7 Quick Takes: Hot! Hot! Hot! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Hot! Hot! Hot! We are looking at temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s up here this weekend… and possibly triple digits! We get some days in the summer that are in the 80’s this year, but it is really rare for us to get into the 90’s. I’m not even sure if we’ve had triple digits in my part of Washington while I’ve lived here! The county is setting up cooling stations for those who don’t have A/C this weekend.

We were talking about the weather last weekend during the call with my brother’s family, and his father-in-law (who is up visiting from Arizona) snarked that it will be mildly warm. It was a 108F when he left Arizona. (Yeah… that’s why I don’t live down there.)

— 2 —

COVID deaths now mostly among unvaccinated. I saw this story on Facebook, and I’m sharing it because the Associated Press tends to be one of the most middle-of-the-road and unbiased media sources. I also looked to see if there was anything from the CDC or National Institutes of Health (a.k.a. REPUTABLE sources for medical information) on vaccine efficacy for those who have already had it, and they are saying that it looks like only one dose of the two-dose series is needed to achieve immunity comparable to those who got the series but did not have COVID.

Get vaccinated, y’all.

— 3 —

Daniel and COVID shot #2. Kiddo got his second vaccine on the 18th and did very well again. Skagit Regional Health’s Vaccine Clinic was really focused on making this a positive situation, and we had a shot giver who was touching everything to Daniel before putting it on the site. I thought she was going too slowly because he was anticipating it, but it worked out well. He has one week to go before he can start doing errands with me (wearing a mask of course).

— 4 —

Phone games redux. Since my post on them last week, I removed Klondike Adventures from my phone and finished all the puzzles on Cross Logic. I’ve since gotten into a new game called Einstein’s Riddle Puzzle, which is the logic games on steroids. I kind of wish it had the format of the boxes like Cross Logic does (so you can figure out the main parts of it), but it has kept my attention.

— 5 —

The Far Side. If you are a fan of Gary Larson’s comic, The Far Side, there is a Facebook community for you! It’s a highlight of my day to find all of my favorites on there.

— 6 —

Volcanic eruption videos. Given that I was born the day after Mt. St. Helens erupted, it isn’t surprising that I have a fascination with them. I came across this video a few nights ago, and it’s fabulous. My favorite part is when you can actually see the shockwave from the first eruption propagating in the clouds.

— 7 —

Supervolcanoes. My family jokes that the Discovery Channel has documentaries for the purpose of scaring the public. Stuff on Yellowstone’s supervolcano falls into that category. It’s the first one mentioned in this video.

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

7 Quick Takes: Dislodged G-Tubes, In-Person Church, and Anti-Vaxxer Stupidity Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Unexpected Seattle trip take #1. Fifteen minutes before my therapy appointment yesterday, Daniel walked in and handed me his g-tube (which is supposed to be sitting in a hole in his stomach called a “stoma”) with the balloon fully inflated. This would normally not be as big of a problem because I normally have a spare tube on hand that I can install… but some idiot (we’ll call them “Jen”) forgot to order a new one the second after they replaced the old one. I did have a partial kit but said kit did not include a syringe with a tip small enough to do the deflating/reinflating of a balloon. I managed to get it deflated using the end of a feeding extension, but there was no way to reinflate it, and I couldn’t get it back in Daniel’s stoma.

Cue me hurriedly throwing jammies, underwear, and a spare set of t-shirt/jeans as well as my daily meds into my laptop bag (in case we were there overnight for surgery), grabbing two Cokes out of the refrigerator, explaining to my therapist’s office that I wasn’t going to make it because my kid was having a medical emergency while throwing things in the trunk, and jumping in the car with Daniel to haul butt down to Seattle Children’s Hospital ER because that stoma closing up means emergency surgery to fix it.

— 2 —

Unexpected Seattle trip take #2. We got down to Seattle pretty quickly and didn’t hit any traffic until Shoreline. I also missed my exit, so Daniel and I got a lovely view of downtown Seattle while going across the Ship Canal Bridge before getting turned around. Thankfully, Seattle Childen’s Hospital has valet parking at the ER, and this is *SO* helpful because I could get Daniel in super fast and not have to deal with finding a parking space. I apparently used all the right words because we got taken back immediately. They had someone do vitals while someone else went to go grab some catheters to try and keep the stoma from closing more. I had to help hold Daniel while they got the Foley catheter in, and we were having to do things like grab c-clamps and wrap the end in a diaper as Daniel was creating negative pressure by fake-coughing before we could get it clamped. He was thankfully happy chilling on the bed playing with the TV remote and his tablet, and I got to talk to medical staff, email Jon to let him know what was going on, and let my boss know the situation. (My boss, bless her, had called my student for yesterday, and the student let her know to pass on prayers from her as well.)

— 3 —

Unexpected Seattle trip take #3. Eventually, a fellow and her attending came in, and the fellow checked the tube to see if it was damaged. Luckily, the balloon hadn’t been damaged so it was salvageable. She deflated it and tried putting it back in, but she needed a stylette to try and get it to go in straight. I suggested she grab a kit for a tube of a slightly different size as it would probably have a syringe, stylette, and lube that would help get it back in. While she ran and got the kit, the attending (who was holding Daniel’s arms) was asking me if I was a nurse because I seemed to know what I was doing. I replied that I’d been dealing with g-tube changes for almost 3 years, so I knew what should be happening. When the fellow came back, she lubed up the tube some more and started working on getting it down in the stoma. It wasn’t a pretty process, to say the least, because she was having a heck of a time getting it back in correctly, and I would have lost everything I had eaten in the last week if I was at all squeamish. (Stomach contents were coming out of the stoma as she maneuvered it, and I was blotting them off Daniel’s skin with the hospital blankie.) Eventually, she got it situated in the right place again, and I offered to check placement for her. The placement was good and Daniel was able to have a Pedialyte bolus feed without Pedialyte leaking out, so we were able to be discharged after just being in the ER for 90ish minutes. Our nurse got us squared away with paperwork, printed out a paper on what to watch for, and sent us on our way.

— 4 —

Why I love Seattle Children’s Home Care. I had conversations with them during the drive home about getting a spare tube overnighted to us, and I accidentally missed their last call because I was in the shower. Apparently, they decided to have someone drive it up to us (at least two or more hours because of rush hour), and I was shocked when a white van with a “Seattle Children’s” logo on it pulled in front of the house. The driver got out and handed me a g-tube kit. I almost hugged him.

— 5 —

So how is Daniel doing? I limited his food and drink to clear liquids and really plain things in case he had some nausea after what happened. He was cranky last night but didn’t seem too bad today. There hasn’t been any discharge or swelling, so I think he made it through this OK.

— 6 —

In-person worship. My church returned to in-person worship last Sunday, and it was so strange after worshipping online only for 15 months! It was like walking out of my cave into springtime after hibernating. It was like this strange and familiar thing from my past was happening again. (I can’t even really describe it all that well.) It was well worth all the quarantining.

I swore that I would wear my Easter dress from last year when we came back to in-person worship… so here’s the pic!

I haven't gained any COVID weight! Shut your mouth!

Why yes, I do have a mask that matches my dress! (Both are from Old Navy.)

— 7 —

Anti-vaxxer stupidity. If you believe that the COVID vaccine causes you to become magnetized, please proceed with haste to your nearest medical facility and ask for a lobotomy because someone has clearly ruined your brain.

THERE. ARE. NO. METALS. IN. ANY. OF. THE. VACCINES.

THE. KEY. STUCK. TO. THAT. IDIOT. NURSE. BECAUSE. OF. SEBUM. ON. HER. SKIN.

5G. STANDS. FOR. THE. FIFTH. GENERATION. TECHNOLOGY. STANDARD. FOR BROADBAND. COMMUNICATIONS.

BILL. GATES. ONLY. TALKS. TO. ME. THROUGH. THE. MICROCHIP. FROM. MY. FLU. SHOT. (OK… I couldn’t resist that one.)

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

7 Quick Takes: June Already?!?!? Edition

7 Quick Takes

Any Amazon links are Associate links and go toward paying my bills.

— 1 —

Karma and lack of thanks. I saw a story referenced on Facebook about some boaters who were allegedly harassing another boat that had Pride flags on it… only for their boat to go up in flames a few minutes later. OK… that was interesting and sounds kind of like the boat of harassers was being smited for being jerks. It turns out that it did happen somewhat local to me.

Despite the boat with the Pride flags rescuing them, the boat of harassers jumped into a friend’s boat without saying “thank you”. Yeah guys… the other boat could have left you in the water to wait for a rescue instead of pulling you in, so you might want to try being grateful..

— 2 —

Monday was the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. I found out about it within the last decade from a reference on a site I was reading. I definitely didn’t hear about in high school, and part of the reason was the terror inflicted on the Black community by it and other similar massacres.

If you think things like Tulsa happened years ago and that we should just move on, I invite you to learn about these other massacres, the most recent one being what took place at Emmanuel AME Church in 2015 when Dylan Roof walked in and killed 9 people. There are still survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre that are still alive.

Other massacres.

— 3 —

Karenpocalypse. My guilty pleasure this week has been the Karenpocalypse YouTube channel. It’s sometimes entertaining to watch people being so bleedingly ridiculous that you think you’re dreaming. It’s not fun to be the person receiving the abuse from the Karen (and I’ve been that person), but it can make for an interesting story once the trauma wears off.

— 4 —

Get this book. I’m 49 pages into Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. It’s amazing. Get yourself a copy. Do it now.

— 5 —

Patreon rewards. My Patreon rewards from Planning with Kay arrived today, and I’m positively giddy because I get to play with awesome stickers right around the time I would have been putting this month’s calendar spread for my bullet journal together.

— 6 —

Family gathering. Having my twin brother’s family up for the long weekend was amazing. It was worth all the Facebook messenger calls, the mask-wearing, and giving up holiday gatherings for a year to have everybody under one roof and not having to worry about getting someone super sick. Braden is adorable, and he is a really happy kid. Daniel was transfixed by him, and he was a happy kid all weekend.

— 7 —

New school. I got an email request from the case manager for Daniel’s school stuff this year. She wanted to schedule a Zoom meeting with a bunch of people, and I thought it was just a last-minute IEP meeting. It turns out that they’re doing the program placement stuff that didn’t happen last year because of COVID. Daniel will be going to the middle school that is closer to our house, and the head of that program was at the Zoom meeting to talk about Daniel’s needs. He is planning to have a day where we can come and see the classroom and do the orientation activities that didn’t happen in September 2020.

I’m bummed to lose Daniel’s teacher and paraprofessional from this school year as they love Daniel (and also me) like their own child. They also were absolutely wonderful while Daniel was in the hospital, and I went on Zoom with them one morning to let them see that he was OK. Ms. Leanne, his paraprofessional, has been working like mad to find something to keep his attention in the last weeks of school because he is just DONE. It has meant that I’ve found cool YouTube videos through her that I’ve shared with some of you for your kiddos. She has also fussed over me and swapped hospital stories with me because she’s a fellow caretaker of a medically-fragile person.

Still, I’m actually OK with all of this because it means more people who are going to love my kid, and Mount Vernon Public Schools has been exceptional at making sure that Daniel’s needs have gotten met from Day 1. Very few districts pull off a 12-person IEP on the last day of school for a kid who showed up to register for the fall, and his IEP meetings have always been amazing.

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

7 Quick Takes: Family, Mask Shaming, and Death Planning with the Kardashians Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Family gathering. Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh! I GOT TO SEE MY TWIN BROTHER, SISTER-IN-LAW, AND THEIR SPAWN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 MONTHS!!!!!!! It was so worth having to quarantine, do Zoom/Facebook messenger calls, and mask up for a year to stay safe so that I could see them this past weekend. Braden was a few months away from turning 2 when I saw him in February 2020, and he is now almost 3 years old. In the time between visits, he developed a personality.

We’ll see them up here this weekend.

— 2 —

Really?!?!? When I arrived at my local grocery store, this is what I saw…

Haggen sells out.

Apparently, the corporate people at Haggen are dumbkopfs because we’re *STILL* having double-digit case counts daily here (which is an increase) and they made masks optional for those who are unvaccinated. Yeah… those are the people who are at-risk for contracting COVID because they’re not protected. The CDC did not say that everyone could unmask (just those who are fully vaccinated and only outside and in certain other situations), and I can guarantee that it’s going to be the unvaccinated people that are not masking in public here because the vaccinated people are still wearing them! (Close to 90% of shoppers were, but I live in a blue pocket of my indigo county, so that was to be expected.) There are a lot of really irritated Haggen customers because we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of COVID risk here. The handful of friends I have who are not fully vaccinated due to pregnancy or anaphylaxis with the first shot are really hesitant to shop there due to this decision. (They’re all masking of course, but they’re investing in KN95 masks because they are aware of their risk.)

— 3 —

Mistakes in mask-wearing. When you wear your mask, COVER YOUR FREAKING NOSE. It defeats the purpose of a mask if you leave your nose hanging out. (COVID is primarily spread through the air.) If you want to complain about fabric next to your skin, either invest in a KN95 mask or a singer’s/speaker’s mask. Also… AN OXYGEN MOLECULE IS 1,500 TIMES SMALLER THAN THE COVID DROPLET THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING YOUR CLOTH MASK IS KEEPING OUT, SO DON’T EVEN TELL ME THAT YOUR CLOTH MASK IS PREVENTING OXYGEN FROM GETTING IN!!!!

This PSA is brought to you by the Karen who was behind me in the pharmacy line at Haggen who was wearing a “Trump 2020” mask with her nose sticking out and speaking LOUDLY to the jerk next to her (who wasn’t wearing a mask before people were allowed to stop) about some conspiracy theories that made QAnon’s trash look intelligent. (Why yes, I did ask him why he wasn’t wearing a mask, and I have no regrets. An employee thanked me.)

— 4 —

Church in-person. My parish and the Spanish mission congregation attached to us had an outside service for Pentecost on Sunday. I’m bummed that I couldn’t go because I really miss being with people, but someone had to be home dealing with Zoom. The Holy Spirit made a cameo as a very enthusiastic woodpecker, there were missed parts in the service that had to be reinserted, and our virtual choir anthem couldn’t be heard over the speakers. We *WILL* be going back to in-person worship in the sanctuary on June 6th, but people will be required to mask up (because we’re not unconcerned with the safety of others), the wine will be reserved for our priest only, and the picnic afterward will be a “bring your own food and drink and camping chair to socially distance” affair. We’ll also be continuing to stream worship on Zoom until further notice because there will be people who choose to stay home for health reasons.

— 5 —

Funeral planning with the Kardashians. Caitlin Doughty of Ask a Mortician takes on the episode of the TV show about the Kardashians that deals with funeral planning. She is entertaining as usual.

— 6 —

Prayer request #1. I’ve got a kiddo who has the beginnings of a bowel blockage, and I’d really love it if you’d pray that it clears. Please and thank you.

— 7 —

Prayer request #2. Please pray that Daniel’s SSI mess gets resolved soon. Thanks!

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

7 Quick Takes: Thursday Night Musings Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Some levity. I was reading The Alpine Pursuit (the book before the one I’m currently reading in Mary Daheim’s books about Emma Lord, a publisher in rural Washington) and I came upon a funny quote where Emma is talking to her brother Ben, a priest in Arizona.

Ben: “Can’t those people find something better to do than murder each other?”

Emma: “It’s winter. They’re bored.”

— 2 —

COVID vaccine update. Of the now 200+ people I know who have had at least one dose, one person has gone into anaphylaxis. She was at a vaccine clinic for our local health system, so they just took her across the street to the ER. It was a scary few hours for her but she’s OK now.

Does this make me afraid to get the vaccine? Not at all. You have people who are medical professionals (nurses and pharmacists) administering them, and they all know how to handle someone going anaphylactic. My pharmacist has done my flu shot for the last three years… and I have an egg allergy. The deal is that I get to occupy a chair by the pharmacy door for 20 minutes post-shot, and they know that I have absolutely no problem getting their attention if something starts happening. The current shot location at my local grocery store pharmacy is across from Starbucks, so I can get my coffee and my shot at the same time (if I get my shot at the local pharmacy).

6 weeks until I’m eligible…

— 3 —

Anniversaries. This week has brought a lot of one-year anniversaries from the day the college went to remote learning to the day I was sitting in Daniel’s IEP meeting when Governor Inslee announced that schools were shutting down for 6 weeks… and then eventually kids went on remote learning for the rest of the year. My church also shut down all in-person things, and it felt like everything life-giving was taken away from me.

A year later, I feel like I’ve gotten some of those things back, but there are still things like attending church in-person that I really miss.

— 4 —

Welcome to Plathville. I had seen some clips of the show on YouTube, so I decided to watch it on-demand and see what the actual show was like because all the clips online paint Kim (the mom) as a bad person. I’m on episode 2 and the jury is still out. I’ll let you know my impressions next week.

— 5 —

Why can’t he just go away??? As former presidents and first ladies got together to encourage people to get their COVID vaccine, the previous occupant of the White House issued a statement taking credit for the vaccine, claiming we wouldn’t get it for 5 years at best if not for him.

Bless his heart.

1.) Nobody but you and your merry band of bigots and freaks call it the “China virus”. In fact, calling it that is increasing violence toward Asian-Americans. Knock it off.

2.) Any president worth their time would have done *SOMETHING* toward fast-tracking a vaccine. Obama did it with H1N1. A pandemic was declared on April 24, 2009 and the first vaccines were given on October 5, 2009. I know this because Jon, Daniel, and I were among the first in our county to get them that October due to Daniel’s prematurity. If you don’t believe me, click here for the pandemic timeline from the CDC website. If Trump had been doing anything other than sitting on his butt tweeting, playing golf, and holding press conferences to boost his ego, the pandemic wouldn’t have been nearly as severe here in the US.

3.) Dolly Parton put $1 million of her own money toward the research to develop the Moderna vaccine. Trump spouted fake cures and unproven claims based on his minion’s economic interests. (Case in point: hydroxychloroquine.) Dolly did more toward “this beautiful vaccine” than Trump did.

4.) Biden and Kamala got vaccinated on live TV as did the former presidents and former first ladies when their turns came up. (Jimmy Carter even took a selfie with his vaccine card.) Trump and Melania got vaccinated secretly at the White House. Way to boost public confidence, Donnie.

5.) Any president who was following the science would have instituted a mask mandate nationwide, especially as the virus spreads through the air. Joe appeared in public masked-up the whole time except for the debates. Trump refused to mask up and gave COVID to those prepping him for the first debate and those who were working at the venue.

— 6 —

Interesting… Caitlin of Ask a Mortician talks about how they keep Lenin’s corpse perpetually young on display. I remember one of my seminary professor telling us about seeing Lenin’s body in Moscow, so this is fascinating to me.

— 7 —

Stop looking at me that way! I’m not obsessively surfing the Archer & Olive website after seeing Plant Based Bride unbox her A&O subscription box! I’m not! I’m not! I’m not!

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

7 Quick Takes: Stoned Cats, Murder Mysteries, and Strange YouTube Finds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

My current earworm. I was downstairs prepping a bolus for Daniel one evening when this was playing on one of the music channels on TV.

— 2 —

Cats! My parents’ elderly tomcat Jethro had to have his teeth cleaned on Monday, and they decided to remove some lipomas from his sides while he was under anesthesia. Jet did fine, but the incisions on his sides were large enough that he has some decent stitches, so he was the proud recipient of an Elizabethan collar (a.k.a. the cone). Minion had apparently never seen another cat in a cone because he puffed up… which is impressive when you consider that he’s a 15 lb kitty cat. His puffed tail is probably the best part. He also got hissy and started growling, so he was exiled from my parents’ room that night. Meanwhile, Jet was really stoned to the point that he was standing there watching TV. (He then started bumping into walls.)

— 3 —

Alpine, Washington. My literary catnip at the moment is Mary Daheim’s series of murder mysteries involving the fictitious town of Alpine, Washington in the Cascade Mountains. I was first acquainted with them 10 years ago and read them out of order over the last decade. I’m finally buying the e-book versions and putting them on my e-reader, and I am finding that I am enjoying them now that I am reading them in order, especially as I now am acquainted with the location of some of the places. The protagonist is a newspaper editor named Emma Lord, and I find that I can actually picture a lot of the events after living in a bunch of small towns.

— 4 —

Fauci ouchies, round 2. My parents get their second doses of COVID vaccine this weekend. I’m hoping that I hit the top of the list sooner than later. I will also be curious to know if I can get my shot at the local vaccine clinic or if I’ll have to go elsewhere given that I’m at risk for side effects. (I have an egg allergy, so they’ve always made me hang out after getting any vaccines or my flu shot even at my local pharmacy. I’ve also gotten allergy shots, so waiting for 20 minutes afterward is normal for me.)

— 5 —

What’s in a mortician’s purse? Caitlin does a riff on the “what’s in my purse?” thing that people were doing 6-7 years ago. And yes, she’s being sarcastic, especially about the fetal human skull made of white chocolate.

— 6 —

More of “Ask a Mortician”! So what’s the oldest mummy in the world?

— 7 —

Speaking of old things… Benjamin of bald and bankrupt explores an old caravanserai in Armenia.

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

7 Quick Takes: TED Talk Edition

7 Quick Takes

While I was editing my parish’s devotional book and trying not to play Taonga, I listened to a lot of TEDx talks as I needed some background noise. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed.

— 1 —

Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin is the person behind the “Ask a Mortician” YouTube channel. I decided to check out her channel more thoroughly after watching this talk.

— 2 —

Christian Picciolini. It’s unnerving to me that Christian was recruited to the White Power movement by someone seemingly expressing concern for him. He also admits that some of his music helped to radicalize Dylan Roof, the shooter in the attack on Mother Emmanuel church in South Carolina.

— 3 —

Darryl Davis. How many people would meet with someone who hates them to try and understand the reason behind that hatred?

— 4 —

Eric Hodgdon. He had a really positive message on how to get through after the death of a loved one.

— 5 —

Lucy Hone. This was helpful in seeing behaviors in my life that are beneficial in dealing with adversity. Lucy’s daughter was killed in a car accident, and all of her psych training had to ber sifted through to help her cope.

— 6 —

Greg Boyle, S.J. Because kinship.

— 7 —

Sue Kleibold. How do you heal from your son and a friend killing 13 people before killing themselves. Sue explains.

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