Sunday, January 30, 2011

Overdoing It

I had a dentist appointment on Friday.  I took the very first appointment of the day so that I could get it over with and still have some "sick day" time to enjoy.  I have taken exactly one half day off for illness so far this school year and I happen to think I deserve the time, especially after spending part of it with The World's Meanest Dentist EVER.

Afterwards, I couldn't help but wonder why my dentist's office is so much more high-tech than my doctor's.  When I go to the dentist, I sit in a chair facing an LCD screen while the hygienist sits behind me at a keyboard.  My medical and insurance history is flashed before me for review, then a clunky pad is thrust into my hand for an electronic signature.  Next a cuff is placed around my wrist.  It hums and tightens briefly, then a pleasant (if slightly tinny) voice emanates from the depths of the Velcro.  I am informed in dulcet tones what the World Health Organization thinks of my current blood pressure and heart rate.

(Note:  The World Health Organization has never met my dentist and, as a result, has no frame of reference for my slightly elevated scores.  I don't blame them for passing judgement.)

When my cleaning is done, the dentist arrives and makes a few comments.  These, I assume, he finds to be the height of hilarity even if they are not.  He brings up a shot of my last x-rays on the little screen so that he can confirm the cavity I have on the lower right side.  When he is done, the hygienist returns to the keyboard so that she can make my next appointment and a card is spat out for my records before I can clear the chair.  Sometimes it's a little bit curled up from the machine.

It isn't like that at my doctor's office at all.  My blood pressure is taken by a harried, but still very pleasant, nurse.  The gauge hangs right on the wall and it's the kind with a dial.  I can always read my own BP just by watching the little needle and counting the beats I feel under the cuff.  My records are kept in a gigantic manila folder.  When notes are made, they are handwritten by either the nurse or the doctor in perfect Palmer Method script.  I'm asked to make an appointment for my next visit with the receptionist on my way out.  She fills out a little card for me, so I don't forget. There's a whole stack of them right on her desk.  It isn't curly.

I'm not saying that one or the other is the better way.  I suppose I think that there should maybe be more high tech stuff at the doctor's office, but what do I know?  If nothing else, the gadgetry certainly does distract me from the horror that is my dentist.  But a part of me thinks he is over compensating.  And over compensating is a very sad thing.  Yes, my mean dentist is a very, very sad man when you think about it.

I used the rest of my long weekend to finish up the Stoopid Rectangles.  I told the Very Nice Lady who works at The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Dear And You Sort Of Don't Mind That So Much that I would make a pair for her sister.  I felt kind of funny about this since they are just Stoopid Crocheted Rectangles with a hole in the side that lets you wear them as handwarmers, but she seemed to think her sister would love them.  I guess if you don't crochet, you are able to ignore that they are just Stoopid Rectangles.

When I was done, I couldn't help but think that they looked so very plain.  I didn't dare embellish them, though.  It wasn't what The Very Nice Lady asked for.  Yet, how was I to hand over a pair of Stoopid Rectangles?  Just drag them out of my purse and toss them on the counter Monday morning when I went in for coffee?

"Here you go, some Stoopid Rectangles.  Sorry about that one that fell behind the lottery machine.  Hope you like 'em!"

That didn't seem right.  At the very least, I should clip them together as a pair.  And what if she was giving them to her sister as a gift?  A gift, even a very Stoopid Rectangular one, should look nice.  Maybe if I labeled them?  That might help.  They are, after all Stoopid Rectangles.  They probably need something that identifies them and helps her sister to understand what they are.  Otherwise, the next Nice Lady family reunion could be uncomfortable. Everyone would be talking about the time those Stoopid Rectangles showed up and no one knew what to do with them.

Yes.  That is what I would do!  Contain them and label them!  Like a real gift!!!

Stoopid Rectangles contained.  

With that decision made and acted upon, the weekend fairly flew by.  Why, I was almost able to forget that I have to go back to see The World's Meanest Dentist next month for a filling.  It won't be so bad, really.  All I have to do is remember how he is one of those over-compensating, sad types.

And I can feel all superior because I'm not like that at all...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WNBP: A Swing 'n A Miss!!

Yet another day spent nervously checking every news station to see if this latest weather event is going to bury me...and it's looking like everything is going to be okey-dokey!  I'm a teacher and I like a snow day as much as the next educator, but honestly!  I would like to get out of school some time before the new year starts so I think we really need to buckle down and get our perfect attendance attitudes back on.

Of course, there is always room for a wind shift.  Last week and my day and a half of school are proof of that.  But, I still think that we won't see much from this one.  The storm that promises to swat the living heck out of folks further south is only going to give us a little love tap.  Now I can relax and focus on more important things.  Like the Wednesday Night Bullet Post!

*There are going to be a lot of disappointed kids in my classroom tomorrow.

*Most of them are unwilling to believe that the storm isn't happening.

*They're sort of used to the whole "minimalist" approach to education now...

*Spunky Girl has been taking Family And Consumer Sciences this quarter.

*That's Home Ec. for those of us in a more vintage state.

*It's rough since she is only a 6th grader and the youngest in the class, but she is making the best of it.

*Today, she also made teryaki chicken.

*And brought some to me for lunch.

*I commented on the perfectly diced veggies.

*Seriously.  Symmetrical.

*Within the millimeter.

*The Cheerful Teaching Assistant said, "I tried to tell her that it was OK if they weren't all perfect, but she gave me this look and I figured I'd better just go preheat the oven..."

*Spunky Girl has a look that will freeze hardened criminals in the middle of any nefarious act they might be perpetrating.

*Yesterday, I tried to suggest a fun, off-center look to the poster she was making and almost had to go home.

*The look traumatized me.

*Spunky Girl is also an amazing cook.  She has a way with symmetrical veggies and chicken.

*I want to be Spunky Girl when I grow up.

*I've managed to lose most of my fingerless mitts.

*I'm down to the Stoopid Rectangles.

*The ones I crocheted in an hour.  Rectangles.  That I stitched up the side and intended to show to The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach as a sample project she could do while re-learning crochet.

*Stoopid Red acrylic.  As mitts!

*Had to wear them on Monday when it was cold.

*The lady at The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Dear And You Don't Really Mind That So Much saw them.

*And asked if I made them.

*And asked me to make a pair for her sister who has a hand injury and who works outside.

*Stoopid Rectangles????  Really???  

*Perhaps I underestimated them.  They do work, after all.  I'm almost finished with a blue pair to bring in on Friday.

*I will not be accepting payment in spite of the offer.  They are Stoopid Rectangles, for God's sake!

*Might accept a free cup of coffee, though.  The nice lady at the convenience store sometimes tries to do that for me but it always felt weird since we are really just Store Acquaintances....

*The Absurdly Gi-Normous Kitty is very cute when he is sleeping.

He's all squooshy and stuff...

*Almost makes me wish I could have a snow day so I could be all squooshed up on the couch with him...

*But that's crazy talk!!!!

*I read Bite Me: A Love Story over the weekend.  The Cheerful Teaching Assistant read it and thought I might like it.

*I kind of forgot that she mentioned how it was part of a series.

*Hence...some confusion on my part.

*A good read, but maybe not my favorite.  Still quite entertaining, though.  

*Some seriously funny dialogue.

*Then I started The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth).

*Sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

*I know, I know...zombies.  

*But I swear to you that these are two of the best books I've read in a long time.

*The zombies are bad, granted.  And certainly featured players.

*But the story is so beautifully written that you almost feel glad they are there.

*And I only just discovered that The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth) is coming out in March!!!!!

*Oh happy, zombie filled day!

*That's not true.  I hate zombies.  I loathe zombies.  

*Zombies make me check the hallway every day before I leave and kick the dumpster when I take out the trash.

*Kicking the dumpster stirs up any undead that might be snoozing under the refuse, thus alerting me to their presence before I open the lid.

*My life is very stressful because of the zombies.

*But I am truly enchanted by these books.  Profound sadness and loss plonked side by side with great joy and happiness.

*Zombies make you appreciate the little things...

*I am taking Friday off because I don't think I want to work full time anymore and I don't get a snow day this week.

*And because I have a dentist appointment.

*Since I was almost finished with the zombies, I swung by the school library and snagged a copy of Septimus Heap, Book Four: Queste.

*Needed something to read while I recovered from the trauma of visiting with Dr. DeSade, DMD

*My Favorite Librarian was busy, but said she "always had time to check out a book for a library patron."

*I said that should be on a t-shirt, but I don't think she understood why.

*I still think that should be on a t-shirt.

*I like the sound of it.  

*That and "always kick the dumpster first."

There.  That should do it.  Now I must leave you all and go see about being A Working Gal.  The storm may be missing us, but it is still planning on taking a swing.  I probably should be ready to head out early just in case we have some slippery roads during the darkest part of the dawn.  Wouldn't do to not have matching shoes and coffee at the ready.

We are truly counting on this being a "miss."  Cross your fingers...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

One Toe Over The Line

I mentioned last week that I was experimenting with keeping a few knitting books on my ereader.  It's not the right experience for every book.  I don't think I could bear to end my life-long love affair with riffling pages and affixing sticky notes.  But it works surprisingly well for some pattern collections, especially those I might reference regularly.

I downloaded Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn as a trial run.  I was immediately taken with the generic, toe up sock pattern.  Not that I was ever going to knit a sock from the toe up, mind you.  I knit a lot of socks.  Oodles.  But I've always been a dedicated flapper and the very idea of a short row heel made my head hurt.  I knit very nice socks.  Who has the time to be learning a new way to knit heels?  And toes, for that matter...

Well, it seems that I do, at least at the moment.  With the recent bout of back to back storms, I've been sitting at home more than I've been teaching the next generation.  I worked literally a day and a half this past week and I have a bad feeling that there is another snow day looming in the immediate future.  I finally gave in and did my provisional cast on.  I was trapped inside and going a little stir crazy anyway.  Why not add a some "heel crazy" to the mix?

The toe-up sock requires two short row endeavors so there was ample opportunity to traverse the learning curve.  Some lessons I learned very quickly.  For example: if it takes you half an hour to "unzip" your provisional cast on, then you have probably done it wrong.  I taught kindergarten.  I've done my share of wintertime playground duties.  I know a stuck zipper when I see one.

Other questions didn't resolve themselves quite so quickly.  I came perilously close to going online and polling the knitting community regarding the best time to ice down my hands.  Should I do it right after screwing up the first heel?  Or wait until the third try?  Would taking a therapeutic dose of pain relievers before starting eliminate the need for ice altogether?  What is the best course of action here???

Of course, I eventually figured out that knitting probably shouldn't hurt and that, like the cast on, I was probably doing something wrong.  I finally reviewed a few online tutorials for instruction.

Finally, after days of snowbound knitting, I ended up with this:

Not bad...if you squint and think very positive sock thoughts.

It is fair to say that these will never be "clog socks."  They might be "church socks" since they are very Hol(e)y in places, though.  At first I found myself disparaging the short row, but then I recalled how I used to have to stitch up the heels of my socks back in the day.  There was always a gap after I picked up the stitches.  Now I don't need to do that because I knit very nice flappy heels.  I've no doubt I can come up with a neater way to do this with practice.

In spite of the flaws, I'm not displeased with the result.  The toe-up sock goes pretty quickly and when you're're done.  No weaving of toes, just one little strand of yarn.  And I'm pleasantly surprised by the fit.  It's really a nice sock, if not a perfect one.

I started the second today.  In the event of further weather, I will have something to work on while I wait out the snowflakes.  At this rate, I should be able to replenish my dwindling sock supply in short order!

Actually, if this weather pattern persists, I imagine I'll be able to meet my sock needs for life.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WNBP: Bonus Day

Well, this was something of a surprise.  I fully expected that I would be sent home early from school yesterday.  Planned on it, actually.  Icy roads mean we get out of Dodge as fast as possible and the forecast was loaded with little sparkling crystals.

What I didn't see coming was another snow day today.  I checked the weather on my ipod this morning, noted that the rains were still falling and thought to check the local news for a delay.  Those are always nice.  Imagine my befuddled state when I saw that the delay was actually going to extend for the entire day!

The extra time allowed me to think of some bullet points to throw your way so why don't we take a look at a few?

*My school district is comprised of three towns.  Two fairly close to one another.

*A third that is sort of geographically challenged.

*They sometimes have their own weather.

*I suspect that it was this situation that caused my snow day today.

*Mixed feelings about this one.

*Love a day off.

*Hate making them up in June.  Especially if I think we might have been able to pull off a school day if we just started later.

*Another storm is predicted for Friday...

*It's days like these that make me glad I took up canning over the summer.

*And that I learned how to use a pressure canner.

*There's only so many pickles a gal can eat...

*Protein is sometimes required.

*I had chicken and parsnips for dinner tonight.

*Right from the cupboard!

*Finally got around to vacuuming today.

*After a long weekend, an early release day from school and a snow day, I was kind of running out of excuses.

*And in bookish news...

*I recently finished Physik (Septimus Heap, Book 3).

*Thus far, my least favorite book in the series.

*However, when one is reading a series, one must soldier through it in its entirety.

*Otherwise, one is confused.

*Besides, it was good.  Just not my favorite.  

*And I think there was another reason.  I had something else waiting in the wings.  Something I was dying to read!

*All fiction is alternate history, really.

*But I first became interested in it as an "intentional" genre after reading Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series.  

*(Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1)

*When I heard about Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate), I knew I had to read it.

*Alternate history.  Victorian England.  Vampires.  Werewolves.  

*And yes.  I agree.  Vampires and werewolves have been done to death.

*But this is different.  And good.  Really good.  

*I plowed through it in record time and was done with Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate) even faster.

*Now I'm reading Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate).

*Witty.  Extremely witty.  It won't just make you laugh.

*It will make you snicker.  Which is even better.

*Also been experimenting with the idea of having knitting books on my ereader.

*I'm of two minds.  I rather love flipping through the glossy pages and putting sticky notes everywhere.

*OTOH, I'm also sort of thrilled to be able to find what I'm looking for without having to rummage through every shelf in the manse.

*This implies that I put all the books on shelves and is a tad misleading but that's not really what we're talking about right now is it?

*What I'm suggesting is this:

I think there is room for both types of media in my life...

*It depends on the book, I suppose.  One with a dependable, generic sock pattern is pretty good to have on an ereader.

*Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn has that.  And the print version is in black and white anyway, isn't it?

*I've also put a few cookbooks in my digital library.  Seemed to make sense.

*We'll see if that works out.

*Worst case scenario, I can print out what I need.

*If I get a sticky note urge that cannot be overcome...

*Which happens more than you think.

*Sock knitting is good for snow days.

*Especially those that come along unexpectedly.

*Most disturbing conversation of the week:

Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage:  Hey!  Ms. Sheep!  How come you have your phone out?  You can't have those in school.  The principal has told me that fourteen times this year...

Ms. Sheep:  Well, you're the one who has pointed out repeatedly that the weather is bad and that you think we should go home.  If school is cancelled, I get a text message from Channel 13.  Sometimes even before The Powers That Be see fit to tell me of their decision.

BFWATWAS: Wow!  You text Ms. Sheep?  That's cool!

MS:  (waving in a self-deprecating manner)  Oh, stop!  Well maybe I'm a little cool...

BFWATWAS:  My grandmother can't text at all.  She doesn't even know what it is!

*I am currently determining which class he is going to fail this quarter.  Probably a good thing we had a snow day today.

Snow days are fun, even if you have to go through the agony of making them up later.  I got to read and knit and play with the cats.  It was nice.  Plus I had chicken and parsnips on hand so it really all worked out very nicely.

But I'm not so sure I'm ready for another one in the near future.  Too many Bonus Days and you kind of forget how to work for a living...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Routine Or Something Like It

Let's see.  Where were we?  When last we left our intrepid Sheepie, she was buried under over a foot of snow and reveling in the end of the first snow day of the school year.  She was also medicating herself with a vast array of OTC pain relievers because the mean plow guy buried her car without so much as a fare-thee-well.

The storm was a doozy while it lasted, but wrapped up fairly quickly. Then it was back to the routine, if only for a couple of days.  I tried to keep a stiff upper lip about it.  It is poor form to complain about going back to school after a bonus day off and a recent lengthy holiday vacation.

But I really wanted to spend some time at home.  I wanted to finish a sock.

I've suffered some sock loss lately.  I had some critter damage the summer before last and, while I don't welcome the moths with open arms, I do consider them the cost of doing business.  At least if your business is fiddling about with wool.  It's going to happen.  I don't race about like a madwoman or anything. There is no wailing nor rending of garments.  When I see damage, I salvage what I can and try to be good natured about the losses.

Then there was general wear and tear, not to mention the fact that kitties often enjoy napping in laundry baskets.  The act of stomping the dirty clothing around until it is "just right" sometimes involves a claw or two.  That can be rough on socks, I think.

There was also a bit of knitting avoidance for a while there so I sort of found myself getting low on socks.  However, a gigantic pile of snow landing on your doorstep can go a long way towards inspiring a knitter.  The sock-in-progress (the second of the pair) was quickly brought out of hibernation and worked frantically all throughout the snow day.

I didn't make it to the finish line, though.  Not even close.  So, as much as I hate being the kind of person who complains about having to work even if I haven't worked all that much, I really resented the time spent teaching.  I should have been knitting.

I knit all weekend.  With great gusto.  I turned a heel, I fingers flew.  And, tonight, I realized that I wasn't going to make it.  I'd done all I could.  But it wasn't going to be enough.  I would enter into the new work week sans new socks.  This made me sad.  But, what else could I do?  It's not like a person can magically get another day off.  I don't control time.  I can't make the hours slow down or speed up to suit my footwear needs.  I'd just have to accept it.  Maybe there would be time to finish Mr. Sock during TV time on Monday night.

Then I realized something.  Something wonderful.  Something I probably don't even have the right to feel good about considering the amount of time I've had off lately.

Tomorrow is a holiday.  It's a three day weekend.  I don't have to go to work.  I can stay home.  I can finish my sock!  

And, if the weather reports are any indication, I'm probably going to need it by midweek...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WNBP: Snow Day!!!

Yes, it is the first official snow day of the school year and I, for one, was rather pleased.  For the most part, anyway.  The part where I didn't have to go to school was very nice.  And being able to take a nap after lunch was really rather delightful.  Snow isn't my favorite thing in the world, but I am quite the Sunny Sue when it comes to finding the bright side of things.

Plus, it's Wednesday so I get to do the Wednesday Night Bullet Post and that always gives me the grins.  Here's the day's highlights:

*Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for snowy thoughts.  You done good!  Together, we made this snow day happen!

*We might have overdone it just a bit, though.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  I put out the call and the response was great.

*I'm just not sure that over a foot of the white stuff was really necessary.

*Or more.  I don't know the totals yet.  If all goes according to predictions, we might have about fifteen inches before this is done.

*It is an abundance of snow day riches, but really four to eight inches would have done the trick.

*Spent the day watching a Star Trek marathon.

*TNG, of course.  Duh!

*Oh!  And guess what else I did!

*I shouldn't even ask that of you.  You'll never guess.

*Not in a million years...

I spun!!!!!

*Yes, I know it is hard to believe.

*If you look closely, you can see where the dust collected on the flyer...

*Spinning is like riding a bike.

*Except for the part where you get floofy spots that make you mad because you didn't used to do that quite so often.

*Still a very relaxing and wholesome thing to do on a snowy winter day.

*I went to the school library on Monday.

*Teachers can take out as many books as they want and keep them for-almost-ever.

*Not "real" forever because sometimes kids want books and the librarian has to come get them from us.

*I try to get mine back really fast because I don't like hearing the librarian's high heeled shoes tapping their way to my classroom.

*And I hate disappointing any librarian.  It makes me feel dirty...

*I finished Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles #1: The Brimstone Key. this morning.

*This is book 4 and starts a new series.  It isn't exactly the epitome of lofty literature.

*But it is a good read and I can't help but love how the new books are going in a semi steam punk direction.

*Young readers need to learn about this genre early if they ever want to grow up to be big and strong.

*Or cool.

*Like Auntie Sheepie...

*I saved Physik (Septimus Heap, Book 3) for last because I love this series beyond all reason.

*It pains me that I have only just begun reading it.  Where have I been?????

*I'll forgive you for not reading any of The Grey Griffins.  That is really on the kiddie lit. side of the fence.

*But I honestly believe that most adult readers would like Septimus.  

*Who doesn't like witty wizards, for crying out loud?

*I moved my car for the snowplows as my condo association bylaws dictate.

*I knew it would be a tricky job to get it off the roadway afterwards but I figured I could manage it.

*Clearly the plow dudes did not like where I parked.

*I know this because they went to great lengths to plow me in.

*Seriously.  They took an extra swipe just to pile four feet of snow in front of my car.

*You can see where they did it!

*Had to shovel.  A lot.  

*Then had to take Naproxen.  A lot.

*As I am one of the few people who bother to move their car per the condo association bylaws, I find myself taking umbrage.

*Not too much because umbrage is usually best expressed with a great deal of huffing, posing and arm waving.  

*And I'm too sore to really do umbrage justice at the moment.

*I hear tell that 49 out of the 50 states now have snow.

*Not everyone is used to snow.

*I am.  Here's what I know about snow.  There are three things you need to consider: Hoarding, Hunkering and Huddling.

*Hoarding, as we all know from television, is bad if overdone.  Just make sure you have enough cat food and diet soda.  And brownies.  Hot chocolate is good too.

*Hunkering or, more properly, hunkering down is the ideal.  If you can stay in and just avoid the cold you should do that.  You will be much happier if you are fully hunkered.

*Huddling isn't strictly necessary.  We do live in modern times and have heating systems at our disposal. But it's nice to huddle when it's snowing.

We had some world class huddling going on today...

And there's Wednesday.  It was a winner in my book, even if I did have to shovel my car out of a wall of snow.  Having the day off really does take the sting out of vengeful plow dude behavior.  And, since I already had my school clothes ready for this morning, I'm ahead of the game tonight!  It even makes going back to school tomorrow kind of bearable.

I'm really going to miss all that huddling, though...


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Less Is Not More

After having had a week and a half's worth of vacation, a weekend doesn't seem like very much.  It is nice.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to turn my nose up at a weekend.  But it is not a week and half.  It is less.

Going back to work was hard. I get up in the darkest of darkness and stagger out of the manse into the same darkness.  I drive in the darkness.  For a chunk of the school year, I arrive at my workplace in darkness.  And now that winter is upon us, it is a cold darkness.

I am a good person.  I don't litter or make fun of puppies, not even the really goofy looking ones.  I understand that I am but one story in a million and that I don't deserve showers of chocolate kisses every time I manage to make it to school on time in the darkness.  I live a simple life.  Sometimes I'm ahead of the game.  Sometimes less so.

I smile my way through my school district's budget crunch and the resulting salary freeze.  I accept that the negotiation process is not the sort of thing that can be rushed and that someday we might see a pay raise.  Some months are better than others, but mostly I get by on the "less" that I've been handed this year.  I know that it isn't personal, me having to drive in the darkness for a smaller salary. It's just the way it is.  Even if it's less.

However, there has to be line drawn somewhere.  I'm willing to tolerate a great deal.  The darkness.  The cold.  The dwindling paychecks and the fact that I'm not on vacation anymore.  But a cup of coffee that doesn't stay hot for the entire commute?  That is an insult that cannot, nay shall not, be borne!

I shall have a big, fat, chunky mug cozy, by God!!!

Granted, it took 30 precious minutes away from my weekend (which is less than a vacation...), but it was worth it.  My coffee will be snuggled within its little jacket and perhaps even stay warm for an extra fifteen minutes.  Fifteen minutes is also less than a vacation.  It is less than a weekend, even.  But it is an eternity to a tired, cranky teacher driving 45 minutes in the cold darkness to a working destination.

Now if I could come up with a pattern for a Weekend Cozy.  Maybe I could make that last longer.  Or at least feel like it wasn't less...


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

WNBP: Because I Do Have A Blog After All!

Well, last week really messed with me!  I somehow managed to get off schedule and now it feels as if I haven't touched the blog in forever and six days.  Vacations are nice.  Very nice, in fact.  However, they do tend to make a person think that every day is Saturday.  I think I have it back under control now, though.  I'm going to do a Wednesday Night Bullet Post and that will set everything right back on track.  Or not.  It might make me think it is sometime in the distant future.  Or past.  But it will still be the right post for the day so I guess I'll be on some sort of track even if it isn't the right one...

*I have reached a conclusion.

*Not going to work in the morning is a far better thing than going to work in the morning.

*Oh, and I am also starting to think that people who expect other people to get up at 5:00 in the morning and leave to go to work before 6:00 are mean.

*That is just a theory, but I think I'm onto something here...

*The first Tuesday of the month is Staff Meeting Day.  All the teachers gather together to hear pearls of wisdom and interesting tid-bits from our fearless administrators.  

*This is an unpleasant state of affairs when you are trying to get back into the routine.

*And when said routine includes wrangling middle school students who are no more pleased to be there than you are after a two week vacation.

*I didn't bring my knitting.

*I didn't miss it.  I knit a lot for the holidays.

*People commented on my missing knitting.

*Felt like I'd somehow let them down...

*Hey!  Guess what!!!!  


*I finally got it!!

Pictures of cats playing with their Christmas toys!!!

For once, they decided to cooperate!  Actual pictures of frivolity and merriment!!!

This is the look that says, "My mommy has way too much time on her hands..."

*OK.  So it's probably a good thing that I went back to work.

*I finally broke down and replaced my tethered ereader with a wireless one.

*Wireless is better.  You can buy books from the bathtub.

*You probably didn't want to know that.  You might even want to take a minute to clear that mental image from your head.

*But it's really cool to buy books from the tub, right?

*I read a lot over vacation what with the whole bathtub-book-buying thing working for me.

*I've been meaning to read Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1) for a while now.  

*Had to go on a waiting list at the school library for it, though.

*Finally just bought it.

*Love it!  Had to get Flyte (Septimus Heap, Book 2) right away!!!

*Hence, the aquatic purchase.

*I knew that Simon R Green's new series wasn't getting great reviews, but I love most of his stuff.

*So I went ahead and snagged Ghost of a Chance (A Ghost Finders Novel).

*Not his best, but I like to support the arts.  

*Plus Mr. Green makes me giggle.  

*And The Forest of Hands and Teeth?  Dudes...

*Sooooo good!!!

*Yes, there are zombies.  

*No.  They aren't anything unusual.  

*They shamble.

*They moan.

*They occasionally bumble into one another.

*And savagely devour the flesh of those hapless individuals unfortunate or unwise enough to stray beyond the fence.

*It's not really about the walking dead.  They are scary, sure.

*But what's really scary is what happens to the breathing types when all systems break down.

*This is a beautifully written book and not because of the zombies.  Zombies aren't beautiful and nothing is ever going to make me think that.

*It's a beautifully written book in spite of the zombies.

*Now I'm reading Under the Dome: A Novel.

*Because I am ashamed to have not read it yet.

*Not my favorite Stephen King novel.  But good, all the same.

*Best Classroom Conversation Of The Week Thus Far:

Ms. Sheep:  You know, when I adopted The Very Complicated Kitty he had a different name.

Cheerful Teaching Assistant:  Really?  What was it?

MS: It was Bob.  (fake name used for blogging purposes)

(The Boy Who Is) Dark And Disturbed:  Hey!  That's my name!!!

MS:  Yes.  And "Bob" really suited him.  But I still had to change it.

D&D: How come?  It's a great name!

MS:  Because I didn't want to ever, EVER have to say, "I am going to spend tonight snuggled up on the couch with Bob."

D&D: (burying his head in his hands)  OH MY GOD!!!  WHY?  WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?  WHY???  NOW I HAVE TO GO TO THERAPY UNTIL I'M THIRTY!!!!

MS:  Think back.  You are the one who decided to announce to the class that you want to go around wearing a loincloth all the time.  Now you know how I feel every, single, stupid day.

*This conversation took place yesterday.

*For the record, D&D was absent today.

*I felt badly because yesterday was his birthday and I gave him the gift of long-term mental anguish and trauma.

*Didn't tell him about the bathtub shopping.

*I'll save that for Arbor Day or something...

Well, that's about it.  I'm all tuckered out from the reading and staff meetings, not to mention how much disturbing the delicate mental balance of teenage boys will take out of a gal.  I'm going to sign off and see about mentally preparing myself for the last couple of work days.  I'd also like to check the calendar so I can tally up the number of days until the next long weekend.

And try to see if I can come up with a more regular blogging schedule...