59 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-28-20

  1. Good morning Chas. One day off, and I cannot sleep in – the internal alarm clock is set.

    It was a wild day yesterday. At more than one point, I had patients in both treatment rooms with another in the waiting room. There was more patients needing IV antibiotic treatments in one day than I have seen in the past three months. Generally, summer is IV treatment season due to bug bites that turn to cellulitis and injuries that are dirty, but just now there has been an explosion in severe infections from all different causes. Some things were more traumatic to deal with than others. I will just say, all teens should see the horribly gruesome results of drug abuse.

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  2. Good morning, all.

    Sadly, most teens view themselves as invincible which is why they see the destroyed drunk driving car results and go on drinking. I suppose it is good they have that quality but it certainly blinds them.

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  3. Good morning! My days are all mixed up. I forgot to get my garbage bin out to the street in time for pickup. There was not much in it anyways.

    I believe it was on Christmas Eve that Georgia had a record number of Covid positives in a 24 hour period ‐- 8,000 new cases.

    One thing I like better about cats than dogs in general is that their fur is softer. When I keep Miss Bosley well brushed, her fur feels like silk.

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  4. Janice, some dogs have super soft fur. Misten’s was only medium-soft, but collies are described as having a “harsh” (weather-proof) outer coat, and it definitely wasn’t harsh. I think cats vary too. I don’t pet enough cats to know, but when I think of “soft fur” and cats, only one cat comes to mind, and I think that’s because he had long white fur and looked so soft. I don’t remember how soft his fur was to the touch; I mainly remember learning that a cat can be purring at your touch one moment and then biting you the next because you pet him a split-second too long.

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  5. Morning! What an amazing photo. That fox appears to be posing for you Kare! Just beautiful!
    Our Aussies have amazingly soft furry coats. They are double coated so the fur is deep and soft…but they do shed…! Brushing them is a challenge and it seems the fur never truly ceases to shed. We have always noticed that Lu always smells so fresh and clean.
    I smile to think of Miss Bosley showing up at your house Janice and the decision made that brought so much joy to you…she has been a blessing of soft fur, cuddles and purrs! β™₯️

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  6. Some of our dogs have had very soft fur, especially after being walked in the rain and allowed to dry. Our wheaten terrier for example (the one who loved oranges). Our shihtzu has very soft fur after brushing. Llasa apso has a soft undercoat but the outer is a bit more coarse. But the softest of all of our animals would be the rabbits.

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  7. Beautiful fox! That is one species I have rarely seen that I would dearly love to photograph well. I got decent shots once, but with a previous camera, and I could get better detail with this one. They are a really beautiful species, perhaps North America’s prettiest mammal.

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  8. A foxy start to the week.

    We spent yesterday at D2’s house. Actually, the back yard. It’s sad when someone is so fearful of the virus that we cannot even hug her or the granddaughter, even with masks on and no recent contact with the virus. I honor her and her husband’s wishes, but wonder if it’s faith or fear that makes them not attend church in person or let people in their house, even though they themselves are low risk.

    At least we were allowed to see them close up instead of over Zoom.

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  9. Foxes are the wild animal I have seen the most of on my drives to and from work. On one of my favorite less-traveled routes to work, two foxes slipped across the road in front of me, with the second, perhaps younger, taking a second look before slipping into the undergrowth that lined the ditch. Another memorable drive to work, when no one was out after a night of heavy snow and ice I was driving across a bridge over a river on the outskirts of the nearest town. There was a fox making the same crossing. I was driving very slowly, since the consistency of the snow and ice mixture was like sand. The fox stopped in the middle of the road and stared at me as if it wondered that one of my kind was attempting to travel in the substance that it’s light paws just padded along the top of. Sadly, the fourth sighting was of a fox that had been hit, which is very unusual. Raccoons are often roadkill, and porcupines sometimes, but that was the first time I saw a fox that had been hit.

    My most memorable Fox sighting though was while taking a walk with my mother. Our road is a mix of patches of forest and swamp with rolling farmers fields. One small patch of swampy forest at the edge of the road is surrounded on the other three sides by farmers field and stands opposite a much larger section of swamp and forest. We were walking down a hill towards this section, when we caught a glimpse of a red fox crossing the field towards the smaller patch of forest. As we approached the patch, we heard the raucous cry of crows from the patch, and then the fox raced across the road in front of us into the larger forest, pursued by a murder of crows who were screaming and scolding as they flew.

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  10. My only memorable sighting of a fox was when we were at Yellowstone in our first year of marriage. We were out hiking in the snow and saw one cross our path. It was a beautiful sight. I was a bit afraid on that hike because of being around all the bubbling fumeroles which I had never been around. I did not want to accidentally step into something like that!

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  11. Gorgeous fox, great winter photo.

    We have foxes in our community, mostly along the south-facing coastline, but I have yet to see one either.

    Peter, what may seem like fear to you could, indeed, be the exercise of wisdom.

    Of course, I say this from LA County which has been slammed with still-skyrocketing cases and deaths since November. They are hoping we at least will “peak” by mid-January, but there are still concerns that Christmas and New Year’s gatherings will provide yet another surge by February. The hospitals are really struggling right now to handle all the cases.

    Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday that our pastor is now ill, though no word on whether it’s covid or not. But they’ve been holding mask-optional indoor worship services for some time now and I’ve always worried about that. Another family in the church also now is covid positive.

    Our sister church’s pastor seems to be recovering and the plan is to restart those outdoor services next Sunday. Personally, I’ll hold off until these numbers start going down.

    I have this week off and it feels wonderful (though it will go by fast, I realize). Our first winter storm rolled in just after midnight last night and brought quite a bit of rain which only let up about 30 minutes ago. There’s even some sunshine now, but we should get a second wave of rain tonight again.

    My own parched plot of earth already looks better.

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  12. There were quite a few foxes living around the small municipal airport in the city where our offices used to be until recently. But as the urban coyotes began to multiply a decade or more ago, they decimated that particular fox population.

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  13. My best sighting of a fox (and my only photos of a fox that wasn’t fleeing), my husband and I drove into town to pick up our daughter from work. One of the local businesses had a big lawn out front, and there was a fox on that lawn. So my husband turned down the drive and rolled down his window. The fox paused as though wondering if we were OK, and then resumed hunting. I got quite a few photos, but unfortunately with an earlier camera that had less of a zoom. I was also in the side of the car farthest from the fox, so I was photographing across the car and over my husband. In more recent outings, my husband will turn the car around in such a situation to give me a closer view, but in those days he didn’t think to do that, and I’ve never asked him to. A car is a good photo blind for most animals, and a Prius particularly (because it runs quietly and turns off if you stop driving).

    My husband and his first wife once had a fox and kits cross the road, and they even got video. But for me, other than this sighting I have only had glimpses of a fox that’s running. I have twice gotten photos that got such a fox in the frame, but not good shots.

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  14. I have been getting more emails from Youngest in-law’s mother regarding COVID being a hoax. The latest one urged me, using the phrase “for the love of Jesus” to watch some expert who denies COVID is a problem. She keeps telling me she is praying that I will know the truth. Part of me, the part that has to bite my tongue, wants to reply that perhaps her prayers have been answered. I will not say that, but none of the decisions I made about the precautions I take were out of blind fear, but rather out of prior knowledge and concern for those I am responsible for. As the Proverb (both 22:3 and 27:12) says, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” I am daily during my work exposed to potential danger to myself – twice now I have had to be tested for possible exposure to incurable bloodborne diseases, and as I indicated above, the clientele we work with includes individuals who are dangerously unpredictable, not to mention the ongoing health risk by being made by management to go on home visits. No, I am not a coward about bodily danger. Taking precautions, whether it is wearing gloves and using safety needles or wearing a mask and observing social distancing is not driven by fear.

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  15. A former reporter (who lived in an apartment building near the coast in our town) had a regularly-visiting fox on the building’s property — probably because some of her neighbors had taken to feeding it (against all advice, of course).

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  16. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t avoid possible COVID contact, I’m just wondering how much is unmitigated fear and how much is reasonable caution when it comes to my daughter and her husband.

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  17. I should add that before COVID they were overly cautious about anyone holding their newborn, not even allowing us to kiss the child’s forehead or hold her without first using hand sanitizer. It’s one thing to be careful, another to overdo it. Don’t children’s immune systems develop stronger if exposed to other people?

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  18. Peter, you are correct that not allowing a newborn to be kissed or held without hand sanitizer is excessive, and not beneficial. In fact, babies benefit from contact with healthy human skin, because they need a healthy blend of bacteria colonizing their skin to protect them from the more dangerous varieties – it should be noted that any bacteria on skin has the potential to become dangerous and none is entirely benign, rather it is a balancing act, so a good source of the inevitable bacteria for a baby should be from healthy skin, which is one reason why they place the baby in the mother’s skin immediately after birth. Sometimes that amount of excessive caution can be a symptom of underlying anxiety, and if it was not fear of disease, it would be something else, like sheltering the child from any event that might possibly result in an accident.

    Second struggles with anxiety and it often centres around her husband and children. That is partly due to PTSD, stemming from a very difficult work experience as a nanny in her early adulthood, and a car accident that happened when she was pregnant with Sixth and had Tiny in the car with her. She is trying to come to terms with that fear now, and it isn’t easy. I know that it doesn’t help to tell them the fear is unreasonable, it is something they have to figure out for themselves.

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  19. Peter, a lot of young people are being unreasonably cautious. In fact, a lot of older people are scolding young people who aren’t being scrupulously cautious. They really can’t “win” no matter what they do.

    Was the newborn a firstborn? In my own experience, most parents are cautious to ridiculous extremes with their firstborn children. When my sister’s firstborn was a toddler, my sister even had clamps on all the toilets and covers on all the door handles that made them impossible to turn unless you knew how to use them. (In case of a toilet emergency or a fire I would actually have been in trouble, since I couldn’t figure them out on my own.) They also had the hand sanitizer in every room that visitors were expected to use.

    I actually think one societal issue with families mostly having just one child or at most two is that most children are actually firstborns. Many of today’s parents don’t have siblings, and they don’t have nieces or nephews. They only have one child, and that is the child on which parents historically make a lot of their mistakes and then do some things differently with later children. And those of us with lots of siblings had siblings and nieces and nephews on whom to get some childcare experience, but many of today’s parents don’t have that. And if you only have one child–especially if that is the only child you will ever have–the fear factor is higher. (Not that people with five or six children love those children less, but they fear for them less. And it simply isn’t practical to have that level of caution. You can’t lock a toilet used regularly by four or five people!)

    I’m actually surprised when parents of a firstborn aren’t silly like that. It’s “weird,” but it’s also typical. I see it as similar to a girl in her first dating relationship being giddy and silly.

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  20. Young parents hear so many fearful stories these days with all the online 24/7 news reports. They are also given the impression that everything bad that happens is someone’s fault. That is partly because of our litigious society and because we no longer believe in Divine Providence. I am glad I didn’t know enough to fear so much when I had my first child. Most parents settle down after they have more. I just saw a headline the other day of an infant who had a stroke after having Covid. No parent wants to take that chance, even if the chance may be like getting struck by lightening.

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  21. Speaking of fears and safety, I have mentioned that my mother’s mobility is decreasing. She still insists on carrying things up an down stairs, making us all nervous. Today, for the first time, she fell down the stairs. It wasn’t a full flight, because our stairs all turn at a landing halfway down, but it was frightening for us all. She is fine, but we have taken it as a warning. It was on the stairs to the basement, which lack railings to the upper half. We need to install them now.

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  22. Oh, in case you wonder how it was possible that I couldn’t figure out the door-locking mechanism on my own . . . they had them on the front door in a house I hadn’t been in before. I didn’t remember which way the various locks on the door turned to be in the “unlocked” position, and then I had to be messing with something on the doorknob itself. I was caring for the two-year-old after the new baby had been born. The grandparents lived locally and the two-year-old was more familiar with his grandparents than with me. The grandparents drove him and me home and then left, and the parents and the new baby were at the hospital. The toddler started to cry, and I wanted to go out and ask the grandparents if they could stick around a few minutes. The toddler had just had a new baby brother and was being left with an aunt he wasn’t yet quite familiar with, and it might have been helpful for them to hang around a few minutes.

    But I spent several minutes trying in vain to get the door open because of that silly “safety” lock, and they drove away while I was still trying. And it occurred to me it could be very dangerous in a fire! I’d have had to go out a window to get out if I couldn’t break that piece on the doorknob. The back door had a “safety” lock too, so I wouldn’t have been able to go out that way either.

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  23. Interesting to hear about the cautions some people take with first born children. I am a first born, I am married to a first born only, and I raised a first born only. I did use the electrical plug covers, but I felt if a smart child wanted to that they could remove them when they were at the age to experiment with sticking something in that slot. I never had any other safety devices other than a baby gate. Once I had left Wesley for a few moments buckled into his stroller in the carport. After a minute or two (I must have gone inside for a minute to get something before a walk), when I got back to him, he was dangling upside down, head first over the concrete in the carport. I was so thankful for that seat buckle in the stroller that kept him safe that time!

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  24. My friend and I used to play on the huge (to us) mounds of dirt at the freeway construction site near our elementary school. I can now only imagine the toxins. Amazing we didn’t grow third arms.

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  25. Janice, your story reminds me of the time when I DIDN’T buckle up my son in the stroller. The wheels stopped abruptly in a crack while I was trying to navigate a curb. I dumped him right out of the stroller onto the sidewalk and I always did up the strap after that. (I think he was around 1 at the time)

    And yes, he was forever bumping his head or ‘injuring’ himself in some way. Those head bumps swell up huge and I was always running him to the doctor. Second child, “walk on it, it will feel better” became the motto.

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  26. This is what my husband wrote on Christmas day: Out with the dogs this morning I watched the bigger of our local elk bulls stride off the fields and into the forest half an hour before sunrise. Then coming back past the same area a half hour later I was treated to five black wolves crossing into the bush on the far side of the same field. Just before they reached the forest edge the sun crested the hill and flooded the area with light. On cue, coyote yipping erupted from every side. The last two wolves stood silently while this went on, then let out a single low long howl and shut up the rabble. Silence.

    That is an example of where we live! πŸ™‚

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  27. Just got in from a long drive (rain off and on) through town, went by the port — there’s a cruise ship docked, the first of several expected in port this week as the industry begins to prep ships for relaunching that industry — the USS Iowa, the commercial fishing slip and pink fish market building, along the winding road on the southern coastline next to a very gray and choppy ocean stretching beyond the horizon, the emptied out Christmas tree lot, the marina filled with boats, past several public parks where everything was pretty much canceled this year, from Shakespeare by the Sea to the big war re-enactments at the former military site.

    Our town is full of character, I was reminded as I drove by all the old homes and funky neighborhoods, colorful old fishing boats, the vintage closed gas station with the hand-printed sign “Whisky Flats” (designating a neighborhood that was pegged as that during Prohibition when ships would come in bearing brews), the newer Air Force and Navy housing.

    And it felt good just to get out and enjoy a leisurely drive, going nowhere, not missing work one bit.

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  28. As you all know, Boy is Nightingale’s first, and currently (and maybe forever) only child. But although she is reasonably cautious, she lets him do “boy stuff” and get dirty. In fact, when he was a toddler, she made a round area of dirt for him in our yard that we called his garden. He would play with his trucks there, and dig in the dirt, having a great, dirty time. (I’ve often said that she is a great mom for a boy to have, as she does not coddle him, and she encourages him to do all the typical old-fashioned boy activities.)

    Speaking of Boy. . . He had me laughing hard earlier this evening. He was sitting on the potty, with diarrhea, with his tummy not feeling well. I was brushing my teeth as he came in, so I was in the bathroom for a couple minutes as he was there.

    At one point, he put his hands on his tummy, and asked, “Is this what going into labor feels like?” πŸ˜€

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  29. Just want to clarify something. Above, I wrote that Nightingale does not coddle Boy, and that is certainly true. But that does not mean that she is not affectionate with him. She is. Boy loves to cuddle at times, so they will sit on the couch and cuddle for a bit. (Touch is definitely one of his love languages.) So she cuddles, but she doesn’t coddle. πŸ™‚

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  30. Kizzie, reminds me of when I was a young kid and the family had watched one of the western shows, Wagon Train?, where a woman in labor mentioned counting in between pains.

    It was maybe just a day or so later I was hit with the flu or some other intestinal ailment and told my parents I was counting the seconds in between my cramps.

    They laughed and laughed.

    We girls were tom boys in my neighborhood and I suspect did most of what any of the boys did when we were 12 and younger. After that, everything starts to change, of course. πŸ™‚

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  31. Now that I think about it, D2 has always been our neat-nick child. Hers was the cleanest room, she was the one bossing D3 to clean house. Yes, that explains part of her wanting the shelter her daughter. (Yes, the girl is a first-born).

    Our other children aren’t as picky. D1 hasn’t been picky about any of her 6 children. In fact, we got a picture of her 2 oldest all muddy after they “painted” the shed with mud.

    This discussion reminds me of something we heard or saw way back when our children were little.

    >First child drops the pacifier on the floor. Mom, gives baby a clean one, picks it up the one that dropped, rinses if off then boils it to sanitize it.
    >Second child drops one. Mom rinses it in hot water, and gives it back to the baby.
    >Third child: Mom picks up the dropped pacifier, wipes it on her pants and gives it back to the baby.

    Maybe that’s why I’m healthier than my older siblings because my immune system had more work to do. (I’m #4.)

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  32. It’s snowing…I rescheduled my dental appt for next week…roads are slick and that will not change by 8am tomorrow 😳
    I let my kids play in the dirt and get sweaty…they are all healthy adults. I still play in the dirt in my garden and I do not wear gardening gloves unless I am dealing with thorns and prickly stems. 😊

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  33. Peter, my parents (who met and married as missionaries in NIgeria) had a similar missionary story. First-year missionary, fly lands in his tea or coffee, he throws away the drink.

    Second-year missionary finds a fly in his drink, he takes a spoon and removes the fly, then drinks his drink.

    Third-year missionary squeezes the fly before tossing it out of the drink.

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  34. I am the fourth.
    I wear gloves in the garden, after getting poked too many times.
    I also wear gloves when handling firewood, same reason.

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  35. Just spent two hours with a friend in PNG as he used Bomgar to work on my computer. The first hour he installed outlook and a security system. Then I asked a question. Do I have all of my contacts and groups in outlook? That took another hour, but now the computer is useful. He said it helped that he has used outlook for 30 years.

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