OK so last night, all the fucks were said. Many times over. Because the 3-year-old water heater died. All over the laundry room floor and into my office. While I was home alone. I’d like to thank my parents for answering the phone and walking me through the turn-off/drain instructions. I’d like to thank my ex and son for coming over to move a bookcase and mop up puddles everywhere, and for taking a bunch of sopping wet towels to his house to wash. My poor guy had told me to have fun as he headed out for a show last night…it was not fun. Sigh. I’m just glad I caught it before it had completely emptied. If I ever replace the tile in the laundry room, I’m putting a drain in. This is the third time? Maybe fourth?

Anyway, so I was supposed to start ironing things together last night, but that didn’t happen, because (1) I spent a couple hours dealing with furniture and water and (2) part of the leak was in my studio…which currently looks like this…

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And this…

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And this…Kitten hiding in the midst of it all.

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Luckily, not a lot of water came under the wall this time, so I can move it all back today, once I finish this.

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Of course, water heaters always die (1) right before I need to do laundry (that’s why I noticed the water) and (2) on Saturday nights. So I have limited clothing and we probably won’t get a new one until Monday at the earliest. Which you know it’s hot here, so cold showers aren’t that bad (note: they’re not great either). That’s a plus. Last time it went, it was October. A little chilly. Not bad though. So there’s good news. Plus it’s warm, so everything is drying out quickly.

Kitten doesn’t like hot.

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So what went on before the water leaked all over my plans? GISH is over as of last night. I had two tasks left to do…one was to make a flower portrait of someone who inspires us (actor, politician, musician), and honestly, I just grabbed flowers that were available because summer in San Diego’s east county does not allow many flowers to survive, so then I looked at what I had and picked someone.

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Elizabeth Warren. Fit my flower colors and is a pretty inspirational person. Don’t shut up, y’all. Goes for women, goes for us libtard snowflakes (seriously think those terms are idiotic, but I’m sure there’s some for the other side and I’m just not paying attention to namecalling, because I don’t think that’s an intelligent way to handle this shit).

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She’s looking good. I was not the only person who picked her, by the way. Go to Instagram and #GISHspired to see more. Some people had many more flower types from which to pick.

Then I needed to make a hat out of sock(s) that was not a sock monkey hat, but another animal. So I made a socktopussy hat. This is just part of it. I’m not allowed to show it yet.

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But it involved 8 socks, some crappy polyester batting, felt, and a pussy hat. Yes, I made a pussy hat just for this. I already have two other pussy hats I could have used, but they were hand-knitted and I could not desecrate them.

I submitted about 140 points worth of stuff for GISH. If I stopped doing everything else, I could have done more. I was somewhat disappointed in my group…of 15 people, only 5 submitted stuff. Lame. I realize it’s challenging…that’s the point. Anyway. I enjoy doing it. I’d do it again. It’s more fun when you know other people in your group, but I wasn’t that organized.

What else did I do yesterday? I finished cutting all of these out…21 hours in about 4 days.

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I watched the ex and boychild hack at the out-of-control bougainvillea. The hope is that it will come back and we will do a better job of keeping it out of the trees.

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Cleanup will be a bitch…thorny pieces of hell.

Then I sorted all those pieces…Kitten came out and hid in this spot on the desk for a while.

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I got about halfway through and went to fetch dinner…when I came back, I discovered the water heater leak, so there were about 2 hours where I wasn’t doing this. Yes, cats want to sit in those boxes. All the time.

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Then I went back to it later…at the end, I just have a pile of tiny little pieces, and my feet were tired from standing, so I sat and sorted them into tiny piles of tiny pieces, and then dumped them in the number-appropriate bins.

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It took a little over 2 hours to sort all 1900 or so pieces.

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In the almost empty bin on top, you can see two tiny pieces that didn’t have paper on them, and there was no paper that was the right size for them. So I don’t know what they are. I also had one piece of paper with no fabric…but I think it fell off before I cut things out. When I start ironing things together, it will figure itself out.

I was going to start ironing last night (original plan), but after losing two hours to sweaty water-moving, it wasn’t going to happen. I’m going to move stuff back in here, reorganize, do all my errands, have a delightfully cold shower, and then maybe be able to iron. Such is life. Not ideal. It’s a good thing I’m not socializing much, because the lack of clean, weather-appropriate clothing will eventually be an issue. Although I think I could run the washer on cold? That might be a plan.

OK. On Task. Go.

With One Foot in the Past*

No jury duty today. The last day of worrying about it. Glad it’s done. Maybe I’ll be more chill about it the next time the feds tie up most of my summer with not being able to schedule anything. Which is why my foot is going under the knife on Monday! First day I could schedule it. It’s OK…some weirdo cyst that’s been causing issues for two years now will hopefully finally die a horrible death. And truly hopefully, a quick recovery with no restrictions on standing or walking.

School is officially looming. Three emails yesterday from the principal, one about our rooster mascot, which something apparently finally caught and killed. Sad…I think every teacher on campus has a picture of him lurking in the lunch area or in the parking lot. I do, but I can’t be bothered to go find it. I have video of him serenading me as well. Like he did.

So the days to get shit done are counting down. With that in mind, I fully met the goal from yesterday and did 6 1/2 hours of cutting shit out. I’m proud of myself.

First, though, in true GISHness, I painted a portrait that I can’t show you of Jensen Ackles using Skittles as paint.

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Note to self: Skittles suck as paint. The other year, I painted Jean-Luc Picard with condiments…still some lack in color choices. Sure, this year, I could have gone out and bought the other colors of Skittles, but no. I went old school. I’m not allowed to show pictures until the thing is over. Today I will be creating a portrait of my favorite actor, politician, or public figure in flower petals. This is problematic because I don’t have anything blooming at the moment. I did steal some from my friend’s house yesterday and will head over to my parents’ sometime today (shhh…don’t tell them…). I haven’t decided who to do, though. And then tomorrow, I’m making a special hat. A very special hat. Yup. And then it’s over…it’s only a week long! Sad but true.

So I had my sewing-during-the-summer meeting yesterday, where I’m mostly the only person who shows up, but that’s OK. I cut there for almost three hours…here’s where I was at when I left…

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Then I went to Target to buy a birthday card. Yeah. So you know how that goes if you’re a teacher.

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That is not just a birthday card. Pro: I’m almost done with school shopping.

And then I had to drive to Encinitas for an art meeting. I cut stuff out there too, for about an hour and a half, and then came back home and cut stuff out on the couch for another hour or so. The stuff that still needs cutting is in the top box…you can see it’s much emptier. All the cut stuff is on the bottom left and trimmings on the bottom right.

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Significant progress…I’m in the 600s, so if I spend another 6 hours today, which is the plan, then I will be done. On time. On plan. What a concept.

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Knock on wood, because it’s never that easy, right? It’s a goal. I’m aiming myself at it. The to-do list is long and complicated, but it’s still good to have a goal. OK, on to the copyediting and errands and all that crap.

*Tears for Fears, Head Over Heels

As I Open My Lips, All My Words Slip Away*

I have a guaranteed 4 hours of cutting fabrics ahead of me today, but I’m aiming for 6. I didn’t make 6 yesterday. I made almost 5 hours though. So that’s good. Everything takes so long…I don’t know why. We humans are such inefficient creatures. But then, what did I do? I trimmed some bougainvillea, I wrapped presents, I packed stuff up for shipping, I sent some stuff by email, I entered a GISH thing, I copyedited for a while, I talked to the girlchild about her wasp stings (18 at last count…it’s OK…it takes 150 to kill you), I moved kid and dogs and cars, and I cut things out. So why do I feel like nothing got done? Oh yeah, and I talked my doctor down off the ledge and bought myself 4 weeks to get my diabetes numbers down again. So that’s a doctor’s appointment off my list of things to do. She’ll do the next one by email or phone. Wahoo! All good. No really. See the list and say, wow, you did a lot yesterday. It doesn’t feel like a lot and that’s on you. True that.

I guess knowing that the girlchild comes home in 9 days and her room needs to be clean, and school starts in 14 days and all that shit needs to be done, and I have two quilts that need to go to the photographer in just 25 days, and one just needs a binding sewn on (Arrowhead trip, easy peasy) and the other one is only about halfway done and will probably take another 60 hours to complete? OK, there’s the panic. But it’s totally doable. Back to the goals. If I write them out, say them in my head, every day, I’ll get there. Get everything cut out by Friday night. Sort pieces Saturday, start ironing together on Saturday. Get it ironed together next week (except friend visiting, so that’s a time constraint) and then stitch down…shee-it. See that’s a time issue. But it will get done. The first week and a half of school, there’s no homework coming home. I can come home (exhausted) every night and quilt. It will happen. And I have a week’s leeway in there. I’ll be OK.

Deadlines. I don’t know if they’re shortening my life or not.

I’m still on call for jury duty by the way. Irritating. But I should be incredibly grateful (knock on wood) for only getting called in one day in the whole month and not having to serve on a trial, unless they do it to me again next year, in which case, I won’t be grateful at all. Sigh. You know, I’d be happier about it if they’d allow me to bring in scissors so I could sew. That one thing. That would help.

OK, school goals for this year: balance (OK, I always say that), organization (ha!), tolerance, connections, mindfulness (theirs and mine), parent connections, positive thoughts. Less irritation. I’m not sure any of that list is different from any previous year…but I need to say it in my head.

Outside in the evening is always cooler than inside. This house holds heat like a black rock. I was outside on the phone (getting eaten alive by bugs) while Calli watched. I should sit outside more often. Remember the plan to draw outside? Ah well. That’s always on my list and rarely happens.

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If I let her out, she would just want me to throw pinecones for her. Which I would do, but I was on the phone.

Simba kept me company on the couch. So the pieces are in the box in reverse number order, with the highest numbers on top and the lowest on the bottom (except I dumped a smaller box into this larger box at some point, so somewhere in there, the order will reverse, thus confusing the issue). What this means is that I can sort of keep track of how far along I am by what numbers I’m cutting out. So even though the box still looks INCREDIBLY full, because it is, there is progress.

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I know that shows 1000-something, but mostly I finished 1880 through the middle of the 1100’s, so I’m guessing about 700 pieces are cut out. (Simba is still there…he left and came back without your noticing.)

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Which means I have less than 1200 to go. I have about 7 hours and 45 minutes into the cutting, so it’s about an hour per 100 pieces. Twelve more hours, so 6 today and 6 tomorrow. To-be cut on top, trash pile (I dumped the first batch into the ziplock bag already) on the left, already-cut pieces in the middle, dog on the right. In case you couldn’t tell.

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I do keep all the trash bits until the quilt is fully stitched down, in case I need a tiny piece of something to shove in there. I lose small pieces quite easily…in fact, the super-small pieces don’t get cut out until I’m about to iron them down because of that. Traveling with these boxes makes it more likely that I’ll lose stuff, but I do it anyway.

Still doing GISH things. I need to paint with Skittles water and make a portrait with flower petals (I have no living flowers at the moment…it’s the heat of summer…will have to go steal some…er…liberate some from somewhere else. Not sure where.). Probably see if something else can be drawn, since those are easy for me. I love to draw. I can say that about most of my life…I draw, I love to draw. I really should do more of it.

*Yazoo, Nobody’s Diary

Instead I Pour the Milk*

Still no sleep. It doesn’t help that I don’t think about solutions to not sleeping until 1:23 AM. Honestly, I should have just gotten back out of bed and gone and meditated and then come back. Worst case it wouldn’t have shut the brain up and I still would’ve been awake around 3. It’s only around 3 that I remember all the things that help. If I’d done them earlier. So hiking 3 miles at 3 AM is not a plan. Although it would be cooler out.

No. I’m not done ironing. What happened? Ugh. The day happened.

I’m so freakin’ close! Actually should have just stayed up last night and ironed until I was done…except I was tired. Not good to choose fabrics when you’re tired.

So one thing I did yesterday was this flyer…

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I’m doing GISH again, the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt. My whole team is not in San Diego…and only one of them is not a newbie. We will not win. I don’t care. I drew the flyer, posted it on Insta (which is why I think it’s OK to post it here…I can’t post the other stuff until the thing is fully judged, which is ages away). It’s basically a week of doing weird things. My goal is one a day. I drew this two days ago, and then posted it in a nearby Starbucks, and then went and found 3 other flyers and pulled tabs to prove I’d completed the task. Then last night, I drew my Mind Palace. Piece of cake. You’ll have to wait to see it.

I did other things, including cooking, but then I finally ironed a bit. Not a lot. The heat is hard. This is the last female figure though…the darks are not up against the background, but I realized her hair will have to be. So I’m considering another cloud to make that work.

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Last-minute clouds.

Kitten slept through the whole mess.

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So at 12:30 AM, this is what was left. It doesn’t look like much (it’s not), but mentally it was more than I could handle. Lungs, heart, hair, cat, dick pic.

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I have this pile of stuff I’ve been using…

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Plus all these…

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And here’s the box, oh so full. I should be cutting out sometime today.

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Really, there’s so few pieces left. Oh damn…another set of leaves…forgot about them.

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I’m at 25 hours, so I wasn’t that far off in my estimate. I have no jury duty today, but I have to call again tonight. Sigh.

Before I can iron, I need to go to the chiropractor (ah yes) and get my blood tested. Pretty sure it’s too early in the new diabetes medicine for anything to have changed. So she’s gonna wanna see me again relatively soon. Sigh. Everything has taken so long this summer, and tomorrow is when I start worrying about school officially. Although we did a lot of it already. I just need to rework my warmup process. That’s a big thing. Plus I really need to copyedit this thing I’ve got. And trim the damn bougainvillea. Boychild and I have a plan for that, but it can only happen in the late afternoon. I can’t deal with the heat. Stupid Northern Euro biology. Heat kills us.

Progress though. It’s all about progress.

*Suzanne Vega, Tom’s Diner

I Know You Can Make It Good*

Hey world. It’s a Saturday morning. Looks a lot like all the other mornings except one of the household is still asleep. What have I done so far today? Perused the GISH list (google it…too late to enter) and decided on a few things I might be able to do today, transferred money so my mortgage payment won’t bounce (ah, the month with no paycheck), balanced the kid money output, and ordered about 250 folders for school…which will show up just in time and end up on the NEXT credit card bill, which I might actually be able to pay, because I will have a paycheck. Oh wait, I did get paid for that one day of jury duty…not covering the mortgage or the folder order. I’m not off the hook for jury duty either…I don’t have any duty Monday, but they didn’t release me from the whole week this time, so who knows. I’m hoping it’s a no go next week, because I don’t have time for it, but I don’t get to decide those things.

I know, really, all I’m doing is running errands, planning for school, and MAKING ART. Not really civic duty. Should be ready to serve. Blah. Pros: doing my duty. Air conditioned. Cons: the rest of it.

Tonight I’ll be watching the man at his first ever show at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach…he’s very excited. I think it’s cool, having seen a lot of amazing music there. I do have to be there 2 hours before the doors open, though, so you can find me in a local bar with my sketchbook, trying to draw the next piece and finish some GISH stuff if my brain can get there. I should find some food while I’m doing that. My requirements for a drawing bar? Food, wine (not just beer or cocktails), and a big enough table that I can draw on, or prop the sketchbook on, without people staring too rabidly at me (well, that’s a thing). So I have a couple of choices…none of their Yelp reviews tell me if I will get what I want, although I already pulled two off the list for no seats or not enough space. We’ll see.

Ironing yesterday was a total fail. By the time I cleaned up and ate and bought cat food, I only got in about 3 hours before I had to leave for gaming…I did stitch at gaming though…

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I got the sun done and started working on the hippo. Almost done with this month…this month being July 2015, just to be clear.

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It’s taking forever though. But gaming ran late. I thought I might be able to get in an hour or two, but was too tired and went to bed. Today is also going to be a little like that…oh well. Goals shattered. What’s new?

Here’s the heart of one of the female figures.

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And I took this picture of the piles before I left for gaming, sure I would come back and straighten them up for the next batch of pieces (I didn’t).

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And the box so far. Yesterday, I ironed graffiti, two walls, some bits and pieces on one woman…and that’s it. I’m just under 1100 pieces done. So almost 800 to go. Sigh. I wanted to be further along by now.

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Oh well. Today? More pieces. Goal? I have to leave in 6 hours. I need to shower and eat at least twice in that time period…so that’s a lost hour, plus pack up stuff. It would be realistic to say I could get 4 hours done today. I won’t be done…but I’ll be more done than I was yesterday.

All the animals today…Kitten in her safe spot (she leaves this spot when I’m gone…).

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Satchemo trying out the sink. Kitten does it, so why shouldn’t he?

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Simba with his sad face on.

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Calli after her first dunk in the pool (she had two)…

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Poor old lady. The dog, not me. My feet hurt and my hips were bugging me last night (just a sign I need to walk more often). I couldn’t fall asleep last night…I remember 3 AM. I’m a little groggy this morning, but that’s why I drink tea. Got more milk yesterday so I can keep doing that. Looking forward to some drawing time tonight, some significant ironing progress today, and watching the band play. Sounds like a good Saturday.

*Peter Gabriel, Don’t Give Up

Plans Shmans…

So much for planning to quilt, eh? Sheesh. I don’t think I even started quilting until almost midnight. Oh wait, I lie. I did 17 minutes and 51 seconds before I went to the girlchild’s soccer game. So no, I didn’t get much done. I was tired too. Maybe an hour and 15 minutes. That just sucks. It means I am on a mission today. I am going to quilt my ass off. I would take a picture right here of my ass before and after so you could see it, but I’d probably get in trouble for that. It does help that I have no car today…one needs fixing and is mostly undrivable and the other one has been bogarted by the girlchild.

Here’s some highlights of things that were quilted Sunday…electrified monitors…

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Lots of octopus tentacle suckers…

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This is what it looks like all piled next to the sewing machine…it’s a really LONG piece, so shoving parts under the machine to quilt in the middle is a pain in the ass.

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She’s all done though. Down in the water.

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I’m almost done with the water section and I’ve done the two larger things on either side of the main figure. Today I’m going to hopefully get a good chunk of the torso done. Seriously, I’ve got somewhere to be tonight, but otherwise I have no excuses. Well, I do have lots of other things I should be doing as well, but I’m blowing them off. Here I am telling you that I’m blowing them off, so no, no shelves in the living room, no hanging art in there, no starting my lesson plans, no getting that other drawing done or doing anything with the 5 birds that now need to be done or that house thing, no clearing all the living room crap out of my room, and certainly no yardwork.

I am trying to do at least one GISHWHES item a day. Yesterday involved Legos, and despite the boychild adamantly refusing to be part of anything, wow. There he is. On the floor. Aged 18 and playing with Legos. Now he didn’t try to build a lot of novel stuff like the girlchild and I were doing, but whatever.

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Again, photos of these challenges will go up when I’m allowed to do that (maybe next week?). And yes, me (age 47), my daughter (17 next weekend), and son (18) were all playing with Legos for at least an hour. There is nothing wrong with that. Calli was remarkably useless. At one point, she tried to eat Hedwig (you can see the small white thing about 6″ from her nose), but then she just gave up and slept.

Soccer was interesting, in that another almost-fight happened. Fun stuff. Girchild was funny, said something about how they’re all almost 18 and this is how they’re behaving? Like a fight will help? Love that kid.

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When they go to head the ball, they all close their eyes and leap into the air. The ball often misses all of them completely. Interestingly, the ball hit girlchild’s head and she headed it into the other player’s head. Yes, it all sounds very dangerous. Because it is.

This flew over.

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I don’t know why I took a picture of it, but it came out better than the other 72 soccer pictures I took. Sad but true.

OK. My ass. Quilting. Because if we’re still looking at my original plan of finishing tomorrow, I have about 15 hours of quilting to do in two days. HA! Laugh all you like.


Head’s in a Weird Space…

I’m sitting here at midnight on a Saturday listening to the rain pour down through the trees outside my office window. It’s been so warm the last week, and although it is still warm (and now abnormally humid for San Diego), the air has that rain feel to it. It’s nice. It feels good to my heart. Deep breaths of that rain air. Makes up for a long silent day of sitting on soccer fields and not feeling connected to anything or anyone. It’s a tournament weekend, obviously.

I really wanted to get a lot of quilting done today, but soccer was not helping with that. I realize I could send my daughter, who drives, off to these games by herself, but this is her last year in high school, the last year she’s home. Plus it always irritated me that my parents blew off most of my sports events once I was old enough to drive. Her dad has his own club team this year, and all the games are conflicting and at totally different fields, so he’s showing up for about half her games. She needs someone there. And she? She really does.

I did quilt today. I wanted to do 4 hours. I did 2.

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This quilt is so detailed and complicated to quilt. I’m still down in the water section, although I’ve started one of the things that sits on the water on the left side…I still have to finish the seaweed, fish, and water on the right side. I’m still sticking to my 20-hour estimate though…

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I just may not get 20 hours in total by Tuesday PM. At this point, that would mean 5 hours each day, and I just don’t think I can pull that off. We’ll see. I’m a little obsessed with this art stuff.

Still raining. So nice to hear.

I have to admit, it was a hard day today. I wrote sci fi for a while before the first game, only a thousand words or so. I’m stuck in this place where I want the science to be good, but I don’t know enough about it to make sure that it is. I will have to deal with that at some point. I kinda wish there was a plant scientist sitting right next to me sometimes. I write comments to myself (I’m using Google Docs to write), reminding me to check this scientific process or vocabulary later on. Right now, it’s probably more important that I just write.

That is what my document is called by the way: JustWrite.

Girlchild had two games today.

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She also broke up a fight in this one. First time I’ve seen the girls almost come to blows, and she yelled out in this deep voice to get them to stop…I recognized that voice. It’s the one I use at school when I see a fight about to happen. Or when the kids are just getting out of hand. Deep. Guttural. They pay attention. It worked. The ref? Sigh. Take control, man.

So one of the things that started today was GISHWHES (The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), which is a goofy image/video scavenger hunt with over 150 items. Teams of 15 people work to get the images and videos uploaded over a week’s time, and many of them require some feats of magic, honestly. I’m part of a Geek Girls Meetup group (yeah, laugh at me. I am one.) that had I think 9 members willing to play, and then we were combined with a group of college girls out of Illinois. This is the stuff that Old Kathy loved. I’m not allowed to post pictures of my items until after the event closes, but I’m saving them. I’m trying to do one a day, although there are some we will try to do as a local group maybe? I tend to pick the more artistic ones (shockingly), but there might be a duet between the girlchild and I, if I can figure out how to pull it off. She sings better than I do, but I have heart and soul. Or something.

She totally is willing to assist, but the boychild is adamantly against helping in any way, shape, or form…which is funny, because it’s totally a college-kid kind of event. Anyway. This is who I am. The wacky creative sort that can figure out what condiments mix together to make flesh colors. Not to mention, we have a lot of Legos.

Please try to figure out how many people are in this photo. I count 7 legs in the pile-up. That seems wrong.

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We won one and lost one…

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It rained for most of the second game. It RAINED. In San Diego in August. So fucking delightful. I put sunscreen on for the first game, because I will fry in overcast skies, but for the second game, that’s the umbrella and my stitching underneath it. Humid and warm, but wet…

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I’m not actually getting much done on the birds, because she’s playing a lot of the games…lots of injuries on the team at the moment, so more opportunities to play. They played the team she used to be on in the second game, which was a little weird…

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And unfortunately, that’s the game they lost (by one silly goal). If they make it to the finals tomorrow, they will probably play them again.

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Because my brain is not working properly again (fuck me. When DOES it ever work properly?), I thought we’d have time to go home in between the two games and we really didn’t, so we found a weird little Starbucks with crappy Wifi nearby and ate lunch and hung out there. I wrote a little, read the worst book ever (I have to write a review later), and filled in the GISHWHES chart we made so that we could each sign up for specific tasks. By the way, if you know a friendly professional barista in the San Diego area who wants to conspire with me on an artistic activity, let me know. I’m not a professional.

After the second game, I was a good girl and went to the gym. And there are games tomorrow. And maybe tomorrow I can handle the Lego task for GISHWHES. And quilt for 5 hours. I haven’t talked to another human being since 4:42 PM. That’s the stuff that drives me bonkers. I think I already spend way too much time in my head for that shit to be healthy. In fact, the girlchild was trying to listen to an audiobook on the way back from soccer, and I was talking, and she got all irritated because she was trying to listen to the book, and I told her, “Hey. I have no one to talk to until tomorrow…19 hours or so from now.” She felt bad and talked to me on the way home. I wasn’t trying to guilt-trip her. It was reality. I really didn’t have anyone else to talk to. I needed to quilt. I also needed some human connection before I went into the cave that is my antisocial silent world. Talking to the cats and the TV doesn’t count.

Tomorrow? More of the same. Head is in a weird space. It may never come out.