All Stuff

I’m sorry my country (and the world) has not eradicated racism. I’m sorry my country can’t put the health of the many over the freedoms of the few. I’m sorry my government can’t make the best decisions for all the people, to take care of all the people. I’m sorry my students feel like they’re losing out on something by not being able to come to school in person. I’m sorry first responders are having to put their lives on the line and risk their families’ health in the process. I’m sorry we aren’t all better educated in science and humanity and kindness and equality and equity and and and. I don’t want to write about my personal struggle with fabric and school without acknowledging that there are things going on that are wrong and stupid and need fixing.

I do have personal struggles with fabric and school though. And they’re minor and first-world struggles, an artist brain thing…when the art brain thinks about racism and what to do about it, she doesn’t know where to start. So I am engrossed in the process on a COVID quilt and thinking about everything else that’s happened since I drew this. And yet, this quilt needs to be finished, so I will keep working on it. While other issues roll around in my head, waiting for processing.

I stayed up late two nights running, Tuesday night, because I just wanted to finish the ironing, to be done with it. I used 173 different fabrics in this quilt. Here they are.

It’s not super colorful, honestly…lots of browns and greens in the background. We’ll see what it looks like when it’s ironed.

The box of stuff to be cut out is chock full. It’s seemed full for a week, but more stuff kept fitting into it.

The angels were last…so now they are first.

Interesting color/fabric choices for the angels.

It’s a big pile there…I do keep the fabrics I used in the quilt out until I finish ironing the quilt together…

Actually, until I finish the quilt completely and start the next one…in case I lose a piece or need to change something…it’s easier than going through the stash again and trying to find that one piece of fabric. It took 27 hours and 52 minutes to iron all 1541 pieces down…longer than usual. I blame the pandemic fog my brain has existed in for the last two-plus months.

I had already started cutting pieces out at a meeting last week…and last night, with my brain racing, I stayed up too late to cut some more. This is about 3 1/2 hours of cutting…cut pieces on the top right, trash on the top left, what’s left in the bottom box.

It’s gonna be a while. I’m estimating 20 hours…that might be a little high, but we’ll see. But it’s easier for me to make time for the cutting…I can do it during Zoom meetings if I need/want to. I’ve been averaging about 8-12 hours of artmaking a week since school went back in session…that’s pretty normal for this time of year.

I only have three weeks of school left. Although a copyediting job will be showing up in June, so that’s more computer time. Ugh. Computers. School. Such a stressful thing. I’m extremely anxious about going back, about getting sick. I can’t afford not to go back, so there’s that. I don’t really want to be an online teacher full time, which might be another option. I’m on these Facebook teacher groups, and so many respond to people who say what I say with “so go somewhere else, teach at a charter school.” Well, thanks. I can’t afford to leave my district…I have too many years in. And the point is that we want ALL teachers and students and school staff to be safe. ALL OF US. Which is going to mean we need districts and boards of education and our god-damned government to support a safe way to do that. I’m still wading through the 50-page document my County Health Department put out with suggestions for schools. Braindead. Principal says we won’t know anything until the end of July or early August. Good to know. We go back August 19. Whatever ‘go back’ means.

So that. I walked Tuesday. No new flowers, but this is another neighbor putting succulents out for propagation. I took one of the blackish ones and strapped it to my pack…then planted it out yesterday.

Someone else put more of the agave out, so I took another baby. I know where they’ll go. But first, I need to see some new growth on them. Maybe plant them out in the fall. Yesterday I did pilates…I’m so stiff and sore. Need to do more of that. Need more time. Nothing new.

Dots! It’s the blue flowers above the magenta spool.

This was easy and cute.

An even better closeup.

And then last night, a sheep…just under the black/brown ball.

I didn’t have a sheep-colored dot, so she’s blue.

I think today we are officially at 2/3s done. It’s been interesting. Almost as interesting as Luna.

I want pets. Can you give me pets? Plus it’s hot. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I have one, sometimes two, sometimes three. It’s nice.

OK. Today is half over. Sort of. I mean, it’s noon, but you know I’ll be up until midnight so that’s 12 more hours, and I’ve only been up for 4 hours. I have progress reports to get done, more Office Hours, a quilt meeting, and who knows what else. I’m tired. I’m smelling donut-making (that’s exciting). I have a lot of stuff to cross off the list today, art group stuff, making stuff, work stuff, watering stuff, house stuff. All stuff. I am alive, though, and well, and so are those I love, and one of my favorite students finally showed up back to class today, and I’m so glad. So there’s that.

Queen of Workarounds

I hope you all had a decent weekend, that you got outside and maybe did something you wouldn’t normally do, as long as it was safe and socially distant and you’re not in a 2-week quarantine right now, waiting out the consequences of the doing. I didn’t really do anything different…just checked things off the to-do list and grocery shopped and ate and did some schoolwork and some art. The schoolwork means my hands hurt today, after a lot of mousing cut-and-paste bullshit that is just annoying and could have been avoided if the district were smarter, but will help my students. Some formatting, some moving stuff around, some formatting challenges because some dumbass coded something stupid because they aren’t an end user. It’s fine. I’m the queen of workarounds at the moment. Or as always. I’ve got one more for this afternoon. Woohoo! Exciting.

We learn every day, if we’re paying attention.

I’m really close to being done with the fabric-choosing portion of this gigantic quilt…I made it to the angels…which I decided should be wearing red and white polka dots. Well, the dots are red and background is white, but I had a pretty good stash of them.

I had this vision while walking Saturday evening of this almost clownlike costume, but referring to angels in white spattered with blood. I know. Dark. But you read it here, so if I forget it when someone asks me about it in the future, you will know.

At the end of Sunday night’s ironing, here’s where I was…

Honestly, I’ve been starting the process pretty late, just because of other things happening. Last night, I did the angels’ fleshy bits…

Pale with a tendency toward green and gray. I have a ton of boxes out right now that are full of fabric, but I picked new ones for this. I didn’t want them to look like the still-living figures in the quilt.

Here was my setup last night, sans Golden Retriever…

But with Kitten. Sometimes Calli lies just at the end of the ironing board, and I have to step over her to get to any of the fabric on that side of the room. I guess it’s good practice for balancing.

These are all the pieces that are left…eyeballs, hair, halos, and some medical accoutrement.

No masks on these. Only thing wearing a mask in the whole quilt is the skeleton.

Angels don’t need masks. They’re supernatural. Or dead. However you visualize that.

Almost there.

Angel faces, ready to be cut out. Hopefully I’ll finish ironing tonight. That would be good.

Dots! Sunday night…below the green spool…

and a closeup…the pink one with the blue flower.

Wait. I took a real closeup in daylight.

Ah, the cat hair in this thing.

I also took closeups of the previous two dots…mutated ladder stitch…

And this…

Then last night was a watermelon slice…under the black and brown ball.

The seeds are large…

Getting close to 2/3s done.

I also stitched down and put in a quilting line on the two small quilt tops I made for the Patreon reward…

I’m going to clean them up and finish the edges, and then send them off to the first three patrons who are at reward level…after supporting me for a year, they deserve it.

I also redrew the drawing from last Wednesday, fixing the head, during an anniversary party online.

I need to scan it and upload it for this month’s Patreon drawing. I had dogs with me the whole time…

And the man for a little while…

He’s watching the hummingbirds buzz around the feeder.

As always, the animals are ever present…Nova likes to destroy paper bags…

Luna’s death glare after being wakened from a cat nap…

Much as I look in the same situation, I’m sure.

And Simba, who will do anything for cuddles…

Including song and dance routines. He will be devastated when the girlchild goes back to Boston.

And this guy, with no name…

Because honestly, he’s probably bird food by now. I see plenty of these but never the cocoons. Too many birds around for that, I think.

OK, well it’s warm here, but at least I’m cheating the energy company out of electric dollars. I have one more class today, and then hopefully I will walk when it cools down. I have no idea what’s for dinner, but it’s probably going to involve some sort of leftovers or frozen thing. I STILL want cookies (yes, I know I could solve this, but it’s better if I don’t). I will sew a dot tonight and hopefully finish ironing, and then spend 20 or so hours cutting pieces out before I get to the next stage. It’s quiet today. My neighbor isn’t mowing or sawing anything and there are no screams of tiny beings in the air. So I’ll turn the fan on and hope I don’t fall asleep and miss class (makes up for my inability to sleep until well after 1 AM)…

I Want Cookies

I am an introvert. It doesn’t mean I don’t like people. It means too many peoplish interactions drain me. I’m OK being alone a bit or being in a house and barely interacting with people for a long time. Or being in the same room with people and not talking to them because I’m drawing or tracing or reading my book. I’m also OK with talking to people or hanging out with them, although on a video call, that’s exhausting. I feel like I’m talking to myself…sometimes I’m just tired and don’t feel like talking (and then, hello, you can find the extroverts out there giving me shit for not talking. Ask me a question? I’ll answer. I’m just too tired to randomly say shit). It’s not like in person where you can have a conversation with just one person…you have to talk to ALL the people at once. I suck at that. I also need a break from all the Zoomy school stuff, which is compounded by Zoomy social stuff, which is better than no social stuff? Most of the time? So tomorrow is a “holiday” (well, I don’t have to Zoom for work! That’s all it really means.) and I’m looking forward to no Zoomy. I also have an extra day to get the trillion things I need to get done for school actually done. My team is texting away and I haven’t started any of it. I took time yesterday to deal with my composter and the deck around the pool and a quick pickup (totally social distanced in an appropriate way, thank you, new quilt guild) and a nice long hike, where only 3 of the 30 people I saw were wearing masks. Fuck all of you folks. Seriously. I don’t wear it unless I’m within 6 feet of someone. And all of you are dumbass assholes.

Sigh. See, that’s not the introvert in me…that’s the paranoid scientist in me. Plus my own co-workers who don’t socially distance and/or mask appropriately, because you will be with my kids in the Fall or around other teachers, and you can pass it on to me or my students. An even bigger sigh. I can’t like the photos you post because you are not following the rules.

Less anger, less irritation, less annoyance.

On Friday, I went to school to help with PE locker cleanout.

The kids were so nervous, so hesitant…and very few showed up. I’m probably going to be the bitch on campus re: adults wearing masks. Or socially distancing. I also need a better mask design…waiting for some jersey tie material to come and then I’ll do a different version…since it looks like I’ll be wearing them for a while.

OK, I haven’t worked on the big quilt since Friday…but I did iron some then…

Them’s some bones.

My regular quilt group met Friday instead of Thursday, so I got a little ironing done…

Definitely in the 1200s…on to the angels next, I think. Almost done!

I also cut some stuff out…hung out with some new people Friday night.

Well, that’s Calli. She’s not new. But the cut-out stuff is on the right, to-be cut in the middle, and trash on the left. There’s a lot left to do.

I also ironed together the little quilts…

They’re rewards for my patrons on Patreon…

They need stitch down this weekend. LATER.

Then I got a weird bug up my butt. I’ve wanted to do a larger embroidery for a while of one of my more complicated drawings, with all the colors in the world. So I picked one.

And traced it.

I like the look of stitching on black, but black is apparently hard to find at the moment due to the mask-making phenomenon. And also you have to use a carbon-type paper to transfer and it rubs off…which on something this detailed would be a pain in the ass. So then I could have used white fabric, because I have a chunk of it, but I don’t really like it, so I picked this weird blue-gray color. We’ll see how it goes. Expect to see this in a hoop soon. I did all those embroidery patterns last year, but was limited to 5 colors for each one, which was a pain. I can do a MILLION colors on this one.

OK, then there’s dots…there’s always dots. There will be dots until sometime in July, I think. The one below the green spool…

I suck at the ladder herringbone going around a circle. Maybe if I thought about beforehand that the backstitches needed to be in a particular position so the herringbone would work right. I did not think that beforehand.

It’s fine. Then last night was a million colonial knots. I didn’t think they would take as long as they did. Top left under the orange ball.

I was supposed to put the twisty fly stitch tops closer together.

Looks kinda viral.

What else went on in the last two days? I did a longish hike by myself…the local trail had a full parking lot (it’s tiny), so I went up the road and came down a different trail to hook into the loop.

It was a little warm out, but there was a nice breeze. This is where almost no one had a mask. The trail is single width for part of it. There’s a ton of poison oak at the moment too, and the last time we went there, the dogs got a million ticks.

But it was outside and there was no pavement and most of the time, there were few people.

My left hip socket or muscle has been bugging me. I need to do more pilates during the week. I’m mostly only hiking.

We missed most of the wildflower season, but there are still some out there.

I had my eyes peeled for new flowers.

Things that poke me.

Big outdoorsy sigh.

It was a good choice. I think I slept better than I had all week.

California quail…from a distance. They flew away when I tried to get closer.

Nice to see them.

This is the part of the trail where I might be able to get 6 feet away from your heavy-breathing ass. I work Monday-Friday, so I can’t do trails except on the weekends really…maybe if it weren’t hot, but it’s supposed to be in the 90s most of this week. So it would have to be late. We’ll see. I don’t like hiking by myself when it’s late.

I told Kitten I might need this chair today. She did this.

First I will have to get all that cat hair off of it.

Girlchild finally successfully made sourdough bread. It’s good.

I’ve eaten a bunch of it.

My ex had a hawk decide to hang out on the ground…young? Hard to say how young.

It’s gone today…hopefully with its wings and not dragged off by something.

This pup is so spoiled.

Poor thing.

OK. Well, I need to eat some real food. Haven’t done that yet today. Grocery shopping is done. A fuckton of school work is on my plate. I need to organize my week in my journal…usually that’s the first thing I do on a Sunday, but I cleaned the fridge instead. I also have a celebratory Zoom later (I’m not really a fan of these things, but honestly, if it were an in-person party, I wouldn’t be thrilled either, so whatever). I want to iron some fabrics today and stitch my dot and IDK what else, but something that makes me feel accomplished and artistic instead of like a tortured online teacher. Because that’s no fun. I want to also feel prepared and organized for school, so it’s a good thing I have tomorrow to catch up on that shit. And I want cookies. So there. Also, I might need polka-dotted fabric. I don’t really. I will find something that works. But it popped into my head while I was hiking yesterday…I often draw or color drawings in my head as I walk. It’s a useful skill. Until you realize you don’t have any polka dots in your stash. OK. It’s a plan. One I will probably flail on, but a plan nonetheless.

Spread-Out Thinking

OK, what’s weird about all this pandemic stuff is that time is still flying by and I don’t have enough of it to get everything done. In fact, I don’t know how my co-teachers are doing everything they’re doing, especially those with little kids, because I can’t even see straight some days, there are so many things on the to-do list. I did schoolwork yesterday for a good chunk of time, maybe 10 hours, with a break to empty one composter and have lunch. Then I was back at the computer stuff, which I finally put up on the ironing board, put some music on, and bounced around a little, because the loss of daily movement is annoying.

It helped a little. I ended up sitting a lot though, just because some things are easier that way, plus if you think about the correct posture and hand/arm positioning (as someone who had a tendonitis on the way to carpal tunnel syndrome, I wonder how all this bad office seating will affect people), sitting is easier for that. I did briefly consider a treadmill desk and/or a treadmill, but shut that down in the crazy brain.

Speaking of crazy, despite deaths continuing and the graph still reaching upwards, San Diego is opening restaurants and malls. We had this discussion at my meeting last night…how many are ready to go back? Outside? Maybe? Even then, big groups of people outside makes me nervous. The mall? Geez. No. Why? I’m sorry if you have a business that was negatively affected by this. I’m sorry for lots of things right now that I have no control over…people dying, kids in bad home situations who are stuck there, people losing their jobs, people who are still in the hospital, the elderly in homes who can’t see their family. But let’s not make it worse?

Yeah. That. Wednesday’s drawing during the staff meeting.

I’m going to redo it slightly today or tomorrow for my Patreon. Her head bugs me. We’ll see how that goes.

Or not. I just don’t know. I like it. I may do a large one. Just because.

I cut these out the other night, so I can iron these two little babies together.

Need to finish these two this weekend so I can give my Patreon patrons a choice.

I finally finished the back of the cross stitch…so it can hang up in here now somewhere that the students can’t see it.

Looks good.

Before I could start ironing last night, I finally had to organize by color. It was driving me bonkers. There’s a lot of different fabrics in this thing.

OK. I remember starting this. I think it was almost 9 hours ago. Seriously WTF where do the days go and how? My brain is all spread out trying to think about where I was and what I was thinking 9 hours ago. Fuck if I know. I went to school and stood around and directed kids to and from the locker rooms to empty their PE lockers. Then I went and scored enough flour for at least a month. Well. You’d think that, but then everyone made bread and the house smells like bread but I don’t think I’m allowed to eat any of it. I worked outside for a good long time and then came in and did math, English, and science in Office Hours. Then I completely forgot that my regular stitching Zoom had been rescheduled to whatever fucking day today is, I really don’t know, so I was late logging onto that. And I ironed some little quilts that I’ll show you later, and then ironed some more fabric down for this big monster of a quilt…

And now it is 5:40 PM and I am totally exhausted. This was last night though…a variety of weird medical things that are in the coffin that is in my quilt.

It’s not the first time I’ve put a coffin in a quilt unfortunately. So this was last night’s progress…

There’s been more today, but I’m hoping there will be even more tonight and maybe I’ll even finish tomorrow and get on with the next fucking step.

Dots? Oh yeah. More dots. You’ll miss them when they’re gone. It’s the one under the green spool…

It was pretty easy…ooh…now it’s to the right.

But not as easy as last night’s dot…under the yellow-green spool…

All chain stitch, only two colors, although I started and then had to redo it.

Yeah there we are.

I exercised yesterday. Luna was perturbed. Those are my art supplies, but that’s the girlchild’s pile.

Exercise is important. By the end of the week, I don’t get much of it. I want more. But I’m way too tired right now.

OK. So. My goals for the day have changed somewhat. I’d like to finish ironing this quilt, but I’m not sure I have the stamina for that. I need to make my dinner. I need to finish this monster asshole of a progress report plan that our team came up with and I could totally reject, and certainly thought about it, but it will be easier for the next three weeks if I DO do it, so I do it. And sleep. Can I haz sleep? Yeah. That would be good. Oh wait. I forgot the puppy picture.

There you go. Now everything is better.

Brain Hole

It’s the middle of the week. The middle of the week is different than other days, because I have a bunch of meetings in the afternoon, so it just FEELS different. I only see kids in the morning. I passed my math assignment. I know you’re glad. It’s always good when I can do 7th-grade math. (I was teaching the math with the website and the math teacher could see my scores, so I guess that’s a good thing.)

It’s now 4+ hours after I started writing this…I’ve graded a science assignment (well, the 25 that were turned in) and filled a greenery trashcan (my goal is 2 a week…but 1 will do), posted a blog post for one of my art groups, tried to avoid crying during an online staff meeting about the future of teaching in my district…didn’t finish my book, did a drawing, but I don’t know if it’s any good, and ate lunch. I think. Did I eat lunch? Right now, I want cookies.

What fucking day is it? Oh yeah. Wednesday. Moving on. This is school in a pandemic.

Mood? fucked. Thanks to all the humans who still talk to me.

I ironed for way too long last night, way too late. Whatever.

I got all of Figure 3 ironed down…except for some of the inner parts. I did do the hair, the lungs, the heart, and the eyes. I’m not sure what’s left…it’s a big pile here.

This is what’s left of 700-999? I think? Ah yes, a few body parts in there, but mostly Figure 3 is done.

There’s some stuff that needs to go into the coffin with her. So those need doing. Then I’m into the 1000s. I’ve already ironed a few of those that were body parts. But otherwise, I’m heading onto the hillside and the skeleton, and then the angels, and then I’m done. OK, that’s like 500 pieces, so don’t get excited. But 2/3s of the way done.

I walked yesterday and took a slightly different route. I get tired of the same shit.

It wasn’t long enough or interesting enough, but it happened. A few different flowers…

They were taller than me. Not that it’s hard to be taller than me.

This flower was freakin’ huge.

So there’s that. Fuck that sign. I trespass here all the time. The owners here are just jerks for that sign.

There’s nothing built there.

Nice view though, despite that huge monstrosity in the bottom left under the hill.

I missed a walk today. I did yardwork instead. I might go on the bike and try to finish my book.

I listened to a webinar today about modern quilting vs art quilting. Yeah, I’m no modern quilter. I don’t fit, but they are OK with that at the moment. This one? Um…the tree under the green spool.

It was pretty fun…

I think it’s a cherry tree.

And I finished the second Patreon reward embroidery.

OK. Well. It’s late already…well, 6 PM. I need to do more score-checking for tomorrow, I need to maybe draw another embroidery, cut some shit out, iron some more shit, exercise? I did say that already. And get my brain out of the hole it’s in. That might be harder.

Damn Rumination

It’s a little chilly this morning. I start the mornings with slippers on because my feet are cold every morning, no matter how warm it is outside. And eventually they come off and I am barefoot for most of the day. Pandemic clothing is pretty simple…looks a lot like my summer wear, except there are some t-shirts I can’t wear on Zoom when I’m teaching. I also have to think about what tea mug I’m drinking out of, because some have naked people on them. Plus the drawing that’s hanging up. I pin it up just in case. I’m pretty sure it’s too far away for the kids to see, but why take that risk?

I’m not sleeping well…not falling asleep quickly enough, try to go to bed earlier so the mornings aren’t so bad, but that doesn’t help. Just more lying around trying to fall asleep happens then. And then when the man gets up early, some mornings, I’m so exhausted I zonk out again, but some, I just lie there and ruminate. Damn rumination. It just messes me up. Weird dreams too. Last night, we were on vacation (VACATION!) and in a hotel, and this woman came into our room and started unpacking her stuff, because the hotel/Airbnb/whatever it was allowed people to double book or something? But she was someone I sorta knew? But it was SO UNCOMFORTABLE having someone else in the room, and that’s how I feel about going ANYWHERE right now. It’s just uncomfortable.

I finally FINALLY got to iron stuff on the big quilt last night. It’s not anybody’s fault…just gets too late, or the girlchild wants me to hang out, so I stitch instead. I’m still doing stuff I need to do…it’s just not this big quilt. I picked the fabrics for the third figure, darker…

This disease doesn’t care about you personally, but certain communities are harder hit…relative to health care options and poverty. If you have money, you’re better off? Or insurance? Or access to good healthcare? It all sucks. We should be taking care of everyone. All the time. Not just during a pandemic.

I didn’t finish ironing those down. It was 12:20 AM and I really need to go to bed earlier…but also sleep earlier. I can totally feel it today. I’m braindead and cranky as shit.

I also ironed the fabrics for the two mini-quilts I’m making for Patreon rewards…

That’s the bird laid out.

The heart in hands is on the right. I’ll cut those out later tonight probably. These go pretty quickly…just need to fit them in around everything else. This morning is two meetings, one of which is done (and was a clusterfuck, just so you know…makes me question my ability as a teacher in this situation). SIGH. Big Fucking Sigh.

Anyway. I also did dots. Strawberry, bottom right. Or some other berry? Don’t know.

It looks like a strawberry.

Then last night was this foxy dot…to the right of the white spool…

Ah yes…turned out pretty good, I think.

I also worked on the next Patreon reward embroidery…those are Luna’s legs under the coffee table…

And Kitten keeping me company on the couch…

I’m not sure how offended she is that I am stitching birds, not cats.

Hard to say.

What else is going on? Walks with dogs…

Someone weed-whacked. Hopefully that means fewer ticks.

Because despite that face, Simba hates combing.

Boychild made bagels…

I didn’t even know how bagels were made…

It’s a very strange process. Like how did we decide to boil FOOD in lye?

I feel like more of us should have died in the past just for our weird food practices.

Cats are always asleep…

She sits with me every day as I work…although this was last night…

It looks like the beginning of a horror movie. CATS!

There’s been some food-sharing issues amongst the cats. They are figuring it out. Certainly no one is starving.

And more of the conversations…although this is one I have often (minus my bro…usually it’s just the SIL and occasionally a kid)…

Everyone is going a little stir crazy.

Today? Today I make some decisions about my Advisory class, how I’m going to run it. I hate it, so it needs to change. Today I get some exercise, do some ironing, maybe some cutting stuff out and embroidery. Today I…sigh. I need more sleep. Maybe today I nap. Or draw. Or finish my book (I’ve been trying to do that for four days). Whatever. Today feels sucky. I will fix that. Somehow.

I Dreamed I Was Sitting in a Restaurant Last Night…

Hey Friday. You make me tired. And overwhelmed. Nothing new there. Looking forward to some free time tomorrow, but who knows if I’ll be panicking about school and desperately planning stuff instead of ironing and stitching. It could go either way. I’m feeling a little constrained these days by the existence…no talking to anyone in person, like one-on-one, or lunches at work. I don’t know what’s going on with anyone except for the basics, because Zoom is always a bunch of people and mostly work-related, except for the desperate late-night texts about this program or that website, and occasionally on Insta or FB, I see what they ate or read or something like that. No deep conversations. No complaining about stupid shit. No venting about the job or the SO or sharing some awesome book or movie we’d love. Well, there’s a little of that in text and email, but not the same. I know, it’s because we’re trying to take care of everyone. I get that, but I dreamed I was sitting in a restaurant last night, at the bar, and I’m thinking it will be a year or two before that’s a thing. I love that so many states are ignoring science. 84,000 dead. And it’s only May 15. San Diego is still ticking up, but reopening some things. Malls opened this week, but not the stores in them. Curbside pickup only. I’m wondering what I really need the mall for anyway. Not much.

I’ve been ironing a little bit every day. I was hoping to be further than this, but work has been long and hard. So I’m about halfway, I think.

I think Wednesday night, after 5 hours of Zooming in the afternoon, only gave me a little ironing. I think I did the bat. He was semi-complicated. And some eyeballs. Pills. Oh yeah. Some Covid-19.

They’re all over the place. OK. There are only four of them. There’s a lot of fabric colors in this thing.

Still have three figures left to iron.

My Wednesday night companion…I get to step over her every time I go choose fabric from over there. I’m OK with that.

Last night, I think I got 30 minutes in…Kitten assistance…

But I also ironed in the afternoon with my quilt group. I’m at 17 1/2 hours. And halfway. It’s not been the most effective time, with only an hour here and an hour there. The work I’m doing during the day sucks up brainwaves and turns them into mush, so that doesn’t help. I’m staring at two browns and trying to decide whether to go darker or lighter, for a really long time.

The coffin is ironed.

Tonight? Tonight I’m hoping to start Figure 3. It might not happen until tomorrow. We’ll see. I kind of want to reorganize all the fabric in color order too…it’s looking really chaotic.

I also started stitching one of the Patreon pieces…they’re not big, but they’re not supposed to be.

I worked on this one during a staff meeting. My boss called it knitting. Whatever.

I’m still caught up on dots…the mushroom to the left of the red ball…

Kinda cute.

And then last night’s…to the left of the brown spool…is a dandelion.

I added a few wandering dandelion seeds…

More than halfway on that.

I wanted to draw the other night, but I was too damn tired. So I just sat on the deck and read while drinking tea.

Speaking of drinking, a Wednesday-night incident drove me to a margarita…I think I mentioned that. Well here it is…

Tasty. Created by girlchild, who also created an amazing dinner…

I feel like if she weren’t here, we’d be living on PopTarts and toast. She takes the artsy photo…

‘Twas good. Homemade pita on my shitty-looking cookie pan from my long-defunct wedding in 1989.

We do know how to cook. She’s just way better at it.

We pretty much cook the same stuff over and over again. This is tastier. I admit to not having the brain power for this.

However, these keep popping into my tiny little brain.

Seriously, she’s making me throw away potential penicillin. It’s OK. Also, I’ve been unfriending people on FB like crazy, all the conspiracy and liberal snowflake haters. I can’t deal with your dumbassery any more. I don’t understand how you like my work if you can’t think. So there. Go the fuck away. Most of you just want me to like your shop and buy stuff anyway. You’re freaking out because the quilt shows and vending opportunities are being canceled. I barely buy anything quilt-related online, y’all. I don’t need your long-arm services and I don’t want your cute fabric bundles and patterns. Friend me if you like my work AND understand my politics. I don’t want to read your crazy. You probably don’t want to read mine either.

Old lady dog asleep on the deck…

During one of my move-it-outside meetings. I wish I lived closer to the beach. Or had the energy to drive there after dinner one night. Not tonight. Don’t want to fight crowds on the weekend either. Maybe that’s a goal for next week.

Kitten playing time. Kitten playing with a kitten.

They’re funny.

Followed by the little boy, snuggling with his favorite tick-removing human…

I’m betting she’s on Pinterest or a recipe site.

OK. It’s 1 PM on a Friday. I have one more class. I need to plan for next week, set up posts, create some shit, make some decisions. I need to stitch on a dot. I need to iron. Gaming is happening tonight, and I want to walk the dogs, but I’ll need help with that. Also, weed-whacking needs to happen, but I don’t think I can fit that into all the shit I just listed. Also I want a long hike, but that’s not happening either. OK. Welcome to my online learning world.

Pros and Cons

Well I’ve been trying to get this written all day, but 17 hours of Zoom meetings and notetaking and adjusting shit and grading crap and dealing with my crashing blood sugar and only getting 3000 fucking steps today has gotten in my way. I did 32 minutes of Pilates though dammit and that’s it, I’m calling it, fuck this day, man. While eating Spoonsize Shredded Wheat before dinner because I need to eat and IDK what I did wrong. Except stop moving enough and stare at a computer (TWO computers and a phone at the moment) for way too long.

Pros: I finished things.

Cons: I didn’t finish other things.

Really I’m much more positive when I write this first thing in the morning. Right now, I just want to build a pillow fort and climb in there with an adult beverage. (I should admit that I didn’t finish this by 4 PM like I wanted to, and it is now 10:06 PM and I’ve had a margarita. I don’t drink margaritas except like once every two years. So that might tell you a little bit more about today.)

So ironing has happened. Here’s what that might look like. This is actually ironing the heart. Not really red.

A little red. This heart has flowers.

MMMM. Strawberry shortcake delivery.

Leftovers from my Mother’s Day thing. This was Monday night. I got the snake ironed and the lungs.

Big addition in colors. I’m still dealing with all the bits and pieces up into the 700s that are part of the larger figure; not done. Nope.

This is slow. Especially when I’m not starting until 11 at night.

Here’s some tattoos I made. Well. On her arm.

I guess I wanted it to use all the blacks and whites I could. I ironed some scissors, a scar, a uterus, a tree and leaves, or maybe that was the night before.

This is 12 hours and 41 minutes of ironing shit down and I’m still not halfway. Laughing hysterically here.

I’ve been trying to catch up on dots since last week sometime. I even started in the afternoon.

And kept working…this is the coneflower…just under the yellow spool.

Which makes me think I need a different yellow. There’s the coneflower…it was nice and pretty easy to do.

I did not use that extra time to get caught up, unfortunately.

Here’s a closeup of the chrysanthemum from last week. Lots of cat hair in this thing.

It will take me a while to get that all out.

Then Monday night was the cup to the left of the white spool.

Although I did it last night, not Monday. Last night I caught up on the last two. It’s a nice cup.

And then yesterday’s was this abstract flower…just to the right of the orange spool.

That’s 44 done.

Halfway after tonight.

I also cut out fabric napkins for the household…8 sets of two from fabrics that are often a million years old.

Now I just need to hem them all. IDK when the fuck that will happen. But it will. Before we run out of paper napkins, which will be soon.

Other artsy shit I’m working on includes doing some drawings for my Patreon patrons…some of them are coming up to their one-year anniversary of their tier, which means I make them a square, either embroidered or quilted. I’ve done two drawings, and will probably do the bird with something besides WTF in there as well. I did each one in embroidery format and quilt format.

I’ll give my patrons a choice on their anniversary as to which one they want. I haven’t thought about mailing these yet. I should be able to do it from the house. They’re small enough.

I went on two walks on Monday and Tuesday, but none today. Interesting things going on…

I can’t explain all of them. The kids were working on Monday and Tuesday, and the old lady was really tired (the dog, not me), so I just took the little energetic one on Monday.

He is a pain in the ass. Wants to walk in the middle of the road.

I’m still in flower discovery mode, as always.

Love flowers.

Don’t know what most of them are. No worries. Though I want to draw that one.

I’ve been watching this one for weeks. It’s near the end of the walk and I photograph less at the end. Plus you can’t see the big-ass boy dog woofing it up at me on the other side.

He’s wagging his tail too, but I worry about this one neighbor (not the dog owner) who has yelled at me before. So I go quickly through that area.

I think these are from Tuesday, when the dogs were at my ex’s with the kids. Views of El Cap.

Or is that El Cajon Mountain? Not hiking it either way, I think. Will just admire it from here.

Dead flowers among the living. Flowers are just amazing in all their forms. Another view of the valley.

I walk the same space on a regular basis, see something new every time. The cudweed is now drying out.

Makes your dog smell like maple syrup. Freakin’ amazing lavender? I think.

Fascinating things, flowers.

Today’s exercise was Pilates with two pillows, a matt, and these.

I need some in-between weights. I thought I had some but I can’t find them. I forget regularly how good Pilates makes me feel. Do more. While I have soup cans.

Somebody (the boychild) put Simba on the chair. He thinks he can’t get down. He can.

Cats asleep…well mostly.

They sleep a lot during the day. Until you poke at them.

They are definitely getting bigger.

And the old lady, relaxing on the deck with me.

Girlchild bribed her with the pool on Monday so she didn’t know I took the little boy on a walk without her.

Anyway. Wednesday. Thank you for all that. That is sarcasm. Straight up. I have a dot to sew, I might get to iron around 11, I didn’t finish all the grade inputting because the district was fucking with my access (straight up, they were), I had so many tech things go wrong and so many questions and conversations were happening at the same time via Zoom, email, text, and Google Classroom that my brain is quietly spinning in another room, waiting for me to go to bed so it can ruminate about how unsuccessful that all was. I have my finger on a LOT of buttons right now, and one might be the Explode It All button, and none of them is the Easy button. Tomorrow will be better. I might be better too.

‘Rona Fog!

It’s the ‘Rona Fog! You know, you haven’t even had coronavirus, but the stay-at-home, don’t-go-anywhere, don’t-hang-out-with-people has got your brain in a fog, a ‘Rona Fog. You don’t know what day it is, entire days disappear without your noticing, you know you haven’t exercised today, but maybe you also didn’t exercise yesterday. I go days and days without leaving the house, and then I leave the house three times in one day and it feels like sacrilege, I will be burned to the ground by a lightning bolt from the sky for daring to do such a thing. It’s OK. I had to go to the grocery store, plus dropped mom’s day gifts at my parents’ house (appropriately distanced and masked), and then to pick up food, which was kind of a clusterfuck, but it turned out OK. Today I went to school to pick up some stuff I needed, including the motherlode of Clorox wipes I bought from Costco about three months ago. And a smaller whiteboard. A clipboard for my papers that I use every day. Rubberbands! I need some here and I barely use them there. They had moved all our furniture out like they do for summer break, so they can clean. I sort of had a chance to put stuff away before all that…I think I took the time on March 13. That date was still on the board. I still owe 4th period donuts. I erased all that…and cried a little bit.

Saturday was a serious fog day. My brain just didn’t do any of the things it wanted to do. I couldn’t get anything done, except the book I was reading. Sunday was better for getting things done, but all of a sudden, it was 3:30 in the afternoon and so many things were still on the list. Today I will be better. I will be more focused. At least I will try.

I did get some ironing in on Saturday at least…this is fabric #1…you can see how little was left after I ironed those pieces down.

But there was enough! I have tons of fabric #2…it’ll be showing up in quilts for years to come.

It’s been in a bunch of pieces so far. I like that weird hint of turquoise in the pinky flesh color. Saturday night, up late, a pile of stuff done…just the rest of the flesh on Figure 2 and her hair, I think.

There’s still a ton to do for Figure 2. I just couldn’t deal with it yesterday. I pile all the stuff up on top of the laid-out Wonder Under so that little psycho kitten can’t get in there.

Tonight. Tonight I will iron. I hope. I have an extra Zoom today, I still need to eat lunch, and I’m walking between Zoom 2 and 3. Because I need to and it makes me feel better. This is my view on so many days…it’s usually the coolest room and I have access to two computers at a time.

It’s a little squishy with the ironing board in there too for ironing, but that’s OK. I also sort of let the drawing fold over during those school meetings. I don’t think they can see what’s on it, but it is a naked lady, so it’s better to hide it, just in case.

Such a pain. I live here, I work here, I rarely leave here.

And then there’s this…

Hi Luna. Hiding under the coffee table.

We did visit my mom yesterday, masked and socially distant.

We were there to deliver gifts of food and plants, but really, I guess we were there to pet their dog, Katie. Or Katy. I can never remember the spelling. It might even be Katey.

Oh yeah, she’s happy.

I’m still a dog behind. I mean a dot. I could have caught up Sunday night if Saturday’s dot hadn’t been fucking insane. Here’s Friday’s dot, which I did Saturday…just below the blue ball.

I actually did it totally wrong, because the original instructions said a double cast-on, and then they changed that to a cast-on bullion, which is a totally different thing. I was not willing to pull it out or cut it off, though, so I just improvised.

I might do it again. But probably not.

Last night, I worked for almost two hours on Saturday’s dot…a chrysanthemum.

I put a pillow on my lap, so I could stop stabbing the needle into my leg for the drizzle stitches…all 70 million of them. Top left…

My closeup photo sucks. I’ll take another one. Later. I’m still trying to catch up…maybe today. I just don’t know.

OK, I need to eat, teach my next class of Office Hours, then walk, be back in time for the next Zoom meeting for school, plus finish some other stuff on the to-do list, get two dots done, eat dinner, and hopefully iron some shit down. It’s a busy day. I’m not a fan. But it’s pretty normal.

We All Like to Exist…

Well. I’m finally behind on the dots. Why? Because the ironing of fabrics on the new quilt sucked me in last night and held onto me for over 4 hours. Not a bad thing, because I think there’s a movie for tonight, and I can’t iron when movie-watching with others is occurring, so I’ll be stitching TWO dots instead…and one looks like a really complicated one. So there’s that. I went 39 days without a miss though. Wow. We’ve been dealing with this crazy situation for a long time, haven’t we? Almost two months here in San Diego, longer for my bro and his fam in Seattle. Certainly much longer in other countries. We’re not OK yet…I don’t understand opening things up when the graph of sick and dead is still ticking upwards.

I do go out occasionally…the grocery store is the most common, but only once a week, takeout food once a week, sometimes something else, the vet last week, today a fabric store for stuff I really couldn’t see on a computer screen. Honestly, I probably won’t do that one again. Too many people, not enough social distancing. There’s been a few restaurants where I’ve felt the same way, and then some whose procedures are really awesome and I will be back…hopefully enough of us feel that way to keep them open.

But people are still getting sick and dying, and other people are still propagating bad science and crazy theories that are going to get more people killed in the long run. Sometimes we can only figure stuff out the hard way. Get sick and then you see how important universal healthcare is. Lose your job and then you see how important unemployment and welfare are. I don’t know why some of us can see those things without having to live through them. I view the world differently? I guess.

So the four hours of ironing got me well stuck into the fleshy bits of the second and largest figure.

I finished Figure 1 and then laid out a run of 6 fabrics for Figure 2…I was a little worried about fabric #3 because there wasn’t much of it. Actually, there isn’t much of fabric #1 either, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Plus I know how to improvise…

This crazy pile of Wonder Under is…at the top, everything from the 200s-600s that was NOT flesh but is around or on the body (there’s a snake and a bat, plus eyeballs and a uterus and bones and all that good stuff)…and at the bottom, the rest of the 700s once I finished the flesh.

Call me Queen of Chaos. Fit them all together…

And then get to fabric #3…yikes, not even a fat quarter here. Well. Let’s see.

Nope…not enough…

See the pile to the right? Wouldn’t fit on there. So I ransacked the pink drawers for something similar that fit between fabrics #2 and 4, and ironed the other pieces out of that.

Then I realized it was after 1 AM and even if I didn’t have to be up too early in the morning, the man had to work today, so between his morning activities and the cats, there was no way I’d get all the sleep I needed, so I covered fabrics #1 and 2 and went to bed. You can see the fabrics I’ve used so far…

A little more color is popping in…plus the box of stuff to trim when I’m done.

I might need a second version of fabric #1 as well…it’s not a big piece either. We’ll see. This is the plus of having a significant stash. There’s usually something else that will work.

So I did get the background fabric today…plus two possible binding fabrics, and a few others I liked.

The super dark one is the background. The one on top is for the next Daughter quilt, which I had to document from my 6 AM brain…it’s in my Notes app. Maybe I’ll draw it later.

So I’m in the 700s, but I still need to do all the filler pieces, which is a significant amount of ironing…hopefully this afternoon. We’ll see. I’ve already been sidelined by tick removal and dog bathing, so who knows what else is coming down the pike.

We finally blissfully got out into nature yesterday with the dogs for a nice walk…

This is, of course, where we got all the ticks. Fun stuff. There weren’t a ton of people there, but very few of them had masks on. It was weird. I mean, you don’t have to put it over your face unless you’re passing people on the trail…in which case, put the damn thing on. Especially if you’re running.

We missed the early wildflowers, but there are always flowers there.

We were trying to tire these guys out. It was still warm, but not as warm as it had been.

We have water for them, but they don’t like drinking a lot on walks. So we rested in the shade a few times with the old lady.

It was a real delight to be back out there. I really needed it. Walking on pavement is not the same.

Calli got two trips into the pool yesterday, which she appreciated.

Although the pool didn’t get rid of the ticks…hence the bath and close picking-over today.

But hey. He’s tired.

Last night, the girlchild made wontons. I got to put some together. I’m not sure I got better with time…

Don’t judge me. First time. Girlchild always makes a nice social media post…

They were yummy.

OK, here’s the full pic of that plant from over a week ago.

It’s coming from a pot above, where it’s a volunteer, and has now rooted in the pot below. It might be a spiderwort or relative, it might be a Commelina cyanea. It does well when it has water and OK when it doesn’t. It’s hot here, but this is rarely in full sun, mostly shady sun if sun at all. I maybe will train it to hang out and not cover everything, if possible. It certainly likes to exist. Don’t we all?

OK, so the day is more than half over, but the fabric is washed, I’m doing the girlchild’s bedding (tick fears) next, I’ve eaten lunch, I’m still tired, I really should do some yard work, but I don’t feel like it. I’ll go look at the to-do list, which includes putting together those videos I made over the last few days for my Patreon. And maybe iron for a bit. No school stuff today. Not allowed. Not sure when the man is coming home…he’s worked 6 days straight at this point due to things beyond his control, and he’s not doing well with it. Hopefully having 2 1/2 days off will help. But probably a takeout dinner and a movie are in my future. Stay safe, and stay well, and maybe do something that will help you stay sane.