My Apologies for the Stuff…

It is the last Friday of Winter Break. All hail the chaos ahead. I’m sifting through my plans for next week (especially art) and trying to adjust for possibly having up to 40% of my kids out. OK. With progress report grades due a week and a half later. I gave my art kids this coming week to finish the two projects that should have been done by Winter Break, because they weren’t going to be done. And now? They may still not be done. Gotta move on, y’all…gotta move on. But I will look at what’s on the calendar and see if I can shift any digital stuff to this week. I hate this year. Science is fine…I did this whole unit digitally last year, so I have the 23 videos of the elements already. It’s totally doable. Minor issue that I don’t have a table of contents yet…I’m hoping that solidifies on Monday. Ha! Yeah right.

SOME YEAR IN THE FUTURE school will be normal-ish again. It’s not this year, that’s for sure.

So I was hiking yesterday, out in the pristine (mostly) wilderness of the Cuyamacas, beautiful day…

No really, it was beautiful. A little warm at times, only saw four other people on the trail.

And I got a phone call. I thought we were out of range…certainly there wasn’t very much cell service. I didn’t answer, although it told me who it thought it was, and it was an art person, couldn’t remember which art place though, gallery, museum, whatever. You know how your phone tries to guess things sometimes? Well it guessed someone I’d talked to before.

In retrospect, I wish I’d answered, but oh well. No voice mail left, but when we got into town for our requisite post-hike snack and drink, I checked email…

That’s Dyar Springs by the way…our destination. Well, honestly, we did a big loop and the destination wasn’t really the point. Six miles though of out in the foresty/meadowy bits.

I like this hike…I’ve done it a few times before, but it’s been a while. We saw almost no wildlife on the hike, but were checking out footprints in the mud…

IDK. You tell me…

So possibly some wildlife in the area…although we saw these while leaving…

Crossing the road of course…instead of out in nature, where we’d been.

ANYWAY, the email was to tell me Womanscape had sold at Quilts=Art=Quilts

Wow. Did not expect that. I cried. Sigh. It’s been a rough year financially and I’ve been really stressed about some stuff that needs to happen, paying off college, trimming some big, dangerous, tend to drop shit trees, buying food over the summer. It’s why I took on the copyediting job over Winter Break, to pull in some extra cash. So this was a big deal. Also it’s a really cool, complicated, political quilt and I love that someone loved it enough to buy it. Plus this is a venue that has shown a lot of my work, so I feel good that they are benefiting from the sale as well, especially during the pandemic, when so many places are losing money and/or shutting down. We just got news that the Escondido opening is not happening. The show is still going on…just no super spreader event. That’s a good thing. Plus it was going to be a Thursday night and trying to get there after teaching is a pain.

Anyway. Thanks to the buyer. This piece has been in a bunch of shows and won an award and it’s a piece I really love. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to finish this other complicated beast…

I spent about 2 hours yesterday evening blasting music and quilting, and almost got done…

There’s a little bit of outlining left and then the borders, and then she’s good for binding…which is good, because my favorite quilt shop still has limited hours, so Saturdays are really the only day I can go during the school year. It’s today or tomorrow! I don’t think I have anything big enough to bind this thing. I might. I will look first.

While I quilt, Kitten likes to sit behind me and stick her claws in my ass.

Not a fan.

Simba got combed the other night…

He spends the time blissed out or trying to bite me.

The winter sun is hard to find these days…but just find the animals and it’s probably there…

Nova is a weirdo.

I did this drawing on Wednesday night…

I think that’s number 16? I’m not sure, honestly. I’ve missed a few nights…like last night, I didn’t draw because the Man wasn’t here, so I graded stuff (yeah, that’s still happening unfortunately) and then quilted.

While I was quilting, I was looking at these stacking drawers behind my machine…there’s a bunch of thread in there that I don’t really like, but I save it for when the girlchild comes home and needs me to hem something that’s a color besides white, black, or gray. But also, as I was looking at it last night, there’s a bunch of bobbins (and bobbin holders too) in there.

Shit, I don’t even think I have that machine any more. Like why am I keeping bobbins that don’t work in the current machine? You are probably like me, in that you have drawers or boxes full of stuff that you haven’t looked at or touched in years (seriously, many many years) and they all need cleaning out. I could do that right now, or I could quilt. I guess you know how THAT argument goes in my head, every single time. Sorry kids. I love you, but I also love making art. My apologies for the stuff.

May the Vax Be Strong…

I have exactly…wait…3 hours less than 5 days until I have to be at school. Plenty of time for everyone and their mother to get COVID this time around, right? The Man spent 2 hours yesterday waiting in line for a test. Ironically, he had no symptoms until yesterday. I suspect we’re all getting this version. May the vax be strong.

I was hoping to hike today, but I suspect it will be tomorrow. I finished copyediting on Monday and sent it all back today. It will be back in my inbox in March, but just for a short review…hopefully. Meanwhile, it’s done and that’s a relief. I started grading stuff on Monday, sort of in panic mode, because I’d mentally listed everything and completely forgot about one nonnegligible assignment. It will be fine, although grades are due in about two weeks, so I can’t forget that part. I know I have two art assignments due before that and I’ll need to go in to grade those. I worry about the kids who will be out with COVID next week…if they don’t come in and they haven’t finished those assignments…they’re on paper. It’s not like there’s a digital version. I do need a digital alternative for the inevitable COVID contracts though. So that’s on my panic list too. My solution to all this panic? Slowly, methodically grade everything. Do the little stuff on my list, one step at a time. Last night, I packed my daughter’s box of the shit she couldn’t fit in her luggage that she got for Christmas (mostly cookbooks). I also sewed on the missing button from my pants that have been in here since November. Does the button match? Nah. Not really. I’m OK with that. I also need to mend a sweater…not sure how exactly to do that, but it’s on the list. So is moving gravel, sanding the mailbox, and washing the hallway wall. Those are all doable things. One at a time. Cups of tea in between. Maybe shower. Not sure. Maybe not.

I need to get more quilting in during the next 5 days. I can do that. It’s slow and careful at the moment. Facial expressions are details that can’t be rushed…

But I spent most of yesterday in an apparent spa day: got a massage so the chiropractor could actually adjust my neck (copyediting hazard), then haircut (twice a year, whether I need it or not), then counseling. All good. So not much quilting has been happening, but there is progress.

I’m almost out of the bodies in color and into the sky, then the bodies in gray.

It’s good to have a goal…I’ll need binding for this, so that means a store, which means I need it by this weekend, or I won’t be able to get the binding on for another week. Ugh. Stupid store hours conflict with day job. It’s a goal.

I do know what quilt I’m making next, so I could start drawing that. Not here, but this is Drawing #15 of Winter Break.

Not every night…but most of them. Often with this guy cuddled up to me for warmth.

Then there’s Nova and her new box…

I think it was supposed to be for the girlchild’s stuff, but I decided to send those in two boxes.

So, UPS store today, plus either a hike or the gym, plus making my favorite wontons (without kid help this time, unfortunately), and quilting and drawing and grading. And gravel. And sanding. And washing. Just got busy, eh? What’s new? It is how I roll. But right now, I’m going to eat brunch and read my book…brunch because it’s almost lunchtime and I was doing other stuff until now. Yah. Fancy.

Miss Snyder Says Happy New Year…

Well. It’s a Monday. I love those. My current calendar still has Christmas on it (should fix that…I’m a visual person…need to see the days blocked out). I thought I’d be done copyediting last Saturday, but I got more material and then it didn’t get done. TODAY. TODAY IT IS DONE. Seriously, I made the mistake of emailing my author last night and giving him a list of the missing references so I could edit them for consistency…so now I need to do that as well as finish the bit I haven’t finished reading for the 4th or 5th time. It’s fine. I knew taking on work over break would suck, and for a job, it wasn’t a bad one…but it’s been a bit of a slog mentally, and it makes this week fun because now I have to grade all the things I didn’t grade in the last two weeks. It’s not hard, most of it…I just don’t have the right state of mind for it. I just want to watch cat videos and read my book, dammit. New Year’s resolutions for the best moments, yeah?

No, I really want to make art and conquer the job stuff and hike a lot and none of this is new…I say this every year. I do make art, I never conquer the job stuff because they keep making it harder, and I do hike…so there’s that.

Happy New Year! I still haven’t made my little thing of all the pieces I made last year…just the lame Insta one. I’ll put it on my list. You should see my list. It’s long.

So I did finally start quilting…I just didn’t have time until this weekend. And it started with a lot of thread breakage…

At first, I thought it was just because this thread is probably old…I’ve used this color before, but probably not for a while.

But when I started doing the outlining inside the image, it was breaking like crazy, so I started investigating all the things that make it break. It was tension. Thread is as tense as I am? Yeah. Anyway, this is the first time I’ve actually quilted on the new machine, and I was using a different thread, so it took a little fussing to get it right. I’m glad I got there though…because now I can just do a few hours at a time and get this thing done, yeah?

I’m gonna be here for a while, I think. Especially with all the other crap I still need to do this week. Yes, I am one of those lucky teachers who didn’t start back to school today. We have three weeks at Winter Break, which I’ve always appreciated…it means you can deal with all the family and holiday stuff and then still have a week to get back into school brain, which usually means massive denial until Friday before school starts, and then intense panic. It’s good. It works.

I also completed my quilt guild challenge to make a notebook cover…

It wasn’t hard. I enjoyed the stitching.

Did I NEED to spend a few hours on this? Of course not. But we often do things we don’t need to do.

It’s a lot more chill than what I usually do. Most of the fabrics were gifts this Christmas.

I’ve drawn 2 out of the last 3 nights…

We were supposed to go to a small gathering (us and 3 other vaxxed people) on NYE, but turns out the Man had an exposure before Christmas and we were being uber-cautious. We have no symptoms here, but there is a massive shortage of tests, so we can’t even check. I could go to school today and check…but we couldn’t schedule him a test at all. Sigh. I think everyone’s going to end up getting sick this time around. Get vaxxed! And boosted! The friend who got it was vaccinated but not boosted yet (hadn’t been 6 months yet)…so his case was mild…but we do know unvaxxed folks…and hope they will figure it out soon.

So we sat at home and I stitched and drew. New Year’s Day, we went and sat outside (cold night)…and I drew there.

I’ve done 14 drawings so far over Winter Break…I think I’ve missed 2 nights: Christmas Day and last night.

We hiked on New Years Day, but away from all the people. We left it late so we just went to one of our regular haunts…

Made a friend. We’re hoping to do something more interesting this week. The trails have dried out a little, hopefully, from last week’s rain.

In other news, based on 2020, I figured I wouldn’t have much time to read in 2021 (school takes that time away), but then the man was gone for 2 months on the PCT and I had no one to talk to, so I read a lot instead…totally beat my estimate.

Now I need to make an estimate for this year. School still sucks, but the Man is going to finish the PCT and the boychild will probably be on fire camp duty from July through October sometime, so I will be super alone and maybe should aim for 100 books? Or will the July jury duty suck reading time up? Sigh. IDK. It doesn’t really matter, but I like to be realistic. Last year, I made a goal of 45 and kicked it out of the park. I made the same goal in 2020 and only read 39 books (that year sucked). In 2019, I read 40 and my goal was 36. Hmm. In general, over the last 7 years, I tended to read between 35 and 45 books, except for this year and 2014 (which was a clusterfuck of a year), when I read 104. So probably 45 is still a good goal…maybe I’ll pick 50, just for fun. The girlchild set 125. Now I feel like a slacker. Ah well. Yes, I think too hard about these things.

The boychild turned 26 yesterday, making me feel old. I found this in a box somewhere and photographed it for posterity (plus the boychild doesn’t like his photo taken, so this is a stand-in for his 26-year-old self)…

I let him request a cake…my mistake…so many steps. This is Bon Appetit’s Blackout Cake, which apparently tastes really good…

It has all the chocolates in it. All of them. I’m allergic, so I have no idea how it tastes. I just know I touched all the chocolates over the 24 hours it took to make this thing. It actually wasn’t incredibly difficult…just time-consuming. Hopefully it was worth it.

We had the parentals and his dad over…

Simba was the youngest and cutest thing around, so he got all the attention.

I also am still working on Sue Spargo’s BOM from 2020, the mini/lite one, Chirp

I’m on the third type of six different flowers. There are four of each type. Not halfway yet, but getting there. The birds were fun to do. It’s just time-consuming. I find the stitching relaxing, believe it or not. It should be done in 2022. Not gonna commit further than that, honestly.

And this is what happens when you say my name in a Speech to Text program…

Gotta love my students. Whoever that Miss Snyder person is, well whatever. Maybe she’ll grade all the crap that’s here so I don’t have to.

OK. Well. So many things to do today. First, get the damn copyediting done. Get it out of here. Seriously. Then I can settle down to the other two jobs…finding a calendar for the current year is also important…I have the zoo calendar somewhere. That would be a good one. Happy 2022 all…I don’t have high expectations of the year…just hopes that the things I like are more important than the things I don’t.

Can’t Fix That…

Got up, made lunch, went for blood draw, peed in a cup (when does science catch up with sci fi? They never had to pee in a cup on Star Trek), got food and caffeine, am at school…co-teacher hopefully on the way. Today we plan. Tomorrow we also plan.

I drew the last two nights…

Honestly, besides copyediting, that’s about all I’m doing.

Got up at 3:50 AM yesterday to drop the girlchild at the airport, then tried to sleep after that…

Mostly failed. Ordered gravel to be delivered today, then dodged raindrops for 4 miles of asphalt with Simba and the man.

Ducks!

Cats keep warm…the rest of us wear sweaters. I’ve seen the predicted gas bill for this month, so no, the heat is not going on during the day.

Lots of reading of scientific terms and the like…should be done later this week. Then maybe I can Quilt? Certainly I haven’t figured it out yet. And I know a jury duty thing is coming in the mail today…I saw it in the daily email. Not thrilled. Whatever. Can’t fix that shit.

Trying to Take Time…

Hope everyone’s holidays went well. We did OK with it…more sleep would always be nice, and we still have one family event tonight, but then it’s all done. It’s tiring and draining…but getting to see family is a plus. I think my theme for this holiday season is just tired though. Maybe I’ll get past that feeling eventually, but I haven’t yet. The only art I’ve been doing since last Thursday is the daily drawing (and I missed Christmas night…too tired). Here’s Christmas Eve.

And last night, which kind of sums up how I’ve been feeling…

Hopefully there will be quilting today some time. I do have copyediting to do still…I’ve made it through one readthrough and am starting the references today. Well, I started them yesterday, but I also had some sewing for the girlchild and some other stuff, so I didn’t get much done. Let’s just call it taking the weekend off the day job. And now I’m back! This week is a bit full of all types of work, but hopefully that will free up some of next week (although none of the grading is done. Ugh. Don’t remind me.).

The man and I made it on a hike on Saturday…

In between bouts of rain…

I appreciate how the outdoors makes me feel. Clears the cobwebs. Must add more hiking to life.

This is real.

I also read my book a lot. It’s due to the library in 3 days. According the the app, I have 4+ hours of reading to do in 3 days. It doesn’t sound like much, but I have a ton of other things to do. And it’s an electronic book, so they will just suck it back when the time is up. I wish it would tell me the exact time it was getting sucked up so I’d have a real deadline. Easier than “sometime in the next 3 days”.

Girlchild is only here for another day. She has been getting all the Simba loves.

He seems OK with it.

And she finally got the good picture of him wearing the hat that she wanted.

Good news.

Sometimes she does pet other animals though…

Not sure Simba is OK with that.

Last year, Dad was in a nursing home for Christmas, recovering from a fall that almost killed him, so it was a reason to take more photos this year…

Certainly, Katie is glad to have him around. But so are we…

The boychild refused to be in photos…but everyone else got their moment…their dad…

And me and the Man.

The girlchild cooked a nice meal…

Yes, we do wear the crowns. It is the way of our people.

I think this was my favorite photo though…

Good stuff.

Meanwhile the cats hide for most of Christmas…except for when the dog is gone and they can come out and play with boxes and new toys…I only caught Kitten in photos though.

The box from Seattle was very exciting for some reason.

And the last pic of the girlchild with the dog…napping.

Poor puppy. Not spoiled at all.

OK, so lots of copyediting and other stuff. Family event tonight. Hopefully some quilting to start finally. This quilt is totally a 2022 finish at this point. No way will I finish by Friday night. Not when I look at my calendar. It’s all right. No worries. More sleep, finish reading one book, finish copyediting the other one. I do envy people who are able to just not work the whole Winter Break. I did take on another job, it’s true…need to pay the bills though. I’m trying to take time around all that. Best I can.

Naps and Books…

Hello Christmas Eve! Full of rain and groceries that haven’t been bought yet. I am frightened of the task before me. First, we need a meat. Any meat I think will do at this point. I admit to having lost all momentum last night on the food front…I’m not really in charge of food. I just pretend I am sometimes. Definitely not when the girlchild is here. I’m leaving in 24 minutes to deal with all the foodstuffs though. WITH her. No way am I doing that alone. Uh uh. Nope. I do have a list…it was a series of post-it notes, but I can’t deal with that in the store. I’d be wandering around for days. So I spent time last night transporting info on post-its to info on my regular printed list, which is organized to match the aisles in the store. Because I haz the left brains AND the right brains y’all. I do both. And I’m not really happy unless I’m doing both. So there’s that. Organize it and then chaos it. AT THE SAME TIME.

I did finish all the stitchdown the other night…

Kitten was useless.

Total stitchdown was 6 1/2 hours…

I find the back fascinating…

I do actually stare at it for a while to find where I didn’t stitch…I had about three things I’d missed. And then, fascinating as it is, it gets tucked away inside the quilt, never to be seen again.

Then last night, after friend Zoom, I cleaned the floors (they were bad), washed the batting, pieced a backing (it was complicated, but I used most of a fabric I had left over…I think there’s like 3″ left of it), and pinbasted the thing.

While listening to the rain. It’s ready for quilting now. Not sure when I’ll get to that. The next few days are kind of busy. Apparently people want to do shit. I’d be OK in a pillow fort with my book, but whatever. I actually took a 2-hour break in the middle of that paragraph to do the shopping. It wasn’t bad, but the girlchild needs to make puff pastry from scratch (no worries there) and I have to make eggnog from scratch (doesn’t look hard, at least). And there’s no basil. Apparently basil is an important holiday spice. I did not know. Oh yeah, closeup of safety pins…

Just to prove I was down on my knees, poking myself in my fingers at 10 PM last night.

What else? Still drawing each night…here’s Wednesday…

And Thursday…

I Zoomed with my stitching group last night…we were supposed to meet in person two weeks ago and it got rained out, but this was a nice thing. Very chill.

Missing Ann in the picture…she’s 2 or 3 hours ahead of us and had to get up early. I’ve been working on the Chirp quilt from Sue Spargo, which she recently published, so I can show it.

There are 24 flowers in the border, 4 of each type. I’ve done 2 types, 8 flowers. This is taking a long time. I wonder if that’s why this year’s “easy” block-of-the-month didn’t have a fancy border? I like it, but it’s time-consuming. Then again, for me it’s more about the process than the product.

Girlchild is enjoying Simba…

I think they like each other.

OK, I have two cards to do, technically my Xmas cards too (but whatever), plus make the eggnog to make the breakfast casserole, then make the breakfast casserole, plus more copyediting, and I really need caffeine, because I’m still not awake. (Just want to read my book…have I said that?). And a family event tonight, two tomorrow, another Sunday probably, and one Monday. Am I grading things? Not at the moment. That will catch up with me though. Got to sew some things up for the girlchild as well. Need a nap. Christmas Eve should involve naps and books and little else. That’s what I think. For my future self maybe.

This Week Is Always Nuts…

Hey. Five days of school. With a rainstorm on the way. And a holiday party. But I get to wear pajamas to school later this week. Unfortunately, it’s on a day when I have to do something after school…they will just have to deal with my pajamaness. This week is always nuts. I got this. The copyediting job starts Friday. So yeah. From one job to another job without a day off…sigh. It is what it is.

The anti-anti-abortionists quilt (because I guess that’s really what it is…I’m not pro-abortion, like everyone needs to go get one…but I am pro-choice in the case of women’s reproductive freedoms…I mean, men have them, why can’t we?) is closer to done. This is the anti-abortionist bubble, where if you throw enough cash at them, they will let you get that abortion, right?

I worked on it all weekend, but not for any more time than I would during the week.

There’s some tiny shit in there.

I decided to make them all washed out, except for the one woman begging to get in. And there’s some embroidery that will go in this section.

Those are all the pieces left to be ironed.

Maybe 20 more in the other box. Plus then iron it down to the background. I might finish tonight? Probably tomorrow night. We’ll see how efficient I am at work today. I need to have a goodly chunk of stuff graded this week, so I can get this copyediting job done too. I’ll have two art projects to grade (ugh) and the stuff from this week, plus a small packet (double ugh). But not as buried as I usually am.

Saturday, we did the 3rd hike in the Coast to Crest Challenge, Scorpion Ridge to Santa Fe Valley.

It was nice and cool, or this would have been a draining hike. Although this might have been an easier crossing if it hadn’t rained recently.

It wasn’t bad though. There were some climby bits…but we made it to the Selfie Spot.

These photos are what get us the stickers and the patches. Crucial swag that.

Our new buddy.

Don’t usually see them in the middle of the day.

We had a sandwich and a drink after the hike, almost 5 miles, although my phone’s GPS must be failing. It can’t track me any more. The man’s is working fine, but he has a newer phone. So frustrating.

I drew at lunch too, but this was dinner. We might not have gone out again, twice in a day, but the man left Sunday morning early for 6 days of hiking. He made it to Zion by like 3 PM.

Definitely jealous of that view. Maybe not jealous of the cold though.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here with all the furry beasts.

Some are more sociable than others.

I did get my tree in the house before he left though…

It only has one ornament on it so far. That might be ALL the ornaments it gets…we’ll see. The packages are piled up to keep the cats off it. This tree was a volunteer in my yard. I used to protect its tiny self with some rocks around it, then finally dug it up and put it into a pot. I think this is the third pot it’s been in. It’s definitely grown.

OK. I have to go to work. Engineering design getting taught today…and texture. Exciting stuff. Plus a holiday party. My introvert self is cringing. What’s new. December…it’s a challenging month no matter what.

What Kind of Crazy is That?

‘Tis the season for dealing with lost packages, yeah? I’m typing this on the iPad, because I’m in a chat on the computer, trying to replace the thermostat I need that was decidedly NOT delivered Monday night. At least not HERE. Sigh. At least it’s not a Christmas present, and the current thermostat is working. It’s cantankerous though and will probably die on one of these really cold nights. Good thing I have a bed full of cats, right? OK, the new one is arriving Sunday. Apparently. I’ll believe it when I see it…and hopefully I won’t be wandering through the yard with a flashlight trying to find it.

I swear I woke up yesterday thinking it was Wednesday already. So did my boss; he was talking about today’s meeting, which is actually tomorrow. Yesterday was a slog…started well, successful learning experience, fell into the deep turbulent water of What. The. Fuck. by the end of the day. It’s hard teaching such a wide range of abilities, but I also wonder what that group would be like in the morning. I never have them in the morning…just right after lunch or at the very end of the day. And I say things like “tomorrow, we will…” and there’s always this kid going, “We don’t see you tomorrow” (because of block schedule), and I’m lucky I even know what day it is and what I’m teaching…I can’t possibly keep track of who the hell will be in my class on the next day. What kind of crazy is that?

Last night’s post-8 PM texts with my co-teacher were “how do we change this assignment we’re in the middle of because ugh teaching it this way is painful and it could be worded better.” On the one hand, I really am grateful for a co-teacher who has a brain that works with mine. But maybe we should relax more at night and read a book or something. I did read for a bit when I got home. I wanted to be all good and go to the gym, but I’m tired…so tired. It was cold and I didn’t want to deal with it. This morning, I wish I’d gone. Oh well.

Ironing is what I do every night before bed, for close to or just over an hour. Not a lot…which is why it’s taking so long to get this done. Plus it’s complicated as hell. This figure is pretty small, but it’s hard to see the pieces under the teflon sheet and small means tiny pieces.

Lots of overlapping finger parts. Here it is upside down with cat butt.

And right side up…hanging over the ironing board.

Last night, I managed 78 minutes of ironing before bedtime. I pushed it a little late…been having problems falling asleep too, so that’s a fun thing. Ironing is the best thing though…it’s meditative. I finally pulled a separate sheet to iron this little baby in her hand, though. Could not see the pattern underneath, because this lies on top of the other figure.

Then I can just pull that piece off, all ironed together, and put it where it belongs…hoping always that it actually fits, because I’m not really perfectionist about it matching the pattern perfectly.

In fact, I’ve had two pieces that I debated putting in at all…they were so small and it wasn’t going to really make a difference to anyone but me. I left one out in the end. The other one is in there. So this is Figure 5…it seems like she blends in with the land a little more than I thought she would (stitching outlining will help with this), and I haven’t finished her right arm (damn fingers, so complicated), but that puts me squarely in the 900s with half of them already ironed (sky behind the other figures), but I still have some 300s and 400s, the other arm of Figure 2 and her head, that need to be ironed down. I wanted all this bottom stuff done, though, before I pull it off the teflon sheets and try to do that. I think I will iron the bubble all by itself and then make it fit. Maybe. We’ll see. Sometimes I have to stretch stuff or fuss with it to make it fit. That’s easier to do one small piece at a time than a big honking piece that has to carefully fit in. I think it will work though. So let’s say I’ve got about 600 pieces to go…that’s two thirds of the way done.

I’ve been ironing this thing together for 13-plus hours. Probably going to take me 20 total. So another 5-7 days. Wow. OK. Well. There we are. Copyediting job coming in too. Actually not sure I’ll be able to finish this quilt in 2021. We’ll see.

What else is going on? Animals. Notice Simba’s terrified look…cats have sharp bits.

But he’s the one who sat where the cats sit.

Luna climbs the Man Mountain.

She’s also pokey sharp.

Nice to see a block I embroidered in a finished quilt…3 down, 2 to the right. It’s huge!

I’m taking a class with Sara Trail of SJSA in February at QuiltCon. I’m taking two classes total, neither of them actually modern quilt stuff. Then again, I’m not really a modern quilter either. I’m still going through my stash. I got through the greens on the shelves (there are three more drawers of green) and four boxes of yellow. It’s going well. I hope they actually want all this stuff. I’ll find another charity group that needs it otherwise. Maybe divide it up. We’ll see.

I hit the 10,000 mark the other night…

Crazy. I think it helps. Sometimes it seems to help. Sometimes my brain can’t settle down even with meditation. That is the same brain that makes the art, though, so I guess there are always pros and cons.

OK. School. Rewrite yesterday’s assignment for my last, lowest class. Teach a bunch of other things today too. Then union meeting. Ugh. Long day. Then ironing. That’s good. I can look forward to ironing those damn fingers and then doing the rest of the sky.

Lots of Tea and Lozenges…

Ah yes. Back-to-school dreams last night…not really nightmares…they were too close to reality: kids not listening, kids not working, and people sucking up my prep period with other shit. Yup. That’s real. We’ve got three weeks before Winter Break, so hopefully the kids will check in and realize they have progress reports after Winter Break…it’s always a crapshoot this time of year. Luckily, we’re doing a fairly interesting engineering project on tsunamis…at least, WE think it’s interesting. No, it’s not a video game or Squid Game, so there’s that. Did I finish all my grading? I did not, but I did most of it. I’m good. Well, until the copyediting project starts, which shouldn’t be for another two weeks. Aaack.

Anyway, am I ready to go back to school today? Nope. I was at Urgent Care yesterday with a nasty sore throat that doesn’t seem to be wandering off like it should. It’s not strep, though, so that’s good…and it’s not COVID, although I will get tested yet again this week. So the physician’s assistant was like, well, here’s a throat lozenge (she only gave me one…I had to go buy more) and you should call your doctor and try to get an appointment, but also, if they refer you to Ear Nose Throat doc, then you will need to have been on Flonase for a week, so just go do that. Hmmm. So I did that. I already know the soonest video appointment I can get is two weeks out…if they need to see my throat in person just to give me a referral, it’ll be the end of December before I can just see the doc, let alone the ENT. Fun stuff. They did offer me a flu shot (did that in October), a vaccination (did that), a booster (did that), and just that one lozenge (took that).

So am I ready to talk all day? Nope. Am I ready for two staff meetings running an hour each? Nope. Am I ready for what I’m teaching today? Nope. It’s something about tsunamis…that’s all I know. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I am making art. I love to make art. I like to do that every day. So I do. How do I get so much done? I do it every day. Friday night, I finished cutting everything out.

Saturday night, I sorted all the pieces by the 100s…

That was a tough one. We hiked about 5 1/2 miles during the day and I was tired.

Then last night, I started ironing things together…

So far, it’s just the background behind the people…

With a requisite volcano. I was hoping to have this piece done by December 1. As you can see, that is not happening. I make art every day, but not as much as I’d like, unfortunately. And although this is not a large piece, it’s complicated. So it’s taking longer. It’s OK.

Back to the hike. We’re doing the 2021-2022 SDRVC Coast to Crest trail challenge, and this is our second hike of the five total. This is Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Lake Poway.

It was actually pretty warm out, low 80s…

But neither of us had been to either the reserve or the lake, so that was nice.

There were more people than we usually like (we only like 3 people really), but most of the trail was pretty empty.

Three more to go.

Ah hills. We celebrated with cider flights at Serpentine…

And I remembered my sketchbook. Sometimes I think I should just make these little ones into quilts to sell, but then I remember they take a lot longer to make than people are willing to pay for.

Dinner’s drawing didn’t get finished…

My family did Thanksgiving dinner on Friday so I wouldn’t have to try to cook one dinner while eating another.

We have lots of leftovers. Which is always the point.

Girlchild had other plans. I’m not sure who looks more freaked out in this photo.

Kitten enjoyed the couch bits that I uncovered for company…

Normally all that is covered with stitching stuff. And Simba said hi when I came over to pick up the brined turkey…

So fierce. Ah. Missing Calli greatly this week. All the while thinking how to clean the carpets because she had an issue with a tumor at the end. Sigh. I don’t have time for that stuff right now, but I actually miss stepping over her in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

OK. I have to do the school thing now. Wish me luck. Sore throat is still there, but not as bad as yesterday. Lots of tea and lozenges.

Never Long Enough…

Ah hello. We are still sad. Calli (full name Calliope) was with us since she was 4 months old…she was the girlchild’s dog, but stayed here when she went off to college. We expected this much sooner, due to the sarcoma that was developing on her nose, but she was a stubborn old girl and hung on for a good long time. Not long enough, though…never long enough.

We’re in the stage of crying every time we see a photo of her. The top one is my favorite ever. She was a big loving goofball and we will greatly miss her.

Meanwhile, it is Thanksgiving week and all the food things are supposed to be happening, although for us, the one I have to cook for is on Friday, so that will be a little offset from the rest of you. Couldn’t figure out how to BE at one holiday party while cooking for the the other one. So we moved one. It’s fine. Not in the mood, honestly. Hung out with friends for tacos yesterday, read a lot of my book, cleaned house some, graded some, did a chunk of yardwork this morning (it’s never enough), got a massage because my chiropractor could not budge my neck at all last week, my muscles were so tight. Today is a long list of to-dos around the house and things I need to buy, from wiper fluid to a hanger for a piece of art. I hung three pieces of art on Sunday, and have two more to locate. One needs a sleeve, though, so I have to add that to the list. I entered an art show today and have some digital stuff to do for two other art groups I’m in. None of it is particularly hard…it all just takes time and when I’m teaching, I don’t have time for any of it. I’ve started dealing with Christmas gifts, mostly trying to find stuff that will give money back to small indie artists. That’s hard for some of my giftees, but I’m trying.

I’ve been cutting a lot of pieces out…

It doesn’t require much brainpower…down in the 900s here.

And last night, down into the 500s mostly. I see a few 600s still, but not many. Eleven hours in. At least 5 more to go, I suspect. Another couple of nights? Then sort and iron together. And think about the next one.

Hey, Nova.

She tried my lap, but it had quilt parts on it. Besides Daddy is more comfy. Maybe.

Anyway, we are quietly hanging out and cleaning up (well I am…the rest aren’t so much). The boychild is out working today but will be helping cook, because the girlchild will not be home…she’s spending Thanksgiving in Finland, of all places…ah, Boston, the home of cheap Euro flights. Enjoy kiddo.

OK, back to the to-do list and trying to figure out what to do with half-open bags of dog food and dog meds and a cone for a big dog. I mean, I’m sure I’ll have another big dog someday, but not sometime soon. Sigh. Miss you Calli.