Perspective

When I bought my van, I included Toyota’s offer of lifetime oil changes. This is probably a dumb deal for most people but Toyota has lost money on me for sure — the van is approaching 195K miles and I change the oil every 5K miles.

I suspect they all rolled their eyes and said, “her again?!” when I pulled up to the service department yesterday.

But alas — they did not have the ability to do the oil change within my permitted time frame. The Service Guy checked my mileage and said it would be okay to keep driving and come back next week because the oil is really fine for 10K miles.

Okay, I said, but could please reset the GET SERVICE NOW OR YOUR VAN WILL BLOW UP lights?

He kindly did that — who knew that was so easy?!

I got in, put on my seat belt OF COURSE — and started the van. Except it did not start and so I shouldn’t say that I started the van — the truth is that I just turned the key.

I marched back in, trying not to look as if I suspected him of some funny business as he reset those lights, and explained that I was now blocking one of their doors since my van would not start.

He was incredulous.

No, really — I said — it won’t start.

Fast forward 45 minutes and I was paying $149 for my brand new battery. This time the van really did start.

I am working with a teenager who doesn’t quite believe that it is possible to CHOOSE how to think and feel about things. I explained this whole story and they noted how lucky I was that the battery gave up the ghost in front of the service department!

HA!

Yes, I said, but it would be just as easy to bemoan the fact that my battery died and I had to spend $149, which is overpriced, for a new battery. In other words, I pointed out, I was permitted to CHOOSE how to think about my battery — and since thinking results in feelings, I was also choosing how to feel.

Seriously — how often does something like this happen?

Not only did my battery die in front of a garage filled with mechanics instead of on my drive to Boise today where there is no cell service or mechanics or car batteries or tow trucks for miles and miles BUT it also happened conveniently enough that I could (hopefully) make an important point to a teenager.

And what is that point?

How we think determines how we feel. This means unless your brain is possessed, the person controlling your everyday thoughts and feelings is you.

An inconvenient truth at times, I agree, because blaming is so much more fun. But think of the possibilities when you take control of your thoughts and your feelings!

Yes, that is a real backdrop. I took that photo in our yard. #lucky #montanalife

Yes, that is a real backdrop. I took that photo in our yard. #lucky #montanalife

Balance and a Birthday

Claire demonstrates work-life balance…

Will she — or won’t she — be in a draft test in early April??

Will she — or won’t she — be in a draft test in early April??

Snow Season is giving way to Mud Season.

Snow Season is giving way to Mud Season.

Miss Daisy and her littermates are celebrating their THIRD birthday today!

I adore this dog — she is smart, devoted, happy, and I could go on and on and on.

I adore this dog — she is smart, devoted, happy, and I could go on and on and on.

I hope you are having a happy day, whether it is your birthday or not.

Needed: Magic Eight Ball

Dear Husband says, “I guess we will figure it out when the time comes.”

This unconcerned attitude may well be the consequence of a truly sanguine nature — or just a reaction to my constant, “if this, then that” and “if this date, then this plan” and so on and so forth.

This relates to this dog, who is tight-lipped about when exactly she would like to have a long distance rendezvous with a handsome stranger.

Wishing and hoping and all of that for Sparklers 2.0

Wishing and hoping and all of that for Sparklers 2.0

The difficulty is that the Handsome Stranger is far away, and so are two other things I am planning in the next seven weeks: a draft test in southern California and the National Specialty in Minnesota.

The conversations with the unfortunate Dear Husband are like this:

Me: “Okay, if she comes in season after about April 20, I will take Lucky (the RV) and just hang out on that side of the country and you can drive the van with Daisy and Harper to Minnesota and meet me.”

Dear Husband: “Okay.”

Me: “But if she is NOT in season by the Specialty, surely she will be after a week with all those intact girls and so I would likely need to stay on that side of the country to breed her. Okay — if she is not in season by the time we have to leave for the Specialty, we will take Lucky and the van.”

Dear Husband (trying somewhat to follow all this): “Okay.”

Me: “Sigh. Okay — but what if she comes in season soon and messes up the draft test plans?! Then Claire has no chance to be in the Versatility class at the Specialty! On the other hand, she won’t have coat so maybe I should not even worry about that and just enter her in the Specialty draft tests.”

Dear Husband (noting to self that I have said this at least ten times before): “Okay.”

Me: “But I REALLY want to enter her in Versatility at the Specialty.”

Dear Husband: “Then you should!”

Me: “But what if Sparkle comes in season and I cannot do that draft test — the Specialty entries close on April 10!”

Dear Husband: Looks perplexed and is silent since he knows I will keep talking…

Me: “Okay. I will enter the California test AND I will enter the test back east just in case Sparkle comes in season in the next two weeks and I have to be on that side of the world anyway.”

Dear Husband: “That seems like a good plan (and leaves out saying, “as I have said ten times before” because he is smart that way).

Me: “But what if Sparkle comes in season soon and I have to be gone when you are in Georgia?! I cannot take four dogs with me!”

Dear Husband: “I am sure we will figure it out.”

You get the idea. This happens every day — true story. It is making my head spin.

Deep Breaths.

And can I just point to the irony of wishing and hoping that one of my girls is in season at the Specialty?!

Breeding dogs is complicated — for all kinds of reasons. Dear Husband, of course, agrees, because he is smart that way also.