Monday, April 20, 2020

#MicroblogMondays: Odds & ends

  • Canadians are heartbroken today after the worst mass shooting in our country's history yesterday in Nova Scotia:  at least 16 people dead, with the numbers still rising (I've heard possibly as many as 22). I have a longtime online friend in Truro, which was right in the middle of all the action, who says she knows many of the victims, or has friends who know them. The gunman had apparently been obsessed with police culture since he was a teenager:  he was a denturist, but was dressed as an RCMP officer, driving a car he'd fixed up to look like a police car (indicating there was at least some element of planning involved).  The victims are still being identified, but I have read some Twitter posts indicating that the gunman's ex-wife and her current partner were among them (are you surprised?). :(   
    • I have been to Nova Scotia twice (and hope to return soon!), and would recommend it to anyone. It is stunningly beautiful, and the people's reputation for friendliness and hospitality is totally deserved. Things like this simply do not happen there. 
    • Of course, because of COVID-19 restrictions, funerals will be kept very small. People will not be able to come together to mourn and comfort each other, as they usually would. This will add to the pain & grief they are feeling. :(  
    • (And on that note....) 
  • SIL's father died early last Tuesday morning. :(  He was 90, diagnosed with dementia a few months ago and went into a care home in mid-March, just as the pandemic began unfolding. Of course, visits were restricted, and he went downhill quite rapidly.  His death was unrelated to COVID, but because of the COVID restrictions, his funeral was limited to just the immediate family for interment at the cemetery (10 people max). No mass, but a priest was there to say prayers. I'm so sad that I can't even give SIL a hug. :(  Her mother died five years ago, and a lot of people weren't able to attend HER visitation or funeral either because of bad weather (a blizzard). COVID, you suck. :( 
  • My sister & I are both pissed off at our own parents right now (ages 79 & 80, both with some underlying health issues):  they live in a small rural community, which I suppose makes them feel more insulated from what's going on -- but there ARE COVID cases in the vicinity. And while they've been doing some of the right things, every now & then, they do stuff (or want to do stuff) that makes me want to pull my hair out. (Previous example here.) 
    • Most recent case in point: my mother actually had her cleaning lady come over this past week to do her regular dusting & vacuuming!! Both my sister & I called to say "WTF??!"  (not in so many words, lol -- maybe we should have...!) She said, "Oh, I trust her, she's been coming here 16 years!"  The cleaning lady is a very nice woman (I've met her)... BUT... nice does not mean she's not carrying the virus. How many other people's homes has she visited lately (& shouldn't she have suspended her business right now anyway?)??  
    • Mom also told me, "If my hairdresser said she would do my hair right now, I'd be over there in five minutes."  (Heaven grant me patience...) 
    • And then she & dad wonder why my sister hasn't come out from the city to visit them (and help out with various projects around the house & yard) since this all began??  My sister is still going downtown to work every day -- her job cannot be done remotely -- and while she is now driving instead of taking public transit as she usually does, and while she is not in a customer-facing job, she is still exposed to people every day, and does not want to pass anything on -- to or from Mom & Dad. ARGH. 
  • Little Great-Nephew turned 5 months last week. He took his first selfie with his mom's phone too, lol -- she found a surprise on her camera roll!  (Quote from dh while looking at it on Instagram: "I hate this f***ing virus so much....") 
  • Two more video chats this week, both on Zoom. (One started on Messenger, but it only accommodates 8 people at once, so we switched over to Zoom.)  One was organized by my cousin's wife as a surprise for his birthday, and included my aunt (his mom), his brother & several of our other cousins, as well as a few of his friends. The other included 12 other loss moms from a private Facebook group I've been part of for several years. (Most if not all of them are former bloggers.)  I find video chats kind of exhausting to follow sometimes -- my eyes darting as different people talk, not to mention feeling self-conscious about how I look onscreen...! -- but still fun!  
  • If you're a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery's books, and also on Facebook, this might interest you:  a few days ago, I stumbled onto a Facebook group yesterday that's doing a chapter-by-chapter readathon of "Rilla of Ingleside," which is one of my very favourite LMM books (about Anne of Green Gables's youngest daughter, Rilla, whose teenage years coincide with the First World War). It's being led by Benjamin Lefebvre & Andrea Mackenzie, who produced a new, unabridged, fully restored version of the book a few years back. Tons of posts providing rich context about Montgomery's life & work, the war, literary allusions, social customs of the time, etc. After my group membership was approved, I spent an entire morning & afternoon reading through ALL the posts & comments. They started with Chapter 1 on March 30th & are currently on Chapter 9, so if you're a fan of "Rilla," it's not too late to catch up & enjoy the rest of the discussion to come!  
  • Three cheers for "COVID & Childfree Does Not Mean Stress-Free," a guest post by Brit McGinnis on Both Laura & Brit are childFREE vs childless-not-by-choice, but I daresay there is much there that you will relate to, if you don't have kids for whatever reason. 
(I guess this wasn't much of a "micro" post... but it's what I've got!) 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here. 


  1. I immediately thought of you when I heard of the shooting in Nova Scotia. I'm so very sorry.

    I'm also sorry for your SIL's loss. Was she able to visit her father at all before he died?

    Your parents do sound annoying! In the nicest possible way, of course. lol It would have been illegal here for your mother's cleaner to have visited. And your sister is doing the right thing by your parents. Good for her. Interesting that she still has to go into work. Are most workplaces in Canada still operating, or does she work in an essential service? (All workplaces here have been closed except very tightly defined essential services - they will mostly reopen next week, except for retail, bars and restaurants.)

    Thanks for the link to the article. I liked this statement - " All of us are worried about our parents, loved ones, and people in general who don’t seem to care about the quarantine." Exactly.

    1. Thank you... I am watching the nightly national news broadcast right now, and it is just heartbreaking. :( 19 people dead (so far -- sadly, more likely to come...) & 16 (!!) separate crime scenes over a fairly wide area.

      The staff at the care home alerted SIL when they thought the end was near... she was able to spend some time with him on Monday night (only one person allowed), but was not there when he passed.

      I am not certain what the restrictions are in my home province, but it's very likely the cleaner was operating illegally there too. Most workplaces here are closed, and there's a list of essential services, which has been tightened up over time (e.g., initially, construction sites were allowed to remain open, but now most have been shut down... hardware stores like Home Depot were open at first, but now can only offer online orders & pickups). Supermarkets & pharmacies are still open, restaurants can offer takeout or delivery only. My sister works in commercial lending administration at a credit union in the city (financial services = essential -- although some bank branches have been closed in areas where others nearby remain open). She doesn't have offsite access to the systems she needs to do her job, and they have been swamped with applications for loans through a new COVID-related government relief program. So, she's still working!

  2. Thank you for the information about the Rilla of Ingleside readathon - I joined the group right after reading your post yesterday :) Many greetings from Germany, Annette

  3. Rilla of Ingleside was so startlingly different from the rest of the Anne books - which makes sense when you look at the publication date. The experience of the First World War must have been so utterly searing, both in Europe and on the home front, and it shows in the writing, the way the news of the war permeates every page. I wonder if there will be fiction, YA or otherwise, written in the next few years that will show a similar mark from COVID.

    1. No doubt there will be! (I hope so!)

      If you read Montgomery's journals, "Rilla" obviously reflects her own experiences during the war. It's one of the very few/only books of the era about the home front in Canada, from the female perspective, written by a woman.

  4. So many scary headlines these days! And, yes, I hear you on the strange invincibility of the older generation. Mind boggling in so many ways! I look forward to catching up on all the latest blog news.
    Sorry for being so absent. I've had more than a few blog/IT related headaches the past month moving 12+ years of blog posts/comments to a new and reliable server. I hope now that that excruciating administrative work is complete, I can actually focus again on blog writing and reading. I've missed being able to use my computer time with online friends and our blog community rather than troubleshooting arcane server coding.

    1. So great to hear from you, Pamela! :) Welcome back!

  5. I am so sorry for the loss of your SIL's father. And that she's been robbed of a large family gathering for the funeral for both parents. I saw that Nova Scotia shooting, and all I can say is WOW. So awful. And so many losses that can't be mourned at a typical funeral. I'm with your dh, I f&*&^*^&ing hate this virus, too. And your parents -- ARGH! Mine are being a little better lately. We are now having protests starting Monday in our area from the people who are, uh, PROTESTING A VIRUS and saying that their freedoms are being squashed for no reason. Which is crazypants. Yeah, I find those zoom/online calls with lots of people exhausting too, and I do them multiple times a day for school, and some days I make myself look presentable and some days I decide I'll just scare myself when I see my ponytail/no makeup/dark circled eyes look in a window. :) Weird world, that is. Take care and stay safe! I hope your parents see reason soon.

  6. So sad that Canada now has this type of shooting. In was comforting to think of Canada as a safe haven.