Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm A Heck Of A Nice Person.

Not only am I nice, but I think that most people are.  Yup.  There's a whole bunch of nice folks wandering around out there in the world.  But, not everyone is nice.  Consider this:

I finished up another fun-filled day of educating the masses in a much less tired state than I've been exhibiting most of this week.  I even stopped by the local department store on the way home to pick up a few odds 'n ends.  And underpants.  I was doing well with that for a while, there.  I hadn't given in to my unquenchable desire to purchase underpants for months, now.  But, then the whole thing came up again on the blog and I got to thinking about underpants and how my new stuffing-enhanced girth might benefit from some fresh elastic waistbands. Besides,  giving in to the Underpants Urges makes me awfully happy...

Whistling a happy little underpants themed tune of my own making, I let myself back into my home and was greeted by my answering machine displaying 5 new messages.  This is unusual.  Normally, this means that it is the day before an election or I have neglected to pay someone some significant amount of money and they are resorting to mildly threatening phone calls in order that I might begin to see the importance of sending them my dollars.  But, I was all happy from the new underpants at that point, so I figured I'd play the messages anyway.  It's not anyone's fault that we live in a democracy or that I sometimes forget to put the checks in with the bills, after all.  

This round of messages was different, though.  It seems that there is a little girl in my town who really, really needs to talk to her friend.  I mean she really, really, really needs to talk to her.  Badly.  Tonight's activities depend upon it.  Lives may be at stake.  So intent was she in her quest to make sure that her friend understood the importance of this conversation, that she spent a great deal of time on these messages.  I now know the following:

1.  Her name
2.  Her friend's name
3.  Where they are going tonight and in what area of the building they will be meeting
4.  What time they will be there
5.  The color and make of the car that will be dropping her off for this meeting
6.  Her phone number
7.  Her address
8.  Directions to her house
9.  She is concerned about her friend's lack of response and would really like to know what is going on..she's maybe even a little distracted by this turn of events.
10.  And, from her voice, I can assume that she is between the ages of ten and twelve

Let's take a minute and think about what one of those not-so-nice people might do with this information.  Are you getting a picture yet?  Are you envisioning the potential for disaster?  Are you maybe starting to wonder just how much information kids give out over the phone without realizing it?  

After several power outages and having to re-record my outgoing message about a billion times, I finally just decided to leave it on the default setting.  Hence, the voice that callers hear is a computerized male.  There is no identifying information about the residence given.  This youngster had no way of knowing that she was dialing the wrong number.  She trusted that this was her friend's house.  Kids are like that.  They "assume."  

Fortunately, I was home for her last attempt at reaching her friend and was able to let her know that she was not calling the right number.  Hopefully, she reached her friend and they were able to confirm their plans for a fun-filled evening.  I know from her calls that she was willing to move heaven and earth to make this an easy process.  There were any number of options given for making the meet-up happen.

I, like most people, am a very nice person.  I do not have any interest in the social schedules of young children.  Nor do I care where they live and how long it will be before they are outside the protection of parental supervision.  I just want to sit around in my jammies tonight and work on my Sort Of Purple Sock That Might Match Something I Own.  I'm a simple girl in addition to being pretty nice.

But not everyone is.  And I'm wondering if that voice in the background on those messages was her mom.  And if she really understands how lucky she is that I am so nice.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back To The Routine

OK.  We're back on track and will do the Wednesday Night Bullet Post on the right night.  Routines are good and healthy.  If we didn't have routines then we wouldn't know what day it is.  And then how on earth would we know what is on television?  It would be anarchy, I tellya!!

Routine bullets to follow:

*I am still tired.  

*The kids in my class are still tired.

*This is making for some interesting days at The Learn-a-matorium.

*Maybe not so much "interesting" as "irritating."  Whatever.

*I haven't knit much this week.  I've been too busy with all the being tired and everything.  But, I am almost through the gussets on Sort Of Purple Socks That Might Match Something I Own.  

*This represents the fastest knitting I've done in months.

*My Post-Thanksgiving Diet is going swimmingly.  I haven't attacked any small children for their half-eaten cookies or been found begging in the streets for sticks of butter.

*Don't count your chickens before they've hatched, though.  I could snap at any moment.  

*Maybe you should count your chickens after all.  I may have eaten one...

*The apple and pear I had for lunch today never magically changed into steak.  I said all sorts of incantations and wished on any number of objects around the room that looked like they might contain a genie.  No dice.

*I stopped on the way home and bought a diet Mountain Dew as a little treat.  

*Then I got distracted and forgot it on the counter at the store.  

*They are so nice at the little convenience store down the street...they hardly laugh at all when you have to go back for the only item you purchased, but still forgot to take home with you.  

*Did I happen to mention that I am tired?  And maybe just a little bit hungry...

*This is Chocolate Pie:

*I took that last week when I was on vacation and the world was a magical place filled with leftover pie as far as the eye could see.  Those were happy times...

*I'm thinking about breaking out the sewing machine this weekend.  I have some brilliant ideas for stunning projects.  I'm a genius when it comes to the having of brilliant ideas.

*I'm not so handy with the execution, though.  No good will come of this.

*It is possible that I am hallucinating from the lack of pie.  Everything seems like a good idea when you are pie-deficient.

*That's right.  I now consider pie a nutrient.  Wanna make something of it?

*I took a pair of my skinny jeans out of the closet this afternoon just to say, "hi!"  They didn't say anything back to me, though.  It seems I miss them more than they miss me.

*The weather has taken a turn for the "seasonal" lately.  Time to break out the scarf I crocheted last summer!  Maybe over the weekend when I'm allowed to eat solid food again, I'll have the strength to put up a picture or do a scarf-link of some sort.  It is quite pretty...

*I'm also hearing rumors of snow in the near future.  Monday might be an interesting commute to school.  I'm packing a couple extra pears just in case I get stranded on the highway or something.

*That way, if I find that I am facing a wintery death trapped in my car, I won't care so much.  Extra pears don't exactly inspire one to trudge out into a blizzard seeking shelter.

Tah-dah!!!  A nice, rambling, routine post for your Wednesday pleasure!  I can now officially say that the week is more than half over.  I can also give myself a little break tomorrow and wear a nice pair of loose fitting jeans.  You know the ones:  straight leg, mid-rise that doesn't quite hit the waistline, just the teeniest touch of Lycra to help everything stretch out of shape and away from the body...yeah, those jeans!  

This will be a nice little treat after three days of holding my breath whilst wearing my Professional, But Waist-Cinching Because I Over-Ate During Thanksgiving Trousers.  I wonder if moving a little oxygen in and out of my lungs will help with the tiredness...


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reasons. Excuses. Interesting Testimony.

The transcripts from my competency hearing should make for some lively reading.  I'm sure that there will be any number of topics to engage the reader.  Sure, there will be times when the text will seem a bit "rambly."  And I'm certain that the shifts in topic will be a little confusing.  But there will be something for everyone.  Just stick with it.  I'm sure you'll find a little tid-bit to keep you entertained.

Somewhere in the middle of the questioning, I anticipate being asked about the events immediately preceding my screaming, hair-pulling mental collapse.  It'll be tricky to remember everything, I suppose.  There will, no doubt, be a number of medications involved at that point and I'll probably be a bit fuzzy.  But, I'm pretty sure that I will be able to come up with the two words that, having been heard forty-six bazillion times on that fateful Tuesday, put me on the path to madness:

I'm tired.

It wasn't so much the actual words.  I've heard them before.  Heck, I've said them myself six or seven times per day since I mastered the English language.  It was more the way the words were lengthened, broadened...stretched out in an endless wave of sound.  That alone would have been bad enough.  But, when you add the high-pitched, keening sort of quality with which those words were uttered (coming from both males and females), you can see how I might just go a bit loopy.  I was tired too, you know.

But there was not a single solitary child who, upon entering my Happy House Of Learning today, didn't feel the need to share with me how utterly spent they were.  They were collapsed on tables and desks, looking for all the world like they'd climbed the highest mountains shod only in ragged flip flops and bearing large sacks of boulders in order to reach my classroom.  They flopped bonelessly upon any available piece of furniture and, in one case, slithered to the floor in response to my requests that they inscribe their names on their worksheets.  They questioned my very humanity and how one could be so cruel as to expect that they might force their weary heads into an upright position so they could see the workbooks over which they were waving their pencils.  

Several simply played dead.  Any and all requests for school-related activity were met with stony silence and refusals to move.  The theory here seemed to be that if they stayed very, very still, I might just forget about them and move on to fresher prey.  

By the afternoon, even I was starting to consider the possibility that I was being unreasonable.  It is, after all, the week after a vacation.  Perhaps it is too much to ask that they lift something as heavy as a number two pencil.  Maybe I should be simply easing them back into the routine and allowing a nap or two.  

I was almost on their side.  But, then one of them had to go and tell me again how tired they were and how utterly horrible I am for not understanding this.  

And that was it for me.  I am tired, too.  I am also just back from vacation.  I would rather be home with the kitties and my yarn.  I miss my afternoon naps.  I miss eating stuffing all week.  I miss eating leftover pie.

My pants are very, very tight and uncomfortable.

And that, my dear members of the Board of Mental Health, is when it all went wrong.  This is the moment where I first felt the stirrings of madness in the mush that is my mind.  I can only give thanks to some higher power that no one was hurt when I turned that corner.  I throw myself on your mercy.  I beg you not for a verdict of sanity.  No...I ask that you find me utterly nutso.  Whacky as a windmill.  Silly as a sandwich.  Whatever.  Just make sure that you put me away for good.  Someplace nice and quiet.  

Where I can nap.

I'm sure that there will be more testimony given.  There will probably be some mention of my wanting to legally marry the leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving and my weekly zombie-related prognostications.  And no psychiatrist in his right mind would be able to resist mentioning my Underpants Acquisition Issues.  That alone will probably require that we recess for the day to give the court stenographer time to compose himself.  

But, we'll all know just when it all went so horribly wrong for me.  It was the day I got tired of all the tired.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Responsible Sheepie

I could have taken the easy route today.  No one would have known.  I could have just kept my head down and pretended that all was normal.  I doubt that anyone is so interested in my life that they would have given it much thought.  

I could have pulled it off.  

But, I took the high road.  I forced myself to face the hard facts and accept the punishment that is my due.  For when a Sheep spends five days consuming naught but stuffing and pie, she has earned an uncomfortable Monday.  So it is written.  So it be done.

Rather than take the advice of the blogosphere-at-large and wear something with a nice, forgiving drawstring, I did that most horrific of things and put on grown-up, professional pants today.  There was an actual waistband and not one, but two buttons involved.  I did not choose the ones with the little touch of Lycra-Spandex that might offer me a modicum of comfort as the day wore on.  Instead, I went with the heavy, cotton Dockers.  They gave nothing.  They clung to every stuffing-stuffed lump and sank into my waist with a biting tenacity.  It was not pretty.  But it was necessary.  I needed that little nip at the midsection and chafing at the thighs to remind me of the benefits of low-calorie fruit.  Which is what I had to eat today.  An apple.  A pear.  For dessert...a nice cup of chilled water fresh from the drinking fountain in the hall.  That is all.  I could have strayed from the path.  But, the trousers would not allow it.  Even the mere thought of bread or sugar caused them to seize up angrily and force me to stay on the straight and narrow.  

So relieved was I to discard them at day's end for my comfy sweat pants that I almost didn't mind the hour long workout that lay ahead.  Almost.  It's been two weeks since I really hit the weights this hard and the joy of the elastic waistband wore off pretty darned quickly, lemme tellya.  

But I did it.  For I fear The Pants.  They speak the truth.  And they punish those who don't live by the numbers on the size tag.

About the only thing I had on today that wasn't punishing me for my Thanksgiving overindulgence were my hand-knitted socks.  They were soft and kind to me on this most trying of days. It wasn't enough to make up for the Trouser Trials, though.  Not by a long shot.

It's too bad, really.  As much as I enjoyed the week of indulgence, this would have been a nice kind of day to live it up a bit.  Maybe have a cupcake or something.  Dance around drinking real Mountain Dew instead of my regular Diet version...that kind of thing.  For you see, twas two years ago this day that a blog was born!  It's my very own Blogversary!!  It's been two whole years of cat stories, horrific visits with my dentist, exploding trucks and The Imminent Zombie Invasion. would have been a great day for a bon-bon or two rather than the diet ice cream bar with which I shall be treating myself later.

But, know this:  In my mind, I'll be gettin' all stupid with the real celebratin'!

Myspace Layouts
Myspace Layouts


Sunday, November 25, 2007


It is the night before the start of The Sheep's workweek.  She has been enjoying a respite from her teaching duties for five days now, but is attempting to get herself together for her more professional obligations.  The more useful half of her brain (AKA Rational Mind) is busily contemplating the disbursement of Friday's paycheck and who amongst her creditors is most deserving of payment this month.  Suddenly, she hears a ululating shriek.  This can only mean one thing:  Hysterical Mind has yet another bee in her bonnet and all Rational Thought must be set aside until she can be soothed.

Rational Mind:  What on earth is the matter?  You're like a banshee, for heaven's sake!  Stop that hooting this instant!  Do you want the neighbors to start asking questions again?

Hysterical Mind:  (blubbering slightly, but no longer howling) This is bad.  Very, very bad.  In fact, it is the most baddest things have ever gotten.  Look!!!

RM:  "Most baddest," you say?  I've heard that one before.  You're always...why are our jeans unbuttoned???  We look ridiculous.  Fasten those up.  Now!  

HM:  (becoming shrill again) That's the problem!  I c-c-caaaaaaaa't!!!!!!!

RM:  Oh, for crying out loud!  We know how to button.  Lemme see that.  You just...hmm.  We seem to be a bit short on fabric here.  Not a problem...we'll just give it more of a tug.  OK.  That didn't seem to work.  Maybe if you grab one side and I take the other...suck it in, will you?

HM:  I am sucking!  Nothing is moving!  This is what I am trying to tell you!!!  They won't button!

RM:  That's ridiculous.  I distinctly recall buttoning them just last Wednesday.  They have to button.  Did you dry these on the "high" setting?

HM:  Nooooo!!!  Don't you get it?  They. Don't. Fit.  We have mutated!  Worse, we seem to have inflated!!!  This is a disaster of epic proportions and I'd appreciate it if you would take this seriously!!!!

RM gives the jeans a final tug without success.  She looks up and meets HM's eyes.  There is silence for a moment as they both arrive at a deep and horrific understanding.  They then begin to shriek together in a disturbing sort of harmony.  RM recovers first.

RM:  Shut up, shut up...I need to think.  There has to be a logical solution, here.  But what?  Let's have another look.

HM:  I can't.  It's too horrible!  

RM:  I think I see the problem.  See that stuff that's spilling out over the waistband?  The lumpy stuff?  That's our tummy!  And it looks like stuffing!  I do believe that we are full of Thanksgiving stuffing!  We've exceeded the recommended bodily capacity for stuffing consumption and have had to bring in extra storage units.  

HM:  Nope.  I'm pretty sure we've mutated...

RM:  You're in denial.  Go check the leftover stuffing supply.  I think you'll find that it is small.  Which is why we are not.

HM:  I'd rather be mutated.  Seriously...can't we just be mutated?

RM:  We need to face the facts.  We have attempted to eat our own weight in leftovers this week.  Which, if you think about it, is highly illogical.  The more you eat, the more you weigh so you really just go into this whole "endless loop" sort of situation.  But, I digress.  We need to take a firm approach to this matter.  You know what we need to do.

HM:  No!  No!  Not that!  Anything but that!!!

RM:  I'm afraid so, dear HM.  We must...go on a diet.  I know, I know.  It's a hard thing to contemplate.  But it must be done.  Now, let's head over to the fridge and see what we have in there with twenty calories or less.  A couple of weeks of celery salad with water dressing on the side and we'll be as good as new!  

HM:  I hear they've made some pretty good progress in the field of fat-removal surgery lately.  Maybe if we just call...

RM:  Celery.  Water.  Maybe the occasional rice cake as a special treat on Fridays.  That's it.  No surgery.  

HM:  That's no fun.  

RM:  Don't blame me.  Blame the stuffing.  

HM:  Stupid stuffing...

I suppose this isn't much of a surprise, really.  When the only exercise a body's had for days on end is sock knitting and refrigerator opening, it is reasonable to expect that body to expand a bit.  But, it is always a rather unpleasant realization and one that leads to lengthy speeches to one's self about how one needs to "buckle down" and "eat sensibly."  There are also many hours devoted to devising new work-out routines involving the lifting of massive weights and miles of cycling.  These promises are never really lived up to.  But, I'm sure I'll find some sort of happy medium.  It'll be an adjustment, though.  These last few days of stuffing stuffing into my gullet have been happy ones.  But, one can't live in a stuffing paradise forever. Well, I suppose one can.  But one will need to buy new jeans and, with the holidays looming, one needs to earmark funds for gift-giving rather than swathing the newly stuffing enhanced tummy.

I agree with HM on this one.  Some sort of medically treatable mutation would have been preferable.  Stupid stuffing...

I didn't mean that.  I love the stuffing.  I really, really do!  And I shall miss it terribly.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Let's Hear It For The Sock

This pain in my neck is becoming, well...a real pain in the neck.  I probably over-exerted it a little bit during the recent classes I taught in school safety interventions.  The headlock release was the likely culprit, I suppose.  It wasn't all that bad until I needed to reach into the depths of the refrigerator later to get butter or some other baking-type ingredient and pulled it again.  It's been an annoyance ever since.

As an uninvited house guest, you'd think the Pain In The Neck would be a bit respectful, maybe keep reasonable hours or something.  Instead, it partied all Thanksgiving night and kept me up into the wee hours.  I'm all for a good time...but I'm not built for this.  I finally decided it was time for The Sock Trick. 

Never heard of The Sock Trick?  This is the thing you do when you have A Pain and need a heat source, but haven't been able to find the heating pad for going on ten years now.  It's pretty simple, really.  You simply need to find an old cotton sock (clean, please), fill it about a quarter full with dry rice and pop it in the microwave for short intervals until it is heated up.  The rice holds the heat rather nicely and the shape of the sock lends itself beautifully to neck wrappage.  It's an inelegant, but functional solution when you have a Pain In The Neck.  

I suppose, though, that I should offer one or two disclaimers. 
1.  Sheep are not doctors.  The lack of opposable thumbs makes it a poor career choice.  Then there was the unanimous decision a few years back to boycott the use of the term. "earning your sheepskin."  Without a working degree or license to practice medicine, I have absolutely no idea whether your Pain requires heat, cold or some sort of aromatic poultice.  Treat any injury with logic, not with a desire to make a craft project.

2.  When heat is applied to unprotected skin, it can cause discomfort, redness, blisters and other such undesirable stuff.  Again, let's let common sense prevail and protect the skin.  If you think your hot pack is too hot, put something between you and it.

3.  Don't just throw this thing in the microwave and then go call Auntie Eunice to complain about Uncle Fred's behavior during Thanksgiving dinner.  In the words of that great sage Frankenstein, "Fire Bad!"  I have a small microwave so I go between thirty seconds and a minute at a time.  I then redistribute the rice a bit and let it go again.  Larger microwaves may require shorter heating periods.

I don't want to hear from any of the blistered people who have burned down their kitchens and been told by their physicians that they should have been applying ice.  I share because I care. This is a handy little treatment, but let's all stay nice and safe, 'kay?

Loosening up the Kneck-Knots has allowed me to Knit Knots and make a little more progress on the sock that will not be used for a heating pad.  I've knit up a good length of cuff and started on the heel flap at this point.  Having one or two concerns about fit, I decided to lose a few stitches as I moved closer to the ankle.  This, of course, has resulted in a little change in patterning, but I'm OK with that.  It's all going to be spread out over my stuffing-inflated calves anyway, right?  All in all, it's just nice to be back to sock knitting.  It's amazing the progress you can make on your knitting once you go return to the projects that make you happy.

Pretty Sock and Rice-Filled Sock.  Form and Function...

You can also get more done when uninvited holiday guests pack up and head out.  Here's hoping that The Pain gets the hint soon.  It's overstayed its welcome.  Maybe it's hanging around thinking that it will get a share of the leftover stuffing.

Not gonna happen...


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Bullets

Betcha thought I forgot!  No...not really.  I know I owe you a Bullet Post.  But yesterday I had that whole sore finger thing going on and this was enough of an issue to rework my blogging priorities.  I also knew that I would be in a stuffing induced haze today and that this would lend itself nicely to a Thanksgiving Day Bullet Post.  

I'm nothing if not a planner...  

Here are your holiday bullets:

*My sore neck continues to be an issue.  But, I've discovered that if I keep my right shoulder pressed up against my ear whenever I need to turn my head, I can significantly reduce the discomfort.  And it doesn't look weird at all.  Honest.

*My sore thumb is healing nicely and I think that I will be able to carry on in the fine tradition of crappy knitting without a hitch.  Crappy Knitters of the world rejoice!  I remain amongst your numbers!  Don't take me off the membership list...I still haven't gotten my ID card yet.

*The Sheep Family Thanksgiving was carried out in its usual, understated fashion.  This is how we like it.  Minimal drama and maximum leftovers.  This, in my world, defines the holiday!

*Sadly, Baby Brother Sheep was still on the road.  We'd hoped he would be joining us, but these things happen sometimes in the world of the Long Distance Trucker.  

*Happily, Future SIL was able to join us.  (along with her chocolate pie with chocolate chunks and extra chocolate...OMG, I love this pie!!!)  And, thanks to the good people at SKYPE, we were able to include my younger sibling in some of the festivities.  

*This was a good day to bring my new laptop along for the family visit.  It has a good, working camera and allowed us to share the day with the Prodigal Son in rich, living color.  

*He missed the part where my doggy nephew decided to perch himself upon my head once he heard his Daddy's voice, though.  That would have been a nice little Thanksgiving moment for the new millennium-style celebrations.  

*I am the designated bread baker for all holiday functions at this point.  I made (but didn't photograph)  some rolls,  

...and some cheesy bread, (a teeny bit undercooked)

...and challa!  

*The last one was dead-on perfect.  I was a-thinkin' and a-thinkin' about a different sort of bread I could bring along.  Then, yesterday, I happened to catch up with Wendy Knits and saw that she had made some.  Inspiration struck!

*We do not like to let pesky little details like never having made it before in our entire lives get in the way.  We forge ahead and assume this is within our skill set.  We live on the edge here...

*We also sometimes switch over to "the royal we" for reasons unknown...

*Heaven help me if my family ever figures out that baking bread is pretty easy.  You just have to mix the ingredients and be willing to go watch TV for a while.  If anyone should realize this, I will have lost my place in the family hierarchy for all time.  Let's just keep this information between us, 'kay?

*I am so overly stuffed that I am having difficulty moving at this point.  The Sheep Family Table fairly groaned under the weight of all the delicious edibles!

*You'd think that with the sore neck and the distended belly, I'd be spending less time haunting the kitchen.  But there is stuffing in there and I happen to consider this the perfect food.  It calls to me.  

*"Sheeeeeeeeeepie!  Oh, Sheeeeeeeeepie!!!  Why don't you come on into the kitchen?  It's so cold and lonely here in the fridge.  You could pop me into the microwave and make me all warm and know you want to!"  

*Stuffing and I have a somewhat dysfunctional relationship.  It wants to live on my hips.  I want to eat it without caloric penalties.  We are looking into counseling.

*I love stuffing.  I love it so much that it actually hurts a little bit.  I don't think that this is healthy.  And I don't really care.

*You can make a sandwich with stuffing.  This is nothing short of ridiculous, when you stop and think about it.  You have made yourself a bread sandwich.  This will not stop you from eating it, though.

*I did not eat any of the squash or turnip.  I am in my 40's and no one can make me eat vegetables if I don't want to.  I had to pass by it to get to the stuffing, though.  It was sort of like a vegetable gauntlet.
*I ate some peas.  This should satisfy the healthier folks out there who are getting ready to scroll down to "comments" to chastise me for my eating habits. 
*I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  This is a good thing since I will probably have to have my arteries pumped out or something.  I'm assuming that there is some residual stuffing in there.  

*There is so much to be thankful for today.  Time with family, the technology that lets me connect with those who couldn't be with us on this holiday, my health, my home...

*And stuffing.  I am so very, very thankful for stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Whether you are celebrating this holiday today or if you are living elsewhere and this is just a plain, old Thursday, please know that I am thankful for you all and the wonderful bloggy fun we get to share every day.  

Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics
Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Knitter Is Down!!!

Let's get the medics in here! We are in a crisis situation, people! Quit yer rubber-neckin' and either help or get out of the way!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not, I repeat, not a drill!!!

We have an injury. And no, I am not being overly dramatic. I heard you guys in the back muttering...I've got my eye on you. You just hush up and keep your opinions to yourself. I'm having a crisis and don't have time to monitor the rabble-rousers.

I'm sure that, by now, everyone is thinking that I am still sore from my two days of teaching crisis intervention strategies at my school district's workshop sessions. And, yes, I am. In fact, I have pulled my neck badly enough that I have to put smelly stuff on it and I can't toss my hair fetchingly. But, I could live with that. My current ailment is far, far worse. It is hobbling. If you are weak of constitution, then you'd best just surf away to a happier blog right now. This will be more than you can stomach.

I've hurt my thumb.

Yes, that's right. My thumb. In fact, it is my right thumb. And I am right handed. All you knitters and spinners just take a minute and page through your mental files on "motor memory." Are you starting to get a handle on this? Are you realizing just how much your thumb is involved in your day to day fiber activities? Are you starting to get a general sense of the state of emergency going on here????

I should hope so.

The recent marathon spinning sessions resulted in my finishing the sock yarn that turned out to be laceweight yarn. My life was forever changed and I ascended into that golden light that all lace spinners know so well. But there was an admission fee required at the gates of the Promised Land. And it was a pound of flesh. I'm exaggerating. It was a couple layers of thumb skin. But, I'm "in the moment" so just go with me. It was my knittin' thumb so I deserve a little leeway on this.

It wasn't all that bad at first. Just a little rough patch with some raggedy skin around it. No blood or anything. So I did what any reasonable person would do in this situation. I picked at it. Probably more than I should, but you can see how this might happen.

By last night, it was really rather sore. I began to realize that my knitting was now somewhat affected. The cotton content in my sock yarn was not being all that kind to my little boo-boo and I started to panic just a bit. I also went into "treatment" mode and began regular applications of antibiotic ointment at fifteen minute intervals.

Now, a rookie knitter would have taken a break at this point and admitted that the sock was a more powerful force. There might have been more of the resting and recuperating. This is, after all, a grave injury for a yarnie. But, all evidence to the contrary, I am not a rookie. I am, if I do say so myself, A Brave Little Soldier. Hobbled I may be, but I will knit on!

And so,  armed with my antibiotic ointment, various pain relievers and local emergency services alerted to my act of bravery, I knit. I made the magic happen. My beautiful purply sock really does look best in living color...

But I look better in sepia so that's what you're getting. I may be a Brave Little Soldier and all that, but I'm not crazy.

The thumb is progressing nicely in spite of my brave, yet foolish actions. I'm giving full credit to the medical advances made by the great men and women who understand the importance of a fully functioning digit. They are the real heroes here.

And I'm assuming that not picking at it probably helped a bit, too...


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Struggle, Sheepie!!!

"But, she's not struggling!  How are we supposed to see how this works if she's not struggling?"

There I was, being held in a chair while my two fellow-instructors demonstrated the Two Person Seated Stability Hold for our captive audience.  Day two of the safety training in which I've been trapped since yesterday is the shorter version, but includes mostly the physical moves one must learn in order to be certified in our district's program for intervening with students in crisis.  While I am all for keeping in compliance with state regulations and actually using the training for which I gave up three days of my summer vacation, I was getting a bit tired.  I did not want to struggle for the audience.  I wanted to just demonstrate the hold and enjoy being able to sit there.  A seated restraint is a nice one for that.  And, by not struggling, I sort of hoped that I could shorten the training time a bit and get us the heck out of there.

But you gotta give the people what they want.  So, I struggled.  

This is not necessarily the best choice when one is already a bit sore and when one's shoes don't have the best traction on the slippery floors.  Getting my footing led to a bit more of the flailing than I'd intended, I'm afraid.  But, my co-teachers did a fine job of keeping me stable and re-seating me correctly and the audience greatly appreciated my performance.  I suppose this is what matters...

But, I didn't want to struggle.  I wanted to get this done without pain or extra teaching time.  That statement is for the record and should stand up in any court of law should I have accidentally caused injury to anyone or marked up the floors that the custodians have been working on while we are going through these workshops. 
With a cold sitting somewhere in my respiratory system, a half-day of teaching followed by mandated attendance at another workshop of my choosing, random power outages throughout the morning and actual, real, live snow falling from the sky, this day had the potential to be a giant bucket-load of bleh.  

But, one can always find the happy in the day before a vacation.  Sure, I have a little cold and cough.  But, the school district's recent decision to Go Green and see if they couldn't eliminate some of the disposable plastics that tend to accumulate during staff gatherings meant that we got our very own refillable containers:

Which I used diligently these past two days.  

My last workshop wasn't one that required me to stand up and teach which was almost a luxury after having been front and center for the first three sessions.  It was also a rather useful presentation on how to use Pages and meant that I got to bring my new laptop along with me for the ride today.  Mommy loves being able to bring the new baby to work!  And the whole thing ended with a pretty good performance by a local boy who has made it big on the comedy circuit so we got to finish up with a mighty fine chuckle.  Not so bad, really.  I even got to knit through the last hour!

Hardly a struggle at all...

On the way home, I was feeling the chill.  The snows had stopped, but the day retained its overall "raw" tone.  I suddenly had a hankerin' for something in the "comfort food" realm.  I normally just turn to pizza.  This time, though, I wanted something different...but what?  Then I had it:  Chili!!!  After a brief moment of sadness in which I thought there were no fixings for chili in the house, I suddenly remembered that I had a mix tucked away in the cupboards!  Not really homemade...but acceptable!  And now there is a big pot of the spicy stuff just waiting for me to finish this post. 
I barely even had to stir.  No struggles there!

And now, here I sit in my favorite fleece jammies with the pictures of the cookies and milk on them and my softy-soft Noolie socks.

The name is fitting.  She gave me the yarn, after all...

Maybe it all started off with a struggle.  But there isn't much of that now.  I am officially and irrevocably on vacation!!!  From now until next Monday, I am a Sheep of leisure.  And, with the countdown to Thanksgiving easily translated into hours at this point, I am soon to be a Sheep With A Face-full Of Stuffing.  

Struggles are over.  It's all smooth sailing, warm hooves and carbohydrates from this moment forward!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Sheepie's Head No Work...

I could be using this picture as a metaphor for how I am feeling.  Or it could be that my new computer has a camera and software that lets me do really goofy things that are hard to resist.  You be the judge...

Day One of the Teacher Workshop Extravaganza began today in a blaze of glory with my being at the high school when I should have been at the middle school.  In fairness, I thought I was in the right place and was responsibly early for what I was supposed to be doing even if I was actually late by the standards of the actual, working schedule.  But, after a long evening of studying up on the material that had been assigned to me as part of my teaching duties today, I was a bit "off" this morning.  Frankly, my being anywhere near the designated workshop sites and not somewhere in Canada is something of a miracle and I should get extra credit for the effort.

I wasn't horrifically late, though and was ready to teach my little heart out when my turn came.  Before I started, though, I took a minute to check in with one of my teaching team members and point out that my section was "lengthy."  I suggested that we might want to consider giving the class a break halfway through as this was going to be a somewhat extended version of The Sheep Show.  Her look of horror convinced me that the inklings I'd been having last night as I waded through the trainer's binder and grumbled about how much my teammates had put on my plate for this course were correct.  

She'd screwed it up.  She's sent me not only my own material, but at least half of her own.  No wonder it looked like I was going to be teaching the whole stupid class myself!  This didn't do much for giving me back the hours lost last night to class preparation, but did make me feel little less persecuted.  

It is never good to start the week off feeling persecuted.

I still ended up with a great deal of talking time, though.  By the time we began the afternoon session and started demonstrating some of the more physical types of interventions one might need to use in a crisis situation, I was already a bit on the loopy side.  I'm not admitting to anything here...but it is entirely possible that I may have said something along the lines of:

C'mon everybody!  Put your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care...let's all do THE SAFETY SHUFFLE!!!!"

It's all sort of a blur.  But there is a backwards evasive maneuver in the program with the same name.  And, for some reason, there were people waving their arms around in the air despite this not being a sanctioned strategy in this course.  If nothing else, I suppose that they will remember me...

I am now awfully tired.  The loopiness that settled in while I was teaching the course has progressed to a state of Profound Loop-osity.  I could be a case study in Loopy at this point.  It was a very, very long day.

For the curious out there, I did bring the sock with me.  I had high hopes for a bit of the needle time.  But, it didn't happen.  Except for a short lunch break, we taught for almost the full day.  When we weren't teaching, we were planning for the next session or answering questions.  No knitting time at all.  Not a single, solitary millisecond.  

In past years, I have looked forward to these workshop days.  I make every effort to get myself signed up for courses that are lecture based and will allow me to just listen and knit happily away.  Not this year.  I am trapped with 20 or so people, none of whom are taking the course voluntarily and am trying to keep them from turning on me by introducing Safety Themed Dance Party Moves.  And this isn't working all that well, frankly.  You can't turn a cow patty into a Cadillac no matter how hard you wave your arms in the air like you just don't care.  

Tomorrow, though, we only have to do it for half a day.  Then I get to make my way back to the high school where I can finally just be a workshop attendee.  And you can bet I'll be knitting from that point on...

If I can stay awake, that is.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

When You Miss The Meeting...

Last August a number of my colleagues and I gave up three days of our summer vacation in order that we might receive training in safety management skills.  This training would certify us to teach the course to other staff people in the district, thus satisfying any number of state requirements and making the world a safer place for students everywhere.

They also said they'd pay us to do it.  This was a significant factor in my decision making process when considering whether or not to become a certified instructor.  

Months have passed.  The time has come.  We must now use teacher workshop days to begin the process of imparting our wisdom to the rest of the special education staff.  I'll admit that I haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about it.  I'm more of a "last minute preparation" sort of gal.  I mean honestly...can you think of anything more fun than a panicked cram session the night before you have to prove your competency in something?  We live on the edge here in Sheep Land.  I was even so full of optimism that I thought I might be able to do the prep work until about 8:00 then set it aside for the evening and knit some more on that sock that I started in order to celebrate my new decision to just knit what makes me happy.  

I'm sort of stupid that way.  I'm assuming that you have already seen where this is going.  You guys are pretty sharp.  That's what I love about ya!   You catch on far more quickly than I do.

My fellow instructors had a meeting about a month ago to discuss the particulars of this undertaking and to create teaching teams.  I was a bit busy that day what with all the educating of the masses so I opted to stay in my classroom.  I figured that the more enthusiastic, organizational types would have more fun with the whole planning process anyway.  (It seems that not everyone is a fan of the whole "last minute" thing.)  I received an email later with the details and learned that I was going to be on a team with one of the Preparedness Proponents. I figured that much of the detail work would be taken care of whether I liked it or not.  So, I sat back.  No worries...

Fast forward to last week and my four day tussle with students who didn't want to finish their long term assignments before vacation and colleagues who were demonstrating a high degree of neediness in my presence.  The meeting I was supposed to have with my teaching team was cancelled due to their incredible busy-ness, but I was to fear not they assured me.  They had discussed the matter in their own meeting and divided up the teaching assignments.  All I had to to was show up.  Oh and, by the way, I was in no way to feel obligated by their schedule.  I could feel free to express any discontent and it would be given all the consideration it deserved.  I was pretty busy though and didn't really have the time to look closely at the material.

Besides, when you've missed the meeting, you can't really complain.  You've already given tacit approval to the plan.  And you're a walking target.  

I began reviewing the material a little last night.  I noticed that there seemed to be quite a bit on my plate.  In fact, it would be more fair to call my plate a platter since the majority of the lecture portion seems to have been heaped upon this metaphorical china of mine.  But, the hour was late and I figured it was just my imagination.  I promised myself that I would look over it more thoroughly the following evening and that it would undoubtedly look more balanced with a fresh eye.

'Twas three hours ago that I began the looking-over process and there is no getting around it at this point.  I don't necessarily think it was intentional.  I choose not to believe that my teaching partners were trying to take advantage of my lack of attendance.  People are inherently good.  I need to believe this.  

But, I still think I might have gotten shafted, here.

If I compare the number of actual pages of material, mine come fairly close to that of the other two combined.  They are also almost entirely lecture.  Which, if you think back on any of the  workshops or trainings you may have attended in your life, are the most mind-numbing part.  When the participants reflect back on this experience, I will be remembered as The Boring Lady Who Held Them Hostage For Hours At A Time And Tried To Use Weak Jokes To Cover For Her Utter Lack Of Interesting Material.

Great.  Just great.

To be fair, I think that I may have earned this dubious distinction.  I am actually fairly good when it comes to speaking in front of groups.  I do it every day, after all.  It's sort of part of the whole teaching gig.  I also happen to be able to improvise fairly well and can fake sounding knowledgeable at the drop of a hat if the need arises.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn or anything...but I received some pretty good feedback on my teaching of the material in the training and it stands to reason that some of this stuff would end up in my lap.  I really have to work on that whole "demonstrating competency" thing.  It has bitten me in the hindquarters more than once.  

But, the amount of material that I need to cover tomorrow is epic.  In fact, I suspect that I will be doing most of the instruction for the time allotted.  And that is only the beginning.  The next day we have to teach more of the physical interventions and I shudder to think what I will be assigned for that session!  

Hence, I find myself having to accept that this evening is shot.  I will, in all likelihood, be giving practice lectures to the cats until bedtime.  I reckon if I can keep them awake for at least part of it, then I have a shot at engaging a room full of adults who have been told they will be attending a mandatory two day training and whose minds are really back at home wondering if the turkey is defrosting on schedule for Thursday's Thanksgiving Consumption.  

Softening the edges of the photo does not soften the blow.  It is going to be a busy night for Sheepie...

I could probably get in trouble for even posting a picture of this highly copyrighted material.  I'm sure that I have violated about 47 rules by even showing the cover of the training binder.

Do you think maybe they'll fire me?  Perhaps before tomorrow...


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nurturing The Inner Sheep

In many ways, the past week has been full of the happy.  My new MacBook Pro was finally birthed and given unto me.  There have been many days of joyful play since the baby came home and the few email glitches, while still present, are a minor inconvenience.  The school sweatshirts were also handed out after many weeks of waiting.  With the newly designed logo and vintage style, "N" on the back, they are a delight to behold.  I ordered myself a size large in order that there would be room for both a Sheep and a bulky turtleneck underneath, thus affording myself the ultimate in snuggly comfort.  I know this because I wore it to school yesterday and the snuggle theory bore itself out.  It was, perhaps, a bit overly snuggly given the temperatures, but I didn't care.  It was just nice to be ensconced in cottony, fleecy goodness on a Friday.  And, as the icing on the cake, it was a short week thanks to the Monday holiday.  I do love a short work week!

Yup.  Lots of the happy...

In other ways, though, the week was wretched.  This being the week before a school vacation, there were many students who were less than enthusiastic about all things academic.  In their minds, they were already gone.  My pointing out that I had a cool new sweatshirt did little to make them feel better about having to be trapped with me for 7 or so hours per day.  I hate to admit it, but at times the feeling was mutual.

To make matters worse, we are in the final countdown to the close of the first academic trimester.  This means that there are a plethora of long term projects due.  Many of these, when assigned, seemed to give the impression that there was ample time in which to complete them and we all sort of slacked off a bit.  And not every student is as invested in getting these sorts of things done as I am in seeing them do so.  I work with students in a variety of classrooms and grades so these things tend to come in avalanches.  I have been cajoling, encouraging and downright arguing with kids over what needs to be done for two weeks now  And, by yesterday, we were all feeling the pressure.  One little scholar simply would not believe me when I gave him the list of things that needed to be included in his science presentation.  Our daily stand-offs were becoming the stuff of legend.  Another student was added to my caseload a mere two days before her social studies project was due and had somehow missed the weeks of discussion around this large assignment.  We had two days to pull together a major class presentation.

And, because the universe hates me, the sixth grade planned a large Great American Patriots Day celebration with games and general merriment for those kids who were finished with their work.  I knew that missing this would be a disappointment to the kids and, worse, that they would ultimately find a way to blame me if they didn't make the cut.  This would be unpleasant.  Very unpleasant.

The final scorecard was pretty good, though.  In spite of thinking that I was an utter fool for believing the science teacher's directions, the first student gave in to my bullying and did what I said.  This required that I come in early yesterday to help him re-work his poster and our being late to class, but ended up with his project being displayed in the classroom as a model for others since his was the only one that included all the correct material.  The second student, much to everyone's surprise (mine included) pulled off a class presentation on Rosa Parks that met with the teacher's approval.  In fact, she even included a few details of which I was unaware and her social studies teacher stood before me in utter awe at day's end and pronounced me a miracle worker.

Note: I am not a miracle worker because, if I were, I would invent a pill that makes miracle working less stressful.  And less, "yell-y"  I was, shall we say, "shrill" by Wednesday.  I didn't even enjoy being around me.  

When I posted a few days ago of my calling to spin laceweight and my sincere regret that I would not be able to knit holiday gifts for friends and family this year due to my having to answer that call, I was really only half-kidding.  I've let it all go, people.  I am not good with Assigned Knitting.  Never have been.  I resent the pressure of a deadline, even one that is self-imposed and it only serves to make me more childish about the whole matter.  So, I'm out.  What is done is what is done.  Knitting and spinning are now back to Hobby Status; it is the thing I do to feel good.  And my most favoritest knitting of all is sock knitting.  So.....

I'm knitting a sock.  For me.  I may even make 2 of them.

Yup.  It's all about me now.  I needed a take-along project for next week's two day Teacher Workshop Extravaganza and I decided that my desire for a pair of socks with a little purple in them must be tended to.  These are a bit of an experiment, actually.  I've added a few stitches to the pattern.  I normally knit socks a bit smaller than I think they need to be as I find they stay up better.  But, this can be a problem for those of us who like a longer cuff and who don't have calves as thin as our ankles.  Frankly, these look a bit big to me and the Sockotta's cotton content has me feeling a little skeptical as to whether this is going to be a good fit.  But, I shall persevere.  Because, if nothing else, it is a sock.  And socks make me happy no matter what their size.

This is good.  Because, when school resumes after Thanksgiving, there is one week to the close of grades.  I'm going to need all the happy I can summon...


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Help Wanted

By noon today, I had reached the point of no return.  Whenever anyone entered my classroom, be they child or adult, I simply said,

  "And what would you like to tell me I am going to be doing to help you today?"

 It was easier than going with traditional sorts of greetings.  We got right to the point.  I have a rather lengthy list of things that I have been told I will be doing as favors and there is little time for chit chat.  

I was afraid for a while there that I might be hyper-focused on my own needs.  I worried that I was maybe just a lazy sort of Sheep who wants to do as little as is possible in any given day.  But, when my Cheerful Teaching Assistant noted that there seemed to have been a rather inordinate number of helpless individuals at our doorstep this week, I knew that it wasn't just me.

I'm probably just grumpy.  I had one of my very, very rare bouts of sleeplessness last night.  This is highly unusual and leads me to pondering why I am awake rather than snoozing.  This, of course, leads to more of the awakeness.  If I managed three hours last night I'd be surprised.

I arose this morning almost nauseous from the lack of sleep and even considered taking a mental health day.  But, I feared what might happen to The Helpless should I not be at school bright and early.  Without my guidance, who knows what chaos might engulf the building?  

It's a good thing I made that call.  It seems that my Cheerful Teaching Assistant did not have my issues with insomnia last night.  She slept so soundly that she missed her alarm.  When she had failed to arrive at work an hour after her designated Time To Start Being Cheerful So I Can Find The Will Deal With All Those Helpless People, I became concerned and asked the school secretary to give her a call. (This call woke her from a dead sleep and is the only reason she made it in before lunch)

  I was also a little busy because there were kids to teach, a classroom in which I was supposed to be providing support and a teacher standing outside my door frantically waving her arms and informing me that I was to call the parent of a child on her caseload because, "I told her that you know all about family support resources in the area and she is needs you to give her a list of people she can call RIGHT NOW!!!!!"  

(For the record, that last request is darned near impossible without some fairly specific pieces of information about the family, their insurance and other sorts of pesky was 1:00 before I could gather the information needed.  It is also rather difficult to do when you don't have a handy Cheerful Teaching Assistant around to cover your classroom)

The rest of the day was spent finishing up all the major projects that kids should have been working on for the last few weeks, (but didn't and believe that this is all my fault), tending to The Helpless that came to me in adult packages and covering classes until my Cheerful Teaching Assistant (who has never looked more rested) could make it in to help out with all the helping.

After reading an email that outlined how my teaching partners for next week's workshop in Safety Care had decided to go ahead without me and plan what parts of the course I would be teaching, I thought I might just go utterly mad.  I had visions of myself racing through the hallways, tearing at my hair and clothing, whilst screaming, "How may I help you???!!!"

And then it hit me...

If I am teaching a class for the district workshops next week then that means that it is Thanksgiving week.  And if it is Thanksgiving week next week, then I only have two days of school.  And those days are kid-free!  I only have to go to workshops!  And I'm teaching two of them...which means that everyone has to do what I say!!!!!!!!  Then I get to go home and eat stuffing!!!

Suddenly, I am in a whole other place.  Sure, there may still be a line of The Helpless following me around the building and eagerly suggesting more things I should be doing to make their lives better.  And the kids' projects aren't done.  And they still think it is all my fault.  But, I can make it!  I can do this!  Next week is a week "off" for all intents and purposes!

A week off for knitting and spinning...

And stuffing!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The thing about a short week is that the time for a Wednesday Night Bullet Post rolls around so much quicker than you'd think.  Don't get me wrong...Mondays off could and should be a part of my schedule.  I seem to recall doing rather well with my Monday break.  I'm just saying that it's surprising is all...  Here's your bullets for the week!

*I brought my super-cool new MacBook Pro to school today.  I didn't need to.  I have a perfectly good Regular MacBook to work with there.  But, I wanted to show the computer teacher.  She has been a rather frequent audience (almost always willingly) to my one Sheep show:  Why Oh Why Will My New Laptop Not Come?  

*Upon seeing it, she hugged me.  Computer teachers are not generally known for overt displays of affection.  But, I swear to you, I saw a tear in her eye.  She even let me show her how it worked.  Considering that this sort of thing is her job, that was remarkably generous of her.

*For the record, my one Sheep show opened to rave reviews.  However, after a month of regularly scheduled performances, enthusiasm among my captive audiences wavered a bit.  

*I love my new MacBook Pro.  I spent much of the day lugging it around and telling everyone to come meet Baby Mac.

*I need to come up with a better name...

*I had a really late Individualized Education Plan meeting on a student today.  I was very, very tired at its opening and pretty darned loopy by the end of it.  

*In the last ten minutes of the meeting I was heard to utter the words, "Yo, yo, yo, yo!" and, "Fo shizzle!"  Thankfully, the parent had departed at that point.  My Special Ed. Director had not.  You can add him to the ever-growing list of people who don't make eye contact with me so much anymore.

*A student with big, round, innocent eyes asked me this afternoon, "How many days in a row do you wear that shirt?"  It's my favorite rugby, but I swear to you I don't wear it for days in a row.

*Note to self: buy new shirts.

*My Cheerful Teaching Assistant and I discovered today that, with no missing laptops about which to complain, we have little to talk about.  I declared that I was now going to grouse about my staff hoodie that I ordered back in early October and still don't have.

*Hey, guess what?  The sleeve that the tech department issued to carry our school laptops fits my new "for personal use only" MacBook Pro!  I've borrowed it.  I'll bring it back.  I promise.  They keep track of these things, you see...

*When I got back from my Very Late Meeting At Which I Waxed Hip Hop, there was a brand new staff hoodie sitting on my desk.  This has been a very good week!

*But, I'm a little worried about the relationship with My Cheerful Teaching Assistant.  We may have to talk about kids or other educational sorts of things and I'm not sure we are built for that.

*In all the excitement yesterday, I forgot to mention the best student comment of the day.  I was working in a 6th grade English class. The kids were discussing a scene in their novel where the narrator, in a effort to prove her mettle, climbed to the top of the rigging on a large ship.  The teacher asked the class whether or not they thought the narrator survived this feat and then flipped through the remaining pages while joking that she suspected, given the amount of book remaining, she did.  There was much chuckling, and one lone voice saying:

Well...unless she made a really long speech while she was falling.

I'll leave you with that one while I go back to trying to make my email work.  This is an ongoing project and one that has required great concentration and consultation.  Have a fabulous rest-of-the-week!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


There have been any number of things that have gone on today that have pretty much put me on edge.  And, in some cases, over the edge.  Most of them were the typical sorts of things that happen during a workday:  scheduling, co-workers who are not exactly of the same mind-set as myself, lack of know how it goes.  

But, after many, many weeks of dealing with a failed laptop delivery that was ordered via the school district's purchasing plan, to find that there was still no email confirming shipping was pretty much the end of the line for me, patience-wise.  Sheepie had had enough.  Having learned last week that my Cheerful Teaching Assistant received her notification on Thursday, I was ready to declare war on all things technological.  First on my hit list:  the Tech Director.  I fired up my school email account, cracked my knuckles and prepared to blast him.  It didn't matter that this wasn't entirely his fault.  Or that he is actually a fairly nice fellow.  He was going to deal with this matter or know my wrath.

My email offered him several choices, one of which was the refunding of my money.  I have made several payments on this computer through payroll deduction and I was more than happy to have him just send me a check.  He responded quickly with a promise to check up on things.

This took all day.  You can imagine my mood what with all the scheduling and co-worker issues.  Fortunately, those things kept me fairly busy and, what with all the scampering around, I didn't have time to drive over to his office at the high school and bludgeon him.  

Just before the close of school, however, I received an email.  Its title said it all:

I HAVE IT!!!!!

An inexplicable failure to communicate the shipping information to the school had resulted in my computer not being included in the original notices.  My MacBook Pro was waiting for me at the high school.  

There was much dancing and whooping.  It was a little distracting to the children who were trying to finish up their work before going home for the day.  But, I fail to see how this was more of a problem for them than my incessant whining over not having a new laptop so their complaints were pretty much ignored.  I like to think that I'm teaching them a few life lessons in the art of "lightening up" in addition to Reading.  

My Cheerful Teaching Assistant and I hustled the last child off to their respective classrooms for dismissal and made our way to the tech director's office at speeds not normally advisable during the bus runs.  And there, as promised, were our lovely new laptops.  Sure, mine didn't have the new operating system installed.  But the disk was included so that was OK.  I can manage inserting a disk without too much trouble.  I even found it in my withered old heart to thank the tech director for all his patience and his efforts on our behalf.  In spite of what I believe was great sincerity on my part, I still got the distinct feeling that he wanted us to depart his office quickly.  I believe that this is also the end of the district's staff purchasing program.  At least that's what I think he said.  His teeth were sort of clenched and it was hard to make out...

But, it's all over.  The new laptop is home safe and sound.  It even seems to like its new surroundings and has identified the correct wireless signal.  I am now happily enmeshed in the process of changing a few things here to better accommodate my new faster and shinier lifestyle.

What does this mean for you, the reader?  I mean, besides not having to listen to me complain about not having my new laptop week after week...  Well, not a heck of a lot.  The biggest issues are email related.  I will be using my gmail address for much of my bloggy life.  But, trust me.  You will know me when you see me.  I am, however, one of those annoying people who have a few email addresses and use them for a variety of things.  And I happen to be having a heck of a time getting my "home/multipurpose email into this thing.  We seem to be having a difference of opinion with regard to what a POP server is.  We are working on it and should have it straightened out shortly.  But, if you are emailing me and not getting a response, you know what the problem is.  Sit tight.  I'm on it!!

I also suspect that I will be sort of engrossed in my new laptop and all the pretty colors.  Knitting and spinning activities may be curtailed briefly.  Not long...I am after all a Master Laceweight Spinner now and cannot abandon my responsibilities there, now can I?  Life will balance itself out shortly.  For the moment, though, I am happily updating my bookmarks and taking all kinds of ridiculous pictures of myself with the wee little camera thingie.  

Then there's the whole "having to work to pay this off" deal.  It would have been nice to get the shiny new toy on Friday so I could have fiddled with all this stuff over the long weekend.  But that wasn't meant to be and now I must do the fiddlin' during the work week.  ::sigh::  But, in the grand scheme of things, this is all really OK.

My baby is home!