Really Hard Dirt

I meant to write this in the morning, before school, but I worked instead. I thought about writing it in the afternoon, but I had to deliver art supplies to students who can’t leave their homes. I got home after that and had a little time before gaming tonight, but instead of writing this, I talked to my mom about my dad coming home in the next few weeks, which is good news, but a little frightening as well. I’m going to go see him this weekend; I get to talk to him through a window. I could go now, but it’s close to midnight and if I know my dad, he’s asleep. Hopefully. I might go to bed before I ever finish writing this. I was up late last night and didn’t sleep well; I had a really low blood sugar drop, no reason that we could see, and it really messed up my nighttime routine. You know, sleep and all. It took a while to come back up, and then I woke up a few times at night to check it. It’s happened once before, about a year ago, and the phone nurse just keeps asking me if I’m sick and did I eat. Well yeah, I did eat and no, I’m not sick. So I just took my insulin tonight and I’m kinda watching the clock and giving it some time to make sure everything is OK tonight. Hopefully. Because I need the sleep. And I need some time this weekend to get some work done, because I didn’t get any done tonight, art or otherwise. Good thing it’s a 3-day weekend.

Wednesday night, I finished the stitchdown on the current quilt…

It took just under 5 hours to do that…not bad…

I wasn’t sure I’d get her sandwiched and pinbasted last night…it was a long day, and it meant mopping the floor first, but I pulled it off…

Sometimes I have energy and I do shit.

It’s not actually a huge quilt…just has a lot of pieces in it for its size. I should be able to start quilting this weekend; we’ll see how that goes, because Craft Napa started on Wednesday. I was able to hang out in the Welcome group for about 50 minutes, until I had to go to a union meeting. I spent most of Wednesday’s prep period, 5th period while kids were working, the Craft Napa meeting, and the union meeting sorting art supplies for my 72 online art students.

I actually had a fairly impressive stash of colored paper. Anyway, I delivered those envelopes Wednesday night around 8 PM, and then today, hand delivered a few of them. In general, I make them go get them from school. As always, some kid three weeks from now will tell me they didn’t even know about this and it’s not their fault they couldn’t do the project. Sigh. I put a lot of time into my classes. Sometimes I don’t want to, but I really don’t know how to half-ass it. Although I lost my mind on Wednesday when they pushed one of my classes to 40 kids. Apparently that is my line: 40 kids in a class. They fixed it (the kid really was supposed to go to another teacher), but I’m still annoyed with myself that my mindset for the 2nd half of the year went out the window in just three days. That said, they flipped about 5 kids from hybrid to distance and back, and then gave me three additional students, so I suspect my crazy was somewhat justified.

Anyway, I have one Craft Napa class on Sunday and another next Saturday, plus the wine tasting tomorrow night, although after the blood sugar thing last night, I’m cautious about that. No, I wasn’t drinking either last night…you sound like the nurse. No no no no no. I wasn’t doing any of those things. Sigh. Stupid body. I hate when you feel like you can’t trust your body. It sucks. Anyway, knock on wood that it was a one-off. Again. The second time.

I’m still chugging away on this…

I might find the pattern designer at some point and post it with this. I might. I’m using stash. One of the designers I follow was asking if people preferred kits or PDF patterns, and it’s not that I don’t like kits, they’re easy, but I have all the floss in the world (I say that, but I had to buy 3 skeins for this one because they were using all the new colors) and besides, I have a dog who eats patterns, and if it was a kit, I would have to buy another one to get the pattern, unless the designer was really nice (dude, I would totally send pictures), but with a PDF file, you can just print another one.

Kitten agrees.

No art tonight. No energy either. I do however have excited sourdough starter.

Can’t argue with that. I’m making sourdough focaccia tomorrow. Or Sunday. Hard to say. I never get the timing right.

I’m teaching radial zendoodles for warmup this week.

These are the practice ones, which all look like hydras. Really, I’m teaching kids how to fold carefully, because that seems to be the bigger issue.

We got this freebie cat tent when the kittens came over a year ago. Nova would sleep on it. Luna would kamikaze all over it, but this is the first time anyone (Kitten) has slept in it.

We planted the Christmas tree…Calli for size.

Of course, that makes me sad, because in a year, when I check the size again, odds are Calli won’t be around. But she’s cute. I don’t know why I say “we” planted the tree. I whacked the bottom with the shovel to break up the roots and helped shove dirt into the hole, but the boychild did the rest, including digging a hole in rock. Or really hard dirt. Maybe really hard dirt is just rock.

OK, I’m feeling OK. It’s 45 minutes since the insulin. I’m going to test my blood and crawl into bed, hopefully for better sleep than last night. Wish me luck. Then do some exercise this weekend, hang out with some quilt artists, do some schoolwork, quilt a little, see my dad through a window, and hope the body and brain feel better at the end of it.

I Don’t Need a Huge Piece of It

Wow. So May is a long month, but it has whipped by, leaving me in the dust. I close the gradebook for the last time this school year next Friday. Holy crap. That means I have to finish grading stuff. And a bunch of other things need to happen. Like magically. I had hoped to get a lot of grading done yesterday while the kids worked on vocab, but there was a lot of behavior stuff going on. So I didn’t get much done, unfortunately. I finished one class of the big assignment by staying a little bit after work, before going to my friend’s retirement party. And then, I brought one class home with me. I only have two left. But they have to be done by Monday. And this weekend is a mess. So there’s that. OK. Well. I’m going to have to figure it out. I’m not quite at the point where I can see a light at the end of the grading tunnel. Ah the sweet respite of summer, where no lesson planning or grading has to happen every damn night.

I was supposed to go to the gym last night, but by the time I got home from the party, I was exhausted. Not too exhausted, though…because I pinbasted the quilt.

The backing is this fabric I’ve had for years and never used…

It’s way too busy to be a background, but it was just too amazing not to buy. Plus it was on sale. But I’m trying to use stuff up. If I have a small piece of it in my stash, I can use it for images…I don’t need a huge piece of it.

I think that’s my life lesson for the day. True for cake and wealth and responsibility. Responsibility especially right now. I’m wondering if either of the people I live with will realize the fridge is dirty and even just wipe off the shelf. Or is that just me. Sure, it’s my fridge. It’s my house. But we all live here. And that doesn’t even touch on school stuff. Sigh. There’s been a lot of this lately…

This is from the Noom app. Some of the articles are good. And it’s not that I didn’t know this. Trust me. I know this. I suck at it, but I know it. As my friend Julie tells me, Be Brave. And I also think because I am older and (maybe) wiser that I just don’t give a fuck about some things any more. I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people who are teachers and don’t get kids. Or people on teams who don’t pull their weight or work cooperatively with others. I’m a lone wolf at a lot of things, but I do know the power of teaming when working this job on so many fronts, and it’s been a joy to have some really good team members in the last few years. I think I pull my weight. I could probably be nicer about it. Maybe.

On that note, my quilter friend of (holy crap) 29 years is moving to Portland in a few weeks for good. We’re going to attempt online meetings, but it’s not the same. So I reached out to SAQA to see what’s going on with meetings locally. I need to branch out a bit. I’m hoping there’s meetings that are not just during the work day. In a city/region this full of people, there have to be like-minded artists who just want to hang out once a month and stitch. Hopefully. This as I listen to the girlchild, who is in the Boston area jobhunting and currently subletting in a house where no one is living at the moment, plus all her friends have disappeared for the summer (or forever) and she has nothing to do but clean and run errands…which will eventually get expensive. She’s like me…needs to have shit to do…and NOT like me…in that she is an extrovert and gets energy from her interactions with people. So hopefully all that will get worked out soon.

Me? I need to go teach pregnancy today, do a lot of other things, go to a friend’s opening, and then figure out whether I can start quilting tonight. This thing is going to quilt quickly, but I actually need time to DO it for that to happen. And the next week is a mess. I want it done by next weekend, if I can pull it off. We’ll see. At least it’s Friday again. I’m totally in survival mode.

You Understand They’ve Got a Plan for Us*

I’m realizing this week that I’m not coming home and doing schoolwork. I’m not grading assignments. I’m not being a responsible teacher person. I’m behind and need to get caught up, but I’m not doing it. I will. But this project is driving me. I need it done and out of my head and at the photographer’s so I don’t have to think about it, see it, feel it any more. Plus I’m going a little bonkers because my co-conspirator in furry beast maintenance is not here this week and said furry beasts are being more than a bit demanding.

So yesterday I went to the gym. That was good. I read. I exercised. I zoned out in exercise brain. It’s a good thing.

And then I came home, peed the dogs (which currently requires a couple of leashes and a flashlight due to coyote incursions and massive spider webs), then started part of dinner, showered, came out and checked the timer on the food (16 minutes) and cleaned the entryway floor for later artistic shenanigans. It might be the only way that floor gets cleaned regularly, honestly, because it’s never high on my list. Finally food was ready and I ate and read some more. I do love to read.

Then I had no choice but to get in here and get this thing sandwiched. Huge as it is, this was gonna be a pain.

Iron backing. Trim selvages. Cut in half. Sew halves together. Iron some more. Trim excess off.

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Lay it upside down on the now-clean entryway floor (barely fits). Tape it down as flat as possible (replacement floor in here should be tile…but bigger tiles and less obvious grout).

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Try to figure out how much batting to cut by laying the top out on the chunk of batting I found over the weekend. Cut batting a bit larger than the top.

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See seriously sleeping dog.

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Lay batting out. Iron quilt top and lay it out on top. Try to get it straight. Wish I cut the backing a bit larger to make that easier. Duh.

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Stare at it for a bit. Realize it’s after 11 PM and you will need to finish pinning before you can go to bed. Accidentally spill all the pins onto the quilt. Not what you meant to do.

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Start pinbasting. Look at this view. Disturbing.

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That dog. Seriously.

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Then this one…he’s never seen me do this before. All the cats have an interesting relationship with my quilts. This one wouldn’t listen when I told him to get off.

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The cats never do listen.

This one has learned to stand at the edge and woof at me. Wait. That’s not a cat. And you saw the other dog. Totally ignores me.

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Pinbasted by midnight. Ready for quilting. Getting close to the end. Closer anyway. I don’t kid myself…quilting and binding this sucker is going to take a while. No shortcuts on that part.

I head for bed. Kitten. You need to move.

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I’m tired this morning. And none of the grading got done. Oh well. I worked for 3 hours last night on that quilt. Sometimes that amazes me. I worked all day in the classroom, went to a meeting after school, the gym for almost 2 hours, and then 3 hours of artmaking. I really wanted to sit and watch some light TV and draw with a glass of wine last night after all that kneeling and crawling around on the floor, but then I looked at the clock and it was almost midnight…so I went to bed anyway. Probably the smarter thing to do, but I still want that other time. Maybe tonight? Or not. That really is the part of the balance I haven’t been able to slot in. Teachers. Silly teachers. Always talking about balance and never achieving it. Sigh.

*Big Data, Dangerous