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.

She Must Be Exactly the Right Size…

Hmmm. Lunar eclipse happened. Russia is still attacking the Ukraine. Rich white guys are still attacking women of all colors, soon to move on to white boys (and others) who don’t share their cis hetero tendencies. And those who don’t fit neatly into their idea of gender. So many books I read have a mystical, mythological element to them, and a blood moon with a lunar eclipse should have been read as some sort of major message…I’m reading it as STOP, go back, y’all are doing it wrong! Russia needs to go back to their own country. Those rich white guys need to go fishing or play golf or something…maybe work on racist extremist supremacy here (oh wait, they are, just not how I want them to) so we don’t have people killed in grocery stores while stocking up on food for the next week. Maybe we could just work on feeding those who live here and dealing with the gun issue? Instead of trying to make sure there are more kids who are starving? I don’t know. Just a thought. A big thought, sure, but a good one.

In the midst of all this, I just keep making. This drawing was originally pretty chill. I did one over Spring Break in some campground and there’s a lovely world hiding in her vagina that I was seeing as a portal to this other world. In reality, the vagina is kind of a portal, but mostly things are coming out. But I kinda think of these as earth goddesses, I draw them a lot, and certainly some people have seen the sheela na gig in this drawing. This is not the first time I’ve drawn this type of figure…it’s been in my vernacular for a good long while. So I did one Thursday night and rejected it because of the ankles. Or the angle of the arms. Or something.

And so Friday, I went back and looked at the smaller drawing from Spring Break and started a third version…

It filled the page. Without a head. I have been drawing things too big for the page since I was in 5th grade. Maybe earlier. So I decided to enlarge it before I drew any more…

Got her taped together on Saturday night, and then Sunday night, taped more around the edges so she could have elbows and eventually a head. She got a lot bigger.

But there’s the start. I’ve got some drawing to do now. Thinking of my deadlines, she might be too big, but then I am focused more on deadlines than on what I want to make. Which shouldn’t be how I make. So there we are. She must be exactly the right size.

Saturday morning, I took a Zoom class from Carolina Oneto, who was in Peru, on curves and color transparencies.

The curves are pretty easy from years of clothesmaking…although making them flat instead of curving around a shoulder is different. I didn’t realize I had enough solids to make all the color overlaps, but I did.

It went together pretty well.

So not like what I usually make, yeah? Agreed. But interesting enough in its own right.

Saturday afternoon, I walked the dog.

No one else wanted to come with me. It was hot.

But there were lots of wildflowers and it was outside…

And I needed the exercise.

A friend came to visit on Sunday and we hung out in a park for a while. That was nice. And then the weekend was mostly over. Which is how it works. I never get enough done. I graded 1 1/2 assignments, posted some stuff for school, laid awake last night at 11 PM worrying through some stuff for this week, and today I’ll try to get everything done that I didn’t do last week or over the weekend. Ha! Never happens. Never efficient enough.

Yeah this…

Which is why I can’t do jury duty for the entire month of July. I’ve already worked a full year. I need a break. Plus I have to plan for next year, which is two grades of science instead of one. Some stuff I’ve never ever taught before. Again. For the third year running. Ugh. Maybe more years than that. Also 300 hours for grading off the clock is really low.

Found a cat in a box.

This is why we can’t recycle things in a timely manner.

Ah yes, blurry night photo of blood moon eclipse.

It was cool to see in person…cooler than this photo.

OK. It’s still Monday. There’s still a multitude of wars on humanity that shouldn’t be happening. This week at school is frog dissections and the beginning of human reproduction for the first time since May 2019. With a block schedule, which might kill me. 79 minutes of direct instruction is not my idea of fun. Luckily we voted that out for next year. But this year, I have to figure out how to survive it. Microphone for the voice. Lots of drawing or coloring for the breaks? We’ll see. Human reproduction coloring books? Could be.

Crumple. Disintegrate. Topple.

It’s been teacher appreciation week. I think. I haven’t really noticed. Seriously. And that’s fine. I don’t need cutesy shit for being a teacher. A wage that is appropriate to my education, experience, professional status, credentials, and HOURS WORKED would be lovely. Let’s work on that. THAT would be appreciation.

It’s also Friday. THANK THE UNION FOR THAT. Seriously. I don’t have another day in me. I might not even have today in me. We’ll see. It’s been rough. Next week is the first for state testing since 2019…fun stuff. Yesterday was the parent info meeting for sex ed (not bad, but stressful every single time). Grades are due TUESDAY. It’s fine. My co-teacher is on a plane coming back! OMG! I might cry over that. Dealing with subs and kid issues and the kid on a contract and the random kid dancing on a table who is joining my prep period because he can’t behave. Yeah. I’m done. Am I still wearing a mask at school? Fuck Yes. I don’t want to be out for 10 days during frog dissections or sex ed. Can’t even plan for that level of crazy.

Meanwhile, I have overlapping quilt stuff this weekend, plus I’m going to need binding for this quilt…which is a good problem to have. I’m almost done with the detailed part of it…haven’t had much time at night because I’ve been grading shit. But I finished the left side of the arm and head…

And then last night, I did the face and the right side of the arm/head.

All that’s left is the sky, and it’s mostly swoopy long lines that are easy to quilt, and then the tiny bit of outside border that won’t take long at all. The plan is to finish quilting tonight, buy binding tomorrow (because the quilt store STILL isn’t open late enough for me to go during the week after work), and get this thing done. Start the next one. Got deadlines. Got ideas. Need this to balance out (ha!) the insanity of work. 29 days of school left. The crazy is mounting up.

The man sent this cloud picture last night…

There’s nothing else up there but sky.

Nova is in need of pets…

I understand, Nova. Totally.

OK, it’s on. Make all the kids finish all the things (oh yeah, that’s funny). Grade all the things (also funny). Do NOT lose your mind (hilarious). Come home, collapse for a bit, walk the dog, eat leftovers with the boychild (well not really WITH the boychild), finish grades and quilting and what’s another word for collapse? Crumple. Disintegrate. Topple into bed to sleep hard until I have to be up kinda early. Got it.

It’ll Never Happen…

In a previous relationship, I suggested that the Republican right was out to get women, and I was told no, I’m wrong, it’ll never happen. Hmmm. Gaslight much? I’m frustrated with my country. I’m frustrated with the inequalities. I’m frustrated with the need for control over uteri and what they do. For fuck’s sake people, I HAVE one of them and it does not listen to me. Also why aren’t the sperm part of this lockdown on rights? Y’all waste so many of them. I feel like that’s an issue.

All joking aside, we can propose vasectomies for boys, education for boys, laws against men, OR we can just give everyone the right to choose what is right for them. Free will…it’s what’s for dinner. And what does it mean that I’m sitting here wondering what they don’t want us to see or notice that these documents were leaked? What ELSE is going on? What are they trying to distract us from? It’s sad to me that what I used to think of as the highest court in the country has been downgraded to a political puppet. It’s not about laws or rights…it’s about control. I’m not sure those proposing all these changes have any sort of long-term memory. It’s been like this before…and maybe they should read some dystopian novels…when you try to hold the people down, they will revolt.

I guess more quilts are in the works. It’s interesting…I did just finish the abortion rights quilt in January (see it at Visions Art Museum in October!). It was hard to make. Hard to draw. Hard to work on. Emotional. And I’m glad to have never had to have an abortion, never needed to make that decision, but I know women who have. And I’m glad they had the choice. So the quilt I’m working on now was supposed to be lighter, give my mind a break. But now I feel bad for working on a “light” quilt, one with no political or social message. (Rolls eyes at self). Well there are tons of deadlines coming up. Guess they will all be about wars…wars with tanks, wars on the body, wars on women…wait, no, wars on everyone who is not a rich white male. Wars on gender, sexuality, race, color, poverty. We have learned nothing. And damn, those pink hats aren’t gonna do it this time. I need Thor and his hammer or some equivalent.

Sigh. Meanwhile, I teach. It’s hard. Their attention is nil. It’s a fight with some classes. Pay attention! Listen! Get on task! Wake up! Heads up! Stop yelling out! Some days I feel like I’ve been in boxing matches all day.

The meditative quilting at the end of every day is a plus. It’s a relief. It’s a joy, even though it’s tiny and fussy and scrunched up.

A leaf-nosed bat…

It’s a slow process…Monday night, I did the rest of the torso, one of the pupfish on her breast, the bat, all of the plants on the bottom right, and a little bit of the sky.

That was a little over an hour, I think. Then last night, I did the rest of the plants, the quail, the other pupfish, the heart and lungs and other breast, and a bit more of the sky.

So tonight, I should be able to work on the arms and/or the head. It’s getting closer to being done. I’m going to need binding fabric. More importantly, I need to draw the next one. It was a rough draft in my brain. Sleeping last night made it much more clear. Also Roe v Wade made it more clear. And dumb people made it more clear. Controlling people. People who say I’m imagining a war on the uterus. Whatever. I roll my eyes at you.

Another thing I did last night was spend an hour plus on the phone with the Man, who I hadn’t talked to since I left him at Kennedy Meadows. We text, but it’s hard to keep a coherent conversation going between his work and mine, and his lack of Wifi at night. It was nice to hear him talk. It’s still 3 1/2 weeks until I see him.

After that, I did some plant reconnaissance…had two succulents I’d cut off a huge plant that I’m trying to establish elsewhere in the yard, and in doing that, I noticed some new flowers…this one has never flowered…

And I thought I’d killed this one…

I get two succulents mailed to me each month. It’s one of the things I started in quarantine to make me happy, and it continues to do so. I keep most of them alive. I have no idea what that offshoot is gonna look like, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

And this one came from the ex’s house, fell off a rock. I didn’t know it flowered…and so BIG.

I need to transplant some of it back to his rock.

Meditations with cats…

Really, just this cat.

Oh and here are some Nida oldies…I don’t even remember painting this one for my cousin and her husband…

My cousin died in 2020 (not COVID) and this just showed back up at my house. Huh. Not sure what to do with it. This is circa 1987, in case you didn’t think I always did weird bodies. I did.

And this is high school…another gift…this to my great uncle.

I loved Vanity Fair magazine and would draw the models with my own take on it. I guess you can see the beginnings of my style peeking out here. Certainly I was looking at shadows and blocks of dark and light before I ever started working in fabric.

OK. Job calls. Car is still in the shop. Not sure what’s wrong with it. Work was hard yesterday. I’m hoping it’s less hard today. Ha! What a joke. I’m hoping I get to keep my prep period…I need it. Grades are due next week. I’m hoping for an easy, cheap car fix. Ha! OK. Work. Go.

It’ll Be Fine…

A new month. It’s a long month. State testing for the first time since 2019. That’ll be interesting. Probably not very enlightening. Then again, I never found state testing to be particularly useful. Ironic since I’m a teacher.

I spent a lot of the weekend grading and quilting. Probably more grading though. Because the day job sucks up lots of time. I did watch a lot of the SAQA conference videos and participated in some this weekend WHILE grading…

Conference on iPad, pile of papers, another paper for notes about conference stuff, laptop for recording grades. Fun stuff. I appreciated most of the talks. I had some moments of thinking many of us white female quilters are awfully entitled, but OK. That feeling hasn’t passed. Of course we are. We can afford to spend money on materials and equipment and traveling and conferences…and the few who can’t, probably aren’t at this conference. They probably aren’t members either. Anyway. Also thought it was ironic that I’m teaching art but I’m not teaching fabric art. Next year, I won’t be teaching art, 99% sure of that. Won’t be 100% sure until the day we start the new year in August.

So lots of quilting…actually, really, only about 4 1/2 hours of it, compared to 9+ hours of grading. I used to be able to quilt all day on a Saturday, but that’s not a thing right now. Grade file for progress reports opens Thursday. Trying to get caught up.

Everything is so detailed, it just takes forever to do this. Friday night, I did a bunch of tiny animals…

Saturday night, I did more of them and a few plants…

Made it up into the sky as well…

Although not very far. Sunday night was the best, because I gave up on school stuff after about 4 hours (plus 5+ on Saturday) and quilted for 2 hours instead. So I got a whole arm section done…

Mostly.

I did the cactus anyway…

Got into the ribs and the tarantula as well, but didn’t quite finish the upper sky or arm. Good progress though…finally. Tonight, I’ll be back to a piddly hour a night if I’m lucky. But it will get done eventually. I need to leave soon to take my car in though. I have four different warning lights on that have been on and then off and then on all the time since Ojai…hopefully it’s just a sensor malfunction, because it’s 4 different systems and I don’t have the money for that. I’m not sure I have money to get through the summer as it is…although there’s always the renovation fund if I need it. Aargh. Really? Frustrating. I guess the septic redo counts as renovation…not what I meant it for though. I think I will never retire.

I wish the SAQA conference had more on the weekends…like what’s wrong with Sunday? Some of us work. Sigh. At least most of it’s recorded…it’s just finding the time to watch those.

Saturday was Independent Book Store Day and San Diego had a book crawl. I headed out to a bookstore I follow because I didn’t remember it existing when I used to hang out in that neighborhood. I don’t remember what WAS there, but it wasn’t this.

There were a lot of people. I bought a blank book, ironically (a sketchbook with nice thick paper). Because I couldn’t deal with picking a book with actual words. I read all the time, but picking just ONE out of all of them? Yeah. No.

Also, money is tight and this was cheaper than one from an art supply store. I can play with watercolors on it. If I had any. I might have some. In my stash.

I also hiked, because exercise is necessary…

For mind and body…

Oooh…I didn’t notice the bugs in the flower when I took the picture…thought they were flower parts.

Four miles. Good stuff.

The boychild is on a new work schedule for the next month. It’s confusing to the dog and me. He will be more available to cook, though, so I’m all for it. The man is still working random hours up at Kennedy Meadows and living in a tent. My co-teacher is still stuck in Germany. It’s fun here. I should read more books. Pillow forts. Hike more.

Kitten has totally figured it out.

Funny old lady. Totally rejected the food my vet called “crack for kitties”. Too bad. She needs to eat one of the special foods.

OK. I have already achieved this, y’all. In fact, there’s some stuff I need to burn or hide before I die.

It’ll be fine. OK, car in, teach all day, 2-hour staff meeting, then home and cook dinner, grade stuff, and quilt. Repeat.

Brain Back…

OK, Wednesday evening I finally got my brain back. Serious fog up until then. I’m not saying things have been easier, but certainly thinking has been easier. School is a dumpster fire at the moment, although I hammered stuff yesterday and managed to slog through part of the assignments. More slogging today. Because holy crap, how can I possibly expect the kids to work? It’s so close to summer! (rolls eyes). Also, to the mom who called because her kid texted her that I wouldn’t let her go to the bathroom, please tell me…would you rather that I make sure your kid hears the instructions, is on task, and is completing her work without wasting time? Or would you rather she gets to go to the bathroom whenever she wants? Because I can’t do both. Seems like the latter. Good luck with her grade then…that’s on you. Don’t email me about what she’s missing. You can figure that out on the grade program.

I’m so glad it’s Friday. I don’t have enough saved-up energy to deal with some of the things that are being thrown at me. Most of us don’t. I’m just trying to get prepped for next week, get caught up on grades (ha!), and get the stuff done that needs to be done. That’s it. Then come home and maybe walk the dog. Seems like a good day for it.

Wednesday night, I finally got the quilt pinbasted. I had to piece the backing and wash the batting…

She’s not even that big.

But there are lots of details that need line quilting to bring them out.

It won’t be fast…

But I will enjoy doing it.

Last night, I got all the way around the outside…

And then quilted a hare…

And a few flowers. That’s 45 minutes of work right there. So I’m gonna be here a while. I’m OK with that. I need to start drawing the next quilt though…deadlines. So many of them now that things are opening back up…which is good, but stressful with my workload.

Last night, I got 2 hours of stitching with friends.

In 2 hours, I stitched a whipped backstitch around two of these flowers. Two. That’s it. I’m slow. It’s also the second night this week I’ve eaten dinner at 9 PM. No one around to help cook on Tuesday and Thursday. Ah well.

I’m virtually attending this year’s SAQA conference and they offered a fish instead of a swag bag. I totally went for the fish.

Love this happy fluffy thing…from Goatfeathers Studio. They look like fun.

I’m back to meditating every night with an app and a cat instead of my sketchbook…

Can’t say the cat is particularly helpful, but at least last night, she wasn’t trying to sit on my face. The other cat is currently trying to headbutt my shoulder while I’m typing. Not a fan. Apparently I haven’t petted her enough today. WTF.

OK. I have to go to work. I need to get everything done that I can so I don’t have to bring it ALL home (grade file for progress reports opens next week). At least I get two days off to decompress a little, walk some, hike some, sleep some, quilt some. Maybe write more about our trip, because I don’t have time to do it now. Going to appreciate that…plus SAQA conference stuff tomorrow…wish more of the stuff during the week was late enough for me to see in real time, but that’s not a thing apparently. Ah well…