Friday, June 30, 2006

What Have I Done To Deserve This?????

Today actually started with the smallest glimmer of sunshine. It gave The Sheep a sense of giddiness and a certain "devil-may-care" sort of attitude. Life is quite the prankster that way.

In preparation for an early trip to the grocery store, I headed into the kitchen to grab the daily medications that keep me from falling apart and the keys to my car. It was then that I saw the first omen. I took me a minute to actually comprehend what I was seeing. Even now it boggles the mind and makes one reel. You see, someone (who shall remain nameless) had pooped on the kitchen counter. You heard me. Take a minute. Let it fully sink it, marinate a bit. The kitchen counter. Poop. Poop touching the kitchen counter. There are no words.

I want my lawyer.

Hee-Hee!!! (she'll do anything for a bet!)

The trick here is to just take care of the offending substance and not think about it too much. In the little bit of time that my overwrought brain spent processing this incident, I have come to the conclusion that this was more of a "clinger-that-dropped" issue rather than an actual act of vengeance. Either way, I'm sleeping with one eye open for a while.

I made it to the grocery store and shopped for my furry little family and myself. Now, when you live in a community whose name actually contains the word, "beach" you can expect that the summer will be a busy time. And in my neck 'o the woods, we have a strong Franco-American presence for much of the year. But in the summer there are often more French speaking people in the store than there are locals. This can be something of an issue when a Sheep needs to get at the frozen pizza and it is blocked, but I really do have a plan for this. I simply grin broadly to show my friendly and jocular nature and shout out a hearty, "Nomme de Plume!!!" Now, my French is quite rusty, I'm sad to say. But I am clearly pretty close to "excuse me, I'd like to get some frozen pizza" as everyone within a ten foot radius beats a hasty retreat. Perhaps its the grin...

Speaking of frozen pizza, anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that this is pretty much all I eat. I'm something of a picky Sheep. You can only imagine my horror as I began to unload my groceries onto the conveyor belt and realized that I had inadvertently grabbed a Hawaiian style pizza with pineapple. That's just wrong. You can argue with me on this one all you want but deep down you know I'm right about this. Some things just shouldn't be. Period. I would gladly have gone back to rectify this tragic error had the store not seen fit to have only one register open on this, the Friday before a holiday. Just to let off some steam, I repeated the "nomme de plume" thing. The cashier checked me out with great speed and I have never seen a bagger work with such efficiency. Clearly this phrase has multiple meanings! It can also mean,"I would really appreciate your efficiency as I am currently overcome by despair at the thought of eating a pineapple pizza!"

Once home, I decided to put some time into spinning and finish up the corriedale. I cranked up the fans so as not to be annoyed by the creaking of my overly humidified wheel and set to work. You all have to know what happened...c'mon, sing it with me:

I was plying along when the single broke

do-dah, do-da...

I pulled out the Niddy Noddy Of No Escape (so named for the difficulty one has in removing the finished yarn...). The skein winder seemed a bit much for so little. It's actually a fairly decent amount of finished yarn, but would be more impressive if it represented the remainder of the fiber. So, despite my best efforts, I cannot even say that I completed that one thing. sigh...

With a full morning behind me, I proceeded to burn the frozen pineapple travesty, have lunch, nap and get to job #2 without incident. On the plus side, we did see a bit of sun today and it's looking like we may see a few more rays if we can all just exhibit a little patience. And Desdemona has refrained from leaving me any further presents.

Thus far...


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Forging Ahead...Grudgingly!

'Tis yet another overcast and muggy day here in the wilds of southern Maine. And it looks like thunderstorms are imminent. Yet, The Sheep dug deep and found the strength to actually make some progress on her spinning.

Here are my purple toes ready to treadle like the wind!
Now, my "eyeball fiber division estimate" was somewhat off and the second bobbin was really nowhere near as full as the first. That'll teach me to weigh the stupid fiber...or not. I'll probably never get over my innate belief that I am all-knowing. At any rate, I was able to readjust a bit and wind some of bobbin #1 onto bobbin #2 and all was right with the world.

Ready for plying. When I get to it, that is.

Jaywalker #2 got some attention as well. I'm into the foot portion now and hope to have the pair complete sometime next week. We'll see what the weekend brings. Monday and Tuesday of next week are already blocked off for family fun and frolic (such as it is...) so I'm still looking at a cropped hobby schedule. That's's still early in the summer and there is plenty of time as my latest blog comments pointed out. :)

And, with any luck the weather will turn a bit and we'll finally see some sun! That should help my motivation. Either way, I was able to get moving a bit today.

Mr. Grasshead was most impressed.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Somebody Get A Cattle Prod!

Well, this is just ridiculous. Other than one appointment bright and early this morning, I had a boatload of free time today. Scads...a plethora...a crapload if you will. So why is it that I have accomplished a grand total of nothing?

As a teacher, I have the summers off to do that which pleases me. I can spin or knit or card...whatever. I have a list of things that I really want to do. I just can't seem to summon the will to finish anything. Jaywalker #2? Languishing. Last of the corriedale? Whirled around on the wheel for less than thirty minutes. Rug hooking project? Oh, lord, don't even ask. I'm going to be buried with it in order that I might hide it's perpetually unfinished state from the world.

Part of the issue has been that I am still finishing up some paperwork left over from the school year. I have sworn on a stack of attendance records that it will all be done by month's end and that gives me until the weekend. I'm going to make it, but it has taken up more of this first week of vacation than I would have liked.

The other problem is that the rest of the world, enamored of what they view as my resting state, has decided to fill my empty hours with activities and lunches and purple toenails. Don't get me has been nice to get out 'n about. But I'm looking at some of my dust covered projects and feeling that I'm not putting in the time they deserve. I swear that I heard the corriedale whispering to the Jaywalker late last night.

"Psst...revolt at midnight. Pass it on. She is going to finish us or know our wrath!"

The Jaywalker, being part of a set and something of a follower, did not respond. But I know it's only a matter of time before it throws caution to the wind and joins the resistance.

Lastly, we have some rain going on. Rain makes me sleepy. And it's not like I don't have some poor role models around here.

Napping and blocking my cookies. I mean really!!!

What is a Sheep to do? Well, lemme tellya: I gave in to peer pressure and napped like it was 1967. 'Cuz I was two and that's just what I did then.

And I've elevated it to an art form, if I do say so myself.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Peek At My Piggies!

Well, my widdle piggies did head out to market but first they made a stop at the spa for some upkeep and prettifying. As predicted, The Sheep's dire dread of having her feet touched was something of an issue. But we survived without bloodshed (mine and the poor nail technician) and my tootsies are looking hot!

That would be "Pompeii Purple" with a catnip mouse looking on from the background.
In addition to the pedicure, the package included a foot/leg massage and salt scrub so I'm as smooth as a baby's tuchus. Well, from the knees down at any rate. As horrific as I find the whole foot touchin' thing I do so love the look of a well-tended hoof!
Following the spa treatment, my partner in pedicures and I trundled off into the wilds of New Hampshire for shopping and lunch. We hit a used bookstore and "must-haves" were found! Among my purchases were a couple of knitting books and one old quilting book:

Treasures, I tells ya!

Of course, I don't quilt. I've never quilted. I probably won't quilt any time soon. But, for some odd reason, the patterns fascinate me. Order out of chaos fixation or something...

So it is with purple toes and sunburned cheeks that I bid you good night. I have a morning appointment tomorrow so I must hit the hay soon in order that I might actually get up early enough to be only mildly late. I'm looking forward to a free day on Thursday in order to get to some of my more fiber-related stuff. I'd like to finish the last bobbin of corriedale and see if I can't get that plied up. The next fiber is up for grabs, but I'm leaning towards trying some of the cotton sliver that I ordered during the last school vacation and hid away. I've never spun cotton so I'm sure there will be much angst and flinging of niddy noddies.

Great Fun!!

SA (she of the purple toes)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Medical Logic.

Say you're a doctor...and your patient (for the purposes of this discussion let's call her Ms. S) has come to you for her every-other-month med. review and general berating for her poor health habits. She has recently been diagnosed with Osteopenia and is nothing short of a fragile flower who must be treated with care lest her poor bones just shatter. You determine that you and she have wildly diverse ideas regarding what constitutes "weight bearing exercise." She, for whatever reason, seems to think that she should just gain weight and walk around with it. You, however, are all medically trained and stuff and know better. You need to convince her to try something a bit more helpful. After all, this type of exercise is super-duper for the old and thin-boned.

Now, bearing in mind that this patient cannot walk across a room without tripping over small lint balls and recently managed to fall from the vast height of her own shoes, could you in good conscience suggest that she try jumping rope? Or would you think that might be a hip fracture waiting to happen? And, what of her neighbors? The world at large? Does the rest of the population somehow deserve the sight of The Sheep jumping rope??? Trust me when I tell you that it is not a pretty picture.

I'm not jumping rope. I couldn't do it at 7. I can't do at 40-plus. I'll keep working on another option.

My sock and I both visited with Dr. Judy today and a lovely time was had by all. She admired my sock then reviewed my various test results from the past month. Lungs? Clearing slowly. We are still concerned, but aren't going to get all panicky since progress has been made. The fatigue is lessening and The Sheep may live to dance again. The bone density (or lack thereof) is pretty mild in the hip range, but more pronounced than either of us would have liked in the spine. So when I fall I won't break my hip like all the other poor old ladies. I will, however, snap my spine like a breadstick.

I repeat: I will not be jumping rope.

Otherwise, everything is as it should be and where I left it. And the sock got to take a field trip. This is good because it will be left to it's own devices for a while as I prepare for a treatment far more invasive than anything Dr. J and her minions could plan for me. That's right: tomorrow I get......

A Pedicure!!!! (cue creepy music and thunder sound effect.)

Ahhhhhh! I do so hate having my feet touched. It gives me the willies straight up to my hairline and invariably ends up costing me twice what it costs other patrons as I feel so guilty for kicking the poor nail lady so many times. But, alas, the school secretary and I have a standing "date" to do this at the end of each school year. And, I have to admit, that my feet look dang stunning afterwards. I'd never really put alot of thought into my feet unless I was seeking a pair of cute shoes to cover them. Yet, after that first pedicure, you really can't help but be ashamed by how poorly your tootsies presented themselves before. But there will be no knitting during this procedure.

I'll be too busy trying to avoid a kicking-related personal injury suit.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why You Need A Sock Bag.

With the summer knitting season upon me, I scampered to Trek's site in order to complete my sock bag swap and have been enjoying the benefits of mobile sock knitting ever since. When not on the road, the bag makes a handy liner for the basket in which I store smaller projects. If I need to head out I simply grab it, cinch it and, Bob's your uncle, I have a sock to go.

And yet I am a girl who likes to accessorize. I decided that I'd like to have an organizer to keep in the bag that would let my disorganized self maintain order over the vast amounts of crap I seem to need in order that I might complete the simplest of tasks. I wanted a pocket of sorts but it had to meet certain criteria. It had to be flat, yet rigid. It needed to be washable (I'm something of a slob) and it absolutely needed to be able to hold Post-Its. I love Post-Its. From where I sit on my couch right now I can literally see 8 of them scrawled with cryptic notes that probably contain the key to world peace but which I cannot seem to decipher. Most importantly though, it must not in any way shape or form sully the perfection of the Sock Bag. No stitching, gluing or attaching of any kind!

In addition, one of my summer goals was to break out the sewing machine and see if I couldn't remember how to use it. Thus, after much fiddling, fussing and language best left to the imagination, I give you The Sock Bag Buddy!

Mistake-ridden Jaywalker and fat stuffed cat are optional.
Now, let me be perfectly clear. When one has to cleverly arrange the Buddy's accessories in order to hide the "whoopsies" in one's sewing it generally signifies that more work is required. But it was fun to make and suits my needs. I'll keep working on it and see if I can't come up with something that is a bit more pleasant to gaze upon.
So, besides the obvious reasons, being able to customize your bag is just one more tally mark in the "you need a sock bag" column. Trust me, if I can do it you can do it. Go do your
Those of you who have already completed this task and don't need to frantically navigate away in order to avoid my withering gaze may take a moment to check out my progress on the corriedale. I've eyeballed the remains and think that I've got it divided just about right for another skein of two-ply. Bobbin #1 is complete and awaiting it's marriage via plying to bobbin #2. Bobbin # 2 is not ready for the nuptials at present, but the ceremony is imminent.


With nothing much on the tube today and a cat in my nappin' spot it's been a slightly more productive day than yesterday. Soon, however, a certain feline is going to be rousted in order that I might park my Sheepy self on the couch for some reading and dozing.

It's probably going to get ugly. But I will prevail.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sheep...Or Slug?

Would dearly love to say that this has been a productive day in the life of this humble Sheep. But it hasn't. It's a rainy, chilly do-nothin' kinda Saturday and I've just wandered from pillar to post, project to project, channel to channel hoping to find something that might hold my interest long enough to create an FO.
There has been some spinning, but the creak of the overly humidified wheel drove me to distraction. The weather is just not kind to wood right now. I'm in the home stretch on the
corriedale, though.
We're down to less than half a basketful!
Jaywalker #2 took some abuse this morning as I couldn't seem to remember to actually take a gander at the pattern from time to time. Apparently this is crucial to making a second sock that vaguely resembles the first. Errors were corrected or ignored based on their visibility factor and we are successfully making our way through Gusset Land.

Shortly after this photo was taken Desdemona parked her furry feline tushy on the pattern and that ended the knitting for the foreseeable future.

And that is really about it. Unless you want to hear about my nap. It was a great nap, but not exactly the stuff epic blog posts are made of.

Here's hoping that a second wind kicks in tomorrow and I can get a bit further along. I've somehow managed to commit myself to a variety of appointments next week and this might complicate my plans for fiber domination. None of them are particularly horrid or time consuming but they will take me out of the routine and that always throws me for a bit.

Perhaps a pot of coffee will help. Followed by some ice cream. Maybe a cookie or two will give me the inspiration I need to forge ahead...


Friday, June 23, 2006

All Is Well!

I was a wee bit concerned yesterday after my "unexpected trip" as I thought I might have done something horrible and unbearably old-ladyish to my knee. I quickly concocted a story involving mountain climbing and bear wrestling to share with the EMTs should an ambulance be required. But it is with relief that The Sheep reports no lasting damage. Other than a seriously smarting ego, the old bones, ligaments and whatever the heck else that's holding me together at this point are just fine and pain free. Another lesson learned.

Today was spent relaxing, avoiding shoes that might present me with issues involving gravity and planning out some of my fibery projects for the next couple of months. Summer vacation started late for my school this year and time will be more limited than I'm used to. Ah, can't really complain when you get more time off than the average working joe. There are a couple of minor things I'd like to get taken care of and one project that might be more along the lines of "epic." We'll see if I'm really up for that...

I like to think that I'm past the point in my short blogging career where I feel I have to upload a picture each time I complete a row in order that the on-line world may sleep easier with reassurances of my progress. However, since there has been little in the way of forward movement in my knitting of late, I will share with you the state of Jaywalker #2:

We have "flappage."
I also put in a tiny bit of time at the wheel today in the hopes of getting the last of the Corriedale, if not done, then at least further along than it was. I didn't get as far as I'd like, but I still have a passion for this particular fiber and it's color so I don't get the grumble-bumbles when I see it still sitting on the bobbin. It'll get done.
Fridays will be sort of odd days for The Sheep for the time being as it is also a work day for job #2. I don't have to be there until 4:30 or so and this means that much of the day is spent thinking, "don't get too still have to work tonight." It is highly distracting. Frankly, I prefer to do everything in the morning and then head home for a little nappy followed by crafty activities. But, while this would suit my schedule, it does not meet the needs of the client and it really is all about them. Not an easy concept for The Sheep...but we make it work.
As I look at the clock for umpteenth time since noon, I calculate that I have 30 minutes to get my sheepy self ready, garb myself in more professional attire and locate my paperwork stuff. (Yes...that's what we call it in the social services field: "paperwork stuff.") So I guess I'd better get on that.
Job #2 is what pays for the fiber addiction.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not Hot, Not Cool...

At best I'm "lukewarm." Not referring to the air temp. here. More like my "got-it'-goin'-on" factor.

The Sheep struggles somewhat with the dichotomy of inner child vs. grown up that lurks within. I get up each morning and take a time-release form of ritalin to control the ADD and chase it with 600mgs of calcium to fight the battle of the brittle bones. On my drive to work I'm blasting my favorite mix CD which features The Blackeyed Peas urging me to "Pump It" only to be followed by The Buggles lamenting how "Video Killed The Radio Star." At home I'm watching cartoons while knitting away on utilitarian gray socks.

So you can see where I sometimes may struggle a bit with the wardrobe. I mean, I like Cher as much as the next gal, but haven't we all at one time or another looked at one of her ensembles and wanted to give her a call to remind her that, perhaps, there is a time to let go of belly-baring fashion? There is a fine line. I don't want to cross it and be the laughing stock of both the teenaged and the denture set all in one fell swoop.

Summer, however, I tend to lean a bit more to the "fun" side of dress. School is out and I don't have to worry about such things as cleavage or risque sayings that I didn't really understand when I bought the t-shirt. It's a time to take a few risks.

Today I headed out for errands and a family lunch wearing one of my favorite summer looks. It included the cutest pair of shoes that featured a wedge heel that, while not overly high, were a bit more than I usually wear. I'd worn them before without incident so I figured the odds were in my favor.

I made it through shopping and the family dining experience without incident. I even made it back to the car looking as cool as a cucumber. Somebody call Vogue!

I thought I'd won the race. But I got cocky.

I really hate making two trips from vehicle to second floor condo. I'll always try to do it in one trip. I loaded up with various groceries, craft supplies and books donated by my mother and began teetering to the door. I almost made it. Really. Then I just lost all sense of what constitutes "upright" and did a sharp lurch to the left complete with the obligatory "startle fart." (In The Sheep lexicon that is known as a "fartle.") This wouldn't have been too bad had it occurred in relative privacy. But these things never do. neighbor was there to bear witness to my middle-aged reality check.

Cuz that's the way these things go when you get over confident. The only good news is that I didn't fracture my hip in the process.

I'm off to ice my knee and do an on-line search for a stylin' pair of Earth Shoes.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who Knew???

This Sheep simply couldn't have asked for a better first day of summer than the one Mother Nature saw fit to kick our way. Sun, warmth and a lack of the spirit-wilting humidity that has been wreaking havoc with my hair...Ahhh!!! What a way to ring in the first day of vacation!

Speaking of my hair, today was the day that I agreed to meet Amy The Scary Stylist for a day of yarn shopping in order that I might begin work on her requested project. This meet'n greet had me a tad tense for a variety of reasons not the least of which being a fear that she would disapprove of my interpretation of her cut. I had visions of her sitting me down in the middle of some parking lot and re-doing the whole thing whilst publicly chastising me for my ineptitude with her work of art. Amy can be something of a bully, although in the nicest of ways. I take it because she is always right and my hair just looks better if I shut my Sheepie mouth and do as I'm told.

To my relief, she wholeheartedly approved of my method of tending the locks and even praised my efforts. (big "whew!" on that, lemme tellya!) And, like so many of us, her persona outside the workplace is really quite different. We had a lovely time picking out her yarn. I tried quite hard to steer her towards a cashmere blend, but she wanted the acrylic boucle. I figured that I was one ahead with the whole hair triumph so I didn't push it. Other than a somewhat odd (although it didn't feel that way at the time) discussion about our preferred plastic surgeries over lunch, there were no anxiety provoking or scary moments at all. I guess I'll have to come up with a new name for my stylist. And for the record, I'm planning on a tummy tuck performed stateside while Amy is looking at eye work in her homeland of China. I may actually consider the flight over since it appears that it will be significantly cheaper to get my crumply tummy tacked back into place in the Far East. (relax...I'm not heading under the knife any time soon.)

I did have a couple requests for the directions for Mr. GrassHead so I shall wholeheartedly oblige. Please feel free to come up with a new name for your little feller, though. I will completely understand if you don't want your child calling Grandma with the news that Mr. Grasshead is their new best friend.

Nylon knee high or leg of pantyhose cut to a similar length
Grass Seed
Potting soil
Plastic cup or the container of your choice
Paper towels
Face-Makin' Stuff (I used the foam shapes purchased by the bucketful at the craft store)
Glue (Mine has held up with white school glue, however some of the kids' did not fare as well. I might use a washable fabric glue the next time)


Place about a tablespoon of grass seed in the toe of the stocking. Fill stocking with potting soil, stretching the stocking as needed for shaping and to pack the soil. My finished product was about five inches in length and looked disturbing like a baked potato. Adjust as needed to accommodate the container. Tie off the stocking.

Glue on facial features or use small pins. Let dry.

Place paper towels in the bottom of the cup. These will help to raise Mr. Grasshead up a bit and will also hold water. (Just scrunch it up and stick it in the cup.)

For the first few waterings I ran Mr. Grasshead under the tap (avoiding his little face) to hit the seeds directly. After they were established, I generally just put a bit of water in the cup and let it wick up.

The cool thing about this is that the root structure will be kinda visible. This is a great way to talk to kids about how plants feed. As an added bonus, the nine million times it gets knocked over won't make you want to kill Mr. Grasshead as it is entirely self-contained. No dirt in the carpet! And if the "do" gets long, shaggy and most uncool?

Mr. Grasshead says, "The ladies are loving my new haircut!!"

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Exit, Stage Right...

Have you ever tried to do something subtly? Unobtrusively? Perhaps even with a little dignity and grace? If so, I hope you have more innate skills at this than The Sheep.

No matter how hard I may try, I will never be able to pull it off. I'm always the one who trips as I attempt to sneak out of a bad wedding toast. During any given "moment of silence" for a departed colleague or acquaintance, rest assured it will be my chair that makes the weird farting sound. It is my lot in life.

Last Friday I was given the opportunity to transfer to another school in my district. I have some mixed feelings about this but, all in all, it is really a great opportunity for me for a variety of reasons. The best part of this is that it is late enough in the school year to avoid the whole "good-bye, fare-the-well, let's all hug and promise to stay in touch forever" scenario that I just don't do very well. My hope was to quietly pack my stuff and fade away...just a pleasant memory to all. They would speak forever of the graceful and self-effacing exit of their beloved Sheep.

In an effort to expedite the removal of my possessions, I pulled my truck to the front of the school in what they call "the bus lanes." The buses had long since gone and it seemed pretty safe. A custodian provided me with a dolley and it looked good for a speedy and unnoticed car-loading.


Suddenly over the intercom system we hear, "Would Mrs. C please report to the front for her ride...her special ride!" Mrs. C's husband, in honor of her retirement, had hired a limo to pick her up for her last day of school. And the limo was parked directly behind (and someone blocked by) my truck and all my school crap. A cadre of staff traveled in attendance with Mrs. C to see her off and, in the process, got to see my fully loaded vehicle and one Sheep wrestling with a dolley. They were a wee bit diverted by the full bar in the limo, but a few astute observers caught on to the fact that there may be a bit more going on in the front of the building.

So, my quick and painless exit ended up being a tad more complicated than originally planned. But I guess it could have been worse and it was nice to have a few folks express their sadness at my departure to another building.

But it is finally summer vacation and it is all behind me for the time being. I'll continue to crank out a bit more paperwork but that is all stuff that can be taken care of from home. It's been a rather "trying" school year for this Sheep and one that I look forward to recovering from. I do, however, have a wee bit of guilt knowing that I am on vacation until September and that my ten loyal readers are either still at work or at home with the kids I don't have to hang out with for a while. So I leave you with this little bit of silliness, a project made with the students in my class while we were studying plants:

Mr. Grasshead! (for lack of a better title)
This picture was taken before his recent haircut. He is looking far better groomed now. I'll post the directions for this charming home accessory if anyone is interested. It was easy and has stayed all green and sorta creepy looking for a couple of weeks at this point!
I think he's looking at me...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lack Of "Light."

I've decided that I am really just a naturally grumpy kind of gal. My post yesterday regarding how I was going to be light and sunny even if it killed me was smacked down by today's heat and humidity. Worse, this was combined with failed attempts at appeasing a group of elementary school children who just weren't feeling the need to be edu-macated on the second to last day of school. Not even the ice cream could change their generally foul moods. That's right...we gave them ice cream. And they were still ticked off. Go figure.

These are truly the longest days. We are close to the end of the year and both teachers and students are staring longingly out the window at the freedom just beyond our reach. Well, today we were staring out at haze and the heat wigglies coming off the pavement on the playground since it was umpteen billion degrees outside. But you get the idea. Even being home in the middle of The Great Ant Wars would have been preferable to being trapped for seven hours with hot and grouchy children. And don't think that I don't know that they are at home right now blogging about how horrible it was being trapped with Ms. Sheep for the day!!! And they are right.

Tomorrow is a half day for the kiddies and a full day for those of us over voting age. I'll probably be putting in a few extra hours finishing up some stuff then I'm heading home with a stack of paperwork that I hope to have finished by month's end. It's still going to be a busy week as my first day of vacation will be spent with Amy my Scary Stylist (said with love) so that we can pick out the yarn for her requested project. (Don't ask what she thought of my "prototype." Suffice it to say, we are back to the drawing board.) Thursday is lunch with the extended family and Friday is a work day for job #2.

Even with all that and my generally bleak outlook on life, I still think that I'm gonna find a little joy come Wednesday morning when I realize that the alarm has no meaning for a short while. I actually do have some plans for the vacation which will be focused more on the fibery side of my life. I think that my 10 loyal readers might actually be surprised to see what I can accomplish when little things like earning my daily bread aren't getting in the way!

Well...maybe that's overly optimistic. Wouldn't want to give in to the happy. Let's just see how far I get.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's A Whole New Week!

The Sheep is starting over. Last week was a trial. Attack of the killer bugs, bones that have more hollow spaces than my lungs, issues at work, power is all beginning to look a bit biblical. But I'm taking a positive view.

The bugs? Well, that little situation was put into perspective by Sheila over at
Ewenique Fiber. It seems she recently found a scorpion under her pillow, thereby proving what I have always known: No good can come from making the bed. Still, it does make one appreciate the wee little anties a bit more. Don't get me wrong; the squishing will still be an integral part of our relationship. I'll simply do it in a more reasonable frame of mind.

The gi-normous error noted in my Jaywalker #2 today as I was proudly (and admittedly ostentatiously) knitting away at my parents house today? The one that my mother noticed immediately despite not having taken any discernible interest in them up to that point? So what? I still got to debut my cool new sock bag from Trek:

A highly recommended accessory to all sock knitters!
Work issues? Only 1 1/2 more days and I'm back on summer break until September. (well, there will be a teeny bit more paperwork to finish up...)
And I've already mentioned my decision to deal with my well-ventilated bones by eating more ice cream so that little issue is really more of a boon than a curse if you just shift your perspective a fraction of an inch. That's "fraction" not "fracture." I don't want a fracture.
So, despite having a mountain of bills to tackle tonight and no real knitting progress to report, this Sheep is just merrily paddling down that river known as "Denial" with nary a care. It's a whole new week and I shall approach it with an attitude sunny enough to cause blindness and skin cancer to anyone within basking range.
Well, that's the plan anyway. Happy Father's Day to all who celebrate this Day 'o Dads!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

News From The Front.

The scene: A battlefield littered with the bodies of ants and the occasional arachnid. In the midst of this chaos lies the battered form of The Sheep. She is surrounded by a small contingency of her troops, all young and terrified at the sight of their leader brought so low. Crouching to avoid a hail of whatever the heck it is that one flings during battle scenes, a medic arrives.

Medic: What happened here???

Lowly Private: She took a hit, sir...a bad one! Ya gotta help her!!!

Medic: A hit? Mortar? Grenade? Sharp, pointy thingy?

Lowly Private: Well, no, sir. It was more of an emotional hit. She's just laying there, shivering and mumbling, "no more, no more..." It's actually gotten a bit irritating if you want the truth.

Medic: I'm sorry, did you say, "emotional hit?"

Lowly Private: Yes sir. You see we really thought we had them ants and spiders that had invaded the condo on the run. We'd even gone hi-tech and brought in some of those sonic-sound-annoy-the-bugs-till-they-leave-do-hickeys. It was going great. Then she saw was horrible!!!

Medic: Get it together, son!!! Tell me what happened.

Lowly Private: (visibly trembling) Well, sir. It was a hornets' nest. Just a little one...on the window screen...and we thought it was outside...outside!!!. But it wasn't. It was inside!!!! They had somehow gotten in through a small crack and started a nest just behind the blinds where we couldn't see them. Oh sir, it was horrible. She was so brave. She took care of it and killed one hornet in the process, but she hasn't been the same since. She's just been like this. And now there's no one to tell us we can break for lunch. Please, ya gotta help her! We just don't see this kinda thing back home on the farm!!!

Medic: live on a farm and never saw a bug? Sheesh!!!

Lowly Private: Hey, I don't judge you. So are we gonna medi-vac her outta here or what?

Medic: Well, see, here's the thing. We don't actually do that for wars on insects. That's more of an "actual battlefield" sort of scenario. The best I can do is prescribe a summer vacation and a clean merino fleece at a reasonable price and be done with it.

Lowly Private: Oh. That never came up in basic.

Medic: Yeah...I dunno. You could call your congressman or something.

End Scene.

I'm starting to think it would be simpler to just move.


Friday, June 16, 2006

The Hits Just Keep On A-Comin'

Well, my test results are in and, frankly, I was a bit surprised. Not by the fact that my lungs have yet to clear according to test #1. I didn't need an x-ray to know that. A Sheep just knows these things.

Test #2 was, in my opinion, a joke. So much so that I almost cancelled it. My doctor was in something of a "mood" when she scheduled it and I suspected that it was a punishment for my lack of good health habits in years past. Even the technician running the big zappy machine couldn't fathom why someone of my age might be scheduled for this particular test. In fact we had quite a chuckle over it. We had to stifle our giggles in order that she could run a clear bone density test.

Got the results today...guess what?

I have Osteopenia. At forty-one. Sorry Doc. The jokes seemed funny at the time but you clearly know what you are doing.

Now, The Sheep is generally not one to do PSAs for the blogging community-at-large. You are all responsible folk who are perfectly capable of managing your lives, families, health and assorted vices without any input from me. But this diagnosis was somewhat startling and, while not life threatening in any way, seemed worth a wee bit of internets space. Especially if you, like me, thought that only our Grammies got the crackly bones. I am not linking to any websites as I think that this is information best discussed with your doctor and not some random blogger. I'll just share what I have learned.

There is no one real definition of osteopenia but it is generally regarded as low bone density and a precursor to osteoporosis. In some cases it is considered a form of osteoporosis. There are no symptoms and it is unlikely to show up on a standard x-ray. I am on the young side for diagnosis as I am not in the menopausal set, but it is not unheard of. I fit several of the risk criteria: small to slight frame, history of smoking, past alcohol abuse and some family history. Oh yeah...and I don't drink milk.

The bone density test itself is as simple as lying there. I am very good at that. In fact, I have elevated it to a fine art. You just can't giggle or they have to do it over. I've had several people in my "real" life ask me about the test as they had put it off fearing that it was one of those exams that involves poking and/or prodding. None of that. You just lie there while a machine passes over you. That's it. Well, then you get a phone call saying you have the bones of a 70 year old woman, but there is therapy for that so it all works out.

Treatment, in my case, is as simple as upping my calcium and vitamin D intake via supplements and periodic checks. I already do weight bearing and resistance training as part of my exercise routine so that part can be checked off the old "to do" list. Easy-peasy.

That's it. No more of the Lifetime Movie of The Week for my 10 loyal readers. We're all going back to knitting, spinning and the killing of bugs. I promise not to hop aboard the old soapbox anytime soon. If this was remotely useful to anyone out there, yay for me. If not, then this will be:

I'm using this as an excuse to eat large amounts of ice's all about the calcium.

Feel free to do the same!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

War Is Hell.

Please note: This post contains violent elements including explosions, carnage, betrayals of faith and what may or may not have been an assassination. While it would be easy to assume that the author is located somewhere in beautiful downtown Beruit, let it be know that I am just a humble Sheep hanging out in a small resort town by the beach in Maine.

I am very tired. Last night the war against insectdom was revived in what may be known on both sides as nothing short of a stunning violation of all previous treaties. It all started with an explosion.

Around 10:30 last night, as I was enjoying a particularly riveting episode of weeknight TV, there was a resounding bang followed by the loss of power, wailing of sirens and local constabulary making drive-bys to check on the locals and make sure that we weren't looting or pillaging or whatever the heck it is one is supposed to do in a darkened crisis state. I, of course, remained perfectly calm because I was knitting a sock. And this is not the first time that a transformer has blown and left me in total darkness while I was knitting a sock. In fact, it is the second time since I started this blog. Socks=darkness. That's just how it is in my world. Don't ask what happened to the sock. It wasn't pretty. We'll just call it a casualty of war and move on.

After locating sources of light in the form of candles and flashlights and making sure that the emergency chocolate was close at hand, I pulled out a book in order that I might pass the time with a good read. I even managed to balance the flashlight on my shoulder. I rock. I then felt a little tickling on my arm that was not the sweet flicker of a kitty tail as it passes by. It had that "leggy feel." Yup. Spider.

I leapt up, lost the flashlight and did the obligatory bug dance completed with squeals and arm slaps. It was sort of like the one that I did a couple of weeks ago when the wasp landed in my hair but this one was done in the dark. The dark, people!!!!

Charlotte was located and duly punished for having invaded my space and reading resumed. It wasn't the same, though and I can't honestly say that I enjoyed my power outage after that. Lights were restored after a couple of hours, thankfully, but sleep did not come easily. It was a rough night.

This morning, tired but reassured by the continued supply of sweet electricity, I attempted to begin my day on an optimistic note. I happened to glance down and observed an ant flailing about on some of the returnables that I will never get around to returning. The cause of his distress appeared to be that he was trapped by yet another spider.

Here was my dilemma: 1. I hate ants. 2. I hate spiders. 3. The spider was taking care of the ant. 4. Being wrapped in silk as a snack-to-be-named-later is a horrible way to die. I just squished everybody involved.

This may be the end of the uneasy truce that was enjoyed for such a short period in the Sheep household. You see, the bugs and I have an agreement, duly witnessed and notarized. Within reason I will ignore anything that is wandering about at ceiling level. Venture into my territory and all bets are off. You have left the Neutral Zone, prepare to be squished. The ants are not part of this. They have no privileges.

While I realize that the spiders were traveling outside their territory for the purpose of killing the invading ants, I had to make a judgment call. Can we really afford to be splitting hairs, here? As the leader of this land, I decreed that the descent was a clear violation of the treaty and squishing commenced.

I suspect that this is an act of war. Given my track record of late, it is highly likely that I have squished the Archduke Ferdinand of Spiders. Keep an eye on your local news. World War III is upon us. Well, upon me anyway.

I have nothing to fear, but fear itself. And I fears them spiders.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

C'mon, Sheep...Focus!!!

I'm almost there...this time next week I will have somehow managed to survive my 18th year as a professional educator. Well, unless I snap and start flinging files, laptops and blank report cards about the hallways all the while screaming, "Attica, Attica!!!" (I have no idea why I would scream that. It's just gotten somewhat overwhelming.) I know that I will somehow manage to complete everything in time for "the big finish." I always do. But each year it seems to get harder...more to do, less time to do it, more kids who want to know why birds have beaks despite my obviously being otherwise engaged. Kids don't have a working knowledge of why my spending hours per day filling out forms on their behalf will make them better educated. I sort of don't either so it's hard to explain it to them. Thankfully, none have ever thought to ask.

I'm taking a short break from the paper trail tonight, though. I have two reports to finish for job #2 and really need to keep up with that. Given the high probability of the "hallway paper flinging" episode described in the above paragraph it might be in my best interest to have a back-up job in the works.

I also might like to reconnect with my sad little sockie who took so much abuse in the last post. Poor little thing. It can't help that it doesn't have solid motor control at this point and flops around on the needles like Raggedly Ann on crack. It just needs to grow up a little bit and get a firmer grip on the dpns. You know what they say: the second child never gets the same level of time and attention as the first. It's not that you don't love the second just as much; it's simply that the novelty has worn off somewhat.

ummm....clearly I have lost all sense of reality at this point and need professional help.

Stupid paperwork.


Sunday, June 11, 2006


Back to reality.

The endorphine rush brought on by yesterday's frenzied bout of "finish-itis" has worn off and all that's left to The Sheep is the sad realization that one finished sock does not a pair make. When the high fades, there is just this:

The start of sock #2.
This is the part of sock knitting that drives me to chocolate. At this point in the process the needles always feel barely joined and are flopping about like they are having wool-induced seizures. The yarn never fails to leap aboard one of these waggling appendages and proceeds to wrap itself around several times causing weird tension of the knitting and emotional varieties. There is more counting required as the pattern has yet to imprint itself on my math-challenged brain and the cats will invariably choose this time to knock over priceless family heirlooms or eat items found in the carpet of questionable digestibility. And, in this case, there is a purl stitch on needle one that is rearranging itself in odd ways that I suspect are the work of the devil. Give me 10 more rows and all this goes away. I just need to survive those rows with my sanity intact.
Perhaps my mood is somewhat affected by my decision to stay home this weekend rather than head up to the Fiber Frolic. I toyed for months with the idea of going...don't all good knitting/spinning bloggers show themselves at these events? My responsible side intervened, however. Gas prices are high, my oxygen intake is low thanks to my spring bout with Monkey Pox and the weather forecast looked grim at best. In addition, I have a mountain of paperwork to finish in the next week that wasn't going to get done whilst I emptied my checking account to the benefit of fiber vendors. I realize that this event is small compared to Maryland et. al. so it's unlikely that vast numbers in the blogging community attended. Still would have been fun though...sigh. How difficult it is to be a grown-up!
All in all, though, I have to say that I feel pretty good about what was tackled during my 48 hours of responsible living. I finished one sock, began another, completed over half of Amy's Project and even made some headway on the last of the corriedale that has been on the wheel over the last month or so. Oh, and I blended the tussah silk that dyed so badly. I even found time to do a bit of laundry and make lunches for this, the last full week of school. And yes, paperwork was attended to. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.
Now, you must excuse me while I attend to my flopping sock. 10 more rows...just 10 more rows...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Frankly, Even I Was Surprised.

The Sheep was just a blur of activity today! Exhibiting an, until now, unseen level of energy she raced through a variety of tasks and is now basking in the glow of jobs well-done! Sadly, none of those jobs included the paperwork that she claimed she would attack today, but let's not quibble.
I was up with the birdies and out the door for an 8:00 a.m. grocery run. Since I'd blown off the shopping last night, it seemed prudent to restock the larder at the first opportunity. While I was out, Persephone also made good use of her time:

She has taken out about a billion of her toys, but seems unwilling to pick them up as of this writing.
Once the groceries were put away and a pot of coffee was brewing, I pulled out the drum carder and the tussah silk that I dyed last month during my "flood hiatus" from school. The color was stunning, but my lack of patience with the prep. process led to a less than satisfactory result in dye consistency. I pulled the roving apart and put new sections together being careful to redistribute the color. I then ran it twice through the drum carder using a top loading method.

And that which was "streaky" can now be called "heathered."

I finished the full amount despite the interruption caused by a phone call from the parents who wished to inquire about my availability for a Father's Day dinner next Sunday. That actually ticked off another item from my to-do list as I was planning to give them a jingle regarding the very same matter.

Lastly, and this was a shocker to all and sundry let me tellya, I actually finished the first Jaywalker!

Finished sock as modeled by the whitest leg that ever strolled the planet!

Now, this wasn't even on the docket for the day! What can I say? I'll do anything to avoid paperwork! Actually, the deal with myself at this point includes spending some time on that dreaded task tonight. Once I get started it isn't so's just the sitting down to do it that stymies me. However, I have pretty much run out of excuses at this juncture since there was also an inordinate amount of vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing in between the fibery goodness.

Of course, now I am tuckered out beyond all belief and that is always something of a roadblock. Here's hoping that a fresh pot of caffeine will help me over the wall! But if all else fails tomorrow is another day.

And since the rain continues, what else does The Sheep have to do?


Friday, June 09, 2006


On a Friday??? Whatever has the world come to?

The Sheep doesn't normally post on Friday. I like to let everyone think that it is because I am out hopping amongst the various glamorous clubs to be found in rural Maine, salsa dancing with millionaires and laughing it up with the purty people. The reality is that I work on Friday nights. I may have mentioned that, in addition to teaching, I also do social services stuff in what I laughingly refer to as my "spare time." While I've cut waaay back on my hours over the last year or so I do still like to keep my hand in. It's a different kind of toil than that which usually fills out my checking account and keeps things interesting.

Oh...and I also do the grocery shopping on Fridays. Because someone middle-aged and dour needs to be in the store to provide some balance to the college students buying beer and Doritos as prep. for weekend festivities.

Jealous yet?

At any seemed prudent to grab a little piece of them internets while I have a moment to do so. With the school year rapidly winding down, the workload has increased tenfold. Well, not so much "increased" as "it appears that I can no longer put off all those tasks that I have been avoiding and golly, gosh there is a plethora of them!" It's always a race to the finish come June. There is a bunch of stuff to do even under the best of circumstances, but this year has been something of a "trial" and I have had less time in which to do that which the state and federal regulations deem necessary. Thus, I can either spend the summer slogging through paperwork or I can crank up the volume and finish as much as is humanly possible over the next week. Stressful? Perhaps. But worth it if it means that I can have a summer break that's more about rest and relaxation.

As a result, there has been little in the way of knitting progress and blogging has been a rather half-hearted collection of observations and weather reports. I do so hope that my ten loyal readers have not wanted to simply give up and go read the newspaper or play video games. I promise to do better by you, really I do.

Lest you think that The Sheep is just working her little hooves to the bone at this point, please be assured that I am not one to over-do. I finagled a bit of a break tonight (don't tell my boss) and cancelled my Parenting Education session for this week. I used the extra time to wander out to a local department store for shoes 'n such. I even skipped the grocery store. The Sheep knows how to "do up" a Friday night...oh yeah.

So I guess I'd better get back to it. I plan to spend tonight away from the paperwork and veg out in front of the tube. Tomorrow will be spent alternating between working at the computer and more fun-filled fibery pursuits. I may even have a teeny bit of knitting progress to report. If not, bear with me...

Summer vacation is just a heartbeat away. Stay tuned!


Wednesday, June 07, 2006


It's raining. Again. Alot. Are you kidding me with this???

Frankly, I haven't been paying attention, but it wouldn't shock me to see the flood watches back up. Ironically, today was the day that the beleaguered homeowners of my "teaching town" could go to town hall for information on how to recoup some of the losses incurred during last month's wash of raging waters.

As I turned onto my own street today I noted that the helpful drains placed strategically along the roadway were backed up and that the waters were encroaching somewhat. Not enough for me to start pairing up the ants and wasps that have invaded my home and building them a teeny-weeny little ark...but it was enough to get my attention. Here's hoping that we aren't looking at another round of misplaced swimming pools. (like in people's living rooms)

The good thing about rain is that it certainly inspires one to knit a bit. Despite the fact that it is June and somewhat humid, there is something about the "pitter-patter" that makes me think, "must produce warm garments...must induce a feeling of snuggly-goodness..." Stuff like that.

So, after a much complained about work-out session, I hit the needles and spent some time on Amy's project and my Jaywalkers. Would love to post pix, but neither is really ready for viewing at this point. And Blogger keeps cutting out on me...clearly even it is tired of looking at the same stupid pictures of a sock in progress that never seems to get any bigger or more interesting. I don't blame it, really.

Must go fill sandbags never know. A Sheep needs to be prepared.

Wool shrinks when wet.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

On...and on....and on.......

My bout with the dreaded Monkey Pox began the last week in April. The actual "sick" part stuck around to greet the month of May. It is now June. Should I really still be dealing with the fall-out from this??????? I've sort of tried to downplay some of the ongoing issues with all this as a review of blog post past were starting to make me look a tad "whiney." But a recent bout of allergies combined with lungs that were not fully healed has brought the whole saga to the forefront again.

I took today off as a "professional" day in order that I might attack the mound of paperwork that just doesn't seem to get done when one has no preparatory time during the school day and is constantly surrounded by children who want to share with me their theories on all things from where boogers come from to why I should take all privileges from Bobby because he was "looking at me funny." When not producing endless paper trails for the betterment of special education, I got to spend some quality time here. And I highly recommend that you not skip the "intro." You'll really think that The Sheep was getting the finest of medical services and care.

Only in the medical community does one have to swear on a stack of bibles that one is not pregnant and explain for the umpteenth time that one is not menopausal within a two minute time frame and to the same person. It's one or the other: able to conceive or withered old crone. Pick one. And as I was, at the time, more concerned about the "staying power" of the miles of limp cotton with which they had me garbed I was really too distracted to point out the absurdity of this line of questioning.

So the chest x-rays are done and my bone density has been tested. Results are pending, but I am fully expecting to learn that I have lungs filled with goo and bones of glass. It's been that kind of spring...

I did find time to break out the needles upon returning home. The Jaywalkers continue to struggle along at their slow but steady pace. Teri commented on the yarn I chose for this project and how well the pattern seems to come through. To be honest, I was somewhat surprised by this. I opted to use KnitPicks Essential for this, my "test pair," fully expecting that it would be a bust. I envision jawalkers in striped yarn. But, I have to say, this is working! I actually rather like the look of the plain yarn. I will add it doesn't have the "give" that other yarns have and that these are going to be quite snug. I don't mind, though, as I like my socks to stay up. I'm still hoping to have sock # 1 finished by the end of the weekend, but one never knows...

I may fall and break one of my glass hips or something...


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Greetings From Ground Zero

Has anyone checked in on poor Trek today??? Apparently my Monkey Pox, a virus hearty enough to travel via them internets, has given her the old smack-down and now she is putting out a plea to anyone within blogging range for assistance with hearth and home! Monkey are a curse, I tells ya!!! I am, however, considering a change of name for this plague. Being as I seem to be the proprietor and distributor of this, the "end of days," I feel that Sheepie Pox might be a better choice.

In that vein, The Sheep will be ambling back to the hospital on Tuesday for round three with the x-ray machine to see if the lungs have finally cleared. I'm also having a bone density test, but I honestly have no idea why I agreed to this. I was really sick when this was scheduled and I think it had something to do with the fact that I thought I had a broken rib at the time. Frankly, I'm not sure what the heck this is all about. I had a fever that ranged from 101 to a rousing 105 and would have agreed to a lobotomy and marriage to Rush Limbaugh had it been proposed.

Since the Monkey/Sheepie/Actually Pneumonia Pox didn't actually kill me, my rib is intact and my last name isn't Limbaugh at this point I have continued to live my life in it's usual fashion. I finished the main body of Amy's Project:

It isn't actually this wonky. It was spread across my knees for the shot.
I was also able to get in a few more rows on the Jaywalkers and may actually get to the toe by week's end if I focus. Of course that means I get to start over with sock #2, but by then it will be the weekend again. I also put on my "Hooker Hat" and spend some time hunched over the rug frame working the Reflecting Hearts rug. I'd show a picture, but the sad truth of the matter is this: hours spent rug-hooking does not for visible progress make. It still looks pretty much like the last time anyone saw it. And it's not that inspiring a project to begin with, really more of a learning exercise. I've mentioned before that I plan to have this done in time to display at my hundredth birthday party...this may not be much of an exaggeration!
And so, I close this Sunday post as I do so many: gotta go get ready for the week ahead in order that I might be fed and clad at the workplace. This is important, you know. A good week to all and better health to those who need it.
There is no vaccine for Sheepie Pox, you know. Only a high "fiber" diet will prevent it's devastation.
(get it??? get it??? fiber...ha!!! I slay me.)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Weight Of The World...

What's a Sheep to do? First missemilysmom announces that my ants have crossed state lines to begin an invasion of her home and now poor Trek blames me for an internets injection of Monkey Pox. (feel better soon, Trek...we need your sock bags and stunning patterns!) How do I handle such responsibility?

Guess I'll just sit back, revel in my new-found power and be grateful that anyone reads this thing given the amount of complaining that I manage to work into the text!!!!! In all seriousness, the ant invasion and bout of illness were not fun and not something I wish on anyone! Here's hoping that anyone else out there suffering from these visitations recovers quickly.

When not smothering my guilt in ice cream, I spent this rainy Saturday alternating between Amy's project (God Help Me!!) and my Jaywalkers. The original plan was to knit strictly for Project #1, but a certain feline parked her furry hindquarters on my handwritten "notes" (read here: "scrawls") and I had to switch out sometime around 1:00. Will there ever be an FO published in this blog???

But don't hold your breath. Things continue to move along at a snail's pace here. And if you hold your breath you could pass out and get brain damage or something.
I have enough guilt here!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Subtle Reminder.

Tonight The Sheep will return to Amy's Project. To recap: my stylist (who has inordinate power over me) has "requested" that I knit up a garment for her based on one that belongs to a friend of hers. It is fairly simple and I think I can pull it off, but got a bit sidetracked over the long holiday weekend by the siren song of my socks. Who doesn't love a Jaywalker??? It is hard to resist.

But today came with a gentle nudge reminding me that I had promises to keep and highlights to save. Plus a free cut when said garment is finished. I'm back on track.

It was a hot and sticky day here in the wilds of Maine. And the students in my class let me know in many unique and interesting ways that they were not comfortable. This is a Day Treatment program for elementary school students who have a variety of learning and emotional disabilities so I will leave it to you to imagine the manner in which their feelings were expressed. Suffice it to say I was feeling somewhat deflated and frazzled upon stumbling out of the building.

And the day was far from over. I still had to rent the video for tomorrow's movie day, purchase the cooking supplies so they could make their little snacks for the movie and replenish the school store which has become woefully understocked of late due to my battles with Monkey Pox and the like. By my last stop I was as wilted as the lettuce in the back of my crisper drawer and ready to just stumble home.

The cashier at the store where I was purchasing the last of the cooking supplies, who was all of 17 and sporting facial jewelry with her pink hair, stopped ringing me up and just sort of gazed at me. Having worked with adolescents for many years, I did not panic. This happens sometimes and you just have to bear with it. They are often distracted by thoughts of boy bands or social anarchy but will return to earth in short order if you just give them a minute. This young lady surprised me, however.

"I really like your do you get it to do that?"

The Sheep (who, to be honest, is tattooed and multiply pierced in her own right) was startled and more than a wee bit flattered. I explained that I actually don't have alot of control over the whole hair thing but that a round brush and an upward curling motion seemed to do the trick. I then made the mistake of joking about my disastrous attempt at a pageboy cut in the 80's and lost her completely. But for a minute there, I was bordering on actual coolness!

And, let's face it: none of this glory is mine to claim. Amy decides the cut, Amy decides the color, Amy schedules my next's all her. None of what is currently hanging from my head is a result of my decisions. I do make suggestions. They are just ignored. And it's really for the me on this. Everyone has an area of their life that is best left to the control of others. Mine is my hair. It took me 39 years to find someone who wasn't afraid to just take the helm.

So I'm back to the project. I'll cross my fingers and diligently count rows and hope that it meets the vision. No photos, no details yet. If I fail, I will be joining the witness protection program and living amongst the Amish so if you don't hear from me for a while you'll know where to forward my mail.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. There is still every hope that I can pull this off! If I just stop avoiding it...