I am legit falling asleep right now. So how fitting that today’s WordPress prompt and that one of this week’s writing prompts from Mama Kat are both about dreaming.
We’ve been asked to describe the best and most vivid dream we’ve ever had (which I’ll have to link up tomorrow — until then, check out Mama Kat’s blog).
I have two dreams to share — I don’t know if I’d call either of them the best, but they’re certainly the most vivid… the kind of dream where you sit up in bed after you wake up and wonder if that actually happened or not.
I don’t put much stock in dream theory or whatever it’s called — the analysis of dreams to inform you what they really mean for your life…. but one comes up meaning big change or stress, and the other comes up suggesting that I’m suppressing creativity that wants out….. Maybe I need to get on writing that book?
1. I’ve woken up more than once after a dream where I found out I was pregnant and was faced with the daunting task of telling everyone I know that I’m a hypocrite. You see, some of you may already know this about me, but it’s not currently possible for me to become pregnant. Every time this happens, I don’t know who the Father is, and I have to explain to not only my parents, but to everyone around me, how I got pregnant out of marriage, how this happened, and what exactly I’m going to do. One pregnancy dream lasted long enough that I had the baby, and was raising it on my own. I had friends over to meet my baby girl, and a friend sat on my baby on the bed. I woke up in a sheer panic — “where’s my baby!? Is she ok!? Wait…. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a baby. I don’t even have a boyfriend. Time to go back to sleep.”
The other dream I’ve had that is super vivid… is where all my teeth fall out. haha it even sounds ridiculous to say it. Apparently it points to anxiety and stress. I’ve had this dream more than once. The most vivid time I’ve had this dream went like this…
It was the first day of school (I had the dream at the end of summer), and I had spent a bunch of time prepping and lesson planning — ready to wow those kids with how awesome a teacher I was going to be (I switched schools and positions in September of this year). I’ll admit that I was quite nervous about the switch, even when awake. I was switching from teaching Grade 4-8, and teaching them French… to Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2… Science, Social Studies, and Gym. Nothing would be the same as the year before. As I stood (in the dream) in front of my first Grade 1 Science class, I sneezed. When I sneezed, every single tooth in my mouth fell out into my hand. I remember very clearly looking down in my hands at every tooth from my mouth. I tried to introduce myself to my new kiddos, and all I could do was gum at things. I woke up and for hours….. not kidding… HOURS…. I ran my tongue across my teeth to make sure they were all still there. I don’t consider myself to be an overly vain person, but I can’t lie, the idea of having no teeth is not an enticing one.
So there you have it — apart from a hallucination when I was a kid that I only vaguely remember (My fever was high. My Dad and best friend chased me around a circuit board armed with pillow cases full of rocks, swords, and banana cream pies. I woke up screaming…..), those are my two most vivid dreams — being pregnant with no explanation, and losing all my teeth right when I have to do something important.
I just really hope they don’t both happen at the same time. That’d be wretched.
Have you ever played in a band? Tell us all about that experience of making music with friends. If you’ve never been in a band, imagine you’re forming a band with some good friends. What instrument do you play in the band and why? What sort of music will you play?
Thanks WordPress, I haven’t wanted to write for a few days… this I’ll write on though, for sure!
I have played in a band — worship band, at Camp. There’s nothing like it.
Two weekends ago, I played violin in a worship band at Camp for our Sunday morning service. I’d never played in front of people before. Not more than a few, anyway… and not for anything more significant than a talent show.
I’ve sang for years and years. I played piano for several years as well, until I finally acknowledged that it’s not my favourite thing, and that while I value the skills I have now because of how long I played (read: I don’t have to learn theory while I learn to play the violin, I did it as a kid…), I don’t really want to play much.
My ideal band has an acoustic guitar, a banjo, a mandolin, rockin drums (portable ones, because, well, you’ll see…), and you guessed it… me on the fiddle. We’ll have an amazing vocalist (because sadly, I haven’t figured out how to fiddle and sing at the same time yet…), and we will just have fun. We will play and sing, we will rock out and jam. The drums should be portable, like a jambe or a cajon, because this will all take place on some hot summer night around a camp fire.
Picture: what I’d like the theme song of my life to be right now…
My idea of perfection right now is the end of a country road …. I kinda have country fever. It’s what happens when you put a country kid in the city for 6 years I imagine. Anyway… I won’t entertain that thought too seriously right now, since I’m city-bound for the time being… but there it is 😀
What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?
I’m not a cook. There is no stretch that could make that true. Cooking is not my forté. I’m not bad at it. When I put my mind to it, I do fairly well. I am capable of cooking yummy things…. I just don’t enjoy it. At all. Star Trek style Replicators can’t come fast enough.
“Computer – Chicken Parmesan, please.” Amazing.
But since I can’t do that yet… (someone work on that, please?) I will share my little secret.
When I must cook, I love love love to use Club House’s Smouldering Smoked Applewood spice. I have several Club House spices that I absolutely love to use — Spicy Pepper Medley, Vegetable, Montreal Steak, Blazin Pepper Bourbon, Montreal Chicken, Chipotle Mango, and Citrus Blast.
Now, unfortunately, Smouldering Smoked Applewood was a limited edition released spice… and I don’t really understand creating a ‘limited edition’ spice… don’t get me started… but because it’s a ‘limited edition,’ I tend to use it more conservatively than I do something else like the Spicy Pepper Medley. When that runs out, I can just go replace it.
That’s it — that’s why my Pulled Pork tastes so amazing. That’s why my Pork Chops are fantastic. That’s why my chicken is delightful.
And I can’t believe I just wrote an entire post about spices.
I went into downtown Toronto yesterday to go bridesmaid and wedding dress shopping with my brother’s fiancee and the rest of the bridal party (I’m a bridesmaid). I’m not a city girl, by ANY stretch of the means.
I drove from my town to the nearest GO Train station and left my car in the parking lot. It was a little over an hour on the train, and to my shock, I’ve discovered that while I become violently motion sick while moving if I read in most other forms of transportation, I can read quite happily on a train. I read for a glorious total of 2.5 hours yesterday with all the time I spent on trains and subways. I think, if I ever had to take a job in the city, I’d move closer, but not that close… just close enough to take the train.
I made my train by a measly 4 minutes, which if you know me at all is not acceptable, and I felt quite at odds about it. Once I was settled into my seat on the train with my open book though, I was much happier.
I arrived at Union Station and Roseanne, the maid of honour, was to pick me up at Front and Bay street, but if you’ve been downtown Toronto lately, you know that Front Street by Union is pretty blocked off because Union Station is completely under construction. Roseanne had trouble finding me.
Once we finally met up, after I’d waved off many hopeful taxi cab drivers and explained to very many random wanderers that no, sorry, I have no idea where the aquarium/York Mills/whatever is… I don’t really even know where I am…. we were able to proceed to our first appointment.
We went for lunch after the first place, and it was delicious! If you’ve never been to Artegelato on Bloor, I recommend it. Good panini, and the gelato looked AMAZING!
We then traveled all over the city, between the downtown core and North York and back again. Traffic sucked. There were SO MANY LIGHTS! There were SO MANY CARS! There were so many angry motorists who weren’t driving properly, and then got really angry at those who were! People trying to turn Right, stuck at red lights behind people going straight through (who obviously can’t run red lights) would honk incessantly until the light turned green. Motorists going straight through would honk while waiting in line behind someone turning left, who obviously couldn’t just turn left into a steady stream of Bay Street traffic. Drivers would just drive down the middle of two lanes. Drivers would sneak up in closed construction lanes, bike lanes… really, wherever they could. It was insane. I’m beyond glad that I wasn’t driving. There would have been tears.
By the time we got to the last place, I was exhausted and my self-esteem had taken a huge hit while dress shopping, so I was already edgy and nearing tears. We did four appointments between 10:30 and 3. Nutso. At each appointment, I found that each store only carried my size of dress (18) in two or three styles, and so trying to try on different styles was like trying to stuff a big, fluffy, Queen-sized pillow into a cheap twin-sized pillow case. It wasn’t working. At one point, one of the staff at the last place we visited handed me a size ten dress and expected it to work. I hadn’t looked at the tag because I assumed when I told her I was a size 18, she’d understand that that meant probably the smallest dress I’d be able to get my hips into would be a 16. Maybe a 14 if it were forgiving. This conversation actually happened while I was in the dressing room.
As she kept trying to open the curtain, she says “Laura, are you ready? Need help?”
“No, this dress is a size ten, it won’t go past my mid-thigh.”
“Put it over your head! I’ll hold it closed for you!”
“I’m an EIGHTEEN! Putting it over my head isn’t going to work. My chest won’t fit. My waist won’t fit. My hips won’t fit! It’ll be a really awkward shirt, and I may never get it off again!”
Luckily, despite my not being a size ten, we had tons of time at the last place and were ALL able to find our dresses! Super exciting.
This is where the fun starts, though. I had plans to meet my cousin downtown at the Eaton Centre for dinner, and that means I had to navigate Toronto’s transit system all by my lonesome. I’ve taken Subways, I’ve taken buses, but I’ve never been left to figure it out all on my own before.
I left the last bridal store on Sheppard, which unbeknownst to me is technically in North York, and I started walking the direction I thought I needed to walk to get to the Yonge-Sheppard Subway station. I was texting my cousin as I walked… even though to my dismay, I left the bridal shop with a mere 29% battery life. I asked him to text me instead of iMessage so that I could turn my 3G off to save battery, but for whatever reason it wouldn’t work, and I was only receiving his messages as iMessages, so I HAD to leave my 3G on.
It was rainy, it was damp, and the wind picked up through the day yesterday, so it was rather chilly walking through the streets of North York in the dark by myself. I felt like I was walking out of civilization… which I wasn’t, it just didn’t look built up like I thought it should when I was supposed to be walking toward Yonge Street. I was actually walking toward Rexdale and Brampton, turns out… because I was walking West and not East. It would have been a very long walk had I not recognized the fading signs of big city life compared to the quieter buzz of suburbia. I imagine I’d have clued in by the Allen Expressway if I hadn’t figured it out sooner :p
As I was walking, I got swamped by a TTC Bus… and let me assure you, when you see it happen in the movies, they’re not exaggerating it. A bus drove through a giant puddle of muddy, icy water and sprayed it all over me. It ran from my hair onto my neck, down my back, and soaked my leggings and coat. My purse was soaked. I was soaked. And now I was chilled. And I was lost, and quite frankly at this point, I was scared. This attempt at independence I had made was not working well, and my poor cousin was waiting at a mall for me. I felt bad for keeping him waiting.
Thankfully his phone had much more juice than mine, and he was able to look up transit routes for me. He explained that I needed to get on the 84 bus going East and take it to the Sheppard-Yonge Subway station, take the Yonge-University line going South, and get off at Dundas, and he’d meet me at the Subway.
I finally saw a bus. It was an 84 bus! I had hope! I ran across Sheppard at the cross-walk and flagged down the about-to-depart bus, got on in the nick of time, and made my incompetence known immediately. This conversation with the bus driver actually happened:
“Thanks for stopping! How much is it?”
“Ok.. *I fish change out of my purse.* Where’s it go?”
*she points to the change intake thing.*
“Thanks!” *I put my change in the thing, and out pops a ticket*
*she hands me the ticket.*
“Is this my ticket?”
“where do I need to get off if I need to go to the Eaton Centre?”
“Sheppard Station ma’am. Step behind the white line, please.”
“ok. oh. ok. Thank you!”
My cousin is still texting me subway instructions at this point, and asks me if I got a transfer ticket. I look to the unsuspecting woman I’m sitting beside, hold up my ticket, and ask “is this a transfer ticket?” She nods. I tell her I’ve never done this by myself before. She smiles and says it takes some getting used to.
I managed to get off the bus at the right station, and I managed to get into the subway station. I found the first person dressed in a TTC uniform, and asked him to tell me where I needed to go. He brought me to a map, where I was made keenly aware of just how far away from the actual city’s downtown core I really was, and he very kindly explained to me exactly what I needed to do.
I texted my cousin to let him know I was off the bus and at the subway station, and then I planned to text him once I was on the subway to tell him I was leaving, but I had no service for like ten minutes! I turned my phone off for a little bit to save some power. By this point I had 16% battery life left. I turned it back on after about ten minutes, only to find that I had a text from him saying “u ok?” I assured him that I was, told him I was on the subway and would be there soon, he told me he’d meet me by the doors at the Dundas station, and I told him I was turning my phone back off.
Luckily, I was able to find him, and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see a familiar face in my life. He gave me a big hug, and then as the stress released, it hit me that I was in fact quite hungry, and needed to eat. We went into the food court, and I purchased a meal that was far too large, and couldn’t finish it. Then, I made the very wise decision to go to the Telus store and purchase myself a car charger for my phone so that I’d have it when driving after returning to my car. The last thing I’d want would be to break down on the 403 at night with a dead phone.
We had a nice visit, and decided that on a Saturday in the near future, I’d come up to Toronto for the day, and we’d see some of the sights and do some of the cool things the downtown has to offer, and I’m looking forward to that. I feel like I can handle the GO train, and I can handle the Subway, but without my cousin texting bus instructions, I don’t know what I would have done. Walked to Brampton, maybe? Died on the streets of North York? Who knows? I’m being dramatic, of course, but I was getting quite scared. If I hadn’t had battery dying issues, I’d have just Google Mapped my course, but I wanted to make sure I had at least some battery power in case I had an emergency.
The biggest thing I learned through this entire ordeal is that I am not cut out for big city life. I very much enjoy that my city takes 15 minutes to get across, and that while the drivers here are also idiots, I feel much safer at home.
It was an experience…. one that may have shaved a year off my life due to how tense I was. At one point I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry or vomit…. or do both… and then I couldn’t decide what order I’d do them in. I was stressed. It did, however, give me an opportunity to pray. I asked God to help me see where I needed to go as I stood in the lobby of an apartment building trying to get warm, and regrouping my thoughts trying to figure out what to do. Just after I walked back out the doors to turn around and walk back East, I saw the 84 bus on the other side of the road, and I booked it. It had to be divine intervention that the crosswalk let me walk just as I needed to to be able to catch that bus. I don’t know how far apart those buses run, but at the very least, I knew I wasn’t going to die on the streets of North York. There was hope. And in that moment, that one thing was enough to get me going again. Thank the Lord.
As I watched all the people around me moving seamlessly on and off the bus, then transferring to Subways without any hesitation, I very much felt like I was on the outside looking in on a totally different culture and way of life. Big City living is not something I’ve ever had to navigate solo, and while I will try it again to go meet my cousin in the city, I will make sure I have a charged up battery, that I bring my charger with me (an outlet at a Tim Horton’s for 20 minutes would have saved a LOT of trouble!), and that I’ve planned my routes out ahead of time. Never again will I assume that public transit “can’t be that hard” when you’re a teeny tiny little minnow swimming in a sea full of really experienced, gigantic…. whales? I think that’s about how small I felt yesterday. A minnow in a sea full of whales.
** The photos used in this post are licensed for use by Creative Commons. I do not own them, and I was not endorsed for using them.**
I have not been a kid in 20ish years, but I teach them every day. I think, if I could give up my independence and go back to being a kid for a day, these would be the 10 reasons I’d do so. Probably the only 10 reasons though… cuz most days I just don’t think I could deal with the drama that accompanies being a kid. (Inspired by my two kindergarten classes and the prompt found at Mama Kat’s Losin It)
Anyway, here’s the list — Letterman style — last to greatest.
10. You don’t have to do up your own coat or tie your own shoes (until you prove once that you’re capable, then you always have to do it).
9. Your lunch is packed for you, and an adult will open the hard-to-open wrappers and containers for you.
8. When someone’s reading you a story, it’s expected that you’ll call out in surprise at the idea of things like alligators living in the sewers.
7. When you miss your Mom, it’s ok to cry. People will even hug you for it.
6. You get invited to everyone’s birthday party, and celebrate pretty much every holiday during school time with parades and wicked fun crafts.
5. Everything you’re learning is new, so pretty much everything’s exciting and mind-blowing.
4. Along with # 5, the adults in your life are very quick to praise you to no end for every simple discovery.
3. Your laughter is intoxicating and makes others laugh with you.
2. You can say and do really cheeky things and get away with it because you’re unbelievably precious. (e.g. kids saying things like “point taken,” “my listening ears are broken,” and “my thinking cap fell off,” and when you win a game and do the biggest gun-show ever)
1. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous you look in your class picture, the picture is still absolutely adorable.
Also, while I’m here, PLEASE read this post by Angelina at The Road to Roma called “An Open Letter To God (re: online dating). It pretty much sums up my feelings about online dating right now. Angelina… it’s like I could have written it myself.
Personally, I’d love the power to be able to selectively read peoples’ thoughts… Note the very important use of the word selectively. I do not want to know what everyone’s thinking all the time. No thanks.
I’d also love a self-regeneration skill… as I sit in my rocking chair with a heated up grain bag wrapped around my neck because I pulled a muscle in it and it hurts like crazy! I had a massage this afternoon, and, while I’m pretty sure my massage therapist has fingers made of gold, there’s only so much she can do in 75 minutes, and I’m pretty tender.
Anyway — it’s a tough decision, so I’ve decided to eliminate them in reverse order.
1. I would not like the ability to make any two people agree with each other. I think that conflict resolution skills are incredibly beneficial, because even if I had that power, I wouldn’t be around for everyone all the time, so there would be times when people would need to be able to resolve conflict on their own, and just ‘get along.’
2. This is where it gets tricky. When I was in my early 20s, mid-way through my university education, I set myself a goal to speak 10 languages by the time I was 30. Well, I turn 29 in just over two weeks…. so………. If I can combine my skills in Spanish and Latin into the equivalent of one language, I have 7 languages to learn in about 380 days, and I feel like it isn’t going to happen. I’d LOVE the ability to just know them without the work of learning and memorizing verb endings, accents, intonations, pronunciations, vocabulary, and idioms (yeah, I’m a language geek, you caught me).
3. I think, given the list, I would choose the ability to travel through time at will. Not like… the Time Traveler’s Wife kinda time travel, where I have no control or anything… but… where I can decide “hey, I would REALLY like to have a chat with Abe Lincoln, he seems like a stellar dude!” and bam! there I am interviewing Honest Abe after his delivery of the Gettysburg Address. I could be reading my Bible, and think “I have no idea what the author was getting at, here!” and then I’m talking to Paul, Joseph, Abraham, King David, Jesus, Peter… anyone… and I’m asking THEM what THEY meant… I think that would be the absolute greatest super power ever… full understanding of scripture.
What super power would you choose? Why?
If you could time travel, who would you travel to see?
My vocabulary is fairly extensive, but it varies depending on the audience to whom I’m speaking. I’ve found recently that many of the things that come out of my mouth started out intending to be ironic, making fun of those who say them seriously, and then made a home in my vernacular as if they were meant to be there all along. Examples include: peeps, cray cray, legit, and using hashtag in every day speech… yup! Out loud. I know… #ridiculous.
Some of the phrases or words that have crept into my speech patterns are not quite so egregious (like the word egregious… I think it needs to come out more often). I took note a couple weeks ago that the phrase “I can’t deal,” or its close cousin “I can’t even deal” has become something I utter often.
When I’m standing in front of my kindergarten phys. ed. class, and only six kids are listening because they’re distracted by the giant parachute on the floor, I speak over them: “Kindergarten friends! When the whistle blows, we freeze, please!” Then, I look at the EA or the ECE and I mutter “I can’t even deal with this right now.”
When discussing my many failed attempts at dating over the interwebz, I’ve exclaimed to many a friend in extreme frustration “Gah! I can’t even deal! Why does this always go down this way!?” It’s usually followed up with something ridiculous like “peeps be cray cray, I tells ya!”
When I want to emphasize my point, particularly in writing (where I emphasize my point best), I often separate my phrase by breaking it up with a bunch of periods. Can. Not. Deal. I feel like eliminating the use of contractions in a sentence broken up by periods just adds much more of a sense of weight to it.
I’m having a hard time with this one — You see, my emotions tend to run pretty close to the edge of intense on the best of days. I’ve been described as ‘intense’ by several people, and it hasn’t been a surprise any time it’s happened. I experience pretty much everything while being surprised at how intensely I felt or how strongly I reacted.
This explains why when I’m really happy, I’m REALLY happy! Caffeine and sugar merely intensify my intensity at that point. It also explains why when I’m sad, I tend to hold onto that feeling really tightly as well. If you’ve never experienced the intensity of my excitement as Christmas gets closer and closer…. picture a 4 year old holding up hands and yelling “THIS MANY SLEEPS!!!” I still love my birthday with the same enthusiasm, even though 30 looms closer and closer…. and CLOSER… with each step (I’ll be 29 in a month).
As I’m writing this post though, and it’s starting to come together in my head (that’s right, I started writing without a clue where I was going), I realize that I think the emotion I tend to experience the most intensely, and it almost always surprises me…… is disappointment.
It would appear that I have some unbelievably high expectations for most things that occur in my life. Dates (seriously… I had high expectations for this guy… and they were not warranted), important conversations, lesson plans… you name it. I set the bar high, and when expectations don’t meet reality, I experience heavy disappointment…. often in myself, but also in others. And as I’m thinking this through, it occurs to me how potentially damaging that can be to my relationships and to my own sanity. When I expect this much of myself and those around me, I’m setting all of us up to fail…. because we all know first-hand that not everything in life is going to go exactly as we expect. Even if everything goes smoothly in a given situation, disappointment can still hit when it just wasn’t “enough.”
I wonder if I do the same thing to God… I get my expectations all set, ask for God to step into something, and wind up miserably disappointed when it doesn’t work out the way I expect or want. I think expectations not meeting reality, and the consistently intense feeling of disappointment I tend to experience when it happens… I think they probably say something about my trust in God’s timing and His plan.
Anyone else out there feel like this? You’re a pretty intense individual and your emotions are always running crazily high… and it results in crazy disappointment that you’re not great at handling? What do you do?
P.S. – Please check back tomorrow when I post for my 2 year blog-iversary (and write without a prompt!) about some Red Flags from my last couple of misadventures in online dating 😉
We all experience conflict at some point or another in our lives. Sometimes it’s disastrous conflict, sometimes it’s little and to others, it seems completely insignificant…. but it means a lot to us, no?
I teach elementary school kids, young ones — kindergarten to grade 3, and I see this exemplified every single day. I’ve tried countless times to explain the difference between tattling and reporting, but I still hear the tattles every day, after each recess.
Tattling — your purpose is to get someone else in trouble. The end.
Reporting — You’re concerned for the safety of the person you’re telling about, or the safety of someone else, or you think there’s bullying going on. You’re sure someone’s going to hurt or they already have. Maybe the other person is bullying you or someone else. And lastly, maybe someone made you feel icky, and you don’t like that icky feeling. If any of these are true, go get an adult you trust right away. If they’re not, you’re probably tattling.
The other day, I was outside on yard duty. My outside duty is all with Junior/Intermediate kids (grade 4-8). Four of them came running at me, determined to tell me what the problem was. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of intervening for kids where intervention is necessary — especially in cases like I mentioned describing reporting… but when I’m not actually needed and the kids just want a quick solution, I tend to refuse to help. Like I mentioned, the other day four kids came running to me determined that I was going to fix their four square drama for them.
“Jimmy took the ball and he’s out! He said he’s not, but he is!!”
“What exactly would you like me to do for you?”
“Tell him he’s OUUUUUUT!!!!!” (whiny grade 6s are NOT my favourite thing)
“How bout this? I don’t do four square drama. Figure this out, or my solution is going to be to take the ball, and then no one can play.
“Nope, figure it out, or I’ll take the ball. Don’t tattle.”
It may seem harsh, but it’s been working for years. It normally works itself out. Either they quit caring that the kid refused to get out, or they tried fifteen times harder to make it undeniable that he was out to get him REALLY out… but whatever happens, they usually solve their own issue when it comes to the giant ball four square game.
I could have talked about my own conflict skills/lack thereof sometimes (I like to flee from conflict), but since I deal with conflict and helping resolve it on a daily basis, I thought I’d talk about that side of it for WordPress’s Daily Prompt. Haven’t we all been given those skills in some way or another, from someone or multiple people in our lives that cared about us? The adults in our lives knew when we were kids that as we grew up, we were going to need to learn how to deal with our own conflict, and you can’t just teach that. I can’t just tell a kid how to resolve a conflict. I can guide, I can give suggestions, and I can supervise, but no amount of my instruction will equal half of the skills they’ll gain from the experience of figuring it out on their own.
What were some of your experiences with learning how to deal with conflict as a kid?