That One Is for Me…

Ugh. OK. Pros! No 12-year-olds to be seen for miles around. I’m still in my pajamas! The sun is shining on me (but the storm is coming, so enjoy the fuck out of that, because you won’t see it again until maybe Saturday). There are kittens in the house and they are fun to hang out with. There’s a turkey brining in the fridge JUST FOR ME. Yes, I make myself a turkey every year so I can eat turkey sandwiches for three weeks straight in December. It’s weird, I know, but I like it. I earned $50 yesterday doing some research thing for WordPress. Also weird, I know, but they caught me at a weak moment and I’m pretty good at that stuff.

Not-so-pros or -cons: I should go to the gym. I have time and I have a book to read that is probably going to be sucked back to the library tonight, so I really should just go to the gym and read the whole book. I could. I don’t feel like going to the gym though. I need to figure out when to actually COOK this turkey…because I’m supposed to cook dinner too, and I can’t do that in the middle of turkey cooking. But that means looking up times and I think I already threw out the weight thing on the turkey, that was stupid, and I’m feeling tired and not motivated to do anything. My phone is ringing and I don’t recognize the number. I’m tired. Wait, that’s a con I think.

Cons: I only got halfway through grading the kid videos last night. There are 66 of them. I did 34 of them. And you know what? They’re kinda boring and sometimes just plain irritating because we even did a video telling them what to do and they still ignored half of what we said and just did what they wanted. And I suspect they’ve been doing that for a long time, because every assignment is like that. I had two videos where one kid is whispering what to say to the other kid(s) and I’m like, um, so that won’t work in your day job. I love that you want to help, but that kid is flaking and maybe you need to kick them out of the group or have a talk with them outside of the video about what they need to say. Because that kid doesn’t deserve the points. And I remember last year when the kids are like, why did my partner get a higher score than I did and it’s because of that. In the video, you got some extra points because one kid was awesome, but on paper, not so much.

So I have 32 videos to watch today. Ugh. This is how I did it yesterday. Headphones on (until I had to move to the desktop because the internet was being cranky), stitching going…

It’s easy to do this and watch because it keeps my brain occupied. I guess I could have been cutting pieces out for the quilt as well. I forgot about that until later. This was about an hour and a half…but I finished the lion…

Just the bird left and then I’m done with September. It really has not been a good year for working on this quilt…I was reading my blog from a year ago and I was on the August blocks. Plus sewing down the wool for October, which I still haven’t started. I wish at family gatherings that I could sit and stitch, but it seems rude. My co-attender tells me it’s rude. He’s more sociable than I am. I can still talk. It relaxes me. Family gatherings don’t.

Anyway. I need to watch those videos and start grading the packets themselves. They need to be done before we go back to school. I need to grade the CER essay too, but that just hurts my brain. We’re supposed to go to Arrowhead on Friday, but the weather might keep us home. We’ll see. Driving in snow makes me nervous. Reading through past years of November blogposts…I am always doing this: making lasagne (I did that Monday and froze three meals for December), making a turkey, going to family stuff, grading a ton of crap, and somewhere in the process of making a quilt. There’s usually a hike in there (we did that Monday because we knew weather was coming). There’s often a last-minute trip to the grocery store (I went yesterday, but I’m out of one thing I need, dammit, no desire to go there today ffs). My eyelids are often twitching (last year, it was the left one…this year, it is the right one). It’s not my favorite week. Shocking.

So pet more kittens…

Go to the gym because it will make you feel better.

Ouch. Those claws are sharp.

Figure out the turkey stuff…timing and all. I found the tag in the trash, so I know how much it weighs now.

Awww. Sleepy kittens.

They slept a lot yesterday. Like 5 hours straight. Like they’re babies. They were pretty active the day before.

And then cut this thing out. Because you can. Although IDK what I’m going to binge watch now…I finished The Crown

Whatever. It probably doesn’t matter. OK. I have a plan. Turkey. Gym. Videos (from hell). Cutting stuff out while watching and after. Stern talking to with eyelid. Knock it off! This is what it is, this week. It could be better, but I probably should have started earlier on a relaxation plan. Two pilates classes, a hike, and a trip to the gym will help…so will being done with grading. And ironing the quilt together. Still on my to-do list.

Hope all your holiday making plans are going well. I want apple pie this year. I might make my own. May there be lots of artmaking as well. That one is for me.

The Good Meditative Stuff.

It’s my first day of nine days off of school. There’s about 40 hours of grading in there, but let’s ignore that for now, eh? Honestly, all I really want to do at the moment is avoid human interactions. People. Anything needy. Well, except for kittens. Kittens are needy but fun, so I’ll deal with them. And I can deal with a few people. OK, maybe one. At a time. But not before 9 AM. So far today, I’ve done a pilates class (actually talked to three different humans. Maybe four. No, five. But most of it was short and sweet. Take my package. I had knee surgery. My name is Kathy.). I need to go sign all my paperwork for the loan to put solar in. That’s exciting. I will probably need to speak to one person for that. I need to buy milk. No need for speech, y’all. There should be an introvert line at the grocery store. No Need to Ask Me If I Found Everything OK. Seriously. Don’t speak. Yes, there’s self-service in some of the stores, but I’m aware of that taking away people’s jobs, so although I personally prefer the self checkout, sigh. Please just don’t make them talk to me.

After signing papers, I have hours of alone time with my grading and my ironing. Gonna do both. Might have to talk to people tonight. Or not. Maybe not. I just don’t know. I’m OK with not.

So I finished Figure 2 last night…and all the bits in and around her. I’m ready for Figure 3 this afternoon.

Then Figure 4 on Sunday, start cutting out. Be done by Tuesday? Night? Then start ironing together. I’d really like it all ironed together by the time I go to Lake Arrowhead on Friday. Sigh. Then I can draw the next one while I’m in Arrowhead. Get it ready. Because time…it flies. Erratically, yes, but flies.

My right eyelid is still twitching from last week. And people. People are making it twitch.

Sometimes I’m OK with people. I worked on this on Thursday night at my stitching meeting…started the lion…

And finished the tree…

This is Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails 2015 Block of the Month. Yeah. I’m slow. This is September’s blocks. I’m getting closer to done. There were three people there. They were fine.

You’re always getting closer to done if you keep working.

I spent some time with kittens and my book this morning…my toes are fascinating.

Then again, everything is fascinating when you are a kitten.

They love to play…

It’s hard to get good pictures because they are always moving. We are still mulling over names. This is hard.

How do we climb the curtains?

Devious little beasties.

They met Simba. There was fear and confusion all around. A little bit of hissing…

Hopefully they will all get along.

OK, off to the bank. Then back here to grade and iron. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, minus the grading, but let’s just understand that it has to happen. I’ll fit in the good meditative stuff around it. Make that eye twitch go away.

We’ll Survive, but There Might Be Tears…

My heart is still racing, my stomach is in knots, I’m running on an adrenaline rush…why? Because today was the day to try to reserve campsites in Yosemite for Spring Break. Oh yeah. Well. That was a clusterfuck, but we got three nights. In a row. In the same site. We’re old. We don’t wanna move. We could. Well, actually, we probably couldn’t. In 12 minutes, almost everything was gone except for a night here and a night there. TWELVE FUCKING MINUTES. OK. So it’ll be crowded and annoying because people, but YOSEMITE. So we’ll be fine. And we’ll book lonely far-out places for the rest of our trip. Or whatever. The man will tell you I was yelling, “What number! Give me a number!” as he kept asking “Why isn’t it giving a reason?” I’m like, seriously? Because it’s booked. Apparently he wanted like a message saying which nights were gone, and the computer took a while to refresh the availability and other people have bots or alien technology or better internet than I do. Whatever. WE HAVE A SITE. I’m good. Let the other people get eaten by bears because they got a better site. We’re going to hike all the time anyway.

Plus it might snow that early in the year, so there’s that. WE’LL BE FINE.

So that was my start to a Friday morning. It’s stress stress stress for the next week. We’ll survive, but there might be tears. Pilates last night helped. So did art stuff. But I spent a good long time doing work stuff yesterday. Emergency meetings. Managing groups for today. We set up for the lab but still need to do materials. And we have duty.

At least we have a campsite for April.

So when I load photos for this blog, I usually do a quick run through the photos from previous years (I really need to organize photos at some point…some months are totally organized. Apparently November is a chaotic month in every year.)…and it’s interesting that I was in exactly this same stage on a quilt on November 15 in 2016 AND 2017. I don’t know which quilts…I’d have to search more than I have time for right now to figure that out.

So I sorted…

It was late…but it was also fast…

A whopping 35 minutes. Did I clean the office? Fuck no. That will be tonight. Hopefully.

Slightly blurry due to psychotic movement.

Anyway. Crazy day. I need to go. But this first! I’m excited…my piece is here in San Diego! OK, it’s been in San Diego all this time, but now it’s officially finally part of the Tiny Pricks Project AND hanging in San Diego…

Even better, the infamous Diana Weymar staring at it and smiling…

Tres awesome.

OK. Off to the slaughterhouse. Oh wait. No. School. Yeah. School (no commentary on school shootings here. Today anyway.).

Trust Yourself…

So this is my day off. I did sleep in. With a pillow over my head. Because some people not getting the day off, plus dogs and cat and trash trucks. Not really sleeping, but trying to make up for two relatively early mornings. When you wake up early and your brain goes into overdrive, panicking about all the shit you gotta get done. Yeah. That.

The crockpot is going in 7 minutes. I prepped it already. I showered. I need to…hang on…do laundry. OK. That was 4 minutes. I got the laundry, started it in the washer, filled the dog water bowl, and started the crockpot 3 minutes early. Because it’s stupid to get up again. I’m watching the leaves fall outside. Because it’s Fall. Except it’s supposed to be like 85 degrees tomorrow, so Fall. Yeah. In Southern California.

I’m waiting for my hair to dry, and then I need to go to the grocery store and the pet store, and I really really really need to finish grading. I graded yesterday for a few hours and finished a bunch of stuff, but there’s one really heinous thing I have to do today. And another one I might just toss. Hmm. Don’t tell. It’s just a homework assignment. Nobody’s grade will change because of it. Not just one assignment.

Anyway. Those things are all going through my head, plus the fact that no one in the house wants to deal with Friday’s dinner, least of all me, so I guess we just won’t eat. That’s what I did last night. Long story.

OK, the weekend. I taught a fiber class for the Mingei Museum. Not a lot of people, but it went well…here was the original setup with some background fabrics and some samples I had done already.

I had instructions, just in case. The plus with not many people is being able to work a little bit with everyone. This girl did an awesome solar system.

This guy was amazing.

He did that guy and then built him a mountain.

There were adults in the class (and honestly, I wasn’t expecting kids…)

But everyone brought some creativity.

I gave her a link to a stitch website…I hope she adds some.

I love that someone took this background fabric and ran with it.

Good eye for color.

Here was Julie’s…

It was nice of her to show up…she knows what she’s doing and has a stash, so she took it home and finished it…

Awesome!

I spent the rest of Saturday mostly braindead. I graded a little. We went out to dinner. And I traced until I was done.

Gradebooks. So red.

Oh yeah, I did some embroidery on this one at the class…

And I made this one as a sample…

It needs more stitching.

I love that I used all that Wonder Under for just one long skinny piece.

It took 10 hours to trace everything…

Here’s all 4 full yards and about another 1/3 of a yard…not huge.

Now I need to cut all those apart.

This week is probably a good one for that. I’ll be tired. I’m already tired.

There’s the pile. Kitten was very high energy in between naps.

I’m listening to a podcast about differentiation for students, but it’s super vague. Science is always hard for this. I can’t really differentiate labs easily, not and have them get the same learning.

Yeah. Sleeping hard. I’m jealous.

So Sunday, we had signed up for a food tour of North Park, one of my Christmas presents from last year to the man. It started in a beer and cheese shop…this beer name amused me.

Not enough to drink it. We had great cheese…

and then pretzels and cheese (with kombucha for me…)

Off to an Italian pizza place and a burger place…apparently I stopped taking photographs in between…oh wait, here’s the pizza place…

Good stuff.

There was a little talk of history.

We’ve been on a couple of these. They’re fun. Interesting.

It was just a coincidence that I had been to more than half of the places we went to (it wasn’t my Christmas gift…). There’s so many things wrong with this…

We came back and I didn’t eat dinner, because the timing of the 3 hours of eating constantly didn’t work with my body. Oh well. I think I ate cereal at midnight because my blood sugar was having issues…and it was low this morning. I suck at weekends and managing food.

OK, so I graded a lot last night and then cut one yard out, plus those other two small pieces.

I stayed up too late. All weekend. It’s quiet late at night.

I’m tired today. Really tired. I’ve been really tired for a couple of weeks. Maybe decades. Hmm. I’m looking forward to a week off from school. Ironically, I’ll have a major project to grade over that week, so I’ll be working. Oh well.

Today, I need to finish grading and run all those errands. I need to prep for the week, mentally at least. Too many meetings. I’m trying to fit in exercise regularly. I’d like to spend some time drawing and reading and maybe even sleeping. Not sure those are options. This is the rundown teacher going into the holidays. The podcast is ending well…”you are one teacher…trust yourself to know when enough is enough.”

Not the Easiest Way…

Hi. I’m over-committed this weekend. It’s OK. I mean, it’s not. I’m freaking out, I’m anxious, I’m growing those nasty canker sores in my mouth that I get when I’m really stressed, the only thing I’m missing is the eye twitch (knock on wood; I’m sure it’s coming). I’ll survive it. I will. It’s 9:27 AM and I’ve already had a shower and graded an assignment this morning. I’m waiting for my hair to dry a little bit (no hairdryers) and then I’m going to copy the instructions for today’s drop-in workshop. Everything I can think of is packed up (no kitchen sink yet) and I might be ready to do this…crazy shit. I don’t know when I’m going to buy pet food or do the grocery shopping, but it will get done…somehow. Grades are looming like an angry Rottweiller.

These are the three samples I finished…a basic landscape…

A basic house…

A basic flower…

I think I’ll be glad for the experience, but also glad for it to be over. I’ll be glad for getting my grades done too, but that’s not happening today.

While Katie was here, we had to hide all the toys from her. She destroys them. The boychild dumped them all back in the hallway yesterday…

There was some excitement. I tossed two really trashed ones. Grandma and Grandpa brought more to make up for their dog.

I didn’t do any art last night…well, not my own art. I wrote instructions and ironed a bunch of Wonder Under to fancy fabrics in preparation for today. At the end of that, it was well after 11 PM and I sat with the cat and a dog and tried to still my brain.

I’m not very good at that. Anyway. I’m gonna go copy some instructions and maybe buy another iron, just in case. Then I’m going to pack up shit and go teach this thing. I think the hardest part is having no clue how many people will show up. Not the easiest way to start teaching fabric stuff. Wish me luck.

It Either Will, or It Won’t…

It’s been a rough week. Yesterday…had ups and downs…ups that remind you of how it can be. We did the cover page for Unit 2. We kinda know each other now, more than before. The kids drew, and I rolled my chair around to work with every table, stealing a colored pencil everywhere I went. I started up front, with the kids who don’t do anything or are off task or just plain don’t understand, but I made sure to make it to the back tables too. They’re all seated by their homework grades at the minute. It means some days I want to kill the front tables, but then I look back, and there they are, all the kids who work their butts off, working their butts off, staring up at me. Yeah. I’m good. And honestly, checking in with some of the knuckleheads was good too. I still have this one boy’s look in my head. For the warmup, I stole something from my co-teacher…”I wish my teacher knew…” and he had written about how nervous he is all the time. And he’s this big adult-looking kid who’s always either half asleep or something, and he’s got this sad look on his face, and now I worry even more, because how do I fix that? I don’t. I work with it. Aargh.

One way I know this year has been a rough start is that I never finished coloring my Unit 1 cover page. I’ve never NOT finished. Ever. So I was gonna finish Unit 2…and I did.

OK. There were a million other things I could have been doing in the classroom, but honestly, sitting with the kids and coloring with them was the best thing…both for me and for the group and for the individual kids. It was good. Plus in 8th period, this kid is showing me his drawing from across the room, and I’m trying to figure out WTF it is and I think it’s toes, and I’m trying to figure out what toes has to do with chemical reactions, and he’s a super needy kid and has this look on his face and I just lost it. Laughing so hard I’m crying. It’s OK, he didn’t mind, and I gave him a side hug and said thanks for the laugh, you might pick up some extra credit off that. My god it was awful. Still chortling on that one.

Satchemo is still with us, but he won’t eat. The hardest part of owning pets is knowing when they’re done…when there’s nothing else we can do.

Especially when there’s no warning.

I spent some time with my stitching friends last night…I took something easy and brainless to work on. It’s what I needed.

This is Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails block-of-the-month from 2015. It’s the third quilt of hers I’ve done. They are a nice filler for me. I don’t have to create anything or think about it. I just follow someone else’s instructions and do it and it’s relaxing and not stressful. I haven’t gotten much done on this all year because of all the embroidery patterns, so it’s nice to get back to it. It’s slow. But that’s OK.

I came back from stitching, entered a show, made food for the opening tonight…oh yeah, there’s an opening tonight in Liberty Station. I’ll be exhausted, but I’ll be there. And I have an opening tomorrow too. It’s going to be an interesting few days. So many things to do…so little time. Tonight is What She Said…Artists Speak Out, in Liberty Station, located behind the Solare restaurant, the Martha Pace Swift Gallery, from 5-8 PM. I have two quilts in that. And then tomorrow is the Mingei/Allied Craftsmen show Metamorphosis at City College Art Gallery. I have one big quilt in that. The Mingei is under construction at the moment, so they’re doing stuff in other places.

Then I sat and cut for an hour and a half. It doesn’t look like much…the pile on the left is done.

The stuff on the right still needs to be cut out. I honestly don’t know when I’ll be doing that. The man has a show Saturday night. I have a hundred things to grade. Well. Technically, way more than that due to the shitload of students I have. Woo! Love it. Ugh. Seriously, this weekend hurts to think about. Openings are cool, but when I’m stressed like this and just want to get work done, it’s hard to do what feels like wasting time. I’m considering taking a chair and stuff to cut out tonight. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday. Trying not to think about the cat or the workload or how it will all get done. It either will or it won’t.

Making Up a Title…

Well here’s an interesting commentary on recycling and the current government…my fees went up because we can’t send stuff to China (I’m actually OK with not sending it out of the US…it’s one of the things I think should stay here so we can stop shoving it under the carpet), but my trash company won’t even take all our recycling because they’re missing the machinery to actually recycle it, so there’s that, and what are they actually doing with the extra money and recycling? There’s no information about that at all…just we have to offset these expenses that we aren’t going to explain to you. I’m still trying to figure out how the current government helps me financially (it doesn’t), but I’d really like to solve the recycling issue here in this country. That would be nice.

It was a busy weekend. That’s why I didn’t write either day. I bought background fabrics the previous weekend but didn’t get that far until Saturday…I ended up picking the second one from the top.

I just leave this stack here and pick from it for background or backing.

Friday night, I finished cutting out the Wonder Under and then sorted it…

It didn’t take long…

This was Saturday morning, trying to organize my brain.

Sunday morning looked similar, but I think there was a different cat, plus a different page in the journal. It’s cleaner at the moment. It won’t stay that way.

One of Saturday’s jobs was to sort all this and put it away.

If I don’t clean the studio in between each quilt, I can’t think straight. Sorted by color for easy storage.

I was video messaging a friend by now who moved away…here’s my set up for the newest quilt.

It’s harder to concentrate on picking fabrics when I’m talking to someone. I’m really slow.

But I got some done.

Saturday night, we went to the Adams Avenue Street Fair, hung out, watched some bands, mostly Buck-O-Nine, which was fun except for all the dumb rude people.

Yeah that.

Late night gecko encounter…

Kitten was excited.

Sunday was a million more things to do, including a pile of grading and seating charts…finally stitched a bit with dinner…

Haven’t worked on this for ages. It’s very meditative.

But I needed to do actual art…so I ironed for a while…

I haven’t gotten very far…most of the 0-100s box and some of the 100s box. Need to figure out the rest of the ocean…

Sleepy puppy waiting for me to pet him…

Or for the boychild to let him in. Boychild broke his toe, so he won’t be hiking with me this week. I’ll survive. But it sucks for him.

OK, off to work. I’ve got shit to do this morning. As always.