In a Car

I’m not driving and blogging…yet. I’m buried! I spent an hour talking to Southern California SAQA members, which was cool. Need to grow the group, get more like-minded folks.

Then I copyedited (and cried, because there’s a trauma story running through the science, and it gets to me).

Yesterday, I was doing school stuff all day. It’s feeling really overwhelming. I stitched through the Welcome Meeting…

And through our meeting…

Because it kept part of my brain on task at least…

And then I stitched through the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, again while crying. A plane full of kids is an awesome sight.

Then I got the new quilt ironed down to the background, which had to be pieced.

And started stitching down.

Which needs to be done tomorrow for me to stay on schedule. No worries! Ok gotta get out of the car.

Today 22 years Ago I Was Not at the Gym

Back to the gym. Trying to remember this habit before school fucks it all up. That’s true of eating right, getting enough sleep, and having personal time.

I was not here 22 years ago. I was at the hospital. The girlchild is 22 today! Wowza. She will be here tomorrow, but is enjoying a music and arts festival in San Francisco today.

I have so many awkward pix I could post of her…mostly screenshots from her Insta stories. Um yeah. I think I’ll wait until tomorrow and post something she won’t hate. Or maybe a birth picture! Oh yeah. Not even digital. So old school. Looking forward to having her home. Bought a bunch of kale and avocados.

Yesterday was school all day, even after I made it home. So much to do. But there’s a rough idea of what needs to happen.

We have a white board. This is good.

Going back is hard though. Never ready. I can get into my room next week, which is good because nothing is done.

I stitched a little at my stitching meeting…this number 9 and the last one I’m designing.

She doesn’t have a name yet.

And then I wanted to be done cutting stuff out.

That was the goal anyway, and I could have stayed up and finished, but I’m trying to train myself for back to school, plus I had a ton of stuff to get done today, so I needed to be up relatively early (not early really…but I’m not a fan of mornings).

So I only cut for a little over 2 hours…up to almost 11 hours total.

There’s so little left, but I really wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have a video call today where I can finish and then sort them hopefully. I still need to copyedit, edit a video, and clean a lot of things. No biggie.

I Manage

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

So many people hurt by these men’s actions.

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

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

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

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

And then I started cutting pieces out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Write Everywhere

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picking lots of browns for trees and dirt and sand…

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

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

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

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

Graduation Up the Yin Yang

Thunderstorm and lightning, plus hail…makes for an exciting night. There’s another one coming tonight, when we try to fly out. That sounds nice.

I am exhausted. It’s been a long weekend. Saturday, we helped the girlchild move a ton of stuff. Her dad broke her dresser, but it will work for storage. Sometimes I wonder about timing. She’s leaving today for Portugal and not coming back until she has to be out of her apartment. She has a sublet for the summer, but can’t move in until the 24th. Not so ideal. So storage it is.

Then we went and walked around Walden Pond…

It was beautiful. Too many people though. Dinner back here with the girlchild etc. Etc is vague on purpose. It was nice though. We’re in a nice house and everyone has a bedroom. It’s a little light on seating for a group this big, so I’ve been at the dining room table to grade etc. it has a nice leafy view and lots of light.

Sunday, we had three graduation ceremonies…the first at 8 AM. Getting 5 people through showers and breakfast was fine, except it was really early California time. My brain is a little fuzzy.

Girlchild is still job-hunting, like many of these graduates.

Graduation ceremonies are horrible things to survive.

I stitched a lot…only one person talked to me about it. Said she was fascinated watching me stitch (2 hours for the big graduation, an hour for each of the smaller ones)…

I finished this one in the second ceremony. It took about 4 1/2 hours…definitely smaller and easier to stitch than the other ones.

I started this one…and got more done on it in the third ceremony.

Lunch was “how can we eat all the leftovers.” We failed. There’s still stuff in the fridge.

Here she is with my lovely parents…who read my blog for the pictures.

There’s one of you guys! The goal we came up with is no wheelchairs for all of my niece and nephews’ graduations. So they need to keep moving. We figure the last graduation will be when my dad is 89 1/2, so we should be fine. (Laughs hysterically)

Sunday night was a great tapas dinner. I graded into the night.

Today, we’re doing the final move into storage and cleaning…then hopefully getting on a plane home. Right now, I’m being vacuumed around and harassed to finish eating And writing so we can get out of here. I expect more stitching in my future and maybe grading, and probably not enough sleep tonight. But she’s done with school…yay! And now we just need to finish paying for it. I hope she has fun on her post-grad trip and comes back to a job offer. That would be awesome. I hope we make it home tonight. That would also be awesome.

Watching Videos and Stitching

I am in the lovely leafy neighborhood of Lexington, Massachusetts, in an old, funky home (ok, it’s not old to your East Coasters, but I’m from California, so we don’t know shit about old). Girlchild is graduating from college, so we have descended upon this town to torture her.

Today, we will be sightseeing and helping her move shit. Tomorrow, we sit through 3 graduation ceremonies.

So I spent 5 hours or so on a plane yesterday, watching videos and stitching.

I finished one, but it needs washing and ironing.

So there’s that. Don’t expect coherence out of me. It’s really early for my brain.

I did bring quilt parts to trim too. So hopefully some of that will get done. Breakfast now…

Helps If I Have a Title

It’s all about checking off the to-do list at the moment. How much can I get done before we leave on our trip? How much can I get done before we go on Spring Break and I can pee whenever I want? How much can I get done in class today? How much can I get done in an evening? I made myself go on a walk after school yesterday, because after tutoring and the chiropractor, I still had enough daylight. And it’s good for me. It confuses this guy…

Yeah, that’s my dog. At my ex’s house. Don’t ask. He comes barreling out of the house to bark at me as I walk by, and then realizes it’s me and wants to know why I’m not walking him. Huh. Well sometimes I like NOT picking up poop.

This is the urban hike I sometimes do. It has a lot of weeds right now.

At least on this section. There’s a big hill at one end of it. Good exercise. Takes me about an hour. Then I can come home and cook dinner and get on with things.

I graded for a while and then realized how late it was and that I was supposed to finish the binding on that quilt last night, because I have a union meeting tonight and I’ll need to iron, dehair, and pack up both quilts, which is not a small amount of work for one evening. So I stopped grading (I like to finish a whole assignment if I can. I didn’t.)…and started sewing binding down.

Assist not needed, Satch. Yeah, I did the whole thing. I finished just before midnight. There’s a couple of embroidery stitches I need to do as well, but they won’t take more than about 10 minutes. So she’s done.

To the photographer tomorrow…and then I start on the next one. Which I can’t show you. Awkward. Seeing as how my whole artistic existence is focused on what the hell did I get done yesterday? Well. We’ll see how I roll with that. Might be hard. Lots of dog and cat pictures. Weird views of lines and piles of stuff that you can’t recognize. Wait. That sounds like about half the quiltmaking right there. I’ll be fine. First I have a pretty significant to-do list to get through today…starting with the last of the girlchild’s college payments. Yay! (don’t think about the loans. It’s OK.)

Hike It Off

Saturday morning girlchild infusion. Nice start to the day. I was thinking about her. She’s applying for jobs and will probably end up staying back East, committing for up to two years. I miss her. It’s a long way away.

Meanwhile, the boychild and I dragged the dogs up Cowles Mountain (in the case of the old lady dog, it really was hard for her at some point, although she’ll never stop).

An actual stream crossing the path up Cowles…don’t know that I’ve seen water up there before.

I don’t hike Cowles a lot any more…too many people. But we had daylight and it was the 2nd walk of the week, so the boy wanted to do something different.

And the weather was gorgeous, a little chilly with a breeze, but beautiful blue skies. Lots of flowers, although not as many as our regular dog hike…

I need to find a way to get out to the desert in the next two weeks.

Rest time! Calli was tired. Tried to get her to drink water, but she fights it.

She’s an old lady. Stubborn as hell.

Getting outside is the best medicine for a day that became more stressful than I thought it would. Two classes of not-listening. Just keep talking instead of hearing the instructions. Can’t read instructions. OK. Then don’t do the lab. Watch the table next to you. Don’t get mad at ME for your shit. Hopefully Monday will be better. Two more days of labs.

It’s not just my classes…it’s across the board in our grade level. At some point, schools might learn that testing on top of testing on top of Daylight Savings on top of the counseling program that didn’t seem to do much for MY kids is not a good plan. Plus normally Spring Break would be right around the corner…and it’s a LONG way away. Why do we pin these things to religious holidays? I don’t understand.

The water they wouldn’t drink…

Up at the top finally. More resting for the old lady.

The dog. I was OK. I don’t like stopping. My muscles complain.

There’s a migrating butterfly in this picture. Can you see it?

There weren’t a lot, but they were hard to photograph…never stopping. At the top, on the way down…

It wasn’t longer than what we usually do. It was just more up.

I’m glad I did it though…even though I have a shitload of other things to do this weekend. I came home and graded one assignment while this guy zonked out…

The old lady too. It was after 11 PM when I finally set everything up for sorting…

But it didn’t take very long. I’m hoping to start ironing today…but I do have other things I need to do as well. Efficiency! Ugh. Shower, breakfast, then clean up in here so I have some chance of getting to the ironing. Then grade some stuff if I have time before the social stuff and a few errands. I don’t know what’s planned for tonight, but I’m sure it will involve food. Food is good. Maybe art too. Hard to say. Although I do need a relaxing weekend, I don’t see one in the near future…so I’m trying to sprinkle life with some relaxing things in between the stressful have-tos.

This morning, Calli woke me up because Kitten stole her bed.

I think this is funny. And I hate brown carpet.

Art today, somehow.

Time Compression

So I just realized the silly app on my iPad tossed all these photos into the post in backward order. Sigh. No. I don’t have the patience to move them all. Seriously. Hmn. Wait, there might be a workaround…there is! Sigh. Yes, I’m on three different devices up here and none of them is the best for getting stuff where I need it to be. And one needs to be back in airplane mode before it deletes the book that I am reading…I only have 100 pages left to read, but it’s supposed to be due sometime tonight, and I won’t get all those pages read by then. I’m losing time, it seems. It’s always like that in the days before we go back to school. Time compresses strangely and disappears without notice. 

So I wanted to iron the Wonder Under to fabric for the Project Paint piece before I came up the mountain, so I did. Here they are…

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Hopefully I’ll get them cut out tonight. I also need to cut the other stuff out, but that’s going to take me longer I think. 

I used all the fabrics from the last big quilt, except I added a few…these…

Nothing much…just needed to fill a space.

Here’s the pile from the last one…the fabrics I used are all on top of the boxes.

Plus random dog toy. I meant to leave for the mountains at around noon…well, it was almost 2 PM. Whatever.

I made it up before dark…ensconsed myself on the couch with the computer, and finished one of the hellish grading things I had created. Girlchild with puppy…also on couch.

It was pretty cold, 30 degrees, when I got here…a delightful 27 this morning. I don’t have clothes for this. It warmed up today, though. Mostly we are all sitting around reading or watching things. It’s the boychild’s birthday and he will be cooking…impressive. The sun is already dropping and I’ve gotten very little done. I’m in the middle of grading another assignment. I didn’t do a very good job in the middle week of getting crap done. Oh well. Being a teacher is a crazy thing sometimes. I can’t be a teacher every day.

I did cut some stuff out last night…not a lot…the grading sucked up my brain.

Plus we played Sorry. I lost. But not as bad as some people. Still a lot of cutting to do.

Still drawing. In space. With aliens.

It will maybe be hard to stop doing this? Or not? I’m not sure. I know you have to do something like 30 days in a row to make it a habit. Meditation too, right? Supposed to be doing that. Ugh. Can’t remember to do everything.

So today was some shopping, wherein mostly the boychild and I stood around and watched the other two buy things, but we realized most of the shoes in the Bass outlet store had names, like people names. So we went around and judged the hell out of that…this was the closest to mine (I’m not a Kathleen), and I was thoroughly offended that I was the bog standard loafer. Ugh.

Although I feel like I could be cheaper. Seriously. I don’t think I even wore these in the preppy high school era of the 80s when they were the thing. I think I had knock-offs for a while, but I mostly gave up on that stuff and went Kmart and thrift shop. Much more my style.

Anyway, back to grading after walking dogs, then cutting things up and another drawing tonight, plus some gaming probably. Maybe I’ll read some more too. Who knows?