Just One More Peaceful Day*

September 20, 2018

I haven’t had time to draw in a while. I used to draw a lot more. I’d like to draw more. One I think I do draw is cover pages for science. I also draw when I have a specific piece or exhibit in mind. In science, every unit has a cover page that’s about the upcoming topic. It gives the kids a chance to sort of check out the subject matter, google a bunch of stuff about whatever we’re studying, and start to use some vocabulary words. For me, it’s a chance to draw and color for a good portion of the day. I even sit at their tables with them and color (I usually pick the most disruptive table, so there is a purpose to my madness). Yesterday was such a day…the beginning of Unit 2. I also got a bunch of grading done, so I don’t feel bad about taking a break to hang out and draw.

So the next unit is earth science…

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I illustrated some of the vocab words…and then I got to color.

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It just took 5 tries to get that picture to load. Internet, wifi, computer, whatever it really is, I’m about to scream. So many struggles. I know, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just frustrating.

When I got home from school, after hanging out at Michael’s and trying to find things that would fit in a graduated cylinder (don’t ask…it’s the life of a science teacher)…we took all three dogs out for a long tiring walk.

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At no point in time did my legs get excited about this walk. I was excited. I was breathing in the air…looking at the landscape, taking in the outdoor existence. All good. But my legs were like lumps of wood that I dragged along on the trip. Also, the puppy was like that. Uphill was torture for him. Apparently he spent 4 hours racing around in the morning and he was tired.

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So we made him more tired. All of them really, because then Calli basically collapsed at my feet for the next 4 hours. Right there. Not moving. So I cut stuff out for about 4 hours too.

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I just refused to do any schoolwork. Looking back on it, that was lame. But I did it. It’s done. It is what it is. Moving on.

At several points, I almost quit cutting because it’s not the most exciting thing in the world to do and sometimes those pieces are a pain in the butt to cut out. All the little tiny flesh pieces, for example, kind of drive me nuts. Yes, I know I drew them, but that doesn’t mean I like cutting them out. Not every part of the process is fun and games.

Anyway, I got down to this…

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And I’m looking at the clock, knowing I would have to be up a bit early this morning, and I’m thinking, ah, what the heck. Just finish tomorrow. Except I already know I have a meeting and probably really will have to grade something and I really should just do it. Well, you know me. I did just do it.

Here’s the whole quilt, ready to be ironed together. That’s about 8 hours of cutting…

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It doesn’t look like much. I don’t know if I’ll be able to start tonight…maybe a little bit? I have a meeting and I need to grade some stuff. It does feel like the grading never ends. In fact, I’m going to do some now. Before work. I think. And then hopefully I can get this ironed together by early next week. That’s the plan anyway.

*Staind, It’s Been Awhile


Mysteries of Our Disguise Revolve*

September 17, 2018

We each have our method for dealing with stress…mine was hiking for 5 1/2 miles on Saturday evening. I was going to be waiting around for the social stuff to happen anyway. I had worked all day, either on school or art. I need more exercise. I wanted to see how far I could get…I could have gone farther, but in the end, it was good that I turned around when I did…the timing was better.

I do this hike all the time with the dogs…we go about a mile and a half out and then come back.

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Scarily, that is a coyote, completely ignoring my presence, about 20 feet from the path. Where I usually walk the dogs.

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Boychild says only one adult fatality from coyotes. Thanks kid. Appreciate it.

OK, well then. I was hiking late afternoon, trying to beat the heat…it was warm.

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Here’s the weird bridge that’s not really a bridge.

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It’s California. There’s always cactus.

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It took like 20 minutes for my incredibly slow computer internet to load these photos. But here are the birds that I haven’t looked up yet (heron? egret?) that I saw at the turnaround point…the point where I realized I’d been out for an hour and needed to turn back if I was going to get any dinner.

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The birds were totally worth it.

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It was a nice hike. Yes, I always worry about hiking alone. I told two people where I was going. I told one of them to call the police if I wasn’t back by 7.

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It was an awesome hike. Didn’t affect my blood sugar at all, unfortunately. My body is confused.

Before all that, I did do some ironing. I left this chaotic pile of fabrics…

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With only these pieces left to iron on Saturday (it didn’t happen)…

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And the to-be-cut pile like this…

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Oh yeah, so I painted this birdhouse about a million years ago when one of the big fires was trashing San Diego County…it has flames and a dead tree. Boychild finally nailed it to a tree.

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Hey! Remember these? Never going to get done at this rate. I have 10 left. I got 2 done last night. Sad, really.

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And then after grading a good chunk of the day (I think I worked for about 10 hours this weekend on school stuff), I finally went in and finished ironing the fabric for this quilt.

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There’s about 8 1/2 hours of ironing in here, plus 93 colors. I like lots of fabrics, apparently.

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And here’s the pile that now needs to be cut out. I finished the new season of Call the Midwife, plus at least two YA movies that made me cry. Hell, Call the Midwife made me cry. I think I cried on the hike too. Obviously some shit in my head that needs to get out somehow.

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So then I headed out to the living room, the couch, with dogs, to cut out pieces…I didn’t get very far, but it’s a start. Happy that…

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Tried to pick something to watch that wouldn’t make me cry. I don’t really do comedy. So killing it is! Watching The Sinner…don’t tell me it will make me cry. I don’t wanna know.

More tonight. By then, I’ll know if I’m copyediting 102 hours over the next 5 weeks or not. Stress!

*Portishead, Sour Times


With All These Things That I’ve Done*

September 11, 2018

I just completely freaked out because I was checking all my art exhibit entries for the last few weeks, looking to see what notification would be next, and I noticed a double entry. That’s incredibly unprofessional. My stomach dropped. I never do that shit (OK I accidentally did it once a million years ago when the kids were small and I was newly divorced, but luckily, I only got into one of the shows I double entered…which is how the odds go anyway, usually even lower odds than that, honestly). But it’s OK. One of them is only in print, so I don’t send the piece anywhere. Deep breaths. Panic over.

I did get into the Power of Women show that will be at IQF Houston, so that’s good, since I made the piece for that show…not that I wouldn’t have been able to show it elsewhere, though. God knows I do that often enough…here’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

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Lots going on in there. Wish I could go to Houston with her, but I’ll be in Boston the following weekend and Chandler, Arizona, the weekend after. Seems like enough travel. Plus Houston is pretty expensive. So she’ll travel without me, like most of them do.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at some of the people who friended me on Facebook recently. I do actually scroll through their feeds and make a decision, like if there’s nothing there, I assume they’re a bot or a Russian spy, so I don’t accept. And if their politics are out there, well and truly not gonna get along with mine, I don’t accept. I’m not always sure why they’re friending me, except maybe to get me to like their store or their quilting or whatever, but then you’re posting pictures of guns and kneejerk Trumpisms, and I’m like, I don’t want to see that on my feed, plus you’re gonna hate my vulvas, so why are you clicking friend again? Such a complicated world.

Anyway, that’s two shows that have notified in the last week, and both were acceptances. Good odds so far, but it’s guaranteed they won’t all be.

I had a long work day yesterday, and all I wanted to do when I got home was walk the furry beasts, so we grabbed them and ran. Well, only a little running, just to see how tired the little one was after 2 1/2 miles.

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It was a lovely temperature. We went down this hill we never go down, but then we had to go up it as well. Funny, the picture does not convey the real upness of this hill at all.

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Then I made dinner and did some stuff to get my printer to work again, which involved a cable, because our internet is super bad at the moment, or maybe it’s just mine on the computer, but the (previously wireless but now wired) printer was refusing to work. And I needed it to work. So it was late when I started ironing.

Cherries…I started with cherries…

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And then I did the rest of the fruit bowl, plus ironed the dirt from yesterday.

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I didn’t get far. I was tired. I didn’t sleep well the night before, plus I walked a lot. So that makes it hard to want to stand and pick out fabrics for a long time late at night. Here’s the rest of the 100s, laid out, ready for me to iron tonight.

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I get into the fleshy bits pretty early on in this quilt. She has a lot of decoration on her, so I have to decide if that will be in flesh color or different colors…probably the latter. This is not a political statement quilt…just a reaction to a poem I wrote years ago. It’s a nice break from the last quilt, which was difficult and in my head in a much different way. Last year at this time, I was doing the gun quilt. That was really difficult.

Anyway, art…make it often and in spite of all the other crap.

*The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done


I’m Unusually Hard to Hold On to*

September 3, 2018

I’m thinking this was a very good weekend. It helps to have an extra day, doesn’t it? Especially for teachers, who usually lose a half to whole day of their weekend to planning and grades. I spent a significant chunk of time on school stuff, only because I had to organize the parent email for Sunday, but it wasn’t too bad. I know it will get worse, so I’m enjoying this weekend, when I had some time to laze around with a book or just NOT do something, which is really hard for me.

So we went to a couple of local wineries on Saturday afternoon…this one was nice, because of the view.

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It was a great day for grapes as well…

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And they had alpacas.

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We came home after and had some dinner, and I started trying to finish this drawing…

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And then decided I should stitch these to their boxes…these and four quilts need to be delivered next weekend for the Soka University show that opens on September 20.

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I’m going to have to figure out when I can go see it…since it’s only open Monday-Friday.

I’m still working on these…I have 5 pink balls left to embellish, and then all the dark orange ones…

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And then I’ll have TWO wool quilts that need quilting.

Puppy sleep…

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Ah yes, on Sunday, I finished the drawing. It’s good, although I’m still debating something in the top right.

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And then I numbered it…

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High 500s, I think. Not bad. Not huge. Not too complicated.

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Then we planned a hike to Hollenbeck Canyon this morning…need to get in one good long hike each month. Today was the day.

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It was shady and cool at the start…

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Those weird gourds…I’ve never seen the yellow flowers before though.

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And these spiky things are pretty cool…

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It’s definitely summer to fall here…

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Old oaks, mostly dry grass…this is near the top of the hellish hill…we hiked up from the dark green in the middle right. Boychild took a different (aka longer) route…

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You can’t see him, but he’s waving from the crotch between the two hills. He eventually caught up with us. Long legs and youth…I never had the first and I barely remember the latter.

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The path down into the back valley…

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There’s a coyote in this picture. Wave if you find him.

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Dead snake…probably got hit by the bike that went by earlier.

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And the long view out toward the south and the Jamul mountain range.

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Boychild for the win. It was a little over 5 1/2 miles. Not bad. Home before lunch!

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There’s all the parent emails I input and/or checked on Saturday. Kitten’s got this under control, yeah?

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OK, so on the schedule for today: enter one more show (I’m up to 6 or 7 I think), drop sewing machine at mom’s so she can take it in to the shop for me and they can figure out the tension/feed dog thing, make my lunches for the week, start tracing Wonder Under, pack up the 4 quilts that need to be delivered next weekend, put a label on one of those quilts, maybe read my book. Not a bad ending to a 3-day weekend.

*Sara Bareilles, Love Song


I Brought the Poop to the Wedding

August 28, 2018

It was an interesting walk…rarely do we get to the wildlife reserve and see only 4 or 5 cars on a weekday afternoon. It’s normal to see people all dressed up. The bridge and the trees just beyond are a magnet to local portrait photographers…all old metal with greenery interspersed.

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We hiked for over an hour, heard a pack of coyotes and never saw them, climbed some hills (remember, that’s my goal), tired the dogs out…

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Runners ahead…Simba wanted to join them or kill them. Hard to tell which.

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And then, on the way back, there’s a wedding going on in the middle of the bridge. So we crashed it. For sure, we’re in the video. There is no way around this without going way out and onto a busy road. I guess if you don’t have a backyard, this is where you go? I was carrying two bags of dog poop and was sweaty.

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Weird. Boychild mentioned maybe they lost their original venue. I guess I might have just tried to consider that other people might want to use the bridge. Laughing really. A bike came through, at least one jogger with a weight vest, who knows who else. Plus me and my poop bags and my dog and that tall guy I call the boychild.

It was a good hike though…after a 2-hour, overwhelming, head-banging, hysterical-giggling staff meeting. Some day my principal will figure out how useless most of us are in the second hour. I know I am. I REMEMBER NOTHING.

Back to the binding! I know I did this for about 2 1/2 hours last night…same position as the previous night…actually, I think I’m a bit more prone.

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All I have left to do is that bit you can see…plus the two sleeves. I should be able to finish that tonight. I also have three entries to do tonight. Ha!

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One thing that really helped last night was these.

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I used to applique all the time and I used these because my teacher told me to, and then I ran out or lost them all and I tried to buy more, but I couldn’t remember which ones, so I have a bunch that are way too small and hard to thread AND hold onto, and a bunch that are way too thick to smoothly slide through the fabric, and they all suck. So she reminded me of what to get and I did. And that was a wondrous thing.


A Little Party Never Killed Nobody*

August 27, 2018

Busy weekend. I meant to post yesterday, but I forgot that I rarely do that during the school year. Sundays get eaten up by errands and groceries and trying to get ready for the school week. This weekend was no different. I was just not back into the swing of things yet.

First of all, on Saturday, I trimmed this…it’s big…

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And then I machine-sewed the binding on. So that was good.

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Then I joined a hike up in the Lagunas, going up Garnet Peak.

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I’ve hiked this before as part of another longer hike, but I’m really out of shape at the moment, so this is a shorter version.

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Even though we didn’t start hiking until almost 6 PM, it was still warm, but breezy.

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The first part of the hike is very flat, super easy…

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There is a climb later on. You can’t get to the top of a peak without climbing. Climbing is where I have issues.

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So my goal is to work on that this fall. Here’s a great view toward the desert.

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And northward…

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And looking at Cuyamaca Peak, where another group of ours was hiking for the same reason…sunset and moonrise. When we hiked back in the dark, we flashed headlamps back and forth.

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We had a potluck at the top. So yeah, I hauled cookies to the top of the peak.

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Someone even brought wine.

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You can see the moon in this picture. It got bigger and brighter.

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And there’s the sun setting.

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The sky was more beautiful than an iPhone camera could capture…

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Really a nice hike.

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There’s something about being on top of the world…

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We saw Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn (thanks to my star app on the last one…she was shy).

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And finished off in the dark. Home by 10:15 PM. Tired, yes.

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I need to do more of these.

This is what awaited me in the office when I came home. It’s a good thing I didn’t want to sit in there.

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And this was the next morning…Hi, Calli.

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I move slowly on Sundays…but boychild likes projects. We had these towel racks for years, because the old ones absolutely suck and will fall off while you’re trying to get your towel off. Annoying. You can see our special wall treatment (3 layers of godawful wallpaper…no, I don’t have the time or money to finish them at the moment. We just keep pulling layers off). But the new towel racks are up! So you can hang ALL the towels now! What a concept.

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Then I went to the airport to fetch the man back from Sweden. He’s back at work this morning. No lie in for him. After he collapsed from exhaustion last night (up for 24 hours straight traveling), I settled down for TV and binding.

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I can’t remember the actual mileage, but I got about a quarter of the way around. So more of that tonight and tomorrow night, at least. But then I’ll be onto the next quilt! The one that’s not drawn yet! Yeah! Kind of looking forward to it. But first? School. A 2-hour staff meeting (ugh). The stuff that pays the bills.

Oh yeah, there’s this…

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*Fergie, Q-Tip, & Goonrock, A Little Party Never Killed Nobody


Who I Am, Who I’m Not, Who I Wanna Be…*

August 21, 2018

As I get my room ready for the new school year, I wonder where all my fake class money went from last year. Have I been robbed? I had to stash a bunch of stuff in weird places. Have I not found a stash yet? I also wonder where my stash of floor pencils went. Floor pencils are those I find on the floor and then hand out to the kids who never have one. I don’t need to do that this year (although I still will…thrifty genes handed down through generations), because I ordered pencils this year and I found a stash from last year that I forgot I had, so I have about 1000 pencils to hand out. They’ll be gone in about a week. Plus I have all these spiral notebooks from when I used to use them for science notebooks (I now use packets that we grow as we do more stuff…easier to haul home when needed). I should totally sell those with the fake paper money that I can’t find. And where are my seating charts? No one knows. Seriously. I did something with the master at the end of the school year, but my brain refuses to tell me what. And please please remind me next year that YES I do need the square bigger post-its for the first day. The tiny ones won’t work. In fact, we should devise a lab JUST for the use of the tiny ones, because we misordered them and we have a lot. Plus I have 36 times 8 rulers now, so I will never ever ever need to buy any again. I don’t even know how I did that.

My white board eraser was moldy. I need a new one. I need a new nail file. Broke the first nail yesterday before I cut them all down from summer length. And if you want to regularly hit over 10,000 steps a day before you even leave work? You should become a teacher. So easy.

My library book is digital and it’s about to expire and I’m not quite done and I don’t have a lot of time to read today. It’s OK. I turned off the wifi. They’ll never catch me. No fines.

I got home and about a third of the bougainvillea was gone. Stolen!

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Nah. Boychild at work.

We took the dogs out for a walk…about 2 miles. I hadn’t been on this bit of trail before…

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There’s a great view from one end of it…north…

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West…rocks…puppy wanted to climb, but probably snakes.

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And south, Mt. Miguel in the distance. You can’t go to the top any more. I guess I’m glad (ha!) I did it before it closed.

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It was cloudy and muggy all day, but a little cooler than it has been. A relief really.

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Pretty clouds.

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I forget how much time gets eaten up by the job. I didn’t start quilting until late, almost 10 PM, and then I was tired and probably not very efficient.

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So no, I didn’t get four hours done last night (laughs hysterically). I probably won’t tonight either. I’m about 6 1/2 hours in though, so I must have done about 2 hours last night…mostly the volcano bits with the two grayed-out figures in front and the skelly. I also did one of the graffiti walls. Tonight, I’ll do the other one and then move up the slope. I need to get more than 2 hours done tonight. Right this minute, that doesn’t seem possible.

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I’m hoping to maybe hit the quilt store for binding fabric after school on Friday, but that means I need to be done or almost done. We’ll see. I have a hike Saturday night, so I will lose the whole stitching night to that (which is a good and healthy, although probably exhausting thing). That said, I have nothing else planned this week but surviving the first week of school. Always a challenge.

*The Fray, You Found Me