Damn Rumination

It’s a little chilly this morning. I start the mornings with slippers on because my feet are cold every morning, no matter how warm it is outside. And eventually they come off and I am barefoot for most of the day. Pandemic clothing is pretty simple…looks a lot like my summer wear, except there are some t-shirts I can’t wear on Zoom when I’m teaching. I also have to think about what tea mug I’m drinking out of, because some have naked people on them. Plus the drawing that’s hanging up. I pin it up just in case. I’m pretty sure it’s too far away for the kids to see, but why take that risk?

I’m not sleeping well…not falling asleep quickly enough, try to go to bed earlier so the mornings aren’t so bad, but that doesn’t help. Just more lying around trying to fall asleep happens then. And then when the man gets up early, some mornings, I’m so exhausted I zonk out again, but some, I just lie there and ruminate. Damn rumination. It just messes me up. Weird dreams too. Last night, we were on vacation (VACATION!) and in a hotel, and this woman came into our room and started unpacking her stuff, because the hotel/Airbnb/whatever it was allowed people to double book or something? But she was someone I sorta knew? But it was SO UNCOMFORTABLE having someone else in the room, and that’s how I feel about going ANYWHERE right now. It’s just uncomfortable.

I finally FINALLY got to iron stuff on the big quilt last night. It’s not anybody’s fault…just gets too late, or the girlchild wants me to hang out, so I stitch instead. I’m still doing stuff I need to do…it’s just not this big quilt. I picked the fabrics for the third figure, darker…

This disease doesn’t care about you personally, but certain communities are harder hit…relative to health care options and poverty. If you have money, you’re better off? Or insurance? Or access to good healthcare? It all sucks. We should be taking care of everyone. All the time. Not just during a pandemic.

I didn’t finish ironing those down. It was 12:20 AM and I really need to go to bed earlier…but also sleep earlier. I can totally feel it today. I’m braindead and cranky as shit.

I also ironed the fabrics for the two mini-quilts I’m making for Patreon rewards…

That’s the bird laid out.

The heart in hands is on the right. I’ll cut those out later tonight probably. These go pretty quickly…just need to fit them in around everything else. This morning is two meetings, one of which is done (and was a clusterfuck, just so you know…makes me question my ability as a teacher in this situation). SIGH. Big Fucking Sigh.

Anyway. I also did dots. Strawberry, bottom right. Or some other berry? Don’t know.

It looks like a strawberry.

Then last night was this foxy dot…to the right of the white spool…

Ah yes…turned out pretty good, I think.

I also worked on the next Patreon reward embroidery…those are Luna’s legs under the coffee table…

And Kitten keeping me company on the couch…

I’m not sure how offended she is that I am stitching birds, not cats.

Hard to say.

What else is going on? Walks with dogs…

Someone weed-whacked. Hopefully that means fewer ticks.

Because despite that face, Simba hates combing.

Boychild made bagels…

I didn’t even know how bagels were made…

It’s a very strange process. Like how did we decide to boil FOOD in lye?

I feel like more of us should have died in the past just for our weird food practices.

Cats are always asleep…

She sits with me every day as I work…although this was last night…

It looks like the beginning of a horror movie. CATS!

There’s been some food-sharing issues amongst the cats. They are figuring it out. Certainly no one is starving.

And more of the conversations…although this is one I have often (minus my bro…usually it’s just the SIL and occasionally a kid)…

Everyone is going a little stir crazy.

Today? Today I make some decisions about my Advisory class, how I’m going to run it. I hate it, so it needs to change. Today I get some exercise, do some ironing, maybe some cutting stuff out and embroidery. Today I…sigh. I need more sleep. Maybe today I nap. Or draw. Or finish my book (I’ve been trying to do that for four days). Whatever. Today feels sucky. I will fix that. Somehow.

Realize.

I meant to write this yesterday. There are a lot of things I meant to do yesterday. I really should just remember that I am unfocused at least one day a week and that day is often Saturday. At least at the moment. Realize. It’s a word I should pay more attention to. Realize reality? As the county starts to open more things up, it’s harder to get away from crowds of people? Is it OK to go to Target to get pool noodles for shipping? Will I be shipping anything anywhere? Eventually. How do I feel about Target? I don’t know. I don’t know about anything. It all feels uncomfortable at the moment. Realize nothing.

I ironed nothing down on the Covid quilt in the last two days. Three days? Nothing since Thursday night. Let’s put it that way. That sucks. I was really tired on Friday and we had gaming…

I didn’t do anything after that except be tired. I did stitch on some dots…this was Friday night’s…the one under the green spool.

Simple flower shape…

And then Saturday night’s…just under the magenta spool.

I had another late finish and then mental exhaustion.

Pretty rose stitch though.

I also finished the first of the Patreon rewards…

And traced the second one on fabric, although I need to choose threads. And then I traced the Wonder Under and cut it out for the two small quilts.

I was hoping to finish picking fabrics for these yesterday, but brain fog won out.

I have a shit-ton of work to do for school this afternoon, so we’ll see what I get done. When I had finished the other embroidery, I didn’t have the next one ready to go, so I pulled this out of the pile and started on it while gaming.

It’s a Cozy Blue Handmade pattern. I suck at ironing stuff on. I bought this in Boston when I visited the girlchild a year and a half ago. Long time.

What else? The requisite dog and cat pictures…the deck is an appropriate temperature for us to live on some days, super buggy other days, way too hot at times. Simba likes it.

As long as someone is out with him.

Kitten has found another chair to sit on…although right now, she’s in her normal place…

Right behind me.

Simba loves the girlchild. She does not love his ticks.

There are a lot of ticks right now.

Yesterday was warm and tiring.

I agree, Luna…wholeheartedly.

I have a few new babies…I didn’t even do this right, and it made a baby. I’m so happy.

Succulents are amazing.

I think this one is my first…no second grandchild. I think the first one died. Or maybe it was incorporated into this one. But we do spend a lot of time thinking about them…

Yep, that’s our sourdough starter, version 2.0.

We did a short walk with the dogs on Friday, and then Saturday, I did a longer one, later, close to sunset, by myself. Everyone else was gone anyway.

It was relatively cool out, nice day, nice breeze, hazy skies.

Dumbasses on motorcycles zooming around in the valley, polluting the world with their tiny-penis noise. Seriously. Stop.

I like to just listen to the birds…not my neighbor’s lawnmower. He mows so many days. I realize it’s a ride-on and he likes his toys, but ffs, just stop. Let the lawn grow an eighth of an inch before you mow it again dude.

Most people out there have masks, although fewer on the walks in the neighborhood. One in the grocery store with no mask, though. WTF?

Apparently someone is painting these and leaving them around the neighborhood I walk in.

That’s so cool. I love that. More of that shit. More ravens just hanging out on wires.

Less noise pollution.

OK. Well. It’s 3 PM and I probably have at least 2-3 hours of school shit to do, another dot to sew, and then I’d really like to do some ironing. If I can. A good night’s sleep would be good too. One where I woke up the next morning and didn’t feel tired? That would be good. That’s a rare thing though. New week. Get it on.

We All Like to Exist…

Well. I’m finally behind on the dots. Why? Because the ironing of fabrics on the new quilt sucked me in last night and held onto me for over 4 hours. Not a bad thing, because I think there’s a movie for tonight, and I can’t iron when movie-watching with others is occurring, so I’ll be stitching TWO dots instead…and one looks like a really complicated one. So there’s that. I went 39 days without a miss though. Wow. We’ve been dealing with this crazy situation for a long time, haven’t we? Almost two months here in San Diego, longer for my bro and his fam in Seattle. Certainly much longer in other countries. We’re not OK yet…I don’t understand opening things up when the graph of sick and dead is still ticking upwards.

I do go out occasionally…the grocery store is the most common, but only once a week, takeout food once a week, sometimes something else, the vet last week, today a fabric store for stuff I really couldn’t see on a computer screen. Honestly, I probably won’t do that one again. Too many people, not enough social distancing. There’s been a few restaurants where I’ve felt the same way, and then some whose procedures are really awesome and I will be back…hopefully enough of us feel that way to keep them open.

But people are still getting sick and dying, and other people are still propagating bad science and crazy theories that are going to get more people killed in the long run. Sometimes we can only figure stuff out the hard way. Get sick and then you see how important universal healthcare is. Lose your job and then you see how important unemployment and welfare are. I don’t know why some of us can see those things without having to live through them. I view the world differently? I guess.

So the four hours of ironing got me well stuck into the fleshy bits of the second and largest figure.

I finished Figure 1 and then laid out a run of 6 fabrics for Figure 2…I was a little worried about fabric #3 because there wasn’t much of it. Actually, there isn’t much of fabric #1 either, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Plus I know how to improvise…

This crazy pile of Wonder Under is…at the top, everything from the 200s-600s that was NOT flesh but is around or on the body (there’s a snake and a bat, plus eyeballs and a uterus and bones and all that good stuff)…and at the bottom, the rest of the 700s once I finished the flesh.

Call me Queen of Chaos. Fit them all together…

And then get to fabric #3…yikes, not even a fat quarter here. Well. Let’s see.

Nope…not enough…

See the pile to the right? Wouldn’t fit on there. So I ransacked the pink drawers for something similar that fit between fabrics #2 and 4, and ironed the other pieces out of that.

Then I realized it was after 1 AM and even if I didn’t have to be up too early in the morning, the man had to work today, so between his morning activities and the cats, there was no way I’d get all the sleep I needed, so I covered fabrics #1 and 2 and went to bed. You can see the fabrics I’ve used so far…

A little more color is popping in…plus the box of stuff to trim when I’m done.

I might need a second version of fabric #1 as well…it’s not a big piece either. We’ll see. This is the plus of having a significant stash. There’s usually something else that will work.

So I did get the background fabric today…plus two possible binding fabrics, and a few others I liked.

The super dark one is the background. The one on top is for the next Daughter quilt, which I had to document from my 6 AM brain…it’s in my Notes app. Maybe I’ll draw it later.

So I’m in the 700s, but I still need to do all the filler pieces, which is a significant amount of ironing…hopefully this afternoon. We’ll see. I’ve already been sidelined by tick removal and dog bathing, so who knows what else is coming down the pike.

We finally blissfully got out into nature yesterday with the dogs for a nice walk…

This is, of course, where we got all the ticks. Fun stuff. There weren’t a ton of people there, but very few of them had masks on. It was weird. I mean, you don’t have to put it over your face unless you’re passing people on the trail…in which case, put the damn thing on. Especially if you’re running.

We missed the early wildflowers, but there are always flowers there.

We were trying to tire these guys out. It was still warm, but not as warm as it had been.

We have water for them, but they don’t like drinking a lot on walks. So we rested in the shade a few times with the old lady.

It was a real delight to be back out there. I really needed it. Walking on pavement is not the same.

Calli got two trips into the pool yesterday, which she appreciated.

Although the pool didn’t get rid of the ticks…hence the bath and close picking-over today.

But hey. He’s tired.

Last night, the girlchild made wontons. I got to put some together. I’m not sure I got better with time…

Don’t judge me. First time. Girlchild always makes a nice social media post…

They were yummy.

OK, here’s the full pic of that plant from over a week ago.

It’s coming from a pot above, where it’s a volunteer, and has now rooted in the pot below. It might be a spiderwort or relative, it might be a Commelina cyanea. It does well when it has water and OK when it doesn’t. It’s hot here, but this is rarely in full sun, mostly shady sun if sun at all. I maybe will train it to hang out and not cover everything, if possible. It certainly likes to exist. Don’t we all?

OK, so the day is more than half over, but the fabric is washed, I’m doing the girlchild’s bedding (tick fears) next, I’ve eaten lunch, I’m still tired, I really should do some yard work, but I don’t feel like it. I’ll go look at the to-do list, which includes putting together those videos I made over the last few days for my Patreon. And maybe iron for a bit. No school stuff today. Not allowed. Not sure when the man is coming home…he’s worked 6 days straight at this point due to things beyond his control, and he’s not doing well with it. Hopefully having 2 1/2 days off will help. But probably a takeout dinner and a movie are in my future. Stay safe, and stay well, and maybe do something that will help you stay sane.

Not Making Sense

I’m trying to watch a video while I’m typing this, which should be interesting, if I can keep the two things separate and make any sense here. Perhaps I never make sense here. I have to say it’s not my goal, making sense. There’s a song about this. Maybe more than one. I’m watching a fabric designer explain her new line, which won’t come out until 2021 probably. I like listening to her process, and since I can’t meet people in person, this is kind of cool; all the people with daily or regular videos right now are maybe helping with sanity? Who knows.

I’m in between my morning class and science meeting and my afternoon class right now. I’ve peed the dogs and eaten my lunch and tried to figure out what I need to get done for the rest of the day. I need to add some exercise in there somewhere, but it’s starting to get warmer and that’s harder. I want to do it in the dark. There are mosquitoes though. And the dogs can’t deal with high heat. So it’s just a logistical issue. So many things are logistical issues. I forgot to assign something this morning and went to do that and it didn’t work. Three times. So I kept assigning, and then it assigned it once on two classes and three times on the other three classes, and kids are already turning it in on ALL THREE classes (of course), so my Wednesday/Thursday are going to be a self-made (well, tech had its way with me kinda) hellacious fuckbeast. Ah well. What’s new? The kids are doing yardwork for Grandpa and probably they are all infecting each other, which is annoying, but the man is also back at work, even though he’s supposed to have today off, because you know, when you’re the person in charge, you get the shit shift. Unless you’re a shitty boss; we all know about those, they give YOU the shitty shift and they barely work.

I barely see/hear from my boss these days. Which is OK, because there’s enough other stuff to make up for it. This week, we added a new program to track plus a new category of assignments, and I’m about to run screaming into oblivion, but it’s too hot out there for that, so I’m sitting here with the fan on, realizing I have 39 minutes until the next Zoom call. Today is pretty chill, actually; we’ve figured out next week’s science assignments and have the following week fleshed out a little better. Tomorrow will start the crazy race into the weekend.

So the last two days…I did finish cutting out all the Wonder Under last night for the new quilt…

Let’s see if you can tell the difference between 10 yards cut out and 11 yards…from Monday night to Tuesday night…11 1/2 hours of cutting…

Looks the same. But it’s not. Tonight I will be sorting them…or maybe even this afternoon. Hard to say what I’ll be doing after class. My brain is usually pretty fuzzy. I need to check some work, see if kids are turning things in. Set things up for tomorrow. Get my head around my existence. Persuade myself not to eat cookies (pretty easy since we don’t have any). I finished cleaning the office yesterday. All my fabric is put away except for stuff I saved for napkin-making, so I’m ready to iron to fabric. Looking forward to that.

This will be another big crazy complicated quilt…sometimes people wonder why I make them, when they never sell (too big and expensive), but these are the ones that get into lots of shows and win awards, so no, I’ll never make the money back on them, but there is a reward for me in the acknowledgement, but honestly, more so in the time and energy I put into them, that’s a good place for my brain to be, especially when things are hard or complicated, like now. Yes, they’re time-consuming, and no, they won’t sell, but they are the most ME. So I’m OK with that. I’ll get this one done and do a smaller daughter quilt or something after. Maybe. If I feel like it. There are deadlines coming up. I’m just not sure I care about them.

Still doing the dots…here’s Sunday night’s…just under the blue ball of thread…

It was a pretty simple one, even with the trellis-stitch center.

Some of them are amazingly time-consuming. This wasn’t too bad.

Then Monday night’s…just under the blue spool…

I’m getting better at bullions with Razzle, a shiny rayon bitch of a thread…

The center looks like a starfish on its way out. I think I’m on Dot 37 today? Or something. Simba was helping…

He never really helps.

What else is up? So much schoolwork. Yardwork, which brings bug bites. NOT sleep, unfortunately. These guys don’t help with that.

Here’s Kitten bringing me one of my slippers…

She’s a freak. Drops them in the hallway half the time. Every night, I round up my slippers and put them back so she can bring them back to me.

These guys are sweet until they’re not.

They get mopey when their dad is gone and sleep more.

I did walk the dogs, but a shorter walk, yesterday…only 2.3 miles. Like I said, it was hot.

No one else wanted to go…to their credit, the kids did yardwork in the sun all afternoon yesterday too and they were tired. Legit excuse. I just wanted to get out and move. Like every day. Here’s a flower I didn’t see before.

I like to look for the new things or changing things.

Also, Fantastic Fibers is all hung, although no one can go in to see it…yet…

There’s Womanscape on the left…a big complicated quilt from two summers ago that is just weirdly popular. The black and white piece is paper and ink, so not really a quilt…it is by Emily McBride, i never wanted you. On the right, before the corner, is Rachel Major’s Still Life. Just to the right of it, around the corner, is Alicia Decker’s Culture Shock and Hannah Zimmerman’s Place.

Funny, I thought it was huge until I saw it next to that black and white quilt…I need to go look online to see if I can figure out whose is what (not a quilt, see update above). Here we go…on the far left is Orb by Evian Zukas-Oguz.

Originally, this was three different drawings that ran for about 95″ horizontally…and then I pulled it apart, redrew, and added.

It’s always interesting to see what detail shots other people choose.

The show is open for a while longer…Not Open. But there.

Fun masks by Sarah Pramuk, Balaclava Tryptich…might be a little warm for Southern California right now. Pandemic fashion Winter 2020. Seriously, these are NFS because she needs them back.

OK, going to look for names on this…but class starts in 13 minutes, so…I got them! In time. So I can post this right before class starts. Wait. No. After class. My brain. Is fuzz.

The rest of today? Sort Wonder Under, exercise, start ironing to fabrics. Taco Tuesday! All good. This is the part I really like. Need to make some margaritas too. I think I have stuff for that. Maybe. We’ll see.

Notice Something New…

It’s Friday. And I sold a quilt! Woo hoo! Someone from Arizona saw Desert Daughter at the Front Porch Gallery back in January some time, and recently contacted the gallery and it sold! I’m very excited…here it is with Arline Fisch’s wired art.

It’s nice to have people buying work right now…although I will turn around and pay off part of the girlchild’s college loan with it…getting close to done with that, and then all the income from these sales will go into the fund to remodel the bathrooms and kitchen, which really really really need it.

I need to make another Daughter quilt when I finish this big one, which is nicknamed Rona at the moment. I laid out all the Wonder Under I’d traced…

So that’s about 11 yards…one of them isn’t full, but the rest are. That’s a goodly amount.

I started cutting them apart Wednesday night…and luckily, the kittens weren’t interested.

Somewhere in the middle of cutting these out…well, at 1 AM that night, while I was trying to sleep, my brain started to fixate on how freakin’ big this quilt is and that there’s no way in hell I have a background big enough for this, and I don’t really want to piece it, because the quilt has so much detail on it that making the background busy is not a good plan. I hate buying fabric online in this situation because I can’t see the color properly. But one of my local quilt shops is doing one-on-one appointments. I can do that. I texted the owner and I have an appointment (with a mask and maybe gloves?) next Saturday. I need 5 yards for the background and if I’m smart, I’m going to find a couple of possible bindings and buy them too, because I’ll need a yard and a half for that. Fewer trips, better…much as I love fabric, it’s not necessary to be shopping regularly for it.

Thursday afternoon was my weekly stitch-in via Zoom. I actually did schoolwork for the first 45 minutes, but then sat there and cut out a yard of Wonder Under, yard number 2…

Not the most comfortable cutting space, but whatever…does two yards look different than one?

Hard to say…nighttime put me on the couch for yard number 3…

My hand hurts after switching to cutting, but it’s OK…only 8 yards to go…

Three yards seems to fill up the box a bit. I’ll probably get done with these sometime early next week, then sort them, clean my office, and start picking fabrics by next weekend. I’m hoping.

There’s been a ton of overwhelming work stuff going on this week, the second official week of teaching online. Wednesday and Thursday were crazy busy with work and meetings and to-do lists and texts. At some point, overwhelmed was all I felt. Today is better, but now I have to prep a ton of stuff and forms and shit for next week. I’m trying to keep Saturdays free of work, but that’s getting harder.

This was Thursday’s (? or was it Wednesday’s?) attempt to collect data from all the science assignments for all 160 kids…

There are pros to this…I remember how to be outside…although when the high 90-degree temps hit next week, I will NOT be out here.

Another pro…seeing kids in video! I totally miss this kid.

I was so happy to see her. And her happy brother.

I finished stitching the Nasty Woman cross stitch in staff meeting number 1 on Wednesday…

It’s been washed and needs to be ironed and finished into the hoop provided. Then it can go on the wall in my office under my Feminist AF hoop. Where the kids can’t see them.

I worked on this drawing a little bit during that meeting as well.

She has a head now…still not done. This is relaxing too. Seems like Calli is more relaxed than I am…

I had to go get her arthritis meds from the vet, who have a very good setup.

No interaction with other dog/cat parents. Super easy.

There’s not much on my destinations or events at the moment…

Although my phone knows when Summer Break is…it will feel much different this year.

Still sewing dots…Wednesday night was a butterfly…with the metallic thread being a pain in the ass…

Mine got all twisty and had to be stitched down.

And then last night’s…the dot wasn’t quite round, which became very apparent in the stitching…

I ripped the Palestrina knots out once, because I couldn’t get them to go down the middle…finally just left it the second time…

It’s the one on the far right…not round. Oh yeah. Oh well. Butterfly is wonky too.

OK. So what else? Girlchild is socializing with the puppy, who is kinda bitey.

All of us need a chiropractor and/or masseuse. I found an old electric massager (circa 1960-something…came with my house), but everyone is scared of it. I’m not. We also have an amazing stash of heat pads and creams for such types of pain.

This plant is in my yard. I don’t know what it is.

But it probably needs to be planted for real and not just half-assed shoved in a pot.

Speaking of that, I’ve walked three days this week, with the goal each time of noticing something new, a plant I haven’t seen or hasn’t been blooming…this was a great find…

We have agave, but not this type, so I shoved that babe in my pack.

Man that’s bright…

And this is sweet…

Gotta keep those eyeballs open…

Plus it’s good for me to get outside and moving after spending hours sitting in front of a computer.

These guys are either napping intensely or rampaging intensely.

It’s difficult to keep up.

So my goals today include trying to get all the schoolwork I can get done…done. Filling out forms, fixing typos, setting up online posts, attempting a new form of organization to support the kids (and me!). Also I need exercise today. Pilates would be a good choice. I’m also gaming tonight, but will be cutting out Wonder Under as well. Maybe I’ll draw. Maybe I’ll nap (that sounds really good at the moment…REALLY GOOD). Stay safe, stay well, buy some art, make some art, get outside if you can and just soak up some of that Vitamin D. With sunscreen. Seriously.

Taking Scallions for a Walk…

Good news! First of all, I finally finished all that tracing. I haven’t counted the yards of Wonder Under yet, but I will today…I suspect there’s at least 10 yards, maybe more. It was late when I finished last night, and I did have to spray a cat with water twice to finish the last 200 pieces, but I was motivated and she still liked me afterwards (because pets and belly scratches are nice), so we’re good.

I started tracing 11 days ago…

It took 23 hours and 25 minutes to trace 1541+ pieces…

I had to negotiate with kittens, working around my job and their naptimes.

Some days, I only traced for 40 minutes; some I traced for 4 hours.

The next step is to cut them all apart. That’s time-consuming, yes, but I’m hoping it will be less dependent on kitten behavior. We’ll see about that.

I also managed two Sue Spargo dots…still keeping up with one a day. Bottom left…

There’s supposed to be a tiny button in the middle, but…

I forgot about that and kinda like it the way it is. I might find an interesting bead that fits. I had to make it into a flower, because I miscounted the outer fly stitches. I was sure I had an even number. I was wrong. This is why you count twice.

Last night was number 30, the owl, so I am now one third of the way through this…

Here’s the owl again…

I didn’t think it was all going to fit…the key is to just make really small stitches.

My next step is to put all these away. I organized by color…they are (1) the fabrics from the last quilt, (2) stuff I bought just before we shut down, (3) stuff my SIL sent when she was cleaning out her cupboards, and (4) stuff I bought online in the last few weeks. Now to use it all!

Clean first. Use later.

I made it on two walks…it’s definitely cooler than last week, although still warm.

I’m tired of the road. I like walking out in nature. That kid bike was not there in the first picture, but was left there by the time we headed back.

The heat and distance were a bit much for the old lady…

So I let her swim a little afterward. This dog LOVES the pool.

I’m glad someone uses it.

Wildflowers are everywhere. Tuesday, I walked a bunch of scallions over to my daughter at her dad’s house. She’d forgotten them.

Take dogs for a walk? Or take scallions for a walk? Hard choice.

Weird seed pod…

It looks violent.

These cacti are starting to bloom.

But none of the flowers were close enough for pictures. These were…

It was the old lady’s 11th birthday yesterday…

She’s a good girl.

Although a little persistent about the pool thing.

So I’ve done two Zoom meetings so far today…three to go. Ugh. The next three are Boom Boom Boom.

I wish I could be a cat.

I think I’d be a better sleeper if I were a cat. Although apparently I’m not allowed to pee alone.

They really are like little kids. Although…my old lady is in here with me.

Because she follows me everywhere. She brought me three slippers last night.

I don’t know where the fourth one is.

OK, the girlchild is still cooking up a storm…she made English muffins from scratch and they are wonderful…

Especially this one she burned accidentally but that looks like a skull…

She also made cookies, and then photographed them…

Like you do.

And she made pancakes and froze them so I can have them for breakfast…which is awesome.

Plus she scored toilet paper at Costco this morning, so we are set for a couple of months, hallelujah, it’s all good.

OK, three meetings in a row, out by 5 PM? I freakin’ hope so. Then cut some stuff apart. Actually, I may start doing that in the last meeting, although I need to take notes. Ugh. Two computers? Stuck in my office? I’m hoping to do two of the meetings outside. Need some Vitamin D. Do Not Like These Meeting Wednesdays.

Merry Quarantine!

Have you noticed some of the weird stuff you’re buying? Or thinking about buying and then not buying because money is kind of an unknown for the future? These are things I would never think about or never buy online, because it’s so much easier to go to the store…some of these things I would never see in my normal day, or it would float past me and be gone before I could act on it, because life, work, etc, the way they were before. This is why a 7-pound box of fabric is showing up on my doorstep today. And why I bought a paper-piecing quilt pattern…hell, noez, I’m not paper piecing. I’m going to redraw it as a fusible or hand applique. I’m not crazy. I just like the imagery. And I’m NOT buying all the weird shit my Pilates teacher keeps recommending. I will just make do with the pillow and plastic bag I’ve been using so far.

Here’s the quilt, the Tattoo Quilt by Berene Campbell. You can see all her stuff on her website and Etsy.

The quilt rightfully won awards. I love the imagery and the ideas behind this quilt (although you know me…I will never do an all-white background on anything). So I got it. And if you buy 10 border blocks, she’s currently offering the center block for free, which is freakin’ awesome. We’ll see what I do with it…and if I don’t do it, then at least I’m supporting an artist who actually does some cool things for her community as well as making quilt stuff for us to do. No. I won’t be paper-piecing it. I just can’t get my head around that shit (and I don’t want to…I know I could).

The big-ass box of fabric was a late-night purchase…but a good one. I do worry about money at the moment…because nothing is guaranteed and there’s some expenses coming up that I wasn’t expecting. But it’s coming today and I’m looking forward to it. Merry Quarantine! Happy COVID-19 Celebration! Blessed Sheltering in Place!

So how’s the rest of it going? Five Zoom meetings yesterday, only one social, another four today, but two are social. I’m not sure I need this much connection at the moment, but at least I will be able to work on art or stitching stuff during the two social ones today. I’m tired…I’m not falling asleep particularly easily (shut the fuck up, Brain), and I have to be up earlier at the moment than my body really wants…plus we’re in that three-day stretch when the man gets up at 4:45 AM and then I have to try to go back to sleep after that. My brain doesn’t like it at all. Oh well. We have jobs. And paychecks.

Teaching this way sucks. Maybe some people like it but I hate it. I just want to do science with my science co-teacher and not do all this other stuff where I’m checking four different programs with 70 million clicks to get the info I need, just to see if kids are working on subjects I don’t like teaching. I hate it. But it’s better than nothing. Please don’t tell me we might be doing this for months. I can handle the 9 weeks we’re doing now. After that, I don’t want to think about that right now. I’ll think about that later.

This was yesterday’s meeting number 3…

I did meetings 3 and 4 outside…it was warm, but not too warm. I drew during the staff meeting because it was pretty repetitive. I stopped during the village meeting, because it was not repetitive and I had to do the things. On the screen. With the stuff. I wasn’t really trying for a message in this drawing…just drawing. I need to do a Patreon drawing by the weekend, but it should be smaller than this. Maybe later today. Girlchild is studying and listening to the official crap from my computer, dogs on the deck beside us. Not bad. Could be worse.

So Tuesday, I was tired of the same old walks. They’ve ‘opened’ the parks and hiking areas (sort of), but you’re not allowed to drive to them, so that still doesn’t help. I live in a hilly area, but there are lots of dead ends, so I checked the map and mapped a new hike, streets I don’t usually go on.

I had no idea how long it would be, but I’m fairly physically healthy and figured if it was really bad, I’d call a kid to come get me…but I wasn’t expecting it to be too bad. There was a new hill or two to climb (not that one)…but the best part was just new stuff to look at…

New houses, new dogs, new plants…this one was fascinating.

And the ever-present weeds…

aka wildflowers. It’s definitely Spring. I did 3.9 miles, so longer than the usual hike, but doable. Next time, I should do a Dead-End Hike and just go in and out of all the dead-end streets. It’s in the 80s today, 90s tomorrow. Makes it hard to just sit inside. Hence the outdoor meetings yesterday. I got no exercise yesterday, nowhere near enough steps in. Lame. Today I did a 27-minute Pilates class just to stretch out my neck and back, because they’ve been bugging me. I don’t really have time to walk today, unfortunately. I guess I could go on the stationary bike. That’s a good idea. Because I can read my book at the same time. I’m not getting enough reading in.

So Tuesday, the kids and dogs left early and the cats rampaged for hours. At some point, Kitten gave up, but the kittens continued.

This was her face while she was watching them race around the house, attacking shit. I kept waiting for a time I could trace stuff, but it took their dad coming home and going to bed for them to leave my shit alone enough for me to be able to work. They slept ALL FREAKIN’ MORNING of course, while I was teaching. Yes, this is just like having small children.

Last night was a late start for tracing as well, but mostly because I had book club and then did the dishes and then stitched the Sue Spargo dot for the day (I don’t want to get behind), and didn’t start tracing until 11: 15 PM.

I’ve done about 2 hours in the last two days, which is funny considering the amount of time I SHOULD have to work on quilts. Sigh. I’m in the 400s somewhere…slow slow slow. Hopefully the kittens will chillax this afternoon while I am in my quilting Zoom so I can do some more tracing. We’ll see.

Tuesday’s dot…is the top one on the far left…fourth from the bottom.

It used lots of colors…

The flower-like one on that top row under the thread. It’s pretty, but it was time consuming. They all are. I’m actually OK with that.

Last night’s was the cactus…which is really cute.

Here’s the closeup…yes, all the photos are taken at night and they aren’t great, but I can’t be bothered to leave the thread out (and forget where it came from, because I’m still borrowing from kits, plus the cats like to play with the balls and spools) and photograph in the morning.

There. The cactus one. I’ve seen today’s. It looks simple, but that probably means it’s not. It’s OK. I chose to do this. It’s fun. It’s a challenge. It’s cool.

Kitten has started bringing me my slippers…and then sitting on them.

Well. OK then. My feet ARE cold. But you should keep it. Obviously.

OK, rest of the day? Eat on time. Do Office Hours with kids. Hopefully someone besides that one lonely kid will show up. Hang out on Zoom with quilting friends and trace Wonder Under. Hang out on Zoom with stitching friends and stitch things. Maybe do more exercise. Maybe read my book. Tomorrow is Friday, hallelujah, because I need a couple of days without Zoom and school…although I have a fiber group meeting on Sunday. On Zoom. Sigh. It’s fine. IT’S FINE. I love seeing you all. I’m just tired of sitting so much and staring at tiny pictures on screens. I need like Google Glasses with Zoom so I can go on a hike while I’m talking to y’all. Not gonna go shopping for that. Nope.

An Attempt at Control…

Trying to buy stuff online that I normally buy in a store. On the one hand, I’m grateful I can even do that; on the other hand, it’s not always the right thing or easy to find or possible to get it relatively quickly, whereas if I went to the store, I’d have it, but I’d also have COVID-19 if I did that all the time, and then we’d overrun the hospitals and it would suck for everyone. So I try to think about “do I really need it?” and “can this be put off for a while?” and sometimes that helps, and sometimes it’s just annoying. Much like all of this. We’re grateful we’re not sick and/or dying and that we can be at home and still have money coming in (not looking at the future with that right now, because my salary is paid by taxes and those will be an issue in the future with so many losing their jobs), so we can buy things and decide not to buy things. Each time we venture out for buying (usually food…groceries obviously, and then the occasional take-out to keep restaurants going), we are amazed by what people are not doing…not wearing masks, not keeping their distance…and it makes us wonder what people think about all this. And when people are protesting “their rights” about the virus, when it isn’t just their rights…it’s our rights as well. I guess that hasn’t changed at all…just the focus has…their right to go out vs my right to determine the state of my female body.

It is the state of the world right now…crazy. With an attempt at control. I’m managing small bits of control. I think I have a plan for teaching…for Monday. I’m not sure it will last after Monday, but maybe I have a plan for the week? Who knows.

Friday was just a bit of chaos. I did manage to finish drawing the big one…

The key really was waiting until the baby kittens (who are 7 months old now) are both asleep. Well. They aren’t always asleep at the same times or for the same amount of time, just like real live human children, so to finish the last bit of this…

I had to lock Luna in the bedroom for a bit. Because she wanted to play. With the paper. In a destructive manner.

In doing so, I was able to finish fairly quickly. Well. It took over 13 hours to draw this. I do know a lot of that time was staring off into space, but that’s the thinking part of the drawing and it has to happen. An awful lot of it happens while I’m doing other things (like sleeping), but also when the paper is there in front of me.

For some reason, I thought this was in the 50″-square range. Oh no. It’s way bigger than that.

71″ square. All right then. So then comes the numbering. Also needs to be done when kittens are napping. I did some Friday night…then it was too late and I was tired, so I finished Saturday morning…1541 pieces.

Well. That’s equivalent to last year’s big piece. I’m good with that.

I need something with a large focus right now. So the next step is to trace all the Wonder Under, another task that kittens are highly interested in. Luckily they napped for a good long time yesterday, long enough for me to trace most of the background land…

So that’s a lot of big pieces. I’m expecting to be tracing this all week, hopefully with kittens asleep at useful intervals. Since I’m starting school tomorrow, I don’t have as much flexibility with my time as I used to. So it will be a bit more difficult.

Here are the sweet babies awake and alert.

They have been in high-destruction mode lately. I had to cover this so Nova would stop tearing bits off the top of it…

Here it is before the destruction, with all three cats hanging out in my maker space.

OK, it’s true that large portions of the house are my maker space, and there are many things the cats would like to play with in all of those spaces. I do my best to keep them out of stuff. And then they want to be all cute and cuddly and lovey.

Sigh. Evil beasts. “Oh. You’re on the computer? I’M on the computer too.”

They are sweet, adorable, and monstrous.

In a year’s time, we will miss all the kitten shenanigans. Well, Luna I think has shenanigan as a middle name, so maybe not, and Nova eats paper and plastic now and will probably never stop.

The stitching continues with the snowflake dot.

Easy. Nice to have an easy one. Some are really time consuming.

Like Saturday night’s dot…

The one to the right of the blue thread ball. It looks simple, but it took a lot of time.

I also finished all the official bits on this, and now am just adding lots and lots of grass.

Everywhere. I’ll be here for days. Or until I run out of thread. Whichever comes first.

I’ve been trying to fill the greenery trash cans every week. It’s Spring, so there’s lot that needs cleaning up and trimming and weeding. My partner in yard work has been missing though. I did see some of these…

Which is nice…

I still think someone eats them before they become chrysalises. Sadly.

And the lime from a friend that we planted is growing and flowering…

The boychild did make it out to help me make a decision about a bush we had that the tree guys pushed down by accident. It wasn’t growing in the right direction, so we trimmed it way way way back and we’ll see if it will come back. It has the weirdest seed pods…

So bright! We don’t know what it is though…here’s the leaves and the pods before they dry out.

I have a trashcan and a half full right now…another half to go before tomorrow.

Yesterday brought a long walk…

Same walk as always…

This is where the construction on the path was…they spread a bunch of dirt out and there were just a few footprints…

I think maybe they didn’t want us on there, but whatever.

That’s Cowles Mountain in the distance. Not allowed to go there.

But I can go here…mustard…

And there’s the fam.

We passed each other going opposite ways…

See, it IS Spring…and there are hawks…

OK, there are always hawks…

They left Calli behind because she was limping again. Old lady.

She was very upset at being left behind.

OK. The plan: groceries and tracing Wonder Under and not panicking about school tomorrow. All good. It’s Sunday. I say that to remind myself. I don’t care if you don’t want to know what day it is. I need to.

Not Feeling Super Magical

I’m overwhelmed. It’s funny, because I’m not even going to work. We haven’t even started online teaching yet. I just went to two Zoom trainings yesterday and sat through explanations and zoned out, because that’s what a lot of random talking does to me…meanwhile my brain is like, “Well, how is THAT supposed to work?” “How am I going to do THAT?” “What is THAT going to look like?” Much like everyone now is doing about whatever it is they did before and now are doing differently.

Here’s how I Zoom train…

Seriously though, if I have problems concentrating in these things where people natter on for an hour plus and it’s useless, it makes me look seriously at what I might do with my kids. I don’t do a lot of direct instruction in science…because they zone out. But this is a different world. And I’m not just teaching science. I’m barely teaching science. I’m teaching a bunch of other stuff, some of which I think is really lame. Sigh. OK.

So I didn’t get to draw on Monday at all. There was a lot going on during the day and then the kids required family time. Well, the girlchild did…the boychild showed up as well, but he never really requires it. At least not verbally. So I stitched instead. The plus is that I finished the damn road on Folk Tails

So I need to embellish a monkey and a hut, do some guinea hen legs, and then add a ton of grass and flowers. And I’m not allowed to make fun of the characters in Pride and Prejudice…though how can you NOT?

Maybe then I will learn to quilt wool, because this will be the third one of these that I will be finishing. Not any time soon…it also has borders…pretty simple borders, honestly, but they do exist. The other two are pinbasted and ready to go.

Yoga/exercise is difficult in this house without the animals being involved.

We’re lying down. They’re lying down. Monday night also meant doing the top middle dot.

I think the new threads I ordered are coming soon. I hope.

Last night’s was the trellis stitch one…it was so nice before I added the stuff on top that I wanted to document it.

And all the cat/dog hair that this piece attracts. It still looks nice with the stuff on top…

And here’s all 16 so far…

On Tuesday nights, the kids leave for their dad’s house, and the man doesn’t get home until late, because he’s working crazy shifts…so I went for a walk by myself…

It was finally warm today…

I know I’ll complain about it later, but it felt good yesterday.

Here’s where part of the flume trail fell down the slope with all the rain last week.

I got to climb past some major equipment to get here. I did get my three miles in though. Felt good.

Then I started dinner…some potatoes needed using up, so they needed to boil. While that was happening, I did this…

The start of a COVID-19 Earth Daughter. Turning out well. Plus I played some music and tried to ignore the screaming children outside. They eventually went in to bed. Plus it was ‘cold’. I heard them yelling about that. When it’s nice and warm, I should do this more. It’s peaceful. It helped me NOT think about school and how to do things and what kids need and how to get them that. I’m not feeling super magical at the moment.

I did finally get to the big drawing around 11 PM. It’s quieter then. The cats are down or playing elsewhere. The adults are mostly gone to bed/room.

So progress on torso of one and head of the other. Her tattoo says Flatten the curve. I’m still debating the background.

He’s not debating anything.

Except whether the pets and loving make up for us wanting to comb out all his tangles.

Yesterday, after the first Zoom training, which was way too early, and yes, I stayed up way too late the night before, I tried to take a short nap…first one of the quarantine, but then this happened.

He’s on my chest y’all.

Kitten interacting with my sock…

Yes, pajamas. I did not take them off yesterday. I did shower. And put them back on. Whatever. I changed my shirt. And my underwear. Don’t judge.

Our sourdough starter is finally starting.

It’s hard when you don’t pay attention to it.

The mom of one of the girlchild’s friends is a food blogger, and apparently thought we needed these. We will appreciate them, that’s for sure.

She must like my kid a lot.

I found this while doing yardwork on Sunday…

Definitely a hummingbird nest.

So. Things are happening. As with all of you. We are healthy and fed. Some of us are cranky at times. We are all trying to coexist. I’m not sure what this will continue to look like, but for now, this is what it is. I’m distributing lunches again today and then doing a stitching Zoom, although I’m not sure what I’m actually going to work on for that. Or where. That’s the hardest part in this house is WHERE to Zoom. This room has iffy internet, but the other one has people who make noise and/or want to watch movies that yell FUCK all the time, and there’s going to be some issues next week I think. But we’ll figure it out.

Hopefully today I’ll get closer to done on the drawing, get another walk in, and I don’t know what else. That’s all I can commit to at the moment.

Mostly I’ve Been Drawing…

Mostly I’ve been drawing. I’ve also been stitching on wool. And currently I’m watching a hawk in the tree outside my window, because that’s more scientific than some of the stuff I’m supposed to be teaching starting next week. It’s OK. We’ll fix it. It’ll give us something to do. I’m thinking during my online office hours, I can offer short draw-a-longs instead of science…or video of the hawk outside my window. Or the hummingbird nest I found while doing yardwork yesterday. Tomorrow I have two trainings on some of the online stuff we’ll be doing for school. I need a plan. I might have a plan. I certainly made a video for my students yesterday about my plan…which is funny. Because I don’t think I have a plan.

Anyway. Life moves on. We seem to be staying healthy, San Diego is not hard hit (yet?) by this disease, and the grocery stores are getting closer to normal. Not normal, but closer. Still can’t buy flour. We managed toilet paper though for the first time in a month. It’s OK…we had a lot. Cat litter will be the next issue. Although I think I can order that online. It just won’t come for a while.

The weekend was quiet…I did go for a walk on Saturday…

It was a nice day out…there’s that plant that makes the dog smell like maple syrup.

This part of the path had turned into a small stream…

Luckily, mud doesn’t hurt hiking boots. I saw bunches of people out on the street, but on this section, there was no one. Nicer that way. Easier than negotiating what side of the road you’re walking on.

Before I walked, girlchild was smart and sat out and enjoyed the sun.

Hopefully there’ll be more of that this week. The dogs like it too. Although yesterday, the neighbors violated stay-at-home orders and had another family (I suspect cousins) and grandparents there, screaming for hours. Ah, Easter. When God wants you to infect your family. My mom stopped by to drop off handmade Easter cards…but she opened the door and dropped them in (where we disinfected them…not really) and then briefly talked to me from the deck/driveway conduit. Which is much more than 6 feet away. I’m afraid we’ll get them sick…we have two essential workers in constant contact here. I don’t want to be the viral conductor. And today, I’m going back to school to distribute lunches…now with a mask and gloves.

So drawing…I spent over 8 hours ‘drawing’. Because a lot of it is just staring at the paper and trying to decide what goes where next…not actually putting pen or pencil to paper. I am still sketching it out in pencil before I do the ink.

At some point on Sunday, the cats started trying to eat the paper. Because that makes sense…

So I have a bunch of taped bits now. Thanks to this sweet biatch…

She is a sweetheart. Really. Except with paper. Her sister is more predictably evil…

So we have a big piece of paper that looks a lot like a kitten playground.

Mostly fixable. I kept drawing Sunday…

Not my first bat…actually did a lot more on Sunday…

The thought process is slow…but it’s moving.

The top half is done…at least as far as I know, it is. Now I’m in the bottom half.

At some point, the drawing starts to talk to me, and this becomes easier. It’s talking now. I’m thinking another couple of days of drawing and I should be done. Tracing Wonder Under with these cats will be interesting. I do a lot of it when the kittens are asleep. It’s easier than fighting them over the excitement of the big paper. Speaking of excitement…

Well, there’s Calli. She’s old. Toys are exciting though.

Two more dots…the snail on the bottom right…

That cat is so helpful…

Every night, I clear a space for her to sit in all the stitchery madness. Here’s last night’s dot…

Top right, basket of flowers.

And I also worked on the road on Saturday night…

Got a good chunk done while watching True Detective. I just need to connect the bits now, then put some feet on that bird, embellish a monkey and a hut, and then add ten tons of grass and flowers. No worries.

OK, so today I distribute lunches, plus draw some more and make a mask for a desperate friend. Then exercise in some way and stitch some more and tomorrow get my ass out of bed early for some school training. Woo hoo!