More Than a Cloud

I totally forgot yesterday was Monday. Well done! Good start. I mean, I appreciate the extra day to get stuff done. I even made myself a special post-it to-do list for the weekend with things to cross off (I did not finish all of them, but I did a lot). These two months, January and February, there’s this delightful smattering of 3-day weekends that make me think I can be caught up, and then the disaster of March happens, with 5 long weeks of no days off. No breaks. Just a slog until Spring Break. Teachers know what I’m talking about. May is very similar, but at least ends with a 3-day weekend. Two-day weekends…I lose a whole day to trying to get ready for the week, so just Saturday is free…and it often isn’t. I have progress reports due next week, so this coming weekend is looking a little stressy. Trying to get ahead of that now, but we’ll see how it goes.

It rained all weekend. Like a downpour. Not as bad as further north of us, but at over 3 1/2 inches of rain here (I bought a rain gauge just for this); that’s sometimes our annual rainfall. Everything is exceedingly damp. No trees went down here, not even a fallen branch (knock on wood), so that’s good. A few water issues, but nothing major. The garage will be damp for days. I need to actually sweep water out of it when I get a chance (not sure when that will be). So we didn’t go a lot of places…but I did work a lot. As always. Don’t seem to be able to escape it.

I finished basting and delivered the cross-stitched blocks back to my friend, so she can spend a few months hand-quilting them before I have to figure out how to put them together. I also picked up one of my quilts from a show that closed.

This show was extended into February…

I’m hoping to be at the closing reception, only because it’s First Friday in Liberty Station, and that’s always cool.

OK, on to the weekend tracing, of which there was a lot, although not as much as I would’ve liked. Like maybe 2 hours a night instead of 1.

This is filling in the little spaces in between bigger pieces…

I had a strange leftover piece of Wonder Under I used at the end of a bolt. Some of it was releasing from the paper, so I cut those bits off. Don’t want to deal with it.

Friday night might have been one of those 2-hour nights…

Saturday night definitely was. We had a neighborhood party to introduce ourselves to our new neighbors, and then I came back and did more as the Man crashed…he had emergency dental surgery Friday and was kind of a mess all weekend. Hopefully it’ll be better this week for him.

Lots of complication here…still filling in the spaces.

I think this was Sunday night…another 2 hours…

But Monday night, I was working later on school stuff, so only an hour and a bit. I’m in the 700s, I think. Close to halfway, but not quite.

I thought I’d be further up the drawing by now, but no. It seems there are more pieces in the top half than the bottom half. Even though the bottom half is solid pieces and the top has a lot of open bits. More smaller pieces up top; bigger pieces down below. I have the upper torso and arms, plus head, plus everything she’s holding. And when I say arms, one is done, three to go. Yup. She’s got four. Like you do.

So based on how many pieces are left and how fast I’m tracing, I suspect I’ve got another 8 days of this. Not so exciting to watch on your end, but pretty meditative on mine. I’m OK with that.

This is from the book I’m really enjoying, The House in the Cerulean Sea

Books are nice, especially on rainy days. And sunny days. And windy days and cloudy days. Yup. All the days.

My possibly permanent existence…at least while I’m still teaching.

Friday afternoon’s sky, before the rains started.

The caterpillars are still here, still eating. I bought them more food. Planting seeds for more after that.

Simba does not like the rain. At all. His raincoat seems to help a little.

Mom’s flowers on Sunday night. Did I take pictures of my parents? Nope. Forgot.

Sigh. OK. It’s only a 4-day week. It’s a busy 4-day week, though, so bracing for that. But I have tracing every night and a good book to read and this week is actually planned out. I didn’t quite get all my planning and grading done, but that’s always the case. It’s not supposed to rain much more (although the clouds have rolled in again and my co-teacher sent me a photo of a double rainbow, so maybe we’re not out of it yet…it’s dark as hell to the west and sunny on my left shoulder).

Fully appreciated yesterday’s social-media roll through MLK quotes I hadn’t seen before, the ones challenging the white capitalist take on him and his views. One was from 1967 and could still be used today, sadly. Things have changed but nowhere near enough. As long as people are using ‘woke’ as a bad thing and ‘patriot’ as a good thing (after Jan 6? Really?), there are still some major problems in this country. And the world. Brazil. Talking to you. So we work in small ways to improve those things, best we can, through our relationships with people and through the web and all the other crap. Making art. Reading more books. Listening to more people, different people. Dark clouds rolling in here, y’all…gotta get to work before it turns into more than a cloud.


Quick! Write the blog before you get sidetracked by that email that came in about a show, plus the name of that hedgehog your therapist recommended you look up, and the fact that your tea is already cold…again. Plus try not to think about grading, because even though you bribed yourself all day yesterday, you didn’t FINISH (of course not) and you need to FINISH. Plus yeah. So many things. Is this headache your neck and you need to schedule the chiropractor (probably)? Did you answer that email about the DNA extraction kits (maybe)? Did you finish planning the roller coaster unit (fuck no)? OK. Well. Nope. Got distracted about a folder on Google Drive.

My daughter was diagnosed as ADD years ago. Sometimes I wonder about me. But also on the spectrum? Or just antisocial? (Me, not the daughter) Or is it just that I’m old (not really, if you look at the spectrum, the OTHER spectrum, of age) and people annoy the shit out of me? Maybe that.

OK. I checked the folder on Google Drive. I can move on with my life.

It’s quiet here, except for the dog barking. And the kids next door shooting off their nerf guns. Popopopopopopopop. I’m not on that side of the house, or I’d turn music on to drown that shit out. Boychild and the Man have gone back to work. I just work here. I’ll be at school Thursday and Friday to rewrite a stupid curriculum that I have no choice about, but at least I’m getting paid for those 10 hours. Ugh. Today, I need to finish grading that thing from yesterday and one more thing, finish the roller coaster planning (both unpaid), get my retinas scanned (like you do), go to Pilates, cook dinner (new recipe, might kill me), get the dog to go out and pee even though it’s wet out, finish another book (I finished the one that was due, but this one, I’m at 94% and honestly, the ONLY thing I want to do today is finish that book dammit), work on the quilt that’s on the machine, work on a donation quilt, work on a quilt that I’m helping a friend do, and draw the next piece. Short list, eh? There’s some other stuff I need to do, but I don’t feel like driving to REI or finding the leaf blower (probably not here) or moving gravel. So there.

Sleep and read, man. That’s where I’m at. Unfortunate.

So the current quilt…is still in the drawing stage and probably will be for the rest of this week. Because I’m having a lot of fun letting my brain just wander around with this biopunk/steampunk/cyberpunk, channeling Margaret Atwood and other weird shit that’s in my head because science teacher brain.

I started inking Monday night…

I really got into it. I sat on the couch for about an hour, spacing out, watching cat videos, and then got up and did this.

I had penciled stuff in, but I always change it a little when I use ink. I moved the entire butterfly up a bit.

The post-its have notes about stuff I want to think about or put into the drawing, and then in the middle of the night, I have ideas and I type them into my phone for the next time I’m drawing…

There’s more penciled in above and below…not slacking on the details in this one. So I’m going to keep going. It’s not political (yet. Or is it?).

I’m also still quilting this, although to be honest, not working consistently on it.

Two columns done, three to go, plus borders. It doesn’t take long; I just have a lot of other shit going on right now. You might have noticed.


This was my view for 4 hours yesterday…probably another 4 today, if I can pull that off. Ugh.

Boychild made his own birthday cake…raspberry frosting was quite tasty…

It was chocolate on the inside, so I didn’t get a taste of it, but the rest of the fam did when they came by for presents.

We have a very similar picture from last year (watching the boychild open stuff). Mom petting the dog.

Where’s MY cake?

From the book I finished, which was better than I was expecting:

My milkweed is not only still blooming, but has caterpillars!

I would have thought it was too cold for them, but there are three of them…

I need to plant more seeds because these plants are at their leggy ends…

As you can see.

Plus now my deck has fungus…

I really need to replace these top boards. In my spare time. Ugh. Maybe summer.

OK. More tea (or heat this cup up for the fourth time). Read my book. (C’mon, it’s still break). Eat lunch. Grade some stuff. Then let them scan the eye (means I have to put pants and a bra back on. Ugh). Then more grading and some exercise. More tea. Break is coming to an end. Need to enjoy it as much as possible.

Compelling, Complicated, and Worthwhile…

Can I stay home and draw? I was just starting to get into it last night when I looked at the clock. Damn. Nine minutes past bedtime. Fuck. My fault for going to the gym, right? Except I need that. Except my knees apparently don’t appreciate it. The knees have been fussy for a week now, really painful at times, but I was able to hike, no problem. Going up stairs is the issue…and anything balance-y, which should make pilates interesting. I actually went to the gym because work was stressing me out. The last period of the day just sucked and then I spent an hour trying to figure out what I’m teaching in 8th grade for one day before break, after we’ve turned the unit in, plus field trip stuff. It was a giant downer, so I exercised and read my book…which I don’t really like. Huh. It’s book club though, so I’ll finish it, hopefully before Monday’s book club (laughs quietly to herself…I’m only 50% of the way through and I don’t really like it, so we’ll see how that goes). I’m pretty sure this book is YA and that’s my problem. Or not. The review I read said, “compelling, complicated, and worthwhile.” Maybe that’s the subtitle for this school year? I guess I won’t know until I finish. Ugh. It’s fine. It’s not horrible. It’s just lots of girl meets boy, bad situation, but lust, but unrequited because religion, and I don’t have a lot of patience for that sometimes.

So dinner was late, I had to finish grading an assignment, and Google Classroom was being a jerk…

Still, that is how I feel about this entire school year. It’s exhausting. Three more days until nine days off. Nine days I really need. Nine days that will have too much work in them no matter what. I need to get ahead on the planning. Need to get my head above the water.

Pro: new drawing exists. Con: I need to redraw, so I need brainpower to do that. On Sunday, I started cutting and pasting the one I did at 250%…

And the Man walked by and said “That’s not small. That’s big.” Huh. So I stopped and started taping together the one at 200% instead.

There are some parts of it that need refining and some that just need changing (the top hand needs a purpose…and Monday night at 11:45 PM, I stopped trying to fall asleep and typed the purpose into my phone so I wouldn’t forget). So I started tracing over the bits that work…refining some as I went…

Not a lot of changes here…

Last night, I got a whopping 22 minutes, like I said. I’m hoping for better tonight.

Not a lot of changes here either. Added another plastic bag and another water bottle. Redrew one floating trash bit so it looked less like a student-drawn penis and balls. Like you do. Tonight? More of that. Grading too. Cooking. Exercise. Maybe read more of that irritating book. Irritating because of the relationship between the characters…not the back story. The back story has definitely got some interesting pagan vs Jewish vs Christian patriarchy shit going on. Ah well.


Between school and political stupid Trump and shootings and stupid crap? Yeah. Can’t afford to retire early. Next year will be easier? I keep saying that. I keep saying ‘I can do it,’ and I can. I just don’t like it.

Today. Some pain and suffering all along the way. Need to find a video for 8th grade. I will push through in 7th grade. I feel like a shitty teacher this year. I’m working super hard, but I don’t feel particularly effective. That said, the last academic assignment in 7th wasn’t too bad. And 8th grade mostly understands…I’m not sure I do (Newton’s Third Law makes my brain hurt). And I get to draw at the end of the day.

Until Nature.

Bless a 3-day weekend. Although I made stress for myself by deciding to go camping. My knee is cranky as shit, it’s gonna be cold as shit. And then I was like…there’s no wifi. You can sit in your chair in front of a fire, all bundled up, and read your fucking book. Or draw. Or stitch. In nature. Like fuck the rest of it. If I don’t attain an amazing hike because my knee is being an old lady, IT’S OK. I have three books on my iPad. THREE. Like what more do I need? (secretly puts an actual paper book in her bag, just in case). CAN’T do work. Yes. YES it will be stressful Sunday when I realize how much I need to do, but it was going to be stressful anyway. So yeah.

That said, I’m stressed this morning trying to get it all done. Tried to pack last night, Luna said no.


OK then. No packy. Pack later. Also signed up for an exercise class this morning. It made sense at the time. I thought I would have all day to do schoolwork, but no. Exercise is good though. It will be fine. And the cat has to go to the vet. And I still need to PACK. OK. Shhhh.

I finished the quilt Wednesday night, by the way. I have not calculated hours yet, but it’s a lot. I started drawing it in July? I think. Yes. July 23. Finished November 9. Fuck me. Insane year. Here’s the unofficial, standing on the fireplace hearth picture…

They don’t always have names right away, but this has been Same As It Ever Was since the very beginning. My old-white-lady educated self was horrified (still is horrified) by Roe V Wade falling, and then the following climate change policy dumbassery perpetrated by the not-my-Supreme Court, but really, if you’re young, of color, trans, LGBTQ in any way, poor, anything the old white guys don’t see as A-OK, then nothing has really changed. You still don’t have equal rights. Which sucks. And will continue to suck for a while, although the midterm elections were heartening. Hopeful. Not locally, unfortunately, but in general, trying to think positively and not go down the rabbithole of holy shit, when do I buy my own island and move there with my friends and family. Some of them. Yeah that.

I went out stitching with friends last night…finished the block on the left finally and started the one on the right…Sue Spargo’s Homegrown.

Perfect for when I can’t think straight.

Which I couldn’t. Rough day at work. Really, three out of the four this week were rough. Frustrating. Kinda done with this year. Only 23 weeks to go.

I’m reading a wonderful book though…almost done…Cloud Cuckoo Land by IDK, go Google it, oh wait, I guess I’ll do that for you, Anthony Doerr. It’s lovely, time-spanning, core story, nice thoughts even though also hard thoughts. Damn those, but they are good nonetheless. Mind-boggling at times. Yelling NOOOO in your head at times. Love that.

Yeah. Read it. I really can’t wait to sit on a chair in a campsite and finish it. That’s later today. But now? Now I need to pack, exercise, transport cat, pack some more, plan some school, blah blah blah. Until Nature. Thanks to veterans for what you’ve done, although my political nature isn’t a fan of some of it (and don’t tell me you’re protecting my freedoms…because you haven’t done that here…but that’s all a problematic conversation that we can have another day)…today, take some time, remember a veteran, enjoy the day in their honor.

At the End…

Good morning, ye who have probably slept. Well done you! The crazy brain shenanigans plus coyotes and puppies who think they need to vanquish them, plus the remaining phlegmy cough of my bedmate…sigh. That said, things are progressing here. I finished quilting finally! A miracle, to be sure.

Over 16 hours in there. That’s a lot. Then I cleaned the floor and trimmed the quilt…

One of the reasons I would clean a floor…to deal with a quilt.

Then I wore it for #quiltyghost…

Originally, I was like, oh let’s do an art quilt for this challenge, and then the Man realized that the body fit right where I was (she’s a little taller)…

Even has my glasses on. Then last night, I cut the binding and sleeve fabrics…more donated fabric for the sleeves. I’m trying really hard not to buy fabric unless I have to. Hard when that’s my go-to for when I have a shitty week. Luckily the fabric store is rarely open when I can go…still…it’s better that way.

Hopefully I’ll get the binding sewn on tonight, although I need to prep my Quilt National quilt to ship too, so we’ll see.

I also trimmed the bed quilt from the summer…

‘Tis huge. And then I cut the binding for it as well, which I had bought back in 2006 or whenever I started this beast. Probably I need to make some pillowcases too.

I also did a lot of school stuff, mostly grading. I didn’t get enough done. I never do…but grades are due in a week, so I need to be done at some point. Or some version of done.

Saturday night, I had the dogs out to pee, and I just happened to look up into our tree…I’d heard a barn owl the other night, just one screech, unlike the Great Horned owls I’m hearing all the time.

It’s either one of the parents of our three, or one of our three! OK, I know it might not be, but they do return to their hunting grounds. So it’s probably mom or dad. I went back inside, put the dogs in, got my phone, and came back, and they were still there, staring at me, waiting for their picture. I obliged. Beautiful birds. Noisy as fuck when they’re babies, but beautiful.

Someone asked about Nova and Luna…they’ve been hiding while Katie (my parents’ dog) was here. Although Katie is pretty chill in her older age, these two still aren’t fans. So we moved their cage into the bedroom to give them a safe space. I did catch them on Sunday hanging out though…

And the night before, the Man was playing a late show, so it was just me, Luna, and Simba for a while…well, Katie was on the floor, not sure where Nova was, and my cat has been living in my office lately.

I finished a book…not gonna recommend it. It was OK. But I liked this…

It was a horror novel for book club; we read horror every October. Here’s the section a lot of people highlighted…

Which is what I’m teaching right now in 7th grade, so that’s always interesting, the connections.

This bug was tiny…took me about 5 minutes just to get my phone camera to decide it existed and it could focus on it.

On Sunday, I also did a Zoom artists talk for Quilt Visions with Libby Williamson and Wen Redmond. If you pay for the series, you get to see all of them. They are all recorded, which is probably how I will be able to see most of them.

There are 8 total. You can purchase the pass here…I figure that’s one of the ways I can support the museum, since they don’t have entry fees any more. Plus then I get to watch all the videos.

OK. Well work calls. Like a rusty barn door about to fall off its hinges. I did not grade all the things. I’m not even sure I posted all the things I need for today. And there’s a parent phone call I might have to make that is not how I want to spend even one minute of my day. Parents who harass. Fun stuff. But quilt stuff at the end, so that’s good, and I have my skeleton t-shirt on (that’s as dressed up as I can handle today). There’s only a few kids who come to our door, so we have a small stash of candy for later. Hopefully someone will sweep the steps before the littles show up.

Dear Wild Animals:

Dear wild animals: I realize many of you are nocturnal and I sympathize with that whole ‘avoiding predators’ things, sleep during the day, yada yada yada. But I am not nocturnal. Well mostly. Let’s put it this way. I have to subsume…no, not subsume…sublimate (something sub anyway…is subserviate a word?)…my nocturnal tendencies to hold down a day job that requires some level of awakeness (oooh also not a word) and ability to make 7,000 decisions in 14 seconds flat. So when you, wild animals, are traipsing through my yard and on my roof at holy shit in the morning, the little dog who is currently sleeping with me loses his tiny little mind and barks and boofs until at least an hour after you are done traipsing. Please traipse elsewhere. Or do it more quietly. Please.

Tired. Yes. Why do you ask? When am I NOT tired? Hmmm. Good question.

I think I might finally be getting back to some normalcy in the art stuff after last week’s disruption. Monday night, I had to pack a quilt, a HUGE quilt, that need ironing and lots of dehairing and is just huge and awkward as hell to get done in here (stop making huge quilts!)…

So I got that packaged up into a box that was 83″ high. And yesterday, I shoved it into my car after school and dropped it off so it could go to Quilts=Art=Quilts in Auburn, NY.

Hello box that is almost as long as my car. I love this quilt. I love that it’s getting into shows. I don’t love shipping it. This weekend, I need to clean up and pack two more quilts…wait, no, there are five quilts going out between 10/8 and 10/14 I think. Still waiting for an answer on one…because they want delivery during the day…not shipped. Um. Artists have day jobs? Really? Sigh. It’s a school, too, so you’d think they’d get it. No answer yet. OK. So there’s that. It’s done. So last night, I’m like, where the hell am I on the quilt that I wanted done by the beginning of September that is now going to be an October quilt because my day job is a time-sucking asshole? Oh yeah, sew the background together. Easiest thing I’ve done all day. Seriously. Then I trimmed it. I did measure twice (good). I probably should have checked my drawing with the measurements twice (oh well) because I had graded for about 3 hours and I was tired. I knew I was tired, but I wanted to be making art dammit. Anyway. The measurements are fine. Somehow in my head, though, even though I’m staring at a drawing that is taller than it is wide, I started ironing with the fabric horizontal instead of vertical. Luckily I didn’t get far before I figured out shit wasn’t going to fit. And I didn’t iron hard yet, because I didn’t know if it was in the right place. So I could pull off everything I’d ironed.

It’ll be fine. Everything is fine. Tonight (hopefully…after school and taking the cat to the vet and cooking dinner) I will try again. Thinking it through. Again. Wish me luck. I also ironed the nonwoven version of my drawing down to some silk I had lying around (welcome to my weirdo stash)…plus a random diatom thing that we put on there to use up the nonwoven.

I trimmed the silk away on the smaller piece…didn’t have time/energy to do the larger one, but I will. Then I can paint the silk from behind and see how that looks. That’s not happening soon…I have grades due in less than a week and that’s all I’m doing is grading and trying to plan 8th-grade science with zero help. I emailed the other teacher and that’s a no. I don’t think he’s doing anything but the provided curriculum, which has no labs, or hardly any. It’s driving me and my kids bonkers. I’ve been trying to map out the next unit so there’s plenty of hands-on stuff, but I can’t even get my head around the subject matter (Force and Motion, Velocity, Speed, ugh…it’s not like there’s a shortage of cool things to do…I just can’t figure out how to organize it). I will have to get there at some point (actually really soon), but I’m not ready. Hopefully my 7th-grade co-teacher will be helping this week with some real basic stuff. Here’s my piece in the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad…the artist talk with four of the artists (including me) is Sunday night at 5 PM.

Hopefully I will be coherent. Questionable at this rate. This is a mental war I’m having with the online library at the moment.

I order books online to read on my iPad, and they’ll be like 6 weeks out or 3 weeks out and then they all come the same week. Every time. Luckily they have a new thing where you can say, um no, deliver it next week instead…so if you’re like me and you already have one book you’re reading that’s supposed to take 7 hours and you only get to read for like 30 minutes most days and another book queued up that’s supposed to take 9 hours, and you really really want to check out a third book, but you can’t. Because you only get them for 21 days and there’s already 5 people in line behind you, so if you start reading it and don’t finish, it might be another 21 days before you see it again. Or more. Someday in the future we will just pay writers a living wage no matter what and all the books will be free and fully accessible. Seems reasonable, yeah? I think so. But for now, no, I will try to save up all the books I want to read (right now, I am obsessively checking out every book written by two women authors…been working on them all year. I think I have four books left for one of them and only three on the other. Then I can read other things (I do read other things while I’m waiting for these to show up). Who are the authors? Natasha Pulley and Sarah Maas…light, except when it’s not, total fantasy or steampunk or dystopian strange fantasy. Not real. Makes up for everything else. OK. School. Today is rocks and landforms in 7th grade and designing systems to capture energy in 8th. I’m hoping 8th runs itself and I can do some planning. 7th never runs itself. It requires constant putting out of fires and sometimes arguing with the adults who are supposed to be helping kids in the class, which I honestly could do without. So hopefully that’s solved today too and I can do art for real with a larger portion of my brain tonight


All the Pieces

All the pieces are done, ironed together. I just need to make them fit. Ha! That’s always the issue. I love it when the quilt top is just one giant ironed-together piece with no holes in it, because it’s easier to get onto the background. Pieces like this with a little bit here and a little bit there, and they all have to fit together, which implies I ironed them together really well (ha!)…those are the hardest. I’ve got two big heads (here’s one of them from Friday night)…

Then there’s the head and upper torso of the main figure with the arms, then the lower torso with the rest of the three figures and the body of one of the big heads. They’re all attached in some way. It’ll be a challenge. It’s not a small piece, so doing it on the ironing board won’t work. I finished the Earth last night…

That was the last bit…and I found the missing ‘s’ finally. It was in the box of 1300s, even though it’s a 300. It has aspirations…

In other art news, Coronawood got into Quilts=Art=Quilts, which is cool. And I’ll be part of an artist talk on October 2 at the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad.

Should be interesting…a wide variety of work.

I spent a huge chunk of the weekend working on school, which is funny, because I only just got my nose above water and my mouth sometimes. Meaning 8th grade is planned through next Monday and is a disaster after that. I spent 5 hours on Sunday just dealing with that, and then the other 3-4 hours was grading stuff and posting stuff and trying to make sense of stuff. I brought home 5 things on paper that I didn’t touch, needed grading. I’m taking some of it to my other quilt guild meeting tonight. Valerie Goodwin is talking. I took a class from her last year on Zoom and wanted to hear/see her in person. Also I won’t be at school for two days this week, so hence my panic about school stuff. But I’ll be at SAQA Summit listening to artists talk and then taking a 2-day workshop. I still need to write sub plans.

That whole 5 hours yesterday was on this chair with this cat behind me…

It wasn’t particularly comfortable.

Later we walked the little dog. Not sure why I call him that, since he’s the only dog we have at the moment. I guess I have a wishful big dog.

We only did 2 miles because all of us were tired. The boychild has been gone a lot lately for work, so Simba has been needy. And a shitty sleeper. I’d like to thank the local coyotes for my lack of sleep today. Boychild may be back Wednesday…depends on local fires. He was on one over the weekend, but seems to be off it now. I told Simba; he understood nothing.

We managed dinner out…

So I drew something very basic that I’ve probably drawn some version of about a million times. Which was fine, because at least I was drawing.

This school year, man. I’m hoping I get a better handle on it soon. It’s been shit. I should say the 8th graders are mostly fine. They are a decent group of kids. I just don’t have the curriculum down until like 5 minutes before class. The 7th grade, I’ve taught this curriculum enough times that I’ve got it, but the kids are a challenge…and not all of them. Just a significant enough number of them that it is hard and exhausting and sometimes they behave and sometimes they are shitheads. Because they are kids, yes, but also because of COVID and not being in school and still figuring out how not to be immature and some of them don’t HAVE to behave at home, so why behave at school? Some days are good, most are ok or tolerable, and then some are just shit. And because I end the day with them, it just throws me. And then the curriculum is stupid, the stuff I’m using for 8th grade. Hate Amplify. It’s lame. So repetitive, only one right answer, hardly any hands-on stuff. There are simulations, but it’s not the same thing. The kids need something to put their hands on, to mess with. Hopefully the next unit is better. I guess it’s only as good as I am, and I don’t feel up to it by myself. I don’t have any other curriculum that I can do with them. And I don’t have time to go searching for stuff, or the brain power, because I would have to be able to get the big picture to do that, and I’d need like a 40-hour week of planning to get there.

On top of all this, some messy shit with adults happened last week at school that still is pissing me off. I need to drop it, let it go, but it’s shitty and I can’t get it out of my head. Thank you brain for that.

I did finish one book, read a whole ‘nother book (the Man hates it when I use ‘nother)…

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy…second book in a series, but basically I love anything by Becky Chambers. Reminds me of why I don’t hike the PCT as a thru-hiker.

Anyway. I’m on yet another book now. It feels good to read. I do love to read. And draw. And sleep. I love sleep so much and I suck so bad at it.

Today is chaos. I’m giving assessments to both classes, although 8th probably won’t finish today. 7th will if it kills me (and it might). Staff meeting after school, plus counseling, pick up the parental dog and bring her back, then off to the quilt guild meeting. I’m not sure I can do all that, but I’m going to try. I should eat something in there sometime. I’d like to say I’ll iron when I get home, but odds are that I will just collapse. We’ll see. A girl can hope.


Oh hey. I think I need to lie down while I’m writing this. Let me pop the pictures in and then head for the couch with the iPad.

Yeah I am definitely better…and then I’m not. Yesterday afternoon, I felt almost normal, same when I woke up this morning. Now I’m fighting (or succumbing to) a rancid headache. So back to the couch. Back to lying down. Back to not reading because the words get all tumbly. Hmmm.

Friday was ok. Not great. But I could cut stuff out and binge watch the telly by the evening.

I did quite well for an invalid.

Saturday was all cutting. Watched Shining Vale and The Bear. Much better than the Man’s binge-watching choices.

And holey moley, although Sunday morning required a nap while thinking oh so hard about the grocery list, I almost felt normal in the afternoon…completed tasks AND stood to iron for an hour or so. Such joy.

No such joy today. Head is wobbly, feel blah, need to eat, want to read or work or something, but head. Is. Ache. Also I may have over-ordered tests from the government. I started testing for school yesterday. Still positive. Also probably still incapable of actually functioning well enough to go back.

Meanwhile I did manage watering the plants yesterday…swallowtail caterpillars are back.

Last night, this baby gecko was on the ceiling in the studio. I lost sight of it. So it’s still in there somewhere.

I read some before the headache started up again. This amused me.

Ok that’s all I got. Maybe should eat something besides applesauce. Hoping for a few hours of functional tonight? I’m supposed to cook, so that would be helpful. The Man is back at work, so that’s good. I will be too…eventually. Until then…naps and forgetfulness.

More Magic

I’m not finishing this early today. Also WTF is up with the font, WordPress. It’s TINY. IDK if it will be TINY when it publishes, but it’s tiny while I’m typing. I just changed it, but it still looks wrong. I love it when tech stuff changes without any warning. I’m sure it’s on a blogpost somewhere, but I don’t have time to read those. I’m too busy reading fantasy fiction. Let’s be real…that fantasy stuff is what’s keeping me alive this summer. Real Life: hard, currently too warm, too many chores, not enough relaxation. Fantasy Life: Other people are doing the hard things, but they also are awesome at the things they do most of the time and the world is full of magic. I think I need more magic.

The girlchild leaves today. The boychild might be back tomorrow. Too bad they missed each other.

So I’m proofreading a fiction book at the moment. I don’t usually proofread. This is strange because the copyeditor was inconsistent with some stuff and I guess that means I have work to do, but also, it feels like I am reading another book (because I am). I will have to read it at least two more times though, so it probably won’t seem fun anymore. Which is OK, because I don’t usually get paid to read fiction. Maybe I should? I don’t know. Anyway, so I’m working every day, even though it’s break. Ah well. Need the money.

I’ve been pushing to get things done, though. On Monday, Mom and I finally finished the quilting on the bed quilt…

Yes, it’s rolled up. It needs to be trimmed (still thinking about how and where to do that) and bound. I was such a smart bunny in 2008 and bought enough of one fabric for the binding (thought I might have to piece it, but no). I’m gonna get to that next. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.

My other super goal is another art quilt done by the end of August. Might be totally impossible, due to the day job. But I’m trying. I’ve been tracing Wonder Under a lot…

That head is one giant piece covered in words. My biggest issue was running out of Wonder Under. I went to the local JoAnn (no S makes no Sense) and they were completely out, so I ordered online, but there were no shipping estimates (spoiled by Amazon, y’all). And I was sitting there yesterday, convinced I would run out, so I drove a long way to the next closest one, which was supposed to have 49 yards, according to the app. They were oh-so pleasant (not) but I eventually found 7 1/2 yards there and bought it, just to find out today that the full bolt should arrive today. Sigh. It’s fine.

I traced through 495 on Monday night…

Then started earlier last night (AND didn’t have to cook dinner, SCORE)…and made it to 792…

Definitely more than halfway. I was hoping to be done today, but it will be tomorrow. Then cut, then sort, then…damn, gotta go back to school and I don’t know that I can get away with trimming things at professional development crap. Unfortunately. I actually find it easier to think and pay attention when I am doing something with my hands at the same time. But the big people in charge find it a problem.

This is not the boychild, by the way.

Today will include a trip to the airport and to my parents’ house for the girlchild to say goodbye, so probably I won’t get as far on the tracing. Plus I’m still nursing an injured right arm…it was doing better, but I think my pilates class this morning did not help. Ah well.

Absolutely true…and might explain my need to make art.

This is also true…although I think it’s day 48 or something.

Also, my floor in my room at school is not done. At all. Nowhere close.

SO! First I will eat lunch (and read fantasy fiction), then proofread for a while, drive around with the girlchild as needed, then trace a million pieces. Dinner in there somewhere. Still not ready to deal with school (despite the texting and decisions and T-shirts and IDK what else). More caffeine too. That. And figure out this font thing with WordPress. So annoying. More magic. Would like that.

Adding to the Totals…

Today is officially the first day I usually think actively about going back to school. This year has been a clusterfuck for that. August 1 is also usually the day when I realize I’m going back to school soon and I blow off everything on the to-do list except art, because I realize how limited my time will be for that once school starts. It’s an odd place to be, mentally. Plus this year, I’m proofreading a book right now in the middle of that, and it’s something I want done before we go back. It takes time, though. So a little of that every day and a little of the to-do list every day and a little art every day.

I finished drawing the newest one…

Nice arm shadow there…taking pictures late at night on the floor. While I was trying to draw the last bit, Kitten gave it butt approval…

Then I numbered it…

I really tried to keep this simple. There’s so many things and details I didn’t add.

But then I covered two giant heads with words. I considered screenprinting them, but setting up a screen and getting that done in summer heat seemed like it would take longer than this. I’ve made quilts/fabric art in many different ways. For whatever reason, this method works the best for me. But simple? Not so much at 1359 pieces…

Could be worse, I guess. I do need to buy more Wonder Under today. Running low. Probably don’t have enough to finish this. I started tracing on Saturday, in between proofreading…

I’ve got over 3 hours in and hit the 300s last night. Not bad. Could be better.

Today, I’m finishing the quilting on the bed quilt…

We got to the bottom, but there are some areas near the top that need fill in, so that’s today. Then pull it off and put a binding on it! A miracle.

We had dinner at the parentals last night…girlchild cooked, which is always good…

I stitched a tiny bit on a Homegrown block that seems to never get done…

This week is the last full week of Summer Break. Sad but true. Next week is training and a super-spreader event. Should be painful. My desk here in the office still isn’t clean. I didn’t paint the hallway. My classroom is still having floors done so I can’t do anything in there. I have a preliminary calendar for the first few days of school for 8th grade; 7th grade is pretty stellar though. I did not clean out my closet. I didn’t plant the slope toward the neighbor’s house. I got some of the palm tree stuff off the backyard slope, but there’s a ton more. The trees are not trimmed. I did not clean out the garage. I did not get enough sleep. I didn’t exercise enough.

I did read 9 books. I did spend 116 hours doing most art (but some proofreading and copyediting in there). I finished one quilt. Not bad. I have a few more days to add to those totals. I seem to appreciate those last days as much as the first few…