What I would like to do eventually is have this kind of thing posted weekly.
[+] A week after I posted my last update, I slipped on ice and ended up with scrapes, bruises, and a sprained wrist. It was absolutely irritating because I was having to do things effectively one-handed for a week and a half.
[+] I was hoping to have the socks done for my parish’s OPOP releasing friend (who is being released in two days), but the cuff ended up being too small on sock #2. I brought stuff with me to work on at the college today, but the hook in my bag broke. Argh.
[+] It’s finals week, so everything is quiet at work today. We are supposed to be transitioning to having close to a full slate of classes on campus, but we’ll see how that goes. We’re also trying to have offices open 5 days a week, so it will be interesting to see how the staff manage that.
[+] My latest music find has been The Longest Johns. There are many that I like, but I’ll share the three that are currently making me happy.
Gah. I’ve had some facial congestion in the last week, and Mom asked me yesterday if I was going to be able to go to Urgent Care and get my sinus infection taken care of. I told her that it was just allergies and that I would get some Robitussin DM at the store. Well, I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so uncomfortable, so I ended up clearing my morning and heading to Urgent Care. Unsurprisingly, it was a sinus infection, and they also tested me for COVID because my chronic conditions manifest symptoms of it.
More? I had just left Urgent Care when I got a call from Daniel’s school to let me know that Daniel was in the health room with a cough and needing to go home. If he stops coughing, he can go back on Monday. We got him tested for COVID out of an abundance of caution, and they got his results back to us within 20 minutes. (His was an antigen test, and mine was PCR.)
Canceled plans. My brother and nephew were supposed to come and visit us this weekend, but they are also dealing with coughs and having to get COVID tests. Mom and Dad might go down to see them on Monday if their tests come back negative.
*squees*Kelly, our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest, had her book come out today. There’s a video of her doing a Q&A, a giveaway, recipes for a drink and a snack, and other Quick Takes folks. Run not walk to your nearest bookstore (brick and mortar or online) to get a copy.
It made my day. When I was going to pick up Daniel, his teacher and aide were both telling me how much they enjoy having Daniel in class, and they seem pretty smitten with him. This warms my mama heart because he loves going to school.
Nick Rolovich. Nick Rolovich, the coach for the Washington State University football team, is vocally unvaccinated, and he could potentially lose his job over it because he is subject to the same state vaccine mandate that I am because we’re both in education. The Seattle Times was discussing every aspect of this on Monday because it was the last day people could get the J&J vaccine and not be fired. Nobody said anything about him getting the shot, so the theory is that he is applying for a medical or religious exemption.
My take: fire him if he doesn’t comply. He has a very public job, and he could basically wipe out the football season for the university if he gives COVID to the players. The Delta variant is nasty and much more contagious than the COVID we were dealing with 18 months ago.
Head’s up! This came up in a thread on Nextdoor.Com, and I thought it was worth mentioning. A third of COVID cases don’t produce any antibodies, so your natural immunity may not exist. Also, unvaccinated people are twice as likely to contract COVID than those who are vaccinated, so you’ve also got that risk.
First day back on campus. I had my first drop-in tutoring shift back on campus on Tuesday. It was surreal to say the least. There are definitely fewer people, everyone is masked up, and there are lots of plexiglass boundaries to keep people separate when using the computers in front of the enrollment office. The door to my drop-in room was open when I got there, but it ended up autolocking later… which meant that I accidentally locked the people out who were joining me an hour into my shift. Oops! The security guard letting them in was one I know, and he laughed at me.
Once they got in, they let me know what the opening protocols were… which was good because apparently, we don’t have a paper with the list on it. I think I’ll have to rectify that…
Full load. One of the other tutors who handles Communications has moved on, leaving me as the only one doing it this quarter. In fact, I’m the only one doing Accounting, Office/Business Technology (only 2 classes left as the department shut down in June and these classes are general education ones), Human Services, Communications, Sociology, and pretty much any class in the Humanities. I’ve been booked solid since last week. I have more work hours than I’m supposed to have, but there’s nobody else to cover the requests.
If nothing else, I’m putting my interdisciplinary B.A. and part of my Master’s degree to good use!
Working together. For a couple of the classes, I’m double booked where I have two students sharing a time slot. The first session of that went far better than I could have imagined, and it turns out that the students have multiple classes together. It’s a win-win because they get a study buddy, my boss satisfies two tutoring requests without adding excess hours (at least in those cases), and I get to listen and learn from the discussion.
Seeing old friends. I’ve got two students assigned to me that have been part of the program I serve since before the pandemic, and I am SOOOO excited to see them again. I would absolutely enjoy curling up in my ivory tower and doing Accounting spreadsheets, but these two are part of the way things used to be for me and I *REALLY* missed my students.
I also have my first Human Services student back with me this quarter for an OBT class, so I am positively jazzed to get to work with her again. She and I absolutely clicked during the first full quarter I was working only online, and I’ve missed her the past few quarters.
Ummm… yeah. We were going to start doing live choir again… and then the Delta variant decided to dopeslap the country. After Daniel had the potential exposure and I had to get tested, emails started flying between the members of the choir, and the decision was made to do virtual anthems for the near future. I haven’t actually looked at the music or my part for the one I have to get recorded by Saturday night, but I’ve been singing the hymn (Siyahamba) for 20+ years in Zulu, English, and Spanish, so I think I’ll be OK. 🙂 (Don’t tell my choir director!)
Oh hey, another devotional book project! Because I hate myself and I clearly am not doing mearly enough right now, I have a devotional book project in process that was put on my heart by God during the week Daniel was quarantined and the two of us were taking a drive in the car to preserve our collective sanity.
Retroactie prayers for my ability not to overextend myself would be appreciated. Please and thank you!
My YouTube consumption. So what do I watch when I’m this overextended? How about people with tats and piercings doing snake surgery and puppeting deformed reticulated pythons with an attitude! (Probably not safe for work or children or people who are spooked by snakes.)
Really??? I got a text and an email from Daniel’s school on Friday to let me know that Daniel may have been exposed to COVID. Well, crap! We had Daniel mask up in the house until we could figure out what to do. My brother has been through this a few times with my nephew’s daycare, and he told us that we didn’t need to mask up Daniel in the house. (Kiddo was pissed at having to wear his mask in the house at first, but he adjusted and even fell asleep in it.) I also had to stay home from church on Sunday, which pissed me off because my former choir director was there to get to say goodbye to all of us, and I missed the special dinner with her as well.
We learned on Tuesday that they were shutting his class down for at least a week, and he would be able to return to school on Monday (the 13th) as long as he wasn’t manifesting symptoms because he’s vaccinated. My choir director asked me to get tested (since the choir with the cluster cases is local to us), so I did. (They even let me tickle my own brain!) Unsurprisingly, my test was negative. Props to Skagit County Public Health. I went home after getting tested and hopped in the shower. My test results were back by the time I got out of the shower. It was ~20 minute turnaround.
My brother’s response was the best:
Love how someone’s personal choice just became your problem.
Sigh… A church friend of mine had a coworker who was a diehard anti-vaxxer and Trump supporter. He would bait me on my friend’s wall, so I blocked him on Facebook.
A week and a half ago, my church friend asked me to pray for this coworker because he was in the ICU with COVID. He deteriorated over the next week, and they removed him from life support on Monday. He leaves a wife and a daughter who was a complete daddy’s girl. He was in his late 40’s.
Y’all, I’m not posting on vaccination and urging you to get vaccinated because I want to debate you on the subject or because it’s a political thing. This person’s death could have been prevented if he had been vaccinated. He would have gotten really sick, but he wouldn’t have ended up on a ventilator. I’m legitimately sad about his death because it did *NOT* have to happen.
Eff cancer. My friend Mellora’s husband Matt was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, and he ended up in the ER on August 30th with a collapsed lung. His condition worsened and he was put on hospice yesterday. He died that night. He leaves Mellora and their two daughters. He was my age.
Please keep Mellora, her daughters, and all who knew and loved Matt in your prayers.
Music take #4. As I was out with Daniel today and pondering all that was going on this week, this hymn came to mind. It’s Brian Doerkson’s arrangement of “It Is Well With My Soul”. His dad sings with him starting on verse 2. I sang this hymn to Daniel in the NICU and in the PICU during the hospitalization 10 1/2 years when we almost lost him. It’s absolutely my favorite hymn.
Vaccination mandate. I know people are probably going to be up in arms about this in their Quick Takes, and my position is probably not going to be popular.
I have an employer that requires vaccination, and I live in a state where the governor (thankfully) requires it of all medical and education workers. I would honestly not be comfortable having Daniel in a class with an unvaccinated teacher, and I’m hoping the 6th graders in his class can be vaccinated soon as well to cut down on the chances of him bringing it home. I would refuse to be treated by a doctor or dentist who wasn’t vaccinated because of the need to be close to each other for check-ups and treatment. Large employers are going to have people in close proximity when they go back to the office, so it makes sense that they be vaccinated.
As I said above, I’m not pushing vaccination as a political talking point. The Delta variant doesn’t discriminate between Republicans and Democrats. These variants are going to keep developing until people are vaccinated and COVID stops being endemic. I’m saying all of these things because I really do care about my blog readers, and I don’t want y’all ending up on ventilators and making your family deal with funeral arrangements.
Those who know me on Facebook know that Daniel started back to school in person yesterday. He is fully vaccinated and the school requires masks for everyone (no exceptions), so we felt comfortable letting him go this fall. He is in the 7th grade at a local middle school.
Here is what happened in the last few days before he started back to school as well as the first day.
Sunday afternoon. Remember that Daniel has to have pill bottles for any medication that is going to school with him. Call the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist nicely if they can be made. Make plans to pick them up on Monday afternoon.
Tuesday afternoon. Talk to school nurse while driving on errands. Discover that doctor’s orders need to be written in order to medicate Daniel at school. Doh! Accept the nurse’s offer to call the pediatrician and get the process started. Come home and start laundry.
Wednesday morning. Wake up a few minutes before my phone alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. Tiptoe downstairs to see I could get down there without waking up Daniel. Hand Daniel the spoon with the peanut butter and his meds when he comes down a few minutes after me. Grab his formula bolus out of the fridge. Help him change his training pants. Tell him that he is going to school on the bus today. Hand him clothes. Hook him up to his tube feed.
Go downstairs. Make his lunch and put it in his backpack. Go back upstairs and watch YouTube until his feeding pump beeps. Take him downstairs to get his socks and shoes on. Take pictures with him for the first day of school.
See bus arrive at the bottom of the driveway and start to leave 20 seconds later. Run outside barefoot to flag down bus in the cul-de-sac. Get kid on the bus. Go back in the house. Change into clean jammies and go back to bed.
Wednesday midday. Toss clothes on. Head to the grocery store. Grab peanut butter. Grab latté and turkey pesto panini from Starbucks. Head to middle school. Try to figure out how to get into the building. Discover that I’m at a building for elementary school next door. (The back door of the cafeteria was open and the lunch staff pointed me in the right direction.) Head to correct building and get buzzed into office. Get directed to the health room. Introduce myself to nurse on duty. Show her pill bottles and get peanut butter on the spoon while she pages Daniel down to the health room. Introduce myself to his teacher. Medicate child with pills and peanut butter. Fix hearing aid falling out of Daniel’s ear and give the teacher an impromptu lesson on hearing aid placement.
Head to the pediatrician’s office. Discover that I-5 is a parking lot due to someone on foot on the freeway. Take surface route instead. Get screened at the door of the medical building and shoot the breeze with the screener about how public places are too “people-y”. Commiserate on irritation at anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. Show ID to the receptionist and get doctor’s orders for Daniel to receive his meds at school.
Head to ACE Hardware store. Look for Smudge and Biscuit, the tuxedo cats who own the store. Fail to find them. Get hearing aid batteries. Shoot the breeze with the clerk about my dad who claims to hate cats but brings toys for the ACE Hardware kitties. Write an email to deaf/hard-of-hearing teacher to thank him for changing the batteries that morning.
Head back to the school. Park in the correct place this time. Sign and go over orders with the school nurse. Head home to stare at a wall until Daniel gets home.
Wednesday afternoon. Head downstairs around the time Daniel’s bus is supposed to arrive. Sit on the arm of the love seat in front of the window and wait. Play Township on my phone. See the bus coming and open the door for Daniel. Offer him food but plan to follow him upstairs when he declines. Check backpack before going upstairs. Put thermos and leftover perishable items from his lunch box in the refrigerator. Grab a packet of paperwork and take it upstairs to complete.
The sound of COVID. Not gonna lie. This video unnerved me because I’ve lived in a PICU with Daniel for days and spent time in the NICU. Those alarms start going off when bad things are happening. I remember being in the ER with pneumonia and sepsis two years ago, and a low oxygen alarm went off for someone (I think a baby or young child) a few bays down. My mom saw the look on my face (which I had think had even lost the small amount of color it had), and she had to convince me that Daniel was home asleep with my dad because I was about to have another panic attack from my brain going to all the times that those alarms had sounded for Daniel.
Y’all, stop putting doctors and nurses through this foolishness. GET YOURSELF VACCINATED.
Thankful for my Snuggie. My parents are having a new roof put on the house, so I’ve had to be up and dressed earlier than usual. For some odd reason, I’m having a really hard time staying warm, so I have been really appreciating the Snuggie I got for myself a few years ago after my former mother-in-law gave my old one to Goodwill.
I’ve also learned that I can nap through anything if I’m tired enough because I’ve had people outside my (second floor) window and on the roof above me pounding, and I’ve slept through it.
Changing my perspective. I saw this story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and I’m having to confront my feelings on the subject.
Basically, there are a bunch of bells along a route called the “El Camino Real” that stretches from northern California down to San Diego. Franciscan missions were built along that route in the 18th century, and it was a big freaking deal to learn about them in 4th grade, build one, and visit one. History is a passion of mine, so having a piece of history removed is kind of painful.
However, the indigenous people in California had their culture, language, and land removed when the Spanish Franciscans and settlers arrived. They forced them to build the missions under the guise of Christianizing them. Probably 1/3 of the people died during that time, and seeing those bells is like making a black person look at statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate heroes while being told of how glorious the antebellum South was.
As someone who cheered when the Confederate statues came down in town squares and were removed from government buildings (including the U.S. Capitol), I need to remember that the history of the missions is just as problematic. The bells can go. The mission buildings are still there (many of them still are used as churches and chapels), and there are amazing things called “books” that tell their various histories.
This isn’t me trying to appear “woke”. This is me being honest about something that has been on my mind today.
Oops! I was going through this site to see how I had classified my current blog header, and I saw that I was still listing my age as 39 and Daniel’s age as 12. Oops! I’m now 41 years old, and Daniel turned 12 in April. I think I’ll go audit the rest of my pages when I finish these takes…
Vaccine discernment from a fellow blogger. I want to call out Bonnie Engstrom and thank her for being very transparent about the discernment she has gone through on the subject of getting her COVID vaccination. The series from her Instagram stories from a few days ago isn’t archived yet, but she was asking about who people trust regarding media sources and politicians because it’s really super hard to figure these things out if you don’t have a science background. (Science also evolves over time, so information and recommendations for safety precautions have changed as we have learned more about the virus and its variants.)
Throw some prayers her way because her kids have hand, foot, and mouth disease and their air-conditioning isn’t working. It was 100+ F where she lives a few days ago, and it was 92F in the house. 🙁
We found out two weeks ago that there would indeed be a mask and vaccine mandate on campus, and both staff and students would have to sign attestations about being vaccinated before the first day of Fall Quarter on September 20th. Last week, Washington’s governor (Jay Inslee) announced that all health workers and pretty much every person working in education in the state of Washington are required to be vaccinated and submit proof of it to their employers by October 18th. (Not an attestation. ACTUAL PROOF. There are exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but no philosophical ones.) There is also an indoor mask requirement for the entire state again that went into effect on Monday.
I am positively *GIDDY* and am waiting to find out how to submit my proof of vaccination so that I can get that out of the way. I’m thankful to have a governor who cares about the safety of the people in his state, and I’m thankful to work for a college that takes all of this seriously.
I’m at the point where I have no chill left, and I’m calling out all of you reading this who are being difficult about masking up and who are refusing to get vaccinated because you just don’t want to. (Spare me your anecdotes and stories about the friend of a friend you read about on the Internet. Having COVID once does not offer sufficient protection, and I don’t care about the studies you send me unless they have been peer-reviewed by experts in epidemiology.)
If you don’t want to hear what I think of you, feel free to skip this post.
Masks. Y’all, I’m not fond of having to wear a mask everywhere. I’m not fond of my singer’s mask giving me hot flashes on Sunday morning. However, the Delta variant of COVID is hitting the country super hard, and I’m in favor of protecting the people around me. So…
And wear your mask properly WITH YOUR NOSE COVERED!
For all of you howling about YOUR RIGHTS, here’s some wisdom:
Regarding the “we don’t know what’s in the vaccine” stupidity… I have a few thoughts.
Apologies for the profanity in this one.
One of my friends also pointed out on Facebook that the people making this claim about the vaccine somehow have no problem eating a McRib sandwich or McDonald’s chicken nuggets… and those are foods of unknown ingredients. You can get a list of vaccine ingredients.
The stupidity of protesting mask mandates in schools… I have no sympathy here. None. Kids pass viruses around classrooms, and the mask mandate is part of the safety measures in place. My autistic 12 year old son can wear a mask without a problem. My three year old nephew has worn one in public since he was 2 years old. If they can wear them, your kid can too. If you don’t want your kids to have a mask mandate at their school, feel free to homeschool them.
There is a local school board candidate who is making a stink about it (especially after our governor announced that masks will be required indoors for everyone in the state), and I think it’s so nice of her to be open about it so that people know not to vote her onto the school board.
Decisions made by school officials. I back every school district that has chosen to defy state governments and institute a mask mandate and every school district that has chosen to delay the start of school because of the Delta variant.
While y’all are stewing about me calling you out, please pray for my friend M’s daughter Millie who is fighting severe COVID. She is too young to be vaccinated and contracted it despite her parents’ attempts to protect her. She has Down Syndrome, and the trisomy issues are messing with her airway badly.