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.

More OK with a Mask Than a Bra…

Now THAT’s the truth of my current situation.

There was this thing in my head last night that I was going to remember this morning to write about, but no. I was thinking, no, you’re not going to record it somewhere, because you are trying to fall asleep and you are exhausted, and it does not matter if you are exhausted, sleep will still be difficult, and I didn’t record it anywhere and now it is gone. I’m sure it was crucial to your day, to my day, to the development of the world. It probably has to do with people being stupid or making art or teaching, because that’s all I think about these days. But I got sidetracked by emails and plans and whatever my stomach is doing right now. I fed it good things last night and it liked them, but this morning it wants to talk about those things. I’m OK with it shutting up right now.

So even though no one but me was around for dinner last night, I wanted to get takeout, because I was tired and I’ve cooked a lot this week just for me and I’d like a night off, even if it’s by myself, so I picked a restaurant I’ve never been to in real life, mostly because I don’t think the man would eat there…maybe he would, minus all the green things, but that’s difficult. It’s the Garden Kitchen, which they claim is in Rolando, but that’s funny, because I used to live within a short walk of their location and it wasn’t Rolando then. The food was wonderful, even when I had to mess up the presentation by spatulaing it onto a plate (I don’t like eating out of the takeout containers) and it was still the right temperature and wonderful in taste and complicated combinations of stuff. And the old grocery store we went to was now a gym. Maybe it’s nicer to live there now, although the porn bookstore is still there, so maybe not.

The plus is that I have made stunningly awesome progress on cutting out Wonder Under, despite all the shit that’s in my brain. Although sometimes there are creatures who want to interrupt me.

She needs to pee. It’s OK. I took her out. She doesn’t ask anyone but me for some unknown reason. By the end of Friday night, which included a short gaming session to make characters and a movie, I had 5 yards of the 11 cut out.

Saturday included a quilt group meeting and some alone time at night, where I watched another movie, and I got 3 more yards cut out…

Two of them sitting here, which isn’t particularly comfortable, but works better for video meetings.

This is what 8 yards cut out looks like on the right…unless I’ve miscounted. Maybe I did 2 yards during the movie and 1 during the video meeting? I don’t know.

The trash pile is growing…

So if I’m right and there are only 3 yards left, I could do that in the next two nights, I think. I started cleaning the studio on Friday, did a little yesterday, and then gave up. I need to finish that and then sort all the Wonder Under, which will take an hour or so. By Wednesday, I’m hoping to be ironing onto fabric. Even though I won’t have background fabric until Saturday? I think I’ll be OK. At this stage, I only need the background to make sure that anything that will be showing on it will be enough of a contract to show up. This is the fun part! Although it will be long and hot, because ironing when it’s over 90 degrees is always sucky. Oh well. Making art is nice. And hopefully the kittens will stay out of here. This stage was exciting for them on the last quilt too.

I’m still stitching dots on time…Friday’s…

Is the pink dot with 4 leaflike things…

The one to the right of the pink spool. I was waiting for the right design for that shade of pink and finally got it. Generally, I just pick the next dot in the area, but sometimes color is an issue. Like with Saturday’s, the ladybug…on the far right at the bottom…

I wanted a color that contrasted with the red. So not a red dot…

The dark background is unfortunately a little TOO dark for the legs and head. Oh well. I’m not redoing anything.

Here’s the Anna Maria Horner fabrics I got for her color packages…the ones I think I will make into a different version of the naked lady Applique Stories.

We’ll see. It doesn’t have to happen right away, luckily.

Sleepy cats abound in the last two days…Nova when it’s hot…

Kitten follows me and then sleeps…during video meetings…

And movie-watching…

Sometimes they are into everything…like drawers in the coffee table. I thought she was too big for this now. Apparently not.

Sometimes they just want some love…

I will be ON you, even though you are doing something.

In food news, the girlchild is upping her cheese plate game…

And I excited the sourdough starter yesterday…

That IS exciting.

OK. It’s Sunday, which means putting a bra on for the grocery store. Oh yeah, and a mask. I’m OK with that. I’m more OK with the mask than the bra. Then a bunch of school stuff, and hopefully some exercise, because I’m feeling it, and a yard or two of cutting shit out. Plus sewing a dot. And gardening. And getting ready for another 5 days of what school looks like now. Ugh. It’s OK. We’ll make it, whatever it is. The sun is out, the flowers are growing, there’s a possibility of further-away hikes this week, and that is all good.

Ah yes. Teaching children. I remember having this conversation with my brother many years ago, although it wasn’t because he didn’t know the vocabulary.

The Day Ran Away…

Totally writing this at the wrong time of day for me. I meant to start it much much earlier and then the day ran away from me. Don’t you hate that? It just gets up off the couch and books it down the driveway, and then all of a sudden it’s 8 PM and I don’t know what happened.

Neither does he, if that makes anyone feel better.

So yesterday, I started this video of how I make a quilt from start to finish, using this small spacecat design that was in the last finished quilt. It’s been on my list for a while. I’m going to make a long version for my Patreon followers and a timelapse version for the rest of the world. I get asked a lot how I make stuff, and it’s all over the blog, but I’m going to attempt it in one go. I say that and I’m like 40 videos in and still not done, so WTF am I on about? ONE spliced disaster of a video. Because.

So there’s the drawing I did from the original drawing from some months ago, and there’s the pile of trimmed Wonder Under as well…

This is small, about 10″ square, with only 24 pieces in it. Here are the 13 fabrics I used in it…

And here’s the pile of trimmed pieces…

Oh wait. Those are not trimmed. Whoops. Missed a photo. Oh well. It’s in the video.

And here it is, ironed down to a background.

I stitched it down this morning and then sandwiched it and pinbasted it and all I need to do now is quilt it, trim it, and bind it. And then splice 3,000 videos together. Twice. Unless I can figure out how to timelapse it using the program I use to splice. We’ll see.

I finally started feeling well enough on Monday to exercise again…I started with cat yoga.

It’s not really cat yoga. It’s yoga where my cats stare at me and try to figure out WTF I’m doing. Same, cats…same. I also rode the stationary bike yesterday, and then graduated to a hike today. Exciting stuff.

I got two more days done on these…this is the star-shaped one.

And last night’s total pain in the bullion knot ass…

The lower one, not the upper one.

I haven’t done tonight’s yet. That’s next.

I also finished stitching everything down on this…

My official photographer will get this eventually.

For now, notice Simba in the left corner, and my daughter’s expert fingers, plus Calli in the lower right. It doesn’t have a name yet. I’m working on it.

My SIL sent me a bunch of fabric and I washed all of it and then had to re-iron a ton of it because the dryer folded it all up.

Ironing can be very meditative.

More fabric for the stash…

And then on a stitchy Zoom this afternoon, I was sewing all these pieces down…

And I actually finished…

So now I can embroider on it if I so wish. This is Applique Stories fabrics by Anna Maria Horner and her bimonthly challenge of sorts. Wherein I take some wacky fabrics and use them to make a nude. Like you do. (Most people make flower bouquets. I am somewhat strange in my fabric application.)

I also panicked all over the place about school and being an online teacher and just life in general. So there’s that. I have showered and changed my clothes though, so I feel like I’m doing OK for now.

What’s up next? I’m starting the next quilt. I’ve spent two days now procrastinating about Just Picking a Size of Paper to start drawing on, so there’s that. I can’t do a smaller drawing and enlarge it without going out into the world like I normally do. I did go into the world today. I delivered a mask to my dad so he won’t get arrested driving up to the mountains without one, and then I put gas in the car. That’s all I did. Well, we walked. There were a lot of people (and dogs) out there. I don’t blame them…it wasn’t raining and it was OK out and we all needed to get out. OUT. Yeah. Out.

The Missing Hand…

Yeah. I skipped a day of writing. I don’t know what day it was though, so that’s OK. Been watching NYC weather this pandemic shit and it’s scary. Sending good thoughts to the whole city and everywhere else it looks like that. Certainly, many of us are questioning any sore throat or dry cough or now, digestive issue (dammit, stop eating beans then!), wondering Was that it? Is this the start of it? I think here in San Diego, we haven’t really gotten the full brunt of the virus yet. Give it two weeks. With that, I’m leaving in a few minutes to go distribute lunches to my kids. We’re down to only two people at a time, so we can socially distance.

Tuesday, we walked the dogs…we’re gonna do it again today. My parents are up to twice a day with theirs, which would be fine by me, but the old lady dog can’t do it. She wants to, but it’s too much for her.

We have places we can walk locally…this is just out the front door and sort of through a neighbor’s yard, although they’ve never complained…but now the house has sold, so who knows. We just go quickly and quietly.

There are no actual grapevines here any more.

But I still like the signs.

Mostly empty. We didn’t see any people.

And a lot of plant material. It’s pretty green this year…we’re over 13 inches of rain, which is a lot for us. There’s more coming tonight apparently. But then I think we might be done for a while. It’s cold and windy today…next week, we’re supposed to hit the high 80s. It will be harder to keep people inside.

I got an email today from an exhibit I usually enter, warning us that there are just a few more days to the deadline. It’s weird thinking about future art shows when it seems like the world is about to burn down in a plague. But I guess that’s hope for the future…hope that the venue will still be viable, hope that we will still be able to have art shows. Hope that we’ll all still be here to send work and hang work and see work.

Here was Tuesday’s drawing. I didn’t draw yesterday. I did other stuff.

Maybe I will draw today. So Tuesday night, the man went to bed early, because he’s working these awful long shifts that basically leave time to sleep and eat and little else, so I finished the lettuces on the last of the October Folk Tails blocks.

Although this was the 2015 block of the month, I didn’t start working on it until March of 2016…so I’ve officially been working on it (on and off) for four years. Yeah. You read that right. A lot of times, I just worked on it once a month at my stitching meeting, and then last year, because I was doing the embroidery patterns, I barely worked on it at all.

Anyway, as I finished that grasshopper block (well, it’s missing a road and flowers), I realized it was time to stitch all of it together. Holy moley. I had some larger bits sewn together, but pinned some more parts…

Sewed them until I had two long strips…

There’s still plenty to do…that hen has no feet, for example.

I feel like I’m going to have to go back through all the instructions to fill in everything I’m missing. Plus it needs ten tons of grass sewn everywhere…

And the road needs to be continued down through the bottom three rows…

I stopped there, because I realized I needed to sew over onto the other blocks and they weren’t sewn together yet. Plus apparently a hut is supposed to go there. Uh huh. Barely fits.

And there’s a spare monkey too.

So there’s still plenty to work on. It’ll be another year. Plus borders! But it was exciting to get it to this stage.

Girlchild is still cooking up a storm…and posting artistic photos.

The result of that photo was cheddar scallion English muffin bread. Very good.

So yesterday, I did quilt for a while…although the machine was being cranky…

As always…

Luna was being a pain…kept trying to hide in the quilt and climb everything in the studio while I was on a video call with stitchy friends…

Trying to get the light right, so the computer has to be in a specific place. Interesting commentary for how I’m going to do this when we start for school. There are a limited number of places that are lit right, have seating, and stay quiet even when people are here. And there are a few people here. Four adults take up room. I’m lucky to have a variety of spaces for people to hang out in.

And cats. Cats can hang out too.

While I was on that call, I cleaned up the huge pile of papers and crap on my desk. Well. I cleaned up most of it. I’m not sure what to do with the other part of it.

Wait for another day. Although the word from on high is that I need to start grading things. All right. I’ll do that.

Then last night, I wanted to start the second one of the Applique Stories blocks…Anna Maria Horner sends 8 fabrics and no instructions basically, and then you make a block out of them. Of course, most people make this flowery bouquet-type things, and I make naked women. But I like this…the one on the right is from January’s fabrics and then on the left, you can see what she sent for March.

I picked the backgrounds…which was hard in itself, let me tell you. Trying to find a color that won’t overwhelm the given fabrics, or clash with them either…it’s difficult. The blocks are about 19×20″, a totally random size that I can’t explain. They could be finished together, but it probably makes more sense to finish them separately. I’m not fusing anything…just cutting pieces and then stitching them in place…and then doing some embroidery. Slow work.

That one fabric just damn well set itself up to be breasts…seriously. How could I NOT?

These are a challenge. I would never put these together. I like a challenge.

I wouldn’t even BUY half these fabrics. That’s what I love about this. Really. It’s fun.

I probably did this for 2 or 3 hours last night…walked away, walked back…added a bird. No starting drawing.

No nothing. No more fabrics than those 8. Honestly, those 8 are the challenge.

She was off balance, so I added the hand…here they both are…oh wait, the hand is still missing.

Must have added that later. Oh well. I can keep adding if I want. Tonight I have a Zoom stitching meeting, and my plan is to stitch stuff down during the meeting. The actual stitch down is easier to do while it’s flat, rather than trying to hoop it. The pieces are really only held in place by a few pins.

Anyway. So that was the last two days. I’m coping. I’m not sick (yet?), but question every cough and sore throat tickle. I know people who are sick. I hope everyone is OK. I know the world will be a different place when this is done. I’m sad about that…like all of you. And sitting and waiting is not my superpower…I’m glad I have the art to keep my brain occupied. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you the missing hand…but I’m thinking she needs fingernails first…

Nature Has No Idea…

Hey. It’s Saturday, right? I’m currently watching a webinar on the SAQA virtual conference that was supposed to be in Toronto…the opportunity to hear and see the speakers is nice, although I missed a lot of yesterday. They were recorded though, so I can watch later. I’ve never been able to actually attend a real conference, so this is nice, plus maybe it helps SAQA cover some of their conference costs from canceling. It’s really important that we try to give back to some of these groups and companies that are hard hit by the community and state shutdowns. As much as we can, anyway. I’m lucky to still be paid under contract, but the future is making me a bit nervous for all of us, in terms of health and money.

Yesterday was a strange day, highs and lows…trying to ignore the lows because they don’t deserve my energy right now.

The boychild and I went for a 6 1/2-mile hike locally, at Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch. It’s not as busy as some of the other locations in the area (just down the road from Iron Mountain), which is better for social distancing.

There were about 4 or 5 other groups we saw over the whole hike, but otherwise it was pretty isolated.

This is obviously a yucca pre-bloom, but it looks different than what I’m used to seeing…

The weather was perfect…not too warm, not too cold, no rain, although it was cloudy for much of it.

Trying to get enough exercise to sleep well and push some of the anxiety away has been difficult. My next step is to try and bookmark some of the videos from the gym and pilates studio and get my butt in gear.

We were really looking forward to our Spring Break trip of California National Parks, but with a cancellation of one of our Airbnbs and yesterday, the parks themselves are closing campgrounds, it seems that we are not going anywhere.

And we’re not sure when that will change, unfortunately. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, but certainly watching the numbers on COVID-19 is not promising. Although California is supposed to be shut down, there are still lots of people going out and doing things…100 kids out in our mountains hanging out together yesterday…because kids think they are immortal, yeah? That’s what they think. Sigh.

For this hike, we go along a ridge and then down into that valley…then through that valley and back up and out. Like twice. It was a bunch of up and down, but nothing undoable.

My legs feel better today. Although this sign makes me laugh every time (it’s for bikes, not humans).

Pretty sure I never hit the 5 MPH mark. And I jogged a little bit (it’s easier to jog going downhill sometimes than walking, although my brain kept saying ‘Now is not the time to break your damn leg, woman!’).

A bunch of fungus among us…

These are fascinating…

This area burned in a wildfire 17 or so years ago…this is a burned log keeping a whole host of fungus alive.

There are signs all over, but this warns me that the next up is that piece…Cardiac Hill.

It’s actually not horrible. I stopped a few times. It’s up. Boychild often ditches me in these situations…

He waits for me at junctions. Lots of flowers around…

Spring is coming…and signs of deer!

Although we didn’t see one in person. Wrong time of day.

We got to the top and found we were victims of assholes…

Apparently this parking lot has an issue with break-ins. It’s pretty isolated. In all my years of hiking, this is the first time we’ve had this happen. There was nothing of value in the car…they just rifled through the glove box and the console. Unhappy with my about-to-expire National Park Pass, my sunscreen, and my umbrella. They got nothing. Stupid. Pain in my butt.

Oh well. I believe in karma.

Seriously. Even when we are locked down in a pandemic, people will be assholes. Hence the lack of toilet paper in our stores. Still. So today, a guy is coming to my driveway and installing a new window (apparently that is an essential business) and I will hand him a check and then disinfect the glass? This is so difficult. Could I live without a window? Sure…

Whatever.

We came home, we tested a Discord server for gaming next week, and the girlchild came home…

It looks like she’s reading to the dog, but she’s not. She was laid off by her company and we suspect trying to get a job is somewhat impossible right now. She’s trying. She’ll try applying for unemployment. And yeah, we flew her on a plane with like 8 other people (JetBlue is starting to ground flights soon, so that might have been one of the last flights that didn’t get canceled). We’re keeping her away from the older people in the family, but we still have two going to work between the two households (mine and my ex’s, and the kids go back and forth until someone gets sick), because they are also apparently essential. I’m lucky to not have any requirements right now beyond checking email, although that may change in the future. She’s not here forever. Just until we figure shit out. By WE I mean HER. Meanwhile, she gets doggy love.

My lemon tree has new leaves…

Nature has no idea. And that’s OK. This bird was bathing in the water in the tray under our Christmas tree, which lives outside on the deck for most of the year.

Now I need a birdbath.

These arrived yesterday, the newest shipment in the Anna Maria Horner Applique Stories. I’m going to make another woman block…and then embroider it.

The fabrics are a challenge. The solid peach is the easy skin color, so I won’t be using it for her flesh. I stared at the fabrics for at least a week last time before deciding what to do. I can use one as a background, although last time, I decided to use something very bland and calm from my stash (maybe that’s what the peach is for?), because the rest of it was so out there. Anyway…expect something to happen with these in the next few days. Because I can. I really like most of them…solids are not my favorites and the lavender roses are Eh, but that’s the best part of this…the olive fabric is such a stretch…I love it.

Maybe this virus lets me just make what I want. OK, I’m still having a hard time with that.

Although I stitched wool for a bit last night (sorry, forgot about a photo…try tomorrow)…I eventually got up off the couch with my post-hike tired self and came in here and started the stitch down…

So meditative. So relaxing. So hard to stop.

Hopefully I can finish today and then sandwich today or tomorrow. The floors need cleaning first. I vacuumed everything even though it’s not my month. I’m sure someone will cover me at some point when I am busy (cough cough).

So yeah, I stitch down all the pieces, because no fusible lasts forever. I’m not halfway done, but I got a good chunk done. I spent the first 20 minutes fighting with the machine to get it to stitch correctly.

Kitten action…

They play any way they can…

There was some play before this.

I was up early this morning because I thought I’d have to take my car in to get the window replaced, but then he called and said he’d be here later…probably safer for both of us than having me sit in a lobby of some repair place (I was going to bring a chair and sit outside).

Nature doesn’t see this morning as any different than any other morning.

Tonight there is a Netflix DVD here, plus we will be supporting some small food business, and hopefully there is stitching and maybe a hike/walk as well. Plus more webinars. And trying to finish my book before it gets returned electronically to the library. Hope you are all healthy and well, and if you are on the front lines in some way, we appreciate you and send you lots of love.

So Close…

I was so close to finishing the cutting-it-out phase last night. It’s hard to stop, but realizing I needed to be up early for another parent meeting persuaded me to stop…plus experience that tells me it doesn’t look like much in that top left box, but it’s probably an hour’s worth of cutting.

Which means I will finish cutting tonight, but probably not start ironing it together until next week. Just because I won’t be around.

This was the setup…there’s all the grading I did, a cat, and my boxes of pieces…

I think I did almost 2 hours of cutting last night, although it didn’t feel like it. Tonight, I need to pack for our weekend trip, make breakfasts for next week, go to Pilates, and grade the last period of the science unit. It’s a lot. I don’t actually know when we’re leaving tomorrow, so I might be able to push packing until then. We’ll see.

I did a little embroidery on this last night…

Gonna outline a heart and arteries. Probably should be using a hoop. I’ll think about it.

I took that photo because the #igquiltfest2020 prompt was Creative Hands…but then I decided to photograph hands I’d made in quilts…

Some new and some old. I make a lot of hands. I also make a lot of uteri. The #marchmeetthemaker prompt was branding…what am I known for? Missing penii. I didn’t post for that one.

OK, so I have a plan to get 14 thousand things done tonight, right?

These guys. There used to be decorative things in these openings and on that bookshelf.

Now there are cats.

I’m tired. Today will be fine. Did I mention I’m still kinda sick? Can’t kick the sinus stuff. It’s low level but annoying. And my brain wants me to be healthy when the coronavirus kicks in, right? Sheesh. I’m floored by the level of stupidity coming out of the government regarding the SCIENCE of all this. But also the mistakes we made because we don’t have scientists in charge. It makes me wonder what politicians are actually good for, if they don’t understand when they are NOT the experts and they need to call the experts in. I think the West Coast is in for a bumpy ride. Plus I gotta make some hand sanitizer that I’m not allergic to. Woo hoo! Yes, wondering what this will do to our Spring Break trip…hopefully nothing…and hoping we get a handle on it and limit the deaths. Sad for families to lose their loved ones this way…surprised my school district hasn’t already started the ‘clean the desks every day’ thing we had to do with SARS. Give it a week.

Peace out. Make art. Wash your hands.

It’s Still OK (or Is It?)…

Signs of recovering delirium…the number of blog titles in a row that have the word ‘ok’ in them. The fact that I don’t know what day it is. Or the date. It’s still February, right? At one point, I duplicated a week in February for our science planning calendar. There was a good reason for it at the time, but I’m wondering if it’s still duplicated and now I will have to repeat a week in February because of that. I had to take a nap after the grocery shopping yesterday. Granted, I had already driven to Encinitas or Carlsbad or somewhere up north to pick up two quilts from a show, so I was already physically doing way more than I had in days, so the nap doesn’t seem so bad, right? Except today I have to go to school, and physically and mentally, that’s a lot more than the grocery shopping.

It’s OK. Really. I have a rolling chair. I can sit in it and maneuver all over the room. I’m sure it will be fine. I might need a nap at lunch. Also fine.

I really was better yesterday, despite the nap.

Saturday night, I finally got all these stitched down…

Now I can start doing random embroidery everywhere on it.

Really, it’s just a plan to use up all the thread in the house. Which will never happen of course. There’s just too much of it. But you can’t say I don’t have a plan.

Yesterday, I even ironed, although that was problematic at some point and I had to sit down.

Somehow in all that, I managed to record an hourlong video of who-knows-what. Don’t worry, Patreon followers…I know how to edit. I’m in the 400s at this point. Not halfway yet, because I got dizzy…and gave up…and went to bed early…but close to halfway. Progress anyway.

I finished the artist book and submitted it.

Can’t say this is my thing.

However, one of the reasons I’m in this group is because they make me do things that aren’t my thing. It’s called Ominous Nature. We’ll see if she thinks it’s too disturbing for the library. Since I have I think THREE more possible library exhibits in the future? It would be good to know what she thinks is disturbing. Sigh. Or I should just become a nature artist. Funny, I think of myself as a nature artist a lot of the time.

Oh yeah. All the fabrics I’ve used on the quilt so far. My brain is still on bouncy mode.

Wish me luck today. Wish my students luck too. And someone save me from a 2-hour staff meeting.

She’s cute, but this is after an hour of early morning rampaging, being kicked out of the bedroom, then let back in an hour later due to crying baby noises, then this is my laundry basket…

before she knocked it over. Uh huh. Evil. And yet, when asleep, adorable.

One of them was on my feet last night. Not sure which one. I can tell them apart by feel…their fur is different.

This one. This one got a water bottle sprayed in his face about four times last night for petulant barking.

Barking at coyotes is understood. It does not need to continue for 20 minutes past the coyote incursion into our sound space. He still likes me this morning apparently…

It’s questionable on my end.

OK, well seems like systems are mostly back to normal. I’ll need naps, I’m still in recovery mode, but there is progress toward normal function. Which means progress toward more art function.

For now? Progress to school. Where that rolling chair is. OK? OK. No more titles with OK.

My Brain Needed Somewhere Else to Land…

Happy V Day to all! I want to say, well, except the assholes, but maybe they need a Happy V Day and that’s why they’re assholes. Now you see how I can teach middle school, although I already know (a) I didn’t get enough sleep because I got sidetracked by making things and (b) I’m missing one SECA today. So it’ll be a challenge, but I think I can do it. It’s not like I have a choice. But here are two examples of my day job. First, it’s the only place I can think of where the words “Then don’t smell the scissors” might come out of my mouth. Followed by this…

SIGH. I only have one period left of these to sit through. And there were some very good ones that restored my faith in humanity. And learning. And schools. And children. This was not one of them. This is what happens when you copy a bunch of shit off the internet that you don’t really understand and then you try to read it and instead of figuring out how to pronounce all the words you copied, you start each word nice and loud and then you are whispering at the end because you don’t have a clue how to say it. WIScon(si…).

I will hopefully be done with these tonight, and that will just leave a bunch of smaller things to grade and a pile of makeups, which will be even bigger by next Friday. Oh. Also an assessment they’re doing today. Shit. OK. Well. Hmmm. This weekend is a clusterfuck already. I guess it will be more of one.

This is why I stayed up way too late last night. My brain needed somewhere else to land or it would never fall asleep.

I did hang out with my stitching group last night, including one member who rarely shows up and another who had moved away for 13 years and came back. THIRTEEN YEARS. Wow. And we’re still meeting. That’s cool. I think I’ve been in this group since I was pregnant with the girlchild, and she’s 22 1/2 now. So that’s a thing. I got to work on Folk Tails, my Sue Spargo Block-of-the-Month from 2015 that might never ever get done…

The cheetah is almost done…but there’s some wiggy flowers that go in the block next. Then I might sew this to the larger bit? Or do I have to finish the other two October blocks to do that? I might. It’s not a fast quilt when you only work on it one night a month and then you didn’t do even that for most of 2019. It might travel to the National Parks with me in April…or it might be too big for that. Hmmm. Hard to say. We’ll see.

Then I came home and graded stuff, one more class of the projects. It was after 11 when I finished. But no way was I going to bed without something. The really lucky bit of going to my stitching meeting was my knowledgeable bookmaking friend, who gave me multiple solutions for how to connect the two pieces I’ve been working on. She was very helpful. So now I have to decide how to do it. Easy? Medium hard? Really hard? Sorta hard but kinda creative? We’ll see. I didn’t do that last night, though. More brain power than I had. Instead I meditatively stitched shit down…

Still working on just getting it all attached so I can take it off the cutting matt and do some more decorative stuff…although I guess I did a little on those leaves. Most of it is stitched down now, which is good, because something good should come of staying up too late. I just kept stitching, thinking “just one more” and then I looked at the time and went “oh shit, no more” and went to bed.

It’ll be fine. It’s Friday. It’s Valentine’s Day (makes middle-school kids crazy). It’s the day before another 3-day weekend. And we’re giving them an assessment that’s HARD. Well, unless you’ve been listening, in which case, it’s pretty damn easy. Gonna go buy a donut reward for the class that earned them, so at least one group of kids won’t totally hate me. Wait. The line at the donut store today might be hellacious. Sigh. We’ll see. I’ll do a driveby.