My Days Are Off…

I keep thinking my days are off. Isn’t today Thursday? It feels like I’ve done three days of school (I haven’t). Yesterday had a very Wednesday feel to it…I was convinced I had prep period at the end of the day (I didn’t). My entire prep was eaten up by pandemic contract kids anyway, so whatever. Why give me a prep when I can’t actually prep anything? Or grade anything? Today will be all the late assignments and redoes, and then hopefully I can get my head around one of last week’s assignments. I’d really like to go into break with very little to grade…that is actually impossible…my fault for assigning work. I’ve got two major art assignments plus a science packet and a major academic grade. Yeah. Ugh.

My Winter Break is full of a lot of work, y’all…but hopefully also full of this quilt…which will probably be a 2022 finish. I finished ironing the bubble together on Monday night…

Although I still don’t know where two of these three pieces belong…

I had already recut the R. Typos though…in an anti-abortionist’s sign? Makes sense.

The rest of the quilt rolled up on teflon sheets. It might sound like I don’t respect anti-abortionists (I just typed that anti-abortionshits accidentally). Sigh. I don’t. Because so many of them preach and then don’t follow it. I spend all day asking kids, “Who are YOU in charge of?”…and they sigh and answer “MYSELF”. And then this shit. Get out of my uterus.

You personally can make a decision about abortion for yourself. You should be having conversations with sexual partners before having sex (we actually teach this) about what y’all choose to do if it happens. Shit happens. Women should be able to have sex AND choices. Men do.

Then last night, I pieced the background and ironed the whole thing down. That took an hour and 42 minutes.

And so many of the details are hard to see in this photo. Part of that is the stitching that needs to happen, but also, honestly, like many of my pieces, you need to be up close to see most of it. So stitch down is next, probably 10-15 hours of that, then sandwich and pinbaste, an hour, then quilt for 15 hours or so, then about 6 hours of binding and sleeves. So 37 more hours? In two weeks? Probably not. Not with holidays and a copyediting job and a bunch of science planning that needs to happen. We’ll see. Plus grades.

In other school news, I got this email and laughed (and almost cried)…

That’s a shit ton of videos, and after they sent that, I made two more.

Our school party was Monday afternoon…this is my co-teacher who is awesome sauce and helps keep me sane. I can’t imagine doing all this alone.

She is more sequins than I am…although those tassels are pretty fancy for me.

Yesterday, we got an inch and a half of rain during the day…and I had duty before and after school.

‘Twas damp.

They kept reaching a paw out and touching, very gently, the other cat. And then there was running.

The man is still out and about…Zion…

Beautiful, eh? Plus a flash flood last night that put him in his car overnight…but waking up to this…

He’s OK…his tent is wet, but hopefully will dry out before tonight. More hiking today, I would say…and then we’ll see when he gets home.

It’s been quiet here without him. Lots of quilt stuff and school stuff and reading for me. Plus trying to do all the things. The boychild is cooking tonight, hallelujah. He gets home really late on Mondays and Tuesdays. Anyway…I have to be at school for “an inspirational message” (can you see my eyes roll from here?), then survive the day, do some exercise (I did that last night too…what a good thing!), and get stitching. Three days of school left. I can do that.

This Week Is Always Nuts…

Hey. Five days of school. With a rainstorm on the way. And a holiday party. But I get to wear pajamas to school later this week. Unfortunately, it’s on a day when I have to do something after school…they will just have to deal with my pajamaness. This week is always nuts. I got this. The copyediting job starts Friday. So yeah. From one job to another job without a day off…sigh. It is what it is.

The anti-anti-abortionists quilt (because I guess that’s really what it is…I’m not pro-abortion, like everyone needs to go get one…but I am pro-choice in the case of women’s reproductive freedoms…I mean, men have them, why can’t we?) is closer to done. This is the anti-abortionist bubble, where if you throw enough cash at them, they will let you get that abortion, right?

I worked on it all weekend, but not for any more time than I would during the week.

There’s some tiny shit in there.

I decided to make them all washed out, except for the one woman begging to get in. And there’s some embroidery that will go in this section.

Those are all the pieces left to be ironed.

Maybe 20 more in the other box. Plus then iron it down to the background. I might finish tonight? Probably tomorrow night. We’ll see how efficient I am at work today. I need to have a goodly chunk of stuff graded this week, so I can get this copyediting job done too. I’ll have two art projects to grade (ugh) and the stuff from this week, plus a small packet (double ugh). But not as buried as I usually am.

Saturday, we did the 3rd hike in the Coast to Crest Challenge, Scorpion Ridge to Santa Fe Valley.

It was nice and cool, or this would have been a draining hike. Although this might have been an easier crossing if it hadn’t rained recently.

It wasn’t bad though. There were some climby bits…but we made it to the Selfie Spot.

These photos are what get us the stickers and the patches. Crucial swag that.

Our new buddy.

Don’t usually see them in the middle of the day.

We had a sandwich and a drink after the hike, almost 5 miles, although my phone’s GPS must be failing. It can’t track me any more. The man’s is working fine, but he has a newer phone. So frustrating.

I drew at lunch too, but this was dinner. We might not have gone out again, twice in a day, but the man left Sunday morning early for 6 days of hiking. He made it to Zion by like 3 PM.

Definitely jealous of that view. Maybe not jealous of the cold though.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here with all the furry beasts.

Some are more sociable than others.

I did get my tree in the house before he left though…

It only has one ornament on it so far. That might be ALL the ornaments it gets…we’ll see. The packages are piled up to keep the cats off it. This tree was a volunteer in my yard. I used to protect its tiny self with some rocks around it, then finally dug it up and put it into a pot. I think this is the third pot it’s been in. It’s definitely grown.

OK. I have to go to work. Engineering design getting taught today…and texture. Exciting stuff. Plus a holiday party. My introvert self is cringing. What’s new. December…it’s a challenging month no matter what.

Not Enough Wassailing…

I made it to the end of the week. I paid my property taxes (ouch). I am almost caught up on grades…well, until the end of today. Then I have more. Weird how that works. I haven’t gotten enough exercise this week, but I rarely do. I’m currently sitting on a chair with a cat sitting behind me, purring away, but not strongly enough to give me a massage. Huh. Something wrong with that.

Next week, the one before Winter Break and the Christmas crazy, is always nuts. I’m not done with shopping, haven’t even started any level of decorating, unless you count carrying the decoration boxes up from the garage. But I managed to order cat litter from Costco and it should be here before we run out (knock on wood, because I don’t have time to go there and buy it). Yeah. I’m not a fan of December. It’s nutsy cuckoo and there isn’t enough wassailing to make up for all that shit.

Apologies if this is your favorite time of year. I do appreciate more time to make art, although the copyediting job may kick that in the ass. Ah well. I need the money. Still haven’t paid off the girlchild’s college and the Man will be hiking for some months in the summer, so I’ll be short then. Sigh. I never feel like I catch up.

This piece is still available for viewing through next Wednesday…

Then I need to kamikaze over to the college on a Thursday night after school to pick it up. It’s good that it got seen again.

I’ve been ironing, of course. I’ve been ironing for days. Why stop now? I only have about 600 pieces to go. 600? Maybe 500. Yeah. 500. More fussy little shit, but what’s new. I got the big pieces of sky in finally.

I picked the main piece up off the teflon sheets and moved it up so I could do the sky.

Then last night, I finished her body and arm…

The hand was so complicated that I did it separately and then put it on. Then I finished the rest of the sky…

To get this photo, I had to stand on one leg and support the right side with my other leg. But you can see that I’m done with the main portion and all that’s left is the bubble. I’m totally doing that separately. This thing is getting unwieldy. But closer to done, which is nice. Sometime next week I should be able to start the stitchdown. Next week is also a bit unwieldy. Just gonna bully through it. Make some apple crisp and hunker down with a book and try to get enough exercise and sleep and not stress out too much about kids who can’t control their own bladders half the time, let alone their brains and mouths. It’ll be FINE. I even get to have a holiday party…um…I’m not really a fan of work parties. The only plus is my work people (the ones I like) will be there too.

I’ve been working on these after eating dinner, while watching an episode a night of Lost in Space. Just stitching things down.

It’s seriously brainless. Which is what I need right now.

OK. Today we get through all the things, then hope the chiropractor can do something about my neck. I’ll be ironing again tonight, of course. And I might have Christmas lights. That would be nice. I like me some Christmas lights.

What Kind of Crazy is That?

‘Tis the season for dealing with lost packages, yeah? I’m typing this on the iPad, because I’m in a chat on the computer, trying to replace the thermostat I need that was decidedly NOT delivered Monday night. At least not HERE. Sigh. At least it’s not a Christmas present, and the current thermostat is working. It’s cantankerous though and will probably die on one of these really cold nights. Good thing I have a bed full of cats, right? OK, the new one is arriving Sunday. Apparently. I’ll believe it when I see it…and hopefully I won’t be wandering through the yard with a flashlight trying to find it.

I swear I woke up yesterday thinking it was Wednesday already. So did my boss; he was talking about today’s meeting, which is actually tomorrow. Yesterday was a slog…started well, successful learning experience, fell into the deep turbulent water of What. The. Fuck. by the end of the day. It’s hard teaching such a wide range of abilities, but I also wonder what that group would be like in the morning. I never have them in the morning…just right after lunch or at the very end of the day. And I say things like “tomorrow, we will…” and there’s always this kid going, “We don’t see you tomorrow” (because of block schedule), and I’m lucky I even know what day it is and what I’m teaching…I can’t possibly keep track of who the hell will be in my class on the next day. What kind of crazy is that?

Last night’s post-8 PM texts with my co-teacher were “how do we change this assignment we’re in the middle of because ugh teaching it this way is painful and it could be worded better.” On the one hand, I really am grateful for a co-teacher who has a brain that works with mine. But maybe we should relax more at night and read a book or something. I did read for a bit when I got home. I wanted to be all good and go to the gym, but I’m tired…so tired. It was cold and I didn’t want to deal with it. This morning, I wish I’d gone. Oh well.

Ironing is what I do every night before bed, for close to or just over an hour. Not a lot…which is why it’s taking so long to get this done. Plus it’s complicated as hell. This figure is pretty small, but it’s hard to see the pieces under the teflon sheet and small means tiny pieces.

Lots of overlapping finger parts. Here it is upside down with cat butt.

And right side up…hanging over the ironing board.

Last night, I managed 78 minutes of ironing before bedtime. I pushed it a little late…been having problems falling asleep too, so that’s a fun thing. Ironing is the best thing though…it’s meditative. I finally pulled a separate sheet to iron this little baby in her hand, though. Could not see the pattern underneath, because this lies on top of the other figure.

Then I can just pull that piece off, all ironed together, and put it where it belongs…hoping always that it actually fits, because I’m not really perfectionist about it matching the pattern perfectly.

In fact, I’ve had two pieces that I debated putting in at all…they were so small and it wasn’t going to really make a difference to anyone but me. I left one out in the end. The other one is in there. So this is Figure 5…it seems like she blends in with the land a little more than I thought she would (stitching outlining will help with this), and I haven’t finished her right arm (damn fingers, so complicated), but that puts me squarely in the 900s with half of them already ironed (sky behind the other figures), but I still have some 300s and 400s, the other arm of Figure 2 and her head, that need to be ironed down. I wanted all this bottom stuff done, though, before I pull it off the teflon sheets and try to do that. I think I will iron the bubble all by itself and then make it fit. Maybe. We’ll see. Sometimes I have to stretch stuff or fuss with it to make it fit. That’s easier to do one small piece at a time than a big honking piece that has to carefully fit in. I think it will work though. So let’s say I’ve got about 600 pieces to go…that’s two thirds of the way done.

I’ve been ironing this thing together for 13-plus hours. Probably going to take me 20 total. So another 5-7 days. Wow. OK. Well. There we are. Copyediting job coming in too. Actually not sure I’ll be able to finish this quilt in 2021. We’ll see.

What else is going on? Animals. Notice Simba’s terrified look…cats have sharp bits.

But he’s the one who sat where the cats sit.

Luna climbs the Man Mountain.

She’s also pokey sharp.

Nice to see a block I embroidered in a finished quilt…3 down, 2 to the right. It’s huge!

I’m taking a class with Sara Trail of SJSA in February at QuiltCon. I’m taking two classes total, neither of them actually modern quilt stuff. Then again, I’m not really a modern quilter either. I’m still going through my stash. I got through the greens on the shelves (there are three more drawers of green) and four boxes of yellow. It’s going well. I hope they actually want all this stuff. I’ll find another charity group that needs it otherwise. Maybe divide it up. We’ll see.

I hit the 10,000 mark the other night…

Crazy. I think it helps. Sometimes it seems to help. Sometimes my brain can’t settle down even with meditation. That is the same brain that makes the art, though, so I guess there are always pros and cons.

OK. School. Rewrite yesterday’s assignment for my last, lowest class. Teach a bunch of other things today too. Then union meeting. Ugh. Long day. Then ironing. That’s good. I can look forward to ironing those damn fingers and then doing the rest of the sky.

Still About Choice…

Well my oh my. Two more weeks of tsunami waves and studentness. Some good, some not-so-good. It is Monday and I am again starting out with a lack of sleep. I did get a ton of shit done this weekend, but it felt like I was running around doing it all, because I took time to enjoy myself on Saturday. What’s new? It’s also the holiday season, so there is more of the running around than usual. Saturday I actually went to a social thing (I know, CRAZY!), one of my quilt guild’s holiday parties. It was fun and I won a ton of fabric! Because that’s what I need, right? More fabric? YES. It IS what I need. I need the vastest, widest, massivest (not a word) Most Massive stash around to make the quilts I make. I did realize though that maybe I don’t need AS MUCH of each fabric. I usually buy half yards because for a lot of stuff, fat quarters or quarter yards aren’t the right size for what I need. Think of backgrounds…blues and browns and greens, plus some of my figures have some pretty large parts to them. So that’s the flesh realm. But for most fabrics, I use little tiny pieces of them, sometimes for YEARS and they will probably never get used up. So I realized I value variety over the amount of each fabric I have…for most of them. The guild kept saying “if you don’t want any of what you won, we do charity quilts…” and I heard that, but also wanted to come home and fondle all the fabrics.

So I did that. And I washed them, because I always do that (allergic to the chemicals), and then I pulled some out that were (a) duplicates of what I already had, (b) things I would never ever use, (c) they were larger than fat quarters (so I kept half and put half back in the pile) and put them in a trash bag…not to throw out though. And then I looked at my stash and started going through it.

For each half yard I had of a fabric I hadn’t cut into or barely cut into, and that I knew wouldn’t work for the uses above of larger pieces, I cut it in half. I kept one fat quarter and gave one to the donate pile in the trash bag.

I’ve had that green fabric for a really long time and you can see how much of it I’ve used. I think this is a good thing. The man thinks I have too much fabric and don’t need any more, and there’s an argument for that. I’ve been trying to use more of my stash, not buying backings or bindings, although that is harder because I don’t have pieces big enough most of the time. I like the variety and this will give me more room for it, plus my charity group at the guild will benefit as well.

All I’ve gotten through is 4 boxes of greens so far though.

It’s OK. I am just doing two boxes every time I come in here to iron. It doesn’t take long.

After the party, we hiked, about 4 miles.

I needed it.

I’m really stressed and overwhelmed and feel like I can’t get everything done. So exercise helps with that. So does making art. I’ve had so little time to draw.

Only at the dinner table on Saturday nights…strange place, food was good, too many screaming children.

I’m not a fan of the restaurant playground. As a parent, I get the attraction. As an old person, I don’t want to sit near it.

Kitten agrees.

I’ve been doing some other stuff to help with sanity. I stitched a bunch of stuff down.

Those are the June Homegrown blocks, Sue Spargo. Brainless applique. All I can handle.

I also fixed my purse and the man’s pants and shirt, plus stitched this little patch into an ornament…

Although originally I accidentally put the ribbon inside. And it needs stitching and/or beads and stuffing. but it’s been sitting around for a year waiting to be something.

And I ironed…Figure three on Friday night…? I think? Or Saturday. This must have been Saturday.

Not sure what the hell I did Friday night. Because this is last night…

Finished her head and complicated hand.

More tonight. Maybe I’m halfway now? I don’t think so. Close though. Fucking complicated thing. Like the topic, abortion and reproductive rights.

I agree.

Yeah that. Fuck it.

And this was good, although unrelated. I had a troubled relationship with this book because of the war theme, but this was good.

Still about choice, though. OK. School. Now. I can do it. I can. All of it. Ugh.

Before I Try to Go More Up…

What I’d really like now is a weekend to iron this quilt together. Like a whole weekend…not bits and pieces fitted in at the end of the night when I’m already tired. The whole damn weekend. Usually I have to wait for breaks to do that, but this Winter Break is full of a copyediting job, so that’s tough. An hour a night is just not enough. I end up looking at how little I got done and I feel frustrated with my life. I have a meeting with my boss today about a curriculum that the district is requiring me to teach, even though it doesn’t fit my standards and I have no actual TIME to teach it unless I don’t teach something else, AND it’s at way too high a level for my kids, so it needs a massive overhaul…and he’s a good guy…he’s willing to pay me to overhaul it, but I honestly, straight up don’t have the TIME to do it. Like which weekend am I willing to trash for this shit? This is what teachers are dealing with right now…WHEN the hell do you want me to do that? I had to call a parent yesterday afternoon (OK, she demanded I call her, and I didn’t have enough presence of mind to realize there was no way it was going to end well) and she’s like “You should be calling me for THIS and for THAT”…after I had just emailed another parent who demanded we contact her more (um, make your kid go to school then, because THAT’S the problem), and I was just done. I DON’T HAVE TIME TO MAKE SIMPLE PARENT PHONE CALLS. I’m too busy trying to deal with lesson planning and grades and pandemic contracts and IEP meetings on my prep period and all the other shit that I just can’t get my head around. I can call you at 5:30 AM or midnight…which would you prefer? I actually started out by texting her, hoping that would solve it. Nope. My fault. And it wasn’t even an academic issue…it straight up is another kid’s missing charger that her kid disappeared and is trying to blame on me. Sigh.

So on this Friday, even though I had last week off (last week was hard, y’all…still missing Calli and frustrated about so many things), I am yet again overwhelmed and on the verge of tears, which is not the way I want to be.

Tomorrow will be better. I will sleep in (a little) and then go to my quilt guild holiday party (although I need to bring food and modern fat quarters…which is an issue I will get my head around at some point). I was going to go rent a carpet cleaner tonight…I might still do that. I need to get that taken care of, and it might have to be tomorrow or tonight.

(Puts head on desk).

Make more art. Possibly lose my mind in front of my boss. Won’t be the first time. Or the last.

Tonight I will iron some more. Maybe it will feel like more? Here’s Wednesday night…

And last night…

It felt like all I got done was that arm, but I guess I did the sky behind it (bouncing into the 900s briefly just to make sure everything fit) and then I got the breasts done, but I think I’m going to try to do the rest of that figure later, once I get the bottom filled out a bit more…so skipping some of the 400s and going to the 500s I think. Not sure. Haven’t decided. At some point, the teflon sheets start slipping all over the place and it’s a pain, so I’d like to get a solid space filled in before I try to go more up.

A friend of mine visited my piece at San Diego Mesa College…

Her thinking…my thinking…I think this is up until the 9th? I know I pick it up the following week. I was hoping I could get a household member to do that, but apparently that will not be a thing. Sigh.

It’s been foggy the last few mornings, and the spider webs were pretty…especially this one…

As long as you don’t have to walk through it.

OK. Well. I’m not sure how I feel about school today, about what I’m teaching. It’s been a bit of a slog…tiring, trying to make kids read more, trying to make hard things more interesting, trying to deal with the minutiae honestly. I couldn’t fall asleep last night, brain and stomach conspiring against me, and I kept grabbing the phone, not for what you think, but to put things on the calendar to remind me to DO them, because I keep forgetting to do all the things on my list. There are just too many things. Yeah. There’s always too many things. I wish I could choose more of the want-to-do things and my district would realize they are giving us too many things…ha, not happening.

It’s Friday, though. So I will have a bit more exercise in the next few days and a little more free time and I will be able to pee when I need to, and my tea won’t languish in the prep room, getting colder because I didn’t have time to come get it, and maybe I’ll get more than an arm ironed down. And maybe I’ll have a solution by the end of the day for this stupid extra curriculum that seems so irrelevant at the moment…I’m sure it’s not totally irrelevant, but I certainly wish it weren’t on MY plate to disseminate. I’m totally gonna need a hike tomorrow.

Full of Complicated Bits…

My calendar (a gift from the girlchild) currently says “It’s Almost Fucking Christmas” (legit), and then I realize it’s still on November and we are now in December. Yikes. This holiday always creeps up on me, mostly because it requires more thought than I have the the brain power for this time of year. I find myself driving home from school trying to think of a cool gift for (insert name of relative here) and flailing because all I can think about is how much grading I have to do or how I’m going to make this part of the curriculum work.

So yeah. Hello December. Nice to see you? Eh.

I’m still ironing this quilt together…and I will be for a long time, especially if I am only doing an hour a night…

Plus the figures are kind of tiny and full of complicated bits, so they take longer anyway. Last night, I didn’t even have a full hour, because I did counseling, then the gym, then graded one class worth of the latest assignment…so here’s 51 minutes of ironing…

Honestly, the little girl’s face was the healthy chunk of that…complicated. I’m on Figure 2, though…and the parts are bigger so they’re easier to fit together…hopefully. I am not finishing this any time soon, though.

One of my art groups is talking about themes for a show in 2022, and nothing has resonated with me so far. Same with their last theme. I think it’s just me, though. My brain is cranky about themes right now. They tend toward collaboration and I’ve never really had a positive experience with collaboration. We’ll see.

I did finish my cover page for the current science unit…

Which is good, because I didn’t finish the last one. And this is a short unit.

This is a kid version of a volcano.

No really. That’s a volcano. I’m a middle-school teacher, so I automatically see a penis, but it’s a volcano. It’s kind of like when people find penises in my art when they’re not actually there. The difference is that I KNOW I’m doing that and they don’t. It’s OK…no one’s censored me (that I know of) for a while.

Well, my brain is now processing Christmas gifts, a shooting in Michigan, the stupidity of some politicians, other states to add to my list of dumbassery (the current quilt is named “Fuck Texas” in my head, even though it’s just Texas politicians and I know that, but now I will need to add multiple states to the list of Fuck them? Probably yes.). Also I have to teach all the things today, including dealing with 23 stuffed animals and a lab that involves water, so that is chaos…and exhausting…but then I will exercise and make pancakes to freeze for breakfast (honestly I don’t know if I will get to that today) and iron some more. So that’s something to look forward to.

Lots of Tea and Lozenges…

Ah yes. Back-to-school dreams last night…not really nightmares…they were too close to reality: kids not listening, kids not working, and people sucking up my prep period with other shit. Yup. That’s real. We’ve got three weeks before Winter Break, so hopefully the kids will check in and realize they have progress reports after Winter Break…it’s always a crapshoot this time of year. Luckily, we’re doing a fairly interesting engineering project on tsunamis…at least, WE think it’s interesting. No, it’s not a video game or Squid Game, so there’s that. Did I finish all my grading? I did not, but I did most of it. I’m good. Well, until the copyediting project starts, which shouldn’t be for another two weeks. Aaack.

Anyway, am I ready to go back to school today? Nope. I was at Urgent Care yesterday with a nasty sore throat that doesn’t seem to be wandering off like it should. It’s not strep, though, so that’s good…and it’s not COVID, although I will get tested yet again this week. So the physician’s assistant was like, well, here’s a throat lozenge (she only gave me one…I had to go buy more) and you should call your doctor and try to get an appointment, but also, if they refer you to Ear Nose Throat doc, then you will need to have been on Flonase for a week, so just go do that. Hmmm. So I did that. I already know the soonest video appointment I can get is two weeks out…if they need to see my throat in person just to give me a referral, it’ll be the end of December before I can just see the doc, let alone the ENT. Fun stuff. They did offer me a flu shot (did that in October), a vaccination (did that), a booster (did that), and just that one lozenge (took that).

So am I ready to talk all day? Nope. Am I ready for two staff meetings running an hour each? Nope. Am I ready for what I’m teaching today? Nope. It’s something about tsunamis…that’s all I know. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I am making art. I love to make art. I like to do that every day. So I do. How do I get so much done? I do it every day. Friday night, I finished cutting everything out.

Saturday night, I sorted all the pieces by the 100s…

That was a tough one. We hiked about 5 1/2 miles during the day and I was tired.

Then last night, I started ironing things together…

So far, it’s just the background behind the people…

With a requisite volcano. I was hoping to have this piece done by December 1. As you can see, that is not happening. I make art every day, but not as much as I’d like, unfortunately. And although this is not a large piece, it’s complicated. So it’s taking longer. It’s OK.

Back to the hike. We’re doing the 2021-2022 SDRVC Coast to Crest trail challenge, and this is our second hike of the five total. This is Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Lake Poway.

It was actually pretty warm out, low 80s…

But neither of us had been to either the reserve or the lake, so that was nice.

There were more people than we usually like (we only like 3 people really), but most of the trail was pretty empty.

Three more to go.

Ah hills. We celebrated with cider flights at Serpentine…

And I remembered my sketchbook. Sometimes I think I should just make these little ones into quilts to sell, but then I remember they take a lot longer to make than people are willing to pay for.

Dinner’s drawing didn’t get finished…

My family did Thanksgiving dinner on Friday so I wouldn’t have to try to cook one dinner while eating another.

We have lots of leftovers. Which is always the point.

Girlchild had other plans. I’m not sure who looks more freaked out in this photo.

Kitten enjoyed the couch bits that I uncovered for company…

Normally all that is covered with stitching stuff. And Simba said hi when I came over to pick up the brined turkey…

So fierce. Ah. Missing Calli greatly this week. All the while thinking how to clean the carpets because she had an issue with a tumor at the end. Sigh. I don’t have time for that stuff right now, but I actually miss stepping over her in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

OK. I have to do the school thing now. Wish me luck. Sore throat is still there, but not as bad as yesterday. Lots of tea and lozenges.

Just Wibbly Wobbly and Blech…

It’s a Monday morning and I’m not at school. I am however soon to be on my way to the vet, probably for the last time with Calliope, who is a very good girl. Maybe there will be some miracle treatment that will make all her tumors disappear and persuade her to eat consistently, but I doubt it. I think this is the end and it is always so hard, even when they’ve had good long lives and honestly have survived longer than they said she would.

So there’s that, and I’m trying not to dwell too much on it right now.

I was sick over the weekend; got tested Friday and it was COVID-negative. Will probably get tested again this week, just to be sure, but most of it is gone…just a tiny bit of a dry throat and a cough. Never had a fever, never lost smell or taste. Just wibbly wobbly and blech. It’s a strange world where a simple cold is such a big deal. It meant that I didn’t get much done, mostly finished ironing the quilt down to fabric…which is actually a good thing. At some point on Friday night, this is where I was at…

All the people in the bubble had been ironed down, and I just needed to iron all the hair and shirts and signs. That might have been Saturday, actually. I don’t remember.

Yeah, I suspect this was Friday night…I got all the people ironed…the ones in the bubble are all those white fabrics.

Then Saturday, I finished the rest…this is the 199 fabrics I used in this quilt.

I think that’s my record. Not sure. It took 24 hours and 56 minutes to iron everything to fabric.

And then Saturday night, I started cutting them out.

The first two batches were just tons of letters. Tiny fussy shit. Kitten does not help. She wants to sit next to me and the boxes are in the way.

She tries to stand IN the boxes sometimes. I even cleared a space next to me and she rejected it for this…

Which didn’t last long. Mostly she wants pets. She is an old lady too. Sigh. This vet thing. Fuck. It’s not like you don’t know it’s coming…it just sucks anyways.

Last night’s cutting…the pieces are piled up mostly in order, so I’ve made it down from the 1500s to the 1000s.

I’m about 6 hours in. Probably another 15 to go or so. I am grading things too, slowly. And reading my book. And dealing with lightbulbs and crap that’s been piled on the counter for weeks, maybe months, and laundry and the yard. So much gets put aside while I’m teaching because there just isn’t time for it.

I pulled a drawer out to look at the fabrics in it, turned back around, and found a cat instead.

Petulant beast.

My quilt Womanscape at Quilts=Art=Quilts

Nice tour of it here.

OK. Vet soon. The inevitable visit. Then book reading and crying and maybe grading and cutting things out in between all that. Ugh. She is a very good dog.

Leaf Pile

So here’s an example of why teachers need time off. I’m sitting here in my office, waiting for some update to run, and (wait. WordPress has finally figured out its font size issue on the fucking screen. That’s amazing. Sorry. But this IS how my brain works) I notice…AGAIN…for like the 5th time that there are plants growing in my leaf pile by the pool. My leaf pile by the pool has been there long enough for the bottom layer to decay into something approximating soil so a plant can grow in it. Yeah. Now during a normal school week, I will see that, say to myself “Self, you should clean up the leaf pile.” Self will agree, but there is never ever ever time when I am not doing school things or art things because I spend 60 hours a week on school stuff and another 10-15 hours a week on art stuff and maybe 49 hours on sleeping (or pretending to sleep because I suck at it) and I’m not going to count up hours showering, peeing, or heating up my tea AGAIN because it went cold because I lost it somewhere in the house. So cleaning up the leaf pile is not very high on the list until you give me 9 days off and I can allow for the time to sweep up the leaves and put them in a green bin or something. Maybe. Because Thanksgiving week is always sort of a clusterfuck of family and cooking, so there often is all this time on that where you can’t politely check out and go sweep up your leaf pile.

So there’s that. Plus sleep. And sanity. Seriously, we’re doing a volcano eruption lab today because we can, not because we need to, but it’s been a lot of days of reading and writing and we need some doing, and a ton of kids won’t even show up because it’s Friday before a week off, which is fine by me honestly, because I’m gonna grade your shit whether you’re here or not, but also, fewer exploding volcanoes in the classroom is a plus, but I just realized that the full moon was last night and tonight is some weird lunar eclipse, and we all know the moon affects kids’ brains and turns them into psychotic beasts (also Fridays before break do this), so I’m wondering, as a long-time teacher, what crazyass shit will be going on today. I’m actually not even apprehensive…just wondering, sitting back, meditative brain going “hey, watch THAT” and looking forward to reading my book tonight with no fucking guilt. None.

At book club, many people loved the book…and I wanted to, but I got lost in all the same character, different parallel world, different name, can’t keep track of this shit, and apparently I needed to read it all in one go. I don’t have time for that…wish I did…but most books get read in dribs and drabbles and I have to be able to hold onto those bits, and with this book, I just couldn’t. And I feel like with a good book, you can hold onto those bits. Ah sigh. It is what it is. On to the next one.

So I’m still ironing.

That was the end of the sky with the sun in it…there were other sky bits that happened the next night. Speaking of doing things in dribs and drabs…

Last night, I had a Zoom quilt meeting for a while though, so I got more done…

That’s the last flesh figure…the others will be white…like white white. Really white. I laid out the 1100s but haven’t ironed many of them. I’ve been ironing for 19 hours and 58 minutes at this point. It’s not a short process. I won’t be done tonight, that’s for sure. Hopefully sometime this weekend though…although I think I’d rather spend this weekend grading all the things so I don’t have to think about them for the next 7 days, yeah? IDK if I can pull that off though. We’ll see.

If you haven’t seen the Allied Craftsmen show at the Phes Gallery, it closes tomorrow…go check it out.

Really, instead of doing a messy lab today, we should have done this…

We often do that when we come back from field trips…our next field trip, though, I have a 6th-grade 6th period, so I will actually have to teach them. Who the fuck thought that was a good idea?

I liked this grasshopper…very decorated.

I don’t think I’ve ever drawn a grasshopper. Must be time.

So we teachers get these all the time from our local politicians…nicely printed certificates on heavy paper about how appreciated we are.

Y’all…save your money on the paper and just send us food…or gift certificates. We just recycle these. I don’t feel the love. I have a senator who has probably never stepped foot on my campus, probably doesn’t even know where my school is or what kind of kids go there. Send food. Teachers are not OK and all of these are just killing more trees than we already do…I constantly feel bad about that, but my kids need paper in their hands to write on in order to learn better. You could send us paper! There’s always a shortage. That would be helpful.

Sigh. It’s OK. Tonight I will read and sleep and probably grade some shit too, let’s be honest, and hopefully iron some fabric, and the leaf pile and I will commune with each other at some point. Happy Friday y’all…may the politicians all send you a certificate of recognition. I can send you mine! I’ll just cover up the name and write yours in Sharpie.