Freak Out Morning

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten something. But I have a packed bag and I’m leaving soonish. It’ll all be fine.

Hey! I finished ironing! Yay! I used 143 fabrics…here they are.

I have a car arriving here in 12 minutes.

Maybe earlier.

I started cutting stuff out last night…actually a good start…I bagged it all up to take with me…

Hopefully I’ll get some done. Katie…my parents’ dog…showed up last night.

Yeah. My sub cancelled yesterday and no one picked up the job, so my co-teachers will have to cover. Sorry guys. At least I’m not teaching sex ed today! Plans sometimes work. See you on the East Coast in a while. No stress! Meditation app on.

Here I Am

It’s morning again and here I am.

I always appreciate it when nature makes it nice to get up early in the morning. I have a morning meeting and no car, so I’m hitching an early ride, but it’s pajama day! Oh yay! Yes, I showered and changed into clean pajamas. I am not a heathen. Besides, I don’t actually wear pajamas to bed…they’re too hot.

Yesterday was the first release of my embroidery patterns…here’s one of them…

They should be available as patterns only early next week, and as kits in late April some time. I still need to stitch my prototypes, which means I need to go find fabric, which is hard to do without a car. I guess there’s the internet. I like to patronize my local quilt store though. I want her to stay in business. The patterns and kits will be available through Global Artisans…this is an experiment for me…I don’t know if it’s a viable way to earn money, but it’s something.

I had quilt class last night, so I ended up getting about 2 3/4 hours of cutting in, and I’m almost done (I did grade too, of course, thus eating into my cutting time). Trash in the top right, the big box has what’s left, and the cut pieces on the bottom right.

I couldn’t stay up late. I need to be functional today. And it’s more than it looks…probably a couple hours there. So tonight, I’ll grade and I’ll finish cutting these, and if I have time, sort for ironing. We’re hiking tomorrow, so I won’t get much done tomorrow, except you know, health and stuff. But I should be ironing things together this weekend, which is good, because I’m running out of time. As always. What’s new? OK, I need to leave with my ride soon, so this is all I got. Good Friday people.

Not to Do What I Have Done*

UGH. Yes. UGH. Woke up with low blood sugar, makes me feel wonderful, holey moley IDK what I even did to deserve that. Love random blood sugar issues. Yesterday: taught all day, pretty chill, stuff I’ve done before, feels comfortable to be doing that sometimes, then a contentious 2-hour curriculum meeting. I love it when the people in charge of the asylum are crazier than those in it. Plus our views of curriculum are so different, even when we teach the same age of kids. And that one woman who basically said our kids were bored because WE weren’t passionate. Oh honey, we’re passionate, and right now, it’s about you and your stupid statements. It’s probably a good thing we weren’t allowed to comment on what she was saying. It would not have been nice.

It was a long day. I graded something. I exercised. I read. I ate my dinner. I entered an art show. Eventually I did art things.

This is not an art thing. This is a very sleepy puppy. I don’t know why he’s so sleepy.

But it was nice. Little furry beasts curled up next to me on the couch is a very nice and comforting thing. There are 12 days of school until Spring Break. I need nice and comforting things.

Honestly, Satch is not really nice and comforting. He’s all right as cats go, but bullies my cat, who won’t even come out here any more. Sigh. And he snores. I still pet him.

I think he needs a therapist though. See that big pile of stuff to be cut out? Yeah. So do I. After almost 2 hours, I managed to make it look smaller. Not a lot smaller, though.

Sigh. Well I have quilt class tonight. Let’s hope that after that, it looks significantly smaller. Some of the issue is that I’ve been cutting out all the tiny pieces, and the big pieces take up more room in the box but don’t necessarily take longer to cut out. So I do expect a change after tonight. Dammit. Really. I guess the pile of trash is bigger. I should know because I lost a piece in it last night. Sigh.

I’m stressed. I need to not be as stressed as I am. I constantly feel like I’ve forgotten to do something. And then I find out I did! I did! Oh good. Tonight I will be semi-social and I will make art things and I will try to relax a bit. Just a bit because SCHOOL TEACHING AHHH. I’m dropping my car off this morning to try to fix the intermittent stalling problem before I drive to Utah in 3 weeks…I can meditate in the boychild’s car as he (who is hopefully waking up soon) drives me to work. Or nap. I could nap. That also might help.

Tune in next time for progress. More progress with little tiny pieces of fabric that don’t cure cancer or save starving children. Yup. I’m in a mood. Need to get out of that before I have students in my presence. Definitely. Go back and look at pictures of the puppy. Who is not a puppy.

*Animals, House of the Rising Sun

Progress Unseen

My website is acting like my students. Won’t do it the first time I ask…finally loads when I try again. I know how they feel. Sometimes it’s just hard to do what you know you’re supposed to do. Grownup brains might do a better job with the have-tos. Because we understand the consequences. I walked yesterday after work…it was good. I didn’t take any dogs. It was still daylight when I got home, even though it was after tutoring. I was definitely tired. My legs were absolutely yelling WTF you already walked all day. Whatever. At my age, budging the weight is not easy, but it needs to go. I need to move.

There’s a walk near home, so I don’t have to drive. I actually walked past my ex’s house, so I saw the dogs…but didn’t feel like dragging them along too…

New flowers though…it’s what we call the flume road. I don’t know why. Presumably there was or is a flume…

It’s just a semi-wild path between houses…

It’s mostly better than just walking on the street, although I do that coming back.

I scared a whole shitload of bunnies during their evening plant munch. I’m always boggled to see ferns out here in East County.

Passion fruit? Or some relative…

I used to have one of those just for the flowers. It’s too hot out here for them really.

They need more water than I usually give plants on my property. The walk was good. Needed. But it’s time too. I lose time…for a good cause, but it feels stressful with everything I need to get done. I graded some stuff after dinner…although I’d already started cutting pieces out. I took a break and did one quick assignment, one part of the big project they handed in last week. Only 6 more parts to go! Yeah, this one is a pain in the butt to grade.

The box on the bottom is everything that needs to be cut out. The box on top is my trash. Every 6 months or so, someone really wants my trash. They are freakin’ tiny pieces. But people use them. I toss them once the quilt is ironed together.

I keep them for a bit just in case I need a small piece of something that gets lost while I’m ironing.

There’s the stuff that was cut out before I started the second round of cutting…with Satchemo in deep sleep.

I kept cutting for another 2 1/2 hours or so. So I figure this will take about 8 hours to cut out, maybe a little less. This (the top right) is a little over 3 hours of cutting…

And it looks like nothing…like I’ve barely touched the surface. I mean, you can see in the trash box that I did something. And certainly the really little pieces sometimes take longer to cut due to fussiness…but it looks like I’ve barely started, when I’d like to think that I’m almost halfway done. Yeah. No. It doesn’t look that way at all. All right then. Progress unseen. There’s a lot of that going around these days. Totally.

Tonight? Tonight I have a 2-hour meeting after school. I won’t be walking after that. I will be on the stationary bike. It’s not my night to cook (holy hallelujah). I will grade something small again. I will cut more things out. These are my plans. They are pretty simple. Oh yeah, I probably need to enter a show too. OK. Well I wish I could do that and the bike thing at the same time, but I don’t think I can. I probably could grade at the same time though. First I need the boychild to build an adjustable desk for the stationary bike…yeah. That. OK, maybe I’ll just try the iPad. That might be smarter. First I need to go to school and teach what’s alive (me, apparently) and what’s not (a rock. A real rock, not the middle-school kid brain three weeks before Spring Break).

The Pile Is Still There…

That moment when your daughter, who is less than 2 months away from graduating college, tells you she’s dropping out to become a boudoir photographer.

It’s OK. She’s joking. I’m good. I’m laughing even.

Long staff meeting yesterday. It was supposed to be fun, a photo scavenger hunt, but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I have too much work to do. I wanted to get home and walk the dogs. Which I did anyway…

There’s still water in the streambed…

This guy wasn’t scared of the dogs…

Everything is so pretty now…

Lots of flowers and greenery…

Enjoy it now…it’ll be dead in a couple of months…

Walks are good for dogs and humans…pretty interesting flowers on this bush.

I know this bush is always there, but I don’t remember the flowers…

I’m just so happy when I make it out there, even though we got back at like 6:30 and then I had to cook dinner and it was late and I was tired. It’s OK.

Lots of these little guys…

Anyway, after dinner, I did not grade anything. I figured an almost-2-hour staff meeting that was mostly a waste of time (sorry…I wasn’t in the mood for interacting with people. Introvert problems) meant I shouldn’t have to grade at night as well. Plus I wanted to finish ironing…which I did! So 8 hours total of ironing to fabric, with 142 fabrics…

That’s a lot for a quilt this size. But there’s all the pieces…

Now I need to cut them all out. Ha! OK. Easy peasy. I only worked for about 30 minutes, because it was late by then, but I did a little.

You’ll be seeing this pile for a few days. Hopefully not a lot…but who knows. Meanwhile, work calls. Loudly. Sigh. I always feel bad when I don’t grade at night. Silly really. I should be able to take a break. But then I get to school and the pile is still there.

Gonna drag my introverted self out of here now. To school. With a million people. Yeah.

Louder and More Demanding, But Not More Important

Yikes. I think I added three meetings to my schedule just last night…and the weekends are full already I think. And grades! Deep breaths again. It’s funny (not funny) how in just 24 hours I can go from feeling like I might have things under control to kind of a crazy feeling of impending doom. I have too much to do. Next week is no different. The meetings, the list of things that need to be done, the pile of grading (it’s a real pile at school…a notional one here at home, with so much on the computer)…and two different things going on this weekend. I can see why I let exercise slip for a while last year. I’m back on that horse…but it’s time. Time is always the issue.

So I have a plan for the day. Get as much done at school as I can. Come home and walk the dogs. They wanted me to yesterday, but I wanted to go to the gym…so I did. They got their yard time at the other house, so they were fine. They just are so funny…following me around, looking for dog-walk-prep hints. Is she changing her clothes? Is she carrying socks? Which shoes does she have? It must be a walk. And then it’s just the gym and they are sad. They really should be able to tell from the socks and shoes.

Then after I walk them today (because it’s something I need just as much as they do), I can grade an assignment…and then I’m going to sort the Wonder Under, because I did finish cutting yesterday. It took an extra two hours…

So that’s a little over 6 hours total. Not bad. Sorting will take about an hour, and then I’ll check existing fabrics in my stash for a background…most of this quilt is covered with pieces, so there’s no need to worry about a fancy background. It will mostly be hidden. If I need fabric, I can get it tomorrow. I have a friend thing to do tomorrow, plus I need to pick up that lost quilt (that I found). And grade some more…and hopefully start picking out fabrics. That’s a lot to do in a day. Plus we might need to do grocery shopping Saturday, because we have a thing on Sunday. Yikes. I’m realizing how much I need to get done tonight…if I lose Sunday. Stress.

But first, a meeting this morning, a lab all day (oh dear), plus as much grading as I can get done during the day. I didn’t grade last night…I took a night off. I always feel bad when I do that, because it makes me feel more behind. But I”m going to be behind no matter what. I need to find a way to be at peace with my crazy overwhelming life. If I stop going to the gym and hiking and making art, I’ll have time for my job. But my job isn’t more important than those things. It’s louder and more demanding, but it’s not more important.

I’ll Be At Least Two People Today*

It’s dark out. The birds are chirping. The cats are awake because they’re freakin’ nocturnal. The dogs? Not so much…looking for a soft place to land, preferably with their head on someone’s leg. Or foot. Or whatever. Yes, another morning meeting. This week is kicking my butt. Although…I’m kicking its butt too…it’s the third night I’ve finished grading a new assignment (yes, they’re relatively small). I have the one huge one at school, which I’m slogging through, and then about 3 more that need doing. I’m catching up! It’s an illusion. I never catch up. Like there’s no homework to grade this week, but that’s because I will have to grade all the bits and pieces of their projects after next Friday. So I need to be done with the big project by then. Ugh. I remember this now. I had blocked it out for a reason. It’s a great idea, an awesome project, but a pain in the ass to grade. Yup. Totally.

Plus I need a solution for two kids who are really low, English is hard, one reads but only if I stand over him (in a class of 33 with about 12 other needy kids, that doesn’t count the kids who COULD do it but are wasting time and refusing to work so they need constant attention). So that’s not happening. And this project CAN be a group project, if the kids choose, but no one wants to work with these two boys, because they are annoying. Sigh. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have a plan for the lab days, but not the design/video days. I’m already frustrated with the two of them and trying very hard not to be, because it’s not totally their fault. They don’t understand learned helplessness yet. Well, I guess they DO, because it gets them results. Sometimes this job is so exhausting because of stuff like that. I left school trying to solve that problem, I took a break from it for a little while last night, but I woke up this morning with it still in my head, unsolved. It never stops. The solution is more help in the class. We don’t get that in public schools.

I had a meeting last night and got nothing done in it…strange…I can usually get something done. I won movie tickets though! I’m going to make someone come to the theater with me.

Then I came home and graded for a while, and then back to the task at hand…

Cutting out pieces. The quilt that needs the binding is still sitting over there, undone. I’m on a mission with this other quilt. It has a deadline. The other one can wait if it needs to. I had furry assistance on all sides.

In fact, I felt bad getting up to warm up my tea. Dislodging the dog. Except you need to stand up occasionally. I cut stuff out for about an hour and a half…I’m getting closer to done.

Those scissors are really nice. Birthday gift. They’re serrated, but not noticeably. We’ll see how they do on the fabric/Wonder Under combo. I have that little bit of that yard and one more yard to do…so probably another hour and a half maximum. Tonight is the gym, though, so who knows how much energy I will have after that. Probably I’m not grading anything tonight and that’s OK. Although there’s a kid who’s blaming me for her grade because she turned something in late and I didn’t immediately jump off the couch from my artmaking activities and grade it for her. When I asked why she didn’t turn stuff in on time, she told me that she “had a life.” Ah. Well I do too. Not as much as a 12-year-old apparently. But she can wait until the weekend.

So I’m hoping to finish tonight anyway. It’s probably OK if I don’t grade every night.

It’s not OK if I don’t make art every night. Sanity is important. Happiness is important. Feeling artistically content is a very good thing. So is exercise and reading books and eating healthy and trying to be a calm teacher even when your brain is tired and not controlling things very well. A good thing to remember this week, because the kids are tired too. And I’m the adult in the room.

*Gnarls Barkley, Who Cares?