Lots of Tea and Lozenges…

Ah yes. Back-to-school dreams last night…not really nightmares…they were too close to reality: kids not listening, kids not working, and people sucking up my prep period with other shit. Yup. That’s real. We’ve got three weeks before Winter Break, so hopefully the kids will check in and realize they have progress reports after Winter Break…it’s always a crapshoot this time of year. Luckily, we’re doing a fairly interesting engineering project on tsunamis…at least, WE think it’s interesting. No, it’s not a video game or Squid Game, so there’s that. Did I finish all my grading? I did not, but I did most of it. I’m good. Well, until the copyediting project starts, which shouldn’t be for another two weeks. Aaack.

Anyway, am I ready to go back to school today? Nope. I was at Urgent Care yesterday with a nasty sore throat that doesn’t seem to be wandering off like it should. It’s not strep, though, so that’s good…and it’s not COVID, although I will get tested yet again this week. So the physician’s assistant was like, well, here’s a throat lozenge (she only gave me one…I had to go buy more) and you should call your doctor and try to get an appointment, but also, if they refer you to Ear Nose Throat doc, then you will need to have been on Flonase for a week, so just go do that. Hmmm. So I did that. I already know the soonest video appointment I can get is two weeks out…if they need to see my throat in person just to give me a referral, it’ll be the end of December before I can just see the doc, let alone the ENT. Fun stuff. They did offer me a flu shot (did that in October), a vaccination (did that), a booster (did that), and just that one lozenge (took that).

So am I ready to talk all day? Nope. Am I ready for two staff meetings running an hour each? Nope. Am I ready for what I’m teaching today? Nope. It’s something about tsunamis…that’s all I know. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I am making art. I love to make art. I like to do that every day. So I do. How do I get so much done? I do it every day. Friday night, I finished cutting everything out.

Saturday night, I sorted all the pieces by the 100s…

That was a tough one. We hiked about 5 1/2 miles during the day and I was tired.

Then last night, I started ironing things together…

So far, it’s just the background behind the people…

With a requisite volcano. I was hoping to have this piece done by December 1. As you can see, that is not happening. I make art every day, but not as much as I’d like, unfortunately. And although this is not a large piece, it’s complicated. So it’s taking longer. It’s OK.

Back to the hike. We’re doing the 2021-2022 SDRVC Coast to Crest trail challenge, and this is our second hike of the five total. This is Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Lake Poway.

It was actually pretty warm out, low 80s…

But neither of us had been to either the reserve or the lake, so that was nice.

There were more people than we usually like (we only like 3 people really), but most of the trail was pretty empty.

Three more to go.

Ah hills. We celebrated with cider flights at Serpentine…

And I remembered my sketchbook. Sometimes I think I should just make these little ones into quilts to sell, but then I remember they take a lot longer to make than people are willing to pay for.

Dinner’s drawing didn’t get finished…

My family did Thanksgiving dinner on Friday so I wouldn’t have to try to cook one dinner while eating another.

We have lots of leftovers. Which is always the point.

Girlchild had other plans. I’m not sure who looks more freaked out in this photo.

Kitten enjoyed the couch bits that I uncovered for company…

Normally all that is covered with stitching stuff. And Simba said hi when I came over to pick up the brined turkey…

So fierce. Ah. Missing Calli greatly this week. All the while thinking how to clean the carpets because she had an issue with a tumor at the end. Sigh. I don’t have time for that stuff right now, but I actually miss stepping over her in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

OK. I have to do the school thing now. Wish me luck. Sore throat is still there, but not as bad as yesterday. Lots of tea and lozenges.

It’s All the Other Stuff…

Back to a normal week. I can tell you that my brain yesterday was squawking about how it wasn’t ready to go back to school, but then, I’m not sure it ever is. I mean, the week is completely planned out, although I think someone has to go buy soap at some point and we have to set up a lab. I’m almost caught up on grading for science, and completely behind in art (that’s how it always is though). None of my students are out on pandemic contract (knock on wood HARD, because that’s the only way to keep from getting a ton of contracts). And most importantly, all my lunches are prepped for the week. A fucking miracle if you ask me.

I finally used the new sewing machine for the first time…to fix the boychild’s work backpack. It performed beautifully…going through 4 layers of crap with a zigzag…this time, I figured out that stitch pretty quickly. A good sign. Hopefully over Thanksgiving Break, I’ll get to use it on an art quilt…but it means I need to get the rest of this quilt ironed and cut out…which is not a small amount of work. I’m about 16 hours into the ironing, with about 600 pieces to go. Yikes. It’s slow. It’s all the people…each one is a different batch of 5-7 fabrics from light to dark, with all the pieces laid out in my head. It’s time-consuming. I’ve done a couple hours each day over the 4-day weekend.

It’s a nice way to end the day…I think that is figure number 3 above and number 4 below…

The number of fabrics is growing and getting pretty chaotic.

A closeup of the pile to be cut out…

Sometime yesterday I couldn’t deal with that, so I reordered everything.

Now colors are together at least. And I know which ones I used on the 5 figures so far. The next step is the sky, so expect a lot more blues and purples in the next day or so. Those are all really big pieces too, compared to the little stuff I’ve been ironing so far. I’m in the 900s…after the sky, I have another 4 or 5 figures in the bubble. I’m debating making them white. Like actual white, not the pinky tones us white folks actually are. We’ll see. I’m still thinking about it. Here’s where the idea came from though…

That’s my quilt Wise Choice…the light white and gray figures live in a landscape without choice…it’s a quilt about International Planned Parenthood, giving women the right and ability to choose when to get pregnant, often so they can afford to feed their children. The bubble in color is her dream of a planned future. The quilt is at San Diego Mesa College through December 9…part of their Sowing Seeds exhibit. Check it out…I have more art pictures, but no time to resize right now. On Friday, we tried to make it to three shows and managed only two due to nasty traffic. One of them was this one.

Saturday, we did the first Coast to Crest hike for this year’s challenge, 2021-2022…but we totally mistimed sunset (we both spaced on it)…

Gonzales Canyon Loop in Del Mar…a nice start down down down.

We did realize it was getting darker than we’d anticipated, and neither of us remembered our headlamps. Stupid really. We cut a portion of the trail off once we got to the selfie spot, because it was almost dark…

And then kamikazed out by moonlight…pulling out phone flashlights for the last 10 minutes, when the trees blocked that light. It would have been a nicer hike if we weren’t worried about the daylight…not a bad uphill in daylight, I suspect…a little more nerve-wracking in the dark. We managed to find outside dinner in Del Mar and didn’t even get kicked out for being in hiking clothes.

The block I stitched on showed up on Social Justice Academy’s feed yesterday, getting sewn into a quilt…

That’s cool.

OK. It’s fine. I can survive the week. I’ll get some grading done. I’ll come home Friday with a pile of stuff to do, unfortunately, but that’s always what happens. I’ll get some ironing done most nights this week…I think I have book club one night, so that will be more problematic, but the other nights are pretty clear. And I have next week off to look forward to…it’s been a long school year so far. The kids aren’t so bad…it’s all the other stuff the district keeps piling on us. I feel like they are completely tone-deaf since the pandemic started. It’s unfortunate. But all too common. Anyway…off to school. Need more caffeine. That’s a given.

A Day Off…

I don’t usually write on Tuesdays. I have a routine…set it up when I realized after blogging for a year or two (started in 2004) that I wasn’t very consistent, so I made it like a journal for me, documenting the art but also everything else, exactly what they tell you not to do, but I didn’t care…I was doing it for me more than for others. I had a crazy couple of years when I was blogging every day, more to keep my sanity than anything else, and then I went back to usually three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Last week on Friday, I was driving toward Joshua Tree National Park, so that didn’t happen, so I blogged Saturday because that’s when I had time. Then yesterday, I just lost time somehow, well, bad lunch planning for the week. Time consuming in the morning is not a good thing for me. So here I am. It’s Tuesday of a three-day work week (oh hallelujah). I finished grades Sunday night and spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon planning science, since we lose that time this week. I really miss the daily plan time with my co-teacher. It’s making things harder to get done. But that’s what the last two years have been like across the board: Harder to get done. A 4-day weekend will have some work in it…but hopefully it will mostly be art and hiking and yeah, cleaning house and catching up with all the shit I can’t do while I’m teaching.

More pictures from Joshua Tree…

It’s hot and dry, even in November. I’m pretty sure I’ve hiked this exact hike three different times in the last 20 years.

It’s different and yet not every single time.

Dinner had some art…

And then I had a blissful hour to draw Saturday morning.

I’m finding it so hard to find time to do that. It was all the things I was thinking and feeling in the desert, in that space. I need more of that time. But when I do have time, I try to finish whatever project I’m working on. It’s hard to find the extra time to just breathe and draw.

Cindy Zimmerman’s Rain Grotto at the Desert Dairy. A beautiful space in a dry climate…

It was also fun to hang out with other artists for a while. That cow ended up in my drawing.

We made pizzas one night and hung out and talked.

Fire is always fascinating.

We also toured Mojaveland, the wonderfully funky, homemade, artist-filled mini-golf experience Anna Stump is creating. Linda Litteral has an installation there as well…

It was a good way to spend a weekend, even if I’m exhausted now.

We saw an art show too, but I’m going to have to wait to post that…I’m running out of time here before I have to leave for work. I always feel like I’m running out of time. I worked on these in the car on the way back for a little bit.

And last night, after a 5-day hiatus, I finally tried to get my head back into choosing fabrics for the next quilt…

I kind of lost it in my head for a while, the colored-in image. But it’s back now. Hopefully I’ll get it all ironed to fabric over the long weekend. That’s my goal anyway.

OK, off to school to teach the hard stuff. Got a new batch of 6th graders. Ugh. Not sure how I feel about that, but we’ll survive. And no more complicated morning lunchmaking. That’s a mistake. More tomorrow, if I get back on schedule. Who knows if I will…

Ditching School

I took a whopping two days off school since COVID started. Getting a sub for what I teach was difficult…sub plans for what I teach felt like writing a novel, then rewriting it because it was too long. It’s a tough call: how much do I need a break vs how much work is it to TAKE the break? A common teacher issue made worse by the sub shortage and kids who didn’t do normal school last year so sometimes learning is a challenge. But I had an art retreat coming up that I went to last year (without taking any time off) and I was determined to take a day. ONE day.

Whatever happened at school is fine. I got one kid email about kids deleting stuff…and they did. They were being dumbasses about it on Thursday with me. I’ll just torture them with it on Monday. It’ll be fine. Next week is short anyway for Veterans Day, and I can get them through what I need to. Zen and chill.

So where am I? Twentynine Palms, right outside of Joshua Tree National Park. We drove a back way to get up here, and it was delightful…no traffic, nice views. Then we came in the southern entrance of Joshua Tree and enjoyed the drive through, going on a couple of short hikes (mid to high 80s here still…)

There were too many people in some places, but the longer hike lost them all…

And it was outside, not teaching, didn’t have to be anywhere. Although I checked email when I had service.

Sometimes people are very hardass about disconnecting and not looking at their phones on vacation, and I just do what makes me feel comfortable. Sometimes my anxiety means I need to check email. Or school stuff. So I do it. One of my students had emailed me about the chaos in her class. No worries, kid, I got this.

We checked into our AirBnb, the same one we stayed in last year, ate dinner outside at a local place, met Kyle and tried his special sauce, shook hands with him (weird feeling that), then I headed over to my friend’s place for a fireside conversation about the future of our art group, which has grown in size, but not volunteers…unfortunately.

Dinner drawing. This morning, we’re up early so the man can hike and I can draw in a space with other artists for a while. Not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but I’m ok with that. I have two books on my iPad, three different sketchbooks, caffeine, and goldfish snacks. What more do I really need? Plus got news that one of my pieces will be at some art show in Torrance next October, which is a new venue for me…always cool.

All in all, sometimes ditching school is what teachers need to do. My district spouts self care constantly and then hands us more work to do and won’t give us a cost-of-living raise. So more hours for less pay? Eh. You don’t get buy-in that way. Anyway…drawing soon, if my brain lets me.

You Will Have No Title

I was trying to add a title to this but WordPress wasn’t having it. I get it. You don’t want me to post it? Ah well.

Beautiful skies this morning after a rough night. It’s November! As I look at the calendar, which says “Oh fuck, it’s nearly Christmas.” No joke there. It’s that crazy rush time. At least there’s some time off coming.

The weekend still had a lot of school work. I need it mostly done before I take the weekend off for an art/hiking retreat. I did cut more stuff out on Friday night…

And then finished it up, 10 hours in, on Saturday night…

And last night, I sorted all the pieces out by the 100s…

Tonight, I’ll need to clean up the studio, put all the fabrics away from the last quilt (which didn’t get into the show I made it for, ironically…or normally…however you look at it).

I do like this next stage, picking all the fabrics. It’s more creative than the last few stages, but still meditative. Lots of standing though.

We did break up the grading for a 4+-mile hike on Saturday, the other side of the Helix Flume hike that we did a few months back.

We really need to leave earlier if we want to meet in the middle…the parking lots all close at 6. There’s El Cap.

It was warm at the beginning, but cooled off nicely.

Once you get up to the level of the flume, it’s mostly flat. It’s the climbing before that which is a bit much. Starting on the El Monte Park side was easier…I think.

Definitely has been some fire damage up here, but a while ago.

Creative fence building. We only saw one group of people on bikes…otherwise, we were the only ones on trail. The only wildlife this time was birds and bugs. And fresh coyote poop, plus possible footprints that weren’t there when we went through the first time. It’s good to hike. This weekend, we’ll be hiking in Joshua Tree National Park.

The cats were glad to see us. Or maybe perturbed.

Nova looks perturbed anyway.

We tried the silly hat on Calli.

She goes to the vet today to suss out her tumor on her side. The one on her nose is the one that will probably kill her, unfortunately. Inoperable. But the one on her side is supposedly benign…just has opened up and is rather disgusting and smelly. Sigh. Poor baby. It doesn’t hurt her at least.

This was Saturday night’s dinner drawing…

They don’t get finished because someone brings the food. I don’t remember if I posted last week’s drawing…

This is about the only drawing I’m doing at the moment. There just isn’t enough time for all the work and the art and actual sleeping and stuff.

Old timey photo of the kids, circa 2005.

Back in the day. The neighbor kids yelled “trick or treat” from the driveway, where we left the candy in a bowl in the wheelbarrow full of dirt, a skelly arm, and a pumpkin. I wasn’t ready for 23 kids coming up the stairs to the door. I live on a tiny street without traffic, but the neighbors invited friends over. We don’t really have that many kids on the block. It just sounds that way.

Well it’s a short week for me, but I’ll need to do sub plans for Friday. Then next week is even shorter because of Veteran’s Day. Then one full week on and a full week off. Work to do before all that. Grades are due next week…which is difficult. Ah well. I did go to school on Saturday and get one art assignment out of the way…there are two due Friday though and I won’t be there to collect them, so that should be interesting. Bad timing on the retreat, but I didn’t pick the days, unfortunately. OK. Off to work. It’s time.

Here’s to…

One of the things that’s changed at school from before COVID is the number of videos we make. We used to make a few explaining how to do complicated things like writing a Claim Evidence Reasoning paragraph or how to create a website, and occasionally we’d record parts of a lab so the absent kids would have access. Now we make videos for absolutely everything, and it’s so time-consuming. I lose part of my prep to either making the video or recording my co-teacher. If there are multiple parts to the video, I’m sitting here at 9 PM trying to figure out why they’re not on the cloud yet and downloading them in some other way. In the morning, I’m stitching them all together and editing out the parts with kids’ faces or blank time, then waiting for them to upload back into Drive or onto Google Classroom. I have some from last year that might work, but mostly we have to redo, because everything is in person this year and it looks different than the online version. It’s a lot of work. And that’s on top of keeping track of the other stuff the district keeps throwing at us. And just grading. When do I do that? I don’t know. Whenever I can. I’m never caught up, even when I spend 8 hours over the weekend trying to get there. Ugh. This year is not normal. It hasn’t been normal in so long, and every once in a while, I’ll be showing an example drawing from an old unit, and I’ll feel the tears rise up in my eyes, because that unit was from right before COVID hit. It was when we didn’t even know how complicated and hard it would be. And we don’t know when or if it will ever go back.

The pro is that I hand Oreos to a bunch of kids and all of a sudden they can sort of explain plate motion. Much harder to do on Zoom. I remind myself of that.

I’ve been cutting pieces out on the new quilt since Sunday night…it’s slow.

I made it onto the second yard of Wonder Under. These are the yards with a million pieces on them.

Not really. But there’s an hour and a half of cutting between those two at the top and you can barely tell. I didn’t even finish one yard last night. It’s fine. Cutting while sitting on the couch and watching British mysteries is not all bad. It’s a good end to the day.

I walked when I got home yesterday. I almost persuaded myself that it was too late and I was too tired, but then I fought the tired (I’m really good at that) and shoved the headlamp into my pack, because it’s not like it’s going to be getting lighter in the next few weeks…and I did shorten the walk somewhat because I had to cook dinner last night.

I saw this leaf and its friends on the ground and I kept walking for about 20 steps and then couldn’t stand it because that leaf was imprinted on my brain, it was so beautiful. So I went back and took a picture and then freed it on someone’s lawn.

It was happy to be on a green lawn. Very contrasty.

I did stay late at school last night to force myself to grade all the art warmups…this one amused me.

Interesting kid.

Anyway, today is more plate motion, more Oreos, more grading, more trying to catch up, more explaining, more meetings, and a flu shot. Plus exercise and book club. Which is a long drive but that’s OK, there are friends at the end of it. And those are probably more important than anything else. It’s the one thing that makes this year easier (?) than last year…maybe not easier, but better? Having friends around me to plan with and discuss kids with and have lunch with. That’s the difference. It helps. I don’t feel as isolated as last year. The work is still hard and overwhelming and please don’t think that little bit of friendness makes up for all the crazy shit we’re dealing with otherwise…because even the kids aren’t really an issue (just a couple)…it’s the workload that’s not normal and over the top and that’s the part that burns us out the most.

Anyway. Here’s to exercise and friendships and getting as much done as you can and taking breaks when you need to.

Scissors Cutting Wonder Under…

I feel like I should follow up the last post with It’s Monday! Like you don’t know what day it is. It IS Monday. Pros: It’s a new week, I finished grading all the science units AND projects over the weekend, and it’s supposed to rain here today…good for plants. Cons: Monday. Tired. Worked all weekend so I don’t feel ready or rested. Pros: All the stuff for school this week is copied and organized. Cons: We planned a week where we are ON for four out of the five days. Granted, we are ON with Oreos on 1 1/2 of those days. Y’all, I don’t like block schedule. Those periods are so LONG and kids check out unless it’s AMAZEBALLS the entire time. Which sometimes it is…like Thursday and Friday. That is exhausting though for the teacher. This week, I will be demonstrating tectonic plates with Oreo cookies…and magma with corn syrup. It’s cool, but it’s a lot of being ON all the time.

Other exciting things for this week: I need to find a Halloween costume in my stash that will not be too hot to wear in the mid- to high 80s. It should be Disney-themed, but I might just fuck that off, because I don’t have the will or the brain power. I’m supposed to dress like my opposite gender on one day, but I think I already do that every day. Maybe I don’t have to wear a bra that day? That would be AWESOME. Not an issue in middle school at all. I can totally get away with that.

Oh man. My brain is on a roll.

So on Friday, I finished tracing all the pieces…

That’s 6 yards, some with a ton of tiny pieces; some with some whopping big pieces. It took a little over 17 hours to trace them all…not bad for 1500 or so pieces. It’ll probably be at least 7 or so hours to cut them out. I didn’t start until last night…

The day job ran the weekend. That’s about 40 minutes of cutting stuff out. Expect to see shots of that pile growing each night until it’s done.

I really did grade most of the weekend. I had about 50 videos to watch with a smattering of slide presentations to check if there was no video. But they’re done. This is a good thing.

I took a break in between Periods 3 and 4 to go for a 3.6-mile hike…

I just needed a break…and some exercise. It sucks to spend a weekend this way, but if it means I can come home all this week and NOT watch videos, I’m OK with it. The end of the trimester is coming up, and I will be out of town the weekend right before grades are due, so I’m trying to get all the last-minute shit out of the way…because my art class will be slamming me with two projects right before the end of the trimester. So there’s that. I know…it’s my fault…but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ll figure it out. This school year is not low maintenance.

Cat forts…

They like them.

This lizard has moved into the camp chair I left outside.

It’s there every time I get home. The chair is mostly broken, which is why it’s out there…I guess it’s now a lizard home.

OK. Well I’ve got about a million things on the to-do list this week, but I’m hoping that art will happen in the form of scissors cutting Wonder Under every night. Maybe I’ll be done by the weekend? That would be nice…to be ironing onto fabric next weekend? It could happen. I’d need to clean up in here, of course. No Halloween parties for me…just fabric? Maybe. Oh yeah, it’s school photos today. I’m not in the mood. Think I have some animal snouts somewhere I could use for that…should find those. This week also includes reviewing my insurance because it’s open enrollment, plus a flu shot, book club, some exercise, some planning (hopefully a lot of planning), and a Zoom stitching meeting. Plus a chiropractic adjustment while in costume. Things to think about when choosing one’s costume. Hmmm.

Happy Monday thoughts, y’all.

Big Swathes of Wonder Under

I brought work home last night. And then refused to do it. All in my head, of course. I need to get some work done, but by the time I dropped my stuff on the floor at home, I knew I needed a walk to clear my head more than I needed to get work done. So that’s what I did. It got dark earlier than I wanted, so I had to cut it short…only 2 1/2 miles instead of 3 1/2, but it was definitely worth it. Since going back in person, it’s been really hard to get exercise in during the week. I’m managing one Pilates class mid-week and that’s about it. Working on that…but it’s work that gets in the way, unfortunately. Too much of it. At least Monday’s vote on revising the master schedule was a big hell no, status quo. That change would have added hours of work in the short term.

I have a ton of projects and units to grade. I’ll get to them. Just didn’t do it last night.

Meanwhile, I’m still tracing things. Mostly I’ve been tracing pieces of sky and land for the last two days. They’re big, complicated pieces, so they take longer to trace. I can’t do 100 of them in an hour. I did get over the 1000-piece hump last night, finished the sky, so all I have left to do is about 500 pieces in the bubble. This is not fast, though. Maybe by the weekend I’ll be done? We’ll see.

The big landscape pieces use up big swathes of Wonder Under…

Some of these yards have 300 pieces on them; some only have 10 really big pieces. I’m up to 6 yards, though…with at least one more to go, I suspect. We’ll see. I have a lot of space on a few of those yards that could be filled in with smaller pieces.

It’s my dad’s 81st birthday today. Last year, he almost died, so 81 feels particularly good to me.

I bought two SAQA blocks this year from the auction…because I sold two quilts and really liked both of these.

Laurel Izard on the left and Paula Dean on the right. I need to get them up on the wall this weekend.

I packed up a quilt for a show last night too. I think there are two others I need to ship this weekend. I have to deliver this other one after work tomorrow. That will be a long day. Hell, they’re all long at the moment. We did labs yesterday and the inability to listen and be safe was an issue. It’s gonna be a rough lab year. So we talked about that. I have one kid who can’t participate tomorrow…so far. Hopefully no more.

Views from the walk…

It got dark quickly…

Squiggly moon as I came down my hill to the house.

Walking was good. Tracing was good. Ugh to the rest. I need to water the plants tonight. I have Pilates, oh good. My hips and back need it. I’ll try grading stuff again tonight. Hoping I don’t lose my prep period to having to sub someone else’s class. That stuff sucks. I need to call my dad. I need more food for dinner, because the boychild came home earlier than we thought. So all that. Plus labs all day, crazy switchout between block 1 science to art to block 2 science…all different equipment and supplies. Ugh. OK. But I can do it. And then it will be done.

Grading with Pancakes…

Progress on the quilt, a good long hike in the out of doors…even some grading got done. I learned that when I have to grade something hard, I should do something else at the same time…like making pancakes for the next three weeks of breakfasts. Pour batter, grade a thing, flip pancakes, grade a thing, remove from pan, grade a thing. Takes care of that need to get up and scream.

So the drawing is done as of Saturday night…on Friday, I added more paper to the top and decided against another figure…

I just needed enough for some weather. I had help.

Not really. I worked on the people in the bubble…

I really don’t understand the need to tell people what to do with their uteri. It makes no sense to me unless you are willing to adopt the child and feed and clothe it and send it to school. Otherwise, why the fuck do you care? When you are the same people who are OK with immigrant children in cages. When you are the same people ranting about having to wear a mask. It makes no fucking sense. And to ignore the male part of the equation is just stupid. Women don’t get pregnant by themselves, and men can get more than one woman pregnant at a time. There’s your problem…right there. Penises and sperm. Start with those if you wanna get all high and mighty.

Still not helping, Luna.

Saturday we hiked 7 1/2 miles in the Lagunas, which was really nice.

The weather was pretty chilly when we started…

Beautiful blue skies once the clouds went away.

We started at Penny Pines, hiked to the Big Laguna Trail, then cut across…

through Horse Heaven Campground, across the road, then picked up the PCT on the other side.

I’ve done the section north of Penny Pines toward Garnet Peak, but not this piece…great views of the desert on one side, the mountains on the other.

It was definitely warmer on the desert side.

Saw a family hiking this trail…guess they don’t read.

Weird.

Took me forever to see this stick insect. The man saw it right away.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the wild. It was a good hike and we were back at a reasonable time for me to get some work done, which I also needed to do.

Hey, there’s a Swallowtail cocoon on my lemon tree…

And one of the caterpillars is still feeding…

So many of them disappear; I’m assuming eaten by birds.

I started this drawing on Thursday, the night I forgot to prep dinner, and then finished it Saturday night.

Kinda like it. Not sure what it’s about. But it feels huggy.

Then filled in the background on the big drawing…finished!

Although I ended up adding some lines last night just to break up some pieces more logically. Then I numbered it last night…

Which took an hour and a half…

It’s got 1513 pieces, but I know I have some a’s and b’s in there because I missed things the first time through and wanted the numbers to attempt to make sense.

My dad gave me an article about the guy who helped make the Texas Abortion bill and how he thought about getting around all the challenges. What an ass (the guy, not my dad). Seriously, couldn’t he do something with his skills that might help humanity? Save the planet? Cure disease? Not create a larger unsupported, sometimes unwanted, sometimes unneeded population? That men aren’t responsible for? Yeah. Not a fan.

Well the next step is to trace. First, though, off to work on very little sleep. I’d like to thank my brain for the first hour or so of not sleeping, and a small dog for the last hour or so. He will adapt to our new morning schedule, I think, but it will take a while. Until then, I will either need more caffeine or many naps (not likely).

I leave you with this drawing of magma that looked an awful lot like COVID…

Yeah, makes sense to me.

Warm Socks…

I’m loving this cooler weather. I actually wore warm socks to pad around the house, albeit with shorts on, because it’s not flannel pajama weather yet. Quite. It won’t last, of course, but it was nice this weekend to go out hiking with a bit of a chill in the air. Hell, it was just nice to go out hiking, even if it was only 3 miles. I’m fighting for work/life balance (and mostly losing). Here’s the hike view, though, so I don’t forget…

That was Saturday evening, around 5:30 PM.

Friday, after work, after entering a show, I got in the car and drove to Carlsbad, to the PHES Gallery opening of the Allied Craftsmen show. It’s a nice show in a nice space. My two pieces are here…

I lurked behind people and listened to them talk about the pieces. That’s always fun. Although I didn’t get home until after 10 PM, so that was also exhausting. I also got news Friday that two of my quilts at The Studio Door sold, so that was cool…not enough for a new sewing machine or to trim the trees, but it’s a start. It’s always a good thing.

Saturday, I got up early, because my brain knew how much work was on my plate and wouldn’t let me sleep in. I started by cleaning up, ironing, and packing up the quilt to go to the photographer at noon. Then I pieced the two blocks I owed for the community quilt my guild is doing for Quilt Con…they were due at noon to someone’s house, so I dropped them at 11:45 (I was early, c’mon), and then dropped the quilt at the photographer’s. Here’s the blocks…

They had given us some extra fabric to deal with the long pieces in the center, but I fucked that up and ended up having to do some improv piecing, which wasn’t hard and will probably add to the final design…I’ll post it when we have it.

I graded after piecing and before driving to drop things…and then I came home and graded until my sourdough dough was ready for the bulk stage. Then I went to school to deal with the stuff I’d left there…all the late Unit 1s that I had to rip out of kids’ hands (just a little more time! Dude, I need to do progress reports now, not later) and then all the stuffed animal drawings.

Guys, grading art is so hard. Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, when I wasn’t sleeping, I figured out the best way to handle it…lay them out based on the rubric…who hit all 4 points, who hit most of them, who hit a few of them, and who wasn’t hitting much of anything. Yeah. It worked. I printed the rubrics and graded the obvious As first…they had all the things I asked for. I can’t say the middle lows were easy to grade…they weren’t. But I wrote suggestions, and with some, offered that if they kept going at home and improved it (like actually finished it), their grade would improve.

I know some would just give everyone an A, but this is an academic class and my kids feed into the REAL art teacher (I just play one on TV), and she will hold them to these high standards. Plus this is probably the hardest project we will do. So hopefully the next one will go better. We’ll see.

After 2 1/2 hours at school, I had what I needed, and that’s when I came home and hiked (what I REALLY needed). At dinner, I drew before the food came…

This is the beginning of an idea for the next quilt.

Sunday was more grading, lots more. But Sunday night, I got a chunk more done on this…

It’s taking me forever because of the other deadlines I have. It’s almost done, though, and should be on its way to the Social Justice Sewing Academy this week sometime, assuming I can get to the post office before it closes. I wanted all the things done before I started drawing the next quilt.

Cats are weird, y’all.

I’m gonna shove my face and use the wall as a pillow.

Am I done with grades? Nope. Wearing my Nope shirt today too. Had one kid constantly emailing me all weekend. I stopped answering. I’ll get through the last bit of it today and post grades. Hopefully some of them will learn not to do stuff last minute…luckily it’s a progress report and not a final report card. Then I will have my first chiropractic adjustment in forever, hallelujah. And maybe I’ll get to do something besides school tonight…maybe. I’m still two weeks behind on assignments, so that’s a thing I’ll be doing all week. Plus making videos for this week…kids are still out on COVID contracts. Ugh. Yeah. It’s been too much school lately. Need to get to work on changing that. Again. Still.