Weighs on You…

Ah yes. Back to work. It’s been a weird interim. In the last two days, I’ve had the brain power to grade stuff (and input it, because my kids think nothing counts this year) and plan about 4 weeks out of 8th-grade science, which is a blessing, because I have no one to plan with at the moment except my poor overworked co-teacher who is managing all the things. So it was good to have the mental space to tear apart the existing curriculum and decide how to actually teach it. I’m curious how the other 8th-grade teacher will handle 6 pages of reading assigned as homework to our kids, but that’s something I can worry about at another time. Today, I am going back to piles of paper, shit I was supposed to do but didn’t because I wasn’t there, and kids who aren’t used to me yet, except for the ones who already had me. So yeah. Chaos. It’ll all be fine. If I can remember all of it. Spent the hour this morning after the man woke up and before I had to get up (he’s loud) trying to remember how to do the labs I’m doing next week…haven’t done them in years. I’m sure it will come back to me.

I have not been spending hours and hours making art mostly, because the day job is significantly hefty enough that even when you feel sick, it still weighs on you. I have been cutting stuff out every night, though…

Yesterday I had a couple of Zoom meetings, so I got a little more done.

I also lost a letter R in that pile of trash. Can’t find it. I really shouldn’t cut over that pile…I usually use a lid and cut into that, so there’s not a huge pile of stuff for a tiny piece to dive into and completely disappear. My fault. I’ll re-iron it tonight. I’m not going to be done cutting anytime soon…there’s a lot still there.

This was the weekend I needed to be done with this piece…completely…if I wanted to meet the deadline. Ah well. Not happening. It’s OK. It’ll get done and go somewhere. The Man has a show tomorrow (hopefully he practices better masking) and will be gone most of the day/evening, so I’ll have plenty of time to cut stuff out and maybe get it sorted. We’ll see.

Simba likes a morning lie-in on the deck before the sun hits it.

And Nova just likes lying on chairs…

At least I only have to go in for one day…it’ll be fine. Next week will be a bigger challenge…everyone else has had a week plus to adjust…I feel a little off on procedures and stuff, but I’ll figure it out. Also have a weekend to remember what exercise is, maybe go for a hike, do some pilates. That would be nice.

Stapled

Well here we are. Back in. The saddle. School. Meetings and prep today and tomorrow, kids on Wednesday. So incredibly not ready. I would be much more ready if I only had one grade level this year, but that’s not happening. I spent 5 hours over the weekend just finding and trying to make sense of my bulletin boards (gotta get two grade levels up on the wall). It’s all about the staples…

I’ve had to move everything so far to get room for an additional 6-7 units (IDK even how many units I’ll be teaching because I can’t get that far ahead right now). Which means I unstapled everything and then stapled it back up in a different place. It’s all about the staples getting picked up by something other than my feet. Today I have meetings all morning and then this afternoon and most of tomorrow to prep for realz. We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what 2500 people at a school district conference looks like…

Actually, that picture was probably less than 2500…I didn’t take a photo of the actual conference room (ballroom) we were in (this was breakfast), but it was a lot. Wore a mask. I don’t want to be sick for the first week of school. Was it worthwhile? Eh. Some camaraderie, sure, but we could have done that in a smaller group. One speaker was interesting (because he was funny). The rest? I’d rather be setting my room up. The reason I had to go in over the weekend was because normally they do about 90 minutes on Friday and then we get the rest of the day to prep. We didn’t get that. So that sucks. That’s tone deaf, honestly. But it’s done.

I’m still proofreading. SO CLOSE TO DONE. Hopefully today, although today is kind of a mess. Maybe tomorrow.

I’m also still ironing. I did NOT meet my goal of finishing the ironing this weekend…maybe if I hadn’t had to go in to school over the weekend. And yes, sure, I could have NOT done that and tried to get boards up once school starts, but using last year as an example? I never did it. Never had the time. This year will be similar with two different classes. I will never have time. So I did that. For my sanity. This is Friday night’s progress on the piles of fabric and pieces…

On Saturday, I focused on the main figure, so here’s what she looks like when I’m picking fabrics…

Although I forgot to do the head. Whoops. This is what one fabric of that run looks like…

Not much left of that one after this gets cut out. Which is fine. There is always more fabric.

Saturday night’s final count on the piles…

When I pick the fabrics for the flesh, I lay out all the other pieces too (bones, heart, lungs, hair, etc), but they don’t get ironed down right away. Fleshy bits first, then the rest, which can take a while…

Each pile is some discrete object on the quilt…there’s a pile of arm hair, a needle and some thread, some fingernails. I know those because I ironed them last night…

Still ironing those, honestly. Will be tonight as well. I have no idea how far along I am. I’ve pulled flesh through the 900s, but haven’t ironed all the missing bits in there, back to the 200s, I think. Maybe the 300s. Quite a bit to go. Revised goal? Work as fast as fucking possible this week.

Kitten loves it when I leave these drawers open for her…

She’s still not eating much, but seems perky enough. Comes out for her meds anyway. Wants pets. Still eating pine needles, because that’s a thing. If I could make her food smell like that, maybe she’d eat more of it? Or is it the long stringy stick-like-ness of it? Who knows.

Oh yeah, I drew (and read my book) at the district conference. It made it more bearable…

Too many people. Even if there wasn’t COVID, I wouldn’t have enjoyed being in a space like that with that many people. Lots of bugs in the drawing though.

OK, need to get going, wake up, ready for a meeting with a lot more people, then a smaller meeting, then lunch out (because we don’t get to do that during the school year), then work my ass off in the classroom. I went up and down off the counters about a million times in the last two days, mostly thinking that the next time I’d have to do this…well, I could do it every year, but I’d rather not. So maybe this is it? I spent a lot of time telling myself to be careful and not fall off anything. Oh yeah, and the boards aren’t anywhere near done…I’m missing all the vocab and posters and big ideas and essential questions. For 8th grade, those will get filled in all year, because they flat-out don’t exist yet. So there’s that. Knowing that.

One of the baby owls keeps coming back and hanging out in that tree outside my office window at night. Screeches occasionally. I talk to it. Say hi, how are you, thanks for coming back. Probably it’s coming back for our mouse/rat population (which it is welcome to eat), not for my dulcet tones. I haven’t named it yet. Betty? Betty the Barn Owl? Eh.

Most important part of today…send a thought out to Simba…he’s being left alone all day for the first time in a long time.

Poor pup. OK. Wish me luck for the 2022-2023 school year. I think this is my 20th year teaching? Something like that. Or my 20th starts in February, because I was a mid-year start. Yup. Either way, it’s a lot.

The Right Headspace…

I’m up early. First day of training today. Training? I’ve spent a lot of mental space being irritated at needing 12 hours of training about teaching sex ed after 20 years of teaching it. And Friday’s ginormous conference when I really need time in my classroom. It doesn’t matter if I fret over it…I still have to do it, although one of my co-teachers yesterday suggested we take a sick day on Friday to miss the conference and then spend it in our classrooms, setting up, as a protest. Yeah. It would be a better use of my time. That said, I will have to spend some time at school this weekend, no matter what, so I’m getting my head around that as well. It will be air conditioned, unlike my house, so that will be the plus. Supposed to be hot this weekend…and today. Ugh. OK. Air conditioning today, as well, but also stuck in a chair for 6 hours, being fed unknown food (one of the things I dislike as a diabetic…not knowing where my next meal comes from or what it is), probably gonna have to do some role playing, so not in the mood. Such a positive attitude! I love the kid-learning part of my job. There are some parts I really dislike: multiple-day group trainings that are redundant, team-building exercises, rah-rah stuff that is supposed to get me all excited. Give me time to get ready. Give me the mental space for that. Introverts teach too, y’all.

Anyway. I’m also mourning the lack of time to make art that is coming as well. I will be glad to get paid though…which doesn’t happen for three more weeks. It’s been a financially long summer and I’m ready for that to ease up. The Man got a job! This should also help with money worries, significantly. All good. He hasn’t actually walked out the door and driven there yet and spent all day working and come back, but this is happening! So glad.

So my summer to-do list was crap. Well, I didn’t do much of it, for sure. Some summers I rock; some I don’t. To my credit, I did two book jobs this summer, one copyediting and one I’m still proofreading (almost done). So that didn’t help. I’m still trudging along on the new quilt, hoping I can meet the deadline (ironing when it’s hot out is difficult). The first thing I did was clean up. I forgot to take the requisite picture of all the fabric I needed to put away, piled up by color. But I did that. AND I cleaned the floor in here (that won’t happen again until probably Winter Break, realistically). And then I cleared out the Pile of Lost Pieces…

These are either pieces I lost and had already recut (they were put in the wrong bin, probably) or recut for color reasons (the little person shape and the big one at the bottom…both out of the wrong fabric color). I save them, just in case…but really, what for? So I cleaned that out.

Throwing things away is not my strong point. I also cleaned up the top of the washing machine, which had become a repository for shit, including all the big dog’s stuff from when she died in November (teaching kicks your ass cleaning-house-wise, man).

Then I sorted all the pieces after dinner…

Took me about an hour and a half.

Then I hung the drawing in my studio and set it up for ironing…

It’s not a large room and there are three tables and three bookshelves in here, not to mention lots of fabric storage. It’s a tight fit sometimes.

I started ironing to fabric on Monday night…

Honestly, it’s been a slow start…probably because I’m starting with three people and they all have a different run of fabric, which is a lot of choosing and making sense in the beginning. It takes me a while to get in the right headspace to pick fabrics.

Last night, I got through most of the three figures…just some eyeballs (missing one iris piece) and hair to go, and then I move on to the water, I think. There might be some fleshy bits on the big figure first. I won’t get to that until after dinner tonight, unfortunately. My goal is to be completely ironed by the end of this weekend. IDK if I can get there. It’s really hard to iron during the day when it’s hot in here. I get dizzy sometimes…there’s not a lot of air flow in here, so then I have to go sit under a fan (I run a fan in here but below the ironing board because otherwise the Wonder Under pieces would be flying all over, like a WU tornado, which would be problematic for losing pieces) and drink cold water and basically act like a fainting woman from Victorian times, but without a corset and big petticoats. I’m having an issue wearing pants and a bra today for the training…it’s too hot here for that level of clothing right now. I’ve been living in shorts and tank tops and that’s about it.

Ah well. I will iron tonight and it will be cooler then. I will also get rid of the hot clothing by then.

Monday night, we were visited by a beautiful moth…Kitten was fascinated…

So fascinated, she got her claw stuck in the screen. I think one of the other cats might have gone THROUGH the screen if they’d seen that.

And then last night, one of my babies came back to visit me!

The tree outside my studio. How do I know it’s one of the babies? Vocalizations are still very juvenile-like, feed-me sounds, instead of the single screech we get out of the parents. Also, it froze when I went out there. The adults just fly away. I was so happy to see it. I talked to it. It hung out for a while, because it was still out there, screeching away, when I went to bed. Big smiles. I know one is OK. (I also know it didn’t come back to see me…it’s OK…I’m probably pretty terrifying to a young owl.)

Got this picture from the boychild from last week’s fire near Yosemite…

He’s down near the bottom. That is one nasty slope. Glad it’s him and not me. I just deal with teenagers (and today, adults).

OK. So ‘learn’ sex ed today (I’ll let you know what’s changed since 7 years ago, the last training…actually, I don’t even think it’s been that long), go to an exercise class, I stupidly signed up to cook tonight (well I have to do it sometime), then ironing more body parts. All good. I think I get to do the Statue of Liberty next. I did her torch already. Will adjust mindset as I go.

Space for My Self…

I have two days of summer left. Then hours of training and prep and then we teach. We teach a lot. Not ready. Never ready. I think I could finally be in my classroom tomorrow. Maybe. But that would mean spending the last day of summer in there, and that seems like a bad plan mentally. Some wonder why I keep doing a job that causes so much stress; I probably don’t write enough about the amazing stuff, the thinking and learning and aha moments that happen in the classroom. The kids…the ones you get to, not the ones that drive you bonkers (although sometimes those end up being the same kids). Also, I hate to be bored, and it’s hard to be bored in this job, unless you’re in a staff meeting or professional development…sad, but true that those are mostly boring. I got through all four hours of online training. Also boring. Very repetitive and some of the questions are badly written. But it’s done. This week is two days of sex-ed training (yeah, really) and one day of district-wide meeting (ugh, lots of rah rah and whatever they think is important…last year was a hotel owner trying to tell us how to treat our customers…kind of irrelevant, but they hammered it all year, so I guess they thought it was important). I don’t mind an inspirational speaker…sometimes they are…I worry about the additional focus/work they want to throw at us. I don’t have it in me. My fault for working a goodly chunk of the summer…I had to, to pay the bills.

Anyway. It’s a start. Stop worrying about it and just do it. Find space for my self in between the work. That’s always the biggest challenge.

It’s been hot here, so quiltmaking has required a fan. I finished tracing the Wonder Under on Friday…

No help from Kitten there. Eight yards of Wonder Under approximately…

Almost 19 hours of tracing. Then I went to watch the Man play a show at the park…

Lots of little kids dancing, which is always funny to watch…

I drew a little…

I think there’s another drawing too. Didn’t take a picture of it.

Then Saturday, I started cutting out the Wonder Under…

I started at my quilt guild meeting, then came home and sat myself down with a fan blowing directly on me and started cutting. Bingewatching too.

The Man and I took a break; we’re dining out at fast-food restaurants until he gets a job (this was a particularly expensive fast-food place, if you ask me), but there was a lovely sunset going on…

Not sure I’d go back for the food though. It was OK, but expensive.

I cut a lot over the weekend…in fact, I cut all of it out in 9 hours and 20 minutes.

Later today, I’ll sort it into boxes by 100s, clean my office so I have room to start ironing, and then start picking fabrics. My goal is to have it all picked this week and hopefully start cutting. It should be about 18-20 hours to pick fabrics, so having three days of training and meetings is not particularly helpful. I hate sitting through meetings without something to do with my hands. It helps me think…but teacher trainers tend to think we’re not paying attention if we’re drawing or stitching or knitting or whatever. Which is idiotic. But hey, whatever. So I’ll need to get all that done AROUND the training stuff. PLUS get my room set up. Ha! There’s not much time for that next week. We have two days to prep, which would be enough if I didn’t have multiple meetings and an orientation (that’s new) that I have to attend. So probably I will need to go in over the weekend. Unpaid. We’ll see.

I’m also trying to finish the proofreading; I finished one readthrough and a check for headings, so now I’m on the second readthrough, which should be faster. I want it done before we go back to school. I’m motivated.

I got the photos back for the most recent piece, titled The Way Out

And found out last night it will be at the PHES Gallery as part of the Feminist Image Group’s exhibit Portals, opening September 11. The opening will be 2-5 PM on the 11th; hope to see you there. (51 ¼” w x 80 ½” h, $5997)

It’s nice to make something for a show and have it get in. So often, it doesn’t, which is fine…then I still have a piece I can show elsewhere. But it’s nice when it works.

Lots of cat action…best use of the exercise bike at the moment…

Kitten turned 14 last Thursday. She goes to the vet today for more tests. We have a definite gastro issue, but hopefully can just medicate. Been trying to keep her on food she doesn’t really like with a baby appetite.

I’m not sure the heat helps. She sleeps a lot. But she still races around sometimes like the kittens (who are going to be three this September and are definitely not kittens any more).

Nova begging for pets.

Her sister doesn’t like her any more for some reason. Sigh. Ah well. They all know how to get attention from us.

In barn owl news, the babies are gone…totally all of a sudden. On Thursday night, they were squawking out there all night like normal, and then Friday night, there was nothing. Saturday night, we heard a few screeches, but adult sounds, not the babies. Same with last night. I read online that the parents often chase them out, especially mom, when they are old enough to get food on their own. I’m hoping that’s what happened and not that a neighbor got annoyed and did something. It’s so weird…having seen and heard them so many nights to suddenly have them gone. I’m kind of verklempt. The last videos we have look like the adult checking inside the owl box (which I never saw the kidlets go in and out of) and swooping around. The night before, kids doing all the things.

OK, maybe a lot verklempt. Miss those annoying squawkers. In November or December, we’ll pull the box down and clean it out. Then hope for someone to come back next year…they should.

Right now, I’m locked in my office with Kitten and Simba while the Man does some online interviews. It’s warm in here and I need breakfast and a shower. Plus some proofreading time. I may just wait until he gets through all his stuff. I think there’s a phone interview after this. Stressful for all of us. Well, except Kitten. She’s sleeping through it all. So proofread…then clean in here. Then sort all the Wonder Under, pick a background fabric, and start ironing. Somewhere in there, go to the vet, plus make dinner. Not bad for a summer day.

Almost Traced…

Currently I’m eating breakfast, in a virtual science conference (Science Is Cool), drinking tea, waiting for the boychild to tell me when to go get gas and pick him up. I’m mostly awake, thanks to dog shenanigans. The little black and white cat that I’ve seen around the house was in the front entryway (outside) this morning, and Simba lost his mind. I’ve thought about trying to catch the cat, because it’s around a lot and we have coyotes, but IDK if it’s actually homeless or just wandering and very lucky that it hasn’t been eaten yet. Also can’t put food and traps out for that cat unless I’m willing to catch all the other animals out there, including whatever it is that’s eating tomatoes off my plant.

I traced for about 4 hours yesterday, and am now almost done. Which is good.

I had a Zoom meeting for about 2 hours of that after a school meeting that probably just increased my anxiety about this coming year. Ah well. So yes, I traced during Zoom.

Because there are some really big pieces in this piece, I’m having to use some big chunks of Wonder Under…

I don’t know how many yet…I’ve got about 150 pieces left to trace, and then I can count the yards.

I traced all those hours without taking any photos. I was focused on getting done. Staying up too late. Gotta get myself trained back on 10:30 bedtime and 6:30 wakeup. Ugh. My brain doesn’t like that, but it’s what it needs for school.

The girlchild left on Wednesday, but I got the requisite kid-plus-grandparents picture before that happened.

Boychild is probably in the county…was supposed to be home yesterday, but there were vehicular issues, so he’s coming in soon. I need to go get gas so I can actually pick him up. I’m also still proofreading; I made it through the first read, and then a second read for chapter titles and numbers. Gotta go all the way through for at least one more full read, maybe two. We’ll see.

Simba’s face when he can’t figure out why the boychild’s car is here and he isn’t.

Girlchild took a good picture of him before she left…

So much happier.

I found this praying mantis in the yard…

So cool. What else is cool? Kansas. Kansas is cool.

And with the huge-ass conference my district has planned for next Friday (2500 attendees), I throw this out there…

I spent 90 minutes last night doing Active Shooter Training…I got an 80% on the pretest (I feel like that should opt me out for the training, but whatever)…

It was their specific titles for things that kept me from 100%. It’s done now. I still have another hour or so of bloodborne pathogens, cybersecurity, integrated pest management, and mandated reporter training. I always try to have it done before school starts, which means yes, I am working before the year starts. I do actually have to do these trainings outside of work hours. I don’t get paid for those hours, but if I don’t do them, my pay gets docked. So that’s fun.

Anyway, so more caffeine. Take meds. Go get the boychild. Finish tracing. Proofread more. Go watch the Man’s band play tonight, hopefully with a sketchbook. Sleep more. Do the rest of the stupid trainings (they’re mostly the same every year; can’t pretest out, can’t skip ahead and take the posttest). Keep watching this conference (that’s cool, actually; currently talking about how to increase eyeballs on women in science so girls know they can do that). By tonight, hopefully I’ll be cutting out Wonder Under and moving on to the next step. And Simba will be sleeping in another bed, which will be good for both of us. I have less than a week before I have to be back at school. Not fun. But also, I’ll get a paycheck at the end of this month, finally. That will help. Right now though? Going to get the boychild.

More Magic

I’m not finishing this early today. Also WTF is up with the font, WordPress. It’s TINY. IDK if it will be TINY when it publishes, but it’s tiny while I’m typing. I just changed it, but it still looks wrong. I love it when tech stuff changes without any warning. I’m sure it’s on a blogpost somewhere, but I don’t have time to read those. I’m too busy reading fantasy fiction. Let’s be real…that fantasy stuff is what’s keeping me alive this summer. Real Life: hard, currently too warm, too many chores, not enough relaxation. Fantasy Life: Other people are doing the hard things, but they also are awesome at the things they do most of the time and the world is full of magic. I think I need more magic.

The girlchild leaves today. The boychild might be back tomorrow. Too bad they missed each other.

So I’m proofreading a fiction book at the moment. I don’t usually proofread. This is strange because the copyeditor was inconsistent with some stuff and I guess that means I have work to do, but also, it feels like I am reading another book (because I am). I will have to read it at least two more times though, so it probably won’t seem fun anymore. Which is OK, because I don’t usually get paid to read fiction. Maybe I should? I don’t know. Anyway, so I’m working every day, even though it’s break. Ah well. Need the money.

I’ve been pushing to get things done, though. On Monday, Mom and I finally finished the quilting on the bed quilt…

Yes, it’s rolled up. It needs to be trimmed (still thinking about how and where to do that) and bound. I was such a smart bunny in 2008 and bought enough of one fabric for the binding (thought I might have to piece it, but no). I’m gonna get to that next. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.

My other super goal is another art quilt done by the end of August. Might be totally impossible, due to the day job. But I’m trying. I’ve been tracing Wonder Under a lot…

That head is one giant piece covered in words. My biggest issue was running out of Wonder Under. I went to the local JoAnn (no S makes no Sense) and they were completely out, so I ordered online, but there were no shipping estimates (spoiled by Amazon, y’all). And I was sitting there yesterday, convinced I would run out, so I drove a long way to the next closest one, which was supposed to have 49 yards, according to the app. They were oh-so pleasant (not) but I eventually found 7 1/2 yards there and bought it, just to find out today that the full bolt should arrive today. Sigh. It’s fine.

I traced through 495 on Monday night…

Then started earlier last night (AND didn’t have to cook dinner, SCORE)…and made it to 792…

Definitely more than halfway. I was hoping to be done today, but it will be tomorrow. Then cut, then sort, then…damn, gotta go back to school and I don’t know that I can get away with trimming things at professional development crap. Unfortunately. I actually find it easier to think and pay attention when I am doing something with my hands at the same time. But the big people in charge find it a problem.

This is not the boychild, by the way.

Today will include a trip to the airport and to my parents’ house for the girlchild to say goodbye, so probably I won’t get as far on the tracing. Plus I’m still nursing an injured right arm…it was doing better, but I think my pilates class this morning did not help. Ah well.

Absolutely true…and might explain my need to make art.

This is also true…although I think it’s day 48 or something.

Also, my floor in my room at school is not done. At all. Nowhere close.

SO! First I will eat lunch (and read fantasy fiction), then proofread for a while, drive around with the girlchild as needed, then trace a million pieces. Dinner in there somewhere. Still not ready to deal with school (despite the texting and decisions and T-shirts and IDK what else). More caffeine too. That. And figure out this font thing with WordPress. So annoying. More magic. Would like that.

Adding to the Totals…

Today is officially the first day I usually think actively about going back to school. This year has been a clusterfuck for that. August 1 is also usually the day when I realize I’m going back to school soon and I blow off everything on the to-do list except art, because I realize how limited my time will be for that once school starts. It’s an odd place to be, mentally. Plus this year, I’m proofreading a book right now in the middle of that, and it’s something I want done before we go back. It takes time, though. So a little of that every day and a little of the to-do list every day and a little art every day.

I finished drawing the newest one…

Nice arm shadow there…taking pictures late at night on the floor. While I was trying to draw the last bit, Kitten gave it butt approval…

Then I numbered it…

I really tried to keep this simple. There’s so many things and details I didn’t add.

But then I covered two giant heads with words. I considered screenprinting them, but setting up a screen and getting that done in summer heat seemed like it would take longer than this. I’ve made quilts/fabric art in many different ways. For whatever reason, this method works the best for me. But simple? Not so much at 1359 pieces…

Could be worse, I guess. I do need to buy more Wonder Under today. Running low. Probably don’t have enough to finish this. I started tracing on Saturday, in between proofreading…

I’ve got over 3 hours in and hit the 300s last night. Not bad. Could be better.

Today, I’m finishing the quilting on the bed quilt…

We got to the bottom, but there are some areas near the top that need fill in, so that’s today. Then pull it off and put a binding on it! A miracle.

We had dinner at the parentals last night…girlchild cooked, which is always good…

I stitched a tiny bit on a Homegrown block that seems to never get done…

This week is the last full week of Summer Break. Sad but true. Next week is training and a super-spreader event. Should be painful. My desk here in the office still isn’t clean. I didn’t paint the hallway. My classroom is still having floors done so I can’t do anything in there. I have a preliminary calendar for the first few days of school for 8th grade; 7th grade is pretty stellar though. I did not clean out my closet. I didn’t plant the slope toward the neighbor’s house. I got some of the palm tree stuff off the backyard slope, but there’s a ton more. The trees are not trimmed. I did not clean out the garage. I did not get enough sleep. I didn’t exercise enough.

I did read 9 books. I did spend 116 hours doing most art (but some proofreading and copyediting in there). I finished one quilt. Not bad. I have a few more days to add to those totals. I seem to appreciate those last days as much as the first few…

If You’re Into It…

Hmm. Independence Day. I think that word does not mean what you think it means. Lots of people have always had issues with today…since it meant independence for some and not others. It seems worse this year, although for some, it is the same as before…not independent. 60 bullet wounds on a young black man in Ohio…seems unnecessary. And another shooting today in the Chicago area…so far, 6 are dead and many injured. Another one of those high-powered rifles no human really needs to own. It’s frustrating. It’s depressing. It’s disheartening. So yeah, not in the mood to celebrate anything today with a barbecue and a bunch of people. Not that I usually do that stuff…but even fireworks are irritating me at the moment…too many illegal fireworks locally, including on our street, setting off the Man’s car alarm. No fires so far, so that’s good, but sheesh. We have official fireworks…can’t you watch those? Oh no? You have to have your OWN fireworks. We are such a special country…I mean that oh so sarcastically.

I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night, and then got up early, so we could go hike in the mountains before it got too warm. It’s been days and days of too warm, so a few cooler days have been appreciated. No worries, it’ll be back to warm by the weekend.

So where are we at? It’s July. I’ve finished a bunch of embroidered and quilted pieces into objects that can be sold. I have two more to do and then I’ll put them all on Etsy and let you know. I finished cutting out all the pieces for the current quilt on Friday night…

putting in some solid hours Thursday and Friday…15 1/2 hours total of cutting things out. Then sorted on Saturday night in between a bunch of other stuff that included finally getting the last quilt photographed after embroidering two tiny snake eyeballs.

Sorting took just under an hour to do…

And now I’m ready to iron it down, but I decided to do some things that had to be sewn first…like all those embroidery finishes, and then I needed to put borders on a bed quilt I made for my own bed in 2008…well, it’s not a quilt yet. It was just a top that needed borders. Now it’s a top…

That needs a backing to be pieced (today probably) and then the batting gets here Wednesday and then sometime after that, we go to mom’s house and figure out how to short-arm quilt it. By ‘we’ I mean me and the quilt. And mom will help. Because she’s done it before and I haven’t. Because it’s a bed quilt and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Yes. It’s bright. And it has aliens all over it. I’m OK with that. Then I can put a binding on it and finish it 14 years after I started it.

Once the backing is pieced, I can start ironing the other one together, the actual art quilt. I tried drawing the next one last night but my brain is a fucked-up mess. I found a drawing I did back in November and I’m going to enlarge it, redraw some of it, and then add to it. For the next one. Yeah. I was going to look at some of the other deadlines, but hell…I’m just making what makes me feel better right now. Full of anger and sadness and political shit.

Sigh.

Yesterday, the boychild helped clean the roof off…too many leaves, plus rinsed the solar panels. I’m not sure if we have to do more than that.

Our solar production is up a bit today over yesterday, so that’s good. The next step would be to use soap and warm water and then rinse them off, and I don’t know that I can get him to go back up there and do that.

So back to the hike. We did Red-Tailed Roost and Agua Dulce, about 4.8 miles. It was pretty. There was some up, but not a lot. It was hot, but not that hot. We were there early, so that helped.

Neither of us had done this hike before…

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be back in the area to celebrate the Man’s birthday, which is this week.

There were lots of trees, although definitely a fairly recent burn up there. Looks like it was a controlled burn a few months ago, when I search it up online.

We saw a few bikes and a few hikers…pretty quiet for a holiday, but we got up there fairly early. The parking lot was filling up as we left…

It was nice to be out in nature.

Even with killer trees…

Didn’t spend a lot of time under that one…

So now I need a snack, a nap, and some time with my book…

Which is my idea of a holiday. Also, I’m wearing this…

My brother and SIL called and are dressed appropriately for the holiday as well in black and politically appropriate shirts. I was the only one in the family with a uterus shirt, shockingly. I debated between it and my ‘Up with the Matriarchy’ shirt…saving that one for jury duty, I guess. My SIL found an appropriately themed protest for the 4th…

She’s in Montana…which has good people. Much like we do here, although some days I wonder.

OK. So happy 4th if you’re into it. If you’re not, have a snack, a nap, and read your book. Dress appropriately. Make some art if you want. Or don’t. That’s my version of an independent day for this year.

Overreaching Authority…

My country is fucked. My country has gone backwards 50 years (or more). My country is in a morality war that doesn’t really track as morality (give birth, but we won’t make the man responsible for shit, and we won’t help you…especially if you are a child who was pressured, raped, or subjected to incest…then we are gonna screw you up forever). I’m not sure the quilt I’m currently working on (which was drawn before all this happened with Roe v Wade) is angry enough. Does angry art do anything? I don’t know. It funnels some of the anger out of me. Briefly. I currently have a bunch of addresses for the Supreme Court Justices who violated our rights. What was it that AOC said? That the Supreme Court overreached their authority in reversing Roe v Wade, and we should do as Lincoln did with the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves…”he ignored the gross overreach and abuse of power,” Time to pass some laws that the Supreme Court, which is NOT making choices for the people right now, can’t fuck with. Yeah. That. Or statewide, refuse to follow laws that will cause death, some of it in children. You’ve probably already seen cases where gynecological cancers can’t be treated because of abortion concerns, or when actual medical treatments that will save a woman’s life come up against this law, as in an ectopic pregnancy. It seems like it’s so simple…just don’t let abortion occur, but there are treatments that will save a woman’s life that might end the life of an embryo or fetus. Sometimes those hard choices need to be made. Not even talking about choice, bodily autonomy, even IUDs qualify as abortion in some states. I’m disheartened. But not giving up. Frustrated. Angry still. Probably won’t get over that. And I keep going through my artwork and finding more about human rights.

So it’s always hard to be working on a quilt that was really speaking to me in the beginning while something else grows in my head. I wasn’t thinking I’d have to do another one about abortion rights in the same year I finished My Body. My Choice. Silly me. Although as I was ironing Wonder Under to fabric the other night, those handmaids came back. Because they’re in this quilt. So I guess I never stop thinking about it. Anyway. I’m really close to the end. I’ve been doing about an hour or so of ironing Wonder Under to fabric each night…

And they all start to look the same…

I know I added some more greens and another blue fabric in there, plus some purples. I got to the head too, although I didn’t finish it. I’ve been cutting pieces out each night too, so the box never gets full, because I’m always working on emptying it. I cut stuff out while the Man and I watch our nightly show, so about 40 minutes or so a night.

Often the stuff I had ironed down the night before. So there’s progress. I have about 100 or so more pieces to iron down…the rest of her head (teeth, eyeballs, hair) and a few things I added at the last minute: the Uvalde kids and a COVID virion. Couldn’t leave them out. Almost done at 20 1/2 hours of ironing. I have 6 1/2 hours into the cutting-out portion, so probably another 5-10…can’t tell. Then I can start ironing it together.

While another drawing populates itself in my head. Not sure I can finish another one in time for my multiple deadlines on 8/1. Hmmm. Kinda depends on how many other things I’m doing. I’m still copyediting this book, hopefully done by Friday. I have another book I’m proofreading (somewhat easier and faster than a copyedit) in late July/early August. If I don’t get called for jury duty, I can get a lot done, but I’ve also been working on the yard, trying to do a little every day. It’s a lot. But it needs doing. I am reading and trying to deal with the heat and hopefully upping the exercise quotient and the eating-healthy quotient after the last few months of school fucking with that on a regular basis. We’ll see. Oh yeah, and since the courts are continuing to make really bad decisions, I’ve gotta pick an appropriate alternative religion to pray to at school…

Being an atheist makes this more difficult, but I guess I can be totally open about that at school now, since the ruling, right? OH! You mean it’s just Christianity that’s OK? WTF. Huh. That makes no sense. As usual.

OK. Work. Lots of it. Whether it’s on the computer, copyediting or school, in the yard, or with fabric, it’s what I do. Lots of it. With some reading and cups of tea to counteract the 90-degree temperatures here. Plus gotta get the crockpot going for dinner. Yeah. Getting on with it.

Just a Little Longer

Hey. It’s the last Monday of the school year. I feel like with just 4 and a bit days left that I might actually survive (actually briefly felt very ill this morning, so hopefully that was some sort of dream remnant). But I’m not positive about that survival shit yet. I’ll get there. But my grades aren’t done yet, so that’s fueling some level of panic. Plus I think I have three meetings today and then IDK how many more because people keep wanting meetings and I just want to crawl into bed, put my pillow over my head, and stay there until July.

Ah well. So in the artmaking realm, I finished cutting out all the Wonder Under on Friday night (a total of 9 hours and 15 minutes) and then sorted it…

Which doesn’t take very long…

Well, just under an hour for this quilt…

And then I realized to start ironing, I would need to clean up all the stuff from the last quilt, so Saturday night, after working most of the day, I made an attempt and got everything piled up by color…

And last night, after working most of the day again, could not muster the energy to go in there and start putting them away. Which is fine. I’m tired. I’m stressed. Cleaning is not one of my go-tos during those times. It will happen. Everything is ready for the next step of the quilt…except for me.

I spent most of the weekend grading. On Friday, I stayed late and graded all the late work and one last assignment for art…

Then Saturday, I started on the last of the science assignments…this was my seat most of the weekend…

Could be worse. Nova sat on the computer at some point and added to one kid’s assignment…

Undo! Undo! I probably graded for about 5 hours on Saturday. Took a break around 5 PM and walked the dog with the boychild, who is here until his dad tests negative or is 10 days out…

It was warm out…

We only did 2 miles. Then back to grading.

My Advisory class is all graded and done.

Luckily they occasionally make me laugh.

Sunday, I spent another 7 hours grading, with breaks in between to fold laundry and go to the grocery store. Ugh. I finished the science stuff and then had to grade the alternative assignments for the kids whose parents opt them out of sex ed. That was some level of torture. First, there are 17 of them (but two didn’t hand anything in, so that’s fun); second, about half didn’t read instructions and/or thought the instructions were “Copy everything from Google.” So I’m frustrated and irritated and need to change that assignment. In my spare time. We spend more time planning the beginning of the year. By the time we get to the end, we are brain dead and can’t deal. Hopefully we can do some backwards planning this year for next year.

Am I done? No, I’m not fucking done. I still need to input final grades and behavior and effort and all that crazy shit. Hopefully I will have a prep period today, because there are three meetings and I want to come home and collapse (after buying cat food).

My quilt guild is doing a UFO finishing challenge, luckily starting in the summer this time instead of in January. Teachers need a chunk of time to finish brainless stuff like this…I put this on my list last year and didn’t finish it. It only needs quilting and a binding. Wouldn’t take long. This is Sue Spargo’s Bird Dance, which I stitched on for years at soccer games.

This one is a new finish on the embroidery…needs to be sandwiched, quilted, and bound, but it’s smaller than the other one…this is Sue Spargo’s Chirp.

I guess you can see what my hobby stitching of choice is. Totally different from what I normally make.

Then in 2008, I started making a quilt for my bed. I know! WTH. I got the top done, minus the borders…

It’s all alien fabrics, super bright. It would make me happy to finish it and put it on my bed. But I need to learn how to use mom’s longarm for this. I could do it on the regular machine, but it would be a pain. I even have the border and backing fabrics, so I just need time. I already called mom, and she’s in. So those three. No worries. Lots of brainless for a while.

Well hopefully I will be done with grades before I get home tonight, and I can just read my book. Because it’s due Thursday and I don’t want to wait until it’s ready for me again to finish it. So I need to read a little faster. Or more. Something. One day at a time. I’ve been one-daying it for about 2 months now. Just a little longer.