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 🙂  ).

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

Ahh Choo! bless you Mr.President

Corrections! I was a bit over excited and published this post early this morning with a statement that Mr Marrapodi is the pastor appointed by the White House for a benediction – he is one of the journalists I read twitter linked articles about this inaugural controversy. Apologies!

Eric Marrapodi, a CNN belief writer posted this about the pastor who just pulled out of a firestorm:

Giglio represents a new type of evangelical leader who “doesn’t like to get involved in the culture war because it blurs the larger points he wants to make,” said Michael Cromartie, the vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

“What I want to remind his critics is he’s not being named to a Cabinet position,” Cromartie said. “He was being asked to deliver a prayer. All sorts of people deliver prayers who we don’t agree with on a number of issues.”

According to a flurry of twitter posts that twerped to me last night at witching hour (after school and dinner prep) , Mr. Giglio was the pastor recommended and chosen to give a benediction prayer for President Obama in a few weeks at the inauguration. As it turns out, the chosen minister has anti-gay opinions and makes it clear that he feels backed up by God on his moral stand. This is no longer true and is what the chirp fest was about on Twitter. Conversations popped up about who should give this prayer. “Who do YOU want now?” popped up and I immediately suggested a long and funky list of ministry friends and theologians I look up to from afar.

I could really go on a tangent now about how silly that statement from the White House sounds, but I’m not. Religion is not at the heart of culture wars and researching where a person stands on one of the hottest contested ethical debates of the year is not a worthy task?

At any rate. What I’m going to do is ask you to stop reading this post and go find something to drum roll on, because this flurry of online excitement has me hopeful that Mr.President might listen to my pastoral replacement ideas for this wayward bloke. And. I have settled on my decision.

I’m not joking. Get ready to pound because you might hate my choice.

Ready? Okay. Thanks for cooperating.

Wait! If you could, please hold on while I listen one more time to Eva Cassidy singing “People Get Ready.”

oh my GOODNess, yes? You sometimes get goofy happy when you listen to that song too? I knew there was a reason we were friends.

I am too excited to finish this post right now. If that song doesn’t make you want to get up and run to work I won’t hold it against you. I will gather my wits, at least some of them, and

“God willing and the creek don’t rise,” I’ll get some more time to write later today.

(p.S. please get a flu shot – it’s not too late and will likely not make you even sneeze afterwards)

Am I a Mean Mother if I Make My Son Laugh?

Ouch.

I’ve handled living far away from our oldest son quite well for the past few months. Being away from him while he has a 24 flu is tough though. So sonny boy…assuming you are back at work and toughing things out…, here are some laughs and pictures to come home to rather than a plate of comfort food.

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart I’ll always be with you.
Winnie The Pooh

Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life, and that person was you. It is not too late to become that person again.  Robert Brault

You have a cough? Go home tonight; eat a whole box of Ex-Lax – tomorrow you’ll be afraid to cough. Pearl Williams 

Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness…
Ellie Katz

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

John Wayne