New Bird…

There’s a new bird in my yard. I haven’t seen it; just heard it. Sounds like a violin being played by a half-competent child. I’ve never heard it before…every morning, I sit in here or at the table and it screeches happily for a while. Is it Spring? Is that why we have a new bird? I don’t know. I wish I knew more about the birds who live here. We focus on the big beautiful owls and hawks, and I truly despise the mockingbird, but all the little gray brown birds…I don’t know what they all are. My neighbor above has added a bird feeder I can see from this window, and there are tons of birds hanging out around there. It makes me wonder why we never did that. Oh wait. We did. It was hard to remember to refill it and eventually it got gross and the metal corroded and we may have thrown it out. Yeah. I have too many things to do already. When the man leaves on his hike again, I have to remember the hummingbird feeders…at least they tell you. They buzz around your head angrily to remind you to fill them.

So that’s in my head this morning. The birds.

Monday night, I decided to leave the belly area and work on the sky. I did a few versions of “where do I put the sun” or “is there a sun?” or whatever, and then filled in the rest.

So the belly area is still undone…I still can’t remember what I was supposed to do in there. Last night, I went to the gym (to finish a book that really pissed me off about halfway through, but also to exercise), so I was late back, late for dinner, and then we watched a bizarre movie and I was stitching through it, nothing complicated, just the Sue Spargo Chirp quilt from a couple years ago, and I couldn’t get inspired to draw the belly.

Every flower is so freakin’ complicated. And there are four of each type. And I may never finish. Very positive thoughts about this quilt right now. So I got to here, looked at the clock, and it was bedtime. Aargh. OK. Well. Tonight is book club, so maybe I’ll finish the drawing? I don’t know. I still don’t know what’s going in that space.

I finished the flying geese…

Although I say that, and I just randomly laid these out, and obviously, I need one more? Except who knows what else will be added to this and I don’t need to decide anything right now.

I also went through the next drawer of black fabrics and made donation piles and then cut pieces for the boro-type scarf I’m making.

Sorted them a little. I’ll go through the white fabrics for the other half of the spectrum too.

Meditating last night with the little beast.

Have to focus on my breathing and not her butt cleaning. Difficult task.

OK, I have two meetings this morning. Sent notes to one. Can’t do both. Plus I teach 4 things today…advisory, science block 1, art, science block 2. I graded all the art projects yesterday. There are a lot of Fs because this group just doesn’t turn work in. Unfortunate. But I’m not waiting for them any more. We’re starting the next project. Onward! Hopefully my brain will figure out the drawing by the time I get to 9 PM, yeah? It would be nice. The new bird has gone quiet…must be naptime.

As I Was Falling Asleep…

Proof I wasn’t ready to go back to school? What am I talking about? We’re always braindead on the weekends. I spent Friday night doing almost nothing but reading; Saturday, we hiked and I drew; Sunday, I panicked a little about school and did some grading and recorded a video, but I still have to post everything and check the calendar and finish up contracts for this week. I tested negative on Friday, but we’re pretty sure we had a positive case in the classroom on Thursday. They don’t even tell us anymore. Just assume? I’m hoping the omicron thing peaks soon so we can go back to whatever version of normal we were on in this iteration. Here’s one crazy thing in my head…don’t get tested in the morning on a lab day, because if they pull you out for testing positive, who the hell is gonna cover your labs? Some poor resource teacher who doesn’t have a clue? The superintendent? Yeah. Well, they are sending people out from the district office to cover our classes. Doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.

Anyway, stay healthy, stay sane. And for MLK, let’s work on voting rights and white people.

The drawing is progressing, although I had to take a break last night, because I couldn’t figure out what to do with the next section, and I know I had an idea right as I was falling asleep, but I don’t remember what it was. It’s OK. It will come back. It’s in my brain somewhere.

On Saturday night, I managed all this…

Inked the rest of the arms and added a few creatures, then penciled in some animals below…and then moved half of them again and redrew most of the others because it was just kind of random placement and size and didn’t work at all, which is how I end up with freakishly tiny pieces.

Ah well. So yeah, moved and shrunk the tortoise, moved the bunny to the other side, redrew the bobcat because it was too fluffy and too diagonal.

The bunny was too big too. It’s still too big really, but I’m not sure I could go smaller. It will work.

The center part is the section I’m flailing on…

It’s OK. Whatever my brain had going will come back by tonight. So there’s just this bit and the sky to do, and that’s it. Then numbering all those pieces and into the tracing. Sounds lovely.

Nova is not sure about all that.

So I’m also doing the Molli Sparkles Cut It Up challenge, which is just some piecing stuff, cutting into fabrics that need love and that might be hard to cut into. I don’t usually have a problem cutting into fabrics, but I do have some that never get used because their details make them hard to use in an art quilt like the ones I make. So I’m trying to use those. So far, most of the fabrics I’ve cut into have never been used. Success! I did this block a few weeks ago…

And then the directions of the curves were bugging me. I thought if I pulled two of them off and switched them, then it wouldn’t look like each side was going the same way? I don’t know if you can even see that. My brain can’t UNSEE it. Anyway, I took one triangle off and tried holding it up to the other sides and there is no way to make this work with the triangles I have. I even did some fancy drawing to check…

Yup. That’s technological wizardry there. Anyway, I could recut triangles, or I could just accept this, because it will be in a quilt full of wildness and it won’t even matter. It’s a good thing I came to this conclusion, because the next step was making a bunch of flying geese, which I don’t think I’ve ever made before, but I didn’t work very hard at directional fabrics and I’m OK with what I have so far.

Oh honey, those aren’t very directional…

THERE we go. I have three more of these to make and I’m totally OK with how it’s going. Why do I do silly piecing and strange challenges when I have so much else going on? The very left brain activity of piecing helps my right brain relax a little and then I can focus on the other stuff, like what to draw in the belly space. Plus it’s something I can control. Well, obviously, not completely, because I can’t figure the directional stuff out, but let it the fuck go. I’m good. We’ll see how far I go with it.

I took my sewing stuff to school to fix a kid’s stuffed animal.

He didn’t seem as appreciative as I would have thought? Ah well. Whatever. Weird skills for a weird job.

Saturday’s hike included an exploratory bit where we tried to find another loop in this park…

But the little section to get down to the other road is apparently private. In the middle of nowhere. So we turned back.

More noticing of the things. It’s not spring yet.

Hey guys. What’s up?

Always being watched.

Saturday dinner drawing…

Not sure what was happening with the hands.

OK, so there’s a to-do list, like always. Some of it’s art-related, a lot is work-related, and there’s a bit of Go-for-a-Walk-related. So I’ll start with packing a quilt to be shipped and work out from there. Hopefully the missing idea from falling asleep will come back and maybe I’ll finish the drawing tonight. We’ll see. It’s nice to have the day off, either way. It’s also nice that the neighbors are quiet (for now).

My Apologies for the Stuff…

It is the last Friday of Winter Break. All hail the chaos ahead. I’m sifting through my plans for next week (especially art) and trying to adjust for possibly having up to 40% of my kids out. OK. With progress report grades due a week and a half later. I gave my art kids this coming week to finish the two projects that should have been done by Winter Break, because they weren’t going to be done. And now? They may still not be done. Gotta move on, y’all…gotta move on. But I will look at what’s on the calendar and see if I can shift any digital stuff to this week. I hate this year. Science is fine…I did this whole unit digitally last year, so I have the 23 videos of the elements already. It’s totally doable. Minor issue that I don’t have a table of contents yet…I’m hoping that solidifies on Monday. Ha! Yeah right.

SOME YEAR IN THE FUTURE school will be normal-ish again. It’s not this year, that’s for sure.

So I was hiking yesterday, out in the pristine (mostly) wilderness of the Cuyamacas, beautiful day…

No really, it was beautiful. A little warm at times, only saw four other people on the trail.

And I got a phone call. I thought we were out of range…certainly there wasn’t very much cell service. I didn’t answer, although it told me who it thought it was, and it was an art person, couldn’t remember which art place though, gallery, museum, whatever. You know how your phone tries to guess things sometimes? Well it guessed someone I’d talked to before.

In retrospect, I wish I’d answered, but oh well. No voice mail left, but when we got into town for our requisite post-hike snack and drink, I checked email…

That’s Dyar Springs by the way…our destination. Well, honestly, we did a big loop and the destination wasn’t really the point. Six miles though of out in the foresty/meadowy bits.

I like this hike…I’ve done it a few times before, but it’s been a while. We saw almost no wildlife on the hike, but were checking out footprints in the mud…

IDK. You tell me…

So possibly some wildlife in the area…although we saw these while leaving…

Crossing the road of course…instead of out in nature, where we’d been.

ANYWAY, the email was to tell me Womanscape had sold at Quilts=Art=Quilts

Wow. Did not expect that. I cried. Sigh. It’s been a rough year financially and I’ve been really stressed about some stuff that needs to happen, paying off college, trimming some big, dangerous, tend to drop shit trees, buying food over the summer. It’s why I took on the copyediting job over Winter Break, to pull in some extra cash. So this was a big deal. Also it’s a really cool, complicated, political quilt and I love that someone loved it enough to buy it. Plus this is a venue that has shown a lot of my work, so I feel good that they are benefiting from the sale as well, especially during the pandemic, when so many places are losing money and/or shutting down. We just got news that the Escondido opening is not happening. The show is still going on…just no super spreader event. That’s a good thing. Plus it was going to be a Thursday night and trying to get there after teaching is a pain.

Anyway. Thanks to the buyer. This piece has been in a bunch of shows and won an award and it’s a piece I really love. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to finish this other complicated beast…

I spent about 2 hours yesterday evening blasting music and quilting, and almost got done…

There’s a little bit of outlining left and then the borders, and then she’s good for binding…which is good, because my favorite quilt shop still has limited hours, so Saturdays are really the only day I can go during the school year. It’s today or tomorrow! I don’t think I have anything big enough to bind this thing. I might. I will look first.

While I quilt, Kitten likes to sit behind me and stick her claws in my ass.

Not a fan.

Simba got combed the other night…

He spends the time blissed out or trying to bite me.

The winter sun is hard to find these days…but just find the animals and it’s probably there…

Nova is a weirdo.

I did this drawing on Wednesday night…

I think that’s number 16? I’m not sure, honestly. I’ve missed a few nights…like last night, I didn’t draw because the Man wasn’t here, so I graded stuff (yeah, that’s still happening unfortunately) and then quilted.

While I was quilting, I was looking at these stacking drawers behind my machine…there’s a bunch of thread in there that I don’t really like, but I save it for when the girlchild comes home and needs me to hem something that’s a color besides white, black, or gray. But also, as I was looking at it last night, there’s a bunch of bobbins (and bobbin holders too) in there.

Shit, I don’t even think I have that machine any more. Like why am I keeping bobbins that don’t work in the current machine? You are probably like me, in that you have drawers or boxes full of stuff that you haven’t looked at or touched in years (seriously, many many years) and they all need cleaning out. I could do that right now, or I could quilt. I guess you know how THAT argument goes in my head, every single time. Sorry kids. I love you, but I also love making art. My apologies for the stuff.

May the Vax Be Strong…

I have exactly…wait…3 hours less than 5 days until I have to be at school. Plenty of time for everyone and their mother to get COVID this time around, right? The Man spent 2 hours yesterday waiting in line for a test. Ironically, he had no symptoms until yesterday. I suspect we’re all getting this version. May the vax be strong.

I was hoping to hike today, but I suspect it will be tomorrow. I finished copyediting on Monday and sent it all back today. It will be back in my inbox in March, but just for a short review…hopefully. Meanwhile, it’s done and that’s a relief. I started grading stuff on Monday, sort of in panic mode, because I’d mentally listed everything and completely forgot about one nonnegligible assignment. It will be fine, although grades are due in about two weeks, so I can’t forget that part. I know I have two art assignments due before that and I’ll need to go in to grade those. I worry about the kids who will be out with COVID next week…if they don’t come in and they haven’t finished those assignments…they’re on paper. It’s not like there’s a digital version. I do need a digital alternative for the inevitable COVID contracts though. So that’s on my panic list too. My solution to all this panic? Slowly, methodically grade everything. Do the little stuff on my list, one step at a time. Last night, I packed my daughter’s box of the shit she couldn’t fit in her luggage that she got for Christmas (mostly cookbooks). I also sewed on the missing button from my pants that have been in here since November. Does the button match? Nah. Not really. I’m OK with that. I also need to mend a sweater…not sure how exactly to do that, but it’s on the list. So is moving gravel, sanding the mailbox, and washing the hallway wall. Those are all doable things. One at a time. Cups of tea in between. Maybe shower. Not sure. Maybe not.

I need to get more quilting in during the next 5 days. I can do that. It’s slow and careful at the moment. Facial expressions are details that can’t be rushed…

But I spent most of yesterday in an apparent spa day: got a massage so the chiropractor could actually adjust my neck (copyediting hazard), then haircut (twice a year, whether I need it or not), then counseling. All good. So not much quilting has been happening, but there is progress.

I’m almost out of the bodies in color and into the sky, then the bodies in gray.

It’s good to have a goal…I’ll need binding for this, so that means a store, which means I need it by this weekend, or I won’t be able to get the binding on for another week. Ugh. Stupid store hours conflict with day job. It’s a goal.

I do know what quilt I’m making next, so I could start drawing that. Not here, but this is Drawing #15 of Winter Break.

Not every night…but most of them. Often with this guy cuddled up to me for warmth.

Then there’s Nova and her new box…

I think it was supposed to be for the girlchild’s stuff, but I decided to send those in two boxes.

So, UPS store today, plus either a hike or the gym, plus making my favorite wontons (without kid help this time, unfortunately), and quilting and drawing and grading. And gravel. And sanding. And washing. Just got busy, eh? What’s new? It is how I roll. But right now, I’m going to eat brunch and read my book…brunch because it’s almost lunchtime and I was doing other stuff until now. Yah. Fancy.

Can’t Fix That…

Got up, made lunch, went for blood draw, peed in a cup (when does science catch up with sci fi? They never had to pee in a cup on Star Trek), got food and caffeine, am at school…co-teacher hopefully on the way. Today we plan. Tomorrow we also plan.

I drew the last two nights…

Honestly, besides copyediting, that’s about all I’m doing.

Got up at 3:50 AM yesterday to drop the girlchild at the airport, then tried to sleep after that…

Mostly failed. Ordered gravel to be delivered today, then dodged raindrops for 4 miles of asphalt with Simba and the man.

Ducks!

Cats keep warm…the rest of us wear sweaters. I’ve seen the predicted gas bill for this month, so no, the heat is not going on during the day.

Lots of reading of scientific terms and the like…should be done later this week. Then maybe I can Quilt? Certainly I haven’t figured it out yet. And I know a jury duty thing is coming in the mail today…I saw it in the daily email. Not thrilled. Whatever. Can’t fix that shit.

Trying to Take Time…

Hope everyone’s holidays went well. We did OK with it…more sleep would always be nice, and we still have one family event tonight, but then it’s all done. It’s tiring and draining…but getting to see family is a plus. I think my theme for this holiday season is just tired though. Maybe I’ll get past that feeling eventually, but I haven’t yet. The only art I’ve been doing since last Thursday is the daily drawing (and I missed Christmas night…too tired). Here’s Christmas Eve.

And last night, which kind of sums up how I’ve been feeling…

Hopefully there will be quilting today some time. I do have copyediting to do still…I’ve made it through one readthrough and am starting the references today. Well, I started them yesterday, but I also had some sewing for the girlchild and some other stuff, so I didn’t get much done. Let’s just call it taking the weekend off the day job. And now I’m back! This week is a bit full of all types of work, but hopefully that will free up some of next week (although none of the grading is done. Ugh. Don’t remind me.).

The man and I made it on a hike on Saturday…

In between bouts of rain…

I appreciate how the outdoors makes me feel. Clears the cobwebs. Must add more hiking to life.

This is real.

I also read my book a lot. It’s due to the library in 3 days. According the the app, I have 4+ hours of reading to do in 3 days. It doesn’t sound like much, but I have a ton of other things to do. And it’s an electronic book, so they will just suck it back when the time is up. I wish it would tell me the exact time it was getting sucked up so I’d have a real deadline. Easier than “sometime in the next 3 days”.

Girlchild is only here for another day. She has been getting all the Simba loves.

He seems OK with it.

And she finally got the good picture of him wearing the hat that she wanted.

Good news.

Sometimes she does pet other animals though…

Not sure Simba is OK with that.

Last year, Dad was in a nursing home for Christmas, recovering from a fall that almost killed him, so it was a reason to take more photos this year…

Certainly, Katie is glad to have him around. But so are we…

The boychild refused to be in photos…but everyone else got their moment…their dad…

And me and the Man.

The girlchild cooked a nice meal…

Yes, we do wear the crowns. It is the way of our people.

I think this was my favorite photo though…

Good stuff.

Meanwhile the cats hide for most of Christmas…except for when the dog is gone and they can come out and play with boxes and new toys…I only caught Kitten in photos though.

The box from Seattle was very exciting for some reason.

And the last pic of the girlchild with the dog…napping.

Poor puppy. Not spoiled at all.

OK, so lots of copyediting and other stuff. Family event tonight. Hopefully some quilting to start finally. This quilt is totally a 2022 finish at this point. No way will I finish by Friday night. Not when I look at my calendar. It’s all right. No worries. More sleep, finish reading one book, finish copyediting the other one. I do envy people who are able to just not work the whole Winter Break. I did take on another job, it’s true…need to pay the bills though. I’m trying to take time around all that. Best I can.

The Burnout Section…

Finally. A morning with no doors opening and people talking at 5 AM. Sure, they’re going to work, so it’s a legit reason (plus everyone in my house is on East Coast time?) and so will I (notionally…I sit here at the computer and copyedit in my pajamas, plus I can pee whenever the fuck I want, so it’s not my real day job)…but it’s nice to have a morning when that noise doesn’t wake me up. Most mornings, the 5 AM wakeup isn’t too bad. I grab the dog, throw him into bed, and go back to sleep for another hour or so, but sometimes I just toss and turn and it’s hopeless. Sigh. I love being a light sleeper…not. I’m jealous of those who put their heads on a pillow and then they’re OUT. And they’re OUT until the alarm goes off. I’ve never been like that. Certainly I’m not now.

So yeah, I’ve been copyediting every day for a few hours, banging through this book. More today. My brain running through all the words and trying to find the bad ones. Ironically I was on the burnout section yesterday afternoon. Oh yeah. That. Then running errands, delivering quilts, doing some science planning (like you do on vacation), reading my book, grading some stuff, making a million pancakes (I do that often; solves my morning food issues…don’t have to THINK…just grab and eat). My to-do list is VAST. I have done hardly anything on it. I have added things to it though, because that makes sense. Ugh. Today I will try to cross some things off of it. Just for fun.

So I have been doing some stitchdown…I’m at about 5 hours and getting close to done. In fact, I’ll probably finish tonight.

I think I have the rest of an arm, plus a head, and then the sky. Not hard to do. Then clean the floor, piece a backing, hope I have enough batting (I could check that…did I just add to the to-do list? Fuck me.), then sandwich and pinbaste.

Wait a minute. I might be able to finish this by the end of the year. But do I want to? It’s better if it has a 2022 date on it…gives me more time to get it seen. I think. We’ll see.

I’m still drawing every night. I’m really enjoying the long and skinny challenge here…

In both directions…

Although that volcano is a bit too penisy. I was thinking of a drawing one of my science teacher friends was showing me. Ah well. Not every drawing is perfect, that’s for sure. That’s the cool part about drawing MORE is that I get to work stuff out on paper instead of in my head.

Half the time that I’m sitting on this chair, Kitten is sitting behind me, wondering why the chair isn’t big enough for both of us.

And squawking about it. It makes things a bit uncomfortable, but she’s an old lady and I love her, so I put up with it. Honestly, I spend most nights delicately moving my body around two other cats so I don’t disturb them, so I’m just an old cat lady.

We have this hole in the wall (we were looking for a potential leak, long story), and Luna keeps staring into it, like there’s a giant bug in there (there might be).

Sure, I could fix the wall, but I have on my to-do list (not for this week) remodeling the bathroom, so why fix it if I’m going to tear it all out in 10 years, right? Sigh. OK. I might fix it, but there are other things currently on the list that are higher priority.

Anyway, I’m delivering another quilt today (realized a few days ago that there were only shipping dates and I live in town, so why would I ship it?), plus finally seeing the shows at Visions, plus more copyediting, lots more, and IDK what else. Honestly I just want cookies and ice cream, but exercise is probably a better choice. I think I have pilates later. Yeah. I do. And I found more batting, so I don’t have to go to JoAnns three days before Christmas (oh hallelujah, angels sing on high). I have mostly avoided the mall this year, which is good. Trying to keep that mood going, but might need to get meat from Costco later, which scares me (Costco, not the meat)…but whatever. Yeah. Happy holidays y’all…hope it’s full of lights and family and food and healthy people with vaccinations and all that. And art. Lots of art.

I Appreciate Breaks…

Hi Monday. You can’t make me go to school today. Ha ha! OK, I’ll probably grade some stuff, and I’m definitely working (copyediting), but the million kid-related, district-related decisions are gone and I don’t have to wear a mask for 8 hours. That’s all good. Yes, I will be at school next week for two days. I own that. And I’m doing school-related things tomorrow too, but it’s a break. I appreciate breaks. I would appreciate them more if all the animals would let me sleep in, but that’s on me, right? I choose to have these furry beasts, and one of them now is on the boychild’s hellaciously early sleep schedule, and it’s OK, because I will get to sleep in on Wednesday morning. I hope. I think. Who knows. I don’t sleep well most nights anyway. Saturday I did. Or maybe Friday. All the way through. No bathroom, no tossing and turning, just blissful sleep. For hours. Gotta love it.

So quilt-wise, I have been doing the stitchdown…

I actually broke the foot on Friday night…it’s old. That’s a break that I don’t appreciate. It’s from the old machine. So I ordered a new one, and it arrived Sunday.

So I wasn’t going to do this on Saturday anyway, and it worked out. I’m probably halfway, maybe more than halfway done…with a little less than 4 hours in.

The back…

It takes a little practice with a new machine, getting settings right, figuring out the tricks. I’m getting there. I still don’t think I’m finishing this in 2021 though. I can get it pinbasted and start the quilting, and maybe even finish the quilting, depending on the other shit that I don’t know about yet that hasn’t yet appeared on my calendar but inevitably will…but no way am I getting the binding on as well. So that’s OK. I’m OK with it being the first 2022 finish. It’s not like the abortion issue is going away.

The next quilt is already designed in my head. It needs to get down on paper.

Speaking of paper, I like to try doing a Drawing a Day over Winter Break. I had some weird-shaped sketchbooks I bought years ago…and you know how those things become precious, so it’s hard to even open them and draw in them. Well I started drawing in them. They’re not THAT weird…just different sizes/proportions to my usual ones. So hopefully some differently sized quilts in the future?

I just randomly draw…this one is a good example of random.

It’s different than drawing for a quilt theme or idea that I have. I just let the brain spill onto the paper. How do I fill all the spaces? What goes here? It’s good practice. I wish I could find a way (time!) to do it more often.

So there’s three. I think there are 24 days of Winter Break…we’ll see if I get all 24. It’s OK if I don’t. The second sketchbook is really long and narrow. I’ll try one of those tonight. Speaking of tonight, the girlchild is arriving. She’s working while she’s here…hey, so am I! But it will be nice to have her around for a week. Although I’m realizing that not only do I have to finish cleaning her room (I started yesterday with the quilts and the crazy quilt fabric), but I need to clean off her workspace…which is currently MY workspace. Well, one of them. So there we are. No worries. I was thinking the other night though as the Man was blasting metal on YouTube and I just wanted to sit and read my book (in peace, no metal) that I should get a nice chair and put it in the girlchild’s room for just such occasions. But I’m not sure they happen enough. I could put it in MY bedroom too. I guess. There’s so much cleaning and getting rid of stuff that needs to happen first though. Ugh.

OK. Well, let’s not make more work for right now. Today is a busy one. I have three quilts going to Escondido for the California Fibers exhibit that opens at the California Center for the Arts on January 20. I spent an hour yesterday dehairing and ironing quilts and getting them packed up while on the phone with a friend. Then I realized I had to make a tactile page for that show…I knew I had a block I’d made a million years ago (seriously, in 2001, before I really kept track of shows even), so I searched and found it, and then used it and some other lost bits to make a tactile page…

Done! I was worried about getting that finished. So I’m driving those up in a few hours. Then copyedit for a while, clean up the desk and the bedroom for the girlchild, probably wash her bedding too, and IDK what else. Then more stitchdown before driving to the airport. All good. Check the to-do list in the calendar to confirm there aren’t 17 other things to do (there are).

The Man and I finished the Coast to Crest challenge for 2021/2022 on Saturday. There was one longer hike up up up a mountain…

Miners Loop to go up to Black Mountain.

It wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t want to do it in the summer, but that’s true of most local peaks, unless it’s nighttime.

It has a nice loop in the middle. Not ALL loop though.

Then we did the one hike we hadn’t done, which was less than 2 miles…

Because driving all the way up to Del Mar for a tiny hike seemed stupid. And then we went to a local brewing company for a celebratory drink and view of the moon rising.

Could’ve done without all the screaming kids, but whatever. The Man is pointing at Black Mountain, where we hiked.

I guess we have reached that age where we’d like all the young families to go somewhere else to entertain their kids. Ah well. Anyway, we’ll get our patch and sticker for finishing the challenge. And then have to decide what our hikes are from here on out. We bagged a peak anyway…one I’d already bagged. It’s all good.

Shockingly, Saturday night I didn’t have much energy for anything else, so I worked on sewing bits down.

Just a few pieces left on these. This part is totally brainless. The embroidery? Not so much.

OK, I need my shower and more tea. Kitten agrees…

Mostly because she wants my chair. She always wants my chair. She prefers to push me off it. She’s eyeballing it right now. OK. Shower. Tea. Cleaning. Driving. Copyediting. Monday. Not at school though. We need the break.

My Days Are Off…

I keep thinking my days are off. Isn’t today Thursday? It feels like I’ve done three days of school (I haven’t). Yesterday had a very Wednesday feel to it…I was convinced I had prep period at the end of the day (I didn’t). My entire prep was eaten up by pandemic contract kids anyway, so whatever. Why give me a prep when I can’t actually prep anything? Or grade anything? Today will be all the late assignments and redoes, and then hopefully I can get my head around one of last week’s assignments. I’d really like to go into break with very little to grade…that is actually impossible…my fault for assigning work. I’ve got two major art assignments plus a science packet and a major academic grade. Yeah. Ugh.

My Winter Break is full of a lot of work, y’all…but hopefully also full of this quilt…which will probably be a 2022 finish. I finished ironing the bubble together on Monday night…

Although I still don’t know where two of these three pieces belong…

I had already recut the R. Typos though…in an anti-abortionist’s sign? Makes sense.

The rest of the quilt rolled up on teflon sheets. It might sound like I don’t respect anti-abortionists (I just typed that anti-abortionshits accidentally). Sigh. I don’t. Because so many of them preach and then don’t follow it. I spend all day asking kids, “Who are YOU in charge of?”…and they sigh and answer “MYSELF”. And then this shit. Get out of my uterus.

You personally can make a decision about abortion for yourself. You should be having conversations with sexual partners before having sex (we actually teach this) about what y’all choose to do if it happens. Shit happens. Women should be able to have sex AND choices. Men do.

Then last night, I pieced the background and ironed the whole thing down. That took an hour and 42 minutes.

And so many of the details are hard to see in this photo. Part of that is the stitching that needs to happen, but also, honestly, like many of my pieces, you need to be up close to see most of it. So stitch down is next, probably 10-15 hours of that, then sandwich and pinbaste, an hour, then quilt for 15 hours or so, then about 6 hours of binding and sleeves. So 37 more hours? In two weeks? Probably not. Not with holidays and a copyediting job and a bunch of science planning that needs to happen. We’ll see. Plus grades.

In other school news, I got this email and laughed (and almost cried)…

That’s a shit ton of videos, and after they sent that, I made two more.

Our school party was Monday afternoon…this is my co-teacher who is awesome sauce and helps keep me sane. I can’t imagine doing all this alone.

She is more sequins than I am…although those tassels are pretty fancy for me.

Yesterday, we got an inch and a half of rain during the day…and I had duty before and after school.

‘Twas damp.

They kept reaching a paw out and touching, very gently, the other cat. And then there was running.

The man is still out and about…Zion…

Beautiful, eh? Plus a flash flood last night that put him in his car overnight…but waking up to this…

He’s OK…his tent is wet, but hopefully will dry out before tonight. More hiking today, I would say…and then we’ll see when he gets home.

It’s been quiet here without him. Lots of quilt stuff and school stuff and reading for me. Plus trying to do all the things. The boychild is cooking tonight, hallelujah. He gets home really late on Mondays and Tuesdays. Anyway…I have to be at school for “an inspirational message” (can you see my eyes roll from here?), then survive the day, do some exercise (I did that last night too…what a good thing!), and get stitching. Three days of school left. I can do that.

This Week Is Always Nuts…

Hey. Five days of school. With a rainstorm on the way. And a holiday party. But I get to wear pajamas to school later this week. Unfortunately, it’s on a day when I have to do something after school…they will just have to deal with my pajamaness. This week is always nuts. I got this. The copyediting job starts Friday. So yeah. From one job to another job without a day off…sigh. It is what it is.

The anti-anti-abortionists quilt (because I guess that’s really what it is…I’m not pro-abortion, like everyone needs to go get one…but I am pro-choice in the case of women’s reproductive freedoms…I mean, men have them, why can’t we?) is closer to done. This is the anti-abortionist bubble, where if you throw enough cash at them, they will let you get that abortion, right?

I worked on it all weekend, but not for any more time than I would during the week.

There’s some tiny shit in there.

I decided to make them all washed out, except for the one woman begging to get in. And there’s some embroidery that will go in this section.

Those are all the pieces left to be ironed.

Maybe 20 more in the other box. Plus then iron it down to the background. I might finish tonight? Probably tomorrow night. We’ll see how efficient I am at work today. I need to have a goodly chunk of stuff graded this week, so I can get this copyediting job done too. I’ll have two art projects to grade (ugh) and the stuff from this week, plus a small packet (double ugh). But not as buried as I usually am.

Saturday, we did the 3rd hike in the Coast to Crest Challenge, Scorpion Ridge to Santa Fe Valley.

It was nice and cool, or this would have been a draining hike. Although this might have been an easier crossing if it hadn’t rained recently.

It wasn’t bad though. There were some climby bits…but we made it to the Selfie Spot.

These photos are what get us the stickers and the patches. Crucial swag that.

Our new buddy.

Don’t usually see them in the middle of the day.

We had a sandwich and a drink after the hike, almost 5 miles, although my phone’s GPS must be failing. It can’t track me any more. The man’s is working fine, but he has a newer phone. So frustrating.

I drew at lunch too, but this was dinner. We might not have gone out again, twice in a day, but the man left Sunday morning early for 6 days of hiking. He made it to Zion by like 3 PM.

Definitely jealous of that view. Maybe not jealous of the cold though.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here with all the furry beasts.

Some are more sociable than others.

I did get my tree in the house before he left though…

It only has one ornament on it so far. That might be ALL the ornaments it gets…we’ll see. The packages are piled up to keep the cats off it. This tree was a volunteer in my yard. I used to protect its tiny self with some rocks around it, then finally dug it up and put it into a pot. I think this is the third pot it’s been in. It’s definitely grown.

OK. I have to go to work. Engineering design getting taught today…and texture. Exciting stuff. Plus a holiday party. My introvert self is cringing. What’s new. December…it’s a challenging month no matter what.