Do I Sit on the Egg?

June 25, 2015

I hiked this morning with the kids, so no early post. I don’t even have the energy to post about the hike yet…I’ll get to it tomorrow, I think. It was hot, too hot really. Out in desert world, chaparral, the sun beats mercilessly down on you out there. There was an ocean breeze that wandered in through most of it, but when it didn’t, then it felt like dying. So yeah. We’ve decided no more day hikes this summer unless it gets down into the 70s or we’re at the beach. We’ll stick to evenings I think.

Yesterday was a chaotic day. I had to go to two different doctors, and the comparison between my blood pressure between Doctor 1 and Doctor 2 was noticeable. Then again, I already knew what Doctor 1 would say and Doctor 2 was the one I’ve been waiting for since late March, the “What Do We Do with My Uterus?” doctor, plus I went to school in between the two. I guess we have a partial answer for the uterus question. We go to two more appointments, one with yet another doctor. And maybe then I will stop bleeding every two weeks. Sigh. She was good, though…she answered every single question I had, asked me a bunch of questions, and then we (together) came up with the best option for me. What a concept. She admitted her NP didn’t know what she was talking about. OK, she wouldn’t outright say that, but yeah.

Moving on. Guess there are more uterus drawings in my future. I still haven’t made it to the copy place (or the pet food place, which worries Kitten no end…she saw me use the last can today). It’s on my list for today, but today is running out (I’m supposed to be going to an art meeting tonight and presenting about blog writing: Step 1: blather. Step 2: ramble. Step 3: post some pictures. I got this.). This morning I lost 45 minutes to college financial aid again, as the service where you upload all your documents continues to do a half-assed job. I will get better at this. They are trying to scare me off actually applying for financial aid. They will not succeed.

Grandma made girlchild a graduation quilt…

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This is not a great picture of it. I will have to take another one.

Then I finished tracing Wonder Under last night…

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I think it took about 5 1/2 hours total. I was fast. The pieces were small. I dreamed I might cut them all out this afternoon, but that is before the hysterical laughter took over.

Kitten doesn’t laugh. She just sleeps.

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The ducks in the back yard left me a gift…

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I don’t know whether I’m supposed to eat it or sit on it. I left it there. My students wanted me to get a classroom duck and name it Spaghetti. Maybe this is it (I’m not doing a great job of raising it at the moment…I don’t even know how long it’s been out there.). Apparently they will lay eggs over a number of days and then sit on them. But with a dog in the yard? Not sure that’s gonna happen. I’ll wait and see if more eggs show up. Because I need ducklings? Do not answer that.

Still sewing bindings onto the other piece. Trying to decide what task to take with me tonight. What can I get done? Cutting out Wonder Under or finishing the binding? I could do either. I suspect the WU is not a good choice. There might be a fan there, because it’s hot. But I might not have enough binding for two hours. AARGH. And you wonder how I get so much done. I’m taking both. Really. I am.

And right now, I’m taking my post-hike dehydrated headache to the pet food store. And maybe the fan store. I’d like a nap. Yeah. What the hell am I supposed to do about the egg? Shaking my head. I am not a good duck parent.

Swallowed by Details…

June 24, 2015

Meditation. Lots of it. School issues. Kid issues. Insurance issues (everything costs too much and all the bills are due during the only time of year when I don’t get a paycheck.). College issues. Too many little tiny fussy details and it’s HOT here. Brain turns to mush.

All I want to do is make art and everything else keeps getting in the way. Today will be that, over and over again. Even school…I have to go to school today. That’s just wrong.

So yesterday, I traced a lot, like over 3 hours of tracing…

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Kitten was absolutely no help at all. When she’d try to lie on the paper or the Wonder Under, the plus of the light table is that the glass is really slippery, so I’d just slide her over, out of my way. And sometimes she’d stand right back up and plop right back down. Bitch. No really. I love my cat. And yes, the glass is cool. I use LEDs so there’s no heat off that sucker, or I’d be dying right now of heat exhaustion. You can’t see the fan pointed at me. Actually, for some part of the time, girlchild had the fan and I was sweating. Sigh. Need another fan. I did break the one in the studio, so it’s on my list.

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It was nicer to trace at night. Nice and cool. View of my neighbor’s drone over the driveway (I’m hoping he doesn’t have a camera on that thing…because I flashed it last night).

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I’m getting closer to done. I think I just have the head to do…maybe one arm. I quit when I was too tired to stand any more.

Then I decided I wanted to finish watching the season finale of Orphan Black, so I sewed bindings for a while…

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I got about halfway around before I was really tired. Then I went to bed and didn’t sleep. I don’t really know why. Too many of those details racing around in my head, bumping into each other. Time really gets away from me sometimes. I have a huge long list of things to do today, and so many of them are just BLAH. And I keep fighting the kids over the damn dishes. Seriously. It’s Not Mine, put your shit away. And jobs and their anxiety and stress, which doesn’t help with mine.

I should wake up and meditate. And then I should do it again right before bed.

But I don’t have time! Amusing that.

I am trying to straighten up the house and organize it and get rid of stuff too…although I tossed a bunch of papers yesterday and then had to make more to try and get all these insurance quotes straightened out. Waiting on one more, and then I can toss the whole pile.

But I finally hung the last three year’s of SAQA auction purchases…

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They’ve had hanging slats for about a year now I think…the one on the right is one of my older pieces, pre-divorce, believe it or not (so fucking ancient). It’s one of my favorite pieces…Caught in the Headlights (2002). And yes, my kitchen is a disaster. I’m working on it.

Here’s Lorie McKown’s My Three Sisters II, Susan Lenz’s Death of Desire, and Helen Conway’s Transition: Brick Lane II.

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I have 4 others in my bedroom, so that’s 7 years of donations to the cause. I don’t make auction quilts (they’re way too small and always due in the last trimester of school, not a good time for me), I don’t have hours to donate, and I don’t have a ton of money, but I do try to buy a small one of these every year. Last year was going to be a no-buy-year for me, and then I sold a bunch of the bird quilts and made enough to be able to breathe last summer.

Same with this Jette Clover piece, Interjection 1, purchased as part of the FFAC 100 artists donation to cancer…I donated one and bought one.

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This year…this year, none of that is on the table. Deep breaths. Sighs as well.

Today? Doctor’s appointments, school shit, lots of details (apparently that cat up there on the light table? She wants food. Demanding beast.). Hopefully some more tracing will get slotted in there, so I can get that part of the project over with and move on to the next piece. I’m also trying to get my freelance copyediting business up and running, and to exercise in there as well and maybe even sleep more than 5 hours a night. Really. I feel like I should be able to sleep on vacation! Stupid brain.

Make art, support artists, buy art. Meditate regularly. Don’t get swallowed by details…

Two Peaks, Some Art, and Two Books…

June 23, 2015

No matter how much screaming and arguing seems to be happening here, we have now managed a second “family” hike. This time, they ditched me (it’s OK…I’m out of shape…and they waited at the tops of mountains, which is all I asked) and walked and talked together. I’m OK with that…

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We hiked up the back way to Cowles Mountain with the million people who always do that (there actually weren’t that many last night)…

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Where they beat me up by 10 minutes, but missed the rattlesnake (I didn’t stop to take a picture of it)…but then girlchild spotted a California Horned Toad (not a toad at all)…

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They’re so adorable and so hard to photograph. This is on the trail past Cowles down to Pyles Peak, because we don’t do easy. We climb mountains. OK. Not big mountains…there’s a view of Cowles looking back from the saddle between the two peaks. You can see the trail we’ll have to take back UP.

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Sometimes I don’t think through the suffering part of these until I’m doing them.

I’m amazed that with little rain and drought conditions, there are still flowers everywhere…

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This is from the base of Pyles…with Cowles in the far distance.

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And looking up at the “peak.” It’s kind of a lame peak…more of a rounded thing. But you do have to climb to get up there. Trust me.

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We saw maybe 5 other people on this part of the trail…here’s the top, overlooking most of San Diego County…

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We tried to time it so we would hit sunset when we got back to Cowles, so hopefully we wouldn’t need to use the headlamps. The marine layer always makes for interesting pictures into the distance.

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And Cowles to the south…

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Another interesting flower…

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I was behind the kidlets again (they walk fast…youth plus lack of injury), so the sun started setting as I was heading back up that long trail.

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Looking back towards Pyles…

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Beautiful sky…

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Definitely worth the pain…

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When we got back to Cowles, we actually ran into someone I knew, so she came back with us. We pulled the headlamps out for the last 10 minutes (we’re blind old ladies…the kids were fine) and had a great conversation about life, art, and hiking.

I’m smart about these hikes…I made dinner (casserole) and stuck it in the fridge so it needed about 20 minutes when we got home…just long enough for a shower to wash off the worst of the sweat. Of course, then it takes me an hour to get my butt off the couch. Ah, old age. And a good workout. There’s conflicting reports on the mileage. I call it 6 miles, but it might have been more.

I eventually got up. It took a lot of willpower. I haven’t finished sewing the binding on yet, but girlchild was going to bed, and I wanted to watch Elementary, which has to be on the television in the living room…so I started tracing the next one. My ex-Cousin-in-Law (I think that’s what she is) requested a cat with a heart, so I drew an extra piece for her…

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Very anatomically correct, of course. And I kept going, although standing was exhausting.

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Kitten was no help (as usual). I managed about 100 of the 500+ pieces, and then I looked at the clock…

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It’s a good thing it’s vacation…that was a late night. I’m feeling it this morning, because I didn’t sleep well. Trash trucks and birds chirping and sunlight and cats hurdling me and dogs whining. Ugh. I don’t do mornings well.

I finished three books in the last week…I need to write a separate post about one of them, but the other two…Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie…


which I read for book club, but then didn’t make it to the meeting (grades were due). This is actually a common occurrence for me. I don’t mind, but in this case, really wanted to discuss the whole confusing gender thing in the book. I didn’t think it added to the story at all, and although I finished the book and gave it an average rating, I don’t want to read the rest of the series because of the gender confusion. It was never really explained satisfactorily and just annoyed me. I don’t mind gender commentary. Just explain it before I’m 150 pages into the book.

The second book was recommended by a friend, The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston…

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This one I liked…a current-day dragon-slayer. This is a YA novel, but I think easily reads as an adult novel. I love the connection to historical stuff and the environment. Definitely a good retelling of the dragon story. I’m reading the sequel to this one.

Yes, summer is about reading and hiking and art. Surely there’s other shit I need to do (and I will), but I’m still in recovery mode.


June 22, 2015

It’s late in the day. I’ve gotten some stuff done, including getting the boychild interview-wear and donating (not really) 7 vials of blood to my doctor for her review. My car is in the shop and the kids just drove off in their beastmobile, so I’m trapped here, which isn’t all so bad. It’s not like I didn’t have 18 errands to run (well, actually, I did, but whatever). I finished a book today, which was nice. Having time to read and pee whenever I need to and work on things I actually care about…that’s nice. There does seem to be an awful lot of chores and errands that need doing, and there was some squawking about jobs for teens and that stuff, but whatever. I don’t think that’s going to go away until sometime around August 23. To be specific.

I was tired yesterday, and it took a long time to get a bunch of stupid stuff done, including the grocery shopping (bottomless pits they are), but eventually I started working on the binding…

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It’s on. Yup. I chose green. It might be the first time ever that I’ve done a green binding. Random facts about Kathy…she doesn’t do green bindings. Well now I do. In fact, yellow might be the color I’ve never used now…so watch for that. Because now I feel like I have to use it. So now I need to sew it all down by hand, but if I sit on the couch now and try to do that, odds are I’ll fall asleep, because I still haven’t caught up on all the sleep I missed over the last 10 months minus a week at Thanksgiving, three weeks at Christmas, and two weeks at Spring Break (and honestly, I don’t get a ton of sleep then either…just more than I do when I’m teaching). So sitting down is an issue. Even sitting here and typing like this, my eyes are drooping and I’m considering just putting my head back and…snore.

So standing and tracing stuff might be a better choice. I have also considered jumping jacks and a quick swim in the pool, except the pool guy is supposed to show up today and I’m worried that he’ll die if he sees me swimming. So maybe a nap it is. A short, timed, 20-minute snooze. Seriously. I’m exhausted. My sleep app says I barely slept last night, lots of tossing and turning that I don’t remember doing.

Losing all that blood couldn’t have been good. Especially if I’m already anemic. I sense more drawings of blood cells in my future. Plus probably more drawing of my blood by a phlebotomist (it can’t be good when they remember your veins).

Or not. Maybe a quick nap followed by a concerted effort to do something useful. Vacation is all about balancing. Wait a minute. The rest of my life is all about balancing too. That can’t be right. What the fuck? Isn’t there a time when I can just loll about doing whatever I want? I’m fairly sure that’s the definition of vacation.

While I’m trying to figure all that shit out, I’m just going to close my eyes for a bit (really, I’m setting the timer. I’ve read all the nap research.). Just a tiny bit. While yeah…

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.


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