May There Be Change and May It Be Drastic…

I want to write today, if just for me. My head is full. As are many of yours. We are all processing, many of us angry, frustrated, many of us looking for solutions, ways to support. I donated to Campaign Zero

You should do what you’re comfortable doing. But do something. I have some reading to do, when I’m done with this and some other school stuff I need to do tonight. A little reading a day is good for you anyway. It should be about race and racism right now, I think. I tried to have a conversation with my students this morning…they ended up writing some things, but not saying much. Anything. I know if we were meeting in person, they would. But we’re not. So there’s that.

Saturday was a lot of TV noise, which eventually gets heavy and hard to watch. I hiked.

I went somewhere with big wide trails and not a lot of people.

This clears my head. Although it doesn’t really make it better.

I always tell my students that white people have messed up a lot of things in the world.

Things we had no right to do. I guess my place in all that is to keep talking to the kids.

I went to Crestridge Ecological Reserve, by the way.

It was warm. My legs felt like spaghetti. I felt off.

I did not hike fast. I just walked and looked and breathed.

Something that we don’t allow everyone to do.

I’m looking for other ways to spread my care. Someone suggested going to buy from our local shops that were broken into…I’m giving them a day or two to clean up, and then will head over there. I think my dentist is one of them. Not quite ready for that, unfortunately.

I’d like to buy some fabric, thread, or embroidery stuff from BIPOC, if someone wants to point me in the right direction. Googling for that is not effective. Although I found this and will make my way through it.

Did I mention that I totally freaked myself out on this walk because I was alone? And the crows were everywhere and circling and cawing and just being kinda nerve-wracking? I don’t like hiking alone sometimes. I get anxious.

Eventually I decided they were just enjoying the thermals and soaring all over for fun.

Intent is important.

All of our intent.

It was an OK hike. I didn’t feel well. I was freaked out. I didn’t go as far as I wanted because I was worried about my blood sugar and being alone.

So there’s that.

I did a dot on Saturday night…the crab to the left of the purple spool.


But cute. I did start Sunday’s dot, mostly finished it, but now it wants beads, so I have to deal with pulling those back out and trying to find a thread and needle that will work with beads. I was too tired last night to deal with that. I also made a mask for an art show I’m in, but I delayed the posting of the show for a week to allow space for all the protests and comments. It feels wrong to be putting up a COVID-related show today. Next Monday, I’ll feel better about it. Maybe.

Sigh. I cut some stuff out Saturday night, but work and packing up art (oh wait, I packed up art for my Patreon patrons…but forgot pictures of two of them. Oh well.). Here’s two of them.

I finished the edges and packed them up. I also repotted a bunch of succulents that were having issues. And watered things. It was a busy day.

Today too. But I did cut things out. I said that. Here they are.

I didn’t cut anything out last night. Maybe tonight? I hope so.

I still haven’t exercised today. My brain. Is fuzz.

I spend too many hours on a computer these days.

OK. Well. Decisions about tonight? It’s almost dinner time. Book? Maybe. Stitching? Definitely. At least finish a dot or something. Exercise? Hopefully. Sleep? Well I didn’t do that very well last night. I’m losing my hair and the horrific hot flashes are back, after being gone for about 9 months or so. Ugh. Plus my brain is not apparently into falling asleep. Oh yeah, got 7 hours of training to do as well before the end of the month. I went to school today to try to pack stuff up. Eh. Chaos in there. I’ll have to go back after they do the floors.

Until then, forward me places to send my thread and fabric money. I have relevant books to read. I put more on hold…they are 22 weeks out! Ah, the library. I might buy a few of them instead. Peace to all. May there be change and may it be drastic.

A Matter of Voice…

Hello America. Protests abound, and rightfully so. Those taking advantage of that to be assholes, sigh. Stop it. Here in San Diego, I see many posts for protests that are then denounced as being organized by police sympathizers and white supremacists. We are tired of being inside, of being trapped by a viral enemy that we barely know how to fight. It’s true that America didn’t like the peaceful protest of taking a knee…or not saying the pledge of allegiance (I never liked that thing)…so this seems over the top, but it’s not. A black man was killed by four police officers. We need a protest that sticks and forces change. Of course, we don’t want more to die. But we need change.

As one person in all of this, I decide what next, where do I put a small amount of money, because that’s what I have…what do I bring up in my Zoom class…it’s so hard to have a discussion online that I would totally have in a classroom, giving all my students emotional support in person. We did have a discussion of protests a few weeks ago, where we talked about author’s intent…calling protesters THUGS when they are not white Republicans with guns. Calling out how what we say colors what people think. Making them think about that. Again, hard to do without the back and forth of class discussions. My Zoom kids are quiet and sometimes respond, but mostly I wonder if they are even listening. Sometimes they type and I read it out and answer. It’s not what I’m used to, but I will decide by Monday what to say and how to say it, how to talk when they won’t talk, and some will only see it online and won’t be with me when they do. The majority of my students are in a group that is subjected to prejudice of one kind or another, whether because of race or color, or culture or religion. I’m the old white chick who stands in the middle of them and tells them how fucked up the actions and words of white people are. Sometimes in their eyes, I see I am the first white person who has called out my own race in front of them. OK. It’s about time. There should be more of that.

I also hope the protesters are staying safe from the virus. I worry that in two weeks, there will be worse consequences…and I blame those four cops for that as well. Although, these things were happening already…still…and getting them out and effecting change in the police departments, the unions and legal systems that protect them, the attitudes of some who think this is acceptable…so that is the positive play on all this. HERE IT IS. Now let’s fix it. Please. By the way, shut up, Mr. NotPresident. You’re not helping. You’re making it worse. I can’t understand how that angry little man’s heart does not just stop with all this chaos it is trying to make.

Deep breath. I had plans for today. They’re not gone…they’re just sort of messed up at the moment and I’m having a hard time focusing on them. Finishing this is first. Making an art mask is next. Wait, packing up and shipping my Patreon rewards is next. Getting my drawing cleaned up to post on Patreon. Also getting some posts prepped and maybe even done for one of my art groups. That’s all today. Also the current quilt.

I’m still cutting stuff…

A little at a time. Sometimes way too late. It’s quiet. It’s meditative. It’s not school.

This is after Thursday night (up way too late)…

This is after Friday night (too tired to stay up TOO late)…

I can see progress. It’s probably harder for you to see it. I’m cutting out backwards from how I ironed down. I know I’m working on the third figure right now…the angels are cut out and everything in the air…so not halfway. But progress. More tonight.

Dots…ever-present dots…the orange flower on blue next to the sheep.

This thing is getting full.

Less than a third left…

It’s a quiet moment (of 30 minutes to two hours) each night while I do these.

Last night is the blue dot between the sheep and the strawberry.

I had to pull out all my beads for that…

While we were gaming online too.

A little 3D pop on that. And since we were still gaming, and my friend Julie sent me a couple of light-colored dots because I wanted to do a COVID dot, I started that. Someone had objected to the cat, so they did a COVID-19 viral particle instead. So did Julie, adding sequins under the drizzle stitches. We both looked at the CDC photo of the virus and interpreted what we saw. First I had to add a dot to the 90…

And then embellished it…

Commemorating the shit we’re sitting in while stitching this.

The world is weird. I keep saying that. Except some things are the same…things that need to change.

Girlchild made donuts this week. I was craving donuts…

I’m glad she’s been able to try all these new things. Before the glaze…

The dough was very tasty…the glaze was decadent. Holy moley.

Yeah. I know she’s going home soon and we’ll be back to eating the lame-o crap we usually make. It’ll be fine! I’ll be able to make the frozen waffles and pancakes she makes. Yummy. I saved some of the recipes on Pinterest. We will survive.

I exercised almost not at all in the last three days. That has to change today. I might go to Crest…it’s wide trails and pretty safe. My succulent is flowering again!

I need more of these.

I moved this little guy because he was in the weeds, not on the milkweed.

That’s not food dude.

Kitten follows me…

She wishes I would stay in one place. She loves days like the last three when I was on a computer for just HOURS. My hands hurt, my wrists hurt. Bad seating arrangement.

Nova knows a good thing when she kneads it…

Pokey cat.

More late-night Kitten…

Look! It’s a normal pieced quilt that I made. What a concept.

Sigh. OK. A hike later, when it cools off a bit, although it’s pretty nice today. I don’t think I can get the man to go with me. Oh well. It’ll be me and my music. Before then, some art work tasks for a variety of things. Some lunch. I want to draw, but all this protest is in my head, and as a white person, I have a hard time commenting artistically on racism. It occasionally shows up, but it’s not something I feel like I have a voice for. I feel like people of color should have that voice, and then my job is to promote it, support it, and buy it when I can. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe there is a way to show how I feel, which is all my quilts are ever about, without taking over the conversation. But probably not. Anyway. Watching for change. Being a part of it when I know how. Dropping my voice into it when it makes sense to do so. When it’s not drowning out those who really should have and need their voices to be heard.

All Stuff

I’m sorry my country (and the world) has not eradicated racism. I’m sorry my country can’t put the health of the many over the freedoms of the few. I’m sorry my government can’t make the best decisions for all the people, to take care of all the people. I’m sorry my students feel like they’re losing out on something by not being able to come to school in person. I’m sorry first responders are having to put their lives on the line and risk their families’ health in the process. I’m sorry we aren’t all better educated in science and humanity and kindness and equality and equity and and and. I don’t want to write about my personal struggle with fabric and school without acknowledging that there are things going on that are wrong and stupid and need fixing.

I do have personal struggles with fabric and school though. And they’re minor and first-world struggles, an artist brain thing…when the art brain thinks about racism and what to do about it, she doesn’t know where to start. So I am engrossed in the process on a COVID quilt and thinking about everything else that’s happened since I drew this. And yet, this quilt needs to be finished, so I will keep working on it. While other issues roll around in my head, waiting for processing.

I stayed up late two nights running, Tuesday night, because I just wanted to finish the ironing, to be done with it. I used 173 different fabrics in this quilt. Here they are.

It’s not super colorful, honestly…lots of browns and greens in the background. We’ll see what it looks like when it’s ironed.

The box of stuff to be cut out is chock full. It’s seemed full for a week, but more stuff kept fitting into it.

The angels were last…so now they are first.

Interesting color/fabric choices for the angels.

It’s a big pile there…I do keep the fabrics I used in the quilt out until I finish ironing the quilt together…

Actually, until I finish the quilt completely and start the next one…in case I lose a piece or need to change something…it’s easier than going through the stash again and trying to find that one piece of fabric. It took 27 hours and 52 minutes to iron all 1541 pieces down…longer than usual. I blame the pandemic fog my brain has existed in for the last two-plus months.

I had already started cutting pieces out at a meeting last week…and last night, with my brain racing, I stayed up too late to cut some more. This is about 3 1/2 hours of cutting…cut pieces on the top right, trash on the top left, what’s left in the bottom box.

It’s gonna be a while. I’m estimating 20 hours…that might be a little high, but we’ll see. But it’s easier for me to make time for the cutting…I can do it during Zoom meetings if I need/want to. I’ve been averaging about 8-12 hours of artmaking a week since school went back in session…that’s pretty normal for this time of year.

I only have three weeks of school left. Although a copyediting job will be showing up in June, so that’s more computer time. Ugh. Computers. School. Such a stressful thing. I’m extremely anxious about going back, about getting sick. I can’t afford not to go back, so there’s that. I don’t really want to be an online teacher full time, which might be another option. I’m on these Facebook teacher groups, and so many respond to people who say what I say with “so go somewhere else, teach at a charter school.” Well, thanks. I can’t afford to leave my district…I have too many years in. And the point is that we want ALL teachers and students and school staff to be safe. ALL OF US. Which is going to mean we need districts and boards of education and our god-damned government to support a safe way to do that. I’m still wading through the 50-page document my County Health Department put out with suggestions for schools. Braindead. Principal says we won’t know anything until the end of July or early August. Good to know. We go back August 19. Whatever ‘go back’ means.

So that. I walked Tuesday. No new flowers, but this is another neighbor putting succulents out for propagation. I took one of the blackish ones and strapped it to my pack…then planted it out yesterday.

Someone else put more of the agave out, so I took another baby. I know where they’ll go. But first, I need to see some new growth on them. Maybe plant them out in the fall. Yesterday I did pilates…I’m so stiff and sore. Need to do more of that. Need more time. Nothing new.

Dots! It’s the blue flowers above the magenta spool.

This was easy and cute.

An even better closeup.

And then last night, a sheep…just under the black/brown ball.

I didn’t have a sheep-colored dot, so she’s blue.

I think today we are officially at 2/3s done. It’s been interesting. Almost as interesting as Luna.

I want pets. Can you give me pets? Plus it’s hot. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I have one, sometimes two, sometimes three. It’s nice.

OK. Today is half over. Sort of. I mean, it’s noon, but you know I’ll be up until midnight so that’s 12 more hours, and I’ve only been up for 4 hours. I have progress reports to get done, more Office Hours, a quilt meeting, and who knows what else. I’m tired. I’m smelling donut-making (that’s exciting). I have a lot of stuff to cross off the list today, art group stuff, making stuff, work stuff, watering stuff, house stuff. All stuff. I am alive, though, and well, and so are those I love, and one of my favorite students finally showed up back to class today, and I’m so glad. So there’s that.

Queen of Workarounds

I hope you all had a decent weekend, that you got outside and maybe did something you wouldn’t normally do, as long as it was safe and socially distant and you’re not in a 2-week quarantine right now, waiting out the consequences of the doing. I didn’t really do anything different…just checked things off the to-do list and grocery shopped and ate and did some schoolwork and some art. The schoolwork means my hands hurt today, after a lot of mousing cut-and-paste bullshit that is just annoying and could have been avoided if the district were smarter, but will help my students. Some formatting, some moving stuff around, some formatting challenges because some dumbass coded something stupid because they aren’t an end user. It’s fine. I’m the queen of workarounds at the moment. Or as always. I’ve got one more for this afternoon. Woohoo! Exciting.

We learn every day, if we’re paying attention.

I’m really close to being done with the fabric-choosing portion of this gigantic quilt…I made it to the angels…which I decided should be wearing red and white polka dots. Well, the dots are red and background is white, but I had a pretty good stash of them.

I had this vision while walking Saturday evening of this almost clownlike costume, but referring to angels in white spattered with blood. I know. Dark. But you read it here, so if I forget it when someone asks me about it in the future, you will know.

At the end of Sunday night’s ironing, here’s where I was…

Honestly, I’ve been starting the process pretty late, just because of other things happening. Last night, I did the angels’ fleshy bits…

Pale with a tendency toward green and gray. I have a ton of boxes out right now that are full of fabric, but I picked new ones for this. I didn’t want them to look like the still-living figures in the quilt.

Here was my setup last night, sans Golden Retriever…

But with Kitten. Sometimes Calli lies just at the end of the ironing board, and I have to step over her to get to any of the fabric on that side of the room. I guess it’s good practice for balancing.

These are all the pieces that are left…eyeballs, hair, halos, and some medical accoutrement.

No masks on these. Only thing wearing a mask in the whole quilt is the skeleton.

Angels don’t need masks. They’re supernatural. Or dead. However you visualize that.

Almost there.

Angel faces, ready to be cut out. Hopefully I’ll finish ironing tonight. That would be good.

Dots! Sunday night…below the green spool…

and a closeup…the pink one with the blue flower.

Wait. I took a real closeup in daylight.

Ah, the cat hair in this thing.

I also took closeups of the previous two dots…mutated ladder stitch…

And this…

Then last night was a watermelon slice…under the black and brown ball.

The seeds are large…

Getting close to 2/3s done.

I also stitched down and put in a quilting line on the two small quilt tops I made for the Patreon reward…

I’m going to clean them up and finish the edges, and then send them off to the first three patrons who are at reward level…after supporting me for a year, they deserve it.

I also redrew the drawing from last Wednesday, fixing the head, during an anniversary party online.

I need to scan it and upload it for this month’s Patreon drawing. I had dogs with me the whole time…

And the man for a little while…

He’s watching the hummingbirds buzz around the feeder.

As always, the animals are ever present…Nova likes to destroy paper bags…

Luna’s death glare after being wakened from a cat nap…

Much as I look in the same situation, I’m sure.

And Simba, who will do anything for cuddles…

Including song and dance routines. He will be devastated when the girlchild goes back to Boston.

And this guy, with no name…

Because honestly, he’s probably bird food by now. I see plenty of these but never the cocoons. Too many birds around for that, I think.

OK, well it’s warm here, but at least I’m cheating the energy company out of electric dollars. I have one more class today, and then hopefully I will walk when it cools down. I have no idea what’s for dinner, but it’s probably going to involve some sort of leftovers or frozen thing. I STILL want cookies (yes, I know I could solve this, but it’s better if I don’t). I will sew a dot tonight and hopefully finish ironing, and then spend 20 or so hours cutting pieces out before I get to the next stage. It’s quiet today. My neighbor isn’t mowing or sawing anything and there are no screams of tiny beings in the air. So I’ll turn the fan on and hope I don’t fall asleep and miss class (makes up for my inability to sleep until well after 1 AM)…

I Want Cookies

I am an introvert. It doesn’t mean I don’t like people. It means too many peoplish interactions drain me. I’m OK being alone a bit or being in a house and barely interacting with people for a long time. Or being in the same room with people and not talking to them because I’m drawing or tracing or reading my book. I’m also OK with talking to people or hanging out with them, although on a video call, that’s exhausting. I feel like I’m talking to myself…sometimes I’m just tired and don’t feel like talking (and then, hello, you can find the extroverts out there giving me shit for not talking. Ask me a question? I’ll answer. I’m just too tired to randomly say shit). It’s not like in person where you can have a conversation with just one person…you have to talk to ALL the people at once. I suck at that. I also need a break from all the Zoomy school stuff, which is compounded by Zoomy social stuff, which is better than no social stuff? Most of the time? So tomorrow is a “holiday” (well, I don’t have to Zoom for work! That’s all it really means.) and I’m looking forward to no Zoomy. I also have an extra day to get the trillion things I need to get done for school actually done. My team is texting away and I haven’t started any of it. I took time yesterday to deal with my composter and the deck around the pool and a quick pickup (totally social distanced in an appropriate way, thank you, new quilt guild) and a nice long hike, where only 3 of the 30 people I saw were wearing masks. Fuck all of you folks. Seriously. I don’t wear it unless I’m within 6 feet of someone. And all of you are dumbass assholes.

Sigh. See, that’s not the introvert in me…that’s the paranoid scientist in me. Plus my own co-workers who don’t socially distance and/or mask appropriately, because you will be with my kids in the Fall or around other teachers, and you can pass it on to me or my students. An even bigger sigh. I can’t like the photos you post because you are not following the rules.

Less anger, less irritation, less annoyance.

On Friday, I went to school to help with PE locker cleanout.

The kids were so nervous, so hesitant…and very few showed up. I’m probably going to be the bitch on campus re: adults wearing masks. Or socially distancing. I also need a better mask design…waiting for some jersey tie material to come and then I’ll do a different version…since it looks like I’ll be wearing them for a while.

OK, I haven’t worked on the big quilt since Friday…but I did iron some then…

Them’s some bones.

My regular quilt group met Friday instead of Thursday, so I got a little ironing done…

Definitely in the 1200s…on to the angels next, I think. Almost done!

I also cut some stuff out…hung out with some new people Friday night.

Well, that’s Calli. She’s not new. But the cut-out stuff is on the right, to-be cut in the middle, and trash on the left. There’s a lot left to do.

I also ironed together the little quilts…

They’re rewards for my patrons on Patreon…

They need stitch down this weekend. LATER.

Then I got a weird bug up my butt. I’ve wanted to do a larger embroidery for a while of one of my more complicated drawings, with all the colors in the world. So I picked one.

And traced it.

I like the look of stitching on black, but black is apparently hard to find at the moment due to the mask-making phenomenon. And also you have to use a carbon-type paper to transfer and it rubs off…which on something this detailed would be a pain in the ass. So then I could have used white fabric, because I have a chunk of it, but I don’t really like it, so I picked this weird blue-gray color. We’ll see how it goes. Expect to see this in a hoop soon. I did all those embroidery patterns last year, but was limited to 5 colors for each one, which was a pain. I can do a MILLION colors on this one.

OK, then there’s dots…there’s always dots. There will be dots until sometime in July, I think. The one below the green spool…

I suck at the ladder herringbone going around a circle. Maybe if I thought about beforehand that the backstitches needed to be in a particular position so the herringbone would work right. I did not think that beforehand.

It’s fine. Then last night was a million colonial knots. I didn’t think they would take as long as they did. Top left under the orange ball.

I was supposed to put the twisty fly stitch tops closer together.

Looks kinda viral.

What else went on in the last two days? I did a longish hike by myself…the local trail had a full parking lot (it’s tiny), so I went up the road and came down a different trail to hook into the loop.

It was a little warm out, but there was a nice breeze. This is where almost no one had a mask. The trail is single width for part of it. There’s a ton of poison oak at the moment too, and the last time we went there, the dogs got a million ticks.

But it was outside and there was no pavement and most of the time, there were few people.

My left hip socket or muscle has been bugging me. I need to do more pilates during the week. I’m mostly only hiking.

We missed most of the wildflower season, but there are still some out there.

I had my eyes peeled for new flowers.

Things that poke me.

Big outdoorsy sigh.

It was a good choice. I think I slept better than I had all week.

California quail…from a distance. They flew away when I tried to get closer.

Nice to see them.

This is the part of the trail where I might be able to get 6 feet away from your heavy-breathing ass. I work Monday-Friday, so I can’t do trails except on the weekends really…maybe if it weren’t hot, but it’s supposed to be in the 90s most of this week. So it would have to be late. We’ll see. I don’t like hiking by myself when it’s late.

I told Kitten I might need this chair today. She did this.

First I will have to get all that cat hair off of it.

Girlchild finally successfully made sourdough bread. It’s good.

I’ve eaten a bunch of it.

My ex had a hawk decide to hang out on the ground…young? Hard to say how young.

It’s gone today…hopefully with its wings and not dragged off by something.

This pup is so spoiled.

Poor thing.

OK. Well, I need to eat some real food. Haven’t done that yet today. Grocery shopping is done. A fuckton of school work is on my plate. I need to organize my week in my journal…usually that’s the first thing I do on a Sunday, but I cleaned the fridge instead. I also have a celebratory Zoom later (I’m not really a fan of these things, but honestly, if it were an in-person party, I wouldn’t be thrilled either, so whatever). I want to iron some fabrics today and stitch my dot and IDK what else, but something that makes me feel accomplished and artistic instead of like a tortured online teacher. Because that’s no fun. I want to also feel prepared and organized for school, so it’s a good thing I have tomorrow to catch up on that shit. And I want cookies. So there. Also, I might need polka-dotted fabric. I don’t really. I will find something that works. But it popped into my head while I was hiking yesterday…I often draw or color drawings in my head as I walk. It’s a useful skill. Until you realize you don’t have any polka dots in your stash. OK. It’s a plan. One I will probably flail on, but a plan nonetheless.

Spread-Out Thinking

OK, what’s weird about all this pandemic stuff is that time is still flying by and I don’t have enough of it to get everything done. In fact, I don’t know how my co-teachers are doing everything they’re doing, especially those with little kids, because I can’t even see straight some days, there are so many things on the to-do list. I did schoolwork yesterday for a good chunk of time, maybe 10 hours, with a break to empty one composter and have lunch. Then I was back at the computer stuff, which I finally put up on the ironing board, put some music on, and bounced around a little, because the loss of daily movement is annoying.

It helped a little. I ended up sitting a lot though, just because some things are easier that way, plus if you think about the correct posture and hand/arm positioning (as someone who had a tendonitis on the way to carpal tunnel syndrome, I wonder how all this bad office seating will affect people), sitting is easier for that. I did briefly consider a treadmill desk and/or a treadmill, but shut that down in the crazy brain.

Speaking of crazy, despite deaths continuing and the graph still reaching upwards, San Diego is opening restaurants and malls. We had this discussion at my meeting last night…how many are ready to go back? Outside? Maybe? Even then, big groups of people outside makes me nervous. The mall? Geez. No. Why? I’m sorry if you have a business that was negatively affected by this. I’m sorry for lots of things right now that I have no control over…people dying, kids in bad home situations who are stuck there, people losing their jobs, people who are still in the hospital, the elderly in homes who can’t see their family. But let’s not make it worse?

Yeah. That. Wednesday’s drawing during the staff meeting.

I’m going to redo it slightly today or tomorrow for my Patreon. Her head bugs me. We’ll see how that goes.

Or not. I just don’t know. I like it. I may do a large one. Just because.

I cut these out the other night, so I can iron these two little babies together.

Need to finish these two this weekend so I can give my Patreon patrons a choice.

I finally finished the back of the cross stitch…so it can hang up in here now somewhere that the students can’t see it.

Looks good.

Before I could start ironing last night, I finally had to organize by color. It was driving me bonkers. There’s a lot of different fabrics in this thing.

OK. I remember starting this. I think it was almost 9 hours ago. Seriously WTF where do the days go and how? My brain is all spread out trying to think about where I was and what I was thinking 9 hours ago. Fuck if I know. I went to school and stood around and directed kids to and from the locker rooms to empty their PE lockers. Then I went and scored enough flour for at least a month. Well. You’d think that, but then everyone made bread and the house smells like bread but I don’t think I’m allowed to eat any of it. I worked outside for a good long time and then came in and did math, English, and science in Office Hours. Then I completely forgot that my regular stitching Zoom had been rescheduled to whatever fucking day today is, I really don’t know, so I was late logging onto that. And I ironed some little quilts that I’ll show you later, and then ironed some more fabric down for this big monster of a quilt…

And now it is 5:40 PM and I am totally exhausted. This was last night though…a variety of weird medical things that are in the coffin that is in my quilt.

It’s not the first time I’ve put a coffin in a quilt unfortunately. So this was last night’s progress…

There’s been more today, but I’m hoping there will be even more tonight and maybe I’ll even finish tomorrow and get on with the next fucking step.

Dots? Oh yeah. More dots. You’ll miss them when they’re gone. It’s the one under the green spool…

It was pretty easy…ooh…now it’s to the right.

But not as easy as last night’s dot…under the yellow-green spool…

All chain stitch, only two colors, although I started and then had to redo it.

Yeah there we are.

I exercised yesterday. Luna was perturbed. Those are my art supplies, but that’s the girlchild’s pile.

Exercise is important. By the end of the week, I don’t get much of it. I want more. But I’m way too tired right now.

OK. So. My goals for the day have changed somewhat. I’d like to finish ironing this quilt, but I’m not sure I have the stamina for that. I need to make my dinner. I need to finish this monster asshole of a progress report plan that our team came up with and I could totally reject, and certainly thought about it, but it will be easier for the next three weeks if I DO do it, so I do it. And sleep. Can I haz sleep? Yeah. That would be good. Oh wait. I forgot the puppy picture.

There you go. Now everything is better.

Brain Hole

It’s the middle of the week. The middle of the week is different than other days, because I have a bunch of meetings in the afternoon, so it just FEELS different. I only see kids in the morning. I passed my math assignment. I know you’re glad. It’s always good when I can do 7th-grade math. (I was teaching the math with the website and the math teacher could see my scores, so I guess that’s a good thing.)

It’s now 4+ hours after I started writing this…I’ve graded a science assignment (well, the 25 that were turned in) and filled a greenery trashcan (my goal is 2 a week…but 1 will do), posted a blog post for one of my art groups, tried to avoid crying during an online staff meeting about the future of teaching in my district…didn’t finish my book, did a drawing, but I don’t know if it’s any good, and ate lunch. I think. Did I eat lunch? Right now, I want cookies.

What fucking day is it? Oh yeah. Wednesday. Moving on. This is school in a pandemic.

Mood? fucked. Thanks to all the humans who still talk to me.

I ironed for way too long last night, way too late. Whatever.

I got all of Figure 3 ironed down…except for some of the inner parts. I did do the hair, the lungs, the heart, and the eyes. I’m not sure what’s left…it’s a big pile here.

This is what’s left of 700-999? I think? Ah yes, a few body parts in there, but mostly Figure 3 is done.

There’s some stuff that needs to go into the coffin with her. So those need doing. Then I’m into the 1000s. I’ve already ironed a few of those that were body parts. But otherwise, I’m heading onto the hillside and the skeleton, and then the angels, and then I’m done. OK, that’s like 500 pieces, so don’t get excited. But 2/3s of the way done.

I walked yesterday and took a slightly different route. I get tired of the same shit.

It wasn’t long enough or interesting enough, but it happened. A few different flowers…

They were taller than me. Not that it’s hard to be taller than me.

This flower was freakin’ huge.

So there’s that. Fuck that sign. I trespass here all the time. The owners here are just jerks for that sign.

There’s nothing built there.

Nice view though, despite that huge monstrosity in the bottom left under the hill.

I missed a walk today. I did yardwork instead. I might go on the bike and try to finish my book.

I listened to a webinar today about modern quilting vs art quilting. Yeah, I’m no modern quilter. I don’t fit, but they are OK with that at the moment. This one? Um…the tree under the green spool.

It was pretty fun…

I think it’s a cherry tree.

And I finished the second Patreon reward embroidery.

OK. Well. It’s late already…well, 6 PM. I need to do more score-checking for tomorrow, I need to maybe draw another embroidery, cut some shit out, iron some more shit, exercise? I did say that already. And get my brain out of the hole it’s in. That might be harder.

Damn Rumination

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the bird laid out.

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

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

It looks like a strawberry.

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

Ah yes…turned out pretty good, I think.

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

And Kitten keeping me company on the couch…

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

Hard to say.

What else is going on? Walks with dogs…

Someone weed-whacked. Hopefully that means fewer ticks.

Because despite that face, Simba hates combing.

Boychild made bagels…

I didn’t even know how bagels were made…

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

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

Cats are always asleep…

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

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

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

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

Everyone is going a little stir crazy.

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


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

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

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

Simple flower shape…

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

I had another late finish and then mental exhaustion.

Pretty rose stitch though.

I also finished the first of the Patreon rewards…

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

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

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

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

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

As long as someone is out with him.

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

Right behind me.

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

There are a lot of ticks right now.

Yesterday was warm and tiring.

I agree, Luna…wholeheartedly.

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

Succulents are amazing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Less noise pollution.

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

I Dreamed I Was Sitting in a Restaurant Last Night…

Hey Friday. You make me tired. And overwhelmed. Nothing new there. Looking forward to some free time tomorrow, but who knows if I’ll be panicking about school and desperately planning stuff instead of ironing and stitching. It could go either way. I’m feeling a little constrained these days by the existence…no talking to anyone in person, like one-on-one, or lunches at work. I don’t know what’s going on with anyone except for the basics, because Zoom is always a bunch of people and mostly work-related, except for the desperate late-night texts about this program or that website, and occasionally on Insta or FB, I see what they ate or read or something like that. No deep conversations. No complaining about stupid shit. No venting about the job or the SO or sharing some awesome book or movie we’d love. Well, there’s a little of that in text and email, but not the same. I know, it’s because we’re trying to take care of everyone. I get that, but I dreamed I was sitting in a restaurant last night, at the bar, and I’m thinking it will be a year or two before that’s a thing. I love that so many states are ignoring science. 84,000 dead. And it’s only May 15. San Diego is still ticking up, but reopening some things. Malls opened this week, but not the stores in them. Curbside pickup only. I’m wondering what I really need the mall for anyway. Not much.

I’ve been ironing a little bit every day. I was hoping to be further than this, but work has been long and hard. So I’m about halfway, I think.

I think Wednesday night, after 5 hours of Zooming in the afternoon, only gave me a little ironing. I think I did the bat. He was semi-complicated. And some eyeballs. Pills. Oh yeah. Some Covid-19.

They’re all over the place. OK. There are only four of them. There’s a lot of fabric colors in this thing.

Still have three figures left to iron.

My Wednesday night companion…I get to step over her every time I go choose fabric from over there. I’m OK with that.

Last night, I think I got 30 minutes in…Kitten assistance…

But I also ironed in the afternoon with my quilt group. I’m at 17 1/2 hours. And halfway. It’s not been the most effective time, with only an hour here and an hour there. The work I’m doing during the day sucks up brainwaves and turns them into mush, so that doesn’t help. I’m staring at two browns and trying to decide whether to go darker or lighter, for a really long time.

The coffin is ironed.

Tonight? Tonight I’m hoping to start Figure 3. It might not happen until tomorrow. We’ll see. I kind of want to reorganize all the fabric in color order too…it’s looking really chaotic.

I also started stitching one of the Patreon pieces…they’re not big, but they’re not supposed to be.

I worked on this one during a staff meeting. My boss called it knitting. Whatever.

I’m still caught up on dots…the mushroom to the left of the red ball…

Kinda cute.

And then last night’s…to the left of the brown spool…is a dandelion.

I added a few wandering dandelion seeds…

More than halfway on that.

I wanted to draw the other night, but I was too damn tired. So I just sat on the deck and read while drinking tea.

Speaking of drinking, a Wednesday-night incident drove me to a margarita…I think I mentioned that. Well here it is…

Tasty. Created by girlchild, who also created an amazing dinner…

I feel like if she weren’t here, we’d be living on PopTarts and toast. She takes the artsy photo…

‘Twas good. Homemade pita on my shitty-looking cookie pan from my long-defunct wedding in 1989.

We do know how to cook. She’s just way better at it.

We pretty much cook the same stuff over and over again. This is tastier. I admit to not having the brain power for this.

However, these keep popping into my tiny little brain.

Seriously, she’s making me throw away potential penicillin. It’s OK. Also, I’ve been unfriending people on FB like crazy, all the conspiracy and liberal snowflake haters. I can’t deal with your dumbassery any more. I don’t understand how you like my work if you can’t think. So there. Go the fuck away. Most of you just want me to like your shop and buy stuff anyway. You’re freaking out because the quilt shows and vending opportunities are being canceled. I barely buy anything quilt-related online, y’all. I don’t need your long-arm services and I don’t want your cute fabric bundles and patterns. Friend me if you like my work AND understand my politics. I don’t want to read your crazy. You probably don’t want to read mine either.

Old lady dog asleep on the deck…

During one of my move-it-outside meetings. I wish I lived closer to the beach. Or had the energy to drive there after dinner one night. Not tonight. Don’t want to fight crowds on the weekend either. Maybe that’s a goal for next week.

Kitten playing time. Kitten playing with a kitten.

They’re funny.

Followed by the little boy, snuggling with his favorite tick-removing human…

I’m betting she’s on Pinterest or a recipe site.

OK. It’s 1 PM on a Friday. I have one more class. I need to plan for next week, set up posts, create some shit, make some decisions. I need to stitch on a dot. I need to iron. Gaming is happening tonight, and I want to walk the dogs, but I’ll need help with that. Also, weed-whacking needs to happen, but I don’t think I can fit that into all the shit I just listed. Also I want a long hike, but that’s not happening either. OK. Welcome to my online learning world.