The Heartbreak in Haiti

There is so much going on in the world these days, causing so much heartache; from Covid 19 to Wars to Gun Violence to Forest Fires to Storms and Flooding, and from Earthquakes.

Haiti’s situation is especially heartbreaking because it’s been one thing after another for the people who live there. The history of this tiny country shows how bad it’s been.

In the 70s, dictator Baby Doc took over for his father, and repression increased, prompting thousands of Haitians to leave the island headed for Florida. They became known as the “boat people” while many died en route to the U.S.

In the 80s, Baby Doc took exile in France while Lieutenant-General Henri Namphy assumed power until General Prosper Avril took over from Namphy in a coup. Avril declared a state of siege amid protests but resigned under international pressure before an election.

In 1990 former parish priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a leftist champion of the poor, won the first free election in Haiti. He was ousted in a coup by a military regime in 1991.

In 1994 U.S. troops intervened to drive out the military regime, and Aristide returned to Haiti. U.N. peacekeepers deployed in 1995, and Rene Preval was elected president. But Aristide was elected president in 1999 for a second term in what might have been a rigged election.

Ten years later, in 2004, political unrest forced Aristide to flee again and, the country fell into violence. The downward spiral continued with food shortages, a cholera outbreak, electoral disputes, and protests.
And then, in 2010, an earthquake killed almost 300,000 people. Despite an international relief effort, the country continued to be overwhelmed.
Haiti still hadn’t recovered when Hurricane Matthew struck in 2016, killed more than 850 people, and left tens of thousands of homeless people.

A year later, Jovenel Moise, a banana exporter, was declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election. Moise steadily gained power and rules by decree after Haiti failed to hold elections due to political gridlock and unrest until Moise is shot dead when a gunman opened fire with assault rifles in his private residence this past summer.

A month later, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes western Haiti on Aug. 14, likely causing high casualties and widespread disaster. The death toll is now over 2100 and is expected to climb. Injuries are in the ten of thousands, with many victims unable to find care, and many of the injured are dying due to lack of care. Tropical Storm Grace battered an already battered country, leaving many more homeless, hungry, and injured. The rain and wind from the storm are causing expected mudslides and flash flooding, which could hamper rescue attempts even further.

Earthquake-displaced people sit under blankets to shield themselves from the rain, the morning after Tropical Storm Grace swept over Les Cayes, Haiti, early Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, three days after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. (AP Photo/Joseph Odelyn)

Patience is running out in Haiti, considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Those who have already been dealing with Covid 19, gang problems, poverty, kidnappings for ransom, and loss of loved ones. With the death of Jovenel Moise, there is little, if any, government leadership. Citizens have to wait days for any assistance. Officials have said at least 7,000 homes and schools, churches, offices, and hospitals have been destroyed. Haiti’s public works ministry dispatched 55 rescue teams, composed of military and civil protection personnel, for search-and-rescue efforts, but it was not enough.

Children under the age of 10 have never known anything by fear, hunger, and despair.

https://whbl.com/2021/08/14/haitis-history-of-violence-and-disasters/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/08/15/haiti-diaspora-earthquake/
https://www.npr.org/2021/08/17/1028574622/haiti-earthquake-death-toll-1941
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/08/16/haiti-earthquake-storm-victims/

https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/08/19/haiti-earthquake-rural-community-rivers-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/haiti-earthquake/2021/08/15/c0da6db8-fd35-11eb-911c-524bc8b68f17_story.html

Trumplican Fantasy World

Over the past five years, I’ve observed some basic truths of the mentality of conservative Christian Republicans.

While I have never been conservative, nor have I ever voted Republican, I once was a Christian in two very Evangelic churches. Looking back, I realized many of these belonged to the churchgoers I associated with, and maybe a few were even about me. I’m glad I have become educated and evolved and saw the errors of my ways.

Here is my list. You may or may not agree with it, as it is based on my own experiences and a whole lot of reading.

  • They are very gullible.
  • They are very obedient.
  • They are very racist.
  • They are homophobic and don’t believe in same-sex marriage.
  • They are distrustful of anyone who doesn’t think and believe as they do.
  • They never question anything they consider comes from God or their pastors. And recently, Donald Trump was added to the list.
  • They are sexist and believe that only men should run the world and business.
  • Women must remember their place.
  • They believe that prayer will get them whatever they need.
  • They are incredibly selfish. Social issues don’t matter to them until the subject affects them personally.
  • They believe that the Bible is the true word of God and is never wrong.
  • They distrust higher education. 
  • They tend not to read anything other than religious material and even very little of that.
  • They never question the church’s teachings. To do so is to lack faith.
  • They are required to witness to others, encourage their conversion to Christianity, and pray for them to do so.
  • They believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, Heaven, Hell, and the temptations of Satan.
  • They believe this life is just a test and that you should live the best life you can so you can go to heaven after death.
  • Children must be brought up in a strict Christian household where the father is the god-head of the family, the mother is the guidance, and the children are cheerful and obedient always.
  • No sex before marriage, which is why so many young people marry before they are even out of high school.
  • Rape and incest are their quiet, dirty little secret.
  • Way too many of them believe conspiracy theories, including QAnon.
  • Anyone who doesn’t follow these guidelines is shunned.

Looking back, I wondered why I lived by these rules for as long as I did. But like many people, I was searching for answers, and I thought church was the place to find them.

Fifteen years after I left the church, Donald Trump decided to run for president. He didn’t want the job; he just wanted the attention and the chance to cash in on opportunities. While Trump wasn’t all that interested in politics, despite the many nasty comments he made about politicians of both parties, he knew the Democrats wouldn’t accept him… we were too intelligent, liberal, and caring for that. He needed a party of gullible, obedient, and poorly educated people who shared his racist and homophobic beliefs. The Republican party was perfect for that.

And of course, the conservative Republics embraced Trump as one of their own because they hated Obama, a Liberal Democrat, well educated, and black.

They were ecstatic when Trump won in 2016, if not a little surprised. And they hung on his every word… most of which never made sense to the rest of us.

They believed what he said about everything, even when the facts showed otherwise.

When Covid hit, they trusted Trump when he said it was just a hoax and there was no need for masks or vaccines.

When Trump lost the 2020 election, they all vowed violence until Trump was reinstated to the presidency.

For the past eight months, the Trump supporters have said, “On this day (add the date), Donald Trump will be back in the White House after they proved that the election was a fraud.

The latest date was August 13th, which came and went without much notice. Except for the Internet, which had a hay day with memes to celebrate what didn’t happen.

And addition to this non-event, another one happened on August 12th, the Global Prayer Day to End Atheism. I guess it didn’t work since I’m still here.

I am posting the memes I’ve collected about both events.

Like the one article I’m linking to my post says… it “would be at least mildly (more) amusing if it weren’t so dangerous.” We all know how unhinged Trump’s followers are. They proved it at mass shootings on Trump’s behalf, at his rallies, storming various Capitol buildings, especially in Washington DC, Charlottesville, twisting evidence again Black Lives Matter rallies to blame black protesters that white racists did. His entire presidency, if you want to call it that, was filled with racist rants and violent encouragement. All because they chose to believe Donald Trump’s words.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/08/13/qanon-marked-friday-as-trump-reinstatement-day-here-are-other-flop-predictions-of-trumps-return/

https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/trump-s-imaginary-return-white-house-could-cause-actual-real-n1276753

https://www.vox.com/21506029/trump-violence-tweets-racist-hate-speech

The Downfall of Andrew Cuomo

At one time, people who praised Andrew Cuomo were impressed by how well he handled the pandemic and created a program that educated about sexual harassment. I was one of them.

Like many others, I am now angry and feel betrayed by Cuomo’s sexual harassment and assault against at least 11 women.

He did many things right, but that doesn’t excuse his sexist actions. Like so many other rich, white, and powerful men, it appears that he thinks if he wanted sex, that’s all that mattered. Her consent was not required.

“Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”

“Cuomo reached under his executive assistant’s blouse and cupped her breast, she told investigators. On another occasion, he asked to take a selfie with her — then grabbed her butt cheek and began to rub it. He made sexualized comments (“If you were single, the things I would do to you”) and demanded hugs, “pushing my body against his,” when she left the governor’s mansion.”

“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo resigned, blaming society for changing the lines of behavior. No, the lines of appropriate behavior were not redrawn; way too many men just ignored them. Abuse is abuse, it was then, and it is now. When I was in the 8th grade, a substitute teacher did the same thing that Cuomo is accused of: putting his hand under my blouse and grabbing my breast. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one molested this way. We reported his actions to the school principal, and all they did was transfer him to another school. Even then, in 1964, powerful men protect other men. It happens with the Catholic church and priests assaulted kids. It happened with Jeffery Epstein protecting people like Donald Trump and Prince Andrew.

“The once mighty Andrew Cuomo gave New Yorkers two weeks notice (who does that when resigning public office?). Still, he admitted no serious wrongdoing and portrayed himself — not the many women who accused him of sexual harassment — as the real victim.”

The lines of appropriate behavior haven’t changed. Behavior like this has always been wrong. It’s just now we are speaking out about and calling out the slimeballs who think it’s okay to take what isn’t theirs to take.

There was just an aspect of Andrew Cuomo most of us didn’t see: “short-tempered to the point of [being] abusive, was vain about publicity in ways that stood out even by the standards of politicians, and where he went, drama and personal conflict inevitably followed.”

Cuomo didn’t resign because he knew he was guilty and his actions were wrong, but because he didn’t want to be impeached, and that could have prevented him from running for office again.

“Cuomo’s transition from office will take 14 days and marks a stunning departure from the asshole-ish responses the governor has been offering since being hit with allegations that he was wildly inappropriate while in office.”

“Cuomo’s decision to step down represents a crushing defeat for the three-term governor, ending his nearly 11-year domination of state government that was known for its liberal policy victories and a hard-knuckle style of politics marked by bullying, intimidation and retribution.”

Interesting that they use the word “domination,” as it seems that Cuomo is what expected in his life, especially when dealing with women.

I wonder what he will tell his daughters about his behavior, that he both condemned and then acted on? I wonder what he would do and say if one of his daughters had been treated in this way? Or all three of them? Would he justify it as a misunderstanding? A “he-said-she-said”?

Will other powerful men learn from this event? It’s doubtful. They didn’t when it happened to Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and dozens of others, including three Kentucky state representatives as well as one from my own state!!

Of course, to these “men”, all of the women are lying. As usual, if a dozen women say it happened, everyone wants proof, but if one man says it didn’t happen, he is believed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/andrew-cuomo-resigns/2021/08/10/cfd44154-7ac2-11eb-b3d1-9e5aa3d5220c_story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/cuomo-fall-sexual-harassment/2021/08/10/69094b8a-f9fd-11eb-b8dd-0e376fba55f2_story.htm

https://www.theroot.com/ny-gov-andrew-cuomo-resigns-after-scathing-report-deta-1847458207?u

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/andrew-cuomo-resigns/2021/08/10/cfd44154-7ac2-11eb-b3d1-9e5aa3d5220c_story.html

https://www.salon.com/2021/08/03/cuomo-comes-out-defiant-after-new-york-ag-finds-the-governor-sexually-harassed-multiple-women/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/03/disgrace-downfall-andrew-cuomo/

https://www.glamour.com/gallery/post-weinstein-these-are-the-powerful-men-facing-sexual-harassment-allegations

Banging My Head Against the Wall

I know I expected too much for Trump and his cult followers to accept the election results gracefully. But they are not. They still insist that it was rigged, and they are half right. Trump rigged it in his favor, which worked the first time, but not the second. And he is pissed because his underhanded tactics didn’t work for the 2020 election as they did for the 2016. And Trumpians were either too blind, too ignorant, too selfish, or too greedy to see otherwise. But since most of these voters are conservative Christians, they are taught with fear and guilt to obey, which they happily do.

Republican voters, in a general sense, and the GOP specifically, have historically cared only for their own personal needs and desires and cared little about anyone else. Until that specific issue affects them personally. Many conservative Christian Republicans are anti-vaxxers until they or a loved one becomes infected with Covid 19. Then they beg their family and friends to get vaccinated, forgetting that they didn’t listen to anyone, which is why they became sick. Right-wing conspiracy theorists take this all to a whole new level. And this is nothing new. All of this goes back to at least the 60s, if not further, starting with the communist’ red scare’ back in the early 1950s that gave us “in god we trust” on our dollar bills and “under god” in the pledge of allegiance. Trump embraced Russia, Communism, and Nazism; it’s ironic these days since all of his voters embraced him and agreed with anything and everything he said. These Trumplican right-wingers are just a newer version of the John Birch Society from the early 60s.

Trump also pushed the dominating, white-Nationalist, authoritarian type government, and still does. Americans who support him accept it but would have a fit if those same ideas came from Liberal Democrats.

His most vocal supporters are just that… extremely vocal—people like Tucker Carlson, Mike Lindell, and Majorie Taylor Greene. All they care about are their own TV ratings, product sales, and government control, not the people who watch their show, buy their product, or vote them into office.

“It displays a deranged right-wing vision of self-rule that sees competitive authoritarian methods as the route to securing ethno-nationalist ends; It’s the future they want.” According to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post.

“Republican members of the House, who this week voted to release a Republican memo suggesting the Russia investigation is a partisan plot against President Trump. As Eric Levitz summarizes in New York magazine, Trump supporters’ evolving conspiracy theory posits that “the entire investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government is a baseless sham orchestrated by Hillary Clinton and her deep-state allies,” including “a ‘secret society’ of Democratic operatives embedded within the FBI.”

Republicans see a conspiracy everywhere they look except within their ranks.

Mike Lindell pretty much has a total meltdown on CNN. I loved this description of Lindell from NationalMemo…

“MyPillow CEO and deranged election conspiracist Mike Lindell has been been on the warpath since Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, spending millions of dollars to find “proof” that somehow, someway Trump won. But his proof is much like Lindell himself: “completely ridiculous.”

During an interview with CNN reporter Drew Griffin, Lindell claimed to have “one piece of 1.2 billion lines of data from the election, OK? Within that will be timestamps when it happened, there’ll be flips in there.”

CNN talked with nine top cybersecurity experts who said it was “completely ridiculous” and “proof of nothing,” as well as county election officials of both parties who confirmed that Lindell’s Chinese cyber-hacking conspiracy was literally impossible — because their voting systems aren’t linked to the Internet.

Lindell lost it: “He said that’s nothing, huh? Then you didn’t hire a cyber expert.”

I guess he thought since everyone on Fox news gush about how right he is, that everyone on CNN would as well. Lindell insisted that he wouldn’t change his mind until someone proved to him otherwise, saying “that he’s going to give $5 million to anyone who can prove him wrong.” It doesn’t matter that the proof is already there; he won’t see it anyway. I wonder if he is losing money on his “MyPillow”… I recently saw a TV commercial where he gleefully reduced the cost of one of his overpriced pillows down to $29. 

Lindell yelled the loudest that Donald Trump would take back the White House on August 13th (today), and Lindell has since walked back that comment. But QAnon and other militant groups have promised another civil war, another insurrection.

For Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, that means getting out their gun collection and shooting anyone they wish. Taylor-Greene’s comment about “using their second amendment rights” echoes a similar comment made by Donald Trump. Both illustrate how neither one has actually read the Second Amendment of the constitution, or they would know that it says you have the right to bear arms (and that doesn’t mean AK-15’s), not walking down the street blowing away people you don’t like or who disagrees with anything you say.

“Yeah, well, what they don’t know is in the South we all love our Second Amendment rights, and we’re not really big on strangers showing up at our front door, are we? They might not like the welcome they get,” she said, getting cheers and applause from the crowd. The crowd, hearing Alabama was among the least vaccinated states, cheered.”

She is against education about Covid 19, wearing masks, getting vaccines, and anyone coming to your door uninvited. I wonder if that includes Jehovah Witnesses. And I wonder if she has tried the new Trumplican cure of horse paste???

It looks like more and more people who voted for Trump and the GOP are having second thoughts, much like they are about Covid 19, masks, and vaccinations.

“A new poll shows that a majority of Americans don’t want former President Donald Trump to run again for the third time in 2024. They think it would be bad for the country. Sixty percent of respondents thought another Trump campaign could tear the country apart. Thirty-two percent said it would be good.”

This is both surprising and unsurprising. As loud as Trump’s supporters and voters are, you have to wonder if they are just that… loud. And drowning out those others who are unhappy with the results they got from Trump. While Trump will overinflate his accomplishments and actually lie about most of them, tangible results are much harder to find.

The economy didn’t improve (reminder: the stock market is not the economy), the jobs report doesn’t show that many people are holding down two or three jobs to make ends meet. At the same time, there are still a lot of people unemployed due to the coronavirus. And now there are not enough people to fill all of the job openings available. What will happen when those businesses have to close down again to another wave of Covid, thanks to the many superspreader events happening now? And let’s not forget what happened with Trump’s infamous wall with Mexico, who didn’t pay for it like promised.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/right-wing-conspiracy-theories-from-the-1960s-to-today.html

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/08/marjorie-taylor-greene-caught-hidden-video-telling-fans-shoot-covid-19-workers/

https://www.rawstory.com/marjorie-taylor-greene-suggests-republicans-use-their-second-amendment-rights-to-welcome-bidens-police-state-friends/

https://www.rawstory.com/mike-lindell-2654502704/

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/08/majority-americans-think-another-trump-campaign-bad-country/

https://www.rawstory.com/trump-bogus-cure/

https://www.nationalmemo.com/mike-lindell-proof-cnn

What Happened?

I live in a town where we have a Christmas tractor parade down the middle of our main street. So this seemed appropriate.

A farmer named Clyde had a tractor accident. In court, the trucking company’s fancy hot shot lawyer, was questioning Clyde. “Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine,’?” asked the lawyer.

Clyde responded, “Well, I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite cow, Bessie, into the…”

“I didn’t ask for any details”, the lawyer interrupted. “Just answer the question, please. Did you, or did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!’?”

Clyde said, “Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer behind the tractor and I was driving down the road….”

The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Your Honor, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Clyde’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite cow, Bessie”.

Clyde thanked the Judge and proceeded. “Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite cow, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my John Deer Tractor right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting, real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.

Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her fatal condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, “How are you feeling?”

“Now tell me, what the HECK would you say?”

The Tale of Two Women in America

Photo by Teona Swift on Pexels.com

This is from my journal about an experience I had when I was in the hospital ICU two years ago.

When I was in the hospital, I came in contact with a whole lot of people… way too many and I was beginning to feel “peopled” out.

But two made an impact on me…Maria and Elizabeth. Both were on the housekeeping staff of the hospital. I met Maria first and as her name might suggest, she is Hispanic. I was watching TV when she came on, watching the news about El Paso shooting. She shook her head and I could see her eyes welling up with tears. I said “this kind of thing shouldn’t be happening. Here or anywhere.” She then told me her life story.

She immigrated from Mexico about 25 years ago, legally (which was much easier then than it is now), and was sponsored by two American families, one in Poulsbo and one in Puyallup. They helped her to learn English and get the skills she needed to succeed. She isn’t an American citizen yet but she is a legal immigrant and still she is concerned with what is going on in this country against people who are Hispanic and Latino. She had one patient just recently hiss at her that she, Maria, should be sent back where she came from. She looked him square in the eye and told him that maybe he should be sent back where HE came from.

After I was moved to another floor, I met Elizabeth. Again, I was watching the news on TV when she came in to clean. She looked up to the TV and shook her head. I thought it was in empathy but found out it was anything but. She walked into my bathroom mumbling something about how “they have no right to be here in the first place…” and how “she had to put up with them all the time she lived in Forks and she knew all about who they were.” Then she said something that kind of surprised me.

“I have no prejudice against THE MEXICANS!!”

That said everything to me. Whenever you have to say you are not a racist that clearly indicates that you are. When you objectify an entire culture by a label like that, not only are you a racist, but you are an ignorant one at that. She clearly was so ignorant to call countries south of the border as “Mexican” and doesn’t seem to acknowledge and understand there other countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Honduras. Did this woman just not go to school?

I’m quite sure the staff has been cautioned to not discuss subjects like religion and politics, but for these two women, with hugely wide viewpoints, the events that were happening were so much more than either one could handle.

I wanted to ask Elizabeth how she would have felt to lumped into an objective category such as “THE poor, old white ladies” which attempts to take away all of your humanity. But at that point, I no longer wanted to acknowledge her presence and even questioned her own humanity considering her attitude.

TMI Tuesday: August 10, 2021: Nudie Cuties

Photo by Davide De Giovanni on Pexels.com

1. What are your thoughts on public nudity or skimpy clothing?

I think the bias against nudity is overblown. We all have similar bodies… either we have a vagina, or we have a penis. We all have breasts, butts, feet, ankles, hands, necks, lips, eyes, and anything else that people find erotic. What makes it all so titillating is that we are told we must not look or touch any of it. At one time, the view of ankles and wrists was considered shocking, so women wore long skirts and gloves to hide what was deemed risque. Then it was arms and legs. I remember when Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress to a public function and was soundly criticized for “bearing arms”. When I was in high school, our skirts had to cover our knees. In the days of the mini skirt, school officials had a losing battle on their hands. Midriffs showing were discouraged. Now bikinis go as long as they can go, and cleavage is encouraged. Nude beaches and resorts are becoming popular. The ban on nudity goes hand in hand with sex. If you are naked, surely that means you are looking for sex. But sex depends on more than just a nude body… and includes things such as imagination, chemistry, desire, and needs. If it were about nudity, we all would be having sex with everyone else, and that’s not happening. So it’s kind of silly and narrow-minded to be that negative about skimpy clothing, body parts, and nudity. I like it all.

2. Which of the following best describes you:

a. Exhibitionist

b. Voyeur

c. Keep nudity and things sexual behind closed doors

I discovered that I was a. Exhibitionist. And if my health allowed for it, I still would be.

3. What is the most revealing outfit that you have ever worn in public?

I think it’s a three-way tie… a brown leather mini skirt, a white silk blouse, low-cut with a ruffled neckline, or pink wide-legged pants with a pink and white stripe tube top, or a long black skirt (in the right light, it was see-through) and a black cami and no panties.

4. There are only two types of beaches left in the world–clothing optional and must be clothes-free. Which beach will you visit?

Clothing optional. I think everyone should have choices. I wouldn’t want to demand that someone needed to be nude unless they wanted to be nude, any more than I want someone to tell me to cover up.

5. You have just gotten out of the shower to find that your towel is hanging outside on the clothesline. Your house is full of guests. Do you:

a. Call out for someone to bring your towel.

b. Use something else to dry yourself.

c. Retrieve your towel as inconspicuously as possible wrapping it around you at the earliest chance.

d. Take advantage of the sunshine and dry yourself au naturale in your backyard.

My initial response would be to walk out amongst the guests (it is my house, after all), head for the backyard, and dry myself in the sunshine. But then my manners would kick in, and I’d yell out to someone to bring me a clean, dry towel.

Bonus: Have you ever skinny dipped or visited a nude beach? Pictures would be awesome!

Skinny dipped, yes, but sadly I’ve never visited a nude beach. It was on my bucket list but never happened.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Here It Comes: The Fifth Wave of Covid

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I am hardly an expert on Covid 19 and the vaccines most of us are getting, but I am trying to keep informed.

I have a compromised immune system, and I’m not in any big rush to die, so I try to do all I can to avoid being infected by the coronavirus.

It’s incredible how many conspiracy stories and misinformation are alive and well out there, even more amazed about how many people believe these untrue stories. They range from the belief that Covid 19 is nothing more than a bad cold to the idea that the vaccine contains microchips that control the 5G internet to the worse idea that the vaccine contains parts from aborted babies, just another reason why conservative Christian Republicans hate both abortion and vaccines.

People have destroyed 5G network towers in an attempt to save people from the vaccine, which they see as more dangerous than the virus itself. They still believe the virus is a hoax.

Some people think that the microchip in the virus helps Bill Gates track their every movement. This is ironic when they all walk around with their eyes glued to their smartphones, which Bill Gates helped create the operating system that controls the phone AND tracks their every movement. They don’t seem to be too concerned about that.

Another belief that Donald Trump touted is that heat kills the virus, so, since it’s summer and a hot one, the virus is gone, and they think mask-wearing and social distance is over and don’t have to worry about it. 

The numbers say otherwise. Due to not enough people getting vaccinated and the Delta variance, people are getting just as sick and dying, like last winter. But now, the Delta variance is more contagious and more deadly than the original virus.

Some people believe that getting the vaccine for Covid will give you Covid, which isn’t logical, but they think that is true for Influenza as well. “None of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so you cannot get the virus or the disease it causes from the vaccine.” “Live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) is made from attenuated, or weakened, viruses and does not cause influenza, although it can cause mild signs or symptoms (including rhinorrhoea, nasal congestion, fever or sore throat).”

There is also some misinformation about getting the vaccine; once you are fully vaccinated, you are immune to the virus; therefore, there is no need to wear a mask or social distance. You can still get Covid even if you are fully vaccinated since the virus can mutate into the variants like we are now seeing. You still need to wear masks and social distance even after you get the vaccine. You can be a carrier that can infect others. And the dangerous belief that if you are young and healthy and have no underlying conditions, you will never get Covid 19. That may have been true 18 months ago, but like the virus itself, things change.

I suspect that Covid 19 is not going away any time soon. You can still become infected from Covid or any of its variances. I suspect it will continue to mutate like the various influenza viruses, which is why we get a flu shot every year. The vaccines just help to keep us from getting as sick and dying from the illness. And as dangerous and deadly as the flu is, Covid is even more so.

And this one I just recently heard: “There have been many anecdotal reports of changes to people’s menstrual cycles after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, yet specific data about this phenomenon’s frequency are currently scarce. Are these really COVID-19-related side effects, or are they due to stress and other life changes that might coincide with getting the vaccine?” “judging by the preliminary data that they were able to gather, “for the most part, the most common [outcome] […] is actually nothing happening at all.”

However, “among the people who are experiencing this side effect, it seems like the most common is — for people who are currently menstruating […] — [that] their period is heavier, sometimes longer, [and] for people who are not currently menstruating because they’re on long-acting contraceptives or they’re transgender and [on] gender-affirming hormones, or they are postmenopausal […], we’re also seeing breakthrough bleeding as another phenomenon.”

If I were to make a guess, I would say [that] if somebody already has a disorder that might affect bleeding and clotting or has had issues with bleeding and clotting in the past, […] that’s a reason to at least talk to your doctor first if you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, just to see if they have thoughts about whether one vaccine [is] better than another [in terms of mitigating any risks of side effects].”

Maybe it’s just me, but if I had to choose between having heavier periods and being infected with Covid 19 and potentially dealing with lifelong health issues like lung, heart, and kidney problems, I’d take the heavy periods. I did have that for a while, and there are easier solutions for that than for organ damage.

Of course, there will be some people who do achieve complete immunity from Covid 19 once they are fully vaccinated, but those who refuse to get the vaccine have a much higher chance of getting infected from it than people who are fully vaccinated getting very sick, and could even die from it.

It always surprises me that people are willing to take the chance of getting the virus and could end up with lifelong side effects but are afraid of getting the vaccine because of something they heard on Fox News or read on social media.

Their reasons for fighting against the stay-at-home rules vary from person to person. Last winter, I had an online conversation with one woman about being forced to stay at home.

“I am so bored… I’m tired of staying home and just watching TV.”

“Why not try something else?”

“No!! You don’t understand. I want to go shopping. I want to go to church!!”

“You can shop online, and most churches are doing online services.”

“NO!!! No! You don’t understand!!”

No, I didn’t, but after talking to her further, it finally came out. It wasn’t around other people that she missed. She wanted the attention OF other people. She loved going shopping and being told by salespeople how wonderful she looked in this dress or that suit. She loved people at church making a big deal about how stylish she always looked when she attended church.

No, I didn’t understand at all. Not this need. But it was obvious that she was more concerned about getting attention and approval than worrying about herself or anyone else getting infected with this virus. She was going through withdrawal from a lack of attention and praise.

This was several days before the anti-quarantine protests started. People who only were thinking of themselves…. They wanted a haircut, and they want to go out for dinner and to a movie. Okay, I get that. People resent having to be stuck at home. They are bored. They don’t like being told what to do by someone else.

Their tempos slowed down so slow they just didn’t know what to do with themselves. They’ve never had to think of things to do for themselves; they have depended on just doing their job, something someone else told them to do (ironically), and for others to entertain them. Now left to their own devices, they are totally lost.

And bored!

I’m glad I’m more self resilient and adaptable. I grew up thinking of ways to entertain myself. I understand hating the feeling of boredom. I hate that too. But I don’t understand whining about it.

Find something to do!! There are thousands of ideas all over the place.

Because my life hasn’t changed much with the coronavirus, I’m pretty much doing the same things I’ve been doing for the three years. My tempo is staying steady.

I know things could get much worse before it gets better. So, for now, I will appreciate what I do have and not bitch because I can’t get a haircut. Instead, I try to see the other side and think…maybe it’s time just to let my hair grow out.

************

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7443554/

TMI Tuesday: July 20, 2021: It’s Personal

1. Describe your phone lock screen.

Non-existent. I had one for a while, but it annoyed me to have to type in a password to get into my phone. I do have one on my laptop, courtesy of Microsoft. I’m not too fond of that either.

2. What does your favorite coffee mug or tea cup look like? Post a pic.

It’s a tall travel mug that I use to drink water.

3. Tell us about a regional food favorite of yours that you think the world simply must try.

Well, I wouldn’t eat it, but for people who like something unusual to try, it would be octopus. My dad loves it and talked me into trying it. “It tastes like chicken!!” he said. Uh, no, Dad, it doesn’t taste like chicken. Besides, I had a pet, baby octopus when I was a kid, and I don’t think I could eat a pet. If cooked properly, I suppose octopus could be good… Japanese cooks excel at cooking most seafood. If it’s cooked incorrectly, it’s very rubbery. In Japan and Korea, it’s common to eat live baby octopi because, well, this quote: “…enjoy more than just the taste of the fresh meat; they enjoy the sensation of the still-active suction cups on the octopus’ arms as they stick to the mouth and attempt to climb back up the throat. Novices are advised to chew before swallowing to avoid the threat of being choked.” Doesn’t that sound appetizing? And another person pointed out that it was cruel to eat a live animal since there is no doubt (to me anyway) that all animals feel pain. A few years ago, a diver in Seattle brought up an octopus from Puget Sound and set off many angry people who started a “save our octopus” campaign, which is ridiculous and shows that people need some education. Octopus is a common menu item in many restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, and my dad not only captured octopi for the Seattle Aquarium, but he also participated in the World Championship Octopus Wrestling (that’s him on the right). No animal was harmed during this event. They all were returned to Puget Sound.

The Giant Pacific Octopus is not an endangered species and doesn’t need saving. I got carried away, didn’t I?

4. How often do you journal?

Daily, in one form or another.

5. How often do you blog?

Sometimes daily, sometimes multiple times a day, to once a week, to once a month. I don’t have a set schedule.

Bonus: Does your blog act as your journal?

Everything I write gets saved on my Scrivener files; memories, dreams, stories, poetry, daily journal, prompts, lists, blog posts, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, photos, cartoons, memes, drawings. If I ever decided to publish this, it would be 70 volumes.

Two Weeks

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

The last two weeks have been pretty eventful… some moments are good, and others are not so good. First, I had a flare-up of angioedema on my face. I haven’t had this for two years, and the last two times, I needed Prednisone to clear it up. I couldn’t find anyone to prescribe it for me unless I was seen first, and I try to avoid going to the doctor as much as possible. I asked to have a virtual appt, and that didn’t fly either, and all of the people I’ve seen in the past were on vacation. I googled it, and everything said that it would clear up on its own; I just needed to be patient. So I depended on ice compresses, aloe vera, and Aveeno cream, and it did clear up its own, thankfully. That gives me hope for the next time.

While I was still battling that, our Internet access went out. Once we determined it was not an area outage, we made at least half a dozen calls to CenturyLink, we learned it was our modem, and we wouldn’t get a replacement until Monday (this was on a Thursday). We were told a tech would be out on Tuesday to connect the new modem up.

In the meantime, we had to cancel two virtual doctor appts because… no internet. We tried to do Zoom on my phone, but the connection wasn’t stable enough, so we ended up doing a phone call appt with the top pulmonary doctor at the U of W, who had gotten all of my partner’s records from his local pulmonologist. The doctor said he was sicker than we realized, and he needed to see him in Seattle for an exam and tests and talk about the possibility of getting a lung transplant. He spent all of Friday on the phone making arrangements for a ride over to Seattle and talking to his other doctors. 

Saturday was quiet and rather boring. I’m glad I have my phone, or I would go nuts. But I can’t do extensive typing on my phone so writing for my blog is out. I do have a few things I can do that are on my hard drive and don’t depend on the Internet to work. But still. 

Monday, the new modem arrived, but the tech never showed up on Tuesday like promised. More phone calls, and Centurylink insisted they didn’t have an order for Tuesday, only for the following Tuesday. Grrrrr!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My partner went to Seattle early, and his driver was very patient with him. The appointment with the doctor wasn’t until 2 pm, but he had multiple tests and an MRI before seeing the doctor. In the end, the doctor said he was not a good candidate for a transplant; 1) the cut off age is 70, and he will be 69 in Sept, 2) there is no family in Seattle to help with his care… he would need to have care for 6-7 weeks before he could come home, and I’m unable to provide that kind of care, and 3) he would need to lose twenty pounds, which wouldn’t be that much of a problem for him. The stunning part is when the doctor said the lung disease is now considered terminal, and he has about two years to live. We talked about this, and in the end, he was relieved. We knew a transplant would be a terrible merry-go-round, and he didn’t think that was something he wanted to do. 

I had a friend who was on the transplant list for a new kidney. He was on dialysis and had to jump through so many hoops to be considered for a transplant. He worked out every day, biked 12 miles a day, and worked himself up to the top of the list. And then he got pneumonia and was bumped back to the bottom of the list, back to working out and biking and working his way back up the list only to be knocked down again from another bout of pneumonia. By then, he was both irritated and frustrated. He was done. He took himself off of the transplant list and off of all treatment. He said he didn’t want to live with his whole life revolving around getting a transplant; it took the joy out of life. So he stopped it all, and three days later, he died.

We also know that doctors give the worst prognosis… if I had died every time a doctor insisted I was going to die, I’d need to be a cat with nine lives. So we decided we would live in the present and face each day one at a time. That seemed to have calmed my partner down a whole lot. 

Friday was spent with more calls to Centurylink, and they insisted tech was coming on Tuesday, and a second modem arrived today, exactly the same as the first. We are going to keep it as a backup if and when the first one fails.

Today was my last day with the Lymphedema therapist and home care nurse, and they have helped me so much since March. My Lymphedema is under control, although it’s something I will always have to deal with. But the best news is that the radiation wound finally closed up, and there is a nice layer of new skin over the site of the tumors. I will have to watch it and make sure I don’t tear the new skin and watch the swelling that could rip open the skin again. But right now, I am not wearing a bandage around my leg as I have for the past three years. I will miss these wonderful caregivers, and I’m so grateful for everything they did for me. The experience was invaluable for when my partner will need home health care nurses.

The two weeks of not having internet access were frustrating and annoying, but even more than that.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Being online is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. I think of all of the things I do online, which includes the following:

Virtual doctor appointments

E-signing of financial documents

Sending the results of my INR blood tests for the blood thinner (done weekly)

Ordering things from Amazon

Writing my blog

Doing genealogy research

Reading books on my desktop Kindle app

Reading newspapers online

Listen to music on my Amazon music player

Watching YouTube, that I now can do on the big screen TV, but I still need internet access to do that

Watching Discovery Plus on the TV, that also needs the Internet

Reading email

Playing Facebook games

Chatting with friends and family on Zoom and Messenger video calls.

When you are housebound, the online world is your only connection to others. It’s my communication, educational, entertaining, relaxation, and more. 

There is a bill in Congress now: “Thirty House and Senate Democrats unveiled a new $94 billion proposal Thursday to make broadband Internet access more accessible and affordable nationwide, aiming to remedy some of the digital inequalities that have kept millions of Americans offline during the coronavirus pandemic.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/11/house-senate-internet-broadband/

The phone tech told me the reason that CenturyLink (official now called Lumen) has such lousy customer service and why it takes so long for a tech to come out… there are only have four techs for all of the Peninsula of Callam and Jefferson counties (that’s a lot of territory to cover) is because they are selling a phone/internet company to a management company called Apollo Global Management. Because of this, they are not hiring anyone new. So my feeling is that this company that started as Bell (when I worked there) and then US West and then Qwest (when my partner was still there) and then CenturyLink will be an even worse company than it is now… and it was going downhill when I worked there 50 years ago! The last time I saw a company sell out like this, the new owners destroyed the original company.

The tech said he is hoping to hold out two more years to retire and get his pension. But he won’t be trusting CenturyLink for his own online access, he recommended Elon Musk’s Starlink, so I’m going to check into that. We are also waiting for Wave Broadband to arrive in Diamond Point by the first of the year.

But for now, I’m just thrilled to have a much faster Internet connection.

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