Of That You Can Be Sure…

So I’m running with exhaustion right now…mental and physical. But it’s weird, because last night, I easily could have gone to sleep at 11 PM. I was completely done. But I didn’t want to go another night without making any art. So I said, I’ll just trace for 30 minutes…and within about 5 minutes of starting, I began to wake up. The tiredness just sloughed off and I’m thinking I can go for another hour (not a good plan). I ended up tracing for 45 minutes and then made myself go to bed before midnight, because I know today will be tiring and my blood sugar will be off (we have a production in the afternoon, so my lunch is way too early). But I could have gone for another hour…easily.

I did about 90 pieces…I’m at about 316. No. I AM at 316. So another 200 and a bit to go. I could do that tonight, if I didn’t have grading to do. That’s all I’m doing this weekend I think. I have a social thing and I think a family thing, but then grading. Until I die. Or my computer dies. Something. It’ll be fine. I figure I’ll be ready to iron stuff down in perfect timing with the end of the school year, which is nice, because that’s what I’ll need. I also need to make a summer to-do list, because there’s some major stuff that needs fixing. Sigh. I love tasks like that when I don’t have a paycheck coming in.

I’m glad I got up and traced. It makes me feel better. I’m still tired and cranky and feel like I’ve failed at dealing with that one kid who’s driven me nuts all year, but I have to be OK with that. There’s always one. I didn’t kill him. That’s a plus.

In really good news (I don’t know why, because I’m about to design 6 more and then stitch them), I finished the last of the models for the embroidery patterns! A miracle…

Look at all that dog/cat fur! It needs washing, dehairing, and a proper photo. But otherwise, it’s good. I need to put an embroidery page on my website too. SUMMER. So many things for the summer. I’m afraid of the to-do list. I do already have an idea for the first of the next 6 patterns. If you want to purchase any of the patterns (and I think kits should be available soon), they are at the Global Artisans shop. If you do stitch one of them up, I’d love to see it. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how to HIDE a penis in one of the next 6. I don’t usually hide them. They’re usually right out there, easy to find. Kind of like in real life.

Deep breaths. I can see the end of the school year right over there. As I’m finishing up teaching STDs today and turning to HIV…we’re almost done! We finished two proposals for working on school stuff over the summer, though, plus I’ll be at three different conferences about how to change up schools. The work never stops…and I should get paid for most of that for once. But there will be plenty of artmaking…of that you can be sure.

Shine Until Tomorrow*

One of my long-time stitchy friends is moving to Portland this month. It’s OK. That’s where her grandkid is and she’s retiring from teaching (well, at least technically…who knows what the future brings), so it all makes sense. I’ve been quilting with her on and off since I was 23. She is in fact the woman you can blame for my knowing how to quilt at all, although my mom is who you blame for knowing how to sew and having some sort of fabric addiction. That started when I was much younger.

In losing her to Portland, I also lose one of my monthly social meetings…so I’ve been working on options. It looks like SAQA in San Diego may start to rev up a bit, and I even found a meeting space here in El Cajon that we could use if people are interested in meeting. I might even go check out La Mesa, because people get freaked out by my town. It’s safe, people. It’s safe. So I’m kind of looking forward to that, although I don’t know how long it will take to get everything moving. And I hope no one annoying comes to the local meetings. Maybe I’m the annoying one, who knows. Change is never easy, but I guess all the crazy that’s happened to me over the years has helped me deal with some of it. Although I’m gonna miss my friend like crazy, I’m still going to try to find a quilt community that I sort of fit into somewhere besides online.

Last night was the last official meeting of the group, but she’ll be back for a bit in July to pack more boxes and move more stuff. I don’t envy her that. At the meeting, I worked on the last of the printed embroidery patterns that I need to do for now…

It’s almost done…just a little bit at the bottom. Then I need to design 6 more.

I didn’t grade yesterday, but I was at tutoring. That was tiring. After I had dinner last night (super late), I started tracing…

I only got an hour in…I’m tired…

But I’m almost halfway at this point. That’s the wonder of doing a quilt that doesn’t have a lot of pieces.

So sometime this week it should get traced. Although I really need to grade stuff too. Crazy meeting schedule this week. It’s messing with my ability to get that done. Tonight is book club and it’s a million miles away…but I’m going. So there. I read the book. I need a break. Ugh. Long drive. I’m getting old?

OK, I need to get to work and get going on the day. More STDs today…always fun. The school year is winding down. I’m winding up to get some art done. That part is exciting…as always.

*The Beatles, Let It Be

Restless As the Wildest Way*

I think at this point that my brain is so addled that I need to be exhausted to sleep. Or I’m so into making the new quilt that I can’t sleep because I’d rather be doing that? Certainly it’s more relaxing than grading. I finished three assignments yesterday…one had been in process for a few days…it was just taking me a while. I so want to be done.

It was really warm here yesterday, with some clocking in at 99 degrees and some at 104. Either way, too warm. I left school and didn’t think we’d be walking dogs, but it was cooler at the house…which is only 2 1/2 miles from school. There was a breeze and clouds were kicking in, so we dragged them out (with water).

It wasn’t too bad out there…although this plant seems like it’s reacting to the heat…

Look at those weird seed pods…and it’s a spiky son of a bitch.

There was some other little yellow-flowered thing that was stinging through our pants. Not this one…a weedier-looking plant with vicious spikes.

Nature is beautiful but painful. Good lesson.

We’re seeing ticks all over the place. Well…on the dogs and on the man.

The boychild and I have avoided them somehow.

After grading, I set up for the next quilt. Oh yeah! Desert Daughter won the vote on my Patreon…that’s this one…

She’s got 542 pieces…she’s not tiny, but she’s not huge. I actually drew this two years ago, not after the last trip, although there’s definitely some reminders of that trip here. I’m not making her for anything in particular…I just wanted to do a small filler piece before I do a big piece for the summer. It seemed like a fair reward to let my Patreon folks pick it for me.

So I started tracing last night just before 10 PM…

I recorded a bit of it for a future Patreon video. Satchemo did not help…

He was distinctly in the way. Here at least he stopped trying to lie ON the Wonder Under…

I’ve been entering a bunch of shows lately…hoping to get in to some of them. There are never any guarantees, that’s for sure. This one will fit somewhere. It actually has no nudity in it…

Wait, neither does the last one. A trend? Ah fuck no. It just worked out that way.

I’ve started mentally making my summer to-do list. So far, it is all about cleaning spaces that are out of control, planting things, and making art. Seems like a worthy plan. It’s funny, because I’ve signed up for this school committee that will keep me in conferences all summer. Sigh. It’s OK. It’s two days here and there…it won’t kill me. It’s better than jury duty for the whole month of July…so far, they’ve left me alone on that one. Give them time, though. I’m sure they’ll find me again.

OK, early meeting. Finally made it almost through birth control options in class…moving on to STDs…fun stuff. Eight more days…hopefully I’ll find sleep more easily as the week goes on…

*Crooked Still, Undone in Sorrow

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