7 Quick Takes: Good Things In the Midst of COVID-19 Edition

7 Quick Takes

Here in Washington, we are under a shelter-in-place order until Holy Week, and it will likely get extended until the COVID-19 situation is resolved. (45’s plan to reopen things for Easter isn’t going to happen in these parts. Even if things did, I’m not resuming a normal life until *ACTUAL* epidemiologists recommend it, not a failed businessman and reality star.) I was already under a more restrictive shelter-in-place than existed before the one in Washington went into effect, so this was nothing new. Since I could probably enumerate the ways this situation stinks, I thought I would turn that on its head and talk about some *GOOD* things that are coming of this.

— 1 —

I’m developing an entirely new skill set. I had used Zoom twice before March 11th when I had to suddenly become a power user for work. I had never done a live post on Facebook until March 15th. I am now teaching people how to use both, and I am contributing to putting my church’s worship service online from home. (I had to make the decision not to be there in person to record last Saturday, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it was a struggle to make the decision and I cried my eyes out because it was *ONE MORE* life-giving thing being taken away from me.)

This Sunday, I get to be the “cyber verger” and do all the cueing, embedding, and unmuting when we do worship over Zoom.

— 2 —

I’m rediscovering the beauty of Compline. Our bishop has requested that we not hold corporate worship through Easter (and we are complying because a.) we listen to the bishop, and b.) the shelter-in-place order from Governor Inslee prohibits it), so I asked my priest if I could do Compline on the church Facebook page as a way of creating community and praying together even though we’re physically scattered. He enthusiastically gave me his blessing, so I have been doing it on weeknights at 8:30 p.m. It is my favorite of the Daily Offices in the Book of Common Prayer, so it is been fun to get to do it. I accidentally recorded it on my Facebook wall on Tuesday night, which might not have been a bad thing because one of my college friends from Intervarsity joined me. 🙂

— 3 —

I am getting a lot of reading done. While I do read a lot, it tends to be online things. Being “bored” has meant that I spend a chunk of my day reading on my bed with Minion on the panther trap I have for him. (It’s a quilt that he tends to appropriate from me.) I just finished Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (finally!!!), and I plan to start another book tonight.

— 4 —

I’m having dinner with my parents more often. We don’t eat together as a family often because my parents and I are usually doing our own thing at night, and Daniel obviously is fed by pump. (We still encourage him to join us at the table for some milk or Cheerios.) We have managed to eat dinner together twice this week, which is nice. Dad was making hamburgers for him and my mom on Sunday, so I joined them with a “tuna burger” as my mom put it. (I am pesco-vegetarian for Lent and Dad has been keeping up a steady supply of tuna for me.) Last night, I made lasagna (because I wanted lasagna, darn it!) and they joined me for that. (I currently have 7 servings of lasagna frozen for me in the chest freezer in the garage so that I can vary my diet a bit.)

— 5 —

I’m blessed with an amazing resource in Daniel’s teacher. Daniel’s teacher is researching every possible classroom management program out there so that all of her kiddos have at least one that works well for them. We are going to be using one called ClassDojo for Daniel as well as Google Classroom because that is what the school district wants to use. I am really thankful that she is so dedicated to her students!

— 6 —

I am not having to hang out in waiting rooms and exam rooms with Daniel. Daniel’s specialists through Seattle Children’s and our pediatrician up here have been willing to do phone appointments so that we don’t have to go there. It isn’t that bad of a trek to Everett where Daniel would have had a G-I appointment last Friday, but it still meant that I did not have to be up at 6 to leave by 7 for Daniel’s x-ray and 8:00 appointment.

— 7 —

I am appreciating Max Lucado’s “Coronavirus Check-in” videos. Max Lucado is one of the few evangelicals that doesn’t make me want to stab things. His books are lovely, and he has been putting out videos almost every day on his YouTube channel and on Facebook where he is checking in, giving a short pep talk, praying for people, and inviting people to submit their prayer requests so that others can pray for them. It’s totally not something normally on my radar, but I came across this video on Facebook and have been sharing it all over the place:

People were ripping Max apart in the comments, but it is a beautiful video because it is so true. God can deal with our frustrations, and Max encourages us to have a meltdown if we need it… but to not stay there and to come back to a place of praise, using parts of the third chapter of Lamentations as an example.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Living In The Midst of “The Walking Dead” Edition

7 Quick Takes

This blog’s official troll accused me of exaggerating and going to extremes after reading one of my posts where I called them out for some dangerous opinions they hold regarding some infectious diseases. It’s too bad that science backs me up and disproves what they have to say.

Sucks to be you, Elena.

Oh… I also cite REAL ACCURATE SOURCES WITH REAL ACCURATE NUMBERS in this post. Click on by me if you want to believe the hysteria in the media.

— 1 —

The title. Some of you know that I live in western Washington. This part of the state is where all the COVID-19 cases are. (There aren’t any west of Grant or Kittitas counties, so it is currently really just in the western 1/2-2/3 of the state.) King County is the most populous county in the state and has the largest city, Seattle. Thus, this is where the bulk of the cases are. We have the highest number of cases in the country (568) as well as the highest death toll (37). With all K-12 schools having to switch to remote learning for 6+ weeks, the colleges that are having to go to distance learning for the rest of the year, and all the restrictions on public events, it seems like we’re in the midst of an episode of “The Walking Dead” here.

— 2 —

Where to get your information. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and the president isn’t helping with this. (For those who are wondering what I’m talking about, he has made some off-the-cuff remarks that contradict what the CDC and others run by medical professionals have said about it.) Here’s a list of places to go for accurate information:

World Health Organization
CDC
-Your state’s department of health/board of health (mine)
-Your county’s board of health/department of health (mine)

All of the above have medical professionals who specialize in infectious diseases reporting on this and making recommendations.

— 3 —

The math on this. It has been reported that COVID-19 is ten times more deadly than the seasonal flu. This is correct. The seasonal flu has a fatality rate of around 0.1% (1 out of 1,000) people. COVID-19’s fatality rate is around 1% (1 in 100 people). It is skewed a little bit here in Washington state because most of the fatal cases are from nursing homes, one specific nursing home in particular.

For more data on this in a beautiful and easy-to-follow format, click here.

— 4 —

How to protect yourself. This might come as a surprise, but the easiest way to protect your self is…

WASH YOUR FREAKING HANDS.

Wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap. Wash them like you just finished eating Thai food with your hands and you need to remove your contacts. Wash them like you just shook hands with the politician you hate most. Say a Hail Mary while you wash your hands. Wash them when you get back to your house after being out in public.

If you need something to say or sing while washing them other than “Happy Birthday”, you can make your own hand-washing poster using this site. Here is one with part of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. There’s also a list of hymns you can sing.

Wash your hands Jabberwocky-style.
Praise the Lord and wash your hands.

Also, stay home if you’re sick and don’t touch your face.

— 5 —

Telecommuting. My college had to close down all sites this week for disinfection after a positive case at a nursing home where CNA students and instructors were doing clinicals. (The staff and students were on campus last week, so the school legally needed to neutralize the risk.) Cue everything including tutoring having to be switched up to remote instruction this week! I’ve been tutoring over Zoom since yesterday, and it’s kind of a cool way to do all of this. My student(s) can share their screen with me, which makes it a whole lot easier for me to point out errors and get “down and dirty” with my Accounting students who work through an online application.

Minion even decided to “help” yesterday, so I was cuddling him during my one-on-one session with a student. Silly panther!

— 6 —

Social distancing. I completely understand the need for social distancing. We stand to overwhelm our health care system unless we flatten the curve in terms of risk. Still, it’s hard to have so many things like church cancelled. Physical touch isn’t even my primary love language, and I’m missing being hugged.

Nadia Bolz-Weber had a really good take on this:

Pandemic of disappointment.

— 7 —

Faith in the time of COVID-19. If you’re like me, Sunday worship/Mass has been cancelled diocese-wide. My church is coming up with ways to livestream worship and post the basics on our website, but for the Catholics out there who are in dioceses like the Archdiocese of Seattle where everything is cancelled, here are some options courtesy of my local Blessed is She folks:

Daily TV Mass
Act of Spiritual Communion

I used to watch a lot of Heart of the Nation when we lived in Galt and going to church with Daniel was a no-go for reasons.

The archbishop of Seattle is also livestreaming Mass on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT. Your local dioceses might have similar options.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: World’s Strictest Parents Edition

7 Quick Takes

One of the YouTube channels I watch frequently is World’s Strictest Parents. I can’t remember how I found it, but it has been enlightening in so many ways. Here are a few of my favorite episodes. I do want to warn you, however, that there is foul language and some adult situations involved, so be judicious about watching with your kids.

— 1 —

— 2 —

— 3 —

— 4 —

— 5 —

— 6 —

— 7 —

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: YouTube Channel Edition

7 Quick Takes

I thought I’d share some of my favorite YouTube channels with you.

— 1 —

SixBlindKids SixBlindKids is quite literally a family with six blind kids. 🙂 They have a biological son who is older and sighted, Joe (the dad) has a son from a previous marriage, and the rest of the kiddos were adopted overseas from various countries except for one who was adopted domestically. Most of the younger six have at least one other issue (autism, CP, intellectual disabilities, etc.), and all but one are young adults now. They are the coolest people and it’s amazing to see how they do things. The episode posted today is them wandering the Homesteaders of America 2019 Conference.

— 2 —

World’s Strictest Parents. World’s Strictest Parents is a 10+ year TV show in which unruly teenagers from various countries are sent to families with strict parents to learn what it is like to live in a strict family with rules and boundaries. The American version used to be broadcast on CMT. Every Saturday, they have a full episode from one of the international versions.

— 3 —

Megan Fox Unlocked. Megan Fox is a Mennonite millenial mom with two precious kids in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I love watching her videos because she’s interesting, she’s always really upbeat and positive, and she’s great about answering questions based on her life.

— 4 —

Lynette Yoder. Lynette Yoder grew up Amish until she was a teenager when her ENTIRE CHURCH went Mennonite. She grew up in Ohio and Canada, but she now lives in Florida. I love watching her videos to learn about sewing, food, homemaking, and Mennonite life. She was one of Megan Fox’s inspirations in starting a YouTube channel, and the two of them did a collaboration this year!

— 5 —

Vinteheiro. Lord Vinteheiro is a Brazilian pianist. I can identify a lot more classical music that isn’t by my favorite composers after watching some of his videos. What impresses me is that he plays while staring sideways at the camera… which involves an insane amount of muscle memory!

— 6 —

Talking Kitty Cat. Sylvester is a snarky black kitty cat whose human puts voices and words in his mouth. He reminds me of someone, but I can’t think of who…

— 7 —

la harpe de melodie. This is the channel of a harpist who was a doctoral music student at USC. (I found out who she actually is online, but I am not linking her by name as she does not attach her name to her YouTube site.) I love her channel for lots of early music and folk music.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: “What’s Next?” Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m graduating tonight with my AAS in both of the Office and Business Technology degrees from Skagit Valley College, and I have a lot of people asking “what’s next?” when I see them. So… this is my list of things that are coming up:

— 1 —

Appointments. Daniel has a psychiatrist appointment in Seattle tomorrow, and we are going to be grilling the doctor on what we can do because he has been crazy this week. Next week, I have a therapy appointment on Monday and Daniel has a couple on Wednesday. I just called and got a bunch of stuff set up and the calendar is looking a little crazy.

— 2 —

Adulting. The last three years have been crazy with the divorce and school, so I have some adult and legal appointments happening in July to get everything squared away before I’m working full-time.

— 3 —

Possible surgery. There’s a hysterectomy in the somewhat near future for me. My surgical consult appointment keeps getting moved, so I have no clue when.

— 4 —

Biobehavioral Therapy for Daniel. We’re apparently at the top of the list now, so it might be in July or August? We’re hoping it’s late July because we need some tools for parenting and working with this kid. Autism tends to throw all the normal kid rules out and his developmental issues mean that I have a 3-4 year old in a 10 year old’s body.

— 5 —

Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m aiming for 50,000 words of a story written in July. I’m sorting out plot stuff and working with characters right now. It’s something creative my brain can do now that it isn’t full of Accounting or Microsoft Office things.

— 6 —

Family time. My nephew turns 1 this weekend, we have another family thing next weekend, and we’ll be headed to the pioneer cemetery to bury Grandma at some point this summer. I’ll definitely be seeing a lot of family members and I am actually pretty excited about it.

— 7 —

Look for jobs. My resume is up on a few sites and we’ll see what shakes out this summer.

— Bonus —

Here is a picture of me in all my graduation regalia with my honor cords, tassel, and medals. I was also eligible for a stole from Phi Theta Kappa, but I did not get it ordered in time.

Me in graduation regalia with honor cord, tassel, and medal.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: June 11, 2019

For Today… June 11, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the 70’s. I was working on homework, so I was inside all day.

I am thinking… about my assignment due as well as my final for Document Production.

I am thankful… that I will be done with school completely as soon as this final is over. As much as I love my program and classes, I am ready to be done with my degrees and to find work.

One of my favorite things… club soda. It is helping to deal with avoiding Coca-Cola.

I am wearing… charcoal heather shirt from Old Navy and capri pajama bottoms from Target.

I am creating… formatted documents.

I am watching… Forged in Fire reruns on On Demand.

I am hoping… Daniel sleeps through the night tonight. He’s been having issues going to sleep and/or waking up super early.

I am learning… about the Mediterranean diet. I’ll probably move toward meal-planning it through this summer.

In my kitchen… pesto quinoa.

In the school room… Daniel has six days left.

Post Script… Captain Awkward, an interesting advice column.

Shared Quote… “Jesus did not simply die to save us from our sins; Jesus lived to save us from our sins. His life and teachings show us the way to liberation. But you can’t fit all that on a bumper sticker. So we try to boil it down to a formula. Four steps. The “Romans Road.” John 3:16. And yet the gospel itself, in its eternal scope and scandalous particularity, defies reduction.” — Rachel Held Evans

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Almost Done Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Portfolio. I got my Portfolio back during my exit interview today. I got a perfect score on it… obviously. (I am motherfreaking Hermione, biotch!)

Title page

By the way, I made the background from scratch… and used it on my table of contents and all my divider pages.

— 2 —

Exit interview. My exit interview was today and was 30 minutes of shooting the breeze with my department chairs. I ended up with a 99 in my Final Project class (and yes, I am flipping out mentally about that point I lost because it was a stupid proofreading error I made on my reflection paper), so yay!

— 3 —

My Document Production class. I still hate Document Production and my instructor was laughing at me today when I told her. I hate it because I lose points for stupid things like extra spaces that will not be visible in the printed copy (or even when I turn off non-printing characters), and I told her that her favorite saying (“read all the words, not just the ones you like”) is completely true. The instruction I miss is something small in a margin or a couple of words in the midst of a huge paragraph.

— 4 —

What’s next after graduation? I have to chase down some therapy stuff for Daniel this summer and there is a possible hysterectomy on the horizon for me, so I can’t job hunt just yet. I’m looking for an accounting assistant or accounting paraprofessional position, so I’m keeping my ears open for now and seeing what comes up. I’ll also put my resume on GlassDoor and InDeed.

— 5 —

Comparison. I’ve had people ask if this is harder than my college degree and the answer is “not even close”. I have a 95 or above in all but two of my classes. I can’t say that this happened in more than a handful of my BA classes because the work expected of me was so much harder. I did my BA in three years, but unlike my AAS degrees at Skagit, it was three VERY full years. I was full-time EVERY quarter, if not more than a full load.

My MTS classes were all A’s, but that’s because it was a very specific area in which it was all my strengths.

— 6 —

A new show for y’all. Now that Game of Thrones is over and the writers did a horrible thing to Daenerys (she should have been queen and they know it!), y’all need to be watching Forged in Fire and learn how all those cool swords and knives were made. Seriously, it’s a fun show (and yes, I’m watching it while I blog) and I’ve learned a lot about an area of craftsmanship that is not my own.

— 7 —

Chucks. I was hoping to get myself a pair of Converse Chucks for the first time ever… and found out when I went to my local shoe store that my feet are too wide for Converse shoes. There was a pair that might have worked, but it still felt tight and like it would give me blisters. I was bummed, but I did end up buying shoes that worked better for me.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum who is talking about writing her book.