Saturday, December 31, 2005


Curses upon you, Michael!!! Oh, wait, I can't do that...just be glad you have cute kids. Someone hasn't been reading the Sheep's archives. For you, I will do this despite my utter loathing for the whole "tag" thing. (note that only former and present SW Farm residents will understand: this is the only torture worse that the dreaded Baby Carriage of Doom!)

Seven things to do before I die

1. Finish my clinical license
2. Knit two socks on dpns
3. Seduce a hapless cabana boy
4. Find all the missing pens in my home
5. Train the cats to clean their own box
6. Get a better job
7. Spin Cashmere

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Drive a standard
2. Eat liver
3. Brain Surgery
4. Resist making a "smart aleck" remark
5. Finish watching an episode of "Survivor"
6. Add large numbers in my head...or the multiplication tables!
7. Pilot large aircraft

Seven things that attract me to my spouse:

Only the one: That he learned to live with the fact that I said, "NO!" Hence, no spouse!!! Yay!

Seven things I say most often:

1. "Seriously!"
2. "What the f**k!"
3. "I didn't do it."
4. "Yes, I mailed that payment."
5. "Where the hell did I put (fill in the blank)?"
6. "You need to make a better choice." (I'm a teacher...)
7. "It must be a mistake in the pattern!"

Seven books (or series) I love:

1. "Harry Potter"
2. "Kay Scarpetta"
3. "Little Women"
4. "The Gunslinger"
5. "Stephanie Plum"
6. "Disc World"
7. "The Vampire Chronicles"

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:

1. "The Big Chill"
2. "The Matrix"
3. "The Exorcist"
4. "The Princess Bride"
5. "Nightmare on Elm Street"
6. "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory"
7. "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory"

Seven people I want to join in, too:

1. The Pope
2. President Bush (c'mon...aren't you curious what comics he reads???)
3. Ben Franklin
4. Bozo the Clown
5. Krusty the Klown
6. My third grade teacher
7. The elves who make my shoes

And that, gentle reader, is the ending to my '05 posts: a tag, god help me...a tag.


Back Behind The Wheel!

When you live in a small space and you have a lot of "stuff," you learn to live with clutter. After a while, you sort of stop seeing it and just focus on the what you're actually looking for: size 2 needles, car keys, the cat you haven't seen for the last hour but can hear coughing up something the size of Kentucky...that sort of thing.

It has become somewhat difficult, however, to not see the ridiculous amount of wool that needs carding, blending and spinning. (All of which has been hanging around since last summer awaiting my creative touch. ) So, this morning the sheep hit the Louet Jr. and returned to blending more of the Lincoln with the copper metallic in order to get some of that out of the way. Did we finish? No we did not...but we can say a dent was made. No sense posting pix of that since it looks pretty much like all the other photos. Next up: the Jacob that I won in an Ebay auction in August. Perhaps I'll actually get all this done in time for Spring Shearing so I can get more and fill that vacated spot!!! Clutter indicates the financial resources to acquire lots of comforting.

The sweater continues, but doesn't really look all that much different. I'm just finishing up the last of the cursed decreases before separating for the back and fronts. I find that cardigan-type sweaters work best for the math-impaired Sheepie when she works both sides at once. Measure twice, cut once my fanny...I never seem to get them the same size!!!!!!!

Vacation is rapidly winding down and the spinning/knitting will be relegated back to the weekends until the February break. I do feel that I'm wrapping up '05 with a number of FO's and that's not a bad way to end the year! The Sheep fervently wishes all a safe and Happy New Year's Eve and the strength to a) stick with all those well-intentioned resolutions or b) the creativity to come up with good reasons why not.

Celebrate Safely!!


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Knitting and ADD

The Sheep mentioned in the earlier "Forced Tag" post that she has a little ADD. Not the "Oh silly me, I forgot to pick up the milk" kind but the "Hmm...forgot to pay my taxes, finally change my oil after 10,000 miles, wander out of meetings cuz I'm bored" kind. I get the jitters when I take antihistimines and drink coffee to help me sleep. I sometimes catch people looking at me during Pupil Evaluation Team Meetings and realize that I have been rocking in my chair for the last god-knows-how-many minutes. And, lord help me, I have a tiny bit of difficulty with printed directions...GET TO THE POINT ALREADY...OH FORGET IT, I'LL JUST FIGURE IT OUT!!!!

Sooooo, I take Concerta. This helps a great deal and outweighs the side effects IMHO. However, it is a methlyphenidate and one can develop a tolerance for it. Thus, whenever possible, I take a little med. holiday and vibrate through life for a few days. As I'm on vacation this week, I thought it might be a good time to take a little break. Now, let's discuss decreases.

The Not-So-Fringed-Collar jacket is humming along nicely, but we had a little difficulty following along when it came to the decreases after the super thick ribbing. We've had to do a bit of "adjusting" since I have no intention whatsoever of going back to the beginning. I've managed to get this sucker to within a few stitches of where it is supposed to be and think that all will turn out well. Here's the progress thus far:

A close-up of the ribbing:
Bigger view:

Persephone offering her valuable assistance:

Technically, The Sheep is still on vacation, however the downside to having two jobs is that she needs to drag her fleecy little self out the door for a 5:00 visit supervision for the agency. Gotta pay off that stupid crown so I guess I need to put in the hours. I don't want Dr. DeSade to have to get upset...can you imagine how mean he'd be if I owed him money????

And in case you're wondering: yes, we opt for medication on the days we work the extra job!!!! It's a looooong day without it.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Deep Sheep

The Sheep is not normally one to get all introspective, but 'tis that time 'o the year and all. I was sort of startled by a realization yesterday whilst rummaging through Chez WalMart for a new pair of trousers that might fit and having a hard time of it. The items that were "age appropriate" didn't exactly come in the right size and the ones that did fit were really just gonna make me look like total "wannabe teen." When I got home, I cast on for the "Sweater of Shame" without really thinking about it until I was a few inches in and realized that I was shooting for a size S.

It was almost a year ago to the day that I was using an X-mas gift certificate at Kohl's and realized, to my delight, that I needed to purchase a size 14 jeans. This represented a month of careful diet and exercise.

By May, the day before my 30-10th birthday, I purchased a size 6 pair.

In July, I made the move to a tight, but wearable 4.

In November, the 4's fit.

Last week, while attending a school function, a parent volunteer asked if I was a dancer. She said I moved like one.

Ok, last night I ate 1/2 a package of holiday M&Ms, but we'll get past that, I'm sure.

My point? I'm not really sure, but I do know that it has been a year of change. I didn't really set out to alter my life to any great degree. I just knew that I wasn't ready to be middle-aged. I'm not really any different than I was 60 or so pounds ago...I'm still a grumpy old sheep who aspires to be the crazy cat lady. I still knit and spin out my frustrations and grouse about how "kids today don't know hardship...I had to walk to and from school uphill both ways in snowstorms year-round with only tissue boxes for shoes and dryer lint for lunch." But at least I'm doing it in cute jeans.

Not sure what '06 will bring. Not sure if I will happen whether I plan for it or not. But I am certainly enjoying this moment as I knit merrily away on my little sweater and hope that it's not too big.

And knowing that the orangy color will make me look like a carrot rather than a pumpkin.


Q & A

missemilysmom asked what kind of yarn I was using for the sweater. Lion Brand Homespun, of course!!! And it's in a weird orangy kind of color. The Sheep just hangs her head in shame...


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Two New Projects And A Confession.

The Sheep has two new projects in the works, but first a big welcome to my buds M & L as they enter and re-enter the wonderful world of blogdom! When I have a sec. I'll put my little hooves to work adding them to my links list. M & L are Dad and Mom respectively to the cutest little girls in the whole wide world and I don't just say that because they are my nieces-by-proxy. (both the sheep and her brother have discovered that they get better Christmas presents by not having pesky children to interfere with the process so other people's children needed to be co-opted.) Their blogs share both child-rearing and crafty goodness! You can check them out at The Trials And Tribulations Of CamMad and The Craftier Side Of Camad's Mom.

Now for my sad and shameful confession:

I have a scarf and sweater on the needles at present. The scarf was inspired by the Skinny Scarf that I recently finished. I loved the drape and the beading so I thought I'd try one with a skein of StyleCraft Amore that I purchased at my LYS not too long ago.

The sweater is a pattern for a "Fringed Collar Jacket" from the Winter '03-'04 edition of Vogue Knitting International. Rest assured, there will be no fringe.'s the tough part...are you ready? Can you handle it?? Sit down now... They're both...gasp...shudder...whimper...ACRYLIC!!!! That's right. You heard me. And the sweater is being done in yarn purchased from Wal-Mart. The sheep is not ashamed! Nor is she a "yarn snob!" I love the finer yarns of the world, don't get me wrong. But, when you work with children, you just can't beat a washable garment. I also prefer Coffee Mate to cream. Live with it.

I'll leave you now to digest this information. If it helps, I promise that the next item will be crafted from the finest of hand-spun wool on wooden needles whilst listening to a selection of classical music and eating Brie.


Monday, December 26, 2005

For Your Perusing Pleasure:

My wonderful brother gave me this book for X-mas! It's Dyeing to Knit by Elaine Eskesen. Elaine hails from my own great (if somewhat soggy today) state of Maine and is the owner of
Pine Tree Yarns. It is a fabulous resource for the novice to seasoned fiber artist and includes such tidbits as: tips for dyeing, sources of inspiration and patterns for the final product. This tome comes to you courtesy of Down East Books. Such a treat on a rainy day!!! The sheep feels the creative muses just vomiting ideas upon her recently coiffed head! Must go create, must go create...


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Just what I wanted!!

Mom and Dad came through! I am now the proud owner of a Jensen Tensioned Lazy Kate. Dear Old Dad used Tung Oil to stain the cherry wood and it is a perfect match to my Tina II. ( he is also the master craftsman behind the assembly and finish on that bad girl) Desdemona doesn't seem as impressed, though:

Can't eat it, can't sleep on it...I fail to see the point.
Well, it's not hers, is it? I'd love to show it with some filled bobbins, but I need to get busy at the wheel before that can happen. There's some "weather" headed into Maine this evening so perhaps tomorrow I'll feel the urge to get on that.
I hope that happy holidays were had by all and that you were able to find the joy in the season. Warmest wishes and now let's all go eat the left-overs before the New Year diet!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays To All!

I went to see my stylist today to try and take a few years off before we hit 2006 and gave her the skinny scarf that has plagued my days and nights for so long now. It was worth the work and angst...she loved it. I still didn't really get any input into the length of my hair, but that's ok. The highlights were amazing...I feel 20 again. OK, maybe 30...38???? A young 40? Whatever...I'll just act really immature. That'll be fine. It's what I do anyway.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday (whichever one in which you may indulge). The sheep does Christmas herself and is looking forward to a certain special something from Mumsy and Dadsy this year. I assisted them in the shopping process with some very strong hints. I hope to post pix tomorrow should my repeatedly complaining about this lack of one thing in my fibery life pay off. Cross your fingers!

Now...everybody go to bed. Santa won't come if you don't.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Sheepie Claus Came!

My Mom continues to be the best "Santa" in this, my so-called-life, but the Sheep likes to think that she does a pretty good job taking care of her own holiday wish list. How could I forget to post a picture of my latest Ebay win??? I'd like you to meet my new rug hooking frame:

The seller's info said he was out of Florida, but when he emailed me the after my big win I learned that he is actually a snowbird who flies south each winter from my own great state of Maine. He makes these using native Maine hardwoods and I do feel that he did a rather nice job. I've put my latest, greatest (and I use that word loosely!!!) WIP on it and have been hooking away. Working with quality tools makes the Sheep feel a tiny bit better about her less than developed skills in this fiber area. :)


Thursday, December 22, 2005


Rest,'s all in sight for this little sheepie! The day before the holiday break is always a long one. The kids are excited, (in my neck of the woods most celebrate Christmas and are anxious as all get-out anticipating the arrival of the man in red.) the staff is pretty much wiped out and in need of Xanax drips, and many of the aforementioned are sick with whatever holiday bug is making the rounds. Next we add in big old parties, sing-along assemblies and desk-clean outs. It all adds up to chaos. Yet it is a fun day if you can just keep repeating to yourself, "I do it for the children, I do it for the children..." They really are quite dear when they aren't sobbing over imagined slights (or outright slights) from peers, or shuddering both outwardly and inwardly over whatever holiday hell is happening in their homes in this, the most stressful time 'o the year. There really is nothing like the look on one of my little guy's faces when he brings in a hand-wrapped candle that he picked out just for me at the local dollar store. My class is made up of kids who have some pretty significant emotional and behavioral disabilities so, when they take the time to give a gift from the heart, it can really make a tough day brighter.

This little foray into the world of harps and violins notwithstanding, the sheep is grateful for this little respite. I know, I know, teachers have it made: vacations up the wazoo, but it's really a grueling type of job and one that requires vigilance for 6 straight hours per day. In my case, I don't get lunch breaks or preparatory periods. I stay with the kiddos for the duration and hope my bladder holds out. I find that this is a bit more difficult now that I'm in the "middle years!" I think the best part of this vacation will be the freedom to decide when I need to pee.

And, of course, to knit and spin to my heart's content. I'm finished with one of the fingerless mitts:

And have the second well underway. Of course, I managed to start the colorway in the wrong spot so they won't match exactly, but I don't care. The sheep likes to talk with her hooves so the mitts will be moving so fast nary a soul will notice!

And, the knitted neckwarmers I cranked out for staff gifts were a big hit. Everyone loved them. Now I can feel perfectly justified in finishing projects just for little ol me! I found a sweater pattern in an older issue of "Vogue Knitting." Perhaps....

Well, I'm off to start the salute to me and whatever I feel like doing for the next few days!! Perhaps I'll feel like blogging...perhaps not. Before I sign out, though, here's a shout-out to
Knit Annie and her new blog. Thanx for taking the time to stop by my little site! Your stuff looks great!

Peace Out!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

'Twas the week before Christmas!

Greeeeeeat time to be a teacher...really, just fabulous. Wired kids, tired teachers. If I survive 'till Thursday I win a free vacation in my own home, free from children, staff rooms filled with holiday goodies designed to make me bloat into the new year and computer programs designed to make my life and paperwork easier but never actually work when I need to write an IEP. I will have a week where no one asks me to make someone stop looking at them, tells me that they hate me because I have the audacity to suggest that we try a math page before recess commences or eats something that they removed from a nostril. It is going to be a beautiful time...

Meanwhile, I have begun a fabulous pair of handwarmers from Fortissima Sock Yarn! One done, another in the works. Got the pattern from Mama E's blog when I was cruising around the Fiber Artist's Ring. Easy and fun...what more could a tired sheep want in this time of holiday stress and strife?

I wish you all a Silent me, silence is awesome!!!!


Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's DONE!!!!!!

Th Skinny Scarf is finally done!!! It was a simple plan: size 1 needle, (I knit loosely and continental) cast on 21, seed stitch until desired length or carpal tunnel sets in (whichever comes first), block and fringe. It should have gone far more quickly than it did, but it's always the simple projects that letcha get a bit cocky! This is certainly a beginner project but I wouldn't recommend it as a first. The yarn is really designed to be an accent yarn rather than for garments. (Classic Elite's "Commotion") It's a bit difficult to see what you're doing. Whatever, I finished it!

The second shot of the fringe 'n beads is really quite horrid, but you get the idea. All in all, I'm pleased with the results. My stylist is a petite, Asian woman who will look amazing with this style and color. Hope she likes it...

Now, the sheep can sit back with a cup of coffee (or six...or seven) and spend the rest of the afternoon watching reruns of Mythbusters. Ahhhhh!


Saturday, December 17, 2005

And Now, Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Complaining.

My mouth has healed to the point where I can no longer justify my continued fussing over the whole dentist thing so I guess it's back to whining about the usual day-to-day stuff. I'm sure that everyone who has to spend any time with me in the course of a day will be pleased to hear that. In fact, I have heard rumors about a party being thrown somewhere to celebrate the ending of this drama. I was not invited.

In fiber news: I should be finishing up the Skinny Scarf tonight. I'll block it tomorrow and add some fringe and beads. I think it will make a suitable gift for my stylist and that she might actually be willing to accept some input from me regarding my hair length. We'll see... To be truthful, she generally makes better choices for me that I ever could, but I'd at least like to be a part of the process!

I also managed to finish a pin for a co-worker:

It is made with polymer clay and hand painted-papers that I recycle out of grocery bags. I used to do more of these before the knitting bug bit me and infected me for all time with a need to turn string into stuff. It was kind of fun to go back to that for a bit, but I can't imagine letting go of my compulsion to bend wool to my will.

Soon, I shall be able to focus on my favorite person in the whole world: ME!!! (people often ask if I feel that I may have missed out on something by never marrying or having children. I don't get that...) My yarn purchases from the post-dentist experience should get me started. It looks like I'll be a bit longer than I thought getting my cardigan yarn spun up and I'll need some short term projects to fill the empty space. I'm envisioning hand-warmers:

Hope to be able to post a picture of the skinny scarf soon. I will be thrilled when that foolish thing is done! For such a simple project, it gave me more than one headache and a desire to return to the halcyon days of drinking! Fortunately there is always chocolate so I was able to keep my spirits up despite the set-backs.

Back to those little #1 needles for the final push!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

How To Maintain Your Inner "Cool" At The Dentist:

It's tough to look cool at the dentist. Half your face is numb, you're drooling and your pupils are fully dilated in terror, giving you that "community-outing-day-for-the-asylum-patients" look. Over the last month, though, I have come up with a few personal tricks to help myself at least feel a bit more like I got it goin' on even my outer self doesn't necessarily reflect that:

1. Wear a thong. You'll know it's there even if no one else does.
2. Use American Sign Language during the procedure to call your dentist foul names. He'll just think it's muscle spasms.
3. Make eye contact with the dentist while he's working. This throws them. I don't know why.
4. Memorize the names of the various parts of your mouth from the charts covering the walls. Throw those names in the conversation. Pronuciation is not an issue as you have a spit sucker, seven fingers and a pokey-thing in your mouth at all times anyway.
5. Wear something with the "Harley Davidson" logo on it to your appointment. The staff will think you have biker associations and be a bit nicer. (ok, that one hasn't worked for me thus far, but I'm going to keep going with it...)

All in all, this appointment wasn't quite the horror show that the root canal was. Dr. DeSade used a rather frightening amount of pain killers although he refused to admit that he may have been wrong in not listening to me the first time when I told him that traditional blocks generally don't do it for me. He also did a marvelous job of distracting me by regaling me with his thoughts on the current state of education and how schools should be run. I'm making a list of things he could do to improve his practice of dentistry for my next visit (more fillings) and I'm sure he won't react by telling me that he has studied his craft for years and might possibly know a tiny bit more than I.

The downer, however, came when he was seating the crown. Dr. DeSade seems to forget that people are fragile creatures and don't bend in certain directions. My jaw has a limited range of motion and he manage to force in a way that it has never traditionally moved. Thus, my mouth is currently immobile and I'm resorting to left-over cough medicine from my last bronchitis bout to deal with the pain. I don't know how he missed that loud snapping sound, but I heard it quite clearly!!!!!!

Oh well, I have to say he did an amazing job with the restoration. I had really done a number on this tooth and he put everything back the way it used to be. For $1100.00, I guess that's how it should be!!! (note: I have used up all my insurance benefits so this little extravaganza was all on my tab)

It was nice to have a day off, though. My LYS just happens to be two stores down from Dr. DeSade so I picked up a few goodies to help ease the pain before heading to the drugstore. I had hoped to get some spinning in, but was faced with this when I got home:

I just didn't have the heart to move the old fart. Desdemona is in her twilight years and I guess she has earned the right to nap freely. I hope to claim the same privilege when I get to that stage of life!!!

Yet another storm is bearing down on the great state of Maine and it looks like tomorrow may end up being another "snow day." How fun is it to still have those while in your middle years? Perhaps then I can wrangle some time with my wheel.

Happy brushing and flossing!


That's D and rhymes with T and that stands for "tooth." Today, rebel that I am, I ate a 1" cube of cheese. And there went the rest of my crown. Dr. DeSade is going to yell at me. This is not going to be pretty.

And yet I'm in an oddly calm place at the moment. I hear that condemned prisoners experience this same feeling of detatchment just before being led down that long hallway towards their final judgment.

I am, however, back to work on the skinny scarf. I ended up scrapping the first one after dropping one lousy stitch. This yarn just loves itself and doesn't want to let go once knitted into a big old self-hug so trying to go back and pick that bad-boy up was more of a hassle than just starting over. This time I opted to go with a seed stitch. You can't see it, but I always love the drape you get with this stitch and a fine yarn. If I focus, I may be able to get this thing done in time to give it to my stylist at my next appointment. She is a sweet woman with a strong personality. I rarely get a say in how my hair is going to be coiffed and I'm hoping to convince her to let it grow out a bit this time. I need this scarf as a distraction!!!!

So it is with crossed fingers that the Sheep hits the hay tonight. Here's hoping that: 1. I can get this scarf finished in time 2. Dental Procedure #2 is pain-free and 3. Dr. DeSade is feeling well and happy with his lot so he doesn't feel his usual urge to take out all his life's little disappointments on me.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

i'm in my happy place, i'm in my happy place....

Not knitting, not spinning, not hooking, not dying, not carding, not nuttin'!!! Upon arriving back at the casa de mess following another grueling day wrangling other people's kids I noted that I had a phone message!!! Whoopie!!! Someone in the big wide world took the time to reach out to lil' ol' me. I must be so popular! Whom could it be? What exciting thing could be coming my way as a result of listening to this message?

It was my dentist's office.

They were doing a "courtesy"call to remind me of my appointment on Thursday and that I needed to "pre-med." (For those of you without heart-murmurs, this means take an antibiotic that gives you diarrhea before you go to the place that scares the crap out of you.)

Now I'm heading into full "terror mode." Amber Alert, All Hands On Deck, Man The Lifeboats, pick your panic-related cliche.

Last month's root canal was almost out of my mind when I began to lose the temporary crown. My crack staff, quite sick of listening to me complain about this, gently suggested that I make an appointment and get the permanent crown done so that I could enjoy my Holiday Break. ( Translation: "so we can enjoy some peace and quiet before we go on said Holiday Break") This appointment is the day after tomorrow.

I was just getting over the nightmares that came flying out of my now hollow nub of a tooth. Dreams where the dentist (let's call him Dr. DeSade) says things like, " now you may experience some mild discomfort here." Then he grows horns and fangs and proceeds to drill my face off. There are variations on this, but you get the general idea.

Now I have to go back and face him again. I must suck it up and return to the place of ugly decor, bad Muzak and sharp things that poke you. I must go there and act like none of it bothers me like a real grown-up would. Then I must pay them large amounts of money for the privilege. It hurts on soooo many levels.

So, instead of working on that "skinny scarf" that I need to have done for Christmas Eve I am sitting on my couch in a semi-fetal position worrying obsessively about this upcoming appointment. The one Dr. DeSade assures me won't be nearly as bad as the root canal. The one that I know will not go well because, in a past life, I clearly attempted to murder the tooth fairy or one of her cats. And the moral of this story (for those who need a little more closure in their blog posts): Floss...Floss like your f#$%&ing life depended on it!!!!!!

The sheep will now go rummage through the medicine cabinet for some expired valium.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Weather, Kitties And Fiber!

Still a bit shaky following my flu bout...having a hard time getting my appetite back and am tired as all get-out, but the fiber fun must continue! Friday's big snow blast has rekindled my need to get a "snow-shovelin'" sweater done! Here's a shot of Persephone enjoying the snow storm:

I'm an indoor cat and proud of it!!!!

And a batt of the Lincoln/Metallic I'm spinning for that aforementioned sweater:

I love the colors (G&K Craft Industries Caramel blended with copper metallic), but I'm a bit disappointed in how much of the color seems to be ending up of my fingers during spinning. To be fair, I tend to be a bit heavy-handed with the dye, but why is it that the cheapo, unidentified packets I win on eBay never do that???? Oh well, I do love this Lincoln. It's from Peaceful Pastures who somehow seem to put out the softest fleeces despite Lincoln's rep. for being a bit scratchy.

And Desdemona? Well, she's resting up. She has her Mommy's tendency towards sleeping away bad weather:

Wake me when it's 75 degrees...or dinner time.

In between naps, though, the sheep has been spinning merrily and hopes to have that cardigan on the needles soon!

I've been spinning so much fingering weight of late that I forgot I needed something more along the lines of a worsted weight for this pattern. Ended up having to go back and redo! It was that or have a 4-ply yarn, but I wasn't that far along in the spinning so I decided to start over.

And, all will be pleased to note that I have already made my lunch for Monday and have clean clothes ready to go. No repeats of last week!!!!!

Phew! I feel like I've added the recommended daily fiber content for this blog! Must begin getting psyched up for the upcoming week and the labors that help pay for this hobby/addiction!



Friday, December 09, 2005

Because I'm weak, that's why!!!

OK, I swore I wasn't going to get sucked into this. I don't do "tags" or anything else that might resemble online merriment. But who can resist the siren-like call of Crazy Aunt Purl when she tells us all to do something? So here it is, once and for all, never to be repeated, now while no one is reading this blog:

Ten random things you might not know about me:
1. In high school, I was a Sunday School teacher.
2. I have ADD and treat it with medication.
3. I am a recovering alcoholic.
4. I have never watched "Survivor."
5. I just loooove firemen.
6. I can't drive a standard.
7. I have a tattoo.
8. I want to get another tattoo .
9. I can quote along with episodes of the original "Scooby-Doo."
10. I am super-picky and resort to eating pizza almost every night.

Nine Places I've visited:
1. New Hampshire
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Las Vegas, NV
4. Wyoming
5. Nova Scotia
6. Salt Lake City, UT
7. Providence, RI
8. Boston, MA
9. Orlando, FL

Eight Ways to Win My Heart:
Can't be done...I'm a bitter, old spinster and I like it!

Seven Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1. Finish the clinical portion of my counseling license.
2. Get my PhD.
3. Buy a house
4. Knit just one stupid sock!
5. Understand Jazz.
6. Travel abroad.
7. Find a way to not die.

Six Things I'm Afraid Of:
1. My dentist
2. Falling
3. Being out of control
4. Looking stupid
5. Gaining all the weight back
6. Fire

Five Things I Don't Like:
1. Vegetables
2. Romance Novels
3. Schedules
4. When there's nothing good on T.V.
5. Itchy sweaters

Four Ways To Turn Me Off:
1. Assume you can turn me on
2. Brag...that's my job
3. Cheat
4. Disrespect me

Three Things I Do Every Day:
1. Clean the cat box
2. Eat
3. Watch cartoons

Two Things That Make Me Happy:
1. Chocolate
2. Praise for a job well-done

One Thing That's On My Mind Right Now:
1. The fact that I have to go back to the dentist for more "work" next week.

Whew...that's out of the way!!! Never again.


Karma: Don't believe the hype!

The Sheep is back to sitting upright and consuming coffee! There is hope! I seem to be recovering from my bout with the killer virus (I guess I don't actually have the Bird Flu) and Persephone's ministrations. And, as if to prove that one can escape retribution from all the nasty Karmic vibrations, it seems we have a monster storm moving into Maine. That means, yes, you guessed it: NO SCHOOL!!!!!!

It's a good thing; I'm still a bit on the weak side today, although I was ready to go to work when I learned that I'd been given a reprieve. When I'm not moving snow, I shall attempt to get some knitting done. I wasn't able to yesterday as focusing my sheepy little eyeballs led to a weird sort of queasiness and then... well, that's best left to the imagination. Suffice it to say it involved the flinging of care-taking cats who were parked on my tummy and running for the luxurious restroom accommodations. Bleeech!

So, I'm setting up tonight's Parenting Education session as a phone "check-in" and getting ready to hunker down for the storm! Long weekend, here I come!!!!


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Due to technical difficulties...

Guest Blogger: Persephone

Me 'n The Sheep In The Sick Room

Persephone here. The sheep is down with the stomach flu or some such thing given to her by some little kid who sneezed on her or wiped a booger on her or whatever it is that those creatures do. This has meant a busy day for me what with all the comforting and care-taking. Now I have to do her blog...sheesh. A kitty's work is never done.

It all started this morning around 4:45 when she got up looking a bit green. I could have told her then that she wasn't going to work today, but it was 7:00 before she made the call. Mommy is such a hopeful creature. Even a feline knows that a temp. of 101 does not bode well.

Now some (physicians for example) might have suggested Advil and plenty of fluids. I, however, know better. Once she was settled on the couch, I parked myself on her tummy, then on her chest, then her feet and so on and so on for the remainder of the day. It's an intensive form of therapy devised by cats to limit restroom breaks, food, water...whatever she might think she needs. I know better. The sheer warmth of my body, fly-away fur in her face, licking and loud purring are all remedies stronger than penicillin. She complained alot, but I hung in there and she seems to be feeling much better. Mommy will tell you that it was the Advil she snuck when I took a litter break, but what does she know?

Hopefully all my hard work today will pay off and she will be back in fighting form tomorrow. I am simply wiped out from this day, but she is such a great human to have around that I don't mind. Perhaps in the near future she will have enough strength to clean that box...

Purrs and kitty snuffles to all,

Catching some areas.

I'm taking another tack on this. I will never catch up at work. It's a system designed to keep me running on the metaphorical hamster wheel until I drop. Fine. When I do drop, I am guaranteed entrance at the pearly gates given my tireless devotion to children. Well, unless St. Peter or whomever is subbing in for him that day is a regular blog devotee...

Anyhoo, I'm simply going to get done what I can (mere mortal that I be) and take all sorts of giddy pride in getting some holiday gifts done. If I put on big enough blinders I can convince myself of god-like abilities. Besides, I can't live the life described in the previous post; my cats hate each other too much to live in such close quarters. I shall soldier on! Here's what I've accomplished to date:

A chenille neck-warmer

A 5 oz. skein of fingering weight Lincoln/Metallic blend

And...I managed to get that report done for job #2! The Sheep rules!!!!

Here's to looking at the brighter side!


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Reality Bites!!!!!!!

OK...I thought I was so darn productive this past weekend. I went to bed Sunday night and slept the sleep of the righteous, secure in the knowledge that I had slaved and labored for the benefit of all who do now or will someday know me. I am an idiot.

Monday morning arrived and I realized that I had neglected the following:
1. My lunch
2. Clothing for the day ahead
3. Prep work for my 2 new students
4. An 8 page report on the supervised visit I did on Thursday night and due by mail within 24 hours of the visit.

So, I went to work looking like a hobo and ate cheese for lunch. Old cheese. This depressed me enough that I still have yet to put together that report. Not that it matters, I don't have any stamps anyway. Back to my usual state of disarray and excuses.

Oh well. I did manage to get another neck-warmer done for a staff gift. Not that I'll have a job if this keeps up for much longer. I'll probably be able to sell them from the back of my car/home and eke out some sort of a living. They'll call me the "scarf lady" and throw cans at me when I stumble into their neighborhood pathetically waving hand-made neck-warmers at passersby. The Department of Health and Human Services, failing to recognize me as a former colleague, will do periodic checks on me to ensure that I am alive and not eating cat food. It will be a simple life, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (that's what folks say when they can't think of anything positive to say about your situation) I can make it work.

Hope that you also have career aspirations and goals for which you strive. Best of luck!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

While Mommy Works Her Fingers To The Bone...

Such a productive weekend! Yesterday I hit one of southern Maine's finest shopping establishments (Wal-Mart, of course) at 7:00 a.m. and finished up the Christmas Shopping. Well, as much as anyone can ever say one is really "finished." Today, I finished up 1/3 of a chenille neck-warmer for a co-worker and the Lincoln/Metallic is set and blocking as I type! I even began a couple of pins as "back-up" gifts. And while I slaved over these projects, Persephone and Desdemona did their part:

" I really do have a just can't see it."

"We like to think we assist best by providing moral support."

And last, but not least:

Pumpkin Bread!

Tragically, the one one the left is cracked badly on the top and lacks structural integrity. For the safety of all concerned, I'll just have to eat that one. I'm not insured for baked good related accidents.

I can head back to school tomorrow feeling pretty good about all I've accomplished. Of course, I'm exhausted and will probably doze off during Science class. Whadday gonna do?


Saturday, December 03, 2005

...then adjust branches in a natural fashion.

It's the first weekend in December and that means it is time for my yearly bout of "tree stress." This affliction is characterized by loss of sleep, an overly developed need for symmetry and the humming of carols in a high-pitched keening voice while rocking back and forth in the corner. I simply insist on going through this year after year, despite the trauma. I do love looking at each ornament and recalling where I was in my life when I obtained it. As for "arranging the branches in a natural fashion," I say, "hooey!!!" The whole reason behind going artificial was that my experiences with "natural" were less than holiday fun-filled. There was the year I cut my own and ended up with the tree that made the Charlie Brown tree look like it came right from the White House. Then there was the "trapped under the fallen and ice covered tree in the middle of the living room and having to just hope that someone found me before death" incident of '97. It just never seemed to work out like it does in the tissue commercials. I want the ease and perfection that comes with fake!

As I've found a better camera, I'm posting a better picture of the neckwarmer that I finished during the halcyon days of medication. It still doesn't look like it's going to make it into "vogue knitting," but at least I feel like I've proven that I own a somewhat decent camera...

And to prove that the sheep can't take a decent picture no matter what (give me a break...sheep don't have opposable thumbs) here's the first bobbin of Lincoln/Metallic. I hope to have the second one ready for plying by tomorrow. It's not much as I've decided to do one skein as a Christmas gift for a knitting co-worker and use a different color for my upcoming cardigan.

Tree Stress, anxiety, the pressure to finish those last minute gifties...why do we put ourselves through it? I guess it all comes down to that desire for the "perfect" holiday experience. (the sheep is also a counselor...did you know that?) Each year, I try to spend a little time reminding myself of all the reasons why I make 'n bake: Friends, family, having reached a point in life where I am able to show the people I care about how special they are by sharing small (or not so small) tokens. These are all things for which I am grateful. Even with all the anxiety, its not something I would ever give up. At least until I can afford a personal shopper to make my Wal-Mart runs.

Enjoy the weekend and the season!


Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy Friday!!!

The sheep does love her Fridays. It usually tends to be an easier day (although today was not...many, many wild and out of control children and many, many absent staff to not deal with them) but the best part is that it is Chocolate Day! Why, you may ask, would one only designate one day of the week for chocolate? Does it not contain antioxidents? Is it not the finest substance on earth, one that creates a feeling of calm and well-being that no drug can approximate? Yes to all. However, I recently lost a significant amount of weight (50 pounds to be exact) and I find that allowing myself one day of indulgence keeps me on the straight and narrow for the rest of the time.

My last birthday put me into a new decade and I guess I decided it was time to start being a responsible grown-up and take a little better care of myself. I have learned that knitting and spinning do not burn the kind of calories that I'd hoped and that diet and exercise might need to be part of the repetoire. Speaking of Birthdays, here's a fun little item:

Mine seemed to indicate that I have more wealth than I actually seem to be able to spot in my bank statement, but it still gave me a good feeling to know that the possibility exists. Retiring, living the life of leisure, buying the finest imported chocolates...on Friday, of course!

Hope your Friday is filled with chocolate and the promise of found wealth!


P.S. Here's a shout-out to missemilysmom over at Knitting And Such. Thanks for the kind words!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Not feelin' the love...

I work hard. By day, I teach full time in a self-contained day treatment program for elementary school students with emotional disabilities. Several nights a week I provide court-ordered parent/child visit supervision and parenting education through a small agency just outside of Portland. I give back to the community, am kind to the elderly and always wash my hands after using the bathroom. I am a "giver." And yet, when I arrived home after a full day of providing these valuable services to the community at large, this is the greeting I receive:



Is it too much to ask that a couple of my needs get met every so often? Am I such a bad parent that I have raised selfish, uncaring felines who will never go to college, get MBAs and support me in the style to which I would like to become accustomed? Is there a parenting course out there for Mommies who have failed in this area?

I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I am owned, lock, stock and barrel, by these creatures. My life is not my own and it is too late to change anything. This will probably all feel much better on this cold Maine evening when fluffy, little Persephone (the black and white one with the sour expression) curls up with me for the evening and throws off some of that one-of-a-kind kitty body heat. It gets in the way of the knitting, but sure feels cozy!

Enjoy your evening, be it with kitties or real people!