Catching Up: April 30. 2022 Edition

And it’s been six weeks since my last post. Go me.

[+] In my defense, I’ve been sick. I had a UTI over Spring Break that flattened me, my sleep schedule is completely knocked off kilter, my seasonal allergies have manifested as serious asthma so I spent Holy Week having serious asthma attacks, and I got hit with a respiratory infection the next week which spilled into this one. I’d like to be able to sleep without waking up coughing up a lung, and I’d like to not be taking Sudafed with a Robitussin DM chaser.

[+] We’re four weeks into the quarter, and I haven’t had a consistent schedule from week to week. Part of it has been having to cancel sessions due to asthma attacks and this stupid respiratory infection, but the other part of it is students being added and dropping tutoring or not showing up. I purposely scheduled my Fridays off this quarter to have a day where I could do doctor’s appointments or Daniel appointments, and I’ve also made it so that my students don’t send me work to look over on weekends. This is thanks to a student who completely burned me out during Summer Quarter and a student during Fall Quarter who made me ponder taking up rattlesnake cuddling. I can’t even begin to describe her shenanigans. Between the two of them, I could probably write an entire post of “tutoring don’ts” if it wouldn’t violate FERPA.

[+] Daniel turned 13 on April 7th. I’m still stunned that I now have a teenager.

[+] Doc is getting so much braver and friendlier. Mom is getting serious love time from him when she gives him his greenies. He’ll allow me to get closer to him, and I’m hoping I will eventually get to pet him. He is a very soft cat, and I would love to give him all the scritches that he could ever want.

[+] I spent a lot of time doing blogging/Facebook stuff for church during Holy Week. Five days of services was A LOT. The office of Tenebrae was a new one, and it was very dark. I’m kind of glad I was home doing church web stuff during that one because I wouldn’t have been doing a good job of focusing. By Easter Sunday, I couldn’t focus on anything, so I redid the header for Facebook and the church website. I still need to do the Facebook and church website posts for this weekend. I should probably get started on them…

Catching Up: February 22, 2022 Edition

It’s been a few weeks, so…

[+] You know you suck at self-care when your therapist applauds you spending your Zoom appointment with her in bed because you are just too tired to care and you’re just trying to be gentle with yourself.

[+] I finally had to go into Urgent Care a few weeks ago to get my sinus infection checked out. I ended up second in line to get in, and they got me in a room super fast. I ended up with a resident who did a meh examination of me, and who also got pissy that yeast infections were listed as an allergy thing in my chart to Augmentin. Um dude, they’re listed in there so that you know how I react and will give me 2 doses of Diflucan if you decide to put me on Augmentin. He said he’d have to go back to his office and figure this out. Mhm. That’s nice. Go discuss this with your attending physician. I got a few minutes of catnapping in the exam chair/table before my nurse (who was comical) came back in with the encounter form and other paperwork. Guess who got her antibiotics plus Diflucan? THIS GIRL!

[+] At my next therapy appointment, my therapist asked if I had taken the next week off from work when she found out about the sinus infection. I told her that it had unintentionally worked out that way for the most part. I had a student doing a midterm, and I had to call in sick on Tuesday because I was coughing up a lung. I think I had maybe 4 billable hours for that week?

[+] Loser Loren Culp, the idiot who the Republicans ran as a gubernatorial candidate here against Jay Inslee (who beat the crap out of him) in 2020, is telling his constituents to order unproven COVID cures from doctors and nurses in Florida. Said providers have had their licenses pulled or suspended in other states and cannot see patients in Washington. Yes, let’s encourage your potential constituents to engage in stupid and illegal behavior that will likely kill them, you weapons-grade plum. No wonder you lost badly in 2020!

Then again, he’s just the spite candidate that the Mango Mussolini is endorsing because he’s butthurt at Dan Newhouse (the Republican incumbent) voting to impeach him last year for his role in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Both Culp and MM sued and whined when they lost, so they kind of deserve each other. Dan Newhouse’s constituents don’t deserve someone as inept, inexperienced, and incapable as Culp, so I hope Newhouse beats him in the primary so that Culp can go back to being a loser and screwing up the county where he used to be police chief of the county seat. (He was laid off for costing his county $130K+ while he gallivanted around the state playing “gubernatorial candidate”.) I don’t want Newhouse to get re-elected (gotta make Washington bluer, especially eastern Washington where Newhouse’s district is), but he’s better than Culp any day.

[+] I’m in the home stretch on editing my church’s Lenten devotional book, and I just need to get everything onto Mailchimp. I hate Mailchimp with a passion, so you’re getting a blog entry while I procrastinate.

[+] The chief aggressor and troublemaker from Jon’s former parish in Montana died yesterday. Because I’m pretty sure I can’t bribe the organist to play “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” at the funeral and it’s not environmentally friendly to have someone pour a thing of kosher salt on her grave, I’ll be making donations in her memory to GLSEN and the Trevor Project. She was instrumental in trying to break up the parish in 2009 when the ELCA voted to bless same-sex marriages and ordain practicing GLBT folks, so I’m happy to donate to organizations that protect youth from people like her.

7 Quick Takes: Good Things In the Midst of COVID-19 Edition

7 Quick Takes

Here in Washington, we are under a shelter-in-place order until Holy Week, and it will likely get extended until the COVID-19 situation is resolved. (45’s plan to reopen things for Easter isn’t going to happen in these parts. Even if things did, I’m not resuming a normal life until *ACTUAL* epidemiologists recommend it, not a failed businessman and reality star.) I was already under a more restrictive shelter-in-place than existed before the one in Washington went into effect, so this was nothing new. Since I could probably enumerate the ways this situation stinks, I thought I would turn that on its head and talk about some *GOOD* things that are coming of this.

— 1 —

I’m developing an entirely new skill set. I had used Zoom twice before March 11th when I had to suddenly become a power user for work. I had never done a live post on Facebook until March 15th. I am now teaching people how to use both, and I am contributing to putting my church’s worship service online from home. (I had to make the decision not to be there in person to record last Saturday, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it was a struggle to make the decision and I cried my eyes out because it was *ONE MORE* life-giving thing being taken away from me.)

This Sunday, I get to be the “cyber verger” and do all the cueing, embedding, and unmuting when we do worship over Zoom.

— 2 —

I’m rediscovering the beauty of Compline. Our bishop has requested that we not hold corporate worship through Easter (and we are complying because a.) we listen to the bishop, and b.) the shelter-in-place order from Governor Inslee prohibits it), so I asked my priest if I could do Compline on the church Facebook page as a way of creating community and praying together even though we’re physically scattered. He enthusiastically gave me his blessing, so I have been doing it on weeknights at 8:30 p.m. It is my favorite of the Daily Offices in the Book of Common Prayer, so it is been fun to get to do it. I accidentally recorded it on my Facebook wall on Tuesday night, which might not have been a bad thing because one of my college friends from Intervarsity joined me. 🙂

— 3 —

I am getting a lot of reading done. While I do read a lot, it tends to be online things. Being “bored” has meant that I spend a chunk of my day reading on my bed with Minion on the panther trap I have for him. (It’s a quilt that he tends to appropriate from me.) I just finished Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (finally!!!), and I plan to start another book tonight.

— 4 —

I’m having dinner with my parents more often. We don’t eat together as a family often because my parents and I are usually doing our own thing at night, and Daniel obviously is fed by pump. (We still encourage him to join us at the table for some milk or Cheerios.) We have managed to eat dinner together twice this week, which is nice. Dad was making hamburgers for him and my mom on Sunday, so I joined them with a “tuna burger” as my mom put it. (I am pesco-vegetarian for Lent and Dad has been keeping up a steady supply of tuna for me.) Last night, I made lasagna (because I wanted lasagna, darn it!) and they joined me for that. (I currently have 7 servings of lasagna frozen for me in the chest freezer in the garage so that I can vary my diet a bit.)

— 5 —

I’m blessed with an amazing resource in Daniel’s teacher. Daniel’s teacher is researching every possible classroom management program out there so that all of her kiddos have at least one that works well for them. We are going to be using one called ClassDojo for Daniel as well as Google Classroom because that is what the school district wants to use. I am really thankful that she is so dedicated to her students!

— 6 —

I am not having to hang out in waiting rooms and exam rooms with Daniel. Daniel’s specialists through Seattle Children’s and our pediatrician up here have been willing to do phone appointments so that we don’t have to go there. It isn’t that bad of a trek to Everett where Daniel would have had a G-I appointment last Friday, but it still meant that I did not have to be up at 6 to leave by 7 for Daniel’s x-ray and 8:00 appointment.

— 7 —

I am appreciating Max Lucado’s “Coronavirus Check-in” videos. Max Lucado is one of the few evangelicals that doesn’t make me want to stab things. His books are lovely, and he has been putting out videos almost every day on his YouTube channel and on Facebook where he is checking in, giving a short pep talk, praying for people, and inviting people to submit their prayer requests so that others can pray for them. It’s totally not something normally on my radar, but I came across this video on Facebook and have been sharing it all over the place:

People were ripping Max apart in the comments, but it is a beautiful video because it is so true. God can deal with our frustrations, and Max encourages us to have a meltdown if we need it… but to not stay there and to come back to a place of praise, using parts of the third chapter of Lamentations as an example.

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

Gratitude in the Midst of COVID-19 (I)

I vented my spleen out yesterday and it helped a bit, so I thought I would look for some things for which I could be grateful today.

  • The existence of Zoom which allows me to work with students remotely and meet with people while there is a prohibition on meetings and such here.
  • My house panther who is keeping me entertained.
  • My alcohol gel obsession which means that I still have a little bit left.
  • Amazon Prime which is helping me keep a little ahead of people’s hoarding habits
  • A roof over my head.
  • A Lenten diet that actually lends itself pretty well to eating shelf-stable food.
  • A boss who works with me to make it possible to deal with Daniel’s issues and work.
  • A job I love.
  • A church here who is committed to making sure its members can worship and me being able to be part of that.
  • The new case on the Skagit County Public Health site is someone who was released from the hospital to isolation at home. It’s someone who is getting *BETTER*. (My theory is that these are workers at affected nursing homes.)
  • A stack of books on my e-reader to work through if I’m bored in the next few weeks.
  • A beautiful view of Little Mountain and evergreen trees from my bedroom window.
  • An amazing publicity and web person to work with on the church website who gives me perspective.
  • Last, but not least, knowing WordPress well enough to set things to send comments from trolls into my Trash so that I only see them on the rare occasions I look in there. That way, it’s like they don’t exist unless I give enough of a rat’s butt to look for them, and I can go on with my life without having to care about their commentary.

Shut up, Elena.

Lenten Check-In #1

We’re about a quarter of the way through Lent. I’m doing well at keeping a pesco-vegetarian diet (I’m not even taking Sundays off because I’ve always felt that was kind of a cop-out), my posts here are late but I’ve managed to post almost every day, and I end up kneeling consistently most mornings and a lot of evenings.

It’s getting extra Lenten around here because of the COVID-19 cases. We have 267 cases in Washington state as of this moment and it’s all mostly in western Washington. We have one case in Skagit County where I am, and my employer has closed all campuses for the week because of some students and staff being on campus last week after doing clinicals at a nursing home where there are now two positive cases of it. The one case in Skagit County is a woman in her 40’s and I’m hoping it isn’t any of my students, although I’d be most likely notified if it was. Thankfully, my boss and her counterpart on the Whidbey Island campus came up with contingency plans so that those who were willing could continue to work remotely.

In the midst of this, all midweek Lenten stuff is being postponed until after Easter at my church, no laity is receiving the Cup, offerings are being put in plates on the way up to Communion to keep us from passing plates (and passing germs), there is no physical contact during the Peace, and any coffee hour stuff is having to be done according to very stringent regulations. I feel like a brat because I’m feeling irrated at being inconvenienced by all the precautions when people are actually DYING of it.