Weekend Coffee Share: Animals, Art, and Loved Ones

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been a calm week before the storm of teacher pre-planning coming next week. Grab your favorite morning beverage and let’s chat!

It has been hot as the Dickens around here. I’ve had shoulder therapy appointments and one day of helping get 6th graders familiar with our school grounds. I made some calls about seeing an Ortho doc and hopefully getting x-rays. Tuesday evening was a pleasant, fun excursion to the Cummer Museum of Art. Chris, my mom, and I had a taco dinner before we all went to the museum.

My favorite sight was their tree in the gardens.
The gardens and the St. John’s River are in the background

One morning this week, I enjoyed the wildlife on my porch before the humidity took up residence for the day.

This one appears to be shedding!
Huge, but lovely moth.

At the same time part juggernaut and part cuddle buddy, unafraid of huge dogs but frightened by thunderstorms, Bixby does it again. One day, Mom tells me that before I woke up, Bixby was out back, and she was in the kitchen. At one point she heard Bixby outside whimpering like he was hurt. Well, when I woke up and went into the living room, what did I see but a dead wasp on our floor! And Bixby, he’s just fine.

I swear, this dog might be a honey badger!

So, that’s my week in a nutshell. How are things with you?

Weekend Coffee Share, Good Food and Family

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Saturday, coffee was in order, with honey and creamer. I really needed it to get me moving. Maybe the hot weather causes this listlessness. Let’s chat over coffee or tea, indoors with the A/C on, of course!

Saturday was my mother’s birthday. We went to Bonefish Grill for some fantastic seafood! There was Bang bang shrimp appetizer, mom had a smoky old-fashioned, and the entrees were awesome! She had their pasta with salmon, I had salmon with rice and creamed spinach. There was so much goodness!

Salmon with capers in lemon sauce!

Please tell me capers are good for my health; and spinach, although it was creamed with bread crumbs on top, has got to be good for me, right? ( Just found out the other day that my cholesterol is high again. I’ve got my work cut out for me).

Happy birthday to Mom!

So I mentioned my high cholesterol, right? It runs in the family. 😦 I also started physical therapy again for a shoulder issue, and they told me it’s frozen shoulder. Ugh! I’ve gone through this before. A Google search told me that high cholesterol can lead to or exacerbate frozen shoulder.

Yikes! I guess I’ll be better about taking my cholesterol meds. I thought I ate healthy, but there are things I could improve: no pizza from a box, fresh sandwiches instead of packaged, and coffee only now and then. That green tea habit I started a few years ago is going to help.

That’s all I can think of. Most doctors don’t tend to tell you what you shouldn’t eat. Mine does tell me to stay active, that’s the only other piece of this solution I can think of. I try to stay active, but I know I could always step it up! I’ve added a Zumba video a few times a week. I need to get it as a set routine, as I don’t quite yet.

My writing routine is, of course, also not very regular due to this shoulder discomfort. I think blogging, poetry, or flash fiction is more my speed, currently. I wrote one Friday about my future knocking at my door. You can read it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2022/07/29/answer-it-rdp/

I’m still in that summer break state of mind, though. You know, no set wake up time. Many days I don’t have to go anywhere. No set bedtime, although I’m a little better about that because I just don’t stay up too late, as a rule. That’s all changing soon; next Monday I’m waking up and going to work for teacher planning.

So, this week I suppose I’ll focus on trying to find my energy. I’ll keep you all posted! Next goal today, a 30 minute walk in the heat, sun hat required….

How are things in your world?

Weekend Coffee Share, A Time for Every Purpose

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Join me for your favorite beverage. It’s matcha green tea on ice for me. Let’s chat a while! Bixby may even visit at some point.

I found no flourishing mushrooms this week. 😦

I had a good walk yesterday morning in search of my morning coffee at my neighborhood Starbucks. Alas, only their drive-through was open, so I made it a more exercise- focused walk and iced some coffee when I got home. I’m sure it’s due to the recent surge of COVID cases. Their inside cafe was open when I went two weeks ago.

Just like everyone else, I’d like these COVID surges to be over! Our president has it, one of my friends came down with it, and a few other people I know are coming down with colds and sinus issues. I haven’t been around many people this week, but when I’m back at school I’ll be surrounded by students. I’ll have a mask handy for times I need to work more closely with students.

Green tea brewing in the 🌞.

No flourishing mushrooms were found on the week, just one, solitary, disconnected individual. Maybe they aren’t getting enough ground moisture. It has been hot daily until the rain. I frequently make sun tea; the above photo is green tea brewed in the sun. Would you believe the lawn was just mowed 5 days ago?!

Friday, it felt like 103 degrees. Today, it is similar, but there’s a 100% chance of rain later, and I welcome that! I’m getting a massage later, and I’ll do some reading, maybe also a little writing. It has been a slow writing week, but I’ve slept in daily, relaxed, and got some exercise. A chair yoga class on Wednesday gave me a great upper body stretch, something I really need more of in my weekly routine!

Tuesday, I joined my boyfriend for Trivia. We really enjoy it, even though we haven’t one yet. 🙂 Last night, I had dinner with my mom and a neighbor at a cute little Thai restaurant. Our neighbor is an interesting and well-traveled woman, so the conversation was great! That, and I love Thai food flavors. 🙂 Mild spice, please.

That was my week in a nutshell. I hope all is well in your corner of the universe!

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It is getting to be that time of Summer where these hot hot days and/or the lack of structure in my schedule have led to me not really knowing what day it is!

Luckily, it occurred to me that this is Saturday. Today’s morning Brew is a donut shop blend, most delicious! I had a breakfast date with a friend yesterday morning, and drank my cold green tea before leaving. Some decaf coffee at the breakfast shop left me wanting the real thing, so today, I will reward myself. Sit down, grab your favorite coffee or tea, and let’s chat!

Having slept in a little early, I found that a quiet (but growing more impatient by the minute) Bixby needed a walk right away. So, I’ve already tended to that, and my coffee cooled off while I was gone, which is a good thing today. While it is quite hot out, the sun is not in full force, but the humidity is in full effect.

It would seem that the summer heat and humidity tend to help mushrooms flourish, as we have a lot of new crops of them around the neighborhood. I love looking at them, maybe that’s just me.

It has been an unproductive week in the area of writing. I went to a chair yoga class at the library this week, and the type of stretching we did was great for my shoulder, which is not completely back to normal but felt so good after the class. I plan to go back in the next couple of weeks before school starts. We’ll see what happens with the shoulder!

I did write a poem entry this week in response to the Ragtag Daily prompt, Toys. I think I was all over the place with that one, or perhaps you just notice a change in tone as you read to the end of the poem. Check it out: https://wp.me/p7aqV2-30u

I got a haircut with a little more emphasis on bangs. I think I’ll like it if it’s low maintenance! I won’t really know until I need to style it for myself.

We have my sister-in-law visiting this afternoon, since she is in town. I haven’t seen her in a while, so that should be fun. Bixby I’m sure we’ll be excited, because it’s one more person to give him attention, and since it has started to rain outside, there is not much else for him to do.

I hope you all are having a great weekend and enjoy your week ahead!

Weekend Coffee Share, Surprises or Subtle Transformations

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Come sit on the back porch with me for your morning beverage of choice. It promises to be a slow-moving, sticky Southern day here in North Florida. What would we discuss if we were having coffee today?

Well, Bixby has sniffed around and has already retreated to the house . He certainly doesn’t miss his stray-dog days! Though, he likely will come out again. My drink of choice today is cold, green matcha tea. I am allowing myself to move quite slowly. I hope you don’t mind the pace. Stop a while and relax. I have cardio later, but it can wait!

I’ve had plenty of time lately to take in my surroundings, to stop and smell the roses. Sitting on the porch provides a lot of lovely views of nature. I haven’t seen as many birds lately, but there are other sights.

I’ll be praising the rain again later today. It sure pleases the plants!

This week, I did a little bit of writing for continuation of my short story, Crossroads Diner #205. I hope to extend it to novella-length. Again, slow-going, but I am not fretting over that. I’m allowing myself to move when the muse moves me, and to work on other things when it doesn’t. I am still journaling daily this summer as I eat a slow, relaxed breakfast. It is so good for my relaxation levels.

My journaling experience is accompanied by affirmations by Louise Hay in her journal titled A Garden of Thoughts. Coincidentally, I’m taking an online course on teaching students with special needs, and we are currently learning about Growth Mindset, a very important thing, and I am feeling more enthusiastic about my job and this training than I thought…but let me tell you about my growth in regards to journaling.

Journaling is a part of many self-help programs: AA, chronic pain (TMS) sufferers, etc., because self-reflection helps a person look at how they dealt with things in the past and how they can change it. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and a chronic pain sufferer. Admittedly, I still suffer frequent arthritis pain, and just saw the doctor for a steroid shot in my shoulder this Wednesday. The journaling has really helped my mindset. I’ve often in the past felt like I was less of a person or didn’t deserve great things, that it was just the way it was. That I was limited. I think I addressed the shoulder pro-actively, as I plan to stay active and now I’m stretching it a little more each day.

Breaking out of self-limiting mindset is extremely important. Each of the affirmations in A Garden of Thoughts is highly positive, and I can’t always believe all of them, but I have my own take on them, and I am glad to see the words. For example, today’s affirmation: “I celebrate today, another precious day on Earth. I shall live it with joy. Today I am a new person.” Yet, I just couldn’t agree that today I was, or even ever needed to be a new person. Still, I am not the same-old me. I am much more relaxed than I was six weeks ago, no surprise there.

It does feel like I’m celebrating every day by taking time to smell the roses. This is something that summer provides me, so it’s not entirely new; it is cyclical. I am so habitual. I have my routines: a slow breakfast of cereal heaped high with fruit, a little turmeric powder on top, and more recently, Reiki music during breakfast, and the journaling habit which helps me stay off the computer until after breakfast.* I do feel my stress and intensity melting away a little more each day. My thoughts are: “Today, I am even a little more self-accepting; today I am just a little more grateful, less fearful, and more in love with my lot in life. ”

Each day, I am growing less rigid about outcomes and more determined to enjoy the journey and those who are with me on this journey. I am setting my expectations free, because now is a break from the rat race, so this is the time to do so, and I am getting better at that gradually with each passing day.

No big, sudden surprises, but the gradual realization that I am in love, that I love myself even more, and that I can handle this world and this life, perhaps even handle it well! I’ll continue to celebrate it daily. Perhaps when I return to the ‘rat-race’ this fall, I will maintain this mindset.

Thank you visiting me for a coffee (or tea) chat. What’s new with you?

Weekend Coffee Share, Who Needs Weekends?

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today, just like every other day this week, I enjoyed coffee with a good breakfast. This is vacation living!

Though my vacation is coming to an end today, I look forward to seeing my dog Bixby and of course, my mother and my son! 🙂 If we were having coffee today, I’d share with you some highlights of my vacation trip.

Our cruise line was Royal Carribbean, which I highly recommend! From service staff and food to accommodations, they are amazing!
My s.o. and travel partner. This was his first cruise!
Wonderful, talented room attendants from all over the world are smiling and friendly.
A street mural in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. One of our ports was Cozumel, where we embarked to a tour of Chichen Itza.
Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Our tour of Chichen Itza was a historical, cultural wonder! See my post of a few days ago at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2022/06/24/cichin-itza-mexico-a-visual-share-and-weeklysmile/

Sunset, leaving Cozumel, Mexico.
Coco Cay, near the Bahamas.
Excursion to Pearl Island in the Bahamas for snorkeling, sunning, and swimming.
Sunrise , approaching the Bahamas.
Farewell to the Bahamas and cruise life.

So, it has been a week that felt like seven days of weekend! This tired teacher’s heart certainly needed this. As for my boyfriend, Chris, he loved his first cruise and would certainly do this again!

That has been my week. I hope all is well with you all! I have a week ahead of me easing back into home, unpacking, exercising, and a teacher training. Thanks for stopping by!

Hunger? #RDP

Bon voyage wine and cheese plate!

You may already know that when you take a cruise, you will feel no hunger and will not want for anything. I’m currently cruising, and of course I love to share photos. Oddly, I haven’t taken that many photos of the food, save for two here.

My boyfriend, who has never been on a cruise, is accompanying me and having the time of his life. Every meal brought to us is unique or perfect in many ways.

The balcony is a great place for room service breakfast!
Morning sun.

It made me force myself to stay active and work off these excellent meals. Serving staff are also quite wonderful here onboard Royal Carribbean, and not one of them is overweight! How is that possible?

Our dinner venue. Lovely view!

I’ll tell you, these service staff are hustling up good food daily. They work on a 7 month contract, often being away from their families. They don’t seem hungry, but they obviously have no time for gluttony either. Their’s is a hunger for success, a hunger to make a better life for their families. They are all quite friendly and willing to help if needed.

Dessert with every meal. English trifle tonight!

While it’s great to be waited on, I can’t tell you how heartening it is to hear about their families or their homelands. That is one endearing quality in my boyfriend, the way he respects the service staff and engages them in conversation. If you go on a cruise, I suggest you too the service and wait staff frequently, and give them a heartfelt Thank you!

Our cabin steward also does a wonderful job!
In the waiting room before dinner.

I am one happy girl, in need of nothing, and certainly I have nothing to hunger for, except for more travel. While this current vacation has nourished my spirit and fulfilled the need to get away, it has kindled a hunger and desire for even more travels in my life!

In a day or two, I’ll share about the shore trip to Chichen Itza to view their pyramids and Mayan ruins!

Thank you to Ragtag Community for providing a fitting prompt! Visit Ragtag Community at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2022/06/21/rdp-tuesday-hunger/

Weekend Coffee Share, Vantage Point

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s been a green matcha tea day for me. What are you having? I’ve written this post over two days….there is a lot going on!

Saturday was my day for cardio, which I completed on my Gazelle exerciser on the screened-in porch. There was a little bit of rain. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted all day, but still, a high of 97 is expected. I hear there are high temps all over. My dad shared that it was 100 in Charlotte, VA yesterday.

This morning’s view.

A lot of the day also consisted of packing to go on a cruise, which leaves tomorrow afternoon. Along with that, I had to get a supervised COVID test, then called my auto insurance to tell them I’m not renewing with them, but rather, I am starting with a new company.

If you’ve never done this, you should try it. Insurance is always less during the ‘honeymoon period’ if your record is accident-free; admit it, we’re at their mercy. We have to have that insurance even if we end up never using it. Shop around!

Saturday night, Chris and I stayed in Dania, Florida right near the cruise port. We were in good spirits, it was the first night of vacation!

Southeast Florida landscape.

Sunday morning it was pack up time, breakfast, and off to the cruise port. Now, we are checked in, seated, and waiting for embarkation. Exciting! I hope to have many new sights and experiences to share in the next few days, depending on the Wi-Fi.

Weekend Coffee Share. Enjoy it!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I just got back from walking the dog, so cold matcha green tea is in order! What are you having?

If we were having coffee on this sunny morning, you’d probably request NOT to sit outside. The temperature is somewhere between 80 and 90°, I am just too lazy to check. Haha. Figuring out what it is is an interesting idea since so much around here depends on the humidity, and there is a nice breeze which I noticed while walking Bixby, but I will say it’s a warm breeze. You will certainly sweat outside today.

I’ve spent a lot of summer time relaxing, napping, and walking outdoors. Bixby sure appreciates that. I dare say, I’m a shade more tan than before. Honestly, that isn’t saying much though. 🙂

My mother’s been out of town, and I took my son out for Mexican food Thursday night. I worked a little on my book, Ellie the Time Traveler yesterday. It isn’t really organized, but rather it is a jumble of thoughts and spur of the moment ideas that came to me, 60 pages now. So, I believe it will come together, and I did organize some of the chapters yesterday. Now, to fill them in!

The chapter outline, a task in itself!

Yesterday, my boyfriend Chris and I went out to eat and then went to see David Spade, the comedian. Chris made reservations for us at Cowfford Chophouse, a five star restaurant! It was an awesome experience. He wore dress pants and a collared shirt. I threw together a nice outfit with a wrap-around blouse.

The atmosphere and the food at Cowford Chophouse were both comfortable and fancy. Some diners at the bar wore jeans and flip flops. We were treated like royalty and were asked if we needed to get to a show. We had a little over an hour for dinner, but they coordinated each course wonderfully. The food was amazing and the staff were courteous! Fun fact: Jacksonville used to be called Cowford about a hundred or so years ago.

Check out my Chilean sea bass! It was a wondrous combination of flavors.
Fancy dining at it’s greatest. I’d certainly go back.

Next, we moved on to the David Spade show at the Florida Theater. There was a short wait in the heat, but we managed. I was glad I wore sandals and no hose, something widely accepted in Florida! There were two opening acts, one of them pretty humorous. David Spade came on and was funny as can be. He roasted all the men in front seating who wore shorts, asking if they came right after mowing the lawn. I enjoy this venue and have been here before.

Needless to say, I am taking a lazy restful day today. Hydrating, relaxing after a healthy breakfast, and I’m getting a massage in about an hour. When I tell my friends about my summer, they say, “You deserve it!” They couldn’t be more correct!

Thanks for visiting my Coffee Share! I hope all is well in your world. I’m looking forward to posting a little bit about my upcoming travels soon!

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!

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