Just Sitting…

Hoo. Boy. I spent about two hours last night yelling at my school computer and an app. My right eye was still twitching (hard) last night, but has stopped this morning. I have a canker sore starting in my mouth, which is one of my stress signs. WHY??? I am on Spring Break, dammit. I’m also fully aware of all the crap that needs to get done over break. And apparently my internet service will be down tomorrow for some period of time. Or will it be tomorrow? They keep saying there will be more info and there hasn’t been. Feel free to take my internet down while I’m gone. The boychild will not be happy, but I’ll be fine. So internet out means I need to find a way to get all the work done before that happens. Tomorrow. PLUS pack. Plus do all the other things.

Yesterday was not the most productive, or maybe it was and I just felt unproductive. I took two animals to the vet; one needed a referral to an eye doctor, and they haven’t called me back yet. The other one is fine. But that was an hour. Then I went to pick up quilts from a friend who had brought my work home from a show because I couldn’t get there in the time they allotted, which was super nice, and the conversation was good. I appreciate having time for that. Then JoAnns hell to get batting and thread (which I thought about the night before while trying to fall asleep). Then home, to the gym (yay! back on the schedule!), then dinner, then trying to grade that thing that has a giant-ass bug (not the first one). They still haven’t fixed the last bug I filed with them. So frustrated. I didn’t start stitchdown until 10:07 PM…on a vacation day. WTF.

Anyway, so I finished ironing together on Sunday night…

And then ironed it down to the background…

I’m having huge issues this morning with internet and getting photos to load, so I’m just writing words right now and hoping stuff behaves later. And here I am now, in the afternoon, hoping even harder.

Then last night, at 10:07 PM, I started the stitchdown. It won’t take long. I just have to be home and not doing something else to do it. Which seems problematic at the moment unfortunately.

This morning, I’m going to see a show at the Mingei with my mom–need to leave in about 2 minutes, by the way–so WordPress being a pain is truly unhelpful. (I already went. It really was having issues this morning.)

More about the Mingei later; it’s showing the 25 Million Stitches refugee stitched panels. Very cool. You should totally go see it. Them. Yeah.

So now it’s afternoon and I’ve seen the show, eaten lunch, planted the 8 jade plants I cut off the other main one that was falling over into the entryway path, plus watered a few things for the first time in like 5 months. Strange for us to have so much rain. Looks like we might be done, but a little more wouldn’t hurt at this point. Preferably not while I’m camping though. Please.

I need to start packing for camping, I have one more class of hellacious app assignment to grade, plus one pile of packets, plus two classes of another thing, plus homework. Plus lesson planning. Yeah, not all of that is happening before I leave. It just can’t. I need to prop up/restake my lemon tree…current stake is literally falling down on the job. Also weed the world. Literally so many weeds. Turn the sprinklers back on. Prop up the gutter downspout better, caulk the stained glass (all the while wondering how long the wood that is there will last anyway). Wishing I were more of a handyperson than I am. FINALLY after 7 weeks got the replacement faucet so we are no longer doing high-pressure dishwashing that sprays everywhere. Next time, I will just replace the whole thing. Remind me. Also, I think when I retire, I can hire out my services to bug-check educational apps. Like seriously…did no one actually make sure it worked? Sigh. Fucking giant sigh. They should at least send me a t-shirt or something. Oh yeah, also apply to that big thing that needs 47 things written for it. I have until the 14th on that one. Ha! I come back the 12th. It’s fine.

Also I feel very successful in my teaching now.

I laughed very hard. But was proud.

Amazon and its boxes…sigh.

Luna does know how to get INTO the cat tent, but she doesn’t always do it…

And getting ready to camp in mid- to high-80s? A friend rightly sent me this…

The cats have been lying around in all the sunny bits. I don’t blame them. The last two nights have been in the 30s here, but the sun is still warm during the day.

Not summer warm, but beginning of spring warm. That towel is supposed to be on the back of the fabric drawers, protecting the fabric. Kitten decided otherwise.

At bedtime, they follow us down the hallway. Luna is always first. Then these two negotiate the space.

And this morning, after my shower…

Bunch of weirdos. I have been appreciating the few hours of extra sleep, plus time to go exercise without having to worry about what I’m teaching the next day. I feel hopeful about the last 9 weeks of school. Right now. Right now, I feel hopeful. With another 11 days of break. Spring Break always goes so fast. I need to clean so many things and I am getting none of it done. Stitchdown! I need to do an hour this afternoon before pilates. Then hopefully finish tonight, pinbaste tomorrow in between last-minute camping shopping and packing. Looking forward to reading and drawing and stitching and hiking. And just SITTING without thinking about cleaning or weeding. Sounds great.

Reading a Lot…

There’s nothing like an 8 PM email from your principal saying there’s a meeting tomorrow morning to set off a bunch of teachers, especially right after the Nashville shooting. Should we be calling it a shooting? Or a killing? I feel like the latter is relevant. Seven guns. Seriously Tennessee. WTF. Sigh. Anyway, I’m sure it’s something like last year, where they promoted one of our admin right out of our school…in March…with three months left to go, leaving us with an open position right when our kids don’t need change. So it’ll be that. I’m just a lowly teacher; I can’t possibly understand the business acumen that goes into pulling a stable authority figure out of a middle school this close to the end of the year.

Also, my school board is populated with idiots who don’t want us to teach sex ed, despite the state law requiring certain things be taught. I’m glad that law exists so the stupidity that seems to permeate this nation can’t keep my kids from getting information they need to be healthy in the future (or for some of them, right now, because they already need it). Unfortunately, the majority of my school board IS that stupid. So either we’re not teaching it (and getting fined by the state, because that money couldn’t be used to educate children instead of glorifying the opinions of a few small-minded folks) or we’re teaching an older version with less offensive stuff in it (don’t even ask). I do know we’re supposed to be teaching it fairly soon after Spring Break, so these dumbasses need to be making a logical decision soon or we will have to come up with 5 weeks of curriculum that doesn’t currently exist, and that we don’t have the mental energy to create.

Somewhat frustrated this morning. Also this.

Three more days of school until break. Until I break.

I’m still cutting things out, which is good, because I am sitting and watching shows that don’t require a lot of mental energy. Monday night…after grading…

Tuesday night was complicated. I had physical therapy and then came home and finished my book instead of grading. So maybe it wasn’t complicated. I was going to grade, but then the flurry of texts came through about the email from the principal, and I had lost my impetus to grade. Maybe best. So I cut more stuff out.

It looks different. Still not obviously halfway, but I think it is? Not sure. Can’t tell.

I did a little on this too, until I remembered I had stuff to cut out.

Probably should finish this before we go camping, because it’s almost done anyway. I’ve got time though. We’re not camping until Easter weekend.

After PT, I went shoe shopping, which just means I tried on some shoes and then bought the same ones I already own because they were the most comfortable (the old pair is falling apart). Really, I just did it for the cats, so they’d have a bag and some boxes to hang out in. Luna appreciated it.

So did Nova…

She has an obsession with moths and geckos…

Hopefully my windowsill plants will survive her obsession. It’s been iffy at times.

I need to set up the rest of a lab this morning. I did most of it yesterday, but I need water at 65 degrees Celsius (I think?) and a bunch of pipettes in tubes that currently have lids on them. So 20 lids off, 60 pipettes in, water in, water bath on, then meeting of unknowness, then lab all morning, I don’t remember what in the afternoon, then pilates. I’m cooking dinner, I need to grade the thing I couldn’t grade last night (hoping mental status is more focused, ha!), then more cutting of the things. Sleep. If I’m lucky. I’m reading a lot these days; seems to help.

Solid Dream State…

I woke up from a solid dream state (better than most of the night), deeply ensconced in a dream in a country I’ve never been to, hanging out with a person I only know online (and I don’t think we’ve ever actually even had an online conversation), a quilt person, nonetheless. And I’m thinking, why isn’t my brain solving all the issues that were keeping me from sleeping? School, yard, house, money, etc. Although I guess technically, maybe that was my brain’s solution: send her on a vacation far far away.

Nicely done, brain, nicely done.

I know some people are already on Spring Break. We’re not. We’re so incredibly not. We WANT to be, but no, not yet. Five more days. After last week, it feels like five days is five too many, but the universe disagrees and wants us to forge on. We’re too tired to teach, too tired to plan or clean (that needs to happen before Spring Break too…we clean so they can clean our floors, which didn’t get done in December either). Too tired to grade, although my plan is to do as much as possible so I have as little as possible over break. Ha! It’s actually impossible. It’ll be fine. Really. My to-do list is already bigger than the number of days I have off, and since we’re going camping for some of those days, you know how that will work.

Ah well. In other gigantic news, I spent 6 hours on Saturday and managed to get my taxes from YOU OWE A LOT to WE OWE YOU SOME NOT A LOT BUT BETTER THAN NOTHING. That was a relief. Now to figure out how to pay property taxes. Minor issue. I’d like to come out of all of this with some money in savings to get through the summer. Unfortunately, I don’t see having enough to go to Quilt National in May, but I figured that was a long shot anyway.

I also finished ironing all the pieces down for the second quilt in progress…ironically, because I had entered 5 pieces in another show and the curator said they were definitely taking one of the new ones, and then they didn’t. Hmmm. So the new one, which probably would work for this other show where the curator is clueless and needs stuff from the last year, is now available. If I’d known that a month ago, I probably wouldn’t have started this one, because there is ANOTHER one I want to make for a show, and I’m running out of time. AARGH. Well. There we are. My plan is to finish this one by the end of Spring Break, if not earlier, start drawing the other one, then iron the one that was already started and get it done, so I can get the other one done before the deadline. MAGIC! Oh wait. Day job. Fuck.

Anyway, Friday night, I got within 100 pieces of done…

That was after taking a bunch of 8th graders to the Midway…let’s see, planes, military, not my thing. It was OK. I had a good group (very quiet and docile) and one very excited kid to be on planes…

I was glad to not be teaching for a while, although I had to come back and deal with 7th grade.

Who didn’t earn a movie. Actually, I gave them Bill Nye. But normally I’d do something fun, and that didn’t happen. It’s OK…11 were absent in 6th period, so this was a better choice.

Saturday was all taxes until after dinner. Oh wait, no it wasn’t. I hemmed the Man’s pants for a show…

My favorite: polyester AND zippers. Fun stuff. It was a private show, so I couldn’t go, but I needed to do taxes anyway.

Then I finished up the ironing…

A total of 8 hours and 40 minutes of that, plus 118 fabrics.

Lots of flesh colors on the right. So many people in this thing, and I made one of them blue, but there were still a lot.

I started trimming on Saturday night…

And kept going last night…

After doing school stuff for about 7 hours. Fun! I have a lot of letters to cut out, but that’s OK. It’s like a meditative puzzle at this point. I’m hoping to be done with the cutting before the weekend, then iron it together, iron it down, stitch it down, pinbaste…all before we leave to go camping. It’s a short trip this year…the Man doesn’t have a lot of days off, and we have a concert to come back for.

On my lap Saturday night…staring into the corner of the ceiling, where aliens wait to drop on my head…

Invisible aliens, except to cats.

The freesias I planted last year that were eaten by bunnies are finally up.

They got enough rain this year, apparently. We’re well over our normal rainfall. Although I’m done with rain. The universe is NOT done…more Wednesday. Ugh.

OK. So today after school, I have to watch a bunch of basketball games instead of a staff meeting (I have work to do, y’all). Then I can read my book, grade more stuff, and cut more stuff out. A day at a time is how we survive this week. Today is an activity in 7th grade that hopefully they can handle. In 8th grade, we are finishing the stuff we should have finished last week, but the app was being a butthead, so I had to give them extra time. I have a big lab on Wednesday. Then IDK what by the time we get to Friday. I’m probably not the only teacher that is IDK what by Friday this week, so I’m OK with that. I’ll figure it out by then. Meanwhile, books, exercise, and art save the day!

A Solid Start…

You know, I have two alarms that go off to get me up in the morning. Not because I’m a deep sleeper; I’m totally not, but because sometimes one or the other doesn’t go off, and if both of them didn’t go off (it happened once, power outage plus phone hiccup), I wouldn’t make it to school on time, because this is too early for my body to naturally want to wake up. Truth. This morning, the one that is more likely to wake me up didn’t go off, and then I had slept so badly in the early parts of the night that I didn’t wake up for the second one. I would have eventually, but it’s not meant to be the main alarm, so it’s quieter and easier to ignore. So my third alarm went off. The Man going “hey”. Well there we are. THREE alarms. Ugh. I could do without this inability to sleep unless I’m exhausted crap. Normal people fall asleep within a reasonable time after they get in bed and then stay asleep. At least, I think they do. It seems to work for a variety of people I know. Not me.

So the pro is that I got a lot of art done this weekend, because I refused to work on Saturday and I didn’t work ALL of Sunday (just most of it). Did I finish it all? Nope. Never will, so there’s no point in freaking out about it. I graded 4 assignments for both grades. I have a lot to go. Ah well. Never changes really.

Friday night, I graded 3 of those assignments…but then I traced some more…

I didn’t quite finish, but I did stay up way too late. Sigh. I really am a night owl by nature.

On Saturday morning, I got up and finished tracing (I really only had about 30 minutes more to go), and then my quilt guild had a sew-in at my local library, so I figured if I went there, I wouldn’t feel like I had to grade or do yard work or clean house, so I would get the cutting part done.

Here’s all the pieces…told you it was a relatively small piece.

That’s a little over 5 1/2 hours of tracing.

Then I spent a few hours talking to one person and cutting stuff out. Then came home and cut the rest out after dinner, and then sorted it.

I also napped after doing some yardwork (man, I’m still out of shape)…so did the Man.

He’s recovering from a bad cold. We had all the cats at some point…

Then last night, I started ironing to fabric…

Have to lay all the pieces out first…then pick fabrics…

Solid start. Slow but that’s OK.

Simba is no help with any of it, school or art.

But he is good for couch cuddles.

These two are friends again. Sort of.

Because it’s cold, I think.

Ugh. I am so not ready for school. Mentally or physically. I’m trying to plan lessons I can mentally handle. Which isn’t much at the moment. Everyone is about to leave the house, for work or jury duty. Poor puppy to be left alone all day (or at least until someone gets released from jury duty…it’s not me!). Then home tonight to work some more on school stuff, but also to iron some more, which is all good. Oh wait, I also have book club. They moved it to Mondays and I’m still confused about it (it’s been months). So yeah. I’ll need to be semi-awake for that. I’m feeling a nap at the moment. A serious one. A girl can dream.

Green Friday

Oh hello Green Friday. It’s Friday, hallelujah, finally, and I work in a middle school, decidedly not Irish in any way, shape, or form, on St. Patrick’s Day, so I must wear green no matter what. Yesterday was pajama day and everyone (almost) followed THAT decree; today’s is just as crucial. Do NOT show the middle schoolers any weakness, no chance for them to pinch you (you think they won’t? Oh my. Yes they do. You can’t just wear green socks. They’ll pinch, then look.).My wardrobe this entire week was written out for me…although I had nothing for “dress to impress” and my “culture day” t-shirt arrived late from Amazon, so there we are. I did “decades day”, although I could stand in for the 80s or the 90s. Didn’t really care. Their 90s is what I wore in the 80s. Next week, I’ll go back to just wearing what’s next in the pile in the laundry basket. Nothing ever makes it into the closet or a drawer. Just piles and a basket. I have a plan for the closet, but have not implemented it yet. No time! Which is my existence at the moment. I do the crucial stuff: school, art, food, sleep. Occasional meeting. Fuck the rest.

Yeah. It’s not the best plan. It’s just the plan I have right now. Like last night…oh yeah! I needed a rubric for TODAY. It’s been on my (slightly faulty) mental list all week, but finally was crucial. So I did that. And then edited a video, but decided it sucks, so I’ll need to find another one.

Artwise, I’m finally making progress on something, even if it’s not the one I meant to be making progress on. I’m still salty as shit toward this curator demanding “Last Year” of work to a theme, with very little notice. Ah well. I will just drill nails into them with my eyeballs if I actually get IN to the show. It’ll be fine.

So tracing the new one…

I found about 5 pieces that were numbered the same as 5 other pieces. Minor issue. Add “a” to one set. But it means this really has over 600 pieces. Ah well.

Last night, I traced while on a Zoom meeting with other stitchy people.

Nova assist. Also precarious position of my NEW school computer. Yes, I moved it. I traced for about 90 minutes, got off the meeting, ate dinner late (second night in a row), worked on school stuff for a bit, and then traced a little more. The pro is that I’m at about piece 350, so 250 to go. Probably not going to get ALL of that done tonight? But it would be cool if I did. The current plan is to go hang out with my stitching guild at the library tomorrow and cut a bunch of these pieces out. I don’t have to be done tracing to do that, but it would be nice if I were.

Also probably need to grade five thousand things and lesson plan because I don’t know if I have everything set up for next week for 8th grade, and I certainly don’t have anything PAST next week planned. Minor issue. Two more weeks until Spring Break. I can see it, taste it, and feel it, and although there will still be a shitload of work to do, I won’t have to do it in the classroom chaos.

I’m on the second yard of Wonder Under.

Just have the doc and the random medical hands to do.

OK. Well. I finished a book yesterday morning instead of going in early to grade things, so I’m making choices that are assisting in my sanity.

I think I’m ready for today, but only because I panicked yesterday and ran around and did some crazy shit so I’d be ready. I’d prefer to be ready in a slow and steady way, an organized and logical way, but that is NOT this year. This year is fucking chaos.

But it IS Friday, and I AM wearing two different greens, so I’m ready for it all. Well, except for the stuff I don’t know about yet, which will overwhelm me and make me want to nap more than I already do.

May the weekend be calm and restful and full of artmaking and plenty of sleep. For someone.

Still Napping

My goodness, we have reached the end of the week. I’m still napping every day after work. Yesterday, I had to do something after work (deliver a bunch of art to an upcoming show), and that was the max of my physical ability. I was supposed to go to a stitching meeting after that and totally had already canceled, which is good, because I drove home and fell asleep for an hour. Listening to the body. Best I can.

I got to talk to my real doc yesterday (video visit). They tried to reschedule it into 4th period 3 times…seriously, they kept calling and saying, “the new time is…” and I’d say, “I’m teaching then…”. Very frustrating. But finally got 15 minutes to go over all the crap that happened and confirm that I will be tired and recovering for at least another 2 weeks. Uh huh. OK. Trying to process that and all the shit that needs to happen. Please don’t expect me to clean house or perhaps even cook? We’ll see. I’m supposed to cook tonight. I have cooked in the last week. Once. Twice. Well, does avocado toast count? Probably not.

Needless to say, although it was my 56th birthday yesterday, we did not really celebrate or party. Really, I persuaded the Man that I needed cooked food instead of pizza (yes, pizza is cooked, but…), and I read my book a bit, slept a large bit, then watched some USS Discovery while figuring out a Seasons activity for the kids next week. Yup. 8th grade is officially planned through…drum roll please…TUESDAY. Fuck me. Maybe Wednesday. Do not recommend.

Hopefully I will be rested tomorrow and we can go out to dinner. Maybe. Because now the Man has a nasty cough and is going to Urgent Care this morning. Ah well. ‘Tis the season of yuck.

I am still in the cutting world…

Wednesday night…lots of green and some skin stuff in there.

Last night, honestly, too much napping and working, so I only had about 35 minutes to cut things out…

Working on some little creatures and eyeball flowers…

It seems like I’m in the 200 and 300s, but I know I flipped the pile at some point, so I think I have more than that left. But I am getting close to the bottom.

I have a bunch of show deadlines coming up. Some of them are frustrating, very little info given; another had a restriction that work had to be made in the last year. Fuck me. Do you have any idea what the last year has been like for teachers? I’m lucky to make 6 pieces a year, and many of those are currently in a show. Plus it’s a themed show? I guess they think I can make a new piece between now and May 1. Maybe? Probably not, the way the day job has been sucking up the moments. Guess I won’t be in that show. We asked for a time extension. I guess not. We want FRESH work. Then you need to pay my bills so I can make art full time.

Simba would appreciate my being home (and awake) more.

The cats too…this is Luna and Nova stalking a bird or a bunny, not sure which.

And this is one of the freesias I planted two years ago because I found them lingering in the garage from IDK how long ago.

Finally enough rain for them to bloom.

Nice image for Friday. We got through the photosynthesis lab yesterday, which is good, because it’s supposed to rain today. We have an in-school field trip for one grade level today. Hoping I don’t collapse from exhaustion until I get home. And then more couch time. The next step on this quilt requires lots of standing, so I need my energy back, dammit. Hmmm. Maybe another nap.


Yeah it’s been a while, although I think I blogged Monday. In retrospect, I should’ve found the energy after school to go to urgent care then. Ah well. It was strep…even better than strep! Scarlet fever! Hey the only adults who get that are those who have or work with kids. Lucky me. Also this shit knocked me out. No food for days, everything still tastes bad or weird, even tea, and I love tea. Still have a sore throat but I can swallow now…nice change. Could do without the rash…kept me up all night. Also the meds make me see weird things when my eyes are closed but not asleep? Like strange upside down 3D black and white landscapes but with these flashes of really bright colors at random intervals. I bathed yesterday but haven’t had the energy to shower. Gonna do that today. Although I might do an oatmeal bath too…before bed. Damn prickly annoying rash. So I’ve spent about 6 days fighting this, not eating, writing sub plans with what little brain power I’ve had, mostly prone. Even now, I’m writing this lying on the couch, resting up for the shower. First one since Monday. Should be exciting.

Me in bed. Cats. Luna left, Kitten right. Getting out to pee was hard.

Luckily the sore throat was so bad, I wasn’t drinking anything hardly at all, so who needs to pee? Honestly not the best choice.

I managed cutting pieces out on Monday night for about an hour.

Then nothing until last night, a little over an hour…

So the top left box is everything that needs to be cut out, the top right is what little I’ve done, and the bottom is the trash. Lots to do. And grades are due Tuesday. I’ve done none of that. I don’t have a lesson plan for 8th grade past Monday. MONDAY. Yeah. I’m fucked. But I will figure it out. Those thoughts were what forced me to eat and drink yesterday. You know what the only things that taste normal are? Gatorade and Froot Loops. Thanks by the way to the men in my life who take me to Urgent Care, take me to the pharmacy, and do not question the texted grocery list. Although the fridge needs cleaning out, the compost needs to go out, and I’m doing laundry.

This guy, Simba, has also been a champ, although I’m sure he thinks I’m really boring. But also nice for cuddles.

Ok. So with improved health on the way and hopefully less prickly skin soon, I’m going to continue the rest of March. I was out of it when it started and I don’t know what actual day it is now. It’s a long month but the end of it brings Spring Break and I think I’m gonna need it. Probably sooner than it comes. Gonna go take that shower now. And then rest again.

Might Be Damp

I’m watching the weather today because it’s supposed to start pissing down rain sometimes later today and I have duty at the stoplight after school. Might be damp. Then tomorrow, as it’s in the middle of 2″ of rain in 24 hours (which doesn’t happen here…that might be our annual rainfall some years), I will be picking up two quilts. Can’t park anywhere close to the pickup location, so that should be fun too. At least none of it is during rush hour traffic. I have multiple art pickups and dropoffs in the next few weeks, which is a good (but annoying and stressful) problem to have. One tomorrow, one, next Thursday (moved that one by a week), then another one…not sure when. I saw an email and promptly forgot about it. Problematic.

I am not at QuiltCon…which sucks, but also, I still get to see all the pictures. There’s some stuff I’d love to see up close. Ah well. The next QuiltCon on the West Coast isn’t until 2025. That said, one of my guild friends posted this…

That’s mine on the right…although the name is wrong. I emailed the lecturer and she responded right away. Frank Klein does own the other one, so it wasn’t a huge deal. It’s just that quilt has an awesome name: The Goddess of Never-Ending Chaos, which is kinda how it’s felt since I made it in 2016. Or maybe the goddess of increasing chaos at this point. Or unsustainable chaos.

It’s Friday. Hallelujah for that. If only I can get my head around the next batch of things while finishing up trimester 2 grades. It’s a lot to ask, especially with no more 3-day weekends. Tomorrow is all art pickup and socializing with friends we haven’t seen…well, I haven’t seen them before COVID I think. Pretty sure. So that’s crazy. But then I just have Sunday to catch up on everything. Yikes!

Be Efficient. Be Be Efficient.

I keep thinking I’ll be done with the ironing and then I’m not. Here’s Wednesday night…

Eyeball tree and IDK what else.

It’s a huge stash of fabrics I’ve got in this quilt…

And every night I add some more, because I don’t QUITE have the right shade of brown or gray or whatever.

Last night…I did an arm, a glove, and a basket, and some barcodes, but got stymied by the eggs the barcodes were on.

I wanted to do more, but my brain was done. I worked a lot yesterday, got a lot done, walked kids through the beginning of sound (I know more about sound than I thought I did…let’s hope the same thing happens with space, but I suspect not, because I never ever had space in school and I’ve never taught it either) and then the other grade, I got more and more frustrated with the inability to just focus for 20 whole minutes. Write me…shit, I didn’t even ask for sentences. I’m not sure what the deal was. I know that by the time I got to 6th period, I wasn’t letting them leave without finishing the assignment, so I made it their ticket out the door. You don’t leave until you’ve typed these four things in. On topic. The kids who are on top of it totally were done and ready on time. The kids who want the answers handed to them, who whine about everything, who spend the entire period trying to figure out how to throw something or clap loudly without being caught or just not DO anything at all, they were flabbergasted. What? You can’t keep me (I can). I don’t know what to do (I explained it three times). You’re gonna make me stay? (yes). The last kid was maybe 5 minutes late out of class, because you know what? With the threat of having to stay until he finished, he figured his shit out. Learned helplessness. Plus post-COVID stuff. Plus a batch of really immature kids (probably also COVID-related…no social skills learned during a pandemic, as we’ve seen nationwide). There was more after school that was halfway between laughable and WTF, and then I went to physical therapy and came home to a Zoom meeting, with about 12 minutes in between. That was enjoyable, but I can’t show you what I worked on, because it hasn’t been published yet.

Ironing started at 9:36 PM. I don’t have a lot left, but I keep saying that. Hopefully tonight. I’m frustrated by my days…which lean heavily into my nights.

Meanwhile, Hi, Kitten, but also, that mug in the background?

I painted that with a friend before she moved to Seattle, and it has a crack in it. It was working fine last night, but this morning decided it was done being a mug and wanted to be a small fountain.

It makes me sad. Yes, I can make a new one, but IDK when (not anytime soon). I don’t NEED a new one. I have plenty of mugs. I just really like all the naked people on it. Although the one I replaced it with also has a naked person on it. So yeah.

And I forgot to post this the other day…the owls are back in the nesting box!

This is exciting. But also means I can’t trim that tree for a while. Oh well, can’t afford to do it anyway. Birds are more important.

I still have Cheech photos…

This has no color, but the wires and phone/electric lines plus the background just fascinated me…

This is Roberto Gutierrez‘ piece Untitled (at least, I think that’s what it is…three labels and three pieces of art…making some assumptions here).

And this is It’s a Brown World After All by Eloy Torrez, who is quite a portrait painter.

That’s Cheech Marin himself, in case you don’t recognize him.

OK, I’ll do more later…gotta go to school again. Labs today in both grades, what am I, nuts? Didn’t plan that well. Who am I kidding…I can’t plan at that level this year. I’m in survival mode.

Damn ducks. School. Duty hopefully not in the rain. Set up classroom for next week. Come home and collapse. Um. I mean make a healthy dinner and make good choices and get some work done in preparation for not doing any tomorrow for a WHOLE day and then finish ironing and get a good night’s sleep. Ha! We’ll see.

Fabric of a Nation…

Hello. It’s a holiday for me. Hence my writing at a weird hour. It’s been a weird day. For one thing, we left on a short road trip Saturday morning and got back yesterday afternoon, so today I’ve been trying to do all the things I would’ve done yesterday and the day before, and I’m running out of time. Which is pretty standard for my weekends, unfortunately. I needed some significant brain power for one thing though, so I did most of that first. I’m not done, but I’m on a roll, and I think that will help in the long run.

Meanwhile, why the road trip? Two art opportunities: Fabric of a Nation is at the Skirball Cultural Center through March 12, and it’s been on my list since it opened in Boston. So that was my original plan. Then figured I might as well make a weekend of it and do a loop past the Cheech in Riverside, since I hadn’t been there since it had opened. Both incredible shows. Lots of color. Lots of amazing imagery. I’m going to try to put it on here, but there’s a lot (and there’s more photos I took, but I don’t have the time to do all of them, so I picked the best of the bunch).

So this was my first Bisa Butler piece in person, I think. I’ve seen photos and videos, but it’s never the same as closeup.

This is To God and Truth

Her use of patterned fabric is amazing.

There’s no such thing as ‘too busy’.

This was a detail from an old applique quilt that had some racist blocks on it. This is Scenes of American Life by Mrs. Cecil White.

I always wonder if she meant to be racist, or was completely clueless about it. Or if it was commentary (unlikely; the quilt is from the 1920s). There’s so little known about some of these. Her technique is pretty fascinating for the time. Too bad parts of it are questionable in subject matter.

This crazy quilt was kind of amazing. It’s by Celestine Bacheller.

Fascinating. Most crazy quilts might have one center pictorial block, and then regular pieced crazy quilt blocks around. I’ve never seen one like this.

Carolyn Mazloomi’s graphic Strange Fruit II was even more emotional in person than in photos.

Just black and white. No way to shy away from the topic.

A detail from the Harriet Powers’ quilt…

I always think I take more (and better) pictures than I actually do. I remember seeing pictures of this one when I started quilting in the 90s. It was mind-boggling then in its simplicity. Still is.

And this one, Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Kisasi Ramsess.

Amazing use of color, again, and patterned fabrics that don’t seem to belong together and yet do.

We spent the night in Pasadena, near where I grew up. I worked on one of the Sue Spargo blocks in the car and while watching a strange movie…

And I did iron on Friday night…

Wings and a strange cat. Not this one…

Although she is pretty strange. And toothless. Or light on teeth, anyway.

There were signs at the Skirball as part of another art project by Chloë Bass called Wayfinding, up through September.

Lots of thought-provoking stuff. Do you laugh or…?

Hard to say. We walked around Pasadena a bit looking for art (all closed up), found some food and drink.

Drew something weird.

Then the next morning, drove through my old neighborhood and said hi to the house I mostly grew up in…

Cool house. Interesting what they cut down and what they leave. It was a nice place to grow up in, the house anyway. Some of the town was not so nice, but that’s another story.

OK, I have work to do, so all the Cheech photos will have to wait until later. I did iron yesterday night though…these were all the fabrics I used on one kind of weird steampunk butterfly.

I’m a little more than halfway through the 1200s now. Getting close to done.

I do need to go back to work now, though…need to grade some stuff and do some more planning, make sure I’m ready for tomorrow (don’t FEEL ready, and there’s a staff meeting in the morning, which is different). This week, I will hopefully be very efficient (unlike last week) and finish all the things, plus get done with the ironing on this thing so I can start cutting them out. Everything is taking a lot of time. I’m glad I took two days off and did some ME stuff, but I knew I’d pay for it today and the rest of the week, so there’s that. It’s nice to have the extra day, though, to catch up. Won’t see that for another 38 days. To be very specific.

Happy Foreseeable Future

I am very lucky to have today off. Well. Luck. I will still be working. I’ve worked the last two days; why not continue? I’m sick as well, a minor cold at least, but enough to make the working harder than I’d like. Mostly Saturday. I fell asleep on the couch, which is a perfectly healthy thing to do, even when you’re not sick. I need to grade a couple of higher-level thinking things today, plus plan more for the rest of the unit, because I feel like I’m really far behind and can’t get my head around any of it. As usual. Ugh.

So let’s think about things I do have control over (or do I?)…ironing! I’ve managed that despite the cold, although this weekend has reminded me that in the past, I could’ve ironed ALL weekend and done fuck-all with school because it didn’t take up this much of my life. So there’s that.

Friday night’s ironing…

I ironed a small green fishboy. And an embedded phone…in a leg.

Then Saturday night…

We did not go out. I wasn’t feeling great. I don’t remember what I ironed at all. There’s a bunch of little details going on all over this thing.

Sunday night I remember!

The incubator with everything in it and attached to it. I had to recut three pieces out of Wonder Under because I had numbered really badly with the overlapping tubes from the uterus to the incubator, but it’s OK. It’s done now. Some of this is just difficult to figure out in terms of what colors and how to portray what I want to show. But all that is good for me. It would be easier if I didn’t have to also figure out what to do with the light waves portion of the current unit and then next unit about space, which I haven’t even looked at. Yeah. Freaking out about some of that for sure.

So much better to think about what I’m ironing next, which is a flask (glass) with liquid in it, always problematic…reflections and all. Ironically…just like what I need to teach next. Yeah. OK.

I’d really like to be done with the ironing this week. We’re going to LA/Riverside next weekend and I’d like to be cutting things out (much more transportable)…although I have enough to cut out that it doesn’t matter if I’m done or not…I have plenty to take with me. It’s more a matter of needing to finish this one so I can move on to the next two.

I lost this piece. Then found it. Then lost it again, spent 10 minutes looking for it, couldn’t find it, decided it didn’t matter, then found it again.

It’s fucking tiny. In the scheme of this quilt, it doesn’t really matter, but the fact that it’s reappeared more than once means it does matter. So I know exactly where it is right now and will be ironing it down to something immediately before it gets lost again.

Simba guarding my leg…

Kitten rubbing her head all over things I’m grading…

She was doing the same thing a year ago. A year ago, I went to QuiltCon, which is not happening this year, because it is much further away (Atlanta). Too bad. I’m still debating Quilt National…it’s a long way, a pain to get to, expensive (the biggest issue), and during the school year. Near testing. Ugh.

These guys are friends again.

It’s nice when they’re friendly. Sometimes they’re not and it sucks. It’s mostly Luna having issues. Nova is pretty chill.

This is one of my students. She’s an English-language learner, but it turns out a lot of them don’t know what Dry January is…

Which is a good problem to have, I guess. Not sure if I should just ignore this and move on, or…?

Yeah that. Explains middle school appropriately.

OK, well the car is at the shop for an oil change and some other crap that may or may not need to be done, the boychild is officially laid off for at least three months (CalFire is weird), I have a shit ton of work to do (nothing changing there), I have a dermatology appointment so they can tell me I should’ve worn more sunscreen as a child (there wasn’t really sunscreen when I was a kid…it was SPF10 and lasted 5 minutes for a paleface like me). And I’ll be ironing later tonight. Again. For the happy foreseeable future.