7 Quick Takes: Good Things In the Midst of COVID-19 Edition

7 Quick Takes

Here in Washington, we are under a shelter-in-place order until Holy Week, and it will likely get extended until the COVID-19 situation is resolved. (45’s plan to reopen things for Easter isn’t going to happen in these parts. Even if things did, I’m not resuming a normal life until *ACTUAL* epidemiologists recommend it, not a failed businessman and reality star.) I was already under a more restrictive shelter-in-place than existed before the one in Washington went into effect, so this was nothing new. Since I could probably enumerate the ways this situation stinks, I thought I would turn that on its head and talk about some *GOOD* things that are coming of this.

— 1 —

I’m developing an entirely new skill set. I had used Zoom twice before March 11th when I had to suddenly become a power user for work. I had never done a live post on Facebook until March 15th. I am now teaching people how to use both, and I am contributing to putting my church’s worship service online from home. (I had to make the decision not to be there in person to record last Saturday, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it was a struggle to make the decision and I cried my eyes out because it was *ONE MORE* life-giving thing being taken away from me.)

This Sunday, I get to be the “cyber verger” and do all the cueing, embedding, and unmuting when we do worship over Zoom.

— 2 —

I’m rediscovering the beauty of Compline. Our bishop has requested that we not hold corporate worship through Easter (and we are complying because a.) we listen to the bishop, and b.) the shelter-in-place order from Governor Inslee prohibits it), so I asked my priest if I could do Compline on the church Facebook page as a way of creating community and praying together even though we’re physically scattered. He enthusiastically gave me his blessing, so I have been doing it on weeknights at 8:30 p.m. It is my favorite of the Daily Offices in the Book of Common Prayer, so it is been fun to get to do it. I accidentally recorded it on my Facebook wall on Tuesday night, which might not have been a bad thing because one of my college friends from Intervarsity joined me. 🙂

— 3 —

I am getting a lot of reading done. While I do read a lot, it tends to be online things. Being “bored” has meant that I spend a chunk of my day reading on my bed with Minion on the panther trap I have for him. (It’s a quilt that he tends to appropriate from me.) I just finished Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (finally!!!), and I plan to start another book tonight.

— 4 —

I’m having dinner with my parents more often. We don’t eat together as a family often because my parents and I are usually doing our own thing at night, and Daniel obviously is fed by pump. (We still encourage him to join us at the table for some milk or Cheerios.) We have managed to eat dinner together twice this week, which is nice. Dad was making hamburgers for him and my mom on Sunday, so I joined them with a “tuna burger” as my mom put it. (I am pesco-vegetarian for Lent and Dad has been keeping up a steady supply of tuna for me.) Last night, I made lasagna (because I wanted lasagna, darn it!) and they joined me for that. (I currently have 7 servings of lasagna frozen for me in the chest freezer in the garage so that I can vary my diet a bit.)

— 5 —

I’m blessed with an amazing resource in Daniel’s teacher. Daniel’s teacher is researching every possible classroom management program out there so that all of her kiddos have at least one that works well for them. We are going to be using one called ClassDojo for Daniel as well as Google Classroom because that is what the school district wants to use. I am really thankful that she is so dedicated to her students!

— 6 —

I am not having to hang out in waiting rooms and exam rooms with Daniel. Daniel’s specialists through Seattle Children’s and our pediatrician up here have been willing to do phone appointments so that we don’t have to go there. It isn’t that bad of a trek to Everett where Daniel would have had a G-I appointment last Friday, but it still meant that I did not have to be up at 6 to leave by 7 for Daniel’s x-ray and 8:00 appointment.

— 7 —

I am appreciating Max Lucado’s “Coronavirus Check-in” videos. Max Lucado is one of the few evangelicals that doesn’t make me want to stab things. His books are lovely, and he has been putting out videos almost every day on his YouTube channel and on Facebook where he is checking in, giving a short pep talk, praying for people, and inviting people to submit their prayer requests so that others can pray for them. It’s totally not something normally on my radar, but I came across this video on Facebook and have been sharing it all over the place:

People were ripping Max apart in the comments, but it is a beautiful video because it is so true. God can deal with our frustrations, and Max encourages us to have a meltdown if we need it… but to not stay there and to come back to a place of praise, using parts of the third chapter of Lamentations as an example.

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

7 Quick Takes: Quarantine Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m not actually under quarantine because of known exposure–I’m staying in (with the exception of getting coffee from the $tarbux drive-thru, recording worship on Sunday, and physical therapy appointments) at the request of my parents because of this happening last year. While my hysterical hysterectomy took care of some of the reason for the bleeding/clotting issue, I’m still asthmatic and we don’t know how well I can fight it off (or *IF* I can fight it off). So… I’m effectively quarantined for the long haul.

Just a head’s up, there may/may not be links because I am an Amazon associate.

— 1 —

Storytime! The amazing Mary Lenaburg has video storytime with her son Jonathan and husband Jerry up on her Facebook page. This was last night and this was the night before. It’s fun to have someone read to me, but the comedy value in the delivery of the stories is even better. Last night’s offerings were Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Fandango Stew. The previous night’s offerings were Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham.

All of these books belonged to Mary’s daughter Courtney, so this is an absolutely beautiful part of her legacy.

— 2 —

The sitch in Kirkland. Probably 80% of the COVID-19 deaths in Washington and 25% of the COVID-19 deaths nationally are associated with Life Care Center in Kirkland. This news story talks about how everything got started there and started the spread to other assisted living facilities in the Seattle area. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be shut down when all is said and done because the lawsuits alone from the survivors and the families of the deceased would put it out of business.

— 3 —

Shelter in place. If I were still living in my childhood home in California, I would be required to shelter in place as it is part of a swath of seven Bay Area counties requiring it in order to get a handle on the spread of COVID-19. Washington’s governor has declined to require that yet. I’m wondering how long it will be until that happens here.

— 4 —

Selfishness. Does anyone else want to dopeslap the people determined to party for Spring Break in public despite the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19? I mean, I get that it sucks to have to cancel plans, but THEY’RE PUTTING PEOPLE’S HEALTH AT RISK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Selfish twits!

— 5 —

How I’m doing. In all seriousness, I’m having to force myself not to look at my state’s COVID-19 page or my county’s page until 4 p.m. every day because refreshing both of them to see if they’ve updated them yet is not good for my mental health. It was unnerving enough to see that my rural county is up to 18 cases and three hospitalizations. (No deaths yet thankfully.) Statewide, we’re up to almost 1,400 cases and 74 deaths, which is also sad. Most of the cases are in the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett corridor, but that’s still 1,400 too many cases and 74 too many deaths.

— 6 —

Some humor. Someone shared this on Facebook, and I feel like y’all need to see it too, especially any cat people out there.

— 7 —

Compline. I’m doing Compline live on my church’s Facebook page tomorrow night at 8 p.m. If you want to come and say it with me, send me a message and I’ll give you the details.

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

Gratitude in the Midst of COVID-19 (II)

I didn’t post anything yesterday because I was dead exhausted. I slept a chunk of today as well. I’m trying to be gentle to my body, so I took my last chance to take naps for a while.

Here are some more things for which I am thankful.

  • For the opportunity to be part of live streaming worship for my congregation on Sunday. Yes, we were sideways for part of it and upside down for others, but we still got it together!
  • For Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (and Royal Wedding homilist!), who is posting a meditation every Monday on his official Facebook page while we are in the midst of COVID-19. The first one is here.
  • For my black beastling who snuggled and napped with me today. Mama loves you, baby.
  • That, in the midst of restaurants and bars being closed for everything except take-out or delivery, I can still mobile-order my latté from $tarbux every morning before 9:30 and have it brought to my car.
  • For getting to start physical therapy tomorrow so that we can get me walking normally again.
  • That Daniel got one more day of school today before he is off for six or more weeks. He is going to miss his teachers, aides, and specialists and they will miss him. (They love their kids like their own.)
  • For Pure Leaf Raspberry Tea fresh out of the freezer. (I like drinks chilled, and this chills it relatively quickly.
  • For YouTube and the amazing things one can find on it.
  • For discovering that I can set an image as a virtual background on Zoom. I have a meeting inside the Great Hall of Hogwarts tomorrow!

COVID-19, You Suck

I had just sat down at Daniel’s IEP meeting when Governor Inslee announced that all K-12 schools in Washington would be closing for the next six or more weeks, effective March 17th. The teachers and specialists present were feeling sick over it because they love their kids something fierce. They’re feeling sick over it because parents like me are being put in really difficult positions where our jobs could be on the line because being stay-at-home parents and homeschooling our kids is not a luxury we have. (I’m a single mom. I *HAVE* to work. I’m waiting to find out if I can work with students remotely until Daniel can go back to school.) They’re feeling sick over it because they know the kids are going to have a hell of a time dealing with school, the one place some of them feel joy, is being taken away from them.

I honestly feel myself like everything that brings me joy is being systematically taken away. My church is functionally shut down for the next two weeks at least. (I’ll be there Sunday only because I’m part of the effort to live stream worship, but there are only going to be 5 of us present and we’re basically going to record stuff and then vacate the premises.) Daniel’s teacher, aides, and specialists are part of my support network with him, and now I’m losing them for six weeks. My degree program, which transitioned into a job for me, was 75% of what got me through my divorce, and now I’m uncertain about how much of a job I’m going to have come April 5th.

I’m honestly pretty angry with the world right now, and it seems like Satan is rubbing salt in my wounds by throwing tone-deaf remarks from homeschooling parents in my path about how interesting it is that everyone is going to be homeschooling now, how we’ll never stop once we start, how we withdraw our kids from their public schools, and/or how we give notice that we’re going to homeschool them. They all seem to be from the people who are the absolute last people I would seek out for advice on the subject, especially because they managed to raise some screwed-up, sociopathic, and/or barely literate kids. All the people I would seek out for advice have been classy enough to trust that I’ll seek them out if/when I need their help. (I have a large number of behaviorists and special education teachers in my friend group.)

Comments are disabled on this post because this is me venting my spleen and none of this is up for discussion.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: May 8, 2016

For Today… May 8, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It was cloudy for most of the day and Lick Observatory was quite socked in with fog when we went up there in the afternoon. It got sunny in the late afternoon though.

I am thinking… about grade inflation in the homeschool world and misreporting of class values in portfolios for college. Long story, trust me.

I am thankful… for the chance to see the big telescope at Lick Observatory and for the volunteer who let us walk around on the platform while he was talking. Keith, you rock!

One of my favorite things… a quiet evening after a busy day.

I am wearing… jammies. (It’s 8:45 p.m.) Church clothes were a black decorative top, black pants, black flats, and my burgundy choir robe. After-church clothes were a charcoal fitted tee from Old Navy and black capris from Kohl’s with my running shoes.

I am creating my temperature afghan. I’m about two months behind but I might be able to get a little caught up this week, depending on how long a couple tasks take me and if I can get them done at the beginning of the week.

I am reading… Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber. I might be able to finish this week if I read during lunch instead of being on my laptop.

I am hoping… to get a lot of my errands done in the first part of the week.

I am learning… to ask for help and not act like everything in the next month is completely for me to do.

In my kitchen… Dad made the usual Sunday fare for us for Mother’s Day — steak, tater tots, and caesar salad. It was what Mom and I both chose as it was our day.

In the school room… I’m working on fine motor tasks with Daniel to strengthen his hands and help him maintain his tripod grip while writing without special grips on the pencil.

Post Script… This is an interesting piece on missions and why you shouldn’t build a house on your next mission trip.

Shared Quote…

This week's quote found on Facebook.

A moment from my day… A picture from my first Mother’s Day in 2009.

Hard to believe this kid is now only a foot shorter than I am!

Closing Notes: May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month. Learn more here.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: TGIAF!

7 Quick Takes

It’s been an insane week here and I have one more thing tomorrow before I feel like I can breathe again. Thank goodness it’s almost Friday!

— 1 —

Prayer request. The person assigned to Daniel at the Lodi Social Security Office fouled up his SSI payments and I have an appeal hearing tomorrow on some issues related to them. Please lift me in prayer around noon PDT. Thanks!

— 2 —

Climate change deniers. This video explains climate change in a way that even Donald Trump supporters can understand. 😉

— 3 —

One last political take. While I am completely overjoyed at Ted Cruz dropping out of the race and Carly Fiorina being an even bigger loser than before, I’m kind of bummed that I won’t be using this picture more often…

Thank goodness this isn't a possible combination in the White House!

— 4 —

I want this shirt! My birthday is two weeks from today and I will be your BFF if you get me this shirt in green and XL.

— 5 —

On the homeschooling front… Dawn of Ladydusk wrote this amazing piece on starting to homeschool and what she learned from it. I recommend reading it if you think you eventually want to homeschool your kids as Dawn is a mom I trust for this kind of thing.

— 6 —

Making a crossbow out of office supplies. This is kind of cool.

— 7 —

Doctrine vs. discipline. Simcha nails it with her post on Ascension, the crazy go nuts schedule of her kids, and why it actually matters to make it to Mass if it’s a holy day in your diocese. (San Jose abrogates it to Sunday.)

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

7 Quick Takes: The News From Here

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Temperature afghan progress. I’m slowly but surely catching up and if I could drag myself away from Cross-Stitch World, I’d probably be making it more quickly. Maybe if I get home from choir in time, I can do some more work on it…

Progress as of today.

— 2 —

Concerning Donald Trump. I read two interesting articles concerning Donald Trump in the last few days. The first one was Matt Walsh: The Primer for Trump by Leticia Adams. The second was Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels by Rachel Held Evans. I recommend both of them, not because I hate Matt Walsh and adore Rachel, but because I found them to be well-written and compelling.

— 3 —

Simcha! Simcha Fisher knocks it out of the park again with why she decided to stop homeschooling and finally got rid of all her homeschooling stuff. I’m not anti-homeschooling by any stretch of the imagination but she talks about keeping the stuff out of fear that she was making the wrong decision and that public schooling would ruin her kids. Fear isn’t a valid reason to make decisions and her kiddos are doing fine in their public and charter schools.

— 4 —

Oh thank heavens! After having to fight to get Daniel’s ADHD meds for the last three months, I finally have an intake appointment and psychiatrist appointment with a group that will do medication management for him. The difference between him medicated and him unmedicated is like night and day, so this was definitely a worthwhile fight for me.

— 5 —

Daniel story. My parents’ cat Jethro was in a fight last week and developed an abscess that wasn’t draining so he was at the vet on Monday and Tuesday where they eventually had to put him under anesthesia, open the abscess and drain it, and put stitches in. He has a lovely cone of shame to wear and my mom and I are having to clean the area and medicate him. Yesterday, Daniel wanted to look at pictures on my mom’s phone and my mom told him he needed to wait, using the words “first cat then phone.” (“First ____ then _______” statements are an ABA thing.) Daniel’s response: “Cat bye!” (Translation: “Take a flying leap, cat! It’s my turn.”)

— 6 —

Prerequisite weather take. I was hoping to go for a long walk tomorrow morning but it is looking like we might have rain. Oh well… I can work on entering receipts for taxes instead, I guess.

— 7 —

New Year’s resolution progress. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get my prayer life back to normal. I’ve had some long drives this week for various things and it has definitely given me an opportunity to pray! Now if only I could get that integrated into my normal day…

— Bonus —

Pick Jen’s Lenten discipline. The raffle ends next Friday so come on over and enter! All that you have to do in order to enter is leave me a comment with what you would choose for me. Previous winners are allowed to enter again. *coughcoughcoughKellycoughcoughcoughBethAnnecoughcoughcough*

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