Staying Up Late in the Name of Laundry

August 23, 2014

Oh yeah. Friday night. Hell, it’s Saturday morning. I meant to write this earlier. Really. I’ve been kinda sideswiped by life. Starting school, sending a kid off to college, that whole lack of sleep thing, which reminds me, the only reason I’m up now (because I’ve already fallen asleep on the couch once) is because I’m in charge of late-night laundering again. Girlchild dumped it all in the washer and then went to bed, and I’m fairly sure she needs it early tomorrow morning for soccer. Hmn. Motherly duties.

Staying up late in the name of laundry. Wish it was something a little more meaningful, like reducing waste or reversing climate change or curing cancer. But no. It’s because of laundry…laundry that could have been done at ANY time today. Without my assistance. Yup.

Thursday was an exceptionally long day, up early to send the boychild off (he has arrived and moved in, although reports on the roommate have been limited to insider knowledge about his plethora of monogrammed towels and accessories), then worked all day and went to physical therapy and then quilt class. I had been hoping to get all 5 birds quilted last night.

Wow. That’s crazy talk. What’s funny is that I was so tired that I couldn’t quilt FAST, so I kept moving the quilt in tinier and tinier squiggles…

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I’m not sure that was a good thing. Lord, the lighting is horrible in this picture. Suffice it to say, it’s quilted.

I did miss stitching down the underside of the neck somehow…

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So I’ll have to do that tomorrow. This is one being made for the Art Produce show, so there will be no binding, just a satin stitch. Also hoping to do that tomorrow.

I didn’t fully finish quilting the second eyeball bird.

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Toldja I was quilting fucking tiny. Finish it off tomorrow. Then quilt the other three. Faster. And in a less anal manner.

Today was similarly crazy, although I got more sleep. I also started the 5 loads of laundry from the boychild’s room. Cleaned out his trash. Picked up the books in there. He won’t like that I didn’t alphabetize by author, but I need to leave something for him to do when he comes home, right? Plus I think I want to read half of them. Next week, I have to ship his piano and some other stuff. Yes. I said Ship a Piano. Don’t laugh.You want me to ship YOU a piano? I will. I have extras. I shipped paintings and etching plates home from Britain when I lived there for a year. We had to have a special crate built for some of the stuff that I sent home from there and it came via ship. Had to be picked up from the docks in Long Beach or somewhere around there after it cleared customs.

I forced my hand this morning and contacted my photographer to take pictures of the Mammogram and Menopause quilts. That meant I had to actually FINISH the second one, so I finished up the binding tonight. Tomorrow or Sunday I’m going to do some inking on it, I think. Maybe some embroidery. I get myself in such a rush that I don’t do so much of that any more. Both are being photographed early next week, so I will have to make sure they are DONE. For reals. Then finish all the birds and the floating house (I think I’m done with it…although…no…sigh…I don’t know). Then get the drawing done on gender equality, which has been kicking my butt all summer. It’s become a significantly high priority, which I actually think is a good thing. It means I can’t come home from work and procrastinate by staring at the computer. I have to work on art in order to get it done in time. Like every day. Seriously. I think that helps me keep a balance.

So yeah. I did that on purpose. Uh huh.

The art brain is excited about it anyway.

So my plan is (you know how I love to have plans that I can later dash to pieces) to get it fully drawn and numbered by Labor Day weekend, and then start tracing it in early September. I need it traced and cut out by mid-September (yikes. deep breaths. There’s only a million things happening in the next three weeks, because that’s what we’re talking about is three whole weeks…three whole weeks with an art installation that will take two days and revolving openings. Back-to-school night. Two of them. Don’t Think About It.). Then start choosing fabrics in mid-September. It’s about the size of the Celebrating Silver quilt, a little smaller, so maybe 15 hours of fabric-choosing. That’s at least a full week and a weekend. And another week plus to cut the fabrics out, so ideally, it’s fabricked by the end of September. October is for ironing and quilting. Holy crap. I’m in trouble here. I need another month. I don’t have another month. OK. Well, that decides some things, doesn’t it? I do think I have until mid-November. There’s a 3-day weekend in there. I don’t need to sleep in November, do I?

I need to get my act in gear. Good thing I have no life. Well, except for my job. And the girlchild’s soccer. And all the art stuff and hiking and book-reading I do. And the gym. Sleep? Eh. Not so much.

At least I have a purpose for the next few months. Besides surviving school. And flipping the laundry in the middle of the night.

I do miss the boychild. There is an empty space where he would normally be. But the girlchild has been a little less crazy this week (well, if you ignore the food issues because of the lost wisdom teeth and her freaking out about coaching soccer without her dad around to help). She’s been less screamy. She may just be lonely.

Anyway, I have a teacher’s aide at school this year, one of my good boy students from last year who follows instructions well. I’m going to use his talents best I can to reduce my load. I’m going to collaborate with my teacherfolk to get up and running on these Chromebooks and get off of paper. Google is trying to fix my Classroom access so I can actually use the system the way I want, but until then, there are other apps that will do. I’m doing a lot of winging-it this year. There’s a lot of change in the air at school and it seems positive. Well, some of it is just plain weird, but mostly positive.

I still have to stay up for another 45 minutes though to flip the laundry again. You know, in the past, I have gone to bed and set an alarm for an hour later to wake me up enough to go turn the dryer on. It’s a little crazy, but it works. I’m a little crazy too, so it makes sense. I started the school year with a little crazy in mind. I think my students are a tad freaked out by my crazy, but I really don’t care. I’m gonna hug their little brains with dissections and nerve-cell-exploding ideas about genetics and nutrition and what WHITE means (that’s in light and pigment and even in skin color). In fact, I might just do a whole lesson on What Is White (I do a lab called What Is Black?…I should just connect the two). Just after I do the Zombie Apocalypse unit. Seriously. I didn’t have the brain power last year. I was deep in a nasty-ass hole made by someone else. I guess I’m good at dragging myself out of holes that other people make for me. I think the next time I have to do that, I’m gonna go all wizard and demons killed with sharp silver blades on someone’s ass. Because it’s not cool to do that shit to people you’re supposed to care about…

You know, with the boychild gone, there are way too many leftovers in the fridge. Girlchild and I need to adjust the cooking volume. Mr. Bottomless has left the building. And is that skunk I smell? It surely is. Nice.

It has to be bedtime.

 


Oh Lonely Sriracha

August 21, 2014

I’m up at holy shit in the morning because boychild leaves for college today. I’m not taking him. It would be really hard to take the second and third days of school off without there being major issues, so his dad is taking him out there. It’ll be good for his dad to see Cornell anyway, and I would just annoy the crap out of him at the moment because I’m all girl-like and hey let’s get set up and fill out your I-9 so you can get a job and say HI to people and stuff. You know. Like a mom. Plus I probably wouldn’t stop crying, and that’s never cool when you’re a freshman in college, mom sobbing away in a ball of saltwater on your dorm room floor.

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He has missing teeth in that picture. And girlchild, what is UP with the barrettes? Sheesh. (2004…ages 7 and 8)

I’m actually too tired to be emotional right now.

So I send him off this morning. Yesterday afternoon I got home from my first (LONG) day of school…OK, it’s only long because I haven’t talked that much without stopping since, um, the LAST day of school…OK, not even that…since the last day I taught something I had to talk a lot about (sexually transmitted diseases, to be specific, probably AIDS), and the boychild has dumped all his clothes on the couch and folded about 5 shirts. So I start folding and putting in logical piles and tell him to go find everything he wants to bring and he eventually brings more stuff (dude. where’s your jacket. seriously.). I realize I can ship some of the warmer stuff if I need to, because I don’t think New York is going to go to freezing before mid-September (we Southern Californians are not great with actual seasons, so I don’t actually know if this is true, but I do have a weather app that claims there’s a 54% chance he will be hit by lightning in the next two weeks), but it would be nice not to have to ship anything.

So we count underwear and he’s a little short. You have to understand that I asked him back in early July about his underwear (oh my god, mother, do we have to talk about underwear?) and suggested a two-week minimum. Because I went to college. And laundry is not fun. And you have to fight for machines, even if you’re a night owl like me. In fact, I do not even remember doing laundry the first two years. Maybe I didn’t. I remember doing it in Britain, because there were three buildings all attached to each other and you had to go to the very bottom floor (I was on the 4th or 5th floor?) of the furthest one away and it was like going to Siberia, it was so far away and no elevators, just up and down stairs, and a total pain in the ass. I asked about socks too. So it was no shocker to me that he only had 11 pairs of underwear (why is underwear a PAIR? a PAIR of what?) and 8.5 pairs of socks. One with holes in them. Where the hell is his sock stash? We never did find it.

You might be saying to yourself, Kathy, why did you not get him to pack earlier? Do you think I didn’t try? Do you think I haven’t been telling him to pack for the last WEEK? Or MORE? Yup. This is why I meditate. And drink alcohol. At the same time. In the morning.

So after my first day of school, at 5:00 at night, we got in the car and went to Target for underwear and socks. Sigh. Yes, I know he can buy stuff there, but…I wanted to at least attempt to send him off outfitted with those, because he’s got no cold-weather clothing or shoes and he’s going to have to figure all that out on his own. And I’m his MOM, dammit.

Then I get the big suitcase packed and it’s 3,000 pounds. Not gonna fly. Literally. Send boychild over to grandparents’ house to get smaller second suitcase that will fit inside big one on the trip back (his dad is bringing those back; we’re leaving him a duffel bag…it’s all he wanted) while I start making dinner. Girlchild is still mostly out of food commission because of chipmunk cheeks from wisdom-teeth removal. I did go to the store for her already and purchase soup and bread and ice cream and something else. I did not make her risotto like she wanted. She’s the cook. Yes, I did all that after school too.

Second suitcase shows up and I reapportion the load. We’re under the max weight on both of them now. Good job. Unfortunately, he wants to add stuff this morning, so I don’t actually know if it’s under or not. You know what? It is no longer my problem. He’s on dadwatch now.

My mom is driving them to the airport, because I can’t guarantee I’ll be back in time for school, and honestly, it was easier to have him do the dorky I’m not gonna look you in the eye OR hug you thing here. Boys. Asperger boys. Sigh. So yeah. He’s gone. I’ve already booked his flights for Winter Break. I looked at flights for Thanksgiving for me…he doesn’t get the whole week off, but I do. Not sure what I’m going to do about that. It’s not cheap. Girlchild wants to go too. But I will have to pay for all those college applications and test scores at the same time. So. Yeah. I don’t know.

Meanwhile, I’ve had about 4.5 hours of sleep and I’m teaching in two hours…and possibly two more cups of tea. Eyes. Open.

I did do quilt stuff last night. I stitched down all five bird quilt tops…

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And then I started sandwiching and pin-basting.

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None of them take very long to do, luckily.

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I think I started after 10 PM. Can’t remember what I was doing before. I’m sure it was something very important. Yes, normal people go to bed at 10 PM. I know that.

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Seriously. I’m not awake. Maybe I should go back to bed for an hour and set the alarm, except my hair’s wet now from the shower and it will look goofy as hell if I do that. Goofier than normal. And it should be obvious by now that I don’t go to bed at a normal hour.

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I have quilt class tonight, assuming girlchild doesn’t need me at her soccer practice to yell at parents. She is having a hard time with a couple who don’t respect her knowledge base. Sure, it’s hard to think that a 17-year-old can coach 9-year-olds in soccer, but she’s been playing since she was 5 and helping her dad coach for like the last 5 years. I think she’s probably better than about half the parents I’ve seen out there.

Oh yeah, and I saw the final episode of X Files last night. I started rewatching the series back in January, because I liked it then and I didn’t remember most of it. I realized that I hadn’t seen the last season at all, which isn’t surprising, because it aired in 2001-2002, so I had a 4- and 5-year-old at home while working and going to school to get my teaching credential online. I finished my masters in May or June of 2002, I think. And then I got divorced that fall…well, separated anyway. It’s possible that TV was not a priority. The series wasn’t the same without Mulder, of course, although I love Doggett and Reyes NOW. The last episode tried to explain everything, which is kinda lame, but I did enjoy rewatching it. I guess I’ll have to start watching something else now…something that doesn’t have any major triggers and keeps me entertained but allows my art brain to pick fabrics or iron without too much distraction (yes, I have to distract my own brain in order to get stuff done).

Anyway, all this distracts me from the boychild’s departure, which is probably a good thing at the moment. Keep the brain over THERE. It’s also probably good that the girlchild is with me for the next 5 days, because her dad is gone, although she has three social events planned and at least two soccer practices. I might be in trouble with her because I didn’t wake her up to say goodbye to her brother, but we kinda ran out of time, because he kept handing me stuff to shove into his luggage. At the last minute. Because yeah. Probably he didn’t want to think too hard about leaving either.

Last night, he says, “Hey, if you clean my room, don’t throw anything out.” And I’m looking at his room, which is usually pretty neat. And it’s not. Sigh. OK. I’ll be cleaning his room, I guess. Only so it’s easier to clean up the cat puke. And find his secret stash of nudie magazines. OK. That’s not happening. Pre-internet, right? And it’s more likely to be sci fi/fantasy graphic novels…which I’ve already read.

The sriracha sauce will sit in the fridge unused for months now. And wait until Babygirl realizes he’s gone (I had to promise to comb her regularly last night…must find comb). OK. Have to go render young minds.


I Must Proceed…

August 20, 2014

A day. A bruise on my hand. Realizing at the gym that all the raucous music and distracting literature in the world can’t keep me from thinking. Dammit. Boychild leaves for college in 30 hours. School starts in 8 1/2 (yes, I should be asleep…I may finish this in the morning). I left school at about 1 PM today. I was done. I had stuff in my head that was unsettling me, throwing me off, and honestly, there wasn’t anything left to do. I came home and finished up what I could. I did physical therapy and the gym and meditation.

I did all the things.

And then I started in on the birds…this is number 13, Diving Bird 2.

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It’s the same fabrics, but I flipped it by accident…

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traced it upside down onto the Wonder Under. It’s a pain to iron then, because I can’t see the pattern through the paper as well. I did that once with an entire quilt. It was very frustrating. This one is not the same size, because it’s supposed to be 8×10 for the Art Produce show…so slightly different.

This one was the same, although…

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I think the background fabric is different, because I was out of the other one.

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I think. Not sure. Yeah, it’s different (you didn’t even know I clicked over to my website to look, did you?). Yes, I use my own website to figure out what I’ve done, thought, planned. So that was Bird 14, Hey Bird 2.

The last one was completely different fabrics…

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because I knew I didn’t have enough to reproduce it as it was in the original. Well, that was the second version of it anyway.

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And then I fussed about the background and decided on this one. It’s a little smaller than the other one. Maybe. Not sure. Won’t know until I finish it. Stitching and all. Hopefully tomorrow night I can stitch some down. Maybe? Who knows. Boychild is not packed for college, although he finally started thinking about it. It’s OK. I’ve already shipped two boxes with bedding, towels, and sundry other items, including a Horton Hears a Who plate. Because who doesn’t need that? Girlchild is already planning what she will bake to send him. He will gain the Freshman Fifteen because of his sister. Or he will be best friends with everyone on his floor. If he’s smart.

I wanted to finish watching the X-Files episode that was on Netflix, so I worked some more on the binding for the Menopause quilt…

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I think I need to call my photographer and just set a drop-off date, because that will force me to finish it.

I gave boychild one piece of roomie advice, which he will probably ignore: Assume positive intent. I wish people did that with me. Because I’m really not out to get anyone, and I’m voted most likely to let you show me who you are, even if I have prior experience with you as an asshole. Yes, that has been on my mind today. Sigh. I always tell my students that I don’t care if your older brother/sister was a total asshole (OK, I don’t use that word), I will not hold it against you. You are your own person and I am waiting for you to show me who that is. Especially that kid who got 12 suspensions last year. I don’t wanna know about it. Come into my classroom clean. Start over. Clean slate.

Wish I could do that with my life. Wake up one morning with everything erased. Start over. There’s so much baggage weighing me down at the moment, I don’t even know where to start getting rid of it.

Anyway. So. School starts tomorrow and I might even be ready. I can’t get onto Google Classroom because I’m not special enough (or I am entirely too special), but I know how to use Edmodo and will do that if I need to.

Mental status? Eh. There’s so much change and shit rolling around that I’m just pushing everything into the corner again. I have a big bubble around me and I try to bounce all the unhappy and nasty off of it. I saw 5 of my girls from last year today and got hugs from all of them (let’s not tell them that I couldn’t remember their names for another 5 hours because I am that lame). So I’m sorta holding everything at bay. I cry because I realize the boy will not ever really come back. He’ll be here for vacations, but then he’ll graduate and get a job and go off into the world. I’ve been a full-time mom for so long. I expected to have a transition stage, but there was something there to transition into. I’m not sure what I’m transitioning into any more. More quiet with fabric. I don’t know if that’s good or not.

I have this sketchbook that fits in my purse and I used to carry it (or others before it) in my former life, when I went out to dinner once or twice a week, and I would always draw while waiting for dinner to come, and I would date and locate the drawing, so there’s all these names of restaurants in all these old sketchbooks. Now there are only dates, because I never really go out to dinner any more. The first few a year ago were at the movies, when I was trying to feel semi-normal and I would go to the movies on Saturday nights and sit there by myself and cry in the movie theater.

Now I just don’t go. I miss them. I can’t afford them…financially or mentally. So I just don’t go.

None of this is particularly healthy. Maybe the drawing is. I need to do more of that, I think. In between all the other stuff. Sigh. Time. Such constraints. And ALL the FEELS.

I am so not ready for the next few days. Or maybe I am ready, but ready means that I will cry. I am sad now and maybe in two days I will be all saddened out and it will be OK again. I just don’t know. I made the mistake the other night of looking at all the photos I was trying to put away, to find a home for, and there was the girlchild, not even age 2, at my brother’s wedding, and the boychild, happily wearing a button-down shirt and tie, shaved little head, big smile on his face, age 3 1/2. Girlchild holding her sippy cup and her hair isn’t even girl-length yet. It took so long for her hair to grow.

And I know I didn’t do it all wrong, because boychild is off to a good school, to Cornell, where he will be exposed to lots of smart people and hard thinking and he will come back a different person, and I know he is there because I did a good job raising him, but it still feels like I did something wrong. Like I didn’t follow the rules so I’m being punished. And I know that lots of moms (and dads) feel sad when their kids go off to college, but it feels like abandonment. I want to lecture him on all the diapers I changed and how long I nursed him and how long it took him to potty train, and dammit, call your mom occasionally and send some pictures of your roomie and where you live and don’t forget that she was there for you. Eh? OK? I see him rolling his eyes from here.

Yeah. I think I’m just gonna be surviving the next few days. Weeks.

I must proceed.

Yes, that’s e. e. cummings he’s talking about. I read Barron Storey’s blog, well, look at his drawings anyway. Must Proceed…


It Just Seems That Way…

August 19, 2014

Birds are back. It was late when I started ironing. Busy day. School starts Wednesday. But the birds…the birds need to get done, whether school starts or not. I’ve started school like 13 times now. Must be my lucky year. I keep thinking I’m forgetting something major. I might be. So what? I’ll figure it out and bring it the next day. Or maybe I’ll just wing it for the first month. Science is science…make the kids figure some experimental stuff out, aim for the standards, they haven’t done science in our school a whole lot, so anything I give them will be a learning experience. I have too many ideas. Not enough time as it is.

So I focus on the birds. Because I know when they have to be done. I ironed Bird 11, another dove…

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I lay out all the pieces on quilts this small…then iron them down. The drawing is under a teflon-type sheet, so I can see it as I’m ironing. I love these things. I have about 5 of them, two that are really big and three smaller ones. One of the cats tried to eat one once. Not sure why. There are teeth marks in it. Will I throw it out? Nope. Need it some days when I’m ironing something big that needs more than one sheet. Not often, but sometimes. Yes, this is how hoarders are made.

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I don’t think it’s the same as the last one. I couldn’t figure out what fabrics I’d used. So I guessed. The tail looks right, but the body is much lighter. Then again, that fabric is mottled all over heck and gone, so maybe I just picked a lighter part of it. Who knows. Who cares. This one will be for sale at the Art Produce exhibit in September.

I did pick the same background though…

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There’s hardly any of that fabric left now.

Then I did this one again. I really like this one…

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And it exists on a quilt that will premiere at IQF Houston at the end of October. I’ll be there. Woo!

I think this one is pretty much the same…

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Because I really liked it. Someone wants this one already. Bird 12. Eyeball Bird 2.

There are three more to iron, but it’s late and I have to be up earlier tomorrow than I was this morning. I was at school most of the day, and then girlchild had her wisdom teeth pulled. She did not deal well with the pain, and the doctor called around 9 PM to check on her and said they were “tough little teeth.” I don’t know what that means, but I do know her tolerance for pain is not great. So she’s iced and medicated and sleeping. She hasn’t eaten since early this morning. I made her mashed potatoes (by request) but then she didn’t want anything but water. It’s OK. They’re in the fridge for tomorrow. She’s not a happy camper. Someone needs to work on a genetic vaccine that gets rid of those wisdom teeth before they grow…like it predicts mouth size based on genetics and says, “Um, no, they will NOT fit, so let’s not even waste the resources on them.” And then they don’t grow.

Yes, this is how I can write sci fi. My brain goes to those weird places without you.

Anyway, so much of my evening was punctuated by moaning and whining and bloody gauze (which eventually she could deal with, which is good, because she only bit me twice and that was more spit and blood than I really wanted to deal with today) and ice and meds and cooking, lots of cooking. In between that, I reduced the hoard. I’ve been trying to get my room cleared of all the stuff from the living room, and part of that is finding homes for many things that used to live in there but really don’t need to live in there. So I have this closety thing in the hallway that I’m sure is supposed to be for linens and towels, but fuck that. I store art supplies, stitching stuff, computer bits and pieces, slides (from the days when that’s what we submitted to art shows), photos, and extension cords. Lots of those, for some reason. And it’s a disaster. It was organized right around the girlchild’s 2nd birthday, and I was still married then. So that tells you something about the state of those cupboards. And yes, I got a weird bug up my butt, because I knew there were photos in there, and I had a ton of photos in my room that used to live in boxes in the living room, and they needed a new home. So they should all live together, like with like.

So I started pulling things out of the cupboards…

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And yes, I filled the hallway. It was un-traversable at some point. And then I filled one trash bag and another. Here’s an example of what I found in there. When I came back from the UK in 1988, I was hooked on EastEnders (yes, whatever, judge away), and when I was in my last year of college, the OC played EastEnders on PBS, so I could keep watching. Then we moved to San Diego and no such luck, so a friend of mine who lived in San Francisco would tape the show on videotapes with a VCR (oh my lord, the olden days) and send them to me. And I would watch them. I found 10 of them. In a box. Dated 1995 and 1996. Impressed? Yup. I tossed them. If I really want to watch EastEnders again, I will get the DVD. And I don’t, by the way. I really don’t.

I managed to throw out a lot of crap, because I did a lot of stitching in the past and apparently wanted to keep all the patterns of things I had already stitched and tiny bits of thread that I had knotted onto labeled index cards and carefully stored in bags with the already used patterns. Yup. Tossed them. I still have some stuff to rehome, whether at a thrift shop or in the garage (because I probably don’t need to keep my respirator from my screenprinting years in the house. Because I’m not screenprinting at the moment, and if I were, it would be in the garage, not in the house).

My SIL was so proud. Oh yeah, so going back to the early years of Kathy Quilting.

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Yes. Those are hand-drawn patterns on graph paper (yes, very small) with plastic templates that have been marked to fit together.Aug 18 14 056 small

It’s an abstract pattern made of three main blocks.

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I never made these blocks. Piece 26 in the middle of that log cabin-type block is 1/4″ square. I’ve never pieced that well in my life. My art brain vomited all over my shoes when I tried. Then I learned how to applique what I really liked to draw, which at this point, was all being made into screenprints, and I’ve never looked back. But I wanted you to see some of the places I went before I got to where I’m at. Because it’s amusing, that’s why. How did you become an artist? Well, I tortured myself with the rules for a while and then I gave up and made what I wanted.

Which doesn’t explain why I’m making more birds, of course, but they serve a purpose and they will be done soon. It’s really probably just procrastination from the next step…because finishing that drawing or the floating house might kill me.

Not really. It just seems that way.

Remind me tomorrow morning why I thought it was a good idea to stay up this late?


Last Sunday Before…

August 18, 2014

Sunday morning. Last Sunday before school starts again. Newest teacher mag says that to make this year the best, I should already be dreaming of summer vacation. Next year’s summer vacation. That’s just thoroughly fucked up. I don’t think that’s healthy at all. I mean, there are quite a few vacations BEFORE that. Although, I guess my looking at artists’ residencies is a form of dreaming about next summer.

So there’s no traffic driving up to the OC, which is kinda miraculous. We get here after quite a bit of sniping on both sides (my patience is seriously stretched at the moment), and realized I forgot my damn chair. Yesterday the second backpack strap broke, which makes it a pain to carry. I was going to fix it (again) last night, but forgot until about ten minutes before we were supposed to leave this morning. But I remembered! Sewed both of them up, but shattered a needle doing it. Good thing I wear glasses, because the pieces flew everywhere.

I even moved the chair out into the entryway so I wouldn’t forget it. Yup. Forgot it. At least I have my chair for bleachers…better than nothing. And there was toilet paper in the Portapotties. This is also a miracle. Will they never cease?

Deep breaths. I’m pretty sure we only have one game today, so I won’t have to be here all day like yesterday. I’m banishing all the bad thoughts. Really. Over there. Sit down and shut the fuck up.

This really is the blog of a depressed single mom artist who is trying to figure out how to NOT be the first one and be MORE of the last one and I don’t get to do anything about the middle one. Because they’re almost raised at this point and although their dad was here and paid mostly when he was supposed to, parenting has been a singularly lonely and unsupported thing. I mean yes, people drive the kids places and drop them off here or there, but the real crap, the down and dirty of it…it’s all been on my shoulders and I’m tired. I really am.

I guess that’s how we know it’s time to send them to college. Too bad the girlchild has to finish high school first. Not really. I need her still. Probably will need her even when it’s time for her to leave.

This license plate seen on the way to the soccer tournament yesterday. I NEED THIS. Because it’s true.

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Arty soccer photo. It was better but then one of her teammates ran in front of her. I still kinda like it though.

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Yes, more soccer. Only one game yesterday, but we were gone for 5 hours. Better than the day before, when we were gone for 11 hours. They lost all 3 games. There are some issues, not the least of which is injuries.

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I cut out the other two birds last night…this one was fairly similar to the original…

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Calli was underfoot the entire time. I had to go out into the living room to persuade her to follow me out of the room so I could come back in and move the ironing board. Twice.

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The second version of the owl is different, though…purples.

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And then I sat, late into the night, and cut out all the pieces.

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It didn’t really take that long. Although it was after midnight and now it’s morning and I have to leave for school in 14 9 minutes. Tonight I’m hoping to iron them together, but the girlchild is having her wisdom teeth pulled this afternoon, and as a single parent, I know better than to assume everything will go to plan. OK, I guess ALL parents know that (at least the smart ones do). Plan, but realize your plans will be fucked. Because that is the way it is.

I should take a picture of the floating house too…because it’s turned into a giant cat toy. Or not. I don’t know what to think about it. Girlchild was disturbed about my hanging worry dolls off of it.

Tired. Not ready. Never am. Why change? Accept.


Dyar Springs Hike

August 17, 2014

I picked last Saturday’s hike because of my knee…it was supposed to be about 5 1/2 miles with very little elevation gain/loss. The knee doesn’t like going downhill at the moment. So we went out to Dyar Springs in the Cuyamacas. I’m always amazed by how many hikes there are out there. I’ve been on so many hikes out there and there are always new ones.

It’s a typical California landscape…

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I always imagine native people hundreds of years ago tramping across the landscape and what they would see.

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It’s August, so it’s warm even in the mountains…it hit the 80s really quickly.

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Some of this area had been hit by the fires over the last 10 or so years…but also bugs have killed some of the trees…

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But those rolling, brown, grassy hills are what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of MY California…

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With pines in the distance or oaks…

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There was wildlife…a California horned toad (aka a horned lizard)…cute little creatures, aren’t they?

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And a stick insect…

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He had some plant life tangled around his head? Is it a HEAD? We tried to pull it off, but he wasn’t having it. Fought it the whole way. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen one of these in the wild. Belongs on WTF Evolution.

We hiked off trail a bit for some reason. I don’t remember what.

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And then back towards the springs.

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There wasn’t much in the way of springs…mostly mud. We stopped for lunch here, near these oak trees and rocks.

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Those old California oaks are part of my sense of home too…

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There weren’t a lot of flowers around this late in the season…

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And some of the trees looked a little worse for wear…

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Hard to know if they’re still alive sometimes, especially at this time of year…

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This was the view back the way we’d come…

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And here’s where we set up our potluck picnic…

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Lots of good food and debating how many calories we’d burned so far and how many more we’d have to burn after eating everything that was laid out for us.

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The path back was that typical mix of grass and trees…

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Mountains in the distance…I think that’s Stonewall Peak to the left.

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More dead trees from the fires…

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Some monuments to the destruction that keeps this area alive.

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And then? Strangely? A patch of watermelons. No water to be seen around. No reason for them to be there…WAIT! My loyal reader Julie (who is a bit of a native plant expert, certainly more than I am) tells me this is calabazilla (which is the funnest name around), aka buffalo gourd or more interestingly stinking gourd (glad we didn’t figure out why). It has a great Latin name, for sure: Cucurbita foetidissima. I’m always looking for the word foetid involved with food.

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We kept hiking…

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It was good. It was peaceful. It was 7 3/4 miles instead of 5 1/2. Oh well. And there was dirt and mud and I sunburnt the BACKS of my knees (nope, didn’t even think to sunscreen those). And my knee hurt briefly…but that’s it. Good.


Managed

August 17, 2014

I spent pretty much all day on a soccer field today, which explains the dehydration, the sunburn (despite multiple applications of sunscreen and the use of an umbrella), the 65 pictures of soccer playing, and my mood in the evening. Girlchild can be difficult to manage when she’s hot, tired, sweaty, etc., and all of those things happened today. I weathered most of it, but it wore me down, and by the end of the day, there wasn’t any strength left in me.

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I had some moments of depressoidness today, moments when it was quiet and I wasn’t distracted enough from the inner workings of my disturbed little mind, the bit that keeps nattering on about all the things I’ve done wrong and how none of them will ever be right…you know, the standard depression fare.

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I spent the hour before the first game and part of that game writing…writing this weird-ass science fiction story that just spills out of me when I turn it on, sputtering like a barely used faucet, words flowing out in big gouts of semi-literate paragraphs. I wrote about 1500 words in that hour plus. We’re out of the woods and back into the city, storywise. It’s good.

OK. I don’t actually know if it’s good. I’m just writing until I’m done, and then I’ll put the editor hat on and go back in and kick its ass. Then and only then will I read it for story. Actually, I’ll probably let other people read it then. It could really suck. Who knows.

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The team lost the first game. It was very hot out there. The picture above, the girl on the other team was hooking her arm through the girlchild’s elbow, and when the girlchild swung her around as she got the ball, the other girl tried to get the ref to call a foul. He did. On her. BOOM. We then spent an hour in a chilly Panera. Much nicer, except for all the noisy people. I read. I wrote a little more. We went and bought water. I got yelled at, but not seriously.

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Then we sat on the field waiting for game number two. Still hot. Sleepy. Napped a bit. Read. This is where the brain started wandering. It started thinking about life a few years ago and what it was like and all the stuff I’m missing and that I’ll never have again and trip! There you are. In the damn hole. Drag yourself back out. Tell yourself to be in the fucking moment. Watch the weird seed pods floating balletically (it is TOO a word) across the soccer field, feel the (ultra) warm breeze waft across your face (and dry your eyes out). Deep breaths. Traffic on the south Interstate 5 is finally clearing up, so we might get home in a reasonable time frame. POSITIVE FUCKING THINKING BABY.

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Then girlchild made a goal, which was good, because she is more likely to be in a decent mood if she is successful at something (shocker, that. Must be genetic.). The photo above is right before the goal…she actually had to kick it past the goalie and then come around with her left foot and bend it (not like Beckham) into the goal. Which she did.

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I stitched during the second game. Not a lot. I really wasn’t in the mood. Sometimes it all seems very pointless.

I talked to people. I tried to be sociable. I tried to shut up the bad parts of my brain with all the wondrous seed pods and warm breeziness. SIGH. And then I got yelled at in the car on the way home. So I turned the music up and cried a bit all the way home.

And after dinner, after I heard the litany of why girlchild is so stressed, which I can’t possibly understand (seriously, she said that), I decided to do what I wanted. Yes, I’m fully aware that school starts in four days and my house is a disaster and my lesson plans are questionable. I know all of that. I also know that BALANCE is what I need and that means the only really good thing I learned last year is that even if I am so depressed I barely function, I can do my job and come home and make some sort of art every night and I will survive. So I should keep doing that part. I should not bury myself in my job, because although it can be very fulfilling, it also sucks my soul out of my body and spits it out in a sewer. Art? Not so much. It tends to be much kinder. It is a better place to be.

I’ve got 5 birds to get done by September 1. Well, two birds HAVE to be done by then…here’s the first, another one of the doves…

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I pulled the original picture up on the iPad, but couldn’t figure out what fabrics I’d used, so I winged it.

Because there’s a shortage of fabric in my room? Yeah. I didn’t think so.

The dove and a new version of the diving bird will be at the Fence/Barda exhibit that I’m involved with at Art Produce Gallery in North Park (San Diego), which opens September 13.

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Both will be for sale at that venue…which means I need to finish them slightly differently and not spend too much time on them, because I don’t get all the money.

I got this one cut out too, but it should already have a home…

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Two more to do tomorrow. I did this one slightly differently too. Can’t always find the original fabrics. Lots of fabric in here.

Anyway, I think I fought off most of the depressoid stuff…at least, if I go to bed now, I have a good chance of leaving it here instead of bringing it to interrupt my sleep, which is what happened this morning. I could have used the extra hour of sleep, but no…my brain does not allow it. Anyway. I’m trying. Know that I’m always trying.


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