Weekend Coffee Share, Family, Friends, Food, and Art

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair for a coffee chat!

It has been a busy week with my health goals and work. My personal time mostly involved paying bills and trying to consciously relax myself in order to sleep at night. Part of that process has been essential blue oils and breathing exercises. One night it all worked, the next it didn’t. The night I added yoga to the mix made falling asleep easy! I still woke up way too early, though.

Of course, waking and then tossing and turning is a result of my shoulder issue. However, Wednesday afternoon the orthopedic doc gave me an intra-articular steroid shot through into my shoulder joint. Well, the next day I could move it more, and my spirits sure felt better! I’ve been assigned to 5 more weeks of physical therapy.

Hopefully, it all works so I won’t need surgery. Good thing I did get some relief, because Friday, I coordinated picture day at school. It was quite a busy day, but I had some student helpers and other staff also helped. I was glad when it was over!

My son is starting orientation for a new job Monday. Such happy news! We celebrated with a good dinner Thursday.

Besides having my son’s job to celebrate, I’m glad to report that this weekend was packed full with activities designed to de-stress and relax me!

Saturday was a great day for a massage; I started with green matcha tea and juice, ending the day with a dinner of Japanese Hibachi with my boyfriend. Sunday, I had brunch with some gal pals, and it was scrumptious! I hadn’t seen some of these ladies in a few years, so it’s great to have a regular brunch meetup with them now. I had quiche, grits , salad, and an indulgent cup of coffee ( a rare treat for me these days)!

Yum! “Broads Who do Brunch!”

Later in the day, I had the honor of attending the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit. Our neighbor got us tickets. It was a beautiful, touching experience, and I’m so thankful I got this chance!

Beyond Van Gogh, in the Jax Downtown Immersive Art Space.

I hope you all have a great week ahead!

Weekend Coffee Share, Remnants of a Happy Start

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair in your favorite beverage. It’s a green tazo tea day for me, because I am moving at my own pace. Let’s enjoy a little chat.

It’s a 3-day weekend for me, and yesterday was a payday, so I rang in the weekend by going to St Mary’s seafood and having a delicious dinner. My mother and our neighbor Bonnie met me there. There was ’80s music playing in the background, so it really put me in a cheery mood to start this weekend.:)

Remnants of a Happy MEAL.

Grilled Alaskan Pollock, sauteed green beans, rice pilaf and some hush puppies. Scrumptious! I told my boyfriend about it, and he said he really wished he could have been there. He has been fighting sinus troubles and a bad cold.

Work is starting to get a little stressful, but I am going to relax and be lazy with reckless abandon this weekend, because I deserve it. My dog seems to approve of that sentiment.

If you know me, then you know that I feel creatively challenged right now because of my hand arm and shoulder pain/ impingement, which is taking too long to resolve; writing is really hard to do right now. I did get an idea to share a photo of Bixby in a chilled out mood sitting on the stoop. I posted it as a social media story with the Rolling Stones song, Waiting For A Friend. Perfect!

That song to me seems to start out so relaxed and unassuming, just the guy sitting on a stoop watching his surroundings on a weekend evening. Somewhere, somehow, at the end, we get the horn playing and suddenly the song just sounds so magical to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always loved it! 🙂

I plan to do more of these with Bixby, maybe with the advent of every weekend and giving him a different caption.

I mean, the look on his face! It could be taken so many different ways. I am having fun with this, I hope other people see the humor that I see. If not, I’m just glad I can see things the way I see them, and y’all are missing out. LOL. At least I can make myself laugh. 🙂

I think we’ll end this conversation on that note. Life is always laughable, right? At times, I have said “Life is a Seinfeld episode.” Or, Seinfeld is life. It gets me through the trying times!

Thanks for listening. I hope all is well with you all and that you find a smile or laugh in your coffee cup this morning. Take care!

Weekend Coffee Share, Finding Light in the Dark

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a beautiful morning, birds are singing, and I’m enjoying my breakfast with Zen green tea. It has a little bit of caffeine, so we’re all good!

If we were having a coffee chat today, I’d tell you that my school year with the students ended yesterday. It was a busy week with events but slow on the teaching requirements. I just had to make sure my grades were finalized, and I did. Class time was comprised mostly of word games and helpers cleaning out my cabinets. Some students are very kinesthetic and like to be doing things with their hands, others loved playing multiple games of Scrabble. I enjoyed teaching them strategies! Attendance dropped off after Tuesday, though.

Tuesday was the day of the school shooting in Texas. I heard nothing of it during the school day, as we were preparing at school for the 6th and 7th grade dance. I chaperoned at the dance and enjoyed watching the kids have fun while I had to admonish some now and then for running around or trying to play tag, you’re it. Some set up a Conga line/ train and made their way around the auditorium with smiles on their faces. Others got down and boogied. It was fun to watch and definitely a little bit of sensory overload that tired me out by the end of the day. After school, I attended Taco Tuesday with some teacher friends to let off some steam, and I was certainly tired when I got home.

I have many thoughts about the shooting, but I mostly am full of emotion and sorry that our kids have to grow up in a world like this. Children were searched when they got to school Wednesday morning. Backpacks were banned for the last three days of school (as they should be). Many kids were absent through the rest of the week, but I enjoyed my time with those who attended while explaining the stricter rules to them and why the current state of our nation/world requires them. I was pleased to see some 8th grade students I had taught years prior who showed me all of their awards they received at the ceremony. Some of them said goodbye on the last day and I let them take my picture in the hallway. So many mixed emotions on that day, as always. Also, a sense of relief. 🙂

I just want to say that our children deserve a better world. We also need more mental health services in our schools. Yes, they are beefing up security, but let’s curtail the problem at it’s root. Then, let’s fix our society so that our nation values children more than the bottom line. It may not happen in my lifetime. Maybe my only purpose is to let every child have a sense of belonging.

Good morning!

In other news this week, I suspect my dog, Bixby has PTSD, faltering eyesight, or slight dementia. He is getting very cranky at night if I try to pet him while he’s lying down, and he starts growling if I use that high-pitched voice that normally brings him running. Then he looks at me like he doesn’t know me. This happens most in my mom’s bedroom, so maybe the lighting is too dim and he’s tired. Maybe there is something wrong. He’s between 10 and 11 years old but was already scarred when we got him at age 3. Regardless, he has been a beacon of hope for the happiness and reduction of stress for everyone in my household!

My mom took Bixby for a haircut yesterday, and he doesn’t snap at the groomer, nor does he snap at his vet. He is only taken there during the day, though. This snapping that he does started maybe 2 years ago, which makes me think it is state of mind or PTSD from a nighttime event. He always hated fireworks. Not to mention his near-death experience last weekend. I wrote about it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2022/05/22/bixby-the-wonder-dog/

There is a slight mark where he lost some fur, but there is no wound. It’s less noticeable with his haircut, and thank God he had that fur during the incident!

Bixby had all kinds of fears when we got him and a chip on his shoulder, but he loved us when we showed him love, and he still does. This morning, he hopped on my bed early and stayed at my feet to let me sleep in, then woke me at 7:20 to let him out. He stretched when I stretched and allowed me to pet him while he wagged his tail lovingly. I know my dog’s heart is still good. I feel this is beyond dog-training and requires understanding, if nothing other than giving him space when it’s dark out. He’s a small dog. I haven’t had him around other dogs at the park in a while and plan to try this summer. And, yes, another dog training class in the near future may be needed. He is family, and family members give each other understanding.

It’s daylight, and the ghosts are gone.

So, I’m thankful he is clearheaded and more like himself this morning. I think I will take him for an extended walk. It’s my birthday weekend, so there are two good dinners planned, time with my sweetie, and a massage scheduled tomorrow. Only good things are in store this weekend! Maybe I’ll do a post like a couple of years ago on inventions a woman my age would really like to see! Maybe a posture support tank top with internal cooling fans? Underwire-free!

But I jest …or do I? 🙂

So, I have a stressful job and a crazy dog, but dealing with crazy has been my life story. You just don’t know; I seem destined for that. It doesn’t depress me anymore. I now know when to be patient and when to exercise my boundaries.

I hope you all have a joyous weekend, and a great week to follow. I’m counting this as the start of my summer!

Weekend Coffee Share, 3/26/22

Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the explorer. And I am relaxing after having slept in late when my back started screaming at me. My drink this morning is a Tazo Zen tea, a green tea which actually does have caffeine but not as much as a coffee would.

Maybe it seems strange that I am not drinking coffee during a weekend coffee share, but I am just trying lots of different things lately for my health and my stress levels. Both of these are intricately related at any rate.

My weekend started out pretty low-key, and I was a bit tired after my work week, so I ordered in for dinner, and just laid around with my dog and later watched Netflix. I got to see my son playing with the dog which was fun to watch for a while, before he went out to dinner.

Spring is such a beautiful time of year, but I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of last year. I’m trying to remind myself of how far things have turned around with my son and my family, and if the people who helped me through those times. It is a work in progress. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy, but it is tiring me out.

This is just where I am at the moment, I don’t mean to complain! My boyfriend and I are planning a vacation for this summer, and that has been fun to plan. The end of my school year is approaching, so that’s a good thing. At the moment I am contemplating what my exercise of the day will be, and it is sure to involve some yoga, because maybe that will help my back. I probably need a good amount of stretching.

It seems that pain is quite a distractor, and my teaching job requires a huge amount of multi-tasking. I must have pulled my back in the last day or two, becuase yesterday at work was rough during my classes, when two kids need help at the same time and often interrupt each other. They say we must train them not to do that, but it is a process that needs so much repetition. Anyhow, my main goal is not to let pain stop me from moving. A physical therapist once said that mine is a stability problem and not a mobility problem. Sounds believable, so I plan to do more yoga at home with an online site called Yoga Collective.

I’m still finishing up the audible version of Wuthering Heights. Bronte definitely created some twisted, messed up characters and relationships. It isn’t a book to rush through, though I feel the best parts were earlier in the book.

The sunshine is inviting, so maybe I’ll heed that call! Have a great weekend everyone, and a great week to follow!

Weekend Coffee Share, Routine and Breaking

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s in the 40s here right now, but the sun shines on my back as I eat my cereal with fruit and drink my half-caff. The newly shorn Bixby wanders around looking for his toys this morning.

Shorn, but still handsome!
Turmeric chai mix sprinkled on my banana slices. Yum!

If we were having coffee, I’d thank you for waiting until Sunday, as I had a hair appointment yesterday. I’d apologize for missing our coffee chat last week, as I was finishing up some grades that were do and preparing for a night at the theatre with my boyfriend.

He surprised me a few days before, saying he wanted to make sure I had that night Free for a dinner theatre date to see  Guys and Dolls. The show and the dinner were both grand!

Last night, I convinced him to go to an Improv Comedy night with me at a Veterans Brewery. The atmosphere and ambiance are casual. I’ve only been once before. ..but I loved it! We both loved it last night, too. The comedians are everyday people; one joked about the accident that left him wheelchair bound, another about kicking cancer and what apologies she’d have to make if she didn’t make it.

Improv has a creative process, and I identify with and respect these folks, being a writer. My work occurs in isolation though, and I love sitting somewhere amidst the laughter and following a comedian’s line of thought. A nice activity for a long weekend; I sure needed this break in my routine!

I didn’t do any school work or grading yesterday which was nice. I guess that and my hair appointment forced my Sunday instead of Saturday coffee share. I’ve been keeping up with exercise, so that’s good. I’m going to church in a little while. I haven’t been regular with that, and it’s sad because that is my local extended family. The people are what keeps a church running. The faith is what starts it.

Work has me busy, weather and gray days make me tired. I’m hanging in there for Spring! Days are starting to get longer, and that really has an effect on my energy levels. I’m looking forward to Spring break and a Celtic Fest in March!

Have a great day, everyone! May the sunshine, or the promise of sunshine, spur you on!

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! 🙂

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, 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. 🙂

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!

Releasing the Pain. #poetry (Revisited)

Photo by Vijay Sadasivuni on Pexels.com

Originally published (c) 2009 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I write, I express

and I press so hard

The hurt in my shoulder

like little glass shards

****

I focus, I strive

My thoughts so intense

The weight on me

at times feels so dense.

*****

Pop! I let the pressure out, let it rise

like a balloon at its demise…

Powerless, away with the wind it goes

The fear and the pain that I once held so close.

*Revised version, 2021

Weekend Coffee Share, Grounding. #poetry

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On this busy week, I struggled with sleep then made up for it all last night. 🙂 It’s a green matcha tea morning, and I’d like to share a poem I wrote and intended to publish earlier this week. This way, I can get to the park with my dog sooner! I’ll drop by some of your Coffee shares later.

Another day to wake up, clean up, show up.

Realizing philosophizing is making me want to throw up.

So, today I’ll stop looking at the skies and wondering why

I’ll turn my gaze down to the creatures on the ground

The ones that surround and keep me company,

I will rise and shine like the birds chirping this morning,

the sunshine peeking over the trees providing light and warming

The dog that is sniffing at the door to be let out

Then asks to come back in with a bark that shouts,

“Thank you for the outing, but I want to be with you!

I’ll need an outing later, but there are other things to do.”

I reach out and let him ground me

Let his love and kid-like joy surround me.

.

It is what it is, beyond our control,

But you can still love life, deep in your soul

Can I forget for a moment, what baffles me

and live each moment joyfully?

Weekend Coffee Share, Gone to the Dogs!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, on a quiet morning that touches us lightly with a little sunshine and very little humidity. Sixty-five degrees on a morning in Northeast Florida is truly a blessing. My drink of choice is Half-caff hazelnut coffee, and Miles Davis plays in the background in my home ‘cafe.’

We are dog-sitting this weekend. Lucy, a small, energetic curly-haired dog runs around with Bixby and then sits at my feet. Bixby is not sure what’s going on. He’s used to being top-dog, the only dog. My mother is still sleeping, and he has gone back to snuggle with her. A dog for everyone! Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Just a rhetorical question.

Morning outing in the yard.

The sunshine on the house is quite lovely, and Bixby’s fluffy tail frequently expresses his enthusiasm! The dog situation this weekend is a bright spot for me. Instead of looking to the skies and wondering why, I am looking down to the ground at the creatures that were put in our care by the creator to keep us company and make us focus on living. That’s what they do, and so should we.

Dogs are exceptional companions, that’s why they make great emotional support animals. Bixby helps remind me that one does not always need to act their age, and that it is always helpful and appropriate to sniff the air on a beautiful day! It helps me forget my worries, such as why my son is not speaking to me, why my relationship went south, why so much change had to happen at once.

In fact, this Mother’s Day was the first one in which my son was not present. He is not speaking to me. My ex-husband was supposed to bring him to a restaurant and we’d all have dinner, but instead it was my ex-husband treating my mom and me to dinner with much conversation centered around my son. Not all of it though. He seemed to sensed the talk was bringing me down and changed the topic. I took Mom to the restaurant early to have a drink at the bar, though, and she enjoyed that. She likes being social.

Me and my mom, 2021. ❤

I’d have to say, though, that my Mother’s day was nice if I don’t factor in the missing element. Then, this past week at work just grew to be so stressful. It’s the end of the year, teachers are worried about testing, and the kids have the Spring fever. Ugh. So, the dogs are nice company today, and I had a nice dinner last night with an ex-boyfriend from years ago. We had kept in touch through e-mail, and I contacted him recently about all I had going on and suggested we meet-up because I always found him easy to talk to. He agreed to meet.

When one does this, it could mean let’s start a friendship again, let’s have fun, or even more. One does not have to dwell on ‘what it means’ though. We were able to talk quite easily, and that is good. We haven’t seen each other in twenty years. While I am not looking to jump into a relationship, I know when I find someone easy to talk to that I value their time. Along with female friends, I do have male friends that I talk to these days, but I don’t see them as anything but friends. I am going to give myself some space to be my own person. Reaching out though, is one thing I am getting good at. He asked lots of questions and I went through my stories while he listened.

It’s always good to have a friend who listens. It is much better to spend time with someone who knows some of your quirks as well as qualities. This is why I take this kind of chance. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex, or dating after a break-up (this time from an 11-year relationship), can cause anxiety in itself. Sometimes I have felt like I should just spend all my time with the dog and my female teacher friends and just forget socializing with the opposite sex.

In telling my stories, I found that I would lose train of thought a lot, and forget what I was talking about. My short-term memory at times seems affected in that way, and I wonder if my anxiety has caused that or if, as the doctor said, I have ADHD. If so, that means I suddenly developed it in the last few years, or it could be the brain-fog women get as they move up in the years. Ah, something else to worry about? I should just laugh it off. With my students, I sometimes call myself the absent-minded professor.

I can remember conversations from twenty years ago and moments from my childhood, but in a busy classroom or while conversing in a crowded restaurant, I can forget what I was just talking about. So, I have not lost my memory, it’s just a short-term memory thing. As I tell my students, sometimes very intelligent people can forget things, or….”I have an awful lot in my mind, sometimes something won’t take hold.” 🙂 Not making excuses at all. Repetition helps memory. I tell them that as well. It’s all part of the evolving me, no problem. I still think I’m alright. I have a lot less shame and self-judgment which leaves a lot more room for honesty.

All of this sort of fits in with my ongoing novel about Ellie, my on and off work-in-progress, as I have been more focused on working on me lately. Ellie’s story lives on, though, and is developing with everything I learn. She is not me, but I am a part of her. It’s gonna be great. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my ‘cafe’ for a coffee chat. Weekend Coffee Share is hosted every weekend by Natalie the Explorer. Have a great weekend!

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