He’s Headed North…

It’s the last weekday of Spring Break. I feel like it’s whipped past me, faster than a 12-year-old on a motorized scooter. As always, though…it’s never long and relaxing, mostly because we try to shove a trip in there, plus get everything else done. Today was the big day, though…today I dropped the man at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail and waved goodbye, potentially for a good 6 months (that’s the hope for him anyway). I’ve warned him that I’m getting a new animal for every month he’s gone (not really…probably, we’ll lose one in that time to old age and cancer). It’s weird, though…it’s been stressful for him leading up to this, the prep and the mindset, but also for me, trying to figure out how to remember all the things by myself. Although the boychild’s memory is good, he’s not here all the time. Plus petting all the cats. That’s stressful (not really). Also, because it’s the end of break and I was gone for 6 days, I have a to-do list that is double the normal size. That is totally stressful. I’m banging through each of the things as fast as I can, but the big ones (a book to finish copyediting and school stuff) are hanging over me. So that’s today and tomorrow, fast as I can.

This morning, we arrived just before 8 AM…

He’s been planning this for months, when he knew he was being let go from his job. He’s hoping to do the whole thing; I just tell him to keep walking.

His pack feels heavy, he says. Not a surprise.

He has a Garmin and I’m sort of obsessively following him (it pings his location every 10 minutes at the moment). I’m sure as we get a few days in, I won’t be so obsessive, but right now, it’s where my head is. I am worried about him getting injured and being alone, but he has an emergency beacon and lots of snacks, so I think he’ll be OK. And I hope it helps him find what he needs right now. He loved his job until near the end…jobs are more about the people than what you do, I think, and that became a problem. But he’s a hard worker and flexible, and will come back from this stronger and ready to go back.

Meanwhile, I have had a conversation with the cats and they know to come to me for pets (they already do; it’s OK).

Meanwhile, the art is back. I almost walked away from this drawing the other day. It wasn’t really talking to me, and I’d dealt with a host of show rejections and wasn’t feeling it. I left it for the 6 days we were gone, just to see. But coming back, I wanted to just make my own thing, fuck the rest of it. But then I gave it one more chance and it started talking to me, so I kept going.

It knows what it wants now…

It needs a head, and I dreamt most of that last night. I have some different techniques and materials I want to try with this one, so that should be interesting. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping to finish the drawing tonight or tomorrow night, then numbering and tracing. After I finish all the other work I have to do.

I hung out on Zoom with my stitching friends last night for just a little while…got more of this done.

It’s not a quick process.

Speaking of not a quick process: all these need trimming.

Eh. Not on my priority list.

This is coming up…

When I have a link to the online show, I’ll post it too.

My niece released a new song…you can find it on Spotify and iTunes.

She’s in college, but has been writing music and singing for a while. The artistic genes jump around in this family, but they’re there.

This butterfly…fell in the pool, I pulled it out, then it went back in.

So I pulled it out further away, so hopefully it would survive. I know their brains are small, but sheesh.

OK, I’m already exhausted (up early to drive to the terminus), but I need to do a ton of things. Going to stay caffeinated and maybe don’t watch the Garmin app too closely. He’s still moving; that’s a good thing.

Maybe We All Need Repotting…

Somehow, the month of February whizzed by my head without fully whacking me unconscious, so here we are. In March. Four weeks closer to Spring Break. Another paycheck closer to Summer Break. And no paychecks. Love summer for that. Such a challenge. Every year. That said, it’s getting Spring-like, and that’s nice…new growth on plants, flowers popping up, weeds taking over the yard. All the things!

Well the biggest news, besides my sewing machine being in the shop because it wasn’t dropping the free-motion foot (it dropped feet when straight stitching, but not zigzag; talk about fussy), is that I got my first vaccine. I am a teacher, in case you didn’t know that, and the school I teach for (not AT at the moment, because I can’t go back without these shots) is in a high-infection area (which means that, yes, I live in a high-infection area), so we were first on the list. Got my email on Friday while my science kids were finishing their work; got an appointment for Saturday morning…with a few hundred other people. Seriously, this was the most people I’ve been around since before COVID. And in an enclosed space. Freaked me out.

Plus a shot. Finally getting closer to being safe. Hopefully. I forgot to take a picture when the doc injected me, and he forgot to give me a sticker. Ah well, my co-teacher came to the rescue and met me outside after they monitored me for 30 minutes due to my weirdo reactions to shots.

I’ve been fine, just a sore arm and maybe a headache and fatigue. Hard to say if those aren’t things that I would have felt anyway. Probably! On to the next shot in a few weeks. Exciting stuff.

Our weekly gaming with friends seems to have moved to Sunday night, but that leaves open a night to game in person at home with the two men…we had a new Settlers of Catan expansion, so we read all the instructions 17 times and played a couple rounds.

I almost won one without even noticing. I’m not that good at games. I like to play; I don’t need to win.

Saturday, we did a little hike after taking the sewing machine in.

It’s definitely Springlike.

But the weather is still cool and breezy, so hikes are nice.

We tried a new trail in a place we hike all the time. It had a little up in it.

But it was good. Only 3.5 miles though. No time for a longer hike…left too late.

Then because the sewing machine was being cranky, I did some hand-sewing for a while on Saturday night.

Just sewing things down.

There might be a time when I come back to these and add more stitching.

I enjoy it, but don’t usually make time for it.

I also started this drawing at dinner on Saturday night.

And then finished it last night. It’s small. This is actually a printout of it larger than it is in real life. I joke that now I have the nanites in me, so everything will be fine. Honestly, I’d be OK with the nanites. Fix me, you little machines. Fix me.

Otherwise, I’ve been buried in schoolwork. Posting things, redoing things, making videos of things, grading things, answering too many panicked emails and ignoring others. School is frustrating in the best of times. These are not the best of times. These guys don’t care. They just want pets.

So we pet them. Although Nova, the sweetheart on the right, caught my finger and ripped it open Saturday? Friday? when I was petting her and tried to stop. So it’s a little painful. Otherwise, they’re all good.

This plant finally flowered. I’ve never seen it flower.

I repotted it and it is obviously much happier. Interesting take on the world there. Maybe we all need repotting.

School all day, hopefully some exercise, hopefully some art. A lot of grading. Every day until I’m done.

This Is My Day Off

Yeah. Some president gifted me this day so I could have extra time to grade stuff without having to try to do it during the work day. I do that too. Kids are completing work, asking me questions, typing in the chat, fucking around on Roblox or YouTube INSTEAD of doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and I’m answering questions, typing in the chat, shutting down Roblox and YouTube, but also encouraging everyone to finish ALL THE THINGS, all the while trying to grade the easier, less-brain-encompassing assignments on the other computer. Jumping between tabs on a slow-ass Chromebook the school gave me. The teacher Mac is slightly faster, but not by much. I need a third one that works at the speed of light. What are they giving me instead? Another monitor. So I can have two laptops and two extra monitors to WATCH things. And try to bounce between things, which is already an issue for me. ANYWAY. I have found that there are some things that need my full attention for grading: anything for an academic grade that is more than two sentences OR anything that is artistic and requires some sort of holistic analysis of effort and craftsmanship. Cannot do either of those while doing anything else. Usually I need a rubric up on one screen and the document/photo on another. Big screens. Not tiny Chromebook screens. Also can’t do late work particularly easily while teaching…too much bouncing between screens and printouts of gradesheets. So last night, I graded 62 of the 97 pieces of late work that had come in during the last 8 days. I’m still behind. I’m always behind. And now I have an admin semi-hounding me so she can check in with a parent. Sigh. If only the sweet dingbats would turn work in on time. Life would be so smooth.

We’re hiking today. And I’m cooking some semi-complicated dinner (is it? I don’t know if it is…I just know it has lots of ingredients). We’re getting a late start…I didn’t push for an early morning…no need. So there’s that. I’ll grade some more later today, hopefully get my bread started (I keep mistiming it), and get some more art time in.

Friday night, I ironed some pieces from Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block of the month to fabric and thought I was missing a piece…

I have plenty of fabric, so I found a green that was similar (minus the dragonflies) and used that. The block of the month is from 2018, so I knew I probably couldn’t get a replacement piece. It’s OK, though, because the next day, during my guild meeting, I figured out that the piece of green was folded under and I just hadn’t noticed. There was plenty of dragonfly fabric there.

It’s possible that I shouldn’t do anything on Friday nights that requires brainpower, y’all.

The rest of Friday night I spent putting fabric away from the last quilt and from some monthly shipments I thought I would use in a certain way and decided to just throw in the stash for general use.

I don’t keep a lot of fabric separated…just some Kaffe Fassett fabrics I need for a quilt I don’t seem to be working on at all. Awkward. But I bought them specifically for that quilt and there’s a ton of Fassett fabrics already in my stash, getting used regularly.

This meant I could start picking fabrics for the new quilt. Good plan. Cleaning is pretty brainless. I like the feeling of clearing the slate for the next piece. Remind me to pick fabrics I haven’t used lately in this new one. I’ve already blown that, I think. Whoops.

Saturday morning was my guild meeting. They are very activity-based, challenge-based. I don’t know how many challenges I can handle besides the real-world ones. I have done a tiny bit of wool quilting for the UFO challenge, but not much. I spent most of the meeting trying to get those Spargo pieces cut out and pinned down.

That space under the computer is useful. Then I did some stitch down on the 4th Applique Stories piece.

It’s relaxing to do this…

Just a different way of putting things together. Maybe someday I’ll finish one. Who knows…it could happen. For a while, at the beginning of the pandemic, I stitched through staff meetings and trainings. Now I work through them, planning, posting shit for classes, basic grading. Sad but true.

I love how flowers always make great boobs.

And hearts…certainly not what the designer intended, but I’m OK with that. I’m continuing with this series into 2021. We’ll see where it goes.

After the guild meeting, I needed to be outside. Too many meetings on Thursdays and Fridays.

I find I don’t get outside enough. And it looks like Spring…recent rains make things green. We came home and I did more outside, watering some, cleaning some, finding the speaker that got lost back in May or June last year…it was under a chair pad, and kudos to Anker, it still works.

It didn’t even need to be charged.

The man and I went out for dinner…facing away from everyone.

It’s a bit of a risk, but one that keeps us sane. We stayed home when the governor told us to, which is why the numbers went down. Probably they’ll be back up in 2-3 weeks because of the Super Bowl, unfortunately. Stupid people and parties.

Speaking of challenges, the SIL has issued one.

Definitely needs doing. Then I’m supposed to pass it on, keep passing until someone doesn’t want to any more, and see how many marks get done. I haven’t had time to pull my own stuff, but it’s on the list. Then maybe I’ll mail the card to the girlchild.

Poor Calli…post Super-Bowl dumbasses shooting guns, we think. Super loud. She doesn’t like it.

She’s old and somewhat deaf, but not deaf enough.

Last night, I finally got around to ironing the small owl commission together that I’ve been working on…

It’s the owl from the last quilt, just by itself. She likes owls. I think this is the third one I’ve done for her? Not sure. Maybe second. I’ve done a lot of owls. I recorded the ironing of it for my Patreon…well, at least most of it. It’ll go out to them next weekend, after I process it.

I toned down the background slightly from that in the original quilt. Something this small needs a different focus than in the big quilt. It’s ironed to a background now that will never be seen, so I’ll do stitch down sometime soon (damn, gonna have to pull that wool quilt off the machine to do that! Or finish it) and get it quilted and bound.

Then I started ironing Wonder Under to fabric on the newest piece…

Didn’t get far before it was midnight. Time slips. But it’s a start. Like I said, I wasn’t very good about picking new fabrics so far, but this was the sand and the sky. I guess I can try harder for the rest of it.

OK, ready to hike! Or something. Then do things.

May I…

Well, that came up quickly. I have 5 minutes to write this post. There’s no way I can do that. What happened to the morning already? Oh yeah, I did 5 work things before I sat down to write. Duh. I still don’t know what I’m doing for my art warmup today…should figure that out. My brain is all over the place. AND tired. Not a good combination.

In art news, I finished painting the 4th background…

Saturday night? Because that’s what you do.

Hopefully I will now start drawing on them, instead of being terrified to do anything to them. We’ll see how that goes.

I cut the pieces out for one of my Applique Stories women.

She seems surprised. Need to stitch all this down.

And I finally started stitchdown on the current quilt.

I only got 15 minutes in last night before I persuaded myself to go to bed. Hopefully more tonight.

Kitten is a great support.

Saturday afternoon’s 4-mile walk was full of people…

But mostly flat, and that was requested, so there we are.

Ugh. I’m so tired. It’s OK. I’ll figure my shit out. Hopefully. First day back to school in 2021. May it go well. May I figure out what the hell I’m doing.

Turkeys…

Day 9…of the blog challenge. Day 271 of COVID shutdown then not shutdown then shutdown again. I heard someone (an ER nurse who deals with COVID patients) that if the shutdown is significantly affecting you, then you were doing everything wrong going into it. It’s true that it doesn’t affect me much. I’d like to be able to go to the gym, but Zoom Pilates with dog and cat assistance will do. We were occasionally eating outside at restaurants. I could do that at home too, although I might need some type of heater at some point. Otherwise, not much has changed.

Day 9 of the blog challenge is supposed to be my favorite tip. I’m a smartass and keep coming up with punny ways to answer that, some appropriate and some not. Well. Some would say I’m never appropriate, what with the body-part quilts and all, slinging the F-bomb like I just don’t care (I don’t. Although I know when NOT to use it…and often use it in my HEAD instead of out loud.). So my favorite tip about quilting? So many of those. Always close your rotary cutter before you put it down so you don’t have blood all over your quilt. That’s from my first quilt teacher. Never forgotten that one. You know, it’s funny…an hour or two ago, when I was dealing with hour IDK-how-many of being on Zoom, I had about 15 ideas for favorite tips, and now, that’s the only one I can think of. Ironic, that, because I hardly ever use the rotary cutter. Hardly ever cut straight lines. Only when I’m cutting binding and sleeves and straightening up the edges. Every other ‘tip’ I have is to keep trying, keep doing it, keep messing with it until it works. Persevere. And that tip works for a shitload of things…COVID shutdowns, distance learning (for kids OR teachers), making art, getting a good night’s sleep, staying healthy, exercising…

Persevere. Hard word to spell, y’all, and I’m generally a good speller.

I have seven days of school until Winter Break. I’m not sleeping enough or well. I’m buried by work. I often think that if I stopped grading or contacting the parents of kids who don’t show up or don’t do anything or who turn everything in blank, then I would have less work to do. You know? And then the teacher brain kicks in and tells me how that isn’t gonna roll. And tries to find something I can simplify or ignore or do more efficiently so that I don’t go insane with the workload.

Working on the next Applique Story block. Another woman. Made her head smaller than the last two…

Barely started. But definitely going to happen.

Also, these are all the fabrics I used to make a Great Horned owl that is maybe 4″ tall.

Sometimes I go a bit overboard. But I did finally manage to iron down all the foreground, plus the tree and its bits…so now I really AM ready for sky. I know I keep saying that, but now I am. I’m in the 600s, with some of them taken up by that owl, so I think I might be halfway? If not, I’m close. It’s about time. An hour or so a night is all I’ve had, and some nights, not even that. Honestly, it’s less about my making time and more about my head not being in the right place. I keep thinking everything is going to be OK, the world will continue to spin on its axis, the birds will keep flying, and then not so much. More exercise, more art, more sleep, more…? More hope, but even that is a cautious and dangerous thing. You hope that everything will be OK, will work out, and you take the risk that it will go wrong again and then that place that makes hope gets a little more damaged.

Ah life. You are such a dick.

Here’s where we’re at before the sky.

Tea last night. Some nights, it’s apple cider. Some nights, chai latte. Some nights, it’s wine. One glass. More than that would be a mistake on a school night.

Two of my quilts are at the Sparks Gallery in downtown San Diego through February.

They are open, allowing a limited number of people in at a time. This is an Allied Craftsmen exhibit.

This is after school, before the union meeting. Cat took over my chair.

It’s OK…I needed to stand for a while.

Puppy love.

He looks like such an old man when he sleeps. I think he’s 5 now, so not really old.

OK. I’m a moody bastard tonight, but you got your tip. Oh, I’ve got another one, but it’s not quilt-related. Today is the first day for the rest of your life. Except it’s 10 PM, so there isn’t much left of it (that last part is mine, the first is one of the things my dad always said when we were growing up…followed by Don’t let the turkeys get you down.). Fucking turkeys.

Mah Machina

OK, old music wandering through my brain. Today’s 31-days-of-rambling about my sewist existence topic is my machine. You know, the beast of burden that helps me make all the quilts. I started sewing on a 1962 Singer sewing machine, y’all. When I was 8 (I was not 8 in 1962, just to clarify). It’s still in the garage. From there, a Viking from the 70s, then a Viking from the 80s? Maybe 90s? I drove at least one of those into the ground. My repair guy sourced another Viking for parts. Until this last one (um, still a Viking), all my machines were hand-me-downs from my mom, which was fine, because they were good solid beasts and they were free. The last one…well, that was my Christmas present because I’d…um…well…I think I ran that one into the ground as well and mom didn’t have a hand-me-down available for me.

My repair guy says most people use their sewing machines like little old ladies use their vintage Buicks…only a few miles a week, and at a slow pace. I use mine like a Corvette, pedal to the medal, outracing the law. Across the country and back. In a race. Off road. In the rainy season.

This is a Viking Sapphire 855. She works.

She’s used. A nice little old lady driver used her before me. She goes in for service at least once a year. Because I’m hard on machines. I quilt at about 400 miles/hour.

Weird things about my machine. OK, they’re actually weird things about me that involve my machine. There is always a roll of tape on the top right.

I used it to get the pet hair off the fabric as I’m quilting or stitching stuff down. Always. I have 5 furry beasts in the house. They prolifically make and discard their hair. Quite annoyingly.

Arcane symbols that help me quilt.

This was on the last machine, and I moved it to this one. Yes, it makes sense to me. You’d think I could remember settings on the machine, but I can’t. So there.

Ah, so nice. I never use any of those.

Not ever. Nope. Uh uh.

Ironically, the only other pictures I have for this post are of something that has absolutely zero machine stitching on it.

All by hand. Hopefully there will be more.

I was hoping to iron stuff last night, but a wildfire popped up a couple miles from here and had us debating evacuation gathering (when you gather all your stuff in piles in case you have to evacuate in the middle of the night). I’m paranoid as hell since the fires down here that jumped 8-lane freeways. Plus the winds were crazy last night. In good news, the fire is contained and I think only one structure was completely destroyed…no humans lost, hopefully no animals as well. Scary though. The wind is one level of scary, because I have some massive trees on my property, and the fire is another level of scary. Mostly I think I got about 3 hours of sleep last night, and the boychild might have gotten less, because he was monitoring CalFire for us. And yes, I taught all day, ladidah. Like you do.

Tonight, I had a stitching meeting, where I worked on something I’m not allowed to show until they publish the book (not mine), and then I worked on school stuff, because although my new curriculum is “digital”, what that really means is “we have papers you can make into packets and sometimes there will be stuff online”. I am now way more of an expert on how to make shit drag and drop and draw and color code without a pen or pencil. Ugh. Hate this.

Other shit is still shit but might be hopeful shit but we don’t know shit. So explain that to my brain. I’m gonna have a nightcap and then bury my head in a pillow and hope it helps tomorrow.

Sewing Space

OK, those words together are something that I never call this room…or for that matter, my house, because I can honestly tell you that there are maybe three rooms in this house that don’t have sewing or art supplies in them, and only two of those are bathrooms.

This is my studio. Except when it’s my office. Because I’ve always had other jobs plus that school day job, and office-y type stuff needed to happen somewhere, so there’s a computer and a printer and a bunch of files (I tossed a lot of them) PLUS all the stuff I use to make art quilts. No, that’s a lie. I have stuff to make art quilts in a LOT of other rooms in the house. This might be the most concentrated area of stuff for making art quilts. Maybe. Not sure. Under the bed runs a close second.

So yeah, computer, printer, usually 2 chairs, but one went to my online teaching of middle-school kids space out in the living room, so only one chair, plus two desks and a table and three bookshelves and twenty billion fabrics. Maybe. And usually a cat. Tonight? A dog. It’s an 8×10′ room that has a sliding glass door that is rarely opened (because there’s a desk in front of it) and a view of the slope (best place to see a hawk eviscerating a mouse on the tree branch out there). The ironing board moves around to wherever it needs to be used.

I would love a larger studio. It’s not happening. Have I told you about the light table that lives in the living room? It’s 3×4′ and is currently also being used to stage tsunami demonstrations for middle-school science and a stuffed-animal drawing for middle-school art. Yeah.

I’ve been an artist forever and a fiber artist for almost that long. I’ve always worked in multiple rooms while living with cats, dogs, and kids, and that hasn’t changed. The entryway floor is great for pinbasting quilts (you can square a quilt up using the grout between the tiles), and the laundry room stores a bunch of dyeing supplies. Same with the kids’ bathroom.

So “Sewing Space” means the house, I guess. Oh shit. The garage. Um. I probably have sewing stuff in there too.

In other blog news, this quilt is in progress…

That was dirt and volcano day. Followed by grassy hill day.

Which came with wine in a sippy cup.

I don’t know how much is done at this point. I have some 300s and 400s that still need ironing, and almost all of the 500s, so maybe close to halfway? But probably not. Perhaps tonight.

This is part of a drawing for my Patreon.

It started with a cough.

I walked last night…

People have started decorating for the next holiday.

I’m still chasing sunset when I walk…too early.

So that’s MY Christmas tree…it lives on the deck during the year.

I think it grew about 2 feet this last year, maybe more.

I finished stitching this down during a district meeting that didn’t solve anything.

It needs more, but everything is at least basically attached.

Sigh. The words still suck. But at least I have topics now. Just follow the topics.

Renewed Sense…

The Friday before a week off is a difficult day. I’m looking forward to no Zooming. I have a ton of work to do, but that will happen when I want it to…still rolling my eyes at my boss who told me not to work for 9 days. Oh yeah, because if I do that, I’ll be totally prepared to teach coming back, right? And all the work will be graded, right? It won’t feel totally and completely overwhelming to come back on November 30 to the whole pile of shit I’m looking at right now? Sigh. So completely out of touch with reality. I would love to walk away from it for 9 days. Maybe some will, but I’m not willing to risk my December sanity for that level of crazy. Even in a normal year, I’d have to grade over Thanksgiving Break. So there’s that. My level of exhaustion is a little crazy at the moment too. I’m hoping some more sleep and reading of books and hiking will help with that? We’ll see. One week off, then three weeks on, then three weeks off. Please don’t make me think about 2021 yet. I think grades are due in December too, so blowing off grading makes even less sense.

I had a kid turn in 8 assignments last night (all late) within 5 minutes. So you know they’re blank. I had emailed parents earlier this week (bulk email for all the kids who hadn’t done anything), so I guess they’re paying attention. I emailed the kid this morning and gave her until the end of the day to unsubmit and do them for realz. Or I would email parents and let them know what she did. Unfortunately, most of these kids don’t read their email, so she won’t see it, and I don’t have her in class today…I might have her in Advisory, so I’ll say it then, in general, to everyone. In case someone else thinks that’s a solution. Certainly if I stopped contacting parents about their kids’ lack of work, I’d have more time to grade. I’m not sure at what point it’s OK to be a really shitty teacher because there isn’t time to be a really good one. That shit makes me cry. It’s not how I roll; this year, it just fucking sucks.

With that, I have a parent meeting in 26 minutes and I need to get more tea in me before then. iCloud is not syncing my photos to the computer after I upgraded my space, so I’m going to need to figure that out…so I have a few photos, but who the fuck knows where the rest of them are. I’ve been tracing Wonder Under every night, though, for sanity’s sake…

I’m currently on the fourth yard of Wonder Under, and on piece 711 of 1100-and-something. Not bad. I should finish in the next few days. And then start trimming the Wonder Under. Every night, I have to pull apart all the school stuff that lives on top of the light table (doc cam etc. for art) so I can do this, and then put it back after so I can teach the next day. It’s time consuming but always worth it.

The last two days have been vast expanses of working time, sitting or standing here. Nova surveys my view from behind the monitor…

We’re not allowed to update to Big Sur, so I don’t know if the picture changes. I’m assuming it does. Although I like Catalina.

After work yesterday, I had my monthly quilt group meeting on Zoom. I wanted to stand, because I’d been sitting all day, so I started stitching this thing down…

It’s not fancy, it’s not hard, it’s pretty mindless.

And it’s not done. No worries. It will get done eventually.

OK. Parent meeting, Zoom all day, completely exhausted and very little patience for kids who will do nothing. Hoping both teachers’ aides show up for science, because last Friday was a clusterfuck when they couldn’t. I don’t blame them, but certainly there are no subs, and today’s assignment will go better with some support. Gaming tonight…I might need a nap beforehand. I was going to try to walk before sitting some more, but I don’t know if I’ll have the energy. I certainly don’t right this minute. Looking forward to time off. To sleep. To lying down and walking around instead of sit sit sit. To a renewed brain…hoping for that a lot. A renewed sense of I can do it.

X Is Me…

We’ve almost made it a third of the way through the school year. I thought I was losing my mind yesterday. OK, I often think that, but not nearly as intensely as I have this year. But the combination of staff meeting plus stuff I still haven’t caught up on from the last staff meeting plus trying to plan for next week and finish this week, and the grading pile that is electronic but symbolically reaches toward the sky plus all the other stuff I do that is in my head, the art stuff, the to-do list for that, the thing that keeps me somewhere near sane and from crying more often than I do…HOLY FUCK. I cannot keep up. And yet I do. I drop things, I flail at things, there’s a faucet at home that needs replacing and they’ll send it to me free but I have to find the manual and it’s in a pile and the boychild has tried to find it and can’t and I just don’t have the time. I need to clean the bathroom counter. No time. I haven’t watered much this week. No time. I did manage to exercise three times, which is exactly three more times than last week, so that is good…but tomorrow, the tire needs its nail removed and that is just one of the 7,000 things that needs doing on the weekend and it sounds exhausting because it is.

Please no one tell my admin that I have not filled out the emergency sub plans because I don’t have the time or energy to even look at them. Maybe they will not notice. Except honestly the only people that will suffer are my emergency subs and my coteachers and that’s not fair to them, but holy fuck when am I supposed to fit that into the 37 emails about one assignment that everyone and their mother wants me to grade?

Deep fucking breaths. It’s Friday. I will manage it…some of it anyway. Can’t manage all of it. There isn’t time. Yesterday’s mind fuck was this formula…

Which the boychild calculated for me to figure out a kid’s grade who had one teacher for the first 6 weeks, worth 25% of her grade, another teacher for the next 4 weeks, and then me for the last 2 weeks, which haven’t happened yet. I asked my principal and my math coteacher (well, she WAS my math coteacher, but not now, because COVID sucks), and they sorta helped, but now I have a formula and that’s all I needed. X is me, by the way. In case you were wondering. Or my percentage for her. When I have one. Still not sure how I’m going to make the program work for this, but I’ll just make shit up if I have to.

Wednesday night, I couldn’t focus on anything, but I knew I wanted to do something artistic, so I pulled the most recent batch of fabrics from Anna Maria Horner for Applique Stories…and I stared at them for a while until I saw boobs. Seriously. I did. And I cut them out.

Possibly a strange way to start, but it worked for me. I was going to stop there and go to bed. That would have been the smart and responsible thing to do. But it bugged me that she didn’t have a face. So I made her one.

I think she still needs hair and maybe some dark in her eyes for pupils and the right ribcage needs decoration to match the left one. And then stitch her all down. But it was a relief to make her.

Then last night, I forced myself to sit and pull out my sketchbook, because I had forgotten about this unfinished drawing from mid-July and I liked it, so I finished it.

I’m still debating if she’s the next quilt or not. She might be. She’s talking like she is.

This was a relief. I mailed it because I didn’t have time to drop it off anywhere, but it got there and was accepted.

I have never stressed so much about how I colored in the ovals and the ballot arriving.

I upped my tea stash…a friend sent me some fancy teas, plus I ordered a chai tea sampler because I can’t drink milk within two hours of my pill to ward off Lyme disease, and I still need (NEED) the tea, so I got some more and then found all my loose tea holders (there were many)…

One is robot-shaped, one is teapot-shaped, the others are more standard. I have a yellow submarine one too, but I left it in the drawer. What keeps me functional right now? Tea. Lots of it.

And these guys…

That is my copy paper box. Obviously a cat bed.

I will give you the loves and you will like it.

It’s been chilly in the mornings…this is one of the few sunny spots in winter…

When things are super bad and stressful, I walk around the house and pet something furry.

And heat my tea up. Again. For the thousandth time.

OK. Well, it’s Friday, for what that’s worth. I’m wearing my eyeball hat for Halloween…for my students today. It might help. It might not. I’m letting all the things go that irritated me yesterday. If they hand nothing in, they have an F. That’s just a statement of fact. I feel for parents, but I can’t do everything for them. They need to check in with their kid. I am only one person with 173? Is it 173 now? I don’t even know how many students I have y’all. I don’t even know. I am only one person with possibly 173, possibly 174 students, and there is only so much I can do. But I do have to grade and plan this weekend, and hopefully walk, and hopefully get my tire fixed. And maybe start the next quilt, if I can make a decision about that.

Tired Monday…

Hi y’all. It’s a tired Monday. Thanks to all who marched/protested in the last week. Usually I’m right out there with you, but I’m admitting to being terrified of this virus. I’ll have to ease myself into not-terrified before August. I have a hair appointment in mid-July. Probably my gym will be opening next week. Have to think about that one. School stuff over the summer might be in person. Not quite ready for that yet. Not ready for large groups of people or even small ones. People who don’t social distance. Apparently some anti-protest groups showed up armed locally. Gotta Not Love East County. So I will support with money and reading and speech. Plus most of a protest/change drawing popped into my head last night while I was trying to fall asleep. I will be working on that, hopefully this week. There are four meetings today, though, so maybe not today. We’ll see. There are at least three major parts to it, so maybe I can work on each part and then figure out how to fit them together. Might involve going to the copy place…damn, more people. I will figure it out. I will mask and step back from humans and wash my hands and perhaps my entire body after interacting with the human race. I have 67 days before I have to be back at school with other humans, perhaps fewer. Hopefully I can get my head (and my anxiety) around that by then.

I did hike Saturday, and while hiking, which clears my brain and soothes my soul, which makes up for sitting on my ass in numerous Zoom meetings, which helps me process what this world and the people in it are doing…I felt guilty for not marching in a protest. Ah well, that is my brain and I will have a discussion with it about that. We do what we can. I hiked at the same place as the previous week, but I felt strong and healthy this Saturday.

Plus it was a lot cooler than last week. I’ve been having some major blood sugar issues though.

I’m hesitant to talk to my doctor because her first response is always a blood draw. And that’s not something I really want to do right now. But maybe I will have to.

This is the same time last year when the hot flashes got really bad and my blood sugar control went with them. They stopped the end of July, and that’s when the blood sugar got really good. All you annoying doctors who don’t want to figure this shit out for us peri- and menopausal women who want to know how all this stuff is connected…sigh.

It was a great walk. I really enjoyed it.

This week is supposed to be hot, so there won’t be any delightful walks like this.

I did just over 4 miles.

There were still crows, but not a crazy number like last week. There were two bikes, a runner, and some hikers.

Definitely worth the drive. It’s a pretty short drive though.

Sometimes I protest by myself. In my head doesn’t solve a lot of problems though, so I’m working on that. How to be a presence without being present.

Here’s a link to a post I made for my art group California Fibers of Masked Response, an online art show we did.

This bench is cool. I wish I knew how to make one of these.

I know how to do mosaic…it’s just the form of the lizard bench in the beginning.

I finished trimming all the tiny little pieces for the big quilt…just under 22 hours worth. I did some of it at my quilt guild meeting…

And then I stayed up late Saturday night to do more.

I keep the trash until the quilt is done, in case I need a tiny piece of something. I usually do.

The next step, last night, was to sort them all into boxes by the 100s.

1541 pieces or so took about an hour and a half to sort…

Now I’m ready to iron the damn thing together. I’m looking forward to this part.

Saturday’s dot was the fish…

It’s a pufferfish.

There’s a lot of stitching on that little bastard.

Last night? Last night, I barely started…

I’ve been pretty good about finishing them every night, but this is one of two that I just didn’t get to. It’s because it was late and I was tired. I did the sorting first, so the dot didn’t get done. I’ll try tonight. The one for today is pretty simple. We’ll see.

In other fabric news, here’s the next shipment of Anna Maria Horner fabrics for Applique Stories, which I’ve turned into “Use crazy fabrics to make a nude” stories. Looking forward to that later this week…but if that bottom middle fabric doesn’t look like nipples to you, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Yeah. I know. I see things weird. I also want to do the same with her color shipments…

But I haven’t started those at all. Maybe this summer? Who knows. Summer will be weird no matter what. Right, Luna?

Just shut up and pet me, woman.

I forgot last night’s dinner…yummy pizzas.

Sourdough crust. Gotta use up that starter. The last time, these were unsuccessful. I think the girlchild has officially figured it out.

OK, well, I got sidetracked multiple times on this, and it’s now time for meeting 3 of 4 today. Ugh. But I think I have some plans for after the meetings. All art, all the time? And some exercise. For sure.