Funny Story and Thank You For all The B-Day Wishes

24 November 2011
First, I want to thank all of you for the birthday wishes!  I am so touched.
Sophie, the great hunter!
My birthday started off at 2:30 am with my dog, Sophie and a possum!  Sophie has Poochie Bells on the back door that she rings to let me know she has to go outside.  So at 2:30 am, she rang the bells and I got up to let her out.  I opened the door to see a possum slinking by under the bird feeder.  I thought it would just run up the fence, like the squirrels do to escape Sophie.  Despite her size, Sophie loves to stalk and chase squirrels, cats, and birds.    Sophie jumped off the steps in one leap and was on the possum in two seconds.  Patting him/her with her feet!  The thing flipped on it's side and was stiff as a board with its eyes closed and mouth open!  At first, I thought it was dead, but then I remember reading books like Don't Laugh Joe, that possums play dead.  I ran out in my pj's to grab her and get her away from it.  It could have fleas or some sort of disease and what if it came back to life and bit her?!   So finally, I caught her and brought her back inside to wait for it to come back to life.  It did and scuttled on to what I thought was under the fence where the squirrels escape.  Instead, as I found out upon letting Sophie out again, it just went two more feet and played dead in the garden.  Ugh!  I had to catch Sophie all over again.  Back to the house, to wait again.  So this time we waited until I was sure it had left the yard and escaped under the gate.  Sophie was having a heart-attack that I was letting this varmint get away.  So once, the coast was clear, I let her out again.  She still had not gone to the bathroom!
I waited by the door for her and after a few seconds, I realized I did not see her in my yard.  She had squeezed her 8lb body under the fence to hunt down the possum!  I ran out again in my pajamas.  This time I was chasing her all over the neighborhood.  Luckily I was wearing my faux Ugg leopard slippers from Target, with their rubber soles.  My pajamas were not matching, with cat fleece bottoms and a red sweatshirt top.  All I could think as I chased her around the neighborhood was that someone was going to call the cops on this crazy lady running around the neighborhood at 2:30 am!  As I chased her around and she seemed to laugh at me as I did, I was hoping someone would call the cops!  Maybe they could help me catch her.  I tried everything: "sit," "want a treat," "look who's here," and "that's it I'm leaving you out here alone, bye!"  The little snot checked the front of my house saw no one was there and kept running.  Finally, I got some freeze dried chicken and threw it into my backyard.  She went for it and I shut the gate and shoved old Ugg boxes against the gap under the fence.  I was frazzled and she probably had the best night of her life!  Some start to my b-day!

Despite my bad start to the day and afternoon and evening parent conferences, my birthday was not as horrible as I thought it would be (see my What I'm Thankful For post)!  I was overwhelmed by flowers from family, friends, and my class parents.  So sweet of them to think of me!

I got this letter in my inbox, that I just had to share.  It made my day.  This person went out of their way to show their appreciation for me and what I do here on this blog.  I am truly touched!  Thank you Roxann!

Dear Erica,

I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. I have been meaning to express to you how much I enjoy reading your blog and using your products. It is a little crazy how happy a few polka dots can make me.  I was giddy cutting out all of the words for my word wall. I really enjoy the way my room looks now. The colors are just exactly what I love.

I found these blogs by searching activities one day last year and I came across The First Grade Sweet Life.  I loved the way her activities were right on for what my kids can do and like to do! She moved grade levels and so I searched out other blogs.

I found your blog and I started reading your blog regularly. I don't follow because I don't really check my email that much. I can tell you that I have told every teacher that I come in contact with about your blog and your awesome products.

So you have basically changed my life!!! I needed a community of people who were positive about teaching and happy doing it.  I am so much happier at school and my kids are benefiting tremendously.
I am proud of many of the things I am doing with my room and my students that I am just swiping from you.

I appreciate the Thanksgiving card that you made and I gave them out yesterday.  You even gave ideas for what to write on them which was very thoughtful of you because when you are bogged down with testing and reports and all the less awesome stuff that needs to be done you don't always have the time to think of those things. I felt so good about giving them out.  They are really great looking, too!!!

So I am thankful for you and all of your creativity, hard work, generosity, and the love that you pour into  teaching. The world is a better place because you are in it. I am just one faithful follower among many and there will be many more to come as word spreads.

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope all of you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!  Anyone planning on doing the midnight shopping?  I get such a thrill out of it.  I go with my godmother/aunt every year.


  1. Dogs, gotta love them.
    My old chocolate lab was a bolter and one year, after the first day of school I came home. The first thing I did was remove my shoes because after summer, my feet were killing me with school shoes on. Then I decided to bring the trash cans in. I open the gate and out bolts Sienna and runs like no tomorrow down the street. I'm in as quick pursuit as I can be in a skirt AND now barefoot! It was like a game to her. I'd get within feet of her and then she'd be off again. When I finally got her I had to led her home by the collar. My dog now, is such the opposite of my Sienna. I don't think my Harley would put me through such a chase, but you never know. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Yearn to Learn Blog


  2. That is such a great letter. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Funny dog! Hard to believe that little cutie is so brave and determined. Ha ha! Happy Thanksgiving:)
    Grade ONEderful

  4. Such a vivid recap I felt like I could've been there running in my polka-dotted pajamas!

    What a SMART dog! That's what I always think when my dog does something that makes me soooo mad. She chases EVERYTHING too. Even buses and UPS trucks. That's why she's never off a leash.

    Glad to hear the rest of your day went well.


  5. I loved the letter Roxann wrote and I feel the same way! I use so many of your products in my classroom! I too, have the polka dot word wall words and just love them! I hope the rest of your birthday was wonderful and that you had a relaxing Thanksgiving!

    Teaching First

  6. Love your dog story. Had a similar experience with my labrador retriever - 5:30 am, me out in the yard in my nightshirt, dog barking crazily - at a skunk! I laugh about it now! Thanks for all the great ideas you share on your blog. Although I've been teaching gr.1 for 25 years, I'm always looking for new activities.

  7. Erica I have a Maltese too! Yours does not seem to have any tear stains though! Do you do anything to prevent it?

    1. She is actually a Havanese. Use filtered water for him/her to drink. Angel Eyes in the food works, too.


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