And Oh My Days We’re Rolling*

Somehow I have to persuade my body that midnight is an hour earlier. I find it difficult to go to bed earlier than my body wants me to…although by the end of the week, I’m sure exhaustion from not enough sleep will help. Right now, today, this very early morning that isn’t early but is…ugh. Ouch. Erg. Holding it together but feeling the pain, and it’s only Tuesday. My longest day. Maybe. Tomorrow might be longer.

My students handed in a shit-ton of work yesterday. Good for them, painful for me. I’m getting through stuff. Slowly. As always. It feels more than a little bit overwhelming at the moment. I graded two more classes of tests last night and an entire assignment during a staff meeting (yes, I was mostly listening). Today the kids are starting a project…on some days, I will be buried under the labs, but today is pretty low-key. One more class of tests to grade and then I can work on the massive pile of Unit 5. Ugh.

I took a break there to send out a work email I needed to do. I forget about stuff if I don’t calendar it or do it right when I remember. Happens often.

So after work yesterday, the one plus of the time change is the increased PM daylight for walking dogs…

I don’t have to race home. It’s so beautiful out there right now.

Although some of that beauty is poison oak growing like crazy. Should keep that in mind.

I use an app to track the distance, but the clouds must have been messing with it yesterday (it was raining the whole time we walked)…because that mess at the bottom is not what we did…

We did a little out and back, reconnaissance, trying to figure out what the orange flowers were (poppies…but all folded up)…but not that crazy stuff. So the mileage was off too. We heard a group of coyotes singing to us…maybe the same young ones as a few weeks ago…but didn’t see any.

After dinner, I graded, and then did a few more small drawings. This one is a bit weird for an embroidery design.

But this one might work…

Who knows. I don’t.

On to the next stage on the most current quilt (no, I haven’t finished the binding on the other one yet…why?).

I should be able to get all the Wonder Under cut out this week. Easily. Then on to ironing to fabric. Simba wanted belly rubs…

I combed him a bit too after the mud run we did this afternoon. After everyone else goes to bed or shuts their door, I get the dogs…

Well. And one of the cats…eventually he reached up and started kneading Calli’s leg, at which point, I shoved him off. I never know how Calli will react.

It was cold…so pushing your face into a dog leg makes sense I guess.

I got about 1 1/2 yards cut out…

Not bad. Using new scissors. They have a name on them, but all I can think of right now (so very wrongly) is Tim Horton. That’s wrong. They were a birthday present. We’ll see how my hand feels.

Crap. It’s late. Gotta go to work. Art tonight for sure. And grading. Sigh.

*alt-J, Left Hand Free

A Fire in Your Bones*

Officially half dead. OK, not really, but definitely not at my finest this weekend. Half my co-teachers are down with it too. I guess that makes me feel better (not really). It’s a virulent thing, that’s for sure. I made it through Friday’s lab with the microphone attachment they give us teachers, but I couldn’t just clip it to my shirt…my voice wasn’t loud enough for it to pick up. So it was a little creepy…having my whispered voice booming out of the overhead speakers. But the kids were really good…it’s funny, when you are sick or troubled in some way, they have huge amounts of empathy. I guess that is a good sign for humanity. Luckily, I felt mostly OK on Friday…not dizzy and almost passing out, like earlier in the week. But the coughing was not great. People ask why we don’t just stay home. (1) Our school doesn’t get substitute teachers. I was even asked to sub my prep period on Friday and I just said you’ve got to be kidding me. I can’t talk. (2) It’s more work to put sub plans together than it is to go in. (3) It’s a lost day for my kids. They won’t get anything out of it…I would’ve had to pull the lab. No way in hell am I having a sub, who inevitably knows no science, do a lab with glass test tubes. My kids listen to me (mostly)…a sub? It would have been a nuclear meltdown. So if I’m well enough to stand, not vomiting, and don’t have diarrhea, I go to school. That is the reality of teaching in a low-income public school.

I felt a little better at night. I graded and even cooked dinner for the fam. And I drew this at around 11 PM because I didn’t want to feel like I’d done nothing artistic for the second day in a row, even sick.

Yesterday, the coughing got me out of bed early. And then I graded for the next 7 hours. Sleepy puppy from the night before…

Trimester 2 grades are due Tuesday. I was behind. I’m always behind. So I got through all the makeup work and two or three other assignments.

While binge-watching Season 3 of Victoria. So glad I didn’t live back then. I’d be dead.

Then I got a strange burst of energy…really strange, because when I took my shower finally, I got dizzy standing up in there. Hmmm. So I sewed the binding on the big quilt. Seriously a lot of sewing…

It took about an hour and a half to get it all on, including the sleeves. I ended up using the more plain fabric for the binding…although I used the other one for the sleeves, so it didn’t go to waste. I really want to be using things up this year…even when it’s a pain in the ass.

We went to dinner and I ate some. And then we came back and I pinned the binding in place and started stitching it down while watching one of the Planet of the Apes movies…

Until my partner in apes fell asleep, so we paused the movie for later and he went to bed. I kept going for a bit, through the first episode of The Passage. You can guess what I might be doing for the next few days. It’s a good thing to do when I don’t feel well. The other option is to start tracing the next one…it’s ready to go.

I’m trying to participate in #marchmeetthemaker and #igquiltfest. I did this last year and flailed through a goodly portion of it, mostly because some of the things don’t apply to being an art quilter on both of them. But I’m making an attempt anyway.

My studio is a not-bedroom that looks over the pool…it’s a sprinkly day out there. I hate the wallpaper. It’s not big enough for everything that’s in there. I look at a tree out the window too. I usually have at least one cat in there, but Kitten has been hiding in the bedroom.

The floor is coming up. It needs a remodel…but probably not as much as the bathrooms and the kitchen. I priced it out last year…to redo the floor and paint it and put in new shelving/storage, and it’s more than I have lying around…until I get all the kids’ college paid off anyway.

It’s worked for me for many years though…so I guess it will keep working for a while longer.

The ironing board moves as needed…and I reorganize constantly. It’s only about 8×10′, but it’s better than nothing…that’s for sure.

The 3×4′ light table is in the living room, along with a lot of in-progress stuff too. And there’s stuff in the girlchild’s room in the closet, plus our closet and under the bed. Because lots of stuff needs storage. And the garage is where all the old drawings go.

One of the prompts is about where you started. Well. Hmmm. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. And I did screenprints before the kids were born, but then I started learning how to quilt. I began with hand applique, but it just took too damn long to turn a drawing into a quilt. I couldn’t get big enough. So I developed what I do now…

Which still isn’t fast, and is mostly crazy…but works for me. That’s an unfinished hand-appliqued art quilt from probably 2002 or so on the right, and the next quilt on the left, still in drawing stage.

Anyway. So. Today is still school stuff, because grades aren’t done, plus groceries and laundry. And hopefully feeling better. Still woke up coughing this morning, but I mostly slept through the night. Not feeling particularly energetic, but that’s OK. I got about 3 hours of art time yesterday and I’m hoping for the same today. If I have energy, I’ll trace. If I don’t, I’ll sew bindings. It’s nice to have options.

*Welshly Arms, Indestructible

I’m Never Where I Want to Be…*

I spent over 8 hours yesterday grading. The night before, I spent about 5 hours. Today, I’ve already spent 3 hours dealing with school stuff, although not all of it grading. It’s time to pay the piper? It’s not pretty, that’s for sure. I’ve still got at least another 6 hours just in science journals probably, and I think I’m officially about to kill someone. This isn’t healthy. I am trying to get it all out of the way so I can get some art brain on this week, because I’m still wallowing in deep sad shit from hell in my brain; in fact, the responsible part of my brain just stood up from her chair, where she is quite sensibly knitting a scarf (I don’t knit) in scrubs (I don’t own scrubs), and she pulled the curtain around the bed where the rest of my brain is connected to tubes and looks quite beat up, and she told me that now is not a good time. Come back later.

Well. OK then. I need to draw. Or something. There’s no fucking time! Groceries and errands and organizing shit and someone needs to take the tux back (boychild) and I’m supposed to go to a work thing tonight and probably I should bring a gift but I don’t have a clue what and then I’m supposed to go over and pick some stuff up from my parents.

Let’s talk realistically about how much can get done in one day (not much).

Last night, black cat (hard to see) lying upside down on the couch near the pile of crap I was grading…

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See that pile of notebooks? That’s one class. One of my smaller classes. I have five classes. It was a long night. And then when I finally went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep.

I did try to settle my brain before bed. I cut stuff out for a little less than an hour…

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Left pile gets higher. Middle pile gets smaller. See the uterus? And I think heart parts are on top of it. Yes, I keep all the trimmings until the end. I am well known for dropping real pieces into that box by accident. Didn’t I say something about being done this week? What a joke. I’m over 14 hours.

I took breaks during the day…I did go to the gym, where I finished this…


So I’ve read both Hyperion books now (yes, I know there are more)…and I really liked them. When I didn’t hate them. When I wasn’t slogging through vocabulary and world-building that was heavy and torturous. Yup. I know. It doesn’t sound like a recommendation but it is. Just because something is challenging to read doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. These are worth it. This is a book club selection for me, and strangely, the book club organizer has set up the next meeting by saying it’s going to be about why we shouldn’t have read these. Interesting.

Then I got the boychild ready for prom and followed him somewhere to take pictures…

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He went with a group of kids (this is a small portion of the group)…

And I planted some stuff that was going to die if I didn’t plant it soon. So I took breaks. But it still sucked. I’d like to say I got a lot done (and I did), but there’s still so much to do and I am just behind all the time.

I had plans for today and they all got fucked up. Sigh.

I’m trying so hard not to feel like this all the time. I have all these inner conversations that just suck, and during the last 2 minutes of meditation, when he says to let my brain go and do what it wants, it literally SCREAMS at me, at the top of its brainy little lungs, just full on screaming. That can’t be good.

So last night, as an additional break between grading, I read this…


Short. Really good. Made me cry. I guess the Wall Street Journal might make me cry right now too, but this was good. Sigh. Took me 11 days to read The Fall of Hyperion and less than 12 hours to read this one. Take what you want from that.

Boychild is mad that I’m posting that picture. He’s mad that I won’t take his tux back for him. He’s mad that I exist at the moment, although I did all the grocery shopping for him. So. Whatever. Teenagers. Sheesh. Oh yeah, and he’s only had 2.5 hours of sleep and he’s NOT cranky (my ass).

I’m cranky and I had 7 hours…really shitty hours, but mostly sleeping. Maybe.

OK. Tonight. Sigh. More art, less work. After I go to a work-related party. Yeah. I know. But these are the good people. Maybe I will leave with the brain in a better place, cuz it ain’t there now.

*Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill (Sion’s fault)