Baby it’s Cold Outside

‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’ is getting a lot of ‘play’ these days but not necessarily the way you think. In recent years there have been ‘issues’ with this as a song we don’t need to be listening to in this day of #metoo. Now I could say there are a lot of worse songs out there but I’m not going that direction.

Well I can say #metoo but I do not get the problem with this song. Let me tell you why….

The song is indeed suggestive of a somewhat – one-sided relationship – a man trying to get a woman to do something that perhaps she isn’t completely comfortable doing. But hold that thought! He is not forcing her to do anything. He suggests, she puts up an objection, he presses, she gives in. There is no threat. She is free to leave but …and here is the kicker…CHOOSES to stay.

I’ve seen this song done the other way around – The woman invites, the man objects, the woman presses, the man chooses to stay. I’ve also seen it as two men and two women. In every case a choice is made to stay.

#metoo is not about choice! #metoo is about coercion. #metoo is about loss of position if you do not allow undesired advances. #metoo is about not being given a choice.

Declaring this song to be undesirable in the face of #metoo cheapens what #metoo is trying to accomplish.

 

Sometimes a plan does come together?

 

Such a mix today! Went out to:

  • UPS drop off
  • Get pillow inserts and batting
  • Get fabric for a project
  • Get Sodastream cartridges
  • Get a small screw top container at least 2” around and shallow

Also on my list today was to:

  • Figure out why I can’t get access to BECU.org
  • Figure out why (and hopefully fix) phone won’t reliably connect to my Mac via Bluetooth
  • Figure out who is trying to access my Mac via Bluetooth from their Beats and STOP THEM!
  • Alter height of sewing table

Well some plans do come together…

  • Sodastream cartridges (refills exchange) are available at my Fred Meyer. That is good! Finding this out was difficult! They are in….ready for this?….Electronics. Yeah right where I’d look or ask about them…NOT! But at least now I know they do have them. Of course it is so obscure I am not likely to remember.
  • Took FOUR stores to find a small container that would work for my purpose. How can it be that hard to find a small 2” around, swallow container? How come the people I asked did not understand “shallow”? I had to translate to ‘less than 2” tall’ before I could get an answer and all four claimed they had no such thing. I stumbled across a perfect one at Fred Meyer.
  • Pillow inserts and batting were easy but children’s Christmas print, preferably fat quarters. Nope and as a matter of fact my Joann’s had only two sets of Christmas fat quarters at all. <sigh> so no fabric for project.
  • UPS drop off was painless – I do like my local store!
  • BECU issue – MAY be fixed Monday, maybe Tuesday but should for sure be fixed Wednesday. The real problem is I have to simply keep trying. <sigh> How inconvenient!
  • Mac both Bluetooth issues are a mystery. The iPhone issue is known and ‘the next upgrade’ should fix it and as far as somebody trying to connect their Beats to my Mac ???? Who knows? Fortunately it is not a security issue and likely is more a problem for them as they can’t get connected to whatever they are actually trying to connect to.
  • Sewing table is one I bought several years ago. Very handy, collapsible, adjustable….hold that thought! No instructions for how to change the height of the drop to get the sewing platform to match the table when the inset is dropped. After much examining decided I’d have to unscrew one of the bolds on each end and change which link of the chain was in use. NOT convenient! Turned out all it took was turning a wing nut on the other end of the chain. The bolt/wingnut were hiding behind part of the mechanism so not easily seen. Poof! Happiness!
  • And FINALLY! In my search for a container I discovered my local RiteAid has Jean Nate which I haven’t been able to find in years! So I am basically a pretty happy camper!

ARRG! There it is again! Somebody’s Beats is trying to connect to my Mac! They have to be more than 30’ away…oh…on the other hand they could be just the other side of the wall. Please figure it out people!

Heritage: more important than DNA

There is a lot of interest in heritage especially with DNA testing but also the recognition that DNA does not equal heritage; witness the issues surrounding claims to be Native American. My children could make this claim as their Great Grandma was 1/4 Iroquois but THAT is not heritage and the family choose to ignore that part of her background so we won’t go there as I respect heritage.

I’m pretty aware of my heritage and as it happens my DNA matches what I know of my ancestral tree with more surprises in the tree than the DNA!

My DNA shows me to be largely (80%) UK with 20% German. What I know of my family tree:

Mom was half Cornish and half “German” the quotes are because her mother’s parents were Pennsylvania Dutch (Great Grandpa) and “German” (Great Grandma) who always said the family was either German or Danish depending on where the boundary was that week. On her birth, their home was actually just inside Denmark but the border moved shortly after her birth and she remembers it moving a couple of times before the family fled the unrest in the area ending up in Pennsylvania.

Daddy is more complicated. His mother was Scottish of the Wallace clan. As a lover of books, it tickled my Father that his mother was related to General Lew Wallace author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. His father is where the complicated comes in as his Great, Great (can’t recall exactly how many “Greats”) Grandfather was not a Young (my maiden name) but actually a Jung who immigrated to Scotland from Germany and was ‘absorbed’ into the Young clan. The discovery of the Jung connection is very recent. The German here is minor with mostly Scotts as Jung married into the clan and all marriages after that point where Scotts.

I recognize and celebrate my Scottish heritage; I had a Wallace plaid skirt, sang Scottish songs and learned to do a decent bit of dancing. But the part of my heritage that was most prevalent in my upbringing was Cornish. This is in large part because of the connection to my Godmother whose son sponsored my Mom’s Dad to come from Cornwall as a young man.

I heard stories of Cornwall and pasties (that’s NOT a long “a” folks) were made and enjoyed frequently. Grandpa lived with us for sometime not long before his death and it delighted him when Mom and I would make them. Pasties are pie crust with meat, potatoes, carrots and rutabaga. I sing songs my Godmother taught me and have played at playing a lap harp. I never really learned to do much more than pick out simple tunes but I loved it! 

As a kid my mom braided my hair frequently. As I write this it seems odd that I do not have any pictures of some of the elaborate designs she did. As I think though I realize my hair was so silky that braids did not hold for long! I still love to braid my hair and I wore a tiny braid with embroidery floss in the low hairline of my long hair for many years before it was popular to do so.

Today pasties are still made, I still do braids although not especially fancy as most designs are hard to do on yourself, I still sing songs of both Cornwall and Scotland. I have not figured out what do to with the fabric from my husband’s Lamont plaid kilt. That is not part of my heritage but is part of my children’s and I hope one day to find a way to honor it.

Firearms

Until recently I had a concealed carry permit and did carry my Glock. Chances are you did not know if I was carrying or not. That is the point of concealed carry.

My reasons for owning and carrying a firearm are not the point here although I will answer any questions concerning my practice you might ask. The point of this is to convey what I consider to be reasonable rules for anyone who chooses to carry.

First – you better be a good shot! I don’t want anybody carrying if they can’t count on hitting what they aim at. In order to be a good shot you should be target shooting….a lot! as that is the only way to remain a good shot. I will include here that the primary reason I stopped carrying was because it was not convenient for me to practice. When I was carrying I could, reliably, put 5 in a 2” circle from a considerable distance and could do so under stress. The “under stress” is something that requires practice too. So if you are going to carry be sure you find a place to practice that can help you test yourself under stress.

If you think it makes you “cool” to carry don’t! You better be a reasonable human who will go out of their way to never draw their weapon. I was able to protect someone on several occasions and never had to even threaten to draw my weapon. On one of these occasions the individual was brandishing a knife. On another he was threatening a woman with fists and a hand to her throat. My knowing I was armed provided an extra measure of confidence to stand, phone poised to dial 911 and request the threatening person to leave. I shall forever be grateful that in all cases the individual did leave. Oh I should say police were called on the occasion were the man had a knife. The woman threatened refused to press charges or identify the man.

Should you feel the need to draw your weapon you should be ready to accept the consequences of any action you take. People do not realize that you are not immune from charges even if you act in self-defense.

Be respectful of places you are not supposed to carry! More than once I left my weapon safely locked in a locked car when I had to enter a place I was not supposed to be carrying. I was entering the VA one day with Glen and had forgotten to leave my Glock in the car. I approached a security guard who very simply took possession until I was ready to leave. He said anytime I came to the VA and had forgotten to leave the gun home it was better to leave it with them than in the car.

REPECT is the bottom line! Respect the law, respect the place, respect the people you will encounter, respect your capability (or lack thereof). If any of these are not in you – do NOT carry! It is unfortunate that many do not have the respect to NOT carry and therefore risk potential injury and damage.

You lean on me; I’ll lean on you

I’ve been struggling the last few days. Come and See…Go and Tell is the expression of the Cursillo movement in The Diocese of Olympia. I spent the weekend working the event. The struggle is because this is one of those things that Glen did too. Glen loved doing the weekends. So as I go about the business of the weekend I see him everywhere, hear his voice and turn often at the sound of a guitar expecting to see him even though he has been gone now for coming up on two years. There are things about the weekend I avoid as the flood will come and not be stopped. I don’t need to bring that to the guests or the rest of the team. Still working the weekend is not something I would pass up as it is a joy to share! I do not completely avoid some of these things but rather share with the team my issues so if I disappear to the vigil room during an activity they will understand. This community is part of my support structure. I NEED these weekends to remind me that I have these people in my life to be my support and that I in turn can be support to them.

As Christians we need to be reminded that there is no model for what my priest husband called the ‘Lone Ranger Christian’. The one who thinks they can be a Christian and not be part of a community. Yes, at times, it is good to withdraw to a place to be alone with God. To go to the mountain top, to seek the quiet and peace of stillness but then to come back and Go and Tell.

I originally sat down to write because I had been reading over my own reflections on things and those of others. I wanted to express how much I need the reminders of history to see the light that shines on my own life and to see too how I have been the light for others. Many times those moments are ones I do not recognize except in these moments of looking back.

I am blessed! I have two wonderful kids! I am lucky! too as others think I have two wonderful kids. We always said God gave us good clay and we worked at it. We did intentional things to raise up good kids who recognize the importance of God in their lives. I am so grateful for this!

I am blessed! to look back and see our lives in what I have written but also in what my daughter has written and to share a different view of those lives as I see them through her eyes.

I am blessed! I had an amazing man as my husband, lover, partner and friend for 45 years of marriage and was lucky to have known him for an additional 7 years before we were married. I miss him. I will always miss him. My community makes it easier as I lean on them and in allowing others to lean on me I become stronger in the person God intends me to be.

 

Balance Awareness Week

 

“Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period of several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives.”

“Difficult to diagnose”….Yup. I have had a balance issue for over 12 years and do not have a concrete diagnosis except labyrinthitis but labyrinthitis lasts ‘a few weeks’ and ‘goes away on its own’ and “is associated with an infection” but I don’t have an infection and I continually have issues but no diagnosis.

As my balance is an issue I am very aware of balance awareness week and want to share it with you…my friends! I think too it is good to share so you know if I look drunk it is unlikely. If I reach out and grab your arm I’m looking for support. If I suddenly sit down it is to keep from falling down.

So my story –

While living in SE New Mexico Glen and I attended the annual conference of the Diocese in Albuquerque. While there I had a whirly gig, nauseated two days that continued for two weeks after returning home. During that time I had several appointments between my GP and an ENT and continued to be unable to walk across the room for nearly a month.

Changes in water (heavily filtered), supplements (no minerals especially no calcium), meds (different allergy pill) and a lot of PT did eventually get life under control but never truly balanced. I’ve adapted to the fact that I am nearly always a bit out of whack. Friends and family will tell you I’ve always been a bit whacky but in this case we are talking about physical balance!

The thing what helped most was the PT in that I learned to recognize ‘off’ before I fell and to correct my body position. This works because I recognize a change in the pressure from one foot to another indicating I’m leaning, generally, to the right. Because I have been a dancer, I use eye focus. Today the ability to use my eyes is crucial to being able to walk. If I lose focus life gets really interesting really fast. I can fall without recognizing I am ‘off’. Such constant vigilance is tiring. I deal with it. I do occasionally revert to extreme horribleness which generally lasts a few days. My last such was a four day run of the worst vertigo I’ve had in some years. Other times I have more energy and feel better.

It is rare that I notice too late that I am not upright and am fortunate that in12 years or so since onset I’ve only fallen a few times. I do sometimes find myself suddenly hitting a wall, counter or piece of furniture and am grateful that it was not the floor I hit!

Core strengthening exercises help to hold balance, which is one of the benefits I got from horseback riding and continue to get from dance and swimming.

I refuse to let this ‘thing’ that has no name control my life! But it has changed it.

I define my day in terms of a balance scale that is like the pain scale in every doctor’s office.

0: no issues

1: vague feeling of unease but ok

2: ok unless I close my eyes

3: less stressed than 4

4: my normal – off but managing, may have a headache later and can’t manage at this level for long or I will be exhausted. Unfortunately, this is my normal as I have  more days like this than a 2 or 3. I can’t recall the last time I saw a 0 or even a 1.

5: like 4 but a touch of nausea, definite headache

6: may look drunk but still upright

7: may fall unexpectedly

8: falling!

9: in bed, on drugs, but can get up

10: in bed, on drugs, cannot get up

Changes in my life include:

I no longer volunteer at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. I was a horse leader and was concerned I might fall which could endanger the horse and the rider. When I dance I do not do pirouettes but I still dance! I am most likely to have issues if tired so I keep shopping trips shorter and have permanent disabled parking license plates and park in the disabled space near the store. I use hiking sticks if going for a hike but I still hike! I no longer do cartwheels but at 69 that is ok!

The real issue is not knowing what the day will bring and if especially off I have no idea how long it may last. Along with the balance issues come hearing loss and tinnitus. There is no silence in my life and I miss silence more than most other things but always life is good!

I am NOT looking for ‘oh poor thing’ after all Life IS Good! But anybody who has an invisible illness needs others to be aware that there are such things and more people are affected than you imagine. Look below the surface. See what lies hidden and uphold, as you can, all who live with an invisible illness.

Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs!

The bottom line is: If you smile, be kind but firm, and do not accept ‘you cannot do that’ you can accomplish anything. Oh! And it helps to talk just loud enough that another worker hears you and has a solution!

So you can stop reading here if you wish!

I have spent a bunch of hours dealing with issues associated with the church’s locking mailbox being broken into. For a variety of reasons, we now have a PMB (Private Mail Box). Who knew it could be so tough dealing with:

  • Placing a hold on mail
  • Arranging for a PMB
  • Doing a change of address

Placing a hold – wow! You can do this online…….sort of. It only works if the ‘business’ for which you’re placing the hold is recognized by USPS as a business. Who knew ‘St. Columba Episcopal Church’ would not be considered a business? The error message is not specific enough to figure out what ‘invalid entry’ meant until after several tries and a LONG wait time for assistance the hold had to be placed with an individual’s name – any name would do. Since the hold is for all mail to the address it does not matter what name is used. Also, it is best to go to the Post Office as a supervisor said he has no idea how the hold created online actually works. Also, the easy way to hold mail is to just not have a mailbox. If there is no receptacle mail is taken back to the delivery office to be held. Gee! No form. No line. No waiting. Just take down the mailbox! Wow!

Ah! Local Post Office – to accomplish these things one must go to the office that delivers your mail. I’m an internet person – nope! You can’t find which office delivers your mail online. You can find which of several MIGHT but not which specific one. So call the USPS call center – TWO HOURS on hold and I got what I needed however the individual could not answer questions about putting mail on hold, could not answer about the need to have a box at all (see above) and what would happen if we took it down, nor could he say what type of box was required assuming one was required which he did not know! On the other hand, the local supervisor was a wonderful customer service agent once I figured out which office.

Arranging for a PMB – make an appointment and show up at the store of your choice. OOPS! To get a PMB for a business you need business license, documents of incorporation (or the like), authorization by someone in authority that you may do this in the name of the business. OOPS! A church you say? Well in that case we just do all paperwork for whoever is present and put the name of the church on the box too. Oh! That means mail addressed to a different name without the name of the church will be returned to sender. Oh well not too huge an issue.

Doing a change of address – wow! You can do this online…..maybe. It only works if you have a credit card with either the new address or the old address and a non-business name on the card and are changing the address of the person on the card. OOPS! Does not apply. Recommendation to save time – go the post office that delivers the mail to the old address. Thank goodness I’d already figured out which office this was. OOPS! They are out of change of address cards! Call FOUR other local Post Offices – all are out of change of address cards.

Here is where the Bottom Line mentioned above comes in – Smile. Be Kind but Firm. Talk just loud enough that a worker nearby says – ‘I saw a few back by the ….’ HOORAY! Change of address form found! TRIUMPH!

 

Tax on employees

I rarely get into politics. That was Glen’s thing not mine. I’ve been having a hard time staying out of it lately as a number of things have hit me as totally stupid and not very forward looking. The Seattle tax on employees is one of them.

I feel very two ways about this. I recognize that Seattle has a serious homeless problem. Rising costs to live in the city being part of the problem and we won’t, at this writing, go into the reasons why someone may be homeless as that is not the point here but I do not see this tax fixing the homeless problem and it is likely to be detrimental to the economy in general.

Anytime you impose a tax on an employer you risk that employer simply going somewhere else. If the employers leave, your economy suffers. All folks like Amazon have to do is move to say Bellevue, Redmond or completely out of state. OOPS! I do not think that is what lawmakers want to happen!

And will such a tax actually fix the homeless problem? It sounds to me that it mostly provides funds to cleanup the mess that is created by homeless encampments not to actually provide housing and/or education. There is also the problem that some homeless have no desire to be housed so creating housing doesn’t solve anything and, in some cases, their mental health makes it a continuing problem to cleanup after those who do not do so themselves. That – cleaning up after yourself is a totally different subject!

There is an old saying – You cannot do just one thing. This tax seems to me to be doing ‘just one thing’ without thinking about the ramifications. The solution? Shoot! If I knew that I’d be some kind of genius and I’m just an average person who is thankful at this time to not live or work in Seattle.

Vision Care

I may have written something on this another time but it is a subject near and dear to my heart.

The problem – Eye care tends to get ignored. In some instances it is ignored because we take sight for granted. Those of us who do not take eyesight for granted may ignore it because of costs. Certainly insurance companies do an excellent job of trying to get us to ignore it. Of course, everything I say is my opinion and you are welcome to disagree. I also recognize there maybe good insurance companies out there but I do not have even sort of ok vision coverage and cannot afford it although I am beginning to wonder……

Take my most recent foray into the eye care world.  I am diabetic and I DO NOT ignore proper eye care. I’ve worn glasses – bifocals as a matter of fact – since I was 7. I do not ignore my eyes. My vision has been horrible as that first pair of glasses had me in the ‘legally blind without them’ category where I remained until I had cataract surgery a few years ago.

So – this recent foray…. I needed a diabetic eye exam but also needed a new glasses prescription. After 14 communications including a multitude of messages left, emails, voice mail received and voice conversations after spending hours on the web site of my insurance company, I finally had an appointment only to discover this would ONLY cover the diabetic exam NOT new glasses. The information on the website was wrong. With my insurance I could not go to one, single place to get coverage for both. I am retired but not dead. I have a life! I hate making appointments and having to make multiple ones because my insurance sucks bugs me. <sigh> I went. After waiting for 45 minutes past the appointment time I spent, between the tech and the doctor, less than 30 minutes. GRRRR! Now it only cost my $35 co-pay but still….

MORE time on the web site, more emails, more phone calls… only places I can go to get eye exam for glasses are places I will not go! Oh! also insurance only coves $75 of frame cost, NO coverage for lenses and NO coverage for the exam because I had ‘used’ that when I had the diabetic eye exam which did not include testing my actual vision! Do you see a circular reasoning problem here?

To ‘H-E double toothpicks with that’ as my mother would say. I went to LensCrafters where I have always had excellent service and always ended up with glasses (or contacts) that actually worked for me. No they are not the cheapest but if I had scrapped the bad glasses I got last year at America’s Best and gone elsewhere I would have more than doubled my cost. NOT making THAT particular mistake again.

It remains to be seen how these will work out and I am back to having two pairs – single vision for out and about, driving etc. and workstation glasses for reading, computer etc. Not sure yet how that is going to work when watching TV and knitting as I have to be able to read the pattern but we’ll see…..

The bottomline is my insurance, it seems to me, is blocking my attempts to take good care of my eyes and my vision. It reminds me of ‘We are the government. We are here to help you.’ No one but me is looking out for me.

Moving? Yes..Again

I commented on Facebook that I was packing so, of course, that brings up the question….Moving? So… Yes. but just me not Jenn and I.

My rent is going up so with the need to pay for parking, need to pay for storage and the rent increase….well it turns out I can move to Auburn to the still under construction building this same company is building and have a one bed for the same money as I won’t need extra storage and parking is ‘ample’ so won’t be paying for parking. I hate moving but am glad to get a bedroom! Also I really like the area I’m moving to. The new place is The Villas at Auburn. It is near Emerald Downs – north end of Auburn.

There are differences –

  • Not right next to the light rail which is both good and bad as it will be quieter but I will miss having such easy access to the light rail still it is an easy bus ride from Auburn to downtown.
  • No plane noise although the train tracks are close
  • A few miles further to church but still within easy reach so I won’t be leaving St. Columba for work or membership.
  • A few miles further to Wesley so will still visit friends, take part in Volleyball, play for vespers once a month and sing in Wesley Encores.
  • A little further to Silver Sounds but again no big deal.
  • Closer to puppy classes in Kent although further from puppy classes in Woodenville – not that I go there often anyway because of the distance and timing issues
  • LOTS more ‘stuff’ around as the Fred Meyer is across the street, the Lowes is across the street, tons of restaurants and such
  • I have lived in Auburn before and liked it
  • Let’s face it – Auburn is a nicer neighborhood than SeaTac
  • This complex is family rather than over 55 which is fine by me but it is one reason I’m on the 5th floor so I don’t have any one over me. Ooo and I get 9 foot ceilings! Hmm maybe harder to heat but hopefully will be cooler.
  • Pool is strictly outdoors but LA Fitness is within walking distance and my insurance covers that membership

THE big deal to me is that I get more room – one bedroom versus just a studio without spending more money.

Exactly when is dependent on construction but is supposed to be April 1st. Now that is Easter so I will not be moving the 1st no matter what but hopefully soon after. And No..This is NOT an April Fool’s joke! Timing is good as my lease here ends just when I’ll be moving.

So…As I said, I am packing!