I’m back. Ready for school? Well, no. But I’m going anyway. My blood sugar is trying to figure out what time zone I’m in. It’s massively confused. I fed it, hoping that would help. Really I should be wide awake right now, being three hours ahead, but I’m still recovering from traveling, I think. Why sitting on a plane is exhausting? No one knows. Actually, there are probably multiple scientific studies about it. None I have time to read right now!

I miss the girlchild already. I guess it’s easier when I don’t see her all the time to forget that I miss her. But I do. She’ll be home for a little while over Winter Break…but that’s always a crazy time of year. Then I’ll see her at graduation. Then who knows when…

So there’s that. My cat was very happy to see me…slept with me all night. Haven’t seen the dogs yet…that’ll be later today. I suspect the man who lives here also missed me…

So three days of school before a short break. I can handle that, right? I hope so.

So Monday, girlchild had classes almost all day, so I headed into Boston to go to the Gardner Museum…it had a small weaving exhibit, which included this piece by El Anatsui, and some other cool work as well.

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I didn’t really know what to expect from the palace side of the museum. I only knew it because of the art that had been stolen. It was interesting…

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I walked along the water for a bit afterwards. Honestly, it was a bit chilly out.

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So I drove to Cambridge to this fabric/yarn/maker place. It was cool…

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I didn’t buy much…just a few fabrics that caught my eye and a small embroidery pattern.

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Life in a college apartment is always loud, it seems. Mine was not so…although the year I spent in Britain was a bit. I shared a floor with all guys, though, and they don’t impulse-cook like women do. I cut out quilt pieces while they made pumpkin vegan (were they?) chocolate chip cookies.

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Tuesday, girlchild sacrificed two classes to take me to the New England Quilt Museum, where I got to see Salley Mavor’s work for the first time in person…plus Susan Carlson, who came to my guild, and a SAQA show. So that was cool.

We were both tired and it was pouring rain. So we went back to the apartment and I cut out pieces while she watched a French movie for class.

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I would sit at the window and watch squirrels all day if I lived there.

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Getting on the plane was a piece of cake…no line anywhere. And the plane was almost empty. I had a whole row and more. And when the in-flight entertainment wouldn’t work, they comped me internet, so I watched Stardust on Netflix while stitching. This was after reading most of a book.

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I was missing the eyes on the owl (whoops) and the hut instructions were in Block 3, which I didn’t have (I hate it when she does that), so then I worked on the giraffe…

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So I need to find this guy some eyes so I can finish him, and then find the Block 3 instructions so I can finish the hut.

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Preferably before Saturday, when we drive to Arizona for an opening. I should be able to handle that.

So. School. Cutting more pieces out…hopefully getting them done and sorted before we leave Saturday, so I can iron a whole quilt together next week, AND quilt it and bind it (sounds impossible from here). But first kids. Yeah.

All Good Things Are Wild and Free*

Including Walden Pond on Veterans Day. Yes, I am still here in sunny Massachusetts. It’s OK…it won’t be sunny for long. And sunny means cold. Although pouring down rain is probably also cold in my perspective, being from sunny Southern California.

We went to Walden Pond yesterday, which was cool…although it’s a pretty big body of water for a pond in my mind. Like Thoreau, dude, this is a small lake…so now I’m wondering where the line is between a pond and a lake, and then I’m realizing I just taught landforms at school and I really should know the difference.

Meditative girlchild (or something else…possibly just tired)…

This was near the foundation of the tiny little house he lived in for 2 years. No way dude. Could not have done that.

Apparently all the fall color fell down about 4 days ago, but there was still some here.

Fall is remarkably pretty. Leaves and all.

There’s a replica of the tiny house. Seriously claustrophobic. Sure, you have nature outside and all, but in the middle of winter, I want a couch to loll about on and room for a big dog or two.

I guess they put the replica up by the visitor center so everyone can see it…rather than having to walk almost halfway around the pond. It probably doesn’t take long to walk around the pond. It’s only 1.7 miles. We might have gone that far. Hard to say. We went out and back.

After that, we watched the Brandeis men play soccer…’twas cold. I stitched. Just like in the old days. Sitting on bleachers, wrapped up in fleece, warm boots on, freezing my hands off. I gave up on stitching in the last 10 minutes…because my fingers were no longer working.

It was 33 degrees or so. And then I watched indoor soccer and stitched, although this is definitely a picture of the girlchild half dead on the floor while other people play soccer.

It was much warmer in there. And I can’t really explain this.

Otherwise, I’ve been grading some stuff on and off, reading a lot, hanging out, and trying not to think too hard about school…which is somewhat easy, because when I come back, I only have 3 days of teaching before break. Awesome stuff.


Let Me Enfold You*

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


Blargh. Yup. Made it home. Functioning on very little sleep, due to small puppy thing asshole who doesn’t know how to let things move around at night without barking his head off. Kitten finally came down off Batting Mountain because her mommy was home. She whacked the crap out of her substitute parent while I was gone. Ahhh, calicoes. They are the devil incarnate sometimes.

The boychild has officially graduated. He is no longer a student. Now he is an unemployed wayward adult child (he really isn’t the wayward one) who hopefully will solve all his transportation problems today (the state of New York is truly anal about its car registration process), pack up all his shit, clean his apartment because all his roomies have left, and eventually head out to see his sister and maybe even come home. I don’t expect him soon, which is good, because I need to clean up all the quilts on his bed. I’m really proud of him for getting through 4 years at Cornell and hope he eventually figures out what to do with his life, although I have never been the best role model for that, for sure. Save the world! Cure cancer! You promised when you were 10 to build me a robot that would clean the house…WHY HAVEN’T YOU DONE THAT YET???

Girlchild is back in WALTHAM…she doesn’t live IN Boston, just near it…she has a few summer jobs, the major one starting on Monday. She’ll be busy, for sure. She’ll be home for a week in August…long time away, but we saw her this weekend. She was the main cook, which was nice.

I have early stuff at school every day this week. I have a quilt that’s at the photographer for a show I’m entering later this week. I have another quilt that probably can’t get done in time…but I’m going to try. I also tried grading all those kid videos, but had absolutely shit WiFi in Syracuse Airport and on the plane this time, so I was unable to get any work done all that time…which is frustrating, because really right now, it’s either work on school stuff or the quilt, and I obviously couldn’t trace Wonder Under on the plane. So there we are. I’ll get through whatever I get through…as always.

So here was our dinner and post-dinner gathering every night, which explains each one of the 40 or so mosquito bites I have…although most of them seem to be ankle biters…

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Here in San Diego, our mosquitoes bite all over…so I find that intriguing.

Yet another of the awesome waterfalls we saw around Ithaca…this is Taugannock Falls.

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We didn’t have time to hike down, unfortunately. We had to be out of our rental place and people were slow-moving, so we went back and saw this tree fungus for the first time (it had obviously been there all weekend)…

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And then we separated. My ex went home to the Boston area with the girlchild (some worry about the car, we suspect, although he claims one-on-one time with her…also a plus), boychild went back to his apartment to figure all the packing and cleaning out, and I drove the parentals back to Syracuse, where we sat in an airport for a while…

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Wishing I could get work done. It was an efficient trip back…just enough time in Philly to grab food and get on another plane, where I couldn’t work even more, so I read a lot. Which is fine…

As we started to land in San Diego…

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I did one drawing on the plane, but it’s way over THERE and I don’t feel like getting up and photographing it right now.

Damn, my right eyelid is twitching like crazy today. I basically got home and had a glass of wine to shut my brain up and tried to go to sleep…about 17 times. Ugh. I’m tired. But happy for the kid. I’m sure NOW WHAT is looming large in his brain…hell, it looms large in my brain on a regular basis. I hope he has a cool and mostly trouble-free drive home, and gets to see lots of interesting stuff. I hope I survive the last three weeks of school and grades and finish that quilt. I hope the girlchild finally gets to move into the house where she’s living for the next year and she likes her new job and being able to eat something besides rice. I guess that’s the theme of today then…hope.

The End of History…

Well that’s the wettest graduation I’ve ever sat through…but before we get to that, here’s the cottage the girlchild and I are sleeping in…I’m downstairs and she’s upstairs. The dead possum is off to the right…

It was dead when we got here, just to be clear.

When I made the 3 AM hike to pee (there’s no bathroom in our cottage), the box of cookies we bought had been dragged out of the house and strewn all over the path…

Our current bet is a raccoon, although the house cat is very fat and we’ve seen a skunk…they don’t usually climb furniture though, I think.

Here’s the more rustic bathroom, where we’ve been showering. It’s not bad…a little cobbled together.

The shed near our cottage is apparently where history goes to die…not just possums.

Back to wet grad. This is before the rain started really coming down…the school gave out rain ponchos…helluva expense.

Later it was pouring…kind of miserably so. Basically, as soon as your kid’s college was called, you left for shelter. Luckily, they didn’t call all 3500 or so student names in the stadium…

This guy had a garbage bag for raingear and a cardboard box for a hat…

The students…boychild walking to his seat, no umbrella.

What, you can’t see him in that photo? I thought we did well to pick him out…

Truly a miserable day for graduation…

From there, we headed to the tent for his degree in Government…a much smaller event, and mostly the rain had stopped by now.

Walking back from graduation to the car, yet another waterfall…

That fat cat again…

No, that’s not another cat…that’s the porch skunk…not listed on the AirBnb site…

Graduation photos…well, the boychild doesn’t want me to put them on here…so I’ll respect that.

I’m currently sitting outside, getting eaten alive again by mosquitoes, typing this while the two men discuss whether this could actually be train cottages (where we’re staying, she claims they were built in the 1830s), while the two women are reviewing homes for the girlchild’s graduation next year. The old man went up to bed, I think. Tomorrow we leave for home…driving back to Syracuse, flying home in two jumps. The boychild will hopefully pick up his car on Tuesday and head back home when he’s got the apartment clean…it probably won’t be a straightforward trip. I’m not sure how long he’ll take, but hopefully he’ll give me a heads up, because his bed is covered in quilts. I need some warning.

Hopefully I’ll get a bunch more videos graded on the way back too. This has not been an efficient trip…not enough sleep, too many things that had to be done…but it was worth seeing him graduate. An achievement to be sure. I’ve got no brain for any more words…

This Is Ithaca…

Y’all may have noticed I’m not where I usually am…Friday morning at OMG I’m not even usually up by now, I was on a plane with my parental units and my ex-husband (no really)…

I graded student videos all the way across the United States (it was easier than you might think…although the internet signal was iffy over the Rocky Mountains)…

Like right about here (good reason to look out the window rather than watch the spinning wheels of no video yet)…

That’s snow y’all. Three airports, two planes, one medium delay, and a not-particularly-short car ride later…we arrived at our AirBnb near Ithaca, New York…a property with 3 very funky and rustic cottages. The only table we all fit at is outside…

There’s lots of interesting in this place. INTERESTING…

That’s the nice bathroom…I actually didn’t mind the other one. In fact, I took a shower in it just fine.

This is not the shed I’m sleeping in (although it’s right next to what I’m sleeping in)…

The front porch, where I wrote most of this, ate my lunch, and graded a bunch of kid videos…apparently there’s a skunk living under this porch.

Well. Not apparently. We saw it multiple times.

Here’s the main cottage on the left, with living room, kitchen, and one of the bedrooms. To the right, is the nicer bathroom and another sitting area plus another bedroom…

I’ll have to get a better picture of where the girlchild and I slept. It’s behind me in this picture.

This is Blue, the cat who comes with the place.

He’s sweet and adorable…and more than a little pudgy.

Ithaca Falls…coming from a drought state, this stuff is freakin’ amazing.

Girlchild and I taking photos of each other…

My parents, helping each other on the path to one of the rivers in the area…

The clock tower at Cornell…which is where we are…and where graduation is…

I’ve stitched nothing. I’ve drawn nothing. I’ve graded about 110 student videos, with probably another 150 to go. Wow. OK. That’s depressing…well, I’m not going to think too hard about that. It’s OK. We drove a million miles away and found the boychild a car, so he can drive his stuff home. Graduation present…CHECK. Then we came back and obviously toured the school a bit, bought food, ate…and now we’re sitting outside, getting eaten by who knows what, drinking some wine, and debating the plan for graduation viewing tomorrow…with potential thunderstorms on the horizon for all day…minor issue.

My brain is pretty blank right now. I’m looking forward to seeing the boychild graduate. I’m eating some blackberry ice cream and hazelnut cookies. I’m listening to the girlchild plan her future, which is interesting. INTERESTING. More tomorrow? Who knows…I can’t even tell you all the stressful shit we’ve discussed tonight…if you think raising adults is easier than teenagers, I can’t agree. At least not this weekend…

I’m Back…Physically…

Hi. I’ve been gone a while. Well. I’m back. Not READY to be back, but what’s new, right? Still need to clean out and patch the tent, but the sleeping bags have been aired out and packed up, the man’s head has been shaved, and very little grading is done. In fact, yesterday, while I’m trying to sit out on the deck in the lovely (not windy) weather, ready (sort of) to power through some grading, the app that we use to sign in to all our other apps decided I didn’t exist…

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OK then. I still needed to grade. Luckily my phone and iPad still let me in to the app I needed, but it was slow and fussy, so I didn’t get much done. Oh well! This was the view…

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No gusty winds, no 10% humidity or less…sleeping in my own bed. All good. Travel is nice, but it’s also nice to be home.

I have a drawing in my head. This isn’t it. This is the drawing I did to remind me that what’s in my head is better. It may take me a while to get there.

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This is the pile of science units that I did manage to grade over break…so that’s not a small amount.

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But there’s still a ton sitting around here that needs doing.

I worked on this on the trip…got all the wool bits sewed on. It actually took a lot longer than I thought I would to do that.

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And that hut is significantly crooked. But I’m OK with that.

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Mostly I worked on those two not-so-crooked huts and the warthog, who just needs his tail finished.

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The instructions were like “use the instructions from January to complete this stuff” and I didn’t bring those. I couldn’t figure the flowers out, but for the baby warthog, I just looked at his parents and figured him out. So I didn’t get much done.

I did drive about 2500 miles though and went to a bunch of cool places, which will pop up in posts over the next few weeks, because it will take me forever to find all the photos.

But today, I go back to school…I just spent 20 minutes actually talking to the girlchild in Madagascar, so that was cool. Nice to hear her voice. And now off to work. Hopefully my brain will follow.