Adding Up to Chaos…

Holy shit…is it Friday already? What the hell happened to this week? Why is that weeks during the school year never disappear like this? I mean, I went to three science meetings and two exercise classes, and then the rest has been trying to get this quilt done. Which it will be! I guess that’s the pro. The bed quilt? Not done yet…although mom called yesterday and asked if she could do one row. Um, yes? Sure? I’m going back there today to hopefully get most of it done. Well, probably not, because it will be a lot of hours and I don’t have a lot of hours.

Anyway, so give a teacher a hug, because they are still suffering from PTSD from the last two years of school and the emails never stopped over the summer, unless you have not checked your work email, in which case, kudos to you. I can’t do that. I wish I could. My goal for the school year, my New Year’s Resolution (this is when teachers do those) is not to bring grading home. I know this will not work, unfortunately, due to two preps this year, but I did say GRADING and not PLANNING. Ugh. I’m freaking out. But everyone I know is freaking out, including those who don’t have two grade levels. And I’ve already fielded 20 or so work-related texts this morning…they are stressing me out even more.

So the quilting got done, both outlining and background, on Wednesday and Thursday…

I don’t know about you, but although I appreciate my machine telling me this, it just prompts me to yell “Fuck You” at it…

I went and bought binding fabric. I actually bought three because there were many old ladies with walkers wandering the quilt store, so I didn’t feel comfortable laying down my GIANT VULVA OPENING on the ground and testing the binding fabrics like I normally do. So I brought them home, trimmed the quilt…

And then picked the one that worked the best. It was hot yesterday, but I just sweat through the tasks. Put the binding on…

Half listening to the January 6 testimony. There’s a reason I don’t watch the news. I’m already anxious. It makes it worse. Binding got on, pinned down, sure I could machine stitch it, but I don’t like the way it looks. Too flat. And then started handstitching while on a Zoom with two stitching friends…

I got halfway around. The rest will get done today; it’s going to the photographer tomorrow. Picking up the desert quilt, then continuing on what I’m calling the Roe quilt right now. Not because it’s another abortion rights quilt, but because it’s a quilt about my response to Roe falling. I feel like this quilt I’m just finishing is a response quilt too…it started out about one thing and then all the other things intruded: Ukraine trying to fight Russia, guns, human rights of all sorts, Uvalde. Korean missiles. WTF else, y’all? I’m guessing the desert quilt is the only nonpolitical thing I’ll do this year. I have a couple shows coming up where I’m not sure what I’m entering because they have requirements about nudity etc and I just don’t care about their stupid rules. Ah well. Following rejections as well.

The milkweed I planted from seeds the boychild gave me over a year ago is finally doing its job!

Yay! I noticed lots of holes in the leaves but couldn’t find the perpetrator until I was watering yesterday. Happy happy.

OK, gotta pack up, go to mom’s , email the photographer, text another science teacher a question, review a bunch of science shit, quilt a bed quilt, finish binding the art quilt, email another science teacher after steps 4 and 5, maybe eat lunch (IDK about that), take my meds, make more tea, holy shit today is a tad on the frantic side. Let’s hope that doesn’t continue (it might…girlchild is home next week, I have two lunches to go to now, gotta clean her room, it’s all adding up to chaos). But Progress! On all the things.

I need a hike tomorrow. Seriously.

Get Away

It’s what I need to do sometimes so I can actually relax. The house is too full of things I need to do. The Man’s birthday was a week ago, so I booked us an Airbnb in Julian…not a long drive, but mountain reset. It was unfortunately hot hot hot (it will be hotter in August and September, but we are not acclimated), so the deck was not used as much as I would have liked, but we did appreciate the air conditioning, which we don’t have at home.

We played games…

I lost all of them. It’s OK. I usually lose. I’m at one with the losing.

We only went upstairs in the cabin once, to take this photo.

Why? Even with the A/C on, it was Hades up there.

We hiked…in the AM…not very far (3.7 miles)…it was too hot.

We often plan a bunch of hiking that doesn’t happen. Wild turkeys!

Why? Because we need the mental space more than we need the exercise. Lake!

I’m OK with all that. I know I will hike more. It was hotter in Julian than it was here at home in East County…

So more hiking wasn’t really something we were willing to do unless it was at midnight.

That is either a deer or a coyote.

In this picture, it seems more deerlike, but in real life, it was a toss up.

I’m betting coyote, because no shelter, broad daylight, no other deer around. More milkweed!

Being in the heart of some fairly conservative sentiments, we had conversations about intelligent design (that’s what we get for reading social media while traveling). The design of this flower for example. I think science and nature are mostly incredibly ordered…except when they’re not, and when they’re not, there’s a natural reason for it. Some people call that evidence that there is a god. I call it evidence that this is the way natural things work. Plant needs insects to reproduce. Flowers evolve that increase this particular plant’s ability to reproduce. The ones that failed are no longer around because they did not have that advantage. Maybe they were really chaotic milkweed plants that fought the bees off. So they aren’t here anymore.

No one who thinks a lot about how human pregnancy and/or the uterus works would consider that intelligent design. Certainly there’s a bunch of politicians who have never ever understood how that works.

Red-tailed hawk?

Anyway. We appreciated nature.

As you should.

We also appreciated some breweries and wineries and cideries…

And I especially appreciated the time and space to just draw for drawing’s sake…

We even listened to some music…

This one had those misting sprinklers. Pro: it was raining on us constantly. Con: can’t draw when it’s that wet.

Some of the music was really good (Berkley Hart).

Lots of drawings…

Some of it back at the cabin over a couple of days…

That one’s not done. Which is good.

My one time on the deck, before it got too hot.

Small but nice.

We contemplated the universe.

And all the things in it.

It’s OK if you don’t get that. It made us giggle. And then we came home to hot and to-do lists. It’s fine. Really. It was good while it lasted.

I had some huge batting issues on Friday…all my own fault really. So I had to buy new batting and wash it and ran out of time to pinbaste, so I did it yesterday with a fan blowing on me the whole time.

This is not a small quilt. I keep saying that. It was supposed to be smaller.

But I got her pinbasted and then managed almost two hours of quilting…

I have a deadline on this one and it’s tight. But I’m going to do it.

But first, today I have two science meetings, so I need to go make my lunch and pack up and take my meds and brush my teeth and make more tea and get the fuck out of here. Plus deal with all the things on the to-do list, which threaten to bury me even during the summer, when I’m not working the other job. Well. Except today I sort of am working the other job. So there’s that. It’s a good thing I took a weekend off from almost everything.

In My Heart

So. Progress on the quilt. She’s all ironed down. More about that below. Also, I don’t know what it feels like to watch the Uvalde video that was released yesterday if you’re NOT a teacher, but as a teacher, one who has done way too many lockdown drills with classrooms of 30+ kids and tried to keep them quiet while admin bangs on the door, simulating a shooter trying to get in, that was beyond horrible. I can unfortunately totally imagine being down on the floor with the kids (because we are, even in a drill), WAITING FOR THE COPS…for 77 minutes and hearing nothing but screams and kids asking for help. Makes me sick to my stomach. And yes, there’s a fine line between knowing when to shoot and and when to not shoot, and I would hope cops would be trained in that (they’re not…well, unless you count ‘we don’t shoot at white people even when they have guns’ and ‘we shoot at people of color even when we shouldn’t’…all training that I think should be trained out of them or they should be fired), but this is boggling. Three guys run down there with weapons, the ‘good guys with guns’ and then they run back? And nothing happens for an hour? Every teacher is curled up with her kids in their room, trying to keep them calm? In some classrooms, kids are dying and maybe could have been saved? I just don’t get it. I totally get being scared of being shot. I do. But I didn’t sign up for it…and cops did.

Y’all, I don’t pray. It’s not what moves me. If it does you, splendid. Do it. But I do hold all those kids and teachers in my heart, even though it makes me cry to do so. I’m not sure what’s worse: cops killing people who don’t deserve it in traffic stops or cops standing there in a school hallway, checking their phones, getting hand sanitizer, while little kids and their teachers lay there dying. They are both despicable. Both unacceptable. Plus the whole issue of guns being available to everyone. There’s a new gun for kids, a JR-15…the little kid version of an AR-15, so you can have one just like your parents. This country, this culture we have grown here, it makes me sick. And it makes an awful lot of people dead. Kids.

And in all that, I find some peace in the quiltmaking process. I’ve been lucky to still not have to go in for jury duty (two more days, knock on wood). Ironing this quilt together while bingewatching Netflix is somehow meditative. The bad things are still in my head, but they just end up in the quilt and I can walk away? I can’t really, but it’s a place to funnel the emotions. There are always moments when I wonder how safe my job is; I hope no one ever thinks to come on our campus to use a weapon…but every teacher thinks about it. I’ve seen the upcoming trainings for the new year, and active shooter training is part of it. Because my country hasn’t figured out how to keep schools safe. Get rid of guns, y’all. Start there. Easy.

So I ironed for quite a few hours on Monday…

Like four hours. Got all the arm and body stuff done and lined up. Just a head left.

Here’s the view from the top…

Plus some of the arm stuff…

Money money everywhere. Then yesterday, I managed to iron the head together…

And a bunch of things in the sky. Bombs actually. I had finished drawing this piece and was starting to trace it on Wonder Under when the Uvalde shooting happened, so I added that. It was before Roe v Wade fell, but there were rumors. And I had left COVID out, because it felt like I could, but it doesn’t any more. So many people still getting it, and now the news that getting it multiple times increases your risk for a bad outcome. So I added the Supreme Court with the clotheshanger and the COVID virion. Plus monkeypox! That looks like a fun virus, right? Not. It’s not in this drawing. It came later.

Anyway, then I pieced the background and ironed the whole thing down. It’s bigger than I thought it was…which is silly, because I drew it and I know exactly how big it is. I had the man hold it up so I could take a photo.

I made a comment on Instagram about cropping this…I meant the photo…to get all the extraneous life out of the picture…the dog toys on the ground, the other quilt in the background, my daughter’s high-school graduation photo. The milk crate I use for firewood (I’m so fancy). The Congratulations sign that my aunt found in my cousin’s house when she was cleaning it out (my cousin died in 2020, before the pandemic hit). But that is my life, my existence. I’m not making these quilts in a huge, beautiful, well-lit studio. I’m in a cramped room that has too much furniture in it, the linoleum is all torn up because I used to iron on the floor for the big pieces, it’s hot in summer and cold in winter (although cold in my part of Southern California does not include snow, so not REALLY cold, but hot is well over 100 degrees with no air conditioning). Still on my summer to-do list is cleaning up the computer space in here…by the end of the school year, it’s absolute chaos.

But it is my space. And I am lucky to be able to spread the artmaking out into the living room with my light table. I have people who will hold up my quilts for me, who will help me deliver and pick pieces up, who will buy my work and send me messages and tell me I’m making good work. So those are all good things.

Today I do the stitchdown. Notice I didn’t say START the stitchdown. I need to do it all today. I’m running out of time on this one. There’s a deadline. Yeah, I missed the last deadline. Ah well, but it would be good to make this one.

Also, I feel like we need to either plant this or compost it.

I don’t actually like sweet potatoes most of the time, although I had one in a salad on Saturday that was OK. But I think this one is done. I could be wrong. If the boychild were home more than the 7 hours he was home last night (one fire, then another one that got canceled, plus some sort of drill today), I could ask him if it’s OK to get rid of it.

The owls are still really active. I need to go out there and try to trim the branches in the way of the new camera location. It’s hard because I’m short and it’s on a slope.

So today. Sigh. Don’t watch the news. Stitchdown. Trim some branches. Probably plant some things and clean up some other things. Exercise. HERMIT. Still doing that as much as possible. It’s less than a month until school starts. I need every day of that month (I won’t get every day; I already know that, but I’m going to try) to be ready. Decide what to do with the sweet potato. You’d think that would be the easiest thing to do today, but I hate to waste food. Even food I don’t like. Deep breaths. Especially for Uvalde. Honestly, I feel for the cops too. I feel like there are certain jobs where you get in trouble if you don’t follow orders, and maybe this was that kind of situation. I’ve had principals that would micromanage the shit out of you and threaten your job, and not everyone can afford to just jump ship. I couldn’t. In that case, whoever was that ordering person, man, you’ve got some explaining to do.

If You’re Into It…

Hmm. Independence Day. I think that word does not mean what you think it means. Lots of people have always had issues with today…since it meant independence for some and not others. It seems worse this year, although for some, it is the same as before…not independent. 60 bullet wounds on a young black man in Ohio…seems unnecessary. And another shooting today in the Chicago area…so far, 6 are dead and many injured. Another one of those high-powered rifles no human really needs to own. It’s frustrating. It’s depressing. It’s disheartening. So yeah, not in the mood to celebrate anything today with a barbecue and a bunch of people. Not that I usually do that stuff…but even fireworks are irritating me at the moment…too many illegal fireworks locally, including on our street, setting off the Man’s car alarm. No fires so far, so that’s good, but sheesh. We have official fireworks…can’t you watch those? Oh no? You have to have your OWN fireworks. We are such a special country…I mean that oh so sarcastically.

I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night, and then got up early, so we could go hike in the mountains before it got too warm. It’s been days and days of too warm, so a few cooler days have been appreciated. No worries, it’ll be back to warm by the weekend.

So where are we at? It’s July. I’ve finished a bunch of embroidered and quilted pieces into objects that can be sold. I have two more to do and then I’ll put them all on Etsy and let you know. I finished cutting out all the pieces for the current quilt on Friday night…

putting in some solid hours Thursday and Friday…15 1/2 hours total of cutting things out. Then sorted on Saturday night in between a bunch of other stuff that included finally getting the last quilt photographed after embroidering two tiny snake eyeballs.

Sorting took just under an hour to do…

And now I’m ready to iron it down, but I decided to do some things that had to be sewn first…like all those embroidery finishes, and then I needed to put borders on a bed quilt I made for my own bed in 2008…well, it’s not a quilt yet. It was just a top that needed borders. Now it’s a top…

That needs a backing to be pieced (today probably) and then the batting gets here Wednesday and then sometime after that, we go to mom’s house and figure out how to short-arm quilt it. By ‘we’ I mean me and the quilt. And mom will help. Because she’s done it before and I haven’t. Because it’s a bed quilt and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Yes. It’s bright. And it has aliens all over it. I’m OK with that. Then I can put a binding on it and finish it 14 years after I started it.

Once the backing is pieced, I can start ironing the other one together, the actual art quilt. I tried drawing the next one last night but my brain is a fucked-up mess. I found a drawing I did back in November and I’m going to enlarge it, redraw some of it, and then add to it. For the next one. Yeah. I was going to look at some of the other deadlines, but hell…I’m just making what makes me feel better right now. Full of anger and sadness and political shit.

Sigh.

Yesterday, the boychild helped clean the roof off…too many leaves, plus rinsed the solar panels. I’m not sure if we have to do more than that.

Our solar production is up a bit today over yesterday, so that’s good. The next step would be to use soap and warm water and then rinse them off, and I don’t know that I can get him to go back up there and do that.

So back to the hike. We did Red-Tailed Roost and Agua Dulce, about 4.8 miles. It was pretty. There was some up, but not a lot. It was hot, but not that hot. We were there early, so that helped.

Neither of us had done this hike before…

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be back in the area to celebrate the Man’s birthday, which is this week.

There were lots of trees, although definitely a fairly recent burn up there. Looks like it was a controlled burn a few months ago, when I search it up online.

We saw a few bikes and a few hikers…pretty quiet for a holiday, but we got up there fairly early. The parking lot was filling up as we left…

It was nice to be out in nature.

Even with killer trees…

Didn’t spend a lot of time under that one…

So now I need a snack, a nap, and some time with my book…

Which is my idea of a holiday. Also, I’m wearing this…

My brother and SIL called and are dressed appropriately for the holiday as well in black and politically appropriate shirts. I was the only one in the family with a uterus shirt, shockingly. I debated between it and my ‘Up with the Matriarchy’ shirt…saving that one for jury duty, I guess. My SIL found an appropriately themed protest for the 4th…

She’s in Montana…which has good people. Much like we do here, although some days I wonder.

OK. So happy 4th if you’re into it. If you’re not, have a snack, a nap, and read your book. Dress appropriately. Make some art if you want. Or don’t. That’s my version of an independent day for this year.

Overreaching Authority…

My country is fucked. My country has gone backwards 50 years (or more). My country is in a morality war that doesn’t really track as morality (give birth, but we won’t make the man responsible for shit, and we won’t help you…especially if you are a child who was pressured, raped, or subjected to incest…then we are gonna screw you up forever). I’m not sure the quilt I’m currently working on (which was drawn before all this happened with Roe v Wade) is angry enough. Does angry art do anything? I don’t know. It funnels some of the anger out of me. Briefly. I currently have a bunch of addresses for the Supreme Court Justices who violated our rights. What was it that AOC said? That the Supreme Court overreached their authority in reversing Roe v Wade, and we should do as Lincoln did with the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves…”he ignored the gross overreach and abuse of power,” Time to pass some laws that the Supreme Court, which is NOT making choices for the people right now, can’t fuck with. Yeah. That. Or statewide, refuse to follow laws that will cause death, some of it in children. You’ve probably already seen cases where gynecological cancers can’t be treated because of abortion concerns, or when actual medical treatments that will save a woman’s life come up against this law, as in an ectopic pregnancy. It seems like it’s so simple…just don’t let abortion occur, but there are treatments that will save a woman’s life that might end the life of an embryo or fetus. Sometimes those hard choices need to be made. Not even talking about choice, bodily autonomy, even IUDs qualify as abortion in some states. I’m disheartened. But not giving up. Frustrated. Angry still. Probably won’t get over that. And I keep going through my artwork and finding more about human rights.

So it’s always hard to be working on a quilt that was really speaking to me in the beginning while something else grows in my head. I wasn’t thinking I’d have to do another one about abortion rights in the same year I finished My Body. My Choice. Silly me. Although as I was ironing Wonder Under to fabric the other night, those handmaids came back. Because they’re in this quilt. So I guess I never stop thinking about it. Anyway. I’m really close to the end. I’ve been doing about an hour or so of ironing Wonder Under to fabric each night…

And they all start to look the same…

I know I added some more greens and another blue fabric in there, plus some purples. I got to the head too, although I didn’t finish it. I’ve been cutting pieces out each night too, so the box never gets full, because I’m always working on emptying it. I cut stuff out while the Man and I watch our nightly show, so about 40 minutes or so a night.

Often the stuff I had ironed down the night before. So there’s progress. I have about 100 or so more pieces to iron down…the rest of her head (teeth, eyeballs, hair) and a few things I added at the last minute: the Uvalde kids and a COVID virion. Couldn’t leave them out. Almost done at 20 1/2 hours of ironing. I have 6 1/2 hours into the cutting-out portion, so probably another 5-10…can’t tell. Then I can start ironing it together.

While another drawing populates itself in my head. Not sure I can finish another one in time for my multiple deadlines on 8/1. Hmmm. Kinda depends on how many other things I’m doing. I’m still copyediting this book, hopefully done by Friday. I have another book I’m proofreading (somewhat easier and faster than a copyedit) in late July/early August. If I don’t get called for jury duty, I can get a lot done, but I’ve also been working on the yard, trying to do a little every day. It’s a lot. But it needs doing. I am reading and trying to deal with the heat and hopefully upping the exercise quotient and the eating-healthy quotient after the last few months of school fucking with that on a regular basis. We’ll see. Oh yeah, and since the courts are continuing to make really bad decisions, I’ve gotta pick an appropriate alternative religion to pray to at school…

Being an atheist makes this more difficult, but I guess I can be totally open about that at school now, since the ruling, right? OH! You mean it’s just Christianity that’s OK? WTF. Huh. That makes no sense. As usual.

OK. Work. Lots of it. Whether it’s on the computer, copyediting or school, in the yard, or with fabric, it’s what I do. Lots of it. With some reading and cups of tea to counteract the 90-degree temperatures here. Plus gotta get the crockpot going for dinner. Yeah. Getting on with it.

A Place in the World

Still here, still trying to find a place in the world. I realize for many that the US has never had a place for them. As an educated white female, I always had a place…not a great one, not an equal one, but better than many. We were never 1st-class citizens. And now it is worse. Depressing and worse.

What do we do? Ah well, that is always the question…

There’s that. There’s making art, donating money (when I have it, which isn’t now), writing postcards, protests…

When I can handle them, marches, figuring out how to get rid of half the Supreme Court without violence, voting, persuading others to vote. Sigh. I remember in college locking arms with others in front of women’s health clinics to keep the anti-abortionists from harassing women coming into the clinics. It was the era of bombing clinics, but no part of me considered that. Youth. But I did think about that when I was at the vigil on Friday night. People will die. Many of them will be women who aren’t allowed to get healthcare they need or who find it unsafely, illegally. Women will die. For this shit. Ignorance. Unscientific ignorance.

Still processing all of that.

Meanwhile, there was an artist event at the California Fibers’ show at Visions this weekend. I’ll post more about that on their website and link it here later this week.

They all had better clothes than me…not hard really.

The show is up through July 2…you should go check it out. It’s a wide variety of textile art.

I’m still ironing stuff down and cutting things out…

I’m getting close to done with the ironing…

I’m almost done with the 800s, so maybe 250 pieces left? Or less?

Nowhere near done with the cutting out unfortunately. Getting there. Although now this competes with copyediting, which started Friday and will hopefully be done this week. After this morning’s science meeting. I take breaks in between copyediting to go beat my yard or house into submission. Copyediting means I must be supervised…

She’s not very helpful.

I am trying to finish up some embroideries/small quilts to put on Etsy. I got these done on Thursday…

I’ll let you know when I’ve had time to put them on Etsy…

I might rephotograph too…ugh…

I know I’m trying to do too much. That is always the case though.

Oh yeah, baby owl…see the little white bit in the hole? That’s one of the babies!

That’s the best photo I’ve gotten, though. They hide when I come up further into the yard. Getting brave though!

OK. Science meeting, then copyedit, then more yardwork. Finish my book before it’s sent back to the library. Try not to burn down the country while I’m at it. Huh. Maybe.

It’ll Never Happen…

In a previous relationship, I suggested that the Republican right was out to get women, and I was told no, I’m wrong, it’ll never happen. Hmmm. Gaslight much? I’m frustrated with my country. I’m frustrated with the inequalities. I’m frustrated with the need for control over uteri and what they do. For fuck’s sake people, I HAVE one of them and it does not listen to me. Also why aren’t the sperm part of this lockdown on rights? Y’all waste so many of them. I feel like that’s an issue.

All joking aside, we can propose vasectomies for boys, education for boys, laws against men, OR we can just give everyone the right to choose what is right for them. Free will…it’s what’s for dinner. And what does it mean that I’m sitting here wondering what they don’t want us to see or notice that these documents were leaked? What ELSE is going on? What are they trying to distract us from? It’s sad to me that what I used to think of as the highest court in the country has been downgraded to a political puppet. It’s not about laws or rights…it’s about control. I’m not sure those proposing all these changes have any sort of long-term memory. It’s been like this before…and maybe they should read some dystopian novels…when you try to hold the people down, they will revolt.

I guess more quilts are in the works. It’s interesting…I did just finish the abortion rights quilt in January (see it at Visions Art Museum in October!). It was hard to make. Hard to draw. Hard to work on. Emotional. And I’m glad to have never had to have an abortion, never needed to make that decision, but I know women who have. And I’m glad they had the choice. So the quilt I’m working on now was supposed to be lighter, give my mind a break. But now I feel bad for working on a “light” quilt, one with no political or social message. (Rolls eyes at self). Well there are tons of deadlines coming up. Guess they will all be about wars…wars with tanks, wars on the body, wars on women…wait, no, wars on everyone who is not a rich white male. Wars on gender, sexuality, race, color, poverty. We have learned nothing. And damn, those pink hats aren’t gonna do it this time. I need Thor and his hammer or some equivalent.

Sigh. Meanwhile, I teach. It’s hard. Their attention is nil. It’s a fight with some classes. Pay attention! Listen! Get on task! Wake up! Heads up! Stop yelling out! Some days I feel like I’ve been in boxing matches all day.

The meditative quilting at the end of every day is a plus. It’s a relief. It’s a joy, even though it’s tiny and fussy and scrunched up.

A leaf-nosed bat…

It’s a slow process…Monday night, I did the rest of the torso, one of the pupfish on her breast, the bat, all of the plants on the bottom right, and a little bit of the sky.

That was a little over an hour, I think. Then last night, I did the rest of the plants, the quail, the other pupfish, the heart and lungs and other breast, and a bit more of the sky.

So tonight, I should be able to work on the arms and/or the head. It’s getting closer to being done. I’m going to need binding fabric. More importantly, I need to draw the next one. It was a rough draft in my brain. Sleeping last night made it much more clear. Also Roe v Wade made it more clear. And dumb people made it more clear. Controlling people. People who say I’m imagining a war on the uterus. Whatever. I roll my eyes at you.

Another thing I did last night was spend an hour plus on the phone with the Man, who I hadn’t talked to since I left him at Kennedy Meadows. We text, but it’s hard to keep a coherent conversation going between his work and mine, and his lack of Wifi at night. It was nice to hear him talk. It’s still 3 1/2 weeks until I see him.

After that, I did some plant reconnaissance…had two succulents I’d cut off a huge plant that I’m trying to establish elsewhere in the yard, and in doing that, I noticed some new flowers…this one has never flowered…

And I thought I’d killed this one…

I get two succulents mailed to me each month. It’s one of the things I started in quarantine to make me happy, and it continues to do so. I keep most of them alive. I have no idea what that offshoot is gonna look like, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

And this one came from the ex’s house, fell off a rock. I didn’t know it flowered…and so BIG.

I need to transplant some of it back to his rock.

Meditations with cats…

Really, just this cat.

Oh and here are some Nida oldies…I don’t even remember painting this one for my cousin and her husband…

My cousin died in 2020 (not COVID) and this just showed back up at my house. Huh. Not sure what to do with it. This is circa 1987, in case you didn’t think I always did weird bodies. I did.

And this is high school…another gift…this to my great uncle.

I loved Vanity Fair magazine and would draw the models with my own take on it. I guess you can see the beginnings of my style peeking out here. Certainly I was looking at shadows and blocks of dark and light before I ever started working in fabric.

OK. Job calls. Car is still in the shop. Not sure what’s wrong with it. Work was hard yesterday. I’m hoping it’s less hard today. Ha! What a joke. I’m hoping I get to keep my prep period…I need it. Grades are due next week. I’m hoping for an easy, cheap car fix. Ha! OK. Work. Go.

What If I Run Out?

I came home Monday night, still on Boston time. Sort of. Yesterday, we shopped and packed, and today we’re leaving on California time. Sort of. I’m still up too early and tired and hungry at the wrong times. If at all (hunger…always tired). I’ve got 9 maybe 10 days of mostly nature in front of me. There’s some art and one house stay, but mostly nature. Mostly have showers and toilets, but maybe not on one night. I might come home on my own; I might bring the Man back with me. So many possibilities (no, I’m not leaving him by the side of the road…he might have a job). I have a couple, maybe three books loaded up to read, some stitching, a sketchbook, and probably more shirts than I need. I have more pants than the Man. IDK how he does it, but I can’t wear one pair of pants for ten days. Not happening.

Here’s hoping for some sleep, some hiking, and some relaxation. Keep the weather nice and the neighboring campsites nicer. Or empty. I’m good with empty. The campsite we’re supposed to be in tonight had 21/35 campsites empty yesterday. I’m good with that. Suspect they won’t all be that empty, but that’s OK. I bought a new camp chair to lounge in. I made rice krispies treats (that’s my camping treat). I get to see some art quilts on the way up. It sounds good, yeah? I hope it is.

Monday, I blogged from here…

The couch in the girlchild’s bedroom. I left for the airport from there and flew home, graded most of one assignment because the video screens in our row on the plane were broken. Sucked. I wanted to see the second half of the movie I started watching on the way out. Oh well.

On Monday, we got to announce (finally) that we got into Quilt Visions…

I’m excited. And so glad the jurors Sheila Frampton Cooper, Lisa Walton, and Petra Fallaux chose the abortion rights quilt, My Body. My Choice.

It’s one of those quilts that might never get into a show. Politics y’all. Difficult topics.

So I thank them for being brave. I appreciate the opportunity to show the hard quilts. I know some people aren’t going to like it. I’m hoping we can have a conversation.

Also, this.

I waver between this level of confrontation and wanting to converse to hopefully give people a different view. I think I know what they will say about their side of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m wrong a lot.

I read a bunch the last few days…this is from Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. The cat amused me.

I really liked that book. Also about a pandemic. Maybe should stop reading dystopian futures.

Because the pandemic. Yeah. I tested negative when I got home on Monday. I have no symptoms, either from my daughter’s cold or exposure before I went on break. Knock on wood that it stays that way. Guess I’m not ready to give up masks at school yet.

I was hoping to get some stitchdown done the Friday I left and/or yesterday around packing, but I just didn’t have the energy. I have to concede defeat. I will not meet the deadline. It’s OK. It’s still a beautiful quilt and will find a home, an exhibition, somewhere to be seen. Most of them do. Yes, some of them don’t. Those always perturb me. Sometimes it’s obvious why…they’re a little TOO quirky and strange. Sometimes I have no idea why.

Last night, we watched the first episode of a series. I wondered why the Man chose that, since the probability of his being gone until sometime in late July/early August is pretty high. Ah well. It wasn’t that compelling. I stitched stuff down because it was brainless. Kitten hung out with me because she missed me.

I missed her too.

I need to keep track of how much embroidery I do while camping. I am currently panicking that 5 blocks of embroidery is not enough. Is that crazy? It might be. I feel like I finished one on the last trip. OK, so to keep track, I have two blocks of the four March blocks embroidered, so I’m taking two with me, plus three or four from April. Should I pack May? Is that crazy? I don’t know. I just don’t know. WHAT IF I RUN OUT?!

Crafty people understand. OK, we leave in 35 minutes. I need to go pack the food and get the hell out of here. See you on the web. I have internet in three days? Maybe?

No Chill…

Well I’m still in the part of this quilt that looks boring…all the photos look almost the same. Here’s Monday night…

Needed to finish that piece above the boxes plus another yard.

And here’s last night, with all of it done…

I mean, I can see the difference. The bin is definitely full. There’s definitely not another yard to cut out. That’s 9 hours of work there. Another hour and a half tonight of sorting pieces, and then…Then I need to clean my office so I can iron these to fabric…the cleaning part might kick my ass. It’s a disaster in here. And I’m in the middle of sorting through my fabrics, so I don’t really want to put stuff away if it hasn’t been halved, which is how I’m handling sorting through my fabrics. Whatever. We’ll see how I feel tonight. I had to be up early for a parent meeting this morning, plus union meeting after work. Yesterday was a slog getting kids through stuff they didn’t want to do (it wasn’t a video game or texting their friends, plus I apparently give THE MOST WORK of any of their teachers…sigh).

But ironing will happen soon! Lots of colors and things in my head. I’m looking forward to that.

The finger is improving. I did end up going to urgent care, where they confirmed it was infected, but didn’t remove the nail (woo hoo!)…so I’m on antibiotics and regular hot soaks, unfortunately just of the finger and not the whole body.

I got the photos back of the new quilt and finally named it. I had a name and it was right before I fell asleep and I didn’t document it anywhere, so no one knows what it was, but I finally settled on My Body. My Choice.

In my head, it’s been Fuck Texas all this time, but it’s really fuck the politicians and busybodies who think they have a right to decide for everyone.

I don’t have any chill about this topic.

I can’t have a calm, intelligent discussion with anyone about it.

I just need those people to fuck right out of my country.

So there’s that. I might feel differently in the future. I’m debating signing up for one of the SAQA Lightning Talks for the upcoming conference. It’s hard, though, because I don’t want to deal with the maskholes arguing their rights and there are issues with just arguing women’s rights…there are plenty of non-men out there who need rights. So I’m mulling it over.

We’ll see. Anger is one thing; being persuasive or even just informative is another.

Then there was this…

I love when people who don’t actually know how to teach tell us how to do something that is time-wasting and unsustainable and doesn’t even make sense. You don’t want me to change instruction when your kids NEED something different? Are you fucking stupid? Plus are they giving teachers time to do this? Because I’m lucky to be about 10 days ahead on my planning right now…usually it’s less than a week. Politicians are idiots.

OK. Work: Meeting plus teach plus grade plus pull my hair out and panic over previous bits plus another meeting. But then sorting and cleaning. I can do all those things.

May the Vax Be Strong…

I have exactly…wait…3 hours less than 5 days until I have to be at school. Plenty of time for everyone and their mother to get COVID this time around, right? The Man spent 2 hours yesterday waiting in line for a test. Ironically, he had no symptoms until yesterday. I suspect we’re all getting this version. May the vax be strong.

I was hoping to hike today, but I suspect it will be tomorrow. I finished copyediting on Monday and sent it all back today. It will be back in my inbox in March, but just for a short review…hopefully. Meanwhile, it’s done and that’s a relief. I started grading stuff on Monday, sort of in panic mode, because I’d mentally listed everything and completely forgot about one nonnegligible assignment. It will be fine, although grades are due in about two weeks, so I can’t forget that part. I know I have two art assignments due before that and I’ll need to go in to grade those. I worry about the kids who will be out with COVID next week…if they don’t come in and they haven’t finished those assignments…they’re on paper. It’s not like there’s a digital version. I do need a digital alternative for the inevitable COVID contracts though. So that’s on my panic list too. My solution to all this panic? Slowly, methodically grade everything. Do the little stuff on my list, one step at a time. Last night, I packed my daughter’s box of the shit she couldn’t fit in her luggage that she got for Christmas (mostly cookbooks). I also sewed on the missing button from my pants that have been in here since November. Does the button match? Nah. Not really. I’m OK with that. I also need to mend a sweater…not sure how exactly to do that, but it’s on the list. So is moving gravel, sanding the mailbox, and washing the hallway wall. Those are all doable things. One at a time. Cups of tea in between. Maybe shower. Not sure. Maybe not.

I need to get more quilting in during the next 5 days. I can do that. It’s slow and careful at the moment. Facial expressions are details that can’t be rushed…

But I spent most of yesterday in an apparent spa day: got a massage so the chiropractor could actually adjust my neck (copyediting hazard), then haircut (twice a year, whether I need it or not), then counseling. All good. So not much quilting has been happening, but there is progress.

I’m almost out of the bodies in color and into the sky, then the bodies in gray.

It’s good to have a goal…I’ll need binding for this, so that means a store, which means I need it by this weekend, or I won’t be able to get the binding on for another week. Ugh. Stupid store hours conflict with day job. It’s a goal.

I do know what quilt I’m making next, so I could start drawing that. Not here, but this is Drawing #15 of Winter Break.

Not every night…but most of them. Often with this guy cuddled up to me for warmth.

Then there’s Nova and her new box…

I think it was supposed to be for the girlchild’s stuff, but I decided to send those in two boxes.

So, UPS store today, plus either a hike or the gym, plus making my favorite wontons (without kid help this time, unfortunately), and quilting and drawing and grading. And gravel. And sanding. And washing. Just got busy, eh? What’s new? It is how I roll. But right now, I’m going to eat brunch and read my book…brunch because it’s almost lunchtime and I was doing other stuff until now. Yah. Fancy.