No Time to Think About What She’s Done*

July 22, 2017

I promised to talk about some of the quilts in my Nida Powers exhibit…so I’m picking this one…the first of the earth mothers…aptly named Earth Mother

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This is also the first of the truly long skinny quilts…I started with a drawing on one page of my sketchpad, and then copied it and taped it to the next page…and maybe a third page. She wears a cape. People want me to explain everything in my quilts and the reality is that I can’t. Even this one, which dates back to 2006, I was journaling then, but often I don’t write down what I’m thinking when I make them. Ah, but I just went and looked and found this:

I meant to write about the 1/22/06 drawing to say what I was thinking when I drew it. I drew two eyes and they were too far apart, so I drew a third eye between them. She’s very calm looking. I think of her as native, earth mother type. I had a lot of problems with the arm behind. Used a bunch of liquid paper trying to decide what to do with the hands. Multiple nipples…didn’t like the placement of the first one, so I added some more. Seemed to go with the Earth Mother theme. Maybe that’s the name for now…Earth Mother. I know I want the feet to grow roots and the ground to be layers with tunnels and things down below. The 1989 tattoo is my marriage. I was thinking some people put significant names and dates on their body as tattoos, and that was a significant date, the date of my marriage. The eye relates back to that Indian (from India) thing of the all-seeing eye or even the evil eye. Her heart shows. The child is almost a Jesus figure, but eyes closed and wearing a diaper. Weird. Lots of decorative drawing. I drew the cape and the vine sort of as an afterthought. The halo is off center on purpose. Lots of religious overtones. I’ve always liked the stories of Mary that are sacrilegious and the stories of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so maybe that’s where I’m going with this.

Anyway, that’s where my brain was 11+ years ago. She is the most calm and peaceful of the Earth Mothers I think. She hangs in my entryway usually and I miss seeing her there. But she belongs in the show. Someone was asking about all the animals in the quilts; they’re all mine. I couldn’t figure out one of the cats in this one though. It’s back when Russia (the dog) was still alive. So I think it’s Willow and Juniper and Limbo, but I’m not sure who the other one is. Maybe Kiwi or one of the other dead ones. Even Russia was dead when I drew this…

So my art goals have been shot to hell otherwise. Yesterday was a lot of driving around and freaking out about black mold…it’s OK. We solved that. We had an expert over here, who scavenged some of our wood stain that was going to haz waste in exchange for his opinions and 9 wood screws.

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The big hole now has a medicine cabinet in it and the smaller hole is still there. I’m going to house animals in it.

Not really. I’m gonna fix it. But don’t ask my dad about it. He’s convinced there’s a 2×4 on the right (there isn’t). I know how to fix this kind of shit. I’m good.

Kitten. Seriously. I have video of her whiskers twitching while she sleeps in this position.

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So I didn’t get much done all day but errands and computer shit and I don’t even know what. The garage isn’t handled totally. The Craigslist ads are ready to be written. I’m posting those later this weekend. Don’t wanna deal with it right now.

Then I persuaded all living things that aren’t cats to go for a walk/hike down in Sweetwater…

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Strangely, cats don’t like walks. Well mine don’t.

Finally! Man. I need those walks. This weird plant…there’s still all new growth down there, minus rainfall.

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Fire hazard is gonna be high from here on out.

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Gorgeous evening though…

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Came back and made risotto (you know, like you do)…and then finally got to the ironing around 9:30. Yeah. Late again. So much for ironing all day, right? Fucked up mess. This is just like being at work.

So that’s what a tornado looks like before I iron it together. The brown fabric has been in my stash since I started making art quilts, like 1990 or so. It actually has some pieces drawn in pencil on the back of it. Fucking nuts. Really. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that any more (because drawing all 1320 pieces on Wonder Under is better? Sigh.).

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I was doing tiny buildings with tiny windows. No, they can’t all be the same color. That’s crazy.

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So I’ve ironed about 450 pieces down, maybe a bit more. And there’s still not a ton of color…lots of gray. Which makes sense maybe. I’ve done both legs all the way up to the pubic area, plus the land area below the knees.

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I’m hoping to do some today as well, but I don’t know how much time I have. Here’s the pile of pieces to be cut out. Silly windows.

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The whole fam went to bed after 1 AM (ugh)…no, the girlchild didn’t stay there all night, and Simba sleeps in a crate because he’s a fussbudget.

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Those faces. Calli sleeps through everything.

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Gonna miss the girlchild. Am not gonna miss her sticky labels from apples that I find attached to the kitchen counter every day.

Haz waste is gone. Did I mention that? Some shit got crossed off the list. Medicine cabinets. Another load of trash is ready to go. At this rate, my driveway is gonna look like Hoarder Central for another three months. That should keep the rabble away. Boychild is painting the fixed door. That’s good. And he’s the one that installed the medicine cabinets. (so he’s also the one that unearthed the black mold…)

OK. Checking my schedule. Going to iron until I’m told to do otherwise.

*Talking Heads, And She Was


A Cool Breeze Flows but Mind the Wasp*

July 6, 2017

I spent 4 hours ironing and dehairing quilts yesterday. No problem. It was a lot of standing. I cut some slats too, and also put on 3 or 4 labels on the backs of quilts. Everything is going in today…for this…

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I had a hard time coming up with a title for this show in the beginning. I really wanted Super V, but that was an issue. Then they suggested just my name or something about my story. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with my name being part of the show, but now I’m owning it. Maybe it’s turning 50. Maybe it’s something else. I don’t know, but hell, I must have some super powers to do what I keep doing. So I might as well adjust that cape and wear it as well as I can. I’ll share it too…any time you wanna borrow it, just let me know.

Kitten was very helpful during the ironing stage.

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I’m actually surprised she’s still talking to me. I took three animals to the vet yesterday to try to get a handle on the flea issues here, and she was one of them. She’s not a fan, but she did OK.

After the ironing was done, boychild and I hiked Hollenbeck Canyon…I have been testing the hiking out after the evac a few weeks ago. This hike just confirms that was medication-related…because I had no problems yesterday…still in the heat…climbed a few hills, much worse than the other hike…plus twice as far.

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I think I haven’t been here for a year…can’t remember. It was very dry looking, with remnants of a fire that was set out here a month or so back…

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From almost the top of the hill…

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On the back side is all oak trees and meadows…and bunnies and jackrabbits and squirrels and one coyote we saw.

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These trees always make me think of witches, for some reason…that and all the crows everywhere…

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We did do the late afternoon/evening, to try to beat some of the heat. It’s supposed to be in the high 90s by Saturday, so yesterday was supposed to be the coolest day of the week. Hiking in the summer is kind of difficult because of the weather, but it’s when the kids (or at least one of them) are home.

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This is where we saw the coyote…and where the burn was, on the left…plus some further back. Most of it was on the hills across from the park entrance. I don’t understand people who start fires.

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I’ve always loved this view, as you’re climbing out of the river valley, looking back…

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So yeah, over 6 miles, no issues, except a slow climb for me. Boychild is patient. Lets me stop and breathe. Girlchild is back next week, but the weather is also supposed to be awful. Plus I have a ton of art-related stuff happening next week.

I did something on here…more chain stitch, I think. On the right…

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And then I spaced out for a while before deciding to cut out Wonder Under for the first climate quilt…the one I didn’t really mean to make right now. And will probably have to just put aside for a while. We’ll see.

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So I have quilt delivery and installation set for today for two different shows. I don’t actually know what that entails for one delivery, but the other one, I know I’m up on a ladder.

But then I’m done. Well. You know how that goes. Done worrying about getting stuff finished for these two shows. Ready to make my own stuff…this has not been a great year so far for that I think. Well. When I look back at last year, I had 5 quilts done by the end of May, and then nothing was finished until August, because I was working on a huge one. This year, I have 3 new quilts completed, but 1 from last year that got finished differently, so most of the work was done last year; that’s number 4. And then another one that’s in the community quilt that is almost finished, but won’t be until it comes out of the quilt. Not sure if and when that will happen. It’s small too. So I’d like to have the long skinny one done in August…I almost typed BY August, but when I look at the calendar for the next two weeks, I’m not sure that will happen. It can be a goal, I guess. Then two more big ones in the Fall. That could be a challenge. But I’ve done it before…I think I’m actually much better at scheduling art time when I’m teaching…because I have to make time for it, so then I just do it. These days, these chaotic days of summer? It’s harder to do that for some reason.

I’m always looking far ahead, deciding what I need or want to get done. What I really want? A bunch of days when I can just lose myself in the making. Yup. That’s a vacation for me.

*Morcheeba, The Sea


I’m a Rebel Just for Kicks Now*

June 30, 2017

So as I age, I am determined to keep healthy, continue to move, to do the things that I want to do, make art or hike or whatever. Last week’s hiking incident made me a little paranoid. I’ve been hiking for years, although less so in the last year, sometimes because of my time constraints and sometimes because one of the dogs who often accompanies me has had arthritis issues. Which sucks, because she loves walks. But I haven’t let my knee, my ACL, my LCL, plantar fasciitis, arthritis in my foot, my diabetes, or any other acronym or health issue keep me from going out and hauling my ass through nature, and I’m not going to stop now. So there.

So the boychild and I went out and hiked this morning. We didn’t do a super-long hike…although longer than I made it last week. I did climb hills, though, and it was only about 5 degrees cooler than last week, full sun though with no shade (I had shade last week). I had plenty of water…just like last week. I ate breakfast…just like last week.

And I was fine. No problems. The only difference was elevation, and yes, that could have been one factor, but I still think that the new medication was kicking my body’s ass. So I’m glad it’s gone. I don’t want to be a scared sick old lady who can’t tromp up the side of a mountain dammit. Medication should help, not hinder (unless you’re fighting cancer, in which case, it’s gotta do its thing and you’re gonna have to survive that shit…but I’ve avoided that so far, knock on wood.).

We went back to a hike I did with the dogs fairly consistently (every other week or so) until I saw 3 coyotes out on the trail a week after being tracked by a pack of them. That was back in March or so. I wanted to go back without the dogs and just sort of explore. Part of the path had been underwater as well, so that was a pain.

The water is gone, but there are a bunch of wildflowers I’ve never seen out there…

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Everything else looked greener, more lush…

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OK, maybe not in that photo…but in general. It is Southern California. Our idea of lush is way different than someone from Ohio.

This tree was still doing its thing…I’m always fascinated with the flowers on it.

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The boy and I tried some new trails, stuff I wouldn’t do with the dogs. The brush was closer in some places, so more chance for ticks and snakes. He dragged me up this hill (you can see him at the top…he ran up there to see if it would go to the right, which is where we needed to go, but it didn’t, so he came back).

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But then we went up this other trail I’d seen someone going up once, and we found this…THIS!

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Holy crap. There’s a baby lake up here. OK, it’s a pond…but we never knew it was there.

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Baby frog in that photo (sure, he’s tiny, but he’s there)…

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We analyzed footprints…pretty sure this and the others around it were deer. We didn’t know deer were up here.

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So pretty and serene and watery.

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Then we followed what looked like an old trail, mostly coyote trail now…

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Saved some yucca pods…we’ll see if they grow or not.

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We’re hiking up on the slope…normally I walk the trail down in the valley.

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Yo. Julie. Fungus or fruit? There were dried-out pods on the trail too…looked to be filled with dirt…which is why we thought fungus. They’re right on the branch…no stems we could see. There are two smaller, yellowish ones further down the branch.

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Those pink ones…never seen them either…

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So we hiked. And I did fine. I’m happy. Gonna keep going, although my plans for next week might have just been kicked in the ass by the current weather report…over 100 degrees next week again. Ugh.

The best part? They redid this section of the road. You used to need 4-wheel drive to get through this. Now it’s Bee-YOO-Ti-FULL.

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Seriously. It’s awesome.

Yesterday I worked on the quilts. It takes about an hour to put binding and sleeves on one quilt, once the sleeves and bindings are prepped. I did the sleeves at quilt class and started prepping bindings. Then I came home and did three of the quilts last night.

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I still need to stitch down by hand the loose parts of the sleeves, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have three more to go. There’s three done…

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At 10:30 or so, again, I sat and worked on more chain stitch on the right, plus filling in one of the flowers in the orangey color.

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I had to cover the other quilts with a quilt of mine. The cats kept trying to lie on them. Kitten was very happy.

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And then I started numbering the long skinny climate woman (not-so-shorthand for it until it has a name)…

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Why do I put windows in? Why don’t I just pick a fabric that has boxy bits in it? I have such things. I did manage to tell myself that all tiny eyeballs (fish, birds, sheep) should be French knots. FK for short.

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Because the sheep feet aren’t tiny enough? I didn’t finish numbering. It was late and I knew I had to get up early to hike, so I’m in the 900s and not done. I’ll finish today sometime…after I finish copyediting and run some errands and I don’t know what else…hopefully get some more quilt shit done. I’m hoping to be done with all the copyediting and quilt stuff by Monday and to finally be FREE to be on vacation, to make art every single day (although I’ve been doing an OK job of doing some on and off, eh?). Of course, I’m still considering doing a Nida Art coloring book for my opening. If I’m gonna do that, I need to get my act together. Like now. Sigh.

*Portugal. The Man, Feel It Still


Things Don’t Feel Right Over Here*

June 24, 2017

Yesterday we had a nice hike planned, and it started out that way, but didn’t end so well. I almost wasn’t going to write about it, because on some level, to me at least, it’s embarrassing, but realizing that first of all, I do write about a whole shitload of my personal experiences on here because it helps me process stuff and get it out of my head, and second of all, I really have nothing to be embarrassed about…that shit happens and I should try to see the interesting and the good in all of it. That’s how I’ve been trying to roll for the last few years, and I should just keep on keeping on.

So we started the hike and I was fine for quite a while…it was Sunset Trail, planning to come back on Big Laguna, up near Mt. Laguna off Sunset Highway. I’ve done portions of this hike or exactly this hike maybe 5 or 6 times, so this is not a newbie thing. I was fueled by one of the boychild’s really tasty apple cheddar scones (Smitten Kitchen, amazing taste)…

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It was warm, but no warmer than other hikes. We had expected it to be a little cooler though, based on the weather apps.

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There was a wide variety of seedheads to wonder about…this one was huge.

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And beautiful views, although lacking the partial cloudiness that had also been promised.

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I took a photo here of both kids about a year ago…

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And here as well…

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I was still doing OK here. I had plenty of water and was moving slowly because of the heat, but I was moving.

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Here’s Water of the Woods…no cows this time (boychild says they were just beyond here to the right…)

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Certainly more water than we saw last year…which is partly why I wanted to come up here…to see water in Big Laguna…

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Going up the hill to the second section of Sunset Trail…this is where I started to really feel the heat…

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But I was still OK enough to see and photograph wild strawberries.

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And then sometime after that, in the next mile, my body revolted. I’ve had heat exhaustion before, but this was pretty bad. I started a new medication earlier this week that probably contributed to this…it causes dehydration and dizziness. I’d had one bout of dizziness early on after starting the med, but was fine the two days before, so I wasn’t expecting my body to just stop. But stop it did. Every time I stood up and tried to get another few 100 yards, I would feel like I was going to fall over. At some point, the boychild and I decided to call…so that’s my helicopter. I got lifted out to a local park where they evaluated me. After some cool air and rest, they released me to my promise to get electrolytes in me and that the boychild was coming back to get me…which he did. He hiked back and got the car and came to the park for me.

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I had 5 Forest Service guys, who helped out and trained a newbie on how to assist a heat-exhausted hiker who had plenty of water (I really did…this is where the med was an issue), then 2 guys with the helicopter, 3 in the ambulance, and a paramedics truck with 2 more guys in it. Another newbie was training in the ambulance. I’m glad I provided them with a willing victim on which to practice.

One of the best parts was the helicopter ride…there was no door, but I was strapped in and holding on with both hands. Pretty awesome…although as he landed it in the park, there were 17 people recording the landing with their phones. Oh yeah. I thanked everybody, except my own body, which wouldn’t follow directions. Came home, called doctor, and she pulled me off the medication. Seems that’s not what it’s supposed to do, shockingly. I’ve drunk a ton of fluids and I’m still nauseous and headachy…it takes up to three days for the medication to get out of my system.

I’m often frustrated with my body’s inability to behave. I’ve been diabetic for 15 years now and I try to deal with it the best I can, but it’s frustrating as hell some days. If you’ve seen my piece Fully Medicated, you can see the issue’s been around for a while…

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Yeah, that’s the second penis-free quilt that AQS pulled from their exhibit last year…all about managing medications and how they affect your body. I would love to be medication free, but it doesn’t happen. So I’m back to a previous medication now and trying to find a better balance, whatever that means.

I will hike again as soon as I get this shit out of my system. Although now I’m nervous about it, worried my body might fail me. No matter how stubborn and persistent my mind is, my body needs to be well enough to follow through.

I did finish Block 9 of Folk Tails last night though. This is not the 9th block I’ve finished…just Block 9. I think it’s the 7th one I’ve finished…

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This looks like the 6th one I’ve finished, but there’s another half-done double block lurking somewhere…not sure where. Attached to something else probably.

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This is Block 10. A bigger hippo this time.

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I have two nights stitched on here as well…mostly two different blues on the left, filling in the herringbone stitches with fly and straight stitches.

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On Thursday night, we did an artists’ talk at Sparks Gallery for the Allied Craftsmen show…

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It was interesting, although it would be nice to have more people show up. It is downtown though, and a Thursday night. It was nice of them to host it. The best part was hearing fellow artists talk about their work and process…sometimes what we do overlaps and sometimes it doesn’t. Turns out I’m a planner (didn’t used to be…and I wanted to do one this summer that wasn’t planned…not sure that’s going to happen at this rate). But you probably knew all that by watching what I post.

OK, so I have work planned out for the next few days. I’m hoping the nausea goes away and I feel more like myself soon. I’m hoping the new med gets out of my system and lets me exercise without feeling like dying. I’m hoping to get back out on that trail and next time pass by that meadow where the helicopter landed and keep on going, strong as I ever was.

*The Roots, Don’t Feel Right


Well Every Day My Confusion Grows*

June 6, 2017

Yesterday, after working all day, racing around to try to fix stuff (one of my banks shut down all my accounts last week after some unknown problem with security…unfortunately one account is the one my paycheck deposits into) and mail important stuff and pick up quilts and photos, I was on my way home, negotiating stupid end-of-day traffic, and the need to get OUTSIDE and walk hit me upside the head. Hard. One dog still can’t go out and walk, but the other one, the little one, he needs it. Hell, I need it too. So we walked…

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It was good. We went further out than usual and found this weird pipe and bridge…

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They REALLY didn’t want us to go over this.

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Came back and ate and graded stuff and got really frustrated by the kids who didn’t complete the simplest assignments. Aargh.

Sat on the couch and stitched a bit with these guys…

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I did a blue/green lazy daisy above the orange flowers to the right of the hand. I seem to have run out of creativity…keep using the same stitches over and over. Seems like there’s no more stitches.

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Very philosophical that. I was fighting off a panic attack of sorts…too much to do, getting irritated by the cat’s tail on the keyboard, annoyed by people and all their crazy shit, putting together a crazy to-do list that keeps me at this heightened state of teeth grinding for at least another week.

Not a good place to be. Manage the shit…best I can. Grades are priority at the moment, but so is my sanity. I’m describing it as a very “intense” part of the school year. True that.

So I eventually managed to get off the couch and start numbering these. Because that’s gonna be part of the decision-making process…how bad are they? I did the 4-square of women first. It’s one of my favorites and will definitely be a quilt some day.

Although maybe not soon, because that sucker has over 700 pieces. And most of them are small.

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But it would be fun to do…

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Except all the women overlap, so I’d either need a huge run or two separate runs. Definitely doable…

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I feel like I should work on something easier…something quicker…to start.

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I don’t know why I feel that. Maybe it’s the tension I’m still carrying after a 3-mile hike and a crazy stressful day. Eight days. I swear I can do eight days. I’m just not sure I can finish all the other crap people want me to get done in those eight days. Plus I got my rescheduled jury duty crap, which just annoys me. I’m trying to bid on copyediting jobs and I don’t even know if I’ll have time to do them. Frustrating as hell.

OK. Well. Deep breaths. Meditative positive thinking (well survival thinking anyway, which in my eyes is positive. I WILL survive. And get mostly everything done.).

*New Order, Bizarre Love Triangle


It’s Never Quite as It Seems*

April 29, 2017

Leaping out of bed at 6 AM, grabbing the phone and finding the camera app. Not to go to work…simply to try to record what freaking animal travels past my bedroom window every morning, usually at 5:30, but apparently it sleeps in on Saturdays. Simba is barking wildly, like he needs to kill it. Then again, he barks at the wind, at phones ringing on television shows, and random shit that’s at least 5 miles away. So I’m not really paying attention to him. Did I catch it? No. It’s either raccoon or skunk…not sure why I care, except it’s constantly waking me up…not because of its stealthy movements through the leaves. I can sleep through that (usually)…but I can’t sleep through Mr. Barkypants. Some part of me thinks if I get a picture of it and show it to the pup that his tiny little brain will go, “Oh. That’s it. I don’t need to bark at that.” Um. OK. So when I write that out, I realize how crazy it sounds. That dog would just bark more.

Yesterday was Calli’s 8th birthday. She acts a lot older this year though…maybe that’s the growing arthritis. I don’t usually have her on Fridays, but I automatically went and picked her up, so whoops. I wanted to go on a walk, so I figured she probably did too (I was right). Even with the arthritis pain, she loves walks.

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It doesn’t matter how I try to organize and untangle leashes…the little one is a leash idiot.

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The plant growth this year is crazy…

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The last time we were here, it was almost underwater…

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This was exciting for both of them…that is a bunny. There were lots of bunnies, actually…

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And lots of wildflowers…

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And these weird giant spiky pod things…

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These flowers are here every year…there were actually fewer of them because they were inundated with the taller grasslike weeds.

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Unfortunately, Simba was badly designed. I constantly consider shaving his butt fur. It’s really impossible for him to poop without it getting stuck in his fur sometimes, which is lovely. Really lovely. He needed a flea bath anyway. The fleas this year have been awful…I feel like nothing is working…

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He doesn’t like water. At all.

Before we went on the walk, Calli went and rolled in the skunk-infused dirt again, so she reeked. So I bathed her with better-smelling stuff and her skin stuff, so she has to sit with it on for 10 minutes. Always fun.

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Yeah, I should remodel this bathroom. Remind me to put in a dog-washing station. Seriously. That pink bathtub has to go.

I finally caught up on three nights on this…almost a third of the way through? And I’m lagging. I filled in the eye on the left with three different colors. That’s it. Now I want to do a hand.

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I tired the dogs out at least. Tired myself out as well…was already physically and mentally exhausted from school.

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I finally managed enough energy to eat dinner and then started quilting. The machine was amazingly well-behaved last night…which is good.

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Kitten was not so helpful. There’s some competition apparently between the two cats for time on my bed, and Kitten is being nonconfrontational with the other cat but very needy in the studio. Pet pet pet. Nice kitty.

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It took a wine assist last night…too stressed to think straight. It’s been a long week. But I got a decent amount of quilting done.

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There’s a lot of things on the to-do list today. But I’m up and trying to be efficient. Gonna get through the first two quickly so I can get on with some quilting and artful enjoyment of the rest of the day. Artwalk is downtown and there’s another opening I want to see…plus The Handmaid’s Tale is on someone else’s Hulu. So that sounds like a good afternoon and evening. I’m hoping. I need some down time before I barrel through grades. Tomorrow I’m hoping to be done with quilting and to buy a binding. And deal with the other quilt. Yeah…that much closer to having a clue what will be in the solo show…probably that’s a good thing.

*The Cranberries, Dreams


Looking Up…

April 15, 2017

So we made it back, alive and still a bit muddy (one load of laundry is done; the tent and rain cover are out on the deck, waiting for me to have the energy and help to clean it out), still a bit exhausted. Driving through Los Angeles can do that to you. Ahhh, traffic, I miss you not.

It’s the first time I’ve taken a week’s vacation without the fam in about a million years. Being a mom and a financially strangled one at best doesn’t allow for such things, so it was much appreciated. And there will be more, once we do the math and see how bad the money actually was, and then try to focus on future travel plans. There was lots of WOW said; even if you’ve seen them before, the redwoods elicit WOW.

So then I have about 50 pictures of the trees, looking up…

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Because that’s what you do…

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(That was the one non-rainy day on our trip…the day we chose to hike around…)

I’ll have to write a post later this week about the trip, I think. Too many pictures for a Saturday-morning brain.

I did draw each night…well, minus one…

Certainly what I was experiencing ended up in the drawings. The first night, we had set up the campsite and cooked under a lean-to tarp, and sat there listening to the rain for hours. We’d made it to the visitor center and read about local animals and plants, and seen a beetle and lots of ferns and trees.

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That beetle on her cheek was on my sketchbook for a while…I saw his big brother in the bathroom for the next three days. Just hanging out…on the toilet paper rolls…waiting…for something.

We hiked the whole next day, with on and off rain…but a lot of sun. We cooked tacos that night, and tried to get the fire started. I think it lasted a whopping 20 minutes before the rain kicked up again. We had moved the tent by then.

I don’t think this one is done, but I was tired.

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At least one hand is facing the wrong way…or both are left hands…or something.

The last night, we had very little rain (after rain on and off all day, mostly on), but lots of high winds, which is a little nerve-wracking in a forest that really only loses trees to wind and the occasional flood.

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I skipped the next night…but the last night, food was on my mind apparently. And misplaced arms. They’re just wrong, all wrong.

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As part of the last day’s drive, we stopped at the California Fibers’ exhibit at The Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo, California, where two of my pieces are currently hanging through early May. This is Give Me Time

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As always, I love having my photo taken and can’t figure out what to do with my hands.

And here I am with Holding It All In, which is a big quilt…

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I’ll be writing a California Fibers’ post about the show, with details, later this week. I’ll link it here. It’s a nice show…in an interesting space.

I did keep up with these once a day stitches, albeit barely. I did some green lazy daisy leaves on the right with that curly line I added earlier in the week, with the pinky lazy daisy flowers (that’s three days right there)…then a feather fern stitch thing next to the tree trunk (hard to see here) and some star-shaped flowers in red/burgundy with straight stitch green leaves to the right of the feather, under the bird…finishing the thread off with some French knots (or colonial knots, who knows) down the side there.

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I didn’t actually do much stitching (or reading) on the trip. I finally pulled this out the last day for in-the-car stitching (mostly I can’t stitch with curvy roads…or while I’m driving)…finished the tree trunk, which I’d started at the campsite until I couldn’t see in the dark any more, then finished the flower center and started the bird. I think the bird is all that’s left, and then I’ll be done with this one. Maybe tonight. Not sure what my plans look like yet.

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I know they include cleaning and drying these, the second load of laundry, finishing my taxes…

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Working on the current quilt, which has to be done in a week, a ton of grading, some emails/contracts/headshots (ugh) to be sent out, and I don’t even know what else. Trying to get my head around all of it…which I will…eventually…maybe not today. Still looking up…even though the trees are gone…but here, at home, the furry beasts are all around. Both cats slept with me last night (strange), although I did not appreciate Midnight’s hairball extraction in the middle of the night (guess the duvet cover needed washing) or Calli’s early morning plea to pee. And the house reeks of skunk…fun stuff. No one cleaned while I was gone (another wonder of living alone). But I’m glad to be here, in my own bed, surrounded by annoying beasts, where I can make a proper cup of tea whenever I want dammit. (still wanna travel more though)