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.
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.
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.
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.
Update on the Nick Rolovich debacle. There has been debate in the local media on whether Nick Rolovich (the head coach of the WSU football team) was going to be granted a religious exemption from being vaccinated because he claims to be Catholic.
Adding to Rolovich’s pain is the fact that because he was fired “for cause”, he is not entitled to have his contract bought out. His anti-vaccination stance cost him upwards of $3.6 million. Rolovich can appeal his termination to the president of the university, but I doubt that’s going to be successful because the president likely approved the athletic director’s decision to terminate him.
He is suing for “unlawful and unjust” termination because they wouldn’t grant him a religious exemption. (The process, by the way, is completely blind. They don’t look at the name of the person asking for the exemption–just the argument.) The various employment lawyers on the news have said that his case is weak because he would have to prove that the COVID vaccine is against Catholic teaching… and the Pope has encouraged people to get vaccinated. (The first statement on the subject was issued back in December 2020.) The Diocese of Spokane has even had priests who have appeared in videos encouraging Washingtonians to get vaccinated.
I’m having a massive bout of schadenfreude over this because my parents are UW alums and this shows that not even the highest-paid state employee (Rolovich) is immune from the consequences of not being in compliance with Governor Inslee’s mandate. If I have to be vaccinated for work, so does he!
Regarding religious exemptions… Some of my clergy friends have had strangers contact them to sign religious exemption forms for them because they don’t want the COVID vaccine for their jobs. (All of my friends have said a pretty emphatic “NO!” to those requests.) They’re pretty stunned at the chutzpah of these strangers because they can’t be bothered to join a church but think nothing of using a random clergy person to get out of facing the consequences for not doing someting required for their jobs.
Seriously… get vaccinated or don’t get vaccinated, but own the consequences of your decision. It’s cowardly to try to use someone else to get out of facing consequences.
Who else got fired? There have been people like state patrol troopers, ferry workers, and others who tried to challenge the mandate on the grounds that “it violates their Constitutional rights” (spoiler alert: IT DOESN’T), but they lost on Monday. Inslee is a lawyer, y’all. Do people really think he isn’t familiar with both the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings on the subject, including Jacobson v. Massachusetts and Prince v. Massachusetts?
Empathy. This quote from Kelly resonates with me in a huge way.
I’m also sharing it because I hear almost daily “I don’t know how you do all you do!” Surprise folks – I don’t know either! All I know is whatever system I’m currently using is making me tired, irritable, and leaves lots of dog hair everywhere that isn’t getting cleaned up on a regular basis. I would not recommend my current system to anyone even if it makes me look “productive”.
This is totally me… except that it’s cat fur instead of dog hair.
How I’m coping with life at the moment.YouTube has a bunch of “Live PD” videos, and I’m watching those while working on various things and to fall asleep at night. I have no idea why car chases and police officers tasing people is relaxing for me. It just is.
Breakfast. I need to get up, throw real clothes on, and go to the vet to pick up Jethro’s box. This means that I need to eat breakfast, and I hate most breakfast foods. If I’m being honest, I want an eggless Egg McMuffin (yes, McDonald’s will make it for me if I’m willing to pay extra) and hash browns, but that’s not doable for financial reasons so… it will probably be chicken and cheese taquitos from the freezer section of the local grocery store. (They’re not even artisan or organically made–they’re the cheapie kind that are full of preservatives.)
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”.)
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.)
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).
Really??? I got a text and an email from Daniel’s school on Friday to let me know that Daniel may have been exposed to COVID. Well, crap! We had Daniel mask up in the house until we could figure out what to do. My brother has been through this a few times with my nephew’s daycare, and he told us that we didn’t need to mask up Daniel in the house. (Kiddo was pissed at having to wear his mask in the house at first, but he adjusted and even fell asleep in it.) I also had to stay home from church on Sunday, which pissed me off because my former choir director was there to get to say goodbye to all of us, and I missed the special dinner with her as well.
We learned on Tuesday that they were shutting his class down for at least a week, and he would be able to return to school on Monday (the 13th) as long as he wasn’t manifesting symptoms because he’s vaccinated. My choir director asked me to get tested (since the choir with the cluster cases is local to us), so I did. (They even let me tickle my own brain!) Unsurprisingly, my test was negative. Props to Skagit County Public Health. I went home after getting tested and hopped in the shower. My test results were back by the time I got out of the shower. It was ~20 minute turnaround.
My brother’s response was the best:
Love how someone’s personal choice just became your problem.
Sigh… A church friend of mine had a coworker who was a diehard anti-vaxxer and Trump supporter. He would bait me on my friend’s wall, so I blocked him on Facebook.
A week and a half ago, my church friend asked me to pray for this coworker because he was in the ICU with COVID. He deteriorated over the next week, and they removed him from life support on Monday. He leaves a wife and a daughter who was a complete daddy’s girl. He was in his late 40’s.
Y’all, I’m not posting on vaccination and urging you to get vaccinated because I want to debate you on the subject or because it’s a political thing. This person’s death could have been prevented if he had been vaccinated. He would have gotten really sick, but he wouldn’t have ended up on a ventilator. I’m legitimately sad about his death because it did *NOT* have to happen.
Eff cancer. My friend Mellora’s husband Matt was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, and he ended up in the ER on August 30th with a collapsed lung. His condition worsened and he was put on hospice yesterday. He died that night. He leaves Mellora and their two daughters. He was my age.
Please keep Mellora, her daughters, and all who knew and loved Matt in your prayers.
Music take #4. As I was out with Daniel today and pondering all that was going on this week, this hymn came to mind. It’s Brian Doerkson’s arrangement of “It Is Well With My Soul”. His dad sings with him starting on verse 2. I sang this hymn to Daniel in the NICU and in the PICU during the hospitalization 10 1/2 years when we almost lost him. It’s absolutely my favorite hymn.
Vaccination mandate. I know people are probably going to be up in arms about this in their Quick Takes, and my position is probably not going to be popular.
I have an employer that requires vaccination, and I live in a state where the governor (thankfully) requires it of all medical and education workers. I would honestly not be comfortable having Daniel in a class with an unvaccinated teacher, and I’m hoping the 6th graders in his class can be vaccinated soon as well to cut down on the chances of him bringing it home. I would refuse to be treated by a doctor or dentist who wasn’t vaccinated because of the need to be close to each other for check-ups and treatment. Large employers are going to have people in close proximity when they go back to the office, so it makes sense that they be vaccinated.
As I said above, I’m not pushing vaccination as a political talking point. The Delta variant doesn’t discriminate between Republicans and Democrats. These variants are going to keep developing until people are vaccinated and COVID stops being endemic. I’m saying all of these things because I really do care about my blog readers, and I don’t want y’all ending up on ventilators and making your family deal with funeral arrangements.
The sound of COVID. Not gonna lie. This video unnerved me because I’ve lived in a PICU with Daniel for days and spent time in the NICU. Those alarms start going off when bad things are happening. I remember being in the ER with pneumonia and sepsis two years ago, and a low oxygen alarm went off for someone (I think a baby or young child) a few bays down. My mom saw the look on my face (which I had think had even lost the small amount of color it had), and she had to convince me that Daniel was home asleep with my dad because I was about to have another panic attack from my brain going to all the times that those alarms had sounded for Daniel.
Y’all, stop putting doctors and nurses through this foolishness. GET YOURSELF VACCINATED.
Thankful for my Snuggie. My parents are having a new roof put on the house, so I’ve had to be up and dressed earlier than usual. For some odd reason, I’m having a really hard time staying warm, so I have been really appreciating the Snuggie I got for myself a few years ago after my former mother-in-law gave my old one to Goodwill.
I’ve also learned that I can nap through anything if I’m tired enough because I’ve had people outside my (second floor) window and on the roof above me pounding, and I’ve slept through it.
Changing my perspective. I saw this story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and I’m having to confront my feelings on the subject.
Basically, there are a bunch of bells along a route called the “El Camino Real” that stretches from northern California down to San Diego. Franciscan missions were built along that route in the 18th century, and it was a big freaking deal to learn about them in 4th grade, build one, and visit one. History is a passion of mine, so having a piece of history removed is kind of painful.
However, the indigenous people in California had their culture, language, and land removed when the Spanish Franciscans and settlers arrived. They forced them to build the missions under the guise of Christianizing them. Probably 1/3 of the people died during that time, and seeing those bells is like making a black person look at statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate heroes while being told of how glorious the antebellum South was.
As someone who cheered when the Confederate statues came down in town squares and were removed from government buildings (including the U.S. Capitol), I need to remember that the history of the missions is just as problematic. The bells can go. The mission buildings are still there (many of them still are used as churches and chapels), and there are amazing things called “books” that tell their various histories.
This isn’t me trying to appear “woke”. This is me being honest about something that has been on my mind today.
Oops! I was going through this site to see how I had classified my current blog header, and I saw that I was still listing my age as 39 and Daniel’s age as 12. Oops! I’m now 41 years old, and Daniel turned 12 in April. I think I’ll go audit the rest of my pages when I finish these takes…
Vaccine discernment from a fellow blogger. I want to call out Bonnie Engstrom and thank her for being very transparent about the discernment she has gone through on the subject of getting her COVID vaccination. The series from her Instagram stories from a few days ago isn’t archived yet, but she was asking about who people trust regarding media sources and politicians because it’s really super hard to figure these things out if you don’t have a science background. (Science also evolves over time, so information and recommendations for safety precautions have changed as we have learned more about the virus and its variants.)
Throw some prayers her way because her kids have hand, foot, and mouth disease and their air-conditioning isn’t working. It was 100+ F where she lives a few days ago, and it was 92F in the house. 🙁
We found out two weeks ago that there would indeed be a mask and vaccine mandate on campus, and both staff and students would have to sign attestations about being vaccinated before the first day of Fall Quarter on September 20th. Last week, Washington’s governor (Jay Inslee) announced that all health workers and pretty much every person working in education in the state of Washington are required to be vaccinated and submit proof of it to their employers by October 18th. (Not an attestation. ACTUAL PROOF. There are exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but no philosophical ones.) There is also an indoor mask requirement for the entire state again that went into effect on Monday.
I am positively *GIDDY* and am waiting to find out how to submit my proof of vaccination so that I can get that out of the way. I’m thankful to have a governor who cares about the safety of the people in his state, and I’m thankful to work for a college that takes all of this seriously.
Residential school take #2. This is all hitting me hard because I used to judge speech meets in north-central Montana, and one of the teams was from Browning High School. Browning is located on the Blackfeet reservation. Most of the students are Native-American as are the coaches. The reservation looks like the ghetto of a major U.S. city because of the poverty there. It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of crime, alcohol and drug use, and poverty there given what the government has done to many Native-American tribes. The high school is beautiful, however, and the kids were amazing competitors. We got to know some of the kids and the coaches in the 3 years we judged speech meets, and I got to judge two of them AT the high school. Their team fed everyone (judges, kids, and parents) an amazing lunch (Indian tacos and blueberries), and they stocked the judges room with every kind of snack food and soda imaginable. For the awards ceremony, they had a cultural program aspect. I’m really bummed that I missed the hoop dancers one year, and they’d have an elder from the tribe doing an honor song every year. Miss Heart Butte (in her special tribal dress) would hand out the awards.
When I hear about the mass graves at the residential schools, it’s these speech and debate kids that I am envisioning. Many members of the tribe were sent away to Chemawa Indian School in Oregon among others, and I only found out about it while reading the obits in the Great Falls Tribune few months ago. While Chemawa isn’t a horrible place (at least today), I’m really wondering if some of the blight I saw on the Blackfeet reservation is due to the abuse done in some residential schools that tribal members attended.
Residential school take #3. Something that I think is meaningful was the Calgary City Council going to the Treaty 7 First Nations and asking them the city should do. The Treaty 7 leaders told them to make Canada Day an occasion to actually *TALK* about what happened so that there could be an ability to move on together as a nation. The fireworks went ahead at night, but they were in honor of the lost children instead of celebrating Canada’s confederation.
My friend Dave posted a picture of his family on Canada Day, and I was heartened to see that the flag was at half-staff per Justin Trudeau’s instructions.
One of the things I’m going to be doing is learning more about the issue in the USA as well as learning more about the tribes in my area. My church is actually reaching out to one of them to get to know them, so that is going to be part of it for me.
Heat wave. We survived the weekend where we had temperatures of 104F. We thankfully have air-conditioning, and we used all the tricks we know from not having A/C in my childhood home. We are pretty lucky because a lot of homes don’t have it, and people were having severe problems with it as a result. I think the HVAC industry is going to be jumping for a few months…
Progress. On Tuesday, I managed to tell my depression to take a flying leap, and I got my desk cleaned off as well as a corner of my room decluttered. I feel proud of myself even though it’s kind of pathetic.
Hot! Hot! Hot! We are looking at temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s up here this weekend… and possibly triple digits! We get some days in the summer that are in the 80’s this year, but it is really rare for us to get into the 90’s. I’m not even sure if we’ve had triple digits in my part of Washington while I’ve lived here! The county is setting up cooling stations for those who don’t have A/C this weekend.
We were talking about the weather last weekend during the call with my brother’s family, and his father-in-law (who is up visiting from Arizona) snarked that it will be mildly warm. It was a 108F when he left Arizona. (Yeah… that’s why I don’t live down there.)
Daniel and COVID shot #2. Kiddo got his second vaccine on the 18th and did very well again. Skagit Regional Health’s Vaccine Clinic was really focused on making this a positive situation, and we had a shot giver who was touching everything to Daniel before putting it on the site. I thought she was going too slowly because he was anticipating it, but it worked out well. He has one week to go before he can start doing errands with me (wearing a mask of course).
Phone games redux. Since my post on them last week, I removed Klondike Adventures from my phone and finished all the puzzles on Cross Logic. I’ve since gotten into a new game called Einstein’s Riddle Puzzle, which is the logic games on steroids. I kind of wish it had the format of the boxes like Cross Logic does (so you can figure out the main parts of it), but it has kept my attention.
Volcanic eruption videos. Given that I was born the day after Mt. St. Helens erupted, it isn’t surprising that I have a fascination with them. I came across this video a few nights ago, and it’s fabulous. My favorite part is when you can actually see the shockwave from the first eruption propagating in the clouds.
Supervolcanoes. My family jokes that the Discovery Channel has documentaries for the purpose of scaring the public. Stuff on Yellowstone’s supervolcano falls into that category. It’s the first one mentioned in this video.