We Will Run Away to Another Galaxy*

Well one meeting down, one meeting fell off the calendar…only four to go. Only four more days of these lab stations too. All the tests are graded, too, so progress! Woo! Yeah! Sometimes I think I need a cheerleader. I’m feeling a little curmudgeonly lately, a whole lot of Get off My Lawn when I don’t even have a lawn. Deep breaths. Look further out. This weekend will be painful but hopefully cool anyway. Then after that, only a week until two weeks off. A deep breath.

I barely slept Sunday night, so by the time I got to the 2-hour staff meeting about feedback (sigh. Really?), I was almost braindead. I seriously couldn’t even string a coherent thought together. So of course that’s what they wanted me to do. Nope. Totally checked out. We had conversations, but like I said before, now, in March, two weeks before Spring Break, is not the time to have a conversation about feedback with our students. Because there’s a lot of feedback going on and not a lot of it sinking in. I love watching videos of kids who totally take feedback and do something with it. I don’t know where that school is. I’m still trying to persuade them that they should put a space after punctuation so they don’t look like illiterate idiots. Maybe if I paid them $100/space they’d do it. Cynical much?

Yeah. My attitude needs an adjustment. An adjustment where I can sleep in post-coyote puppy howling and then pee and eat when I want. An adjustment with no staff meetings.

So I draw during staff meetings. This is small, like 5×7″ I think? I like the lacy bit of roots on the top of her head.

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This one’s probably not done…but since the sole purpose of these is to keep me awake and from standing up and yelling shit about how we already know this crap, why can’t we talk about stuff that would really help, like reinstating teams on campus.

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That plus 1 thing is something the chick in charge of the meeting kept saying…”+1 their learning.” My head banging on desk.

I left school. I ran two errands. I came home. I put everything away. I dealt with all the stupid Monopoly pieces from the grocery store. I’m one piece away from winning a million dollars. It’s OK. I know I won’t win. I did get a free bag from Shutterfly with my own photo on it. Yes, I put one of my art pieces on it. The baggers at the grocery store haven’t said anything yet. I ate dinner. I made really good carrots first. Then I ate them. Eventually I started handsewing binding on again. I got about 3/4 of the way around, minus the sleeves, but I kept stabbing myself in the same spot, so instead of being smart and finding those cool finger protector things that stick to your finger so you don’t have bloody holes in them, I decided to switch over to tracing Wonder Under…in the hope my callus would develop further.

Seriously, though, I’m almost done with that quilt! Exciting stuff. Need to email photographer. Sigh. When am I home long enough to get it to him? I need to put a label on it too.

Wonder Under continued…I’m in the high 400s I think. So only another couple of hours on this. Which is good, because if I have any chance of finishing it, I need to work faster.

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As always. Work faster. Work harder. I won’t be able to do any of it the second week of Spring Break, because I’ll be camping and freezing and hiking and driving and freezing. Should not have looked at those weather reports. Should take long underwear on this trip. Maybe I’m too old for all this camping stuff. Nah.

I shared this video of the Feminism Now show at Shoebox Projects in Los Angeles. I have to laugh at both the mispronunciation of my name (typical, so nothing to freak out about) and calling my work a tapestry. Sigh. Nah, a tapestry is a weaving. Mine is definitely an art quilt. I can’t remember what I called it in the labeling though (certainly not a tapestry, but if I called it fiber art, which is what I usually do in non-fiber shows, then I guess I understand the confusion). She liked it at least. This show goes to Sweden next…

Tonight? Finish binding and sleeves? Trace some more Wonder Under? Yeah. That seems fair.

*MAGIC!, Rude

But If I Measure the Sugar*

Hey. So it’s my birthday today. I’m not one who needs all the hoopla, although it was really really nice to hear the girlchild’s voice last night wishing me a happy birthday from Madagascar (it was already the 9th there). She called me while I was on my way to an art opening down in San Ysidro at The Front. The show was #My Voice/Mi Voz, 11th Annual Dia de la Mujer. It’s a nice space down there. I’m glad I learned about it. I was late getting there because I was trying to avoid the border traffic, so I walked into a full gallery with announcements going on. They announced one thing as I walked in and then said 2nd place goes to! And my name. So that was cool. Because they handed me a check, and oh wow, I had good timing for once!

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I was totally exhausted at that point, of course. But still…a good ending to the day.

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There’s some really cool art in the show. It’s there until April something…you should check it out. And it’s rare that artists get financial awards, so that’s really nice of them. I wasn’t expecting it. Best kind, eh?

I came home and ate dinner (super late) and could not manage to function after that…much like Calli.

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I went to bed a little early and zonked out all night. I don’t know why I’m so tired this week, but I am.

When I first got home from work, I couldn’t find Kitten. She hides from Satchemo sometimes when he’s being a dick, so I went around and looked in her normal hiding places and called for her…she does usually come out when I call. But no. Until I’m back in the studio and I hear a tiny muffled chirp and then see this.

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Yes, it’s a large pile of batting. Mostly too skinny to use, unfortunately. But it works for cat beds (or forts) apparently.

I did do some art last night. I had about an hour and a half from when I first got home until I was going to leave for the opening. I didn’t have the presence of mind to quilt, but tracing is super easy. So I traced for the next one, the one that will take a miracle to finish in time.

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I guess I’m aiming for that miracle. I haven’t brought work home all week, because I refuse after last weekend, so I’ve been doing art every night instead. Tonight is gaming, though, and tired is already on my shoulders. Today is our team breakfast for the kids at school, so I’m up early. Then we’re doing labs all day again (AGAIN). I’m not expecting much presence of mind after all that. But you never know. Some Fridays I come home and I’m freaking electrified with artistic energy and verve. No idea what verve is. Just hoping I have some.

*Cowboy Junkies, Cold Tea Blues

To Take Away the You*

I was marching yesterday…hence no post. Up too early. Left early. All that stuff.

I made my sign Friday night…

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Two sides. Last year, I knew it was going to rain and I left everything too late, so I just printed out a sign and taped it so it wouldn’t run too much…

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This year, I even managed a stick.

The rest of Friday night was pretty laid back. I was exhausted by the end of the week. Apparently, so was the puppy. Girlchild was trying to read her textbook (supposed to be done by the time she arrives in Madagascar), but really was binge-watching SVU.

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I did some grading…one whole assignment in two days. I know part of my lack of efficiency is because she’s leaving. It’s stressful to send your kid that far away. I am barely used to the 3000-mile distance. This is so far. And we know communication will be difficult. No daily texting. No FaceTiming whenever she’s stressed or wants to talk. It will be hard. For her…and me…

Simba also finds it stressful. He wants to sit on her (or someone) constantly.

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But she came along for the march…

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It was a pretty day, although pretty damn cold (for Southern California) in the beginning…

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And we did actually get a tiny bit of rain…

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And they always take too long to get us walking. This sweatshirt design was pretty awesome.

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37,000 people marched (apparently) in San Diego…more than last year. The president seems confused by our purpose.

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Honestly, sometimes I think we’re confused by our purpose. Well. I’m not. I want equal rights for everyone. I want those who are hurt by racist and sexist policies and behaviors to have a voice and rights. There’s a lot of things I want. Accessible and cheap healthcare for everyone. Consequences for discrimination. More support for the groups who need it…my students…the refugees, those stuck in poverty and affected by jailed family members and disability and familial deportations and the fear of deportation and drugs and gangs and all that shit. The threat of being sent back to where they came from…Yo! White folks who threaten this! YOU GO BACK. Seriously. How uneducated are you to think you were here first? SIGH. Oh my. Seriously.

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Anyway…we marched. We yell. I make art. I write. I teach. I hope. Sometimes I laugh.

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Oh yeah. I vote. Every damn time. All these women vote.

So two problems to solve: how to encourage people to vote, and to vote thinking about everyone on the planet and not just themselves. To vote with empathy. Then how to talk to the white women who voted for Trump…who thought that was a solution to whatever they are missing or whatever they need. I have a hard time with that…I just don’t understand. Especially those at my job who voted that way…because how can you work at my school and not have empathy for those you work with? I don’t know how to have a conversation about that. What are you trying to protect? Sigh. Big sigh.

After that, I graded some more and then went to the Visions opening…beautiful quilts by Jane Sassaman and Betty Busby…totally worth seeing those. Then dinner and a drawing in their receipt book.

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Then came home, finished Stranger Things, and tried to go to bed. Unfortunately, my stomach rebelled. Food poisoning? Who knows. I’m OK this morning. Finally got a decent amount of sleep. Still have a million things to grade, to do, to clean. And up super early in the morning to drive the girlchild to the airport. Then I count the days until she’s back, even though I know it will be an awesome trip.

*Ingrid Michaelson, Sort Of

Wheels under $100

Well I’m currently sitting in a tire store, waiting on that slow leak finally getting fixed, listening to two evangelists explaining bitcoin to each other. Not by choice. I’m looking at just one more week off of school and a ton of stuff that needs to get done. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment…had a brief panicked moment on the way over here. There are a lot of people living in my house at the moment and it’s causing some tension…I could do with less of that I guess. I love having my kids home, but there is an adjustment period.

Yesterday was the doc for malaria and typhoid (girl child, not me), then to pick up my quilt and photos. This is Not Less Than…probably the last quilt of 2017.

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She’s 64″w x 74″h…made for a group of fiber artists who have chosen things that matter to them, with the hope of exhibiting all the pieces together at some point. I chose women’s rights as being my thing that mattered. It’s obviously not the only thing I think matters, but my head keeps going back there, especially this year.

Those are the women we all carry in our heads, ancestors, descendants, all throwing out their wants, desires, concerns, what they fought for, what they expect: the right to vote, equal rights, the right to choose, respect for our abilities, our brains, fewer expectations based on our biological parts. So many things.

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This year has been so frustrating politically. I can’t just sit here and ignore warning bells and red flags. I guess this is how I yell at the bullshit.

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So that’s where I’m at with that one.

I did cut some more pieces out on this one. Maybe I’ll finish that today. After I finish all the other crap on the list.

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Sleepy kitty. The dogs are gone more with the kids home. I miss them.

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I finished quilting the one on the right…they’re both ready for trimming. I could do that today as well.

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And grade stuff and put stuff away and finish the holiday cards and and and sheesh. Walk the dogs. That last one is probably a good thing for where my irritable brain is sitting. That one.

Worry About the Rest of It Tomorrow

Happy holidays y’all…I’m personally looking forward to a couple of quiet hours this afternoon with nothing to do but read or sew whatever I want…as I am not in charge of dinner and have already made the desserts for tonight, although they are Pinterest fails (best kind!). I think everyone is leaving soon except for the cats, at least for a few hours. I did all the food shopping and most of the present shopping, so I deserve some moments…someone else can Google how to cook a leg of lamb.

The animals are getting lots of love from everyone being home…

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I stitched down bindings for about 3 hours on Saturday…with Satchemo as my trusty sidekick…

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I didn’t put much on the tree this year…its branches are still a bit wispy…

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So I made two desserts off of Pinterest, one from the girlchild and one other. This will taste fine, I think (I don’t eat chocolate), but that ganache decoration was a rancid pain in the ass, didn’t stick well (cutting these was fun), and kept bursting through the bag. It’s edible though.

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These lemon cheesecake cookies are supposed to be flat. They’re tasty though. Room temperature probably means when the heat is on (for the butter). Although we are in Southern California, not Boston…

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I finished the binding and sleeves on Christmas Eve, just before the first of three gatherings. I still need to ink the quilt (doing that this afternoon), but she’s going to the photographer tomorrow. Finis!

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First gathering included an art event. Put the plate on your head and attempt to draw a Christmas tree without looking. Girlchild won.

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Impressive. Calli is also enjoying more people (=more pets).

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I caught up last night, two night’s worth on the left side, still filling in black spots.

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Girlchild spent some time this morning with the pups again…

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My dad showed up to Christmas morning in shorts.

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More dog attention. Seriously, they got the best of it. We ate and opened presents, had a brief conversation with my brother (there was drama)…

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Calli got a new ball. She’s happy.

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Simba, Grandma, and the boychild…trying to figure out a phone, I think.

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Notice very little stitching. Yet. I have 4 hours before I need to be anywhere! And I’m done cooking! I have a book due back to the library tomorrow, about an hour of inking to do on the quilt, and a wide variety of stitching things I could work on while watching television with no apparent goals! That might be the best gift of all. I’ll worry about the rest of it tomorrow. Hope the rest of you do the same.

We’ve No Time for Later*

OK a bunch of stuff I was supposed to do yesterday didn’t happen, but it’ll happen today, and I went grocery shopping at 8 PM to avoid the crowds, so that was a thing, but I’ll have to go out today to get the 5 weird ingredients the girlchild wants, well, one was buttermilk but that was gone at my local shitty store, so I’ll have to figure that out. It means venturing out into the land of crazy holiday drivers and irritating people and oh man, I’d rather hermit here in the house all day. But no. I will be a good girl (ha!) and shower and get out of my pajamas and do all the things. Including the emails I need to send and the shopping and cooking and whatever other stuff. Oh yeah, finish cleaning the girlchild’s room. I had help yesterday to put the quilts away, but two hours later, I realized I put one away that needs to come back out for a show. Oh well. I’ll have help with that too. It’s nice to have help. Even if they’re all judgy about the boxes I need to deal with that are still in the girlchild’s room. Fabricky stuff with which I know not what to do. It’s unlikely I will solve THAT problem today. Odds are I will just shove the boxes into my room and ignore them for a while longer. No it is NOT OK to just throw that stuff out. That pink fabric with the skulls on it could be useful, crucial even, in a future quilt. You just never know.

Today I need to find fennel and pepitas and brown mustard seeds. Could be a challenge. Remind me next year to tell the girlchild she has to come home in time to do the shopping, because it sucks.

So yesterday morning, I faced the vast expanse of just dark blue that needed quilting. I thought it would be pretty quick because I got about halfway (what I thought was halfway) in an hour, but then I didn’t realize I had a big space on the other side that I had left unquilted. So it was more like 2 1/2 hours of the boychild standing over me, because I told him he had to go to the quilt store with me, because he’s supposed to buy me a gift for another family thing, and he couldn’t decide, so I suggested fabric. I actually really like it when other people pick fabric for me, because they pick stuff I might never buy. And then I have it and use it.

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Sometimes life (and sentences) are too complicated. This is dog on the outside, cat on the inside.

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I finished the quilting in just over 16 hours, so 4 fewer hours than I had predicted. I don’t remember what I predicted for the binding…

I did two nights’ worth on here, all on the left side, filling stuff in still. Looking for something finished-ish by the 31st. Such rules.

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Then I trimmed this beast…she ended up being about 64″w x 74″h.

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Easy to trim. She needs ink too though. Gotta remember that. Here’s the binding fabric and the quilt, all on top of the cat’s chair.

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She does not care. Until I move the chair.

Binding on…lots of maneuvering of big quilt under machine. It took about 3 hours to trim, sew binding and sleeves on, and pin them down for the hand-sewing part. I finished after midnight…

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That red and green fabric fucking vibrates man. Hurts to sew on it.

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Binding pinned…

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Calli lying on it while I’m trying to pin it totally doesn’t help.

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Right now, I’m having a fight with the cat over the chair (she likes this one better…I literally walked away to let the dogs in, just over a minute, and she had hijacked it). I need to eat and shower and do the have-to’s on the list so I can sit on the couch and binge watch something while sewing the 400 linear inches of binding and sleeves down by hand. Before going to get the girlchild, who is finally coming home, and gearing up for two full days of holiday interactions that might just kill this hermity introvert, even if most of them are actually blood relatives. Or maybe because they are blood relatives. At least there will be good food and wine and perhaps some stitching time (easier to do with my own family than with others’ fams). I need to do some drawing too, but think I will let my head just sit with some calm for a while. I need to do that. Notice I didn’t put grading in there. I might grade the one easy assignment. Maybe. Or wait. I’m definitely going to read more of my book…

*Frou Frou, Let Go

I Hide in My Music, Forget the Day*

I only quilted 3 1/2 hours yesterday. I got tired. I got into the big blue expanse of the top of the quilt and quit. I need to finish it today and go buy the binding. Then hopefully trim it and sew the binding on…although I might not get through all of that tonight. Hopeful though. I get sidetracked. What threw me off yesterday? Not sure. I did some computer stuff in the morning, then finished the last of the Christmas stuff, hopefully on that too, then came back and printed cards (which no way in hell are getting out of here before Christmas…just so you realize)…

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I was a printmaker before I ever was a quilter. I took a “class” Thanksgiving week (I say class because I already know how to do this, but this was an impetus to do it), carved this linoleum block, and printed some then…and more yesterday. Usually I do a letter as well, but I haven’t been able to deal with that…think I’m going to do something online instead, like a slide show or something.

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But one kid still isn’t home. I’m trying to coordinate grocery lists via text between here and Dallas (don’t even ask), because I’m going to have to shop without her (that was bad planning) tomorrow. So it’s a little chaotic. I only put up a few ornaments and decorations, and I’ll need to clean up a little…well, unless I think about the girlchild’s bedroom. I might panic if I think about that.

So I quilted eventually last night…then ate some food…read my book (it’s a good one)…

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Yeah, that fabric…it’s good that I used it up here…yes, it’s Christmas fabric. Why do you ask?

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I’m trying to quilt big, because this thing is large. I did get all the way around it, except for, like I said, that vast blue expanse in the top section, above the banner. That’s what’s left. It really won’t take me long. I just couldn’t deal with it last night.

Last night, we stayed up (too) late and partially planned our Spring Break trip. Made one reservation, because I panicked. It’s funny, because so many people are talking about bullet journals at the moment. I use something like this plus an online system and a calendar on the fridge (I need visuals!). I even have a drawn plan of my neighbor’s houses and their names in one notebook, because I’m always forgetting that.

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Sure, it would be better if I had an index so I could find shit, but I have done that before, numbering pages on sketchbooks and making an Excel spreadsheet with columns for whether they ever become quilts or not (most don’t). And when…interesting to see drawings come back 6 years later and become something new. But I’m usually not that organized, which is problematic with the two journals I’m currently running. I can never remember what’s in what. One started out for art and is more than half full. I was carrying one around for school, but I think art wormed its way into that one too. Yeah. It did. And there’s only a little school stuff in there. We live on post-it notes at school…we were on real ones (I still use those because I can put them ON my notebook or computer and SEE them), but then we migrated to Google Keep…which is helping. I think. Because we can share notes. It’s not easy to migrate stuff between post-its though…at least, I haven’t found an easy way to do that yet. Plain old cut and paste is how I’m doing it. I wish you could click on it and move it to another note. That would be cool.

So yeah, I’m still pretty old school on art stuff though. I have a white board thing on my door with upcoming deadlines, although I’m about to erase all of them. I have notebooks. I have Google docs with deadlines and entries. The show that was supposed to notify yesterday pulled that date from their online info…sigh. I guess I’m putting everything away in the girlchild’s room anyway. I would have liked to have know beforehand if I needed to pull one out for shipping. So a busy day…but in a good way, I think. I’m not a fan of cleaning, but finishing the quilting will be good. Satisfying. Always.

*Boston, More Than a Feeling

Wondering if I’m Blind*

OK. I’m working on daily to-do lists at the moment. Yesterday’s started with 6 things on it; I ended up crossing off 8 (yes, that’s more than 6, why do you ask?) and transferring 3 to today’s list. Today’s list is starting with 7 things. Hopefully those won’t grow.

Stitchdown took a total of 7 1/2 hours, but I finished…with a lot of furry Not-helpers…

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Jockeying for the ultimate cat sleeping spot. He stirred occasionally when I would move the quilt around, but mostly didn’t care that his bed was disturbed AND vibrating.

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All stitched down. I think. Because I missed the spaceship AND the moon at one point.

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Then I had to go buy batting, wash it, and dry it…before I could pinbaste. So I did some other stuff while I was waiting…like two nights’ worth on this…bottom right, filling in space.

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Then because I was waiting for the boychild to finish making dinner (that was awesome cool, by the way)…I pulled this out. This is Sue Spargo’s 2014 Block of the Month, and yes, it takes me forever to do these, but it’s good to have something to stitch on at meetings and soccer games and all that. Seriously, I think this whole quilt came together on the soccer fields…

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I just need to stitch on 96 balls and then embellish them and I’m done. With the top.

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When I put it that way, it sounds like a bit much. Yes, it’s taken me a year to get to this point. You’re right. I’m OK with that. I have the one from the year before that is pinbasted and sitting in the pile with two others to be quilted. I should do that sometime. I think it’s less about finishing these and more about having something in my hands to work on…which is fine.

And then I pieced the back…yes, with the most non-matchy fabrics I could find. I needed 4 yards. I wasn’t buying 4 yards. I had two yards of the leaves, another yard and a half of the green and red stripe, plus some purple to fill in. It’s OK.

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It’s the back. I don’t care. If you do, then insert some rant about how women don’t really fit in, we have to be a little bit of everything, even when it doesn’t make sense.

This morning? Blood tests I didn’t even know I needed (doctor’s office still hasn’t answered me about that), take down of a show I was actually in, and then back here to pinbaste. Why didn’t I do it last night? It was on my Monday to-do list. Because once I got the backing pieced and ironed, it was 11:15. So I didn’t want to stay up another hour and a half when I knew I had to get up relatively early today to get stabbed. I think I’m OK on time…I’m figuring 20 hours for the quilting and another 6 or 7 for the binding. I need to remember to buy binding fabric on Friday. Because Saturday will be crazy. Well. Friday might be too…certainly JoAnns was hellish yesterday. Whatever. I got 50% off my batting. My depression-era grandma would be proud.

OK, making the tea I can’t drink until after the prod and poke. Then off to do stuff so I can come back and do more stuff.

Oh yeah, and I graded one of the six assignments. Five to go.

*Sister Hazel, All for You

Do the Boogie All Night Long*

So many rants this year. Thanks Mr. President. Guess there’s no shortage of material in my head for the artmaking. Although this one is getting closer to done. It’s hard to be focused right now, but it will get done. I would have liked to finish the stitch down last night, but my eyes wouldn’t stop watering (allergies?), so I gave up around 11 PM. I know! So early for me. But I’m trying to make up for a lot of not-sleep over the last months.

I have about 5 1/2 hours into the stitch down…at least 2 more, I think…except I’m in the smaller part, so maybe not. I finished the head, but not the little heads or all the stuff floating around them. I might just try to kamikaze that out this morning. My to-do list is daily now. I did about 2 1/2 hours last night. I did a lot of other things too. Not a slacker.

Kitten is still brave enough to hang out with me in here. Today there’s sun, so she’s happily lying in it. Yesterday, the chair was good.

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I barreled through the torso…

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All the arteries and heart bits…

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Into the upper head area…

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I don’t have much to say today (said a lot yesterday). Just a lot to do. A lot to contemplate. And the next drawing is populating itself in my head…should probably send an email off to the hopefully future owner of that one. I’m gonna need some info.

Boychild has part of dinner in the crockpot (put him in charge of one night this week). I’m already marinating tomorrow night’s dinner. Dogs and cats are fed. It’s a beautiful sunny day in Southern California. And I’m not at school. Oh hallelujah. (No, I haven’t graded a single damn thing…shush.)

More later…

*Milky Chance, Stolen Dance

Time Won’t Heal This Damage Anymore*

My brain woke me up early this morning…once at 3:31 AM and again at a reasonable hour. It’s in overdrive. What woke me up? Whether or not I need to buy batting. And then remembering a comment someone made on my blog about a podcast done by ex-gang members (Without Your Permission…most interesting thing I’ve heard so far, “kids with hope don’t join gangs.”). I started listening to that. It makes me sad. Text from my daughter this morning asking about the kid in the hospital…who hopefully will survive. Into what, though? And then bogged down by this thought of white women voting for Trump and Moore and a whole host of other things that hurt them, and they don’t seem to care or know or I just don’t know what it is? Fear of change? Being given the power they deserve? Or they just don’t believe accusations of pedophilia or the plain old crazy that comes out of Trump’s mouth. They keep invoking Hillary, but Hillary is not our president. She’s not in Congress or the Senate. She’s not passing tax laws. She’s not outlawing actual vocabulary, she’s not denying climate change or science or getting rid of National Parks. She’s not doing everything in her power to destroy our world, our freedoms, all for the sake of corporate money. Trump and his henchmen are.

So why invoke her? I guess it’s easier than arguing FOR what this current administration stands for.

So then I think, deeply, about my white woman friends…because yeah, I’m a white woman and I have some white woman friends. I’m not brunching or tea-timing with them though. I do stitch with them, but none of them voted for this crazy. They all marched with me last year in the Women’s March AND the science march, and we’re marching again this year…at least that’s the plan. I make art, I yell a lot, then I think, which white women I know would be OK with all this? Well. I know a couple. I know at least one didn’t vote for Trump, but she does agree with some of the stuff that’s happening. I don’t know why. I don’t know that I can change that. I think they’re pretty clear on my stance. I honestly don’t know how to approach the conversation in a way that might promote change in their minds. I really don’t. Their defenses are up. Mine probably are too.

So that’s something to consider. Find more hope for my students so they don’t join gangs and have conversations with my more conservative white woman friends so they change their votes, their ideas, I don’t know what. Teach them critical thinking (ironically, one of them thinks I don’t think critically…). Fucking sigh. That’s a list and a half weighing me down.

It’s true. I don’t vacation well. My brain gets weighed down by this stuff. The NRA hosted at the White House on the anniversary of Sandy Hook. WTF.

And this…you’re going to OUTLAW WORD USE. Well. If that isn’t fascism and a dictatorship, I don’t know what is. Because honestly, there’s a scientific definition for fetus (it’s one of the things I teach during sex ed), so let’s just get rid of it. Because the baby inside is the same as the baby outside. If you believe that, fine. Let’s take that baby out and see how it does without mom’s support. Right now. At 12 weeks. Let’s go. Oh wait…you don’t want that? Because YOU KNOW BETTER.

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The thing I love about America and the people who live here is their diversity. For our vulnerable members, these are not entitlements; they are rights: the right to live and go to school and have food and shelter and be safe, no matter what color, gender, belief system, background, or country of origin, whether they are the mother of a fetus (an actual scientific term) or transgender, or any other label we use to divide people instead of bring them together in their humanity. Our decisions should be science– and evidence-based, not based on archaic ideas of what society should look like, not based on guesses or the Bible or any other book of faith that doesn’t question, test, analyze, observe, and change with the times…because science does all of those things. And although science can solve many problems (if you’re really against it, put your damn phone down and stop the Tweeting), at the core of this is the heart…in our hearts, we should know that telling the CDC to stop using valid vocabulary in its communications with the people they serve is a step in absolutely the wrong direction, a step toward all those dystopian novels we read where the government is out of control, forcing people to exist in a limited space that disallows our natural human creativity and care for others. We don’t make amazing discoveries in that world. Nothing is cured, no one is saved. I don’t want to live in that world.

I saw an opening in my schedule to request blocks from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Kids made these blocks and they need stitching. So once I finish my stitch-a-night thing, I’m going to do these for a month. Or however long it takes. I’m a little concerned about that E on the right, but whatever.

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I really like this one.

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And it’s not like I have a shortage of thread. So each night, I’ll pick a strand or two and stitch these down.

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Little steps. I can’t overthrow anything at the moment.

We hiked with the dogs yesterday…dragged them through plant matter.

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The pool of water up top is gone…

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They needed it. I needed it. More of this.

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Then back to here and moving some shit around and finally sitting down for an hour and a bit and stitching stuff down.

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I’m going fast. I need to be done. Like maybe today. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

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I was days and days behind on this. I last worked on it on Monday. We went out and listened to a band for a while, but then came back and watched some Walking Dead, so I did 5 nights’ worth, all in the bottom…to fill in those empty spaces.

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Fifteen more nights on this.

I did a little of the stitch-down on this too…the houses are done, the warthog is half done, the tree needs to be done…same with the sun. Not sure if there’s other bits I’m missing. Need to look through the bag and see what’s left. Then it will be ready for embellishment.

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I think the hippo has stuff on it. I should figure that out. I also want to pin down all the circles (buds) on the Bird Crazy quilt, so I can start stitching those down. I need some long binge-watching episodes, but not until I finish this quilt.

This morning, though, I’m trying to clean up the house enough to finish what little holiday decoration I’m gonna do. Then grocery store and stitch for a while. While thinking about gangs and white women. And batting, because that’s what woke me up first.

*Linkin Park, Faint