Some Definition of Done

Oh lordy. ‘Tis early. I know not for some, but I am truly not a morning person, and it is still dark. I lost my temporary crown earlier this week, and although I’d love to ignore it until my appointment for the permanent crown, that area is sensitive to cold liquids…or even regular tap-water temperature…enough to give me a rancid ache from jaw to eyeball every time I drink something cooler than hot tea. So I made the only appointment I could, at freakin’ 7 AM. So I can guarantee getting to school on time, and also guarantee a difficult mood for me all day. Not sure I can drink enough tea to make up for that.

My brain was already fuzzy on how to do the things. I unplugged my computer at work last night, ready to put it in the bag so I could grade more roller coasters. Brought all the roller coaster drawings home. Left the computer at school. Damn. OK. Guess I’ll be grading those this weekend instead. Ah well.

I’m now sitting in the parking lot at the dentist because they aren’t open yet. It’s a delightful 37 degrees out there. Someday I’ll remember to put a real jacket on for school. This winter has been much colder than usual.

Anyway, I’ve been cutting stuff out every night, in between three Zooms on Wednesday and three on Thursday. Everything hit this week apparently.

Never looks like much. At least you can see the piles getting bigger.

Or can you…

After last night, I had passed the halfway mark. This is just short of three yards. Mostly I got that far because I forgot the school computer or I would’ve done some grading. If I don’t grade constantly, I get really far behind. This week has sucked for feeling caught up.

I did finish the first tattoo block, so that was cool.

Found the next drawing…need to trace it onto freezer paper and pick some fabrics.

Got 18 roller coasters in progress in class…mostly chaos.

Another week and they’ll be done. For some definition of done. Well the dentist was fast and hopefully, I’ll wake up in time to teach. And remember my computer this weekend. Can’t say I’m feeling up to teaching at the moment. Drink the tea. Make more.

Delightfully Wrong…

I don’t remember weeks feeling so long in the first two days before. I don’t remember feeling so tired after Tuesday. Tuesdays are the big planning days for science, so maybe that’s it? I don’t know. Or it was the feeling as I drove away from school yesterday that the slog that is 7th grade at the moment will just continue until I die. Which it won’t. Really. I’m sure of that. Even 8th grade had a moment yesterday…actually, just one table of 8th graders had a moment, where they realized they had no idea what to do and I wasn’t going to help them (we were building a roller coaster element and they talked during the instructions, so I pointed them to the relevant videos). They kept begging people around them to help them and I told them no (multiple people)…they need to listen. Hopefully today is better, or I will separate their group and stick each of them into another group for being idiots. Everyone else was pretty much awesome (although there were some tables I had to direct to involve themselves). 7th grade though. Ugh. Cried when driving away from school again. Just frustrating as fuck. Behaviors and lack of work completion. We’re on the third day of trying to finish something that should have taken a day and a half. Not listening. Not getting it because not listening. And a few behaviors that honestly just drive me bonkers. So yeah. I guess I’m at a point where about 2 days a week, those 2 classes aren’t half bad. And 3 days a week, they fucking suck. Which makes ME feel like I suck. Which maybe I do. Or maybe it’s just a bad combination of kids, time of day, and COVID crap. UGH.

I come home and grade roller coaster drawings, though, and although it’s kind of a pain in the ass, it’s also mostly enjoyable seeing what kids created. That’s the art part of my brain. Although I don’t like teaching art…well, to people who don’t like to do art. Teaching art to the already artsy isn’t that bad.

I’ve made it to the cutting-out stage. I started Monday night and got (I thought) more than halfway through a yard. In fact, I thought I was pretty close to done with it…

Stupidly, I covered up what I had actually cut with what was left to be cut. Which doesn’t look like much. Except I think it was all the tiny pieces and the bigger pieces got cut first? I don’t know. Because it took me another hour last night to finish it up…

So that is 2 hours of cutting? Yup. 2 hours and 2 minutes. Doesn’t look like much. 4 1/2 yards to go. Fussy little shit pieces. Realistically…let’s see…I have another Zoom meeting tonight (2 book clubs in one week seems a mistake)…I actually have 3 Zoom meetings today AND school and physical therapy. Long. So I might get another hour done on this. Thursday is delightfully open (Zoom meeting but I could cut things out if I wanted to), so is Friday…so maybe I’ll be done cutting by Monday? That’s my guess. I was wrong by two days on the tracing, so I’ll be delightfully wrong again if that’s how it rolls. It’s not a very exciting process to watch. Then sort Monday night? Start ironing to fabric Tuesday. Wait. Do I have a background big enough? Probably not. Must think that through, because the damn quilt store is not open late enough during the week for me to go. Still. OK. So that needs to happen Saturday. Put it on the calendar. Saturday is already chunky. Good to know. I do sometimes plan ahead.

I’ve been working on this (not my design!) after dinner, while we watch our daily whatever-the-fuck-we’re-watching (Kindred…which ended quite precipitously).

I reduced it in size 50% because I didn’t want a huge quilt, and the letters are fucking tiny.

But not undoable. I appreciate the wonkiness of hand applique. I know the foundation-paper-piecing people are having heart attacks with the lack of straight lines, but I’m good. I like to hand applique and I found two things I was working on (there are 17 million things I’m working on, just to be clear) and decided I wanted to really work on them and not just put them in a box and pretend I was working on them.

There, that’s the closest to a resolution you’ll get out of me in 2023, until August, when teachers do their resolutions.

The boychild has been crafting wood…these are spoons 3 and 4. Or spoon 3 and scoop 1.

They’re quite pretty. He has no desire to make a business out of it. CalFire has downtime, and this is how he uses it. Seems appropriate to me. He’s got about three or four more weeks, and then he’s off for three months. That will be weird. Or very spoony.

OK. Today. Yeah. Building more roller coaster stuff…straight track and loops today. Then notes in 7th grade. Woo hoo. That will go down well. Who am I kidding? Very little goes down well. Kid meeting in the morning, sex-ed meeting in the afternoon (chaos of a district that would probably prefer NOT to teach it), then PT and book club. Oh yeah, and I popped my temporary crown off, so drinking cold things hurts like a bitch and IDK when I can get into the dentist before it’s time to put the permanent crown on anyway, so that’s a possible week and a half of some disturbing occasional pain. And the rash on the knee from the adhesive crap is not getting better. I’ve tried cortisone and benadryl and neither is helping. Emailing the doc on that one.

In positive news, I’ve been reading a lot. It’s a nice place to be, in a fantasy world somewhere (even one filled with murders) where there isn’t a pile of grading papers and lesson planning threatening to take you under. I’ll stay there for a while.

This Is How It Goes…

OK, normal work week, normal number of days with kids, let’s see if I can do the rest of it on schedule. Blog on the right days, remember to do the things after school, or even the things before school. Act like a normal human being, as much as that is possible when you are an artist and an introvert. Yup. All the things.

First of all, I finished tracing after some mammoth tracing sessions this weekend. Well, not really mammoth; just more than the normal 54-62 minutes I do during the school week. Friday night with my quilting group…

There was probably some Thursday night as well…since I didn’t blog on Friday…because I’m totally off schedule.

More on Friday night after dinner…

Most of the yardage was full up at that point, except for the most recent one. It had some tree parts, which take up a lot of space and leave a lot of open bits to fill in later.

Saturday night, I got the head done. There were about 100 pieces left, but it was already late and I knew I had to be up the next morning.

I pretty much always have to be up the next morning. So last night, I pushed, went a little late, and finished it all…

It’s 5 and a bit yards. Some really big pieces and a lot of not-big pieces. I’ll start cutting out today. That’s 20 hours and 41 minutes of tracing. So far, this quilt has 32 1/2 hours in.

I did a lot of grading stuff this weekend too, but then the grading program was having issues, ignoring all the grades from January (minor issue; only 1/3 of the grading period), so I had to stop. They’re due Tuesday and we have a 2-hour staff meeting today, so hopefully the boss will do something about that. He does know the system is fucked. We got that email yesterday afternoon.

We had some free/reduced tickets to the zoo that expire next weekend, so we had planned that for Saturday afternoon. If you’ve never been to the San Diego Zoo, it’s pretty cool. Here’s a photo dump from that…

That last one, the cheetah was lying down in her cave and then this little boy was squealing and running super fast like he was pretending to be a cheetah, and she totally perked up, like “that’s prey” perk up, and came out, and all I could think was, yeah, that boy is dinner. There’s always this thought that they’ll come out of the cage or through the glass. For me anyway. It was a good 3-hour walk. There were lots of people, but it wasn’t too horrible. Definitely worth it.

A little more after-dinner hand applique…

Hand appliqueing a hand. Ha ha.

Kitten venturing out even though…

Katie is here visiting…

Could not get these two to sit together. They’re not really friends. Mostly because Katie is much bigger and doesn’t realize it and basically runs Simba over.

Katie is a famous singer…

She’s kinda pitiful sometimes. Then we have the master barker…

Apparently I cannot have video going the appropriate direction. Sigh. Thirty minutes of coyote singing later, he finally stopped.

OK. Well. Grades aren’t done because they can’t be. A lot of frustrated teachers today; wonder if it is just our school. I don’t feel ready to teach at all. Nothing new there. I think Friday self set up the classroom pretty well, though (at least I hope she did), so I should be OK. Starting the roller-coaster building today…two weeks of it. Not sure how that will go, but I’m sorta ready. No I’m not. I don’t even have a sample. Shit. I just thought of something I need to prep before school starts. This is how it goes. Also we are officially halfway through now. Only.

Warm Compress on My Life…

Hey. Hey there. Hey there you…who does not know what day it is anymore. Like me. I thought yesterday was Thursday. I think part of it is doing Pilates on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, due to a massively long union meeting last night. I came home and thought it was Tuesday though, because I was confused by the trashcans being out. But then I definitely was checking my email for Imperfect Produce, which comes on Thursday. I think my tired brain wanted it to be Thursday, but my realistic brain was like, you’ve only worked two days m’dear, must be Tuesday. Fuck both those brains.

I’m running on 5 hours of sleep, maybe less, due to the dog barking, possible skunk or zombie incursions (hence dog barking) plus stupid brain that is trying to (a) consider school drama and/or future student/parent drama plus other crap related to students, (b) plan a magnet exploration lab in my head, (c) remember to open the file for the art meeting on Sunday so it doesn’t delete itself because we only have 24 hours to open it and I don’t remember when it came, and (d) fuck, I don’t remember what d was for. Thank you, brain. Really. Plus I think I have a stye in my eye and I can’t tape my knee because I’m having some random allergic reaction to the tape even though it’s not latex.

Fucking sigh. Seriously.

Pros: I finished the union notes and sent them (no help there). I watched three videos (or most of them) and picked the best one. I started the magnet lab on an actual doc so it’s not actually just in my head. One of my co-teachers bought me lunch yesterday, which was really nice. And this kid made me another cat! A cat loaf. A cat head on a bread loaf.

Here’s the three she’s made me…

I’m kinda loving this.

In art news, well, guess what, I’m still tracing shit.

I did hit halfway on Tuesday night though. And if I continue in this way with about an hour and 100 pieces a night, I will hopefully finish Tuesday. NEXT Tuesday.

Seriously, it pretty much looks the same every night. I might cut a new blank piece of Wonder Under and start filling it in (I’m on my 4th yard right now), but that’s it. Fill fill fill. I know it’s totally boring on your end, but on MY end, it’s very meditative and relaxing. Become one with the Wonder Under. Trying to fit as many pieces as possible on one yard. Not wasting a single inch of this stuff that costs maybe $2 a yard. Yeah. Whatever. It’s a game, a puzzle.

Is it still January? Yes. And grades are due Tuesday. Deep breaths. I can’t get any grading done because I’m setting up labs and putting labs away and planning for the next unit and I haven’t even finished planning for THIS unit because my preps are gone, but I need to use my prep today for planning 7th-grade stuff that didn’t get finished (or maybe it IS finished and I just don’t know it, but I don’t THINK it is, and this stye is driving me bonkers need to go put a WARM COMPRESS ON MY LIFE).

In other news, here’s one of my kids.

In an Airbnb I stayed in last year…I have a picture on Instagram that looks very similar except it’s me on 3 hours of sleep. Can’t find it right now, but it exists.

Balloon labs this week.

Cleanup is particularly fun for our teacher aides. Pop pop pop.

Here’s something I cut out over a year ago and then lost in the pile. It’s brainless.

There was a foundation paper piecing quilt designed by ugh someone…Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky. And I don’t FPP. So I traced a block to make it regular applique, then realized I didn’t need a full-size quilt of this, so reduced them all 50%. Somehow. I don’t remember how I did that. But I did. And then drew patterns for all the rest. Hey, this is still Berene’s quilt. And then I finally started actually appliqueing them last night. Don’t expect much out of me. Actually, they’re pretty simple really as regular applique. That FPP stuff though? Uh uh. Not doing that.

OK. SCHOOL. It’s Thursday. Finally. Or my god, still? Depends on which part of my brain you talk to. I’m making 8th graders draw roller coasters. I’m making 7th graders write and learn shit (that’s already an issue). I have a meeting after school, and then need to pick up the parental dog for the weekend. Fun stuff. Tonight’s Zoom meeting was moved to tomorrow night, so I might actually finish grading the late work before I get another snotty email from a sweet 13-year-old who doesn’t have to cook dinner and plan magnet labs instead of obsessing over one assignment. Yeah. I (do not) remember those years.

More Than a Cloud

I totally forgot yesterday was Monday. Well done! Good start. I mean, I appreciate the extra day to get stuff done. I even made myself a special post-it to-do list for the weekend with things to cross off (I did not finish all of them, but I did a lot). These two months, January and February, there’s this delightful smattering of 3-day weekends that make me think I can be caught up, and then the disaster of March happens, with 5 long weeks of no days off. No breaks. Just a slog until Spring Break. Teachers know what I’m talking about. May is very similar, but at least ends with a 3-day weekend. Two-day weekends…I lose a whole day to trying to get ready for the week, so just Saturday is free…and it often isn’t. I have progress reports due next week, so this coming weekend is looking a little stressy. Trying to get ahead of that now, but we’ll see how it goes.

It rained all weekend. Like a downpour. Not as bad as further north of us, but at over 3 1/2 inches of rain here (I bought a rain gauge just for this); that’s sometimes our annual rainfall. Everything is exceedingly damp. No trees went down here, not even a fallen branch (knock on wood), so that’s good. A few water issues, but nothing major. The garage will be damp for days. I need to actually sweep water out of it when I get a chance (not sure when that will be). So we didn’t go a lot of places…but I did work a lot. As always. Don’t seem to be able to escape it.

I finished basting and delivered the cross-stitched blocks back to my friend, so she can spend a few months hand-quilting them before I have to figure out how to put them together. I also picked up one of my quilts from a show that closed.

This show was extended into February…

I’m hoping to be at the closing reception, only because it’s First Friday in Liberty Station, and that’s always cool.

OK, on to the weekend tracing, of which there was a lot, although not as much as I would’ve liked. Like maybe 2 hours a night instead of 1.

This is filling in the little spaces in between bigger pieces…

I had a strange leftover piece of Wonder Under I used at the end of a bolt. Some of it was releasing from the paper, so I cut those bits off. Don’t want to deal with it.

Friday night might have been one of those 2-hour nights…

Saturday night definitely was. We had a neighborhood party to introduce ourselves to our new neighbors, and then I came back and did more as the Man crashed…he had emergency dental surgery Friday and was kind of a mess all weekend. Hopefully it’ll be better this week for him.

Lots of complication here…still filling in the spaces.

I think this was Sunday night…another 2 hours…

But Monday night, I was working later on school stuff, so only an hour and a bit. I’m in the 700s, I think. Close to halfway, but not quite.

I thought I’d be further up the drawing by now, but no. It seems there are more pieces in the top half than the bottom half. Even though the bottom half is solid pieces and the top has a lot of open bits. More smaller pieces up top; bigger pieces down below. I have the upper torso and arms, plus head, plus everything she’s holding. And when I say arms, one is done, three to go. Yup. She’s got four. Like you do.

So based on how many pieces are left and how fast I’m tracing, I suspect I’ve got another 8 days of this. Not so exciting to watch on your end, but pretty meditative on mine. I’m OK with that.

This is from the book I’m really enjoying, The House in the Cerulean Sea

Books are nice, especially on rainy days. And sunny days. And windy days and cloudy days. Yup. All the days.

My possibly permanent existence…at least while I’m still teaching.

Friday afternoon’s sky, before the rains started.

The caterpillars are still here, still eating. I bought them more food. Planting seeds for more after that.

Simba does not like the rain. At all. His raincoat seems to help a little.

Mom’s flowers on Sunday night. Did I take pictures of my parents? Nope. Forgot.

Sigh. OK. It’s only a 4-day week. It’s a busy 4-day week, though, so bracing for that. But I have tracing every night and a good book to read and this week is actually planned out. I didn’t quite get all my planning and grading done, but that’s always the case. It’s not supposed to rain much more (although the clouds have rolled in again and my co-teacher sent me a photo of a double rainbow, so maybe we’re not out of it yet…it’s dark as hell to the west and sunny on my left shoulder).

Fully appreciated yesterday’s social-media roll through MLK quotes I hadn’t seen before, the ones challenging the white capitalist take on him and his views. One was from 1967 and could still be used today, sadly. Things have changed but nowhere near enough. As long as people are using ‘woke’ as a bad thing and ‘patriot’ as a good thing (after Jan 6? Really?), there are still some major problems in this country. And the world. Brazil. Talking to you. So we work in small ways to improve those things, best we can, through our relationships with people and through the web and all the other crap. Making art. Reading more books. Listening to more people, different people. Dark clouds rolling in here, y’all…gotta get to work before it turns into more than a cloud.

Become One with the Slow…

Friday the 13th. In a middle school. Wait, what’s the damn moon doing right now…OK…we’re just waning gibbous. That should help. Yeah. Usually I enjoy a good Friday the 13th, but this week has been rough for everyone. I’m tired, the kids are tired. I thought yesterday went OK, but then I got an email. Sigh. Well I’ll hopefully deal with that today, with admin support, plus I don’t think I have a lot of grading for this week, because we just started a bunch of things (although I’m still playing catchup with stuff from December). I spent an hour yesterday dealing with late work for all but one class. I still need to do redoes. Where I let kids fix their work. So they learn from it. Even though it’s torture for me to try to regrade these, looking at what they wrote originally, what comments I left, what does the rubric from December or November say, and how did they change it. Ugh. Hate it, but it’s necessary.

Glad it’s Friday.

I’ve done a little tracing the last two nights…honestly, not even getting an hour in each night. Starting too late, trying to get back in the habit of going to bed earlier. I started training myself back on the 10:30 bedtime last week, but mostly failed at it. Ah well. Soon the exhaustion will help. Hopefully.

The first 150 pieces are mostly big dirt pieces with some smaller stuff interspersed. Big rock pieces take longer to trace because they’re big. And sometimes complicated. So it seems really slow.

I have to become one with the slow. I had to cut a second piece of Wonder Under because the weird shapes wouldn’t fit between all the other weird shapes and they’re all big. It’s OK…when I get to the little pieces, they will all fit between all the big pieces. It’s a puzzle.

I’m only 2 hours in…more this weekend, I hope. It’s supposed to rain most of the weekend. I’m hoping for big chunks of tracing time while listening to weird TV. Although I need to have a crown replaced, my neighbors are having some sort of dessert and drinks gathering, two animals need to go to the vet, we’re having dinner with the parentals…see, the days just get filled up.

Ah, complicated. This is the complicated I like.

Last night was my monthly in-person stitching meeting. Fun stuff.

Fun little house. Fun stitching. We spent time oohing and aahing at each other’s projects, complaining about work, looking up the pronunciation and etymology of syncytial, and talking about books. All worthwhile. This is still Sue Spargo’s Homegrown. I’ll be working on it all year probably. Easily.

Um. I am both of these. Except I don’t delete emails after reading them. I might need them again. I delete a LOT of them, but not all of them. And 12 tabs is nowhere near enough. On this computer, which I don’t use for work as much as I used to, there are 23 tabs open. You can imagine that the work computer is much worse. It is. I organize my Flair pens by what I use them for: writing on docs in class (dark so it’s easy to see on the doc cam), light and bright for grading (make it cheery!), ugly colors I will never use but will never throw out (because that’s anathema). But I also have an entire drawer, another box, and random other locations where pens go to die. Or live free lives, depending on how you look at it.

I think my right eye stopped twitching for maybe 2 days over break. It’s back.

Here’s Luna being sweet.

She didn’t even whack me after I petted her…she just reached out like she was GOING to whack me.

OK. School. Get classroom ready for today. Teach centripetal force and momentum (a little bit), give a quiz, get kids learning about the history of roller coasters, then pivot to atoms and matter, finish up the elements exploration lab that should have been done yesterday, make kids read an article even though they don’t know how to read (pretty sure we have a recording of one of us reading it) and watch a video where they have to pay enough attention to answer the questions. On a Friday. The first Friday back after break. That’s two grade levels there…I’m not teaching the same classes both roller coaster physics AND atoms and matter. Just to be clear.

Stand at a traffic light for 15 minutes, ready to call 911 if a kid crosses at breakneck speed while staring at their phone because some parent was in a hurry to turn the corner without looking for kids…around a school. Go home and spread some wildflower seeds for the upcoming rain deluge, PUT MY PAJAMAS ON, take my bra off, read a book? Drink some tea? Maybe grade some stuff that’s easy. Maybe plan something that’s easy. Maybe not. Maybe stare at cat videos for 45 minutes. Then make dinner (who thought THAT was a good idea). Then trace a bunch of dirt. More dirt. Lots more dirt. Things in the dirt. Dirt. Love me some dirt.

Prepare for Your Doom…

Is it midweek? Or just time for a nap? Hard to say. Back into school, actually sort of finishing grading all the stuff I was supposed to do over break (except for the late work and redoes). Yesterday should have been a chill start to a new project and a new unit, but chill is not the word I would use. Annoying would be a good one. I reviewed behavior expectations, got them started, had to deal with a huge number of behavior issues in two out of the five classes, and then the adult stuff, the district stuff, that’s what threw me over the edge. I think I give up. I mean, I don’t. I go off instead. Not at the kids yesterday. Education shouldn’t be a business. My classroom shouldn’t be a place where district advertising happens. But it is. I feel like my district is a significant part of my discontent. Hmmm. And yet, because of the way our salaries and benefits work, I can’t afford to go to another one. Yeah. Plus I love my team and most of the kids (yeah, really) and the school. So. I’d love more respect from the district too, but that would mean they were different than all the other districts out there (and there are some that are much worse). They actually sent us an email today about the difference between alcoholics and workaholics. Like they aren’t the cause of it all. It’s physically impossible to get it all done. It’s like what we spent part of Monday on…how do we solve problems that don’t start in school, that we have no control over, that we can’t possibly affect? Sigh. This is the job of my discontent at the moment. Live with that thought for a bit. Then figure out how to move on.

Meanwhile, I’m making art. I’m always making art. It’s my sanity. I finished numbering on Monday night…

I was guessing 1800 pieces, but I was delightfully wrong…

It was only 1574. Sounds good. Looking forward to all of it.

I started tracing last night, but I didn’t have my full hour…

Only 36 minutes…because I stayed at school to grade one class period of an assignment, then came home and went to the gym, then came back and graded the other class period of that assignment, all before I started tracing at 9:54 PM. So I only got some rocks and dirt done. I’m hoping tonight is better, but I won’t even get home until after 7 PM, so IDK how that will go. Maybe I will not be grading anything tonight. And here’s how it goes!

Work smarter, not harder. Or not longer. I’ve got some tweaks to do on the roller coaster stuff for the week after next, and I got a delightful planning period with my 8th-grade co-teacher for the first time this school year. I think this is going to help. I’m hoping this is going to help. Or I might lose my mind.

You know those delivery photos you get to prove your package was delivered? Simba is in this one, barking his little mind out…

What a good boy.

I was grading my advisory assignments on Monday (yes, during professional development…what ELSE do you do during something that doesn’t actually help you teach or prepare or self care or whatever?)…and this kid, whom I love…

I agree. Totally. Hands down the best answer.

The girlchild and I were talking about thriving (another thing my district thinks I am doing)…

Yup. Well. Not gaming, but certainly pillow forting with a book or art and a dog or cat or both.

OK, so I still have to grade a pile of late work and redoes, plus do that fussy shit for the roller coaster project, and maybe look at the stuff for next week, write some warmups, WAKE THE FUCK UP (omg when will I get enough sleep), get through today (notes in one grade level, plus one activity, then simulation in the other grade), then pilates followed by physical therapy (the knee is improving very slowly in terms of mobility, but the pain is still there, still an issue going upstairs, worse on some days than others). Dinner. Art. Sleep. Is that it? I think it’s all I’ve got right now. That and an intriguingly complicated quilt to make.

Really Slowly

Hello Christmas Eve! Actually tomorrow is our Christmas Eve. Or something. This year is too confusing.

I had this plan to be drawing every day during break. Not happening. No brain power for it. I get through a few errands and then need to lie down for a while. I am improving, but it’s slow and torturous. What is this thing? The same cold that everyone else has that’s wiped out the cold medicine section at my grocery store. I finally found more of the stuff that lets me sleep through the night without coughing, so that’s a plus. The rest is more about…well…rest. I need lots of it apparently. So the to-do list languishes. Or gets done really slowly. The physical stuff will have to wait until I have some energy back.

I’m doing a little art stuff every day, not hours of it like I would like to. Ah well. The little piece got ironed to fabrics over 24 hours…

There’s not a lot to it, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I did most of it Thursday night…

And then finished it on Friday night…

Only 33 fabrics…some of which were only used for one piece. Then I cut them all out…

With the idea of ironing them together this afternoon, but I did a bunch of other things (made sourdough starter pancakes to freeze, for the first time since August, wrapped the last of the Xmas stuff, graded two assignments, tried to make sense of another one, showered…that was exhausting)…and now I need a nap. We have one family gathering this evening and I’m already tired. I’m also still short on milk and couldn’t find eggnog, although I can make that from scratch if I have to…I’ve done it before. Probably my body is adamantly telling me what I need (as I half fall asleep here in the chair). Should maybe listen. Just 20 minutes for a snooze, eh?

You can see how the drawing isn’t happening. No energy to clean either; that has to happen tomorrow. We got skunked the other night and half the rooms still reek of it. Luckily Southern California has blessed us with lovely weather (sorry y’all) and the windows are open to dispel the smell.

I Zoomed with friends on Thursday night and made a fence and some veggies…

Do I fix the lumpy carrot or let it be its realistic lumpy self? Who knows.

Simba loves everyone being home…

Although the boychild is back at work until Monday and the girlchild was gone all yesterday, which is why I got his loving attention.

Kitten wasn’t having any of it…

She does RBF well.

This morning, Simba got one of his favorite people on the couch…

He was communing with his other doggie friends, passing the word along in boofy paragraphs.

OK. I can lie down and read for a while. Then go find some milk and maybe eggnog. We are food shopping tomorrow like nutcakes. It’s OK. I wrangled meat yesterday from a big guy who was sure I wanted it all cut up (I didn’t) and then winked at me at the end. Ugh. I don’t know whether to laugh my old chubby ass off at that or be creeped out (or both, which is where I’m at right now). Then off to the Man’s fam for a gathering that will be all noise and color and bright, like holidays are, which sometimes my brain appreciates. I’m hoping to get there in the next 3 hours. Until then, hello couch, hello book, hello pajamas. And hoping everyone gets some time to do what they want with whomever they want, furry beast or otherwise.

Will Get Done Eventually…

Hey so if you want to talk to me this week, probably you should text me. My voice is not doing great. I am feeling better, but the phlegm is real, y’all. Mornings are rough until I get some tea into me. The pro is that it is Winter Break, so I am not trying to write sub plans or come in and teach sick because I don’t have COVID or the flu (probably), and there are no subs. I just have to finish the Xmas shopping and decorating (there are four whole ornaments on the tree) and maybe a book or three. Plus grading. How I know I’m getting better? I graded an academic assignment yesterday…it required brainpower and I found it. I had 14 assignments to grade at the beginning of break. I now have 9. Probably more importantly, I need to plan out the next unit plus or I will be hating life in January and February, and I don’t want that. I need to get ahead. At least a little.

I did finish the newest quilt, which doesn’t have a name yet. It goes to the photographer tomorrow with the last one (I never got around to photographing it).

Lame photo hanging over the couch. This one is not huge. Now going into the holidays, I have an idea for the next big one, but I need the headspace to check deadlines and do some planning, plus I’d really like the fam to stage this one so I can see how all the body parts will go, but so far, I’ve gotten some dissension on that happening. Either way, I can’t get a big drawing going until after we do Xmas Day, which will be Boxing Day for us this year, so is it possible for me to NOT be working on a quilt for 7 whole days?

I tried to distract myself with Xmas ornament stitching that I bought last year and never started…

Fun enough, but not the same as an actual quilt. Then at 2 AM, while lying there, trying to sleep, I remembered that funny drawing with the Xmas lights on it that is floating around my office that I keep meaning to make into a little quilt and never do. Some drawings just call to me and want to be a quilt. This one has called for a while. A LONG while.

The date on it is February 8, 1993. In 1993, I was still married. I didn’t have kids. At first, I was like, ah, this drawing, it’s about 10 years old (because I was on cold medication and could not do any form of math). Nah. This fucker is almost 30 years old. I even numbered it already. Like probably 20 years ago. Who knows? At some point in the past when I thought I’d make it. Well yeah. It does deserve to be made if it’s still around after all this time (it’s not the only one that made it to numbering stage and then got left somewhere, in case you’re wondering).

Poor thing. So I graded yesterday (because I felt better), and then I stayed up late and watched a semi-bad movie while tracing this…

It’s only got 97 pieces.

And then cut out the Wonder Under…

No need to do the sort by 100s step. There aren’t even 100 pieces. So hopefully today, after running Xmas errands (and showering…need to do that next), I’ll be picking fabrics for this sweet little thing. There is a lot going on over the next 7 days, and I can’t say I’m feeling totally with it, so a nap or some lying on the couch with my book will probably still be happening, but for now, I have a little project. Which is good. Never throw old shit away, y’all. It might be exactly what you need. Yes, that is part of my hoarder issue, but it’s also truth.

I did spend about 2 hours yesterday ironing and dehairing the two quilts that need to go to the photographer…that did make me need to nap. Ugh. And I’ll still work on the Xmas ornaments. They’ll probably be done in 2025. Certainly starting them on December 20 was probably not the best plan. Ah well.

Simba thinks we are all silly.

And maybe we are…

Certainly he is getting plenty of attention…

OK. Well I’m off to shower and drive all over heck and back for the 4 or 5 things I still need. I canceled almost everything I was supposed to do this week due to being sick. Probably the best thing for me anyway. At least the family is still healthy (and sucking up Vitamin C and Zinc). Some of the things on my to-do list will not be happening this week, due to my not feeling up to the physical crap, but it will get done eventually. Peace out all…may your holidays be what you need them to be. Sending love to all.

Not Much But…

Well today is one of my Thanksgiving celebrations this week…my family. Pretty small, only six of us, but still a lot of cooking. I cut some corners, bought a pie. Didn’t do anything fancy, but still seem to be doing not much but cooking and cleaning. That said, the bathroom is clean and it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving…I’m just thankful it’s clean. It’s been driving me nuts, that and the carpet, but the Man fixed the vacuum and did that, so it’s all good. I have a hard time prioritizing cleaning over school and art, so it falls by the wayside. I think the garden is higher on the list, honestly. So at the moment, the turkey is brining in a bucket in the fridge, due to come out in about 4 hours, I made cranberry sauce for the first time ever (usually the girlchild and boychild are helping with all this)…I baked the storebought pie (it’s Julian Pie, it’s better than regular storebought), the roll dough was made last night and is currently rising, and the bread for the stuffing is drying out. I need to make stuffing, get the turkey in, and then do potatoes. And gravy. Mom’s bringing the beans, the boychild made a pie last night, but IDK what it is (something I won’t like, hence the Julian pie), and wine and appetizers have been delegated out. As long as I don’t drop anything or the oven doesn’t conk out (always a possibility considering its age), we’ll be fine.

For some reason, a picture of the inside of one’s refrigerator seems very personal…but here it is, minus the rolls and the second pie that showed up this morning…

I need to eat some of that yogurt and get that bucket out of there!

Luckily, I don’t have to cook or clean for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving celebration…just show up with alcohol and rolls. There’s a lot of eating this week. I need more exercise. I’ve also been dealing with school stuff, but need to deal with a lot more. I’m behind. Always. Need to get this 8th-grade unit figured out though. And posts made. I think I have through Wednesday done for next week. I’d really like the whole damn three weeks done, but IDK if I can do that. We’ll see.

In the totally positive realm, I’m making good progress on the newest quilt. I started cutting pieces out on Monday night and finished last night…the two piles don’t look a lot different…

Here’s the final piles…with just under 5 hours of trimming to get to that point…

Sometime today I’ll be sorting those (won’t take long) and then cleaning up the studio/office so I can start ironing to fabric tonight or tomorrow. That’s what I really want to be doing this week. Gonna have to force myself to stop and grade and/or lesson plan once that starts. Ah well. If I can get the whole thing ironed to fabric before I go back to school, that will be a good thing.

I also fixed Simba’s favorite old dinosaur toy. So there’s that.

Kitties still cuddling…

We’re hoping to hike Friday (Black Friday outside away from the stores!)…or Saturday. I’ve got Christmas shopping mostly under control (not really, just in WAIT mode on a lot of it). Haven’t touched the yard yet, though, and it’s in need. Ah well. Can’t do it all…

That’s what I really want to do…is read. I wish I were better at listening to books being read. I just stop paying attention though, so it’s kind of a waste to even try. So push some reading into today…somehow. Maybe once the turkey is in…can’t do much while that’s going on.

Hope everyone who wants to deal with Thanksgiving is enjoying most of what they’re doing, and if you’re not celebrating it (like most of the world), that your week is going well. And if Thanksgiving is traumatic (I find it stressful even though I like the gathering part…for the most part)…then I hope you find something that makes the next few days better…I like the outdoors for that, but also making stuff. Highly recommend. OK. Gotta go make stuffing now. Peace out.