She Must Be Exactly the Right Size…

Hmmm. Lunar eclipse happened. Russia is still attacking the Ukraine. Rich white guys are still attacking women of all colors, soon to move on to white boys (and others) who don’t share their cis hetero tendencies. And those who don’t fit neatly into their idea of gender. So many books I read have a mystical, mythological element to them, and a blood moon with a lunar eclipse should have been read as some sort of major message…I’m reading it as STOP, go back, y’all are doing it wrong! Russia needs to go back to their own country. Those rich white guys need to go fishing or play golf or something…maybe work on racist extremist supremacy here (oh wait, they are, just not how I want them to) so we don’t have people killed in grocery stores while stocking up on food for the next week. Maybe we could just work on feeding those who live here and dealing with the gun issue? Instead of trying to make sure there are more kids who are starving? I don’t know. Just a thought. A big thought, sure, but a good one.

In the midst of all this, I just keep making. This drawing was originally pretty chill. I did one over Spring Break in some campground and there’s a lovely world hiding in her vagina that I was seeing as a portal to this other world. In reality, the vagina is kind of a portal, but mostly things are coming out. But I kinda think of these as earth goddesses, I draw them a lot, and certainly some people have seen the sheela na gig in this drawing. This is not the first time I’ve drawn this type of figure…it’s been in my vernacular for a good long while. So I did one Thursday night and rejected it because of the ankles. Or the angle of the arms. Or something.

And so Friday, I went back and looked at the smaller drawing from Spring Break and started a third version…

It filled the page. Without a head. I have been drawing things too big for the page since I was in 5th grade. Maybe earlier. So I decided to enlarge it before I drew any more…

Got her taped together on Saturday night, and then Sunday night, taped more around the edges so she could have elbows and eventually a head. She got a lot bigger.

But there’s the start. I’ve got some drawing to do now. Thinking of my deadlines, she might be too big, but then I am focused more on deadlines than on what I want to make. Which shouldn’t be how I make. So there we are. She must be exactly the right size.

Saturday morning, I took a Zoom class from Carolina Oneto, who was in Peru, on curves and color transparencies.

The curves are pretty easy from years of clothesmaking…although making them flat instead of curving around a shoulder is different. I didn’t realize I had enough solids to make all the color overlaps, but I did.

It went together pretty well.

So not like what I usually make, yeah? Agreed. But interesting enough in its own right.

Saturday afternoon, I walked the dog.

No one else wanted to come with me. It was hot.

But there were lots of wildflowers and it was outside…

And I needed the exercise.

A friend came to visit on Sunday and we hung out in a park for a while. That was nice. And then the weekend was mostly over. Which is how it works. I never get enough done. I graded 1 1/2 assignments, posted some stuff for school, laid awake last night at 11 PM worrying through some stuff for this week, and today I’ll try to get everything done that I didn’t do last week or over the weekend. Ha! Never happens. Never efficient enough.

Yeah this…

Which is why I can’t do jury duty for the entire month of July. I’ve already worked a full year. I need a break. Plus I have to plan for next year, which is two grades of science instead of one. Some stuff I’ve never ever taught before. Again. For the third year running. Ugh. Maybe more years than that. Also 300 hours for grading off the clock is really low.

Found a cat in a box.

This is why we can’t recycle things in a timely manner.

Ah yes, blurry night photo of blood moon eclipse.

It was cool to see in person…cooler than this photo.

OK. It’s still Monday. There’s still a multitude of wars on humanity that shouldn’t be happening. This week at school is frog dissections and the beginning of human reproduction for the first time since May 2019. With a block schedule, which might kill me. 79 minutes of direct instruction is not my idea of fun. Luckily we voted that out for next year. But this year, I have to figure out how to survive it. Microphone for the voice. Lots of drawing or coloring for the breaks? We’ll see. Human reproduction coloring books? Could be.

Get My Hand Back…

I think the quilt is done. No wait, I want to ink some of it and one of the snakes needs tiny handstitched eyeballs. Almost done. Then to the photographer.

Where he will do a better job than my throw it over the couch photo. Not hard to do better than that.

In awesome-sauce news, my car is fixed and I only had to pay a little bit. The dealers have to get money somewhere apparently. Ugh. Gotta love warranty fixes, but also wish they never had to exist.

I’m currently trying to type this with a cat sitting on one hand and headbutting my opposite shoulder. Because she is a calico, if you are too forceful with her, she will whack the crap out of you.

Got her to settle by the monitor. Kitty love. Sometimes annoying, occasionally painful. So this other drawing for one of the multitude of shows I am supposed to be entering in the next three months or so, has been in my head for almost a month…I did a predraw of it while we were camping, so last night, I tried to go for it for real.

Not totally sold on this. Might start over tonight. If it’s been a long time since I’ve drawn, sometimes I need a few tries to get my hand back under control of my brain. Plus I’ve been exhausted at night. Yesterday I had to sub during my prep period, and I’m incapable of just letting the boys at the back talk and be on their phones, so I stood back there to make sure they did their silly assignment, then forgot to eat, then it was an issue, so I’m dealing with dropping blood sugar in my next class, which is right before lunch. Ugh. Felt like crap for the rest of the day. I need a normal schedule. Ironically, yesterday we had all our classes instead of a block schedule, so that WOULD be a normal schedule…but the loss of prep really threw me off. Stress really affects my blood sugar, but routine is the savior. And I haven’t had that. So three incidences of low blood sugar in a week? Need to work on that.

Last night was my monthly stitching meeting…we didn’t meet in April in person because of many things (I was out of town), so it was nice to see everyone. I’m still working on the Sue Spargo Chirp flower border.

I’m on the 5th type of flower. It took almost two hours just to backstitch and whipstitch around two of the flowers. I did the other two when we met on Zoom a few weeks ago. Super fast. Not. Getting closer to done though.

And I drew a bird on one friend’s book of cool papers that she’s collaging and decorating.

Curious what it will say.

Anyway. It’s Friday. Friday the 13th. The kids have a pretty basic assignment to do, but that’s no guarantee of easy for me. My last science class yesterday was trying, the one before it was missing 18 kids for part of class due to test makeups (I was down to 5 actual bodies in the classroom), I have a bunch of sex ed stuff to copy, but my co-teacher already did the penises (wait, there’s a second set of penises…maybe she did those too), and a ton of grading to do. As always. I have a busy weekend, but hopefully some parts of it will be relaxing. We’ll see. Right now, though, I really do need to stand up, finish this cup of tea and make another, take my morning meds, put shoes on, and become a functional adult with a job where I’m responsible for a bunch of teenagers and pre-teens. I don’t WANT to do any of these things (except the tea parts), but I need to.

A Name for That Thing…

I used a calculator app this morning to figure out how much handstitching I’m doing. Yeah, sure, I could do the binding by machine, but I actually find it kind of relaxing in the evenings to hand stitch the binding, except when I forget to wear something on my finger to keep the needle from punching into it. I know there’s a name for that thing, but my brain has been forgetting a lot of things in the last few weeks, like where it is, what day it is, whether I have school duty or not and when that might be, my computer (brought the plug home but not the computer). Fun stuff like that. No, it’s not the onset of anything except the last bit of school. A bit overwhelmed. My brain rebels and refuses to remember anything but the full family history of all the characters in whatever book I’m reading. Useful stuff. Finger guard. Let’s just call it that.

Anyway, the answer is 230″ around the quilt, which is almost done as of last night, plus another 115″ or so of sewing sleeves on, which is not done.

I can’t remember where I put all my needle threaders, so I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to thread that asshole of a needle when the thread runs out, so I keep threading longer pieces of thread to try to avoid that task, because my brain will not comply and tell me where my needle threaders are, and then the thread ties up in knots and I spend more time dealing with those. Not a good plan really.

See last night? Looks a lot like Monday night…

Except closer to done. Tonight should be done. And then I can start drawing the one in my head, which is now taking on aspects of American politics that weren’t in the original drawing in my head, but I am becoming increasingly frustrated with how we think about women and BIPOC and people stuck in poverty in this country and why we don’t have the same rights as the rich white asshole men. The drawing also has the war in the Ukraine in it, but that’s unfortunately been there for a while.

Ah geez. OK, the car goes in today, knock on wood, the boychild found an extended warranty for the transmission online, so hopefully this crazy shit is covered. Second day of state testing today; yesterday went OK with my kids, so let’s continue that today. Union meeting means I can’t go to exercise class, which sucks, but it is what it is. Come home, finish stitching the sleeves on this, clean it up, email the photographer. Then draw the next one. Probably need to keep it simple (ha! do I know how to do that?). Also need to look at the other deadlines and see what I actually NEED to make and what I already have stuff for so I don’t need to rush through stuff just to enter shows. Everything is opening up, everyone wants work, and I am at a point in my job where it’s just hard to fight for the hour a night to get anything done that is not school-related. 26 days of school left. We’re not there yet. My brain might be, but it’s gonna need to keep working for a few more weeks.

I Just Want to Be in a Richard Scarry Book

My plan this weekend was to be super efficient and get the quilt binding on (I managed that sort of) and finish all the grading (oh fuck no, didn’t even come close) and just get my life in control in general (ha ha ha ha aha aha hsdfdsf;ah;g). I did come close to finishing my book. I went grocery shopping and did the laundry. I bought dog food so we won’t run out. I had dinner with my parents, especially my mom, because well I would have anyway, it’s been a while, but it was Mother’s Day, so it seemed more important, you know? There’s a lot I didn’t do. And it’s fine, things will get done eventually, but there’s a lot of crazy going on with my car (because I need more massive expenses this year) and the Man (oh my) and school (nothing new there, it’s just a shitty couple of years).

I did finish quilting…

On Friday night, I finished all the outlining and barely started the border stitching.

Then I finished the borders on Saturday afternoon and trimmed it Saturday night…

Then last night, I put the borders and sleeves on; they still need handstitching. I can handle that. And I’ll probably do some inking, plus I think the snake needs handstitched eyeballs. Because they were gonna be too small to do in fabric. So no rush on that. I missed the deadline for this show by a good two weeks. No worries. She’ll go somewhere. The next one is mostly drawn in my head, so that’ll be good.

I did go to my quilt guild meeting and worked on this sashiko scarf for a bit…

It’s gonna take me a million years to finish this. Also, I don’t know how to stitch in even semi-straight lines. It’s just not in my vocabulary. I started with them and then devolved into whatever direction I felt like.

Kind of a metaphor for life.

What else is going on? Besides my car transmission? Damn car has less than 49,000 miles on it. I’m pissed. Sigh.

I planted freesias this year. I really like freesias.

You know who else likes freesias? Bunnies. Why am I feeding the bunnies? Probably so the barn owls in my owl box have food. Cycle of life that starts with my freesias. I think this is the one bloom that they allowed. Everything else chomped. Fuckers. Stupid cute dumb little fluffballs.

Found this in my classroom on Friday.

Usually it’s cockroaches. I kill those. The occasional spider. Depends on the size and location as to whether I kill them. This? I set her free outside on a lovely plant. Hopefully she survived the student incursions.

This was on my driveway. Not moving.

Suspect death. Cheery. Also beautiful. Hope the eggs got laid before this.

Walked the dog on Friday after school.

Boychild set a deadly pace. Both of us spent all day in a classroom, but he has considerably more energy than I do after that.

My Mother’s Day gift from the girlchild.

Apparently it’s named after me, but they spelled it wrong. It’s an air plant, so it will be really hard for me to kill it. Good plan, girlchild.

These two ducks somehow managed to cross four lanes, very slowly, as cars pulled up and avoided them. The male seemed to fall and/or lie down at one point.

They are not long for this world.

This was the man Friday or Saturday morning. Can’t remember which.

He’s been having a really hard time at his job. I’m going to say it’s a people thing. There might be a resolution to it today. Probably. But he needed a break, so he hiked out a few miles and slept away from ‘home’. I’m wishing him luck today. I’ve been wishing him luck every day for a week though.

Fuck me on this. Seriously. Leave the uteri alone.

I have no faith in the Supreme Court right now. No faith in my country. No faith in my government. It’s been such a clusterfuck. It’s continuing to be a clusterfuck.

I would love to do this.

I mean, I don’t need to have a pillow fight. I just want to be in a Richard Scarry book. But a non-sexist one, because he had some issues with that. Sign of the times? Yeah but you don’t have to be that.

OK, survive school (they have to work in groups, so that should be interesting). Do all the things after school. Finish grades. Ugh. That’s the hard part. Finish my book? Probably not tonight. But soon. Sleep again. Because I failed that task last night. Second chance!

Crumple. Disintegrate. Topple.

It’s been teacher appreciation week. I think. I haven’t really noticed. Seriously. And that’s fine. I don’t need cutesy shit for being a teacher. A wage that is appropriate to my education, experience, professional status, credentials, and HOURS WORKED would be lovely. Let’s work on that. THAT would be appreciation.

It’s also Friday. THANK THE UNION FOR THAT. Seriously. I don’t have another day in me. I might not even have today in me. We’ll see. It’s been rough. Next week is the first for state testing since 2019…fun stuff. Yesterday was the parent info meeting for sex ed (not bad, but stressful every single time). Grades are due TUESDAY. It’s fine. My co-teacher is on a plane coming back! OMG! I might cry over that. Dealing with subs and kid issues and the kid on a contract and the random kid dancing on a table who is joining my prep period because he can’t behave. Yeah. I’m done. Am I still wearing a mask at school? Fuck Yes. I don’t want to be out for 10 days during frog dissections or sex ed. Can’t even plan for that level of crazy.

Meanwhile, I have overlapping quilt stuff this weekend, plus I’m going to need binding for this quilt…which is a good problem to have. I’m almost done with the detailed part of it…haven’t had much time at night because I’ve been grading shit. But I finished the left side of the arm and head…

And then last night, I did the face and the right side of the arm/head.

All that’s left is the sky, and it’s mostly swoopy long lines that are easy to quilt, and then the tiny bit of outside border that won’t take long at all. The plan is to finish quilting tonight, buy binding tomorrow (because the quilt store STILL isn’t open late enough for me to go during the week after work), and get this thing done. Start the next one. Got deadlines. Got ideas. Need this to balance out (ha!) the insanity of work. 29 days of school left. The crazy is mounting up.

The man sent this cloud picture last night…

There’s nothing else up there but sky.

Nova is in need of pets…

I understand, Nova. Totally.

OK, it’s on. Make all the kids finish all the things (oh yeah, that’s funny). Grade all the things (also funny). Do NOT lose your mind (hilarious). Come home, collapse for a bit, walk the dog, eat leftovers with the boychild (well not really WITH the boychild), finish grades and quilting and what’s another word for collapse? Crumple. Disintegrate. Topple into bed to sleep hard until I have to be up kinda early. Got it.

It’ll Never Happen…

In a previous relationship, I suggested that the Republican right was out to get women, and I was told no, I’m wrong, it’ll never happen. Hmmm. Gaslight much? I’m frustrated with my country. I’m frustrated with the inequalities. I’m frustrated with the need for control over uteri and what they do. For fuck’s sake people, I HAVE one of them and it does not listen to me. Also why aren’t the sperm part of this lockdown on rights? Y’all waste so many of them. I feel like that’s an issue.

All joking aside, we can propose vasectomies for boys, education for boys, laws against men, OR we can just give everyone the right to choose what is right for them. Free will…it’s what’s for dinner. And what does it mean that I’m sitting here wondering what they don’t want us to see or notice that these documents were leaked? What ELSE is going on? What are they trying to distract us from? It’s sad to me that what I used to think of as the highest court in the country has been downgraded to a political puppet. It’s not about laws or rights…it’s about control. I’m not sure those proposing all these changes have any sort of long-term memory. It’s been like this before…and maybe they should read some dystopian novels…when you try to hold the people down, they will revolt.

I guess more quilts are in the works. It’s interesting…I did just finish the abortion rights quilt in January (see it at Visions Art Museum in October!). It was hard to make. Hard to draw. Hard to work on. Emotional. And I’m glad to have never had to have an abortion, never needed to make that decision, but I know women who have. And I’m glad they had the choice. So the quilt I’m working on now was supposed to be lighter, give my mind a break. But now I feel bad for working on a “light” quilt, one with no political or social message. (Rolls eyes at self). Well there are tons of deadlines coming up. Guess they will all be about wars…wars with tanks, wars on the body, wars on women…wait, no, wars on everyone who is not a rich white male. Wars on gender, sexuality, race, color, poverty. We have learned nothing. And damn, those pink hats aren’t gonna do it this time. I need Thor and his hammer or some equivalent.

Sigh. Meanwhile, I teach. It’s hard. Their attention is nil. It’s a fight with some classes. Pay attention! Listen! Get on task! Wake up! Heads up! Stop yelling out! Some days I feel like I’ve been in boxing matches all day.

The meditative quilting at the end of every day is a plus. It’s a relief. It’s a joy, even though it’s tiny and fussy and scrunched up.

A leaf-nosed bat…

It’s a slow process…Monday night, I did the rest of the torso, one of the pupfish on her breast, the bat, all of the plants on the bottom right, and a little bit of the sky.

That was a little over an hour, I think. Then last night, I did the rest of the plants, the quail, the other pupfish, the heart and lungs and other breast, and a bit more of the sky.

So tonight, I should be able to work on the arms and/or the head. It’s getting closer to being done. I’m going to need binding fabric. More importantly, I need to draw the next one. It was a rough draft in my brain. Sleeping last night made it much more clear. Also Roe v Wade made it more clear. And dumb people made it more clear. Controlling people. People who say I’m imagining a war on the uterus. Whatever. I roll my eyes at you.

Another thing I did last night was spend an hour plus on the phone with the Man, who I hadn’t talked to since I left him at Kennedy Meadows. We text, but it’s hard to keep a coherent conversation going between his work and mine, and his lack of Wifi at night. It was nice to hear him talk. It’s still 3 1/2 weeks until I see him.

After that, I did some plant reconnaissance…had two succulents I’d cut off a huge plant that I’m trying to establish elsewhere in the yard, and in doing that, I noticed some new flowers…this one has never flowered…

And I thought I’d killed this one…

I get two succulents mailed to me each month. It’s one of the things I started in quarantine to make me happy, and it continues to do so. I keep most of them alive. I have no idea what that offshoot is gonna look like, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

And this one came from the ex’s house, fell off a rock. I didn’t know it flowered…and so BIG.

I need to transplant some of it back to his rock.

Meditations with cats…

Really, just this cat.

Oh and here are some Nida oldies…I don’t even remember painting this one for my cousin and her husband…

My cousin died in 2020 (not COVID) and this just showed back up at my house. Huh. Not sure what to do with it. This is circa 1987, in case you didn’t think I always did weird bodies. I did.

And this is high school…another gift…this to my great uncle.

I loved Vanity Fair magazine and would draw the models with my own take on it. I guess you can see the beginnings of my style peeking out here. Certainly I was looking at shadows and blocks of dark and light before I ever started working in fabric.

OK. Job calls. Car is still in the shop. Not sure what’s wrong with it. Work was hard yesterday. I’m hoping it’s less hard today. Ha! What a joke. I’m hoping I get to keep my prep period…I need it. Grades are due next week. I’m hoping for an easy, cheap car fix. Ha! OK. Work. Go.

It’ll Be Fine…

A new month. It’s a long month. State testing for the first time since 2019. That’ll be interesting. Probably not very enlightening. Then again, I never found state testing to be particularly useful. Ironic since I’m a teacher.

I spent a lot of the weekend grading and quilting. Probably more grading though. Because the day job sucks up lots of time. I did watch a lot of the SAQA conference videos and participated in some this weekend WHILE grading…

Conference on iPad, pile of papers, another paper for notes about conference stuff, laptop for recording grades. Fun stuff. I appreciated most of the talks. I had some moments of thinking many of us white female quilters are awfully entitled, but OK. That feeling hasn’t passed. Of course we are. We can afford to spend money on materials and equipment and traveling and conferences…and the few who can’t, probably aren’t at this conference. They probably aren’t members either. Anyway. Also thought it was ironic that I’m teaching art but I’m not teaching fabric art. Next year, I won’t be teaching art, 99% sure of that. Won’t be 100% sure until the day we start the new year in August.

So lots of quilting…actually, really, only about 4 1/2 hours of it, compared to 9+ hours of grading. I used to be able to quilt all day on a Saturday, but that’s not a thing right now. Grade file for progress reports opens Thursday. Trying to get caught up.

Everything is so detailed, it just takes forever to do this. Friday night, I did a bunch of tiny animals…

Saturday night, I did more of them and a few plants…

Made it up into the sky as well…

Although not very far. Sunday night was the best, because I gave up on school stuff after about 4 hours (plus 5+ on Saturday) and quilted for 2 hours instead. So I got a whole arm section done…

Mostly.

I did the cactus anyway…

Got into the ribs and the tarantula as well, but didn’t quite finish the upper sky or arm. Good progress though…finally. Tonight, I’ll be back to a piddly hour a night if I’m lucky. But it will get done eventually. I need to leave soon to take my car in though. I have four different warning lights on that have been on and then off and then on all the time since Ojai…hopefully it’s just a sensor malfunction, because it’s 4 different systems and I don’t have the money for that. I’m not sure I have money to get through the summer as it is…although there’s always the renovation fund if I need it. Aargh. Really? Frustrating. I guess the septic redo counts as renovation…not what I meant it for though. I think I will never retire.

I wish the SAQA conference had more on the weekends…like what’s wrong with Sunday? Some of us work. Sigh. At least most of it’s recorded…it’s just finding the time to watch those.

Saturday was Independent Book Store Day and San Diego had a book crawl. I headed out to a bookstore I follow because I didn’t remember it existing when I used to hang out in that neighborhood. I don’t remember what WAS there, but it wasn’t this.

There were a lot of people. I bought a blank book, ironically (a sketchbook with nice thick paper). Because I couldn’t deal with picking a book with actual words. I read all the time, but picking just ONE out of all of them? Yeah. No.

Also, money is tight and this was cheaper than one from an art supply store. I can play with watercolors on it. If I had any. I might have some. In my stash.

I also hiked, because exercise is necessary…

For mind and body…

Oooh…I didn’t notice the bugs in the flower when I took the picture…thought they were flower parts.

Four miles. Good stuff.

The boychild is on a new work schedule for the next month. It’s confusing to the dog and me. He will be more available to cook, though, so I’m all for it. The man is still working random hours up at Kennedy Meadows and living in a tent. My co-teacher is still stuck in Germany. It’s fun here. I should read more books. Pillow forts. Hike more.

Kitten has totally figured it out.

Funny old lady. Totally rejected the food my vet called “crack for kitties”. Too bad. She needs to eat one of the special foods.

OK. I have already achieved this, y’all. In fact, there’s some stuff I need to burn or hide before I die.

It’ll be fine. OK, car in, teach all day, 2-hour staff meeting, then home and cook dinner, grade stuff, and quilt. Repeat.

Brain Back…

OK, Wednesday evening I finally got my brain back. Serious fog up until then. I’m not saying things have been easier, but certainly thinking has been easier. School is a dumpster fire at the moment, although I hammered stuff yesterday and managed to slog through part of the assignments. More slogging today. Because holy crap, how can I possibly expect the kids to work? It’s so close to summer! (rolls eyes). Also, to the mom who called because her kid texted her that I wouldn’t let her go to the bathroom, please tell me…would you rather that I make sure your kid hears the instructions, is on task, and is completing her work without wasting time? Or would you rather she gets to go to the bathroom whenever she wants? Because I can’t do both. Seems like the latter. Good luck with her grade then…that’s on you. Don’t email me about what she’s missing. You can figure that out on the grade program.

I’m so glad it’s Friday. I don’t have enough saved-up energy to deal with some of the things that are being thrown at me. Most of us don’t. I’m just trying to get prepped for next week, get caught up on grades (ha!), and get the stuff done that needs to be done. That’s it. Then come home and maybe walk the dog. Seems like a good day for it.

Wednesday night, I finally got the quilt pinbasted. I had to piece the backing and wash the batting…

She’s not even that big.

But there are lots of details that need line quilting to bring them out.

It won’t be fast…

But I will enjoy doing it.

Last night, I got all the way around the outside…

And then quilted a hare…

And a few flowers. That’s 45 minutes of work right there. So I’m gonna be here a while. I’m OK with that. I need to start drawing the next quilt though…deadlines. So many of them now that things are opening back up…which is good, but stressful with my workload.

Last night, I got 2 hours of stitching with friends.

In 2 hours, I stitched a whipped backstitch around two of these flowers. Two. That’s it. I’m slow. It’s also the second night this week I’ve eaten dinner at 9 PM. No one around to help cook on Tuesday and Thursday. Ah well.

I’m virtually attending this year’s SAQA conference and they offered a fish instead of a swag bag. I totally went for the fish.

Love this happy fluffy thing…from Goatfeathers Studio. They look like fun.

I’m back to meditating every night with an app and a cat instead of my sketchbook…

Can’t say the cat is particularly helpful, but at least last night, she wasn’t trying to sit on my face. The other cat is currently trying to headbutt my shoulder while I’m typing. Not a fan. Apparently I haven’t petted her enough today. WTF.

OK. I have to go to work. I need to get everything done that I can so I don’t have to bring it ALL home (grade file for progress reports opens next week). At least I get two days off to decompress a little, walk some, hike some, sleep some, quilt some. Maybe write more about our trip, because I don’t have time to do it now. Going to appreciate that…plus SAQA conference stuff tomorrow…wish more of the stuff during the week was late enough for me to see in real time, but that’s not a thing apparently. Ah well…

Hard Landing…

You know how sometimes a plane lands really hard? Like BANG. When I came back from Boston, we landed hard, and then we fishtailed. Kind of nerve wracking, honestly. But we were fine. That’s what coming back after Spring Break has been like. I’m still exhausted. The booster shot is still kicking my ass. I feel completely off, both mentally and physically. Trying to give myself some grace, just get through a day at a time. Trying not to get angry at the teacher who randomly transferred a kid into my class without talking to me. This is a kid who already had that class last trimester, so it makes no sense to give him back to me? Whatever. He failed mine before…he can do all the things he didn’t do last trimester. But maybe talk to me next time? However tired and irritable I am, I wouldn’t do that to another teacher. 36 days.

I Zoomed with my co-teacher to plan since she is still stuck in Germany. It was OK, although I still need to figure out what I’m actually posting and how to make the printer work with my computer, because it stopped. That’s today’s plan. Hopefully. And grade things. Because I’m still massively behind.

In other news, I finished the stitchdown (finally!) on the desert piece.

Only 7 hours and 44 minutes. Not bad, considering the killing of a free-motion foot. I bought a variety of feet that I didn’t have for the new machine, just to see if something else would work better, because the one I used after I broke the one I like was not my favorite.

Somehow I ordered 5 of the littlest one. IDK how. Late-night Amazoning. Always an issue. Bought two of the one that broke. That was on purpose. I’ll try the others too. There’s one other one I could try if I can find it online. Meanwhile, hey Husqvarna…fix your badly designed foot! It’s funny…I’d only broken one of those in years on the last machine. Anyway. Problem solved. Hopefully.

I was hoping to pinbaste last night, but I made the decision to go to the gym last night, and it ended up being late, and then I cooked dinner, and ate it, and then it was 9:30 PM. And moving my ass off the couch became difficult. I did though…ironed the whole top and found an entire arm that wasn’t stitched down. It’s not uncommon for me to miss a small section while I’m stitching, but a footlong piece? A little more rare. So I need to do that. And then I realized I didn’t have a big enough piece of batting that was already washed.

And then it was 10:30 PM. Not staying up another hour for that. So it will get done tonight, I guess. Although I have to cook again tonight. It’s never-ending! That’s not totally true…I mean, yes, it’s never-ending, but I have leftovers set up for tomorrow and Friday night, and honestly, probably Saturday too. Maybe. We’ll see if there’s any left by then. Slow quilt. This one is slow. I blame the day job.

Yeah, there’s been a lot of that lately. Yesterday was kind of one of those. Certainly it was a “No, you’re not crying on the way to work. Oh wait, yes you are.” day. It’s fine. I’m just tired and feeling overwhelmed. It’ll get better.

Saw a hawk on the neighbor’s swingset that is just on the other side of my fence…

Pretty bird.

I think the only way I’m going to get through the vacation photos is a little bit at a time. We had shitty wifi in Paso Robles, so that was the last bit I posted and it took forever. The first night, we went to something called the Light Fields at Sensorio, which is an artist installation of all these LED lights over the fields near Paso Robles. It was cool…

Also cool that the moon was out…

There were an awful lot of people, though, so realize that. And it’s not cheap.

I did really enjoy the light show though…some of them change colors as you’re watching. But the non-lit landscape was also cool.

The next day, we were going to hike but it rained all morning and we couldn’t get our acts together, so we read and tried to watch TV (see bad wifi) and I stitched some…

Those little bees were pretty fun to make…

Even though my cast-on stitches are not perfect. I’m OK with not perfect.

When it cleared up, we headed out to an area called Tin City that is all winery tasting rooms and a few breweries, packed full of people and dogs, and we hung out at one brewery for a few hours, people- and dog-watching, plus I drew, and we ate dinner.

It was entertaining enough. When it got cold, we left…next day? Pinnacles.

OK, going to work now. Today I teach all the things. Should be interesting. I’m not ready. I’m rarely ready, but these days, really I’m not feeling it. Let’s hope prep period is productive and I get a ton done and feel successful and on top of things. That would be nice.

Booster Brain

My plan was to catch up on blogwriting on Saturday/Sunday, but I got my second COVID booster and ended up with booster brain. Fell asleep for a while. Also went to a meeting, which was 5+ hours, so that was some of it. I’ll get there. Just not probably today, since I go back to school and I’ve probably forgotten all the things. Certainly the dog has forgotten our morning routine. I’ve had to chase him down a few times to get him to come back, stop wandering off, get in the house.

I’m incredibly unready to go back. I’m still exhausted…camping does not lend to easy sleep for me. I did appreciate the time when all I could do was draw, hike, read, or stitch. But, and I knew this would happen, I have come back to all the things I haven’t done, plus a car issue on top of all that. Deep breaths. Count the days of school that are left. Don’t panic.

One of the things I did on the trip was finish the last two of Sue Spargo’s March Homegrown blocks…one of them has a rewrite on the part of my life…

Funny that almost exactly a year ago, I posted the four blocks from April that had all been appliqued down, ready for the embroidery. I don’t do these fast, y’all. I did finish the first block from April as well…it’ll show up in one of the blogposts, once I finish resizing all the photos.

I finally managed to sit down at the sewing machine for stitchdown. I had this idea that Friday before I flew to Boston I would be stitching, and probably Thursday as well, and then when I got home on Monday after, I’d spend time then stitching, maybe finishing on Tuesday as we packed and shopped for camping. None of that happened. The deadline for the show I was making this for will pass without it being finished, which is fine. It’s still a worthy quilt and will find a home somewhere in some show. So Saturday night, I finally got my brain where it needed to be and sat down at the machine…

About 2 hours in, the free motion foot broke. This is the second one I’ve broken. Understand that in the previous 10 years of quilting with this foot on my old machine, I think I broke one. I’ve now broken two in 5 months. Two quilts. So I googled it, and yes, this foot is an issue. So I tried one of the other free motion feet…

It works, but even though it’s see-through, I’m having a hard time seeing where I’m going if I’m going backwards. So it’s been a pain, but I’m doing it. I also ordered about 4 different feet that should work in my machine, plus 2 of the foot that breaks, because it’s a design fault…and it’s still easier than trying to use this other one. Frustrating though. Something the new machine does causes breakage? Yes, it’s installed correctly. It’s just a weak point in the foot. Anyway, I’ve done all of the body and below the head…just need to finish the sky tonight, then piece a backing and pinbaste it. Not sure I’ll get all that done tonight, but we’ll see.

I need to grade about a million things too. Trying not to think too hard about that. I took a pile with me to the meeting yesterday, but was so spaced out from the booster that I couldn’t even look at them. Not sure I can today either. The spaciness is gone…the mindset of ‘can’t deal’ is not.

I did a lot of reading over the last two weeks…this is from Kingdoms, which I haven’t finished yet, but had a lovely description of women in history.

“Expensive cows.” Yup. Interesting book. I read a lot more when the Man is gone…read through dinner and every other meal (OK, I always read through every other meal, except at work).

The cats miss him. Apparently they missed me too. I interrupted this clandestine meeting of sisters last night.

I believe it was about geckos on the windows. Can’t be sure though. They might be planning a coup.

OK, going to work. Going to be efficient and not cloudy brained. When I can leave (after being forced to watch a staff v student basketball game outside, wait, where’s the sunscreen?), I will come home and see what I am capable of…blogging? Stitchdown? Nap on the couch? Grading? In that order. Thirty-eight days of school left.