A Place in the World

Still here, still trying to find a place in the world. I realize for many that the US has never had a place for them. As an educated white female, I always had a place…not a great one, not an equal one, but better than many. We were never 1st-class citizens. And now it is worse. Depressing and worse.

What do we do? Ah well, that is always the question…

There’s that. There’s making art, donating money (when I have it, which isn’t now), writing postcards, protests…

When I can handle them, marches, figuring out how to get rid of half the Supreme Court without violence, voting, persuading others to vote. Sigh. I remember in college locking arms with others in front of women’s health clinics to keep the anti-abortionists from harassing women coming into the clinics. It was the era of bombing clinics, but no part of me considered that. Youth. But I did think about that when I was at the vigil on Friday night. People will die. Many of them will be women who aren’t allowed to get healthcare they need or who find it unsafely, illegally. Women will die. For this shit. Ignorance. Unscientific ignorance.

Still processing all of that.

Meanwhile, there was an artist event at the California Fibers’ show at Visions this weekend. I’ll post more about that on their website and link it here later this week.

They all had better clothes than me…not hard really.

The show is up through July 2…you should go check it out. It’s a wide variety of textile art.

I’m still ironing stuff down and cutting things out…

I’m getting close to done with the ironing…

I’m almost done with the 800s, so maybe 250 pieces left? Or less?

Nowhere near done with the cutting out unfortunately. Getting there. Although now this competes with copyediting, which started Friday and will hopefully be done this week. After this morning’s science meeting. I take breaks in between copyediting to go beat my yard or house into submission. Copyediting means I must be supervised…

She’s not very helpful.

I am trying to finish up some embroideries/small quilts to put on Etsy. I got these done on Thursday…

I’ll let you know when I’ve had time to put them on Etsy…

I might rephotograph too…ugh…

I know I’m trying to do too much. That is always the case though.

Oh yeah, baby owl…see the little white bit in the hole? That’s one of the babies!

That’s the best photo I’ve gotten, though. They hide when I come up further into the yard. Getting brave though!

OK. Science meeting, then copyedit, then more yardwork. Finish my book before it’s sent back to the library. Try not to burn down the country while I’m at it. Huh. Maybe.

My New Podcast

Not really. Don’t get excited. I don’t have time for a podcast…I’m too busy making art. Well…ha! Trying to make art. I did make a video Monday about 7 hours into an eventually 10.5-hour drive (luckily I didn’t drive the last two hours…I was done) and mentally titled it “What the Fuck Am I Doing. Where the Fuck Am I. And Why the Fuck Am I Here.” It’s a really long title for a podcast, but it seemed appropriate at the time. I’ll post the video here once it’s done processing. I actually made TWO videos (they are so lame and unprofessional, but thought process! Yes that.) and then put them together (mad skillz) and now that’s uploading. So yeah.

I think I made the video to entertain myself more than anything, which is why I write this blog…well, to document my brain in time. I do go back and reread months sometimes when I’m having a really hard time, and it reminds me that certain things cycle through life. The beginning of school is always hard. So is the end. So are the two weeks right after school get out. It’s a reset. And this one has been a kind of crazy one.

If you’ve watched the video, you don’t know what happened! The Man has had 3 weeks of elevation sickness while hiking the Sierras. It’s been beautiful but incredibly hard. So he had to make a decision, and I drove up to see him after 3+ weeks of not seeing him and to support him in his decision, either by sticking him on a bus north or driving him north or bringing him home. In the end, adulting and money issues brought him home, which sucks and is sad, but also a relief I think for both of us. It doesn’t mean he’s done. It just means he’s done for a while. It’s job time. I love him for trying over and over again to do this hard thing and for deciding it’s time to stop for now.

It has meant that I haven’t gotten much art done. Packed Sunday and tried to set up everything I needed to. Drove Monday all day. Tuesday, drove back home. I’m exhausted. Still. Plus add a friend’s daughter’s wedding on Saturday, Fathers’ Day stuff on Sunday…I haven’t had much time to focus on recovery yet.

Friday night, after checking out of school, trying to reset my neck again at the chiropractor (slightly more movement), and taking the dog to the vet, I ironed for a bit.

Watched How to Train Your Dragon…no, never had time to watch it before.

So that was after Friday night, almost 2 hours of ironing. I was tired, but ready to iron on Saturday and Sunday! So motivated. Ha!

Saturday was a lot of running around and then a wedding. And then when I got home, I started getting texts from the Man about quitting and coming to get him, and mine back saying are you sure, what about just starting further north, and it was kind of a mess. I didn’t iron at all. Sunday morning, he had processed his feelings and just wanted to see me, which had been in the plan for the next week, but this would work…I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it. So most of Sunday was trying to get stuff watered and packed and purchased and all that. I did iron for just under an hour Sunday night…not my original plan for the weekend, but whatever…

Doesn’t look a lot different…but I had ironed the cat (the fabric cat, not the real cat) and more of the legs I think. Not sure.

Monday was nothing. I wasn’t here. I thought about taking the already ironed pieces with me so I could cut them out, but it was a lot of prep for the time I thought I’d have available…and in the long run, I wouldn’t have had the energy. Monday night, I laid on the bed and read my book. That’s it. We did get home last night around 5 PM after driving a good chunk of the day…ah LA…your traffic sucks. And at some point, I’d had enough caffeine to come back in here and iron some more…

I’ve finished most of the 400s and done some of the 500s, so still not halfway. It’s slow right now. My brain is slow. I’m tired. I did about 2 hours last night and only got 100 pieces ironed. I’ve got almost 10 hours in. SO SLOW. It’s OK. It’s what I need…more time. Hard to choose things. Lots of staring. I’m hoping I can speed it up this week…get it going!

I’m supposed to be doing an artist talk kind of thing (really just hanging out by my work and working and talking to anyone who comes in) on Saturday at the Visions Museum of Textile Art

And it would be good to have stuff to cut out while waiting/standing/whatever. I’ll be there from 11-2 if you want to see the show and talk to some of the artists. This is in San Diego, California, if you don’t know…and will be Saturday June 25.

So my goal is to be all ironed down before then. Well before then. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to find my brain. Wish me luck. There have been some beautiful skies lately though…lenticular cloud at sunset.

Storm clouds last night…

I did a tiny bit of stitching on the trip down from Fresno yesterday…

Again, this is Sue Spargo’s design Homegrown…I really like stitching her stuff for relaxation, especially while traveling. That’s the Grapevine heading toward Los Angeles. I could do without driving that for a while.

This is Nova watching me water everything before I left…

I’d like to think the boychild would do all that, and he might, if he weren’t on a fire crew right now. At the border…

I can’t say having your kid fight fires is the least stressful thing in the world, but he has a brain that remembers all the things, so I think he’ll be OK. But he didn’t make it home last night…so this poor little guy is feeling all lost…

He looks super sad.

Well, one of the things on my to-do list for Sunday was to write this post. I obviously failed. And then that moved to Monday (nah, exhaustion) and Tuesday (nah, let’s just go home instead). So here we are, the first day I’ve had any semblance of brain power for writing. Now I need to take a shower, go buy some boxes, pack up a quilt, ship it, plant some things, wash the hallway for future painting, IRON FABRICS, and IDK what else. Finish my book. Check on the Man. Pet the pup. All those things. Figure out what day it is. That would help.

No Guarantee…

Tuesday nights/Wednesday mornings. Not far enough into the week. The plus is that we’re done with the childbirth portion of the year and going into the oozing genitalia part. Woo hoo! Gross them out. While giving them crucial information. Actually childbirth already did that. Wait. I forgot. Stupid block schedule…I have one more class of childbirth today. Ugh. Today is hard. Teaching all the things in one day. Two different blocks of science…plus art. I guess next year will be like that every day. Don’t do labs in both grade levels on the same day! Ah, you know that won’t work. It’ll happen. Hopefully they’ll chunk each grade level together so I’m not jumping back and forth between the two. No guarantee of that though. No guarantee of anything.

Need to get my classroom clean and put away for next year. Need to get my brain around next year. Need to get my brain on vacation first. Still haven’t gotten COVID (knock on wood). At this point, I just need it to stay away through next week. Honestly, after that, I suspect my exposures will be pretty minor.

Mostly at the moment, I work the day job, go exercise, come home, eat, grade a little, depending on the day, then cut stuff out. It’s working. But the to-do list is messy and awful and none of it is really getting done. I need to change the sheets on the bed. It’s still flannel and it’s in the 80s during the day. It’s been OK, but I need to change them. Cat hair alone. I just don’t have TIME. Stupid really. If I didn’t do the art stuff, I’d have time, right? Ugh. Not happening. Art always wins over changing the sheets.

OK. Today will be fine. I actually have an art-related Zoom tonight (although I think I will have to cook dinner during it…ah well…I just need to listen, not talk). So that’s a deviation from the norm.

The Man is having a hard time on trail. The trail itself is hard and elevation is hard and I think it’s just hard. I’m hoping it gets easier in a couple of days. He will hopefully get over the highest pass (all the passes are high and scary but this is the highest) and then it’s all downhill! Until the next pass. Yeah. I’m not much help. So I cut more stuff out.

Nova really wants lap time while I’m doing this. I try to give her some and then cut stuff out as well. Monday night I had 3 yards cut out…halfway.

Tuesday night, I got another yard and a half done…

Doesn’t look a lot different, does it. Well…there’s only a yard and a half to go…so I might finish tonight or maybe tomorrow night…then sort it? Ready to iron to fabric by Friday. I won’t have a background fabric yet though. Damn store I like still doesn’t have hours that I can get to during the week. Sucks. Saturday morning I guess. With grades due. Gotta do that. Unfortunately. There’s a chunk of the weekend, unless I can get through them today. Hope hope hope.

Hello y’all.

So tired. Almost done. Seven days. One of them short. One of them on a field trip. Just need to get all the things done. Then hide in a pillow fort for the next 10 days. After I change the sheets. Gonna need more books. I’m lying. I have a shit-ton of books I haven’t read yet. No need to resupply. Teacher done.

Give Us What We Need…

We are definitely getting near the end of this school year. My body and brain both agree. My inability to sleep at night does not help. Ugh. I wake up in the morning not sure what day it is (IDK what’s up with that…I am constantly staring at calendars…I should always know what day it is). I am exhausted. I’m also sore and rocking a sore throat constantly from talking with a mask on…but if I take it off, I’ll be out for 10 days with COVID like half the teachers on campus have been. That would get me out of the last two weeks of school, yes, but that’s not fair to the kids trying to finish art projects or the teacher who would have to come in and sub and NOT teach sex ed (IDK what I would give the kids, but not that). This year just needs to be done. I’m picking fights with the district office (they don’t give us what we need…I’m so tired of that) and other departments over legit stuff, but it makes me feel bad sometimes to ask for what I need. For what we need. Wonder of being a department co-chair plus a union rep. Just give us what we need to do this job, dammit. It’s hard enough anyways, and then to be like “oh that’s not possible…”. Aargh.

Bitch. That’s what they call me. I know that. I’m just tired of not getting what we need. Of ignoring what we need.

Somehow this week I need to figure out how to get two programs on two kids’ computers. I just need someone techy to do it for me, but no. If it’s going to get done, I will have to do it.

Sigh. Yeah. Done.

Also need someone to deliver food every day and not be expensive. And the pool guy to figure out what’s up with the damn pump without my telling him to. And for my insurance to send that damn letter without my having to call again. Sigh.

OK. Well. In good news, I finished tracing all the Wonder Under on Friday night…

6 yards and a bit…then started cutting on Saturday night…

And a little more on Sunday night…

Next step…seeing progress. I will hopefully be done with this by the weekend, and whatever time I don’t spend grading will be spent ironing. But I don’t have a background. Ah. Well. Will need to think upon that.

I also gave a talk Saturday at my quilt guild…took some quilts and my sketchbooks and explained stuff. Maybe. And then worked on this…

The neverending scarf.

I also hiked on Saturday…

Went out to Crestridge Ecological Reserve…it was warm but beautiful…

I got lost a bit on an overgrown trail, but found my way out eventually…

Hiking alone sometimes freaks me out, but not enough to stop. I just needed to get outside and walk for a while. It was good.

The Man took a few days off but is now back on trail…

He was here last night…weird-looking area…

He’s not feeling well this morning again. Not sure if elevation is just really kicking his butt or what, but he’s not giving up. Still moving. It’s hard. It’s hard for him and for me…different kinds of hard. Some 20-year-old died of elevation sickness a week ago, so now we’re all paranoid. Hopefully he will feel better soon…since his doesn’t sound like elevation stuff. Just being-on-trail stuff.

Here’s Luna, being her psychotic self…

She misses her dad, but I am an acceptable substitute. Apparently. For both the cats.

UGH. OK. I really need to go to school. Luckily it’s pregnancy video day, so all I have to do is listen to the squawking of 12-year-olds complaining about childbirth being so gross. Actually, I think all the childbirths will be tomorrow…short periods today. Well that’s a plus. Maybe I can get some work done. Maybe I will actually have my prep period today, unlike Friday.

I think what I really need is two weeks of uninterrupted sleeping in and lots of drawing and reading my book. And then maybe I can deal with humanity again. Soon. Maybe.

Dropped Off…

Hey. It’s the third to last week of school. There are 12 days left. I persuade myself I can do 12 days until the alarm goes off in the morning, and then I wonder DEEPLY about my choice of profession and the pandemic and how few social skills these kids have. Teaching sex ed is usually a pretty easy end of the year, but this year…man…so many inappropriate behaviors. It’s exhausting. I’ve been wearing a mic for weeks, trying to save my voice and it’s still crap by the time I get through the day. Sore throat, rough. Ugh. Most days, I’m not even really sure what day it actually is. I forgot (again) about my before-school duty yesterday because Tuesday? After a weekend? Yeah, no brain power. I remembered after school because I looked at my calendar and actually READ it. I have four places, maybe five that remind me of things, and I still forget.

The pro is that I graded two full assignments in the car on the way up to Ridgecrest. I have three real assignments left to grade. I just need to power through, and then I can decide which of these silly worksheets we do that I actually care about. Oh yeah, and then 16 projects for the kids whose parents opted them out. That’ll take me a bit. Just a bit. They’re trying to hand them in now, and I skim through, thinking (stupidly), “did you read the instructions?”. My high-level kids are still working on them. The lower kids are “WE’RE DONE!” My ass you are. Go back. Anyway. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s a pro.

So Sunday, we drove through the endless, windy, dusty desert to get to Ridgecrest.

It’s seriously a drive I have done way too many times, with at least a few in my near future. Tired of it. But the Man drove up because he knew I had to drive back. So that was nice.

Hotel room was OK, not huge, weird bathroom configuration, but was remodeled relatively recently. Can’t really recommend Ridgecrest for anything. It’s hot and dry and dusty and food choices are mostly fast and furious. We watched two movies, both not very memorable. I stitched and drew.

And read a little. Finished a book…it was short…

That is the last of the flower types. I finished one and a half of them…only three and a half to go. I could have stitched on the road from Ridgecrest to Kennedy Meadows, but mentally couldn’t. Plus at some point it was mountain road, so that’s not a thing for me. Look Straight Out the Window. That’s me. But I’m close to done on this.

At Kennedy Meadows, the Man tried to buy this year’s bandana, but she wouldn’t sell him one (strange excuse about not having very many…weird sales concept there), he saw a friend (and got a bandana from him instead) who worked where he worked for a couple weeks, and then we drove to the campground, where a PCTA person lectured about snow and bears. For a really long time. My plan was to hike out with him for a little way, and then head back all the way home. It was a good plan.

Expect skinnier the next time you see him…well at least with me.

It was warmish and elevation (6500′) was definitely a factor in breathing. Going from sea level up in one day is problematic.

Officially in the Sierras…

We hiked about 2 miles to the bridge over the river and he refilled his water. The plus to not being in the desert section is that there is plenty of water.

And that’s where we said goodbye…for at least 3, probably 4 weeks. Hopefully will meet him somewhere.

It’s never easy sending him off…

I worry about him. I stress about having to do all the things at home. It’s not fun dealing with kid behaviors all day and coming home to no one to talk to. The boychild is here half the time. The cats are demanding. And I hate having to cook all the time. It’s hard to communicate with the Man…sometimes his messages overlap with mine (there’s no cell service; he’s using his Garmin) or he’s messaging all day while I’m teaching, and then when I have time to message back, he’s going to sleep (it’s still daylight, y’all). So it’s hard. But he wants to finish it and I hope he can. I know his knee was painful the first day, better the second day, but elevation is pretty crazy and it’s all up for the next four weeks. With an occasional down. Plus snow and passes and all that stuff.

It is beautiful though. Blue skies, trees, new wildflowers…

Well, some are new. We have these in San Diego too.

From the campground, I drove all the way home…about 5 1/2 hours total with two pee stops. I hate that drive. Really do. Ugh.

I didn’t do much of anything Monday night except eat dinner (thanks to the boychild), make lunches for the week, and make sure I was ready to go. Last night, I finally found the energy to trace some Wonder Under, but I’d realized that I had all this bad shit in the outer part of the quilt, and COVID wasn’t lurking in there. So I had to draw that damn thing in…again…

Almost 1100 pieces now. Then I traced for a while (after exercise, making dinner, deciding not to enter a show, eating dinner, grading one class worth of one assignment, and doing all the cat things, oh yeah, and watering everything)…

So only a whopping 40 minutes in the end. Hopefully more tonight. Getting close to the end. Ready to just sit on the couch and cut shit out. Also Nova would like me to do that so she can shed all over me and knead my belly. Luna massages my shoulders for me (with her claws and all her weight pushing in)…trying to figure out how to get her to do that one spot on my back that hurts. She does not take direction well though.

OK. Gotta go. Shit. It’s late. Ugh. Puberty today and something else. Can’t remember. Ah yes. Menstruation and sperm production. Sounds like a day.

Sunday?

Hey. I’m writing on a Sunday. WTH. It’s OK…I have a 3-day weekend and I will not be home tomorrow morning…I’ll be dropping the Man off on the PCT, hiking a little way with him, and then driving home so I can teach puberty on Tuesday. Like you do. Because I’m trying to be responsible and not take days off when there are zero substitute teachers. That and the Man’s permit is for tomorrow and once I drop him off, it’s not like I want to hang out in Kennedy Meadows or Ridgecrest (apologies if you are from either place). So kamikaze back home it will be.

Yesterday, I did all the things…graded three assignments (two more to do in the car on the way up), shopped for next week’s groceries, got gas in the car, did my laundry, watered all the plants, prepped the school assignments for next week, and made the bullet journal pages for next week. Finished a book that made me cry. OK, maybe life made me cry, but the book was there with me. It’s OK…the second book in the series is sitting on my iPad waiting for me to cry to it as well. HELLO EMOTIONS.

In totally awesome news, Hold On sold this week…going to Seattle, where maybe I can see it in situ someday.

I started this piece in January 2020, and then finished it after my school sent me home for the quarantine. It was strange to finish something about nuclear missiles and the wildfires in Australia and climate change while the world was falling apart. I think every quilt since then (almost) has had a COVID virion in it. Because that’s still a thing.

Anyway, now I can pay my mortgage over the summer. Always a plus.

I also traced more Wonder Under on the new piece on Saturday night…

I’m in the 700s, so about 300 pieces to go…maybe two nights? Depending on the nights. I’ve been tracing for 10 1/2 hours so far. Not super fast. Fast is 100 pieces an hour. When I’m tired, I don’t trace fast. Reality check there. So maybe by Wednesday night, I’ll be cutting up Wonder Under. I could take it with me to Ridgecrest, but it’s a pain to pack up…so I think I’ll wait. It’s not really worth it for one night of cutting things up.

On Friday night, I went to see the Man’s band play…haven’t done that for a really long time.

It was nice to be back for the music and dancing (the Man is on the far left…I did not excel at photography after working all week). Well, except for the sky.

It was nice.

I also took lots of pictures of Kitten this weekend.

Because she was cute.

Well, mostly.

Right now, she’s in my face, stepping on the keyboard, headbutting me while I type. Less cute.

OK. Gotta pack up the last stuff, make a cup of tea, and get in the car to drive a long boring way. Then hang out in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, get up early, then find the trail, hike for a while, hike back, letting the Man continue for as long as his body will let him (hopefully the whole rest of the trail), drive home, and make lunches for the week. Yeah. It’s not going to necessarily be fun or easy, but it might help me with the goodbye part. I wasn’t really prepared for him to be gone until October, but some money appeared for him, so he’s going for it. May his body oblige.

I’ll be back here, holding down the fort, making art, reading books, and petting furry beasts.

Time Is Wibbly Wobbly…

OMG how is it still May. Wait. How did May go so fast? I’m not sure which makes more sense. Fast month, didn’t get anything done, but it needs to go faster because I need school to be over. State testing is over (yay!) What a supreme waste of time…really, the State needs to write questions that actually match the standards for these tests to make sense. And then make sure we feed the kids and that they could sleep the night before because they weren’t babysitting little siblings. And then the State needs to realize that not everyone knows what a putting green is. Like maybe some nonwhite non-old people could write the tests? Maybe? Just saying. But it’s done!

Meanwhile, my principal is running fast and furious with plans for next year, mixing up teams, moving people around. My team is good…because we work together and do our jobs. Which makes my job much easier. It will be an interesting year. Meanwhile, this summer, I need to study space shit and force and motion. Space shit the most, because if I had it in school, it was in middle school, and that was approximately 72 light years ago. How long is a light year anyway? It’s OK…I know the reference doesn’t make sense. Time. Distance. Ugh.

Meanwhile, I have three books loaded on my iPad and I want to read all of them. Now.

Yesterday was the day we made kids draw their reproductive parts. It’s a fun day for me. Today we teach the real parts (not the made-up shit they think is important…literally NOBODY…ok ONE KID drew parts on the inside for boys). Then puberty. It’s a relief to be teaching this. It’s like second nature, I’ve taught it so many times. It’s still killing my voice…I had a sore throat yesterday, and I’m like, is it wearing the mask (has given me a sore throat before), is it the cold half my team has that will kick my voice’s ass, or is the COVID that another part of the team has? Or is it just talking a lot? It’s gone today, so that’s a good sign.

Meanwhile. Back at the ranch. I’m tracing Wonder Under for days now. This is just some random picture of Wonder Under because I kind of forgot to take pictures yesterday.

On Wednesday night, I added these guys…

Because people are still shooting up kids at school.

I hit the halfway mark last night. I probably won’t get a lot traced today…going to watch the Man in a show before he leaves for who-knows-how-long. Ugh. Not thinking about that. Just keep making.

I also had a stitching Zoom and am still doing a thousand backstitches on the pink flowers.

After that, I will do about 160 French knots and another 52 or so cast-on bullion stitches. And then it will be done. A million years after I started.

Time is doing some weird shit in my head right now. I’m feeling very wibbly wobbly.

Speaking of wibbly wobbly, Simba had a foxtail removed from his ear yesterday…

Note drool and half-closed eyes. Poor drugged-out puppy. He is fine this morning apparently. Expensive, but fine. Note: there are no foxtails at my house…

Kitten asleep during my stitching meeting.

I didn’t do any schoolwork after school yesterday. I came home and ignored all of it. I may wish later that I did not do that (I am extremely behind in grading), but whatever.

The boychild is in there somewhere. Training for CalFire this summer.

I’d give you a hint but he doesn’t like his picture on here, so just know he’s one of those. He will also be gone a lot in the next 5 months. It’s just gonna be me, the cats, that dopey dog, and…um…well that’s it.

OK, running late (don’t know why), gotta go to school and function normally. Whatever that means.

They Just Keep Coming…

Sheesh. Another Monday. It’s like they just keep coming, one after the other. I couldn’t find the shirt I wanted to wear. I have some tweaked muscle in my right hip. My right hand is sore…from tracing things, I guess. Muscles I use and then don’t use and then they complain about it. Not sure what the hip is about…probably some exercise I don’t even remember that got it just there.

So Monday…this Monday is all weird. My schedule is all whacked for today. Things I normally don’t do on a Monday are happening today. State testing again this week, but math. That’s always a challenge. Math is harder for a lot of kids. I personally think math is pretty easy, because you know there’s an answer. You just have to figure it out. It’s not like you have to engage the reading comprehension part if you’re not quite awake. The creative part.

Speaking of that creative part, I wrote an article on Saturday morning. Hopefully it’s decent enough. Who knows. I don’t remember what I wrote. I’ll let you know when it publishes.

Is my brain wandering all over the place? Yes, yes it is. I was awakened last night around 12:49 AM (pretty specific actually) by a screech sounding somewhat like a child’s cry of pain. Probably an owl…but not a sound I’d heard from them before. It wasn’t coming from the owl box, but it was a terrifying noise. Woke me and the cat right up. I don’t think anyone else did more than stir in their sleep. Weird. Really incredibly weird.

OK, so in the I’m Making Stuff world, I finished the drawing on Thursday night…

No wait, I did everything but the last bit of the sky. I knew I wanted something, but not a lot, and I wasn’t sure of what, so I went to bed Thursday night and posted on Instagram that the sky needed something. I already had some ideas in mind, and I wasn’t asking for help, but you know how the internet is…a lot of people wanted to help. So I got a bunch of suggestions, mostly to leave it empty (nah…) for the eye to rest (double nah) and I drew what I had been bouncing around in my head already. Amusing though. I don’t do critique groups either. I trust what’s in my head, and although I realize that people are not wrong about eyes resting and/or whatever might come up in a group critique, I just don’t work that way. In fact, it irritates me. Enough that I have to talk myself out of never posting pictures again (don’t worry…it keeps me accountable to do so…so I will continue.). If you put your work out there, people will comment and that’s OK. Not sure where that interior response comes from (probably a couple of art teachers in the past).

And then I numbered the pieces, although I missed the sun.

So I guess it’s 1065 pieces…

Not too bad. I tried to keep it simpler. I know it doesn’t look that way to the viewer, but I know what I meant.

Saturday night, I started tracing, although I didn’t get very far…

But last night, I made it to piece 232. So not bad. Probably got another 8 hours of tracing to do. It’s very meditative. Calming. A good place to be right now.

Saturday afternoon, we did an almost normal pre-COVID thing and went to two exhibits, one the California Fibers’ show at Visions Art Museum, where two of my pieces are hanging.

That’s Hold On in its first exhibit. I started this before COVID and finished it in quarantine.

And this is All Stacked Up with Linda Anderson’s piece Perceptions of Life

The show is up through July 3.

Then we headed to the Oceanside Museum of Art to see James Watts’ exhibit there. I love his stuff. It’s fun, it’s deep, it’s so touchable…

You should go see it. Totally.

I spent a little time stitching on this…so close to done.

Finished all of the type 5 flowers and moved on to type 6…

The backstitching is easy but will take forever because of all the petals. Nothing quick about this border…I’ve been working on it for over a year.

Nova likes to lie on whatever is on top of my drawing…

I cover it so she won’t nibble on it, as she has done in the past…

That cat is a weirdo.

OK. So tracing all week. Math testing for two long days. A bunch of meetings, although today’s was canceled. Sex ed this week includes Yes Means Yes, anatomy, and puberty. All good. Easy peasy. Stuff I know. What a relief. Although there was an issue with one class that is heavy on boys…entitled boys…boys who really don’t get it…sigh. We’ll see how today goes when I introduce the law that doesn’t let them be entitled…well, you know, even that law doesn’t work right. But at least it tries. Tired. I’m still tired. We’re getting close to the end though. Close to the end of a very long, very tiring year. May next year be better.

Rollin’ Along…

May seems to just be rollin’ along, gathering steam, about to slam head on into June. I’m good with that. I mean, trying to keep up with the rollin’ is difficult, I stumble a bit, and the grading is still not done (it rarely is), but I need this year to be done done done. Nineteen days left. Frogs are done, cat just headbutted me in my glasses, we started teaching sex ed (ahem, Human Relationships and Sexual something or other), and it all feels semi-familiar. There’s some crazy shit happening in the rest of the school, but mostly the classroom stuff is stuff I sort of remember from 2019. I mention the crazy shit only because it’s like a shitstorm raging around the classroom that I really try to ignore, but one of my co-teachers just tested positive and yeah, here we go again. I’m not even sure how many teachers are supposed to be out today but it’s a ton. So if you’re thinking we’re done? We’re not. Half the team has symptoms, but has been testing negative. I think they should just close school. Seriously, I’m half crying right now. Imagine how she’s feeling.

So. In other news, I’ve been drawing every night…sometimes only 36 minutes (damn, that’s specific), but last night, over 2 hours…because I had a stitching meeting on Zoom and needed to do something artsy. So no, I didn’t grade after school yesterday (but I planned until 4:30 so that’s enough work for the day). Only 9 hours yesterday…might be a record.

Hi Nova…

I did a little bit on Wednesday night after I got back from book club…

And then last night, I finished all the bottom parts…the portal…

I cut about 6″ off the bottom to shorten it up…

It was a little on the long side anyway.

Once I did all that, I laid it on the ground…because I think I need a few things in the sky and it’s easier to tell from further away. It looks naked up there. In the sky. Empty. Of course, she is naked.

Anyway. So that’ll be tonight, and then I can number it. See how bad it will be. I did add some tiny stuff at the end. Like you do.

Ugh. Not because of the drawing. Because of school.

Cat conference.

Oh! Speaking of conferences, I signed up for the SAQA Summit that will be here in San Diego in September. The signup time was 9 AM, the exact moment I start teaching…and the link didn’t pop up right away, so I was trying to take attendance, start the broadcast, get a bandaid for a kid, all while refreshing the page on my phone. And then it wanted a password, and I’m like, oh fuck, I hope my phone knows this, because I don’t. It did. And I got the class I wanted, which is super awesome. Yes, it means missing two days of school, but whatever. I hardly ever take time off and this is worth it. The kids will survive. Hopefully the sub will too.

Simba was making a face yesterday…

Sometimes he just looks really dorky.

Oh my. Whoops. I haven’t done all those things yet. Better get on it.

I forgot about this shell I found in the driveway…

Pretty color. OK, also better get on with going to school. Face the music. Think I will lose my prep again? Seems like it. Maybe not. I’m so tired. All I can think about right now is coming home and going to bed. I took a nap last Friday. Might do it again this Friday. We’ll see. Meanwhile, the cat is still headbutting me. And I really would just rather read my book. Yeah. Later.

Happy Stuff…

Well. Wednesday. Hi. I survived Tuesday, with 30 frogs dissected in my room. Nobody vomited. Nobody died (the frogs were already dead; invasive species frogs, so you know, helping an ecosystem somewhere). Kids were excited and interested and probably a little grossed out. Much like they will be for the rest of the year probably (we teach sex ed next). It was good, until we got the texts that one of the students had walked off with frog parts and was throwing them at other kids. Uh huh. That pretty much sums up the year. No worries; there are consequences. And cameras. The dumbassery continues! I think there are supposed to be six? teachers out from school today. No way will there be enough subs. I subbed my prep last Thursday. I seriously haven’t had a prep to myself, to actually PREP things and grade things, since before Spring Break. I need to prep something for art today and I don’t know when I will be able to do that. I won’t. Not before I actually teach art. Let’s be real. It’ll have to be tomorrow. And that’s assuming I don’t have to cover one of those six teachers today. I’m so frustrated with this school year.

I just finished the second quilt of the year. I started it in January and it took me almost 5 months to finish it. I should be able to do more things on my own time than grade and lesson plan. I am still drawing quilt number 3…although I wonder if I am doing too much? Nah. Not thinking that way. I’m doing exactly the right amount.

I keep erasing and then drawing it bigger. Not sure more detail is necessary with this one. Although then last night, even AFTER erasing and drawing it bigger…

Yeah. Got some details there. I went to sleep drawing more of it in my head. I have book club tonight, so I don’t know how much more I’ll get done today. Some hopefully.

Nova helping to hold the drawing in place.

Not really. Same with Luna trying to run under the part that’s rolled down on the floor. Not helpful cats.

The Man watches the news and programs that comment on the news, and it inflames my brain, making the drawing populate with even more angry things than what was originally in my brain. Not sure that’s a good thing, and I do put headphones in my ears sometimes to drown some of it out, but obviously not enough.

I’m not even sure about the one foot in reality. Today I have a doctor’s appointment where my doctor will once again suggest that I pick a new profession. Yeah that’s not a stressful thing. She will say my stress affects my blood sugar, which it absolutely does. But I feel like being unemployed might do that too. I’m lucky to have a good team backing me up at school, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. I see that I am getting that damn jury duty notification in my mail today. Dear US District Court: You are making it worse. Stop.

I just need a summer where I don’t have to do all the things. Well, besides learn 8th-grade science. Ha! Yeah. I want to make art all day, but that never happens. I wish it did. I remember spending 5-6 hours a day in the summer working on art. Not in the last three years though.

We all should have that freedom. Church too. And school. Honestly everywhere. We’re not at war here, like the Ukraine…we’re not fighting for our country (oh yeah, I know some crazy white people think we are, but they forget we weren’t here first either). My Google Search history includes “bullets for an AR-15”. I wish it never had to.

It’s possible I really need a vacation…one without jury duty. And honestly, without the to-do list I’ve accumulated while working nasty hours for my day job. That would be nice. All the doctor’s appointments and errands and fixing things and yardwork. Those things all need to happen someday. With some money. Ha! Don’t have that part either.

Deep breaths. It is Wednesday. I have one more class of frogs, then art, then I start sex ed. Then hopefully I get my prep period. I’m looking forward to seeing my book club friends in person. I miss them. The Man is going on another practice hike and will be gone tonight. Hopefully he will do fine and be ready for the Sierras in a week and a half. My car got fixed without major costs. That’s a plus. I have an article I need to write, but that’s a good thing…being asked to write for a magazine? Yeah. Coolio. Focus on those things and not on the annoying shit. Come home from book club and draw the happy stuff in the portal instead of the angry stuff on the outside. That’s my goal for the day. Zen and survive and chill and then meditate with my pen.