Christmas Letter 2018

Dear Friends

Here we are again! I like these catchups.

As usual I use Facebook and my blog a lot so again this year will recap rather than give lots of details.

First – I continue to miss Glen. I am certain that will never change. Life is still good! just different.

Second – Family

  • Jessi, Brandon and the kids (Eion and Emma) no significant changes there except that the kids are really growing!
  • Jenn is still teaching pre-school in Redmond, living in Renton but also working part-time at St. John’s in Kirkland where she is in charge of children’s ministries. Again no changes but she does have a new car through the generosity of a friend and …..  the big news! She is working on her college degree in Early Childhood Education through a program at Bellevue College.

Finally – Me

  • Life has changed as I moved again. I am now in Auburn. I was able to move to a one bedroom rather than a studio. These apartments are operated by the same group as the one in SeaTac so it is much the same but the neighborhood is better although I sometimes wonder. We had police in the parking lot one evening and a few days later animal control.
  • I am still enjoying my new flute. I play most days although just now I’m having trouble as I badly cut my finger. It is time for it to have maintenance.
  • I finished up a bunch of sewing projects recently. My machine is now having routine maintenance and then I have a couple of new things in the planning stages.
  • Prayer group is on hold at the moment as one of the group moved and we’ve had some issues reforming.
  • I have three new ‘jobs’ – I write the monthly blog for Canine Companions for Independence the Puget Sound Chapter, I am president of the assembly for Olympia for Daughters of the King and am the database guru for Come and See … Go and Tell the Cursillo community of the Diocese of Olympia.
  • Singing in two groups: church choir and Silver Sounds
  • Walla has been with me over a year and will go to turn-in in February. She is the joy of my life and I will miss her terribly! but I hope the best for her even though if she ‘fails’ she will come back to me for forever! She is so stinking adorable and goes everywhere with me.
  • I have two jobs: short hours two days, one week of the month as Godly Play Storyteller at St. John’s Pre-school in Kirkland and 5 hours a week as church administrator for St. Columba
  • Swimming and other exercises come after walks and playtime with Walla but do continue
  • I have dropped all activities at Wesley except visiting friends for a variety of reasons
  • A friend at church and I have seasons tickets for the Seattle Symphony again this year and again Jenn and I have seasons tickets for Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • Various activities at St. Columba continue

One new thing starting in January is PT for my balance issues. Some 14 years or so later I still run at a ‘4’ most days with some as ‘off’ as an ‘8’ and an occasional ’10’. I haven’t seen a ‘0’ (No balance issues) in those 14 years. Life has been more ‘troublesome’ recently and can interfere with driving in low light situations such as places were there are no streetlights.

I will post this to http://www.phoebesplace.org and Facebook as some friends only access Facebook or the blog not necessarily both and, of course, my non-internet friends get a hard copy!

Love, Christmas Blessings and hopes for a Joyous New Year!

Becca/Becky/Rebecca DeShaw

Who do we listen to?

Some years ago I wrote a piece in response to the book ‘Jesus Calling’. I won’t repeat that here but will say I was not favoring the book. On the other hand I read every word written by The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston who posts frequently on Facebook and I frequently share what he writes. I have never found anything he has written to be a problem while I found much in ‘Jesus Calling’ to be … troublesome.

Today as I read another post by Bishop Charleston I got to thinking about the title of this item – Who do we listen to? and more importantly who do we trust to give us information that we find uplifting, worthy and to be inspirational. Why does my heart resonate with his writing and not with some others?

I think first there is Authority – Bishop Charleston is exactly that…a Bishop in my church and therefore I grant him authority because The Church has! Another important item is that word ‘resonate’. What he has to say feels right because it matches up with what I feel and believe to be right.

Of course I could be wrong in my opinion in which case I look to see what others I trust register concerning a source. In the case of ‘Jesus Calling’ some I have trusted think the book to be wonderful and even ‘better than the Bible’ according to one person in particular. Sorry but saying that, ‘better than the Bible’, immediately sets my teeth on edge and puts that opinion in the UNTRUSTED category. So what of other sources regarding Bishop Charleston? Well ‘Bishop Charleston is widely recognized as a leading proponent for justice issues and for spiritual renewal in the church in both the United States and Canada.’ according to Day1.org which is a source I trust! He taught at Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, MA and also was President and Dean of EDS. Yup – I can get behind that! and I can get behind what he has to say. I learn a lot about myself as I find what he writes to be ‘me’ put into much better words than I could possibly manage!

 

 

Neurology Appointment

Had a neurology appointment today. 14, 15, ? however many years later still living with vertigo issues.

We have a plan for further exploration. One issue is it includes physical therapy with a vestibular specialist – NOT likely! If you want a career where there aren’t enough people this is one to explore. Some years ago I was told to do this therapy. After trying to get an initial appointment for THREE months I gave up. This is one of those, IF you can get an initial appointment you can generally get on someone’s schedule for continuing treatment but it is next best thing to impossible to get on a schedule.

I’m noticing a new and troublesome issue…light is necessary! I use my eyes to find a focal point and if there isn’t enough light I can’t find a focal point. Not a serious issue in most environments but I have two places this has been a problem lately:

  • On stage. Watching the director is fine. Watching my music is fine but if I look beyond into the dark theatre I’m lost and “lost” equals falling! Same issues at a movie theatre as I found recently when attending a movie with Jenn.
  • Driving in low light areas. Went to Woodinville for puppy class which is back in a neighborhood with no street lights. I started feeling nauseous and off-balance while driving the car when we were some blocks away. I could not find a focal point in the dark! I had to turn around and go home. Started feeling somewhat better as soon as the light improved and managed to make it home but continued to feel sick for hours.

Onwards….into the “new”? adventure? Who knows what the future will hold?

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 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 (remember it is a long “a”) 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.