Up and At ‘Em

Good morning. Splendid extra hour of sleep? Well, maybe. I mostly wasted it on checking my clock because it was light and I thought I hadn’t set the alarm. My brain went right into staying up an hour later though. I was working Saturday night well past bedtime (school stuff, unfortunately). I’m not done with grades. I have to do about 15 redo grades and then input everything, which is more than it has been in the past. There’s some new thing we have to check for certain students. The government doesn’t trust us to do certain things, so we have to check a box saying we did it. I’m not sure which teachers aren’t doing it, but if they aren’t, they’re still gonna check the box. So yeah. Didn’t fix that problem with more work, did we. I have not fully planned the rest of this week for 8th grade. Again. I’m not sure when I will get ahead. Ever. Like more than 5 days max ahead. I have through Wednesday planned, but only if I get the lab set up today. Lucky for me it is only a 4-day week, but we are camping this weekend, so I won’t have access to internet to plan, so next week’s gotta be planned before I go. I had Friday for that, but I added an exercise class because I can’t go earlier in the week, and then the cat needed to go to the vet, and then the Man decided he wanted to be out of here by 2 PM, and all of a sudden, the day is no longer mine to lesson plan, eh? ‘Tis how it works.

I also need to start the next quilt, at least on the drawing page. I managed to put all the bindings on Saturday…

That’s some old-school fabric there for the sleeve. Then the bed quilt…

Only got the art quilt pinned last night…

Other art stuff happened this weekend though. I went to the opening of Portraits of the Anthropocene at Dance Place in Liberty Station…and a bunch of my co-teachers showed up…

So did the Man…

I have two quilts there…

Through early January, so check it out…also some other very cool art there.

And after that, we ate…

It was really nice of them all to show up, and we had a good time.

The next day, I had a quilt guild meeting. Met an old acquaintance and made a new one. Also did some slow stitching…

Came home, graded for a while, and then went for a much-needed hike with Simba and the Man…

The weather was beautiful…just the right temperature…

Although all three of us are out of shape…

Saw a coyote…

It’s a little blurry. Every time we come to Crest, these days, we see a coyote.

Quilts=Art=Quilts is up at the Schweinfurth Art Center. You can see the whole exhibit here. I screenshot a couple of shots of my quilt.

Gotta love those orange dots.

I love seeing my work in a space I can’t visit, so this is awesome for me. It’s up until January as well.

I also voted. You should vote too.

And visited the parentals, who have had a week to recover from their trip and seem to need another week at least. Katie was happy to see us though.

Happy her parents are home too.

OK. School. Two-hour staff meeting. Dropping the sewing machine off to be cleaned/tuned up. Finishing grades. Setting up a lab. Cooking dinner. Hopefully starting to sew the binding on to that quilt and/or drawing the next one. I have high hopes for the next one. More time during the week to make art? Working on it. For now, gotta get up and at ’em. Whatever that means.

Shooing Snakes

It’s interesting that my brain is sure I should be up earlier on a Monday and tries to make me wake up and succeeds because as soon as any coherent part of it wakes up, it starts to worry about work and how to get it all done…that said, I was dreaming about snakes of all sizes everywhere and the dogs and cats were on them and chasing them and I was afraid one of the snakes was a rattler (they were all rattlers) and would strike, so I was running around, moving cats and dogs and shooing snakes.

If that isn’t a metaphor for life right now, I don’t know what is.

I spent a few hours last night trying to organize and finalize these gridded selfies for my Advanced Art kids, emailed all of the ones I had (28/38), planned the week for both art classes (as much as that ever seems to work), spent hours on science, made two videos, I have another 4-6 videos I need to make today and tomorrow for art, I think. I wrote it down. Graded nothing since Friday night…although I graded during gaming, the easy stuff, not the thinking stuff. Nobody should be grading thinking stuff on a Friday night. Gaming, being watched by the dog (she needed to pee), bouncing back and forth on the Mac between game info and what I was grading.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m gone this weekend, although I do have wifi, and grades are due in a week. So I need to not only plan for next week, which is usually multiple hours of stuff, but grade everything that counts for this trimester and input it all. Fun stuff. You wish you were me.

Halloween for the students.

I would have worn the lemur costume but (a) they only see my head anyway and (b) it was warm on Friday.

On actual Halloween, I exercised, twice actually, did some art stuff, got interviewed for an art video thing…the Schweinfurth Art Center is currently showing Quilts=Art=Quilts, and here is my piece, Swallow Me Whole hung in that space.

They have a cool tour of the show you can see on their website here. Check it out. They’re editing all my words down to a reasonable amount (you know how that goes). I’ll let you know when it posts.

Strangely, Friday night, after gaming, I had energy. I had enlarged a couple of things, still debating what to do next. This drawing from a staff meeting got an extended body…

And I did enlarge the third possible COVID quilt.

It’s smaller than the last one, but it’s complicated. That’s not a bad thing in general. I’m debating.

Size comparisons…

I found out about another show I should enter, but the theme is not something my head is processing right now. So I don’t know.

Saturday also involved getting a nail out of my tire and a 3-mile hike in nature.

Luckily it was late enough that most people had left nature for their Halloween parties.

I’m not kidding. My neighbors threw one. Fifteen kids. We left candy in a bowl in the driveway.

This guy kept eyeballing us, but was much more interested in finding food.

The sky was beautiful.

The neighbors were mostly quiet…impressive, considering the candy consumption that must have happened. We ate out (outside…still not going into a restaurant) and then I sat and drew for my Patreon…

Nova kept trying to crawl into my lap…but eventually I got something done.

Scanned it, cleaned it up, posted it.

Hi Nova. Then Sunday was all school, all the time, in between phone calls and groceries. I finished sending those 28 emails to art students at 9:45 PM or so…which was really an hour later in Kathy brain time. I rode the stationary bike for exercise…gotta incorporate that back in. I got lazy or overwhelmed or whatever.

Then I tried to draw, got the sketchbook out, put it on the couch, found my pen, and Kitten was lying on it.

Straight up, I didn’t have the energy to draw anyway. School really kicked my ass yesterday, on a Sunday. It was just hard. It feels never-ending, like there’s never a break, and when I take a break, then I’m on again for just hours to catch up, and I never catch up. I don’t ever see the kids in person, just online, which is hard for me. I do have relationships with kids, but it’s not the same. I worry about some, I worry too hard about some I should probably just stop worrying about, I try too hard sometimes. Need to let some of those balls drop so I can survive this workload. The plusses of having a team support with all the little stuff, with the kids, with someone to talk to about school or kids; the co-teacher helping with planning stuff and making posts and assignments. That’s all gone. New curriculum, no curriculum, no materials, no support. Exhausted. I’ll be 1/3 of the way through the year on Friday. The vast expanse of time that unfolds before me in this school year…sigh. I do think about quitting. I do. I always expected to teach until I retired. I think I will…but as a high-risk person, I wonder how long it will be before I can go back…if ever.

I need to start the next art quilt. Even if it’s just that little Boom so I have something to work on. I need to start. I need a place for my brain to rest at the end of the day besides this crap.

The Devil Take Your Stereo*

Whoa Friday morning. You snuck up on me, but I’m very glad to see you, although now I’m wondering (a) if my grandma got evacuated in the fires last night, (b) what’s for breakfast, and (c) why the hot water heater isn’t producing enough hot water to get me through a scant 10-minute shower in the morning. I really wish my brain could slow down sometimes, but no. I’ve already handled two Fed-Ex-related phone calls from the girlchild, wait, and a text, wait, a series of texts, plus two emails to the principal, and I still haven’t finished my tea, but it and my feet are cold, but it’ll be in the 80s today. Grades are due Tuesday, but it’ll be fine, it’s just progress reports and we didn’t lose or kill anyone on the field trip yesterday, so we’re all good. Seriously. That was the bar I had to reach and I did that.

Insert artsy field trip photo here…

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Seriously, it was fine. Timing was good. All the food got eaten (we give away the extra lunches at the end of the day), no one got hurt, the wind was crazy, but the movie and the games were cool.

My agave spike continues its strangeness…

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My quilt in a photo at the Schweinfurth Art Center (it’s the one on the left, in case you couldn’t figure that out).

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I did something on the left. Filling in spaces.

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Then we were still watching a show that hadn’t ended and I have all this nervous energy, despite feeling exhausted (I zoned out on the couch for about 45 minutes before starting dinner last night…I’m OK with that), so that nervous energy was trying to finish sewing this on.

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With puppy.

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He looks downright pitiful there. He thinks he’s a cat. Tries to sit on my lap like a cat too.

Then I made sure, when the show was done, to get in here and start ironing…STAND UP and get off the damn couch, because you’re falling into it…here’s the face…

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Well, one of six faces anyway…it wasn’t particularly hard…

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The arteries were a bit more challenging…so that got me through all the 500s.

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So next I laid out the 600s, which gets me to almost halfway, and I got through one arm before my body and brain were like, hey baby, that’s it, it’s been two hours and we’re tired so please let us stop.

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So I did. In reality, I had the time to iron for another hour to hour and a half, but realistically, when I’m tired, I’m tired. So 5 more heads, either tonight (might be a stretch) or tomorrow or Sunday, hopefully I’ll get a good chunk done. Probably not tomorrow. Sigh. OK. Not as far as I wanted to be…but we’ll see where I’m at by Sunday night. Iron the whole thing down by Monday night? It’s a goal. Then stitch down (ha! it’s the week from hell next week), sandwich by the next weekend? Quilt like a racehorse and bind it before Christmas? Holy crap. That’s basically what I have to do. I should email the photographer now. Crikey.

The crazy winds continue, the psycho fires continue…best of luck to all my friends and family dealing with both…nah, send that to everyone, because this is scary as shit and horrible to experience. May everyone stay safe, from human to domesticated animal to poor wild beast trying to escape the fires.

*Adam Ant, Stand and Deliver

Sometimes I Get a Good Feeling*

Today is finally supposed to be under 100 degrees. Hallelujah. The heat sucks energy out of me. I’m hoping to find enough of it to get me to the gym tonight, even with the remnants of this wacky virus. We’ll see. It’s been rough this week. I did pick up a copyediting job for Thanksgiving week…and maybe another one for after that. I still have to find the money to pay for college on a regular basis, so job number 3 pops up every once in a while.

I have a quilt in Quilts=Art=Quilts, which is opening this weekend at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York. It will be there through January 7. This one was made for a show that it didn’t get into…and it seems to be doing fine with that rejection. This is All Stacked Up in My Head.

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

It’s actually a similar idea to what I’m sloshing around in my brain right now…a protective goddess trying to make sure we get what we need and want. But a different image of course. Anyway. I fell asleep on the couch again last night…this cold is kicking my butt. Or it’s because of the 17 thousand things I’m trying to do during the day. Or all of the above. I know I need to get out of here early this morning for a parent meeting and duty and tracking down the principal for a question that he probably could have answered by email. Sigh.

I finally got my act together (seriously, I was grading stuff that’s killing me because I have to look up all the chemical and physical properties of most of the elements just to make sure the kids followed instructions, and then I was trying to write a study guide and found a different version of the quiz from last year and I don’t even know why, so my brain exploded for a while. NO. Teachers NEVER STOP WORKING. Sigh. Double sigh.).

So I wasn’t going to draw, but then my stubborn-ass art brain made me. I had another idea for the quilt, so I started with that…the bubble and the hands…and apparently the cat next to me.

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Because when it’s hot, I want a furry beast right next to me. NO! I want it ON me. That’s the puppy earlier.

This is where I got. And it’s not going to work.

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I mean, maybe it’ll work for something else. But not this. It’s OK. This is a process. Not every drawing for a quilt spills out of me in one go. I’m enjoying just drawing a little bit anyway. Tonight we try again! Really. We do. After grading. And maybe another nap. No! I’m going to the gym, remember?

*Pretty Lights, Finally Moving