Survival-Level Info

Well we are back to everyone in the house trying to leave in the morning. I’m not sure Simba realizes he’ll be alone all day today. The boychild is back to work this week, so schedules will be weird. Mine won’t. Mine is reliable through the middle of June, and then I’ll be home for a bit and then gone for a bit. Hopefully there won’t be any fires while I’m in Seattle or it will get complicated. It’s always complicated. I remember driving Calli to my ex’s every day so she wouldn’t try to run away, and forgetting she was in the back of the car until I got to work. She’d sigh and I’d go, DAMMIT Calli, why didn’t you tell me you were back there. Silly old dog. I miss her.

This week is the last week of state testing…math and science. Stressful. I’ve never proctored the science test…and I’m going to feel bad if they don’t feel like we taught them what they need. That said, I also know the state tests put stuff on there that is not in the standards, which is just irritating as hell. Ah well, hopefully the next principal does not obsess over data. The test covers 6-8th grade science, and 6th grade for my kids was the COVID hybrid year…or the Zoom year, for me. So they don’t remember much, unfortunately. That said, they didn’t remember much from last year either. I gave them some review questions on states of matter and chemistry…sigh. Ah well. What can you do? I would rather have them be able to think and figure stuff out than to know the differences between the molecules of a solid and those of a liquid. Although it’s cool info, I’m not sure it’s survival-level info.

There was a bunch of art stuff I was supposed to do this weekend, but for one, I never saw the invite info, and for the other, I ran out of time. I’ll make it to the other show next weekend hopefully (have an extra day!). Not sure what happened with the other one.

Instead, we did our usual late-afternoon hike, showers, and then dinner. But Friday, the Man had a show. I quilted a little bit before I left, but was out most of the night. It was hard to get a decent picture of him: he was in the dark corner.

Their lead singer was easier to get…

This was after dissecting frogs at the end of the school day…

I only saw one obvious female in my two classes…

The table that got her was very excited. Maybe a little TOO excited (they cut all the organs up in a really destructive way to get at all the eggs). Glad to be done with that lab. It’s cool, but exhausting. Luckily, I now know that my 7th graders will respond to CLASS CLASS (if you don’t know what that means, consider yourself lucky).

So I dissected with those kids, did my afterschool duty at the corner light, got my classroom ready for this week, came home, and napped. Seriously zonked out for 30 minutes. Then ate dinner, changed out of frog/teacher clothes, and drove out to Ocean Beach to watch the Man play. I was in bed around midnight, exhausted. He came home around 1, and then I felt the larger of these two earthquakes…

Late night partying in the tectonic-plate world.

Saturday I managed to get organized enough to run errands, including buying binding for this quilt, so I can finish it this week, hopefully. We hiked…

After I sent 42 emails to parents/kids about failing grades and the trimester cut-off date in less than 2 weeks. Down from 60 emails in April. Getting there. It’s been a rough year for my 7th graders. Or me. Not sure which was worse.

Tiny pink flowers that are a pain to photograph. We’ve been trying to do at least 3 miles a weekend; next weekend, we’re going to do a longer hike. My physical therapy is probably coming to an end, so we’re testing the knee out. I suspect my knees will always hurt, but at least I can get up the stairs at the moment. The Man is supposed to be hiking the trans-Catalina trail in October with a pack; he’ll need to start training for that soon.

He’s still recovering from a pinched nerve in his shoulder/back area…and talking about lightening the pack. Probably a good plan.

I did manage a good chunk of quilting on Saturday night…

I got the pigoon done and the rest of the wing/arm, then up into the fourth arm (three is NOT enough)…

And got the bird done as well. Went to bed a little late, and then last night, I did the head with corresponding eyeball tree (not the first, won’t be the last)…

And then started quilting the background.

I’m over 9 hours into the quilting, and there’s at least a couple more to go. There’s a lot of background filler in the upper half of the quilt, plus the borders around the bottom. So ideally, I finish tomorrow night, then trim it Wednesday, get the binding on, maybe ready for the photographer this weekend? Then on to the next one, which will be a difficult finish. I have a complicated idea in my head, but don’t have the time for the whole shebang before the deadline. Might have to tone down the complication.

Luna thinks that’s crazy.

But it might be what has to happen.

I asked my students a question about why National Parks were important…this kid…

Which is better than the girl who just wrote that she didn’t really care. Yeah. We know. Neither does half the planet. We’re aware. It’s obvious.

Anyway, we try. Yeah, I’m trying to brainwash your kids into caring about the planet more than I’m grooming them to be homosexual or trans. I still think the best answer to the teachers brainwashing kids thing is the fact that we can’t get them to turn any work in. I mean, that’s where I’d start. It would make my life easier, for sure, if they would just turn shit in. Stupid politicians.

OK. Today. Review for three classes, finishing up all the things with the other two. We had to juggle the schedule slightly. It’s fine; this is easier. It’s OK to make things easier sometimes. Then staff meeting, run to Home Depot afterward to get a sprinkler and some stakes for the lemon tree. Some more dirt too. Can never have enough dirt apparently. Then book club tonight…just finished the book on Friday, I think. It was good: When Women Were Dragons. Then quilting after that. Hopefully a chill day. That would be nice.

Crazy Dichotomy

Yay Friday. Imagine that in a tiny little tired voice and you’d have it. Not enough sleep this week. A noisy bird (mockingbird, not owl). Lots of things waking me in the night. Could do without that. We’re getting close to the end with school, but not close enough, honestly. That said, there’s a bunch of stuff I need time to do, so it’s this crazy dichotomy about the strong desire for it to be over and the realization of the amount of shit you have to do to get there.

Yeah. Well. It’s kind of the same with this quilt at the moment. I quilted for over 2 1/2 hours yesterday…I did schoolwork until 6:45 and then had a Zoom meeting I quilted through, then ate dinner, and quilted some more. I earned that time. And I got a lot done.

The night before, I think I did over an hour, but only barely…and I only have video of it…

It seemed easier than trying to get a photo of all of the weird bits I’d worked on. Currently, the video is having issues; we’ll have to hope it works when I post.

Last night, I quilted all the things. Well. Not all of them, or I’d be done, and I’m not…even with almost 7 hours in.

I did the incubator (not in this picture), finished the legs, did the lower arm, all the torso, one wing, and the butterfly.

The butterfly was fussy. But it looks cool, so I’m OK with it. And I love this little character…

I’m past the halfway mark on the outlining. Then the background. Sometime this weekend? Maybe? I have a ton of grading to do, and the Man has a show tonight that I’m going to (although I have to say I’m not feeling it at the moment). His band will be taking a break so that members can heal up from injuries and surgery (they’re all getting old), so I think there’s only two shows left for a long while.

Also, I have to do a weeklong training this summer…and I will get paid for that, but I’d rather have the time, honestly. Hoping to get the approval for that soon so I can schedule it for right after school gets out, before I start relaxing. Also, the science teacher we wanted for the open position said no because our district wouldn’t OK 5 units of additional education to bump her to the next column on the pay scale. Apparently my district is unaware of the teacher shortage. So we’re hoping for number 2…and I’m hoping that whoever it is, I don’t have to babysit next year. Or plan all of it myself for the first 6 months. Or or or…yeah. There’s gonna be something. We’re waiting to hear on next year’s principal. We have a hope, but the district is notorious for doing dumbassery with admin.

Pros: there is another taco truck today. This week has been our school’s appreciation of teachers week, so we’ve had snacks, drinks, a coffee truck (that was nice), breakfast burritos, and now tacos. It helps. It doesn’t fix things, but it gives us a reason to get in the car and show up on time. Which for today, is in about 38 minutes. I hate early meetings. I’m so not awake.

The boychild found a hawk in the pool for the first time ever. SAD! I’m sad about it.

I want to put a fountain back in for the wildlife. But maybe it was attacked or hurt in some way. Never seen one drown before. Super sad.

Well hopefully I’ll have some quilting time tonight before I show up for the Man’s show. Hopefully frog dissections will go well and so will 8th-grade escape rooms. I graded one of the heinous assignments last night…took me about 2 hours and I probably should have been drinking heavily to counteract some of what I was reading, but I survived. There are still huge piles of work to do…but I’m getting there. I think I should buy quilt binding tomorrow, because this thing is big and I won’t be able to buy it during the week because the damn store doesn’t stay open late enough, so yeah…put that on the calendar for tomorrow. So this one is close to done, well before the deadline, giving me a chance to meet the second deadline that was one of my goals for the first half of the year. On track there. Nowhere else, but let’s focus on that track!

Or Not…

Monday mornings. I didn’t do enough schoolwork this weekend because I just couldn’t. I had other priorities and I will pay for that today, I’m sure. I have curriculum done for 8th grade through Wednesday, probably. Not ready for next week at all, not even close. 7th grade is fine except for the fact that we just barely got approval for the sex-ed program last week, sent letters Friday, and start next Monday. It’s good but it’s less time than we usually have to prep for it, so that’s stressful. Plus frog dissections this week and collecting a bunch of stuff…so yeah. I’m not prepared. I hate that; usually this is the time of the year where we can step back a little from the crazy. We’ve taught sex ed enough that it is a known entity. There are some stressful bits, but mostly the kids are engaged, unlike in math or whatever, so that makes it easier. I’ve spent most of the year, though, with 7th grade curriculum being the known, the easier (the actual kids in the classes are not)…so that’s been the only saving grace to teaching two grade levels. Otherwise it’s been a stressful shit show. I’m not sure how the other members of my team are so chill about it. It’s been nuts. 23 days left.

My goal this weekend was to get the quilt pinbasted. Which meant finishing the stitchdown. Which meant blowing off most of my schoolwork.

Friday night, I didn’t get far…

Pigoon, legs, stopped at the arm, hadn’t finished the torso.

Saturday morning I did some before going to a baby shower…

Maybe 20 minutes. At that point, I was fairly sure I wasn’t going to finish…

Came back from the shower and hiked…I promised my physical therapist I’d hike every weekend until I saw him again to test out the knee. Lots of ravens on the hike…

Came back and went to dinner, date night, drawing with no plan…

Not sure why it ended up being a dog…but last week’s was even weirder…

Then I did stitchdown for about 2 1/2 hours. At some point, I was just thinking it needed to be done. That if I went to bed and did the rest the next day, I wouldn’t be pinbasted until Tuesday and that would suck.

This is the back, by the way, never to be seen again.

I scan the back, looking for mistakes, stuff I’ve missed, didn’t stitch down. I’m seeing one right now. It’s OK. I can catch them in the quilting.

I guessed 6-7 hours on the stitchdown and I was right…6 hours and 45 minutes.

Then Sunday happened. Chaos. I was ready to clean the floor, and then remembered I hadn’t checked for batting. So I did that. Went through the whole pile…nothing’s big enough. Dammit. Drove to Joanns, which was mostly empty (Mother’s Day?), came back, washed the batting, dried the batting, but in between, found another pile of batting I’d set aside after the last time I bought batting. Pretty sure it would’ve been big enough. Giant ass sigh. That’s where my brain is right now…in not-very-efficient panic mode. Also I cleaned the floor and taped the backing down that I had pieced, then remembered the batting wasn’t dry yet and we were running out of time to leave for the parentals, so I pulled it back up, didn’t finish before we left. See, that was the plan…finish pinbasting before we left so I could do school stuff when we got back. Or not. So I went to dinner at the parents, forgot to take any photos because my brain. Fuzz. Then came back and laid it all back out, this time with dry batting.

Then pinbasted while watching the first episode or two of Queen Charlotte.

Kneepads and all. I think I’m in love. With the show, the quilt, and the kneepads. And now I can quilt. Well, after I go to school and try to plan the rest of the week during a staff meeting. It’ll be fine.

This is very true of the classroom, except we skip the spraying it black part. Today we are doing embryos in 8th grade (embryology as part of the theory of evolution) and human impact on national parks in 7th grade. On Friday, I heard that The Way Out won Honorable Mention at Form, Not Function.

It’s still a very relevant piece. Unfortunately. Nice to get an award for it.

When you live with an artist, there are always things all over the house that remind you of that. I found this in the hallway. Not sure how it got there…on an animal butt? or my shirt? Oh yeah, and I’m the artist.

I do know what it’s from, at least. Seriously miles away from where I was working.

No yardwork this week either…

I don’t actually have a pile of dirty dishes OR laundry, but there are definitely things piling up that are driving me nuts but that I don’t have time to deal with. Ah well. I will get to it all eventually. Or not.

Quilting tonight though. I’m figuring the quilting will take 16-20 hours. There’s a shitload of details in this thing. Plus a healthy chunk of just plain background. It won’t be quick. So an hour a night this week? Maybe a little more. I don’t have a ton of meetings this week like last week. And my weekend is more free for once. I’m still not expecting to be done this week. Next week. Yeah. I have some deadlines I’m dealing with. I’ll be fine with this one; it’s the next one that’s questionable.

Anyway. Mother’s Day was stressful (school and my fault with the batting) but ended well. Saw my mom (she looks good), talked to the girlchild (she also looks good). Got some nice gifts from the kidlets…always nice when they get me stuff, because it’s not stuff I would have gotten myself. Appreciate that. Hoping to hear at school about a new science hire plus our principal for next year…hoping the district is not populated by total idiots. You know how that goes. And I get to quilt tonight. I love that. I can’t watch Queen Charlotte while I’m doing that, but I’ll figure that out. Worst case it’ll be listening to music or podcasts. Meditative. All good.

Zebras Rule the World

Middle day of a weird overfull week. It doesn’t chill out this week. I think ever. It’s just full. I get my head around one day at a time. Then last night, I didn’t sleep because my brain was wandering into next year and that’s just a mistake right now. Pros! Yesterday, I got to buy lunch away from school and sit outside with a bunch of co-teachers I don’t get to eat with because we have different lunches. I might get to do the same today! And today does not have a meeting on top of interviews on top of other things that had to be done.

I came home after a meeting and 5 interviews, 2 on Zoom (weird but understandable, although am I old? It’s hard to hear and my principal sneezed during a very important answer.). I had to edit a letter to be sent by multiple staff about next year’s principal choice, then find some other stuff for the current principal. Then I made chai tea and finished my book. I refused to work after that. I feel like I did all the hours. Plus testing is exhausting. It’s walking around the room 700 times and trying to focus on anything (cleaning? organizing? grading? planning? The last two are harder in this situation.). For 3 1/2 hours. Trying to keep the kids from flipping out for 3 1/2 hours. Most of them are fine. Lots of sleeping. I’m good with that. Puzzles! That was a blessing from my math teacher. They were engrossed. I had to make a puzzle board (well, I pulled one of the bases for roller coasters so we could slide it under the puzzle). It was fine. Today it will be less of a novelty and the test is harder and shorter, so it will probably be more difficult to keep them chill.

Today I also have a union meeting after school and then book club (that I just finished the book for), so full, but ending on a good note. Although it’s a murder mystery. So is it good? I just don’t know.

The other good thing (I’m really trying to get out of the mud brain here) is that I am on the stitchdown phase of the quilt. It won’t go fast, but it’s faster than the ironing was. I got the background pieced and the whole thing ironed down on Monday night…

She’s big, beautiful, and complicated. Love it.

Last night, I set everything up so I could start the stitchdown. I listen to podcasts or music and just stitch. I should probably remember to stand up more, but I don’t.

I got a healthy chunk of the bottom left corner done. The machine is behaving; that’s a plus. There’s just a lot that needs to be stitched down. I’m guessing 6-7 hours. Based on my evening plans for the rest of the week, um, yeah. Hopefully by the weekend. That would be good so I can sandwich it over the weekend and start quilting. Can’t guarantee it though. That’s a lot of stitching after meetings. We’ll see. I can only do what I can do. And I can only blow off the day job so much before I’m not prepared to do the things I need to do to teach. My brain wants to be on vacation, but I’m not yet.

There was a comment during the interview process yesterday about teachers who are referral factories. I feel that way with a couple of my classes. It’s been a rough year. I meditated last night, reflected on what to change for next year, felt some bad stressful shit, tried to sleep after that. Hmmm. That’s a no. OK. Well. It’s funny, I’ve got the science down; there’s still revising and planning changes for next year, but it doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it was for this year. This year was just bad. I’m so burnt out that the thought of doing a weeklong training during the summer made me completely shut down. I want a long expanse of time where I don’t have to work this many hours, fall asleep worried about planning or behaviors. And that’s the other part. This year has made me feel like I’m a shitty teacher in so many ways, and I know I’m not. I check in with co-teachers and we are all struggling. Phone behaviors, computer behaviors, lack-of-work behaviors, post-COVID behaviors, parent behaviors and attitudes. It’s exhausting. One of the things I have to do right now for one of my students is take a photo every time he falls asleep in class and send it to mom. Because she doesn’t believe me? I don’t know. I’m just tired. Very very tired. And today? Sad. Overwhelmed sad. I do love most of teaching. I have not loved it this year. Well, even that’s not true. Some of the teaching/learning has been awesome. So focus on that today. I suspect crying during testing is not preferred. I’m not testing…the kids are. I really shouldn’t be crying.

We did Natural Selection Comics to show understanding. I do have some absolutely awesome ones that I’ll share later, but these two…honestly, they both made me laugh, and the zebra one did OK on his grade. The other one? Totally off topic. But still made me laugh. And then hold my head.

Zebras rule the world. Even better, inside is white. I know he means the outside between the stripes, but I really really wanted to write, nah, inside is red, full of blood, dude. Still giggling.

This one though…

Does he have a pet snake named Fluffy? I just don’t know. Certainly there’s some interesting things going on here. None of them on the topic of natural selection. None at all. Nope. Gonna have to ask him some questions tomorrow.

So that’s it for today. Finish the first round of state testing. Get lunch with friends. Try to be productive for the second half of the school day (ha!), then union meeting, home, eat leftovers, book club, stitching with podcasts, sleep. Actually sleeping would be nice, because I mostly skipped that step last night and now the other eye is twitching in off time to the first one. Very distracting. There’s stitching though! Getting this quilt done so I can get to the next one…since the world is sucking my free time away from me. Yup. Gonna grab that back somehow for next year. Gotta figure that out.

If It’s Important…

You know when you wake up in the morning and you’re not sure what day it is? And your brain is scrambling a little…what are the clues? If the alarm goes off at 6:15, it’s a work day, unless you maybe forgot to change the clock and it’s really Saturday? It’s not Saturday. You just did a Saturday, so it must be a work day. Did I go to work yesterday? Well I did work yesterday, lots of work, grades due and all, yes but did you get in your car and drive to SCHOOL, ma’am? No. No I did not. So it must be a Monday if I didn’t do that yesterday.

My brain is mush in the morning. Really, it’s often mush in the afternoon too. It’s Monday. Confirmed. Looked at my phone. Which, as long as it’s charged, seems to know the days AND the dates. Really should rely on it more for those things. And cat videos. Good that.

I did work a lot this weekend. Grades due. Last progress report of the year. The next one is the last report card and then no grades until August some time. What a relief. Almost done with this year. It’s been a year. Still trying to figure out sex ed and the school board idiocy. Find a workaround for the right-wing dumbasses who think we’re grooming their kids for homosexuality. Sigh. If I’m grooming them for anything, it’s regular use of deodorant and no pregnancies or STDs until you’re older. Or ever. Do parents really object to that? Because homeschool your little asshole then. Or opt them out, because you can do that, and then you can brainwash them yourself.

So yeah, grades are done. I’m not really ready to teach anything, minor issue, but we start state testing this week, so we have two annoying days that are shorter and less teaching, more babysitting and tech issues than anything else. Pros and cons. I have two kids in my class who might drive me bonkers, but the rest will be fine. I didn’t do seating charts though, dammit, so I need to do that before class starts. And count the packets we need for 7th grade. Today. Doing well. Doing well.

Hey, at least I remembered before I got to school, right? Some chance I’ll remember once I get there.

I also ironed this weekend, only an hour a night though. I miss the weekends when I could do art for 4 or 5 hours straight because there was nothing crucial. Ha! Not this year. Not even last year. Sigh. Not since early 2020.

Finished the butterfly…

Then worked on the head…realized I had to get up the next morning to deal with the 17 thousand things I needed to do, so I didn’t finish the head…

And Saturday night, finished the head and the fourth arm…

They’ll get attached to the body when I lay the whole thing out.

And then last night, I ironed the last bit until I iron the whole thing down…

Which should be tonight. I have to piece the background and iron it; then I can iron everything down. Really looking forward to seeing what she looks like on the dark background. Then stitchdown! Hoping that anything that needs grading this week can get done during testing so I don’t have to bring anything home. Would be nice to have more than an hour for artwork. That said, I have a school Zoom this evening, science teacher interviews tomorrow, union meeting AND book club on Wednesday, stitching meeting Thursday, had to push pilates to Friday. Not a chill week in the evenings. Ugh. I need this quilt done sooner rather than later. Based on previous quilts, I probably have another 25 hours to do on this quilt. I can’t take 25 days to do it, though. It needs to be done before the end of the month, preferably well before the end. Huh. Not sure how I’m gonna pull that off. OK then. So there we are. Have goal. Figure it out.

I did make it to one of the two meetings this weekend, but only for an hour…

I also ordered more rocks for the yard, plus went to the water conservation garden sale…and saw this wonderful creature…

That’s a male. Our male is definitely still delivering food to the owl box, but I haven’t heard the baby in over a week. Maybe it’s dead? And mom is on a new egg? I don’t know. Or maybe it’s quiet because mom is in there. Hard to know.

We also hiked.

Only three miles; it was all we had time for.

Kitten speaks. She was actually yawning. Much like I am right now.

More tea. Seating chart. Count packets. I’m sure there’s something else but IDK what it is right now so I’m moving on with my life. If it’s important, someone will yell at me for not doing it.

In One Go…

Ah Friday. Cinco de Mayo. Happy celebrations to you if you do celebrate it (and I don’t mean all the white people who just use it as an excuse to get wasted). Me? I will just celebrate that I made it through another week at school, although yesterday was a doozy. It was actually pretty fine (say that like it’s the 70s, because it WAS pretty fine) until the fight we had to break up, which threw my adrenaline outta whack and then I still had lab stuff to prep after school, which I did OK with, but then came home and had to zone out with my book instead of going to the gym. I did do my physical therapy exercises, so that’s not nothing, but I hate when the day job wipes me out like that. In one go. I’m trying not to predict today, but I know I’ve asked kids to do some hard stuff AND it’s a full moon AND a Friday, so who the fuck am I, tempting fate?

I am a middle-school teacher, ever hopeful. Would’ve quit years ago if I weren’t.

Simba’s back is hurt…or hurting. Some of the puppy’s shenanigans probably, rolling him over. So he’s on bed rest, which he quite likes until there’s something to bark at. Stuck here with us, instead of traveling with his boy, which he doesn’t like. Although he slept just fine with me last night. A dog, two cats, and a snoring man in there somewhere, who I eventually rolled over so he’d stop long enough for me to fall asleep. Is it Friday for real? I’ve been off by a day all week somehow. And grades are due Tuesday.

Here’s Simba on pain meds…

He was drooling earlier. He’s doing much better now. Expensive dog.

I’m really enjoying sleeping under a handmade quilt…made by me…for the first time in my life. Weird, I know. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

So ironing is really fun at the moment, so fun that I’d rather do it than grade stuff. Unfortunately, I have to grade stuff. I did two things last night and then started ironing around 9:30 PM. That’s my hard stop for school work stuff. Most nights. Wednesday night, I did the easy button and all the wires going down to the pigoon, and then did the human-faced cat.

Not much actually, to take almost an hour. You can’t even see the wires on the teflon sheet, but this is going on a dark blue background, so it will be visible.

Then last night, I ironed the wings down…

And then I took that whole huge section of base and torso and pigoon, and I rolled it up and got it off the ironing board. It was getting unwieldy. And the stuff I’m doing now can be attached to this later. The head and fourth arm will fit easily enough, plus there’s a bird in the sky and a butterfly. Making my life easier.

Then I started the steampunk butterfly, but didn’t get far…

Kitten will confirm there is a lot more to this butterfly than I’ve done. I had to sort the next 100 pieces, though, so I’m ready to go tonight, once I’m done grading things. Which might be when hell freezes over. It’s OK, climate change may take care of that.

I’m in the 1200s, barely, with the stuff I did last night. Less than 400 pieces to go. Not finishing tonight, for sure, but hopefully getting a good chunk done. I’ve got two dueling meetings tomorrow, plus I wanted to go to the local plant sale and for a hike. But grades. So IDK how much of that I’ll get to do.

Anyway, off to manage the last day on some academic projects, hopefully to get some stuff graded while they’re working. Hoping for no fights today (or at least not in my vicinity), hoping some of the worst of them are absent. Just for a day. Right eye twitching away. Next week starts state testing. And interviews for our open science position. And meetings about a possible new literacy program. And a few afternoons where I won’t have to teach and I’ll get to have lunch out or delivered. That’s a treat for teachers. Hopefully a bit more relaxing than it has been. We’ll see.

Everything She Needs…

Weekends just aren’t long enough for all the things. I suspect some people do some of the things during the week, but all I do during the week is work on school, work on art, eat, sleep, and occasionally exercise. A few social things on Zoom or in person, but not many. Today I have a 2-hour staff meeting and a drive to my photographer’s after school, so it will be a long day. Ironically it is a short teaching day. Ah well. I’m giving an assessment (quiz?) in one class and showing a movie in the other. Should go fine.

What did I do this weekend? Lots of school work, a hike, dinner out with the Man, an art meeting almost an hour away (lots of drive time in the last week for art), groceries, laundry…maybe 50% of what I needed to get done. As usual. It is what it is. I did read my book too, so that’s my time. And pilates. Necessary but my time.

I ironed all three nights…not getting enough done on this thing. Haven’t had enough time on the weekends to spend a few hours ironing, unfortunately.

I had these tiny little overlapping veins/arteries to deal with on Friday night. They were a pain in the butt.

And then I had filled up the teflon sheet, so I was going to need to move the whole thing off and reattach it, which is always a bit scary.

Plus I ironed an incubator. Gotta be way easier than giving birth. Although not very portable. Should’ve put a handle on it.

Added an in-leg phone with apps, plus a fleshy knife pocket for dangerous situations.

Tried to consider all her needs.

She’s got some sciency experiments going on.

Some are turning out fine. Some maybe not so much.

Some protective breastwear.

Last night, I ironed the little froggy boy plus some additional tech for her arm.

Really she’s got everything she needs…except maybe a body fridge for storing sandwiches and drinks. Didn’t think of that until just now.

Really enjoying this piece, which is nice. It’s a little twisted and dark but fun. Political, but some wouldn’t see that. Not like most of mine, which bash you in the face with politics. And I have hit the halfway mark…which just means I need to go faster. I really need this one done sooner rather than later. Sigh. Ah well. There’s 12 hours into the ironing, probably 12 more to go.

And it finally warmed up enough at night to switch flannel out for the quilt I started a million years ago and finished last year.

Still need to make matching pillow cases. Haven’t done that. Have the fabric, have tons of the fabric, but time…that’s another issue altogether. I have a baby shower coming up and there’s no way I’m going to be able to make a baby quilt. Sigh.

We hiked at one of the local spots we regularly do, but haven’t been to since December.

The water moved the bridge a little off…it’s meant to move. There’s a lot more water than normal.

Lots of flowers…

We keep doing these close to sunset due to all my stuff during the day. It’s nice out, but we expect to see more coyotes and don’t. Not sure why.

Then dinner out and the drawing I started last week and couldn’t finish.

It got weird. So did the Man.

Kitten’s hiding space behind all the things.

A friend got me this…

Totally appropriate. I can’t sew with shoes on. Or slippers. The Man thought she had gotten this specially made, and I’m like no, this is a thing…I’m not the only one. I still don’t think he believes me. Finding space for it in here…

Starting the week out tired. I know, what’s new. I got a lot of 8th grade stuff done yesterday and then realized how far behind we are in 7th grade stuff. Whoops. Plus grading. I can’t lesson plan AND grade, and progress report grades are due next week. I didn’t grade any of the late work or redoes…didn’t have time. I don’t know when I will have time. I have dueling meetings this Saturday. Can’t be in two places at once. Oh well. Plus I’ve gotta fit that hike in. 33 days of school left. Getting there. Losing my mind on the way, but getting there.

Overthinking It…

Hey. Friday is finally here. I haven’t slept well all week (I know, when do I ever) because I’ve been overthinking. I’d like to thank my brain for that. Actually, that is the part of my brain that’s good at the artmaking too…it figures stuff out while I’m doing other things. And it does the same with lesson planning, runs simulations in the background and then shuffles solutions into my working brain. It’s useful…until there’s a personality issue, and then it overthinks the FUCK out of it (what did I do wrong? what could I have done differently? how will this be solved in the future? am I just being a bitch? why is she such a bitch?). You know. All the things. I guess I need to focus on the good things my brain can do and try to meditate through the others…which has meant more meditation than sleep a couple of nights this week. Could do without that.

Also a slow simmering anger and frustration about my school board and their ignorance. Bullshit tactics. Now we are designing our own sexual health curriculum, designed specifically for our kids. Um. Code words for remove the stuff they think is inappropriate: Gender, LGBTQIA…what else is going to set them off? They will have to follow Ed. Code. They’re making a committee of parents, teachers, and health professionals to create this thing from scratch, more work, lots more work, mostly in fighting the ignorance, needs to be evidence-based and science, not your late-night searchings on the internet (seriously, this one guy has way too much time on his hands). At some point, they wanted health professionals to come in and teach the curriculum, and I’m sitting here going (1) because we’re not capable? Nice. I’ve been teaching sex ed for 20 years, dude. (2) There’s a shortage of health professionals already…where are you going to get 5 of these per school for a week to 5 weeks every year? (3) And can they deal with middle-school behaviors (I already know the answer to that). Can they deal with 30+ kids aged 12-14 at the end of a school year that they have never met? I know the answer to that too.

So yeah. I’m making a quilt right now that is mostly not political (well, it is, but lots wouldn’t see it) and it’s fun and full of bright colors, and I feel bad because books are getting banned, women’s bodies are being controlled, LGBTQIA people are losing rights, my trans kids are losing their rights, it’s not safe for them in some places, and where I live may well be one of those places. People…kids…are still being shot. I read that the ERA was in danger. I know all this shit will end up in a quilt eventually, but it feels weird to be making one that is so NOT about those things.

Ah well. I did the same thing last year. Made a bunch of political stuff and one not, and it got into Quilt National. So I guess that’s a thing.

So that’s the mood I’m carrying around inside me today. I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m OK with what I’m teaching today. I think it won’t be too stressful. I’m so incredibly not ready to teach next week in so many ways. I’m fairly sure I will still be butting heads with this other teacher, probably until she leaves our school (she says she hates it here, so yeah, she should leave), so maybe forever. But there’s a weekend coming up and that is some respite. An art meeting. Some more artmaking time. Some reading time. Hopefully a hike. All the things.

I iron every night. I try to iron for an hour. On Wednesday night, I did leg parts…one of the parts was this baby in a pocket. A leg pocket. A pocket of flesh…

Because if you’re not going to put pockets in my clothes, then I’m going to put them in my flesh.

I also did the knee, I think…can’t remember. Wait. I can look back and see.

I did the back foot, and then all of the legs. Obviously not done. This isn’t fast. But it is enjoyable. This was a good choice for working on during the end of school. Although I need to go faster. As always.

Last night, I found and ironed one of the spare arms (another thing we all need) and a snat (snake/rat, also from Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood).

Deciding what animals to combine is one of the interesting things in that series. I’m not sure the snat makes sense at all. But that was part of the point. Humans make a lot of shitty choices. I can easily see our current society in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake. They are way too close to reality.

Yesterday, I was inside this during my last two periods…

It was an interesting change. I sent half my kids to another classroom because they’d already done this, and I took the other half through with my co-teacher’s kids. The first group was a little rowdy…as time went on. The second group seemed better. Or maybe I was so exhausted by then that I couldn’t tell. Cool experience for them though. Maybe they never see the world from the inside.

Anyway. So I am not ready for all the things. I need a whole ‘nother cup of tea before I even consider going to school (don’t have time for that…I can make it, but I’ll have to drink it on the way). I have a ton of work outside of teaching to do today, so that is weighing on me, but it will happen. Somehow. And there’s reading and art on the other side of it. All good. Overthink THAT.

Speak Up…

Glad it’s Wednesday, positive thoughts, exercise, art, and my book at the end of it all. Also I got into the Interpretations show at Visions with Same As It Ever Was, so that’s cool. See you at the opening in October.

Hey not only is my school board trying to manipulate our human sexual education program, they compared conversion therapy to a conversation about gender, and it appears they’re in the book banning business as well. Fun stuff. This is the shit that makes teachers quit (or go to another district, if you don’t have a ton of years invested in this one and can’t leave). This quilt is about a lot of things, but started with us white women getting upset about Roe v Wade’s demise, but realizing that for a lot of BIPOC and LGTBQIA people, they never had the same rights anyway, and their rights are eroding at a hundred times the speed of us white babes. So it’s angry but also very focused on what the US is doing, the Supreme Courts, the politicians (that’s Brett Cavanaugh there y’all, if you can’t tell from the beer bottle). Come to the opening and you can READ the big dumb heads.

For my next political piece, maybe I’ll add my school board and book banning for fun.

I am working on the other piece, although last night was not the most efficient. I started late because, well, my day job. I had a ton of work to do for school, still do, and I listened to the school board meeting last night to figure out what’s happening with sex ed because I’m supposed to start teaching it in like 3 weeks and no letters have gone out etc. I think we’re not teaching it, which means I don’t have curriculum for 5 weeks in 7th grade and a week in 8th grade. Well, let’s not kid ourselves…I’ve never really had a usable curriculum for 8th. That’s been the fun part about this year. FUN.

I did do a chunk of weird flowers and bugs on Sunday night, though…

The big background areas have a lot of tiny complicated things on top of them.

But I got those mostly done Sunday. Then last night, I ironed a foot down and realized I’d never ironed the other foot to fabric. I’d obviously forgotten to number it, because every piece had an ‘a’ on it (when I miss numbers, I just pick the closest piece number and add a bunch of letters instead of starting from the 1500s…mostly because I iron in number order most of the time and it’s easier). So I had to trace those pieces, find the fabrics that were in that flesh run, iron them down, and cut them out. Which was not quick. So last night, I didn’t get much done. But here’s the second foot ready to go…

Sigh. More tonight, hopefully.

This morning, though, another meeting. Love meetings. This one will be short and sweet. I have about three things to say about another teacher and then I have work to do. Not fun. Also still necessary. This job has not been fun for most of this year. Sometimes with the kids…but also so much work.

So disheartening. Although this popped up on my Facebook feed last night from 13 years ago…

They all look related. Sweet Calli.

This show is still about to close…at the Hyde Gallery at Grossmont College.

There’s You Pollute Me, hanging strong.

Just keep going. Read books, exercise, get outside, make art. Talk to people, check your reactions and make sure you’re not being unreasonable (I did that before I called this morning’s meeting). Eat well. Or as well as you can considering the circumstances. Speak up for those who can’t. Or shouldn’t because of the repercussions. Hope the eye twitch goes away in June.

More Work…

Yo! April is almost over. That was fast. May is coming…one of the longest months of the school year. A vast expanse of days with testing and kids’ brains already on summer, plus grades, hurtling toward the end of the year, which alternately comes too fast (not enough time to get everything done) and not fast enough (please make it stop). Much like my weekends.

I did start ironing the quilt together…fun stuff. I did some Friday night and a goodly chunk on Saturday, which made up for only 32 minutes on Sunday. Long day there. Friday night in the dirt…

Saturday started in the green…

Got the rakunk done…

Reference to Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood…here she is with the whole dirt area…

So that was Saturday afternoon, followed by Saturday night, when I did a few of the DNA bugs I drew…

Sunday I finished those and added a few more bugs and one of the skull flowers.

Definitely progress.

We also hiked on Saturday…we hadn’t been to one of our regular hiking spots since December, and the rains had definitely affected it…lots of flowers, for one…

The path being covered by water, also a thing…

Ducks in there as well. So we wandered around to find the crossing.

And then wandered through the rest of the overgrowth…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tarantula at the reserve. I’m sure they’ve been there…just not so obviously.

Lots of flowers…I said that…

And caterpillars…

All in the middle of the path for some reason.

And as we were coming back, there must have been some moisture reflecting rainbows in the clouds…

Hard to get photos of rainbows with an old phone camera. But it was there. Just a piece of it though.

Last week, there was an artist talk at the FIG Climate Reckoning show. I couldn’t go because it was during my school day. But my work got in the photos from the talk. There’s You Pollute Me, next to Cindy Zimmerman talking about her work.

And Beyond the Concrete near Jennifer Spencer discussing her piece.

That show comes down next week, so if you want to see it, you should go this week.

Kitten trying to see the dog next door…

Back in her cave.

This describes school and life all too well.

I didn’t sleep well last night. Couldn’t fall asleep. Couldn’t stay asleep. Every Sunday at the moment.

Yeah, I’m a little like this.

Maybe more than a little. Ugh. Gonna go crawl in a hole with my book. My book that is due in two days, so I need to finish it.

This is just damn disturbing.

I don’t know what the fuck we’re thinking at the moment.

Followed by this.

Too many attempts to control women, but not guns. I know what the bigger problem is. Unless the plan is to make women have more babies so we can shoot them? Is that it? Seems silly.

OK. It’s Monday, y’all. Monday with the week stretching out in front of me. Lots of work. Lots of meetings…one art meeting yesterday. It’s where I finished grading all the week’s homework (a plus). I panicked about school a lot over the weekend, mostly lesson planning 8th grade. After Tuesday night, I’ll probably be panicking about 7th grade too, thanks to the idiotic school board members. Dumbassery. Yesterday, I went to the art meeting, which was about 45 minutes away, so drive time and sit time. It’s a good group of artists though, so it’s nice to have that in-person connection again. Then came home and worked on school stuff, took a break to make lunches for the week, more work, then made dinner, more work. Was going to go iron and remembered one thing I hadn’t done for school that I needed for this morning. Damn. More work. Then a bit of ironing.

Today is work then meeting then Zoom book club. I liked the book, so that’s good. Plus more work in there somewhere, because there’s always more work. Plus I need to finish reading that other book. It’s big and I’m only at 78%. A challenge! I like those.