What They Need…

Grades are done. This is good. It feels good. Ignoring the pile of crap I still have left to grade, because it is never-ending until June 17th or so. Yup. Totally ignoring that. Can’t hear it screaming from in here. I shoved some in a bag and brought it home, and then ignored it all weekend. It’ll get done. Somehow. I have four parent meetings (so far) this week. One is a legit we-gotta-fix-this meeting. Two are probably a waste of time, but we have to document stuff, although I was trying to avoid one of these with just a phone call, and that didn’t work. The kid tells one story; me another. One is interesting in that I’m not sure where the parents have been for the last 6 months of their child not succeeding, so that should be interesting.

March is always a long month for school if Spring Break starts late, which it does this year…not as late as last year, as the man tells me, as he’s checking temperatures in the national parks we’re visiting this year. I’m like, it’s a month out! It won’t be snowing then. Ha. Ha ha. Will it? It could be. Last year, they closed the road in Zion 9 days before we left, and we had to scramble to get new reservations, and it snowed in Bryce 4 days before we got there. And we survived. We spent some time (and money) at REI on Saturday and will be doing some online shopping too. I got new boots…now I need to wear them in a bit. Hopefully that will be easier than last time.

But school stretches out right now. It’s long and kids are often checked out and/or difficult…or it’s Spring and love is in the air. All in all, it’s a difficult month. We’re filling it with plants and animals and ecosystems, so hopefully it will all turn out well. Goodbye rocks! We love you, but we’re done with you for a while.

Saturday afternoon and night, I worked on the February drawing for my Patreon…it looks like I plugged Kitten in here…

She likes to lie on the cord.

A little bit of editing, cleaning up, and later…

She’s ready to post. I keep trying to schedule the drawings earlier in the month, and then I get sidetracked by life. Always.

Sunday I ran a million errands and still didn’t get everything I needed. Frustrating. I cooked and graded and then around 10 PM, I got to cut stuff out…with Simba for a bit…

He was very tired…on the other side…Kitten…

My staunch couch companion…

Still plugged in…

I feel like I’ve done a ton of the cutting, but there’s still a healthy chunk left to do in that bottom box…

Can’t quite see the bottom of the box yet. So more tonight. After walking the dogs, I hope, for the first time in a while. If all the meetings go well and I can get off campus at a reasonable hour.

I’m participating in #igquiltfest and #marchmeetthemaker on Instagram…the first day is intros.

I’m not good at the days after the first day, because they focus either on the business of making or the making of quilts in a more traditional manner, neither of which are really my thing. But I try. Plus yeah, life gets in the way. I missed an entry last week because of that. Spaced it. Oh well. I did get into Fantastic Fibers, so that’s cool…Womanscape will be traveling to Paducah to stare at the AQS headquarters with disdain. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky.

They do love each other. This was a little bitey for a bit…

But it started out with Nova cleaning Luna after Luna landed on Nova.

Here’s one of our resident hawks…

On the fence, looking for rodents. I’m OK with that. Our owl has wandered off. We miss him. Her. Whatever. IDK how to tell in the dark.

Last pic is the fabric that came in the mail this week, from Anna Maria Horner. Adding to the stash in a different vein…

Fun stuff to add into the mix. This month, the color was blue. Obviously. Certainly a wide range of types of prints.

OK, so we’re ‘planting’ (no dirt, thus fucking with their idea of what plants need) seeds today, so that should be interesting. I have learned to ignore what my first science class of the day knows or doesn’t know, because they are not indicative of the general knowledge. They are either still asleep or they were asleep all last year…or both…so I wait until the next class to evaluate what they know. It’s better that way. Two parent meetings today, and then hopefully walking dogs and cutting stuff out. Oh yeah, I’ll probably have to grade something. Sigh. Seems I spend a lot of my time (awake when I should be asleep) worrying about what things need. People, animals, papers.

Mostly.

I’m slowly getting back to my normal life. I had to get up early today for a meeting. I actually exercised (albeit lightly) yesterday. And didn’t die! Although I forgot a hairband, so that was supremely annoying. I even went to bed after midnight last night, although my brain was racing and it was hard to calm it down, even then. Wait. That’s normal too. That’s really what keeps me up at night. I know they say to do all these non-involved things late at night, so you can fall asleep, but then I’d never make art. My day job would be all there was. And that’s not gonna fly.

I graded another assignment last night. I’ve got dribs and drabs of stuff now, mostly makeup work, and then I’m done. No worries. And then I can do my taxes maybe. That would be good. I finished my Patreon video last night too…the second one of the month. Tonight I’ll do the drawing, maybe finish grading stuff. We’ll see.

I’m almost done with the ironing too…it’s slow at this point, because it’s all the little things. I know I ironed some leaves, the sun, an eyeball last night. I have more stuff to do…bugs, a lightbulb, some clouds. I’m almost done. Tonight if I have the energy, I’ll be done. I didn’t have it last night. Although I did a lot of little pieces last night, I was tired and slow…

More fabrics, more pieces. I should be ready to cut stuff out soon. Tonight or tomorrow night. Definitely.

At school, we started a new unit, so I drew a cover page…I like to try to use all the vocab words (the kids only need to use 4 this time). I think I missed one, maybe two…

Plus I got to color all day. OK, I finished by lunchtime for once. It’s amazing how calm and on task they are on these days. Maybe we should draw and color every day. Or at least once a week. Math is doing financial literacy once a week. Maybe we should do meditative coloring in science. Self care.

These guys were waiting for me at home…a collection of calicoes.

And this one came and sat with me while I graded…

She’s also sitting on my sweatshirt. Which I needed. And wasn’t allowed to have.

Eventually she followed me into the office and hung out there. OK, well, today will be a little high maintenance in class, but hopefully it’s sort of review. We’ll see how that goes. My first science class is like teaching wild animals sometimes. It’s hard to get a read on what they really know because they’re so interested in roaring and posturing at each other. Third period is the same way. I don’t really get a handle on what kids get until I get through 4th period.

Then I can come home and decide what to do with my time. Mostly. There will be ironing anyway.

It’s Still OK (or Is It?)…

Signs of recovering delirium…the number of blog titles in a row that have the word ‘ok’ in them. The fact that I don’t know what day it is. Or the date. It’s still February, right? At one point, I duplicated a week in February for our science planning calendar. There was a good reason for it at the time, but I’m wondering if it’s still duplicated and now I will have to repeat a week in February because of that. I had to take a nap after the grocery shopping yesterday. Granted, I had already driven to Encinitas or Carlsbad or somewhere up north to pick up two quilts from a show, so I was already physically doing way more than I had in days, so the nap doesn’t seem so bad, right? Except today I have to go to school, and physically and mentally, that’s a lot more than the grocery shopping.

It’s OK. Really. I have a rolling chair. I can sit in it and maneuver all over the room. I’m sure it will be fine. I might need a nap at lunch. Also fine.

I really was better yesterday, despite the nap.

Saturday night, I finally got all these stitched down…

Now I can start doing random embroidery everywhere on it.

Really, it’s just a plan to use up all the thread in the house. Which will never happen of course. There’s just too much of it. But you can’t say I don’t have a plan.

Yesterday, I even ironed, although that was problematic at some point and I had to sit down.

Somehow in all that, I managed to record an hourlong video of who-knows-what. Don’t worry, Patreon followers…I know how to edit. I’m in the 400s at this point. Not halfway yet, because I got dizzy…and gave up…and went to bed early…but close to halfway. Progress anyway.

I finished the artist book and submitted it.

Can’t say this is my thing.

However, one of the reasons I’m in this group is because they make me do things that aren’t my thing. It’s called Ominous Nature. We’ll see if she thinks it’s too disturbing for the library. Since I have I think THREE more possible library exhibits in the future? It would be good to know what she thinks is disturbing. Sigh. Or I should just become a nature artist. Funny, I think of myself as a nature artist a lot of the time.

Oh yeah. All the fabrics I’ve used on the quilt so far. My brain is still on bouncy mode.

Wish me luck today. Wish my students luck too. And someone save me from a 2-hour staff meeting.

She’s cute, but this is after an hour of early morning rampaging, being kicked out of the bedroom, then let back in an hour later due to crying baby noises, then this is my laundry basket…

before she knocked it over. Uh huh. Evil. And yet, when asleep, adorable.

One of them was on my feet last night. Not sure which one. I can tell them apart by feel…their fur is different.

This one. This one got a water bottle sprayed in his face about four times last night for petulant barking.

Barking at coyotes is understood. It does not need to continue for 20 minutes past the coyote incursion into our sound space. He still likes me this morning apparently…

It’s questionable on my end.

OK, well seems like systems are mostly back to normal. I’ll need naps, I’m still in recovery mode, but there is progress toward normal function. Which means progress toward more art function.

For now? Progress to school. Where that rolling chair is. OK? OK. No more titles with OK.

Sometimes We Just Have to Be OK…

I’m like warmed-up tea you left in the microwave, a little chilly with that gross skin on top. Really you should just throw it out and start over, which is how I feel about this last week. Not an option though. I spent the last two days at home, mostly in bed or on the couch. Today I have graduated, albeit briefly, to the chair in the office, which is a little too upright for how I’m feeling at the moment. The fever has abated, though, and I’m eating enough food to keep a human alive, which helps when you’re a diabetic. I’m still weak, still stuffed up, still coughing up blobs of inhuman crap…well, it comes from a human, so it must not be inhuman. Outside, it’s raining, pretty heavily at the moment. The big dog is in here with me, because in her old age, weather is frightening. She keeps looking up at me like I can stop it. Like I can stop anything, sweet girl. I can’t.

Yesterday I was well enough to grade a whole host of minor stuff and stalk my students on their computers, shutting down games and stupid Google searches for stuff that had nothing to do with what they were supposed to be working on. Monday will be a Come-to-Jesus moment for all of them. I need to go to school at some point this weekend to pick up all the crap that’s there. Or do I? I have plenty here still to grade: the assessments that require brain power, of which I’ve had none for three days. Questionable whether I have any today. The job goes on.

I am better. That is good.

Wednesday night was a SAQA meeting in this library space that looks like a cell. I guess I’d be glad to have my fabric stuff if I were in jail.

Seems like it wouldn’t be allowed. I didn’t get a ton done, but I got some…

Just cutting stuff out. Got more to iron. Maybe standing will be on the agenda later today. I wasn’t feeling well then either…it was day 2 at that point…I didn’t know how bad it would get.

That’s kinda where my body gave up on this cold thing. I thought I would be OK the next morning. In fact, I felt fine until I tried to stand up. And that’s when I realized I couldn’t go to work. Luckily a sub picked up the job and my team printed all my stuff. I’m pretty sure I was delirious when I recorded a video (no face showing!) for my students, but then I went back to bed for 6 hours.

There were a lot of animals around…

Thursday night, my fever picked up again, after being gone all day, so I preemptively called off sick for Friday, something I never do…two days off? WTF? Oh well. The body isn’t going to heal if I don’t let it.

Lots of lying around with animals ensued.

Some sleep. I read a whole book. I graded stuff. I watched some TV. I spaced out for hours.

Coughed up buckets of phlegm. Bleck. But then Friday evening, I started to feel almost human. No fever. Ate some stuff. Not a lot. Managed to unpack two quilts that were just returned to me. One of them had this on one of the hanging slats. Hmmm. No notice of that anywhere else I’d seen. Interesting.

Well at least I got that, right?

I managed to finish the last little bit of this weird thing…

I’ll get some help photographing it later today. Need someone to hold a towel or something behind it.

Fancy-ass photography methods.

Otherwise, continue to recover. Continue to grade. Hope for enough energy and presence of mind to iron some fabric. If not, read another book. We can’t always be amazing. Sometimes we just have to be OK.

Not My Thing…

‘Tis early and there is not enough caffeine in the world. And yet I rise. Not in a good way…just…I managed to get out of bed and get showered and dressed. A challenge met.

I’m driving to Long Beach today for my cousin’s funeral thing in a church. Not a burial, not a reception, just the church part. I don’t know when the rest is happening. No one does. I’m still pretty weirded out that she’s dead, but I know this shit happens, especially as we all start getting old. I’m starting to write this in my office in San Diego, but have to leave soon to drive the parentals, so that means I’ll probably either finish it up there, sitting, waiting (churches are really not my thing), or I’ll come home and finish.

Saturday we tried natural dyes…

The teacher prepped all the fabrics for us…

We did paper too…and a little stitching resist…

Some dye for that, logwood?

Pulling it out of the dye…

I unwrapped somebody else’s because she grabbed mine. I knew it wasn’t mine because I didn’t recognize the leaves…

These are still wet…

Drying at home…

The paper was more impressive…

Finished grading the projects…

Kitten cleaning kitten…

Saturday night drawing while watching a band…

Here it is…

Sunday pups…

And the old lady with Nova…

Sitting in a Starbucks…going to go to church soon. Not something you hear from me often. I’m tired…art tonight?

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…

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.