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.

A Few Moments…

Oh my Saturday. A day off? I think that means I don’t need to run any errands today. Because the last two days have kicked my errand-running ass. Really, trying to drive all over town in stupid traffic with stupid people cutting me off or refusing to let me get over from an only lane or not letting me out of my parking space (like really? MOVE…) is not a fun way to spend a day…or two. The plus is that a bunch of stuff is done and out of my hair and some things I actually did EARLY for once in a million years. I still have 4 bags of books that need to make it to library bookshops (why do they make it such a pain in the ass?). But I can do that. AND I got Speculoos cookies from Trader Joe’s (which I really don’t need…but whatever…). NO ERRAND DAY. Actually, today is kinda squishy packed anyway, but with sociable stuff. And dancing. With strangers. Because that’s how I roll.

So one thing I did yesterday was to check out this gallery where I’ll be entering work in September. I should have checked it when I was in Liberty Station last week, but that slipped my mind. And ironically, I’ll be there again today. So I didn’t need to go yesterday, but apparently my brain didn’t know that. Fucker.

Having seen the space, I’m feeling much better about hanging my work there.

I did a return shopping thing, smiled at Greenpeace kids, shipped two things out in a post office I didn’t even know existed, and checked out another library space for quilt meetings (they didn’t have one), plus got rid of some kid books in a responsible manner. I also did a little shopping for food…yet another potluck on my schedule. I think I solved it. Unfortunately, I did have some stressful annoying irritating moments while doing all that. Like seriously, why are people so stupid in parking lots? I just don’t understand it.

True story. It was good. I don’t remember the lyrics any more though, so no fame and fortune for me. Screaming did help.

When I got done with all that, I felt like I owed myself a moment. A few moments. Sitting on the deck with the dogs while talking to the girlchild on the phone and trying to draw.

All the sticks and bits of sticks on the the deck are totally and completely Calli’s fault. I need to sweep again.

Watching the hummingbirds race around…this isn’t a final drawing. It’s a drawing toward an idea.

We’ll see where it goes.

I spent some afternoon time prepping the dinner parts so I could take the little dog out for a short walk. The old lady is still having issues and the boychild isn’t feeling well, so it was just me and the little asshole. Nice plant.

Could be thistle. Could be artichoke? Nah, thistle.

This path goes by houses for a good chunk of it. It’s not my favorite walk, but it’s good for a hot day and a short time period. I didn’t leave until 6 PM, because it was too damn hot…and I still had to make dinner.

Nice bits of shade.

Non native.

Side eye from the puppy about this project…

My words keep getting bigger. I might fix that. I might not. Adjust. Not tear out and redo.

I wanted to cut more out yesterday, but life. You know. It does what it does.

I did spend a few hours cutting though.

See? I tired him out.

I am so not ready for school. I’m not supposed to think about it until August 1. I’m failing at that.

Think quilt! I wanna make this quilt. I like it.

So I finished cutting 3 yards, one to go. I’m going to work on it today and hopefully get done, but I’m hanging with a friend doing something else for a few hours, then the man’s band plays tonight. Tomorrow I have a meeting midday, so that will affect my time. I am hoping that I have a big enough piece of background fabric to do this…I should figure that out before I head out, since the fabric store is near where I’ll be picking up my friend. Because I want to be ironing to fabric tomorrow sometime.

But first, shower, food, hopefully cut some stuff out before I need to leave.

You’re So Funny and I Kinda Like Your Band*

Happy Pride y’all! San Diego has two cool things every summer: ComicCon and the Pride parade. And I’m going to neither of them. Ah well. Enjoy if you’re there…

There’s something about the routine of school that keeps me more on task. I guess it’s because my available time is so short…and there are a lot of things that I just let fall by the wayside during the school year. I rescheduled one of today’s events, which is good, because I might just get most of what I NEED to get done before I leave for Palm Springs tomorrow…there’s things that have been on the to-do list all week that still won’t be done, but I can’t help that. It is what it is. I’m not packed for the trip, and the food is an issue, that and the temperatures. Ugh. Hot. I am ready and packed for my class next Thursday and Friday though…priorities! It’s an art class and I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t often take classes any more. This is my summer treat.

Anyway, before that, I need to get my teacher ass (and brain) to Palm Springs with appropriately casual and cool (temperature) clothing. More importantly, I need enough stitching for the the drive up and back. Seriously. That’s important.

Yesterday was busy, but productive. I’m trying to figure out my retirement…yes, it’s at least 10 years out, but I have bits and pieces of funds and plans all over the place from being self-employed, privately employed by multiple companies, and publicly employed. Talk about chaos. I just want to know if I will be able to afford to retire…like ever. So I’m working on that. Yesterday was the first step in getting that managed.

We walked the little dog…the big dog is still not physically up for that. It’s possible that she thinks she up for it, but that back leg is still not in compliance. It was pretty hot yesterday, so the boychild picked a location I hadn’t been to before, but that has a significant amount of shade. It’s good that it did, because the heat kicked my ass at one point.

I haven’t drawn the superhot hot flash woman yet. Maybe while I’m sitting in a hotel room at night? Who knows.

So this is Oakoasis County Preserve, which isn’t far from here and isn’t a long hike, around 2 1/2 miles, but that’s a good dog distance, especially when it’s hot.

There are still lots of flowers…

But things are definitely drying out. And there were bees buzzing so loudly it sounded dangerous…

The Cedar Fire came through here, so the brush is about 16 years old…

But the oaks for which it’s named are still standing…ah shade! It’s about 15 degrees cooler under there than out in the sun.

And fungus!

I’m fascinated by these…

The shapes and colors, plus their ability to grow on something that is dead in the full heat of East County.

Nature is so cool. That’s why I keep drawing it.

Some parts of the trail obviously have more access to water than others…

This tree is dead now, but forced itself out of the center of that rock…


We went in the late afternoon…there’s a peek of San Vicente Reservoir…

Nice to see water when it’s so hot out.

We haven’t been hiking…dogs recovering from surgery, plus hot, plus chaos. Next week is the worst for that (chaos) this summer…but on the 22nd, I think it all mellows out. A bit. So hopefully we’ll find some cooler weather and hike a bit more.

Nice meadows…

And flowers…

And more fascinating fungi…pretty sure the one below is a gall…so pretty though.

The boychild had seen California Horned Toads here a few weeks back, but we didn’t see any. They are funky little beasts.

So yeah, a short hike for the two of us who don’t like heat. We left this old lady behind.

She’s still searching out the best stick for throwing purposes. Even though none of us will throw anything for her at the moment.

Both of them want outside…

The two oldest in the house, I think…although a tie with Kitten, who’s turning 11 next month.

We got a lot of boxes yesterday…just for Satch.

He appreciates them…

I did eventually let the dogs out (I won’t babysit the cat outside…his daddy can do that) so I could try to draw the next embroidery pattern…I need something to stitch in the car.

Although it was warm out, the sun is not on the deck in the afternoon and it’s usually much cooler. There’s a breeze.

No. We won’t throw you a stick.

There’s a fire down on the border and we watched this helicopter transport water down there a few times…

The fire is 40% contained so far…mostly it’s on the Mexican side of the border. Good thing there isn’t a wall that would stop people from fighting the fire. Well, there might be in this part of the country. Walls don’t stop fires. People do. And defensible spaces. Anyway.

We came back and I did some of this during dinner. The never-ending embroidery.

It really is relaxing to stitch…I just know I need to get 6 done this summer, and I’m three weeks in and haven’t even finished one. Sigh.

So then I worked on that drawing again…

I added a snake and some other stuff later. I’m not sure I want everything I added though. So there might be some editing before I scan it for the pattern. Basically I’ll need to decide that today. I’m also going to add an embroidery page to my website so you can see them all. The patterns and kits with the threads I used are available on Global Artisans. Of the finished embroideries, one has sold and one is traveling with Global Artisans…the rest are available. They’re not cheap though…embroidery takes time.

It was late when I started working on the drawing for the next quilt. This is about 49″ square…

I wanted the bodies penciled in before I started in ink. I often just draw in ink with no pencil, but this is big and fussy enough that I wanted to be sure the main figures worked before I inked anything.

I added some ink last night, before realizing how late it was.

Oh yeah. Bedtime. Ugh. Too late. Animals don’t understand sleeping in. I think it’s because they just sleep when they want to…

Too bad really. I don’t know how much of this I’ll get done before I leave tomorrow, but hopefully some. I already have a post-it note with a list for today. I should get going on all that. Food, mop, pack, draw, computer stuff…

*The Fratellis, Stacie Anne

The Pieces Don’t Fit Together So Good*

I missed writing yesterday. It was a busy day. I did a lot of things. I forgot about normal routines. Food included. Eh. Not the best plan. I’m going to do better today, I hope.

On Thursday, I drew this during the talking time…

It wasn’t that I wasn’t listening or contributing…this shit helps me think. This is small, by the way, and could never be a quilt. Seriously. That would be crazy.

The boychild picked me up from school and we saw this on the way home.

I’m disturbed that this exists.

This guy was waiting for us as we walked down the driveway. Lots of hawks around here…

We got out a little early, and the dogs wanted a walk.

So did I. It was hot. We need a better way to water the dogs on a walk. Although they might not drink anyway. Lots of ticks collected on this walk. Sigh.

I can’t explain this. But it was on the walk.

Name of my next quilt…

So that was Thursday…and I didn’t get a lot done that night (tired)…Satchemo got some sleep in…

Look at that face. So cute when he’s not snorting snot everywhere. I did get some stuff cut out on Thursday…

I’m not really doing any of this during the day. Not by choice…just other stuff seems to suck up my time.

On Friday, there was some shopping, some planting, lots of computer crap, some job-hunting (not mine), some dinner prep…

My plan was to cut out all the pieces of the quilt after dinner until I was done, but then we watched the 6th episode of The Handmaid’s Tale and I couldn’t get the covered mouth thing out of my head. I tried. I started cutting. And then I got up and got the sketchbook.

The left side is nature OK; the right side is nature not OK, which is what was causing the issues in why people couldn’t have babies. So I kind of worked with that. I can’t explain the hand cut off…like the bodies weren’t allowed to be whole. I was really disturbed by the silent handmaids…and we don’t know yet if that was a choice. And how the hell do they eat? Who knows.

There was a sleepy dog…

So this was about 45 minutes. And then I started cutting again…but not done.

I still need to cut out all the stuff on the right. So that’s today, I guess. It’s funny…I made this long list of stuff to do yesterday and got hardly any of it done. Frustrating. Hopefully today will be better. I’ve got stuff to do tonight, but the whole day is free…although there’s cleaning that needs doing too. Sigh. OK. Food, shower, organizing my brain, then art. I have a whole ‘nother drawing I need to do as well. One week of summer break is gone. It feels scary to have lost a week. OK, not lost…just gone. It’s OK. I’m still tired, my cold came back to bug me, I need more rest, that’s for sure. Maybe that should be my goal for the weekend? Huh. Maybe. I think I’ll feel better if I can cross off a chunk of things off that list. I’m sure there’s something wrong with that idea, but it makes me feel better. I’ll meditate later!

*Amanda Palmer, Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing

As We Drift into the Zone*

It’s the weirdest thing. You turn in your last grades of the school year, and all of a sudden, you come home and you don’t have any schoolwork to do. My brain panics a little. Wait. What do I do after work? I don’t have more work? (I mean, I do, but not like grading stuff, which is a never-ending thing along with planning for the whole school year and part of the summer.) I joined this teacher group for the year to try to cut some of my work hours, to streamline the shit so I can enjoy the not-shit more, and so many teachers are already on break and wondering why they can’t get going, why they’re still sleeping in the morning, still in pajamas at 2 in the afternoon. It’s called recovery. And I’m not there yet. My classroom is still a disaster. I’m still teaching sex ed today, plus there’s a school teacher breakfast, so I need to be in early. And then I also have a field trip tomorrow and another award ceremony, and then the sweet horrible wonder of the last day of school. I’m almost done getting everything put away in the classroom. Today I’m typing up the list of hazardous stuff we need to get rid of, so hopefully it can get picked up before they put summer school in my room.

Yesterday was exhausting. This whole last month has been exhausting. Frustrating. Stupid people stuff. Dumb adult drama. Too much work. Soon. Soon it will be done.

So I went home and walked dogs…

We went to the more open space…

The plants are changing color…

It’s been dry and hot in the last week. I had to put the sprinklers back on at home.

They scraped the road…it’s a fire break, so that makes sense. Less chance of getting ticks too, unless you’re the little boy and need to pee by standing on a bush.

No sign of coyotes…although you know they were there.

I know there’s cleaning to do. I need to sew some stuff (quick) for a friend. I need to do my second Patreon video. I found the videos I already recorded and downloaded them. Then I got distracted by something else. Easy to do when the brain is still so overloaded. The men around us teachers keep asking why we’re so irritated, emotional, distant, whatever. Um. So it’s really hard to explain how much emotion and care we put into our jobs. We think about kids nonstop. Not always with irritation! With worry. With sadness. With joy. With hope. So this week, we’re kind of a mess. Come back to me in July and I might have recovered. Mostly.

But I didn’t grade after eating dinner. I worked on this!

I haven’t been working on this at all, because I’ve been doing the embroideries. Which needs to start up again, but I have to do drawings first. Maybe later this week. I have one I want to simplify already. He’s not done, by the way. He needs nostrils and eyes and something on his horns.

I also started cutting stuff out…

I actually did one whole yard and the smaller piece, so I’m more than halfway done. I might be ironing to fabric by Friday. That would be cool. This could be a really fast piece. Of course, that means I’m forgetting all the other stuff that is going to suck up my days in the next week or so. But it’s OK to forget all that right now.

*Weezer, Island in the Sun

Restless As the Wildest Way*

I think at this point that my brain is so addled that I need to be exhausted to sleep. Or I’m so into making the new quilt that I can’t sleep because I’d rather be doing that? Certainly it’s more relaxing than grading. I finished three assignments yesterday…one had been in process for a few days…it was just taking me a while. I so want to be done.

It was really warm here yesterday, with some clocking in at 99 degrees and some at 104. Either way, too warm. I left school and didn’t think we’d be walking dogs, but it was cooler at the house…which is only 2 1/2 miles from school. There was a breeze and clouds were kicking in, so we dragged them out (with water).

It wasn’t too bad out there…although this plant seems like it’s reacting to the heat…

Look at those weird seed pods…and it’s a spiky son of a bitch.

There was some other little yellow-flowered thing that was stinging through our pants. Not this one…a weedier-looking plant with vicious spikes.

Nature is beautiful but painful. Good lesson.

We’re seeing ticks all over the place. Well…on the dogs and on the man.

The boychild and I have avoided them somehow.

After grading, I set up for the next quilt. Oh yeah! Desert Daughter won the vote on my Patreon…that’s this one…

She’s got 542 pieces…she’s not tiny, but she’s not huge. I actually drew this two years ago, not after the last trip, although there’s definitely some reminders of that trip here. I’m not making her for anything in particular…I just wanted to do a small filler piece before I do a big piece for the summer. It seemed like a fair reward to let my Patreon folks pick it for me.

So I started tracing last night just before 10 PM…

I recorded a bit of it for a future Patreon video. Satchemo did not help…

He was distinctly in the way. Here at least he stopped trying to lie ON the Wonder Under…

I’ve been entering a bunch of shows lately…hoping to get in to some of them. There are never any guarantees, that’s for sure. This one will fit somewhere. It actually has no nudity in it…

Wait, neither does the last one. A trend? Ah fuck no. It just worked out that way.

I’ve started mentally making my summer to-do list. So far, it is all about cleaning spaces that are out of control, planting things, and making art. Seems like a worthy plan. It’s funny, because I’ve signed up for this school committee that will keep me in conferences all summer. Sigh. It’s OK. It’s two days here and there…it won’t kill me. It’s better than jury duty for the whole month of July…so far, they’ve left me alone on that one. Give them time, though. I’m sure they’ll find me again.

OK, early meeting. Finally made it almost through birth control options in class…moving on to STDs…fun stuff. Eight more days…hopefully I’ll find sleep more easily as the week goes on…

*Crooked Still, Undone in Sorrow

The Life I Left Behind Me Is a Cold Room*

Yesterday was a really long day, but it’s interesting…I felt much more relaxed about it than usual, because we had a nice leisurely lunch…one of the pluses of the testing days is that we can go get lunch and then eat it together and hang out, instead of rushing to pee and eat and get ready for the next class in about 25 minutes. So going from an 8 AM meeting to the end of a 6 PM meeting was doable. Although that later meeting had some weird shenanigans. You know there are some people where I spend way too much time trying to figure out their motives and probably I should just hope they get fired, because that would make more sense. But besides that, it was a fairly productive day. I mean, I could have graded more things during testing, but I was focused on clean up, so I sorted a pile of the paper cash we use for kid awards. I did some other things too, but mostly clean up instead of grading. I will always be behind on grading, until I’m not, because the school year is over. So that’s a thing.

When I was leaving the district office after the last meeting, I wanted to walk. I have my parents’ dog here right now, and she is a needy beast. The boychild had already left with the other two dogs, so it was just going to be me and Katie, which is fine. I leashed her up, and we went out, and there were two incidents with dogs off leash. I don’t care how awesome your dog is…unless you have control over it, please don’t let it off leash. Mine is leashed for a reason…she’s an asshole on walks. Better than she used to be, but she’s aggressive. So she’s leashed. Sigh.

Because we both needed a walk. There were tiny baby bunnies frozen everywhere.

Blurry because it was a ways away, but frozen!

It was late…I didn’t leave until 6:20 or so. But the sun goes down later than it used to. This is a walk I do from the house, so it’s really just wild areas in between housing. It seems safer when it’s closer to dusk…less likely to run into a coyote.

Right after this picture was when I realized a pit bull was stalking us. I yelled. He/she left. Good one.

So I made it home and the pug who attacked earlier was inside this time (sigh). I made dinner and the girlchild called and then I was reading email and saw this picture…

This was pulled from video…that’s a bobcat. On the street behind us. Where I was just walking Katie. Nice. Well, we don’t hear about bobcat attacks much around here. Mountain lion and coyote, sure…and I’ve seen two bobcats since I’ve lived here, but not near the house. Well. Nature finds a way to survive. Always.

Anyway. Then I trimmed the quilt…

I hate quilting more than I need to…this was a fussy size. I hate it when things have to be an exact size. I’m always sure I’m going to fuck it up.

So I measured about a million times. I sewed on the binding and sleeves…just need to sew it all down by hand. Tonight probably. And finish the Patreon video, so I’ll know what to work on next. Because I’m going right into the next one. This stuff is stress release at the moment as well as artmaking. First, though, there’s dropping off the car for some brake work and teaching unplanned pregnancies and not having a relaxing long lunch and probably grading some stuff. I’m looking forward to the weekend…I will get a lot done and sleep in and have an opening with one of my pieces. All good.

This song has been stuck in my head since last night…I’m not sure why, but just gonna let it roll.

*Sarah McLachlan, Sweet Surrender