Missing: Brain

March 1, 2014

Description: gray, white, pink, lots of surface area, bad attitude. Last seen: wandering the streets cluelessly, not following instructions.

I have another post I started writing this morning, but it requires brain power and I am missing significant portions of my brain tonight. They have just wandered off for a nap or a vacation or something…they muttered as they went by, so I’m not really sure what their issue is. I just know that there’s some resentment and anger, and I can’t really deal with their drama right now, so I’m just going to let them have some time to themselves and hope we can converse in a civil manner tomorrow.

I am such a tolerant brain owner.

Seriously, though, the numbness continues, but my counselor says that she has heard a real laugh out of me the last two weeks instead of just my nervous laugh (I have spent the last 7 hours trying to imagine what my nervous laugh sounds like…I cannot produce it on command and apparently have no control over my laughing). I guess that’s good. We talked about stress and how my reaction to stressful events and non-stressful events are somewhat flipped, backwards even, and I need to figure that out and switch them. But acknowledge that numbness is some version of healthy, of my brain trying to protect me or give me a rest from constant hypervigilance. It doesn’t help with the crying though. I am numb but then I cry. At the drop of a freakin’ hat. It’s so hard to be at social events sometimes because the stupidest stuff will upset me and I have to work really hard not to tear up. Not acceptable behavior…unless you’re at a funeral. Or a wedding. Neither of which do I attend with any frequency.

I drew during prep yesterday. It’s not very exciting and it’s certainly not done.

Feb 28 14 016 small

But it’s pen on paper. Blurry? Camera sucks. But drawing. Drawing good.

Girlchild had her last playoff game tonight, because they lost 0-1…

Feb 28 14 005 small

It was dark, so I’m not sure why I started taking pictures…except that she was on the field and that was kind of amazing for her coach.

Feb 28 14 002 small

And yes, it was on-and-off pouring rain. Fun stuff. She went up to head the ball and headed the other player at the same time, right above the eye…it’s all swollen and purple now. She’ll probably have a black eye. Good times.

I like to set goals for the weekends. It keeps me (sometimes) from wallowing too deeply in depressive thoughts about what I used to do on weekends and how they feel now, which is mostly like shit. I need to go to the gym and I have a hike planned, even though there’s some rain wandering around the county. It should be OK. I have a ton of grading to get done before Thursday, when the gradebook opens. I want to get a good chunk of it done this weekend, because the week is awfully full already. I want to get the big long tall drawing done…there’s not that much left to do. I want to start ironing Wonder Under onto fabrics for the Mammogram quilt. That means I need to figure out a setup to keep Babygirl off the ironing board for a few days (barbed wire? fencing around the ironing board?).

Not much. There’s a bunch of errands sprinkled in there as well, plus installing external hard drives and moving stuff around to hopefully help the computer run better. Plus some yardwork. Did I tell you two big branches came down in the storm? They missed the house luckily…last time, one spiked the roof into the bathroom ceiling. Still haven’t fixed the inside part…the outside is fixed.

Maybe I’ll even take a nap. Could happen. It would help if those pieces of the brain would come back. I kinda need their assistance.


February 26, 2014

My brain is disturbingly empty tonight. I’ve been poking around the edges, looking for some insight into the emptiness, but there’s nothing. Ha. Nothing in the emptiness. Sigh. Knock knock. I don’t appear to be at home. Maybe I’m on vacation and forgot to let me know. Dammit. Stupid irresponsible brain. Never can count on it to be mature and follow through.

I went to the girlchild’s soccer game and stitched through the whole thing…

Feb 25 14 031 small

Well, except when I was trying to take about 40 blurry pictures of her because it was dark and I hadn’t quite admitted to myself yet that it was too dark to be trying to photograph anything. Did I mention my camera is currently taped together? Yeah. So I took a lot of blurry photos…

Feb 25 14 008 small


I have no idea what is going on in this photo…

And in between I stitched…

Feb 25 14 030 small


Like the only picture I got of her that wasn’t significantly blurry was because she was almost standing still. I don’t know why I work so hard at this. I got amused later when one of the parents, whom I’ve known for YEARS, told me he thought I was British…like I’d lost my accent years ago. Say what? Dude. I’m born and bred Californian…OK, by some mistake of weird geography (my dad was stationed in Alaska in the Army and I was born on an Army base there), I was not actually BORN in California, but I might as well have been. Both my parents are from California as well. I have been amused by this all night. I’m a secret agent Brit masquerading as a typical Californian artistic freak. OK, not so typical. Whatever. I embrace my British roots (well, I do have some of those…but Scottish).

They won the game. We knew they would. I’m really REALLY looking forward to the next game on Friday, because they’re predicting lots of rain and lightning storms. Yes, I will still stitch. I have that cool setup where I put the plastic-covered blanket over me and the umbrella sits in my bra (seriously, it props quite well in there), and I stitch under the umbrella. Yes, it’s a little crazy. I don’t think we’ll get past Friday’s game…we’ve played this team before and we usually lose…although we tied them a couple of weeks ago. Who knows.

I got home and didn’t have time for the gym, so I just made my dinner and ate and read a little and exercised, and then the ex called because his car broke down and he needed me to pick him up, so I did that, and then made tomorrow night’s dinner for the kids, so I can go to book club, and then I meditated and then it was time for bed. Or writing, then bed. Not very exciting. Then again, most of my nights aren’t very exciting. What’s new?

So no art. No deep thinking. Nothing really. Just empty. Seriously vacant. Wanted to draw. Wanted to pick fabrics for the Mammo quilt. Realized I didn’t have a background fabric picked out. I have a bunch of hand-dyed backgrounds I could use (probably too busy), or I have the dark purple I originally picked out for the Celebrating Silver quilt, but then rejected. I think I decided that was my best choice. And a little-old-lady cat with dandruffy skin just jumped on my lap, even though I told her it wouldn’t last long.

I finished reading this tonight, David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls


I’m still not sure what the title means, but how could you NOT read a book with that title? It’s a bunch of essays. Some were quite interesting, some funny, some I just didn’t care about. I’m not really an essay reader…maybe because I actually read essays as part of my job…although Sedaris writes better than 99% of my students (I have had a few very funny and articulate students).

Really, the best thing for me is to take the empty brain to bed and do a restart tomorrow. Maybe after book club, I’ll be motivated to pick fabrics. Maybe I’ll feel like installing the absolutely adorable (really, they are…they are so tiny and cute) external hard drives I got to try to ameliorate the computer issues I’m having (running out of space). Maybe I’ll make dessert and eat it. Maybe I’ll make it to the gym (OK, not tomorrow night, for sure). Maybe my brain will check back in from whatever vacation it’s on at the moment and let me know something helpful, something pertinent to my healing.

Or not.

My Still Quiet Calm Is a Rabid German Shepherd

February 21, 2014

A student today was asking me how I dealt with the really annoying obnoxious students. She said to me, “Ms. Nida, I know you always say it’s not worth the energy to hate them, but how do you NOT?” It’s true. I do say that. I think you would have to do something truly heinous for me to hate you, like kill one of my kids maybe. Even then, I’d probably be analyzing your childhood and wondering about the chemical imbalances in your brain that would make you think it was OK to do that. Then the students wanted to know how I stayed so calm, so patient…and I told them I meditated. For some reason, that amused some of them, amazed a few others, and then a couple just nodded their heads, like, Yeah. She meditates. Makes sense.

It was an extremely difficult day. My patience was worn incredibly thin. I need to find my way again. I think I can, maybe even tomorrow. I know I was making parent phone calls from my daughter’s soccer game today. I don’t know if it will help. I do know I don’t hate a kid who is acting out. They have reasons…not excuses, but certainly reasons, whether they know about them or not. It’s better that they get it out of their system and learn how to cope with it in 7th grade, rather than waiting until they’re in their 40s and inflicting that on the world then.

So I meditated tonight and I am still dropping the black oily blob of my depression into what he calls the stillness and clarity of the light within me. The light is supposed to melt or dissolve the question or the problem. I’m visualizing the light like melted butter, trying to melt down this black goo, and sometimes I can make it work, but tonight…tonight it’s not still or calm, there’s no quiet confidence, as he projects…there is nothing but a savage dog (the color and smell of melted butter) grabbing that bitter-tasting black ooze and piercing the outer coating with its sharp canines, throwing its head side to side in a frantic attempt to bleed the depression blob of all its power and lifeforce. It’s growling menacingly the entire time, planting its front paws firmly on my heart and shaking hard again, trying to dislodge the black tar from my parts…it keeps sticking to my organs, trying to grab on, take hold, grow like a parasite.

My still quiet calm is a rabid German Shepherd.

Tonight? Tonight I’m OK with that. Sometimes the visualization does what it needs to do, and apparently tonight it needs to beat the crap out of something.

I was supposed to have quilt class, but the teacher wasn’t feeling well. I was hoping to get a lot of Wonder Under cut out, but in the end, I graded a bunch of stuff just to get it out of my hair, and then I cut stuff out for a short time…

Feb 20 14 019 small

I wanted to draw too, but decided it was more important to try to get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour (which I didn’t do).

I stitched at the girlchild’s soccer game…

Feb 20 14 017 small

These are Month 4 of last year. Her team probably made it into CIF, so there will be at least one more game next week. Honestly, I’m looking forward to a break after that. She will go back to club, but will not play for three months due to the back surgery. I think there’s one possible tournament in there before the surgery. Unfortunately, she says she wants to travel to the other tournaments anyway…someone needs to tell her that driving to Arizona the week after back surgery is not happening. Both her dad and I have tried, but she’s not listening. Reality will kick in eventually.

Besides, I can’t afford the hotel and gas at the moment.

My leach field is done, but I got home in the dark, so I haven’t seen the final product yet…tomorrow morning. So that was the cost of a new car. Bad timing.

Her game today was on a blue turf field…

Feb 20 14 014 small

With their orange uniforms, it was very pretty…

Feb 20 14 005 small

She did get to play a little…it was a fairly tense game, but they won.

Feb 20 14 011 small

Sometimes they do know how to pull it together.

Sometimes I do too. Although it doesn’t feel that way lately. I have to say that the hormonal crap that goes along with perimenopause makes it really difficult to fight sadness and depression. You’ve got these hormonal swings that are too frequent to modulate well…and they are often extreme and unexpected. If you’re already feeling low, it just fucks with you in a major way. I can be real intellectual about it here, now, but knowing what’s happening doesn’t always stop it from happening. You just understand what it is. You can’t stop it. I do everything I’m supposed to do (except get plenty of sleep). Maybe it helps in the long run, but in the short term? Not so much.

I am not looking forward to anything in the next three days except sleep. And that is not a sure thing. I’m going to try to change that mood…art is in the works, as is exercise of some sort…and catching up on grading, which is not very nice or exciting, but has to be done…and since I know I have two hiking weekends coming up right before grades are due, I should try to be focused on it this weekend. I may take the boychild out for a hike. I may sit in a hole with my depression and observe it (aka draw). I may discover a cure for cancer. All these things might happen.

Dissolving Problems

February 19, 2014

Apparently Mr. Meditation is stalking me and listening in on my conversations. We are supposed to be visualizing being filled with light and then dropping a problem or question into that light and watching it dissolve. Last week, getting the light to fill me up was difficult; I seem to have managed it for this week, and then I drop this problem of depression into the light…it’s like an oil slick, black and globular, dense, spreading, trying to take over the light. Sometimes it succeeds and I have to start over, sweeping the black away and trying to refill the body with light and trying again to dissolve its greasy self into the golden light. Sometimes I manage to break it up into smaller and smaller black blobs, but they never go away; they just float around like errant black tadpoles. I guess that’s all a very realistic interpretation of how I am dealing with the depression…I try to break it up, destroy it, and it either grows and grows and takes over everything else, or it breaks up into smaller bits that still color my daily existence. There’s no escaping it.

So Mr. Meditation tonight is talking about how we deal with difficult things in life, and he says that people generally try to move quickly past challenges in life, to get through them as easily as possible, that we like security in our lives, we like things to be definite. He suggests instead that we sit with difficulties. Allow them to dissolve. Watch them dissolve, even if it’s slow and tedious and sometimes unsuccessful. He says we need difficult situations in life to practice, little challenges to be embraced instead of running away, so that we will be able to deal with whatever life throws at us. Ironic that. I’ve had enough of those. I need those around me to deal with their difficulties so they don’t make MY life more difficult. Dude. I think I’ve had enough difficult. Cut me a break for a while, eh? Bring on the security, maybe some peace, some joy, and don’t tell me I just have to make my own joy. If it were as simple as buying the ingredients and mixing them together correctly, don’t you think I would have done that already? Yes. I drew again tonight. I didn’t have much time in the end…

Feb 18 14 020 small

Grading sucked up some time and there was another soccer game, plus exercise (in the end, I did not make it to the gym). I worked on one piece of it, the drawing. Not much. Girlchild got to play some soccer tonight…

Feb 18 14 013 small

It’s been a rough season for her. She’s freaking out about the back surgery, understandably, getting cold feet. It’s hard to be the mom right now, to be the always-responsible one. There’s a lot of grabbing and pushing going on here, with no ball in sight.

Feb 18 14 009 small

They won. This picture looks like the Hokey Pokey (put your left foot in, put your left foot out…)

Feb 18 14 017 small

What can I say. It’s late. I’m not sleeping well. I was cranky today. One kid asked me if I’d taken my pill today. WTF? Sometimes teaching middle school is really difficult, challenging, in your face. I did do a color chromatography lab today, and the coolest part is when the ink (which I have them make in class) starts to move and spread the colors up the filter paper…they actually OOOH and AAAAH. It’s very cool. That’s when I know I’ve got them. Now if only I could persuade them to do their homework. I have been stitching anywhere that I sit down for any period of time…last night at the quilt meeting I got all of this done except for about an inch of the wing before they turned the lights out for the presentation…

Feb 17 14 007 small

Damn! But I finished it at the girlchild’s game, so that’s all of Month 3 from 2013 completed…

Feb 18 14 022 small

And I started Month 4. Yes. I’m behind. Welcome to my world.

Feb 18 14 021 small

And Sunday night, I started cutting out Wonder Under for the Mammogram quilt. I didn’t get very far…

Feb 18 14 019 small

This is going to be a troublesome piece. There aren’t very many pieces, but many of them are bigger than I usually do, so they will need big honking pieces of fabric…and since I usually only buy 1/2 yards, that might be a problem. I do have lots of flesh fabrics though, so maybe I’ll just go all out crazy on this one and pick really wild fabrics for the body, like 30 of them. Maybe. Or not. I have a while to decide…I have quilt class on Thursday, hopefully, and will be cutting these out and the wool pieces for Ivy’s memorial quilt. But if I keep drawing every night, then that will slow me down. The drawing really does help me process some of the ugly tarry crap in my head…anger and stress and sadness and those repulsive black thoughts that try to take over your brain in the middle of the night (during which I am always apparently awake, even though I told myself I needed to go to sleep early tonight…early wakeup tomorrow for girlchild)…if I can just draw them out, literally, on paper with black ink…then maybe they will haunt me less. Maybe I will be able to keep some of them from slipping back in to the unconscious and continuing to fuck with my barely stable equilibrium. It’s hard to say.

I’ve been reading The Dresden Files by by Jim Butcher…I have a 3-book volume of Storm Front, Fool Moon, and Grave Peril, and I’ve made it through the first two…


They’re pretty good…formulaic, but interesting light reads in the urban fantasy realm. Apparently I have 12 books to go. The proof that they’re light fiction is that the publisher pushed a bunch of them into omnibuses instead of letting each book stand tall on its own. I don’t know if I’ll get through all of them. What’s interesting is that I ordered the 3-book omnibus from the library back in June or July, and it only showed up in the last few weeks. Now that I know that the word omnibus does not mean a really big bus, I’m going to use it all the time. So I guess this is either the only of these omnibuses in the system, or it’s really popular. It’s similar to the Iron Druid series, in that the male protagonist is sort of obsessed with breasts and how women dress, and there’s lots of weird magic and creatures and potions and getting your shit together and ending up naked on the side of a road with big purple bruises a lot. Seriously. But like I said, a light read. I’m sure I’ll move on to serious fiction soon.

Actually, I need to read the book club selection by next Wednesday, and it’s still not here from the library. I might have to suck it up and buy it…which would mean finding the money for that. Sad but true, a single book purchase is an issue.

My SIL, whom I love very much, sent me a V-day card with the F word in it (actually, it was just the letter F as a stand-in for the F word, which I type here all the time) and gift cards to go buy a little black dress. Hmn. Where does she think I will wear such a thing? On the hiking path? It’s sweet. I might actually buy something useful with it. It could happen.

The girlchild was doing a project today on Magnum Opus, and she was thinking of art and painters, and suggested a shirt like a Jackson Pollack painting. Mom to the rescue. I actually OWN a dress that I painted about 10 years ago to resemble a Pollack painting…I went to Halloween post-divorce as a JP painting. Yup. I did. There is no other household IN THE WORLD where that same conversation happened. She said, “what about a shirt like Pollack?” and I said, “come here, my pretty…it’s been done.” And what did she do? Did she take it with her to wear to school, as her mother would have? No. She did not. She said it was shapeless. Sigh. I was impressed. So were my son and ex. Girlchild? Not impressed. Oh well. I tried.

A Gesture of Release

February 12, 2014

Girlchild got me sick. I knew it yesterday, felt it lurking. This morning, I felt spacey…all day, spacey…but not really sick. Still a sore throat, headachey. I’ve had my flu shot. Think this is just a cold, but it’s holding off…maybe I’m actually fighting the damn thing. Maybe I’ll feel like shit tomorrow…maybe not? I don’t know. I debated going to the gym…for two reasons. (1) I didn’t feel great and (2) I didn’t want to infect people. In the end, I went. I needed it for my mental and physical state, and honestly, I felt better after I went. I disinfected every machine I was on (but I made sure I touched every kid who is annoying at school…OK, not really…but we did joke about it). I got to work out and read, and I came home and felt OK for about 2 hours before the spacey/sore throat stuff came back. We’ll see what tomorrow feels like. If it’s going to take me down, I want it to do it quickly, so I’m better before my weekend hike (priorities).

Girlchild had a soccer game, but she didn’t go to practice because she was sick yesterday, so she didn’t play…I did watch the sky…

Feb 11 14 003 small

It was beautiful…although apparently I should have been looking behind the bleachers…

Feb 11 14 005 small

I stitched during the game…

Feb 11 14 009 small

I think these two are almost done…I think all I have to do is stitch around the eyeballs and put the eye buttons on. Oh wait. They need feet. Damn. That’s a bunch of bullion knots. That’s time. Then there’s only one more of the Month 3 birds to finish. Then on to Month 4. Yes, I’m slow, but guaranteed I was the only person stitching palestrina knots in that stadium. It’s progress…on something. I measure my entire life a little tiny bit at a time, progress on this project and that project. I got one stitch done here. I got 30 minutes done there. It’s proof that I have things to do, to keep me going.

Some days are like that. What’s the one thing I can work on today that will let me feel like I’ve accomplished something decent? Not grades. Not dishes.

I came home to this…

Feb 11 14 008 small

There was a phone number too. It was shoved in the door handle. I too need joob and don’t know where to look. Lupe needs to be more specific.

After dinner (late), I organized all the financial aid paperwork; I’m missing three signatures from the boychild and then everything can go. Then I ironed his interviewing clothes…it’s Columbia tomorrow, he hopes the last interview. Probably true. Who knows. Then we wait. Apparently my brother and SIL are placing bets on what schools he will get into of those he’s applied to…better than the woman I hiked with who was the Queen of Negative Thinking about college apps. Whatever. He’ll get in somewhere, and that somewhere will have to be good enough at least for the first year. Am I worried? Of course. I’m mom. I worry. I’m Kathy. I worry. I will worry less in a couple of days when these damn envelopes are gone.

I meditated. That was not-so-good. I’ve spent the last 10 days trying to visualize a point of light in the center of my chest, warm and bright like the sun, which is supposed to expand and spread to fill my whole body. I suck at this. I start the spread and then black tarry stuff from my fingers and toes starts to encroach on sunny brightness and swallows it. Yesterday and today it was tears, oceans of tears, turning the sunlight into steam, covering it up, drowning it. I was trying so freakin’ hard to force the light to spread, and I finally stopped. I let it just sit at the size it could be in me right then, about the size of a cantaloupe. Interestingly, this is supposed to be an openness to creativity, which is not something with which I have a problem…so there’s just something about that meditative avenue that is causing me grief. Seriously weepy grief. Sometimes you just have to let the mind do its thing and you watch it and try to learn from it, but trying to force the change is not going to be a successful endeavor.

Then it was late and I had to choose…sleep? Or artmaking? I learned my lesson last night…I didn’t spend much time tracing, but I did spend some…

Feb 11 14 011 small

I got motivated after working on that drawing last night to finally restart the tracing on the mammogram quilt. I think I just need to have multiple projects in the works so I can pick and choose when I’m in a mood…something easy, something hard? Something that is totally engaging vs something that is more light and simple? Tracing isn’t usually easy, but it is engaging. And it helped. I was already a bit distant and numb from the gym experience (too many days of crying at the gym lately), so I guess I’m even more into that hole, but I’m not sure it’s a bad thing at the moment. It just is.

I committed to another challenging hike in March…looking forward to it, although I’m a little nervous about it…less so now that I know it is less elevation gain than San Miguel, but I don’t kid myself…it won’t be easy. It will be worth it, though. I made a comment on the last hike about dispelling demons from the tips of my fingers as I walked, and I think maybe I need to think of a way to do that for real, like a symbol of that maybe? I think this would be a good hike for that, although I don’t know if I feel comfortable with doing that with a bunch of mostly strangers (I know a few people who will be on the hike, but not well). We’ll see. Maybe. It’s on my mind…ritual to remove sad? Not a wake, not a memorial, but something more in the dirt. Thinking about it. How to persuade the brain to release things…a gesture of release?

Meanwhile, my gestures are in the art world…releasing grief and sad and even anger through the drawings. The guns, they’re about anger and pain…not hurting myself, but trying to mitigate hurt done on me. Trying to make it hurt less by drawing hurt? I can’t really explain how my brain is working…but it is trying to work through some of these things with symbols, images of things that hurt…thorns, cuts, tears, wounds…another gesture of release? Who knows.

Watching the Mood

February 7, 2014

I couldn’t process enough to write last night. It’s interesting (to me at least) that I use the blog to process where my head (and body) went during the day. It helps me have some sort of closure about feelings and actions and progress…in my emotional life, my artistic life, and my work life. I need to see progress, moving forward, or I get more depressed…ironic that…being depressed makes me more depressed. I’m depressed about being depressed. It really is a stupid vicious cycle and the lamest stuff sets me off. I do my best to process my way out of it, but it doesn’t always work.

I don’t even know what it was about yesterday…I worked my ass off running a Jeopardy test review game yesterday. I didn’t have time to think in class, but apparently that fucked with my brain even more. Like I know today will be bad…it’s a test day, so it’s quiet (except for the dipwads who aren’t prepared and want to let everyone know that and disrupt during the test, which is why I give my little personal responsibility speech beforehand), and my brain has PLENTY of time to wander the sand dunes of depressoville. There’s not a whole lot I can do about that except realize it and try to talk myself out of it. But yesterday? Busy days are usually the OK days, the days I didn’t wallow, didn’t ruminate, didn’t do the Eeyore thing, the Marvin the Paranoid Android thing. I’ll be numb and flat, but not down and out.

At the end of school, I got a text from the boychild with this…

IMG_0181 small

who had been hanging out with Calli in the back yard (Calli being the girlchild’s Golden Retriever). Um. I knew we had raccoons…I’ve heard them on the roof and in the tree outside my bedroom window…seen them in that tree too. But lying on the pavement outside the pool fence? In broad daylight? No, it had no rabies symptoms. By the time I got home, it had gone into the pool enclosure and was lying on the deck by the side of the pool (like you do in San Diego in winter), snoring. Loudly. Seriously sleeping and snoring.

Feb 6 14 002 small

This morning, it’s gone. Which I guess is a good thing, because I thought maybe it was sick and I’d get up and find a raccoon corpse in my backyard, a corpse the size of a small Golden Retriever honestly, and then I’d have to do something about it. Raccoons are beautiful creatures, really. I just don’t want it living in the backyard with the dog, I guess. Calli probably thought it was a big fat cat (she’s not very smart). Yes, we have skunks too…hopefully she’s figured out that they’re not cats.

It rained yesterday…so that raccoon was sleeping out there in the rain when I left for the girlchild’s game. There is nothing more miserable (in San Diego…not part of the Winter Vortex at all) than a winter soccer game at night in the rain: cold metal bleachers, wind, rain, everyone huddling under umbrellas and still getting wet…

Feb 6 14 003 smal

The girl on the left had just arrived…that’s why she’s still relatively dry. I actually managed to stay quite dry until I had to leave early for my meeting. I had a waterproof blanket, the umbrella stuffed into my bra so I could stitch during the game, and a padded seat under my butt. Two jackets? I did OK. I did leave early though, so I did not suffer the entire game…

Feb 6 14 004 small

We haven’t had too many rainy games this season, so I shouldn’t complain.

This is the progress from Academic League and soccer…

Feb 6 14 005 small

It got too hard to do drizzle stitches in the rain, so I eventually quit on the tail of the bottom bird. Remember my original plan (hope?) of finishing 3 of these every two games? Not happening. At all. Oh well. It’s not that it’s hard; it’s just time consuming. Maybe THAT’S what I should do during the test today, instead of grading and logging in papers (no, not really…I need to get caught up on grading). The birds will get done eventually. It’s not the end of the world.

At my stitching meeting, I continued my incredibly slow progress on the girlchild’s Christmas stocking, started when I was pregnant with her in 1997. Oh yeah.

Feb 6 14 007 small

It’s a good thing she is semi-patient. She’s really not, but… The pattern is irritating in that the symbol for the mauve color is darker than the symbol for the green…but the green in real life is darker, so my visually addled brain keeps confusing the two colors on the pattern, because it thinks the darker symbol is the darker color…which is really weird when you think about it, but then also very logical. I suspect most designers don’t think about things like that: the darkness of the symbol corresponding with the darkness of the color. The mauve is a filled-in black circle and the green is a letter S, very open and light. Even making it a G instead of an S would have helped my brain, I think. So I kept losing my place (no, I don’t use highlighters).

Anyway. Did I do anything art-related? Nope. No energy. Absolutely exhausted on the drive TO stitching…finally went to bed sort of early (for me, anyway), and then was up in the night with an unhappy tummy. There’s seems to be no winning the sleep game at the moment. I really tried to get motivated on two different things, but even cutting stuff out sounded like more effort than I was capable of last night. I’m sure that’s contributing to the low mood. It’s lovely that I know all the things that are affecting me, plus and minus, but I still can’t seem to get far enough ahead of the moods to prevent them from happening. I mean, this is MY brain. I do a pretty damn good job of paying attention to all the stuff it’s saying and trying to treat it right and listen carefully and act accordingly, but it doesn’t seem to matter. When it’s in a mood, it’s in a mood…a 6-month-plus-long mood. And yes, I do often wonder if it’s still a mood or if this is just the new me. Not OK.

Tonight…it will be better…whether that’s artmaking or sleep or just spending time with those cranky-ass beasts I gave birth to…it’s got to be better.

This Sad Dark Room

February 1, 2014

Strange question today. Counselor asked if she had met me a year ago, would she be counseling the same person? No. You wouldn’t. She asked about stress, if the school and kid stresses would have been the same? Well, the college and financial aid stress is new and heinous, but otherwise, yes, they would be the same…at least similar. Would I have the same attitudes? Was I crying all the time? No. Hardly ever. PMS occasionally. Not like this. This is horrible. Endless. Awful.

I think I confuse her. She says that I don’t let things control me, that I change the things that are bothering me or I at least act against them or on them or something. I don’t just sit there and let it control me. So why? Why am I letting this grief control me?

This is where I go back to that magical step…I don’t think ‘let’ is the appropriate word. I don’t seem to be able to get the upper hand on this. I argue with myself all the time about it…tell myself that reality was different than what I thought and I need to get over it, to move on, and I just can’t seem to drag that stupid-ass part of my brain up and out. It’s just mired, lost, sinking…depressed.

Counseling was a giant weepfest. I guess there is some catharsis in that. But no resolution. She doesn’t have the magical step, apparently. I think if she did, she would give it to me. She asked me to name one thing I was grateful for at that moment in time, and right then, at the end of a long week, with things hanging over my head like guillotine blades, I struggled to find something that wasn’t an absence of something bad (I don’t have cancer…I’m grateful for that)…something that was actually a glass-half-full instead of just feeling empty.

In this conversation I had the other day with a self-professed Myers Briggs expert, she made me think about how I think…metacognition in teacher speak. I’ve said this before, that I wish I could get far enough out of my head so that I could get past this, but maybe this is part of why my artist brain is so good at what it intuitively does…I spend So Much time in my head with the art–drawing and interpreting and observing–that it’s almost impossible to get out when the brain is tying itself up in knots. When I am working on a big project that is taking up huge parts of my brain power, processing through images and compositions and colors, no one, including me, questions my interior focus. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s how I function. The reason I was thinking of all this was because the Earth Stories quilts are shipping this weekend, and I had to iron, dehair, and label them…so while I was ironing, I thought again about using ink on the quilt…

Jan 31 14 015 small

And I did. And no, it’s not in the catalog. I’m OK with that. It’s not a lot. It’s just enough. If I had been in a different mindset back in August/September, I would have handled the last stages of this quilt completely differently…there are things I would have done that would have extended the finish time by a month probably, inking and embroidery and maybe even beads, but I just couldn’t. I associate this quilt with the worst of my depression, with the three weeks of shock and the craziness after that. I did NOT want to spend more time with it then. So I found mistakes and problems when I was cleaning it up today…I fixed a few of them…but then I made more mistakes when I was trying to get it cleaned up…I actually ended up ripping out stitches in the background by accident in two different places. LAME. So I had to fix those.

Jan 31 14 016 small

My bad. Not focusing enough. Not wanting to think too hard about this quilt and all it represents to me right now. It took me about three hours tonight to deal with the two quilts because of screw ups like that, but also because I had it all wrapped up and then remembered I needed to pack the small quilt with it…and then realized I was supposed to put labels on both of them. So I unwrapped and rewrapped about three times. Just inefficient and stupid.

Jan 31 14 017 small

It’s so frustrating to be working with my brain when it’s this disconnected. But I remember the high level of focus I had when I was drawing this thing…it took over 22 hours of my Spring Break last year to draw it, and I had to literally rip it out of my head. I was never without that image in my head, building and rebuilding parts of it, revising the composition until it made sense. Same with picking the fabrics. So deep into the crevices that I am carrying the image in the front of my mind at all times, whether I’m in the classroom, at the gym, or out to dinner. It’s always there, niggling, engaging the deeper, intuitive parts of my brain into making it work.

And I don’t think any of that is bad. That is how I work. That is what makes me good at what I do. It’s also what makes it so freakin’ hard to get my brain OUT of shit like this, shit I can’t explain, shit that makes no sense, shit that makes me question my entire existence and future and past and every fucking thing. Shit that makes my sleep interrupted (even more than before). Shit that makes me cry at the drop of a hat, the drop of a word, the hint of any tiny bit of sad, stress, overwhelming emotion.

I can’t really expect my brain to treat this problem any differently than it does an artistic problem.

So. I guess we are working on that. I feel like the part of my brain that has the answer, the next step, the magical pill for the cure…it’s hiding around a corner…I come chasing through the hallway, racing after it, and it slips into a doorway that locks behind it, and I end up banging on the door, screaming until my throat is sore and my voice ragged, and I can hear its breathing, quiet and hidden, but it won’t answer, it won’t come out. It’s huddled in the corner, head on its arms, covering its eyes, hands covering its ears so it doesn’t have to listen to me. It’s processing.

I don’t know what the solution is.

Girlchild was playing like a beast last night for the time she was on the field…

Jan 31 14 002 small

It seems strange to think that she will have back surgery in about 6 weeks, but there we are. She was back to normal today, helping in the kitchen, telling me it’s OK when I explained why I didn’t think the NYC trip could happen, that I just don’t have enough of a financial cushion for that, that we could reevaluate in summer, but that the money stuff just isn’t good at the moment. She said, “It’s OK, mommy. I understand.” And I told her I understood that it didn’t seem fair because her brother had three trips, but that I didn’t pay for all of it and my finances were better then, and now they’re just messed up, and I was really really sorry. Proof I guess that she is growing up, that she’s becoming the amazingly understanding adult I know she will end up being…probably too understanding.

Anyway. I spent all evening in my head telling my brain how stupid it was being. Not a good thing. Tomorrow I will try to erase some of that bad hinky stuff with a hike, and then hopefully I will get the next big chunk of financial aid hell done with and move on to something that feeds my soul or art brain or whatever that might bring me out and let me wander freely on the planet, instead of being kept in this sad dark room.


Seesaw World…

January 30, 2014

Still freezing tonight. Must be fighting something off. I actually managed a social evening, although I was meant to socialize with 11 other people (and did for about an hour), but then ended up talking the rest of the time to the one other person I talked to LAST time I was at book club. The plus is…I like the books…and these are my people. Sort of. Counselor dings me for always remembering that I don’t fit in. Yeah well. I’m old. I don’t know where all the old people hang out, but it’s not where I am…actually, I am middle-aged. The old people are retired and they all show up, and the young people all show up, and all the people my age are on vacation? Who knows. The discussion wandered through books, cleaning, Myers Briggs, food, childhood, and god knows where else. For two and a half hours, I was mostly at peace. Good thing.

I was a giant stress monkey before that, though, because the financial aid stuff is due sooner than I thought, despite W-2s JUST showing up on Saturday. So I finished my taxes tonight. In January. Earliest ever. Tomorrow I will try to track down the vast quantities of data the other schools need in order to give the boychild an education. Meanwhile, he has another interview…someone should do his laundry so he has something to wear to that.

It was eyeball dissection day today…

Jan 29 14 011 small

It was pretty easy. Sometimes I think I could do some of this stuff in my sleep. I think I’ve walked almost 2000 kids through eyeball dissection at this point. I need to do the dishes tomorrow. Exciting stuff.

Boychild had Academic League and knew some amazing stuff…

Jan 29 14 012 small

He’s on the left. They beat the rival team by 10 points, but it was a tense match (funny to say that for Academic League, but it WAS!). Two of his answers were Walt Whitman and women, but I don’t remember the questions. One had something to do with the State of the Union speech, which I didn’t watch and he apparently memorized. Make me feel stupid, boy.

Girlchild had soccer last night…but he wouldn’t play her. I spent a lot of time watching the sky…

Jan 29 14 001 small

The sunset was gorgeous…

Jan 29 14 002 small

but I watched her get angrier and angrier.

Jan 29 14 003 small

Don’t blame her. There are girls who mess up continually who are playing. It’s frustrating for her and for us.

Jan 29 14 004 small

I think her dad is just going to stop coming.

Jan 29 14 005 small

I will still be there. There are nice sunsets at the away games (which always face into the sun)…

Jan 29 14 006 small

I stitch…I did this…

Jan 29 14 007 small


Finished the bottom one, and started Month 3…just barely got started on the background stitching.

And then today at Academic League, I did this…

Jan 29 14 014 small


Finished the background stitching on the blue ones and one of the purple ones (Month 4). I end up getting about 5 hours a week of stitching in at kid events. I can’t grade in the crappy light of soccer games. I guess I could have graded at Academic League, but I didn’t feel like it. Sigh. That will come back to haunt me at some point.

I really need to get some focus. I started tracing Wonder Under for the mammogram quilt, or whatever it is, lumpy breast…

Jan 29 14 009 small

I did NOT get very far. Like I said, I didn’t feel right last night. I feel off again tonight, but not like last night. Obviously I’m doing financial aid tomorrow night or Friday night, whenever I can find the time. Lots of numbers to locate and input. Stress.

Trying to think about things I can do that will be good for me, like book club, but won’t take so much time. I thought about joining another book club, but I don’t have time to go to another meeting right now. Same with life drawing. Number of hours in the day is a finite number. I don’t have any. What was interesting about last night is that I went to bed about an hour and a half earlier than I have been for weeks, but I couldn’t fall asleep, and then I woke up for a significant stretch of time in the middle of the night and right before alarm time, so I got about the same amount of sleep as I have been every night (nowhere near enough). Have I trained my body to only allow itself 5 hours a night? Or is there something else going on?

Stop thinking so hard. Go to bed. Sleep…sigh…maybe it’s just not something you get to have enough of for a while. Maybe it’s like ice cream…it does affect my mood, though. Not enough sleep and I get more sad, more depressed. No balance. Seesaw world.

It Just Is…

January 17, 2014

OK, so remember that post-it from yesterday that had all the quilt stuff prioritized on it? I didn’t even write two (three?) things on it, because they were weighing on me so heavily, finishing these two quilts before Sunday, that I figured I didn’t even need to write them down. And then I got an email that has added to the priority list. It’s getting a little hairy here, but I think I have it all under control. I’m just one crazy tense mama at the moment. Seriously tense. Hate that feeling. It’s been stalking me the last two months. Won’t go, except after a hike or the gym, and even then, reluctantly. I don’t like being this person. I want to be more mellow. I don’t know how, especially with all this riding on my shoulders.

Anyway, I did manage to make it to the quilt store after school to buy binding for the Celebrating Silver quilt. It was a pain in the ass picking a color, though. I thought a gray to match her hair, but it was dead-looking. So then I tried a dark reddish brown, which worked near the base of the quilt, but was a problem higher up. So then I thought I should head for the batiks and see if I could match the brown batiks that are in the staff. Couldn’t find any that worked…nothing was dark and moody enough. So then I tried oranges and red-oranges and red-browns and reds and oranges with greens in them and then just plain old red. Even some blues. Nothing. It all sucked. I found one dark brown that was eh, so I grabbed it, feeling desperate, because here I am tossing my naked-women quilt on the ground in the store and hoping some woman with a nudity issue doesn’t come around the corner and ogle my uteri while I’m doing this. I go back to the dark browns, out of the batik section. Ugh. It all sucks. Browns are always an issue. It’s all wrong. Too many different browns in the quilt…they work together fine IN the quilt, but you can’t just pick one for the binding. Back to the grays and blacks. There we are. A dark gray. It’s not in the quilt, but it seems to ground it…not to drag too much away from the quilt itself, which is what the reds and oranges were doing. It works in some quilts, but this one is way too busy for that shock factor. Dark gray it is.

It’s such an intuitive process. I don’t think hard. I just grab and throw under the quilt and reject within seconds and move on to the next. I love that part of my brain, the part that can improvise and travel so quickly from one place to the next without a lot of introspective thought. It just does. It knows. It’s the good part of my brain.

I talked about mental illness at school today. We teach the nervous system, but it only focuses on physical problems: strokes, epilepsy, spinal-cord injuries. Why don’t we teach about mental illness? I have students who have been diagnosed bipolar, depressed, anxious. WHY THE FUCK don’t we teach this stuff? Girlchild says she got a little of it in AP biology in high school, but mostly in terms of genetic mutations. We need to teach this stuff so it’s not so confusing, so magical, so scary. I want my kids to know that this is actually somewhat normal. I heard one kid ask about bad stuff that happens to kids, can it cause XYZ? Well fuck yeah, it can! So besides the zombie unit I’m developing, I’m trying to fit mental illness into the content standards? Seriously, though…let’s teach what they really need to know.

Can you imagine? I teach depression and say, hey, your teacher suffers from this. This is why she has lost so much weight. This is why she cries in the classroom when you aren’t in there. This is what makes her the teacher who stands in front of you…it’s OK. You can get through this. Or you can’t. Do you know how many of my kids have been affected by mental illness, whether their own or their brother’s or their parent’s or whomever’s? And we don’t teach it. What the fuck is up with that? No wonder people can’t deal.

The binding fabric is washed and dried and ready for cutting. I needed to buy it today before the girlchild’s game, because the quilt store doesn’t stay open late tomorrow, and I was hoping to finish the quilting tonight so I could put the binding on tomorrow, and then do the hand-sewing on Saturday. I could have bought it Saturday, but then I would lose tomorrow night’s hours. Yes, I’m thinking that crazy at the moment. Can’t afford to lose hours.

I took the other quilt to the soccer game and sewed the rest of the binding and most of one sleeve on…nobody even asked me what I was doing. I love that. Two older ladies gave me an eye, so I’m glad they didn’t ask to see what I was working on (yeah, not flashing that vulva on the bleachers of the high-school stadium). I had it folded up so you could only see the back of the quilt. I don’t have a lot left to do, so that’s good. It was a tough game, so I didn’t sew particularly fast…unlike Tuesday’s game, which was incredibly boring (9-0 score). Tonight they played one of their big rivals, and they did freakin’ awesome until about 14 minutes into the second half, and then it fell apart…

Jan 16 14 009 small

Girlchild didn’t get to play much…this coach just confuses me. But when she did play, she was basically covering one of her good friends…it was getting dark, so my photos are crap…but you can see them here fighting over the ball. The high-school team is not a great fit for her, and the coach is not what we would like, but I guess it teaches her resilience in the face of adversity. They ended up losing 1-4, which just sucked, because they did so well for the first hour. Frustrating to watch…this is why I sew during games. It keeps me from getting as tense as the other parents, who end up yelling stupid things like, “Hit the back of the net!” Dude. Really? It just needs to go over the line. We also have one parent who is apparently a professional hog caller and practices her talent at the games. You think I’m kidding…I’m not.

What I really love about high-school winter soccer in Southern California is that the weather runs the gamut from requiring you to wear 4 warm layers, Ugg boots, gloves, a scarf, and a blanket one week to flip-flops and short sleeves the next week…it was 85 degrees at the beginning of the game. I did put the sweatshirt and the boots on for the second half (in January, it cools down very quickly), but it was nice otherwise to not be freezing by the end of the game. We have another week of nice temperatures here in San Diego, and then it will go back to cold (which yes, means like 50 degrees when the sun goes down…you do not need to mock me).

I think I’m still having anemia issues, because I’m still freezing all the time. Or it’s the thyroid. Whatever. They’ll get tested again in April. I do take my meds.

I was hoping to eat when I got home…had the boychild put the casserole in the oven when he got home from piano (they really are having to pull their weight at the moment…and I am so glad I don’t have to do this every day, all the time), but girlchild had some secret sisters thing for soccer that she had to do. She drew the name of someone she really doesn’t like at all, but she prides herself on being a really good secret sister, no matter what, so we hit the 99-cent store (candy is cheap!), where I was oh-so-glad to score my 2014 Baby Animals calendar (OK, it’s not THAT bad) for school…because I needed a calendar and it was on my list, but it wasn’t a supreme priority, so it was WAY DOWN the list. And I get to look at baby animals all year. Plus secret sisters wasn’t as expensive as it usually is.

Finally we got home and ate and I exercised, and then, finally, got to quilting…

Jan 16 14 013 small

I was right. I needed another 2 hours.

Jan 16 14 015 small

This thing took a little over 14 hours to quilt. I can’t post full photos until the exhibit opens in late October at Houston, but I took it to school today so I could get the binding, and for the first time ever, showed one of my quilts in person to the team…I got oohs and aahs and even a couple of dangs. Dang is good. DANG. I like the sound of that.

Anyway. I’m relieved to have the quilting done. I kept saying to myself, you need to stop. You need to go to bed early. You’re tired (I was yawning…it’s been a rough week). But in the end, artist brain won that war and bullied through all the stupid-ass thread breakages and slow quilting speed and just got it the fuck done. That’s what I needed. Then I meditated and soon I will go to sleep, yes, too late, but fuck it. I needed it to be done. Tomorrow night will not be easy either…trimming and binding does take some significant time and energy, but I feel much better about where I am on the to-do list with that step done.

Maybe all I get at this point in my life is short respites. No happy. No joy. Just relief for a short amount of time, until I turn to the lime-green post-it note of TO DO and freak out about the next big thing.

Actually, I’m hoping that the next big thing isn’t a freak out. I do have a piece I have to do by next October or November, but I’m not ready to draw it yet. I think I’ll aim for Spring Break for that one…except I want to do another big one over summer again. I’ll have to think that one through. I figure I’ll be starting a new quilt, tracing stage, by next weekend…I hope. I do have some significant stuff to do before then, and Road to California is next weekend (yay Julie for wanting to drive me up there!), so that may get pushed out a bit. I wonder if I am becoming this artistic hermit…I seem to only do the art and obsessively so. Is it all I am? All I have? I don’t know. It just is at the moment. Everything else is just stupid and lame.

At the End…

January 10, 2014

My mood is low. It probably isn’t particularly helpful to be reading a huge long book about World War II in London during the Blitz. I keep reading up on depression and tactics for getting the hell out of it. I know I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, mostly, except it’s funny…they recommend getting more sleep and eating right, but admit that two of the significant symptoms of depression are the inability to sleep well (either it’s too much or interrupted or too little) and digestive issues (eating too much or too little, or just differently). So I should fight the symptoms by pretending they aren’t there? And it’s depressing in itself to realize that you are doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Am I doing it wrong? Probably.

I just keep doing. It will hopefully eventually work. I’ll wake up one morning with fairy dust sprinkled everywhere and the world will be sparkling and new and everything will be pretty and happy and full of butterflies and nice smells.

Sigh. I’d settle for waking up and not thinking, “Oh God. Another day to get through.”

My ex guilt-tripped me today for not having sent out the kids’ school and soccer photos to his mom before she died. Little does he know that I already felt bad about that, that I had started a letter to her about 5 times and couldn’t manage to write anything about my life and the kids’ lives in the last 6 months. I didn’t know what to write. I didn’t send a Christmas letter this year either. Same deal. How to summarize months of depression and grief? You can’t…not without sounding really fake or whiny or pitiful or pathetic…and maybe I am all of those things, but I didn’t want to put it down on paper (says the woman who blogs about it every night…I can’t say that it makes sense). So I procrastinated. It’s not the only thing I’ve procrastinated about over the last 6 months. Things that are hard…I just can’t summon the energy or motivation to deal with them. I’m trying very hard to stay on track with the financial aid stuff for college, because I have to. Same with school, although I’ve let some things slide with that…nothing crucial. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to work, so it’s hard for me to let anything go, but I talk to myself about what really matters all the time. Just do what really matters. Let the rest go.

So I told my ex, I’ve been suffering from depression (I’m sure he knows this already) and couldn’t deal with it and many other things in the last 6 months, and I already had a mental conversation with his mom about this in my head and she was OK, she understood. I don’t know if she would have understood or not, but I can’t fix not sending the photos. It’s done. I’m carrying enough guilt at the moment. I don’t need more. And he could have sent them himself. I never seem to attach myself to the people who will DO. They just expect me to DO. And if I don’t, if I can’t, because my brain is messing with its serotonin and dopamine levels and not working properly, then they complain about it or they don’t complain about it, they just feel bad that I’m not DOING and that sucks too. So give me a break. I’m doing the best that I can. And then I handed him all of his photos. I usually put the kid’s name, grade, and date on all the photos, but I didn’t. That’s why I hadn’t finished packing them all up. It was too much like hard work to write all that. Sigh.

I still feel bad.

I got up eventually this morning. I actually got one kid up early (the other one got herself up) and then went back to sleep, because I went to sleep way too late last night. Then I took a cat to the vet…Midnight has some infection and the antibiotic pill I was supposed to be giving her, well she was being evil and spitting it out after we thought she had swallowed it, so she’s not getting better as fast as we’d like. Hopefully the shot they gave her today will help, because otherwise there might be something else going on.

Saw this sign near the vet…

Jan 9 14 001 small

Made me think of Game of Thrones.

When I got home, I started going through my stash of batting, looking for something big enough for this quilt. Sigh. NOTHING. I have lots of weird-sized offcuts, but nothing long enough or wide enough. Damn. I should have figured this out earlier this week. Now I have to waste possible quilting time going shopping for batting. I did find one piece of batting big enough actually…

Jan 9 14 003 small

But I have no idea what it is. I usually use Warm and Natural, but this was something with a scrim in it and loose layers on top…

Jan 9 14 004 small

Not sure why I have it. There is a smallish rectangle cut out of it, but I have no idea what I used it for. Sad but true. I was too paranoid to use something that I wasn’t sure of the results on, so I went and bought more, came home and washed and dried it, and ironed the top and backing while I was waiting…

Jan 9 14 002 small

I have two drawers of pieces big enough for backings and backgrounds, but most of them are old sale pieces that weren’t wide enough. I used a batik for the background, so they run wider than the normal print fabrics by about 4 inches…so I needed a batik for the back as well. I could have used the purple I originally purchased for the front, but I think it will work really well for another quilt, so I saved it…why waste it on a background? I’ve had this batik (off the sale rack) for a very very long time. It’s about time it got used.

And because I had even more time, I started cleaning up the office, putting away all the fabric from this last quilt and straightening up all the mess. There was a lot of mess. There’s still more mess, but it’s better.

By the time I got back from picking the girlchild up from school, the batting was dry and I laid the whole mess out on the entryway floor and pinbasted it. Apparently I only took one very blurry picture of this process, probably because I only had 45 minutes before girlchild would stomp through the entryway with muddy soccer cleats, and I wanted the quilt off the floor by then.

Anyway. I did all that and managed to start quilting between dropping her off amid her many complaints of the car shortage in the house (boychild has piano lessons…I offered to let her have my car and ask her dad or grandpa to take me, but apparently she recognized my plan for the guilt trip I really didn’t mean it to be and let me keep my car). She really likes being able to drive herself places.

Jan 9 14 006 small

I didn’t get far on the quilting. I didn’t have much time before her game.

I took lots of crappy blurry pictures during the game until I realized I was on some crappy blurry setting (why do cameras have settings like that?)…

Jan 9 14 028 small

and then it got too dark to photograph anything (they won 3-1), so I sewed instead.

Jan 9 14 044 small

I finished two more bird feet and about a million pink bullion knots. OK. Not a million…

Jan 9 14 043 small

Not even close. I am still revising my finishing plan for these. Going with the uber-positive, hopeful mood I’ve been in all week (cough cough), I have decided that it will take me a decade to finish three birds, and if I am any faster than that, I am an amazing stitching dynamo and should be worshiped from afar for my masterful stitching skills.

At least I know I can achieve that.

I came home, went to the gym, read about 300 pages of depressing wartime novel (sigh…for book club…even the time travel is boring, because IT’S NOT EVEN HAPPENING), ate dinner, and then quilted for a while.

Jan 9 14 045 small

I’m done with flames and smoke and am up in the rocks…

Tomorrow looks ugly, but hopefully I’ll get a few hours in. That’s my goal anyway, but I need to deal with school stuff too. Yuck. Not ready. Never ready.

I did get the postcards for the new California Fibers show, which will open on January 13 at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, California (Orange County, for those who don’t recognize the name).

Jan 9 14 046 small

I have two pieces in the show…it’s a wide variety of fiber work, from baskets to weaving to quilting to lace netting and dying and lots of cool work. Unfortunately, it’s only open Monday-Friday, so I probably won’t be able to go up until Spring Break…luckily, it’s open through May 8, so that is an option. The opening is Thursday, January 30, from 5:30-7:45, for those who live in the area. This is one of three California Fibers’ shows in the next two months. I have one piece in the show that will open at the Visions Art Museum next month, and we haven’t heard the jury results on the third show yet, which will be in Ojai, California. Anyway, it means lots of getting work ready for exhibit, but also having to finish and ship for two other major exhibits, so if I’m a little stressed out and feeling overwhelmed, that would be why. At least I have a good excuse.

Anyway, sad day. Whatever. Move on to the next one. At the end of it, I’ll have some quilts done. That’s better than most depressoids do…at least I can do that. Make art. At the end of it…reminds me, we are at the end of Winter Break as well. And I’m almost at the end of two quilts. And hopefully boychild finished the last college app tonight because it was due today…we’re at the end of that (but that signifies the beginning of a lot of scary and expensive future shit).


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 194 other followers