#WeekendCoffeeShare. Top 10 Sounds Accompanying my Morning

Noting the sounds around me is part of a mindfulness exercise from the book, Mindfulness Journal for Beginners. This exercise can help you to be more in the moment, especially if you are a worrier or an overthinker like I am. Here’s my top 10 for this morning:

1. I woke up hearing my son’s steps in the hall on his way to work. That gives me an idea of the time, and there was no need to sleep late, I had a good night’s sleep!

2. The pitter-patter of my dog’s feet on the tile floor, excited to wake me up, or is he urgently needing to get outside?

3. My dog’s sneeze and snuffle as he’s telling me he wants to go out. He doesn’t use his bark much to communicate, but rather, uses facial expressions and other sounds.

Bixby loves to move!

4. Geese flying overhead as I step out back with the dog. Those geese just love Northeast Florida, don’t they?

5. Soft rain drops, not even a sprinkle;  well, actually,  I  think it is just drips from the roof. No…now it is sprinkling. A peaceful sound.

6. Some construction machine,  probably blocks away, but not a bothersome sound.

7. My Keureg Coffee machine brewing my half-caff Hazelnut. Yes, it’s time for a coffee day! You may have whatever you like!

8. A Youtube mix containing Of Monsters and Men hits, one of my favorite bands. The urgent Winter Sound will wake you up and fill you with determination; the mysterious Slow Life could just take you into deep sleep. The lyrics of many of their new songs are quite thought-provoking. I may switch to Miles Davis when the coffee is done brewing.

9. There is the usual tick-tock of the clock, but I can drown it out by turning the music up, and sometimes that is what I prefer.

10. If this were a real coffee shop, I’d hear the lull of voices discussing how good their coffee is, our wildest dreams and goals (owning a farm with many dogs and creating a writers’ camp, becoming a comedienne), or the antics of an interesting member in their family. It all sounds good, as I am vowing to have some me time later and not to focus much on my job today.

Okay, I suppose I must share one thought from my week, as I challenge myself to form a mindset that helps me survive the everyday stress and the pandemic distance:

“Don’t grow up too fast, but if you must, save the good moments of your childhood: running through sprinklers, dressing up as imaginary characters, laughing at ridiculous things. They will help you through many hard times as an adult.” -Pamela S. Canepa

Or, to quote a more famous author: “Don’t grow up too fast, Darling. Age is inevitable, but if you nurture a childlike heart, you’ll never, ever grow old.” -Beth Hoffman

My most important goal.

How are things in your world? I thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend and an even better week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Business as Usual? Nope.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! I’m posting a little late, but I already got in my Saturday exercise. That’s a good excuse right? My drink is matcha green tea today, what’s yours?

Having had my exercise means I got some fresh air for at least 30 minutes, and it’s a nice, mild 70 degrees, so I’m dreaming, dreaming there’s a little bit more sunshine, and the world has returned to normal. Dreaming that I could be at an outdoor music festival today, smelling fried food, hearing loud echoes of the music of my choice while I sit back and lose track of time, feeling the rays of sun on my face.

But things have not gone back to normal. I’m teaching in the midst of a pandemic, sleeping horribly, and lacking focus to the effect that it’ll take 5 plus years to write another book, and I get so distracted when reading. I’m not my usual self. I still find things to laugh at, though. I’ve always been a survivor. How do I thrive through this, though?

1/20/21 My coworker & I in our pearls honoring the first female Vice President!

I’ve been trying to show more appreciation to those I love and to my friends and co-workers who lift my spirits. While being careful with teaching around kids, I’m trying to help start a new club at school. There are lots of sweet, awesome kids also in school during this pandemic, longing for the social-emotional connections they miss. While I want us all to be safe, I hope we don’t have to stay home again to do it.

I’ve been prepping all week for my yearly observation like it’s business as usual, and I’m feeling positive about it, because some kids still love to learn. I see some kids acting out at school, though. I hear the frustrations of new teachers, and I sometimes struggle to react positively. That’s where I’m at right now. Sometimes, dark or absurd humor helps.

Despite feeling a sort of writer’s block, I do write poems now and then in certain bursts of reaction. The most recent was in response to something I’m planning to teach next week. Please visit the post and read my short poem: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/01/18/day-and-night-poetry/

I love teaching poetry…one more thing to be positive about. Despite arthritis flaring up in my hand, I’ve been able to type this post. I was able to go over a mile this morning. Our nation had a peaceful Inauguration Day! Let’s focus on what’s good today. I hope you all are well, and taking any bad news that filters through in stride. Have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share, Of Anachronisms and Wistful Wishes

Happy birthday, Joan of Arc!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! Pull up a chair and have a cup of whatever appeals to you. On this pleasantly chilly day, I’m brewing warm coffee. This week has held many changes, but one thing remains the safe: COVID is out there and precautions are still very necessary, especially here in the state of Florida.

What does that mean for me? Wearing a mask non-stop while teaching, washing my hands frequently as I look at their rough skin, longing for a paraffin manicure. I am too practical for that, though, yet I may grow really desperate if they look even worse in a few months. COVID is not going away soon enough.

Staying COVID-safe.

This week, I wistfully longed for the confidence to pursue my bucket list. High on the list is a visit to New Orleans for Joan of Arc’s annual birthday parade. I believe they made it virtual this year, which is in no way the same. I am hoping to go in the next 2-3 years, and it is the perfect way, in my opinion, to see New Orleans for the first time. It is not safe right now. Joan’s birthday was January 6th, 1412, and the parade includes the throwing of beads, yet I hear it is not as debauched as Mardi Gras. I shall find out!

Another wistful thought came to mind yesterday morning as I played songs by my favorite Scottish band, Albannach. I had seen them several years in a row at the outdoor Celtic festival in St. Augustine, Florida. I dearly miss outdoor festivals and remembered it would likely take place two months from now as Spring ushers in the pleasant weather. Not this year….well, maybe next.

Changes galore have been happening at my teaching job due to many students coming out of the online schooling option and returning to school. I may even be absolved of teaching an online class now. Instead, I will have a Critical Thinking/Creative Writing class that is an elective. I am used to change; I won’t let it shake me up. I see that next week will bring even more changes and surprises as the COVID teaching landscape forces many new ways of doing things and a huge amount of adapting. I have stepped down from leading a committee and now I’m getting into the start of a News Club. I can only see positives here, except it is another responsibility.

However, I am staying positive since several students seem interested. What does this mean? There are minions! Yes, what a relief. I do have another teacher willing to be a co-sponsor which also makes me feel this idea can be feasible while allowing me not to let it ‘take over.’ It also pleases me to know I can use my gift for writing to share with students and hopefully inspire and teach them more about writing. We will have to plan a way to have an active club while using social distancing. My social life is starved lately due to COVID, but I am surrounded by people as a teacher, and I plan to relate to them all positively.

Being positive with those around me will be possible if I can still have my boundaries and have the time to practice healthy living. This means eating healthy and not on the fly, making time to exercise, and time for appointments that nourish my health and mental health (it takes a village) :). Let’s not forget, being able to get things done but still rest and spend time with my loved ones including my dog, Bixby.

That’s what’s is happening in my corner of the world. Everyone have a great weekend, and stay safe.

Weekend Coffee Share, Virtually Social

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  It’s half-caff for me, with creamer and honey to boost my immune system.  Not that I should worry, I’ve been social distancing quite well and wearing a mask in public.

Last night, I invited three teacher friends to a Zoom card party called Cards Against Quarantine.  It is very cheeky, inappropriate fun!  One of the gals lives in Hawaii now but is moving back this summer, so we talked a long time after the card game.  I’m not used to staying up that late, but it was great fun.  I’m glad I downloaded that game.  Otherwise, it’s mostly work, work, work and streaming shows or movies these days.  I do manage to keep exercising, though.  I got my mile in this morning on the Gazelle.  Got to stay healthy!

On the topic of health, I went for x-rays Thursday.  I should hear from my doctor next week. I don’t think there is a tear, so perhaps what I feel is muscular.  I’m steal reading about the mind-body connection.  I am a personality type that holds a lot of tension in my body and often find it difficult to shut off my mind.  Yoga helps, but I skipped it yesterday due to feeling limited with my arm.  I am on the computer daily because of teaching online and have not spent much time writing my next novel.  That will certainly come this summer when I have more free time!  In the meantime, I bought playdough to play with and create things.  I also plan to schedule more online card parties or ‘girls’ nights’ for sure!

School ends in thirteen days. I hope to plan a fun last day in a Live meeting.  We discussed sharing poems and perhaps making one into a song.  One student volunteered to play guitar and another to play piano in the background.  I think it will be a melodious, joyful way to end this crazy school year!

I do hope you all are well and will have a great weekend.  If you are interested in any of my books, check them out at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716  or find my latest, a great place to start, at Malachi, Ruse Master

In a few days, look for my post about writing 9-11 and COVID-19 into my novels!

Weekend Coffee Share, an Island

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“No man is an island” -John Dunne

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali. It has been another week full of Live meetings with my sixth graders, the usual online teacher stuff, a broken down computer, and self-publishing a book, which made for a happy break from loneliness or monotony. So, I ordered a new laptop. I use the work laptop, but the microphone does not work, and I’ve been too lazy to take it in to the designated repair center. I’m happy about the new book. One regular reader has told me I’ve taken an “artistic leap,” as it focuses on one character, a young man going through his identity crisis after dropping out of college and obtaining a job where lies and pretending earn his pay.. Give it a look if you like! it intersects with some characters and events from undercurrents in time, but it can also stand on its own.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX

In the last month, I’ve had a pain flare-up, likely due to stress and fear. The news stirs my fear, and going to the grocery store in a mask is weird, but I do it. I feel like I have severe OCD, anxiety, paranoia, and agorophobia. Well, 80% of the world also does right now. I do have arthritis, but there may also be something else. I did so well after physical therapy at the start of this year, but the pain is back intermittently, and I aggravated it by going gung-ho two weeks ago trying a new exercise with light weights. Turns out I should not ever lift anything above shoulder level. 😦 No one told me that; I had to learn the hard way. )

It is relevant that I am currently reading something by Sarno about the Mind-Body Connection. It’s quite interesting, about how emotions or past trauma can cause or prolong chronic pain. Also, certain personality types are more prone to tension-myositis. When I explore these ideas, I feel more in control. Though, I am not really, but I feel it becomes possible.

Family

I am blessed that I have my family here, though. My 78 year old mother, and my 24 year old son. He had his birthday last Sunday and we took a walk in a park just he and I, then came home and my boyfriend came over and we all ordered a great meal from Outback. I bought a cheesecake the day before, so we pigged out on all of that. My dog is also great company in these times; he seems to enjoy having us here, since Mom and I are always here, and my son is here a few days a week since he is working between 20 to 30 hours a week.

My dog has been anxious, though. Perhaps it was because of a stormy day the other day. He seemed to really like energy, or maybe he was preoccupied. And when the storm started, he was very on edge. I had walked him for, and noticed stickers and his leg, so I tried to get one out and he snarled and snapped at me. That is unusual. I kept telling him it was okay and then he started licking my hands as if he really felt sorry. He’s really a good dog. His age in dog years right now would be about 58, sort of young to be a cranky old man. But maybe he’s getting arthritis or something like that similar to what’s going on with me.

My mom took him to the vet, and she said everything looked kind of normal but based on what we had told her she was going to do some blood tests. We are still waiting on the results, but also based on what we had told her, she gave him a chewable medicine and I’m just going to call it doggie Prozac. It seems fitting. He’s in really good spirits today, but not really eating much. So, we pray there is nothing really seriously wrong. He was a stray for three years before becoming hours, and I know there were some hard times, it was evident when we first brought him home. I consider him to be a dog with PTSD, God bless him. I love that dog.

Last night I stayed up a little too late watching Homeland on Showtime with my free trial. I am definitely hooked on that show, as it has many twists and turns and OMG moments. It was a treat to myself to binge watch something again, as I can’t do that much during the week. I do try to take at least two yoga classes per week and I exercise on the back porch about two times a week, trying to stay healthy. Balance, right?

As I mentioned before, my arm and shoulder are kind of bugging me today, so I am writing this via speech to text on my phone. I do need to go back and check for errors. I hope you all have as good a week as possible and taken some sunshine. If I have not visited your weekend coffee share today, please feel free to leave your link in the comments area. I can visit your post via my phone. I’m planning to take it easy today. 🙂 Sending a virtual hug!

Weekend Coffee Share, A New Routine

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  I’ve got to say, my coffee is sooo good today!  Maybe I am just feeling a sense of gratitude, trying to make the best of strange times.  I am beset with a lot of changes, as most of you probably are, too.

I’m a 6th grade teacher switching to online teaching to keep with the times and the state protocols. I’ve done my best to find the positives. Here is an intro video I did in the spirit of optimism:

https://youtu.be/5lLWXmpEMt8

(Yes, I know, I touch my face too much, especially when I’m feeling warm, a not-so-strange phenomenon for a woman my age :)).

So, here are five things you can do with online learning (or teaching) that you could not have done in a classroom:

1. Clip your toenails during a lesson

2. Wear sunglasses and a hoodie while completing (or grading) assignments (Good for students or teachers)

3. Raid the refrigerator for snacks as you wait for a student to give an answer

4. Pet your dog or cat, or your pet snake for what it’s worth….

5. Wear pajama pants. Really, no one will know!

I am going to enjoy the dog access the most!  (He has appreciated me being home more).  Seriously, though, I have been missing seeing my students.  I have posted to my Class Dojo a few times this last week as we had a week added to our Spring Break.  Well, now we have three more weeks off of school (at least), and Monday we will be starting online learning.  Schools in some states are out for the rest of the school year, and state testing is canceled here in Florida.  So, I am looking forward to communicating with my students and their parents.  I just have to go easy on my arm and the mouse-clicking.  I will say, yesterday after my home workout for the arm and shoulder, it felt better, despite being on a long conference call and setting up my classes online.  There is hope!

Nature is buzzing around us, even though we are avoiding many things.  A lot of parks are closed; nature is unbothered.  Birds chirp when I wake to silence, as no cars are starting up this morning.  I read that pollution has reduced drastically in China, and Venice canals are much cleaner.  Yes, we can be a parasite on this Earth.  I won’t go doom and gloom, okay.  I love the sound of birds in the morning!  My dog is happy, and I will take him for a walk later.  The sun has been shining constantly.  We will be fine!  I had some down evenings of worry and despair, but that was five days ago.  My church book group had a Zoom meeting for our discussion Thursday and will have an online service Sunday, so I’m feeling more connected.  Maybe now that I have more purpose and will be teaching my kids again, I feel better.  I can make other people feel better, since I’ve been actively seeking to learn what I can to calm my anxiety. Instead of feeling alone, we should all take this time to reflect and learn to unplug.

relax-569318_1280 Pixabay photo.

I loaded an app for meditation called Insight Timer.  I really like it so far! The Curable app for chronic pain and Mind-Body issues also has great meditations.  I signed up for an online course on Mindfulness which will yield a certificate when done through New Skills Academy online.  There is a lot about meditation in there.  I am exercising with things I learned in physical therapy and also logging in to see virtual yoga and abs classes through my yoga studio which is closed currently.  All of this is keeping me healthy; heck, it is keeping me going!  We have many ways to stay connected.  Let’s practice them!

I have also finished editing my manuscript for the Malachi novel, which is focused on a young adult man taking an unusual job to make ends meet.  This job forces him to face his own ideas of right and wrong.  There is now formatting and a final proofing.  Maybe it will be out in a month? I will let you know!  Here is a preview of the cover:

MALACHI.RUSEMASTER.eBOOK

Malachi, Ruse Master is a young adult novel with hints of sci-fi, as it intersects with characters and some events in the Detours in Time series.  People of all ages should enjoy it, as it can take you back to your own identity struggles and clamoring for independence as a youth.  There is plenty of action and adventure, too. I will follow it with a novel devoted to Ellie, whom we have already seen as a child, a teen, and an old, demented woman.  She will intersect with Malachi in this novel and then have her own story in a novel to come out in 1-2 years.  Time is not linear, you know!

If you have read Detours in Time, you should read the follow-up, Undercurrents in Time, in which Malachi is first introduced. I have reduced it to .99 for the remainder of the month.  Find it here:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCCQS3N

Stay well, my friends.  Do the things you love or find new things to love doing.  Read books.  Ask your writer friends about their books.  Write a book!  Exercise indoors or in your backyard.  Stop and breathe the fresh air, and find a reason to laugh, with your family, with your dog, yourself, with your friends online.  We will survive!

 

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

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

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

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

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