It's Still OK (or Is It?)…

Signs of recovering delirium…the number of blog titles in a row that have the word ‘ok’ in them. The fact that I don’t know what day it is. Or the date. It’s still February, right? At one point, I duplicated a week in February for our science planning calendar. There was a good reason for it at the time, but I’m wondering if it’s still duplicated and now I will have to repeat a week in February because of that. I had to take a nap after the grocery shopping yesterday. Granted, I had already driven to Encinitas or Carlsbad or somewhere up north to pick up two quilts from a show, so I was already physically doing way more than I had in days, so the nap doesn’t seem so bad, right? Except today I have to go to school, and physically and mentally, that’s a lot more than the grocery shopping.

It’s OK. Really. I have a rolling chair. I can sit in it and maneuver all over the room. I’m sure it will be fine. I might need a nap at lunch. Also fine.

I really was better yesterday, despite the nap.

Saturday night, I finally got all these stitched down…

Now I can start doing random embroidery everywhere on it.

Really, it’s just a plan to use up all the thread in the house. Which will never happen of course. There’s just too much of it. But you can’t say I don’t have a plan.

Yesterday, I even ironed, although that was problematic at some point and I had to sit down.

Somehow in all that, I managed to record an hourlong video of who-knows-what. Don’t worry, Patreon followers…I know how to edit. I’m in the 400s at this point. Not halfway yet, because I got dizzy…and gave up…and went to bed early…but close to halfway. Progress anyway.

I finished the artist book and submitted it.

Can’t say this is my thing.

However, one of the reasons I’m in this group is because they make me do things that aren’t my thing. It’s called Ominous Nature. We’ll see if she thinks it’s too disturbing for the library. Since I have I think THREE more possible library exhibits in the future? It would be good to know what she thinks is disturbing. Sigh. Or I should just become a nature artist. Funny, I think of myself as a nature artist a lot of the time.

Oh yeah. All the fabrics I’ve used on the quilt so far. My brain is still on bouncy mode.

Wish me luck today. Wish my students luck too. And someone save me from a 2-hour staff meeting.

She’s cute, but this is after an hour of early morning rampaging, being kicked out of the bedroom, then let back in an hour later due to crying baby noises, then this is my laundry basket…

before she knocked it over. Uh huh. Evil. And yet, when asleep, adorable.

One of them was on my feet last night. Not sure which one. I can tell them apart by feel…their fur is different.

This one. This one got a water bottle sprayed in his face about four times last night for petulant barking.

Barking at coyotes is understood. It does not need to continue for 20 minutes past the coyote incursion into our sound space. He still likes me this morning apparently…

It’s questionable on my end.

OK, well seems like systems are mostly back to normal. I’ll need naps, I’m still in recovery mode, but there is progress toward normal function. Which means progress toward more art function.

For now? Progress to school. Where that rolling chair is. OK? OK. No more titles with OK.

Sometimes We Just Have to Be OK…

I’m like warmed-up tea you left in the microwave, a little chilly with that gross skin on top. Really you should just throw it out and start over, which is how I feel about this last week. Not an option though. I spent the last two days at home, mostly in bed or on the couch. Today I have graduated, albeit briefly, to the chair in the office, which is a little too upright for how I’m feeling at the moment. The fever has abated, though, and I’m eating enough food to keep a human alive, which helps when you’re a diabetic. I’m still weak, still stuffed up, still coughing up blobs of inhuman crap…well, it comes from a human, so it must not be inhuman. Outside, it’s raining, pretty heavily at the moment. The big dog is in here with me, because in her old age, weather is frightening. She keeps looking up at me like I can stop it. Like I can stop anything, sweet girl. I can’t.

Yesterday I was well enough to grade a whole host of minor stuff and stalk my students on their computers, shutting down games and stupid Google searches for stuff that had nothing to do with what they were supposed to be working on. Monday will be a Come-to-Jesus moment for all of them. I need to go to school at some point this weekend to pick up all the crap that’s there. Or do I? I have plenty here still to grade: the assessments that require brain power, of which I’ve had none for three days. Questionable whether I have any today. The job goes on.

I am better. That is good.

Wednesday night was a SAQA meeting in this library space that looks like a cell. I guess I’d be glad to have my fabric stuff if I were in jail.

Seems like it wouldn’t be allowed. I didn’t get a ton done, but I got some…

Just cutting stuff out. Got more to iron. Maybe standing will be on the agenda later today. I wasn’t feeling well then either…it was day 2 at that point…I didn’t know how bad it would get.

That’s kinda where my body gave up on this cold thing. I thought I would be OK the next morning. In fact, I felt fine until I tried to stand up. And that’s when I realized I couldn’t go to work. Luckily a sub picked up the job and my team printed all my stuff. I’m pretty sure I was delirious when I recorded a video (no face showing!) for my students, but then I went back to bed for 6 hours.

There were a lot of animals around…

Thursday night, my fever picked up again, after being gone all day, so I preemptively called off sick for Friday, something I never do…two days off? WTF? Oh well. The body isn’t going to heal if I don’t let it.

Lots of lying around with animals ensued.

Some sleep. I read a whole book. I graded stuff. I watched some TV. I spaced out for hours.

Coughed up buckets of phlegm. Bleck. But then Friday evening, I started to feel almost human. No fever. Ate some stuff. Not a lot. Managed to unpack two quilts that were just returned to me. One of them had this on one of the hanging slats. Hmmm. No notice of that anywhere else I’d seen. Interesting.

Well at least I got that, right?

I managed to finish the last little bit of this weird thing…

I’ll get some help photographing it later today. Need someone to hold a towel or something behind it.

Fancy-ass photography methods.

Otherwise, continue to recover. Continue to grade. Hope for enough energy and presence of mind to iron some fabric. If not, read another book. We can’t always be amazing. Sometimes we just have to be OK.

Not My Thing…

‘Tis early and there is not enough caffeine in the world. And yet I rise. Not in a good way…just…I managed to get out of bed and get showered and dressed. A challenge met.

I’m driving to Long Beach today for my cousin’s funeral thing in a church. Not a burial, not a reception, just the church part. I don’t know when the rest is happening. No one does. I’m still pretty weirded out that she’s dead, but I know this shit happens, especially as we all start getting old. I’m starting to write this in my office in San Diego, but have to leave soon to drive the parentals, so that means I’ll probably either finish it up there, sitting, waiting (churches are really not my thing), or I’ll come home and finish.

Saturday we tried natural dyes…

The teacher prepped all the fabrics for us…

We did paper too…and a little stitching resist…

Some dye for that, logwood?

Pulling it out of the dye…

I unwrapped somebody else’s because she grabbed mine. I knew it wasn’t mine because I didn’t recognize the leaves…

These are still wet…

Drying at home…

The paper was more impressive…

Finished grading the projects…

Kitten cleaning kitten…

Saturday night drawing while watching a band…

Here it is…

Sunday pups…

And the old lady with Nova…

Sitting in a Starbucks…going to go to church soon. Not something you hear from me often. I’m tired…art tonight?

Most Definitely…

Sitting in meetings sucks my brain out of my head and spits it out on the floor. Especially meetings where I have to pay attention just in case important stuff is said and then someone is droning on and on about something totally irrelevant and my brain just shuts off anyway. I spend a lot of time in meetings…though not as much as I spend in the classroom. Yesterday was a frustrating day in the classroom. “Give us the answers so we can copy them.” “I’m not going to do that.” Well you can guess how that ended. It’s OK. I go back today after a night of semi-sleep (ugh) and I refigure how to make things happen and then they happen. Huge classes full of needy kids. Make it hard. And yet we still do it.

You’d think I’d come home and be done with all of it, but grades are coming up and I need to get stuff done. So I graded one assignment and input it into the gradebook, and then did another period of the longer assignment…and put it in the gradebook, and I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, because I saw a few more A videos (oh hallelujah), which helps me think I didn’t totally flail (it wasn’t me!), and I’m more than halfway through the pile, so that is a good thing.

But there’s no way in hell I was going to get to sleep last night without some artmaking. I did put together my Patreon video for February first. Then I graded. Then I arted. I started at 10:30 at night. I had three to choose from, but one deadline is looming. So I decided I didn’t like one of the book ‘pages’ I’d made, the first one. It’s awkward, not well-thought-out. I could just use it, but I had a third page cut out that I hadn’t used, so I refined the first one into this…

I like it a lot more. I didn’t glue it together last night. First of all, it was late and sleep is a thing. Second of all, I’m not sure I’m done. So I’ll look at it again tonight and then decide, and then glue it together.

So the one on the right is probably a reject. Now I just need to figure out how to attach them together. And then photograph them without Game of Thrones in the background. Minor issue.

This morning is tiring already. But good news about a new show…that I can’t tell you about yet. But soon. I think.

Meanwhile…lots of furry love last night. This was while I was eating dinner and grading stuff.

They really do love each other. It’s sweet.

This one has been a barky asshole lately. Granted, it’s because of the coyote fest that’s going on every night, but sheesh.

He is probably the number 1 sleep disruptor, followed by my hot flashes and then maybe my bladder. No mockingbird at the moment…we can thank the owl for that, I think. I can sleep through the owl, who was in another backyard tree last night. I think he likes us. He? She? Don’t know. An owl box is on our list though.

These two old ladies…

Room for one human (maybe) on the couch. That is where I was sitting while I was grading. I was also playing fetch with Luna, who brought me the rattle mouse at least 10 times to throw for her. She’s a cat. Who fetches. Very cute.

OK, today I torture children by making them think again. I am pure evil. Then I meet up with friends…always a good thing, plus stitching will be involved. Then home to NOT grade another round? I think? Ugh. I think I need to do some of it today. I’ll figure it out. More art before bed though…most definitely.

That's Always Crazy

Did you notice January is flying by? Well, almost flown by? I spent some time the other day explaining coronavirus to my students. We used to teach infectious diseases…I remember when SARS came through and we added it to the curriculum to try to calm down some of the crazy shit the kids kept saying. Although I often say a virus is what’s going to take us down, the human race…or at least drastically cull our species. They’re saying it’ll be at least 10 days before this virus hits its peak…so probably 10 days before we’re really sure about the death rate and impact. Scary stuff though. Just like the normal flu that hits here every year for now…but with the potential to be much worse.

Today I have overlapping meetings, an opening to go to, and possibly an online meeting, although that hasn’t been confirmed. Plus it’s the last day of kids trying to figure out how to actually finish what they start. In that realm, I finally finished cutting out the Wonder Under for the newest quilt…

It was only 6 hours to cut it out, but it was spread out over more than a week. I had other stuff shoved in there, some even artistic. I have noticed that I’ve been doing less art this school year…I keep track of my hours, and I’m averaging about 35 hours a month, down from last year, at about 60 hours a month. I’m not sure why…this year has been harder on grading, ironically, since I joined a group to try to reduce those hours. So far have not been successful. The assessments we’re doing are pretty time consuming. Thinking of ways to deal with that. Also thinking of ways to up the artmaking time.

Anyway, I did exercise yesterday. Even better, when I got there early, I graded the last of an assignment in the parking lot before I went in and did my class. All good. There’s never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some days it feels like I don’t get anything at all done. Yesterday was OK for that.

Ah, that’s what else I did last night…see, it was art-related. I scanned and cleaned up the Patreon drawing and posted it…detail here.

I want to try a larger Bird Daughter. Not sure when that’s happening, though, honestly. Tomorrow is crazy. Saturday is a little crazy. Sunday’s pretty crazy. Then I start a new week at school, and that’s always crazy. Plus a new science unit that we’re not done planning, and it starts tomorrow (NO PANICKING). Yeah. I’m good.

(Look at the big dog asleep. Pet the sleeping dog. It calms you. Do it again.)

I’m not grading tonight. I am sorting Wonder Under and then cleaning up my art space so I can start ironing. Unless the online meeting gets canceled, and then I’ll probably go to the gym, and then do those things. We’ll see. But first all the other things.

These guys keep me sane.

Well. In a crazy way. It’s better than without them, that’s for sure. (notice claws in couch. This is why we can’t have nice things.)

I'll Wish I'd Gone Faster…

My to-do list grows every time I look at it. I walk over to cross something off, and I have to write two or three more things. Usually they’re really simple, like remember my checkbook to pay the photographer on Friday, plus actually remember to pick the quilt up, so that’s two things, because one is before school and one is after school. So write them down, plus put them in the phone calendar so it will pop up and remind me. Cross off the one assignment I finally finished grading last night (ugh) and realize I have 25 makeups to do on that one and the assignment before (double ugh). We need a way to make sure kids are redoing work with purpose. I’m getting there though…until they turn in this project and packet this Friday and I have those to grade. Hence my goal to finish the makeups before then. So frustrating.

Also, I’m trying to get some time on the weekends to do non-work-related stuff…like art and fiber stuff and going to Joshua Tree for the weekend, which is coming up. Right now, it makes more sense to spend an hour or two each night trying to bang out some grades and then making art. Although I do have a deadline coming up, and some further-out deadlines that are going to need work. So I can’t ignore that. In fact, I need to sit down and plot that out a bit. Tonight. Put it on the to-do list

There were kitten interactions. I got a shipment for my car, so it was a large box and we thought we could make a cool cat toy out of it.

We were right. And it attracted all age levels…

Very amusing…

There’s another box coming today (my car came without the cargo cover and tray…and we’re going hiking and eventually camping, so that shit is necessary)…so maybe we can add on…

Yes, we are an animal-centered house. Why do you ask?

It’s fun to be a cat here. Although it can be tiring. Notice the dog as well…

She’s old though, so she sleeps a lot.

I had to go grab the little boy last night. He’s developed an annoying habit of sitting outside the boychild’s bedroom (closed door) and boofing when he wants to be let in…at all hours…even if the boy is asleep. So I try to grab him and make him stay with me, because I’m awake.

As you can see, he’s totally happy with this arrangement. He stayed for a while, because I was on the couch and cutting things out by then. By Then being 11 PM.

There’s progress…slow. I have about 1 1/3 yards left to cut out.

The kittens are very interested in the Wonder Under, so that’s an issue, but mostly I do it when they’re asleep or running around and playing away from me. Hopefully I’ll finish up this week, sort them into boxes, and then start ironing to fabrics. That part is fun. This quilt has no deadline, so I’m OK with being a bit slow, although at some point, I’ll wish I’d gone faster. It’s always like that.

OK, school. No meetings this morning, one of few free mornings this week. Tutoring after school. Then grade some more makeup work, and cut some more stuff out. Wash rinse repeat.

Absolutely Weird…

Last night, approaching midnight, boychild and I are on my phone, playing owl calls, trying to figure out what has moved into one of our trees. We assumed barn owl, and sure, there’s one nearby…I’ve heard it. But this isn’t that. It’s a Great Western Horned owl. The typical hoot-hoot-hoot instead of the screech. Yes, I stand outside in the dark and listen to owls. Why do you ask?

Busy weekend; how about you? It’s just busy until sometime in late February, I think, maybe later, depending on how things roll. We did grocery shopping early and then walked the dogs.

We tried one of our normal hikes, but someone was throwing another wedding there or something (heart-shaped balloons and a million cars), so we headed to Mt. McGinty…realizing we weren’t gonna do the whole 4.5 miles with the dogs.

Way too much climbing (our car is way the freak down there and we’re not even at the top of the first hill)…there is a an old mine at the top of the first hill…no, not going in there.

Check out Calli’s tongue. She was tired.

We went out about a mile and a half and came back. It was getting toward dusk, and coyotes are always an issue.

The fog was creeping around too, so it was pretty. And there were only a few other people out there when we started…not the crowded chaos that is sometimes the other trail. People with dogs off leash and racing around on bikes. Assholes really. But this was peaceful. My quads are still complaining, but that could have been the new Pilates class as well. Because both in one day…

It was nice. I need hikes. I need outdoors.

After dinner, I made a pattern finally for the book box thing I’m thinking of for an upcoming exhibit. I don’t really make artist books, and this is more of an artist sculpture that is book like than anything else.

Once I had the pattern, I made and cut out three of them. That’s the plan. Draw three. I might stop with two though.

Drawing tonight? We’ll see. I’m drawing flat and then putting them together.

Sunday was an art meeting up north, so it took a good chunk of the day. I came back and graded stuff, then cooked dinner, then graded more stuff, and got some Luna love.

She’s sweet when she wants to be. Especially asleep. They’ve really grown lately…here’s Nova looking slightly cross-eyed. She’s definitely the smaller cat still…

Luna tries to push Nova off her food so she can have it.

Then there’s Kitten…she’s missing a bunch of teeth, like 11. She has a weird genetic issue that attacks her teeth.

Makes for some goofy faces.

At this point, I was cutting out Wonder Under. I didn’t photograph any of that. I honestly didn’t get that much done. It was late, owls were out.

I wanted to pop this in here…wait, need to find the link. Here it is

I’m troubled by all of it. You feel badly for family for the loss of a father and a child. It’s a horrible tragedy, for the other families involved as well. But there was that rape thing…and we shouldn’t shove that under a rug.

OK, off to school and National Park week…I’m wearing my Bryce Canyon Got Oxygen? shirt…which reminds me…I need some earthquake/volcano shirts for the next unit. I know, weird teachers, yeah? Absolutely weird.