Way Less Than Optimal…

WordPress is now adding a question to the previously blank blogpost, in case I logged in to write a post and had no idea what to write about. I guess that might happen. Maybe? The question is “what would I want to change about myself?” Um. So many things. That I’m not gonna write about here. But thanks.

This last weekend was the weekend of no sleep. There’s a skunk who has decided that late nights outside the bedroom window are exciting, and the little dog is also excited about this; in fact, everyone except the humans who have to function during the day and can’t nap for endless hours is excited. So I’m running on way less than optimal sleep. On a Monday. Ten school days before Winter Break. Also there’s an on-campus field trip thing tomorrow that only HALF of my 7th graders can go to and I haven’t dealt with that AT ALL and I’m not sure exactly HOW to deal with it because my teacher’s aide has been out and I occasionally am getting a sub, and I can’t send my kids if I don’t have a SECA that day. So how do I present that to a bunch of already problematic kids? Um you MIGHT get to do something cool and fun but only HALF of you get to go tomorrow, the rest have to wait until APRIL and OMG you might NOT get to go if we continue to have too many people out. Yeah. Sounds great.

I worked a lot on school stuff this weekend. The pro is that I am caught up (almost) on grading…I have about 6 redoes that need grading and that’s it. For today anyway. The con is that I didn’t plan all the way through the end of next week…this shit just takes too long. Everything needs editing because it’s too complicated, not helpful, and it’s PDF files, so the editing takes even longer. I beg steal and borrow from other stuff we’ve done to try to help with the planning, and it’s still so fucking time-consuming. I think I spent about 9 hours on the day job this weekend. Ugh.

I did also go to my guild’s holiday party. I took 3 fat quarters for that game they play (didn’t win…but I did last year, so I’m OK with that), but my prize for going to the party was 2 half yards. For you non-quilt-math people, I came out with an extra fat quarter. So that’s fun. We made fabric ornaments…

Which was fun. I did not pick holiday fabrics. And Kitten has already absconded with this. I need to get a hanger on it and get the tree in from outside so she will be less likely to steal it.

I spent a goodly few hours cutting stuff out this weekend…

Friday night with Kitten…

Saturday night after dinner…

And last night after all the things. I’m in the sky. So I cut out basically in opposite order from ironing, although I dumped everything into a bigger bin at some point, so I can see sky and flesh in there, and I think flesh was ironed after sky. So there’s still a big chunk of stuff, but I can see the bottom of the bin, so I’m getting close. Probably not tonight, but maybe tomorrow night. This thing has a hard deadline, so I’m really trying to stay on top of it. I’m behind my original schedule already. Sigh. When am I ever NOT behind? In everything really.

Kitten has been following me around…

This was Friday night’s sleep.

The other two are still cuddling against the cold…

Until Nova wants to sleep in the bedroom, and then Luna loses her fucking mind.

This guy won’t let anyone sleep because of that skunk…

Luckily, boychild is home tonight and can take over…the skunk doesn’t like the dirt outside HIS room as much as the dirt outside MY room. And then maybe I can sleep through the night. That would be nice. Seriously feels like there’s sand in my eyes. So tired.

Saturday night…finishing a drawing from the previous weekend, I think.

I don’t know that it’s actually finished. But I’m finished with it.

Too true below…

I am going in to the doc to have them tell me my knee is royally fucked and they will ask me about my period. The one I haven’t had for like 5+ years. I don’t have a clue when the last one was. Fun stuff.

Last night’s sky was (as always) much prettier in person than my camera will show…

Need a new phone. Sigh to that as well. Just paid the property taxes. At least I could afford that.

OK. Staff meetings today. One grade is doing an assessment (they will be fine). The other grade will have to read by themselves to fill out a chart. So that’s gonna go well. Independent anything has been difficult for them this year. It’s exhausting. But it’s short and I’m not cooking tonight, so maybe I can get more planning done and then cut stuff out for longer. That would be nice. That’s my goal then.

Mismatched Shoes…

Someone at work yesterday was like, “only 11 more days” and I’m thinking, wait, what? Oh…they’re counting. Shit, I’m not counting. Why? Because I’m in day-to-day mode and if I start counting, I’m gonna panic about I’m not planned out through those 11 days. Easy for him…he’s not a teacher and doesn’t have to make sure kids have relevant and appropriate work to do. Considering actually just NOT teaching and just showing World Cup highlights every day, since that’s all some of them want. Yesterday’s Costa Rican goal against Germany (the first one) was pretty awesome by the way, if you want to see some actual soccer teamwork. That said, the arguments I’ve had to have with kids who HAVE to watch, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS (oh yeah? everyone in my household has played soccer…the question is, do we go for Wales, England, or the USA…mostly moot points by now). Sigh. I liked it better when the World Cup was at the end of the school year, because then you could just pop it up at the end of class and it didn’t matter as much. Right now? With only three weeks between breaks and progress reports due like the week after we come back? Yeah no. I don’t have the time. Or the patience. I may have totally given up by the end of the school year, so it would be nice to have the World Cup to fall back on. Ah well. I’m sure something else will come up.

I’m glad it’s Friday. I have next week mostly planned. I’m stalled by one thing that I should just get over and walk away from, because it’s gonna be complicated and take too much time. Maybe next year. Just write a note to next year’s Kathy and tell her to try it then. There’s enough new shit this year. I don’t need to make it harder on myself than it already is.

Ugh. I have a meeting this morning. I will get through the day. I know I’m frustrated and overwhelmed and it’s making me emotional. And I’m tired. All good things, yeah? I admit that I don’t love most of my job right now. There are moments of awesome and even OK and then there’s some shit. I need less of the shit.

I am done ironing on the newest quilt though…I got there on Wednesday night finally…here’s all the fabrics I used in the piece…

Usually I count them…I don’t have time this morning. It’s a lot but not as many as some. There’s a lot of white/gray fabrics…there were a bunch of concrete building things and then a ton of plastic…

That was water bottles and plastic bags and milk jugs.

All the pieces ready for trimming…

And last night, I started trimming…

Doesn’t look like much, but that’s a lot of the water bottles and a little over an hour of cutting. This week, so far, I’ve managed 7 hours of art stuff since Saturday. The week before, it was over 15 hours, but that’s because I wasn’t going to work, so I got bigger chunks of time. My left eye is twitching, my left knee is still in pain (doc next week), and I just realized the other night that I’ve been wearing mismatched shoes. I bought the same shoes two years in a row, and I was wearing one of the old pair and one of the new…only figured it out because the inserts are different colors. Sweet jesus. No, it doesn’t explain the knee pain. Unfortunately. That would be an easier fix than what I think it will be.

I am down. I feel down. I have a quilt guild holiday party tomorrow that will hopefully lift my mood. I’m hoping to go to an art opening in the afternoon. We’ll see about that. Maybe just getting a break from the behaviors will help. I think if I can get some of the stuff off my to-do list for school and home (gotta mail a holiday package, which means 17 things have to happen before that), then maybe I’ll feel better. Or I could just curl up with a book (the current one is not that good, unfortunately) and shut out the rest of it…I’ve been doing that a little every night, honestly. Ugh. Deep breaths…it’s Friday and that’s a good thing. And I should just throw out the other pair of shoes (ugh, into a landfill?) because they are beat up and that’s why I stopped wearing them and bought a new pair. OK. Gotta go. Meeting time.

Antonyms of Fine…

Apparently I have no clue what day it is. Not surprising, really. I get like this over breaks. One day at a time. Do the things for that day, then make a pillow fort and disappear into a book. I had a legit reason…the book was going to be sucked back by the library demons at 2:33 PM today and I needed to finish it before that happened. I’m not entirely sure I understand what happened in the book, but when the fourth (in the trilogy, yes, really) comes out, I will just reread all of the three previous books and maybe it will all make sense. I really liked parts of it; just wasn’t sure how they were related to previous parts. It was confusing.

I really loved that highlighted bit. Because my co-teacher and I joke about everything being fine, but it’s not. It’s just hard this year. So I missed writing the blog yesterday, even though I wrote it down in my bullet calendar list of things to do, which I’ve been mostly ignoring, except for the parts where I have to be places and feed people. This morning I have to be two places. So I’m up because of the dog and the cats, earlier than desired, but whatever. That’s because the boy left and the dog thinks daylight is an alarm clock. He distinctly does not understand sleeping in.

So yeah, I made a lot of food that is still feeding people, and my family showed up…well, some of them anyway.

Minus the last-minute gravy the boychild helped with, so I officially still have never made gravy, and the cranberry sauce I forgot was in the fridge, but remembered. It was good. I never liked cranberry sauce until I had it made fresh.

This was after all the eating and drinking, so most people are smiling. The next day was the Man’s family, well, some of them…

This time before the eating, and at a much prettier table.

Also, I didn’t have to cook, which I appreciate.

And then there’s the artmaking, which I greatly appreciate…I sorted on Wednesday afternoon, while the turkey was cooking and before people arrived…

And then I started ironing to fabric. This piece has relatively few pieces (630) and is smaller (much) than the last one (28×36″ image). Those are little baby mountains…

This was what I had ironed after Thursday, I think…

And yesterday, I graded all morning and through the England v USA World Cup game. It needed to be done. Also someone needed to score, but I guess that didn’t happen. I’m not done with grading or planning. It’s possible that I never will be. I have two harder assignments left to grade and about two weeks more of planning to get me through to December. But it’s been taking me about an hour to plan each day of this unit/project, crazily, so I don’t know that I’ll get that far through. We’ll see. Too much researching shit, trying to figure out how better to present it than our curriculum does (because even when it’s pretty good, it still isn’t).

I also finished my book. But didn’t exercise. There’s 78 things on the to-do list that aren’t done. The Christmas shopping is mostly done, though. I need to assemble some things and I’m waiting on some stuff and I have to pick up one thing today, but otherwise, I might be sorta done. Kind of. More done than I was a week ago anyway.

I spent a goodly chunk of time ironing yesterday afternoon and evening and night though. And that was good. This piece of sky is one of my hand-dyes. I occasionally like to do it myself. Find it fun.

But then I dye things that are hard to use. This will be good sky though. I made it through all the fleshy pieces…they started in the 100s, then through the 200s and most of the 300s, I think.

Of course, I only did the flesh. I still need to do all the non-fleshy bits: the bones, heart, lungs, burning trees, and polluting cars. So that’ll take a while. I might be halfway through? Not sure because of the numbering. Feels like I’m further on than that, but the head is complicated and so is the vomit. So today sometime I’ll work on the bits in the torso that aren’t flesh, and then I’ll have a better idea of where I’m at. I’m also going to pick up a quilt and hopefully hike/walk the dog and the Man. So here’s what I’ve gotten so far…need a bigger box, plus extra points if you can find the cat butt and tail.

Also need to grade at least one of those hellish assignments. Ugh. Don’t feel like it, but it has to be done. I know some people just don’t do any work over break, but it’s looming over me and I know how panicked I would be next week (or tomorrow!) if I hadn’t done what I did. I need my head above the water, not doing that thing where you’re kicking your feet to push your nose and mouth up a little to get air, which was the last three weeks. Sigh.

When I made it to bed, a bunch of animals followed me…Kitten settled down by my feet, which is not normal for her…usually she comes up later and shoves into my back.

She was there for quite a while before she wandered off to sleep on a blanket somewhere less crowded. Simba was squished between us most of the night…

Although this was before the Man came to bed. Luna showed up in the dark. Nova doesn’t come in on the bed any more. She would, but the dog freaks her out. Her loss.

OK. So I’m up. I need to shower, go get my quilt, pick up the Xmas thing, go for a hike, probably eat somewhere in there, grade some shit, plan some other shit, iron fabrics, probably do a date-night thing, and read another book (it’s OK; it’s short). Today is Saturday. I’m just writing that for my own assistance. I need to remember to do all the things tomorrow that get me ready for school, and the more times I remind myself that today is Saturday, the more likely it is that I will remember to do all the things on Sunday that will help me go to school on Monday. I’m glad I’ve had time this week to recharge without students around. To plan without panicking. To get caught up on grading. That’s good. Plus make a bunch of food and freeze it so my December self panics less. These are good things. Maybe next year I can have a break from school that isn’t full of grading and planning (ha!). Next year, I’ll have taught all this once and will have more help. Hopefully. For now, I’m thankful that it’s Saturday and not Sunday. I can do a Saturday.

More to Be Thankful for…

Good morning. Less sleep than usual. My fault. My desire to sleep in is not matched by the dog’s desire to be awake, fed, and peed. I forget this. Unfortunately.

Also unfortunate. Or at least things to consider: Red Shawl Day on Saturday, which I noticed because I follow a ton of National Parks, and they were all posting about it…per their website, “American Indian and Alaska Native women are missing and murdered at a rate of more than 10 times the national average. Red Shawl Day is an annual national effort to bring attention to the horrible acts of violence committed against Indigenous people, particularly women and children. Throughout the week surrounding November 19, people are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of the loss of sacred lifeblood through violence.” Just proof that justice is not the same for everyone.

Then Sunday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance…”an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.” More people who do not receive equal justice. That followed by the LGBTQ-hate shooting in Colorado Springs by the grandson of my former Assemblyman, Randy Voepel, MAGA all the way down.

They redrew the district lines about 10 years ago, but this is one of the guys I used to email regularly because he didn’t represent ALL of his district, just the white conservative faction (and honestly, the far right). There’s a lot of that dumbassery out here, unfortunately. But sure, let’s make sure all the haters have guns.

I’m currently working on an environmental issue quilt, but guns are ruling for the next one. Or something. Hate? I don’t want to do another hate quilt. We’ll see. I’ve got a while before I’m done with this one.

That said, I finished tracing the Wonder Under last night…

By staying up way too late…

I guess the dog let me sleep in an hour after the Man left for work…that’s a plus. It’s only three yards…much smaller than the last one.

Oh yeah, and this bit…

The vomit. Hence its nickname in my data collection app. So that was 8 hours and 40 minutes of tracing. My hand and shoulder hurt last night…this morning, they are somewhat recovered. The next step is to cut stuff out. I really want to be ironing to fabric by Thursday. I have a lot to do in the next three days, including grades, a dentist’s appointment to finally get the crown I needed back in August, and a Wednesday Thanksgiving dinner…so clean the house and cook. Lots of cleaning and cooking. Plus walking the frantic dog? Yeah, probably. He’s losing his mind right now because the boychild just arrived after being gone since Thursday AM.

I spent most of Saturday grading science units…but we did manage a short hike…

Mostly to try to tire out the barky dog so he’d do less of that…

Plus drawing at dinner, finishing one from last weekend…

The two younger cats have decided to be friends again…less fighting. More cuddling…

The old lady is sleeping a lot…

She had gained weight by the last checkup, but she’s lost weight again this time. One of her meds is for her thyroid, and we’ve had problems getting the right dosage. Plus whatever is going on in her gut causes issues. The truth of it all is that she’s old. But she’s relatively happy and playful despite all that, so that’s a plus.

Oh yeah, Friday’s field trip was OK. Could have been an hour shorter and I would have been OK with it. Expensive place to go, Old Town. The Scavenger Hunt part was good. The kids participated and all. Apparently the 7th-grade group was not as good. I guess that’s the plus of having 8th grade this year.

The graveyard in Old Town…and some diorama thing where the little plastic dog had fallen down.

Anyway, not a bad end to the week. I am enjoying hanging out in my pajamas and not panicking about posting assignments and lesson plans…yet. That’ll be later this week. It’s not a stress-free week, though…never is. Need to catch up on grading and planning so the next three weeks aren’t insane. Need to do Xmas shopping and shipping. Need to catch up on cleaning and yardwork that’s fallen by the wayside while teaching. Plus read 10 books. Is that a thing? I also need to catch up on sleep, which isn’t going to happen if I keep staying up late. But my brain works better then. Sigh. OK. For now, I have one more class of science units to grade so I can take them back to school today. Easier than dealing with them next Monday, plus I have counseling today and need a space that is not inhabited by multiple humans for that. And I need to check the stash for the lab I’m doing next Tuesday. So I need to read the teacher manual for that. Busy week. Always is. But still thinking about all the hinky shit people are doing to other people instead of getting along. Sigh. May there be more to be thankful for as the week progresses.