Don’t Panic. Get Your Flu shot.

Rosie Red card

Please listen closely as I need to be very blunt and clear about something that is on my mind.

(Good morning by the way and to those who may have missed my postings, not to worry Life is good and I’m loving my studies ūüôā ¬†).

Okay – back to asking you to use your listening eyes as you read my minirant. I refuse, now and perhaps forever more, to panic about the Ebola epidemic on the continent of Africa and the potential crisis that Europe, and America and all of the other corners of the globe will be facing as the experts scramble to try to confine and treat this strange virus.

Yes, I know this is big, but

I would like us to, for the most part, to shut up and let the experts work their magic on the topic.

Please don’t leave comments in my box or anywhere in my life that are political or argumentative on this topic.

I will delete them without a blink and perhaps even block your ability to comment ever again on my blog.

Let me explain….

Sports are not my skill or interest, but smart is my skill. In addition, kids and language are my thing.

Worry and panic and anxiety are, unfortunately, a daily shadow in my world and that of many of my family members. In my case these tendencies are somewhat due to genetics, yet more so because I am a sensitive soul, very introverted, and a creative thinker.

But I am not now, or hopefully ever going to go into a full panic about Ebola.

Please, please know that I understand why people – media, friends, family, strangers – are fantastically concerned. It is a reasonable concern. America hasn’t had a plague in a while.

But here’s what is making me angry at the moment on the topic. In a nutshell…

A few weeks ago I started hearing my son and his friends converse about Ebola. They were also trying to beat Brazil at soccer on a video game and I started overhearing what I think may have been the beginnings of sorting through predjudicial comments at school tied to the topic. For sure, they were talking in boy code about how frightening the Ebola news is on top of figuring out how to avoid acne. At one point they started argueing a bit about what country is where on the globe. In true boy form though, two seconds later they were teasing about who’s family came from a stronger and taller ethnic background. I had to kind of laugh when I heard them consoling each other saying – “Bro, don’t worry, it’s just in South Africa and that’s pretty far from Iowa.”

This was a real consolation – I heard that for sure. It was a quick, “let’s just wash our hands and not worry about it guys” plan of action.

The other day they stopped back over and I caught them in the back yard using far too many garage tools to create some sort of back yard civil war reenactment or something along those lines. I found food and soon they were inside and back at international soccer competition by way of XBox.

Thank God my oldest son was doing most of the cooking because I was exhausted. I was siting in the BigSoftChair and trying to do homework and one of the guys launched into a list of who is your favorite “XYZ” sports figure questions and I was proud to have one for each sport listed. (Kareem, Pele, William “Dummy” Hoy and Derrick Coleman). If they had asked about golf I would have said Uncle Norm.

Anyway – it was a good time. They asked me to teach them some sign language and enjoyed a minute of bragging to me about all they had conquered in middle school thus far. I hadn’t seen these two kids in several months and was a little bit floored by some sprouting facial hair and nearly six-foot status. Impressive at barely twelve years old.

But – back to reality – is it appropriate for Twelve year old boys, changing voices or not, to be exposed to more than what is reasonable concern about Ebola?

No.

A million no’s.

Should I have done what was my instinct when I was finishing up the meal and heard some comments that seemed prejudicial about “them” at school? I felt like dropping the salad bowl to the floor and launching into teacher mode. Had to really try and hold back and not be an embarassing cranky mom.

My ears weren’t hearing all that they were saying and my stomach was growling like a mountain lion at the time, but I’m certain I heard a “them” comment from the kids. It was some how on the tail of another Ebola chat and seemed to refer to African-American kids in their school. Again – it could have been that they were talking about how short girls have cooties and bright orange tube socks are the new black, but still. My anntena perked up.

My youngest son is passionate about a lot of things, but diversity and equality is at the top of his list (along with dogs, basketball and BBQ ribs). His dad and I both love history – his dad more than I, and we do a lot of pondering in terms of African-American history. We are white, but grew up in small towns that were stations on the Underground Railroad. As a result, this son is a history and civil war buff and has already been known to wrangle on diversity topics with his peers.

I’ve had a packed several weeks as my studies to become an American Sign Language Interpreter or an advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has ramped up and become a challenge. This is a good thing. I have fallen back in love with a language that used to be a constant on my brain. I haven’t had time, or to be honest patience, with Facebook threads on anything other than photos of my nieces and nephews.

But,

this week, right around when I was trying to sort out if I should follow-up and ask my son if there is school smack talk about Ebola and ethnicity that is getting on his nerves or….

just roll with his reports about basketball season that has just started,

I started to see Facebook Memes and commentaries that are not funny about Ebola. I assumed that stupid comments would soon be flooding social media about my all time favorite presidential first lady who OWNs her awesome waistline, but jokes about intentionally funneling an epidemic into the Whitehouse?

No. Back off. Hold the phone.

And no. I won’t tolerate that.

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Abe selfie

Yes. I know. I’ve been told. There are a million and one ways to create the perfect Facebook filter – block this person, hide that feed, unfriend, refriend, IM, hide and filter my stuff.

Ignore, ignore, ignore.

(that thingy above Abe is an antique hearing aid by the way).

I’m trying to keep up with all of my options and create the most calming yet informative feed possible.

Once again though, like many of us, I feel like just leaving Facebook altogether. I do need to stay connected to family and all of the supplemental readings for my classes are shared videos in a private FB group, so I need to stay connected there on some level.

I’m being told that there are ways to not go through the drama of “unfriending” and just hide someone’s posts and then still have the ablitiy to stop by their page and check on their photos or have a quick instant message chat.

But, you mess with my sons and you mess with me, and I am already fed up on this particular side spread of predjudice and political garbage as a result of this immunology international concern.

At any rate. That is my rant.

And here is my recommendation if you aren’t sure what to do about this news that is in our every headline:

GET A FLU SHOT.

get a FLU SHOT.

Go GET a flu shot!!!

(and read this great article sent to me by a cherished friend who is a lauded expert in Pediatric immunology and related international concerns:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/15/opinion/frank-bruni-scarier-than-ebola.html?_r=0 )

We all have immune deficiant folks in our lives. Grandma, new babies, a friend with cancer or arthritis. Did you know that viruses are one of the top causes of hearing loss? Quite often the loss can be profound and permanent. Strange eh?

So spend the 25 bucks and reduce all of our worries please. CVS is currently giving a huge coupon along with it and our grocery store is giving away free gasoline.

And then do whatever it is that you do to try and manage stress and anxiety. Two minutes of kitchen dancing, an hour of screaming at the Steelers (against them preferably and in favor of the Bengals) , a triple scoop of ice cream – do it every once and a while. But when you are done, I ask you kindly to think long and hard about what you are saying in front of young children about Ebola and African plagues and immigration. I’m talking about in your house, AND in the grocery line of strangers.

This generation has enough going on as it is.

Don’t pity them that “this” is their world –

please protect them by managing your anxiety

privately amongst adults

or in your journal or with your pastor or,

Yoga instructor or Family Physician.

If you have stuck with me thus far on my ramble, thanks. I feel better now. A lot better. I miss having time to blog! It is fun for me.

As a token of my appreciation check out this adorable video about the excitement of the start of school :

http://d-pan.org/videos/dpanvideos/whitestripes/

Or this one about a little girl named Tamara who loves her mom to the moon and back again:

http://t.co/496jMBSB6D

Have a great weekend. Peace! Kate

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Summer Break is Near. Thank God.

me

Dear Hours that I used to Have to Blog,

It’s been a good, but busy few months. I miss you, and apologize for ignoring you.

Here’s the thing – I’ve been trying to balance an increasing work schedule and am now going back to college.

None the less, it is You (Hours that I used to Have to Blog), my darling, and you alone who was responsible for being able to still my spinning head and heart after our big move to the banks of the Mississippi. Fear not – I remember. And, just like my mom did, I’m saving my favorite other thing for the summers now that my school years are locked and loaded. Her favorite other thing was her garden. Art of course was her favorite thing.

8

Now that the moving truck dust has settled, I am clear that learning is my favorite thing.

grad

And, like my father – solitude is what keeps me sane. So – I’d like to R.S.V.P. a date with you for approximately whenever school is out and before we start our summer of many travels….

It will only be a few weeks for us to enjoy the silence and stillness, but I promise to do my best to listen to you and make the right call.

Rosie Red card

 

Sincerely,

Your friend,

Kate

Ma’am, would you like your cake first?

Well.

What I wish is that this morning I could have some¬†time and energy, and focus to write “a bit”¬†about the terrorism that has swept my nation right before starting the school year.

I’m not so sure how much energy I have to help “us” process how, or why, or when, or where to take a knee on the terrorism part.

I’m a pretty big fan of theaters and houses of worship. (Looks at calendar¬†on wall). Yup. Pushing 50 years of both types of buildings¬†being my safest, bestest¬†spots on earth¬†other than a nice little tree stand to sit and day-dream¬†for a minute before misplacing my planner again.

Not good timing in this family as our calendars¬†rotate by way of the school¬†year by trade and young’ins.

Nor as the daughter of the best actor on earth, or friend of the hippies that really did start Saturday Night Live.

But, I’m digressing again, and won’t¬†go there yet other than to share that Mr. Coop and I fell into a date last night by default of kids being too busy to eat with the rents and we had a couple of seconds to take a deep breath over schmanzy heated salad dressing.

And, I’ll admit that I wasn’t much of a date other than I am certain I brushed my teeth before we left.

My mindset for the first, at least, quarter of our yummy meal, or maybe half, was the big deal I made with the waitress that dessert needs to be ordered first.

She actually came back to the table and said, :

“Ma’am, would you like your cake first?”

because I was being so complicated with my food order.

Okay. Truth told, I managed to pull out my theater background and make the entire evening about that chocolate heath melted surprise. But, Professor Cooper was a sport and yes, I got my cake and ate it too.

School readyness¬†thinking on my part a few weeks ago was along the lines of the kool-aid mom thing going on in our new ‘hood. This is fun, worry about the pencil box later.

After baseball was over for our youngest he figured out that much of the team is within a block or three reach of our door. He’s extroverted. I’m not. I get that.

I didn’t think he could surpass his oldest brother with¬†extraversion, but he has in a certain cute way that involves fifth graders in and out of the door for most of July. I picked up on complicated baseball conversation that involves something about Omar from Chi-town and dancing in the rain at the Big Red Machine Stadium vs. Babe Ruth and did the Great¬†Bambino¬†use to stuff their gloves with sawdust or not?

These, thank GOD are still at the top of the minds of some of the littlish people who crossed the door this summer.

These, I think, I know, are very good worries for a guy to have.

Fast track to a few days ago realizing that my favorite son of the week, the track star who I forgot to sign up for ACT’s who really does want me to remember to buy him a birthday cake this year for his birthday, zzzzpt…fast track to the one who is my favorite at Christmas who has decided to rock the work¬†world in Ohio for us and made me take a nap in his apartment this summer on his couch….pppsssszzzzdddt. He’s the one that I can’t remember if I dreamed about mailing a birthday cake to last December or not. It was an odd winter on that front.

Sons. Hmm. Overwhelming? Yeah.

Are they doing okay? Yup. Check. Not bad at all really.

I could scroll the play list for you to my father moving, my brother and I helping him do that while balancing moving our adult kids into the universe, another niece getting married and one starting kindergarten and,

yeah.

I guess insomnia does have some logic of late.

And.

Thankfully, I had a moment to take a knee by way of scoring the two photos in this article from Facebook. The cute daisy from a bestest college friend who knows I don’t sleep, and the other of my father’s favorite students of the ’70’s.

It will all be okay.

John Fugiel Improv Troop, circa '70's

John Fugiel Improv Troop, circa ’70’s

(Updated Post) One Word, One Photo: Hope

July 9, 2013

I originally found this old photo for the WordPress Photo Challenge theme: “hope.”

When I published it in the winter of 2012, these two sons would have been in the fourth and tenth grades. It was also our first winter living away from their older brother, and our first winter living away from our country home in southern Ohio.

(check out this Homer Baily photo about last week’s no-hitter: http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/photos/_/id/28668/photoId/3075336/homer-bailey)

I’d have to consult their dad about when that hotel window snapshot was taken, because sizes are deceiving¬†in that photo. Our youngest son was a giant as a toddler and preschooler. Yet, I don’t remember pullups on that trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so he must be somewhere around four years old.

This memory jog also helps explain why the other handsome guy in the photo was the one of my three boys to have the best time on that trip. He wasn’t a pesky preschooler melting down in the gift shop, nor did he have the world of worry that was distracting his early adolescent brother in between being amazed by various music legends.

If I spend too much time thinking about all of this…I may become a little bit sad.

Our youngest starts Junior High School in early August, and it is a matter of months before the current sparks of little boy perspective will no longer be front and center in our home.

Thankfully, our youngest is very extroverted. Shockingly private already, but very extroverted none the less. This results in constant dirt as the front door seems to revolve, but having frequent guests makes it fairly easy to get the local preteen scoop from various angles.

So, I predict that if we are sensitive enough, and the normal amount of more often not all all swag (aka:insensitive), it will all even out and we will keep having glimpses into the reality that we still are raising one boy and two men. For a few more years anyway.

I’m not sure why, but this little reflection excercise is not resulting in a sad moment at all. I guess it’s the assigned photo challenge word from a couple of years ago…

Ha! look at what popped up first on my “Good Reads” quote search:

‚ÄúDon’t cry because it’s over,

smile because it happened.‚ÄĚ

 

the-Muppets-movie-posters-the-muppets-26849004-75-120 Miss-Piggy-the-muppets-34940648-100-100 Electric-mayhem-the-muppets- fan pop 120-96

(Muppet images from Fan Pop)


‚Äē Dr. Seuss

Better stop typing while I’m ahead. Have a good day ~ Kate