We’ll Survive, but There Might Be Tears…

My heart is still racing, my stomach is in knots, I’m running on an adrenaline rush…why? Because today was the day to try to reserve campsites in Yosemite for Spring Break. Oh yeah. Well. That was a clusterfuck, but we got three nights. In a row. In the same site. We’re old. We don’t wanna move. We could. Well, actually, we probably couldn’t. In 12 minutes, almost everything was gone except for a night here and a night there. TWELVE FUCKING MINUTES. OK. So it’ll be crowded and annoying because people, but YOSEMITE. So we’ll be fine. And we’ll book lonely far-out places for the rest of our trip. Or whatever. The man will tell you I was yelling, “What number! Give me a number!” as he kept asking “Why isn’t it giving a reason?” I’m like, seriously? Because it’s booked. Apparently he wanted like a message saying which nights were gone, and the computer took a while to refresh the availability and other people have bots or alien technology or better internet than I do. Whatever. WE HAVE A SITE. I’m good. Let the other people get eaten by bears because they got a better site. We’re going to hike all the time anyway.

Plus it might snow that early in the year, so there’s that. WE’LL BE FINE.

So that was my start to a Friday morning. It’s stress stress stress for the next week. We’ll survive, but there might be tears. Pilates last night helped. So did art stuff. But I spent a good long time doing work stuff yesterday. Emergency meetings. Managing groups for today. We set up for the lab but still need to do materials. And we have duty.

At least we have a campsite for April.

So when I load photos for this blog, I usually do a quick run through the photos from previous years (I really need to organize photos at some point…some months are totally organized. Apparently November is a chaotic month in every year.)…and it’s interesting that I was in exactly this same stage on a quilt on November 15 in 2016 AND 2017. I don’t know which quilts…I’d have to search more than I have time for right now to figure that out.

So I sorted…

It was late…but it was also fast…

A whopping 35 minutes. Did I clean the office? Fuck no. That will be tonight. Hopefully.

Slightly blurry due to psychotic movement.

Anyway. Crazy day. I need to go. But this first! I’m excited…my piece is here in San Diego! OK, it’s been in San Diego all this time, but now it’s officially finally part of the Tiny Pricks Project AND hanging in San Diego…

Even better, the infamous Diana Weymar staring at it and smiling…

Tres awesome.

OK. Off to the slaughterhouse. Oh wait. No. School. Yeah. School (no commentary on school shootings here. Today anyway.).

I Manage

I skipped the last two days of writing. I usually skip Sunday. Monday I skipped because the day got away from me. I spent most of the weekend, like many, watching and not watching the news, repeat on Sunday. This is not ok. Fear and anger should not be weaponized like this. I suspect most of those stopping here are fully aware of that. Solutions! No more wimpy words. I actually had a guy call himself a good guy with a gun to my face Saturday night. Nah.

So many people hurt by these men’s actions.

I’m writing this on the elliptical. I was smart and preloaded the pictures at home while eating breakfast. I can’t go to the gym without eating anymore.

I finished ironing Sunday. I guess that’s the good news. It’s 149 fabrics and 15 hours of ironing.

That’s more time than this many pieces would normally take. I’m not sure why. There’s everything that needs to be cut out.

I have one more embroidery design to do, and I knew I had some sitting time coming up, so I sat down Sunday night and drew it. I still need to pick fabric and colors…maybe today.

And then I started cutting pieces out.

Baby lizard in my office. I had already saved one in the living room. This one got away.

Hopefully it will stay hidden…because both cats like it in here. Kitten was somersaulting for boychild. She likes pets.

So a good chunk of yesterday was trading my aging Subie for a newer one. My mechanic was growing more and more anxious for my well-being I think, between oil issues and a creaky suspension. She’s old and did her duty.

Bye. Yeah I got another one, but went for a basic model, low mileage though. She’ll help us camp and carry dogs just fine.

I finished embroidering this last night. Thanks to Linda for the linen itself.

It’s hard to spend time with his words when they are so hypocritical and antithetical to what I believe America stands for. I’ll finish the edges and send it off to the Tiny Pricks Project with the rest of them from my art group.

There’s a few things missing from the new car: the license plate needs two more screws and I just happened to find some on my kitchen counter.

Like you do. It may be a chaotic mess, but it often yields good things. I still need a cargo cover and a rubber mat for the back.

I cut some more stuff out last night. I’m guessing it’ll be 10 hours total. I’m 3 1/2 hours in so far.

That’s a lot of hours to go. That whole huge pile on the bottom. Plus the rest of the copyediting project showed up. And I spent two or three hours yesterday trying to get copies done for the start of school. My days are full. What’s new? I manage.

Oh yeah, everyone should read some Toni Morrison today. Her writing is wondrous. Her death is a great loss. “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” Beloved

Seventeen Tangents

So the plethora of emails yesterday and today from work and art sources, many with good news, some just with details of meetings etc, served to throw me into shallow-breather panic mode. It’s OK. I’ll figure it out. My usual way to deal is to tell it all to fuck off and make some art. I should be allowed to do that for the last two weeks before school starts, right? It seems to be the way I roll in early August. Seriously, I’ve been writing a blog since 2004 (although not a lot in the first few years), and I often go back and read certain time periods of previous years, especially when school is making me feel crazy, if only to remind myself that this is always the way and I suck at sleeping and stress.

Well then. Moving on. Accept the crazy and make art instead.

So first of all, the 300s is where most of the numbering fuck-ups occurred. This is the 300s, all laid out (with part of the misnumbered 200s as well). What that means is that instead of 10 pieces in each pile of 10 (for example 300-309 should be in one pile, then 310-319 in the next), some piles have 20 pieces and some have like 25 because I double fucked up. Sigh.

And some I forgot to put the a or b on the piece, so I have to stare at it and figure out which piece 319 it is…the original, 319a, or 319b?

Chaos. Fucking chaos. And then I had started laying out all the flesh for Figure 1 and realized it was like 12:20 AM, and I needed to iron it all down before I went to bed. Well. Fuck sleep too. I mean really. Old people are supposed to nap more. Maybe I’ll nap.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

And about half the quilt is in that tub in pieces on the left. I have no idea how many more pieces I need to do. I still have some 300s, and even a few 200s, to do, and I’ve done a chunk of 400s, but I think they’re all repeat 400s. I don’t even know. So let’s just say halfway, with 7 hours in, which means my 10-hour guess is completely off, and I’m going to need to do like 6 hours today to get anywhere near done. And it’s already 2 PM and I don’t even know how.

The internet was being bitchy. The cat was being bitchy. My brain went off on 17 tangents. The plus is that I made it to the post office AND got rid of two big bags of donated books, but completely and totally forgot to pick up my actual library book. Dumb. This is what stress looks like.

OK. Well we’re gonna do some anti-stress shit today. Ironing and maybe a hike and some stitching and cutting stuff out and maybe draw a little.

Well. Speaking of anti-stress (cries a little into her tea here)…here’s what the Wonder Under looks like now. Some bits of the 200s-400s, all laid out in some crazy logic that Late-Night Kathy understood and Hot Afternoon Kathy (the afternoon is hot, not me…well I’m hot flashy, but not HAWT) is probably going to hate.

It’ll be fine. And in a couple of hours, it’ll be done.

One of the milkweek plants is buggy but also full of seeds. Fly little seeds, fly!

I’ve only seen one caterpillar. I’ve seen lots of butterflies. I suspect my wildlife eats caterpillars.

Almost done with this…one more line.

Then finish the edges.

Interactions went poorly this morning. Honestly, all this picture reminds me of is that someone should be helping me clean the bathroom, and it probably should be one of these cats.

I hate my bathroom. It needs major help. It was on the to-do list for this summer, same place it’s been for the last 10 summers I think.

Kitten is not helpful.

Seriously not. OK, she moved off the chair onto the blues. Which is fine, until I need blue fabrics. In like, you know, 10 minutes or so.

Damn kitteh.

OK, focus. Get it done. Take care of yourself.

I Write Everywhere

I wonder how hard this is, trying to write on the weight machines at the gym? The answer? I can do it, but I kinda have to separate my brain so that one part can count while the rest is trying to write. Odds of my getting dementia due to not using my brain? Very low. Odds of my going insane due to over-multitasking? Very high. Odds of my counting to 10 wrong? Inevitable. Oh well.

I’m juggling things. Badly. Or well. Depends on what angle you’re at.

An amazing thing happened yesterday though: I finally cleared the kitchen table of the multiple landslides of accumulated crap from 7 months of receipts, books, paper, and oh-so-many pens and paper clips. As we go more online, I might have to make art out of my multitudes of paper clips.

I spent three hours in the afternoon creating things in a coffee shop. Two knitters showed up later…

Here’s how far I got yesterday…almost done!

I also copyedited a bit…more of that today. More cleaning today too.

And then I ironed. I did get almost three hours in, like I wanted, but I stayed up way too late. Damn dogs and cats won’t sleep in.

Picking lots of browns for trees and dirt and sand…

Then figuring out what goes where…4 levels of hills, 4 levels of trees on hills, followed by 4 levels of gray concrete and yellow road markings. And then Fire!

That’s about 250 pieces ironed. Since I misnumbered so heinously, I think I have 700 to go. Ok. A goal.

My days are reading about trauma-informed schools, making art about good and evil, house dust and detritus, and the orange baby’s stupid words.

I’m on the elliptical now. Way easier to write here…

That Pile of Papers Isn’t Going Anywhere*

OK, as we get closer to August and the start of the new school year, I am panicking more and more. I’m trying not to, but it just happens…like a tsunami after an earthquake. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been going to all these teacher conferences this summer…it’s been hard to get my brain off school. Plus I’m currently listening to a recording that’s telling me I need to get up an hour earlier and go to school at 7 AM. Oh yeah. No. Yesterday was massively ineffective in terms of my to-do list…although I did get some stuff done. Not enough. Too much down time. Now that down time was exercise and eating food, plus medical crap, and then recovering from that. I don’t do well with blood sugar crashes, and I’m not doing a good job of monitoring all that right now.

But today is still July and I should stop the panic.

Here’s a calming picture of the winery tour…they took photos of us and just posted them yesterday…

It was a warm day.

So my pool guy just took a leave of absence for a family emergency (his words), but no insight as to how long…just a phone number for referrals. I used to take care of the pool myself…but it’s a pain in the butt and a difficult chemical pool anyway, so I hired someone. He’s not the best, but he’s been doing it a while. Last night, I went out there and cleared out a bunch of pine needles (need to do it again today), and found these feathers…

Parrots? Not sure.

I worked on this a little bit…I’ll be doing more of it later today…

I finally pulled the 7 projects I picked at the beginning of the year to work on…I’ve been writing them in my calendar every week and then not working on any of them. Seven months seems long enough to do that. Maybe once I finish the embroidery on this and the last pattern, I’ll be able to focus on those more, but I’m not sure one a day is the most efficient way to do it. We’ll see.

After that, I headed into the studio to start ironing. What’s my plan? Well here’s the first 100 pieces.

It should take me about 10 hours to iron all these down, maybe more. Here’s the set up. I did put all the loose fabrics away before I started. I hang the drawing up so I can see it.

The ironing board is right in the center of the room…Kitten is watching Outlander.

She also likes The Rook

Ocean waves…

I didn’t get very far. But it’s a start…

My goal is 3 hours today…maybe 4. Plus copyediting. Then more tomorrow…hopefully done ironing by Friday night. That’s my goal. Plus copyediting. I will keep saying that.

This is interesting. I certainly feel that way. I wonder if I can stick a hike in somewhere. Sigh. Not sure where.

Or when. OK, for now, I need to consider lunch. I need to check my journal for the to-do list. I need to copyedit for a while. That’s a lot for the next 45 minutes (ha!).

*Angela Watson, 40-Hour Teacher Week recording

Our Way Is Darkest Night*

Well. In case you were wondering, making an anti-gun quilt doesn’t stop people shooting other people. And neither does voting in politicians who make stronger gun laws, because my state, although it has many positive qualities, cannot stop other states from selling angry white men more guns. And it cannot stop those men from coming back to our state, because we don’t believe walls are the solution…we believe government should be the solution, government should protect us from AK-47s…my state can’t stop men bringing those guns back to our state and killing innocent people enjoying themselves at a garlic festival. I will continue to be angry at those who perpetuate the gun sales (this gun is not necessary to anyone) and the hatred toward other and the anger and the illogical science behind white supremacy. How is a 19-year-old so angry that this makes sense? Killing a child? I’m sad. I’m frustrated.


I also have a massive headache because I had to fast this morning for a medical test and I just got some water and tea and food in me, and my body is still trying to decide if that’s enough. It’s not. More of all of those things.

I’ve been gone from the computer for a couple of days. I’m trying to manage all the things. Ha! There are too many things. Always. The copyediting project came in yesterday, so I will start dealing with that today. It’s a whole ‘nother mind set. The to-do list has spilled over into multiple days on my calendar now, so that’s an issue.

Sunday, I had an art meeting, so I will have pictures from that (also means I need to write a blogpost or two for them. One today. One next week. It’s on my calendar now.). I didn’t get much art done Saturday…I painted ceramics (crap, I need a photo of that) and went to the man’s show. Sunday, I only got this done…

Last night, I only got 5 more letters done. I’ll get there. It’s not hard. I just don’t have a lot of time right now.

Yesterday, I was at the EdInnovateLive2019 conference here in San Diego. This is Sir Ken Robinson, of TedTalk fame. He was funny…and right on.

There were some interesting speakers here, but it was a lot more sitting than I like. I missed today’s lectures for the medical stuff. The conference was at University of San Diego…and it was a beautiful day.

It’s a nice school. Although religious and freakin’ expensive.

I started drawing this somewhere…Palm Springs? Worked on it at one of the wineries we toured, and finished it in one of the lectures yesterday.

Want to color it? Join my Patreon. I need to scan it and clean it up, and then send it off to my Patreon peoples…

Calli last night…waiting for me to solve the problem of firecrackers. I cannot do this baby girl.

I finally finished cutting all these pieces out…

It took 7 hours to cut them all…

And another 41 minutes to sort them…

It was worth staying up a little late for that.

OK, now I’m ready to start ironing. Well. Except the studio is a mess. I have a pile of fabrics to put away. I have to think about guns and white boys and anger and abortion rights and trauma-based instruction (that’s the copyediting) and the beginning of the school year and getting new students. Then I can iron.

*Led Zeppelin, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

A Few Moments…

Oh my Saturday. A day off? I think that means I don’t need to run any errands today. Because the last two days have kicked my errand-running ass. Really, trying to drive all over town in stupid traffic with stupid people cutting me off or refusing to let me get over from an only lane or not letting me out of my parking space (like really? MOVE…) is not a fun way to spend a day…or two. The plus is that a bunch of stuff is done and out of my hair and some things I actually did EARLY for once in a million years. I still have 4 bags of books that need to make it to library bookshops (why do they make it such a pain in the ass?). But I can do that. AND I got Speculoos cookies from Trader Joe’s (which I really don’t need…but whatever…). NO ERRAND DAY. Actually, today is kinda squishy packed anyway, but with sociable stuff. And dancing. With strangers. Because that’s how I roll.

So one thing I did yesterday was to check out this gallery where I’ll be entering work in September. I should have checked it when I was in Liberty Station last week, but that slipped my mind. And ironically, I’ll be there again today. So I didn’t need to go yesterday, but apparently my brain didn’t know that. Fucker.

Having seen the space, I’m feeling much better about hanging my work there.

I did a return shopping thing, smiled at Greenpeace kids, shipped two things out in a post office I didn’t even know existed, and checked out another library space for quilt meetings (they didn’t have one), plus got rid of some kid books in a responsible manner. I also did a little shopping for food…yet another potluck on my schedule. I think I solved it. Unfortunately, I did have some stressful annoying irritating moments while doing all that. Like seriously, why are people so stupid in parking lots? I just don’t understand it.

True story. It was good. I don’t remember the lyrics any more though, so no fame and fortune for me. Screaming did help.

When I got done with all that, I felt like I owed myself a moment. A few moments. Sitting on the deck with the dogs while talking to the girlchild on the phone and trying to draw.

All the sticks and bits of sticks on the the deck are totally and completely Calli’s fault. I need to sweep again.

Watching the hummingbirds race around…this isn’t a final drawing. It’s a drawing toward an idea.

We’ll see where it goes.

I spent some afternoon time prepping the dinner parts so I could take the little dog out for a short walk. The old lady is still having issues and the boychild isn’t feeling well, so it was just me and the little asshole. Nice plant.

Could be thistle. Could be artichoke? Nah, thistle.

This path goes by houses for a good chunk of it. It’s not my favorite walk, but it’s good for a hot day and a short time period. I didn’t leave until 6 PM, because it was too damn hot…and I still had to make dinner.

Nice bits of shade.

Non native.

Side eye from the puppy about this project…

My words keep getting bigger. I might fix that. I might not. Adjust. Not tear out and redo.

I wanted to cut more out yesterday, but life. You know. It does what it does.

I did spend a few hours cutting though.

See? I tired him out.

I am so not ready for school. I’m not supposed to think about it until August 1. I’m failing at that.

Think quilt! I wanna make this quilt. I like it.

So I finished cutting 3 yards, one to go. I’m going to work on it today and hopefully get done, but I’m hanging with a friend doing something else for a few hours, then the man’s band plays tonight. Tomorrow I have a meeting midday, so that will affect my time. I am hoping that I have a big enough piece of background fabric to do this…I should figure that out before I head out, since the fabric store is near where I’ll be picking up my friend. Because I want to be ironing to fabric tomorrow sometime.

But first, shower, food, hopefully cut some stuff out before I need to leave.