Three Birds and an Eyeball…

Hello Wednesday. Pro? You have exercise options at the end of the day and it’s not my turn to cook dinner. Also, you are the third day of science, so mostly I explain the task and then help kids…I don’t have to do the hard stuff today. I say that, but because it’s the day we do the academic part of the assignment, it’s likely that there will be some panicking about not being able to find “the answer”. Because there isn’t one answer. I tried to set up the expectations yesterday, but I will probably have to repeat it about 3200 times. Sometimes that’s OK; sometimes I just find it onerous. Again, I think this is much easier to do in person than it is online. So many things are easier in person than online. Paying bills? Definitely easier online. Absolutely no reason to do it in person. There’s one that’s not easier in person.

So I’m close to being done with the ironing. I think there’s a damn good chance I’ll finish ironing pieces together tonight, and I might even get it all ironed down to the background. I’m sure somewhere in my amazing notebook of everything I’m doing that there is a small mockup of whether or not I have to piece the backing (I’m fairly sure I do), which will minorly slow the process down, but we’ll see.

On Monday night, I got the heart and lungs done and one whole arm.

It doesn’t look like much. I think I only had an hour before bedtime, and I went late, because I wanted to finish the fingers. Fingers are way more complicated than you would think…because I put in all the finger wrinkles.

Then last night, I did the other arm and the start of the head…

I only have about 50 pieces left, but they are tiny and fussy and will take a while.

Three birds and an eyeball, basically. So that’s tonight. And then hopefully get it on a background. So far, I’ve put about 11 hours into the ironing. Mostly I get about an hour to 90 minutes on a work night, especially this year, with trying to go to bed earlier. That second hour I used to iron is being used to meditate and sleep, on the off chance that it will help me balance my brain a bit. Not sure it is helping? But I’m trying. Last night’s meditation…I don’t even think I heard any of it. It’s trying to help me with stress and my brain was all tied up in sad. I’m sure there’s stress in there too, but sad was overwhelming.

Ah well. Moving on. The man is back on the trail today, back to a few terse texts a day, sometimes overtaking each other in satellite space, with lots missed and/or misunderstood. It’s been nice being able to converse more than usual because he had cell service, but I will see him in 9 days. It will be a long drive, but not as long as they will be, and I have a little more warning to plan lessons for next week for the day I will miss from school. Since COVID started, this will only be the second work day I have missed. I probably should have taken more mental health days, but there was nowhere to go to escape the work stuff. So I didn’t.

I’ve hiked over 12 miles in the last 4 days…not much for a PCTer, but for someone who is working full time, not bad.

We went up some hills.

This is how we tire out the little dog. The big dog gets much shorter walks than these.

There was a big up that we didn’t do…mostly because I said no.

I still had to cook dinner.

Long day…

But good hike.

Last night was the regular neighborhood hike…

Walked while the girlchild sent trivia questions via text for her weekly trivia night. We are part of the trivia team.

Luna came out to birdwatch while I was teaching yesterday. This is in fact her normal facial expression…sort of paranoid surprised?

Like, “what the fuck is happening next?!” She’s a strange one.

Nova is more chill…

Yes, all my clothes have cat hair on them. It’s inevitable.

On Monday, we finally got the bigger river rock delivered. I love the big rocks. I loved watching the dumptruck drop them on the ground.

I’m not so much loving lugging them over to the actual streambed, but that’s OK. We’ll do a bit at a time.

Still working on this for my art students. I use it for the demo, so little bits of it get done…

Honestly, I probably won’t finish it. Although I think I need it more finished than this for the next step. I do have a video from the art teacher. I could just use that? We’ll see.

OK, well it’s all science today and grading stuff, hopefully a healthy chunk of it so I don’t have to think about it all week like last week. We were smart and did group assignments last week, so only 7 sets of slides per class instead of 4 times that (although so many kids aren’t turning in work at the moment, so there’s that). I think even parents are checked out, because progress reports didn’t get hardly any emails or flurries of work being turned in. Ah well. It’s been a year. I can’t blame them. Although next year will be a shock for their kids I think, since most will be in person. For me too, I think. Anyway, after school is Pilates (my back will appreciate that) and then ironing after dinner. Hopefully finishing. Then start the stitch down tomorrow…my goal is to get this thing pinbasted over the weekend and start quilting it. I will need a binding fabric. I should think about that, since the local quilt store is still appointment only. I think. Ugh. Such a pain. I never have a big enough chunk for the binding. OK, well it’s in my head now and I will think about it today and decide what to do about it. Until then, thinking about biodiversity hotspots…science lesson.

It’s Not the End of the World…

I have this way of dealing with life at the moment. I just divide it up into these blocks. There are the blocks that are mindless, things I have to do and can almost do in my sleep (strangely, school is one of these blocks). There are the blocks that are sleep; they’re short. There’s the blocks that are art…I try to fit one in a day. There’s exercise and meditation and a hike a week. There’s the grocery store. I divide each day up again. The block that gets me up and out the door for school. The block that deals with the time right after school. Blocks that aren’t already filled or designated, I make sure there’s a plan for those, because it’s the fucking down time that messes with me. There are some blocks I used to have that I don’t have any more. They’re the hardest to fill…and they need to be filled. It’s kind of ironic, because it’s not like I have time to add groups of new friends or activities, but I almost have to in order to make sure there’s no down time for the brain to sink lower. I need to keep it occupied.

That said, those of you who are parents (or just empathetic to parents) know that you can plan all you like, but life is gonna bitchslap you some days. Tuesday the girlchild had some things that looked like bug bites. She showed them to me, they were itchy, there were like three of them. Wednesday, there were more, but they were moving around and we talked about washing her sheets this weekend (except Tuesday night, she wasn’t at my house), still thinking bug bites. Thursday, they were somewhat worse, and I decided they were hives. We talked about stress (she is still making up work from her surgery AND AP tests start next week…good enough reasons to BE stressed, but she said she wasn’t). We talked about food and soap and lotion and all that good stuff. Nothing new. Apparently Thursday night (again at her dad’s) was bad, but eventually they went away and she went to sleep. When I texted her during the day on Friday and suggested the doctor, she said no way, it was fine, she was better. I got home Friday, she was not home yet, she slammed in the door about 15 minutes later yelling for me, lifted her shirt, and holy shit. Hives everywhere. Solid. Yeouch. I called the nurse, who asked 17 questions, then sent us to Urgent Care. Meanwhile, the kids have been watching way too much House (and I’ve already seen them all), so we were diagnosing her. (Lupus…no, not really). We took her in…you know it’s bad when the staff at Urgent Care gasp when they see it. Anyway, a couple of tests later and we still know nothing, but she has Benadryl in her and they’re prescribing an epi-pen. Sure enough, she was asleep (love Benadryl) by the time she got home, pretty much, and the hives were gone by midnight. Hopefully, whatever freakish thing that caused it is gone, out of her system. Impressive bumpiness, though.

So that was not a block of time that I had planned. It never is, when you’re a parent. I do think that most parents (the ones who pay attention) are much better at dealing with life because of shit like that. You have your afternoon/evening planned, and hives just fucks it all to hell and back. Seriously. It happens all the time, so often, that you always have a contingency plan. It’s how I survive. The back of my brain is always trying to budget time here or there to deal with bumps in the road like that. Like What Will You Do if the House Floods with Human Waste? And you already have a plan for that…and the zombie apocalypse…and random visitors.

So I dealt. Ordered dinner instead of cooking it. Did a little grading, but not a lot. Blew off the exercise in favor of meditation. Made it to bed at a reasonable hour because I knew I had a hike…a hike that might get moved due to weather issues. No problem. I can adapt. I just roll with it. I’m not always happy with the adjustment, but in the end, and I don’t know again if this is the depression or the meditative practices talking, I just need to go with the flow. It’s not the end of the world. There will be another day for ironing fabric. One day of missing exercise will not end my life. So we joked with the doctor about how she needed to send her staff over to check BOTH houses for mold and drugs, and girlchild was probably lying about sex or drugs, because they always do, and when would they start random medication? Yeah. We do watch too much House.

So no art last night. I did hike this morning…interesting story. I’m now three hikes behind on the blog! Aack! It’s OK, one is a repeat…the morning hike did not turn out to be strenuous enough to count for exercise, so I dragged the boychild and the two dogs (girlchild and ex are in Lancaster for National Cup, which no, she is not playing in…just supporting her team) out on a long, bitchy hike…

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Because I’m nice like that. Jake on the left, Calli on the right. This is Mt. McGinty, take 2. I think I can do it by myself now. Maybe. More on that hike later. Whenever later is (did I mention grades are due on Tuesday and I’m not done with them? Whatever. They’ll get done. It’s not the end of the world.). The dogs were extremely tired by then and were apparently huddling together for support.

Then we came home and I managed the depressoid hour of grocery shopping (Saturday night just sucks bigtime. The only plus is that it’s quiet and there are no lines). Drove to Sonic for dinner, because there was no way I was cooking. Plus I am feeling down and out and overwhelmed by shit that I can’t control, so I have not been eating great the last few days. But I got time with the boychild, and he’s moving away to college in a few months, and he won’t call, text, or email when he’s gone, so I’m kinda saving these moments up with just him for later. For when he’s gone. Makes me sad to think of it, but he’s an adult now and this is what he needs to do. I’ll be OK. I’m not a child. I can handle him leaving. I’m just sad about it. It’s OK for me to be sad about things. It better be OK, because I feel it a lot. It’s OK to not be happy when things don’t feel happy. It’s not abnormal. It’s not broken.

OK, I AM broken, but not because I am sad. I am sad because I am broken. Or I am sad AND I am broken. Hard to say.

Then I graded for a while, trying to get all the loose ends tied up, or at least enough of them to make a difference. Or something. I still need to input everything, but I’ll deal with that. It’s not the end of the world.

I feel like I already survived the end of the world. Like three or four times. Godzilla wasn’t there. No one was. Just me.

So then I started ironing, awfully late. Later than I had originally planned for today, but today’s plans came apart at the seams at about 5:20 this morning, or maybe even last night, and so I just two-stepped it and dealt. I’m good at that.

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I’m through the 400s…into the 500s. I could have started ironing the 500s, but didn’t feel like starting it. Depressing subject matter. Couldn’t look at it. Need some distance from it. Maybe tomorrow night. I just ironed all the leftover bits from the body…the heart and the nipples and the eyeballs and the hair and the eye she’s holding onto, or is she trying to catch it? Who knows.

Tomorrow is gym and a meeting and chaos and grading and exercise and meditation and maybe ironing. Hopefully ironing. A little bit of progress a day makes it better…

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It does. This is the pile of fabrics used so far…I’m not even a third of the way through, so there will be lots more.

There is a lot on my plate at the moment. I’m trying to divide it up into doable chunks, things I can handle. There are a couple of things I can’t deal with at all. So I’m not. It’s not the most mature way of living my life, but it’s what I can do at the moment. Really, there should be times in your life when everything is smooth sailing and then times when you are challenged to even get through the next 10 minutes, but that challenge…that’s probably what makes you who you are. Not how you deal when it’s easy…but how you deal when there’s too much and you have no help and stupidity reigns around you. That’s when it’s important. And if you’re a selfish asshole when that’s going on, then you suck. I’d like to believe karma will kick your ass, but I have no evidence of that.

So yeah. I’m ironing. I’m making art. What more do you need to know.