Reasonable Requests

OK, the internet is working but who knows how long it will hang out here. We have another solution we’ve ordered and is on the way. Hopefully it will solve the problem. But I’m actually typing this on my computer instead of my iPad, my phone, or my school laptop at the moment. A blessing!

So. Saturday. I finished grading a bunch of stuff and then went in and finished ironing. You can see I have Kitten as a companion AND the internet was working. I have no idea what I’m watching…either Luther or Maniac on Netflix.

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It only took another 30 minutes or so to iron it down to the background. In total, this quilt ironed together in 6 hours and 45 minutes…

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The wonder of smaller quilts. Then, since I was waiting around anyway, I started stitching it down.

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I guess I could have graded something else, but like I’ve said before…I don’t like giving up my entire weekend to school. Kitten was happily ensconsed in my chair. (Dear WordPress..that is TOO a word.)

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More stitching down…it took just under 3 hours to stitch it all down.

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So I finished on Saturday afternoon…well, evening. Then a relaxed dinner at home with a weird movie and some stitching with cat paws on the leg…

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After the movie, I drew for a bit. I’m skipping one of the shows I wanted to enter because I don’t have time to make something for it…really…I could, but it would hurt. I need to relax a bit. So I’m aiming a little further out. I needed to work out some ideas in my head, and this was a good start. It’s going to need a redo, but I took a bunch of notes to myself and I have a plan in my head now.

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Sunday brought dogs. Some are more social than others. Simba, we’re talking to your cranky butt. He used to play with Katie, but he’s been cranky this time.

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Just wants people cuddles. We had storm clouds come in and rain on us for about 14 seconds…the remnants of a tropical storm coming up through Mexico are going to just tickle us with horrendous humidity as they go by.

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This is after Sunday dinner…got the road done in that section and started work on the butterfly, the last block in July. Then the tree and house, plus the giraffe and horned thing on the bottom are August. I have September sewn down and then was messing with October in here last night, trying to figure out what to do with all the bits and pieces…

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With October, then I sew the whole quilt together. I’m not sure what happens in November? I think borders. I’m not sure where that bag is. It’ll take me some time to get there though.

See, I come in here and then they lie down all over the floor again. It’s like Twister getting around them.

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Here’s our newest baby gecko. It’s hiding in a little hole in the sink drain down there. Can’t get it out. We should name him. Fred.

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We’ve had a lot of them this year.

So after dinner, I did some school stuff, sort of finished progress reports. I have a few things I’ll update today, and then I’m done. So I pinbasted this one…

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AND this one. Because once you’ve cleaned the floor and moved stuff out of the way, you might as well do all of them.

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So that’s two wool quilts ready for quilting. Ha! Well I don’t know when that will happen. I guess I finished one over the summer that had been languishing for years. I seem to like working to deadlines at the moment, so they tend to take precedent over the other stuff.

Anyway, so I can start quilting tonight, if I have the energy. I’m running on extra tired for some reason. Still. Take the vitamins, eat the foods, get the exercise. It took a long time to fall asleep last night. I’m feeling it this morning. As always. May this week be less tiring than it looks when I stare at the calendar. May there be art every night. Those seem like reasonable requests.

Almost Ironed

Computer refusing to function again. Probably going to have to manage that soon. It’s frustrating. I’m not even sure where to start. It’s interesting how much we rely on the internet for our existence…for those of us who remember having to function without it. It was on the internet I read the statements made yesterday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, since I was at work all day. Very triggering stuff. I don’t know any woman who could do what she did and be lying about it. I don’t care that he was in high school…it’s a testament to his character, as was his testimony yesterday. He’s unfit to be in the most powerful court in the country. He already was, based on his personal bias. This country I live in right now? It’s ugly. It’s always been ugly though, big parts of it…racism, sexism. I guess it’s just more obvious now. In our faces. There’s white privilege showing. If I were a POC, the ugly would have been in my face all along.

Yes, my head is in a place. Knowing what’s wrong is one thing. Knowing how to make it right is the problem.

I got home early yesterday, but the boychild and I had to deal with the flea infestation at the parentals, so we did that. And then I tried inputting grades, but the computer refused after a while…so I went back to the school computer. Got those in (oh so slowly…10-key input is so much faster).

The good news is that I finally finished all the embroidery on those 96 balls. I don’t remember when I started this…late 2013? Probably 2014…

She Spargo’s design, stitched by me at every soccer game I went to for many years. Sat around for at least a year, getting the guts to put all those stems and balls on. Supposed to be done ages ago. Now I just need to quilt it, which is funny because I still haven’t quilted the one I finished before it.

Cat and dog and new keyboard (finally…most of the letters are worn off)…

Time to iron. I was super tired. This week…

Cat and bird…

Hair and tree done…fussy skinny pieces.

All the leaves ready to go.

So everything is ready to get ironed on the background…once I finish grades. Ugh. I like it so far though. I wasn’t sure in the beginning. Hopefully the background color works. I guess we’ll see.

I Killed Another Red Pen…

Oh my. Two early mornings in a row. I keep going to bed a little earlier, thinking it will help. It’s not. Of course, yesterday’s 11-hour work day did not help. I meant to leave work early, but we revised everything after school for today’s lesson, so I got home late and then sat right down and graded more of the science units. I finished the last class at 10:30 PM. Dinner was in there somewhere. I had help with that.

I killed one red pen…

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Some kid shoved their homework (that they didn’t do) into the science unit. Good way to hide it, man! I’ll never see it in there. You probably think you turned it in! I did actually have kids turn it in blank. I guess it saves them in the moment, because I see 4 papers and don’t call them on it right then and there. I just hand it back with a zero on it though. So I’m not sure how that works.

I only got two balls done after dinner. Slow stitching. Or slow eating. Not sure which. There was a puppy though!

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I think there’s only 3 balls left. Maybe tonight?

Kitten doesn’t really like anyone but me. They all scare her. Here’s boychild making friends with the use of catnip, rubbing it all over her face. She was a little drooly.

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She does like the head scratches. My parents’ dog, Katie, is behaving better this year. Not as much cat chasing. Kitten has made it down the hallway without being chased. Guess Katie is getting old.

So yeah, at 10:30, I came in to iron, after packing up all the school stuff. I only got about 45 minutes in…too tired. I finished the belly and the breasts and that other hand, plus the neck.

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There’s about 120 pieces left. One night if I weren’t doing other stuff. I might get it done tonight…it’s possible. I also have to find two quilts that need to be delivered on Saturday, though…make sure I have the hanging hardware, iron them, dehair them, roll them up. Meanwhile, my doctor is harassing me for more blood tests. I told her the weekend (I seriously can’t handle that after school right now…I didn’t even leave early enough yesterday…or Tuesday…or Monday even.). I will do it Saturday. Along with everything else I can’t get done right now.

Deep breaths. Caffeine. The patience of a saint (I don’t have that last one. Wish me luck.).

Needing the Art…

Well I worked a lot this weekend. I got a lot done. It never feels like enough, because there is always more, but it was a good two days. Until your SIL asks what you did all weekend, and all you can say is “graded shit.” Well. It needed to be done. The next few weeks are busy…more for my date-night companion than for me, but mine will translate into more grades (progress reports are due next week) and hopefully artmaking. I carved out time yesterday for a significant chunk of that. At some point, I’ve done enough grading and I need to do something else.

One thing we did (well, the boychild did) was replace the wireless card in my computer, trying to solve the internet problem in here.

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Spiders had been in there. Weird. The plus is that when I have internet, it is now much faster. The minus is that I am still losing the internet…but only on the computer. The laptop and other devices work fine in here. Sigh. So that’s still a problem that needs solving.

I did do some work in the morning, schoolwork, but after 8 or so hours on Saturday of that, I wasn’t giving up the rest of the day. I started ironing around 4:30 PM…

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This one shouldn’t take long…

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I took a break to make this week’s lunches and start dinner prep. It was group cook night…make your own damn pizza. Although I did the dough prep.

So during dinner’s TV watching hour, I did more of these. I didn’t get much done last week on this.

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I think I still have 7 of them left. SLOOOWWW. I remember predicting the end of July. Maybe the end of September? That’s a little less than a week away. I only work on it when we’re both home and eat together, so last week, I think that was one night? Maybe 2?

Anyway, after that, it was back to the ironing. These are all the 100s, in stacks by 10s.

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I started by ironing the fruit and the fruit bowl separate and then putting them where they belong…

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Then working on the legs…back hip and roots first, then back foot…

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Simba was with me for a while…

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Here’s the whole front leg done…

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And then the heart and starting on the front arm.

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The bird and nest are done, but I quit before ironing all the leaves on. It was just about midnight at that point.

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And I would have had to lay out all the 300s and cut out a lot of the leaves (they’re small) before being able to iron them down. I do try to head to bed around midnight. So I ironed for 3 1/2 hours and I’m more than halfway done. I won’t get that much time tonight, but I will get some. We’ll see how well I do, but I would hope to be stitching down by Wednesday or so. I don’t have any night meetings this week until Friday, so that’s a plus. I do need to grade a lot still though…hopefully mostly at school. We’ll see.

I did not get the copyediting job, so that’s actually kind of a plus. He wasn’t the most accurate guy when it came to communication. Turns out he wasn’t just ignoring me for days…he was getting other quotes, which I don’t mind…but TELL me you received my bid and then TELL me why you aren’t answering. Geez. Professionalism. Meanwhile, I have students begging me to grade their late work (I do that once a week and I did it Sunday morning) and demanding that I change their grade because I didn’t tell them about the back page (I did) and kids losing their science folders in their backpacks (yikes!). Sigh. This job carries a significant amount of frustration, true. That’s why I love (and need) the art so much. Hell, I’d need the art no matter what I did for a living.

I’m Not Expecting to Grow Flowers in a Desert*

I was more successful at making art last night. Despite the long day, I managed almost 2 1/2 hours on the quilt…mostly dealing with the fleshy bits. But before that, there was dinner and a little bit of this. Remember last week when I said it would probably only take 5 more nights to finish these? Except I wasn’t home for the next 4? Well here’s where I finally worked on it…

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Still not done. Working on it.

Then I came in here and dealt with paperwork for one show, prepped it all and sent it off. I still need to do another one, but I need to buy a shipping box, which means I need to get to the place that sells them during their opening hours, which means I need to NOT be at school during their opening hours. This is more difficult than you might think. I’m going to try this morning, I think.

Then I finally started ironing. I pretty much started with the flesh run…6 fabrics from light to dark. Which means crawling around on the ground under the sewing table, because that’s where all the flesh colors are. I mean, something has to go under there…it’s not like there’s colors I don’t use so I can hide them away. I realize when I’m 70 that crawling under the table might be an issue, but at 51, I’m still doing it.

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So I ironed all of those down. It takes about an hour to pick them, and this is a smaller, less complicated figure than most…and then an hour to iron them. Here’s one of the colors…

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I do try to fit them together in such a way that I’m wasting the least amount of fabric. When people think that I am only right-brained, I show them things like this and explain why, and they raise their eyebrows right into their hairline. It’s the same when I tell them about numbering over 2000 pieces.

It’s a process. It works for me. Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…not a lot of color yet.

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It will come. She’s decorated. It’s part of the poem. So there will be color all over her. I just haven’t gotten to that part yet.

Here’s the pile of stuff to be cut out.

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The real question is how much do I have left. I don’t know…because when I pulled the flesh pieces, I pulled from the 100s, 200s, 300s, and 400s…and this is what’s left.

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This is the hair, the decorations, the tree, the eyeballs, the lungs, the heart…all the non-fleshy bits. They all still need ironing. I guess that’s tonight…after yet another meeting. I’m supposed to have book club, but I don’t think that’s happening. I haven’t given up on it yet…but I’m pretty sure I’m not going. Sigh. It’s OK…I haven’t finished the book anyway. I will…just not this week, not with meetings and crap every night until I collapse on Friday.

Meanwhile, here’s Satchemo, lying on my lunch bag. He likes the kitchen counter. It has the potential for foods.

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Here’s the poster/announcement for the Extreme Fiber Art show I’m in right now in Springfield, Missouri, great idea of Pam Rubert. My quilt Untied is in the bottom center, next to Susan Shie’s work.

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Pretty cool show…

And then I saw this yesterday…Richard Scarry was my favorite when I was a kid. I blame him for my artistic need to fill the page…OVERFILL the page. Him and Dr. Suess…way too much influence, if you ask me.

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Ruben Bolling is apparently a pseudonym for Ken Fisher, a cartoonist, the author of Tom the Dancing Bug. “His pieces demonstrate concern about the power of large corporations and satirize the way government has been corrupted by money.” According to Wikipedia anyway. Well, I appreciate his comic anyway. You can go check out some of his other comics here. I could spend some significant time over there, but I need to go buy a box. Before school.

*Big Country, In a Big Country

Some People Say I’ve Done Alright for a Girl*

I wake up in the morning and my brain is still heavily involved in a conversation it was having with itself last night before I went to bed. Like maybe it went on all night while I was sleeping (not that I slept all night; y’all know how that goes…it might be why my eyes are a bit twitchy this morning) and it will continue to go on while I’m teaching and maybe I’ll get reinvolved in the conversation some time after school. If it lets me. I wonder sometimes if I’m a little insane, because it really does feel like parts of my brain are over there discussing things without telling me until something is decided. And then I remember Art Brain. I constantly let her go wander around with drawings. She always comes back, sometimes years from now, like the most recent quilt.

This is Womanscape.

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She’s big…54″ wide by almost 82″ high. I like to do one really big quilt a year, usually over the summer. Last year was a bit weird for that, because I finished the big one in January or so. There’s a lot going on in here…honestly, this is a picture of my brain having a bunch of mostly related conversations…starting with a drawing from 2012, tearing it up into bits, and reworking it into this.

I also finally photographed this one, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

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Yup. It’s me. Back when I was young and skinny. My kids are in this one too. Shadows. I just realized girlchild has what looks like a target on her uterine area. Whoops. She’ll love that. Anyway, obviously I made this one for the IQF Power of Women show, but if she doesn’t get in, she’ll get in somewhere. So that was the summer…two quilts. Nice.

I think I entered 8 shows in the last 3 weeks. Waiting to hear on all of them. It’ll take a while. Probably be a bunch of rejections too. I do have one where I’m guaranteed to get one piece in. That’s a plus.

So I finally finished all those pink bullion knots! A miracle. There were a lot of them for some reason. Now I only have one color left, this blush orange, they call it. And here’s why I left it for last. That stitch. It’s crested chain stitch. It’s not HARD…but I keep having to look at the book to remember what to do next.

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Plus I’m not very good at keeping it even yet. Oh well. It’s progress. I always feel like I could embellish these Sue Spargo quilts forever, but then I remember I have more of them and maybe I should just finish it and move on! I know. Crazy.

I did finally get to tracing around 9:30 at night. I had tutoring after school and then went to Home Depot for wood slats for the quilts I need to deliver and then I was trying to book a hotel or AirBnB for the Chandler opening of Things That Matter in November. Yes! I’m going! It’s a long drive, and I may hate myself in the middle of it, but I’m going. We’re going. November will be a clusterfuck of travel. What’s new? Anyway, I traced for about 45 minutes, and then I was tired and nausea took over my brain.

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These new diabetes meds are a constant issue. The positive is they’ve brought my blood sugar down. The negative is they regularly make me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure what to do about it. I thought it was getting better, but the last week wasn’t great. Patience, I guess. This is how they make you lose weight (it’s one of the side effects)…you can’t eat or you throw up. Fun stuff.

Anyway, I took a break for about an hour and then felt better and started tracing again. I don’t do well with nausea. But then it was late, and even though now I felt fine and wanted to keep going, I also want to survive a day with middle-schoolers, so I went to bed. I’m in the 300s somewhere. So much for being done last night. I’m just under 3 hours in. More than halfway.

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Maybe tonight I will get more done and/or feel better. Some nights it doesn’t bug me…not sure why. And I get dehydrated but plain water makes it worse.

This is Kitten Television. She has pushed the slats over so she can watch the birds and the bunnies in the front yard.

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And if she’s really offended by their existence, she bangs the slats and wakes me up. My cat is so weird.

*The Dollyrots, Brand New Key

I’m Unusually Hard to Hold On to*

I’m thinking this was a very good weekend. It helps to have an extra day, doesn’t it? Especially for teachers, who usually lose a half to whole day of their weekend to planning and grades. I spent a significant chunk of time on school stuff, only because I had to organize the parent email for Sunday, but it wasn’t too bad. I know it will get worse, so I’m enjoying this weekend, when I had some time to laze around with a book or just NOT do something, which is really hard for me.

So we went to a couple of local wineries on Saturday afternoon…this one was nice, because of the view.

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It was a great day for grapes as well…

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And they had alpacas.

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We came home after and had some dinner, and I started trying to finish this drawing…

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And then decided I should stitch these to their boxes…these and four quilts need to be delivered next weekend for the Soka University show that opens on September 20.

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I’m going to have to figure out when I can go see it…since it’s only open Monday-Friday.

I’m still working on these…I have 5 pink balls left to embellish, and then all the dark orange ones…

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And then I’ll have TWO wool quilts that need quilting.

Puppy sleep…

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Ah yes, on Sunday, I finished the drawing. It’s good, although I’m still debating something in the top right.

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And then I numbered it…

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High 500s, I think. Not bad. Not huge. Not too complicated.

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Then we planned a hike to Hollenbeck Canyon this morning…need to get in one good long hike each month. Today was the day.

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It was shady and cool at the start…

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Those weird gourds…I’ve never seen the yellow flowers before though.

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And these spiky things are pretty cool…

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It’s definitely summer to fall here…

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Old oaks, mostly dry grass…this is near the top of the hellish hill…we hiked up from the dark green in the middle right. Boychild took a different (aka longer) route…

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You can’t see him, but he’s waving from the crotch between the two hills. He eventually caught up with us. Long legs and youth…I never had the first and I barely remember the latter.

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The path down into the back valley…

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There’s a coyote in this picture. Wave if you find him.

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Dead snake…probably got hit by the bike that went by earlier.

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And the long view out toward the south and the Jamul mountain range.

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Boychild for the win. It was a little over 5 1/2 miles. Not bad. Home before lunch!

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There’s all the parent emails I input and/or checked on Saturday. Kitten’s got this under control, yeah?

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OK, so on the schedule for today: enter one more show (I’m up to 6 or 7 I think), drop sewing machine at mom’s so she can take it in to the shop for me and they can figure out the tension/feed dog thing, make my lunches for the week, start tracing Wonder Under, pack up the 4 quilts that need to be delivered next weekend, put a label on one of those quilts, maybe read my book. Not a bad ending to a 3-day weekend.

*Sara Bareilles, Love Song