Easy and Brainless…

So. It’s good that we have a house with enough space for everyone to shelter in place without being on top of each other. We’re lucky to have two paychecks coming in to feed four people. And hallelujah for internet, or we might go bonkers. I mean, we might BE bonkers in a way, but we’re healthy for now and have what we need, which includes The Great Pottery Throw Down (why is that not one word instead of two?), although more exercise and less anxiety would be lovely.

Thanks also to all of you who are making masks for medical personnel. I wish I could do that. My brain is not in the mood. I feel my anxiety ramping up with the news and sometimes reading stuff and hearing stuff and when I think about making masks, just trying to figure out which pattern and what materials makes me breathe heavily, so I stop. Thinking about it. I might get there eventually. I’m sure I’m capable.

“Let’s take a minute to think about our current reality.” Huh. I’m on a work Zoom meeting. I’m stressed, but will survive. Well, we say that and then wonder if we will be one of the 2 million who doesn’t. Because we have to think about what this world will look like 6 months from now or even a year from now. My current reality…I’m doing what I need to do, which is NOT cleaning closets and organizing the kitchen. I applaud all of you who are doing that. Really. I do. I wish I could be more efficient and get more shit done, but I can’t. Seeing as how I think we’ll be doing this for the next (oh shit, count them…) 10 weeks (?), I think I might get some closets clean eventually. Last night, the boychild and I made a kamikaze and clearly essential ride to my parents’ house to dump some crap from my driveway into their dumpster. So we left the girlchild on the phone with the olds, so we could sneak in and dump. It’s all good.

I wrote all that before the school meeting, which was over an hour long, and then spent the next two hours setting up a new class online, prepping a form, and sending an email to all the kids in my new advisory class, plus their parents, if I could. Next step is to start calling them; I’ll do that tomorrow…see how many I can get with the email instead. My head is reeling a bit from the work meeting…too much to process in one go. I’ve got a headache, my neck is a mess from no chiropractor, and I’m in freakout mode. So there’s that. Hello new world!

So the last two days…time is weird, isn’t it? We had everyone home; still waiting on test results to see if the kids can go to their dad’s house or not. It’s all a crapshoot, isn’t it? Yes it is.

This is the truth…although the Stephen King book is really good (The Institute), horror and dystopian novels seem a little nuts right now.

We watched Contagion that night as a family too.

On Saturday, we walked the dogs. Hopefully that will happen today as well, because I’m going bonkers. We stopped at my ex’s house and stole lemons.

Calli loves the little bit of this walk that’s off leash…

She gets downright perky. She’ll be 11 some time in April.

These ferns are delicate and the flowers are oh so tiny.

It’s a nice walk, not quite long enough, but with a punishing hill in it. Although most of it is pretty chill.

We’ve seen these weird pods hanging from a tree and I always wanted to know what was inside them. Now I know.

Fluff. Fluff is what’s inside them.

No, I’m not willing to pick this up. But this is like life right now.

So this was about 2 1/2 miles. We can’t really do the hikes we like to do right now. The county has closed everything down. Which sucks, but we get why.

I was quilting earlier…I missed the stitch down on that one section of the building, so I stuck a pin in it until the end of that bobbin thread.

And then switched threads to stitch it down with the polyester stuff. Every time I do this, I miss something. More quilting!

I’m honestly not getting much done each day. Time is kind of a mess. Although I quilted yesterday too…

I have all the of the body done except for the top arm…and then the Earth and the stuff above that, and then I can quilt the background. It’s slow, but it’s happening. An hour a day is about what I’d be doing if I were at school every day, so I don’t feel bad.

This was during Contagion…working on the houses from Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block of the month…they’re easy and brainless to stitch down. I’m doing a lot of easy and brainless.

I thought I was done with it…turns out there’s a bird. So I’m not. Here’s the other two, still in progress.

I’m all over the map in what I’m working on. And then, Sue Spargo set out an invite for a daily stitch thing, for 90 days, called the Toned Down Sampler…she’s done these circle samplers before and I’m always fascinated by them. Each circle has a different stitch combo. I didn’t like the colors on the kit, but I have tons of leftover wool from everything I’ve done with her, so I bought a background and started cutting out circles on Saturday night.

Her kit is very logical…9 circles each of 10 colors…or maybe it’s vice versa. I don’t have more than 3 circles of any color, and some I only have one circle of that color. And I wanted brighter colors.

I have access to a punch for these, but it’s at mom’s, so that wasn’t happening. Still staying away from them. It didn’t actually take that long to cut them out. So yesterday, I pinned them all down.

Hers are in this perfect 9×10 grid. Each circle is 1/2″ away from every other. Yeah. Um. So no. I was thinking differently. I know you’re shocked by that. I had a river (of blues) in the middle, then greens on either side, then the flowers on the outside.

I actually adjusted again after this. Then pinned them all down. Stabby beast.

And last night, started stitching them down. This is the hard part, eh?

You can see how many I had stitched down as of bedtime. I did a few more today during the meeting. It calms me to stab through wool with a sharp needle. They’re whipstitched down with a similar-colored wool thread. Then the embellishment will happen…she’s posted the first one today. I’ll have to use different colors, but it should be fine.

This was last night’s dinner. I think we’ve just handed all the cooking over to the girlchild at this point.

Chili and cornbread muffin. Tasty stuff. She does a lot of puppy cuddling at night.

He doesn’t seem to mind.

Kitten eventually came out to hang with us.

This was right before bed…

We were all tired. Today has been chaotic…I want cookies (not a good choice). I should do yoga (good choice) and walk the dogs (also good) and who knows what else. We still have a lot of stuff up in the air for school, but working for my paycheck is a good idea. Whatever that looks like. Plus more easy and brainless stitching in between reading and exercising, and the occasional bit of art.

The Missing Hand…

Yeah. I skipped a day of writing. I don’t know what day it was though, so that’s OK. Been watching NYC weather this pandemic shit and it’s scary. Sending good thoughts to the whole city and everywhere else it looks like that. Certainly, many of us are questioning any sore throat or dry cough or now, digestive issue (dammit, stop eating beans then!), wondering Was that it? Is this the start of it? I think here in San Diego, we haven’t really gotten the full brunt of the virus yet. Give it two weeks. With that, I’m leaving in a few minutes to go distribute lunches to my kids. We’re down to only two people at a time, so we can socially distance.

Tuesday, we walked the dogs…we’re gonna do it again today. My parents are up to twice a day with theirs, which would be fine by me, but the old lady dog can’t do it. She wants to, but it’s too much for her.

We have places we can walk locally…this is just out the front door and sort of through a neighbor’s yard, although they’ve never complained…but now the house has sold, so who knows. We just go quickly and quietly.

There are no actual grapevines here any more.

But I still like the signs.

Mostly empty. We didn’t see any people.

And a lot of plant material. It’s pretty green this year…we’re over 13 inches of rain, which is a lot for us. There’s more coming tonight apparently. But then I think we might be done for a while. It’s cold and windy today…next week, we’re supposed to hit the high 80s. It will be harder to keep people inside.

I got an email today from an exhibit I usually enter, warning us that there are just a few more days to the deadline. It’s weird thinking about future art shows when it seems like the world is about to burn down in a plague. But I guess that’s hope for the future…hope that the venue will still be viable, hope that we will still be able to have art shows. Hope that we’ll all still be here to send work and hang work and see work.

Here was Tuesday’s drawing. I didn’t draw yesterday. I did other stuff.

Maybe I will draw today. So Tuesday night, the man went to bed early, because he’s working these awful long shifts that basically leave time to sleep and eat and little else, so I finished the lettuces on the last of the October Folk Tails blocks.

Although this was the 2015 block of the month, I didn’t start working on it until March of 2016…so I’ve officially been working on it (on and off) for four years. Yeah. You read that right. A lot of times, I just worked on it once a month at my stitching meeting, and then last year, because I was doing the embroidery patterns, I barely worked on it at all.

Anyway, as I finished that grasshopper block (well, it’s missing a road and flowers), I realized it was time to stitch all of it together. Holy moley. I had some larger bits sewn together, but pinned some more parts…

Sewed them until I had two long strips…

There’s still plenty to do…that hen has no feet, for example.

I feel like I’m going to have to go back through all the instructions to fill in everything I’m missing. Plus it needs ten tons of grass sewn everywhere…

And the road needs to be continued down through the bottom three rows…

I stopped there, because I realized I needed to sew over onto the other blocks and they weren’t sewn together yet. Plus apparently a hut is supposed to go there. Uh huh. Barely fits.

And there’s a spare monkey too.

So there’s still plenty to work on. It’ll be another year. Plus borders! But it was exciting to get it to this stage.

Girlchild is still cooking up a storm…and posting artistic photos.

The result of that photo was cheddar scallion English muffin bread. Very good.

So yesterday, I did quilt for a while…although the machine was being cranky…

As always…

Luna was being a pain…kept trying to hide in the quilt and climb everything in the studio while I was on a video call with stitchy friends…

Trying to get the light right, so the computer has to be in a specific place. Interesting commentary for how I’m going to do this when we start for school. There are a limited number of places that are lit right, have seating, and stay quiet even when people are here. And there are a few people here. Four adults take up room. I’m lucky to have a variety of spaces for people to hang out in.

And cats. Cats can hang out too.

While I was on that call, I cleaned up the huge pile of papers and crap on my desk. Well. I cleaned up most of it. I’m not sure what to do with the other part of it.

Wait for another day. Although the word from on high is that I need to start grading things. All right. I’ll do that.

Then last night, I wanted to start the second one of the Applique Stories blocks…Anna Maria Horner sends 8 fabrics and no instructions basically, and then you make a block out of them. Of course, most people make this flowery bouquet-type things, and I make naked women. But I like this…the one on the right is from January’s fabrics and then on the left, you can see what she sent for March.

I picked the backgrounds…which was hard in itself, let me tell you. Trying to find a color that won’t overwhelm the given fabrics, or clash with them either…it’s difficult. The blocks are about 19×20″, a totally random size that I can’t explain. They could be finished together, but it probably makes more sense to finish them separately. I’m not fusing anything…just cutting pieces and then stitching them in place…and then doing some embroidery. Slow work.

That one fabric just damn well set itself up to be breasts…seriously. How could I NOT?

These are a challenge. I would never put these together. I like a challenge.

I wouldn’t even BUY half these fabrics. That’s what I love about this. Really. It’s fun.

I probably did this for 2 or 3 hours last night…walked away, walked back…added a bird. No starting drawing.

No nothing. No more fabrics than those 8. Honestly, those 8 are the challenge.

She was off balance, so I added the hand…here they both are…oh wait, the hand is still missing.

Must have added that later. Oh well. I can keep adding if I want. Tonight I have a Zoom stitching meeting, and my plan is to stitch stuff down during the meeting. The actual stitch down is easier to do while it’s flat, rather than trying to hoop it. The pieces are really only held in place by a few pins.

Anyway. So that was the last two days. I’m coping. I’m not sick (yet?), but question every cough and sore throat tickle. I know people who are sick. I hope everyone is OK. I know the world will be a different place when this is done. I’m sad about that…like all of you. And sitting and waiting is not my superpower…I’m glad I have the art to keep my brain occupied. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you the missing hand…but I’m thinking she needs fingernails first…

Nature Has No Idea…

Hey. It’s Saturday, right? I’m currently watching a webinar on the SAQA virtual conference that was supposed to be in Toronto…the opportunity to hear and see the speakers is nice, although I missed a lot of yesterday. They were recorded though, so I can watch later. I’ve never been able to actually attend a real conference, so this is nice, plus maybe it helps SAQA cover some of their conference costs from canceling. It’s really important that we try to give back to some of these groups and companies that are hard hit by the community and state shutdowns. As much as we can, anyway. I’m lucky to still be paid under contract, but the future is making me a bit nervous for all of us, in terms of health and money.

Yesterday was a strange day, highs and lows…trying to ignore the lows because they don’t deserve my energy right now.

The boychild and I went for a 6 1/2-mile hike locally, at Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch. It’s not as busy as some of the other locations in the area (just down the road from Iron Mountain), which is better for social distancing.

There were about 4 or 5 other groups we saw over the whole hike, but otherwise it was pretty isolated.

This is obviously a yucca pre-bloom, but it looks different than what I’m used to seeing…

The weather was perfect…not too warm, not too cold, no rain, although it was cloudy for much of it.

Trying to get enough exercise to sleep well and push some of the anxiety away has been difficult. My next step is to try and bookmark some of the videos from the gym and pilates studio and get my butt in gear.

We were really looking forward to our Spring Break trip of California National Parks, but with a cancellation of one of our Airbnbs and yesterday, the parks themselves are closing campgrounds, it seems that we are not going anywhere.

And we’re not sure when that will change, unfortunately. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, but certainly watching the numbers on COVID-19 is not promising. Although California is supposed to be shut down, there are still lots of people going out and doing things…100 kids out in our mountains hanging out together yesterday…because kids think they are immortal, yeah? That’s what they think. Sigh.

For this hike, we go along a ridge and then down into that valley…then through that valley and back up and out. Like twice. It was a bunch of up and down, but nothing undoable.

My legs feel better today. Although this sign makes me laugh every time (it’s for bikes, not humans).

Pretty sure I never hit the 5 MPH mark. And I jogged a little bit (it’s easier to jog going downhill sometimes than walking, although my brain kept saying ‘Now is not the time to break your damn leg, woman!’).

A bunch of fungus among us…

These are fascinating…

This area burned in a wildfire 17 or so years ago…this is a burned log keeping a whole host of fungus alive.

There are signs all over, but this warns me that the next up is that piece…Cardiac Hill.

It’s actually not horrible. I stopped a few times. It’s up. Boychild often ditches me in these situations…

He waits for me at junctions. Lots of flowers around…

Spring is coming…and signs of deer!

Although we didn’t see one in person. Wrong time of day.

We got to the top and found we were victims of assholes…

Apparently this parking lot has an issue with break-ins. It’s pretty isolated. In all my years of hiking, this is the first time we’ve had this happen. There was nothing of value in the car…they just rifled through the glove box and the console. Unhappy with my about-to-expire National Park Pass, my sunscreen, and my umbrella. They got nothing. Stupid. Pain in my butt.

Oh well. I believe in karma.

Seriously. Even when we are locked down in a pandemic, people will be assholes. Hence the lack of toilet paper in our stores. Still. So today, a guy is coming to my driveway and installing a new window (apparently that is an essential business) and I will hand him a check and then disinfect the glass? This is so difficult. Could I live without a window? Sure…

Whatever.

We came home, we tested a Discord server for gaming next week, and the girlchild came home…

It looks like she’s reading to the dog, but she’s not. She was laid off by her company and we suspect trying to get a job is somewhat impossible right now. She’s trying. She’ll try applying for unemployment. And yeah, we flew her on a plane with like 8 other people (JetBlue is starting to ground flights soon, so that might have been one of the last flights that didn’t get canceled). We’re keeping her away from the older people in the family, but we still have two going to work between the two households (mine and my ex’s, and the kids go back and forth until someone gets sick), because they are also apparently essential. I’m lucky to not have any requirements right now beyond checking email, although that may change in the future. She’s not here forever. Just until we figure shit out. By WE I mean HER. Meanwhile, she gets doggy love.

My lemon tree has new leaves…

Nature has no idea. And that’s OK. This bird was bathing in the water in the tray under our Christmas tree, which lives outside on the deck for most of the year.

Now I need a birdbath.

These arrived yesterday, the newest shipment in the Anna Maria Horner Applique Stories. I’m going to make another woman block…and then embroider it.

The fabrics are a challenge. The solid peach is the easy skin color, so I won’t be using it for her flesh. I stared at the fabrics for at least a week last time before deciding what to do. I can use one as a background, although last time, I decided to use something very bland and calm from my stash (maybe that’s what the peach is for?), because the rest of it was so out there. Anyway…expect something to happen with these in the next few days. Because I can. I really like most of them…solids are not my favorites and the lavender roses are Eh, but that’s the best part of this…the olive fabric is such a stretch…I love it.

Maybe this virus lets me just make what I want. OK, I’m still having a hard time with that.

Although I stitched wool for a bit last night (sorry, forgot about a photo…try tomorrow)…I eventually got up off the couch with my post-hike tired self and came in here and started the stitch down…

So meditative. So relaxing. So hard to stop.

Hopefully I can finish today and then sandwich today or tomorrow. The floors need cleaning first. I vacuumed everything even though it’s not my month. I’m sure someone will cover me at some point when I am busy (cough cough).

So yeah, I stitch down all the pieces, because no fusible lasts forever. I’m not halfway done, but I got a good chunk done. I spent the first 20 minutes fighting with the machine to get it to stitch correctly.

Kitten action…

They play any way they can…

There was some play before this.

I was up early this morning because I thought I’d have to take my car in to get the window replaced, but then he called and said he’d be here later…probably safer for both of us than having me sit in a lobby of some repair place (I was going to bring a chair and sit outside).

Nature doesn’t see this morning as any different than any other morning.

Tonight there is a Netflix DVD here, plus we will be supporting some small food business, and hopefully there is stitching and maybe a hike/walk as well. Plus more webinars. And trying to finish my book before it gets returned electronically to the library. Hope you are all healthy and well, and if you are on the front lines in some way, we appreciate you and send you lots of love.

Check Out the Sky

Um. It’s not morning anymore. Yeah. That day completely disappeared. I’m not sure where. I’m posting now because I know we’re hiking tomorrow, plus I signed up for the SAQA virtual conference, so maybe I’ll watch/listen to some of that tomorrow too.

What have I done today? A virtual meeting for work, handed out school lunches, came home and managed some crazy shit, and cleaned all my quilts off the girlchild’s bed…because we’re bringing her home. She got laid off (a job dependent on people who need to go out and do things and can’t), and things are weird, so we’re bringing her home for now. More people! Hopefully she’s bringing toilet paper with her, right? Yeah no.

Handing out lunches yesterday in the rain…today, no rain…just chilly.

It’s exciting. I came home and video-chatted with my quilt teacher who moved to Portland…

And I made some bugs…see…

She was amused.

We walked the dogs…

When we left, it was sprinkling. I bet you can guess how this story ends…with all of us sopping wet and muddy. Yup. Tomorrow, the boychild and I are going to do 6 miles sans doggos.

Then we’re gonna drive to the airport and pick up the girlchild. After we sanitize her for being in a different city AND on a plane. I put her on a nonstop because otherwise she was sitting in Las Vegas or Minneapolis for 3 hours. Seemed silly.

I called in a food order last night, trying to keep a small business going, and picked up Indian food…the skies were beautiful.

Slow down. Check out the sky. It’s worth it.

Lovingly biting the crap out of each other.

We’re staying away from my parents right now…too many exposures in this household. Although the only place I went today was to school.

I did some more wool work, on this one, Homegrown by Sue Spargo…I do this after dinner while we watch whatever we’re watching.

I worked on another one as well, but she hasn’t published the book yet, so I can’t show you. It should be soon, but who knows with all this crazy stuff going on.

I finally went into the office to finish ironing. I pieced a background and ironed the whole thing down. Interestingly, or maybe frustratingly, I had found one of the windmills had fallen off, so I put it ‘somewhere safe’. I’m sure you already know what that means. Yes. I lost it. I spent a total of 20 or 30 minutes looking for it and then gave up and cut out a new one…

Not a huge deal. There she is, all ironed down.

Stitchdown starts tonight. Some pup was hanging out after I took him out to pee.

Dogs are good. Dogs are nice. This dog barks a lot, but he’s very loving too. When he’s not biting you because you’re combing out his knots. So there’s that.

OK, well I actually posted some stuff on Google Classroom to entertain kids (and maybe even help with learning). The co-teacher and I are recording video of a graphic novel for the kids, related to what we are studying. But nothing can be required right now. That might change after Spring Break, but we’ll see…the district still says we’re coming back on April 20th. Crazy shit, y’all. Crazy shit.

Stay well. Wash hands. All that. Tomorrow’s post will probably be late too, since we’ll be out in nature, avoiding the other people who are out in nature. Like you do.

Something Useful…

I’m writing late. I went to school today to distribute food. We ran out early, but hopefully will have more tomorrow. It was good to be out and doing something useful.

Yesterday, the boychild and I got a few more plants for the backyard. This one, a mallow, the leaves can be used for toilet paper…just in case, you know.

Plus the flowers are really nice. It got planted today in the misty rain. We also dropped a bag of stuff at Goodwill. Then did the social distance thing and walked the dogs in the middle of nowhere…almost. There was a picturesque mushroom.

And the skies were beautiful.

And I think the dogs appreciated it. I know I did. This sitting stuff is annoying.

What else did I do yesterday? Paperwork, started my taxes (and got frustrated about an hour into it trying to find documentation on a car that sold…aargh). I need that money though…to either get through the summer or pay off part of the girlchild’s college still.

After all that, and some food and reading, I worked on the braindead stuff…just stitch things down…except I already fucked one thing up. Oh well. The stripes on the bottom were supposed to go vertical. Not the end of the world. This is Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block-of-the-month. I was trying to decide what to take on our Spring Break trip, and Folk Tails (or is it Tales) is too big right now for that, so I was going through my stash and started a bunch at a time.

No worries. I’ll figure it out. It’s relaxing to stitch. I should do more of it. Although I suspect our trip is canceled. One of the parks is closed (although it doesn’t mention the campgrounds) and one of our Airbnb reservations canceled. We still have some hope, I guess. Or not.

Yesterday’s #marchmeetthemaker prompt was self care…it’s definitely this outside hiking stuff. It clears my brain…

And since my gym is now closed and the pilates studio is sure to be next, I’ll need more of this. Despite the rain.

Eventually I made it in to iron…

Got the head and torso done and started on the upper arm.

I’m watching Dead Like Me, which is appropriately amusing and dark, all at the same time. I might have to rewatch all the seasons of X-Files or Star Trek if worst come to worst.

That’s how far I got last night…almost done. So today, I need to ship my quilt to Fantastic Fibers before San Diego goes into secure lockdown, or whatever they’re going to call it. They say they will put up the show if the quilts get there, and I’m afraid if I wait any longer, the UPS place will be closed…or I won’t be able to ship. So I’m sending that today. And then I’ll work on ironing tonight again. Plus some reading. Some exercise…find the free weights and a good video or two. I think my gym provided some. And more thinking healthy thoughts.

Me. I’m the Good Cause.

I was supposed to grade this big pile of stuff I brought home, but I decided not to. I did another smaller, easier assignment. I’m OK with that. It was a long day, lots of climbing on counters (just don’t even ask…it’s for science) and meetings and then walking the dogs…wait, I liked that part…

It was raining on my way home, but stopped in time for this. I don’t mind walking in a bit of rain anyway, but the dogs were muddy enough as it was. I’m trying to break my new hiking boots in before our trip…think I’m going to have to take both pairs.

This is what grading looks like sometimes. Sleepy puppy on the left, bitey asshole trying to break into my grading bag on the right.

She likes to tear papers and bite them and eat plastic bags. All very annoying. They are kittens. They do annoying kitten things when they’re not sweetly sleeping with each other.

After all that, I just wanted to cut stuff out. For 3 1/2 hours…

So I did. No, I’m still not done. I still have the stuff in the top right box to cut out.

Maybe I will be better tonight about grading? Or not. It’s not like I didn’t grade. I just chose a simpler, quicker assignment that I didn’t actually finish because my printer is out of ink and I needed a printout to finish it. A printout I already made but left at school. Uh huh. Not on purpose. Grades are due today. I should check them and make sure they’re done. I think they are.

Anyway, a little left to do and then I can iron this beast together…but I will be gone this weekend, so that will make it a little difficult to get a lot done. It’s OK. It’s for a good cause. Me. I’m the good cause.

I’m getting into some shows…Fantastic Fibers yesterday, but also Contingent Upon at Southwestern College…

I have two pieces in this show…it’s only open Mon-Thurs, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM. The opening reception is 3/12 at 11 AM and the artists’ talk is 3/12 at noon. I won’t be at any of it, unfortunately, due to my day job. It’s up through 4/14, and I won’t even be around for my Spring Break enough to go see it. Oh well.

I also got into a book show at the downtown library. The opening is Saturday, March 14, from noon-2 PM. I will be at that one at some point, not sure when.

OK, but today it is photosynthesis day, so I am grateful for the blue skies and sun that are out today (and weren’t yesterday)…to make this lab easier. I’m wondering about next week’s sun-related lab though, since there’s rain in the forecast. We might have to adjust slightly. I remember it raining when we did it last year too, but not a lot. Just a sprinkling. No biggie. A little water won’t hurt them. The kids. Or the lab. We’ll see. First I’m going to work to find that printout. Make some attempt to be efficient.

Wherever It Works Best…

It was a hard day yesterday, lots of driving, lots of memories of my cousin. She was only 57 and really, honestly, the sweetest (yet still sarcastic and stubborn) of all of us. Church doesn’t do much for me (some of them are beautiful and all), but the priest did a good job despite all that, and spending time with family I hadn’t seen in years afterwards was a good thing. The drive was long, but being a holiday, it could have been much longer. I walked back in the door at home at about 3:30, and walked out 10 minutes later for MY church, the outdoors…

Although to be clear, I don’t do gods either. So really all those Mother Nature/Earth Mother quilts I do? Those are what’s in my head. She’s harsh, she’s beautiful, she’s uncontrollable, and we’re killing her. Or she’ll overcome all our stupidity and let the cockroaches rule next time. But the priest said one thing that’s true…my cousin will live on in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts. We debated some of the other stuff said on the way home, just the wording. They’ve changed the Lord’s Prayer again and I don’t know it any more. That’s probably OK. Anyway, may we all remember Jennifer wherever it works best for us.

For me, it’s out here.

With these sweet dumbasses.

We finally found the plant that makes the dogs smell like maple syrup…

California cudweed…it’s everywhere. And now we need pancakes. I don’t actually like maple syrup. At all.

The pond is back…there’s been enough rain for it to exist…

We don’t feel like we’ve had enough rain this year…I think it was all too early. We need more.

Anyway, so then I made dinner and graded a bunch of stuff, and slowly realized the tired spacey feeling I had was actual illness. I changed out of my pajamas and drove to the pharmacy for “the real stuff,” as the guy said, because I’m not going to make it through this week without medication if that’s the case. I know I sat by someone with a cold somewhere in the last 4 days (besides my students), so apparently being exhausted and stressed out let my immune system fall short. It happens a couple of times a year, unfortunately. So I didn’t make any art last night…I went to bed two hours early to try to make up for getting up too early yesterday and to hopefully give my body some rest to overcome this thing.

Hopefully tonight I’ll rally a bit, finish the book project, maybe do something else. I’m so behind on everything. I can’t focus. I want to be ironing fabrics, so maybe, if I have the energy, I’ll work on that. And more grading. Fun stuff.