Get Away

It’s what I need to do sometimes so I can actually relax. The house is too full of things I need to do. The Man’s birthday was a week ago, so I booked us an Airbnb in Julian…not a long drive, but mountain reset. It was unfortunately hot hot hot (it will be hotter in August and September, but we are not acclimated), so the deck was not used as much as I would have liked, but we did appreciate the air conditioning, which we don’t have at home.

We played games…

I lost all of them. It’s OK. I usually lose. I’m at one with the losing.

We only went upstairs in the cabin once, to take this photo.

Why? Even with the A/C on, it was Hades up there.

We hiked…in the AM…not very far (3.7 miles)…it was too hot.

We often plan a bunch of hiking that doesn’t happen. Wild turkeys!

Why? Because we need the mental space more than we need the exercise. Lake!

I’m OK with all that. I know I will hike more. It was hotter in Julian than it was here at home in East County…

So more hiking wasn’t really something we were willing to do unless it was at midnight.

That is either a deer or a coyote.

In this picture, it seems more deerlike, but in real life, it was a toss up.

I’m betting coyote, because no shelter, broad daylight, no other deer around. More milkweed!

Being in the heart of some fairly conservative sentiments, we had conversations about intelligent design (that’s what we get for reading social media while traveling). The design of this flower for example. I think science and nature are mostly incredibly ordered…except when they’re not, and when they’re not, there’s a natural reason for it. Some people call that evidence that there is a god. I call it evidence that this is the way natural things work. Plant needs insects to reproduce. Flowers evolve that increase this particular plant’s ability to reproduce. The ones that failed are no longer around because they did not have that advantage. Maybe they were really chaotic milkweed plants that fought the bees off. So they aren’t here anymore.

No one who thinks a lot about how human pregnancy and/or the uterus works would consider that intelligent design. Certainly there’s a bunch of politicians who have never ever understood how that works.

Red-tailed hawk?

Anyway. We appreciated nature.

As you should.

We also appreciated some breweries and wineries and cideries…

And I especially appreciated the time and space to just draw for drawing’s sake…

We even listened to some music…

This one had those misting sprinklers. Pro: it was raining on us constantly. Con: can’t draw when it’s that wet.

Some of the music was really good (Berkley Hart).

Lots of drawings…

Some of it back at the cabin over a couple of days…

That one’s not done. Which is good.

My one time on the deck, before it got too hot.

Small but nice.

We contemplated the universe.

And all the things in it.

It’s OK if you don’t get that. It made us giggle. And then we came home to hot and to-do lists. It’s fine. Really. It was good while it lasted.

I had some huge batting issues on Friday…all my own fault really. So I had to buy new batting and wash it and ran out of time to pinbaste, so I did it yesterday with a fan blowing on me the whole time.

This is not a small quilt. I keep saying that. It was supposed to be smaller.

But I got her pinbasted and then managed almost two hours of quilting…

I have a deadline on this one and it’s tight. But I’m going to do it.

But first, today I have two science meetings, so I need to go make my lunch and pack up and take my meds and brush my teeth and make more tea and get the fuck out of here. Plus deal with all the things on the to-do list, which threaten to bury me even during the summer, when I’m not working the other job. Well. Except today I sort of am working the other job. So there’s that. It’s a good thing I took a weekend off from almost everything.

In the Way…

So all that jury duty anxiety and I never had to go in. Hallelujah. I could do without the anxiety though. Tell my brain that.

I managed to get the quilt stitched down in the last two days…

It’s true that I didn’t do much else.

I don’t feel like I’m getting much done this summer unfortunately. It’s not over yet, but I still feel burnt out and flaily. Sure that’s a word. Flail-like? Flailable? Hmmm. I also pieced a backing last night after my stitching meeting…

Plus I washed and cut the batting to size. Then this morning, I cleaned the floor and as soon as it dries, I’m pinbasting this quilt. Then we’re packing up, going to the store, and leaving for a weekend in the mountains. It will still be hot there, true, but the Airbnb has A/C, unlike here. We’re going to attempt hiking (the Man’s toe is still an issue). I think every weekend after this one has either a meeting/event for me or a show/event for him…until September some time.

I did spend some time at my mom’s yesterday picking a pattern for using on the short arm to quilt the bed quilt and then practicing it, stitching it out, nesting the one below into the one above, trying to read a manual that was written in Greek. It took a while to get the thread to stop breaking…and to figure out how to make it go. Next Tuesday, we’ll try again with the real thing. No jury duty call-ins, so that will help actually plan shit. Which would be nice. I think the courts need to lose my address.

Here’s Kitten, in the way, her favorite thing to be…

Which reminds me, I have one more book of science homework to scan/find online before Monday. I might need to do that today also. On top of everything else? Eh. Maybe.

But for now, the floor is dry, so I’m going to pinbaste the quilt. Although I think there is now a dog in the way. My theme for the day apparently. I need it quilted and bound by next Saturday! (oh my). Then shower and packing and go get gas and food and escape to somewhere where there are not so many chores to do. I’m taking my sketchbook too, since we have not had a lot of interaction in the last month or more. I need to fix that. Nice to have a weekend to hopefully do that.

In My Heart

So. Progress on the quilt. She’s all ironed down. More about that below. Also, I don’t know what it feels like to watch the Uvalde video that was released yesterday if you’re NOT a teacher, but as a teacher, one who has done way too many lockdown drills with classrooms of 30+ kids and tried to keep them quiet while admin bangs on the door, simulating a shooter trying to get in, that was beyond horrible. I can unfortunately totally imagine being down on the floor with the kids (because we are, even in a drill), WAITING FOR THE COPS…for 77 minutes and hearing nothing but screams and kids asking for help. Makes me sick to my stomach. And yes, there’s a fine line between knowing when to shoot and and when to not shoot, and I would hope cops would be trained in that (they’re not…well, unless you count ‘we don’t shoot at white people even when they have guns’ and ‘we shoot at people of color even when we shouldn’t’…all training that I think should be trained out of them or they should be fired), but this is boggling. Three guys run down there with weapons, the ‘good guys with guns’ and then they run back? And nothing happens for an hour? Every teacher is curled up with her kids in their room, trying to keep them calm? In some classrooms, kids are dying and maybe could have been saved? I just don’t get it. I totally get being scared of being shot. I do. But I didn’t sign up for it…and cops did.

Y’all, I don’t pray. It’s not what moves me. If it does you, splendid. Do it. But I do hold all those kids and teachers in my heart, even though it makes me cry to do so. I’m not sure what’s worse: cops killing people who don’t deserve it in traffic stops or cops standing there in a school hallway, checking their phones, getting hand sanitizer, while little kids and their teachers lay there dying. They are both despicable. Both unacceptable. Plus the whole issue of guns being available to everyone. There’s a new gun for kids, a JR-15…the little kid version of an AR-15, so you can have one just like your parents. This country, this culture we have grown here, it makes me sick. And it makes an awful lot of people dead. Kids.

And in all that, I find some peace in the quiltmaking process. I’ve been lucky to still not have to go in for jury duty (two more days, knock on wood). Ironing this quilt together while bingewatching Netflix is somehow meditative. The bad things are still in my head, but they just end up in the quilt and I can walk away? I can’t really, but it’s a place to funnel the emotions. There are always moments when I wonder how safe my job is; I hope no one ever thinks to come on our campus to use a weapon…but every teacher thinks about it. I’ve seen the upcoming trainings for the new year, and active shooter training is part of it. Because my country hasn’t figured out how to keep schools safe. Get rid of guns, y’all. Start there. Easy.

So I ironed for quite a few hours on Monday…

Like four hours. Got all the arm and body stuff done and lined up. Just a head left.

Here’s the view from the top…

Plus some of the arm stuff…

Money money everywhere. Then yesterday, I managed to iron the head together…

And a bunch of things in the sky. Bombs actually. I had finished drawing this piece and was starting to trace it on Wonder Under when the Uvalde shooting happened, so I added that. It was before Roe v Wade fell, but there were rumors. And I had left COVID out, because it felt like I could, but it doesn’t any more. So many people still getting it, and now the news that getting it multiple times increases your risk for a bad outcome. So I added the Supreme Court with the clotheshanger and the COVID virion. Plus monkeypox! That looks like a fun virus, right? Not. It’s not in this drawing. It came later.

Anyway, then I pieced the background and ironed the whole thing down. It’s bigger than I thought it was…which is silly, because I drew it and I know exactly how big it is. I had the man hold it up so I could take a photo.

I made a comment on Instagram about cropping this…I meant the photo…to get all the extraneous life out of the picture…the dog toys on the ground, the other quilt in the background, my daughter’s high-school graduation photo. The milk crate I use for firewood (I’m so fancy). The Congratulations sign that my aunt found in my cousin’s house when she was cleaning it out (my cousin died in 2020, before the pandemic hit). But that is my life, my existence. I’m not making these quilts in a huge, beautiful, well-lit studio. I’m in a cramped room that has too much furniture in it, the linoleum is all torn up because I used to iron on the floor for the big pieces, it’s hot in summer and cold in winter (although cold in my part of Southern California does not include snow, so not REALLY cold, but hot is well over 100 degrees with no air conditioning). Still on my summer to-do list is cleaning up the computer space in here…by the end of the school year, it’s absolute chaos.

But it is my space. And I am lucky to be able to spread the artmaking out into the living room with my light table. I have people who will hold up my quilts for me, who will help me deliver and pick pieces up, who will buy my work and send me messages and tell me I’m making good work. So those are all good things.

Today I do the stitchdown. Notice I didn’t say START the stitchdown. I need to do it all today. I’m running out of time on this one. There’s a deadline. Yeah, I missed the last deadline. Ah well, but it would be good to make this one.

Also, I feel like we need to either plant this or compost it.

I don’t actually like sweet potatoes most of the time, although I had one in a salad on Saturday that was OK. But I think this one is done. I could be wrong. If the boychild were home more than the 7 hours he was home last night (one fire, then another one that got canceled, plus some sort of drill today), I could ask him if it’s OK to get rid of it.

The owls are still really active. I need to go out there and try to trim the branches in the way of the new camera location. It’s hard because I’m short and it’s on a slope.

So today. Sigh. Don’t watch the news. Stitchdown. Trim some branches. Probably plant some things and clean up some other things. Exercise. HERMIT. Still doing that as much as possible. It’s less than a month until school starts. I need every day of that month (I won’t get every day; I already know that, but I’m going to try) to be ready. Decide what to do with the sweet potato. You’d think that would be the easiest thing to do today, but I hate to waste food. Even food I don’t like. Deep breaths. Especially for Uvalde. Honestly, I feel for the cops too. I feel like there are certain jobs where you get in trouble if you don’t follow orders, and maybe this was that kind of situation. I’ve had principals that would micromanage the shit out of you and threaten your job, and not everyone can afford to just jump ship. I couldn’t. In that case, whoever was that ordering person, man, you’ve got some explaining to do.

So Much…

OK, let’s pretend I have a schedule and I follow it. Let’s also pretend I know what day it is without looking at a calendar and counting things. Saturday might have been a reset…I did ALL the things on Saturday and I know what day that was because the calendar kept telling me, and so today is two days past that, so it must be Monday. Plus the inept pool guy came this morning…wait, no, he hasn’t consistently been coming on Mondays. Geez. Can’t count on anything. Must be summer. Good thing because I’m trying to get some quilts done.

I’m 12 hours into ironing the newest one together…

I think I missed some pictures. Just know I’ve been ironing since last week sometime. This is Thursday I think…I’m pretty sure I was on Zoom with my friend Susan while I was ironing the cannon. And the handmaid. So I’ve seen the stuff about not using the handmaids from Margaret Atwood’s book, and I understand it, because she did borrow a lot of ideas from real-life happenings with women of color and slavery and native women. And certainly white women have had advantages due to their race and maybe even because white men value white women (annoying shit really, but reality). I was thinking of this part of the quilt as being like the Salem witch trials, burning us at the stake for our viewpoints. There are other handmaids in this quilt, and I guess I will just have to own them. That book had a significant effect on me when it first came out. I have been a serious Atwood fan since early college if not before. So I will own my white privilege on that. As I age, I realize and try to educate myself more on the inequality of our supposedly free (#notfree) country. The handmaids are a symbol…maybe not the best one, but the one I had for the moment.

This was at the end of Thursday night’s ironing…

On Friday, I did the center bit, the portal, skipping numbers from the 300s to the 800 and 900s because it made sense to do that bit now.

I lost one of the crow’s legs. I’m sure I’ll find it at some point. I just made a new one. It was easier.

From here, I started ironing all the things that line up the arms…

Including these two guys.

And then started on the hands. So I have both arms, the upper torso, and the head left, plus some stuff in the sky. I’m in the middle of the 600s, but I’ve already done 100 pieces in the 800 and 900s…so more than halfway…maybe 400 pieces left? Hard to know. I could do that in a couple of days. I’m hoping to.

I’ve been lucky with jury duty so far…just keep calling in and they say no. My biggest worry at the moment is getting put on a trial now that lasts longer than this week. I moved everything to next week…three meetings, a vet appointment, and a copyediting job. I’m gonna freak out if I have to go in now. I think my biggest anxiety with all this is the not knowing. I don’t deal with the unknown well. Anyway, knock on wood that they’ll keep releasing me, one freakin’ day at a time.

Saturday was a crazy day. Every meeting in July apparently happened on the 9th. I had planned a hike and potluck with my hiking group, because originally The Man was going to be on the PCT, so I figured socializing would be a good thing. The hike was awesome…

Saw some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while…

We were up in the Lagunas, which was still pretty warm, but not too bad…upper 80s. The meadows felt the warmest…

But there was a bit of a breeze. We started on Sunset Trail, which I’ve done a million times, but then went off on a different batch of trails to get back. Chico Ravine? Plus Old County. Here’s the familiar Water of the Woods…

I was really worried about this hike because my knee had been really cranky all week to the point of limping on Friday. So I drove up on my own so I’d have an exit vehicle if I had to bail out, and I had a knee brace and my poles. Totally needed none of that. Knee was fine. Not sure what was up with all that. Maybe I did something to it at the gym that lasted for 3 days but on the 4th was fine? Weird. Old bodies are annoying.

This is Wooly Pod Milkweed.

Never seen it in bloom. Very cool looking.

Anyway, then I went to the potluck, the first of THREE. You know how potlucks always have a weird grouping of food? Lots of funky salads, some bits and pieces of a real meal? And of course, you pick weird combos…tend to be heavy on carbs, although the hiking potluck was very heavy on interesting salads, which was nice. There were LOTS of people there…they sent 4 or 5 hikes out and then everyone from all those hikes met up for the potluck. It was cool to see some people I hadn’t seen for a while, but overwhelming in the long run. But that’s me. Lots of people I didn’t know. I should hike more with them though.

I made it home, showered (very important), then left like 45 minutes later for one of my art group meetings…which was, you guessed it, a potluck! I didn’t bring anything to that one because they are very heavily foodies and I cannot compete. So after having all those healthy salads, I settled on a slice of homemade bread and a tiny cupcake (what meal is between lunch and dinner? Tea? I didn’t drink tea…just sparkling water). I listened and watched presentations and stitched on this slow-stitch scarf for a while.

It’s going to take three million years to finish it, so don’t worry…you’ll see lots of it. I started it at QuiltCon 2021 (online). But then I didn’t have all the materials I needed, so it languished…as things do. But it’s all basted and all I have to do is pick it up and keep stitching at this point. Easy peasy.

Then I went home again for about 20 minutes, grabbed the rest of the cookies that hadn’t been eaten at the first potluck, and took them to the third one, which was the annual Burn the Sex Ed Cards Bonfire…little did we know that it was the second Eid (I didn’t know there was more than one) and everyone who celebrated it would be at the park where the bonfire was. Parking was a challenge; so was avoiding being seen by anyone I might have taught in the last few years. My co-teacher and I brought all the cards the kids write for our anonymous question box and let the rest of the people at the bonfire read them and then burn them. It’s cleansing. And funny.

This was the pizza and s’mores potluck. I don’t do s’mores because of chocolate, but there was yet another interesting salad! I don’t eat a wide variety of salads unless the girlchild is home. I don’t have the energy for it, so it’s nice when others do. I also did not have the energy to stay for fireworks…headed home and was in bed by 10:30, completely zonked out. Didn’t even hear The Man come home from his show at the Belly Up.

Sunday was all about recovery. I ironed most of the day. Also read a lot. I like to hermit over the summer. Saturday was not very hermit-like, so I will have to make up for it the rest of this week and possibly longer. Seriously, so much socializing and potlucking.

I’ve been doing a little bit of school stuff, just searching for and/or scanning homework assignments from this series. The cat loves my co-teacher’s bag. She will be sad when I return it.

I only have one book left to scan/search. Then I need to sort all the assignments into where they belong. Waiting for some lame professional development to do that.

This other cat spent Saturday night trying to punch a gecko through the window…

A lot of staring at windows goes on at night around here. They are fascinated by the geckos, who are just there for the moths who are attracted by the light coming through the windows.

In other news, the New Legacies exhibit opened this weekend at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. I stole these photos from someone I don’t know on Facebook, because I will not be going to this exhibit…too far.

But there’s my piece So Cal Mama!

Always nice to see them out in the wild. Speaking of the wild, the baby owls are fledging! Noisy as hell, but also practicing flying at night. We’re not sure which are babies and which are parents, because at this stage, the babies are as big as the adults, but here’s three…

Last night, I moved the camera…not sure if there will be a better view or not. We’ll see. Certainly they are very active (and loud) at the moment. Apparently the parents will help get them food for a while longer, but they should be finding a new home by the end of the summer. After Halloween, we should be able to safely drop the box and clean it out for next year. We’ve heard and seen them in all the trees around the box, which is really cool, and found a few feathers in the yard. So there’s at least one baby…possibly two or three.

OK, so apparently I will be picking up some plants later today, plus ironing. And drinking more tea. And probably a shower and food would be helpful to my brain processing information. And then maybe I’ll do this again on Wednesday, like I normally do. And maybe the quilt will be ironed down and ready for stitching. I’m hopeful.

So Off…

I’m so off. On days. On writing. On sleep. I guess that’s a good thing. Losing track of time is a positive part of summer. Mostly. Until you realize there was something you were supposed to do. Whoops! I’m doing my best, y’all. It doesn’t help that I’m having to check in every night about jury duty and then replan my day based on being free. Or not. So far…free is good. Trying to take advantage of it and not get so irritated by all the school stuff that intrudes. I realize I could ignore all that work email, but I think that ramps my anxiety even more…wondering what might be there or not. I know the other night, I lay there, hot, meditated, ready to sleep but brain definitely not, wrote an entire agenda in my head, considered texting my co-teacher (totally not doing that…she’s way better at the boundary between work and home than I am and I’m not fucking up HER summer for MY brain), then worried about other shit. Then made a goal to do art things the next day, which I followed through on, which is why there’s no Wednesday blogpost this week. Ah well. The earth continues to turn on its axis. I wish I understood how and why that happens, though, because I’m gonna have to teach that shit or something related to it this coming year. Occasionally I read a page or two about energy because I started the force and motion book and realized I needed to do energy before that. Still don’t have a good space science book. I think I need a comic book for it. That might be the only way it gets into my head in time. VISUAL LEARNER HERE.

Anyway. So I’m trying. That’s all I ever do.

The bed quilt is in progress. The borders are on and now the backing is pieced.

Oh my, that’s bright. But I didn’t have to buy anything because I bought it in 2008. Yay me! Thinking ahead. I’m waiting for the batting (which I did have to buy) and then I’ll learn the short-arm stuff at mom’s house.

Meanwhile, because sometimes I loan my computer out to people (well, just one person), I needed to have a project for the living room as well as one for my office. NO DOWN TIME ON ARTMAKING. Or something. When I’m in the mood. Which I am. So I had this drawing from November 2021 that I did on a semi-retreat with one of my art groups in 29 Palms. And I started trying to draw where my head is at with the Supreme Court and Roe and all the other stuff, realizing that many people already deal more head on with discrimination than I ever have to, plus climate change and that damn shooting in Highland Park. The 8-year-old who is now paralyzed. The 2-year-old who lost both parents. The dad of the shooter saying he’s not responsible. OMFG. I started to tear up, so away from the news and back in here. ANYWAY. The drawing isn’t right for all this, but it’s a start. Really this is an anxiety/world situation quilt because that’s what I need right now. I made the Roe v Wade quilt earlier this year. I didn’t want to make another. I couldn’t make another. So I started with that November drawing and blew it up 250% and started cutting and taping it together last night. Well, first I let Luna play with it a bit…

She’s not helpful at all. Then I cut and taped…

It’s a really busy drawing, though, and not all of it is relevant to what I want this quilt to do/be, so I decided to trace what worked onto a new paper…

And then change as I go. Or add, because I made it taller. A little wider, but mostly taller.

So you can see where I’m changing some stuff and not other stuff. Leaving some out. I’ll add more stuff too. Expect it to take a while. But that’s OK, because in the other room, I’m finally ironing the other quilt together!

I don’t usually work on more than one at a time, but desperate times call for desperate measures? OK, it’s not like I’m desperate to make quilts. I just want things to work on in two different rooms and this solves that problem. I feel like I might finally be on an art roll for summer. Except for jury duty. I’ve been lucky the last three days…may it continue for six more. The whole process of not knowing just makes me anxious. I’m a mess. I hate the not knowing. I’ve probably said that before, but it’s supremely true. About all of it.

Anyway, I’m also doing bits and pieces of work stuff, mostly just finding all the homework possibilities and getting them in our shared drives so they are easy to find. It’s all I can handle really. Occasionally reading a bit about science-related stuff that I might need to know. Having random panic attacks about things I can’t control like 2 days of professional development about stuff I already know. Ah yes. Stupid that.

OK, so it’s late Thursday and I finally wrote something. It’s a miracle! Now I can iron or draw for a while. I should check the to-do list first, just in case. Or read a chapter of my book…now there’s something that sounds reasonable. Reading is something I do a LOT of over breaks…and I’m glad to keep doing more of that.

If You’re Into It…

Hmm. Independence Day. I think that word does not mean what you think it means. Lots of people have always had issues with today…since it meant independence for some and not others. It seems worse this year, although for some, it is the same as before…not independent. 60 bullet wounds on a young black man in Ohio…seems unnecessary. And another shooting today in the Chicago area…so far, 6 are dead and many injured. Another one of those high-powered rifles no human really needs to own. It’s frustrating. It’s depressing. It’s disheartening. So yeah, not in the mood to celebrate anything today with a barbecue and a bunch of people. Not that I usually do that stuff…but even fireworks are irritating me at the moment…too many illegal fireworks locally, including on our street, setting off the Man’s car alarm. No fires so far, so that’s good, but sheesh. We have official fireworks…can’t you watch those? Oh no? You have to have your OWN fireworks. We are such a special country…I mean that oh so sarcastically.

I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night, and then got up early, so we could go hike in the mountains before it got too warm. It’s been days and days of too warm, so a few cooler days have been appreciated. No worries, it’ll be back to warm by the weekend.

So where are we at? It’s July. I’ve finished a bunch of embroidered and quilted pieces into objects that can be sold. I have two more to do and then I’ll put them all on Etsy and let you know. I finished cutting out all the pieces for the current quilt on Friday night…

putting in some solid hours Thursday and Friday…15 1/2 hours total of cutting things out. Then sorted on Saturday night in between a bunch of other stuff that included finally getting the last quilt photographed after embroidering two tiny snake eyeballs.

Sorting took just under an hour to do…

And now I’m ready to iron it down, but I decided to do some things that had to be sewn first…like all those embroidery finishes, and then I needed to put borders on a bed quilt I made for my own bed in 2008…well, it’s not a quilt yet. It was just a top that needed borders. Now it’s a top…

That needs a backing to be pieced (today probably) and then the batting gets here Wednesday and then sometime after that, we go to mom’s house and figure out how to short-arm quilt it. By ‘we’ I mean me and the quilt. And mom will help. Because she’s done it before and I haven’t. Because it’s a bed quilt and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Yes. It’s bright. And it has aliens all over it. I’m OK with that. Then I can put a binding on it and finish it 14 years after I started it.

Once the backing is pieced, I can start ironing the other one together, the actual art quilt. I tried drawing the next one last night but my brain is a fucked-up mess. I found a drawing I did back in November and I’m going to enlarge it, redraw some of it, and then add to it. For the next one. Yeah. I was going to look at some of the other deadlines, but hell…I’m just making what makes me feel better right now. Full of anger and sadness and political shit.

Sigh.

Yesterday, the boychild helped clean the roof off…too many leaves, plus rinsed the solar panels. I’m not sure if we have to do more than that.

Our solar production is up a bit today over yesterday, so that’s good. The next step would be to use soap and warm water and then rinse them off, and I don’t know that I can get him to go back up there and do that.

So back to the hike. We did Red-Tailed Roost and Agua Dulce, about 4.8 miles. It was pretty. There was some up, but not a lot. It was hot, but not that hot. We were there early, so that helped.

Neither of us had done this hike before…

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be back in the area to celebrate the Man’s birthday, which is this week.

There were lots of trees, although definitely a fairly recent burn up there. Looks like it was a controlled burn a few months ago, when I search it up online.

We saw a few bikes and a few hikers…pretty quiet for a holiday, but we got up there fairly early. The parking lot was filling up as we left…

It was nice to be out in nature.

Even with killer trees…

Didn’t spend a lot of time under that one…

So now I need a snack, a nap, and some time with my book…

Which is my idea of a holiday. Also, I’m wearing this…

My brother and SIL called and are dressed appropriately for the holiday as well in black and politically appropriate shirts. I was the only one in the family with a uterus shirt, shockingly. I debated between it and my ‘Up with the Matriarchy’ shirt…saving that one for jury duty, I guess. My SIL found an appropriately themed protest for the 4th…

She’s in Montana…which has good people. Much like we do here, although some days I wonder.

OK. So happy 4th if you’re into it. If you’re not, have a snack, a nap, and read your book. Dress appropriately. Make some art if you want. Or don’t. That’s my version of an independent day for this year.

Finally Felt…

I’ve been copyediting all week; I finished yesterday. I also finally felt like I was on break last night. Finally felt like I might have had a decent amount of sleep (until I stayed up too late last night and was still awakened by the world this morning…although hallelujah, I think the neighbors are done giving swimming lessons to everyone and their mother…BUBBLES! YAY!). Finally felt like everything wasn’t hanging over me. Well, that was temporary. I looked at my to-do list briefly this morning and there are still a million things on it. As always. Finally felt like I could do something besides work.

I finished ironing everything on the current quilt to fabric Wednesday night…just short of 22 hours to pick fabrics for 1100 or so pieces. Not fast at all. Fucking slow as hell.

But here’s part of the why…

171 different fabrics. I’m not sure why, but I needed a ton of different fabrics to make this quilt. Lots of fussy little vignettes in it, I think. Not sure. But that’s a lot of fabrics for only 1100 pieces. I know. I said ‘only’, but I’ve made quilts with lots more. It seems like there are certain things that up the time: lots of little tiny pieces, lots of fabrics, lots of differently colored things going on. Yeah. Well.

I started cutting pieces out a week ago…and then last night, I did about 3 hours of it…

And got really close to done. You can see the bottom of the box there, but there are still a lot of pieces left. At least an hour’s worth…I’ve been trimming for 11 1/2 hours, so that’s not bad. I leave some of the tiny pieces for later. But I’m hoping to be done today with this part, then sorting, and start ironing together this weekend.

I’ve also been trying to finish some stuff from the last three years…just get them done and on Etsy, where they will languish forever because it took too much time to make them so they are too expensive for anyone to buy. Ah well. I cleaned up, ironed, trimmed, and found backings for two of them, found canvases that should be the right size (knock on wood) for two of them to be mounted on, and cut strips for another one, so hopefully I can put it in a hoop.

So I’m hoping to do the sewing for those today and get them closer to done and photographed, so I can put them all in a bag somewhere out of my studio. One of my summer goals is to clean up around the computer in here (it’s my annual summer goal, and I do it every year, and then school happens and things get out of control again)…and these were just lying around, so they’re getting done. I haven’t even started the getting done of things that I’m supposed to be doing for my quilt guild challenge. Borders on the alien bed quilt next, so I can quilt it at my mom’s. Plus two wool quilts that need quilting.

Also need to get this current quilt done and on to the next one, although I can’t keep up with the evil shit the Supreme Court keeps doing, so I need to do a Roe v Wade quilt, a teacher prays but only if they’re Christian quilt, and a climate change quilt. Again. Not to mention LGBTQ rights and anti-female sentiment and and and…sigh.

Kitten has decided that this bag of science books from my co-teacher is her favorite in the whole world…

I’m not sure I will ever get that bag back from her.

Simba says hi…

He’s glad it’s a little cooler today.

And this cat…Nova…really needed my love and attention last night despite my trying to cut things out…

This is why I’m always covered in fur. I stopped and petted her for a while and then she let me cut things again.

Meanwhile, my neighbors are having a tree removed today. Is that better than swim lessons on the other side? Or jackhammering in the back corner? I don’t know. I think I’ll be OK if I turn some sound on…music or Netflix or anything but power tools and small children. Also I think I need to make a cloth cover for the part of the desk in front of my keyboard because my arms don’t like the wood when it’s hot out. IDK why. I’m currently putting two napkins on the desk instead of sticking to the wood all day. Also maybe should walk away from the computer. Copyediting for 7 days straight does this to my brain.

Happy July y’all. It’s officially the only full month I have off from school. So I have jury duty. Yeah. Thanks. I am going to enjoy all the fabric stuff I do today though…in between gardening stuff and maybe a trip to the gym. But lots of fabric.

Overreaching Authority…

My country is fucked. My country has gone backwards 50 years (or more). My country is in a morality war that doesn’t really track as morality (give birth, but we won’t make the man responsible for shit, and we won’t help you…especially if you are a child who was pressured, raped, or subjected to incest…then we are gonna screw you up forever). I’m not sure the quilt I’m currently working on (which was drawn before all this happened with Roe v Wade) is angry enough. Does angry art do anything? I don’t know. It funnels some of the anger out of me. Briefly. I currently have a bunch of addresses for the Supreme Court Justices who violated our rights. What was it that AOC said? That the Supreme Court overreached their authority in reversing Roe v Wade, and we should do as Lincoln did with the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves…”he ignored the gross overreach and abuse of power,” Time to pass some laws that the Supreme Court, which is NOT making choices for the people right now, can’t fuck with. Yeah. That. Or statewide, refuse to follow laws that will cause death, some of it in children. You’ve probably already seen cases where gynecological cancers can’t be treated because of abortion concerns, or when actual medical treatments that will save a woman’s life come up against this law, as in an ectopic pregnancy. It seems like it’s so simple…just don’t let abortion occur, but there are treatments that will save a woman’s life that might end the life of an embryo or fetus. Sometimes those hard choices need to be made. Not even talking about choice, bodily autonomy, even IUDs qualify as abortion in some states. I’m disheartened. But not giving up. Frustrated. Angry still. Probably won’t get over that. And I keep going through my artwork and finding more about human rights.

So it’s always hard to be working on a quilt that was really speaking to me in the beginning while something else grows in my head. I wasn’t thinking I’d have to do another one about abortion rights in the same year I finished My Body. My Choice. Silly me. Although as I was ironing Wonder Under to fabric the other night, those handmaids came back. Because they’re in this quilt. So I guess I never stop thinking about it. Anyway. I’m really close to the end. I’ve been doing about an hour or so of ironing Wonder Under to fabric each night…

And they all start to look the same…

I know I added some more greens and another blue fabric in there, plus some purples. I got to the head too, although I didn’t finish it. I’ve been cutting pieces out each night too, so the box never gets full, because I’m always working on emptying it. I cut stuff out while the Man and I watch our nightly show, so about 40 minutes or so a night.

Often the stuff I had ironed down the night before. So there’s progress. I have about 100 or so more pieces to iron down…the rest of her head (teeth, eyeballs, hair) and a few things I added at the last minute: the Uvalde kids and a COVID virion. Couldn’t leave them out. Almost done at 20 1/2 hours of ironing. I have 6 1/2 hours into the cutting-out portion, so probably another 5-10…can’t tell. Then I can start ironing it together.

While another drawing populates itself in my head. Not sure I can finish another one in time for my multiple deadlines on 8/1. Hmmm. Kinda depends on how many other things I’m doing. I’m still copyediting this book, hopefully done by Friday. I have another book I’m proofreading (somewhat easier and faster than a copyedit) in late July/early August. If I don’t get called for jury duty, I can get a lot done, but I’ve also been working on the yard, trying to do a little every day. It’s a lot. But it needs doing. I am reading and trying to deal with the heat and hopefully upping the exercise quotient and the eating-healthy quotient after the last few months of school fucking with that on a regular basis. We’ll see. Oh yeah, and since the courts are continuing to make really bad decisions, I’ve gotta pick an appropriate alternative religion to pray to at school…

Being an atheist makes this more difficult, but I guess I can be totally open about that at school now, since the ruling, right? OH! You mean it’s just Christianity that’s OK? WTF. Huh. That makes no sense. As usual.

OK. Work. Lots of it. Whether it’s on the computer, copyediting or school, in the yard, or with fabric, it’s what I do. Lots of it. With some reading and cups of tea to counteract the 90-degree temperatures here. Plus gotta get the crockpot going for dinner. Yeah. Getting on with it.

A Place in the World

Still here, still trying to find a place in the world. I realize for many that the US has never had a place for them. As an educated white female, I always had a place…not a great one, not an equal one, but better than many. We were never 1st-class citizens. And now it is worse. Depressing and worse.

What do we do? Ah well, that is always the question…

There’s that. There’s making art, donating money (when I have it, which isn’t now), writing postcards, protests…

When I can handle them, marches, figuring out how to get rid of half the Supreme Court without violence, voting, persuading others to vote. Sigh. I remember in college locking arms with others in front of women’s health clinics to keep the anti-abortionists from harassing women coming into the clinics. It was the era of bombing clinics, but no part of me considered that. Youth. But I did think about that when I was at the vigil on Friday night. People will die. Many of them will be women who aren’t allowed to get healthcare they need or who find it unsafely, illegally. Women will die. For this shit. Ignorance. Unscientific ignorance.

Still processing all of that.

Meanwhile, there was an artist event at the California Fibers’ show at Visions this weekend. I’ll post more about that on their website and link it here later this week.

They all had better clothes than me…not hard really.

The show is up through July 2…you should go check it out. It’s a wide variety of textile art.

I’m still ironing stuff down and cutting things out…

I’m getting close to done with the ironing…

I’m almost done with the 800s, so maybe 250 pieces left? Or less?

Nowhere near done with the cutting out unfortunately. Getting there. Although now this competes with copyediting, which started Friday and will hopefully be done this week. After this morning’s science meeting. I take breaks in between copyediting to go beat my yard or house into submission. Copyediting means I must be supervised…

She’s not very helpful.

I am trying to finish up some embroideries/small quilts to put on Etsy. I got these done on Thursday…

I’ll let you know when I’ve had time to put them on Etsy…

I might rephotograph too…ugh…

I know I’m trying to do too much. That is always the case though.

Oh yeah, baby owl…see the little white bit in the hole? That’s one of the babies!

That’s the best photo I’ve gotten, though. They hide when I come up further into the yard. Getting brave though!

OK. Science meeting, then copyedit, then more yardwork. Finish my book before it’s sent back to the library. Try not to burn down the country while I’m at it. Huh. Maybe.

Our Revised Existence…

Congratulations America…you’ve just hopped viciously backward fifty years or more. You’ve just confirmed that it’s OK to buy guns to kill a bunch of kids in an elementary school, but women can’t have bodily autonomy. It makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t tell me to go live somewhere else. I was born here. In a military hospital no less. This is my country as much as it is yours.

If you voted for these people who believe this is their right, to take away the rights of half the population, then I cannot talk to you right now. I can’t talk about this without angry crying. In fact, I just walked away from the computer for a while there to let it settle a bit.

I have typed about 17 things here and deleted them. They don’t help except to push some of the anger out of me onto you. I did not ever think that at 55 years old, I would be hoping that sometime in the future, women might get rights back over their own bodies. And to those who told me it would never happen (rich white males, as it happens)? Fuck you. Even if you voted for our rights, you gaslit me and others who saw this coming. This has been 10 years coming, maybe more.

Fuck fuck fuck. My daughter. My friends’ daughters. My students. My students’ daughters. Abortions will still happen…they will just be unsafe. Trans rights. Gay rights. Damn them for interfering where they know nothing. Women who need abortions for health reasons or due to rape or incest? Fuck the Republican Party for this.

Moment of silence. Trying to reorder my thoughts. Trying to figure out what I can do. Besides make art about it. It seems like that’s all I can ever do. It doesn’t seem like enough.

Moment of silence.

Moment…

I have a science prep meeting today. I’m so not in the mood.

Reorder thoughts.

I’ve been ironing. I literally just ironed this down the other night…

And started cutting it out last night. I cut the robe fabrics out…I remember those shapes. I cut his head out…you can see the robe pieces there, all black, on the top left.

SIGH. Reorder thoughts. I spent a lot of time artmaking yesterday, possibly too much when I look at the to-do list. I did ship a quilt. I finished three pieces that will go on Etsy in the next few days. I set up a sale page for my blog to put a few older pieces on sale. It’s not up yet. I’ll tell you when it is. I ironed more flesh yesterday just to clear the ironing board so I could iron the quilt that needed to be shipped.

I only had long strips of this fabric…not sure where it came from…maybe Kris? It’s not the normal half yards I buy.

This is where I had gotten the night before.

I finally hit the halfway mark…I’m in the 600s. It feels hard to be making art right now. Like it won’t matter. Today I start copyediting, so I can pay the summer bills. Because I’m a white teacher who has access to good healthcare and was given a good education so I could have a decent job (don’t get me wrong…teachers are not paid enough for the hours we put in) and not everyone has that privilege. So I have the ability to spend time drawing and cutting up fabric so I can sew it back together.

SIGH.

Kitten surveying the outdoors. Hanging out with me.

I hear petting animals is good for the brain…

The Man is doing a good job of that. Boychild is back from the fire. Pretty dirty. I need to go to school and work right now. Then come back and copyedit, then more art. Get my head around our revised existence.