Where Am I, Part 2

April 16, 2014

I know where I should be in about 4 hours; unfortunately, Delta has once again messed up my flight plans, so I am stuck in a hotel in Syracuse, New York, ready to fly out at some ungodly hour in the morning. Last time this happened, I was headed to Quilt National in Ohio, and I missed the opening. I was really unhappy and stressed when that happened. I had to get a sub for my class and I was just messed up by the whole experience.

This time? Eh. It might help that it’s Spring Break, or it might be the influence of meditation or the distance depression gives me. I don’t really care. We got to the hotel and I went down to the gym and exercised for an hour. I drew for a while…


This is actually a really confusing drawing…there’s a metal tube and someone is zooming through it. It got a little crowded in the end. Too many overlaps. Might do it again on a larger piece of paper. It was (strangely) inspired by the first part of Angels and Demons (the movie, not the book), which was vaguely entertaining me after dinner in the hotel room.

Things the boychild has learned from this delay that his mom already knew: hairdryers are useful for drying damp shoes and clothing, although my Uggs are still wet from Tuesday (it’s OK, I brought my flipflops…oh, and hiking boots); you should always carry extra pairs of underwear and socks, and a shirt if you can; hotel staff have bandaids and it’s OK to ask for one; and most importantly, the line your mom picks will always be the longest one, so get in a different one (seriously, I’ve always had this issue).

Our flight leaves early, so I need to go to bed soon, although I have a hard time getting myself to sleep, even though I’m not on West or East coast time. I have no idea what time zone I’m existing in at the moment. Kathy Zone.

Six hours later! Yup, I’m awake and in an airport. We don’t have seats, but we’re checked in…somehow, we get in to San Diego before lunchtime (probably because it’s early enough that I would just be going to bed if I were home). One of my students wants to know her grade…sweetie, you turned everything in late! Plus I can’t input grades from here. Work raises its ugly head. No! I have 4 more days! Holy crap, where did Spring Break go? Apparently it wandered off…with my brain. Need to put a leash on that thing.

I’m missing life drawing this morning. That sucks. I will have to persuade Calli (the Golden Retriever) to do some poses for me (asleep, asleep on her back, asleep in a ball…you get the gist).

So wish me luck…hopefully the next post will be from the comfort of my own home, where the cats have been ignored by the girlchild for days.

Agua Caliente and the PCT

April 16, 2014

Saturday found me on a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail with some of my regular hiking buddies…
AguaCalienteApr1214 small
The weather was pretty much perfect, in the low 70s with a cool breeze…we’ll be dreaming of that in a month or so.
AguaCalienteApr1214_1 small
The plan was to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail for about 4 or 5 miles, and then to follow the stream up as far as we could.
Apr 12 14 007 small
The hike starts out in a pretty valley with lots of oaks and wildflowers…we even briefly saw a deer hiding in the brush.
Apr 12 14 010 small
We crossed the stream multiple times…there was enough water for it to be pretty and make noise, but not so much that crossings were difficult.
Apr 12 14 013 small
I’m writing these words without being able to see the photos…probably not the best plan, but I’m sitting in the Minneapolis airport waiting for our flight…I preloaded the pictures into the post, but the preview function is being funky, so I have no idea which picture is which. Annoying.
Apr 12 14 015 small
This was a fast hike with not a lot of elevation gain.
Apr 12 14 016 small
We saw some PCT through-hikers, including two women in their 60s.
Apr 12 14 019 small
We also saw a bunch of Boy Scouts who were doing training hikes, with one group camping out.
Apr 12 14 020 small
After walking through the valley for a bit, we started to climb a bit.
Apr 12 14 027 small
You can see the valley for miles as you climb into the hills.
Apr 12 14 028 small
I finally gave up on writing this until WordPress updated the app last night, so now I’m writing in the Syracuse Airport. We were about 11 people, a good size for this type of hike.
Apr 12 14 029 small
There were lots of wildflowers among the chapparal.
Apr 12 14 035 small
Lots of Yucca about to get serious about blooming.
Apr 12 14 036 small
The mountains we were hiking towards…
Apr 12 14 038 small
More mountains…
Apr 12 14 039 small
And a look back at the valley…
Apr 12 14 041 small
Ah ha! There’s the stream…must be Spring in California…there’s water.
Apr 12 14 047 small
And more wildflowers…
Apr 12 14 048 small
This tree was persistently growing out of that rock.
Apr 12 14 052 small
There were plenty of oaks everywhere…
Apr 12 14 059 small
In oasis-like environments where you could imagine setting up a campsite for a while…
Apr 12 14 066 small
Or perhaps, like the Native Americans, grinding some acorns into flour in a mortero.
Apr 12 14 070 small
At about the 5-mile mark, we went off the PCT to follow the stream. This required some minor bushwhacking, which might have been an issue if what we had seen by the stream had been poison oak. We didn’t think it was, and it’s been a few days since I got slapped in the face by one of the questionable plants, and I am still rash-free, so I think we did OK.
Apr 12 14 071 small
We kept seeing more flowers…
Apr 12 14 072 small
And some significantly large manzanitas with their gorgeous red bark…
Apr 12 14 073 small
More flowers…
Apr 12 14 075 small
And more manzanita…
Apr 12 14 080 small
At this point, we divided into two groups, one that went further up the stream and one that went back to a beach area. Unfortunately, one of my group (the continuing bushwhackers) put her hand on a plant with tiny needles that got stuck and caused some swelling. Luckily, old people (like me) travel with a wide variety of drugs and equipment. Here she is being operated on with my tweezers, and later she got ibuprofen and Benadryl for the swelling. We recommended medicating with wine and a soak when she got home.
Apr 12 14 082 small
We stopped here for lunch, perched on rocks around the stream…
Apr 12 14 085 small
Enjoying it rushing around us…
Apr 12 14 086 small
Sitting in the sun or shade, it was restful to listen to the water rushing by…
Apr 12 14 087 small
I know the picture below is one of the frogs who joined us for lunch.
Apr 12 14 089 small
More beautiful stream…
Apr 12 14 095 small
There’s where the Boy Scouts camped out…
Apr 12 14 097 small
And here we are heading back…
Apr 12 14 100 small
There were many varieties of cactus…
Apr 12 14 103 small
And no, I don’t think it was cactus that injured her…there were nettles too, and these were super fine and caused swelling.
Apr 12 14 106 small
The wildflowers were plentiful down in the valley.
Apr 12 14 116 small
The meadow with the grasses rustling in the wind…it was amazing watching each plant shift position in unison with the others as the wind blew through.
Apr 12 14 120 small
Another flower-strewn meadow…
Apr 12 14 122 small
The official PCT trail sign…
Apr 12 14 124 small
And a big old dead tree.
Apr 12 14 136 small
We did probably 11 miles…this trail isn’t difficult. It is an out-and-back trail, so you will have to hike back however far out you go…I don’t find that to be a hardship because I think it looks different as the light changes during the day. This would be easy to do with kids, especially with the water crossings, although summer may reduce water flow and heat will make it more difficult.

Where Am I?

April 15, 2014

Such a philosophical question. I am significantly damp, somewhat peckish, with blood sugar definitely dropping. I forgot an umbrella, I left all my snack food in the motel (brain not functioning), and I’ve been up since 3:30 AM Pacific time.

Where am I? Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University, where the boychild will probably be spending the next 4 years of his life.

It’s a little mind-boggling and even sad to be here. I’m excited to send him here, to have him be moving on to being a college student…but with all the upheaval of the last year, it’s also really hard to be here.

Plus it’s pouring rain and getting colder, with snow expected this afternoon. In 5 minutes, I have to put all my wet outerwear back on and venture out to meet him at some info session, but right now, I am (shockingly) sitting in a nice comfy chair and drinking tea, texting the girlchild (who is not even up yet) about what color shirt she wants.

A few hours later…we did the info session and food and shopping for family, but by then it was hailing and windy and significantly chilly. On the one hand, worst day ever to visit this week, but he now has a better idea of what clothing he’ll need to live here. And he still likes it! Me, I’m happy to be living in Southern California. I spent a year living in Britain and constantly feeling damp and having my glasses fog up.

In San Diego, everything is green, that lime leafy green, right now. In a month or so, it will start to turn brown. Here in New York, everything is brown and dead-looking right now, with the exception of a few trees setting out buds. Spring isn’t quite here.

I’ve been reading a lot. It’s hard to stitch on the plane if you don’t know the people around you. They want to talk, or it just takes up too much room. It’s easier to read with headphones on so you don’t have to engage. Same with drawing…I did draw on the plane, but only when I got to sit with the boychild. Drawing is even more personal. I really don’t want to discuss it with strangers. But, yes, then I post it on the web…seemingly an incongruent act…but you are all out in the ether, not sitting next to me for four hours. No one can disapprove of reading, right? It’s an educated thing to do. We want our kids to do more of it…it helps us deal with the world, increases vocabulary, makes you more empathetic, protects against Alzheimer’s…hell, it’s unhealthy NOT to read.

I actually believe many of those things apply to drawing as well…it’s just harder to draw for many people…although no one doubts their drawing ability when they’re young. We haven’t mastered reading and we draw like little crayon ninjas, taking over the visual world with our interpretations. I have students who don’t like to read, who fight it, won’t look for key words, won’t practice. Sometimes it’s a language issue, sometimes it’s parents not making an effort to read TO their kids, to read IN FRONT of their kids (something besides Facebook status posts, folks…because that’s not reading unless you click through and read news stories and blogposts…and even then, your commitment was for a thousand words instead of pages).

I never had to make my kids read. But they saw both parents reading all the time and we read to them every day.

I wonder, though, what happens with the drawing? I wonder what kind of world this would be if we made drawing or visual expression (dance?) or even music as important and crucial, at home and at school, as we do reading? What kind of world would it be then?


Certainly I would be able to draw on the plane then.

You Turn Arts Presents Seed

April 14, 2014

I always wanted to be a dancer, just like I always wanted to be an author of fiction. The first one is kind of out of my reach, mostly because I’m an absolute klutz…don’t get me wrong, I can dance in the hallways like anybody’s mom, but I’m not in charge of enough of my muscle groups to follow instructions. Even aerobics classes are supremely challenging. I learned this fairly early on, but still love to watch others dance, especially modern dance…there’s a certain fluidity of bodily motion that speaks to how and what I draw. I’ve also done some performance art over the years, and I think that modern dance and performance art are pretty closely related in terms of the performance itself, if not the practice leading up to it.

In my reaching out for a new life (or ways to fill up the old life), I have some groups I’m in that post events outside my normal realm of existence. I’ve tried to find some good art-event groups (fail) and some moviegoing groups (less of a fail, but a timing issue), but one of the geeky women groups I’m in posted a modern dance event recently on a day when I had no other event planned (ie, there was no hike I could go on), and it was reasonably priced, so I signed up. It helped that I knew the organizer from book club, so I knew she was friendly.

The event, Seed, was put on by YouTurnArts, who “aims to create opportunities for performing and visual artists to produce new works in San Diego. The goal is to unify the artistic community, producing artists of all genres.” Not a bad goal. I was more inclined to go because of the addition of the other visual/performing arts, making this more of an event than just a dance performance.

Oh yeah, and I want to be a musician too…preferably an acoustic guitar player and singer. Tried that. Couldn’t deal with the short fingernails and the callouses. So instead, I support the arts by buying good music. The event featured Yael and Vlady playing and singing delightfully throughout the evening.

They’re local (to San Diego). Enjoy them. Here’s her website (her being Yael, Vlady being him).

There was performance art during the break, put on by Hill Young with Scarlet Astrid, called Elemental Exchange. I actually took photos of this (I felt like I couldn’t photograph the dance performances…although there were some official-looking photographers there). This was the intriguing setup prior to the performance…

Apr 7 14 001 small

with these hanging above…

Apr 7 14 002 small

The two performers wore all white (and yes, I thought of Dharma, for those fabric-dyers out there)…they had living material (flowers?) that had been frozen in bowls and then slabs of ice that they broke up and put on the paper.

Apr 7 14 004 small

They spilled the dye (ink?) and rubbed the ice over the papers…

Apr 7 14 005 small

And then opened the cones to release salt (at least, I assumed it was salt)…

Apr 7 14 006 small

There was lots of spillage going on. It looked quite fun.

Apr 7 14 009 small

Feet were involved…

Apr 7 14 010 small

And it got a little close in there for a moment…definitely some people had both dye and salt in their hair…Apr 7 14 011 small

The result, well, my photos sucked, but pretty paper with dye all over it, kinda what it looks like when I dye fabric (except my clothes stay marginally cleaner…not so my other body parts, unfortunately). It was interesting to watch…but if you’re going to wear white clothes around dye, then the clothing should be more dyed by the end than it was.

As far as the dance performances were concerned, I really enjoyed the combination of moving bodies and sound. The Figs of Plath was performed by Anne Gehman and Maria Juan, inspired by Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. To quote from the artists, “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story…I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.” I did not read the artists’ statements before I watched the performances, I must admit, but was able to gather the purpose from the dance itself. The two dancers often mirrored each other’s actions, but one was definitely more about gathering as many figs as she could, while the other tempted and took.

The second performance was by Erica Buechner and involved bubble wrap, so the sound was a huge element of the piece. The performance was called Between my fist and my Pollyanna. Buechner at first verbalized each movement in terms of how her bones and muscles would move, a scientific explanation of dance, and then started to move over and avoid the bubble wrap, but then kept falling and standing on it, making great gunshot noises, ending up trapped by the long strips of bubble wrap twisted around her legs. She writes about her piece, “It explores spiral from an internal, physical level and how it gains momentum, eventually spiraling out of control, into the environment around oneself. It is a physically and emotionally demanding piece, that is pushing my process of creating work. Oh, and there is bubble wrap involved.”

The last performance was the third-best time is now, by Katie Griffin with Virginia Broyles and Morgan True. Griffin describes this piece as “Uncomfortably, comfortable. Planted and Unsettled. Alone with self, this is my story, desperately needing to let go, to grow, to move on, to hold on.” The trio played off each other with a wide variety of music and movements that clearly showed the need to move on, to let go.

Nut and Bean was there with hummus and nut butters, all to die for…they had samples (I ran out of cash); unfortunately (for me), it’s really only available in the San Francisco area. Yvonne Portra had her photography there, and Often Wander was selling jewelry and candles. There is an official review of the dance performances here, by Janice Steinberg. I say it’s official because she reviews dance and hey! I don’t. But I did enjoy the experience and will keep my eyes open for other affordable performances, since cost is one of my issues.

Holy Imbalance, Batman

April 13, 2014

Batman seems to be featured in my blog entirely too much, considering I’ve never met the man…bat. I don’t think I’m channeling Robin, but who knows. I always thought he was kind of an immature twit. I’m on a teeter-totter of imbalance at the moment. Run from one side and it flips up to try to bounce you off the other side; run back to stabilize it, and it rushes up to the other side. Can’t seem to straddle the middle and keep it all at bay, keep the sides even. It’s one or the other and all about unseating…well…me.

The doctor was happy with my numbers. She has pulled me permanently off one of my diabetes meds, after many years of being on it. This is good. This is success. She was definitely more excited than I was, because she also said I might see more of the low blood sugars, precisely because I am more in control. Hmn. This is not control. It seems like luck. She also talked about hormone imbalances, which honestly may have been the majority of my mood issue over the last two or more years…but it’s not so much the estrogen, that wacky hormone of womanhood, but my psycho thyroid. We adjusted meds for that not 4 months ago, and they are low again. Sigh. So we’re upping those. Low thyroid can cause problems with sleep, irritation, periods, depression, blood sugar…sounding familiar anyone? Yeah. So maybe everything can be blamed on my thyroid. Well, except for the idiocy that happened apparently because of my thyroid, but that wasn’t me. I know. Long story.

I guess my hardships are all mine own. No one else wants to own them. Or be a part of them.

At one point, I typed hormone as hotmone…makes total sense.

Ironic that I feel so out of balance emotionally…it goes with the physical imbalance. Probably the most logical part of my life. LOOK! This one number explains everything.

I’m a week into Spring Break, and my brain is still all over the map. Thursday was nice…life drawing in the morning, first time at this class. I’ll go back. I may even do this all summer. I could. Then I had lunch with Linda and Dean Moran of Marble-T Design. I first got in touch with them a million years ago for flesh-toned and gray marbled fabrics. I wanted a run of grays from dark to light, and then I wanted a selection of flesh colors. I am still using bits and pieces from what they did for me…I think they show up in almost every quilt I make. It’s not their fault I don’t use much fabric at a time. Anyway, we had never met in person, so this was the first time…and they brought me fabric!

Apr 12 14 004 small

Beautiful gorgeous dirt fabric, or even brown flesh…could go either way with this. I’m very happy, AND they are nice, smart, amusing people. It was good. Plus they were nice and bought me lunch.

Then I went to Susan’s for a stitching meeting and started cutting out the Wonder Under for the next big quilt, which I’m going to just call Menopause for now, because it’s easier, but it does have a real name…and I’ve written it down (typed it) somewhere; I just can’t remember where. And it may not matter.

Oh wait. It does matter. It’s from this…

The title. Anyway. At least for now. I keep hearing some songs over and over and can’t get them out of my head (not the Kylie Minogue song). Oh yeah, the title is from the lyrics…it’s not called Afraid. I’d like to say I’m beyond Afraid, but I know that’s not true.

So I started cutting it out Thursday and I didn’t get much done…

Apr 12 14 002 small

I was way too tired. I went to the gym too and I meditated and probably fell asleep doing that. Really, truly, at the moment, there’s two things that happen when I meditate: I either fall asleep or I cry. Neither is particularly satisfying, but each seems to fulfill a need…a niche even. OK, sleep is probably supposed to be a necessity and not a niche.

Friday…Friday was the doctor and a bunch of crazy running around. I guess I can finally admit, now that I’ve sent it off with its new owner, that this is sold…

Nida010 copy

May they enjoy it and all its political issues. I still love the brick fabric. OH! And the gray in the sidewalk? Yup. That’s Marble-T Designs again…so THAT’S cool. Anyway, so I didn’t get much done Friday night because I was still tired, and I knew I had a long hike this morning, so I went to bed at a semi-reasonable hour (unlike tonight, when I seem to be making up for gained sleep by frittering it away on god-knows-what purpose).

I hiked this morning; more on that later. Suffice it to say that there is Julian Pie Company pie in my fridge and I was very good and did not eat any of it, because it is for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Then I decided to put on my pajamas and sit down and cut out Wonder Under for a million hours.

Apr 12 14 138 small

Because there was a million hours’ worth of Wonder Under that needed cutting. I started with 7 pieces, I had cut out the smallest one. I think I did a little last night, but mostly it was this evening, almost 4 hours straight. I’m up to 7 hours and I only have 2 1/2 of the larger pieces to cut out. So that’s good. It won’t take 20 hours. It will probably take at least 11, though. There’s some minor chance I can get done before we leave for New York. Maybe. Or Nah. (sigh. I now know where that’s from. Hopefully my students will have forgotten about it over Spring Break so I never have to hear it again…because yes, it is TOO HARD TO SAY THE T SOUND.)

So spending 4 hours Saturday evening watching TV and thinking depressing thoughts and cutting out Wonder Under does indeed include me in the Old Lady Loser Rock N Roll Saturday Night Hall of Fame. Feel free to join me.

Some fun stuff going on with the Wonder Under…some pieces are releasing the paper from the fusible web. This was a problem with the old old web, but then they went overboard and it got Way TOO Sticky, and now we’re back to EDGES…edges releasing. So the pile below needs to be redrawn on Wonder Under that is not falling apart, because I don’t want to match all those pieces up while I’m ironing.

Apr 12 14 137 small

Does that make me lazy? Hells no. I am retracing pieces that I’ve already traced once. I don’t know what it makes me, except more or less insane.

More insane…in the middle, those 4 pieces? They are traced into the middle of some really long complicated piece, so they also had to be retraced onto their own piece.

Apr 12 14 140 small


Did that. More work. Then I thought I was missing a cat…hadn’t seen her in a while. Went and looked, texted the girlchild for possible hiding places, came back, sat down, and felt the little pyscho jump up behind me to her regular nightly seating spot.

Apr 12 14 139 small

Nice to see you, Midnight.

I feel like I just camped out here for hours…

Apr 12 14 138 small

Because I freakin’ did. Top box is trash, in case I accidentally throw away something useful. Below are the real pieces…I took a few breaks. Made lots of tea, ate dinner, read a little. Not a lot. Wanted to have the focus on. For some reason. Not sure why.

Kitten’s been venturing into the living room regularly lately. She settled down into a corner and hid…

Apr 12 14 142 small

I guess she’s lonely too.

There’s where I was at when I decided it was getting awfully late and I might want to sleep tonight.

Apr 12 14 141 small


Getting there. Closer than I was 4 hours ago. Trying to tell my head to get on straight. Oh yeah, I meditated in the middle of it too. It was crying instead of sleeping tonight. Interesting. Now Babygirl is trying to harass me into sharing the chair. Or maybe all she wants is to be petted. She’s lonely too.

So here’s a series (that is just starting) by Peter Drew…and his hair, which disturbs me, about art-related things and reality, which I find amusing because art has so little to do with reality. That said, it’s an interesting take on why (and how) art galleries exist.

This is apparently the same Peter Drew as is in this Hyperallergic article…where he was threatened with expulsion for creating the art he had been accepted to the school in order to create. Really convoluted sentence. Don’t care enough to fix it. Don’t judge.

Naked yarnbombing. Enough said.

Here is my post on the California Fibers exhibit at Soka University (there is no way I’m posting that whole thing here as well, so you’ll just have to go look. It’s OK. I’ll still be here when you’re done. Take your time.).

Every ebook I had on hold at the library has come in during the last two days. Luckily, it is Spring Break and I’m spending a million hours flying in the next few days, so at least I know what I’ll be doing on those flights…competitive speed-reading. Or something. I won’t have to talk to anyone.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I’m taking my moody cranky imbalanced self to bed. I love that something I have no control over has so completely messed up my life. Sigh. Moving on.

The Word Exchange

April 11, 2014

I recently finished, after some long stressful days, The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon.


The stressful days weren’t caused by the book, I should add. So. This book. I alternately loved, hated, was exhilarated by, and was irritated by this book. I’ve noticed a lot of the reviews of this book have ranged from 1-5 stars, so it’s not just me. What I can say is that I think this book is challenging to read, but I also believe that is part of what makes it awesome. Because the story is about losing language, when characters start to sound like Jabberwocky (which YES is hard to read, on purpose, people), then it adds to the experience of the story. It is just like it would be if you were living in a world where electronics and a weird word flu had taken over.

So. The book is about the future when we are even more addicted to our electronic devices than we are now (shocking), and a virus seems to be attacking people’s abilities to speak and corporate moneygrubbers are out to control language and there are good people and bad people and people who don’t know what they are. At times, the story was difficult, especially when some of the characters who were troubled by both their wavering ethics AND the word flu were trying to tell their part of the story, but it was such a relief when Doug or Anana would report that it made up for most of that. I’ve said before, this is NOT an easy book to read. Then again, neither are many of the classics, and I don’t think we should only be giving good reviews to books that are easy on the eyes and don’t challenge us. This was definitely worth the read, although it took me a bit longer than normal…I did enjoy it in the end (there were, yes, moments when I did NOT enjoy it). So. Read it.

That Never Happens in My Real Life…

April 10, 2014

Yesterday, I went on a road trip to Aliso Viejo in Orange County (California) to finally see the California Fibers exhibit at Soka University, where I have had two pieces since January.

Apr 10 14 001 small

It’s a beautiful campus, at least what little I saw of it.

Apr 10 14 002 small

It was obviously Spring Break, because otherwise, I’m fairly sure these pools must be filled with students, right?

Apr 10 14 004 small

There’s no way they’d stay out of there.

Julie was my companion (and driver, which was awfully nice of her)…

Apr 10 14 005 small

It was a gorgeous Spring day in California, although a little on the warm side…

Apr 10 14 006 small

I’ll be posting about the exhibit (again) on the California Fibers blog, as soon as I find some free time to do that…today is kinda overbooked. Again. I know.

Apr 10 14 100 small

Julie and I spent quite a bit of time discussing this global map, especially how it wasn’t the way we were used to seeing maps laid out, with Japan at its center (Soka’s founder is Japanese and the sister school is also in Japan).

Apr 10 14 101 small

Relative sizes of countries and locations of islands and the equator were part of the discussion.

Then we headed outside again to check out the fountain…

Apr 10 14 104 small

Especially because it appeared to have dead bugs all over it…

Apr 10 14 103 small


That may be a commentary on university costs right there (a definite discussion point in my household at the moment). I hadn’t been able to come see this exhibit for so long because it’s only open Monday-Friday, which is kind of annoying. I mean, I guess I understand in that it’s on a university campus, and their staff isn’t around on the weekends, but…hell, I would have had to take a day off work to see it otherwise. I’m not sure how many non-retired people who aren’t students at the university have been able to see the exhibit, which is too bad, because the space is really beautiful. It’s up through May 8…if you’re in town, you should check it out.

It was a nice trip, and I got home early enough to get some stuff done…although some of that was following the kids around. Girlchild is cat-sitting (or checking-in-on-cats really), and Maus decided he didn’t so much LIKE being in the garage, but definitely liked being TALL.

Apr 10 14 107 small

There was some worry and some kitty squawking and a ladder was involved, but we found out later that he does this all the time. No worries.

I sat outside while girlchild did all her feeding and cleaning and trash stuff and kitty-petting, because I had an ebook that was due back today and had holds on it (not sure how the renewal policy works on that) and I wanted to finish the book…it was Parasite by Mira Grant…


It’s a story set in the future, 2027, where we have developed intestinal parasites that help keep humans healthy, but as always, in the future, our meddling with science will cause issues. This is the first of a 3-part series called Parasitology, and I’m looking forward to the next one. I really liked this book…it was scientifically intriguing (although the reason I gave it a 4 out of 5 on GoodReads is because some of the science wasn’t explained well enough, and that bugged me). There’s some obvious stuff going on and some political/corporate intrigue and a bunch of crazy people acting in the name of science or money or both. And dogs. Dogs are good in this story. All good stories should have dogs in them.

Interestingly, Mira Grant is the pseudonym for Seanan McGuire, whose Rosemary and Rue I read last year. I thought this was much better of a story, more solid and grab-at-you than the October Daye series (although I would probably read more of those as well). McGuire as Grant has also written the Newsflesh trilogy, which is now on my to-read list.

Then I finally made it home and managed to get to work on the last few hundred pieces on the newest quilt…I finished tracing around 11 PM (I fixed dinner and did other stuff in there, really)…and here it all is, laid out…

Apr 10 14 108 small

It’s probably 7 yards…I try to cut about 1-yard pieces, although I don’t actually measure them, because that would be way more anal than I am (I know, I seem that anal, but I’m not). It took a total of 21 hours and 36 minutes to trace all of them, which is interesting because like I’ve said before, usually I can do 100 in an hour, so this one must have been more complicated. There are 1776 pieces officially (although I know there are probably 10-15 more due to mistakes in numbering). The quilt itself, well, the image anyway, is 34″ wide x 73″ high (so add about 10 inches to each of those measurements for a finished size).

In comparison, the quilt I did for Celebrating Silver is about 40×70″ and has 1227 pieces. So. Yeah. And it took only 95 hours to complete. I’m sure I can cut that time! (Are you kidding me? Tracing Celebrating only took a little over 11 hours. I am fucking nuts.)

Anyway. I’m going to start cutting those out today, knock on wood. I have a busy art day planned, with a new life-drawing class I’m trying out as a plan for the summer, lunch with friends I’ve never met in person (ah, the wonders of the internet), and then a stitching meeting afterwards (that’s where I’ll be cutting stuff…it’s not appropriate to cut out Wonder Under at the other two places, you know?).

I wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep when I finished, but I also wasn’t ready to cut the WU out, so I debated cleaning (I debate that a lot…mostly I do it for about 10-20 minutes and then I figure there must be something better to do). Then I remembered that I only had a little cutting left on the Mammogram fabrics, so I pulled that out…

Apr 10 14 109 small

and managed to finish. It took a total of about 7 hours to cut this one out…interesting, because it only has about 360 pieces in it. But many of them are big and complicated pieces, difficult to cut out. So now it’s ready to iron down as well. I will probably save that for after Spring Break, because it’s not a difficult task…it doesn’t require a huge amount of brain power. I really want to get to the fabric-choosing phase of the big quilt over break, which is looking more and more impossible as the days disappear behind me. Oh well. It will all get done. And I need to draw! I have two I need to draw in the next few weeks. I’m not worried. They’re smaller than this one, but inevitably, I will make sure they have 12 trillion pieces in them.

Yup. I’m a little crazy that way. But you knew that already. But I finished two tasks! In one day! It must be Spring Break. That never happens in my real life.




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 194 other followers