116 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-28-20

  1. I knew right away that was Peter’s picture. Sems those first two took over and caused a lot of commotion.

    It’shard to imagine all the trouble Covid 19 has caused. It has likely caused some permanent changes in our culture.
    But not us. We were already constrained since March. It took a while for me to realize that it was happening to others too. For a different reason.

    Now. Back to read the funnies.

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  2. Good morning. Am I the only one who feels like it is Tues? I hosted the ladies’ prayer call yesterday because it was Friday, but even that seemed off since we had not done our regular women’s Bible study and prayer on Wednesday.

    Wesley and I discussed the usage of ‘Y’all.’ He said he did not use it when growing up in Atlanta because it was associated with Southerners who were looked down on by others for such things. But now he said he has no problem using it, and since he knows more about languages, he appreciates having a plural of the word you like German and some other languages have. I had asked him if people ever notice his accent. He said people are surprised when he tells them he is from Georgia.

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  3. Good morning, all y’all. 🙂

    None of the flashing lights in this year’s Carol of the Bells video! Whew. 😉 I couldn’t watch much of the previous years’ video version AJ has posted before without feeling like my vision was going wonky and my head spinning or something.

    I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. First Arrow was home Tuesday through Friday, so that was enjoyable. Second Arrow and SIL and DG weren’t here, but went to SIL’s dad’s for a Thanksgiving party. We talked with 2nd on the phone that night — they were still at that gathering, and it was super loud in the background. 40-some people gathered indoors, I’m sure few if any of them wearing masks. That crowd is mostly (or completely?) proudly and vocally anti-mask, we learned at DG’s birthday party this summer. (That was outside at a park, though, where social distancing would obviously be much easier.)

    That philosophy might come back to bite SIL in the butt someday. He is very obese, and if he has some underlying condition associated with his obesity, he could get hit pretty hard if he ever contracts covid.

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  4. Not wearing a mask is the new macho.

    Now I see the header, make that a two header creature! Good one, Peter.

    It’s chilling down here. A church friend is in line for a Covid test.😳

    Janice

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  5. Well, this week Covid-19 has been very real in my world. I still don’t personally know anyone who has died from it (as far as I know), but a good friend of the family lost a close friend to it, another friend of the family is in the hospital and on a ventilator (not a first-choice treatment these days), a nephew (by marriage) and his wife just had it and my mother-in-law was potentially exposed because of spending time with them and she ended up on quarantine (his parents had it this summer, a separate exposure), and my current author is late at getting edits back to me because she was down with Covid. (That’s my second author to have it while I was editing his or her book.) I’ve also heard of several other cases, including the pastor who conducted my father-in-law’s funeral. I hear that the numbers are going way up, and personal contacts confirm that to me.

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  6. Michelle, I just started reading A Gentleman in Moscow. Does it have a happy ending? If not, I don’t think now is the time for me to read it. I’m feeling pretty low these days. Thanks.

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  7. Morning ya’ll. It is a chilly 17 degrees but will warm to 50. Snow coming in midweek..yay!
    Making granola for husband this morning then off to support a couple of local small businesses on this Small Business Saturday….
    I know a few friends who would fall into the “anti mask” category but not for the wearing of them. They object to the government mandating such. Once the government gets involved it seems to be oppressive…like their shutting down restaurants, small businesses, area parks, gyms etc. All the while allowing Liquor stores, Pot shops, Big Box stores, Groceries, Hardware stores to remain open. I get it…it doesn’t bode well.
    That is a familiar sight in the photo up there. In Estes Park the elk appear to be quite amused at the tourists 😊 We have elk running through our area from time to time…it is always a treat to watch them jumping fences and crossing the rural hwy down the road. Once as I was driving down a steep hill, one jumped right in front of my car….that was scary…but beautiful at the same time!

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  8. I don’t like the government mandates, either, although I think it’s fine for stores and other establishments to require them.

    I remember early on getting into a text discussion with a friend and former co-worker who has diabetes so has to be extra careful right now, of course. But she was furious (this was around Memorial Day, early on in the pandemic) over the photos of folks crowding onto the beaches that weekend without masks. She said authorities needed to DO something to stop it.

    My point with her (I agreed it was disturbing) was exactly how far would she want authorities to be able to go? Billy clubs? Fines? Arrests? Besides, I reminded her, didn’t she come up as a “libertarian” on one of those political tests she took a few years earlier?

    Persuasion is always the best way to go in these situations. Not everyone will be persuaded but that’s part of living in a free society.

    Of course at this stage, large numbers are prone to defy the orders so I’m not sure what can be done about that. Nothing I suppose.

    It’s a very difficult issue and I may just stop posting covid news stories we run on FB as they’re getting such argumentative responses from a few folks who have somewhat lost their heads (and common sense) over the issue.

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  9. Recently shutting down all in-person dining in LA County has been widely unpopular.

    But now an even stricter order is coming down on Monday, banning (I believe) *all* gatherings, public or private (except for outdoor worship and protests, which now seem to be acknowledged as constitutionally protected activities). No going out unless absolutely necessary, it’s another ‘stay-at-home’ order but supposedly not as draconian as the one we got in March.

    Even so, I may go back to virtual church at this point, just for the time being.

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  10. Donna @ 11:07
    It isn’t so much defying government, it’s mostly suspicion that all of this is useless.
    Covering your face may be “doing something”, but I doubt that it makes a difference at all.

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  11. Kare–yes, but it is a long slog all the way to the final page. Let me find you something better for now! 🙂

    The Codebreaker novels from Rosanna M. White–historical fiction, WWI, good.

    Actually, all of Roseanna’s books on Hoopla, are good: https://www.hoopladigital.com/search?page=1&q=roseanna+m+white&scope=EBOOK&type=direct

    Amanda Dykes’ two books are beautifully written, almost fairy-tale-esque on Set the Stars Alight and both on Hoopla, too:

    https://www.hoopladigital.com/search?page=1&q=Amanda+Dykes&scope=EBOOK&type=direct

    Cynthia Ruchti writes women’s fiction, and has a lot of novels on Hoopla. I really liked her recent novel, Afraid of the Light, because it gave me insight into hoarding that I hadn’t seen before.

    I know all three of these writers, and they’re deep believers as well.

    Of course, I love Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell novels, too. Not a believer, but fun mysteries. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first novel in a long series, is excellent. These novels are NOT on Hoopla.

    Check out my Goodreads. If I love a book, I tell you! 🙂

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  12. If the mask was entirely useless, then surgical teams have been needlessly uncomfortable for decades. It ain’t for fun they wear that gear for hours on end. My cloth mask I wear when I go to stores gets damp on the inner layer, which means (supposing I were to be infected) that all that water vapour from breathing out, which could carry viral particles into the air, is getting stopped by the mask. It is not 100 percent effective of course, but just basic observation demonstrates that it does reduce the potential. It certainly stops the spray from an involuntary sneeze, cough, or from those who are, as our PM once famously and hilariously put it, “speaking moistly”. Having been hit in the face before from spray from someone who is unintentionally spitting while speaking, I know it is a real hazard.

    That phrase of the PM was turned, via autotune, earlier this year into an internet hit – dear friend and relative said her children went around the house singing this for days, so be warned:

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  13. Love the wildlife photos.

    Chattanooga has, thankfully, not shut everything down. We are still mandated to wear masks and most of us do….although I got yelled at while walking in a parking lot without one. The biggest problem here seems to be finding people to fill available job openings. A sign at the local Dairy Queen advertises 12 hr. We are using many temps at our workplace. We average one or two new covid cases per week.

    I am thankful that our church has not shut down again and I don’t think we will shut down. The church is in a neighboring town but still in the same county as Chattanooga, and thankfully it is the county health dept that controls the shutdown mandates not our mayor.

    Yesterday we went to a restaurant across the line in Georgia, and the difference was striking. Fort Oglethorp is bustling with activity. Government has a bigger impact than you might think.

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  14. The above photo demonstrates the idiocy of Disney movies on society. People seem to think wild animals are approachable and about to dance away with a song in their throats.

    We were in Smokey Mountain national park several years ago, and as we entered the park we saw several signs warning us that Elk and Bear can kill you and to give them a lot of room.

    The road is a loop and about 20 minutes in, it slowed considerably with traffic. What was going on?

    When we got to the bottleneck, it was cars parked all over the verge and people with their phones and Ipads out, had approached within 10 feet, several cubs eating.

    As we worked our way through, me with the window down trying to figure out what was happening, a woman standing in the road actually apologized for blocking my photo ability–there were bears.

    I shook my head and said, “we’re from the western US. We obey signs about dangerous wild animals. You guys are crazy.”

    At that point, the road opened and we drove off. Insane.

    In contrast, before you can even hike in Denali National Park, much less camp, you have to sit through a 20-minute video about how dangerous bears are and what to do if you see one. (It did not involve taking photos).

    You can only drive 10 miles into the park. From there, after seeing the video, you have to either hike or ride a school bus two hours further into the park to a visitor’s center.

    We rode the bus. We were happy to do so. The boys (4 of them on that trip), didn’t care.

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  15. I read an article in the paper yesterday of some official arguing everyone should be tested weekly, to keep COVID at bay.

    Insane. We’re more in danger of getting sick while standing in line for an ineffective test that will have a high number of false positives.

    The cost, of course, would be ridiculous and the whole exercise yet another example of power grabs that cause more trouble than they’re worth.

    We’re seeing officials who don’t know what to do, who seem to think the more officious and over-the-top orders will curb this disease. Making things draconian and hard to do, just makes people ignore the rules.

    The simpler, the better.

    Or, as Mr. COVID always says when asked, “wash your hands.”

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  16. Michelle, years ago we were camping on Vermont and sleeping under the stars when a bear came into the camp. I started to roll over in our sleeping bag and husband whispered “don’t move, there’s a bear”. He was rumaging through our stuff looking for food. We slowly got up while trying to make just enough noise to alert the bear to us without startling him. It was scary. The last thing we were thinking about was photos. :–)

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  17. I wish healthcare workers could be tested routinely. It would help ease the minds of myself and coworkers that we aren’t unintentionally carrying infection around to our patients if we could get periodically tested. Between my asthma and allergies and the havoc that my other problem does to my insides, I can have several of the non-specific symptoms such as abdominal pain, runny nose, and even difficulty breathing on any given day. Since I am in the habit of listening to my body, I have a pretty good idea what the symptoms are really caused by, but still, I can never know for certain. Especially since my other problem seems to cause new variations on the same problems from week to week. I am less concerned about getting COVID than I am about spreading it to more vulnerable people.

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  18. My son in Florida works in a nursing home / rehab facility. He said employees have been getting tested every 2 weeks. That’s how he knew when he got it. My husband and I were tested in July after I was exposed at work. The health dept here conducted drive-through testing. It was free. We never got out of our vehicle, and the testers were all suited up for safety. I thought it was surprisingly efficient, though it took about 2 hrs from beginning to end.

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  19. Janice, I haven’t been to any of those places although Purple Daisy sounds close. We’ll have to check it out.

    I had not thought that GA restrictions were much different than ours. Do you guys have actual mandates or are they just guidelines ?

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  20. Mr P was telling me last night that there is an idea floating around about the government tying a $1,500 stimulus check to getting the Covid vaccine. Why I am not an anti-Vacca-er I would hate for someone who really needed the money to have to get vaccinated in order to get it. I can’t really explain how I feel but my gut reaction was NO!

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  21. Last night we watched The Fisherman’s Friend. It was a good movie but sent me to YouTube to find a song my dad used to sing. While going down that rabbit hole I found this song and liked it

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  22. Just got home from picking up a grocery order; pretty easy, you order online and a day or two later (depending on how busy they are) you show up within the 1-hour time frame, call to let them know you’re there, pop open the back hatch and let them do the rest. I’ve had groceries delivered on two occasions during the pandemic, but this was the first pickup I’d done — it’s better because it doesn’t cost extra like the delivery does.

    Of course, I still had to make a pitstop on the way home to Sprouts for a couple extras only they have. I picked up a couple rosemary potted bushes for the cousins, they smell so amazing.

    Roscuro, excellent points about the masks. They don’t provide full protection, I think we all can agree on that (including the ‘experts’ who always said as much); you still need to keep social distance in play. But it’s something and something is better than nothing.

    But Chas is correct everyone now has their own opinion about all of this (and you can find a website to back any and all of those opinions up now). So I doubt that aspect will change.

    Can you imagine how much more frustrating all this would be if we didn’t have a viable vaccine on the fairly near horizon? Early on we were cautioned that a vaccine may not be possible at all, or if one could be developed it might only be partially effective.

    As difficult as this latest surge news has been, especially right as the holidays arrive, it would be so much harder without at least that light at the end of the tunnel.

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  23. Elk are large. They have hard sharp hooves. They have hard heads and some have antlers. They have large muscles and know how to use them, both from running from predators and from fighting predators and each other. Large predators. They are unpredictable though one could predict they will get aggressive if feeling cornered. ‘Nuff said.

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  24. Hadn’t heard that about the vaccine & stimulus, Kim. Hmmm. Doesn’t seem right to me, either.

    But I will say our struggling small businesses out here could surely use a stimulus asap.

    I respect more cautious views about vaccinations and understand the concerns. I’ll be more than happy to get this one — and I’ve also had a few others recently, including one for shingles and pneumonia — but it’s a valid concern about putting these things into our systems. You have to weigh the benefit vs the perceived risk I suppose. For me, the benefit usually (easily) outweighs possible risks that may or may not be incurred.

    At this point, it would appear the covid-19 vaccine is the only way out of this social and medical nightmare we’ve been in for going on a year now.

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  25. Here’s an article about the vaccine-for-stimulus idea being floated

    ___________________________

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article247461635.html

    Should Americans be paid to get COVID-19 vaccine? Idea gains steam among some experts

    Should the government pay people to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

    It’s an idea making more noise lately.

    While vaccine candidates are proving to be highly efficacious, they’ll only be effective at returning life to normal if at least 75% of the U.S. is immunized, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNBC recently. However, a recent poll found 58% of Americans say they will get a coronavirus vaccine.

    Citing this apparent uncertainty, former Maryland congressman and Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney advocated for paying people who are vaccinated $1,500, according to an op-ed published this week by The Washington Post.

    “The solution is simple: Pay people to take a covid vaccine. The vaccines are likely to arrive at the same moment Washington is, belatedly, taking up much-needed stimulus legislation,” Delaney wrote. “The timing couldn’t be better: Money would go into Americans’ pockets just when the U.S. economy can begin fully reopening with a vaccinated population that can go about their daily lives without fear of catching the disease or infecting others.” …

    Delaney’s idea isn’t new.

    In August, Robert Litan, an economist and attorney in the Bill Clinton administration, suggested in a Brookings Institute article to pay $1,000 to Americans who get vaccinated. …

    Other experts are wary of paying people to vaccinate, warning it could backfire.

    “Trying to pay people to take the vaccine suggests there’s something wrong with the vaccine,” Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, told Healthline. “It’s not going to address their suspicions and doubts. It’s going to inflame them.”

    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health bioethics professor Nancy Kass told Healthline the focus should be on messaging, and the number of unsure Americans will decrease when they see others unharmed by the vaccine. …

    ______________________

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  26. Debra, I think that municipalities can have their own requirements in Georgia. In the congested metro area where we live, people are suppose to wear face masks in public places. I think a lot of people choose against wearing them when they have private gatherings in homes. If I am in our yard by myself then I don’t wear one. When I prayer walk in the nearby neighborhood with a prayer partner, we do wear masks. At our local park we are suppose to wear masks.

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  27. 6 Arrows, concerning your pondering over using ‘child’ instead of ‘son’ or ‘daughter’:
    those who have to use such labels in their writing could base their choice on their own preference or if someone has previously made a stink about it, then they may be trying to keep things from escalating. Then again, it is an easy out if the writer can not tell by the name if it is a girl or boy. The name Sam could be either. It seems a lot of girls these days have masculine sounding names. So consider that, too.

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  28. Janice, I just wrote a bunch more of my thoughts about that over on the R & R thread before I saw your comment above (2:04). 🙂

    The thing that I noticed about the “son”/”daughter” designations vs. the “child” designations was that one school district’s students were labeled one way and the other district’s students the other way. So I don’t think it was a matter of the newspaper staff writer not knowing whether some of the names indicated girls or boys. The information most likely would have been provided to the paper by a school official who would be able to look up the gender designation in the student’s file.

    My piano student was listed as “child” of her parents, and she has a very distinctive female name. 🙂

    I suspect that this is our school district’s recent doing. They have historically identified children as sons or daughters of the parents in such information that they release to the press; I think the district may now be bowing to pressure to minimize gender differences.

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  29. People have health issues, such as allergies to eggs or whatever that can keep them from getting vaccines. That is one reason it is so important for us to get one if we can. I think it is a horrid idea, Kim.

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  30. Oh and just now I saw Cheryl’s 2:18 post on R&R, which wasn’t there when I typed the above!

    I am getting my exercise running from thread to thread today. 😛

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  31. In LA County there no longer is any indoor or outdoor dining allowed.

    But in-person dining is still allowed at restaurants and craft breweries in neighboring Orange County — so people just go there to eat or drink “out.”

    I sense the resistance to masks and other protocols, especially the business closures, is getting more dug in, especially out here with the new stay-at-home order beginning again on Monday, right as the holidays gear up. People are not happy.

    But driving through the market parking lot this morning I noticed a mom with her young kids (all with masks) just arriving. The youngest was adjusting her face mask as they walked toward the market and it struck me how weirdly “normal” all this looks to us now. If we’d seen that just a year ago it would have looked very bizarre.

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  32. Janice, 2:04 again — sorry, I’m really scattered in my thinking today! — this that you said is sadly so true sometimes: “…if someone has previously made a stink about it, then they may be trying to keep things from escalating…” Saying the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or, horrors, all of the above… can be disastrous.

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  33. The EMS personnel my daughter works with have no trouble getting COVID testing–with results that day. Curious that’s not offered to nurses, Roscuro.

    While backpacking in college, my husband didn’t get his pack high enough in the tree at night and work the next morning to discover a bear had eaten all his toothpaste . . .

    I grew up camping in Yosemite and we have video of my mother knocking together pie tins to get the bear away from the campground trash can so she could throw something away!

    Now when you go into Yosemite, you get a piece of paper explaining all the problems with bears and cars. You can leave NOTHING in your car overnight–including gum–for fear bear will rip your car apart to get it.

    I’m sure I’ve told you the story of the upscale Ahwanee Hotel on the Yosemite valley floor?

    A guest drove up in his expensive new car, left it in front of the hotel while he checked in, and returned to find a bear had ripped off the passenger door, rummaged through the front seat and pushed out the driver door.

    He stood there, aghast, “How could this happen at the Ahwanee Hotel?”

    As the paper I mentioned above explained, if your car is damaged, you call the rangers. They’ll first issue you a $250 citation for leaving food in the car, then give you the accident report which your auto insurance company will require.

    Interesting times and a reminder not to fool with . . . real live wild animals.

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  34. My sister who works as a nurse at a nursing home gets tested twice a week. I presume results come back quickly, but don’t know for sure.

    How accurate (or would sensitive be a better word?) are the covid tests that give quick results?

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  35. Thanks, Michelle, I devoured the Mary Russell books this fall after you recommended them to someone (maybe me?) I’ve downloaded the first Codebreaker book. I think I’ll like it. 🙂

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  36. I live right in the home of most North American wildlife (not polar bears or grizzlies, but almost everything else). When we lived in BC we had a grizzly bear that would come and lick our bear-proof garbage can which was right beneath a window and next to our door! We were always very careful to check outside before leaving the house.

    I have also had the privilege of watching a momma elk (no antlers) fend off a momma bear (of three little cubs) from attacking her calf. The bear had the calf down a few times, but each time the cow ran at her and kicked with her hooves. She even sent the bear up a tree for a bit. I didn’t know who to cheer for; the elk protecting her young or the bear trying to feed her young. The end was the bear giving up and the mother elk trotting down the road in front of us with her calf running along behind her, seemingly unscathed.

    We took a lot of pictures, forgetting that our camera could also do video.

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  37. Looking a year back via Facebook I am reminded of our travels to TX, attending a really big tax update school in a Dallas hotel packed with people, visiting Wesley and getting meals out, getting the car stuck on the railroad track, and spending time in stores. Not a single mask in mind except for wanting to hide our faces when the car got stuck on the tracks. The good old days!

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  38. I hate to admit it but I’m starting tp get comfortable with the masking at work. I have to wear a hairnet anyway so I usually stuff my hair up in a bandana, and with the mask requirement my face is covered too. So now I’ve stopped styling my hair and wearing most make-up on a daily basis. I won’t be fit for civilization if this lasts much longer. :–/

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  39. I got a phone call from the nurse at work a couple of weeks ago. She was asking questions about vaccinations and I told her I didn’t get the flu vaccination—I never do and I don’t get the flu. But I volunteered the info that when the covid vax comes out I am definitely planning to get it. That seemed to satisfy her. It was a strange conversation though. My husband has asked me to wait a a few weeks or a month after it’s out before I get it, but I do plan to get it after that.

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  40. Debra my hair is mostly in a pony tail and if I wear makeup it’s tinted sunscreen/moisturizer and mascara. Early on I stained two masks when I wore lipstick. I still Ike to an acquaintance in the store not too long ago and he didn’t recognize me. I laughed at him.

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  41. If you have pierced earrings, you should put in earrings from time to time. I wasn’t sure they were going in last week–so I wore them three days in a row just to ensure the holes hadn’t healed.

    Since I can’t wear glasses with my mask, I’m shopping blind half the time, sigh.

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  42. Michelle, I can’t wear earrings two days in a row or my ears get sore, and they’ll bleed at three days. But I try to remember to wear them on Sundays and one other day of the week, and the last two Sundays I even wore a dress “just because.”

    Re the “Disney animals in the wild,” one of the most horrible stories I ever read, 20 or 30 years ago and likely in Reader’s Digest, was a woman visiting Yellowstone or some such park, and she wanted a cute photo of her child with a bear. So she put honey on both of that child’s hands, and stepped back to take a photo of the bear licking her daughter’s hands. Only the beast took two big bites instead of cute little slurps. Somewhere there is a woman with no hands because her mother was a sentimental idiot.

    I have been watching animals all my life, and I sometimes get closer than other times. But I’m always aware of safety and also of not teaching the animal that it’s OK to get close to people. I photographed a mature white-tail buck from 10-15 feet away this week . . . but I was up on a bridge and he couldn’t get to me. I also photographed a buck on ground level, but I was a lot farther away than that and he was more interested in the doe than in me. But I was quite aware that if I got too close, he might charge me and he would win. Beavers have killed people. Hippos are considered the most dangerous African animal (if you don’t count the mosquito). Humans are quire soft and easily damaged, and safety is a first priority.

    In the Smokies we saw people walking over to a brushy area, and I had my husband stop the car so I could see what they had found. It turned out a young buck (white-tailed deer, not elk) and a doe were taking a nap, lying down. The closest people were probably within six or eight feet of the animals. That’s foolish, and it’s also unkind to the animals. We left. Later we saw people walking across a field (some the other side of a fence) toward a tree with bear cubs in it. I took a photo too, but from way too far away for my camera. Bears in the Smokies are used to people and probably not all that likely to attack–but who wants to take such a risk?

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  43. To all who are surprised that testing is not offered to nurses, it is, but, our agency has told us that it is at our discretion to go and get tested. In other words, they cannot be bothered to help us be routinely tested. Other agencies are testing their nurses and other workers routinely, but not ours. If we want to get tested, we have to contact public health and set up a appointment on our own time. The problem with doing that? If you are tested by public health, they expect you to self isolate until the results come back. Routine testing at work wouldn’t have that requirement. So, it is the fault of our agency and only one example of how they have not given us much support through this whole thing.

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  44. Sorry, Roscuro. 😦 Can you get tested on a day when you already have several days off coming up? My daughter would get tested twice a week now at the nursing home if she were still working there; she’s transitioning to work at a hospital, and I’m not sure how often the testing is done there.

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  45. mumsee (1:31) and such cute faces!

    I stayed at the Ahwanee Hotel once, so beautiful there.

    Back from Thanksgiving takeout with the cousins, we had pizza and meatball sandwiches. Just like the pilgrims.

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  46. One of my ears nearly closed up a few years ago when all the house repairs made me forget about wearing earrings for the most part.

    Now I am back to wearing them mostly daily even if I’m just hanging out at home working in sweats.

    As for makeup, I like just having to do the eyes and nothing else. 🙂 But I mostly go without any of it anymore, unless (like today) I’m going out and actually planning to see people I know.

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  47. DJ, I wouldn’t dare use the Neosporin since it was antibiotic ointment that caused the serious allergic reactions I had two summers ago, when my knee refused to regrow skin for several months. Good suggestion otherwise, but a bad idea for me personally.

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  48. Dangly earrings aren’t comfortable to wear with mask bands around one’s ears, I have found. I either stick to non-hanging post earrings or none when I go somewhere now.

    I quit wearing all makeup except eye makeup once a mask became part of my “apparel.” But even with eye makeup, most of the time I skip that now, too. My eyes tend to get irritated from at least one of those types of products; not sure if it’s the mascara or eye liner or eye shadow. I haven’t tried to narrow down the source of the irritation. It’s just easier not to even bother.

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  49. We are watching a Hallmark movie and the scene is in a newsroom. An nvestigative report is assigned to the female lead. The lady journalist says, “Who wants to cover corruption at Christmas time?” Art and I look at each other and burst out laughing. What a timely comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. I can’t wear earrings anymore. My right earlobe will flare up in a day – it doesn’t matter the kind of metal the earring is made of. The holes have not closed over, so I doubt they will ever close. I rarely wear any jewellery now, as I do not like the feel of necklaces around my neck or bracelets around my wrists. The only thing I wear occasionally is the semiannular brooch that my parents gave me as a graduation gift. It makes a lovely shawl pin, which it should, since the style was used by ancient Celts to fasten their cloaks.

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  51. roscuro, I discovered I had developed an allergy to nickel, which is fairly common. Nickel is in most metals, even the most expensive ones, including gold, but there now are nickel-free earrings easily found. I usually buy 925 sterling silver which also is usually nickel free or very little nickel content. But I’ve also bought very cheap earrings at drug stores under the nickel-free labels and they’ve caused me no problems.

    I had my ears pierced when I was 21 and had no problems until around 40 years old or so — suddenly everything caused my ears to become irritated and sore. I also had problems with neck chains which I’d worn for years, mostly sterling. It was a jewelry store owner who suggested it was likely a nickel allergy — when I began wearing nickel-free earrings, the problem completely cleared up. Allergies can form at any point in our lives.

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  52. I have to wear gold. I have a small pair of hoops that I keep in all the time. We wear head coverings that have buttons, so the mask goes on the button rather than the back of the ear.

    As for testing…up until the past month, our hospital on got 20 rapid tests a week. You had to be judicious with who you used the test on, as in emergency surgery candidates. We now have a rapid test which results in about an hour. You can also run influenza A/B and RSV on the same swab.

    The policy in our facility is if you are covid tested, you may not work until you get a negative result. When results were taking up to 3 days, it would knock you off the schedule to get tested. No point for us unless symptomatic.

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  53. Good morning, Chas. Yes, Sunday is the Lord’s Day and it is still a smidgen different for us whether or not it ever is in our society again.

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  54. It is the first Sunday of Advent, which calls for some music. Advent is a time of remembering the anticipation of the Incarnation and also looking forward to the Second Coming. Here are two arias from ‘The Messiah’s, both prophecies of Isaiah of the Messiah:
    “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:2)
    “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

    Liked by 3 people

  55. We’ll be in church in two hours, I may wear thermal underwear–projected temperature 45 degrees and cloudy.

    We have a pastor and his family visiting from Dallas–quite a taste this may be for them.

    I really liked the couple. They’re the final visitors and the call committee will issue a call. They went to the top of my list. We’ll see what God does.

    Thanks for the Advent singing, Roscuro. Today’s the first Sunday of Advent, and here’s a post for those of you curious: https://www.michelleule.com/2019/11/26/advent-season/

    Today’s candle is one for hope.

    There’s this post, too, if you’d like to review/read/enjoy the Bible stories connected to the season: https://www.michelleule.com/2019/11/26/advent-season/

    My 6-week social media fast is now over. I may stay in hiding. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Am I the only person having trouble with this site? I get dumped, dropped, and lose posts. My computer doesn’t load it very effectively, and it argues with me about posting.

    Have you run any software scans lately, AJ?

    Just a thought. Now hunting hot coffee . . . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Still attending online. It seems like the right thing for all of us at this time. The tiny church my father would attend is filled with people who think it is all a conspiracy. The childhood church I had been attending is not clear in their guidelines. And the Second’s church has deemed it wiser to remain online – they go to great lengths to support their members still.

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  58. Good morning. Just finished church in Virginia where we left Ephesians for a time while we looked into Matthew 2. Excellent message as always. Next will plan to head to the local body for a masked time with about ten to fifteen folk. Or may not as will be decided later.

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  59. I visited a church this morning. Something happened to the internet connection at the city church, so I joined my parents who watch the service from one of my pastor cousins, whose church is in the great metropolis. There happened to be a baptismal service, and each candidate had taped their testimony. There was an 18 year old from an immigrant family who testified how she had been raised in church but lived the way she wanted during the week. She said that the COVID shutdown of school had led her to read the Bible for herself, starting her on the path of coming to real faith. Another, much older candidate related how he had been a professing Christian in youth, but had wandered away into an alternate lifestyle, but that COVID had stopped him and been the turning point for him to return in repentance. The Lord is still working.

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  60. Morning! The air is brisk and fresh in the forest. We will attend church this evening. It is getting more difficult for me to want to go but husband wants to so we go. It is so dark when we head into town and late returning home and I am just plain tired. The music is over the top loud and I know I am grumbling but it is where I am on the situation 🥴
    I have to sign in every time I come to the blog and had a dickens of a time with password issues a few weeks back. At times it asks for user name and password and I just give up and read without comment

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  61. I’m going back to virtual services also for now, the numbers seem to warrant a little more caution for right now. I really enjoyed the outdoor services at our sister church, and they’re careful — masks are mandatory, chairs are movable with social distancing also a protocol; still, it draws quite a few folks.

    I’ve seen a few articles discussing the patience of Advent, there is hope but we remain still in darkness, waiting — and how that corresponds to the pandemic period we are now enduring a we continue to hope and wait for a new day.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. The city church managed to set up a connection, so I caught the end of the service. Both they and cousin’s church encouraged people, in the absence of the usual celebrations of this season, to take the opportunity to focus on Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Our in-person outdoor service draws probably 50-75 people which feels like a lot as our area is seeing a rather alarming and rapid increase in numbers, including hospitalizations, once again.

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  64. I heard from our contact at Art’s church that they are just now getting to do indoor services. Our friend said that she loved meeting out on the lawn. They do have the perfect setting for that.

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  65. For those having trouble with getting on the site, if you get the WordPress app and go through Reader on that you do not get bothered with log in, but you can’t see media on Reader.

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  66. NancyJill, I am right there with you. Ennui. I remind myself “I was glad when they said, ‘Let us go up to the house of the Lord'”, but still struggle at times and always have. At this point, I am kind of with DJ as to the virus concerns. In part because I have a daughter who is in and out a lot and a husband who goes to Boise a lot and returns having been out and about though masked.

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  67. I also had to cover our state’s hourlong public health news conference about the rising numbers and what could be ahead if folks weren’t very careful this past week, I think that did it for me.

    I texted the family I sit near (socially distanced, but honestly it’s just hard not to be closer to people as we chit-chat after the services) to let them know I’d be “virtual” again for a while, we’ll see where these numbers go.

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  68. O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
    And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
    Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
    And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

    Liked by 3 people

  69. We did not go. Caution outweighed. We are down to gatherings of ten or fewer. Idaho is a hotspot and my health district is as well. Nineteen did as she went to the Catholics today. I suspect they do not do social distancing or masks in this town, though some will.

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  70. Catholic churches here, at least in the Los Angeles Diocese which my friend is affiliated with, are doing drive-in Mass only. People remain in their cars.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. On our neighborhood page today, someone screamed about our church–by name–not social distancing properly. She drove by, saw us outside, and was horrified people were sitting next to each and not wearing masks.

    I replied immediately that they were in family groups per our county’s protocols.

    And then watched all sorts of people accuse our church of endanging people’s health and other awful things.

    I mildly commented that I sat beside my husband, six feet from anyone else, and as soon as the service ended I put on my mask.

    That wasn’t good enough and now I’m avoiding it all as our character is totally shredded.

    Who knew I attended a church that is the center of all COVID in our county–despite the fact only a few, and none from attending our outdoor services since June, have gotten ill.

    I may have to continue my social media fast . . . 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  72. Churches have been a target during all of this on social media, I’ve seen it as well. One of the common (and snarkily-delivered) comments is “They think God will protect them” usually followed by some kind of comment that they’ll listen to “the science,” thank you.

    Some churches have been reckless, unwise and have behaved poorly. We’ve all seen those examples.

    But most have tried hard to abide by the protocols. At the outdoor service I’ve attended at our sister church, masks were mandatory, there were hand sanitizer stations set up as you came and went, and free-standing chairs were set up, some to accommodate families sitting together, but others free-floating; and all could be moved farther away if desired. Markers were put on the patio floor to let folks know what the 6-foot distance would be for those unrelated to a family group.

    I will say that the weak point — which is just because we’re human — is following the service when we all craved talking to and fellowshipping with one another. It’s very hard to keep a 6-foot distance when that is going on, despite all of our best intentions.

    So now that numbers are skyrocketing, at least here in L.A., it does seem perhaps wise to pull back a bit on the in-person freedoms we have been venturing into, little by little.

    It’s disheartening, discouraging and sad. We’re all feeling it.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. And I suppose we are/were fortunate in that the sister church has open outdoor property in back of the church building so it is not visible from the busy highway in front.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. And I got 100 to boot!!
    Our small group is trying to decide whether we continue to meet or not. I am all for discontinuing until the numbers go down. Others feel it would be succumbing to fear. We have a meal together every week and we don’t wear masks…I’m ready for getting through the Christmas season without unnecessary exposure…may the Lord direct our paths and decisions…

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  75. Some of the social media criticism of churches, I meant also to add, reflects an overall hostility to Christianity or religion in general and it’s not hard to pick those attitudes up.

    Still, sorry it got turned on your home church, michelle, that’s hard and hurtful when coming from those who aren’t necessarily understanding what they’re seeing.

    Liked by 3 people

  76. Michelle, I am so grateful that our church has a gravel parking lot in the back where we can meet and not be visible from the road. A sweet service as we sat alone or with our family and worshipped together.

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  77. I read Psalm 62 this morning and so much of it spoke to me right now. “My salvation and my honor depend on God” is just part of that. My honor can be questioned by everyone around me and I will trust God for it anyway. Just seemed appropriate for those running down the church members. All of this just shows us how quickly people will turn on one another and be very self-righteous about it. So it was in Nazi Germany and the countries they invaded and took over. There is a lot of dangerous rhetoric out there these days. So easy to want to find someone to blame and punish.

    Liked by 5 people

  78. It turns out the woman was driving by (on a road lined with parked cars), and actually saw the Children’s Church walking to the back of the building–but only some of the children wearing masks.

    That clarification enabled me to write back and say “You couldn’t know in driving by that most of those children and adults are related to each other. However, your point is well taken and I’ve contacted the families to ask them to make sure they wear masks next Sunday. In addition, we’ll discuss this at the board of education meeting later this week.”

    40 people have said nasty things, but it helps to know it really was an ignorant woman driving by (and apparently not paying attention to the road), rather than a real issue. Though, the kids should have been wearing masks.

    I actually feel better, now. Mr. COVID was never worried.

    Liked by 5 people

  79. People ought to mind their own business and stop trying to persecute the church. I did read one story that a church in CA had temporarily designated itself as a strip club to avoid covid restrictions. And I remember MacArthur had begun one sermon by calling their gathering a peaceful protest. Churches need to be charitable to each other too even though they may disagree with tactics, because outsiders are hostile enough and may get more so before it’s over.

    Our church has been meeting, but since I usually work 2nd shift on Sunday my husband won’t wake me up. So if I sleep in, it’s video church for us. Today I slept in and didn’t go to work either. Just alittle tired from the weekend. It was wonderful having family over, and wonderful to rest. :–)

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  80. Interesting because this latest round of limitations on public and private gatherings in LA County including the point that it did not include outdoor worship services or protests as those are constitutionally protected rights.

    But I will say that some churches/pastors acted stupidly (and in some cases obnoxiously) in the beginning – and, of curse, got a lot of press – which added to the negative views to some degree.

    Some folks just didn’t need any excuse to publicly rail on the church as a whole, however.

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  81. *of course

    Has everyone decorated for Christmas yet? I was going to get started in these last few days, but … didn’t.

    And tomorrow it’s back to work.

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  82. I put a small (5 ft) tree up, and put the lights on it.. That’s all. I will probably decorate little by little this week. There is no rush as we both enjoy the plain tree and white lights. And I’m not quite ready to let go of Autumn’s yellow, red, and orange.

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  83. We decorated for Christmas Thursday afternoon after we’d had our Thanksgiving meal.

    Back to work and school for me tomorrow, too. This whole week (Monday the 23rd through Friday the 27th) was supposed to be a break from school and piano, but Monday and Tuesday ended up being make-up/catch-up days. Eight piano lessons instead of the normal 23, plus two days of school to make up for my getting behind when I was sick a few days this month.

    The next stretch of activity will be short — three weeks of school and lessons, then off the weeks of Christmas and New Years. It will be nice to have an extended break. I enjoy my work (paid and unpaid), but the busier I get, the more satisfying the vacation times feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Christmas decorating in L.A.:

    Posted by a local on FB tonight (w/a photo of their towering palm tree that stands in front of their old Spanish-style home):

    ~ Looking for some assistance and I’m willing to pay! My husband is, let’s say, uneasy about getting on a tall ladder to wrap Christmas lights around our palm tree. I wanted to do it and he’s even more uneasy about that. SO in order to avoid divorce proceedings, I’m in search of a brave soul in need of money, to make it happen! We’ll help. Payment is negotiable! Let’s talk!! ~

    Liked by 2 people

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