(Before the Sleep Part)

October 19, 2018

Ah yes, best-laid plans and all. To be fair, my to-do list for yesterday was longer than the space allotted in my calendar and I crossed off most of the things, so that’s a plus. The minus was that art totally fell by the wayside. My exhaustion won out. I guess art didn’t totally lose, because I cleaned up and packed up two quilts that are shipping out this morning. Doing that required a trip to UPS and one to Home Depot, so it wasn’t a small task.

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And now those get crossed off the list. That’s a plus. I also sent all the emails I was supposed to send. I went to the photographer’s and got my quilt and sent the stuff for that. I guess that’s art too.

This thing changed its name at the last minute. I wrote a short poem back in 2013 and that’s what this piece is based on, for a show called Women: Art and Poetry.

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

Originally I was going to take one line from the poem, but at the last minute, staring at the pictures, I changed my mind and took another line from the poem (this poem is super short…there are not a lot of lines). So here is Sweet Delicious. She’s 33″ w x 51″ h. And she’ll be at the Lyceum Theater downtown in November. The opening is December 1 from 7-8 PM. Parking sucks (well, there’s Horton Plaza), but there are many places to go eat dinner afterward, so that’s a plus.

Calli. Still disturbed by the mess in the backyard. The mess is stalled.

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Really we’re trying to find MORE places for you to pee, sweetie.

I did make it to my quilt class, although I decided not to take any of the Wonder Under to cut, because I can still fit more stuff on the pieces I’ve got. I worked on the butterfly instead, bullion knots in freakin’ rayon thread (tear your hair out sweetie), plus some Pekinese stitch and I can’t remember the name of the other one…crested chain? Maybe?

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Slow going on this, but enjoyable. I’ve already spent probably 4 hours on this butterfly, just to give you an idea of the time it takes to do these. But it’s very relaxing. Except for the rayon.

Coming back home, I had all the intentions in the world to get some more tracing done…at least a few hours. I ate dinner, graded for a bit (I finished NOTHING in the grading world yesterday), and then fell asleep multiple times on the couch. I would rouse myself and think, OK, get up and trace, and then I’d realize I’d fallen asleep again. At some point, I gave up and did that in a bed. It made more sense. I used to be able to shake off one night of shitty sleep. Hell, there was an 8-month period when I rarely got more than 5 hours a night (not healthy), but now, now apparently I need more sleep.

Tonight though…tonight I can trace. I’ve got nothing else on. (I’m going to start earlier. Before the sleep part.)

Unless This Music’s Thumping*

October 14, 2018

First of all, I have a friend whose husband was in an accident and is currently in a coma. She’s young, three kids, the youngest is still a nursing babe in arms. If you are so inclined, she’s going to need financial help no matter what happens…just to keep her head above water for a bit. The GoFundMe is linked here. She was my partner in teaching science a few years back…I know how amazingly strong and creative she is, but I also know how devastating this is for her. Please help if you can. If you’re one of my quilting friends…a chunk of fabric came from her before she moved to Morocco for a while a couple years ago…in fact, this piece, By All Means, is entirely made from her fabrics and some of her rejected blocks for a show about recycling materials.

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Because I don’t piece stuff. And I get a lot of pieces of fabric from people who are getting rid of stuff. Anyway, it’s hard to know how to help in this situation, and I’m not a prayer person…I’m just sending telepathic bolts of Get Better Dammit toward Paul…but know that what she really needs is money right now. And a miracle, if you believe in those.

Anyway. Sigh. Bad things happening to good people.

Friday night, I went to my stitching meeting, but drove back through a lightning storm, arriving home to a bunch of frantic dogs…well, really only one who was truly frantic. This was around 11 PM, when most everyone was sleeping (one cat, three dogs), except for Calli, who was still trying to dig through the floor to get to a non-thunder place.

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She kept going until around 1:30 AM…ugh. This one just barked at it, but was unperturbed. He barks at everything.

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I didn’t get much done on this at the meeting…just butterfly bullion knots. First I did the sleeves on the quilt that needed to go to the photographer.

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I tried one of her mom’s shirts on Calli…I don’t know if it helped…but this was a calmer moment than the ones before.

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I had a ton to get done Friday night, but mostly I held the dog.

Oh yeah, I’m fascinated by these moons. I keep buying them. I don’t know what I want to do with them. You can find them here. I figure I will make a fabric home for them at some point…

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Anyway, so I got nothing done Friday night. At some point, I remembered that I had planned on some hand embroidery on this one…the one that was due to the photographer at noon. Now could I have emailed him and asked for more time? Of course…but I didn’t. Because I need to get going on the other one. I got up and started stitching.

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I had about an hour and a bit…and I used every minute of it…

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Nothing fancy…just added texture and color.

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I like doing this. I should do more.

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That requires me to finish quilts earlier than deadlines though so I can spend time doing that.

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Anyway, it’s at the photographer. I ran some errands, and was home for about 25 minutes, long enough to eat lunch…then off to the first opening of the day…

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This is at the Boehm Gallery at Palomar College. You can see my two quilts hanging on the back wall.

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It’s a very cool show with lots of interesting work. Below is Kathleen Mitchell’s glass piece Rough Childhood. Mammogram is the quilt on the left; Part-Time Oasis is on the right.

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These two bird women by Maria de Castro are beautiful. Hoopooe on the right, Hawaiian Neme Goose on the left.

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Then Cheryl Tall’s piece O Happy Days in front of my quilts…

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There were many more pieces in the show…it’s up until November 8, I believe.

Meanwhile, the girlchild is still playing soccer, in case you were wondering…but I only see bits and pieces of it online.


I was grading stuff at that point, finishing that heinous assignment that’s been plaguing me for weeks. It’s done! Then I got an email about parking that reminded me that I had signed up to see an exhibit at Sparks Gallery Saturday night, since I knew the man was playing in yet another show that I couldn’t crash (guest list only)…so I drove downtown to this beautiful sunset.

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The show was a fundraiser for Space4Art, which has a new property and is trying to get money to build an affordable space for artists to show and live where gentrification won’t kick us out. What a concept, San Diego…instead of closing them all down or turning them into million-dollar condos.

I really liked this piece, Untitled (Anti-Analogy) by Tml Dunn.

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And of course, my friend Linda Litteral’s huge long work from her Meditations series displayed in the window…

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Now if I’d had more energy or drive, I would have driven down to Bread and Salt for the Latin American festival of art…it looked awesome. But I knew I needed to draw. So I came back and inked the stuff I’d penciled in on Thursday night…

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Still working on this section…added some more stuff in here…

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Took some brain breaks to hang out with Kitten, who ventured out because the dogs are at me ex’s house with the boychild…

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She helped me draw (not)…

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Still more work up here…although I headed down to the legs first.

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Not done with those…and so I have more nature stuff to go in the bottom and to the left, and then to decide what to do with the upper right. We’ll see. I put in about 2 hours of drawing with a lot of sitting around being tired. Two nights running I’ve gone to sleep horrendously late…not by choice, but that’s just the way it was. This week will be interesting. I’m taking one day off to help with something…so maybe I’ll get caught up on some work in between that. But I also need to finish the drawing and get going on this quilt.

But first, groceries and parent email for school and shower and probably not in that order. And I’m hungry.

*Cake, Love You Madly

Reasonable Requests

October 1, 2018

OK, the internet is working but who knows how long it will hang out here. We have another solution we’ve ordered and is on the way. Hopefully it will solve the problem. But I’m actually typing this on my computer instead of my iPad, my phone, or my school laptop at the moment. A blessing!

So. Saturday. I finished grading a bunch of stuff and then went in and finished ironing. You can see I have Kitten as a companion AND the internet was working. I have no idea what I’m watching…either Luther or Maniac on Netflix.

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It only took another 30 minutes or so to iron it down to the background. In total, this quilt ironed together in 6 hours and 45 minutes…

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The wonder of smaller quilts. Then, since I was waiting around anyway, I started stitching it down.

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I guess I could have graded something else, but like I’ve said before…I don’t like giving up my entire weekend to school. Kitten was happily ensconsed in my chair. (Dear WordPress..that is TOO a word.)

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More stitching down…it took just under 3 hours to stitch it all down.

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So I finished on Saturday afternoon…well, evening. Then a relaxed dinner at home with a weird movie and some stitching with cat paws on the leg…

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After the movie, I drew for a bit. I’m skipping one of the shows I wanted to enter because I don’t have time to make something for it…really…I could, but it would hurt. I need to relax a bit. So I’m aiming a little further out. I needed to work out some ideas in my head, and this was a good start. It’s going to need a redo, but I took a bunch of notes to myself and I have a plan in my head now.

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Sunday brought dogs. Some are more social than others. Simba, we’re talking to your cranky butt. He used to play with Katie, but he’s been cranky this time.

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Just wants people cuddles. We had storm clouds come in and rain on us for about 14 seconds…the remnants of a tropical storm coming up through Mexico are going to just tickle us with horrendous humidity as they go by.

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This is after Sunday dinner…got the road done in that section and started work on the butterfly, the last block in July. Then the tree and house, plus the giraffe and horned thing on the bottom are August. I have September sewn down and then was messing with October in here last night, trying to figure out what to do with all the bits and pieces…

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With October, then I sew the whole quilt together. I’m not sure what happens in November? I think borders. I’m not sure where that bag is. It’ll take me some time to get there though.

See, I come in here and then they lie down all over the floor again. It’s like Twister getting around them.

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Here’s our newest baby gecko. It’s hiding in a little hole in the sink drain down there. Can’t get it out. We should name him. Fred.

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We’ve had a lot of them this year.

So after dinner, I did some school stuff, sort of finished progress reports. I have a few things I’ll update today, and then I’m done. So I pinbasted this one…

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AND this one. Because once you’ve cleaned the floor and moved stuff out of the way, you might as well do all of them.

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So that’s two wool quilts ready for quilting. Ha! Well I don’t know when that will happen. I guess I finished one over the summer that had been languishing for years. I seem to like working to deadlines at the moment, so they tend to take precedent over the other stuff.

Anyway, so I can start quilting tonight, if I have the energy. I’m running on extra tired for some reason. Still. Take the vitamins, eat the foods, get the exercise. It took a long time to fall asleep last night. I’m feeling it this morning. As always. May this week be less tiring than it looks when I stare at the calendar. May there be art every night. Those seem like reasonable requests.

Wonky Is Good

September 29, 2018

I dream of quiet mornings with no itchy dogs, no squawky cats, no groaning puppy (that’s the noise he makes when he wants out of the crate. If you’re anti-crate, feel free to sleep with him in your house for a while and realize what he does if he’s NOT crated. I’ve never had to crate a dog every night past real-live puppyhood.). I dream of sleeping until I naturally wake up, that means NOT my bladder or someone else in the house or a neighbor or one of those damn furry creatures who mostly I love and care for and pet and cut big tangly bits out of their butt fur and wash their putrid infected belly bits (hmmm…was this a good choice?). This morning? Not an option. So I’m awake but cranky about it. What’s new? I have a shitload to get done this weekend, not the least of which are blood tests before my doctor flips her lid (I told her all along it would be today…IDK why she didn’t believe me.). Also prepping and delivering two quilts to Palomar College, opening in two weeks…that’s first on my list after writing this and showering and eating. Then blood letting (need to drink a ton of water first and I’m not awake enough to do that). Then come back here and keep grading until the cows come home. I’d really like to iron my quilt together too. Going to figure out where that fits.

Yesterday was Picture Day at school. My co-teacher and I like to go all out. She brought the dry ice and the tiara, I brought the unicorn head thingie.

IDK why anyone lets us out of our classrooms. Or lets kids into them.

I made kids measure rocks all day. On Monday, we’ll measure blocks. They can only measure things that rhyme. It’ll be socks next.

Then off to the last session of Warhammer, after 2 years or so. None of us died. Only two mutated and one was reversed and the other one wasn’t so bad. I went insane from corruption…no biggie…I’m still alive, running my dwarven mushroom farm underground, back in the dwarf kingdom, managing some kingly engineering department. Where I should be.

Yes, I stitched. I was really tired. If I didn’t stitch, I would fall asleep. We’ll game again in 2019. We’ll do some fun stuff on and off until then, I’m sure. Managing a game around the schedules of 6 busy adults is not easy, but it’s one of the few regular social things I do these days. I work too much.

I have lots of drawings in my head right now about the Kavanaugh crap. I don’t want someone that angry in the Supreme Court. But reading a few high-school friends’ commentary about whether to believe Ford or not…it must be nice to be a white man and be able to make those decisions with zero understanding of what it feels like on the other side. I guess a lot of us are feeling a little battered at the moment. Speaking of battered, I’ve got these two male students who are talking to me, who are connecting, who are still driving me nuts with their work ethic, but they’re talking. So we chat about life and their weekends (both playing Fortnite) and their moms and it’s a step in the right direction. Because they have shit in their heads that keep them from working…I have a lot of faith in a 12-year-old’s ability to move past that and be awesome.

Here’s progress…working on the road, which is just a hell of a lot of stitching…

I like how wonky it is. I guess this one is my new post-dinner focus for a while…which is good, because without gaming, I don’t know when I’d work on it otherwise. There’s no shortage of wooly blocks of the month in my house. I really like the feeling of stitching and embroidering through wool. It’s very relaxing. I might need some of that today. Although I think it won’t happen.

OK, on to the next step to get my tired butt in gear…

Sometimes a Head is Just a HEAD…

September 22, 2018

I’m up early (for a Saturday) because dogs. Dogs make noise. Dogs whine. Dogs scratch. Dogs want to go out and since dogs can sleep all day because dogs don’t have to work on the weekends, or for that matter, EVER, they don’t care that it’s the morning mommy gets to sleep in. I did get to sleep in for about an hour and a half, so I guess SHUSH brain that is really tired and foggy and wanted another hour at least. Maybe tomorrow (because tomorrow is NO DOG MORNING…the only one I get during the week oh hallelujah if a cat wakes me up tomorrow, there will be hell to pay.).

Really, I should be less vehement about sleep. Someday I will be old and retired and I will sleep a lot and not be able to do as much as I do now, so I think I will be a shitty sleeper now.

Dog neediness. They are everywhere.

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So we had gaming last night and we thought we were actually going to finish but there were lots and lots of bloodthirsters that we had to kill (is that one word, bloodthirster? I just don’t know), but NO. We could not finish, it was 10 PM and tiredness abounded so no. Yes, I stitched. I stitched a lot, actually.

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I finished the rhinos (they just needed that symbol thing), although I just realized (a) I need to do stitching on that plaid rectangle) and (b) that tree part needs stitching…I wonder where the fucking instructions are for THAT? Sigh.

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And I finished the bird, but the road has to continue through here and the road instructions are on the June instructions, which I put back in the notebook. So I need to pull those back out. The road is complicated.

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So then all that’s left for July is the butterfly. Not bad. Someone on the current block of the month (which I haven’t started…this is 2015’s BOM, by the way) said it took 40 hours a month to do one month’s worth of stitching. That could be true. I’ve been working on Folk Tails for a long time…not since 2015…it looks like I might have started in August 2016 or so. So that’s two years so far.

Anyway. I have to work my butt off on grading today, so I’m hoping to iron a quilt together, but I don’t know if I’ll get there today. It’s all ready to go, but some days I just have to be a teacher full time. Oh, plus go to the vet with a dog and a cat. But I’ll try. I want to. That’s a start.

And to all the people who thought I was referring to blow jobs with my drawing yesterday, you know, sometimes a head is actually Just a Head. Seriously. Men.

Still no network card here, so I’m not even trying to play music. Will have to write my own post title. Dammit.


September 21, 2018

I keep drawing heads swallowing smaller heads. It’s actually even a notation in my weekly journal, constantly on the to-do list…”draw more heads smaller” is what it says. And yet I keep drawing them the same, not fitting more than one or two on the page (probably a function of page size…I should totally go full size). I’m not sure what it means. People always want me to explain my work, and when they realize that I was really tired last night and I made the mistake of having a glass of wine with dinner instead of waiting until really late, and so I almost fell asleep on the couch at 9:30 PM, like a normal person, but then I realized what was going on and got up and got my act together and did something artistic, and somehow that turned into being awake enough to draw another head-swallowing moment, well they give me that look that makes me wonder how crazy I really am. I’m sure it’s some psychological thing where I feel like my job and life are swallowing what I really want to be doing or something like that. Not so difficult to figure out.

I’m not really crazy. Just a bit. Just praying here to the internet/computer gods that I can keep the connection long enough to post this. New computer card arrives today. Let’s hope it solves the problem. Here’s the drawing, not done.

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I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to draw. So I did. That’s a little less than an hour’s worth of pen on paper. It felt nice. I should do more of it.

It’s really only because I couldn’t get the internet to function at all, so I couldn’t grade anything. Frustrating. I need to grade stuff.

I did have quilt class last night. I finished outlining the blue flowers, sewed the rhino horns with split stitch…harder than you might think over wool…and then palestrina knots for the bird’s legs.

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It never looks like much for 2 hours of work. There will be more of it at gaming tonight. I’m on the July blocks now. I think.

In between the class and the drawing, I did sort the fabrics for the next quilt, so I can start ironing this weekend. Here’s in process…

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And done. Very exciting stuff.

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This is not a hugely complicated quilt, so it didn’t take long. If I weren’t so tired (why am I so tired???), I would’ve started ironing it together, but that would’ve meant standing up. I didn’t do a lot of standing or walking yesterday…I was in a training, which meant my classroom went to hell in a handbasket. I love trainings. Actually, we planned for most of it, so that was good, because we needed to do that. We need to do more, of course, always more, but we’re closer than we were.

So this weekend is full of grading and hopefully ironing. And sleeping in tomorrow. I really like to sleep in. I’m such a shitty sleeper, it’s kind of ironic that I get up in the morning and I’m already thinking about when I might be able to put the pillow over my head and ignore the alarm clock.

I’m not even trying to play music right now. It would break the computer. It means I have to come up with a title with no support system. Hmmm.

Sitting Untouched and Growing Cold*

September 8, 2018

You know how I like to make art every day? Well it isn’t always possible, but I do try to at least do something with fabric and/or thread every day, although I guess technically Wonder Under isn’t fabric, but it’s fabric-related, and same with drawing, damn, I just talked myself out of my own plan. Fuck. Anyway. I try. Something. But some days, especially Fridays and Saturdays, there isn’t time or energy or whatever to let me do that, and most days during the school year, I don’t touch anything art-related until after 9 PM. So yesterday was one of those days, and that’s fine, because it was gaming night, and while I am gaming (no we aren’t freaking done yet even though we killed the Prince of Ziinch holy crap it’s Tzeentch they never showed me his name and now I know why they were pronouncing it so weird or something I don’t even know who he was, but he had feathers and was way smarter than any of us and wouldn’t freaking die, I shot him 3 times and so did everyone else, and now I have all these crazy wounds and flea buboes and I think I have chaos gases surrounding me), like I said WHILE I am gaming, I stitch. Because my Friday brain would otherwise be snoring away, exhausted by the day…damn, the week.

In the aftermath of the game, where I stopped stitching, just before we started putting away 7800 chips, another 450 dice, and all our other crap, each of us sporting a pile of wounds. But no. We’re not done with this campaign. It’s OK…it’s just kind of amazing.

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Slow progress on this. I finally finished the July blocks…at least, I think they’re the July blocks, by finishing the hippo’s ears. The August blocks are the three across with the rhinos, bird, and butterfly. So that’s what I’m working on now…

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Then I think the other three that are randomly not done are the September blocks. Maybe. So there’s the rhinos. They still need more work. But I got most of the flowers done. The blue flowers are complicated as hell…

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They have french knots in slippery rayon, drizzle stitches, outlining with more of that crazy rayon shit. I’m still outlining…

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Petting small furry things…

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The boychild is followed around by animals all day and sometimes he gets annoyed and brings me one or two. This morning, they followed me around, well, the cats don’t really follow unless the little one thinks there’s food and the big one wants pets.

So last night, after gaming, I graded stuff. Because that’s what you do at 11 PM on a Friday. I think I’ve actually made my life easier (eventually) with the new warmups. They take longer to make/plan, but less time to grade. And they’re still writing.

Then I got up this morning and finished packing up quilts, wrote 4 statement pages, found some nails…delivering in about an hour.

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I did NOT cut any of this out. I don’t know when I WILL cut any of this out. Sometime soon, for sure.

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I did get into another show yesterday, Futurecraft at the Boehm Gallery, Palomar College, with Allied Craftsmen, one of the local groups to which I belong. The openings are Thursday, October 11, from 1-3 PM, and Saturday, October 13, from 2-4 PM (that’s the one I’ll be at). The show runs through November 7. There’s also an artists’ talk on Thursday, October 11 from 2-3 PM. I won’t be at that either. I have two pieces in the show…Part-Time Oasis

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And Mammogram

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So that’s one acceptance out of eight entries so far…not bad. Then again, this was the one where I was guaranteed to get one piece in, so not so impressive.

OK, on with quilt delivery, then an art exhibit, then some drinks, then IDK what. Food probably. That would be a good plan. Art will come in eventually (besides the management and delivery of said art).

*Cowboy Junkies, Cold Tea Blues