Overreaching Authority…

My country is fucked. My country has gone backwards 50 years (or more). My country is in a morality war that doesn’t really track as morality (give birth, but we won’t make the man responsible for shit, and we won’t help you…especially if you are a child who was pressured, raped, or subjected to incest…then we are gonna screw you up forever). I’m not sure the quilt I’m currently working on (which was drawn before all this happened with Roe v Wade) is angry enough. Does angry art do anything? I don’t know. It funnels some of the anger out of me. Briefly. I currently have a bunch of addresses for the Supreme Court Justices who violated our rights. What was it that AOC said? That the Supreme Court overreached their authority in reversing Roe v Wade, and we should do as Lincoln did with the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves…”he ignored the gross overreach and abuse of power,” Time to pass some laws that the Supreme Court, which is NOT making choices for the people right now, can’t fuck with. Yeah. That. Or statewide, refuse to follow laws that will cause death, some of it in children. You’ve probably already seen cases where gynecological cancers can’t be treated because of abortion concerns, or when actual medical treatments that will save a woman’s life come up against this law, as in an ectopic pregnancy. It seems like it’s so simple…just don’t let abortion occur, but there are treatments that will save a woman’s life that might end the life of an embryo or fetus. Sometimes those hard choices need to be made. Not even talking about choice, bodily autonomy, even IUDs qualify as abortion in some states. I’m disheartened. But not giving up. Frustrated. Angry still. Probably won’t get over that. And I keep going through my artwork and finding more about human rights.

So it’s always hard to be working on a quilt that was really speaking to me in the beginning while something else grows in my head. I wasn’t thinking I’d have to do another one about abortion rights in the same year I finished My Body. My Choice. Silly me. Although as I was ironing Wonder Under to fabric the other night, those handmaids came back. Because they’re in this quilt. So I guess I never stop thinking about it. Anyway. I’m really close to the end. I’ve been doing about an hour or so of ironing Wonder Under to fabric each night…

And they all start to look the same…

I know I added some more greens and another blue fabric in there, plus some purples. I got to the head too, although I didn’t finish it. I’ve been cutting pieces out each night too, so the box never gets full, because I’m always working on emptying it. I cut stuff out while the Man and I watch our nightly show, so about 40 minutes or so a night.

Often the stuff I had ironed down the night before. So there’s progress. I have about 100 or so more pieces to iron down…the rest of her head (teeth, eyeballs, hair) and a few things I added at the last minute: the Uvalde kids and a COVID virion. Couldn’t leave them out. Almost done at 20 1/2 hours of ironing. I have 6 1/2 hours into the cutting-out portion, so probably another 5-10…can’t tell. Then I can start ironing it together.

While another drawing populates itself in my head. Not sure I can finish another one in time for my multiple deadlines on 8/1. Hmmm. Kinda depends on how many other things I’m doing. I’m still copyediting this book, hopefully done by Friday. I have another book I’m proofreading (somewhat easier and faster than a copyedit) in late July/early August. If I don’t get called for jury duty, I can get a lot done, but I’ve also been working on the yard, trying to do a little every day. It’s a lot. But it needs doing. I am reading and trying to deal with the heat and hopefully upping the exercise quotient and the eating-healthy quotient after the last few months of school fucking with that on a regular basis. We’ll see. Oh yeah, and since the courts are continuing to make really bad decisions, I’ve gotta pick an appropriate alternative religion to pray to at school…

Being an atheist makes this more difficult, but I guess I can be totally open about that at school now, since the ruling, right? OH! You mean it’s just Christianity that’s OK? WTF. Huh. That makes no sense. As usual.

OK. Work. Lots of it. Whether it’s on the computer, copyediting or school, in the yard, or with fabric, it’s what I do. Lots of it. With some reading and cups of tea to counteract the 90-degree temperatures here. Plus gotta get the crockpot going for dinner. Yeah. Getting on with it.

Our Revised Existence…

Congratulations America…you’ve just hopped viciously backward fifty years or more. You’ve just confirmed that it’s OK to buy guns to kill a bunch of kids in an elementary school, but women can’t have bodily autonomy. It makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t tell me to go live somewhere else. I was born here. In a military hospital no less. This is my country as much as it is yours.

If you voted for these people who believe this is their right, to take away the rights of half the population, then I cannot talk to you right now. I can’t talk about this without angry crying. In fact, I just walked away from the computer for a while there to let it settle a bit.

I have typed about 17 things here and deleted them. They don’t help except to push some of the anger out of me onto you. I did not ever think that at 55 years old, I would be hoping that sometime in the future, women might get rights back over their own bodies. And to those who told me it would never happen (rich white males, as it happens)? Fuck you. Even if you voted for our rights, you gaslit me and others who saw this coming. This has been 10 years coming, maybe more.

Fuck fuck fuck. My daughter. My friends’ daughters. My students. My students’ daughters. Abortions will still happen…they will just be unsafe. Trans rights. Gay rights. Damn them for interfering where they know nothing. Women who need abortions for health reasons or due to rape or incest? Fuck the Republican Party for this.

Moment of silence. Trying to reorder my thoughts. Trying to figure out what I can do. Besides make art about it. It seems like that’s all I can ever do. It doesn’t seem like enough.

Moment of silence.

Moment…

I have a science prep meeting today. I’m so not in the mood.

Reorder thoughts.

I’ve been ironing. I literally just ironed this down the other night…

And started cutting it out last night. I cut the robe fabrics out…I remember those shapes. I cut his head out…you can see the robe pieces there, all black, on the top left.

SIGH. Reorder thoughts. I spent a lot of time artmaking yesterday, possibly too much when I look at the to-do list. I did ship a quilt. I finished three pieces that will go on Etsy in the next few days. I set up a sale page for my blog to put a few older pieces on sale. It’s not up yet. I’ll tell you when it is. I ironed more flesh yesterday just to clear the ironing board so I could iron the quilt that needed to be shipped.

I only had long strips of this fabric…not sure where it came from…maybe Kris? It’s not the normal half yards I buy.

This is where I had gotten the night before.

I finally hit the halfway mark…I’m in the 600s. It feels hard to be making art right now. Like it won’t matter. Today I start copyediting, so I can pay the summer bills. Because I’m a white teacher who has access to good healthcare and was given a good education so I could have a decent job (don’t get me wrong…teachers are not paid enough for the hours we put in) and not everyone has that privilege. So I have the ability to spend time drawing and cutting up fabric so I can sew it back together.

SIGH.

Kitten surveying the outdoors. Hanging out with me.

I hear petting animals is good for the brain…

The Man is doing a good job of that. Boychild is back from the fire. Pretty dirty. I need to go to school and work right now. Then come back and copyedit, then more art. Get my head around our revised existence.

Post-School Brain Fog…

Ah yes. I survived another year of teaching. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and want to cry most of the time, and I was awake at 4:38 AM this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep until I typed some things in a to-do list, but I’m not sure that shit’s not just normal Nida behavior. My co-teacher and I banged out a rough plan for 8th grade science while waiting for her to get her room checked out (I had mine signed off during the meeting where the parent didn’t show up). I have two huge piles of books I need to either read, learn, memorize, or use for next year. I still need a good college textbook for space science. A little light summer read. Apparently everything I’ve learned in Star Trek and The Expanse will not be transferable. Dammit. The weather is gorgeous here, I have science meetings already planned for the next two weeks, the Man is hiking again, and I might be able to see him in two weeks. Maybe. SIGH.

Look! It’s my team! Which will change and be bigger next year…

No stress. Just more changes. Lots of them. A fuckload of them.

Giant Ass Sigh. Hello summer. I needed you. Don’t get too hot.

OK, so I have been ironing Wonder Under to fabric, mostly in an exhausted fashion. This was Wednesday night.

I ironed a cannon. And some other stuff.

Then last night, after 3 hours with the same group of kids, then a bunch of cleaning, then a school party (only one drink), and then a Zoom meeting, I ironed more. I looked completely exhausted by then. The wonder of Zoom is that you SEE YOUR FACE.

Laid out some flesh colors…they look really peachy here.

I guess they are peachy.

Usually I try to lay out the whole body at once, since it’s all the same fabrics, but it was going to be the 200s and the 300s and then the 700 and 800s and maybe beyond. I couldn’t deal with it last night. I just did the legs and the torso. And then put those fabrics in a pile for when I get up to the torso. It’ll be OK…although I only have small amounts of a couple of them…might need to substitute. That’s why I usually lay them all out at once…in case I run out of one, so I can juggle things before I start ironing down. Ah well. Juggling fabric is something I can do pretty easily. I think I’ll be fine.

Or I will be swearing at myself in a couple of days time. Well, at least some of the flesh tones are in. I’m somewhere in the 200s…or 300s…hard to say because I haven’t finished either.

Meanwhile, the Man’s local temperatures are dropping to 22 degrees tonight (it’s delightful here…I did say that). He has a pass to go over today or tomorrow that hopefully isn’t too bad. I have a friend’s daughter’s wedding to go to tomorrow…need to clean the bird shit off the car and figure out which boots I’m wearing (it’s outside in the dirt). Also need to get a short massage so the chiropractor can budge my neck, take the dog to the vet, and cook dinner. I really need a nap…that 4:38-AM thing really threw my brain.

It’ll be two weeks before my brain is really working well again anyway. Post-school fog…commence!

All the Things…

Today we take the whole grade bowling. I’m realizing next year, I will be on two grade levels and I don’t even know how that will work. I don’t know how anything will work. It will be my first year dealing with graduation too. Ugh. Not a fan. Today we just go bowling though. All our concerns about taking some of these kids out and about are noted. We have lists and plans and backup plans and in the end, it’s just more survival. I’ve come home from school the last two days so exhausted that I just read my book for about an hour before doing anything.

I’ve finished two books in the last 5 days and am on a third. All the same author. More importantly, mostly the same WORLD. Not this one. Fantasy. Not always pretty fantasy, but certainly easier to deal with than reality. Reality is my classroom and trying to get everything put away. Not pretty at all.

I did finish grades on Monday; stayed at school until they were done. Had some issues with a couple of kids in the end, but whatever. We’re done now and one issue is documented to hell and back because I know that mom. (Thanks, mom, for making my job harder and enabling your kid to half-ass it.) But they’re done! Woohoo! That’s a moment right there.

I have been dragging myself off the couch to work on the art quilt…started picking dirt fabrics on Monday night…

Here’s the setup…quilt drawing hanging precariously from clothespins so I can see all the pieces with numbers.

Iron them down and rough cut the section out…

I didn’t get them all ironed down before bedtime.

Then I stare at it for a while and pick the next batch of colors…last night, I finished the dirt, picked some rocks, and a volcano. Damn, though…I just realized I missed some of the volcano pieces. It’s OK. I’ll fix that tonight.

That’s why I hold onto all the fabrics used in the quilt until it’s all put together…in case I need to find one orange fabric in my stash…this narrows it down to just the oranges used in this quilt.

It’s a slow start. I’m really tired and not ironing particularly fast. The next three days won’t be a lot different. But it’s a great stage of the quilt to be working on…the fabric choosing is one of my favorite parts.

These baby birds (they are big babies now) have been screeching their little heads off, but as soon as I come out, they shut up quick and freeze…

They must be close to fledging.

So Cal Mama is going to the 38th Annual New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilts at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, opening July 9 through September 10.

Check her out.

OK, 4 hours of bowling stuff, then 2 hours of kids in the classroom with movies and me cleaning up. Then exercise class, which might kill me at that point, based on my energy levels after school the last 2 days. Nap? No, gotta cook dinner, read my book, iron more stuff. Then graduation tomorrow, which means being locked in our rooms for 3 hours with the same group of kids (please don’t come please don’t come). Clean up, party, exhaustion. All the things. That’s where we’re at. Meanwhile, the Man is having health issues and is heading to a clinic. Hopefully an easy fix and back on trail, but we don’t know. Hoping though.

Just a Little Longer

Hey. It’s the last Monday of the school year. I feel like with just 4 and a bit days left that I might actually survive (actually briefly felt very ill this morning, so hopefully that was some sort of dream remnant). But I’m not positive about that survival shit yet. I’ll get there. But my grades aren’t done yet, so that’s fueling some level of panic. Plus I think I have three meetings today and then IDK how many more because people keep wanting meetings and I just want to crawl into bed, put my pillow over my head, and stay there until July.

Ah well. So in the artmaking realm, I finished cutting out all the Wonder Under on Friday night (a total of 9 hours and 15 minutes) and then sorted it…

Which doesn’t take very long…

Well, just under an hour for this quilt…

And then I realized to start ironing, I would need to clean up all the stuff from the last quilt, so Saturday night, after working most of the day, I made an attempt and got everything piled up by color…

And last night, after working most of the day again, could not muster the energy to go in there and start putting them away. Which is fine. I’m tired. I’m stressed. Cleaning is not one of my go-tos during those times. It will happen. Everything is ready for the next step of the quilt…except for me.

I spent most of the weekend grading. On Friday, I stayed late and graded all the late work and one last assignment for art…

Then Saturday, I started on the last of the science assignments…this was my seat most of the weekend…

Could be worse. Nova sat on the computer at some point and added to one kid’s assignment…

Undo! Undo! I probably graded for about 5 hours on Saturday. Took a break around 5 PM and walked the dog with the boychild, who is here until his dad tests negative or is 10 days out…

It was warm out…

We only did 2 miles. Then back to grading.

My Advisory class is all graded and done.

Luckily they occasionally make me laugh.

Sunday, I spent another 7 hours grading, with breaks in between to fold laundry and go to the grocery store. Ugh. I finished the science stuff and then had to grade the alternative assignments for the kids whose parents opt them out of sex ed. That was some level of torture. First, there are 17 of them (but two didn’t hand anything in, so that’s fun); second, about half didn’t read instructions and/or thought the instructions were “Copy everything from Google.” So I’m frustrated and irritated and need to change that assignment. In my spare time. We spend more time planning the beginning of the year. By the time we get to the end, we are brain dead and can’t deal. Hopefully we can do some backwards planning this year for next year.

Am I done? No, I’m not fucking done. I still need to input final grades and behavior and effort and all that crazy shit. Hopefully I will have a prep period today, because there are three meetings and I want to come home and collapse (after buying cat food).

My quilt guild is doing a UFO finishing challenge, luckily starting in the summer this time instead of in January. Teachers need a chunk of time to finish brainless stuff like this…I put this on my list last year and didn’t finish it. It only needs quilting and a binding. Wouldn’t take long. This is Sue Spargo’s Bird Dance, which I stitched on for years at soccer games.

This one is a new finish on the embroidery…needs to be sandwiched, quilted, and bound, but it’s smaller than the other one…this is Sue Spargo’s Chirp.

I guess you can see what my hobby stitching of choice is. Totally different from what I normally make.

Then in 2008, I started making a quilt for my bed. I know! WTH. I got the top done, minus the borders…

It’s all alien fabrics, super bright. It would make me happy to finish it and put it on my bed. But I need to learn how to use mom’s longarm for this. I could do it on the regular machine, but it would be a pain. I even have the border and backing fabrics, so I just need time. I already called mom, and she’s in. So those three. No worries. Lots of brainless for a while.

Well hopefully I will be done with grades before I get home tonight, and I can just read my book. Because it’s due Thursday and I don’t want to wait until it’s ready for me again to finish it. So I need to read a little faster. Or more. Something. One day at a time. I’ve been one-daying it for about 2 months now. Just a little longer.

Five Days…

There’s a march tomorrow, one I’ve done before. March for Our Lives…about gun violence here in the US. I’m going to be there in spirit, while my body and brain grade stuff for the end of the school year. I watched a tiny bit of the testimony from the Uvalde families…it was the tiniest bit because I was at school and then had to spend all day teaching kids just two years older, and very much alive, and that’s all I could handle.

I have five more days of school, but grades are due Tuesday. I am behind in the teaching sex ed schedule because the behaviors are pretty immature and it takes a lot to deal with block scheduling…it’s too much. So we will get as far as we can. I have 17 kids opted out of sex ed, so their giant projects are due to me today. That’s gonna take a while to grade. All the art projects are due today. So many kids absent for COVID or field trips or camp and somehow they’re all still supposed to finish. AND I have to have stuff for the kids who are done. I’m done, honestly. Very done.

I appreciated meeting with friends last night…when I was dropping the Man off on the PCT, I had almost finished a Sue Spargo quilt I’ve been working on since 2020. I think I’ve been doing the borders for a year (they are complicated and I don’t work on them regularly). I had about 2 3/4 of the last stitch on the last 4 flowers to do, and I could have done it in the car on the way up to Kennedy Meadows, but then mentally I couldn’t. So it’s been sitting around. I was fairly sure last night would be the big finish, which is kinda cool, since they’ve been around (mostly on Zoom for the whole damn thing). And here we are!

All the embroidery is done; I just need to sandwich, quilt, and bind. Minor work…compared to the rest of it. It’s nice to have a finish. My quilt guild is doing the UFO thing again…so I made a list of the unfinished and it was long. I will need to pick a couple to do though. This will probably be one of them.

Speaking of the Man, he made it over Forester Pass yesterday. He’s coming off trail today to pick up his resupply package. I wish him luck. I think he’s feeling better (besides being sore and tired), so that is a plus. I still don’t know when or where I will be able to meet him. His mileage has been pretty low…I’m hoping for the two weeks after school gets out, but it’s looking complicated. As usual.

I am so close to done on cutting out Wonder Under. I did a goodly chunk on Wednesday night…

Had about 3/4 of a yard left to go. But last night, I was home late and only got 30 minutes in (had to finish a book. Crucial. Absolutely. If you’re at 95% and you DON’T finish, what is wrong with you?). So I’m still not done…

There’s probably 30-45 minutes left of cutting, but I picked sleep last night out of pure exhaustion. So tonight I will finish cutting and then sort. Ironing tomorrow? Hopefully.

Meanwhile, there are cat antics. Nova wants to hug geckos…

And Luna has been a psycho in bed.

No sleep for the weary.

OK, my voice is shot even with a microphone. Today is STDs. Always fun. Plus a ton of grading. Hopefully during prep and not just after school. We’ll see. Looking forward to a weekend, even if it is full of grading and inputting crap. There will be some down time.

No Guarantee…

Tuesday nights/Wednesday mornings. Not far enough into the week. The plus is that we’re done with the childbirth portion of the year and going into the oozing genitalia part. Woo hoo! Gross them out. While giving them crucial information. Actually childbirth already did that. Wait. I forgot. Stupid block schedule…I have one more class of childbirth today. Ugh. Today is hard. Teaching all the things in one day. Two different blocks of science…plus art. I guess next year will be like that every day. Don’t do labs in both grade levels on the same day! Ah, you know that won’t work. It’ll happen. Hopefully they’ll chunk each grade level together so I’m not jumping back and forth between the two. No guarantee of that though. No guarantee of anything.

Need to get my classroom clean and put away for next year. Need to get my brain around next year. Need to get my brain on vacation first. Still haven’t gotten COVID (knock on wood). At this point, I just need it to stay away through next week. Honestly, after that, I suspect my exposures will be pretty minor.

Mostly at the moment, I work the day job, go exercise, come home, eat, grade a little, depending on the day, then cut stuff out. It’s working. But the to-do list is messy and awful and none of it is really getting done. I need to change the sheets on the bed. It’s still flannel and it’s in the 80s during the day. It’s been OK, but I need to change them. Cat hair alone. I just don’t have TIME. Stupid really. If I didn’t do the art stuff, I’d have time, right? Ugh. Not happening. Art always wins over changing the sheets.

OK. Today will be fine. I actually have an art-related Zoom tonight (although I think I will have to cook dinner during it…ah well…I just need to listen, not talk). So that’s a deviation from the norm.

The Man is having a hard time on trail. The trail itself is hard and elevation is hard and I think it’s just hard. I’m hoping it gets easier in a couple of days. He will hopefully get over the highest pass (all the passes are high and scary but this is the highest) and then it’s all downhill! Until the next pass. Yeah. I’m not much help. So I cut more stuff out.

Nova really wants lap time while I’m doing this. I try to give her some and then cut stuff out as well. Monday night I had 3 yards cut out…halfway.

Tuesday night, I got another yard and a half done…

Doesn’t look a lot different, does it. Well…there’s only a yard and a half to go…so I might finish tonight or maybe tomorrow night…then sort it? Ready to iron to fabric by Friday. I won’t have a background fabric yet though. Damn store I like still doesn’t have hours that I can get to during the week. Sucks. Saturday morning I guess. With grades due. Gotta do that. Unfortunately. There’s a chunk of the weekend, unless I can get through them today. Hope hope hope.

Hello y’all.

So tired. Almost done. Seven days. One of them short. One of them on a field trip. Just need to get all the things done. Then hide in a pillow fort for the next 10 days. After I change the sheets. Gonna need more books. I’m lying. I have a shit-ton of books I haven’t read yet. No need to resupply. Teacher done.

Give Us What We Need…

We are definitely getting near the end of this school year. My body and brain both agree. My inability to sleep at night does not help. Ugh. I wake up in the morning not sure what day it is (IDK what’s up with that…I am constantly staring at calendars…I should always know what day it is). I am exhausted. I’m also sore and rocking a sore throat constantly from talking with a mask on…but if I take it off, I’ll be out for 10 days with COVID like half the teachers on campus have been. That would get me out of the last two weeks of school, yes, but that’s not fair to the kids trying to finish art projects or the teacher who would have to come in and sub and NOT teach sex ed (IDK what I would give the kids, but not that). This year just needs to be done. I’m picking fights with the district office (they don’t give us what we need…I’m so tired of that) and other departments over legit stuff, but it makes me feel bad sometimes to ask for what I need. For what we need. Wonder of being a department co-chair plus a union rep. Just give us what we need to do this job, dammit. It’s hard enough anyways, and then to be like “oh that’s not possible…”. Aargh.

Bitch. That’s what they call me. I know that. I’m just tired of not getting what we need. Of ignoring what we need.

Somehow this week I need to figure out how to get two programs on two kids’ computers. I just need someone techy to do it for me, but no. If it’s going to get done, I will have to do it.

Sigh. Yeah. Done.

Also need someone to deliver food every day and not be expensive. And the pool guy to figure out what’s up with the damn pump without my telling him to. And for my insurance to send that damn letter without my having to call again. Sigh.

OK. Well. In good news, I finished tracing all the Wonder Under on Friday night…

6 yards and a bit…then started cutting on Saturday night…

And a little more on Sunday night…

Next step…seeing progress. I will hopefully be done with this by the weekend, and whatever time I don’t spend grading will be spent ironing. But I don’t have a background. Ah. Well. Will need to think upon that.

I also gave a talk Saturday at my quilt guild…took some quilts and my sketchbooks and explained stuff. Maybe. And then worked on this…

The neverending scarf.

I also hiked on Saturday…

Went out to Crestridge Ecological Reserve…it was warm but beautiful…

I got lost a bit on an overgrown trail, but found my way out eventually…

Hiking alone sometimes freaks me out, but not enough to stop. I just needed to get outside and walk for a while. It was good.

The Man took a few days off but is now back on trail…

He was here last night…weird-looking area…

He’s not feeling well this morning again. Not sure if elevation is just really kicking his butt or what, but he’s not giving up. Still moving. It’s hard. It’s hard for him and for me…different kinds of hard. Some 20-year-old died of elevation sickness a week ago, so now we’re all paranoid. Hopefully he will feel better soon…since his doesn’t sound like elevation stuff. Just being-on-trail stuff.

Here’s Luna, being her psychotic self…

She misses her dad, but I am an acceptable substitute. Apparently. For both the cats.

UGH. OK. I really need to go to school. Luckily it’s pregnancy video day, so all I have to do is listen to the squawking of 12-year-olds complaining about childbirth being so gross. Actually, I think all the childbirths will be tomorrow…short periods today. Well that’s a plus. Maybe I can get some work done. Maybe I will actually have my prep period today, unlike Friday.

I think what I really need is two weeks of uninterrupted sleeping in and lots of drawing and reading my book. And then maybe I can deal with humanity again. Soon. Maybe.

Survival Mode

It happens to all of us. We get to a point with our jobs that we just hunker down and do the things, come home, feed the things, do the things, sleep, get up, do it all again. I’m there. So there. I finally slept last night after three nights of anxiety brain being an asshole. That doesn’t help. I question my reactions to things…am I overreacting or are people being assholes? This is especially hard when you teach middle school…I worry so much about the kids being OK, especially when we teach sex ed. The questions written anonymously on cards. I do my best with the sexist misogyny that shows up in 12-year-old boys, I worry about the kids who write questions about not telling their parents stuff about them like forever. I worry about the quiet ones, the bullies, the overly loud and obnoxious ones, the ones who have changed a lot over the year, the angry ones. The ones who never get it. The ones who don’t care. I worry about asking for what we teachers need, worry that other adults will see that as bitchy. But then it’s what we need. Sigh. It’s just that time of year. TEN DAYS. Ten days of getting grades done, teaching pregnancy and STDs and HIV, giving reward ceremonies, field trips, hoping the kids turn in late work (but also hoping they don’t, because then I’ll have to grade it), hoping there aren’t any more teachers out with no subs (I need my prep period!), hoping next year isn’t this bad, but suspecting some parts of it will be rough.

That stuff is true. Under-supported as well. Managed by people who haven’t been in a classroom, haven’t taught, don’t know what we do. And dammit, the phone rings nonstop some days. That shit.

It’s Friday. Bless me, it’s Friday. Today I teach pregnancy, the first part of it. Hopefully I get some stuff graded (ha!). Hopefully I get my prep period. This afternoon, I have a short massage (just neck and shoulders; can’t afford the full one) and chiropractor. Hopefully that will help with this week’s headaches. Then a busy weekend with lots of quilt/art meetings. And hopefully I will finally finish tracing this beast. MY LORD…it’s taking for-freakin-ever.

Because I’m only getting an hour and a bit a night…

14 hours in. I’m in the 800s. Probably 250 to go? I don’t even know anymore. Oh! I lied. I made it to piece 913 last night. There were 1064 pieces before I started adding stuff, and I already traced the stuff I added. Holy shit. So about 150 to go. I can do that tonight. I can. I’m not cooking (I’ve cooked so many nights this week…it’s exhausting. I need a casserole or something for next week.). Then cut them out. I can do that. Sigh. Giant Ass Sigh. I love making art too…just wish I had more time for it.

The Man is still out there; I think this is from the day before yesterday.

Not sure why I screenshot these…they all look the same. But it helps me in my head somehow. He’s having some health and soreness issues, so is looking at a day off trail. He can’t afford staying anywhere nice, but anything is nicer than the trail sometimes. Plus resupply…it’s taking him a while to get acclimated to elevation and hiking nonstop again. It’s good to do hard things…but it’s also hard. We miss him…the cats are very needy at the moment. But we are surviving.

OK. I do have to leave the house. Can’t just stay here and trace Wonder Under and not think about grades. Need another cup of tea and then to get a bunch of stuff done today so it won’t follow me home. It always follows me home. Peace.

Dropped Off…

Hey. It’s the third to last week of school. There are 12 days left. I persuade myself I can do 12 days until the alarm goes off in the morning, and then I wonder DEEPLY about my choice of profession and the pandemic and how few social skills these kids have. Teaching sex ed is usually a pretty easy end of the year, but this year…man…so many inappropriate behaviors. It’s exhausting. I’ve been wearing a mic for weeks, trying to save my voice and it’s still crap by the time I get through the day. Sore throat, rough. Ugh. Most days, I’m not even really sure what day it actually is. I forgot (again) about my before-school duty yesterday because Tuesday? After a weekend? Yeah, no brain power. I remembered after school because I looked at my calendar and actually READ it. I have four places, maybe five that remind me of things, and I still forget.

The pro is that I graded two full assignments in the car on the way up to Ridgecrest. I have three real assignments left to grade. I just need to power through, and then I can decide which of these silly worksheets we do that I actually care about. Oh yeah, and then 16 projects for the kids whose parents opted them out. That’ll take me a bit. Just a bit. They’re trying to hand them in now, and I skim through, thinking (stupidly), “did you read the instructions?”. My high-level kids are still working on them. The lower kids are “WE’RE DONE!” My ass you are. Go back. Anyway. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s a pro.

So Sunday, we drove through the endless, windy, dusty desert to get to Ridgecrest.

It’s seriously a drive I have done way too many times, with at least a few in my near future. Tired of it. But the Man drove up because he knew I had to drive back. So that was nice.

Hotel room was OK, not huge, weird bathroom configuration, but was remodeled relatively recently. Can’t really recommend Ridgecrest for anything. It’s hot and dry and dusty and food choices are mostly fast and furious. We watched two movies, both not very memorable. I stitched and drew.

And read a little. Finished a book…it was short…

That is the last of the flower types. I finished one and a half of them…only three and a half to go. I could have stitched on the road from Ridgecrest to Kennedy Meadows, but mentally couldn’t. Plus at some point it was mountain road, so that’s not a thing for me. Look Straight Out the Window. That’s me. But I’m close to done on this.

At Kennedy Meadows, the Man tried to buy this year’s bandana, but she wouldn’t sell him one (strange excuse about not having very many…weird sales concept there), he saw a friend (and got a bandana from him instead) who worked where he worked for a couple weeks, and then we drove to the campground, where a PCTA person lectured about snow and bears. For a really long time. My plan was to hike out with him for a little way, and then head back all the way home. It was a good plan.

Expect skinnier the next time you see him…well at least with me.

It was warmish and elevation (6500′) was definitely a factor in breathing. Going from sea level up in one day is problematic.

Officially in the Sierras…

We hiked about 2 miles to the bridge over the river and he refilled his water. The plus to not being in the desert section is that there is plenty of water.

And that’s where we said goodbye…for at least 3, probably 4 weeks. Hopefully will meet him somewhere.

It’s never easy sending him off…

I worry about him. I stress about having to do all the things at home. It’s not fun dealing with kid behaviors all day and coming home to no one to talk to. The boychild is here half the time. The cats are demanding. And I hate having to cook all the time. It’s hard to communicate with the Man…sometimes his messages overlap with mine (there’s no cell service; he’s using his Garmin) or he’s messaging all day while I’m teaching, and then when I have time to message back, he’s going to sleep (it’s still daylight, y’all). So it’s hard. But he wants to finish it and I hope he can. I know his knee was painful the first day, better the second day, but elevation is pretty crazy and it’s all up for the next four weeks. With an occasional down. Plus snow and passes and all that stuff.

It is beautiful though. Blue skies, trees, new wildflowers…

Well, some are new. We have these in San Diego too.

From the campground, I drove all the way home…about 5 1/2 hours total with two pee stops. I hate that drive. Really do. Ugh.

I didn’t do much of anything Monday night except eat dinner (thanks to the boychild), make lunches for the week, and make sure I was ready to go. Last night, I finally found the energy to trace some Wonder Under, but I’d realized that I had all this bad shit in the outer part of the quilt, and COVID wasn’t lurking in there. So I had to draw that damn thing in…again…

Almost 1100 pieces now. Then I traced for a while (after exercise, making dinner, deciding not to enter a show, eating dinner, grading one class worth of one assignment, and doing all the cat things, oh yeah, and watering everything)…

So only a whopping 40 minutes in the end. Hopefully more tonight. Getting close to the end. Ready to just sit on the couch and cut shit out. Also Nova would like me to do that so she can shed all over me and knead my belly. Luna massages my shoulders for me (with her claws and all her weight pushing in)…trying to figure out how to get her to do that one spot on my back that hurts. She does not take direction well though.

OK. Gotta go. Shit. It’s late. Ugh. Puberty today and something else. Can’t remember. Ah yes. Menstruation and sperm production. Sounds like a day.