Booster Brain

My plan was to catch up on blogwriting on Saturday/Sunday, but I got my second COVID booster and ended up with booster brain. Fell asleep for a while. Also went to a meeting, which was 5+ hours, so that was some of it. I’ll get there. Just not probably today, since I go back to school and I’ve probably forgotten all the things. Certainly the dog has forgotten our morning routine. I’ve had to chase him down a few times to get him to come back, stop wandering off, get in the house.

I’m incredibly unready to go back. I’m still exhausted…camping does not lend to easy sleep for me. I did appreciate the time when all I could do was draw, hike, read, or stitch. But, and I knew this would happen, I have come back to all the things I haven’t done, plus a car issue on top of all that. Deep breaths. Count the days of school that are left. Don’t panic.

One of the things I did on the trip was finish the last two of Sue Spargo’s March Homegrown blocks…one of them has a rewrite on the part of my life…

Funny that almost exactly a year ago, I posted the four blocks from April that had all been appliqued down, ready for the embroidery. I don’t do these fast, y’all. I did finish the first block from April as well…it’ll show up in one of the blogposts, once I finish resizing all the photos.

I finally managed to sit down at the sewing machine for stitchdown. I had this idea that Friday before I flew to Boston I would be stitching, and probably Thursday as well, and then when I got home on Monday after, I’d spend time then stitching, maybe finishing on Tuesday as we packed and shopped for camping. None of that happened. The deadline for the show I was making this for will pass without it being finished, which is fine. It’s still a worthy quilt and will find a home somewhere in some show. So Saturday night, I finally got my brain where it needed to be and sat down at the machine…

About 2 hours in, the free motion foot broke. This is the second one I’ve broken. Understand that in the previous 10 years of quilting with this foot on my old machine, I think I broke one. I’ve now broken two in 5 months. Two quilts. So I googled it, and yes, this foot is an issue. So I tried one of the other free motion feet…

It works, but even though it’s see-through, I’m having a hard time seeing where I’m going if I’m going backwards. So it’s been a pain, but I’m doing it. I also ordered about 4 different feet that should work in my machine, plus 2 of the foot that breaks, because it’s a design fault…and it’s still easier than trying to use this other one. Frustrating though. Something the new machine does causes breakage? Yes, it’s installed correctly. It’s just a weak point in the foot. Anyway, I’ve done all of the body and below the head…just need to finish the sky tonight, then piece a backing and pinbaste it. Not sure I’ll get all that done tonight, but we’ll see.

I need to grade about a million things too. Trying not to think too hard about that. I took a pile with me to the meeting yesterday, but was so spaced out from the booster that I couldn’t even look at them. Not sure I can today either. The spaciness is gone…the mindset of ‘can’t deal’ is not.

I did a lot of reading over the last two weeks…this is from Kingdoms, which I haven’t finished yet, but had a lovely description of women in history.

“Expensive cows.” Yup. Interesting book. I read a lot more when the Man is gone…read through dinner and every other meal (OK, I always read through every other meal, except at work).

The cats miss him. Apparently they missed me too. I interrupted this clandestine meeting of sisters last night.

I believe it was about geckos on the windows. Can’t be sure though. They might be planning a coup.

OK, going to work. Going to be efficient and not cloudy brained. When I can leave (after being forced to watch a staff v student basketball game outside, wait, where’s the sunscreen?), I will come home and see what I am capable of…blogging? Stitchdown? Nap on the couch? Grading? In that order. Thirty-eight days of school left.

Ode to a Shower…

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

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

This is Isle of Dreams Revisited.

And the incredibly relevant From Russia with Love…

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

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

The view…in one direction…

And the other direction…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of spring flowers and butterflies…

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

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

We slow hiked.

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

Another fire…

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

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

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

What If I Run Out?

I came home Monday night, still on Boston time. Sort of. Yesterday, we shopped and packed, and today we’re leaving on California time. Sort of. I’m still up too early and tired and hungry at the wrong times. If at all (hunger…always tired). I’ve got 9 maybe 10 days of mostly nature in front of me. There’s some art and one house stay, but mostly nature. Mostly have showers and toilets, but maybe not on one night. I might come home on my own; I might bring the Man back with me. So many possibilities (no, I’m not leaving him by the side of the road…he might have a job). I have a couple, maybe three books loaded up to read, some stitching, a sketchbook, and probably more shirts than I need. I have more pants than the Man. IDK how he does it, but I can’t wear one pair of pants for ten days. Not happening.

Here’s hoping for some sleep, some hiking, and some relaxation. Keep the weather nice and the neighboring campsites nicer. Or empty. I’m good with empty. The campsite we’re supposed to be in tonight had 21/35 campsites empty yesterday. I’m good with that. Suspect they won’t all be that empty, but that’s OK. I bought a new camp chair to lounge in. I made rice krispies treats (that’s my camping treat). I get to see some art quilts on the way up. It sounds good, yeah? I hope it is.

Monday, I blogged from here…

The couch in the girlchild’s bedroom. I left for the airport from there and flew home, graded most of one assignment because the video screens in our row on the plane were broken. Sucked. I wanted to see the second half of the movie I started watching on the way out. Oh well.

On Monday, we got to announce (finally) that we got into Quilt Visions…

I’m excited. And so glad the jurors Sheila Frampton Cooper, Lisa Walton, and Petra Fallaux chose the abortion rights quilt, My Body. My Choice.

It’s one of those quilts that might never get into a show. Politics y’all. Difficult topics.

So I thank them for being brave. I appreciate the opportunity to show the hard quilts. I know some people aren’t going to like it. I’m hoping we can have a conversation.

Also, this.

I waver between this level of confrontation and wanting to converse to hopefully give people a different view. I think I know what they will say about their side of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m wrong a lot.

I read a bunch the last few days…this is from Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. The cat amused me.

I really liked that book. Also about a pandemic. Maybe should stop reading dystopian futures.

Because the pandemic. Yeah. I tested negative when I got home on Monday. I have no symptoms, either from my daughter’s cold or exposure before I went on break. Knock on wood that it stays that way. Guess I’m not ready to give up masks at school yet.

I was hoping to get some stitchdown done the Friday I left and/or yesterday around packing, but I just didn’t have the energy. I have to concede defeat. I will not meet the deadline. It’s OK. It’s still a beautiful quilt and will find a home, an exhibition, somewhere to be seen. Most of them do. Yes, some of them don’t. Those always perturb me. Sometimes it’s obvious why…they’re a little TOO quirky and strange. Sometimes I have no idea why.

Last night, we watched the first episode of a series. I wondered why the Man chose that, since the probability of his being gone until sometime in late July/early August is pretty high. Ah well. It wasn’t that compelling. I stitched stuff down because it was brainless. Kitten hung out with me because she missed me.

I missed her too.

I need to keep track of how much embroidery I do while camping. I am currently panicking that 5 blocks of embroidery is not enough. Is that crazy? It might be. I feel like I finished one on the last trip. OK, so to keep track, I have two blocks of the four March blocks embroidered, so I’m taking two with me, plus three or four from April. Should I pack May? Is that crazy? I don’t know. I just don’t know. WHAT IF I RUN OUT?!

Crafty people understand. OK, we leave in 35 minutes. I need to go pack the food and get the hell out of here. See you on the web. I have internet in three days? Maybe?

Refreshing Brain and Body…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I also drew on Saturday.

Lots of zendoodly filling-in of space. Brainless.

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

I Am Always Behind

I got an email last night from a student wanting to know why I hadn’t graded all his work yet. Sigh. I am behind. I am always behind. There are very few times when I am caught up. Right now I’m behind because I’m trying to set up a field trip and do school and do art and get ready to leave on two separate trips, and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Wait until he hears I’m not grading anything over break. OK, I’ll probably grade SOMETHING, but not a lot. I won’t be home enough to grade a lot. Which sucks and yet is necessary to reset my brain. I will explain to the kid that if he wants his grade to go up, though, he should redo the assignments he rushed through, since he’s already done with the project that we are finishing up today. He has plenty of time to fix them.

Trying to find time (and more importantly, the energy) to grade stuff is difficult right now. I can do a few easy things in class, but not as much as I used to be able to do. It doesn’t help when I’m trying to do chaperone groups for the science center at the same time, plus field all the calls from the office, plus get them to actually get on task and stop turning around and distracting their friends. We have three days left, with most of Friday on a field trip. I’m exhausted and done; so are they. I was trying to grade the two art assignments during prep yesterday; made it through one, then got interrupted. So that will be today, plus whatever else I can get through.

After school, I have a union meeting on Zoom; I’m going to get my car looked at again (their request) at the same time. There was an oil filter issue that I really don’t want to have while I’m camping next week. Then home to record the lightning talk I rewrote again last night. Finally got the slides to work, copied them into a new presentation, added timing, practiced a few times, edited the script, then realized it was bedtime. Fuck. Hopefully I will get to do some sewing tonight. I didn’t last night. My goal for the week of having this thing pinbasted before I go to Boston? That’s not happening. I did start the stitchdown on Monday night…barely.

I got all the way around the edge, plus the little piece with the rabbit. I’m trying out the other MonoPoly color, smoke. I like it for most things. Not sure about lighter things. Not patient enough to switch between the two though. I’d like an hour or so tonight with it. We’ll see if I get that. I didn’t get much done Monday because I had to iron the whole thing down with steam, so that was 40 minutes or so.

Anyway. I’m dealing one day at a time right now. Trying to find the cat her special food. Ugh. Had to go to the dentist, which is no longer open late. Ugh. I’m juggling too many things.

I’m going to be SO productive today. I am going to cross things off the list like a boss! Or not.

I did go to the gym yesterday and finished my book. Exercise is key. I don’t see any exercise in the next 5 days, unfortunately.

After dinner, last night, I worked on these guys…

This is my braindead work. I had about an hour to eat and hang with the man while watching part of a movie. We don’t watch ALL of a movie at once any more. It’s my fault. I always have too much to do. But I pulled these out because I panicked that I would have no stitching for these two trips, OMG, nothing to work on! I like to have all the applique done and just do embroidery in the car or on a plane. These are the July blocks of Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block-of-the-month quilt. I’ve been working on them for a week now, convinced I would need them. Then last night, I went through the stash to see what needed embroidering. My loves, I am still embroidering the March blocks. Seriously. I have April, May, and June ready for stitching. There is no way I’m finishing all of those. Last year, I finished January and started February during Spring Break (yes, it’s been a while). I’ll be fine. I was trying to finish the Chirp borders over the last year…it’s a much less portable piece right now, so that’s why I haven’t been working on these. But I will be.

Here’s my piece Heart-Shaped Box (far right) in the Artist as Quiltmaker exhibit in Oberlin, Ohio, right now.

Patty Kennedy-Zafred’s piece in the front. Deb Berkebile’s piece on the far left. Sherry Kleinman’s piece to the left of the window next to mine. Not sure about the other one. This show was supposed to take place in Spring 2020. I’m impressed by their persistence to eventually show this exhibit. It’s much appreciated.

OK. School. Grading. Because I don’t want to think about it for two weeks. Try not to lose my mind in class. Do all the things. Make the kids do all the things. I teach 4 things today. Exhausting. Anti-tobacco curriculum (last day, yay! Thank you state politicians for putting that on us!), end of the reptile rescue project, start of photosynthesis escape room, plus monster zendoodle ink and erase. Plus harass the kids who haven’t finished anything. Fun stuff.

Meditative stitching at the end of the day…looking forward to it.

The Overwhelmedness…

Y’all, I’m feeling the overwhelmedness this morning. I was also feeling it last night at 1 AM when I was trying to sleep but the to-do list was screaming at me. I know the solution: bang some shit out, get it done, cross it the fuck off the list, run a marathon, come back, and finish the rest of it. Yeah. I know. I have limits. I’m not always sure what they ARE, but I have them. For instance, maybe agreeing to re-copyedit this book (quick readthrough!) in March was a mistake. Maybe signing up for a lightning talk…now see, that one’s deadline moved up a good 12 days. I could have done it without freaking out about it, and now I’m gonna have to freak out about it. I just need to be the most efficient bitch in the world for about two weeks…same thing I told myself two weeks ago.

School is always a big stressor. This year, of course it’s more than normal. Hoping this is not the new normal. Add Job#3, the copyediting, that’s a bad plan while I’m teaching. Ah well. It’s done. I have to do all the things. Today is school, vet with two animals, copyediting, hopefully some artmaking, certainly some grading, possibly some sort of mental breakdown in the middle of it? We’ll see. Checking on that one. Tomorrow is a lot of work, plus house stuff, plus ship a small sold quilt (good news!), and a social event or two in the evening (can’t be simple; has to be complicated). Then Sunday, we lose an hour, I still have all my school work to do, plus going to see the parents for the first time in a while. Then back to school. Chaos. It’s all good. I do just want to hole up and read my book, but we’ll have to see where that fits. Also, there’s no hike in that list. There needs to be a hike in that list. Fuck. Not sure when and where. But hike.

I was lucky to stitch last night with friends. Enjoyed it. Forgot to take a picture of what I did. Now waiting for app to update. I’ll insert photo here. Let’s just say it’s supposed to say Town Hall, but this is what I really felt like.

Also, I slammed my hand into a door jamb yesterday like an idiot, and it swelled up hugely almost immediately. Swelling is down, I can move all my fingers, but the bruise is going to be stupendous. It’s all good.

In other news, Wednesday night, I got the face ironed to fabric…

I think those blues are the river running through it. It was my birthday on Wednesday, so I now have some reading to do…always appreciate books.

And postcards from the girlchild…plus a truly impressive trilobite from the boychild. I suspect they have my number, as it were.

Then last night, after stitching from friends and lying around on the couch like a beached walrus for a bit, staring at owl videos, I finally surfaced and finished ironing the hawk down to fabrics…this is all that was left.

And yes, I stayed up late to do it. Dammit. Fuck Job#2…art is Job #1.

Here’s all the fabrics I used. A TON of browns, greens, grays, and other earth tones.

I’ve already started cutting pieces out, or that box would be more full. I ironed for a whopping 27 hours and 44 minutes. All that realism kicked my butt. Next one will be fantastical as hell. Nothing real. All in my head. Whenever I get to do that one.

OK. School. Two or three docs to make, all the things to copy, grading if I can persuade kids to work without standing on them (ha!), then race home and grab two furry beasts, take to vet, come back, probably more walrusing on the couch, then copyedit. SLEEP. Damn those nextdoor kids if they are up early on Saturday morning. I will be dropping rocks by drone near enough to their sweet little raucousing heads that they run inside to play violent video games instead of wholesome outdoor fun.

Yeah. You know I wouldn’t do that.

Float to Work

I just don’t know if my computer is going to wake up enough to resize photos and let me post. It’s only certain parts of the computer…this bit is working fine…for now…until I try to save something and then everything slows down into one of those movies where everyone is frozen and you can run in between them all and grab all their food and drinks. Maybe that’s just in my head. It would be cool though. I’d have all the student phones up front before they even noticed. Because that’s half my day sometimes.

I’m bouncing back and forth between the photo editing app and here, because its response time is equivalent to a morning class of 12-year-olds and I can get a paragraph done before its eyeballs even twitch in response. Don’t expect many photos today.

It’s raining here; hence the float to work. Also there may be a gas supply issue here soon. We’ll see. Lots of kids will be absent, because they don’t come to school when it rains. I wonder if there are specific types of businesses where no one shows up if it rains, even though they’re open. Pool stores? Pools? It’s pouring and I don’t even want to drive the piddly 2.47 miles to work because I know it will take forever. There’s construction on two of the roads I take to school. YES, I know it’s a short trip. I just shouldn’t be THAT annoyed by it.

It’s fine. It’s Friday. Grades are due Tuesday. I’m not done. I don’t know when I WILL be done. I will be at school today until I finish all the art stuff, because I have to start with an all-new class on Monday. Ugh. Groundhog Day. Don’t like it.

I ironed a bit more last night because I was on a Zoom with quilting friends…

Actually I think these photos are from the night before…those are agave fabrics…

And last night, I ironed a tree and a bat. I’m in the 800s. Progress! More tonight. Hopefully.

I graded after the ironing, because I still needed to grade. I had a brief moment of kitty love…

Check out that paw. And then the computer took her place. She was nice. Grading until 10:37 pm? Not so nice.

If you’ve been on Instagram, you saw some of my old stuff…this is a lighthouse quilt I started in the 90s sometime…a friend drew the patterns. It’s the first hand applique stuff I ever did.

This is not a whole quilt yet. There are 12 blocks? 10 blocks? They’re all done and framed with sashing; I just need to piece the whole thing together. Maybe this summer. It would be about time, yeah?

OK, there’s more photos but I can’t deal with it right now. Need to swim to work and give an thinking assignment. After showing an 11-minute video of elephant’s toothpaste. We did that yesterday. Set fire to many things. Not the classroom. Looking forward to getting shit done at school so I can have some free time soon…for some definition of the word “soon”.

Sustaining the Unsustainable…

OK, I obviously made it back from Phoenix and QuiltCon, and there are more quilt pictures, but I don’t have time to mentally (or digitally) process them yet. I came home and went right into school/house mode, which is why I wanted to leave in the first place. We had a good time hanging out, which is nice. It’s been a long couple of years without much of that, and we definitely need more of it. Spring Break! Yeah that’s 44 days away. So is seeing my daughter again! Woo hoo! And hopefully some quilt stuff…then camping and hiking with the man. I think I planned all but two days of my Spring Break, so nothing else will get done…at all. Not a bad plan until I get there and the grading is not done.

Which is part of what I’m panicking about now (again)…grading and an upcoming field trip. Once we get there, everything will be fine, but right now, it’s just crazy.

So what’s been going on? Well here’s my QuiltCon guild in front of that same donation quilt…

A few were photoshopped in…I made it to Phoenix just in time for this photo, but some did not.

The man drove for a bit on the way back, so I got to work on those damn flowers.

Apparently a year ago I was cutting them out of wool, so that’s a year working on this. I am not fast.

That said, I am almost done with the 4th type of flower…then just 2 more types to go.

I’m also still doing Molli Sparkles’ Cut-It-Up quiltalong. This is block 4, can’t remember what it is…hang on…

X Plus…well that bottom one sure is busy. I like it. I cut out 6. They’re not hard to piece, just don’t have a lot of time at the moment.

They’ve already posted Block 5, so shockingly, I am behind. It’s OK. I will survive. As my copyeditor is emailing me about the next readthrough and school is imploding into a mushroom cloud of to-dos. Yeah.

I did come back to my own quilt, which has a deadline, that honestly, I may not meet. I took a picture of these fabrics to remind me what I used for this plant, because there’s another one that’s more complicated further up the body, and I didn’t want to find those pieces now.

I often reuse fabrics in a quilt for continuity. That’s why I keep them all together until the quilt is finished.

I also started working on the sky, which has a sunset in it. Or a sunrise. Nah, it’s a sunset.

Because why keep it simple?

Sunday night’s progress…

And Monday night’s…

I got all of the sky done except for those two and the things zooming around the sky…which I finished last night…

Well, almost. I need to do the actual meteor and the rocket. I did the clouds and flames behind them. Then I get to start on the body and all the plants.

Kitten has taken to climbing the mountain of batting to survey me from up above. She’s trying to get up into the shelves (I’m not sure why)…

She usually hangs out behind that crazy pile. I need to remodel this room: new carpet, pull out the wallpaper, get rid of the popcorn ceiling, new lighting, maybe new slider doors and a bigger, nicer window, plus STORAGE. It’s on my list. Lots of things are on my list, but apparently my septic system needs a new baffle wall, which is probably expensive and will mean I don’t remodel anything.

School is all labs this week. Exhausting but good for the kids. Not as good for us…

But if they are paying attention, this helps them learn.

This is true.

Hey! My owl box has an actual OWL…a Barn Owl. We were going to pull it down to see if it needed cleaning, but then an owl swooped out. I’m hoping it has babies. And the bunnies in our yard are annoying me by eating all the new green leaves so they will have to run fast. Sigh. Predator/prey relationships disturb me, but I also recognize their necessity. It does make me worry about trimming the trees though. It’s not like I can afford to do that right now anyway…not until the baffle wall is solved.

Anyway, the owl part is exciting. School today is an exhausting mess of move this, clean this, move that, listen to instructions (them, not me), then a meeting I really didn’t want but let myself get bullied into. Fun stuff! Do everything for your students! And then more! Yeah, it’s not sustainable…we keep saying that and then we keep on sustaining it. But more ironing tonight (after grading)…that’s a good thing.

Magically Get Better…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four miles in the bag…dinner out afterward…

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

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

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

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

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

I did some other things, but only briefly…

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

There are always animals requiring attention…

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

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

Lost in the Weeds…

I spent about 5 hours yesterday afternoon dealing with the day job. I posted things, filled in pandemic contracts, calculated percentages on finished contracts, graded things, organized some calendar stuff, graded some more things, input some grades, and created one assignment. Unpaid hours, yes, but my prep period today is a whopping 45 minutes, so you can guess how much of that I would have gotten done today. Today I’m sure there are about 4 contracts that will close, so they will need percentages, plus who thinks I graded everything?! Anyone? Anyone? Yeah. That. I got lost in the weeds on the assignment I was doing. I had this issue last year with this assignment. I need to write down what I expect to get and save it somewhere so I can read it next year before I start.

I’m also rocking a stuffed-up nose, but have tested negative multiple times. My team says “take a day off,” and science would be OK (they wouldn’t finish the assignment, but whatever), but art would be a clusterfuck. And the next three days are labs and demos, so no guest teacher can do that. I’d have to either have them watch the video of it from last year’s Zoom or make up some completely different lame filler assignment. So I keep testing and stay masked and take meds for the cloggage.

Sleep has been problematic the last few nights as well, so I’m not feeling it. The whole get up and go. Nope. Drinking tea now to counteract the nope.

I did trace a lot of Wonder Under this weekend, more on Saturday than Sunday, due to my plan to never do the day job on Saturdays. Also, I was listening to the Surface Design Association conference stuff on Saturday morning, so I pieced the next block in Molli Sparkles QAL…

Piecing is not my forte. Directional stuff too…although I’m OK with both those things.

Here they are with the other parts…

Quilt of Chaos! I’m not even trying to make things match…just using lots of black and white prints. Things I can control. Sort of. Because piecing.

There was still another SDA thing, so I pulled the pieces I had cut for the scarf I didn’t start in last year’s QuiltCon…I watched the videos and took notes and bought the materials, but never started. So I pinned them down in a gradient of sorts…

Basted them all down half-assed and started stitching.

Well that’s fun. My official ‘listening to meetings on Zoom again’ scarf.

After SDA was done, we headed to Visions Art Museum to see A Better World, with my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill!.

It’s a nice exhibit to see in person, and looks great on museum walls…

The exhibit is up through early April…check it out!

I did some stitching on Chirp…this is the second of four of the fourth type of flower, with a pain-in-the-ass stitch going around it…

I’ll be good at it by the time I get to the fourth flower of it.

I traced a little on Friday night, then about 3 hours on Saturday night (the man had a show and I didn’t go)…

And another hour last night…

I’ve got 6 different yards of giant sky pieces that I’m trying to fill in with the smaller pieces of the body and plants and all. I hate waste…

This is taking a really long time to trace. I’m at 15 1/2 hours and I’m only in the 900s. It will go over 20 hours, I think. Usually it’s about 100 pieces an hour, but those big swoopy pieces were time-consuming…some in the time to trace them and some in how to fit them best on the yard of Wonder Under. I should finish some time this week though…

Great sentiment.

So survival day. Just get through it. Come home and nap? Not sure. Staff meeting about suicide today…annual notification of what suicidal kids look like. Yeah. We know, unfortunately. Let’s talk, though, about banning books that might help some of these kids, but not banning guns. Oh…you don’t want to talk about that? I’m shocked. Sigh. This country is so fucked up sometimes. With that, I’m going to go teach the next generation to think…maybe.