Catching Up: May 6, 2022 Edition

So here we are again after less than a week. Woo.

[+] I’m still having coughing spasms and asthma issues. It worsened after I had to clean out the exhaust fan in my bathroom. Great of me to have a dust allergy. My lungs are hopefully done yelling with me over that one…

[+] Bed, Bath and Beyond is also low on items, and I’m hearing whispers of bankruptcy. It’s too bad because I could see myself going there for a lot of stuff if I ever have the opportunity to move out of my parents’ house. (What was supposed to be temporary has now stretched to 6 1/2 years.)

[+] Speaking of such things, the secret to making a multiple generation household work is treating the adults like adults and each one doing their share. My parents own the house, but my mom and I have the same brain, which makes running the household easier. I’m having a lot of G-I issues, so food is not fun for me, and I’m having to cook or deal with my own food. It means that I’m not eating the same thing as my parents (or eating at the same time these days), and I have the right to make that call. If we have company and I can’t eat whatever my parents are making, I’ve earned the right not to eat it at age 41… but my parents are also not making me something else. It’s not a huge deal because I plan for those meals with things I can eat.

[+] I saw something a few months ago on the subject of trans athletes. It was an article in which Lia Thomas and her current times were compared to her pre-transition times. She has gotten slower since transitioning, and it was interesting to see how she (yes, SHE) compared to the top times for each gender. The conclusion was that the reason she was at the top time-wise (good, but not Katie Ledecky good) is that she was a top swimmer pre-transition competing with the guys. It has been interesting to see that trans women athletes are not infinitely better post-transition across other sports (I’ve looked), which kinda defeats the argument that they transition in order to beat all the women when they compete.

[+} Also… PRONOUNS MATTER. There was a fire fight on my Facebook last year on the subject, and it was exhausting. Here’s the thing: using ‘they/them” is not a huge freaking deal if it means that my students or coworkers feel respected. There are a lot of gender-related chromosome things that don’t manifest in visible ways, and it’s none of my business to ask, so I just honor people’s requests regarding their pronouns. Mine are in my work email signature, and I can promise that I haven’t been hit by lightning yet. Calling people by their preferred pronouns sends the message that I see them and I care enough to listen.

[+] This video cracked me up…

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: Feeling Blah Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Worst case scenario. I saw this on Facebook and decided it needed to be shared as I’m a member of the “Almost Died in Childbirth” club.

Pregnancy worst case scenario.

— 2 —

Doc take #1. We’re done medicating Doc, but he is still averse to us putting hands on him. Mom gets away with it by giving him kibble or greenies by hand. The smell of both of those makes me feel nauseated, so I’m having to rely on my natural charm. He is not impressed.

— 3 —

Doc take #2. I’ve discovered that Mr. Sissy Stripes goes absolutely crazy with the laser pointer, so the two of us now play with it every night. He is comfortable enough with me to be silly and to emerge from under the bed to eat, so that’s progress. I actually had him playing in the open tonight, and he would bound across the floor, see me, and go hide behind an afghan on the floor. Repeat that a bunch of times, and you get a tired tiger kitty looking at you upside down. He is so funny. 🙂

— 4 —

Doc take #3. Doc has very squeaky little mew. He gives it to me when I come see him in the morning before his breakfast, and he will sometimes meow me while we play.

Mr. Sleepy Stripes

— 5 —

Nooooooooooooo! Buster Posey, catcher for the Giants, is retiring. He has been a fixture with the team for 12 seasons, including three World Series victories.

— 6 —

/rolls eyes To the people who are saying “let’s go, Brandon”:

You don’t sound witty or cool. You sound cowardly because you can’t just say what is on your mind. When I hear that phrase, I automatically subtract 50-75 IQ points. This applies to politicians as well, some of whom don’t have the IQ points to lose!

Snuggles,
me

— 7 —

Wow. I just saw Kelly’s post that this is the last week of Quick Takes. Hm.

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

7 Quick Takes: A Harder Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Update on the sinus infection. I’m on Day 7 of my first round of Azithromycin. I’m not feeling amazing, but I’m not coughing to the point of choking. I’m still a bit stuffy, and I’m unfortunately almost out of Sudafed. (This is a problem because the regular Sudafed that you get from behind the pharmacy counter is the only thing that works to help me sleep… and my local pharmacy is out of it.)

— 2 —

Update on Jethro. Mom took Jethro back to the vet on Tuesday, and his bloodwork was trashed to the point where he could have had a blood clot if he kept going. The vet told her the prognosis, and she asked if they would be able to put him to sleep that day. When they said “yes” and told her she could have as long as she needed with Jet, she called Dad to come and sit with her. Jethro seemed to sense that it was his time because he relaxed and curled up in both Mom’s lap and Dad’s lap before they sedated him to give him the final shot. (Meanwhile, I had come out of my room after finishing with a student, and I figured out what was going on when I found Dad gone.) He went peacefully. We know that he is with his brother Homer again, and that is comforting since Homer’s death three years ago was really hard on all of us. (We adopted Minion the day after Homer passed away. He helped us heal.)

Minion has had a tiring schedule of guarding Mom and cuddling her (because Jet is gone and Jet was Mom’s lap kitty) in addition to his normal Mama cuddles with me. I’ve got feelers out on Petfinder for a Maine Coon cat or at least another one that might be a good buddy for Minion, who is definitely feeling Jet’s absence even if Jet was a cranky old man.

— 3 —

Why I like living in a blue state. My governor gets crap from the Republicans in the eastern part of Washington about the mask mandate and the various vaccine mandates, but we’re not in the mess that Idaho is currently in.

Why do I believe that Idaho is that bad off? Well… it might have something to do with Idaho sending a bunch of their worst patients to Washington to take up our hospital beds. (The stupider people in eastern Washington have been going to Sandpoint and Coeur d’ Alene to shop because Idaho doesn’t have a mask mandate, so I have no sympathy for hospitals in those Washington counties because they’re doing it to themselves.) The Republicans in Idaho have been bickering over COVID precautions to the point where the lieutenant governor took the opportunity to issue an executive order banning mask mandates while the governor was out of state. (The governor canceled the executive order when he returned.)

Do I love having to mask up all the time? No. However, Governor Inslee issued the mandates two months ago because he gives a crap about the health of the people in the state. The members of Idaho’s state government seem to be only thinking of themselves.

— 4 —

Q & A with a nurse. A member of r/nursing on Reddit did a Q & A in order to dispel a bunch of myths about COVID, the vaccines, etc. Other than a few pieces of bad language, it’s a good read and explains about why the COVID vaccines were developed so quickly.

— 5 —

Worth watching. I had to watch this TED Talk in order to proofread a paper, and I really recommend it.

— 6 —

How have I been dealing with all of this? I am crocheting while I work with students or watch YouTube. I’m watching a lot of “Live PD” on YouTube because it relaxes me for some strange reason.

— 7 —

Some positivity this week. I was doing my weekly grocery shopping on Tuesday when a woman stopped me. She told me that she had seen me with Daniel the previous week and that I was doing a really good job with him. She then patted me on the shoulder and told me I was a good mother.

I honestly almost cried in the middle of Haggen when she said that to me. (I’m tearing up now thinking about it.) I don’t know if she knew how much I needed to hear all of that. It’s honestly getting me through the harder parts of the week, and it also is giving me patience with Daniel because someone out there thinks I’m doing things right.

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: Late August Miscellanea Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Holy buckets! Clarissa Ward spoke with Brian Stelter of CNN about getting out of Afghanistan. It’s… intense.

— 2 —

The sound of COVID. Not gonna lie. This video unnerved me because I’ve lived in a PICU with Daniel for days and spent time in the NICU. Those alarms start going off when bad things are happening. I remember being in the ER with pneumonia and sepsis two years ago, and a low oxygen alarm went off for someone (I think a baby or young child) a few bays down. My mom saw the look on my face (which I had think had even lost the small amount of color it had), and she had to convince me that Daniel was home asleep with my dad because I was about to have another panic attack from my brain going to all the times that those alarms had sounded for Daniel.

Y’all, stop putting doctors and nurses through this foolishness. GET YOURSELF VACCINATED.

@nurse_sushi

Alarm fatigue is high these days. ##icu ##icurn ##criticalcare ##rn ##nurse ##covid ##covid19 ##vaccinessavelives

? original sound – Sugi ?

— 3 —

Thankful for my Snuggie. My parents are having a new roof put on the house, so I’ve had to be up and dressed earlier than usual. For some odd reason, I’m having a really hard time staying warm, so I have been really appreciating the Snuggie I got for myself a few years ago after my former mother-in-law gave my old one to Goodwill.

I’ve also learned that I can nap through anything if I’m tired enough because I’ve had people outside my (second floor) window and on the roof above me pounding, and I’ve slept through it.

— 4 —

Changing my perspective. I saw this story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and I’m having to confront my feelings on the subject.

Basically, there are a bunch of bells along a route called the “El Camino Real” that stretches from northern California down to San Diego. Franciscan missions were built along that route in the 18th century, and it was a big freaking deal to learn about them in 4th grade, build one, and visit one. History is a passion of mine, so having a piece of history removed is kind of painful.

However, the indigenous people in California had their culture, language, and land removed when the Spanish Franciscans and settlers arrived. They forced them to build the missions under the guise of Christianizing them. Probably 1/3 of the people died during that time, and seeing those bells is like making a black person look at statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate heroes while being told of how glorious the antebellum South was.

As someone who cheered when the Confederate statues came down in town squares and were removed from government buildings (including the U.S. Capitol), I need to remember that the history of the missions is just as problematic. The bells can go. The mission buildings are still there (many of them still are used as churches and chapels), and there are amazing things called “books” that tell their various histories.

This isn’t me trying to appear “woke”. This is me being honest about something that has been on my mind today.

— 5 —

Oops! I was going through this site to see how I had classified my current blog header, and I saw that I was still listing my age as 39 and Daniel’s age as 12. Oops! I’m now 41 years old, and Daniel turned 12 in April. I think I’ll go audit the rest of my pages when I finish these takes…

— 6 —

Vaccine discernment from a fellow blogger. I want to call out Bonnie Engstrom and thank her for being very transparent about the discernment she has gone through on the subject of getting her COVID vaccination. The series from her Instagram stories from a few days ago isn’t archived yet, but she was asking about who people trust regarding media sources and politicians because it’s really super hard to figure these things out if you don’t have a science background. (Science also evolves over time, so information and recommendations for safety precautions have changed as we have learned more about the virus and its variants.)

Throw some prayers her way because her kids have hand, foot, and mouth disease and their air-conditioning isn’t working. It was 100+ F where she lives a few days ago, and it was 92F in the house. 🙁

— 7 —

Some updates on a previous post. I blogged about dealing with mask and vaccine mandates on campus a few weeks ago, and I wanted to let you know where things stand.

We found out two weeks ago that there would indeed be a mask and vaccine mandate on campus, and both staff and students would have to sign attestations about being vaccinated before the first day of Fall Quarter on September 20th. Last week, Washington’s governor (Jay Inslee) announced that all health workers and pretty much every person working in education in the state of Washington are required to be vaccinated and submit proof of it to their employers by October 18th. (Not an attestation. ACTUAL PROOF. There are exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but no philosophical ones.) There is also an indoor mask requirement for the entire state again that went into effect on Monday.

I am positively *GIDDY* and am waiting to find out how to submit my proof of vaccination so that I can get that out of the way. I’m thankful to have a governor who cares about the safety of the people in his state, and I’m thankful to work for a college that takes all of this seriously.

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

7 Quick Takes: The Delta (Variant) Blues Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m at the point where I have no chill left, and I’m calling out all of you reading this who are being difficult about masking up and who are refusing to get vaccinated because you just don’t want to. (Spare me your anecdotes and stories about the friend of a friend you read about on the Internet. Having COVID once does not offer sufficient protection, and I don’t care about the studies you send me unless they have been peer-reviewed by experts in epidemiology.)

If you don’t want to hear what I think of you, feel free to skip this post.

— 1 —

Masks. Y’all, I’m not fond of having to wear a mask everywhere. I’m not fond of my singer’s mask giving me hot flashes on Sunday morning. However, the Delta variant of COVID is hitting the country super hard, and I’m in favor of protecting the people around me. So…

Philippians 2:3, y'all!

And wear your mask properly WITH YOUR NOSE COVERED!

COVER YOUR FREAKING NOSE!

For all of you howling about YOUR RIGHTS, here’s some wisdom:

Adolescence

— 2 —

Regarding the “we don’t know what’s in the vaccine” stupidity… I have a few thoughts.

The contents of an apple.

Apologies for the profanity in this one.

Mind the profanity.

One of my friends also pointed out on Facebook that the people making this claim about the vaccine somehow have no problem eating a McRib sandwich or McDonald’s chicken nuggets… and those are foods of unknown ingredients. You can get a list of vaccine ingredients.

— 3 —

The stupidity of protesting mask mandates in schools… I have no sympathy here. None. Kids pass viruses around classrooms, and the mask mandate is part of the safety measures in place. My autistic 12 year old son can wear a mask without a problem. My three year old nephew has worn one in public since he was 2 years old. If they can wear them, your kid can too. If you don’t want your kids to have a mask mandate at their school, feel free to homeschool them.

There is a local school board candidate who is making a stink about it (especially after our governor announced that masks will be required indoors for everyone in the state), and I think it’s so nice of her to be open about it so that people know not to vote her onto the school board.

How masking contributes.

— 4 —

Refuting the fallacy that the COVID surge is solely “breakthrough” cases… I found some lovely infographics illustrating the truth on this.

Mostly unvaccinated people here.

Yep, not all breakthrough cases here either!

— 5 —

Decisions made by school officials. I back every school district that has chosen to defy state governments and institute a mask mandate and every school district that has chosen to delay the start of school because of the Delta variant.

Did we do enough?

— 6 —

Compassion fatigue regarding people refusing to be vaccinated. Y’all who refuse to be vaccinated are putting a serious strain on the doctors who will be treating you in the hospital WHEN (not IF) you end up in there with COVID. Knock it off.

— 7 —

What people with COVID say about getting vaccinated. Here’s what some people in the hospital with COVID say about getting vaccinated.

— Bonus —

While y’all are stewing about me calling you out, please pray for my friend M’s daughter Millie who is fighting severe COVID. She is too young to be vaccinated and contracted it despite her parents’ attempts to protect her. She has Down Syndrome, and the trisomy issues are messing with her airway badly.

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