Iron Your Heart Out…

Still hot here. Today hotter. A/C still not working right in the classroom. I had three fans in there yesterday, but a state group is coming to inspect our school today, and ironically, it means I have to hide the fans (cords going across the floor, near water sources) to prove my room is safe (on a day when I have 700 lab materials out that could be considered unsafe if the kids weren’t following the rules, which they totally are). Plus the room will be too hot, so I’m not sure how the district will explain that shit on a day when it’s supposed to be 102 degrees. Whatever. Some of the shit teachers have to do (or are asked to do) is kind of mind-boggling. This inspection is mostly about textbooks, which is even funnier for science, because we don’t have any…everything is online. So then we have to teach the kids how to download a PDF to their Chromebooks that we never use. Just to make the state happy. It’s OK…I know this is holding districts accountable…just not for my A/C. The heat makes me cranky. It makes the kids cranky. The hot is going away by Friday, when we will get rain (!). I’m OK with that, even if the Man is not, because he has a show that night and there’s supposed to be a 1/2 inch of rain. Loading in and out could be complicated, but also, fewer people come to shows when it’s raining.

In good news, I got a piece into the Excellence in Fibers exhibit that will be in Fiber Art Now’s January issue, plus there’s a chance it will be at the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum next year, which would be cool. I have one piece that will be there in October, but I’m juggling way too much that month, with my parents gone, a bunch of art stuff, the parental dog, the Man possibly taking off to hike for a couple of days with a friend, blah blah blah…at least it will be cooler! I guess I don’t have to go to San Jose for the opening…I could go another time just to see the show.

Ironing is slow but steady. I haven’t been starting until late. It’s too damn hot in here. By 9 PM, with two fans on me, it’s bearable. I got a bunch done on Monday night…

Finished the pelvic area…missing an ‘s’ on the ‘Property of’ label (those words will be inked or stitched, haven’t decided which yet. I like the Statue of Liberty’s head though.

Then I ironed the robes of the large Supreme Court figure on the left, but forgot to photograph it, and then detached it and rolled it up, because everything was getting too big and out of control. I started ironing the left big head down…well, at least the neck and the nuclear power plant that will reside on his chin…

Less than an hour last night, just. I had a stressful day at work, with science materials disappearing and reappearing, trying to get kids to move on to the next step (I’m so behind), then to the dentist to deal with my filling, which was a crown, and will be expensive, and will take more time than they are open, so trying to schedule it has been a pain. Plus the money. This month is not good for that…house insurance is due and it’s my first paycheck since the end of June. It’s always tight. I think we have solved it though…they may open on Saturday for me, which I really appreciate (although you wanna look at my weekends for the next 6 weeks? because there’s very few open spots). Sigh. Came home and graded some stuff, planned, put grades in the gradebook. I didn’t have to cook, hallelujah, that’s tonight unfortunately (so hot…), but I was exhausted. Kept saying “It’s only Monday”. Ha! Tuesday, y’all. It was Tuesday. And now it’s Wednesday. So today is trash out, empty dishwasher, empty sink, AND cook dinner. Hopefully those two grown men will help with the first three because it’s not my turn. Every morning this week is a student-related meeting on top of all of it. September is always a little hectic. Little is an understatement.

I need to get some boxes for shipping stuff too…if I have time before Pilates today, the store where I buy boxes is right there…but I’m usually kamikazing in at the last minute from school.

I didn’t sleep well last night. The heat…the noise and light from having the windows open…my brain doesn’t do well with either of those two stimuli. Plus this…

I work when I’m tired…but the art stuff suffers in the end. There are only so many hours in the day. I’m trying to lesson plan while kids are working on labs. I’m speed-planning during prep. I don’t feel like I’ve got a handle on any of it. Plus grading. I realized that all of 7th AND 8th grade will be turning in academic assignments at the same time. OK. It’s going to be busy for a while. Deep breaths (I do meditate every night). Be efficient…be be efficient. Then iron your heart out.

It’s All About Energy…

Today is a holiday for some, not all, as the boychild went off to training today, earlier than I wanted to be up, so then all the animals were ready for me to be up, in fact, I think Luna purposely got herself stuck under the dresser just so I’d get up (and then got herself remarkably unstuck) and the boys next door have new toy machine guns (seriously. I’m not kidding you) that they run around shooting at each other, rat-a-tat-tat, which is not conducive to sleep or thinking or anything but rage, honestly, or maybe less rage and more WTF toward their parents. Religious as fuck but machine guns. Anti-Satan (gasp!) but OK with killing. They seem like nice people. I just don’t get it.

ANYWAY. So I’m up earlier than I want to be, which has been the case since before the kids were born, so you’d think I’d be used to it. It’s still hot here, which make everyone cranky, although I think yesterday was cooler. We had clouds a lot of the day, and sure, they were monsoon clouds, so it’s humid, but not as bad as Saturday. Today dawned clear and hot, though…so all the fans are on and I’m in here typing before it hits 95 degrees inside. Even the internet is cranky in the heat. I was trying to do school work yesterday afternoon, and that was a no-go. Slow as hell and kept freezing. Could be the new loaner computer though. Either way, it gave me an excuse to quit working and iron instead. For whatever reason, my studio was cooler than the living room. There was actually a breeze yesterday. Not so much today…a little air movement, but not much.

So I finished the one figure…her right hand and face were all that I needed to do…

Then I started on the figure next to her…

That’s when I took a break to try to do schoolwork. Waste of time really. We went over to the parentals for dinner, brought side dishes and dessert (what requires the least amount of time in the kitchen)…then came back, it was dark and night and a little cooler, so I got the third figure done…

And started the large figure on the right, after the broken Statue of Liberty…

Some of my drawings are more stream of consciousness than others…I think of them as brain dumps or an anxiety drawing, how do I just get it all out of my head and onto paper. This is one of those. Whatever my concerns and anxieties are, for some groups of people (BIPOC/LGBTQ), this shit is way worse and doesn’t seem like it will ever go away. My old-white-lady concerns are ten million times worse for them. Anyway. I love that I made progress…hopefully there will be more today, but first, I really need to do schoolwork. Way fucking behind.

Friday night, we went to see the Threads of Inspiration show at Inspirations Gallery in Liberty Station. Here is my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill! about Bill Nye…who not only made all those awesome videos we know and love, but continues to advocate for the planet.

This quilt was part of the A Better World exhibit pre-COVID about people who make this a better world. So he’s traveled a bit. A friend of mine sent me this…

So I believe I am 4 or 5 degrees separated from Bill…which feels good. I hope he laughed.

The show is up through the end of September, so check it out, because there are some cool pieces…

It is a SAQA local show, so Southern California and Nevada…

If you’re coming the the first day of the SAQA Summit, the official artists’ opening will be that night.

I will be there for that. I will also probably be exhausted, but what’s new?

Lots of color in the show…

Some fun work…

If you want to see each of these pieces with all the artist info, I’ll be posting them on the SAQA SoCA/NV instagram page @saqa_soca-nv once I get done posting about Desert Diversity, the local show in Phoenix, Arizona, right now. Or stop by on Thursday, September 22, from 6:30-8:30. I think otherwise it’s open only by appointment.

The next opening is next Sunday, from 2-4 PM…

I delivered that piece Saturday. First time out in the world with that one. I will probably be at the opening earlier rather than later, depending on when the grocery shopping gets done. Sundays are a little crazy usually. This coming weekend is a little more packed than I like them. I like some down time, some art time, some reading time, some hiking time. Which means it needs to cool the fuck down enough to hike. Not happening today. Maybe Saturday.

I drew before we ate out on Friday night…it was definitely cooler at Liberty Station. Hungry man…

Didn’t feel like a serious drawing. So whimsical it was.

The view of clouds on Saturday reflected in the pool where I kept putting my feet to cool off.

I couldn’t find the energy to put on a bathing suit and go all the way in…so up to the knees it was. With my book.

Other bits and pieces from the week…I thought this drawing was a pretty effective explanation of yo-yos and energy.

Made me laugh anyway. And here’s the apples I brought home to compost from the apple batteries…they were getting buggy after four days…

Seems like a waste of food, but the kids learn a lot from this. Mostly they’re a little mind-boggled that apples have energy.

I keep finding caterpillars on the milkweed and on the citrus trees, but no cocoons so far…on either.

I think I have too many birds for the caterpillars to survive. Something has been stealing the tomatoes again too…I had one almost ripe one and it’s gone. Probably rats.

This…true…

What can I say? Black is versatile. Hides the spills.

This one was at my parents’ house, just hanging out on the grass.

Probably close to dying, but it was pretty.

I worked a tiny bit on Sue Spargo’s Homegrown. I think I’m still doing April’s blocks.

I had to read the instructions four times and then turn the book with the embroidery stitch instructions upside down to help me get this far.

This. Sigh.

And finally this…

Kitten is doing OK. She’s not great. We’ve been switching her meds around, trying to make her more comfortable, but also increase her appetite with giving her horrendous diarrhea. I think we’re closer to a solution, but I will be happy when I can stop giving her the medicine that makes her foam at the mouth.

OK, so all the things that need to happen today, on my holiday: cook lunches for the week (meat is in the crockpot already), laundry (I did not get to the washing machine first, so I will have to wait…also to shower), grade a bunch of stuff, post things for this coming week, pay some bills, get some posts ready for SAQA’s instagram, fix my website current shows and recent work sections, read my book (maybe), iron some art (definitely), and get ready in general for a short but packed week at school. I’m finally getting my lost filling replaced, got two parent-teacher meetings and one “how-the-fuck-do-we-manage-this-parent” meeting, got one stitching meeting, chiropractor with mini-massage before (that’s a necessity), plus a Pilates class. I think that’s it. I’m not counting next weekend. I wanted to hike but it’s too damn hot. So I’ll aim for next weekend for that. Plus there’s some stuff on my to-do list for the day that I’ve already forgotten, even though I only wrote it down like an hour ago. Hence why I write it down! At least this is a day off…I appreciate that, even if I haven’t been very efficient with my time. Hopefully the heat won’t be too bad today and I can get things done. I will feel better going into the week if I can.

I feel like this whole post is about energy, which is what I’m teaching the 8th graders. Less what I am teaching and more what they are learning. I just throw a bunch of materials at them and then they figure out the things with a little bit of help from me. Which is the way it should be.

Why Stop Now?

Hello Exhaustion, my old friend. One part labs all week with 8th graders (which hasn’t been bad, just a lot of moving…a LOT a lot), one part first full week of school for me, one part 7th graders who need to figure out how Nida rolls (we got close yesterday…it was MUCH better than Wednesday, which made me cry), and a final part of no real air conditioning, in fact, I get warm air blowing in the classroom by the end of the day. Saps your energy, makes it hard for the kids to think, which makes my job harder. That said, I feel like I’m finally getting a handle on things (despite the exhaustion). Hallelujah for a 3-day weekend though. Today will still be long and tiring, but there is a light at the end of it. I have a meeting this morning, labs for three periods, and then something I’m hoping the 7th graders will enjoy (or at least be engaged in), then I get to stand by a traffic signal in the sun for 15 minutes (aka my duty after school, to make sure kids don’t get killed by parents driving like maniacs…not sure which of those is the bigger maniac, actually. The kids don’t look and neither do the adults).

Then tonight, check out the opening of the new SAQA local show opening at Inspirations Gallery in Liberty Station, San Diego, CA.

I’m just looking at this card now and seeing the artist reception will be part of the SAQA Summit, so I’ll be there. But I’ll also be stopping by tonight during First Friday to check it out, dragging the Man (who is as exhausted as I am) so we can check it out. Pretending to be normal and not old and tired. Ha ha. We do go to each others’ stuff pretty regularly. I just bought my VIP ticket to the La Mesa Oktoberfest, where his band will be playing later this month. I don’t ‘bier’ much, but I’ll hang out and watch him play.

My piece Bill! Bill! Bill! is in the SAQA show…

Maybe Bill Nye will stop by and check it out.

I’m delivering work tomorrow to a show that opens on the 11th…your first chance to see The Way Out, at the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad.

The opening is from 2-5 PM on a Sunday. I’ll be there, probably closer to the beginning of that time.

Meanwhile, although I am working many school hours (graded until 9 PM last night again), I am getting a tiny bit of ironing done. Wednesday night, I got everything set up, laid out the first 100 pieces, and started ironing the first figure…

I didn’t get super far, and certainly last night, I really didn’t get far…

Three whole fingers. I hadn’t seen the Man before he left for band practice (I was still at work), then I worked a ton, started ironing, and he came home, so we hung out and talked about life, liberty, and IDK what else, outside, where it was not 100 degrees. My house holds heat like crazy, and this weekend is supposed to be over 100 degrees. Not looking forward to it.

OK, off to the meeting and the school and then the art. There’s a balance in there somewhere. I mean, some part of me just wants to check into an air-conditioned hotel and read my book all day while no one speaks, but I realize that’s not an option…so I’ll do the things and maybe read later. Plus art…ironing in high heat is something I do around this time every year…why stop now?

Free the Pins!

Oh my. I’m not even halfway through the week and I feel like a truck hit me…not because of COVID…I’ve been fine except for some residual phlegmy grossness since last Tuesday. And yes, I just taught two days in a row for the first time this school year, but geez. I know I’m getting older, but man oh man. Three more days? It’ll get better…I’m doing labs all week with 8th grade, so that’s a lot of physical movement…a LOT…and then 7th grade is the mental thing…they still don’t know how to do 7th grade science and their behaviors are insanely inappropriate: yesterday was walking out without permission, arguing about observations (I’m right! The teacher can’t be!), throwing oneself across the table (not me, y’all…not me), yelling “he didn’t do anything” when I sent a student outside for a discussion (dude, not talking to you), plus a plethora of minor stuff, stupid noises, yelling out. My co-teacher uses a citizenship points system that I’m implementing just with 7th grade to try to curb some of this crazy. I know it’s because I was out for 6 days, so I will just need to stay the course and be that hardass mixed with personal conversations (had two good ones yesterday with boys who need attention, and yes, they do!) until they start to get it. There’s rules. Disappearing for 25 minutes during class is breaking some big ones.

Sigh. So it’s making it hard to get art stuff done…and I have a bunch of administrative-type stuff I’ve been doing…entering shows, cutting slats, putting on labels. All good, because it means showing my work. It doesn’t mean a lot of progress on the current quilt…but now that I know it won’t make the deadline I was hoping for, it doesn’t really matter if I speed through it. It’s all ready to be ironed together, and hopefully I will start tonight.

As I was doing all that stuff, Kitten knocked down a piece that has been hanging on a board in my studio that is basically hidden by a pile of batting (that Kitten likes to sleep on)…I totally forgot about this piece…

People have been trying to date it based on the fabric…I can tell you it’s probably early 2000s. But the best part is that I never finished the sleeve.

I swear, I have a million sewing pins stuck into an in-progress piece, which is why I keep having to buy more, because I run out. Mind-boggling if you think about it. I should finish that damn sleeve, yeah? Totally. FREE THE PINS!

So that night, nothing but admin. Last night, I graded late…trying to stay on top of things. But then I remembered that I had scanned some photos for a 9/1 deadline for a coloring book one of my art groups is doing, but I needed to clean them up. So I spent an hour doing that (stayed up later than I should have, probably not helping with the exhausted feeling this morning, but I wasn’t watching the clock).

Kitten is entirely unhelpful. She had her head on the keyboard at one point. Even now, her tail is whacking up and down in front of the screen. Anyway, drawings are done and emailed. Woohoo!

I did finish sorting all the pieces on Monday night too…it only took another 10 minutes…I was sure it would be longer. So here’s the whole quilt…

Doesn’t look like much right now. Hopefully it will look better in a week, although it’s supposed to be like 106 degrees this weekend, so I’m not sure how much ironing I’ll be doing. I’m just hoping they fix the A/C at school. Rumor has it they have the parts and they’ll be installed this morning, just in time for the beginning of the heat wave. Woohoo! Gonna need that.

Growing mushrooms at school…my co-teacher and I are trying to do a fun/tutoring thing with science after school once a week.

Hopefully will be successful pizza in a few weeks.

Here’s my first compost tomato (that wasn’t stolen by wildlife)…

Are cherry tomatoes just immature tomatoes? Or are they a different subspecies of tomato? Is this a cherry tomato? I just don’t know. It is awfully cute though.

Yeah. Did that. With a bang.

Now I’d like to move on to surviving the rest of the week. Or even today. Pilates after school. Then finish packing this quilt up so I can start ironing in the hottest time of the year. Woo! No really, I love the ironing-together part of quiltmaking, because it’s the first time I see all the fabrics together the way they are in my head. Really love it. First, though, finish this tea. Need more. Then get outta here.

The Dream

Am I ready for a full week of school? I’m never ready. I never get enough done on Sunday afternoon. I never feel like I’m ready. I have done many things to get myself and my stuff ready, but it never feels like enough. My biggest issue today is that I need a computer…mine was refusing to connect to the digital projector on Friday. I was able to limp along for the day, push stuff out and try to get kids in the right place without being able to show them, but today, I actually need them to see what’s on my screen and there’s no other way to easily push it out. There are no loaners that we know of. I might be using one of admin’s computers instead. Which is awkward and a pain. Not looking forward to it, no lie. Last year around this time, IT had to send my computer out to get a new battery. I told them then about the charging issues (because I think all this has to do with issues with my USB-C ports), and they chalked it up to the battery thing and then I spent all year trying to persuade my charger to seat correctly so the computer would actually charge. My computer is not due to be replaced until the next school year. The last loaner they gave me was so old that things wouldn’t load. I’m not looking forward to that either. I already tried compressed air in the ports, on the off chance that a big blob of dust was causing all this. No luck. Ah well…to be a fully funded teacher! What a dream!

I did follow my new plan of no work on Saturdays (actually did this most of last year too)…so I dealt with some art stuff, bought the compressed air (that’s all the work-related stuff I did), bought some slats for a piece that needs to be delivered next weekend…it needs a label too, so that’s on the list for this week. I entered a show, did some other art paperwork. I read my book a lot. And then I hiked for the first time in a long time…

My legs were not quite ready, post-COVID and no exercise for a bit, but I powered through. Felt pretty good after the first mile.

Saw a coyote…

No really, there’s a coyote in that picture. It was not happy about my presence.

I started late…but it was still warm. Also saw this tree face…

Probably hiked past that tree a few million times and never saw that. So the hiking was good.

I also finished cutting stuff out…

It took over 24 hours of cutting to do this thing…

And then last night, I started sorting, but I should have started earlier…why didn’t I? Because I was still doing school work. Probably did about 5 hours yesterday. Just trying to get organized and semi-caught up. You are never really caught up until the year is over.

I didn’t have much left to sort, but it was already late and I needed to go to bed…

It doesn’t look like much, but it would have been at least another 30-45 minutes. And I’m already the last one up here, so all the noise from the previous two wakes me up anyway. Don’t need to start the week more tired than necessary. Finish sorting tonight, and then start ironing this thing together.

The Man had a show at Stone Brewing Company on Saturday…

I did not go. It was a long way and a long time and I was tired. I needed some quiet me time.

They seemed to have fun though.

Meanwhile, I chilled with the cats…

OK, mostly they slept. It was fine.

I recently wrote an article about my work for Art Quilting Studio…it’s the Autumn issue…

I’ve been able to find it at Barnes & Noble, but it’s also available online.

I get paid a small amount for the article…but also it looks really good…

It’s nice to not be censored. Or remembered just for the dick that wasn’t there. And the internet just deleted the rest. And I need to go to school…so this is where we end. More tomorrow!

Weighs on You…

Ah yes. Back to work. It’s been a weird interim. In the last two days, I’ve had the brain power to grade stuff (and input it, because my kids think nothing counts this year) and plan about 4 weeks out of 8th-grade science, which is a blessing, because I have no one to plan with at the moment except my poor overworked co-teacher who is managing all the things. So it was good to have the mental space to tear apart the existing curriculum and decide how to actually teach it. I’m curious how the other 8th-grade teacher will handle 6 pages of reading assigned as homework to our kids, but that’s something I can worry about at another time. Today, I am going back to piles of paper, shit I was supposed to do but didn’t because I wasn’t there, and kids who aren’t used to me yet, except for the ones who already had me. So yeah. Chaos. It’ll all be fine. If I can remember all of it. Spent the hour this morning after the man woke up and before I had to get up (he’s loud) trying to remember how to do the labs I’m doing next week…haven’t done them in years. I’m sure it will come back to me.

I have not been spending hours and hours making art mostly, because the day job is significantly hefty enough that even when you feel sick, it still weighs on you. I have been cutting stuff out every night, though…

Yesterday I had a couple of Zoom meetings, so I got a little more done.

I also lost a letter R in that pile of trash. Can’t find it. I really shouldn’t cut over that pile…I usually use a lid and cut into that, so there’s not a huge pile of stuff for a tiny piece to dive into and completely disappear. My fault. I’ll re-iron it tonight. I’m not going to be done cutting anytime soon…there’s a lot still there.

This was the weekend I needed to be done with this piece…completely…if I wanted to meet the deadline. Ah well. Not happening. It’s OK. It’ll get done and go somewhere. The Man has a show tomorrow (hopefully he practices better masking) and will be gone most of the day/evening, so I’ll have plenty of time to cut stuff out and maybe get it sorted. We’ll see.

Simba likes a morning lie-in on the deck before the sun hits it.

And Nova just likes lying on chairs…

At least I only have to go in for one day…it’ll be fine. Next week will be a bigger challenge…everyone else has had a week plus to adjust…I feel a little off on procedures and stuff, but I’ll figure it out. Also have a weekend to remember what exercise is, maybe go for a hike, do some pilates. That would be nice.

Headbanger…

Oh hey. I think I need to lie down while I’m writing this. Let me pop the pictures in and then head for the couch with the iPad.

Yeah I am definitely better…and then I’m not. Yesterday afternoon, I felt almost normal, same when I woke up this morning. Now I’m fighting (or succumbing to) a rancid headache. So back to the couch. Back to lying down. Back to not reading because the words get all tumbly. Hmmm.

Friday was ok. Not great. But I could cut stuff out and binge watch the telly by the evening.

I did quite well for an invalid.

Saturday was all cutting. Watched Shining Vale and The Bear. Much better than the Man’s binge-watching choices.

And holey moley, although Sunday morning required a nap while thinking oh so hard about the grocery list, I almost felt normal in the afternoon…completed tasks AND stood to iron for an hour or so. Such joy.

No such joy today. Head is wobbly, feel blah, need to eat, want to read or work or something, but head. Is. Ache. Also I may have over-ordered tests from the government. I started testing for school yesterday. Still positive. Also probably still incapable of actually functioning well enough to go back.

Meanwhile I did manage watering the plants yesterday…swallowtail caterpillars are back.

Last night, this baby gecko was on the ceiling in the studio. I lost sight of it. So it’s still in there somewhere.

I read some before the headache started up again. This amused me.

Ok that’s all I got. Maybe should eat something besides applesauce. Hoping for a few hours of functional tonight? I’m supposed to cook, so that would be helpful. The Man is back at work, so that’s good. I will be too…eventually. Until then…naps and forgetfulness.

Ruh Roh

So today is my first day back at school with kids…my room isn’t totally ready, I don’t have all the materials for a lab I’m apparently doing tomorrow (I feel like I should be more on top of this shit), and the Man tested positive for COVID on Monday. I’m still testing negative, but woke up with what feels like a stuffy nose? I’m writing sub plans in my head for the next 5 days (well, 3, because I don’t have to teach on the weekend, thank god), and it’s a cluster because it’s those first few days when everything is more hands on, supposed to teach them how to exist in my class, and who knows who might BE in my class if (when?) I test positive. I masked all day yesterday, will continue that. But I feel like I’m a giant-ass redwood about to fall, but not yet, maybe today? Maybe tomorrow? I just don’t know. Do I plan the labs and hope I don’t come back to my room being burnt down? I just don’t know. I’m not even done setting up our online classrooms because I just haven’t had time. The district sucking away that Friday planning time really…well…sucked. Yeah! I’m feeling better right now with a shower and a cup of tea in me, my sinuses have cleared, but my voice is off. Hell, I feel off, but that could all be in my head…I’ve done that before. Or my body is fighting it and let’s hope my immune system, two vaccine shots, and two boosters are all stronger than one variant. Ha!

Just stay away from me right now. For so many reasons. I have had a stuffy nose multiple days this summer…allergies related to weather and/or dust. So who knows.

I finished proofreading last night. That’s a good thing. It was kind of a mess. But it’s done. The mess was not because of me…I blame the copyeditor. But hey, IDK what she started with.

I’m still ironing, but pretty damn slowly. I might need to admit that I’m not going to beat that deadline. It’s OK. I have other pieces to enter, and this one will still get done. There’s just something about an insane deadline.

Piles of pieces in the 600s, 700s, and 900s…last night, all I ironed down was the cat. Hardly anything.

I think I did 16 minutes on Monday night and 26 minutes last night. Big time! Better than nothing. It is what it is. Even if what it is is frustrating.

Not a lot of color in this one. Well maybe there is, but it’s all chaotic-looking here. Lots of fleshy bits. I’m still ironing that pile of lungs/heart/whatever. So far behind.

Kitten is still depositing fur on the black fabrics in that box…

I have a piece in this upcoming show.

And another show in September in Liberty Station. I’ll post that one when I get a thingie for it.

OK. Well, I’m going to go do this first-day thing and hope for the best. It’s humid, I’m sweaty, I have meds for a stuffy nose, I have COVID tests (sorry kids, Imma test right now while you’re writing on that paper), I’m going to write sub plans during prep? I think? I honestly don’t know what to do. Right now, I’m going to print my class rosters and get to school and hopefully everything else will make sense from here on out. Wish me luck. Send the anti-COVID thoughts.

Stapled

Well here we are. Back in. The saddle. School. Meetings and prep today and tomorrow, kids on Wednesday. So incredibly not ready. I would be much more ready if I only had one grade level this year, but that’s not happening. I spent 5 hours over the weekend just finding and trying to make sense of my bulletin boards (gotta get two grade levels up on the wall). It’s all about the staples…

I’ve had to move everything so far to get room for an additional 6-7 units (IDK even how many units I’ll be teaching because I can’t get that far ahead right now). Which means I unstapled everything and then stapled it back up in a different place. It’s all about the staples getting picked up by something other than my feet. Today I have meetings all morning and then this afternoon and most of tomorrow to prep for realz. We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what 2500 people at a school district conference looks like…

Actually, that picture was probably less than 2500…I didn’t take a photo of the actual conference room (ballroom) we were in (this was breakfast), but it was a lot. Wore a mask. I don’t want to be sick for the first week of school. Was it worthwhile? Eh. Some camaraderie, sure, but we could have done that in a smaller group. One speaker was interesting (because he was funny). The rest? I’d rather be setting my room up. The reason I had to go in over the weekend was because normally they do about 90 minutes on Friday and then we get the rest of the day to prep. We didn’t get that. So that sucks. That’s tone deaf, honestly. But it’s done.

I’m still proofreading. SO CLOSE TO DONE. Hopefully today, although today is kind of a mess. Maybe tomorrow.

I’m also still ironing. I did NOT meet my goal of finishing the ironing this weekend…maybe if I hadn’t had to go in to school over the weekend. And yes, sure, I could have NOT done that and tried to get boards up once school starts, but using last year as an example? I never did it. Never had the time. This year will be similar with two different classes. I will never have time. So I did that. For my sanity. This is Friday night’s progress on the piles of fabric and pieces…

On Saturday, I focused on the main figure, so here’s what she looks like when I’m picking fabrics…

Although I forgot to do the head. Whoops. This is what one fabric of that run looks like…

Not much left of that one after this gets cut out. Which is fine. There is always more fabric.

Saturday night’s final count on the piles…

When I pick the fabrics for the flesh, I lay out all the other pieces too (bones, heart, lungs, hair, etc), but they don’t get ironed down right away. Fleshy bits first, then the rest, which can take a while…

Each pile is some discrete object on the quilt…there’s a pile of arm hair, a needle and some thread, some fingernails. I know those because I ironed them last night…

Still ironing those, honestly. Will be tonight as well. I have no idea how far along I am. I’ve pulled flesh through the 900s, but haven’t ironed all the missing bits in there, back to the 200s, I think. Maybe the 300s. Quite a bit to go. Revised goal? Work as fast as fucking possible this week.

Kitten loves it when I leave these drawers open for her…

She’s still not eating much, but seems perky enough. Comes out for her meds anyway. Wants pets. Still eating pine needles, because that’s a thing. If I could make her food smell like that, maybe she’d eat more of it? Or is it the long stringy stick-like-ness of it? Who knows.

Oh yeah, I drew (and read my book) at the district conference. It made it more bearable…

Too many people. Even if there wasn’t COVID, I wouldn’t have enjoyed being in a space like that with that many people. Lots of bugs in the drawing though.

OK, need to get going, wake up, ready for a meeting with a lot more people, then a smaller meeting, then lunch out (because we don’t get to do that during the school year), then work my ass off in the classroom. I went up and down off the counters about a million times in the last two days, mostly thinking that the next time I’d have to do this…well, I could do it every year, but I’d rather not. So maybe this is it? I spent a lot of time telling myself to be careful and not fall off anything. Oh yeah, and the boards aren’t anywhere near done…I’m missing all the vocab and posters and big ideas and essential questions. For 8th grade, those will get filled in all year, because they flat-out don’t exist yet. So there’s that. Knowing that.

One of the baby owls keeps coming back and hanging out in that tree outside my office window at night. Screeches occasionally. I talk to it. Say hi, how are you, thanks for coming back. Probably it’s coming back for our mouse/rat population (which it is welcome to eat), not for my dulcet tones. I haven’t named it yet. Betty? Betty the Barn Owl? Eh.

Most important part of today…send a thought out to Simba…he’s being left alone all day for the first time in a long time.

Poor pup. OK. Wish me luck for the 2022-2023 school year. I think this is my 20th year teaching? Something like that. Or my 20th starts in February, because I was a mid-year start. Yup. Either way, it’s a lot.

Appreciate Those…

Isn’t this beautiful?

One of two pros to early morning wakeup in August: beauty in my eyeballs courtesy of the sky, and cooler temperatures, although I already have a fan on me (this room does not cool down until October). Today is the official first day back for teachers. I have a mask (2500 people in one room), two books on my iPad (might be ambitious), my small sketchbook, a Keen bar…no wait, Keen are shoes…a Kind bar. (I am neither this morning, keen or kind…I am kranky.)

I need to leave in about 25 minutes. I need to finish eating breakfast, drinking one cup of tea, prepping another one, take meds, WAKE THE FUCK UP. Yeah. That last one.

I am still proofreading around all this school stuff. I want to be done with it. It’s not hard…I’m just trying to be careful, because the copyeditor was inconsistent as hell. Next time, I will know to say something before now. Ah well. Learning experience.

I have been ironing a bit at night, but this room is still in the high 80s and stuffy as hell. I have one fan that runs below ironing-board height, which is better than nothing, but in reality, it’s just hot in here. On Wednesday night, I managed some water and things in the water…

Only in the 200s, though. Things need to go faster for me to meet my deadline.

Last night, I started into the flesh of the large figure and also one of the big heads in the quilt.

So now I’m in the 300s but also the 500s. Better, but not great.

There are six figures in this quilt…more than usual. So lots of flesh tones so far and not much else. Now that I’ve actually chosen what flesh tones I’m using, it should go a little faster…I’m hoping.

I met my stitching friends last night…finished one of April’s Homegrown (Sue Spargo) blocks, the bottom left. Then started the top one.

Carefully measured quarter inches there (not). I enjoy working on these. I’d take them with me today if I thought I could get away with it, but it’s going to be crowded and I won’t have room to spread out threads and scissors.

Yes, I am constantly thinking about how to be creative in whatever venue I am stuck.

The Man has a show tonight, but it’s at the Music Box, and I have a choice tonight about being stuck in a room with a ton of people…unlike today. I guess my choice could have been calling in sick. But I do always feel, as a union rep, that I need to hear the stuff from the mouths of the people in charge. So I put on my school shirt (sweating through it right now), pack my bag, and drive to where my carpool will pick me up, go to this thing, debate eating in a room with all those people. I will have to eat. And rejoice in coming home to proofreading and ironing tonight in a house with very few people. It’s all I can do.

Hey, it’s the girlchild! Loving a tree.

Cool. Peace out, Summer Break. You were OK. I appreciated the 11 books, 6 seasons of bingewatching Shameless, 1 big quilt done and the start of another, more sleep than usual (but never enough), the owls! (OK, that started before summer), quilting a bed quilt (that still isn’t done), some time for yardwork (also never done), and naps. Did I mention naps?

Yesterday’s quick nap (I set a timer) with Luna after training and before I started proofreading again. Appreciate those.