It’s Light.

Pro: It was light when I got to get up. I woke up earlier. My brain was confused. So were the dogs. Plus the man gets up earlier than I do and that wakes me up. Con: I’m still tired. I sorta forgot about Daylight Savings and the time change because my phone did it for me. The clocks in here are still wrong. Whoops.

Saturday I talked to a solar guy…he’s the first one who didn’t say I needed to cut my trees down. He designed a system with the trees. A miracle. This might actually happen. I mean, I’ve grown this one from a tiny plant. It’s a volunteer. I love trees.

Yeah. I know. Trees can cause problems. So can people and I don’t cut them down. Well. Much.

There’s been a lot of dog sleeping going on here…

Lots of dogs too…

And lots of grading. It gets frustrating at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m just recording that they did stuff and I’m not even sure what they’re getting out of it…

Please don’t ask me what she meant by this. I really don’t know. Hopefully texture.

I don’t have any choice with quizzes and tests and projects. I have to grade them. This one amused me.

Physical change vs chemical reaction on scrambling eggs. Yeah. Sigh.

So my co-teacher and I keep searching for the solution to grades. I’m not a fan, but the kids don’t work without something to motivate them, although grades is not always a good motivator. I’m not willing to run a candy-based classroom.

Ah yes. More dogs…not my house, because that fluffy over-shedding one in the middle is not allowed on my couch.

That’s why she looks so guilty.

Meanwhile, Kitten has actually been playing.

She carried that purple mouse into the living room. Brought it right to me.

Good kitty. 6 hours of grading later. Ugh.

I did do art stuff…I went to another opening. This is in Hillcrest…

I think it’s time for another bathtub quilt. Not that my schedule fits that. Wait. A minute. Hmmm. I gots an idea.

I traced Wonder Under finally on Saturday night…see Kitten on her new perch? No fear.

Tracing is meditative. Not enough, because I’ve been grinding my teeth for a few weeks. But better than nothing. Working on that…took a pilates class for the first time yesterday. Gonna try three months. See how it goes.

Core strength would help. Plus my neck and back need it. Strangely, the only thing sore last night was my left foot. It’s better this morning.

I added a space cat to the quilt. I had a conversation with an artist’s spouse on Friday night about the cat in one of my quilts. And I realized this quilt didn’t have one. So I added one.

I guess I’m up to 872 pieces now. I traced again last night…I’m at piece 288. Not bad. I’m looking forward to some down time over Thanksgiving week to get a chunk of this done.

So far, my Thanksgiving plans include cooking my own turkey for December turkey sandwiches, getting my Real ID, going to pilates twice, going on at least one hike, and IDK what else. I guess I’ll figure that out.

Today is prep for a lab and a 2-hour staff meeting. Ugh. Well. OK. First I need to figure out what to do with all these dogs. Doing that now.

HAVE TO. SHOULD. WOULD LIKE TO.

Aargh. Saturday is half gone. OK, not really, because I’ll be up until midnight. So I have 13 hours and 2 minutes left. OK. That sounds better. But I’m panicking already. THIS much to grade, THAT much to prep, THIS much to go buy, find, whatever. I might have overplanned the weekend. Ha! That’s funny. I always do that. I always assume I can get way more done than I really can. So this weekend: I have a pile of tests that HAVE TO be graded by Monday, a pile of homework and warmups that SHOULD be graded by Monday, and an email that HAS TO be sent. Some planning would also be good, but isn’t crucial…although a Monday warmup topic would be helpful. I have a quilt that HAS TO be packed up and ready to ship next week. I don’t even know if I have a box. I have a blogpost for a group that SHOULD be posted. I have an art opening I HAVE TO go to and another one that would be cool, but probably isn’t worth stressing over. I have a solar guy coming over (SOME DAY THIS WILL WORK) and I crazily signed up for a pilates intro class (it’s free. Maybe I am pilate-able. We just don’t know.). Plus I’m driving people to the airport, doing the grocery shopping, taking care of dogs and cats and maybe even myself. I HAVE TO do all those things. Well, some I just agreed to, so they’re now really on the list. I WOULD LIKE TO start tracing the Wonder Under on the new quilt…which is about 42″ square, although after last night’s opening and a conversation there, apparently I need to add a space cat. So I’ll be doing that.

Last night’s opening is the show Artists Speak Out at the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station. It’s the second of four openings…but I forgot to take a picture of this one last time.

She’s tall. I’m not. I did take pictures of everything again. I should post them. This was left on the stairs…

We ate out there…

Those sliders were the inspiration for my Patreon drawing…although I just noticed the plate. I should have taken a better picture of it. They used to be into all hipster-type dishes, very sleek and either white ceramic or those metal trays. This is nicer.

I started drawing this in the restaurant, but finished it at home.

With two of the three dogs on the couch with me at one point or another.

That one looks very suspicious. The other one was very asleep. As was I mostly. Very tired. I finished the drawing and then went to bed. Early. The old girl woke me at 7:20 AM to pee, which we both did. And then I went back to bed for another hour and a bit. VERY TIRED. Did I mention that? I am.

Anyway, I got up and fed and petted everyone multiple times…

Then I scanned and cleaned up the drawing for Patreon, printed my electric bill for the solar guy, who’s going to tell me to cut my trees down and we’re not going to be friends then. And then I did this and ate something and showered and I think I still need to take my meds and check my journal for today. I need to prep for the quilt workshop next Saturday (stop on by! City College from 1-3 PM. I’ll be there with fabric and thread and an iron. I should probably get another iron. Yeah?). I need to go return a library book and buy parts for my pool cleaner, plus maybe boxes to ship quilts. Cat food? I might need cat food. Need to do some math for that. Damn math.

You know what I wanna do? Sit on the deck and fucking draw. Yup. Sigh.

Something’s Wrong with This Equation…

I keep forgetting to post pictures of the newest quilt…this is So Cal Mama…the next in my apparent series (without even trying) of Earth Mothers…

She’s 70″ wide…I don’t usually work wider than tall, but she was reclining in my head, so…

What’s funny about that is I was drawing her and then realized I would have to add more paper if her legs were going to be down, and there was a limit to how big I could go and I was afraid it would be too long, so I put her legs up in the air.

Ah, the reality of how I design…Torrey Pines and a whale and a bird. If it weren’t early morning, I might be able to tell you which bird. Definitely a shore bird.

There’s another one. And a deer, mule deer. I do actually look at pictures of real animals sometimes.

That’s definitely a turkey vulture though, and a Joshua tree. I had fun drawing and making this…

She’s entered into a show. If she doesn’t get in, you know me…I’ll enter her into another. She’ll get in somewhere.

Have I already started another one? Hell yes I have. Last night, I finished tracing what little was left on this and then added a few things around the edges…

A bird, a butterfly, a bee, a rocket ship, an alien spaceship…that’s all. The normal things.

And then I numbered it…

I got to somewhere in the 800s…later rather than earlier in the 800s.

I tried to stop myself from adding more details, since it’s already pretty complicated. It’s about 48″ square I think. Something like that. Checking for sure would mean standing up and walking into the other room AND finding a ruler or some other measuring device, and all that seems beyond me at the moment. I’m incredibly exhausted, mentally and physically, and I’m looking forward to a break this weekend. Which has two openings, a meeting with a solar guy, a free pilates class (don’t even ask…just laugh a lot), and ten tons of grading. Oh yeah, and an early rise to take two people to the airport, plus an extra dog. So far, I have not been very successful in the annual three-dog photo.

My dogs know I have treats and are sitting like good boys and girls. My parents’ dog is being a dumbass. She’s about to throw herself on her back and cry like a banshee. That’s why she’s sorta blurry.

Sigh. I never talk to Siri on purpose…I just accidentally trigger her on occasion, so she asked what she could do for me and here’s what happened.

Geez Siri. That’s presumptuous of you.

OK. Blow things up. While tired. Something’s wrong with this equation.

The Whole Week on Me

Long weekends are nice…even when they are long weekends that are filled with work of all kinds. Hopefully some of the work will be artistic. That’s the plan anyway.

I picked up my quilts from the photographer after school…and then spent way too long trying to name one of them. I had a really good name at one point, but I didn’t write it down anyway, so it’s lost. This is Each Piece Belongs

It’s about 51″ square. I finished it relatively fast, considering all the other crap that was going on.

This is Desert Daughter, which I was working on earlier this summer and then the binding sat around unsewn for quite a long time until I realized it was easier to take two quilts to the photographer at once.

She’s 40” w x 34” h. I’ll get both of them posted in official places on here soon.

When I got back to the house, we kamikazed out to walk the beasts. I think in the long run, I need to transition back to walks on Mondays instead of Fridays. Fridays are tiring. Mondays are too, but I don’t have the whole week on me as well.

It was definitely warm out.

Some guy was wandering around with a backpack that had what looked like arrows poking out of it and a device that is not a pickaxe but looks like one to the ignorant, such as me. Boychild gave me a rundown on pickaxe-like equipment (it was not a pickaxe), which makes me wonder what he does in his copious spare time. We so rarely see people on this hike, and this guy was especially strange.

I had a to-do list a mile long last night: entered a show, packed up a quilt to be delivered today, wrote a bio for today (well, edited one), printed it, washed this and ironed it…then thought about the samples for the class in November, pulled some stuff out and then realized…

How deeply buried the stuff I needed was, and gave up. Tomorrow I will try again…or maybe tonight. This class thing is outside my wheelhouse. Not entirely, but it’s not how I normally roll. I’ll get there…it’s all about trying new things and seeing whether they can help support the artist as she ages. I can’t teach forever, but odds are, I will still need more money coming in for at least 10 years after I retire. Which is scary, sure. But at least I have some options. The Man says he’ll be a Walmart greeter. He is much nicer than I am, so that could be true.

I do have a drawing that I need to post on Patreon today. I had started it earlier this week, but last night, I sat down and watched some Orange Is the New Black and finished it up…with puppy assist.

Patreon patrons will be seeing this later today. It’s about the Amazon rainforest burning. Sigh. Stupid politicians who do stupid shit. Or allow stupid shit to happen.

OK, heading off now to the San Diego Quilt Show to sit in the SAQA booth this morning. Stop by and say hi…I’m bringing some embroidery with me, in case I have stitching time. A girl can dream.

Hauling My Tired Self…

It seems I have forgotten how to sleep. Maybe it was the heat last night. Maybe it was the panting dog who woke me up at 1:48 AM to pee. I’m not sure I had actually slept at that point. I know my brain is in overdrive. I finally got up early because I have to move about 170 textbooks and put them in numerical order and then write them down on a bunch of rosters, all before school starts. Just to clarify, I have to do this for books that are no longer relevant, because my district screwed up and started the textbook process way too late in the NGSS transition, so we have no relevant textbooks. Plus the state of California is in the Dark Ages. We will only use these at the end of the year as a safe place for kids to search up pictures and definitions for ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’, because even if you give them a safe place on the internet to do that, you know some kid is gonna go rogue.

Yesterday was still a lot of talking. I’d like to reduce the talking please. And then a 2-hour staff meeting. Note to bosses: we stop listening mostly after the first hour. It’s just too much. Luckily I have the agenda with the links, so I can go back and wander through it when I realize there’s something I was supposed to be doing and I forgot. Usually that’s an oh shit moment. Luckily my team will support me by telling me I should have been listening, because they were on a sugar high with all the candy he provided, and I didn’t eat any of it, so I was crashing.

After all that, I drove to the photographer’s and dropped off two quilts. No, I don’t know what I’m doing next. Well, that’s not true. I got asked to teach a short workshop in November and I need to make a couple of samples for that. I should do that.

I’m also trying to finish this…I’m so close…

It will be done. There’s only a little bit of stitching left.

After dinner, I did a little school stuff and then I copyedited for an hour and a half. I got a good chunk of it done, considering how late it was. I quit at 11, though, and went to meditate. See, I was trying to deal with all that shit in my head, and I did a good job of meditating with the dog on my lap (lapward dog pose)…

And I was looking over some art entries, shutting my brain down, when both dogs started barking like the world was ending (it wasn’t) and my heart rate skyrocketed for I think no reason at all, but maybe a raccoon on the roof? I just don’t know. Nothing worth that level of barking.

Dude. You were asleep.

And you are a tiny idiot…

Seriously, the leaves are not attacking us. Neither is the wind. Or rabbits. The rabbit army has arrived! Nope. Not. He looks cute, but he’s really kinda crazy.

So my adrenaline went through the roof. That might have been part of my issue with the sleep. So much for a quiet calm exit to the bed.

I did not MAKE any art, except for the few stitches I took. I knew this would be a rough week. But I had three things due and now I only have two. This is good.

Here’s where the cat was hiding yesterday. Can you see her?

Cats are weird. But much quieter than those two dogs.

Girlchild posted this yesterday. I was jealous.

Not that I should be eating a quarter of that…

I came home to this weird pack of butterflies…

They were all flying around each other, possibly mating, sure, but then they all settled down on the leaves. They took off as soon as I got closer. Do butterflies hang out in packs? I just don’t know. Something for the Wonder Wall…

OK, work today is all about safety. Yesterday I taught the difference between ‘quiet’ and ‘silence’. Exciting stuff. Tomorrow is Mars though! That is exciting. I will be copyediting some more tonight. And every night this week, I think. I might get to the gym tonight. That would be nice. I might decide what quilt I’m going to do next. Hard to say. I should probably decide what I’m doing with the class samples first. First, this morning, I head out to move books. Hauling my tired self in.

The 7,000 Things…

I created a post this morning and filled it with pictures, because I think I thought I would sit there at lunch or in a quiet moment at school, taking a break from the prep crazy, and I would write some short pithy (doesn’t pithy mean short? well, sort of) amazing blurbs to go along with the pictures. Oh yeah. Ha ha. Laugh all you like. It’s 5 PM and I’m writing it now. Welcome to my world.

I was up early, taking the girlchild to the airport, sending her back to Boston, which is her home, as is San Diego. We will miss her…especially this guy…

I had to be at school early anyway. My brain wasn’t working well though.

I forgot about this. One of the professional learning things last Friday was a few sessions on self-care. One of them was adult coloring. Well I didn’t think much of the coloring pages they gave us, so I drew on top of the one I grabbed.

Hey, one thing I KNOW is self care, dammit.

I finally finished the edges on this. Now it can go.

Ah yes. Coming home to sleep. I’m surprised there’s no puppy there.

This is how far I got on this on Friday…

Pretty good for one day. Of course, I was paying attention to all the talking. In fact, I pay BETTER attention when I’m drawing or stitching. So there.

Yesterday’s hawk in the tree outside my office window.

He was eating something. Ripping it to shreds. Hopefully it wasn’t the bunny who hangs out by the pool. That thing is large.

So my goal yesterday was to finish the stitch down on the quilt. I had started on Saturday. Or Friday. I don’t remember. I really only did the border parts.

My Patreon people will get to see me stitching on this week’s video. I’m not sure how exciting that is, because I didn’t sew through my finger. I have before, but not yesterday. So no blood.

This is what Kitten does while I sew.

It’s noisy. I stopped at the halfway mark and did some dinner prep for the parentals. Looks good, eh?

I always forget to take family photos. So there’s three generations of women and a male puppy. Who is turning 4 and is not a puppy at all.

I should remember to take more of those. That’s me, my daughter, and my mom, by the way. In case you don’t know.

Blurriness means movement. Boychild is trying to dehair the parental dog. Katie’s not having it.

She sheds these giant fluff balls. It’s disturbing. For all of us.

There’s dad in the background with an incredibly spoiled dog.

Oh yeah. He’ll miss her.

When we got back, I started on the second half. I was hoping to finish, and in fact, I sped through it…

Stitch down never takes very long, but in this case, it was only 3 1/2 hours. Nice.

The back is always interesting. (Oh yeah…I have some of the embroideries that I didn’t send to the guy who’s selling the patterns, and I think I’m going to try to either hoop them or finish them in some other way, if hooping doesn’t make sense. This is one of them. Although this one would hoop easily. I’ll put them on Etsy when I’m done. Although they were not fast, so they also aren’t cheap.)

See, you can see the other side in simplified format.

Crazy really. And then I cover it up.

This is officially the last big quilt that will have this fabric on the back of it. I had yardage that I found in a box in the girlchild’s room, and I think this is the third quilt that has it on the back.

It’s some batik from ages ago. Yeah, I had time to piece a backing and pinbaste it. Impressive.

AND I went to bed early. Because early wakeup call.

Well then school. I need another three days to be ready for kids. But they arrive on Wednesday. So that’s not happening. Could I have kids in my room tomorrow? No. Wednesday? It’ll be fine. I’m panicking slightly. I have 120 yards of blue tape. My co-teacher might have just bought 78,000 marshmallows. Neither of us should be allowed out into the world. It’ll be FINE. I’ve been saying it all summer. Tonight I’ll start quilting, but first I need to do like 7,000 things and then cook dinner. Plus breakfasts. And lunches. But I’ll start with the 7,000 things. Apparently someone thinks I should PAY for the car I bought. And then people keep emailing me. I don’t know why.

I Always Need It…

Twenty-four-hour break from most of the world. I did check email. I rolled on social media. But I wasn’t home, where the quilt and the copyediting are currently making me breathe fast and panic. It’ll be OK! Seriously, brain. You can do this.

Hey, Simba is OK. He was attacked by a coyote and suffered a little bruising and one puncture wound…

In his side, not the neck, which means he was doing that roll-away-from-you thing he does when we try to catch his fast roly-poly ass. Good choice, pup.

I suspect they will keep a closer eye on him at the other house now. He was barking before he was attacked, so knowing his tendency to bark at everything that is bigger and scarier than him, he was probably barking at the coyote. He hasn’t stopped doing that, as my one night in Arrowhead proved.

Anyway, so we left a little late on Wednesday to get to the mountains, but we got there…a quiet night…

Some embroidery…

Oh yeah, one more thing that needs to be done by the end of this month. I’m taking it with me today to the first day back to school…it’s all sitting and listening, things I’m not particularly good at on a splendid day, and today is not a splendid day. My high-school history teacher will tell you that this will not be the first time I’ve brought some sort of hand craft to keep me awake during the droning of professional learning, and it certainly won’t be the last.

We got up, I went in to get my boating license (I was the only expired boater), and then down to the dock…where Calli got what she really wanted…water time.

She’s on the leash because her back leg is still gimpy, and she doesn’t swim very well any more. You can’t tell HER that though. Girlchild helped…

We spent the morning there, alternating on the kayak and just sitting around reading…

The parentals will probably be selling the cabin and dock in the next year…so we should enjoy it while we can…not sure what will happen to the canoe and the kayak.

We took advantage of both…

Girlchild probably has a million picture of the dogs…

Our attempt to keep Simba’s wound clean was not so successful. Warm compresses helped though.

Boychild takes off on the kayak as the girlchild and Simba watch.

I love the kayak…

I also love to draw…

I should have been stitching, but couldn’t focus…girlchild in the kayak…

We came back and ate lunch, went to the village briefly, and then went back to the dock. Why not enjoy the water and the breeze?

Cute kids…

Calli was hurting by the end of all of it, mostly because of the climb down to the lake and back out, a few steps (more than a few!)…we all got some reading time in.

My dad was up there with us…manning the dock box and making sure everyone had wine…

I think he’ll miss this place.

I finished the drawing…I think. Working on awkward limb placement is always a challenge, especially when you run out of paper at the bottom…

In other news, here’s my piece Not Less Than at the 22nd International Open at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL…

Through the end of the month. Glad she made it there.

With that, I need to make it to school to start the 2019-2020 school year. Wish me luck. I always need it.