At the End…

Hello very dark in the morning. I do not appreciate you. Sorry. I’m up early to go to the doc for my stupid knee. I’m not happy about being up early. I tried going to bed a little earlier, and then my brain remembered all the things in the world to be anxious about, so that went well. Then it woke me up at 4:30 because it might be time to get up (it wasn’t). My brain and I are barely speaking these days, though, so I guess that’s par for the course. I’m just hoping for a host of referrals to specialist things that I can hopefully schedule over Winter Break (Ha! I’m gonna bet none of them can be scheduled until well into next year) and then solutions to the knee would be lovely.

My office calendar is still set to November y’all. Not a good sign.

In good news, I managed to finish cutting out all the pieces, about 8 hours total…

And then last night, I sorted them…

And started ironing.

Feels good. I like this part.

School was hard, but only in the afternoon…mostly because of this, although I didn’t get to go to this…

Just half of my kids did. Yeah. Well. I get to go in April? Maybe.

Monday night’s sky.

At school still. Ah well. This week. And next week. And then I’m off for three. Hallelujah.

Gotta go. Today is busy and long. But hopefully more ironing (and maybe a nap) at the end.

Way Less Than Optimal…

WordPress is now adding a question to the previously blank blogpost, in case I logged in to write a post and had no idea what to write about. I guess that might happen. Maybe? The question is “what would I want to change about myself?” Um. So many things. That I’m not gonna write about here. But thanks.

This last weekend was the weekend of no sleep. There’s a skunk who has decided that late nights outside the bedroom window are exciting, and the little dog is also excited about this; in fact, everyone except the humans who have to function during the day and can’t nap for endless hours is excited. So I’m running on way less than optimal sleep. On a Monday. Ten school days before Winter Break. Also there’s an on-campus field trip thing tomorrow that only HALF of my 7th graders can go to and I haven’t dealt with that AT ALL and I’m not sure exactly HOW to deal with it because my teacher’s aide has been out and I occasionally am getting a sub, and I can’t send my kids if I don’t have a SECA that day. So how do I present that to a bunch of already problematic kids? Um you MIGHT get to do something cool and fun but only HALF of you get to go tomorrow, the rest have to wait until APRIL and OMG you might NOT get to go if we continue to have too many people out. Yeah. Sounds great.

I worked a lot on school stuff this weekend. The pro is that I am caught up (almost) on grading…I have about 6 redoes that need grading and that’s it. For today anyway. The con is that I didn’t plan all the way through the end of next week…this shit just takes too long. Everything needs editing because it’s too complicated, not helpful, and it’s PDF files, so the editing takes even longer. I beg steal and borrow from other stuff we’ve done to try to help with the planning, and it’s still so fucking time-consuming. I think I spent about 9 hours on the day job this weekend. Ugh.

I did also go to my guild’s holiday party. I took 3 fat quarters for that game they play (didn’t win…but I did last year, so I’m OK with that), but my prize for going to the party was 2 half yards. For you non-quilt-math people, I came out with an extra fat quarter. So that’s fun. We made fabric ornaments…

Which was fun. I did not pick holiday fabrics. And Kitten has already absconded with this. I need to get a hanger on it and get the tree in from outside so she will be less likely to steal it.

I spent a goodly few hours cutting stuff out this weekend…

Friday night with Kitten…

Saturday night after dinner…

And last night after all the things. I’m in the sky. So I cut out basically in opposite order from ironing, although I dumped everything into a bigger bin at some point, so I can see sky and flesh in there, and I think flesh was ironed after sky. So there’s still a big chunk of stuff, but I can see the bottom of the bin, so I’m getting close. Probably not tonight, but maybe tomorrow night. This thing has a hard deadline, so I’m really trying to stay on top of it. I’m behind my original schedule already. Sigh. When am I ever NOT behind? In everything really.

Kitten has been following me around…

This was Friday night’s sleep.

The other two are still cuddling against the cold…

Until Nova wants to sleep in the bedroom, and then Luna loses her fucking mind.

This guy won’t let anyone sleep because of that skunk…

Luckily, boychild is home tonight and can take over…the skunk doesn’t like the dirt outside HIS room as much as the dirt outside MY room. And then maybe I can sleep through the night. That would be nice. Seriously feels like there’s sand in my eyes. So tired.

Saturday night…finishing a drawing from the previous weekend, I think.

I don’t know that it’s actually finished. But I’m finished with it.

Too true below…

I am going in to the doc to have them tell me my knee is royally fucked and they will ask me about my period. The one I haven’t had for like 5+ years. I don’t have a clue when the last one was. Fun stuff.

Last night’s sky was (as always) much prettier in person than my camera will show…

Need a new phone. Sigh to that as well. Just paid the property taxes. At least I could afford that.

OK. Staff meetings today. One grade is doing an assessment (they will be fine). The other grade will have to read by themselves to fill out a chart. So that’s gonna go well. Independent anything has been difficult for them this year. It’s exhausting. But it’s short and I’m not cooking tonight, so maybe I can get more planning done and then cut stuff out for longer. That would be nice. That’s my goal then.

Show Your Work…

Oh my. So exhausted after two whole days of school. I must be doing it wrong. Of course, sleep is not my friend. I’m teaching a new engineering unit, so my brain decides to go over how it will all work, precisely, specifically, we move from this to that, over and over and over again…while I’m trying to sleep. Not helpful, brain. Not helpful at all. It’s OK…at some point, I will be so exhausted that I will fall asleep even though my brain is trying to do all the things. I mean, it can’t possibly DO all the things.

Speaking of the brain, our school district is back to trying to make us understand how our brains work and how we can work better HARDER because of it. Or better with other people? Much as I like the little brain quizzes (ok, 177 questions is not little, and it was timed, so you couldn’t rest or relax while taking it), I don’t really need the 3 AM email that says because I am STRATEGIC, I need to (OMG get this) SHOW MY WORK. I kinda wanna send that to my kids and all former and current male attachments, because that is all about how my brain gets from here to there with 17 thousand iterations that you didn’t see and you don’t understand. That is the random shit I say sometimes when my entire family turns and stares at me because we were talking about widgets and I’m now talking about cloud movement and there were actually connections between the two in my head, it’s like this crazy twisted ribbon of how I got there, and now I have to SHOW MY WORK and explain to y’all how I got there and you still think I’m nuts.

That however does not make my job easier at the moment. I did successfully post 24 videos of kids dropping egg supply pods yesterday. We did not use real eggs yesterday…practice run. Only one died…

Which is why we’ll be doing real chicken eggs in a week and a half. Hopefully the mess will not be too bad. Ugh. Some interesting designs though…

Mostly there were some big clunky noises though when they hit. So today we’ll redesign with some physics in mind. Hopefully. One class is decidedly “we just want to DO without thinking” so that makes it fun. Not. Gotta love middle-school kids…they do think they know everything even when they know they don’t. May today be easier than yesterday.

Artwise, I’m still ironing. I really thought I’d be done last night, but I went to the gym (very frustrating last two periods of the day, plus trying to plan some shit out without much help), then made videos for each period of all of their drops, then made a doc I need for next week that the stupid curriculum thinks the kids don’t need but they do. Their understanding of what my kids need is almost always off by about 5 years of ability. Which sucks. I scaffold like a bitch, but even that’s not enough some days. One of the brain quiz questions asked if I LOVE my job or DON’T LOVE my job. Right now, it’s a lot of the latter unfortunately. Just because of the planning taking SO MUCH time and having a group of kids that are really difficult all together in the last two classes of the day. Sometimes they’re awesome and I try to hold onto that as much as possible, and sometimes it’s a shit show. Too much of that. Makes you feel like you’re a shitty teacher no matter how many years you have in. So hopefully I will find more love for it; hopefully they will find their chill a little bit too. Too much drama.

So the ironing did not get totally done…but I’m close. Here’s Monday night…

I’m having a hard time picturing this one completely colored in my head. I am using some colors in places I don’t usually use them. But I think (hope?) it will work. Here’s last night…that big piece of blackish fabric is one that I’m kind of questioning, but I think it will work.

I thought about green instead, but there’s all these green hills behind and I didn’t want that part to fade into the back. I wanted it in your face. So we’ll see how that goes.

This is all I have left…

Not much. That’s tonight. Then I can start cutting.

Kitten has been bringing me socks and pieces of my wool stitching…mostly in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping, as she vocalizes quite loudly that she’s brought me my things. It’s been a while since she’s done this…I forgot how annoying and cute it was.

The socks I don’t mind. I wish she’d leave the wool stitching alone. She pulled one block out from under a bunch of other stuff. She does prefer wool to anything else. Weirdo.

OK. I’m not sure what I’m teaching today, because my late-night brain worried about all of it for so long. Sucks. I have to make kids read in both grade levels, which is always a challenge. I could just read to them, but that’s not as useful as their trying to read themselves. They fight it so much. Then pilates after school. Then probably I’m cooking tonight because the boychild is half dead with something awful (not COVID), and then I’ll get to iron. Depending on what school shit I need to do tonight. Which depends on how much I can get done during prep. Or something. I’m not even sure what I need to do at this point, my brain is so tied up in knots. It’s not SHOWING ITS WORK dammit. It comes to me that I spend a lot of time here showing my work though…I guess that’s a thing. Certainly gets it out of my head and into the ether.

Antonyms of Fine…

Apparently I have no clue what day it is. Not surprising, really. I get like this over breaks. One day at a time. Do the things for that day, then make a pillow fort and disappear into a book. I had a legit reason…the book was going to be sucked back by the library demons at 2:33 PM today and I needed to finish it before that happened. I’m not entirely sure I understand what happened in the book, but when the fourth (in the trilogy, yes, really) comes out, I will just reread all of the three previous books and maybe it will all make sense. I really liked parts of it; just wasn’t sure how they were related to previous parts. It was confusing.

I really loved that highlighted bit. Because my co-teacher and I joke about everything being fine, but it’s not. It’s just hard this year. So I missed writing the blog yesterday, even though I wrote it down in my bullet calendar list of things to do, which I’ve been mostly ignoring, except for the parts where I have to be places and feed people. This morning I have to be two places. So I’m up because of the dog and the cats, earlier than desired, but whatever. That’s because the boy left and the dog thinks daylight is an alarm clock. He distinctly does not understand sleeping in.

So yeah, I made a lot of food that is still feeding people, and my family showed up…well, some of them anyway.

Minus the last-minute gravy the boychild helped with, so I officially still have never made gravy, and the cranberry sauce I forgot was in the fridge, but remembered. It was good. I never liked cranberry sauce until I had it made fresh.

This was after all the eating and drinking, so most people are smiling. The next day was the Man’s family, well, some of them…

This time before the eating, and at a much prettier table.

Also, I didn’t have to cook, which I appreciate.

And then there’s the artmaking, which I greatly appreciate…I sorted on Wednesday afternoon, while the turkey was cooking and before people arrived…

And then I started ironing to fabric. This piece has relatively few pieces (630) and is smaller (much) than the last one (28×36″ image). Those are little baby mountains…

This was what I had ironed after Thursday, I think…

And yesterday, I graded all morning and through the England v USA World Cup game. It needed to be done. Also someone needed to score, but I guess that didn’t happen. I’m not done with grading or planning. It’s possible that I never will be. I have two harder assignments left to grade and about two weeks more of planning to get me through to December. But it’s been taking me about an hour to plan each day of this unit/project, crazily, so I don’t know that I’ll get that far through. We’ll see. Too much researching shit, trying to figure out how better to present it than our curriculum does (because even when it’s pretty good, it still isn’t).

I also finished my book. But didn’t exercise. There’s 78 things on the to-do list that aren’t done. The Christmas shopping is mostly done, though. I need to assemble some things and I’m waiting on some stuff and I have to pick up one thing today, but otherwise, I might be sorta done. Kind of. More done than I was a week ago anyway.

I spent a goodly chunk of time ironing yesterday afternoon and evening and night though. And that was good. This piece of sky is one of my hand-dyes. I occasionally like to do it myself. Find it fun.

But then I dye things that are hard to use. This will be good sky though. I made it through all the fleshy pieces…they started in the 100s, then through the 200s and most of the 300s, I think.

Of course, I only did the flesh. I still need to do all the non-fleshy bits: the bones, heart, lungs, burning trees, and polluting cars. So that’ll take a while. I might be halfway through? Not sure because of the numbering. Feels like I’m further on than that, but the head is complicated and so is the vomit. So today sometime I’ll work on the bits in the torso that aren’t flesh, and then I’ll have a better idea of where I’m at. I’m also going to pick up a quilt and hopefully hike/walk the dog and the Man. So here’s what I’ve gotten so far…need a bigger box, plus extra points if you can find the cat butt and tail.

Also need to grade at least one of those hellish assignments. Ugh. Don’t feel like it, but it has to be done. I know some people just don’t do any work over break, but it’s looming over me and I know how panicked I would be next week (or tomorrow!) if I hadn’t done what I did. I need my head above the water, not doing that thing where you’re kicking your feet to push your nose and mouth up a little to get air, which was the last three weeks. Sigh.

When I made it to bed, a bunch of animals followed me…Kitten settled down by my feet, which is not normal for her…usually she comes up later and shoves into my back.

She was there for quite a while before she wandered off to sleep on a blanket somewhere less crowded. Simba was squished between us most of the night…

Although this was before the Man came to bed. Luna showed up in the dark. Nova doesn’t come in on the bed any more. She would, but the dog freaks her out. Her loss.

OK. So I’m up. I need to shower, go get my quilt, pick up the Xmas thing, go for a hike, probably eat somewhere in there, grade some shit, plan some other shit, iron fabrics, probably do a date-night thing, and read another book (it’s OK; it’s short). Today is Saturday. I’m just writing that for my own assistance. I need to remember to do all the things tomorrow that get me ready for school, and the more times I remind myself that today is Saturday, the more likely it is that I will remember to do all the things on Sunday that will help me go to school on Monday. I’m glad I’ve had time this week to recharge without students around. To plan without panicking. To get caught up on grading. That’s good. Plus make a bunch of food and freeze it so my December self panics less. These are good things. Maybe next year I can have a break from school that isn’t full of grading and planning (ha!). Next year, I’ll have taught all this once and will have more help. Hopefully. For now, I’m thankful that it’s Saturday and not Sunday. I can do a Saturday.

Not Much But…

Well today is one of my Thanksgiving celebrations this week…my family. Pretty small, only six of us, but still a lot of cooking. I cut some corners, bought a pie. Didn’t do anything fancy, but still seem to be doing not much but cooking and cleaning. That said, the bathroom is clean and it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving…I’m just thankful it’s clean. It’s been driving me nuts, that and the carpet, but the Man fixed the vacuum and did that, so it’s all good. I have a hard time prioritizing cleaning over school and art, so it falls by the wayside. I think the garden is higher on the list, honestly. So at the moment, the turkey is brining in a bucket in the fridge, due to come out in about 4 hours, I made cranberry sauce for the first time ever (usually the girlchild and boychild are helping with all this)…I baked the storebought pie (it’s Julian Pie, it’s better than regular storebought), the roll dough was made last night and is currently rising, and the bread for the stuffing is drying out. I need to make stuffing, get the turkey in, and then do potatoes. And gravy. Mom’s bringing the beans, the boychild made a pie last night, but IDK what it is (something I won’t like, hence the Julian pie), and wine and appetizers have been delegated out. As long as I don’t drop anything or the oven doesn’t conk out (always a possibility considering its age), we’ll be fine.

For some reason, a picture of the inside of one’s refrigerator seems very personal…but here it is, minus the rolls and the second pie that showed up this morning…

I need to eat some of that yogurt and get that bucket out of there!

Luckily, I don’t have to cook or clean for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving celebration…just show up with alcohol and rolls. There’s a lot of eating this week. I need more exercise. I’ve also been dealing with school stuff, but need to deal with a lot more. I’m behind. Always. Need to get this 8th-grade unit figured out though. And posts made. I think I have through Wednesday done for next week. I’d really like the whole damn three weeks done, but IDK if I can do that. We’ll see.

In the totally positive realm, I’m making good progress on the newest quilt. I started cutting pieces out on Monday night and finished last night…the two piles don’t look a lot different…

Here’s the final piles…with just under 5 hours of trimming to get to that point…

Sometime today I’ll be sorting those (won’t take long) and then cleaning up the studio/office so I can start ironing to fabric tonight or tomorrow. That’s what I really want to be doing this week. Gonna have to force myself to stop and grade and/or lesson plan once that starts. Ah well. If I can get the whole thing ironed to fabric before I go back to school, that will be a good thing.

I also fixed Simba’s favorite old dinosaur toy. So there’s that.

Kitties still cuddling…

We’re hoping to hike Friday (Black Friday outside away from the stores!)…or Saturday. I’ve got Christmas shopping mostly under control (not really, just in WAIT mode on a lot of it). Haven’t touched the yard yet, though, and it’s in need. Ah well. Can’t do it all…

That’s what I really want to do…is read. I wish I were better at listening to books being read. I just stop paying attention though, so it’s kind of a waste to even try. So push some reading into today…somehow. Maybe once the turkey is in…can’t do much while that’s going on.

Hope everyone who wants to deal with Thanksgiving is enjoying most of what they’re doing, and if you’re not celebrating it (like most of the world), that your week is going well. And if Thanksgiving is traumatic (I find it stressful even though I like the gathering part…for the most part)…then I hope you find something that makes the next few days better…I like the outdoors for that, but also making stuff. Highly recommend. OK. Gotta go make stuffing now. Peace out.

More to Be Thankful for…

Good morning. Less sleep than usual. My fault. My desire to sleep in is not matched by the dog’s desire to be awake, fed, and peed. I forget this. Unfortunately.

Also unfortunate. Or at least things to consider: Red Shawl Day on Saturday, which I noticed because I follow a ton of National Parks, and they were all posting about it…per their website, “American Indian and Alaska Native women are missing and murdered at a rate of more than 10 times the national average. Red Shawl Day is an annual national effort to bring attention to the horrible acts of violence committed against Indigenous people, particularly women and children. Throughout the week surrounding November 19, people are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of the loss of sacred lifeblood through violence.” Just proof that justice is not the same for everyone.

Then Sunday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance…”an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.” More people who do not receive equal justice. That followed by the LGBTQ-hate shooting in Colorado Springs by the grandson of my former Assemblyman, Randy Voepel, MAGA all the way down.

They redrew the district lines about 10 years ago, but this is one of the guys I used to email regularly because he didn’t represent ALL of his district, just the white conservative faction (and honestly, the far right). There’s a lot of that dumbassery out here, unfortunately. But sure, let’s make sure all the haters have guns.

I’m currently working on an environmental issue quilt, but guns are ruling for the next one. Or something. Hate? I don’t want to do another hate quilt. We’ll see. I’ve got a while before I’m done with this one.

That said, I finished tracing the Wonder Under last night…

By staying up way too late…

I guess the dog let me sleep in an hour after the Man left for work…that’s a plus. It’s only three yards…much smaller than the last one.

Oh yeah, and this bit…

The vomit. Hence its nickname in my data collection app. So that was 8 hours and 40 minutes of tracing. My hand and shoulder hurt last night…this morning, they are somewhat recovered. The next step is to cut stuff out. I really want to be ironing to fabric by Thursday. I have a lot to do in the next three days, including grades, a dentist’s appointment to finally get the crown I needed back in August, and a Wednesday Thanksgiving dinner…so clean the house and cook. Lots of cleaning and cooking. Plus walking the frantic dog? Yeah, probably. He’s losing his mind right now because the boychild just arrived after being gone since Thursday AM.

I spent most of Saturday grading science units…but we did manage a short hike…

Mostly to try to tire out the barky dog so he’d do less of that…

Plus drawing at dinner, finishing one from last weekend…

The two younger cats have decided to be friends again…less fighting. More cuddling…

The old lady is sleeping a lot…

She had gained weight by the last checkup, but she’s lost weight again this time. One of her meds is for her thyroid, and we’ve had problems getting the right dosage. Plus whatever is going on in her gut causes issues. The truth of it all is that she’s old. But she’s relatively happy and playful despite all that, so that’s a plus.

Oh yeah, Friday’s field trip was OK. Could have been an hour shorter and I would have been OK with it. Expensive place to go, Old Town. The Scavenger Hunt part was good. The kids participated and all. Apparently the 7th-grade group was not as good. I guess that’s the plus of having 8th grade this year.

The graveyard in Old Town…and some diorama thing where the little plastic dog had fallen down.

Anyway, not a bad end to the week. I am enjoying hanging out in my pajamas and not panicking about posting assignments and lesson plans…yet. That’ll be later this week. It’s not a stress-free week, though…never is. Need to catch up on grading and planning so the next three weeks aren’t insane. Need to do Xmas shopping and shipping. Need to catch up on cleaning and yardwork that’s fallen by the wayside while teaching. Plus read 10 books. Is that a thing? I also need to catch up on sleep, which isn’t going to happen if I keep staying up late. But my brain works better then. Sigh. OK. For now, I have one more class of science units to grade so I can take them back to school today. Easier than dealing with them next Monday, plus I have counseling today and need a space that is not inhabited by multiple humans for that. And I need to check the stash for the lab I’m doing next Tuesday. So I need to read the teacher manual for that. Busy week. Always is. But still thinking about all the hinky shit people are doing to other people instead of getting along. Sigh. May there be more to be thankful for as the week progresses.

No Fanfare…

Usually I feel like there’s a bigger fanfare coming up to a school break. There’s a countdown. I mean, there’s a countdown in my head, but it’s mostly panicking because I didn’t have a plan for teaching everything this week. So I was panicking about that and not thinking about how today is the last day of school and then I have 9 lovely days off (well, there’s a lot of stuff that needs to happen, so not all of it is lovely, but that is the way of the world…and at least I’ll be able to pee when I want). Today, we are on a field trip…strange, though, because half the team is going to the Zoo and the other half to Old Town, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. But whatever. It’s done. We’re not at school. I don’t have to try to get a bunch of kids to do something they don’t want to do today. And the buses are picking up late because of elementary-school conferences, so we won’t get back until almost the end of the school day. Sweet. So no trying to teach two class periods after a field trip when we’re all cranky and exhausted. And for once, I end the day with 8th graders instead of 7th graders. Netflix? Check.

Then there are 125 or so science unit packets to grade. I got through exactly 9 yesterday (I had other stuff to do during class). I’d like to finish Period 1 and leave it at school, and then if I have the stamina, finish Period 2 (it’s huge) and leave it as well. I’d rather stay at school for an hour and kick those out than take them home. I’ll have to bring 7th grade home no matter what.

Last night, before my quilty Zoom meeting, I managed to post the first three days of stuff for 8th grade for after the break. I’m really hoping to have all the posts for that whole three weeks planned out before the end of Thanksgiving. I need to get ahead of stuff. I need to backwards-plan genetics and geologic time scale, and then see how much time is left for space and magnetism. Not much, I’m thinking. Ah well. This year is hard. I’m doing my best.

In art news, ah yes, the bliss of tracing stuff. I finished redrawing the new quilt on Wednesday night…

I didn’t change a huge amount, but cleaned up lines and added some stuff, especially to the earth head.

Then I stayed up too late and numbered it…

It doesn’t take a huge amount of time to number it…but it was enough to put me in bed late…

This one is smaller than my last few. It needed to be; it has to be done before the end of the year.

Only 630 pieces! Crazy. For me. Not a lot.

Then last night, I was a on a stitching Zoom with friends. I spent the first hour doing something for a Christmas present and the second hour plus another after the Zoom tracing Wonder Under pieces…

Yay! It’s very meditative and calming. Not enough, unfortunately, because I couldn’t fall asleep, and then something was crawling around outside the window, so Simba lost his mind and then I couldn’t fall back asleep. So I’m not awake. And I’m hopefully going somewhere I can buy caffeine. Or I’m taking it with me. IDK. Something. But now I can trace for the next two-three days, then cut it out, hopefully ironing to fabric by Thanksgiving Day. Big chunks of art, please. Yes, I will have to grade shit and plan shit and probably clean shit (fuck, I think Thanksgiving is here Wednesday night…so I need the vacuum fixed…yikes). But I need a break from the rest of it. I need to read a lot and contemplate silence. Or loud music of my choice. And less whining and neediness. That especially. Learned helplessness. Ugh.

OK. Here’s Nova this morning…

Such a sweetheart. Good thoughts for the day. We’ll be outside and wandering around Old Town and trying to find stuff on a scavenger hunt. Sunscreen. I need sunscreen. And a lunch…I bought a sandwich yesterday to take with me. The fun of being a diabetic. Ah, my head just twinged. Drink more tea. Make sure there is Motrin in my bag. I do actually love field trips. I’m just missing the zoo today.

Something Manageable

I need to start the next quilt. I apparently thought I had until March. I do not. I have until January. Uh huh. OK. Oh yeah. It needs to be SMALLER, Nida. Seriously. No freaking big monsters of a quilt right now. Something MANAGEABLE (unlike maybe my day job). I have it half drawn in my head. Can I do it without intense detail? I mean, I can make things smaller and STILL put 3000 pieces in them unfortunately. It’s OK. I got this. I might lose my mind while doing it, but I got this.

So it’s been a remarkably shitty week for making art. I still haven’t put the binding on the current quilt. I keep track of my daily hours on specific art tasks, although I don’t count sewing on labels or other prep to send stuff to shows, and that’s all I’ve done this week. In the last 7 days, I’ve spent barely an hour on art stuff and that just fucking sucks. I know I’ve done some fun stuff this week too that has taken up my available time (the cat just deleted that whole sentence by laying her head on the keyboard, and then was offended when I pulled it out from under her), but it still feels shitty. Grades are due Tuesday and I was hoping to keep this weekend free…excuse me while I hysterically laugh myself under the desk because I have so much grading to do and I haven’t even really lesson planned next week for 8th grade, and we’re camping next weekend, so I need to be able to plan out the following week as well, OMG, I can’t breathe. This weekend is fucked. All the weekends are fucked. So are the random holidays, even the week off, it’s fucked.

In good news, I did manage to get that label on the quilt I need to ship…

Took me almost all damn week just to label it, clean the cat hair off of it, cut slats, roll it, and box it up. Sad but true. The bindings for the other two quilts are still sitting over here, waiting to be sewn on. Hopefully tonight and tomorrow. Handsewing is easier to do in little chunks. I have to commit a big chunk of time to sew bindings on. I don’t want to stop halfway to go to bed. I guess I could, but it seems silly.

Wednesday night…I graded stuff and then dehaired the quilt. Thursday night I went to the Jurassic World Exhibition…free educator night (they want us to bring field trips)…

You know me, I’m finding typos…check out the Data Chanel…

It was cool. I had a really shitty day with the kids, really hard, walk away and try not to cry, quit your job, and go work somewhere that you don’t have to bring home with you every day kinda day. But the dinos made it better…

Also might have been hanging out with coworkers in a less stressful environment. Yes, dinosaur attacks are way less stressful than middle school classrooms right now. So that helped last night. Then spent a couple hours talking to stitching friends…and actually doing some stitching! WTF. I know. All I did was the curtains…

They’re fancy. Buttonhole stitch needle lace thingies. Luna was impressed.

Then I speed graded after that. And then came in and packed the quilt into a box, got a UPS label, and went to bed.

Today repeat. Well. No dinosaurs, but art opening tonight in Liberty Station. Then dinner out. Then hopefully some quick grading and some bindings to sew. I AM going to my quilt guild meeting tomorrow. I will bring the iPad and speed grade on that. Brainless effort stuff. Super fast. I want to hike tomorrow too. It’s been a while. Driving me crazy not getting out into nature and exerting myself. Then start drawing the next quilt. Make it fit on one page for once. I used to know how to do that.

I appreciate the colorful mornings right now. I realize I will lose them again after Sunday’s time change, but I will appreciate the fuck out of that extra hour.

And next week…hopefully there will be more art (sketchbook while camping!) and fewer stressful days at school. It’s been easier in the last few weeks, but the last two days were shit. Wish me luck today. I don’t have a lot of hope for it, unfortunately, but that’s because we’re making kids do hard things, and this group I have has a hard time with hard things. Sigh.

Achievement Unlocked…

It’s weird. On the one hand, I seem to have missed most of the month of October. Busy as hell, not chill, no relaxation, very little down time. Pro: Time in this hellacious school year seems to be moving quite fast. Con: Time seems to be moving quite fast. I can’t get everything done. There’s probably a movie about this. Or a song. I don’t have time to look it up though. I get to the end of the day, and I realize, oh shit, I still haven’t called the vet for the cat’s retest or the sewing machine shop to get my machine cleaned, and now they are closed. Fuck. OK. Write it down for tomorrow. Do over! Except tomorrow is just as nuts. I realized yesterday that the end-of-trimester grades are due in less than 2 weeks. FUUUCK. I’m so behind. So I forced myself to grade one class of the harder assignments last night. I can do it in chunks. But either I lesson plan and kids have work to do or I grade and kids have grades. I’m having a hard time finding a place in the middle where they have both those things AND I get to exercise, eat, sleep, and (most importantly) make art. I stood at a school-board meeting last night for over an hour, listening to them bitch at each other, so we could explain to them that not offering us cost-of-living at the very least is a pay cut. They started at 2.5%. Inflation is 8.2%. We all have to pay our bills, pay for gas, food, school supplies (that’s kicking MY butt) out of our salaries. The district next door to us would pay me $12K more a year. Can’t afford to move to it, because I would lose most of my years. Such a stupid system. Of course, they do it to make us stay. So I spend valuable grading time staring at the school board and wondering why teachers have to fight so hard for a fair wage. Then I come home and grade. Unpaid. Yeah. Stupid system.

I do have some cool stuff coming up…there’s an art opening at Francis Parker School on Thursday from 5-7 PM. I’m coming straight from school, so I will need to bring extra pants to school, because it’s pajama day. It’s also bargaining, so I have to wear red. I decided to splurge ($20) on a pair of red pajamas to solve that problem. They have pockets. That’s a plus.

Meanwhile, I’m getting so close (but still not done) on the quilt. I forget that on a big quilt, the trip around the borders is LONG. It was about 10:15 last night, and I’m like, shit, I’m not even going to make it down one side. So I stayed up a little later and made it down one side. Achievement Unlocked! The night before, I did a bunch of the little bits in the center, filling spaces, and then started on the right side…

Not totally sold on the variegated thread. It will be fine from a distance. But damn, this thread is linty as shit. I feel like I need to up my thread game, but I don’t know where to start. Ah well. The rayons shred like crazy, but less lint. My local quilt stores focus more on embroidery threads than quilting threads. And everybody has their favorites. I may just go back to rayon when this is done.

So I finished half of the right side, then the bottom to there. Almost to the edge. Then around that corner, across the top, and down the rest of the right side. Feels like two nights. Then trim and bind. Got a crown that needs replacing (that’s not cheap) that will take up time on Saturday, the Man has a show (still don’t know if I can/want to crash it), plus lesson planning and grading. Neverending. Plus those two damn phone calls. I didn’t even finish my calendar bullet journal thing for this week, Sunday was that bad. Sigh.

But I got to cuddle with this guy last night…

It’s been chilly at night and in the morning. He’s warm and nice.

And the old lady is usually around somewhere…

Sometimes she’s just a little too much in my space. Funny, because this morning, I don’t know where she is. Gonna have to chase her down to give her meds.

OK, running a lab in 8th grade, cars on ramps, speed calculations. In 7th grade, plate tectonics stations. I had no aide yesterday in two high-needs classes, and I teach one station while the other two APPARENTLY work independently. Only if I glare at them. I have to get through two groups today, even if it kills me (and it might). I hate the sub shortage. They pull my SECA to help kids who need more help (I get it) and they don’t tell me, so I can’t even shift the class into a less needy situation (we have a lesson for this week that is whole group), because I don’t even know she’s not showing up until like 10 minutes into class and she’s not there. So frustrating. Odds are I will have to cover someone’s class during my prep tomorrow or Friday…lots of teachers out, few subs. I’m next on the list. So when do I grade/prep? At home. At night. On the weekends. Starting to think about the next quilt though. My brain is all over the place, mostly tired thoughts honestly. Quilts of women sleeping while chaos abounds around them. Wishful thinking.

Art-Filled Weekend…

It was an art-filled weekend…and somehow I managed to get a healthy chunk of grading done too. I’m only planned for one grade through Wednesday, maybe, though, so something fell through the cracks. Or I just don’t know how much I can get done in the next two days, so I need to play it by ear. Scary when you’re doing labs though. I need those planned ahead of time. But the lab I was going to do Tuesday, I need to be able to prep before school or after the day before, and I can’t do that for Tuesday…staff meetings and parent meeting. So it got pushed to Wednesday and the thing before it takes up an unknown amount of time. So there’s that. Scrambling a bit.

Quilt Visions opened this weekend. I made it to Friday night’s preview, Saturday morning’s opening and my ‘stand-in-front-of-my-quilt’ time (which was really a long, interesting conversation with one of the other artists), and the dinner on Saturday night. The best part of any of these events is talking to other artists; I really enjoyed that.

I especially enjoyed hanging out with Sheila Frampton Cooper; hadn’t seen much of her since she moved to France, but now she’s back.

I tried to take photos of the space more than the quilts…really, seeing them in person is always better.

Niraja Lorenz won Best of Show with this fascinating piece; I enjoyed talking to her about it (although forgot to get a photo of her)…

Visions is not a huge space…

But they managed the show well…here is Dianne Firth’s piece, always cool to see the shadows her work makes…

And Irene Roderick drew on hers! I loved that bit…

The wall with my piece and two other interesting pieces…

Phil Jones’ heart…

Another view…

A closeup of Libby Williamson’s piece…

And look! I actually took a picture of a piece with the artist.

Sometimes my brain works.

I had a cool conversation with Susan Lapham of the second quilt from the left.

There are a couple of sections I just didn’t remember to photograph…

I tried!

Meanwhile, I did come home on Saturday and pinbasted the current quilt…

After finishing stitchdown on Friday night with Kitten’s interference…

The last time this will be seen…

Before it’s sewn into the quilt…

Pinbasting on my knees is never really fun, but this was quick…

Mostly because I had a deadline to be back at Visions for dinner…

I raided the stash of another quilter who left me a bunch of fabric when she moved…found two full yards of fabric to piece for the backing…

I was playing with all these pieces when I realized I only needed the purple and the green. Good use of them.

The dogs have been playing a bit. Sort of. Mostly Simba trying to play and Katie yelling about it.

Poor Simba…

Last night, I started quilting finally…only about 6 weeks after my original plan.

Still with Kitten in the way…

This week is a little chaotic, so I’m hoping to get an hour done a night, maybe a little more. But we’ll see. I do need to get to school, though, even though I have a few more photos of the show that need resizing, and normally I would add all the names and links. I’ll try to add those later. But for now, need to get to school and do a lab and I don’t remember what else. Yikes. I wish I had a better handle on it. But I don’t.