My Apologies for the Stuff…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IDK. You tell me…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not a fan.

Simba got combed the other night…

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

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

Nova is a weirdo.

I did this drawing on Wednesday night…

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

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

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

Dyar Springs Hike

I picked last Saturday’s hike because of my knee…it was supposed to be about 5 1/2 miles with very little elevation gain/loss. The knee doesn’t like going downhill at the moment. So we went out to Dyar Springs in the Cuyamacas. I’m always amazed by how many hikes there are out there. I’ve been on so many hikes out there and there are always new ones.

It’s a typical California landscape…

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I always imagine native people hundreds of years ago tramping across the landscape and what they would see.

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It’s August, so it’s warm even in the mountains…it hit the 80s really quickly.

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Some of this area had been hit by the fires over the last 10 or so years…but also bugs have killed some of the trees…

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But those rolling, brown, grassy hills are what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of MY California…

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With pines in the distance or oaks…

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There was wildlife…a California horned toad (aka a horned lizard)…cute little creatures, aren’t they?

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And a stick insect…

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He had some plant life tangled around his head? Is it a HEAD? We tried to pull it off, but he wasn’t having it. Fought it the whole way. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen one of these in the wild. Belongs on WTF Evolution.

We hiked off trail a bit for some reason. I don’t remember what.

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And then back towards the springs.

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There wasn’t much in the way of springs…mostly mud. We stopped for lunch here, near these oak trees and rocks.

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Those old California oaks are part of my sense of home too…

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There weren’t a lot of flowers around this late in the season…

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And some of the trees looked a little worse for wear…

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Hard to know if they’re still alive sometimes, especially at this time of year…

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This was the view back the way we’d come…

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And here’s where we set up our potluck picnic…

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Lots of good food and debating how many calories we’d burned so far and how many more we’d have to burn after eating everything that was laid out for us.

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The path back was that typical mix of grass and trees…

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Mountains in the distance…I think that’s Stonewall Peak to the left.

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More dead trees from the fires…

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Some monuments to the destruction that keeps this area alive.

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And then? Strangely? A patch of watermelons. No water to be seen around. No reason for them to be there…WAIT! My loyal reader Julie (who is a bit of a native plant expert, certainly more than I am) tells me this is calabazilla (which is the funnest name around), aka buffalo gourd or more interestingly stinking gourd (glad we didn’t figure out why). It has a great Latin name, for sure: Cucurbita foetidissima. I’m always looking for the word foetid involved with food.

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We kept hiking…

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It was good. It was peaceful. It was 7 3/4 miles instead of 5 1/2. Oh well. And there was dirt and mud and I sunburnt the BACKS of my knees (nope, didn’t even think to sunscreen those). And my knee hurt briefly…but that’s it. Good.