It’s Tuesday the 15th and I was trying to come up with a way to describe how I’m feeling right now and it came to me that I feel like one of those plate spinners you see at the carnival. These are going to be written between now at Thursday night at 9:59 p.m. (the minute before the link-up goes live) and some of them might be pretty long.
— 1 —
#LiveLikeRick My friend Rick Stilwell was killed in a car accident on Friday morning. I spent most of Friday afternoon in a ball of shock until the weeping hit and I needed to get out of the house. I ended up at Starbucks because of the free wi-fi… which was perfect because Rick was a Starbucks junkie before he went local. I had a latté in his honor and tried to blog and journal everything out of my brain.
His public memorial service was livestreamed this afternoon and I watched it balled under a comforter. There are now some praise and worship songs that I will not be able to listen to for a while because they were sung there and it was totally the way Rick would have wanted it. He was all about community and connecting people which is why the people there (and the 100 of us watching on UStream) knew him in so many different ways. They had some of his action figures on the podium which was also fitting because he posted lots of Instagram pics of them.
It’s been an interesting grieving process because in the 10 years I’ve known him we have:
-talked by phone twice
-IM’ed a bunch
-tweeted/emailed a bunch
-never met in person
Yes… we’ve never met in person but he was as much of a part of my life as if he had lived down the street from me. When my insurance company decided to not pay for anything related to my ovarian cyst, he sent me a small check (I think it was $50 or $100) which took care of the ER doctor’s bill. In 2003, he got me through the ELCA denying me candidacy. He told me that “regardless of what others say, your call is never revoked (romans 11:29). i pray you find the direction over/around this bump in the road. really appreciate your heart and sensitivity being displayed here… as always, when dealing with denominational leaders, don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.” I think he now knows that he was right and my call to ministry looks radically different than anything of which the ELCA could have conceived. In 2004, he read through me ranting and screaming in an entry, leaving me the comment “read it all – still here. many prayers, much love and hopefulness to you all the way up in the tundra…”. He then took an hour out of his weekend to call me and make sure I was OK. When Twitter came on the scene, he signed up immediately and when his wife got an account, they used it as their personal texting service, even tweeting each other while sitting in the same room and getting all mushy.
If you want to know more about him, do two things: watch the video of his public memorial service and read 1 John 1:3. Seriously, when I met Rick, his blog and AIM name were “rick1j13″.
— 2 —
The Far Above Rubies Project. I’m going to have a series of posts starting February 1st on verses from Proverbs 31. I’m looking for women bloggers from all across the spectrum of Christianity so if you’re interested, please comment and let me know.
— 3 —
Forty to Forever. Brett is going to be part of a fundraiser this Lent called Forty Days to Forever. The idea is to raise $500 for forty kids and families that are adopting. Kara’s Nico is also part of it. I’m trying to put together a gift basket for a giveaway and I’ve also done the applications to be part of it. Right now, I’m figuring out the social media aspect of publicizing it and inviting people. With what hit on Friday for me, I felt like my head was spinning this weekend. Go to the website to learn more. Meanwhile, click on Brett’s picture to go check out his profile.
— 4 —
Fundraising for Kaia. Putting together fundraising for Kaia has been interesting.
-I’m pondering a bottle challenge (filling up a juice or sports drink bottle with spare change) for April but I fear it would come too close to Easter and the Lenten challenge already going on for Brett and some of the other Reece’s Rainbow kids so I may aim it for August which is her birthday month.
-I’m crocheting 7×7″ squares of black and variegated yarns to put together into a “stained glass” blanket. My thought is that it will probably be auctioned off around November in time for Christmas shopping. I’ll have to come up with a Rafflecopter giveaway or something.
-Mandi, bless her heart, has offered to help if I want to put together an auction. This might be a possibility as well.
— 5 —
Abnormal weather in California. I’m totally aware that the rest of the nation is howling with laughter at California because we’re whining about temperatures down in the 20′s in the morning and in the low 50′s during the day. (That was a Chinook winds day in Montana when I lived there.) There is some deserved ribbing of southern Californians because anything under 60F is scary. However, if you consider that one of our industries is citrus and this is a big time for it, you might understand why people are flipping out about the temperatures. In some cases (i.e. mandarins), a bit of a freeze is good because it increases sweetness but in other cases, orange grove owners are lighting bonfires to warm their fruit.
— 6 —
The bear child. Daniel lasted about 10 minutes at preschool today (Wednesday the 16th) before we were called to bring him home because of explosive diarrhea. He wasn’t running a temperature but something was definitely up because he felt hot to me. I ended up changing him into shorts because his pull-on pants were in the laundry shed and I was too
cold lazy to go get them. He’ll be out of school on Thursday as well until we can get his lower GI back to normal. We’re doing the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesause, and toast) with him and it seems to be helping. He’s also extra cuddly because he’s not feeling well and I was actually kind of hoping he would go down for a nap in my lap today. No luck in that area but he woke up in his pack n’ play very grumpy so after a diaper change, he was tucked into the recliner with me under a comforter with his blankie (this child gives Linus a run for his money), a sippy cup with Pedialyte, and some Cheerios. God willing, he’ll be back to school on Friday.
— 7 —
Gun control. Most of my blog readers are too young to remember the 101 California Street shootings or maybe it didn’t register in your part of the country. A gunman burst into the Petit & Martin law firm and opened fire, killing 9 people and wounding 6. Among the dead were Jody Sposato, a young mother, and Michael Scully who shoved his wife under a desk and died shielding her with his body. The killing, at the time, was horrific and it inspired some legal and legislative measures that led to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, H.R.3355, 103rd Congress (1994) which took effect in 1994. The Federal Assault Weapon ban was part of it and the whole thing expired on September 13, 2004 through a sunset provision. I remember being livid in 2004 that it wasn’t renewed/reauthorized/whatever the term because I remember watching the people streaming out of the building and people being wheeled out on gurneys on TV. That kind of thing makes an impression on a 13 year old. In doing research on this act so I could sound reasonably well-versed, I discovered that it was actually written by then-senator Joe Biden. Interesting how history repeats itself now that Vice President Biden was in charge of coming up with policies after the Sandy Hook shootings?
Lest someone decide to call me a “lib”/claim that I have a skewed understanding of the 2nd Amendment/claim I hate the NRA, I should point out that George H.W. Bush resigned from the NRA in 1995 because they were being lunatics. The NRA is engaging in fear-mongering of the worst nature and claiming that the regulations proposed by Biden mean that the administration wants to take our guns. They’re talking about arming teachers as a solution to preventing school shootings which is ludicrous. Why do I say this? Let’s look at a recent school shooting case that happened last week in Taft, California. Instead of breaking out a weapon and shooting the student that had entered the class with a shotgun and had already shot one student, teacher Ryan Heber talked the student shooter into putting the gun down. A situation that could have resulted in 3 deaths ended with nobody dead and only one student critically injured. That would not have happened had the teacher been armed and forced to fire.
I’m taking a rare political stand here and asking that people divorce their hatred of the administration and actually focus on what is being asked here. The banning of weapons that belong on a battlefield and the ammo to go with them is what is being proposed, not the seizure of the rifle someone uses to go deer hunting or the pistol used in target practice. I’m asking as a fellow American, a sister in Christ, and someone who almost lost her twin brother in a planned school shooting — please put aside your political biases and reject the fear-mongering of the NRA and let’s work to fix the gun laws in the land. I would be the first to protest if the administration does anything unduly rash.
— Bonus —
Flu shot and vaccinations in general. I know that some of my readers are anti-vax and there are times I have had to bite my tongue as people talk about the dangers of them, the use of stem cells from aborted babies used in some of them, etc. As someone who is immunosuppressed from asthma and an auto-immune disorder and as the mother of an immunosuppressed child, I am asking you to please get your flu shot. Yes, it’s only a 62% effectiveness but as Leah explains in her piece, it means you are 62% less likely to have severe complications. It is also beneficial in our society to have “herd” immunity which protects the elderly and people like me and Daniel. Because we vaccinate at a fairly high level, we don’t have diseases like polio, measles, or diptheria which ravage the Third World. If you don’t believe me, I’d be more than happy to direct you to an office of a company whose work is outsourced to India where it is quite probable that at least one person has a deformed limb from polio or who has had a family member die of a disease that we don’t think twice about here. I *know* at least two of these people.
So please, get your flu shot. I will thank you, Daniel will thank you, and Paula, whose daughter just got a liver transplant and is super-immunosuppressed, will thank you.
For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com. Say a prayer for her as well as she’s dealing with double pulmonary emboli while pregnant.