The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 10, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 10, 2016

Outside my window… gray and about 57F out right now according to Weather Underground. We had sun this morning and it started getting grey while Rebecca and I were having coffee.

I am thinking… about the things I have to get done this week and the places in downtown San Jose I have to go.

I am thankful… that we were able to get Daniel’s ADHD meds filled for one more month. It gives us a tiny bit of flexibility so we can get him to a specialist who can track him.

In the kitchen… my stomach is in knots so probably a frozen dinner, if anything tonight. I don’t much feel like cooking.

I am wearing… my Run for the Little Flowers shirt and jeans.

I am going… to bed early tonight if I can help it. I’m exhausted and it’s only 3 p.m.

I am wondering… if UPS will actually deliver my yarn this week without sending it on a surprise journey through some other states like they did with my Christmas card order from Shutterfly. It’s sitting in San Pablo right now and San Jose needs to be the next stop. I’m also waiting impatiently for my copy of Kelly’s planner.

I am reading… still Parchment and Old Lace by Laura Childs. I haven’t had a lot of sit down time without something else to do in the last week or so and that cuts into my reading time. Accidental Saints is still on hold until I get through my library backlog.

I am hoping… my stuff arrives on time because I *REALLY* want to be able to start my temperature blanket.

I am looking forward to… Bible study this week.

I am hearing… my dad watching TV and Daniel playing with Legos. It’s a perfect and calm afternoon, something I desperately need after this past week.

A Daniel story for today… he has a new sentence: “Mama bye!!!” Translation: “Mama, go away. I’m doing something you don’t want me to be doing and I don’t want you thwarting me.” When I left for a games night at a friend’s house last night, he was pushing me out the door and saying “BYE!” Apparently, he prefers my mom putting him to bed even though she is a drill sergeant when she does.

Around the house… paint fumes which will hopefully go away.

A favorite quote for today…

My thoughts on the Starbucks line this morning.

One of my favorite things… Cross-Stitch World on Facebook. It’s soothing.

A few plans for the rest of the week: dealing with various Daniel legal things, trying to get into a doctor up here for a refill on my thyroid meds, Bible study on Thursday morning, and choir on Thursday night.

Post Script…

These two songs have been stuck in my head for the last week.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Epiphanies This Week

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Paul Ryan and the Republicans’ attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. My thoughts are here. They are longer than a Quick Take so they are a separate post.

— 2 —

Prayer Request. My friend Amy has a rare and nasty pregnancy condition called placenta accreta. Tomorrow, they will be doing a c-section to deliver her baby boy as well as a hysterectomy to save her life because of the placenta issue. It’s a serious surgery and she is very much “standing in the need of prayer” as the old song says. Please pray for her safety in surgery, that they can make her comfortable during pre-op, and that her recovery goes well. Please also pray for her husband and four kids at home.

**UPDATE** They delivered her son at 9:07 a.m. CST and he was able to go straight to the nursery. They finished surgery 4-5 hours later and thankfully did not have to do any repair work to vital organs. She required 32 units of blood and they’re hoping to be able to get her off the ventilator, out of surgical ICU, and onto maternity soon. God willing, and she continues to recover well, she’ll be home in 3-4 days.

— 3 —

Twitter and the sitch in Oregon. Someone on Twitter came up with the hashtag #YallQaeda for the militia members holed up at the national park building in Oregon and some of the tweets regarding it just slay me. The tweets on them forgetting to pack in sufficient rations are even better.

— 4 —

Bhutanese refugees. Did you know that there are a number of Bhutanese refugees in Iowa? Yeah, neither did I. Apparently, more refugees came here from Bhutan in 2012 than any other country. (Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is the current leader.)

— 5 —

No more scampi for me. Apparently, indentured and enslaved workers fuel the Thai shrimp industry and the US imports half of the shrimp produced by Thailand. As much as I love my dad’s shrimp pasta, I’m going to have to either forgo it or find a source for peeled shrimp that meets my ethical standards.

— 6 —

Temperature blanket update. Herrschners finally shipped my yarn (stupid holiday weekend!) so God willing, I will have it by next Thursday and can start catching up on the blanket. I also need to do lovely things like calculate gauge so that will probably be a project over the long MLK Day weekend.

More ideas for patterns are here and here; and there is a tutorial for the whole temperature afghan concept here.

— 7 —

#OneWord2016 At Epiphany Eucharist on Wednesday, we were invited to select a decorative star from somewhere around the sanctuary and on the back was written one word. This word would be ours for purposes of prayer and meditation for this year and I’ll use mine for #OneWord2016 purposes. The word on the back of the star I chose: “direction”. For those who know me, this is a relevant word this year. Look for more posts on the subject once I’m done with SSI appeals and fighting with Medi-Cal.

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

To Paul Ryan and His Minions

Yesterday, I was on my way to Target with Daniel to pick up some prescriptions and a press conference with Speaker Paul Ryan came on NPR. He talked about how the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) has ruined the country and how he and Congress are sending the president a message about what the people of America think of the plan. I was so thankful that the only thing on my stomach was my latté because I was having to fight not to throw up from sheer anger and nerves. In fact, I am *STILL* completely furious 24 hours later and was going to write this post last night but couldn’t find the words in the midst of my abject fury.

So… here is my letter to Paul Ryan.

Speaker Ryan,

You and your party finally succeeded after 60 votes to pass a measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was 60 votes too many and wasted, at $30 million per vote, $1.8 billion. Guess what? The president is going to veto it and your people do not have the 2/3 majority needed to override the veto so pretty much you just wasted another $30 million of taxpayer money. So good to know that my tax payer money is being well-spent in your effort to further the toxic partisan environment in the federal government.

However, what angers me most is not that you wasted the money but that what you are doing affects me very deeply. You see, this is who you voted to kill when you voted each time:

The first time I got to hold Daniel.

That’s me holding my son Daniel for the first time on April 25, 2009. He was born 10.5-11 weeks early when I developed HELLP Syndrome and had to have an emergency c-section to save my life. If I had not had a doctor that caught it and got me to a hospital with someone who could operate and who could handle the severity of my case, Daniel and I would have both been dead in a matter of hours. Because of the HELLP Syndrome, I have autoimmune issues and have a severely elevated risk of complications should I ever have any more children. The painful part: nobody knows why exactly it hits or how to prevent it and the only cure is to deliver the baby at whatever gestational age it is and hope that the kid can make it. I don’t smoke, drink, or take any illegal drugs and I ate a completely healthy diet while pregnant so it is not like I brought this on myself.

Why does this apply to the Affordable Care Act and your efforts to repeal it? Because of provisions of the Affordable Care Act, my son Daniel can never be denied insurance because of his traumatic birth and the conditions that resulted from his prematurity. Insurance companies cannot charge him higher rates. This is a good thing because we have had three more hospitalizations in the last 6 1/2 years, one of which almost resulted in us losing him when he coded right in front of me. Speaker Ryan, have you ever watched your child being attended to by medical professionals who are in a high state of panic, knowing that in a matter of seconds your child could die if what they are doing is not successful? Have you ever had to sign paperwork to put your child on ECMO, the heart-lung bypass, so that maybe with some rest, their heart and lungs might not fail? Have you ever lived at a hospital for three weeks, getting a shower once every four days, sleeping on a pull-out recliner, and having to have clothing and clean underwear brought to you because you cannot leave the hospital? I am guessing that you have not because if you had, you would not have voted the way you did.

This is Daniel now:

Daniel in November 2015

He did survive that hospital stay and while he does still have delays from prematurity and he is autistic, he is a happy, smart, and sweet-natured child who smiles at everyone and lights up every room into which he walks. His speech has exploded in the last year thanks to a school autism program and I have hope of him eventually being mainstreamed into a regular classroom someday. He is the embodiment of the Affordable Care Act.

As for myself, the Affordable Care Act has meant that Daniel’s traumatic birth and the complications that arose cannot be held against me when buying insurance. Insurance companies cannot charge me higher rates for being female, cannot attach prohibitively expensive pregnancy riders onto my plan, or deny me lifesaving prenatal and maternity care should I have any more children. It means that I no longer have to choose between buying food to feed myself and my son or paying for the medicine that both of us take to keep us alive. Tell me, Mr. Speaker, am I an example of how the Affordable Care Act has failed?

For every person that has complained about their insurance costs rising, there are one hundred stories of people like me who are alive because of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Even some of my diehard Republican friends, at least the ones who are not engaging in partisan bickering, agree that it is a good piece of legislation and that it is a wise use of legislative and government resources. Many of them are now able to have health insurance whereas before they were having to go without insurance and leave chronic conditions untreated as they had no access to healthcare. Are they an example of how the Affordable Care Act has failed?

In 2012, I was relieved that President Obama was re-elected, not because I hated you or Mitt Romney, but because the two of you winning the election had the potential to have a catastrophic effect on my life. For many of your supporters, the President’s victory represented an affront to their values or a mere inconvenience to them. For me, the President’s victory meant that my son and I would be allowed to live.

Speaker, you can play your partisan games and engage in offensive politicking as much as you want with others; but God help me, you will not play these games with my son.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 3, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 3, 2016

Outside my window… dark and showering a little bit. It was sunny and 61F when I went to church and $tarbux with Rebecca today. It got grey later on when the storms started rolling in and we ended up getting some sprinkles. The fun is supposed to be Monday night into Tuesday. Bring it, El Niño!

I am thinking… about the temperature blanket I’ve planned to do. Herrschners hasn’t shipped my yarn yet so I might have quite a bit to make up when it finally does arrive! I’m thinking I’ll do either this pattern or this pattern as I’ll have 366 rows plus edging to do!.

I am thankful… that my kiddo went to sleep around 7 and has largely stayed asleep. It meant that I could get my mom’s help in getting the fleece cut for my dad’s Christmas present which will be tied on Tuesday while I’m sitting and meeting with someone.

In the kitchen… I’m feeling so crummy from this mutant death cold and fibro flare (because nasal congestion is just so much more enhanced with moving fibro pain, right?) that I just heated up some frozen pizza. Thankfully, I didn’t have any eating resolutions for the New Year!

I am wearing… my Run for the Little Flowers shirt and black sweats. (They’re my jammies tonight.)

I am going… to go back to watching Viperkeeper videos when I finish this post. Well… it’s either that or draft one on Titus 2 women.

I am wondering… if I’ll be able to make the necessary appointments for Daniel and I this week or if I’ll have to take the kiddo to Urgent Care to get more Adderall. (Our insurance changed and I spent the afternoon of the 31st working out who our doctors will be because all the ones near me or admit to my local hospital that are on Santa Clara Family Health Plan aren’t taking new patients.)

I am reading… Parchment and Old Lace by Laura Childs. After that, I’ll tackle A Lesson in Hope by Phillip Gulley. Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber is on hold until I get through all the stuff from the library. Thankfully, it’s mostly essays so it’s OK. *pets my e-reader*

I am hoping… I win at least extra stars in the Starbucks for Life contest.

I am looking forward to… Bible study with my ladies on Thursday and the Eucharists for Epiphany on Wednesday.

I am hearing… silence as Daniel is asleep, my mom is asleep (though her TV is on), and Dad is at the other end of the house watching something on PBS.

A Daniel story for today… When the kiddo wakes up after falling asleep on the heating vent, he’ll crawl into bed with me; and for some odd reason, his feet have to be touching me for him to sleep… and they’re usually cold! As a result, I’ve been having to make kind of a blanket fortress to protect myself and keep myself warm.

Around the house… the painting continues. Mom got her bedroom closet done this weekend.

A favorite quote for today… “Praise youth and it will prosper.” — Irish proverb that I think is very true, especially after hearing some of my husband’s former parishioners grousing about “young people” in his last parish. (The “young people” in question were 50-60 years old!)

One of my favorite things… uninterrupted sleep. I rarely get it these days.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Target and errands tomorrow, long drive for a meeting on Tuesday and possibly Knit Wits, Epiphany worship on Wednesday, Bible study and choir on Thursday, doctor’s appointments at some time during the week, and a games night with friends on Saturday. Oh yes… the kid goes back to school on Tuesday which is a good thing — he needs more structure than I can give him, especially when I’m this sick and barely able to adult on my own.

A peek into my day… Daniel asleep on me right before our trip to Washington for Christmas

Daniel sleeping on me.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Some New Year’s Musings

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Appropriate music. Rather than find a new and cool version “Auld Lang Syne” (which I think I have maybe sung once in my life, if at all), here’s a beautiful song for the New Year sung by Golden Bough, one of my favorite Celtic ensembles in northern California. You’re welcome. :)

— 2 —

Final update on resolutions. If my sweet angel decides to sleep tonight, I’ll be reading the last chapter of Zechariah and all of Malachi tonight. I recommend reading the Bible in a year and two good programs for that are here and here.

**UPDATE** Finished at 11:45 p.m. Boo yah!

My planking challenges were craptastic at best. Not to mention, who the heck does planks for fun?!?!?!?!?

— 3 —

Another Golden Bough song. This one is the song I associate with Golden Bough. The ensemble has been around since the time of my birth. My parents used to hear them perform at an Irish pub in Campbell. Enjoy!

— 4 —

Book suggestions for 2016. Kelly asked for book suggestions for 2016. My suggestions: anything by Rachel Held Evans (I read Searching for Sunday by her this year and loved it), Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, and Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber if you can deal with the profanity. (Nadia is nothing if not fluent in cursing like a sailor.) For murder mysteries that are completely absurd, check out Donna Andrews.

— 5 —

Resolutions for 2016. Here are some resolutions for 2016:

-Make a temperature afghan. Thankfully, Herrschners has good sales because my local Michael’s is sub-par and my ethics don’t allow me to shop at Hobby Lobby.

-Potty-train the munchkin. Because autism and living skills.

-Finish the various yarn things on my plate and make my parents their Christmas presents. I’ve got sock yarn for my mom’s striped socks and fleece to tie for my dad’s John Deere blankie. (My dad is a retired mechanical engineer and loves farm equipment so I get him all manner of John Deere things.) I also need to finish a stuffed animal for a friend who had a baby last year (aiming for the kiddo’s 1st birthday because I’ve managed to miss their birth and 6 month birthdays) and finish the munchkin’s big boy blankie.

-Get my prayer life back on track.

There are some others but I can’t talk about them yet.

— 6 —

Coming up on the blog. I’d like to do a series on parenting kids with special needs and get some guest posts (*coughcoughcough* Kelly *coughcoughcough* Kathleen) on the subject as well.

— 7 —

My plans for the evening. Dinner will be served as soon as I hit “publish”. Dad grilled up some steak and there are tater tots and Caesar salad. Dessert are some double chocolate Magnum bars. There’s a party and dancing at church tonight but I’m kind of looking forward to a quiet evening at home. If I beg hard enough, Dad might even make me a fire in the fireplace. I’ll be up at midnight but no champagne — I can’t drink.

**UPDATE** Dad fell asleep in his recliner early so little Miss Gold Award Girl Scout here tried to build her own fire, the first one in 17 years… and failed. I uttered the magic word (“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!!!!!”) and he woke up, shook his head at me, and opened a secret case that had special aged tinder used to start a fire. Thankfully, he did not comment on how I should know how to do this.

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: December 28, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY December 28, 2015

Outside my window… gray. Daniel and I walked to the library earlier and Mom and I did a Target/Costco run; but it looks like anything else will require a car, headlights, and windshield wipers. Bring it, El Niño!

I am thinking… about things I have to get done this week, emails I need to write, and calls I need to make. Thankfully, Daniel is being quiet right now so I can get things done.

I am thankful… for getting to eat pizza with my parents in front of a fire in the fireplace last night while Daniel played in the living room and eventually fell asleep next to me. Good times.

In the kitchen… probably a frozen dinner so I can get caught up from being gone for 5 days and not have to think about food.

I am wearing… black shirt and jeans. I’m discalced as usual.

I am going… back to Target later to drop off my prescription.

I am wondering… why the Saint’s Name Generator gave me Josemaria Escriva for 2016.

I am reading… the last part of Zechariah and all of Malachi this week in my read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. I’ll probably be starting Parchment and Old Lace by Laura Childs this week as well.

I am hoping… to have a peaceful New Year’s Eve at home.

I am looking forward to… Daniel going back to school on the 5th.

I am hearing… the fish tank behind me.

A Daniel story for today… kiddo has been falling asleep on the heating vent in our room and gravitates there any time the furnace is on, especially in the morning.

Around the house… fairly quiet as my dad is in his office and my mom is watching TV in her room with the cats. Daniel is in a closet in Mom’s office playing.

One of my favorite things… being home.

A few plans for the rest of the week: errands with the kid and whatever comes up.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Musings While Watching the Sun Bowl

7 Quick Takes

I’m sitting here composing these in EditPad while watching the Sun Bowl. I’m in Washington at my grandmother’s house without Internet (which is why I’ve been quieter than usual) and I’ll get these posted (and backdated to the correct time) on Sunday when I get home.

— 1 —

Stupid commercials. I’m already grumpy that they’re not showing the Washington State Marching Band’s tuba section. The only reason I’m actually watching it (I hate football and the Washington State Cougars are the archenemy of my beloved Washington Huskies) is my youngest cousin Sarah is a tuba player and the president of the band. Instead of actually showing something I *WANT* to see, they’re showing Chik-Fil-A commercials. I find Chik-Fil-A to be a reprehensible company for various reasons but the fact that I’m being forced to watch their lame commercials instead of seeing Sarah is making me stabby. Boo you stupid company! I want to see Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!

**UPDATE** I did get to see the Washington State tubas briefly and I caught a glimpse of Sarah. We’re so proud of you, sweetie!

— 2 —

Stupid announcers. Enough whining about the weather! You’re in a heated announcer booth. The players, fans, and the band are down in the snow. Get down on the field and report from there! (The sideline announcers are fine — I’m mostly grumping at the idiots in the booth.)

— 3 —

Legit weather complaints. My aunt and her boyfriend are there watching Sarah and they’re texting my mom to complain about the cold. To be fair to them, the snow has turned into a blizzard (4th quarter now) so they’ve got a right to complain. I’m hoping they get back to Washington safely tomorrow. Sitting up in northwestern Washington right now, it’s cloudy and near freezing but I don’t think we’re getting any moisture. If Washington does, I hope it holds off until we fly out and my aunt gets back tomorrow.

— 4 —

Favorite Christmas memory. Answering the question posed by Laura of Coptic Dad and Mom, my favorite Christmas memory would have to be from 1996 when we got snowed in up here and my parents actually made the local news when Sea-Tac (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) shut down and they were seen walking across the screen. We ended up having to borrow my grandparents’ van to drive back home to San Jose. It was pretty fun for a California kid to be able to play in the snow. I also remember Midnight Mass at my grandparents’ Episcopal church that year being particularly pretty.

— 5 —

Daniel’s Christmas. When we got to my grandmother’s house, Daniel started saying, “Dollhouse!” and my mom assumed he meant the one downstairs. (My grandparents kept outgrown toys for the grandkids and great-grandkids that were visiting.) It turns out that he saw part of my grandmother’s birdhouse collection. Oops! We went to Fred Meyer and found him a dollhouse set up the next day. In addition, Jon’s aunt and uncle sent me an Amazon.Com gift card to get Daniel something from them so I ordered some Legos. Kiddo was quite happy to find them under the tree.

— 6 —

Doh! The Miami Hurricanes just scored with 5 minutes to go! Oh good… penalty thrown and a 10 yard penalty given to Miami so the touchdown is undone. Hopefully Washington doesn’t Coug it! (“Coug” refers to the Washington State Cougars just *barely* missing the win as they did in their game against Stanford.) Thankfully, my University of Washington Huskies are kicking some Southern Mississippi butt in the Heart of Dallas bowl! GO DAWGS!

**UPDATE** Washington State wins 20-14! Against my better judgement, GO COUGS!!!

— 7 —

Tiny terrorist. Daniel played with his Legos all day yesterday and didn’t eat. While this meant that I got a much-needed nap, it also meant that the little monster didn’t go to sleep last night and decided to wake me up at 1:30 a.m. demanding milk. My response: “No. Go back to bed.” He responded by turning on both the overhead light and the reading lamp. I reluctantly got up, stuffed some milk and cheese into him, and went back to bed. He woke me up a few minutes later demanding more cheese. I realized at that point that I had several bags of goldfish crackers in the room and handed him a bag before pulling the covers back over my head. He finished that bag and eventually went to sleep on top of me around 2 a.m. I woke up with leg cramps at 5:00 a.m. because of the position I was in with Daniel on my (twin) bed so I carried him over to his bed and tucked him in. Thankfully, the little beastling let me sleep in until 10:00 a.m. When my mom woke me up because the precious sweetling had come upstairs, I told her I wouldn’t get up unless there was an iced venti vanilla latté with whole milk in it for me. She told me that $tarbux wasn’t open on December 26th. I may or may not have growled at her. (I got my latté.) Daniel’s new nickname is the “tiny terrorist”.

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