Update TOC

It’s so quiet this morning. I can hear some bug or bird outside, and the pool motor is relatively quiet today, for whatever random reason. Sometimes I enjoy the quiet. I used to always need noise. I think I’ve spent enough years listening to kid noise that quiet is sometimes a blessing of sorts. It’s still hot here. It’s not unbearable, but it’s not pleasant. Have you seen the Bahamas? I guess nobody hasn’t seen the destruction there. I have to admit to not knowing much about the Bahamas besides the trip destination part. I had no idea there were so many islands. I hope we help. Can I force my government to help countries in need? Well, no, no I can’t. It makes me sad, how stupid we are right now. Ignorant. That was part of the conversation at my stitching meeting last night: ignorant vs stupid. Willfully ignorant in some cases. Ask me how many of my students still think the Earth is flat due to some dumbass Youtuber. The world. Is disturbing. I’m sure it always has been, but it seems worse right now.

So yeah, I had my monthly stitching meeting last night…I’ve been meeting with these women (and more; over the years, we’ve shrunk) for over 20 years.

We were taking a group picture for a member who now lives many miles away and whose birthday it was yesterday. We drink caffeine and stitch or crochet or knit or sit and talk because getting anything out of the bag is too much hard work. We bring stuff to share, like patterns and magazines and books we’ve made (OK, that’s just one of us…the rest of us marvel at the bookmaking but don’t do it ourselves.). It’s a good thing, these meetings of the minds.

I worked on hand-stitching this…

I’ve got to send some info to the Mingei this weekend, I think. So I should get some stuff ready for that.

I came home and finished up the last of the copyediting, marrying the Bibliography, and making sure all the stupid formatting worked. One of the last tasks was to make the table of contents fix itself (the page numbering), and after 20 minutes or so of searching the internet, the answer appeared. Just hit the damn Update TOC button. Sure. It took a while to figure out how to get that button, but once I did, it was like magic.

She’s done. I read all those words. About 5 or 6 times each one. And now I’ll get paid and I’ll be able to get the big trees trimmed before one of them drops a big branch on my roof.

I came home and actually exercised while reading my next book. I was exhausted. I’m still exhausted. It took a lot of energy and willpower to not just go to bed. I thought about it. But once I was up, off the couch, I wanted to do something on the drawing. At our stitching meeting of the minds, while I was answering the question of what the hell is coming out the nipples of the woman I’m drawing (she’s an earth mother…that’s a stream going out to the ocean…it’ll make more sense in color), they were suggesting other things I could draw, so there’s a grey whale…

Or a penis, since that was also a suggestion, and honestly, whales are hard to depict like this. Hopefully it will read better in color. Less penisy.

I also did a sun on the opposite side from the moon…

I’ve got some desert plants that need to go in somewhere…legs? land? And a decision about how to finish it up. Getting closer. I might finish tonight. It’s possible. Then number it and start tracing. And SLEEP. Oh yeah, I have an opening tomorrow night…for The Big Story at Sophie’s Art Gallery in Kensington. It’s 5-8 PM…stop by. I’ll be there closer to 5:30…and probably gone before the end, just because I’ll need to eat. But it’s still a cool little show.

I Could Be Lonely with You*

Sometimes at the end of the day, when I feel too tired to move, but my brain is in overload, trying to get the corporeal self up off the couch, I wonder what exactly it is about my job that makes me feel so exhausted. Sure, I hit 10,000 steps before I left school, but why? What was I doing? It wasn’t even a lab day. I remember sitting through a meeting and sitting for lunch and sitting during prep while trying to figure out how to best support these kids who don’t actually do work. Oh yeah, I did tutoring yesterday. I remember now. An extra hour plus after school of interactions. Tonight it will be the dentist. Also tiring. More sitting. But my dental hygienist talks too much. Shhhh. I’m OK with not having a conversation. I still need to go to my parents and pack up that quilt…probably not tonight though.

Last night, I miraculously figured out how to update the table of contents in a Word doc. I love being 50-some-years old and filling up my brain with utterly useless stuff. It’s OK. I’ll have forgotten the details of that by the end of this month. Plus I know how to Google. I seriously think of Google as an extension of my brain. That’s the one thing I can teach my students. Use your resources!

After eating dinner, while watching Carnival Row (I need a glossary or appendix for this show), I worked on stitching stuff down on this.

I need to do two more samples. It’s a drop-in workshop, so I’ll probably have some pre-cut cotton backgrounds and some prefused fancy stuff, plus some thread and needles. An iron. Not much else. I’ll do one simple one, maybe a smaller landscape and a small flower or something. I’m not sure.

Yesterday morning’s sky…

We’ve had lots of humidity and weird clouds coming up from the south. It’s pretty, but hot and muggy. Even the animals are feeling it…

Kitten is whacking Calli with her tail. Calli doesn’t care. It must be hot.

After dinner, I copyedited a little bit…really, I married Frankensteinian bits of text and fought Word’s need to autoformat. I won! So far. Sheesh. Because sometimes I just open the file and it says shit that’s absolutely untrue. I did NOT fucking delete a bunch of bullet points, you asshole.

I have to admit to sitting around for a while after that. Well, not true. I did go on the stationary bike and finish my book. Maybe that contributed to my tiredness? Ironic that I need exercise after walking all day. But that’s not cardio…just exhausting.

THEN I managed to get up off the couch and draw…

I might be changing that curve. Or not. I don’t know. It’s a better bird than I had in the other version, that’s for sure. Riffing off the Fire and Water piece I finished last year…similar theme, I guess.

This is what it looks like when your cat watches Orange Is the New Black

She might just be hanging out with me…hard to say.

It does make it harder to draw. Or move the paper. So I tried to move her and she whacked me.

Yeah. Sweet beast. She wants to be with me, which is nice, because she doesn’t come out much, but the other cat was in my office, which is her normal hidey hole, and the dogs were gone, so she looked for her mommy. Pet the cat.

More drawing tonight? Well, I need to make another block or two of recycled things, plus the dentist and hopefully putting the rest of the copyedited stuff back together. It depends on how tired I am. As always. I know what I WANT to do…just don’t know if my body and brain will go along with it.

*lovelytheband, Broken

She’s Not Listening to Me…

Three-day weekends are nice, aren’t they? Unless they are filled with disaster television. I tried to stay away from that. So much out there in the world…guns and climate change and boat fires, for a few. I’m up this morning, feeling tired, not ready for this morning’s parent meeting (first of the year!), wondering how today’s lesson will go, because it requires self-motivated learning (yikes!). I think I’ll be spending a lot of time talking to each table today. Which is a good thing. Exhausting for this introvert, but invigorating as well.

Yesterday was busy…I had to wash a quilt to ship it…

Because cat dander is the issue, I do it at my parents’ house (no cats)…it’s always a little scary to wash one of these, but I toss some Retayne in there. Batiks are notorious for releasing dye. There was some color that came out in the wash, but not a lot. Here it’s rolled up in towels, which I used to squeeze all the excess water out…

Then I laid it out on their entryway floor…

I’ll go over sometime this week and iron it and pack it for shipping. It’s big. And it’s sold. So that’s cool.

Really, Katie thinks I’m there to see her.

Which is, of course, true. We also dumped a bunch of stuff from the pool shed in the parental dumpster. Useful.

I copyedited the Bibliography, which wasn’t long, but was messy. I’m closer to being done with this copyediting job. Like really almost done. Except I can’t figure out the table of contents references. Sigh. It’ll come.

For some reason, maybe because it’s been so muggy, I’m covered in bug bites today…mostly mosquito, but I think one is a spider bite. Always nice to think about. I was just thinking this year wasn’t as bad as last year. Wrong! We have all these clouds coming up from Mexico. They threatened rain yesterday, and certainly the mountains probably got some…there’s a double rainbow out there.

But it never made it here. So we’re just hot and humid instead. And buggy.

So one of the things I was working on yesterday was a recycled fabric block…I actually fused all this down…

It needs some stitching. I need to do a couple more samples, I think. And then embroider them. This takes me back to the crazy quilting days. In fact, that’s where I pulled all the fabrics, because a good chunk of them are recycled from clothing. If you’re on my Patreon, my process will be the first video of the month. If you’re not on my Patreon, join us.

And then I started another smaller drawing for this one show…I finally gave up drawing it smaller in the sketchbook, pulled some butcher paper off the roll, and did it large…

Much easier to see. Now comes all the details. This is where I needed to go. OK, meeting, school day, tutoring, maybe go pack up that quilt. Busy. Tiring. It’s a short week. Best wishes to the Bahamas. Hopefully we’ll see fit to help them, unlike Puerto Rico. Then maybe tonight I’ll get to draw some more. My art brain is frustrated. She needs to do some embroidery too, though. Tell her. Someone. She’s not listening to me.

Relax for a Hot Sec

Dogs woke me up. The pool vacuum system is full of air. I stayed up too late. I don’t even know why…trying to get my brain to shut off. Too much copyediting and trying to draw and late night brain stuff. Plus today being a holiday…it makes me feel like I should be allowed to stay up late, but honestly, more regular sleep would be smarter. I don’t always do the smart thing, though. That’s probably why I make so much art. I’m not thinking about being smart and going to sleep and all that stuff they tell you to do. “The number one thing you can do to increase your health is to sleep 8 hours a day.” Well. OK. I’m not good at sleep, never have been.

So Saturday morning, I sat the SAQA booth at the San Diego Quilt Show. There weren’t a lot of people at the show, honestly. Although I haven’t been for years, so maybe that’s just how it is.

I’ve been a SAQA member for a long time. Not a super long time. Just a long time.

I sat and stitched…finally was able to start some embroidery on this! I had a quilt top freehand cut and ironed down years ago. Found it, quilted it, and then set it aside for some embellishment. It’s not like I have a shortage of threads. I have 7 million threads. So I worked on it a little bit.

And I talked to people…some I knew, some I didn’t.

I walked around after and looked at the vendors…bought a little bit of machine-sewing thread. Bought some fabric, mostly Australian stuff…

Fascinating patterns.

And I wandered past a lot of traditional quilts. But there were a few that caught my eye…nice use of color in the cactus, Doug’s Cacti by Andrea Bacal.

This was a block-a-day pattern…sort of crazy and fascinating…

All Around the Neighborhood by Rita Anaya, pattern is That Town and Country by Susan Claire Mayfield.

It looks like fun…

See, there are traditional bones in my body. OK. It’s a little crazy. But cool.

You had me at Bite My Shiny Fabric Ass. This is Sew Geeky by Deidre McLeod.

I actually recognize most of those.

I’ve always wanted to be a hooker…a rug hooker. Sorry for the blur. I was tired. Up too early on a Saturday.

This is Seaside Town, hooked by Beth Luker and designed by Karla Gerard. Her patterns look like fun.

Quilts on the Wall was there…with the Drips and Splatters exhibit. I liked this one, The Aftermath of a Meager Meal by Ann Turley.

And this one, Making Cookies by Beth Shibley…

So that was what I liked. Your mileage may vary. As always.

What I have been doing the rest of the weekend? Well I washed and ironed this…

Hopefully a pattern will be available soon on Global Artisans…I noticed they’ll be offering downloads on the patterns as well, which is cool. No need to pay shipping or wait for it to show up.

And I finished Part 4 of the book I’m copyediting and sent it to the author for review.

With Kitten’s (not) help. I also started on the Bibliography, which will be a big chunk of today, plus spent some time yesterday stitching the pieces of the book back together, with a lot of swearing at Microsoft Word. As always. Almost done though! Hallelujah. I’m ready to be done with it.

I tried drawing last night. I realized that I did need to make a new piece for an upcoming exhibit, sooner than I had thought, so stop wasting time and get on with it! Right?

This drawing sucked. But it’s an idea I will work with over this week…hopefully it will make something I like.

We had dinner with the parents…and I did a little more of this…

At that point, I’d spent about 3 hours trying to get the parent email contact list to work and finally sent it out…only 24 bounces, most of which I could fix by going back to look at what the kids had typed in vs what their parent/guardian had actually written. But also, kids, there are no spaces in emails. Or commas. Or hyphens. How do they not know this stuff? Honestly, they don’t use email. Hardly at all. We’ll have to get them to look at that.

Anyway. Here’s a puppy…

He’s not a puppy really. He’ll be 4 on Friday. You can still see his shaved bit. His coyote bites have healed well.

OK, so more copyediting, wash a quilt so I can mail it later this week, take some stuff to the dumpster, make more scones (I made low carb/low fat blueberry scones last night because we have a ton of blueberries…I just froze a ton of them), do a recycled fabric sample, perhaps draw, input grades, maybe relax for a hot sec? Yeah. Probably not. Hot, yes. It will be hot. Relax? Not so much.

Exploding Blueberries

There’s a blood bath in my breakfast bowl. I forgot what happens to blueberries when you nuke them. Do people still say that? Nuke them? Would my students know what I meant? It seems really old school. Anyway, the berries exploded. I wonder what the inside of the microwave looks like. I’m not looking.

Well I have an extra week on the copyediting. I did finish the last section (minus the hellacious bibliography) last night. I need to do the second and third readthroughs on that, but that won’t be until Friday, I think. Then put the whole mess back together. Do you think I can persuade him to write the next one so it needs copyediting in June instead of August? There are two more, at least. We’ll see.

Hey! I’m going to be sitting the SAQA booth at the San Diego Quilt Show Saturday morning. Exciting stuff. I don’t usually go to this quilt show, because they won’t actually let me show my own work in it. Plus it’s very traditional. At least when I used to go, it was. Who knows.

I was reading the Surface Design Association’s email last night, and clicked on the link to see the website for the Beyond the Surface exhibition. I did get into that show, but was happily surprised to see part of my quilt in the page header.

That’s my baby :-). Serious smile when I saw it.

It’s good, because I’m not making much right now. Not until Sunday probably. I did draw last night, though. I need to do a Patreon drawing, and that’s a good excuse to make myself draw…so after eating, while still watching the very disturbing Black Mirror episode and mourning all the stuff that was on my Tivo extender drive thingie that just died (sigh), I drew with the puppy’s assist…

I think he’s getting a belly rub there. Not from me…so he’s really not assisting at all, except by being cute.

I have a 2-1/2-hour meeting after school today, so hopefully I’ll have the brainpower to finish it. I actually got much further than that.

After dinner, I went in to copyedit though…two hours of that…

Kitten and Pandora assist on that one. It was pretty easy reading, though. The Bibliography is next and it’ll be hard. Formatting. Alphabetizing. I guess it’s easy in that I don’t have to read much for sense…just catch all the commas and semicolons.

I’m ALMOST DONE. Oh hallelujah. I do like to copyedit. I just don’t like to do 17 things at once. Eventually Kitten went to the green fabric drawer (it has green fabrics in it. I’m aware the drawer is not green) and Calli came in to keep me company.

I always have some furry beast with me. Her hair is coming back slowly from her surgery. I just realized both dogs have a rectangle of shaved side. I wonder if they’re cooler this summer because of it? Can’t ask them. Because they’re dogs.

These guys don’t really like each other. But they did not fight this morning. That’s a plus.

Kitten tried to play hide and seek and playful paws around the corner, and Satch was completely clueless. Sigh.

OK, teach all day, then 2 1/2 hours of science training (training. ha. You mean we sit and listen to you tell us why your stuff is so awesome that you can’t give us editable files and then say some shit about copyright which is so unhelpful in a school setting. And we mutter to each other about how annoying you are as a publisher.). Then dinner, which I hope I’m not cooking, but someone just realized they have a dental appointment, so who knows. I’m rolling with it. I can explode some more blueberries for dinner maybe. Finish that drawing! Collapse somewhere soft that is bedlike. Do it again.

Hauling My Tired Self…

It seems I have forgotten how to sleep. Maybe it was the heat last night. Maybe it was the panting dog who woke me up at 1:48 AM to pee. I’m not sure I had actually slept at that point. I know my brain is in overdrive. I finally got up early because I have to move about 170 textbooks and put them in numerical order and then write them down on a bunch of rosters, all before school starts. Just to clarify, I have to do this for books that are no longer relevant, because my district screwed up and started the textbook process way too late in the NGSS transition, so we have no relevant textbooks. Plus the state of California is in the Dark Ages. We will only use these at the end of the year as a safe place for kids to search up pictures and definitions for ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’, because even if you give them a safe place on the internet to do that, you know some kid is gonna go rogue.

Yesterday was still a lot of talking. I’d like to reduce the talking please. And then a 2-hour staff meeting. Note to bosses: we stop listening mostly after the first hour. It’s just too much. Luckily I have the agenda with the links, so I can go back and wander through it when I realize there’s something I was supposed to be doing and I forgot. Usually that’s an oh shit moment. Luckily my team will support me by telling me I should have been listening, because they were on a sugar high with all the candy he provided, and I didn’t eat any of it, so I was crashing.

After all that, I drove to the photographer’s and dropped off two quilts. No, I don’t know what I’m doing next. Well, that’s not true. I got asked to teach a short workshop in November and I need to make a couple of samples for that. I should do that.

I’m also trying to finish this…I’m so close…

It will be done. There’s only a little bit of stitching left.

After dinner, I did a little school stuff and then I copyedited for an hour and a half. I got a good chunk of it done, considering how late it was. I quit at 11, though, and went to meditate. See, I was trying to deal with all that shit in my head, and I did a good job of meditating with the dog on my lap (lapward dog pose)…

And I was looking over some art entries, shutting my brain down, when both dogs started barking like the world was ending (it wasn’t) and my heart rate skyrocketed for I think no reason at all, but maybe a raccoon on the roof? I just don’t know. Nothing worth that level of barking.

Dude. You were asleep.

And you are a tiny idiot…

Seriously, the leaves are not attacking us. Neither is the wind. Or rabbits. The rabbit army has arrived! Nope. Not. He looks cute, but he’s really kinda crazy.

So my adrenaline went through the roof. That might have been part of my issue with the sleep. So much for a quiet calm exit to the bed.

I did not MAKE any art, except for the few stitches I took. I knew this would be a rough week. But I had three things due and now I only have two. This is good.

Here’s where the cat was hiding yesterday. Can you see her?

Cats are weird. But much quieter than those two dogs.

Girlchild posted this yesterday. I was jealous.

Not that I should be eating a quarter of that…

I came home to this weird pack of butterflies…

They were all flying around each other, possibly mating, sure, but then they all settled down on the leaves. They took off as soon as I got closer. Do butterflies hang out in packs? I just don’t know. Something for the Wonder Wall…

OK, work today is all about safety. Yesterday I taught the difference between ‘quiet’ and ‘silence’. Exciting stuff. Tomorrow is Mars though! That is exciting. I will be copyediting some more tonight. And every night this week, I think. I might get to the gym tonight. That would be nice. I might decide what quilt I’m going to do next. Hard to say. I should probably decide what I’m doing with the class samples first. First, this morning, I head out to move books. Hauling my tired self in.

How to Store Cats…

I just found one of my cat’s hiding places. It’s amazing that when I think I have completely filled a bookshelf, a cat slides into a space I didn’t know was available. Her little eyes are barely visible…she’s hiding in there.

Well I was fairly successful this weekend: I finished the binding on two quilts and managed to copyedit one section of the book. There are two sections left, so guess what I’ll be doing the rest of the week. I finished quilting this on Saturday morning, then cleaned the floor (like you do) and trimmed the quilt.

I made a quick trip to the quilt store, where I indulged in more fabric, because apparently I can never have enough…

I think I already own that blue one three up from the right. It happens.

While I was waiting for the binding to be washed, I worked on the binding for the quilt I finished in July. It’s just been sitting around…

I spent a lot of time sitting around this weekend with quilts. That part didn’t feel particularly comfortable, but it was necessary.

Sunday was some copyediting, the grocery shopping, and some other stuff, but then I was back to poking holes in my fingers over and over again.

Nice puppy. At this point, I’m working on the big one, the most recent one. But when I finished that one, I went back to Desert Daughter

The big one doesn’t have a name yet. It will need one soon. Really soon. It took a little over 4 hours to finish all this up. Well, another hour was spent cleaning up cat and dog hair and ironing them and packing them up for the photographer. I spent about 5 hours quilting and binding on Saturday.

Do I know what I’m working on next? Nope. I have a couple of options. I need to take time to look at those tonight, but I also have a 2-hour staff meeting and I have to deliver the quilts to the photographer, plus do some copyediting tonight, so that will be a challenge. I feel tired already. OK, that might just be Monday.

We have a yard full of spider webs at the moment. Most of them are not in my face. I think the two spiders who were building webs across my path to the dog peeing area have figured out that I carry a broom for a reason.

I haven’t seen a web in that area for a few days. Spiders LEARN.

I store my cats in produce boxes. I don’t know about you, but they act like a vegetable sometimes.

This hawk has been hanging around for a while (he’s on top of the telephone pole). Lots of screeching.

He was staring at me for a while.

Lots of hummingbirds here.

I just listened to ten minutes explaining the difference between quiet and silence. Wow. So that makes me laugh. But it is something we have to explicitly teach. Even to 12-year-olds. Silence is rarely needed. Think lockdowns. Quiet is hard too. But more necessary.

OK, so I need to go to work. I need a plan for what I’m working on next. I need to do a drawing for my Patreon people, so that’s on the list for tonight. So is ruminating over what’s next. It’s weird to be done. But it’ll be OK. I’m good. I know how to work.

Grind It Out…

I’m staring out the window at lovely fog. And it’s quiet out there. I always forget how LOUD middle school is. It’s not that I don’t like loud. When it’s music (I picked) or probably even me, I’m loud. But a thousand kids is really loud. A class full of 37 kids is loud. You’d think it wouldn’t be on the first day of school, but it is.

It was a long and tiring day. This week usually kicks our butts…and then next week does it again…and then we get a 3-day weekend to recover. At some point, the body remembers how to do all the things without collapsing, and the feet get used to a million steps and wearing shoes and standing all the time, and it gets easier. And you remember not to drink a lot of water because you won’t be able to pee for another two hours. That part sucks.

My team had it together. For now. Because the amount of noise we had yesterday does not bode well for a quiet year. We knew it was coming. It will be fine. We will survive. But my first school-related text this morning was already about someone needing to switch classes because of behavior. OK. Usually we get two weeks of grace period. Not this year.

We did an after picture, but we still looked pretty good. We should do a last day of school photo, or the day before Winter Break, which isn’t in my calendar yet, but should be. Today is the first lab of the year, so that should be fun.

I came home exhausted, too tired to go ship the actual quilt box (I’ll do it this morning on the way to work…it’s easier for parking anyway). I needed to copyedit, so I started with checking all the Bibliography references and all the things I’d tagged as issues (double spaces, use of the word ‘kids’ instead of something more formal, weird quotation issues), because they were pretty brainless and easy…just time-consuming to check. By the time I was done, I had enough caffeine in me and recovery time in to be able to reread the whole section. I sent it to the author last night. So we’re up to 8+ hours of school, another 3 1/2 hours of copyediting, and then I ate dinner and finished my book. I liked it. It’s called Burnout and it’s by Emily Nagoski.

It won’t solve my problems for me, but it helps me remember to say no, even if I’m flattered that someone would want me to do something. I’m throwing two things around in my head right now that I should say no to, and hopefully I will, because there are already way too many things in the air. I also get into this stress survival mode and really shut down sometimes (Um. Like now), fully realizing it’s not healthy, but I’m often not sure what else to do but put my head down and get it done. So I do self care like draw and art and hikes and the gym, but really that doesn’t get rid of the stressor or deal with why it’s even there…and that’s a problem. Anyway. This is a start for the new year.

After copyediting, I quilted. There’s just way too much I need to get done in the next 10 days. The quilt has to be done first. Kitten was monopolizing the other chair in the office. Yes, I need two. Because cats.

My goal was to outline one half, just like when I did the stitch down.

There were some bits I forgot to stitch down, so I had to go back at one point and do that in the middle of the outlining.

It took me about 2 hours, but I got one side done of the outlining.

Tonight, hopefully, I’ll do the other side, and then Friday night is the background, then trim and bind on Saturday. Ready for the photographer Sunday or Monday…early even! WTF. That’s crazy. I was so sure I wouldn’t be able to finish it.

Well, I’m not done yet, so knock on wood. I need to finish copyediting the final bits on Part 3 in the next two days…then I’ll focus on the quilt and get Part 4 and the Bibliography done next week. I do also have a bunch of school stuff I need to do, like record us/me/my partner reading a whole chapter of a book without mispronouncing anything or (and this is harder) swearing. Oh yeah. That should be interesting. And do I have any idea what I’m working on next? Fuck no. That conversation can happen in my head later, like on the weekend. When there’s space for it.

Ah yes. Kitten shapes. They’re so weird and abstract.

OK. Back to it. Another grind it out day.

Both Sides of One Coin…

What a morning. I’m up! Not packed, not ready, showered, but the laundry wasn’t dry (long story, my fault for not changing the thingie and it took 10 minutes for me to figure out how to change it because I hadn’t had my tea yet). Simba got bit by a coyote this morning…not here, but at my ex’s. He’s OK, but I need puppy cuddles. We’ll pick him up from the vet later and hopefully he will run next time. Calli apparently went after the coyote (oh great, 10-year-old gimpy Golden Retriever). We do live with the wildlife here and need to respect it and then yell at it and spray it repeatedly with a hose so it won’t come back. I actually occasionally buy wolf urine pellets and sprinkle them about the edges of the property. I don’t know if it works…but I haven’t seen them on my property (just down at the end of the driveway) in a while. He’s OK! That’s the takeaway.

Not a current picture. I haven’t seen him yet. Today, we’re supposed to be driving to Lake Arrowhead. I’m only up for a day, because I have to be at school on Friday. Sigh. I was at school yesterday…got in there and had no desks, so I moved a few things out of the hallway and then started pulling stuff out of cupboards. At some point, one of the custodians started bringing desks in.

Ironic because I had already gotten an email from one of the Assistant Principals about using my tables to sort Chromebooks. I’m like SURE! What tables? Anyway. I’m not there today or tomorrow, so just don’t leave a mess.

We’re doing a portfolio thing this year, so I needed new things. New system. Originally they were not in rainbow order, but my brain rebelled and rainbowed them.

Can’t help it.

My boards aren’t done. I haven’t found everything. My tech isn’t set up. Did I mention I haven’t found everything?

I spent a couple of hours trying though…there’s two prep days next week, so hopefully I will be more prepared after that. Right now, it just feels like chaos. All this stuff and the stuff on the other side had to be locked up because of summer school.

The plus is that I toss stuff at the end of the year, and then I toss more stuff at the beginning of the year, because I’m like, why the fuck did I keep this? But then I keep stuff for 16 years and I don’t know what to do with it. Anyway. More to do. Honestly, it’s less about what I do to decorate and organize and more about what I do with the kids. I always remember that part.

As part of the new-year resolutions, I’m reading this book about burnout. It’s called Burnout and it’s by Emily Nagoski, but this caught my eye.

It’s the science part I like. A good way to start the new year anyway.

Calli agrees.

Resting up. Literally.

Two caterpillars yesterday on the milkweed. I haven’t seen a lot of caterpillars…lots of butterflies though, so that’s good.

Lots of aphids.

So I copyedited a good chunk of the afternoon. Lots more left to do. I’m copyediting a book about trauma-sensitive schools and one of the stories set me off yesterday. I work with a lot of traumatized kids. It’s hard sometimes. Hence the burnout book.

And then I ironed a bunch…

I was trying to finish last night…worked on the other side…

She was fussy…and I had to iron both sides together on the floor…it was too big for the ironing board.

Then I went back and did the hands. They’re holding hands. You can’t have light without dark. Not good and evil. Not good and bad. A spectrum. Working together. Both sides of one coin. Coyotes and domesticated dogs. Teaching and art. Or something like that. Anyway…I wanted to get it on a background, but I needed to piece that and it was already after midnight. And right now, I need to leave in about 15 minutes to deal with the girlchild’s hair and then hopefully get the puppy and go to the mountains. I might get to this Thursday night, depending on how late I get back. I NEED to get it done.

I honestly have no idea what I’m working on next. That’s weird. Huh. OK. Well then. I’ll have to think about that while I’m traveling. Lots of driving, that’s for sure.

I Roll on Chaos

Ah busy times here in the Nida household. It seems I will never have a quiet and simple and organized start to the school year, because well, that’s just the way it is. First of all, I gave birth to the girlchild right before school started, so if she’s home for that, it causes crazy chaos of feeding people and weird schedules and lots of grocery shopping plus trips to the mountains. And then because they put summer school in my room and THEN needed to clean the floors, I can’t get into my classroom (maybe today? hopefully definitely tomorrow or I’m significantly fucked). Plus a copyediting job, a quilt deadline, and an embroidery deadline. I’m fucked. OK. Not fucked. Just busy. And not quiet, simple, or organized. My head is full of to-do fluff. You know when you can’t pick one thing to do because there are too many? I just turn around in circles.

I’ve been copyediting a little a day. It’s hard to concentrate, staring at a computer screen, for that long. But I do it. That’s how I’m going to get the trees trimmed. I’ve also been ironing a little a day. That’s how I’m going to get this quilt done in 15 days. Oh my. 15 days with school starting. Ha. Ha. Crying a little here.

We picked girlchild up from the airport on Saturday night. The dogs were very excited to see her…

She has a friend from school staying here too, so she was gone most of yesterday. I copyedited for a good chunk of the day, but that meant I needed to get out and do stuff…physical stuff. We are down to one dog who can go on long walks, and it’s the little fluffy one.

He’s not the best walker in the world. He gets tired. Then he’s faster on the way back. At one point, the boychild had to carry him because he refused to go on.

Lame. Then again, we were really walking ME, not the dog.

Rattlesnake shed skin caught in a plant.

We saw snake markings across the road at one point too.

This egg…

Those curlicue seeds too…you can see them in this picture. They’re such a pain to get out of Simba’s fur.

We wandered across here to a different viewpoint to see if last week’s fire location was visible.

We’ve had a bunch of small fires locally lately. Fire danger is pretty huge this year after last year’s rain. October is usually the worst month for it though.

There’s the bushwhacking pup.

He does pretty well for a pretty, fluffy boy.

It’s nice to get out. It’s not too hot right now. Knock on wood, because it will be. Like tomorrow.

California horned toad/lizard…a little one…

They’re really hard to see. We only caught sight of him because he ran in front of us.

I did this after dinner. Slow. I’m planning to get a bunch done at the mountains, I hope.

I might need to take her to the professional development stuff on Friday.

My ironing partner…she’s not very good at it. She was running in her sleep.

I feel well guarded.

Then ironing. This is kind of a pain in the ass. I mean, it makes sense to do the whole background before I do the figure on top. Hopefully it all fits…

It seems to be working…although I’m already missing one of the misnumbered pieces.

This is where I stopped at 12:15 last night.

I have a little of the background left to do above this…I have to decide whether to move the stuff that’s already ironed down so I can fit the sheet under the top part, or whether to add another piece up there. That’s probably easier. This is still in the fussy stage.

And I’m not even halfway done. It’s OK. Really. Except I want to be done with the ironing before I leave for Arrowhead. So I’m fucked. NO I’M NOT. I CAN DO THIS.

This is the crazy that is the totally fucked-up badly numbered 300s. There’s some serious crazy in here. I laid them all out. It’s the figure in that space and then the beginning of the other side.

Although I’m pretty sure the arms for this figure are all 400s because I forgot to number them. Duh. OK. Well. Later today. I’m debating the gym. I need to go find creme fraiche. (WordPress, dude, I did spell that right. I just left off the symbols.) I need to copyedit. And tonight is birthday dinner…so that’ll be a little extra chaos in the day. I roll on chaos though.

Oh yeah, I picked up the cards for the show I’m in that opens in September. My piece is on the card, which is always cool.

It’s at Sophie’s Kensington Gallery…I’ll be at the opening. This is the one on Adams Avenue.

Oh yeah, the house above me is for sale again. Three years we dealt with Mr. Cigar Smoke, who was the arrogant son of the previous owner, and their letting Tilly, the dog, down to shit on our property. Long story. They didn’t do much to the inside, but are putting it on the market for an additional $300K. Wow. But this drone photo cracks me up…

Wanna know where my house is? See all those trees on the right with a hint of a pool? Yeah. That’s me. Shade. It’s a wonderful thing in the summer. I guess he gave up on trimming my trees. I hope the new neighbors don’t have three small children (we already have that on the other side…it’s a little loud sometimes), don’t smoke (ugh. That’s been annoying), don’t throw loud parties, or what did the Man say, don’t have country band practices twice a week. Yeah. I’m pretty quiet, I think. We’ll see. It’s not really a family-friendly house as it is. Oh yeah, construction. Can we avoid that for a while too? Seriously, they built one house down below, and then did major remodels on two other houses on this private road that only has 10 houses. Like tile saws and hammering and jackhammering. I could do without all of that. I’m a really ornery neighbor apparently. Not really. I don’t go out and yell at them. So there’s that.

Anyway. The young women have left for the beach, so I need to make a decision. Gym now? Gym later? Copyedit first? I haven’t eaten. I should finish Part 2’s first readthrough. Then go. It’ll be good.