I Want Time to Slip Away*

July 4, 2017

Happy 4th American peoples…all the shop people who were asking me if I was ready for the 4th can now stop, right? Which reminds me, I totally got manshamed yesterday at Home Depot because some kid employee was asking me how I was and saying hi and I half-smiled as an answer, but I was looking for something and didn’t want to be sociable and then he totally verbally gave me shit for not saying something back to him. I think I gave him an incredulous look…like dude, just because you have to greet people for your job doesn’t mean I have to do ANYTHING back. I acknowledged you with a facial expression. Be a dick again and I’ll complain to management asshole. Old enough to be your grammy you fucktard and way way more feminazi.

Back to the 4th. Fireworks and dogs…bad. Ours started last night and continued until after 1 AM, as did the Calli freakout. But y’all should relax and hang out with friends and family and do all the stuff people are supposed to do on the 4th. I always feel weird about it because I’m not uber-patriotic and I already have the summer off, so it’s not a vacation day, and I think people go a bit overboard with expectations of whatever it should be. I do like fireworks though, so I’ll go see those. It’s not the first year without the girlchild…and she screamed through her first fireworks.

I’m feeling a bit crankballs this morning. Not good sleep between dog reacting to M-80s and something out there at 4 AM and then a grandpa delivering shit this morning to the driveway. I slept in between all the dog barking. I’ll be OK later. I need to get some shit done, and then it will feel better.

That’s all I did yesterday really…run errands and try to finish community quilts. I think I’ve got another 2 hours of sewing and then some cutting wood for hangers and weights and then I’m done. But I need to prep the quilts for my solo show too and I’m kind of sick of all this stuff that’s not art.

So first of all, I have this weird door that opens into my entryway…it used to be a fire door, but then they put a new door in my bedroom, which works for that too. The door is failing…a combination of age and moisture in that corner. It gets no sun. So lizards regularly just go under and there was a lot of cold air this last winter through that space. I asked my dad about fixing it or whether I should just call someone, and he said he’d do it, but he’s been putting it off and putting it off…until yesterday.

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He pulled the door off and replaced it temporarily…

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And now he’s down in the driveway with the boychild doing sawing things. Loud sawing things. I’m sure I will be very thankful once I have a new door.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had two more quilts to bind yesterday? Or four? Can’t remember. This fringe almost made me lose it…but otherwise, it all got done.

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The boychild managed dogs and computers…

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All the while, the neighbor kids had invited more loud kids over, one of whom is definitely named Ronin (unclear on spelling…they didn’t yell THAT out, although they yelled everything else). I really appreciate moms sitting around yelling “That’s ENOUGH!” without follow-through. Sigh. Trying to teach myself to ignore it. Trying to remember my own kids running around like crazy monkeys. Trying to become ZEN with it. I can do this. I do it at school. Meanwhile, boychild is positing how to set up all our speakers, point them at their yard, and play inappropriate songs, and then randomly yelling swear words. Better to not seem too crazy. They’re not up and at ’em this morning, so that’s a plus. It’s probably better if I start creating a plant wall on the deck that blocks the noise…that’s what I’m gonna think about. A positive plan for more quiet.

Then I had decided I wanted to recreate a recipe for dinner that I’d eaten somewhere. I had the description but no recipe…and it involved crepes…which I had never made before. My SIL said they were easy and the girlchild sent me a recipe, so I made a bunch of things, including crepes (which were easy)…

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I also made up the filling from the description…didn’t get the sauce quite right (way too rich), but these were good. Rosemary chicken and zucchini with mozzarella and garlic aioli crepes. Presentation could be better, but eating was fine…

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Although it took like 2 hours (I made some other stuff in between)…it might have been easier to drive to the restaurant and pay them to make them.

Then I started sewing sleeve edges down…the fast way…just a running stitch.

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I was despairing of how long it was taking me and calculating out how much more time on the rest of them when I realized that I did the two LONG ones last night, and the others are all way shorter, so less time. That’s where I’m getting the two-hour estimate.

This lizard’s tail…looks wonky.

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This is Calli about an hour after fireworks and before the M-80s started going off. Still nervous…

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Still breathing hard…I eventually sat down with her and rubbed her belly until she laid down…

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Poor baby. Tonight is gonna be rough (she’s staying with the boychild).

I did some blue stuff on here, on the right, in the orange flowers down in the corner area.

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Just filling in space.

I did enlarge the two drawings I want to work on next, but I was too tired from bending over and standing to do the sleeves to do the same for cut and tape, so I just tried that whole going-to-bed-early thang? Yeah. Then M-80s. For the next 2 hours. Dog tried to dig a hole under my bed. Ugh. Tired and headachy this morning. Gonna try more tea and some breakfast and a shower. Then finish the damn sleeves and maybe cut some wood (I don’t know when the install is exactly…want to be prepared). Then ironing and dehairing quilts for my show. Hoping for some drawing or something in the late hours. We’ll see.

No. I really should say YES. I will be doing art-related activities tonight at some point, because I think the lack of that is what’s making me crankballs. Own it. Change it.

*Whispertown 2000, Atlantis

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It’s Everything Beautiful*

July 3, 2017

It’s funny that I can’t even sleep right during vacation. Up way too late. Morning is painful. Trash trucks make way too much noise. And the new neighbors have 4 kids under the age of maybe 6. THAT noise. Haven’t had to deal with the screamy crying shit for a while. But I’m up! And I have a plan…on a post-it note. That note gets plastered to the dashboard today until I finish all the errands. I need to know if the car is longer than 90″ (I’m pretty sure it is). I need to take deodorant with me because today is the annual boob-squeezing. Whoo! Love that crap. Not.

I have an opening coming up this Saturday for the Don’t Shut Up exhibit at City College. The opening is from 5-7 PM. I have one smaller piece in the show and another piece in the 6 community quilts I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. Which aren’t done yet (shhh…don’t say anything)…

But here is a typical day in the Nida household…because you wish you lived here. There’s a whole line of people who wish they lived here (this is so NOT true).

First we started with a paprika taste test. Plain old boring in the top left, smoked on the right (bleck), and sweet from Hungary (no really, the parents brought it back) on the bottom.

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They all taste better cooked.

Then FaceTime with the girlchild, who is coming home in 8 days…she’s folding laundry and I’m doing the grocery list.

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Exciting stuff. She just saw my brother and the rest of his family; they’re on vacation back east.

Her calling reminded me of this…her bed covered in my quilts, because the three rolls I had were getting too heavy and unwieldy to maneuver into the closet. So I gave up and put them all on her bed.

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Not a good long-term solution, for sure. So I pulled the ones that will be in my solo show, opening July 15 at Visions Art Museum…you can come see them in person.

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These are the smaller ones; this is a roll I can actually lift.

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The yellow post-its are for pieces that are traveling. I can’t roll it up until the pieces that were in the Poway show get back, hopefully before she gets home.

At that point, I gave up and we went out to eat with the parentals. (I did grocery shopping in there somewhere, plus I made and ate an omelet.)

Then I came back and sewed bindings on one of the community quilts, and then I made sure I had bindings and sleeves sewn for the last two of those, which hopefully I will finish today.

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There’s four of them piled up on a chair, where no one can sit on them or throw up on them (ahhh…cats…you are so annoying).

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It was 11 by then. I did two nights’ worth on here, both in the bottom right…in green, more lazy daisies to fill in that bush, and then blue chain stitches around the wave shape.

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When the boychild goes to bed, he dumps all the available animals on me. Puppy was happy to curl up with me. What does it mean that my 21-year-old son goes to bed before I do? Yeah. I’m broken.

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Calli prefers to flail on her own. She’s destroying that cone. The last wound on her foot has a scab that keeps falling off, so she can’t have it off yet. Soon.

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And then I grabbed the drawing that I started back in mid-June and did some more…I would have worked on the gun one, but it needs to be enlarged and added to, and the copy place closed early. It’s OK, because this one is ready for enlarging too now, so I’m gonna do both today after the boob-squeezing. This one is gonna have to percolate a little…which is fine, because I got shit to do before I’m allowed to really start this one anyway.

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Getting close to the vacation part…well, except for all the quilts that have to be finished and/or ironed and dehaired (lots of installation going on this week)…and then cleaning is paramount on my mind. Aack. Plus a hike this week…yes, another one. Not done hiking yet. There’s some chaos coming on this month…girlchild home for two weeks and all the events that go along with that, two big shows opening with artist talks and panel discussions and people visiting.

Plus I really need to be making my art. The stuff that keeps my brain in the right place. I need to get my house, yard, and garage into a better place. I need to organize all the shit. I need to decide (very quickly) if I’m actually going to make a coloring book of my work in time for the opening (or at all). Because I’d need to do that this week. Sigh. OK. Decisions! Action! And relaxation where I can fit it in, right? Yeah.

*The Revivalists, Wish I Knew You


I’m a Rebel Just for Kicks Now*

June 30, 2017

So as I age, I am determined to keep healthy, continue to move, to do the things that I want to do, make art or hike or whatever. Last week’s hiking incident made me a little paranoid. I’ve been hiking for years, although less so in the last year, sometimes because of my time constraints and sometimes because one of the dogs who often accompanies me has had arthritis issues. Which sucks, because she loves walks. But I haven’t let my knee, my ACL, my LCL, plantar fasciitis, arthritis in my foot, my diabetes, or any other acronym or health issue keep me from going out and hauling my ass through nature, and I’m not going to stop now. So there.

So the boychild and I went out and hiked this morning. We didn’t do a super-long hike…although longer than I made it last week. I did climb hills, though, and it was only about 5 degrees cooler than last week, full sun though with no shade (I had shade last week). I had plenty of water…just like last week. I ate breakfast…just like last week.

And I was fine. No problems. The only difference was elevation, and yes, that could have been one factor, but I still think that the new medication was kicking my body’s ass. So I’m glad it’s gone. I don’t want to be a scared sick old lady who can’t tromp up the side of a mountain dammit. Medication should help, not hinder (unless you’re fighting cancer, in which case, it’s gotta do its thing and you’re gonna have to survive that shit…but I’ve avoided that so far, knock on wood.).

We went back to a hike I did with the dogs fairly consistently (every other week or so) until I saw 3 coyotes out on the trail a week after being tracked by a pack of them. That was back in March or so. I wanted to go back without the dogs and just sort of explore. Part of the path had been underwater as well, so that was a pain.

The water is gone, but there are a bunch of wildflowers I’ve never seen out there…

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Everything else looked greener, more lush…

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OK, maybe not in that photo…but in general. It is Southern California. Our idea of lush is way different than someone from Ohio.

This tree was still doing its thing…I’m always fascinated with the flowers on it.

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The boy and I tried some new trails, stuff I wouldn’t do with the dogs. The brush was closer in some places, so more chance for ticks and snakes. He dragged me up this hill (you can see him at the top…he ran up there to see if it would go to the right, which is where we needed to go, but it didn’t, so he came back).

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But then we went up this other trail I’d seen someone going up once, and we found this…THIS!

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Holy crap. There’s a baby lake up here. OK, it’s a pond…but we never knew it was there.

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Baby frog in that photo (sure, he’s tiny, but he’s there)…

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We analyzed footprints…pretty sure this and the others around it were deer. We didn’t know deer were up here.

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So pretty and serene and watery.

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Then we followed what looked like an old trail, mostly coyote trail now…

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Saved some yucca pods…we’ll see if they grow or not.

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We’re hiking up on the slope…normally I walk the trail down in the valley.

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Yo. Julie. Fungus or fruit? There were dried-out pods on the trail too…looked to be filled with dirt…which is why we thought fungus. They’re right on the branch…no stems we could see. There are two smaller, yellowish ones further down the branch.

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Those pink ones…never seen them either…

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So we hiked. And I did fine. I’m happy. Gonna keep going, although my plans for next week might have just been kicked in the ass by the current weather report…over 100 degrees next week again. Ugh.

The best part? They redid this section of the road. You used to need 4-wheel drive to get through this. Now it’s Bee-YOO-Ti-FULL.

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Seriously. It’s awesome.

Yesterday I worked on the quilts. It takes about an hour to put binding and sleeves on one quilt, once the sleeves and bindings are prepped. I did the sleeves at quilt class and started prepping bindings. Then I came home and did three of the quilts last night.

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I still need to stitch down by hand the loose parts of the sleeves, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have three more to go. There’s three done…

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At 10:30 or so, again, I sat and worked on more chain stitch on the right, plus filling in one of the flowers in the orangey color.

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I had to cover the other quilts with a quilt of mine. The cats kept trying to lie on them. Kitten was very happy.

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And then I started numbering the long skinny climate woman (not-so-shorthand for it until it has a name)…

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Why do I put windows in? Why don’t I just pick a fabric that has boxy bits in it? I have such things. I did manage to tell myself that all tiny eyeballs (fish, birds, sheep) should be French knots. FK for short.

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Because the sheep feet aren’t tiny enough? I didn’t finish numbering. It was late and I knew I had to get up early to hike, so I’m in the 900s and not done. I’ll finish today sometime…after I finish copyediting and run some errands and I don’t know what else…hopefully get some more quilt shit done. I’m hoping to be done with all the copyediting and quilt stuff by Monday and to finally be FREE to be on vacation, to make art every single day (although I’ve been doing an OK job of doing some on and off, eh?). Of course, I’m still considering doing a Nida Art coloring book for my opening. If I’m gonna do that, I need to get my act together. Like now. Sigh.

*Portugal. The Man, Feel It Still


I’ll Be Here Patiently Waiting*

June 29, 2017

Well. Nothing is going quickly this summer…except the summer itself. I spent a good 8 hours yesterday quilting community quilts. The plus is that I finished the quilting. Now I’m putting bindings and sleeves on, and even though I’m doing it the quick and easy way, it’s still a lot of mileage. The first clue was when I had to cut 43 strips to make the binding. And then another 18 or so for the sleeves. I haven’t even finished one complete quilt, although I’m close. I guess my dream of having it all done by Saturday is a no go. I am going to have the copyediting done though…if it kills me.

Quilting yesterday included sewing through plant material…

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My own quilt block…

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Glitter everywhere…plus that’s the closest Trump has been to my sewing machine…

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Sleeping Kitten (shocker)…all those threads are locked down into their spools, for those who remember the thread surgery from last year.

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Here are 5 of the quilts piled up on the light table so I could trim them down. No fancy rulers for these.

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Did I mention glass shards and metallic threads pulling loose? Ay chihuahua. Never again.

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At 10 PM or so, I gave up. I did more chain stitch, this time in blue, on the right side.

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Puppy took some time to sit with me. He hears the TV go on and he runs for me and the couch. It’s sweet, but then I feel bad when I get up.

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And get up I did. I folded the quilts over (don’t want that black cat to puke on them) and I finished the last leg.

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This thing has a lot of climate change in it.

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It also has a lot of tiny pieces in it, even though I tried (not really very hard to be honest) not to draw those. (and I just realized I had drawn bones in the lower leg that didn’t continue up to the mountain, so I’m going to go do that now and probably put them above the city skyline too…because I’m fucking nuts like that…that’s why. Now you know why I had to stare at it for a while. Damn. Plus the bones in the upper leg. Now I need them too.)

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I should say that I THINK it’s done. It doesn’t have to be done until next week, I think, although I could number it if I thought it were really done. I’m a little scared to number it. No Fear! It is what it is…

*Jason Mraz, I Won’t Go Back


You Need Something Warm to Embrace*

June 28, 2017

Well all my problems are solved. I have $12.5 million dollars coming from some guy in the Netherlands who’s managing some dead guy’s estate. Of course, he had no living relatives, so I’m obviously the best choice for getting all the money.

Sigh. Morning email check is always a bust. Do you know how hard it is to fall asleep with 22 mosquito bites in unreachable places? Don’t eat outside, I guess…but it was way too hot Monday night to eat inside. Now we pay the price. Here’s Kitten demonstrating what cats do when it’s hot…they get LONGER and FLATTER.

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I can’t do either of those things.

So the good news is that I’ve made it all the way through the book I’m copyediting…one time. Well, more than one time, because I did a bunch of global changes that needed doing. But I only need one more clear read through before I can shove it off my plate (and get paid the rest). That’s a plus.

The other good news is that all of the community quilts are now pinbasted. Today is quilting day. Seriously. When I’m done with this, I’m going to shower and eat and then quilt until I die. And bind until I die. I want this shit done. Gone. Fini. Here’s the two I pinbasted last night…

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My block is in this one.

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My plan is to make it into it’s own small quilt when it comes back. We’ll see. Or I’ll make it again. Whichever.

I branched out with chain stitch last night…on the right…

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And then the girlchild posted this yesterday…

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I do miss her.

So this is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to work on this drawing (well, honestly, it was more a matter of brain power). So I moved the damn cat. Multiple times. She was not happy about it.

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And I worked on the legs…trying to remember to keep it simple, because this is not getting enlarged any more.

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I forgot I wanted a third landmass, so I added that. I briefly considered covering the bit of leg I’d already drawn, but then I didn’t. So this is how drawing decisions are made. Whoops! Forgot that. Damn. Well it will have to do.

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Not sure why one foot is so much bigger. Oh well. It is what it is. I’m not really a perfectionist.

I tossed it on the ground for a different view…

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Still have some leg bits to do, plus the stuff under the feet. But it’s almost done.

Here we are by section…

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I keep adding things up here.

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Even up here…although the top is mostly done. I’m still a bit bothered by the top left. Thinking about it.

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Why are UFOs the only thing that pop into my mind?

So I’ve put in about 2 1/2 hours of drawing once it was enlarged. Honestly, a lot of that is just staring at it and pushing the cat around.

I also had a great idea for the piece I started with the gun in it. So I need to enlarge just the guy and the gun (I started drawing more on there but it sucked). Maybe today? I have a list of errands growing again. Hate errands.

So does Kitten. She avoids them like the plague.

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Then again, she avoids a lot of things, like the grocery store and school and work and cleaning and all that. Speaking of work, we had a flurry of texts going back and forth yesterday as school released the schedule for our first day back, lots of useless professional development. Oops. I’m not supposed to be so cynical, except, Hey You Bastards…I haven’t started my vacay yet. Could you leave off reminding me that I have to go back for a bit? Really?

Yeah. I’m good. I did draw yesterday. That helped. I have to remember that shit when the other shit is getting me down.

*Gnarls Barkley, Smiley Faces


We Need New Dreams Tonight*

June 26, 2017

The plus about today is that I will have a/c. I have the bibliography of the book I’m working on all ready to go, so I can skim through and check all of those citations, a relatively safe thing to do with a different version of Word. The transfer from PC to Mac and back again is never a good thing. I have a book on my iPad, some snacks, and my sketchbook. No, it’s not another episode of Draws in Bars…this is my first episode of the sideshow Draws in Courthouses, involving people who PASSED the bar. Ha. Ha ha. Yes, I have jury duty. I’ve heard every trick for avoiding it, including just throwing away the paperwork and pretending I never got it, but my civic duty has been pounded into me since birth (hence the public-school-teaching gig), so I’m going in. And hoping, because I am buried in work right now, that no one wants a cranky old barely tatted feminist-ranting lefty on their jury. Boychild says not to dress like a suburban housewife. Huh. OK. Is that something I can even do?

Anyway. We’ll see where we’re at by the end of the day. I know I don’t have time to deal with this, but I never do or will, so here we go.

I did initiate the summer officially with an episode of Draws in Bars on Saturday, watching the man’s band. I obviously started out in a stellar mood, as this end-of-times drawing shows…

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I had been copyediting all day. What can I say.

But I really like this one…not sure what it means.

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I did a lot of copyediting over the weekend, although not enough…never enough. And then last night, I sewed the second of these together and pinbasted it.

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And then I did this one, which was much easier to handle, except for that block on the left with the glass shards on it. Stabby…

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The backs are pretty easy, and I’m really happy Linda sewed them all for me. She sewed everything else together too, so all I have to do is quilt them (which is not the easiest thing in the world)…

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This is partly why I’m getting not a lot of art done…

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And today I need to go get more batting and some cheap black fabric for the bindings…which will be fused on. Trust me. I’m trying to figure out how to do the sleeves without handsewing…that’s a little harder. But I have an idea. With 6 of these, it’s gotta be easier. Not harder.

Then I did some lazy daisies and fly stitches on the left, two nights’ worth. One is in a thread that goes from orange to blue and one is a brown and orange thread.

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Anyway. Wish me luck. I’m still feeling a little off after the medication issues…been drinking lots of water and trying to eat well, although the heat doesn’t help with that. I need to get the other two quilts pinbasted tonight and then start quilting at least one a day, despite the possible jury duty. PLUS copyedit. Sheesh. Panicking. Yes, I could move it again, but I think I can only move it one more time, and I’m not sure when I could guarantee I wouldn’t have work. Sigh. Oh well. I don’t really know how to do things the easy way. I think that’s apparent.

*U2, In God’s Country


Nobody Knows Me at All*

June 20, 2017

OK, I finally woke up without my eyelids twitching…that’s a good sign. Still coughing some. Still feel like warmed-over crap. Still tired as hell. That will work its way out, although not any time soon, I think. The heat is not helping. I don’t do well with heat.

Yesterday, everything took way longer than it should have. I set up the copyediting job…although I have yet to start. Today! Today I start! I don’t know why my brain refuses to get there…the heat and tiredness I suspect. But I need to start in case I end up on a jury next week.

So this is not my studio or my computer. I drove up to Miramar to another artist’s studio because she had the program I needed to edit the catalog for the next show.

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Lots of fussy little changes…and there were too many unanswered questions. I had to leave it. I’ll go back tomorrow to finish up. Pain in the butt…but it needs to get done.

Then I came home and pinbasted the first of these…which went OK. It was a pain getting pins in the interfacing. I thought about spray basting it, but would need to get that shit online and I can’t wait for that.

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I started the quilting, just in the ditch. Manhandling these is a pain as well…although it worked out OK in the end. I just got hot and tired and quit. I’m not doing a lot of quilting on these…just enough to hold them together. Remind me to do an easy fusible binding. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to sew the two halves together…this stuff doesn’t squish or roll easily. I have an idea of how to do it. We’ll see. Hurts my hands to do this though…can’t grab on and the pastel is coming off still. Maybe I should spray again now before I start quilting again.

I sat around for a while before I worked on this…some lazy daisies and cross stitches on the right in a greenish yellow. I feel like I should put another thing in, like the tree or the hand or the eyeball. Not sure why I feel like that. I think I need a focus.

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Not for the piece’s sake, but for mine.

So I went and got these copied, but I wasn’t thinking clearly. I need a finished size of no more than 24″. The sketchbook is 14×17″…so 200% is too big. I didn’t get far in the cut and paste before I realized it was too big.

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That was a fuuuuck moment. So that’s on my redo list for today…along with all the things I didn’t do yesterday. Plus remembering to eat lunch. Because that was an issue yesterday. Honestly it’s an issue today because I’m going to get my eyes checked (good thing the twitching is gone) for new glasses. And I’m supposed to leave in 23 minutes and I haven’t eaten anything. Nothing sounds good. Nothing sounds even edible. The heat really fucks with my ability to do anything.

I sound cranky. I feel cranky. It’s summer. I wanna be making art, my own stuff, whatever I want. And I can’t. YET. Growth mindset (that’s a teacher joke). I’ll get there.

Kitten enjoys all the things in my studio that she can lie on.

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I only got one thing done on my to-do list yesterday. Fucked up day. OK. Today I will do better. Besides the glasses, I have three things I can absolutely do, and maybe a fourth. Plus the next community quilt laid out and pinbasted. I feel like I need more room to quilt…but that’s not really an option in here. It’s just crowded. Ugh.

(OK, here’s an example of how crazy I was feeling yesterday. I was on my way home from the studio and the copy place, spent ages in traffic yesterday, and I was following this woman who had obviously been to Costco and bought toilet paper, which is one of the things on my list. I hate Costco. I really do. But we’re running out. And that’s easy. So I’m sitting there behind her at a stop light and wondering if her doors are locked, can I just get out of the car and run up there and steal the toilet paper and drive off with it. Luckily it was too hot for me to get out of the car for any reason.)

It’s OK. I will get through all this stupid angst and onto the stuff I love. I will get enough sleep. I will get rid of this cough. I will check stuff off the to-do list. The heat will ease. Hopefully.

*The Weepies, Nobody Knows Me at All