I Will Wash Dishes…

Is anyone besides me getting a certain satisfaction out of the simple task of washing dishes? There’s hot water, there’s the order in which to wash so that the greasiest dish doesn’t destroy the water. There’s stacking them in the dish rack (mine is ancient and disgusting, but apparently nothing else will fit my sink) in some sort of logical manner, there’s the soap bubbles, there’s the satisfaction of things being dirty and then being clean. It’s so simple. Distracting. A thing I can do successfully that doesn’t just become something more all of a sudden. OK, it’s true that sometimes I’m annoyed by the dishwashing, but it seems in these pandemic days that dishwashing is one thing I can do and do relatively well, and if I fuck it up, I can just wash that dish again.

I am still so tired these days. I’ve been off school a week and usually it takes me two weeks to get into summer…plus we built a fence, which is why I’m late writing this. We were hoping for like 2 1/2 days and it took 3 1/2…although we still need to clean up. This was at the end of the third day…

We ended up being 4 boards short, so I had to make a run to two different stores yesterday. Of course.

My concrete footings are stupendous. Really.

And then a day later, when I’m sneezing randomly, I wonder if I now have COVID thanks to Home Depot.

OK 24 hours is probably not realistic. We did actually finish up the last bit after this photo. Fifty feet or so of new fence. We still need to get rid of all the old wood. And then build a privacy fence in the front yard. Later. In July. Seriously. I’m fenced out.

I’ve ironed a little bit…Tuesday night? I think?

Yeah, I think that’s the night I stayed up way too late. Angel number 1 in progress.

I have a quilting meeting in 13 minutes. I’m thinking I’ll work on this. Is the skin color good? Dead angels? I was trying for a dead look. We’ll see when I get the heads done how it really looks. I’m liking the dots though.

I’m still doing these, albeit very slowly.

I’ve got 10 done, and 2 more cut out and ready to sew…

And the fabric ready for two more. Then I need to prep more stuff to do the next 11. It’s OK. I’m on time. I think.

And dots! Monday night was the one to the left of the pink ball.

It had lots of colors in it.

And was pretty fun to do.

It’s more colorful than that in real life. All these nighttime photos.

Then Tuesday night’s…I didn’t have the energy to make the tool for it (out of card stock), so I just winged it…just under last night’s…

It wasn’t hard, just a little fussy because I was too lazy to find cardstock and cut it.

It turned out OK anyway.

And then last night’s…to the right of the pink spool…

I had to go bead hunting again.

And a cat lay upon it for a while…

Note cat hair. I think there are 3 left. Then I can work on other things as I try to figure out how to hang this. And where to hang it.

What else? It’s interesting…I don’t really leave the house much, but I do feel weird about leaving and being out. California’s viral numbers are going up. Damnit. Well. We’ll see where we’re at after 4th of July. People are stupid.

Ah yes, I walked on Tuesday…it was nice…

Weird seed pods…and cudweed on its way out…

Someone is still painting rocks.

I have one at school that says Be Brave…that one on the right was there before…now it has a friend.

I’m not sure what the friend is supposed to be.

There were crows on my walk…all on the path and then started hopping up to the fence…

Then the tree (I missed when there were 10 up there)…

I couldn’t see anything on the path that looked crow-worthy, but what do I know?

Last thing, I often order little stitched things I like (and then hoard them, because IDK what to do with them), and saw this one from Mixed Color, a talisman (we all need more of those)…

The Guardian. Now I need a plan for all these embroidered bits I have from all over. Really. I have some very nice ones, a good variety. Crazy quilt blocks? With more embroidery? I like that idea. Will work on that this summer. First I will need to find all the bits, but I can start with this one. Calli approves.

We made wontons again last night. Girlchild leaves Monday, but I have this recipe. I could make these on my own.

Calli did not get wontons. Poor Calli. Looks like we are dealing with cancer on this sweet girl.

She’s not in pain. We see an oncologist next week to see what’s best for her. She’s a good girl though.

OK, I need to do some ironing and sewing and ffs sleeping at some point. Be good! Be safe. Wear your mask (I’ve lost two in the last week…no idea where they are in the house…but they are somewhere in the house). Stay healthy.

Hello Summer 2020…

I’m moving slowly today. Mentally and physically. School is officially out. I might have actually slept normally last night (after a 10-minute meditation app in bed, trying to persuade my brain to shut up), although I definitely remember parts of that repeating dream I have about being in a huge airport and trying to keep track of all my stuff, going back and forth to find things I’ve lost, tons of people, no masks, just weird-feeling. I’m three days behind on the Sue Spargo dots for the first time ever (I’ll catch up this weekend, no worries), I feel like a train hit me, and I’m trying to negotiate with my copyediting job and failing miserably. It’s OK…he wants to give me more work and I guess I can do it, and it means more money for tree-trimming, but I’m feeling like I need a break between school and more work, and I don’t think I’m going to get that. Oh well. I’ll do what I can.

Hello Summer 2020! Aren’t you a fucked-up mess! My summer plans include reading, hiking, quilting, building two fences, planting shit, drawing, embroidery, and sleep. Also there will be multiple school-related meetings and stressful emails, and a copyediting job or two. It will feel much shorter than normal summers. There will be no travel or weekend shenanigans, except within the confines of this house. My god! More of this house. Hopefully there will be a lot of quiet, but when you’re surrounded by little kids, it’s unlikely.

I do plan to finish this quilt in the next few weeks, although there are many hours still to go. I ironed this Wednesday night, putting me over the 50% mark. I’m hoping to get more of it done today and tomorrow.

Sunday is the start of fence-building, so that will take up a chunk of my time and energy.

I’ve also been working on a stitch along with my guild. I know I don’t usually piece, but I do know how…

This is improv piecing, and then after that…

We move onto the piecing an actual block…

The pattern is Abstract Arcs by Cotton and Bourbon. As of yesterday, I’ve made two whole blocks.

It’s OK…I’ve made the improv fabric for about 6 more, if I get around to piecing those today. I’m doing two blocks (so far) in each color run. There’s some plan to what I’m doing. I think. I won’t have enough blocks if that’s all I do, but I’ll go back and do something to get the remaining however-many-I-need, because I can’t count and so I just do until I have enough.

I also finished this during a meeting…

And started this one of my own design…

during online graduation yesterday. We also did a drive-thru graduation at school…

Masks on, supposed to be 6 feet apart…so many feels about this…

(sign says, “The year shit got real”)…so as 7th-grade teachers, we usually don’t get to be involved with graduation at all, so this was a nice change to see all the kids, even though they were in cars. But also, some people not wearing masks and not distancing appropriately…that stuff makes me feel really weird and anxious. I suspect we will see some illnesses coming out of this or out of all the drive-thru graduations. San Diego is on the border of having to shut down (at least partway) again. We’ve had too many community outbreaks in the last week, but still they open nail salons and massage parlors today (oh man, a massage sounds ideal for my completely trashed neck and shoulders). So I guess we will spend the next two weeks wondering if we’re sick or not. I hope not, but every time I do something that seems borderline risky, I come away thinking, oh hellz no, not doing that again. Except I work with these people and teach with them, so there’s only my own stuff I can control.

Things I can control over summer? Hike time…although we only took the little boy dog…

The old lady is having some issues…

Great weather for a hike though…not too hot, but nice and bright, although smoke/haze in the distance…not in this picture, though.

Afterwards, he needed his body checked for spiky things and ticks…

The old lady has something growing on her face that might be cancer, so we are worried…

She is old and lumpy as it is…hoping it’s just an infection and easily treatable, and she has no noticeable symptoms, so we are enjoying her dorky self still.

The old lady cat got herself stuck in the strings from the balloons I brought home yesterday.

She ran with the balloons after this. Pretty funny. I didn’t mean to bring balloons home. It just happened. It was safer than letting them go.

While I was ironing the other night…

What’s she staring at? This guy…

Gecko house. It’s very exciting for the cats.

She’s currently waiting for me to get out of this chair so she can sit in it again…

I left for two minutes. Seriously.

OK, also a woodpecker! Can you see it? Crappy through-screen pictures…

OK, I have pilates today, although I am still conflicted about that. It’s helping my back and neck though, so I’m dealing with it. Hopefully we can all stay healthy. Also plan to read my book and piece some more and maybe iron some stuff. And sleep. More sleep. Ugh. No school though. That’s a plus for right now. Nice to have a break, reflect on things that worked and things that didn’t, consider the things we won’t have control of over the next year or so, and figure out how to accept all of that.

Whatever DONE Means…

Hey Monday. I know there was a weekend, but I didn’t really feel it. I think it’s because I don’t leave the house any more. So work days feel like weekend days feel like work days. But it’s almost done, the school stuff. Well, whatever DONE means. I won’t have to do any more Advisory classes (until August). I do have more meetings this week, so there’s that. But grading things and chasing down scores on 11 different programs will be DONE.

I’ve been trying to listen to podcasts…I do really well for like the first 7-10 minutes and then my brain ignores everything that’s being sad. It’s possible that I do this during staff meetings as well. (Sorry. It’s true. My attention span is not great.). Just so you know, I do better at listening if I’m stitching or drawing. So I do try to do those two things during staff or other meetings. Even social stuff, I zone out unless it’s in person. I think it’s just how my brain works…it wanders off into art brain mode, which is trying to draw, design, color, and ignores everything else around it. I’m not sure that’s getting better with old age. Oh well.

Right now, I’m hot-flashing, but my feet are cold…so I want to take the slippers off, but the feet still feel cold, even though I’m on fire. Sigh. My mom tells me these will never stop. I feel like they should. They did go away for many months, but now they are back. It could be stress. Last year, they were horrendous from early May to the end of July. So I have another two months? Ugh.


Um. I’m totally the one on the left, except it’s all in boxes that might be labeled. Sort of. Not like on the right though. Nothing matches. Nothing is cute. It just is. I have to go back in to school on Thursday and deal with the last of the stuff. I got an email today from our AP who is leaving to be a principal that my room isn’t done. Sigh. The sarcasm he brings is needed, as is the male role modelness. Oh well.

One of my readers emailed me Saturday or yesterday about workers comp and COVID and how my district might deal with sick teachers. I’m hoping the union has some control over how the district handles it, but as my reader said, the optics of NOT taking care of your sick teachers when they got COVID coming back to work? Well, let’s hope people still care by the time that happens.

Speaking of teaching, IDK who thought Architect could be a verb, as in Architect Your Life, but that is fucked up, because it does not even make sense. Y’all: architect is a noun, but it “is increasingly common to hear it used as a verb, though usually in business or technical situations where jargon is very common.” I hate jargon. I especially hate teacher jargon. I keep having to look shit up and I’ve been teaching for a long time, and they keep changing it all. I cannot keep it all straight in my head. So this coming year? I will be an architect architecting. Even WordPress doesn’t think that’s a word. I architect, you architect, we all architect. Sigh.

OK, so I have a team lunch (with kids on Zoom) in 7 minutes, I have my Santa hat ready for holiday dress (don’t even ask, it’s a teacher thing, but it has nothing to do with architecting), and then IDK what’s happening after that.

And I’m back. Lunch is over. I should finish writing this. I’ve been ironing a little each day…hopefully more today? Maybe? Got into the torso, but needed to iron the heart separately…

None of this is fast, but it is engrossing…

And then put the heart where it belongs…

So I think this is where I got to on Saturday night…

She’s the largest figure in the quilt.

Then Sunday, I worked on arms…this one has a bat hanging from it, a reference to the first animal they blamed for COVID. I ironed it separately…too many small parts…

And then attached it…

If you’re one of my patrons on Patreon, I show some of this arm and hand in the video that will be posted later today. And then I did the other arm…

I’ve been ironing for about 9 1/2 hours and I’m halfway through the pieces…I think…wait, no I’m not. I’m in the high 600s. Close though. She just needs a cat and her head. Then on to Figure 3.

Also still doing dots…Saturday’s is just above the top spool.

It was pretty easy…

I don’t have much of the sparkly Dazzle thread, so it always has to be pink or red.

And last night’s…to the right of the yellow thread…

Is very similar to one we’ve already done, but with more space.

Getting closer and closer to done.

It will then take me two years to remove all the cat and dog hair from it.

I also picked the fabrics for the pieced thing I’m doing…

Because there isn’t enough crazy shit going on in my life right now. I needed something brainless. Although I have some stitching I’m doing that’s relatively brainless.

OK. What else? I hiked yesterday…well, walked around the neighborhood, which includes some good hills.

Sometimes I go up that one. Sometimes I go down. Always looking for new flowers…

These were all in the trees…

Messy but beautiful…

The neighbors are still building a pool. Did I mention that already? Dig Day 2: BEEP BEEP BEEP. Sigh.

Damn cat sleeps through everything.

Must be nice…

Old lady dog does too…

OK, note to self…this is gonna be hard for this old lady to see at night…


I amuse myself. OK. I’ve got exercise, ironing, and a book to finish. It sounds like Summer vacation is getting really close. Tomorrow is meeting hell, but today is done. All good. Enjoy.

crazy wacky holy crappy

Sign petitions. Put money in the hands of groups and people making change. Put money in the hands of BIPOC makers. Start here on Etsy (although I think they have added non-Etsy shops in there). Commission some art from a BIPOC maker…many artists are hurting right now if that was their primary money-maker. Let’s support them. Get food at BIPOC-owned restaurants in your area. These lists are easy to find. And once you buy something, especially something handmade or homemade, post about it with links. You know how many of those links YOU click on. Click and like and spend. If you can. If you can’t spend, you can click, like, share, show up, speak up, write about it. I saw someone post about not using your introvertness as an excuse. Introversity? Introvertedness? Hmm. One of those. Many of us can still spend and create and write and post. In fact, many of us do that online because it’s easier for us than in person…certainly that fits the instructions right now.

Interestingly, I saw an embroiderer whose work I liked, and she admits to not having a website because she doesn’t have the bandwidth for dealing with that, but it was hard to know what was available and prices and all that, and I know we as artists often don’t do the business side of things. So the solution is to just ask, of course. And when they have a VenMo or Patreon or some other way to support them, then do it.

OK, I’ve spent hours in meetings today and am finally done for today. My brain is swimming. For some reason, meetings in person are easier to process. I don’t know why. So much job chaos right now. It’s a hot day, which isn’t helping. Plus I want cookies.

I already wrote the rest of this post, but the internet here gets ultra-sketchy when it’s hot, and hot it is, and the damn thing disappeared into the ether. So here we go. Again. This is 2020 all over the place.

I drew a little on Sunday night. I’ve got something in my head and this is the first iteration (of many, I’m sure) of one part of the whole…

It’s not right. There are many more iterations before it will be right.

I started ironing the big quilt together on Sunday night, my favorite part of the quilt process. Maybe. It’s all color and things coming together and the first time I see it whole. The damn thing is huge…

I put the drawing on the ironing board and then a Teflon sheet over it and start ironing down. I had to fold it back up over the ironing board during the day so it wasn’t in the way.

I started on the left side with the background pieces, and decided to keep working on the figure there, even though her pieces are in the 100s and 200s and I wasn’t done with the under-100s yet.

I decided to iron this whole section together and then the righthand section together. There’s a bottom piece and then maybe I’ll iron the center together and see if I can get them all to fit.

That’s the current plan anyway. I was imagining what a cytokine storm might look like, since they happen in COVID-19 cases, so I read about them and kind of drew what a bunch of cells spilling out chemicals that killed people would look like.

Tonight, hopefully, I’ll finish her fingers and her face, and then move on to the other side. Or the bottom. Or something.

I bought more fabric online when I was looking for something else.

No, I don’t need more fabric. Shut up.

Dots! I’m doing dots. If you’ll remember, I barely started Saturday before it was tired time, so on Sunday, I finished Saturday’s dot…to the left of the orange ball.

Tiny bugs…

With a million colors in them…

And then I continued on with Sunday’s dot…

This time to the right of the orange ball…that ball gets around…

This was a much more abstract dot…

And pretty simple, although sometimes they seem simple and take forever…

This is last-night’s dot, which was more on the forever continuum…above the red dot that hasn’t been stitched yet…

It was way too complicated and the cast-on bullions are an issue, but whatever…

It probably doesn’t matter in the long run…

That’s either 72 or 73. Can’t remember. Getting near the end.

I had a stressful work day yesterday. Hell, I had a stressful day today too, and tomorrow is looking to continue the roll, but yesterday, I needed a walk out in nature, away from people. It’s been hot though…around 95 degrees, and humidity at 6%…or “Lo”, as this said. It was hotter than that…this thing is inside.

I pushed the walk off as long as I could, to about 5 PM, and then set out with a full Camelbak. The local Santa Ana winds are hot, dry, destructive, and flammable…but you can see for miles.

There was a breeze, at least, and I drank almost all of my water. This tree was labeled…a new label.

No idea what it means.

Sun beating down on me. But sometimes, I get so antsy I can’t sit still any more and I need to get out of the house and away from humanity.

Funny, since there aren’t very many humans around me, not like when I’m teaching.

It was worth it. I’m in a better frame of mind today, although there are many stupid things going on for work.

People leave cuttings of plants out in boxes in their front yards. I keep picking them up.

Probably should have worn gloves with this one. Sharp bits in my fingers.

Dogs can’t read.

There wasn’t just one of these…there’s a whole line of them.

A lost hawk feather in my front yard…

So the hot makes the animals very slow-moving. I hear green fabrics are very chilling.

This one pulled down 7 shirts to find this space…

And this one just sits in front of the fan…

Oh yeah, I framed these finally…

I love that Quilt National prints these for you with details of your quilt. I bought a pack of three frames, so I’m ready to add 2021. Right?

OK, my plans include eating dinner, some sort of exercise, another dot, and some ironing. Grades went in today, so I officially don’t have to care about school…I just have to show up online when I’m supposed to and do the things I’m supposed to before it ends. School is going to be difficult in the Fall, but some things will hopefully be new and interesting, and if I’m on campus, at least I will see my friends and students (some of them, because the models they’ve been telling us about are crazy wacky holy crappy), and hopefully we won’t get sick. And the sun will shine and all that. Maybe I’ll even start sleeping again. You’d think with these schedules that I’d get more sleep. That didn’t happen. OK. Summer break (whatever that is in 2020) is almost here. And I got to wear a lot of pajamas and very few bras in the last three months, so there’s that. That probably won’t happen again until I retire, and that’s a long way off.

Tired Monday…

Hi y’all. It’s a tired Monday. Thanks to all who marched/protested in the last week. Usually I’m right out there with you, but I’m admitting to being terrified of this virus. I’ll have to ease myself into not-terrified before August. I have a hair appointment in mid-July. Probably my gym will be opening next week. Have to think about that one. School stuff over the summer might be in person. Not quite ready for that yet. Not ready for large groups of people or even small ones. People who don’t social distance. Apparently some anti-protest groups showed up armed locally. Gotta Not Love East County. So I will support with money and reading and speech. Plus most of a protest/change drawing popped into my head last night while I was trying to fall asleep. I will be working on that, hopefully this week. There are four meetings today, though, so maybe not today. We’ll see. There are at least three major parts to it, so maybe I can work on each part and then figure out how to fit them together. Might involve going to the copy place…damn, more people. I will figure it out. I will mask and step back from humans and wash my hands and perhaps my entire body after interacting with the human race. I have 67 days before I have to be back at school with other humans, perhaps fewer. Hopefully I can get my head (and my anxiety) around that by then.

I did hike Saturday, and while hiking, which clears my brain and soothes my soul, which makes up for sitting on my ass in numerous Zoom meetings, which helps me process what this world and the people in it are doing…I felt guilty for not marching in a protest. Ah well, that is my brain and I will have a discussion with it about that. We do what we can. I hiked at the same place as the previous week, but I felt strong and healthy this Saturday.

Plus it was a lot cooler than last week. I’ve been having some major blood sugar issues though.

I’m hesitant to talk to my doctor because her first response is always a blood draw. And that’s not something I really want to do right now. But maybe I will have to.

This is the same time last year when the hot flashes got really bad and my blood sugar control went with them. They stopped the end of July, and that’s when the blood sugar got really good. All you annoying doctors who don’t want to figure this shit out for us peri- and menopausal women who want to know how all this stuff is connected…sigh.

It was a great walk. I really enjoyed it.

This week is supposed to be hot, so there won’t be any delightful walks like this.

I did just over 4 miles.

There were still crows, but not a crazy number like last week. There were two bikes, a runner, and some hikers.

Definitely worth the drive. It’s a pretty short drive though.

Sometimes I protest by myself. In my head doesn’t solve a lot of problems though, so I’m working on that. How to be a presence without being present.

Here’s a link to a post I made for my art group California Fibers of Masked Response, an online art show we did.

This bench is cool. I wish I knew how to make one of these.

I know how to do mosaic…it’s just the form of the lizard bench in the beginning.

I finished trimming all the tiny little pieces for the big quilt…just under 22 hours worth. I did some of it at my quilt guild meeting…

And then I stayed up late Saturday night to do more.

I keep the trash until the quilt is done, in case I need a tiny piece of something. I usually do.

The next step, last night, was to sort them all into boxes by the 100s.

1541 pieces or so took about an hour and a half to sort…

Now I’m ready to iron the damn thing together. I’m looking forward to this part.

Saturday’s dot was the fish…

It’s a pufferfish.

There’s a lot of stitching on that little bastard.

Last night? Last night, I barely started…

I’ve been pretty good about finishing them every night, but this is one of two that I just didn’t get to. It’s because it was late and I was tired. I did the sorting first, so the dot didn’t get done. I’ll try tonight. The one for today is pretty simple. We’ll see.

In other fabric news, here’s the next shipment of Anna Maria Horner fabrics for Applique Stories, which I’ve turned into “Use crazy fabrics to make a nude” stories. Looking forward to that later this week…but if that bottom middle fabric doesn’t look like nipples to you, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Yeah. I know. I see things weird. I also want to do the same with her color shipments…

But I haven’t started those at all. Maybe this summer? Who knows. Summer will be weird no matter what. Right, Luna?

Just shut up and pet me, woman.

I forgot last night’s dinner…yummy pizzas.

Sourdough crust. Gotta use up that starter. The last time, these were unsuccessful. I think the girlchild has officially figured it out.

OK, well, I got sidetracked multiple times on this, and it’s now time for meeting 3 of 4 today. Ugh. But I think I have some plans for after the meetings. All art, all the time? And some exercise. For sure.

I Want Cookies

I am an introvert. It doesn’t mean I don’t like people. It means too many peoplish interactions drain me. I’m OK being alone a bit or being in a house and barely interacting with people for a long time. Or being in the same room with people and not talking to them because I’m drawing or tracing or reading my book. I’m also OK with talking to people or hanging out with them, although on a video call, that’s exhausting. I feel like I’m talking to myself…sometimes I’m just tired and don’t feel like talking (and then, hello, you can find the extroverts out there giving me shit for not talking. Ask me a question? I’ll answer. I’m just too tired to randomly say shit). It’s not like in person where you can have a conversation with just one person…you have to talk to ALL the people at once. I suck at that. I also need a break from all the Zoomy school stuff, which is compounded by Zoomy social stuff, which is better than no social stuff? Most of the time? So tomorrow is a “holiday” (well, I don’t have to Zoom for work! That’s all it really means.) and I’m looking forward to no Zoomy. I also have an extra day to get the trillion things I need to get done for school actually done. My team is texting away and I haven’t started any of it. I took time yesterday to deal with my composter and the deck around the pool and a quick pickup (totally social distanced in an appropriate way, thank you, new quilt guild) and a nice long hike, where only 3 of the 30 people I saw were wearing masks. Fuck all of you folks. Seriously. I don’t wear it unless I’m within 6 feet of someone. And all of you are dumbass assholes.

Sigh. See, that’s not the introvert in me…that’s the paranoid scientist in me. Plus my own co-workers who don’t socially distance and/or mask appropriately, because you will be with my kids in the Fall or around other teachers, and you can pass it on to me or my students. An even bigger sigh. I can’t like the photos you post because you are not following the rules.

Less anger, less irritation, less annoyance.

On Friday, I went to school to help with PE locker cleanout.

The kids were so nervous, so hesitant…and very few showed up. I’m probably going to be the bitch on campus re: adults wearing masks. Or socially distancing. I also need a better mask design…waiting for some jersey tie material to come and then I’ll do a different version…since it looks like I’ll be wearing them for a while.

OK, I haven’t worked on the big quilt since Friday…but I did iron some then…

Them’s some bones.

My regular quilt group met Friday instead of Thursday, so I got a little ironing done…

Definitely in the 1200s…on to the angels next, I think. Almost done!

I also cut some stuff out…hung out with some new people Friday night.

Well, that’s Calli. She’s not new. But the cut-out stuff is on the right, to-be cut in the middle, and trash on the left. There’s a lot left to do.

I also ironed together the little quilts…

They’re rewards for my patrons on Patreon…

They need stitch down this weekend. LATER.

Then I got a weird bug up my butt. I’ve wanted to do a larger embroidery for a while of one of my more complicated drawings, with all the colors in the world. So I picked one.

And traced it.

I like the look of stitching on black, but black is apparently hard to find at the moment due to the mask-making phenomenon. And also you have to use a carbon-type paper to transfer and it rubs off…which on something this detailed would be a pain in the ass. So then I could have used white fabric, because I have a chunk of it, but I don’t really like it, so I picked this weird blue-gray color. We’ll see how it goes. Expect to see this in a hoop soon. I did all those embroidery patterns last year, but was limited to 5 colors for each one, which was a pain. I can do a MILLION colors on this one.

OK, then there’s dots…there’s always dots. There will be dots until sometime in July, I think. The one below the green spool…

I suck at the ladder herringbone going around a circle. Maybe if I thought about beforehand that the backstitches needed to be in a particular position so the herringbone would work right. I did not think that beforehand.

It’s fine. Then last night was a million colonial knots. I didn’t think they would take as long as they did. Top left under the orange ball.

I was supposed to put the twisty fly stitch tops closer together.

Looks kinda viral.

What else went on in the last two days? I did a longish hike by myself…the local trail had a full parking lot (it’s tiny), so I went up the road and came down a different trail to hook into the loop.

It was a little warm out, but there was a nice breeze. This is where almost no one had a mask. The trail is single width for part of it. There’s a ton of poison oak at the moment too, and the last time we went there, the dogs got a million ticks.

But it was outside and there was no pavement and most of the time, there were few people.

My left hip socket or muscle has been bugging me. I need to do more pilates during the week. I’m mostly only hiking.

We missed most of the wildflower season, but there are still some out there.

I had my eyes peeled for new flowers.

Things that poke me.

Big outdoorsy sigh.

It was a good choice. I think I slept better than I had all week.

California quail…from a distance. They flew away when I tried to get closer.

Nice to see them.

This is the part of the trail where I might be able to get 6 feet away from your heavy-breathing ass. I work Monday-Friday, so I can’t do trails except on the weekends really…maybe if it weren’t hot, but it’s supposed to be in the 90s most of this week. So it would have to be late. We’ll see. I don’t like hiking by myself when it’s late.

I told Kitten I might need this chair today. She did this.

First I will have to get all that cat hair off of it.

Girlchild finally successfully made sourdough bread. It’s good.

I’ve eaten a bunch of it.

My ex had a hawk decide to hang out on the ground…young? Hard to say how young.

It’s gone today…hopefully with its wings and not dragged off by something.

This pup is so spoiled.

Poor thing.

OK. Well, I need to eat some real food. Haven’t done that yet today. Grocery shopping is done. A fuckton of school work is on my plate. I need to organize my week in my journal…usually that’s the first thing I do on a Sunday, but I cleaned the fridge instead. I also have a celebratory Zoom later (I’m not really a fan of these things, but honestly, if it were an in-person party, I wouldn’t be thrilled either, so whatever). I want to iron some fabrics today and stitch my dot and IDK what else, but something that makes me feel accomplished and artistic instead of like a tortured online teacher. Because that’s no fun. I want to also feel prepared and organized for school, so it’s a good thing I have tomorrow to catch up on that shit. And I want cookies. So there. Also, I might need polka-dotted fabric. I don’t really. I will find something that works. But it popped into my head while I was hiking yesterday…I often draw or color drawings in my head as I walk. It’s a useful skill. Until you realize you don’t have any polka dots in your stash. OK. It’s a plan. One I will probably flail on, but a plan nonetheless.

Brain Hole

It’s the middle of the week. The middle of the week is different than other days, because I have a bunch of meetings in the afternoon, so it just FEELS different. I only see kids in the morning. I passed my math assignment. I know you’re glad. It’s always good when I can do 7th-grade math. (I was teaching the math with the website and the math teacher could see my scores, so I guess that’s a good thing.)

It’s now 4+ hours after I started writing this…I’ve graded a science assignment (well, the 25 that were turned in) and filled a greenery trashcan (my goal is 2 a week…but 1 will do), posted a blog post for one of my art groups, tried to avoid crying during an online staff meeting about the future of teaching in my district…didn’t finish my book, did a drawing, but I don’t know if it’s any good, and ate lunch. I think. Did I eat lunch? Right now, I want cookies.

What fucking day is it? Oh yeah. Wednesday. Moving on. This is school in a pandemic.

Mood? fucked. Thanks to all the humans who still talk to me.

I ironed for way too long last night, way too late. Whatever.

I got all of Figure 3 ironed down…except for some of the inner parts. I did do the hair, the lungs, the heart, and the eyes. I’m not sure what’s left…it’s a big pile here.

This is what’s left of 700-999? I think? Ah yes, a few body parts in there, but mostly Figure 3 is done.

There’s some stuff that needs to go into the coffin with her. So those need doing. Then I’m into the 1000s. I’ve already ironed a few of those that were body parts. But otherwise, I’m heading onto the hillside and the skeleton, and then the angels, and then I’m done. OK, that’s like 500 pieces, so don’t get excited. But 2/3s of the way done.

I walked yesterday and took a slightly different route. I get tired of the same shit.

It wasn’t long enough or interesting enough, but it happened. A few different flowers…

They were taller than me. Not that it’s hard to be taller than me.

This flower was freakin’ huge.

So there’s that. Fuck that sign. I trespass here all the time. The owners here are just jerks for that sign.

There’s nothing built there.

Nice view though, despite that huge monstrosity in the bottom left under the hill.

I missed a walk today. I did yardwork instead. I might go on the bike and try to finish my book.

I listened to a webinar today about modern quilting vs art quilting. Yeah, I’m no modern quilter. I don’t fit, but they are OK with that at the moment. This one? Um…the tree under the green spool.

It was pretty fun…

I think it’s a cherry tree.

And I finished the second Patreon reward embroidery.

OK. Well. It’s late already…well, 6 PM. I need to do more score-checking for tomorrow, I need to maybe draw another embroidery, cut some shit out, iron some more shit, exercise? I did say that already. And get my brain out of the hole it’s in. That might be harder.

Damn Rumination

It’s a little chilly this morning. I start the mornings with slippers on because my feet are cold every morning, no matter how warm it is outside. And eventually they come off and I am barefoot for most of the day. Pandemic clothing is pretty simple…looks a lot like my summer wear, except there are some t-shirts I can’t wear on Zoom when I’m teaching. I also have to think about what tea mug I’m drinking out of, because some have naked people on them. Plus the drawing that’s hanging up. I pin it up just in case. I’m pretty sure it’s too far away for the kids to see, but why take that risk?

I’m not sleeping well…not falling asleep quickly enough, try to go to bed earlier so the mornings aren’t so bad, but that doesn’t help. Just more lying around trying to fall asleep happens then. And then when the man gets up early, some mornings, I’m so exhausted I zonk out again, but some, I just lie there and ruminate. Damn rumination. It just messes me up. Weird dreams too. Last night, we were on vacation (VACATION!) and in a hotel, and this woman came into our room and started unpacking her stuff, because the hotel/Airbnb/whatever it was allowed people to double book or something? But she was someone I sorta knew? But it was SO UNCOMFORTABLE having someone else in the room, and that’s how I feel about going ANYWHERE right now. It’s just uncomfortable.

I finally FINALLY got to iron stuff on the big quilt last night. It’s not anybody’s fault…just gets too late, or the girlchild wants me to hang out, so I stitch instead. I’m still doing stuff I need to do…it’s just not this big quilt. I picked the fabrics for the third figure, darker…

This disease doesn’t care about you personally, but certain communities are harder hit…relative to health care options and poverty. If you have money, you’re better off? Or insurance? Or access to good healthcare? It all sucks. We should be taking care of everyone. All the time. Not just during a pandemic.

I didn’t finish ironing those down. It was 12:20 AM and I really need to go to bed earlier…but also sleep earlier. I can totally feel it today. I’m braindead and cranky as shit.

I also ironed the fabrics for the two mini-quilts I’m making for Patreon rewards…

That’s the bird laid out.

The heart in hands is on the right. I’ll cut those out later tonight probably. These go pretty quickly…just need to fit them in around everything else. This morning is two meetings, one of which is done (and was a clusterfuck, just so you know…makes me question my ability as a teacher in this situation). SIGH. Big Fucking Sigh.

Anyway. I also did dots. Strawberry, bottom right. Or some other berry? Don’t know.

It looks like a strawberry.

Then last night was this foxy dot…to the right of the white spool…

Ah yes…turned out pretty good, I think.

I also worked on the next Patreon reward embroidery…those are Luna’s legs under the coffee table…

And Kitten keeping me company on the couch…

I’m not sure how offended she is that I am stitching birds, not cats.

Hard to say.

What else is going on? Walks with dogs…

Someone weed-whacked. Hopefully that means fewer ticks.

Because despite that face, Simba hates combing.

Boychild made bagels…

I didn’t even know how bagels were made…

It’s a very strange process. Like how did we decide to boil FOOD in lye?

I feel like more of us should have died in the past just for our weird food practices.

Cats are always asleep…

She sits with me every day as I work…although this was last night…

It looks like the beginning of a horror movie. CATS!

There’s been some food-sharing issues amongst the cats. They are figuring it out. Certainly no one is starving.

And more of the conversations…although this is one I have often (minus my bro…usually it’s just the SIL and occasionally a kid)…

Everyone is going a little stir crazy.

Today? Today I make some decisions about my Advisory class, how I’m going to run it. I hate it, so it needs to change. Today I get some exercise, do some ironing, maybe some cutting stuff out and embroidery. Today I…sigh. I need more sleep. Maybe today I nap. Or draw. Or finish my book (I’ve been trying to do that for four days). Whatever. Today feels sucky. I will fix that. Somehow.


I meant to write this yesterday. There are a lot of things I meant to do yesterday. I really should just remember that I am unfocused at least one day a week and that day is often Saturday. At least at the moment. Realize. It’s a word I should pay more attention to. Realize reality? As the county starts to open more things up, it’s harder to get away from crowds of people? Is it OK to go to Target to get pool noodles for shipping? Will I be shipping anything anywhere? Eventually. How do I feel about Target? I don’t know. I don’t know about anything. It all feels uncomfortable at the moment. Realize nothing.

I ironed nothing down on the Covid quilt in the last two days. Three days? Nothing since Thursday night. Let’s put it that way. That sucks. I was really tired on Friday and we had gaming…

I didn’t do anything after that except be tired. I did stitch on some dots…this was Friday night’s…the one under the green spool.

Simple flower shape…

And then Saturday night’s…just under the magenta spool.

I had another late finish and then mental exhaustion.

Pretty rose stitch though.

I also finished the first of the Patreon rewards…

And traced the second one on fabric, although I need to choose threads. And then I traced the Wonder Under and cut it out for the two small quilts.

I was hoping to finish picking fabrics for these yesterday, but brain fog won out.

I have a shit-ton of work to do for school this afternoon, so we’ll see what I get done. When I had finished the other embroidery, I didn’t have the next one ready to go, so I pulled this out of the pile and started on it while gaming.

It’s a Cozy Blue Handmade pattern. I suck at ironing stuff on. I bought this in Boston when I visited the girlchild a year and a half ago. Long time.

What else? The requisite dog and cat pictures…the deck is an appropriate temperature for us to live on some days, super buggy other days, way too hot at times. Simba likes it.

As long as someone is out with him.

Kitten has found another chair to sit on…although right now, she’s in her normal place…

Right behind me.

Simba loves the girlchild. She does not love his ticks.

There are a lot of ticks right now.

Yesterday was warm and tiring.

I agree, Luna…wholeheartedly.

I have a few new babies…I didn’t even do this right, and it made a baby. I’m so happy.

Succulents are amazing.

I think this one is my first…no second grandchild. I think the first one died. Or maybe it was incorporated into this one. But we do spend a lot of time thinking about them…

Yep, that’s our sourdough starter, version 2.0.

We did a short walk with the dogs on Friday, and then Saturday, I did a longer one, later, close to sunset, by myself. Everyone else was gone anyway.

It was relatively cool out, nice day, nice breeze, hazy skies.

Dumbasses on motorcycles zooming around in the valley, polluting the world with their tiny-penis noise. Seriously. Stop.

I like to just listen to the birds…not my neighbor’s lawnmower. He mows so many days. I realize it’s a ride-on and he likes his toys, but ffs, just stop. Let the lawn grow an eighth of an inch before you mow it again dude.

Most people out there have masks, although fewer on the walks in the neighborhood. One in the grocery store with no mask, though. WTF?

Apparently someone is painting these and leaving them around the neighborhood I walk in.

That’s so cool. I love that. More of that shit. More ravens just hanging out on wires.

Less noise pollution.

OK. Well. It’s 3 PM and I probably have at least 2-3 hours of school shit to do, another dot to sew, and then I’d really like to do some ironing. If I can. A good night’s sleep would be good too. One where I woke up the next morning and didn’t feel tired? That would be good. That’s a rare thing though. New week. Get it on.

Pros and Cons

Well I’ve been trying to get this written all day, but 17 hours of Zoom meetings and notetaking and adjusting shit and grading crap and dealing with my crashing blood sugar and only getting 3000 fucking steps today has gotten in my way. I did 32 minutes of Pilates though dammit and that’s it, I’m calling it, fuck this day, man. While eating Spoonsize Shredded Wheat before dinner because I need to eat and IDK what I did wrong. Except stop moving enough and stare at a computer (TWO computers and a phone at the moment) for way too long.

Pros: I finished things.

Cons: I didn’t finish other things.

Really I’m much more positive when I write this first thing in the morning. Right now, I just want to build a pillow fort and climb in there with an adult beverage. (I should admit that I didn’t finish this by 4 PM like I wanted to, and it is now 10:06 PM and I’ve had a margarita. I don’t drink margaritas except like once every two years. So that might tell you a little bit more about today.)

So ironing has happened. Here’s what that might look like. This is actually ironing the heart. Not really red.

A little red. This heart has flowers.

MMMM. Strawberry shortcake delivery.

Leftovers from my Mother’s Day thing. This was Monday night. I got the snake ironed and the lungs.

Big addition in colors. I’m still dealing with all the bits and pieces up into the 700s that are part of the larger figure; not done. Nope.

This is slow. Especially when I’m not starting until 11 at night.

Here’s some tattoos I made. Well. On her arm.

I guess I wanted it to use all the blacks and whites I could. I ironed some scissors, a scar, a uterus, a tree and leaves, or maybe that was the night before.

This is 12 hours and 41 minutes of ironing shit down and I’m still not halfway. Laughing hysterically here.

I’ve been trying to catch up on dots since last week sometime. I even started in the afternoon.

And kept working…this is the coneflower…just under the yellow spool.

Which makes me think I need a different yellow. There’s the coneflower…it was nice and pretty easy to do.

I did not use that extra time to get caught up, unfortunately.

Here’s a closeup of the chrysanthemum from last week. Lots of cat hair in this thing.

It will take me a while to get that all out.

Then Monday night was the cup to the left of the white spool.

Although I did it last night, not Monday. Last night I caught up on the last two. It’s a nice cup.

And then yesterday’s was this abstract flower…just to the right of the orange spool.

That’s 44 done.

Halfway after tonight.

I also cut out fabric napkins for the household…8 sets of two from fabrics that are often a million years old.

Now I just need to hem them all. IDK when the fuck that will happen. But it will. Before we run out of paper napkins, which will be soon.

Other artsy shit I’m working on includes doing some drawings for my Patreon patrons…some of them are coming up to their one-year anniversary of their tier, which means I make them a square, either embroidered or quilted. I’ve done two drawings, and will probably do the bird with something besides WTF in there as well. I did each one in embroidery format and quilt format.

I’ll give my patrons a choice on their anniversary as to which one they want. I haven’t thought about mailing these yet. I should be able to do it from the house. They’re small enough.

I went on two walks on Monday and Tuesday, but none today. Interesting things going on…

I can’t explain all of them. The kids were working on Monday and Tuesday, and the old lady was really tired (the dog, not me), so I just took the little energetic one on Monday.

He is a pain in the ass. Wants to walk in the middle of the road.

I’m still in flower discovery mode, as always.

Love flowers.

Don’t know what most of them are. No worries. Though I want to draw that one.

I’ve been watching this one for weeks. It’s near the end of the walk and I photograph less at the end. Plus you can’t see the big-ass boy dog woofing it up at me on the other side.

He’s wagging his tail too, but I worry about this one neighbor (not the dog owner) who has yelled at me before. So I go quickly through that area.

I think these are from Tuesday, when the dogs were at my ex’s with the kids. Views of El Cap.

Or is that El Cajon Mountain? Not hiking it either way, I think. Will just admire it from here.

Dead flowers among the living. Flowers are just amazing in all their forms. Another view of the valley.

I walk the same space on a regular basis, see something new every time. The cudweed is now drying out.

Makes your dog smell like maple syrup. Freakin’ amazing lavender? I think.

Fascinating things, flowers.

Today’s exercise was Pilates with two pillows, a matt, and these.

I need some in-between weights. I thought I had some but I can’t find them. I forget regularly how good Pilates makes me feel. Do more. While I have soup cans.

Somebody (the boychild) put Simba on the chair. He thinks he can’t get down. He can.

Cats asleep…well mostly.

They sleep a lot during the day. Until you poke at them.

They are definitely getting bigger.

And the old lady, relaxing on the deck with me.

Girlchild bribed her with the pool on Monday so she didn’t know I took the little boy on a walk without her.

Anyway. Wednesday. Thank you for all that. That is sarcasm. Straight up. I have a dot to sew, I might get to iron around 11, I didn’t finish all the grade inputting because the district was fucking with my access (straight up, they were), I had so many tech things go wrong and so many questions and conversations were happening at the same time via Zoom, email, text, and Google Classroom that my brain is quietly spinning in another room, waiting for me to go to bed so it can ruminate about how unsuccessful that all was. I have my finger on a LOT of buttons right now, and one might be the Explode It All button, and none of them is the Easy button. Tomorrow will be better. I might be better too.