She Must Be Exactly the Right Size…

Hmmm. Lunar eclipse happened. Russia is still attacking the Ukraine. Rich white guys are still attacking women of all colors, soon to move on to white boys (and others) who don’t share their cis hetero tendencies. And those who don’t fit neatly into their idea of gender. So many books I read have a mystical, mythological element to them, and a blood moon with a lunar eclipse should have been read as some sort of major message…I’m reading it as STOP, go back, y’all are doing it wrong! Russia needs to go back to their own country. Those rich white guys need to go fishing or play golf or something…maybe work on racist extremist supremacy here (oh wait, they are, just not how I want them to) so we don’t have people killed in grocery stores while stocking up on food for the next week. Maybe we could just work on feeding those who live here and dealing with the gun issue? Instead of trying to make sure there are more kids who are starving? I don’t know. Just a thought. A big thought, sure, but a good one.

In the midst of all this, I just keep making. This drawing was originally pretty chill. I did one over Spring Break in some campground and there’s a lovely world hiding in her vagina that I was seeing as a portal to this other world. In reality, the vagina is kind of a portal, but mostly things are coming out. But I kinda think of these as earth goddesses, I draw them a lot, and certainly some people have seen the sheela na gig in this drawing. This is not the first time I’ve drawn this type of figure…it’s been in my vernacular for a good long while. So I did one Thursday night and rejected it because of the ankles. Or the angle of the arms. Or something.

And so Friday, I went back and looked at the smaller drawing from Spring Break and started a third version…

It filled the page. Without a head. I have been drawing things too big for the page since I was in 5th grade. Maybe earlier. So I decided to enlarge it before I drew any more…

Got her taped together on Saturday night, and then Sunday night, taped more around the edges so she could have elbows and eventually a head. She got a lot bigger.

But there’s the start. I’ve got some drawing to do now. Thinking of my deadlines, she might be too big, but then I am focused more on deadlines than on what I want to make. Which shouldn’t be how I make. So there we are. She must be exactly the right size.

Saturday morning, I took a Zoom class from Carolina Oneto, who was in Peru, on curves and color transparencies.

The curves are pretty easy from years of clothesmaking…although making them flat instead of curving around a shoulder is different. I didn’t realize I had enough solids to make all the color overlaps, but I did.

It went together pretty well.

So not like what I usually make, yeah? Agreed. But interesting enough in its own right.

Saturday afternoon, I walked the dog.

No one else wanted to come with me. It was hot.

But there were lots of wildflowers and it was outside…

And I needed the exercise.

A friend came to visit on Sunday and we hung out in a park for a while. That was nice. And then the weekend was mostly over. Which is how it works. I never get enough done. I graded 1 1/2 assignments, posted some stuff for school, laid awake last night at 11 PM worrying through some stuff for this week, and today I’ll try to get everything done that I didn’t do last week or over the weekend. Ha! Never happens. Never efficient enough.

Yeah this…

Which is why I can’t do jury duty for the entire month of July. I’ve already worked a full year. I need a break. Plus I have to plan for next year, which is two grades of science instead of one. Some stuff I’ve never ever taught before. Again. For the third year running. Ugh. Maybe more years than that. Also 300 hours for grading off the clock is really low.

Found a cat in a box.

This is why we can’t recycle things in a timely manner.

Ah yes, blurry night photo of blood moon eclipse.

It was cool to see in person…cooler than this photo.

OK. It’s still Monday. There’s still a multitude of wars on humanity that shouldn’t be happening. This week at school is frog dissections and the beginning of human reproduction for the first time since May 2019. With a block schedule, which might kill me. 79 minutes of direct instruction is not my idea of fun. Luckily we voted that out for next year. But this year, I have to figure out how to survive it. Microphone for the voice. Lots of drawing or coloring for the breaks? We’ll see. Human reproduction coloring books? Could be.

I Just Want to Be in a Richard Scarry Book

My plan this weekend was to be super efficient and get the quilt binding on (I managed that sort of) and finish all the grading (oh fuck no, didn’t even come close) and just get my life in control in general (ha ha ha ha aha aha hsdfdsf;ah;g). I did come close to finishing my book. I went grocery shopping and did the laundry. I bought dog food so we won’t run out. I had dinner with my parents, especially my mom, because well I would have anyway, it’s been a while, but it was Mother’s Day, so it seemed more important, you know? There’s a lot I didn’t do. And it’s fine, things will get done eventually, but there’s a lot of crazy going on with my car (because I need more massive expenses this year) and the Man (oh my) and school (nothing new there, it’s just a shitty couple of years).

I did finish quilting…

On Friday night, I finished all the outlining and barely started the border stitching.

Then I finished the borders on Saturday afternoon and trimmed it Saturday night…

Then last night, I put the borders and sleeves on; they still need handstitching. I can handle that. And I’ll probably do some inking, plus I think the snake needs handstitched eyeballs. Because they were gonna be too small to do in fabric. So no rush on that. I missed the deadline for this show by a good two weeks. No worries. She’ll go somewhere. The next one is mostly drawn in my head, so that’ll be good.

I did go to my quilt guild meeting and worked on this sashiko scarf for a bit…

It’s gonna take me a million years to finish this. Also, I don’t know how to stitch in even semi-straight lines. It’s just not in my vocabulary. I started with them and then devolved into whatever direction I felt like.

Kind of a metaphor for life.

What else is going on? Besides my car transmission? Damn car has less than 49,000 miles on it. I’m pissed. Sigh.

I planted freesias this year. I really like freesias.

You know who else likes freesias? Bunnies. Why am I feeding the bunnies? Probably so the barn owls in my owl box have food. Cycle of life that starts with my freesias. I think this is the one bloom that they allowed. Everything else chomped. Fuckers. Stupid cute dumb little fluffballs.

Found this in my classroom on Friday.

Usually it’s cockroaches. I kill those. The occasional spider. Depends on the size and location as to whether I kill them. This? I set her free outside on a lovely plant. Hopefully she survived the student incursions.

This was on my driveway. Not moving.

Suspect death. Cheery. Also beautiful. Hope the eggs got laid before this.

Walked the dog on Friday after school.

Boychild set a deadly pace. Both of us spent all day in a classroom, but he has considerably more energy than I do after that.

My Mother’s Day gift from the girlchild.

Apparently it’s named after me, but they spelled it wrong. It’s an air plant, so it will be really hard for me to kill it. Good plan, girlchild.

These two ducks somehow managed to cross four lanes, very slowly, as cars pulled up and avoided them. The male seemed to fall and/or lie down at one point.

They are not long for this world.

This was the man Friday or Saturday morning. Can’t remember which.

He’s been having a really hard time at his job. I’m going to say it’s a people thing. There might be a resolution to it today. Probably. But he needed a break, so he hiked out a few miles and slept away from ‘home’. I’m wishing him luck today. I’ve been wishing him luck every day for a week though.

Fuck me on this. Seriously. Leave the uteri alone.

I have no faith in the Supreme Court right now. No faith in my country. No faith in my government. It’s been such a clusterfuck. It’s continuing to be a clusterfuck.

I would love to do this.

I mean, I don’t need to have a pillow fight. I just want to be in a Richard Scarry book. But a non-sexist one, because he had some issues with that. Sign of the times? Yeah but you don’t have to be that.

OK, survive school (they have to work in groups, so that should be interesting). Do all the things after school. Finish grades. Ugh. That’s the hard part. Finish my book? Probably not tonight. But soon. Sleep again. Because I failed that task last night. Second chance!

It’ll Be Fine…

A new month. It’s a long month. State testing for the first time since 2019. That’ll be interesting. Probably not very enlightening. Then again, I never found state testing to be particularly useful. Ironic since I’m a teacher.

I spent a lot of the weekend grading and quilting. Probably more grading though. Because the day job sucks up lots of time. I did watch a lot of the SAQA conference videos and participated in some this weekend WHILE grading…

Conference on iPad, pile of papers, another paper for notes about conference stuff, laptop for recording grades. Fun stuff. I appreciated most of the talks. I had some moments of thinking many of us white female quilters are awfully entitled, but OK. That feeling hasn’t passed. Of course we are. We can afford to spend money on materials and equipment and traveling and conferences…and the few who can’t, probably aren’t at this conference. They probably aren’t members either. Anyway. Also thought it was ironic that I’m teaching art but I’m not teaching fabric art. Next year, I won’t be teaching art, 99% sure of that. Won’t be 100% sure until the day we start the new year in August.

So lots of quilting…actually, really, only about 4 1/2 hours of it, compared to 9+ hours of grading. I used to be able to quilt all day on a Saturday, but that’s not a thing right now. Grade file for progress reports opens Thursday. Trying to get caught up.

Everything is so detailed, it just takes forever to do this. Friday night, I did a bunch of tiny animals…

Saturday night, I did more of them and a few plants…

Made it up into the sky as well…

Although not very far. Sunday night was the best, because I gave up on school stuff after about 4 hours (plus 5+ on Saturday) and quilted for 2 hours instead. So I got a whole arm section done…

Mostly.

I did the cactus anyway…

Got into the ribs and the tarantula as well, but didn’t quite finish the upper sky or arm. Good progress though…finally. Tonight, I’ll be back to a piddly hour a night if I’m lucky. But it will get done eventually. I need to leave soon to take my car in though. I have four different warning lights on that have been on and then off and then on all the time since Ojai…hopefully it’s just a sensor malfunction, because it’s 4 different systems and I don’t have the money for that. I’m not sure I have money to get through the summer as it is…although there’s always the renovation fund if I need it. Aargh. Really? Frustrating. I guess the septic redo counts as renovation…not what I meant it for though. I think I will never retire.

I wish the SAQA conference had more on the weekends…like what’s wrong with Sunday? Some of us work. Sigh. At least most of it’s recorded…it’s just finding the time to watch those.

Saturday was Independent Book Store Day and San Diego had a book crawl. I headed out to a bookstore I follow because I didn’t remember it existing when I used to hang out in that neighborhood. I don’t remember what WAS there, but it wasn’t this.

There were a lot of people. I bought a blank book, ironically (a sketchbook with nice thick paper). Because I couldn’t deal with picking a book with actual words. I read all the time, but picking just ONE out of all of them? Yeah. No.

Also, money is tight and this was cheaper than one from an art supply store. I can play with watercolors on it. If I had any. I might have some. In my stash.

I also hiked, because exercise is necessary…

For mind and body…

Oooh…I didn’t notice the bugs in the flower when I took the picture…thought they were flower parts.

Four miles. Good stuff.

The boychild is on a new work schedule for the next month. It’s confusing to the dog and me. He will be more available to cook, though, so I’m all for it. The man is still working random hours up at Kennedy Meadows and living in a tent. My co-teacher is still stuck in Germany. It’s fun here. I should read more books. Pillow forts. Hike more.

Kitten has totally figured it out.

Funny old lady. Totally rejected the food my vet called “crack for kitties”. Too bad. She needs to eat one of the special foods.

OK. I have already achieved this, y’all. In fact, there’s some stuff I need to burn or hide before I die.

It’ll be fine. OK, car in, teach all day, 2-hour staff meeting, then home and cook dinner, grade stuff, and quilt. Repeat.

Drawing on Vacation

I’m back! I haven’t had WiFi for a week, obviously. I had enough cell coverage to post Instagram photos, but then my phone died and refused to charge for a bit. There’s so many photos and stories from the last week that I can’t even deal. Maybe a little at a time. Let’s start with the drawings…because I basically did one a day. That’s the best part of being away from the house on vacation…I can’t distract myself with the to-do list that’s here. I can read, I can stitch, I can hike, or I can draw. So I draw mostly at night with a headlamp while the Man builds (and stares deeply into) a fire. It’s my form of staring deeply into a fire, I guess.

The first drawing is actually from the trip to Boston to see the girlchild. She needed a nap and I needed some down time, so I went back to my AirBnb and drew and watched some Marvel movie I thought I hadn’t seen (I think I only hadn’t seen the beginning…like I was grading during the beginning of the movie?)…

When I’m really tired, just drawing concentric or parallel lines is one thing I can do.

Then I was home for about 36 hours (max) and we left to go camping. The first two nights, we were in Ojai, California.

Everyone asks why Ojai? I don’t know. It was on the map and had hikes and campsites. We are short on money right now, so no fancy restaurants and wine tastings. Well, we did one, but not in Ojai. I used the ridgeline to start her back and then filled in from there.

This was the second night in Ojai, after a particularly difficult (it shouldn’t have been, but it was) hike…

I drew a bunch of the stuff I’d seen on the hike, plus the campfire and the mountains and the oaks.

The next night, we made it to Paso Robles and our one stay inside. The first night, we went to see Sensorio (more on that later). I didn’t actually draw that night…this was the next day, when it was a bit drizzly in the morning and we decided against the hike we’d planned.

Then later that day, we headed out to a winery with a bunch of sculpture and had a (very expensive) wine tasting.

Still focusing on the landscape; lots of trees and grapevines in this one. I didn’t finish this one, actually, until later in the day. We headed over to Tin City, which has lots of winery tasting rooms. We picked a brewery instead, because it had a food truck, and we hung out there for a while, watching the people (some) and dogs (mostly). I finished that drawing and started another…

Although I did most of the embellishment on this one the next night in the campground at Pinnacles National Park, after a 6-mile afternoon hike (mostly flat).

The next night, I drew this one…

After seeing condors just sitting on a rock and in a tree. Amazing stuff.

From there, we drove through Morro Bay and down to Pismo Beach, where we stayed in the Oceano Campground. Another fire, another drawing…

The sea otter showed up from hanging out by the bay. It’s a relief to be able to just draw and draw. My school days have been so full and heavy that drawing for no purpose but to draw is just not happening. I’m too tired and have no mental energy, unless I’m working on a specific project. Then I make written lists of things and figure out how to fit them in a drawing. It’s not like these, where I just doodle my brain out on the paper.

The last night in Pismo Beach, we had talked about my leaving the Man in Kennedy Meadows the next day to avoid the snow that was supposed to be coming in. Plus honestly, I was tired. I don’t sleep well with weird noises, and we had two nights of frogs, really loud, inconsistent frogs, and then one night of some big squawky birds (heron, egret, or cormorant…not sure which), and my foot had been hurting and I was tired of not eating enough vegetables. Seriously. I just had a salad. It was delightful. I think I just wanted to be home and sleep in a bed. I wasn’t ready to camp in snow and wind.

So I drew this…

Which was literally us sitting around the campfire. I knew he wanted me to stay another night in Kennedy Meadows, but bad weather and driving alone stress me out, and I need to be back at school on Monday, and there are a bunch of things that need to happen before then. So I made the decision to drive home yesterday. I’m still exhausted today, and probably will be tomorrow. And there wasn’t as much snow up there as predicted, but I know I wouldn’t have slept for yet another night. So I made the best decision I could.

I’ll be back up there at the end of May to pick up all the equipment he doesn’t need on the PCT, so I’ll get to camp there then. I am hoping to find some drawing time between now and then, but going into the end of the school year is not usually an easy time no matter what. We’ll see how it goes. Why did I leave him there? He’s working up there until he hikes, trying to put away some money so he can hike further. Potentially he’ll be gone through the end of July, knock on wood and barring any injuries.

More tomorrow, assuming I can get my head around it.

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.

Revising…

There is currently a cat head under my elbow. I’m not sure why. Kitten needs lots of attention these days. Usually she jumps up on the table, puts her butt in front of me for a second, and then moves on to the nice sleeping place behind the fabric. Today I get cat headbutts…she has now moved to the table and is headbutting my chin as I type. OK. Now she just bit me. Because I was petting her wrong. Sigh. Calicoes. They are cantankerous.

This weekend. Pro: finished a bunch of shit. Con: didn’t finish all of it. My quilt guild had their first in-person birthday…our first meeting was supposed to be in April of 2020. So it was our 2-year birthday when we finally had a party…

We did a little printing project, which was cool…

Also, on Saturday, I delivered two quilts that will be in the California Fibers’ show Inside Out that is opening at Visions Art Museum on April 16. I went to my guild meeting. I came home and mopped floors and did some other stuff, then went to another art meeting, came back, and hiked 3 miles.

The hike was good. The meetings were good. It was weird to see so many people in such a small space for the second meeting. So many unmasked people in a small space. And a few of the people who didn’t come emailed about testing positive. I’m getting on a plane this Friday…I don’t want to get sick before then…so I’m still one of the few teachers at school who is wearing a mask. Plus I saw my parents last night…sigh.

In quilt news, I got a little ironing in on Friday night…

More sky, a rocket ship, the stuff around the face.

Then Saturday night, I did the rest…

Got the face done…the hawk…

And the rest of the sky. Then last night, I pieced a background and ironed it all down…

I need to do a little more steaming before I do stitchdown, but that’s 22 hours of ironing there. As my dad said, it’s pretty colorful. I wasn’t expecting that, but the sky really had an effect on the piece. Yes it’s weird that I don’t really know what it looks like until I get to the end…and even now, all the outlining that will happen when I quilt it will change it again.

So revising my goals on this thing once again…get the stitchdown done this week and get it sandwiched and pinbasted before I leave for Boston (that’s 4 nights I have…ha! Oh my). Then I am home for exactly two days, if I’m lucky, before the end of Spring Break. Can I finish it before the deadline? I don’t know. Probably not? But I’ll try. I’ll finish it anyway, and it will go somewhere…but this school year is still kicking my butt. I’ll be glad to have a break next week. Some reading, some hiking, some stitching, some change of scenery. All good.

Couldn’t Find the Fingernails…

After a million years of teaching (and being me), I’ve tracked down the tells that I am stressed, besides yelling out “I am stressed” in the car or the house, which I do often, unfortunately. My body clues me in by refusing to fall asleep even when exhausted, but making my eyelids twitch (haven’t hit that one yet, knock on wood), the inevitable teeth grinding (started in college; froze my jaw in Freshman year), and the random canker sores. I only get them when I’m stressed out. And they last a week and are quite uncomfortable, despite medications. I guess other people get stomach issues; is this better? I don’t know. I tend toward frustrated mutterings to myself that YES, I KNOW I’m stressed. I up the exercise and the artmaking and reading, trying to make it better, but really, I just need a break from school usually. The symptoms of stress do tend to show up before breaks, so that’s a thing. In this case, though (lack-of-sleep exhausted and canker-sored), I need to get through two whole weeks before I get a break.

The plus is that I finally finished my taxes. I had to add the art sales in as a separate thing, so that complicated shit this year. Normally I don’t, but I’m no longer head of household for the boychild (he’s too old! and employed), so I need to find tax breaks for the extra income. It’s not a lot, but I can’t afford to pay any taxes this year with the septic and all. I managed to mostly balance the state and federal taxes…hopefully the state will pay me in time to pay the feds. Perhaps the feds could take less of my money too…so many deductions they are no longer allowing. I guess the middle class and those with super tiny businesses on the side are not the blessed ones…haven’t been for a while. I hope the financially challenged are getting the breaks instead of me. But now that I know I need to keep track of that side business (as well as the copyediting one), I’ll be better about keeping track of deductions. It’s not a bad thing to have extra money coming in…I’d just like to not have to spend it all on emergency repairs and taxes.

I still have a couple semi-urgent things to get through this week, and next weekend is a cluster…how to be in ALL the places at once. And then I fly to Boston to see the girlchild. And then camping and hiking with the man. Need the break. Need time to think and sleep and read and draw. Need a day where I’m not focused on how much work I can get done before the next batch shows up. The power went out Saturday morning for a couple of hours, but the outage map was claiming all day, and I freaked out…so much to do and almost all of it required electricity and access to my desktop computer. It turned out OK, and I got some ironing and hiking in, so that was good.

Friday night’s ironing of an arm and some plants…

I couldn’t find the fingernails until I went through the trash pile (reasons why I don’t throw it out until the quilt is done…I often drop things in it that need to be cut out because I am not paying attention)…

Whoops. I also found the bush parts missing from the first 100 pieces (too late; already recut them) and another part I needed. Who knows what else is hiding in there?

Saturday afternoon, after grading a bunch and panicking a lot, I did a few more plants…

And then went on a 4-mile hike…a hike I needed.

Lots of tiny wildflowers about…

No poppies yet…usually they cover the hillsides…not enough water yet or still too cold.

Yes, some of the stones are under water…

I managed it without getting my socks wet…all good.

And then came back, made dinner, and ironed some more plants…

Oh yeah, and a bat. That got me into the 800s, or almost done with them. I still have half the 400s to do once I get back to the sky.

Last night, I only had a little time, just under 45 minutes, so I did some pupfish…

Barely into the 900s now. I keep revising my completion date. Definitely gonna be tight. If at all…ah well, deadlines are just a place at which to aim. If I miss it, I’ll enter it elsewhere.

But my plan this week is to finish ironing (that was last week’s plan) and stitchdown. Ha! That should be interesting. Saturday is already gone. Sunday is half gone. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

This week is three days of labs in a row plus starting a new art project while harassing kids to finish the two they already have. Plus grading all the things and trying not to stress more about school and money. Property taxes are also coming up. Pretty sure I can pay those once I get paid. Need to write a script for a lightning talk (plus record that…dunno when that’s happening). Need to find quilts to deliver for a show. Need to enter two things. Need to do some cleaning. Some grading. Yeah. All the things. Need to do some meditation in between all that. Wish me luck.

How You Be…

Daylight Savings, how you be…all dark and tired like in the Spring. I will appreciate you in the evening, although not this week, because this week is a clusterfuck of meetings and crap. At SOME point, though, I will appreciate being able to hike in the afternoons again. It seems this school year is trying to copy last year, where at the end of the third trimester, I remember exactly nothing I’ve done because the doing of it was so traumatic and exhausting. Because I know that up front, I will write lots of notes to myself for next year’s Kathy, so she will know what I did.

What I DID do was finish the second round of copyediting, hallelujah. Gotta invoice that. I also ran some errands, sold one of my little journal quilts back from when we were doing those once a month. That was nice. This time of year, though, my brain is not my friend. Driving along, in my head…

I think I normally (pre-COVID) make it past Spring Break before this happens, but that’s a good 4 weeks away. Ah well. Embrace the suck! Find time and space for the stuff you like. For example, Saturday evening, I went to an actual art opening! I know! WTF! It’s almost like the Before Times…mostly because I wanted to see Amy Meissner’s work.

This is Milk on the Tongue, a piece (pieces?) about breastfeeding and motherhood and reconfiguring the purpose of decorative “women’s work” (those doilies! I have some of those). I love the 3D nature of these.

And the details…

And that there are 63 of them…although not here. I also loved seeing Amy again! We met at one of the Quilt Nationals (she says 2017) and she juried one of my pieces into a show. So that’s nice. Plus her work is intriguing on many levels and I really enjoy it. The exhibit is Small Acts and it’s at City College and there are lots of cool and amusing and cringy pieces in it. Totally worth it.

We also hiked (short one) on Saturday and hung out with some friends, so it really was almost like normal.

Despite the masks at the show and the constant worry you’re going to get someone sick. My school goes mask-optional today, like many in California. I’ll be continuing to wear one through Spring Break at least. I’m willing to watch the science experiment in my school, as long as I don’t have to be part of it.

I’ve been cutting things out…here’s Friday night with Kitten guarding it.

This is after I took her to the vet for her senior panel and physical, and she was still talking to me…sort of a miracle. I didn’t cut anything out on Saturday…

But I did last night…

I see progress. It’s slow, but it’s happening. I need to ramp up production on this one if it’s going to be done by the deadline. Ugh.

We went to dinner at the parentals last night, my birthday dinner. I forgot to take any photos except this one of Simba, because he’s not supposed to be on the chair. Although I guess he’s on the boychild, not the chair.

Cheater.

We have baby doves in the yard. They know not to move, apparently. The adults will fly away, but the babies pretend they are dirt and Simba never sees them.

Kind of boggling really.

Anyway. It’s Monday. Short classes, everyone will be tired and half awake, cranky by the end of the day. Then a staff meeting, but then chiropractor with short massage beforehand, so that’s a good thing. I think I’m cooking tonight too, though. Chaos day. I’m seriously behind in grading (again…goddess forbid I do anything but the day job in my spare time)…I lost a prep period on Friday to a lack of substitute teachers. I was hoping for an easy period, but no…she actually left complicated-as-fuck lesson plans, so I taught newcomers English! I think only one or two of them understood anything I said. Fun stuff. But more cutting the things out eventually tonight. A million hours from now.

Juggling…

It’s been a busy weekend…did a ton of grading and schoolwork-like stuff, made it to a quilt meeting, cut out a bunch of pieces, ironed some more, hiked for a bit, drove to a closing reception, sold a quilt (that was fun)…still not done with grading…or ironing…or cutting things out. But I have money to pay for the septic fix now (yay!) and the current quilt in progress is further along, and I should be able to finish grades today, one hopes, because they are due tomorrow.

Meanwhile, acknowledging Ukrainians trying to escape war and/or save their country from invasion while Russia behaves like a big asshole. So there’s that. On my mind, always. I have a newswatcher in the house, so even though I am gone for hours on end, I will get the summary at the end of the day. It doesn’t seem like it will end well. Certainly it has already ended badly for many. Sigh.

Meanwhile, here in San Diego, I ironed a little on Friday night, exhausted…

I’m in the 1000s…getting close. I got home late, because I stayed at school to grade all the art assignments and set up for today. Today’s Kathy appreciates that I did that, but Friday’s Kathy was pretty tired when she got home well after 5 pm. Owl box at sunset…

We’ve been having camera issues. It’s currently charging in here and will go back out this afternoon, if I remember. Simba demanded some play time when I got home too…

Saturday, I had my quilt meeting…nice to hang out and do art things in person. I took pieces to cut out, because I had a huge pile of them and it seemed to make sense. Then I ironed some in the afternoon after we hiked…it was cold out there and rained on us a little bit…

I guess ironing continued into the evening…

Still very green and brown. Which is OK…

We watched a movie with dinner. After the quilt meeting and the movie, I had this many pieces cut out…

The top box is cut. The bottom is not. There are still a ton in the other box that need cutting. Last night, I managed a whopping 29 minutes of ironing…

I think I ironed a rock and a chuckwalla. Getting closer to done.

And I sold a quilt! One of my favorites, but I think once I make them, I don’t need to own them.

They seem to really like the piece…I hope they enjoy her. The California Center for the Arts show is now closed; I brought home the other two pieces. There’s still one of mine at Visions Art Museum, and in April, there will be two more. I’m also going to be doing a Lightning Talk for the SAQA conference, so I’ll be working on that in the next few weeks…I thought I would have through the end of the month, but apparently not. Yikes. And I’m finishing up my copyediting job this week, as soon as I finish grades today. Deep breaths. Everything will get done. Everything will get paid for. I might even end up with some extra to put into savings. One can dream. Thanks to all who support artists though! We appreciate you.

Barely Here…

Hey, February. WTF. You were barely here and now you’re almost gone? What is up with that? Pro: Spring Break is coming. Con: Grades are due again. Seriously short month though…will just make March seem vast and massive. So many things have to happen in March. I’m not ready. Like THAT matters!

Sigh. The Man spent a lot of time this weekend watching Ukraine/Russia coverage, and I feel for the people living there, I wish Putin would stop and/or keel over or run out of ammo, and I hope there is a peaceful and less destructive solution to stopping him (Go Ukraine!), but there’s some disturbing info coming out about African students not being allowed out of the country, because of their color…”Ukrainians first”…when OMG those kids must be fucking terrified, let them go the fuck home. Racism everywhere. Like that’s a surprise. Seriously, I get women and children first, but also those who are helping your economy by living there but don’t actually LIVE there long term…let them leave. There should be no race discrimination there. Although even the gender stuff…why do the men have to fight? Some men probably are not cut out for it and some women probably are, maybe are even staying to do that? The assumptions we make…they don’t help society.

It was too much for my brain. At one point, I told the Man that he had seen the same news stories repeat three times now, and I got a glare for that. So I did other things. I had a lot of grading to do though, and I’m missing one earbud, so finally put it in the ear closest to the television and blasted it so I couldn’t hear bombs and more explanation of details. I realize I have the privilege of doing that, living here, but also, I have a job to do and it’s hard enough to do without bombardment of really horribly anxious things in my brain. Small doses, a summary at night, I can handle that. Lots of donation programs popping up for Ukrainians, refugees and in country. Need a shortcut on that info too…donating via a quilt block pattern? I’d rather send what little money I have directly to an aid agency. Keeping my eyes open on that one.

I’m still ironing the quilt…it’s really slow and I’m so tired these days. I would have liked more time on Saturday, but chose a hike instead, plus a trip to Home Depot so I could prep quilts to ship them out for shows. So Friday night, I did absolutely nothing. I was so exhausted after the field trip…

I stayed at work until almost 5 to get stuff done, went to the chiropractor, got home, and then cooked dinner. Wasn’t much brain power left after grading for a while.

I did iron Saturday night for a short while…

The box is filling up…and then last night, I got into the arms. They’re all sand.

Lovely sand fabrics.

I’m pretty sure I’m more than halfway. I still have more than half of the 600s left to iron, but I’ve done a bunch of 800s, 900s, 1000s, and 1100s, as well as half the 1300s, so I’m getting there. It’s just not fast. Grading all this week (grades due next Tuesday), slogging through the last project unfortunately, and then copyediting a final run through the book I worked on over Winter Break. No pressure! Stressful though.

I finished all the unit packets Saturday morning with help from this doofus.

And this one kept rubbing her head all over the papers…they must smell good.

They smell like middle-school backpacks. Yuck.

I packed up one quilt, the smaller easier one, and then we walked the dog…

He was quite happy to get out. Too much war for him too.

I came back to my ex and the boychild installing a camera on my tree…

A year ago, they installed an owl box (it was my Christmas present). We’d heard owls and disturbed a barn owl the other day, so I guess they wanted proof there was one in there.

There are two actually. Very cool.

I’m excited.

We went out to dinner and I managed to finish a drawing I started in Phoenix…the food came really quickly so I didn’t get it done.

Lots of chomping on things.

Well there’s this…

Same goes for being a teacher, I think. Today is pretty chill…notes and demos. Tomorrow is a bit more chaotic and we’re not quite ready for it. Hopefully between a teacher’s aide and two of our prep periods, we can get it ready. Can’t grade anything though. Never time for that. Too much prepping labs and panicked copying of papers and dealing with kid stuff. I’ll be glad for the end of the trimester this week…getting rid of a group of kids that are mostly fine, but a small group is driving me bonkers. Will not miss those kids. Nope. I might get them again next year, but for now, let’s hope they grow the fuck up by then. Ugh. Focus on the kids who are awesome. Focus on the kids who are awesome.

Staff meeting though. Lots of crazy shit happened last Friday. Stupid shit. Dumb adults and dumb kids. It’s done though. It’s 6 weeks until the next field trip. I can do that, because I get Spring Break after it. This job. It’s hard right now, really hard. That said, it’s not as hard as having a foreign country invading you in a dick move. So there’s that.