Thoughts from Today: Handmaiden’s Tale, Tired, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, The Thirty Years War and Better Things.

 Finished Handmaid’s Tale season 1. Elizabeth Moss is a great actress – it didn’t dawn on me how much different June is than her Mad Men character until this morning, she did it so effortlessly. It is amazing how religious zealots doing “right by God” can oppress, rape and kill people so willingly. Can’t wait for season 2

 Very tired this week. Think from all the travel.

 Wife M and Daughter L made banana chocolate chip bread yesterday – I’ve had like 10 slices.

Studied The Thirty Year War: In 1618, The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II began imposing Catholicism in Central Europe, resulting in uprising and igniting a major religious war that would last until 1648. The uprisings were crushed, but ignited a greater series of conflicts that eventually involved most of the major European powers over a 30 year period. The people of Germany – where the war primarily took place — were especially devastated through looting and civilian casualties, and by the war’s end there were more than 8 million casualties, there were major shifts of power, France emerged as the new world power and the Netherlands emerged as a new world power during what would be called The Dutch Golden Age.  
Wife M and I started watching Better Things, about an actress and single mother juggling her career and 3 teen-age daughters. It is endearing and hilarious.

Daughter L’s friend is struggling at her house again.  She will likely be living with us again soon.  I love that she has a safe house to come to, and that Daughter L and Wife M welcome her.  

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Thoughts from Today: Handmaiden’s Tale, Tired, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, The Thirty Years War and Better Things.

Attended Community Lunch fundraising dinner.

Community Lunch serves 50,000 meals per year to anyone. They interviewed some of their regular patrons, but it was so loud under the freeway bridge where they lived that the interviewers had to move the interview to a new location in order to hear. One person became homeless after their husband was murdered. Another was a professional with a college degree. A third hates when people yell “get a job” because he works. A fourth talked about laughing at homeless when he was a teen, never realizing that it would be him some day. They now provide medical and dental care, too. We donated over $500 to the cause although it has been a difficult financial year for us. Next year, we’d like to give $1,000.

Attended Community Lunch fundraising dinner.

Love that Daughter L’s friend is staying with us

My daughter’s friend was miserable at home.  In recent years she’d run away from home a couple of times.  She has spent some time with our family, and think she likes spending time with us, so a couple of months ago asked my daughter if she could stay with us.  Wife M had to work it out with the parents (who are none too pleased) but L’s friend is unofficially living with us right now.  I love that she feels comfortable at our house, and that wife M has had a conversation or two with her about curfew/friends etc and she has been really respectful of that.  She is a great person, especially considering how unhappy she was, and I’m glad we have a place for her to stay.   I wish her parents were a little less threatened about it, but I also can understand their pain.  We’ve made it very clear that this is not official in any way, that she is just crashing at our house indefinitely – we don’t want anyone to feel that we are imposing our will or trying to take control and want to avoid legal battles (yikes!). We just want everyone to be happy.

PS I love that daughter L has embraced this too.  She has had to share her room and has lost some privacy, since her friend lives in her room.  But that is so important, to learn to share and that when friends are going through tough times we don’t just offer verbal support but share shelter with them.  I wish there were more of that in America — I feel so many AMericans are all alone in our culture that prizes independence to a fault. Plus I think L likes it – the two of them get along very well and seem to have a healthy blend of privacy but companionship, like close siblings.

Love that Daughter L’s friend is staying with us

If Mother Theresa is criticized, I have no hope :)

More steps were made to saint Mother Theresa today, but some folks came out to criticize some of her organizations. If Mother Theresa is open to criticism, I have no hope of impressing anyone 🙂

On a side note, the article mentions her organizatinos have been given millions of dollars per year but it has not been used to the full potential.  Uh, millions of dollars is not exactly enough to build hospitals and care for lots of impoverished people with health issues.  Billions, maybe.  But millions?  No way.

Article

If Mother Theresa is criticized, I have no hope :)

The best part about surviving a (potentially) fatal disease is not life – it’s compassion.

I did something I would have thought unthinkable to me 5 years ago – gave a hungry person two protein bars and 10 dollars…  He didn’t say thank you, but then again I didn’t do it for the thank you – I did it because he was hungry and few things are worse than hunger….  It has been nearly 5 years since I survived lung disease with a 50 percent mortality rate, and I just can’t get over that awesome feeling of compassion that that experience gave me since before my disease I would have judged (and not helped) that man.  Every day I feel grateful that for the first time in my life I understand there are people who will never be in a position to take care of themselves.  

Without having experienced the inexplicable chronic fatigue that came (and persists) with my disease, I would have never felt the warmth of compassion. How strange life is.  I was given such a wonderful thing by such an awful (and freaky) disease.

Every time I see my lung doctor (pulmonologist), I thank him for saving my life.  I should be thanking him for the gift of compassion….

The best part about surviving a (potentially) fatal disease is not life – it’s compassion.

My son tried — unsuccessfully — to give blood :)

Today my son R tried to donate blood.  No big deal — except he’s had a lifelong fear of needles.  The past few years he has tried to overcome it, so making the attempt was a big deal for him, except he was so light headed from nervousness when they went to prick him today that they turned away 🙂 I’m happy for him for trying.

The poor guy – when he was younger we’d get after him when he’d fight us over his flu shot.  Turns out that he has a legimiate fear of needles.  It is sooooo hard to be a kid – when you’re an adult, no one harrasses  you about getting your flu shot, except quite possibly a nagging spouse.  But when you’re a kid, everyone assumes it’s a matter of mind over matter and we harass the poor kid(s)…  

For me, it was polyester — I had the misfortune of growing up during a polyester era, and polyester irritates my skin.  Unfortunately, my parents assumed my discomfort was from a lack of effort, so I was forced to wear the shirts for a predetermined length of time (usually a few hours).  Ugh.  It was torture enough being seen in polyester, let alone also having a sensitivity to it 🙂  I hope there is a special place in Hades for the inventor of the polyester leisure suit.

My son tried — unsuccessfully — to give blood :)