Absolutely Weird…

Last night, approaching midnight, boychild and I are on my phone, playing owl calls, trying to figure out what has moved into one of our trees. We assumed barn owl, and sure, there’s one nearby…I’ve heard it. But this isn’t that. It’s a Great Western Horned owl. The typical hoot-hoot-hoot instead of the screech. Yes, I stand outside in the dark and listen to owls. Why do you ask?

Busy weekend; how about you? It’s just busy until sometime in late February, I think, maybe later, depending on how things roll. We did grocery shopping early and then walked the dogs.

We tried one of our normal hikes, but someone was throwing another wedding there or something (heart-shaped balloons and a million cars), so we headed to Mt. McGinty…realizing we weren’t gonna do the whole 4.5 miles with the dogs.

Way too much climbing (our car is way the freak down there and we’re not even at the top of the first hill)…there is a an old mine at the top of the first hill…no, not going in there.

Check out Calli’s tongue. She was tired.

We went out about a mile and a half and came back. It was getting toward dusk, and coyotes are always an issue.

The fog was creeping around too, so it was pretty. And there were only a few other people out there when we started…not the crowded chaos that is sometimes the other trail. People with dogs off leash and racing around on bikes. Assholes really. But this was peaceful. My quads are still complaining, but that could have been the new Pilates class as well. Because both in one day…

It was nice. I need hikes. I need outdoors.

After dinner, I made a pattern finally for the book box thing I’m thinking of for an upcoming exhibit. I don’t really make artist books, and this is more of an artist sculpture that is book like than anything else.

Once I had the pattern, I made and cut out three of them. That’s the plan. Draw three. I might stop with two though.

Drawing tonight? We’ll see. I’m drawing flat and then putting them together.

Sunday was an art meeting up north, so it took a good chunk of the day. I came back and graded stuff, then cooked dinner, then graded more stuff, and got some Luna love.

She’s sweet when she wants to be. Especially asleep. They’ve really grown lately…here’s Nova looking slightly cross-eyed. She’s definitely the smaller cat still…

Luna tries to push Nova off her food so she can have it.

Then there’s Kitten…she’s missing a bunch of teeth, like 11. She has a weird genetic issue that attacks her teeth.

Makes for some goofy faces.

At this point, I was cutting out Wonder Under. I didn’t photograph any of that. I honestly didn’t get that much done. It was late, owls were out.

I wanted to pop this in here…wait, need to find the link. Here it is

I’m troubled by all of it. You feel badly for family for the loss of a father and a child. It’s a horrible tragedy, for the other families involved as well. But there was that rape thing…and we shouldn’t shove that under a rug.

OK, off to school and National Park week…I’m wearing my Bryce Canyon Got Oxygen? shirt…which reminds me…I need some earthquake/volcano shirts for the next unit. I know, weird teachers, yeah? Absolutely weird.

Things You Shouldn't Do When You're Tired…

  1. Email anyone of importance
  2. Use a knife
  3. Shave your head
  4. Drive

I only did one of those this morning with any issues. I did one with no issues, but it was just butter. You’ll have to guess which one was the problem.

We finally gamed on a Friday, after about an 18-month hiatus. This is how I get my embroidery done, stitching to stay awake on a Friday after a long week. We are playing some Star Trek game…I don’t know if it’s a fancier name than that, but somehow I ended up with two characters.

This is easier, because we can play a story in a night and then if someone can’t come next time, it doesn’t really matter. Last time, our schedules were so complicated that we couldn’t meet sometimes for a few months, and some people had issues with that. So this will work, hopefully.

I’ve been working on this Sue Spargo quilt for about 4 years now, I think. There’s a lot of embroidery. I enjoy it, but I only do it when I’m waiting or a passenger in a car or on a plane or gaming, so it takes a long time to finish.

The cheetah is part of the October blocks (it was a block-of-the-month thing), so I think after I embroider this and the other two blocks for this month, I put the whole thing together and start doing borders. Finally. There’s a bunch of filler embroidery that needs to go one before I can do that though…a road and a ton of grass. It’ll be a while.

There are so many mistakes in those cast-on stitches, it’s not even funny. I should add that to the list above…don’t do complicated embroidery stitches when tired. But it looks fun! I could add more embroidery to this easily…

Then it would take even longer.

OK, I have a busy weekend, an art meeting, a pilates class (a new one, trying new things), grading, artmaking, groceries, all sort of compressed for some reason. Last night’s sleep was hindered by barking puppy (coyotes!)…he’s gonna need a long walk this afternoon or we might kill him tonight.

Also, I joined the Modern Quilt Guild. My quilts aren’t modern at all, and I really have no desire to MAKE modern quilts (all that piecing and straight lines! WTF!), but they meet regularly and do stitch-ins, so maybe I’ll find a group that works for me. I’m planning on going to one of their stitch-ins in February, just to check it out. It could suck; it could be cool. It’s hard to find places where I fit sometimes, but I keep looking.

No worries about my SAQA group…I think maybe having us meet quarterly or every other month is going to work out better…I’ll bring it up at the next meeting and figure it out. I fell into my other two monthly groups when I was young and pregnant with the sweet monsters, so this is just the evolution of that need, to get out with like minds and make stuff regularly. It’s all a work in progress.

Random Friday Title #7

I think I need to start this weekend to build/draw the book project I’m doing. Or admit I’m not doing it. But I bought the paper, so I should try. It amuses me that I thought I would be an architect when I was younger, but then I always joke that I can’t draw a straight line, so that’s why I didn’t. Realistically, as a young, artistically inclined female, I had few role models for that or guides as to what to do with your life. Be an artist? Sorry. Gotta have a penis. Well, except I had Mary Cassatt. Seriously, she was the only female artist they would teach you about in elementary school because no nudity, no flowers you had to explain that might be sexual, no crazy stuff going on…just women and children. Easy! So I used to say I was the reincarnation of Mary Cassatt, because I knew I wanted to be an artist and I didn’t know any other female artists. Sad, but true (thanks, Mary, for your inspiration).

Obviously I moved past that, but I think what is freaking me out about this book project is that I have to draw straight lines. Yup. I need a pattern. That’s tomorrow some time. Or maybe tonight, but we’re gaming again (after a year plus hiatus), so I can’t promise I’ll have brain power or stamina. Maybe enough to make a pattern. We’ll see.

I had a stitching meeting last night, but no one came. It’s OK…really. I’m trying to build a group, but I haven’t found the right situation or people or IDK what. I’ll figure it out somehow. Or maybe just start taking ceramics classes. Hard to say. I started taking a monthly quilt class years ago and that morphed into a monthly stitching meeting that I really enjoyed. I was 23 when I started and everyone was older than me, and none of that has changed, except a lot of the people older than me are retired and can meet during the day. So that doesn’t work for me.

This is the lovely room we are currently meeting in.

Yes, it looks and feels wonderful. Rolling eyes. What did I do? I sat there for an hour and a half and input grades from the last four days. It was productive. I did bring stitching, but this work needed to get done, and if no one else was there, I was gonna do it.

I came home, made dinner, ate it, and started a drawing…with assists.

Some a little closer than others.

I need a redo on this one. Better composition, better hands, better helmet, more stuff. War Daughter.

I like the heart.

Then I cut stuff out for a while…

Hard to do with rampaging kittens, but I employed the Spraying Bottle of Scary Water, which helped.

Luna does like toes.

Lining them up, lightest to darkest.

Calicoes have attitude. Every cat in the house is a calico. Not sure what we were thinking.

But there is play now, and that is cool.

Sometimes there is also sleep, and that is also cool.

Today, my co-teacher and I get to plan all morning, and then we have to go to our afternoon classes and listen to the counselors teach about e-cigarettes and vape pens. I’m hoping their science isn’t crap, because it has been before. I already see typos in their presentation, which just drives me bonkers. You don’t have to be good at spelling etc…but you should have someone else review it so y’all don’t show kids those mistakes. They have a hard enough time knowing what’s right (ah yes, my own typo) without teachers making it worse. And we should know better.

This morning was pretty.

And now I must go.

Not Focus Day

My brain is trying to keep track of what day it is. I stare at the calendar and there’s a number (holy crap, it’s that late in the month?) and then I have things I’m supposed to do every day, so the calendar reminds me, but today is THURSDAY. I keep having to tell myself that. I figure it’s leftover from Winter Break, when I had no idea what day it was, and then two Mondays with no students. February isn’t much better for keeping track of days, with two 3-day weekends messing up my brain calendar, which I will enjoy with aplomb. Whatever aplomb is.

Meanwhile, today is the last day of listening to kids present about landforms…that’s probably a good thing. Tomorrow I don’t have to teach…only have to be in the classroom for two periods, so that’s a thing. We’ll have some time to plan…also a good thing. I’m panicking a little about the next unit, which doesn’t really have a focus yet. It will be fine. I found some related assessments yesterday and we’ll get some brain time to figure it out. By the time we get to 7th period prep, our brains are often fried and can’t plan. Unfortunate. Typical teacher issue. Need a fresh brain to make stuff up, since we have no curriculum.

I had pilates after school, came home and dealt with all the random emails and texts that needed data or scans or signatures or whatever. Ate dinner and graded a class assignment that required me to read and write a lot. Ah feedback. Wish y’all would read it. Sigh.

Finally free! To finish tracing…at about 10 PM or so…

It was 11 hours total, over a week of tracing. That’s about 3 1/2 yards of Wonder Under…some truly long and large pieces and a lot of tiny ones.

The next step involves happily sitting on the couch, bingewatching something, while cutting them all out. Not sure when that’s happening, but I’m sure it will be.

Meanwhile, Luna was in crazy rampage mode last night…

She left me alone, and drove her daddy bonkers. After about 3 hours of it, he put both of them in the crate for some peace and quiet…

She’s definitely got some attitude…and crazy energy. They mostly sleep all day and then she goes nuts at night. Usually I just let them race around when he goes to bed early, but he was up late and she was getting in his stuff and being destructive. She’s out and rampaging a little this morning…maybe she’ll get it out of her system before nighttime.

Nova’s just chill. She plays, she races around, but in a much more mellow fashion. She’s currently watching Luna try to destroy a piece of paper.

Anyway, Calli is doing fine…she doesn’t seem to feel a lot of pain…

She’s old and sleeps a lot anyway. But she seems much more active today and ate normally, so that’s good.

Kitten was being a meerkat…and I couldn’t figure out what the deal was until she jumped up…

Ah yes, the screensaver. Very exciting.

Until the TV gets knocked over I guess.

OK, I have to focus. It’s Thursday. Not focus day. Get the kids through the presentations, let them explore some National Parks on video, hopefully get started on planning the next unit. I have a meeting tonight…just come hang out and stitch in the library! It’s gonna be me and one other person, I think. Building this group is hard, y’all. Then time to cut things out. Repeat.

Hiding a Demon

Hello morning. You had pretty colors and clouds, once I took the pillow off my head that I use to drown out the noise of the early riser. I don’t envy him his early and long commute. He left me with three crazy cats and a drugged-out dog. Poor Calli was supposed to have one tooth pulled yesterday, and ended up with two out and three more to come out at a later date, because her heart is old and beats a little weird. I spent a lot of time at the vet yesterday, reading stupid memes on social media while the boychild sat, wishing he’d brought a book. I also wished that, but thought it would be a quickie. It never is when you forget your book. When you bring your book, especially the one you really want to finish, then it’s quick as hell and you don’t even get to open the cover/app/however you read these days. After getting our sweet drugged-out dog, she did all the things the vet said she wouldn’t for a while (pooped, peed on herself) and then wandered around, trying to stay in my personal space, for quite a while. She seems better this morning, ate some food, and is back to sleep.

DEEPLY asleep. Poor old lady. The kittens were up at 5:30 and are also asleep again, while my cat is stalking a closet, no one knows why. When I opened it to see if we were hiding a demon or even just a lizard in there, she was offended and pounced off. Cats are weird yo.

Luna is always grabby and in your face and getting into things…

Nova is less like that and more like Nova…sweet and cautious, until her sister pisses her off.

Before the vet and after tutoring last night, I found myself here…more enjoying the skies than the store…

You gots to take them wherever you can gets them.

Yesterday was long and tiring. I did finally get a hold of the doctor about the blood sugar. The diabetes nurse isn’t allowed to work with me because my blood sugar is “under control.” Except last week it wasn’t. So we’re reducing my daily insulin…maybe I can stop for a while? It’s all such a guess and mess. I like science that is logical. Ironically, because I’m not a very logical person, as every male who’s ever been with me will tell you. I tell them I don’t have their logic…I have mine, which is kinda like a mountain road, rambling with switchbacks. I can’t help how my mind works. I think it’s a plus.

Here’s a cat making biscuits…

with my sweater. Sigh.

I traced for a couple of hours after grading…

Ten hours in, almost, with three yards mostly full and one barely touched…I hit 690-something, so very efficient last night. Although I stayed up too late. Only about 110 to go. Tonight? I hope. Then cutting them out.

I found an artist residency that looks really good, but I don’t think you can pick the weeks you go…it’s just a range. That’s an issue for me. I can’t just ditch school for three weeks. Sigh. I don’t know. Maybe this is a silly idea. Hard to say why it’s festering in my brain. But it is.

OK, school, listening to really bad reports of why it’s totally safe to live in a volcano but not safe to live in a cave (our ancestors would be confused by that, but I’ll accept the explanation). Really, I just get to sit in the rolly chair and listen to them be kids and talk. It’s not bad.

I Should Draw That…

It’s been a frustrating day so far. It’s a holiday too…I should be jumping with Teacher Joy, a day off to catch up on my grading. Woo hoo. Yeah, it’s a day off. I appreciate that. I appreciate all of them. Things I need right now though: a massage person who can fix my neck and upper back. I have a name, but I just haven’t followed through. A diabetes nurse who will actually call me when I’m available to talk and will answer my questions. For instance, if my diabetes was out of control last week, why is it suddenly under control this week? Because they ran blood tests and realized it was in control last week, except when it was super low that one night, which they think is something I did, but I went through their list, and I didn’t. My fault? Well, my body’s fault. Sigh. I had an appointment (I thought) this morning, but I got there and they’re like, “Nah, it’s tomorrow.” I’m like “Nah, I wouldn’t have scheduled it for a work day.” So I know the nurse screwed up and she came in and talked to me and tried to reschedule, and I said, it’s cool, that’s a physical, it can wait, I’ll schedule for whenever, but someone needs to answer the diabetes questions like NOW. Of course, the diabetes nurse had disappeared from the office and hasn’t called me yet, so hopefully she will later today or tomorrow…when I’m teaching and can’t answer the phone. I’m not impressed by how Sharp manages its diabetics. There’s no information, no guidelines, no support, or if there is, it’s not on my schedule. I am OK with email or phone calls…I don’t need to be in your office for you to explain how to manage all this…I just want some answers and some guidance. Anyway, the diabetes is FINE (explains last week’s crash, eh?) and I’m to reduce insulin (good news). So I’ll do that.

Oh yeah, and here’s info that I could have diagnosed myself…I’m officially in menopause (really? the lack of periods wasn’t a clue?). The doctor asked last week when the last period was…

Well. So Satan is in charge of my periods. I guess I can delete that app now (I thought I had). It’s nice to be official though. I guess. I mean, I already knew that. I am a crone! Woo hoo! OK, lots of people already thought that but whatever.

Anyway, so I wanted to hike on Saturday, but the man had a different plan in mind. It’s his day off too, so I let him direct the day to here…

That’s different flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the background…all the local wineries have some gimmick besides the wine for some reason. I really liked their current Chardonnay, picked after the Fallbrook fire last year (?), so a smoky taste.

And then here…

Their shtick was chocolate, not my thing, but beautiful country out there. A nice drive…

Not quite a hike, but time together anyway. After all that and some food, we headed out to Visions Art Museum for their current opening…Ruth McDowell’s use of fabrics, especially big, bright, and crazy prints, has always fascinated me…

That piece is huge, as is this one…

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the labels. Well, I did, but they’re far away and pixelated. So there’s that. I did really appreciate this one for its simplicity…

It’s like an anti-McDowell quilt…except not. It’s smaller and way less busy…and more importantly (?), I can read the label. This is Goldfinches. I really enjoyed her work. I also enjoy that they relaxed the no-photo rule in there, because lots of you can’t go see this show, or maybe now that you know it’s there, you’ll make an effort to go see it? I don’t know. It’s nice. I liked it.

I did some drawing…I really wanted to just sit and stare at the landscape on Saturday afternoon (and maybe Sunday as well) with a glass of wine and draw, but wine tasting rooms aren’t really conducive to that, so by the time I drew, I was tired and didn’t get very far…

It’s obviously not done…and I still find the pussy hat problematic. It’s definitely a symbol, but I realize some groups object to it. Anyway, still working on the daughters.

I traced on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights…

It’s slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

I’m in the 300s, I’ve mostly filled one yard and am well on the way to filling the second one. That’s about 5 1/2 hours…not super fast this time. I’ve done almost all of the background stuff, so next on to the body. My goal this week is to finish tracing this and start prepping the fancy paper I bought for the book I’m going to build/draw. If I’m smart, I’ll make a prototype first. It’s debatable if I’m that smart…that shit takes time I don’t usually have.

The kittens have reached the destructive age of 4 1/2 months, where there is a lot of rampaging and moving things away from them or hiding them completely. Like your hair. Or strings on your clothing. Or your toes…

We have temporarily renamed them Lunatic and Novocaine. It works.

Calli was all up in my business last night when I was grading makeup work…

She has a cracked tooth, but it hasn’t slowed her down. She still chews on sticks and bones and eats just fine. No worries…they’ll take it out tomorrow. Meanwhile, I wish these sweet students of mine would follow instructions. Tell me WHAT YOU CHANGED. Because “I fixed my packet” isn’t good enough if I don’t know what you fixed and you didn’t write in a different color like I asked. I can’t tell you how frustrating grading the makeup work was. And I’m not done. Because it’s a clusterfuck. Sigh. It’s OK.

I have the rest of the day. I can make it good. We’re gonna walk dogs, I’m going to trace stuff; my lunches for the week are prepped (although I forgot yesterday and then was up at 1 AM finishing up, because I needed the crockpot for today’s dinner too). My brain. Is fuzz. I should draw that.

It's the Time and Effort That Count…

I’m not marching for women today. I didn’t even realize. Or I did and my brain was overwhelmed. It feels wrong not to be marching, because I still really care about this shit and realize that if we relax about the crap that’s going on, more of the bad crap will happen. And I don’t want that. Remembering a previous relationship where I got mansplained that it was all in my head (so easy for rich white boys to say). So I’m going to draw something…I’ve been doing lots of Earth Mothers during the years and started an Earth Daughter series (that only has two quilts in it, but there’s time for more). I had a plan to draw a few more of these for some upcoming shows that are paranoid about nudity…since the Daughters are usually just chest and up, it’s easier to hide the things that freak people out. Yes, that is a cactus…it just happens to be where nipples are. Can you see my snarky smile? So I had a list of Daughters I was planning to draw and just hadn’t gotten to yet. This morning in the shower, I came up with some more political ones…and even now, the Feminist Daughter will have two versions…with and without nudity. Is this violating how I normally make art? Well…yes and no. I’m aware of what I’m doing and of the power of getting my political/environmental work out there in a variety of venues without the nudity getting it thrown out. I might still get thrown out for politics, but then, realistically, I can’t put that stuff anywhere with stupid restrictions anyway.

Anyway, I’ll be drawing today. Drawing for women…harder to draw for everyone. I guess I pick my battles. Can I draw for everyone? Not really. I try to be more open to other issues or genders or modes of sexuality, but it’s not always obvious in what I draw.

I’m tired. I’m just gonna leave that there.

Kitten cleaning…curled up next to me while I was grading last night. Always grading…

They are related, that’s for sure. And sweet as hell.

I traced for about 2 hours…

I wasn’t very efficient. I was tired and spacey and lost two pieces for a while (didn’t really lose them…just couldn’t find them for a while…that’s a numbering issue).

I’ve mostly filled one yard and started a second one. I’m in the 200s. Hopefully I wrote that down somewhere.

Part of my tired is the puppy…barking at all the coyotes last night until probably 3 AM…and then a minor blood sugar issue around then. I was reading a chapter and eating popcorn at 3, and then finally got to sleep.

Man, I wish I were a cat…

They sleep so well. I suck so bad at sleep.

This is the tap root of the tree the boychild pulled out of a deep hole in the backyard. He’s been digging at it for at least a month, probably longer.

The tree is a volunteer/weed of sorts. Really invasive. We’ll use the hole for something that will block our view of the neighbor’s house. We have plans for planting we can finally start to implement…the trees are trimmed, solar is done and collecting precious sunlight, got the front yard marked for gas/electric and phone lines (which were in a confusing place). We have one lime tree from a friend who moved, and then are planning on a lemon and an avocado, some fencing, and some more plantings that will beautify, block overnight lighting from the neighbors, and keep UPS and Amazon from dumping packages at the wrong door. Big plans!

Still lots of cat interactions happening, all good. Makes us all happy.

OK, I have a ton of grading this weekend, doctor stuff, drawing, tracing, depressing TV (Chernobyl…good but hard to watch), hopefully some outdoors time, some art, who knows what else. Take care of the body, the mind, and Art Brain, but keep the day job from being overwhelming by tackling it and making boundaries around it. Almost a resolution there, but it’s where I’m always at, so not really.

I have two pieces in a show opening today in Ojai, California…the opening starts in 17 minutes. Whoops. No, I’m not there. It was too far. I couldn’t deal with it this weekend.

But it will be there until the end of February…debating my drive home from a trip in February that COULD go here…but it probably wouldn’t be open that day, so that would be silly. Never mind. Anyway, check it out. Beatrice Wood is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11-5 PM. Now I’m going to grab my sketchbook and go hang out at a winery or two with the man. Necessary stuff for relationships…time. Wine and art are good too, but it’s the time and effort that count.