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

7 Quick Takes

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— 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: May Update Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Camp NaNoWriMo. I made it to just under 25,000 words before I quit mid-month. I hadn’t done any really extensive planning, and it bit me in the rear as I had a few days where I was staring at my laptop and no words were coming. I’m going to try again in November and do some extensive planning beforehand.

— 2 —

Fauci ouchie #2. I got COVID vaccine #2 on April 20th. Not only did I have a sore arm, but I had a fibromyalgia flare, an IBS flare, a migraine, and chills in the two days after I received the vaccine. It wasn’t fun, but it beats being on a ventilator. The two week wait is now up, and I am free to go out and lick doorknobs… or something.

— 3 —

Josh Duggar. I’m kind of shocked that nobody saw the child pr0n charges coming. I mean, he molested his sisters, and he cheated on Anna. The only people I feel sorry for in all of this are Anna and the kids.

— 4 —

New quarter. My tutoring schedule was maxed out the day after the quarter started. Things have gotten shifted around, and I’ve still ended up with my schedule maxed out. I’m still enjoying all of it (except for the student who ghosted me) even though I’m super busy.

— 5 —

Daniel and school. His middle school brought everyone back to school in a hybrid model, and we opted out of doing it due to me not being fully vaccinated and Daniel being unable to be vaccinated at that time. His paraprofessional is primarily working with him now and things got shifted 20 minutes earlier, which works a bit better for us. We are hoping to get Daniel vaccinated this summer so that he can go back to in-person school this fall.

— 6 —

Reading. I finished all the Mary Daheim books about Emma Lord, and I am in the middle of Margaret Maron’s books about Deborah Knott, the North Carolina judge. Maron does such a good job with descriptive language that I feel like I’m in rural North Carolina and am shocked when I look up and I’m back in Washington.

— 7 —

My Mother’s Day plans. I have none other than church and a nap.

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

7 Quick Takes: COVID-Related Stuff Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Illiterate adults deserve respect. I really recommend watching this. I deal with adults who fall below the functional literacy level a lot in my work, and there is a lot of stigma attached to not being able to read or write well.

— 2 —

Dolly Parton’s COVID vaccine. Not only did she help fund research toward a COVID vaccine, but she even got hers on camera and repurposed one of her songs to encourage people to get the COVID vaccine.

— 3 —

Greg Abbott fustercluck. It’s actually kind of amusing when *ALL* the Texans I know (who span the spectrum politically, several of whom have had COVID) agree that Greg Abbott is a special kind of stupid and announce that they are going to keep masking up and socially distancing. Why? Because they understand that there are some things you do to protect OTHERS because the world does not revolve around them.

I’ve also seen this picture more than a few times in my Facebook feed.

Greg Abbott is stupid.

Also, the last time I checked, a virus doesn’t give a rat’s butt if it inconveniences you… because having to wear a mask and socially distance is really just an inconvenience to most people.

Selfish people hate masks.

— 4 —

Yeah, that’s still a “no”. I just got the news that my local school district is bringing middle schoolers back in a hybrid learning model starting April 19th. Given that we’re an immunocompromised family, that’s not going to be a reality for Daniel because I need to have both doses of my COVID vaccine before we even think about letting him out in public because he touches everything and touches his face. (In other words, he’s a COVID vector.) He also likes to cough, sneeze, fake-cough, and fake-sneeze without covering his mouth. And yes, we’ve been trying to impress on him for two years (since he gave me a pissy little children’s cold virus that went from zero to pneumonia with sepsis in three days by fake-sneezing on me) that he needs to COVER HIS DAMN MOUTH. He thinks it’s hysterically funny and doesn’t care. (Parenting an autistic kid sucks at times as they don’t listen to reason or logic… or really anything else.)

Believe me, I hate remote learning and doing school with him at home, and he hates it too. (I can’t think of anyone in my real life or on Facebook who is doing school on Zoom or at home for COVID reasons who wants to continue it after this year. It is not a viable option for most of us, especially for those of us who have to work to support our families.) However, we aren’t among the idiots who believe that COVID is “just a cold” or “just flu”, so we’re doing what we need to do to protect ourselves and our families. It’s a sure thing that if I get COVID, I *WILL* end up on a ventilator because that’s how my body works. (And yes, I don’t leave the house unless absolutely necessary and I have been masking up when I go anywhere since last March.)

— 5 —

Just a head’s up… COVID-19 has killed 518,000 people in the USA as of yesterday. Below is a chart showing the number of people who die from the flu yearly.

Infographic: How Many Americans Die From The Flu Each Year? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Yeah… this isn’t just “the flu”.

— 6 —

Fauci ouchie update. My parents got their second COVID vaccine shots on Sunday. They reported feeling fatigued on Monday, but things were normal for them by Tuesday. Of the 100+ people I know who have had both shots, maybe 5% have reported any negative side effects from dose #2, which is the one where you’re going to have a bad reaction. Nobody has had an anaphylactic reaction, and the people at risk of having one have had to get theirs at a special clinic.

— 7 —

Trump inauguration today. So, how did everyone enjoy the Trump coronation inauguration today?

Wait… it didn’t happen???

Oh… it has been moved to March 20th?

So, is that the day that Donald Trump and President Biden are going to switch their faces back???

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

7 Quick Takes: Thankful Edition

7 Quick Takes

I decided to come back from my hiatus early and let you all know the things for which I am giving thanks this year.

Blah blah blah Amazon links are affiliate ones blah blah blah.

— 1 —

I’m thankful the election is over. Holy polarization, Batman! This election season was functionally 8 years long. The 2012 election bled into the 2016 one… which then bled into this one. I’m also so thankful that the election went in my favor! I have a good governor who has worked tirelessly to protect the people of Washington, and the idiot running against him would have been horrible for the state. I get my amazing Congresscritter again, and let’s not even go into how happy I am that Joe Biden won the election.

You know what’s making me even happier? Not having to deal with the “rolling Trump rally” idiots driving around, creating traffic hazards, and giving me a headache from their honking. I wonder if they even know how much they made people want to vote for Biden instead!

— 2 —

I’m thankful for teachers. Homeschoolng Daniel is my idea of hell, so I’m grateful that someone else is doing the planning while I just have to make sure he stays on task. His teacher, therapists, and aide love him, and they make an absolute effort to try and reach him. I can’t wait until he can go back to school, but I’m happy that we can at least keep his education moving until the vaccine is ready.

— 3 —

I’m thankful that I have a job right now. One of the good things about my job is that it can be done online. Because of this, I was able to work this summer for the first time since Daniel was a baby. Winter Quarter will also be online, so I have job security for the time being.

— 4 —

I’m thankful for businesses that are trying to keep their employees and customers safe. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the pandemic where I live, so I appreciate that my grocery store is limiting the number of people inside, that my favorite restaurants are on DoorDash or Munchie Dude so food can be delivered, and that other places have curbside pick up for food and retail goods. People in my area have been patient with the restrictions that we currently have, and that made it easier to deal with the line to get in the store on Thanksgiving Eve to pick up Daniel’s meds and a few last-minute things.

— 5 —

I’m thankful for my family. I’ve been stuck in the house with them for eight months, and we haven’t managed to kill each other yet. The grown-ups are also eating together every night, so I think my parents have a better idea of what I do for a living and what I have on my figurative plate because we talk about our days at dinner.

We also were able to have some socially distant porch visits this summer with some extended family. For Thanksgiving, we made dinner-to-go for my bachelor uncle, and he was able to come over and pick it up. (He brought us a pumpkin spice cheesecake from 5b’s Bakery in exchange.)

— 6 —

I’m thankful for my church. We haven’t been able to have in-person worship for eight months, so we’ve done worship over Facebook Live and then Zoom. Granted, I’m the one doing all the tech and web work for it, but people are being patient with tech malfunctions for the most part, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Our Vestry is also trying to make sure people get called every week and checked on because it can be lonely and we have an older congregation. Our choir has put together virtual anthems, and we’re working on finding ways to do worship without being allowed to sing. (This is why we can’t sing.) We did a survey of people this summer, and nobody wants to go back to in-person worship until the county hits Phase 4 and there is a vaccine available. We obviously didn’t get to do Easter in-person, and we are making plans for Midnight Mass over Zoom.

— 7 —

I’m thankful for my NOOK. I’ve re-read and gotten caught up on one series of murder mysteries, and I am almost done with the “Witchnapped in Westerham” books.

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

November Hiatus

After sobbing my eyes out for four hours in a panic attack instead of sleeping last night, I’ve decided to start my November hiatus early. I have a project for church that needs to be done by the day before Advent starts, I have a kid who is reacting to pandemic stress by hitting things (and who has done damage to the house), I have students who are needing a lot of me this quarter, and I need to step away from blogging to conserve my spoons for those things.

Oh yeah, there’s also the fact that a spitefulness and meanness entered politics 10 years ago with the start of the Tea Party movement, and I’ve felt nastiness present in every election since, starting with the 2012 election which had an “us vs. THEM” feel to it, especially as a Protestant in the Catholic blogosphere. 2016’s election was positively mean-spirited and hateful, and the incumbent in the White House has perpetuated that spiteful meanness into his reign. It has felt like the 2016 election has been extended for 4 extra years, and I honestly don’t feel like dealing with people who want to vote for someone who is a bully and who wants to take away programs that are a lifeline for people like me. I’m exhausted, y’all, and I can’t deal with discussions of politics anymore. I voted the second my ballot landed in my mailbox, my ballot has been processed already (because I live in a state that votes by mail and tracks ballots on a website), and I don’t feel like I should have to deal with it any longer.

I plan to spend Election Night eating teriyaki and sushi from my favorite Japanese takeout place via DoorDash and watching “Forged in Fire” reruns instead of checking election returns every 5 minutes or listening to blathering on it from various commentators who are going to make it as dramatic as possible.

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7 Quick Takes: Schadenfreude, Politics, and Fun Read-Alouds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Schadenfreude. One of my Facebook friends posted this, and I felt like it described how a lot of us are feeling right now. We’ve had to deal with months of quarantining ourselves to protect our families, wearing masks to protect ourselves and others, and doing what we were told only to be called sheep, have people mock us, and have to watch people having screaming hissy fits about their “rights” (which are not actually rights enshrined in the Constitution) at Costco. Then, we’re told to “have compassion” when we point out (politely, of course) that actions have consequences.

Yeah, we’re not the ones with the compassion problem, y’all.

Schadenfreude is a bitch.

— 2 —

Mocking Trump. I had a migraine on Friday, so I didn’t get on Facebook that night. When I did finally look at it, it seemed like all my super conservative friends were complaining about people rejoicing over Trump testing positive for COVID. OK… I scrolled through Facebook for an hour and a half and saw a grand total of THREE memes even having to do with Trump and COVID. Only one person on my Facebook is celebrating this at all, and the vast majority are talking about how weird this feels because they’ve been bullied by Trump and his more vocal followers about taking steps to protect themselves, and then they’re told to be nice when Trump, Melania, multiple senators, and multiple high-profile White House staff test positive.

Y’all, this is what I saw:

[+] Joe Biden pulling his attack ads the second Trump’s positive test was announced, expressing healing wishes for him and Melania, and forbidding his staff to post on social media about Trump’s illness… right after Trump’s campaign sent out some pretty foul statements about him, which people screenshotted.. (Biden’s actions are what we call “leadership”.)

[+] Barack Obama expressing his desire for healing for Trump, Melania, and all who were sick.

[+] Faith leaders of mainline (translation: “liberal”) Christian denominations instructing their followers to pray for Trump and Melania on Sunday regardless of our political stance because it’s what Christians do. (Michael Curry, my fabulous Presiding Bishop, was among them.)

[+] Conspiracy theories in the comments sections on the Facebook walls of my super conservative friends about how this was a plot to get Amy Coney Barrett, Trump, and others sick at the ceremony for her so that she can’t be confirmed. Never mind the fact that Amy has already had it, and the people who got sick were the ones not wearing masks. (Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.)

I’m sure there were people being vitriolic on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t keep people like that around me.

— 3 —

Vice-presidential debate. I didn’t watch the debate–I loathe Mike Pence, and Kamala Harris was my attorney general in California for five years. She’s probably a bit more liberal than I am, but she knows her stuff and would be an excellent vice-president.

Having said that, I understand from my friends on Facebook and Twitter that the winner of the debate last night was the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head while he was mansplaining racial relations to Harris (who happens to be of Jamaican and Indian descent).

— 4 —

Virtual debate. Even if I didn’t support Joe Biden, I would be in full agreement with his decision not to take part in an in-person debate until Trump’s COVID-19 is gone. I mean, it’s common sense that you don’t share a stage with someone who has a disease that is incredibly communicable.

I’m also pretty aghast at Trump’s joyride this weekend that put his Secret Service detail at risk as well as the doctors at Walter Reed letting him out. I’m seriously prone to bronchitis and pneumonia, so I can tell you that even with steroids, he’s not feeling that great. He’s probably having coughing spasms hard enough to make him vomit, and he’s at risk for complications due to age and obesity.

— 5 —

Remote learning update. Our local school district is allowing a few new groups of students to be in-person at school, but we’re still keeping my kiddo home. School has been pretty boring this week as we’ve been keeping a pretty consistent schedule, so nothing new to report there.

— 6 —

Bobcats! The Wildcat Sanctuary is rescuing two bobcats from a rehabber in California, so their media person and a caretaker are currently on the way back to Minnesota with them. They’re live-posting at various intervals on the drive back to Minnesota, and it has been interesting to see their route as I’ve driven a lot of that route before. (The difference is that they’re taking I-70 instead of I-80, which is the route Jon and I took 16 years ago.)

— 7 —

Fun read-aloud video. Nope. Totally not dancing along to the music. Never. I also love that Pete is a cat walking along with Chucks on all four paws!

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

7 Quick Takes: Politics, Tigers, and Gordon Lightfoot Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Amy Coney Barrett. I oppose having confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett before the election takes place. If Mitch McConnell refused to allow hearings for Merrick Garland 8-9 months before the 2016 election, it is hypocritical as heck to try and shoehorn this into the 6 weeks before the election this year.

I oppose her nomination for several reasons. She has been a judge for less than three years (she was elevated by Trump in 2017), and I disagree with her record regarding the Affordable Care Act among other decisions.

You see what I wrote above? THAT is how you disagree faithfully. No name-calling involved and any criticism was focused on people’s ACTIONS and their record instead of their personal life.

— 2 —

The debate on Monday. I’ve known who I would be voting for since the day after the 2016 election, so I skipped the debate on Monday. According to people I know who watched it, it was brutal, and Chuck Wallace did a horrible job of keeping order. The most interesting commentary came from some of my stalwart Republican friends on Facebook… who had nothing good to say about Trump’s performance and are thinking of voting for Biden.

I’m currently reading the fact-check on the debate from the New York Times (which doesn’t go easy on either candidate) and it is convincing me that I’m better off not watching next Wednesday’s debate, given how much of a dumpster fire this one was!

**UPDATE** Trump and Melania have tested positive for COVID, so I don’t think there will be a debate on Wednesday unless it can be done over Zoom or something.

— 3 —

Tiger-Thon! The Wildcat Sanctuary (my favorite charity) is having a Tiger-Thon to raise money for the care of their cats. For the last week, they’ve had a triple match for their fundraising, and it all culminated today with lots of live Facebook posts with all of their tigers. The videos are here in case you have any kids who have a deep and abiding need to watch tiger videos. 🙂 (I recommend checking out Daisy, a.k.a. Crazy Daisy.)

— 4 —

An educational opportunity. Daniel had an ADHD appointment of yesterday, and we opted to do it in person in case they could do his flu shot while we were there. (They don’t have their supply in yet, so we’re on a waiting list.) Our medical system in town is a site for medical school rotations at an osteopathix medical school in Yakima, so Daniel’s pediatrician asked if I’d be OK with her student sitting in. My answer is always “yes!” so we had a sweet young lady hanging out with us. My little flirt kept his mask on without a problem from the time we were about to walk in the building until we were back in the car, and he also sat down calmly and looked at his pediatrician sweetly to let her know he was ready for her to check him over. (We have her take a listen to him and also check ears, mouth, and tummy whenever we’re there for ADHD appointments because Daniel can’t articulate pain.)

Other than Daniel being extra cute and happy to see his pediatrician, I had the blessing of being able to educate the medical student on Daniel’s g-tube and how that works in terms of getting the formula for it, what the process was like to get it, how Daniel does with it, how we change it out, and also what Daniel’s genetic issues are that contribute. I think the student had just taken her boards this summer, so it was kind of cool for her to actually see a few conditions that are not super common.

— 5 —

Remote learning update. We’re still chugging along with Zoom school. Daniel’s paraprofessional is using songs from Laurie Berkner to keep him engaged, so I now have We Are the Dinosaurs, Drive My Car, and her version of The Cat Came Back stuck in my head. (That last one is wonderful because we do school downstairs where my dad watches TV… and my dad hates that song with a passion. :))

— 6 —

The bishop’s visit. Despite Zoom cutting out recording and Facebook being pissy about streaming, worship on Sunday with the bishop went well. There were maybe 30 people total in the sanctuary between everyone at the altar, the families of those being baptized/comfirmed/received, and we managed to broadcast the special music in the sanctuary as well as on Zoom. The bishop even joined us for coffee hour, which was cool because we were able to have actual conversations with him.

— 7 —

Because Gordon Lightfoot! I grew up listening to Gordon Lightfoot and my mom recently found a documentary on him on YouTube. As a result, a lot of his less known (to me) songs have been playing in her room lately, and this is one that I am now addicted to.

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