We All Like to Exist…

Well. I’m finally behind on the dots. Why? Because the ironing of fabrics on the new quilt sucked me in last night and held onto me for over 4 hours. Not a bad thing, because I think there’s a movie for tonight, and I can’t iron when movie-watching with others is occurring, so I’ll be stitching TWO dots instead…and one looks like a really complicated one. So there’s that. I went 39 days without a miss though. Wow. We’ve been dealing with this crazy situation for a long time, haven’t we? Almost two months here in San Diego, longer for my bro and his fam in Seattle. Certainly much longer in other countries. We’re not OK yet…I don’t understand opening things up when the graph of sick and dead is still ticking upwards.

I do go out occasionally…the grocery store is the most common, but only once a week, takeout food once a week, sometimes something else, the vet last week, today a fabric store for stuff I really couldn’t see on a computer screen. Honestly, I probably won’t do that one again. Too many people, not enough social distancing. There’s been a few restaurants where I’ve felt the same way, and then some whose procedures are really awesome and I will be back…hopefully enough of us feel that way to keep them open.

But people are still getting sick and dying, and other people are still propagating bad science and crazy theories that are going to get more people killed in the long run. Sometimes we can only figure stuff out the hard way. Get sick and then you see how important universal healthcare is. Lose your job and then you see how important unemployment and welfare are. I don’t know why some of us can see those things without having to live through them. I view the world differently? I guess.

So the four hours of ironing got me well stuck into the fleshy bits of the second and largest figure.

I finished Figure 1 and then laid out a run of 6 fabrics for Figure 2…I was a little worried about fabric #3 because there wasn’t much of it. Actually, there isn’t much of fabric #1 either, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Plus I know how to improvise…

This crazy pile of Wonder Under is…at the top, everything from the 200s-600s that was NOT flesh but is around or on the body (there’s a snake and a bat, plus eyeballs and a uterus and bones and all that good stuff)…and at the bottom, the rest of the 700s once I finished the flesh.

Call me Queen of Chaos. Fit them all together…

And then get to fabric #3…yikes, not even a fat quarter here. Well. Let’s see.

Nope…not enough…

See the pile to the right? Wouldn’t fit on there. So I ransacked the pink drawers for something similar that fit between fabrics #2 and 4, and ironed the other pieces out of that.

Then I realized it was after 1 AM and even if I didn’t have to be up too early in the morning, the man had to work today, so between his morning activities and the cats, there was no way I’d get all the sleep I needed, so I covered fabrics #1 and 2 and went to bed. You can see the fabrics I’ve used so far…

A little more color is popping in…plus the box of stuff to trim when I’m done.

I might need a second version of fabric #1 as well…it’s not a big piece either. We’ll see. This is the plus of having a significant stash. There’s usually something else that will work.

So I did get the background fabric today…plus two possible binding fabrics, and a few others I liked.

The super dark one is the background. The one on top is for the next Daughter quilt, which I had to document from my 6 AM brain…it’s in my Notes app. Maybe I’ll draw it later.

So I’m in the 700s, but I still need to do all the filler pieces, which is a significant amount of ironing…hopefully this afternoon. We’ll see. I’ve already been sidelined by tick removal and dog bathing, so who knows what else is coming down the pike.

We finally blissfully got out into nature yesterday with the dogs for a nice walk…

This is, of course, where we got all the ticks. Fun stuff. There weren’t a ton of people there, but very few of them had masks on. It was weird. I mean, you don’t have to put it over your face unless you’re passing people on the trail…in which case, put the damn thing on. Especially if you’re running.

We missed the early wildflowers, but there are always flowers there.

We were trying to tire these guys out. It was still warm, but not as warm as it had been.

We have water for them, but they don’t like drinking a lot on walks. So we rested in the shade a few times with the old lady.

It was a real delight to be back out there. I really needed it. Walking on pavement is not the same.

Calli got two trips into the pool yesterday, which she appreciated.

Although the pool didn’t get rid of the ticks…hence the bath and close picking-over today.

But hey. He’s tired.

Last night, the girlchild made wontons. I got to put some together. I’m not sure I got better with time…

Don’t judge me. First time. Girlchild always makes a nice social media post…

They were yummy.

OK, here’s the full pic of that plant from over a week ago.

It’s coming from a pot above, where it’s a volunteer, and has now rooted in the pot below. It might be a spiderwort or relative, it might be a Commelina cyanea. It does well when it has water and OK when it doesn’t. It’s hot here, but this is rarely in full sun, mostly shady sun if sun at all. I maybe will train it to hang out and not cover everything, if possible. It certainly likes to exist. Don’t we all?

OK, so the day is more than half over, but the fabric is washed, I’m doing the girlchild’s bedding (tick fears) next, I’ve eaten lunch, I’m still tired, I really should do some yard work, but I don’t feel like it. I’ll go look at the to-do list, which includes putting together those videos I made over the last few days for my Patreon. And maybe iron for a bit. No school stuff today. Not allowed. Not sure when the man is coming home…he’s worked 6 days straight at this point due to things beyond his control, and he’s not doing well with it. Hopefully having 2 1/2 days off will help. But probably a takeout dinner and a movie are in my future. Stay safe, and stay well, and maybe do something that will help you stay sane.

Sewing Grass Is Pretty Relaxing.

Here come all the comments about that’s not what I’m supposed to do with the grass. Whatever. Coming to the conclusion that some days are easier for writing the blog in the current times than others. Thursdays are a clusterfuck. I resized photos and then worked and worked and had two stitching meetings but did schoolwork for the first hour plus of one of them, and the time to write never came. So next week, I will schedule more carefully…instead of every other day, there are days when this is easier and those are the days on which I will write. I used to do three days a week…I think I’ll up it to four, but it will be the same four…because I can’t deal with Thursday. This next week, Wednesday and Monday will also be messy, but whatever. So many meetings.

I’m tired this week again…still? I have been ironing until the really late hours and then falling asleep just fine, but between the early morning risings of the man for work (not his fault) and the cats afterward and that thing called daylight and noise, I can’t get sleep when I need it. Nothing new there. I should go to bed earlier, I’m sure. That’s always the case.

So. Progress on the quilt! First of all, I sorted all that Wonder Under…I need one bin for every 100 pieces, so 16 bins…

I label each one with a number, so 0 has pieces 0-99 in it. It takes about an hour to sort a quilt with this many pieces…

Luckily, no kittens were involved. Sorted!

This makes it easier for me to deal with the number of pieces in this thing. Next is the ironing to fabric. I got the fabric put away from before, then hung up the giant drawing so I can see where all the pieces go.

Then I deal with 100 pieces at a time, usually in order.

I bought a new iron. Again. Because I think the nonstick coating on the other one was not working properly. I couldn’t clean it. So hopefully this one will work.

I’ve fused stuff for years and always been able to clean them using Iron Off or just a rag…the old one just kept getting dirtier and dirtier and leaving that residue on the fabric.

This is what it looks like when I pick fabrics…I pick one section of the drawing and pull fabrics for that section, and then lay out the pieces on the fabrics…

And then iron them all down.

A half yard of fabric lasts a long time for me, because even with these relatively good-sized pieces, it’s barely using any of it. So I got some grass and dirt ironed Wednesday night…a good start, most of the background.

Thursday, I did some work during the day with my quilting Zoom.

Mostly I just work and don’t talk too much. I explain that I talk a lot for school, more than I used to maybe. Well. I guess I don’t have five classes a day, so maybe not. It just feels like a lot.

For this section, I actually had to pull pieces from the 1000 box because I have these two death arms, I guess I’ll call them, and they’re the same. Rather than try to remember 10 hours from now which fabrics I used for the first arm, I just did both of them together.

It takes about an hour per 100 pieces to iron…depending on the complexity. So for the first figure, I pulled a run of 6 fabrics, light to dark, and then I lay all the pieces out for that figure. This is the smallest figure on the quilt, so there aren’t a lot of pieces compared to the larger figure that comes next.

Then I iron them all down at once for that figure. While staring at the drawing.

It gets complicated sometimes.

This is part of why I’m up too late. I can’t stop in the middle. Between my brain losing its focus and the kittens fucking with the piles, it’s a pain. So I just iron until I’m done.

Here’s what’s done so far…and the fabrics I’ve used. Not a lot of color yet.

We’ll get there. Figure 1 isn’t completely done…just the flesh parts. She still needs a cytokine storm. And eyebrows and hair. Like you do. I’m in the 200s…but barely.

On to the embroidery…this is Tuesday night…the dot on the far right…

It was fairly simple…

Then Wednesday night, which looked fairly straightforward and then took two hours…and a ton of threads…it’s the one to the right of the sunflower near the threads.

It’s supposed to be a window box of flowers…

Then yesterday’s…I did it during my second Zoom stitching meeting of the day. Two others in the group are doing dots, although one is only doing the ones she likes. It’s the one to the right of the cactus…

It was pretty easy.

So I think today is Dot number 40. Still less than halfway.

When I finished the dot, I went back to the million pieces of grass on Folk Tails.

I’m just going to add grass all over the place until I run out of the two grass thread colors. Maybe. I might buy more. Hard to say. Sewing grass is pretty relaxing.

I might do it forever.

Other things that have been happening, mostly animal related. We had a plank challenge for PE, but Calli really wanted to lie in front of the computer.

I thought about moving her, but then didn’t.

Kitten just sleeps wherever I am.

That’s a lot of cat hair on that chair. This is better than when she tries to whack me with her tail because she wants to sit on the keyboard and mouse while I’m using them. She was playing with Luna for a bit.

Although the heat has slowed the kittens down during the day.

Well that doesn’t look friendly.

We did some hanging out by the pool on Wednesday, which was supposed to be the hottest day.

We put the big girl in the water…

The dog. Not the girlchild. It’s her favorite place to be. She’s kind of a pain about it. I graded while I watched her. Please throw the pinecone.

She likes to fetch them out of the water and then chew them to bits. Hence all the crap you can see on the concrete.

Nova stealing the dog bed from Calli.

Calli always lets the cats win. They have sharp bits.

Even when they’re asleep.

Seriously, she just follows me everywhere and sleeps there. Even on the browns.

Well. It’s already Friday afternoon. I’m so glad it’s Friday, y’all. I need a break from checking all these programs for scores and emailing kids and their parents to get them to show up and do shit. It’s exhausting. Hopefully we’ll go for a walk later…it’s cooler today than it has been. I’m also hoping to do some more ironing and get some schoolwork ready for next week, so I can ignore it tomorrow. I need to water everything and I don’t remember what else. I have office hours in 24 minutes, so I need to pee, get more tea, find my bra and put it back on (sigh), and consider the article I read this morning that said school districts may have to put all the older teachers who are immunocompromised in jobs that keep them away from kids. Ah shit. OK. Well. I have no idea where they’ll draw that line, so I’m going to take my old, diabetic self out of that mindset and into one of getting shit done today. Plus maybe just sitting on the deck for a while with my book. I worked hard this week. As always. I should relax a bit.

Not Making Sense

I’m trying to watch a video while I’m typing this, which should be interesting, if I can keep the two things separate and make any sense here. Perhaps I never make sense here. I have to say it’s not my goal, making sense. There’s a song about this. Maybe more than one. I’m watching a fabric designer explain her new line, which won’t come out until 2021 probably. I like listening to her process, and since I can’t meet people in person, this is kind of cool; all the people with daily or regular videos right now are maybe helping with sanity? Who knows.

I’m in between my morning class and science meeting and my afternoon class right now. I’ve peed the dogs and eaten my lunch and tried to figure out what I need to get done for the rest of the day. I need to add some exercise in there somewhere, but it’s starting to get warmer and that’s harder. I want to do it in the dark. There are mosquitoes though. And the dogs can’t deal with high heat. So it’s just a logistical issue. So many things are logistical issues. I forgot to assign something this morning and went to do that and it didn’t work. Three times. So I kept assigning, and then it assigned it once on two classes and three times on the other three classes, and kids are already turning it in on ALL THREE classes (of course), so my Wednesday/Thursday are going to be a self-made (well, tech had its way with me kinda) hellacious fuckbeast. Ah well. What’s new? The kids are doing yardwork for Grandpa and probably they are all infecting each other, which is annoying, but the man is also back at work, even though he’s supposed to have today off, because you know, when you’re the person in charge, you get the shit shift. Unless you’re a shitty boss; we all know about those, they give YOU the shitty shift and they barely work.

I barely see/hear from my boss these days. Which is OK, because there’s enough other stuff to make up for it. This week, we added a new program to track plus a new category of assignments, and I’m about to run screaming into oblivion, but it’s too hot out there for that, so I’m sitting here with the fan on, realizing I have 39 minutes until the next Zoom call. Today is pretty chill, actually; we’ve figured out next week’s science assignments and have the following week fleshed out a little better. Tomorrow will start the crazy race into the weekend.

So the last two days…I did finish cutting out all the Wonder Under last night for the new quilt…

Let’s see if you can tell the difference between 10 yards cut out and 11 yards…from Monday night to Tuesday night…11 1/2 hours of cutting…

Looks the same. But it’s not. Tonight I will be sorting them…or maybe even this afternoon. Hard to say what I’ll be doing after class. My brain is usually pretty fuzzy. I need to check some work, see if kids are turning things in. Set things up for tomorrow. Get my head around my existence. Persuade myself not to eat cookies (pretty easy since we don’t have any). I finished cleaning the office yesterday. All my fabric is put away except for stuff I saved for napkin-making, so I’m ready to iron to fabric. Looking forward to that.

This will be another big crazy complicated quilt…sometimes people wonder why I make them, when they never sell (too big and expensive), but these are the ones that get into lots of shows and win awards, so no, I’ll never make the money back on them, but there is a reward for me in the acknowledgement, but honestly, more so in the time and energy I put into them, that’s a good place for my brain to be, especially when things are hard or complicated, like now. Yes, they’re time-consuming, and no, they won’t sell, but they are the most ME. So I’m OK with that. I’ll get this one done and do a smaller daughter quilt or something after. Maybe. If I feel like it. There are deadlines coming up. I’m just not sure I care about them.

Still doing the dots…here’s Sunday night’s…just under the blue ball of thread…

It was a pretty simple one, even with the trellis-stitch center.

Some of them are amazingly time-consuming. This wasn’t too bad.

Then Monday night’s…just under the blue spool…

I’m getting better at bullions with Razzle, a shiny rayon bitch of a thread…

The center looks like a starfish on its way out. I think I’m on Dot 37 today? Or something. Simba was helping…

He never really helps.

What else is up? So much schoolwork. Yardwork, which brings bug bites. NOT sleep, unfortunately. These guys don’t help with that.

Here’s Kitten bringing me one of my slippers…

She’s a freak. Drops them in the hallway half the time. Every night, I round up my slippers and put them back so she can bring them back to me.

These guys are sweet until they’re not.

They get mopey when their dad is gone and sleep more.

I did walk the dogs, but a shorter walk, yesterday…only 2.3 miles. Like I said, it was hot.

No one else wanted to go…to their credit, the kids did yardwork in the sun all afternoon yesterday too and they were tired. Legit excuse. I just wanted to get out and move. Like every day. Here’s a flower I didn’t see before.

I like to look for the new things or changing things.

Also, Fantastic Fibers is all hung, although no one can go in to see it…yet…

There’s Womanscape on the left…a big complicated quilt from two summers ago that is just weirdly popular. The black and white piece is paper and ink, so not really a quilt…it is by Emily McBride, i never wanted you. On the right, before the corner, is Rachel Major’s Still Life. Just to the right of it, around the corner, is Alicia Decker’s Culture Shock and Hannah Zimmerman’s Place.

Funny, I thought it was huge until I saw it next to that black and white quilt…I need to go look online to see if I can figure out whose is what (not a quilt, see update above). Here we go…on the far left is Orb by Evian Zukas-Oguz.

Originally, this was three different drawings that ran for about 95″ horizontally…and then I pulled it apart, redrew, and added.

It’s always interesting to see what detail shots other people choose.

The show is open for a while longer…Not Open. But there.

Fun masks by Sarah Pramuk, Balaclava Tryptich…might be a little warm for Southern California right now. Pandemic fashion Winter 2020. Seriously, these are NFS because she needs them back.

OK, going to look for names on this…but class starts in 13 minutes, so…I got them! In time. So I can post this right before class starts. Wait. No. After class. My brain. Is fuzz.

The rest of today? Sort Wonder Under, exercise, start ironing to fabrics. Taco Tuesday! All good. This is the part I really like. Need to make some margaritas too. I think I have stuff for that. Maybe. We’ll see.

More OK with a Mask Than a Bra…

Now THAT’s the truth of my current situation.

There was this thing in my head last night that I was going to remember this morning to write about, but no. I was thinking, no, you’re not going to record it somewhere, because you are trying to fall asleep and you are exhausted, and it does not matter if you are exhausted, sleep will still be difficult, and I didn’t record it anywhere and now it is gone. I’m sure it was crucial to your day, to my day, to the development of the world. It probably has to do with people being stupid or making art or teaching, because that’s all I think about these days. But I got sidetracked by emails and plans and whatever my stomach is doing right now. I fed it good things last night and it liked them, but this morning it wants to talk about those things. I’m OK with it shutting up right now.

So even though no one but me was around for dinner last night, I wanted to get takeout, because I was tired and I’ve cooked a lot this week just for me and I’d like a night off, even if it’s by myself, so I picked a restaurant I’ve never been to in real life, mostly because I don’t think the man would eat there…maybe he would, minus all the green things, but that’s difficult. It’s the Garden Kitchen, which they claim is in Rolando, but that’s funny, because I used to live within a short walk of their location and it wasn’t Rolando then. The food was wonderful, even when I had to mess up the presentation by spatulaing it onto a plate (I don’t like eating out of the takeout containers) and it was still the right temperature and wonderful in taste and complicated combinations of stuff. And the old grocery store we went to was now a gym. Maybe it’s nicer to live there now, although the porn bookstore is still there, so maybe not.

The plus is that I have made stunningly awesome progress on cutting out Wonder Under, despite all the shit that’s in my brain. Although sometimes there are creatures who want to interrupt me.

She needs to pee. It’s OK. I took her out. She doesn’t ask anyone but me for some unknown reason. By the end of Friday night, which included a short gaming session to make characters and a movie, I had 5 yards of the 11 cut out.

Saturday included a quilt group meeting and some alone time at night, where I watched another movie, and I got 3 more yards cut out…

Two of them sitting here, which isn’t particularly comfortable, but works better for video meetings.

This is what 8 yards cut out looks like on the right…unless I’ve miscounted. Maybe I did 2 yards during the movie and 1 during the video meeting? I don’t know.

The trash pile is growing…

So if I’m right and there are only 3 yards left, I could do that in the next two nights, I think. I started cleaning the studio on Friday, did a little yesterday, and then gave up. I need to finish that and then sort all the Wonder Under, which will take an hour or so. By Wednesday, I’m hoping to be ironing onto fabric. Even though I won’t have background fabric until Saturday? I think I’ll be OK. At this stage, I only need the background to make sure that anything that will be showing on it will be enough of a contract to show up. This is the fun part! Although it will be long and hot, because ironing when it’s over 90 degrees is always sucky. Oh well. Making art is nice. And hopefully the kittens will stay out of here. This stage was exciting for them on the last quilt too.

I’m still stitching dots on time…Friday’s…

Is the pink dot with 4 leaflike things…

The one to the right of the pink spool. I was waiting for the right design for that shade of pink and finally got it. Generally, I just pick the next dot in the area, but sometimes color is an issue. Like with Saturday’s, the ladybug…on the far right at the bottom…

I wanted a color that contrasted with the red. So not a red dot…

The dark background is unfortunately a little TOO dark for the legs and head. Oh well. I’m not redoing anything.

Here’s the Anna Maria Horner fabrics I got for her color packages…the ones I think I will make into a different version of the naked lady Applique Stories.

We’ll see. It doesn’t have to happen right away, luckily.

Sleepy cats abound in the last two days…Nova when it’s hot…

Kitten follows me and then sleeps…during video meetings…

And movie-watching…

Sometimes they are into everything…like drawers in the coffee table. I thought she was too big for this now. Apparently not.

Sometimes they just want some love…

I will be ON you, even though you are doing something.

In food news, the girlchild is upping her cheese plate game…

And I excited the sourdough starter yesterday…

That IS exciting.

OK. It’s Sunday, which means putting a bra on for the grocery store. Oh yeah, and a mask. I’m OK with that. I’m more OK with the mask than the bra. Then a bunch of school stuff, and hopefully some exercise, because I’m feeling it, and a yard or two of cutting shit out. Plus sewing a dot. And gardening. And getting ready for another 5 days of what school looks like now. Ugh. It’s OK. We’ll make it, whatever it is. The sun is out, the flowers are growing, there’s a possibility of further-away hikes this week, and that is all good.

Ah yes. Teaching children. I remember having this conversation with my brother many years ago, although it wasn’t because he didn’t know the vocabulary.

Notice Something New…

It’s Friday. And I sold a quilt! Woo hoo! Someone from Arizona saw Desert Daughter at the Front Porch Gallery back in January some time, and recently contacted the gallery and it sold! I’m very excited…here it is with Arline Fisch’s wired art.

It’s nice to have people buying work right now…although I will turn around and pay off part of the girlchild’s college loan with it…getting close to done with that, and then all the income from these sales will go into the fund to remodel the bathrooms and kitchen, which really really really need it.

I need to make another Daughter quilt when I finish this big one, which is nicknamed Rona at the moment. I laid out all the Wonder Under I’d traced…

So that’s about 11 yards…one of them isn’t full, but the rest are. That’s a goodly amount.

I started cutting them apart Wednesday night…and luckily, the kittens weren’t interested.

Somewhere in the middle of cutting these out…well, at 1 AM that night, while I was trying to sleep, my brain started to fixate on how freakin’ big this quilt is and that there’s no way in hell I have a background big enough for this, and I don’t really want to piece it, because the quilt has so much detail on it that making the background busy is not a good plan. I hate buying fabric online in this situation because I can’t see the color properly. But one of my local quilt shops is doing one-on-one appointments. I can do that. I texted the owner and I have an appointment (with a mask and maybe gloves?) next Saturday. I need 5 yards for the background and if I’m smart, I’m going to find a couple of possible bindings and buy them too, because I’ll need a yard and a half for that. Fewer trips, better…much as I love fabric, it’s not necessary to be shopping regularly for it.

Thursday afternoon was my weekly stitch-in via Zoom. I actually did schoolwork for the first 45 minutes, but then sat there and cut out a yard of Wonder Under, yard number 2…

Not the most comfortable cutting space, but whatever…does two yards look different than one?

Hard to say…nighttime put me on the couch for yard number 3…

My hand hurts after switching to cutting, but it’s OK…only 8 yards to go…

Three yards seems to fill up the box a bit. I’ll probably get done with these sometime early next week, then sort them, clean my office, and start picking fabrics by next weekend. I’m hoping.

There’s been a ton of overwhelming work stuff going on this week, the second official week of teaching online. Wednesday and Thursday were crazy busy with work and meetings and to-do lists and texts. At some point, overwhelmed was all I felt. Today is better, but now I have to prep a ton of stuff and forms and shit for next week. I’m trying to keep Saturdays free of work, but that’s getting harder.

This was Thursday’s (? or was it Wednesday’s?) attempt to collect data from all the science assignments for all 160 kids…

There are pros to this…I remember how to be outside…although when the high 90-degree temps hit next week, I will NOT be out here.

Another pro…seeing kids in video! I totally miss this kid.

I was so happy to see her. And her happy brother.

I finished stitching the Nasty Woman cross stitch in staff meeting number 1 on Wednesday…

It’s been washed and needs to be ironed and finished into the hoop provided. Then it can go on the wall in my office under my Feminist AF hoop. Where the kids can’t see them.

I worked on this drawing a little bit during that meeting as well.

She has a head now…still not done. This is relaxing too. Seems like Calli is more relaxed than I am…

I had to go get her arthritis meds from the vet, who have a very good setup.

No interaction with other dog/cat parents. Super easy.

There’s not much on my destinations or events at the moment…

Although my phone knows when Summer Break is…it will feel much different this year.

Still sewing dots…Wednesday night was a butterfly…with the metallic thread being a pain in the ass…

Mine got all twisty and had to be stitched down.

And then last night’s…the dot wasn’t quite round, which became very apparent in the stitching…

I ripped the Palestrina knots out once, because I couldn’t get them to go down the middle…finally just left it the second time…

It’s the one on the far right…not round. Oh yeah. Oh well. Butterfly is wonky too.

OK. So what else? Girlchild is socializing with the puppy, who is kinda bitey.

All of us need a chiropractor and/or masseuse. I found an old electric massager (circa 1960-something…came with my house), but everyone is scared of it. I’m not. We also have an amazing stash of heat pads and creams for such types of pain.

This plant is in my yard. I don’t know what it is.

But it probably needs to be planted for real and not just half-assed shoved in a pot.

Speaking of that, I’ve walked three days this week, with the goal each time of noticing something new, a plant I haven’t seen or hasn’t been blooming…this was a great find…

We have agave, but not this type, so I shoved that babe in my pack.

Man that’s bright…

And this is sweet…

Gotta keep those eyeballs open…

Plus it’s good for me to get outside and moving after spending hours sitting in front of a computer.

These guys are either napping intensely or rampaging intensely.

It’s difficult to keep up.

So my goals today include trying to get all the schoolwork I can get done…done. Filling out forms, fixing typos, setting up online posts, attempting a new form of organization to support the kids (and me!). Also I need exercise today. Pilates would be a good choice. I’m also gaming tonight, but will be cutting out Wonder Under as well. Maybe I’ll draw. Maybe I’ll nap (that sounds really good at the moment…REALLY GOOD). Stay safe, stay well, buy some art, make some art, get outside if you can and just soak up some of that Vitamin D. With sunscreen. Seriously.

Taking Scallions for a Walk…

Good news! First of all, I finally finished all that tracing. I haven’t counted the yards of Wonder Under yet, but I will today…I suspect there’s at least 10 yards, maybe more. It was late when I finished last night, and I did have to spray a cat with water twice to finish the last 200 pieces, but I was motivated and she still liked me afterwards (because pets and belly scratches are nice), so we’re good.

I started tracing 11 days ago…

It took 23 hours and 25 minutes to trace 1541+ pieces…

I had to negotiate with kittens, working around my job and their naptimes.

Some days, I only traced for 40 minutes; some I traced for 4 hours.

The next step is to cut them all apart. That’s time-consuming, yes, but I’m hoping it will be less dependent on kitten behavior. We’ll see about that.

I also managed two Sue Spargo dots…still keeping up with one a day. Bottom left…

There’s supposed to be a tiny button in the middle, but…

I forgot about that and kinda like it the way it is. I might find an interesting bead that fits. I had to make it into a flower, because I miscounted the outer fly stitches. I was sure I had an even number. I was wrong. This is why you count twice.

Last night was number 30, the owl, so I am now one third of the way through this…

Here’s the owl again…

I didn’t think it was all going to fit…the key is to just make really small stitches.

My next step is to put all these away. I organized by color…they are (1) the fabrics from the last quilt, (2) stuff I bought just before we shut down, (3) stuff my SIL sent when she was cleaning out her cupboards, and (4) stuff I bought online in the last few weeks. Now to use it all!

Clean first. Use later.

I made it on two walks…it’s definitely cooler than last week, although still warm.

I’m tired of the road. I like walking out in nature. That kid bike was not there in the first picture, but was left there by the time we headed back.

The heat and distance were a bit much for the old lady…

So I let her swim a little afterward. This dog LOVES the pool.

I’m glad someone uses it.

Wildflowers are everywhere. Tuesday, I walked a bunch of scallions over to my daughter at her dad’s house. She’d forgotten them.

Take dogs for a walk? Or take scallions for a walk? Hard choice.

Weird seed pod…

It looks violent.

These cacti are starting to bloom.

But none of the flowers were close enough for pictures. These were…

It was the old lady’s 11th birthday yesterday…

She’s a good girl.

Although a little persistent about the pool thing.

So I’ve done two Zoom meetings so far today…three to go. Ugh. The next three are Boom Boom Boom.

I wish I could be a cat.

I think I’d be a better sleeper if I were a cat. Although apparently I’m not allowed to pee alone.

They really are like little kids. Although…my old lady is in here with me.

Because she follows me everywhere. She brought me three slippers last night.

I don’t know where the fourth one is.

OK, the girlchild is still cooking up a storm…she made English muffins from scratch and they are wonderful…

Especially this one she burned accidentally but that looks like a skull…

She also made cookies, and then photographed them…

Like you do.

And she made pancakes and froze them so I can have them for breakfast…which is awesome.

Plus she scored toilet paper at Costco this morning, so we are set for a couple of months, hallelujah, it’s all good.

OK, three meetings in a row, out by 5 PM? I freakin’ hope so. Then cut some stuff apart. Actually, I may start doing that in the last meeting, although I need to take notes. Ugh. Two computers? Stuck in my office? I’m hoping to do two of the meetings outside. Need some Vitamin D. Do Not Like These Meeting Wednesdays.

Stop Saying It…

It’s Saturday. I have declared it a Zoom-free day. Seriously Zoomed out. I do have school stuff to do, but I shifted it until tomorrow. Tomorrow has a Zoom meeting and grocery shopping, so it’s already messy. Today should just be clean and quiet and peaceful. I wish it were cooler so I could walk…maybe I will pull that off later, but it might interfere with dinner. Sigh. I haven’t walked since Tuesday, I think, because of the heat and circumstances of over-Zooming.

I’ve decided that no one can say “I think I had COVID-19 already”. No more. Stop saying it like it’s a good reason to go out and infect people or not. Unless you’ve been tested and you know. Two of the teachers at my school did a small parade for students, which is cool, but they did it IN THE SAME CAR. With no masks. Idiotas. Seriously. What are you thinking? Masks will be mandatory in public starting next Friday here…they’ve been mandatory for essential workers so far and suggested for the public. I’m glad…maybe my grocery store will enforce the sign about masks being required that is in the window now. I’m scared of this thing…scared for me and my friends and family. I hope we all get the super-easy version or even the not-so-super-easy version, where we just feel like shit for a month and then recover. That’s easier than the hospitalized version or the ventilator version or the dead version. But just because you’re healthy and only 30-something doesn’t mean you can’t get it. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

So yes, I remain paranoid. No news there.

I’m currently waiting for the kittens to nap. Yesterday they napped most of the day, and I managed tracing between Advisory and Office Hours for about an hour or so, and then a little bit in the afternoon before they woke up again. Bastards. Nah. They’re cute. Just annoying around big pieces of paper. This was Thursday afternoon’s Zoom, where I didn’t talk much but traced for about two hours. Luna was awake but that was at the end, so I put it all away again.

Calli hangs out with me when she’s here.

It’s gotten really warm in the last few days…this corner of the house gets hit by morning sun, so it can be really warm there.

I’m glad I put LED lights in, because they give off no heat.

I’m in the low 700s, so still not even halfway. It’s not a quick process. I am done with tracing Figure number 2 now, so it’s on to Figure 3.

Last night, I didn’t trace because nobody would chillax and nap. Kitten isn’t the issue. She won’t attack the paper and she moves when I tell her to. Luna? Not so much.

So there’s progress, but it’s slow.

I’ve moved school all over the house this week. Mostly I’m at the desk near the light table, but it was too hot on Friday for that…so I moved into the office. Two computers, only one with a webcam. Plus cat.

It’s crowded in here, not ideal.

I spent a good two hours dealing with video classrooms, then another couple hours putting together the parent email and organizing stuff for next week, making posts and fixing the playlist. So it’s notionally less time than with normal school, but it feels hard right now. I need a better routine. Trying to find everyone’s scores in four different programs, soon to be six? It’s a pain in the butt. Chasing kids down via text and email and phone calls? Also a pain. Explaining the same thing 42 times? No different than in the classroom. I just can’t point to it or show them how as easily. Plus sitting and not moving around is hard for me.

So there’s all the whining out. Again, glad to have a paycheck. Glad to see kids showing up and trying. Love hearing parents say stuff about us in Spanish. I feel for the kids who are dealing with baby brothers and sisters while trying to concentrate on probability and context clues. It’s hard.

Still doing dots…here’s Thursday night’s…

It was a lot of thread colors…just to the right of the cat head.

It took me about an hour and a half while on a stitching Zoom.

Then Friday’s, while on a teacher Zoom…social…apparently…sort of…

It was a simple one, hallelujah…the one right above the blue thread.

It’s a little blurry. Nighttime photography. Ugh. When I finished that, I worked on this some more. It’s not hard…

I’ve got to put some leaves in and I’m done.

On Thursday night, because the kittens weren’t chilling out, I started drawing my April Patreon drawing.

And finished it last night. Today I’ll scan it and clean it up, and post it soon.

I still need to figure out the video for this month and that Space Cat video. Haven’t had the time or mental energy for that.

We need to use the pool more…Simba doesn’t like it, but he does a good doggie paddle.

Calli loves it and would go in every day if she were allowed…

She doesn’t like hot.

I don’t either. I need a better bathing suit though. I don’t like mine.

Kitten enjoys mommy time every evening when I’m stitching or tracing.

These are growing in my yard…fascinating flowers. The leaves poke your eyes out though.

Last photo is the pile of Jane Sassaman fabrics I got in a box from her, mostly discontinued I think. She was cleaning out her studio/stash and offered these up (for money…she’s not crazy)…and I went, hells yeah. I tend not to buy a lot of this type of stuff, because it’s harder to use in the quilts I make, but I’m going to make an attempt.

Why not? Change it up.

So today…some exercise, some tracing, sew a dot, get a dinner from somewhere, and probably watch a movie. Don’t Zoom. Don’t think about school. Don’t think about stupid people who aren’t considering getting sick. Go look at some flowers. Maybe do some yardwork…at least pick up the stuff I cut last night while trying to get the sprinklers to work better. In the dark. Very effective. Stay well, y’all, and stay the fuck home.