Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cute?

Look at this face.  I mean, really look at it.  



Take it alllll in...


Cute, right?  I realize that I might be a little bit biased.  She is, after all, my Big, Fluffy Kitty.  I suppose that, to others, she might not be quite as precious.  But even if you can't find it in your heart to see her perfection, you have to admit that she's pretty darned cunning.

(or, as we say it in these parts: wicked cunnin')

I have to admit, though, that I have never really credited the BFK with being the brightest of creatures.  To me, she has always been a rather simple being, one who lives simply for the love of her Mama and a good chin scratch.  She isn't all that graceful.  She falls down sometimes in her enthusiasm for getting from point A to point B.  She enjoys a good nosh, but has some difficulty eating from a bowl.  Her face has never quite fit her mouth and she needs to fling food to the floor then nose it around for a bit before getting it into a good position for munching.  
She has gigantic feet.  This adds to her general air of clownish clumsiness.  In short, she has always struck me as a wonderfully dopey kitty and is my joy because of it.

Cute can be deceptive.  I am beginning to wonder if this creature might just be some sort of diabolical genius.  If nothing else, she has mastered the art of working the room.  And the guilt.

Last summer, I observed there to be much more of my sweet kitty than I remembered.  Feeling horrible about allowing my poor girl to get so rotund, I promptly began a program of kitty aerobics and cut back on the crunchies.  I can't allow my baby to lose her girlish figure, after all!  She bore this indignity with more grace than I would have predicted.

In November, I began to come to a horrible realization, though.  The Big Fluffy Kitty wasn't really so much fat as she was felted.  As a double-coated cat, she requires a great deal of brushing and I swear to you I do this regularly.  Her outer coat was lovely.  Her Factory Undercoating had completely matted.  Up to an inch in places.  It all had to go.  From her little fanny to her midsection, vast amounts of fur needed to be painstakingly removed.  This left her with shoulder fur.  God help me, she looked like a football player...

She also bore this indignity with a certain amount of grace.  I'm a lucky mother.

Then one day, she became an "only cat."  This wasn't exactly planned and I probably wouldn't have explained it to her anyway.  As I mentioned earlier, I've never really thought she was a "deep thinker."  But suddenly she was all alone, bald and still smarting from all the kitty aerobics sessions.  I felt badly about that.  Really badly.  

I bought lots of new toys.  I started leaving the television on during the day so she would have some company.  (Cartoon Network is her favorite.)  I bought special treats.  And, when the guilt was especially close to the surface, I shared some of my own special treats.  Not a lot, mind you.  Just the occasional cracker.  Maybe a cheesy, puffy sort of thing every now and again.  And I may or may not have roasted some turkey for her.  If I did, (and I'm not admitting to anything here), I took off the skin and only gave her the white meat that she likes so much.  If I were to actually cross the line between "feeding your cat" and "cooking for your cat" that is probably the sort of thing I might have done.

What would you do?  Go back and look at that face, for heaven's sake!  I'm not make of stone, here!!!  She's just an innocent, little kitty who needs me to wait on her paw 'n claw...

But, I'm starting to wonder if I might be getting manipulated just a bit.  I'm not sure.  There is really no way to tell for certain, I suppose.  But I can tell you that a local store had some really yummy Cheerios Snack Mix on sale this week.  I got two bags for weekend munching.  I can also tell you that, when I opened the bag, a certain cute, fluffy someone appeared by my side as if by magic.  And while most kitties might be satisfied with one or two cheesy flavored Cheerios, mine was not.  When I wasn't looking, she stuck her whole head in the bag.  That is rather sneaky and not the behavior of an innocent creature.  It could just be an example of enthusiasm, I suppose.

But, as the final piece of evidence let me tell you this:  She snatched a piece right out of my hand.  Blatantly.  Flagrantly.  Without regard for possible consequences.  She showed no respect for me whatsoever.  

And she looked adorable the whole time.  She's either working off fewer cylinders than I originally thought or she is an evil genius.  I'm afraid to go to sleep tonight.

I'm hoping that she just wants me to knit her a pair of those cute, widdle baby sox I've been making so many of lately.  If this is not the case, then I may be in some trouble here.  

SA

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bullets For You!

Welcome to Wednesday!  We here at The Sheepish House Of Calendar Confusion like Wednesday.  We get to cheat on the ol' blog.  No train of thought required.  Just my random bullet points.  As this is the first full week I've had to work in I-Dunno-How-Long, I can't be sure that it is really Wednesday.  But, I'm pretty sure it is.  So I'm going for the Wednesday Night Bullet Post!

*Several people commented yesterday upon my amazing coordination after learning of my knitting whilst pedaling on the exercise bike.  I could take the low road and just bask in all the glory.  But that would be wrong.

*While I have, indeed, knit on a regular-type exercise bike, the one I use now is not really the same.  I'd feel guilty lying. 

*And I already did a post about this a year ago so anyone who read that would just say, "Hey, aren't you the one with the mini fitness pedaler who just bikes from her couch?  What a liar you are!  We cast scornful looks upon you and will henceforth mock you openly given the least little opportunity.  That'll teach you Ms. Liar-Pants"

*I have precariously balanced self-esteem.  This could tip things negatively.

*Four years ago, closing in on two hundred pounds and on the advice of my doctor, I purchased a portable cycle like this one.  I've used it faithfully since then.  I don't weigh two hundred pounds anymore.  

*And I can knit.

*Look:


It's The Blindingly Bright Brioche Baby Blankie!!!


*Actually, the colors settled down a little bit once knit unto one another.  I was giving it to baby one way or the other.

*But it's nice to know that I won't be causing any permanent retina damage to the little feller.

*The power went out this afternoon while I was pedaling on the little bike.  That was bearable.  But having no TV while I did the strength training portion of the Fitness Torture Session was unpleasant.

*I like electricity.  I like it a lot.  I'm a fan.  You could call me a groupie, if you want.

*The Blindingly Bright Brioche Baby Blankie didn't light up the room quite as much as I'd hoped.  

*I had baked beans for dinner.  I don't like baked beans, really.

*Which begs two questions:  1.  Why was I craving beans from a can for dinner?  2.  If I don't like baked beans, why did I have a can in the cupboard?

*I am now afraid of zombies and The Robin Hood Of Baked Beans.  Some strange man in tights is sneaking into my home and giving me baked beans that he liberated from the Bean Moguls.

*The list of things I fear is growing.  I may never sleep again...

*Does anyone happen to know where January went?  I know it was here.  I remember taking down the Christmas Tree and not making resolutions.  I've lost January!  Who does one call in a situation like this?

*Maybe I have brain damage from the brightness of the blankie or the beans...


I got nuthin' else.  That's it.  I'm just sitting over here eating beans, knitting a BBBBB and feeling better about telling the truth about my poor balance on an exercise bike.  I live on the edge most of the time, right?

You'd think I'd have better balance, wouldn't ya?

SA

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Yolk's On Me

So it's Tuesday.  And I almost got killed by an egg.
   
That may be a slight exaggeration.  But, it could have happened.  You never know when a really stupid death is going to spring out at you and make you the cautionary tale of the decade.  It happens all the time. 
 
I leave for work at a ridiculously early hour.  As you can imagine, there is little time for a hearty breakfast.  I pretty much devote the time between the final beating of the snooze button and starting the truck to making myself presentable for the day.  There are those who would argue my success rate with this particular endeavor.  But, I make the effort.

Since I don't really eat much during the day, breakfast is kind of a "must," though.  So I try to create morning-type delicacies which can be consumed on the road.  Every Sunday, I scramble up a bunch of eggs, dump them in a baking pan and toss 'em in the oven.  I then slice them up into egg patties and pop them in the fridge.  For the rest of the week, I can toast up a bagel, heat up the eggs with some vegetarian bacon, add a little cheese and have myself a nice breakfast sandwich that is portable and warm on chilly morning commutes.

Pretty brilliant, if I do say so myself.

Today, though, there was an "incident."  I had just passed the toll booth and was making my way down the Maine Turnpike, bound for another day of teaching the masses, when a loose piece of egg escaped the confines of the bagel.  I never really saw it since it is pretty dark at that hour, however I clearly felt it hit my leg.  I judged from the impact of the fleeing breakfast fare that it was approximately the circumference of my head.  There still seemed to be a goodly amount of egg left in my sandwich...but that meant nothing.  There was a large piece of scrambled egg somewhere loose in my car.

From that moment on, I was completely immersed in egg-related panic.  I found myself consumed by worry.  Responsible driving was no longer my main concern.  At 70 miles per hour, I was simply unable to let go of the disastrous possibilities.

I worried about whether or not the egg was still clinging to my pantleg and leaving a horrid stain which would never, ever come out.

I worried that the egg had bounced off my leg and slithered under the seat where it would be forgotten and fester until I had to simply burn the interior of the vehicle to rid myself of the odor.

I worried that this giant piece of egg would maneuver itself underneath my boot and cling there, just waiting for me to step onto the tiled floors of the school.  From there, it would release it's slippery, eggy essence and cause me to slide ten full feet before crashing into the drinking fountain, falling on my fanny and attracting the attention of every cell phone camera within range.  The YouTube video would be shown for years to come and I would have to live the rest of my life as The Sliding Egg Lady.

At every opportunity, I tried to locate this piece of egg.  As the forty minute commute stretched out before me, this egg grew to mythic proportions and its ability to ruin my life became ever more frightening.  The road, my fellow commuters, any lurking hazards such as potholes or easily accessible doughnut shops were given little to no consideration.  It was all about the Killer Egg.  I hated that egg.  It was ruining my life.  

And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find it.

When I finally arrived at school, the first order of business was to find that offending piece of protein and give it the eviction it so richly deserved.  I looked down upon the floor of my vehicle and, in the now bright light of morning, saw the thing that almost took my life with its ability to distract me from safer driving.  Perhaps predictably, it was no bigger than my thumbnail. 

I found this rather hard to believe.  Nothing so teeny could have hit my calf with such force, after all.  No.  This was just a trick on the part of the egg to lull me into thinking that there wasn't a slab of the scrambled stuff lurking under the car seat.  Maybe even waiting in ambush...and laughing at me.

And so it was that all the arriving buses and the parents dropping off their little darlings for the school day were greeted by the sight of The Sheep's backside as it protruded from the driver's side of her car while her upper body was engaged in a full on Egg Hunt.  This is how anyone would want to start their school day, right?

And no.  There was no more egg.  I am delusional.  But, I still can't help thinking that the egg somehow won...

Lest you spend the rest of your evening working on the committal papers for me, I'll see if I can't distract you with something "widdle."  Everyone is a sucker for the widdle things.  You'll forget all about my egg issues.


See?  You don't even remember what we were talking about do you?


These are the Even More Widdle Baby Sox, finished today as I pedaled away on the exercise bike.  And, just for the record, if anyone is wondering whether or not it is possible to do a Kitchener Stitch while riding the stationary bike, the answer is, "yes."  It is very possible.  If I can do it, anyone can.  

We are still fiddling with the baby sock pattern, but I think I have it licked.  One, maybe two more pair and I'll be a champ with this.  OK.  Maybe four or five.  Or ten...

Great.  Just when I get you away from thinking about Crazy Egg, I reveal my Obsessive/Compulsive Knitting Of The Widdle.  I'm running out of distractions at this point.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing toast to work.

SA

Monday, January 28, 2008

Feelin' The Love

Monday...I haven't worked one in a while.  What with the snow days, holidays and full-on vacations, I've pretty much been living the life of Riley over here.  Sure, there have been some yucky work days.  But, there has been some sort of break in the near future most of the time so the little dramas have been rather easily put into perspective.

This week, however, I am faced with 5 full days.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I consider myself lucky to be employed and to have found the love for a field that offers me such plentiful vacation time.  I make no apologies for the vacations.  I'll never be a millionaire and I do work pretty hard.  I think it all balances out.  As a matter of fact, I have a vacation coming up in a few weeks.

But that doesn't help much when you are staring down the barrel of a fully loaded Monday.  It doesn't matter that you are being irrational.  It is Monday and it is stuffed with work related expectations and that is not fun.  

Plus, I never really did get the knitting mojo back on track yesterday.  I tried to make the needles work some magic during my hour on the little exercise bike today.  I knit a bit on the Even Widdler Baby Sock.  And I spent some time searing my retinas whilst working on the Blindingly Bright Brioche Blankie that I envision being the final installment in Project Swaddle The Great Nephew In Handknits '08.  But the progress wasn't what I'd hoped it would be.

It grumps me to no end that I can't stay home and knit.  And it grumps me even further to know that this is an ungrateful and irrational attitude.  Unreasonable even!

And, further, it seems that I am really a rather ungrateful wretch on top of it all.  Several of you have been so kind as to let me know that I make your days and I've yet to get around to making with the appropriate responses and linkage.  It's no excuse, but I've been so caught up in the exciting world of FOs, parking problems and discount store revels that I just let it get past me.  Bad, bad Sheepie!!!  And there has been so much of the love!  I hope to heck I've gotten everyone here.  Please let me know if I missed you.  The following generous souls saw fit to include me in the latest and greatest meme to hit the blogging circuit and state for all the world to hear that I make their day:

Kat (who is knitting so many preemie hats for charity right now that I am fighting the urge to call her Kat In The Hats with every fiber of my being...)
Needle Dancer (are you also Shadow Dancer?  I had a hard time linking back to you.  If I got this one wrong, please let me know so I can correct the link here!)
Susan (who is so talented with the designing and the writing that I just want to write an epic poem in her honor and work it into a knitted scarf of some sort)
Anne (A Sox fan.  My family doesn't even know her and they love her.  They might adopt her.  I want to adopt her for the lovely care package she sent me last week.)
The Knitting Linguist (She writes, she teaches, she knits and she does it all so well...this is who I want to be when I grow up, people!)
Yarnhog (I make her day?  Please!  A talented knitter and a gift for blogging...I should just go study her site and see how it's done!  She is also probably going to be responsible for me breaking down and buying some of those KnitPicks Harmony needles...)

See what I'm saying here?  I have all the lovin' a Sheep could want going on out there and I just sit around and complain!  I should hang my head in shame then knit an afghan in dollar store acrylic on size 17 needles.  The ones with the big splinter in them that catch the yarn all the time and weigh twenty pounds apiece.  

Thank you all for the kind words and for letting me know that I make your days.  You certainly made mine!

Now, the rules say that I should name ten more people who make my day and it is here that I run into a little roadblock.  I can't name ten.  I tried.  But, I can't think of ten.  I can think of ten thousand.  But not ten.  Because, if you held a gun to my head and forced me to name the one who makes my day, my answer would still be the same:

 All of you.

  Each and every one of you who takes time out of your day to share a story, post a picture or let us learn from your knitting journey make my day.  I can't imagine just how I functioned in this world without you all in it.  You have laughed with me when things were going comically awry, you have howled to the heavens with me when things were going awry in a less comical sense and you have maybe even shed a tear or two with me when I was down.  It's all of you.  

I shall try to do better with letting you all know that on a more regular type basis.  Honest.  

Because all that lovin' makes even a Grumpy Monday feel nice.

SA

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Misinkled...

Somehow, I missed it.  I'm normally pretty good with the weather inklings.  But, this time, I was lulled into a false sense of security by the weather forecast and failed to pick up on the little brain vibrations that tell me a storm is a-comin'.  

To be fair, no one else did either, near as I can tell.  And I never claimed to be good with the weekend inklings.  I don't really need to worry about weekend weather since school isn't going to be cancelled due to snow on a weekend.  It's already closed due to the government's inability to come up with a way to make me work a 7 day week.  I'm sure they are on top of this little bit of business.  But, for the time being, I don't have to inkle as much on a Sunday.






I, on the other hand, was inkling all over the place last night.  All night.  You didn't manage to notice that???  

As a matter of fact, I did notice the BFK being a bit more animated than is usual.  But I put it down to weekend hi-jinks and the joy that comes with Mummy being home for a couple of days.  I failed to see the inkles.

Hence, I was a bit surprised this morning when I pulled open the blinds to gaze upon the glory that is a Sunday morning in Maine and ready myself for my weekly trip to the grocery store.  It was snowing.  Quite a bit, actually...

I checked the weather report online and was assured that these were mere snow showers which would result in an inch or so of the white stuff.  Thus comforted, I ventured out.  There was more than an inch out there.  There were more than two inches.  It was at least three...maybe four.  And it was still snowing.

But, I needed my sustenance for the week and, more importantly, had a prescription that needed filling.  So off I went.

The management folks at the grocery store, also somewhat surprised by the amount of precipitation, were doing their best to clear the parking lot.  They had managed to scrounge up a small Snow Cat and enlisted some dude with a plow on his pickup truck.  They were merrily moving the snow from one spot to another and seemed to take great joy in putting it wherever I was considering parking.  But, I was determined and the shopping was going to be done with or without their cooperation.

Feeling somewhat better after getting the larder restocked and filling up the weekly pill container thingie that old folks such as myself must use to remind us to take our prescriptions, I was then faced with the next challenge:

What to do with my truck.

I've lived in this complex for a long time.  Longer than most who reside here.  And, please be assured, this is by circumstance rather than by choice.  But, I have a roof over my head, so I make the best of it.  During my occupancy, the rules around parking during snow events have changed at annoyingly random intervals.  Sometimes, it is the wish of the Powers-That-Be that we leave our vehicles where they are until the roadways are cleared, then move them.  Other times we are to move them before the first pass of the plow's blade.  One never knows when the rules will change, but one will know shortly thereafter as one is assured to be given a tongue-lashing for not following the unwritten rules of parking.

The current Bosses Of Us seem to be of the Move It Now persuasion.  I believe that they would actually prefer that we move our cars sometime in the Fall and just leave them there.  Or that we find a way to levitate them.  I know this because we all got Nasty-grams taped to our doors not too long ago chastising us for our evil ways with regard to storm parking.  These notes were followed up by Happy-grams praising us for getting on board with the program and obeying the parking overlords.

The tough part of this, however, is that they are more consistent with the enforcement of snow parking than they are with the actual snow plowing.  One never knows if the lot will really be cleared or if one is going to have to leave one's truck over by the dumpster all night where the zombies hide and if one is going to be attacked by these zombies in the early morning hours when one is just trying to go to work and earn money to pay the condo fees that support the lack of plowing.

And with this snow event being kind of a surprise thing, the plowing question became even more convoluted.  Would the plows know to come and remove the snow?  Or were they, like me, taken by surprise and doing other stuff because they hadn't factored this into their Sunday Schedule? Much of the day was spent pondering my parking choices and valuable time was lost debating with myself over the best course of action.  In the end, I parked over by the zombie-hiding dumpster and just hoped that my sacrifice would not be in vain.  It wasn't.  The plows did, in fact arrive.  But it was dark when they came and I still had to risk having my brains eaten to go retrieve my truck so it would be waiting for me it its usual spot tomorrow morning.

By now, I'm sure I've lost most of you.  And those who have stuck with the saga to this point have to be wondering just what this has to do with anything.  I can't say as I blame you.  Although I have to admit some surprise at finding anyone left who hasn't yet caught on to my rambling tendencies.  You really should know better by now...

But, I do have a point and it is this:  A day spent thinking about parking and how not to offend The Parking Powers is not a day conducive to knitting.  Hence, I have nothing to show you.  There was ample time to finish the second of the Even Widdler Baby Sox.  And I spent some time noodling around with a pattern for a baby blanket.  But most of my brain power went towards pondering parking.  Hopefully, with the truck returned to its spot and the crisis passed, I can maybe do something more constructive with the few hours I have left before I call this weekend, "finito."

Or, I could continue finding clever excuses...


SA


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Greatness Is Relative

I have self-esteem.  Oodles of it.  I also have a well-developed sense of reality.  This is how I know that, in most spaces and places, I will probably be the worst of the knitters.  In fact, in this here virtual blogger-type space, I am the worst knitter.  This does not make me a bad person. Or even a bad knitter, for that matter.  I just kind of know where I fit in the hierarchy of things and that isn't really such a bad kind of awareness to have.  It keeps me humble.

Today, though, I was in a different sort of place.  I had the sudden urge to go check out the pet supply store and see if they carried the healthy, organic and probably cat-repelling food that the vet tech suggested as a replacement for the junk food I have been using up until recently.  However, I was a bit overenthusiastic in my quest and ended up at the store with a full thirty minutes to kill before they opened.  This meant that I had some time to peruse the aisles of the local discount store where they just happened to be having a clearance sale and what they termed "The First Annual Indoor Yard Sale."  For the record, this yard sale consisted of two tables of leftover Christmas decorations and a bunch of broken stuff.  But, I am still easily amused by cheap goods so it was a pleasant way to pass half an hour.

This store happens to feature a small craft area and I found myself rummaging about for appropriately washable acrylic yarn in acceptably kaleidoscopic hues for the baby blanket I have scheduled for the next Baby Mania Knitting Extravaganza project.  And it was there I heard the words:

 "Do you happen to know anything about this stuff?"

There beside me stood a woman, clutching a couple of skeins of bluish yarn and looking rather confused.  She informed me that she needed cuffs.  I don't question these sorts of things.  I find that an explanation is sure to follow since I am known far and wide as the rescuer of shoppers in distress.  And I was not wrong.  It seems that she, being a typical, frugal sort of New Englander, was purchasing the yarn so that a friend could knit cuffs for her winter jacket.  This garment, while still perfectly serviceable, was in need of some cuff repair.  

I may be the worst knitter in most rooms.  But, in the craft section of the discount store, I have something of an edge.  The more high class knitters probably aren't lurking anywhere in the vicinity and I can rhapsodize about dye lots and appropriate gauge with wild abandon.  I looked like a freakin' genius.  Imagine her relief at learning that she did not need two 5 oz. skeins for a pair of four inch cuffs!

Does wonders for the ego, you know...

Sadly the trip to the pet store needed to be abandoned shortly after my crossing the threshold when I suddenly realized that today marks one month since the loss of my Smaller, Less Fluffy Kitty.  As is typical on a Saturday, the staff looked to be on the young side and I questioned their ability to deal with a middle aged woman suddenly flinging herself upon a pile of carefully stacked bags of dog food whilst howling uncontrollably.  I hate to generalize.  But it didn't seem like a good idea to test their customer service skills so early in the morning.  

Rest assured, the moment of distress was fleeting and probably brought on by the sight of the adoption center they sponsor for the local animal shelter.  I was fine by the time I got to the car.  But one never knows with these sorts of things and I'd hate to be banned from the closest pet supply store or have to pay for ten bags of soggy dog food.

I returned home with my discount store purchases and put my new yarn needles to use weaving in some ends.  And with that little task out of the way, I am now able to present



The Too Big Baby Sweater in all its gi-normous glory!


In keeping with my Not The Best Knitter status, I shall be honest and inform you that there are issues with this garment.  None are pattern related and all were purely operator error.  But, it is close enough to "good" to think of it thusly.  And thus I do.  The pattern is from Dyeing To Knit and sized for 6 months.  I probably have surpassed that, though.  I also needed to change the pattern slightly as it called for some rather lacy yarnovers at the yoke and I thought that might not work so well for a boy.  Hence, I swapped it out for bands of very manly garter stitch.

I also think that the button should be on the front.  But, I kind of messed up on the side that I think is supposed to be the front so now it is the back and I don't want to hear any more about it.  


But, here's a shot of the button just in case you happen to be interested.


I am assuming that the theory here is that babies have big noggins and require extra room at the neck for sweater donning.  It's either that or they are really self-conscious about their hair and hate having it messed up during sweatering.

I am also working on another pair of baby socks.  As much as I liked the Cute Widdle Baby Sox that recently came off the needles, I yearn for something even more widdler.  



We're getting there...


I remain hopelessly entranced by the widdle baby sox.  They knit up so quickly and are so cuuuute!  I find myself cooing and gurgling over them at random intervals throughout the day.  Sometimes I put them on my fingers and make them walk around...  Which may also make me the craziest person in the room.  Just to be safe, I've cast on for a pair of adult socks upon which I can knit when the baby-brain gets to be too much.

I don't think that there is an aisle in the discount store where I can feel superior about the crazy.

SA

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ka-Boom

It was such a quiet morning in the land of elementary school education.  There were any number of opportunities for things to go horribly awry.  But they just never did.  We survived the school-wide spelling bee championship assembly.  The classes during which I have had to be called to remove unruly little urchins were conducted without incident.  There was an air of peace about my world that hasn't been in play since before the holidays.  Life was good.

Everything would have been fine if I weren't such a non-superstitious idiot.

I made the grievous error of commenting on our good fortune to my Cheerful Teaching Assistant.  I allowed that we must be the finest examples of teacherly skill to ever stroll the halls of an institution of learning.  I celebrated with the consumption of pretzel sticks from the kids' snack cabinet.  I even got all fancy and put them in a coffee filter rather than simply snarfing them straight from the bag like I usually do.

By 1:00, Karma had taken note of my glaring error in judgement and set to putting things to rights.  Things didn't just fall apart.  They literally detonated in a series of explosions both small and large for the remainder of the afternoon and the culprits ranged in age from child to full-grown-should-know-better-than-to-cross-me-adulthood.  The final blast was a real coup for Karma.  Karma did a fine job of making its point regarding my tendency to get a little cocky about my teaching ability.  None of it's bloggable given my responsible nature when it comes to children and their rights to privacy and all.  Let's just say I was busy...

When I presented myself in the Principal's office during the last hour of the fifth grade school day, he asked if I'd read my email.  He said that there were one or two issues he wanted to make sure he'd put on my radar.  I said:

Whatever you've got, I can trump.  Why don't you have a seat?

He sat.  I trumped.  Very large manuals concerning school policy were dragged from their respective shelves and the dust blown off their covers.  Outcomes were discussed.  Notes were taken.  Phone calls were made.  Things continued to get more and more stupid, finally culminating in the Principal and The Sheep standing in the hallway, utterly flummoxed by the sheer magnitude of the dumbness of it all and able to do nothing save stare into space with mouths agape.  

It's all well and good for him.  He's retiring this year and getting the school named after him. I have to come back and maybe, if I'm lucky, get a urinal in the boys' restroom dedicated to me.  

I have a headache.  The kind that over-the-counter pain medications only poke at half-heartedly and are then forced to walk away from in defeat.  It seemed almost like punishment to stop at the store on the way home and see if I might be able to locate one last skein of the yarn I need to finish The Too Big Baby Sweater.  Karma had spoken.  It was time to call it a day.  Except I couldn't help but give it a try.  I'm nothing if not a cockeyed optimist.

Thankfully, it seems that Karma was called away later in the afternoon to go torture some other poor, hapless soul.  I managed to avoid its unforgiving gaze for ten minutes.  Sometimes, a Sheep catches a break.  

There was one skein left.  I bought it.  I brought it home along with a pre-cooked turkey breast. (a review of the diet over the last few weeks showed a marked lack of protein and a possible cause of today's headache) There may also have been one or two snack cakes involved in the shopping but I'm not going to commit one way or another on that.  Tonight, The Big, Fluffy Kitty and I dined on turkey and she is helping me to knit the rest of the baby sweater.  We shall not speak of this day again.  

Karma might hear.

Let's look at something pretty cool, shall we?  Even on the worst of days, a little bison goes a long way towards making one remember why one has a job in the first place.  Sure, teaching the children is a noble thing and all that gobble-de-gook.  But a career comes with a paycheck and that's how one pays for being in the Wooly Wonka Exotic Fibers Club.  I gave myself a membership as a 42nd birthday gift to my favorite person who lives here and never before have I gifted myself so thoughtfully.  Months and months of packages full of fibers I never, ever would have thought to try...that's pretty sweet!
  

Here's that bison I was telling you about...I'm such a good giver of gifts!


Thursday, even if it's a bad one, is still the first sign of the weekend to come.  And I'm looking forward to mine with great enthusiasm.  Or fatigue.  I know it's one of those.  If anyone needs us, me 'n my headache will just be hanging here on the couch...

Hiding from Karma.

SA

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Weeeeeedneeeeesssssdaaaaay

I'm working from the theory that talking slowly will make it seem like I actually have more to say.  Kind of like using big fonts and gi-normous spaces when writing a term paper...  

Here's some Wednesday Night Bullets for ya.  Maybe I'll get all inspired while I type.

*The sight of the big, fat fullish sort of moon as I was driving to work this morning was awe inspiring.  And might explain the wild, wacky, and not-so-wonderful behavior of my students this week, now that I think of it.

*The guy who lives downstairs was also leaving for work in the pre-lit hours today.  He's never done this before.  I almost walked into his car as he drove out of the lot this morning.  I'm not used to seeing others when I stumble outside and take the trash to the dumpster.  Who the heck else would want to be out and about at 6:00 in the morning?

*I almost felt like he was invading my space.  

*But he represented another target for potential Morning Zombies so I probably should have been grateful.

*Not too long ago, I discovered a review of my blog on some site I can't remember now.  They said it was funny.  And that there weren't enough pictures.  Valid point.  Very valid.  I have been trying to do more pictures.

*I don't have any pictures tonight.  I feel like I've somehow failed you.  

*I forgot to mention yesterday that I received the latest installment in my Wooly Wonka Exotic Fibers Club experience.  It's bison!!!!  I love bison!!!  And it comes with the coolest pattern...

*I've never spun bison.  

* I haven't been spinning much lately.  Bison or otherwise.  I really need to get back on that.  I have bison, for crying out loud!!!

*Oh, wait.  I could have taken a picture of that!  My sense of failure grows exponentially.

*Don't worry.  I shall probably have forgotten all about it when Prime Time Television viewing starts up.  I'm easily distracted. 

*When I buy yarn, I always over-estimate how much I need.  I have a great fear of running out of yarn.  Sometimes I awaken in the dark of night, quaking at there mere thought of such a tragedy.

*So you can imagine my surprise when, as I was knitting merrily along on the Too Big Baby Sweater, I ran out of yarn.  

*There I was, staring helplessly at my almost-finished project, wondering just how in the heck I got to a place in life where I was left with a four inch dangling string with which to complete a sweater.

*Bad words were said.  I have now added another layer of Bad Word Karma to the baby knits.  I am the world's worst Great Aunt ever.  You can look it up.  I am now at the top of the list.  

*I hope that there is another skein of this stuff at the store.  My choosing to only purchase such a small amount does not bode well, though.  

*I'm back to knitting baby socks.  I hardly swear at all when I knit those.  And I only use Minor Swears.  That's OK.  No one gets in trouble over the Minor Swears.

*Oh, by the by...I keep forgetting to mention this.  When I bought the new computer, I also switched browsers and email.  Due to some convoluted course of action that I cannot explain and for which I take full responsibility, it is now sort of hard to get into my old MSN email.  If you've been sending me messages and not getting a response, fear not!  I do not hate you, nor have you developed cooties.  My new address is:  SheepishAnnieATgmailDOTcom.  My apologies for any missed messages or unnecessary cootie inspections.


Now I'll let you all get back to your Wednesday night plans, secure in the knowledge that I have remained random.  Unless it isn't Wednesday night for you.  Then you are secure in the random stuff and can enjoy the added security of knowing that I remain firmly entrenched in the belief that my universe is the only one.  

Time for TV now.

SA

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Day, A Delivery, An SBK

It was a day.  I got up.  I managed to dress myself in various things that sort of matched and I remembered to wear shoes.  I went to work.  I did work-related sorts of stuff.  I left work.  On the drive home, I began to despair.  I was in desperate and dire need of material.  And I had none.  

I thought about pretending that my internet connection was down or that my fingers were lost in a tragic photocopying accident, but the guilt got the better of me.  How could I lie to such fine folk as yourselves?  It wouldn't be right...

Thankfully, the mail is sometimes a good source of blog fodder.  Let's all stand up and give Trek a nice big round of applause for saving us from yet another blog post filled with baby knits or my having to Photo Shop a picture of myself without fingers.  Which would have been a huge problem since I don't have Photo Shop...

It seems that while going about her daily business (and there is much busy-ness in a given day for Trek), she found a poor, lonely Small Beanie Kitty (SBK) in need of a home.  Knowing that I have a Big, Fluffy Kitty (BFK) who is rather bored these days and perhaps in need of a friend, she thought to send it along.  

Now it has been my practice of late to forgo the opening of packages on days when I have to do my afternoon workout.  I like to open them later as a little treat for being so diligent with the sweating.  Hence, the poor SBK had to sit in the box on the counter for over an hour before being released from his cardboard confines.  However, once I'd freed the little feller and cooed over his absolute cuteness, I set about making introductions.  I think it went rather well!



All kitties in this house like to sit on the knitting patterns.  It is tradition.  I was pleased to see that the SBK was willing to get into the spirit of things.  The BFK didn't seem to notice any changes right away, though.


However, she soon took note and began to gaze upon the SBK, clearly deep in thought.



Still thinking...


New friendships take time to root, I suppose.  And for them to bloom we must be willing to nurture the relationship.  Patience is the key.  I think that the SBK is really quite enthusiastic about the arrangement and looking forward to a long, happy friendship.  Small Beanie Kitties are known for their ability to sit quietly and allow Big, Fluffy Kitties to make the first move.  They are masters of patience.


Meanwhile, The BFK is going to keep mulling it over.


But she did ask me to tell Trek, "thank you very, very much" so I have a good feeling about this!

SA

Monday, January 21, 2008

Meet You Half-Way

Between Friday's sick day and today's holiday, I have managed to score a four day weekend.  Sure, the being sick part sort of took some of the "wheeee factor" out of it.  But it is still nice to pretend that I am a lady of leisure who can afford to stay home and indulge her whims rather than being who I am: a working gal who needs the paycheck to feed the yarn/frozen pizza habit.

Today is the final day of the fantasy, though.  Accordingly, I planned for how I was going to use the last few precious hours of freedom.  And, in typical fashion, the promises I made myself were met.  Sort of...

The first step in the Master Plan was to arise early.  This would not only give me more time for the doing of stuff but would also help with my getting up on time tomorrow.  I've been rather indulgent with the sleeping over the last few days, I fear.  And I really did get up nice and early in spite of mis-setting the alarm clock for a p.m. awakening rather than the a.m. variety.

However, getting out of bed was more about answering the call of my yodeling digestive system rather than adhering to any sort of schedule.  Whatever it was that I ate yesterday that was out to get me did a fine job of staging a surprise attack in the early morning hours.  The happy news is that the whole yucky tummy thing was very short-lived and the day was not lost.  Plus, I was up super early so I was really on track with the plan.

The next thing I promised myself was that I would gas up the truck and then return home without stopping anywhere that might lead to the spending of cash earmarked for food and shelter.  But, I had to go to the drugstore to get more of the tummy soothing medicine and they have all sorts of fun things at the drugstore.  I got a new lint shaver thingie!  How have I ever lived without a lint shaver thingie?  Sure, I spent more money than I intended and actually forgot to by the tummy medicine after frolicking amongst the labor saving devices in the drugstore.  But, I have a lint shaver thingie...

In deference to my aching hands, I decided to set aside the knitting today and break out the spinning wheel.  I promised myself that I would spin.  Spinning must happen.  I dutifully oiled the wheel and set the basket of fiber beside it in a tantalizing manner.  Surely this would help me to resist the lure of the baby knits!  Of course the oil needed to "settle" a bit.  It wouldn't do to have under-settled oil in the wheel.  I figured I could just knit one or two rows on the baby sweater while I waited.  What harm could there be in that?

I knit almost the whole body.  I knit and attached a sleeve.  I knit half of another sleeve.  I have not spun an inch today.  I comfort myself with the thought that the day is not technically over and that there might still be time to whirl the wool.  I have no qualms about lying to myself if it makes me feel better.

Knowing that I needed to sleep tonight if tomorrow is going to be a bearable day back in the classroom, I swore to myself that I would not nap.  Napping is going to make sleeping tonight very, very challenging.  Napping must not happen.  It would be a huge mistake...

Except that I was up really early with the yodeling tummy and all.  Really, really early.  And I didn't have the best of examples to follow.




Napping is catching.  It's like a virus, really...


Then there was the cleaning I was supposed to do.  It's best to not discuss it.  I blame the fact that the Sci-Fi Channel was running a Tru Calling marathon and I am always sort of helpless in the face of marathon television.  I managed to clean the general area around where I was sitting by heaving things that shouldn't be there in the direction of the wastebasket, though.  I'm counting that.  I even dusted the coffee table with a tissue.  At least the part I could reach from the couch...

Somehow, I don't really feel all that badly about my failings today.  I enjoyed my last day of relaxation.  Sure, I have confirmed my suspicions that I will never be entrusted with the running of a Fortune 500 company and am now positive that I should not be the one to deliver transplant organs for a living.  I'm OK with that.  I wasn't really planning on doing any of those things anyway.

I'm good at relaxing.  One should go with one's strengths.

SA

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Loosely Laced...

Since there seemed to be some interest/appreciation for the use of shoelaces as ties for the One Piece Baby Kimono, I figured I'd share more of the deets.  As I mentioned yesterday, I thought that the ribbons suggested in the pattern might not hold up with repeated washings.  I also wondered if the average Mom might have strong feelings about garments which require regularly scheduled repair to avoid the appearance of a bedraggled baby.

This is all guess-work on my part.  I dunno nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies...

Any-hoo...here's what I ended up doing.   I found some disturbingly cute and pleasingly inexpensive shoelaces which featured appropriately babyish cartoons.  I ran each end of one lace from wrong side to right side on the front panel and drew them up to an even length 'cuz there's nothing that makes me more nutso than uneven laces.  I then determined the appropriate placement for the second set of ties on the inner panel and repeated the process.  Nothing is stitched into place and can be easily removed for changing the look or if you happen to be like me and have difficulty determining lace-placement.  Now you've got laces in all the right places and can move on with your life.  




See?  It's all so very simple.  I like simple...


And it is a quick solution to the finishing of this project.  Which is good.  Because people are starting to use words like "third trimester" and describing my niece's current gestational feats of dilation.  I have made it my life's mission to not delve too deeply into the mysteries of childbirth.  I find the whole thing rather disturbing and it is my understanding that it is somewhat uncomfortable.  I do not care for things that interfere with my comfort.  Hence, I am sometimes a bit befuddled when people start babbling about babies and their imminent or perhaps earlier-than-planned arrival.  But, I do believe that the current discussions are significant.

I base this on the following:

1.  The general tone of the conversations and the promises to keep me updated.  Updates usually mean that information of relevance is forthcoming.

2.  The fact that I cannot seem to stop knitting. 

 It appears that even a crusty, old, good-for-nuttin'-but-mutton Sheepie can muster up a drop or two of estrogen without even trying in the face of baby discussions.  There have been any number of knitted thingies completed over the past week, all of which must meet the criteria of being, "widdle."  There is another sweater on the needles, but it is sized for a 6 month old baby.  (we're being optimistic...it's kind of gi-normous at the moment)  And this isn't going fast enough to suit my need for many, many widdle thingies.  

So I knit the Baby Bib 'O Love from Mason-Dixon Knits.


And I downsized it because it wasn't widdle enough to suit me.

I am out of my mind with all the widdle.  Send help.

SA

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Crazy Knits

For what it's worth, I am feeling ever so much better for having taken a day off to sit at home and snuffle in peace.  In fact, I was actually feeling much better yesterday morning after sleeping in just a bit later than is usual and not having to go into the classroom to face the desert-like, sinus-aggravating conditions created by our heating system.  Yup.  A day at home with the cough/cold medication was just the thing.

However, I still found it necessary to sleep on the couch last night.  Sleeping on the couch is one of those "sick behaviors" that probably doesn't help matters, but still seems like the thing to do when I'm under the weather.  It wasn't my intention, though.  I fully planned on snoozing the night away in the comfort of my own bed with a fluffy kitty and a box of tissues by my side.  

I failed to factor in the rules around the consumption of over-the-counter cold medications, though.  Apparently, it is a very bad idea to combine antihistamines from a bottle that says, "may cause drowsiness" with the reading of one's Zombie Survival Handbook before bed.  What can I say?  I goofed.  Under the best of circumstances, I find that cold medications give me the jitters when taken more than once per day but I figured that it was the weekend and sleep wasn't really all that important.  And I'm sort of addicted to the zombie book...

The combination of the two left me awake into the wee hours lamenting my lack of prowess with various firearms and wondering how I might destroy the stairs leading up to my condo in the event of an outbreak of walking dead.  I finally just gave up and hit the couch where I added to my overall sense of paranoia by falling asleep to some show on the travel channel featuring international ghost hunters.  

Common sense does not exactly abound here at Chez Sheepie.  But weird dreams most certainly do.

The hours spent in wakeful contemplation have been pretty good for the knitting, though.  I've been waving the pointy sticks around just like someone who knows what the heck she is doing.  You'd almost think a real, live knitter lives here or something...

For those of you who don't think you can stand the sight of another pair of Maine Morning Mitts, I'd advise you to cast your eyes away right now.  I'm hopelessly addicted to these things at the moment and there is no way to get past this compulsion other than knitting them like a madwoman.  This pair isn't completely my fault, though.  Noolie recently featured a pair that were knit from homespun yarn she gifted unto Patti.  I have handspun yarn.  How was I to resist such a challenge?




For what it's worth, I knit these as a gift.  That should redeem me on some level...


And then there were the Cute Widdle Baby Sox.  Yes, they are still too big for a newborn.  That hasn't changed although I had great hope for some sort of magical knitting intervention taking place when I wasn't looking.  However, they are still just about the cutest darned things I've ever laid eyes on and, considering I kind of made them up as I went along, I think they came out rather well.



Say it with me, people:  Awwwwwww!


These were knit using the leftovers from a pair of socks I finished up over the summer.  Trek sent me a skein of the most yummy Sunshine Yarns sock yarn and it was just too soft to not use completely.  I think I had about ten inches left when all was said and done.  I now feel that I have squeezed all the possible goodness out of it.  


Last, but certainly not least, we have the completed baby kimono:


And if you haven't just melted into a pile of goo from the unbearable cuteness at this point, you never will.  


This is the one piece baby kimono from Mason-Dixon knits and is just about the fastest baby sweater pattern ever created.  Of course, once I whipped through the knitting, it occurred to me that I am the worst seamer of garter stitch to ever stroll the planet.  You can talk to me about the mattress stitch until the cows come home and I still won't be able to do anything but make a mess of it.  What I saved in time by not having to purl on this, I lost trying to seam like a real knitter.  In the end, I became fearful that all the bad words I was saying might have a negative karmic effect on the baby who will be wearing this thing and just did a backstitch seam.  Yeah, it's bulky.  But babies are pretty helpless and have to wear what we tell them to wear even if it makes them look fat.  And it's not like diapers are all that flattering, right?

I also opted to not go with the pattern and use the suggested ribbons for the ties.  On something that will require washing, I felt that this might be something of a no-no.  Instead, I found some very cute cartoony shoelaces.  I didn't stitch them into place, either.  They were easily laced through the knitted fabric and can be removed for washing or changing out to better compliment baby's ensemble.  

I figured that giving some choices with regard to accessories was the least I could do after the whole fat-seaming/bad language karma thing...

So here we are.  It is Saturday night, I have knit myself into a coma and am ready to party my way into the weekend with a stiff belt of NyQuil.  We know how to do it up right here in Sheepland!

And tonight I'm going to reread the chapter on Living In An Undead World.  I need to balance off all the "cute" with something a little closer to the edgy side of things.

SA

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sheep At Work

Anyone wandering past my classroom today might have thought I was doing nothing.  That would be the best case scenario.  Truthfully, most people probably thought I had expired there.  Which is, of course, how any good teacher would want to go.  Seated at the big desk, surrounded by mounds of paperwork, bent paper clips littering the floor and random sticky notes clinging to every surface...that's a real grave for a real teacher!

I could see why passers-by might leap to the conclusion that I was either dead or slacking.  I was pretty much immobile for most of the morning.  When one's eyes are at half-mast from the pressure of the sinuses and one is experiencing the lack of oxygen that results from only being able to work with a quarter nostril, movement is not only inadvisable, it is downright dangerous.  But, there was a great deal going on in spite of all appearances.  A great deal, indeed.

Firstly, there were the weather checks.  Another storm is bearing down upon us and I wanted to see just what I was going to be dealing with tomorrow.  I normally get a few inklings when snowstorms head our way and I can usually predict when the weather is going to result in a Snow Day.  But, my inklings were very, very silent today.  Unsure of how much my Hideous, Horrible Worstest Ever In The Whole Wide World Cold was impacting my inkles, I decided to check the weather reports regularly.  

I'm going with my inklings.  I do not predict a Snow Day.  There will be school tomorrow.

Not that it matters to me.  The other little piece of business to which I was devoting my morning involved coming up with educational sorts of activities with which to keep my darling students busy tomorrow for the half day that school will be in session.  Like many schools systems, ours has gone to using early release days in lieu of full workshop days to get all the trainings and stuff taken care of so that we don't have to bill the taxpayers for our working year round.  And this sort of stuff is really very important.  

Just not so important that I am feeling like I can drag my eight hundred pound sinuses in for one more day.  By 10:00 this morning, I had successfully managed to create some pretty interesting packets for the kids to work on tomorrow while I lie abed and make lots of little whimpering noises and blow my nose like a trumpet.  I am taking a sick day.  The world of education will have to limp along without me for a brief period.  

Any thoughts I might have had regarding my indispensable nature were pretty much put to rest when I began to announce to teachers that I would not be in tomorrow.   Several people vigorously thanked their god and told me that I probably should have made this decision several days ago when the gooey-ness first started.  Point taken.

With tomorrow's schedule now decided and a holiday weekend to follow, I have a four day weekend with which to work.  As I do not anticipate suddenly deciding to scale a mountain or hike through the South of France, I'm guessing that I'll probably do a little knitting.  The gallons of cold medication purchased this afternoon are probably going to leave me fit to do little else.  I'm hoping to finish up the Cute Widdle Baby Sockies and get the ties secured to the front of the baby kimono.  I'm also hoping to start another pair of fingerless mitts.  

Or I'll nap.  It's anyone's guess at this point...

SA

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Booger Bullets

The First Cold Of '08 rages on. Thank heavens for Wednesday and all its randomy goodness! Here's the day's highlights:

*I think we've covered the cold. We are all on board with my achy, sneezy, snuffly, hacking grossness, right?

*I'd like to think that the horrific behavior of my students today was due to some sort of atmospheric anomaly or the annual post-holiday letdown.

*But, I'm pretty sure that much of it was due to my utter lack of patience. Anyone who even breathed incorrectly in my presence today knew my wrath.

*Still, I made an effort. What follows is a somewhat altered but accurate in most ways conversation from my classroom this morning:

Ms. Sheep: Uh-oh...

Cheerful Teaching Assistant: What's wrong?

MS: I pulled The Student With Anger Issues out of art about fifteen minutes ago as I saw he was about to blow like a volcano after a burrito brunch. I figured we could finish the project in our classroom, but now I don't know what to do next and I have to go ask the teacher.

CTA: So? Just go ask.

MS: I sort of didn't get permission to take him. She might be kinda mad...

Student With Anger Issues: Yeah. And I took one of her pencils, too.

MS and CTA: Oh God!!!!!!

MS: Wait! I have an idea! (goes to knitting bag, rummages around and triumphantly holds aloft a recently completed FO) I'll distract her with a baby sock!

CTA: Good plan. She's a new grandmother and all.

SWAI: (looks confused)

*This was, indeed, a good plan. New grandmothers who are art teachers and who also knit are easily lured to the soft 'n squishy side once exposed to wee, little knitted thingies.



And, honestly...who could blame her?

*The downside to this brilliant plan was that she immediately wanted the pattern.

*This was sort of complicated since I wasn't actually using one.  But, I fudged it.

*I don't write patterns all that well...

*There are two obvious issues with this sock in spite of its unbearable cuteness.  The first being that it is really rather large for a newborn.  I don't know much about babies, but I'm pretty sure they grow so it'll come in handy later on down the line.

*The other is that it is shaped kind of funny.  However, it seems to me that babies are, too.  

*Don't hate me.  I'm just making an observation.

*The Big Fluffy Kitty happened to notice that I was snacking on Reduced Fat Wheat Crackers.  The BFK loves Reduced Fat Wheat Crackers.

*However, once I succumb to that sweet little face and give her a cracker, she has no earthly idea what to do with it.  

*Which would be fine except that she usually ends up licking it then sitting on it and that means I can't eat it.  Or at least I shouldn't eat it...

*It's looking more and more like Friday's storm is going to be something along the lines of sleet and freezing rain.  And, given the timing as well as the fact that it is a half day of school anyway, I don't see a snow day in my future.

*I am starting to see a sick day, though.  I may have mentioned that I have a cold...

*And I'm all out of Reduced Fat Wheat Crackers.


Happy Wednesday, you guys!  Enjoy the day and celebrate the middle of the week in any way you feel is appropriate.  I shall be raising a tiny, plastic cup and toasting the little glimpse of the weekend ahead with some NyQuil of a rather recent vintage.

It sure would've gone nicely with those crackers...

SA


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Haves And The Have Nots

My cold and I were up bright and early today.  With yesterday's snowstorm now but a memory, it was time to get it in gear and head into work.  Those kids aren't going to teach themselves, after all.  (although I'd be willing to experiment with that educational strategy given the least, little chance.)  

And my cold was feeling a little housebound after being stuck at home all day yesterday.  It wanted to go out and show everyone in the world the renovations it has done to my nose.  It is rather pleased with the work it has done taking my normal nose color and changing it to bright red.  It is also doing some rather innovative things with my eyes.  The puffiness adds quite the nice touch to the whole presentation.  Who am I to deny an artist his audience?

So I went to work.  There is a little phenomenon that can be observed the day after a big snowstorm in these parts.  Society breaks itself down into two distinct groups.  We all can be easily categorized and there is nothing we can do to change our status no matter how hard we might try.  You can spot who belongs where in a second.  All you have to do is look.

Some people are Garage People.  Some are No Garage People.  The Garage People drive very clean cars.  It is safe to ride behind them on the highway because there is nothing flying from the roofs of their vehicles.  No sheets of ice suddenly lose their grip on the luggage rack and try to decapitate you at 70 mph.  The Garage People look happy and warm.  They haven't a care in the world.  

The No Garage People are trying to see the road through the six inch diameter circle they were able to carve from the ice on their windshield before the scraper broke.  They somehow managed to clear the mirror on the passenger side of the car, but forgot the one on the driver's side.  They have no earthly idea what is coming at them from the rear.  This is good because then they would be able to see the giant snow clot that flew from their roof onto the Mercedes behind them.  This would only increase the stress, after all.  The No Garage People are also the ones who tend to forget to put in window washer fluid and have to stop every few miles to throw snow at their own vehicle in order to give the wipers something with which to work.

I am a No Garage Person.  I am good at heart.  I give to charity.  I think kindly of my fellow man.  I would give up my claim to the last parsnip in the grocery store if it meant that another might have a vegetable.  (that one might be a bad example...it's not like I buy a lot of parsnips.) I like to think that I am basically a moral and upstanding sort of person.  But, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to having harbored hatred in my heart for The Garage People on snowy mornings.  They strolled out to their vehicles today in enclosed comfort.  They didn't have to blast their way out of a snowbank in the early dawn's lack of light.  They didn't have to invest in an extra long snow brush so that they might reach the roof of their truck.  The Garage People have it made.  They are the "haves" to my "have not-ness."  By tomorrow, I'll be over it.  I'll go back to my usually sunny and people-loving ways.  It won't matter that I don't have a garage in which to park my car.  My commute will not be spent glaring at the cleaner modes of transport and muttering vile things.

I may not have a garage, but I do have it pretty good, though.  Imagine, if you will, a certain stuffy, sneezy Sheepie blundering her way out of the house this morning.  She climbs through a snowbank to clear off her truck, manages to start it and get a foot of snow off it.  Mostly.  She pilots her way through the mountain of white stuff deposited by the plows and manages to not hit her neighbor's car in the process.  She then decides to stop at the mailbox because there are probably a million or so bills in there which cannot be ignored for too much longer.  But there is a package!  She uses great restraint and promises herself that she can open it when she gets home this afternoon.  She works a full day, blows her nose four thousand times, makes it home and even does her Tuesday afternoon workout in spite of not feeling like it.  She blows her nose twenty more times.  Then she opens her package.



And lookee what was in it!


Not long after The Horrible Holiday of '07,  I found a message waiting for me on Ravelry.  Anne had read of my loss and wanted to know if it might be all right to send a little Missing Our Furry Friends package along to me.  I was just so incredibly touched.  I think we've all had that moment where we identify with another's pain and for her to reach out like that was moving beyond words.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the day I decided to start up a little blog would be the day I connected to a world of caring people who just want to help ease the burden a bit.  And how the heck she knew I'd have a cold by the time this package arrived is beyond me, but there is some vitamin C drink mix in there!  There was also some chocolate, but you can't see that because I sort of ate it.  It was good.  You'll just have to take my word for that...

Thank you so very, very much, Anne.  You made my day.  And the Big, Fluffy Kitty is quite taken with the little wind-up toys.  She says, "thank you," too!

I do believe that tonight I shall drink a little of the vitamin drink, giggle over my new sock blocker key chain (a little something I have been coveting for a while now) and enjoy the warm feelings.  The temperatures continue to drop and the next snow storm is but a few days away.  And I still don't have a garage in which to park my car.

But, I'm feeling pretty warm and cozy right now in spite of it all.

SA