7 Quick Takes: 17 Years of Blogging!

7 Quick Takes

July 19th was my 17th blogiversary and it passed quietly because of school and things in my personal life. As a way of ignoring the crappy health news I got today, here are are some ways my life has changed since I started blogging on July 19, 2000.

— 1 —

I’ve come full-circle in terms of relationships. When I started this blog, I was dating Jon. Then we went through our long engagement, marriage, a short separation, and now divorce. It’s a painful realization in a lot of ways but it also provides me with a record of the good times that I can look back upon eventually.

— 2 —

I have lived in five states. I had spent my life in California and was living with my parents over the summer before my senior year of college. Since then, I have lived in: Ohio, Minnesota, Montana, California (again), and now Washington. I’m glad to have had these experiences in seeing how people across the country live.

— 3 —

I am no longer vegetarian. I added meat back into my diet in December 2000 and while I don’t eat a lot of it, I have not given it up again except for Lenten purposes.

— 4 —

I have stopped coding largely by hand. For the first year, I coded by hand and then went to Livejournal, two iterations of Greymatter, Movable Type, back to Greymatter, b2, and then WordPress 12ish years ago. It’s good to know how to do some of it still so I can fix sidebars but I’d have to learn PHP to be able to create my own themes.

— 5 —

I’m Episcopalian again. At the time I started blogging, I was attending my Episcopal church at home and then attending an evangelical church at school. Eventually, I attended an LCMS church, went ELCA for 10 years, AALC for three years, and then became Episcopalian again.

— 6 —

I have 1.5 degrees and am getting another one. I graduated with my B.A. 11 months after starting the blog, worked on an MTS, and am now doing an ATA.

— 7 —

I’m missing a body part or two. I gave up my gallbladder in 2005 and there is less liver than there was originally due to scar tissue from the gallbladder issues.

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

7 Quick Takes: Things I Will Not Miss About California

7 Quick Takes

I’m less than a week from the move and to keep myself in the “Washington is a good move” mode, here are some things I will not miss about California. (To be fair, I will miss a lot of people, the redwood forests, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.)

— 1 —

The heat. It’s in the 90’s this week and might hit 100F on Friday. I’m looking at the radar for the area where I am moving in Washington and it’s in the 50’s there. I’m jealous — I hate the heat and I can’t wait to not be dealing with high 80’s and 90’s every day of summer. #climatechangeisreal #globalwarming #hothothot #noairconditioning

— 2 —

Non-Californians assuming that I live near Disneyland and that I could go every day. Anaheim (where Disneyland is located) is 8 hours away from where I live right now. Even when I was living in southern California, I never went because it is seriously expensive to go and Daniel would not get anything out of it. I think the last time I went was 13.5 years ago?

— 3 —

The desert. Just nope. Hot, ugly, and full of poisonous snakes.

— 4 —

Southern California in general. I’m a die-hard northern Californian. I instinctively root AGAINST the Dodgers, the Angels, the Lakers, the Chargers, and any other southern California team. It’s also too hot down there, there are too many people, and very little is within walking distance because it’s completely a car culture.

— 5 —

Traffic. LA traffic is horrible, Sacramento traffic is a level of hell, and Bay Area traffic can be annoying. Granted, Seattle traffic is worse (and they’re in denial about it) but I won’t be living in Seattle, so I probably won’t have to deal with too much of it.

— 6 —

Avocado on everything. I hate avocados. I hate guacamole. I hate Mexican food.

— 7 —

The pollution. While southern California has gotten better about smog, the Central Valley is horrible as is the Sacramento area. Daniel had more respiratory issues up there than anywhere else we have lived.

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

7 Quick Takes: The Inland Regional Center Shooting

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Why I am focusing on this today. This shooting affects me particularly strongly because Daniel has received services from the various Regional Centers in the parts of California in which we have lived. They help parents like me get services for their special kids. I would honestly have a hard time being able to do anything without them. (Here is my post on this from yesterday.)

— 2 —

My fears. When I heard where the shooting took place, my first thought was wondering how many kids and developmentally disabled adults were killed. Seriously, it could have been Daniel and I in that building if we had lived one town farther east on the 210. We were part of a different Regional Center because we lived in Los Angeles County whereas the one where the shooting took place serves San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The people who work there are all social workers who try and make sure that kiddos like Daniel can thrive and that means that they meet with the kids and parents at the center. I know the one we went to was a warren of offices and conference rooms so it is completely possible for someone to go in and hide in there. I’m also not surprised that the Health Department was holding a Christmas party there because they have a lot of conference rooms and meeting spaces.

— 3 —

The fact that the shooters were Muslim. This saddens me even more because it could be throwing terrorism into the investigation which could be a complete red herring. There are Muslims who commit crimes like these but there are also non-Muslims who do as well. My heart goes out to the Muslim community of San Bernardino and I pray that nobody “takes matters into their own hands” as people are wont to do.

— 4 —

Gun control. I was in middle school when the 101 California Street shooting happened and I remember the Brady Bill being passed. Believe me, it makes an impression when you’re seeing people fleeing a building on local TV. (I live about an hour southeast of San Francisco depending on traffic.) I’m absolutely livid that we cannot get meaningful gun control legislation passed, especially after the Bush administration failed to keep the Federal Assault Weapon Ban from expiring.

— 5 —

Mixed motive. As I’m writing this on Thursday afternoon (as opposed to Quick Take #3 which was Wednesday night), there is speculation that Syed Rizwan Farook (the male shooter) had ties to terrorists and that he went to Pakistan and came back with Tashfeen Malik (his wife). It is possible that he was radicalized in Pakistan… or he could have just gone there because he is of Indo-Pakistani descent and he wanted a wife who was from the same country/ethnicity. It is possible that he could have just been really infuriated with his coworkers over something. I agree with President Obama’s take that it could be both terrorism and workplace violence and this complicates things.

— 6 —

Why so violent? Another angle to this which I know my NRA-loving friend John would want me to mention is WHY Farook reacted so violently if this was a workplace issue. I know I’ve had coworkers who drive me absolutely crazy but I haven’t acted on any urges to take a gun and blow them away.

— 7 —

How common this is in America. This image from Facebook says it all:

My thoughts on the frequency of these shootings.

Even Fox News reporters are commenting on this.

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

{five favorites}: Favorite Regional Center Workers

{five favorites}

Unless you’ve been living under a rock today, you probably heard about the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino. This completely horrifies me because my son Daniel receives services through the local Regional Centers where we’ve lived in California. For an explanation of what they do, click here. In the mean time, here are my 5 favorite Regional Center workers.

One

Pat. Pat was our service coordinator through the Alta California Regional Center until Daniel’s 3rd birthday. She got us hooked up with Easter Seals who provided him with an infant program, physical therapy, and speech therapy. She also got us an occupational therapist when Easter Seals couldn’t provide one. I think the best thing she did was get me through Daniel’s autism diagnosis, being present with me for the ADOS and then getting me ABA training.

Two

Rose. Rose was the respite worker who the San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center provided through one of the agencies with whom they contract. She allowed Jon and I to have date nights and also hooked us up with VIP Soccer. She loved Daniel and was just the perfect person for him.

Three

Jennifer. Jennifer was the occupational therapist provided by the Alta California Regional Center. A lot of her job was getting Daniel to engage and experience new textures and work on his grips. She also got him drinking from a sippy cup.

Four

Maggie. Maggie was our service coordinator with San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center. She was incredibly patient with Daniel, rejoiced when I’d call and give her progress reports, and was instrumental in helping us find a dentist for him in southern California.

Five

Sara. Sara was the physical therapist we got through Easter Seals which is the provider used by Alta California Regional Center so I count her in this. I loved her so much and she was so good with my kiddo that I kept her as a Facebook friend after Daniel turned 3 and the school district took over the physical/speech/occupational therapy. She talked me down off of numerous figurative ledges every time Daniel got a scary diagnosis. I repeat her words frequently: “we treat the kids, not the diagnoses.”

Go love up Ashley.

7 Quick Takes: Thoughts While Trying to Get My Kiddo to Sleep…

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Dealing with SSA is an occasion of sin for me. Every so often, the Social Security Administration makes people receiving SSI prove that they qualify medically (what… you thought “SSA” was “same-sex attraction?) so I spent the better part of two evenings filling out a ton of paperwork and copying about 50-100 pages of documentation to send in to their office in Pomona. The 50-100 pages of documentation are the assessments and IEP from March because it’s a triennial IEP. (Every three years, they do a whole new battery of tests to see if an IEP is really necessary. In Daniel’s case, that would be a resounding “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”) I couldn’t fit the documentation in the envelope they sent so off to the post office for a Priority Mail envelope I went! The good thing about using them: I can track it to make sure the SSA office received it as I’m completely convinced from past experience that their mailbox is connected to a paper shredder with all the paperwork they lose! (Currently, it is sitting at the sorting center in City of Industry.)

— 2 —

I resonate with this. A friend sent me this article on how doctors take women’s pain less seriously. I’ve had several ovarian cysts and on a scale of 1-10, the pain is an 11. It is seriously the worst pain I have ever had and required Demerol to even remotely touch it. (Waking up after abdominal surgery is a 7.) Anyway, I agree — doctors do not take our pain seriously and I say this having a fairly high pain tolerance. This might also be why many doctors think fibro pain is imaginary.

— 3 —

Prayer request. My dear friend Mandi is in the home stretch of her pregnancy and I would like to ask if you’d please pray her through. Thanks!

— 4 —

Srsly?!?!?!?!? I’ve had a couple of friends whose younger sisters have gone through this. I get the need for modesty but subjecting young women to a hem test like this one is just wrong. Equally if not more wrong were some of the adult comments.

— 5 —

What are the odds??? All three radio stations I listen to on a regular basis (Air1, NPR, and a classical station) are having their pledge drives right now. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I could afford to give to all three, I would totally do it just to make the madness stop!!!

— 6 —

Prerequisite baseball take. So… THE METS KNOCKED THE DODGERS OUT OF THE PENNANT RACE LAST WEEK!!!!! The Mets also just took the National League pennant. (I feel that any news about Dodger losses trumps any other baseball news unless it’s the Giants winning.) I haven’t even looked to see who the Mets will play!

— 7 —

I’ve been saying this for a while… Yet another person talking about the movement of my peer group to more ancient forms of worship. Not all of us want rock n’ roll!

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 19, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 19, 2015

Outside my window… gray. It’s been sprinkling on and off which is making me happy. I’m hoping for a serious El Niño this year!

I am thinking… about the changes coming up this next week and what I have to do this week to prepare.

I am thankful… for the rain and the cooler weather.

In the kitchen… veggie chips and pub cheese from Trader Joe’s.

I am wearing… blue-green shirt (the color of my eyes) and jeans. As usual, I have bare feet.

I am going… to have a lot of errands tomorrow morning.

I am wondering… about some things going on in my life.

I am reading… still Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.

I am hoping… for a smooth week this week.

I am looking forward to… the Fall Fundraiser for church on Saturday night.

I am hearing… Daniel bouncing on my bed.

A Daniel story for today… his doctor prescribed Clonidine for him to help calm him down at night and it’s such a small pill that I tried putting it in a little bit of peanut butter to see if he could swallow it that way without me having to grind it into powder. Mission accomplished. 🙂

Around the house… windows open and fans on. It’s gray outside but it’s still humid and warm.

A favorite quote for today… “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” — Robert Frost

One of my favorite things… carrots and garlic hummus.

A few plans for the rest of the week: errands and packing tomorrow, Bible study and packing on Wednesday, packing on and possibly soccer practice on Thursday, errands and packing on Friday, and possibly soccer and Fall Fundraiser on Saturday.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 12, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 12, 2015

Outside my window… dark. I have no idea what temperatures were here because I was gone from Friday morning until tonight but I heard something about triple digits. Yuck!

I am thinking… about whether I would have stood up and proclaimed my Christian faith had I been in the room with the Umpqua Community College shooter. I probably would have done so… which I’m pretty sure would scare the pants off my non-believer parents.

I am thankful… for Promise FM. I’m in the midst of making some hard decisions and it was really helpful to have songs outlining God’s promises for my life while I was driving through central California today!

In the kitchen… didn’t cook today but probably some gluten-free mac n’ cheese tomorrow.

I am wearing… green shirt and capri sweats.

I am going… to be playing “catch up” tomorrow after being gone for four days.

I am wondering… about a lot of things right now.

I am reading… Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.

I am hoping… school goes well for Daniel tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… Bible study on Wednesday!

I am hearing… nothing.

A Daniel story for today… Mr. Boy usually comes and crawls onto my bed around 11 pm or midnight and he even tucked himself in tonight.

Around the house… silence — everyone but me is asleep.

A favorite quote for today… “Do one thing every day that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt. I chose this one because my mom quotes it to me frequently. (Dealing with social service agencies is not for the faint-hearted!)

One of my favorite things… discovering new artists or lesser known works by established artists of the musical variety.

A few plans for the rest of the week: catching up on errands and paperwork tomorrow, Bible study and probably a quiet service on Wednesday, soccer practice on Thursday, and Matt’s Run on Saturday before Daniel’s soccer game.

A peek into my day… Some of the new songs I heard this weekend:

“This Little Light of Mine” by Addison Road

“Painting Pictures of Egypt” by Sara Groves

Hosted by The Simple Woman.