work on other things when it doesn’t. I am still journaling daily this summer as I eat a slow, relaxed breakfast. It is so good for my relaxation levels.

My journaling experience is accompanied by affirmations by Louise Hay in her journal titled A Garden of Thoughts. Coincidentally, I’m taking an online course on teaching students with special needs, and we are currently learning about Growth Mindset, a very important thing, and I am feeling more enthusiastic about my job and this training than I thought…but let me tell you about my growth in regards to journaling.

Journaling is a part of many self-help programs: AA, chronic pain (TMS) sufferers, etc., because self-reflection helps a person look at how they dealt with things in the past and how they can change it. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and a chronic pain sufferer. Admittedly, I still suffer frequent arthritis pain, and just saw the doctor for a steroid shot in my shoulder this Wednesday. The journaling has really helped my mindset. I’ve often in the past felt like I was less of a person or didn’t deserve great things, that it was just the way it was. That I was limited. I think I addressed the shoulder pro-actively, as I plan to stay active and now I’m stretching it a little more each day.

Breaking out of self-limiting mindset is extremely important. Each of the affirmations in A Garden of Thoughts is highly positive, and I can’t always believe all of them, but I have my own take on them, and I am glad to see the words. For example, today’s affirmation: “I celebrate today, another precious day on Earth. I shall live it with joy. Today I am a new person.” Yet, I just couldn’t agree that today I was, or even ever needed to be a new person. Still, I am not the same-old me. I am much more relaxed than I was six weeks ago, no surprise there.

It does feel like I’m celebrating every day by taking time to smell the roses. This is something that summer provides me, so it’s not entirely new; it is cyclical. I am so habitual. I have my routines: a slow breakfast of cereal heaped high with fruit, a little turmeric powder on top, and more recently, Reiki music during breakfast, and the journaling habit which helps me stay off the computer until after breakfast.* I do feel my stress and intensity melting away a little more each day. My thoughts are: “Today, I am even a little more self-accepting; today I am just a little more grateful, less fearful, and more in love with my lot in life. ”

Each day, I am growing less rigid about outcomes and more determined to enjoy the journey and those who are with me on this journey. I am setting my expectations free, because now is a break from the rat race, so this is the time to do so, and I am getting better at that gradually with each passing day.

No big, sudden surprises, but the gradual realization that I am in love, that I love myself even more, and that I can handle this world and this life, perhaps even handle it well! I’ll continue to celebrate it daily. Perhaps when I return to the ‘rat-race’ this fall, I will maintain this mindset.

Thank you visiting me for a coffee (or tea) chat. What’s new with you?

Weekend Coffee Share, Lazy Summer Lounging

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This last week was very relaxing and maybe even lazy, once I got the vacation laundry done. There were two days of teacher training, however, but Friday gave me a renewed chance for lounging. 🙂

Schultz Center, training and conference center.

The training we received was very informative. Despite English teachers having new standards, new curriculum, and a new text, I left with the feeling “I can do this!” The lesson plans are more clear, and the text completely links with our new state standards, so I’m quite happy with this! I also had a great lunch with a teacher friend at the Garden Cafe!

Since our vacation, I’ve had a sore/stiff shoulder and my boyfriend has a knot in his back muscle near the shoulder blade. For me, it was likely from doing a backstroke while lounging in the Coco Cay waters. For him, it’s definitely from carrying luggage that included my cosmetic carry-on . We both seem to agree that vacation was still worth it!

Here, I’m wearing my obsidian necklace from Chichen Itza, Mexico from Chris. Hard to tell here, but it’s a Tree of Life.
Journaling is part of my summer writing plan that helps me work on mindfulness and gratitude!

On Writing

I wrote probably one page this last week on Ellie, the Time Traveler. I also jotted down thoughts and ideas for continuing Crossroads Dinner #205. I’ve really been distracted by the shoulder. However, I’m still journaling by hand almost daily. Here are some thoughts on being part of the rhythm and flow of life:

From the July 1st prompt: I heard in a pain podcast, “Don’t be fearless, but fear LESS.” (Pain Free You). My thoughts are that we cannot help but to have feelings, but we can try not to over focus on them. This morning, it’s easy for me to trust the process of life. I know all my loved ones are safe, and I’m sitting in a room blessed by Sunshine peeking through my blinds.

Grasshoppers are making joyful noise out in the day as the temperature climbs. It is peaceful. I am noticing it all. On cloudy, rainy days, I need to also spend more time noticing, just observing, because it is also a part of life’s Evan flow, the cycles of nature. I can notice what’s around even if it’s not what I wanted or expected without judging, even if it changes my plans. The dance of nature is so awesome to observe!-PC

That’s where I am right now. I see my doctor about the shoulder next week and will have coffee with a writer friend Thursday. It is sure to be at least a two hour coffee chat! Have a great day, and I hope you find time to relax. Bixby certainly is a guru at this!

Weekend Coffee Share, Finding Light in the Dark

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a beautiful morning, birds are singing, and I’m enjoying my breakfast with Zen green tea. It has a little bit of caffeine, so we’re all good!

If we were having a coffee chat today, I’d tell you that my school year with the students ended yesterday. It was a busy week with events but slow on the teaching requirements. I just had to make sure my grades were finalized, and I did. Class time was comprised mostly of word games and helpers cleaning out my cabinets. Some students are very kinesthetic and like to be doing things with their hands, others loved playing multiple games of Scrabble. I enjoyed teaching them strategies! Attendance dropped off after Tuesday, though.

Tuesday was the day of the school shooting in Texas. I heard nothing of it during the school day, as we were preparing at school for the 6th and 7th grade dance. I chaperoned at the dance and enjoyed watching the kids have fun while I had to admonish some now and then for running around or trying to play tag, you’re it. Some set up a Conga line/ train and made their way around the auditorium with smiles on their faces. Others got down and boogied. It was fun to watch and definitely a little bit of sensory overload that tired me out by the end of the day. After school, I attended Taco Tuesday with some teacher friends to let off some steam, and I was certainly tired when I got home.

I have many thoughts about the shooting, but I mostly am full of emotion and sorry that our kids have to grow up in a world like this. Children were searched when they got to school Wednesday morning. Backpacks were banned for the last three days of school (as they should be). Many kids were absent through the rest of the week, but I enjoyed my time with those who attended while explaining the stricter rules to them and why the current state of our nation/world requires them. I was pleased to see some 8th grade students I had taught years prior who showed me all of their awards they received at the ceremony. Some of them said goodbye on the last day and I let them take my picture in the hallway. So many mixed emotions on that day, as always. Also, a sense of relief. 🙂

I just want to say that our children deserve a better world. We also need more mental health services in our schools. Yes, they are beefing up security, but let’s curtail the problem at it’s root. Then, let’s fix our society so that our nation values children more than the bottom line. It may not happen in my lifetime. Maybe my only purpose is to let every child have a sense of belonging.

Good morning!

In other news this week, I suspect my dog, Bixby has PTSD, faltering eyesight, or slight dementia. He is getting very cranky at night if I try to pet him while he’s lying down, and he starts growling if I use that high-pitched voice that normally brings him running. Then he looks at me like he doesn’t know me. This happens most in my mom’s bedroom, so maybe the lighting is too dim and he’s tired. Maybe there is something wrong. He’s between 10 and 11 years old but was already scarred when we got him at age 3. Regardless, he has been a beacon of hope for the happiness and reduction of stress for everyone in my household!

My mom took Bixby for a haircut yesterday, and he doesn’t snap at the groomer, nor does he snap at his vet. He is only taken there during the day, though. This snapping that he does started maybe 2 years ago, which makes me think it is state of mind or PTSD from a nighttime event. He always hated fireworks. Not to mention his near-death experience last weekend. I wrote about it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2022/05/22/bixby-the-wonder-dog/

There is a slight mark where he lost some fur, but there is no wound. It’s less noticeable with his haircut, and thank God he had that fur during the incident!

Bixby had all kinds of fears when we got him and a chip on his shoulder, but he loved us when we showed him love, and he still does. This morning, he hopped on my bed early and stayed at my feet to let me sleep in, then woke me at 7:20 to let him out. He stretched when I stretched and allowed me to pet him while he wagged his tail lovingly. I know my dog’s heart is still good. I feel this is beyond dog-training and requires understanding, if nothing other than giving him space when it’s dark out. He’s a small dog. I haven’t had him around other dogs at the park in a while and plan to try this summer. And, yes, another dog training class in the near future may be needed. He is family, and family members give each other understanding.

It’s daylight, and the ghosts are gone.

So, I’m thankful he is clearheaded and more like himself this morning. I think I will take him for an extended walk. It’s my birthday weekend, so there are two good dinners planned, time with my sweetie, and a massage scheduled tomorrow. Only good things are in store this weekend! Maybe I’ll do a post like a couple of years ago on inventions a woman my age would really like to see! Maybe a posture support tank top with internal cooling fans? Underwire-free!

But I jest …or do I? 🙂

So, I have a stressful job and a crazy dog, but dealing with crazy has been my life story. You just don’t know; I seem destined for that. It doesn’t depress me anymore. I now know when to be patient and when to exercise my boundaries.

I hope you all have a joyous weekend, and a great week to follow. I’m counting this as the start of my summer!

Bixby, the Wonder Dog

A true story.

Once, there was a dog at the Humane Society who was loved by all. They named him Bixby. One particular family fell in love with his sweet nature and sad, puppy-dog eyes that begged for a home. So they adopted him and gave him a home, much to the regret of many others who were considering adopting him. He hated living behind the bars amid the noise of so many barking and crying dogs and charmed any who seemed they could potentially rescue him from such a life. This time they came back. Timing is everything!

Bixby lived his life knowing that he was truly a huge personality lodged inside a small body, think of a chihuaua mixed with a fox. He barked loudest at the dog park, because he know he could take any of those big dogs on the other side of the fence; He was tough.

A visiting friend once joked that he wasn’t a real dog, but was more of a toy dog. Bixby knew he would prove them wrong. This friend came to visit once, and Bixby was let out of the door. He ran toward the visitor then across the street with the sudden urge to urinate. Once relieved, he ran back, only to run into a passing car. Being a small dog, he was under the car without catching a blow, except for a cosmetic plastic piece that hung down and dragged him a little. He squealed loudly, the car stopped, and Bixby got free!

To my shock, he ran toward me with renewed energy. I didn’t see what happened, but I heard the squeal of the tires and my dog’s startled scream. The driver had stopped, and he came out of the car with concern on his face, “Is he okay?” he asked. Bixby was running around the yard in excitement, so much going on! He didn’t even bark at the driver, who then asked, “Are you okay, little guy?” He reached down to pet the dog but Bixby was just running around excited, possibly on adrenaline. All I could notice was he had some fur that was coming off in one spot, and I touched it, but he gave no sign of pain.

My friend told me about what he saw and remarked, “You know, that is one benefit of being a little toy dog. If he was a large dog, he would have been struck down.” This little dog who earlier wanted to jump in my lap at the coming sounds of a thunderstorm was running around as if to brag surviving a car running over him…”Yeah, I survived, that’s right!” He needed to survive; it’s not time for him to go. We still need to be around to comfort each other.

Fearless!

Weekend Coffee Share, Home and Tradition

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a warm day, and Zen green tea is my wakeup beverage of choice. What’s yours?

Bixby was really anxious for a walk this morning. I had let him out back earlier,but he kept following me around. It was a little after ten when we went (I had slept late), and it must be in the eighties here in Northeast Florida already, because I worked up a sweat!

Bixby was sure happy though, and who could blame him. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and the smells of Spring are freely available to all who wander out.

Our back porch.

It’s Easter weekend in my faith tradition. I dislike the Easter bunny and candy rituals. The Easter story is a spiritual tradition. I went to church on Palm Sunday but stayed home and watched the Maundy Thursday service. I’ll be going to church with my mother tomorrow and my boyfriend. Hopefully, my son will go as well.

In whatever faith tradition you practice, I wish you a blessed weekend. I think I’m a fairly secular person in my writing, but I’d like to think I convey a sense of spirituality. Ramadan and Passover are also going on in April. I have many students participating in Ramadan. It’s wonderful when we can all love and respect one another’s differences.

My search for a Bible verse of the day yielded the following, which I will share in a screenshot:

It is truly a verse that means and says a lot. It brings to mind the Russian war against Ukraine. If only things were different. I pray for them. In daily life, I work to treat others like I’d want to be treated but then pause to find a balance with personal boundaries. Hopefully, this all gets better with age. 🙂

I am so longing to travel but am in a phase of finishing out the school year, while planning some summer travel. Today, I’m on the home front, helping tidy up the house for tomorrow. There is a time for everything, yes?

Have a great weekend, whatever that entails for you and yours!

Weekend Coffee Share, 3/26/22

Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the explorer. And I am relaxing after having slept in late when my back started screaming at me. My drink this morning is a Tazo Zen tea, a green tea which actually does have caffeine but not as much as a coffee would.

Maybe it seems strange that I am not drinking coffee during a weekend coffee share, but I am just trying lots of different things lately for my health and my stress levels. Both of these are intricately related at any rate.

My weekend started out pretty low-key, and I was a bit tired after my work week, so I ordered in for dinner, and just laid around with my dog and later watched Netflix. I got to see my son playing with the dog which was fun to watch for a while, before he went out to dinner.

Spring is such a beautiful time of year, but I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of last year. I’m trying to remind myself of how far things have turned around with my son and my family, and if the people who helped me through those times. It is a work in progress. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy, but it is tiring me out.

This is just where I am at the moment, I don’t mean to complain! My boyfriend and I are planning a vacation for this summer, and that has been fun to plan. The end of my school year is approaching, so that’s a good thing. At the moment I am contemplating what my exercise of the day will be, and it is sure to involve some yoga, because maybe that will help my back. I probably need a good amount of stretching.

It seems that pain is quite a distractor, and my teaching job requires a huge amount of multi-tasking. I must have pulled my back in the last day or two, becuase yesterday at work was rough during my classes, when two kids need help at the same time and often interrupt each other. They say we must train them not to do that, but it is a process that needs so much repetition. Anyhow, my main goal is not to let pain stop me from moving. A physical therapist once said that mine is a stability problem and not a mobility problem. Sounds believable, so I plan to do more yoga at home with an online site called Yoga Collective.

I’m still finishing up the audible version of Wuthering Heights. Bronte definitely created some twisted, messed up characters and relationships. It isn’t a book to rush through, though I feel the best parts were earlier in the book.

The sunshine is inviting, so maybe I’ll heed that call! Have a great weekend everyone, and a great week to follow!

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