Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Plying Is Trying!

It's not that I hate the Lincoln Longwool. I don't. I have given it all the tender loving care one would expect. I have sorted it, washed it, carded it, dyed it, blended it, spun it...why is it taking me so freaking long to get it plied???? I mean, it's not like I'm even getting fancy here! We're talking a simple two-ply worsted. And I really like it. The only thing I don't love is the way the dye set. It's not quite what we'd call color-fast, but I can work with this. What the heck is my problem?

I had a week off. I was stuck at home for several days due to lack of transportation. I still have a mere two skeins to show for all this time.

And the last one was done Sunday night. Probably out of guilt.
Sometimes I think I can hear it whimpering a little in the dead of night. "Why doesn't she like me? What is wrong with me?"
I do like you Lincoln, really I do. I just get sidetracked easily. I have that rug to work on, socks to finish and I've recently decided to use up all the odds and ends of yarn laying around the house in a variety of "stash-busting" projects. It's not you, it's me.
I feel you deserve my full and undivided attention. You are worth it. You are good and kind and worthy of all the best I have to give. Don't you feel that our time together should be special?
Now, don't tell the Lincoln this, but it may have a somewhat longer wait that originally anticipated. Weekends are normally Sheepie Fiber Frolic time and I can always carve out a pretty good chunk of time for spinning activities. This weekend, however, I have been called back into service to the Maine Academic Decathalon. My "retirement" from this event was supposed to be last year, however this was not to be. When the previous director of the event passed the torch to a new regime after the 2005 competition, my services (rendered out of friendship as much as to my commitment to the event) were duly noted and then tendered to a new group of worker bees.
I sort of knew I'd get the call. Those of us who had worked this event for so many years (referred to as "the inner circle") kind of had a groove down and could do many of the tasks in our sleep. Come to think of it, we were doing much of this in our sleep by the eighth or ninth hour of the competition. Not shocking to have mrichme ask if I'd consider participating again this year at a less intense level. His carrot: "Hey, you'll have lots of uninterrupted knitting time this year!"
What's a Sheep to do? The plying will wait. Don't tell the Lincoln.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Sheep Is Only Human!!!

There are many things I will miss about last week's school vacation: naps, chocolate, uniterrupted fiber time... But I think the thing I will remember with the most fondess is the freedom to choose.

Around 9:15 this morning one of my students went into a bit of a crisis and required some emotional and physical support in order to be safe. I recall thinking as I was taking repeated kicks to the shins, "Gosh, I have to pee...this could be somewhat problematic." But the incident looked to be one of short duration and I figured that all would be well.

However, upon returning to the classroom it appeared that the other children had not faired well in my absence. Order needed to be restored. That's OK...The Sheep is tough. She can weather this little issue with grace and aplomb. I'll just think dry thoughts.

At 10:30, Reading Class was fraught with a major case of "The Grumpies." No one was happy, everyone was the victim of some plot to make them the laughing stock of the school or ruin their little lives. The urge to tinkle was still well upon me, but there was no way on god's green earth that I could leave the scene at that point. I remained at my post.

Around 11:20, the pressure seemed to lessen somewhat. I feared that I had unknowingly just wet myself, but a quick check assured me that I had not. The need returned full force.

At 12:00 things were getting a bit grim, but it was time for third grade lunch and I needed to go with the kiddoes to make sure that they ate their veggies and didn't plan a coup to take over the school by dismissal. The ladies room never seemed further away. I gritted my teeth and lined 'em up.

By 1:00 it was time for Read Aloud and there was no way I was going to make it another minute. My vision was tinged with yellow and my pulse was creating a tidal pull somewhere near my eardrums. I begged one of my staff members to cover the class so I could finally just go...and go...and go...

For anyone keeping track that is a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes of clenching. I tried to tell myself that I must be burning a few extra calories with all those isometrics but it just didn't help. I miss the freedom to choose!

Of all the songs
There's none much sadder
Than the Ballad of
The Much-Ignored Bladder

On a happier note, The Sheep made a bit of a discovery today! It seems that one of my WIPs had been left in my bag after my trip to see Dr. Judy. (she's always running a bit late dontcha know) I pulled it out during recess and got in a little knitting time. As the the wind chill had put the outside temperature somewhere around twenty below the kids were trapped inside and forced to recreate within the confines of the classroom. Now these are the same children who will not hesitate to wander over and ask a question or make a point regardless of the circumstances. I could be talking with the superintendent, teaching the most brilliant class ever inflicted upon a hapless group of youngsters or dealing with a full-on temper tantrum complete with overturned chairs and full physical restraint. They will invariably trundle over to see why Harry got to use the computer and do I like him "better. "

Yet the knitting somehow repelled them. Several times a child would wander over then say, "never mind, you're busy," and head back out. Not sure what the aura of knitting did to their little psyches but I'm not going to question it too deeply. For 10 whole minutes, I could breathe.

Just not pee...


Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Sheep By Any Other Name...

Holly lives in my town. She has a mother (or maybe it's a grandmother) who worries about her alot. She has an active social life and friends who call her early in the morning to see how she is recovering from her night's activities. They call her, "chiquita." Her antics are a source of genuine amusement and, perhaps, envy on the part of her friends. Holly recently changed her phone service from the standard, old-fashioned method to broadband.

I don't know Holly.

But I'm getting her phone calls. Many, many of her phone calls.

I can now answer the phone by saying, "Hello, I am not Holly" and it will make sense (somewhat) to whomever is on the other end of the line. It doesn't always work, but you'd be surprised how often it does.

I'm starting to really hate Holly...or maybe I'm just a wee bit jealous of her. I'm not sure.

Either way, I am not so impressed with her friends and family. From what I can tell, Holly and I do, in fact, have different numbers. They are distinctive by a single digit, though, and this is enough to throw them. I guess the lesson here is, "don't drink and dial." Or "a number programmed into your phone can actually be changed when needed." Or "leave the cranky middle-aged sheep alone before she starts tracing the calls and coming to your house to torture you with hand knitted toilet-tissue cozies." Could be any of those...

The funny part of all this (and I use the word "funny" loosely, here) is that many, many moons ago I used to work for a small company that provided ferry service via a cruise ship between Portland, ME and Yarmouth, NS in Canada. It was a pretty fun job for the summers, but, every once in a while, you'd get a customer who was a little tough to deal with. Generally, they wanted to call you back repeatedly in order to ensure that their accommodations for the overnight voyage were luxurious enough to meet their high standards. When that happened, we all gave fake names so we'd have a heads-up before taking the call. Can you guess what The Sheep chose as her alter ego? Yup, I was Holly.

Karma? Kismet? Irony? Coincidence? You be the judge.

I'm too tired from explaining to people that I am not Holly anymore.

In between playing Social Secretary to the Infamous Holly, I have been able to get one more skein of the Lincoln plied and set. I've also gotten in a tiny bit of knitting, but nothing in the way of an FO to post. Whatever I get done today will be it for the week, I'm afraid. This time tomorrow I will be squeezing children back into snowsuits and boots (once I locate them from the pile on the floor) and trying to direct them to the correct buses because they have used the past week off to forget everything that had meaning to them when at school. Then I will be taking 48 phone calls from parents who want to know why I sent their child home with the wrong boots or mittens because I, too, have forgotten the really meaningful stuff. Gotta love vacation!!!


Saturday, February 25, 2006

The End Is In Sight...

Sigh...the "vacation" part of the week is over and Sheep is simply left with a plain, old "weekend." As with most planned days away from regular labors, I entered into this thinking that I would complete many of the projects that have languished lo these many months. 'Twas not to be. The Lincoln/Metallic blend, although looking lovely, has been slow to ply. Not sure what is keeping me at such a distance, but I just can't seem to make any headway here!

One week, one skein...I won't be winning the gold for speed here!
There was a bit of carding, a tad of wool sorting, a wee bit of knitting, but nothing that represented a concentrated effort in any one area. Ah, well...it is what it is. I mean it's not like I got a mysterious, late-night phone call saying, "We have the cats, all UFO's must be completed by Friday or they're done for."
Besides, there were a few other little things going on that required my attention! The truck and The Sheep needed to go in for maintenance. It's a bit frightening to me that it costs more to keep the truck on the road than it does to keep The Sheep up and running. And the truck is younger...
Friday's scheduled blood-letting was survived without incident. I managed to remember that I was fasting for twelve consecutive hours, which was a feat unto itself. Several times I found myself in the kitchen looking for something upon which to nosh only to come to my senses and remember that food was a no-no. I made it to the lab around 8:00 in the a.m. and was successfully drained of the required amount of corpuscles by a lovely technician who also happened to be a knitter. In between a discussion of knitted dishcloths, I learned that I have "slippery" veins. I am unclear on whether this is a good or bad thing and chose not to ask. I had a large cup of coffee waiting for me in the truck and didn't want to waste any time getting to it.
I made it in to the office after a week of procrastinating and finished up all the stuff there that I had been putting off for months then rushed home for a short nap before a scheduled visit at the cammad house. Child 1 and 2 seemed happy to see me. Child 1 kicked auntie's Sheepie little butt all over the Strawberry Shortcake Game board and camadsmom did the same at the Scrabble board. mrichme did his usual fabulous job with dinner and a good time was had by all. We even managed to stay up until 11:00 just like real grown-ups do!!! Yes, yes, please feel free to envy my life in all it's rockin' madness. Paris and Nicky, eat your hearts out.
And, as they say in the film, "tomorrow is another day." Perhaps there is hope for a bit more progress on the UFO's. If not, I must take heart: only 7 more weeks until the spring break!!!
I'm going to start my to-do list now!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Visit To Dr. Judy, Part Deux:

Dr. Judy: So, what else is going on with you these days?

Sheepish Annie: I think I need a tummy tuck.

DJ: Just do sit-ups.

SA: No, seriously, I researched this! There is no way to build up the underlying muscle tissue enough to take up the slack in the skin of your abdomen after significant weight loss. I mean, an empty burlap sack is gonna just be all crumply until you fill 'er up again, right?

DJ: What?

SA: Never mind, it made sense in my head. At any rate, my stomach looks really funny. I just don't think that you should be able to "mold" your skin into a variety of shapes like faces or cartoon animals and have it stay that way. I'm thinking tummy tuck.

DJ: Insurance won't cover that, you know.

SA: Yeah, I know.

DJ: Well, unless, of course, you are getting fungal infections within the folds of the skin. That happens alot and it's considered a health risk. That could fit in under most health plans.

SA: Gapes at Dr. Judy in abject horror.

DJ: Just something to think about.

SA: Never mind, I'm good.

So me 'n my crumply tummy are home today working on some projects as I'll be heading out tomorrow for a variety of "gotta do's." We're making some headway on the Lincoln:

Misleading photo; this round is actually off the bobbin and the twist is setting as I type this.
And even more headway has been made on the Lindt Chocolates:

That last one looks so lonely. I should invite him to join his friends in my tummy!

Tomorrow is a big day! I start fasting tonight for ye olde blood letter in order that I might learn the iron, sugar and cholesterol content of my aging corpuscles. Then I'm going to head into the office to do all the crap that I said I was going to do Monday but didn't due to vehicular difficulties. After that, I shall rest up for a night of fun and frolic at the CamMad household. Mrichme and Camadsmom took pity on me and my lack of progress in the socialization area over this vacation and have invited me to their happy home. This way I can say that I met mrichme's challenge to do something over the break besides nap and shop. Always nice when the one who challenges you also follows through with the completion of the task.

Best go rescue the skein of Lincoln and get it hung up to block. Then I shall be spending the remainder of the day eating myself into a coma in preparation for my 12 hour fast. (most of which I will be sleeping through, but I'm not taking any chances."


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Sheep Visits Dr. Judy:

Somewhere in Southern Maine at 9:45 am:

Dr. Judy: Well hello there, Sheepish. It appears that you have lost a bit more weight.

Sheepish Annie: Why yes, Dr. Judy. I have. You see, I have been making regular visits to Dr. DeSade, DMD (whom you probably recognize from his latest published work "How To Torture And Terrify In The New Millenium") There has been some technical difficulty around chewing over the last couple of months. (Sheep then goes on for several minutes listing the procedures performed to date. )

DJ: My, that sounds painful.

SA: Yeah, and that root canal...none of the painkillers would take and he ended up shooting four locals directly into the tooth, but that didn't work either and...

DJ: (visibly shuddering) Um, I can't talk about this anymore. Can we just change the subject?

Now this is a woman who, in order to obtain her degree and license to practice, had to actually cut into dead flesh. She regularly delivers babies, lances weeping boils and sticks her fingers into all manner of bodily orifices. And she's afraid of the dentist!!!!!!!!!!

See, it's not just me.

At any rate, my "every other month" appointment went well. The blood pressure is still "excellent," (this time last year I was on meds for this) my Body Mass Index is 21 3/4 (that would be in the "ideal" range, thank you very much!) and it looks like I'll live to fight another day. On the downside, it appears that The Sheep might be anemic. Or have some thyroid thingie. The diet's been a bit off since the whole dentist nightmare began so anemia looks like the disease du jour, but we'll have to wait and see. I get to fast and have blood work and all sorts of fun, dramatic sounding things. The Sheep loves nothing more than to make a drama out of the simple stuff...I am in my element, here!

In other news: The Sheep is also now mobile! The truck is fixed and there is now less chance of a major catastophe involving me losing a wheel on the Maine Turnpike. And, the good guys at the garage came in about $100.00 under their estimate and 15 minutes sooner than their time-to-fix 'er-up-fo'-ya-dee-uh" projection. (for those of you outside of New England, "Dee-uh" is the local pronunciation for "Dear".) The Sheep is released from the confines of her condo and free to roam the world anew.

There was some downtime for knitting today, but not as much as I'd thought. More time was spent in transit than sitting and waiting so not much to report on that front. Tomorrow may be a bit more conducive to project production!



Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Going Out Of My Mind...Cuz I Can't Go Anywhere Else!

Back when The Sheep was but a wee, little lambie it became apparent to her caregivers that the best way to get her to do something was to apply some gentle reverse psychology. For example, if said little one wouldn't eat her veggies, a scenario like this would do the trick:

Act One, Scene One: A typical suburban living room complete with avocado colored carpet and coordinating harvest gold drapes. The scene begins with a young mother leaning towards her 6 year old daughter.

"Now precious one, you don't want to eat that nasty, old broccoli. It will only give you the poots and possibly turn you into a serial killer when you grow up. No, no...you just eat these yucky, blucky homemade brownies. That's my girl, you little gift from heaven. I'm off to go deal with your nasty and far less-beloved brother whom we really did adopt from a petting zoo out of pity and have regretted obtaining ever since."

(exit smiling mother, secure in the knowledge that, within minutes, her darling offspring will be sneaking into the kitchen to procure some of the green stuff all the while thinking that she is partaking of forbidden fruit. End Scene)

Minor liberties were taken with the dialogue here, but you get the idea.

And not much has changed. Normally, The Sheep likes nothing better than to hibernate in the house with all her projects and snack foods gathered around her and the ear-shattering strains of Cartoon Network blasting in the background. However, once you take away the power of choice, this seems less than enjoyable. The truck is still not repaired and I am keeping to my word by allowing her to rest and limit the trips into the outside world.

I am trapped, I tells ya, trapped!!! Never have I wanted more to go out and see how everyone is doing. Friends, acquaintances, complete strangers....whomever. I just miss you. Horribly.

You'd think that, with all this time on my hooves, that I'd be getting a bit more done around the old homestead. This is not the case. Cabin fever has hobbled me and I'm just not feeling the love for all my little projects. I did manage to go through a few of the clothes in my closet and find more that could be discarded. (comforting to know that they are too big, disconcerting to realize that I once fit into them) I also finally sat down to get some plying done.

In honor of President's Day vacation, I ply you, dear Lincoln!
And I plied whilst wearing my spiffy new sox. Yup, I finished 'em last night! They are the perfect "at-home-soft-and-floppy" footwear!

Most enjoyable!!!

In addition, I snarfed down a big old Bubba Burger, (from the frozen food section at the local supermarket, dontcha know!) and a disturbing number of the Lindt chocolates gifted to Ms. Sheep by one of her students on V-Day. Oh, yeah...and another nap.

Tomorrow is the big day, though! The truck goes in for repair and, after giving the mechanic large amounts of my hard-earned dollars, I shall be mobile once more. I'm sure, at that point, that I will no longer wish to go anywhere, though.

But it's all about having the choice!!!


Monday, February 20, 2006

What I Was Supposed To Do vs. What I Did:

'Tis the first day of school vacation for The Sheep and she started it off with the very satisfying experience of "sleeping in." Of course, for me this means getting up at 7:30 instead of the usual 5:15, but that's pretty good in my book. Sunday night I always get seduced by the siren song that is Grey's Anatomy and am forever kicking myself for the hour of lost snooze time come Monday morning. It was nice to get that extra pillow time!!!

The actual plan for the day, however, did not include a real day 'o rest. I was supposed to go into the office for job #2 and get some paperwork done, meet with the boss and be generally helpful in ways that I am unable during the regular school year. Then I remembered the promise to the limping truck and decided that a trip into Portland might be pushing her already strained patience with me. I called in and left a message postponing my visit to later in the week and set my sights on a quiet day at home filled with sock knitting and the like. First, though, a supply run needed to be made. A day without Mountain Dew in the house is not a day worth living...

I returned home with the sweet stuff and broke out the drum carder for another date with Jacob. Didn't get far with that, though. The phone cheeped, the Sheep answered and the next two hours were spent chatting with the boss about various office issues and families with whom we work. This tuckered me out enough that all I had the energy to do was grab a quick lunch and hit the hay/couch for a little nappy-poo.

The lumps under the afghan are my knees. The fluffy thing is my personal knee warmer during nap time.
Still and all, I did manage to get a bit of carding in. As I mentioned, the Jacob is destined for a woolen spun yarn...well, maybe semi-woolen. I always seem to lean towards squooshing the air out if I'm not watching myself. At any rate, a basket of rolags awaits:

And, yes, they are huge. I rolls 'em big!!!! It still seems to work.

And has anyone noticed the lack of posting devoted to the much-neglected Reflecting Hearts rug? Welllll...I have to admit that there was a reason for that. (picture The Sheep hanging her head a bit here and looking, dare I say, "Sheepish") You see, I sort of let her get away from me a bit size-wise. I know, I know; measure twice, cut once. Plan ahead. Look before you leap. Well, The Sheep is not known for her foresight, OK? I was pleased enough with the design that I started to get carried away and, the next thing I knew, the actual rug was too big for the frame. Thus, the loops kept catching of the gripper strips and pulling out from the back. I tried several "fixes," all to no avail but was able to replace the loops that were so rudely snatched from their new homes. I finally pulled the whole thing off and put it back in the quilting hoop that I was using as my first rug frame. This is also not quite large enough but will do less damage and will result in far less language of a "salty" nature. I'm also pulling back on the Sheep-Gone-Wild design technique and keeping it simple from here on out!

Welllll, maybe just a tiny bit more embellishment...

And the sock? We are decreasing for the toe and hope to have it off the needles tonight! Then we'll see if The Sheep's patience is up enough for a run at the SOS sweater. I hate to say it, but it's not looking good here. I have yet another project in mind and can't seem to refocus! Well, it is vacation after all. It's really about what I want to do, isn't it?????


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Time To Move On!

The Sheep woke up with the birdies this morning. (well, the ones that were too stupid to fly south, that is. I mean, my God, it was 9 degrees, for crying out loud!) She was gripped by some strange, indefinable desire. What could it be? Don't have to pee...not hungry...cats seem fine...what is it??? I got it: I need to card!!!!!

Now this is somewhat unusual as carding is something that The Sheep does because she has to, rarely because she wants to! I suspect it has something to do with the last few batts of the Lincoln blend that should be done in the nearest of futures. As much as I love this stuff, I'm ready to see the end of it for a while. I gots me an itch to do something different, I tells ya! And here it is:

Dontcha just love the basket? They're made by (deep breath, here) my Dad's cousin's wife. That would make her my...um...second cousin...no wait, is there a "removed," here...no it's by marriage...wait...carry the one...oh whatever! She's wicked cool and makes these amazing baskets! You can read more about her and the talented artists with whom she works over at the Wild Plum site. This is an example of her Gathering Basket. I also have one of her Market Baskets that stays by the wheel to hold prepared fiber. This is the "pretty"shot. Here's the rest of the stuff in a less photogenic but more representative-of-my-life picture:

How much do I love these gi-normous Ziploc bags????

As you can see, The Sheep will be busy with this for a while. Won in an Ebay auction last fall, this lovely Jacob came to me already washed but full of VM. I've already spun up a small amount in a woolen yarn which is highly uncharacteristic for The Sheep. I'm more of a worsted spinner, but this stuff really lends itself to the long draw even if I'm not so good at that technique! I'm looking forward to spending some wheel-time with this!

For those of you thinking that The Sheep has abandoned her poor, sad little sock, take heart! Time was spent on that endeavor as well! We've recaptured the rogue stitches and needled them into submission. All is right with the world... I'll wait to post pix when I can honestly and truly say I have a pair of the suckers! Shouldn't be long. You'll be ok. Frankly, you're probably knitting something way better anyway.

Here's a thought to keep you from worrying obsessively about my foot coverings: I was checking my site meter stats last night and learned that The Sheep was discovered by some hapless soul who did a Google search by entering the keywords "constipated" and "cat." I'm not sure that my bound-up baby and I were exactly what he or she was seeking but I do so hope that my thoughts on the subject were helpful.

Off to start plying the last of the Lincoln!


Saturday, February 18, 2006

There Was An "Incident."

Does anyone else remember how Fred Flintstone looked in the old cartoon when he was on the grumpy side? When something of an unpleasant nature occurred to Fred (Wilma bought a new rock necklace to hold up her raggedy white toga-thingie, Barney blew the whole scam to go bowling on Mother's Day by suggesting to Betty that her toga-thingy made her look "hippy," Pebbles got knocked up by Bam-Bam...whatever) he'd get this look about him. His hammy hands would clench into fists, his shoulders rounded up to his ears, eyes would turn to triangles and he'd lurch purposefully forward mumbling something like, "Raggle-fraggle, gurgle-shumble, dingle-mingle!" The background scenery would scroll behind him in a seemingly endless repeat until he reached his final destination. That's sort of what The Sheep looked like today. Even the background phenomenon thing was goin' on since I seem to be in a bit of a rut lately.

Whilst working on sock #2 I, perhaps predictably, suffered a mishap. We shall, henceforth, refer to this and "the incident" and never speak directly of it. I was turning the heel and, if I do say so myself, creating quite the knitted work of art. In fact, I was amazed at how quickly I had worked all the stitches. That, in and of itself, should have been a hint.

It seems that a number of stitches had quietly escaped the end of the dpn as I was focusing on the opposite point. I have no idea when this happened and it was tricky to determine how many rows to rip back at that point. Please bear in mind that the "sox bug" has not nibbled on The Sheep in many a year and she is highly dependent on the pattern and strategically placed Post-its in order to maintain her place.
I did indeed rip back, however, and was able to use the slipped stitches on the edge of the heel flap to gauge where I was. Note: this is one of those times where the fluffy-floofy, loopy-doopy yarn that has kindly hidden any errors thus far was not my friend. I think we're OK, though.

Persephone may look like she just woke up, but she is really mentally counting rows for Mommy. Such a little helper...
I have placed rubber nubbin-thingies on the end of anything remotely likely to release stitches into the wild to live free with their own kind and am watching everything like a sheep-hawk. With any luck, I can at least make it through the heel and save any further mistakes for the foot portion of the sock. I just keep telling myself what I tell my students when they make a mistake that sends them into a spiral of self-pity and teacher-blame: "every mistake is a lesson learned; if you don't mess up every now and again, you'll never get any better."
Now I understand why they keep looking at me like that...

Friday, February 17, 2006

"We Must Be Up Inside The Cyclone!"

I didn't start my day in Kansas so the more obvious post title didn't seem to fit here. Either way, the wind is a-blowing in my neck of the woods! The lights flickered on and off all day at school which is just what you want on the day before the February Break. I mean, the children are all so focused and attentive that a diversion from their work ethic is welcome. For those of you less well-versed in the art of sarcasm than I, that was an example of the genre. It was a long day punctuated by temper tantrums, tears and vigorous arguments over who "got there first." By noon, The Sheep was actually participating in these high minded debates. That is never a good sign. Time for a vacation, methinks.

The day was made even longer by the downed trees preventing the buses from making their appointed rounds in the timely manner to which we have become accustomed. When The Sheep vacated the premises after 4:00 there were still kiddies waiting for their bright yellow chariot to carry them away. I probably should have felt more guilt around not helping to corral them. But I didn't. I ran. Very fast. As one of the few staff members who does not get lunch breaks nor preparatory periods and has to negotiate for bathroom breaks, I feel that I can justify.

On the brighter side, my Parenting Education Session was cancelled for tonight so The Sheep got to start her vacation many hours earlier than planned. It was a delight to do the grocery shopping in the daylight and to be home by 5:30. The cats looked a bit surprised, though. I swear to God I heard one of them sneaking the phone into the bathroom and calling a bunch of friends. "Change of plans...she's home. Yeah, I know...we'll have the Jenga/catnip fiesta next week. See ya then!" Or maybe I'm just tired. I don't know anymore.

Happy news: I finished the first of the Straight-up Sox last night! I realized as I approached the end of the toe that I hadn't done a Kitchener Stitch in a dog's age, though. Not a problem; I just pulled out my handy dandy Vogue Knitting Quick Reference and refreshed my aged memory cells. It certainly helped that this is a lumpy, bumpy, fluffy, floofy sort of yarn and it masked my whoopsies quite handily.

Persephone was unimpressed, but Desdemona showed great appreciation for Mommy's efforts.

And now, the lights here in the old homestead are starting to dim a bit. Seems to me that there might be a chance for a power outage here as well. We'll end this here and get this bad boy up on them internets before all is lost!

Enjoy the weekend!


Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Curse Of The Knitting Gods

Thanks for the kind comments on the socks. And my toes? Why, yes camadsmom, they are cunning aren't they? Probably should have gone for the mani/pedi first, but I hadn't planned on a toe shot. I'll be more diligent about my digits in the future.

Perhaps that is why the Knitting Gods saw fit to humble me this morning. Or maybe it's because I failed to sacrifice a virgin to them on the last solstice. I'm sorry for that, but virgins aren't exactly as plentiful as they once were and I don't actually know when the solstice is. For whatever reason, I got hit with a little whammy this morning. This is usually a sign that the rest of your day isn't going to be exactly stellar.

I am in the final decreases for the toe, the end is in sight, I may actually get to the finish line here. (pretty dramatic commentary for such a simple project, but I'm a drama queen and I don't care) Suddenly there is this earth-shattering BOOM and out go the lights. Several more thunderclaps were heard followed by sirens. This has happened before so I know it's not the terrorists; a transformer has blown. It was quite exciting for the cats and they seemed to enjoy the show, but The Sheep ran into a little difficulty. (other than having to put on her makeup by flashlight like the pioneers did)

I was working these last few decreases just before leaving for work this morning and it wasn't exactly full daylight. Thus, I was unable to see all that well once electric lights were lost. Can we guess what happened? Rather that stop what I was doing before I screwed the whole thing up, I forged ahead. Long story short, I lost a few stitches. They were easily picked up (as long as I aimed the flashlight just right) and I think we're good to go, but what a blow to my Sheepie little ego!

Them Knitting Gods are truly vengeful gods. Don't mess with them. They can smell overconfidence a mile away and will humble you in the time it takes to say, "I can't believe how fast these things knit up!" I'm off to see if there are any virgins in my neighborhood willing to take a swim in a volcano in the interest of finishing my socks. This could take a while...


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Non-Joiners Progress

Gosh, I wish I was more of a team player. The rest of my kind may flock, but this Sheep has always been more comfortable going her own way. I never did particularly well in gym class...I just couldn't seem to care that others needed my "all" in order to attain group peak performance. When it came time to apply for colleges, I needed to quickly align myself with a variety of clubs and charitable endeavors in order to have something to put on my application besides "watched alot of cartoons over the last few years." I learned to knit from Mom and Grammy, forgot then re-taught myself. When I wanted to learn how to spin, I went online and bought some books. No night classes, no groups...just me.

I fully support the "Stitch 'N Bitch" cause as I believe that the title was so totally NOT coined by the good folks at Sew Easy... And the Knitting Olympics? Love the concept. I support my sisters and brothers in the craft. And I marvel at what you are accomplishing.

But, alas, I am simply not a joiner. Competition and pressure to perform just give me the hives. I prefer to fail in private. Only I know how to comfort myself after a project goes south. And I can lie in my blog...you'll never know. I could just say that a Yeti broke into my home and stole my WIP before I could post the pictures and that my camera was exposed to high levels of radiation. You'd believe me, right?

Nevertheless, The Sheep does have some progress to report of a positive nature. My plain old boring, straight-up sox have come along nicely:

Toldja these'd work up fast!!!
No great inspiration here. My feet were cold last weekend and I had a couple of skeins of Sirdar Snuggly lying about after the great yarn grab last month just before the closing of my favorite LYS. The hope is that I can finish this one then start the second over the weekend. As is my wont, I'm sure that the second of the pair will just go horribly awry for some reason, but I'd like to keep optimistic. That just leaves one question, "Will The Sheep return to the dreaded SOS sweater during the upcoming vacation?"
Yes, she's still clinging to the needles, that dreaded project 'o mine. Every superhero must have her nemesis and this sweater is mine. The jury is still out, but there is a very good chance The Sheep, caught up in the madness of the ongoing Knitting Olympic challenge will pull that orange nightmare from the bottom of the basket and give it another go.
Nope, still not a joiner. But I suppose it's fair to say that the fever is catching...can I take sick time for that?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Single Gal's Salute To The Day

Ahhh...Valentine's Day! The 24 little hours when we all take a moment and let our thoughts and credit cards devote themselves to those who provide us with the lovin'! The warmth, the tender sentiments, the sweet endearments...

Now, The Sheep is often tagged as being something of a cynic. And it's a title she richly deserves, have no doubt. But this is quite a day on the flock calendar. One I await with all the giddiness of a school-girl. It is, (ooo I'm all a-tingle here,) the day before some of the finest chocolates the world can produce go on the 1/2 price table.

Sure, there's a decent sale after Halloween, but those are the chocolates produced for children. And what do they know about cocoa content? No, the Valentine's leftovers represent the hope and dreams of men (mostly) trying to make up for an entire year of neglect. It's their last ditch shot at some nookie following the "blender-for-Christmas" debacle. It's good stuff people...really good!!!

However, The Sheep did find herself on the receiving end of some actual Valentine's Day Treats. One of my more "trying" students arrived with this for the teacher:

The healthy orange has been placed in the photo for "scale" not because I'm going to eat it.
And so, as The Sheep gets ready for a night of sock knitting and Valentine's Day noshing, I leave you with this final thought from the good people at Dove Chocolate:

I had to eat about a million of the candies that spouted sappy sentiments about sunsets and giving of one's self before getting this little gem in my wrapper, "Chocolate; Always Your Valentine."

Enjoy the day with your favorite friend/partner/spouse or snack!!!


Monday, February 13, 2006

An Open Letter To My Truck:

Dearest Conveyance:

I know that I am not the best of partners in this relationship. I litter in your interior. I fail get your fluids checked and/or changed on anything remotely resembling a regular basis. I sometimes use foul language in your presence, although to be fair, that is not always my fault. There are others on the road not as proficient as I in the driving arena. I want to be good to you...really I do. I mean well. It's just easy sometimes to take the ones you love for granted.

And I also know that you are not well just now. Your little tire is clinging by a much worn bearing and you are making every effort to just keep it all together. I feel for you, I really, really do.

I am asking, nay pleading with you: please just hang in there for four more days. Let me get to work without dying in a fiery wreck, possibly taking out other commuters in the process. I know I am asking alot, here. You start up each and every morning, you provide me with a place in which to plug my heated coffee mug and you play my geeky 80's mix CDs with not so much as a murmur of complaint. But, I really need you to focus. Hang in there, baby. Next week is vacation week and we can get this all taken care of.

You see, four weeks of TCI training and multiple appointments with Dr. DeSade, DMD have resulted in my being out of my classroom for many, many days. The children have not handled this with anything remotely resembling grace under pressure and it is entirely possible that my staff is planning a bloody coup. I need to get there for four more days to bring some sort of normalcy back to the situation. And I need to earn the Benjamins in order to pay for your healing.

In closing, dear truck: I'll do my part if you'll do yours. We can make this work. I believe in us. Let's keep the dream alive. Let's keep The Sheep alive.

All My Love,
Your Titled Owner of Record

And in brighter news, The Sheep is the Winner of the BoogaJ comment contest! Julie will be sending me my very own Library copy of A Good Yarn for my Sheepie perusing pleasure. If my truck hangs in there and doesn't do anything crazy like spill my old bones by the side of the road, it promises to be a good read!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Not Going Anywhere Today!!

Persephone's predictions were right on the money and we're in the grip of an impressive N'oreaster! So, The Sheep is snuggled up inside today working on a few of the projects that have received so much blog time of late, but little in the way of "real time."
Only a bit more of this stuff to go! I can ply next week during the school vacation.

At last!! Amy will get her Fingerless Gloves and I will get my highlights on schedule. It pays to keep one's stylist happy.

I also cast on for a pair of straight up, simple and quite boring socks. Nothin' fancy here. My feet are cold. These should (and please note that The Sheep is saying, "should" here) go pretty quickly with DK weight Sirdar Snuggly on size 5 needles. It would be nice to have them done before the spring thaw!

There has also been much in way of napping, chocolate eating and reading. If I gotta live up here in the frozen north, then I fully intend to avail myself of all the joys of hibernating. It looks like we up here in the further reaches of the NorthEast are only getting the tail end of this one, though. We are well below the snowfall amounts that Boston and New York seemed to get. The Sheep is in the 5-10" snow amount band according to the latest radar. That's enough for me!!! Of course it would have been even nicer if the whole mess had waited 24 scant hours and allowed The Sheep a snow day from school, but it is what it is. Besides, every day we go now is one less to make up in June, I suppose. (Maine is currently not a year-round school state...at least for the moment)

"And what of Persephone?" you may ask. With her lengthy early warning system activities completed, she curled up for the day and has been out like a light. This was good given that her panic attack lasted well into the wee hours of the morning and I'm not sure I could have continued with all the soothing and nurturing.

Whew...that was one wicked low pressure system!!! Must regain my strength.

Since there seems to be no reason to think that I'll be granted a reprieve from school tomorrow (and I'd love one after the last few weeks) I suppose I should be thinking ahead. I'll need some lunches, clothing and a list of daily affirmations to read each morning to inspire me to brave the children in this, the week before vacation. Oh God...and Tuesday is Valentines Day!!! That means a party. Yikes!!!!!!!!


Saturday, February 11, 2006


Well, if my furry little barometer is any indication, we may be in for some "weath-ah" here in the great state 'o Maine! Persephone has been needy as all get-out today. The crying, howling, and pawing at Mummy until she is picked up has resulted in this being the better part of the day's activities:

And if you put me down, I will make you regret it!!!!!
Despite being Mom-on-call today, I was able to get quite a bit done. The little one did finally go down for her afternoon nap and The Sheep almost finished the Fingerless Gloves and another bobbin of the Lincoln/metallic blend. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to finally show some FOs!!! I'll be glad to see the end of the Lincoln! I do enjoy spinning it as it's a long-stapled fiber and, once I accepted that my lack of patience with the carding process resulted in some chunky-monkey batts that were never going to be smooth spinning, I have come up with something I rather like. Still, it's been a long haul and I'm ready to be done with this stuff.
Besides, there's snow coming! Batten the hatches, hunker down, get out your disaster survival kit!!!! Be the hearty New Englander that you know you can be! My supplies are ready:

I'm good to go!

The Sheep is going to apply for a job with FEMA. Disaster prep. is my gift.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Would You Buy A Used Car From This Sheep?

I guess I just have one of those faces... Once or twice a year my friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and total strangers seem to go through these little crises with their significant others. All and sundry then race to seek out The Sheep to bask in her knowledge and walk away with little nuggets of wisdom. "What should I do about Bob?" they cry. And they expect an answer.

Hey, I live on this planet. It is not unreasonable to expect that, every once in a while, I might be expected to have to interact with the human race. It's in the contract unless you move to a desert island or something. And I won't do that unless I am assured of good cable reception. And clean facilities. And a Starbucks. As that seems unlikely, I'm on board with the whole "community" thing. I'll participate in the giving and growing and the caring and sharing.

However, I can't help but wonder why so many people think that I might be a good resource in this area. I am forty years old. I have never been married. I have had two relationships that lasted more than 6 months. And, to be truthful, they were really over at the 6 week mark. But I tire easily and am lazy. It was simpler to just wait the whole thing out. In the interim, I got some jewelry, free food and someone to kill the bugs I didn't want to deal with. These perks almost made up for the extra person wandering around my home wanting to talk about "where this relationship is going," and how his mother will just learn to love me once she gets to know me.

That's what I bring to the table. When you bring me your issues, this is the experience upon which I draw. And yet, they keep a'coming. I'll participate and I will do my very best to offer sage and useful advice as you all struggle through these trying times. But I strongly caution each and every one of you to take it all with a grain/shaker/barrel of salt. I may act like I know what I'm doing, but I'm a big, fat liar. What I'm good at is fixing my own toilet, purchasing my own cars and putting together a kick-ass tool kit.

Like I said, this plethora of lovelorn individuals tends to only flock to The Sheep on a bi-annual basis. It's usually short-term and we'll get through it once V-Day is over, I'm sure. The timing for this is really not that great given that I have a mutated fingerless glove to contend with and a tweaked back that took a trip to Hurtsville again today. I'll suck it up for you all, though. I promise.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm OK!

A big Sheepie shout-out to all who expressed concern over my milk-related injury. I 'm feeling pretty good today, actually. When I got home last night, I debated whether to bag the old work-out and rest my weary bones. As I only do three days a week and have been a bit slow getting back on track since the holidays, I went ahead and did it (40 minutes of cycling followed by a fast 15 minutes of circuit training with weights on the bouncy ball) and am probably the better for it. I find that when I sit still for too long that the twinges start. The commute to and from work is a bit tricky since you can't really just wander around the car when you are the driver, but I don't really have a good solution for that one yet.

In answer to Mia's questions regarding the safety and well being of the Sheepie hooves, they are just fine and dandy, thanks! Here's the thing: when I hit the big four-oh last year I sort of panicked. OK, not so much "sort of" as "full on freak-out." I started doing foolish things like getting exercise and eating all these weird green things. I dropped about 60 pounds, which was great, but the rigid adherence to this lifestyle has taken it's toll on my common sense. At the time of "the incident" I happened to be holding on to the meagre salad that constitutes my midday meal and there was no way on God's Green Earth that I was letting go of the food...even if it meant rearranging the junk in the trunk. I stand by the decision. I was hungry...sue me.

However, having hands well enough to knit did not exactly save me from disaster. I was knitting along on the fingerless gloves and noted a bit of "wear" in the yarn. "Hmmm...," said The Sheep. "Wouldn't it just be horrible if the yarn were to break right here, just as I'm rounding this corner and pulling the yarn tightly so as to avoid the laddering I do so hate?" Long story short: yarn broke within a nanosecond of that thought, stitches were dropped, knotting the yarn went horribly awry and I'm taking out the last three rows to try and salvage the otherwise smooth and flawless knitting achieved to date. What are you gonna do? It is what it is. It's not a hard fix, just an annoying one.

It is also one that I shall leave for the weekend. I find that, when I try to fix something that has irritated the dickens out of me just after the fact, I end up only doing stupid things. Better to wait for a clearer head!

On that note, I'm off to eat my sad little "middle-aged, fighting it with all I have" sensible dinner!


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ups And Downs...

Seems like lately all The Sheep does is whine. Long days, can't sleep, work sucks, cats ungrateful...and so on. I'm negative. It's who I am. Frankly, I'm at my best when I've created a large event out of a minimal issue. I feel so ding-dong important, I guess. Besides, if something really bad ever happened, it's a bit of a coin toss as to whether I'd be a veritable rock under the pressure or if I'd cave like Snoop Dog in a jewelry store. Probably the latter. I'm OK with that.

At any rate, it really was a trying day. I survived a month of physical restraint training with nothing but a few pulled muscles. I am put in the position of having to keep kids physically safe on a daily basis and often have to put my sheepie little body between them and the one they wish to destroy. I survive. Today, I was brought down by a plastic milk bottle. That's right, plastic. Not a jug, mind you. A single serving container. So there I was, monitoring my class during lunch and a student passing by accidentally dropped his strawberry milk. Ever the giver/caretaker/nurturer, The Sheep knelt to retrieve it. Half-way down, I felt something in the general area of my heinie start to pull. It was too late, though. Gravity was fully in effect and I was committed to the downward trajectory. Long story short, I pulled a major butt muscle with resulting tingles and twinges radiating down my left leg and up into my back. I'm not convinced that this is going to fly as a Workman's Comp. claim, but the lunch lady said she'd back me up. That is, if I can get up the nerve to admit that I torqued my tuchas going for a strawberry milk.

At any rate, I was so very pleased upon my arrival at the homestead to find a reward gift from my insurance company. I participate in their program to fool me into thinking that exercise and healthy eating are a good thing in the long run. Today's little giftie was this cheapo mp3 player! Whoo-hoo!!! A fun new toy!

And once I figured out how to get the batteries in, it actually worked!
My exaltation was short-lived however. I only set it down for a second and:

I'll just be taking that, thank you very much.

Oh well, Persephone bores easily. She will eventually surrender the knitting mag. and the new toy when hunger or the overwhelming scent of catnip toys takes over. Then I can play with it. I'm not going to let the little things get to me. Besides, I do have an ipod. And that's way better. Just don't tell the cats or I'll lose that as well.

In Knitting Knews: I am well on my way to finishing the second fingerless glove. Only two more weeks til my appointment with Amy. Barring any further trauma to The Sheep's old bones, these bad boys will be done and off to their intended within the given time frame.

That's the news and I am outta here!


Monday, February 06, 2006

Back To The Routine!

Well, sort of... I slept a grand total of 2 hours last night. You know how it goes: you're tired, you hit the hay, the eyes snap open and it's all downhill from there. As the hours tick by, all you can think about is how, if you just went to sleep right now, the night might be salvageable. No pressure there. I finally gave up around 2:00 am and did some knitting. I managed to get past the cursed ribbing on Amy's fingerless glove and felt somewhat the better for it. I then tried the old "coffee trick" and threw back a strong cup of joe. Caffeine often has a paradoxical effect on The Sheep and can induce sleep when nothing else can. It worked and I dozed off around 3:30 or so. When the alarm went off at 5:30 I was just rarin' to go. OK, not so much. It was a reeeeeeaaaallllllly long day with the kiddos. Apparently they all managed to get plenty of rest last night. Although I have to say it did nothing for their moods. Mondays just suck no matter how old you be!

The weather looks good for a full week of school and there are no more trainings left to which I must travel. It will be a normal week for the first time in "i don't know how long." Two of those and I get a break. You'll never get rich as a teacher and the opportunities for advancement are pretty much nil. What you do get are regular vacations. I'll take it!!! Of course the only two pressing engagements The Sheep has going on for that time are a doctor's appointment (no panicky posts about that; I like my doctor way more than my dentist) and getting the truck fixed. Otherwise, I'll hang with the cats, knit, spin and maybe even sleep a bit! Wouldn't that be novel?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Thing About Blogging:

So when you have a blog, you're kinda putting yourself "out there." If you get an idea, indulge the yen to express it, then post it, you find yourself having to actually follow through. The Sheep has been flapping her gums for a while now about putting in some "wheel time," but hasn't really gotten as much done as her wildly ambitious predictions would indicate. Today, though, I really put the treadle to the carpet and finished up another bobbin:

We're getting there!

And I've made a good start on the next one!

Hopefully, I'm back in the groove and can push through this! I've decided not to blend the last few batts of this stuff with the metallic. I'm thinking about doing that lot as a two or three ply sock yarn and will need to spin it a heck of a lot finer than what I've got here. Shouldn't be a problem, but we will see what the mood is when I start. See? I'm learning not to back myself into a corner!!!

So, I was at the grocery store yesterday just before I went to pay my "car husbands." (I've decided that, since I'm supporting all these men in my life, I deserve some sort of status ) I noticed a higher percentage of males pushing carts than is normal. And, oddly enough, they were buying large amounts of wings. It registered and I got a bit panicky, thinking perhaps that I had missed a change in the normal celebration date of Mother's Day or something. Not so. It seems that there is some sort of football-related thing going on today. You would think that there would have been some kind of announcement about this, an advertisement, newspaper article...whatever. It certainly couldn't be that I was overly focused on my own issues. Nope, not me, me, ME! At any rate, I'm thinking that tonight's TV viewing might be affected. Perhaps this will lend itself to a bit more spinning time! I mean, it's not like I'm going to actually watch football!!!!!

I'm such a freakin' girl!!!!!


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Everyone Wants My Money!

Despite her aching quadriceps, The Sheep headed out bright and early to take care of the much-needed oil change for her chariot. I use a national chain type place near where I live. They've done much of the work on all my past vehicles and, to their credit, have always been quite honest and fair with me. What they got goin' on in that area they really lack in speed of service. A simple oil change invariably takes at least an hour, usually more. I've tried a variety of strategies ranging from kindness and understanding to assertiveness, all to no avail. I've even attempted the "boob-enhancing" sweater trick but that also seems to result in my being stuck in the freezing-cold waiting room for endless hours. And I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't catch on to the probable reason for that strategy on the guy's part for a loooong time.

Today's work took about an hour and a half. It also is going to cost me. I sort of expected this, to be honest, and I think that's part of the reason it was so easy for me to put this errand off for as long as I did. It looks like I'm going to need some work done on the suspension/steering as one of the bearings is just about done for. They assure me that I will not die (probably) if I wait until the school vacation in a couple of weeks. The estimate for this fix is right around $400.00. I did my best to explain to them that Dr. DeSade, DMD is looking to buy a trailer for the boat I just bought for him courtesy of my recent dental nightmare and that all of my funds are committed to that little project, but they would have none of it. They want my Sheepie little dollars just as much.

The good news here was that I did get quite a bit of uninterrupted knitting time in this morning. I brought The Great Shawl Experiment along for the Auto Fun Field Trip as it's pretty mindless and I made some good progress. There's no rush on this one:

It looks a bit "off-center" but this will make sense when it's complete...trust me! I've knit this one in "scarf-form" about a million times.
I also put some more time into Amy's Fingerless Gloves and am almost back to where I was when the Temper Tantrum Incident occurred. Still on track for getting these done on time!!! Take that, dropped stitches!
Tonight, it's back to the wheel, though. I'm really going to push on that Lincoln! I probably won't get it done, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think that I could at least get another bobbin-full out of the way!!! I might as well get used to working with what I have since I need to pay the various men in my life to take care of me. No shopping trips in the foreseeable future.
Next time, I'm going to try wearing the Killer High Heels...I hear those sometimes help in the negotiating process.

Test Post

mrichme and The Sheep have been having technical difficulties with Blogger all day. Just a quick test to see how much of my stuff gets deleted when I attempt to upload! Oooooo...big risk for The Sheep! Words of wit and wisdome could be lost forever here!


Tuckered Out!!!

This has been a rather ungodly-long week! Things at the school were heated, I didn't get half the things done that I should have, and I just haven't been sleeping or eating as well as I know I should. I finished up the last day of TCI training today including the physical and written testing. I passed the physical stuff with some minimal bruising and will learn how I did on the written portion later. After that I scooted back from NH to ME to do a Parenting Education Session (which I kept mercifully short!), hit the grocery store and came home. The aches and pains are starting to set in. Part of the testing involved doing several "take downs" and I somehow managed to bring my leg down the wrong way. I couldn't exactly acknowledge the cramping as this was the test and the instructors were looking for "fluid" moves. Thus, The Sheep put on her "competent" face and pretended that all was as it should be. I've spent the last hour sitting in a hot bath and trying to get these old bones to quit their fussin'. On the positive side, if anyone out there decides to randomly bite me, choke me or take a swing at me, I have a veritable panoply of strategies from which to choose. I'll just be strolling down dark alleys with impunity...I fear nothing. Look out Dr. DeSade!!!

There wasn't much time for knitting today given the testing. I managed to knock out a couple more rows on the shawl. I opted to leave the fingerless gloves home as they have not been nice to me and don't deserve a field trip. If they are good over the weekend, perhaps restrictions will be lifted. It's all about choices.

The plan tonight is to leave the knitting for the weekend proper and just hit the hay. I seriously need to get the oil changed in the truck and tomorrow is really the best day to do it. Then it's all about The Sheep, A wheel and a Big Bag 'o Fiber!!!!


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Back-up Plan: It's A Good Thing.

It never fails! Whenever I am making a "twosome" of something (socks, mittens...) the first just hums along with nary a hitch. I get cocky, I feel an awesome sense of power and invulnerability. I cannot fail. The second of the set is always a bit of a booger. I dropped yet another stitch in the cuff of the fingerless gloves, got ticked and ripped the whole thing off. Impulsive, I now admit, but it's too late to get all reasonable at this point. I re-cast before leaving for work this morning and will put more time into it over the weekend when I'm not all "teacher-minded." Thank heavens I had the foresight to start The Great Shawl Experiment as a back-up!!!!! I need to have something in the works at all times or I start to get all jittery and think about knocking over liquor stores or buying tube tops. Trust me when I tell you that no one wants this.

Last weekend, I promised myself I would spend more time dealing with this:

Lincoln/Metallic blend...you haunt me!!!
I actually did manage to get a bit of carding, blending and spinning done, but not nearly as much as I'd planned. I have decided to blame the dentist. I haven't exactly worked out the logic of that as of this posting, but I'm fiddling with the theory and I'm sure I can figure out a way to make him the villain of this piece. At any rate, I have been dealing with this stuff since June. I washed it, did the first round of carding and dyeing before I went back to school this past fall and have been poking along ever since. The impulse-based purchase of a beautiful Jacob fleece in September added to the stash and I now have scads of fluffy stuff taunting me. I gotta get on this....I've seen some silk that I want to turn into something purty!!!!
Not much will happen tonight, though. Tomorrow is the last day of TCI training and I need to pass both a written and physical test to prove that I merit certification. Since I haven't exactly cracked the book for this until now, I'm thinking that I should put in some study time. The cats don't know it yet, but they will be my stunt kitties for the restraint practice. Persephone is feeling much better and Desdemona woke me up at 4:30 this morning with her incessant snoring. Turnabout is fair play!!!!! Let the games begin! OK, reality check: the cats will not tolerate my practicing on them. I am just grandstanding and pretending that I have some sense of control around here just because I have an audience.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Cat Is Constipated.

That's right. You heard me. My. Cat. Is. Constipated. This is not the first time, either. Persephone has beautiful, long, silky fur that she grooms obsessively. Not effectively, mind you, but obsessively. From time to time, said locks lead to blocks. Hairballs appear like little gifts from heaven all over the house and then...constipation. This is my life: loosening up the cat. After two days of torture at school (won't go into detail, will just say that I have had certain bodily fluids flicked at me repeatedly...don't even try to top it, people), I get to come home and dose the little kitty's nightly num-nums with "spwinkles" or, if we're feeling more capricious, "maaaaagical pooping powder." And that's how you have to say it,"maaaaaaagical pooping powder." In reality, its a pinch of Metamucil. You can't just tell her that, though. It has to sound treat-like and special. This was not the life I envisioned for myself as a young girl dreaming of the wonderful joys of adulthood.

I'm taking over the knitting patterns and the remote. Now cater to my whims, I don't feel well.

Are you kidding me with this? Let's get rid of her, she's way too much trouble. Remember when it was just us???

Oh well, what are you gonna do? They're my babies and a parent "does" for her children. I'm just wondering when they will grow up, get lucrative jobs and support their aging mother in the manner to which she would like to be accustomed.

In less disgusting news, (and more related to the stated purpose of the blog), I have re-started my wild dance of multiple projects. My self-imposed restriction to nothing but the fingerless gloves has been lifted due to my loathing of dpns. Don't get me wrong, can do it, will do it, adore the seamlessness. But, I need, need, need something that just goes back'n forth. So, as I have absolutely no need for a shawl, nor an occasion to which I might wear one, I am knitting a shawl. Actually, I'm modifying a scarf pattern that I think will work if knit larger. Now when I say, "modifying" please don't get the idea that I am doing math-related activities, adjusting gauge and creating complicated charts and data tables, here. I'm just making it bigger. If it doesn't work...no harm, no foul. We'll see how she goes.

So, off I go to prepare a sumptuous feast of chicken hearts 'n liver with special spwinkles, make sure the right cat actually eats it and go all coma with Criminal Minds. I'm a super freak, people, a super freak!!!