Let the Day Surprise Me…

Oh my. Yesterday felt like a Friday without the relief of it. I’m a little frightened of today, but am willing to let the day surprise me. I’m lucky to have a 3-day weekend here, especially since I still haven’t caught up with all the work from two weeks ago. I’ve found out that the way you tame boisterous and loud 6th graders is by handing them a glue bottle (it’s weirdly fascinating how quiet they get…before they start doing other stupid things…unfortunately it does not last long). I’m mostly done with adults at the moment…I have some I like, and some can just fuck off. I need some quiet time with my plants, my book, my fabric, on a trail, eating ice cream. OK that last one is in response to our almost-summer temperatures this week. Dry hot windy dry yeah. Hair loves it. Eyes love it. Head loves it. That’s sarcasm.

So I finished sorting all the Wonder Under…usually takes about an hour…sometimes more, sometimes less.

Basically I lay out one box for every 100 pieces and then stand there and sort all the little fuckers. It’s not fun but it makes the next part easier. From here, I will sort each box of 100s one at a time and iron them down. The drawing helps me figure out what’s what…unless I forget to number one…

It’s OK. I know it’s a lizard leg. I just have to figure out which lizard. I think this quilt has two or three of them. It should be obvious when I start ironing.

To iron, I need to clean up my studio. Sometimes this is quick and easy. Sometimes I have made a huge mess of it. Guess which time it is? Ah yes. The mess. Mostly because I’m doing some weirdo quilt-along thing where I use up stash on blocks I normally wouldn’t make. I had some half cut out but then didn’t get any further (hello Day Job), so on Wednesday night, I picked some fabrics for the third part of the blocks, and then rejected them last night, but I did get the rest of the chaos cut out.

It’s highly possible that this is too much chaos for one block, but there’s only one way to find out. That’s 6 blocks laid out by the way, in case you’re having a small heart attack. Well, continue to have it because they will all be in the same quilt top. Need something for the bed. Want to see it from a distance. It’ll be fine.

After that, I went after the piles on the floor from the last quilt and from winning my guild’s fat quarter game…

Sorted them all by colors and then started putting them away. I didn’t finish. It got late fast. Well, I did go hang out with friends and do some stitching in the evening. Finally got the pekinese stitch done on the fourth set of flowers.

The dark blue ones are what I’m on…so there’s three more stitches on each of those, and then two more sets of flowers to finish. I will never finish. That’s what it feels like anyway. I’m sure it will happen sometime in 2022.

I did rescue a stuck cat at one point last night…

She randomly gets her claws stuck fairly often…the other one does too occasionally, but she was more in sleep mode.

So tonight, hopefully I will finish clean up and then start ironing for this quilt. I might piece a few of those crazy blocks first, but I suspect it’s better to do that NOT at the end of a long school week. I’m already exhausted from all the meetings (literally ALL the meetings were this week and I still have one more) and not enough sleep. Plus frustrating students and more frustrating adults. I could do without all that.

Luckily the house (and TV) are mine this weekend. Although honestly I will probably be in here, in the stash zone, for most of the free time. I do still need to grade three thousand things and plan for another thousand, but the book calls, exercise calls (it’s been a shitty week for that too), and hopefully the weather will calm the fuck down so hiking isn’t horrendous. Ironically, as everyone else in my household is hiking this weekend without me. Ah well. Alone time with the cats. And the fabric.

No Chill…

Well I’m still in the part of this quilt that looks boring…all the photos look almost the same. Here’s Monday night…

Needed to finish that piece above the boxes plus another yard.

And here’s last night, with all of it done…

I mean, I can see the difference. The bin is definitely full. There’s definitely not another yard to cut out. That’s 9 hours of work there. Another hour and a half tonight of sorting pieces, and then…Then I need to clean my office so I can iron these to fabric…the cleaning part might kick my ass. It’s a disaster in here. And I’m in the middle of sorting through my fabrics, so I don’t really want to put stuff away if it hasn’t been halved, which is how I’m handling sorting through my fabrics. Whatever. We’ll see how I feel tonight. I had to be up early for a parent meeting this morning, plus union meeting after work. Yesterday was a slog getting kids through stuff they didn’t want to do (it wasn’t a video game or texting their friends, plus I apparently give THE MOST WORK of any of their teachers…sigh).

But ironing will happen soon! Lots of colors and things in my head. I’m looking forward to that.

The finger is improving. I did end up going to urgent care, where they confirmed it was infected, but didn’t remove the nail (woo hoo!)…so I’m on antibiotics and regular hot soaks, unfortunately just of the finger and not the whole body.

I got the photos back of the new quilt and finally named it. I had a name and it was right before I fell asleep and I didn’t document it anywhere, so no one knows what it was, but I finally settled on My Body. My Choice.

In my head, it’s been Fuck Texas all this time, but it’s really fuck the politicians and busybodies who think they have a right to decide for everyone.

I don’t have any chill about this topic.

I can’t have a calm, intelligent discussion with anyone about it.

I just need those people to fuck right out of my country.

So there’s that. I might feel differently in the future. I’m debating signing up for one of the SAQA Lightning Talks for the upcoming conference. It’s hard, though, because I don’t want to deal with the maskholes arguing their rights and there are issues with just arguing women’s rights…there are plenty of non-men out there who need rights. So I’m mulling it over.

We’ll see. Anger is one thing; being persuasive or even just informative is another.

Then there was this…

I love when people who don’t actually know how to teach tell us how to do something that is time-wasting and unsustainable and doesn’t even make sense. You don’t want me to change instruction when your kids NEED something different? Are you fucking stupid? Plus are they giving teachers time to do this? Because I’m lucky to be about 10 days ahead on my planning right now…usually it’s less than a week. Politicians are idiots.

OK. Work: Meeting plus teach plus grade plus pull my hair out and panic over previous bits plus another meeting. But then sorting and cleaning. I can do all those things.

Magically Get Better…

I’m currently trying to type with a swollen pointer finger covered in a bandaid and Neosporin to try to counteract the weirdo infection under my nail. Don’t even ask how I did it. It involved sourdough starter though. Yeah. You figure it out. Trying to avoid urgent care…can’t get doctor’s appointments any more.

It’s Monday again. I realized there was a bunch of stuff I should have done to get ready for teaching art this week, so it will all have to be done during a short prep period today. Ought to be interesting. We’ll see if I can pull it off. Our staff meeting has been turned into a required 1-hour attendance at the staff-student soccer game after school. While I appreciate the disappearance of a staff meeting, I’m so buried in work that I don’t like the idea of just standing around for an hour and not getting anything done. Much as I love my principal, I’ve got a shit-ton of work to do and I need all the minutes at school so I don’t have to do as many at home. Which SUCKS. By the way. Hello school districts. Get a clue.

Saturday, I did manage to get up to the California Center for the Arts to see the California Fibers show…

It’s a great space and we fill it well. Here’s my corner of the exhibit…

Looks good! When we were leaving, we were mobbed by a group of fans, which was fun albeit a little terrifying in the beginning. They had good questions and were appreciative, which is nice.

Afterwards, we headed out to Daley Ranch for a hike…

It’s going to be warmer this week…we could definitely tell…

Four miles in the bag…dinner out afterward…

It had been a few weeks. He’ll be gone this coming weekend, backpacking on the PCT (short trip) and I’ll be gone the following weekend for QuiltCon.

I’m still cutting pieces out…this is Friday night…

I think I did most of 2 yards…then Saturday night…

Was almost another 2 yards…and last night, just 1 more…

I’m pretty sure there’s only 2 left to do. So another couple of nights? Maybe? I can’t always do one in an hour.

I did some other things, but only briefly…

Got one more flower to go around with the incredibly time-consuming Pekinese stitch…

There are always animals requiring attention…

That one wanted me to move all the cutting paraphernalia off my lap. I gave her a leg.

So yeah, prep a bunch of art stuff with a damaged swollen finger (nice), hope it gets better by the end of the day, sit through 4 soccer games or so, then hopefully DON’T go to Urgent Care, but home to cook and cut more things out. That’s the plan. And then hopefully sleep much better because I won’t have a throbbing finger all night. Ha! I just know that Urgent Care will mean sharp pointy things and I don’t want that. I just want it to magically get better. As do we all!

Things Are Going to Be Fine…

Ugh. I came in the office, spilled a bunch of tea (real tea), and realized how many things are on the to-do list in the piles of paper and fabric in here (fabric less pressing, ha ha ha, that might be what they need, but they don’t always get to hit high priority unfortunately). And then the grading is currently overwhelming me…I spent some time on it yesterday and some things are just hard for me to get my brain around. I think we need to rewrite it so I can handle it? I don’t know. I don’t really have the brainpower to figure it out…so I’m two academic assignments behind in grading (many more effort scores behind), and we’re giving another one today. Hear me screaming? Yeah. It’ll be fine. Really. It will. I just need to hunker down and do it.

Wednesday night, I traced until it was bedtime and all I had left to do was the bird…

A hawk, to be specific.

I was tired last night, so I didn’t stitch on anything post dinner, and I actually flailed on the couch for a bit scrolling through pictures of other people’s art before I could get my ass off the couch and up to trace that damn bird. Finished! Eight yards (approximately) of Wonder Under, 1379 pieces, 20 hours and 38 minutes of tracing…

You can see that some have all the big swoopy sky pieces on them and some have a bunch of tiny pieces. That one on the right, second one down, I didn’t need all of it, so that’s the one I cut out before I went to bed (late…oops)…

It doesn’t look like much…

It never does. Expect a week of this. I think. Slow moving process here. I’m not actually sure I can finish this quilt in time for the deadline. It seems a long way out, but I know my copyediting project is coming back in early March and I have two trips lined up for Spring Break, because I’m extra like that. So who knows? Plus I’m currently feeling all that school pressure of having to get shit done.

Speaking of, time to go to work. I think I’m supposed to get donuts on the way for one of my classes. I should. IDK if I feel like it. Sigh. Things are going to be fine. It is Friday.

Not Exciting. Didn’t Explode.

My morning self wishes my night self would fall asleep earlier. My night self feels less tired than my morning self, but does try by going to bed earlier and meditating and doing all those good things, but my brain is the culprit…overthinking like a bomb about to go off. Ah brains. So necessary to our existence and so problematic. Today’s brain is surveying what will need to happen and wondering if today’s body is up for it. Hard to say. I’m sure we’ll rise to the occasion, but I’m not currently feeling it.

Besides grading and cooking and finishing a book, I just trace things…

Lots of things. Last night, I just traced cacti.

It took me about an hours to basically trace what you see to the right, minus the lizard, because I’d already traced him. I started with the agave and then did all the cactus behind it. It’s a little over 100 pieces there, so I’m back to my 100 in 1 hour.

I’m sticking to my estimate of three more nights…so now it’s two more nights of this. About 200 pieces left. Then I can start cutting them out, which looks just about as boring as this on social media. Ah well. We can’t always be exciting…in fact, I rarely am. Ask my students. Even when I have them rust steel wool and dissolve magnesium. Not exciting. Didn’t explode.

Ah well. It is what it is. And today it is more rusting and dissolving, plus some hammering and bending and conducting of electricity (damn, someone probably should have checked the batteries), plus some oil pasteling and doing the pilates…ending up the day with guess what? Oh yes, tracing of the Wonder Unders.

Lost in the Weeds…

I spent about 5 hours yesterday afternoon dealing with the day job. I posted things, filled in pandemic contracts, calculated percentages on finished contracts, graded things, organized some calendar stuff, graded some more things, input some grades, and created one assignment. Unpaid hours, yes, but my prep period today is a whopping 45 minutes, so you can guess how much of that I would have gotten done today. Today I’m sure there are about 4 contracts that will close, so they will need percentages, plus who thinks I graded everything?! Anyone? Anyone? Yeah. That. I got lost in the weeds on the assignment I was doing. I had this issue last year with this assignment. I need to write down what I expect to get and save it somewhere so I can read it next year before I start.

I’m also rocking a stuffed-up nose, but have tested negative multiple times. My team says “take a day off,” and science would be OK (they wouldn’t finish the assignment, but whatever), but art would be a clusterfuck. And the next three days are labs and demos, so no guest teacher can do that. I’d have to either have them watch the video of it from last year’s Zoom or make up some completely different lame filler assignment. So I keep testing and stay masked and take meds for the cloggage.

Sleep has been problematic the last few nights as well, so I’m not feeling it. The whole get up and go. Nope. Drinking tea now to counteract the nope.

I did trace a lot of Wonder Under this weekend, more on Saturday than Sunday, due to my plan to never do the day job on Saturdays. Also, I was listening to the Surface Design Association conference stuff on Saturday morning, so I pieced the next block in Molli Sparkles QAL…

Piecing is not my forte. Directional stuff too…although I’m OK with both those things.

Here they are with the other parts…

Quilt of Chaos! I’m not even trying to make things match…just using lots of black and white prints. Things I can control. Sort of. Because piecing.

There was still another SDA thing, so I pulled the pieces I had cut for the scarf I didn’t start in last year’s QuiltCon…I watched the videos and took notes and bought the materials, but never started. So I pinned them down in a gradient of sorts…

Basted them all down half-assed and started stitching.

Well that’s fun. My official ‘listening to meetings on Zoom again’ scarf.

After SDA was done, we headed to Visions Art Museum to see A Better World, with my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill!.

It’s a nice exhibit to see in person, and looks great on museum walls…

The exhibit is up through early April…check it out!

I did some stitching on Chirp…this is the second of four of the fourth type of flower, with a pain-in-the-ass stitch going around it…

I’ll be good at it by the time I get to the fourth flower of it.

I traced a little on Friday night, then about 3 hours on Saturday night (the man had a show and I didn’t go)…

And another hour last night…

I’ve got 6 different yards of giant sky pieces that I’m trying to fill in with the smaller pieces of the body and plants and all. I hate waste…

This is taking a really long time to trace. I’m at 15 1/2 hours and I’m only in the 900s. It will go over 20 hours, I think. Usually it’s about 100 pieces an hour, but those big swoopy pieces were time-consuming…some in the time to trace them and some in how to fit them best on the yard of Wonder Under. I should finish some time this week though…

Great sentiment.

So survival day. Just get through it. Come home and nap? Not sure. Staff meeting about suicide today…annual notification of what suicidal kids look like. Yeah. We know, unfortunately. Let’s talk, though, about banning books that might help some of these kids, but not banning guns. Oh…you don’t want to talk about that? I’m shocked. Sigh. This country is so fucked up sometimes. With that, I’m going to go teach the next generation to think…maybe.

Checks Good. Bills Bad.

Y’all, never apologize for mailing me a check. Seriously. Someone just did. Actually, she apologized for not TELLING me she mailed a check. I’m still good. There’s a check coming. Thank you…you may have made my day. Continue on! Mail me more! Checks good. Bills bad. That’s how it works.

Meanwhile, ugh, I am tired. Yes. I know I keep saying that. I woke up this morning groaning. I have a neck/shoulder thing that started the first week back after break and keeps coming and going. I was supposed to have massage/chiropractor today after school, but the masseuse has COVID. Fuck me. Well good luck to the chiropractor on moving things. Laughs hysterically. I know, first-world problem. Also PAIN. Also I think I slept so hard last night that I didn’t move for hours and I was on that shoulder…not the best choice, tired sleeping body.

It took me a while to fall asleep, though. Not because of school (common) or life in general (also common), but because I’d taken about 10 minutes last night to cut out pieces for the next Molli Sparkles Cut It Up challenge block, so I could sew it together (actually sew THEM together, because I’m making two because I couldn’t just pick one), and I’m lying there post-meditation with a cat on one knee (awkward) and another cat under my armpit (see shoulder pain above) and all I can think about is that I didn’t cut the corner squares and I wonder if they’re the same size as the other squares, like I don’t have the fucking instructions pulled up on my computer. Actually considered getting out of bed (no no no) to just cut them out at midnight instead of falling asleep like a normal person.

It’s the things you can control, right now. And I can carefully cut out squares and sew them together and it distracts my brain from the other crap that I can’t control. Like how I’m going to fit 3 hours of work into a 51-minute prep period today AND get tested for COVID.

Last night was nice otherwise…spent time with stitching friends and stitched a really annoying stitch (Pekinese) which is taking for-freakin’ ever. Then cut out these blocks (not enough of them though) and then traced. Most importantly, figured out how to add PBS Passport to the TV so I can watch All Creatures Great and Small (when the TV is not bogarted by people watching political angst) while tracing.

I haven’t been taking enough pictures of tracing, because it all looks the same. I did finish the FUCKING SKY last night though. I’m on piece 495 and it’s body parts. Finally.

I have to admit that this photo is from Wednesday night, when I had not actually finished, because I was so tired last night that I didn’t photograph the pile of Wonder Under. I think I have 5 yards of Wonder Under in process at the moment…with big swoopy pieces on them and lots of spaces in between that will hopefully get filled with plant and body parts. I’m 9 hours and 40 minutes in. LOOOOng baby.

So this is our science prep room fridge. We’ve been making too many or too few copies…no happy medium. So this is our new number. Plus an inspirational message.

Because we’re only halfway through the school year and I want to pull all my hair out and crawl into a pillow fort.

I’m reading Louise Erdrich’s The Sentence. I love Erdrich. I don’t love that this book is set in Minneapolis during 2020, with COVID and poor George Floyd and all that, but I do love this.

Because I have that too. It’s weird. I’m never sure where it comes from. Like there’s another person inside me and this is them. If you haven’t seen my quilt Swallow Me Whole, it’s in Virginia right now for the Excellence in Quilts exhibit that opens February 15…some of that is in there. I guess I could put it here too.

Yeah. That.

These were sort of fascinating.

The repeating of shapes but not. Plus the pops of brown.

Wednesday’s sunset was glorious…

Stand in the parking lot gorgeous.

The girlchild is in Paris…

I’m a little jealous.

Oh yeah. The QAL from the beginning of this post. I need more squares of the stuff on the left.

Not hard. I can do that. Of course, I picked directional fabrics because I’m crazy.

OK. Going to school. Gonna do everything I can. So is my chiropractor. Then I can come home and collapse? Or keep tracing. Yeah that one.

Teaching Kittens to Fingerpaint

‘Tis Wednesday and I am trying to type this while a senior cat headbutts my chin and licks my hand. Also my right wrist hurts…and trying to figure out if it’s (a) all the computer grading I did yesterday, (b) lifting weights at the gym, or (c) tracing a few really big pieces of sky on Wonder Under is really pointless, because I think it’s all of them. Note to self: take computer off stand to grade. Also go find the wrist brace because last time you wore it for a day and things were better. My chiropractor is already going to have fun with my neck and upper back on Friday. Let’s not add other injuries from your silly job. Tiny little laptop keyboard plus bad angle of body and wrist. Silly.

So I’m not feeling like there’s much progress on the tracing, because I’m up in the big swoopy bits of the sky and the pieces are huge and a pain to fit onto the Wonder Under, so they take much longer to trace than all the small pieces I was doing over the weekend.

I think the first night, I only traced like 25 pieces. But they were big and fussy. Last night? Last night, I started on piece 411 and finished on 441. I’m still in the sky, but I’ve moved from the back right to the back left, and there’s not a lot of it left. So that’s a plus, because I’m used to doing about 100 pieces an hour and this does not feel like movement. I’m 8 hours in and still in the 400s. I’m only getting about an hour and 15 minutes of tracing each night during the week. I went to the gym last night, prepped breakfasts AND cooked dinner on Monday night. Tonight I have an art meeting on Zoom, tomorrow a stitching meeting on Zoom plus science planning. It’s hard to get time to make things right now. But exercise is important and so is the socializing. Most of them are back on Zoom for now, until omicron fucks off. I’m still getting a few quarantine contracts each day…wait. I don’t think I got any yesterday. Is that possible? Knock on wood, knock hard.

I will go back and fill in all those little spaces with the smaller pieces I’ll be tracing tonight or tomorrow night. I hate wasting Wonder Under. I save pieces that are bigger than 3″ square for when I need just a small piece to retrace something (happens all the time) or when I need to make a label for the back of a quilt.

Speaking of quilts, there are three in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts right now in the California Fibers’ exhibit Surface, Substance, StructureSo Cal Mama

I Can’t Be Your Superwoman

And Portrait of the Artist As a Young Woman

I haven’t made it up to the show yet. It’s up until March 6, so check it out.

And I also have a piece in the A Better World exhibit at Visions Art Museum, Bill! Bill! Bill!, a tribute to Bill Nye.

They’ve been closed for the last week or so; I haven’t seen this exhibit either, but I did see it in person when it was at Road to California? I think? Can’t remember where…it was pre-COVID, though, so fuzzy brain. It will be there until April 3. Lots of opportunities to see Nida originals! OK two opportunities.

I’m trying to finish up Sue Spargo’s Chirp before this year’s block of the month starts, ironically because I haven’t finished last year’s either. Silly, but a goal anyway. There are 24 flowers around the edge.

There are four of each type of flower. I have finished three of the types, so 12, so halfway! Woo! Wait, this also might have something to do with my wrist hurting today…those yellow cast-on bullions are a pain to do.

Every flower has them. I’m getting better at them. I guess that’s the plus. I did start the fourth flower type last night, but this is not a fast border to stitch. I suspect they got complaints, because last year’s easy BOM had a super basic border. I like a complicated border, but when you think you’re almost done and then there’s still 6 months of work (I do these slowly), it’s a hard mind thing.

OK. Time for me to get my ass out of here to school, where it’s a Wednesday, so I teach ALL the things, four different things, it’s like my hair is on fire…

Yeah. Welcome to my job in pandemic times. It’s never really a cake walk anyway, but this stuff just makes it harder. My morning science block will be like pulling teeth…I know because I did it with three classes yesterday. The afternoon block should be slightly better? Maybe? But then 6th graders in art. We are starting something new, though, so maybe that will help. It will feel less like teaching kittens to fingerpaint? Hard to say. Tracing the damn sky tonight though. That’s a thing.

Sexy Metal…

The alarm went off. In my dream, I was measuring out spaces for desks, but someone had moved my classroom outside, on cobblestones outside some very old (read, not found in California) building. There were sea lions nearby and a million places for kids to disappear into and a billion things for them to be distracted by, plus they were all coming from different places and we had to find room for all their luggage. Teacher dreams, man. Oh yeah, the desks had to be 6 feet apart, but ALL the school was outside, so I could only have this square of cobblestones and all the desks had to fit in that space. Ironically, I never had to do this last year, because I was in the hell they call Zoom classes, where all the desks are far apart or nonexistent and all the children are distracted.

So many levels of weirdass trauma with this pandemic.

Anyway, my weekend was busy, but I did finish all my progress report grades, although sometimes I wonder what I’m teaching and whether I’m effective or not…

Sixth metal? I’m hoping. Although I still don’t know what he’s talking about. Welcome to my world. The assignment I thought was so easy last week was apparently more confusing than I thought. Ah well. So be it. One of the wonders of teaching a school that is 90% or more English language learners.

So what else went on? Well, I traced a lot…over three hours on Saturday night…

We went to a friend’s birthday party early in the evening, and then the man watched his show and I listened to mine. When I’m tracing, I really need something that is mostly listening, not much watching.

No closed captioning, no foreign language, no action without words. Last night, I only got a little over an hour in…more like normal.

I am a quarter of the way through, but as I was tracing last night, I found a whole section I hadn’t numbered, so now, instead of 1329 pieces, I think there are 1372. Stay tuned for more brain farts.

This weekend was also the start of the Surface Design Association online conference, which I signed up for, and happily listened (and watched) to many artists talk about their work, one while driving to pilates, another while finishing grades, and one while prepping lunches. I miss most of it this week, because it’s all during school hours, but they will be recorded. And Saturday morning will be another batch of webinars I can listen to in real time. Not ideal, but doable. When I wasn’t grading or cooking, I was doing the brainless stuff I can handle at the moment…tracing stuff for blocks of the month, which keep me occupied when I don’t have the strength or energy to stand and trace.

That’s all freezer paper for a block of the month on mushrooms. I’m fully a year behind and totally OK with that. It’s a time filler. I don’t make art every hour of the day. My brain needs a break from ALL the things. Hence working on this in the evenings…

Still not done with the 3rd version of the flowers. Time-fucking-consuming. But relaxing as well. Do this stitch over and over again on 4 flowers. Then do the next stitch.

I also worked on this a little bit…a different part of my brain.

Look at the pile of fabrics provided. What do you see? How do they all go together? She needs an eye and IDK what else. More flowers. Perhaps that is a hat and not hair, and she still needs hair. A bird on her head maybe. I think they’re all facing one direction though. We’ll see. This one is different than the other ones…an entire scene instead of just a woman. Interesting.

I didn’t go to Road to California, but one of my quilts did…the left one in that block of five.

I also had a meeting of one of my art groups (on Zoom). I miss that group in person, but it was a really long meeting too. We juried new members in, so I had spent time earlier in the weekend reviewing their work and their statements and taking notes. Usually we jury just from work, but it was nice to hear them talk about their practice. Definitely a plus.

I have another art meeting (on Zoom) on Wednesday. Busy week. Long week. We’re back to 5 days of school finally. I’m just so tired all the time. I go to bed earlier than I used to, per doctor’s orders, but I don’t seem to sleep well…probably because I’m rearranging desks on cobblestones. YES, I know it sounds like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. Fully Fucking Aware of that. It’s fine. This week in science is demos and labs and rock stars. It all makes sense. Art is oil pastels. Hearing that I might have to continue to teach an elective next year…I wish I had one that was less labor- and brain-intensive. Art is hard. Teaching art is harder. I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. It’s not like teaching anything is particularly easy, but there’s this sense of talent/skill that plays in art and I just don’t have the energy for dealing with fixed mindset and art for only one period. If I didn’t have to do science as well? Maybe. We have an art teacher though and I don’t want to be her. Anyway. I get no choices on these things.

Yeah. That. You can’t tell that’s what I’m thinking because my mask is on. OK. Gotta go to school with pennies and magnets (lab!) and hopefully grade a bunch of things about balloons that don’t talk about sexy metals, and then meet with my team about field trips (what??? Finally!), and then come home and do more of that tracing thing. Plus bingewatch that show I’m listening to, because it disappears on January 31 and that isn’t that far away. Plus get enough sleep and exercise. Got it.

You Will Have No Title

I was trying to add a title to this but WordPress wasn’t having it. I get it. You don’t want me to post it? Ah well.

Beautiful skies this morning after a rough night. It’s November! As I look at the calendar, which says “Oh fuck, it’s nearly Christmas.” No joke there. It’s that crazy rush time. At least there’s some time off coming.

The weekend still had a lot of school work. I need it mostly done before I take the weekend off for an art/hiking retreat. I did cut more stuff out on Friday night…

And then finished it up, 10 hours in, on Saturday night…

And last night, I sorted all the pieces out by the 100s…

Tonight, I’ll need to clean up the studio, put all the fabrics away from the last quilt (which didn’t get into the show I made it for, ironically…or normally…however you look at it).

I do like this next stage, picking all the fabrics. It’s more creative than the last few stages, but still meditative. Lots of standing though.

We did break up the grading for a 4+-mile hike on Saturday, the other side of the Helix Flume hike that we did a few months back.

We really need to leave earlier if we want to meet in the middle…the parking lots all close at 6. There’s El Cap.

It was warm at the beginning, but cooled off nicely.

Once you get up to the level of the flume, it’s mostly flat. It’s the climbing before that which is a bit much. Starting on the El Monte Park side was easier…I think.

Definitely has been some fire damage up here, but a while ago.

Creative fence building. We only saw one group of people on bikes…otherwise, we were the only ones on trail. The only wildlife this time was birds and bugs. And fresh coyote poop, plus possible footprints that weren’t there when we went through the first time. It’s good to hike. This weekend, we’ll be hiking in Joshua Tree National Park.

The cats were glad to see us. Or maybe perturbed.

Nova looks perturbed anyway.

We tried the silly hat on Calli.

She goes to the vet today to suss out her tumor on her side. The one on her nose is the one that will probably kill her, unfortunately. Inoperable. But the one on her side is supposedly benign…just has opened up and is rather disgusting and smelly. Sigh. Poor baby. It doesn’t hurt her at least.

This was Saturday night’s dinner drawing…

They don’t get finished because someone brings the food. I don’t remember if I posted last week’s drawing…

This is about the only drawing I’m doing at the moment. There just isn’t enough time for all the work and the art and actual sleeping and stuff.

Old timey photo of the kids, circa 2005.

Back in the day. The neighbor kids yelled “trick or treat” from the driveway, where we left the candy in a bowl in the wheelbarrow full of dirt, a skelly arm, and a pumpkin. I wasn’t ready for 23 kids coming up the stairs to the door. I live on a tiny street without traffic, but the neighbors invited friends over. We don’t really have that many kids on the block. It just sounds that way.

Well it’s a short week for me, but I’ll need to do sub plans for Friday. Then next week is even shorter because of Veteran’s Day. Then one full week on and a full week off. Work to do before all that. Grades are due next week…which is difficult. Ah well. I did go to school on Saturday and get one art assignment out of the way…there are two due Friday though and I won’t be there to collect them, so that should be interesting. Bad timing on the retreat, but I didn’t pick the days, unfortunately. OK. Off to work. It’s time.