Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Week In Which I Survived Several Scary Things

I can't find my blog mojo.

Don't know why, don't know how; it's just missing. I sit down in my comfy chair, laptop open, and nothing. Can't write, can't even seem to read other blogs, feeling like I'm on the outside, looking in at everyone else. I have managed to come up with my Ten Things of Thankful every week, because there's ALWAYS something to be thankful for, but even that has been a struggle. 

I have, however, committed myself to be a part of the 1000 Voices for Compassion, with what now appears to be OVER 1000 bloggers participating who, on February 20, 2015, will speak for compassion through their blog posts. Wish me luck.

Here's the thankful list I've rustled up for this week:

1. I survived Pastries with Pops, a preschool event where dads, grandpas, or other significant males in a preschooler's life come to preschool in the morning and visit the classroom, where we have doughnuts and coffee, milk and juice, and a gift we made for dad. I'm sure I've mentioned before that I do not care for preschool parties. There are too many people in the room, and while I will do anything in front of a preschooler, I feel very awkward and on-display in front of parents. Thankfully, Pastries with Pops is over for another year.

2. I had TWO DAYS of Pastries with Pops. Primary class day and Pre-K class day. Two thankfuls that it's over.

3. The weather hasn't sucked. If I'm not going to get a snow day, the least it could do is be warm, and, while it hasn't been flip flop weather (contrary to what you might see at Walmart), it hasn't been brutally cold, either.

4. Ruby. She loves me so.

5. My friend Lisa from The Meaning of Me has crossed over to the dark side, and I'm so thankful to see her there! I love her to pieces and am glad to get more avenues in which to interact with her.

6. I survived 50's Day in Pre-K. We count each day we attend preshool from the first day of school, and when we reach 50, we have a 1950's-themed party. That day was Friday. I wore a poodle skirt (actually, a Scottie skirt, but it doesn't have the same ring to it) and a pony tail and a scarf around my neck and cat-eye glasses. We play a game in our classroom where we hide 50 numbered Starbursts around the room and the kids have to find them and match them to a number line (we only found 49 of them) and then join the other Pre-K class for dancing, hula hoops, bubble gum bubble blowing, and ice cream sundaes. It is a crazy, hectic morning. There are parents there (see #1, above). Done for another year.

7. The Primary class doesn't celebrate 50 days of preschool. (See #1, above, again.)

8. The college boy came home this weekend to pick up the glasses we ordered for him over Christmas break. I made homemade pizza for supper Friday night (including one with fresh spinach and sauteed mushrooms and another with thinly sliced roma tomatoes and fresh basil for the grown ups in the house), and afterwards, he took his sister to the mall to get some eye liner she needed for show choir competition AND THEY DIDN'T KILL EACH OTHER. In fact, they came in the door laughing. Dare I hope that they are going to keep improving their relationship and quit bickering so much?!

9. I drove to a show choir competition on Saturday (Emma rode the bus) and took a detour through the tiny town (population 400), where my mother grew up, one which holds many happy memories for me. The town has deteriorated into a very crappy place, which is not one of my thankfuls, but it leads to one:

I parked the car half a block (they are very small blocks) from where my great aunts' house once stood and was walking down the (gravel) street towards it to take some pictures when I heard, "WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF!!!" coming from the crapalicious house to my right. I slowed my step just as a VERY LARGE black dog roared out of his yard (no need for stinkin' leash laws in THIS town) and acted as though he would quite like to eat me up.

I froze and said something along the lines of "shitpissfuckdamnhell" under my breath.

The dog stared at me. Woofed again. Big, scary woof. I snapped a quick picture of him, in case my mauled body was found in a ditch.

I said something stupid, like, "Hi, doggie! Please don't eat me."

He gave me another WOOFWOOFWOOF, but his tail wagged at the same time, as if he WANTED to eat me, but he also wanted to be my friend.

And then I had a brain storm.

I've been driving my dad's Sequoia for a couple of weeks (long, boring story). In a little cubby on the console between the seats, among the other stuff my dad keeps there (flashlight, tire gauge, cough drops, garage door opener, mailbox key, a short piece of pvc pipe) was two dog biscuits. He keeps them there to give to his neighbor's dog (the one he calls his rent-a-dog). So instead of my dad being just a little wacky, I suddenly saw him as nothing short of a GENIUS, because I had something to offer this dog in exchange for my life.

In a ridiculously high, more than slightly terrified voice, I said to him, "Would you like a treat? I have a treat for you!"

He understood THAT, and bounded over to me. For a moment, I thought it was all over, and he thought the treat was ME, but as I walked slowly towards the car, he bounced along next to me, trying to stick his nose in my coat pocket (probably to chew off the hand that I had hidden inside).

"It's in the car! Come on!" I squealed to him, gesturing towards the Sequoia with my other hand, and he trotted ahead of me, stopped at the car door, and waited for me.

When I got to the car, I looked at him and said, "PLEASE don't get in my car. I've already picked up a big dog recently, and I don't need to do it again." I eased open the door, reached inside and picked up the dog biscuit from its place on the top of the console.

"Here you go, buddy!" I said and gingerly held out the dog biscuit, wondering if he would take my arm off when he took it (I could have dropped it down on the road, but that seemed rude). He studied it a moment, then gently took the dog biscuit in his mouth and trotted back down the road and to his yard to enjoy his treat.

I slithered into the driver's seat, shut the door, and was relieved to find that I did not need to change my pants over the whole ordeal.

10. That one is worth 10 things of thankful on its own, but I will still throw in another one, which is that, although Emma's show choir did not place at this competition, they took to heart the critiques from the judges last week and completely revamped the show. They worked long, hard hours and their performance showed it. I was truly surprised they did not place (not a thankful), but you could see how much they improved in a week, and that's something for which to be thankful. I would love to show you a video, but my iphone is on the verge of not being my iphone any longer, as it stopped recording just as their second song began, the screen going black and the whole thing freezing (also not a thankful). 

So, there you go. If you think you can fix my mojo issues, feel free to analyze me and offer your suggestions. And link up YOUR Ten Things of Thankful below.

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  1. I have no help for you as far as mojo goes. I'll just cross my fingers that it's just a phase you are going through and that you'll be back to posting and making me smile soon.

    As for the lost Starburst...Sure a mouse didn't take it?

    I am sure it's a pain, but you all do have some fun in preschool! Now, you are the queen of selfies. Where is the photo of you in your 50s gear?

    What is it with you and stray dogs?

    1. I hope it's a phase, too. Wish I could snap out of it.

      Every year, my assistant hides the Starbursts while we're in the library. After the kids find all of them, my assistant takes the kids out into the hall and then it's my turn to hide them. And one of them always stays hidden. Every. Year. It's in one of the centers, and the kid who finds it gets a piece of candy, so it will turn up. (The Starbursts themselves are about 11 years old and entirely inedible.)

      The kids have a ball at the parties. I'm the only one who hates them. I took a very bad selfie that I refuse to publish.

      I swear I thought that dog was going to lunge at my throat and kill me.

  2. My sympathies on the dog encounter. I've got two big dogs and I work really hard at making sure they don't get an opportunity to terrify anyone. Occasionally we slip.

    1. You're a good dog owner, because you are aware of your dogs and their potential for scaring someone. The owners of THIS dog didn't seem to know or care that he was terrorizing me. Unless they were still sleeping off the previous night's overindulgence of controlled substances, they couldn't possibly have NOT heard him barking his head off in front of the house.

  3. That doggie was a beauty! You certainly have a way with the K9s! What's up with the phone? Joe back in town? Were you heading to Daisy's house!?

    1. That dog was as big as a grizzly bear and had just as many sharp teeth.

      That phone has not been the same since Joe's Boys jacked it up in October.

      I WAS at Daisy's house. Or where it used to be. It was torn down years ago :(

  4. Pissdamnshit. My comment just disappeared. I'll try to recreate it.

    I miss you, Mith Dyanne, and I hope you find your mojo again soon. Perhaps you're solar-powered and as the sun returns, your drive to blog will, too.

    I'm glad that your kids are getting on better. Maybe absence is doing its trick and making them fond of one another?

    As for the show choir (and yes - new phone so we can see) it's great they took all the info on board from their feedback before, and I hope their efforts were rewarded another way, even if not with a place.

    The not-the-thankfuls suck, and I'm glad that those days of parents are out of the way for you.

    1. I need my mojo. I feel weird without it.

      I realized a little while ago that my kids ONLY saw each other Friday night. They never saw each other Saturday, as we left before anyone else got up Saturday morning and when we got home, Emma went to her room and Kyle went downstairs to watch a movie. She was still sleeping off her competition hangover and didn't get up until after he and I left to take him back to school. So maybe that's the key - only let them spend about an hour together every few weeks?
      The director was very proud of their performance and didn't care that they didn't place. The kids took it well, too. Their performance was excellent, they had a great time performing and it showed, and that's all that matters.
      I hate preschool parties. Haaaaaate them.

    2. I KNOW! Ohmigosh anything where parents are watching and you're in charge SUUUUUCKS!

      At least their director was proud and they had a great time performing. That's as good (almost) - knowing for sure that they've improved.

      An hour every few weeks - sounds good! I reckon that could work :D Try it and see, you never know - you might get a taste of the quiet life!

      And yeah, I want your mojo to hurry back.

  5. What a great idea to keepa dog biscuit or two in the car.!

    I think your mojo is just fine. Sometimes we think we should be just flowing with it but sometimes it needs to percolate a bit.

    1. I came so close to tossing those two dog biscuits to our next door neighbor's dog the other day! Really glad I didn't do it - they saved my life!

      I think I need to plug in my percolator....

  6. Whoa. That dog IS quite the scary one. Hope the next week won't be so frightening!

  7. (you realize, of course, there is a natural affinity between scotts (human male and female) and the canine kingdom, correct?) they recognize you, that's why, no matter how threatening and ferocious they may seem, you will always have them eating out of your hand…. the dogs, I meant dogs, I did not mean to include any other part of the human or animal kingdom.
    I didn't!

    1. THAT DOG WANTED TO EAT ME. My son and husband couldn't believe I held that dog biscuit out to him to take. My son thought I should have chucked it down the street and then ran for it. Fortunately, all's well that ends well.

  8. I'm glad to hear that you were not hurt by the scary dog.

  9. I'm on the dark side - I love it! :D It's been overwhelming a bit, but everyone is so helpful when I ask dumb questions and I've learned a couple of things. I've met a few new people and - best part - is been able to get some really great communication with some that I already know and really llke. So yeah, I'm kinda glad.
    What IS it with you and strange dogs? I thought of that other story right away and was like "please don't steal this dog, Dyanne!" Sorry he scared you - I totally would have shipped my pants.
    Love hearing that the choir kids took that critique and got busy working on improvements - that is maturity and professionalism.
    Your first paragraph - I could have written it. I think I did write one kind of similar. Wish I could tell you how, but I can tell you it will pass. For me, I had to read a whole lot of suggestions for topics from a few people who were helpful and sent them, listened to people who said don't quit it will be fine, and just kept cranking out the TToT every week which for a while was the only thing floating that blog along - little rowboat that it is. :D I have a ton of suggestions and ideas still in my emails. If you want me to share, just say so and I will. But I sure have missed you around, too, so don't you go too far!
    Kid parties of any kind are...ugh.

    1. I'm glad you've arrived!
      I AM SO SCARED OF BIG DOGS! I really thought he was going to get in the car, and I'm so glad he didn't! And even MORE glad that he politely took the dog biscuit and left.
      There are three weeks until the next competition. They will have improved by leaps and bounds by then!
      Feel free to email me any suggestions you have. I'm at a loss.
      I hate, hate, HAAAAAATE party days.

  10. Winter is a terrible time to look for you Mojo. I'm laughing at those crazy Pre-school parties. I know just what you mean. You'll dance a jig with underpants on your head for the kids, but it's not exactly how you want to present to parents. Dads and Grandads, no less. Big dogs scare me, too.

    1. The worst part is when I have to lead the Johnny Appleseed song at snack time when there are parents in the room. I really don't like to sing in front of anyone but kids.

  11. OK. Big dogs can be scary. That dog? No guarantee he wasn't a "killer" but! Your pic?, he looks to be a lab. Enough said! They are generally, next to golden retrievers, the most friendly dogs on the planet. Having said that, given particular circumstances, they will present themselves as the scariest of canines:) Oh yeah, labs are very food conscious! They love to eat! So the biscuit thing was genius!
    Hey! Think you might have gotten the mojo back!

    1. I swear he was going to rip my throat out.
      He obviously knew what the word "treat" meant! I still can't believe he walked to the car and waited for me. That God my dad is more than a little wacky and carries dog biscuits in his car!

  12. I'm no mojo fixer, sorry. Big dogs freak me out. Don't like them a bit. I would have taken that doggie treat and heaved it down the road. So, I admire your courage.~May

    1. My son thought I should have chucked the dog biscuit down the road, too. I'm glad I didn't have to contemplate why I didn't while I was receiving rabies treatment.