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, Neither Here nor There

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m enjoying hazelnut half-caff after drinking green tea all week. It feels like it’s already 80 degrees here in Jacksonville, Florida. So be it! I just really wanted coffee. πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I didn’t need coffee this week; green tea with a little caffeine was just fine with me. I was busy, busy, and the new experience of managing and selling yearbooks was pushing me to burn my own energy. Thursday, I sold out, and Friday, I was dragging my feet. It was either the lack of my newfound purpose or the sleep trouble I had Wednesday night, but I was not feeling enthused come Friday.

It’s okay, though. I’ve experienced a reciprocal respect with my end-of-day-class after reading their mythical stories, and my grading was mostly based on their imagination and pacing, so some of them had dramatic improvement in grades. Other than that, we are not learning new content anymore, and next week is mostly based on celebrations.

The surviving-til-summer-break hairstyle

I’m a fan of word games, so we’ve done some of that and will also next week. My brain is not geared towards writing right now, because this whole end-of-a-realm feeling is always something I must deal with. I recall last year I couldn’t stand the silence in my classroom on the last day and asked a friend to do her paperwork in my room as I poked around slowly packing the room up for summer. Then there’s the class in which I discovered several budding actors. So many fun possibilities!

Confetti on the floor, a prop for their scripted, pretend wedding to each other.

Last year was an emotional year to pack up; I’d experienced the end of an eleven year relationship and the exit, albeit temporary, of my son from my life. There was anger, pain, and my plucky attempts at humor to deal with it all. On top of that was saying goodbye to students that I saw grow and hope I helped grow through a pandemic.

Time heals, faith and hope heals. I reached out to others and lived my life. My son is at home with me, working and enjoying more time with his dad, who has re-entered his life. The end of this school year makes me think about last school year. It’s okay to feel that, but then I need to put it away and let this year be its own entity.

I’m still looking forward to a cruise with my boyfriend, and my birthday weekend is in a few weeks. I will either enjoy or have to survive chaperoning at an in-school dance next Tuesday, then there will just be a few days until this school year is over. I can do this!

You see, I needed my own pep talk. My title might not be fitting, since I seem to have moved out of that slump. All things considered, I am really glad to have a weekend! How has your week been?

Reading: The Bloody Shoe Diaries

Writing: nothing other than this blog post at the moment

Watching: Working Moms on Netflix. (It used to be funnier)

Listening to: Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Rains ( a glorious, gothic 80s tune)

Weekend Coffee Share, Appreciation

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair and your morning beverage of choice!

This morning, I’m having a light breakfast with my green Tazo tea. It has a reasonable amount of caffeine and tastes great without anything added. I have lunch with a friend later, but I woke up late. Therefore, breakfast is a lighter portion of cereal with my usual fruit and turmeric powder on top. I have to undo a week of unhealthy eating.

After dinner at a trivia night, I stress-ate lots of salty fries, then got all full on teacher appreciation treats this week. This includes ice cream floats for the teachers on Thursday. I had dessert before my carb-less pot pie lunch! πŸ˜‰ Sometimes the most meaningful gifts is a handwritten note. This one was inside of a card that said, “Thank you for being you,” and was so well-written!

The green tea is tasty and energizing me! It’s one of my favorite things, and living with two other adults, I had to eat dinner without my caffeine-free green tea a few nights, as my son drank it all. Things like this happen a lot. It takes a good measure of unconditional love for this to work. πŸ™‚ It helps that he pays rent.

Mother’s day is tomorrow, and I hope to have a beach walk with my son, then lunch with my mom. There’s a Mother’s day market she seems interested in attending, so we’ll do that. My school year’s almost over, and I’m doing some cruise dreaming! Almost there!

Weekend Coffee Share, Waiting for Brighter Shores

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a full throttle coffee day, as I have grades to prepare. My son just walked Bixby, who is feeling a little lonely lately.

My mother has been sick with COVID and is isolating herself, so Bixby feels really lonely during the day when I and my son are at work. I have been worried about her, but she’s getting better. I hate seeing her uncomfortable and unhappy. She is a lively woman who likes to go places and socialize with friends. She just wants the sickness to be over and done with. It was last Saturday she got the results. I know she can’t wait to go out to dinner again or go to exercise class with her friends.

Monday, I stayed out of work and got a COVID test as well, but fortunately, it was negative. So I had a four day work week, but I still felt so stressed and overwhelmed by Friday. I have a lot to do today, but I took some time to go eat some barbecue with my son last night. It was enjoyable, and I’m glad we did that. I’m grateful for the time I can spend with him.

So, that’s the state of our world right now. We do have some sunshine today in Northeast Florida, and I’m thankful. The light is coming in little by little, and Spring is on its way.

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

Have a good weekend, my friends. Hold your loved ones in high regard and hug someone today.

Weekend Coffee Share, Old/New

Coffee with in house-entertainment! Bixby with his new toy.
Antique – Image by KL Caley

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On a mild weather day that feels like early Spring, watching my dog ham it up with his play toy, I sip a Starbucks blonde roast and in true T.S. Eliot fashion, I ask, “How shall I spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways?”

Truly, it is one of my favorite quotes from Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, so please indulge me. Sometimes I’m not sure what to write for the Coffee Share, (I get tired of saying what I did each day or all week) so I looked for inspiration today, and remembered the Eliot quote from a poem he wrote 50+ years ago. The photo is from the #writephoto challenge that has been around a few years, and it is now shared and hosted at the site https://new2writing.wordpress.com/category/writephoto-challenge/ . I have used the hashtag and challenge before, thought it’s been a while. However, today’s concept is quite fitting.

In the photo, old furniture and collectibles sit together in what may be an antique shop. Being an allergy sufferer, I’m seeing lovely things but imagining dust. My mind says, ‘Out with the old, in with the new’….but only with moderation. Keep what works, and throw out what doesn’t, right? At any rate, some things are old but worth keeping, and sometimes what is old for one of us is new for another.

In my life, I started out last week feeling very confident, then it ended with some stressors with my job and extra club responsibilities. I’m sure it will work out. I’ll just focus at the positives. I am encouraging young people to write, and how could I do better than that? I also have opportunities for creativity, something I must have to thrive in a job. I am a nurturer and a creative. These opportunities at my job are important, since my son is grown now and my parenting is more hands-off, as should be.

My family life is slightly stressed, as I have an uncle who recently passed away after a COVID hospitalization. May he rest in peace. Relatives have told us he didn’t wear a mask in public and wasn’t vaccinated. He was almost eighty-years-old. My son has been sick with cold symptoms but tested negative for COVID, thank goodness. My boyfriend has been really sick with similar symptoms and is now better. I’m just carrying on. I did get my booster shot just over two weeks ago. I will mask up when I am moving around my classroom or sitting with students to help them.

Writing has been sporadic for me, but I wrote a first draft of Janie’s story that gives a little closure for her, so that’s something new. Janie is a character from my published short story, the eerie Crossroads Diner #205, which is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098269VSN and won Honorable Mention in a short story contest from Rave Reviews Book Club. My boyfriend was the one who encouraged me to continue the story for Janie. There are other characters who deserve their closure: Cowboy, Maria, Raul. I’m getting ideas! πŸ™‚

Truly, writing is something that should remain new, with a constant flow of ideas. Ancient stories can always have an appeal. So, ‘out with the old,’ in my wishes, will be the writer’s block and the feeling that I don’t have time to write or market anymore or the feeling that I don’t have the energy, confidence, or ideas to still actively BE a writer. In with the new: ideas, energy, and spirit! I’ve decidedly recently that I should use my energy spurts efficiently to save up for retirement time, when I use my well-deserved rest and relaxation, keeping a balance, of course.

So, today is a day, one day for rest and relaxation. I sleep late, take my time with breakfast, go to get Starbucks coffee with my son. I’m seeing lots of binaries here. Work/rest, Old/New, Maintain/Release. I guess that’s where I am. My son and I are about to take the walk on a mini-trail hike, an old practice we haven’t done in years, so we need to make it new again. Have a great weekend, everyone!

**You may find out more about Natalie, our host of the weekly Coffee Share at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Weekend Coffee Share,Β  Visual Christmas Cheer!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,Β  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Natalie’s taking a break from the Coffee Share link-up, and I decided to be more visual this time. It’s a warm, temperate day, but that won’t stop the festivities! I even enjoyed hot hazelnut coffee myself. Let’s take a short break and Share. How are the festivities in your part of the world?

We started last night with a church service and live nativity with a play similar to one my son was in 17 years ago….

A holiday memory!

The live nativity was great, but my son was starving and didn’t want dwell there too long. I did get him to take a photo, on our way into church., though.

At home, we had more family time.

Someone got a new toy!

The fun’s not over… I’m in charge of sides for Christmas dinner. I type this while they’re simmering/ cooking. I think they’ll turn out great!

Collards and baked candied yams will be served with ham and cornbread!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Weekend Coffee Share, Grateful!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog It’s sunny today, but temperatures will be in the sixties. My morning drink is match green tea, since I had coffee yesterday.

It’s a great week to be grateful, so I’ll organize this post into 10 things I’m grateful for.

1. I’m grateful for two days off followed by this weekend! It gives some good time to pause and reflect.

2. I’m grateful for family, and Thanksgiving gave us time to spend time together. It was different, since my ex-husband was at out dinner, but it all went well. My mother cooked a great meal, and I helped.

3. All of us, when given a chance to speak our gratitude, are so grateful for my son being with us at the table and doing well in his life right now. He, my mother, and I, walked to Starbuck’s yesterday for a coffee. That was my only contribution to Black Friday. I love the atmosphere at Starbucks, including the jazz music!

4. I’m grateful for my dog, Bixby, an important member of our family!

Dog yoga!

5. I’m grateful for my friends that are constantly there for me, and that includes my companion, Chris, and I’m thankful for the twists and turns that helped me reconnect with him. I’m thankful for several friends who helped see me through a tormentuous family issue this past summer. I think I learned to reach out, and I have not regretted it!

6. My job is a blessing, and I am grateful. I’m able to share my gifts and help others appreciate things that I love, such as reading and writing. I’m glad to be employed and to afford things I need, although I’m becoming sort of minimalist with finances. I don’t spend money just to spend anymore. One day I’ll need a retirement strategy. πŸ™‚

7. I feel gratitude when walking through nature, usually with my dog. We’ve actually had some seasonal colors and a recent cooldown, albeit a mild one.

8. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and for the people who have commiserated with me on this writing journey so far. I’m not sure what the next turn is; I’m really feeling a minimalist change in the wind, and considering Kindle Vella. Anyone have experience with this? If you’d like a taste of my fiction writing, I have two books that are currently .99, Detours in Time (always for .99) and Undercurrents in Time (ending Monday, 11/29). https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716

9. I am grateful for this blogger’s community! Many here are writers, whether full-time or on the side. Some of you post here regularly, and I’m thankful for your thoughts on my posts and for what I can learn from your posts!

10. Last, but not least, I am grateful for my health! Recent checkup tests have been good, I eat fairly healthy, and I’m about to go to the gym with my son today.

Current mystery: my hair believes it is straight again. πŸ™‚

There is so much I can’t control, but acceptance, humor, and an attitude of gratitude are helping me to see the best in whatever comes my way!

Peace and blessings, my friends!

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. πŸ™‚

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, Change for the Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, Our Selves.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair; Bixby and I are getting philosophical today over green matcha tea. It’s a hot and muggy day, so the A/C is on and the sunlight peeks through my blinds.

I’m tired of always talking about the same things here; my family situation keeps changing, and my family member who had left on a bad note is now back and in need of a lot of patience, but let me share what has got me philosophizing and looking inward. I saw a thought-provoking quote on social media this morning….

So I was thinking, didn’t who I used to be affect who I am today? I made mistakes, trusted the wrong people, and tried to be a good child to avoid conflict at home, therefore only rebelling in quiet ways and unleashing worry on my mother but not every outwardly rebelling against my father whose temper was worse than hers; he wasn’t there after age 10, so his knowledge of any of my rebellion was just second-hand after that.

As a child, I don’t think I trusted many people, but as a teen and young adult, I think trusting the wrong people made me just trust myself more in the long run; that is, after I beat myself up for stepping in it. Perhaps it made me more aware and more wary. I gauge the moments when it’s best to keep it close to the vest, and when to wear my heart on my sleeve.

What I am saying is, there is nothing wrong with who I was. Everything was a learning experience. The only error would be to never learn from the experiences that told me ‘don’t go there next time’ or ‘let him go’ or ‘she/he has shown you who they really are; pay attention.’

I would like to let go of the remnants of the girl who was so anxious when first learning to drive that she took 3 tries to get her license, of the girl who applied for a first job at a fast food chain but ran out of confidence when told to go back and talk to the manager, and the one who didn’t speak up for herself when a ‘friend’ made fun of her in front of other kids in school. It’s okay, I stopped talking to them. I showed them…I was lonely, but I saw regret in their face. I would do it differently today, but through all these things I learned to be stronger.

So, do we let go the remnants of our younger, unsure selves? The ones who put up with boorish family members just because they were ‘family’? The parts that always felt a need to show sympathy for the underdogs to the point we had to endure their odd characteristics that separated us from our friends. Yes. But how can we let go the girl who listens to people at a dinner party before jumping in and being friendly in order to avoid suffering the company of a boor all evening? Why would we let go of the specific facets of our personalities, the intuitive, empathetic parts of ourselves?

‘Guard your heart,’ a friend once told me. That was not always me, but what is me is the person who shares her heart with young people to show them that being a person to others matters, who gives a little more when I feel and read the need on someone’s face. And I still avoid conflict, but I will speak up for myself, though I will do it calmly; I insist on doing this calmly and if it becomes an argument, I will be the better person.

So, who I am evolving to be should be stronger than who I was, but there are remnants of a past me that led to where I am today. I keep learning a lot about myself, how to be myself, and how to keep making myself a better person. Therefore, I both agree and disagree with this statement.

It also makes me think of who I’ll be in the next phase of my life, the one after I am a teacher. My personality will still be here. Will I still have the desire to be a positive influence on young people? Will I find a way to do that daily and perhaps hold a job that allows this? Within the next decade, I’ll have the opportunity for such change. It could be a little scary; I tend to stay so long in one job, but I think this will be exciting. I am going to leave the remnant behind that made me stay in a situation much longer than I should. I will keep evolving, so I won’t be carrying remnants of my old self, just evolved pieces of me that form who I have become.

Stay safe, my friends!

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