7 Quick Takes: Mixed Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Kitty hospice. My parents’ elderly tabby Jethro likely has lymphoma, and my mom took him to the vet on Tuesday to address him not eating. They gave her the options of doing nothing, doing palliative care, doing kitty chemo, or euthanizing him. Mom and I talked about it, and she opted for palliative care. The vet will do fluids weekly, and we’ve been given medications to deal with nausea, pain, appetite, and a steroid to deal with the lymphoma. Mom is aware that this is giving us weeks, not years, and I told her that I would clear my schedule and go with her to the vet to do the talking when it comes time to let Jethro go.

— 2 —

Daniel’s health. My monster had an ADHD appointment a week ago, and his pediatrician felt a stool ball in his stomach. She put in an x-ray order and we got it on Saturday. The x-ray showed the stool ball and what looked like a kidney stone, so she put in a stat ultrasound order. The ultrasound was Tuesday, and it was thankfully clean. So… we’re dealing with the stool ball, and I’m hoping we’re not jockeying for another hospitalization.

— 3 —

A lovely fight. The Sea Chickens are headed down to rumble with my boys (THE NINERS!!!) this weekend. I’m hoping my boys win because the Sea Chickens get insufferable when they win.

— 4 —

My other boys. My baseball boys (THE GIANTS!!!) are in the mix for the NL West. I’m hoping the LA Losers stay multiple games behind and/or lose the Wild Card game to St. Louis (my other boys) if it comes to that.

— 5 —

“Special needs”. Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum did a piece on the term “special needs” last week. It’s worth a read.

— 6 —

Interesting hymnody. I was on a Maddy Prior binge and discovered an album of hymns from the 18th and 19th century. It includes “The God of Abraham Praise” which is a hymn I wish we would sing in my parish. (Hello minor key! Hello interesting tune!)

— 7 —

Huh. “And Can It Be?” is a song I associate with Baptist churches, and I had no idea that it’s a Charles Wesley tune. Cool! (This is another Maddy Prior recording.)

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

7 Quick Takes: First Week of School Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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…

— 2 —

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!

— 3 —

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.

— 4 —

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.

— 5 —

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!)

— 6 —

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!

— 7 —

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.)

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

7 Quick Takes: Musings from the COVID Testing Line Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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.

— 2 —

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.

— 3 —

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.

— 4 —

Music take #1. This song has been on my mind for the last 24 hours with the deaths I heard about yesterday.

— 5 —

Music take #2. The song above led to this one by Matt Maher getting stuck in my head.

— 6 —

Music take #3. The song in the previous take just made me cry, and this other one came to mind.

— 7 —

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.

— Bonus —

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.

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

7 Quick Takes: COVID, Politics, and 21st Blogging Anniversary Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Andrew Fauci vs. Rand Paul. I saw this meme today and was curious about it.

Apparently, Rand Paul (who has a medical degree but is not certified by any reputable board) decided to repeat the fallacy about Anthony Fauci having ties to the lab in Wuhan that created COVID. Sorry Rand, I’m with Dr. Fauci on this one, given that he actually has the credentials to back him up, something you don’t have.

— 2 —

Dispatch from a doctor. My friend Katie is a pro-life Catholic hospitalist (adding the adjectives in case people might listen better with them), and she posted the following message:

Vax up!

For those who aren’t aware, a “hospitalist” is a doctor who takes care of you IN THE HOSPITAL. (The red spot on her forehead is from the faceshield she wears in addition to her mask when she walks into a patient’s room.) In other words, she’s seeing scary cases coming into the hospital again. Listen to Katie. Vax up!

— 3 —

Break-through cases. For those who are going to cite the fact that there are still people who are vaccinated that get COVID, here’s the difference between someone who is vaccinated and someone who is unvaccinated:

Vax vs. un-vax

— 4 —

Make good choices. I thought this was interesting advice.

Make good choices.

— 5 —

Finally, someone putting my feelings into words. For those people who say that other people should deal with [insert thing] because they had to deal with it, I have a message for you:

Weird, miserable energy.

— 6 —

U.S. residential school stories. For those who remember me blogging on residential schools for Native Americans a few weeks ago, one of the things I promised to do was learn more about the issue in the USA. Here are a few stories I read this week:

AP: US churches reckon with traumatic legacy of Native schools

AP: Tribe claims remains of kids who died at assimilation school

Salt Lake Tribune: Lost lives, lost culture: The forgotten history of Indigenous boarding schools

— 7 —

My blog is old enough to drink. So, um, my blog turned 21 on July 20th. *raises my can of Coke to it*

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.