Sunday, April 30, 2006
But ya gotta understand...I'm single, I live alone...all by choice, mind you! And, when you don't feel well, there are certain advantages to not having other humans around with needs, wants and desires. Really! The downside, though, is that there is no one around to ask, "Hey, how ya doing? Can I get you anything...what is your temperature now?" So, it's down to you, folks. Sorry about that. Honest.
And for someone who never has fevers, reaching 99 is something of an event. I can kvetch about that for days! To be stuck at 100 or more for going on 96 hours now...well, that's actually kinda concerning.
As today has been nothing but a repeat of symptoms and events, I will spare you this time, though. I've put out an email to my principal requesting that I have tomorrow off. I'm reeeeally not thinking that I can make it in, especially if this whole fever thang is going to continue. Plus, I'd have to leave early anyway since I have an appointment for an x-ray later in the day and there is a bit of distance between the school and the zapper. I haven't heard back yet and, since it would be a good idea to have administrative permission to take three days off in a row at this point in the school year, I'm getting a bit worried. Hopefully, I'll be able to take the day. If only to protect the general public from what is rapidly becoming a permanent bad-hair day. And the skin pallor...corpse bride, people!!!!
Soooo, does The Sheep have any thing to report in the world of fiber, knitting and all things hobby-related? No, she does not. Codeine has a way of focusing your world down to a pinpoint...and it's not aimed at the wheel or the needles. All you really want to do is stare at your knees and hum.
Which is fine. I mean, how many times in your life can you truly justify being right in the moment?
You wouldn't believe how much money I spent trying to learn that skill when I was going to counselor school!!!
Saturday, April 29, 2006
However my recent affliction seems to be trying this philosophy on many, many levels. When the whole mess started, I thought, "Well, I'll just call it Monkey Pox and it'll be good blog fodder." From there it progressed to a minor inconvenience that was preventing me from getting some things done to, well, frankly something a little bit scary.
I attempted to sleep in my bed last night rather than the couch. I've been finding that my side hurts more when I use the bed but I'd hoped the painkillers would alleviate that. Um...not so much. I awoke this morning (three thirty this morning to be precise) in agony. Attempts at inhaling caused stabbing pains and the only thing I could do to obtain oxygen was make these weird little gasping noises. It took about half an hour for the tylenol 3 to kick in and that was a bad thirty minutes, let me tell you. Breathing is sort of non-negotiable, dontcha know...
The rest of this day has consisted of getting up to get more juice, sleeping, getting up to get more codeine, sleeping, getting up to deal with the nasty cough, sleeping, getting up to check my temperature, sleeping...do we see the pattern, here? The fever has not gone below 100 since Thursday or so and I haven't been able to keep down solid food for a couple of days now. There were times yesterday where I was tussling with a temperature of 104 and moments where things got a bit "fuzzy."
I'm starting to have difficulties finding the lighter side of this viral invasion. I'm basically in pain, dizzy and working my way through pajamas at a rate that should have me sleeping in old bridesmaid dresses by Sunday night.
Has anyone else out there been hit with this? If so, how long did it last? What remedies proved helpful? Did you ever see grim death lurking in the corner, pointing and you and laughing? And not in a maniacal way or anything...more like mocking. Cuz the way I look right now even the reaper himself wouldn't be seen with me. Is there any hope of me getting back to work on Monday? I really kinda sorta need to be there... Seriously, anybody have any thoughts on surviving this?
Hopefully, I'll be able to post tomorrow just so my loyal 7 readers will know that I have not shuffled off this mortal coil. If not, tell my mother I love her and somebody feed the cats.
Not that I've been able to get out to get them any food, mind you. Tuna's in the upper left cupboard. At least they're getting something out of this nightmare...
Friday, April 28, 2006
Dr. Judy is somewhat skeptical of the rib theory, but I've actually had this happen before. We're going to do some x-rays on Monday (assuming the classroom is back under control after my absence) to be sure. In the meantime, the good doctor prescribed some sweet, sweet Tylenol 3. That would be the one with codeine, for those uninitiated in the world of prescription painkillers. Things are really quite peaceful here at the casa de sheep right now. No, I don't actually feel any better...it's just that I seem to care less.
I'm thinking that the knitting will be put on the back burner for the weekend. When I'm not sporting a fever of 103, I'm riding the codeine train to Woozy Town. Not conducive to good project progress, I fear. We'll see...
Still, it's a fun ride on this train. May even be worth a couple of lost days in the knitting arena.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I went to bed around 10:00 last night. There'd been some sock time that evening and I noticed that my wrists were a bit more sore than usual. Interesting, but not earth-shattering. However, as I tucked myself away, turned the sound machine to "ocean" and snuggled in for a wee bit of reading prior to wandering off into slumberland, I commented to Persephone, "Golly, Mommy is feeling a mite sore." In typical feline fashion, she seemed unimpressed.
Within 30 minutes, my entire body felt like I had swallowed a squad of tiny ninjas who were practicing their moves on every organ and joint I have. I became so cold that I started to spasm uncontrollably, thereby aggravating muscles already taking a pounding from the ninjas. A quick check of the old temp. revealed that I was hovering somewhere around 101 degrees. As The Sheep normally rings in around 97 and change, this was, shall we say, "significant." It was a long night.
I did make it into work, however. I had a meeting at 8:00 that I simply couldn't miss for a variety of reasons. I actually made it to about 10:30 before the school nurse stepped in and sent me home. She's saying flu.
I, however, would prefer something a bit more dramatic. Before leaving, I requested of my staff that they make sure my tombstone read, "Here lies Ms. Sheep. She died of Monkey Pox." I like saying, "Monkey." And pox sounds so intense. Monkey Pox...try saying it. It's fun.
Of course, it helps if you still have a fever of 101. Most things seem pretty funny when your brain is on 1/2 power.
Monkey Pox...heh, heh!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
It wasn't the best way to start off a Wednesday.
Let's not discuss work. I chose my career...
I raced out of the classroom to try and get the truck filled up before gas prices took their next minute-to-minute price hike. If I have everything figured right, I can put off selling my surplus organs for another week or so to finance the next re-fill.
Anybody looking for a slightly used spleen? I realize that it took some hits during the eighties, but it's in better shape than my liver and the price is right!
Arriving home, I was eagerly awaiting some quality time with the new love of my life. Yes, the beautiful Corriedale that I have been spinning. I normally hold off the spinning for the weekends, but I just needed to spend some precious moments with my beloved. It wasn't to be.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I seem to be covered in cat. Cats actually. I can't seem to move for the crush of kitty love tonight. Apparently they did not read last night's post regarding my utter exhaustion from the neediness generated by my job. Persephone and Desdemona are normally not the best of siblings. They pretty much hate each other.
Except tonight. Tonight they are unified in their desire to show their undying love for their mother.
And they couldn't have picked a better night. Right on cue they hunkered down at my elbows while I attempted to rescue The Sock Of Despair from it's disfiguring crookedness. Aren't they just the most helpful of creatures? First making me the model for the world's only living fur coat then offering their moral support while I perform reconstructive surgery on my sock. Must be an early Mother's Day Gift.
Despite their "help" I've managed to frog Mr. Sockie back to...well, further than I really wanted to go. A Sheep sometimes has to make the hard decisions. We've taken a trip in the "way back" machine to early April and it's like the whole nightmare that was "The Decrease Incident" never happened.
Wouldn't it be cool if you could do that with all life's little mishaps? Ah well...How bad can life be if your sock is back on track (I hope) and you're wearing politically correct fur?
Monday, April 24, 2006
The Sheep is often mocked and rebuked for her hermit-like tendencies. Given the chance to hide out and be all self-centered....well, I'll just choose that any old time over the more public venues. Am I anti-social? Do I have some issues with the rest of the human race? Do I somehow think myself better than the masses? Not really. I'm just a teacher.
And a special ed. teacher, at that. In my classroom the students are self-contained. Loosely translated this means that they start arriving at 8:20. I am with them. Recess? I am with them. Lunch? I am with them. Pick a time, place or activity. I will be with them. And them with me. They are tiny, adorable, full of energy and, without a doubt, the neediest creatures on the face of the planet.
"Ms. Sheep, I'm hungry!"
"Ms. Sheep, can you help me find where I left my shoes?"
"Ms. Sheep, make him stop breathing so loud...make him stop!!!!!!!!"
"Ms. Sheep, why can't we just have recess all day?"
"Ms. Sheep, I usta hafta pee, but now I don't no more!!!"
I am changing my name. I am changing it to something that cannot be pronounced by the human tongue. I forgot how many times my name could be cried out in utter angst between the hours of 8:30 and 3:30. Even if there were other staff members around...it was still all Sheep all the time need-o-rama.
Well, it's nice to know that, should I be struck by lightening or kidnapped by aliens, I will be missed. At least until they find the next hapless soul to foolishly take a minute to answer one of their questions. Then, I guess it will be all about the new guy. Truth be told...I'd actually be a bit jealous if someone else had my "fixer of all things bad" title. They are kinda cute little kiddies, after all.
I have completed the workout routine and sucked down a sensible dinner to atone for my vacation reveling. That's about all I have the energy for at this juncture. Unless a second wind clocking in around hurricane strength hits I don't envision myself getting much done in the way of knitting or the like. I've been eyeing the wheel off and on and may whirl the corriedale around a bit. Or not...
Being the Caretaker to All has left me a bit tuckered out.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
So, not counting Saturdays and Sundays as they're days off anyway, here's what was accomplished in the five days with which I had to work:
FOs: None, Zip, Zero, Nada. It is what it is.
Unmitigated Disasters: One. The Sock Of Despair still resides in the knitting basket awaiting reconstructive surgery.
Spinning: Carded and spun quite a bit of Jacob, but my wandering eye was caught by the corriedale and that is what is currently whipping about on the wheel.
Grown-up chores attended to: Oil change and doctor's appointment.
Household chores attended to: Minimal. And that's an exaggeration.
Shopping: Oh yeah, baby!!!! The new spring wardrobe is on the hangers as we speak.
Naps: Five. They were awesome.
Social events: None. Unless you want to count visiting my parents at Easter and lunch with my Mom. I hibernated...or is that "fibernated?" Either way, me 'n the human race kept our interactions to a minimum.
All in all, despite starting off with a killer cold, the only bad thing I can say about the spring vacation is that it had to end. This was a good weekend, despite the looming workweek. I spent a lovely time with the corriedale and am resisting the urge to post minute by minute pictures of it's progress. You can thank me later. I just love how smoothly this stuff spins up and the play of color. It was a great choice.
Rather than obsessively show photos of my new love, here's the progress on the rug hooking project:
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
I had put off an oil change for the entire week and decided that today must be the day. I arrived at the garage and made my request only to be asked, "Do you have an appointment?" This is disconcerting as I have spent years trying to get them to take an appointment for an oil change and have been told with regularity that they never, ever do this. However, my new favorite person "that eight o'clock guy" failed to show up for his appointment and I was in!!! I settled in with some knitting and glued half an eye to the mini TV put out to distract the stranded from whatever may be happening with their vehicle. The proof that the garage-car-fixie place is still a man's world was confirmed when, just as that lady from "What Not To Wear" was telling me why I should be wearing white this season, some dude got up and changed the channel on me. Now I have no idea what I should be wearing. I am not one who should be wandering around in public without some fashion guidance, but it's on his head now.
Oil changed, bill paid, I hit the grocery store where I found the best half-price basket in the whole wide world. Yes, at the grocery store. Don't ask me why they had baskets. Maybe they were trying out the Pier 1 vibe or something. At any rate, this little item was advertised as a tissue holder. But, being gifted with the ability to think outside the basket, I saw it as a faboo yarn holder. Score!!! On to Dr. Judy's office!
Here's how that went:
Dr. Judy: So how are you feeling?
Sheepish Annie: I have a bit of a cold and I can't seem to shake the cough.
DJ: What are you taking?
SA: Over the counter cold med....
DJ: (looking at chart) Oh my, you've gained two pounds back!
SA: Well, yeah...but I'm wearing heavy shoes today. See?
DJ: Um...well...have you been eating more since you've been on vacation this week?
SA: Yes, but...it's only two pounds...I'm still a good person right? What's two pounds? And did I mention the heavy shoes (lip starting to quiver) Who are you to judge me????
DJ: Well, I only mentioned it because we had some concerns about how much you were losing in the last visit...your Body Mass Index is still good.
SA: Good??? Last time it was "ideal." How does two pounds take me down to "good?"
DJ: Let's get back to that cough, why don't we?
I left Doctor Judy's in something of a funk and hit the mall for the planned "capri shopping." The store employees did their usual fine job of alerting the customers that I was on my way and everyone made sure to hide the items I was seeking, stand directly in my path, place their strollers perilously close to my feet and take up all the dressing rooms right on cue. My spirits could not be squashed, however, as (despite Dr. Judy's scale of doom) I can still fit into a size 4. (Picture The Sheep sticking out her tongue in the general direction of the doctor's office)
Next up: lunch with Mom! To celebrate my two pound weight gain, I had a gi-normous chicken sandwich complete with fries. Take that, waistline! Mom and I had a great visit, plus she paid for lunch. Does it get any better?
Upon arrival at Chez Sheepie, a surprise awaited:
The side for the tissues has a handy-dandy lid with an opening and the other side has two compartments for knitting needles and the like!
All that completed, I was just tuckered out. A nap ensued and all was right with the world. I had planned to do a vacation "wrap-up" post this evening, but realized that I had one more thing on my to-do list. Actually, per my prediction, I did lose the list sometime around midweek. But I distinctly recall having an appointment with Amy The Scary Stylist written in there somewhere. That's tomorrow bright and early so I'll wait until I have completed that task so I can chalk it up in the "Yay me for being so productive" category.
Until then, I shall be knitting away on The Great Shawl Experiment secure in the knowledge that my yarn is safe and and cozy in it's new Knitting Condo.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I still haven't been able to face The Sock Of Despair. I will...honest! I just need to be 100% sure that my mojo is back before attempting the repair. I'm too close to a finished pair of hoof coverings to make the fatal error which will cause a Sheep-style temper tantrum. Those never end well. Best to wait. Seriously.
So, I returned to that old favorite: The Great Shawl Experiment. I'm bound and determined to make this happen. Besides, it's an easy project with simple increases and decreases and knit in a super floofy, poofy yarn that will hide any errors caused by my current planetary misalignment. I've finished with the increases by virtue of the fact that I got bored and am now past the half-way mark and decreasing for the other side of the triangle. It will be stunning. As God is my witness, it will be stunning. And if it's not I will just squint when I look at it. Stunning, I tell you.
I also did a bit more dyeing. Not the fibery sort of dyeing, but the garment sort. I've noted in previous posts that I have something of an issue with my tummy area. I've worked hard to achieve flat stomach-hood. Very hard. However there is no getting around the fact that I am not 20 and the flat tummy that the general public sees while I am swathed in layers of clothing is something of an illusion. Weight loss is a double-edged sword. I have a "skin situation." There is more of it than I'd like to have. And now we all have to contend with the low-rise jean phenomenon. This is problematic.
Soooo....I wear alot of tanks under sweaters 'n such. However, I find that those one finds in the women's department are a bit short and, frankly, overpriced. A package of men's A-line t-shirts is pretty cheap and Rit Dye can be found at the grocery store. The men's tanks are longer and can be tucked waaaaaay down for secure tummy coverage. Yipee! Today's tanks were done in a funky purple. I'd how a picture, but they are drying in my messy bathroom and no one wants to see that. Trust me. Just take my word for it: they are cute. And cheap. I like cheap.
Tomorrow is a busy day: oil change for the chariot, a visit to Dr. Judy for my every other month check in and med. refill (complete with anxiety-provoking weigh-in) then off to lunch with my Mom. Assuming that the weighing does not reflect the horrible eating habits exhibited during this vacation, lunch will be a hearty affair followed by a spring shopping extravaganza. I'm feeling the need for capri pants. Jonesing for them in a bad way. Must feed the fashion monkey!!!
Tomorrow will be the Vacation Wrap-up. Nothing left after that but a plain old weekend and the prospect of a return to the whole work thang. (Sigh) But we are in the last leg of the academic year and the finish line is in sight.
And I'll have spiffy new tank tops and coordinating capris to see me through!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Truthfully, the whole thing didn't really take well and there is alot of white left in the mix. I'm going to recard it once it dries and blend the colors a bit better so it will be fine in the end. As I said, half the fun is the surprise, be it pleasant or not. (yeah, Sheepie, keep telling yourself that...)
I also spent some time hookin' Oh, stop it...what are you twelve? I hear you giggling out there. No, there is not suddenly a market in the seamy underworld for middle-aged spinsters. Rug hooking! Sheesh! :) I'm liking the bigger hoop as it is giving me more space on which to work. I haven't tried the other frame that I picked up the other day as I seem to be having a good run with this one. This does not seem like the best time to be tweaking the system. You know, what with the bad karma and all...
So now we head into the downward slide towards regular workdays. Tomorrow, assuming that the headache is over, I'll try to finish a few of the many, many things that I said I'd get done in this week of freedom. Friday is oil change and "Doctor Judy" day so I may not be able to attend to my hobbies in the manner to which I have become accustomed.
Sigh...it's all so fleeting!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I made it home fill of vim, vigor and the will to card. I pulled out the Jacob, turned on some rocking cartoons and made batts happen!
Yup. Persephone has a cold. Actually it's probably allergies. Yes, I got the cat with allergies. And digestive problems. And toenails that grow in circles. She is the light of my life. Except when she is sneezing on me. She did not attend the seminar on how to properly cover ones' mouth prior to spreading disease and saliva all over the rest of the human race.
Then, there is the Sock Crisis. I was in the last...hear that, last...decrease for the toe. Whoopsie! I made a wee little boo-boo: decreased when I shouldn't have. No problem. I'll just fix that and get on with my life. I honestly don't know what I did at that point. There are scientists and engineers who could spend a lifetime studying this and never really come to any one conclusion. Suffice it to say, it took a while to recapture the loose stitches, recount and carry on. I then did the most beautiful Kitchener Stitch the world has ever seen. It was nothing short of a masterpiece. Except it went the wrong way. Yup. I grafted the stupid thing from the top to the bottom rather than side to side. And it matters. Trust me on this. Two hours later I think I'm back to where I should be and am getting ready to try putting this stupid thing together for a final time. The air around me is blue and I've lost my membership in the Sweet Spinster Teacher Organization of America. The words that left my mouth actually burned my tongue.
So now the decision is upon me: do I try to finish this thing tonight or do I set it aside until my Karma realigns? Right now, I'm leaning towards putting it back in the knitting basket and pulling out the Dove Chocolate bunny. I believe a sacrifice to the knitting gods is in order and Mr. Bunny might just be the poor individual to leap into the volcano.
He doesn't mind. He was raised for this from birth.
Monday, April 17, 2006
I much prefer "puttering." You know, waking up, thinking about what you feel like doing, making a wildly tight schedule of events then actually doing about three things. Couldn't think of a better way to spend a day!
Today, I decided to head out to Michael's. Once there, I discovered that, while they have a rather impressive supply of needles, there is little if one is seeking something under a size 3. Oh well. I then headed over to the quilting supplies. I found a larger hoop upon which to hook this rug masterpiece/ever-expanding nightmare that I'm working on:
Quite a full day and it's only 4:00! I still have hours and hours ahead in which to get in some more "sock-time," and other snacking activities. I was born to be on vacation. Is there anyone out there willing to pay a good salary for The Sheep to put this God-given skill to use?
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I made the yearly Easter trek to the 'rent's house to welcome them home from their winter hibernation in the sunny south and to partake in the massive consumption of ham. It was nice to see them again and to touch base with my brother. He shared that he has a number of friends and acquaintances believing that our family eats bunnies on Easter. Ham is better, but makes for a less funny story.
Other than that, I can't say that this has been my most active 48 hours. I am just into the foot portion of sock #2 and hope to have it done in the next day or so.
Friday, April 14, 2006
I cut short my Parenting Education session tonight and made a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on comfort foods. I thought I was doing well until I got out to the parking lot and spent a solid minute cursing out my key-fob-door-opener-thingie as it simply refused to make the door of my Jeep Cherokee unlock. Here's the thing: I don't drive a Jeep. I drive a Ford Escape. Just because a car is blue does not necessarily make it mine. It was then I realized that I was, perhaps, well and truly ill.
Sadly, this means that I have had to cancel my planned day with the CamMad clan. Our egg decorating day was being transformed into a day at the ballpark and I just knew that I wasn't going to make it through nine innings. (Did I say that right? Are there nine innings in a baseball game? Is it baseball season? Why am I such a freaking girl???) I'm hoping to make up for my absence later in the week by delivering my Easter gifts. I found these great little thingies that make incessant quacking noises and there is nothing I like better than giving the gift of noisemakers then leaving. It's in the Auntie Handbook.
Sick or not, this Sheep had better suck it up for the planned Easter celebration with the 'rents on Sunday. Mom and Dad arrived safely back in Maine from their winter hiding place in Florida and are eagerly awaiting a visit from their wayward offspring. There will be ham. I'm on it.
And in better news, even with my swollen and watering eyes, I see the beauty in this:
Thursday, April 13, 2006
It really did improve my general appearance, though. And it stayed in my system for a good long time. This was nice. I made it through the day and was even able to get in another workout to make up for the one that I just couldn't face yesterday. While I pedaled away, I turned the heel on sock #2. The Sheep can multi-task with the best of 'em.
Sadly, things seem to be returning to their previous snotty state. I have gone back to the medicine cabinet for some relief and we're feeling some waves of NyQuilly goodness starting to waft through my bloodstream. After reading last night's post, I noted some drug induced typos. I decided to get this one in before I lost the ability to spell again.
As for the poor little sockie...well, I'm not feeling like tonight is the night to start picking up the stitches for the gussets. Much as I'm looking forward to seeing these bad boys on the FO list, I don't think that my crossed, running eyes will be up for it.
Next week is vacation week for The Sheep. As it seems that I will be plague ridden for the foreseeable future, I shall have plenty of time at the homestead to devote to my projects.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
The other night, (in a phone call to camadsmom) I was extolling the viral resistance of my Sheepie body this school year by citing my record of cold and bronchitis avoidance. She was suitably engrossed and enamored by my newfound ability to avoid the plague that seems to have befallen every other educator in the state. Well, actually she was fielding 47 questions from child 1, a myriad of needs generated by child 2 and preparing for the week ahead while commenting in all the right places whilst I rambled on and on about me, me, me. She's a mom...go figure. Apparently this ability comes with the pregnancy test.
At any rate, I was awoken at 4:30 this morning by the vague sense that something was not right. I happened to have a face full of cat at the time (Persephone has developed some weird sleeping positions of late) so I first thought that this might be the problem. Wrong.
I seem to have contracted a cold of near biblical proportions. My face is swollen, my nose is gushing and many children were kind enough to point out that there are some really nice red veins now fully visible around my nasal area thanks to the incessant blowing. I have sneezed a total of 3,864 times today. Once I was even able to propel myself a few feet as I sat in my wheeled teacher chair. The students, momentarily distracted from my glowing nose veins, were suitably impressed.
The worst part is that I really can't take anything for it during the day. The Sheep suffers from ADD and has paradoxical reactions to antihistimines. The first dose will induce the expected grogginess. After that it's something of a crap shoot. I can remain pleasantly foggy or I can get super wired and start crawling out of my skin. If I took it during the day today, I ran the risk of not being able to sleep tonight. So, I suffered. As did those around me. I will not go down alone. I am self-centered and needy. What of it?
But I'm home now and appropriately dosed with NyQuil. Things are starting to dry up and the aches and pains are subsiding a bit. I'm thinking that tonight is not going to be a big "production" night in the way of knitting. Instead, I think that I shall curl up on the couch with whichever feline happens to be closest and leave it at that. I'm guessing that it will be Persephone who is on comfort-duty as Desdemona is, inexplicably, afraid of sneezes.
That story will wait for another post. For now, just know that Desi will be hiding in the spare bedroom for the night. I am a sneezy, wheezy Sheepie.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
As The Sheep grows tired of re-typing the same post over and over she will go with a few bullet points:
* Water at the workplace has been restored. Toilets flush. Awesome.
*Working on the heel of sock #2. Boring.
*Completed the Tuesday workout. Tiring.
*Filed my taxes. Responsible.
*Have been eating steadily ever since. PMS
That's it. Hopefully Blogger will be feeling more cooperative tomorrow...
Monday, April 10, 2006
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Now, you may live in an area where random screams are the norm and, if so, are probably too preoccupied with revisiting your living situation or taking stock of your mace supply to have distinguished my bellow from the others. For those of you who have an interest, this shriek was of the plaintive, horrified sort. A cry that reflects pain, outrage and despair in a range of three notes of the higher pitch.
You see, The Sheep decided to finish her taxes today.
Here's a little financial tip: Do not begin your tax prep. whilst battling the stomach flu. Call your accountant. She will back me up on this. Now, to be fair, I was home with little to do at the time and felt that this might be a something of a diversion from my aches and chills. There are fewer phone calls and the cats sleep in the daylight hours. I had thought that I might get some of this done without the usual distractions. Sound thinking with a fatal flaw.
When all was said and done this morning, the program I was using reported (in what I felt was something of a smug manner) that I now owed the great state of Maine thousands of dollars. Let me repeat that: thousands.
The Sheep is not a mogul. She does not run a multi-billion dollar organization. She teaches, is a social worker and shops at WalMart. Thousands???
Now, I am something of a tree-hugging liberal. I actually do feel that we have something of a responsibility to see that all are clothed, fed and have necessary medical attention. I'm willing to pay for that as well as the roads I drive on and the nice police officers who keep me from driving too briskly upon them. And I fully support paying the firemen...I like firemen...alot...wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah: Social Responsibility.
Despite this, I simply couldn't believe that I owed that much in income taxes. I decided to put the whole thing away until the afternoon and try again. (The Sheep has the equivalent of a PhD. in denial) Revisiting the situation and recalculating added another couple hundred to the amount and I was beginning to think that fleeing to Canada was my only option.
Third try was the charm. It seems that filling out the Federal form with a fever might have been the problem. I neglected to fill in the box which states how much I had already paid to the state so the amount was never carried over to the state form. Thousands owed was magically transformed to under a hundred. The program lost it's formerly smug attitude and started treating me with the respect that a tax-paying member of the community deserves. All is now right again with the world and the Federal government now actually owes me some cash.
That little detour into madness over, I was able to accomplish a few more rounds on the second sock. A stitch was dropped, but The Sheep has something of a new perspective on what constitutes a "tragedy" at this point so the error was corrected with a shrug and a "whaddaya gonna do?" Jacob got a turn on the wheel and, while there was little progress, I'm not too concerned. Spring break is right around the corner and the summer break is not far behind. This will get done.
Now I'm off to go write my report for job #2. That would be your tax dollars at work, you see.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
I was up bright and early. This was really more due to time-change related insomnia than any commitment to task completion, but I'm still going to take credit. I only drank 3 cups of coffee instead of the usual 5 and headed out to gas up the chariot. Gas prices seem to be on the rise and, as my filling the tank of my stupid SUV seems to be the triggering factor for radical price drops, it seems like my patriotic duty to hit the pumps for Americans everywhere. I'm there for you, people. Honest. I vacuumed a layer of cat hair and yarn snippets from the rug and now the ceiling seems less close to my head. Nice. I then perused my supportive device wardrobe. That's wrist support, not "other stuff "support. I selected an appropriate sock knitting accessory designed for the middle-aged Sheep with clicking wrists:
By noon, The Sheep felt that she had given back to the community, her knitting and general nutritional needs enough that she should take a brief respite. Translation: I took a one and a half hour nap. Well, first I ate pizza. That's what, 3 or four of the food groups? Again, be amazed at my strength of character in sticking to my good health habits.
It's still early in the day so I'm sure that there will be more virtuous acts to come. At the moment, I seem to be sidetracked by back to back episodes of "The Real Housewives Of Orange County." But I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I revert back to better living.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
"Now where did I put those lights for the tree?"
"Should I buy a pretty new pen with which to inscribe my holiday cards?"
"Am I going to go through the hassle of putting up a wreath this year?"
No...wait. This is wrong! It's April, for crying out loud!!!! This is ridiculous! I'm crying, "Foul!" I should be performing my yearly leg-shaving in preparation for shorts and trying apply Tan In A Can in an even and natural looking manner in order to prevent the public-at-large from being blinded by my WASPy whiteness!!! Why am I shivering in the depths of my winter coat and mindlessly humming Christmas carols? It's just silly, I tells ya!
And to top it all off: last night I was visited by that dark angel: Second Sock Syndrome. I got five rows into the cuff and realized that something was "off." I couldn't see where the error lay and lost all patience with the search so I ripped it out and decided to start over during the weekend when I have the time to put into cursing and stamping my feet. It really seems like the more logical thing to do. And a Sheep has to be logical about these things.
'Cuz four days ago the sun was shining and the windows were open to the spring breezes and today I'm trying to find my scraper to take a layer of ice and snow off the truck.
Logic. It's all about logic.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
The Sheep is sensitive to that. Despite her tendency to go the "humor" place when describing her day, she is really sensitive to that.
So, as much as I'd like to process this very trying day in the classroom, I won't do it here. Suffice it to say, my sensitivity was tested. I passed, but barely.
But I did get one sock finished. I evaluated the wrist situation, realized that the sensible thing to do was put the project aside for a bit until the "clicking" subsided and congratulated myself on my grown-up ways.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I don't know what physical/muscular phenomenon is going on (although there is a plethora of information out there on the subject) but I am a walking advertisement for impending joint replacement. It doesn't help that I was feeling poorly for some of those sock-happy days. I was home and could knit for hours upon hours to the unrelenting rhythm of my clacking ligaments. I just couldn't help myself...this is some cool sockage! I think a break is in order, though.
But I'm so close!!! I am decreasing for the toe on sock #1 and the end is in sight. Well, the middle. I mean, you have to have two of them, right? I know that I need to "wrest the wrist." I can get everything back to it's normal non-clicking state if I just let it set a bit. But, how? How????? I want my socks, dang it all!
And now...more sock yarn is on the way!!! I am one of the two winners in Mama E's comment contest and she is sending me a skein of her stunning hand dyed sock yarn. What's a Sheep to do? I must carry on for the sake of the socks.
Well, maybe tonight I can take a wee little break. Perhaps I can work on the Great Shawl Experiment or the Reflecting Hearts rug for a while. If I just focus, perhaps I can ignore the siren song of the socks until my wrist is less vocal about it's current state.
Or maybe I can just wear my brace. Sometimes you can jam one of the needles into the Velcro straps for added speed and storage.
I hear that it's healthy to accept one's limitations and embrace them. Just not too tightly cuz of the clicky wrist thing 'n all...
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Desdemona, for reasons known only to her, gets most excited when Mommy fills the bathtub. She sees it as the world's largest water bowl and leaps up to drink, splash and gaze in awe at what her mother has wrought. This was all well and good when she was a spry, young kitten but she is currently the human equivalent of 347 years and really doesn't have the moves required for balancing on tub's edge. Long story short, she fell in. Fortunately, I was not immersed at the time or there might have been some scarring. Poor Desdemona just stood there, legs akimbo, looking at me in abject horror whilst the wild waters rose to tummy level. I got her out without making contact with her now-extended claws, but she was unwilling to submit to a towel dry. My eldest child much prefers to shake water all over the place.
It was fortunate that today was sunny and mild and Mommy could open up the windows for the final drying. The soggy critter parked herself in a sunny spot and is now back to her normal, fluffy self.
I also finished up a bobbin of the Jacob. I'd show a picture, but I'm a bit embarrassed by how much VM I've left behind. My patience with picking out the pieces that didn't end up in the carpet has simply run out. I'll figure out what to do about that later. Right now, I'd rather concentrate on perfecting my semi-woolen spinning. Welllllll, maybe "perfecting" is a strong word here. I'm hoping that once I ply this up, the inconsistencies will be less glaring. Just to be on the safe side, though, I am preparing my speech on how I meant for the yarn to look this way and how challenging said spinning was despite my incredible skill.
I can sell that...I think.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
The high schoolers largely ignored the day, being somewhat preoccupied with major life planning and how to keep their baggy pants from cascading to their knees. However, it was always best to stay alert as there were always one or two who threw caution and their reputations as young adults to the wind in order to fill your car with fish or put plastic wrap on the toilet seats.
Middle schoolers were tougher. A complicated mix of capricious child and angst-ridden pre-teen, they tended towards the crueler side of the day. Cut them some slack; these poor folk are just walking hormone bombs awaiting a place to go off. On the positive side, those ten years of my career honed my instincts and reaction time to that of an international super spy.
Elementary school has proven to be the most challenging. The young ones lack anything that might pass for a "sophisticated" sense of humor and one finds oneself repeatedly responding to the words "your shoe is untied" with exaggerated double-takes and hearty, though forced, laughter throughout the day. By dismissal time, the average educator is in need of both chiropractic and psychiatric intervention.
But every once in a blue moon the universe does me a solid. This is one of those years: April Fool's Day has landed on a Saturday. The only highjinx with which The Sheep has had to contend is Cartoon Network's change in programming to reflect the date. I have not had to check my car on an hourly basis, edge my way up to doors and spring from them to catch evil doers like a ninja or pretend that I actually thought there was a monster behind me. Not once.
I've done my time, people. So if The Sheep feels zero guilt about the fact that she spent her day leisurely turning the heel on a sock and the spindle on her wheel while you got to stay home with your kids...well, sorry about that.
I just can't bring myself to feel badly. The next April Fool's day is just a short 364 days away. My turn will come again.