Up into the Sky…

Good news…got into a show. Womanscape is going to Quilts=Art=Quilts, so you can see it there.

Bad news…one of the shows I was in has canceled due to COVID. OK news…they’re trying to find a new place to travel the exhibit. So what do I do the last two nights? Enter two more shows. Always doing that. But between that, the paperwork part of being an artist, and my day job, I haven’t made it to the sewing machine much. That is frustrating. And today won’t be much better…

I managed a whopping 45 minutes on Monday night and zero minutes last night.

I am up in the sky, which is significantly less complicated than the shit down below (on the quilt and in real life, right?), so it shouldn’t take much time. That said, I have exercise class and book club (in person!) tonight, so the odds of my having any mental or physical energy left when I get home is low. So tomorrow it is. Goals adjust. I want to be done, but I can’t magic that into happening. I have a shit ton of school work to do as well, so that’s not helping. I did come in here, into the studio last night to do some stitching, but then entered a show and did some other paperwork for art, and yes, did a few things for school…

Because I walked/hiked earlier…3.4 miles. I needed it.

Last week I hardly did anything (granted it was hot and that doesn’t help)…walking all day at school doesn’t count. Although it does…just not as much as I’d like.

Hello friend.

It was big. And didn’t stop coming toward me until I said Hi.

Anyway, I didn’t cook either, bless those who live with me, but after I’d finished eating and we were still watching the show of the night (which is from a comic book I actually read…well, the first few anyway…I’d read them again), I needed something to work on, so I pulled out the scarf I started on Sunday in class. I really SHOULD have pulled out the SJSA block and just gotten it done, but I didn’t. I will. I promise. It needs to get done. Lots of things need to get done. Ugh.

Kitten for sizing. So this is going to be covered in stitching, mostly running stitch. I wanted to get the outline in so I could start adding parts, like veins and a heart and fingernails and lungs if I decide to do that. I have no idea what’s going to be going on around her, but it will be cool. Now that there’s an outline, I don’t need to mark things…I think. Makes it easier. OK, maybe need to mark the heart and the eyeball…and the hair? I don’t know…we’ll see. Fun stuff. Great way to use up all the thread I have…except you know it won’t use ALL of it up. This is almost all of one card of perle cotton. I’ve got about a million more.

And at the end, being Californians, we checked the news.

Oh yeah. Good thing. All politicians suck in many ways, but Larry Elder? Fuck me. He would have devastated the schools. All the things that help my kids, my students? Yeah, gone. Dumbassery. For all the talk of Newsom being heavy-handed with the pandemic, I’d rather be here than in Florida. Our numbers are better. Yes, we’d like to solve the homeless problem and make houses more affordable, but that’s not one guy…that shit has been around through Democrats and Republicans and unless we become much more socialist (oooh…bad word) than we are, it’s not changing. Voting one guy out and replacing him with a talk-show host who is an absolute idiot is not how to solve that shit. Let’s remember which party likes to help people more when the next gubernatorial election comes up. Hopefully we’ll have someone on the ticket who has some plans for that. The fewer rich white guys in charge, the better. The fewer totally unqualified, inexperienced, mouthy assholes in charge, also better.

OK, so today is early in, plan like a whirling dervish, work hard all day, be efficient as hell, hope no one co-opts my prep period so I can actually get the 19 contracts completed and off my computer that need to be done apparently by Friday, plus probably fill out at least one more I saw pop up yesterday…plus work out and then hang out (outside) with my book club friends. What book is it? Dunno. I read it…just don’t remember which one it was. Probably it doesn’t matter. Stitch down if I can tonight…I’m so close to done.

In a Parallel Universe…

It’s currently Thursday night. I don’t usually write now. I was hoping to be doing the stitchdown on the current quilt, but no. My machine is still not working right. I’m frustrated. I’ll call the store again tomorrow, and then I’ll hope it doesn’t take another 5 weeks to fix it, plus I’ll see what I can do on my mom’s machine. I don’t know that I have the patience to try that tonight, but maybe I will. It will be good to have a comparison to what mine is doing at the moment. Tension is off, needle keeps wandering left…two out of the three problems I took it in for in August. Frustration is not a good feeling at the moment. School is challenging and exhausting (hopefully some of that will get better), there is so little time for anything that isn’t work, and then the thing I really love? Can’t do it. At least I can’t do the part I want to be doing right now. Maybe now is when I truly admit this piece won’t be done for the deadline I was aiming for…and start a new one…the FUCK YOU TEXAS POLITICIANS quilt. The UP YOURS SUPREME COURT quilt. The GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY UTERUS quilt. That’s a cheery mood I’ve got going there.

Mayhaps I should just take my book and my tears of frustration to bed, meditate, get up tomorrow, be fucking efficient as hell at work, pretend the last fucking hour didn’t happen, and try again tomorrow night. With a different machine. In a parallel universe where sewing machines are my friends.

More tomorrow morning…

Sigh. It’s morning. I dreamed about my school laptop battery. It’s dying. But I can’t afford to give up my computer for any period of time for them to replace it, unless they can do it in ONE TWO THREE and we’re done. I’m OK with that. Anything else and IDK what I’m going to do. The computer itself has been randomly turning itself off or freezing down to almost stopping, and then the battery goes from 53% to almost zero in a heartbeat. See above about frustration.

I’m going in to school with deep breaths. I do cry when I get frustrated though. I remember growing up, my dad would get so mad if I cried. He said girls do that to get what they want. I don’t. When I cry, I am genuinely upset and/or frustrated. It’s a normal reaction. I have no control over it. I’m frustrated right now and I’m tired and my blood sugar was high this morning for no apparent reason. Seriously going to meditate in the car. With my eyes open of course. I have a mindset in my head for the day…it will be difficult for the kids, thus difficult for me. When we ask them to do hard things, they don’t respond well. We have to grow that behavior. I’m not always there myself. I have to remind myself that it is hard for them and I can’t react to it. Hard for someone who reacts super fast. I’d be good in a zombie apocalypse…not always good in a middle-school classroom. At least I’m aware of it so I can keep talking myself through it.

So here’s the whole quilt ironed down…

It’s large, about 46″ w by 62″ high…maybe more than that at the moment. There’s a lot of hours that need to go into it to get it done. I’m going to try stitchdown on my mom’s machine that I borrowed in July…but quilting will need to be on a bigger machine. I’m going to call the shop today and try to be calm and say they can’t have it for 5 weeks this time. They didn’t fix it last time. I’m pissed, it’s true. I know they’re busy, but this isn’t OK.

This doesn’t show the other side, where the tension is all over the place. That break on the right is about 5 inches in, because that was the first major issue I had. I can’t afford a new machine right now. I need this one to work. I especially need it to work because my day job is really hard and time-consuming and frustrating and I need something at home NOT to be those things. Well, I’m OK with art being time-consuming…the other two, not right now please. Give me something that feels good.

The man hiked a bit and camped last night.

He sent all those clouds with thunder and lightning to us. I stitched with friends last night…still something I can’t show you. It’ll be almost done by the time it’s published and I’m allowed to share, I think.

Deep breaths for the day. Patience for the munchkins and for myself. Hopefully take the machine in after work and then get COVID tested again. Ugh. Then home and try to make mom’s machine do what I need it to. Read my book. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Tomorrow I finally get to exercise (like I said, this week has been rough). I still might make this quilt deadline, and if I don’t, there will be somewhere else it can show. It’s not the end of the world.

When It’s Out…

Long weekends are a blessing. I graded a bunch of stuff over the last three days. I’m not caught up, but I’m panicking less. I managed exercise three days in a row. As the school week goes on, that is less and less likely. So I did well. And I’m ironing. All good. Trying not to think of things I should be ironing or sewing or deadlines that are coming. Just doing the things when I can.

Friday night, I did more trees…

And I think I also ironed the hiker…

Could have been Saturday though. I ironed a bunch on Saturday afternoon…like this…

Starting up the mountain. Last night, I got part of the mountain in…

I’m hoping to get the mountains done and be well into the sky tonight, if not done. I might be able to do it. There’s about 270 pieces left.

I drew briefly on Saturday night…

I hiked this morning with the man…

Just Cowles Mountain…the original plan had Pyles Peak as well, but it was warm…

Although the valleys were socked in. Weird.

A view of one of my quilts behind the amazing Margaret Fabrizio…

We traded earlier this year.

And some pictures of me with my quilts at The Studio Door opening…

I don’t really like posing for photos…

Even with a mask on, you can probably tell.

Not even sure what I’m looking at in that photo…but here’s 1, 2, and 3 in one with me.

We missed a few. You get the idea. Check out the show though! It’s a nice area with many restaurants for lunch or dinner. Parking isn’t awful (but it can be). It’s open through September 25.

Every Friday afternoon, I’m here, waiting for my COVID test…

I’m negative again…it does make me nervous to have any possible symptom (stuffed up nose? sore throat?), so this is how I feel better about it. Stick a swab up my nose once a week.

Meanwhile, Texas politicians are idiots, so is the Supreme Court, I have incredible sympathy for Afghanistan, did I mention how stupid Texas is? Not all Texans, I know. Ida and Henri, sheesh, some people, an awful lot of them, really need help. This as California’s fires started well before the actual fire season.

Maybe there are just a lot of stupid people out there who believe they have the right to govern women’s bodies, even though we can’t do the same to them. I’m angry. I’m pissed off. I would just like to say that I called this 10+ years ago and got told it wouldn’t happen. My ass it wouldn’t. Feel like you’re losing control of the country? SLAM SOME GROUP INTO THE GROUND. That’s what we do. Fight back, y’all. Give money if you can. Yell loud and lots. Those rich white ladies won’t suffer over this idiotic law…it’s the ones who can’t afford to suffer any more than they already do. Yell louder.

Seriously, if you don’t don’t own a uterus, don’t tell people what to do with it. And if you do own one? You get to control YOUR OWN and nobody else’s. Because if y’all can own that, if you can pass laws about that, then it’s about time we took ownership of some dicks out there, and I can tell you, it’s gonna be ugly. You’re not making babies? You certainly don’t need sperm (vasectomies for all men over…um…I’ll give you age 50…at that age, the DNA is getting damaged and you shouldn’t be making babies anyway). And if you use that dick incorrectly? Like raping someone? Well you’ve proven you don’t know how to use it, so we’ll just take it away…starting with some rich old white boys.

Yeah. I’m angry. God damn it. We’ve done this already, before I even was old enough to understand it. Why the fuck do we have to go over all this again with you folks? Do you not listen?

I guess the next quilt is drawing itself again. I’ll let you know when it’s out.

Fingernails in the Dirt…

I just realized the other night while entering some shows with upcoming deadlines that none of the quilts I made in 2020 have been in a show. I’ve entered them in plenty, and one of them sold, so there’s no complaint there…I think it’s because there have just been fewer shows to enter, so then they might just age out and never be shown. Some have been entered in (and rejected by) multiple shows. Interesting. It’s OK…I’m entering them in more right now, just to get their fiber asses out there and in the world.

Have to get MY fiber ass out into the world too. I’ll be at this opening tomorrow night…at some point.

The pictures of the space are looking good. That’s my piece in the middle (above) and left side (below).

The exhibit is at The Studio Door in Hillcrest.

And a few of my larger pieces are also in the show.

It’s nice to see work out and about.

The ceramic piece is NOT mine, but it is fascinating. I think it’s work by Julia C. R. Gray. Looking forward to seeing it up close.

I’m ironing about an hour a night…it’s slow as shit.

Those deer took about an hour to iron together and get placed in the landscape. They’re only about 4 1/2 inches wide.

I almost finished the 300s last night. Hopefully I’ll get the 400s laid out and ironed tonight…they might be easier? There’s a path in there, but some fussy tiny pieces. Last night, I thought I was done and then realized there were fingernails in the dirt. OK then. But there is progress.

I’m also still working on this…finally found a marking pencil I could use on white fabric (I probably have 5 of them…just didn’t know where they were).

So I marked the stethoscope and started stitching it. I need to finish the stethoscope and add more embellishment to the letters, and then it will be done…hopefully by the end of this long weekend coming up. I love long weekends.

Hopefully there’ll be some of this…the boychild and I dragged the little dog out on a 3-mile hike on Monday after school.

The light was cool…although in this photo, it looks like a nuclear bomb is going off over downtown. Interesting.

The man spent a couple nights hiking up in the Lagunas…he had some pretty good views…

Jealous? I was.

That stitching I was doing? It was with Nova on my lap…

Or perched on my side lap…she needed the loves.

Kitten perched on the other couch.

Looking goofy.

OK, I have a ton of work to do. My prep yesterday got eaten up by installing a large digital clock so kids don’t have to open their computers to check the time, many discussions of stamina in school (they don’t got it), and lots of dealing with kids who are out due to possible COVID exposures or symptoms or who the fuck knows what. Today I need to grade stuff. Then exercise after school (oh yes), plus ironing tonight. That’s the goal anyway. It’s a pretty good one.

Forming in My Head…

Is there an easy way to ship a tennis racket? Inquiring minds want to know. I need a box. I totally forgot about needing to ship this thing, because on Saturday, I looked at the calendar list in the morning and then refused to look at it again until Sunday. Maybe not the most mature thing in the world, but I was tired of the to-do list and just wanted to iron the new quilt together…so I did…for about 4 hours. I did other stuff too, but this was Saturday’s start…

Notice the top of the drawing over the chair? There’s a cat under there…

She wasn’t thrilled about the paper and kept batting at it. I did a little more after that…

The appearance of part of a snake. It is kind of a pain. I’m still not sure the body in the ground is showing up yet, but if it doesn’t, I’ll make it with outlining and whatever else it needs. I didn’t want it to be obvious, so I guess that’s a good thing.

I got a little ironing in last night…

I’ve got about 5 1/2 hours in and almost 300 pieces ironed down (just short of that). I was going to do more last night and got off track with yet another student email telling me they’d be out for 10 days because of a positive COVID exposure. Sheesh. I can’t keep track of all of them. I got tested on Friday; still don’t have results.

Saturday did include my annual boob squeeze (all is well on that front) and an outdoor quilt guild meeting, where I cut out all the pieces for my Patreon reward…

And saw a Gloria Muriel mural on the way home…

Sunday was mostly setting up school stuff, including the gradebook, and then grading things. I haven’t gotten the routine down yet. I need to grade more things at school. I left some to do this week, plus inputting grades. It was just looking and feeling overwhelming, so I banged some of them out.

Saturday night, we dropped a bunch of pieces for the upcoming show that opens Thursday, and then went out to dinner, and I got to draw for once.

I have a big drawing forming in my head but haven’t found the time to draw it. This week? Maybe.

I did see the Man play in his band on Friday night…drove out to the Hotel Del after dinner for his second set.

It was a private event, ticketed, so I stood on the public path behind them and watched. He’s enjoying being back with the band and has four events in September, none of which I can (or will) go to. The Music Box is requiring vaccination cards or a negative COVID test in the last three days, but it still packs them in like sardines, so that’s a no for me. Another one, I could stand out in the parking lot, but it’s not really a friendly lot. So I think that’s a no as well for me. Too bad. I miss that.

Meanwhile, the Man is still doing training hikes. He left last night for the Lagunas, camped out, and is hiking today and tomorrow.

Definitely happy to be out there. And it looks beautiful.

OK, well hopefully I will figure out all the kids who are out today, all the kids who are transferring to the other team (they tested out of ELD, which is awesome), and the two new kids, no three! I’m getting today. Plus a 2-hour staff meeting where I will stay masked. And then maybe some exercise, because I haven’t done that for days, except for Pilates, and then some art. All those would be good things.

Less Like a Zombie

OK, so I thought I was tired last week, but I’m so sore from walking around class AND exercising yesterday that this morning feels REALLY tired. And it’s only Wednesday. I’m sure I’ll walk it out pretty soon and start to feel more human and less like a zombie (um, maybe?). Today is that wacky day when I teach four different things and my brain partially explodes. It will be fine. Getting used to this schedule is going to take a few weeks (months?). Getting used to all the moving parts…need a different bathroom pass for art because they don’t get the same one as 7th grade does. OK. Making enlarged copies for one kid because of his vision needs. OK. Not actually sure what to do about that for today…it’s OK. I just wrote some stuff on a post-it so I’ll remember it when I get to school. I’m not sure what I would do without post-its…they save me.

Yesterday was long…I had duty before and after school, and then interviews for a new science teacher. I forgot to eat in between, and I ate lunch at 11 AM because of the block schedule, so by the time I hit home and was getting ready to walk, my blood sugar was somewhere well south of where it should have been. I was supposed to eat during prep, not lunch. On Tuesdays, my prep is right after lunch, so it makes sense to eat later. I forgot. So still getting used to this…yeah. I have pilates today after school, so will have to eat before I go. I’ll get used to it…it will just take me some time. I need a post-it telling me to eat maybe…although I’d ignore it. Sigh.

Anyway, as always, that level of tired from getting home late, leaving to hike at 6 PM, coming back and prepping dinner and eating…hard to get off the couch and do anything at that point. But I did. Not much though.

The night before, I got organized and sorted all the pieces…

Interestingly, they are sorted by number (by 100s), but the last four boxes look like they’re sorted by color. All the sun is in the last box. The sky is in the two boxes before, then the green of the mountains is the two or three boxes before that. Then the browns mostly before that. Usually all the colors are mixed up in all the boxes.

Anyway, that took about an hour to do, and then last night, honestly, I spent about four whole minutes sorting the first 100 pieces into piles of 10s.

And then I went to bed. Sometimes I’m really organized. I swear. Lots of rocks in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and then into path and dirt. I’m really hoping to start ironing things together tonight. It’s hard to keep standing for another hour or so when you’ve been standing and walking all day. Really hard. But art is absolutely what keeps me sane and happy and like I’m doing something that matters. I know teaching does that too, but I’m not there yet with this year…I don’t know the kids enough yet (although we are getting there…you know, it’s really hard when you see them all day with masks on and then you do duty outside and the kids are unmasked and saying HI and you can’t match them up with the masked face in the classroom.). I have some sweethearts, some nonstop talkers, and some kids with giant chips on their shoulders. Just like normal. Some get angry or butthurt super easy and some are terrified to ask questions and some email you at all hours of the day or night and some never stop asking questions. Pretty normal. Working toward balance though…haven’t taken home grading, although I have done some school stuff on computers at home.

Oh yeah! We have our first official positive COVID case (not one of mine) and a few out on “pandemic concerns,” which just means they have symptoms that might be COVID but we don’t know. I’m going to get tested once a week or so, just to be sure I’m not bringing anything home. Yeah, we’re all vaccinated, but I have family that is immunocompromised and so am I. I’m not a fan of not knowing. I also have students with health issues and I don’t want to be the asymptomatic person who gets them sick. So add that to the post-it note.

Yesterday’s hike/walk (mostly streets) with amazing lenticular clouds that don’t show up super nicely in this photo…

Funky though. And an owl house!

Kitten keeps sleeping on my magazine AND stitching, so I can’t finish either. Also too tired (me) to finish.

Simba is a dork.

He is staring lovingly into the boychild’s eyes though.

OK, going to school with my pink to-do post-it for before school. Going to do Advisory, Science Block 1, Art, then Science Block 2. If I remember what all those things are. Which I might not. Then exercise, then art. Yeah. OK. A plan.

It Doesn’t Look Like Much…

On to the next step on this quilt…I finally finished cutting everything out last night. Here’s Friday night, where I can tell I’m getting close.

Saturday night…some people would say, why not just finish that? It doesn’t look like much?

The man wanted to be in the photo. Yeah, it doesn’t look like much does it…that’s almost an hour and a half worth of cutting right there…because that’s what I did last night to finish…

Just over 20 hours…

This is a complicated quilt. It’s not huge; just complicated.

I also found the 7 quilts that will be in this show…

They need to be delivered Saturday, so I needed to make sure they had slats and all that. They do, mostly, except for the newest one, which was actually made for this show. The others are invited because not enough people entered. Ah well. That shit happens. I will be at the reception, at some point, I hope, unless my school is doing a back-to-school night that I don’t know about. Also, that’s a work night, so I’ll be half dead. But otherwise, yeah, I’ll be there.

Saturday was all about running errands and then a longer hike…

Marian Bear Memorial Park…it’s pretty enough, although the water is stagnant right now…

And there’s a shit-ton of poison oak…

Also, it runs parallel to a freeway and under major roads, so the noise is a bit off-putting.

The exercise was good.

It was definitely cooler than it will be this week. I keep waiting for summer to slap us upside the head.

Kitten is good. She could live with summer or not. Actually, she’s on probiotics (I did not know there were such things for cats) so we can see if her digestive system will stop being the way it is. I’m not sure she’s sold on them. I wonder if they put enough flora in the powdery stuff that I mix with her food so that if she is picky and only eats a little that she will get enough of it. Who knows.

Nova sat on me for a bit until I kicked her off so I could keep cutting things out.

Tonight hopefully I’ll get the pieces sorted so I can start ironing everything together. Getting closer to a time when my machine will need to be fixed. Not sure what’s up with that. We’re back to almost 6 weeks since I took it in. Ugh.

Am I ready for school today? I am not. I could not deal with my classroom on Friday so I didn’t do all the things I needed to do before today. I don’t have morning duty this week though (I think) and it’s short periods, plus I do actually get a prep period, so hopefully I’ll get through it all. I also get to do a staff meeting on my own, which is nice. I wonder if the Delta variant will let us continue doing staff meetings by ourselves…it would be nice. But unlikely. OK, gotta go to work anyway. Art tonight.

How Did I Do This Before?

Well. That was the first day back with kids. Bam. I’m officially exhausted for the next 10 months. I walked over 15,000 steps on the first day, compared to about 3,000 when I was teaching on Zoom. So my body needs to get used to that again…not sure that’s a bad thing. Interacting in person is strange and somewhat difficult, although I will get used to masks and my glasses and not being able to talk loud enough and hot flashes in a warm classroom because the AC is on but the door is open. Yeah. All that. Sure. Plus the tech changes. Amusingly, our district emailed us last night that the science curriculum (all online) will be available ‘soon’. Not on the first day of school (it’s OK; we don’t really like most of it and/or use most of it). I didn’t even have my kids touch computers yesterday…today for Advisory only. Tomorrow, just for research for pictures. Maybe next week for an actual assignment. I had enough computer stuff last year to last me a long time.

Going back to school is always an energy suck. A brain suck as well, apparently. I don’t remember how to do anything. I even asked one class how to explain an instruction better to make sure I got the results I needed…because I obviously wasn’t! They were very nice and suggested some things. The pro of middle-school kids is their desire to help. Most of them. I stayed late last night to get ready for today…luckily, my first block day is relatively easy. Only one subject and a nice long prep period in between the first class and the last two. Hopefully I will use that prep wisely…as in, get my act together with art class, because yesterday I ran out of stuff and took them for a walk instead. Like puppies. We were all tired. It was legit.

Before I had any kids in there…this might be the neatest it ever is (and you can’t see the counters…I still have some chaos to control).

My team is very cool…our shirts confirm it…

“like a regular team only cooler”…

Ironically, it was muggy as heck yesterday. OK, not really, for those who live in truly muggy areas, but for dry, desert areas, this was ugh. And having to put on shoes and pants was hard. I didn’t wear shoes for 18 months.

We tried to do an after-school photo, and this is all we got.

Still smiling? Probably in shock.

Yeah. This.

Such a waste of money for these. The man never comes to our school and sees the kids. He just sends this. Dude. Send food. Or money. More useful.

Meanwhile, I’m still cutting stuff out, although not much…I think this was Monday night…

And Tuesday night, after another 56 minutes (can you tell? I’m not sure I can)…

I know I’m more than halfway, but there’s still a lot of pieces in there.

I’m also working on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…

I finally marked the letters she wanted embroidered (had to find the right marking implements) and got some of it done after dinner. There are ‘does-not-equal’ signs going in between the words, in case you can’t see the incredibly light marks. (They are incredibly light.)

Seen on our walk on Monday…

It’s hard to get good flight pictures sometimes, especially with a phone camera. Beautiful bird.

This is the girlchild, amazing kid, but also…that’s the dress I fixed.

I appreciate the boots. Evidence that she is my child.

I saw this and was sort of horrified, and then realized it was satire (it was the ‘asshole’ comment that clued me in).

Some local music venues are now requiring vaccination cards or recent COVID tests (yes!). Teachers will need both. I taught yesterday and felt OK, until a co-teacher said something about not taking her mask off even when the kids weren’t in there, because their air was still in there. Fuck. I didn’t even think of that. Yes, I’m vaccinated. The odds of my getting so sick that I have an issue are very low…but I teach a bunch of unvaccinated kids…because they can’t be yet. Some have major health issues. Some have family members at home that have issues. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s illness. And we have staff who are not vaccinated. So much anxiety over all these pieces.

Anyway. Today we do a lab! Yay! I missed labs. They are exhausting and a pain but a real joy to watch and experience the kids doing the things. We’ll see how it goes. And then I have pilates (have to remember all my gear…how did I do this before? It’s been 18 months since I lived like this) and book club and then I will just collapse. We’re back!

I Should Cut More Stuff Out…

Today, I gird my loins and conquer my classroom, which is an incredible disaster. I also figure out what the hell I’m doing tomorrow in class and make sure I have all the shit to do that. I might even sleep before tomorrow…certainly, hopefully, more than last night. I have never been so unprepared…wait, no, the year I started two weeks in because we were waiting for a background check and they wouldn’t even let me on campus…that year was worse. It’ll be fine. I’ll remember how to do this in person. Last year will stop clouding my brain. It’s PTSD over the workload more than anything. Ugh.

So I’m at school today until it’s done…or I collapse from exhaustion. Which might be by 9:30 AM. That’s what tea is for, yeah?

I finally organized all the fabrics for the current quilt. This is my documentation of the 185 fabrics I used…

Lots of earthy stuff.

I started cutting out Thursday night…continued on Friday…

Friday was fairly exhausting. Then Saturday, the neighbors have a wall being built, so there was jackhammering and Mexican polka. I had a headache most of the day, unfortunately. Tried to do some schoolwork and just couldn’t get my head around it (see distractions above) and ended up cutting out pieces for hours…

Seriously, like 5 hours of bingewatching and cutting.

I also drew a Patreon reward…

Numbered it…

I was trying to make it less complicated than last year’s…failed. Oh well.

And then I traced it on Wonder Under…

And then kept cutting out pieces on the other quilt. I’ll cut these out sometime this week and get going on that.

Then last night, I kept cutting.

I’ve been cutting trees for days. Seriously.

I finally got to some different stuff late last night. I might be halfway? I might not. It’s just hard to tell. I’m sure you’re looking at these and going, yeah, can’t see it. It’s not until I see the bottom of the box peeking out that I think I’m almost done…and I can’t see that yet. That’s about 10 1/2 hours of cutting there.

But it’s progress.

I also washed the dyed stuff out. I like the backgrounds, but I’m not sure what I will do with them.

Because I don’t want to cover any of it up.

Maybe I will have to draw something specifically for it. To fit into the background.

I think I missed one…there should be four, I think. Ah yes, my favorite.

The best thing in the world is ironing these and seeing all the interesting little bits of dye overlap. Anyway. We’ll see what happens next with these. I also did socks…

I need to clean out my sock drawer so they have room to breathe in there. I’m a bit of a sock whore. Ironic since I don’t wear even shoes for a good chunk of my existence. Anyway. I have socks.

I finally photographed all the January and February Homegrown blocks too…

Embroidery that keeps me sane in stupid meetings or on nights when I can’t deal with anything else.

Gophers killed one of my milkweed plants and I found this little guy wandering around on the dead one, so I moved it to the living one.

I have a bunch of baby milkweed plants that I’ve been trying to grow in a shady space, away from the bunnies. They won’t be ready for this caterpillar though. I hope there’s enough food.

I need this in a poster.

It’s been hot.

Petting animals is helpful for back-to-school anxiety…

We got up early Saturday and walked before it got hot…so many sidewalks were marked up.

Some sort of abstract art.

So many of the apps we use for school are not up and running yet. Ironic.

I have to be up and running, but with none of the things.

This is accurate.

Seriously accurate. OK. I have to go to school. I was going to meet with my principal in person and I was debating masks. He’s vaccinated but he has small children. So many decisions to be made. I might just stay masked all year. But now his kid’s class is quarantined (yeah, that shit is still happening), so we are doing it on Zoom. Then get keys to the art room (and supplies!) and meet with the art teacher. Attack my room with some sort of plan. Make lists. Eat lunch. Counseling. That’s necessary. More room attacking, more lists, possible shopping post school for the shit I don’t have. Probably not sleep well another night. I should put a walk or trip to the gym in there somewhere. Then tomorrow is the first day with kids. Oh yeah, I should cut more stuff out. Always.

My Shoes Are Ready, But I Am Not…

Hello Last Day of Summer Break. You are hot and muggy and a bit breezy, which I appreciate. Summer was better than last year’s crazy mix of vomitous stress, although you could still work on the relaxing time away from the worry of pandemic. Also, more trips and art…like OTHER people’s art. Yeah. More of that. But you did help me finish three pieces and get a healthy start on a fourth, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll make a normal number of pieces this year, unlike last year. That would be nice.

Speaking of, although I hoped to be done ironing last night, I was stymied by broken flip flops and realizing that I hadn’t worn shoes to work for 18 months and I didn’t know WHERE MY SHOES WERE. You know, the shoes you wear to work because you’re not allowed to wear flip flops and slippers and Christmas socks, goddammit it what kind of civilization IS this where I have to wear a bra every day and shoes too what the fuck. So yeah. I bought shoes and I cleaned out my shoes and I found shoes and even washed some shoes. They were dusty. That makes me laugh. Certainly if you went to high school with me and/or have heard the stories of the Assistant Principal who threatened to suspend me for not wearing shoes, so I wrapped newspaper around my feet and taped it on, this does not surprise you. Dude. Seriously. Pick your battles.

So my shoes are ready, but I am not. Last night I dreamed that I was teaching and I forgot to wear a mask. A good chunk of my students can’t get vaccinated yet. One of the teachers I used to work with is fussing about having to get a vaccine, about mandates. Then don’t teach. You don’t have to get a vaccine, but you have to get tested every week if you don’t. Stop whining. Do it for the kids. Seriously, you’re walking into classrooms with (um, I don’t actually have classes yet…yes, school starts next Tuesday, whatever) with let’s guess about 150 students total and you aren’t vaccinated? What dumbassery is that. I don’t care if you’ve had the virus…you don’t have the right to get all those kids sick if you get it again. Sigh.

Moving on. The electricians were here yesterday and fixed some things that have needed fixing, but more happily, added a ceiling fan that I’ve wanted for the last 20 years. Oh my, does that thing make me happy? It does. Lots. I did have to clear out a space for one of them to get into the attic…

So all those fabric bins had to come out, a shelf had to come out. And I couldn’t iron for the morning yesterday.

I did iron the night before. This is ALL of the sky. What a mess. Top is real sky; bottom is sky with figure.

I ironed all the bottom ones Monday night, stayed up way too late, in the Nida way.

And then ironed the rest yesterday evening…

Sky done. Clouds too. I just need to do all the yellow bits…sun and stars and lightning. Which is why I didn’t finish last night…I was watching REAL lightning, which wasn’t really yellow. A crazy lightning storm with a bolt a second was passing east of us. Fascinating to watch…hopefully no fires.

I also walked last night…that hawk was harassing all the birds inside this amazing cage I walk by.

I only noticed because the birds inside are usually pretty quiet, but they were super loud. Because there was a predator on their house.

The sky was beautiful.

It was muggy.

So for today, my last day, I will try to avoid work, although I did watch the 9-minute COVID video required by the district. So all my mandatory training is done. Tomorrow I will deal with sitting in a church (yeah, a church) for our back-to-school speechifying. I will bring a book and some stitching for that crap. Then food and another long meeting. Then four days of panicked prepping for school. Yes, that includes a weekend. We’ll see how much I can get done without the weekend, but I know I will need to shop a little and I have nothing NOTHING planned for art. Sigh. I will also finish the ironing on this quilt and then install LEDs in here for cooler lighting. I will plant out the rest of my hardened milkweed and maybe plant more seeds (I think I killed another batch…they were coming up and now they’re not. I suck.). I started the dying process for a bunch of fabric and socks. I want to get those done too. We’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck. Then I will burn sage and maybe last year’s school notebook to clear the air for this school year, hoping for few quarantines, no COVID outbreaks at school, no COVID for me or my family, lots of vaccinated kids in the next few months, and hopefully cooler weather (ha! It’s real summer now y’all…here in Southern California, it’s not real summer until September/October, when we often hit over 100 degrees).