Overreaching Authority…

My country is fucked. My country has gone backwards 50 years (or more). My country is in a morality war that doesn’t really track as morality (give birth, but we won’t make the man responsible for shit, and we won’t help you…especially if you are a child who was pressured, raped, or subjected to incest…then we are gonna screw you up forever). I’m not sure the quilt I’m currently working on (which was drawn before all this happened with Roe v Wade) is angry enough. Does angry art do anything? I don’t know. It funnels some of the anger out of me. Briefly. I currently have a bunch of addresses for the Supreme Court Justices who violated our rights. What was it that AOC said? That the Supreme Court overreached their authority in reversing Roe v Wade, and we should do as Lincoln did with the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves…”he ignored the gross overreach and abuse of power,” Time to pass some laws that the Supreme Court, which is NOT making choices for the people right now, can’t fuck with. Yeah. That. Or statewide, refuse to follow laws that will cause death, some of it in children. You’ve probably already seen cases where gynecological cancers can’t be treated because of abortion concerns, or when actual medical treatments that will save a woman’s life come up against this law, as in an ectopic pregnancy. It seems like it’s so simple…just don’t let abortion occur, but there are treatments that will save a woman’s life that might end the life of an embryo or fetus. Sometimes those hard choices need to be made. Not even talking about choice, bodily autonomy, even IUDs qualify as abortion in some states. I’m disheartened. But not giving up. Frustrated. Angry still. Probably won’t get over that. And I keep going through my artwork and finding more about human rights.

So it’s always hard to be working on a quilt that was really speaking to me in the beginning while something else grows in my head. I wasn’t thinking I’d have to do another one about abortion rights in the same year I finished My Body. My Choice. Silly me. Although as I was ironing Wonder Under to fabric the other night, those handmaids came back. Because they’re in this quilt. So I guess I never stop thinking about it. Anyway. I’m really close to the end. I’ve been doing about an hour or so of ironing Wonder Under to fabric each night…

And they all start to look the same…

I know I added some more greens and another blue fabric in there, plus some purples. I got to the head too, although I didn’t finish it. I’ve been cutting pieces out each night too, so the box never gets full, because I’m always working on emptying it. I cut stuff out while the Man and I watch our nightly show, so about 40 minutes or so a night.

Often the stuff I had ironed down the night before. So there’s progress. I have about 100 or so more pieces to iron down…the rest of her head (teeth, eyeballs, hair) and a few things I added at the last minute: the Uvalde kids and a COVID virion. Couldn’t leave them out. Almost done at 20 1/2 hours of ironing. I have 6 1/2 hours into the cutting-out portion, so probably another 5-10…can’t tell. Then I can start ironing it together.

While another drawing populates itself in my head. Not sure I can finish another one in time for my multiple deadlines on 8/1. Hmmm. Kinda depends on how many other things I’m doing. I’m still copyediting this book, hopefully done by Friday. I have another book I’m proofreading (somewhat easier and faster than a copyedit) in late July/early August. If I don’t get called for jury duty, I can get a lot done, but I’ve also been working on the yard, trying to do a little every day. It’s a lot. But it needs doing. I am reading and trying to deal with the heat and hopefully upping the exercise quotient and the eating-healthy quotient after the last few months of school fucking with that on a regular basis. We’ll see. Oh yeah, and since the courts are continuing to make really bad decisions, I’ve gotta pick an appropriate alternative religion to pray to at school…

Being an atheist makes this more difficult, but I guess I can be totally open about that at school now, since the ruling, right? OH! You mean it’s just Christianity that’s OK? WTF. Huh. That makes no sense. As usual.

OK. Work. Lots of it. Whether it’s on the computer, copyediting or school, in the yard, or with fabric, it’s what I do. Lots of it. With some reading and cups of tea to counteract the 90-degree temperatures here. Plus gotta get the crockpot going for dinner. Yeah. Getting on with it.

A Place in the World

Still here, still trying to find a place in the world. I realize for many that the US has never had a place for them. As an educated white female, I always had a place…not a great one, not an equal one, but better than many. We were never 1st-class citizens. And now it is worse. Depressing and worse.

What do we do? Ah well, that is always the question…

There’s that. There’s making art, donating money (when I have it, which isn’t now), writing postcards, protests…

When I can handle them, marches, figuring out how to get rid of half the Supreme Court without violence, voting, persuading others to vote. Sigh. I remember in college locking arms with others in front of women’s health clinics to keep the anti-abortionists from harassing women coming into the clinics. It was the era of bombing clinics, but no part of me considered that. Youth. But I did think about that when I was at the vigil on Friday night. People will die. Many of them will be women who aren’t allowed to get healthcare they need or who find it unsafely, illegally. Women will die. For this shit. Ignorance. Unscientific ignorance.

Still processing all of that.

Meanwhile, there was an artist event at the California Fibers’ show at Visions this weekend. I’ll post more about that on their website and link it here later this week.

They all had better clothes than me…not hard really.

The show is up through July 2…you should go check it out. It’s a wide variety of textile art.

I’m still ironing stuff down and cutting things out…

I’m getting close to done with the ironing…

I’m almost done with the 800s, so maybe 250 pieces left? Or less?

Nowhere near done with the cutting out unfortunately. Getting there. Although now this competes with copyediting, which started Friday and will hopefully be done this week. After this morning’s science meeting. I take breaks in between copyediting to go beat my yard or house into submission. Copyediting means I must be supervised…

She’s not very helpful.

I am trying to finish up some embroideries/small quilts to put on Etsy. I got these done on Thursday…

I’ll let you know when I’ve had time to put them on Etsy…

I might rephotograph too…ugh…

I know I’m trying to do too much. That is always the case though.

Oh yeah, baby owl…see the little white bit in the hole? That’s one of the babies!

That’s the best photo I’ve gotten, though. They hide when I come up further into the yard. Getting brave though!

OK. Science meeting, then copyedit, then more yardwork. Finish my book before it’s sent back to the library. Try not to burn down the country while I’m at it. Huh. Maybe.

Our Revised Existence…

Congratulations America…you’ve just hopped viciously backward fifty years or more. You’ve just confirmed that it’s OK to buy guns to kill a bunch of kids in an elementary school, but women can’t have bodily autonomy. It makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t tell me to go live somewhere else. I was born here. In a military hospital no less. This is my country as much as it is yours.

If you voted for these people who believe this is their right, to take away the rights of half the population, then I cannot talk to you right now. I can’t talk about this without angry crying. In fact, I just walked away from the computer for a while there to let it settle a bit.

I have typed about 17 things here and deleted them. They don’t help except to push some of the anger out of me onto you. I did not ever think that at 55 years old, I would be hoping that sometime in the future, women might get rights back over their own bodies. And to those who told me it would never happen (rich white males, as it happens)? Fuck you. Even if you voted for our rights, you gaslit me and others who saw this coming. This has been 10 years coming, maybe more.

Fuck fuck fuck. My daughter. My friends’ daughters. My students. My students’ daughters. Abortions will still happen…they will just be unsafe. Trans rights. Gay rights. Damn them for interfering where they know nothing. Women who need abortions for health reasons or due to rape or incest? Fuck the Republican Party for this.

Moment of silence. Trying to reorder my thoughts. Trying to figure out what I can do. Besides make art about it. It seems like that’s all I can ever do. It doesn’t seem like enough.

Moment of silence.

Moment…

I have a science prep meeting today. I’m so not in the mood.

Reorder thoughts.

I’ve been ironing. I literally just ironed this down the other night…

And started cutting it out last night. I cut the robe fabrics out…I remember those shapes. I cut his head out…you can see the robe pieces there, all black, on the top left.

SIGH. Reorder thoughts. I spent a lot of time artmaking yesterday, possibly too much when I look at the to-do list. I did ship a quilt. I finished three pieces that will go on Etsy in the next few days. I set up a sale page for my blog to put a few older pieces on sale. It’s not up yet. I’ll tell you when it is. I ironed more flesh yesterday just to clear the ironing board so I could iron the quilt that needed to be shipped.

I only had long strips of this fabric…not sure where it came from…maybe Kris? It’s not the normal half yards I buy.

This is where I had gotten the night before.

I finally hit the halfway mark…I’m in the 600s. It feels hard to be making art right now. Like it won’t matter. Today I start copyediting, so I can pay the summer bills. Because I’m a white teacher who has access to good healthcare and was given a good education so I could have a decent job (don’t get me wrong…teachers are not paid enough for the hours we put in) and not everyone has that privilege. So I have the ability to spend time drawing and cutting up fabric so I can sew it back together.

SIGH.

Kitten surveying the outdoors. Hanging out with me.

I hear petting animals is good for the brain…

The Man is doing a good job of that. Boychild is back from the fire. Pretty dirty. I need to go to school and work right now. Then come back and copyedit, then more art. Get my head around our revised existence.

My New Podcast

Not really. Don’t get excited. I don’t have time for a podcast…I’m too busy making art. Well…ha! Trying to make art. I did make a video Monday about 7 hours into an eventually 10.5-hour drive (luckily I didn’t drive the last two hours…I was done) and mentally titled it “What the Fuck Am I Doing. Where the Fuck Am I. And Why the Fuck Am I Here.” It’s a really long title for a podcast, but it seemed appropriate at the time. I’ll post the video here once it’s done processing. I actually made TWO videos (they are so lame and unprofessional, but thought process! Yes that.) and then put them together (mad skillz) and now that’s uploading. So yeah.

I think I made the video to entertain myself more than anything, which is why I write this blog…well, to document my brain in time. I do go back and reread months sometimes when I’m having a really hard time, and it reminds me that certain things cycle through life. The beginning of school is always hard. So is the end. So are the two weeks right after school get out. It’s a reset. And this one has been a kind of crazy one.

If you’ve watched the video, you don’t know what happened! The Man has had 3 weeks of elevation sickness while hiking the Sierras. It’s been beautiful but incredibly hard. So he had to make a decision, and I drove up to see him after 3+ weeks of not seeing him and to support him in his decision, either by sticking him on a bus north or driving him north or bringing him home. In the end, adulting and money issues brought him home, which sucks and is sad, but also a relief I think for both of us. It doesn’t mean he’s done. It just means he’s done for a while. It’s job time. I love him for trying over and over again to do this hard thing and for deciding it’s time to stop for now.

It has meant that I haven’t gotten much art done. Packed Sunday and tried to set up everything I needed to. Drove Monday all day. Tuesday, drove back home. I’m exhausted. Still. Plus add a friend’s daughter’s wedding on Saturday, Fathers’ Day stuff on Sunday…I haven’t had much time to focus on recovery yet.

Friday night, after checking out of school, trying to reset my neck again at the chiropractor (slightly more movement), and taking the dog to the vet, I ironed for a bit.

Watched How to Train Your Dragon…no, never had time to watch it before.

So that was after Friday night, almost 2 hours of ironing. I was tired, but ready to iron on Saturday and Sunday! So motivated. Ha!

Saturday was a lot of running around and then a wedding. And then when I got home, I started getting texts from the Man about quitting and coming to get him, and mine back saying are you sure, what about just starting further north, and it was kind of a mess. I didn’t iron at all. Sunday morning, he had processed his feelings and just wanted to see me, which had been in the plan for the next week, but this would work…I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it. So most of Sunday was trying to get stuff watered and packed and purchased and all that. I did iron for just under an hour Sunday night…not my original plan for the weekend, but whatever…

Doesn’t look a lot different…but I had ironed the cat (the fabric cat, not the real cat) and more of the legs I think. Not sure.

Monday was nothing. I wasn’t here. I thought about taking the already ironed pieces with me so I could cut them out, but it was a lot of prep for the time I thought I’d have available…and in the long run, I wouldn’t have had the energy. Monday night, I laid on the bed and read my book. That’s it. We did get home last night around 5 PM after driving a good chunk of the day…ah LA…your traffic sucks. And at some point, I’d had enough caffeine to come back in here and iron some more…

I’ve finished most of the 400s and done some of the 500s, so still not halfway. It’s slow right now. My brain is slow. I’m tired. I did about 2 hours last night and only got 100 pieces ironed. I’ve got almost 10 hours in. SO SLOW. It’s OK. It’s what I need…more time. Hard to choose things. Lots of staring. I’m hoping I can speed it up this week…get it going!

I’m supposed to be doing an artist talk kind of thing (really just hanging out by my work and working and talking to anyone who comes in) on Saturday at the Visions Museum of Textile Art

And it would be good to have stuff to cut out while waiting/standing/whatever. I’ll be there from 11-2 if you want to see the show and talk to some of the artists. This is in San Diego, California, if you don’t know…and will be Saturday June 25.

So my goal is to be all ironed down before then. Well before then. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to find my brain. Wish me luck. There have been some beautiful skies lately though…lenticular cloud at sunset.

Storm clouds last night…

I did a tiny bit of stitching on the trip down from Fresno yesterday…

Again, this is Sue Spargo’s design Homegrown…I really like stitching her stuff for relaxation, especially while traveling. That’s the Grapevine heading toward Los Angeles. I could do without driving that for a while.

This is Nova watching me water everything before I left…

I’d like to think the boychild would do all that, and he might, if he weren’t on a fire crew right now. At the border…

I can’t say having your kid fight fires is the least stressful thing in the world, but he has a brain that remembers all the things, so I think he’ll be OK. But he didn’t make it home last night…so this poor little guy is feeling all lost…

He looks super sad.

Well, one of the things on my to-do list for Sunday was to write this post. I obviously failed. And then that moved to Monday (nah, exhaustion) and Tuesday (nah, let’s just go home instead). So here we are, the first day I’ve had any semblance of brain power for writing. Now I need to take a shower, go buy some boxes, pack up a quilt, ship it, plant some things, wash the hallway for future painting, IRON FABRICS, and IDK what else. Finish my book. Check on the Man. Pet the pup. All those things. Figure out what day it is. That would help.

Post-School Brain Fog…

Ah yes. I survived another year of teaching. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and want to cry most of the time, and I was awake at 4:38 AM this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep until I typed some things in a to-do list, but I’m not sure that shit’s not just normal Nida behavior. My co-teacher and I banged out a rough plan for 8th grade science while waiting for her to get her room checked out (I had mine signed off during the meeting where the parent didn’t show up). I have two huge piles of books I need to either read, learn, memorize, or use for next year. I still need a good college textbook for space science. A little light summer read. Apparently everything I’ve learned in Star Trek and The Expanse will not be transferable. Dammit. The weather is gorgeous here, I have science meetings already planned for the next two weeks, the Man is hiking again, and I might be able to see him in two weeks. Maybe. SIGH.

Look! It’s my team! Which will change and be bigger next year…

No stress. Just more changes. Lots of them. A fuckload of them.

Giant Ass Sigh. Hello summer. I needed you. Don’t get too hot.

OK, so I have been ironing Wonder Under to fabric, mostly in an exhausted fashion. This was Wednesday night.

I ironed a cannon. And some other stuff.

Then last night, after 3 hours with the same group of kids, then a bunch of cleaning, then a school party (only one drink), and then a Zoom meeting, I ironed more. I looked completely exhausted by then. The wonder of Zoom is that you SEE YOUR FACE.

Laid out some flesh colors…they look really peachy here.

I guess they are peachy.

Usually I try to lay out the whole body at once, since it’s all the same fabrics, but it was going to be the 200s and the 300s and then the 700 and 800s and maybe beyond. I couldn’t deal with it last night. I just did the legs and the torso. And then put those fabrics in a pile for when I get up to the torso. It’ll be OK…although I only have small amounts of a couple of them…might need to substitute. That’s why I usually lay them all out at once…in case I run out of one, so I can juggle things before I start ironing down. Ah well. Juggling fabric is something I can do pretty easily. I think I’ll be fine.

Or I will be swearing at myself in a couple of days time. Well, at least some of the flesh tones are in. I’m somewhere in the 200s…or 300s…hard to say because I haven’t finished either.

Meanwhile, the Man’s local temperatures are dropping to 22 degrees tonight (it’s delightful here…I did say that). He has a pass to go over today or tomorrow that hopefully isn’t too bad. I have a friend’s daughter’s wedding to go to tomorrow…need to clean the bird shit off the car and figure out which boots I’m wearing (it’s outside in the dirt). Also need to get a short massage so the chiropractor can budge my neck, take the dog to the vet, and cook dinner. I really need a nap…that 4:38-AM thing really threw my brain.

It’ll be two weeks before my brain is really working well again anyway. Post-school fog…commence!

All the Things…

Today we take the whole grade bowling. I’m realizing next year, I will be on two grade levels and I don’t even know how that will work. I don’t know how anything will work. It will be my first year dealing with graduation too. Ugh. Not a fan. Today we just go bowling though. All our concerns about taking some of these kids out and about are noted. We have lists and plans and backup plans and in the end, it’s just more survival. I’ve come home from school the last two days so exhausted that I just read my book for about an hour before doing anything.

I’ve finished two books in the last 5 days and am on a third. All the same author. More importantly, mostly the same WORLD. Not this one. Fantasy. Not always pretty fantasy, but certainly easier to deal with than reality. Reality is my classroom and trying to get everything put away. Not pretty at all.

I did finish grades on Monday; stayed at school until they were done. Had some issues with a couple of kids in the end, but whatever. We’re done now and one issue is documented to hell and back because I know that mom. (Thanks, mom, for making my job harder and enabling your kid to half-ass it.) But they’re done! Woohoo! That’s a moment right there.

I have been dragging myself off the couch to work on the art quilt…started picking dirt fabrics on Monday night…

Here’s the setup…quilt drawing hanging precariously from clothespins so I can see all the pieces with numbers.

Iron them down and rough cut the section out…

I didn’t get them all ironed down before bedtime.

Then I stare at it for a while and pick the next batch of colors…last night, I finished the dirt, picked some rocks, and a volcano. Damn, though…I just realized I missed some of the volcano pieces. It’s OK. I’ll fix that tonight.

That’s why I hold onto all the fabrics used in the quilt until it’s all put together…in case I need to find one orange fabric in my stash…this narrows it down to just the oranges used in this quilt.

It’s a slow start. I’m really tired and not ironing particularly fast. The next three days won’t be a lot different. But it’s a great stage of the quilt to be working on…the fabric choosing is one of my favorite parts.

These baby birds (they are big babies now) have been screeching their little heads off, but as soon as I come out, they shut up quick and freeze…

They must be close to fledging.

So Cal Mama is going to the 38th Annual New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilts at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, opening July 9 through September 10.

Check her out.

OK, 4 hours of bowling stuff, then 2 hours of kids in the classroom with movies and me cleaning up. Then exercise class, which might kill me at that point, based on my energy levels after school the last 2 days. Nap? No, gotta cook dinner, read my book, iron more stuff. Then graduation tomorrow, which means being locked in our rooms for 3 hours with the same group of kids (please don’t come please don’t come). Clean up, party, exhaustion. All the things. That’s where we’re at. Meanwhile, the Man is having health issues and is heading to a clinic. Hopefully an easy fix and back on trail, but we don’t know. Hoping though.

Revising…

There is currently a cat head under my elbow. I’m not sure why. Kitten needs lots of attention these days. Usually she jumps up on the table, puts her butt in front of me for a second, and then moves on to the nice sleeping place behind the fabric. Today I get cat headbutts…she has now moved to the table and is headbutting my chin as I type. OK. Now she just bit me. Because I was petting her wrong. Sigh. Calicoes. They are cantankerous.

This weekend. Pro: finished a bunch of shit. Con: didn’t finish all of it. My quilt guild had their first in-person birthday…our first meeting was supposed to be in April of 2020. So it was our 2-year birthday when we finally had a party…

We did a little printing project, which was cool…

Also, on Saturday, I delivered two quilts that will be in the California Fibers’ show Inside Out that is opening at Visions Art Museum on April 16. I went to my guild meeting. I came home and mopped floors and did some other stuff, then went to another art meeting, came back, and hiked 3 miles.

The hike was good. The meetings were good. It was weird to see so many people in such a small space for the second meeting. So many unmasked people in a small space. And a few of the people who didn’t come emailed about testing positive. I’m getting on a plane this Friday…I don’t want to get sick before then…so I’m still one of the few teachers at school who is wearing a mask. Plus I saw my parents last night…sigh.

In quilt news, I got a little ironing in on Friday night…

More sky, a rocket ship, the stuff around the face.

Then Saturday night, I did the rest…

Got the face done…the hawk…

And the rest of the sky. Then last night, I pieced a background and ironed it all down…

I need to do a little more steaming before I do stitchdown, but that’s 22 hours of ironing there. As my dad said, it’s pretty colorful. I wasn’t expecting that, but the sky really had an effect on the piece. Yes it’s weird that I don’t really know what it looks like until I get to the end…and even now, all the outlining that will happen when I quilt it will change it again.

So revising my goals on this thing once again…get the stitchdown done this week and get it sandwiched and pinbasted before I leave for Boston (that’s 4 nights I have…ha! Oh my). Then I am home for exactly two days, if I’m lucky, before the end of Spring Break. Can I finish it before the deadline? I don’t know. Probably not? But I’ll try. I’ll finish it anyway, and it will go somewhere…but this school year is still kicking my butt. I’ll be glad to have a break next week. Some reading, some hiking, some stitching, some change of scenery. All good.

All That Hope…

Three years ago on April 1, we were lighthearted enough to switch classes at school. I taught history for one period, someone taught my science class. It was April 1 and we would only answer to the name of the teacher we were supposed to be. Two years ago, we were scrambling to deal with COVID and school. We were supposed to be going on Spring Break, but we had sent everyone home, and our district wasn’t ready for us to come back, so there was 5 weeks of a break that didn’t feel like a break. Last year, I was all virtual, never left the house, teaching art and science on Zoom, so April Fools didn’t even rank on my priority list. Today, we talked about things to do at school, but this group of post-COVID kids (are we post-COVID when I’ve had at least one positive case in my class in the last week?) is currently a bit out of control and we’re not gonna rock that boat. We’re gonna hope none of the kids do either.

Today is a mess. My car needs work before we take off camping in less than two weeks. I need to run errands after work, but I won’t have my car until 5:30. Tomorrow is chock full of stuff, and there are some things I need to do tonight to get ready for that. How late is Home Depot open? I’m hoping to have the energy to do all the things. As always. Really, I just want to read my book. As always.

I haven’t actually gotten much ironing done in the last two nights. I was fairly efficient on Wednesday night, despite dealing with exercise class and vet after school. I got everything in the torso done…

And then pulled it all off the teflon sheets and readjusted it so I could work on the upper half.

I did a little bit of the mountains above her shoulders and the neck. Ready for the sky up there…I think I have less than 200 pieces left? I have about half the 400s (all big sky pieces mostly), then about half the 1200s and maybe 30 in the 1300s. Very doable for tonight, once I get everything else done that I need done for tomorrow. I have two quilts to prep for drop off at a show, but I’m realizing I don’t know when pick up is for the other show in the same venue. I was expecting to hear from them, but I haven’t. Ugh. Can’t pick up on the same day I think? I’ll email.

Yup. Just emailed. Feel like the next week is going to be a level of chaos that I will not appreciate. The right eye isn’t QUITE twitching, but it’s close.

Kitten telling me that she did not appreciate not getting her breakfast on Wednesday before going to the vet.

She’s an old lady and we now get to deal with some special foods for her, but she’s still rambunctious (almost killed The Man who was trying to take her to the vet).

With any luck, I’ll get this quilt ironed to a background this weekend and start the stitchdown. Hopefully. I don’t see how I’m going to get her quilted and bound and photographed in time for the deadline, not if I’m gone for days. I need Spring Break away from home, though. I need to get out in nature and freeze to death in a tent and cook over a tiny stove and hike into some open spaces before I can finish out the school year. When we get back from Spring Break, there are 38 days of school left. Eight weeks. It’ll be the longest 8 weeks of the year, but it won’t be endless. There’s always an end. For this quilt. For this school year. Hopefully for COVID. Hopefully for the Russian attack on the Ukraine. Can I get some bigger hopes in here? For racism and sexism and all discrimination, and climate change and dictators and nuclear threats and all of it. Yeah. Better to start Friday with all that hope than to look at that to-do list and panic.

What an Hour Looks Like…

I’m constantly thinking in blocks of time. An hour for this, an hour for that. An hour looks like this…no wait, that was half an hour…

For one Joshua tree. An hour is the two of them…

Actually, I think it was only 45 minutes on Monday night…and I can’t remember if I’d already done the little bushes (creosote? no…something else) on her arm…

I think that was also Monday night. If it wasn’t clear by now, I decided to fill in the entire torso before moving up into the sky. So my numbering was not ideal. It’s OK. I’m working with it.

Last night, I got well into the 1100s…this is a little over an hour of cactus…

Lots of greens, lots of bits and pieces. Looks like tonight is more agave, lots more agave, and a lizard. Then I’ll need to pull all of this off the teflon sheets and reattach it so I can iron the top together. I’m getting there…much slower than I wanted to, but it will all be OK in the end. Eight more days of school until Spring Break, although I will have very little time to work on this over break. I rarely miss deadlines I choose (I sometimes miss them because I forget about them), but this might well be one of them.

When I go to the gym, this guy is there, sleeping in the parking lot.

I’m not sure why. He has a chair, nice hat and jacket ensemble. Cooler for his feet? I think? I wonder if his kid is practicing baseball on the field behind my car. Why not park closer? Why not sleep in your car? Not sure I understand. Maybe that’s not his car? I have questions.

I also think of this as The Panicking…but The Fuckening sounds better.

And this guy…he is apparently 7 years old.

I think of him as permanently The Puppy. Like Kitten…she is 13 and is going to the vet today for an ultrasound. I am worried about it; plus it costs a lot of money. I’m short money right now, but it will be on the next credit card bill, so I will just hope there is magical money by then. She is currently headbutting me because I didn’t feed her breakfast, per doc instructions. I’ve explained it to her, as you do, and she just does not understand. But she gets lots of pets instead.

So labs today…and a lost prep period (so many meetings). Plus shipping something, picking up the cat, exercise class. Then back to ironing. Another hour? I have other computer/art things I need to do tonight, so I can’t commit to more than an hour, unfortunately. We’ll see. If I’m not exhausted when I get home (I will be), maybe I will be more efficient (unlikely, but let’s not give up on that notion yet). Certainly I can finish the agave and that lizard tonight at least. Maybe more. One more hour’s worth.

Couldn’t Find the Fingernails…

After a million years of teaching (and being me), I’ve tracked down the tells that I am stressed, besides yelling out “I am stressed” in the car or the house, which I do often, unfortunately. My body clues me in by refusing to fall asleep even when exhausted, but making my eyelids twitch (haven’t hit that one yet, knock on wood), the inevitable teeth grinding (started in college; froze my jaw in Freshman year), and the random canker sores. I only get them when I’m stressed out. And they last a week and are quite uncomfortable, despite medications. I guess other people get stomach issues; is this better? I don’t know. I tend toward frustrated mutterings to myself that YES, I KNOW I’m stressed. I up the exercise and the artmaking and reading, trying to make it better, but really, I just need a break from school usually. The symptoms of stress do tend to show up before breaks, so that’s a thing. In this case, though (lack-of-sleep exhausted and canker-sored), I need to get through two whole weeks before I get a break.

The plus is that I finally finished my taxes. I had to add the art sales in as a separate thing, so that complicated shit this year. Normally I don’t, but I’m no longer head of household for the boychild (he’s too old! and employed), so I need to find tax breaks for the extra income. It’s not a lot, but I can’t afford to pay any taxes this year with the septic and all. I managed to mostly balance the state and federal taxes…hopefully the state will pay me in time to pay the feds. Perhaps the feds could take less of my money too…so many deductions they are no longer allowing. I guess the middle class and those with super tiny businesses on the side are not the blessed ones…haven’t been for a while. I hope the financially challenged are getting the breaks instead of me. But now that I know I need to keep track of that side business (as well as the copyediting one), I’ll be better about keeping track of deductions. It’s not a bad thing to have extra money coming in…I’d just like to not have to spend it all on emergency repairs and taxes.

I still have a couple semi-urgent things to get through this week, and next weekend is a cluster…how to be in ALL the places at once. And then I fly to Boston to see the girlchild. And then camping and hiking with the man. Need the break. Need time to think and sleep and read and draw. Need a day where I’m not focused on how much work I can get done before the next batch shows up. The power went out Saturday morning for a couple of hours, but the outage map was claiming all day, and I freaked out…so much to do and almost all of it required electricity and access to my desktop computer. It turned out OK, and I got some ironing and hiking in, so that was good.

Friday night’s ironing of an arm and some plants…

I couldn’t find the fingernails until I went through the trash pile (reasons why I don’t throw it out until the quilt is done…I often drop things in it that need to be cut out because I am not paying attention)…

Whoops. I also found the bush parts missing from the first 100 pieces (too late; already recut them) and another part I needed. Who knows what else is hiding in there?

Saturday afternoon, after grading a bunch and panicking a lot, I did a few more plants…

And then went on a 4-mile hike…a hike I needed.

Lots of tiny wildflowers about…

No poppies yet…usually they cover the hillsides…not enough water yet or still too cold.

Yes, some of the stones are under water…

I managed it without getting my socks wet…all good.

And then came back, made dinner, and ironed some more plants…

Oh yeah, and a bat. That got me into the 800s, or almost done with them. I still have half the 400s to do once I get back to the sky.

Last night, I only had a little time, just under 45 minutes, so I did some pupfish…

Barely into the 900s now. I keep revising my completion date. Definitely gonna be tight. If at all…ah well, deadlines are just a place at which to aim. If I miss it, I’ll enter it elsewhere.

But my plan this week is to finish ironing (that was last week’s plan) and stitchdown. Ha! That should be interesting. Saturday is already gone. Sunday is half gone. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

This week is three days of labs in a row plus starting a new art project while harassing kids to finish the two they already have. Plus grading all the things and trying not to stress more about school and money. Property taxes are also coming up. Pretty sure I can pay those once I get paid. Need to write a script for a lightning talk (plus record that…dunno when that’s happening). Need to find quilts to deliver for a show. Need to enter two things. Need to do some cleaning. Some grading. Yeah. All the things. Need to do some meditation in between all that. Wish me luck.