In a Car

I’m not driving and blogging…yet. I’m buried! I spent an hour talking to Southern California SAQA members, which was cool. Need to grow the group, get more like-minded folks.

Then I copyedited (and cried, because there’s a trauma story running through the science, and it gets to me).

Yesterday, I was doing school stuff all day. It’s feeling really overwhelming. I stitched through the Welcome Meeting…

And through our meeting…

Because it kept part of my brain on task at least…

And then I stitched through the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, again while crying. A plane full of kids is an awesome sight.

Then I got the new quilt ironed down to the background, which had to be pieced.

And started stitching down.

Which needs to be done tomorrow for me to stay on schedule. No worries! Ok gotta get out of the car.

I Always Need It…

Twenty-four-hour break from most of the world. I did check email. I rolled on social media. But I wasn’t home, where the quilt and the copyediting are currently making me breathe fast and panic. It’ll be OK! Seriously, brain. You can do this.

Hey, Simba is OK. He was attacked by a coyote and suffered a little bruising and one puncture wound…

In his side, not the neck, which means he was doing that roll-away-from-you thing he does when we try to catch his fast roly-poly ass. Good choice, pup.

I suspect they will keep a closer eye on him at the other house now. He was barking before he was attacked, so knowing his tendency to bark at everything that is bigger and scarier than him, he was probably barking at the coyote. He hasn’t stopped doing that, as my one night in Arrowhead proved.

Anyway, so we left a little late on Wednesday to get to the mountains, but we got there…a quiet night…

Some embroidery…

Oh yeah, one more thing that needs to be done by the end of this month. I’m taking it with me today to the first day back to school…it’s all sitting and listening, things I’m not particularly good at on a splendid day, and today is not a splendid day. My high-school history teacher will tell you that this will not be the first time I’ve brought some sort of hand craft to keep me awake during the droning of professional learning, and it certainly won’t be the last.

We got up, I went in to get my boating license (I was the only expired boater), and then down to the dock…where Calli got what she really wanted…water time.

She’s on the leash because her back leg is still gimpy, and she doesn’t swim very well any more. You can’t tell HER that though. Girlchild helped…

We spent the morning there, alternating on the kayak and just sitting around reading…

The parentals will probably be selling the cabin and dock in the next year…so we should enjoy it while we can…not sure what will happen to the canoe and the kayak.

We took advantage of both…

Girlchild probably has a million picture of the dogs…

Our attempt to keep Simba’s wound clean was not so successful. Warm compresses helped though.

Boychild takes off on the kayak as the girlchild and Simba watch.

I love the kayak…

I also love to draw…

I should have been stitching, but couldn’t focus…girlchild in the kayak…

We came back and ate lunch, went to the village briefly, and then went back to the dock. Why not enjoy the water and the breeze?

Cute kids…

Calli was hurting by the end of all of it, mostly because of the climb down to the lake and back out, a few steps (more than a few!)…we all got some reading time in.

My dad was up there with us…manning the dock box and making sure everyone had wine…

I think he’ll miss this place.

I finished the drawing…I think. Working on awkward limb placement is always a challenge, especially when you run out of paper at the bottom…

In other news, here’s my piece Not Less Than at the 22nd International Open at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL…

Through the end of the month. Glad she made it there.

With that, I need to make it to school to start the 2019-2020 school year. Wish me luck. I always need it.

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.

Today 22 years Ago I Was Not at the Gym

Back to the gym. Trying to remember this habit before school fucks it all up. That’s true of eating right, getting enough sleep, and having personal time.

I was not here 22 years ago. I was at the hospital. The girlchild is 22 today! Wowza. She will be here tomorrow, but is enjoying a music and arts festival in San Francisco today.

I have so many awkward pix I could post of her…mostly screenshots from her Insta stories. Um yeah. I think I’ll wait until tomorrow and post something she won’t hate. Or maybe a birth picture! Oh yeah. Not even digital. So old school. Looking forward to having her home. Bought a bunch of kale and avocados.

Yesterday was school all day, even after I made it home. So much to do. But there’s a rough idea of what needs to happen.

We have a white board. This is good.

Going back is hard though. Never ready. I can get into my room next week, which is good because nothing is done.

I stitched a little at my stitching meeting…this number 9 and the last one I’m designing.

She doesn’t have a name yet.

And then I wanted to be done cutting stuff out.

That was the goal anyway, and I could have stayed up and finished, but I’m trying to train myself for back to school, plus I had a ton of stuff to get done today, so I needed to be up relatively early (not early really…but I’m not a fan of mornings).

So I only cut for a little over 2 hours…up to almost 11 hours total.

There’s so little left, but I really wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have a video call today where I can finish and then sort them hopefully. I still need to copyedit, edit a video, and clean a lot of things. No biggie.

Scone Bits…

Note: officially almond flour does not work in this scone recipe, unless I fuss with proportions and add some regular flour in or something that is chemically more similar so I don’t get whatever it is that is currently on my plate that I am eating anyway because there are nutrients in there and I need those and can’t be bothered to cook something else plus my grandma lived through the Depression so it’s hard to throw away Perfectly Good Food. I am eating a rather nutty but overly moist flat biscuitcake. Some culture probably eats these all the time. It’s not bad. But it’s not good.

There are seven more of these in my freezer. I can mail you one.

So yesterday was a mess. I’m not sure why. I did a lot of things, but none very competently, I feel. Well. We walked. That was good. I liked that. And I took care of some business things. Also good. This was Kitten yesterday while I was writing the blog for the second time.

That’s right, I slept in yesterday. It was delightful. I did not sleep in today. Today I have to be at school in about 40 minutes. It’s OK. My bag and lunch are packed. I just need to finish this and my tea, make more tea, debate how to make tea there (I can’t get into my own classroom where we have a tea kettle), pack things with which to make tea there, oh yeah and brush my teeth. It’ll be fine.

After the chiropractor, we took the nephew to Crestridge and walked…

It was warm but breezy.

He talked the ENTIRE time. I thought this was the quiet one. Ha!

He’s amusing. We took my parents’ dog. Calli still can’t walk that far.

We saw one good-sized coyote and a few people. But mostly not.

I wrote a blogpost for one of my art groups when we got home, while I was waiting for the boychild to make dinner. Looks good, eh?

He is useful. And he’s currently cooking one of the other scones, so now there are only SIX left for me to mail to you. Maybe he’ll like their nutty failure.

Then I cut stuff out for another 2 1/2-plus hours.

The box on the bottom is what’s left. It doesn’t look like much, but there are a lot of little pieces in those flesh colors. Some of them I’ll leave until I’m ready to iron everything together.

So thinking about this quilt, I think I can finish cutting everything out tonight. Then sort tomorrow morning. I also have a ton of copyediting and cleaning to do tomorrow…but I’m hoping by Friday night to be ironing the quilt together. I can only copyedit for so long before my brain fries, so some of that and some of this. Continue on Saturday, although I need to go to the gym Friday or Saturday as well. Friday morning, I’m thinking. Girlchild comes home Saturday afternoon, so the odds of my getting anything done Saturday night are low, but I have Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Ironing this quilt together will probably take close to 15 hours, I’m thinking. Can I do that in four days with copyediting and everything else? EHHH? I don’t know. Wednesday I leave for Arrowhead, back Thursday, at school for real on Friday. Maybe get to stitch down on Friday night? Miraculously? It’s going to be tight with school starting. I don’t know if I can finish it. Quilting next week…binding on, then see if my photographer can take it when? Because he works full time now. Sigh. I should ask him about his timing now. Maybe after the weekend, when I have a better idea of where I’m at. OK. A plan. Sort of. Kind of a sucky one. With that, I need to go brush my teeth. Scone bits. Bleck.

Don’t Worry About the Extra Piece of Chicken

OK, I wrote an entire blogpost that WordPress deleted. Asshole. I don’t have time for this.

I think the cat is annoyed when I’m copyediting. She’s not half as annoyed as I am that she won’t keep her head off the keyboard.

That isn’t a bad position…it’s the current one, where she’s batting at my hand on the mouse and using the number keys as a pillow that I object to. Yesterday she eventually gave up, probably because I was playing loud music and the speaker was vibrating her butt, and went and laid in the blue fabric drawer that she prefers.

Heat rises, cats go low.

I’m panicking. Too much going on. Too many details to remember. I can’t even remember to write them all down. I even just messaged my prescription service to tell them NOT to call me to tell me I need a refill. They already emailed me, and the phone message just says I need to call, not why. So then I call and yell at the computer message because I KNOW YOU FUCKER. I don’t need the system to second guess me. I should be able to turn those off online, but no. I can’t. I can stop email spam from a company, but not phone spam from my own health insurance. Like spend less money on those phone calls and more on discounting my meds, you assholes.

OK. It’s gonna be fine. But I’m copyediting this manuscript, and I’m not even halfway, which is fine, but it makes me second guess everything I did last year. At the beginning of the year, teachers are all like making new resolutions to be amazing and build awesome relationships and conquer the pile of grading and be oh so efficient, and then we get to about January and we’re crying in the prep room because there’s this one kid who sucks and we’ve tried everything and grading sucks and everything sucks and by the end of the year, we’ve written off that kid. And sometimes that kid will grow up and still fail, but sometimes they figure their shit out and come back and tell me about straight As and a full ride to UCLA or even just that they’re a journeyman electrician and married to this awesome woman who appreciates that I taught him about birth control and I remember that I don’t really suck as a teacher. It’s a lovely ride.

I gave Calli a stick yesterday during the copyediting. She likes sticks. She also likes walks, the swimming pool, and pine cones. I think long walks are out of the picture for her future, unfortunately.

Later today, we’ll take the little dog and my parents’ dog, along with the nephew, for a nice long walk. I need that.

I picked colors for this.

And I decided where they should go…

I didn’t decide on some because I was worried I’d run out of certain colors of thread. I’ll decide later. Plus that cloud. Sigh. I need 6 colors. I also traced it on the fabric, so it’s ready for me to work on. When I have time.

And I cut more stuff out. I’m at about 5 1/2 hours…

I’m not sure that pile on top looks like 4 1/2 hours. I don’t know. Tonight anyway. I won’t finish, obviously.

I’m experimenting with some new food things. This is a sconecake. It wasn’t meant to be a scone cake. It should not be so flat. I used almond flour, which is lower carb than regular flour. However, it’s higher in fat…which isn’t a plus.

We’ll see if the frozen ones behave better. So many food things I’m trying to work through. They’re not all logical. It actually doesn’t always make sense to do the low-carb thing, and gluten-free or paleo doesn’t always work for diabetics either. It’s not just wheat that’s the problem. Plus I hate sweet potatoes…so it’s fine that they’re low carb, because I’m still not gonna eat them. Blech. Same with peanut butter. I’m still on the fence about almond flour.

OK, so tomorrow I’m working on school stuff all day at school with my team. Today, I’m copyediting like a speedy beast, then walking with the peeps. Then cutting stuff out. Trying not to stress too much. Right now though? Right now I need more deep breaths. The title? One more thing I need to deal with. Later. It’ll be fine.

I Manage

I skipped the last two days of writing. I usually skip Sunday. Monday I skipped because the day got away from me. I spent most of the weekend, like many, watching and not watching the news, repeat on Sunday. This is not ok. Fear and anger should not be weaponized like this. I suspect most of those stopping here are fully aware of that. Solutions! No more wimpy words. I actually had a guy call himself a good guy with a gun to my face Saturday night. Nah.

So many people hurt by these men’s actions.

I’m writing this on the elliptical. I was smart and preloaded the pictures at home while eating breakfast. I can’t go to the gym without eating anymore.

I finished ironing Sunday. I guess that’s the good news. It’s 149 fabrics and 15 hours of ironing.

That’s more time than this many pieces would normally take. I’m not sure why. There’s everything that needs to be cut out.

I have one more embroidery design to do, and I knew I had some sitting time coming up, so I sat down Sunday night and drew it. I still need to pick fabric and colors…maybe today.

And then I started cutting pieces out.

Baby lizard in my office. I had already saved one in the living room. This one got away.

Hopefully it will stay hidden…because both cats like it in here. Kitten was somersaulting for boychild. She likes pets.

So a good chunk of yesterday was trading my aging Subie for a newer one. My mechanic was growing more and more anxious for my well-being I think, between oil issues and a creaky suspension. She’s old and did her duty.

Bye. Yeah I got another one, but went for a basic model, low mileage though. She’ll help us camp and carry dogs just fine.

I finished embroidering this last night. Thanks to Linda for the linen itself.

It’s hard to spend time with his words when they are so hypocritical and antithetical to what I believe America stands for. I’ll finish the edges and send it off to the Tiny Pricks Project with the rest of them from my art group.

There’s a few things missing from the new car: the license plate needs two more screws and I just happened to find some on my kitchen counter.

Like you do. It may be a chaotic mess, but it often yields good things. I still need a cargo cover and a rubber mat for the back.

I cut some more stuff out last night. I’m guessing it’ll be 10 hours total. I’m 3 1/2 hours in so far.

That’s a lot of hours to go. That whole huge pile on the bottom. Plus the rest of the copyediting project showed up. And I spent two or three hours yesterday trying to get copies done for the start of school. My days are full. What’s new? I manage.

Oh yeah, everyone should read some Toni Morrison today. Her writing is wondrous. Her death is a great loss. “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” Beloved