I Look at the Floor and I See It Needs Sweeping*

Oh bless the world, after a long summer of no official teacher paycheck, of scrambling to make sure the mortgage payment was in the right place, of wondering if I should buy this or that because no pay…today, today is the glorious day when not only do I finally get paid, the first time since June, but also when I turn around and give a significantly larger chunk to the two colleges where I sent my kids off to be official and get jobs. Oh wait. College doesn’t do that any more (well hell, it didn’t do it for me either. Art degree. Comparative Literature degree. Not so marketable.). I’m always told to have high expectations, though, so I do expect them to get jobs and not move home to live for the next 10 years of unemployment. High expectations follow in my school, so even if a kid doesn’t read in any language at all, I should be giving them complex text so they can make meaning out of it (someone needs to explain that gigantic gap to me. I’m sure it’s magical. That was this week’s training.). My teacher cynicism is showing. Sorry. I spent too much time being a teacher brain yesterday. A year with no state curriculum but new standards makes teachers a little cranky. Like, I can DO this, but when can I do anything else? Like clean my floors (need to do that) or have some sort of life outside school (it’s questionable that I do that). But I got paid! Well, it’s still pending. So hold your breath that it posts.

Enough. I will have to spend all day persuading kids that writing is part of science. And they can DO IT. It’s OK. I do the impossible a lot.

And in free moments, I dream of working on quilts. I come home and do chores and deal with dogs and cats and sometimes have a meeting or go on a hike or go to the gym, and then I find time to make. Every day. Well. Almost every day. Last night was one of those nights when my brain wandered into depressoland. Whatever, brain. We’ve been there before. Ignore. Distract. Cut shit out. That’s what I need to do right now. Get this quilt done.

That’s hard to do when you only have 2 or 3 hours a night. But it’s happening…last night, my biggest issue was with the two animals that wanted to be close, on me, licking me, biting me, playing with me. I had already sat on the floor for a good long throwing-ball session, but it was not enough. Midnight eventually settled down next to me, but kept trying to lick the cutting hand. Not a good plan.

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And I kept flipping through new Netflix shows, trying to find something I cared about. Eh is all I’m getting at the moment. Oh well. I’ll keep trying.

I did finally get well into the flesh fabrics. So the left side is cut, the right is trash. I don’t throw any of the trash away until the quilt is ironed together. You never know what you’ll accidentally have tossed into the trash…plus if I lose some tiny piece, there’s a good chance I have a small piece of it in that box. I also don’t put the fabrics I used away until the quilt is ironed together, in case I need to recut a bigger piece. You never know.

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This is the side of the box of stuff that still needs cutting. Yeah. It’s still a lot, but once I get through all the flesh, there’s only about 300 pieces left (ONLY…laughing at that).

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I wish I could finish tonight, but I doubt it. So I’m hoping to finish cutting Thursday AND sort them all. So I can iron Friday night. Might be tough, but it’s a goal, and as long as I keep setting goals, I’m moving in the right direction. There’s a three-day weekend coming, and it’s full of shit I gotta do. Those damn floors, plus a feminist coloring book, and this quilt. Plus have a life. Just a little one. OK, straight up, these quilts, my art, are a huge part of my life. I remember the amount of art I used to make when I was first married, before I had kids, and when I had a job I didn’t have to take home with me every night…I think I make more art now. I even had a studio then, and I would go there after work…but now my house is the studio and so it’s everywhere. It makes it easy to just make…especially if my other choice is cleaning a floor or crappy TV.

When the kids were little, it was harder to make art, but I hit some barrier, slammed right through it a few years back. I used to wait for school breaks to work on quilts, but now I just do it all the time. It probably helps that the kids are away at college, but I was powering through before they left.

This is some kind of obsession, sure. I can’t even truly say it’s healthy, but I can say that I don’t mind it. I wonder what it’s like to come home from work and just watch television, to do nothing else. I love making art. I love how it makes me feel. I love sending work off to be shown (well, most of the time…I don’t love the crazy shit that sometimes happens when I send it off and people get upset that I drew parts. That part I could do without. Which reminds me, another interesting article on how AQS handled me…or the issue…badly. Apparently social media is not their super power.).

So it’s good. There should be more of it.

Simba in a rare quiet moment, after boisterously cleaning Midnight’s ears. I think she’s licking his chest here. It didn’t last long.

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Work. Then the real work.

*The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (No really. This song came on while I was typing. The universe is in tune with me.)

One thought on “I Look at the Floor and I See It Needs Sweeping*

  1. If you havent watched “The Killing ” yet, i highly reccomend it.

    I feel your strain. The Beatles song that runs thru my brain (23 yr old daughter back home with me, finishing her last two years of college. Fostering 10 cats in addition to my own 3 plus my daughters cat now. Working full time. Been single mom since she was 12– havent touched my macine in two solid months. ) is “It’s Just Another Day”…



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