Catching Up: January 23, 2024 Edition

It has been a month, y’all.

[+] About 30 minutes after I posted my last entry, I received news that one of the people I was close to in Montana had died. Julie was one of my “Montana moms”, and she was one of the people who dropped everything to be with me when I was in the hospital after having Daniel. She was one of the hosts of my baby shower, and she was just an amazing person. I had planned to spend my New Year’s Eve putting my January bullet journal spread together, but I ended up playing phone games and crying instead. There will be a funeral in Washington for her in March (because she is from here originally), and I’m going to try to go to that since I can’t go to the one being held in Montana this week.

[+] A week later, I received news that Emily De Ardo had passed away. According to the tribute on her page from her Aunt Mary, she was hospitalized with pneumonia over Christmas. She was a double lung transplant recipient, and I think the pneumonia just overwhelmed her body and her lungs. Her book, Living Memento Mori, is one that I have gifted to people. She played the heck out of the hand of cards she was dealt in life, and I will miss her blog posts.

[+] My church’s parish administrator quit very abruptly on New Year’s Day, so I have been filling in to do the bulletin and the email newsletter with help. (For those who don’t know, I am the “geek-in-charge” at my parish.) It has meant learning Adobe InDesign, and my first week with that was frustrating because it isn’t like anything except maybe Microsoft Publisher. I’m used to being amazing at everything I touch, so I had to confront my perfectionism on that front. After that hard week, I’ve had an easier time.

[+] We ended up having two snow days last week because we got 4 inches of snow over a two-day period, and western Washington doesn’t know how to handle snow well. It was pretty, and it is thankfully gone now due to some rain.

Catching Up: New Year’s Eve 2023 Edition

Wow. Where to start…

[+] Offline. Both of my parents have had health issues in the last 6 weeks with my dad actually being in the hospital for a couple of days at one point. I voluntold my brother to help me with stockings, and I think we did a good job? It’s been stressy to say the least.

[+] Snow. We finally got hit by a snowstorm in Mount Vernon with all the other storms bypassing us. We only got 5-6 inches at our house, but Bellingham got a foot or more of it. Seattle iced over, and TikTok was full of videos of people attempting to drive in it. I did something to my right hand (which is my seriously dominant hand) shoveling and clearing paths, and it’s getting aggravated almost daily because I can’t not use it.

[+] Wow. I found out that my Aunt Muggs passed away yesterday at age 104. She had been a widow for 31 years, so I think she was probably happy to be reunited with her husband. I only met him twice before he passed away, but they were very positive memories. I’ve been keeping up with Muggs through Christmas cards for years, and my parents used to go visit her when they’d be up in Washington visiting my grandma. They went to her 100th birthday 4 1/2 years ago, and I started getting to know her granddaughter who is around my age this year. She was my paternal grandmother’s sister, and she was the last of that generation left on both sides of my family. It’s 3 1/2-4 hours to where she lives on roads that are probably still snowy, so we most likely won’t make her funeral mass.

[+] Word of the Year. I did Jen Fulwiler’s Word of the Year generator and got steadfast. Given that my word for 2020 was “build” and I built a lot of framework for my church to do worship online, I’m kind of nervous about what that means for me this year.

[+] Saint Generator. I did Jen Fulwiler’s Saint’s Name Generator and got Ignatius of Antioch. He’s the patron saint against throat diseases, of the church in the eastern Mediterranean, and the church in North Africa. Does this mean thyroid issues or me bonding with the Coptic church more? Am I going to become Antiochian Orthodox?

[+] Resolutions. I think I’ll work on 2020’s resolutions again.

Catching Up: February 22, 2022 Edition

It’s been a few weeks, so…

[+] You know you suck at self-care when your therapist applauds you spending your Zoom appointment with her in bed because you are just too tired to care and you’re just trying to be gentle with yourself.

[+] I finally had to go into Urgent Care a few weeks ago to get my sinus infection checked out. I ended up second in line to get in, and they got me in a room super fast. I ended up with a resident who did a meh examination of me, and who also got pissy that yeast infections were listed as an allergy thing in my chart to Augmentin. Um dude, they’re listed in there so that you know how I react and will give me 2 doses of Diflucan if you decide to put me on Augmentin. He said he’d have to go back to his office and figure this out. Mhm. That’s nice. Go discuss this with your attending physician. I got a few minutes of catnapping in the exam chair/table before my nurse (who was comical) came back in with the encounter form and other paperwork. Guess who got her antibiotics plus Diflucan? THIS GIRL!

[+] At my next therapy appointment, my therapist asked if I had taken the next week off from work when she found out about the sinus infection. I told her that it had unintentionally worked out that way for the most part. I had a student doing a midterm, and I had to call in sick on Tuesday because I was coughing up a lung. I think I had maybe 4 billable hours for that week?

[+] Loser Loren Culp, the idiot who the Republicans ran as a gubernatorial candidate here against Jay Inslee (who beat the crap out of him) in 2020, is telling his constituents to order unproven COVID cures from doctors and nurses in Florida. Said providers have had their licenses pulled or suspended in other states and cannot see patients in Washington. Yes, let’s encourage your potential constituents to engage in stupid and illegal behavior that will likely kill them, you weapons-grade plum. No wonder you lost badly in 2020!

Then again, he’s just the spite candidate that the Mango Mussolini is endorsing because he’s butthurt at Dan Newhouse (the Republican incumbent) voting to impeach him last year for his role in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Both Culp and MM sued and whined when they lost, so they kind of deserve each other. Dan Newhouse’s constituents don’t deserve someone as inept, inexperienced, and incapable as Culp, so I hope Newhouse beats him in the primary so that Culp can go back to being a loser and screwing up the county where he used to be police chief of the county seat. (He was laid off for costing his county $130K+ while he gallivanted around the state playing “gubernatorial candidate”.) I don’t want Newhouse to get re-elected (gotta make Washington bluer, especially eastern Washington where Newhouse’s district is), but he’s better than Culp any day.

[+] I’m in the home stretch on editing my church’s Lenten devotional book, and I just need to get everything onto Mailchimp. I hate Mailchimp with a passion, so you’re getting a blog entry while I procrastinate.

[+] The chief aggressor and troublemaker from Jon’s former parish in Montana died yesterday. Because I’m pretty sure I can’t bribe the organist to play “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” at the funeral and it’s not environmentally friendly to have someone pour a thing of kosher salt on her grave, I’ll be making donations in her memory to GLSEN and the Trevor Project. She was instrumental in trying to break up the parish in 2009 when the ELCA voted to bless same-sex marriages and ordain practicing GLBT folks, so I’m happy to donate to organizations that protect youth from people like her.

7 Quick Takes: New Year Edition

7 Quick Takes at MyDomesticChurch.Com

— 1 —

Word of the Year. I did Jen Fulwiler’s Word of the Year Generator and got “dazzle”. I’m a pretty plain person, so this should be interesting.

— 2 —

Saint of the Year. I did Jen Fulwiler’s Saint’s Name Generator and got St. Clotilde, who is the patron saint of adopted children, brides, disappointing children, exiles, parenthood, parents of large families, queens and widows.

I first encountered Clotilde in my Medieval Europe class in college, and the history nerd in me is happy that I got her.

— 3 —

Christmas. My brother and his family were up here for Christmas, so that was fun. His son Braden is cute, and they introduced us to the “Into the Spider-Verse” movie.

— 4 —

Mental health. I had a breakdown by myself for 5 hours on Christmas morning. I had somehow missed my meds on Christmas Eve, so that didn’t help, but I somehow hit a grief well of grief for Grandpa. I was trying to finish Mom’s socks, and it was taken a bit longer due to not being able to read the pattern because I was crying so hard. I was trying to get back to sleep when Daniel kicked off around 5, and I had to keep him silent while people slept. I had taken some Ativan, but that was doing nothing for me. It was a brutal night.

Things hit me again a few days later, and it thankfully gave me something to talk about with my therapist. We’re working through it, but there’s a lot to unpack.

— 5 —

New Year’s Eve. I celebrated New Year’s Eve in my jammies putting my new bullet journal together. I went against my own rules at midnight and had an inch of Prosecco, which was underwhelming. (One of the reasons I don’t drink is that I really don’t like wine or beer.) I then went on the Best Buy website and browsed for a new laptop.

— 6 —

Laptop is here!!!! I ordered the laptop yesterday and opted to pay the extra $6 to get it today. Well, I was downstairs last night putting Daniel’s pills in the china cabinet, and the delivery truck was in the driveway. Mom got a picture of me petting it.

My preciousssssss!

I’ll be setting it up today.

— 7 —

New Year’s resolutions. I’ve decided to just redo my 2020 intentions. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

For more Quick Takes, go visit our host Elena of My Domestic Church.

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.

Quick Takes: “Calm Down Already! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Vaccine mandate take #1. For everyone hollering and moaning about the Biden vaccination mandate, I have a message for you:

CALM DOWN ALREADY.

Joe Biden is not creating policy to spite you.

Every former president (including Donald Trump), all 50 U.S. governors, most of Congress, and 95% of doctors are vaccinated.

There is a historical precedent for this, starting with George Washington requiring his army to be innoculated against smallpox.

Anyone over the age of 70 in this country probably received at least one of their vaccines at school. (Heck, they did scoliosis tests and TB tests on us in middle school in the early 90’s!)

Bill Gates does not want to put a microchip in your arm.

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. It does not cause cancer.

— 2 —

Vaccine mandate take #2. This is a video from Ninja Nerd on how the vaccine was tested, how it was created, and how it works. The presenter is Zack Murphy, a PA student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

— 3 —

Vaccine mandate take #3. I’m subject to both the Biden mandate and the one from Washington’s governor Jay Inslee. My employer has had several pop-up vaccine clinics on the Mount Vernon and Whidbey campuses, and all of the staff have been given a list of places to contact for information on vaccines if we need them–a list that spans five counties. We’ve been given two months to get vaccinated or apply for an exemption. Everything must be done by October 20th. There’s a mandate for students as well, but they have until November to get their vaccinations and submit attestations. In other words, we don’t suddenly have a large horde of people having to be vaccinated within a week. (Pfizer and Moderna require two shots spaced a certain amount of time apart, and all of the vaccines require a two week wait after the final one to be considered “completely vaccinated”.)

— 4 —

Vaccine mandate #4. King County (the county where most of Seattle and suburbs are) is requiring retaurants, theaters, and gyms to check people for either a vaccine card or a negative COVID test. All of Washington’s professional sports teams and college teams (most of which are in King County) require it as well.

A couple places in my county are requiring a vaccination card (theaters mostly at this point), and people are losing their freaking mind over it and howling about discrimination. I’m rolling my eyes. The places requiring it are places where people are going to be in close proximity… and I don’t blame them one bit. If I were going to a theater for a movie, I’d hope that I wasn’t stuck between two unvaccinated people who may or may not have COVID. Vaccines aren’t perfect, but it lowers the risk. Vaccinated people also don’t get as sick as those who are unvaccinated. (The New York Times reported that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID than those who are vaccinated.)

— 5 —

Health update. In addition to getting my brain scraped last week, I also had to see my GP. She was happy with everything, and she listened to some of the weird symptoms I’m having. She ordered a ton of bloodwork and a UA, so I dealt with all of that on Tuesday. (I was aiming for Monday, but I hadn’t slept well and was getting super hypoglycemic by 3 a.m., so I ended up eating and postponing it until Tuesday morning. (It was fasting bloodwork, so OBVIOUSLY there was some serious thirst and serious hunger going on. It *NEVER* fails.)

My GP finally looked at labs today, and everything checked out fine. No new medication updates thankfully. I’m apparently NOT anemic (which was a concern).

— 6 —

Interesting music take #1. Here’s some Sicilian polyphony mixed with Mongolian khoomii overtone chant. It’s kind of an unusual but fun combination.

— 7 —

Interesting music take #2. This song was on a folk music album that came with a songbook years ago. I love Mavis Staples singing it because I think it needs that soul.

There’s also apparently one-room country school in rural Montana that sings it with their kids.

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

7 Quick Takes: Musings from the COVID Testing Line Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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.

— 2 —

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.

— 3 —

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.

— 4 —

Music take #1. This song has been on my mind for the last 24 hours with the deaths I heard about yesterday.

— 5 —

Music take #2. The song above led to this one by Matt Maher getting stuck in my head.

— 6 —

Music take #3. The song in the previous take just made me cry, and this other one came to mind.

— 7 —

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.

— Bonus —

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.

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