Become One with the Slow…

Friday the 13th. In a middle school. Wait, what’s the damn moon doing right now…OK…we’re just waning gibbous. That should help. Yeah. Usually I enjoy a good Friday the 13th, but this week has been rough for everyone. I’m tired, the kids are tired. I thought yesterday went OK, but then I got an email. Sigh. Well I’ll hopefully deal with that today, with admin support, plus I don’t think I have a lot of grading for this week, because we just started a bunch of things (although I’m still playing catchup with stuff from December). I spent an hour yesterday dealing with late work for all but one class. I still need to do redoes. Where I let kids fix their work. So they learn from it. Even though it’s torture for me to try to regrade these, looking at what they wrote originally, what comments I left, what does the rubric from December or November say, and how did they change it. Ugh. Hate it, but it’s necessary.

Glad it’s Friday.

I’ve done a little tracing the last two nights…honestly, not even getting an hour in each night. Starting too late, trying to get back in the habit of going to bed earlier. I started training myself back on the 10:30 bedtime last week, but mostly failed at it. Ah well. Soon the exhaustion will help. Hopefully.

The first 150 pieces are mostly big dirt pieces with some smaller stuff interspersed. Big rock pieces take longer to trace because they’re big. And sometimes complicated. So it seems really slow.

I have to become one with the slow. I had to cut a second piece of Wonder Under because the weird shapes wouldn’t fit between all the other weird shapes and they’re all big. It’s OK…when I get to the little pieces, they will all fit between all the big pieces. It’s a puzzle.

I’m only 2 hours in…more this weekend, I hope. It’s supposed to rain most of the weekend. I’m hoping for big chunks of tracing time while listening to weird TV. Although I need to have a crown replaced, my neighbors are having some sort of dessert and drinks gathering, two animals need to go to the vet, we’re having dinner with the parentals…see, the days just get filled up.

Ah, complicated. This is the complicated I like.

Last night was my monthly in-person stitching meeting. Fun stuff.

Fun little house. Fun stitching. We spent time oohing and aahing at each other’s projects, complaining about work, looking up the pronunciation and etymology of syncytial, and talking about books. All worthwhile. This is still Sue Spargo’s Homegrown. I’ll be working on it all year probably. Easily.

Um. I am both of these. Except I don’t delete emails after reading them. I might need them again. I delete a LOT of them, but not all of them. And 12 tabs is nowhere near enough. On this computer, which I don’t use for work as much as I used to, there are 23 tabs open. You can imagine that the work computer is much worse. It is. I organize my Flair pens by what I use them for: writing on docs in class (dark so it’s easy to see on the doc cam), light and bright for grading (make it cheery!), ugly colors I will never use but will never throw out (because that’s anathema). But I also have an entire drawer, another box, and random other locations where pens go to die. Or live free lives, depending on how you look at it.

I think my right eye stopped twitching for maybe 2 days over break. It’s back.

Here’s Luna being sweet.

She didn’t even whack me after I petted her…she just reached out like she was GOING to whack me.

OK. School. Get classroom ready for today. Teach centripetal force and momentum (a little bit), give a quiz, get kids learning about the history of roller coasters, then pivot to atoms and matter, finish up the elements exploration lab that should have been done yesterday, make kids read an article even though they don’t know how to read (pretty sure we have a recording of one of us reading it) and watch a video where they have to pay enough attention to answer the questions. On a Friday. The first Friday back after break. That’s two grade levels there…I’m not teaching the same classes both roller coaster physics AND atoms and matter. Just to be clear.

Stand at a traffic light for 15 minutes, ready to call 911 if a kid crosses at breakneck speed while staring at their phone because some parent was in a hurry to turn the corner without looking for kids…around a school. Go home and spread some wildflower seeds for the upcoming rain deluge, PUT MY PAJAMAS ON, take my bra off, read a book? Drink some tea? Maybe grade some stuff that’s easy. Maybe plan something that’s easy. Maybe not. Maybe stare at cat videos for 45 minutes. Then make dinner (who thought THAT was a good idea). Then trace a bunch of dirt. More dirt. Lots more dirt. Things in the dirt. Dirt. Love me some dirt.

Not So Single-Minded…

Hello 2023. And Happy New Year to those who make a mental shift about now for that reason. We made a nice warm dinner, played a wordy game for a while (until someone got tired of losing), and then I mentally flailed while watching Serpent Queen until 11:57 PM, when we searched for a fake ball drop that happened 3 hours earlier, kissed, and went to bed. It rained all night.

The mental flail was more about what to work on…this is why I don’t like a lot of down time between art projects. It makes me uncomfortable to just SIT and not do anything. That said, I have a book I need to finish by Wednesday at 7:09 PM. I think I’m going to make it, but I had to stop reading the one I was almost done with and focus on this one, which I wasn’t expecting much of, but it is proving more interesting than I thought. I joined a new book club with my friends in the old one, this one focused on mysteries. Hoping for some more recommendations. Hoping to read more, actually. It’s been hard to fit that in once school is in. Too much visual stimulation, reading-like, for school. Not very interesting stuff most of the time. But I managed 55 (almost 56) books last year…not bad…could be better.

So I made a goal to do better in 2023. Things I care about right now: reading, art, travel, my family, my friends. My job is pushing it this year. I obviously care about it because I don’t blow it off. I just think it is taking more than it should from me. Yeah.

Anyway, what else has been going on? Well you know that drawing I started the other day? I rolled it up and put it away. I have two deadlines I’m looking at that are pretty far out, but I find both of them interesting, so I had picked one, the one I’ve been thinking about for months, but then when I got to the paper, I felt like I didn’t know enough to draw it yet. I do have a rough sketch on that paper and I’m not giving up on it; it’s just that the other one started talking to me. Mostly during this hike we did on New Year’s Eve (trying to avoid the rain and the people who like to hike on the first day of the year, by hiking on the last day of the year instead).

Hollenbeck Canyon out past Jamul…

It was nice and cool…well, actually cold and rainy at times…

Totally great for letting your brain wander around…

My knee behaved fine…I’ve been doing physical therapy and trying to exercise enough. I find it’s hard to get out of the pajamas right now. Easier when it’s cold and wet to just stay on the couch and not do anything.

But I feel worse after that. So this is better. I think today is officially the last day of break when I have nothing that I have to do on my calendar. Which sucks. Lots of work and medical stuff over the rest of the week, with a little art stuff sprinkled in. I guess I have to think about work. Don’t want to. As usual.

ANYWAY, back to the drawing, I had done some research (I like to research stuff) and came up with some things tickling my brain, mostly Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy (my goodness, how DO you spell that…ah, one more capital letter). And some other stuff. Anyway, I cut out a piece of paper, walked away from it, and then started drawing.

So far, I’m all in pencil.

Yeah, I need to put the Xmas stuff away. Didn’t want to pull the boxes out yesterday with all the rain and wet. Maybe today.

So I will probably start some ink tonight, then some more pencil. Today is the boychild’s birthday. He is getting old enough that it makes ME feel old. Until it doesn’t. Because I’m not that old. Anyway, I don’t think any of that will stop me from drawing tonight, but I do want to get to a stage of this piece that is easier to do with less energy before school starts, because I know I will HAVE less energy when school starts, both mentally and physically. I’m having to full-on STEEL myself for going back (you can do it, one day at a time, you will get through it). Maybe that is always the case, but it seems worse right now. Certainly I feel in giant flail mode.

I have been slowly trying to stitch my way around this giant-ass quilt…

And I finished the April Homegrown blocks (Sue Spargo) finally…moving on to May now.

That sun in the lower right block took a goodly chunk of time on New Year’s Eve. And thread!

Oh yeah, more of the piñata show at the Mingei…

Not what you would expect from a piñata show…

Definitely worth going though…

Just think of it more as papier-mache sculpture. Plus the Mingei has other funky craft work all over the place…

Gotta love a giant Earth covered in beads.

Nova would. If she were allowed to.

Instead, she loved me.

Right up there in your face.

OK. I dreamed (nightmared?) about not having a shower last night. I’m not sure why, but it made me really want one this morning. I have a quilt to quilt, a drawing to draw, and a lot of work to work. I’m hoping to do some of all of it. Also need to pack up a fabric donation box or two, plus cut up more blocks for a donation quilt. I’m liking deadlines that are a long ways out so I don’t have to be so single-minded about making, although it freaks me out when I don’t have something to be single-minded about. I also need to read another third of my book so I finish it before it’s due (I figured a third a day would work). And enjoy the last day of break before the have-tos really kick in. Seems doable.

Really Slowly

Hello Christmas Eve! Actually tomorrow is our Christmas Eve. Or something. This year is too confusing.

I had this plan to be drawing every day during break. Not happening. No brain power for it. I get through a few errands and then need to lie down for a while. I am improving, but it’s slow and torturous. What is this thing? The same cold that everyone else has that’s wiped out the cold medicine section at my grocery store. I finally found more of the stuff that lets me sleep through the night without coughing, so that’s a plus. The rest is more about…well…rest. I need lots of it apparently. So the to-do list languishes. Or gets done really slowly. The physical stuff will have to wait until I have some energy back.

I’m doing a little art stuff every day, not hours of it like I would like to. Ah well. The little piece got ironed to fabrics over 24 hours…

There’s not a lot to it, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I did most of it Thursday night…

And then finished it on Friday night…

Only 33 fabrics…some of which were only used for one piece. Then I cut them all out…

With the idea of ironing them together this afternoon, but I did a bunch of other things (made sourdough starter pancakes to freeze, for the first time since August, wrapped the last of the Xmas stuff, graded two assignments, tried to make sense of another one, showered…that was exhausting)…and now I need a nap. We have one family gathering this evening and I’m already tired. I’m also still short on milk and couldn’t find eggnog, although I can make that from scratch if I have to…I’ve done it before. Probably my body is adamantly telling me what I need (as I half fall asleep here in the chair). Should maybe listen. Just 20 minutes for a snooze, eh?

You can see how the drawing isn’t happening. No energy to clean either; that has to happen tomorrow. We got skunked the other night and half the rooms still reek of it. Luckily Southern California has blessed us with lovely weather (sorry y’all) and the windows are open to dispel the smell.

I Zoomed with friends on Thursday night and made a fence and some veggies…

Do I fix the lumpy carrot or let it be its realistic lumpy self? Who knows.

Simba loves everyone being home…

Although the boychild is back at work until Monday and the girlchild was gone all yesterday, which is why I got his loving attention.

Kitten wasn’t having any of it…

She does RBF well.

This morning, Simba got one of his favorite people on the couch…

He was communing with his other doggie friends, passing the word along in boofy paragraphs.

OK. I can lie down and read for a while. Then go find some milk and maybe eggnog. We are food shopping tomorrow like nutcakes. It’s OK. I wrangled meat yesterday from a big guy who was sure I wanted it all cut up (I didn’t) and then winked at me at the end. Ugh. I don’t know whether to laugh my old chubby ass off at that or be creeped out (or both, which is where I’m at right now). Then off to the Man’s fam for a gathering that will be all noise and color and bright, like holidays are, which sometimes my brain appreciates. I’m hoping to get there in the next 3 hours. Until then, hello couch, hello book, hello pajamas. And hoping everyone gets some time to do what they want with whomever they want, furry beast or otherwise.

Fake Words…

My lord how is it only Wednesday. Also, brain, let me sleep. If I wake up to pee, it is not because I want to do a deep dive on how to plan the next unit. I really just wanted to pee and be asleep, honestly, as soon as I get back into bed, maybe sooner. Sleepwalking to pee seems OK to me, as long as I’m in the right place during and after.

Today is egg drop for three classes, something tsunami-related for two classes (and trying to get my last period of the day on track is hell on wheels…11 were absent Monday, 5 on Friday, and if you didn’t do Friday’s stuff, you can’t do Monday’s stuff, and if you didn’t do Monday’s stuff, you couldn’t do yesterday’s stuff, blah blah blah that class makes me want to quit 3 out of 5 days a week). Yeah. That. Friday was actually delightful because without those kids, the class was normal. NORMAL. Yesterday it was like wild animals had infiltrated the school.

Sigh. Three more days. I will still have to work a ton over break to try to get ahead in January (and February? Maybe?), but I won’t have to deal with the kids or the daily bullshit. Speaking of shit, I almost said it in class yesterday (it happens; even teachers slip), but corrected to ‘shinole’…pronounced ‘shi-know-lay’. IDK where this comes from, but it worked. The two I was working with (just edited myself out of a wide variety of nouns there) started yelling “She SWORE!” and I’m like, “I said ‘shinole’. What swear word is that?” Apparently I should be using the word ‘shinola’, which does mean shit. Imma stick with the fake word.

I came home early and went to the gym. I needed to. It’s kind of crazy how many Tuesdays I come home and need to go to the gym. I’m glad to have that. Then I cooked dinner and did some more applique for this secret project I’m doing, and then ironed the rest of the pieces down on the current quilt.

Here’s what I did Monday night…

Almost done…closeup of the Earth head…

Lots of details that need a stitching line. There’s some chaos here.

Then last night, the vomit…

Glad I picked black instead of green…

I ironed each of the little things together, then put the vomit down and put them all on top. At that point, it was almost 10:30, my arbitrary stop point, but I was fairly sure it would iron down quickly, so I just did it.

It needs a steam ironing, but otherwise, I’m ready for stitchdown. Also I’m tired. It only took a few more minutes to get it done though. And now I’m braindead. Maybe if I get more tea in me. Probably not though. We’ll see.

I forgot I did this Sunday night…although I messed up the fence.

It’ll be fine. I’m just needleweaving wider posts than were called for. It’s not the end of the world.

One of my students made this cat sculpture for me…

With tiny mousies…

She’s very creative. Sells them to other students. Also gave me two stickers yesterday…science-y ones. I appreciate her.

OK. Some crazy crap…shinole…going on today. I have a union meeting after school and then a book club zoom after that. Not sure when I will have time to do anything. But hopefully more ironing tonight. I need to put a label on another quilt, so I’m going to do that first, because it has to be delivered to a show this week. Thank goodness for friends who pick up art for me, because I couldn’t figure out when I was picking up from one show, and someone agreed to do it for me. Good stuff.

Revived by an In ‘n’ Out Burger…

I need to find a way to turn off WordPress’ suggestions for what to write about. They’re annoying. Why do I write? To document. I’m a historian kind of person. I like to be able to go back and see what the previous years were like. Plus it makes me make work every night. I know what works. So I do it. Even when I’m tired. Actually the pro of being absolutely exhausted when I get home from work is that I fall asleep quickly (for once) and HARD. It’s the only time I sleep well. So I’ve slept well (although never enough) for the last two nights anyway. Got my X-ray of the knee yesterday…although I guess I don’t want them to find arthritis. The knee is finally starting to improve, which is good. It’s been rough getting up the stairs into the house. Problematic for the future. Need to design a winch for the front deck so I can get up when I’m really old (or finally need knee surgery).

Ugh. Well, it’s Friday. Finally. The first part of the week is slow and sloggy. Then it speeds up and it’s Friday. Cool beans. There aren’t actual beans in this post, in case you’re wondering.

I’ve been ironing this thing together…it’s not hard so far, because the fussy stuff is in the body, and I did the whole background first…starting on Wednesday night…

Then last night, after my stitching meeting…I didn’t think I’d have the energy, I was so tired on the drive home, but apparently one can be revived by an In ‘n’ Out burger (that’s my theory anyway), and I managed about 42 minutes of ironing to get to here…

Sky and landscape are done…now on to the body etc. That’s the fussy little stuff. Looking forward to it.

I stitched with friends in a Barnes and Noble Starbucks, like we do once a month. Got the roof done in a little less than 2 hours. It’s fancy. Looks cool though.

This is Sue Spargo’s block of the month Homegrown. It’s fun. This block will have a vegetable garden at some point…at the rate I’m going, sometime in 2023, obviously. I’m hoping to get a couple (three?) of my finished Spargo quilts quilted over Winter Break. We’ll see, because I need to finish that other quilt and get it photographed before the first of January, so that could be an issue. Time! It’s fleeting.

Driving up to Mira Mesa and back was tiring…but I’m glad I got to hang with my people…we like words and weird stuff and grammar…and of course stitching. Or things with yarn/thread/paper. Branching out definitely. I’ll remember to photograph my gifted ornaments at some point…because they are both cool.

Kitten has been bringing me things all week…she used to do it all the time and then stopped, but now is getting a little obsessive. I gave her a piece of wool, hoping she’d stop raiding my stitching boxes (she didn’t, so I had to find lids for all of them)…

She also brings me my napkin from the couch (I use fabric napkins and I don’t eat at the table…so there’s often one on the couch where I sit…yeah, that’s weird, but it’s how I roll) and an occasional dog toy (the dinosaur). It makes her so happy…she talks the entire time she’s carrying it. She’s old but seems happy.

I didn’t take this burrito Simba picture…

He was at the other house. Apparently he was cold (it has been cold at night, in the low 40s/high 30s…which yes, I realize isn’t THAT cold, but it is for us). He comes back to us tonight and will hopefully be quiet and happily ensconced in the down comforter that is now on the bed, thank goodness; I’ve been cold at night.

School has been OK the last few days…a few people being out helps. We’re doing hard things in 8th grade (ugh) and easier fun things in 7th grade (the hard stuff will be next week). I’m planning a lot, best I can, but also feeling overwhelmed by details. Too many details. Anyway. At least I know I can iron tonight. And maybe do some planning. And maybe tomorrow can have less (or even no) school in it. My weekend posts from last year did not have school on Saturdays. Ah. Well. This year, I am not so lucky. May the knee continue to recover. May the flu stay the fuck away. And COVID while we’re at it. May my prep period be effective. May the kids who make things difficult have a good day or stay home (seriously, yes, I said that). Happy Friday y’all.

Until Nature.

Bless a 3-day weekend. Although I made stress for myself by deciding to go camping. My knee is cranky as shit, it’s gonna be cold as shit. And then I was like…there’s no wifi. You can sit in your chair in front of a fire, all bundled up, and read your fucking book. Or draw. Or stitch. In nature. Like fuck the rest of it. If I don’t attain an amazing hike because my knee is being an old lady, IT’S OK. I have three books on my iPad. THREE. Like what more do I need? (secretly puts an actual paper book in her bag, just in case). CAN’T do work. Yes. YES it will be stressful Sunday when I realize how much I need to do, but it was going to be stressful anyway. So yeah.

That said, I’m stressed this morning trying to get it all done. Tried to pack last night, Luna said no.

NOT NOW LADY. I WANNA BE IN YOUR BAG.

OK then. No packy. Pack later. Also signed up for an exercise class this morning. It made sense at the time. I thought I would have all day to do schoolwork, but no. Exercise is good though. It will be fine. And the cat has to go to the vet. And I still need to PACK. OK. Shhhh.

I finished the quilt Wednesday night, by the way. I have not calculated hours yet, but it’s a lot. I started drawing it in July? I think. Yes. July 23. Finished November 9. Fuck me. Insane year. Here’s the unofficial, standing on the fireplace hearth picture…

They don’t always have names right away, but this has been Same As It Ever Was since the very beginning. My old-white-lady educated self was horrified (still is horrified) by Roe V Wade falling, and then the following climate change policy dumbassery perpetrated by the not-my-Supreme Court, but really, if you’re young, of color, trans, LGBTQ in any way, poor, anything the old white guys don’t see as A-OK, then nothing has really changed. You still don’t have equal rights. Which sucks. And will continue to suck for a while, although the midterm elections were heartening. Hopeful. Not locally, unfortunately, but in general, trying to think positively and not go down the rabbithole of holy shit, when do I buy my own island and move there with my friends and family. Some of them. Yeah that.

I went out stitching with friends last night…finished the block on the left finally and started the one on the right…Sue Spargo’s Homegrown.

Perfect for when I can’t think straight.

Which I couldn’t. Rough day at work. Really, three out of the four this week were rough. Frustrating. Kinda done with this year. Only 23 weeks to go.

I’m reading a wonderful book though…almost done…Cloud Cuckoo Land by IDK, go Google it, oh wait, I guess I’ll do that for you, Anthony Doerr. It’s lovely, time-spanning, core story, nice thoughts even though also hard thoughts. Damn those, but they are good nonetheless. Mind-boggling at times. Yelling NOOOO in your head at times. Love that.

Yeah. Read it. I really can’t wait to sit on a chair in a campsite and finish it. That’s later today. But now? Now I need to pack, exercise, transport cat, pack some more, plan some school, blah blah blah. Until Nature. Thanks to veterans for what you’ve done, although my political nature isn’t a fan of some of it (and don’t tell me you’re protecting my freedoms…because you haven’t done that here…but that’s all a problematic conversation that we can have another day)…today, take some time, remember a veteran, enjoy the day in their honor.

Something Manageable

I need to start the next quilt. I apparently thought I had until March. I do not. I have until January. Uh huh. OK. Oh yeah. It needs to be SMALLER, Nida. Seriously. No freaking big monsters of a quilt right now. Something MANAGEABLE (unlike maybe my day job). I have it half drawn in my head. Can I do it without intense detail? I mean, I can make things smaller and STILL put 3000 pieces in them unfortunately. It’s OK. I got this. I might lose my mind while doing it, but I got this.

So it’s been a remarkably shitty week for making art. I still haven’t put the binding on the current quilt. I keep track of my daily hours on specific art tasks, although I don’t count sewing on labels or other prep to send stuff to shows, and that’s all I’ve done this week. In the last 7 days, I’ve spent barely an hour on art stuff and that just fucking sucks. I know I’ve done some fun stuff this week too that has taken up my available time (the cat just deleted that whole sentence by laying her head on the keyboard, and then was offended when I pulled it out from under her), but it still feels shitty. Grades are due Tuesday and I was hoping to keep this weekend free…excuse me while I hysterically laugh myself under the desk because I have so much grading to do and I haven’t even really lesson planned next week for 8th grade, and we’re camping next weekend, so I need to be able to plan out the following week as well, OMG, I can’t breathe. This weekend is fucked. All the weekends are fucked. So are the random holidays, even the week off, it’s fucked.

In good news, I did manage to get that label on the quilt I need to ship…

Took me almost all damn week just to label it, clean the cat hair off of it, cut slats, roll it, and box it up. Sad but true. The bindings for the other two quilts are still sitting over here, waiting to be sewn on. Hopefully tonight and tomorrow. Handsewing is easier to do in little chunks. I have to commit a big chunk of time to sew bindings on. I don’t want to stop halfway to go to bed. I guess I could, but it seems silly.

Wednesday night…I graded stuff and then dehaired the quilt. Thursday night I went to the Jurassic World Exhibition…free educator night (they want us to bring field trips)…

You know me, I’m finding typos…check out the Data Chanel…

It was cool. I had a really shitty day with the kids, really hard, walk away and try not to cry, quit your job, and go work somewhere that you don’t have to bring home with you every day kinda day. But the dinos made it better…

Also might have been hanging out with coworkers in a less stressful environment. Yes, dinosaur attacks are way less stressful than middle school classrooms right now. So that helped last night. Then spent a couple hours talking to stitching friends…and actually doing some stitching! WTF. I know. All I did was the curtains…

They’re fancy. Buttonhole stitch needle lace thingies. Luna was impressed.

Then I speed graded after that. And then came in and packed the quilt into a box, got a UPS label, and went to bed.

Today repeat. Well. No dinosaurs, but art opening tonight in Liberty Station. Then dinner out. Then hopefully some quick grading and some bindings to sew. I AM going to my quilt guild meeting tomorrow. I will bring the iPad and speed grade on that. Brainless effort stuff. Super fast. I want to hike tomorrow too. It’s been a while. Driving me crazy not getting out into nature and exerting myself. Then start drawing the next quilt. Make it fit on one page for once. I used to know how to do that.

I appreciate the colorful mornings right now. I realize I will lose them again after Sunday’s time change, but I will appreciate the fuck out of that extra hour.

And next week…hopefully there will be more art (sketchbook while camping!) and fewer stressful days at school. It’s been easier in the last few weeks, but the last two days were shit. Wish me luck today. I don’t have a lot of hope for it, unfortunately, but that’s because we’re making kids do hard things, and this group I have has a hard time with hard things. Sigh.

Wonky It Is…

The rain is here…Hurricane Kay is throwing us clouds and rain and eventually wind (not a fan of that…haven’t been able to afford trimming the trees on the slope…been on the list for a year, but the septic redo took all the available cash). The pro is that we need the rain (although not flood level) and it’s cooler today than it has been…still humid though. I have duty after school at the corner light…trying to find an umbrella (it might be in the car). The Man is hoping traffic isn’t bad this morning, and the Boychild is doing his (hopefully) final training tests for CalFire today. In the rain. But it’s rain! We need it. I’m still dripping sweat this morning though. Ugh.

I’ve gotten about an hour each night to iron…that’s it. Working on one of the two big heads…

That’s the first hour…

And this is the second hour…

The next step is the main figure’s torso, I think. I’m around piece 570 or so. Not even halfway. The Man has a show tonight, so I was going to go see that. Tomorrow is a bunch of quilt stuff. The next day is an art opening. Busy weekend. But hopefully I’ll get some more done. Slow but sure.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a meeting this morning (another one!), a ton of work to do for school, overwhelmed by all of it. The level of kid crazy I had to deal with yesterday was not appreciated. After school was all contacting parents and admin and writing stuff up. Very little “get work done”. I’m realizing this morning that I don’t really know what I’m doing for 8th grade…I was supposed to review it sometime this week, and I literally haven’t had time. So I’m searching for the videos that explain it as I drive to school? Possibly.

Last night, I enjoyed hanging with my stitching friends and doing a tiny bit of stitching…

Slow as molasses on this. And god forbid I actually measure and mark like she suggests. I’m pro-wonky in hand-stitched stuff. Good thing, because wonky it is.

OK, may the wind be kind, the rain spread out, the kids chill (oh that’s unlikely). May I find my umbrella and be super efficient today so I can feel better about next week before it happens. Also, it’s my half birthday, so where is my cake.

It’s All About Energy…

Today is a holiday for some, not all, as the boychild went off to training today, earlier than I wanted to be up, so then all the animals were ready for me to be up, in fact, I think Luna purposely got herself stuck under the dresser just so I’d get up (and then got herself remarkably unstuck) and the boys next door have new toy machine guns (seriously. I’m not kidding you) that they run around shooting at each other, rat-a-tat-tat, which is not conducive to sleep or thinking or anything but rage, honestly, or maybe less rage and more WTF toward their parents. Religious as fuck but machine guns. Anti-Satan (gasp!) but OK with killing. They seem like nice people. I just don’t get it.

ANYWAY. So I’m up earlier than I want to be, which has been the case since before the kids were born, so you’d think I’d be used to it. It’s still hot here, which make everyone cranky, although I think yesterday was cooler. We had clouds a lot of the day, and sure, they were monsoon clouds, so it’s humid, but not as bad as Saturday. Today dawned clear and hot, though…so all the fans are on and I’m in here typing before it hits 95 degrees inside. Even the internet is cranky in the heat. I was trying to do school work yesterday afternoon, and that was a no-go. Slow as hell and kept freezing. Could be the new loaner computer though. Either way, it gave me an excuse to quit working and iron instead. For whatever reason, my studio was cooler than the living room. There was actually a breeze yesterday. Not so much today…a little air movement, but not much.

So I finished the one figure…her right hand and face were all that I needed to do…

Then I started on the figure next to her…

That’s when I took a break to try to do schoolwork. Waste of time really. We went over to the parentals for dinner, brought side dishes and dessert (what requires the least amount of time in the kitchen)…then came back, it was dark and night and a little cooler, so I got the third figure done…

And started the large figure on the right, after the broken Statue of Liberty…

Some of my drawings are more stream of consciousness than others…I think of them as brain dumps or an anxiety drawing, how do I just get it all out of my head and onto paper. This is one of those. Whatever my concerns and anxieties are, for some groups of people (BIPOC/LGBTQ), this shit is way worse and doesn’t seem like it will ever go away. My old-white-lady concerns are ten million times worse for them. Anyway. I love that I made progress…hopefully there will be more today, but first, I really need to do schoolwork. Way fucking behind.

Friday night, we went to see the Threads of Inspiration show at Inspirations Gallery in Liberty Station. Here is my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill! about Bill Nye…who not only made all those awesome videos we know and love, but continues to advocate for the planet.

This quilt was part of the A Better World exhibit pre-COVID about people who make this a better world. So he’s traveled a bit. A friend of mine sent me this…

So I believe I am 4 or 5 degrees separated from Bill…which feels good. I hope he laughed.

The show is up through the end of September, so check it out, because there are some cool pieces…

It is a SAQA local show, so Southern California and Nevada…

If you’re coming the the first day of the SAQA Summit, the official artists’ opening will be that night.

I will be there for that. I will also probably be exhausted, but what’s new?

Lots of color in the show…

Some fun work…

If you want to see each of these pieces with all the artist info, I’ll be posting them on the SAQA SoCA/NV instagram page @saqa_soca-nv once I get done posting about Desert Diversity, the local show in Phoenix, Arizona, right now. Or stop by on Thursday, September 22, from 6:30-8:30. I think otherwise it’s open only by appointment.

The next opening is next Sunday, from 2-4 PM…

I delivered that piece Saturday. First time out in the world with that one. I will probably be at the opening earlier rather than later, depending on when the grocery shopping gets done. Sundays are a little crazy usually. This coming weekend is a little more packed than I like them. I like some down time, some art time, some reading time, some hiking time. Which means it needs to cool the fuck down enough to hike. Not happening today. Maybe Saturday.

I drew before we ate out on Friday night…it was definitely cooler at Liberty Station. Hungry man…

Didn’t feel like a serious drawing. So whimsical it was.

The view of clouds on Saturday reflected in the pool where I kept putting my feet to cool off.

I couldn’t find the energy to put on a bathing suit and go all the way in…so up to the knees it was. With my book.

Other bits and pieces from the week…I thought this drawing was a pretty effective explanation of yo-yos and energy.

Made me laugh anyway. And here’s the apples I brought home to compost from the apple batteries…they were getting buggy after four days…

Seems like a waste of food, but the kids learn a lot from this. Mostly they’re a little mind-boggled that apples have energy.

I keep finding caterpillars on the milkweed and on the citrus trees, but no cocoons so far…on either.

I think I have too many birds for the caterpillars to survive. Something has been stealing the tomatoes again too…I had one almost ripe one and it’s gone. Probably rats.

This…true…

What can I say? Black is versatile. Hides the spills.

This one was at my parents’ house, just hanging out on the grass.

Probably close to dying, but it was pretty.

I worked a tiny bit on Sue Spargo’s Homegrown. I think I’m still doing April’s blocks.

I had to read the instructions four times and then turn the book with the embroidery stitch instructions upside down to help me get this far.

This. Sigh.

And finally this…

Kitten is doing OK. She’s not great. We’ve been switching her meds around, trying to make her more comfortable, but also increase her appetite with giving her horrendous diarrhea. I think we’re closer to a solution, but I will be happy when I can stop giving her the medicine that makes her foam at the mouth.

OK, so all the things that need to happen today, on my holiday: cook lunches for the week (meat is in the crockpot already), laundry (I did not get to the washing machine first, so I will have to wait…also to shower), grade a bunch of stuff, post things for this coming week, pay some bills, get some posts ready for SAQA’s instagram, fix my website current shows and recent work sections, read my book (maybe), iron some art (definitely), and get ready in general for a short but packed week at school. I’m finally getting my lost filling replaced, got two parent-teacher meetings and one “how-the-fuck-do-we-manage-this-parent” meeting, got one stitching meeting, chiropractor with mini-massage before (that’s a necessity), plus a Pilates class. I think that’s it. I’m not counting next weekend. I wanted to hike but it’s too damn hot. So I’ll aim for next weekend for that. Plus there’s some stuff on my to-do list for the day that I’ve already forgotten, even though I only wrote it down like an hour ago. Hence why I write it down! At least this is a day off…I appreciate that, even if I haven’t been very efficient with my time. Hopefully the heat won’t be too bad today and I can get things done. I will feel better going into the week if I can.

I feel like this whole post is about energy, which is what I’m teaching the 8th graders. Less what I am teaching and more what they are learning. I just throw a bunch of materials at them and then they figure out the things with a little bit of help from me. Which is the way it should be.

Appreciate Those…

Isn’t this beautiful?

One of two pros to early morning wakeup in August: beauty in my eyeballs courtesy of the sky, and cooler temperatures, although I already have a fan on me (this room does not cool down until October). Today is the official first day back for teachers. I have a mask (2500 people in one room), two books on my iPad (might be ambitious), my small sketchbook, a Keen bar…no wait, Keen are shoes…a Kind bar. (I am neither this morning, keen or kind…I am kranky.)

I need to leave in about 25 minutes. I need to finish eating breakfast, drinking one cup of tea, prepping another one, take meds, WAKE THE FUCK UP. Yeah. That last one.

I am still proofreading around all this school stuff. I want to be done with it. It’s not hard…I’m just trying to be careful, because the copyeditor was inconsistent as hell. Next time, I will know to say something before now. Ah well. Learning experience.

I have been ironing a bit at night, but this room is still in the high 80s and stuffy as hell. I have one fan that runs below ironing-board height, which is better than nothing, but in reality, it’s just hot in here. On Wednesday night, I managed some water and things in the water…

Only in the 200s, though. Things need to go faster for me to meet my deadline.

Last night, I started into the flesh of the large figure and also one of the big heads in the quilt.

So now I’m in the 300s but also the 500s. Better, but not great.

There are six figures in this quilt…more than usual. So lots of flesh tones so far and not much else. Now that I’ve actually chosen what flesh tones I’m using, it should go a little faster…I’m hoping.

I met my stitching friends last night…finished one of April’s Homegrown (Sue Spargo) blocks, the bottom left. Then started the top one.

Carefully measured quarter inches there (not). I enjoy working on these. I’d take them with me today if I thought I could get away with it, but it’s going to be crowded and I won’t have room to spread out threads and scissors.

Yes, I am constantly thinking about how to be creative in whatever venue I am stuck.

The Man has a show tonight, but it’s at the Music Box, and I have a choice tonight about being stuck in a room with a ton of people…unlike today. I guess my choice could have been calling in sick. But I do always feel, as a union rep, that I need to hear the stuff from the mouths of the people in charge. So I put on my school shirt (sweating through it right now), pack my bag, and drive to where my carpool will pick me up, go to this thing, debate eating in a room with all those people. I will have to eat. And rejoice in coming home to proofreading and ironing tonight in a house with very few people. It’s all I can do.

Hey, it’s the girlchild! Loving a tree.

Cool. Peace out, Summer Break. You were OK. I appreciated the 11 books, 6 seasons of bingewatching Shameless, 1 big quilt done and the start of another, more sleep than usual (but never enough), the owls! (OK, that started before summer), quilting a bed quilt (that still isn’t done), some time for yardwork (also never done), and naps. Did I mention naps?

Yesterday’s quick nap (I set a timer) with Luna after training and before I started proofreading again. Appreciate those.