Tuesday, January 24, 2017

And it's Tuesday

* Busy, and not much to show on the knitting front. I'm not quite half-done with the second sleeve of Hagrid, which is what I've mostly been working on.

* My allergies are still bad. They are acknowledging that they are bad on the news - it's the various junipers ("Mountain cedar") and also elm is getting started. (That's really early. And elm is one of the things that bugs me the most). My nose is runny and it's hard to get my eyes to focus for a bit after I get up.

Also, I've been having vivid dreams again which seem to be related to bad allergies. One I remember from last night - I had three cats, one of which was white with those grey spots, one which was a grumpy Siamese cat that wouldn't let me touch her but who would bring me her toys, and the third was a tabby (named Oliver - he was the only one who seemed to have a name) who had apparently been abused or neglected in his previous home because whenever I was around, he wanted to be right there with me - on my lap, or with my scratching his ears. No, I don't know what it meant. (I also had one of my typical, "I can't keep control of my car/I suddenly can't see to drive" dreams)

They say people who are more easily awakened tend to remember more dreams and I wonder if histamine has something to do with it for me - it is involved with alertness, which is why so many antihistamines make people sleepy.

* Here's a nice story about photographs of people reading around the world (I assume most of those are staged, but they show a lot of places where people in difficult circumstances reading). Then again, that may relate to the idea from When Books Went to War and also things I've read about kids in rural African villages walking out to the lone streetlight in town in the evening so they have light to read, since their family doesn't have electricity.

My favorite of those photos is the woman and her grandson outside a temple in Sri Lanka.

* I've mentioned that crime seems to be going up locally. I don't know if it's economic desperation, or drugs, or people just somehow giving up on being human. (there's some guy roaming around Pottsboro with a gun; he apparently shot at the woman he hitchhiked (?) with after she dropped him off).

But there's also sort of stupid crime, where no one really gets hurt, and maybe you can laugh a little.

An older man in the area owned a vintage 1974 Beetle - bright orange. (The car, from its photos, looked very well kept up). He drove it to the store one day, where it was stolen. (Were Beetles of that vintage manual or automatic transmission? I know a few people who have manual transmission cars on the hypothesis that an increasing number of people do not know how to drive them, and therefore they would be harder to steal).

But anyway: Bright orange 1974 Beetle.

It showed up later outside a guy's house in the area. Someone reported it to the cops, the car was recovered, the crooks taken into custody (partly because the store it was stolen from had surveillance cameras). But yeah. Stealing such a distinctive car and then parking it outside your house - well, here's your sign, as they say.

And the owner got his car back the same day.

* I'm still thinking about some things the pastor talked about on Sunday. This is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which I think rather few Protestant churches in this nation recognize. (I may be odd in that I like things like that; I like the idea of World Communion Sunday and the like, the idea that most congregations of the world are all doing something simultaneously). He mentioned that every year a different nation is asked to come up with the materials (the prayer he offered at the pastoral prayer time was a translation of a prayer given for this year).

This year, he said, it was Protestants and Catholics in Germany who were asked to come up with the materials. This is because it's the 500th anniversary of Luther's 95 Theses that helped get the Protestant ball rolling. And he referenced the idea that wars (The Hundred Years' War, I think?)

(ETA: No. "Thirty Year's War" is one of them. Hundred Years' War was different. I don't know my European history like I should)

developed over the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in that country. (IIRC, the South tended to be more Catholic; the North tended to be more Protestant). He also referenced the idea that in the days after the Reformation started, lots of people moved around Europe to try to find a country where the "state religion" was the one they practiced. (I suspect my Walloon ancestor was one of those, based on a little bit I've read from her (translated) letters). (But of course, some groups - Methodists and Quakers - didn't get a country, and that's partly what led some of the migration to what is now the US).

But anyway. If I'm not totally forgetting my history, Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic church for his questioning, and there were a lot of times where Catholics and Protestants would not have anything to do with each other - they were not permitted, by their respective religious authorities, to worship or pray together. That's recently been changed. (And of course there's a sad history in some parts of the US of mistrust of Catholics by Protestants - I have even heard a little of that since moving down here).

So anyway: it's kind of a big thing that the two groups worked together on this, given their past history.

It gives me a little hope, the whole idea that people overcoming their differences, dropping the more offensive-to-the-other-group things, and being able to work together. That they realized what they shared was more important than how they differed.

* And another, much sillier idea of forgiveness? Steve Harvey is getting to host Miss Universe again this year (Last year, famously, he made a flub naming the wrong woman Miss Universe, and she had to have the crown pulled off her head and everything)

* Huh, scarlet fever has shown up at a local school and a big deal is being made of it. Is it a reportable disease? I have some memories of having scarlet fever myself as a third-grader (I think I've written about it before; there was the unfortunate consequence of my having read a book about Laura Bridgman, the first blind and deaf woman to be educated - the general belief is that she had scarlet fever* and lost her hearing and sight as a sequelae to it. So my thought, as my mom diagnosed me - based on my rash - and made an appointment with the pediatrician is "This is it, I'll lose my sight and hearing and have to go away to a special school and feel isolated in darkness and silence for the rest of my life." Eventually the doctor figured out something else was bothering me, and he asked me, and when I explained, he said those things didn't really happen any more because antibiotics....And of course, those bad after effects were rare even before antibiotics; most kids who got scarlet fever recovered with no lasting issues, though the risk of things like damage to the optic nerve and rheumatic fever are enough that antibiotics are a good idea these days).

I wonder now if the pediatrician had to report it to some board of health or something. Or if it's become even rarer in the 40 years since, so it's a bigger deal now? (My case sure didn't make the local news, I know that).

(*It's now thought that the "scarlet fever" that stole Mary Ingalls' sight was actually a form of meningitis)

1 comment:

CGHill said...

The Type 1, the original Beetle, never did have an automatic as we know it; there were a couple of uncommon variants that lacked a clutch pedal, but you still had to work a stick. (A '74 might have had the Autostick system.)