Finally Felt…

I’ve been copyediting all week; I finished yesterday. I also finally felt like I was on break last night. Finally felt like I might have had a decent amount of sleep (until I stayed up too late last night and was still awakened by the world this morning…although hallelujah, I think the neighbors are done giving swimming lessons to everyone and their mother…BUBBLES! YAY!). Finally felt like everything wasn’t hanging over me. Well, that was temporary. I looked at my to-do list briefly this morning and there are still a million things on it. As always. Finally felt like I could do something besides work.

I finished ironing everything on the current quilt to fabric Wednesday night…just short of 22 hours to pick fabrics for 1100 or so pieces. Not fast at all. Fucking slow as hell.

But here’s part of the why…

171 different fabrics. I’m not sure why, but I needed a ton of different fabrics to make this quilt. Lots of fussy little vignettes in it, I think. Not sure. But that’s a lot of fabrics for only 1100 pieces. I know. I said ‘only’, but I’ve made quilts with lots more. It seems like there are certain things that up the time: lots of little tiny pieces, lots of fabrics, lots of differently colored things going on. Yeah. Well.

I started cutting pieces out a week ago…and then last night, I did about 3 hours of it…

And got really close to done. You can see the bottom of the box there, but there are still a lot of pieces left. At least an hour’s worth…I’ve been trimming for 11 1/2 hours, so that’s not bad. I leave some of the tiny pieces for later. But I’m hoping to be done today with this part, then sorting, and start ironing together this weekend.

I’ve also been trying to finish some stuff from the last three years…just get them done and on Etsy, where they will languish forever because it took too much time to make them so they are too expensive for anyone to buy. Ah well. I cleaned up, ironed, trimmed, and found backings for two of them, found canvases that should be the right size (knock on wood) for two of them to be mounted on, and cut strips for another one, so hopefully I can put it in a hoop.

So I’m hoping to do the sewing for those today and get them closer to done and photographed, so I can put them all in a bag somewhere out of my studio. One of my summer goals is to clean up around the computer in here (it’s my annual summer goal, and I do it every year, and then school happens and things get out of control again)…and these were just lying around, so they’re getting done. I haven’t even started the getting done of things that I’m supposed to be doing for my quilt guild challenge. Borders on the alien bed quilt next, so I can quilt it at my mom’s. Plus two wool quilts that need quilting.

Also need to get this current quilt done and on to the next one, although I can’t keep up with the evil shit the Supreme Court keeps doing, so I need to do a Roe v Wade quilt, a teacher prays but only if they’re Christian quilt, and a climate change quilt. Again. Not to mention LGBTQ rights and anti-female sentiment and and and…sigh.

Kitten has decided that this bag of science books from my co-teacher is her favorite in the whole world…

I’m not sure I will ever get that bag back from her.

Simba says hi…

He’s glad it’s a little cooler today.

And this cat…Nova…really needed my love and attention last night despite my trying to cut things out…

This is why I’m always covered in fur. I stopped and petted her for a while and then she let me cut things again.

Meanwhile, my neighbors are having a tree removed today. Is that better than swim lessons on the other side? Or jackhammering in the back corner? I don’t know. I think I’ll be OK if I turn some sound on…music or Netflix or anything but power tools and small children. Also I think I need to make a cloth cover for the part of the desk in front of my keyboard because my arms don’t like the wood when it’s hot out. IDK why. I’m currently putting two napkins on the desk instead of sticking to the wood all day. Also maybe should walk away from the computer. Copyediting for 7 days straight does this to my brain.

Happy July y’all. It’s officially the only full month I have off from school. So I have jury duty. Yeah. Thanks. I am going to enjoy all the fabric stuff I do today though…in between gardening stuff and maybe a trip to the gym. But lots of fabric.

My New Podcast

Not really. Don’t get excited. I don’t have time for a podcast…I’m too busy making art. Well…ha! Trying to make art. I did make a video Monday about 7 hours into an eventually 10.5-hour drive (luckily I didn’t drive the last two hours…I was done) and mentally titled it “What the Fuck Am I Doing. Where the Fuck Am I. And Why the Fuck Am I Here.” It’s a really long title for a podcast, but it seemed appropriate at the time. I’ll post the video here once it’s done processing. I actually made TWO videos (they are so lame and unprofessional, but thought process! Yes that.) and then put them together (mad skillz) and now that’s uploading. So yeah.

I think I made the video to entertain myself more than anything, which is why I write this blog…well, to document my brain in time. I do go back and reread months sometimes when I’m having a really hard time, and it reminds me that certain things cycle through life. The beginning of school is always hard. So is the end. So are the two weeks right after school get out. It’s a reset. And this one has been a kind of crazy one.

If you’ve watched the video, you don’t know what happened! The Man has had 3 weeks of elevation sickness while hiking the Sierras. It’s been beautiful but incredibly hard. So he had to make a decision, and I drove up to see him after 3+ weeks of not seeing him and to support him in his decision, either by sticking him on a bus north or driving him north or bringing him home. In the end, adulting and money issues brought him home, which sucks and is sad, but also a relief I think for both of us. It doesn’t mean he’s done. It just means he’s done for a while. It’s job time. I love him for trying over and over again to do this hard thing and for deciding it’s time to stop for now.

It has meant that I haven’t gotten much art done. Packed Sunday and tried to set up everything I needed to. Drove Monday all day. Tuesday, drove back home. I’m exhausted. Still. Plus add a friend’s daughter’s wedding on Saturday, Fathers’ Day stuff on Sunday…I haven’t had much time to focus on recovery yet.

Friday night, after checking out of school, trying to reset my neck again at the chiropractor (slightly more movement), and taking the dog to the vet, I ironed for a bit.

Watched How to Train Your Dragon…no, never had time to watch it before.

So that was after Friday night, almost 2 hours of ironing. I was tired, but ready to iron on Saturday and Sunday! So motivated. Ha!

Saturday was a lot of running around and then a wedding. And then when I got home, I started getting texts from the Man about quitting and coming to get him, and mine back saying are you sure, what about just starting further north, and it was kind of a mess. I didn’t iron at all. Sunday morning, he had processed his feelings and just wanted to see me, which had been in the plan for the next week, but this would work…I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it. So most of Sunday was trying to get stuff watered and packed and purchased and all that. I did iron for just under an hour Sunday night…not my original plan for the weekend, but whatever…

Doesn’t look a lot different…but I had ironed the cat (the fabric cat, not the real cat) and more of the legs I think. Not sure.

Monday was nothing. I wasn’t here. I thought about taking the already ironed pieces with me so I could cut them out, but it was a lot of prep for the time I thought I’d have available…and in the long run, I wouldn’t have had the energy. Monday night, I laid on the bed and read my book. That’s it. We did get home last night around 5 PM after driving a good chunk of the day…ah LA…your traffic sucks. And at some point, I’d had enough caffeine to come back in here and iron some more…

I’ve finished most of the 400s and done some of the 500s, so still not halfway. It’s slow right now. My brain is slow. I’m tired. I did about 2 hours last night and only got 100 pieces ironed. I’ve got almost 10 hours in. SO SLOW. It’s OK. It’s what I need…more time. Hard to choose things. Lots of staring. I’m hoping I can speed it up this week…get it going!

I’m supposed to be doing an artist talk kind of thing (really just hanging out by my work and working and talking to anyone who comes in) on Saturday at the Visions Museum of Textile Art

And it would be good to have stuff to cut out while waiting/standing/whatever. I’ll be there from 11-2 if you want to see the show and talk to some of the artists. This is in San Diego, California, if you don’t know…and will be Saturday June 25.

So my goal is to be all ironed down before then. Well before then. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to find my brain. Wish me luck. There have been some beautiful skies lately though…lenticular cloud at sunset.

Storm clouds last night…

I did a tiny bit of stitching on the trip down from Fresno yesterday…

Again, this is Sue Spargo’s design Homegrown…I really like stitching her stuff for relaxation, especially while traveling. That’s the Grapevine heading toward Los Angeles. I could do without driving that for a while.

This is Nova watching me water everything before I left…

I’d like to think the boychild would do all that, and he might, if he weren’t on a fire crew right now. At the border…

I can’t say having your kid fight fires is the least stressful thing in the world, but he has a brain that remembers all the things, so I think he’ll be OK. But he didn’t make it home last night…so this poor little guy is feeling all lost…

He looks super sad.

Well, one of the things on my to-do list for Sunday was to write this post. I obviously failed. And then that moved to Monday (nah, exhaustion) and Tuesday (nah, let’s just go home instead). So here we are, the first day I’ve had any semblance of brain power for writing. Now I need to take a shower, go buy some boxes, pack up a quilt, ship it, plant some things, wash the hallway for future painting, IRON FABRICS, and IDK what else. Finish my book. Check on the Man. Pet the pup. All those things. Figure out what day it is. That would help.

Time Is Wibbly Wobbly…

OMG how is it still May. Wait. How did May go so fast? I’m not sure which makes more sense. Fast month, didn’t get anything done, but it needs to go faster because I need school to be over. State testing is over (yay!) What a supreme waste of time…really, the State needs to write questions that actually match the standards for these tests to make sense. And then make sure we feed the kids and that they could sleep the night before because they weren’t babysitting little siblings. And then the State needs to realize that not everyone knows what a putting green is. Like maybe some nonwhite non-old people could write the tests? Maybe? Just saying. But it’s done!

Meanwhile, my principal is running fast and furious with plans for next year, mixing up teams, moving people around. My team is good…because we work together and do our jobs. Which makes my job much easier. It will be an interesting year. Meanwhile, this summer, I need to study space shit and force and motion. Space shit the most, because if I had it in school, it was in middle school, and that was approximately 72 light years ago. How long is a light year anyway? It’s OK…I know the reference doesn’t make sense. Time. Distance. Ugh.

Meanwhile, I have three books loaded on my iPad and I want to read all of them. Now.

Yesterday was the day we made kids draw their reproductive parts. It’s a fun day for me. Today we teach the real parts (not the made-up shit they think is important…literally NOBODY…ok ONE KID drew parts on the inside for boys). Then puberty. It’s a relief to be teaching this. It’s like second nature, I’ve taught it so many times. It’s still killing my voice…I had a sore throat yesterday, and I’m like, is it wearing the mask (has given me a sore throat before), is it the cold half my team has that will kick my voice’s ass, or is the COVID that another part of the team has? Or is it just talking a lot? It’s gone today, so that’s a good sign.

Meanwhile. Back at the ranch. I’m tracing Wonder Under for days now. This is just some random picture of Wonder Under because I kind of forgot to take pictures yesterday.

On Wednesday night, I added these guys…

Because people are still shooting up kids at school.

I hit the halfway mark last night. I probably won’t get a lot traced today…going to watch the Man in a show before he leaves for who-knows-how-long. Ugh. Not thinking about that. Just keep making.

I also had a stitching Zoom and am still doing a thousand backstitches on the pink flowers.

After that, I will do about 160 French knots and another 52 or so cast-on bullion stitches. And then it will be done. A million years after I started.

Time is doing some weird shit in my head right now. I’m feeling very wibbly wobbly.

Speaking of wibbly wobbly, Simba had a foxtail removed from his ear yesterday…

Note drool and half-closed eyes. Poor drugged-out puppy. He is fine this morning apparently. Expensive, but fine. Note: there are no foxtails at my house…

Kitten asleep during my stitching meeting.

I didn’t do any schoolwork after school yesterday. I came home and ignored all of it. I may wish later that I did not do that (I am extremely behind in grading), but whatever.

The boychild is in there somewhere. Training for CalFire this summer.

I’d give you a hint but he doesn’t like his picture on here, so just know he’s one of those. He will also be gone a lot in the next 5 months. It’s just gonna be me, the cats, that dopey dog, and…um…well that’s it.

OK, running late (don’t know why), gotta go to school and function normally. Whatever that means.

Rollin’ Along…

May seems to just be rollin’ along, gathering steam, about to slam head on into June. I’m good with that. I mean, trying to keep up with the rollin’ is difficult, I stumble a bit, and the grading is still not done (it rarely is), but I need this year to be done done done. Nineteen days left. Frogs are done, cat just headbutted me in my glasses, we started teaching sex ed (ahem, Human Relationships and Sexual something or other), and it all feels semi-familiar. There’s some crazy shit happening in the rest of the school, but mostly the classroom stuff is stuff I sort of remember from 2019. I mention the crazy shit only because it’s like a shitstorm raging around the classroom that I really try to ignore, but one of my co-teachers just tested positive and yeah, here we go again. I’m not even sure how many teachers are supposed to be out today but it’s a ton. So if you’re thinking we’re done? We’re not. Half the team has symptoms, but has been testing negative. I think they should just close school. Seriously, I’m half crying right now. Imagine how she’s feeling.

So. In other news, I’ve been drawing every night…sometimes only 36 minutes (damn, that’s specific), but last night, over 2 hours…because I had a stitching meeting on Zoom and needed to do something artsy. So no, I didn’t grade after school yesterday (but I planned until 4:30 so that’s enough work for the day). Only 9 hours yesterday…might be a record.

Hi Nova…

I did a little bit on Wednesday night after I got back from book club…

And then last night, I finished all the bottom parts…the portal…

I cut about 6″ off the bottom to shorten it up…

It was a little on the long side anyway.

Once I did all that, I laid it on the ground…because I think I need a few things in the sky and it’s easier to tell from further away. It looks naked up there. In the sky. Empty. Of course, she is naked.

Anyway. So that’ll be tonight, and then I can number it. See how bad it will be. I did add some tiny stuff at the end. Like you do.

Ugh. Not because of the drawing. Because of school.

Cat conference.

Oh! Speaking of conferences, I signed up for the SAQA Summit that will be here in San Diego in September. The signup time was 9 AM, the exact moment I start teaching…and the link didn’t pop up right away, so I was trying to take attendance, start the broadcast, get a bandaid for a kid, all while refreshing the page on my phone. And then it wanted a password, and I’m like, oh fuck, I hope my phone knows this, because I don’t. It did. And I got the class I wanted, which is super awesome. Yes, it means missing two days of school, but whatever. I hardly ever take time off and this is worth it. The kids will survive. Hopefully the sub will too.

Simba was making a face yesterday…

Sometimes he just looks really dorky.

Oh my. Whoops. I haven’t done all those things yet. Better get on it.

I forgot about this shell I found in the driveway…

Pretty color. OK, also better get on with going to school. Face the music. Think I will lose my prep again? Seems like it. Maybe not. I’m so tired. All I can think about right now is coming home and going to bed. I took a nap last Friday. Might do it again this Friday. We’ll see. Meanwhile, the cat is still headbutting me. And I really would just rather read my book. Yeah. Later.

I Just Want to Be in a Richard Scarry Book

My plan this weekend was to be super efficient and get the quilt binding on (I managed that sort of) and finish all the grading (oh fuck no, didn’t even come close) and just get my life in control in general (ha ha ha ha aha aha hsdfdsf;ah;g). I did come close to finishing my book. I went grocery shopping and did the laundry. I bought dog food so we won’t run out. I had dinner with my parents, especially my mom, because well I would have anyway, it’s been a while, but it was Mother’s Day, so it seemed more important, you know? There’s a lot I didn’t do. And it’s fine, things will get done eventually, but there’s a lot of crazy going on with my car (because I need more massive expenses this year) and the Man (oh my) and school (nothing new there, it’s just a shitty couple of years).

I did finish quilting…

On Friday night, I finished all the outlining and barely started the border stitching.

Then I finished the borders on Saturday afternoon and trimmed it Saturday night…

Then last night, I put the borders and sleeves on; they still need handstitching. I can handle that. And I’ll probably do some inking, plus I think the snake needs handstitched eyeballs. Because they were gonna be too small to do in fabric. So no rush on that. I missed the deadline for this show by a good two weeks. No worries. She’ll go somewhere. The next one is mostly drawn in my head, so that’ll be good.

I did go to my quilt guild meeting and worked on this sashiko scarf for a bit…

It’s gonna take me a million years to finish this. Also, I don’t know how to stitch in even semi-straight lines. It’s just not in my vocabulary. I started with them and then devolved into whatever direction I felt like.

Kind of a metaphor for life.

What else is going on? Besides my car transmission? Damn car has less than 49,000 miles on it. I’m pissed. Sigh.

I planted freesias this year. I really like freesias.

You know who else likes freesias? Bunnies. Why am I feeding the bunnies? Probably so the barn owls in my owl box have food. Cycle of life that starts with my freesias. I think this is the one bloom that they allowed. Everything else chomped. Fuckers. Stupid cute dumb little fluffballs.

Found this in my classroom on Friday.

Usually it’s cockroaches. I kill those. The occasional spider. Depends on the size and location as to whether I kill them. This? I set her free outside on a lovely plant. Hopefully she survived the student incursions.

This was on my driveway. Not moving.

Suspect death. Cheery. Also beautiful. Hope the eggs got laid before this.

Walked the dog on Friday after school.

Boychild set a deadly pace. Both of us spent all day in a classroom, but he has considerably more energy than I do after that.

My Mother’s Day gift from the girlchild.

Apparently it’s named after me, but they spelled it wrong. It’s an air plant, so it will be really hard for me to kill it. Good plan, girlchild.

These two ducks somehow managed to cross four lanes, very slowly, as cars pulled up and avoided them. The male seemed to fall and/or lie down at one point.

They are not long for this world.

This was the man Friday or Saturday morning. Can’t remember which.

He’s been having a really hard time at his job. I’m going to say it’s a people thing. There might be a resolution to it today. Probably. But he needed a break, so he hiked out a few miles and slept away from ‘home’. I’m wishing him luck today. I’ve been wishing him luck every day for a week though.

Fuck me on this. Seriously. Leave the uteri alone.

I have no faith in the Supreme Court right now. No faith in my country. No faith in my government. It’s been such a clusterfuck. It’s continuing to be a clusterfuck.

I would love to do this.

I mean, I don’t need to have a pillow fight. I just want to be in a Richard Scarry book. But a non-sexist one, because he had some issues with that. Sign of the times? Yeah but you don’t have to be that.

OK, survive school (they have to work in groups, so that should be interesting). Do all the things after school. Finish grades. Ugh. That’s the hard part. Finish my book? Probably not tonight. But soon. Sleep again. Because I failed that task last night. Second chance!

What an Hour Looks Like…

I’m constantly thinking in blocks of time. An hour for this, an hour for that. An hour looks like this…no wait, that was half an hour…

For one Joshua tree. An hour is the two of them…

Actually, I think it was only 45 minutes on Monday night…and I can’t remember if I’d already done the little bushes (creosote? no…something else) on her arm…

I think that was also Monday night. If it wasn’t clear by now, I decided to fill in the entire torso before moving up into the sky. So my numbering was not ideal. It’s OK. I’m working with it.

Last night, I got well into the 1100s…this is a little over an hour of cactus…

Lots of greens, lots of bits and pieces. Looks like tonight is more agave, lots more agave, and a lizard. Then I’ll need to pull all of this off the teflon sheets and reattach it so I can iron the top together. I’m getting there…much slower than I wanted to, but it will all be OK in the end. Eight more days of school until Spring Break, although I will have very little time to work on this over break. I rarely miss deadlines I choose (I sometimes miss them because I forget about them), but this might well be one of them.

When I go to the gym, this guy is there, sleeping in the parking lot.

I’m not sure why. He has a chair, nice hat and jacket ensemble. Cooler for his feet? I think? I wonder if his kid is practicing baseball on the field behind my car. Why not park closer? Why not sleep in your car? Not sure I understand. Maybe that’s not his car? I have questions.

I also think of this as The Panicking…but The Fuckening sounds better.

And this guy…he is apparently 7 years old.

I think of him as permanently The Puppy. Like Kitten…she is 13 and is going to the vet today for an ultrasound. I am worried about it; plus it costs a lot of money. I’m short money right now, but it will be on the next credit card bill, so I will just hope there is magical money by then. She is currently headbutting me because I didn’t feed her breakfast, per doc instructions. I’ve explained it to her, as you do, and she just does not understand. But she gets lots of pets instead.

So labs today…and a lost prep period (so many meetings). Plus shipping something, picking up the cat, exercise class. Then back to ironing. Another hour? I have other computer/art things I need to do tonight, so I can’t commit to more than an hour, unfortunately. We’ll see. If I’m not exhausted when I get home (I will be), maybe I will be more efficient (unlikely, but let’s not give up on that notion yet). Certainly I can finish the agave and that lizard tonight at least. Maybe more. One more hour’s worth.

How You Be…

Daylight Savings, how you be…all dark and tired like in the Spring. I will appreciate you in the evening, although not this week, because this week is a clusterfuck of meetings and crap. At SOME point, though, I will appreciate being able to hike in the afternoons again. It seems this school year is trying to copy last year, where at the end of the third trimester, I remember exactly nothing I’ve done because the doing of it was so traumatic and exhausting. Because I know that up front, I will write lots of notes to myself for next year’s Kathy, so she will know what I did.

What I DID do was finish the second round of copyediting, hallelujah. Gotta invoice that. I also ran some errands, sold one of my little journal quilts back from when we were doing those once a month. That was nice. This time of year, though, my brain is not my friend. Driving along, in my head…

I think I normally (pre-COVID) make it past Spring Break before this happens, but that’s a good 4 weeks away. Ah well. Embrace the suck! Find time and space for the stuff you like. For example, Saturday evening, I went to an actual art opening! I know! WTF! It’s almost like the Before Times…mostly because I wanted to see Amy Meissner’s work.

This is Milk on the Tongue, a piece (pieces?) about breastfeeding and motherhood and reconfiguring the purpose of decorative “women’s work” (those doilies! I have some of those). I love the 3D nature of these.

And the details…

And that there are 63 of them…although not here. I also loved seeing Amy again! We met at one of the Quilt Nationals (she says 2017) and she juried one of my pieces into a show. So that’s nice. Plus her work is intriguing on many levels and I really enjoy it. The exhibit is Small Acts and it’s at City College and there are lots of cool and amusing and cringy pieces in it. Totally worth it.

We also hiked (short one) on Saturday and hung out with some friends, so it really was almost like normal.

Despite the masks at the show and the constant worry you’re going to get someone sick. My school goes mask-optional today, like many in California. I’ll be continuing to wear one through Spring Break at least. I’m willing to watch the science experiment in my school, as long as I don’t have to be part of it.

I’ve been cutting things out…here’s Friday night with Kitten guarding it.

This is after I took her to the vet for her senior panel and physical, and she was still talking to me…sort of a miracle. I didn’t cut anything out on Saturday…

But I did last night…

I see progress. It’s slow, but it’s happening. I need to ramp up production on this one if it’s going to be done by the deadline. Ugh.

We went to dinner at the parentals last night, my birthday dinner. I forgot to take any photos except this one of Simba, because he’s not supposed to be on the chair. Although I guess he’s on the boychild, not the chair.

Cheater.

We have baby doves in the yard. They know not to move, apparently. The adults will fly away, but the babies pretend they are dirt and Simba never sees them.

Kind of boggling really.

Anyway. It’s Monday. Short classes, everyone will be tired and half awake, cranky by the end of the day. Then a staff meeting, but then chiropractor with short massage beforehand, so that’s a good thing. I think I’m cooking tonight too, though. Chaos day. I’m seriously behind in grading (again…goddess forbid I do anything but the day job in my spare time)…I lost a prep period on Friday to a lack of substitute teachers. I was hoping for an easy period, but no…she actually left complicated-as-fuck lesson plans, so I taught newcomers English! I think only one or two of them understood anything I said. Fun stuff. But more cutting the things out eventually tonight. A million hours from now.

Juggling…

It’s been a busy weekend…did a ton of grading and schoolwork-like stuff, made it to a quilt meeting, cut out a bunch of pieces, ironed some more, hiked for a bit, drove to a closing reception, sold a quilt (that was fun)…still not done with grading…or ironing…or cutting things out. But I have money to pay for the septic fix now (yay!) and the current quilt in progress is further along, and I should be able to finish grades today, one hopes, because they are due tomorrow.

Meanwhile, acknowledging Ukrainians trying to escape war and/or save their country from invasion while Russia behaves like a big asshole. So there’s that. On my mind, always. I have a newswatcher in the house, so even though I am gone for hours on end, I will get the summary at the end of the day. It doesn’t seem like it will end well. Certainly it has already ended badly for many. Sigh.

Meanwhile, here in San Diego, I ironed a little on Friday night, exhausted…

I’m in the 1000s…getting close. I got home late, because I stayed at school to grade all the art assignments and set up for today. Today’s Kathy appreciates that I did that, but Friday’s Kathy was pretty tired when she got home well after 5 pm. Owl box at sunset…

We’ve been having camera issues. It’s currently charging in here and will go back out this afternoon, if I remember. Simba demanded some play time when I got home too…

Saturday, I had my quilt meeting…nice to hang out and do art things in person. I took pieces to cut out, because I had a huge pile of them and it seemed to make sense. Then I ironed some in the afternoon after we hiked…it was cold out there and rained on us a little bit…

I guess ironing continued into the evening…

Still very green and brown. Which is OK…

We watched a movie with dinner. After the quilt meeting and the movie, I had this many pieces cut out…

The top box is cut. The bottom is not. There are still a ton in the other box that need cutting. Last night, I managed a whopping 29 minutes of ironing…

I think I ironed a rock and a chuckwalla. Getting closer to done.

And I sold a quilt! One of my favorites, but I think once I make them, I don’t need to own them.

They seem to really like the piece…I hope they enjoy her. The California Center for the Arts show is now closed; I brought home the other two pieces. There’s still one of mine at Visions Art Museum, and in April, there will be two more. I’m also going to be doing a Lightning Talk for the SAQA conference, so I’ll be working on that in the next few weeks…I thought I would have through the end of the month, but apparently not. Yikes. And I’m finishing up my copyediting job this week, as soon as I finish grades today. Deep breaths. Everything will get done. Everything will get paid for. I might even end up with some extra to put into savings. One can dream. Thanks to all who support artists though! We appreciate you.

Barely Here…

Hey, February. WTF. You were barely here and now you’re almost gone? What is up with that? Pro: Spring Break is coming. Con: Grades are due again. Seriously short month though…will just make March seem vast and massive. So many things have to happen in March. I’m not ready. Like THAT matters!

Sigh. The Man spent a lot of time this weekend watching Ukraine/Russia coverage, and I feel for the people living there, I wish Putin would stop and/or keel over or run out of ammo, and I hope there is a peaceful and less destructive solution to stopping him (Go Ukraine!), but there’s some disturbing info coming out about African students not being allowed out of the country, because of their color…”Ukrainians first”…when OMG those kids must be fucking terrified, let them go the fuck home. Racism everywhere. Like that’s a surprise. Seriously, I get women and children first, but also those who are helping your economy by living there but don’t actually LIVE there long term…let them leave. There should be no race discrimination there. Although even the gender stuff…why do the men have to fight? Some men probably are not cut out for it and some women probably are, maybe are even staying to do that? The assumptions we make…they don’t help society.

It was too much for my brain. At one point, I told the Man that he had seen the same news stories repeat three times now, and I got a glare for that. So I did other things. I had a lot of grading to do though, and I’m missing one earbud, so finally put it in the ear closest to the television and blasted it so I couldn’t hear bombs and more explanation of details. I realize I have the privilege of doing that, living here, but also, I have a job to do and it’s hard enough to do without bombardment of really horribly anxious things in my brain. Small doses, a summary at night, I can handle that. Lots of donation programs popping up for Ukrainians, refugees and in country. Need a shortcut on that info too…donating via a quilt block pattern? I’d rather send what little money I have directly to an aid agency. Keeping my eyes open on that one.

I’m still ironing the quilt…it’s really slow and I’m so tired these days. I would have liked more time on Saturday, but chose a hike instead, plus a trip to Home Depot so I could prep quilts to ship them out for shows. So Friday night, I did absolutely nothing. I was so exhausted after the field trip…

I stayed at work until almost 5 to get stuff done, went to the chiropractor, got home, and then cooked dinner. Wasn’t much brain power left after grading for a while.

I did iron Saturday night for a short while…

The box is filling up…and then last night, I got into the arms. They’re all sand.

Lovely sand fabrics.

I’m pretty sure I’m more than halfway. I still have more than half of the 600s left to iron, but I’ve done a bunch of 800s, 900s, 1000s, and 1100s, as well as half the 1300s, so I’m getting there. It’s just not fast. Grading all this week (grades due next Tuesday), slogging through the last project unfortunately, and then copyediting a final run through the book I worked on over Winter Break. No pressure! Stressful though.

I finished all the unit packets Saturday morning with help from this doofus.

And this one kept rubbing her head all over the papers…they must smell good.

They smell like middle-school backpacks. Yuck.

I packed up one quilt, the smaller easier one, and then we walked the dog…

He was quite happy to get out. Too much war for him too.

I came back to my ex and the boychild installing a camera on my tree…

A year ago, they installed an owl box (it was my Christmas present). We’d heard owls and disturbed a barn owl the other day, so I guess they wanted proof there was one in there.

There are two actually. Very cool.

I’m excited.

We went out to dinner and I managed to finish a drawing I started in Phoenix…the food came really quickly so I didn’t get it done.

Lots of chomping on things.

Well there’s this…

Same goes for being a teacher, I think. Today is pretty chill…notes and demos. Tomorrow is a bit more chaotic and we’re not quite ready for it. Hopefully between a teacher’s aide and two of our prep periods, we can get it ready. Can’t grade anything though. Never time for that. Too much prepping labs and panicked copying of papers and dealing with kid stuff. I’ll be glad for the end of the trimester this week…getting rid of a group of kids that are mostly fine, but a small group is driving me bonkers. Will not miss those kids. Nope. I might get them again next year, but for now, let’s hope they grow the fuck up by then. Ugh. Focus on the kids who are awesome. Focus on the kids who are awesome.

Staff meeting though. Lots of crazy shit happened last Friday. Stupid shit. Dumb adults and dumb kids. It’s done though. It’s 6 weeks until the next field trip. I can do that, because I get Spring Break after it. This job. It’s hard right now, really hard. That said, it’s not as hard as having a foreign country invading you in a dick move. So there’s that.

New Growth…

It’s Monday. It’s Monday but it’s a holiday for me, which is like a gift of love all by itself. Yea through the piles of work and giant-ass to-do list I do wander with an extra day off to prep food, grade things, panic about taking one freakin’ day off this Friday, and try to pull a weed or two. Oh yeah, and it’s V-Day, which I don’t really do. My mom made me a card, which was nice. The man and I will avoid today’s crazy entirely and go out to dinner tomorrow night, because he’s been backpacking and tonight is not a hoop we want to jump through. But love to all of you, unless you’re an insensitive jerk who doesn’t have an alternatively neuro brain, in which case, I’m probably going to cut you a break.

The pro is that I started ironing the quilt to fabric, which might be my favorite part of the quiltmaking process. It’s long sometimes…this one definitely will be, because there are a lot of realistic living things in it that I want to be their real-life colors, so I’m using a lot of photos to help me do that.

I hang the full-size drawing up so I can refer to it…that’s where all the pieces are numbered. Then I lay out the first 100 pieces in groups of 10 on my table to make it even easier to find the pieces I need.

I do sections…all the creosote at one time…

This is all of the bighorn sheep parts.

Slowly I get through the tiny animals this way…they are all at the bottom of the quilt, mostly.

I didn’t get much ironed on Friday…had to finish cleaning up, plus bordering on exhaustion.

Saturday was a little better…

And then Sunday night…

Mostly earth tones, which will be true of a lot of the quilt. Blue skies, brown everything else with hints of green and some floral colors. This will not be fast. But that’s OK.

I hiked Saturday…lots of new growth popping up…

Amazing that after so many years, I can still see new things on the same old hike…

It was hot Saturday, 87 degrees at 4 PM when I left…

But as soon as the sun popped down under the ridge, it cooled off a good 10-15 degrees.

I’m debating exercise today…go to the gym now (cooler) and finish my book (need and want to do that) or wait until later and hike (pup needs exercise). Not sure I have time for both.

Sunday’s hawk yelling at me. I think it’s out there again now.

I warned the dove in the nest that she needed to build further into the tree for safety. Last year, the hawks definitely found the nest.

Simba wanted to lie in the sun, but Luna isn’t that fond of dogs, so there was a minor issue.

So what else do I need to do today? I managed to make lunches and breakfasts for the next two weeks while grading and setting up posts for this week and part of the next. I leave Friday morning early for QuiltCon, so I need to do some prep for that, both in terms of packing and writing sub plans. My sub got canceled, so I have to assume whomever is in my classroom won’t know diddly shit about art or science. Science is an easy plan…do these three things, be quiet, don’t bug the teacher. Art is never an easy plan. I told my co-teachers that if they got stuck in that class to bring backup. I need to set up a septic pumpout (fun stuff) and cross another host of shit off the to-do list. Plus finish my taxes and decide if I will ever have enough money to get the trees trimmed. Let alone anything else. Probably not.

Well bless the neighbors for being quiet today. Or gone. Whichever. I appreciate it for whatever reason. No screaming children, no lawnmowing, no sawing or drilling or other noises of industry. Just a quiet Monday listening to the birds, including the one I just ID’d with a new (to me) app recommended by a reader: Merlin. I have a loud and boisterously singing Song Sparrow (what a name, eh?). Good to know. OK. Book calls. So does the laundry unfortunately.