The Missing Hand…

Yeah. I skipped a day of writing. I don’t know what day it was though, so that’s OK. Been watching NYC weather this pandemic shit and it’s scary. Sending good thoughts to the whole city and everywhere else it looks like that. Certainly, many of us are questioning any sore throat or dry cough or now, digestive issue (dammit, stop eating beans then!), wondering Was that it? Is this the start of it? I think here in San Diego, we haven’t really gotten the full brunt of the virus yet. Give it two weeks. With that, I’m leaving in a few minutes to go distribute lunches to my kids. We’re down to only two people at a time, so we can socially distance.

Tuesday, we walked the dogs…we’re gonna do it again today. My parents are up to twice a day with theirs, which would be fine by me, but the old lady dog can’t do it. She wants to, but it’s too much for her.

We have places we can walk locally…this is just out the front door and sort of through a neighbor’s yard, although they’ve never complained…but now the house has sold, so who knows. We just go quickly and quietly.

There are no actual grapevines here any more.

But I still like the signs.

Mostly empty. We didn’t see any people.

And a lot of plant material. It’s pretty green this year…we’re over 13 inches of rain, which is a lot for us. There’s more coming tonight apparently. But then I think we might be done for a while. It’s cold and windy today…next week, we’re supposed to hit the high 80s. It will be harder to keep people inside.

I got an email today from an exhibit I usually enter, warning us that there are just a few more days to the deadline. It’s weird thinking about future art shows when it seems like the world is about to burn down in a plague. But I guess that’s hope for the future…hope that the venue will still be viable, hope that we will still be able to have art shows. Hope that we’ll all still be here to send work and hang work and see work.

Here was Tuesday’s drawing. I didn’t draw yesterday. I did other stuff.

Maybe I will draw today. So Tuesday night, the man went to bed early, because he’s working these awful long shifts that basically leave time to sleep and eat and little else, so I finished the lettuces on the last of the October Folk Tails blocks.

Although this was the 2015 block of the month, I didn’t start working on it until March of 2016…so I’ve officially been working on it (on and off) for four years. Yeah. You read that right. A lot of times, I just worked on it once a month at my stitching meeting, and then last year, because I was doing the embroidery patterns, I barely worked on it at all.

Anyway, as I finished that grasshopper block (well, it’s missing a road and flowers), I realized it was time to stitch all of it together. Holy moley. I had some larger bits sewn together, but pinned some more parts…

Sewed them until I had two long strips…

There’s still plenty to do…that hen has no feet, for example.

I feel like I’m going to have to go back through all the instructions to fill in everything I’m missing. Plus it needs ten tons of grass sewn everywhere…

And the road needs to be continued down through the bottom three rows…

I stopped there, because I realized I needed to sew over onto the other blocks and they weren’t sewn together yet. Plus apparently a hut is supposed to go there. Uh huh. Barely fits.

And there’s a spare monkey too.

So there’s still plenty to work on. It’ll be another year. Plus borders! But it was exciting to get it to this stage.

Girlchild is still cooking up a storm…and posting artistic photos.

The result of that photo was cheddar scallion English muffin bread. Very good.

So yesterday, I did quilt for a while…although the machine was being cranky…

As always…

Luna was being a pain…kept trying to hide in the quilt and climb everything in the studio while I was on a video call with stitchy friends…

Trying to get the light right, so the computer has to be in a specific place. Interesting commentary for how I’m going to do this when we start for school. There are a limited number of places that are lit right, have seating, and stay quiet even when people are here. And there are a few people here. Four adults take up room. I’m lucky to have a variety of spaces for people to hang out in.

And cats. Cats can hang out too.

While I was on that call, I cleaned up the huge pile of papers and crap on my desk. Well. I cleaned up most of it. I’m not sure what to do with the other part of it.

Wait for another day. Although the word from on high is that I need to start grading things. All right. I’ll do that.

Then last night, I wanted to start the second one of the Applique Stories blocks…Anna Maria Horner sends 8 fabrics and no instructions basically, and then you make a block out of them. Of course, most people make this flowery bouquet-type things, and I make naked women. But I like this…the one on the right is from January’s fabrics and then on the left, you can see what she sent for March.

I picked the backgrounds…which was hard in itself, let me tell you. Trying to find a color that won’t overwhelm the given fabrics, or clash with them either…it’s difficult. The blocks are about 19×20″, a totally random size that I can’t explain. They could be finished together, but it probably makes more sense to finish them separately. I’m not fusing anything…just cutting pieces and then stitching them in place…and then doing some embroidery. Slow work.

That one fabric just damn well set itself up to be breasts…seriously. How could I NOT?

These are a challenge. I would never put these together. I like a challenge.

I wouldn’t even BUY half these fabrics. That’s what I love about this. Really. It’s fun.

I probably did this for 2 or 3 hours last night…walked away, walked back…added a bird. No starting drawing.

No nothing. No more fabrics than those 8. Honestly, those 8 are the challenge.

She was off balance, so I added the hand…here they both are…oh wait, the hand is still missing.

Must have added that later. Oh well. I can keep adding if I want. Tonight I have a Zoom stitching meeting, and my plan is to stitch stuff down during the meeting. The actual stitch down is easier to do while it’s flat, rather than trying to hoop it. The pieces are really only held in place by a few pins.

Anyway. So that was the last two days. I’m coping. I’m not sick (yet?), but question every cough and sore throat tickle. I know people who are sick. I hope everyone is OK. I know the world will be a different place when this is done. I’m sad about that…like all of you. And sitting and waiting is not my superpower…I’m glad I have the art to keep my brain occupied. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you the missing hand…but I’m thinking she needs fingernails first…

Normally, Right Now…

Normally, right now, I’d be staring at a pile of grading…actually, no, I’d be at the chiropractor, and she’d be adjusting me, and I would have just finished tutoring, because Tuesdays (it is Tuesday, right?) are LOOONNNGGG, and then I might decide not to do any work tonight because I’d done so much of it before. This week, we’d be starting our ecosystem part of the unit, which we were in the middle of trying to rewrite, because standards-based grading has changed how we assess kids. When we got told we weren’t coming back until April 20, we proactively picked up and moved everything on the calendar for that three-week time period, realizing we were going to lose most of the second-to-last unit. At this point, I suspect we may not come back this year in person, which brings up the question of what CAN we do remotely, and how in the hell are we going to teach sex ed this year? Or are we? It’s just unclear. And overwhelming at the moment. Worry about getting sick, about family members getting sick, already seeing friends getting sick, pile that on top of worry for students, worry about our jobs (if they figure out we can do this on a computer, will they just get rid of some of us? Will our kids even log in? OK. So let’s not dwell on that.). Let’s focus on the present. My head likes to dwell on the future What Ifs, which doesn’t really help.

What did I do today? I recorded three chapters of City of Ember for my students. I attempted 50 minutes of pilates with no equipment and a crazy woman who bends better than I ever did. I swore at the computer. I walked the kids and dogs for 2.35 miles. I avoided the cops. Apparently that’s a thing in the town right next to where I live, where they might pull you over and ask you why you’re out and about. I avoided humans, except for the three I live with. One has been at work for hours. I barely saw him last night. He has one more day of a hellish shift and then four days off. I potentially have four Zoom or Discord meetings in the next week. Wait. Five. I think. I refuse to wear a bra to any of them.

The series continues.

Managing anxiety is not easy without a pandemic. What helps in a pandemic? Blue skies and beautiful fluffy white clouds. Puppies. Kittens. Stitching. Reading. Drawing.

See? Much better. Making art, of course.

Yesterday, I pieced a backing for the quilt out of some light-damaged fabric I got from my SIL ages ago. I think that’s where it came from. I’m not sure if it came damaged or if that happened here, but it doesn’t matter if it’s on the back.

Yup. Those are some hippos on lime green. Great backing. I managed to pinbaste the whole thing last night…

I realize as I get older that this kneeling on the ground thing will get harder to do, but it still works for now. Keeping kittens off it took some assistance from the man.

This is funny. Luna’s like, “Hey Dad, WTF is she doing and WHY CAN’T WE PLAY WITH IT?”

Well yeah. You can’t. Every cat I’ve ever lived with at some point has skidded across the room into a quilt laid out on the floor and destroyed what I was trying to do.

In the middle of pinning it…every time I do this, I end up throwing one or two pins out because they’re too dull or they won’t close right any more. I never seem to run out.

I don’t know how that works. They must be breeding.

At this point, they can smell the edges. It’s all pinned. Can’t hurt it now.

So it’s ready for quilting. It’s a good thing I ordered batting before all this shut down…I didn’t have anything big enough in the house.

I’ve been lax with the two social-media things I’m doing this month, but #igquiltfest yesterday was Favorite Fabric. I’m like, yes, all of them. This is such a small subset of what I have…

It’s my palette. I have lots. I love all of it. Seriously, I tried to get rid of some once because I was like, there’s stuff I never use, so I was going through the drawers and only found like one fabric I thought I could get rid of. Now I just figure those will end up on the back of something some day. I haven’t bought fabric for backings in other two years. I just use what I have. Sometimes I piece it. Sometimes it’s something someone sent me. I don’t care. It’s on the wall. Who’s gonna see it?

Girlchild has been cooking up a storm…it’s been tasty.

I have to cook for myself tonight. I will survive. Somehow I persuaded her to prep the scones I like too…I think so she would have photos for Insta.

Because when I do it, they’re never lined up that nicely. Remember that for when I post MY photo. It’ll be like a jumbled mess.

She likes to cook. I don’t mind it, but I’d rather be doing other things. I stitched a little today, just wooly bits, because my head was being mean. Shut up, head.

OK. Well I haven’t done all the things on my list for today, but I did do about two hours of exercise. Still haven’t hit 10,000 steps for the day. During a normal school day, that’s easy. It’s a beautiful day. Spring is here. Weeds need pulling. I have sunflower seeds I could plant. I have a quilt to work on. There’s a bunch of food in the fridge, although we’re running low on eggs. I have nowhere to be tonight or all day tomorrow. Everyone I know and love is still healthy or managing their illness, as far as I know. I’m still OK. Not normal, just OK.

It Still Holds Tea…For Now…

I started writing this and then somehow overflowed a toilet. Yes, I realize there are things that do that, but I don’t think I’ve overflowed a toilet since the kids were little. Makes me wonder what my plumber is doing right now…probably escaped to the desert with his significant other, never to be seen again. I’m supposed to be seeing this as a staycation, and sometimes I can do that. I’m home. I’m limited in what I can do. Yesterday the pilates place canceled two weeks of classes, but gave me some online freebie, which the gym did too. I just need to schedule classes in my mind so that I actually do something physical. I thought about walking to school today to distribute food, but it’s raining, so maybe tomorrow. It’s less than an hour there and another less than an hour back. I think. 2 1/2 miles each way.

I know this feels weird for everyone. It is weird. It’s all weird.

Yesterday, I came home from food distribution and packed up a quilt for a show.

Womanscape is on her way to the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY, for Fantastic Fibers. I managed to catch the UPS driver and he took it, rather than having to drive all the way to the customer center. Yeah, I insured it. It’s big and expensive and who knows what will happen in the next few months. But it got me thinking about the fact that I really enjoy working on the big complicated quilts, and maybe that’s the solution to my brain right now. Get the next one started. Stop worrying about stuff being ready for deadlines, because all those are going to change or disappear. This is an artist’s retreat of sorts (although I envisioned a new landscape and that’s not happening, is it?).

Yesterday I didn’t do much with art stuff…well, art fabric stuff. I have this pile of stuff that’s brainless, all prepped, so when we’re watching TV after dinner, I can just pick one without thinking about it.

I worked on Fresh Cut last night…black on black is hard at night, that’s for sure. I need better light.

OK, in daylight, it’s better. Maybe this is a daylight-only piece. Things I’m learning.

I did start a drawing though. I’m not sure I like all of it, but it’s a place to start. I think I’m going to enlarge it a bit and make something LAARRGGEE.

Arm needs to move. Cat needs to change. I like the lungs and the heart though…although the heart needs to shift a bit. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Calli is enjoying more people home. I threw the ball for her a little bit (she’s old and starts to breathe really heavily). You can see the mallow we planted on the left yesterday…bottlebrush right above her.

There’s a ceanothus going in next.

I noticed the crack in this cup is getting worse.

It still holds tea. For now.

I have too many of these in my head…

This one…

Yeah. Well. We run dark here. I guess.

So I didn’t iron yesterday. I think I finished my taxes. It looks good…because of the solar installation.

Might be able to pay off the girlchild’s college…my part of it anyway. Maybe. That quilt is Disrupted. It’s from 2010. The #marchmeetthemaker and #igquiltfest prompts were about your favorite quilt and what you’re proud of. I do love a lot of my quilts, but I’m proud that everything (arteries etc) lined up on this one. It’s impressive when it hangs too. It was for an exhibit called Sightlines.

OK. Well. Chaos around us all. Exercise today. Ironing today. Who knows what else today. Right now, I’m going to go feed kids. And then maybe sit down and plan my day.

Be Well, Y’all…

So we have this prediction in the house that March 21 is the day the US will hit the point of pandemic crisis that Italy just hit, with so many cases they can’t help anyone. That gives me 9 days to prepare…a grocery list, mostly for the animals; meds are in house, except one we need for the dog (calling on that today); I counted the toilet paper rolls…I think we’re OK (and I’m not waiting in line at Costco, because that’s just stupid). But more importantly…do I have enough Wonder Under, batting, and thread if I need to make a few quilts. Because I’m assuming schools will close at some point. San Diego is pretty clear of the virus (that we know of) so far…we’re behind the rest of the West Coast anyway. So I think we have that time.

Yesterday was a cluster for making art. I had a meeting run long, and then the grocery store was empty. Made dinner, graded an assignment, and that was basically it. SUCKED. I hate that. Tonight? Ugh. Maybe. Got one assignment done, though. Thanks Kitten for your oversight.

I have a pile of stuff that needs grading, and I know the next five days at school are high-maintenance, so there won’t be any of that happening there. Calli also is closely regulating what I was doing.

Sigh.

#Marchmeetthemaker was about range. It’s true I mostly make art quilts in a specific way about women’s issues and environmental issues. I do branch out though. I draw all the time, and recently made an artist book. I’m messing around with some new ways of making art quilts. I taught a class last year in embroidery on small art quilt blocks. I designed 9 embroidery patterns last year as well.

So all that was new and different. I’m challenged by some of the groups I’m in to do different things, and that is a good thing…although I seem to continue to come back to what I love…which leads to #igquiltfest…why do I quilt?

Ah. Well. Fabric obsession since young childhood. I remember pulling my mom’s box of fabrics she had from pajamas and dresses she’d made out of the cupboard, just to rummage through them. I have an art degree and gravitated to screenprinting, but when I got pregnant, it got too difficult to find the time to make screens, pull prints, clean screens. I never got a full hour or two to do such things, so I flipped to fabric. So much easier to carry around, drop if you needed to, etc. Plus the tactile quality of the fabric…the amazing patterns and colors available. It was a good thing for me. Still is.

Don’t know what she’s saying…but it’s probably along the lines of Pet Me.

OK, off to school. I have so much going on today…hope I make it home at some point. I realize social distancing is a thing, but I’m at school all day and life goes on. I won’t shake people’s hands? I did yesterday. Sigh. OK. Be well, y’all. Stitch on. Stay safe.

My Authentic Space…

I have a couple of shows opening this week…one is an artist book show with a group I’m in, Feminist Image Group (aka FIG).

The opening is this Saturday.

This was kind of a weird thing for me…but I like a challenge. I actually made three pages and rejected one. This is called Ominous Nature

Each page is a box. I’m not sure why I wanted to do that, but I did. Anyway, the opening is this Saturday from 12-2. The exhibition is on the ground floor in the Dickinson Popular Library, but the reception is on the 9th floor in the Art Gallery’s Valerias Sculptural Garden. I haven’t been to the downtown library ever, so this should be interesting. I have to kamikaze down there after school to deliver the piece…should also be interesting.

The other show is Contingent Upon at Southwestern College, with the group Allied Craftsmen…

It opens tomorrow and includes Portrait of the Artist As a Young Woman…and And Then There Was One

So that’s cool. Meanwhile, I’m making the next piece…it’s coming together slowly. I have the first 300 pieces (mostly) ironed together…including all these tiny little cars…

And these tumbling birds, which started showing up in drawings in December, I think.

They’re in that artist book above too. I do seem to repeat images for a while…sometimes a Long While. And then I did the swathe of space behind them and the Earth.

I do the Earth next, I think. I can’t remember when I drew this, but if I drew it today, there’d be coronavirus added to it. Certainly there’s war and pollution and fires and climate change already there. I haven’t been drawing much lately, but my brain certainly has been talking to me about drawing. It’s the one thing I wanted to do over the weekend and didn’t do. There’s never enough time for everything I want to do.

Yesterday was exhausting too. I taught a difficult (not really, but the kids made it that way) lesson…kids just not engaged in a fairly simple task. Not processing information. Hopefully today will be better (sigh. It’s unlikely.). I went to tutoring. Then to a school board meeting as a union rep. I got home around 6:30 PM, totally exhausted, made dinner, and read my book for a while. It’s due Friday and I don’t think I can finish in time, unfortunately. I’d like to, and I can re-request it, but there are already two people waiting for it. It’s good too…I just needed to input some grades and then I wanted to iron things together. Art drive. It’s loud.

The #marchmeetthemaker prompt yesterday was my authentic space. Here’s where I do a lot of my work…the studio/office.

It’s about 10 x 10′, which is a little small for everything I have in there…

especially when the ironing board is set up in the middle for me to iron…but I’m grateful to have had it all these years. MY ROOM.

There’s a lot of fabric in this room, yes. Never enough. Here was the setup while I was ironing, to give you a good idea of how little room there really is in there.

It works well though. I would love to remodel this room, pull out the old, holey floor, redo the wallpaper, put in real storage, put in a bigger window and maybe a room air conditioner, replace or fix the sliding glass door so I can open it more easily, get rid of the popcorn ceiling. All that is a healthy chunk of money though, and that’s not in the budget yet…I think the bathrooms and kitchen are higher up on the list.

I don’t just work in there though. I have a large light table in the living room, and a few stages of making involve sitting on the couch and cutting shit out. So this is also part of my maker space.

Where I often have helpers…

Yeah. Not helping.

Anyway. Today. Get through assessment, hope it’s at least quiet and productive. Go to union meeting after school. Hope it’s quick and productive. Go to grocery store for tomorrow morning’s breakfast items…hope that’s quick (yes, and productive). Then cook dinner, maybe grade some stuff (ugh), and then iron some more. If I’m still awake. Daylight Savings is kicking my tired ass. Maybe skip the grading and iron instead. Seems like a plan.

Bunny Incursion

These post-Daylight Savings mornings are painful. My brain is still asleep. My eyes too. I feel like I’m constantly trying to go to bed early these days to get more rest, and it’s not working. Although I did a better job last night of falling asleep, so that’s a plus. The little dog is currently losing his mind over a bunny in the front yard. Although honestly, if there was a mountain lion in the front yard, he’d sound the same. I just know the last time I looked, it was a bunny. The same bunny Kitten wants to kill. She whacks the blinds when she sees it. Like she’s gonna whack IT if she ever gets to it. The bunny incursions on our property are much more serious than I consider them. To both of these guys.

I didn’t bring any work home last night…a birthday present to myself. Also the staff meeting kinda got canceled because of cake. Long story…but worth it. I had a good exercise class and sewed a little, and then came in here and started ironing the newest quilt…

I only got the first 100 pieces done. I didn’t even lay out the next 100, because the current state of the kittens is that they get into everything and it’s not good to leave a lot of pieces lying around without supervision. But it’s progress. I have a lot of meetings and stuff to do at night this week, so I’m not expecting to get a lot done this week, but a chunk would be good.

#igquiltfest’s topic for yesterday was your favorite pattern, which is funny, because I only have one commercial pattern I’ve ever done, and it’s only for baby quilts, and I don’t even remember the name of it…it’s been so long since I’ve done one. I draw my own stuff…dontcha know?

#marchmeetthemaker was rough/mock up. So I guess these are those too…although I probably have more rough drawings than these, before I enlarge stuff…all the fuckups I have before I get here. Sometimes more than others.

Hell all you have to do is watch this space. I show them all.

Birthday socks from the parents. Appropriate.

I wore them yesterday. A birthday at a middle school is kinda sweet…lots of bad singing and kids who normally hate you (not really, but you know how 12 is) telling you happy birthday and wanting to know why you didn’t take the day off and what you’re doing tonight (avoiding people?) and what you’re getting. Is your mom getting you a new phone? I’m like, um, pretty much my mom doesn’t buy my phone for me any more. The 12-year-old brain…it’s an interesting beast. They also were all excited that school might get canceled for coronavirus, until I started explaining how it would really work. Sigh.

Calli gets it. And she wants you to rub her belly.

Today will be rough…starting an assessment, plus tutoring, plus school board meeting (apparently with media present), plus tired. TIRED. Yeah. Well. I’ll iron some more tonight. That’s something I can look forward to. The 100 tiny car pieces that need ironing. That was another reason why I quit last night…tiny little car pieces. Who designed this thing? Oh yeah. Me.

OK, parent meeting this morning. I wish parents could look online and see, “oh, my kid has this grade because they don’t turn their shit in” and then I wouldn’t have to be the one who tells them that. They could just get on their case and leave me out of it. But no. So in I go.

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.