A Day Off…

I don’t usually write on Tuesdays. I have a routine…set it up when I realized after blogging for a year or two (started in 2004) that I wasn’t very consistent, so I made it like a journal for me, documenting the art but also everything else, exactly what they tell you not to do, but I didn’t care…I was doing it for me more than for others. I had a crazy couple of years when I was blogging every day, more to keep my sanity than anything else, and then I went back to usually three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Last week on Friday, I was driving toward Joshua Tree National Park, so that didn’t happen, so I blogged Saturday because that’s when I had time. Then yesterday, I just lost time somehow, well, bad lunch planning for the week. Time consuming in the morning is not a good thing for me. So here I am. It’s Tuesday of a three-day work week (oh hallelujah). I finished grades Sunday night and spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon planning science, since we lose that time this week. I really miss the daily plan time with my co-teacher. It’s making things harder to get done. But that’s what the last two years have been like across the board: Harder to get done. A 4-day weekend will have some work in it…but hopefully it will mostly be art and hiking and yeah, cleaning house and catching up with all the shit I can’t do while I’m teaching.

More pictures from Joshua Tree…

It’s hot and dry, even in November. I’m pretty sure I’ve hiked this exact hike three different times in the last 20 years.

It’s different and yet not every single time.

Dinner had some art…

And then I had a blissful hour to draw Saturday morning.

I’m finding it so hard to find time to do that. It was all the things I was thinking and feeling in the desert, in that space. I need more of that time. But when I do have time, I try to finish whatever project I’m working on. It’s hard to find the extra time to just breathe and draw.

Cindy Zimmerman’s Rain Grotto at the Desert Dairy. A beautiful space in a dry climate…

It was also fun to hang out with other artists for a while. That cow ended up in my drawing.

We made pizzas one night and hung out and talked.

Fire is always fascinating.

We also toured Mojaveland, the wonderfully funky, homemade, artist-filled mini-golf experience Anna Stump is creating. Linda Litteral has an installation there as well…

It was a good way to spend a weekend, even if I’m exhausted now.

We saw an art show too, but I’m going to have to wait to post that…I’m running out of time here before I have to leave for work. I always feel like I’m running out of time. I worked on these in the car on the way back for a little bit.

And last night, after a 5-day hiatus, I finally tried to get my head back into choosing fabrics for the next quilt…

I kind of lost it in my head for a while, the colored-in image. But it’s back now. Hopefully I’ll get it all ironed to fabric over the long weekend. That’s my goal anyway.

OK, off to school to teach the hard stuff. Got a new batch of 6th graders. Ugh. Not sure how I feel about that, but we’ll survive. And no more complicated morning lunchmaking. That’s a mistake. More tomorrow, if I get back on schedule. Who knows if I will…

Ditching School

I took a whopping two days off school since COVID started. Getting a sub for what I teach was difficult…sub plans for what I teach felt like writing a novel, then rewriting it because it was too long. It’s a tough call: how much do I need a break vs how much work is it to TAKE the break? A common teacher issue made worse by the sub shortage and kids who didn’t do normal school last year so sometimes learning is a challenge. But I had an art retreat coming up that I went to last year (without taking any time off) and I was determined to take a day. ONE day.

Whatever happened at school is fine. I got one kid email about kids deleting stuff…and they did. They were being dumbasses about it on Thursday with me. I’ll just torture them with it on Monday. It’ll be fine. Next week is short anyway for Veterans Day, and I can get them through what I need to. Zen and chill.

So where am I? Twentynine Palms, right outside of Joshua Tree National Park. We drove a back way to get up here, and it was delightful…no traffic, nice views. Then we came in the southern entrance of Joshua Tree and enjoyed the drive through, going on a couple of short hikes (mid to high 80s here still…)

There were too many people in some places, but the longer hike lost them all…

And it was outside, not teaching, didn’t have to be anywhere. Although I checked email when I had service.

Sometimes people are very hardass about disconnecting and not looking at their phones on vacation, and I just do what makes me feel comfortable. Sometimes my anxiety means I need to check email. Or school stuff. So I do it. One of my students had emailed me about the chaos in her class. No worries, kid, I got this.

We checked into our AirBnb, the same one we stayed in last year, ate dinner outside at a local place, met Kyle and tried his special sauce, shook hands with him (weird feeling that), then I headed over to my friend’s place for a fireside conversation about the future of our art group, which has grown in size, but not volunteers…unfortunately.

Dinner drawing. This morning, we’re up early so the man can hike and I can draw in a space with other artists for a while. Not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but I’m ok with that. I have two books on my iPad, three different sketchbooks, caffeine, and goldfish snacks. What more do I really need? Plus got news that one of my pieces will be at some art show in Torrance next October, which is a new venue for me…always cool.

All in all, sometimes ditching school is what teachers need to do. My district spouts self care constantly and then hands us more work to do and won’t give us a cost-of-living raise. So more hours for less pay? Eh. You don’t get buy-in that way. Anyway…drawing soon, if my brain lets me.

Simplify. Fewer Words.

Mid-week posts while I’m teaching are SPARE. Unless I get into a show. Which I did! I have three pieces that will be in a California Fibers show at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, opening in January…looking forward to that. One of them is NOT the one I made for the show, so if you want to see the hiking quilt, IDK when or where that will be…so here’s I Can’t Be Your Superwoman…which did get in.

Dear WordPress: Why are you being so bitchy this morning? I already know today will be a challenge. I don’t need it shoved in my face. Seriously, it wouldn’t let me bold the title. Then it wouldn’t let me delete the caption under the figure that I didn’t even put there. Then it wouldn’t let me add a new box to type in. It’s like dealing with some of my students. Actually, yesterday, two kids did the thing when I pushed them to do the thing, even though I had no help in a class with 8 SPED in it (soon to be 9, I’m pretty sure)…I’m so tired of our SECA shortage. I’m especially tired of not knowing there will BE a SECA shortage in my classroom until the SECA just doesn’t show up. Yesterday was manageable only because two of them were absent. Another one drew a pentagram on my desk and another with chalk pastel (we had a conversation…I think we bonded over blackened fingers for art) and two of the others rocked it. Today is the less capable group, though, but I’m guaranteed a SECA in there due to child in wheelchair (oh good). We’ll see how it goes. Today is hard because I teach 4 different things: an Advisory topic (IDK WTF today is…I never know until I look at the form), the Block 1 of science (today is figuring out what fossils are on the continents in certain eras…yesterday this went well, good good), Art (will be fucking chaos of India ink and paintbrushes, pray for me to the Goddess of Art Teachers and the Hell in Which They Exist with Materials), and finally Block 2 of Science, which is all thinking and figuring stuff out, which often is a dead silent, not even crickets, because WE DID THE THINGS BUT WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THEM. Yeah. So that. And I have a meeting this morning so I have to leave in 10 minutes.

I did no art on Monday night because I was cleaning my studio. I started with putting the fabrics away.

From the last two quilts…one big one and one little one. I can’t focus on the next one until the room is under control. Also I need the boxes the fabrics are in to sort the Wonder Under, so it’s almost forced cleaning. This is a small space and it is already chock full, so without that stage, there is nothing happening.

Then last night, I made it to the gym for the first time in a month (woo hoo!), came home, packed up two quilts that need to ship out today, and finally made it in the studio for artmaking at about 10 PM. Ah good. So I sorted the first 100 pieces and ironed the first set of dirt to fabric.

It’s a start. It’s not a great start, but I’m ready to go for tonight. I should get a full hour in tonight, I hope, maybe more, although the gradebook opened, so I might be doing that instead.

Nova in a mood.

She likes to scratch things.

Anyway, I gotta get outta here, do the school thing, racing through, which is what most days feel like (hence the exhaustion at the end), then Pilates, then home for dinner and art stuff. Plus thinking about sub plans for Friday. I wrote them, but I need to simplify. Bullet points. Fewer words. Hard for me. You might have noticed.

You Will Have No Title

I was trying to add a title to this but WordPress wasn’t having it. I get it. You don’t want me to post it? Ah well.

Beautiful skies this morning after a rough night. It’s November! As I look at the calendar, which says “Oh fuck, it’s nearly Christmas.” No joke there. It’s that crazy rush time. At least there’s some time off coming.

The weekend still had a lot of school work. I need it mostly done before I take the weekend off for an art/hiking retreat. I did cut more stuff out on Friday night…

And then finished it up, 10 hours in, on Saturday night…

And last night, I sorted all the pieces out by the 100s…

Tonight, I’ll need to clean up the studio, put all the fabrics away from the last quilt (which didn’t get into the show I made it for, ironically…or normally…however you look at it).

I do like this next stage, picking all the fabrics. It’s more creative than the last few stages, but still meditative. Lots of standing though.

We did break up the grading for a 4+-mile hike on Saturday, the other side of the Helix Flume hike that we did a few months back.

We really need to leave earlier if we want to meet in the middle…the parking lots all close at 6. There’s El Cap.

It was warm at the beginning, but cooled off nicely.

Once you get up to the level of the flume, it’s mostly flat. It’s the climbing before that which is a bit much. Starting on the El Monte Park side was easier…I think.

Definitely has been some fire damage up here, but a while ago.

Creative fence building. We only saw one group of people on bikes…otherwise, we were the only ones on trail. The only wildlife this time was birds and bugs. And fresh coyote poop, plus possible footprints that weren’t there when we went through the first time. It’s good to hike. This weekend, we’ll be hiking in Joshua Tree National Park.

The cats were glad to see us. Or maybe perturbed.

Nova looks perturbed anyway.

We tried the silly hat on Calli.

She goes to the vet today to suss out her tumor on her side. The one on her nose is the one that will probably kill her, unfortunately. Inoperable. But the one on her side is supposedly benign…just has opened up and is rather disgusting and smelly. Sigh. Poor baby. It doesn’t hurt her at least.

This was Saturday night’s dinner drawing…

They don’t get finished because someone brings the food. I don’t remember if I posted last week’s drawing…

This is about the only drawing I’m doing at the moment. There just isn’t enough time for all the work and the art and actual sleeping and stuff.

Old timey photo of the kids, circa 2005.

Back in the day. The neighbor kids yelled “trick or treat” from the driveway, where we left the candy in a bowl in the wheelbarrow full of dirt, a skelly arm, and a pumpkin. I wasn’t ready for 23 kids coming up the stairs to the door. I live on a tiny street without traffic, but the neighbors invited friends over. We don’t really have that many kids on the block. It just sounds that way.

Well it’s a short week for me, but I’ll need to do sub plans for Friday. Then next week is even shorter because of Veteran’s Day. Then one full week on and a full week off. Work to do before all that. Grades are due next week…which is difficult. Ah well. I did go to school on Saturday and get one art assignment out of the way…there are two due Friday though and I won’t be there to collect them, so that should be interesting. Bad timing on the retreat, but I didn’t pick the days, unfortunately. OK. Off to work. It’s time.

Dirty Floors and a Full Dishwasher…

I’m glad I’m an artist. I’m happy that I can come home and not think about how the floors need vacuuming and mopping and probably someone should empty the dishwasher and there’s a load…no…shitload of work from the day job to do, but you know? I’m home so I get to do some art. I actually want to finish my book as well (working on that…it’s been a shit month, y’all)…but I make time for the art because I feel like crap if I don’t. If I didn’t have that, if all I came home to was the dirty floors and the full dishwasher, I think I’d go bonkers. It’s like a whole ‘nother planet I can go exist on for a while, so that hopefully I can go back to work the next day without losing my mind. Or crying. Which is where I was at about 10 minutes ago. Then I sat down and resized the THREE whole pictures I have from the last two days, and realized I get some weekend time (flu shot, hike, lots of grading, mopping floors, watering the plants, maybe other shit, IDK at least I don’t have to be AT school because school is exhausting)…and that is a good thing.

I’m cutting a bit out every night…

On top is the rest of the 3rd yard, the part I haven’t cut. Then last night, I was on Zoom with friends for a couple of hours, so I managed more…

Got the third yard cut out and a goodly chunk through the fourth one, because it had lovely large pieces on it. I’m almost 8 hours in at this point. I do clump pieces together that will be the same fabric, like all the letters on a sign, so that saves cutting time at this stage. They don’t really need to be cut apart until the fabric stage. So there’s progress. I might be done by the end of the weekend. We’ll see.

I have a piece in this show, opening Friday, November 12, from 3-7 PM.

It’s at the San Diego Mesa College Gallery. Looking forward to the opening, since I have the day off. I might make an artsy day of it…there are a couple other shows I want to see that I haven’t been able to get to.

Girlchild sends costumes for Simba. He never really likes them. Apparently we need better lighting. We also need a dog who likes wearing the damn things. Speaking of costumes, I will be donning my Slytherin robes in a minute for school. I don’t know why we have Slytherin robes and it’s supposed to be warm today. These things are heavy as hell. We’ll see if I can keep them on. I also have a loaned Porg, since we are supposed to be doing Disney and I don’t love that. Oh well. What I need to do now is go to work and bang out 6 (I think it’s 6 now) contracts for kids out on pandemic concern (6 in one day…hopefully one will go away), make at least 2 videos for said kids, and do about 17 other things in a short amount of time without losing my mind. It’s not a safe bet. But classes are shorter today (those long block classes are more tiring for me than the shorter ones…I don’t know why)…so that will help. So will sleeping in a bit tomorrow. And cutting more things out tonight.

Here’s to…

One of the things that’s changed at school from before COVID is the number of videos we make. We used to make a few explaining how to do complicated things like writing a Claim Evidence Reasoning paragraph or how to create a website, and occasionally we’d record parts of a lab so the absent kids would have access. Now we make videos for absolutely everything, and it’s so time-consuming. I lose part of my prep to either making the video or recording my co-teacher. If there are multiple parts to the video, I’m sitting here at 9 PM trying to figure out why they’re not on the cloud yet and downloading them in some other way. In the morning, I’m stitching them all together and editing out the parts with kids’ faces or blank time, then waiting for them to upload back into Drive or onto Google Classroom. I have some from last year that might work, but mostly we have to redo, because everything is in person this year and it looks different than the online version. It’s a lot of work. And that’s on top of keeping track of the other stuff the district keeps throwing at us. And just grading. When do I do that? I don’t know. Whenever I can. I’m never caught up, even when I spend 8 hours over the weekend trying to get there. Ugh. This year is not normal. It hasn’t been normal in so long, and every once in a while, I’ll be showing an example drawing from an old unit, and I’ll feel the tears rise up in my eyes, because that unit was from right before COVID hit. It was when we didn’t even know how complicated and hard it would be. And we don’t know when or if it will ever go back.

The pro is that I hand Oreos to a bunch of kids and all of a sudden they can sort of explain plate motion. Much harder to do on Zoom. I remind myself of that.

I’ve been cutting pieces out on the new quilt since Sunday night…it’s slow.

I made it onto the second yard of Wonder Under. These are the yards with a million pieces on them.

Not really. But there’s an hour and a half of cutting between those two at the top and you can barely tell. I didn’t even finish one yard last night. It’s fine. Cutting while sitting on the couch and watching British mysteries is not all bad. It’s a good end to the day.

I walked when I got home yesterday. I almost persuaded myself that it was too late and I was too tired, but then I fought the tired (I’m really good at that) and shoved the headlamp into my pack, because it’s not like it’s going to be getting lighter in the next few weeks…and I did shorten the walk somewhat because I had to cook dinner last night.

I saw this leaf and its friends on the ground and I kept walking for about 20 steps and then couldn’t stand it because that leaf was imprinted on my brain, it was so beautiful. So I went back and took a picture and then freed it on someone’s lawn.

It was happy to be on a green lawn. Very contrasty.

I did stay late at school last night to force myself to grade all the art warmups…this one amused me.

Interesting kid.

Anyway, today is more plate motion, more Oreos, more grading, more trying to catch up, more explaining, more meetings, and a flu shot. Plus exercise and book club. Which is a long drive but that’s OK, there are friends at the end of it. And those are probably more important than anything else. It’s the one thing that makes this year easier (?) than last year…maybe not easier, but better? Having friends around me to plan with and discuss kids with and have lunch with. That’s the difference. It helps. I don’t feel as isolated as last year. The work is still hard and overwhelming and please don’t think that little bit of friendness makes up for all the crazy shit we’re dealing with otherwise…because even the kids aren’t really an issue (just a couple)…it’s the workload that’s not normal and over the top and that’s the part that burns us out the most.

Anyway. Here’s to exercise and friendships and getting as much done as you can and taking breaks when you need to.

Scissors Cutting Wonder Under…

I feel like I should follow up the last post with It’s Monday! Like you don’t know what day it is. It IS Monday. Pros: It’s a new week, I finished grading all the science units AND projects over the weekend, and it’s supposed to rain here today…good for plants. Cons: Monday. Tired. Worked all weekend so I don’t feel ready or rested. Pros: All the stuff for school this week is copied and organized. Cons: We planned a week where we are ON for four out of the five days. Granted, we are ON with Oreos on 1 1/2 of those days. Y’all, I don’t like block schedule. Those periods are so LONG and kids check out unless it’s AMAZEBALLS the entire time. Which sometimes it is…like Thursday and Friday. That is exhausting though for the teacher. This week, I will be demonstrating tectonic plates with Oreo cookies…and magma with corn syrup. It’s cool, but it’s a lot of being ON all the time.

Other exciting things for this week: I need to find a Halloween costume in my stash that will not be too hot to wear in the mid- to high 80s. It should be Disney-themed, but I might just fuck that off, because I don’t have the will or the brain power. I’m supposed to dress like my opposite gender on one day, but I think I already do that every day. Maybe I don’t have to wear a bra that day? That would be AWESOME. Not an issue in middle school at all. I can totally get away with that.

Oh man. My brain is on a roll.

So on Friday, I finished tracing all the pieces…

That’s 6 yards, some with a ton of tiny pieces; some with some whopping big pieces. It took a little over 17 hours to trace them all…not bad for 1500 or so pieces. It’ll probably be at least 7 or so hours to cut them out. I didn’t start until last night…

The day job ran the weekend. That’s about 40 minutes of cutting stuff out. Expect to see shots of that pile growing each night until it’s done.

I really did grade most of the weekend. I had about 50 videos to watch with a smattering of slide presentations to check if there was no video. But they’re done. This is a good thing.

I took a break in between Periods 3 and 4 to go for a 3.6-mile hike…

I just needed a break…and some exercise. It sucks to spend a weekend this way, but if it means I can come home all this week and NOT watch videos, I’m OK with it. The end of the trimester is coming up, and I will be out of town the weekend right before grades are due, so I’m trying to get all the last-minute shit out of the way…because my art class will be slamming me with two projects right before the end of the trimester. So there’s that. I know…it’s my fault…but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ll figure it out. This school year is not low maintenance.

Cat forts…

They like them.

This lizard has moved into the camp chair I left outside.

It’s there every time I get home. The chair is mostly broken, which is why it’s out there…I guess it’s now a lizard home.

OK. Well I’ve got about a million things on the to-do list this week, but I’m hoping that art will happen in the form of scissors cutting Wonder Under every night. Maybe I’ll be done by the weekend? That would be nice…to be ironing onto fabric next weekend? It could happen. I’d need to clean up in here, of course. No Halloween parties for me…just fabric? Maybe. Oh yeah, it’s school photos today. I’m not in the mood. Think I have some animal snouts somewhere I could use for that…should find those. This week also includes reviewing my insurance because it’s open enrollment, plus a flu shot, book club, some exercise, some planning (hopefully a lot of planning), and a Zoom stitching meeting. Plus a chiropractic adjustment while in costume. Things to think about when choosing one’s costume. Hmmm.

Happy Monday thoughts, y’all.

It’s Friday!

Man, this has been a rough week. I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. You roll over and groan and think, oh shit, I have to get up and teach and things…then I realized we’ve been doing labs all week, labs with MATH IN THEM (the horrors) and MATH IS HARD. So today we have to finish everything up and I’m going to do the math bits for them because otherwise none of the answers work. Sigh. Seriously, if another kid tells me a block that fits in my hand is 83 centimeters long, I might scream. It’s fine. Everything is fine. Yesterday there were tubs of water on every table for science, then I had to deal with a group who thought it was OK to draw on the blocks we use for measuring…

OK, I’m a middle school teacher, so I see a penis in every drawing they do…maybe it’s a butterfly or a person…I just don’t know. I do know I reamed them. Especially when one outed the other and then that one outed the first one. The third kid…I’m like, get outta here…you’re innocent. Sigh. Then the art class came in and we did glue in there, so it’s like all the bad materials in one day…water plus triple-beam balances plus glue.

Today there is nothing on their tables…well, until art, and I can deal with that short term. There’s also a chance I’ll have to sub during my prep period, so the fact that I have 7 thousand copies to run for next week…well that’s irrelevant. I can do those at midnight, without moving, because the alarm will go off.

My job is frustrating me a bit. Some people are like, well why don’t you quit? Sigh. To do what? That pays me enough? It’s not that I don’t love my job…there are parts of it that are really great and amazing, but these COVID years and trying to retrain kids “if I didn’t tell you to do that during a lab, then don’t do it!”…amazingly dense behaviors…ironic since we’re trying to explain density. Maybe we should just hand them a marshmallow and a chunk of metal and finish it up with that.

I will be in a better mood this weekend. Hopefully. After a hike and some book reading. Plus maybe finishing the tracing part of this quilt! I had a Zoom meeting with quilt friends last night and traced during that…

So between that and the hour and 20 minutes I did on Wednesday night, I have almost 16 hours in and about 115 pieces to go.

I should be done tonight and on to the second exciting stage (in photos) of cutting all those fuckers out. Yeah!

We bought Simba a new bed and it might be too small and a cat might have already claimed it.

Sigh.

OK. I will survive. Gotta get out of here and pick up my co-teacher and head for school. It’s Friday!

Big Swathes of Wonder Under

I brought work home last night. And then refused to do it. All in my head, of course. I need to get some work done, but by the time I dropped my stuff on the floor at home, I knew I needed a walk to clear my head more than I needed to get work done. So that’s what I did. It got dark earlier than I wanted, so I had to cut it short…only 2 1/2 miles instead of 3 1/2, but it was definitely worth it. Since going back in person, it’s been really hard to get exercise in during the week. I’m managing one Pilates class mid-week and that’s about it. Working on that…but it’s work that gets in the way, unfortunately. Too much of it. At least Monday’s vote on revising the master schedule was a big hell no, status quo. That change would have added hours of work in the short term.

I have a ton of projects and units to grade. I’ll get to them. Just didn’t do it last night.

Meanwhile, I’m still tracing things. Mostly I’ve been tracing pieces of sky and land for the last two days. They’re big, complicated pieces, so they take longer to trace. I can’t do 100 of them in an hour. I did get over the 1000-piece hump last night, finished the sky, so all I have left to do is about 500 pieces in the bubble. This is not fast, though. Maybe by the weekend I’ll be done? We’ll see.

The big landscape pieces use up big swathes of Wonder Under…

Some of these yards have 300 pieces on them; some only have 10 really big pieces. I’m up to 6 yards, though…with at least one more to go, I suspect. We’ll see. I have a lot of space on a few of those yards that could be filled in with smaller pieces.

It’s my dad’s 81st birthday today. Last year, he almost died, so 81 feels particularly good to me.

I bought two SAQA blocks this year from the auction…because I sold two quilts and really liked both of these.

Laurel Izard on the left and Paula Dean on the right. I need to get them up on the wall this weekend.

I packed up a quilt for a show last night too. I think there are two others I need to ship this weekend. I have to deliver this other one after work tomorrow. That will be a long day. Hell, they’re all long at the moment. We did labs yesterday and the inability to listen and be safe was an issue. It’s gonna be a rough lab year. So we talked about that. I have one kid who can’t participate tomorrow…so far. Hopefully no more.

Views from the walk…

It got dark quickly…

Squiggly moon as I came down my hill to the house.

Walking was good. Tracing was good. Ugh to the rest. I need to water the plants tonight. I have Pilates, oh good. My hips and back need it. I’ll try grading stuff again tonight. Hoping I don’t lose my prep period to having to sub someone else’s class. That stuff sucks. I need to call my dad. I need more food for dinner, because the boychild came home earlier than we thought. So all that. Plus labs all day, crazy switchout between block 1 science to art to block 2 science…all different equipment and supplies. Ugh. OK. But I can do it. And then it will be done.

Growl Mode…

I’m in growl mode. Didn’t get enough sleep. Didn’t get enough done. Trying to be all zen about today, but it doesn’t feel zen. Want to go back to bed. Want another few days off work. Not an option. Yeah, it’s Monday…maybe this is all about Monday. Some really cool stuff is going on…I got a new sewing machine. My parents surprised me on Friday…told me mom had picked up my machine at the store where I had dropped it for repair (she goes there a lot), so I went to get it from her. And they had traded the old one in and gotten a deal on a new one. I’ve never had a new machine. I owe them some money, which is fine, because they don’t want it right this second, but here she is…

It’s a Viking…I’ve always sewn on Vikings. Looking forward to getting to know her better…many thanks to my parents. May she sew like the wind for a good long time.

I’ve been tracing every night…

It doesn’t look a whole lot different each night, but I made it to the 900s last night, so more than halfway done.

With about 9 1/2 hours in…

I’ve been tracing a lot of small things. The background will be a lot of big things, if I ever get there. Maybe by the weekend? We’ll see. Some nights, I get an hour in…some an hour and a half. Not much more than that. Always have school stuff and grading to do. I spent a lot of time on that yesterday…a good 5 hours or so. Did I finish? Do I ever finish?

This is cool…one in cocoon and one just starting…

That was Friday or Saturday…I should go check again. But I have to work first…today is a challenge. Have to get kids to finish all the things and turn them all in…and then grade them. Never-ending stuff that. Plus a staff meeting where we get to decide whether to upend the schedule completely or grow some classes on the large side. The opportunity to separate some troublesome kids who shouldn’t be together? But we could do that one kid at a time if we needed to. It’s an UGH meeting. OK, they are all UGH meetings.

Drew this before dinner on Saturday. There was no Sharpie in my purse…not sure why. So I was stuck with a ballpoint. Hate that.

Takes too long.

OK. Cranky mood notwithstanding, I still have to teach. Lack of sleep not helpful. I went to bed early. My brain was just not in the best place. Let’s all hope it gets to a better place (or exhaustion) by tonight. Until then, I know I will get to trace later tonight. And I did get a lot done yesterday, even if it felt like a work day (because it was). Crossing lots of things off the to-do list is a plus.