Let Me Enfold You*

October 22, 2018

I’m excited! The 2019 official Spring Break vacation is booked! We’ll even have no showers for a couple of days! Oh boy! I like showers. I do. Especially when hiking and camping. But I’ll live. It’s Utah this time…we tried to stay in one place a bit longer than last time, although last time, there were a couple of campsites that I was glad I didn’t have to stay there more than one night. Anyway. It’s done…although the tent caterpillars in Zion are keeping us out of the campsites there, and you can’t book Bryce in advance, so we’ll only actually be IN one of the National Parks to camp. It’s OK. We will survive. Looking forward to lots of rock and probably freezing my ass off at night. It’s a good thing I’m bringing my own personal space heater.

I also booked the girlchild home for Winter Break, which is nice. Now I just need to get my parents to answer email so I can book her graduation trip. I have no idea what full name my mom has on her drivers’ license. Can’t book a flight without that. Like does she have her real middle name that she never uses? Or her maiden name as her middle name? Or what? I don’t know. I never changed my name when I was married, so I don’t know what people do. Honestly it’s a practice I’ve never really understood, so there’s that.

Anyway, trip progress was made. That’s all that matters.

What did I do all weekend? I did go to see the Visions opening at the Visions Art Museum. There were some interesting pieces in the show. I always recommend it. I also graded a bunch of stuff and traced a lot of Wonder Under, like 6 hours’ worth or so. All good.

But what it looks like HERE is a lot of piles of Wonder Under…which is not very exciting for YOU, but it is for ME. This was Saturday night…I had almost 4 yards traced…

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Piles of done yardage…

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Three dogs refusing to be photographed. Or to lie in the same place…

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More yardage on Sunday!

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I’m done with the main figure…I’m doing the water contrails or whatever you wanna call them.

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I’m in the second to last of them, around piece 820…so another 170 pieces to go.

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I seriously considered doing those last night, but the clock (and my teacher brain) told me no. Fun stuff. So now you know what I’ll be doing tonight.

OK, this song was on what I was binge-watching yesterday…and I remembered how much I loved it when I was young…

So now you get to listen to it.

*This Mortal Coil, Song to the Siren


Three-Dog Late Afternoon

October 20, 2018

Weekends are for catching up on sleep. For catching up on errands, although I did a pretty good job of that on Thursday. For catching up on grades, unfortunately. And hopefully for a little free time and relaxation. I’m going to see the Visions exhibit this evening…looking forward to that.

But before that, I gotta wake up. Ugh. My head.

I walked the dogs again on Friday…by myself this time…

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I took them over three miles, trying to tire them out. It worked. Tired me out too…but then I’d already had a long walking day at work. The kids played a rock cycle game and I always have a few who need me to walk them through it. It went well otherwise though. My legs were dead by the time I got to the dog-walking part of the day, but it was good for all of us.

After dinner, I eventually persuaded my legs to stand up again. I didn’t trace for long, because I didn’t realize how late it was…but I’m in the 300s now. I wanted to be much further along, as always. So tracing is on my list for today as well. A nice big fat chunk of it please.

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I sat for a bit…Satchemo love…and Simba putting up with the cat.

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Who knows whether he likes it. He always looks nervous. That cat has sharp pointy bits.

Anyway. Art tonight, by other people, hopefully making my own as well. Same for tomorrow. I’ll never get caught up with grading anyway.

Happy birthday to my dad, who is hopefully still in Spain (if he’s not, I don’t know where he is)…he’ll be home soon, and then his dog will be at HIS house, making all the caterwauling noises that she makes. Plus walking the dogs will be easier.


Exciting Piles of Wonder Under in My Future

October 18, 2018

‘Tis early. My brain is fog. Or oatmeal. Not sure which. Oatmeal is stickier. So that.

Yesterday’s lab was much mellower than the previous two days. Maybe that’s because I’d done it before? Or because it was more like direct instruction instead of their reading instructions. Reading is always an issue for us…so many language learners.

Calli had to go to the vet yesterday, more pee issues, but at some point, the boy decided the little one needed some exercise. There’s playing that happens when Katie’s not here, but Katie has toy issues and Calli has jealousy issues, so we hide all the toys while Katie visits…which sucks for Simba.

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He likes toys.

Calli isn’t allowed to play because she’s a bully. She gets sticks thrown for her outside. Katie doesn’t actually fetch anything…she just tries to herd everyone who is fetching. It’s a pack of dogs…not just two.

After dinner, I didn’t do any grading. I figure I will do a bunch today. I took the day off to sit in a waiting room hopefully for not too long. But it means I’ll have some wait time there and here at home, so I can get a chunk of grading done.

So I started tracing pretty early last night. I was starting to think I was totally OK on time with this, but then realized I’m going to Boston and I don’t know what’s happening with Thanksgiving. So I panicked.

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I traced for about 3 1/2 hours and got two yards mostly filled…and another one started.

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I’m only in the mid 200s though. They were fussy pieces to trace. So I’m a quarter of the way through and it took about 3 1/2 hours. So another 10+ to go? I’ll do some tonight (maybe today? Although right now, a nap sounds lovely) and some tomorrow night, but that won’t get me done. We’ll see.

Anyway, gotta get out of here. Exciting piles of Wonder Under in my future.


Try to Catch the Deluge in a Paper Cup*

September 7, 2018

This Friday arrived just in time, although I’m pretty sure I was supposed to get some more shit done yesterday and just blew it off. There’s always tonight…maybe. I did finally get the tracing done last night…whatever exhaustion I felt Tuesday night has strangely gotten better. I could look at my daily step count and maybe account it to that. Seriously, Nida, sit down once in a while. The graph of steps related to evening exhaustion is very telling. Wait until next week…I have a school-related meeting/activity after school every day next week. At least two days, I won’t be home until after 6. It looks exhausting. I better rest up this weekend. And occasionally sit down next week.

That’s amusing really…I have quilts to deliver, an art show, grading, gaming tonight, who knows what else. And I have to get to school early today to discuss moving a kid out of one period into another, because otherwise WWIII is gonna start in there. Not something I’m a fan of…trying to explain to a 12-year-old boy why “pussy” is offensive. No, he didn’t get it. I ramped down the feminist rant. Although I did call a kid on the whole “girls are bossy” shit. No sweetie. We’re just confident and you’re not doing anything, so she’s getting your ass on task. High five the girl off to the side and then explain that yelling at him probably isn’t the most effective way to get him to work. She’ll be someone’s boss some day…a GOOD boss. Me? I check my speech so much more than I used to do when I was younger. Which is good.

So I had my stitching meeting last night…and it took me an hour and a half (about) just to chain stitch around those damn rhinos. One and a half rhinos. With rayon thread. Pissy rayon thread. Such annoying thread…

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I’ll be doing more of that at gaming tonight. I left the stitch book at home by accident, so I had to read through the instructions until I could find something I could do from memory. Chain stitch it is. Not Palestrina…haven’t done a million of them yet. I can do bullions from memory. I can’t do woven picot from memory…couldn’t remember what side to start on…top or bottom. Plus I didn’t know how many spokes, because it was the instructions from March again. DAMN. I don’t carry the whole notebook of instructions around with me, so that’s annoying.

Then I came home and I was still awake (miraculous), so I started tracing. I didn’t have a ton left, maybe 150 pieces. The dogs were gone with the boychild, so Kitten came out to clean her nether regions on my light table…

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She spends a lot of time whacking her tail at me for disturbing her while this happens. I traced the head and the crazy hair and the tree with all its leaves and the cat and the bird…it didn’t take long…maybe a couple of hours?

There’s less than 3 yards of Wonder Under…and it took about 5 hours and 40 minutes to trace all 578 or so pieces (there’s more because I doubled up on about 5 pieces…but not a lot more).

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So now I’m ready to cut them out. I might be able to handle that tonight. Well, the start of it. So I’m a little behind my plan. It’ll be fine. I’m not really expecting to get much done on it this weekend, but cutting it out shouldn’t take more than about 4 hours…so maybe I’ll be ironing by Monday or Tuesday night? I’ll have to think about what I want for the background…I don’t want to buy more fabric, if I can help it. Let me rephrase that. I’d love to buy more fabric…always…but I shouldn’t need to for this part. And I really shouldn’t. The house may be taken over by fabric some day if I don’t watch it.

This is a special portrait of Kitten and her frustrating gecko friend…frustrating in that Kitten is inside and gecko is outside, so much batting and banging of the window occurred.

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There’s a gecko (is it the same one?) on this window most nights. It’s like cat TV. Now I really wanna know if its the same one or not. Need to catch it and mark it so I can tell. Yeah. That’s happening.

OK, off to work, more walking around in circles to manage kid work and behavior, plus all the other good teacher stuff that we do. And then a weekend. Looking forward to that, even though it will include grading 140 warmups and another 140 essays. Trying not to think about that part…

*Crowded House, Don’t Dream It’s Over


Might Have Known What You Would Find*

September 6, 2018

There was a quote in my head last night when I went to bed from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the movie, which I watched last night…possibly for the second time or maybe not, while I was packing up quilts). I wrote it down somewhere. It wasn’t the whale or the petunias who said it…definitely it was Marvin. Now I can’t find it. Perhaps I wrote it down in my sleep and dreamed the whole thing?

I got home yesterday and the plumber showed up to deal with the water pressure thingie and some other doodad wasn’t attached right (who knows who the hell did that) and all of a sudden, the place was jumping and water was flowing down the driveway quite boisterously but eventually everything got back in place and people could flush toilets again. Very important. Plus the boychild cooked dinner, which is always a wondrous thing. Somewhere, if I were smart and/or organized, I would keep track of all these random contraptions that get installed and then go bad with no warning. I need a house that thinks a lot harder than me. Or remembers stuff, because I can’t.

I have 4 quilts that have to be delivered Saturday so they can be installed next week up in Orange County. One needed a label, two needed slats and hardware, they all needed ironing and dehairing, plus I needed to figure out how to pack them up. None of that sounds like fun, because honestly, it isn’t. I have been putting it off. I forced myself to deal with most of it last night. I now have two rolls that need to be put in boxes…

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And then I need to write (or find) statements, but otherwise, they’re ready to go. So that’s good. It took a while though.

Before that, during the dinner TV hour, which is more like 43 minutes, I was working on these. I think there’s about 15 more of the dark orange balls to go.

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So that’s 5 or 6 nights of embellishing, but not the next 4 nights, because I won’t be home for any of those. Impressive, eh?

Puppy helped. He’s three today, so no longer a puppy.

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As you can see, turning 3 is exhausting.

So it wasn’t until 10:30 PM that I was ready to trace. Ugh. This was supposed to be faster. Oh well. Life does what it does. I got another hour in…

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I am still filling up the second yard. I’m at piece 437, which is the neck. So I have the head, the tree, and the cat/bird…otherwise known as about 250 pieces. I have a meeting tonight, but maybe I’ll be able to trace afterwards. Gaming tomorrow, another maybe after…at some point, I am not as tired after school. I can’t remember when that is…October? Maybe. The weekend is getting busy too. But I’ll get there. Not as fast as my brain wants me to, but I will.

*The Church, Under the Milky Way


Some People Say I’ve Done Alright for a Girl*

September 5, 2018

I wake up in the morning and my brain is still heavily involved in a conversation it was having with itself last night before I went to bed. Like maybe it went on all night while I was sleeping (not that I slept all night; y’all know how that goes…it might be why my eyes are a bit twitchy this morning) and it will continue to go on while I’m teaching and maybe I’ll get reinvolved in the conversation some time after school. If it lets me. I wonder sometimes if I’m a little insane, because it really does feel like parts of my brain are over there discussing things without telling me until something is decided. And then I remember Art Brain. I constantly let her go wander around with drawings. She always comes back, sometimes years from now, like the most recent quilt.

This is Womanscape.

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She’s big…54″ wide by almost 82″ high. I like to do one really big quilt a year, usually over the summer. Last year was a bit weird for that, because I finished the big one in January or so. There’s a lot going on in here…honestly, this is a picture of my brain having a bunch of mostly related conversations…starting with a drawing from 2012, tearing it up into bits, and reworking it into this.

I also finally photographed this one, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

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Yup. It’s me. Back when I was young and skinny. My kids are in this one too. Shadows. I just realized girlchild has what looks like a target on her uterine area. Whoops. She’ll love that. Anyway, obviously I made this one for the IQF Power of Women show, but if she doesn’t get in, she’ll get in somewhere. So that was the summer…two quilts. Nice.

I think I entered 8 shows in the last 3 weeks. Waiting to hear on all of them. It’ll take a while. Probably be a bunch of rejections too. I do have one where I’m guaranteed to get one piece in. That’s a plus.

So I finally finished all those pink bullion knots! A miracle. There were a lot of them for some reason. Now I only have one color left, this blush orange, they call it. And here’s why I left it for last. That stitch. It’s crested chain stitch. It’s not HARD…but I keep having to look at the book to remember what to do next.

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Plus I’m not very good at keeping it even yet. Oh well. It’s progress. I always feel like I could embellish these Sue Spargo quilts forever, but then I remember I have more of them and maybe I should just finish it and move on! I know. Crazy.

I did finally get to tracing around 9:30 at night. I had tutoring after school and then went to Home Depot for wood slats for the quilts I need to deliver and then I was trying to book a hotel or AirBnB for the Chandler opening of Things That Matter in November. Yes! I’m going! It’s a long drive, and I may hate myself in the middle of it, but I’m going. We’re going. November will be a clusterfuck of travel. What’s new? Anyway, I traced for about 45 minutes, and then I was tired and nausea took over my brain.

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These new diabetes meds are a constant issue. The positive is they’ve brought my blood sugar down. The negative is they regularly make me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure what to do about it. I thought it was getting better, but the last week wasn’t great. Patience, I guess. This is how they make you lose weight (it’s one of the side effects)…you can’t eat or you throw up. Fun stuff.

Anyway, I took a break for about an hour and then felt better and started tracing again. I don’t do well with nausea. But then it was late, and even though now I felt fine and wanted to keep going, I also want to survive a day with middle-schoolers, so I went to bed. I’m in the 300s somewhere. So much for being done last night. I’m just under 3 hours in. More than halfway.

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Maybe tonight I will get more done and/or feel better. Some nights it doesn’t bug me…not sure why. And I get dehydrated but plain water makes it worse.

This is Kitten Television. She has pushed the slats over so she can watch the birds and the bunnies in the front yard.

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And if she’s really offended by their existence, she bangs the slats and wakes me up. My cat is so weird.

*The Dollyrots, Brand New Key


Drive Until You Lose the Road*

September 4, 2018

It’s a shorter work week…normally someone would make me do back-to-school night this week too, but it’s next week for some reason. I actually might have some brains this week. Who knows? I’m feeling a little rough this morning, but I know I didn’t sleep well. The brain wouldn’t turn off and I couldn’t get comfortable, either mentally or physically. I’ve had crazy dreams the last three nights. Can’t remember what they are…just that they’re crazy and they wake me up and I’m lying there with hot flashes or shivering (make up your mind…), trying to remember why it was so bad in my head. At least if I remember the dream, I can parse it out, make some sense of it. Not remembering seems worse.

I’m sitting here, trying to remember what I’m teaching today. Oh yeah! I’m giving a quiz. It’s OK…it’s open note. They’ll survive. We’re still short computers, though, so that’s an issue. Everything online has to be printed out…ironically, I’m teaching digital citizenship and some kids will be doing it on paper. Sigh. Deadlines though! I have to get everyone in my homeroom through the lessons and passing the test by a certain date, and it always comes up faster than you’d think.

Anyway. School. So much mental energy goes there.

I’m still doing these. Who knows if I will ever finish? Well, I only have 1 1/2 of the pink balls left to embellish…

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So there’s progress again. I have no idea what stitch I’m supposed to do on the orange balls. I left it last, so it must be complicated. Maybe. Who knows. I’ll find out tonight, I guess. After my prediction that I’d be done with these by the end of July, I’m hesitant to set another date…but end of September? Seems reasonable. So did the end of July, though.

Yesterday, after the hike, I basically ran around doing bits and pieces of things. I found the four quilts I need to pack up for Saturday. One needs a label. I pulled that one. I found wood slats for the quilts that didn’t have them. I’m one short, unfortunately, so that’s a trip to Home Depot after school…today I have tutoring, so I might be dead by then. I paused all that until the wood is purchased. I started using the new composter…the old one needs to sit for a while. There’s too much stuff in it. I’m going to let it go for a while, turn it occasionally, and then empty it onto the front yard dirt. The logistics of that might be somewhat complicated. How to get dirt from Point A to Point B. Through the house. I have a couple months to figure that out. I took my sewing machine over to my mom, so she can drop it off this week. I did some school stuff, setting up those digital citizenship lessons, at least through this week. I read my book for a while! I love being able to do that. It’s a good book too. It’s my book club book…and I probably won’t be able to go to book club for a second month in a row. Oh well.

And then finally, I started tracing Wonder Under. This piece won’t take long. I mean, it will be weeks, but I could probably finish tracing Wonder Under tonight. I could have done more last night, but the hike did my feet in. They were tired. Standing can be hard.

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I got to piece 194, but that’s when I realized that there were two of them. I really don’t know how my brain skips backwards while I’m numbering. Maybe I walked away from it. But there’s duplicates from number 183-192. Hmmm. Thanks brain. Your dedication to your job is noted. So I’m about a third of the way through, with only an hour and a half in. I could easily finish tonight.

I keep track of all my time…last week, I only did about 4 hours of quilt stuff…compared to the previous week, with 15 1/2 hours. Then the week before school started, I got almost 22 hours in. Four hours is a little light, but that’s mostly because I was between quilts…I drew some, but I don’t count those hours until I enlarge a piece. Then any further drawing time counts toward the final total. Anyway, I’m not expecting a lot of hours this week, with gaming and tutoring and a meeting and who knows what else I’ve committed to in my head that I’m not remembering right now. I’m caught up on grades until Friday. But I think I can get the Wonder Under traced between now and the weekend…and I should be able to start cutting it out as well. So hopefully I’ll be ironing to fabric by next week. That’s the current plan anyway. You know how those change.

*The Fray, How to Save a Life