Reasonable Requests

October 1, 2018

OK, the internet is working but who knows how long it will hang out here. We have another solution we’ve ordered and is on the way. Hopefully it will solve the problem. But I’m actually typing this on my computer instead of my iPad, my phone, or my school laptop at the moment. A blessing!

So. Saturday. I finished grading a bunch of stuff and then went in and finished ironing. You can see I have Kitten as a companion AND the internet was working. I have no idea what I’m watching…either Luther or Maniac on Netflix.

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It only took another 30 minutes or so to iron it down to the background. In total, this quilt ironed together in 6 hours and 45 minutes…

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The wonder of smaller quilts. Then, since I was waiting around anyway, I started stitching it down.

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I guess I could have graded something else, but like I’ve said before…I don’t like giving up my entire weekend to school. Kitten was happily ensconsed in my chair. (Dear WordPress..that is TOO a word.)

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More stitching down…it took just under 3 hours to stitch it all down.

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So I finished on Saturday afternoon…well, evening. Then a relaxed dinner at home with a weird movie and some stitching with cat paws on the leg…

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After the movie, I drew for a bit. I’m skipping one of the shows I wanted to enter because I don’t have time to make something for it…really…I could, but it would hurt. I need to relax a bit. So I’m aiming a little further out. I needed to work out some ideas in my head, and this was a good start. It’s going to need a redo, but I took a bunch of notes to myself and I have a plan in my head now.

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Sunday brought dogs. Some are more social than others. Simba, we’re talking to your cranky butt. He used to play with Katie, but he’s been cranky this time.

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Just wants people cuddles. We had storm clouds come in and rain on us for about 14 seconds…the remnants of a tropical storm coming up through Mexico are going to just tickle us with horrendous humidity as they go by.

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This is after Sunday dinner…got the road done in that section and started work on the butterfly, the last block in July. Then the tree and house, plus the giraffe and horned thing on the bottom are August. I have September sewn down and then was messing with October in here last night, trying to figure out what to do with all the bits and pieces…

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With October, then I sew the whole quilt together. I’m not sure what happens in November? I think borders. I’m not sure where that bag is. It’ll take me some time to get there though.

See, I come in here and then they lie down all over the floor again. It’s like Twister getting around them.

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Here’s our newest baby gecko. It’s hiding in a little hole in the sink drain down there. Can’t get it out. We should name him. Fred.

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We’ve had a lot of them this year.

So after dinner, I did some school stuff, sort of finished progress reports. I have a few things I’ll update today, and then I’m done. So I pinbasted this one…

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AND this one. Because once you’ve cleaned the floor and moved stuff out of the way, you might as well do all of them.

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So that’s two wool quilts ready for quilting. Ha! Well I don’t know when that will happen. I guess I finished one over the summer that had been languishing for years. I seem to like working to deadlines at the moment, so they tend to take precedent over the other stuff.

Anyway, so I can start quilting tonight, if I have the energy. I’m running on extra tired for some reason. Still. Take the vitamins, eat the foods, get the exercise. It took a long time to fall asleep last night. I’m feeling it this morning. As always. May this week be less tiring than it looks when I stare at the calendar. May there be art every night. Those seem like reasonable requests.

Almost Ironed

September 28, 2018

Computer refusing to function again. Probably going to have to manage that soon. It’s frustrating. I’m not even sure where to start. It’s interesting how much we rely on the internet for our existence…for those of us who remember having to function without it. It was on the internet I read the statements made yesterday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, since I was at work all day. Very triggering stuff. I don’t know any woman who could do what she did and be lying about it. I don’t care that he was in high school…it’s a testament to his character, as was his testimony yesterday. He’s unfit to be in the most powerful court in the country. He already was, based on his personal bias. This country I live in right now? It’s ugly. It’s always been ugly though, big parts of it…racism, sexism. I guess it’s just more obvious now. In our faces. There’s white privilege showing. If I were a POC, the ugly would have been in my face all along.

Yes, my head is in a place. Knowing what’s wrong is one thing. Knowing how to make it right is the problem.

I got home early yesterday, but the boychild and I had to deal with the flea infestation at the parentals, so we did that. And then I tried inputting grades, but the computer refused after a while…so I went back to the school computer. Got those in (oh so slowly…10-key input is so much faster).

The good news is that I finally finished all the embroidery on those 96 balls. I don’t remember when I started this…late 2013? Probably 2014…

She Spargo’s design, stitched by me at every soccer game I went to for many years. Sat around for at least a year, getting the guts to put all those stems and balls on. Supposed to be done ages ago. Now I just need to quilt it, which is funny because I still haven’t quilted the one I finished before it.

Cat and dog and new keyboard (finally…most of the letters are worn off)…

Time to iron. I was super tired. This week…

Cat and bird…

Hair and tree done…fussy skinny pieces.

All the leaves ready to go.

So everything is ready to get ironed on the background…once I finish grades. Ugh. I like it so far though. I wasn’t sure in the beginning. Hopefully the background color works. I guess we’ll see.

I Killed Another Red Pen…

September 27, 2018

Oh my. Two early mornings in a row. I keep going to bed a little earlier, thinking it will help. It’s not. Of course, yesterday’s 11-hour work day did not help. I meant to leave work early, but we revised everything after school for today’s lesson, so I got home late and then sat right down and graded more of the science units. I finished the last class at 10:30 PM. Dinner was in there somewhere. I had help with that.

I killed one red pen…

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Some kid shoved their homework (that they didn’t do) into the science unit. Good way to hide it, man! I’ll never see it in there. You probably think you turned it in! I did actually have kids turn it in blank. I guess it saves them in the moment, because I see 4 papers and don’t call them on it right then and there. I just hand it back with a zero on it though. So I’m not sure how that works.

I only got two balls done after dinner. Slow stitching. Or slow eating. Not sure which. There was a puppy though!

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I think there’s only 3 balls left. Maybe tonight?

Kitten doesn’t really like anyone but me. They all scare her. Here’s boychild making friends with the use of catnip, rubbing it all over her face. She was a little drooly.

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She does like the head scratches. My parents’ dog, Katie, is behaving better this year. Not as much cat chasing. Kitten has made it down the hallway without being chased. Guess Katie is getting old.

So yeah, at 10:30, I came in to iron, after packing up all the school stuff. I only got about 45 minutes in…too tired. I finished the belly and the breasts and that other hand, plus the neck.

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There’s about 120 pieces left. One night if I weren’t doing other stuff. I might get it done tonight…it’s possible. I also have to find two quilts that need to be delivered on Saturday, though…make sure I have the hanging hardware, iron them, dehair them, roll them up. Meanwhile, my doctor is harassing me for more blood tests. I told her the weekend (I seriously can’t handle that after school right now…I didn’t even leave early enough yesterday…or Tuesday…or Monday even.). I will do it Saturday. Along with everything else I can’t get done right now.

Deep breaths. Caffeine. The patience of a saint (I don’t have that last one. Wish me luck.).

Crawling the Walls*

September 25, 2018

As I’ve been watching the Kavanaugh confirmation maelstrom erupt all over the news, all I can think is why? Why would we want anyone in that position who (a) doesn’t have the back of half the population of the country (seriously not thinking of women’s rights or needs, from what I’ve seen, unless you need me to be pregnant with no rights to my uterus) or (b) where there is any hint at all of sexual impropriety (Clarence Thomas, we’re talking to you right now). I keep hearing that it’s “normal” for boys to do stupid sex things when they’re kids…or even men, as adults…and it’s not normal. It’s not OK. It’s not in their genes. It’s not caused by testosterone. As one woman said, there are plenty of people in jail who did something stupid when they were 17…they just weren’t rich enough to get out of it.

As a woman, I’ve lived through my share of sexual crap, harassment and worse, all perpetrated by men. And my goal is that my daughter never ever has to go through that. She already has…both here in the US and in Madagascar. It’s everywhere. It’s one thing to fear for yourself, walking in the dark, keys between your fingers, poised to hit 911 on your phone. It’s an entirely different thing to think about your daughter in the same situation. Give up on him. Wait until after the midterm elections. The hypocrisy in the current administration is driving me nuts. There should be no question about this. Get Kavanaugh out.

It’s actually significantly hard to watch all this. It reminds me of how little women are regarded right now in this country…and that’s sad.

So all that’s in my head.

Yesterday, we walked the dogs. At one point, the little one got it into his head that he wanted to wander off the main trail into coyote country, so the boychild let him.

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He kept claiming we were on a truck trail. Uh huh. Right. Well, here, we are back on the main road. Turns out the puppy was trying out a shortcut.

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He cut a 1/4 mile out of our regular walk. He said he was tired. Probably we all have ticks now too.

I graded for a long while. I have a lot to get done and not much time in which to do it. But a little at a time works.

I only ironed for 45 minutes last night, but it was enough to find and cut out all these little leaves…

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Plus do the other arm (minus the hand)…and then start on the belly.

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Midnight came and told me to go to bed. Wow. I miss Midnight (the cat). Still. A year later. Anyway, Midnight the TIME told me to go to bed.

I paused…I’m watching Luther…but was fascinated by this picture when I paused…

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Off to bed, and there’s Katie, being a dork. Itchy nose, I think.

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I helped her with that. Oh yeah, and I forgot I packed a quilt last night to ship to a show this morning. Really, I got a lot of stuff done…it just wasn’t all in the artistic-making realm. Art has to get shipped. Science has to get graded. Dogs have to be walked. Making art is sort of the ugly stepchild…it goes last, gets the smallest helping sometimes.

OK, brain…you are off this morning. Still tired. Going to go to UPS now and then school and then tutoring…and then to watch another artist explain herself tonight. And hopefully by the end of the week, I’ll see my country screw its head back on. That would be a change from the last year and a half or so.

*Dave Gross, Crawling the Walls

Needing the Art…

September 24, 2018

Well I worked a lot this weekend. I got a lot done. It never feels like enough, because there is always more, but it was a good two days. Until your SIL asks what you did all weekend, and all you can say is “graded shit.” Well. It needed to be done. The next few weeks are busy…more for my date-night companion than for me, but mine will translate into more grades (progress reports are due next week) and hopefully artmaking. I carved out time yesterday for a significant chunk of that. At some point, I’ve done enough grading and I need to do something else.

One thing we did (well, the boychild did) was replace the wireless card in my computer, trying to solve the internet problem in here.

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Spiders had been in there. Weird. The plus is that when I have internet, it is now much faster. The minus is that I am still losing the internet…but only on the computer. The laptop and other devices work fine in here. Sigh. So that’s still a problem that needs solving.

I did do some work in the morning, schoolwork, but after 8 or so hours on Saturday of that, I wasn’t giving up the rest of the day. I started ironing around 4:30 PM…

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This one shouldn’t take long…

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I took a break to make this week’s lunches and start dinner prep. It was group cook night…make your own damn pizza. Although I did the dough prep.

So during dinner’s TV watching hour, I did more of these. I didn’t get much done last week on this.

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I think I still have 7 of them left. SLOOOWWW. I remember predicting the end of July. Maybe the end of September? That’s a little less than a week away. I only work on it when we’re both home and eat together, so last week, I think that was one night? Maybe 2?

Anyway, after that, it was back to the ironing. These are all the 100s, in stacks by 10s.

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I started by ironing the fruit and the fruit bowl separate and then putting them where they belong…

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Then working on the legs…back hip and roots first, then back foot…

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Simba was with me for a while…

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Here’s the whole front leg done…

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And then the heart and starting on the front arm.

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The bird and nest are done, but I quit before ironing all the leaves on. It was just about midnight at that point.

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And I would have had to lay out all the 300s and cut out a lot of the leaves (they’re small) before being able to iron them down. I do try to head to bed around midnight. So I ironed for 3 1/2 hours and I’m more than halfway done. I won’t get that much time tonight, but I will get some. We’ll see how well I do, but I would hope to be stitching down by Wednesday or so. I don’t have any night meetings this week until Friday, so that’s a plus. I do need to grade a lot still though…hopefully mostly at school. We’ll see.

I did not get the copyediting job, so that’s actually kind of a plus. He wasn’t the most accurate guy when it came to communication. Turns out he wasn’t just ignoring me for days…he was getting other quotes, which I don’t mind…but TELL me you received my bid and then TELL me why you aren’t answering. Geez. Professionalism. Meanwhile, I have students begging me to grade their late work (I do that once a week and I did it Sunday morning) and demanding that I change their grade because I didn’t tell them about the back page (I did) and kids losing their science folders in their backpacks (yikes!). Sigh. This job carries a significant amount of frustration, true. That’s why I love (and need) the art so much. Hell, I’d need the art no matter what I did for a living.

All That Pressure Got You Down*

September 15, 2018

It’s one of those Saturdays where the to-do list looms large on the biggest post-it note you can find, but all I want to do is finish ironing fabric for the new quilt and maybe read my book. Yeah. Well. Welcome to adulthood. First on the list is trying to use up all the food my parents left here before absconding to Spain and Portugal for a million days. Luckily, the boychild is here and he has some of those Depression-era genes in him that allow one to use up ALL the foods in one or two meals. Except he doesn’t like lettuce, I think. So I’m in charge of eating lettuce. MMMM. Lettuce. Perhaps my compost pile needs some help.

What is on said to-do list? Well, grading, of course, and tending to money issues and the compost pile and making sure art paperwork is done or ready or shipped or something. Prepping for school for the next few weeks…I have a kid who will be gone for over a week and will miss every measurement lab we do, but still needs independent work and won’t have internet. And I don’t have a textbook. So there’s that. Fun stuff for a weekend. I’m on Day 3 of uncomfortable headaches that eventually go away. Ugh. Oh yeah, I also need to go shopping for small plastic animals that will fit in a graduated cylinder, but I forgot to bring the damn thing home, so I’ll have to go GET it, and then go shopping. I also think the Golden Retriever might be showing signs of diabetes, so I should set an appointment for her. Ugh. Meanwhile, where my diabetes numbers were looking good last week, this week they have sucked and besides being totally stressed out and exhausted, I’m not sure what was different. Damn pancreas. Behave, you bastard.

My goal is to kick a lot of the to-do list hard this morning and then find time to iron later today. And maybe even go for a walk. Although I won’t have any dogs. That might be better? I don’t know.

My office floor last night…only two…the other one is outside the door. I was grading before this. I made it through one small period and half of my most challenging period…it’s big and full of kids who are not great at English yet, so their writing is difficult to grade. Trying to be fair and helpful but realizing they can’t figure out a run-on sentence yet (I’m reteaching that on Monday…)…it just makes it hard to grade. I’ll finish today.

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One cat hiding behind the monitor. I was doing work stuff on here. I think. And ordering stuff. Very important stuff, like the salmon oil for the old lady dog’s food, those things for my tooth flosser, and some sort of card for my computer that might help with the fucking slow internet. I still need to contact Tivo, but their call center is in the Philippines, and there’s a typhoon. Might be hard to get through. I know if I were in the Philippines and there were evacuations, the last thing I would wanna do is talk to some entitled white chick in California about why her Tivo won’t connect.

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I did eventually iron stuff. I was happy to iron stuff. It makes me feel less stressed to iron stuff. Picking colors pushes all the other stressful stuff out of my head. Ahhhh…look at all the pretty fabrics.

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OK, it actually looks pretty chaotic now because I didn’t organize by color. My brain likes rainbow order. I can’t explain it.

A box full of pieces! I’m getting closer to done. I probably have about 100 pieces left to iron. I could easily kick that out today. That’s the plan too.

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Get it done.

So the boychild was hacking things again. There’s a plan to get the overgrown jungle under control.

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OMG. It’s a fence I haven’t seen in years. I’m not really sure what will happen to all this space once he’s done hacking at it. It might just be easier to find the little dog out there. I do feel sorry for the bunnies though. It’s gonna get scary for them.

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Finally I managed to get a photo of all three dogs in one space. Not moving. This is harder than you might think. They know how to sit, but they are stubborn assholes and won’t listen.

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We haven’t tried walking all three yet. I used to do it by myself. It’s doable. Pain in the butt, but doable.

OK, so grading and small-plastic-animal purchases and cleaning up and compost pile and hopefully ironing and who knows what else, but maybe Netflix could stop recommending YA movies that make me cry because I remember being that awkward and having so little confidence back then and it’s so much easier now to exist. Although I could do without the bills and taxes and the horrendous number of meetings I had to add to my schedule the other day (30. I had to add 30 meetings to my schedule.). Yeah. And I need a walk. A long one. With headphones. Maybe dogs.

*Chic, Le Freak

The Day Is in My Sight*

September 13, 2018

Good morning head. You appear to be achey this morning. I don’t know why. I mean, sure, you’re not getting enough sleep, and obvi, you’re tired, you want a nap and it’s 7 AM, so apparently you slept, so maybe the weather is seesawing around, because that’s usually what causes the head to ache so, but maybe it was the quiet chaos of yesterday (was it quiet? was it?) pounding through whatever you were dreaming last night, but wow. No need to be so bangy. Seriously. I don’t have the brain power today for pounding headache plus middle school plus back-to-school night.

Oh yeah, I did have a union meeting yesterday, which starts a host of complicated things I have to do today on top of my regular job…it’s OK, though, because I’m stuck at school until 6 PM, and I have an hour and a half before I have to deal with parents, so hopefully I can bang some union duties out in that time…in time with the banging of my head. Or pass them on to some other rep who didn’t show up to the meeting last night.

I didn’t go to book club. I haven’t finished the book. I was exhausted when I got home. Didn’t happen. No friendly gathering. Oh well…because we got Katie! Katie is my parents’ dog and her full name is Katie Girl, but no one calls her that but my parents, maybe only my mom, because that’s too many words for a dog, too many syllables. Katie is much skinnier now because she is on a green bean and carrot diet, which luckily she enjoys. Well, she enjoys all foods, so there’s that. She’s also constantly rolling over on her back, either for pets, or because she’s the most submissive animal in the house…or both. Calli steadfastly ignores her until she gets pets, and then Calli gets jealous and wants attention.

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That face will be here until November, so get used to it. Her fur will also be here until November. Someone should vacuum now so we have a baseline. (Headache is minorly responding to meds and tea…but not well enough. There might be an invisible vise on my skull…I just can’t tell.)

Anyway, after a long meeting and dealing with Katie’s arrival with all her shit and the instructions that came along with all that, and dinner and then the Tivo is acting up so there was that and I was grading essays (short ones, thank god) for a while until I couldn’t stand it, well, I didn’t get into my office until well after 10 PM. There’s really not that many pieces in this quilt, but I need to have the mental energy to pick things. And that is currently problematic.

My brain just got stuck on that word. It said it, and then some part of it argued for pragmatic instead, but no, that wasn’t right, but sure enough, some other part said it louder, PRAGMATIC, and then my brain (which isn’t very awake and is struggling with the poundiness of headache) LOST the word problematic and all that was left was pragmatic. So my fingers stopped typing for about 30 seconds until I could find it again and yell it back at that part of the brain that is always trying to interject with inappropriate words. More so as I age, dammit. At some point, there’ll be a damn coup up in there and I won’t get any of the words right. It’s coming. Definitely problematic, you asshole.

Anyway, I ironed for less than an hour, and honestly, I spent most of that time staring at the drawing, trying to color it in using the same brain that just lost a word for 30 seconds. At the end of the day too. So it was slow and mostly painful. But I added some colors of the rainbow for her hair, and that was good.

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I didn’t get much done though. I wanted more. I hope for tonight, but I also know I need to put a label on a quilt, and I won’t even get home until after 6, and no one but me is cooking dinner for me. Which might be simpler. Who knows? Maybe I’ll read my book (and fall asleep on the couch because nothing survives back-to-school night). But I’m still hoping to be done ironing by the weekend. It could happen. I just need to be way more awake than I have been.

Katie will be waiting for me when I get home. There’s that.

*Violent Femmes, Add It Up