Wading in Wonder Under

July 16, 2015

I have 12 hours and 12 minutes into the tracing. I’m at piece 1138, which is the hair of the larger figure. All I have left to do of her is the hair and all the crazy stuff hiding in her hair. Then I can move on to the smaller figure.

Turns out there’s actually 1852 pieces (not 1825…not dyslexic) and I missed some, as always, so there are actually MORE than that. Whatever.

I washed the batting yesterday, left it in the bathtub. The kids said something this morning about not being able to take showers. Turns out I totally forgot it was in there. They thought about telling me, decided I must be doing it on purpose (Ha! My momhood is complete! Even my crazy makes sense to them!). When I explained to them this morning that this was Menopause Brain, similar to Pregnancy Brain but possibly permanent, girlchild yelled down the hallway, “Don’t blame your stupidity on your hormones!”

And there we are. The wonder that is my household.

Seriously, I traced for about 5 1/2 hours yesterday in the long run, AND made a new dinner recipe, AND left the batting in the bathtub overnight. Which reminds me…need to go drain that fucker.

Kitten harassed me all 5+ hours by sitting ON the drawing and ON the Wonder Under…

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Calli was almost underfoot, but not quite…(see how big the drawing is…)

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And then Kitten stared at me balefully from the couch, where she slept because Mommy wouldn’t let her on the light table.

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Meanest mommy ever. But I got a lot done…

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Sometimes I want to just quit, but it’s easier to stop at the end of some section, and I crazily started the bird with 100 pieces in it at about midnight…so you know how that went.

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Up too late, yet again. Thing is, I had to be up early this morning, because I’m not allowed to eat or drink anything after 9 AM. I can’t understand the logic of telling a diabetic NOT to eat, and then having her drive all over San Diego County for an MRI and a totally different place for the doctor. Hopefully I’ll have time to eat in between. I will totally be drinking an entire bottle of water, because I’m already dehydrated, and I drank two full bottles of water last night and this morning. Let’s hope they don’t need to take any blood, because they won’t get into my veins.

It’s OK…the uterus is just full of things that are benign but annoying and causing problems. I gave it permission to STOP being annoying, you know, like you give dying people permission to just Let Go? But my uterus is more stubborn than that. It’s convinced releasing eggs is what it should be doing right now, whether I like it or not. Hence stupid doctors’ appointments and procedures and tests and annoyances.

Anyway. So there will be lots of driving and dehydration and doctor’s waiting rooms today. Not fun. I’m going to trace some more before I go, though, and then pray for caffeine. I am more than halfway through the tracing…which is interesting, because we are officially halfway through summer break too, I think…although I personally start thinking of school officially on August 1, and this summer has been filled with school batting at my brain consistently, via email and text and signing up for classes, because everything is changing again. This will be the fourth website I’ve had to do for school, wait, no, I did a Google Sites one too, so that’s five. I’m not sure what was wrong with the last one, but now we get to learn a new one. Whatever. I’m sure it will be the most awesomest EVER, but if Google Classroom let us do a few more things, then I wouldn’t NEED another one. Wait. Google Classroom is number 5, so this is 6. Bloody hell. If I didn’t have to keep redoing things every time someone changed their minds about what was the coolest (and the cheapest), I might get more of my summer.

Rant over. Tracing will begin.

No Patches of Weird Sunburn…

June 21, 2015

What am I going to do today? I’m not going to lesson plan. I’m not going to update my school webpage. I’m not going to desperately run over to school to prep a lab for tomorrow or to check supplies, and then run around to a bunch of stores to find materials and pay for them with my own money. I’m not going to spend two hours grading papers or inputting grades online. I’m not going to check parent or admin emails and try to figure out who can play what sport or how to manage that many meetings in one day AND have time to call student parents (my goal for next year…more phone calls, fewer useless meetings). Sundays are never days of rest for teachers. We run errands for the week, prepare for the week, often don’t sleep Sunday night because we’re worried about the week.

I don’t have to do any of that today. I still need to grocery shop. Still need to manage some stuff, bill paying, schedule for the week (which includes at least one hike, maybe two, plus some trips to the gym). Yeah, the car has to go in (again), I have a couple of doctor’s appointments, and I have to prepare a powerpoint for an art group I’m in, plus organize some long-ignored posts to the Facebook page for at least one of those groups. I can do all of that.

I did manage to get off my butt yesterday and go to the quilt store for bindings. I found two that I’m debating, although this afternoon, I am leaning towards the green.

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This camera…those are all much darker than they are here. The two pieces on the left are vying for the position of background of the next quilt, which I will be starting soon. Hopefully I’ll get the binding machine-sewn on tonight, and then I can do hand-sewing whenever, and start tracing the next one…because it needs to be done in…four weeks, max. I can do that. Maybe. I certainly don’t have school in the way.

Yesterday afternoon and into the night, I was at a music festival, the Dirty Parts Festival put on by a radio station I don’t usually listen to, but that plays a lot of music that’s similar. So I knew three of the bands and a song of one of the other bands. It was nice to listen to music all day, and to people watch, because I do a lot of that…it was hot out there, so a fan made sense, and she wasn’t the only one who had one…

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Although the lace kinda confused me for a moment, because we were on rodeo grounds and it just seemed incongruous.

There were lots of tattoos, and I would have taken many more pictures of those if it didn’t seem difficult to do so without people noticing that I wasn’t taking pictures of the BANDS, but of them…

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This is Panic Is Perfect, which I’d never heard of, but they had some suitably hyper guys jumping around and making music.

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Then In the Valley Below, which had some nice duets, belting it out. I was impressed by the female’s apparent lack of sweat.

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Plus she used a bunch of chains as a musical instrument. Can’t argue with that.

On the right is Steve West, who has been a local radio DJ for a million years (since 1983)…I think he’s beaten cancer and is about a million years old, but did Resurrection Sunday, a radio show, for years, music from my childhood. Apparently, he does the same sort of thing on his current radio station. But yes, I took a photo of him because it made me smile to see him still standing…

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This is Waters, a fun and bouncy band of young musicians who say they’re from San Francisco, but largely hail from Norway, hence the Eurowear.

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So I stared at this tattoo for a long time. Was Brittany born on 2-4-91? Was Brittany the woman sitting next to him, with her own set of newer tattoos that I never got a clear photo of? Was Brittany dead? I will never know.

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These guys were a little strange to have on a rodeo arena…Saint Motel…very big-bandy sound and kinda goofy.

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And this lace vest…I was annoyed that the skull had no lower jaw…that’s probably why it looks so pissed off. Plus…lace.

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So the guy on the left didn’t look 21 at all, but had the ID check bracelet. The dear young thing to the right? Stretch marks already on her lower back, plus the mom in me really wanted to either pull up the purple shirt to cover the bra because it looked so damn stupid, or to tell her to leave off the bra (which was a common refrain in my old-lady head all night…why all you people wear bras when you’re wearing such flimsy clothing? Your nips are covered. Who cares?). So yeah. And then he gave her half his beer. And his little brother was on the other side of her.

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Proof that we’re old…all the really drunken kids with the ID check bracelets on? None of them looked 21.

Here’s the whole crowd for the Saint Motel set…two stages…and in the distance, a fire starting and getting put out within 90 minutes, no structures damaged. It is fire season here…way too hot and dry. We’ve had at least three in the area in the last 5 days.

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We missed seeing the entire Big Data set for food (there’s something wrong if it takes 45 minutes to get food and 30 seconds to get beer)…but they sounded underwhelming. Then again, I only know one song. Lots of electronic though.

Then finally some of the music I came for…this is the Kongos…they are 4 brothers from South Africa and they had a lot of energy on stage, plus an accordion. I don’t know why there are 5 people on stage, but I’m gonna bet the really tall guy on the right is the Not-Kongos brother. Plus they brought a tiny rapping midget out for one song, which was fun…OK, he was probably my height…not really a midget.

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The tattoo…wish I had a better picture, but the bra? Again…there are better ways to get that look (says fashion maven Nida…Not).

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Kettle corn was very popular. Everyone had some but us. We had Wachos. No really. Nachos made with waffle fries. You can’t say no to that.

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And New Politics, who were disappointing. Lots of tracks playing behind that no one was actually playing. Euro band…but they had lots of energy and noise and the crowd loved them. I could have done without the lights…they were just distracting.

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Yes, I’m old, but lights shouldn’t annoy. They should add to the show.

Anyway, I had a good time. It was nice to go out and feel the weather change from really hot and sweaty to even coldish and people watch and listen to lots of music and move around to that. I didn’t even have a weird patch of sunburn where I forgot to put sunscreen, so such a success! No really.

It’s such a joy to feel all of work just slough off and plop onto the floor, a blob of gelatinous stress and overwork, just quivering there on the floor. This summer? Art, music, food, hikes, sleep, writing. Yes, I need to make money too. I’m not forgetting that. But I’m putting it mostly out of my head for a week. Really need a break people. I can breathe in deep right now and not feel work pressing up against my chest. That’s good. Need to hold on to that.

The First Official Blogpost of Summer 2015

June 20, 2015

This is the first official day of summer vacation. The first day when I don’t have to go to school or think about school (although people are still texting me about school) until August 1. At least, that’s what I always try to do…get it out of my head and don’t worry about it until August. And then in August, I’m usually desperately trying to finish some major quilt and I don’t want to go back but I have to (my first professional development is on August 11). It takes a while to get all that residual stress and have-to feeling out of your system (and it is quickly replaced with other have-to’s, let me tell you), but after a week or so, I’m usually doing much better.

I’m still seeing crazy in one art group though. I hesitate to call it an art group some days, since its focus is more on quilt than art, although there have been some positive changes in the last few years…maybe. We’ll see. I am concerned though that they are choosing to censor members or seemingly move out of the leadership positions those who don’t agree with the majority. I don’t think that’s healthy behavior for any group, although I’m seeing that happening at my day job as well. The message then is that if you disagree, there will be consequences. Any minor study of history will show that doesn’t work. I’m not in leadership in this art group…I don’t have any more volunteer hours in me. They got used up in the other two groups, which are much smaller and need all members participating in some way. But it makes me mistrust the current leadership, which is not a good thing. A good Executive Board will do its job and the membership will hear from them occasionally as they make the group better, as they check in with membership, as positive changes occur. There won’t be censorship and oustings. I didn’t pay much attention to what names were on the board until all this, and now I’m watching particularly closely and comparing it to the other large fiber group I’m in, where none of this happens. So a big sigh for all that.

I finally made it out of work yesterday at 11 AM (took longer than usual). Then I came home and cleaned the kitchen, because it was disgusting, and started throwing stuff away and recycling it. The last few months of school kick my butt (and everyone else’s) and what suffers is the house. There are piles everywhere and nothing is washed or put away. So I made a healthy start on all that and then took a nap! A NAP! I know. Exciting for us old people.

Then I started quilting…

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It was 100 degrees here yesterday, so my motivation to get up and move was compromised. I also read a lot. Because I could. And then I quilted for a long time until I realized I would have to cook dinner, so I did that for a while. Talked to the boychild, because girlchild was at Grad Nite, and then forced him to apply for jobs by starting the applications myself. Last thing you want is your mom filling out your application, right? Well. Whatever. I understand his hesitance and some of it is laziness but a lot is social stuff that is an inherent part of his personality. So this shit is hard. And mom is hard too. I’ve spent the last 13 years doing behavioral training on him, and apparently I’m not done.

After all that torture, just as much for me as him…who decided personality assessments with 72 questions were the best way to hire people? I’d fail if I had to fill these out too. They’re just lame. If both statements are wrong, you have to pick the one that is LESS wrong. But they’re WRONG. Sigh. Anyway, if he didn’t set off all of their serial killer alarms, maybe he will be employed soon.

So after all that, then I finished quilting…but first I sewed the bottom to the top somehow…

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Whoops. Late-night quilting in the heat. Not a good plan.

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She’s got 12 hours of quilting in her. But she’s done. She just needs a binding…which really means I should get my ass off this chair and go buy some fabric for that, because no, I don’t have a piece big enough. I think. I might look first. But I don’t think I do.

Katie (my parents’ dog) showed up about 20 minutes ago and is now asleep on my floor…

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She’s only here for a short visit. Then in a week, she comes for a longer one…we think. All the humans but me are still lolling about in bed (well, one came out when Ms. Barkypants arrived). It is Saturday morning, yes, but apparently if you nap on Friday, you can’t sleep in on Saturday morning. I think. I know I’m still tired and probably will be for another week, but at least vacation has started, and maybe if I stay away from the art group list, my blood pressure will come down and stay down.

On to the next quilt! Deadlines abound…


June 19, 2015

I’m trying really hard to be functional today. I do  have to go to work and check out, whatever that means this year. It might take a while, unfortunately. In the past, I’ve shown up and 20 minutes later been on my way home, war-whooping it all the way out the gate (I know, really mature, right?). Sometimes I do that and then drive back later to go to lunch. Today we have to check out specifically with our boss, and I’m not sure how that will go. Short pithy conversations are not his strong point, and I’m tired, hormonal (AGAIN), and cranky, so it’s not a good time to reflect on the year. I do a much better job with that in about 2 weeks. In fact, at counseling last night, besides trying to determine if I’m a hoarder (kitchen is becoming an issue, but that was a time factor this week, plus two lame-ass teens who don’t know how to wash or empty dishwashers apparently)…I’m not a hoarder by the way, just not particularly neat, but also decided I should do nothing next week. Like really nothing. Now that’s not happening, of course. I have art to make. Lots of it. And I might clean some too, because living in this mess much longer might hurt me. But otherwise, I don’t have to do much. I didn’t sign up for professional development until August. There’s some doctor stuff in there, but whatever. I want to go on at least one, maybe two hikes. It’s all good. So not quite NOTHING, but I’m not going to work on school stuff.

But I do have to go to work today. In like 45 minutes. I’m too tired to eat breakfast. I don’t know why (because the accumulated stress and exhaustion and overwork of the last 10 months is now hitting you upside the head). Oh yeah. I know why.

I have amazingly crappy photos of the girlchild’s graduation (I was tired)…but here’s Odin…

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Yes, she’s a Norseman (was a Norseman) and Odin shows up to graduation to bless them. Kinda funny if you ask me.

Not her touching Odin’s hammer, but behind (like I said…sucky photos)…

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Hats and streamers flying…

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The lovely girlchild with her lovely lei by Madalyn (Leis by Leinani)…

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This was after 45 minutes of looking for her purse…but before we actually found it locked in a drawer by a well-meaning teacher who then disappeared.

And part of the family (dad, kid, boychild actually smiling)…

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And mom, relieved it’s over (suspect girlchild is as well)…

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I’m done trying to get kids into college! Now they’re on their own! Well, yeah. Probably not so much.

OK, so I have to go to work, drag my poor hemorrhaging body in to wait around for someone to let me leave. One year, I couldn’t find an admin to sign off, so I just left. Hmn…cuz I need to make up for the not-art I made yesterday and the day before.

Crazy-Ass Rambling Nonsense

June 18, 2015

Officially on this morning, the girlchild has graduated from high school, so I have only college students (and me and two cats and a dog) in my house. We think her grades might even have been acceptable. Hard to say. That’s after surviving her having her purse stolen, but not, and thinking that perhaps someone was breaking into my house (god knows they’d never find anything at the moment…it’s a disaster area) because they had my house key and my address off her license. But no. The purse was locked up somewhere safe. And after her dad blamed my genetics (I know he was joking) for her spacey behavior, he then came here and lost his keys (seriously). Required a flashlight for retrieval. So yeah. Not my genetics dude.

Needless to say, we didn’t have dinner until late, and then we came back and all lolled around in the boychild’s room while he played music for us (on his computer…not with a real instrument) until mom was too tired and had to go to bed, and the two of them followed soon after.

I have pictures somewhere on my camera. I just don’t have the energy to find them. You’ll have to be happy with this graduation picture from last year.

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I swear I’ll find the others and put them up eventually. But it looked kind of similar.

Today is the last day of school for me as well, and I am so not ready. I mean, I am, but I’m exhausted and there’s still 3 hours of managing kids and apparently my uterus, which has decided it’s not getting enough attention…much like a couple of my students. There’s crazy everywhere; it abounds at school and at home and on my email and my texts. I don’t have the energy for all of it.

I got no art made yesterday. I finished a book at graduation and then stitched a little bit. I’m not sure what I did the rest of the time. Tried to get crappy pictures of the girlchild? I got one good one of Odin. Sometimes my camera really irritates me.

Anyway, all you’re gonna get out of me today is crazy-ass rambling nonsense. Or maybe that’s all you ever get. I’m hoping for more rational sanity tomorrow…at least until I realize how much stuff I gotta get done over the summer. Then it will be a full-fledged panic…

Hiking It Off…

June 16, 2015

Ah. Grades are done. For the year. No more grades for at least 2 1/2 months. No more lesson planning for…um…a while (teachers work unpaid over the summer, in case you didn’t know that). I just have to survive a field trip to a bowling alley, one day of “teaching” (who thinks that’s a good plan?), and trying to entertain my kids during graduation because they’re not allowed out of my classroom for two hours.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it? But grades are done. That is a relief.

I planned a hike with my kids last night because one said he’d never been up Iron Mountain and because I want to test my foot out and make sure the pain isn’t coming back before my podiatry appointment. Plus I’m totally out of shape, so it makes sense to kick my physical ass when it’s 80 degrees out (I survived…tomorrow, I will be significantly sore, but I will survive). We did Iron Mountain, which claims to be 7 miles (I swear I thought it was only 5)…

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I was uber-smart and made dinner the night before and put it in the fridge. I always forget how long this takes, and doing it after work is exhausting sometimes. I had a good long conversation with the boychild though…

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I pissed off the girlchild (again) on the drive there, so she took off…

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Whatevs. She got back in the car with us at the end, so I guess she hasn’t disowned us yet.

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It was a little warm (OK, a lot warm) at the beginning, but a nice temperature by the end. And it was a relief to do it. I had two muscles cramping, and my knee is fussy, but the foot didn’t hurt. I’m planning more for next week too.

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This week is more of a survival thing (I keep saying that…because it is). That said, I managed to finally get off the couch after 10 PM and head into the office…

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Oh wait. That’s not an office picture. Oh well. I did quilt…

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And whoever the dingbat is who thought I could do the background quickly? She forgot that I needed to go in and around all those branches and leaves of the tree. Which took me over an hour last night. Argh. I’m at 7 hours and 40 minutes. I might get some time tonight, but Wednesday night is the girlchild’s graduation and Thursday night is something else. So I’d like to be done, but it’s highly possible I won’t be. And I might run out of thread (I should deal with that, shouldn’t I? Have a plan? I always have a plan. I put the color number in my phone. There’s the plan. I put a reminder in my calendar for after school)

How is it possible that the neighborhood mockingbird never sleeps? I hear it again now and I heard it when I went to bed. I hate that thing.

Anyway, I suspect there’s another couple of hours of quilting in this (at least)…so I underestimated the time. Oh well. It’s not like I can finish it sooner just because I want to. And I will get it done.

The Last Week

June 15, 2015

The end of the school year brings lots of extra tasks, like making awards certificates and finishing grades and cleaning out the classroom. The last week is usually kind of a survival situation, much like riding a luge on a track you’ve been on a long time ago. You sort of remember how you did it last year, but you’re not sure it was successful, and maybe they’ve changed the turns a bit, or your team is slightly different, so the luge itself might be off balance. Sometimes the last week sort of sneaks up on you…I don’t really know what happened to last week. It blew by me. So many tasks juggling at one time.

Friday and Saturday left me no time (or energy) for artmaking, and I only JUST made it up off the couch last night, much later than I thought. I knew this week was equally busy, and I really wanted to be done with this quilt this week, if that’s possible (and reality says that it may not be). So I quilted…

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The thing is, most of this quilt is the image, so once the outlining is done, there’s very little else to do. I knew I wanted to put some white thread in the bathtub area, but more to anchor it and give it some texture. I don’t quilt the heck out of my pieces. The background might take a small amount of time, but it’s really a small amount of space, compared to some of my quilts.

So I looked at the clock and thought about whether I was tired enough to sleep yet, because that’s always the issue. I don’t go to bed until I am.

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And at some point, I was…but by then, I was almost done with the outlining (yes, I outlined all the different blues in the water). So I finished.

Now all I have left to do is the background and the bathtub.

Meanwhile, I have 100 certificates to print out at school, in color; a crazy meeting at school; a hike planned with my kids (I made tonight’s dinner last night, just to make sure I could pull this off); grades that are pretty much done, until the 15 kids who were not in my class Friday hand me their last week’s work; a class to clean; and who knows what else will show up in my inbox before it’s time to quilt again tonight. I hope I’m super-efficient and get it done, but then there’s the issue of binding fabric, and who knows when I will be able to get that, since it’s doubtful I’ll have any here that’s big enough. Worst-case, I’ll start tracing the next quilt, the one I don’t even know if I’ll be allowed to show because of the nudity (I just didn’t ask). It needs to be made no matter what. I’m not asking because they might say no, but the rules as they stand don’t say that.

Yes, I do think these things through. Anyway. I’m in overdrive. I’m really tired too, despite trying to go to sleep earlier last night than normal. See, it will all get done no matter what. There is no other option. And whatever doesn’t get done probably doesn’t matter as much as people would like to think. Because it’s the last week of school…and not the last week for everything else. And in about 9 weeks, there will be a first week of school and this starts all over again.


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