Catching Up: May 20, 2022 Edition

Let’s go!

[+] For those who want to know about life in Russia these days, Youtuber Eli from Russia has posted a bit. YouTube will give you other suggestions based on her.

[+] I finished Legends & Lattes on Monday and the book ended up growing on me. I started Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and I finished the first book as well on Monday. It should be interesting to see how the series shapes up.

[+] WIth the USA hitting the milestone of 1 million COVID death,s the New York Times asked for people to submit last texts from their loved ones who died. The results are here.

[+] The formula shortage is unnerving to those of us who couldn’t breastfeed. I was simply too sick. They were concerned about the toll the PTSD and PPD took on my recovery from the HELLP Syndrome, and the lack of sleep from having to wake up to pump was messing with me pretty badly. My kid survived on Neosure for 9 months and then Similac Advance. He went into failure to thrive when an idiot WIC nutritionist made me take him off of formula. He ended up on medical grade Pediasure when we moved up to northern California.

The other issue? Women that couldn’t breastfeed are catching fire from people who don’t quite get that there are legitimate reasons not to and that our bodies don’t just spontaneously start lactating on demand.

[+] My 42nd birthday was yesterday. My twin brother was up for some hangout time (and also 24 hours free of parenting and potty-training), so that was cool. The coughing spasm that night that caused me to lose my entire dinner on my bed was NOT cool. Thankfully, I do have spare sheets, so I got my bed remade after showering. (It took a few tries to get the smell of the puke out of my sheets today though)

7 Quick Takes: COVID Boosters and Fatigue Edition

7 Quick Takes at MyDomesticChurch.Com

— 1 —

Daniel Shot #1. I realized around Christmas that I had completely forgotten to get Daniel his flu shot. I figured that I’d call and get him an ADHD appointment after Christmas and do it then… except that his pediatrician had no openings until around January 20th. So… I called in and was able to get a nurse appointment for yesterday. I was dreading it because we usually need extra help, and last time they put us in the baby room with a rocking chair. (Have you tried giving a shot to a kid in a rocking chair fighting back? The nurse got lucky and stuck him one of the time he rocked by.) Thankfully, we were in a regular exam room this time, so I was able to fold the top part of myself on him and hold his arm still.

— 2 —

Daniel Shot #2. They just lowered the age for COVID boosters to 12, so I had to make an appointment for Daniel to get his. The problem: almost nobody was scheduling for them, so I had to do some looking. Next obstacle: finding a time that worked with my work schedule. It ended up being this afternoon at my local Haggen, and we managed to do it with Daniel on my lap and me bear-hugging him.

— 3 —

Fatigue. After Daniel got his COVID booster and we got our grocery shopping done (because we had the 15-minute wait before leaving to make sure Daniel didn’t have any adverse symptoms and it was something to do during the wait), we got home and put groceries away. I then had to process the 70 lbs of Daniel supplies that had arrived in the past two days… which involves getting it UPSTAIRS to the guest room and Daniel’s closet. Next, I had to haul all the cardboard back downstairs and down to the area by the recyclers where we store it until the biweekly trash day when they take recycling. After I was done, came in, washed my hands, and headed back UPSTAIRS, I somehow had to muster up the energy to shower. I’ve since made/ate dinner, washed my prep and dinner dishes, and headed upstairs, and I’m in a dark room waiting for Daniel to go to sleep so I can feed him and then go to sleep myself. I’ve forgotten how exhausting it is to have to restrain my kid for shots, especially now that he is as tall as I am and my legs are almost too short to wrap around his!

— 4 —

Beautiful. Disturbed’s cover of “The Sound of Silence” came out 6 years ago, but it is still stunningly beautiful in my opinion, especially the video.

— 5 —

An interesting Tuesday. I got almost no sleep on Monday night, so I thought Tuesday was going to be… interesting. I walked into the drop-in room to find the tables rearranged and my friend Kim (who is the closest friend I have in Washington) doing something Calculus-looking on the board for a bunch of young male students. (They turned out to be engineering students.) There are times when you sit down, shut up, and listen, and this was one of those occasions, especially as Kim explained that she had done all the table Tetris things during the first hour of her shift. I was pretty speechless anyway, so I just busied myself with putting the sign-up sheet for my church’s Lenten devotional book writers together as well as polishing the ask letter.

— 6 —

Last weekend. There were no Quick Takes last weekend due to my parents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. I posted a few of the pictures from their wedding album on Facebook, and a few people couldn’t believe that they weren’t pictures of me, especially as my hair is currently as long as Mom’s was when she got married. I had to send over a few pictures from MY wedding to prove that it wasn’t me in my parents’ wedding pictures!

Anyway, they didn’t want a big party (not just due to COVID but because it’s not what they’re into), so my evil twin’s family came up overnight for dinner and a nice breakfast. I had fun chasing my 3 1/2 year old nephew Braden around the house. 🙂

— 7 —

Betty White. I wanted to remind everyone that Monday is the Betty White challenge where people are encouraged to donate to their favorite animal shelter or rescue in her name. If you need a place to donate to, I highly recommend the Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota. I sponsor two of their hybrids Love and Riku, and they’re rescuing a serval named Bruno in Massachusetts who just had to have one of his hind legs amputated.

This is Love being a chatterbox:

For more Quick Takes, go visit our host Elena of My Domestic Church.

7 Quick Takes: New Year Edition

7 Quick Takes at MyDomesticChurch.Com

— 1 —

Word of the Year. I did Jen Fulwiler’s Word of the Year Generator and got “dazzle”. I’m a pretty plain person, so this should be interesting.

— 2 —

Saint of the Year. I did Jen Fulwiler’s Saint’s Name Generator and got St. Clotilde, who is the patron saint of adopted children, brides, disappointing children, exiles, parenthood, parents of large families, queens and widows.

I first encountered Clotilde in my Medieval Europe class in college, and the history nerd in me is happy that I got her.

— 3 —

Christmas. My brother and his family were up here for Christmas, so that was fun. His son Braden is cute, and they introduced us to the “Into the Spider-Verse” movie.

— 4 —

Mental health. I had a breakdown by myself for 5 hours on Christmas morning. I had somehow missed my meds on Christmas Eve, so that didn’t help, but I somehow hit a grief well of grief for Grandpa. I was trying to finish Mom’s socks, and it was taken a bit longer due to not being able to read the pattern because I was crying so hard. I was trying to get back to sleep when Daniel kicked off around 5, and I had to keep him silent while people slept. I had taken some Ativan, but that was doing nothing for me. It was a brutal night.

Things hit me again a few days later, and it thankfully gave me something to talk about with my therapist. We’re working through it, but there’s a lot to unpack.

— 5 —

New Year’s Eve. I celebrated New Year’s Eve in my jammies putting my new bullet journal together. I went against my own rules at midnight and had an inch of Prosecco, which was underwhelming. (One of the reasons I don’t drink is that I really don’t like wine or beer.) I then went on the Best Buy website and browsed for a new laptop.

— 6 —

Laptop is here!!!! I ordered the laptop yesterday and opted to pay the extra $6 to get it today. Well, I was downstairs last night putting Daniel’s pills in the china cabinet, and the delivery truck was in the driveway. Mom got a picture of me petting it.

My preciousssssss!

I’ll be setting it up today.

— 7 —

New Year’s resolutions. I’ve decided to just redo my 2020 intentions. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

For more Quick Takes, go visit our host Elena of My Domestic Church.

7 Quick Takes: Spooky Cat Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Introductions. This is Doc. He is the new cat in town.

My spooky kitty cat

— 2 —

How he came to Casa Meditatio. Mom needed a buddy after losing Jethro, so I started looking on rescue sites to try and find an appropriate cat for her. I was at the vet last Friday picking up the bag with Jethro’s box in it (along with a paw print, some fur in a ziploc bag, a sympathy card, and certificate of cremation), and there was a beautiful and sociable tabby cat with mittens in the adoption enclosure. I excitedly called Mom to say that I might have a cat for her… only to find out that this ridiculously social cat hates other cats, meaning that she was a no-go. I fought back tears the entire way home because I had fallen in love with her the second I met her.

When I got home (and had a good cry), I looked online at various rescues and saw this beautiful tabby cat with soulful eyes on the website of the NOAH Center, a local rescue that does low-cost spays/neuters and also helps to adopt out shelter cats that are having a hard time getting adopted. I called them and asked some questions about him. They told me that he seemed to be OK with other cats, that he liked to burrow under blankets, and was just a lovebug. I fell in love with him at that point, and Mom did too when she went to the NOAH Center on Monday. He rubbed her hands and purred for her when she reached into his enclosure, and she brought him home.

— 3 —

Spooky boy. When I called the NOAH Center to make sure he was still adoptable on Monday, they told me to have a sanctuary room prepped for him because he would need to decompress for 72 hours or so, especially as the shelter experience had been hard on him. We set up the guest room for him, and he has been enjoying its amenities, most notably the underside of the bed. He got a bit hissy when we got him home, and he is definitely a bit spooky right now.

— 4 —

Socializing Mr. Spooky. My mom has spent time in the guest room having her breakfast and watching a lecture on Beethoven with him in there. I’ve spent a couple of hours every evening since Monday lying on a fleece blanket on the floor working on my laptop to help him get used to my presence. I started reading to him last night, and he seems to be chill for that. He will actually go to sleep while I’m reading and he is at the point where he’ll come out from under the bed to eat or use his litter box with me in the room.

He also likes to burrow and Mom has found him under one of the fleece blankets with his little face poking out, and he burrowed into one of the comforters on the bed on Thursday morning. I walked in to check on him and found Mom stroking a lump in the bed. 🙂

— 5 —

A wrench in the plan. The NOAH Center called us on Tuesday morning to let us know that Doc was on antibiotics for a cold and that they had forgotten to send them home with him. Mom and Dad went and got them, and we had to extract Doc from under the bed to medicate him. We really hate doing it because it makes Doc more scared, but we’ve done it daily since Tuesday, and today (Friday) is thankfully the last day.

When I extracted him on Wednesday, I was holding him to me and petting him while telling him that he is loved, he is safe, he has beautiful stripes, and his yellow eyes are soulful. Each day has gotten a little easier, but we still hate doing it. (The antibiotic is also stinky and the smell stays on my hands all day, so I’ll be happy to be done today.)

— 6 —

Progress. Today, I went into the guest room to switch out books this afternoon, and I decided to check on him. He was next to the lamp table (12 inches from me), so I lay down on the floor next to him and put out my fingers. He sniffed them, and I decided to see if he would let me pet his tail. He allowed it as well as letting me pet his little feet. He finally touched his nose to my fingers, and I feel so incredibly special.

— 7 —

Minion’s reaction. The prince of darkness knows something is up, has been sniffing at the door and puffing up, and is perturbed that there is food in HIS guest room that he is not being allowed to have. (I should point out that he has several food stations in the house, but he is of the opinion that stolen food is best.) I’ve been trying to give my incorrigible monster extra attention, but we’re expecting fireworks when he eventually meets Doc. Please pray that their eventual meeting is mostly positive.

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

7 Quick Takes: A Harder Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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

— 2 —

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

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

— 3 —

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

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

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

— 4 —

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

— 5 —

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

— 6 —

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

— 7 —

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

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

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

7 Quick Takes: Sinus Infection Blues Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

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.

— 2 —

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.)

— 3 —

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.

— 4 —

*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.

— 5 —

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.

— 6 —

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.

— 7 —

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.

(Source)

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

Quick Takes: “Calm Down Already! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Vaccine mandate take #1. For everyone hollering and moaning about the Biden vaccination mandate, I have a message for you:

CALM DOWN ALREADY.

Joe Biden is not creating policy to spite you.

Every former president (including Donald Trump), all 50 U.S. governors, most of Congress, and 95% of doctors are vaccinated.

There is a historical precedent for this, starting with George Washington requiring his army to be innoculated against smallpox.

Anyone over the age of 70 in this country probably received at least one of their vaccines at school. (Heck, they did scoliosis tests and TB tests on us in middle school in the early 90’s!)

Bill Gates does not want to put a microchip in your arm.

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. It does not cause cancer.

— 2 —

Vaccine mandate take #2. This is a video from Ninja Nerd on how the vaccine was tested, how it was created, and how it works. The presenter is Zack Murphy, a PA student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

— 3 —

Vaccine mandate take #3. I’m subject to both the Biden mandate and the one from Washington’s governor Jay Inslee. My employer has had several pop-up vaccine clinics on the Mount Vernon and Whidbey campuses, and all of the staff have been given a list of places to contact for information on vaccines if we need them–a list that spans five counties. We’ve been given two months to get vaccinated or apply for an exemption. Everything must be done by October 20th. There’s a mandate for students as well, but they have until November to get their vaccinations and submit attestations. In other words, we don’t suddenly have a large horde of people having to be vaccinated within a week. (Pfizer and Moderna require two shots spaced a certain amount of time apart, and all of the vaccines require a two week wait after the final one to be considered “completely vaccinated”.)

— 4 —

Vaccine mandate #4. King County (the county where most of Seattle and suburbs are) is requiring retaurants, theaters, and gyms to check people for either a vaccine card or a negative COVID test. All of Washington’s professional sports teams and college teams (most of which are in King County) require it as well.

A couple places in my county are requiring a vaccination card (theaters mostly at this point), and people are losing their freaking mind over it and howling about discrimination. I’m rolling my eyes. The places requiring it are places where people are going to be in close proximity… and I don’t blame them one bit. If I were going to a theater for a movie, I’d hope that I wasn’t stuck between two unvaccinated people who may or may not have COVID. Vaccines aren’t perfect, but it lowers the risk. Vaccinated people also don’t get as sick as those who are unvaccinated. (The New York Times reported that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID than those who are vaccinated.)

— 5 —

Health update. In addition to getting my brain scraped last week, I also had to see my GP. She was happy with everything, and she listened to some of the weird symptoms I’m having. She ordered a ton of bloodwork and a UA, so I dealt with all of that on Tuesday. (I was aiming for Monday, but I hadn’t slept well and was getting super hypoglycemic by 3 a.m., so I ended up eating and postponing it until Tuesday morning. (It was fasting bloodwork, so OBVIOUSLY there was some serious thirst and serious hunger going on. It *NEVER* fails.)

My GP finally looked at labs today, and everything checked out fine. No new medication updates thankfully. I’m apparently NOT anemic (which was a concern).

— 6 —

Interesting music take #1. Here’s some Sicilian polyphony mixed with Mongolian khoomii overtone chant. It’s kind of an unusual but fun combination.

— 7 —

Interesting music take #2. This song was on a folk music album that came with a songbook years ago. I love Mavis Staples singing it because I think it needs that soul.

There’s also apparently one-room country school in rural Montana that sings it with their kids.

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