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, Succeeding

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today’s cup is a donut shop brew, and man, it tastes great with vanilla creamer and a cacao ashwaganda powder blend ( more on this later). It’s quite a warm day, but I wanted hot coffee, so why not? I am really overdue for this.

I’m proud to report that Summer Break has started, and I’ve already had two celebratory naps in three days! My sleep schedule is going very well. I also made my first trip to the beach for a one hour beach walk with my friend Judy yesterday. The sun was hot, but the breeze was lovely, and the conversation always just flows between the two of us. I feel very successful at enjoying summer break so far!

So far, I’ve had extended breakfast time each morning, enjoying my cereal and fruit with juice and either coffee, chai tea, or green tea. I’m trying to write in my affirmations journal at breakfast time instead of perusing social media or daily news. It should help my relaxation! Considering, news and social media lately has been all about deadly shootings and a celebrity studded abusive relationship. Seriously, who needs to ponder those things delay? Makes it hard to enjoy your life

I’ve started a trial of a cacao ashwaganda blend in coffee or a cup of tea. Ashwaganda is supposedly good for anxiety (and sleep as a result), hot flashes, and achy joints. I will say, I had it in my hot green tea a few days last week, and the day I had to move around and clean up my classroom, I felt I had the energy and strength that was needed. Of course, I was a little sore the next day, but I think I should probably expect that. So, I’m hopeful. I just need to pay attention to how I feel and recognize if it’s really helping. Has anyone out there tried ashwaganda? What were your thoughts?

My dog had a visit to the vet Thursday, and his report was good, though his nerves were awful. Thankfully, his bordatella vaccine was oral. I brought up his snarling at night, and the vet indicated it was a “grumpy old man” issue. Not a big deal. 🙂 I still need to get him to the dog park and let him work out some energy. 🙂

Season 4 of Stranger Things is my current streaming habit, which is entertaining, but the first two episodes weren’t totally connecting with past seasons for me. There are plot holes, but I still love the characters. If you haven’t watched seasons one through three, you’ll feel sort of lost. My boyfriend was asking lots of questions. On the horror scale, it is great, though. I’ll give it that, and I plan to watch the rest.

Overall, I’m feeling great about summer break. It only took me one day of feeling listless to transition to my summer self, and that may have been sheer exhaustion as well. I’m going to love the next two months of freedom! I hope you all have a great weekend and a happy summer! I can’t wait to have some travel experiences to share. 🙂

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, a Gen X-er Re-purposing

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m sure you could share a more exciting life, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, so let’s share!

I’m with the dog on the back porch with my Zen green tea, taking in sun on my legs but not the face. You see, I’m suffering from eye strain and sensitivity today, whether from computer blue light effects or the sunlight. My eyes are sensitive to the sun, for sure. It’s ironic, how we pine away for some sunshine on the gray days, and then must protect ourselves from it when it shows its full glory for days in a row.

Full glory certainly describes the sunshine here in Northeast Florida. These last few days have been so beautiful, with temperatures that didn’t cross the 80 degree barrier! Maybe I’m feeling effects of too much laptop/ phone time, because I wake up with itchy, dry eyes. Allergies don’t help. I spent my cereal time ordering a Lutein supplement.

No worries, I now have 3 sun hats for my summer cruise vacation; two are sort of hippified*, and the other is safari style. Sunhats are a must at my age! I’m ready for everything. I’m also supposed to go to a baseball ⚾ game with my boyfriend tonight. So, a nap is in order. Must rest those eyes!

*Hippified: evidently I have just coined this term, though I thought I’d heard it before.. It means they seem to be a throwback to hippie styles. Vintage is always in, right?

Flashback to my Bahamas cruise in 2006. I supported local business by saying yes to getting some braids on the beach.

I seem to be avoiding writing a lot lately due to the requirement of sitting at a chair and staring at a screen for so much time. The ideas are coming though, here and there, and I write them down a few words at a time in good faith that I will later elaborate on them and sketch them out. I mean, so much can happen in a diner; people from all walks of life cross paths, and futuristic time travelers are bound to meet up with some very objectionable technology at first sight. See, part of writing is the zinger of an idea that pops into your head.

The other half of good writing is the self-discipline and organizational skill to sit down and flesh those ideas out, organize them, tame them, make them make sense, rewrite them into a harness; harness those wild mustangs….or they’ll be gone forever. It’s all changing for me, but I’m glad I wrote a lot when I first started, as I learned a lot too. Maybe my purpose is changing a little?

I’ll keep you posted!

How has your week been? What’s knocking around in your head? I really can’t wait to have some travel to write about!

Weekend Coffee Share, Home and Tradition

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a warm day, and Zen green tea is my wakeup beverage of choice. What’s yours?

Bixby was really anxious for a walk this morning. I had let him out back earlier,but he kept following me around. It was a little after ten when we went (I had slept late), and it must be in the eighties here in Northeast Florida already, because I worked up a sweat!

Bixby was sure happy though, and who could blame him. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and the smells of Spring are freely available to all who wander out.

Our back porch.

It’s Easter weekend in my faith tradition. I dislike the Easter bunny and candy rituals. The Easter story is a spiritual tradition. I went to church on Palm Sunday but stayed home and watched the Maundy Thursday service. I’ll be going to church with my mother tomorrow and my boyfriend. Hopefully, my son will go as well.

In whatever faith tradition you practice, I wish you a blessed weekend. I think I’m a fairly secular person in my writing, but I’d like to think I convey a sense of spirituality. Ramadan and Passover are also going on in April. I have many students participating in Ramadan. It’s wonderful when we can all love and respect one another’s differences.

My search for a Bible verse of the day yielded the following, which I will share in a screenshot:

It is truly a verse that means and says a lot. It brings to mind the Russian war against Ukraine. If only things were different. I pray for them. In daily life, I work to treat others like I’d want to be treated but then pause to find a balance with personal boundaries. Hopefully, this all gets better with age. 🙂

I am so longing to travel but am in a phase of finishing out the school year, while planning some summer travel. Today, I’m on the home front, helping tidy up the house for tomorrow. There is a time for everything, yes?

Have a great weekend, whatever that entails for you and yours!

Weekend Coffee Share, a Word

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I haven’t drunk coffee all week, so today I’m having my half-caff hazelnut. What’s your favorite beverage for a chat with a friend?

Due to a temporary issue with focus ( yes, despite the coffee), I want to do some wordplay. I am a middle school English teacher, after all . So, using today’s prompt from Ragtag Community, here is what I have, using the word ‘plate’:

Today

I feel like a car run out of gas

And I just want to pass the plate

It feels good doing nothing

And sleeping in late

I just want to put my feet up and rest

To realize I’ve tried my best all week,

So I’ve earned this right to not overthink,

To breathe in the sunshine and soak in

The cool breeze and warm rays.

Weekend Coffee Share 4/2

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by  Natalie the Explorer. It’s a Tazo Green Tea day again! I may have a coffee morning tomorrow. We all have our preferences! If we were having coffee ☕, I’d need to relax and have a laugh.

This week I’ve been trying to finish a lot of things with my school yearbook, and it has kept me busy, busy. That’s okay; I’ve made some rounds and talked with many more people, students as well, which is kind of fun! I’ve been at an almost frenetic pace, though. Next week we also start a state writing test.

I’m too busy to stop and stress over it, though. My boyfriend and I have also been planning a cruise vacation for June. Exciting! I’m not sure I want to swim with pigs though. I may have to just observe and laugh at my boyfriend’s antics!

Last weekend, we had a little drive to St. Augustine to visit Castillo de San Marco and have a great dinner. I was slightly distracted by the idea of the floating tiki bar though!

They float on by and raise a ruckus…makes me want to swim over, LOL!

The fort has been here for centuries and is interesting to see. The weather was beautiful! It made for a great walk and dinner date.

My sun hat is being put to good use again!

We are expecting rain today. I had been planning to take my car in today but have gotten mixed up in the things I want to get done. Go, go, go! The challenge of my goals is fueling my energy. When I got home yesterday I was soooo tired that I ordered through Door Dash! It was healthy, though.

One must rest to rejuvenate, though. I slept in late and decided my car could wait till next weekend. I am going to dinner with the boyfriend later and we should be hanging out with another couple, as it’s his friend’s birthday. It should be fun, it always is. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share, 3/19/22

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee ☕ Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m sitting in my garage having Tazo green tea, though it may be a little too warm for that. The morning started out around 60 degrees, but it will be upwards of 80 degrees later.

I’m helping my mother with a yard sale today, though I admit we got started a little late. She had some buyers when I went to walk the dog, so there’s that! Bixby enjoyed our walk, and I always enjoy the view of some of our beautiful trees. I’ve taken him on a few extra walks this week!

Spanish moss is common here, but I love this tree!

This past week has been Spring break for me, and I’ve slept in every day. Catching up on my test is one goal I have met! I went to the Celtic Fest with my boyfriend Sunday as planned, and it was enjoyable as always! The temp was below 60, but our Florida sun emboldened all of us to dance around and enjoy ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I consider 60 to be chilly if the sun’s not out.

Wednesday evening I had an interview on Meet the Author podcast, and it was exciting! I think I found a few new readers, something every author wants. I need to get over ‘imposter syndrome’ and things like this sure help! The playback of the interview is available if you’re interested: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCjn4IXRvc7AhhDXTVeqp5DQ

There were some appointments I took care of this week, but Thursday was friend’s day at Another Broken Egg, where I had a huge waffle with fruit, eggs, and bacon. Sometimes it’s fun to break the rules, and it was great to catch up. There were 6 of us, all who at one time were co-workers in the public education system. Now, my Spring break is winding down. One day I sat in the sun and did some writing. I don’t really celebrate too hard anymore. 🙂

In my world, the state has been against enforcing masks for a while. Our school board no longer requires it. I rarely wear one anymore, though I always have one with me. Talking and teaching in a mask made my jaw feel sore. Hopefully the numbers don’t get scary again, but it’s not surprising if they do. It’s amazing that my mom got through COVID 6 weeks ago, and I didn’t get it from her.

Buying gas at 4.09 a gallon the other day was a treat. In my side of town, it is 4.29 to 4.39, though I should check because they seem to increase the price on the weekends. I feel for the people in Ukraine, but I rarely watch the news, as it doesn’t help my anxiety level. I do read online sometimes.

That’s about all there is going on until I go back to work teaching on Monday. Have a great weekend, everyone!

To join the Weekend Coffee Share, read Natalie’s Coffee Share post at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2022/03/18/these-b-w-murals-revive-history/and include your post link after clicking the In-links bar.

Weekend Coffee Share, Waiting for Brighter Shores

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a full throttle coffee day, as I have grades to prepare. My son just walked Bixby, who is feeling a little lonely lately.

My mother has been sick with COVID and is isolating herself, so Bixby feels really lonely during the day when I and my son are at work. I have been worried about her, but she’s getting better. I hate seeing her uncomfortable and unhappy. She is a lively woman who likes to go places and socialize with friends. She just wants the sickness to be over and done with. It was last Saturday she got the results. I know she can’t wait to go out to dinner again or go to exercise class with her friends.

Monday, I stayed out of work and got a COVID test as well, but fortunately, it was negative. So I had a four day work week, but I still felt so stressed and overwhelmed by Friday. I have a lot to do today, but I took some time to go eat some barbecue with my son last night. It was enjoyable, and I’m glad we did that. I’m grateful for the time I can spend with him.

So, that’s the state of our world right now. We do have some sunshine today in Northeast Florida, and I’m thankful. The light is coming in little by little, and Spring is on its way.

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

Have a good weekend, my friends. Hold your loved ones in high regard and hug someone today.

Weekend Coffee Share,  Living Beneath My Means

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer.  Thanks for visiting! It’s a green tea day for me and warm out, but come along and enjoy your favorite daytime beverage! If we were having coffee, I’d tell you what’s on my mind.

I’ve been testing my students throughout last week, and students overall are getting excited for the holidays. Needless to say, last week was tiring. So, I didn’t do much in my writing life, but I got to meet with my News Club kids, and they made great strides!

One of the rewards this week offered was the most beautiful sunset after Monday night’s club meeting. (I wait until the last student gets picked up).

Friday, my car began lurching on the way to work. It was very slow on the pickup and shaky. I stubbornly kept driving to work and carefully drove it home that evening. My son and his dad called around about where to take it in. At 1 o’clock I took it to the Toyota dealership. Sometimes I avoid then, as they cost more and always suggest I trade it in.

The last thing I want is a new car payment. I paid it off only two years ago! Now’s the time to save up for retirement; I certainly need to be happy with less. I want more experiences (travel) and less things!

Thus is my quest to move toward minimalism. I told the mechanic I used to drive a used Toyota Camry until it reached 200,000 miles. The current one only has 103,000 miles and is a Corolla. I think 200,000 is a great goal!

We’ll see if my methods help me save. I plan to retire before age 60. I have a few years to go….

I’m willing to listen to and entertain any wise minimalist ideas you all may have. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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