Catching Up: July 29, 2022 Edition

TGIF…

[+] This week, I discovered Steel Magnificat, the blog of Mary Pezzulo. I had seen friends link up stories from her blog before, but I wish I had taken the time to read her blog before now. She is an amazing writer and an even more incredible person.

[+] We’re having a church picnic at a member’s farm on the 7th, and I spent this week arranging to *NOT* have to figure out how to put worship online that Sunday. I’ve been out there before and the part of the farm we’ll be at is kinda primitive. I would probably have to record worship and upload it later… and I don’t have the space on my phone to record a 90-minute service. Broadcasting it off of my laptop would require really dedicated Internet access, and I really don’t think they have it in that part of the property. Also… I haven’t had a service off from running things and doing Zoom (we’re talking Sundays, Holy Week, and funerals) since April 25, 2021. I think I (and everyone else on the committee who switches around from Sunday to Sunday) can use a Sunday off.

[+] Daniel had an ADHD appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning at 8. My alarm didn’t go off and Daniel woke me up at 8:22. I called them apologetically and rescheduled it. They were cold to me on the phone, and I don’t blame them one bit because I know how much of a headache it is from working in a clinic when people are no-shows.

[+] One of my new guilty pleasures is Code Blue Cam. It is videos from police body cams, and it’s interesting to see the job from that perspective. I am not an ACAB person by any stretch (as I have relatives in law enforcement), and I am absolutely in favor of police having body cams that are not allowed to be turned off. (A lot of jurisdictions have civil and criminal penalties for officers who do so.) The department that seems to have the majority of videos right now is the La Crosse Police Department, and one fo the things that surprised me is that they have to put their guns in a lockbox when they head into the station.

Catching Up: May 13, 2022 Edition

I’m usually triskaidekaphobic, but we’ll try this tonight…

[+] I met with DDA this week by Microsoft Teams. I hate this meeting every year because it’s incredibly draining, but it’s important so that Daniel can get services. All I have left is the home visit.

[+] I had to make the decision to sit out the rest of the spring from choir because of my asthma and my drippy throat. It’s not COVID (I have tested myself and I’m consistently negative), but my breathing is screwy. It’s a pain because I miss choir and singing, but I don’t want to have coughing fits the whole time.

[+] I had to give up on my bullet journal as life got away from me in March. I ordered another one, and I’m going to probably make it a June to December one as I will have enough pages to do it. I ordered a blank journal off of Amazon tonight, and I’ll be starting to put it together when I get it and trying to get all of the month’s pages done early so that I don’t have to worry about drawing/numbering a new page daily.

[+] I had to give up on Learning to Pray by James Martin, S.J. because my heart and brain just weren’t in it. I love Fr. Jim’s books, but I’m needing something lighter these days. I just started Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree, and it’s not amazing but is keeping my attention. (I think it was a free Kindle book?)

[+] For those who enjoy Wordle and are map nerds, check out Globle.

[+] So, this happened on Monday morning. Thankfully, campus is still pretty quiet because many classes are still online and enrollment is down overall, but it was not fun having my phone explode with emergency notifications.

Catching Up: April 30. 2022 Edition

And it’s been six weeks since my last post. Go me.

[+] In my defense, I’ve been sick. I had a UTI over Spring Break that flattened me, my sleep schedule is completely knocked off kilter, my seasonal allergies have manifested as serious asthma so I spent Holy Week having serious asthma attacks, and I got hit with a respiratory infection the next week which spilled into this one. I’d like to be able to sleep without waking up coughing up a lung, and I’d like to not be taking Sudafed with a Robitussin DM chaser.

[+] We’re four weeks into the quarter, and I haven’t had a consistent schedule from week to week. Part of it has been having to cancel sessions due to asthma attacks and this stupid respiratory infection, but the other part of it is students being added and dropping tutoring or not showing up. I purposely scheduled my Fridays off this quarter to have a day where I could do doctor’s appointments or Daniel appointments, and I’ve also made it so that my students don’t send me work to look over on weekends. This is thanks to a student who completely burned me out during Summer Quarter and a student during Fall Quarter who made me ponder taking up rattlesnake cuddling. I can’t even begin to describe her shenanigans. Between the two of them, I could probably write an entire post of “tutoring don’ts” if it wouldn’t violate FERPA.

[+] Daniel turned 13 on April 7th. I’m still stunned that I now have a teenager.

[+] Doc is getting so much braver and friendlier. Mom is getting serious love time from him when she gives him his greenies. He’ll allow me to get closer to him, and I’m hoping I will eventually get to pet him. He is a very soft cat, and I would love to give him all the scritches that he could ever want.

[+] I spent a lot of time doing blogging/Facebook stuff for church during Holy Week. Five days of services was A LOT. The office of Tenebrae was a new one, and it was very dark. I’m kind of glad I was home doing church web stuff during that one because I wouldn’t have been doing a good job of focusing. By Easter Sunday, I couldn’t focus on anything, so I redid the header for Facebook and the church website. I still need to do the Facebook and church website posts for this weekend. I should probably get started on them…

7 Quick Takes: Bye Bye Nick Rolovich Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Update on the Nick Rolovich debacle. There has been debate in the local media on whether Nick Rolovich (the head coach of the WSU football team) was going to be granted a religious exemption from being vaccinated because he claims to be Catholic.

Well…

Seattle Times: WSU football coach Nick Rolovich fired for refusing COVID vaccine; defensive coordinator is acting head coach

Adding to Rolovich’s pain is the fact that because he was fired “for cause”, he is not entitled to have his contract bought out. His anti-vaccination stance cost him upwards of $3.6 million. Rolovich can appeal his termination to the president of the university, but I doubt that’s going to be successful because the president likely approved the athletic director’s decision to terminate him.

He is suing for “unlawful and unjust” termination because they wouldn’t grant him a religious exemption. (The process, by the way, is completely blind. They don’t look at the name of the person asking for the exemption–just the argument.) The various employment lawyers on the news have said that his case is weak because he would have to prove that the COVID vaccine is against Catholic teaching… and the Pope has encouraged people to get vaccinated. (The first statement on the subject was issued back in December 2020.) The Diocese of Spokane has even had priests who have appeared in videos encouraging Washingtonians to get vaccinated.

I’m having a massive bout of schadenfreude over this because my parents are UW alums and this shows that not even the highest-paid state employee (Rolovich) is immune from the consequences of not being in compliance with Governor Inslee’s mandate. If I have to be vaccinated for work, so does he!

— 2 —

Regarding religious exemptions… Some of my clergy friends have had strangers contact them to sign religious exemption forms for them because they don’t want the COVID vaccine for their jobs. (All of my friends have said a pretty emphatic “NO!” to those requests.) They’re pretty stunned at the chutzpah of these strangers because they can’t be bothered to join a church but think nothing of using a random clergy person to get out of facing the consequences for not doing someting required for their jobs.

Seriously… get vaccinated or don’t get vaccinated, but own the consequences of your decision. It’s cowardly to try to use someone else to get out of facing consequences.

— 3 —

Who else got fired? There have been people like state patrol troopers, ferry workers, and others who tried to challenge the mandate on the grounds that “it violates their Constitutional rights” (spoiler alert: IT DOESN’T), but they lost on Monday. Inslee is a lawyer, y’all. Do people really think he isn’t familiar with both the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings on the subject, including Jacobson v. Massachusetts and Prince v. Massachusetts?

I'm totes not a fan girl of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Nooooooo...

Also, fact check: the Supreme Court has NOT ruled against COVID vaccines. (There are some anti-vaccination people out there claiming this.)

— 4 —

Empathy. This quote from Kelly resonates with me in a huge way.

I’m also sharing it because I hear almost daily “I don’t know how you do all you do!” Surprise folks – I don’t know either! All I know is whatever system I’m currently using is making me tired, irritable, and leaves lots of dog hair everywhere that isn’t getting cleaned up on a regular basis. I would not recommend my current system to anyone even if it makes me look “productive”.

This is totally me… except that it’s cat fur instead of dog hair.

— 5 —

Words with Friends. If any of you play Words with Friends, feel free to challenge me. I’m “skagitcatherder”.

— 6 —

How I’m coping with life at the moment. YouTube has a bunch of “Live PD” videos, and I’m watching those while working on various things and to fall asleep at night. I have no idea why car chases and police officers tasing people is relaxing for me. It just is.

— 7 —

Breakfast. I need to get up, throw real clothes on, and go to the vet to pick up Jethro’s box. This means that I need to eat breakfast, and I hate most breakfast foods. If I’m being honest, I want an eggless Egg McMuffin (yes, McDonald’s will make it for me if I’m willing to pay extra) and hash browns, but that’s not doable for financial reasons so… it will probably be chicken and cheese taquitos from the freezer section of the local grocery store. (They’re not even artisan or organically made–they’re the cheapie kind that are full of preservatives.)

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

7 Quick Takes: A Harder Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Update on the sinus infection. I’m on Day 7 of my first round of Azithromycin. I’m not feeling amazing, but I’m not coughing to the point of choking. I’m still a bit stuffy, and I’m unfortunately almost out of Sudafed. (This is a problem because the regular Sudafed that you get from behind the pharmacy counter is the only thing that works to help me sleep… and my local pharmacy is out of it.)

— 2 —

Update on Jethro. Mom took Jethro back to the vet on Tuesday, and his bloodwork was trashed to the point where he could have had a blood clot if he kept going. The vet told her the prognosis, and she asked if they would be able to put him to sleep that day. When they said “yes” and told her she could have as long as she needed with Jet, she called Dad to come and sit with her. Jethro seemed to sense that it was his time because he relaxed and curled up in both Mom’s lap and Dad’s lap before they sedated him to give him the final shot. (Meanwhile, I had come out of my room after finishing with a student, and I figured out what was going on when I found Dad gone.) He went peacefully. We know that he is with his brother Homer again, and that is comforting since Homer’s death three years ago was really hard on all of us. (We adopted Minion the day after Homer passed away. He helped us heal.)

Minion has had a tiring schedule of guarding Mom and cuddling her (because Jet is gone and Jet was Mom’s lap kitty) in addition to his normal Mama cuddles with me. I’ve got feelers out on Petfinder for a Maine Coon cat or at least another one that might be a good buddy for Minion, who is definitely feeling Jet’s absence even if Jet was a cranky old man.

— 3 —

Why I like living in a blue state. My governor gets crap from the Republicans in the eastern part of Washington about the mask mandate and the various vaccine mandates, but we’re not in the mess that Idaho is currently in.

Why do I believe that Idaho is that bad off? Well… it might have something to do with Idaho sending a bunch of their worst patients to Washington to take up our hospital beds. (The stupider people in eastern Washington have been going to Sandpoint and Coeur d’ Alene to shop because Idaho doesn’t have a mask mandate, so I have no sympathy for hospitals in those Washington counties because they’re doing it to themselves.) The Republicans in Idaho have been bickering over COVID precautions to the point where the lieutenant governor took the opportunity to issue an executive order banning mask mandates while the governor was out of state. (The governor canceled the executive order when he returned.)

Do I love having to mask up all the time? No. However, Governor Inslee issued the mandates two months ago because he gives a crap about the health of the people in the state. The members of Idaho’s state government seem to be only thinking of themselves.

— 4 —

Q & A with a nurse. A member of r/nursing on Reddit did a Q & A in order to dispel a bunch of myths about COVID, the vaccines, etc. Other than a few pieces of bad language, it’s a good read and explains about why the COVID vaccines were developed so quickly.

— 5 —

Worth watching. I had to watch this TED Talk in order to proofread a paper, and I really recommend it.

— 6 —

How have I been dealing with all of this? I am crocheting while I work with students or watch YouTube. I’m watching a lot of “Live PD” on YouTube because it relaxes me for some strange reason.

— 7 —

Some positivity this week. I was doing my weekly grocery shopping on Tuesday when a woman stopped me. She told me that she had seen me with Daniel the previous week and that I was doing a really good job with him. She then patted me on the shoulder and told me I was a good mother.

I honestly almost cried in the middle of Haggen when she said that to me. (I’m tearing up now thinking about it.) I don’t know if she knew how much I needed to hear all of that. It’s honestly getting me through the harder parts of the week, and it also is giving me patience with Daniel because someone out there thinks I’m doing things right.

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

7 Quick Takes: Mixed Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Kitty hospice. My parents’ elderly tabby Jethro likely has lymphoma, and my mom took him to the vet on Tuesday to address him not eating. They gave her the options of doing nothing, doing palliative care, doing kitty chemo, or euthanizing him. Mom and I talked about it, and she opted for palliative care. The vet will do fluids weekly, and we’ve been given medications to deal with nausea, pain, appetite, and a steroid to deal with the lymphoma. Mom is aware that this is giving us weeks, not years, and I told her that I would clear my schedule and go with her to the vet to do the talking when it comes time to let Jethro go.

— 2 —

Daniel’s health. My monster had an ADHD appointment a week ago, and his pediatrician felt a stool ball in his stomach. She put in an x-ray order and we got it on Saturday. The x-ray showed the stool ball and what looked like a kidney stone, so she put in a stat ultrasound order. The ultrasound was Tuesday, and it was thankfully clean. So… we’re dealing with the stool ball, and I’m hoping we’re not jockeying for another hospitalization.

— 3 —

A lovely fight. The Sea Chickens are headed down to rumble with my boys (THE NINERS!!!) this weekend. I’m hoping my boys win because the Sea Chickens get insufferable when they win.

— 4 —

My other boys. My baseball boys (THE GIANTS!!!) are in the mix for the NL West. I’m hoping the LA Losers stay multiple games behind and/or lose the Wild Card game to St. Louis (my other boys) if it comes to that.

— 5 —

“Special needs”. Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum did a piece on the term “special needs” last week. It’s worth a read.

— 6 —

Interesting hymnody. I was on a Maddy Prior binge and discovered an album of hymns from the 18th and 19th century. It includes “The God of Abraham Praise” which is a hymn I wish we would sing in my parish. (Hello minor key! Hello interesting tune!)

— 7 —

Huh. “And Can It Be?” is a song I associate with Baptist churches, and I had no idea that it’s a Charles Wesley tune. Cool! (This is another Maddy Prior recording.)

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

7 Quick Takes: Back to School Edition

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.

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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.

— 2 —

Monday afternoon. Exchange a flurry of emails with Daniel’s teacher and the school nurse. Pick up the spare pill bottles after my small group meeting at park with Daniel.

— 3 —

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.

— 4 —

Tuesday night. Sort laundry. Find spare clothes to put in Daniel’s backpack. Clean glasses and hearing aids. Go find hearing aid batteries. Discover that all of them are expired. Doh!

Hunt down non-shredded socks to put in the backpack. Realize I need to order more socks. Log onto Amazon.Com and use Amazon Prime to get some delivered on Wednesday afternoon.

Set my alarm for 5:45 a.m. Curse whoever thought having middle school start at 7:00 a.m. was a good idea.

— 5 —

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.

First Day of 7th Grade

My bus stop helper.

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.

Got kid on the bus

He's all yours until 2:30.

— 6 —

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.

— 7 —

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.

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