Both Sides of One Coin…

What a morning. I’m up! Not packed, not ready, showered, but the laundry wasn’t dry (long story, my fault for not changing the thingie and it took 10 minutes for me to figure out how to change it because I hadn’t had my tea yet). Simba got bit by a coyote this morning…not here, but at my ex’s. He’s OK, but I need puppy cuddles. We’ll pick him up from the vet later and hopefully he will run next time. Calli apparently went after the coyote (oh great, 10-year-old gimpy Golden Retriever). We do live with the wildlife here and need to respect it and then yell at it and spray it repeatedly with a hose so it won’t come back. I actually occasionally buy wolf urine pellets and sprinkle them about the edges of the property. I don’t know if it works…but I haven’t seen them on my property (just down at the end of the driveway) in a while. He’s OK! That’s the takeaway.

Not a current picture. I haven’t seen him yet. Today, we’re supposed to be driving to Lake Arrowhead. I’m only up for a day, because I have to be at school on Friday. Sigh. I was at school yesterday…got in there and had no desks, so I moved a few things out of the hallway and then started pulling stuff out of cupboards. At some point, one of the custodians started bringing desks in.

Ironic because I had already gotten an email from one of the Assistant Principals about using my tables to sort Chromebooks. I’m like SURE! What tables? Anyway. I’m not there today or tomorrow, so just don’t leave a mess.

We’re doing a portfolio thing this year, so I needed new things. New system. Originally they were not in rainbow order, but my brain rebelled and rainbowed them.

Can’t help it.

My boards aren’t done. I haven’t found everything. My tech isn’t set up. Did I mention I haven’t found everything?

I spent a couple of hours trying though…there’s two prep days next week, so hopefully I will be more prepared after that. Right now, it just feels like chaos. All this stuff and the stuff on the other side had to be locked up because of summer school.

The plus is that I toss stuff at the end of the year, and then I toss more stuff at the beginning of the year, because I’m like, why the fuck did I keep this? But then I keep stuff for 16 years and I don’t know what to do with it. Anyway. More to do. Honestly, it’s less about what I do to decorate and organize and more about what I do with the kids. I always remember that part.

As part of the new-year resolutions, I’m reading this book about burnout. It’s called Burnout and it’s by Emily Nagoski, but this caught my eye.

It’s the science part I like. A good way to start the new year anyway.

Calli agrees.

Resting up. Literally.

Two caterpillars yesterday on the milkweed. I haven’t seen a lot of caterpillars…lots of butterflies though, so that’s good.

Lots of aphids.

So I copyedited a good chunk of the afternoon. Lots more left to do. I’m copyediting a book about trauma-sensitive schools and one of the stories set me off yesterday. I work with a lot of traumatized kids. It’s hard sometimes. Hence the burnout book.

And then I ironed a bunch…

I was trying to finish last night…worked on the other side…

She was fussy…and I had to iron both sides together on the floor…it was too big for the ironing board.

Then I went back and did the hands. They’re holding hands. You can’t have light without dark. Not good and evil. Not good and bad. A spectrum. Working together. Both sides of one coin. Coyotes and domesticated dogs. Teaching and art. Or something like that. Anyway…I wanted to get it on a background, but I needed to piece that and it was already after midnight. And right now, I need to leave in about 15 minutes to deal with the girlchild’s hair and then hopefully get the puppy and go to the mountains. I might get to this Thursday night, depending on how late I get back. I NEED to get it done.

I honestly have no idea what I’m working on next. That’s weird. Huh. OK. Well then. I’ll have to think about that while I’m traveling. Lots of driving, that’s for sure.

Tight.

I’m writing this quickly before I go to school, hopefully to pull all that crap out of cupboards and put it where it belongs. I need music and tea and time. I never have enough of the last one. We’ll see about the other two.

Yesterday, I copyedited…finished Part 2 first readthrough. I’m going to start Part 3 and come back to Part 2 later. I need space from it.

I also ironed a lot…how much? Huh. There’s an app for that. Almost 5 hours. I got the first side done…

If you look up near the top, on the table, my phone is on a tripod. I’m on FB Messenger Video with a friend of mine who moved to Portland. I ironed and she tried to set up her loom. It worked. It’s part of why I got so much ironing done…I did about an hour and a half with her and another 30 minutes or so on the phone with my brother and SIL. Small world.

Then we had the girlchild’s birthday dinner (late)…which included an amazing spread from a Middle Eastern restaurant, plus the boychild’s homemade strawberry shortcakes. Delicious, but I forgot to take any photos because I’m lame. There was a LOT of food. There’s still a lot of food. It’s in my fridge.

After dinner, I continued with the ironing…putting the edges around…

Then I rolled up that half and set it aside and started ironing the other half…

That’s a pretty healthy start. I’ve still got pieces in the 400s that go up on the right and complete the hand of the other figure, which will have to wait until I iron them together. But mostly, I was ready to start the 500s and noticed it was after midnight. I couldn’t go back to sleep this morning after the Man left for work, so I guess it’s good I was in bed by 12:30 AM. Because it was early this morning.

Anyway, I’m going to school, coming back and copyediting some more, and maybe getting the rest of this ironed today. I’m hoping, but who knows. Time is tight. I think I guessed 10-15 hours of ironing and I’m 7 minutes short of 9 hours right now. Guaranteed there’s another 3 hours in there. There’s at least 250 pieces plus ironing it to the background. So yeah. It’s going to be tight. Sigh.

I Roll on Chaos

Ah busy times here in the Nida household. It seems I will never have a quiet and simple and organized start to the school year, because well, that’s just the way it is. First of all, I gave birth to the girlchild right before school started, so if she’s home for that, it causes crazy chaos of feeding people and weird schedules and lots of grocery shopping plus trips to the mountains. And then because they put summer school in my room and THEN needed to clean the floors, I can’t get into my classroom (maybe today? hopefully definitely tomorrow or I’m significantly fucked). Plus a copyediting job, a quilt deadline, and an embroidery deadline. I’m fucked. OK. Not fucked. Just busy. And not quiet, simple, or organized. My head is full of to-do fluff. You know when you can’t pick one thing to do because there are too many? I just turn around in circles.

I’ve been copyediting a little a day. It’s hard to concentrate, staring at a computer screen, for that long. But I do it. That’s how I’m going to get the trees trimmed. I’ve also been ironing a little a day. That’s how I’m going to get this quilt done in 15 days. Oh my. 15 days with school starting. Ha. Ha. Crying a little here.

We picked girlchild up from the airport on Saturday night. The dogs were very excited to see her…

She has a friend from school staying here too, so she was gone most of yesterday. I copyedited for a good chunk of the day, but that meant I needed to get out and do stuff…physical stuff. We are down to one dog who can go on long walks, and it’s the little fluffy one.

He’s not the best walker in the world. He gets tired. Then he’s faster on the way back. At one point, the boychild had to carry him because he refused to go on.

Lame. Then again, we were really walking ME, not the dog.

Rattlesnake shed skin caught in a plant.

We saw snake markings across the road at one point too.

This egg…

Those curlicue seeds too…you can see them in this picture. They’re such a pain to get out of Simba’s fur.

We wandered across here to a different viewpoint to see if last week’s fire location was visible.

We’ve had a bunch of small fires locally lately. Fire danger is pretty huge this year after last year’s rain. October is usually the worst month for it though.

There’s the bushwhacking pup.

He does pretty well for a pretty, fluffy boy.

It’s nice to get out. It’s not too hot right now. Knock on wood, because it will be. Like tomorrow.

California horned toad/lizard…a little one…

They’re really hard to see. We only caught sight of him because he ran in front of us.

I did this after dinner. Slow. I’m planning to get a bunch done at the mountains, I hope.

I might need to take her to the professional development stuff on Friday.

My ironing partner…she’s not very good at it. She was running in her sleep.

I feel well guarded.

Then ironing. This is kind of a pain in the ass. I mean, it makes sense to do the whole background before I do the figure on top. Hopefully it all fits…

It seems to be working…although I’m already missing one of the misnumbered pieces.

This is where I stopped at 12:15 last night.

I have a little of the background left to do above this…I have to decide whether to move the stuff that’s already ironed down so I can fit the sheet under the top part, or whether to add another piece up there. That’s probably easier. This is still in the fussy stage.

And I’m not even halfway done. It’s OK. Really. Except I want to be done with the ironing before I leave for Arrowhead. So I’m fucked. NO I’M NOT. I CAN DO THIS.

This is the crazy that is the totally fucked-up badly numbered 300s. There’s some serious crazy in here. I laid them all out. It’s the figure in that space and then the beginning of the other side.

Although I’m pretty sure the arms for this figure are all 400s because I forgot to number them. Duh. OK. Well. Later today. I’m debating the gym. I need to go find creme fraiche. (WordPress, dude, I did spell that right. I just left off the symbols.) I need to copyedit. And tonight is birthday dinner…so that’ll be a little extra chaos in the day. I roll on chaos though.

Oh yeah, I picked up the cards for the show I’m in that opens in September. My piece is on the card, which is always cool.

It’s at Sophie’s Kensington Gallery…I’ll be at the opening. This is the one on Adams Avenue.

Oh yeah, the house above me is for sale again. Three years we dealt with Mr. Cigar Smoke, who was the arrogant son of the previous owner, and their letting Tilly, the dog, down to shit on our property. Long story. They didn’t do much to the inside, but are putting it on the market for an additional $300K. Wow. But this drone photo cracks me up…

Wanna know where my house is? See all those trees on the right with a hint of a pool? Yeah. That’s me. Shade. It’s a wonderful thing in the summer. I guess he gave up on trimming my trees. I hope the new neighbors don’t have three small children (we already have that on the other side…it’s a little loud sometimes), don’t smoke (ugh. That’s been annoying), don’t throw loud parties, or what did the Man say, don’t have country band practices twice a week. Yeah. I’m pretty quiet, I think. We’ll see. It’s not really a family-friendly house as it is. Oh yeah, construction. Can we avoid that for a while too? Seriously, they built one house down below, and then did major remodels on two other houses on this private road that only has 10 houses. Like tile saws and hammering and jackhammering. I could do without all of that. I’m a really ornery neighbor apparently. Not really. I don’t go out and yell at them. So there’s that.

Anyway. The young women have left for the beach, so I need to make a decision. Gym now? Gym later? Copyedit first? I haven’t eaten. I should finish Part 2’s first readthrough. Then go. It’ll be good.

I Manage

I skipped the last two days of writing. I usually skip Sunday. Monday I skipped because the day got away from me. I spent most of the weekend, like many, watching and not watching the news, repeat on Sunday. This is not ok. Fear and anger should not be weaponized like this. I suspect most of those stopping here are fully aware of that. Solutions! No more wimpy words. I actually had a guy call himself a good guy with a gun to my face Saturday night. Nah.

So many people hurt by these men’s actions.

I’m writing this on the elliptical. I was smart and preloaded the pictures at home while eating breakfast. I can’t go to the gym without eating anymore.

I finished ironing Sunday. I guess that’s the good news. It’s 149 fabrics and 15 hours of ironing.

That’s more time than this many pieces would normally take. I’m not sure why. There’s everything that needs to be cut out.

I have one more embroidery design to do, and I knew I had some sitting time coming up, so I sat down Sunday night and drew it. I still need to pick fabric and colors…maybe today.

And then I started cutting pieces out.

Baby lizard in my office. I had already saved one in the living room. This one got away.

Hopefully it will stay hidden…because both cats like it in here. Kitten was somersaulting for boychild. She likes pets.

So a good chunk of yesterday was trading my aging Subie for a newer one. My mechanic was growing more and more anxious for my well-being I think, between oil issues and a creaky suspension. She’s old and did her duty.

Bye. Yeah I got another one, but went for a basic model, low mileage though. She’ll help us camp and carry dogs just fine.

I finished embroidering this last night. Thanks to Linda for the linen itself.

It’s hard to spend time with his words when they are so hypocritical and antithetical to what I believe America stands for. I’ll finish the edges and send it off to the Tiny Pricks Project with the rest of them from my art group.

There’s a few things missing from the new car: the license plate needs two more screws and I just happened to find some on my kitchen counter.

Like you do. It may be a chaotic mess, but it often yields good things. I still need a cargo cover and a rubber mat for the back.

I cut some more stuff out last night. I’m guessing it’ll be 10 hours total. I’m 3 1/2 hours in so far.

That’s a lot of hours to go. That whole huge pile on the bottom. Plus the rest of the copyediting project showed up. And I spent two or three hours yesterday trying to get copies done for the start of school. My days are full. What’s new? I manage.

Oh yeah, everyone should read some Toni Morrison today. Her writing is wondrous. Her death is a great loss. “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” Beloved

Making Art, Ignoring the Rest…

Well if you ignore most of the stuff on the to-do list, you get a lot of art done. Six and a half hours worth of it. Am I done with ironing? You’d think I would be…but no. Because I found more mistakes. I seriously don’t know where my brain was when I numbered this, and that messed up my tracing…because I trace by number, and I didn’t realize there was another double-numbered section, so I missed tracing about 20 pieces. It’s OK…I figured it out yesterday during that six and half hours!

So I set up my smaller light box and wandered back to it a couple of times, traced the missing pieces, then cut those bits out, and then put them in the pile of to-be-ironed pieces. What a pain.

I did manage to get well past the fucked-up sections though…while watching/listening to the mandated videos I have to get through for school. I get tested on bloodborne pathogens, sexual harassment, mandated reporter duties, and integrated pest management.

Three hours’ worth. Fun stuff. But it’s done. That’s worth it.

These guys…

Mom is ironing. We must sleep. It was hot.

The big girl went in the pool…

She uses the pool the most…supervised, of course, and she can’t swim as well with the back legs any more.

After dinner, there was more of this…seriously down to the last line…a word and a half, plus signing it and dating the speech itself.

Soon.

More sky ironing. Cat has moved. Sky is dark. I’m still listening to work crap at this point.

I’m not really good at listening, honestly. I space out. But I’ve seen the same stuff over and over again and know most of the answers already. I’m not good with Audible books or podcasts though. I totally zone out when people are talking to me. Just so you know.

Nighttime…she’s still sleeping…old lady.

She’s a good girl. She did move in between, I swear.

So I’m at almost 13 hours of ironing. Sigh. So slow.

I’m much closer to done though…less than 100 pieces, I think…

Just need to finish some of the body parts and the hair, and then decide what to do with the pieces around the edges. Should they all be one color? Should they be different values of one color? Should they be all different colors? I don’t know. Maybe black and white, but then what do you do in the middle? Alternate or find a fabric that is both (that’s not hard…my black and white stash is massive). Anyway. That’ll be a decision for later today hopefully. First I’m going to the gym. Tonight I have a birthday party and a show…so that should be cool…but not really artsy. I was trying to come up with a drawing for the last embroidery last night while I was attempting to fall asleep (a really bad time to be thinking about such things). I think I came up with one, but I need to actually draw it too. OK. Outta here.

Seventeen Tangents

So the plethora of emails yesterday and today from work and art sources, many with good news, some just with details of meetings etc, served to throw me into shallow-breather panic mode. It’s OK. I’ll figure it out. My usual way to deal is to tell it all to fuck off and make some art. I should be allowed to do that for the last two weeks before school starts, right? It seems to be the way I roll in early August. Seriously, I’ve been writing a blog since 2004 (although not a lot in the first few years), and I often go back and read certain time periods of previous years, especially when school is making me feel crazy, if only to remind myself that this is always the way and I suck at sleeping and stress.

Well then. Moving on. Accept the crazy and make art instead.

So first of all, the 300s is where most of the numbering fuck-ups occurred. This is the 300s, all laid out (with part of the misnumbered 200s as well). What that means is that instead of 10 pieces in each pile of 10 (for example 300-309 should be in one pile, then 310-319 in the next), some piles have 20 pieces and some have like 25 because I double fucked up. Sigh.

And some I forgot to put the a or b on the piece, so I have to stare at it and figure out which piece 319 it is…the original, 319a, or 319b?

Chaos. Fucking chaos. And then I had started laying out all the flesh for Figure 1 and realized it was like 12:20 AM, and I needed to iron it all down before I went to bed. Well. Fuck sleep too. I mean really. Old people are supposed to nap more. Maybe I’ll nap.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

And about half the quilt is in that tub in pieces on the left. I have no idea how many more pieces I need to do. I still have some 300s, and even a few 200s, to do, and I’ve done a chunk of 400s, but I think they’re all repeat 400s. I don’t even know. So let’s just say halfway, with 7 hours in, which means my 10-hour guess is completely off, and I’m going to need to do like 6 hours today to get anywhere near done. And it’s already 2 PM and I don’t even know how.

The internet was being bitchy. The cat was being bitchy. My brain went off on 17 tangents. The plus is that I made it to the post office AND got rid of two big bags of donated books, but completely and totally forgot to pick up my actual library book. Dumb. This is what stress looks like.

OK. Well we’re gonna do some anti-stress shit today. Ironing and maybe a hike and some stitching and cutting stuff out and maybe draw a little.

Well. Speaking of anti-stress (cries a little into her tea here)…here’s what the Wonder Under looks like now. Some bits of the 200s-400s, all laid out in some crazy logic that Late-Night Kathy understood and Hot Afternoon Kathy (the afternoon is hot, not me…well I’m hot flashy, but not HAWT) is probably going to hate.

It’ll be fine. And in a couple of hours, it’ll be done.

One of the milkweek plants is buggy but also full of seeds. Fly little seeds, fly!

I’ve only seen one caterpillar. I’ve seen lots of butterflies. I suspect my wildlife eats caterpillars.

Almost done with this…one more line.

Then finish the edges.

Interactions went poorly this morning. Honestly, all this picture reminds me of is that someone should be helping me clean the bathroom, and it probably should be one of these cats.

I hate my bathroom. It needs major help. It was on the to-do list for this summer, same place it’s been for the last 10 summers I think.

Kitten is not helpful.

Seriously not. OK, she moved off the chair onto the blues. Which is fine, until I need blue fabrics. In like, you know, 10 minutes or so.

Damn kitteh.

OK, focus. Get it done. Take care of yourself.

I Write Everywhere

I wonder how hard this is, trying to write on the weight machines at the gym? The answer? I can do it, but I kinda have to separate my brain so that one part can count while the rest is trying to write. Odds of my getting dementia due to not using my brain? Very low. Odds of my going insane due to over-multitasking? Very high. Odds of my counting to 10 wrong? Inevitable. Oh well.

I’m juggling things. Badly. Or well. Depends on what angle you’re at.

An amazing thing happened yesterday though: I finally cleared the kitchen table of the multiple landslides of accumulated crap from 7 months of receipts, books, paper, and oh-so-many pens and paper clips. As we go more online, I might have to make art out of my multitudes of paper clips.

I spent three hours in the afternoon creating things in a coffee shop. Two knitters showed up later…

Here’s how far I got yesterday…almost done!

I also copyedited a bit…more of that today. More cleaning today too.

And then I ironed. I did get almost three hours in, like I wanted, but I stayed up way too late. Damn dogs and cats won’t sleep in.

Picking lots of browns for trees and dirt and sand…

Then figuring out what goes where…4 levels of hills, 4 levels of trees on hills, followed by 4 levels of gray concrete and yellow road markings. And then Fire!

That’s about 250 pieces ironed. Since I misnumbered so heinously, I think I have 700 to go. Ok. A goal.

My days are reading about trauma-informed schools, making art about good and evil, house dust and detritus, and the orange baby’s stupid words.

I’m on the elliptical now. Way easier to write here…