My Eyes Are Still Tired

Gotta love Vday for the weird kid interactions. And the weird kid love. But three of the core teachers were giving a test, so that was sort of bad planning (or WAS it) on our parts. It was a hard day. I got home as quickly as I could and booked it outta there to walk the dogs. I needed it…

There’s a hawk in this picture…staring right at me…

It’s getting light later. Good stuff.

Nice side-eye Simba. The dogs had already been on one walk…but I didn’t care…new growth!

Came home, entered a show, graded an assignment, tried not to fall asleep while doing it. Cute kittens…

Did a little more drawing on the third page, glued it together, realized I’m not a paper artist…

Thought about how to attach them, decided it was bedtime…

More cats doing dorky stuff…

Currently sitting in a parking lot, waiting for it to be closer to the time I’m supposed to be at this dye workshop. Traffic north is always a crapshoot. I try to be early. Tonight is some show, but hopefully some grading and/or art before that. Maybe figure out how these book pages go together. That would be good. My eyes (and brain) are so tired…

My Brain Needed Somewhere Else to Land…

Happy V Day to all! I want to say, well, except the assholes, but maybe they need a Happy V Day and that’s why they’re assholes. Now you see how I can teach middle school, although I already know (a) I didn’t get enough sleep because I got sidetracked by making things and (b) I’m missing one SECA today. So it’ll be a challenge, but I think I can do it. It’s not like I have a choice. But here are two examples of my day job. First, it’s the only place I can think of where the words “Then don’t smell the scissors” might come out of my mouth. Followed by this…

SIGH. I only have one period left of these to sit through. And there were some very good ones that restored my faith in humanity. And learning. And schools. And children. This was not one of them. This is what happens when you copy a bunch of shit off the internet that you don’t really understand and then you try to read it and instead of figuring out how to pronounce all the words you copied, you start each word nice and loud and then you are whispering at the end because you don’t have a clue how to say it. WIScon(si…).

I will hopefully be done with these tonight, and that will just leave a bunch of smaller things to grade and a pile of makeups, which will be even bigger by next Friday. Oh. Also an assessment they’re doing today. Shit. OK. Well. Hmmm. This weekend is a clusterfuck already. I guess it will be more of one.

This is why I stayed up way too late last night. My brain needed somewhere else to land or it would never fall asleep.

I did hang out with my stitching group last night, including one member who rarely shows up and another who had moved away for 13 years and came back. THIRTEEN YEARS. Wow. And we’re still meeting. That’s cool. I think I’ve been in this group since I was pregnant with the girlchild, and she’s 22 1/2 now. So that’s a thing. I got to work on Folk Tails, my Sue Spargo Block-of-the-Month from 2015 that might never ever get done…

The cheetah is almost done…but there’s some wiggy flowers that go in the block next. Then I might sew this to the larger bit? Or do I have to finish the other two October blocks to do that? I might. It’s not a fast quilt when you only work on it one night a month and then you didn’t do even that for most of 2019. It might travel to the National Parks with me in April…or it might be too big for that. Hmmm. Hard to say. We’ll see.

Then I came home and graded stuff, one more class of the projects. It was after 11 when I finished. But no way was I going to bed without something. The really lucky bit of going to my stitching meeting was my knowledgeable bookmaking friend, who gave me multiple solutions for how to connect the two pieces I’ve been working on. She was very helpful. So now I have to decide how to do it. Easy? Medium hard? Really hard? Sorta hard but kinda creative? We’ll see. I didn’t do that last night, though. More brain power than I had. Instead I meditatively stitched shit down…

Still working on just getting it all attached so I can take it off the cutting matt and do some more decorative stuff…although I guess I did a little on those leaves. Most of it is stitched down now, which is good, because something good should come of staying up too late. I just kept stitching, thinking “just one more” and then I looked at the time and went “oh shit, no more” and went to bed.

It’ll be fine. It’s Friday. It’s Valentine’s Day (makes middle-school kids crazy). It’s the day before another 3-day weekend. And we’re giving them an assessment that’s HARD. Well, unless you’ve been listening, in which case, it’s pretty damn easy. Gonna go buy a donut reward for the class that earned them, so at least one group of kids won’t totally hate me. Wait. The line at the donut store today might be hellacious. Sigh. We’ll see. I’ll do a driveby.

Most Definitely…

Sitting in meetings sucks my brain out of my head and spits it out on the floor. Especially meetings where I have to pay attention just in case important stuff is said and then someone is droning on and on about something totally irrelevant and my brain just shuts off anyway. I spend a lot of time in meetings…though not as much as I spend in the classroom. Yesterday was a frustrating day in the classroom. “Give us the answers so we can copy them.” “I’m not going to do that.” Well you can guess how that ended. It’s OK. I go back today after a night of semi-sleep (ugh) and I refigure how to make things happen and then they happen. Huge classes full of needy kids. Make it hard. And yet we still do it.

You’d think I’d come home and be done with all of it, but grades are coming up and I need to get stuff done. So I graded one assignment and input it into the gradebook, and then did another period of the longer assignment…and put it in the gradebook, and I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, because I saw a few more A videos (oh hallelujah), which helps me think I didn’t totally flail (it wasn’t me!), and I’m more than halfway through the pile, so that is a good thing.

But there’s no way in hell I was going to get to sleep last night without some artmaking. I did put together my Patreon video for February first. Then I graded. Then I arted. I started at 10:30 at night. I had three to choose from, but one deadline is looming. So I decided I didn’t like one of the book ‘pages’ I’d made, the first one. It’s awkward, not well-thought-out. I could just use it, but I had a third page cut out that I hadn’t used, so I refined the first one into this…

I like it a lot more. I didn’t glue it together last night. First of all, it was late and sleep is a thing. Second of all, I’m not sure I’m done. So I’ll look at it again tonight and then decide, and then glue it together.

So the one on the right is probably a reject. Now I just need to figure out how to attach them together. And then photograph them without Game of Thrones in the background. Minor issue.

This morning is tiring already. But good news about a new show…that I can’t tell you about yet. But soon. I think.

Meanwhile…lots of furry love last night. This was while I was eating dinner and grading stuff.

They really do love each other. It’s sweet.

This one has been a barky asshole lately. Granted, it’s because of the coyote fest that’s going on every night, but sheesh.

He is probably the number 1 sleep disruptor, followed by my hot flashes and then maybe my bladder. No mockingbird at the moment…we can thank the owl for that, I think. I can sleep through the owl, who was in another backyard tree last night. I think he likes us. He? She? Don’t know. An owl box is on our list though.

These two old ladies…

Room for one human (maybe) on the couch. That is where I was sitting while I was grading. I was also playing fetch with Luna, who brought me the rattle mouse at least 10 times to throw for her. She’s a cat. Who fetches. Very cute.

OK, today I torture children by making them think again. I am pure evil. Then I meet up with friends…always a good thing, plus stitching will be involved. Then home to NOT grade another round? I think? Ugh. I think I need to do some of it today. I’ll figure it out. More art before bed though…most definitely.

Getting Loud in Here…

I have a lot of things in my head this morning. Too many things, probably. As usual. I’m having that issue artistically as well…too many projects going on at once. I do much better with just one at a time. Drawings are fine. They’re short and don’t usually require a ton of brain power outside of the actual drawing time. Right now, I have a bunch of projects talking to me and it’s getting loud in here.

So last night, I worked on two of them. It meant I didn’t grade anything. I input grades. I tutored earlier. I graded stuff in class. I just didn’t work on the projects at home. I wanted to art instead. It was late anyway…after tutoring, I had chiropractor and pilates, so by the time I was done with dinner, it was late.

So I did some of the stitch down on this…

Then I’ll do embellishment…

This is just for fun. For something different. I like the idea of it.

I wanted to make sure I did some of the other art stuff as well…and there was no way I was finishing all the stitch down last night, so I timed it off the show I was watching. When it was done, I moved into the other room to work on the current art quilt. I’ll come back to this tonight.

This is moving pretty slowly. It doesn’t help to be gone for three nights. This coming weekend isn’t any better. But it works to iron for an hour or so each night. I think last night I managed 38 minutes before midnight…but it’s 38 minutes of progress.

I ironed an asteroid and some missiles and a volcano. That’s it. Not much. More tonight. So many yellows!

I finished the 200s and did some of the 300s. Only 600 to go! No worries. I also have an artist book I’m working on, but my brain exploded over that last night, so I’ll wait to post on it later, after I’ve made some more decisions.

I resized a bunch of pictures of art we saw in Joshua Tree, but I don’t have time to post them this morning, because I have to find the artists’ names and possible links, and that takes more time than I have. I will get to them…but I did draw while I was there…this was after hiking…the rocks inspired the woman…

This was the night we got there…full moon coming, bunnies in the yard…

None of those cactus anywhere to be seen…and this one the following night…

Inspiration comes from many places.

OK, school, then union meeting, then make Patreon video, and grade stuff? And then artmaking. Full day. As always. Looking forward to the artmaking stuff, that’s for sure.

Legs Like Logs…

I’m baaack. Not awake. Not caffeinated. Not ready. Nothing new! Woo hoo!

We were in Joshua Tree for the long weekend. Got a house. Hiked some. Arted some. Ate some. Drove a bunch. It was warm. And then it was cold. There’s a lot of photos. I’ll deal with them a little at a time.

We stayed in an Airbnb that advertised a funky retro style, which they definitely had…

It was small, but fine for the two of us…

We never did use that fireplace, although we bought firewood. It was a long drive up Friday night, but I had some drawing time before bed.

We knew the next day was the best weather day, so we had planned a hike from North View to the Maze Loop to Window Loop.

It was a tough hike…not because of gain or anything particularly difficult about it. I think we were both tired and it was a little warm and dry and stark as hell and it was maybe a mile too long.

The rocks are fascinating though…

I couldn’t do this in summer at all.

I’ve been to Joshua Tree a few times, although only twice that I can remember as an adult. This is the longest hike I’ve done there at 7.4 miles.

I was hoping to do some shorter hikes, rambles, on Sunday, but that didn’t happen. For one, it was really cold. Second, I don’t think we had the energy for it.

The whole first part of the hike had no Joshua Trees in it, ironically.

Ah, there we are.

It was only about 70 degrees, but there’s no shade and it’s at a higher elevation than we’re used to…which might have been part of the issue. I know my legs felt like logs most of the hike.

It really was a beautiful day though. I was a little disappointed in the trail. The North View part was nice, but we missed out the Maze part because we were only on the outer edges…and the Window section was lame, because you got a better view of the window from the Maze loop than the Window loop. And we had no energy to wander back to do the inner parts of the Maze…it would have added another 3 or 4 miles. Not happening.

We got back to the car, found some food, ate, went back to the house, showered, and tried to chill out a little. Easier for some than others? Hard to say.

That night, we went to see a bunch of art and ate a good dinner. I’ll continue later…gotta go to school and teach kids things. About rocks.

Boychild planted the other two fruit trees…now we have a lime, a lemon, and an avocado.

It’ll be a while before we have fruit, but there they are.

OK, I’ve got food in me and a little caffeine. It’s possible that I might be able to function. Tomorrow, I’ll post about the art we saw…at least some of it, because there was a lot.

My Brain Is a Time Bomb*

Oh hello, Friday. Thank you for coming. Can I offer you some tea? Sure, we all want donuts, but they’re not good for us. How about a healthy snack instead? Fuck healthy? Well, we all feel that way sometimes, but in the long run, I think you need to be making better choices than…um…Friday? Hello? Those donuts are for my students. Could you…um…Friday… WOW. OK then. Kids, I’ll bring you something next week. Friday has gone off the rails.

Oh yeah. I have a 3-day weekend. It’s cool. I’m even going somewhere and doing art and hiking and all the things I like. I’m not thinking about the 2- to 4-hour drive that might be facing me at the end of the day. It’ll be FINE. I’m not considering the shitload of grading I have to do in the next week or so. Also FINE. It will be. I’m sure. I’m also not thinking about the crazy I will have to deal with in class today…it’s OK, because by the end of the day, I’ll have like 10 kids absent in each period because their parents will have pulled them out of school early. I wish I could do requests on those. But no. Not appropriate apparently.

Yesterday, the boychild and I bought a couple of trees with a gift certificate I’ve had lying around since Christmas 2008. Yeah. I know. I’m slow. He’s going to plant them this weekend, so lemons and avocados finally. I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted a lemon and an avocado tree. This is cool. I’m excited. OK, so it’ll be 3 or 4 years before we get an avocado. No worries. Next a fence! Or a stream bed! These things are all good. No more grass in the front yard. No pictures yet either…after he gets them in the ground.

I graded for a while after that and then went to a late-night pilates class, which I think I will feel later today. Then ate dinner super late and did some art-related stuff…some really good news on the art front is coming. Sometimes the universe comes around and hugs you. Like a kitten…

Yes, that’s Luna’s leg under Nova’s chin. They rampaged before and after this. Luna is a real piece of work. She’s the most hyper and into-everything nonstop cat I’ve ever had. Nova is still a kitten, but way more chill…

Although she does beat the crap out of her sister on occasion.

After dinner, I tried to focus on art stuff. I tried to pack. I tried to resist sugar. I succeeded at that one. I sort of packed. I drew a little. Brain dump. I think I’m only doing two of these.

I might change my mind later and still do the third one, but it’s fine with two and I don’t need to kill myself for this show.

I didn’t iron. I didn’t do any handstitching. Both were things I wanted to do, but it was late and I was tired and I went to bed and slept and then couldn’t sleep because my brain started to worry about everything in the world. You know when that stops? When I’m making art and when I’m hiking. Both things I will be doing in a little over 12 hours. All good. So yeah, Friday. You’re a donut hog, but you lead into the good stuff.

*Robert DeLong w K. Flay, Favorite Color is Blue

I Ironed. On Purpose.

Have I talked about lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, enough times? Yeah that. It’s amazing the contortions my brain will go through to keep me awake. I don’t remember what it was last night, but it was stupid. Today my absent team members come back, luckily, because I think our kids were about to explode. Or maybe they already did. My science co-teacher is leaving for two days though, so I have a long to-do list of shit I gotta get done before she gets back. Which is fine. I have time…unless someone forces me to teach my prep period. Ugh. Not.

Sometimes my brain is just in overload. I entered a show last night and the printout I made months ago had one date on it and I was all irritated because I had a piece that was just a month over the deadline, and I hate not having enough work to enter for reals, but some part of me made me look it up online…sure enough, they’d revised the date and that piece slid in. Poor piece…it can’t get in anywhere, which I don’t get, because it’s a nice piece. Ah well. Now it has a chance, eh?

One more entry in next week, which I’m debating, because holy hell, they’re charging $25/entry. That’s expensive. We’ll see.

I finally got to the doctor yesterday for that weird blood sugar blip in January. Her conclusion? If it happens again, we’ll worry. If not, keep doing what you’re doing. My A1C is awesome (no idea why). I’ve lost weight (no idea why). And she got my blood tested for the tetanus titers, to see if they’ll have to try to give me a shot this year. Not looking forward to that. It’s been 20 years since the last one? I think? I had a temperature of 105 degrees 20 years ago, I couldn’t move my arm for about 3 days, and all the lymph nodes on my left side swelled up rock hard. That was a step up from 10 years previously, when I just had the fever and the achy arm. It gets worse every time. Anyway. Hopefully the titers will still be high and I won’t have to think about it for another 10 years.

I also finally finished grading all the makeup work I have, except for a few easy peasy ones. That feels better. Today I start the giant project grading, which scares me. My co-teacher and I talked about it yesterday a little bit, though, so hopefully it won’t be too bad. I only have 4 videos turned in from 2nd period though. Well. It’ll be fast? Maybe?

OK, so artwise last night, I only ironed. I thought about drawing, but I wasn’t in the mood. It’s all about my mood. I wanted to do some stitch down on that weird body I did, but that doesn’t need to be done as much as the other stuff at the moment, so I persuaded myself out of that.

See? Color! Lots of orange and yellow added in…plus those lovely purples.

I’ve ironed most of the 200s at this point, and I’m still not in the Earth. I did some birds rolling around and the sky around the Earth. I need to do a few rockets and a volcano, I think, and then I’m in the Earth itself. It’s so weird to do the figure last, but it makes sense if you look at how to construct this piece in the end.

Sigh. See here’s why I couldn’t sleep. First of all, Australia is still burning. Second of all, I live in a very scary and incredibly stupid and increasingly damaging country. The environment, human rights, my future in terms of health insurance and jobs, plus being able to leave a decent world for my kids or their kids or other people’s kids dammit, because I teach other people’s kids all the time. My head was in circles over this. Plus I got my ballot in the mail yesterday and now I have to decide something. (I’m actually one of those Decline to State…wait, I think they call me Nonpartisan now…but I got a Democratic ballot, because that party will let me. I would have gotten a Republican ballot if they would have allowed it. Strategic voting. Sigh. DOUBLE SIGH. Because it all sucks. Every damn bit of it.). And we use too much plastic and drive too much and then my co-teacher and I were looking at this trip to Costa Rica, all ecotourist and stuff, but you have to FLY there and there’s so much waste and I was at the doctor and they use these weirdo brushes for Pap smears now and it’s just more plastic that has to be trashed.

So that. That’s why I don’t sleep. It’s not the artmaking. The artmaking helps some of that slip away.

Ironing more tonight, I think…although I have to pack for our trip and do laundry and IDK what else. Buy trees and pick vegetables (Imperfect Produce, not actual vegetables in my yard…I’m not that talented) and go to pilates.

Have a sleepy, cold kitten.

Luna is sweet as hell sometimes. Mostly asleep.

Nova hasn’t figured out how this is supposed to work…

Oh well. It’s soft.

Finally remembered to post this…

This is Connected at the Hips…it’s 52″ wide by 53″ high.

I like it. That’s all I really have to say about it right now. It should have been finished in November and I didn’t finish it until January. That’s a whole ‘nother issue, but I think I’ve beat that crazy.

OK, off to school, where kids are supposed to be hard at work and focused all period (ha!) and I will walk around and help people and hopefully get some grading/prep done while that happens, when in reality, you know that a bunch of sweet children (I was going to write idiots, but I know this is brain development and society and parenting and learned helplessness and a whole host of other crazy educational shit that I’m supposed to be able to fix all by myself) are going to choose to be off task and driving me bonkers. Or it could be really awesome. We’ll see.