More Wine and Goldfish…

Late-night ironing assists: wine and goldfish. The cheddar cheese kind, not the swimming kind. Hey, Mr. Domestic is doing a fundraiser right now on Instagram, ends today though (hey, it’s been a busy week for me…I’m slow. IDK what even happened to this week.). But this thing…

this shirt, you can buy this at any time and he donates all proceeds to one of the anti-racist charities listed here. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Domestic until some brouhaha (oh my, so many of those online right now) over a quilt store I’d never heard of not saying they were anti-racist…or delaying saying that. In case that’s an issue, I am anti-racist. I am a semi-old white lady (ask my neighbor how old he thinks I am as I scramble up his slope on a rope) who has white privilege (but can’t spell that word to save my life without help from a dictionary) and grew up in a nice mostly white town with all the privileges of good schools and safe streets and all that. I teach mostly immigrants and BIPOC, always have, so my understanding of my own racist background has grown over the years. But we are always learning, always finding better ways of dealing with our own understanding. So I continue to read and consider my own artwork in the realm of the larger world of racism and sexism and all that stuff. We are not doing it right if we aren’t continuing to listen and learn.

A shirt doesn’t solve many problems…but it could start a useful conversation and puts money somewhere it might help. I just sent my address info in again to Social Justice Sewing Academy to embroider some blocks. I did that a while ago…but with summer break coming up and no major embroidery that I HAVE to do this summer, I can handle this again.

I am in this weird head space with school. The last academic assignments were today, but grades were due Wednesday. I have things I have to do next week for school, some even in person (masked and 6 feet apart), but the work part is done…until summer, when they start throwing shit at us again. I spent hours in Zoom meetings yesterday for school stuff, most of it frustrating and not ideal, but that will be at least the next year. I’m worried about all of it, but don’t know the solution. I can’t afford to quit or retire, so work I shall, in as safe a manner as I can. The end of the school year is always hard on my brain…the stress of finishing and then having a summer to-do list but not being able to mentally handle any of it. It’s hard to explain to non-teachers. Especially when facing the next school year, which is destined to be different than anything we’ve ever done. It will be hard and different and probably sad, and hopefully not heart-breaking. I am not good with uncertain futures. I like to know what’s coming. Here was our team at the beginning of the school year…

We’re losing two of these teachers and our next photo next week will be social distanced…but I’ll post that. Because a good team is a lifesaver, and this group has made this bearable. Hopefully this summer will allow us to get some rest for next year…because it will be hard.

So I’ve been ironing this quilt together, because that’s something I can control.

I got her face ironed down…

This is the bottom right corner with a gravestone to Covid…I did that while on a stitching Zoom…

This thing is huge. Have I mentioned how huge it is? I had all these background pieces lying around, so I just ironed them together for now, and I’ll combine them with Figure 3 when I get to her…

With the gravestone…she’s in the 700s, I think, and I’m only in the 200s at the moment. So I put those sections aside, and started ironing Figure 2…

She’s the largest figure and uses the mid-200s through the mid-700s, I think. Then I laid out the 300s, ready for tonight or this afternoon or whatever.

See? Wine. Goldfish were already eaten. So the trash is still lying around just in case, the top right box is the pieces I’ve ironed together already on the left and right of the large figure, ready to get ironed to her when she’s done. I have to cover all the laid-out pieces so cats won’t lie on them.

More to come on that this weekend. Hopefully.

Stressful meetings call for distractions…this is the science curriculum adoption meeting, where we realized we had no choices…

Ah well…so be it. I kept doing this during the school board meeting with all their pomposity and stupidity.

Yeah, it’s a pattern. I couldn’t handle decisions. Here’s the final resolution for next year from the school board…

Yup. There we are.

Dots! Almost done? Well…two weeks left at least. The flower to the right of the green spool.

Pretty easy to do…

Mostly covered the dot…

That was Wednesday night…here’s Thursday…the sand dollar above the blue spool.

This was actually super fast…

I’ve been stealing those gray threads from another Spargo BOM…I might run out? Maybe? Hard to say.

What else? The old lady likes to fetch (but not very far) pine cones out of the pool. This one is too far. she wants me to move it closer.

The little boy does not like the pool or water at all.

The old lady always wants more than she should actually have…she gets tired.

Cats…don’t like heat…

Neither do dogs…

This fly died after getting stuck in the pool fence…the coloring is fascinating.

I drew the other night as well…

A protest reaction. Hard to know how to process things right now, so I’ll just draw until I can make sense of it all.

View of smoke from a local fire. I think it’s under control today, but it wasn’t yesterday.

Winds don’t help with that. They’ve mostly died down today. Plus it’s much cooler.

My neighbors are digging a pool hole. It’s loud and annoying. Sigh. I understand though. It’s hot here. Of course you want a pool.

I just wish I could be at school so I wouldn’t have to listen to it.

And here’s the pens I’ve been using to keep track of kids’ grades since we went out. Green is science, red is computers/PE, blue is math, purple is Advisory, orange is history, pink is English and pencil is you did it, but you’re not proficient (less than 70%).

Have I mentioned that I’m a visual learner? Yeah. You know what’s easier? Only teaching the subject you’re credentialed and trained in. Although I suspect this multi-tasking shit will continue into next year as well. Sigh.

I’m doing a stitch-along. I think. Maybe. It involves templates. It’s not how I usually roll. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve done this before…just not recently.

OK, it’s the middle of the day and I have one more class and something else I said I’d do and the pool digging is driving me nuts (it’ll be at least another day, if not more, then all the construction crap). And I burned my thumb while toasting frozen naan. Of course. That’s probably something I’ve never written before. Artmaking this weekend. A minor amount of school stuff. Getting ready to replace part of my fence. Thinking about art entries. Reading my book because book club is next week. More wine and goldfish. Definitely.

A Matter of Voice…

Hello America. Protests abound, and rightfully so. Those taking advantage of that to be assholes, sigh. Stop it. Here in San Diego, I see many posts for protests that are then denounced as being organized by police sympathizers and white supremacists. We are tired of being inside, of being trapped by a viral enemy that we barely know how to fight. It’s true that America didn’t like the peaceful protest of taking a knee…or not saying the pledge of allegiance (I never liked that thing)…so this seems over the top, but it’s not. A black man was killed by four police officers. We need a protest that sticks and forces change. Of course, we don’t want more to die. But we need change.

As one person in all of this, I decide what next, where do I put a small amount of money, because that’s what I have…what do I bring up in my Zoom class…it’s so hard to have a discussion online that I would totally have in a classroom, giving all my students emotional support in person. We did have a discussion of protests a few weeks ago, where we talked about author’s intent…calling protesters THUGS when they are not white Republicans with guns. Calling out how what we say colors what people think. Making them think about that. Again, hard to do without the back and forth of class discussions. My Zoom kids are quiet and sometimes respond, but mostly I wonder if they are even listening. Sometimes they type and I read it out and answer. It’s not what I’m used to, but I will decide by Monday what to say and how to say it, how to talk when they won’t talk, and some will only see it online and won’t be with me when they do. The majority of my students are in a group that is subjected to prejudice of one kind or another, whether because of race or color, or culture or religion. I’m the old white chick who stands in the middle of them and tells them how fucked up the actions and words of white people are. Sometimes in their eyes, I see I am the first white person who has called out my own race in front of them. OK. It’s about time. There should be more of that.

I also hope the protesters are staying safe from the virus. I worry that in two weeks, there will be worse consequences…and I blame those four cops for that as well. Although, these things were happening already…still…and getting them out and effecting change in the police departments, the unions and legal systems that protect them, the attitudes of some who think this is acceptable…so that is the positive play on all this. HERE IT IS. Now let’s fix it. Please. By the way, shut up, Mr. NotPresident. You’re not helping. You’re making it worse. I can’t understand how that angry little man’s heart does not just stop with all this chaos it is trying to make.

Deep breath. I had plans for today. They’re not gone…they’re just sort of messed up at the moment and I’m having a hard time focusing on them. Finishing this is first. Making an art mask is next. Wait, packing up and shipping my Patreon rewards is next. Getting my drawing cleaned up to post on Patreon. Also getting some posts prepped and maybe even done for one of my art groups. That’s all today. Also the current quilt.

I’m still cutting stuff…

A little at a time. Sometimes way too late. It’s quiet. It’s meditative. It’s not school.

This is after Thursday night (up way too late)…

This is after Friday night (too tired to stay up TOO late)…

I can see progress. It’s probably harder for you to see it. I’m cutting out backwards from how I ironed down. I know I’m working on the third figure right now…the angels are cut out and everything in the air…so not halfway. But progress. More tonight.

Dots…ever-present dots…the orange flower on blue next to the sheep.

This thing is getting full.

Less than a third left…

It’s a quiet moment (of 30 minutes to two hours) each night while I do these.

Last night is the blue dot between the sheep and the strawberry.

I had to pull out all my beads for that…

While we were gaming online too.

A little 3D pop on that. And since we were still gaming, and my friend Julie sent me a couple of light-colored dots because I wanted to do a COVID dot, I started that. Someone had objected to the cat, so they did a COVID-19 viral particle instead. So did Julie, adding sequins under the drizzle stitches. We both looked at the CDC photo of the virus and interpreted what we saw. First I had to add a dot to the 90…

And then embellished it…

Commemorating the shit we’re sitting in while stitching this.

The world is weird. I keep saying that. Except some things are the same…things that need to change.

Girlchild made donuts this week. I was craving donuts…

I’m glad she’s been able to try all these new things. Before the glaze…

The dough was very tasty…the glaze was decadent. Holy moley.

Yeah. I know she’s going home soon and we’ll be back to eating the lame-o crap we usually make. It’ll be fine! I’ll be able to make the frozen waffles and pancakes she makes. Yummy. I saved some of the recipes on Pinterest. We will survive.

I exercised almost not at all in the last three days. That has to change today. I might go to Crest…it’s wide trails and pretty safe. My succulent is flowering again!

I need more of these.

I moved this little guy because he was in the weeds, not on the milkweed.

That’s not food dude.

Kitten follows me…

She wishes I would stay in one place. She loves days like the last three when I was on a computer for just HOURS. My hands hurt, my wrists hurt. Bad seating arrangement.

Nova knows a good thing when she kneads it…

Pokey cat.

More late-night Kitten…

Look! It’s a normal pieced quilt that I made. What a concept.

Sigh. OK. A hike later, when it cools off a bit, although it’s pretty nice today. I don’t think I can get the man to go with me. Oh well. It’ll be me and my music. Before then, some art work tasks for a variety of things. Some lunch. I want to draw, but all this protest is in my head, and as a white person, I have a hard time commenting artistically on racism. It occasionally shows up, but it’s not something I feel like I have a voice for. I feel like people of color should have that voice, and then my job is to promote it, support it, and buy it when I can. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe there is a way to show how I feel, which is all my quilts are ever about, without taking over the conversation. But probably not. Anyway. Watching for change. Being a part of it when I know how. Dropping my voice into it when it makes sense to do so. When it’s not drowning out those who really should have and need their voices to be heard.

Your Ignorance Is Showing

It’s after midnight. I’m not gonna finish writing this tonight. But it’s in my head, and I straight-up know I won’t go to sleep until it’s out. Simply put, I’m in a mood…I’m pissed off at all the political crap that’s bombarding us on a regular basis. The stupid decisions that aren’t seeing the big picture, the world view. I’m irritated by having to deal with a president who is only barely more mature than the majority of my students. I want to bitch slap all the…well, shit, most of them are Republicans, so I’ll start there…who want to get rid of human rights and instead promote racist and sexist propaganda. Who think it’s OK to put people in charge who don’t understand science, whether it’s climate change or homosexuality, mostly I think because reality scares them. Who want to destroy the environment so they can make money. Dammit I remember Los Angeles in the 70s and not being able to take a deep breath. Who think China made up climate change. Who think the Department of Education is only for rich white people. We don’t need to educate poor people, right? What the hell? I keep thinking, “Your ignorance is showing.” Did I tell you my meditation app has an SOS setting? For when you need 2 minutes of meditative thought because a bunch of men are refusing to listen to an intelligent, educated, ELECTED woman read a letter about human rights…that men were allowed to read later. I’m boggled by that…absolutely boggled. I listened to a mom tonight almost in tears about her worries that her daughter’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan, for those with learning disabilities) would be scrapped by the incoming Education Secretary. Well yeah, because that shit is going by the wayside…along with a million educators’ jobs. And 8000+ EPA jobs. (Who are we making great again? The great unemployed masses?) And the dumbass ignorant rants from my state senator about immigration issues. And others who think a wall will stop the drug trade (wow. really?), let alone that Mexico will pay for it. Or those who think vouchers will be good…why? Because they’re rich white people. And that’s who vouchers benefit. If you don’t have money, your school choices are what you can walk to…they can’t just up and move to La Jolla. DeVos’ assertions about school ratings are so damn IGNORANT that you just want to invite her, as another teacher said, to come stay in my house, in my reality, come to my school and sit through a week, AT LEAST, of my classes. I’m not a shitty teacher because I teach in a Title 1 school…I’m in a Title 1 school because they need me there. Try, just try, to understand the social background of my students and realize that some of them are just glad to come somewhere that feels safe and has food on a regular basis.

And this doesn’t even touch what happens when the stupid decisions and dumbassery start a war. Because that’s looming.

I know for most, I am preaching to the choir. And many of you are feeling as torn apart and stressed by this as I am, and it’s not because I’m a fucking snowflake…it’s because idiots are damaging the world I live in…for me and for those I care for. So I will keep yelling until the pendulum swings back (fast please), because this is not acceptable. And the country I live in allows for protest…it was built on it. So if my rant offends you, so be it. This snowflake (I am so NOT a snowflake) doesn’t really care if you’re offended. I want to know WHY you’re offended, simply so I can probably say, again, “Your ignorance is showing.”

Meanwhile, protest art exhibits and concerts are proliferating, which I think is great. I love listening to the whiners, the ones who think we shouldn’t make MEAN art or PROTEST art because they had to suffer through the last president so why don’t we just shut up. Yeah. They can bite me. “Your ignorance is showing.” I’m making art. I really need this quilt done so I can make 17 more. Like now.

OK. Now I’m going to bed. I’ll write the rest tomorrow…

So I didn’t finish last night, but writing that helped me sleep. I had book club last night, and near the end, when we were done with the book and a few of us were just chatting, which turned into that up above, there was this guy at the bar, maybe 30 years old, and all of a sudden he yells out something like Fuck De Vos! or something, and then apologizes, and then lays out a very well-designed plan for taking care of all this chaos…something about using the government to become a trained assassin and learning how to change his identity with their help and then going out there and “taking care of” anyone who was an issue…sigh. I think there’s a movie about that. At the time, we’re all joking about that as a solution, but we’ve all thought about it, because there doesn’t seem to be a calm rational way to change what’s happening. But sitting around and waiting for the ninja warrior to take out key players in the chaos is probably not a good or healthy plan.

So I’m choosing the art resistance mode…here’s a call for entries for one of the resistance shows popping up…

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I already have work for this one. So if you follow me for my cool quilts, hopefully you realize that most of them have a message, and it’s about women’s rights usually, although sometimes it’s just about being female…which apparently now is a lesser thing again, making me clearly remember being told multiple times that I was imagining a conspiracy against women a few years back. Imagine, My Ass. Your ignorance is showing…and in that case, it was a liberal…but still a rich white male. And if they say it doesn’t exist, honey, well then you KNOW it doesn’t exist, right? My ass. Did I say My Ass?

I came home, and you know, I worked an almost-11-hour day yesterday for school alone, plus an earthquake/fire drill and then a fire NOT drill…so I stitched. Not very much…the lighter-colored fly and lazy daisy stitches on the right. Not sure why. It just happened.

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I’m actually not sure there will be enough space on this for 12 months of stitching. I think I decided 12″ square was enough…We’ll see. That’s 39 days of stitching there…326 to go?

And then it was 11 PM, so I came in and quilted for an hour. I got the skull done…

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And the ribcage on the outside of the arm, plus part of the arm.

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I was hoping to finish that whole section, but it was late. So I wrote the screed above and went to bed, although it was probably 1 AM by then. And I’m up early again today for yet another official meeting, possibly one where I’m told to make nice with another employee…but I don’t know that anyone can make me do that at the moment. If you’re in the school system and not serving my students? Because? Then I’m not really interested in making nice.

I’m looking forward to coming home tonight and finishing the outlining at least. There’s not much left. I really need this to be done…not because I have a deadline (I do), but because there’s so much else that needs making and saying and yelling and drawing, and I’m going to keep saying it until it doesn’t need to be said any more. I don’t actually believe that will be in my lifetime, dammit, but I’m still not going to give up.