Weekend Coffee Share, The Health Edition

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

Enjoy your favorite beverage and stay for a chat in the air conditioning; it still feels hot and sticky out there!

It has been another week on the job, and many evenings I came home with sore feet and legs.  Gladly, I made it to yoga Wednesday night, which helped!  I feel really busy now, as I am trying to creating challenging lessons and projects, and working on proofing the final chapters of the audiobook for Detours in Time.

Do any of you take statins?  If you’re reading this and thinking, that’ll never be me, or that’s for old folks, overweight folks, yada yada yada, I once thought that too.  I wouldn’t call myself overweight, though I am at my highest weight non-pregnancy.  I am fine with the way my clothes fit, but a gain of a few pounds will send off an alarm for me.  My mother and I might go on a diet together as she is not happy with her weight.  She is retired and many social events for her center around going somewhere to eat ‘good’ food, and she really enjoys it.  For me, I am going to try and add an extra night of 20 minute cardio.  My default last year was to do 2 cardio nights/day and a one hour yoga session once a week.

So, my weight baffles me.  I thought I was a healthy eater.  Four years ago, I was 15 pounds less and I don’t think I exercised more or did much that was different.  A year later, I had gained maybe 5 of those pounds, and was told, “Your cholesterol has continually gone up and now is at a level that requires you to take statins.”  So, I did, but probably at half the recommended dose.  This last year, I got really lax at that and would forget.  Result? Cholesterol went up; the doc wanted me to double the dosage.  I did it for a couple nights, but then added blueberries to my morning cereal and sometime, soy lecithin in liquid form.  I decided to stick with one, as it seems I feel effects when I increase the dose.  Effects such as hands that feel even stiffer than my arthritis causes in the morning, and feet that feel terribly swollen at end of day.  Am I stupidly not following directions or rebelliously taken my health into my own hands? I am trying to eat healthier, and likely should work harder at that. 🙂

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Along with all of this, I have been slightly cutting down on coffee consumption.  I’m having half a cup today. My other doctor agrees this is a good move, as I tend to get benign cysts.  I had read up on that elsewhere, too.  Not to mention the sources I have read about decreasing coffee if you have arthritis.  I actually hope it is the statins causing my soreness and not my arthritis getting worse.  Come on, I have 11 years to go until retirement!

So, I am trying a few things.  My one glimmer of hope, something I think I can actually do, is to add the cardio session and increase my exercise to four times a week.  That doesn’t even factor all the walking I do around school.  I bought a foam roller, but I left it on the floor and it got dog pee on one end.  My little furbaby is getting older too; he is eight years old.  I walk him at nine p.m. and I am in bed by 10, so it is hard to give him another outing.  He seems unable to hold it until morning now.  The foam roller should be good after the bleach dries.  Ugh.  The money I spend on exercise ‘equipment’ includes the super thick knee pad for yoga that I take to class with me.  My consensus: worth it!  Using bleach and cleaning up after the dog: worth it.

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I hope you all have a great week, and I think you for listening to my obsessing over health!  I hope you are well and have enjoy our coffee visit!

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Weekend Coffee Share. Summer Days and Ways

 No coffee needed for Bixby!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Summer is in full swing, and I’m adjusting to sleeping in, more time with the dog, and a lot less stress! On the topic of stress, I’ve been making an effort to have at least two days weekly where I only drink half a cup of coffee. Let me be honest, yesterday was the second day this week, and my ability to focus was really lacking. I was working on a few of my goals as an author, but I was pretty distracted and quite slow to gain traction.  I did make it to yoga, though, and, wow! That is always good for my mood and relaxation.

I’ve been attending yoga twice weekly since summer’s start and going to Stretchzone in addition to more frequent walks. Stretchzone is a place where you do assisted stretch with a person who is usually licensed in Sports Medicine or physical therapy. I really like it, and I’m trying it because having butt in chair to write or laying around reading ( both of which I’ve been doing) can bother my lower back and sciatica.

Seen on Thursday’s walk. Colorful Shrooms!

So what am I up to as an author? Why am I sitting in that chair? I’ve got Detours in Time in audiobook production with an awesome narrator, I’m working on Malachi (work in progress), and I’m starting Undercurrents in Time on the audiobook process. I have to prepare files of scenes from Undercurrents that lend themselves to narration. ( Starting that this week). I’ve had Detours in Time on a Countdown deal for .99 this week which ends Sunday. Detours in Time is a fun, yet thought-provoking read of a woman and a scientist who travel to the future, then back and forward again,  and as a result, they learn a lot about their own families and themselves, as well as encountering some moral dilemmas.  Can you just observe a train-wreck?  That was metaphorical, but think about it.  Find out about Detours in Time or download it here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF

BTW, Undercurrents, the continuation, will also be on a Countdown deal in two to three weeks. I’ll keep you posted, because someone might be interested!

Today, my dog, Bixby and I are on the road with my boyfriend, Kenny. We’re going to Brunswick, Ga to see his dad and stepmom. It will be a low key visit, with conversation and lunch at his house. We’ll be quite entertained watching my dog and their little poodle chase each other around, though!

Road trip photo!

The author tasks and goals will wait until tomorrow, after I’ve enjoyed some sunshine!  Thank you for stopping by for our coffee chat, and have a great summer week!

Weekend Coffee Share. A Bird’s Eye View

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli .  The weather looks beautiful, but I’ve been moving slow this morning.  I also have had some coursework, and I am almost done.

Last night, I went with my mom and my son to a Mexican restaurant with a really hip, cool vibe.  It was packed, so we sat at the bar.  After a while, a guy comes over, and I recognized him as one of my cousins.  We are all glad to see him and chatted for a good, long while.  He travels a lot.  It was really nice though, to feel connected to family beyond our small unit.  He tells interesting stories, but my family is awesome story fodder.  🙂

I am going through growing older and having new health issues pop up, having to go through tests.  Throw a prayer my way, please.  I may or may not need it, but it is greatly appreciated.  Enough of that.  No need to worry.  It makes me wonder, if I were a bird or a spirit looking down on my life, what would I think?

 

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Which makes me think of my writing life and experience.  I posted this on Facebook this morning: The space that a story inhabits is important. I have been drawn in by spaces and places, as in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie, Bladerunner 2 as well as in The OA, my new Netflix obsession.
Visualizing yourself in a place or places adds a level to any story. On the left is a crude map I drew of a few city blocks in Undercurrents in Time during my drafting. These blocks also appeared in Detours in Time, but the street names changed due to events and time shifts in that first book.  (Of course, all this followed by an invitation to read my books and a link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF in Kindle, K.U., or print.)  Shameless self-promo done, but it is Independent Bookstore day!  They carry everything.  One independent bookstore in Jacksonville called the Book Nook carries my books, but I’ll work on expanding that.

I am sorry coffee was brief today, but I do recommend that you watch The OA if you like mystical sci–fi or anything uber weird.  It is delicously weird, but full of hope.  Imagine if, in the worst of moments or crises, you could leave your body because your spirit was free.  The thougth is quite addictive.  See?  I am off to a massage now.  Must relieve a lot of stress caused by worry, no doubt, and the constant drive to be better.  Well, maybe that and getting older.

Have a great day, my friends!

Weekend Coffee Share. Busy Times Call for Dog Snuggles and Positive Thought.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

Today, I’m wondering why little, harmless things seem to make me sore. Sitting at the computer for too long, wearing some cute flats to work, sleeping on the wrong side. I’ll be okay if I stick to my self prescriptions of exercise, yoga, and chiropractic care. (I’m on the Gazzelle as I type on the phone). Still, sometimes life and work get in the way.

At any rate, age and schedule woes aside, I have much to rejoice over. Attitude might be almost half of starting to feel better, so let me get on that track and avoid telling you how many essays I need to grade! Positives: 1. All I have left is a test, then I’ll be done with my current class for teaching Gifted! 2. Spring break starts in seven days! 3. Despite a busy week, part of my extra efforts were due to being invited to talk at my school’s Literacy night about my books, writing process, and writing inspiration. Cue random auther event photo:

This was me at my first book signing in Nov., 2018.  (So, it’s recent).  I don’t have a photo from the Literacy event yet, but I can say it went well.  I had a plan and wrote some things down.  I gave away one of my kids’ books in a drawing.  I also read from Detours in Time, having kids comment and answer questions about what I read.  They participated, and during question times, some adults asked questions.  One of them was about my writing inspiration (family, my dog, nature). I spoke about the kind of person I am and how thrilled I am to see a book with my name on it.  My principal told me afterward just how much energy came out of me when I talked about my writing and inspirations.  It was truly a compliment.  I was pleased to do this, and it tickles me to think I may have inspired a young writer!

With the past few books, I have been thinking about the lessons one could learn from my books and what topics of thought I could provoke when they read my books.  I believe I moving closer to producing writing that is meaningful besides being entertaining.  One reader recently called my sci-fi writing “social science-fiction.” I like that.  I think I’ll stick with it!

Simply put, life is challenging and my legs and feet are tired, but I love life, and I love what I do! I came home after Literacy night and snuggled up with my dog, who was glad to snooze next to me, calming me and easing away the excitement and any uneasiness I’d had about my day.  Life is good!  Have a great week, my friends.

Find out more about Detours in Time at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF 

If interested in other books, such as the book for young readers, From Lost to Loved, A Stray Dog’s Tale, click on the author name when you go to the book link above.

 

Weekend Coffee Share. “Everything was Beautiful…”

For the animals. This is my weekend coffee share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com every weekend.  Friday and Monday are days off of work for me.  Finally!  Nonetheless, I dreamed work dreams on both Friday and Saturday night, probably because by Sunday a.m., I still hadn’t spend anymore than fifteen minutes on work that I brought home, and I always bring home work!  Above is the album cover for my new Moby c.d., and it is beautiful.  The animals look so human.  His music really takes me away, which, as you can tell, I really need.  Anyhow, I think I read somewhere that Moby is a vegetarian, which is something I think about doing but haven’t yet, for a few different reasons.

I took good care of myself Friday; I had lunch with an old friend and then shopped at a so-called upper scale consignment shop.  I got a pedicure and got out for fun singing karaoke with my boyfriend.  Saturday, I met some work friends for lunch and afterward, my son and I took our dog, Bixby, to the dog park.  Bixby fell in love.  Oh, he has been fixed, but he always seems to find one dog that he wants to follow around and try to dominate.  Dog-training does not seem to help that.

He pretty much chased this one dog from one end of the dog park to the other!  It was fun to watch though, including the way the other dog resisted his advances.  Smart pup, she was!  After that, we came home and I gave him a bath, so he could return to his clean, fluffy self.

So, tomorrow I will exercise and go to the chiropractor.  I really need that; it seems I have carpal tunnel, and I’m dead set against surgery at this point in my life.  I also have arthritis.  Boo.  I’ve been told before that one should reduce carbs to keep arthritis at bay.  Well, I do try.  I’ve thought about vegeterianism, because I hate cooking meat, but I worry that if I adopted that lifestyle, I would end up eating more carbs to satisfy my hunger.  Am I wrong on this point?  I mean, I do need to eat more greens and want to feel healthier, overall.  That, and I love animals.  I also thought about Paleo, even if it’s on and off, because that way I’d really reduce the carbs.  I have to be careful, because I also get spastic colon, a syndrome that came to me via heredity and ample stress.  Sigh.  I’d be glad to hear from any vegetarians or Paleo enthusiasts about what has worked for you.

I’ve done some great self-care this weekend that I had put off for too long.  Sadly, I will have to carve out time today and maybe on my day off tomorrow for the paperwork I brought home from work.  I will not fret; this won’t last forever.  My summer will come, and it will be full of fun, writing, and my character, Malachi!

Have a great week, friends!

Best of the Year. Dec. 12-17. #2018BOTY

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What was the Best of 2018 for me?  This is a continuation.  My job and life being as they are, I’d never remember to post every day, these days.  I got this idea and the graphic from Beaton at becomingthemuse.wordpress.com

These are the best of 2018 for me, #12 to #17.

12.  Achievement- I landed my first book signing ever!  What did it take?  Well, I have entered my book in many book contests, gotten some acclaim, boosted my confidence, and….drum roll: I made the call to an independent book store.  That is what it took.  The confidence; I had to develop that.  After that, I just had to make sure to tell every single friend I had.  I was so grateful for all of the people who showed up!

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13.  Lesson Learned- I keep learning this lesson, and I put it into practice in 2017, but I kept working it this year to yield the results.  The lesson is this:  The best thing you can give your offspring is unconditional love, no matter what.  I have learned this with my son again and again.  Some will advise that I need to cut him loose as a young adult.  I do give him his freedom and space, but he just seems to not be ready for certain things.  It would take a lot of time to reiterate what he has been through in the last four years, but I’ll suffice it to say that he still is not driving since his car accident and concussion of Jan., 2017.  He rides a bike to work at a car wash, and he is happy there working around 30 hours a week.  He is appreciated by the owner and very punctual.  I am proud of that; he has been at it for a little over a year now.  He is a very quiet young man.  Some people are taken aback by that.  Just realize, some of us have an awful lot going on inside, and we have been on a mental health journey as a family to understand him and to deal with things without responding in anger, anxiety, or hopelessness.  We went together to RI to see my dad this summer, and he was like a quiet child, but best of all, he enjoyed himself in his quiet manner.  When it was boring on the plane, we played a word game app together.  I caught his cold, but I couldn’t distance him when he was actually interacting with me far more than he had in over a year.  He has grown; he likes to watch movies with me, and he listens to books on audio at times.  I believe his interests are coming back, and I won’t focus on the fact that he isn’t reading the books, but that he is developing some interests.

RIcrag.RocksBeauty34220_1369823214626_93248_n From our first visit to RI, 2010.

14. The Best blog post is by Beaton, who inspired me to join the Best of the Year posts!  It was a September blog post about the elections and resulting riots in Zimbabwe with a more recent follow up.  This just shows how the world of blogging can connect people across the oceans and in other countries.  He was out and about when the riots occurred and fearful for his safety.  How else could I know the perspective of someone who went through this?  I am really into learning about other points of view and the global knowledge one can attain through the internet.  He recently posted a follow up, to include real life photos and a Youtube clip of one of the politicians justifying their actions.  I have used and presented Beaton’s blog posts with my Journalism class,  to get their frame of mind out of their own little corner and to learn about the world.  Visit his recent post:   https://becomingthemuse.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/of-coffee-with-a-state-march-of-mind/

15.  Person you met-At my booksigning in November, I met Lena Sheqeraq, an author who writes children’s books, one of them an ESL teacher resource.  I am always glad to meet and network with new authors, and it’s great that she is local!  She even gave me the name of her publisher.  This could lead to something exciting!  I’ll let you know when I know.  🙂

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16. Business/service you started using  – Chiropractic services.  After a 3 year break, (no pun intended), I went back to the chiropractor.  I had gone for two straight years until the doctor’s frequent schedule changes disgusted me.  (My anxiety could not handle the hassle with dodging the traffic to get to his location by 4:45).  I have suffered in the meantime and was given a prescription for muscle relaxors from the primary doc.  Well, they mask the pain but don’t make it better.  So I went back.  This is a new doctor, not the one who kept changing the schedule.  I get there around 5:15, and the traffic is not bad at all.  That, and my neck feels so much better, and I am not getting sick as much.  It really is good for my health!

17.  App you discovered- The Canva app.  I have been using Canva.com on the desktop for about two years to make book graphics, blog graphics, and even one book cover for From Lost to Loved.  I was out in public one day and got a surge of creativity one day.  So I went to the Google app store and downloaded Canva for my phone.  I am still learning about it, but I love the portability, since I do post a lot of my book information using my phone.  Try it!

 

Avoiding Bottleneck. #WeekendCoffeeShare

 

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Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

Welcome to the Weekend Coffe Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli.

This morning, I woke up with a song in my head by Alt-J, and that is a good thing!  It’s called Dissolve Me, one of their more relaxing, upbeat tunes.  I am now playing music by Lana Rey, one of my current musical obsessions, and my coffee is not done yet.  Hope you don’t mind.  I’ve gone light on the coffee this last week.  Perhaps I need that to stay calmer and mellow right now.  I certainly need a calmer stomach.

You see, this past week was a storm of esophagal proportions.  No, you wouldn’t normally put those words together, but… that’s how it felt.  So I took Monday off. Then, I went in to work Tuesday morning and….went home after noon, head spinning, stomach still hurting.  Yes, I brought work with me so it wouldn’t all get stacked up with more work at school.  After some grading, I slept much of Tuesday afternoon and night.  I missed yoga this week and did not see the chiropractor, two must-haves in my current search for calm and well-being.  I think we all need to seek calm and well-being.  Just look at the national news.  Gladly, I missed out on every little detail, but people are posting daily in reaction to this news of the Kavanough fiasco.  Some, several times a day.  It’s almost too much to fit into my head, but I want everyone to understand something.  Women used to get shocked by the reality of their gender and what they had to accept.  Then, they would just give up.  Now, all of that is changing.

Now, I suppose my politics will shine through here despite my being very general and vague on what my political stance is.  However, people are vilifying the woman for “coming forward now.”  Perhaps it’s because his face is plastered all over t.v. as the latest nominee for Supreme Court?  Makes it hard to forget past events.  Makes it hard to forget someone who wrecked your young life, if he is guilty, of course.  I am sick of this world making villains out of accusers, before all the facts are out.  I am sick of seeing young, white men let off the hook because of being ‘young and stupid’ or having ‘affluenza.’ Yeah, they can stick that word somewhere south and let it never see the light of day again.  These things are up front in the news much more lately.  Why?  Because women won’t just take it like we used to.  Maybe the tides are turning.  Maybe women will have enough support to stand up and speak for what has happened, because I sure feel it never used to be that way.

So, while people were posting all over social media their opinions of this latest news fiasco, I have been posting daily a photo of a once banned book that I have either read and loved or actually taught in school.  I am proudly in support of intellectual freedom, of people having the right to tell their stories for the purpose of either sharing truths or revealing universal truths wrapped in fictional whimsy.  As a young one, I learned of horrible realities in the pages of Stephen King’s fiction, but I also was presented with incredible heroes who fought evil and stood up to their fear.  I think my mother wanted that for me, and therefore, did not limit my reading material, and I am all the better for it.

Okay, my plan was to relax a little today, but I think I’d better let my coffee cool since I got a little warmed up with this post, unintentionally.   My friends, please do not obsess over the latest news, there is so much more to life.  There is so much more to you, and me.  Your side may win or lose.  There are only so many things you can change, and posting every 30 minutes on Facebook is not going to change it but will only add to the hyper-stress of this modern world.  I will speak my peace, but I will leave it there and concentrate on other things as well…my dog, my family, my spirituality, physical well-being, the busy work of my job and the inspiring moments of teaching, along with great books, and writing!  Writing, something I don’t do enought lately, but there’s this post. 🙂  I apologize if this was such an outburst.  Sigh.  But I feel better having shared with you.

By the way, I haven’t been writing much as I am so busy, but a week ago, a wrote a flash-fiction in response to a photo that is a nice little get-away.  Care to take a glimpse?  Flash Fiction FFfAW

Have a great week, everyone!