Lenten Check-In #1

We’re about a quarter of the way through Lent. I’m doing well at keeping a pesco-vegetarian diet (I’m not even taking Sundays off because I’ve always felt that was kind of a cop-out), my posts here are late but I’ve managed to post almost every day, and I end up kneeling consistently most mornings and a lot of evenings.

It’s getting extra Lenten around here because of the COVID-19 cases. We have 267 cases in Washington state as of this moment and it’s all mostly in western Washington. We have one case in Skagit County where I am, and my employer has closed all campuses for the week because of some students and staff being on campus last week after doing clinicals at a nursing home where there are now two positive cases of it. The one case in Skagit County is a woman in her 40’s and I’m hoping it isn’t any of my students, although I’d be most likely notified if it was. Thankfully, my boss and her counterpart on the Whidbey Island campus came up with contingency plans so that those who were willing could continue to work remotely.

In the midst of this, all midweek Lenten stuff is being postponed until after Easter at my church, no laity is receiving the Cup, offerings are being put in plates on the way up to Communion to keep us from passing plates (and passing germs), there is no physical contact during the Peace, and any coffee hour stuff is having to be done according to very stringent regulations. I feel like a brat because I’m feeling irrated at being inconvenienced by all the precautions when people are actually DYING of it.

*sighs*

Seriously, Catholic Twitter?

A friend told me about this Twitter thread yesterday in which some idiot was going off on people for eating fish on Friday and telling them to be vegan instead because that takes effort.

Wow. Way to have a crappy witness to the beauty of Catholicism. I’m sorry that eating fish on Friday isn’t a sacrifice for you because it is for a lot of people for whom the act of limiting their food choices that much causes them to think about what feeds them spiritually. You come across as a sanctimonious twit.

Then, I saw a news report about wine not being served in Catholic churches due to COVID-19. People were responding that wine is never served in Catholic churches, causing me to facepalm because people are making pedantic remarks about how it is the BLOOD, not merely serving wine. Y’all, I know the difference (and my church is in the same situation where we’re restricting the Cup), but making catty remarks is not helping y’all convey the beauty of Catholicism.

How I’m Feeling At the Moment

I’m actually not having a bad week, but I’ve needed to just go back to bed the last two mornings because living my life is exhausting me so much. The one-year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing was Tuesday, and I know something in my soul is feeling it even if I’m not incredibly weepy.

Sometimes, we just have to rest and let God heal things while we do so.

7 Quick Takes: Putting Together My March Bullet Journal Layout Edition

7 Quick Takes

Much of my creative writing energy is going toward my Lenten blogging, so I thought I’d share some bullet journaling stuff. This is how I created my March layout. As I am an Amazon affiliate, there are Amazon affiliate links in this post.

— 1 —

My supplies. Here are the things I used:

My journal
My pens, 2, 3, 4, 5
My adhesive tape
My stamping blocks
My calendar stamps

My supplies
More supplies.

The metallic Sharpie pens and the two rulers are from Office Depot, and the black ink pad is from Michael’s. (The scissors are from Target or somewhere like that.) The pictures are shamrocks from Unsplash.Com, and this is the photographer’s profile.

— 2 —

One of my hacks. I cannot draw or cut a straight line on my own to save my life, so I’ve found that it works to print graph paper on the back of the image. This site has a variety of types that you can print out and use. (The stuff on the back of the pictures is 5 mm cartesian graph paper because the dots in my journal are at 5 mm intervals.) Once everything is printed out, I trim the edges off and have pictures that I can cut up to use for labels and accent pieces.

The graph paper on the back of my pictures.

— 3 —

Swatch test. I wasn’t sure as to which of my Sharpies would work best on the stuff I had, so I cut a couple of accent pieces and did a swatch test. My gold Sharpies were the best by far.

My swatch test.

— 4 —

Label strips. After I cut the accent pieces for my calendar page, I start cutting strips of the picture that are two squares high to serve as labels for each day, for my trackers, and for special pages. I keep the strips in an envelope in the back pocket flap of my bullet journal.

Label strips.

— 5 —

Calendar page. I had already drawn my calendar when I decided to take pictures for this post, so you are only seeing the finished project in this picture with the exception of the long strips labeling the days of the week. (This calendar spread is two pages wide, so this is just the left page. I also haven’t put the accent piece in with this month’s quote in this picture.)

Part of the calendar.

The second accent piece is placed in this picture. I took part of the last verse of “Be Thou My Vision” and used it.

Second accent piece.

— 6 —

Weekly and daily layouts. This is what my weekly and daily layouts look like. I give each day its own layout, so the weekly one (when I fill it in) gives me my work schedule for the week at a glance as well as any appointments for me or for Daniel. The numbers going down the left side of the daily layout page are hours. I keep a running schedule of things from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 24-hour time is my preference, especially when I have to do things like space out Miralax doses when Daniel has a cleanse. As you can see, different things are color-coded, and I have a key in the front that explains the colors and any symbols I use.

My weekly and daily layouts.

— 7 —

Monthly trackers. I usually only have two of these so they fit on the calendar page, but I have trackers for my Lenten stuff as well. This is where I use the stamping blocks and pads. The one on the far right is my monthly activity tracker and the rest are the Lenten ones with the non-Lenten weeks crossed out in gold.

Trackers.

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

Faith in the Time of Coronavirus

Yes, this is another backdated post. I had a busy day yesterday and didn’t get time to ponder things until late last night.

First thing: go read this. It is brilliant and talks about the pro-life aspect of the coronavirus fears. It also very easily explains why this post makes me stabby 5 years later. (The tl;dr of it is that the poster claims that mumps/measles/chicken pox aren’t things to worry about because she and her sister got them and turned out OK. It ignores the fact that some people who get them end up in really bad situations like losing their hearing or losing their babies.)

I got this email from my parish last night. The tl;dr of it is that we’re implementing protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the parish. Regular parishioners will not receive the Blood, there will be no physical contact during the Peace, no Eucharistic Visitors are being sent out to shut-ins, we are not passing offering plates, counters are wearing gloves while counting the money, and the coffee hour hosts will wear gloves while serving the food. It feels a little bit like overkill to me, but I get why they’re doing it. We are an older parish and there is the potential for people to spread the virus is definitely present. We already have hand sanitizer stations in the church, so I predict those will be getting a lot of use.

The “no physical contact” during the Peace is kind of sucky for me because it’s the one time in the week that I get hugged, and it’s hard to explain why that is so important given that “physical touch” is #4 on the love languages test for me. Having been married and now divorced, I am admittedly a little bit starved for physical touch, and I’m also a huggy type of person.

However, I get why they’re being so careful (and I’m pretty sure this a diocese-wide thing) because the pneumonia that landed me in the hospital last year was from metapneumovirus, a pissy little cold virus given to me by Daniel that caused me to go from zero to sepsis in three days. I was in an isolation room for three days until they could figure out what I had, and that meant that anyone coming into my room had to gown/mask/glove up. My grandmother was in hospice at the time, so my poor mom would go see her for however long and then come see me (and bring me fresh pajama bottoms and underwear) before going home and taking care of my kid. I went back to work 3 days after getting out of the hospital, which was a stupid move because walking across the parking lot and then across campus would cause cough-to-vomit spasms for me for at least two weeks after my hospital discharge. If my pneumonia had been from COVID-19, I would have spread the virus without intending to do so.

Am I afraid of getting it? Not especially. Despite living in Washington state which has had 11 deaths from it, I’m not afraid because I already do things like wash my hands with soap for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer if I’m not able to wash my hands immediately, I don’t go into doctor’s offices unnecessarily nor visit hospitals/nursing homes, and I’m doing well in my New Year’s intention to take good care of myself. Those who have died were elderly people with other severe conditions, and I’m not in that category at the moment after having my hysterectomy last fall and stopping my clotting disorder/anemia. Does it mean I’m taking a completely laissez-faire attitude? No.

Hoping that the COVID-19 threat passes soon and that we don’t have any other deaths in the state.