Weekend Coffee Share. Minimalist?

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Some of you may be warming by a fire, but I’m drinking iced coffee with the ceiling fans going today. Grab a cup of iced or hot energy and pull up a chair!

Yes, it’s 75 degrees today in Jacksonville, Florida, and I’m getting ready to have a pedicure in a little while. We had a cool spell last week, but this weekend feels sort of like Spring. We do have a few fall colors, though.

Taken at 1 p.m.
And….this is what Christmas time looks like for us! (taken at 5 p.m.)

I’ve been considering going a little bit minimalist this Christmas. The idea of minimalism appeals to me right now as I ponder retirement and how little I have for emergencies or the desired vacation abroad. I get by fine, but I could really make a difference for myself if I just don’t buy the ugly Christmas sweater I was browsing last night.

Not me:

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Why should I pay 20 or even 10 dollars for something I would only wear once a year? I shouldn’t. Nor do I need to buy two or more gifts for everyone. Families go through this, too. I don’t have a big family, but buying for people I haven’t seen in four years isn’t easy, so I don’t see spending too much. If they tell you the exact gift they want, where is the surprise? What am I saying with this gift? Handmade or even little gifts with a personal touch are much better than the latest gadget. A friend posted about this on social media, and I totally agree with her sentiments.

I was going to go to a holiday event last night but we had a refrigerator replacement delivered, something that is a necessity. It’s smaller than the old one (minimalism), but it works! I plan to go to church in the morning where there will be Christmas music, and I think that will help set the seasonal mood…not for shopping, but for peace and kindness.

Hopefully, the minimalist spirit will stay with me. It could just be the thing to supplement my retirement savings plan!

Have a great week, everyone!

Mind Body Mantra

(C) Pamela Schloesser Canepa

My body is a temple.

It is a source of joy,

Just as a source of pain.

My body is to never be a source of shame.

The tension within is divine

It is a path to joy, as well a warning sign.

The tension only clears

If I can cross that line.

Is it safe to let down my guard?

Will my brain give me that regard?

Will automatic systems yield…

Can past assumptions drop their shield?

I choose harmony between the two

Once achieved, there is much more I can do.

But to achieve it, there is still much I must go through.

****Certain parts of this mantra are more positive while I feel others hit the reality head-on. I plan to focus on the positive portions when needed and return to all other stanzas to honor and respect what I may feel.in any given moment.

Weekend Coffee Share, Surviving Sequestration

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  I only had half-caff today, but it really invigorated me, maybe because I finally got at least six hours of sleep last night!

I have made it through week 1 of online teaching! Our school district was told there would be no return to school until April 15th, but I suspect it will be longer than that.  I worry about our world, I worry about strangers I pass by in the store, and I worry about how much worse this might get. But I am really happy that I am able to connect with my students again and have some sort of influence on their lives and how they view their world.  I’ve seen students helping each other while online when I can’t reply to their questions right away, and they seem so grateful to be able to chat with me on our educational platform, too!  For a brief while, I forget what is happening outside.  I try to focus on the positives and tell them some jokes.

Sent from a student in the Microsoft Teams chat after being told to start on The Giver or read a book they already have at a set time daily:
“Can’t wait for reading I have a good book to read!” Another messages at 1:50- ‘Yay! Reading time!’**

They warm my heart! Do they know how such things keep me going?  I’ve tried really hard to distract their minds from world news and fill their heads with imagination and art. A number of parents e-mailed me thanking me for being so positive in my educational videos, stating that my videos make the student feel part of a classroom again, somewhat back to normal. Though I admit, I did not teach anything new yet except for how to navigate a new learning platform and turn in assignments, and that is likely the way it should be.  

The above shows my go-to hairstyle these days.  I have canceled hairdresser appointments two weeks in a row.  I am afraid to be around people in that close capacity right now.  My mom is 78 and I don’t want to bring a virus back to her!  I re-scheduled for two weeks from now.  We’ll see.  Meantime, I am growing my hair and putting it up.  I am trying to take at least two yoga or pilates classes online per week and to do ab exercises along with my arm/shoulder workout every other day.  I’ve found many helpful online exercise videos, too.  So, my health is holding

After watching my church’s service online, I went to the grocery store this morning, and guess what: no toilet paper.  I have some on order from Amazon, and a friend ordered extra through some other shopping app.  They told me at the checkout that I could not get more than two of any particular canned food item.  I wish they had started that with toilet paper before this whole fiasco first happened! Sadly, I had 8 cans of Chef Boyardee since I wanted to donate some of them to a Food Bank.  The cashier apologized and said they were just being really strict about that.  

If you are interested in a dystopian/apocalyptic story, you can download my free short story here at https://bookhip.com/HPNJFT  It is called “They Shall Inherit the Earth. I also started on a love story, set in these times of Coronavirus.  It is a little more hopeful and should be available next week or so, and will also be free!

Take care my friends!  Stay healthy and stay sequestered.  We can do this!

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!

Weekend Coffee Share. Get it together, girl! #balance

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali . I’ll admit, sometimes I can feel myself getting too perfectionistic and being too hard on myself, feeling like nothing I do is enough. At times, I feel like I have to have a little talk with myself, trying to calm myself down. It has been a stressful week. Suffice it to say, teaching is not an easy job. That may not be the only issue. Maybe it was just difficult to transition from Winter break self-care to reanimating my driven self in order to be a quality teacher, yet feeling I have little time now to do anything about my writing goals. Still, I’m always reminded that balance is so important.

I almost took a picture of the scowl on my face on day this week, because I partly was just mad at myself for letting my perfectionism force me to work late and miss my yoga class.  I was also mad at my job for requiring so much of me.  With my writing, I can go at my own pace, but let me be honest, it is not what pays the bills right now.  I suppose I needed an attitude adjustment, and I am not completely sure what got me off balance.  I need to be mindful of this in the future.

Since I missed yoga on my favorite Zen yoga night, I had to lay out the mat at home, so therefore, yoga had to include some dog play.  That is perfectly alright!  He always makes me smile!  We took him to his fourth week of dog training today, which is always fun, and we see lots of other dogs in the Petsmart store where he trains.  He loves that part, too!

What goes in our brains is also very important, and it can’t always be work, work, work. I’m listening to this classic on Audible, while I’m also reading a YA Fantasy book on Kindle. I always have reading goals and plans, and sometimes I participate in review groups ( no time for those right now). I feel badly if I don’t have time to read, and I suspect my brain got lazy over WInter break with lots of Netflix time.  I did read, just not at a fast pace.  Anyway, listening to Dorian Gray is nice while taking a bath.  The language is very descriptive and flowery, somewhat advanced if not archaic, and the narrator’s voice is relaxing.  Reading this in book form would take me a while.  I must add, it got really intriguing in Chapter fifteen and sixteen today!  Hey, it got my mind off of work, even though I did do an hour’s worth of work this morning.  I didn’t finish, but an hour was all they were getting this morning.  This is MY weekend!

Having said all that, I felt like my job was taking oved my life this week, but here I am, writing on my blog! It makes me feel more like myself; it makes me feel unstoppable, and by the way, that was my word for this year: unstoppable. Even though I’ve added a lot of goals to take me to another level at my job, I am going to be unstoppable and keep on writing, enjoying my life, and meeting those goals. I may adjust the pace, but I shall never stop!  Have a great week, my friends.  I am planning on more balance and self-care this coming week.  🙂

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Self-care.

pexels-photo-851213.jpeg Photo (c), Pexels

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/  The weather is quite mild today, but I’m still enjoying a mug of hot coffee!

This week has been another intense one.  I worked on editing three nights this week, and the days have been: work, work, work, crunch numbers, target instruction, plan, plan, plan.  I stayed late Friday and I am ready for the week!  Can you believe the season of Lent is almost here?  Time is flying, and I feel short-changed, because I did not get to yoga last week.  Trust me, I will this coming week!  There was not much time for the blog, but I’ve started a new series about books that are not so well-known, but well worth the read.  Visit Installment One here:     Books You May Not Know Of…     I’ve also been taking care of myself.  It almost feels like indulgence, but I’ve been working hard and I deserve it.  Really, I’ve just decided to do some basic things that I deserve.

One of those is the pedicure.  It has probably been two months.  The nicer weather may bring opportunities for sandals, so I got the pedicure yesterday.  This was after I had lunch with an old friend I hadn’t seen in 6 months or more.  She is such a supportive person; she also works in education but she has other dreams and she is working on them.  She can be quite an inspiration.  I gave her my short paperback, From Lost to Loved, the imagined tale of my dog’s early life.  She is an animal lover and adores her cat like I do my dog; she was ecstatic about the book, so I am so glad I did it.  She gave me some social media ideas!  This leads in to the new Instagram for my dog:  Bixby Fluffikins Canepa!  Follow him at   bixby_fluffikins

The boyfriend and I went to an art show last night to see a work of art by a friend of mine from church.  She is new to the art scene.  It was great to see her enthusiasm and her post-modern piece.  We did not stay out late, but it was something different to do.  I cannot believe how much I packed into this weekend already.  Yesterday morning I was finishing up work things I know I won’t get to on Monday.  Then, I happened to check e-mail and see I got my DNA report back from Ancestry DNA.  I just have to say, it’s fascinating!  Since I had a hard time inserting the whole picture, the breakdown is:

Ethnicity Estimate

Scandinavia

45%
Great Britain
43%
Europe West
5%
Ireland/Scotland/Wales
2%
Middle East
2%
Iberian Peninsula
2%
Europe South
1%
I’ve been on genealogy websites and found myself linked to someone from Italy, Spain, and Ireland in addition to the English, Welsh, German and French I already knew of along with all of Mom’s Scandinavian from Norway and Denmark.  Iberian Peninsula is near Spain.  The Middle East connection totally blows my mind.  I absolutely found all of this amazing, and I wish I could know the family stories, though some of them may be 1,000 years old, in which case I’ll have to imagine the story of a wayfarer from afar traveling to Europe or England, marrying into a whole new bloodline.  Perhaps there was migration due to war.  It just sparks my imagination, and I feel so connected to the world!
To bring this to a close, I am so thankful for everything that is giving me such a full life right now!  Yes, I feel positive about the challenges at work.  Yes, I feel like I can still make time and fit in the things I enjoy like Art, Family history, writing, and taking care of myself!  Next week will be a great one.  I’ll fit in an hour on three or more nights for editing;  I’ll even be sure to get to yoga class. 🙂
*Join the Weekend Coffee Share by viewing others or submitting your own at   https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/weekendcoffeeshare-lots-of-lotsness/
How was your week?
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