Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Friday!

Wednesday night Casey, Jamie and Wendy McNiven came over so I could help Casey with a school report and the construction of a "serval" for the class in which the serval report would be read.

For those of you who don't know, I raised a serval kitten (a knee-high African wildcat with ears like satellite dishes and long legs) from the time he was a week old until he passed away at age seventeen in 1996.

Casey is only eight so she never met Deaken (that was the serval's name), but of course she has heard a lot of stories about him, and she has a serval t-shirt which I gave her years ago even though it was waaayyy too large at the time I gave it to her.

So when the teacher asked the class to go to a library and check out several books about any animal they wanted to learn more about and do a report on, Casey chose servals.

They arrived Wednesday night with a short stack of four wildcat books and several sheets of impossibly large paper from which we were to fashion a three-dimensional serval using plastic bags for innards.

Casey had read the books before coming over, so when it came time to answer the questions (Where does your animal live? What does it eat? What kinds of other animals does it interact with, and how? What is its habitat like? What is the greatest threat to its existence? and the like) she wrote answers while Wendy and I stapled together the 3-D "stuffed" serval.

When Casey finished the written part of the report, she colored the serval on both sides. It turned out really great.

Then she had to write at least one paragraph about what make servals unique. She chose their ears because she remembered a story I had told her about Deaken's remarkable hearing. (If you've read my De book, you know what a terrible time DeForest Kelley gave me as a result of my having told HIM the same true story.) She wanted to type the story on my PC... so it took a half hour because she hasn't yet taken a typing class. I was patient and didn't go nuts as she typed... very... slowly... but made very few mistakes! The paragraph turned out great. We have a definite budding writer in the family!

Today my arm is back to normal size so I went out and mowed the lawn (the very large lawn) while Jackie dug up the weeds in the flower beds out front. I also walked twice today.

Last night Jackie and I went to the McNiven's for Wendy's awesome lasagna and while there I bowled three games of Wii Bowling -- left-handed, so I didn't mess up my newly-recovered arm. We also got involved with a few karaoke songs. Casey and I sang two songs together and then Jackie and I did a duet of "Almost heaven, West Virginia..." (what's the title of that John Denver song?). We got astronomically high scores and a "recording contract." (That means we did great.) I love karaoke. It always tells me I'm a great singer. I have a hard time believing that unless a machine tells me. I love to sing, but have an inferiority complex about it, because Jackie is the real singer in the family. She's fantastic.

What else? It was a little slow at Elance for me this week, so I have to make up for that. But my quarterly estimated taxes report will report that I made over $5K in three months. Had I been paid for work I did already, that would have been $6K... but some of the payments came in after midnight on March 31st, so they'll go into the next report.

I'm just amazed that I'm doing this well so quickly. I expected it to take a couple of years to be bringing in this much. It has really taken off the past three months and all the reviews are positive, so that fact (and my designation as a Premier Provider) is even bringing in requests for bids from buyers... I can't accept all of them, because I am committed to several "regulars," but it's great to have them coming in so I can accept the ones I have time for. In late April I will have to take on extra Elance work because one of my regulars will be going out on maternity leave for at least a month, so I'll have to find some temporary filler projects then.

I've been walking twice daily religiously as well as Wii-ing, so I'm slowly losing weight.

Sorry for this train-of-consciousness report. I usually take more time with these blogs, finessing them, but it's Friday night and I want to get off this PC and start enjoying the weekend right about now. If I've forgotten anything, I'll let you know sometime during the weekend.

Have a great one!

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