Goings On

I logged into this blog in the last week and found out I had written posts 82 days in a row before completely falling off the face of the earth. Not too shabby. A lot has happened since the last post.

In August we took a whirlwind trip to St. George to attend the last Utah Symphony Concert in which my brother-in-law would be performing for a while. He’s been a substitute percussionist for them for years now, but he went to the University of Michigan this fall to pursue super-advanced degrees in music things.

In August we also took a quick trip to Park City to explore and celebrate my husband’s birthday. It was also nice to let our daughter swim in the hotel pool as much as she wanted.

We spent the month of July building bookshelves, another birthday present for Reilly. It’s nice to have a place to put a lot of our books.

The beginning of school happened for Reilly and Z in the middle of August. Z brought home a cold at the end of August, and we all felt so crappy that Z and I got covid tests. Z never got her results back, but I tested negative. Being sick is so scary in these weird times.

Speaking of, a friend of my brother passed away from covid this week. Truly horrible.

More horribleness: In the last month a church leader gave a speech to some university faculty about taking up muskets against the evils of homosexuality. All of my LGBTQ+ friends were gutted, once again, by the hate the church spews. I don’t know how much longer I can try to reconcile this religion and their dangerous rhetoric with my staying in the church.

Last week I saw Hilary Hahn twice. The first time she performed at a nature center, just before a group of musicians from underserved communities. It was cool seeing her in a really intimate setting by the river with fewer than 100 people. She performed solo Bach. The second time was on a date with my husband at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts at Utah Valley University. That night she performed the Brahms Violin Concerto. Every note was glorious. It was great seeing her play live again, with the last time being November 2012.

Oh, I cooked pork chops tonight. Started them on the stove in a cast iron pan, then threw them into the oven. They were amazing. But whenever I do a fluky awesome job cooking, I always wonder if it’ll be just as good the next time. I suppose that’s the fun of it.

Autumn has made its presence known. The morning chill, the leaves turning in the mountains. Autumn’s nice, but winter: can stay the hell away.

I may write more later on these individual subjects later. I might not.

From Today’s Sunday Instagram Post and a Comment Elsewhere

I’ve been fully vaccinated (2 weeks after dose 2) for over a week now. I still wear a mask in public, because I just don’t know who is vulnerable and/or high-risk. The other day I was at a store, and about half of everyone there wore masks. (Honestly I was surprised that many wore them.) This was the day after the CDC announcement, but I still wore my mask because my allergies were acting up, and I didn’t feel like dodging death stares for my symptoms. Anyway, I was paying for my things in a self-checkout corral. One of the masked workers walked up to me as I was heading out with my cart. He solemnly looked me in the eyes and said, “Thank you.”

What a bizarre and interesting year it has been. COVID isn’t over yet; the world at large needs relief.

It’s the middle of spring, so I decided to join Z and wear a dress. We’ll be back to church starting next Sunday. Should be fun.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

Family Sunday Dinner

When we were dating, Reilly brought me to his family’s house for Sunday dinner. We’ve maintained this tradition every week, when we’re not sick or away traveling. It’s a nice time, and I can relax a little before returning to work Monday.

Early on during the pandemic, we erred on the side of caution. We spent at least a month away not going to Sunday dinner. We discussed it with the folks living in that house, and after some time we decided it would be safe enough to eat together as long as we wore masks.

And then in the fall a coworker of Reilly’s dad contracted COVID, and that coworker casually mentioned that he had an appointment for a COVID test, because he was experiencing symptoms. And that coworker didn’t take wearing masks seriously.

So Reilly’s dad caught COVID. And nearly everyone who lived in that house also caught it, including his sister and youngest brother.

So we spent another month not going to Sunday dinner.

Not complaining. Just stating the way things were.

We’ve been careful over the past year. When vaccines became available in December and January, Reilly became one of the first to get one. And everyone in his family eventually got one. Even the ones who caught COVID, since it still hasn’t been established how long that type of immunity lasts.

Everyone who would attend Sunday dinner became immune.

We went to dinner last night, and we didn’t wear our masks.

It was weird, especially after spending the past year with our public safety habit. We would have our masks off while we ate, but as soon as we finished, we’d put our masks back on. We didn’t have to do that last night.

It was nice.

Now if more people in this state would get vaccinated or otherwise practice mask safety.

We shall see.

Weighing Heavily

Racism, hate, violence. There seems to be no end.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Yesterday I attended a Zoom meeting:

These panelists discussed the conditions of their respective Chinatowns. They shared ideas about how to revive them. They exchanged stories of very recent incidents–stabbings–of Asian hate. Please frequent your AAPI businesses. Let them know you support them. Understand that their sacrifices and hard work are integral to the fabric of our country. Please.

COVID Crisis in India

In last night’s sleepless doom scrolling, I came across this Twitter thread:

What struck me was that this thread came out over a year ago. But it felt like it could have come out last week. We take so much for granted.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

May 5 also happens to be the National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls. This was something that I’ve been aware of but haven’t been keeping foremost in my mind. And it should share space with all the other serious matters in our world. Absolutely heartrending.

Back 2012 I read The Round House, by Louise Erdrich. A harrowing tale, addressing issues of violence and hate within and projected onto indigenous communities. If you haven’t read her work, doing so would be a good start.

The COVID Crisis in India

How do you lead and govern over a billion people?

I cannot wrap my head around that.

The news of the health crisis in India, skyrocketing new cases of COVID-19, is truly heartbreaking. So many humans are suffering, and the response locally and globally seems to have been very poor.

I can’t help but think of the millions in poverty, severe poverty, who can’t do anything to help themselves, much less others. The crowding in such a densely populated country is problematic. The country itself is a superspreader event, and isolation seems virtually impossible.

What are citizens in positions of privilege doing? Can they do more than their fellow humans lower on the socioeconomic ladder? Isn’t there anything that can be done?

I don’t know what I can do personally yet, only because I haven’t done enough research. But if there’s a place to donate for vaccines or masks or hand sanitizer and soap; if there needs funding for places for quarantine or anything else, I have to help. Somehow.

Spot the Difference

I hung up the hammock today! Felt symbolic.

Not in an overly deep way. The weather is finally warming and keeping relatively steady. And Z really likes the sensation of lying and swaying at the same time. Very soothing.

Both Z and Reilly get the summer off at the end of the school year, and so much relaxing and playing will happen. These summer months are often pleasant.

Got a text the other day from a friend. She and her husband are both fully vaccinated, and she told us as soon as we say the word, they’re game for hanging out.

We are, too.

When people have come over in the past year, they’ve worn masks, and they didn’t stay very long. How will it feel to loiter for hours with friends again? Maskless, even? Will it feel…wrong?

Speaking of, I’m cooking up a post about masks. Not sure if it’ll be indignant or not. Just kidding, I’m pretty sure my thoughts will be carrying some heat.

Anyway: warm weather, friends, so much time in the back yard. Reading, gardening, snoozing.

That’s the hammock.

It’s back up, everyone.

From Instagram, 25 April 2021

To go with the vaccine post from earlier today.

You already know this, but this coming Saturday is May 1. You know how excited and obnoxious I can get about my month.

I got my 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine this past Thursday evening. Those who experience side effects, those hours are rather bothersome, but then those hours are over, like a switch flipped, and you’re feeling normal-ish again. Except now I’m immune. Well, in two weeks I’ll be fully immune.

Before my vaccine appointment I had a checkup with my doctor. My first one since 2017. A nurse and a med student were with him in the exam room with me. The nurse took my vitals: BP 123/79. HR 60. Wt 99.2. O2 96%. [By the way, I’m 4’10”, in case my weight happened to concern you.] The┬ádoctor looked at my bloodwork and said I was super healthy; that my cholesterol levels were better than his; that I was one of the patients he didn’t have to go to med school for. He had the med student give me a breast exam, which, at the time, was sorta comical, like maybe it felt like she was spreading and poking pizza dough with her fingers? She also gave me a pelvic exam, and she couldn’t find the strings to my IUD. The doctor checked and located them, but the IUD had shifted nearly into my uterus. So he inserted a clear speculum and showed the med student how to resituate the IUD. And I hummed a little tune as this was happening. And this caused cramps the same time as the vaccine side effects. The re-placing the IUD, not the humming.

Oh, is this too much information?

COVID-19 Vaccine, Dose 2 Symptoms

I got my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine last Thursday night. I ended up feeling a lot of the same symptoms as the first dose, but more intensely.

The aches were a little more pronounced. Thursday night I slept horribly.

Friday I experienced chills, a different experience from the first dose. Took a hot bath. Took a couple of naps with a space heater nearby and under a couple of blankets. As a result of trying to keep my body warm, my Fitbit reported that I burned as many calories as I would on a day of jogging 25-30 minutes on the treadmill. Very interesting.

Even with my Friday naps, I slept really well that night.

Saturday morning, outside of a slightly tender injection site, I felt so much better.

So glad to be on the other side of this.

Two weeks, and I’ll have full immunity.

Cool.

COVID-19 Vaccine, Dose 1 Symptoms

The first night of receiving the vaccine, although I’d massaged my arm at the injection site, my shoulder was developing soreness. This soreness persisted through Friday and Saturday, as well as a barely-noticeable undercurrent of a general malaise. Just enough to make itself known.

My body was working on developing some badass immunity.

I didn’t sleep well Thursday night.

But Friday and Saturday night, the sleep was glorious. That feeling of waking up refreshed: nothing like it.

When Sunday morning arrived, I was feeling fantastic.

My second dose is four weeks after the first dose.

I’m totally ready for this week.

COVID-19 Vaccine, Dose 1

In Utah teachers were prioritized for the vaccine, so that means Reilly was able to get both doses earlier than a lot of us. But as of March 24, anyone over the age of 16 could get vaccinated.

The vaccine isn’t readily available to everyone yet, so scheduling an appointment was a little challenging, but not impossible. I got lucky with finding a place that wasn’t too far away.

The sign at the entrance said not to go inside until 15 minutes before my appointment. The email instructions said not to go in until 5 minutes before. I split the difference and went in 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. They verified my ID and told me to stand in line.

It was less than a minute of waiting until I was in a chair. The nurse pushed up my left sleeve and rubbed an alcohol swab over my shoulder. She broke out the syringe, pierced my skin with the needle, injected the stuff, and covered the wound with a bandage, all in less than 10 seconds. Super duper quick.

Then I found an empty chair and sat for 15 minutes and massaged the injection site while nurses passed by, making sure no one was having adverse effects to the virus.

I drove home, ate dinner, took an ibuprofen for an approaching headache. Took a bath, tucked in my beautiful child who seems to be feeling much better from this morning. Hung out with Reilly and Frank.

Just some soreness in my arm.

Hoping to sleep well.

Halfway there.