Thanks Mom…

OK. There were some successful moments over the weekend. I took my machine in, and he still thinks it’s fixable (if it’s not, there’s a plan…it’s a scary plan, but a plan nonetheless). Meanwhile, I borrowed my mom’s machine, which someone said looks like a spaceship.

It is huge. It has its own suitcase. It weighs a ton. But it works. I had to read 5 bits of the manual about threading and bobbins and free-motion quilting and tension, but it works. Hallelujah. I stitched down Saturday night and Sunday night and can probably finish that tonight (knock on wood).

It’s so lovely not to fight tension for this…there are some fussy bits and adjustments going on, but they are easy to make.

Such a relief. Thanks mom. I’m going to get this thing quilted and done as quick as possible so she can have her machine back.

Although I still have a Patreon reward I’m trying to finish…Friday night, I ironed it together.

I like her. She’s small.

And then on Sunday morning, I got up early and took a Zoom class from Judy Coates Perez for Craft Napa…slow-stitching a scarf…ah, meditation.

I really am appreciating online classes…because I wouldn’t be able to go in person.

Ah yes, I am doing a woman. But all of it will be filled in with stitching. I’m gonna be here a while. But it’s so nice. I’m tempted to bring it to my staff meeting today (it’s two hours), but I suspect that’s not appropriate. Too bad. They say ‘self care’ but I’m not sure how much they mean it. Like ‘self care’ but only if you get all the other things done.

I did work this weekend. I started on Friday afternoon while waiting in line for my COVID test…

Sadly, I can’t remember if I had a positive test in class last week? Or if it was the week before. It’s all a blur. I do know that I have to update many of those 28 contracts for the kids who are out…I did the art contracts last night. I can’t do science until the last assignment is ready…hopefully sometime today? Although I have a kid meeting during my prep and this long staff meeting after school, so IDK when I will make the weekly video, copy the post to 16 contracts, and then email all those families. Because that all needs to happen too.

It’s been hot. I think today it’s going back down, but Friday there was very little to no air conditioning in our classrooms. Fire alarms were going off randomly and they shut the system down, so it was hot and sweaty and loud all day. I’m hoping today is better. I do know the AC wasn’t working yesterday. Ugh. Prepare for sweat!

Sometimes grading is so very hard. She’s a sweet kid…

But I have no clue what she is talking about.

OK, so off to school. Today is an easy teaching day, at least…mostly. The staff meeting sucks. Already. I hate 2-hour meetings. They lose my brain an hour in, if not sooner. Then home, hopefully to exercise, then finish the stitchdown. I should check my batting stash. Pinbaste tomorrow? Then start quilting? I hope. It’s a plan. I like plans. They tend to keep me on track, both mentally and for life in general.

Complicated Fingers

Hey. It’s Wednesday and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I got caught up with some school stuff, which is good, but yesterday, the work day started before 8 AM and ended after 6 PM. Today will be the same. Thursday will start earlier and will have to end earlier, only because I have to be somewhere. And it’s not like I’m getting shit all the way done with all that. The shit I was supposed to do during prep yesterday didn’t happen because we have these new short-term contracts the state wants us to do for kids who are out on pandemic quarantines, and it’s quite a bit of work…not the actual contract. It’s pretty easy, once you have everything set up and all your videos or whatever you’re gonna do made…OK, that actually took most of my prep (also my computer decided it didn’t want to be my friend any more), but then emailing every kid and parent, searching out parent emails, cutting and pasting. I did 11 contracts last night…I probably will have 11 more to do today (I had one I didn’t do last night, because it’s the other subject and so are the other ones I’ll get today)…and it took 90 minutes after school to get it all done. Meanwhile, nothing gets planned or graded for the kids who are actually IN class. I know we have to provide work for everyone, but someone at the district needs to hire someone who can code a program/system/app/I don’t give a fuck what it is but it will go do all the menial shit that’s in the system so I don’t have to…and all the other teachers don’t have to repeat the same work I’m doing. That’s the idiotic part. Politicians pass a law to help kids, but the infrastructure to help the teachers is not in place (what’s new there??? Nothing), and teachers can’t help ALL the kids because they’re helping the kids who will trigger the state to audit our procedures and fine us if we don’t do the things that the state doesn’t give us the money for in order to create the infrastructure. SIGH. A friend asked where all the COVID money went. I DON’T KNOW. Here’s a good place for it. Also, when politicians vote for things, they should be required to sit in my classroom with me until almost 6 PM and HELP ME search out all those parent emails and record videos and set up lessons.

None of that happens. So instead, I am feeling overwhelmed and like I literally got nothing done yesterday that was on my plan…and because I have a union meeting this afternoon, probably today’s prep will be similarly fucked.

Anyway. I can’t say I come home in a great mood…and no exercise because everything ran too late and then I had to cook dinner and I’m pretty sure two phone calls came in and I didn’t answer either of them.

I have renewed my optimism that I will be incredibly efficient during prep today, because I don’t have a prep tomorrow.

I have been ironing. Not much each night, but at least an hour before bed. Monday, though, I managed about 3 hours of ironing. I was really good about getting work done in the morning…so here I am, up in the sky finally.

I’ve decided that I’m the only one who can see the figures…

They are damn subtle. I will pull them out with stitching…

I was hoping to be done Monday, but I had about 50 pieces left, including some complicated fingers and a face that would have to be done separately and then ironed in.

So last night, I finished all that…

With stitching, the face will appear. I can see it.

Hard to get a picture of the whole thing until I get it on a background…which will be tonight, hopefully. Iron it down, clean the space up a bit, and start stitching down.

My Social Justice Sewing Academy block is closer to done…just a little more embellishment.

The back is fascinating.

Kitten keeps trying to lie on it.

She follows me around when I get home, trying to figure out how to get close to me. Not ON me…just close.

Shit. Which reminds me, she needs her meds. Gonna go do that, then brush my teeth and get out of here. I promised a kid a folder up front at the office by 8 AM, and that’s not too long from now. I think I’m fucked on that deadline…hopefully dad will come later. Wish me luck for the day, that it’s productive and less frustrating than yesterday.

When It’s Out…

Long weekends are a blessing. I graded a bunch of stuff over the last three days. I’m not caught up, but I’m panicking less. I managed exercise three days in a row. As the school week goes on, that is less and less likely. So I did well. And I’m ironing. All good. Trying not to think of things I should be ironing or sewing or deadlines that are coming. Just doing the things when I can.

Friday night, I did more trees…

And I think I also ironed the hiker…

Could have been Saturday though. I ironed a bunch on Saturday afternoon…like this…

Starting up the mountain. Last night, I got part of the mountain in…

I’m hoping to get the mountains done and be well into the sky tonight, if not done. I might be able to do it. There’s about 270 pieces left.

I drew briefly on Saturday night…

I hiked this morning with the man…

Just Cowles Mountain…the original plan had Pyles Peak as well, but it was warm…

Although the valleys were socked in. Weird.

A view of one of my quilts behind the amazing Margaret Fabrizio…

We traded earlier this year.

And some pictures of me with my quilts at The Studio Door opening…

I don’t really like posing for photos…

Even with a mask on, you can probably tell.

Not even sure what I’m looking at in that photo…but here’s 1, 2, and 3 in one with me.

We missed a few. You get the idea. Check out the show though! It’s a nice area with many restaurants for lunch or dinner. Parking isn’t awful (but it can be). It’s open through September 25.

Every Friday afternoon, I’m here, waiting for my COVID test…

I’m negative again…it does make me nervous to have any possible symptom (stuffed up nose? sore throat?), so this is how I feel better about it. Stick a swab up my nose once a week.

Meanwhile, Texas politicians are idiots, so is the Supreme Court, I have incredible sympathy for Afghanistan, did I mention how stupid Texas is? Not all Texans, I know. Ida and Henri, sheesh, some people, an awful lot of them, really need help. This as California’s fires started well before the actual fire season.

Maybe there are just a lot of stupid people out there who believe they have the right to govern women’s bodies, even though we can’t do the same to them. I’m angry. I’m pissed off. I would just like to say that I called this 10+ years ago and got told it wouldn’t happen. My ass it wouldn’t. Feel like you’re losing control of the country? SLAM SOME GROUP INTO THE GROUND. That’s what we do. Fight back, y’all. Give money if you can. Yell loud and lots. Those rich white ladies won’t suffer over this idiotic law…it’s the ones who can’t afford to suffer any more than they already do. Yell louder.

Seriously, if you don’t don’t own a uterus, don’t tell people what to do with it. And if you do own one? You get to control YOUR OWN and nobody else’s. Because if y’all can own that, if you can pass laws about that, then it’s about time we took ownership of some dicks out there, and I can tell you, it’s gonna be ugly. You’re not making babies? You certainly don’t need sperm (vasectomies for all men over…um…I’ll give you age 50…at that age, the DNA is getting damaged and you shouldn’t be making babies anyway). And if you use that dick incorrectly? Like raping someone? Well you’ve proven you don’t know how to use it, so we’ll just take it away…starting with some rich old white boys.

Yeah. I’m angry. God damn it. We’ve done this already, before I even was old enough to understand it. Why the fuck do we have to go over all this again with you folks? Do you not listen?

I guess the next quilt is drawing itself again. I’ll let you know when it’s out.

That Lizard…

Well hello Friday. So nice of you to come. Appreciate it. Seriously, 13 days into the school year and I finally have my first documented positive COVID exposure at school. It’s OK. Masking is everywhere, I am in the room with kids, I do help kids, I walk the room and give personal attention, but I’m trying to be careful with time and handwashing and telling kids to pull their masks up etc. It’s all we can do. Probably there have been other positive cases in my classroom that I don’t know about. I do worry about the kids though. So far, no one has been really sick that we know of, but I suspect it’s a matter of time. It’s a tough balance…getting kids back in school so they’ll do stuff is important, but so are their lives.

Meanwhile, the state has decided to overburden teachers again with proof that we actually try to educate kids who are stuck at home on quarantine. This job gets little respect from many parents and politicians, mostly those who have never done this job, probably never stepped foot on campus. So we’ll see what that looks like. I’m teaching art and science, both hands-on curriculum, so I’m back to making a million videos a week to make up for what they can’t do in person. Luckily, what we’re doing next week already exists digitally! Yay! Thank last year’s selves for doing that. It won’t always be that easy.

I am exhausted. I feel overwhelmed by all the minutiae. I have too much to grade already, and it’s really just the basics. I am managing a little ironing every night though…my pre-meditation meditation. The slowing of the brain activity, the stress monkey part anyway.

Wednesday was fussy little hiking trail parts…

Plus that lizard…it’s really that color…

Then the next part, last night, I only had about 45 minutes because we were out, but I got a good chunk of trees ironed down.

It went much faster. It’s going to get fussy again with the man hiking through and with the face that’s hidden in the trees on the right, but that’s OK…because it will be the weekend by the time I get to those. I’d really like to finish ironing this together this weekend. I have a deadline I’m looking at and now it’s tight. It’s OK if this isn’t done by then, but it’s a goal. We’ll see. Time flies when your day job sucks up all the moments.

So we did go to the opening last night at The Studio Door. I only had an hour in me for that…I was tired.

I still really like this piece by Julia C. R. Gray. And mine behind it…they go together!

There were plenty of people coming in to see the work…lots of unmasked folks though.

You can see three of my pieces in this photo. The man took pictures of me with some of the work. I’ll post those later. For now, I need to leave early for school because we couldn’t plan science yesterday and there’s a new unit coming up and I know we can get it all together, but IDK if we can get it all together before I need to print a table of contents for the kids. Minor issue. We will all survive.

Three-day weekend ahead…artmaking, a hike (even though we can’t go up to the mountains like I wanted because they closed them 8/31 for fire danger), finish my damn book! And maybe get some sleep. We’ll see. Lots of grading and planning too…but hopefully just on one day.

Fingernails in the Dirt…

I just realized the other night while entering some shows with upcoming deadlines that none of the quilts I made in 2020 have been in a show. I’ve entered them in plenty, and one of them sold, so there’s no complaint there…I think it’s because there have just been fewer shows to enter, so then they might just age out and never be shown. Some have been entered in (and rejected by) multiple shows. Interesting. It’s OK…I’m entering them in more right now, just to get their fiber asses out there and in the world.

Have to get MY fiber ass out into the world too. I’ll be at this opening tomorrow night…at some point.

The pictures of the space are looking good. That’s my piece in the middle (above) and left side (below).

The exhibit is at The Studio Door in Hillcrest.

And a few of my larger pieces are also in the show.

It’s nice to see work out and about.

The ceramic piece is NOT mine, but it is fascinating. I think it’s work by Julia C. R. Gray. Looking forward to seeing it up close.

I’m ironing about an hour a night…it’s slow as shit.

Those deer took about an hour to iron together and get placed in the landscape. They’re only about 4 1/2 inches wide.

I almost finished the 300s last night. Hopefully I’ll get the 400s laid out and ironed tonight…they might be easier? There’s a path in there, but some fussy tiny pieces. Last night, I thought I was done and then realized there were fingernails in the dirt. OK then. But there is progress.

I’m also still working on this…finally found a marking pencil I could use on white fabric (I probably have 5 of them…just didn’t know where they were).

So I marked the stethoscope and started stitching it. I need to finish the stethoscope and add more embellishment to the letters, and then it will be done…hopefully by the end of this long weekend coming up. I love long weekends.

Hopefully there’ll be some of this…the boychild and I dragged the little dog out on a 3-mile hike on Monday after school.

The light was cool…although in this photo, it looks like a nuclear bomb is going off over downtown. Interesting.

The man spent a couple nights hiking up in the Lagunas…he had some pretty good views…

Jealous? I was.

That stitching I was doing? It was with Nova on my lap…

Or perched on my side lap…she needed the loves.

Kitten perched on the other couch.

Looking goofy.

OK, I have a ton of work to do. My prep yesterday got eaten up by installing a large digital clock so kids don’t have to open their computers to check the time, many discussions of stamina in school (they don’t got it), and lots of dealing with kids who are out due to possible COVID exposures or symptoms or who the fuck knows what. Today I need to grade stuff. Then exercise after school (oh yes), plus ironing tonight. That’s the goal anyway. It’s a pretty good one.

Forming in My Head…

Is there an easy way to ship a tennis racket? Inquiring minds want to know. I need a box. I totally forgot about needing to ship this thing, because on Saturday, I looked at the calendar list in the morning and then refused to look at it again until Sunday. Maybe not the most mature thing in the world, but I was tired of the to-do list and just wanted to iron the new quilt together…so I did…for about 4 hours. I did other stuff too, but this was Saturday’s start…

Notice the top of the drawing over the chair? There’s a cat under there…

She wasn’t thrilled about the paper and kept batting at it. I did a little more after that…

The appearance of part of a snake. It is kind of a pain. I’m still not sure the body in the ground is showing up yet, but if it doesn’t, I’ll make it with outlining and whatever else it needs. I didn’t want it to be obvious, so I guess that’s a good thing.

I got a little ironing in last night…

I’ve got about 5 1/2 hours in and almost 300 pieces ironed down (just short of that). I was going to do more last night and got off track with yet another student email telling me they’d be out for 10 days because of a positive COVID exposure. Sheesh. I can’t keep track of all of them. I got tested on Friday; still don’t have results.

Saturday did include my annual boob squeeze (all is well on that front) and an outdoor quilt guild meeting, where I cut out all the pieces for my Patreon reward…

And saw a Gloria Muriel mural on the way home…

Sunday was mostly setting up school stuff, including the gradebook, and then grading things. I haven’t gotten the routine down yet. I need to grade more things at school. I left some to do this week, plus inputting grades. It was just looking and feeling overwhelming, so I banged some of them out.

Saturday night, we dropped a bunch of pieces for the upcoming show that opens Thursday, and then went out to dinner, and I got to draw for once.

I have a big drawing forming in my head but haven’t found the time to draw it. This week? Maybe.

I did see the Man play in his band on Friday night…drove out to the Hotel Del after dinner for his second set.

It was a private event, ticketed, so I stood on the public path behind them and watched. He’s enjoying being back with the band and has four events in September, none of which I can (or will) go to. The Music Box is requiring vaccination cards or a negative COVID test in the last three days, but it still packs them in like sardines, so that’s a no for me. Another one, I could stand out in the parking lot, but it’s not really a friendly lot. So I think that’s a no as well for me. Too bad. I miss that.

Meanwhile, the Man is still doing training hikes. He left last night for the Lagunas, camped out, and is hiking today and tomorrow.

Definitely happy to be out there. And it looks beautiful.

OK, well hopefully I will figure out all the kids who are out today, all the kids who are transferring to the other team (they tested out of ELD, which is awesome), and the two new kids, no three! I’m getting today. Plus a 2-hour staff meeting where I will stay masked. And then maybe some exercise, because I haven’t done that for days, except for Pilates, and then some art. All those would be good things.

Not Hard. Just Time.

Hello Friday! It seems like it was just Tuesday. I guess that’s a good thing. I have a ton of stuff to get done today, on Friday, and hopefully that will actually happen so I don’t have to do all of it in the middle of the night. I’m supposed to deliver 7 quilts tomorrow to a gallery…awesome thing that! Opening is this coming Thursday.

Good thing I’m reminding myself of that, because I thought I had another week. All seven quilts need to be ironed and dehaired and readied for exhibit. Luckily they are smaller and not particularly wrinkled, but it needs to happen before tomorrow afternoon. So there’s that. I think one needs a label and slats too. Not hard. Just time.

That’s the mantra right now. Plants need watering. Not hard. Just time. I really need to draw a stethoscope for this Social Justice Sewing Academy block. Not hard. Just time…plus getting the cat off the bag it’s in. That’s harder. She has sharp pointy bits. School…need a doc done, some posts done, papers copied, grading warmups and some other stuff. Not hard. Just time.

As far as the art stuff is going, really what I need is energy. I did a little stitching after dinner on Wednesday night on the SJSA block (got it out from under the cat for once)…

Then I managed to iron down all the fabrics for the Patreon reward piece…

It took about an hour and a half. I borrowed some fabrics from the one I just finished cutting out and then added more. It’s actually mostly blue in area…I think it’ll be cool. We’ll see though. I need to cut those pieces out. I was going to do that last night, but mostly I laid down on the couch and tried to keep my eyes open while the man talked. Then I went to bed.

Why? Usually I can do the things. Yeah no. I was at school early, then stayed late to plan science…trying to do it all in one day is hard. I’ll get used to it again, but it’s hard. We can’t get everything done and we don’t have the same prep periods, so I just don’t have the rhythm of it yet. I’ll get there. Maybe on Week 3? Maybe by then we’ll be shut down. So many kids out on quarantine or pandemic concerns (they have symptoms but haven’t been tested or if they were tested, parents didn’t tell the school the results…so they’re just out for 10 days)…trying to keep track of those and my head. Ha! Then after all that, I drove 45 minutes to the California Center for the Arts for the closing reception of the Allied Craftsmen show Crafting Memories

There’s my piece. Hopefully I’ll be back here in January with California Fibers and more pieces. I did meet people and pretended to network. Not really. They all came and talked to me and that was OK. Then I Zoomed with my stitching group on the way home, picked up a burger, came home, ate it, and collapsed.

Not my best moment. Today will be better. Today I will do ALL the things and finish them all and then go get tested for COVID because I’m just gonna do that every week or two to make sure I’m not infecting the world…and then clean up and pack up all those quilts and maybe cut some things out or maybe go watch the man’s band (outside…I think this is probably outside of my exhaustion level). And sleep. Because I have to be up early for the annual boob squeeze. Do it! Breast cancer doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic or that I’m exhausted.

Damn zebrafish. Yeah. Going to school now. Doing all the things. Caffeine is also my friend today.

Can’t Find It

That is my motto for yesterday. Can’t find anything. I shoved it in cupboards last summer and it was a mess. Usually I toss stuff as I’m cleaning up for the year; it takes a few weeks. It’s sort of careful. Not last summer. I had one day; I didn’t know when I’d be back. So now I pay the price.

My coteacher helped with desks and doc cam setup, although I still need a dongle dammit. The rest is just overwhelming. Yesterday was mostly meetings, lots of wondering about why people weren’t masked, questioning some people’s understanding of herd immunity (it doesn’t matter if the teachers have it… there are a ton of kids and they aren’t vaccinated.). It scares me to be back, even though I am vaccinated.

So I stitched during the speechifying and finished the February blocks of Homegrown.

I made some mistakes and I’m ok with that.

I dyed fabric on Wednesday.

It looks good out of the washer, but I think I messed up my dryer. Which is problematic. I’m hoping the others who live here can fix it while I’m gone or the start of school will be even more complicated by repairs.

I also have no lights in the studio right now, which is what I’m typing this one-fingered on the iPad. Hopefully that will get handled this afternoon. I am tired of the daily trips to Home Depot.

Despite a lack of light, I rigged a few lights to finish ironing the yellows on Wednesday night. I still need to sort the fabrics and take my normal stash for the quilt photo.

I don’t know how many fabrics yet, but I do know it took a whopping 23 hours plus to pick them. Last night, after my stitching meeting, I started cutting them out…

It should take less than 23 hours. But I don’t have any daytime left for this. We are back on the work-sucks-all-the-hours schedule. I will get done though. I still have a deadline. Then the next quilt will use one of the crazy backgrounds I just dyed 😜. Ok. Gotta go to work now. More later.

My Shoes Are Ready, But I Am Not…

Hello Last Day of Summer Break. You are hot and muggy and a bit breezy, which I appreciate. Summer was better than last year’s crazy mix of vomitous stress, although you could still work on the relaxing time away from the worry of pandemic. Also, more trips and art…like OTHER people’s art. Yeah. More of that. But you did help me finish three pieces and get a healthy start on a fourth, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll make a normal number of pieces this year, unlike last year. That would be nice.

Speaking of, although I hoped to be done ironing last night, I was stymied by broken flip flops and realizing that I hadn’t worn shoes to work for 18 months and I didn’t know WHERE MY SHOES WERE. You know, the shoes you wear to work because you’re not allowed to wear flip flops and slippers and Christmas socks, goddammit it what kind of civilization IS this where I have to wear a bra every day and shoes too what the fuck. So yeah. I bought shoes and I cleaned out my shoes and I found shoes and even washed some shoes. They were dusty. That makes me laugh. Certainly if you went to high school with me and/or have heard the stories of the Assistant Principal who threatened to suspend me for not wearing shoes, so I wrapped newspaper around my feet and taped it on, this does not surprise you. Dude. Seriously. Pick your battles.

So my shoes are ready, but I am not. Last night I dreamed that I was teaching and I forgot to wear a mask. A good chunk of my students can’t get vaccinated yet. One of the teachers I used to work with is fussing about having to get a vaccine, about mandates. Then don’t teach. You don’t have to get a vaccine, but you have to get tested every week if you don’t. Stop whining. Do it for the kids. Seriously, you’re walking into classrooms with (um, I don’t actually have classes yet…yes, school starts next Tuesday, whatever) with let’s guess about 150 students total and you aren’t vaccinated? What dumbassery is that. I don’t care if you’ve had the virus…you don’t have the right to get all those kids sick if you get it again. Sigh.

Moving on. The electricians were here yesterday and fixed some things that have needed fixing, but more happily, added a ceiling fan that I’ve wanted for the last 20 years. Oh my, does that thing make me happy? It does. Lots. I did have to clear out a space for one of them to get into the attic…

So all those fabric bins had to come out, a shelf had to come out. And I couldn’t iron for the morning yesterday.

I did iron the night before. This is ALL of the sky. What a mess. Top is real sky; bottom is sky with figure.

I ironed all the bottom ones Monday night, stayed up way too late, in the Nida way.

And then ironed the rest yesterday evening…

Sky done. Clouds too. I just need to do all the yellow bits…sun and stars and lightning. Which is why I didn’t finish last night…I was watching REAL lightning, which wasn’t really yellow. A crazy lightning storm with a bolt a second was passing east of us. Fascinating to watch…hopefully no fires.

I also walked last night…that hawk was harassing all the birds inside this amazing cage I walk by.

I only noticed because the birds inside are usually pretty quiet, but they were super loud. Because there was a predator on their house.

The sky was beautiful.

It was muggy.

So for today, my last day, I will try to avoid work, although I did watch the 9-minute COVID video required by the district. So all my mandatory training is done. Tomorrow I will deal with sitting in a church (yeah, a church) for our back-to-school speechifying. I will bring a book and some stitching for that crap. Then food and another long meeting. Then four days of panicked prepping for school. Yes, that includes a weekend. We’ll see how much I can get done without the weekend, but I know I will need to shop a little and I have nothing NOTHING planned for art. Sigh. I will also finish the ironing on this quilt and then install LEDs in here for cooler lighting. I will plant out the rest of my hardened milkweed and maybe plant more seeds (I think I killed another batch…they were coming up and now they’re not. I suck.). I started the dying process for a bunch of fabric and socks. I want to get those done too. We’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck. Then I will burn sage and maybe last year’s school notebook to clear the air for this school year, hoping for few quarantines, no COVID outbreaks at school, no COVID for me or my family, lots of vaccinated kids in the next few months, and hopefully cooler weather (ha! It’s real summer now y’all…here in Southern California, it’s not real summer until September/October, when we often hit over 100 degrees).

Fully Aware

OK. Well. It’s possible that I need to move away from all the people. One neighbor is Day 5 into a 2-day (yes you read that right) project to install a chain-link fence between us. It’s noisy, it’s ugly, I hate it. Ugh. The neighbor on the other side started a jackhammering project Saturday morning that gave me a monster headache, no warning. At least I had warning on the fence job, even if it’s gone on forever. Jackhammer neighbor doesn’t ever realize the noise pollution he creates, I think, until after he hears me ranting through the house at the top of my lungs (yes, I do that. Yes, the men who live with me wish I wouldn’t. It makes me feel better though.). He emailed 12 hours after it happened to tell me about it and how it wouldn’t continue on Sunday (it did). As a teacher, I kind of think of the last weekend before school starts as this sacrosanct time. No noise, just sleeping in and relaxing. The last weekend before I don’t have to put in 4 hours of work on Sunday every week (or last year, 8 hours). Then the neighbor behind us bought two jacaranda trees. I love jacarandas. They’re purple…what’s not to love? Except they seem to be planting it right next to our fence. So that jacaranda will be about 20 feet over my fenceline and dropping shit everywhere in a period of time. Sure, I might be dead by the time that happens. I just think they’re idiots not to consider a tree’s canopy when planting it.

So yeah. Twenty or thirty acres should do it for me. Not sure where or how I would afford it, but no more smells of spray paint, no more generator sounds, no more screaming at the kids or even just screaming kids. Just quiet and nature and yeah.

Yes, I know I start school in 4 days and quiet and nature will not be happening there either. Fully aware. I miss my old quiet neighbors…they had their quirks, but they were less stupid.

I’m in a great mood to start school by the way. The district has decided that gamifying our professional development is something we all need. I’m not sure how many screenshots I’ll need to do to prove I already did the things, or if I really have to prove I know how to use all the Googles (I do…it’s been years now). They say it provides CHOICE, but I don’t see a whole lot of that going on. Choice from their very elementary, and limited, scope of things. Being a middle-school science teacher in the middle of an elementary district is annoying when it comes to that…so much of what they do and say is irrelevant to what I need or do or see.

That said, we’re planning today and I’m getting a bunch of stuff out of the house and into my classroom. I am looking forward to being in a classroom again, although yes, the thought of filling it with the great unvaxxed makes me more than a little anxious. But hands-on is better than Zoom for me AND this crew, so that will be a good thing. And having my team around me, even if I barely see them and can’t plan with most of them…also good.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the ironing done on this current quilt.

Deer.

Seriously a ton of browns in this thing…

The to-be-cut pile grows…

So sometimes weird shit happens. I do have another piece of Wonder Under that matches the drawing with 316 on it.

I’m just going to hold onto this until it makes sense, and if it never does, I will throw it out.

I think this is the tree…

Yeah, with fungus and bear claw marks.

I said I was going to bed before I cut out the green trees on Friday night, I think? And then I did it anyway.

The bottom row is the stuff in the figure; the top is all the ‘real’ stuff. So confusing.

More greens. Check out the dog’s feet and mine.

Now there’s a cat in that photo. I did more ironing…hard to say what here.

Then last night, I laid out all the green parts of the mountains. All marked out in my head. Could be a mistake.

But I got all that ironed too. So much for early to bed, early to rise.

I need to do all the rocks in the mountains now. This is chaos. I think I’m in the 700s but there’s a lot left to do, and the electrician comes tomorrow, so I need to move a bunch of stuff this afternoon/evening so he has access to the attic. Ugh. So I’m not finishing the ironing before I have to do that, unfortunately. I have at least 250 pieces left. We’ll see, but it doesn’t feel promising. I’ll get the ironing done, though, probably before I have to go back to school. That’s the plan anyway.

I’m also working on embroidery for a Social Justice Sewing Academy piece…

Just blanket stitching letters down first before embellishment. Need to make sure they will stay down.

Saturday included two meetings, one on Zoom and one in person. The one in person was to see a future exhibition space before entering…this is a piece by Anne Mudge. Fun.

Reminds me of pepper trees. Or atoms.

After that, we hiked again, only a little over 4 miles, but an extension of a trail we do often into an area we never have gone.

So that was cool.

The man is still training. Progress.

Yeah, this guy. That’s a female pole dancer.

The driver was older. I don’t know how you are in a relationship with anyone with that on your car, but maybe that’s the point.

Oh yeah! Happy birthday to the girlchild, who is 24 (holy crap) and was a smart woman and took the day off work.

I’m proud of her. Also love her. Miss her. All the things.

Anyway. I have ironing to do and school stuff and aack I need to eat lunch before counseling starts and then it’s go go go for probably 10 months straight. Art often. Art always.