Weekend Coffee Share. Bursting the Bubble

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Today I’m having half-caff coffee. It has been green matcha tea pretty much all week. I’ve been trying to imbibe just healthy things and sleep well at night. I slept in today and feel I can handle the coffee; life is short, right?

It has been a full, busy week at work with the end of quarter progress monitoring tests. It always means we must be on a modified schedule, which seriously throws me off. I believe I have a slight touch of OCD, because I like to know when certain things are happening, and where to find things, in order. It’s probably a byproduct of anxiety, if that’s possible. I know those two things can co-occur at any rate. The change in routine leaves me seriously tired in the afternoon. I survived the week, though, somehow, and Spring Break starts in seven days!

Tuesday morning I woke at 4 a.m. and didn’t sleep again. I had a therapy appointment and dentist visit. I took medicine for a tension headache, and it helped. I got home and ate dinner, then just relaxed. I remember my boyfriend calling and that at one point, I said “I’m not really able to talk much. I’m soooo tired.” He said I kept falling asleep on the phone. I believe it.

I did something difficult Sunday, and I’m proud of myself for taking the risk… My studies on pain, anxiety, and repressed emotions, learned from books by Schubiner and Sarno, have reinforced what my metaphysical friend told me once: “You’re holding in resentment from the past. It’s what has caused some of your health issues.” (I’ve had cysts in several places, had some removed, and was told 10 years ago I had one on my liver that could not be removed and might just deflate on its own, and not to worry. No sweat, right?) I know I’ve had resentment for my ex-husband, my almost fiance of 2005, sometimes my mom, and yes, my dad.

My dad is a recovered alcoholic, active in AA since 1989, which is very admirable. I was out of high school then. But when I was a child, he was ‘drunk dad,’ man without a filter, a little sexist and careless as to how his words would shape me as a person. Some of those words stayed with me for so long. It comes up in therapy a lot. I think of bubbles of resentment inside me, burping them up, internalizing them as cysts, and I think of bursting a bubble of resentment. I metaphorically stuck in the needle and started that process Sunday.

When you’re a child, you kind of live in the world your parents create for you. Maybe that’s why I am so keen on creating worlds now, and creating an atmosphere for my students in my classroom. As a child, you might easily stuff things down. Maybe you learn that you can speak up for yourself, but I did not. Mom’s religion taught me to turn the other cheek and be ladylike. Dad’s blackhole of a philosophy taught me to try really hard to be good out of fear of his temper, but his words taught me that I was a growing female fit to be mocked for the changes occurring to me, and that I was not good enough–to get a training bra, to wear bright lipstick, to gain a few pounds and still be beautiful. I brought it all up Sunday. Does it seem to you I was carting out past skeletons that are already dead? Well, they’ve been rattling around in my head inside that imaginary bubble.

At age 15, pictured with my brother.

I’m ready to bury past beliefs I developed from my childhood that caused me to date jerks and marry a man who was a mess and latched onto me for a sense of normalcy, yet blamed me for so much and held me back with his possessive nature. Past beliefs made me keep quiet when I felt wronged or when I saw something going on that I knew was wrong. I expressed all of this to my dad, (on one of our weekly long-distance calls) and he said he didn’t remember most if it, (not surprising from a foggy, rum-soaked mind), but he was sorry.

He said that he was sorry, and he thanked me for telling him these things. No admonishing me for trying to give a guilt trip (something I’d heard him say years and years ago). I am a grown woman past the age of forty, but I still remember being a small eight-year-old, being an awkward ten, being 13 with some baby-fat, turning fifteen and noticing I suddenly had hips, graduating from college and wearing red lipstick, which I thought looked very striking and daring. I remember all of that and should not have been ashamed of the changes I went through. His upbringing did not need to become my upbringing, but I can break through all of that! If I wear daring clothes or bright lipstick, it doesn’t mean I should be labeled. It doesn’t say anything about me except I felt daring that day. And now he and I have an understanding.

College graduation, age 23. Even with bright lipstick, it’s still me!

I said, “I haven’t felt like I really know you in ages…you’re not the man I grew up with. Sometimes you still joke with me like you’re really comfortable, but I am not comfortable with you. I’ve been afraid to tell you how I feel or if I’m upset about something, because you live states away and we might become even more distant. But lately, we’ve just had phone calls in which I tell you I’m in therapy but not what I’m discovering about me and why I am this way or about the way I want things to be. And I’ve felt that if I’m not comfortable really telling you these things, I don’t really know you at all–which makes me just not want to talk to you.”

I know men have had their own narrow gender identities taught to them and reinforced through fear or religious guilt, especially those of my generation or the one before it. I had a lot of that, too. I couldn’t say ‘crap’ for fear it would be unladylike, as if I was disobeying the Lord by doing so. It taught me I could not express anger; likewise, a young man may have been brought up thinking he could not wear pink or express sadness. Well, bursting this bubble has freed me somewhat from that thinking as well. Thank God, the changing tides of time have also loosened these definitions and judgments!

So, you, dear reader, may have never met me before, you may somewhat know me, or you may know of me. I do not mind you knowing these things. Maybe you had a similar upbringing, maybe you suffer ongoing, chronic pain/tension or anxiety. Anxiety can run through the DNA, it can develop from your upbringing, or may be a reaction to a temporary lifestyle. But I feel that acknowledging and letting out things that make you uncomfortable or anxious can loosen the grip anxiety holds on you. Maybe you’re still young, but I want you to know, life can get better, and this is the one joy of adulthood. You CAN take charge. I’ve often worried what people think of me, but I do not want to be fake. I have struggled, and I have overcome many things. That makes me incredibly strong, and why would I be ashamed of that, ever?

I have burst a bubble of silence and fear, for I am not afraid to be who I am, to acknowledge where I came from, to change the parts of it I feel were wrong, and to feel proud of what I have done with all that I was taught and all I was given. The bubble has been burst and that which festered will leave me, in a sneeze, in a conversation, or when I spit out my toothpaste. I don’t expect it to happen all at once, but I am confident that it will not rule me anymore.

Thank you for reading my Weekend Coffee Share. I’ve been a writer for a while for many purposes. I have a book in the works, and I write blog entries and poetry. Here is my most recent poem on kindness: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/02/23/cake-it-poetry/

Have a a great weekend and an even better week to follow!

Weekend Coffee Share, Getting in the Spirit

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage!

It has been a long week, but I survived it and this weekend, I know there’s no need to set an alarm Monday! My grading is done, and I already have some ideas for my lessons in January. It is a good feeling to finally be caught up!

Things got pretty intense this last week. My boyfriend had sinus symptoms ten days ago, and Saturday he called to tell me he tested positive for COVID. I freaked! I was supposed to drive up to meet my brother in S.C. to get my mom and bring her back home…but not in the midst of COVID cases exploding around me! My son also had a cold. After two days, he said, “Nah, I’m getting better. I don’t need a test.” I thought he was being way too headstrong and stubborn, but he kept sounding better day after day. I was, ironically, lucky my boyfriend did not see me the weekend before last since he went to see his dad in Georgia. Therefore, I was outside of that rule “Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks?” Otherwise, I’d have to quarantine away from work for two weeks.

My significant other and me, circa 2018. He’s not a vegeratian! 🙂

Things are much better. My son’s cold is almost 100% gone, and my boyfriend tested negative for COVID yesterday. So, I’m going to pick up my mom Weds. I’m not too keen on driving in South Carolina during holiday traffic, sometimes I get panicky due to a car accident in 2016, so I’ve asked a friend to drive up with me. She said yes, thank God!

All week at school, the kids were a bit more excitable than usual. Friday, my plan was quite simple: discuss if you would choose either a pause or a reset button on life; explain why, creatively. Then, design/color an ugly (or wonderful) sweater on paper. The standard? “We can co-exist harmoniously.” I challenge anyone to prove to me that is not a legitimate standard in this day and age. I mean, they had to share crayons. The discussion in some of my classes was GREAT!

It was ugly Christmas sweater day, but I don’t have one. So, my Christmas dog mask had to suffice. 🙂 I was tired, but I’ve been tired almost daily for the last few weeks. Those kids kept me awake, though. I have to admit, the students I teach are pretty great. Sometimes, full of too much energy, but they’re good kids. Friday was fun, but it went by just fine. I was given a few nice gifts from the kids that included gift cards to places I love. At the end of the day, one of my female students surprised me and hugged me. She said she was sorry about COVID changing everything and hoped I had a nice Christmas. We don’t hug these days; I was surprised. But I did not shoo her away. There is such a delicate balance between human connection and COVID safety that makes these times hard. I’m not worrying about it, but I worry for those who really need that human connection.

Christmas 2020!

Yesterday (Saturday), I acted as adult chaperone for kids in National Junior Honor Society as we rang the bell for Salvation Army collections. It’s the first actual holiday event I’ve joined in, being so cautious and having slight COVID anxiety. This is always a fun event, as the kids are great and very civic-minded. Several of the students were in my class last year, and some I had taught two years ago, so it was nice to catch up. I was still a little tired, though, so I left when my shift was over at 2 p.m. and at home, got the first nap of my Winter Break!

Some relaxation is certainly in order! Stay well, everyone, and feel free to visit Allison’s blog and join in the Coffee Share today or in future weekend shares, https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2020/12/18/weekendcoffeeshare-relaxation-life/

Peace!

Best of the Year! #BOTY2020

     Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Season’s Greetings whatever holiday you celebrate and where!  2020 has been quite a year. I would say my proudest work accomplishment this year as a Middle School English teacher was putting a focus on Socio-Emotional Learning in my classroom by trying to learn what personally motivates my students with various learning abilities from standard, advanced, to gifted learners.  I’m working on building community.  One personal achievement I reached this year was maintaining a connection with my students during COVID lockdown in Florida from March to June.  I would say that it was really rewarding during a time of uncertainty.   

      

Teaching during COVID Lockdown, Spring, 2020.

                       

     This year, I published one book titled Malachi, Ruse Master. It is not specifically sci-fi, but focuses on a character that connects to characters and events in my Detours in Time series.  I really enjoyed writing this one, getting into my character’s head and writing about the struggles of finding your identity when you are a young adult. He works in an unusual job that serves to help him discover many things about himself and his own ethics. If interested, it is on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX

 In 2020, I suffered a frozen shoulder and recieved physical therapy for it. I’d been through PT at the end of 2019 for my back and still use some of the principles and exercises I learned. The shoulder recovered, I’m glad to report. In the process, I read and discovered a lot about how our mindset contributes to pain. Some of it is automatic and takes much work to change, but I am working on the mindset constantly. There are many people who helped me and worked to understand me this year, and I am filled with gratitude. I am trying constantly to extend my circle of gratitude for every little thing someone does for me or every attempt at understanding me. It makes me smile more, which makes people respond more positively to me. It seems to pay off for everyone.

I wore my pearls to honor RBG on voting day, 2020!

COVID anxiety has been a struggle for me, but I’d say it comes and goes, and staying busy or exercising seems to really help.  I struggled with anxiety and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder even before COVID became a concern for the United States this year, so fortunately, I was already working on the problem before lockdown occurred and cases skyrocketed.  It’s odd to say, but the diagnosis came right on time. I’ve read and studied many books on the subject and took an online CBT course this year.  I feel that knowledge and acceptance of our own flaws are both very important.  One thing I do regret is my lack of focus, which really got worsened from COVID lockdown.  I am able to focus on my work but cannot seem to focus also on writing a book.  Never fear! I have an idea in the works, but it will take longer than my former books.

My social life has suffered probably as much as anyone else’s. I have a writer friend I would invite to the house a few times over the summer for coffee and a chat, distanced, of course. My boyfriend and I maintain contact and even went to socialize with some of his friends outdoors on their patio this summer. I had two Zoom meetings with some of the ‘gals’ from work, one of which carried on into a FB group video chat and included some fun app affects!

At least I have my family, I have an understanding significant other, and I have some longtime, trustworthy friends. My mother has had an extended stay at my brother’s house due to COVID concerns, but I am getting her this week. My 24-year-old son and I have been co-existing gracefully, and he is becoming such a generous soul. I remember his teen years, ugh. He certainly has had his own struggles and still has some effects from them. Still, he is finally growing into the person I’ve been trying to teach him to be in the most important ways: gentle, generous, kind to his family members and not so self-centered.

 My biggest lesson learned this year is that our mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. It immensely helps a person’s mental health to tell someone about what is bothering them. I have a stressful job, and just discussing with my boss some of the things I have to go through to get organized and handle certain situations provided such a relief. My anxiety, especially in the holiday season, hits at unexpected times, and I’ve even explained to some of my classes that I feel claustrophobic if too many of them come up to my desk. It has helped. I also cannot concentrate if two people ask me a question at the same time. In my everyday life, I’ve been practicing not keeping things in and speaking my mind in a calm manner. 

I also asked for help, unashamed, from a good work friend before taking the drive to South Carolina. When asked if she’d ride along with me and maybe take turns driving, she said yes without hesitation, looking forward to time away from ‘mom’ duties. I am so thankful! Having her to talk to on the way up was great and kept me calm when I went 20 minutes past the exit for I-95. We laughed it off and kept on going. When traffic was congested in South Carolina, as usual, I said, “I hate this road,” and she said, “It’s okay, we’ve got this.” It was very helpful, as congested traffic makes me feel boxed in, a result of a car accident I had in 2016. Why am I not over that? Why ask why, just make adjustments as needed.

I know there is a little risk involved there.  So, appropriately, my favorite song of the year has been Caution by The Killers.  Okay, it’s a love song, but I want to love my life and ponder predominantly on the positives, so it works! The beat and the lyrics are so inspiring! 

So, I say, speak your mind, throw caution to the wind! Take a risk.  The worst that could happen is that you may not feel accepted by that person, in which case, they don’t deserve your openness. Talk to someone else, then. You will soon find someone who has felt the way you do at some point in their lives. So, I have learned to own my life, my personality, and not be ashamed to share what it means to be me. I may not be able to travel right now, and life and activities may be COVID limited, but I am still going to grow. 

This Best of the Year tradition was first brought to my attention by my global blogger friend Beaton. You may visit his blog at becomingthemuse.net and his Best of the Year at https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/12/17/what-2020-taught-me/ You are invited to share your own, and use the hashtag, #BOTY2020.

In my tradition, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and Best wishes for 2021!

Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Weekend Coffee Share, Grateful for Each Day

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage! My ‘coffee shop’ has a cute pup wandering around, and in the background, music plays by the band, LIVE, particularly, my favorite song lyrics:

Don’t try to find an answer

when the the truth’s already here

don’t let your heart be wounded

Show no mercy to your fear.

****

Quite appropro, as I had to meet my traffic anxiety face-to-face this holiday season.

Scenes from my Thanksgiving: I proudly drive two hours straight through Georgia and then (respectfully) require my boyfriend, Kenny to drive I-95 in S. Carolina. At a rest stop in Santee, my bro grills hot dogs and we have chips too, before he ushers my mom up to Raleigh, N.C. I gratefully ride home with Kenny having avoided an 8 hour trip alone with my mom and my traffic anxiety. (If I needed a break, her driving would also cause me great anxiety). You see, I could have gone up to N.C. with my mom, but, you can infer why I preferred not to, and my brother and his wife don’t get much time visiting alone with Mom. By the way, what is up with I-95 in South Carolina? Everybody seems to take that route north during the Thanksgiving holiday, and it is just TWO AGONIZING lanes. That scene is just not for me, and let’s suffice it to say, I am honoring and setting my own limits….

Thursday, I effectively teach Kenny’s 83-year-old dad how to take a picture with my cell phone! His smile was wonderful! Carb-laden food is consumed and I laze around. I let my son drive me later on and I get scared half to death because of his involuntary tics…which also add to my anxiety and I don’t know how he can white-knuckle it and tell me “It’s nothing.” He won’t get checked out. I sometimes fear it is a lingering result of his head injury from 2017. It is in his hands, also in God’s hands, I suppose. I pray it is not as awful as it appears to me. Friday, I avoid shopping malls and do nothing but dog play, yoga, and laundry.

On the note of anxiety, I am starting to re-read the book, Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety. It speaks of Toxic anxiety (so prominent in our world today), Natural anxiety (think of wildlife, ready to fight or self-protect), and Sacred anxiety (involving fear of death or that our time is running out to fulfill our purpose). It is brilliant, faith-based and Science- based, so all-around perfect in my book, and I highly recommend it if you are trying to achieve/ maintain balance or calm in your life.

I am not writing much as far as progress on a novel, but I already decided this next one will take some time, and I will give it time to marinate. However, I seem to churn out poetry now and then and a short story or two. Here is a recent poem I posted on my blog about ‘knowing thyself’ and honoring yourself during the start of a hectic holiday season. Check it out here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/11/26/slow-down-and-grow/

Thank you for stepping into my world and catching up for coffee today. I hope you all have a great week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Let’s Not Talk About Work!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I’ve had three non-coffee days this week. I can’t believe I survived! I substituted matcha green tea for coffee. My worst day this week was a coffee day, not because of the coffee, it’s just that having had coffee did not solve the issues.  Seriously, I love my daily coffee, but I already have enough tension in my body and my brain. To reduce this, I am trying to reduce the coffee. 

2018
2020

Lately,  I’ve been working on my peace of mind and staying active and healthy goals. This Spring and Summer were all about that. Exercise is great for me, but my job is taking over. I’m going to manage it. It will not take over a healthy me! So, let’s not talk about work.

I look at myself from two years ago and see the difference.  I suffered with my shoulder issue this summer but got past it! I look more confident.  Emotionally,  I’m doing better because I have tackled some problems that were failing me. I also recall that the 2018 picture was in Rhode Island.

My son and I stayed in RI to visit my dad, a self-described bull in a china shop, a thirty year recovered alcoholic , and a very admirably active senior.  He kept us very busy, and we’d walk for miles touring his town (Middleton), which was lovely.

But we won’t forget his bull-in-a-China shop attitude. He took us sailing with a buddy, out to the choppy sea where we both almost hurled or passed out. Growing up a people pleaser due to my dad’s alcoholic anger and the sexist things he would often say, I kept the peace. But that does not keep peace inside me, and it doesn’t sit well with me now. He certainly does not talk to people like he used to. Still, I learned something from this rough sailing and my non -reaction; this sort of thing shaped me as a child.  Now that I have processed it, I’m going to change it.

Reykjavik, age 4.

Don’t ask my mom about the time in Iceland when I was four, and Dad took us mudding in his Landrover, heading for a rumored bottomless pit.

“It’s just a rumor,” he said, or something like that.

“We’re getting out of here!” Mom took me out of the truck and we went to dry land. She never told me the rest, but this experience also shaped me. I was not safe in the hands of someone I should be able to trust.

Thus goes the journey I’ve undertaken in this last year dealing with the results of distrust and feeling so out of control of my life. I’ve been so good at sweeping traumatic, stressful family events of the last 6 years under the rug, that it all blended with past experiences to make a green soup of indigestion, pain, stress, tension, insomnia, etc. I’ve found some helpful online groups for venting. I use a meditation and pain app. Does it all work? I am still at the start, learning to be mindful of my brain’s usual reactions.

In other, lighter news, I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc about my shoulder.  He says I’m almost at 100% healed of the frozen shoulder based on my mobility, and I don’t need to place limits on myself! It’s not time to get lax, though. I have to monitor any aches but not let them stop my living. I will stay diligent and keep up the exercises; I also have other health goals to meet or maintain. I can do this!  I am feeling good overall and staying active.

I hope you all have a great week and progress toward any goals you may have!

The Coconut Village, A Self-Love Story

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I had just spent a whole year single after a devastating break-up.  My job came through with a bonus at the end of the year, so I was going to travel.  The Bahamas became my destination.  Beautiful beaches, 80 degree weather, sunshine, and beautiful people with rich accents would fill my vision and my world for a few days.  Travel by cruise ship was my choice.  As we are stuck in our various hometowns due to COVID right now, it does me some good to look back on these memories.

It didn’t take long to decide who I would take.  There was no one I really wanted to go with me, no girls-gone-wild trip for me, and I wasn’t convinced I’d want to meet a man on a cruise ship.  This vacation was for ME.  I didn’t want to leave my ten-year-old son with my ex-husband, though, so I took him with me.  He was such a great kid for a ten-year-old.  I did not regret my choice.

Being the only adult in my partner, I got to make the decisions on where we would go, what tours we would take.  It all worked out! I kept track of my charge, planned our tours and agenda, and still had fun.  We took a tour of Queen Mary’s steps, a flamingo farm, and other lovely sites. Then, we took time to enjoy a beach a little bit away from the tourist hotels.

I paid for a cab which was more like a mini-van that could hold several people.  We found our beach that was riddled with gnarled trees, white sand, and coconut trees.  We sat, waded in the water, he swam, and I just wanted to relax on my towel.  Looking back, I feel as though I forgot to worry about a thing in the world, except keeping an eye on my son; but he was keeping track of where I was and did not want to wander either. I was home base.  I don’t remember us arguing about a single thing on that trip.

After a while, a woman is walking by and says to me, “Do you want’cha hair braided?”

“How much?” I ask.

“Six dollars per braid.”

“How about the whole head, just across the front?”

“Fifty dollars.”

I pulled the cash out of my pocket and said, “Okay.”  I explained to my son that I could not turn my head, and he HAD to stay in my sight.  He did. He sat and gathered some coconuts.  She began to braid. We talked about my son, her family, where I was from, and I forgot to worry about her fingers in my hair.  I forgot to worry about people I don’t know walking up to me.

A man came up with a box. “Coconut and rum! Two dollars.”  I forked out the money and forgot to worry about drinking something from a box carried by a man on the beach.  It was tasty.  I forked out more money and I don’t know how many I had, but nothing too crazy.

My son started going a little further and gathering more coconuts, adding in what I drank from.  I bought him his own coconut (minus the rum) to enjoy the coconut milk. He kept gathering more and when he had gone a little too far, came back when I called.  I explained that he had to stay safe and I couldn’t get right up.  When she finished my hair, I looked like a blonde Caribbean girl, or just like me trying to look Caribbean? It was cute, anyhow. 🙂

As it got closer to evening than afternoon, we had to walk back to find another cab.  No problem.  We got into a cab that was full of young guys having a party time.  Oh great, I thought.  They were a little noisy, but I joined in as they started singing old Motown hits.  It was so fun, and my son just looked at me and laughed. I can still picture the look on his face.

The next day, we woke up on the cruise ship and went to the pool.  I just took in the sunshine and the breeze. I was a little hungover.  He sat there quietly. When he went in the pool, he told me where he was going. I kept my eyes open, still relaxed, and soon, our dinner table partners, a woman with her grandson, came up and said hi, so my son had someone to play with in the pool.  He had a ball, and I sat there and relaxed.

It was a buffer time between a bad break-up and my son’s angst-riddled, terrible teens.  But this vacation served to show me there are rewards when you just let yourself do WHAT YOU WANT to do. It also gave me a focus to look back on when those teen years happened, to remind me that, yes, my son really is a good person, and we can get along quite well. Sometimes, making time for my son has been an important act of self-love.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share, Top Ten ‘What’s Up’ in My Life

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  You know when people ask you “what’s up” and you say “Nothin'” or “not much,” but you know you’re lying and they know or they didn’t even mean it when they ask you “what’s up?” Let’s not do that.  Sit a  while, sip your favorite beverage, chat, and listen.

What’s up with me?

  1.  Went to Santee South Carolina with my boyfriend and mom yesterday to meet my brother and his wife at a state park for a picnic.  They took Mom home with them to NC for a few days.  It was beautiful and we all enjoyed it until it started raining and the wind blowing with almost hurricane force. We made it back home in clear skies, though. It was a good day trip.
  2. My grown son was, as a result, on his own to get to and from work yesterday driving my mother’s car. He made it back without event.
  3. The aforementioned son of mine texted me in the afternoon to ask when we were getting back.  By gosh, I think he missed me. The dog obviously did, but my son made it known in his subtle ways.
  4. COVID cases are really rising in my state of Florida.  I think I am being pretty safe, I just wish they’d find a vaccine already.
  5. I finally was able to get an MRI for my shoulder.  (Honestly, it should have happened sooner so I would know what limits to set for myself).  My insurance did not approve the request back in Dec. and required me to go through some hoops first. I should have pushed for it back then.  It turns out there is a partial tear and some other arthritic in the AC. The doc wants me to see an orthopedic surgeon for an opinion. I’m not going to share my feelings on this just yet, but a less invasive solution is my hope.
  6. I caved and got a steroid shot for said shoulder. The shot hurt, but I felt better later. I’m icing it a lot and did not drive much on the way to SC. Luckily, the boyfriend was willing to drive more.
  7. I’ve been reading books about healing and visualization is one form of self-encouragement and relaxation. So I visualize a vampire fairy, yes, that’s what I said, biting my arm which is always stiff due to tension or perhaps self-protection because of my shoulder. It will bite me much like a mosquito, and take out all negative energy that causes me stiffness and pain.  Said fairy will then fly off to the ocean and vomit it out. (It has to go somewhere). Of course, it stirs up a storm there, but we end up getting rain for days on end. No worse that acid rain. In fact, it will lose its negative energy the more it pours down, and I will have no tension and much less pain.  Where did you all think rain came from?  Oh, never mind.

Writing Status

8.  I have randomly been working on a rough draft for my next book in the Detours in Time universe, based on Ellie from the last two Detours in Time books. Like Malachi, she is one of those characters that has really stuck with me.  Well, I visualized and wrote the ending.  The beginning and middle are not fleshed out, but at least I can go forward with the end in mind! It is kind of exciting, now that I think about it.

9.  Just like that, I have a voice narrator for my most recent book, Malachi Ruse Master!  He is currently working on the 15 minute sample. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we go along.

10.  Does anyone know where I can publish a short story that I think is really good?  I’ve found and entered 1 online contest, and searched other story sites but cannot see myself boxing the story into a limited amount of space or words.  It’s not long, but it is beautiful and mysterious as it is; I do not want to change it to fit tight specifications. Still, I want to share it with the world, and the new Twilight Zone is no longer taking submissions for possible publication on screen.  😦  Ideas anyone?

 

So, there you have it.  I may have left some details untouched, but you definitely have an idea of what is up with me!  I skipped Coffee Share last week, so there was some catching up to do, and the ‘top ten’ format helped me focus.  I hope you have a great weekend and upcoming week! How is life in your world?

Weekend Coffee Share: Set back, but Still Moving Forward

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  It’s half-caff for me today, and whatever you would like, since we are doing this virtually.

I’ve had a slight personal setback, but it won’t stop me.  After a slight accidental discovery 2 weeks ago (that I cannot do exercises that involve my arms above my head with a 3-pound weight), I consulted the doctor yesterday. It has been hurting for this full two weeks, and my mobility seems even more limited in that arm.  The doc says I have a rotator cuff impingement. It does not feel good. I’ll be taking Prednisone for a few days hoping to avoid a steroid shot. I have to go light on the weights, but I’ll just find new ways to move this arm and shoulder. He showed me some stretches I should do that do not involve weights.  I’ll still do online pilates barre tomorrow, just without weights. 

We also had a scare this last week.  My mom had horrible heartburn and pain in her chest.  She said ‘It’s just my esophagus, I’m sure,’ but I insisted she call the doctor Monday.  They said she’d better go to the ER, ‘just in case’ there was something going on with her heart. At the ER, they decided she needed a stress test, so she waited overnight at the hospital in a room. Her test was in the morning, results didn’t come back until after noon, but her heart was fine.  She has to see a surgeon about her gallstones, though. We’re just thankful it is not her heart! With all of this social distancing, I feel really close to my family in my home.  Sadly, I could not visit her in the room.  I am just glad that little scare is over!

In book news, my most recent book,  Malachi, Ruse Master got its first, and it is 5 stars!  This same reviewer stated that I seem to have made an “artistic leap” with this one, and I find that quite a compliment!

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“Malachi is a living, breathing character, likable, flawed, believable, who grows in wisdom page by page. I lived his adventures with him, sympathizing with him as he faced his dilemmas.

I read almost the entire book in one sitting, stopping only after midnight had come and gone. Now I look forward to Pamela’s next book.

I heartily recommend this book. If you have not yet read the Detours in Time series read this first. Then look for Malachi again.” -Steven, Amazon Review

Malachi, Ruse Master is deeply character driven and connects to Detours in Time book 2 (Undercurrents).  As the reviewer stated, you wouldn’t need to read any of the others first.  There is a lot of mystery in Malachi, Ruse Master and just a hint of sci-fi; it is telling Malachi’s story. He’s a twenty-year-old trying to find his way and his place in life.  What ensues is quite a roller-coaster ride!  You might like it.  Find it here:


https://www.amazon.com/Malachi-Ruse-Master-Character-Spin-off-ebook/dp/B086VYJYZX

I thank you for stopping by and reading my blog post! How was your week? 

Weekend Coffee Share, from a Safe Distance, of Course….

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  If nothing else, we can keep in touch online, sharing a cyber latte, tea, or whatever you like!

I just came back from the Auto Shop where I was watching my son change my battery. He works there, and texted to tell me it wasn’t too busy.  Man, time flies! Photo circa, 2018.  I am quite proud of how well he is doing, learning to be an adult.  He asked me how my day was going and opened the door for me.  I guess I raised him right!  Friday night, I went with him to the Mexican restaurant down the street, an upbeat placed called One Night Taco Stand.  We enjoyed it and ordered a drink.  I felt so brave being out in this time of much fear of other people.  Now, however, I am thinking a lot about my 77-year-old mother and her health and safety.  The three of us all live together, and I’d hate to bring a virus home to her.  So, I am not going much of anywhere today.  I’m editing a book and reading a good bit.  I wrote a flash fiction response to the Ragtag Community’s Daily word prompt.  Click here to give it a quick read:  Isolate (Flash Fiction)

Having sat outside with the dog for 10 minutes in the sun, I’ve been back indoors other than driving out to the Auto shop.  I also had signed up for an online course in Mindfulness and started some of those modules today.  It is something I enjoy learning about that is also very good for me, helping me to not be too worried or anxious during this world’s events.  I’ll do more of that and the editing this week, since public schools have an extended Spring Break for two weeks now.  Above, I am sporting what is now called Quarantinehair.  Yes, there is actually a hashtag for it, found on Instagram. It is quite an easy ‘do, no brush!

Have a good week, my friends.  Do not stress too much, but stay healthy and safe!

There was a Frost on the Ground. #fiction #FOWC

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Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Why is my life such complete, utter crap?  Jackie pondered.

Santa would be coming soon for many boys and girls in the neighborhood.  Santa did not like coming to Jackie’s house when she was younger, because all that was left for him was an empty bottle of bourbon and cookie crumbs.  She had tried to tell her teacher that in second grade, much to her later regret.  A stay at Aunt Charlene’s house for two weeks was the result.  Even Charlene tired of that situation.

Dad lay on the floor by the couch, already passed out.  Mom was out with her new boyfriend.  How Mom and Dad could be separated and still under the same roof was beyond seventeen-year-old Jackie.  She wasn’t sure when Mom would be home.

Would he wake up and vomit? Jackie wondered.  Will Mom be home when he does?    Footsteps and cheerful voices approached outside the door.

“Hallo!”  Jackie’s mom walked in with a man in tow.  “I thought you should meet Tex. Oh,” she stopped short, as if surprised Jackie’s dad was on the floor.  He obviously had started early, which was not unusual.

Please, don’t wake up Dad, Jackie thought.  “You all should leave.  I mean, it’s nice to meet you and all, um, Tex.  But I don’t want him to wake up.”

“Nonsense.  This is my house too,”  Mom claimed.   With that, she sat down on the couch, and Tex on the chair closest by.

“Okay.  Suit yourselves.  Merry Christmas.”  Jackie headed for the door, grabbing her coat.

“Play cards with us?”  Tex called.

Jackie shook her head.  “I’m headed for Marissa’s house.”

Outside, there was a frost on the ground.  The first frost always held hope for Jackie.  Weather change meant to her that other things would change too.  She felt in her pocket for a twenty dollar bill and her toothbrush.  Tonight, at Marissa’s house.  And one day, she would leave for good.  I create my own reality, she chanted mentally, feet crunching on the frosty grass as she made her way.

*Posted for Fandango One Word Challenge, found at  https://fivedotoh.com/2019/12/25/fowc-with-fandango-frost/    12/25.