I’m usually triskaidekaphobic, but we’ll try this tonight…
[+] I met with DDA this week by Microsoft Teams. I hate this meeting every year because it’s incredibly draining, but it’s important so that Daniel can get services. All I have left is the home visit.
[+] I had to make the decision to sit out the rest of the spring from choir because of my asthma and my drippy throat. It’s not COVID (I have tested myself and I’m consistently negative), but my breathing is screwy. It’s a pain because I miss choir and singing, but I don’t want to have coughing fits the whole time.
[+] I had to give up on my bullet journal as life got away from me in March. I ordered another one, and I’m going to probably make it a June to December one as I will have enough pages to do it. I ordered a blank journal off of Amazon tonight, and I’ll be starting to put it together when I get it and trying to get all of the month’s pages done early so that I don’t have to worry about drawing/numbering a new page daily.
[+] I had to give up on Learning to Pray by James Martin, S.J. because my heart and brain just weren’t in it. I love Fr. Jim’s books, but I’m needing something lighter these days. I just started Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree, and it’s not amazing but is keeping my attention. (I think it was a free Kindle book?)
[+] For those who enjoy Wordle and are map nerds, check out Globle.
[+] So, this happened on Monday morning. Thankfully, campus is still pretty quiet because many classes are still online and enrollment is down overall, but it was not fun having my phone explode with emergency notifications.
[+] 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.
What I would like to do eventually is have this kind of thing posted weekly.
[+] A week after I posted my last update, I slipped on ice and ended up with scrapes, bruises, and a sprained wrist. It was absolutely irritating because I was having to do things effectively one-handed for a week and a half.
[+] I was hoping to have the socks done for my parish’s OPOP releasing friend (who is being released in two days), but the cuff ended up being too small on sock #2. I brought stuff with me to work on at the college today, but the hook in my bag broke. Argh.
[+] It’s finals week, so everything is quiet at work today. We are supposed to be transitioning to having close to a full slate of classes on campus, but we’ll see how that goes. We’re also trying to have offices open 5 days a week, so it will be interesting to see how the staff manage that.
[+] My latest music find has been The Longest Johns. There are many that I like, but I’ll share the three that are currently making me happy.
Gah. I’ve had some facial congestion in the last week, and Mom asked me yesterday if I was going to be able to go to Urgent Care and get my sinus infection taken care of. I told her that it was just allergies and that I would get some Robitussin DM at the store. Well, I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so uncomfortable, so I ended up clearing my morning and heading to Urgent Care. Unsurprisingly, it was a sinus infection, and they also tested me for COVID because my chronic conditions manifest symptoms of it.
More? I had just left Urgent Care when I got a call from Daniel’s school to let me know that Daniel was in the health room with a cough and needing to go home. If he stops coughing, he can go back on Monday. We got him tested for COVID out of an abundance of caution, and they got his results back to us within 20 minutes. (His was an antigen test, and mine was PCR.)
Canceled plans. My brother and nephew were supposed to come and visit us this weekend, but they are also dealing with coughs and having to get COVID tests. Mom and Dad might go down to see them on Monday if their tests come back negative.
*squees*Kelly, our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest, had her book come out today. There’s a video of her doing a Q&A, a giveaway, recipes for a drink and a snack, and other Quick Takes folks. Run not walk to your nearest bookstore (brick and mortar or online) to get a copy.
It made my day. When I was going to pick up Daniel, his teacher and aide were both telling me how much they enjoy having Daniel in class, and they seem pretty smitten with him. This warms my mama heart because he loves going to school.
Nick Rolovich. Nick Rolovich, the coach for the Washington State University football team, is vocally unvaccinated, and he could potentially lose his job over it because he is subject to the same state vaccine mandate that I am because we’re both in education. The Seattle Times was discussing every aspect of this on Monday because it was the last day people could get the J&J vaccine and not be fired. Nobody said anything about him getting the shot, so the theory is that he is applying for a medical or religious exemption.
My take: fire him if he doesn’t comply. He has a very public job, and he could basically wipe out the football season for the university if he gives COVID to the players. The Delta variant is nasty and much more contagious than the COVID we were dealing with 18 months ago.
Head’s up! This came up in a thread on Nextdoor.Com, and I thought it was worth mentioning. A third of COVID cases don’t produce any antibodies, so your natural immunity may not exist. Also, unvaccinated people are twice as likely to contract COVID than those who are vaccinated, so you’ve also got that risk.
First day back on campus. I had my first drop-in tutoring shift back on campus on Tuesday. It was surreal to say the least. There are definitely fewer people, everyone is masked up, and there are lots of plexiglass boundaries to keep people separate when using the computers in front of the enrollment office. The door to my drop-in room was open when I got there, but it ended up autolocking later… which meant that I accidentally locked the people out who were joining me an hour into my shift. Oops! The security guard letting them in was one I know, and he laughed at me.
Once they got in, they let me know what the opening protocols were… which was good because apparently, we don’t have a paper with the list on it. I think I’ll have to rectify that…
Full load. One of the other tutors who handles Communications has moved on, leaving me as the only one doing it this quarter. In fact, I’m the only one doing Accounting, Office/Business Technology (only 2 classes left as the department shut down in June and these classes are general education ones), Human Services, Communications, Sociology, and pretty much any class in the Humanities. I’ve been booked solid since last week. I have more work hours than I’m supposed to have, but there’s nobody else to cover the requests.
If nothing else, I’m putting my interdisciplinary B.A. and part of my Master’s degree to good use!
Working together. For a couple of the classes, I’m double booked where I have two students sharing a time slot. The first session of that went far better than I could have imagined, and it turns out that the students have multiple classes together. It’s a win-win because they get a study buddy, my boss satisfies two tutoring requests without adding excess hours (at least in those cases), and I get to listen and learn from the discussion.
Seeing old friends. I’ve got two students assigned to me that have been part of the program I serve since before the pandemic, and I am SOOOO excited to see them again. I would absolutely enjoy curling up in my ivory tower and doing Accounting spreadsheets, but these two are part of the way things used to be for me and I *REALLY* missed my students.
I also have my first Human Services student back with me this quarter for an OBT class, so I am positively jazzed to get to work with her again. She and I absolutely clicked during the first full quarter I was working only online, and I’ve missed her the past few quarters.
Ummm… yeah. We were going to start doing live choir again… and then the Delta variant decided to dopeslap the country. After Daniel had the potential exposure and I had to get tested, emails started flying between the members of the choir, and the decision was made to do virtual anthems for the near future. I haven’t actually looked at the music or my part for the one I have to get recorded by Saturday night, but I’ve been singing the hymn (Siyahamba) for 20+ years in Zulu, English, and Spanish, so I think I’ll be OK. 🙂 (Don’t tell my choir director!)
Oh hey, another devotional book project! Because I hate myself and I clearly am not doing mearly enough right now, I have a devotional book project in process that was put on my heart by God during the week Daniel was quarantined and the two of us were taking a drive in the car to preserve our collective sanity.
Retroactie prayers for my ability not to overextend myself would be appreciated. Please and thank you!
My YouTube consumption. So what do I watch when I’m this overextended? How about people with tats and piercings doing snake surgery and puppeting deformed reticulated pythons with an attitude! (Probably not safe for work or children or people who are spooked by snakes.)
Really??? I got a text and an email from Daniel’s school on Friday to let me know that Daniel may have been exposed to COVID. Well, crap! We had Daniel mask up in the house until we could figure out what to do. My brother has been through this a few times with my nephew’s daycare, and he told us that we didn’t need to mask up Daniel in the house. (Kiddo was pissed at having to wear his mask in the house at first, but he adjusted and even fell asleep in it.) I also had to stay home from church on Sunday, which pissed me off because my former choir director was there to get to say goodbye to all of us, and I missed the special dinner with her as well.
We learned on Tuesday that they were shutting his class down for at least a week, and he would be able to return to school on Monday (the 13th) as long as he wasn’t manifesting symptoms because he’s vaccinated. My choir director asked me to get tested (since the choir with the cluster cases is local to us), so I did. (They even let me tickle my own brain!) Unsurprisingly, my test was negative. Props to Skagit County Public Health. I went home after getting tested and hopped in the shower. My test results were back by the time I got out of the shower. It was ~20 minute turnaround.
My brother’s response was the best:
Love how someone’s personal choice just became your problem.
Sigh… A church friend of mine had a coworker who was a diehard anti-vaxxer and Trump supporter. He would bait me on my friend’s wall, so I blocked him on Facebook.
A week and a half ago, my church friend asked me to pray for this coworker because he was in the ICU with COVID. He deteriorated over the next week, and they removed him from life support on Monday. He leaves a wife and a daughter who was a complete daddy’s girl. He was in his late 40’s.
Y’all, I’m not posting on vaccination and urging you to get vaccinated because I want to debate you on the subject or because it’s a political thing. This person’s death could have been prevented if he had been vaccinated. He would have gotten really sick, but he wouldn’t have ended up on a ventilator. I’m legitimately sad about his death because it did *NOT* have to happen.
Eff cancer. My friend Mellora’s husband Matt was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, and he ended up in the ER on August 30th with a collapsed lung. His condition worsened and he was put on hospice yesterday. He died that night. He leaves Mellora and their two daughters. He was my age.
Please keep Mellora, her daughters, and all who knew and loved Matt in your prayers.
Music take #4. As I was out with Daniel today and pondering all that was going on this week, this hymn came to mind. It’s Brian Doerkson’s arrangement of “It Is Well With My Soul”. His dad sings with him starting on verse 2. I sang this hymn to Daniel in the NICU and in the PICU during the hospitalization 10 1/2 years when we almost lost him. It’s absolutely my favorite hymn.
Vaccination mandate. I know people are probably going to be up in arms about this in their Quick Takes, and my position is probably not going to be popular.
I have an employer that requires vaccination, and I live in a state where the governor (thankfully) requires it of all medical and education workers. I would honestly not be comfortable having Daniel in a class with an unvaccinated teacher, and I’m hoping the 6th graders in his class can be vaccinated soon as well to cut down on the chances of him bringing it home. I would refuse to be treated by a doctor or dentist who wasn’t vaccinated because of the need to be close to each other for check-ups and treatment. Large employers are going to have people in close proximity when they go back to the office, so it makes sense that they be vaccinated.
As I said above, I’m not pushing vaccination as a political talking point. The Delta variant doesn’t discriminate between Republicans and Democrats. These variants are going to keep developing until people are vaccinated and COVID stops being endemic. I’m saying all of these things because I really do care about my blog readers, and I don’t want y’all ending up on ventilators and making your family deal with funeral arrangements.
Those who know me on Facebook know that Daniel started back to school in person yesterday. He is fully vaccinated and the school requires masks for everyone (no exceptions), so we felt comfortable letting him go this fall. He is in the 7th grade at a local middle school.
Here is what happened in the last few days before he started back to school as well as the first day.
Sunday afternoon. Remember that Daniel has to have pill bottles for any medication that is going to school with him. Call the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist nicely if they can be made. Make plans to pick them up on Monday afternoon.
Tuesday afternoon. Talk to school nurse while driving on errands. Discover that doctor’s orders need to be written in order to medicate Daniel at school. Doh! Accept the nurse’s offer to call the pediatrician and get the process started. Come home and start laundry.
Wednesday morning. Wake up a few minutes before my phone alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. Tiptoe downstairs to see I could get down there without waking up Daniel. Hand Daniel the spoon with the peanut butter and his meds when he comes down a few minutes after me. Grab his formula bolus out of the fridge. Help him change his training pants. Tell him that he is going to school on the bus today. Hand him clothes. Hook him up to his tube feed.
Go downstairs. Make his lunch and put it in his backpack. Go back upstairs and watch YouTube until his feeding pump beeps. Take him downstairs to get his socks and shoes on. Take pictures with him for the first day of school.
See bus arrive at the bottom of the driveway and start to leave 20 seconds later. Run outside barefoot to flag down bus in the cul-de-sac. Get kid on the bus. Go back in the house. Change into clean jammies and go back to bed.
Wednesday midday. Toss clothes on. Head to the grocery store. Grab peanut butter. Grab latté and turkey pesto panini from Starbucks. Head to middle school. Try to figure out how to get into the building. Discover that I’m at a building for elementary school next door. (The back door of the cafeteria was open and the lunch staff pointed me in the right direction.) Head to correct building and get buzzed into office. Get directed to the health room. Introduce myself to nurse on duty. Show her pill bottles and get peanut butter on the spoon while she pages Daniel down to the health room. Introduce myself to his teacher. Medicate child with pills and peanut butter. Fix hearing aid falling out of Daniel’s ear and give the teacher an impromptu lesson on hearing aid placement.
Head to the pediatrician’s office. Discover that I-5 is a parking lot due to someone on foot on the freeway. Take surface route instead. Get screened at the door of the medical building and shoot the breeze with the screener about how public places are too “people-y”. Commiserate on irritation at anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. Show ID to the receptionist and get doctor’s orders for Daniel to receive his meds at school.
Head to ACE Hardware store. Look for Smudge and Biscuit, the tuxedo cats who own the store. Fail to find them. Get hearing aid batteries. Shoot the breeze with the clerk about my dad who claims to hate cats but brings toys for the ACE Hardware kitties. Write an email to deaf/hard-of-hearing teacher to thank him for changing the batteries that morning.
Head back to the school. Park in the correct place this time. Sign and go over orders with the school nurse. Head home to stare at a wall until Daniel gets home.
Wednesday afternoon. Head downstairs around the time Daniel’s bus is supposed to arrive. Sit on the arm of the love seat in front of the window and wait. Play Township on my phone. See the bus coming and open the door for Daniel. Offer him food but plan to follow him upstairs when he declines. Check backpack before going upstairs. Put thermos and leftover perishable items from his lunch box in the refrigerator. Grab a packet of paperwork and take it upstairs to complete.