7 Quick Takes: Thursday Night Musings Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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

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

Emma: “It’s winter. They’re bored.”

— 2 —

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

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

6 weeks until I’m eligible…

— 3 —

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

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

— 4 —

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

— 5 —

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

Bless his heart.

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

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

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

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

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

— 6 —

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

— 7 —

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

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

7 Quick Takes: NYE 2020 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Saint for 2021. As I have for most of the last decade, I clicked on Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint’s Name Generator to get my saint for next year. (Last year was St. Issac Jogues.) The saint chosen for me was…

St. Rose of Lima
Feast:August 23
Patronage: Against Vanity; Embroiderers; Florists; Gardeners; Needle Workers; People Ridiculed for Their Piety

— 2 —

Word for 2021. I also did Jen’s “Word of the Year” Generator, and the word chosen for this year is…

COMFORT

Given that my word for 2020 was “build” and I ended up building a lot of web things for my parish and for my job, I am a bit nervous to see why “comfort” was chosen for me.

— 3 —

Daniel update. We’ve been home from Seattle Children’s for over two weeks now, and kiddo is eating like a horse. His formula for his tube feeds got changed to a lower calorie formulation, and we are hoping that it is less constipating for him. He has been sleeping in until 8:30 or 9 this week, which is making his mama happy.

— 4 —

Bullet journal. I may or may not have glued the spare pages of my second bullet journal for 2020 together before writing “adios 2020!” on the last page.

The new 2021 bullet journal is this one from Archer and Olive.

— 5 —

Thomas Lauer. Please keep Thomas Lauer, on of Katherine at Gloria in Excelsis Deo in prayer as he is still having complications while recovering from cancer surgery in November. Tonight’s fun was having drains placed in Interventional Radiology. Please pray for pain relief for this sweet boy.

Please also lift up some prayers for Katherine as she stays with him and advocates for him.

— 6 —

Beast of the Year. Kelly, our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest, has introduced the Beast of the Year generator so you can pick your beast of the year as she does. I got…

Sasquatch

I think it’s fitting, given that I live in the Pacific Northwest.

— 7 —

Resolutions. I think I’m going to try my 2020 resolutions again and clean up my diet as well as try to get up early to pray.

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.

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. πŸ™‚ (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.

7 Quick Takes: First Days of School Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

First day of “school”. Daniel’s teacher and a paraprofessional stopped by yesterday to drop off a box of school supplies for him and to make sure I knew how to log into his Chromebook (which was provided by the school). The first day of Zoom class was today. I was unnerved about the possibility of Daniel having a meltdown because he isn’t a fan of Zoom, but he put up with AN HOUR. We still have kinks to work out as far as getting one-on-one to work, but it was impressive for the first day.

— 2 —

Be kind. I just want to remind people that it’s unnecessarily catty and rude to make comments about how teachers don’t want to teach in person because they’re lazy, you aren’t going to vote for the next mill levy because schools aren’t open this fall, and to spread misinformation about how it doesn’t affect kids (it does… BADLY) or that it has a 99% survival rate. Teachers and school districts are facing some really difficult choices, and a lot of my teacher friends are in tears over having to make the decision to protect themselves and their families by doing distance education.

Regarding the statement about the survival rate, there are 56.6 million school kids in the USA (source), and 1% of that is 566,000. That is a lot of dead kids. Even if you want to use Betsy DeVos’s misguided number of 99.99% of kids being OK, that’s still 5,600 kids dying. That is far too many.

— 3 —

Saturday chores. I’ve been meaning to write a post about this, but this week got away from me. Basically, I use Saturday as my day to reset for the week. I wash my sheets/remake my bed, sort pillboxes for Daniel and myself, put together my weekly spread in my bullet journal, and now it’s my weekly grocery shopping day. It makes for a really busy day, but it means that I get clean sheets at least once a week, I vaguely have an idea of my schedule for the week, and I don’t have to think too much in the morning when I’m medicating Daniel and myself. Sorting pillboxes on Saturday also means that I have some advance notice that I need to get certain medications refilled.

— 4 —

New phone. My phone has had black lines obscuring at least some portion of my screen since March, but I had been putting off getting it looked at because of quarantine. I just memorized whatever part of the keyboard or app that the black lines were covering and sucked it up. Well, the black lines all of a sudden jumped from covering 10-20% of my screen to 90% of my screen, so I had to go hang with the nice people at my carrier’s store. They couldn’t help me on Monday because I wasn’t an account manager on my cell phone account (because I’m on my parent’s account), so I had to go home, get added, and come back on Tuesday. The person who helped me on Tuesday ended up replacing my phone with a newer one (I went from a Samsung Galaxy 7 to a Samsung A51), and it is SO nice to actually be able to use my whole screen!

— 5 —

An amusing Facebook page. The Bangor Maine Police Department’s Facebook page was recommended to me as light reading. The reason? Officer Tim Cotton, who writes it, has a wicked sense of humor and manages to make the most mundane events sound amusing.

He also has a lovely send-off phrase: “Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.”

— 6 —

Flu shots. This season’s flu shot is now stocked by local pharmacies, so everyone in my household but Daniel got theirs last week. Because my body never likes to miss an opportunity to have a fibromyalgia flare, I got hit with a sore arm and THEN sore joints the next day. It was freaking lovely. Still, health officials are advising people to get their flu shots this year to lower the odds of getting hit with influenza and taking up hospital beds in the midst of a pandemic.

Also, the “stomach flu” is not a type of influenza–it’s a gastrointestinal virus. Influenza is a RESPIRATORY virus.

— 7 —

Ahem. Kelly, our hostess with the mostest, has her curriculum picks up. Go read them.

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

7 Quick Takes: Working My Political Nerves Edition

7 Quick Takes

Comments are turned off because I want to vent my spleen about political stupidity, I cited my sources (and used a variety of them that are known to be local and as neutral as I could get them in these partisan times), and I pay the hosting fees here so none of this is up for debate. πŸ™‚ (Disagree with me? Go vent on a blog for which you pay the hosting fees.)

— 1 —

Trump administration trying to suppress COVID case numbers. The Trump Administration is ordering hospitals to bypass CDC in reporting COVID data. Why would any sane presidential administration order hospitals not to send their data to the agency whose job is to deal with disease control? I mean, the CDC has people who are trained to interpret this data, and who have done this beautifully for decades.

Unless… could he be trying to suppress the number of cases to make it look like he hasn’t completely failed in handling the pandemic? Yeah… sounds about right. Also, it’s scary that I have more science and medical training than most of the people on Trump’s Coronavirus Taskforce. (I was pre-med in college, and parenting Daniel has required as much training as it takes to be a CNA and medical assistant due to his special needs and a lot of the things involved in his hospital discharges. I know this because I’ve had to train nursing students a few times during Daniel’s inpatient stays.)

— 2 —

The collective good. I shared the below image on Facebook last week, and a friend (whose family is British) made an interesting point. She said, “they were British and believed in the collective good in a way that clearly Americans don’t, to our shame.”

London blackout

She has a point, and she managed to help me explain why I find the pissiness over having to wear a mask to be so self-centered. I (and so many other people) wear them because we’re trying to protect other people and we believe in doing things for the collective good, even if we have to sacrifice a little bit of comfort. It’s why I and many other Democrats find some Trump supporters to be so odious–the decisions they’re praising are showing that they are in it only for themselves and not for the rest of the country.

— 3 —

Ted Yoho’s verbal assault of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If any of you think that this was OK or appropriate, please click the “x” on this tab and get off my blog. (For those who are wondering what happened, Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida accosted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she was going to vote, and told her she was “disgusting” before calling her a “f*cking b*tch”. Rep. Yoho claimed it didn’t happen that way… but PEOPLE WITNESSED IT HAPPENING THAT WAY.)

Seriously, I get that AOC infuriates people, but there is no excuse for Rep. Yoho’s behavior… especially as HE HAS DAUGHTERS HER AGE. I wonder how he’d react if someone did that to one of his daughters. Also, his apology was a non-apology (“I am sorry if you understood me to be saying…” is not an apology) and did not address the things he said, but rather the “abruptness of the conversation”.

/goes to look up Ted Yoho’s opponent so she can donate money to them

— 4 —

The civil rights abuses happening in Portland. From a friend of mine who lives there:

It’s absolutely terrifying, but our community has come together and it really feels like everybody here in Portland is trying to do their part to support the protests. We live downtown, just a few blocks from the Justice Center where everything is happening, so we see, hear and know about everything first hand. I know that there is a narrative being spread that the protestors here in Portland are nothing but violent anarchists, trashing the city and causing chaos, and that we deserve this… that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a complete and total lie, being spread by people who aren’t even here, and its horrifying. It’s the people of Portland who are down in the streets — moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, teachers, teenagers, and everything in between — everybody is getting involved, chanting, holding signs, linking arms, taking up space, and protecting eachother. Normal people like you and me. The police and the feds are the ones causing violence, and everyone who has actually been down there can see that clear as day. Once the sun goes down, they start marching in lines down the streets shooting indiscriminately into the crowds.

I’m sure nobody has mentioned that Trump legally needs permission to deploy any troops within the borders of the United States. The mayor of Portland got tear-gassed by them a few nights ago, and a federal judge has just issued a restraining order against the troops to keep them from assaulting or arresting journalists and legal observers.

Seriously, these officers had no identification on them and they were using rented vans to take people off the streets. (DHS *FINALLY* confirmed that they were responsible.) The people taken were people who were legally assembling and protesting, not the anarchist idiots (most of whom are white supremacists) who had caused damage. The governor of Oregon, the mayor of Portland, a few House members, and both senators from Oregon have told the troops to leave, but the acting secretary of the DHS has refused. Tom Ridge, the first ever Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has called him out for his actions, which is saying something. Legislation is currently being drafted to prevent unidentified agents from doing this again, and the US attorney for Oregon is asking for an investigation because this is stuff that happens in third world dictatorships, not a first world country.

Trump is threatening to send troops to Seattle, and I’m pretty sure Mayor Jenny Durkan (former prosecutor for the US Attorney’s office) and Bob Ferguson (attorney general for Washington state, who has yet to lose a battle against the present administration) have the lawsuits written and prepped to file.

Y’all, these weren’t violent protests, and this isn’t “to restore order”. This is Trump flexing his muscles, it’s completely inappropriate, and people aren’t tolerating it.

— 5 —

Campaign propaganda. The image on Trump campaign ad depicting a police officer being attacked by protesters isn’t from the last few months in the United States. It’s from pro-democracy protests in the Ukraine in 2014. This follows the use of a picture of former Washington governor Gary Locke to depict Biden as being soft on China, and the claim that a picture of immigrants jumping over a border in Morocco depicts the US-Mexico border among other misuses of photographs.

Lesson: Campaigns need to google stock images before using them on campaign propaganda.

— 6 —

Seriously, Washington GOP?!?!? Loren Culp, the sheriff in a tiny county in eastern Washington and one of the Republican candidates for governor in Washington, is being sued for intimidating a sexual abuse victim, threatening to charge her with making false claims, and failing to report her allegations to child welfare authorities as required by law. Another county investigated the claims the victim was making and found that she was telling the truth.

Why would we want a law enforcement official who behaves so deplorably as our next governor?!?!? Seriously, the GOP in my state really are showing that they are horrible people (and also a special kind of stupid), given that he’s their current favorite. (I fear that even the state GOP here is getting sick of Tim Eyman, our state’s unofficial parasite.)

— 7 —

Some Facebook humor. Y’all need to start referring to your masks as “face cloaks”.

Fetch me my face cloak!

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