I’m a Ninja on the Side

So first of all, if you’re ever wondering why I always have white fur on my ass, this is why…

That’s my chair. Covered in white fur. Also covered in cat, which can be an issue sometimes. Yes, I could stop wearing all black, but where’s the fun in that? Plus then no one would know I’m a ninja on the side.

I think I have 17 minutes to write this. Go!

Good news…got my annual boob squeeze (go get yours now if you are over the age of 35 or whatever your insurance says and you are female or have female hormones that affect breasts, because those damn things are both lifesavers and horrid toxic things…the hormones, not the breasts) and there is nothing wrong. Woo hoo! I can keep them for another year.

Then I spent three hours…THREE HOURS stitching with Susan in some random coffee shop that I didn’t even know existed. It was freezing in there, which was great with my hot flashes. She was spinning fiber…on the other side of the table.

With three hours of stitching time, you think I’d be done with this thing. You’d be wrong…

I even came home and stitched some more and I’m not done. And I’m worried that I will run out of blue. I might need to rethink the hair. That’s OK. You can buy the kit and do it just like me, or you can buy the pattern and do it however you freakin’ want.

I was going to draw more last night, but I got sidetracked by something…who knows what. I don’t. My brain is like a bug at the moment. A bug being chased by a gecko.

I finally started quilting after 11 PM…and I quickly finished the outlining…

There wasn’t a lot left of it…

She’s pretty simple…and then I started on the background. I’ll finish that today and go buy binding on the way back from the dentist, which I need to leave for in 13 minutes. THIRTEEN MINUTES.

It sounds like a lot of time but I don’t know where my shoes are, so that could take eleven minutes right there.

Anyway, I still have 17 thousand things on my to-do list because I only did two or three of them yesterday and then I added more. MORE. I am crazy. I’m also trying to clean and straighten up and get rid of shit, a little at a time. It’s not working. Well, maybe it is. I don’t know. I have this pile of checks I’ve deposited electronically that need shredding. I’m pretty sure there’s a shredder in the garage. (Hey Phil, is there a shredder in the garage?) But first! Dentist for X-rays only (don’t even ask, so stupid, health insurance drives me bonkers) and then quilt store (danger danger Will Robinson!) plus they’re tearing up the bottom of my road (finally!) so the check I wrote that is the money I wanted to use to trim the trees is finally going to be cashed in the name of new asphaltum. Woo hoo. Exciting being a homeowner, isn’t it? Oh yeah. I think I have book club tonight too…if only I knew what day it was. Dayum.

Like a Human

I think I need to leave in like half an hour. Oh my. Mornings. Kick my butt.

Hey, so I called yesterday about the sewing machine and made an appointment to bring it in, and made sure they had a cord for the other machine, so I could see if it was really having stupid needle-freezing issues or if it was the fact I was borrowing a cord from a recliner chair to test it. But just to check and make sure, I tried it again. And you know what? It freakin’ worked. I don’t know why. It’s an asshole is why. So I quilted yesterday. In between driving around a lot, because you can never get everything you need at one store, which is why Amazon makes so much money. I hate driving around and doing errands. But it sometimes needs to happen because you need it NOW and you don’t want to contribute to the crazy shipping of everything all over the world.

I only quilted for a little while in the afternoon, because it was the Man’s birthday and we had this 2-hour tour of the bay that was expiring today. So we went…this is the outside of the harbor bathroom. Very exciting. I have no idea what all of it spells out.

I’m assuming it looks different at night with the lights shining through some of the letters.

There’s a bunch of Groupons for these tours all the time. As San Diego County residents, we often forget to hang out in our own city…although I’ve done pretty well with that.

Coronado Bridge…

I went on this trip (on a different boat) last summer and thought the man would enjoy it. He did.

San Diego Cityscape…

It was a nice day for it…not too hot and not too cold…

Seagull above us…it flew alongside us and then managed to land up there.

Impressive skillz.

Wildlife…

This one waved…

More sea birds…

I really don’t go down to the water enough. It’s too far, I guess.

We ate dinner downtown and passed this positive message for the new birth year…

Oh yeah. Good times. His real birthday present is in about two weeks. And there are no baby goats. Too bad.

When we got home, I quilted. I did offer to hang out and watch a movie with him, but he had to go to work today and he was too tired for a whole movie. Maybe tonight.

Like I said, the machine magically fixed itself. I love that stuff.

I really don’t. I like things to make sense. Machines anyway. I realize they probably do on some level, but it’s like machine fairy level. You know? Tech fairies. Magical beasts who fix tech when you turn it off, swear at it, and walk the fuck away.

This thing isn’t that complicated. I quilted for about 2 1/2 hours yesterday and got the whole bottom part done…

All that’s left is everything above the shoulders, which isn’t that much outlining, and all the background.

I’d really like to finish today. I’m not sure if I can, though. The annual boob-squeezing is in less than an hour (shit, I need to get ready to leave), and then I’m hanging out this afternoon in a coffee shop with Susan, who had the balls to move to freakin’ Portland, which is a million miles away. No sewing machines in coffee shops. I’ll have to bring hand work and pretend to be a well-behaved seamstress. First I have to try to get the old lady dog to eat some foods. OK. And brush my teeth. Like a human.

Come and Open Up Your Folding Chair Next to Me*

I am so close to done. With a quilt. Not school. That’s why I stayed up late (again). I finished the quilting last night. I can’t show it to you yet. But it looks cool. Tonight I’ll trim it and put the binding on. I’m emailing the photographer…right…now. OK. That’s done. Now I have to finish it. I love forced motivation. OK, I really do want it done, because I want to work on something I can SHOW you.

Plus, I’m looking forward to having my Patreon pick the next one. I edited the video together last night and just need to add some titles or something. Every time I do this, I learn something new about video editing. This time, it was how to rotate the video. I still need to figure out how to fill the screen with it, but that’s tonight maybe. Well, let’s be honest…I have math testing again today, and this time, I get back the hellion who’s been gone the last three days of testing, and then I have science curriculum training for 2 1/2 hours after school. Which currently sounds semi-torturous, but maybe I’ll feel better about it at the time. Unlikely.

Last night, I had a union meeting. I was filling out a lease application to co-sign for the girlchild at the same time, and wondering yet again at when I might be able to stop paying for my kids. I think the answer is a long time from now. As I’m staring at the hole in my kitchen counter and trying to figure out how to fix it long term. No stress. So the house needs work. I literally cannot deal with that right now. Remove old grout, caulk between the sink and the counter, find tiles that will fit, trim them to really fit, adhere, and grout. Not happening until June 21st. Well. I can do some of that before then, but it needs to dry out, and that’s not happening either.

I’m going to try to finish the Patreon thing tonight…but it will probably be tomorrow night, posting Saturday morning. So that’s a little behind my self-imposed schedule, but the reality right now is that school is kicking my butt.

And then there’s these guys…

That’s Katie…my parent’s dog. They’re in Seattle at my nephew’s middle school graduation. Calli is never really sure about Katie. In this photo, Katie is yowling. Really that’s the only way to explain it. She sings. In dog. She’s very excited when new people come home. Or go to the mailbox and come back. Or get up in the morning.

She’s a good guard dog, although very nervous.

Will you come back? Will you? We always do, Katie. We always do.

I am totally holding dog treats in my hand here.

Because otherwise, they’re throwing their doggie bodies all over the place. This makes them pay attention.

OK, there’s 11 days of school left. I will be done with grading at some point (I did a bunch of that yesterday too). I will have my sanity back at some point (it usually takes a week or two after school gets out). Today will not be that day. At all. But I have an early meeting today, so let’s start with that and get on with the rest of it.

*Regina Spektor, Folding Chair

And Then It Got Better…

Well. When your stress levels are high? Organize your photo files. Seriously. Your brain will start to shut down and refuse to stay awake. It’ll be like, this is the most boringest thing EVER. Which explains why my photo files are NOT organized. Like from 2014 on. It’s patchy. The J months are a mess. I mean, I organize every day I download stuff, which is pretty often because of this blog. But then they stay in those daily folders. I prefer to have all the photos of a quilt together, all the animal pix together, etc. But then when I’m looking at a photo of a box of trimmed quilt pieces from 2014, I have no freakin’ idea which quilt it is sometimes. So then I’m staring at the quilts I finished that year and trying to figure out which one I was working on in June 2014. Pain In The Ass. Then again 2014 was kind of a fucked up year. And then it got better.

That’s my mantra for the last 13 days of the school day: And Then It Got Better.

Staff meeting. Shorter than usual. Slightly stressful to think about some of the stuff for next year. Back to no food or peeing for 3-plus hours in the morning. Not ideal. Sigh. Although my co-teacher has to run across campus twice in that time, so I guess at least I don’t have that. It will all be fine. It’s a long way away. (Not really) The plus is that the meeting got done early, so I could kamikaze to the quilt store and buy binding. It’s in the dryer, so I don’t have a picture. I remembered to turn the dryer on at 12:30 AM. Electricity is cheaper then anyway. I hate our new electricity usage plan. The times I’m home and awake are the most expensive. It totally fucks over anyone with a standard day job. It’s not even cheaper on the weekends. So I’m constantly doing laundry at 9 PM at night. And I can’t cook dinner except during those hours.

So I got binding fabric…because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go until Friday, and even that might be questionable. I did quilt last night…although I had 17 thousand things to do first. As always. I hooped this one…

She’s going to travel with the store for a while. You can get her pattern (and others) at Global Artisans…rumor has it that kits are also available. I’m designing 6 more over the summer.

Oh yeah, before I ever did that, I walked dogs…and myself…and the boychild.

The weather was a lot cooler than I had expected…

This dove…just sitting there.

The plants are still crazy tall…

But not tall enough to hide the two guys getting naked in the brush. Um. Guys. There’s poison oak down there. Hmmm.

Well. We tired her out.

That was while I was quilting. I only have one section left to quilt and then the background…not much. I should be able to finish tonight. Then trim and bind. This week! The next three days are full of school work though…four different meetings before and after school. Ugh. (And then it got better)

Here’s the quilt waiting for me…

Morning light on the backing. First I’m going to go teach the remainder of the pregnancy stuff, plus do tutoring. Then I’ll get the rest done. Last night, both eyes were twitching. Too much. Too much. Breathe in and out. Deeply. Slowly. Shit. I don’t have a plan for homeroom. Fuck. OK. Off this and onto the job stuff.

I Couldn’t Hide from the Thunder in a Sky Full of Song*

I didn’t really disappear over the weekend. I just worked a lot. On everything. There’s significant progress, but I don’t feel relaxed. I’ll get there. I have most of my taxes done, except for one large task that I’m about halfway through doing. Teacher expenses. Pain in the ass to collect. But I need every penny. I got through grading all the makeup work, although as soon as I input everything, the kid emails started. Because they don’t believe it will be graded until it’s graded. So then they email me and tell me how they’re gonna fix things tonight, and I’m like, well, that sucks to be you for progress reports, because I’m done grading makeup work until next weekend, sweet thang.

Then we started trying to figure out our trip, beyond the panicked moving of one place to stay…mucho debate about the next place, because it’s cold. And snow. Or sleet. But definitely cold. And ice. And we are from sunny Southern California and do not do either of these things well. We knew we both wanted hiking pants anyway, and we had our REI dividends plus a coupon, so we headed out. And bought some warm stuff too. Plus went to my parents and found the sleeping bags and the tent we used two years ago (rain flap!)…and of course, we set up the tent in the living room, to see if the air mattress would even fit, because it never went in this tent…

And it does fit…so does the cat…

But it’s pretty tight…mostly because when it’s inflated, it’s pretty tall, and the sides of the tent go in, and it would be an issue with rain. Or sleet. Or maybe even snow…I don’t know, because I don’t think I’ve ever camped in snow. That’s probably not true. But I’ve blocked it out if I did, and now I’m old and the snow thing is really throwing me.

I was OK with the tent, but the man was not and went online and got something we could put two coolers, a fan, a chair, and a television into (not really, something about a guy in Louisiana and a storm, but the tent was fine). So that’s managed. Mostly. We need clothing that ranges from 72 degrees down to 20 degrees. Fun stuff. At the moment, the man is looking forward to this trip and I’m a little apprehensive. I’ll be fine. Just not right now. Right now, I have too much on my plate. I was trying to get shit done yesterday and he kept coming in to show me maps and pictures and other stuff, and I’m like, this is more than a week away I’m panicking about stuff for tonight please ok fine just say it and then I’ll make a noise that sounds like I get it and then I can work on what I’m working on which is due before we leave. Deep breaths.

I tried quilting Saturday before my art meeting (where I got more things to do), but the machine was being a cranky nasty bitch. There were a few of these…

And a whole ton of broken thread. I switched the needles, the position of the spool, rethreaded about a million times, put the sewing goo on the thread. Sigh. I came back and quilted some more at night, and it still refused to behave. It wasn’t until Sunday that I figured out that it wasn’t on the right setting for the foot I was using. I don’t know why it wasn’t…it was the last thing I did. I think? Whatever.

After that, she worked like a dream. Mostly.

Sunday, I pulled it off the machine, even though it wasn’t done, and went and bought the binding fabric, because I knew I wouldn’t have time later this week. Like today.

And then I came home and did more grading and cook prep and taxes and organizing and grocery shopping and I don’t even remember what else.

After dinner, I quilted. And quilted…

And somewhere around midnight, I finished quilting…

Almost 6 hours. Did you know that not last week, but the week before, I did 20 hours of artmaking? While working? I think that was the week I was sick too. My weeks have been nuts. But she’s quilted. Tonight I can get the binding on. I might even finish early. I have to deliver two to the photographer. I should email him. I said I would. OK, done. Emailed.

And then the next one needs to get drawn, but you won’t see that one. You might see these getting done…

Although not until this binding is done. I have six to do. That’s a lot. I might let friends do some of them, once I’ve done one. We’ll see.

I miss this kid. She hasn’t sent me a photo for her graduation announcements. I’m thinking of using this one.

She’s a Leo, in case you were wondering. She really is a Leo too. I’m a Pisces, but sort of atypical. I live with a Capricorn and a Cancer. I’m not counting the dogs and cats. OK, well, I’m going to continue to pray to the no-snow gods and to try to finish shit and exercise and read my book and not panic too much and keep my cool with the kids who are gonna tell me It’s Not Fair for whatever reason. Did I mention grading All the Things? Gonna do that too. Oooohhhhmmmm.

*Florence + the Machine, Sky Full of Song

Bring Your Etch-a-Sketch to Work*

I’m gonna start writing this at 12:02 AM on Tuesday. Why? Because this song…

I listened to Amanda Palmer tonight on Live From Here, the new version of Prairie Home Companion…here’s the link. Love this song. Makes me laugh. And cry. I’m so excited that I will be seeing Amanda sing in LA in May. I finally persuaded a male attachment to come with me.

So that was last night. I stayed up too late, but I finished quilting. That’s a big yahoo on that.

First we walked the dogs though…it’s been a while since we’ve been to this spot..

It was wet and muddy and stream-filled. Well. Not filled, but we went across at least two of them, one of them three times. Apparently the rain finally caught up with the creek and filled it to the edges…

Sometimes over the edges…the flowers are all starting to bloom…

Thinking about a trip to the desert for the bloom this year…

It was a really beautiful evening for a hike. It’s finally daylight a bit later, so we could go further…here’s one stream, which is actually where the trail normally is…

Calli has no problems or qualms about wading through streams. Simba is not as good. Definitely more water than usual…

Which is good.

Especially for the plants…we stopped here…I was kinda done with wandering through mud at that point.

Plus it was heading toward dusk…

So we headed back to see what the bridge looked like…

They’d fixed the smaller bridge…the rain had pushed it off its bank and into a smaller creek.

I don’t think the big bridge is going anywhere, but that’s a lot of water for here.

The dogs are good sports…

Tons of flowers everywhere.

I love ending a work day like this. Wish I could do it more often. Yes, I graded too…got one assignment done. And then my principal emailed about this professional development thing we have to do, and they totally screwed up next week. Sigh. I set test and due dates. Wonderful. I’ll figure that out later today. Last night I couldn’t handle it. I can’t be mad at him…his wife just had their second kid. I can be annoyed though that we have to do the PD at all.

While I was waiting for boychild to make dinner, I drew a bit…still working on possible embroidery designs.

Might be too much.

Post-dinner TV time with the man, Simba curled up behind him.

The two of them had a coyote scare last night, very close to the prime peeing spot. Scary. Dumbass puppy thought he would go kill the coyote. He does not realize he would be a tasty treat.

I finally went in to quilt at about 10:30 PM…with the goal of finishing.

Which after about an hour and 15 minutes, I did.

With 19 hours and 21 minutes total into the quilting. Crazy shit. Hopefully tonight I will clean the floor, trim the quilt, and put a binding on it. At least, that’s the plan. I’m also going to the gym, so we’ll see how that goes. Right now, I’m tired, but I also want this thing done. It’s taking too long. My brain is done with it.

So. Off to school. Difficult teaching day ahead I think…concept-wise at least. I thought yesterday would be low-maintenance and it totally wasn’t. So there’s that. I also need to prep for a messy lab. Good stuff.

*Amanda Palmer, Ukulele Anthem

Now I Know How Joan of Arc Felt*

I’m fighting a sore throat. I suspect I’m losing. So many people around me were sick last week. I don’t get sick very often. Hopefully it will be low-key and not hellacious. I only have two labs and a field trip this week. No biggie. It’s never easy to be a teacher and be sick. Staying home and doing sub plans and then coming back to the disaster they have wrought is hell…and so is being in the classroom when you don’t feel well. Anyway…let’s hope a lot of hot tea helps.

I just checked my time app and I’ve been quilting this beast for over 18 hours. I had to take a break for a bit there…couldn’t handle it for a few days. But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I just want it done. I put in about another hour and a half last night…

Made it all the way around the 3rd side…there was more of it than I had thought…and around the corner, which was a vast expanse of blue…

Dark blue fabric. Dark blue thread. Night time. It’s not easy. So I’m close to halfway around the last side, but I have to do that blue bit going into the image, where the clouds are and the cat and the rattlesnake’s tail. And then I can’t remember how much of the sun I got around at the beginning. Hopefully a lot, because then I’ll really be almost done. On to trimming and binding.

I can’t get much done most nights right now because I’m trying to get through all the grading. Grades are due in about a week and I ended up with 139 emails from kids trying to turn late stuff in. They’re STILL trying, but I’m ignoring it. The deadline was midnight Friday. If I have time, I’ll do the stuff after the deadline, but mostly I don’t. I finished two full assignments this weekend, so that feels good. Don’t even ask how many I have left…it’s a lot. More than I would like. I also need to write a study guide before Thursday and check the test and make sure it’s still relevant. Try to see if there’s a better way to GIVE the test so I don’t have to grade as much of it by hand. I suspect not. We don’t give a lot of tests as it is…so I think this was the best option we had.

I was at quilt class on Thursday and my teacher (who no longer teaches me anything…) is moving this year, so she’s cleaning out her school classroom and her home. I ended up with science supplies and these fabrics…

I think I was even with her when she bought them. I’ll enjoy using them…

Dog pictures…I always have so many of these.

Calli keeps trying to eat Satchemo’s cardboard scratching toy. I had to yell at her twice this morning. It’s not a snack, dammit.

Kitten’s eye is much better, although she still needs drops.

She’s not particularly friendly about the drops. Speaking of friendly, Simba wants morning pets.

And possibly my breakfast.

OK, well, after a cup of tea, my throat is somewhat better. The new diabetes med I’m on seems to make me pee about 78 times a day. I’m a little frightened about that for school. Some people say it gets better after a few days, so we’ll see. It’s not really sustainable if I have to pee every hour at school. I just don’t have the ability to do that.

And here’s my philosophical moment. I think I got my city (county?) back. If you’ve been here long enough, you know I went through a bad breakup a bunch of years ago. It was completely out of the blue and threw me for a loop. And as part of that, I felt like I lost some parts of my city…there were places I couldn’t go to because I felt like they were tainted by the relationship or even that I was afraid that I would run into him and I didn’t want to deal with that. Sometimes I just wouldn’t go to certain events. I realize that’s not the healthiest thing in the world, and certainly, being paranoid every time you go into Trader Joe’s sucks, but it’s where my brain ended up…and that was a lot healthier than it had been. Anyway, I found out last week that he moved. He gave me the city back. I’m sure that’s not why he moved, but it’s weird how I feel about it. Better: I got my city back. For sure he didn’t give me anything. It was ages ago and I didn’t even realize I was still carrying it around, although the last time I went to the Indian restaurant we used to always go to, I felt it…looking around to be sure he wasn’t there. The guy who works there used to ask about him, but he’s stopped…which is good, because that was a hard one. But now he’s gone. He doesn’t inhabit this space at all, and that is a wondrous and expansive thing. Seriously, I feel like I can stretch my arms out and take in the whole county now. I guess it helps to know he moved down here to be with me, so this was not his space to begin with…and I had this definite voice in my head that was yelling at him to leave quite a few times when I thought “you can’t go to that. He’ll be there.” So my screwed-up mind aside, it’s a good thing. I’ll keep working on the screwed-up mind thing. It’s been a work in progress my entire life. Certainly the last 10 years it’s been a challenge LOL.

With that, I need to take my sick self to school (somewhere he never went…) and attempt to be a competent educator. We’ll see how that goes. More tea please.

*The Smiths, Bigmouth Strikes Again