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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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, Full Moon Effects

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

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

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

Each little “lotus” is plastic and has edges.

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

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

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

He’s small enough, and the ball is soft enough that I can throw it inside. In addition, he’s so darn cute when he’s anxious and excited! This 10 year old dogs acts like a puppy again. It puts a smile on my face. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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

Weekend Coffee Share, Honor Thyself

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

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

I am constantly reminding myself to love my life and where I am right now, instead of jumping ahead to the future and looking for guarantees; It’s hard. However, life is better than it had been months ago. My family is in a good place, my son is doing well, and I have steady employment. I won’t focus on the stresses of my job at this moment. ๐Ÿ™‚

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, I am Lorna

With Nor’easter blowing through

My sciatica is aflame

Because I  danced around to jazz last night

Or because of the weather change?

Laughed last night at dinner with my guy

Joked about things that could make others cry,

Enjoyed a little jazz to drown the noise

Of worries I’d rather a avoid.

I forgot about the stress of my day

With someone I can talk to, by the way.

Lunch with a friend tomorrow, 

Life is for enjoyment, not sorrow

Though I sit here dragging my feet

My lazy Saturday dog snuggles are so sweet.

I could be gloomy about this gray day

But I’ll choose to believe it’s all okay.

#lifeisalovestory (c) 2021

Weekend Coffee Share, No Hurry

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This morning consisted of  peach mango V8 juice that contains green tea. I’ve encouraged my son to make a call enquiring about medical insurance costs on his own, so that’s happening in the background.

Yikes! Time flies. He’ll be 26 in April, so it’s time he learns to make these inquiries. Later, I’ll go to the gym with him. His dad works more on weekends now, so I get to go as his guest. Jusy another part of staying active, but I get to bond with my son as well!

Time flies…

Allow me to spiral back now to last weekend. I took him to the gym, then we stopped at a Mediterranean deli/cafe for lunch. It just recently started opening on Saturdays again. I think their food is great, but there were no other customers when we went. That could be good for us, though.

The owner was in no rush, so we had to wait for him to flip some channels and find the football game he wanted. “I’ll be right with you,” he said. He was friendly enough, and he did get to us and our order. Neither of us minded. It’s kind of nice to take a break from the rat race, you know? Did I really have any need to ask him to speed up? Nope.

We sat at a table and waited. When our food was done, the owner thanked us and told us it was just him and the young lady in the kitchen,  told us how many years he’d been there, etc. We got home with our food, mine a Greek salad, and I noted the extra pitas they had put in there. Yes, there should never be a need to hurry on a Saturday! I’ll definitely go back again, and I’m glad to support a locally-owned business! In this anxiety-filled world, we should all be in less of a hurry sometimes.

Nor have I forced myself to hurry at all today. Sciatica disturbed my sleep a few nights last week, but last night I slept great and even slept in this morning. I’m finishing this up on an exercise bike at the gym. Sorry, it seems like I’m ‘phoning in” my Weekend Coffee Share! I waa moving so slowly at home, but I don’t mind multi-tasking now. I normally read while on the treadmill anyway; it helps me not to get bored from exercise!

If you’ve been around my blog a while, you’ll know I may complain at times, but I’ll never give up!

I’m going to stick with that attitude this weekend. Make it a great Saturday, and an even better week, my friends!

Weekend Coffee Share, Time Moves us Toward…Something TBD

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer! This week was a busy one, but packed with good moments, so pull up a chair. It’s sunny with a lovely breeze here in Jacksonville, Florida, perfect for taking coffee or tea on the porch!

I had a Club meeting after school Monday, and Tuesday, I helped usher the kids out as many teachers were helping with a dance for game day pre-festivities. Then, I headed out for a get-together with old friends (retired teachers).

It’s always great to see old friends, and they give me the inspiration that my life after retiring from teaching could be a good one. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory, but I had Asian Lettuce wrap tacos that were not expensive, yet delish! Truly, the field of teaching has changed so much through the years, and I wonder how much longer I can do this.

I’d certainly have to take up work in another field, hopefully a fulfilling one, as I do feel I have made a difference in the teaching world. (That is why I stuck with it this long). You feel as if you’ve made this world a better place. How much longer I can do this is yet to be determined.

So, those thoughts were with me when I was back at school after an early dinner to attend and help as needed at the National Junior Honor Society induction of new members. Many of the students there were my students a year or two ago. It was heartwarming to see them being honored and to clap and smile for them. There was not a ceremony last year due to COVID.

So, there are still high points I encounter as a teacher. There are also still big HUH? moments regarding paperwork or upcoming new certification requirements. I’m still interested in learning more about chronic pain, which has nothing to do with my teaching job. This desire may have been further fueled by the pins and needles I felt in my legs this week…

Geez, that makes me sound old! I’m not old, I swear. Well, maybe old enough to joke about it. Let’s go with the legend one of my students started last year: that I’m a vampire, because I don’t have many wrinkles, yet I’ve been teaching like, forevvvvver…

I love it when they are imaginative! At any rate, if there is a new phase of my life around the corner, I shall not fear it.

Weekend Coffee Share, Home

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,ย  hosted by Natalie the Explorer.ย  The drink for me is green tea today, and the background music is peaceful ambient. Actually, Saturday got away from me; I started this post yesterday but was not quite finished until this Sunday morning. Bear with me please! There is some good to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been postingย  a little this week about my trip to Rochester,ย  NY, a much needed getaway.. I returned Monday at noon, and boy, was Bixby ever glad to see me! I was glad to get home, as there was a lot going on here while I was on vacation. There has been a family situation, and I am trying not to let it get me down. Sadly, my reading has brought me to the term Anosognosia, which describes what one of my loved ones is going through: refusal to accept that one is ill and needs medical help. The serenity prayer is going through my head so often now. Unconditional love means we love each other no matter what.

The Serenity Prayer also helped me get through a sudden, unplanned repair to my car. Sigh. I can handle it, but I can only handle my own reactions. I’ve been happy to see my local family and friends again, though.

Back in Florida, I’ve enjoyed sitting on my back porch in the sun eating breakfast a few times, but I fondly remember sitting on my friend’s patio in Rochester eating breakfast,  lunch, and sometimes dinner. I even caught a beautiful sunrise once! Rochester is also home to many beautiful and historical sites.

The statue of Frederick Douglass, who is buried in Rochester.

There was a lot to enjoy of nature, whether rain or shine! We actually found Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in the rain with rain ponchos on, but did not find that of Frederick Douglass. His statue, however, was located in the nearby park which we visited later at night. Such a beautiful sight.

Hennessy River Falls. Beautiful in rain or sunshine.
Lacy Acres Farm in Bloomington, New York

My friend and I also met my cousin at an alpaca farm, which made for a lovely day and a relaxing tour. We got to feed them and pet them too! I published more photos and details of that in a post this week: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/the-alpaca-shag-rdp/

My summer break will end soon, but I am at peace with that! I like knowing I can pay for my car repairs, and I certainly want to plan for future vacations. Considering I really love teaching overall, I don’t mind getting back to that while earning a paycheck, but I am planning future vacations. ๐Ÿ™‚ Life is short! All I can do is do what I enjoy, live up to my responsibilities, and be there for those I love while respecting my own needs, which likely looks different for all of us.

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

Weekend Coffee Share, Earth Week and Care for our Physical Presence

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, in which I have reached Earth Week in the 28 days “Soul Coaching” book. Earth Week (and Fire Week too for that matter) has been full of water. Rain, rain, rain. At any rate, as we sit in my ‘cafe’ with Agnes Obel in the background, a solid favorite with beautiful piano notes, I drink green macha tea and I am so grateful for the sunshine this morning.

Yesterday, we had a morning of sunshine as well, which was such a blessing after days and days of gray wake-ups and rain. After breakfast, I sat in the sunshine in my driveway with the dog at my side. He sought the shade of my chair after a few minutes. I don’t really know how many minutes. Do I really have to know? My skin felt good, my eyes were shut, and my dog did not complain. I seem to know when is too long for Vitamin D exposure. My body and spirit did need those few moments to warm me, especially since I was suffering from a sinus infection this week.

Yes, ironic isn’t it, that during Earth Week I had a body that did not allow me to do a five mile walk or get out of the house much? The rain discouraged me, too. I got the appropriate rest, ate well, slept late when I could. I exercised to an extent that did not push things too far. I read, continued the 28 days book, and took care of Bixby. I do think I appreciated the earth in fitting ways. That one morning of sunshine was wonderful, since I was just feeling well again.

I certainly would have done more if I felt up to it, but I imagine I’ll make up for it next week. It has been too long since I walked the beach! Two weeks, at least, and it is such a centering practice for me. A part of Earth week in the book suggests imagining being a rose, a willow tree, or a pebble. I would prefer being a willow tree or a pebble. The willow is motherly and familial, peaceful, and soulful. The pebble is a young child/ tomboy’s dream, always useful–be aware I climbed trees when I was a child! I would not choose the rose, for I feel I’ve lived that: the sweet flower pruned to look good and often plucked to die in a vase. Sigh, the plight of many women before this generation; the vase being a ‘good’ marriage that puts a girl on a shelf. Yet, I was allowed to climb trees! Not so bad after all, but society sort of tried to hold us back, you know? Things are changing though, but I digress.

Earth week reminds me of my kinesthetic field. A quiz once told me I was equally visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Sometimes I just dwell on one, but my life is happiest when I honor all of them. So, I’ll seek to do my 5 mile walk in a few days! I’ll sit in the sunlight again, soon. I will laugh with a friend again as I did yesterday….no details needed, it’s just something I am wisely making room for in my life even through stress or rough days. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I will always add music and buy clothes that hold a color that draws me in. Perhaps it will soak up the sun into my spirit more strongly, but am I digressing again? ๐Ÿ™‚

Bixby also knows the benefits of Vitamin D!
Crossroads Diner is a short story I self-published this week!

In the realm of writing, I self-published a short story that is sort of supernatural and metaphysical in nature. You can find it on Amazon by searching Crossroads Diner Kindle. There is a contest I have entered through an online Book club, and I also just want people to read it. Reviews on Amazon are a great way to get feedback on this story’s ideas and are so appreciated! I plan to work more on the Ellie manuscript this summer, though I do have my little trip to Rochester coming up. I so look forward to it!

So, as of July 1,we’ve made it through the first half of the year! I survived the first half, including the end of a pandemic teaching year. My son is still not speaking to me or his dad, not to anyone in the family. He had an issue in his life, and I wanted him to solve it a certain way; he did not want to do that. It seems he’s doing it his way, and I pray it works. Now, I send him loving or encouraging texts. That’s all I can do, since he is grown. I am still trying to live my own life, since I know he’s living his own life. I am practicing acceptance. He is venturing into his own life and will reach out to family again when he’s ready. I believe that.

Flashback photo…

The rest of the year may bring more changes, and they may be wanted or unwanted. I am going to have faith that I have instilled strength and willingness to work hard in my son. I am going to keep laughing for the sake of laughing. I will surround myself with those who encourage me to smile and laugh yet listen if I need an ear. I will accept others for what they are and give them leeway to be that while trying to bring out their best. I am going to move toward tomorrow fearlessly and avoid expecting the worst; yet if it approaches, I will battle it like the warrior that I am, like a flexible, sturdy oak or an empathic willow tree (depending on the day :).

So, how’s that for setting my intention for the next six months? I don’t remember what my New Years’ resolution was, and who cares? I think I’ll set six months’ intentions each year, one at summer solstice and one at winter solstice–a great way to honor the physical world and this Earth that we have been granted by a marvelous Creator. Enjoying nature brings me closer to my spirit. I hope to do more of that this week!

**Weekend Coffee Share is a Bloggers’ Community share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Visit her Coffee Share and get details at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/07/02/what-made-june-joyful/

Weekend Coffee Share: Viva La Independence!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It was a green matcha tea day. I am being kind to my health, and I actually did some yoga with an online yoga website class. A healthy body aids a healthy mind and vice versa.

What an interesting week. On Thursday, my Newspaper Club had judging for a poetry contest that we ran during the month of April. This was my pet project. Several of the students wanted to be in on the judging, and I had two other teachers present to help with judging as well as one of their wives who is into art and poetry. I read each poem aloud, and they judged it American-Idol style. I think the kids had great fun with it, and the adults seemed to have a good time too! I showed my principal the 1st place poem the next day. She seemed pretty busy, but when I asked if she had time, she said, “I can always make time for the kids.” She was impressed by the poem as well! Winners have not been officially told yet, but I have a student who wants to do the announcing.

Also on my mind this week was how tired I’ve been. I did not sleep well for a few nights, all due to a conversation with my boyfriend last Saturday night. After dinner, he said we needed to talk. So, after a brief talk, we amicably split up. It was sort of a shock to me being brought up now; we had dated for 11 and 1/2 years, but lately, it didn’t feel much like dating. More like the old ball and chain that didn’t want to take vacations with me, didn’t agree with my bucket list, etc., etc. There’s no way he would ever accompany me to Europe. All of this also felt strange though, so soon on the heels of my son moving out.

Adjusting to this new norm could take a while, I suppose, and might be a slight challenge. Just as adjusting to daylight savings time can result in disruptions to sleep patterns, adjusting to the new norm in my social and relationship life has also done the same. Maybe an over-thinker like me can’t help it. Going back over things, wondering what I should have done differently, if I should have called it off myself sooner, if I should not have let the relationship start in the first place, etc. Yet, I feel I have accepted all of this.

Through the pandemic and shutdown, I started really throwing myself into my work. I also tried to maintain friendships with female friends, even if it was only by phone. My focus and ability to write were challenged, but I’ve done a little, and that is my personal little world that no one can take away from me. I lost the watch he gave me, so I bought my own, a nice watch…it made me feel independent and self-satisfied. Then I found his weeks later. So now I wear either one depending on the day. I think I have been moving toward accepting that the realtionship was not going to go any further and that I needed to make places for myself in this world…so I have. I feel grounded.

So, needless to say, I did not get enough sleep most of last week, just processing all of this stuff, but Thursday night, I finally slept well. Last night, I also got eight hours of sleep! I don’t expect this to be every night, but I am thankful that my brain slowed down for a while.

The best hallmark of this week, though, was my son’s twenty-fifth birthday! We went to eat Mediterranean food, one of my favorites. He had a hookah, so we all sat outside. It was cool and comfortable. There was hummus, pita bread, shish kebobs and plenty of veggies…so tasty! My mom also had a great time. I think it was a good way to celebrate that pleased everyone all around.

He seems to be doing well with his move to independence. If I text in the morning, he answers. So, I know he’s been getting up on time for work. I don’t try to call him much, as I know he won’t be talkative yet. (I haven’t given him enough alone time yet) ๐Ÿ™‚ Acceptance seems to be my key word for the day, until I can say I am truly embracing independence, my own, my son’s, and that of all of us. Viva la independence!

Weekend Coffee Share,ย  Not a Number.

My regular coffee buddy!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,ย  hosted by Natalie the Traveler.ย  After some stretching of tired, sore legs, I did some work related things on the computer this morning with the dog by my feet, matcha tea in hand. Work is weighing on my mind. Not only is our state planning to do state testing,ย  but they are asking teachers to come up with all sorts of extra ideas to make up for losses through the pandemic.

I feel I have made progress with learning to know my students and to make them feel understood. I also teach English Language Arts, a subject in which texts can have multiple interpretations.

I feel a little stressed, maybe the students do as well. All that matters is that they do their best. Most of what I write in these last weeks is short bursts of emotion. I’ve penned my thoughts for students during this era, and I’d like to share.

Dear student,

You are more than a test score. You are a moving ecosystem full of brain networks and emotions,ย  and yes, personality. While preparing for a test and doing your best can reflect your brain ability and even what kind of person you are, those few answers you got wrong on the last test do not devalue all of your efforts and hard work. Nor do they hold you back from doing better next time.

You are much more than a test score. You are your determination and fortitude that got you this far through a pandemic,ย  some of you going through quarantine or illness of family members. You are your force of will that got you through the hard times, your personal and spiritual growth (even when nothing makes sense) that moves you to do the right thing and treat others decently and try your hardest, even at things that only pay off in the future and not now.

You are your strength that helps you to never give up and keep on trying even when it seems impossible.ย  That is the most anyone can ask of you.

Signed,

A Tired Teacher in the COVID era

***It’s Saturday, and I promise to do nothing else work-related today. Now I’m heading out for a long overdue pedicure.

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