Lost in the Weeds…

I spent about 5 hours yesterday afternoon dealing with the day job. I posted things, filled in pandemic contracts, calculated percentages on finished contracts, graded things, organized some calendar stuff, graded some more things, input some grades, and created one assignment. Unpaid hours, yes, but my prep period today is a whopping 45 minutes, so you can guess how much of that I would have gotten done today. Today I’m sure there are about 4 contracts that will close, so they will need percentages, plus who thinks I graded everything?! Anyone? Anyone? Yeah. That. I got lost in the weeds on the assignment I was doing. I had this issue last year with this assignment. I need to write down what I expect to get and save it somewhere so I can read it next year before I start.

I’m also rocking a stuffed-up nose, but have tested negative multiple times. My team says “take a day off,” and science would be OK (they wouldn’t finish the assignment, but whatever), but art would be a clusterfuck. And the next three days are labs and demos, so no guest teacher can do that. I’d have to either have them watch the video of it from last year’s Zoom or make up some completely different lame filler assignment. So I keep testing and stay masked and take meds for the cloggage.

Sleep has been problematic the last few nights as well, so I’m not feeling it. The whole get up and go. Nope. Drinking tea now to counteract the nope.

I did trace a lot of Wonder Under this weekend, more on Saturday than Sunday, due to my plan to never do the day job on Saturdays. Also, I was listening to the Surface Design Association conference stuff on Saturday morning, so I pieced the next block in Molli Sparkles QAL…

Piecing is not my forte. Directional stuff too…although I’m OK with both those things.

Here they are with the other parts…

Quilt of Chaos! I’m not even trying to make things match…just using lots of black and white prints. Things I can control. Sort of. Because piecing.

There was still another SDA thing, so I pulled the pieces I had cut for the scarf I didn’t start in last year’s QuiltCon…I watched the videos and took notes and bought the materials, but never started. So I pinned them down in a gradient of sorts…

Basted them all down half-assed and started stitching.

Well that’s fun. My official ‘listening to meetings on Zoom again’ scarf.

After SDA was done, we headed to Visions Art Museum to see A Better World, with my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill!.

It’s a nice exhibit to see in person, and looks great on museum walls…

The exhibit is up through early April…check it out!

I did some stitching on Chirp…this is the second of four of the fourth type of flower, with a pain-in-the-ass stitch going around it…

I’ll be good at it by the time I get to the fourth flower of it.

I traced a little on Friday night, then about 3 hours on Saturday night (the man had a show and I didn’t go)…

And another hour last night…

I’ve got 6 different yards of giant sky pieces that I’m trying to fill in with the smaller pieces of the body and plants and all. I hate waste…

This is taking a really long time to trace. I’m at 15 1/2 hours and I’m only in the 900s. It will go over 20 hours, I think. Usually it’s about 100 pieces an hour, but those big swoopy pieces were time-consuming…some in the time to trace them and some in how to fit them best on the yard of Wonder Under. I should finish some time this week though…

Great sentiment.

So survival day. Just get through it. Come home and nap? Not sure. Staff meeting about suicide today…annual notification of what suicidal kids look like. Yeah. We know, unfortunately. Let’s talk, though, about banning books that might help some of these kids, but not banning guns. Oh…you don’t want to talk about that? I’m shocked. Sigh. This country is so fucked up sometimes. With that, I’m going to go teach the next generation to think…maybe.

Teaching Kittens to Fingerpaint

‘Tis Wednesday and I am trying to type this while a senior cat headbutts my chin and licks my hand. Also my right wrist hurts…and trying to figure out if it’s (a) all the computer grading I did yesterday, (b) lifting weights at the gym, or (c) tracing a few really big pieces of sky on Wonder Under is really pointless, because I think it’s all of them. Note to self: take computer off stand to grade. Also go find the wrist brace because last time you wore it for a day and things were better. My chiropractor is already going to have fun with my neck and upper back on Friday. Let’s not add other injuries from your silly job. Tiny little laptop keyboard plus bad angle of body and wrist. Silly.

So I’m not feeling like there’s much progress on the tracing, because I’m up in the big swoopy bits of the sky and the pieces are huge and a pain to fit onto the Wonder Under, so they take much longer to trace than all the small pieces I was doing over the weekend.

I think the first night, I only traced like 25 pieces. But they were big and fussy. Last night? Last night, I started on piece 411 and finished on 441. I’m still in the sky, but I’ve moved from the back right to the back left, and there’s not a lot of it left. So that’s a plus, because I’m used to doing about 100 pieces an hour and this does not feel like movement. I’m 8 hours in and still in the 400s. I’m only getting about an hour and 15 minutes of tracing each night during the week. I went to the gym last night, prepped breakfasts AND cooked dinner on Monday night. Tonight I have an art meeting on Zoom, tomorrow a stitching meeting on Zoom plus science planning. It’s hard to get time to make things right now. But exercise is important and so is the socializing. Most of them are back on Zoom for now, until omicron fucks off. I’m still getting a few quarantine contracts each day…wait. I don’t think I got any yesterday. Is that possible? Knock on wood, knock hard.

I will go back and fill in all those little spaces with the smaller pieces I’ll be tracing tonight or tomorrow night. I hate wasting Wonder Under. I save pieces that are bigger than 3″ square for when I need just a small piece to retrace something (happens all the time) or when I need to make a label for the back of a quilt.

Speaking of quilts, there are three in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts right now in the California Fibers’ exhibit Surface, Substance, StructureSo Cal Mama

I Can’t Be Your Superwoman

And Portrait of the Artist As a Young Woman

I haven’t made it up to the show yet. It’s up until March 6, so check it out.

And I also have a piece in the A Better World exhibit at Visions Art Museum, Bill! Bill! Bill!, a tribute to Bill Nye.

They’ve been closed for the last week or so; I haven’t seen this exhibit either, but I did see it in person when it was at Road to California? I think? Can’t remember where…it was pre-COVID, though, so fuzzy brain. It will be there until April 3. Lots of opportunities to see Nida originals! OK two opportunities.

I’m trying to finish up Sue Spargo’s Chirp before this year’s block of the month starts, ironically because I haven’t finished last year’s either. Silly, but a goal anyway. There are 24 flowers around the edge.

There are four of each type of flower. I have finished three of the types, so 12, so halfway! Woo! Wait, this also might have something to do with my wrist hurting today…those yellow cast-on bullions are a pain to do.

Every flower has them. I’m getting better at them. I guess that’s the plus. I did start the fourth flower type last night, but this is not a fast border to stitch. I suspect they got complaints, because last year’s easy BOM had a super basic border. I like a complicated border, but when you think you’re almost done and then there’s still 6 months of work (I do these slowly), it’s a hard mind thing.

OK. Time for me to get my ass out of here to school, where it’s a Wednesday, so I teach ALL the things, four different things, it’s like my hair is on fire…

Yeah. Welcome to my job in pandemic times. It’s never really a cake walk anyway, but this stuff just makes it harder. My morning science block will be like pulling teeth…I know because I did it with three classes yesterday. The afternoon block should be slightly better? Maybe? But then 6th graders in art. We are starting something new, though, so maybe that will help. It will feel less like teaching kittens to fingerpaint? Hard to say. Tracing the damn sky tonight though. That’s a thing.

On Jumbled Sleep…

I’ve had three nights now with jumbled sleep…due to my brain in overdrive, the dog barking, just teeth-grinding discombobulation in general. I need to get control of that. It was a busy working weekend…not a lot of time to sit and relax. I took about an hour at the end of Sunday and drew, but otherwise, I worked for almost 6 hours on grading stuff, trying to get caught up (I’m not), plus I had a bunch of art stuff that had to be delivered here and there, and then an art group meeting, which took a good chunk of Sunday. I still have a huge pile of crap to deal with this week, in terms of prepping for labs, getting supplies, dealing with parents and other adults, and who knows what else. I won’t know until it’s here.

I finished the quilt in time. That’s a plus.

Here’s Saturday, for example…I had a Patreon video that was processing, then I was downloading more files for grading on the essay assignment, plus eating my lunch (late) and reading the book that will automatically go back to the library today, even though I didn’t finish it.

I don’t like to sit there doing nothing. Ever.

At some point while grading, I realized I’d left my computer charger at school…on the way there, a friend’s husband called about the spider plants they were trying to get rid of…so these came home with me.

To my boyfriend’s credit, when I started walking in the house with these, he didn’t even question it…that might have been the cold medicine though. He’s been pretty sick. (She went to get her charger and returned with plants. Totally logical.)

Kitten was my trusty grading companion, mostly not lying on the papers I was looking at, and only whacking me with her tail occasionally.

Fourth from the left is my quilt in the A Better World exhibit at Houston IQF…Bill! Bill! Bill! is about Bill Nye arguing with politicians about climate change.

I may be one of the few art quilters still using a binding, it seems. I like how it gives the piece a border…like a frame would.

More sleepy Kitten…now on my bag.

Eventually she got off it, and I piled a bunch of papers in there. I finished some things, didn’t touch others. Gave up on essay reading when I realized I was super tired and ineffective. I’m only doing the makeup essays now. Some are better. Some aren’t.

I spent about an hour, probably less, drawing this. I have a list of deadlines I’m looking at and trying to decide what I want to do next.

It’s a start. I don’t know how I feel about it for real. I do know I’m still tired. I also know making art makes the stress less annoying. Being stressed for art is one thing. My day job? I’m kinda over it right now. I mean I’m still doing my job and showing up and doing the work…I’m just mentally stepping back from some of the people shit. We’ll see how that really flies.

She’s Making Sure She Is Not Dreaming*

Hello to the first day of 55 days off school. (Ignore the 9 days you will be in planning meetings or at conferences.) The first thing I’m dealing with is my exhaustion. Seriously. It’s bad this year. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s always like this. (It is. Well, I’m always tired. And braindead. For like a week. Sometimes two.).

Yesterday, we kicked the kids out and then piled into a car for the annual end-of-year adult school party…

Yes. Happy.

I actually went to the gym last night. It was glorious. I also read 107 pages of the book that has to be done in 6 days now. If I read 100 pages a day, I will be fine. Then I fell asleep on the couch and tried to find the energy to get up. I finally did around 10:30 PM.

And did this…

New quilt sorted. I’m really really looking forward to the next step. I love picking out fabrics. I need to clean in here first. Ugh. I don’t love cleaning.

I went to bed before midnight (exhausted) and slept in an hour…then into school for the last bit of cleaning up…I moved 5 boxes of hazardous materials out, then put all that stuff on the table into my car for recycling.

I had pulled most of the unit materials down for a reboot in August. We’ve shaken things up so much that it just needs a redo. Maybe the girlchild will help. Ha!

Walking away on that checkout day always feels so good…but sad, because I don’t socialize much outside of school…

Dramatic clouds over campus! Weird June weather. Should enjoy it now before it gets hellishly hot.

I went straight to a local nursery and bought some milkweed to plant in the yard. I want to save butterflies…

Plus it’s a pretty plant.

I found out yesterday that my new quilt (that none of you have seen! I’ll have to do some posts about what I worked on. And I can process those other videos…maybe I’ll do that first for my Patreon community, since I’m waiting for music on the one I edited Wednesday night.) got into this show…

This is Bill! Bill! Bill!

My tribute to Bill Nye, who doesn’t just educate a bunch of kids about science, but goes out into the world and speaks up for those who deny climate change etc. I love that he doesn’t just sit back and cash his video checks…he uses his fame to try to change policies…I so love this video…

But you should also listen to his Cornell speech from this year (I can’t believe he came the year I wasn’t there)…sorry it’s a FB link. Can’t get to it otherwise. But I love that he’s talking about women’s rights and education as well.

And that’s me sending another Nida quilt to MAQS in Virginia, where my 2011 intro to Fox News occurred with all the crazy that went along with my first major quilt that offended someone. I did not do a nude of Bill, although maybe I will in the future. Or not.

Anyway. So that’s a wrap. 2018-2019 school year is OUT. I’ve been teaching for 16 years plus. And I just got to pee without looking at the clock. Next I’m going to eat lunch without having to rush around. I’m also going to do some budget stuff for summer, take the dogs to the vet, also do some meal planning, and maybe clean some stuff up. And I just got a message about copyediting. Probably have to consider that too. Need the money. Hopefully tonight I’ll start ironing this quilt to fabric, assuming I have something I can use for the background…it’s all good. We do appreciate our time off, that’s for sure.

*Talking Heads, And She Was