Save Tonight and Fight the Break of Dawn*

Ahhhh. Monday. Hello. Now shut up.

Grades due tomorrow? Check. Not done. Homework you were grading in the car on the way to and from your fiber group meeting yesterday? Check. Not done. The 17 things on your to-do list from the weekend? Check. Not done. Like any of them, I think. Well, not true…I did the school-related stuff, I made it to the grocery store…so there’s food. The laundry got done somehow by 11:45 PM, so there are clean clothes. So I guess, yes, I am in survival mode. What’s new? Less than 2 months of school to go…it is not the sanest time of year.

Proof: between my co-teacher and I yesterday..

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So this afternoon, I need to finish grading one assignment, finish the makeup tests, input it all, and then decide the effort and participation grades for each kid. Fun stuff. It’s only a progress report, though, so it’s not the end of the world…which is apparent to me by the remarkably small number of kids who tried to turn in late work. Hmmm.

So I did trace Wonder Under on Saturday before heading out to the Visions opening of Things That Matter, where I met some very interesting artists (not all of us made it into this photo, unfortunately). Me, Sandra Lauterbach, Martha Ressler, Bonnie Jo Smith, Sandra Poteet, and Lin Schiffner.

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I also really enjoyed talking to Alice Beasley, whose work for this show is highly political and amusing, and Dawn Williams Boyd, whose work caught my eye right away. I think she challenged me to make a room-size quilt. Because? Oh, and apparently I own one of Bonnie’s pieces (totally spaced on that) from a SAQA auction.

There’s a catalog for this show, currently available at Visions, and hopefully other places soon. Not all of the artists in this traveling show were accepted into this exhibit, so it would be nice to see the full show when it opens in November in Chandler, Arizona…some truly beautiful work.

My piece is hanging next to Susan Else’s amazing piece about gun violence.

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That’s a gun barrel with a classroom inside it. Amazing.

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I really sucked at taking photos at the exhibit, but you should go see it and buy the catalog anyway…it’s what will help us ship our work all over the country.

From the opening, I headed to a friend’s bonfire for dinner…a beach sunset eventually showed up.

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And then to a stranger’s house to watch the band. They removed a door and that back wall to get room for the show. My guy is staring at me…I’m probably doing something weird, like photographing the band.

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Sunday was a fiber meeting, and then attempted surgery on my foot. I stepped on a bougainvillea thorn…I was wearing shoes at the time. I think. Maybe I wasn’t. Anyway, that was Saturday or maybe even Friday, but it was hurting Sunday.

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Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful…it was already swollen by then (it didn’t hurt until Sunday, I swear). I’ve slathered it with cream…even soaked it in vinegar last night. Imagine me tracing Wonder Under with my foot planted in a pot full of vinegar for an hour. It’s still in there, but it doesn’t hurt as much. All the other home remedies involve my making some gooey paste, slathering it on there, and covering it with a bandage for 24 hours. Except it’s the bottom of my foot and I stand all day. Hmmm. So there’s that. I guess if it gets worse, I’ll head over to Urgent Care for a more qualified guy with a headlamp.

Meanwhile, the low-level cold is still fucking over my sinuses. This thing is evil.

What is it about cats lying all over our stuff?

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So yeah, I traced some more Wonder Under yesterday. I have about 5 1/2 hours in, and I’m in the 400s…

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Not even halfway. I have two figures traced…one more to go and then the whole fireplace, which has quite a few pieces in it.

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I’ll try to do more tonight, but I have to finish grades first. And before that, I have to get to school and do something. I wish I knew what that something was, but you saw that text. I THINK I’ve done everything I need for today…but I’m honestly not sure. I guess, as usual, I will find all that out the hard way.

*Eagle-Eye Cherry, Save Tonight

Crazy Thoughts Have Quick Wings*

It’s funny that lab days at school are tiring, but days when I make them write are even more exhausting…I’m still walking the room, but now it’s to get them on task and focused and understanding the instructions they didn’t listen to in the first place. My patience wears thin. I’ve got that 10% who got the thing written while I was giving instructions. And the kids who wrote it yesterday, even though I told them not to, and then had to rewrite. I’m OK with them. And the 10%. But the 20% who didn’t do the prep work and now are saying they can’t write it? Oh man. Therein lies the challenge. And I was observed yesterday as well. I hope she enjoyed it. I definitely worked for it.

So the hardest part of my day sometimes is trying to find the energy and the brainpower to stand up and find my art materials and do the next step, especially if it’s something I really don’t feel like doing. I had spent some time grading and hanging out, so it was a late start. I was exhausted. Really. So I made a cup of tea and set up the light table. Because no way was I doing nothing last night. Writing this post every day helps me stay motivated, because I hate admitting I didn’t do shit yesterday. Although I can’t avoid that sometimes. But I also know this thing needs to get done. And it will only get done if I DO IT.


It only has about 200 pieces…more than 200, because I used about 5 numbers more than once. I think. So this is not a complicated quilt…I made sure of that, although it’s construction will be different in some ways, so that adds to the complexity. I’ve been thinking that part out in my head and I’m not sure I have it solved yet, but I don’t need to do anything different until I start the ironing-together process…and I’m a ways away from that step.

The thing is, I got to about piece 100 and I was so incredibly tired. My brain was tired. My feet were tired. My legs were tired. I paused and took the dogs out to pee (which with my parents’ dog here for the next three weeks is quite an endeavor…at least two of them at any one time are scared of the dark, so I escort with flashlight all the way out into the very scary yard).

And then I came back and mentally steeled myself for it. Dammit. Because I should be able to finish it in one night. The reason I get so much done is that I must have incredible will power to get through the shit part.

Tracing Wonder Under can be very meditative, but it can also be boring as hell and even annoying. Last night it was mostly boring and I was so tired. But it’s done…in a little over an hour.


All that mental drama for an hour and a bit of tracing. Now I can cut it out (probably in one night)…I do need this one done quickly. I’ve been putting it off because of the construction stuff. But I’ll just have to figure that out. The problem doesn’t go away because I don’t want to deal with it. Gee. I think I tell my students that all the time. Sheesh.

There was a lot of doggy drama last night, but eventually the old lady went off to sleep, sprawled on the floor somewhere, and these two started playing…


Wait a minute. I have a puppysitter. That might be cool. If they weren’t all so annoying about food and walks. And cats. I have one cat I haven’t seen in a day. She often hides…and it’s funny…she doesn’t mind other dogs…isn’t even scared. But she does not like Katie, my parents’ dog. So I often don’t see her when Katie is here.

Every year, I find the money to buy a SAQA auction piece…it’s how I support the organization. Plus I get some cool art. I’ve admired Bonnie Jo Smith’s very simple, graphic work for a while, so I’m really enjoying this piece…plus the idea of swimming upstream is something that appeals to me. Or maybe it IS me.


That link is being fussy, but it worked earlier. So hopefully it will work again, so you can read about the series. So now I need to get this up on the wall. And get my butt to work.

*Jem, Save Me