Way Less Than Optimal…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday night with Kitten…

Saturday night after dinner…

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

Kitten has been following me around…

This was Friday night’s sleep.

The other two are still cuddling against the cold…

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

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

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

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

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

Too true below…

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

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

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

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

Mismatched Shoes…

Someone at work yesterday was like, “only 11 more days” and I’m thinking, wait, what? Oh…they’re counting. Shit, I’m not counting. Why? Because I’m in day-to-day mode and if I start counting, I’m gonna panic about I’m not planned out through those 11 days. Easy for him…he’s not a teacher and doesn’t have to make sure kids have relevant and appropriate work to do. Considering actually just NOT teaching and just showing World Cup highlights every day, since that’s all some of them want. Yesterday’s Costa Rican goal against Germany (the first one) was pretty awesome by the way, if you want to see some actual soccer teamwork. That said, the arguments I’ve had to have with kids who HAVE to watch, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS (oh yeah? everyone in my household has played soccer…the question is, do we go for Wales, England, or the USA…mostly moot points by now). Sigh. I liked it better when the World Cup was at the end of the school year, because then you could just pop it up at the end of class and it didn’t matter as much. Right now? With only three weeks between breaks and progress reports due like the week after we come back? Yeah no. I don’t have the time. Or the patience. I may have totally given up by the end of the school year, so it would be nice to have the World Cup to fall back on. Ah well. I’m sure something else will come up.

I’m glad it’s Friday. I have next week mostly planned. I’m stalled by one thing that I should just get over and walk away from, because it’s gonna be complicated and take too much time. Maybe next year. Just write a note to next year’s Kathy and tell her to try it then. There’s enough new shit this year. I don’t need to make it harder on myself than it already is.

Ugh. I have a meeting this morning. I will get through the day. I know I’m frustrated and overwhelmed and it’s making me emotional. And I’m tired. All good things, yeah? I admit that I don’t love most of my job right now. There are moments of awesome and even OK and then there’s some shit. I need less of the shit.

I am done ironing on the newest quilt though…I got there on Wednesday night finally…here’s all the fabrics I used in the piece…

Usually I count them…I don’t have time this morning. It’s a lot but not as many as some. There’s a lot of white/gray fabrics…there were a bunch of concrete building things and then a ton of plastic…

That was water bottles and plastic bags and milk jugs.

All the pieces ready for trimming…

And last night, I started trimming…

Doesn’t look like much, but that’s a lot of the water bottles and a little over an hour of cutting. This week, so far, I’ve managed 7 hours of art stuff since Saturday. The week before, it was over 15 hours, but that’s because I wasn’t going to work, so I got bigger chunks of time. My left eye is twitching, my left knee is still in pain (doc next week), and I just realized the other night that I’ve been wearing mismatched shoes. I bought the same shoes two years in a row, and I was wearing one of the old pair and one of the new…only figured it out because the inserts are different colors. Sweet jesus. No, it doesn’t explain the knee pain. Unfortunately. That would be an easier fix than what I think it will be.

I am down. I feel down. I have a quilt guild holiday party tomorrow that will hopefully lift my mood. I’m hoping to go to an art opening in the afternoon. We’ll see about that. Maybe just getting a break from the behaviors will help. I think if I can get some of the stuff off my to-do list for school and home (gotta mail a holiday package, which means 17 things have to happen before that), then maybe I’ll feel better. Or I could just curl up with a book (the current one is not that good, unfortunately) and shut out the rest of it…I’ve been doing that a little every night, honestly. Ugh. Deep breaths…it’s Friday and that’s a good thing. And I should just throw out the other pair of shoes (ugh, into a landfill?) because they are beat up and that’s why I stopped wearing them and bought a new pair. OK. Gotta go. Meeting time.

Antonyms of Fine…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to Be Thankful for…

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

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

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

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

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

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

By staying up way too late…

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

Oh yeah, and this bit…

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

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

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

Plus drawing at dinner, finishing one from last weekend…

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

The old lady is sleeping a lot…

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

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

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

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

I Did Not Buy This

This Friday kinda snuck up on me. Not bad. Appreciating its presence. Would appreciate it more if I knew what I was teaching next week in 8th grade. Spent a few hours last night Frankensteining a variety of labs together into stations and then searching through the house for materials to use…one of which was fabric…I know, I know, this shouldn’t be a problem, but it has to be two 24″ squares of fabric I don’t CARE about, and I care about a lot of my fabric. I did however find this…

I did not buy this. It came to me. I don’t know from where. But two chunks of it are going to school for science labs. Along with 9 plastic Easter eggs, which I had put out in the pile for the thrift shop, and 2 bowling balls that I liberated (with help from an employee) from a local bowling alley. THIS NEVER HAPPENED (he said, as he helped me put them in a bag). I’m waiting for 40 lids to 2-liter bottles (please don’t ask why I have bottles with no lids; I agree that it’s stupid, and it’s not MY stupid).

So yeah, work is complicated and requires a lot of work. Beyond my working hours. A lot more than last year. Probably equivalent to the Zoom COVID year. Although even then, there was already curriculum we had done; I just had to convert it to something they could do online. This year, the curriculum is mostly useless and boring, so I’m having to scramble. I have planned through Wednesday of next week, almost. Ha! Wait, not even all the way through Wednesday. Nope. FUCK ME.

So this may explain my slow status of the stitchdown. I’m not starting until after 9:30 PM most nights, and I need to go to bed at 10:30 or I don’t get enough sleep, so last night, as I was stitching and looked up and it was 10:38, you can imagine how this is going.

Wednesday night, I think I only got about 30 minutes in…

That said, it was a pretty good 30 minutes. No flags in uteri…

The thread is not happy though…it’s having spool issues and loopy issues. It keeps getting itself caught under the spool and then pulling every which way, or it loops up (just one loop) down below and catches on the foot. I’m not sure how to stop either of those things. I love that after a million years doing this, I still don’t know how to fix anything.

Last night, I started on an arm and the three young humans in the bottom corner, my titular folx…

I’m hoping to get a ton done this weekend, but please remember the science planning and wonder with me how that will be happening. Because I can do a little planning at school, but literally nothing NOTHING gets graded or done at all during the 2 7th-grade classes because they cannot self-start, self-maintain, or self-anything but yelling and drama. It’s really only about 6-10 kids per class, but that is enough to make me crazy.

Meanwhile, I got to school yesterday and the caterpillar had eaten everything and was (blurrily, sorry) waiting for me to get more food.

Which I did. Immediately. Also, I took pictures of their poop…

So you could see it. It’s actually sort of star-shaped. AND do you see the other caterpillar? I did NOT see it, which means it is currently in my trash. Ah well. Can’t save all the parasites.

Anyway. Fatso is hopefully going to be going to be liquifying themselves soon.

What else is going on? Sigh. Trying to figure out how to insure two pieces in a show that doesn’t have insurance. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. Home insurance is not covering much. Also Katie is here.

She’s been good, but all the animals are a bit on edge with the newbie. Including her.

OK, going to work to feed the caterpillar, survive the last day of a unit with some classes, research day with some other classes, being super efficient with my time (ha! What a joke…I’m sure something will come up that fucks that over), getting a massage (short) and back pop later, plus need to water and pick up mail, plus finish all the planning for 8th grade for next week and grade all the stuff from last week that got subsumed under grades being due. LOSE MY MIND somewhere in there and maybe read my book. That would be good.

Fascinating Poop…

While it is awesome and feels really good to get into shows, the paperwork and the prep to get stuff out of the house and into the world is sometimes a bit much. I’ve got two to get ready before Saturday, but am having problems contacting the person I’m delivering to. They keep emailing me, I respond, I get nothing. Then next week, I’m delivering four, so I’ll get those ready this weekend. They’ve been really good about being flexible, which I appreciate, since I can’t deliver during the regular work day. Two nights ago, I was filling out paperwork online and one cell in the form wouldn’t take any answer. Until I put a blank space after it. Don’t understand that shit. Luckily people are mostly helpful and understanding, and it’s just me losing my mind in the background sometimes quietly and sometimes with some force. Day job does not help.

So yeah, I got into Quilt National with Desert Mother

I think this is the fourth time I’ve gotten into QN with a piece made for (and usually rejected from) another show. This one was too late to enter into the show it was made for. I guess it turned out OK. She was the palate cleanser between the abortion rights quilt that will be at Visions starting this month and the two pissed-off Roe v Wade quilts that have come after. It felt bad to be finishing her during the beginning of the Russia/Ukraine war and all the other crazy shit that was happening, but I needed to make her. So that.

Meanwhile, I’m working on one of the pissed-off Roe v Wade quilts…finally doing stitchdown. I got really stuck in my head about starting this, so hard to get the machine set up (not really) and such a pain to do the stitching (not really). But last night, I finally stitched…

Even though it was less than 30 minutes, it was a start…

I’m figuring 5-6 hours. I could be totally off. But the last one, which is bigger than this, was 5 1/2 hours, so hopefully by the weekend I’ll be done? I don’t have any more meetings this week, I think. I did go to the gym last night, which ate up some time, but I needed it. I need it every week. I got to read my book and exercise. Perfecto.

Tonight is pilates and I have to cook and my parents’ dog will be here, so there will be some adjustments going on, but after that, I should have time to stitch down some more. I’ve just been so tired lately. Anyway. It’s progress. Slow as hell this year getting quilts done. It’s frustrating. I did get good news yesterday that my other 8th-grade co-teacher, the one who will actually plan interesting stuff with me, will be back in a month. Halle-fucking-lujah. Not doing it all by myself! What a concept. Looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, Monday morning, I got to school and this was on my door.

Yeah I figured out who left it (I had two reasonable possibilities), so we ID’d it (tomato hornworm, turns into a pretty cool moth) and housed it…

Our school has a garden that is mostly not doing anything at the moment but producing limes and compost tomatoes, so I’ve been trimming the plants to feed this thing, which must be close to chrysalis stage…

So we’ll see how that goes. It’s very slow-moving at this point. And it makes the most fascinating rectangular poops with ridges in it. Sorry. Forgot to take photos of its poop.

Anyway. So that’s where I’m at. Making art slowly. Exhausted by the day job. Raising a caterpillar.

All the Pieces

All the pieces are done, ironed together. I just need to make them fit. Ha! That’s always the issue. I love it when the quilt top is just one giant ironed-together piece with no holes in it, because it’s easier to get onto the background. Pieces like this with a little bit here and a little bit there, and they all have to fit together, which implies I ironed them together really well (ha!)…those are the hardest. I’ve got two big heads (here’s one of them from Friday night)…

Then there’s the head and upper torso of the main figure with the arms, then the lower torso with the rest of the three figures and the body of one of the big heads. They’re all attached in some way. It’ll be a challenge. It’s not a small piece, so doing it on the ironing board won’t work. I finished the Earth last night…

That was the last bit…and I found the missing ‘s’ finally. It was in the box of 1300s, even though it’s a 300. It has aspirations…

In other art news, Coronawood got into Quilts=Art=Quilts, which is cool. And I’ll be part of an artist talk on October 2 at the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad.

Should be interesting…a wide variety of work.

I spent a huge chunk of the weekend working on school, which is funny, because I only just got my nose above water and my mouth sometimes. Meaning 8th grade is planned through next Monday and is a disaster after that. I spent 5 hours on Sunday just dealing with that, and then the other 3-4 hours was grading stuff and posting stuff and trying to make sense of stuff. I brought home 5 things on paper that I didn’t touch, needed grading. I’m taking some of it to my other quilt guild meeting tonight. Valerie Goodwin is talking. I took a class from her last year on Zoom and wanted to hear/see her in person. Also I won’t be at school for two days this week, so hence my panic about school stuff. But I’ll be at SAQA Summit listening to artists talk and then taking a 2-day workshop. I still need to write sub plans.

That whole 5 hours yesterday was on this chair with this cat behind me…

It wasn’t particularly comfortable.

Later we walked the little dog. Not sure why I call him that, since he’s the only dog we have at the moment. I guess I have a wishful big dog.

We only did 2 miles because all of us were tired. The boychild has been gone a lot lately for work, so Simba has been needy. And a shitty sleeper. I’d like to thank the local coyotes for my lack of sleep today. Boychild may be back Wednesday…depends on local fires. He was on one over the weekend, but seems to be off it now. I told Simba; he understood nothing.

We managed dinner out…

So I drew something very basic that I’ve probably drawn some version of about a million times. Which was fine, because at least I was drawing.

This school year, man. I’m hoping I get a better handle on it soon. It’s been shit. I should say the 8th graders are mostly fine. They are a decent group of kids. I just don’t have the curriculum down until like 5 minutes before class. The 7th grade, I’ve taught this curriculum enough times that I’ve got it, but the kids are a challenge…and not all of them. Just a significant enough number of them that it is hard and exhausting and sometimes they behave and sometimes they are shitheads. Because they are kids, yes, but also because of COVID and not being in school and still figuring out how not to be immature and some of them don’t HAVE to behave at home, so why behave at school? Some days are good, most are ok or tolerable, and then some are just shit. And because I end the day with them, it just throws me. And then the curriculum is stupid, the stuff I’m using for 8th grade. Hate Amplify. It’s lame. So repetitive, only one right answer, hardly any hands-on stuff. There are simulations, but it’s not the same thing. The kids need something to put their hands on, to mess with. Hopefully the next unit is better. I guess it’s only as good as I am, and I don’t feel up to it by myself. I don’t have any other curriculum that I can do with them. And I don’t have time to go searching for stuff, or the brain power, because I would have to be able to get the big picture to do that, and I’d need like a 40-hour week of planning to get there.

On top of all this, some messy shit with adults happened last week at school that still is pissing me off. I need to drop it, let it go, but it’s shitty and I can’t get it out of my head. Thank you brain for that.

I did finish one book, read a whole ‘nother book (the Man hates it when I use ‘nother)…

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy…second book in a series, but basically I love anything by Becky Chambers. Reminds me of why I don’t hike the PCT as a thru-hiker.

Anyway. I’m on yet another book now. It feels good to read. I do love to read. And draw. And sleep. I love sleep so much and I suck so bad at it.

Today is chaos. I’m giving assessments to both classes, although 8th probably won’t finish today. 7th will if it kills me (and it might). Staff meeting after school, plus counseling, pick up the parental dog and bring her back, then off to the quilt guild meeting. I’m not sure I can do all that, but I’m going to try. I should eat something in there sometime. I’d like to say I’ll iron when I get home, but odds are that I will just collapse. We’ll see. A girl can hope.

Spluttering Back Up…

Well, I can wish and hope that today goes well at school (and really, it’s just the last two classes that make it or break it), but even if it doesn’t? It’s Friday. I get a 2-day reset…yes, a reset that will require a shit-ton of working on school stuff to get it all done, but it is still 2 days. When I had COVID, I planned out a whole month of 8th-grade science, but I’m starting to run out of that and panic. I can’t get my head far enough above the water (I’m seriously in that stage where I’m constantly slipping under and getting water up my nose, and then spluttering back up) to feel like I’ve got it. I really hope the entire year isn’t like this. The planning is one piece, and then the 7th grade is the other. The behaviors in those two classes are difficult and require significant management. Some days I’ve got it! Some days make me want to quit and go work at a quilt store. Can’t afford the latter. So there we are. This week has been hard, and sleep has been hard to find, which doesn’t help. Last night, I must have hit full exhaustion mode, because I slept all the way through.

We did two days of labs, which might have helped with exhaustion AND frustration…

Luckily we have multiple teachers’ aides (kids) who will be cleaning up, because there is sand and rocks everywhere.

I do also want time to iron on this thing…it’s taking forever. I got the other arm done on Wednesday night (after a union meeting)…

This detail feels relevant after hearing about a nationwide abortion ban…

Last night was hard…I had a hard day (well, last two classes) at work, then went to Pilates (ugh…yawned through it), then home and realized I had a Zoom meeting (whoops!). I was too tired to iron at all…just stared at stuff for school and chatted. Sometimes that’s all I have. I did eventually iron after, but it’s been less than an hour every night. 52 minutes. 57 minutes. ALMOST an hour. But not. I’ve been ironing this thing together for a little over 14 hours over the last three weeks. So last night, I did the head…

I didn’t get her freckles done. I almost changed this face from the original drawing (there are other things I changed). The almost smile was an issue, although it is a beautiful mouth. The tears and the smile? So I explained on Instagram that this face is honestly where I’m at right now, ironic, since I drew it last November (that should tell me something)…I’m crying because it’s shit, and the shit is so overwhelming that I’m kind of laughing hysterically, and now I notice I wrote “I”, when I don’t really see this as a self-portrait, but maybe most of my women are some version of me. Intriguing thought.

So I got into Quilts=Art=Quilts and Excellence in Fibers (not sure I said anything about that one yet). In the midst of all the chaos and heartache (IDK if that’s the right word…there’s been some trauma too plus frustration plus all the feels), the art is getting out and seen. So that is my good right now. And my school team. Because I know they have my back even when some don’t. So bend into the chaos today, deep breaths, because I have a backup plan if their little brains can’t handle it, but sometimes they surprise me, and that is always my hope. Let today be that day.

No Additional Time…

Yo! Busy weekend, mostly cool stuff. Work (day job) takes up too much time, as usual, and too much of my trying-to-sleep-dammit brain. But I got a bunch of fiber and art in there this weekend.

Quiltwise, didn’t get much done…didn’t iron at all on Friday night, and then did an hour or so each Saturday and Sunday nights…so this is part of Saturday…

Did the lower torso that is above the arm…then realized the whole damn thing was too heavy to keep on the ironing board, so pulled another Teflon sheet and started the upper torso on that.

It’ll all fit together at some point. Last night, I continued on the upper torso…

At this point, I have some arms to do. I’m in the 800s, almost done with them, I think. So more than halfway finally. Still a lot to do…another big head, her head, the arms, and some stuff in the background. Not a fast iron.

Friday night was a no-iron night because I went to see the Man’s band play…here he is pretending to be Exene of X.

That’s some neon green there. Pretty exhausting show for both of us, though. Friday nights are hard. I managed to get up and go to my quilt guild meeting the next morning to listen to Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy talk. Great talk, very inspiring. Put it on my calendar to do another remembrance block when I get a break from school. There are 50 or so here in San Diego County that need to be done, so volunteer! (wherever you are, there are unfortunately people who have been killed for a variety of sketchy reasons who need to be documented and remembered…).

I stitched while she talked…been a while since I worked on this, but I got a chunk done.

Mostly boobs.

On Sunday, I went up to the PHES Gallery to see the opening of FIG’s Portals show.

I need to post all those pictures sometime this week…but it is the first time I saw mine hanging. It’s much bigger than I had originally planned it to be.

Definitely commands attention. I’ll be participating in an artists’ talk on October 2 at 5 PM at the gallery with two other artists.

I drew some things for school…this was the hairy gravestone reject.

They were good until I put the hair on them. Don’t even ask.

I was really excited to see a monarch caterpillar in pre-cocoon mode…

But 12 hours later, it hadn’t done anything new and looked mostly dead. And this morning, it was gone…with three more green tomatoes. I know I have a tomato stealer; apparently they like caterpillars too.

I did find another one on there, so maybe there’s hope.

We have a lot of birds though. So I’m not incredibly hopeful.

So it’s Monday. Y’all know that. It’s a busy week: union meeting AND back-to-school night. Plus all the other stuff. I rewrote the whole 8th-grade month in my head while trying to fall asleep last night. Should really stop doing that, but it’s amazing what my brain is capable of when it should be sleeping. The weather has cooled off a bit, although it’s still muggy. The boychild left this morning for his new CalFire posting; not sure when he’ll be back, because there are crews on fires and his new one may need to do something. So either he’ll be back Wednesday or who-knows-when. I need to get to school and hope a copier is running somewhere.

Wonky It Is…

The rain is here…Hurricane Kay is throwing us clouds and rain and eventually wind (not a fan of that…haven’t been able to afford trimming the trees on the slope…been on the list for a year, but the septic redo took all the available cash). The pro is that we need the rain (although not flood level) and it’s cooler today than it has been…still humid though. I have duty after school at the corner light…trying to find an umbrella (it might be in the car). The Man is hoping traffic isn’t bad this morning, and the Boychild is doing his (hopefully) final training tests for CalFire today. In the rain. But it’s rain! We need it. I’m still dripping sweat this morning though. Ugh.

I’ve gotten about an hour each night to iron…that’s it. Working on one of the two big heads…

That’s the first hour…

And this is the second hour…

The next step is the main figure’s torso, I think. I’m around piece 570 or so. Not even halfway. The Man has a show tonight, so I was going to go see that. Tomorrow is a bunch of quilt stuff. The next day is an art opening. Busy weekend. But hopefully I’ll get some more done. Slow but sure.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a meeting this morning (another one!), a ton of work to do for school, overwhelmed by all of it. The level of kid crazy I had to deal with yesterday was not appreciated. After school was all contacting parents and admin and writing stuff up. Very little “get work done”. I’m realizing this morning that I don’t really know what I’m doing for 8th grade…I was supposed to review it sometime this week, and I literally haven’t had time. So I’m searching for the videos that explain it as I drive to school? Possibly.

Last night, I enjoyed hanging with my stitching friends and doing a tiny bit of stitching…

Slow as molasses on this. And god forbid I actually measure and mark like she suggests. I’m pro-wonky in hand-stitched stuff. Good thing, because wonky it is.

OK, may the wind be kind, the rain spread out, the kids chill (oh that’s unlikely). May I find my umbrella and be super efficient today so I can feel better about next week before it happens. Also, it’s my half birthday, so where is my cake.