Throw Down Your Umbilical Noose*

June 16, 2018

School’s officially out and I’m a little dazed and confused. The vaccine is also giving me really bad headaches, and the one this morning is not small or kind. It’s the Hulk with Thor’s hammer. It’s not helping.

It always takes me a while to sort of realize that it’s vacation and start relaxing. Looking at next week, there’s not a lot of relaxation that will be going on, but I will try. It will be easier when the vaccine stops fucking with me. The rash was bigger yesterday, so I took the prescribed Benadryl and basically passed out about 45 minutes later. Lost a couple hours there. I took another one at bedtime. This morning, the rash is still there, but splotchy and not as warm and tingly as before. I guess that’s a good thing, but I can’t really stay asleep all day. I feel drugged. Ugh. Maybe sleeping all day would be a good thing.

I was at school longer than I thought I’d be yesterday, and then I left food and milk in the fridge (ah, dumbassery), so I’ll need to go back on Monday and persuade someone to let me into the prep room that we just locked down for the summer so no innocent child can go in there and swig hydrochloric acid. Because I don’t want to come back to gross in the fridge.

When I came back home, even though I left her a treat ball (see in the top right?), Calli stress-ate the Tivo manual. Oh well…

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She wasn’t in trouble for long…she’s a big dummy sometimes.

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Then I blinked and looked over there and this one was snoring away. He’s the loudest of the bunch sometimes.

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These hummingbird feathers were stuck to one of the feeders we have outside. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hummingbird feather.

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You can’t tell here, but that green is iridescent, just like the birds.

Last night, I finally finished ironing all of the fabrics for the newest quilt…here’s all 120 of them…finally in color order, the way I like them.

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It’s a full box. Lots of cutting in my future.

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And at some point, my brain will catch up and respond to school being out.

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*Nirvana, Heart-Shaped Box

Start Me Off and Watch Me Go*

June 15, 2018

Hey. So it’s not REALLY summer vacation for a teacher until you check out of your classroom, which means you turned in or checked out all your technology, your keys, and your bloodborne-pathogen and first-aid kits, you’ve put your classroom in the order they want it to be in (depends on which administrator checks you out as to how much they micromanage the situation…that alone is a test of how many issues you might have with admin), you’ve counted all the books you don’t use any more because the standards changed and they’re totally useless but you still have to have one for every kid when the state comes calling to check you aren’t gypping parents out of a curriculum that is now at least 10 years old and completely out of date but your district has not approved moving forward with a current and useful adoption because they want us all to write our own curriculum, which some of us already have but we haven’t been paid for it assholes so there. Sigh. I don’t even know if that’s a sentence. Oh wait. It’s not. Oh well. I can’t remember…something about the official paper they have to sign that allows you to leave.

First we have a team meeting. I’m going to go buy a brain at the grocery store on the way to school so I have one for the meeting. Then I’m going to let it talk, because it’s just better that way.

Yesterday, we managed to get a lot done, despite the kids in our rooms. Then we had a lunch/drink thing at a local restaurant. Then I came home and read for a while and started messing with drawings. Because there’s a bunch of things that need to be done over the summer. And with my to-do list growing daily (add fix leaky shower valves and driver car window to the list of things I either need to do myself or find a professional to do), I need to get started on the art stuff. I’m known for being kinda spacey and unfocused the first week (sometimes two) after school ends for the summer…so don’t expect much. But I pulled the list of deadlines for the next 6 months, shows I want to enter, and started to prioritize. I also pulled the pile of already enlarged drawings off the piano (of course) and went through them. There were a bunch of smaller ones I really want to do, but do they meet any of those show deadlines? Of course not. Well…two of them might. This is a huge drawing that was supposed to be bigger…I thought about doing it as a triptych…but now I’m thinking I need to go the other direction. I like to do a really large quilt each summer. I use the big shows to give me an excuse to do it usually. I didn’t last summer, I don’t think…just did some other stuff. So this would be kind of an epic quilt. Because big…and…well…I’m thinking about what it says and why.

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So I’m letting it percolate…it’s currently 67″ wide and about 28″ high. I would add to the height.

I just saw that my weird succulent is blooming again. It’s such a funky way to grow…but beautiful.

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So my fever and fatigue from the shingles vaccine finally disappeared. I should tell you this is the new one, Shingrix. So you’re supposed to have a second shot 2-6 months later, and we were going to do it before school started again, but I emailed her last night because I got a rash from it Wednesday night…it’s warm and uncomfortable and my arm is painful like it’s badly bruised. Fun stuff.

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So now we’re pushing the second shot out to 6 months and if it gets worse, I’m going to urgent care. So let’s hope it doesn’t. She suggested Benadryl, but that will make me fall asleep, so if I’m going to do that, it’s going to have to be later.

So after all that and actually eating dinner with vegetables! Because if there’s veggies, I need to cook them…I went in and ironed for 2 hours. Evidence that the fever and fatigue are gone: I can stand for 2 hours. Here’s the two hearts that are in the quilt…

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I really try to place the pieces to use the smallest amount of fabric.

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So in the middle of ironing, I hear Kitten scuffling in the towels down by the window (they cover the backs of my fabric boxes so there’s no light damage)…I don’t know if you can see what she’s excited about…

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Look closely…I’ve seen one of these before. I don’t know if they come this color, because most of the ones I see are much darker…but I’ve seen a light-colored one like this before.

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Albino gecko? Or just pale? Here’s no flash…he really was mostly white and pale beige though…

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I rescued one from the pool a few years back.

Anyway. I ironed for two hours…here’s the pile to be cut out…

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It’s a big pile.

Here’s what’s left…not much, but that was at midnight, and I still had to get up this morning. There’s a bird in there and a bunch of gingko leaves and some lungs. I think that’s it though…although I don’t know what that pile on the top left is…oh there’s a teacup too.

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There’s gotta be a teacup. What am I drinking right now? Yeah. Here’s hoping I don’t have to get up really early during the summer (Jury Duty, I’m talking to you…because having to be downtown, parked, and in the courtroom dressed appropriately [there’s rules] by some early morning time is just cruel)…deep breaths.

And here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…lots! And totally out of color order at the moment.

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I’m hoping to come home midday and finish the ironing…then deal with some of the stuff on the to-do list and start cutting pieces out. Ironing the whole thing together soon…next week? In between doctors and vet and everything else that ended up shoved into next week. Sigh. Still got at least three more things to shove somewhere.

Off to school though for the last time for hopefully 7 weeks or more…I need to come back in to put everything back the way we need it before school starts, but I don’t know when we’ll be allowed back in. Sigh. Not thinking about that right now.

*Caesars, Jerk It Out

Wish Me Luck

June 13, 2018

Hey. So there are two days of school left. One of them is a half day. Today is the field trip to the bowling alley. Yesterday, I managed to teach all day, although I napped on my (very hard) desk during 7th period. Then I came directly home (canceled everything) and went to bed. For three hours. Got up, groggy as shit. I’d eaten three crackers for lunch, because the smell of the chicken made me want to vomit. That guy who lives here fed me some chicken and rice. I ate it. I laid around for a bit and then ironed for less than an hour, and went back to bed. I’ve been running between a fever and chills for the last 24 hours plus. I honestly don’t know if this is the same thing I was fighting off last week or a reaction to the shingles vaccine. I just know I feel like crap. Warmed-over crap. I’m a little better this morning, although the thought of walking the bowling alley for three hours sounds awful. Hopefully once I get some food in me, it won’t sound as bad. I know my fever was breaking at 2 AM, and after that, I was freezing. I have a lunch packed away for today, just in case, although I left the other one at school. Damn. Temperature is currently 101.5. Huh. I don’t feel feverish at the moment. Amusing.

I’m seriously starting to hate vaccines. I can’t take the tetanus one at all, I’m so sensitive to it. I haven’t taken it since 2009? They’re going to run a titer on me next year to see if my sensitivity has dropped at all…I’m totally protected…my body would kill a Clostridium tetani bacterium if it came within a 50-yard radius. And this shingles one requires a second shot in August. Like first we’re gonna get you really sick. And then we’re gonna do it again. So you won’t get shingles. OK, shingles is particularly bad, it’s true, but maybe they should work on their side effects. “Moderate” pain in the arm? Um. OK. I have a really high tolerance for pain guys. Not moderate.

Anyway. This is day 2. By day 3, I should be feeling better. Says the website.

Next week is all the appointments I normally spread out over the whole summer. Seriously. All of them. Not appreciating that, but maybe July will be easy peasy. Who knows?

I am enjoying coming home each day and not having to work (not so much the have-to-sleep-because-I’m-dying part). And the ironing will eventually get done. Slowly. It’s OK. No rush (except I just got another summer deadline…oh my oh dear). Deep breaths. Gonna make sense of it all sometime soon. Not today. I don’t have the brain power for it today. The guy who lives with me (and my counselor) says I take on too much stuff, but when you’re offered a show in a nice place, why wouldn’t you go for it? I did blow one entry off last week…just couldn’t deal…but usually I try to see what I can get into, rather than just saying no. I guess that’s my fault, sure.

So. Ironing. See? I’m getting through the piles. I did an anarchy tattoo; a stomach, liver, and intestines; a wave thing on her arm, and that might be it. I’m not fast at the moment. Or efficient. I was standing. That was an achievement.

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A pile that needs cutting…hopefully I’ll get to that starting this weekend.

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More piles of fabric I haven’t organized. It seemed really hard to do last night. Basically I needed to sit down and then lie down.

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So I did that instead of organizing.

OK. So today will be a day. And I’ll survive it. And I may just come home and sleep again. It’s book club night, but I don’t feel up to it at the moment. Probably not happening. I seriously just want to go back to bed right now. But that’s not happening either. Wish me luck.

Ironing Bones

June 12, 2018

Note to self: don’t get vaccines the last week of school. Especially vaccines that cause pain and fatigue and fever. Because no one needs that. I’m sitting here wondering if I will be able to stand all day (probably not). Revising my lesson because I can’t talk that much…feel like I’m going to pass out. Hoping the intake of caffeine and some food will help…can’t lift my left arm either. Ah…bad judgement. I always remember afterwards, as I’m tossing and turning and can’t sleep.

Grades are done. One parent sent a last email yesterday afternoon with a photo of a paper she found in the kid’s backpack. It wouldn’t make a difference. I’m totally sitting here, dreaming of the nap I might have after school…after chiropractor and getting dog food because we’re almost out. I just want to go back to bed. Knock myself out so I can’t hear or feel anything.

I obviously felt better yesterday. I had to move a bunch of stuff…good thing I already started, because we found out summer school will be in the science classrooms. Again.

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Because of the locks being the same on the room and the prep room, we can’t isolate the dangerous stuff enough…I persuaded them to block the locks (and/or replace them) on the prep room so we can hide that stuff in there. Last time, they had the door propped open between the two rooms, even though we told them not to. I realize the classroom doesn’t belong to me, but telling me I have to take out anything that will be an issue is unrealistic.

So I was really impressed when I got to the doctor and my blood pressure was still delightfully low. As always. Except on some occasions.

Baby bunny in the front yard…Kitten was highly offended.

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I wasn’t. I went all baby talk on it and told it how adorbs it was.

I did eventually iron, but only for about an hour. I wasn’t feeling well by then. I mean even less well than I’d already been.

Damn you, WordPress…I’m still using two devices to access stuff. What the fuck is the problem?

Anyway, I did some bones…this is one of the three colors of bones. I had only used a tiny bit of this fabric (I think it’s new), as you can see in the top left corner.

I still have quite a few to iron…hopefully at some point I’ll feel up to it. Ugh.

I’m looking forward to just sitting and cutting these out, and then feeling well enough and rested enough to iron the whole thing together. Here’s the fabrics so far…a bit of a mess still…

OK, off to school. I found a video I can use for part of the period if I feel like passing out. It’s not like today would be a sick day…I would still need to set up for a sub and then actually GET a sub. I’m going to get some food in me and do what I need to do…which might mean putting my head down in the back of the room. Seriously, I like never do that though.

Just Chill…

June 8, 2018

Interesting virus I have. I was spacey and not feeling well on Wednesday, but yesterday I felt mostly OK. Today? Nope. Not. And I’m almost out of meds. Stupid. Because I thought I was getting better. How? It’s the end of the school year. No one gets better at the end of the year…we just get worse and worse and more and more miserable until someone releases us from the hell that is the last week of school with kids.

So let’s think positively. In one week’s time, there will be no students in my classroom. I will be cleaning my classroom out so I can leave early (well, after a team meeting). Then I will have the REST of the day off. On a Friday. While other people are at work. I will be able to pee WHENEVER I WANT. Oh man. That was lovely to type. I could even NAP if I wanted to. At the end of the day, I will not have to work another 2-3 hours to try to get caught up on grading and planning because I don’t have enough time to do that at work. I will not have any extra meetings after school to take up my time and energy. I can just hang out, finish my book, sit in the sun, whatever. In fact, if I needed to run an errand, I could do that, instead of trying to fit all of them in over the weekend. Yeah. I might have the brainspace to actually draw something (it’s been a while guys…very frustrating).

I’m trying very hard not to think about the jury duty part. Because thinking about it stresses me out. And the 3, possibly 4 days of school-related meetings before the end of June. Not thinking about those either, although I should at some point remember to print out all the crap I need for those.

Yup. I keep talking myself out of the crazy. (or do I?) Kitten is not sure.

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She’s been hiding since Katie arrived.

So I had a stitching meeting last night and I actually did some embroidery, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I’ll be doing more tonight, so hopefully I’ll get a photo at some point of two-nights-worth of stitchy wondrousnous.

Then I ironed for a bit. A short bit. I was tired. Still am, who am I kidding? I got the big cat ironed together and a cloud and some raindrops and honestly that might have been it.

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I don’t remember being particularly amazing last night. Although it might be amazing that I got anything done at all, honestly.

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It’s coming.

Meanwhile, two of my quilts are in Texas this weekend with the Threads of Resistance exhibit, and apparently those behind this curtain (including mine, of course, due to the penises included plus boobs and uteri, dontcha know) have caused a minor kerfuffle…


Some part of me wishes we never had to have this sign, but at least they’re not pulling my work from the show or calling Fox News (been there, done that). You can check out the whole very amazing exhibit in Arlington, Texas, at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo…plus check out the people who are shocked by our work. Smile at them and nod. Say “Bless their heart” if you need to .

OK, early meeting…last one of the year, I hope. Then teaching HIV and AIDS. Then gaming (long day…). Then this weekend, I finish grades and hopefully get some free time to just chill. Hopefully.

Maniacal Pencils

June 7, 2018

First of all, does anyone actually win the book giveaways on Goodreads? I feel like I’ve filled 100 of those things out and I never win. So the competition is stiff for the weird-ass shit I like to read? Seems unlikely. The book I’m reading now, that I just started reading, expires in 1 day and 15 hours. Now I know it doesn’t actually expire until midnight on that day, despite its dire warnings, so I have until midnight on Friday to read it, or to get halfway through and then renew it (except for every copy the library has, there are 4 people waiting for it, so I won’t be able to get it again for a long time). My internet friends have clued me in to turning airplane mode on that device so I can continue to finish the book. I need to remember to do that. Because I don’t think I can finish the book, teach for two days, go to two social events, grade a million things, and sleep at least 5 hours a night, AND get the book done. And so far, it’s an interesting book, so I want to read it. Although I think it’s my book club book from May. Whoops! I know I’ve already read June’s book (it was eh). I read July’s book last year. I’m looking forward to reading all summer, right? It’s about the only thing I’m allowed to take to jury duty if I get called in.

The WordPress app is being cranky this morning. It’s continually refusing to save. It’s not me…everything else here is working. Sigh. On the iPad now. Tiny little buttons…fingerpeck typing. It’s letting me force save it, but won’t do it automatically. Technology is so cool and so annoying.

Six days of school left. I’m sick, but not horribly. I’m tired because I stay up too late. I’m not done with anything. I almost finished grading websites last night…have two to deal with this morning. Imma gonna buy me some maniacal pencils.

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We’re going to make some changes to the project for next year…for a better outcome from the kids and less torture on us, hopefully. But I’m down to only two assignments for grading that aren’t just recording whether they did it or not…so that feels very doable. I started cleaning my room yesterday too. Because we will have teachers in our rooms the first day back (hate that…they aren’t always respectful of our space), I have to hide a bunch of stuff. That part sucks.

So I graded until 10 PM, texting back and forth with three other teachers during that time (weird times, people…weird times). And then I ironed all the flesh pieces down. This is fabric number 3 in the run from light to dark.

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This is fabric number 1…this is ALL I have of it. So there’s not much left, eh? It’s a hand-dye from somewhere…when I see flesh tones, I buy them.

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Here’s everything I’ve used so far…the flesh run on this one is very not pink. Sorta beige.

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Here’s everything I’ve ironed so far…

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It’s not a huge pile. There’s a lot of little flesh bits in there on the bottom though. They were on the top until I upended the box into a bigger one. So I could start cutting them out at tonight’s meeting, but with the deadline extended, I’m not feeling that scary rush to get it done, so I think I’ll take some of my embroidery stuff. I haven’t done that for a while, except for those Palestrina knot stems…I did more of those last night…almost finished one of the short sides. So 7 more nights should do it on those. They’re pretty relaxing. I’m not measuring them or marking them. I’m all into it being a bit wonky. Wonky is good.

So if you compare this table to Tuesday night’s table, it looks very similar…because basically I took over an hour to iron all those other flesh pieces down and then I ironed like three other things off this pile of stuff and quit.

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It was well after midnight. Too well, probably. More tonight…won’t be done tonight…probably won’t be done until Saturday or Sunday. It depends on grading. I have too much to do before Monday.

We’re still at three dogs. I try to get them to stay in one place for photographic purposes and they pretty much see the camera and rush me. I might have food, you know. I might pet them. I might walk them (I thought about it for one crazy minute last night…I got home right at 6 PM and still had to make dinner though).

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Poor things…end of the school year is hard on them too.

Thanks to whichever hardy reader told the boychild to confirm life. Here is Lake Erie. He’s alive.

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I thought it was the Atlantic Ocean, but apparently not. I guess that puts him a few hundred miles closer. Hope he’s enjoying it. I’m kinda jealous actually. I wanna get in my car and just drive for like a week, hanging out, seeing stuff. Then I remember how exhausting that can be. I want one of those pop-up camper tents so I don’t have to set up a tent and all that…plus food delivery. Not junk food…good homemade stuff. So that’s not happening.

Hello right eye twitch. Sigh. Stress off please. (Soon. Very soon. Not soon enough.)

Just Not Today

June 6, 2018

‘Tis morning and I am ill. Hello summer cold, winging to me from the snotty nose or infected fingertips of some kid who probably got to take a sick day…or three, based on my current attendance rosters. Teachers should be able to request who’s out sick the last two weeks of school…it’s never the annoying ones. Their parents are like NO. YOU GO TO SCHOOL AND MAKE YOUR TEACHER MISERABLE AND SICK. My poor body has been trying to fight this one off since Saturday…that’s when I first started feeling off. Anyway. Welcome to the end of the year. Let’s make it more miserable than it already is.

Today is a long one…teaching STDs and then a union meeting…hopefully they’ll remember it’s the end of the year and make it short. I forced myself to grade 2 1/2 periods’ worth of websites last night…it was a good thing. I only have one period left, so I’ll get that done today. Then I’m down to a few assignments from this week and one from last week. I can see a light! At the end of the 183-day tunnel that is a school year…that’s minus the weekends, so don’t get excited about how many days you have to work compared to me. I worked until 10 PM last night with about a 2-hour break for dinner and errands. So that’s just a 12-hour-day or so. Oh wait, I did take 20 minutes for lunch. 11 hours and 40 minutes. At least 6 hours last Sunday. Sigh. Sometimes. This job.

I’m jealous of people who can just choose to take a sick day without balancing the ramifications of a substitute in there (or not GETTING a sub) who will cause chaos and destruction. And maybe burn the school down. Yeah. Nope. Not this week. Not next week. I’d have to be hospitalized to be that nuts. And I’m not THAT sick…it would just be nice to have the chance to have a sick day. And to be able to pee whenever you need to. And maybe have toilet paper in the bathrooms…that would be a plus.

Here’s our school rooster, Richard. He’s still here. Can’t be caught. Was hanging out by my car.

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So you haven’t seen this for a while. I got all the circles sewed on and then floundered, because it wanted 96 stems now, all in Palestrina knots…which aren’t hard, but I had to find the right thread and the book with the pictures, and that apparently was too hard to handle. Until last night. So I got 11 done after dinner, while watching Handmaid’s Tale

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So I guess it’ll be another 8 nights before I’m done with them, at that rate. It’s faster than sewing the circles down anyway. And then each circle gets some sort of embellishment, based on its color (some of them are very close in color). And then it’s done and it can go into the quilting queue with two other hobby quilts I got done in the last IDK-how-many years. I should maybe do those. I COULD do those.

Katie is here. My parent’s dog. Just for a few days. She upsets the equilibrium.

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She’s not a bad dog. She just makes a dog herd instead of a pair, and then the cats…she likes to harass them. Mostly just by staring at them and making them uncomfortable. I’ve had the consent talk with her, yes means yes, then the bullying talk, but nothing works…mostly because she’s a dog and has the brain of a 2-year-old…on a good day.

So I spent two hours last night going through the bins of the 200s through the 800s, finding all the flesh pieces. Here they are. All of them. Are any of them ironed down? Fuck no…because then it was after midnight and I’m supposed to go to sleep.

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So I piled a bunch of plastic bins on them and I will just hope no cat causes a mess while I’m gone. These two tend to stay off the ironing board, so I think I’m OK.

Then this was the disaster that was left over. This is every piece that is NOT flesh. They’re all in piles by what they are (uterus, lungs, heart, bird, eyeball, whatever).

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So once I get done ironing all the flesh down (hopefully tonight), then I’ll start on these. Usually I have some idea of how far along I am in that process, just based on the numbers, but since I literally emptied every bin either on the table or carefully on the fabric to which it belongs, I’m fucked on knowing where I’m at. Not halfway yet, that’s for sure…maybe after I get the flesh done. It doesn’t really matter, because I have time to finish it now.

This is the morning breakfast lineup…three dog butts in a row.

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Then everybody goes back outside to pee. Or bark. Whichever floats their boat.

Survival mode, people. I woke up panicking about something that needed to be done, but I’ve completely forgotten what it was. It’s probably better that way. I had called my insurance people back because I tried to talk to them back in March or April about something, and they got me some information, but not all of it. So they keep calling back during the day and leaving messages about scheduling time to talk to the agent, and I finally called back, and I’m sure they think I’m nuts, but every other teacher out there gets it, because I’m like I can’t handle this right now, there’s not enough brain power to manage this shit on top of all the other shit can you just leave me alone until the week of the 18th dammit because I had to really push just to make this phone call fit into the crazy that is my everyday life right now? They were like, yeah, sure, but you could hear in their voices that they totally don’t get it. Oh well. Join the vet and the doctor and everyone else who wants something out of me right now. I’LL FUCKING GET TO IT. Just not today.

Girlchild is alive. I need her to tell me where to buy knives to replace the ones I gave her back. No word from the boychild. If you see him, tell him to text his mom. She worries.