Scone Bits…

Note: officially almond flour does not work in this scone recipe, unless I fuss with proportions and add some regular flour in or something that is chemically more similar so I don’t get whatever it is that is currently on my plate that I am eating anyway because there are nutrients in there and I need those and can’t be bothered to cook something else plus my grandma lived through the Depression so it’s hard to throw away Perfectly Good Food. I am eating a rather nutty but overly moist flat biscuitcake. Some culture probably eats these all the time. It’s not bad. But it’s not good.

There are seven more of these in my freezer. I can mail you one.

So yesterday was a mess. I’m not sure why. I did a lot of things, but none very competently, I feel. Well. We walked. That was good. I liked that. And I took care of some business things. Also good. This was Kitten yesterday while I was writing the blog for the second time.

That’s right, I slept in yesterday. It was delightful. I did not sleep in today. Today I have to be at school in about 40 minutes. It’s OK. My bag and lunch are packed. I just need to finish this and my tea, make more tea, debate how to make tea there (I can’t get into my own classroom where we have a tea kettle), pack things with which to make tea there, oh yeah and brush my teeth. It’ll be fine.

After the chiropractor, we took the nephew to Crestridge and walked…

It was warm but breezy.

He talked the ENTIRE time. I thought this was the quiet one. Ha!

He’s amusing. We took my parents’ dog. Calli still can’t walk that far.

We saw one good-sized coyote and a few people. But mostly not.

I wrote a blogpost for one of my art groups when we got home, while I was waiting for the boychild to make dinner. Looks good, eh?

He is useful. And he’s currently cooking one of the other scones, so now there are only SIX left for me to mail to you. Maybe he’ll like their nutty failure.

Then I cut stuff out for another 2 1/2-plus hours.

The box on the bottom is what’s left. It doesn’t look like much, but there are a lot of little pieces in those flesh colors. Some of them I’ll leave until I’m ready to iron everything together.

So thinking about this quilt, I think I can finish cutting everything out tonight. Then sort tomorrow morning. I also have a ton of copyediting and cleaning to do tomorrow…but I’m hoping by Friday night to be ironing the quilt together. I can only copyedit for so long before my brain fries, so some of that and some of this. Continue on Saturday, although I need to go to the gym Friday or Saturday as well. Friday morning, I’m thinking. Girlchild comes home Saturday afternoon, so the odds of my getting anything done Saturday night are low, but I have Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Ironing this quilt together will probably take close to 15 hours, I’m thinking. Can I do that in four days with copyediting and everything else? EHHH? I don’t know. Wednesday I leave for Arrowhead, back Thursday, at school for real on Friday. Maybe get to stitch down on Friday night? Miraculously? It’s going to be tight with school starting. I don’t know if I can finish it. Quilting next week…binding on, then see if my photographer can take it when? Because he works full time now. Sigh. I should ask him about his timing now. Maybe after the weekend, when I have a better idea of where I’m at. OK. A plan. Sort of. Kind of a sucky one. With that, I need to go brush my teeth. Scone bits. Bleck.

Don’t Worry About the Extra Piece of Chicken

OK, I wrote an entire blogpost that WordPress deleted. Asshole. I don’t have time for this.

I think the cat is annoyed when I’m copyediting. She’s not half as annoyed as I am that she won’t keep her head off the keyboard.

That isn’t a bad position…it’s the current one, where she’s batting at my hand on the mouse and using the number keys as a pillow that I object to. Yesterday she eventually gave up, probably because I was playing loud music and the speaker was vibrating her butt, and went and laid in the blue fabric drawer that she prefers.

Heat rises, cats go low.

I’m panicking. Too much going on. Too many details to remember. I can’t even remember to write them all down. I even just messaged my prescription service to tell them NOT to call me to tell me I need a refill. They already emailed me, and the phone message just says I need to call, not why. So then I call and yell at the computer message because I KNOW YOU FUCKER. I don’t need the system to second guess me. I should be able to turn those off online, but no. I can’t. I can stop email spam from a company, but not phone spam from my own health insurance. Like spend less money on those phone calls and more on discounting my meds, you assholes.

OK. It’s gonna be fine. But I’m copyediting this manuscript, and I’m not even halfway, which is fine, but it makes me second guess everything I did last year. At the beginning of the year, teachers are all like making new resolutions to be amazing and build awesome relationships and conquer the pile of grading and be oh so efficient, and then we get to about January and we’re crying in the prep room because there’s this one kid who sucks and we’ve tried everything and grading sucks and everything sucks and by the end of the year, we’ve written off that kid. And sometimes that kid will grow up and still fail, but sometimes they figure their shit out and come back and tell me about straight As and a full ride to UCLA or even just that they’re a journeyman electrician and married to this awesome woman who appreciates that I taught him about birth control and I remember that I don’t really suck as a teacher. It’s a lovely ride.

I gave Calli a stick yesterday during the copyediting. She likes sticks. She also likes walks, the swimming pool, and pine cones. I think long walks are out of the picture for her future, unfortunately.

Later today, we’ll take the little dog and my parents’ dog, along with the nephew, for a nice long walk. I need that.

I picked colors for this.

And I decided where they should go…

I didn’t decide on some because I was worried I’d run out of certain colors of thread. I’ll decide later. Plus that cloud. Sigh. I need 6 colors. I also traced it on the fabric, so it’s ready for me to work on. When I have time.

And I cut more stuff out. I’m at about 5 1/2 hours…

I’m not sure that pile on top looks like 4 1/2 hours. I don’t know. Tonight anyway. I won’t finish, obviously.

I’m experimenting with some new food things. This is a sconecake. It wasn’t meant to be a scone cake. It should not be so flat. I used almond flour, which is lower carb than regular flour. However, it’s higher in fat…which isn’t a plus.

We’ll see if the frozen ones behave better. So many food things I’m trying to work through. They’re not all logical. It actually doesn’t always make sense to do the low-carb thing, and gluten-free or paleo doesn’t always work for diabetics either. It’s not just wheat that’s the problem. Plus I hate sweet potatoes…so it’s fine that they’re low carb, because I’m still not gonna eat them. Blech. Same with peanut butter. I’m still on the fence about almond flour.

OK, so tomorrow I’m working on school stuff all day at school with my team. Today, I’m copyediting like a speedy beast, then walking with the peeps. Then cutting stuff out. Trying not to stress too much. Right now though? Right now I need more deep breaths. The title? One more thing I need to deal with. Later. It’ll be fine.

I Manage

I skipped the last two days of writing. I usually skip Sunday. Monday I skipped because the day got away from me. I spent most of the weekend, like many, watching and not watching the news, repeat on Sunday. This is not ok. Fear and anger should not be weaponized like this. I suspect most of those stopping here are fully aware of that. Solutions! No more wimpy words. I actually had a guy call himself a good guy with a gun to my face Saturday night. Nah.

So many people hurt by these men’s actions.

I’m writing this on the elliptical. I was smart and preloaded the pictures at home while eating breakfast. I can’t go to the gym without eating anymore.

I finished ironing Sunday. I guess that’s the good news. It’s 149 fabrics and 15 hours of ironing.

That’s more time than this many pieces would normally take. I’m not sure why. There’s everything that needs to be cut out.

I have one more embroidery design to do, and I knew I had some sitting time coming up, so I sat down Sunday night and drew it. I still need to pick fabric and colors…maybe today.

And then I started cutting pieces out.

Baby lizard in my office. I had already saved one in the living room. This one got away.

Hopefully it will stay hidden…because both cats like it in here. Kitten was somersaulting for boychild. She likes pets.

So a good chunk of yesterday was trading my aging Subie for a newer one. My mechanic was growing more and more anxious for my well-being I think, between oil issues and a creaky suspension. She’s old and did her duty.

Bye. Yeah I got another one, but went for a basic model, low mileage though. She’ll help us camp and carry dogs just fine.

I finished embroidering this last night. Thanks to Linda for the linen itself.

It’s hard to spend time with his words when they are so hypocritical and antithetical to what I believe America stands for. I’ll finish the edges and send it off to the Tiny Pricks Project with the rest of them from my art group.

There’s a few things missing from the new car: the license plate needs two more screws and I just happened to find some on my kitchen counter.

Like you do. It may be a chaotic mess, but it often yields good things. I still need a cargo cover and a rubber mat for the back.

I cut some more stuff out last night. I’m guessing it’ll be 10 hours total. I’m 3 1/2 hours in so far.

That’s a lot of hours to go. That whole huge pile on the bottom. Plus the rest of the copyediting project showed up. And I spent two or three hours yesterday trying to get copies done for the start of school. My days are full. What’s new? I manage.

Oh yeah, everyone should read some Toni Morrison today. Her writing is wondrous. Her death is a great loss. “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” Beloved

Making Art, Ignoring the Rest…

Well if you ignore most of the stuff on the to-do list, you get a lot of art done. Six and a half hours worth of it. Am I done with ironing? You’d think I would be…but no. Because I found more mistakes. I seriously don’t know where my brain was when I numbered this, and that messed up my tracing…because I trace by number, and I didn’t realize there was another double-numbered section, so I missed tracing about 20 pieces. It’s OK…I figured it out yesterday during that six and half hours!

So I set up my smaller light box and wandered back to it a couple of times, traced the missing pieces, then cut those bits out, and then put them in the pile of to-be-ironed pieces. What a pain.

I did manage to get well past the fucked-up sections though…while watching/listening to the mandated videos I have to get through for school. I get tested on bloodborne pathogens, sexual harassment, mandated reporter duties, and integrated pest management.

Three hours’ worth. Fun stuff. But it’s done. That’s worth it.

These guys…

Mom is ironing. We must sleep. It was hot.

The big girl went in the pool…

She uses the pool the most…supervised, of course, and she can’t swim as well with the back legs any more.

After dinner, there was more of this…seriously down to the last line…a word and a half, plus signing it and dating the speech itself.

Soon.

More sky ironing. Cat has moved. Sky is dark. I’m still listening to work crap at this point.

I’m not really good at listening, honestly. I space out. But I’ve seen the same stuff over and over again and know most of the answers already. I’m not good with Audible books or podcasts though. I totally zone out when people are talking to me. Just so you know.

Nighttime…she’s still sleeping…old lady.

She’s a good girl. She did move in between, I swear.

So I’m at almost 13 hours of ironing. Sigh. So slow.

I’m much closer to done though…less than 100 pieces, I think…

Just need to finish some of the body parts and the hair, and then decide what to do with the pieces around the edges. Should they all be one color? Should they be different values of one color? Should they be all different colors? I don’t know. Maybe black and white, but then what do you do in the middle? Alternate or find a fabric that is both (that’s not hard…my black and white stash is massive). Anyway. That’ll be a decision for later today hopefully. First I’m going to the gym. Tonight I have a birthday party and a show…so that should be cool…but not really artsy. I was trying to come up with a drawing for the last embroidery last night while I was attempting to fall asleep (a really bad time to be thinking about such things). I think I came up with one, but I need to actually draw it too. OK. Outta here.

Seventeen Tangents

So the plethora of emails yesterday and today from work and art sources, many with good news, some just with details of meetings etc, served to throw me into shallow-breather panic mode. It’s OK. I’ll figure it out. My usual way to deal is to tell it all to fuck off and make some art. I should be allowed to do that for the last two weeks before school starts, right? It seems to be the way I roll in early August. Seriously, I’ve been writing a blog since 2004 (although not a lot in the first few years), and I often go back and read certain time periods of previous years, especially when school is making me feel crazy, if only to remind myself that this is always the way and I suck at sleeping and stress.

Well then. Moving on. Accept the crazy and make art instead.

So first of all, the 300s is where most of the numbering fuck-ups occurred. This is the 300s, all laid out (with part of the misnumbered 200s as well). What that means is that instead of 10 pieces in each pile of 10 (for example 300-309 should be in one pile, then 310-319 in the next), some piles have 20 pieces and some have like 25 because I double fucked up. Sigh.

And some I forgot to put the a or b on the piece, so I have to stare at it and figure out which piece 319 it is…the original, 319a, or 319b?

Chaos. Fucking chaos. And then I had started laying out all the flesh for Figure 1 and realized it was like 12:20 AM, and I needed to iron it all down before I went to bed. Well. Fuck sleep too. I mean really. Old people are supposed to nap more. Maybe I’ll nap.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

And about half the quilt is in that tub in pieces on the left. I have no idea how many more pieces I need to do. I still have some 300s, and even a few 200s, to do, and I’ve done a chunk of 400s, but I think they’re all repeat 400s. I don’t even know. So let’s just say halfway, with 7 hours in, which means my 10-hour guess is completely off, and I’m going to need to do like 6 hours today to get anywhere near done. And it’s already 2 PM and I don’t even know how.

The internet was being bitchy. The cat was being bitchy. My brain went off on 17 tangents. The plus is that I made it to the post office AND got rid of two big bags of donated books, but completely and totally forgot to pick up my actual library book. Dumb. This is what stress looks like.

OK. Well we’re gonna do some anti-stress shit today. Ironing and maybe a hike and some stitching and cutting stuff out and maybe draw a little.

Well. Speaking of anti-stress (cries a little into her tea here)…here’s what the Wonder Under looks like now. Some bits of the 200s-400s, all laid out in some crazy logic that Late-Night Kathy understood and Hot Afternoon Kathy (the afternoon is hot, not me…well I’m hot flashy, but not HAWT) is probably going to hate.

It’ll be fine. And in a couple of hours, it’ll be done.

One of the milkweek plants is buggy but also full of seeds. Fly little seeds, fly!

I’ve only seen one caterpillar. I’ve seen lots of butterflies. I suspect my wildlife eats caterpillars.

Almost done with this…one more line.

Then finish the edges.

Interactions went poorly this morning. Honestly, all this picture reminds me of is that someone should be helping me clean the bathroom, and it probably should be one of these cats.

I hate my bathroom. It needs major help. It was on the to-do list for this summer, same place it’s been for the last 10 summers I think.

Kitten is not helpful.

Seriously not. OK, she moved off the chair onto the blues. Which is fine, until I need blue fabrics. In like, you know, 10 minutes or so.

Damn kitteh.

OK, focus. Get it done. Take care of yourself.

I Write Everywhere

I wonder how hard this is, trying to write on the weight machines at the gym? The answer? I can do it, but I kinda have to separate my brain so that one part can count while the rest is trying to write. Odds of my getting dementia due to not using my brain? Very low. Odds of my going insane due to over-multitasking? Very high. Odds of my counting to 10 wrong? Inevitable. Oh well.

I’m juggling things. Badly. Or well. Depends on what angle you’re at.

An amazing thing happened yesterday though: I finally cleared the kitchen table of the multiple landslides of accumulated crap from 7 months of receipts, books, paper, and oh-so-many pens and paper clips. As we go more online, I might have to make art out of my multitudes of paper clips.

I spent three hours in the afternoon creating things in a coffee shop. Two knitters showed up later…

Here’s how far I got yesterday…almost done!

I also copyedited a bit…more of that today. More cleaning today too.

And then I ironed. I did get almost three hours in, like I wanted, but I stayed up way too late. Damn dogs and cats won’t sleep in.

Picking lots of browns for trees and dirt and sand…

Then figuring out what goes where…4 levels of hills, 4 levels of trees on hills, followed by 4 levels of gray concrete and yellow road markings. And then Fire!

That’s about 250 pieces ironed. Since I misnumbered so heinously, I think I have 700 to go. Ok. A goal.

My days are reading about trauma-informed schools, making art about good and evil, house dust and detritus, and the orange baby’s stupid words.

I’m on the elliptical now. Way easier to write here…

That Pile of Papers Isn’t Going Anywhere*

OK, as we get closer to August and the start of the new school year, I am panicking more and more. I’m trying not to, but it just happens…like a tsunami after an earthquake. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been going to all these teacher conferences this summer…it’s been hard to get my brain off school. Plus I’m currently listening to a recording that’s telling me I need to get up an hour earlier and go to school at 7 AM. Oh yeah. No. Yesterday was massively ineffective in terms of my to-do list…although I did get some stuff done. Not enough. Too much down time. Now that down time was exercise and eating food, plus medical crap, and then recovering from that. I don’t do well with blood sugar crashes, and I’m not doing a good job of monitoring all that right now.

But today is still July and I should stop the panic.

Here’s a calming picture of the winery tour…they took photos of us and just posted them yesterday…

It was a warm day.

So my pool guy just took a leave of absence for a family emergency (his words), but no insight as to how long…just a phone number for referrals. I used to take care of the pool myself…but it’s a pain in the butt and a difficult chemical pool anyway, so I hired someone. He’s not the best, but he’s been doing it a while. Last night, I went out there and cleared out a bunch of pine needles (need to do it again today), and found these feathers…

Parrots? Not sure.

I worked on this a little bit…I’ll be doing more of it later today…

I finally pulled the 7 projects I picked at the beginning of the year to work on…I’ve been writing them in my calendar every week and then not working on any of them. Seven months seems long enough to do that. Maybe once I finish the embroidery on this and the last pattern, I’ll be able to focus on those more, but I’m not sure one a day is the most efficient way to do it. We’ll see.

After that, I headed into the studio to start ironing. What’s my plan? Well here’s the first 100 pieces.

It should take me about 10 hours to iron all these down, maybe more. Here’s the set up. I did put all the loose fabrics away before I started. I hang the drawing up so I can see it.

The ironing board is right in the center of the room…Kitten is watching Outlander.

She also likes The Rook

Ocean waves…

I didn’t get very far. But it’s a start…

My goal is 3 hours today…maybe 4. Plus copyediting. Then more tomorrow…hopefully done ironing by Friday night. That’s my goal. Plus copyediting. I will keep saying that.

This is interesting. I certainly feel that way. I wonder if I can stick a hike in somewhere. Sigh. Not sure where.

Or when. OK, for now, I need to consider lunch. I need to check my journal for the to-do list. I need to copyedit for a while. That’s a lot for the next 45 minutes (ha!).

*Angela Watson, 40-Hour Teacher Week recording