7 Quick Takes: Thankful Edition

7 Quick Takes

I decided to come back from my hiatus early and let you all know the things for which I am giving thanks this year.

Blah blah blah Amazon links are affiliate ones blah blah blah.

— 1 —

I’m thankful the election is over. Holy polarization, Batman! This election season was functionally 8 years long. The 2012 election bled into the 2016 one… which then bled into this one. I’m also so thankful that the election went in my favor! I have a good governor who has worked tirelessly to protect the people of Washington, and the idiot running against him would have been horrible for the state. I get my amazing Congresscritter again, and let’s not even go into how happy I am that Joe Biden won the election.

You know what’s making me even happier? Not having to deal with the “rolling Trump rally” idiots driving around, creating traffic hazards, and giving me a headache from their honking. I wonder if they even know how much they made people want to vote for Biden instead!

— 2 —

I’m thankful for teachers. Homeschoolng Daniel is my idea of hell, so I’m grateful that someone else is doing the planning while I just have to make sure he stays on task. His teacher, therapists, and aide love him, and they make an absolute effort to try and reach him. I can’t wait until he can go back to school, but I’m happy that we can at least keep his education moving until the vaccine is ready.

— 3 —

I’m thankful that I have a job right now. One of the good things about my job is that it can be done online. Because of this, I was able to work this summer for the first time since Daniel was a baby. Winter Quarter will also be online, so I have job security for the time being.

— 4 —

I’m thankful for businesses that are trying to keep their employees and customers safe. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the pandemic where I live, so I appreciate that my grocery store is limiting the number of people inside, that my favorite restaurants are on DoorDash or Munchie Dude so food can be delivered, and that other places have curbside pick up for food and retail goods. People in my area have been patient with the restrictions that we currently have, and that made it easier to deal with the line to get in the store on Thanksgiving Eve to pick up Daniel’s meds and a few last-minute things.

— 5 —

I’m thankful for my family. I’ve been stuck in the house with them for eight months, and we haven’t managed to kill each other yet. The grown-ups are also eating together every night, so I think my parents have a better idea of what I do for a living and what I have on my figurative plate because we talk about our days at dinner.

We also were able to have some socially distant porch visits this summer with some extended family. For Thanksgiving, we made dinner-to-go for my bachelor uncle, and he was able to come over and pick it up. (He brought us a pumpkin spice cheesecake from 5b’s Bakery in exchange.)

— 6 —

I’m thankful for my church. We haven’t been able to have in-person worship for eight months, so we’ve done worship over Facebook Live and then Zoom. Granted, I’m the one doing all the tech and web work for it, but people are being patient with tech malfunctions for the most part, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Our Vestry is also trying to make sure people get called every week and checked on because it can be lonely and we have an older congregation. Our choir has put together virtual anthems, and we’re working on finding ways to do worship without being allowed to sing. (This is why we can’t sing.) We did a survey of people this summer, and nobody wants to go back to in-person worship until the county hits Phase 4 and there is a vaccine available. We obviously didn’t get to do Easter in-person, and we are making plans for Midnight Mass over Zoom.

— 7 —

I’m thankful for my NOOK. I’ve re-read and gotten caught up on one series of murder mysteries, and I am almost done with the “Witchnapped in Westerham” books.

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

November Hiatus

After sobbing my eyes out for four hours in a panic attack instead of sleeping last night, I’ve decided to start my November hiatus early. I have a project for church that needs to be done by the day before Advent starts, I have a kid who is reacting to pandemic stress by hitting things (and who has done damage to the house), I have students who are needing a lot of me this quarter, and I need to step away from blogging to conserve my spoons for those things.

Oh yeah, there’s also the fact that a spitefulness and meanness entered politics 10 years ago with the start of the Tea Party movement, and I’ve felt nastiness present in every election since, starting with the 2012 election which had an “us vs. THEM” feel to it, especially as a Protestant in the Catholic blogosphere. 2016’s election was positively mean-spirited and hateful, and the incumbent in the White House has perpetuated that spiteful meanness into his reign. It has felt like the 2016 election has been extended for 4 extra years, and I honestly don’t feel like dealing with people who want to vote for someone who is a bully and who wants to take away programs that are a lifeline for people like me. I’m exhausted, y’all, and I can’t deal with discussions of politics anymore. I voted the second my ballot landed in my mailbox, my ballot has been processed already (because I live in a state that votes by mail and tracks ballots on a website), and I don’t feel like I should have to deal with it any longer.

I plan to spend Election Night eating teriyaki and sushi from my favorite Japanese takeout place via DoorDash and watching “Forged in Fire” reruns instead of checking election returns every 5 minutes or listening to blathering on it from various commentators who are going to make it as dramatic as possible.

Comments are closed because none of this is up for discussion or debate! If you need to get in touch with me, use the Contact Me page.

7 Quick Takes: Schadenfreude, Politics, and Fun Read-Alouds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Schadenfreude. One of my Facebook friends posted this, and I felt like it described how a lot of us are feeling right now. We’ve had to deal with months of quarantining ourselves to protect our families, wearing masks to protect ourselves and others, and doing what we were told only to be called sheep, have people mock us, and have to watch people having screaming hissy fits about their “rights” (which are not actually rights enshrined in the Constitution) at Costco. Then, we’re told to “have compassion” when we point out (politely, of course) that actions have consequences.

Yeah, we’re not the ones with the compassion problem, y’all.

Schadenfreude is a bitch.

— 2 —

Mocking Trump. I had a migraine on Friday, so I didn’t get on Facebook that night. When I did finally look at it, it seemed like all my super conservative friends were complaining about people rejoicing over Trump testing positive for COVID. OK… I scrolled through Facebook for an hour and a half and saw a grand total of THREE memes even having to do with Trump and COVID. Only one person on my Facebook is celebrating this at all, and the vast majority are talking about how weird this feels because they’ve been bullied by Trump and his more vocal followers about taking steps to protect themselves, and then they’re told to be nice when Trump, Melania, multiple senators, and multiple high-profile White House staff test positive.

Y’all, this is what I saw:

[+] Joe Biden pulling his attack ads the second Trump’s positive test was announced, expressing healing wishes for him and Melania, and forbidding his staff to post on social media about Trump’s illness… right after Trump’s campaign sent out some pretty foul statements about him, which people screenshotted.. (Biden’s actions are what we call “leadership”.)

[+] Barack Obama expressing his desire for healing for Trump, Melania, and all who were sick.

[+] Faith leaders of mainline (translation: “liberal”) Christian denominations instructing their followers to pray for Trump and Melania on Sunday regardless of our political stance because it’s what Christians do. (Michael Curry, my fabulous Presiding Bishop, was among them.)

[+] Conspiracy theories in the comments sections on the Facebook walls of my super conservative friends about how this was a plot to get Amy Coney Barrett, Trump, and others sick at the ceremony for her so that she can’t be confirmed. Never mind the fact that Amy has already had it, and the people who got sick were the ones not wearing masks. (Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.)

I’m sure there were people being vitriolic on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t keep people like that around me.

— 3 —

Vice-presidential debate. I didn’t watch the debate–I loathe Mike Pence, and Kamala Harris was my attorney general in California for five years. She’s probably a bit more liberal than I am, but she knows her stuff and would be an excellent vice-president.

Having said that, I understand from my friends on Facebook and Twitter that the winner of the debate last night was the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head while he was mansplaining racial relations to Harris (who happens to be of Jamaican and Indian descent).

— 4 —

Virtual debate. Even if I didn’t support Joe Biden, I would be in full agreement with his decision not to take part in an in-person debate until Trump’s COVID-19 is gone. I mean, it’s common sense that you don’t share a stage with someone who has a disease that is incredibly communicable.

I’m also pretty aghast at Trump’s joyride this weekend that put his Secret Service detail at risk as well as the doctors at Walter Reed letting him out. I’m seriously prone to bronchitis and pneumonia, so I can tell you that even with steroids, he’s not feeling that great. He’s probably having coughing spasms hard enough to make him vomit, and he’s at risk for complications due to age and obesity.

— 5 —

Remote learning update. Our local school district is allowing a few new groups of students to be in-person at school, but we’re still keeping my kiddo home. School has been pretty boring this week as we’ve been keeping a pretty consistent schedule, so nothing new to report there.

— 6 —

Bobcats! The Wildcat Sanctuary is rescuing two bobcats from a rehabber in California, so their media person and a caretaker are currently on the way back to Minnesota with them. They’re live-posting at various intervals on the drive back to Minnesota, and it has been interesting to see their route as I’ve driven a lot of that route before. (The difference is that they’re taking I-70 instead of I-80, which is the route Jon and I took 16 years ago.)

— 7 —

Fun read-aloud video. Nope. Totally not dancing along to the music. Never. I also love that Pete is a cat walking along with Chucks on all four paws!

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

7 Quick Takes: Politics, Tigers, and Gordon Lightfoot Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Amy Coney Barrett. I oppose having confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett before the election takes place. If Mitch McConnell refused to allow hearings for Merrick Garland 8-9 months before the 2016 election, it is hypocritical as heck to try and shoehorn this into the 6 weeks before the election this year.

I oppose her nomination for several reasons. She has been a judge for less than three years (she was elevated by Trump in 2017), and I disagree with her record regarding the Affordable Care Act among other decisions.

You see what I wrote above? THAT is how you disagree faithfully. No name-calling involved and any criticism was focused on people’s ACTIONS and their record instead of their personal life.

— 2 —

The debate on Monday. I’ve known who I would be voting for since the day after the 2016 election, so I skipped the debate on Monday. According to people I know who watched it, it was brutal, and Chuck Wallace did a horrible job of keeping order. The most interesting commentary came from some of my stalwart Republican friends on Facebook… who had nothing good to say about Trump’s performance and are thinking of voting for Biden.

I’m currently reading the fact-check on the debate from the New York Times (which doesn’t go easy on either candidate) and it is convincing me that I’m better off not watching next Wednesday’s debate, given how much of a dumpster fire this one was!

**UPDATE** Trump and Melania have tested positive for COVID, so I don’t think there will be a debate on Wednesday unless it can be done over Zoom or something.

— 3 —

Tiger-Thon! The Wildcat Sanctuary (my favorite charity) is having a Tiger-Thon to raise money for the care of their cats. For the last week, they’ve had a triple match for their fundraising, and it all culminated today with lots of live Facebook posts with all of their tigers. The videos are here in case you have any kids who have a deep and abiding need to watch tiger videos. 🙂 (I recommend checking out Daisy, a.k.a. Crazy Daisy.)

— 4 —

An educational opportunity. Daniel had an ADHD appointment of yesterday, and we opted to do it in person in case they could do his flu shot while we were there. (They don’t have their supply in yet, so we’re on a waiting list.) Our medical system in town is a site for medical school rotations at an osteopathix medical school in Yakima, so Daniel’s pediatrician asked if I’d be OK with her student sitting in. My answer is always “yes!” so we had a sweet young lady hanging out with us. My little flirt kept his mask on without a problem from the time we were about to walk in the building until we were back in the car, and he also sat down calmly and looked at his pediatrician sweetly to let her know he was ready for her to check him over. (We have her take a listen to him and also check ears, mouth, and tummy whenever we’re there for ADHD appointments because Daniel can’t articulate pain.)

Other than Daniel being extra cute and happy to see his pediatrician, I had the blessing of being able to educate the medical student on Daniel’s g-tube and how that works in terms of getting the formula for it, what the process was like to get it, how Daniel does with it, how we change it out, and also what Daniel’s genetic issues are that contribute. I think the student had just taken her boards this summer, so it was kind of cool for her to actually see a few conditions that are not super common.

— 5 —

Remote learning update. We’re still chugging along with Zoom school. Daniel’s paraprofessional is using songs from Laurie Berkner to keep him engaged, so I now have We Are the Dinosaurs, Drive My Car, and her version of The Cat Came Back stuck in my head. (That last one is wonderful because we do school downstairs where my dad watches TV… and my dad hates that song with a passion. :))

— 6 —

The bishop’s visit. Despite Zoom cutting out recording and Facebook being pissy about streaming, worship on Sunday with the bishop went well. There were maybe 30 people total in the sanctuary between everyone at the altar, the families of those being baptized/comfirmed/received, and we managed to broadcast the special music in the sanctuary as well as on Zoom. The bishop even joined us for coffee hour, which was cool because we were able to have actual conversations with him.

— 7 —

Because Gordon Lightfoot! I grew up listening to Gordon Lightfoot and my mom recently found a documentary on him on YouTube. As a result, a lot of his less known (to me) songs have been playing in her room lately, and this is one that I am now addicted to.

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

7 Quick Takes: Jen Is Not (Really) Cranky Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Owie. I did have to have a tooth extracted last Friday–one of my back molars. I’m on Day 6 since extraction and it’s still achy. I probably have a dry socket, so I’ll have to go soak a black tea bag when I’m done and stuff it back into that spot.

— 2 —

New addiction. There’s a game called Word Collect available on Google Play and it’s pretty addictive. I started playing less than a week ago, and I’m already up to Level 505! I even have a word unscrambler open on my laptop in case I get stuck.

— 3 —

Stormy. We had decent wind and downpours yesterday, which was fun to watch as I was sitting and working at my desk. We are supposed to have a high wind warning tonight, so I’ll probably close the window after my room cools down a bit. There’s weather to the east of us on the Olympic Peninsula and in the San Juan’s, so we might have some decent weather around the time I fall asleep.

— 4 —

Update on the virtual choir piece. We just got the mixed version back, and it turned out incredibly well. It’s not perfect or like it would be in real life, but it’s pretty darn good considering that we’re recording it in 9 different places, one of the people doing so from across the state. It should go over well this weekend when we have the bishop with us for worship. (He will be doing his episcopal visit on Sunday.) There are a few baptisms, two girls being confirmed, the reception of some new members, and the commissioning of a parish health worker for Resurrección. (For those who are new to my blog, my church shares a priest and facilities with La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrección, a Spanish-speaking mission congregation. We do bilingual worship together on the 5th Sunday of the month, and we have a big to-do together when the bishop comes to hang out.) It’s going to be the first time the Eucharist has been celebrated inside the sanctuary in months and the number of people allowed to attend in person will be severely restricted. I’m trying to sort out how to do certain things for the live stream because we’ll have the virtual choir anthem as well as the Offertory being played on both Zoom and in the sanctuary simultaneously. I need to have a discussion with our video and sound people and perhaps give out passwords and permissions to be allowed to access the church’s Google Drive. It should be… interesting.

— 5 —

Back to work. Classes started this week. I’m kind of a strange tutor because I can really tutor any humanities class, most human services classes, a lot of social science classes, some basic math classes, and (of course) all the accounting/Microsoft classes in my department. This means I’ve been getting texts from my new boss asking if I can tutor certain niche classes like Business Law because I do a lot of tutoring in the business classes. (My answer, by the way, was “no” because it would require purchasing the book and having to do a lot of unpaid learning in my spare time.) Still, it’s nice to be useful in strange ways.

— 6 —

Remote learning update. We’re continuing with Zoom school for Daniel. His paraprofessional has found some YouTube videos that he likes, including one where a Pete the Cat story is being read. His teacher, therapists, and paraprofessional adore him. After watching what they do, I’m standing pretty firm in the belief that they don’t get paid nearly enough for what they do.

— 7 —

Birthday! Kelly, our hostess with the mostest, has a birthday this weekend. Go wish her a happy birthday and read her list of 42 things about her!

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

7 Quick Takes: Morning Tube Feed Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been really busy this week, so I’m grabbing some time this morning while Daniel has his hour-long tube feed this morning before Zoom school There may or may not be Amazon affiliate links because that’s how I roll.

— 1 —

Remote learning update #1. Let me just say that I wish with every fiber of my being that Daniel could go to school and be in a normal classroom environment because that is where he thrives. I wish that coronavirus wasn’t a death sentence for everyone in this house, and I envy all of you who live in a place where COVID is either not deadly, doesn’t exist, or where you can be willfully in denial of its existence. In-person school is an option for Daniel if we want it due to his special needs, but we’ve had cases of COVID spreading in schools in Washington, so we’re having to keep him quarantined. Kiddo is sensory-seeking at the moment, which means he wants to hit me and will make the effort to reach over and do it while working. (Autism is an [expletive] joy.) He’s also in a fake sneezing/coughing and spitting phase at the moment, so I don’t want to be within 10 feet of him, given that I landed in the hospital with pneumonia and sepsis last year from him fake sneezing on me. (Fake sneezing or coughing releases droplets and causes me to douse myself in Germ-X because my isolation room was pretty sucky.) It was so bad yesterday that his paraprofessional told me to move away out of his reach and just let him do what he needed to do. She blessedly sang silly songs and read a story to him so I could get out of arms reach and try to hold myself together so I wouldn’t cry.

Let’s just say that anyone who tells me how wonderful homeschooling is or attempts to tell me how to “fix” things will be dealt with harshly, especially if it’s coming from a parent who has neurotypical kids. My kid is not like yours, and you have no freaking clue what you are talking about. (Comments about an autism/ MMR vaccine link will get you banned because we believe in actual *SCIENCE* on this blog, and we don’t support idiots like Andrew Wakefield or Bob Sears who falsify results or commit gross malfeasance resulting in their medical licenses being pulled.)

— 2 —

Really? I got a survey from the “Trump Make America Great Campaign” yesterday. (I’d like to extend both of my middle fingers to whoever put me on that mailing list. Most people aren’t heinous enough to put someone’s name and address on a political mailing list like that.)

Fear not, y’all! I filled out the survey and gave him lots of “constructive criticism” and suggestions for improvement before letting him and his campaign know that I was making a nice donation to Joe Biden in their honor. I even decorated the envelope! (I usually just recycle the mailings like this that I get from the Democratic campaigns because I get them in email form as well… which I delete because I write enough letters to my Congresscritters.) I even repurposed Trump’s fundraising letter and the outer envelope as charcoal starter. 😀

Envelope 1

Envelope 2

Moral of the story: don’t send me junk mail on a day that is making me want to take up cobra-kissing.

— 3 —

Virtual choir. Our bishop is making an Episcopal visit to us on September 27th for baptisms, confirmations, and stuff like that. We’re putting together a virtual choir video of the anthem below, and I got my video portion of it done last night… after 20 takes because I’m unnerved about singing acapella by myself and I’m a severe perfectionist.

— 4 —

Mammogram. I hit the big 4-0 in May and I’m on birth control pills to help with my menopause, so I had to get my first mammogram this year. (I was going to go on my birthday, but COVID happened.) I’ve had people tell me how horrifically painful they are, so I was a little nervous before they started. Yeah, it was seriously a 1 or 2 on the 1-10 pain scale. (I realize that everyone has a different body and a different pain threshold.) My chest was a little tender afterward, but it was *NOTHING* compared to the pain of a pelvic exam/pap smear/pelvic ultrasound for me. (Those are easily a 7 out of 10 for me for reasons I’d prefer not to share for me, and I am incredibly thankful to be done with them permanently.)

Y’all, do your preventative screenings, even if it’s painful. I still did my well-woman exam at all the appropriate intervals, even though it was excruciating. It beats having cancer for sure!

— 5 —

Remote learning update #2. The little monster came up to me when his feed was done and said “school”. That’s progress, I guess?

— 6 —

Smoke. We’re getting smoke from all the fires in the Pacific Northwest. It’s not as bad today as it has been, but I’m not allowed to be outside for more than a few minutes without a respirator. I did a porch visit with family members on Saturday, and I won a few days of breathing treatments because I’m special like that. Woo. We’re supposed to get some thunderstorms today, and I’m hoping that the lightning doesn’t spark any fires.

— 7 —

Argh. I’m on the phone with Social Security currently (a necessary evil), and I have a dentist appointment today where they’ll likely be removing a tooth. Gotta love inhaler and ice-chewing damage!

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

7 Quick Takes: Late to Post Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Fatigue. My meds have been off this week, so I have been nauseated, having mood swings, and am achey all over. I haven’t had a fibro flare-up like this in a while, so it has been unpleasant to say the least.

— 2 —

Duolingo. I finished the Arabic skill tree on Duolingo a month or so ago, and I have been fighting to keep my streak going as I return to learning Spanish and reviewing French. I might have to start reviewing Arabic to get my language-learning mojo back so that I can really improve my Spanish. I have no idea why Arabic had me so gung-ho and Spanish doesn’t. Maybe it’s because Spanish is for work and not for me?

— 3 —

Zoom school. Circle time from 9:00-9:30 over Zoom is chaotic enough that I’ve had to bring other work to do downstairs with me and just make sure Daniel doesn’t run away from his school Chromebook. Otherwise, the chaos makes me ponder taking up rattlesnake-cuddling as a hobby. It’s also hard because Daniel is already apraxic and speaks super softly because I think he’s kind of shell-shocked at the intensity of circle time and all the kids talking.

— 4 —

What is working. One of the teachers got Daniel a BoomLearning account, and it has been wonderful. We can share screen on Zoom and work with his paraprofessional that way. He seems to like it, especially the math stuff, and I think it will work out really well for him as he doesn’t want to do workbook stuff.

— 5 —

Wildfires. The entire freaking West Coast is on fire. Smoke is hitting us in Washington, and I am banned by my family from going outside without a respirator on because of my crappy lungs. Woo. Just in case you’re denying climate change, IT’S WHAT IS CAUSING THESE FIRES TO BE SO BAD.

— 6 —

Election. Is anyone else wishing the election was over? Just me?

— 7 —

What is saving me. I’m re-reading all the Cackleberry Club mysteries by Laura Childs. I guess cozy murder mysteries are my catnip?

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