She Isn’t Sure Where She’s Gone*

Someone I know called the Daylight Savings change in Spring “Satan’s Favorite Time Change.” I agree. Morning dark. Sleep little. Body confused. Why again? So I can haz the daylight later. OK. But that was coming anyway. Is this the real time? Or was the real time over the last 3 months? Wait. I’m asking the Google. Ah. No. This is the fake time. No wonder my brain is rebelling. I hate fake things. Fake time, fake boobs, fake news, fake people. Yeah. So. We’re all in pain together this morning.

I’m going to need to write fast this morning…yet another early meeting on a Monday. Never a good plan.

Saturday’s hike was nice…not super long, but a little chilly and long enough…

My favorite oaks…expansive views…

Flowers popping up everywhere…

I just wanted to get outside and burn some calories and experience some nature. Luckily my partner’s a good sport (I suspect on his birthday, we will be eating burgers and listening to music instead of sweating up a hill).

I don’t mind that either.

So many wildflowers…and new growth…

I love how the new growth is such a different color…

New oak leaves are gorgeous. Even the dead yucca flowers are nice.

We were stalked by crows on most of the hike…

Yelling at us. We yelled back. We stacked some rocks…

Silly humans. Official selfie of my 2019 birthday hike…

Then we came back, went to a block meeting about fixing our road (deep breaths over the dollar amounts), and went out to a nice dinner. I even traced some Wonder Under: so art, food, hiking, all in one day. Really, totally, the way to do it.

I finished tracing all of it last night…about 9 hours worth.

It’s not so much. Really. I don’t have a ton of days to finish this. Oh! I found the lost quilt. It was on consignment. I should keep better track of that shit. They had two of mine. Whoops. But I feel much better about finding it! Sheesh. Anyway, the next step is cutting this out…

I even got new scissors for my birthday. We’ll see how they go. And here’s my selfie for #marchmeetthemaker…me with my art…

Holding It All In…is the title. But maybe also my occasional mantra. Not necessarily a good thing. Art tonight! But first school and a meeting and walking the dogs and whatever else is in store for me today.

*Talking Heads, And She Was

Running Out of Hours

So it’s my 52nd birthday. It’s not young. It’s not old. I mean, some days I feel really old, like after bending down to put 140 pieces of sunprint paper on the ground for my students. OK, I didn’t do 8th period that day, so it was only 120 bends to the ground. Or so. I felt old that night. Ouch. Or just painful. Try explaining that to the doctor. You did what? But my grandma died at 107 and my great aunt at 97.5, so I’m feeling OK about the 50s. I know some don’t. Ah well. I remember being 35 and newly separated and that was really hard…way harder than 50. So maybe it’s what’s going on at the time as well as the numbers. It’s all in our heads anyway, isn’t it?

So I rarely get to have my birthday on a weekend, not a work day, so this is nice. I can actually plan a day with no school demands. Because I am ignoring the assignments that need grading. I’m eating a tasty and healthy breakfast of apples and oatmeal, I have a hike planned, where my co-hiker is accepting that my definition of “mostly flat” is that it evens out. There’s up and downs in a similar quantity. And then I do have a thing I have to go to here on the block, a meeting about our road issues, but then there’s an art opening and dinner somewhere. I might even draw. Who knows? It’s a Day without Requirements.

Yesterday after school (and all that crazy), I went to my monthly stitching meeting, and the clouds were oh so beautiful…

I love clouds. Well, OK, not the doom and gloom ones that I’m seeing this morning. But maybe they will wander off.

I worked on the African Buffalo. Again. More. He’s not done. This is so slow.

Granted I have not been working on it anywhere else, so there’s that.

I came home and did a little grading and it was late so I decided to art. Here’s my trusty companions. Asleep.

As always. More tracing. I’m in the upper 500s now…getting closer to done.

Fancy sun in this one. I think there’s about 4 yards of Wonder Under floating around that I’m trying to fill up with little pieces.

It’s a good feeling. The hair is done. All I have left is the face…which apparently has 225 pieces in it. I should be able to finish that today, I think. Well. I need to go to REI too. I suspect I’m going to run out of hours in the day.

This is Bob the crane fly. At least we hope he’s a crane fly and not a huge mosquito. I’m not good at telling the difference.

That’s also my partially dead mint, and my very dead basil and thyme. To my credit, they were mostly dead when I planted them from the fridge, so it’s not surprising that they are more dead now. I do plan to replace them. Maybe today! Need more hours in the day.

My birthday morning cat encroachment. He kept getting closer and closer to my face.

He would do this any day, not just my birthday. Because I am soft. I even got to talk to the girlchild…

Best birthday card yet…

Thanks Julie…and thank you, uterus, for giving up on that shit.

OK, I’m showered and fed, need more caffeine, need a nice walk in nature. That’s next.

The Stars Look Very Different Today*

It’s International Women’s Day. Tell a woman how awesome she is. Better yet, tell some people how awesome they are. It doesn’t really matter if they were born a woman or identify as a woman. Don’t tell them how pretty they are. Don’t ask them to smile. Don’t tell them to calm down. Don’t make it about you today. That goes for all you other women and female-identifiers too. We are our strongest supporters. Be one today. A supporter.

Me? I’m going to school and giving a test. This is apparently a surprise to some, like the kid who was emailing me yesterday afternoon, and then again an hour later to tell me I hadn’t answered yet (I didn’t see either email until I was at an art opening). He’s a nice kid in general though, so I took a breath and answered him. Three hours later. (like just look at your planner, kid. You wrote it down.)

I spent time at the doctor yesterday, still trying to figure out my Intercostal Alien. Seriously. That’s the new name of this random intermittent pain that I’ve had for 5+ months now. At least we have a plan to move forward at this point. We still don’t know what it is, and I’m annoying the gastro doctor (no, she’s been very nice), but whatever. Moving on. Trying to be healthy, exercise lots, and not freak out too much. As usual.

WordPress has apparently changed the damn app again, so I’m typing along, trying to figure out how to add pictures.

Oh there they are. Sigh. So I went to the opening last night of #rrrr Reduced, Restricted, Reserved but Resilient, where my piece Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman is hanging.

I get my own movable wall. I’m excited about that. I’ll post more about the show tomorrow, because I have a parent meeting this morning and I barely made it to work yesterday on time, so I have to do better today. Plus I have duty and I’m giving that test, so it would be nice to be ready for that. Which I’m not.

You’ll be glad to know that my last period of the day got enough sunshine to do their sunprints yesterday. They were glad. I was glad. It was a little crazy.

Closeup of my piece. There’s always interesting work in this show, based around El Dia de La Mujer. I had a guy introduce himself and say he liked my work, and I was so tired, I didn’t really have a conversation. Whoops. Sorry if that was you. I hadn’t eaten dinner and I’d been ON for like way too many hours by then. Try me again. I’ll be more forthcoming. (Maybe. Wait. I should admit that I’m not socially ept.)

I came home, ate, and then even though I brought work home, I didn’t do it. It was almost 11 when I started tracing again.

I see progress though. I’m up in her hair…so just her hair and face are left to do, I think. And the sun. There’s a lot of details in there, but I’m more than halfway done. I am incredibly behind on grades again though. Sigh. I refuse to grade tomorrow. Seriously.

Details. I traced the cat. Last thing I did, just after midnight. OK. So off to school, successful day, meeting with friends tonight (always look forward to that), some stitching, some tracing, some SLEEP. Yeah baby. Sleep.

*Peter Schilling, Major Tom

Never Want to Put My Feet Back Down*

I have this big old lady dog who’s been following me everywhere, which honestly is better than her sneakily trying to find paper she can eat. She brought her toys with her into my office and is laid out on the floor with them.

And if you talk to her, she grabs her toy and tries to shove it at you, but you’re not allowed to touch the toy.

Meanwhile, the little boy dog is waiting oh so patiently outside the boychild’s room…

Please get up. Please get up. Let me in. He will, Simba. He will.

My breakfast this morning and until they’re all eaten. I had apples and cream, so I made apple cheddar scones a few days ago, froze them all, cook one a day.

Tasty. And one of the few breakfasts that doesn’t make me nauseous on a regular basis. I totally couldn’t face a hard-boiled egg this morning. It’s weird how my morning food brain works. Annoying as well. I need food or I won’t get through the morning.

Speaking of not getting through the morning, my voice is a disaster again. Although I was in professional development yesterday for most of the day, I did also talk most of that time, because we were planning. That was actually pretty good until my brain shut down around 1 PM. Then back to my classroom to “assist” (there was nothing but paper collection that needed doing, and the kids can do that) with the lesson that didn’t make sense. They were teaching them about neuroplasticity, but the game had nothing to do with it and neither did the drawing. I’m confused by what we’re teaching them.

I’m up early today for a meeting. It’s not one I’m looking forward to. Early morning conflict. Ah well…such is the life of a union rep in a public school. And I’m going to try to be nice to my voice today, although I will have to talk a little bit. We’ll see how it goes.

We walked yesterday in the misty rain…

Nobody is on the bridge when it’s raining.

There’s a lot of plant blooms that I normally don’t see…

That’s what plenty of rain gets us…

My SIL called in the middle of it from Seattle, complaining about snow…

I think she’s tired of it…but not tired enough of it to move.

Right now, everything is beautifully green with specks of color…

Although I lost my Fitbit out there somewhere. SIGH. OK, so we went back in the dark without the dogs to try to find it, using an app that might have been able to locate it if it were on…but mine only goes on if you bump it.

There were other people on the trail, so maybe someone picked it up. Or it popped off into the crazy greenery on either side of the trail. We know when it last synced, we know where I noticed its absence. It’s actually a small part of the trail.

There’s one other app that might find it. Hoping I can persuade the boychild to go back out today and check it out…because I have a doctor’s appointment (seriously can we figure out the abdominal crap please?) and an opening in San Ysidro that I’m trying to get to…

Anyway. Stupid shit at the end of the day. Lots of that. I was going to grade last night, but I ended up doing an extra mile in the dark, trying to find a device that needs to learn how to ping if I want it to. I came back and prepped and sent a complicated email I needed to get done, and then looked at colors for these. Oh man, only five colors is HAARRRDDD.

Either I do black and white or three thousand colors. Never in between. This one was even harder…

Plus it’s hard to see what it will actually look like without stitching it. Scary.

Finally in to trace. (I did some binding before that.) See the big dog in the background? I’m surprised she’s that far away.

Usually she’s right by my feet. So I’m about 5 hours into the tracing, made it to piece 367. Not super fast or super far. But progress. I’m not sure what tonight will look like. I’m expecting some level of exhaustion. What’s new. Still haven’t found the lost quilt…sigh.

*Depeche Mode, Never Let Me Down

My Brain Is Like Swiss Cheese on a Good Day

Some mornings I look back on a day and want a redo. I suspect we all do. Sometimes we just want to pretend that day didn’t happen. Luckily yesterday wasn’t THAT bad. And honestly, I don’t want to do it over again because I’m just now realizing how exhausting it was. Explains why the cough is worse today and I feel more sick…I pushed too hard yesterday and my body is yelling at me because of it. Giant-ass sigh. Seriously. I’m thinking I need to be bionic or something. This morning it’s my left heel and my sinuses. Tomorrow it will be my right elbow and a twitching eyeball. Robotic Kathy sounds nice. Maybe I could send her out to do professional development today and I’ll stay home and read my book.

The day was relatively successful actually. I got 4 out of 5 classes through a sunprinting lab…in the 4th class, it had clouded over and started to rain, just a few big drops, and they whined, but I pushed them through (I am that mean…and/or motivating) and we were successful. By the last class of the day, though, it was actually raining and pretty damn dark, so we tried inside with lamps and it so did not work. So I’m gonna have to do theirs again. Don’t even look at the schedule and panic about that. I will make it work.

Then off to tutoring. My 8th period requested a video showing them everything in the current unit, which is due Monday. At first, I was like WTF, are you kidding me, and then I was like….hmmm. Good point. Kids could pause it and find their papers, because I go really fast. The kids who are always on top of it already have everything in there, so they won’t need it. That’s not who it’s for. Fuck. I hate when they’re so much smarter than I am. So I did it. But the one I did in the tutoring center was way too loud, so I came home and did another one. But I forgot to go to the chiropractor until I got home. LONG DAY FUCKS WITH MIND. Too bad…I need it. But I’ll survive until next week I guess. Then I edited another cover letter for the girlchild…have to laugh…we were both editing the same sentence at the same time. I love technology sometimes. It really does make some things so much easier than they used to be. And finally to the gym at 7 PM. Sigh. Time doesn’t stretch out enough. Except at staff meetings. And professional development. Then it’s way too long.

So I have a solo show coming up and I need a name for it (yikes!), but I’ve also somehow misplaced one of the quilts that they want for the show. Don’t panic, it’s a little one. Ever since they said they wanted it, a little part of my brain has been panicking about where the fuck it is. Most of the little quilts are in my office in a pile or hanging up, so I know where they are. A lot of them are sold (hey, by the way, if you’re browsing through my Gallery page, the 2014/2015 small quilts of birds and cats are all remakeable. Which is not a word). But this one’s not there. And I kept thinking, well, it’s fine, they’re not really going to pick that one (they did) and if they do, I’m sure it’s in that pile (it’s not) and I’m just not seeing it (nope. nopers. no way.). Then I’m thinking, holy shit, did I sell it and not remember doing that? Nah. That’s not a thing. I go back through my list of quilts, and nope. I should still have it. OK. So then I search emails, because I think I might have consigned it somewhere, but I thought I had picked all those quilts back up, but maybe it sold there? Or I didn’t get all of them? But for once, I deleted emails (seriously, I have thousands of them…why did I get efficient on those?), so I can’t find a record of what I picked up, besides the part where I have a pile of small art quilts and this one isn’t one of them.

As a side note, in the search for this quilt, I locked the cranky man cat in my daughter’s room (don’t tell her) overnight and he’s still pissed about it, so I had a conversation about following people into rooms and fucking HIDING right away so we don’t know you’re in there, you sneaky bastard, don’t fuck with me. What? These aren’t the conversations you have with YOUR animals?

And no, I’m not posting a picture of it until I find it. Because maybe you own it and I forgot and you’re going to be all sad that I don’t remember that, until you realize my brain is like swiss cheese on a good day, and like a pile of baby powder on a bad day, waiting for the wind to pick up. Except for art brain. She’s always around and wishing for more time.

So I sent an email. Hopefully the consignment place has it. If not, I can remake it. Seriously, it’s small. No biggie. Although matching fabrics might be an issue. Or not. That whole mess took a significantly long time. It was late. But I can’t go to bed without art most nights. My brain was in overdrive, I wasn’t feeling relaxed…so I traced.

I didn’t get much done. But I got something done. And that’s what I needed. I might have needed another hour of that, but it was already past midnight. So I put down all the balls that I try to keep up in the air…

Oh yeah, some small pieces there…and I went to bed. Tonight will be better. Tonight I will grade an assignment and walk the dogs and someone else will cook and I will FIND THAT DAMN QUILT if it kills me (OK, yesterday’s muscles are still complaining) and send the email list to the peeps who want it and try to come up with a title (Kathy Did Not Kill Anyone Today seems appropriate…and yet not. Wait. Seriously. I like that title. Where can I use that title.). And and and.

It’s OK. Frustration happens. It fosters change. I’ll get there…wherever there is.

Pointing Me in a Crooked Line*

Long day full of convulsive uncontrolled coughing and grades! I think I finished those. I hope I finishing those because they’re due in 6 hours or so. I even have sun this morning! So the sun-related lab I need to do today might actually happen! That is exciting. Keep the clouds away. Yesterday’s overwhelming stress attack is mostly gone. There are still way too many things to do (as always), but a bunch of them went away (or got rescheduled). I even managed to get through a dental appointment without coughing up a lung…I must be on the mend.

I’m still trying to keep up with #marchmeetthemaker and #igquiltfest, but there’s only so many hours in the day. Here’s my tools…minus the sewing machine. I swear by Sharpies…I’ve tried a bunch of other pens, but they either smear or have a fuzzy line or something.

Those scissors have pencil lead all over them…so not pretty and new-looking like other people’s…definitely well-used. Same with the iron. It’s been dropped enough times.

The other prompt was about fast finishes…well the only way they’re really fast is if they’re small. Back in 2014 and 2015, I made a bunch of smaller quilts and sold them…

I think I sold most of them to friends and family, and there’s only so many of those you can do, so I stopped. They’re relatively quick to make though.

So after dinner, we were watching the end of the movie the man fell asleep during on Saturday night, and I was working on the binding…with help…

The aerial shot. Simba doesn’t really feel comfortable around Satchemo, but apparently he gave up on his stress last night and fell back to sleep with a cat on his butt. Satch really wants to be on ME or the quilt, but he’s not allowed…which doesn’t stop him sort of obsessively trying. He’s a persistent bastard.

Calli is currently lying on the floor in here with me because she keeps stealing paper and cardboard and trying to eat it (Satchemo’s scratch toy gets the worst of it), which is freakin’ annoying. So she’s in detention with me right now.

After the movie, I did a bunch of stuff on the to-do list, and then settled down to trace for a while…

I’m up in the sky, having finished the ground. I’m only in the 170s though…the sky went slowly. Big pieces, harder to trace. Or they take longer to trace. With three hours into the tracing, I’d like to have more done, but this is kind of how it rolls. Tonight will be the same. I blew off grading last night because I stayed late at school to do it. Tonight I need to do some actual grading I think. I don’t want to get too far behind.

So grading, tracing, and something to do with that embroidery stuff again. Maybe some binding. Sounds like what I’ll be doing most nights this week, when I’m not an opening or a meeting. Not bad. I can handle that.

*Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine

Banging on the Door

Wow that’s a Monday morning headache…caused by emails and texts and probably low blood sugar, damn forgot to hardboil those eggs, plus I think the chiropractor is in my future plus there was the 30 minutes of coughing up a lung at 6 AM. Yeah. Hello body! Nice to hear from you. It doesn’t matter some days how young your brain feels…your body is like, nuh uh, you wrong bitch, let me explain it to you. It’s OK. I got this. Not really. I don’t got this. (cries while laughing into her tea)

I am ready to ship a quilt to an exhibit in Utah. I will be shipping six quilts to a solo show in Pittsburgh, probably sending them next month or early May. These are good things. I got into two local shows and rejected from two others. OK. Got it. I have this awesome quilt that I can’t get into a show and that irritates (is that the best word? saddens? disappoints? not sure) me. I will try again. There are always more shows. That combination of show and juror(s) and competitors did not work this time. It’s OK. Awesome quilt moves on. My first Quilt National piece was a Visions reject. I keep remembering that. My second Quilt National piece was a reject too. Keep making. Keep entering. Don’t let the turkeys get you down (I think that’s a direct quote from dad, a Bob Nidaism).

Today will be fine. It just feels like a panicky clusterfuck at the moment.

So what’s going on otherwise? What can I control at the moment? I liked this drawing, but wanted to simplify it for embroidery…so I did…

I think it turned out really well.

Of course, now I also want to do a large quilt-size version of it with a shit-ton of detail, but that’s just how my brain works. I might do that, once I get past the next two deadlines.

Here’s one in progress…801 pieces, measures 28″ wide by 48″ high. Not small…

But way smaller than the last one. I started tracing it last night. And it was good.

I made it to piece 101, I think. Through the first pillbug I’ve ever put in a quilt. Only 700 pieces to go. That sounds like a goal for this week. Although there’s a lot of crazy this week. I haven’t finished grades yet. (they’re due tomorrow.) Sigh. OK. Deep breaths. The to-do list is banging on the door, screaming at me. I hear it. Over there. Thank you mindfulness training for that.