Middle of the week. Already. Getting through the workload. Sort of. Dog is feeling off…needs the vet. Meeting this morning…parent realized after three months that their kid is doing nothing and ditching classes. Fun stuff. Ironing is still happening…I think I hit the 2/3s mark last night.
Monday night was all about an arm…
OK, two arms. Put the code on her arm and then started building the other one. The code stands for something. It’s written down somewhere. Binary for something.
Then last night…
Fingers with lots of rivets, plus a pigoon. A what? Ask Margaret Atwood…but they’re smart.
I’m in the 1000’s…about 30 left of them. So about 500-550 pieces to go. Maybe ironed down by the weekend? Or ON the weekend…which is already booked up. I was looking at last year at this time, and I had time for the SD Book Crawl and a hike and lots of art. The Man was up in Kennedy Meadows, working, getting ready for his hike. I was making art and who knows what else. This year feels much more hectic, which is funny, because last year was pretty rough due to block scheduling and having the same kids together in all the same classes all year. There is no normal any more.
I had the dentist yesterday, then had to buy some fake fur for school, for a lab (they always ask you what it’s for, so I told them). And then went to visit the ex’s new puppy again…she’s hyper as shit.
But also cute.
Meanwhile, poor Simba feels like bleck. So I’m calling the vet when they open, on the way to the parent meeting that is a waste of time (sigh). I can’t find the paper examples I used to have for what I’m doing in 8th grade; luckily my co-teacher had a pile, but she doesn’t remember doing it (she must have, because I don’t recognize any of the kids’ names). Mine must be in the classroom somewhere; I just don’t know where. One more place to look. I don’t know what I’m doing in 7th grade…oh wait, the thing we finished yesterday. Yes, that’s how it’s rolling here.
OK, gotta go to school, do the things, hope for some ironing tonight.
Weekends just aren’t long enough for all the things. I suspect some people do some of the things during the week, but all I do during the week is work on school, work on art, eat, sleep, and occasionally exercise. A few social things on Zoom or in person, but not many. Today I have a 2-hour staff meeting and a drive to my photographer’s after school, so it will be a long day. Ironically it is a short teaching day. Ah well. I’m giving an assessment (quiz?) in one class and showing a movie in the other. Should go fine.
What did I do this weekend? Lots of school work, a hike, dinner out with the Man, an art meeting almost an hour away (lots of drive time in the last week for art), groceries, laundry…maybe 50% of what I needed to get done. As usual. It is what it is. I did read my book too, so that’s my time. And pilates. Necessary but my time.
I ironed all three nights…not getting enough done on this thing. Haven’t had enough time on the weekends to spend a few hours ironing, unfortunately.
I had these tiny little overlapping veins/arteries to deal with on Friday night. They were a pain in the butt.
And then I had filled up the teflon sheet, so I was going to need to move the whole thing off and reattach it, which is always a bit scary.
Plus I ironed an incubator. Gotta be way easier than giving birth. Although not very portable. Should’ve put a handle on it.
Added an in-leg phone with apps, plus a fleshy knife pocket for dangerous situations.
Tried to consider all her needs.
She’s got some sciency experiments going on.
Some are turning out fine. Some maybe not so much.
Some protective breastwear.
Last night, I ironed the little froggy boy plus some additional tech for her arm.
Really she’s got everything she needs…except maybe a body fridge for storing sandwiches and drinks. Didn’t think of that until just now.
Really enjoying this piece, which is nice. It’s a little twisted and dark but fun. Political, but some wouldn’t see that. Not like most of mine, which bash you in the face with politics. And I have hit the halfway mark…which just means I need to go faster. I really need this one done sooner rather than later. Sigh. Ah well. There’s 12 hours into the ironing, probably 12 more to go.
And it finally warmed up enough at night to switch flannel out for the quilt I started a million years ago and finished last year.
Still need to make matching pillow cases. Haven’t done that. Have the fabric, have tons of the fabric, but time…that’s another issue altogether. I have a baby shower coming up and there’s no way I’m going to be able to make a baby quilt. Sigh.
We hiked at one of the local spots we regularly do, but haven’t been to since December.
The water moved the bridge a little off…it’s meant to move. There’s a lot more water than normal.
Lots of flowers…
We keep doing these close to sunset due to all my stuff during the day. It’s nice out, but we expect to see more coyotes and don’t. Not sure why.
Then dinner out and the drawing I started last week and couldn’t finish.
It got weird. So did the Man.
Kitten’s hiding space behind all the things.
A friend got me this…
Totally appropriate. I can’t sew with shoes on. Or slippers. The Man thought she had gotten this specially made, and I’m like no, this is a thing…I’m not the only one. I still don’t think he believes me. Finding space for it in here…
Starting the week out tired. I know, what’s new. I got a lot of 8th grade stuff done yesterday and then realized how far behind we are in 7th grade stuff. Whoops. Plus grading. I can’t lesson plan AND grade, and progress report grades are due next week. I didn’t grade any of the late work or redoes…didn’t have time. I don’t know when I will have time. I have dueling meetings this Saturday. Can’t be in two places at once. Oh well. Plus I’ve gotta fit that hike in. 33 days of school left. Getting there. Losing my mind on the way, but getting there.
Hey. Friday is finally here. I haven’t slept well all week (I know, when do I ever) because I’ve been overthinking. I’d like to thank my brain for that. Actually, that is the part of my brain that’s good at the artmaking too…it figures stuff out while I’m doing other things. And it does the same with lesson planning, runs simulations in the background and then shuffles solutions into my working brain. It’s useful…until there’s a personality issue, and then it overthinks the FUCK out of it (what did I do wrong? what could I have done differently? how will this be solved in the future? am I just being a bitch? why is she such a bitch?). You know. All the things. I guess I need to focus on the good things my brain can do and try to meditate through the others…which has meant more meditation than sleep a couple of nights this week. Could do without that.
Also a slow simmering anger and frustration about my school board and their ignorance. Bullshit tactics. Now we are designing our own sexual health curriculum, designed specifically for our kids. Um. Code words for remove the stuff they think is inappropriate: Gender, LGBTQIA…what else is going to set them off? They will have to follow Ed. Code. They’re making a committee of parents, teachers, and health professionals to create this thing from scratch, more work, lots more work, mostly in fighting the ignorance, needs to be evidence-based and science, not your late-night searchings on the internet (seriously, this one guy has way too much time on his hands). At some point, they wanted health professionals to come in and teach the curriculum, and I’m sitting here going (1) because we’re not capable? Nice. I’ve been teaching sex ed for 20 years, dude. (2) There’s a shortage of health professionals already…where are you going to get 5 of these per school for a week to 5 weeks every year? (3) And can they deal with middle-school behaviors (I already know the answer to that). Can they deal with 30+ kids aged 12-14 at the end of a school year that they have never met? I know the answer to that too.
So yeah. I’m making a quilt right now that is mostly not political (well, it is, but lots wouldn’t see it) and it’s fun and full of bright colors, and I feel bad because books are getting banned, women’s bodies are being controlled, LGBTQIA people are losing rights, my trans kids are losing their rights, it’s not safe for them in some places, and where I live may well be one of those places. People…kids…are still being shot. I read that the ERA was in danger. I know all this shit will end up in a quilt eventually, but it feels weird to be making one that is so NOT about those things.
Ah well. I did the same thing last year. Made a bunch of political stuff and one not, and it got into Quilt National. So I guess that’s a thing.
So that’s the mood I’m carrying around inside me today. I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m OK with what I’m teaching today. I think it won’t be too stressful. I’m so incredibly not ready to teach next week in so many ways. I’m fairly sure I will still be butting heads with this other teacher, probably until she leaves our school (she says she hates it here, so yeah, she should leave), so maybe forever. But there’s a weekend coming up and that is some respite. An art meeting. Some more artmaking time. Some reading time. Hopefully a hike. All the things.
I iron every night. I try to iron for an hour. On Wednesday night, I did leg parts…one of the parts was this baby in a pocket. A leg pocket. A pocket of flesh…
Because if you’re not going to put pockets in my clothes, then I’m going to put them in my flesh.
I also did the knee, I think…can’t remember. Wait. I can look back and see.
I did the back foot, and then all of the legs. Obviously not done. This isn’t fast. But it is enjoyable. This was a good choice for working on during the end of school. Although I need to go faster. As always.
Last night, I found and ironed one of the spare arms (another thing we all need) and a snat (snake/rat, also from Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood).
Deciding what animals to combine is one of the interesting things in that series. I’m not sure the snat makes sense at all. But that was part of the point. Humans make a lot of shitty choices. I can easily see our current society in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake. They are way too close to reality.
Yesterday, I was inside this during my last two periods…
It was an interesting change. I sent half my kids to another classroom because they’d already done this, and I took the other half through with my co-teacher’s kids. The first group was a little rowdy…as time went on. The second group seemed better. Or maybe I was so exhausted by then that I couldn’t tell. Cool experience for them though. Maybe they never see the world from the inside.
Anyway. So I am not ready for all the things. I need a whole ‘nother cup of tea before I even consider going to school (don’t have time for that…I can make it, but I’ll have to drink it on the way). I have a ton of work outside of teaching to do today, so that is weighing on me, but it will happen. Somehow. And there’s reading and art on the other side of it. All good. Overthink THAT.
Glad it’s Wednesday, positive thoughts, exercise, art, and my book at the end of it all. Also I got into the Interpretations show at Visions with Same As It Ever Was, so that’s cool. See you at the opening in October.
Hey not only is my school board trying to manipulate our human sexual education program, they compared conversion therapy to a conversation about gender, and it appears they’re in the book banning business as well. Fun stuff. This is the shit that makes teachers quit (or go to another district, if you don’t have a ton of years invested in this one and can’t leave). This quilt is about a lot of things, but started with us white women getting upset about Roe v Wade’s demise, but realizing that for a lot of BIPOC and LGTBQIA people, they never had the same rights anyway, and their rights are eroding at a hundred times the speed of us white babes. So it’s angry but also very focused on what the US is doing, the Supreme Courts, the politicians (that’s Brett Cavanaugh there y’all, if you can’t tell from the beer bottle). Come to the opening and you can READ the big dumb heads.
For my next political piece, maybe I’ll add my school board and book banning for fun.
I am working on the other piece, although last night was not the most efficient. I started late because, well, my day job. I had a ton of work to do for school, still do, and I listened to the school board meeting last night to figure out what’s happening with sex ed because I’m supposed to start teaching it in like 3 weeks and no letters have gone out etc. I think we’re not teaching it, which means I don’t have curriculum for 5 weeks in 7th grade and a week in 8th grade. Well, let’s not kid ourselves…I’ve never really had a usable curriculum for 8th. That’s been the fun part about this year. FUN.
I did do a chunk of weird flowers and bugs on Sunday night, though…
The big background areas have a lot of tiny complicated things on top of them.
But I got those mostly done Sunday. Then last night, I ironed a foot down and realized I’d never ironed the other foot to fabric. I’d obviously forgotten to number it, because every piece had an ‘a’ on it (when I miss numbers, I just pick the closest piece number and add a bunch of letters instead of starting from the 1500s…mostly because I iron in number order most of the time and it’s easier). So I had to trace those pieces, find the fabrics that were in that flesh run, iron them down, and cut them out. Which was not quick. So last night, I didn’t get much done. But here’s the second foot ready to go…
Sigh. More tonight, hopefully.
This morning, though, another meeting. Love meetings. This one will be short and sweet. I have about three things to say about another teacher and then I have work to do. Not fun. Also still necessary. This job has not been fun for most of this year. Sometimes with the kids…but also so much work.
So disheartening. Although this popped up on my Facebook feed last night from 13 years ago…
They all look related. Sweet Calli.
This show is still about to close…at the Hyde Gallery at Grossmont College.
There’s You Pollute Me, hanging strong.
Just keep going. Read books, exercise, get outside, make art. Talk to people, check your reactions and make sure you’re not being unreasonable (I did that before I called this morning’s meeting). Eat well. Or as well as you can considering the circumstances. Speak up for those who can’t. Or shouldn’t because of the repercussions. Hope the eye twitch goes away in June.
Yo! April is almost over. That was fast. May is coming…one of the longest months of the school year. A vast expanse of days with testing and kids’ brains already on summer, plus grades, hurtling toward the end of the year, which alternately comes too fast (not enough time to get everything done) and not fast enough (please make it stop). Much like my weekends.
I did start ironing the quilt together…fun stuff. I did some Friday night and a goodly chunk on Saturday, which made up for only 32 minutes on Sunday. Long day there. Friday night in the dirt…
Saturday started in the green…
Got the rakunk done…
Reference to Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood…here she is with the whole dirt area…
So that was Saturday afternoon, followed by Saturday night, when I did a few of the DNA bugs I drew…
Sunday I finished those and added a few more bugs and one of the skull flowers.
We also hiked on Saturday…we hadn’t been to one of our regular hiking spots since December, and the rains had definitely affected it…lots of flowers, for one…
The path being covered by water, also a thing…
Ducks in there as well. So we wandered around to find the crossing.
And then wandered through the rest of the overgrowth…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tarantula at the reserve. I’m sure they’ve been there…just not so obviously.
Lots of flowers…I said that…
All in the middle of the path for some reason.
And as we were coming back, there must have been some moisture reflecting rainbows in the clouds…
Hard to get photos of rainbows with an old phone camera. But it was there. Just a piece of it though.
Last week, there was an artist talk at the FIG Climate Reckoning show. I couldn’t go because it was during my school day. But my work got in the photos from the talk. There’s You Pollute Me, next to Cindy Zimmerman talking about her work.
And Beyond the Concrete near Jennifer Spencer discussing her piece.
That show comes down next week, so if you want to see it, you should go this week.
Kitten trying to see the dog next door…
Back in her cave.
This describes school and life all too well.
I didn’t sleep well last night. Couldn’t fall asleep. Couldn’t stay asleep. Every Sunday at the moment.
Yeah, I’m a little like this.
Maybe more than a little. Ugh. Gonna go crawl in a hole with my book. My book that is due in two days, so I need to finish it.
This is just damn disturbing.
I don’t know what the fuck we’re thinking at the moment.
Followed by this.
Too many attempts to control women, but not guns. I know what the bigger problem is. Unless the plan is to make women have more babies so we can shoot them? Is that it? Seems silly.
OK. It’s Monday, y’all. Monday with the week stretching out in front of me. Lots of work. Lots of meetings…one art meeting yesterday. It’s where I finished grading all the week’s homework (a plus). I panicked about school a lot over the weekend, mostly lesson planning 8th grade. After Tuesday night, I’ll probably be panicking about 7th grade too, thanks to the idiotic school board members. Dumbassery. Yesterday, I went to the art meeting, which was about 45 minutes away, so drive time and sit time. It’s a good group of artists though, so it’s nice to have that in-person connection again. Then came home and worked on school stuff, took a break to make lunches for the week, more work, then made dinner, more work. Was going to go iron and remembered one thing I hadn’t done for school that I needed for this morning. Damn. More work. Then a bit of ironing.
Today is work then meeting then Zoom book club. I liked the book, so that’s good. Plus more work in there somewhere, because there’s always more work. Plus I need to finish reading that other book. It’s big and I’m only at 78%. A challenge! I like those.
Woke up this morning to a really annoying noise. My alarm. All right all right all right. I hear you. Ugh. My fault for going to bed a little late (time flew), but also Friday. The first week back. It should be an interesting day…Ramadan ended and there’s this big party that goes on, Eid, after Ramadan, and a lot of our kids don’t come to school. Interestingly, a lot of them didn’t come yesterday as well. I’m not blaming 420, because that would be crazy, but it’s certainly an interesting coincidence. We’ll see if they show up today…or even next week, because some of them just don’t. I guess that’s OK, because a goodly chunk of those showing up have forgotten that grades exist, which will be a bit of a shocker for them when their parents see their grades. You know. It’s been a rough week for all of us, sure, but for some special kids, I’m not sure what’s going through their heads.
I’ve spent most of the week trying to plan next week or even a bit further ahead than that. Can’t get too far, though, because the school board is still stupid. Also trying to get stuff copied (paper and copier issues). And graded! I’ve been doing a little every OTHER night. Last night was a big no…by the time I got home and done with my Zoom and dinner, I was too exhausted. Wednesday night I managed it though…so hopefully tonight will be a yes? If not, the Man is working tomorrow as well (ugh) and I can just do it then. Knowing you need another break from your job when you just had one? Hmmm. Yeah. My co-teacher and I were finding work examples from times gone by, and reading the names on the assignments brought back feelings of goodness…plus man, the work was so good. Yeah, I know, we only saved the good examples (true), but still. I don’t have as much faith for this crew on the same assignment. We’ll see. I have a really hard time giving up on any one kid…which I guess is a good thing considering my job, but I will be surprised if I get more than two good examples each period this year. We’ll see. They have three more days. The pro is that because of the Zoom year, I have a digital version, so I’m pushing that out to all the absent kids. Back in the day, I would have just excused them from it because I didn’t have another option. Then they miss the learning and the potential for a grade. Now? Not so much.
In quilt news, the last one is at the photographer after last night, and this one has been sorted and is ready to iron together. Which is exciting. The sorting was NOT exciting…it was a long pain in the ass, a necessary pain, but a pain nonetheless. It took two nights and almost 2 hours and 45 minutes.
That’s a long time to be dealing with little tiny pieces. I had to pick it all up, stack all the boxes, in between the two sorting times or cats would have been living in these, jumping out with a million pieces stuck to their fur, dropping them all over the house.
The first night, I got all the bigger pieces out and sorted, which left the tiny ones for last night…
Luckily I had a quilty Zoom call to force me to keep going. There’s over 1500 pieces sorted, ready for ironing.
That’s some tiny shit. And that purple v-shaped one on the left? I’m pretty sure it’s in the wrong box. I do that. I read the number, think about what box it should be in, and then between reading and thinking and actually putting it in the box, my brain rewrites the number. It doesn’t do it often, luckily, but it does. Need the brain firing correctly to do this stuff. How do I know it doesn’t belong there? There’s a whole bunch of them in another box. Probably it should be there. I’ll figure it out while I’m ironing.
So tonight, hopefully I’ll have the energy to start ironing it together. I want to. It doesn’t feel like it right now, though. Right now, I’m not sure I have the energy to walk down to the car.
Ah well. Gonna have to, whether I feel it or not.
Yesterday before school, I remembered I needed some enzymes for the DNA activity, so I made those…
And at the end of the day, I knew I’d need a snack to get me from school to the photographer, and I had this little pie we’d bought as a treat on the Arizona trip and I’d never eaten, so here it is…
It was OK, considering it cost $0.79. Yeah.
Wednesday night, I was trying to meditate before sleepy time, but these guys…
I wanted to turn the light off, but couldn’t reach it without throwing them both off…
Eventually Luna left because she heard her Daddy, so I could stretch out a bit for the lamp switch without tossing the old lady off. Not so much last night…she settled by my head and I tried to encourage her down the side, and she got pissed off and left. OK then. My bed anyway, y’all.
More owl videos.
There was more screeching last night…but also lots of videos with rodents in beaks. Someone got dinner.
Good to control the rat population.
Ugh. I’m really wanting to just grab the current book, ignore the three emails I’ve seen already that will need time and energy to answer, crawl into a hole somewhere, and read for the next 8 hours. But no. I will be a grownup and go teach ecosystems and DNA and deal with my exhaustion with caffeine. But ironing at some point this weekend. I’m not sure how I will find the time, but I will.
Already exhausted enough to sleep deeply until the alarm. There are pros and cons to that. Two days of coming to school and trying to do the things and leaving school feeling like I got none of the things done. I crossed one whole thing off the to-do list yesterday. Spent two periods trying to teach over two boys who really need parents sitting next to them so they know how their kids behave. I’ve stopped contacting them, because nothing changes. Frustrating, but it’s the end of the year and I don’t have the energy for it. Or the time. Too many other things I need to do. If there were paper in the copier, that would help, but that’s been none of the three times I tried to copy stuff. I have stuff I need for today, but who knows what I will see when I get to school. Paper? Paper out? Red light flashing? Yeah that. I need assignments for next week, most of which need some tweaking or full-on editing. Not sure when that will happen, because the scramble for 7th-grade curriculum is also happening, thanks to our idiotic school board.
What will make me quit teaching? The god-damned adults who don’t have a clue what we do. Or why. And get in the fucking way.
Actually I can’t afford to quit. So there’s that. Yet. And when I do, we’ll call it retirement.
In good news, I finished the binding and sleeves in two nights…Monday night, I watched Maria Shell’s lecture on Zoom about community quilts…interesting stuff.
She gave me a few more artist residencies to follow…although I know I want to be out in nature, not in a city, and somewhere different from where I live. There are residencies here that are just glorified rental properties, and I could do that, but I want two weeks somewhere totally different, new views, space, I don’t know what, and I’m overwhelmed by the thought of what I would do, or the ones that want community involvement, I never know what to do with that. But it’s on my list for the future; has been for years. YEARS.
Nova was remarkably unhelpful. She likes my lap when I am trapped by a quilt.
She is a sweet boo.
So yeah, it’s done…
Goes to the photographer tomorrow, then gets entered into the show that forced itself upon me. Long story. Curators. What can you do? Ignore them? Don’t enter? Yeah, well, it might not get in because of the boobs. We’ll see. No uterus! Trying to keep it simple. Also I didn’t realize the quilt I made for another show would get accepted and then rejected (sigh), so it would have worked for this show as well. Oh well.
But now I can go back to the other one, which has a later due date…first I have to deal with this pile. Mostly it’s the fabrics I used for the last two quilts. I keep them out until I’m done in case I need to recut something, which happens at the ironing down stage usually.
But then Kitten made a disaster of fabric as well, so that’s in there. It’s just a mess. I did sort through it all; can’t put them away yet, but I think I can start sorting and maybe ironing together tonight. Although at some point, I need to grade a bunch of redoes and late work, plus plan/create a bunch of stuff, and IDK how I’m supposed to do that during the day when so much other crap gets thrown at me. I had a plan for after school yesterday and it didn’t happen. I did, however, go to the gym and read my book. So there’s that. Fantasy!
The tent the girlchild got the cats is still popular.
Nova looks particularly thoughtful.
Doves are back, trying to nest somewhere in this area. We’ll probably figure out where at some point.
The freesias are happily blooming still, although looking pretty beat up. Mostly because Simba stands on them.
We officially have one baby owl? I heard it for the first time on Monday night. Last night, I was in the living room, on the other side of the house, and heard the adults screeching like crazy. Usually we might hear one screech occasionally, but this was attack level. I went out there and both mom and dad were screeching nonstop, and I scared something away, large and fast (probably coyote) in the bushes. Baby was screeching away but mom and dad were quiet. I found one of them (video has already been labeled as ‘Blair Witch Project’, which it is, shitty and all, night time with flashlight, but one parent is in the pine tree, never found the other one, you can hear the baby in the box)…
And about 10 minutes later, the owl cam we have showed mom going back into the box, threat removed.
I’m invested in these babies dammit.
OK. School. Sex trafficking assembly for two periods (can I take my computer and work?), plus a prep period for 7th grade, I’m thinking, and Pilates after school, get the quilt cleaned up and ironed and ready for photography. Then sort 1500+ pieces and start ironing. Probably should grade some shit before that happens. Ugh. OK. I just want to read my book somewhere quiet.
43 days. I often come back to school after Spring Break with some sense of exhaustion, sometimes burnout, although usually Spring Break helps with that…and it did. I can’t imagine how burnt out I’d feel right now if I hadn’t had two weeks off. This year seems worse. As I was making new seating charts last night, the thought of actually being in the classroom, trying to impart knowledge to some of these totally checked-out kids, of the daily war to get stuff out there and have it matter on some level…plus stress about finishing grades and the school board being stupid with the sex ed curriculum, because that means having to come up with something else at the last minute, the last TIRED minute, plus realizing I should have spent HOURS on 8th grade because it wasn’t planned out past tomorrow. All that. I needed to not think about it for a while, so that’s what I did. And now I have to think about it again.
Meanwhile, I finished quilting…
I did a marathon (not really…I’ve done longer) of almost 4 hours on Friday…
Even did a different color for once. I didn’t want the words to overpower the lab coat.
I only had a little outlining left…here on the head. So mostly I did background scribbling.
Stayed up a little late to finish. It’s OK. Saturday was chill. Well, I had to ship a quilt (did that), buy more boxes (did that too), and buy binding (yup). The quilt store I like has never gone back to pre-COVID hours, so I can only go on Saturdays before 3. It sucks, and sometimes means I don’t go there…I shop my stash. Which is a pain sometimes, to find enough…this one, I probably JUST could have found enough if I’d had the right color of batik (they’re wider than most of the others). But I’m glad I didn’t have to spend an hour dealing with that. It’s not ideal to buy more fabric or spend money, but it’s nice and easy.
Saturday, I trimmed the damn thing. Had to clean the floor again, but this time I had knee pads!
A friend sent me a link while I was camping after seeing the pinbasting post. It helped, although getting up and down with them on was a challenge. Probably I’m doing that wrong.
Then last night, I got the binding partially on…
Still need to sew the sleeves on and then handstitch the rest. Yeah, I do that. It’s OK. I don’t mind. And I’m fast. Emailed the photographer already. Then it’s time to do the next one…which is half done already. So I will start with sorting all the cut-out ironed-on pieces and go straight into ironing it together. Which means cleaning up the disaster of fabric that is behind me right now. Yup. Not looking forward to that part.
But first, I have to go to school and get my room back in order. They cleaned floors and luckily put my tables and chairs back, but the rest is a disaster. I’m gonna sweep it all behind the counter and trip over it for a few days until I can find a place for it all again. Yesterday was 6+ hours of school stuff…yes, because I’d ignored a lot of it for the last week. I did some on Saturday night, stuff I’d forgotten about. Whoops! And one academic assignment I knew I hadn’t done. But yesterday, I realized I had needed to probably spend another 6+ hours on 8th grade. I tentatively have stuff for the whole week now, but previously, only had through tomorrow. I need to figure one thing out for sure, but need time for that, and a 2-hour staff meeting about literacy will not help with that. Although it’s important. I hope the meeting is helpful. We’ll see. Part of the planning required me to draw three strands of DNA…here’s one.
Like you do. It was easier to draw it than find what I wanted online.
Persuaded the Man to hike on Saturday. I needed to get out of the house and we need to get back in the habit…
His back was bugging him, so we did flat…
Flowers were out though. And it was 3 miles of flat. Better than nothing.
I also finished the May Sue Spargo Homegrown blocks…
I have June and July left…
Not going to be done anytime soon, that’s for sure. But I enjoy stitching them.
Luna being sweet…as a counterpoint to putting her claws in your body parts when she panics and runs away because of some strange noise or movement she didn’t like.
Kitten being very needy.
Right there, in my face, as I’m trying to eat or read.
Taking up my whole chair. I think she moved a little bit to let me sit down and work…but not a lot.
OK. Need to go deal with my room. Get my head in the game. I think I’m doing genetic traits today with 8th and ecosystem cover page with 7th. Changed all their seats, more for my sanity than anything else. Two-hour meeting after school. Maybe a walk after that? Another habit I need to get back into. Zoom meeting tonight…I would have gone to the meeting, but the speaker is Zooming instead of coming, so it seems pointless to drive all that way. I can listen on Zoom and finish the binding. Easier after a long first day.
From Organ Pipe, we went up to 5500′ in elevation, higher where we hiked. It was cooler, but not enough during the day to really matter. We considered (and deconsidered…unconsidered? Removed from consideration) one hike due to the climb with the heat. We’re out of shape and heat is hard. But it was still a nice place to be, Chiricahua National Monument, which might be a National Park by the next time we go. Which will be hard for it, because there are only 26 campsites or something like that. We had a great campsite when we were there in 2018 (minus the loud kids in the two sites next to us), but I couldn’t get that one, so this is the one next to it.
Not as good. Lots of sun issues during the day, lots of moving chairs to get shade. But not bad. The amphitheater was right next to it, though, and people kept going there to have private conversations and/or entertain children. Notes for next time.
The last time we were there, we had the energy to hike after we set up camp (WTF, who were those people?); this time? Not so much. We did sit through an hour-long presentation on paws, pines, and poop that was totally worth it. I know more about animal poop now than I ever did before. Did not help at all when I was on the trail, staring at scat, trying to figure out who had left it. Ah well.
There were many Mexican jays in camp.
They were pretty ballsy about being on the tables…
Good reminder to put shit away, which is good, because this is bear country…and jaguar, mountain lion, and bobcat territory, plus!!!
Our first time seeing a WHOLE coatimundi in the wild (last time we only saw the tail disappearing into the brush). This is a single male. We still haven’t seen a whole group of females wandering around.
Last time, we also saw deer. We saw them while driving this time…
But our evening attempt to hike to the meadow they like to hang out in turned into a mostly dark night hike, not so good for seeing deer. We were really bad at timing dinner this trip…either too late or too late. Really, we were always too late even when we tried to be early.
The first night, after the very long poop talk, we ate freeze-dried things and then the Man tried starting a fire, but it wasn’t in the mood and neither was he. I did draw by the dying fire…
The wind picked up while we were there.
The last time we were here, we missed a shuttle up to the top with a hike down to the visitor center (we only camped one night), so this time, we wanted to do that. The shuttle picks you up in the campground and drives you up to Massai Point, so you don’t have to come back to your car.
Last time, we went down into Echo Canyon and then had to climb back out in the heat, which was not fun. So this was more fun. Although it was still hot. So we have saved the longer hike for the next time, when we will either have to start earlier in the year or earlier in the day. Not sure which is going to be easier to pull off. PLUS be in better shape going into vacation, so no job shit that takes up tons of time, no scarlet fever or nasty colds. You know. Ha! Because we have control over all that.
Chiricahua is known for its hoodoos.
It’s different than Bryce, if you’ve been there. But still cool.
That said, it was warm and we were glad to mostly be going downhill.
Lots of different pine trees out there too, a nice change from saguaros.
Also these things are fun to consider drawing.
So this was about 5 miles down…
Reminded us of home, honestly. But there was a breeze, which made it bearable. It really was only in the 80s, but at 6500 feet starting, the sun just feels hotter.
There was still water in the stream at the bottom though. We did another mile and half at dusk to Not See the deer, so we got our 5-mile Hike to Health pin from Chiricahua too. Cool beans. And we have reasons to come back.
I worked on this block in the car from El Cajon to Organ Pipe, in the campground at Organ Pipe, in the car from Organ Pipe to Chiricahua, in the campground at Chiricahua, and in the car home to El Cajon…
I go back and forth during the day between stitching (mostly brainless) and reading (requires slightly more brainpower, depending on the book)…nighttime is for drawing.
I finished it somewhere outside of Gila Bend, I think. Or going into Gila Bend. Hard to say. It all looks the same.
Is that Interstate 10 or the 8? And then I started the next one…got about that far in the car…
And almost finished it…
Crooked tree trunk and all.
So when we got home, we were there for less than 24 hours, and then left for a They Might Be Giants concert at Humphreys. We had reserved a room as a treat, and they gave us a balcony overlooking the venue! So I stitched there a bit…
If we’d been smart, we would have watched the whole show from the room, because it rained and rained (drizzle, but solidly wetly constantly drizzling)…
It was fine in that picture…
But no. We wanted to hang out and bounce around down where we could see the whole thing.
Although trying to see over the people in front of me got harder and harder. Ah well. And this video was because everyone was singing along to this, but you can also see the rain going sideways through it.
Amusing. And no, we didn’t bring raingear. This is freakin’ San Diego, y’all. In Spring. So I think I had 4 layers on, including a hoodie. The Man didn’t. We didn’t think it through. It was fine; we had fun.
Foggy/cloudy view of downtown.
We wanted to test out some of the AI art apps, just to see what they did. I find them frustrating, and gave up pretty quickly, but from that picture of us above, and the text “woman covered with cats”, I got this.
I couldn’t get it to do anything with my art. Ah well. I went back to stitching. The Man has 20 tries with mice with mushroom hats.
Here are better pictures of the four drawings I did on the trip…
Some were more complicated than others. Oh wait, there were five. But I abandoned this one.
It was after I’d seen a bunch of news articles about shooting and pregnancy laws and stupid political bullshit. Like this shit…
Which then turned into this one…and anytime they want to pull Viagra? I’m good with that.
Which I might make into something.
Here’s the windy night drawing…
I was reading about all this space stuff, which might explain her head. Might not.
And the last night, when we were both in pretty irritable moods honestly…
Although it’s not apparent in the drawing, unless you look at the really bad coatimundi drawing. Ah well. Shit happens.
I also managed to find the energy to quilt on Tuesday night…
It took a lot of caffeine…
And a certain amount of panic about the end of Spring Break always coming much faster than I’m prepared for. Yesterday, I spent most of the day working on a artist’s grant application. My CV is now up-to-date, I’ve found some relevant press releases, and I submitted the whole damn thing around noon today…probably about 10 hours in that thing, but if I get it, totally worth it. If I don’t? I can try again. I’ve done the hardest part already. Plus maybe it’s time to try for some artist residencies too, although they would need to be paid for in some way.
More quilting last night after staring at that damn CV for about 5 hours…
I’m more than halfway through the outlining. More today. I was expecting to be done with this by today, but reality is always a slap across the face. I have four things to grade, all the makeups and redoes to grade, lesson planning for 8th grade, posts for 7th and 8th…ugh. I will have to do some of that today or tomorrow, but the goal is to finish the quilting, pack up another quilt for a show, do some house and yard work? Maybe. Eh. Floors need cleaning. I want to go on a hike tomorrow. We’ll see.
Kitten has been stalking me. She’s very glad to have me back.
The other two are as well…
I’ll finish off with this…
Made me laugh.
OK. Yard? Because it’s still daylight and a little moving around won’t hurt me. Then quilting. I’m not cooking tonight (hurrah!). Then more quilting. Yeah.
Well we’re back; told you it was a short one. A short one with limited cell service. I’d be sitting in camp at night and 3 texts would ping in but whatever service had brought those in whisked away with the wind. It was all good. Nice to not be tethered to all that for a few days.
The landscape, as always, was gorgeous, as are the animals and the stars and the moon (although we lost that the last few days due to the landscape). I do get tired of eating the same stuff and having to clean up at bear level (better than having bears in camp though). And if I had to camp for more than three days with no shower, I’d probably shave my head because I can’t stand my hair anymore after that. Last night’s shower was a delight. Usually we camp for a while and then get an AirBnb for a break, but because this was a short trip, we skipped that part. Which is why we got up yesterday morning and drove all the way home (from the Eastern side of Arizona). We needed a bed, a fridge, and a shower. All good.
We stop at weird little parks to eat lunch while we’re driving, just like I did when I was a kid and my parents drove me across the country to see every historic landmark in the US.
This mural was in one of those parks.
By the way, the landscape described as “high-density cactus forest” that is Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is absolutely gorgeous in spring…all flowery and green and weirdly amazing. Totally would go there again, even though the daytime is hot. They say April is the end of the hiking, and I would agree, unless you are hiking at night. Warm. Some shade, not enough.
I’m not really a desert lover…it’s hot and dry and often flat, but this was beautiful.
We were lucky to have gotten one of the few campsites with a ramada, which gave shade at certain times of the day, mostly the hot times.
You had to keep your car hood up and start the car at least once a day to keep pack rats out of the engine. I never saw any, but I did see a lot of hoods up.
Mostly flat desert makes for really nice sunsets…especially when there are some clouds out there.
We went to one of the ranger talks, about the moon, which I just finished teaching about.
No fire pits, but we managed fires in the grills. Good thing…the Man can’t stand camping without the requisite staring into the fire and managing the fire. It’s fire TV. I do a little staring myself, but mostly it’s my drawing time.
The moths were particularly happy about my headlamp on the first night.
It was warm enough to not even put socks on for a while. It’s been a while since we’ve camped anywhere that warm. And of course, that means it’s even warmer when we’re hiking, which is harder. But hike we did. The Arizona parks have a Hike for Health thing going on right now where you get a pin if you hike at least 5 miles in the park (proven by photos), so we did that in both parks. But honestly, we’re out of shape after a particularly un-hikey winter (health plus work plus weather). Normally we’d be in for 10-15 miles a day, but we did less.
We did Victoria Mine, which was close to 5 miles when we finished; we should have started two hours earlier to beat the heat, but we didn’t. The ocotillo was just starting to leaf out, so some had flowers and no leaves, some had new reddish leaves, and some had green leaves.
It’s a fascinating plant. I keep trying to simplify it for the quilts I make, because making it realistically is a very time-consuming thing. If I JUST made a quilt about one ocotillo branch, that would be doable. Anything else would be nuts. Says the woman who regularly makes quilts with over 1000 pieces.
I do love me some ocotillo though.
In Organ Pipe, we had pretty good cell service, so my Seek app for identifying plants was working. Since I just made my Desert Mother quilt last year and had researched all these plants, many of which I’ve seen before but never ID’d, it was cool to go around and see them in real life…the Organ Pipe cactus themselves…
Plus all the different chollas…
Saguaros of course…
So many saguaros…
I’d never seen the inside of one…
And some of them had fascinating growth patterns…
Lots of flowers because…Spring…
Spring is such a short season that I often miss the blooms that happen.
By the time I have a free weekend to go down to Anza Borrego, it’s done.
I called this Introverted Cactus.
Stay the fuck away cactus. It’s actually some thorny spike cactus (like no duh, look at that thing). In bloom, nonetheless! This was on the kamikaze half-run up a hill to see the sunset. We didn’t time dinner perfectly, so it was a bit of a rush.
The mine itself had these weird little ceramic sculptures that the rangers said they’d found elsewhere too.
Not original to the park probably.
Requisite photo of us, me looking very red and sweaty (’twas warm!) so we could get our pin.
It was a fairly easy hike, in terms of elevation etc. Just warm.
So that was almost 5 miles…then we rested for a while, cooled off, I took a shower with their solar collectors, so warm sometimes, sometimes not.
Then we realized how crappy our cooler was (seriously needed daily ice infusions, which was a pain)…so we drove into Why, Arizona, to get more ice plus drinks plus snacks.
Lots of cool mural stuff at this convenience store…with a quilt motif!
We tried a drive, but the ‘better’ dirt road was enough to persuade me that the 21 miles of ‘not so good’ dirt road would be a pain. The other drive was closed for repairs, unfortunately, but reason enough to come back.
Camp was fine. I had a book, cold water, a chair, and shade. I also had friends…this trapdoor spider by the water spigot…
A round-tailed ground squirrel who came up to my feet until I jiggled them.
Then a run up to the sunset…
Another proof picture…where I force that smile…
Yeah well. Still warm.
Drawing on the second night…
I had actually started another drawing (I’ll post better photos of these once they’ve downloaded off the cloud), but couldn’t get my head around it. Something about protecting unborn children more than the actually born ones. And guns. And teachers. And banning medications for women, but not men. It was frustration. This second drawing is better and has the potential to be something. When I’m traveling, I just draw to draw, not to potentially be a finished quilt. I usually focus on the landscape around me, which is how this started, but I couldn’t get past the other crap going on in our country.
Which hello…this truck was in one of the campsites down from us…
I finally got all the way around it…
Beautiful. I hope she was safe as she drove. I hope no one made it unsafe for her. Because that’s our existence too, more than half of the nation: women, LGBTQIA, children, people of color. Not safe for any of them. And it should be. I’m not sure when the politicians will realize they are outnumbered. I hope it is soon. As I make my work and it becomes more and more relevant with time instead of less…which is what I want. I want the problems to go away, for the world to be better, and it’s not going that way. It’s getting harder for all those groups and that’s just wrong.
OK, with that happy finish! Ha. Oh wait, I did start working on this on the road…
Just so you have a comparison to later. I always take too much stitching, and that’s OK. No one ever wants to run out of something to work on when you don’t feel like drawing or reading.
Today we are going to a concert, They Might Be Giants (my Xmas present to the Man), and are staying near the venue to make it easier for us old folks, so I need to get a bunch of stuff done, laundered, put away, etc before we leave. Early. Because we are old. Plus school stuff and other stuff…like shipping a quilt to a show! I got into Form, Not Function with The Way Out…
So that’s cool. More politics. Nothing like a Nida quilt with a uterus AND a giant vagina with a landscape in it. Originally made for a show called Portals. So there’s that. Good news all around. I have some work to do this week; even was quilting last night, despite being exhausted, so more of that today as well. First to make sure the pool guy put everything back after trying to flood my house, then another delightful wonderful shower, and then stuff to get done. It’s still Spring Break for 5 more days. More about Chiricahua and the second half of the trip tomorrow. Or Friday. We’ll see.