Shutting Down Randomly

I don’t know what you do when you come home from work, especially after a long frustrating day where you had planned specific work tasks after the kids went home and then your loaner computer (because yours is hopefully getting fixed as it keeps shutting down randomly) shuts down randomly (wait, I think I heard that already) about six times in a row, trying so hard to restart like a good computer would, and then giving up the ghost and popping up that message again about how it can’t possibly restart, there’s something very wrong with it (no duh asshole). So after getting it to start and working on grades and contracts for kids out on COVID or pandemic concerns, and finally coming home around 6 PM, and then getting dinner (that was the best part, away from the house, although it was dark, hard to see the food, one of the issues with always eating outside, you know, it gets dark and all), then mopping a floor, sewing a backing together, ironing all the parts, taping them to the floor, and then getting down on hands and knees at 9:45 PM, wondering if this is the year you buy knee pads, like you’re really an old person now, and pinbasting a quilt together.

Sometimes I wonder about the amount of power my art brain has to get my tired old teacher ass off the couch and doing all that shit after 8 PM on a day when I had no prep period. On a day when the 6th graders decided to sharpen the metal end of a pencil in my new $92 sharpener that can handle colored pencils, and yes, I think I know who did it and hopefully I scared the shit out of him. Certainly if there are any other issues, that thing is sitting on my desk and they can pay me to use it. Yeah. It was a day. I’m kind of on the verge of tears constantly again, and I hate that. So part of this weekend will be quilting instead of thinking about work. A large part of it will also be grading, let’s be honest; grades are due soon for progress reports, so I can’t blow it off.

But here we go. Book club got rescheduled on Wednesday. Luckily I checked the app right before I left, so I didn’t actually leave. I worked instead and fed myself with leftovers from Saturday (probably a mistake to go that extra day, says my 2 AM stomach), and then finished the stitchdown…

That’s 5 1/2 hours worth of stitching.

I can see the figures on the back…

On the front, they are hard to see. Hopefully the quilting will help with that. That starts tonight. Here’s all taped down on a clean floor…

The backing is some fabric I found in my stash, quite a lot of it actually.

It seemed right for a quilt about hiking etc. The etc. is kind of a big part of this quilt.

So far, Mom’s machine is rocking it. Much appreciated.

I also did the stitchdown on my Patreon reward, which is really late now…

That only took 13 minutes though. Much easier. I’ll pinbaste her this weekend too. But my goal is to finish quilting and get the binding on this weekend. I don’t know if I can do that. But I will try. We’ll see.

I have an opening a week from today…two pieces in the show…

PHES Gallery is in Carlsbad, California. It’ll be a bit of a drive. No COVID test that day. With 1-2 positive cases in my classes every week, I’m still getting tested every week. Two new ones this week. Woo hoo!

These are drawings I did at dinner while waiting for the food to come. I can’t remember if I’ve posted any of these.

My pen died, so this is ballpoint…

It works. It’s just not fun.

I don’t think when I do these. I just draw.

Sometimes it will turn into something else in a larger piece…mostly not.

I think I will actually get limes and lemons this fall…they seem to be sticking.

Certainly they’re bigger than they have been…

And there’s more to come.

OK, today shouldn’t be too hard (ha!), at least the school part, except I need to get everything posted for school. My co-teacher is out of town, so I’ve been making lab materials for next week. The copier ran out of staples, so I need to staple 290 packets before Tuesday. I’m hoping to find some classroom helpers today who are done with shit to do that. Work after school, bring a ton of work home, get my COVID test for the week, do some grading, possibly do a quilt Zoom, then quilt until I fall asleep, hopefully in a bed and not on the machine. Tomorrow, repeat. Plus some other stuff. I’ll be glad to get the quilting started…I didn’t think I’d be able to finish this one on time, and now there’s a chance of it…I’m going for it.

In a Parallel Universe…

It’s currently Thursday night. I don’t usually write now. I was hoping to be doing the stitchdown on the current quilt, but no. My machine is still not working right. I’m frustrated. I’ll call the store again tomorrow, and then I’ll hope it doesn’t take another 5 weeks to fix it, plus I’ll see what I can do on my mom’s machine. I don’t know that I have the patience to try that tonight, but maybe I will. It will be good to have a comparison to what mine is doing at the moment. Tension is off, needle keeps wandering left…two out of the three problems I took it in for in August. Frustration is not a good feeling at the moment. School is challenging and exhausting (hopefully some of that will get better), there is so little time for anything that isn’t work, and then the thing I really love? Can’t do it. At least I can’t do the part I want to be doing right now. Maybe now is when I truly admit this piece won’t be done for the deadline I was aiming for…and start a new one…the FUCK YOU TEXAS POLITICIANS quilt. The UP YOURS SUPREME COURT quilt. The GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY UTERUS quilt. That’s a cheery mood I’ve got going there.

Mayhaps I should just take my book and my tears of frustration to bed, meditate, get up tomorrow, be fucking efficient as hell at work, pretend the last fucking hour didn’t happen, and try again tomorrow night. With a different machine. In a parallel universe where sewing machines are my friends.

More tomorrow morning…

Sigh. It’s morning. I dreamed about my school laptop battery. It’s dying. But I can’t afford to give up my computer for any period of time for them to replace it, unless they can do it in ONE TWO THREE and we’re done. I’m OK with that. Anything else and IDK what I’m going to do. The computer itself has been randomly turning itself off or freezing down to almost stopping, and then the battery goes from 53% to almost zero in a heartbeat. See above about frustration.

I’m going in to school with deep breaths. I do cry when I get frustrated though. I remember growing up, my dad would get so mad if I cried. He said girls do that to get what they want. I don’t. When I cry, I am genuinely upset and/or frustrated. It’s a normal reaction. I have no control over it. I’m frustrated right now and I’m tired and my blood sugar was high this morning for no apparent reason. Seriously going to meditate in the car. With my eyes open of course. I have a mindset in my head for the day…it will be difficult for the kids, thus difficult for me. When we ask them to do hard things, they don’t respond well. We have to grow that behavior. I’m not always there myself. I have to remind myself that it is hard for them and I can’t react to it. Hard for someone who reacts super fast. I’d be good in a zombie apocalypse…not always good in a middle-school classroom. At least I’m aware of it so I can keep talking myself through it.

So here’s the whole quilt ironed down…

It’s large, about 46″ w by 62″ high…maybe more than that at the moment. There’s a lot of hours that need to go into it to get it done. I’m going to try stitchdown on my mom’s machine that I borrowed in July…but quilting will need to be on a bigger machine. I’m going to call the shop today and try to be calm and say they can’t have it for 5 weeks this time. They didn’t fix it last time. I’m pissed, it’s true. I know they’re busy, but this isn’t OK.

This doesn’t show the other side, where the tension is all over the place. That break on the right is about 5 inches in, because that was the first major issue I had. I can’t afford a new machine right now. I need this one to work. I especially need it to work because my day job is really hard and time-consuming and frustrating and I need something at home NOT to be those things. Well, I’m OK with art being time-consuming…the other two, not right now please. Give me something that feels good.

The man hiked a bit and camped last night.

He sent all those clouds with thunder and lightning to us. I stitched with friends last night…still something I can’t show you. It’ll be almost done by the time it’s published and I’m allowed to share, I think.

Deep breaths for the day. Patience for the munchkins and for myself. Hopefully take the machine in after work and then get COVID tested again. Ugh. Then home and try to make mom’s machine do what I need it to. Read my book. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Tomorrow I finally get to exercise (like I said, this week has been rough). I still might make this quilt deadline, and if I don’t, there will be somewhere else it can show. It’s not the end of the world.

Complicated Fingers

Hey. It’s Wednesday and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I got caught up with some school stuff, which is good, but yesterday, the work day started before 8 AM and ended after 6 PM. Today will be the same. Thursday will start earlier and will have to end earlier, only because I have to be somewhere. And it’s not like I’m getting shit all the way done with all that. The shit I was supposed to do during prep yesterday didn’t happen because we have these new short-term contracts the state wants us to do for kids who are out on pandemic quarantines, and it’s quite a bit of work…not the actual contract. It’s pretty easy, once you have everything set up and all your videos or whatever you’re gonna do made…OK, that actually took most of my prep (also my computer decided it didn’t want to be my friend any more), but then emailing every kid and parent, searching out parent emails, cutting and pasting. I did 11 contracts last night…I probably will have 11 more to do today (I had one I didn’t do last night, because it’s the other subject and so are the other ones I’ll get today)…and it took 90 minutes after school to get it all done. Meanwhile, nothing gets planned or graded for the kids who are actually IN class. I know we have to provide work for everyone, but someone at the district needs to hire someone who can code a program/system/app/I don’t give a fuck what it is but it will go do all the menial shit that’s in the system so I don’t have to…and all the other teachers don’t have to repeat the same work I’m doing. That’s the idiotic part. Politicians pass a law to help kids, but the infrastructure to help the teachers is not in place (what’s new there??? Nothing), and teachers can’t help ALL the kids because they’re helping the kids who will trigger the state to audit our procedures and fine us if we don’t do the things that the state doesn’t give us the money for in order to create the infrastructure. SIGH. A friend asked where all the COVID money went. I DON’T KNOW. Here’s a good place for it. Also, when politicians vote for things, they should be required to sit in my classroom with me until almost 6 PM and HELP ME search out all those parent emails and record videos and set up lessons.

None of that happens. So instead, I am feeling overwhelmed and like I literally got nothing done yesterday that was on my plan…and because I have a union meeting this afternoon, probably today’s prep will be similarly fucked.

Anyway. I can’t say I come home in a great mood…and no exercise because everything ran too late and then I had to cook dinner and I’m pretty sure two phone calls came in and I didn’t answer either of them.

I have renewed my optimism that I will be incredibly efficient during prep today, because I don’t have a prep tomorrow.

I have been ironing. Not much each night, but at least an hour before bed. Monday, though, I managed about 3 hours of ironing. I was really good about getting work done in the morning…so here I am, up in the sky finally.

I’ve decided that I’m the only one who can see the figures…

They are damn subtle. I will pull them out with stitching…

I was hoping to be done Monday, but I had about 50 pieces left, including some complicated fingers and a face that would have to be done separately and then ironed in.

So last night, I finished all that…

With stitching, the face will appear. I can see it.

Hard to get a picture of the whole thing until I get it on a background…which will be tonight, hopefully. Iron it down, clean the space up a bit, and start stitching down.

My Social Justice Sewing Academy block is closer to done…just a little more embellishment.

The back is fascinating.

Kitten keeps trying to lie on it.

She follows me around when I get home, trying to figure out how to get close to me. Not ON me…just close.

Shit. Which reminds me, she needs her meds. Gonna go do that, then brush my teeth and get out of here. I promised a kid a folder up front at the office by 8 AM, and that’s not too long from now. I think I’m fucked on that deadline…hopefully dad will come later. Wish me luck for the day, that it’s productive and less frustrating than yesterday.

When It’s Out…

Long weekends are a blessing. I graded a bunch of stuff over the last three days. I’m not caught up, but I’m panicking less. I managed exercise three days in a row. As the school week goes on, that is less and less likely. So I did well. And I’m ironing. All good. Trying not to think of things I should be ironing or sewing or deadlines that are coming. Just doing the things when I can.

Friday night, I did more trees…

And I think I also ironed the hiker…

Could have been Saturday though. I ironed a bunch on Saturday afternoon…like this…

Starting up the mountain. Last night, I got part of the mountain in…

I’m hoping to get the mountains done and be well into the sky tonight, if not done. I might be able to do it. There’s about 270 pieces left.

I drew briefly on Saturday night…

I hiked this morning with the man…

Just Cowles Mountain…the original plan had Pyles Peak as well, but it was warm…

Although the valleys were socked in. Weird.

A view of one of my quilts behind the amazing Margaret Fabrizio…

We traded earlier this year.

And some pictures of me with my quilts at The Studio Door opening…

I don’t really like posing for photos…

Even with a mask on, you can probably tell.

Not even sure what I’m looking at in that photo…but here’s 1, 2, and 3 in one with me.

We missed a few. You get the idea. Check out the show though! It’s a nice area with many restaurants for lunch or dinner. Parking isn’t awful (but it can be). It’s open through September 25.

Every Friday afternoon, I’m here, waiting for my COVID test…

I’m negative again…it does make me nervous to have any possible symptom (stuffed up nose? sore throat?), so this is how I feel better about it. Stick a swab up my nose once a week.

Meanwhile, Texas politicians are idiots, so is the Supreme Court, I have incredible sympathy for Afghanistan, did I mention how stupid Texas is? Not all Texans, I know. Ida and Henri, sheesh, some people, an awful lot of them, really need help. This as California’s fires started well before the actual fire season.

Maybe there are just a lot of stupid people out there who believe they have the right to govern women’s bodies, even though we can’t do the same to them. I’m angry. I’m pissed off. I would just like to say that I called this 10+ years ago and got told it wouldn’t happen. My ass it wouldn’t. Feel like you’re losing control of the country? SLAM SOME GROUP INTO THE GROUND. That’s what we do. Fight back, y’all. Give money if you can. Yell loud and lots. Those rich white ladies won’t suffer over this idiotic law…it’s the ones who can’t afford to suffer any more than they already do. Yell louder.

Seriously, if you don’t don’t own a uterus, don’t tell people what to do with it. And if you do own one? You get to control YOUR OWN and nobody else’s. Because if y’all can own that, if you can pass laws about that, then it’s about time we took ownership of some dicks out there, and I can tell you, it’s gonna be ugly. You’re not making babies? You certainly don’t need sperm (vasectomies for all men over…um…I’ll give you age 50…at that age, the DNA is getting damaged and you shouldn’t be making babies anyway). And if you use that dick incorrectly? Like raping someone? Well you’ve proven you don’t know how to use it, so we’ll just take it away…starting with some rich old white boys.

Yeah. I’m angry. God damn it. We’ve done this already, before I even was old enough to understand it. Why the fuck do we have to go over all this again with you folks? Do you not listen?

I guess the next quilt is drawing itself again. I’ll let you know when it’s out.

Forming in My Head…

Is there an easy way to ship a tennis racket? Inquiring minds want to know. I need a box. I totally forgot about needing to ship this thing, because on Saturday, I looked at the calendar list in the morning and then refused to look at it again until Sunday. Maybe not the most mature thing in the world, but I was tired of the to-do list and just wanted to iron the new quilt together…so I did…for about 4 hours. I did other stuff too, but this was Saturday’s start…

Notice the top of the drawing over the chair? There’s a cat under there…

She wasn’t thrilled about the paper and kept batting at it. I did a little more after that…

The appearance of part of a snake. It is kind of a pain. I’m still not sure the body in the ground is showing up yet, but if it doesn’t, I’ll make it with outlining and whatever else it needs. I didn’t want it to be obvious, so I guess that’s a good thing.

I got a little ironing in last night…

I’ve got about 5 1/2 hours in and almost 300 pieces ironed down (just short of that). I was going to do more last night and got off track with yet another student email telling me they’d be out for 10 days because of a positive COVID exposure. Sheesh. I can’t keep track of all of them. I got tested on Friday; still don’t have results.

Saturday did include my annual boob squeeze (all is well on that front) and an outdoor quilt guild meeting, where I cut out all the pieces for my Patreon reward…

And saw a Gloria Muriel mural on the way home…

Sunday was mostly setting up school stuff, including the gradebook, and then grading things. I haven’t gotten the routine down yet. I need to grade more things at school. I left some to do this week, plus inputting grades. It was just looking and feeling overwhelming, so I banged some of them out.

Saturday night, we dropped a bunch of pieces for the upcoming show that opens Thursday, and then went out to dinner, and I got to draw for once.

I have a big drawing forming in my head but haven’t found the time to draw it. This week? Maybe.

I did see the Man play in his band on Friday night…drove out to the Hotel Del after dinner for his second set.

It was a private event, ticketed, so I stood on the public path behind them and watched. He’s enjoying being back with the band and has four events in September, none of which I can (or will) go to. The Music Box is requiring vaccination cards or a negative COVID test in the last three days, but it still packs them in like sardines, so that’s a no for me. Another one, I could stand out in the parking lot, but it’s not really a friendly lot. So I think that’s a no as well for me. Too bad. I miss that.

Meanwhile, the Man is still doing training hikes. He left last night for the Lagunas, camped out, and is hiking today and tomorrow.

Definitely happy to be out there. And it looks beautiful.

OK, well hopefully I will figure out all the kids who are out today, all the kids who are transferring to the other team (they tested out of ELD, which is awesome), and the two new kids, no three! I’m getting today. Plus a 2-hour staff meeting where I will stay masked. And then maybe some exercise, because I haven’t done that for days, except for Pilates, and then some art. All those would be good things.

Nice of You to Show Up…

Hey Friday. Nice of you to show up. Appreciate it. I’m back to that world where I look forward to maybe sleeping in on Saturday morning (dependent on neighbor noise and animal incursions). I do already have stuff to grade. Ugh. How did that happen? Oh yeah. My own fault. I’m still trying to get my head around this crazy schedule we have. Mondays and Fridays are normally all the classes, but Monday is shorter. Tuesday through Thursday rotate through blocks of four classes a day, so some days I will have four different things I’m teaching and some days, I will only have two. Today I have three different classes and no prep period (because today is not a normal Friday because we started on Tuesday, don’t even ask, I honestly have a headache about that), so that sounds exhausting. I needed to pee after two classes (they’re LONG) yesterday…three in a row today might be an issue. Certainly, having art at the end of the day with 6th graders is difficult…that’s three days a week. I’m just tired from science teaching and then have to switch gears, from science brain to art brain. Art brain is like, what? I’m tired. Leave me alone.

But it’s nice being back in person (when I don’t think too hard about COVID exposure)…because we can do the things!

Ah science and art in person. What a concept.

Prepping for art is different too…it’s hard to know what they can do in person because I taught it all online last year. So lots of decisionmaking going on in my poor tired brain.

That said, the first week back is almost in the books, and (knock on wood) no one has been sent home yet. It’s a miracle, considering the number of kids who can’t keep a mask over their noses or mouths…

Artmaking has been OK this week, despite the tiredness. My goal is an hour a night, and last night, I managed two plus (because I was in a Zoom meeting for part of it). I’m still cutting things out…this is Wednesday, with Simba’s help…

I also did some embroidery on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…still just getting everything attached.

My plan is some decorative embroidery in the letters, but I need to do a stethoscope too. Need to mark that this weekend.

Last night, I had a Zoom quilt meeting and cut out the Wonder Under for the one Patreon reward I have left.

So I can iron that to fabric this weekend. And then I cut a bunch…

Both on Zoom and later…

The middle box is getting emptier; the bottom box is getting more full. I watched some news…still trying to get my head around Afghanistan. I feel like I’ve spent 20 years trying to get my head around the Taliban and people like it. I have classrooms full of kids who fled regimes like that. I’m OK with that…they’re hopefully better off here, although sometimes I wonder.

Kitten shows a side view…

Yeah, there’s still a lot of pieces in that box. It probably won’t get done tonight…but hopefully this weekend, I’ll get them cut and sorted, and be ready to iron together next week…more standing after all day of standing. Well, it’s better than too much sitting, I’ll tell you that. Ironically, I still need more exercise at the end of the day; maybe today will be a walk. Tomorrow will definitely be a hike. Plus art. Plus grading. Plus IDK exactly what I’m teaching next week for art. I should figure that out. Plus I have a million posts to put together for classes…hopefully can get those done in class today. I’d like to keep weekends clear of work. I know it won’t happen, but I’m trying. Ha!

OK, off to work. Mornings are hard, y’all.

I Should Cut More Stuff Out…

Today, I gird my loins and conquer my classroom, which is an incredible disaster. I also figure out what the hell I’m doing tomorrow in class and make sure I have all the shit to do that. I might even sleep before tomorrow…certainly, hopefully, more than last night. I have never been so unprepared…wait, no, the year I started two weeks in because we were waiting for a background check and they wouldn’t even let me on campus…that year was worse. It’ll be fine. I’ll remember how to do this in person. Last year will stop clouding my brain. It’s PTSD over the workload more than anything. Ugh.

So I’m at school today until it’s done…or I collapse from exhaustion. Which might be by 9:30 AM. That’s what tea is for, yeah?

I finally organized all the fabrics for the current quilt. This is my documentation of the 185 fabrics I used…

Lots of earthy stuff.

I started cutting out Thursday night…continued on Friday…

Friday was fairly exhausting. Then Saturday, the neighbors have a wall being built, so there was jackhammering and Mexican polka. I had a headache most of the day, unfortunately. Tried to do some schoolwork and just couldn’t get my head around it (see distractions above) and ended up cutting out pieces for hours…

Seriously, like 5 hours of bingewatching and cutting.

I also drew a Patreon reward…

Numbered it…

I was trying to make it less complicated than last year’s…failed. Oh well.

And then I traced it on Wonder Under…

And then kept cutting out pieces on the other quilt. I’ll cut these out sometime this week and get going on that.

Then last night, I kept cutting.

I’ve been cutting trees for days. Seriously.

I finally got to some different stuff late last night. I might be halfway? I might not. It’s just hard to tell. I’m sure you’re looking at these and going, yeah, can’t see it. It’s not until I see the bottom of the box peeking out that I think I’m almost done…and I can’t see that yet. That’s about 10 1/2 hours of cutting there.

But it’s progress.

I also washed the dyed stuff out. I like the backgrounds, but I’m not sure what I will do with them.

Because I don’t want to cover any of it up.

Maybe I will have to draw something specifically for it. To fit into the background.

I think I missed one…there should be four, I think. Ah yes, my favorite.

The best thing in the world is ironing these and seeing all the interesting little bits of dye overlap. Anyway. We’ll see what happens next with these. I also did socks…

I need to clean out my sock drawer so they have room to breathe in there. I’m a bit of a sock whore. Ironic since I don’t wear even shoes for a good chunk of my existence. Anyway. I have socks.

I finally photographed all the January and February Homegrown blocks too…

Embroidery that keeps me sane in stupid meetings or on nights when I can’t deal with anything else.

Gophers killed one of my milkweed plants and I found this little guy wandering around on the dead one, so I moved it to the living one.

I have a bunch of baby milkweed plants that I’ve been trying to grow in a shady space, away from the bunnies. They won’t be ready for this caterpillar though. I hope there’s enough food.

I need this in a poster.

It’s been hot.

Petting animals is helpful for back-to-school anxiety…

We got up early Saturday and walked before it got hot…so many sidewalks were marked up.

Some sort of abstract art.

So many of the apps we use for school are not up and running yet. Ironic.

I have to be up and running, but with none of the things.

This is accurate.

Seriously accurate. OK. I have to go to school. I was going to meet with my principal in person and I was debating masks. He’s vaccinated but he has small children. So many decisions to be made. I might just stay masked all year. But now his kid’s class is quarantined (yeah, that shit is still happening), so we are doing it on Zoom. Then get keys to the art room (and supplies!) and meet with the art teacher. Attack my room with some sort of plan. Make lists. Eat lunch. Counseling. That’s necessary. More room attacking, more lists, possible shopping post school for the shit I don’t have. Probably not sleep well another night. I should put a walk or trip to the gym in there somewhere. Then tomorrow is the first day with kids. Oh yeah, I should cut more stuff out. Always.

Fully Aware

OK. Well. It’s possible that I need to move away from all the people. One neighbor is Day 5 into a 2-day (yes you read that right) project to install a chain-link fence between us. It’s noisy, it’s ugly, I hate it. Ugh. The neighbor on the other side started a jackhammering project Saturday morning that gave me a monster headache, no warning. At least I had warning on the fence job, even if it’s gone on forever. Jackhammer neighbor doesn’t ever realize the noise pollution he creates, I think, until after he hears me ranting through the house at the top of my lungs (yes, I do that. Yes, the men who live with me wish I wouldn’t. It makes me feel better though.). He emailed 12 hours after it happened to tell me about it and how it wouldn’t continue on Sunday (it did). As a teacher, I kind of think of the last weekend before school starts as this sacrosanct time. No noise, just sleeping in and relaxing. The last weekend before I don’t have to put in 4 hours of work on Sunday every week (or last year, 8 hours). Then the neighbor behind us bought two jacaranda trees. I love jacarandas. They’re purple…what’s not to love? Except they seem to be planting it right next to our fence. So that jacaranda will be about 20 feet over my fenceline and dropping shit everywhere in a period of time. Sure, I might be dead by the time that happens. I just think they’re idiots not to consider a tree’s canopy when planting it.

So yeah. Twenty or thirty acres should do it for me. Not sure where or how I would afford it, but no more smells of spray paint, no more generator sounds, no more screaming at the kids or even just screaming kids. Just quiet and nature and yeah.

Yes, I know I start school in 4 days and quiet and nature will not be happening there either. Fully aware. I miss my old quiet neighbors…they had their quirks, but they were less stupid.

I’m in a great mood to start school by the way. The district has decided that gamifying our professional development is something we all need. I’m not sure how many screenshots I’ll need to do to prove I already did the things, or if I really have to prove I know how to use all the Googles (I do…it’s been years now). They say it provides CHOICE, but I don’t see a whole lot of that going on. Choice from their very elementary, and limited, scope of things. Being a middle-school science teacher in the middle of an elementary district is annoying when it comes to that…so much of what they do and say is irrelevant to what I need or do or see.

That said, we’re planning today and I’m getting a bunch of stuff out of the house and into my classroom. I am looking forward to being in a classroom again, although yes, the thought of filling it with the great unvaxxed makes me more than a little anxious. But hands-on is better than Zoom for me AND this crew, so that will be a good thing. And having my team around me, even if I barely see them and can’t plan with most of them…also good.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the ironing done on this current quilt.

Deer.

Seriously a ton of browns in this thing…

The to-be-cut pile grows…

So sometimes weird shit happens. I do have another piece of Wonder Under that matches the drawing with 316 on it.

I’m just going to hold onto this until it makes sense, and if it never does, I will throw it out.

I think this is the tree…

Yeah, with fungus and bear claw marks.

I said I was going to bed before I cut out the green trees on Friday night, I think? And then I did it anyway.

The bottom row is the stuff in the figure; the top is all the ‘real’ stuff. So confusing.

More greens. Check out the dog’s feet and mine.

Now there’s a cat in that photo. I did more ironing…hard to say what here.

Then last night, I laid out all the green parts of the mountains. All marked out in my head. Could be a mistake.

But I got all that ironed too. So much for early to bed, early to rise.

I need to do all the rocks in the mountains now. This is chaos. I think I’m in the 700s but there’s a lot left to do, and the electrician comes tomorrow, so I need to move a bunch of stuff this afternoon/evening so he has access to the attic. Ugh. So I’m not finishing the ironing before I have to do that, unfortunately. I have at least 250 pieces left. We’ll see, but it doesn’t feel promising. I’ll get the ironing done, though, probably before I have to go back to school. That’s the plan anyway.

I’m also working on embroidery for a Social Justice Sewing Academy piece…

Just blanket stitching letters down first before embellishment. Need to make sure they will stay down.

Saturday included two meetings, one on Zoom and one in person. The one in person was to see a future exhibition space before entering…this is a piece by Anne Mudge. Fun.

Reminds me of pepper trees. Or atoms.

After that, we hiked again, only a little over 4 miles, but an extension of a trail we do often into an area we never have gone.

So that was cool.

The man is still training. Progress.

Yeah, this guy. That’s a female pole dancer.

The driver was older. I don’t know how you are in a relationship with anyone with that on your car, but maybe that’s the point.

Oh yeah! Happy birthday to the girlchild, who is 24 (holy crap) and was a smart woman and took the day off work.

I’m proud of her. Also love her. Miss her. All the things.

Anyway. I have ironing to do and school stuff and aack I need to eat lunch before counseling starts and then it’s go go go for probably 10 months straight. Art often. Art always.

Cat Interference…

Woke up early, not enough sleep, not enough caffeine, did the Quilt National talk, forgot my headphones keep the sound from showing up from my video, oh well, answered questions…

Photo stolen from the QN Instagram. I’ve actually watched all but one of these. I find them fascinating. You can see all of them (they haven’t uploaded this morning’s yet) and all the artist videos for this year on the Dairy Barn YouTube channel. Also, if you want to see my studio tour with sound (because that was missing this morning), you can see it here.

I know. As a teacher, I should remember how this shit works, but my brain was not awake. So there.

I spent the time cutting out Wonder Under, because I find it easier to listen carefully when I am doing something with my hands…

Which, yes, means I finished tracing last night.

So many cat interactions on this…

It took quite a long time to trace, longer than normal.

More complicated pieces than normal? Maybe. Also maybe that I had to think extra hard about overlaps.

I could just blame the cats. They were in the way.

18 hours and about 6 yards. Now I just need to cut them all out.

Yesterday, the man and I did a little driving reconnaissance for some possible training hikes.

Water is an issue. But he has more physical therapy in store and hopefully will be back on the trail in a few weeks or so.

This lizard…I think he’s the one I follow up the steps sometimes.

He jumps up the steps in front of me like he’s showing me the way.

Anyway. The day is half over, because of the talk and the car had to go in and a bunch of school stuff happened (that gave me a headache) and then lunch and I had to record a video for another art group I’m in and it only took about 17 tries to get the words right. I’m tired because I got up too early, but will be walking later. And cutting out lots of Wonder Under. And hopefully crossing some stuff off the to-do list because it’s insanely long at the moment. Stupid long. Maybe nap. Nap sounds nice. I tried it yesterday but cats interfered. Ugh. Ah well. Whatever happens, art will be involved.

Self-Care…

I had a wondrous massage this morning. I feel like the next time my school district says anything about self-care, I’m sending them a bill for massage. I mean, y’all need to put your money where your mouth is. You want me to be more chill and relaxed about the crazy shit y’all throwing at me? Give me a massage every week. We might be able to talk after that. Also, less crazy shit. That would be good. Yes, the school nightmares have begun. I am trying to hold them off until next week, but I need to do a related Zoom today or tomorrow, and there are tons of questions already, so that doesn’t help. I did order all my folders for the year (or at least the first half of the year), so that’s done…plus pens. What teacher doesn’t like pens? Especially fun-colored pens. Yo, district! Buy us nice pens. And make them fun, not just the damn district logo. And those massages. I’m not kidding about those.

Yeah. It’s too bad the people in charge don’t listen to us flunkies.

In preparation for school fucking up my art life again, I’m trying to get this quilt into a good place. Whatever that means. I’ve been tracing every night. It’s harder during daytime…hot…and I am more tired during the day strangely.

They’re LED lights in the light table, luckily, so they don’t put out any extra heat, hallelujah. I bought LEDs for my office/studio, but still need to install them. I hate installing things. Kitten is not really helping here…with tracing or installing.

I’m almost to the 700s, so about 350 pieces to go. Not bad. I’m hoping to be done tracing by the weekend. I’m up into the mountains right now…the trees were really complicated and difficult to trace. I’ve found about 6 pieces I didn’t number so far. I just add ‘a’ to the number if I need to number new ones.

This part is pretty boring to watch or read about, but it’s really nice and meditative for me. I put some show on that I don’t really need to watch and just stand and trace for a couple of hours.

Kitten, as you can see, is helpful wherever I am.

Maybe I should dust my keyboard. She puts her head on the right side, so it’s not dusty there.

I’ve been doing a bunch of computer work lately…for two art groups that have regular posts, one daily on Instagram, which I was able to schedule out until mid-August, and one weekly on Facebook, which is dependent on people sending me info. I check it once a week, and usually it’s an easy setup using Business Suite, but these two were complicated. Ah humans. You complicate things. Plus I’m making a video and a slide presentation for my Quilt National talk this Friday. Taking more time than it should…as always.

I am trying to get back on a regular exercise schedule. The last few weeks have been wonky with travel and visiting folks, but yesterday, I did my normal 3.6-mile neighborhood walk.

There’s always something new to look at…

Mountains in the distance. Yeah, it’s warm here, but not as warm as it will be in a month. Get the hikes in before it’s awful. Gym, pilates, hike, repeat.

The man finally has gotten in to physical therapy and it sounds positive. He’s hoping to get back on the trail in the near future, so life will all be up in the air again, as usual, honestly. School starts in a couple weeks, man will be on trail, blah blah blah. You can see how my art is the constant calm through all of this. It’s night time? What stage of the process are you on? Go do some of it. Spend an hour tracing or cutting or ironing or quilting. It’s a good thing. It gives me a good end to any kind of day (unless the machine is being a big weenie). No I don’t have my machine back…I’m borrowing my mom’s to fix the girlchild’s clothes…I don’t think I can quilt with it. Let’s hope I have mine back before that’s an issue.

OK. Today is more than half over…I’m going to work some more on the stuff for Quilt National, then trace, then pilates, then trace some more. Looking forward to it.