Monday, December 31, 2007

Rational Resolutions?

2007 is winding down and events are unfolding in the traditional manner over at The Sheep Household.  There is Mountain Dew a-plenty in the fridge and any number of marathon-type TV shows waiting to be viewed as the last of the year trickles down the drain.  As is expected in this time of transition, Rational Mind and Hysterical Mind are discussing how best to take on the new year.  After all, what better time for two halves of the same brain to have a little debate over how to make a better Sheep over the next 365?  We enter the scene just as Rational Mind encounters Hysterical Mind busily jotting down resolutions:

Rational Mind:  I thought we'd agreed to let go of the whole "resolution thing" after last year.  As I recall, it didn't go well.  

Hysterical Mind:  Those were just for practice.  Now that I see the potential pitfalls, I'm feeling pretty good about our ability to kick some Resolution Rear in '08!  Take a look!

RM:  What did you write this on?  

HM:  Just some junk that came in the mail.  It said something about income tax, but it was for 2007 and the year is over so I'm sure that it's just old stuff.  We're all about 2008 now, baby!

RM:  Do me a favor and don't throw this away, 'kay?  We didn't do very well with the Organization Resolution last year and I have a feeling that we're going to need this fairly soon.

HM:  If you say so.  But, frankly, I think you are clinging to the past just a bit.  Any-hoo...whaddaya think?  Some good resolving goin' on there, right?

RM:  Let's just see what we have here.  You've been busy.  There seem to be in excess of 50 resolutions.  That's, um..."thorough."

HM:  I like to cover all the bases.

RM:  Hmm...  "Organizing The Stash."  Very nice.  "Catalogue The Circulars."  Unlikely, but I'm a fan of positive thinking.  This could work.  Although how we will get along without buying size 5 circs every other month, I can't imagine.  Oh....

HM:  What?  Why are you making that frowny face?  Don't do that!  Our face will freeze that way and it won't be the good kind of freezing like with Botox.  We'll look like an angry bulldog and have to have our face sanded down to fix it!

RM:  Sorry.  I was looking at number 5.  I'm just not sure that we really need a bunker.

HM:  Really?  I can't think of a single reason why we wouldn't need a bunker.  Better safe than sorry, that's what I always say!

RM:  We live in a second floor condo...

HM:  That's an obstacle, I'll grant you.  But this is still kind of a work in progress.  There are a whole bunch of other form letters from the people who want to tell us about taxes in 2007 so I have lots and lots of paper.

RM:  Again, I urge you to hold onto those.  When we file our taxes we'll need...oh never mind.  Just put them in The Basket That Holds Very Important Papers Dating Back Six Years And Expired Coupons and I'll deal with it later.  Now, about this item...

HM:  (squinting at her own somewhat illegible handwriting)  Oh, yeah!  I love that one!  We're going to be famous!  People will love us for this one!

RM:  They are not going to create a new food group that consists solely of black and white cookies.  It just isn't going to happen.  I don't even know who we'd go about contacting on this one.  And, even if we could, I just don't see it.  For that matter, no one is going to say that Mountain Dew is a good source of vitamin C either.  We can cross that one off, too.

HM:  It's yellow.  

RM:  Let it go.  And what's up with this?  "Alert The Public To The On-Going Conspiracy To Make The Sheep Feel Fat By Secretly Shrinking Her Clothing While She Sleeps At Night."  This just makes us look crazy!  We don't exactly need help with that.  I suspect that the clothes are tight because of the aforementioned black and white cookies, if you want the truth.

HM:  Heresy!!!!!!!  You just watch your mouth!  We do not speak ill of the black and white cookie!  We revere the black and white cookie!!!  

RM:  Settle down.  It was just an observation.  

HM:  I assume that this means you are going to have a problem with number eleven: Write An Anthem In Praise Of The Black And White Cookie.

RM:  Not necessarily.  Look, I think you've made a good start here.  Let's go through this list item by item, do an extensive, in depth analysis of feasibility and see where we're at.  Maybe we can do a spreadsheet of some sort.  I'm sure we can cull this down to something we can reasonably accomplish in '08.  I'll go put on a pot of coffee.

HM:  Sweet!  I'll go get the other 9 pages!  This'll be fun!

It looks like it's going to be a long night.  I hope that, whatever your plans might be for ringing in 2008, you have a heck of a good time.  You probably won't be experiencing the same level of high merriment as HM and RM.  But, not everyone is built for that, I suppose.

What?  I'm fun.  Look at me.  This face just screams, "Fun!!!!!"

Happy New Year, Everyone!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Digging Out

I went into this school vacation knowing that there were going to be some stressful moments.  I'd hoped for maybe less of the stress than I got, but I was prepared for whatever might come.
I figured I'd set a few goals for myself that would center around hearth and home just in case circumstances led to my wanting to stick around.  And let's face it:  Christmas is a great time to do a little housecleaning.  There is new cool stuff coming in and every reason to get rid of some of the less cool stuff in order to make a little room.  Sadly, I have made minimal progress towards that goal.  A few things have migrated out to the dumpster...but it has certainly not been the full scale, life-changing re-organization that I'd planned on.  

To say that I have a somewhat "forgiving" attitude towards goals and the ignoring thereof would be an understatement.

I thought that maybe taking down the Christmas tree today might inspire me to take the tidying a little bit further.  Clearing out that corner of the living room would most certainly demonstrate to me the joys of having wide open spaces in which to roam.  In truth, all this really accomplished was my saying something along the lines of, "Hey...lookit what I did!  I'm such an amazing housekeeper and creator of new spaces that I deserve a nap!"

And if someone could tell me how it is that I have to vacuum up pine needles when I have a fake tree, that'd be just keen.  I mean seriously...I need some clarification on this.

After the nap I'd gifted unto myself, I sort of figured it might be time to revisit the vacation goals.  The clock is really running down and I've not done as much as I'd hoped.  Certainly there were extenuating circumstances and all...but I really thought I'd feel a little better if I did something.  

So, I scraped the sleep crusties from my eyeballs and wandered over the the spinning wheel.  You know, just to see what was happening in that little corner of the living room.  Lo and behold, there was a little fiber on there!  And it was very pretty fiber...soft, too.  I sat myself down and proceeded to reacquaint myself with Mr. Wheel.  I'm not saying that I spun up miles and miles of singles or anything.  

Louet Roving

But there was progress...

This is some very, very lovely Louet roving that was sent to me by the generous Lori.  It is an amazing wool/silk blend that simply glides through the fingers.  Just the thing for some mindless, but highly soothing spinning.  And, as you might imagine, mindless and highly soothing activities are much sought after in The Sheep household these days.  And, if I'm not mistaken, I may just be spinning up another skein of laceweight.  We aren't breaking out the sett gauge at this point.  I like to be surprised.  But it is awfully skinny!  I giggle just looking at it.

And it looks like I may have some time in the near future to spend a little more time with the mindless giggling over skinny yarn.  I may not have been able to dig out much of the clutter from my quarters over the past week.  But it is looking like more snow is heading our way.  So I suppose I'll have some time for spinning.

When I'm not digging out my truck.  


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ever Alert

It occurred to me recently that, with all the drama around here, I had really let my training regimen go to heck in a handbasket.  This is simply unacceptable.  To whom if not The Sheep, will the world turn when that faint moaning is heard and the boards nailed across the windows start to give way?

I take my role in the future of the human race seriously.  Very seriously.

So, I put on my finest hoodie, found the part in my hair for the first time in days and steeled myself for some of Hollywood's finest in digital education.  At my side for this endeavor were Future SIL Sheep and Niece Sheep.  Niece Sheep brought along Great Nephew Sheep, but he is still sort of a work in progress and doesn't really have much of a view at this point so I doubt that he got much out of it.  However, I hear good things about the ability of the little ones to pick up sound in utero so there is every reason to believe that he will be able to join my Army Against Annihilation at some point.

I like to think that Zombie fighting will bring our family even closer together as time passes.  I'm already working on a design for our matching jackets.  I think that the little baby version will be particularly darling...

Now there are those who will claim that I Am Legend is not about zombies, rather that these are simply poor souls horribly mutated through infection.  I beg to differ.  This film falls squarely within the genre and anyone who fails to understand that the coming Zombie Menace could arrive in any form is just asking for trouble.  We need to consider all possibilities here, people!  I came away from today's little outing with any number of new and exciting possibilities for surviving the hordes of ravaging flesh eaters.  I highly recommend this movie to not only the experienced zombie hunter, but also the newbies out there who are only just beginning to glean the importance of stockpiling batteries and fruit cocktail.

Plus you get to see Will Smith without a shirt and doing chin-ups.  This particular scene led to the following in-depth discussion:

Niece Sheep:  (in an awed whisper) Damn.

Auntie Sheep:  (who is older and perhaps having more trouble catching her breath at that point)  Um.  Yeahhhhhhh.....

I also brought along the second of The Sort Of Purple Socks That Might Match Something I Own and knit on it for a bit during the previews.  But that is really incidental and the sock was set aside for the viewing of the training film in order that it might receive my full attention.  My only complaint is that there is no accompanying course material handed out at the ticket window and it was really too dark to take notes.  I'll wait for it to come out on video and then see if I can't jot down a few helpful thoughts.

And no...not just on the "chin-ups" scene.  


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Normal (ish)

And we're back.  Thanks to everyone for the kind words of support and sympathy yesterday.  It has truly been a miserable month with so many ups and downs I've considered prescription seasickness pills.  Your thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated after so many weeks of self-imposed silence over the whole sorry affair.

Yesterday was certainly an education.  I learned that it is possible for a human being to cry in one form or another for a full twelve hours.  I now know that "cry yourself sick" is not just an expression.  It seems that it is also possible to cry in one's sleep as I woke up this morning with my eyes almost completely swollen shut.  This lent an added element of va-va-voom to my overall grim demeanor and meant that, when I needed to make an emergency Mountain Dew run early in the day, I couldn't go to The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey or Dear And You Kind Of Like That.  I didn't want to scare the nice people, after all.  I had to pry my eyelids apart and go to The Convenience Store Where They Only Look At You To Make Sure You Don't Match Any Of The Wanted Posters Over The Register.  I don't much care if I scare them.  

Yup.  It's been tough to say the least.  And while I really do believe that it is important to let the grieving process run its course, there do have to be limits to the whole thing.  As I was cleaning the litter box this morning and suddenly found myself near to wailing over scooping away the last of Desdemona's poops, I wondered if I had perhaps crossed one of those delicate, but important, lines of demarcation.  Specifically, the line that separates "Normal Sad Lady Who Lost Her Cat" and "Crazy Person Who Locks Herself In The House, Requires Talking Down By Trained Professionals And Who Emerges Wearing A Hat Knit From Her Own Eyebrows."  

I am also not a fan of that moment where we all stand around staring at the cracks in the floor, shuffling our feet and periodically cutting our eyes at one another, wondering if there is a right or wrong thing to say.  So, to that end, I am going to put some teabags on my swollen eyeballs, smear a layer of concealer over those blotchy spots around my nose, take a deep breath and give us all permission to be normal.  Or, as normal as is possible.  Or, for those of us who have only ever had a nodding acquaintance with Normal, the opportunity to fake it.  And I can't think of a better way to do that than by backing up a step and giving you a belated Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  Granted, it'll be short.  But it will take us just a little bit closer to the way it used to was.  Here we go!

*Thanks to a lovely certificate gifted unto me by Aunt And Uncle Sheep, I was able to order myself a new book today!  Squeeee!!!  It was on sale even...  Karma, baby!  Sometimes it isn't out to get me, I suppose.

*Look!  I knit a sock:

*I could let the implication stand and allow everyone to think this means I knit a sock today.  (everyone has to be nice to me right now, after all)   But I am an honest Sheep who doesn't do guilt very well.  So I really should be saying something along the lines of, "I finished a sock that I started a billion years ago."  

*Either way,  it's a darned fine looking sock.  I even did some pretty amazing and clever shaping in order that it might fit me perfectly.  I'm like a genius, really.

*Or I would be if I could remember back a billion years ago and recall just what it was that I did to shape this so perfectly.  

*I'll fake it.  I'm sure it wasn't anything too fancy.  This is me we're talking about, after all.  Just how technical could I have gotten?

*To those of you to whom I stated my intention to eat only peanut butter cups today, I have to admit defeat.  Apparently, eating peanut butter cups for several hours makes you a little nauseous.  

*It occurred to me today that I have never knit with some very fine yarns, yarns that others rant and rave about regularly.

*It also occurred to me that I have a very generous Christmas gift certificate to a yarn store.  I wasn't sure what I was going to get...but I was considering getting a lot of one thing and doing a big project.

*But, continuing the theme, it occurred to me that it might be more fun to get a little bit of many cool yarns and play with them.  That actually brightened me up considerably.  I do like to play, you see.

*So I stopped letting things occur to me before I came up with a plan that exceeded the amount of the gift certificate.  

*I'm rather prone to that sort of occurring. 

See?  I'm going to be just fine.   Still sad, yes.  And probably will be for a while.  But fine, nevertheless.  It just takes a little effort and a little time.

And the judicious use of my Christmas gift certificates.  


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

End Of The Road

Those of us who have invited an animal into our lives know that there will be one or two challenges along the journey with our pets.  Some require that we slow down a little bit.  Others force us on a lengthy detour.  And, eventually we will have to travel that road that takes us somewhere we really didn't want to visit.

It's been a tough month.  Telling myself that I didn't want to put a harsh on anyone's holiday mellow, I put on a holly-jolly face, maybe alluded once in a while to some seasonal stresses and wrote what had to be some pretty mundane blog posts.  The truth of the matter is that, to travel this road, I needed to bring only what I could carry.  Extra emotional baggage was going to make it even harder.  It was better to just keep it simple.

And now that I find myself at the end of this miserable and meaningless road, I find that I still really don't want to talk about it.  So I'll stick with keeping it simple.

Dearest Desdemona,

I swore to you when this all started that I would find a way to make it better.  I tried everything I could think of and was prepared to try even more if it came to that.  But, in the end, there was really only one thing left to do.  I could do that one thing for you, if nothing else.

Thank you for 17 years of love and companionship.  My life is all the richer for having had you in it.  You were my "Smaller, Less Fluffy Kitty."  But you were never Less.  I'll miss you more than words can say.

Desdemona And The Sock Yarn.
Mama Loves you, Sweet Baby Girl.  


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Big Day...

Christmas 2007 is officially "complete" according to Sheep Family Tradition.  We start it up early and wrap it up in a pretty darned efficient fashion.  Hence, I was safely back at the manse by 3:00 or so which allowed me to refresh from the day's labors with a little nap and the happy discovery of a Miami Ink marathon on the big, glowing box of entertainment.  Although how on earth one can become so fatigued by having spent the day leisurely opening gifts, chatting and eating foods in amounts not generally recommended by nutritionists is simply beyond me.  But, for some reason, I am just about done in despite my little afternoon snooze.

I am hoping that eating salty and chocolaty things now counts as cardio and thus can explain my dozy state.  Could it be that Santa got my letter on this one?  

The Sheep Family Christmas was a good one, though.  Baby Brother Sheep drove hard over the last week or so in order that he might finish up his route in time to be home for the holidays.  Future SIL Sheep baked up a storm and the Parental Sheep hosted the event in fine fashion.  We gifted one another lavishly and appropriately.  My own haul boasted presents ranging from the highly practical to the downright decadent.  I'm a lucky, lucky girl and didn't complain once as I was lugging it all up the stairs to my second floor condo.  I may even get around to putting everything away sometime before Valentine's Day!  

I hope that everyone out there had a wonderful day, whether it was spent celebrating Christmas or simply enjoying a lovely Tuesday.  

I wish for you all an abundance of good times and the joy of silly hats!


Monday, December 24, 2007


To: Sheepish Annie
From: Edwin D. Elf, N/N Review Officer, North Pole 
RE: Final Evaluation

Dear Ms. Sheep,

Greetings from The North Pole.  We here at the N/N Review Office extend to you our most sincere wishes for a pleasant holiday season.  

We are sending you this letter to inform you of your current status according to our Naughty/Nice Records for the period between January and December of 2007.  We ask that you refer to the notice sent to you on December 10th which suggested that you consider purchasing plastic liners for your stocking in order to avoid staining from the coal.  We cited several concerns at that time including the following:

*An unrealistic attitude with regard to how much shopping one can do for loved ones in the three hours you had allotted for this task.

*Repeated promises to bake pumpkin bread followed by repeated excuses, each more lame that the last, for failing to bake said bread.

*Not having purchased any wrapping paper.  None.  And believing that wrapping paper will magically continue to flow from cardboard tubes for years at a time without cease.  That is just naive.

*Having been heard to utter the words, "Stupid Christmas" on at least three separate occasions.

*Publicly declaring your unwillingness to knit for others despite having included that act on your summer vacation to-do list. This was followed by your blithely knitting socks for yourself while your family lives with cold feet.  Shameful...

This, of course, is a only a representation of our concerns.  We urge you to please refer to the three page attachment included with our original report for a complete list.  You have the right to contest any or all of these items within thirty days of receipt and will be granted a hearing within six months.  We do not guarantee that the deletion of items per order of the hearing officer will result in the delivery of withheld presents after December 31st of the same year.  There is another form for appealing that matter should you choose to pursue this.

We send this letter today to give you our final evaluation of your N/N status as of 12/24/07.  As is our practice, we give our clients time to address our concerns in order that they might bring their behavior up to code.  We apologize for any delay in processing your case.  This is, as you might imagine, a rather busy time of year for us.  We make every effort to give each case the time and attention it deserves. 

We are pleased to report that you have successfully managed to correct enough of your Naughty behavior to be granted Probationary Nice Status.  As such, you are qualified to receive presents under the tree tomorrow morning and a reasonably full stocking.  We based our decision on the following:

*Your last minute holiday shopping, albeit a bit frantic, did result in gifts for all.  

*You set aside your usual afternoon nap in order that the aforementioned presents might be wrapped.

*While you did not do the hand-tied bows that you were babbling about back when you thought you had the holidays well in hand, you did make dried orange ornaments for your packages.  We were rather taken with those, we must admit.

*The final decision is still out on the bread baking.  But, seeing as the last two loaves are rising as of this moment, we think that you will meet the deadline on this endeavor.

*You did not swear at the curling ribbon.  Even though we could tell you really wanted to that one time...

*You were heard to hum Jingle Bells after the whole curling ribbon incident.

*Lastly, you seem to have weathered those little stress bombs that life likes to hand out in December and still maintained some of the holiday spirit.  We dispute your somewhat delusional belief that you are a vision of grace under pressure.  But as you have not been found clutching strangers in the grocery store and screaming, "Why???  Why???" or throwing mildewed mistletoe at passing cars, we feel that you deserve credit for your restraint.

We congratulate you on your efforts at gritting your teeth and making with the holly and the jolly in this most festive of seasons.  Should you require any further support in this endeavor, we invite you to call our 24 hour Ho-Ho-Hotline to receive tips and suggestions for making everyone think that you have it all together for Christmas.  We also wish to remind you that your status is Probationary.  There is still time for it to all fall apart.  We see you when you're sleeping.  We know when you're awake.  We know if you've been bad or good.  So be good for goodness sake!  Many is the time we have seen people fall into the trap of thinking that Christmas Eve is so very busy for us up here that we will miss those little naughty things they might do.  This is not the case.  We see all.  

Again, we congratulate you on your upgrade in status and wish for you the Merriest of Christmases.  If I can be of any further assistance to you in this matter, please refer to the number on the enclosed business card.  I will be out of the office until April, but will most certainly be checking my voice mail during my absence.

Sincerely yours,

Edwin D. Elf

P.S.  I'm not kidding.  Don't get cocky.

I haven't the foggiest notion what he's talking about...

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 23, 2007


If you could see me for reals right now, you would be witnessing an awful lot of arm flapping, pointing and head-tilting.  You would hear me commenting on imaginary birds flying past us, movie stars strolling through my living room and the fact that your fly might be unzipped.  I might even do a little dance or perhaps lurch into a cabinet door left carelessly open.  With any luck, I'll break my arm in the process.

I'll do just about anything to distract you from the fact that I have wasted an entire day today.  I would say that I did "nothing" except that I have clearly been breathing and the state of my waistband implies that I have fed myself well.  But, of the things that needed to be done today, I have accomplished a grand total of zilch.

There are two things that need doing before Tuesday slams into me, bearing a full load of holiday cheer.  That's right.  You heard me.  Two. Things.  That's it.  I need to wrap the presents and bake some bread.  Wrapping is a gigantic pain and not something I do particularly well.  But the universe has seen fit to grace us with the invention of The Gift Bag so my inability to cut a straight line or successfully pull decorative paper evenly around corners isn't such a big deal.  I can manage wrapping things given the new technology.  And bread?  Bread is just mixing stuff and waiting.  Then doing something and waiting again.  Then doing something else and waiting for a bit longer.  If you do the math, most of bread baking is really about watching cartoons.  I can do that.  

But neither of these two things were done today.  I thought about doing them quite a bit.  I made plans for doing them in that mystical time known as later.  But later never really made an appearance so these two rather simple tasks were not done.

This would be fine had I been engaged in some sort of pleasurable pursuits.  The spinning wheel is out.  I could have spun up some pretty yarn.  I've finished any Christmas knitting that ever had a fighting chance at completion.  I could have been working on my Sort Of Purple Socks That Might Match Something I Own without any real guilt.  With little else to do, I could have dressed myself up in fringes and baubles then danced a merry jig about the Christmas tree.  The cats would have been my only witnesses and they no longer have the ability to be surprised by anything I do at this stage of the game.  The possibilities were endless, really.

But, with the exception of the aforementioned consumption of oxygen and carbohydrates, I did nothing.  I lolled on the couch like a beached Sheep from the time I rolled out of bed until I forced myself into an upright position to type this post.  And this very act is tiring me mightily.  
I have commented a few times (or a few hundred times...I forget which) about my now being on vacation.  I suppose I knew on an intellectual level that I was ready for this little break in the teaching routine.  The stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a tough one for the average educator.  It's not really all that long and you'd think that we could simply coast through it with a few sternly worded threats to the children about how we all have Santa's personal phone number.  But it always seems looooong.  And whomever it was who thought it was a good idea to tip off the fifth and sixth graders to the whole Kris Kringle Konspiracy is on my Naughty List for all time.  They have no fear.  There will be an Ipod under the tree no matter how often they offer their theories on how I might improve my teaching style or make helpful suggestions about warmer locales I might wish to visit.

I think I might be tired.  Just a hunch.  But ten hours of laying on the couch and repeatedly demanding that the cats make me coffee seems to be a pretty good indicator of a certain level of fatigue.  And now, here I am.  The Blogging Hour is upon me and I gots nuthin.

The consequence of my day of sloth is that I must resort to misdirection and the pointing out of imaginary starlets in order to keep your eyes from seeing the truth.  And we are a little short on starlets here today...

Thankfully, Blogger was being a somewhat fussy about uploading pictures last night.  I still have a little yarn from yesterday's unplanned shopping spree to share!  Let's hear it for the last minute save!!!  Look at the pretty yarn.  No need to check the knitting basket or the state of the kitchen.  Just look at the yarn and allllll willlllll be wellllllll.....

Schaefer Yarn.  Breaking out the "Hand Painted Luxury Fibers" is ever so much better than breaking a limb for the purposes of distraction.  

And yes.  It is called, "Anne."  Which is close enough to "Annie" that it caused my travel companions and partners in shopping to sing the siren song of yarn and convince me to purchase it.  (Or, the name was casually pointed out and I fairly leaped upon an excuse to bring yarn home with me...whatever.)  I have no plans for it at the moment.  It is suitable for a very fine sock, but I bought two skeins in case I have a sudden urge to produce a scarf of some sort.  For now, I just like having it here.  If I were capable of actually getting off the couch, I'd probably go get it and sing a song to it or something.  Maybe tomorrow...

And speaking of tomorrow, I will be kicking off the first "official" day of my holiday break with a bit of the frantic flinging of the flour followed by a couple of tape and tissue paper tantrums.  I suppose it wouldn't be Christmas in The Sheep household if I didn't leave these sorts of things to the last possible second.  They usually get done, though.  And I should have all sorts of energy after my day of rest.

If not, then I'll come up with some sort of new distraction.  A well-timed Christmas Tree Fire, perhaps...


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Do I Have A "Good Side?"

Yesterday's end to the school day and kick off to vacation had its challenges. We were able to bid, "adieu" to the 6th graders without incident. However, the 5th graders had something of an extended and highly unplanned stay. A small fuel truck managed to slip a bit on the Winter Wonderland we've got going on here. There was neither damage nor leakage, but righting the downed mini-tanker required that the street be blocked off. This posed a problem for certain vehicles like buses and parent driven mini vans, all of which are necessary for getting students out the door in a timely fashion. Thankfully, the delay wasn't too long and we were able to hustle the little darlings off for an extended stay with their mommies and daddies so we could get on to the business of missing them. 

That's OK. For every dark time there is a some light. And today, that light was focused squarely on a gaggle of local stitchers, all of whom decided that they wanted to be one of 1000 Knitters. That's right, The Panopticon himself made the trip up to deepest, darkest Maine and was shooting local knitters at Purl Diva. 
Let's face it.  Not much of the Knitting Glamour comes to Maine.  So, when the opportunity to be a part of this sort of project heads east, we make the effort.  Even those of us who lack social skills, photograph poorly and who tend to babble in the face of stressful situations such as being social or having a picture taken will put on matching shoes and make the trip.  You suck it up.  This is knitting history in the making, gosh darn it!

Thankfully, others in my area were of the same mind.  And so it was that The Sheep, Noolie and Patty met up with Brenda (whose ability to navigate and schedule an arrival are beyond amazing) and headed north.  We arrived in a timely fashion and even found a moment to stop for coffee along the way.  And we were also able to pencil in a few minutes to spot Dr. Mel walking The Cutest Dog Ever outside the shop and hoot 'n howl at him until we had his full attention.  

He is good about the hooting and howling, bless him.  

Oh, and yarn shopping...  We were also able to sneak in a little yarn shopping.  I didn't mean to buy yarn.  In fact, I clearly said to myself before I left, "Don't buy yarn."  I blame Patti.  She forced me and not a single soul made an effort to stop her.

Society has really broken down, I fear.

But, even with all these hi-jinks, we were numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 in line to be photographed.  There was a little bit of a wait, but minor really.  And I like to think that I helped to fill the time nicely by telling everyone within earshot thirty or forty times that I am now on vacation and do not have to work.  People feigned exasperation.  But I think that, deep down, they appreciated the distraction.  I'm a giver, you see.  I like to do my part to keep morale up when in a "waiting" situation.

Besides, I was number 6 so I had more time to kill than the rest of our group.  A bored Sheep is a Sheep who will eventually get herself into trouble.

Franklin is a delight and gentle soul with a gift for putting less than "natural" subjects at ease.  That said, I lack a few of the necessary skills for a career in modeling.  It is my understanding that you sometimes have to actually look up at the camera.  I am not so good with this.  I have control issues and a fear of my soul being stolen.  I am also one who is easily distracted by my inner dialogue:

OK.  Look up.  Otherwise it'll just be a picture of your dark roots.  And even in black and white, this is not a good look.

Wait...If I look up then I might throw a glare off my shiny nose thanks to that three million watt bulb over my head!  This will kill the light balance, I'm sure of it!  Maybe if I just look down a little bit...

Crap.  That gives me a double chin.  I don't want a double chin. Why, oh why didn't I staple that into place before I left??????
I can't find the right head angle!  Now, I'm just a dark rooted, breaking-the-camera-shiny-girl with twenty five chins!  Ack!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe I could try a head tilt...

Great.  Now my sinuses are dripping.  Equalize the pressure in your head before you do something to really embarrass yourself!!!!!!!  Do you think he'd object to one of his knitters having a tissue wadded in her left nostril?

And so on and so on and so on...  

But, as we decided on the ride up, when you are one in one thousand it really doesn't matter in the long run.  You are one face among the many.  The only one who will be looking for my shiny, drippy visage is me.  But, I got to meet Franklin!!!  And hang out with my peeps!!  Best of all, though,  I was able to join 999 other knitters in telling our story as string wranglers.  

I probably should have had a color touch up and a hit of decongestant before I headed over, though...


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Miracles

Aside from the whole "Zombies Will One Day Take Over The World So You'd Better Start Building A Bunker" thing, I'm a pretty rational sort of gal.  Oh, and the weird food fears...those should probably be mentioned as part of the less than rational side of me.  And, come to think of it, I've maybe done one or two posts where I separate my mind into two halves, name them, then let them argue for all the Blogosphere to witness.  That's not so rational.  

But, other than that, I'm a solid thinker.  There's a reason for everything and most stuff has an explanation if you just take the time to think it through.  And yet, with the Christmas season upon me, I seem to see one or two little miracles hovering at the edge of my train of rational thought.  

For example, just when I think that the universe is conspiring against me and that there is no way on earth I am ever going to get everything done, I am gifted with a Snow Day.  I had an inkling yesterday after watching the weather report and, by gum, I inkled true.  No school today!  Sure, I had an errand to run that entailed going out and driving in that helpful snow (twice).  But it was a small price to pay for a little wiggle room in the wrapping schedule.  That's kind of miraculous, right?

And look!  I finished the Villandry Lace Scarf With Dangling Turd Fringe!

I'm even starting to feel the love for that fringe!  

Then, just as I was beginning to think that the co-worker's gifts would be handed to their intended recipients swaddled in trash bags, I was suddenly possessed by the spirit of Crafty Cathy or Martha Stewart or some other Ribbon Maven.  With the help of my Dollar Store purchases (which included some pretty cool shrink wrap) and the guiding hand of whomever took possession of my faculties today, I was able to make a little Christmas Magic happen:

Too bad you can't see the cool paint can tins under all that shrink wrap.  They are adorable!  Hopefully they will distract the eye from the burnt potholder in the background...

Don't believe in miracles yet?  Still thinking, "Oh that Sheep.  She's just exaggerating.  It's surprising, since she never, ever does that, but there is a first time for everything.  She's so far out there now that she can clean the windshield on the space shuttle..."  

I understand.  Miracles are mysterious things.  And a little scary sometimes.  We don't like that which we can't explain.  We need to know that we have some control over our lives.  And miracles, however nice, are just not something that fits in well with our logical, rational existence.  But, I think I can prove that they do happen.  Not all the time, mind you.  But sometimes they really, really do wander by and dump a little of the wonder into your lap.  For your consideration, I submit the following scene from my living room last night:

This is something of a "Lion Lying Down With The Lamb" sort of situation.....and never before seen in this household.

Not gonna lie to ya.  I got a little teary-eyed.  It's also a miracle that I was able to get the camera in time to catch this most wonderful of moments.  My babies.  Together.  Like little angels...

This lasted for a grand total of ten minutes and I suspect that the flash photography might have shocked them back to reality.  They were back to their mutual disdain for one another shortly thereafter and the musical sound of their bickering rang out in a more familiar carol.  But, for one brief, shining moment there was a Christmas Miracle at the Sheep home.

Best Christmas present ever...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WNPB: The Holiday Countdown

OK.  Today was the big day.  I bit the bullet (or fruitcake...same difference, really) and steeled myself for some holiday spirit.  There was going to be some holly-type jolliness even if it killed me.  Having assessed the state of the gift shopping, I ascertained that I wasn't in bad shape.  I was just missing a few of those small, but crucial sorts of things that one needs to make a Christmas To Remember.  And, though it is my plan to forget it as soon as is humanly possible, others might remember this year's festivities.  It's best to at least try.  Here is the day in bullet point format:

*My original plan was to hit the department store at some ungodly early hour.

*Plans are for chumps.  I slept late, had a second cup of coffee and made do with local shopping after 9:00.  

*The following is an actual conversation held at the Dollar Store where I was checking out after stocking up on gift bags and mini stockings for the kids in my class.  I happened to find a can of some cool spray paint that gives things a suede effect.  I will never use it...but it was a dollar.  I'm helpless in the face of dollar spray paint.  This was my first stop, so I was still in a fairly good mood:

Clerk Who Was Clinging To Her Seasonal Spirit By A Thin Strand Of Tinsel:  I'm going to put this spray paint in a separate bag for you, 'kay?

Sheepish Annie:  Good plan.  December is never my lucky month.  There will be some sort of issue before I get home and a can of spray paint is just a time bomb waiting to go off in my car, I fear.

Clinging Clerk (smiling a bit):  Gotcha.  I'll double bag it for you.

SA:  (encouraged by having spread a little holiday cheer):  It may not be enough.  But we have to at least try.  These things usually do whatever they are going to do right as I get to my front door, you know.  I'm fooled into thinking that I've made it and that the December Imps have stopped messing with me.

CC:  (chuckling):  That's always the way...

SA:  Seriously!  I get all celebratory and then I'm covered in pickle juice, Mountain Dew or spray paint.  It's like a curse, I tellya!  My neighbors won't even come out of their apartments when I pull in with bags at this point!

CC:  (now laughing outright)  Best of luck to you!

*At that point, I was pretty much feeling like Kris Kringle himself.  I've got this whole holiday cheer thing down, I thunk to myself.  I pulled out of the parking lot to head to store #2 with a self-satisfied grin on my lips and visions of spreading more cheer dancing in my head. 

*Then a large chunk of ice decided to let go of the roof of my SUV and smash my into my windshield wiper.  

*It's a little crooked, but it still works...

*Store #2 was mobbed.  I got the wonky cart.  I forgot my shopping list and became a little confused.

*I purchased dried cranberries for no apparent reason.  And a sweater for myself.  

*Neither of these were on the list but I couldn't have known that since the list was at home.

*Actual conversation from the checkout line after an hour of confused and list-less shopping during which many things were purchased which had no real relationship to my presence in the store:

Lady Behind Me With Kind Eyes And A Good Sense Of Humor:  Oh, I'm sorry.  You're still unloading your cart.  I didn't mean to crowd you out, dear!  

SA: (fighting back tears at those simple words of understanding and courtesy; this doesn't happen very often)  Oh, that's all right.  Frankly, I'm taking up way more space than I normally do at this point.  

Kind-Eyed Lady:  Oh, sweetie!  You're fine.  I just got a little flustered since I had to change lanes after the last register ran out of tape.  I should have let you finish putting your things on the counter.

SA:  No.  It's me.  I'm all over the place.  It's the Holiday Stress, you see.

KEL:  Um...

SA:  I'm all like this!  (waves arms dramatically as a demonstration)  Omigod, omigod!  Christmas is coming!  Help me, somebody help me!  I must shop frantically and with no real organization!!  (waves arms more frantically, then adds eye rolls and hair pulling to the show)

KEL:  Ha!!  I know just how you feel!  That's so funny!!

SA:  (smiles happily at what she considers rave reviews for her impromptu performance piece)

Young Clerk Who Doesn't Know From Stress At This Stage Of Life:  Uh oh...the receipt is stuck in the register.  

*The Kind-Eyed Lady and I almost wet ourselves laughing as the receipt was torn apart in an attempt at retrieving it and required taping with "paid" stickers in order to be signed.

*I then went to the doctor's office where I tried to bribe the nurse to not weigh me this time.

*You'd be surprised how resistant nurses are to offers of cash.  They are a noble and moral bunch.  I'd respect her greatly for this had she not been the one to discover that I have gained four pounds.  

*She redeemed herself a bit by noting in my chart that this weight was "with shoes."

*I almost had a heart attack this morning when I put on my jeans and discovered that they were quite tight.  Then I realized that I'd put on the size 4s instead of the comfy 6s.  

*Take that, mean nurse.  I may not have been able to breath normally, but your four pounds were successfully squashed into my skinny jeans.  

*Don't be fooled.  These are big 4's not my regular 4's.  And there was Lycra/Spandex involved.  It is a false 4.

*I don't much care at this point.  They fit.

*Here's a Fluffy Kitty next to a Christmas Tree:

She didn't have to go shopping today and has no right to look so disgruntled, in my opinion.

*I experimented with using some of my dried orange slices over the weekend.  These were kind of fun to make, actually.  Behold what dried fruit combined with cinnamon sticks and ribbon from the Dollar Store can become:

I'm using these as package decorations in lieu of the hand tied bows that I won't be doing this year.  

*Again...don't be too impressed.  There won't be enough for everyone.  I'm beginning to get a handle on the time frame at this point and realize that there are limits to what I will get done this year.

*But, they make pretty tree ornaments.  It's kind of like a gift attached to a gift.  And even if you don't buy that, humor me.  I am a woman on the edge, here.  There is a fine line between "Holiday Spirit" and "Requiring Medication."

*I know that no one really wants to hear about this.  But there is another snowstorm beating the holy heck out of us right now.  The forecast has been changing crazily since yesterday, but it is looking like I will be home tomorrow.  

*It's kind of hard to call at this point.  There is some rain involved.  But, I have an inkling.  And when I inkle it usually comes to pass.  I'm leaning towards a Snow Day right now, but want to go on record as having hedged my bets just in case.

*A Snow Day means no school and another day for the holiday preparations.  I will have to dig deep and raise the spirit once again.

*I'm going to need coffee...


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I had something of an epiphany today.  As usual, it occurred to me as I was trying to find a way to pass the time during my daily commute.  I probably should spend more time checking my mirrors or the various warning lights flashing at me from my dashboard, but I find the things in there to be depressing and I avoid them as much as possible.  Hence, I do much of my Deep Thinking And Meaningful Reflection while I drive.  

Those of you on the Maine Turnpike between the hours of 6:20 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. take note...

When today's "thought of the day" struck, I decided that it might be a good idea to share.  Because, if I have missed this, then I fail to see how it has occurred to anyone else.  It's one of those little things that you might not have picked up on.  But, for those to whom this piece of information pertains, it is timely.  For the folks who don't need this, please feel free to sit back and have a chuckle at our expense.  We are about to lose our minds.  It should make for great entertainment.  Here's the thing:

It is almost Christmas.

I know, right???  Horrifying!  How did this happen?  Last time I checked, I was trying to sort through the leftover Halloween candy and make sure that I didn't eat all the good stuff right away.  I suppose that the candy calculations, with all the higher math involved, might have proven to be something of a distraction.  It is possible that I might have missed flipping a few calendar pages.  But, I am usually pretty observant.  Except when I'm commuting to work, but that doesn't really count since I am having Deep Thoughts and all.  

This realization crashed into me like a bus.  I have been puttering along, completely enmeshed in the day to day stress bombs that life likes to hand me in December and somehow failed to notice how close the holiday really is.  I had big plans, you know.  This was the year that the cards were going to be sent in a timely fashion and would each include a heartfelt sentiment guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of the recipient.  I was going to lovingly bake any number of breads, cakes and cookies with which to tempt the taste buds of my loved ones.  There were going to be hand-tied bows and perhaps even lovely calligraphy on the gift tags.  

I haven't even finished shopping yet.  I accepted long ago that the knitting wasn't going to get done.  But, I consoled myself with the fact that gifts could be purchased and that the hand-tied bows were going to more than make up for the lack of scarves or hats.  I wonder if my letting go of The Knitting Dream gave me a false sense of Seasonal Security.  Maybe I should have kept going with that.  Perhaps the added feelings of urgency would have given me a clearer picture of the timetable...

I told you I think Deep Thoughts during the daily commute.  I almost drove into a ditch.

I'm taking tomorrow off.  I debated on this one.  I normally take the day for myself when I have my visits with Dr. Judy.  It's a gi-normous pain to have to fit it into the work day when I live almost an hour from work and have to sick time to spare.  But, this is the week before the holiday break and a tough one for both kids and teachers.  I wondered if, perhaps, I should maybe take half a day instead.  I came perilously close to being a very responsible teacher.

And then I collided with an epiphany.  Responsibility is going to take a back seat to my Noel Nightmare.  I need to go someplace where they have stick-on bows, pre-made gift bags and little plastic cards that my loved ones can exchange for things I was too panicked to think of buying for them.  I am sorely in need of foil wrapped candies, tissue paper and whatever is left on the Christmas card rack.  And I will fight to the death anyone who dares get in my way.  I am a Sheep in crisis, here.  My only consolation is that I can't be the only one.  I'm sure that there are others out there who will read this post, leap up and shriek, 

"What????  Get the car, Bud!  The holidays are a-comin'!  Don't stop to put on yer goin' out pants...time's a-wastin'!!!  We got us some shoppin' to do!!"

For some reason, you are all now suddenly sitcom characters in my mind's eye.  This happens sometimes when I am stressed out.  Just go with it...

I'll let you know how it goes.  Assuming, that is, I don't find myself at the local police station explaining why I found it necessary to beat an elderly shopper about the head and shoulders with the last tube of wrapping paper in the store.  If you don't hear from me, you may want to start making a phone call or two.

And if someone could feed the cats or maybe send out my Christmas cards that would be nice, too.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Zombies In Snowbanks

I decided to take the high road this morning.  Sure, it was cold.  And yesterday's snowfall meant that I would have to dig through a layer of white stuff in order that I might be able to see from the windshield of my truck.  It would have been easy to just call in sick and be done with it.  I hate to admit it, but I really did consider that course of action.  

Responsibility won out, though.  I had program review meeting on the docket this morning and I will be out on Wednesday for a doctor's appointment.  The least I could do was wander into school and do my job for four out of five days this week.  When you consider the fact that it is the week before a school vacation, it seems like the right thing to do.  So I did.  Even if I didn't have any clean handknit socks for the trip outside.  Well...I did have a couple pair, but they were lime green and didn't go with my Program Review Meeting With Parents Ensemble.  I reluctantly put on the store-bought, really thin pair that were lying on the top of the sock pile.

These did not serve me well when I ventured outside.  It seems that the plows were busy yesterday what with all the other people who were buried and that they neglected to make it to my condo complex.  I staggered through the drifts to get to my truck which was responsibly parked on the roadway in order that the plows could get through.  (that would be the plows that never came, by the way)  The snowflakes happily burrowed their way into my shoes and soaked into the cheap socks while I struggled to scrape the night's precipitation from my chariot.  

My neighbors, perplexed as to where to put their cars when there were no actual parking spaces to be found, employed great creativity in locating homes for their vehicles.  They were pretty much abandoned in the middle of the roadways and made for an exciting trip out of the complex as I attempted to navigate around them over the ice.  

The ride to school from that point was uneventful, really.  In fact, most of us made it.  I say, "most" because we were short one teacher today thanks to a head-on collision that should have been far more tragic given the circumstances.  Everyone was fine.  But, I drove past my colleague's car as I approached the school (not realizing it was she) and it is safe to say that there is a teacher who will be asking Santa for some new wheels this Christmas.  

I decided at that point not to complain about my lack of plowing and just be glad my car wasn't smooshed.  However, I came perilously close to complaining when we had to cancel the meeting that inspired me to go to work this morning.  I'm not made of stone, you know.  That was discouraging...or irritating.  I can't remember which.  Still, I made it to work unscathed and demonstrated great driving skill on unplowed roads.  I counted my blessings and began looking forward to tomorrow's start to the day, complete with plowing and sunshine.  

Tonight, I am washing socks.  I need clean, handknit socks for tomorrow.  I am sincerely hoping that they dry in time.   If not, I will wear the green ones.  I don't care.  

Because when I got home tonight, I discovered that they still haven't plowed out my lot.  Everything else is plowed.  Just not my parking lot.  


It almost makes one wonder if responsible behavior is worth it.  But then you get a little chuckle.  Actually, you get a big chuckle.  Dunno who done it, but a big Thank You to whomever sent me The Zombie Survival Guide.  272 pages of validation!!!  Your timing is impeccable, really.  I needed a little laugh after trying to find a place to put my truck and wading through snowdrifts to get back into my house.  Please know that there will be hours of Happy Preparedness Perusing over the holiday break!

And probably a few more Zombie Survival posts than is appropriate for the holiday season, I suppose.  But, zombies don't know from Christmas.  

Nor, apparently, does our snow removal company.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Learning About Me.

Nothing like a day stuck inside while the winter weather rages outside to give a girl some time for self-reflection.  And I have successfully managed to use this day to learn a great deal about myself.  

For example, I have learned that I do not care for snow.  That is a lie.  I actually already knew that about myself.  But, I have been able to confirm that little piece of self-awareness so I'm adding it to the list.  It's not that I hate snow.  Hate is a strong word.  And I was not feeling anything close to that when I ventured out at noontime today to clear off the truck and move it so the plows could make a pass through.  But as I was battling the whirling flakes, each of which seemed to be made of multiple razor blades and aimed directly at my face, I came perilously close to hate.  I was able to get the accumulated five inches from the surface of my truck and move it to a new location where it could then be covered with more snow and a finishing coating of ice.  But, I am not going back out there until I absolutely have to.  Which should be sometime tomorrow morning.  It can just stay where it is and be buried.

I learned today that I cannot always be counted upon to follow through on grand pronouncements.  For all my disgust with Project Runway last year and the subsequent declaration of the end of our relationship, I find myself sucked back in this season.  I didn't mean to.  Honest.  But, I am trapped inside and they keep putting reruns on and it is impossible to avoid.  For what it's worth, I am maintaining my holier-than-thou air about the whole thing and claim to be watching it only to validate my belief that it is a program which panders to our society's obsession with appearance.  If I say it enough, maybe it will magically be so.  I hate to think that I am so very shallow and easily led to the trough.

Speaking of troughs, I learned that I am powerless in the presence of chocolate and peanut butter.  Something about that most sacred of pairings is just irresistible.  Being trapped in the house with chocolate peanut butter cookies was not a good thing...except when it was.

I learned that no matter how much you want to spin, you can't do it after a craft project that involves the use of super sticky adhesives.  Eight layers of super-glue on the thumb do not make for accurate drafting.  Or smooth drafting.  Or drafting, period.  It does, however, make for a lovely banner of blue and grey silk trailing from one's thumb.  

I learned that a blue and gray silk banner trailing from one's thumb does not mix well with chocolate peanut butter cookies.  As proof, I submit that you have never once seen a model on Project Runway sporting that particular smeary accessory.

I learned that a snowy day stuck inside may sound like a great day for knitting, but that I am not necessarily going to take advantage of it.  Fortunately, I have no problems with showing the half of the scarf that I did manage to finish today and pretending that the other half looks just like it.  No problems at all.  

So, for your inauthentic viewing pleasure, I give you The Villandry Lace Scarf WDTF:

WDTF=With Dangling Turd Fringe

I'm not exactly sure just when it seemed like a good idea to make i-cord fringe for this scarf.  I just know that, once the idea was conceived, it became to me the most brilliant of plans. This led to another discovery about myself.  It seems that I am somewhat unwilling to accept that something might not be working, especially when time is of the essence.  On the positive side, it certainly speaks to a willingness to commit on my part, doesn't it?  Or that I should be committed.  I forget which.  There was plenty of time to let this one go.  Each dangly i-cord is tied on there individually.  When the first one went on, I stepped back, chuckled a bit and said, "Gosh, that surely does look like a dangling turd."  That might have been the time to stop.  I also could have stopped after the second one went on and still demonstrated a turd-like quality.  By the third and fourth dangling turdish appendage, there was no excuse.  It wasn't even funny anymore.  But, I pressed on, fully enmeshed in denial regarding my fringe choice.  

And I will continue in this manner when I finally get up the gumption to finish up the other half of the scarf.  I will then resolutely wrap it and gift it on Friday no matter how many turds are dangling from it.  That is how committed I am to this decision.  

This week, I am looking forward to a few more life lessons.  For example:

*How likely am I to call in sick when faced with a vehicle that is encased in snow and ice and will require effort to make drivable?

*Is this the year that I crack under the pressure of teaching during the week before the holiday break?  And what form of cracking will this take?  And do I have access to a good attorney?

*What is the likelihood that I will tell the recipient of the Villandry Lace Scarf WDTF what the "t" stands for?


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Work Smart, Not Hard.

I like to think that I'm smarter than the image I sometimes project.  It's not true.  But I like to think it.  It gives me a little hope for the future.  Someday, I'll have it all together.  I'll file my taxes sometime before mid-April.  I'll save money for the future.  I'll actually take the time to tie that shoelace right when I notice it is dangling.  I'll not wait until I'm on the sprawled on the ground and trying to tell people that it was easier to do it once I was closer to the earth rather than spend precious energy bending forward to secure my footwear.  No one believes that anyway.  Most people are pretty smart and don't have to worry about being more intelligent than they look.

But, every once in a blue moon, I do something that makes others wish they were me.  I pulled myself from the arms of Morpheus this morning, cut short fabulous dreams where it rained chocolate and yarn and got myself to the grocery store by 8:00.  I'd actually planned to get there a bit earlier than that...but I am only randomly responsible so we don't expect miracles, here.  I thought I did well to be pulling into the parking lot when I did and to be wearing matching shoes.  (with well-tied laces, I might add)

Maine is, once again, bracing for a Winter Weather Event.  I know.  You're getting sick of hearing about the weather here and I don't blame you one little bit.  I also don't have a rich life filled with fabulous parties and interesting encounters with mysterious strangers who wish to whisk me away to tropical locales.  With me, you get weather.  For what it's worth, there was an odd little man in an ill-fitting coat who followed me around the store the other day.  If you stretch your imagination a bit, you could probably find a way to turn that into an Interesting Encounter.


The storm bearing down on us is going to be a biggie.  We here at the coast should see a mix of snow and sleet.  (I first typed "sow."  That would be interesting.  Maybe pigs will fall from the sky tonight, thus saving me from yet another  run-of-the-mill weather-related post!)  We won't get the foot+ that other parts of the state will be getting, but it will certainly be enough to keep me tethered to hearth and home for the day.  I suspect it will wrap itself up in time for me to make it to school on Monday, though.  Hence, I am ranking this storm as a Nuisance rather than as Useful.  

Nuisance or not, however, a trip to the store was in order if I planned to have snacks on hand for the day and lunches for next week.  And I suspected that there were others out there thinking the same thing.  Happily, none of them had my foresight and willingness to venture out into the world unwashed and under-coiffed.  If there were twenty people in the store at that hour today, I'd be surprised.  Which is good, because I was already a little surprised to see that so few people thought of going early for the storm prep and that much surprise is not good for the hearts of Middle Aged Sheep. 

The shopping was completed in short order, the groceries transported home without incident and tucked away into wherever they were supposed to be tucked before 9:30 a.m.  I also managed to toss together a batch of chocolate dipped pretzels before I even took off my Goin' Out Shoes.  Most responsible, if I do say so myself.  

(The part where I ate half the pretzels rather than packaging them up for gift-giving this week was not responsible, but I don't want to talk about that.)

I'm not really built for responsibility, though.  The whole process tired me out and, once I took a moment to sit down, that was pretty much it for me.  Maybe it was just all the Storm Stress coursing through my veins.  Whatever the cause, a nap of epic and monstrous proportions pretty much took over the rest of the day.  However, I like to think that, while I was napping the afternoon away, the rest of the world was at the grocery store picking over my leavings in a desperate attempt to ensure their survival over the next 24 hours.  

With travel out of the question tomorrow, I do believe that I will be able to finish the second version of the Villandry Lace Scarf.   Scarf 2.0 is, shall we say, "interesting."  For the moment, it is shrouded in mystery and living with the working title of, Villandry Lace Scarf WDTF."  Interesting or not, it is going to be gifted before next week is finished and the recipient will just have to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.  Hopefully, I'll have it finished for tomorrow's post and we can all sit back and enjoy the irony that is my ability to take a perfectly lovely pattern and make it "interesting."

After all, it wouldn't do for me to be so darned smart all the time, now would it?