Weekend Coffee Share, I am Lorna

With Nor’easter blowing through

My sciatica is aflame

Because I  danced around to jazz last night

Or because of the weather change?

Laughed last night at dinner with my guy

Joked about things that could make others cry,

Enjoyed a little jazz to drown the noise

Of worries I’d rather a avoid.

I forgot about the stress of my day

With someone I can talk to, by the way.

Lunch with a friend tomorrow, 

Life is for enjoyment, not sorrow

Though I sit here dragging my feet

My lazy Saturday dog snuggles are so sweet.

I could be gloomy about this gray day

But I’ll choose to believe it’s all okay.

#lifeisalovestory (c) 2021

Weekend Coffee Share, Fall Frenzy

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a day for matcha green tea, since yesterday was my half-caff day. I am sticking to the green tea routine with coffee as a treat maybe twice a week. Sleep is more important to me these days.

The weather report was promising rain, but the sun has been peaking in and then fading out this morning. I think rain will come later. My week was so busy, I hardly had time to read, and writing seems to be just sporadic these days. This pandemic and my teaching job seem to cause a special kind of stress, and since I’ve dealt with stress a long time in my own ways, this was also a week for sciatica and on/off back pain. I may have to get back to using the Curable app or at least following meditations on Youtube. Yes, I have been the kind of person who internalizes stress or anxiety and holds in anger or resentment. I’ve been trying to deal with it, but then, sometimes I get too busy.

I can tell myself I have an important job, and that I am making a difference, but I have to maintain the downtime for myself. This is most noticeable with the Back-to School swing. I had summer off and dealt with a lot of things in my life, so now I’m busy again. This weekend is a respite. I saw my (new/old flame) boyfriend last night for a delicious Italian dinner, and today I am getting a pedicure. Outdoor time may be in order, since the sun is holding steady currently. I’m still relaxing after breakfast, though.

There is not much that’s interesting to share except that I’ve been enjoying my students in the Newspaper Club, who write about what they want and accept editing suggestions gracefully; boy, do they ever love to write! It’s refreshing. I’m sponsoring the Yearbook Club, and we’ll start meeting and get geared up on the 27th. Work was been hectic with grades due last Friday and then an online Open House in the evening this past Tuesday. I’m working on time-management and have a true need to work-smarter-not-harder.

I’ve been reading a fiction book about Bigfoot. I may explore the whole series, it’s kind of interesting. Books have to catch my attention these days, and it is easier for them to lose me, a result likely of the pandemic, all that is going on, and maybe because of my age and how I handle my stress and responsibilities. As I said, writing is sporadic, but last week I posted a poem in response to the Ragtag Daily prompt. View it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/a-kaleidoscope-rdp/

This morning, I received a notification from a genealogy site I belong to called Family Search. I used to be all into that sort of thing; I have a lot of family lines from different places and love knowing ‘where I’m from’ and about my ancestors. My paternal aunt lives in Utah and has been very active in searching those family roots and introduced me to Family Search. All I have today is photos, one from mom’s side and an ancestor from the Denmark line, and one from my dad’s line from the Johnston’s, a relative from England but of a line that could be also Scottish.

I love looking at these old photographs. I haven’t been as active in searching these things as I was in 2013, but they send me hints, so I know I have some living relatives who are cataloging and collecting, so it is very worthwhile for me to belong to such a site. I used to try to construct the background stories of my ancestors. I think that’s what got me started in writing fiction. Historical fiction is also very interesting to me.

Well, I had plans and ideas for today, but I don’t stick to a constrained schedule on Saturdays, except that there’s a 3:00 appointment for the pedicure. I hope you all have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, Change for the Better

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer! It’s a coffee day, half-caff, that is. It is Sunday and I’m almost ready for church, multi-tasking with a million coffee-inspired ideas in my head that don’t all relate to where I’m going this morning. Okay, some of them do, but I am seriously multi-tasking in my head.

Change is on the wind these days! I’m not talking about a change of season; here in Northeast Florida we won’t get that until probably October if we’re lucky, barring the approach of a hurricane, which is approaching the west side of my state currently. No, I’m talking about changes in my life.

Who’s afraid of change? Not I! Yesterday was a good day. I got my lowlights and and highlights! My hair is getting longer, gradually. However, some changes have been more sudden. In the last month, my son moved back home with me (for the best at this time), he got a new job, I started a new school year, I became yearbook advisor at school, and the guy I’m dating moved closer. I’m optimistic about all of it! My son had a rough summer but is ‘getting it together. I have faith that the good will continue.

Sudden change can be an adjustment, and I’m sure experiencing that, but it all seems to be okay! I’m happy to help my son out. I’m getting paid for the new responsibility at school, and as I’ve gradually learned, I enjoy and flourish with the nurturing of students’ skills in extra-curricular areas. I love helping them to grow socially and emotionally.

I myself am learning new things, and it seems to be great for my brain. As long as I make time for relaxation and sleep, I think this is a positive road for me. So, today I am seeing bright skies, and not just because it is sunny and hot outside!

This week, I’ve been promoting a prequel to my Detours in Time series, The Temporal Test. Reviewed as “Awesome storytelling and storyline!” You might enjoy this short read, longer than a short story and slightly shorter than a novelette. Get a free download here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQL5NNM Also, I’ve put Detours in Time, a full-length novel, at a reduced price of .99 for a limited time. https://www.amazon.com/Detours-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF It is an award-winning #scifi book with a sweet romance included and has been enjoyed by readers of all ages.

It has been a while since I actively promoted my published books. Take a look if you are so inclined. 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, Outlook Adjust

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s nice and sunny, and I’ve imbibed cold green tea today. Bixby is at my feet, and Indie Folk music is playing, a calm, light atmosphere.

Bixby had his end of summer haircut and is cute as always…

I’ve been back at school for a week, attending meetings, taking training, and planning my classroom set-up. It appears I’ll have a lot of low level learners in addition to Advanced classes with Gifted students, so I’ll have three different types of classes to teach for English Language Arts. I’m expecting a challenge, and I’m nervous.

I can still find inspiration, though.

I still believe there are students I can reach and that I reached several last year. Perhaps I just need to believe in myself more as we start anew again with another set of students, while recalling what I’ve learned from last year’s kids.

At the back of my mind and in the forefront of the news is the COVID situation. Florida has had a lot of COVID hospitalizations in the last few months and a few deaths as well. At work, we are required to wear a mask for 30 days. I’ll do that to benefit a child. However, not all students will be wearing one, as they are not required to.

If you think these policies are sort of confusing, I agree. I’m being careful even though I’m fully vaccinated. Some vaccinated folks are still getting COVID, but I believe the symptoms are allayed in most.

On the bright side, I got together with my companion last night. He took me out for steak dinner, and I had flavored brussel sprouts on the side that were scrumptious! Well, so was the steak, and the company. 😉

My writing feels like it’s suffering. My emotions are overwrought over my struggling family member who barely speaks to me lately. My intellect is challenged over my upcoming school year. But I still find time to meet up and laugh with this man who listens and lightens my mood, and I have some dinner plans with friends for next week. All are forms of self-care.

Perhaps my writing situation is different since I don’t like to sit still much lately. Fact: I’m laying on the couch typing this on my phone. When done, it’s time to exercise. I’ve written little bits of Ellie’s story in a notebook. We adapt as needed, I guess. I also wrote about Special Family Dynamics based on reading I have done about dealing with a family member who is ill. You can view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/navigating-special-family-dynamics/ It is based on what has been foremost in my mind lately, and I wrote it to condense things that I have learned as reminders to myself on how to manage emotionally.

Don’t worry, I’m not done sharing stories yet, fiction or non. This Coffee Share is my way of sharing little bits of my story. I thank you for reading this far. How has your week been?

Weekend Coffee Share,  Not a Number.

My regular coffee buddy!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Traveler.  After some stretching of tired, sore legs, I did some work related things on the computer this morning with the dog by my feet, matcha tea in hand. Work is weighing on my mind. Not only is our state planning to do state testing,  but they are asking teachers to come up with all sorts of extra ideas to make up for losses through the pandemic.

I feel I have made progress with learning to know my students and to make them feel understood. I also teach English Language Arts, a subject in which texts can have multiple interpretations.

I feel a little stressed, maybe the students do as well. All that matters is that they do their best. Most of what I write in these last weeks is short bursts of emotion. I’ve penned my thoughts for students during this era, and I’d like to share.

Dear student,

You are more than a test score. You are a moving ecosystem full of brain networks and emotions,  and yes, personality. While preparing for a test and doing your best can reflect your brain ability and even what kind of person you are, those few answers you got wrong on the last test do not devalue all of your efforts and hard work. Nor do they hold you back from doing better next time.

You are much more than a test score. You are your determination and fortitude that got you this far through a pandemic,  some of you going through quarantine or illness of family members. You are your force of will that got you through the hard times, your personal and spiritual growth (even when nothing makes sense) that moves you to do the right thing and treat others decently and try your hardest, even at things that only pay off in the future and not now.

You are your strength that helps you to never give up and keep on trying even when it seems impossible.  That is the most anyone can ask of you.

Signed,

A Tired Teacher in the COVID era

***It’s Saturday, and I promise to do nothing else work-related today. Now I’m heading out for a long overdue pedicure.

Weekend Coffee Share, Somewhere Else

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. It has been a nice little getaway weekend. Our first quarter at work has been completed and I have earned some R and R!

My boyfriend and I headed to Savannah, Georgia for sightseeing, good food, and a change of scenery. I loved the street musicians but was amazed that so many tourists there were mask free. Still, the people watching was fun.

I relaxed and enjoyed some time with Kenny. Today, I felt much less stressed at work, so the getaway must have worked!

On the writing front, the audiobook for Malachi, Ruse Master is still in progress. I have edited and published on Medium an article about faith and struggle. You may view it here: https://medium.com/@pamschloessercanepa/of-faith-and-the-eternal-struggle-f626c18f0a93

After returning Saturday afternoon, I didn’t do much. Sunday, I had brunch with a good friend who is a fellow writer along with my son and my mom. It was relaxing and enjoyable, with everything followed my a massage I so needed after being sick about ten days ago. I am recharged now! This is going to be a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, It’s a Wonderful Life, 5/30

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.

It’s going to be a warm, beautiful day here in Northeast Florida!  I’m having hot coffee anyway.  Grab a cup of whatever you like, and let’s chat.  Last Saturday was not a Coffee Share day for me, as my internet was being a butthead, in and out, and slow as molasses. Instead of a Coffee Share, I posted an entry on writing about 9-11 and COVID-19 in my most recent published book, Malachi, Ruse Master and my current work in progress. You can read it here:  Writing Our History into Our Fiction

Learn more about my recently published book here:  bit.ly/RuseMaster

Farewell to another school year

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Things got really weird after Spring Break, I have not actually seen my students except in online meetings.  We’ve bonded, though. I tried to get created and learned about some new sites that are interactive for learning material. I tried to stay positive and was so glad to see or speak to them when they showed up for online lessons.  Some students never did because they were on a different sleep schedule. For the ones who did, I said “Thank you for showing up.  It gives me purpose!” Which is true.  I told them about my birthday the day before, which also fell on the last day of school.  Two things to celebrate! I made a video of myself waving good bye to my students and holding signs. I will miss them. I have learned a lot from this online experience that also gave me time at home to CHILL out and relax when needed, something I am working on and hope to master by the fall.  🙂 Anyway, at my school we would always walk to the buses at the end of the day on the last day and wave goodbye.  Here is my short video imagining they are boarding the bus and I am bidding them farewell:    https://youtu.be/9wleXNNYI1s   (I shared it with them in our online learning Team).

Happy birthday to me...

Ah, life.  So I have completed another year of middle age, or, maybe I’m past that? I don’t know, I don’t care.  I may have some complaints and recurring pains, but I’ve learned that a silly sense of humor is a great way to deal with the unpleasant parts of aging. I thank all of the women in my family for infecting me with that attitude.

My son took me to Outback last night for dinner! We went early.  They have certain tables blocked off to help social distancing, and the wait staff all wore masks and gloves.  It was reassuring.  My boyfriend came over for a celebratory drink, and he and I will have dinner tonight, place TBD.  A really rewarding part of my birthday was yesterday, getting a lot of well wishes from my students.

 

Our Nation and Our World

My heart goes out today to those who feel marginalized, profiled, or judged before they are known.  It gladdens me that one of the officers was arrested in the death of George Floyd.  But to think that it took the viral sharing of the video, or the many protests, is just sad.  We are all Americans. When someone says, Black Lives Matter, it is because of the frequency of these events, and the need to reiterate that thought. I don’t think cops are bad people; nor do I think the police system is racist, yet, many of them feel they are allowed to pre-judge and mistreat others. Why is that? I also don’t think anyone of any color or nationality deserves to be treated as if they have no rights or even ‘less’ rights. I could go on and on.  Let me just quote someone more eloquent: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr).

How does this affect me?  Let me admit that I have grown up with white privilege, and I saw racism in many places. Being a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, I was around friends who would say horrible things about those of color without a second thought.  I didn’t speak up as often as I should, and for that, I apologize.  I often have not known what I could do about this; I am shocked that the mistreatment is still going on today.  I guess I am just going to start by admitting, I realize my white privilege. I see those who are marginalized, I realize it is still happening.  One more time, America:  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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