“You’ve Been in the House Too Long” She Said*

You know how exercise is supposed to help you sleep? Hmm. Me too. I know that. I don’t always have that experience, but I know it’s supposed to. Last night. Sheesh. No rest. I don’t know if my brain was the issue or my body (my neck really needs the chiropractor, which is tonight, unless I forget again, which is what got me in trouble in the first place)…the dog needed to pee at around 4:30 AM; that was fun. I just don’t know anything but that I was awake a lot for such a short period of time of sleep. I went to bed too late because I was ironing the flesh colors down and I like doing that in one fell swoop, but then I had to be up early for a meeting (ugh). You might have noticed that I don’t like early. I don’t. And I was really tired yesterday after the dog walk…it took me a long while to rally.

The plus is that the kids were much better at labs yesterday, thus saving me from sacrificing one (or ten) of them to the science teacher goddess. Let’s hope that continues. The staff meeting was short and sweet. Also a blessing. Well, not sweet, but certainly not as onerous as some of them are.

Mondays are for dog walks…when I don’t have 2-hour meetings and no daylight. We haven’t been here for a while, maybe a month…the first part of the trail is still underwater…

No biggie…we go around. Although there were ducks swimming in it…and tadpoles growing in it (OK, they’re really hard to see in here, but they’re gray-ish and pretty large).

Is this a quilt blog? Well, sort of. Quilters should go on walks and get inspired.

Still green and bloomy…although not superbloomy here…the dogs still like it…

I just like to get out and exercise…

The wildflowers make it good too though…

It’s like this annual fascination with Spring…

Every year I’m like OMG, look! There’s flowers!

Some sort of renewal in the brain brought on by the weather. Honestly, these flowers are easier to think about than job stress, weight loss, the shooting in Christchurch, the flooding in Mozambique, the idiocy of my elected officials.

Yup. Flowers. And a good long walk after work.

For some reason, the puppy doesn’t like this hike as much as the others. He fights it until we turn back toward the car, and then he’s fine…

Although we took another side trip up to see the vernal pool…which was huge!

And had those other big fat tadpoles, but also these tiny ones…

Makes me wonder where all the frogs are most of the time…

There’s glass up there…that’s why he’s carrying the pup. So he doesn’t get glass in his toes from the dumbasses who break their beer bottles up there. It’s nature, but the town is right there. And people are stupid.

They kept following me around when we got home…although I think this was following someone else around.

After the walk, I did some photo editing for work, some scanning for embroidery designs, some business paperwork, some email…picked colors for this one…

I have a really hard time seeing what they will look like without stitching them out. That’s soon, I guess.

After some flailing time, some braindead time, I finally persuaded my old tired body into the studio for this…picking flesh.

It’s really much easier to do all the fleshy bits in one go, so I did. It was pieces from the 100s through the 800s, so I have no idea how much I actually did…at least 100 pieces, I suspect. I have one piece of the cheek that I couldn’t find, so I’ll need to retrace that tonight.

Fitting pieces together. I don’t like to waste fabric.

Somewhat obsessive about that. Here’s where I’m at so far…

Not a whole lot of color yet. Wait until I do all the other stuff…bugs and sky and heart and hair…it’ll have lots of color then. I fell asleep to imagining the hair all the colors of nature. Which is good, because that’s what this quilt is about…my need to be outside for a little bit every day, for longer when I can. This week will be a mishmash of finding that space, for sure…too many meetings. So I’m glad I got yesterday’s walk in.

OK…meeting, school (last day of labs hallelujah), tutoring, chiropractor (oh holy moley my back and neck will be so happy), and then whatever else I can handle before I iron again. It’s a good plan.

*The Smiths, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now

Hike It Off

Saturday morning girlchild infusion. Nice start to the day. I was thinking about her. She’s applying for jobs and will probably end up staying back East, committing for up to two years. I miss her. It’s a long way away.

Meanwhile, the boychild and I dragged the dogs up Cowles Mountain (in the case of the old lady dog, it really was hard for her at some point, although she’ll never stop).

An actual stream crossing the path up Cowles…don’t know that I’ve seen water up there before.

I don’t hike Cowles a lot any more…too many people. But we had daylight and it was the 2nd walk of the week, so the boy wanted to do something different.

And the weather was gorgeous, a little chilly with a breeze, but beautiful blue skies. Lots of flowers, although not as many as our regular dog hike…

I need to find a way to get out to the desert in the next two weeks.

Rest time! Calli was tired. Tried to get her to drink water, but she fights it.

She’s an old lady. Stubborn as hell.

Getting outside is the best medicine for a day that became more stressful than I thought it would. Two classes of not-listening. Just keep talking instead of hearing the instructions. Can’t read instructions. OK. Then don’t do the lab. Watch the table next to you. Don’t get mad at ME for your shit. Hopefully Monday will be better. Two more days of labs.

It’s not just my classes…it’s across the board in our grade level. At some point, schools might learn that testing on top of testing on top of Daylight Savings on top of the counseling program that didn’t seem to do much for MY kids is not a good plan. Plus normally Spring Break would be right around the corner…and it’s a LONG way away. Why do we pin these things to religious holidays? I don’t understand.

The water they wouldn’t drink…

Up at the top finally. More resting for the old lady.

The dog. I was OK. I don’t like stopping. My muscles complain.

There’s a migrating butterfly in this picture. Can you see it?

There weren’t a lot, but they were hard to photograph…never stopping. At the top, on the way down…

It wasn’t longer than what we usually do. It was just more up.

I’m glad I did it though…even though I have a shitload of other things to do this weekend. I came home and graded one assignment while this guy zonked out…

The old lady too. It was after 11 PM when I finally set everything up for sorting…

But it didn’t take very long. I’m hoping to start ironing today…but I do have other things I need to do as well. Efficiency! Ugh. Shower, breakfast, then clean up in here so I have some chance of getting to the ironing. Then grade some stuff if I have time before the social stuff and a few errands. I don’t know what’s planned for tonight, but I’m sure it will involve food. Food is good. Maybe art too. Hard to say. Although I do need a relaxing weekend, I don’t see one in the near future…so I’m trying to sprinkle life with some relaxing things in between the stressful have-tos.

This morning, Calli woke me up because Kitten stole her bed.

I think this is funny. And I hate brown carpet.

Art today, somehow.

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

She Isn’t Sure Where She’s Gone*

Someone I know called the Daylight Savings change in Spring “Satan’s Favorite Time Change.” I agree. Morning dark. Sleep little. Body confused. Why again? So I can haz the daylight later. OK. But that was coming anyway. Is this the real time? Or was the real time over the last 3 months? Wait. I’m asking the Google. Ah. No. This is the fake time. No wonder my brain is rebelling. I hate fake things. Fake time, fake boobs, fake news, fake people. Yeah. So. We’re all in pain together this morning.

I’m going to need to write fast this morning…yet another early meeting on a Monday. Never a good plan.

Saturday’s hike was nice…not super long, but a little chilly and long enough…

My favorite oaks…expansive views…

Flowers popping up everywhere…

I just wanted to get outside and burn some calories and experience some nature. Luckily my partner’s a good sport (I suspect on his birthday, we will be eating burgers and listening to music instead of sweating up a hill).

I don’t mind that either.

So many wildflowers…and new growth…

I love how the new growth is such a different color…

New oak leaves are gorgeous. Even the dead yucca flowers are nice.

We were stalked by crows on most of the hike…

Yelling at us. We yelled back. We stacked some rocks…

Silly humans. Official selfie of my 2019 birthday hike…

Then we came back, went to a block meeting about fixing our road (deep breaths over the dollar amounts), and went out to a nice dinner. I even traced some Wonder Under: so art, food, hiking, all in one day. Really, totally, the way to do it.

I finished tracing all of it last night…about 9 hours worth.

It’s not so much. Really. I don’t have a ton of days to finish this. Oh! I found the lost quilt. It was on consignment. I should keep better track of that shit. They had two of mine. Whoops. But I feel much better about finding it! Sheesh. Anyway, the next step is cutting this out…

I even got new scissors for my birthday. We’ll see how they go. And here’s my selfie for #marchmeetthemaker…me with my art…

Holding It All In…is the title. But maybe also my occasional mantra. Not necessarily a good thing. Art tonight! But first school and a meeting and walking the dogs and whatever else is in store for me today.

*Talking Heads, And She Was

Never Want to Put My Feet Back Down*

I have this big old lady dog who’s been following me everywhere, which honestly is better than her sneakily trying to find paper she can eat. She brought her toys with her into my office and is laid out on the floor with them.

And if you talk to her, she grabs her toy and tries to shove it at you, but you’re not allowed to touch the toy.

Meanwhile, the little boy dog is waiting oh so patiently outside the boychild’s room…

Please get up. Please get up. Let me in. He will, Simba. He will.

My breakfast this morning and until they’re all eaten. I had apples and cream, so I made apple cheddar scones a few days ago, froze them all, cook one a day.

Tasty. And one of the few breakfasts that doesn’t make me nauseous on a regular basis. I totally couldn’t face a hard-boiled egg this morning. It’s weird how my morning food brain works. Annoying as well. I need food or I won’t get through the morning.

Speaking of not getting through the morning, my voice is a disaster again. Although I was in professional development yesterday for most of the day, I did also talk most of that time, because we were planning. That was actually pretty good until my brain shut down around 1 PM. Then back to my classroom to “assist” (there was nothing but paper collection that needed doing, and the kids can do that) with the lesson that didn’t make sense. They were teaching them about neuroplasticity, but the game had nothing to do with it and neither did the drawing. I’m confused by what we’re teaching them.

I’m up early today for a meeting. It’s not one I’m looking forward to. Early morning conflict. Ah well…such is the life of a union rep in a public school. And I’m going to try to be nice to my voice today, although I will have to talk a little bit. We’ll see how it goes.

We walked yesterday in the misty rain…

Nobody is on the bridge when it’s raining.

There’s a lot of plant blooms that I normally don’t see…

That’s what plenty of rain gets us…

My SIL called in the middle of it from Seattle, complaining about snow…

I think she’s tired of it…but not tired enough of it to move.

Right now, everything is beautifully green with specks of color…

Although I lost my Fitbit out there somewhere. SIGH. OK, so we went back in the dark without the dogs to try to find it, using an app that might have been able to locate it if it were on…but mine only goes on if you bump it.

There were other people on the trail, so maybe someone picked it up. Or it popped off into the crazy greenery on either side of the trail. We know when it last synced, we know where I noticed its absence. It’s actually a small part of the trail.

There’s one other app that might find it. Hoping I can persuade the boychild to go back out today and check it out…because I have a doctor’s appointment (seriously can we figure out the abdominal crap please?) and an opening in San Ysidro that I’m trying to get to…

Anyway. Stupid shit at the end of the day. Lots of that. I was going to grade last night, but I ended up doing an extra mile in the dark, trying to find a device that needs to learn how to ping if I want it to. I came back and prepped and sent a complicated email I needed to get done, and then looked at colors for these. Oh man, only five colors is HAARRRDDD.

Either I do black and white or three thousand colors. Never in between. This one was even harder…

Plus it’s hard to see what it will actually look like without stitching it. Scary.

Finally in to trace. (I did some binding before that.) See the big dog in the background? I’m surprised she’s that far away.

Usually she’s right by my feet. So I’m about 5 hours into the tracing, made it to piece 367. Not super fast or super far. But progress. I’m not sure what tonight will look like. I’m expecting some level of exhaustion. What’s new. Still haven’t found the lost quilt…sigh.

*Depeche Mode, Never Let Me Down

And in Return You Gave Them Hell*

Definitely sick. Named this cold after the snuffly kid who’s been sitting in front of me really snottily for over a week. Stole the Kleenex box multiple times. It’s officially my one cold per school year. It’s never good timing, is it? I mean, no one wants a cold. So a field trip day could be worse…it could be a day when I have to talk the whole day in the classroom. So today, I will be watching a musical with a bunch of 7th graders. I think I can do that. Except I wonder when I will get to pee. I always wonder that. People who have jobs where they can pee whenever they need to…sigh.

We hiked again after school yesterday…I got home early enough and needed the exercise.

So apparently did the dogs…

Random pretty shit you see by the side of the road…

Makes up for any trash we saw before that, eh? The rains mean the weeds are plentiful and sometimes beautiful.

Similar view after…post-dinner grading…with furry beasts.

“I’m trying to keep my eyes open but I just can’t.” So I graded another assignment. Unfortunately, that goes pretty late some nights. Needs to be done though. Then I had to find, iron, dehair, and pack up a quilt to be delivered today after school for this show…

I like the space this annual exhibit is in…

It’s local and there’s interesting artists I don’t usually see in there. Looking forward to the opening.

Then it was 11 PM. I was smart and cleaned the entryway floor while someone else cooked dinner, so it was dry and ready to go. Because no way am I mopping at 11 PM. OK. Well. I have. But not last night.

It’s a challenge to start this that late, especially since I was definitely feeling this cold last night. But I did…laid it out.

And then trimmed it straight and mostly even…

She’s 76″ wide and a little over 66″ high. Big one. And now she’s ready for the binding. Hopefully tonight, I’ll get that attached so I can hand sew for a few days (and holes in my fingers). But first a field trip and driving to San Ysidro to drop off a quilt and the gym is on my list, but IDK if that’s gonna be in the cards. I hope so. I want to read and exercise. I want to feel WELL ENOUGH to do those things. Right now it’s a little questionable.

*Tears for Fears, Shout

Bring Your Etch-a-Sketch to Work*

I’m gonna start writing this at 12:02 AM on Tuesday. Why? Because this song…

I listened to Amanda Palmer tonight on Live From Here, the new version of Prairie Home Companion…here’s the link. Love this song. Makes me laugh. And cry. I’m so excited that I will be seeing Amanda sing in LA in May. I finally persuaded a male attachment to come with me.

So that was last night. I stayed up too late, but I finished quilting. That’s a big yahoo on that.

First we walked the dogs though…it’s been a while since we’ve been to this spot..

It was wet and muddy and stream-filled. Well. Not filled, but we went across at least two of them, one of them three times. Apparently the rain finally caught up with the creek and filled it to the edges…

Sometimes over the edges…the flowers are all starting to bloom…

Thinking about a trip to the desert for the bloom this year…

It was a really beautiful evening for a hike. It’s finally daylight a bit later, so we could go further…here’s one stream, which is actually where the trail normally is…

Calli has no problems or qualms about wading through streams. Simba is not as good. Definitely more water than usual…

Which is good.

Especially for the plants…we stopped here…I was kinda done with wandering through mud at that point.

Plus it was heading toward dusk…

So we headed back to see what the bridge looked like…

They’d fixed the smaller bridge…the rain had pushed it off its bank and into a smaller creek.

I don’t think the big bridge is going anywhere, but that’s a lot of water for here.

The dogs are good sports…

Tons of flowers everywhere.

I love ending a work day like this. Wish I could do it more often. Yes, I graded too…got one assignment done. And then my principal emailed about this professional development thing we have to do, and they totally screwed up next week. Sigh. I set test and due dates. Wonderful. I’ll figure that out later today. Last night I couldn’t handle it. I can’t be mad at him…his wife just had their second kid. I can be annoyed though that we have to do the PD at all.

While I was waiting for boychild to make dinner, I drew a bit…still working on possible embroidery designs.

Might be too much.

Post-dinner TV time with the man, Simba curled up behind him.

The two of them had a coyote scare last night, very close to the prime peeing spot. Scary. Dumbass puppy thought he would go kill the coyote. He does not realize he would be a tasty treat.

I finally went in to quilt at about 10:30 PM…with the goal of finishing.

Which after about an hour and 15 minutes, I did.

With 19 hours and 21 minutes total into the quilting. Crazy shit. Hopefully tonight I will clean the floor, trim the quilt, and put a binding on it. At least, that’s the plan. I’m also going to the gym, so we’ll see how that goes. Right now, I’m tired, but I also want this thing done. It’s taking too long. My brain is done with it.

So. Off to school. Difficult teaching day ahead I think…concept-wise at least. I thought yesterday would be low-maintenance and it totally wasn’t. So there’s that. I also need to prep for a messy lab. Good stuff.

*Amanda Palmer, Ukulele Anthem