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!

Paper Stars and Green Fizz, #amwriting

From a prior prompt at https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2022/03/01/march-2022-writing-prompts/

She taught me that it was okay

To give my brain a break

And let my hands take over.

When I failed the goal,

We laughed, and I tried again.

I didn’t notice my brain working,

I only heard it humming

As my fingers danced

Along the paper folds, then shook up

The bottle, creating a mess.

She helped me clean it up

And make it beautiful,

Trusted me to create, and praised

My creation that I insisted she keep.

The next day, I listened

With pencil poised,

Ready to do equations…

But I’d already learned

The most important lesson:

I could do whatever I sought to do.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2022

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, 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, Lazy Summer Lounging

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This last week was very relaxing and maybe even lazy, once I got the vacation laundry done. There were two days of teacher training, however, but Friday gave me a renewed chance for lounging. πŸ™‚

Schultz Center, training and conference center.

The training we received was very informative. Despite English teachers having new standards, new curriculum, and a new text, I left with the feeling “I can do this!” The lesson plans are more clear, and the text completely links with our new state standards, so I’m quite happy with this! I also had a great lunch with a teacher friend at the Garden Cafe!

Since our vacation, I’ve had a sore/stiff shoulder and my boyfriend has a knot in his back muscle near the shoulder blade. For me, it was likely from doing a backstroke while lounging in the Coco Cay waters. For him, it’s definitely from carrying luggage that included my cosmetic carry-on . We both seem to agree that vacation was still worth it!

Here, I’m wearing my obsidian necklace from Chichen Itza, Mexico from Chris. Hard to tell here, but it’s a Tree of Life.
Journaling is part of my summer writing plan that helps me work on mindfulness and gratitude!

On Writing

I wrote probably one page this last week on Ellie, the Time Traveler. I also jotted down thoughts and ideas for continuing Crossroads Dinner #205. I’ve really been distracted by the shoulder. However, I’m still journaling by hand almost daily. Here are some thoughts on being part of the rhythm and flow of life:

From the July 1st prompt: I heard in a pain podcast, “Don’t be fearless, but fear LESS.” (Pain Free You). My thoughts are that we cannot help but to have feelings, but we can try not to over focus on them. This morning, it’s easy for me to trust the process of life. I know all my loved ones are safe, and I’m sitting in a room blessed by Sunshine peeking through my blinds.

Grasshoppers are making joyful noise out in the day as the temperature climbs. It is peaceful. I am noticing it all. On cloudy, rainy days, I need to also spend more time noticing, just observing, because it is also a part of life’s Evan flow, the cycles of nature. I can notice what’s around even if it’s not what I wanted or expected without judging, even if it changes my plans. The dance of nature is so awesome to observe!-PC

That’s where I am right now. I see my doctor about the shoulder next week and will have coffee with a writer friend Thursday. It is sure to be at least a two hour coffee chat! Have a great day, and I hope you find time to relax. Bixby certainly is a guru at this!

Weekend Coffee Share, Neither Here nor There

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m enjoying hazelnut half-caff after drinking green tea all week. It feels like it’s already 80 degrees here in Jacksonville, Florida. So be it! I just really wanted coffee. πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I didn’t need coffee this week; green tea with a little caffeine was just fine with me. I was busy, busy, and the new experience of managing and selling yearbooks was pushing me to burn my own energy. Thursday, I sold out, and Friday, I was dragging my feet. It was either the lack of my newfound purpose or the sleep trouble I had Wednesday night, but I was not feeling enthused come Friday.

It’s okay, though. I’ve experienced a reciprocal respect with my end-of-day-class after reading their mythical stories, and my grading was mostly based on their imagination and pacing, so some of them had dramatic improvement in grades. Other than that, we are not learning new content anymore, and next week is mostly based on celebrations.

The surviving-til-summer-break hairstyle

I’m a fan of word games, so we’ve done some of that and will also next week. My brain is not geared towards writing right now, because this whole end-of-a-realm feeling is always something I must deal with. I recall last year I couldn’t stand the silence in my classroom on the last day and asked a friend to do her paperwork in my room as I poked around slowly packing the room up for summer. Then there’s the class in which I discovered several budding actors. So many fun possibilities!

Confetti on the floor, a prop for their scripted, pretend wedding to each other.

Last year was an emotional year to pack up; I’d experienced the end of an eleven year relationship and the exit, albeit temporary, of my son from my life. There was anger, pain, and my plucky attempts at humor to deal with it all. On top of that was saying goodbye to students that I saw grow and hope I helped grow through a pandemic.

Time heals, faith and hope heals. I reached out to others and lived my life. My son is at home with me, working and enjoying more time with his dad, who has re-entered his life. The end of this school year makes me think about last school year. It’s okay to feel that, but then I need to put it away and let this year be its own entity.

I’m still looking forward to a cruise with my boyfriend, and my birthday weekend is in a few weeks. I will either enjoy or have to survive chaperoning at an in-school dance next Tuesday, then there will just be a few days until this school year is over. I can do this!

You see, I needed my own pep talk. My title might not be fitting, since I seem to have moved out of that slump. All things considered, I am really glad to have a weekend! How has your week been?

Reading: The Bloody Shoe Diaries

Writing: nothing other than this blog post at the moment

Watching: Working Moms on Netflix. (It used to be funnier)

Listening to: Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Rains ( a glorious, gothic 80s tune)

Weekend Coffee Share, Appreciation

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair and your morning beverage of choice!

This morning, I’m having a light breakfast with my green Tazo tea. It has a reasonable amount of caffeine and tastes great without anything added. I have lunch with a friend later, but I woke up late. Therefore, breakfast is a lighter portion of cereal with my usual fruit and turmeric powder on top. I have to undo a week of unhealthy eating.

After dinner at a trivia night, I stress-ate lots of salty fries, then got all full on teacher appreciation treats this week. This includes ice cream floats for the teachers on Thursday. I had dessert before my carb-less pot pie lunch! πŸ˜‰ Sometimes the most meaningful gifts is a handwritten note. This one was inside of a card that said, “Thank you for being you,” and was so well-written!

The green tea is tasty and energizing me! It’s one of my favorite things, and living with two other adults, I had to eat dinner without my caffeine-free green tea a few nights, as my son drank it all. Things like this happen a lot. It takes a good measure of unconditional love for this to work. πŸ™‚ It helps that he pays rent.

Mother’s day is tomorrow, and I hope to have a beach walk with my son, then lunch with my mom. There’s a Mother’s day market she seems interested in attending, so we’ll do that. My school year’s almost over, and I’m doing some cruise dreaming! Almost there!

Weekend Coffee Share, Our Selves.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair; Bixby and I are getting philosophical today over green matcha tea. It’s a hot and muggy day, so the A/C is on and the sunlight peeks through my blinds.

I’m tired of always talking about the same things here; my family situation keeps changing, and my family member who had left on a bad note is now back and in need of a lot of patience, but let me share what has got me philosophizing and looking inward. I saw a thought-provoking quote on social media this morning….

So I was thinking, didn’t who I used to be affect who I am today? I made mistakes, trusted the wrong people, and tried to be a good child to avoid conflict at home, therefore only rebelling in quiet ways and unleashing worry on my mother but not every outwardly rebelling against my father whose temper was worse than hers; he wasn’t there after age 10, so his knowledge of any of my rebellion was just second-hand after that.

As a child, I don’t think I trusted many people, but as a teen and young adult, I think trusting the wrong people made me just trust myself more in the long run; that is, after I beat myself up for stepping in it. Perhaps it made me more aware and more wary. I gauge the moments when it’s best to keep it close to the vest, and when to wear my heart on my sleeve.

What I am saying is, there is nothing wrong with who I was. Everything was a learning experience. The only error would be to never learn from the experiences that told me ‘don’t go there next time’ or ‘let him go’ or ‘she/he has shown you who they really are; pay attention.’

I would like to let go of the remnants of the girl who was so anxious when first learning to drive that she took 3 tries to get her license, of the girl who applied for a first job at a fast food chain but ran out of confidence when told to go back and talk to the manager, and the one who didn’t speak up for herself when a ‘friend’ made fun of her in front of other kids in school. It’s okay, I stopped talking to them. I showed them…I was lonely, but I saw regret in their face. I would do it differently today, but through all these things I learned to be stronger.

So, do we let go the remnants of our younger, unsure selves? The ones who put up with boorish family members just because they were ‘family’? The parts that always felt a need to show sympathy for the underdogs to the point we had to endure their odd characteristics that separated us from our friends. Yes. But how can we let go the girl who listens to people at a dinner party before jumping in and being friendly in order to avoid suffering the company of a boor all evening? Why would we let go of the specific facets of our personalities, the intuitive, empathetic parts of ourselves?

‘Guard your heart,’ a friend once told me. That was not always me, but what is me is the person who shares her heart with young people to show them that being a person to others matters, who gives a little more when I feel and read the need on someone’s face. And I still avoid conflict, but I will speak up for myself, though I will do it calmly; I insist on doing this calmly and if it becomes an argument, I will be the better person.

So, who I am evolving to be should be stronger than who I was, but there are remnants of a past me that led to where I am today. I keep learning a lot about myself, how to be myself, and how to keep making myself a better person. Therefore, I both agree and disagree with this statement.

It also makes me think of who I’ll be in the next phase of my life, the one after I am a teacher. My personality will still be here. Will I still have the desire to be a positive influence on young people? Will I find a way to do that daily and perhaps hold a job that allows this? Within the next decade, I’ll have the opportunity for such change. It could be a little scary; I tend to stay so long in one job, but I think this will be exciting. I am going to leave the remnant behind that made me stay in a situation much longer than I should. I will keep evolving, so I won’t be carrying remnants of my old self, just evolved pieces of me that form who I have become.

Stay safe, my friends!

Weekend Coffee Share, Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend Coffee Share, Of Sunrise and 1,000 Mornings

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been a green tea day for me. Enjoy whatever beverage you like! “Caution” by the Killers is playing in the background, a lively, hopeful tune.

This past week, I had an opportunity for walking the beach with a good friend. I’m still reading the 28 days of Soul-Coaching book, so maybe it colors everything I see, including a gray day! On Beach-walking: “The skies above may be gray, but my feet are grateful to be grounded on cooler sand and pavement today as I connected with the earth while beach walking with Judy.” She and I just talk and talk, about anything. It’s awesome and we enjoy it!

Morning Beach-walking with my son, circa 2006.

On the subject of mornings, I have found that I’m regularly waking up this summer before 7 a.m., due to the angle of the sunlight through my window. It peeks through the slats in my blinds and comes through the sheer curtain that hangs there. I don’t mind it, because at other times of the day when I am in there, I find the sunlight cheering. Not only that, but it will be helpful to be used to waking early when I have to go back to work. I’m not really a night owl anymore. I’m probably healthier this way anyhow.

From a poetry book I just finished reading, titled 1,000 Mornings by Mary Oliver: “…who would cry out to the petals on the ground to stay, knowing as we must, how the vivacity of what was is married to the vitality of what will be? ” This poem was called LINES WRITTEN IN THE DAYS OF GROWING DARKNESS. I’ve been pondering a lot about my past and the changes that have occurred in my life, how everything happens for a reason, and I’m trying to make those reasons positive, not always easy, right? I’m also discovering that there is a Season for everything. You have to see it for what it is. I’m still working on that, and can’t really be any more specific at this time. πŸ™‚

My house is still too quiet at times though. I am not working this summer, so it really is noticeable, the absence of my son. July is travel month; that will be sure to help. I am still catching up with old friends, which is very fulfilling. Sometimes you can easily be open and honest with someone if you’ve known them a really long time, no matter how long it’s been since you conversed.

Mom had a cataract surgery this week, and I drove her. It went smoothly, and she is noticing a difference already. Her appointment was really early Wednesday, so when we returned home, I slept a lot. The silence is good for that, but it still seems too silent for me. Bixby seems to have adjusted. I just have to keep busy with reading, writing, reaching out to people, etc. That is the plan.

In the writing arena, I have been working on a short story for publication in early July. It is going to be part of a contest. I will definitely let you all know when the publication date comes closer. The book about Ellie is in my mind, but I haven’t made more progress yet. I decided I have to outline the ideas, and I likely need a full-throttle coffee day, since I have not had one in a good while. Then I could possibly work on it for several hours. It just may tickle the muse into inspiring me!

That is all I have for this week. I’m still getting a lot of down time and relaxation, and I’m sure that is just what I needed this summer. I hope you all are doing well and will have a great weekend! Happy Father’s day to those who are fathers.

You may visit Natalie’s Coffee Share and view those of others in the blogger community at http://natalietheexplorer.home.blog

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