It’s Not Monday, But It Is…

It’s not Monday but it is. Having an extra day off just confuses my brain. Last night around 9 PM, I finished grades. Woo hoo! I think. I mean, you never finish until June, but the report card grades are due today at 2 PM, so I kinda had to be done. I cut one tiny corner and I got irritated at a lot of students who do stupid shit, which is really a waste of time. They will do stupid shit whether I get irritated or not, so I should just stop being irritated. Except they waste my time with their stupid shit. I hate wasting time. This job sucks for that though. Acceptance. Yeah.

I’ve been grinding my teeth a lot lately. I manage to dump it when I’m artmaking, when I’m exercising. Wait. That’s it. Those two times. OK. Well. More of that. It’s not like grading has gone away. I have a major project at school that needs grading. I’ll get started on that today hopefully. We’ll see. These kids are needy. But my goal is to get this unit graded before Thanksgiving and then the project they’re starting today…that will have to get done over Thanksgiving break. Ugh. This job sometimes.

Simba was having a post-bark-fest moment.

He seems like he is anxiously contemplating his barking habit. Probably not though.

I spent a lot of time on that couch yesterday. I managed pilates, grocery shopping, and pet food shopping off the couch.

I actually didn’t start cutting stuff out until 10 or so. It was cold last night, so Calli joined me…

I got through another yard…

So there’s only two left…

Piles o’ numbers.

I have a parent meeting this morning and an educational meeting about special education and the law in the afternoon. I won’t get home until late. So there’s that. I probably won’t do any grading tonight. I feel like when I do long days that I shouldn’t make myself do more at home. Although sometimes it’s easier because you’re already in that mindset. I don’t think it helps the next day though…it feels nonstop. Jobs shouldn’t feel nonstop. The dog woke me up barking at 4:35 AM this morning, right in the middle of a dream…about school. Yup. Sad but true. I could be dreaming about flying, but no. I’m teaching.

OK. Meeting. Teaching. Meeting.

Then art. All these animals do is SLEEP. I’m so jealous.

Trust Yourself…

So this is my day off. I did sleep in. With a pillow over my head. Because some people not getting the day off, plus dogs and cat and trash trucks. Not really sleeping, but trying to make up for two relatively early mornings. When you wake up early and your brain goes into overdrive, panicking about all the shit you gotta get done. Yeah. That.

The crockpot is going in 7 minutes. I prepped it already. I showered. I need to…hang on…do laundry. OK. That was 4 minutes. I got the laundry, started it in the washer, filled the dog water bowl, and started the crockpot 3 minutes early. Because it’s stupid to get up again. I’m watching the leaves fall outside. Because it’s Fall. Except it’s supposed to be like 85 degrees tomorrow, so Fall. Yeah. In Southern California.

I’m waiting for my hair to dry, and then I need to go to the grocery store and the pet store, and I really really really need to finish grading. I graded yesterday for a few hours and finished a bunch of stuff, but there’s one really heinous thing I have to do today. And another one I might just toss. Hmm. Don’t tell. It’s just a homework assignment. Nobody’s grade will change because of it. Not just one assignment.

Anyway. Those things are all going through my head, plus the fact that no one in the house wants to deal with Friday’s dinner, least of all me, so I guess we just won’t eat. That’s what I did last night. Long story.

OK, the weekend. I taught a fiber class for the Mingei Museum. Not a lot of people, but it went well…here was the original setup with some background fabrics and some samples I had done already.

I had instructions, just in case. The plus with not many people is being able to work a little bit with everyone. This girl did an awesome solar system.

This guy was amazing.

He did that guy and then built him a mountain.

There were adults in the class (and honestly, I wasn’t expecting kids…)

But everyone brought some creativity.

I gave her a link to a stitch website…I hope she adds some.

I love that someone took this background fabric and ran with it.

Good eye for color.

Here was Julie’s…

It was nice of her to show up…she knows what she’s doing and has a stash, so she took it home and finished it…


I spent the rest of Saturday mostly braindead. I graded a little. We went out to dinner. And I traced until I was done.

Gradebooks. So red.

Oh yeah, I did some embroidery on this one at the class…

And I made this one as a sample…

It needs more stitching.

I love that I used all that Wonder Under for just one long skinny piece.

It took 10 hours to trace everything…

Here’s all 4 full yards and about another 1/3 of a yard…not huge.

Now I need to cut all those apart.

This week is probably a good one for that. I’ll be tired. I’m already tired.

There’s the pile. Kitten was very high energy in between naps.

I’m listening to a podcast about differentiation for students, but it’s super vague. Science is always hard for this. I can’t really differentiate labs easily, not and have them get the same learning.

Yeah. Sleeping hard. I’m jealous.

So Sunday, we had signed up for a food tour of North Park, one of my Christmas presents from last year to the man. It started in a beer and cheese shop…this beer name amused me.

Not enough to drink it. We had great cheese…

and then pretzels and cheese (with kombucha for me…)

Off to an Italian pizza place and a burger place…apparently I stopped taking photographs in between…oh wait, here’s the pizza place…

Good stuff.

There was a little talk of history.

We’ve been on a couple of these. They’re fun. Interesting.

It was just a coincidence that I had been to more than half of the places we went to (it wasn’t my Christmas gift…). There’s so many things wrong with this…

We came back and I didn’t eat dinner, because the timing of the 3 hours of eating constantly didn’t work with my body. Oh well. I think I ate cereal at midnight because my blood sugar was having issues…and it was low this morning. I suck at weekends and managing food.

OK, so I graded a lot last night and then cut one yard out, plus those other two small pieces.

I stayed up too late. All weekend. It’s quiet late at night.

I’m tired today. Really tired. I’ve been really tired for a couple of weeks. Maybe decades. Hmm. I’m looking forward to a week off from school. Ironically, I’ll have a major project to grade over that week, so I’ll be working. Oh well.

Today, I need to finish grading and run all those errands. I need to prep for the week, mentally at least. Too many meetings. I’m trying to fit in exercise regularly. I’d like to spend some time drawing and reading and maybe even sleeping. Not sure those are options. This is the rundown teacher going into the holidays. The podcast is ending well…”you are one teacher…trust yourself to know when enough is enough.”

Let’s Go Be NOT Irritated

Ten days of school until break. Less than ten until I NEED a break. I get Monday off, but I already know it will be full of grading. I’m so far behind. I did manage a few reassessments last night. I finally could get my head around them. My co-teacher showed me how to see the old comments. That was a revelation. I’m not sure why it wasn’t a revelation before, but hey…I don’t always click on all the little icons at the top to see what they do. I probably should do more of that. In my spare time. CLICK ON MORE THINGS. I’ll get there. I swear I will.

Yesterday was good (but short) on the planning side. The in-class with the counselor side? Oh fuck me. Serious chaos. Not a level of chaos I’ll do with 36 kids in the room. Not this crew. Anyway. It’s done (you have to do it again, two more times. Don’t think about that.). Today will be painful…for the kids and for me. Because they have to turn stuff in and that is like tearing off toenails for them. The kids with a pile of crap in their backpack that is all disorganized and crumpled…do I help them? Do I toss them into the fire? I did record a video with all the pages in order. You’d think they’d use that. I already know where my frustration levels will be by the end of the day. I’m putting my chill hop YouTube station on and maybe grading some stuff. I’m going to keep a big, slightly scary smile on my face all day. I’m going to nod knowingly and shake my head at appropriate times. I’m going to take deep breaths. I might wave at kids. I might grab the rolling chair and just hang out. I’m not going to take their crazy on myself.

Oh yeah. OK. I can do this. It’s a nice thought anyway. A goal. Something to aim for.

After school yesterday, I kamikazed across town to the Rose Gallery, on the campus of Francis Parker School, which is chi chi and bougie and oh-so-not like my school. Three friends of mine had art in this cool show, Words Imagined, where they picked words and then made art to go with it. I love these…

The artists are Peggy Wiedemann, Don Weeke, Polly Jacobs Giacchina, and Johanna Hansen.

Their work is all different and fascinating.

So many weird little things to see. It’s cool that it’s at a school and the kids will be interacting with the work.

Then I kamikazed (much slower due to rush-hour traffic) back home, ate some food, wrote some instructions for tomorrow’s class I’m guiding (not really teaching am I?), and went to my first ever full-length Pilates class. The pro is that I’m stronger than I think I am. The con is the core is not. It’s all good. I will get there.

Back home, dinner after 9 PM. Hmmm. Planning sucked there. Oh well. I did eat. And then I graded, and then I traced.

Kitten watches me with one partial eye…

Oh wait, somewhere in all that, in between the bits and pieces, I cleared a space for them to check my attic…

Here’s the resultant mess that I will have to deal with…

Sigh. Whatever.

Finally tracing. Fifty one minutes…

Yes, I went to bed late. I have one more person to trace and the center, and that’s it…plus the space cat. So that’s about 200 pieces. I could do it tonight, but suspect I will be panicking about grades and the class I’m not teaching tomorrow. Why did I sign up for this? New experiences. OK. Let’s go be NOT irritated. I can do this.

Meditating with Wonder Under

It’s Tuesday morning, in case you haven’t noticed. I made the big old lady dog come in here and lie next to me on the floor, because she’s in a mood, and when she’s in a mood, she hunts out paper things to eat and or tear apart. She especially likes pads of post-it notes, but anything will do: boxes, napkins, receipts, 20 dollar bills, books. You name it, she’s eaten it. She’s a little anxious because the boychild isn’t here, and she knows it. We got rid of the parents’ dog last night (they came back; nothing drastic), but the boychild is gone for another two days in dog brain. Well, the dog brain doesn’t know that. She just knows things are different and she doesn’t really like different. Neither does the little boy dog. I had to go chase him down in the backyard already this morning to get him to come back in. Fun stuff. Stuff I used to do every day. Stuff I will probably have to do again someday.

I know we gained an hour, but apparently I only gained the tired hour. Seriously, shouldn’t my body be happy I’m getting up later (well, no, because it’s not like I’m going to bed earlier…)? Daylight Savings time switches just mess with our brains, no matter which way they go.

Yesterday was hard work. Lots of waiting for kids to get their needs for attention out of the way. My first two classes are a challenge in that way. I stand a lot, arms crossed, eyebrows up, waiting. Eventually they settle down, like jumping beans who ran out of jump. But every time we transition, they do it again. It makes for a long couple of periods some days. Today is a lab, so it will be fine. Tomorrow is hard, so it will not. Acceptance. Mindful acceptance of chaos? Huh.

Anyway. My room is set up for the lab today, because everyone at school got to pick new furniture but us 4 science teachers. We’re good! They say. Whatever. Then I kamikazed over to the bank to figure out how to pay for solar…which is happening! I’m so excited. I finally found someone willing to design an affordable system that didn’t make me cut all my trees down. I love my trees. He was awesome. I’m hoping this is as cool as I’m feeling it is right now. I also refi’d my home loan for a shorter time period, so when I retire, I’ll be mostly paid off. I may have to refi again (god knows I’ve done it enough times) to remodel stuff, but for now, this is really cool and I’m really excited.

That did take up a chunk of the evening though. I packed a quilt to ship later this week, I tried to deal with some photos for some posts I have to do, and I graded absolutely nothing. After dinner, I actually did a tiny bit of applique…

Stuff I’ll never finish. Apparently.

Then I decided to trace stuff. Because why not?

I seriously wasn’t in the mood for anything else. It’s funny, though, because one of the reasons I stopped the previous night (well, it was late) is that I couldn’t find the next number on the drawing. Granted, I’m reading upside down and backwards, but it was seemingly invisible. Until yesterday. I’d traced the entire body, but not the head. Duh. Back to the neck, the head, the hair…then onto the next dividing space between bodies.

I’ve filled one yard and most of another yard…started a third yard, but barely.

I’m up to piece 443, which is dividing space between two bodies. I think I only have one body left? Maybe two. Yes, two. So I’m about halfway. Five and a half hours in…so a goodly chunk to go. Plus I really should be grading stuff. Ugh though. Will it make a difference? The reassessments…some of them will. The rest? I don’t know. We reviewed quizzes yesterday and they can retake today or tomorrow. Oh yeah, more shit to grade. If they improve, OK. OK. OK.

Sigh. Kitten, you feel me?

She’s like, momma, I got this. Let me just finish cleaning my armpit.

Another sighting of Bill! Bill! Bill! Hope he enjoys his travels.

You know what? I hope the real Bill gets to see it at some point. OK. Lab day. I might lose my mind in the first two classes. Hopefully not. Then tutoring. Exhausting. It’ll be fine. FINE I SAID. Looking forward to meditating with Wonder Under later.

It’s Light.

Pro: It was light when I got to get up. I woke up earlier. My brain was confused. So were the dogs. Plus the man gets up earlier than I do and that wakes me up. Con: I’m still tired. I sorta forgot about Daylight Savings and the time change because my phone did it for me. The clocks in here are still wrong. Whoops.

Saturday I talked to a solar guy…he’s the first one who didn’t say I needed to cut my trees down. He designed a system with the trees. A miracle. This might actually happen. I mean, I’ve grown this one from a tiny plant. It’s a volunteer. I love trees.

Yeah. I know. Trees can cause problems. So can people and I don’t cut them down. Well. Much.

There’s been a lot of dog sleeping going on here…

Lots of dogs too…

And lots of grading. It gets frustrating at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m just recording that they did stuff and I’m not even sure what they’re getting out of it…

Please don’t ask me what she meant by this. I really don’t know. Hopefully texture.

I don’t have any choice with quizzes and tests and projects. I have to grade them. This one amused me.

Physical change vs chemical reaction on scrambling eggs. Yeah. Sigh.

So my co-teacher and I keep searching for the solution to grades. I’m not a fan, but the kids don’t work without something to motivate them, although grades is not always a good motivator. I’m not willing to run a candy-based classroom.

Ah yes. More dogs…not my house, because that fluffy over-shedding one in the middle is not allowed on my couch.

That’s why she looks so guilty.

Meanwhile, Kitten has actually been playing.

She carried that purple mouse into the living room. Brought it right to me.

Good kitty. 6 hours of grading later. Ugh.

I did do art stuff…I went to another opening. This is in Hillcrest…

I think it’s time for another bathtub quilt. Not that my schedule fits that. Wait. A minute. Hmmm. I gots an idea.

I traced Wonder Under finally on Saturday night…see Kitten on her new perch? No fear.

Tracing is meditative. Not enough, because I’ve been grinding my teeth for a few weeks. But better than nothing. Working on that…took a pilates class for the first time yesterday. Gonna try three months. See how it goes.

Core strength would help. Plus my neck and back need it. Strangely, the only thing sore last night was my left foot. It’s better this morning.

I added a space cat to the quilt. I had a conversation with an artist’s spouse on Friday night about the cat in one of my quilts. And I realized this quilt didn’t have one. So I added one.

I guess I’m up to 872 pieces now. I traced again last night…I’m at piece 288. Not bad. I’m looking forward to some down time over Thanksgiving week to get a chunk of this done.

So far, my Thanksgiving plans include cooking my own turkey for December turkey sandwiches, getting my Real ID, going to pilates twice, going on at least one hike, and IDK what else. I guess I’ll figure that out.

Today is prep for a lab and a 2-hour staff meeting. Ugh. Well. OK. First I need to figure out what to do with all these dogs. Doing that now.

School. Chiropractor. Hike. Collapse.

The wind is doing freaky things. Hopefully it doesn’t do any of that near any of the California fires…and hopefully there are no new fires. What are the odds of that? Boychild and I are hiking tonight…hopefully there will be no fires there too. I’m exhausted already. Hiking 6 miles will help with that.

At least I’ll sleep well.

Lab day yesterday went pretty well. Some people didn’t read instructions. They had to sit down and watch others do the labs. Hopefully (damn, there’s a lot of that HOPEFULLY crap going around) today will be just as easy. Well…easy…because there was a lot of walking and thinking and trying to manage, but at least my aides showed up and helped out and nobody poured all the water into the sugar container. We’re good! I have low standards. It’s interesting…I don’t put out much of the materials any more because I figure some spacey kid will pour the wrong thing in the wrong place and it won’t work. There were a couple where I was like, um, so why isn’t the vinegar IN THE CUP WITH THE BAKING SODA? Like no reaction can happen if you miss the step where you pour the vinegar in the cup. Laughing my ass off on that one. Oh well. They can talk to someone else about what was supposed to happen there.

Anyway, survival day. They’re all survival days. My voice is shot, my body is tired, my brain can’t handle much. And yet I wrote a makeup quiz last night, so something is working. I create lessons on autopilot.

Today is Crazy Sock day. Again, every day is Crazy Sock day for me. I got this.

The official card for the show that opens Saturday. I’ll be at the opening, which starts at 6 PM.

I did tutoring after school. Then I went and picked up my quilt from the photographer. I did something very intelligent with the flash drive with the photos (can’t find it. I was tired. I’ll find it later.). Then I graded stuff, cooked dinner, graded some more. Kitten helped.

She so didn’t help. She’s totally in the way.

We argued about what was punk and what wasn’t. Good conversation.

Then I started drawing.

So I’m not changing much…but the lines after being enlarged to 500% are really thick and it’s hard to tell what’s happening in some places, so I am redrawing, adding and changing a few things (you can see I changed the umbilical cord where it hits the inside of the uterus, adding a placental area. I also gave that baby eyelashes.), but also clarifying where all the lines are. If you’re trying to trace pieces and the line is a 1/4″ thick, there can be a lot of variance in the overlap. I’d rather not have that.

I didn’t get super far.

And tonight I’ll be lucky to get off the couch after we hike. So there’s that. But it’s progress. It’s all progress.

School. Chiropractor. Hike. Collapse.

This sweet thang will guard the house while I’ll gone.

Do It Better…

My brain is significantly nonfunctional. Unfortunately. Because job and all. Plus morning meetings just suck. I’m sure it will be fine. I currently feel like I might still be asleep. I even went to bed early to try to make up for the early rise, but no. Not less tired or more awake. I’m just not a morning person. My brain is literally crying out for a sleep-in right now. No, brain. We don’t get that until maybe Saturday…not Sunday though. Sigh. OK. Some time in November! There we are. Is it November yet? Close.

The weather’s wacky again here in Southern California…it must be that weird burst of October summer we get most years…Santa Ana’s? Maybe. The old dog is increasingly more reactive to weather as she ages…now wind upsets her because it often comes before rain and her ultimate fear, thunder. There will be none of that this week, except for the wind, and she will freak out and be needy and we’ll pet her and it won’t help. Poor thing.

I’m in a daily routine…I come home from school and grade stuff…it was a 10-hour day yesterday. I’m not sure this thing where I keep track of it is making me feel better…but I’m doing it anyway…collecting data. Today maybe won’t be as bad…well, except for this early-morning meeting. Ugh. Grading is just such a time suck. There’s no solution I’ve found for it yet. Nonstop time suck. I was doing OK at the beginning of the year, but it’s the stuff we use for assessment that takes forever. Anyway…and makeup work. That’s killing me at the moment. I can’t even get to it. I only graded until we were done watching our dinner TV show though…then did a few things that needed doing.

Then off to the quilting. Which I took no pictures of…mostly because the thread broke approximately 28 times. I don’t know why. But it was all on the righthand side of the quilt. I booked it through the top section and then all of a sudden, every 6 inches or so, SHRED. WTF. I used the thread conditioner I have. I slowed the fuck down (OK, it’s true I was driving Nascar with the machine when I could). I thought about changing the needle, but I had just done that right before quilting. Anyway. Eventually it behaved and I made it all the way around…almost 9 hours of quilting. Not bad. When did I start? Saturday night? Yeah. Quick.

Then the trimming…

Sometimes this is a real pain in the ass, but last night, it was easy peasy. One side had to be recut, retrimmed to make the measurements work. And then I was done. It’s about 70″ w and 43″ h. I don’t usually do long and wide, but the image called for it. And she looks good! She needs a little ink (don’t we all) and a binding for sure. I have three nights for that! Maybe. We’ll see. I think the photographer would like it earlier rather than later, but I also know that all that binding will take a while. Plus holes in my finger unless I remember to use those sticky thimble things that I always forget I have until the hole is well established. Ouch.

Kitten agrees.

She was quite happily ensconced on the couch while I graded. Well, she tried to lie on the computer (why do they do that? It can’t be comfortable) and then she followed me to the office for the stitching time. All good.

OK, binding on tonight, start stitching it down. Hopefully I’m going to the gym as well…really need it. My back is tweaked. Plus blood sugar always needs it. Maybe I’ll figure out how to grade this current assignment there. We’ll see if the iPad can handle the weird add-ons I’m using. Early meeting tomorrow too, so I’ll be in bed early again. My brain is like YAASSSS. Bed. Sleep. Sheesh. If you like sleep so much, why don’t you DO IT BETTER?