Overthinking It…

Hey. Friday is finally here. I haven’t slept well all week (I know, when do I ever) because I’ve been overthinking. I’d like to thank my brain for that. Actually, that is the part of my brain that’s good at the artmaking too…it figures stuff out while I’m doing other things. And it does the same with lesson planning, runs simulations in the background and then shuffles solutions into my working brain. It’s useful…until there’s a personality issue, and then it overthinks the FUCK out of it (what did I do wrong? what could I have done differently? how will this be solved in the future? am I just being a bitch? why is she such a bitch?). You know. All the things. I guess I need to focus on the good things my brain can do and try to meditate through the others…which has meant more meditation than sleep a couple of nights this week. Could do without that.

Also a slow simmering anger and frustration about my school board and their ignorance. Bullshit tactics. Now we are designing our own sexual health curriculum, designed specifically for our kids. Um. Code words for remove the stuff they think is inappropriate: Gender, LGBTQIA…what else is going to set them off? They will have to follow Ed. Code. They’re making a committee of parents, teachers, and health professionals to create this thing from scratch, more work, lots more work, mostly in fighting the ignorance, needs to be evidence-based and science, not your late-night searchings on the internet (seriously, this one guy has way too much time on his hands). At some point, they wanted health professionals to come in and teach the curriculum, and I’m sitting here going (1) because we’re not capable? Nice. I’ve been teaching sex ed for 20 years, dude. (2) There’s a shortage of health professionals already…where are you going to get 5 of these per school for a week to 5 weeks every year? (3) And can they deal with middle-school behaviors (I already know the answer to that). Can they deal with 30+ kids aged 12-14 at the end of a school year that they have never met? I know the answer to that too.

So yeah. I’m making a quilt right now that is mostly not political (well, it is, but lots wouldn’t see it) and it’s fun and full of bright colors, and I feel bad because books are getting banned, women’s bodies are being controlled, LGBTQIA people are losing rights, my trans kids are losing their rights, it’s not safe for them in some places, and where I live may well be one of those places. People…kids…are still being shot. I read that the ERA was in danger. I know all this shit will end up in a quilt eventually, but it feels weird to be making one that is so NOT about those things.

Ah well. I did the same thing last year. Made a bunch of political stuff and one not, and it got into Quilt National. So I guess that’s a thing.

So that’s the mood I’m carrying around inside me today. I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m OK with what I’m teaching today. I think it won’t be too stressful. I’m so incredibly not ready to teach next week in so many ways. I’m fairly sure I will still be butting heads with this other teacher, probably until she leaves our school (she says she hates it here, so yeah, she should leave), so maybe forever. But there’s a weekend coming up and that is some respite. An art meeting. Some more artmaking time. Some reading time. Hopefully a hike. All the things.

I iron every night. I try to iron for an hour. On Wednesday night, I did leg parts…one of the parts was this baby in a pocket. A leg pocket. A pocket of flesh…

Because if you’re not going to put pockets in my clothes, then I’m going to put them in my flesh.

I also did the knee, I think…can’t remember. Wait. I can look back and see.

I did the back foot, and then all of the legs. Obviously not done. This isn’t fast. But it is enjoyable. This was a good choice for working on during the end of school. Although I need to go faster. As always.

Last night, I found and ironed one of the spare arms (another thing we all need) and a snat (snake/rat, also from Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood).

Deciding what animals to combine is one of the interesting things in that series. I’m not sure the snat makes sense at all. But that was part of the point. Humans make a lot of shitty choices. I can easily see our current society in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake. They are way too close to reality.

Yesterday, I was inside this during my last two periods…

It was an interesting change. I sent half my kids to another classroom because they’d already done this, and I took the other half through with my co-teacher’s kids. The first group was a little rowdy…as time went on. The second group seemed better. Or maybe I was so exhausted by then that I couldn’t tell. Cool experience for them though. Maybe they never see the world from the inside.

Anyway. So I am not ready for all the things. I need a whole ‘nother cup of tea before I even consider going to school (don’t have time for that…I can make it, but I’ll have to drink it on the way). I have a ton of work outside of teaching to do today, so that is weighing on me, but it will happen. Somehow. And there’s reading and art on the other side of it. All good. Overthink THAT.

Speak Up…

Glad it’s Wednesday, positive thoughts, exercise, art, and my book at the end of it all. Also I got into the Interpretations show at Visions with Same As It Ever Was, so that’s cool. See you at the opening in October.

Hey not only is my school board trying to manipulate our human sexual education program, they compared conversion therapy to a conversation about gender, and it appears they’re in the book banning business as well. Fun stuff. This is the shit that makes teachers quit (or go to another district, if you don’t have a ton of years invested in this one and can’t leave). This quilt is about a lot of things, but started with us white women getting upset about Roe v Wade’s demise, but realizing that for a lot of BIPOC and LGTBQIA people, they never had the same rights anyway, and their rights are eroding at a hundred times the speed of us white babes. So it’s angry but also very focused on what the US is doing, the Supreme Courts, the politicians (that’s Brett Cavanaugh there y’all, if you can’t tell from the beer bottle). Come to the opening and you can READ the big dumb heads.

For my next political piece, maybe I’ll add my school board and book banning for fun.

I am working on the other piece, although last night was not the most efficient. I started late because, well, my day job. I had a ton of work to do for school, still do, and I listened to the school board meeting last night to figure out what’s happening with sex ed because I’m supposed to start teaching it in like 3 weeks and no letters have gone out etc. I think we’re not teaching it, which means I don’t have curriculum for 5 weeks in 7th grade and a week in 8th grade. Well, let’s not kid ourselves…I’ve never really had a usable curriculum for 8th. That’s been the fun part about this year. FUN.

I did do a chunk of weird flowers and bugs on Sunday night, though…

The big background areas have a lot of tiny complicated things on top of them.

But I got those mostly done Sunday. Then last night, I ironed a foot down and realized I’d never ironed the other foot to fabric. I’d obviously forgotten to number it, because every piece had an ‘a’ on it (when I miss numbers, I just pick the closest piece number and add a bunch of letters instead of starting from the 1500s…mostly because I iron in number order most of the time and it’s easier). So I had to trace those pieces, find the fabrics that were in that flesh run, iron them down, and cut them out. Which was not quick. So last night, I didn’t get much done. But here’s the second foot ready to go…

Sigh. More tonight, hopefully.

This morning, though, another meeting. Love meetings. This one will be short and sweet. I have about three things to say about another teacher and then I have work to do. Not fun. Also still necessary. This job has not been fun for most of this year. Sometimes with the kids…but also so much work.

So disheartening. Although this popped up on my Facebook feed last night from 13 years ago…

They all look related. Sweet Calli.

This show is still about to close…at the Hyde Gallery at Grossmont College.

There’s You Pollute Me, hanging strong.

Just keep going. Read books, exercise, get outside, make art. Talk to people, check your reactions and make sure you’re not being unreasonable (I did that before I called this morning’s meeting). Eat well. Or as well as you can considering the circumstances. Speak up for those who can’t. Or shouldn’t because of the repercussions. Hope the eye twitch goes away in June.

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.

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.

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.

It’s About the Fact That They Go

I have a piece in Form Not Function, which opened last night…Womanscape

I got a couple of comments last night from people who had seen the show and loved this piece, which I appreciate. I loved making it. It started as a drawing way back in 2010 or so, then turned into what I thought would be a really long triptych (in my head), and then last summer, I redrew the parts into this. And it didn’t get into a variety of shows I entered it into (as always), and then it got in here. And that was good. Really, it’s not about where they go…it’s about the fact that they go.

So I’m staring at this piece and the comments and trying to figure out what the big piece of summer 2019 will be. Summer 2018 was remarkably unproductive on the art front. Having jury duty for an entire month hanging over your head does not help you make work. Or me at least. I’m thinking I will do a smaller piece when I finish what I’m working on, because I don’t have a drawing for a larger piece yet. I have a bunch of smaller ones. Plus it’s good to have some smaller pieces on hand. It’s also good to have some smaller pieces with no nudity in them, but I don’t think I care about that right now.

First though…I need to finish this one. So last night, I cut the last of the pieces out.

Here they all are, with the trash I save until I’m done ironing it together…

And then I found a bunch of boxes for sorting…

And I sorted them…

Total cutting time was 10 hours and 10 minutes. Sorting took a whopping 40 minutes. It always feels longer.

I want it all ironed together by the end of the weekend…maybe even into the stitch down. I do have to grade stuff. But I already did one thing last night…

That’s me grading 51 videos with furry assist. I actually stitched and cut stuff out while watching these. I don’t think I can iron and watch though. I have another 50 to go.

I need to finish that drawing for my Patreon, plus a bunch of other stuff. I need to wash and iron the finish embroideries and send photos to the official peeps. I need to grade more stuff and clean up around the pool and clean floors. I need to buy some frames and some art supplies.

School was rough this week. We did reproductive anatomy and puberty, plus two days of testing, all on very little rest and relaxation. So this card in my box after school on Friday was needed and appreciated.

I love you too, guys…even when you’re being jerks. You’ll grow out of some of that. Next week is more puberty, plus menstruation and ejaculation and pregnancy. Woo! Oh my. Right now, I’m going to take my shower and then make another cup of tea and come in here and start ironing things together. I want to do that. So I’m gonna.

I’m Going Anyway

Let the pre-travel panic begin! My sub plans are written, I need to clean up my classroom (aka hide the sex-ed question box so the kids don’t harass the subs about that stuff), I need to make some copies, it would be good if I finished grading some stuff (but honestly, that’s probably not going to happen), I wanted to finish stitching the 3rd embroidery so I could leave its almost-finished ass behind (well, vulva anyway), and I really really really wanted to be done with the ironing on this piece last night. I Was So Close. Damn day job. Seriously. Especially when I have to be ON at all moments. There’s no down time. I’m only half-packed…but that’s better than not packed. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. At some point, I just get on a plane.

I’ve spent 13 hours plus ironing for this piece so far…why so long? Well, there are these sections (that I can’t show you), and each one is like its own little scene, so it requires special thought that’s separate from the last scene. Plus there’s a shitload of blues and grays and they all need to deal with each other. I am so close to done though! Seriously close…this is all that’s left…

Not much at all. 50 pieces? If that. So that’s my plan for tonight, after quilt class. Ironically. I will start cutting stuff out tonight too, and then I plan to take it with me. There’s a lot of my family sitting around and chatting on these trips. I might as well get something useful done. I’m seriously bad at just sitting somewhere.

This is the fabric chaos AFTER I straightened it up. It was kind of driving me nuts.

There is a lot of gray in there. It’s not organized by color yet. That’s the last thing I do. I like seeing all the colors together.

It would have taken another hour to finish…and that would have been past 1 AM. I have to teach Yes Means Yes today. I need to be awake for it.

Kitten agrees.

Plus her claw is stuck in the chair. That’s what you get for trying to scratch my chair.

I prepped this piece to take with me…well mostly. This transfer paper is supposed to be less likely to wear off. I’ll let you know if that’s true.

Certainly the other stitchers who are doing this might have been smart to do theirs on white fabric. I’m complicated.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon staring up into my trees while the old dog tried to negotiate voiding her bowels…it takes time…

I often have to dig deep to find patience on a good day, but by this time of year, it’s a significant issue. There it is. Up there. Actually, there were two crows up there squawking about something, so it wasn’t very peaceful soundwise…but peaceful in my head because there’s no 12-year-olds up there arguing about how self defense means you can punch whomever you want. Today we will have the god/baby discussion. Dudes, I teach science. I had a kid tell me her last baby sister was a gift from God because her mom says she and her dad weren’t doing it any more. Um. Oh dear. So. No. I’m rolling my eyes at her mom.

The plus is that no matter how stressed I am, the graduating girlchild is worse off…even though my sub teacher for tomorrow just canceled. We’re good. I’m going anyway.

Don’t Tread on Me…

My show is up in Pittsburgh! I’m still hoping to get there to see it, if that’s possible. There are 6 pieces and it’s called Elemental Fiber

It’s in the Society for Contemporary Craft’s satellite space in the BNY Mellon Center at 500 Grant St, Pittsburgh.

It’s an interesting space…open to the public in the Lobby of the Steel Plaza T-Station at Oliver Street and Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh. The glass also makes it hard to photograph, but I really appreciate their sending me these.

It’s hard to send work off, especially multiple pieces.

It looks good. You should go see it.

I didn’t apply for this show…they contacted me after I didn’t get into another show. Hey, I’ll take this.

I have 6 quilts in the exhibit. I’m not making any comments about the Strip District there. Hmmm. Anyway, if you happen to be in town for Fiberart International…check it out.

I taught the first day of sex ed yesterday…it was pretty chill…mostly looking at what friendship looks like and how you can tell the difference between liking and loving…a difficult concept for many adults. Like that first rush of feeling you have when you are thinking you are falling in love with someone…that’s very different than the love you feel when you have to go through hard shit and you do it together. Or they’re going through hard shit and you are there for them. I think that love is way more important, but I’m not 12. Or an adult who acts 12…most of the time. Teaching middle school means you can access your 12-year-old self quite easily…you see it reflected back at you about 150 times. But in general, in relationships, I don’t do 12.

Tuesdays are long because I do tutoring after school, and then I went shopping for snacks for our state testing days. We asked the principal this year if he could fund the snacks (such a change from the principal who wouldn’t let us have any food or drink, not even gum, because he was afraid they’d get stains on the test booklets)…but there isn’t enough money to do that and pay for the stuff we have to pay for…so every teacher funds that out of their own pocket. There’s no way kids can work that hard for 3 1/2 hours without sustenance. So we feed them.

And then I practiced video editing while cooking dinner…I got my first real Patreon video done and posted. I show the stage I’m at in the quilt and explain a little bit about how I pick fabrics and why everything is organized the way it is. I am still not an awesome video editor, but I’m getting better. It was easier this time. I still watched the instructions video about 3 more times. I’m using Lightworks, which is cool and has a lot of things you can do without a Pro version, but I can’t say it’s very intuitive for a non-video-editing person.

I’ll be doing two videos a month…one kind of a how-to/background of what I do, and one Who Knows What video. I’m thinking art exhibits I go to, or maybe even part of a hike, or watching me draw, or I don’t know. Stuff that fuels the art. I also am writing over there, and people at the $5/month level will get a drawing emailed to them each month. They can stitch it up, make a small quilt (if they’re crazy), color it in, or just stare at it. It’s going to take a little effort to get me on a routine with this, but I’m pretty sure it will get easier with time. It’s nice to make things for people who are helping me make more art.

I did stitch a little after dinner…

I did the arm things…and started the knee things. I’m hoping I have enough green for the rug. I need another bobbin. I should ask about that. I need to prep a new embroidery design for the trip to Boston. I also need to think about packing. Yup.

But last night, I ironed instead…

I have everything almost to the high 600s ironed. I could finish tonight. I think. I’m going to try anyway. This quilt is a little fussy for ironing…there’s lots of little tiny things happening that take some color analysis. Like 12 different blues in one section. Some have to go together and some most definitely shouldn’t. So there’s a lot of staring into space at fabrics. I’m good at that.

Someone sent me this…

Totally feeling it.

I’m Gonna Make Your Head Burn*

Hey guys, you remember last year? And the year before? And the year before that? That damn mockingbird is back…and it’s right on my fenceline, so it’s loud as hell. I don’t know how anyone else sleeps through that little fucker’s delightful song (seriously, I saw it the other day and was trying to decide how to catch it and move it to another state. Where no one lives. Except other mockingbirds.). I’ve been wrapping a pillow around my head to deaden the noise, but the beast gets through double pillow layers. I tried earplugs one year, but there’s some weird balance between my ear canals and my nostrils that doesn’t work when one of them is plugged up. God damn, he’s loud. Get a woman, you bastard! Or babies! Or whatever it is that’s making you talk to the whole planet on my doorstep.

School is survival mode at the moment…we’re doing the last few days of the sex ed program, so it’s all about STDs starting today. I’ve had a few questions in the question box about the TV show 13 Reasons Why, so I’ve been watching the 2nd season. Ugh. I know it’s trying to deal with the issues, but some of it is really hard to watch at the end of the school year. Or ever. I can’t decide if it’s just really heavy-handed because it’s adults making assumptions about what kids go through, or if it’s just trying to hit ALL the possible issues, telegraphing ALL the warning signs so we know what they are. It’s obviously targeted at a younger crowd than me…but maybe in teaching middle school, I never escape some of the crap in my head that was so inherently middle and high school. Like never-wanna-go-back middle and high school.

Anyway. It’s progressing…and I made it through grading about 17 websites last night before I quit. I got a bunch done at school, but the 17th one started talking about Reagan, and I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with the plastics industry or the biosphere, so I gave up. Like please stop writing random answers to fill the space because you didn’t actually read the article or watch the video I asked you to read or watch. Grading shouldn’t involve swearing at the computer repeatedly. I have to be done by Monday…I think I’ll be OK. Hopefully.

On the way to work yesterday…I often think I should have business cards for my editing job so I can hand them out to the guys standing out at this allllllley. Or not.

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Puppy sleeping on me as I finish up dinner and try to figure out the rest of my evening.

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Back to the ironing board! I finished the mountain/land area and then did a jellyfish (purples) and this octopus below…

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Then I’m looking at this section and trying to figure out why there’s two sets of hands on that leg. I mean, I drew the damn thing…what was I thinking?

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It’s OK…I figured it out. I often put hands on the skin of the main figure…it’s like who has a hand on her, who makes a mark on her, not necessarily always in a bad way. Think of your kids…they leave a mark. Speaking of kids, one started her summer job yesterday and hopefully will (a) find her rain gear and (b) keep enjoying the job. It sounds interesting so far. If you see her tramping through the woods around Waltham, Massachusetts, wave and give her chocolate. The boychild is apparently seeing the US and might be kind enough to check in with locations and/or pictures every few days. Or not…and then I’ll just sit here and worry that I haven’t heard from him. Typical mom brain. But when I travel now, I always tell someone where I am. From the year my parents went off on a trip and left no itinerary and then my dad’s brother died and I couldn’t reach them. Or the other year when they left and their dog was really sick. Anyway. He’s out there. He might like chocolate too.

I started picking out the flesh stuff…I picked fabrics anyway, and started choosing pieces, but it was already midnight at that point. I know how long bodies take to pick out, and this is not a small body, so I saved it for tonight.

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After tutoring. Last tutoring of the year! Oh hallelujah. Maybe I should NOT do tutoring next year? Sigh. I know it’s what’s best. I hate it, but it’s what’s best.

Here’s what I’ve used so far…you can see the jellyfish purples at the top of the left box.

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There will be so many more colors by the time I get to the end…

I woke up this morning to Kitten sharing the dog bed with Calli.

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It makes Calli nervous, so when she notices, she gets up and lies on the floor instead. Kitten is watching birds and bunnies outside. She’s the one that pushes the slats so she has a little window.

OK, so steady progress on grading and ironing. Both should be done sometime over the weekend…although two night meetings this week will affect that. Meanwhile, off to school and STDs. Hey there’s the one thing I don’t think I’ve seen on 13 Reasons Why…YET…

*Adele, Rolling in the Deep

Needlework and Seedlings*

Tired is catching up with me and passing me on the right, cutting me off so I slow down, and then speeding up to beat me to the finish line. It’s hard NOT to stay up late…I haven’t gotten more than 6 hours any night this week. Some of that is just that my brain keeps going at 900 miles an hour no matter what. Some of it is trying to get everything done. Ah stress and lack of sleep…the things my doctor keeps flipping out over…like I can control those. TEN DAYS OF SCHOOL LEFT. Yeah. That. I’m feeling much better about grades getting done, but I still have a ton left to do. Just not as big of a ton. Some of the not sleeping is that little dog barking his mad head off in the middle of the night…I don’t know what animal is out there, but it was big enough to set off the motion-sensor lights this time. Assholes. And the mockingbird is back, but this is a new one. It sounds like mockingbird-on-crack. Pillow over head. Ugh.

I am SOOOO looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning and Sunday morning. Wake me up and I kick your ass. Unless you’re a dog. Because I don’t hurt dogs. I just get irritated with them. And honestly, probably we need to do a better job of getting the little one tired at night. Next week. Next week when I don’t have to be up early every damn morning. My principal has threatened an additional meeting next week. I’m hoping he forgets. Is there a voodoo spell for principals forgetting shit?

Weirdest question in sex ed this year (I teach 7th graders about reproduction etc every year) was “Do you have to do The Sex every time you want a baby?” Um. Well. OK. Yes. And let’s explain human nature and The Sex a little bit. It must be a girl asking? Or a very scared boy?

So I came home and entered an exhibit and ate some leftovers and installed a new Tivo (yeah well, I guess I made that decision) and then sat and finished cutting out Wonder Under…6 1/2 hours total. Pretty much the same as the last one.

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I was hoping to save some time on this one…not. Then I set up to sort them, because it was only 11 PM. The big box at the bottom is all the pieces, and then each of the smaller boxes is only 100 pieces…it makes it easier when I go to iron if I’m dealing with only 100 pieces at a time. My process after a million years of doing it this way…it’s pretty efficient actually.

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Forty minutes and one glass of wine to sort all 904 (plus or minus who knows how many) pieces…

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In bed by 12:15? Not bad compared to most of this week…definitely feeling it this morning though. Tonight I can start ironing to fabric. Based on the last quilt, that took about 12 hours. Yikes. OK…I need to go faster. I can do 3 or 4 hours tonight. I know we will want to do some fun stuff tomorrow at some point…but if I can get 3 or 4 hours in tomorrow and finish up on Sunday (shee-it, when are you planning on grading shit, Nida? SHHHHHH. Quiet. I’ll figure it out. I have a plan. Maybe.). Need to be focused. Like a fucking laser.

Calli asking for some kind of attention. I think she’s got another UTI…sigh. Poor old lady. Her girl parts are kinda freaky for UTIs.

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Hopefully she’ll be going to the vet today.

OK, so I have a plan…I am so SO looking forward to being done with school so I can sit somewhere and relax with my sketchbook without feeling like I’m supposed to be doing 17 other things. I don’t know when that will happen, but hopefully soon.

*Iron & Wine, Faded from the Winter