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.

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.