Covid-19 Vaccine TOGETHER

I am so thankful for each of the scientists who worked on producing the vaccines. Bob and I have both had 2 doses of the Pfizer brand. After the second dose we both had a couple days of feeling just crummy. Had already planned to lay low and let our bodies adjust. We are much better now.

I must admit, I have been cringing the past few months with all the ads on TV about the vaccine and showing those needles filled and up close, in arms, too.

When I was three or four I played jump rope with my sister and her friends. They were trying to get me to do double dutch.

I fell. I broke my leg. I rode in the backseat of the car many miles to the hospital. I was put in traction for 6 weeks. (Think 1954.) My father was in the same hospital with one of his many heart attacks. In 1954 there was not much they could do about heart disease. At one point they rolled our beds into the same room so I could see him. When I came home from Good Samaritan Hospital I was in love with the Sisters of Charity who took such good care of me. I am certain I learned the Presence of Jesus while there. I remember them holding my hand when the doctor was ready to cast my leg. The wraps were hot and I was so afraid.

Once home I was also terrified of white coats and needles. I was so fearful my parents could not tell me about any doctor appointment the night before because I would get very worked up. I worked for years to overcome all of that trauma. And I succeeded.

As to those ads showing the injection and those needles. I was more than unsettled knowing I would get that twice. I did okay. The first nurse to administer it did not do well. The second nurse was great.

We are still washing our hands. Avoiding crowds. Wearing our masks. Keeping our distance. But there is a sense of coming freedom!

We still need to keep well so we can get moved and unpacked! Bob says this virus will likely become like the flu. We will eventually get annual injections. We are both in high risk categories, but so grateful for the vaccine developers, nurses who administer the injection and the other people who actually get the injection to help keep it from spreading and killing people.

TOGETHER, yes, we are in this together and we can get through this TOGETHER. I praise God giving the scientific community the wisdom and methodology to develop these vaccines. I rejoice that He is able to keep us. I cannot answer the questions about those who died, and those who grieve their passing. I have been holding my breath afraid that Bob or I might die before we get this house built. So far, it looks as if we are moving there together.

Regardless, I will continue to praise my Lord and my God. He is “worthy to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things and by Your will they were created.” Revelation 4:11 NIV

This song keeps following me and I decided it fits right here. All along there was another in the fire. And He remains with us.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

–Daniel 3:16-18, 25

Worth It

Tuesday this week I had my eyes dilated. If someone would create the eye drop to reverse that dilation they could make a fortune!! I SO dislike the experience and would pay extra for that reversal drop. I know the doctor wants to examine the back areas of my eyes. It is necessary, especially with Type 2 diabetes like mine. I get it. I just hate it later.

This afternoon I get my second Covid vaccine. Grateful for the development of the vaccine. Even after one dose I had to really watch myself to remember to mask up, clean my hands, keep my distance, especially from ones I love or haven’t seen for almost a year. Inklings of psychological freedom!

After the pneumonia injection I had a badly swollen arm for over a week. Hoping since I only had a mildly sore arm after #1 Covid shot I will have no reaction to the #2 shot. But even if I have side effects, it has to be better than contracting a potentially deadly virus. My husband and I are both high risk and we have been vigilant and most careful for the past year.

Please get your vaccination and stay safe! Even if you get the vaccine and catch the virus you are reportedly protected from the worst of the symptoms, probably protected from hospitalization and death. So worth it!

I Cannot Comprehend

500,000 people in the United States dead from Covid-19. Sad history being made in our midst.

I just cannot comprehend that much loss, that much death in one year, that many families grieving. I was in shock March 21, 2020 when the numbers were 24,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the USA.

I understand grief. I understand death. Recently Marvin died, Jay died, Art died and Gary, too. Most were ill. Some were older than others. My brain struggles to get around 500,000 people dying from one disease in one year. It is very likely that I have not even met 500,000 people in my entire life. Internet statistics report the average American knows about 600 people and may meet upwards to 10,000 in a lifetime. 500,000 is difficult for me to even conceptualize.

National Geographic published the article below to help us get a grip. It was comforting to read “our brains are not wired to comprehend this much loss“. They end the article saying “These figures do not include tens of thousands of deaths that may have been related to the virus but were not recorded as COVID-19 deaths, such as deaths before testing became more widely available.”

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/graphics/what-500000-united-states-covid-deaths-look-like

Stay strong. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Wear your mask, or two. Get your vaccine when available and stay grateful for the many, many blessings which overflow our lives.

Endurance

You know, we thought the pandemic was hard. Trying to keep a positive mind and overall positive attitude. Then the unexpected snow accumulation came totaling 9 inches and then a day or so later another 3 inches. Unlike most snows over the years in Cincinnati, it has not all melted yet. Now we have a fresh 2 inches while we wait for the forecast 8-12 inches more this afternoon. The Pandemic is still here and variants are beginning to overtake the USA. People were celebrating Valentine’s Day in bars and restaurants as if nothing was going on. (We saw on TV.)

I read and heard a few quotes in the last 36 hours that are helping me a bit.

“The days you keep your gratitude higher than your expectations are fine, fine days.”

Ray Wylie Hubbard on Austin City Limits

“You’ve got to remember: you must have a forward-thinking, positive outlook at all times.”

Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine

Those are easier written than lived! Gratitude that we have snow but also an “electric broom”, snow shovel and blower. Gratitude that the snow plow came down our street plowing and salting the surface twice so far today. Gratitude that the dog does not need to be walked MORE.

Forward thinking, positive outlook. That is difficult when all construction on the new house has totally stopped due to weather. Maybe they can begin again next week if the thaw forecast for next weekend actually occurs! We positively have not put this home on the market yet. If we change our minds it will be the most clean this building has been since we moved in, I think! Forward thinking? Well, Bob continues to want to arrange the furniture in the new building though we do not have a move-in date for certain yet. Someone is to come this week and give us an estimate on packing and moving. The realtor is to come also and give us advice about showing the property. I do wonder if either of those appointments will be kept though!

I won’t even elaborate on the futility of trying to get a Covid-19 injection appointment. Our names are on a list with the Board of Health. Hopefully they will call sometime soon?

The neighbor who helped clean part of our driveway loved the chocolate frosted walnut brownies I shared. Wonder if I should make more of those or the chocolate layer cake they loved once? I am certain when the wave of snow today arrives he will help once more.

How does your gratitude fare in the balance with your expectations? Is your forward thinking suffering with the weather and pandemic or are you staying mostly positive at all times? As we struggle on to be our best selves, may the Lord give us wisdom and strength for the journey!

A wise warrior is better than a strong one,
and a man of knowledge than one of strength;
 for you should wage war with sound guidance—
victory comes with many counselors.”

Proverbs 24:5-6

Molly the Jumping Bean

When you were a kid did your parents let you order the Sea Monkeys advertised in almost every comic book of that era? Not mine. I might have had an ant farm once, unless that was my children? Can’t rightly remember. I did however have jumping beans. No idea where I got them, but they did jump. The ones that did not jump the kids in the neighborhood called duds. Now when I look up jumping beans on the internet they seem rather nasty and are not beans at all! Wikipedia, the know-it-all of earth, says Mexican Jumping beans are seed pods inhabited by the larva of a small moth. (Had she known, that would have made my mom say a resounding, “No!”)

Here is an entertaining two minute twenty-two second video coupling a Rube Goldberg set-up with time lapse photography and basic bean information.

This morning I woke up with agitation. I told Bob that packing and moving was a nice distraction from the pandemic, but now what? I was agitated and bored with all of this isolation and waiting to see who gets ill next. (My daughter has Covid for the second time and her entire family is infected.) The recent horror of politics is over for a few years, now what?

I had difficulty concentrating during my morning prayer time. I told the Lord “I am tired of doing this.” Almost immediately I realized this IS my life right now. So I need to make the most of this freezing rain, isolation, between was and is to be – this present moment is when my life is. Here. Now.

I have been using a new-to-me app called Calm. They provide meditations, music, ten minutes of relaxation (new daily) and BEDTIME STORIES. The stories are great and I rarely hear the end of a story! Recently I copied this quote from Calm: “The beginning is always this present moment.”

When I first read that I had to tell myself to soak that in. Live that out. The beginning is always this present moment. Quiet that jumping bean-like behavior. Be still in the shade of God’s Glory. Rest. “Oh Molly, be still. Rest, absorb, receive.”

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1 NIV

In a little while I began writing this blog again. Thank you to all of you who follow these ramblings! I am always amazed when Word Press shows me how many folks are following and where they are all over the world. I realize I am not the only one bored with the whole Pandemic and isolation situation. Praying perhaps what I write helps you to smile and occasionally to calm down.

The beginning is always this present moment.

Author unknown

Re-posted from Dan

Here is re-post from our friends the Cookseys in New Mexico. He used the words from “Every Day Holy” as noted at the end. “Every Day Holy” is a book of liturgies for various situations. They have made some of the liturgies available on line for free. For those unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia defines liturgy as: “Liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance, supplication or repentance. It forms a basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, {God}as well as with other participants in the liturgy.” With all the Covid illness this is so timely. And the world certainly needs more healthy relationships and unity! Dan has recovered from Covid. His wife, Betty, is still struggling to get her energy back. Click on the link to be blessed by this liturgy.

A Liturgy for A Sick Day — Dan and Betty’s Place

Reading and Current Events

I have a message every Friday from Book Bub. I signed up a couple years ago. You tell them your favorite genre and they send you suggestions of books from free to $2 or $3. Their self-description reads: ” BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover books they’ll love while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Upon joining, members receive unbeatable deals selected by our expert editorial team, handpicked recommendations from people they trust, and real-time updates from their favorite authors. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices, and partners with thousands of the industry’s leading publishers and authors to promote their books. BookBub was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.”

So currently I am reading “Light From Distant Stars” a novel by Shawn Smucker. Last night I read “Cohen wonders what it’s like to monitor so closely the mortality of strangers, to watch as death gathers them up, sometimes slowly, stretched out over days or weeks, and sometimes in a moment, before anyone can catch their breath.” As most of you know this virus mortality is taking an enormous toll upon the health care workers. Even the fictional medical TV shows are portraying their difficulties with so many people dying alone with only the health care worker to hold their hand and comfort them in their final time on earth. Yes, they are heros.

Isn’t it interesting that this book published in 2019 about a man’s father dying struck so close to home in Ohio in 2021?

Predictions are that a total 450,000 Americans might die before mid-February. Thank goodness most who are diagnosed have mild symptoms and are not likely to die from Covid-19.

So what is a woman to do? Have not been well for several days. I can’t tell if I have had mild food poisoning and a sinus infection or Covid-19. So this morning I went to get tested (Monday 1-18-21). They did a drive through test. Came to the car and swabbed my throat. When I called my daughter to tell her I was tested (so if it is positive she won’t be surprised) found out her household is not well either. Her husband ran a low grade temperature yesterday and isolated himself. The teenage Grandgirls did not feel well when they went to bed. Being a day off school they were sleeping in as usual. Emily has had Covid, but not feeling well herself. So either we all have sinus infections, or whatever. (Update: one Grandgirl tested positive.)

I have no fever, but our friends in New Mexico tested positive and never had fevers. If my test is positive (2-7 days for results) I might list my symptoms for you. I have not had a combination that screams YES! for Covid-19.

I have five of the above.

Try to stay well! Here are some ideas I have collected about Covid. “Wait it out. Be patient. Try to stay alive.” “What can’t be cured must be endured.”  

A Little Poetry

20-11-26  Lemon Band © Molly Lin Dutina 
Lemon band of sunset
Along steel gray sky 
Rain runs into sewer 
Sump pumps struggle to get by 
From Cold November downpour of this morning  
 
Vaccines on the horizon 
Against this awful virus 
Yet months of infections and deaths 
Ahead of their arrival 
 
Help us keep our wits about us 
Each struggle in many ways 
One commented with this pandemic 
We finally see each other as human again

Movie Dinner

Our Christmas Day celebration was unusual. Celebrating with family was over and no big dinner plans for just the two of us. For the first time ever I got Bob to watch the humorous movie “The Christmas Story” which has nothing to do with our faith. He has always loved BB guns and had only seen portions of the movie. “You’ll shoot your eye out!” In that movie when the neighbor dogs steal the Christmas dinner, the family goes to a Chinese restaurant. So I suggested we order Chinese for our Christmas dinner, too. We called the restaurant to be certain they would be open. I know the woman who works there is a Christian and we did not want to take any chances.

Sure enough they were going to be open! So here was my Christmas dinner this year!

Cashew Chicken with Vegetable Egg Roll and broccoli from Bob’s Sesame Chicken! YUM. And we always get two meals from Chinese Takeout so that made double yum, but only one egg roll.

Not posting any big end of the year ideas. We have each had a difficult year in our own ways. I think the second verse of 2020 (i.e., 2021) will be much like the first. Glad the vaccines are here. Unlikely the virus will become under control for many more months to come.

Meanwhile, I am downsizing in a major way! Have compacted my sewing room. Will likely only sew a few masks and do mending in the future. I have one more t-shirt quilt in mind, but that too might not happen! Gotten rid of the major portion of crochet patterns collected over the years. As a crochet teacher I had collected many patterns. I got nostalgic when I found patterns I had made for my children and grandchildren. Following the advice of my friend Betty and our former Pastor, Bob Gerhardt, I am trying to embrace growing older gracefully. Letting go of things from the past is one way to do that.

Next we move to the main floor of the house and down size there, too. The builder should break ground on our new house in February. They say it will be ready in May. I’m thinking Bob will be ready to move in April and I won’t be surprised if it takes until June.

So don’t shoot your eye out, wash your hands, wear your mask and social distance for months to come. We each want to live to enjoy thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s 2021.

Our Major Christmas Outing

Our Cincinnati Nature Center offered an event this month for the first time ever. They call it “Light in the Forest.”

People were required to wear a mask at all times. Historic buildings were decorated for the season. There were items for sale in the Rowe Visitor Center. Being extra careful we did not go into the Visitor Center.

There were lights in the the trees. There were moving lights upon the trees. There were luminaries along parts of the path. There were young people directing us which way to go when the trail came to a fork. There were electric icicles in some trees. The Krippendorf Lodge was decorated nicely but it seemed sweltering hot in there after being outside!

There were no refreshments as masks were required at all times.

Here is the closest we got to our daughter and her family! And it was only for moment out of doors!

We had a nice outdoors walk in the night, ie., 8 to 9 PM.

Ellie, the selfie expert, Lizzie, Dave, Emily, me and Bob. The lights gave me green hair and Dave has green on his face. Is he the Grinch? Naw! but it was fun to text Ellie posing that question. LOL.

Come the 25th we are not likely to even open gifts together unless there is a heat wave and we can do that in an open garage. The virus continues to spread and we are not brave enough to take it on! Or should I write foolish enough to challenge it?