What Has Been and What Can Be…

Writing on a Friday morning gives you closure to the week, a focus for the weekend, some reflection on what might work better next week, and a tiny prayer (not really, because I don’t do those…mantra maybe? Affirmation? I don’t like that word either…) to what has been and what can be. BEEE. I love bees.

SEE! That’s how my brain works. I’m thinking about work, what I’m teaching today, the bread that’s going in the oven this morning (that was a cluster, more below), and how to close out the week and survive the hellacious temperatures of the next 4 days, and my brain goes off on BEEES because I misspelled BE the first time. Creative brains are fun. I realize it makes me hard to talk to sometimes, but y’all do it too, more than you know.

Back to the bread, because the timer is going off soon to put it in. I fucked the bread up monstrously. School is part of the problem. I remembered to feed the starter at lunch (should’ve done it at prep), and then right after school, I did the float test and it failed, but two hours later, it passed, so STUPIDLY, I started the process. At like 6:30 PM. “Sure, it’ll be OK. There’s enough time for the sits and folds and stretches and more sits.” Yeah, there would have been if I’d stayed up until 2:30 AM. Not a thing while teaching. So I debated with the boychild and I put it in the fridge overnight after 4 stretch and folds. To its credit, it was doing really well. I took it out the next morning and tried to warm it up. Barely warm oven, etc. And then I forgot to set a timer, totally forgot about it for about 4 hours. Whoops. During prep, while discussing science with my coteacher, I pulled it out of the oven, shaped it, and tossed it in a banneton and back in the fridge. Totally forgot to let it rest 10 minutes in the banneton before putting it back in. Then realized that 16 hours later was 2:30 AM again (fuuucckkk), so this morning, after 20 hours in the fridge, it’s going in the oven as soon as its warm enough. Surprisingly, it doesn’t appear to be over- or underproofed. It also currently looks better than any loaf I’ve made. Which is great, because if it’s awesome, I will not be able to repeat whatever the fuck I did.

Just call me the lackadaisical cook. I am.

It’s supposed to be hot as hell the next few days…107-111 degrees F tomorrow and Sunday. No A/C. Gonna die. Today is only supposed to be 97 degrees, which is good, because I don’t think I could teach with 111-degree temperatures. I can’t think straight. There are people in my physical classroom during the day, so I don’t know what I would do. Can’t go to school and just sit there. Quietly sweat to death…although I rarely do anything quietly.

OK, bread is in the oven now. All we can do is wait. Mine have all been too dense, except for the first one, really. It was the best. When I knew the least. Interesting, that.

I’ve been chipping away every night at the pile of things to be cut out. It’s nice, because I just get to watch shows and chill out. This week, I seem to (so far, knock on wood) have solved the problem of my feet swelling by the end of the week…it might help that it’s cooler…it might help that I’m standing more during class, even though then they can see my ceiling and the underneath of my chin. Ah well. I am not vain, y’all. Ah, so funny…here I am cutting out a vein. Or an artery. OK, it’s probably an artery.

I’ve been doing a little each night…

It never looks like much.

Until it’s done.

But the pile is getting smaller.

Five hours and 20 minutes smaller. Lots more to go. It’s OK. I didn’t want to start ironing this quilt together this weekend. I need it to cool the fuck down before I do that.

Strangely, we have a 4-day weekend instead of a 3-day weekend. Some schools are going back on the 14th, but middle school is going back on the 28th. We got an extra day to put our classrooms back together. My online schedules will change to match in-person school, which is just weird, but whatever. Block schedules online? We’ll see. My lunches will be an hour later, so there will be some juggling of the foods for the blood sugar. I love changing my schedule again. Yesterday morning’s staff meeting was all about how we teachers have to meet the state requirements for accountability for engaging kids. Or something. We have to record attendance differently. It’s more complicated. We’ll get used to it, but honestly, it’s hard for me to see it on the computer screen, so it won’t get done during class any more.

Cats coming to class.

They sneak around.

I did fix the screen. All good. It’s their one-year birthday today.

They’re still hyper as shit sometimes.

OK, today isn’t too challenging for teaching, luckily. Walking kids through the shit they didn’t get done yesterday and introducing them to the new science program, which we hate. OK. We like bits and pieces of it. Mostly we hate it. The teachers’ editions were apparently on campus the whole time, just not in my room. Nice. My coteacher will track them down today. That will help. I will keep cutting stuff out this weekend, finish something for my quilt guild, ship some stuff to shows and peoples. And maybe read a little. Sweat a lot. It would be nice to have a long weekend with better weather, but whatever. Enjoy the sleep? The short week next week? Hope my principal doesn’t do a back-to-school night online? Yeah. That. Don’t do it. OK. Off to school. In the other room.

All My Spline Is Wrong

Whoa. Two days of writing in a row. I used to do this. I used to write 6 days a week. It’s OK that I’m not…well OK by me. I write a lot. But I had time this morning and no staff meeting before school. Tomorrow there’s a staff meeting, so there’ll be a rush to get stuff ready in the morning. So it’s better to write today and maybe miss tomorrow.

My district is getting ready to bring kids back, but I’ll be teaching from here for a while. I had to persuade Kitten that this was not her chair yesterday morning.

I stand at the light table with my computer when I can. I need to get a different adapter, unfortunately…can’t charge, run an extra monitor, and have an ethernet cable at the same time with what I’ve got, so I’ve been swapping out. Zoom sucks battery charge as well as everything else.

About halfway through 4th period, I heard Luna scrabbling on the window screen next to me, looked to the right, and saw her most of the way up the screen. I squawked at her to get down and she ripped a cat-sized hole in the screen.

Trying to fix it has been fun. I did have window screening in the garage. It wasn’t big enough. I went to Home Depot to get more, but then got home and realized the spline I have (three different splines) are all either the wrong size or too old. *Bangs head on desk. All my spline is wrong. OK. I will go back to Home Depot or an equivalent after school today…because this window gives me air in my hot little corner of the house. It’s been nice the last few days…and luckily, I’m not teaching this weekend, because my weather app has 108 and 110 degrees showing.

In the middle of 6th period, the neighbors’ upped their construction game with wood saws…always a nice addition. Sigh. Is it bitchy of me to (a) ask for a saw/loud noise schedule or (b) hope that after 4-odd years they might be done with construction? I don’t think that man will ever stop sawing things. So I apologized to my students…it’s not ideal here, but it’s what I’ve got.

I also went into school after everyone was gone (I sneak in like the wind) to sign timesheets and attendance and more importantly to get the teachers’ editions of our new curriculum.

Nine boxes later (I only opened mine), they were not to be found. Sigh. The one thing I actually need right now…all this hands-on stuff is lovely (is it though?), but I won’t be touching most of it until who the fuck knows when.

Depressing. I’ll be back in there on Monday to find room for the stuff I unpacked and probably get rid of some stuff to do that. Someone will be in my room and will need some space. Maybe. I can’t get depressed about school not being normal. It’s not going to be normal for a while. So far, there are only about 55 kids in my grade who are doing online learning, so I will either have another grade or kids from other schools. That means coordinating with multiple schools and counselors and administrators. That was the part that made my head hurt the most last night.

So I did the only intelligent thing I could do. I sewed the bindings on Grow

She’s done! She’s little, but even the little ones are time-consuming. Future self…this was more time-consuming that it should have been, but it’s OK. I learn with every new thing I do. I’ll take a better picture of it in daylight, clean it up, pack it up, and send it off to its new owner.

OK, luckily I have Zoom pilates today…that will help with the back and shoulders. I’ll be buying some spline at some point. School is pretty chill today, I think. We’ll see how it really goes. And then back to cutting pieces out for the new quilt. It’s nice to get one thing checked off the list though. I need to finish sewing cloth napkins for the house. I have 15 minutes until school officially starts. I’m gonna do two. New goals!

A Little of This…

My brain is like a butterfly, flitting from flower to flower, doing a little of this, a little of that, and probably getting nothing of substance done. Well. Eventually substance gets done; it just feels like I’m walking in circles and getting nowhere.

At least it’s cooler out right now, until the weekend, when Satan rains hellfire upon us (weather app says 108 degrees. Just shoot me now.). I actually wore short sleeves instead of a tank top yesterday to teach, because it wasn’t 12 trillion degrees out. I still needed a fan in 5th period and on, but I wore socks in 1st period, because my feet were…no really, they were…chilly. CHILLY. I’m betting winter is gonna be socks and a blanket for teaching. This house has no insulation, I think…I could fix that? But I wouldn’t know where to start. And it probably costs money. I have tree trimming coming up and girlchild needs her college paid off (well, my portion of it)…that’s where my money will be going.

Sunday I finally finished ironed the Wonder Under to fabric…

113 fabrics in 14 hours and 10 minutes. Not super fast.

Last night, I started cutting them out, but I didn’t get very far…

I think that’s 22 minutes of cutting.

It’s a pretty full box. It’ll be a while. I’m OK with that.

I also trimmed and cut binding and sleeves for Grow

I was too tired last night after all the school stuff and cooking dinner to put them on. Hopefully tonight? It wouldn’t take very long. Note to self…next year, plan to start this a month earlier. Things take longer than you think they will in August, because school sucks up so much time and energy. I do like this little quilt though. I’m keeping track of the time. Maybe I’ll do some more. We’ll see.

I needed to do my Patreon drawing for the month yesterday, because it was the last day of the month…

I drew it, scanned it, cleaned it up, and posted it. That took some time.

This cat is weird sometimes…

I guess it was still hot when this was going on…the old lady sleeps…

Luna is fascinated with the new computer setup in the living room…

Perhaps a little TOO fascinated…gotta hide cables from her…

She bites them. Which is silly. And this guy has been licking a spot on his leg…

He’s offended by the wrap, but whatever.

I’m tired. What’s new? I did stay up until midnight. I try to go to bed earlier and then I’m working on things and want to get just one more thing done and then it’s midnight and I have to try to fall asleep. Last night, I remembered exercise at 10:30. So I did it. Or maybe it was later? I don’t remember. It was late; that’s all I know. Tonight I’m going to try to walk earlier.

I have 11 phone calls to make this morning…the shift from all online to some sort of hybrid plus online is a major one. Here’s hoping we don’t have to do it over and over again all school year. I don’t even know what that looks like. When they met with me about my medical note to teach from home, they asked if I knew how to make phone calls, or something like that. I’m like, WHICH APP DO YOU WANT ME TO USE I HAVE ALL OF THEM. Last night, I sent a message to all the parents who hadn’t filled out the school choice survey (15 of them) through our new parent app, and 4 of them did it. Seven had already done it. That leaves 11. So on to the next app, Google Voice? Probably. I have email for some…I’ll try that too.

Oh yeah. Forgot. My eggs for dinner on Sunday night looked like boobs.

I’m not wrong.

OK, work, teach, manage, get up and move around as needed, or more! Then walk self and do some art and maybe sleep a little earlier. Binding on tonight and then some hand sewing and cutting stuff out. That part sounds relaxing…makes up for the 100 mph of the rest of the day.

One Chunk for Me…

It’s interesting to read a bunch of pedagogy articles and listening to teacher podcasts on how to deal with remote and hybrid teaching and realizing that your own teaching assignment currently conflicts with everything that seems to be good eduscience. We planned Monday to be a catch-up/check-in day…already. Eight days in. It’s OK…this is new for all of us, different than what we did in the Spring. Meanwhile, the district is planning to change everything again within the next month. We’ll see if that approaches what kids need more than what we’re doing right now. Friday, I had to call a parent because the kid was full on snoring away in Zoom class. I don’t blame him…if I were lying on my bed, I might fall asleep too. That’s why I sit up. It’s hard to find a happy place between making sure they’re on task and focused, but respecting their space and their laggy internet and their dislike of the screen. I’m only barely getting their names in my brain, because I can’t really see most of them…it’s hard to tell them apart by the foreheads and hair and that’s it. I’m working on it…but also know that a goodly portion of them won’t be in my class in a month. Or will they? We just don’t know.

I did move my entire teaching space into the living room on Friday and then bought another adapter and cable to hook in directly to the internet. We’ll see how that goes. Luna is fascinated by what has appeared on what she thinks of as Her Desk.

Two laptops and a monitor and she already pulled my schedule off the wall, where I taped it, knowing it would be a kitten toy, but I couldn’t think of where else to put it in the moment.

This works for now. I’m still in flux. The light table is behind me so I can stand there if I need to, but I need lighting for that…I’m backlit, so it’s weird. I’m hesitant to buy yet another thing that might not solve a problem right now.

The other hard part is that at the end of the school day, at 3 PM, when I sign off with the last group, I’m exhausted, mentally and physically. My brain can’t see straight and feels like it’s tied in a knot. So I take a break, walk around, water something, feed the sourdough starter, pee the dogs, anything that’s not school-related. And then try to do the things I wrote in my notebook for school. Finish typing this, call that person, print that form, email this other person, post that, create this. Sometimes I just give up until much later. Too much sitting; too much staring at a screen.

Friday night was gaming (online…staring at a screen). I stitched while playing…

We’ve got dice on the table, character sheets lying around. We’ll finish it up this coming Friday. I can’t even remember what we were doing. Damn Romulans. They were being all secretive and lying and all.

Saturday, I got up for Pilates…I missed Wednesday’s class because the dog had to go to the vet, and my body was very stiff and sore. Note to self. Not sustainable. MOVE. Yes, it was freakin’ hot all week. MOVE.

Kitten does move. Sometimes. Then I did more school stuff until about 1 PM, followed it up with art group stuff, and then we walked near where we were hoping to have dinner. This is part of the Coast to Crest trail…we were trying to figure out if these were actually put out for birds to build nests on (one had a large nest)…

We went about 2 miles out and then 2 miles back. Weird how that works, eh?

Lots of birds. As always, I have to check heron vs egret vs crane. This is a heron.

That tiny white dot out there is an egret. It was warm going inland, but definitely cooled off on the way back with the ocean breeze and impending sunset.

Different plants to look at…

Different wildlife…

I’m not a fan of the car/freeway noise, but when it’s hot and summer, that’s one of the things you have to deal with…cooler beach walks often mean more people and/or car noise. There weren’t a lot of people on this hike…

It’s mostly flat…

We wanted to have dinner at a nearby brewery that has a big open outdoor space afterwards, but we reserved the mental right to back out and get takeout if we weren’t comfortable with the setup.

Which is what we ended up doing. Too many people in too small a space with not enough barriers. They were nice about it. We tailgated in the parking lot with free beer from the general manager and giant-ass mosquitoes landing on us. The food was good. I’d go back…maybe not on a Saturday night, but we’re limited by our work schedules unfortunately. We’re trying to figure out how to have Date Night without all the things we used to be able to do. Unfortunately, it might be tailgating and picnics for a while. At least the food was still hot when we ate it, for once in the last 5 months.

Here’s part of the trail map…

We started at the P near the Boardwalk and followed the Coast to Crest trail under the freeway and out. If you go to the Polo Fields and turn around, it’s supposed to be about 5.3 miles. We didn’t get that far.

I’m still trying to finish ironing all the Wonder Under to fabrics for this new piece…I did some on Friday night. Less than an hour, I think…with Calli’s assistance.

Nah. She’s just in the way. Speaking of in the way…

Everyone wants pets. Katie left Saturday afternoon with my parents. She was happy to finally get back to rabbit chasing and regular walks in her own space.

Here’s everything I got ironed down on Friday night…mostly just the lungs, I think.

They were pretty damn complicated though. Like COVID itself.

Then last night, I worked on ironing anything to do with the cardiovascular system…

Arteries, blood cells, the heart…

I originally did this drawing in April, 30 days after we got sent home from school on Shelter in Place…then when I enlarged it, I added some broken blood cells, since it seems like COVID attacks the blood in some ways or the blood vessels themselves. Crazy shit. So all I have left to iron is the hair of the main figure (I cannot make a decision) and the dirt down below. Easy, right? Oh I think there is a ventilator down there too. So not much left. I’d like to get it done tonight. I’d also like to get a binding on the small Patreon piece here…it’s late and I feel bad, but I can’t get my head straight until like 11 PM and then it feels too late to work on it. This afternoon would be good, but I have somewhere I need to be at 6 and I’m not sure I’m ready for school yet. Damn.

So this week…teach all week, exercise more (it’s supposed to be cooler until Saturday, hallelujah), finish ironing the Wonder Under to fabric, finish the Patreon piece, and I need to draw…one for Patreon and one for myself. Maybe that’s the way everything should go this week. One for (work, art groups, Patreon, family) and one for myself. Whatever unit I use for one…hour? One chunk for me, one chunk for you. Certainly that might be healthier than whatever shit I did last week. Also, it’s September this week. Already. WTF. Someone said that unless we change our mindsets, 2021 will still be bad. Kenosha police, we’re talking to you. With that, I’m going to do one chunk for me.

Friday Tired

Hey. It’s Friday. I’m Friday tired. Maybe more so. I find sitting for so long makes my feet swell up or something by the end of the week. I think it’s the chair or the height of the chair or just sitting for so damn long, but by 7th period, I just can’t stand to sit any more. I don’t get the kids who try to work while lying in bed, because I’d just fall asleep. Oh wait. Some of them do. Their camera is off and I’m talking to them and typing to them and there’s nothing…except probably some drool and snoring on the other end. I get it. This is hard.

My district officially made the announcement yesterday that kids would be going back September 9th. At my school, they will phase in in groups, so our kids probably have another 4-6 weeks until we switch. I wonder which kids I will end up with…and whether I will be teaching for multiple schools. Sounds hard. It’s all hard. Just give me a plan period with my co-teacher so I don’t go insane trying to plan it all myself. She scales me back. Then I scale her back. Then she makes things and I edit them. Or sometimes I make them and she makes me edit them. We always make it too long, too much to start. Right now, especially, too long is not working for any of us.

I’m trying out a different teaching location in the house today. I tried it back in April, but it was too hot. It might still be too hot…we’ll see. It’s more an internet test, because I got kicked out of Zoom 5 times in one class period yesterday, and that gets old. Tuesday was hellacious. All day getting dropped, sometimes just on the laptop; sometimes on all the devices. Fun stuff. Also I broke the toilet on Wednesday.

OK, the parts were just old and they were making noise, leaky noises, so I fussed with it and broke things that were plastic and probably 20 years old. So I don’t feel really bad. Plus I’m the one who had to go buy the kit at Home Depot after work so I could make the boychild install it.

He wanted to wait a day, and I’m like no, I need a working toilet so I don’t have to go down the long hallway in the dark at 4 AM and by the time I get to the other bathroom, my body is like (a) nah, I’m good. Don’t need to pee any more, and (b) now I am also wide awake PERK. Fuck that. I need sleep.

So it’s fixed. Now if I could get him to go fix the mailbox. Because IDK how to do that either and I don’t have the time or patience.

This was me trying to grade Wednesday afternoon at the vet with the old lady. Google Classroom has not been doing a good job with the iPad version of the app…

Which is unfortunate.

Wednesday night, I ironed a little. I have no idea how many pieces are left to iron because all I’m doing is all the little pieces in the body that AREN’T fleshy bits. So from the 200s to the 700s, but not all of them because a bunch were already ironed because they were skin.

Thursday night, another quick run at the ironing. About 45 minutes after 11 PM…

Yes, those piles look different. To me. Not a lot. I ironed a glove, a thermometer, some eyeballs, some virions, IDK what else. I’m getting close to done…

This is all that’s left…dirt, fire, blood, hair, lungs, heart. OK. That’s a lot. But I could bang it out in a night if I weren’t so tired.

I’m always tired at the beginning of the year. This is different, true, but the tired part is normal.

I stitched for a while as I listened to Beth Smith talk about the contemporary quilt exhibit she curated for the Oceanside Museum of Art…my piece is on the right, So Cal Mama. The slide show of the exhibit is on their website, so you can see it.

They’ve installed the show and it will be up until February 21…their hope is that businesses will open by then…

I don’t have a list of the other artists. This video will be up on the OMA site soon.

At least we could see the show.

Swallow Me Whole got into Quilts=Art=Quilts…so I’ll be shipping her off in a few weeks…

And here’s the morning, hopeful but predicting warm…

I’m hoping for the chance to stand up and walk around between classes. I’m hoping for everything to work techwise. I’m hoping that the tea kicks in soon. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier and it doesn’t help most nights…I can’t fall asleep earlier. I’m hoping to get some ironing in. The man and I have a date night planned for tomorrow, but we’re a little nervous about the dinner part. We’ve agreed that if we get there and the table setup worries us with proximity to others (tables 6 feet apart does not mean people 6 feet apart), then we will apologize and get takeout. I’m hoping the girlchild’s interview goes well. I’m hoping the weather starts to cool off. I’m hoping the new schoolroom setup works better. We’ll see.

I Like Goals…

I’m trying to write in the morning again, and I suspect I won’t finish. I’m in a meeting for a kid that started before I’m officially “at school”…and it’s complicated, so I’m pretty sure this won’t get done until later. And with a vet appointment later, I’m going to have an issue getting it written.

It’s going to be a long day.

Monday night, I did the crazy thing of picking all the flesh fabrics for the largest figure…and these are all the pieces that WEREN’T flesh colored…

So right now, they’re all covered up so cats won’t make a mess in there. Here’s all the flesh bits laid out with Kitten supervising…

So I did about 4 hours of ironing Monday night because the girlchild called me from her drive back from Maine to see her cousin, who’s starting college this week there. So then I just kept ironing stuff down. I probably should have done some schoolwork. Oh well. Here’s everything I’ve used so far…

This thing. So not helpful.

She mostly sleeps, but sometimes is in my personal space a little more than I need her to be.

I’m still listening to the meeting…but the mom is late, so I’m trying to get this done. Like that. That cat.

It’s still hot, but not as bad as it’s been. I think today is supposed to be a bit warmer. And tomorrow. I’m done with it personally. These guys are still hiding from the parents’ dog.

Last night, I wasn’t able to deal with ironing…so I quilted the small Patreon quilt.

For the next Patreon video, I’ll probably show some finishing techniques…I will be binding this small piece, but I have some others that will be finished in other ways.

OK, well I finished…so today I will teach. I will go to the vet. I will try to get some work done at the vet. Ha! In the car. And then hopefully I will exercise and make some art. That’s the goal. I like goals. They help.

The Mondayness of It All…

So it’s Monday morning on the first 5-day week back to school…and Zoom is out nationwide. You know, the program we use to actually DO online teaching with the kids? The video thing? Yeah that. I’m amused. It may be back up by the time we start school, but this certainly complicates shit. Last week it was the program we use to log all the kids in…this week, Zoom. I’m ready to go when they are, though. Attendance might be an issue today. I’m laughing.

In other news, it’s still warm here, although it’s cloudy and not so bad at the moment…it’ll get warmer later. I look forward to the months where it’s freezing here (not really, because we don’t get snow) and I have to wear socks. But right now, I’ve got those two fans on me at 8 in the morning and I’m supposed to be working. So I’m going to do that and finish this later. You won’t know the difference, because it will all get posted later. Just know that I thought about starting this in the morning. I even resized all the photos, but the girlchild called and it’s Monday and that’s just a thing. A thing that slows us down. The Mondayness of it all.

It’s still Monday, but now it’s after 6 PM. I just finished working…well, maybe. I really should do more, but I’m not sure I have it in me. I started at 7:30 AM, took a break at lunch and to water stuff after school, then drove to school to drop stuff off, and then back here to finish what’s on my to-do list. There’s still one thing on there, but I’m not sure I have enough brainpower to do it right now. So there’s that.

OK, so Friday, we did cover pages for our first unit, and although most of them did it online using Google searches for images and super-quick font and color choices, I couldn’t help but go old school.

I showed them how to do this, but I think I only had one kid try it. I’m going to color it in and then upload it onto mine…just because. Sigh. I miss this.

Friday night, I walked…first time all week. It was a long and tiring and hot week. Friday was no less long, hot, and tiring…I just couldn’t take the lack of exercise any more.

It was late and kinda cool and sorta nice.

I was a slow-moving sloth in the heat and tiredness of it all though. My feet were hot at the end, so I used the pool…

I’m not much of a swimmer, you may have noticed. Mostly I think the pool is for the dog.

I continued the walk at Lake Murray on Saturday evening, part of my plan to reinstate Date Night out of the house and out and about, minus the crowds at art openings and restaurants…

It was cooler outside…

Plus the whole sitting at home thing just sucks. Ask him…or her…I don’t know how to sex an alien.

I also got some stitching in Saturday night, but mostly I was tired…

Sunday, I used up most of the sourdough starter discard to make the next two weeks’ worth of frozen pancakes for a quick breakfast…

And then Sunday night, after working on school stuff for about 4 or 5 hours, I finished stitching this…

It needs a bath, some ironing, a hoop, and then a place on Etsy.

Then I did the stitch down on this Patreon reward…small is easy!

She got some ironing as well…

And then I pinbasted it…

So she’s ready to be quilted tonight.

The last hour of the evening was dedicated to ironing the newest quilt pieces onto fabric…

I didn’t get far…

Only a few colors so far…

But I did lay out the next 100 pieces of Wonder Under so I’d be ready to go tonight. I hope. Movement in the right direction.

The boychild is cooking dinner. I need to go dip my feet in the pool again. I watered everything, finished a packet for a kid in a shelter, talked on the phone to a bunch of people, made a vet appointment, and I think I’m ready to teach tomorrow. Although I think I have one other thing I need to work on tonight. I just can’t remember what it is. Oh well. So be it.

The Two Newest…

I finally got some new work photographed. I finished one in early April, but like no one was leaving the house then, except the essential workers and crazy people, so I held onto it until I finished the big one in July, and then dropped both of them off. I’m still really paranoid about leaving the house and interacting with humans…it’s like my introversion has gained a legitimate excuse for more hermitude than normal. Hopefully I’ll be able to reverse that…in like a year or so when it’s OK to come out.

Anyway, I keep forgetting to post about these, so here’s Hold On, drawn back in February (?), you know, when COVID-19 was barely a twinkle in your daddy’s eye…

She’s 53” w x 43 ¼” h. She’s obviously about climate change and our general destruction of the planet…

These things are always heavy on my mind…

Although apparently I also had missiles on my mind…something to do with North Korea, I suspect, with the president pissing off people who like to blow shit up.

I put some positive things in there, things we’re trying to put in to counteract the crazy, like those windmills harvesting wind energy.

It might be too little too late, my friend.

Even the bees are dying out. So she’ll get entered in some shows in the next few months.

And then in April, I drew this giant beast of a quilt, Coronawood

She’s 77″ w x 81″ h. Did I say a beast of a quilt? Yeah, she’s large. I just kept drawing until I thought I should stop.

Those angels have shown up in a quilt before…although less angry, I think.

This Earth Mother isn’t really sure how to fix anything. None of them are.

Why Coronawood? In the beginning, and even now, it sometimes seems like this is a movie, a made-up thing, not that I don’t believe in the virus, I really really do…I just don’t believe in all the made-up shit that people are using as excuses to not wear masks, to not stay home, to not slow the spread, to not take this seriously. It’s like a bad movie, made up in Hollywood, like a Sharknado series of the COVID type. And I keep waiting for either all the red shirts to die out (Star Trek reference, sorry, geek alert) or for the good person to show up who will solve it all and make humanity human again.

Seems like I will be waiting for that happy ending for a long time.

Remember Flatten the Curve? They aren’t even saying that anymore because we so obviously couldn’t even do that for very long before our need to party, gather, holiday, dine out, drink in a public establishment, or whatever took over.

This is why I’m teaching at home…for a long time. Because of this virus and our inability in the US to believe in science and elect intelligent officials…or at least officials who have the brainpower to realize they don’t know everything and trust the science to the scientists and the doctors.

This quilt is beautiful and haunting and deadly. I wonder how many COVID quilts I will make before it’s something we can fix or heal or vaccinate or avoid or whatever. Maybe one more? Maybe 200. Hopefully toward the lower number.

Happy Saturday all. I’m gonna take my heat-rashy elbow pits and my tired brain and try to art something before I have to work on school shit all tomorrow. I’ll post these two over on the Recent Work page in a bit with prices…interesting that, a conversation about prices, since another Etsy piece sold yesterday. My prices are all based on how much time each quilt takes to make. It’s actual real math. I have a formula. They’re worth it. Thanks to those who help me make more by taking one or two or three off my hands. I love to make. I also need to pay off my daughter’s college loans and eventually retire from teaching (not soon, don’t panic). So I charge appropriately for the making. Enjoy them!

Paltry Progress…

Hey, so let’s see if I can post before school today. I don’t have much time, but I don’t have much to talk about. I’m tired. Sitting for this long is hard. I want to do jumping jacks in between classes and maybe run a mile to get my butt and back to be friends with me again. But whatever. Kids are learning something, although it might be that they’re learning how NOT to be a jerk on a collaborative assignment. Sigh. We’ll get there.

It is Friday though, and that’s a plus. A short week with the kids, although it hasn’t been a short week by any means. Next week will be the challenge…5 days on every day. I really need it to cool off some more so I can walk in the afternoons. Maybe tonight. Also I said I’d post photos of the two newest quilts, and that isn’t happening today either.

I did iron last night…I did NOT iron Wednesday night. I was too tired. Here’s last night’s paltry progress…well, I did some flying COVID virions…like they do…

And the arm of death. Or something. I’m not really sure. A bird. Little bits and pieces on the other side of the quilt. I ironed about 100 pieces, which isn’t bad for the second day of school. Hopefully I will get more done tonight…

It’s coming along, slowly but surely, which is how I get everything done during the school year. Except housecleaning…it usually gets short shrift…although I need to vacuum so I can do Pilates without being covered in dog hair. Bleck. So I’m about 200 pieces in with about 630 to go. Small progress, like I said.

I had a stitching meeting last night and finally finished the top of Folk Tails by Sue Spargo. It was the 2015 block of the month, but I didn’t start it until 2016. Four years then. Well I don’t work on it regularly…that’s probably part of it. But it was a very enjoyable quilt to make, with all the animals and details in it. I enjoy doing some embroidery after eating dinner, just a half hour or so, although for a good long while, I only worked on this at my monthly stitching meeting, which used to be in person in a Barnes & Noble bookstore coffee shop, back in the old days, when we could meet in person. Now it’s every two weeks on Zoom.

Now I just need to sandwich, pinbaste, quilt, and bind. Quilting this one is a little scary. I’m sure it will be fine. Laughing over here. Tears coming out of eyes. Well, that might be because of school, but whatever.

It’s Friday. I’m gonna teach all day and then hopefully walk my tired body around somewhere and then iron for a bit before I collapse. Tomorrow includes Pilates (my body says thanks) and a mammogram (my body won’t say thanks, but it’s for the best), and then whatever art I can fill in around that.

Permission to Take a Break

I’m not sure when I thought I would write this blogpost. Back in the old days, I would get up around 6:30, take my shower, get dressed, feed the animals I’m responsible for, grab a cup of tea and something that approximated breakfast, and I’d sit down at the computer and bang out a blogpost. I did that almost every day, Monday-Saturday. I took Sunday mornings off most week and the occasional other day, but pretty much this was how I cleared my brain for the day and dealt with any lingering anxieties from weirdass dreams and the previous day’s existence. Then I’d brush my teeth, take my meds, pack my lunch, and drive to work to teach all day. Come home, repeat the next morning. Work was a separate place you went to and although as a teacher, it’s really hard NOT to bring it home, at least it was at a different location and sometimes you’d treat yourself and leave the pile of papers and the work computer AT WORK, where they belonged. Permission to take a break.

Ah, no longer. I basically live in this one room of the house, venturing out only to pee and heat up my tea, with the occasional walk down the hallway just to move my legs. And here I am, at 10:30 at night, writing the blogpost I was supposed to write this morning. In the same place I sat all day. School starts earlier now, so I get up 15 minutes earlier, and granted, this was the first day of online school, so maybe I’ll get into a routine and there will be less morning panic about whether or not I have everything set up right (we didn’t. I was retyping a Google Question at 8:09 AM for a 9:25 AM class, which isn’t actually THAT abnormal, but I don’t like it). Two computers, three monitors, this is before the boychild brought in two pieces of wood that go across from the left desk to the printer shelf, notionally for the mouse…

Or also for a tripod that holds my phone, which is dialed into the Zoom class so I can show the chemistry demo.

That’s calcium chloride, cornstarch, and baking soda on the red plate. Don’t get excited. I didn’t blow anything up, although we had color change, gas, temperature change, and odor, all created in one fell swoop. Fun stuff. Totes would do this lab in person. Maybe in 2021.

School…exhausting teachers everywhere, every August and September, but especially in 2020. Rumor has it my school will be back in person on September 9. And my guess is that it will take about 3-4 weeks before at least one cohort is quarantined. Ah well. It is what it is. Kids will learn something this year. They will survive. I don’t subscribe to the theory that this is going to put them all behind. It might even drill some resilience into them. Some of them. It’s worse for the kids in schools that already struggle to bring kids up…losing a year when they’re already a few behind…but I believe some kids will still get it, they’ll still find a way to learn in the chaos of all this. And it’s not like we did this on purpose, invited a pandemic into our midst. Oh wait. Maybe some people are making it worse. Sigh. Vote dammit. Vote vote vote. Like our lives depend on it.

What else? I did iron the small Patreon piece together on Monday night…

Making small things is sometimes fun…

It didn’t have a lot of pieces and went together fairly quickly, in maybe an hour…

I got it ironed onto a background…

I’m hoping to get it finished this weekend.

I sold two pieces on Etsy, so that was also nice. I figure it’s about 30 decent bottles of wine.

I’m joking. I don’t need that much wine. Not yet. Give me a month and I might change my mind.

Then last night, I cleaned up and set up to iron the new Daughter quilt together. This drawing hangs in the background of my school Zooms, so I have to remember to pin it back up every day before school starts.

There’s boobs on that thing! Oh my. My office isn’t huge…I had two fans going last night, but it was still a million degrees in here.

The ironing board gets moved around and out of the way on a regular basis, then pulled back to the middle of the room for this stage. For reference, the desk setup I showed you earlier is to the right of the top corner of the ironing board. Like RIGHT THERE.

I got just about the first 100 pieces ironed, most of the first human figure.

I’m totally exhausted tonight and not sure I have the energy for any of it. I’d LIKE to iron. I just don’t know if I have the energy. It took about an hour after school started of just sitting there before I could think straight again. And then I did Pilates and book club, which is part of the tired, but they were both things I needed.

It’s still hot here…

Which explains the prostrate animals everywhere.

I think it was actually a tiny bit cooler today.

Definitely cooler out on the deck in the late afternoon…

But also buggy as shit and I was so tired, I needed a cup of tea to do Pilates.

The first week is always exhausting, wherever you are. My team ate lunch in a socially distanced matter, with my being dialed in on FaceTime. We talk about kid issues during lunch, so it was useful. I’m still glad I’m not on campus. I miss everyone, I miss my room, I miss my materials and my setup, but I don’t want to be there right now.

Getting used to early mornings again.

At least the sunrises are occasionally pretty.

I made this Monday. Still not airy enough.

But it tastes good, better than what I get at the store.

This is not the lizard that belonged to the tail from the other night…well, first of all, it’s a gecko, not a lizard…

Second of all, the lizard was tiny and this is not.

I have a fan who lives near where Form Not Function recently opened at the Carnegie Center for Arts & History in New Albany, Indiana. My piece I Can’t Be Your Superwoman is flanked here by Helen Geglio’s Wisdom Cloak: Invisible Visionary on the left and Tracy Taylor’s The Distance Between Us on the right…

Definitely prime real estate on that wall…

Wish I could’ve seen it, but these pictures help…

She won an Honorable Mention, which is nice. Tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll get my act together and post pictures of the two newest quilts, one of which has been done since March or April, but it’s taken me and the photographer a while to get our acts together.

OK, let’s be real…it’s after 11 PM, I’m exhausted after my first day back to work, and I get to do it all again tomorrow. It’s OK if I don’t iron tonight. Tomorrow is another day. I really want to iron. I enjoy this part of the process…but this is also one of the hottest rooms in the house with the lights on…it’s possible I might be able to replace the bulbs in here for cooler ones, which will help, but also it needs to be cooler tomorrow (it won’t be, I don’t think). Ah well. It will be cooler eventually. And I will get used to the schedule and rally sooner. And more often.

So Thursday is for artmaking and Wednesday is for survival and then sleep, which is where I’m headed now…completely backwards to when I usually write. And Friday is just Friday, part of which is Not Here Yet. Man I’m tired. Peace out. See you later.