Catching Up: April 11, 2024 Edition


[+] I’ve been struggling with severe depression and COVID-related fatigue for the last 2 1/2 months. I didn’t know what was going on with the depression until I was supposed to have coffee with my former workwife Kim, and I was lying in bed trying to drag myself out. I didn’t know how seriously I needed that coffee date until she hugged me and I realized how much I missed seeing her and working with her. She and I get each other, and we bonded over our kids six years ago. I’m grateful that she had the time off from work and grad school for coffee.

[+] I just finished a prayer shawl on March 30th of which I’m really proud.

The whole shawl.

Segment 1.

Segment 2.

Segment 3.

I made it for Jay Bowen, a local artist and elder with the Upper Skagit Tribe, with whom my church has a relationship. He happened to be there the next morning on Easter when we blessed it, and I had the privilege of draping it across his shoulders. The idea was that each panel was an individual piece of stained glass.

[+] Daniel just turned 15 this past Sunday. Here’s a picture taken on Easter Sunday.

Daniel and me on Easter Sunday.

Why yes, he is quite a bit taller than I am. He passed me height-wise more than two years ago.

[+] I watch a lot of court cases on YouTube while I crochet, and a particularly maddening one was that of Rita Pangalangan who was convicted of murder along with her boyfriend of murder in the death of her daughter Cristina. Her boyfriend put Cristina in a hot car, where she sat for more than hours while he and Rita got high on meth. As the mom of a disabled child, I kinda want to slap her face repeatedly. I mean, how could she do something so selfish and stupid?!?!?!? I have a severely disabled kid, and my rear passenger doors have the child locks engaged so that Daniel can’t open them in traffic (which he hasn’t tried to do for years, but I have no trust). You better darn well believe that I know where Daniel is at all times, and I don’t leave him in the car, especially in the summer. Getting high on meth just adds a layer of horror to the situation. I can’t fathom putting myself knowingly in a position like that where I would lose the ability to care for myself, let alone my child, without another competent adult taking care of Daniel. As a single mom with sole custody, everything relating to Daniel falls on me.

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

I’m tired, y’all.

[+] I’ve been super flattened since getting over COVID. All the respiratory crud is gone, and I was able to chop off 6 inches of hair at the beginning of November. I finally got my flu and COVID vaccines in mid-November, so I’m currently double-protected for COVID thanks to having both the vaccine AND leftover antibodies from having the virus three months ago. Said antibodies will probably be gone in the next few weeks, so getting vaxxed was important.

[+] I’ve been doing lots of crocheting on prayer shawls as several people in my life have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Two of them had surgery this fall, and the cancer was caught early. Please get your mammograms, ladies. Two of them were in their late 30’s/early 40’s.

[+] My nephew was entranced by the snowflakes my mom was giving to put on our Christmas tree, so I made him his own set. This stretched into making them for Daniel’s staff and for my A/V people at church. Good thing they crochet up fast!

[+] Daniel got a weird virus at the beginning of December. It was rhinovirus, but he was puking. We had to go to the ER for fluids, and there was nobody in the waiting room when we got there! We had a room within 20 minutes, a doctor 5 minutes later (who did what I told him to do… after examining Daniel and realizing that I knew what I was talking about), and a nurse placing an IV within another 10 minutes! What could have been a 6-hour ER visit was probably around 3. We had lots of trips to Stanwood for meds (which included albuterol for a nebulizer… which is massively backordered elsewhere), and that meant me eating a lot of Mediterranean food from the restaurant across from the pharmacy. 🙂

So, onto all the New Year’s stuff:

[+] Saint of the Year: St. Anthony the Abbot, who is the patron of amputees, animals, butchers, domestic animals, epileptics, graveyards, hermits, monks, and against skin diseases. (Given by the Saint Name Generator created by Jen Fulwiler.)

[+] Word of the Year: I got the word create from the Word of the Year generator created by Jen Fulwiler. My word last year was steadfast.

I’ll probably post resolutions in the next few days…

Catching Up: November 2, 2023 Edition


[+] COVID was hateful. I had two weeks of sinus infection/bronchitis symptoms and the fatigue has been insane. Last week, the asthma exacerbation kicked in. I got a chest x-ray at Urgent Care to rule out anything scary, and my lungs were clear. Cue a steroid inhaler. I’m not up to singing with the choir yet, but I’m reading the names of the deceased during Communion on Sunday.

[+] Daniel continues to adjust to high school. We found out at conferences that he prefers the male staff members to the females. He is getting really cranky toward the end of the school day, and we’re not sure why. Non-verbal kids are hard because of this. The hitting is also increasing, which is not making me happy.

[+] The job hunting has resumed. I had to suspend it during COVID, and I’m honestly kind of happy for the break. My tutoring job burned me out for the last two years, and it was nice to have the space to actually be sick and not have to be made to feel guilty for not being able to work through a migraine or have to turn off my phone to avoid students with no sense of boundaries.

Catching Up: High School Edition

I made it, y’all!

[+] My surly teenager made it through the summer with daily trips out with me to find some “good trouble”. We checked out farm stores, discovered a local bar/grocery store that makes good desserts, and drove A LOT. I now know a few different ways to get home when I-5 snarls up going through Skagit County. I dispatched him to his first day of high school this morning, and I will post a picture when I have time today.

[+] I did finally get to see a gastroenterologist, and he decided that an endoscopy and colonoscopy would be a good plan. He prescribed SuTabs for the cleanse, and they were worth the $$$ because it’s two doses of 12 pills instead of nasty liquids. (Insurance didn’t cover them because insurance companies are death panels.) The cleanse process was hideous as usual, especially because the first dose left me puking badly, but I got through it. The actual procedures were as easy as they could be, and I can’t say enough good about Skagit Valley Hospital’s Endoscopy department. My anesthesiologist was lovely, and my nurse got my IV in painlessly. (The last few IV’s I’ve had at SVH have been painless. I don’t know if it’s a procedural thing or a training thing, but they are amazing. I have had horrible experiences with it taking multiple tries to get one in and it landing me in tears before.) They found that my stomach wall was definitely inflamed, but we don’t know why. Crohn’s, colitis, and scary stuff have been ruled out thankfully.

[+] I went through and audited my pages this morning… and determined that I need to do this a lot more often! I had to fix ages for me and the kid, and I also had to update how long I had been doing this blog (23 years!). Oops!

Catching Up: Two and a Half Months Edition

Wow… two-and-a-half months of silence.

[+] Work. My contract with the college ended on June 30th. I knew it was coming, and I spent last quarter working on my LinkedIn profile as well as creating ones on Glassdoor and Indeed. I’ve got a couple of stop-gap temporary measures in place until I can find a a more permanent remote job, but I’m still living pretty modestly and I am getting a little frustrated with the amount of scammers out there posting positions. There are some days when I honestly feel like I’m playing “Scam or No Scam”, and I have other friends in similar situations.

[+] Health. My appointment with gastroenterology is next week, and it cannot come soon enough. My stomach is angry and eating is unpleasant. I’m willing to deal with an endoscopy and colonoscopy at this point if they can figure out what is happening.

[+] Daniel. Kiddo is at least five inches taller than me, and he is in the middle of puberty. The mood swings are epic. School starts again in a little more than a month, and I think both Daniel and I will be excited for that to happen.

Catching Up: Favorite TikToks Edition

I’ve been sick, dealing with work stress, and generally feeling like crap, so I’ve been lying low and watching TikTok when I’m not working. Here are some TikTok finds…

@tanaradoublechocolate. “Everybody’s so creative!” She comments on horrific cooking TikToks. Her other catchphrase is that “it ain’t gone down easy if it ain’t cheesy!”

@gregisms. He’s a gay drama teacher from New Orleans who reports on things his elementary school drama students say to him. How can this not be entertaining?

@meganandtherescues. She rescues kittens. Her “bean bakery” videos about plumping up tiny black kittens are amazing.

@north_omaha_cat_lady. There’s nothing family-friendly about her. She comments on TikTok food videos, GLBTQIA+ issues, strange foods, and just about anything else. I love her for her “Caucasity Cookbook” commentary.

@drennondavis. His cats talk… and have a tie business. Always fun.

@plantymurse. He is a nurse who spent time in an ICU in Idaho. Expect embarrassing stories that may/may not be family-friendly.

@grannybibbins. Do you want to know about farming implements? Do you hate hussies? Do you want to see an octogenarian chase her grandsons around with a cattle prod? Do you like Jing Soda? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to go get some “Farm Facts with Granny”.

@bdylanhollis. Dylan is a Bermudan who came to the University of Wyoming to get his degree in jazz piano. He makes vintage recipes and has a cookbook coming out this summer. Some of his videos have innuendo, so maybe preview them before showing them to your kids?

@carrie_eileen_chuff. Carrie is a former nun who has some things to say about the cloistered life. She is now Eastern Catholic. She is fascinating.

@christopherskaife. He’s the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. He’s interesting and the ravens are cool.

@knucklebumpfarms. This is the TikTok of Taylor Blake. Her emu Emmanuel became an Internet sensation for attacking Taylor’s phone while she was trying to film TikTok videos. Her farm got hit with bird flu, and she lost all of her birds with the exception of Emmanuel and Rico (an evil black swan). Emmanuel suffered a stress reaction, and Taylor spent two months nursing him back from the point of death. Her other animals are also wonderful.

@ladykiernan. I watch her channel for her House Phone Saga. She has a landline whose number she does not know, but the telemarketers all seem to have it. 🙂 She pranks them.

@mehdinatv. Garrett and Mubina are the one channel I would send you to if you need to learn about Islam. Highly recommended.