Shutting Down Randomly

I don’t know what you do when you come home from work, especially after a long frustrating day where you had planned specific work tasks after the kids went home and then your loaner computer (because yours is hopefully getting fixed as it keeps shutting down randomly) shuts down randomly (wait, I think I heard that already) about six times in a row, trying so hard to restart like a good computer would, and then giving up the ghost and popping up that message again about how it can’t possibly restart, there’s something very wrong with it (no duh asshole). So after getting it to start and working on grades and contracts for kids out on COVID or pandemic concerns, and finally coming home around 6 PM, and then getting dinner (that was the best part, away from the house, although it was dark, hard to see the food, one of the issues with always eating outside, you know, it gets dark and all), then mopping a floor, sewing a backing together, ironing all the parts, taping them to the floor, and then getting down on hands and knees at 9:45 PM, wondering if this is the year you buy knee pads, like you’re really an old person now, and pinbasting a quilt together.

Sometimes I wonder about the amount of power my art brain has to get my tired old teacher ass off the couch and doing all that shit after 8 PM on a day when I had no prep period. On a day when the 6th graders decided to sharpen the metal end of a pencil in my new $92 sharpener that can handle colored pencils, and yes, I think I know who did it and hopefully I scared the shit out of him. Certainly if there are any other issues, that thing is sitting on my desk and they can pay me to use it. Yeah. It was a day. I’m kind of on the verge of tears constantly again, and I hate that. So part of this weekend will be quilting instead of thinking about work. A large part of it will also be grading, let’s be honest; grades are due soon for progress reports, so I can’t blow it off.

But here we go. Book club got rescheduled on Wednesday. Luckily I checked the app right before I left, so I didn’t actually leave. I worked instead and fed myself with leftovers from Saturday (probably a mistake to go that extra day, says my 2 AM stomach), and then finished the stitchdown…

That’s 5 1/2 hours worth of stitching.

I can see the figures on the back…

On the front, they are hard to see. Hopefully the quilting will help with that. That starts tonight. Here’s all taped down on a clean floor…

The backing is some fabric I found in my stash, quite a lot of it actually.

It seemed right for a quilt about hiking etc. The etc. is kind of a big part of this quilt.

So far, Mom’s machine is rocking it. Much appreciated.

I also did the stitchdown on my Patreon reward, which is really late now…

That only took 13 minutes though. Much easier. I’ll pinbaste her this weekend too. But my goal is to finish quilting and get the binding on this weekend. I don’t know if I can do that. But I will try. We’ll see.

I have an opening a week from today…two pieces in the show…

PHES Gallery is in Carlsbad, California. It’ll be a bit of a drive. No COVID test that day. With 1-2 positive cases in my classes every week, I’m still getting tested every week. Two new ones this week. Woo hoo!

These are drawings I did at dinner while waiting for the food to come. I can’t remember if I’ve posted any of these.

My pen died, so this is ballpoint…

It works. It’s just not fun.

I don’t think when I do these. I just draw.

Sometimes it will turn into something else in a larger piece…mostly not.

I think I will actually get limes and lemons this fall…they seem to be sticking.

Certainly they’re bigger than they have been…

And there’s more to come.

OK, today shouldn’t be too hard (ha!), at least the school part, except I need to get everything posted for school. My co-teacher is out of town, so I’ve been making lab materials for next week. The copier ran out of staples, so I need to staple 290 packets before Tuesday. I’m hoping to find some classroom helpers today who are done with shit to do that. Work after school, bring a ton of work home, get my COVID test for the week, do some grading, possibly do a quilt Zoom, then quilt until I fall asleep, hopefully in a bed and not on the machine. Tomorrow, repeat. Plus some other stuff. I’ll be glad to get the quilting started…I didn’t think I’d be able to finish this one on time, and now there’s a chance of it…I’m going for it.

Thanks Mom…

OK. There were some successful moments over the weekend. I took my machine in, and he still thinks it’s fixable (if it’s not, there’s a plan…it’s a scary plan, but a plan nonetheless). Meanwhile, I borrowed my mom’s machine, which someone said looks like a spaceship.

It is huge. It has its own suitcase. It weighs a ton. But it works. I had to read 5 bits of the manual about threading and bobbins and free-motion quilting and tension, but it works. Hallelujah. I stitched down Saturday night and Sunday night and can probably finish that tonight (knock on wood).

It’s so lovely not to fight tension for this…there are some fussy bits and adjustments going on, but they are easy to make.

Such a relief. Thanks mom. I’m going to get this thing quilted and done as quick as possible so she can have her machine back.

Although I still have a Patreon reward I’m trying to finish…Friday night, I ironed it together.

I like her. She’s small.

And then on Sunday morning, I got up early and took a Zoom class from Judy Coates Perez for Craft Napa…slow-stitching a scarf…ah, meditation.

I really am appreciating online classes…because I wouldn’t be able to go in person.

Ah yes, I am doing a woman. But all of it will be filled in with stitching. I’m gonna be here a while. But it’s so nice. I’m tempted to bring it to my staff meeting today (it’s two hours), but I suspect that’s not appropriate. Too bad. They say ‘self care’ but I’m not sure how much they mean it. Like ‘self care’ but only if you get all the other things done.

I did work this weekend. I started on Friday afternoon while waiting in line for my COVID test…

Sadly, I can’t remember if I had a positive test in class last week? Or if it was the week before. It’s all a blur. I do know that I have to update many of those 28 contracts for the kids who are out…I did the art contracts last night. I can’t do science until the last assignment is ready…hopefully sometime today? Although I have a kid meeting during my prep and this long staff meeting after school, so IDK when I will make the weekly video, copy the post to 16 contracts, and then email all those families. Because that all needs to happen too.

It’s been hot. I think today it’s going back down, but Friday there was very little to no air conditioning in our classrooms. Fire alarms were going off randomly and they shut the system down, so it was hot and sweaty and loud all day. I’m hoping today is better. I do know the AC wasn’t working yesterday. Ugh. Prepare for sweat!

Sometimes grading is so very hard. She’s a sweet kid…

But I have no clue what she is talking about.

OK, so off to school. Today is an easy teaching day, at least…mostly. The staff meeting sucks. Already. I hate 2-hour meetings. They lose my brain an hour in, if not sooner. Then home, hopefully to exercise, then finish the stitchdown. I should check my batting stash. Pinbaste tomorrow? Then start quilting? I hope. It’s a plan. I like plans. They tend to keep me on track, both mentally and for life in general.

That Lizard…

Well hello Friday. So nice of you to come. Appreciate it. Seriously, 13 days into the school year and I finally have my first documented positive COVID exposure at school. It’s OK. Masking is everywhere, I am in the room with kids, I do help kids, I walk the room and give personal attention, but I’m trying to be careful with time and handwashing and telling kids to pull their masks up etc. It’s all we can do. Probably there have been other positive cases in my classroom that I don’t know about. I do worry about the kids though. So far, no one has been really sick that we know of, but I suspect it’s a matter of time. It’s a tough balance…getting kids back in school so they’ll do stuff is important, but so are their lives.

Meanwhile, the state has decided to overburden teachers again with proof that we actually try to educate kids who are stuck at home on quarantine. This job gets little respect from many parents and politicians, mostly those who have never done this job, probably never stepped foot on campus. So we’ll see what that looks like. I’m teaching art and science, both hands-on curriculum, so I’m back to making a million videos a week to make up for what they can’t do in person. Luckily, what we’re doing next week already exists digitally! Yay! Thank last year’s selves for doing that. It won’t always be that easy.

I am exhausted. I feel overwhelmed by all the minutiae. I have too much to grade already, and it’s really just the basics. I am managing a little ironing every night though…my pre-meditation meditation. The slowing of the brain activity, the stress monkey part anyway.

Wednesday was fussy little hiking trail parts…

Plus that lizard…it’s really that color…

Then the next part, last night, I only had about 45 minutes because we were out, but I got a good chunk of trees ironed down.

It went much faster. It’s going to get fussy again with the man hiking through and with the face that’s hidden in the trees on the right, but that’s OK…because it will be the weekend by the time I get to those. I’d really like to finish ironing this together this weekend. I have a deadline I’m looking at and now it’s tight. It’s OK if this isn’t done by then, but it’s a goal. We’ll see. Time flies when your day job sucks up all the moments.

So we did go to the opening last night at The Studio Door. I only had an hour in me for that…I was tired.

I still really like this piece by Julia C. R. Gray. And mine behind it…they go together!

There were plenty of people coming in to see the work…lots of unmasked folks though.

You can see three of my pieces in this photo. The man took pictures of me with some of the work. I’ll post those later. For now, I need to leave early for school because we couldn’t plan science yesterday and there’s a new unit coming up and I know we can get it all together, but IDK if we can get it all together before I need to print a table of contents for the kids. Minor issue. We will all survive.

Three-day weekend ahead…artmaking, a hike (even though we can’t go up to the mountains like I wanted because they closed them 8/31 for fire danger), finish my damn book! And maybe get some sleep. We’ll see. Lots of grading and planning too…but hopefully just on one day.

Forming in My Head…

Is there an easy way to ship a tennis racket? Inquiring minds want to know. I need a box. I totally forgot about needing to ship this thing, because on Saturday, I looked at the calendar list in the morning and then refused to look at it again until Sunday. Maybe not the most mature thing in the world, but I was tired of the to-do list and just wanted to iron the new quilt together…so I did…for about 4 hours. I did other stuff too, but this was Saturday’s start…

Notice the top of the drawing over the chair? There’s a cat under there…

She wasn’t thrilled about the paper and kept batting at it. I did a little more after that…

The appearance of part of a snake. It is kind of a pain. I’m still not sure the body in the ground is showing up yet, but if it doesn’t, I’ll make it with outlining and whatever else it needs. I didn’t want it to be obvious, so I guess that’s a good thing.

I got a little ironing in last night…

I’ve got about 5 1/2 hours in and almost 300 pieces ironed down (just short of that). I was going to do more last night and got off track with yet another student email telling me they’d be out for 10 days because of a positive COVID exposure. Sheesh. I can’t keep track of all of them. I got tested on Friday; still don’t have results.

Saturday did include my annual boob squeeze (all is well on that front) and an outdoor quilt guild meeting, where I cut out all the pieces for my Patreon reward…

And saw a Gloria Muriel mural on the way home…

Sunday was mostly setting up school stuff, including the gradebook, and then grading things. I haven’t gotten the routine down yet. I need to grade more things at school. I left some to do this week, plus inputting grades. It was just looking and feeling overwhelming, so I banged some of them out.

Saturday night, we dropped a bunch of pieces for the upcoming show that opens Thursday, and then went out to dinner, and I got to draw for once.

I have a big drawing forming in my head but haven’t found the time to draw it. This week? Maybe.

I did see the Man play in his band on Friday night…drove out to the Hotel Del after dinner for his second set.

It was a private event, ticketed, so I stood on the public path behind them and watched. He’s enjoying being back with the band and has four events in September, none of which I can (or will) go to. The Music Box is requiring vaccination cards or a negative COVID test in the last three days, but it still packs them in like sardines, so that’s a no for me. Another one, I could stand out in the parking lot, but it’s not really a friendly lot. So I think that’s a no as well for me. Too bad. I miss that.

Meanwhile, the Man is still doing training hikes. He left last night for the Lagunas, camped out, and is hiking today and tomorrow.

Definitely happy to be out there. And it looks beautiful.

OK, well hopefully I will figure out all the kids who are out today, all the kids who are transferring to the other team (they tested out of ELD, which is awesome), and the two new kids, no three! I’m getting today. Plus a 2-hour staff meeting where I will stay masked. And then maybe some exercise, because I haven’t done that for days, except for Pilates, and then some art. All those would be good things.

Not Hard. Just Time.

Hello Friday! It seems like it was just Tuesday. I guess that’s a good thing. I have a ton of stuff to get done today, on Friday, and hopefully that will actually happen so I don’t have to do all of it in the middle of the night. I’m supposed to deliver 7 quilts tomorrow to a gallery…awesome thing that! Opening is this coming Thursday.

Good thing I’m reminding myself of that, because I thought I had another week. All seven quilts need to be ironed and dehaired and readied for exhibit. Luckily they are smaller and not particularly wrinkled, but it needs to happen before tomorrow afternoon. So there’s that. I think one needs a label and slats too. Not hard. Just time.

That’s the mantra right now. Plants need watering. Not hard. Just time. I really need to draw a stethoscope for this Social Justice Sewing Academy block. Not hard. Just time…plus getting the cat off the bag it’s in. That’s harder. She has sharp pointy bits. School…need a doc done, some posts done, papers copied, grading warmups and some other stuff. Not hard. Just time.

As far as the art stuff is going, really what I need is energy. I did a little stitching after dinner on Wednesday night on the SJSA block (got it out from under the cat for once)…

Then I managed to iron down all the fabrics for the Patreon reward piece…

It took about an hour and a half. I borrowed some fabrics from the one I just finished cutting out and then added more. It’s actually mostly blue in area…I think it’ll be cool. We’ll see though. I need to cut those pieces out. I was going to do that last night, but mostly I laid down on the couch and tried to keep my eyes open while the man talked. Then I went to bed.

Why? Usually I can do the things. Yeah no. I was at school early, then stayed late to plan science…trying to do it all in one day is hard. I’ll get used to it again, but it’s hard. We can’t get everything done and we don’t have the same prep periods, so I just don’t have the rhythm of it yet. I’ll get there. Maybe on Week 3? Maybe by then we’ll be shut down. So many kids out on quarantine or pandemic concerns (they have symptoms but haven’t been tested or if they were tested, parents didn’t tell the school the results…so they’re just out for 10 days)…trying to keep track of those and my head. Ha! Then after all that, I drove 45 minutes to the California Center for the Arts for the closing reception of the Allied Craftsmen show Crafting Memories

There’s my piece. Hopefully I’ll be back here in January with California Fibers and more pieces. I did meet people and pretended to network. Not really. They all came and talked to me and that was OK. Then I Zoomed with my stitching group on the way home, picked up a burger, came home, ate it, and collapsed.

Not my best moment. Today will be better. Today I will do ALL the things and finish them all and then go get tested for COVID because I’m just gonna do that every week or two to make sure I’m not infecting the world…and then clean up and pack up all those quilts and maybe cut some things out or maybe go watch the man’s band (outside…I think this is probably outside of my exhaustion level). And sleep. Because I have to be up early for the annual boob squeeze. Do it! Breast cancer doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic or that I’m exhausted.

Damn zebrafish. Yeah. Going to school now. Doing all the things. Caffeine is also my friend today.

Less Like a Zombie

OK, so I thought I was tired last week, but I’m so sore from walking around class AND exercising yesterday that this morning feels REALLY tired. And it’s only Wednesday. I’m sure I’ll walk it out pretty soon and start to feel more human and less like a zombie (um, maybe?). Today is that wacky day when I teach four different things and my brain partially explodes. It will be fine. Getting used to this schedule is going to take a few weeks (months?). Getting used to all the moving parts…need a different bathroom pass for art because they don’t get the same one as 7th grade does. OK. Making enlarged copies for one kid because of his vision needs. OK. Not actually sure what to do about that for today…it’s OK. I just wrote some stuff on a post-it so I’ll remember it when I get to school. I’m not sure what I would do without post-its…they save me.

Yesterday was long…I had duty before and after school, and then interviews for a new science teacher. I forgot to eat in between, and I ate lunch at 11 AM because of the block schedule, so by the time I hit home and was getting ready to walk, my blood sugar was somewhere well south of where it should have been. I was supposed to eat during prep, not lunch. On Tuesdays, my prep is right after lunch, so it makes sense to eat later. I forgot. So still getting used to this…yeah. I have pilates today after school, so will have to eat before I go. I’ll get used to it…it will just take me some time. I need a post-it telling me to eat maybe…although I’d ignore it. Sigh.

Anyway, as always, that level of tired from getting home late, leaving to hike at 6 PM, coming back and prepping dinner and eating…hard to get off the couch and do anything at that point. But I did. Not much though.

The night before, I got organized and sorted all the pieces…

Interestingly, they are sorted by number (by 100s), but the last four boxes look like they’re sorted by color. All the sun is in the last box. The sky is in the two boxes before, then the green of the mountains is the two or three boxes before that. Then the browns mostly before that. Usually all the colors are mixed up in all the boxes.

Anyway, that took about an hour to do, and then last night, honestly, I spent about four whole minutes sorting the first 100 pieces into piles of 10s.

And then I went to bed. Sometimes I’m really organized. I swear. Lots of rocks in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and then into path and dirt. I’m really hoping to start ironing things together tonight. It’s hard to keep standing for another hour or so when you’ve been standing and walking all day. Really hard. But art is absolutely what keeps me sane and happy and like I’m doing something that matters. I know teaching does that too, but I’m not there yet with this year…I don’t know the kids enough yet (although we are getting there…you know, it’s really hard when you see them all day with masks on and then you do duty outside and the kids are unmasked and saying HI and you can’t match them up with the masked face in the classroom.). I have some sweethearts, some nonstop talkers, and some kids with giant chips on their shoulders. Just like normal. Some get angry or butthurt super easy and some are terrified to ask questions and some email you at all hours of the day or night and some never stop asking questions. Pretty normal. Working toward balance though…haven’t taken home grading, although I have done some school stuff on computers at home.

Oh yeah! We have our first official positive COVID case (not one of mine) and a few out on “pandemic concerns,” which just means they have symptoms that might be COVID but we don’t know. I’m going to get tested once a week or so, just to be sure I’m not bringing anything home. Yeah, we’re all vaccinated, but I have family that is immunocompromised and so am I. I’m not a fan of not knowing. I also have students with health issues and I don’t want to be the asymptomatic person who gets them sick. So add that to the post-it note.

Yesterday’s hike/walk (mostly streets) with amazing lenticular clouds that don’t show up super nicely in this photo…

Funky though. And an owl house!

Kitten keeps sleeping on my magazine AND stitching, so I can’t finish either. Also too tired (me) to finish.

Simba is a dork.

He is staring lovingly into the boychild’s eyes though.

OK, going to school with my pink to-do post-it for before school. Going to do Advisory, Science Block 1, Art, then Science Block 2. If I remember what all those things are. Which I might not. Then exercise, then art. Yeah. OK. A plan.

Nice of You to Show Up…

Hey Friday. Nice of you to show up. Appreciate it. I’m back to that world where I look forward to maybe sleeping in on Saturday morning (dependent on neighbor noise and animal incursions). I do already have stuff to grade. Ugh. How did that happen? Oh yeah. My own fault. I’m still trying to get my head around this crazy schedule we have. Mondays and Fridays are normally all the classes, but Monday is shorter. Tuesday through Thursday rotate through blocks of four classes a day, so some days I will have four different things I’m teaching and some days, I will only have two. Today I have three different classes and no prep period (because today is not a normal Friday because we started on Tuesday, don’t even ask, I honestly have a headache about that), so that sounds exhausting. I needed to pee after two classes (they’re LONG) yesterday…three in a row today might be an issue. Certainly, having art at the end of the day with 6th graders is difficult…that’s three days a week. I’m just tired from science teaching and then have to switch gears, from science brain to art brain. Art brain is like, what? I’m tired. Leave me alone.

But it’s nice being back in person (when I don’t think too hard about COVID exposure)…because we can do the things!

Ah science and art in person. What a concept.

Prepping for art is different too…it’s hard to know what they can do in person because I taught it all online last year. So lots of decisionmaking going on in my poor tired brain.

That said, the first week back is almost in the books, and (knock on wood) no one has been sent home yet. It’s a miracle, considering the number of kids who can’t keep a mask over their noses or mouths…

Artmaking has been OK this week, despite the tiredness. My goal is an hour a night, and last night, I managed two plus (because I was in a Zoom meeting for part of it). I’m still cutting things out…this is Wednesday, with Simba’s help…

I also did some embroidery on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…still just getting everything attached.

My plan is some decorative embroidery in the letters, but I need to do a stethoscope too. Need to mark that this weekend.

Last night, I had a Zoom quilt meeting and cut out the Wonder Under for the one Patreon reward I have left.

So I can iron that to fabric this weekend. And then I cut a bunch…

Both on Zoom and later…

The middle box is getting emptier; the bottom box is getting more full. I watched some news…still trying to get my head around Afghanistan. I feel like I’ve spent 20 years trying to get my head around the Taliban and people like it. I have classrooms full of kids who fled regimes like that. I’m OK with that…they’re hopefully better off here, although sometimes I wonder.

Kitten shows a side view…

Yeah, there’s still a lot of pieces in that box. It probably won’t get done tonight…but hopefully this weekend, I’ll get them cut and sorted, and be ready to iron together next week…more standing after all day of standing. Well, it’s better than too much sitting, I’ll tell you that. Ironically, I still need more exercise at the end of the day; maybe today will be a walk. Tomorrow will definitely be a hike. Plus art. Plus grading. Plus IDK exactly what I’m teaching next week for art. I should figure that out. Plus I have a million posts to put together for classes…hopefully can get those done in class today. I’d like to keep weekends clear of work. I know it won’t happen, but I’m trying. Ha!

OK, off to work. Mornings are hard, y’all.

How Did I Do This Before?

Well. That was the first day back with kids. Bam. I’m officially exhausted for the next 10 months. I walked over 15,000 steps on the first day, compared to about 3,000 when I was teaching on Zoom. So my body needs to get used to that again…not sure that’s a bad thing. Interacting in person is strange and somewhat difficult, although I will get used to masks and my glasses and not being able to talk loud enough and hot flashes in a warm classroom because the AC is on but the door is open. Yeah. All that. Sure. Plus the tech changes. Amusingly, our district emailed us last night that the science curriculum (all online) will be available ‘soon’. Not on the first day of school (it’s OK; we don’t really like most of it and/or use most of it). I didn’t even have my kids touch computers yesterday…today for Advisory only. Tomorrow, just for research for pictures. Maybe next week for an actual assignment. I had enough computer stuff last year to last me a long time.

Going back to school is always an energy suck. A brain suck as well, apparently. I don’t remember how to do anything. I even asked one class how to explain an instruction better to make sure I got the results I needed…because I obviously wasn’t! They were very nice and suggested some things. The pro of middle-school kids is their desire to help. Most of them. I stayed late last night to get ready for today…luckily, my first block day is relatively easy. Only one subject and a nice long prep period in between the first class and the last two. Hopefully I will use that prep wisely…as in, get my act together with art class, because yesterday I ran out of stuff and took them for a walk instead. Like puppies. We were all tired. It was legit.

Before I had any kids in there…this might be the neatest it ever is (and you can’t see the counters…I still have some chaos to control).

My team is very cool…our shirts confirm it…

“like a regular team only cooler”…

Ironically, it was muggy as heck yesterday. OK, not really, for those who live in truly muggy areas, but for dry, desert areas, this was ugh. And having to put on shoes and pants was hard. I didn’t wear shoes for 18 months.

We tried to do an after-school photo, and this is all we got.

Still smiling? Probably in shock.

Yeah. This.

Such a waste of money for these. The man never comes to our school and sees the kids. He just sends this. Dude. Send food. Or money. More useful.

Meanwhile, I’m still cutting stuff out, although not much…I think this was Monday night…

And Tuesday night, after another 56 minutes (can you tell? I’m not sure I can)…

I know I’m more than halfway, but there’s still a lot of pieces in there.

I’m also working on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…

I finally marked the letters she wanted embroidered (had to find the right marking implements) and got some of it done after dinner. There are ‘does-not-equal’ signs going in between the words, in case you can’t see the incredibly light marks. (They are incredibly light.)

Seen on our walk on Monday…

It’s hard to get good flight pictures sometimes, especially with a phone camera. Beautiful bird.

This is the girlchild, amazing kid, but also…that’s the dress I fixed.

I appreciate the boots. Evidence that she is my child.

I saw this and was sort of horrified, and then realized it was satire (it was the ‘asshole’ comment that clued me in).

Some local music venues are now requiring vaccination cards or recent COVID tests (yes!). Teachers will need both. I taught yesterday and felt OK, until a co-teacher said something about not taking her mask off even when the kids weren’t in there, because their air was still in there. Fuck. I didn’t even think of that. Yes, I’m vaccinated. The odds of my getting so sick that I have an issue are very low…but I teach a bunch of unvaccinated kids…because they can’t be yet. Some have major health issues. Some have family members at home that have issues. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s illness. And we have staff who are not vaccinated. So much anxiety over all these pieces.

Anyway. Today we do a lab! Yay! I missed labs. They are exhausting and a pain but a real joy to watch and experience the kids doing the things. We’ll see how it goes. And then I have pilates (have to remember all my gear…how did I do this before? It’s been 18 months since I lived like this) and book club and then I will just collapse. We’re back!

Can’t Find It

That is my motto for yesterday. Can’t find anything. I shoved it in cupboards last summer and it was a mess. Usually I toss stuff as I’m cleaning up for the year; it takes a few weeks. It’s sort of careful. Not last summer. I had one day; I didn’t know when I’d be back. So now I pay the price.

My coteacher helped with desks and doc cam setup, although I still need a dongle dammit. The rest is just overwhelming. Yesterday was mostly meetings, lots of wondering about why people weren’t masked, questioning some people’s understanding of herd immunity (it doesn’t matter if the teachers have it… there are a ton of kids and they aren’t vaccinated.). It scares me to be back, even though I am vaccinated.

So I stitched during the speechifying and finished the February blocks of Homegrown.

I made some mistakes and I’m ok with that.

I dyed fabric on Wednesday.

It looks good out of the washer, but I think I messed up my dryer. Which is problematic. I’m hoping the others who live here can fix it while I’m gone or the start of school will be even more complicated by repairs.

I also have no lights in the studio right now, which is what I’m typing this one-fingered on the iPad. Hopefully that will get handled this afternoon. I am tired of the daily trips to Home Depot.

Despite a lack of light, I rigged a few lights to finish ironing the yellows on Wednesday night. I still need to sort the fabrics and take my normal stash for the quilt photo.

I don’t know how many fabrics yet, but I do know it took a whopping 23 hours plus to pick them. Last night, after my stitching meeting, I started cutting them out…

It should take less than 23 hours. But I don’t have any daytime left for this. We are back on the work-sucks-all-the-hours schedule. I will get done though. I still have a deadline. Then the next quilt will use one of the crazy backgrounds I just dyed 😜. Ok. Gotta go to work now. More later.

My Shoes Are Ready, But I Am Not…

Hello Last Day of Summer Break. You are hot and muggy and a bit breezy, which I appreciate. Summer was better than last year’s crazy mix of vomitous stress, although you could still work on the relaxing time away from the worry of pandemic. Also, more trips and art…like OTHER people’s art. Yeah. More of that. But you did help me finish three pieces and get a healthy start on a fourth, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll make a normal number of pieces this year, unlike last year. That would be nice.

Speaking of, although I hoped to be done ironing last night, I was stymied by broken flip flops and realizing that I hadn’t worn shoes to work for 18 months and I didn’t know WHERE MY SHOES WERE. You know, the shoes you wear to work because you’re not allowed to wear flip flops and slippers and Christmas socks, goddammit it what kind of civilization IS this where I have to wear a bra every day and shoes too what the fuck. So yeah. I bought shoes and I cleaned out my shoes and I found shoes and even washed some shoes. They were dusty. That makes me laugh. Certainly if you went to high school with me and/or have heard the stories of the Assistant Principal who threatened to suspend me for not wearing shoes, so I wrapped newspaper around my feet and taped it on, this does not surprise you. Dude. Seriously. Pick your battles.

So my shoes are ready, but I am not. Last night I dreamed that I was teaching and I forgot to wear a mask. A good chunk of my students can’t get vaccinated yet. One of the teachers I used to work with is fussing about having to get a vaccine, about mandates. Then don’t teach. You don’t have to get a vaccine, but you have to get tested every week if you don’t. Stop whining. Do it for the kids. Seriously, you’re walking into classrooms with (um, I don’t actually have classes yet…yes, school starts next Tuesday, whatever) with let’s guess about 150 students total and you aren’t vaccinated? What dumbassery is that. I don’t care if you’ve had the virus…you don’t have the right to get all those kids sick if you get it again. Sigh.

Moving on. The electricians were here yesterday and fixed some things that have needed fixing, but more happily, added a ceiling fan that I’ve wanted for the last 20 years. Oh my, does that thing make me happy? It does. Lots. I did have to clear out a space for one of them to get into the attic…

So all those fabric bins had to come out, a shelf had to come out. And I couldn’t iron for the morning yesterday.

I did iron the night before. This is ALL of the sky. What a mess. Top is real sky; bottom is sky with figure.

I ironed all the bottom ones Monday night, stayed up way too late, in the Nida way.

And then ironed the rest yesterday evening…

Sky done. Clouds too. I just need to do all the yellow bits…sun and stars and lightning. Which is why I didn’t finish last night…I was watching REAL lightning, which wasn’t really yellow. A crazy lightning storm with a bolt a second was passing east of us. Fascinating to watch…hopefully no fires.

I also walked last night…that hawk was harassing all the birds inside this amazing cage I walk by.

I only noticed because the birds inside are usually pretty quiet, but they were super loud. Because there was a predator on their house.

The sky was beautiful.

It was muggy.

So for today, my last day, I will try to avoid work, although I did watch the 9-minute COVID video required by the district. So all my mandatory training is done. Tomorrow I will deal with sitting in a church (yeah, a church) for our back-to-school speechifying. I will bring a book and some stitching for that crap. Then food and another long meeting. Then four days of panicked prepping for school. Yes, that includes a weekend. We’ll see how much I can get done without the weekend, but I know I will need to shop a little and I have nothing NOTHING planned for art. Sigh. I will also finish the ironing on this quilt and then install LEDs in here for cooler lighting. I will plant out the rest of my hardened milkweed and maybe plant more seeds (I think I killed another batch…they were coming up and now they’re not. I suck.). I started the dying process for a bunch of fabric and socks. I want to get those done too. We’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck. Then I will burn sage and maybe last year’s school notebook to clear the air for this school year, hoping for few quarantines, no COVID outbreaks at school, no COVID for me or my family, lots of vaccinated kids in the next few months, and hopefully cooler weather (ha! It’s real summer now y’all…here in Southern California, it’s not real summer until September/October, when we often hit over 100 degrees).