It’ll Never Happen…

In a previous relationship, I suggested that the Republican right was out to get women, and I was told no, I’m wrong, it’ll never happen. Hmmm. Gaslight much? I’m frustrated with my country. I’m frustrated with the inequalities. I’m frustrated with the need for control over uteri and what they do. For fuck’s sake people, I HAVE one of them and it does not listen to me. Also why aren’t the sperm part of this lockdown on rights? Y’all waste so many of them. I feel like that’s an issue.

All joking aside, we can propose vasectomies for boys, education for boys, laws against men, OR we can just give everyone the right to choose what is right for them. Free will…it’s what’s for dinner. And what does it mean that I’m sitting here wondering what they don’t want us to see or notice that these documents were leaked? What ELSE is going on? What are they trying to distract us from? It’s sad to me that what I used to think of as the highest court in the country has been downgraded to a political puppet. It’s not about laws or rights…it’s about control. I’m not sure those proposing all these changes have any sort of long-term memory. It’s been like this before…and maybe they should read some dystopian novels…when you try to hold the people down, they will revolt.

I guess more quilts are in the works. It’s interesting…I did just finish the abortion rights quilt in January (see it at Visions Art Museum in October!). It was hard to make. Hard to draw. Hard to work on. Emotional. And I’m glad to have never had to have an abortion, never needed to make that decision, but I know women who have. And I’m glad they had the choice. So the quilt I’m working on now was supposed to be lighter, give my mind a break. But now I feel bad for working on a “light” quilt, one with no political or social message. (Rolls eyes at self). Well there are tons of deadlines coming up. Guess they will all be about wars…wars with tanks, wars on the body, wars on women…wait, no, wars on everyone who is not a rich white male. Wars on gender, sexuality, race, color, poverty. We have learned nothing. And damn, those pink hats aren’t gonna do it this time. I need Thor and his hammer or some equivalent.

Sigh. Meanwhile, I teach. It’s hard. Their attention is nil. It’s a fight with some classes. Pay attention! Listen! Get on task! Wake up! Heads up! Stop yelling out! Some days I feel like I’ve been in boxing matches all day.

The meditative quilting at the end of every day is a plus. It’s a relief. It’s a joy, even though it’s tiny and fussy and scrunched up.

A leaf-nosed bat…

It’s a slow process…Monday night, I did the rest of the torso, one of the pupfish on her breast, the bat, all of the plants on the bottom right, and a little bit of the sky.

That was a little over an hour, I think. Then last night, I did the rest of the plants, the quail, the other pupfish, the heart and lungs and other breast, and a bit more of the sky.

So tonight, I should be able to work on the arms and/or the head. It’s getting closer to being done. I’m going to need binding fabric. More importantly, I need to draw the next one. It was a rough draft in my brain. Sleeping last night made it much more clear. Also Roe v Wade made it more clear. And dumb people made it more clear. Controlling people. People who say I’m imagining a war on the uterus. Whatever. I roll my eyes at you.

Another thing I did last night was spend an hour plus on the phone with the Man, who I hadn’t talked to since I left him at Kennedy Meadows. We text, but it’s hard to keep a coherent conversation going between his work and mine, and his lack of Wifi at night. It was nice to hear him talk. It’s still 3 1/2 weeks until I see him.

After that, I did some plant reconnaissance…had two succulents I’d cut off a huge plant that I’m trying to establish elsewhere in the yard, and in doing that, I noticed some new flowers…this one has never flowered…

And I thought I’d killed this one…

I get two succulents mailed to me each month. It’s one of the things I started in quarantine to make me happy, and it continues to do so. I keep most of them alive. I have no idea what that offshoot is gonna look like, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

And this one came from the ex’s house, fell off a rock. I didn’t know it flowered…and so BIG.

I need to transplant some of it back to his rock.

Meditations with cats…

Really, just this cat.

Oh and here are some Nida oldies…I don’t even remember painting this one for my cousin and her husband…

My cousin died in 2020 (not COVID) and this just showed back up at my house. Huh. Not sure what to do with it. This is circa 1987, in case you didn’t think I always did weird bodies. I did.

And this is high school…another gift…this to my great uncle.

I loved Vanity Fair magazine and would draw the models with my own take on it. I guess you can see the beginnings of my style peeking out here. Certainly I was looking at shadows and blocks of dark and light before I ever started working in fabric.

OK. Job calls. Car is still in the shop. Not sure what’s wrong with it. Work was hard yesterday. I’m hoping it’s less hard today. Ha! What a joke. I’m hoping I get to keep my prep period…I need it. Grades are due next week. I’m hoping for an easy, cheap car fix. Ha! OK. Work. Go.

Hard Landing…

You know how sometimes a plane lands really hard? Like BANG. When I came back from Boston, we landed hard, and then we fishtailed. Kind of nerve wracking, honestly. But we were fine. That’s what coming back after Spring Break has been like. I’m still exhausted. The booster shot is still kicking my ass. I feel completely off, both mentally and physically. Trying to give myself some grace, just get through a day at a time. Trying not to get angry at the teacher who randomly transferred a kid into my class without talking to me. This is a kid who already had that class last trimester, so it makes no sense to give him back to me? Whatever. He failed mine before…he can do all the things he didn’t do last trimester. But maybe talk to me next time? However tired and irritable I am, I wouldn’t do that to another teacher. 36 days.

I Zoomed with my co-teacher to plan since she is still stuck in Germany. It was OK, although I still need to figure out what I’m actually posting and how to make the printer work with my computer, because it stopped. That’s today’s plan. Hopefully. And grade things. Because I’m still massively behind.

In other news, I finished the stitchdown (finally!) on the desert piece.

Only 7 hours and 44 minutes. Not bad, considering the killing of a free-motion foot. I bought a variety of feet that I didn’t have for the new machine, just to see if something else would work better, because the one I used after I broke the one I like was not my favorite.

Somehow I ordered 5 of the littlest one. IDK how. Late-night Amazoning. Always an issue. Bought two of the one that broke. That was on purpose. I’ll try the others too. There’s one other one I could try if I can find it online. Meanwhile, hey Husqvarna…fix your badly designed foot! It’s funny…I’d only broken one of those in years on the last machine. Anyway. Problem solved. Hopefully.

I was hoping to pinbaste last night, but I made the decision to go to the gym last night, and it ended up being late, and then I cooked dinner, and ate it, and then it was 9:30 PM. And moving my ass off the couch became difficult. I did though…ironed the whole top and found an entire arm that wasn’t stitched down. It’s not uncommon for me to miss a small section while I’m stitching, but a footlong piece? A little more rare. So I need to do that. And then I realized I didn’t have a big enough piece of batting that was already washed.

And then it was 10:30 PM. Not staying up another hour for that. So it will get done tonight, I guess. Although I have to cook again tonight. It’s never-ending! That’s not totally true…I mean, yes, it’s never-ending, but I have leftovers set up for tomorrow and Friday night, and honestly, probably Saturday too. Maybe. We’ll see if there’s any left by then. Slow quilt. This one is slow. I blame the day job.

Yeah, there’s been a lot of that lately. Yesterday was kind of one of those. Certainly it was a “No, you’re not crying on the way to work. Oh wait, yes you are.” day. It’s fine. I’m just tired and feeling overwhelmed. It’ll get better.

Saw a hawk on the neighbor’s swingset that is just on the other side of my fence…

Pretty bird.

I think the only way I’m going to get through the vacation photos is a little bit at a time. We had shitty wifi in Paso Robles, so that was the last bit I posted and it took forever. The first night, we went to something called the Light Fields at Sensorio, which is an artist installation of all these LED lights over the fields near Paso Robles. It was cool…

Also cool that the moon was out…

There were an awful lot of people, though, so realize that. And it’s not cheap.

I did really enjoy the light show though…some of them change colors as you’re watching. But the non-lit landscape was also cool.

The next day, we were going to hike but it rained all morning and we couldn’t get our acts together, so we read and tried to watch TV (see bad wifi) and I stitched some…

Those little bees were pretty fun to make…

Even though my cast-on stitches are not perfect. I’m OK with not perfect.

When it cleared up, we headed out to an area called Tin City that is all winery tasting rooms and a few breweries, packed full of people and dogs, and we hung out at one brewery for a few hours, people- and dog-watching, plus I drew, and we ate dinner.

It was entertaining enough. When it got cold, we left…next day? Pinnacles.

OK, going to work now. Today I teach all the things. Should be interesting. I’m not ready. I’m rarely ready, but these days, really I’m not feeling it. Let’s hope prep period is productive and I get a ton done and feel successful and on top of things. That would be nice.

Drawing on Vacation

I’m back! I haven’t had WiFi for a week, obviously. I had enough cell coverage to post Instagram photos, but then my phone died and refused to charge for a bit. There’s so many photos and stories from the last week that I can’t even deal. Maybe a little at a time. Let’s start with the drawings…because I basically did one a day. That’s the best part of being away from the house on vacation…I can’t distract myself with the to-do list that’s here. I can read, I can stitch, I can hike, or I can draw. So I draw mostly at night with a headlamp while the Man builds (and stares deeply into) a fire. It’s my form of staring deeply into a fire, I guess.

The first drawing is actually from the trip to Boston to see the girlchild. She needed a nap and I needed some down time, so I went back to my AirBnb and drew and watched some Marvel movie I thought I hadn’t seen (I think I only hadn’t seen the beginning…like I was grading during the beginning of the movie?)…

When I’m really tired, just drawing concentric or parallel lines is one thing I can do.

Then I was home for about 36 hours (max) and we left to go camping. The first two nights, we were in Ojai, California.

Everyone asks why Ojai? I don’t know. It was on the map and had hikes and campsites. We are short on money right now, so no fancy restaurants and wine tastings. Well, we did one, but not in Ojai. I used the ridgeline to start her back and then filled in from there.

This was the second night in Ojai, after a particularly difficult (it shouldn’t have been, but it was) hike…

I drew a bunch of the stuff I’d seen on the hike, plus the campfire and the mountains and the oaks.

The next night, we made it to Paso Robles and our one stay inside. The first night, we went to see Sensorio (more on that later). I didn’t actually draw that night…this was the next day, when it was a bit drizzly in the morning and we decided against the hike we’d planned.

Then later that day, we headed out to a winery with a bunch of sculpture and had a (very expensive) wine tasting.

Still focusing on the landscape; lots of trees and grapevines in this one. I didn’t finish this one, actually, until later in the day. We headed over to Tin City, which has lots of winery tasting rooms. We picked a brewery instead, because it had a food truck, and we hung out there for a while, watching the people (some) and dogs (mostly). I finished that drawing and started another…

Although I did most of the embellishment on this one the next night in the campground at Pinnacles National Park, after a 6-mile afternoon hike (mostly flat).

The next night, I drew this one…

After seeing condors just sitting on a rock and in a tree. Amazing stuff.

From there, we drove through Morro Bay and down to Pismo Beach, where we stayed in the Oceano Campground. Another fire, another drawing…

The sea otter showed up from hanging out by the bay. It’s a relief to be able to just draw and draw. My school days have been so full and heavy that drawing for no purpose but to draw is just not happening. I’m too tired and have no mental energy, unless I’m working on a specific project. Then I make written lists of things and figure out how to fit them in a drawing. It’s not like these, where I just doodle my brain out on the paper.

The last night in Pismo Beach, we had talked about my leaving the Man in Kennedy Meadows the next day to avoid the snow that was supposed to be coming in. Plus honestly, I was tired. I don’t sleep well with weird noises, and we had two nights of frogs, really loud, inconsistent frogs, and then one night of some big squawky birds (heron, egret, or cormorant…not sure which), and my foot had been hurting and I was tired of not eating enough vegetables. Seriously. I just had a salad. It was delightful. I think I just wanted to be home and sleep in a bed. I wasn’t ready to camp in snow and wind.

So I drew this…

Which was literally us sitting around the campfire. I knew he wanted me to stay another night in Kennedy Meadows, but bad weather and driving alone stress me out, and I need to be back at school on Monday, and there are a bunch of things that need to happen before then. So I made the decision to drive home yesterday. I’m still exhausted today, and probably will be tomorrow. And there wasn’t as much snow up there as predicted, but I know I wouldn’t have slept for yet another night. So I made the best decision I could.

I’ll be back up there at the end of May to pick up all the equipment he doesn’t need on the PCT, so I’ll get to camp there then. I am hoping to find some drawing time between now and then, but going into the end of the school year is not usually an easy time no matter what. We’ll see how it goes. Why did I leave him there? He’s working up there until he hikes, trying to put away some money so he can hike further. Potentially he’ll be gone through the end of July, knock on wood and barring any injuries.

More tomorrow, assuming I can get my head around it.

Ode to a Shower…

Showers are wonderful y’all. I appreciate them even when they aren’t great. The water is warm, even hot? Check. It’s above me and there’s enough water to do the things? Check. BOOM. I’m in. Yes, I have been showerless for a few days. Bathroomless even, although there was one down the hill. I had a porta-potty nearby. The flies buzzing in close proximity to the gentler parts were a worry, but survivable.

We left Wednesday and went to see Alice Beasley’s 30-year retrospective show at the California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica. No, LA traffic has not changed. It was worth it though to see more of her work in person.

This is Isle of Dreams Revisited.

And the incredibly relevant From Russia with Love…

Definitely worth a drive up. No matter how much the Man complained about LA traffic. If you just accept that there will be traffic, it’s a lot easier to take.

From there, we headed to Ojai and the showerless campground. It was OK…nothing to write home about, but serviceable for our needs. A nice tree, some great views, and these weird tanks.

The view…in one direction…

And the other direction…

The Man has a thing for campfires, but occasionally we’ve had starting issues. Solution? Buy firestarters…

Totally worth it for my sanity. Oh yes, I draw while he fights the wood and the fire.

I started with the mountain ridge line and added the figure.

On Thursday, we picked what we thought would be a reasonable hike. You know how some 5-mile hikes feel longer than others?

Yeah, this was one of those. It was fine. I think we were both tired and hadn’t been exercising much (for me, in the last week…too much school crap and then going to Boston).

Depending on which app you were talking to, it was 5.5 or 5.6 miles with 1400+ feet of gain.

There’s some gain right there. It wasn’t horrible. It just took us a lot longer than we thought it would.

Lots of spring flowers and butterflies…

I came around the corner into a flock of these little blue butterflies.

You’ve heard of slowing down, slow stitching, slow cooking?

We slow hiked.

It’s not a race. Came back, hung out, had a drink to celebrate the end of the hike, stitched a bit, read a lot, took a nap…

Another fire…

Another drawing…shit, that’s what I could be doing while I wait for all these pictures to load…draw!

This morning, we slept in, then fed ourselves and packed up in just 90 minutes. Drove out of Ojai to Paso Robles, where we have an actual shower and stove and bed. OK we had all those things in the campsite except for the shower.

Tonight is art, tomorrow is hiking and some entertainment. Then book it out of here on Easter for Pinnacles National Park (has showers!). I know lots of people wanna know why I don’t hike the PCT with the Man. There are quite a few reasons (my job is one), but also…showers. My goodness, it has taken two hours with the slow internet here to get this written. Time for dinner and then art! Not sure when I’ll be able to write again. We’ll see. Rest assured that I will be reading, stitching, hiking, napping, and photographing…and trying to avoid thinking about school.

Refreshing Brain and Body…

Currently I’m lounging on the girlchild’s couch, listening to her work on some Zoom-like app. I only hear her side, so it’s a partial story. I’m not really fully awake. Although I’ve slept a decent number of hours in the last few days, I’m in Boston, so it’s the wrong time zone, and I think my body knows that.

I made it to the last day of the Gaia exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum; it was awesome to see the show in person after hearing many of the artists talk about their work on Zoom in the early days of the show. I think this started traveling right before COVID hit. Like many shows, it’s been in some places and canceled in others, but it was an honor to be included. I love this picture of me with Luana Rubin, who curated the show.

I flew on a redeye flight because we had a field trip at school on Friday, so I couldn’t take the day off. I dozed on the plane, arriving at 5 AM in Boston. I slept for about 4 hours in the morning and then we drove out to Lowell for Luana’s talk. She asked me to speak about my piece, which is just proof that I can do anything…talk about a piece with no prep and no sleep! Ah well.

I loved seeing this Cas Holmes piece in person…it’s so beautiful.

I was amazingly bad at taking photos there…probably due to massive lack of sleep. There was a bird exhibit too…this piece was by Linda Heatherley…

I really like the separation of spaces and graphic quality of this piece.

After the show, I got more caffeine (necessary) and briefly checked out this cool artsy space in Lowell…

Then back to the room for a nap before dinner. Rally! It’s nice to be here just with the girlchild. When she is in San Diego, there are many pulls on both our time, so I appreciate being the only one with her, even if it’s just a short time.

Sunday, she coached a soccer game and I watched. I spent 13 or so years sitting on soccer fields watching her play, either grading or stitching while I sat.

It’s a little different watching her coach, but not a lot. It was cold out there, but I did stitch…

Last night, we got takeout in my room and watched a movie, and I stitched some more…

These two blocks from March Homegrown (Sue Spargo) are done. I only finished the bottom one here. Not sure why I dragged a finished one across the country.

I also drew on Saturday.

Lots of zendoodly filling-in of space. Brainless.

I leave for the airport in about 90 minutes…gonna read and stitch until then. I get home tonight and tomorrow is shopping and packing for 8 or 9 days of mostly camping and hiking. Expect more nature photos, drawing, and stitching. Looking forward to it, but also, I’m tired. Hope I catch up on sleep at some point. It is Spring Break…not thinking about school is mostly happening. I did briefly grade warmups and I am set up to watch student videos if I feel like it. I might now ever feel like it. And that’s ok. I have 38 days of school left when break is over and there’s a bunch of stressful things coming up too. I need to refresh brain and body for all of that. So. Back to stitching for a while! See you back on the West Coast…

Unfunded…

I’m at that stage of the school year where every morning is exhaustion. Friday was fun with microscopes, but a lot of running around and then trying to get kids focused, then some adult drama that I could do without. This week has some ups and downs for what we’re teaching…today and tomorrow will be a bit of a slog, no matter what I do to prepare them (and me). But I did everything I could this weekend to be ready for it.

I also did a lot of art, which was nice. I even took a class in something I never would have done if my guild weren’t doing it. So that was good. It’s always good to stretch a little to see if something new will work.

So the current quilt…Friday night, so close to done (not really…there are a lot of pieces left in there…they’re just small)…

Saturday night we went to an art opening and got freaked out by small space, lots of people, but then came home and watched a movie and I cut out the rest…

That’s 21 hours and 21 minutes of cutting. Very precise. You want to know how I price my quilts? By my time.

It wasn’t too late yet, so I sorted them too…

So many tiny pieces. You can see the 400s box has most of the big sky pieces in it. Everything else is small as fuck. I know, I know…I designed the thing. I’m the one who is also hoping it’s done in time, but who the hell knows.

And then last night, I started ironing it together…

Somehow I lost a bunch of tree parts already. They could be in the couch, they could never have been cut out (I found one in the pile of trash I save for just these reasons). Who the fuck knows. I don’t. Kept ironing though…

I’m 150 pieces (approximately) in. My goal this week is to get it ironed. Of course, my schedule and exhaustion levels might not help with that. Plus that grading thing. Whatever. Those tiny animals though…they are a time-consuming thing. I have a tortoise and an owl to do tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all looks though…I never see it in full color until it’s ironed, except in my head.

The class I took was on Zoom with David Owen HastingsInspired by Architecture. I borrowed pictures from the girlchild’s travels, although she’ll be hard-pressed to tell what photo I used.

I could make all of those, but I probably won’t. I cut out the pieces for another one…not one of these…it’s somewhere else. In a pile.

David was a great teacher, lots of info, nicely timed, feel good about the process, although it is incredibly outside of my wheelhouse.

I couldn’t help but put some hand-stitching in there. I’m not sure modern is my thing, but it was an interesting class. Certainly this was faster than my normal process.

I was hoping an art reset would help with this week. Maybe it will. I know I came home Friday night incredibly stressed and overwhelmed. I finished grading one thing that might help with the mindset…although there are other things coming to take its place. One of the issues was my septic. The pumpout this year went fine, but my tank is old and there were some issues…the issues started at being around $1200, and now are a partial rebuild…so 5 times that.

I guess it’s a good thing I sold two quilts…I can pay for this and probably my taxes and maybe my property taxes, maybe? But the summer is now unfunded. That’s really how teachers look at summer sometimes…unfunded.

So there’s a bit of panic in my head. I’ll get through. Just unexpected.

Part of trying to reset my mind was cleaning my studio up for yesterday’s class. I had pieced three of these, so I did the other three.

This is from the Molli Sparkles Cut It Up Quilt-Along. I’m way behind, but that’s OK, because it’s just a fun thing I’m doing. When you make the corner pieces, there are leftover triangles. I hate to waste, so I pieced them all…

I’ll trim them up and put them in the quilt somewhere. You can see that mostly I was doing complementary colors: blue/orange, red/green, purple/yellow. Guess that art degree paid off.

Ah yes, well school starts soon. Back to the chaos. And it’s a hot week, so hopefully they can finally get my A/C really running, instead of ignoring actual class temperatures and going on after school is out. Somewhat frustrating. Three more weeks until Spring Break. It also means I think I only have three weeks to finish this quilt. That could be problematic. Ah well…if I don’t finish for one deadline, it will go to another show, won’t it? Yeah. It will. I am frustrated by my inability to get art done this year (and last year…see the pattern?). My day job is taking too much time. More than usual. Sigh. OK. Well. Tonight I dedicate time for art. Hopefully.

Barely Here…

Hey, February. WTF. You were barely here and now you’re almost gone? What is up with that? Pro: Spring Break is coming. Con: Grades are due again. Seriously short month though…will just make March seem vast and massive. So many things have to happen in March. I’m not ready. Like THAT matters!

Sigh. The Man spent a lot of time this weekend watching Ukraine/Russia coverage, and I feel for the people living there, I wish Putin would stop and/or keel over or run out of ammo, and I hope there is a peaceful and less destructive solution to stopping him (Go Ukraine!), but there’s some disturbing info coming out about African students not being allowed out of the country, because of their color…”Ukrainians first”…when OMG those kids must be fucking terrified, let them go the fuck home. Racism everywhere. Like that’s a surprise. Seriously, I get women and children first, but also those who are helping your economy by living there but don’t actually LIVE there long term…let them leave. There should be no race discrimination there. Although even the gender stuff…why do the men have to fight? Some men probably are not cut out for it and some women probably are, maybe are even staying to do that? The assumptions we make…they don’t help society.

It was too much for my brain. At one point, I told the Man that he had seen the same news stories repeat three times now, and I got a glare for that. So I did other things. I had a lot of grading to do though, and I’m missing one earbud, so finally put it in the ear closest to the television and blasted it so I couldn’t hear bombs and more explanation of details. I realize I have the privilege of doing that, living here, but also, I have a job to do and it’s hard enough to do without bombardment of really horribly anxious things in my brain. Small doses, a summary at night, I can handle that. Lots of donation programs popping up for Ukrainians, refugees and in country. Need a shortcut on that info too…donating via a quilt block pattern? I’d rather send what little money I have directly to an aid agency. Keeping my eyes open on that one.

I’m still ironing the quilt…it’s really slow and I’m so tired these days. I would have liked more time on Saturday, but chose a hike instead, plus a trip to Home Depot so I could prep quilts to ship them out for shows. So Friday night, I did absolutely nothing. I was so exhausted after the field trip…

I stayed at work until almost 5 to get stuff done, went to the chiropractor, got home, and then cooked dinner. Wasn’t much brain power left after grading for a while.

I did iron Saturday night for a short while…

The box is filling up…and then last night, I got into the arms. They’re all sand.

Lovely sand fabrics.

I’m pretty sure I’m more than halfway. I still have more than half of the 600s left to iron, but I’ve done a bunch of 800s, 900s, 1000s, and 1100s, as well as half the 1300s, so I’m getting there. It’s just not fast. Grading all this week (grades due next Tuesday), slogging through the last project unfortunately, and then copyediting a final run through the book I worked on over Winter Break. No pressure! Stressful though.

I finished all the unit packets Saturday morning with help from this doofus.

And this one kept rubbing her head all over the papers…they must smell good.

They smell like middle-school backpacks. Yuck.

I packed up one quilt, the smaller easier one, and then we walked the dog…

He was quite happy to get out. Too much war for him too.

I came back to my ex and the boychild installing a camera on my tree…

A year ago, they installed an owl box (it was my Christmas present). We’d heard owls and disturbed a barn owl the other day, so I guess they wanted proof there was one in there.

There are two actually. Very cool.

I’m excited.

We went out to dinner and I managed to finish a drawing I started in Phoenix…the food came really quickly so I didn’t get it done.

Lots of chomping on things.

Well there’s this…

Same goes for being a teacher, I think. Today is pretty chill…notes and demos. Tomorrow is a bit more chaotic and we’re not quite ready for it. Hopefully between a teacher’s aide and two of our prep periods, we can get it ready. Can’t grade anything though. Never time for that. Too much prepping labs and panicked copying of papers and dealing with kid stuff. I’ll be glad for the end of the trimester this week…getting rid of a group of kids that are mostly fine, but a small group is driving me bonkers. Will not miss those kids. Nope. I might get them again next year, but for now, let’s hope they grow the fuck up by then. Ugh. Focus on the kids who are awesome. Focus on the kids who are awesome.

Staff meeting though. Lots of crazy shit happened last Friday. Stupid shit. Dumb adults and dumb kids. It’s done though. It’s 6 weeks until the next field trip. I can do that, because I get Spring Break after it. This job. It’s hard right now, really hard. That said, it’s not as hard as having a foreign country invading you in a dick move. So there’s that.

Magically Get Better…

I’m currently trying to type with a swollen pointer finger covered in a bandaid and Neosporin to try to counteract the weirdo infection under my nail. Don’t even ask how I did it. It involved sourdough starter though. Yeah. You figure it out. Trying to avoid urgent care…can’t get doctor’s appointments any more.

It’s Monday again. I realized there was a bunch of stuff I should have done to get ready for teaching art this week, so it will all have to be done during a short prep period today. Ought to be interesting. We’ll see if I can pull it off. Our staff meeting has been turned into a required 1-hour attendance at the staff-student soccer game after school. While I appreciate the disappearance of a staff meeting, I’m so buried in work that I don’t like the idea of just standing around for an hour and not getting anything done. Much as I love my principal, I’ve got a shit-ton of work to do and I need all the minutes at school so I don’t have to do as many at home. Which SUCKS. By the way. Hello school districts. Get a clue.

Saturday, I did manage to get up to the California Center for the Arts to see the California Fibers show…

It’s a great space and we fill it well. Here’s my corner of the exhibit…

Looks good! When we were leaving, we were mobbed by a group of fans, which was fun albeit a little terrifying in the beginning. They had good questions and were appreciative, which is nice.

Afterwards, we headed out to Daley Ranch for a hike…

It’s going to be warmer this week…we could definitely tell…

Four miles in the bag…dinner out afterward…

It had been a few weeks. He’ll be gone this coming weekend, backpacking on the PCT (short trip) and I’ll be gone the following weekend for QuiltCon.

I’m still cutting pieces out…this is Friday night…

I think I did most of 2 yards…then Saturday night…

Was almost another 2 yards…and last night, just 1 more…

I’m pretty sure there’s only 2 left to do. So another couple of nights? Maybe? I can’t always do one in an hour.

I did some other things, but only briefly…

Got one more flower to go around with the incredibly time-consuming Pekinese stitch…

There are always animals requiring attention…

That one wanted me to move all the cutting paraphernalia off my lap. I gave her a leg.

So yeah, prep a bunch of art stuff with a damaged swollen finger (nice), hope it gets better by the end of the day, sit through 4 soccer games or so, then hopefully DON’T go to Urgent Care, but home to cook and cut more things out. That’s the plan. And then hopefully sleep much better because I won’t have a throbbing finger all night. Ha! I just know that Urgent Care will mean sharp pointy things and I don’t want that. I just want it to magically get better. As do we all!

Things Are Going to Be Fine…

Ugh. I came in the office, spilled a bunch of tea (real tea), and realized how many things are on the to-do list in the piles of paper and fabric in here (fabric less pressing, ha ha ha, that might be what they need, but they don’t always get to hit high priority unfortunately). And then the grading is currently overwhelming me…I spent some time on it yesterday and some things are just hard for me to get my brain around. I think we need to rewrite it so I can handle it? I don’t know. I don’t really have the brainpower to figure it out…so I’m two academic assignments behind in grading (many more effort scores behind), and we’re giving another one today. Hear me screaming? Yeah. It’ll be fine. Really. It will. I just need to hunker down and do it.

Wednesday night, I traced until it was bedtime and all I had left to do was the bird…

A hawk, to be specific.

I was tired last night, so I didn’t stitch on anything post dinner, and I actually flailed on the couch for a bit scrolling through pictures of other people’s art before I could get my ass off the couch and up to trace that damn bird. Finished! Eight yards (approximately) of Wonder Under, 1379 pieces, 20 hours and 38 minutes of tracing…

You can see that some have all the big swoopy sky pieces on them and some have a bunch of tiny pieces. That one on the right, second one down, I didn’t need all of it, so that’s the one I cut out before I went to bed (late…oops)…

It doesn’t look like much…

It never does. Expect a week of this. I think. Slow moving process here. I’m not actually sure I can finish this quilt in time for the deadline. It seems a long way out, but I know my copyediting project is coming back in early March and I have two trips lined up for Spring Break, because I’m extra like that. So who knows? Plus I’m currently feeling all that school pressure of having to get shit done.

Speaking of, time to go to work. I think I’m supposed to get donuts on the way for one of my classes. I should. IDK if I feel like it. Sigh. Things are going to be fine. It is Friday.

Not Exciting. Didn’t Explode.

My morning self wishes my night self would fall asleep earlier. My night self feels less tired than my morning self, but does try by going to bed earlier and meditating and doing all those good things, but my brain is the culprit…overthinking like a bomb about to go off. Ah brains. So necessary to our existence and so problematic. Today’s brain is surveying what will need to happen and wondering if today’s body is up for it. Hard to say. I’m sure we’ll rise to the occasion, but I’m not currently feeling it.

Besides grading and cooking and finishing a book, I just trace things…

Lots of things. Last night, I just traced cacti.

It took me about an hours to basically trace what you see to the right, minus the lizard, because I’d already traced him. I started with the agave and then did all the cactus behind it. It’s a little over 100 pieces there, so I’m back to my 100 in 1 hour.

I’m sticking to my estimate of three more nights…so now it’s two more nights of this. About 200 pieces left. Then I can start cutting them out, which looks just about as boring as this on social media. Ah well. We can’t always be exciting…in fact, I rarely am. Ask my students. Even when I have them rust steel wool and dissolve magnesium. Not exciting. Didn’t explode.

Ah well. It is what it is. And today it is more rusting and dissolving, plus some hammering and bending and conducting of electricity (damn, someone probably should have checked the batteries), plus some oil pasteling and doing the pilates…ending up the day with guess what? Oh yes, tracing of the Wonder Unders.