Musings on an evening where I pushed the monitor button to record the moment
Saturday October 16th 2021, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

There was an article on Graves disease in the Washington Post today. I found it very timely, because that diagnosis is in my chart but nobody’s ever told me much about it beyond the word itself. One endocrinologist retired after ordering the antibody tests, one went on maternity leave, one filled in temporarily, and I haven’t gotten back there in so long–covid being most of that time–that it kind of dropped through the cracks because I simply didn’t need to go in.

My autoantibodies for both hyper and hypo thyroidism generally duke it out pretty much to a standstill.

But it would explain some of this stuff, including the almost two pounds lost these past two weeks. And here I was thinking juggling yarn balls all day long was proving a surprisingly good if implausible diet.

If it is the Graves, it would be quite treatable.

A text came in as I was typing this: I just promised the friends who stopped by last night that I would call them if we need any help whatsoever. She’s young, but she’s had heart experience, successfully treated and fine now. Some people are just easy to turn to anyway, and then you learn more and more why.

*To clarify: the heart monitor’s recording for two weeks straight. They want me to push the button to footmark my notes on it.



A good way to spend a day
Friday October 15th 2021, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Knitting a Gift

Twenty-one rows and the start of the third set of branches, a trip to Andy’s Orchard where I got some of the last of the fresh figs of the season–SO good–and some dried Blenheim apricot slabs for my mom, and a visit this evening by friends bearing homemade goodies.

I went outside and cut a pomegranate off my tree and told them to come back for more later–they’re good now, but they’ll keep ripening and get even better.

I sent them home with a bunch of those figs, too, because they love them as much as I do and there were so many in that box and it would be criminal to have them not be enjoyed at their newest and best.

Meantime, I’m hoping the (already stratified) cherry seeds sprout that their son decided needed saving for me because the cherries I gave them from Andy’s were so good a few months ago. They haven’t yet. They’re in nature’s time zone. I’ll just have to wait.



Aftobering
Saturday October 09th 2021, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

(I took a picture… Will add when it complies.)

I measured how many inches I’d gotten out of the skein I was just finishing up, counted what I had, considered same dye lots vs changing in the middle even when it’s undyed, took a deep breath, remembered Dad’s sweater where my mom ran out near the end when I was a kid, and ordered–

–a whole bag of natural Mecha for the coming background sky to be absolutely sure. Ten skeins, with a small prayer upward of, help me be able to finish this after all this, could you/would You? I’d be much obliged. You know I want to get this to Kat and I apologize for all the time I spent not working on this for Kat and letting the intensity of the project get the better of me but I’m definitely working on it now. For Kat.

Not to mention, but it would be so cool to finish this whole huge project for Aftober: my friend Afton’s tradition of taking something that’s been bugging you because it’s not finished and sitting down and finishing it before the end of this month.

Twenty-two days to knit fifty more inches of intarsia afghan because I like them long. The gauge is larger and the design less involved than the fish afghan that took me six months.

I’m nuts, but I’m going to try.

I reserve the right to knit a small squirrel separately afterwards in finer yarns and tack it on and still say I was done in time if I get to cast off on the blanket.

After all that worry that I’d somehow do it all wrong I really, really like how it’s starting to turn out.



Happy Birthday, Anne!
Tuesday October 05th 2021, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

Early last year, I picked out a mug online from Mel and Kris Kunihiro and rather than having them bother with shipping it to me from Oregon I told them I’d pick it up at Stitches West, since we were going to see each other there shortly anyway.

That was the Stitches that I ended up missing because I had, as my doctor told me later, a clear-cut case of covid. (No tests at the time for blue states, as Californians well remember.) I could have turned that big knitters’ convention into a super spreader event all by myself had it been held a few days earlier, before I knew I was coming down so sick.

So. Anne admired and even owned some of Mel and Kris’s pottery and she volunteered to pick it up from them there and drop it off at my house. It meant a great deal to me that she was going so far out of her way to make life a lot easier for everybody.

And that’s what started it all. We’ve known each other for years as passing friends at the yarn store, but she set the stage for a far deeper connection than that.

All these many months where, like most of us, I saw only a very few people in real life at great intervals, it seemed like whenever I most needed it to save my sanity one of them, standing outside, masked and at a distance, was Anne, totally putting up with my deafness that the masks make worse. Popping by to say hi after fair warning to make sure I’d be there. (Like we were going anywhere. Like anyone was.)

Two? Three? years ago? Before we had any idea what was about to hit us all, she gave me a box of yarns that she wasn’t ever going to knit, no matter how pretty they were–and told me not to knit her a cowl or hat.

Totally on to me. Busted.

And yet…things change.

I’m both excited for her and more than a bit devastated for me that she and her husband are moving to Portland in, unfathomably, two weeks. I’ve been covering that up to myself by looking at houses, sending her links, going, Isn’t this one so cool! Or, Can you even/what were they thinking/can you believe nine bedrooms/2 baths seven fridges taking up what was left of what used to be a living room, extension cords everywhere, with a trapdoor in the closet to a gun safe/wine stash in the otherwise nonexistent basement. A frat house maybe?

When she commented on this cowl picture I posted a month ago I suddenly knew why I’d bought that color combination that was a bit too yellow for me. At the last Stitches I’d gone to, from the Yarn Truck parked inside at the edge of the convention center floor.

If only she’d let me.

So I asked.

And she admitted that she had been hoping that, before she leaves, I would knit her something.

She stopped by today. I pulled out a bag of finished projects: purple wool, blue baby alpaca, ecru cashmere, the finished wool cowl she’d admired, and one in a similar colorway but with more blues and almost no yellows.

She went straight for this one. Still her favorite. “I like the yellows,” holding it up under her chin for me so I could see for myself that she was right, that was the one. She asked me the yarn and I didn’t remember, so it’s a good thing I wrote it down while I still had the label at hand. Yarnloveyarn.com’s Magic Forest.

It had been for her from its beginning and had been waiting for the two of us to figure it out.



To life!
Wednesday September 29th 2021, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Life

After a week of watching that last fig slowly, slowly gain color and ripen as the leaves started to curl and turn yellow with the summer ending, Monday I finally got to eat it, wistful that that was going to be it for the year. You wait so long. They’re so good. And then they’re over so fast. (Usually, those Black Jacks are so big that I split them in half and share but this time he went, No, you love those, you have it.)

Yesterday evening I went outside and there, top and center and very obvious on my not-big tree was another last fig. I did quite the doubletake. It’s not like I hadn’t looked before, and now it was copying last week’s surprise peach! All I can figure is that it had had a leaf curled around it hiding it that had blown away. I knew there had been a fig there but I’d thought it long gone. How had the squirrels missed this?

Anyway, it was delicious, and I looked around the garden with a grin thinking, Okay, what’s next, guys? I mean what, an October cherry?

I kid myself.

And then.

Several months ago I gave one of my Anya seedlings to a friend who lives in a hotter area nearer Sacramento, and last night she regretfully told me her baby apricot had not survived the summer heat there.

I had one that I’d tested a self-watering system on before we flew off to see grandkids for the Fourth of July, only, the setup was in place on a day that hit 100F. It was a water bottle screwed into an absorbent clay piece going into the soil near the roots–which sounded great, but it appears I, um, cooked them. That bottle got hot! The seedling dropped every leaf and the top turned black and I was glad I’d only tried it out on one of them.

Every now and then I zapped a bit of water its way with the hose out of sheer stubborn unwillingness to allow it to be dead. For three months. Nada.

A few days ago I was thrilled to finally get to wear a sweater again. Well, so much for autumn no matter what the fig tree or my sweaters may think because today we started a new heat wave. Again.

And…

…Look who showed up for the party. The top is still just as dead as it ever was, but every node where there had been a leaf is now sprouting the beginnings of a whole new branch. Overnight.

I sent that photo to my friend, hoping she hadn’t tossed hers?

She had not. She was thrilled. We are hopeful.

I have no idea if I can get mine to stay leafed out all winter? If I keep it right up against the house? Except that the contractors finally gave me dates and they want everything away from the house that can be moved and it’ll be about Halloween when they’re done.

We’ll just have to find out. Onward to next spring!

 



Nina
Tuesday September 28th 2021, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Friends,Lupus

Hadn’t heard from a friend in awhile so I sent her an email asking how she was doing and how her mom was, her mom being in her 90s.

She didn’t answer the email: instead, she and her husband, dear and longtime friends of ours, showed up on our doorstep to return a purple melamine plate by way of an excuse to catch up in person a bit, late enough in the day that she knew I could visit outside so as not to have to worry about Delta. Masks all around.

The kicker is that I’d never seen that plate in my life and had no idea whose it was–but hey, this was great, I put a few Andy’s peaches on it for them to take home. That worked!

And a great time was had by all.



Parfianka
Sunday September 26th 2021, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Garden

Every time I look at one of my pomegranates I think gratefully of Jean, whose sharing is why I had to grow some, too. She’d planted hers as a gift to the future when she was 85. She didn’t remember what variety hers was, but if I had to guess it would be the one that was the favorite of the highly-knowledgeable owners of Yamagami’s Nursery. Mine is.

I’d forgotten the paper lunch bags for people to take the splitting chunks of seeds home in while wearing their Sunday best that day. Thoughtful, and so very much something she would do. No pomegranate juice on the carpeting at church.

I keep thinking, now I just need to find me a shimmery silk/merino yarn in dk or worsted weight in exactly those shades of red because I just really like it.



Small gifts
Thursday September 23rd 2021, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Garden,Life

Wednesday is my tree watering day.

My last Indian Free peach fell into its protective clam shell about two weeks ago and I thought oh okay that one’s definitely ripe. I searched through the leaves and found no more, and figured, well, if there is one, the squirrels and jays will find it.

My routine has changed from four minutes per tree with the hose–you get deeper watering than you do with a drip system, I’m told, so I do–to three last year, to two this year plus an extra minute the next week if I see leaves going yellow, which a few have done. Maybe this winter we’ll get more rain.

It was nearly sunset by the time I got to the Indian Free, the late-season peach I’d planted so it would grow over the fence towards the neighbors where the wife has dementia to give her a place of fruit and restfulness and her husband a break. Earlier in her disease she had wished for there to be one that grew over to them so I’d bought another tree and made it happen.

Standing underneath it and looking up I couldn’t believe it. I ran inside to get my phone for the camera, came back outside, couldn’t find it–oh there it is!

I tried. I debated seeing if Richard could reach it, and then simply ran for the fruit picker.

It fell gently right into it. It was quite small, but it smelled like only a fresh-picked peach can.

Now, that particular variety isn’t supposed to get leaf curl disease but the tree nearest it did this past spring and it got a mild case, too. I had read that it not only damages the leaves, it can ruin the fruit.

Every peach from that tree but one this year, no matter how ripe it smelled or looked, was brown and starting to rot around the pit. We had our biggest, least-squirreled crop, except, we didn’t, and I was glad Andy’s farm was still here if I couldn’t enjoy my own.

So.

The day after offering Jim and his wife (not the dementia patient) peaches from Andy’s and hearing back that they had plenty, thanks, hours after the surprise at suddenly losing Jim, against all odds and long after the tree was supposedly done for the year–holding that hose and suddenly looking up, there was this one small, perfect little peach. From above and then into my surprised hands.

It felt like a gift from Jim, and I could just feel him smiling.

I want to share it with her. I’m afraid the center will be a disappointment, and I can disappoint me but I sure can’t do that to her right now.

She had told me they had enough for now. She’d had no idea what the morrow would bring.

Maybe the story will be comfort enough. Maybe I should take it to her and risk it. I just don’t know.

I put it in the fridge. It’s still there.



Jim
Wednesday September 22nd 2021, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

When we moved in with small children not yet in school, theirs were in college and graduated. We were the first young family in a generation in almost the entire square block and they delighted in being the adopted grandparents.

Saturday they and several other couples were to be honored for their longtime humanitarian works and service to the community. We’d gotten an invite a month ago–although a card came in the mail last week saying that due to Delta, it was to be held by Zoom now. I read that and thought, that’s much safer for the elderly, good call.

Habitat for Humanity, I knew about, quite a few other things they’d done I didn’t until there they were on the town paper’s front page last Friday. I quietly saved my copy for their kids.

This morning, shortly after the weekly trash and recycling crews came through, there were a fire engine and two cop cars, lights flashing, one car blocking our end of the street for quite some time.

With people working from home, the bins put out to the curb Tuesday night are usually all back out of sight at house after house by about 9:00 the next morning.

Not this time.

I think there was this shared sense of letting people be, of not intruding in their space even visually much less with the noise of moving those bins, and certainly not while those emergency vehicles were there. Absolutely nobody needs a gawker in their worst moments.

Yesterday, thinking of them and how much they’d enjoyed them in the past I emailed an offer of some peaches from Andy’s Orchard. I got back a nice, Thank you, but we have peaches.

Late this afternoon there was a second note: she needed me to know Jim had died this morning.

There was nothing for me to do, she said, just, she’d needed me to know. Loved ones were gathering, but not for the reason they’d planned.

I stepped outside to get the mail and saw their son’s car in the driveway. He must have dropped everything and booked it.

I’m so glad he’s with her.



The plane people
Sunday September 19th 2021, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Today, it turns out, was the day David was giving a talk in our ward. The mask resister guy. I got a quick heads-up early this morning and so we stayed home and watched by Zoom.

This time he was fully on board with wearing one and wearing it correctly, other than when he took it off to speak. Maybe it helped that his parents were visiting and in the audience and in their 80s, but whatever, all my hopes for him to prove to be a good man and worthy of the bishop’s longtime friendship were fully realized as he spoke. It was such a relief.

He talked about living in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy, and of the goodness of their neighbors who’d helped them out when they’d had no power for eight days and had been flooded out.

About people looking out for the kids of those who lost parents on 9/11.

My sister-in-law was a schoolteacher in that state on that day and many of her kids lost one or both. Her school was put on information lockdown from above: no TVs on, no radio, no kids were to be told anything until the end of the school day, when the ones whose parents worked at the World Trade Centers were to be gathered and told then. They were trying to give the kids one last normal school day in their lives. My SIL had issues with not informing them when they had a right to know.

I wondered if she and he knew anyone in common.

He talked about all kinds of ways people come together and how much it means and how important it is to each of us to actively be a part of that, and also to be willing to receive that goodwill and effort from each other.

He did make one mention in an aside of the pandemic’s passing (Delta? Hello?) that had me rolling my eyes: he’s still got some perseveration on his favorite blind spot, but the rest of his talk had me forgiving him and so very grateful and relieved to be able to get to see this other side of him. I’d so wanted him to be like this in the rest of his life.

And I wanted more of how that felt. So this afternoon I curled up with my newly arrived, updated copy of “The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland.” The author, Jim DeFede, interviewed the townsfolk and the passengers at length in the months after that day and then simply told their stories.

I’m hoping I’ll find an epilogue saying that that cute couple that met there among the thousands of stranded passengers got married, but we’ll see. (No spoilers!)

A book about people being their best to each other in the worst of circumstances.

That couple met because one new friend said to another woman who was the only single in their immediate group, We need to set you up with someone. She stood up, pointed to another plane person dining across the room, made lasso motions at him because she was from Texas so of course she did and told him and her new friend to introduce themselves to each other.

So of course they did. And of course yes he did turn out to be single, too.

So far it’s working out really well! Okay, back to my book.

And the young girl from the town who was staring at probably the only black woman she’d ever seen in her life, to the woman’s serious discomfort. The girl’s mom told her to go ahead, so she did: she went up to the woman and blew her away by asking in great hope, Can I have your autograph?

Making her feel like she was the most special person in the room and looked up to rather than the so out of place foreigner she’d been feeling like up to that second.

So many people who went so out of their way for complete strangers–that’s a very healing book. Thank you, Canada. I highly recommend it.



Maxwell’s smart
Monday September 13th 2021, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Garden

Note to self: Saturday is when I planted the four Rainier cherry pits a friend’s kid had saved for me because they were so good, along with two of my five Anya kernels. Yes that’s out of season, but they had chilled long enough to stratify and I think I needed to make a declaration of hope towards the future against the twentieth anniversary of 9/11–and I so want to be able to give that twelve-year-old a cherry seedling of his own in thanks for his wishing I could have cherries that good all the time.

There’s also a possibility that his family will move away in the next year, so I knew I needed to hurry. They’re the ones who polished off my favorite apricots at my request because we were leaving town to see grandkids for the week, and they saved the kernels so I could plant some more.

But those cherries from Andy’s farm! He had to save their pits for me, too, even if his mom wasn’t so sure–and so it was just the four.

Coming winter light levels are why I only experimented with two apricots to see if I could get a jump in growth on next year, but the cherries? Every one.

I have this secret ingredient for after the Root Riot plugs help them sprout…

I mentioned to Michelle that the Anya apricot grown in lobster compost from Maine totally skunked the other seedlings in height and growth after I’d tried different soil types. Five and a half inches (oh but it tried), 24″, and then 43″ for the Maine event. Such a stunning result.

My child for whom evolutionary biology was her favorite undergrad class cocked her head a bit, looked me in the eye, and cracked, I *assure* you they did not evolve in the same environment! (Wikipedia link to the Fergana Valley along the Silk Road.)

Well, no. But it just goes to prove that everything goes better when you’re serving lobster. The stone fruits are just the cherries on top.



Just the right colors
Sunday September 12th 2021, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

The teacher in Relief Society asked, How has some small act of kindness made a difference to you?

Heather raised her hand and said, When we were changing the ward boundaries, it was a two year process and there was a lot of feedback and pushback from people who didn’t want any changes, because who does. But it had to happen.

I nodded, remembering that time a few years ago: one ward using the building had had a lot of people move out and was sparsely populated. The other one, situated where the housing was cheaper (that would be ours) had way more people than could fit in there comfortably and they just plain needed to be balanced out, along with the others in the stake. I didn’t know that she had been one of the ones having to deal with it. All I knew about her was that I’d once asked her after a biannual stake meeting where she’d been one of the speakers if by wild chance with that unusual last name she was related to one of my husband’s old college professors.

She was stunned. She was thrilled. She sought him out, badly needing to talk to him: her dad had been diagnosed with cancer two years after we’d moved away and had died of it fairly quickly, and since she’d moved to California and that had been something like thirty years now, she needed to know someone here who had known him, someone she could talk to about her father. She missed him so much. It was a great comfort to her, and I can’t tell you how glad I was that I’d asked.

Richard had had no idea his memorable old professor was gone.

So here we are a few years later and she blew me away by saying, And I was one of the people who had to do that change to a new-to-me ward. And I wasn’t sure how (basically, how she would be received.)

And then here comes Alison on my very first day here and she’s giving me a hand knit cowl to welcome me. (Me, thinking: I did? Yeah, sounds like me.) Heather described the multiple colors and how much they were her favorites, and at that point I remembered thinking that this matches what she’s wearing–it’s definitely for her.

Heather: And she knit a scarf for every woman in the ward!

I was suddenly doing a little bit of a cringe there, because well yes I did but it took me almost two years and then so many new people moved in at the end of one summer–it’s a college town, after all–that, being in the middle of a baby blanket project and then another, I felt like I could never catch up and gave it up. Plus by that point I was so, so bored of making cowls.

My wanting to is starting to come back to me now, though, and I think it was seeing the one in my hands and needles before the meeting started that sparked her memory of that winter-friendly warmth on this hot day.

She showed me a picture of the baby hat she’s knitting for one of her colleagues who’s expecting and a sweater she’s looking forward to finishing before the weather turns.

She’s one of ours. But then I found that out the day I gave her her cowl.



Lopard print
Tuesday September 07th 2021, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Friends,History

It’s a weird day when you lose a battle of strength with an iris leaf.

I have special skills like that.

I was walking away from the apple tree and didn’t realize fast enough that I’d caught my foot at the edge of the iris patch and that an unknown number of leaves–possibly even just one–had wrapped around my ankle and it was not giving way, no sir.

My brain flashed the warning from my doctor: hand bones heal faster than hips. I stopped trying to twist around to see what that was that was doing that and put my hands out front and center as I fell.

So as I try to ice all the everythings, with my brain acting a little sleepy and me telling it shut up and quit complaining that was nothing and you know it brain, let me just type real fast what a friend with an interest in linguistics made me laugh over: in the 16th century, Meg says, everybody in Europe knew what a giraffe was. France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, they all had close to the same word for it, essentially the Arabic word with the z changed to a g plus whatever word ending suited.

Except England.

Because come on. EVERYBODY knows those are, as they spelled it, Camelopards. What else could they be?!



C’mon, guy, it’s just not this hard to understand
Sunday September 05th 2021, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

That guy again. From the stake. The one who’s been openly contemptuous of the mask requirement. The one that I have to work so hard at forgiving while he keeps on doing what he needs to be forgiven for. He always has one on now because legally he has to, not to mention the very President of the Church has said to do so as well as the County, but it doesn’t do his chin much good.

He was going to be helping the young men in our ward with the Sacrament. They wore masks and gloves and I knew would be carrying around an extra tray: each small torn piece of bread was to be distributed in its own tiny paper cup rather than piled up in a heap so that no hands touched anybody else’s; each paper cup went into the second tray when done. No mingling. Same with the water in those tiny cups. Two trays, no cross contamination. What you take, only you have touched.

Even if one visiting adult thought this was overwrought nonsense.

I said quietly to Richard before the meeting as it hit me, “It’s September! They said he was going to give a talk in September, and they were going to warn me so I could stay home and watch on Zoom.” And then it hit me further that, wait?!–it was Fast Sunday. There were no set speakers. Huh.

I am guessing he must have heard me because he yanked his mask up over his nose for the few steps that he was walking past us, eyes straight ahead. Well, I’m glad he was willing to do that, at least. There is hope yet.

And then clearly it came right back down again. The bishop, who had just sat down on the stand, stood up and hurried past us.

And texted me an apologetic note: he was surprised, too, or he would have notified me per my request. He told me he’d asked the councilman to keep his mask fully on and that he was now doing so.

I would say, having that gentle of a soul (our bishop truly is) make a request of you when you know that renowned virologist will then be able to look you in the eye throughout the meeting to come has to have been the most benign earned comeuppance ever.

Maybe he’ll learn yet.



Roberts dissented
Wednesday September 01st 2021, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Life,Politics

Texas passed the intended death of Roe v. Wade and Trump’s appointees allowed it to stand today. Meaning it is now in effect, arguments and lawsuits to come or not, and every woman there who might ever need an abortion for any reason must have it done no more than two weeks after her period is late. And if you drive her to another state for it even a day later, anyone can sue you and collect a bounty.

And then there’s Katy.

Katy is a friend of mine of 34 years whose second, much-wanted, much-anticipated pregnancy years ago turned into a molar pregnancy: meaning, it stopped developing into a baby at all and started growing wildly, randomly, and at the speed of fetal cells was rapidly turning into what was going to be a cancer taking over her body. Her blood pressure skyrocketed.

She spent sixteen days in a coma. Having been a professional flutist, she had to relearn how to play. She had to relearn a lot of things. She had a major seizure as she was finally coming to, so she spent years on seizure meds, and that medical history in this state means being unable to drive. When they finally eased her off them many years later there was a risk of sparking another grand mal. But she lucked out and she finally got to feel like herself again.

She was devastated at losing the pregnancy but the doctors told her it had no longer been one and they had had no choice but to remove it to save her life–it had been a very very near thing as it was. It was not and could not ever have become a baby.

And now under the charming Governor Abbott and his collaborators, anyone, anyone at all, would have the right to violate HIPAA over the medical history of someone they don’t even know and to collect $10,000 from Katy’s husband for driving her to the hospital to save her life. Because, technically, since that mess was in her womb that was an abortion.

Had he not, their oldest would have grown up without his mom.

Had he not, the two children who came along later, giving great comfort to both of them, would never have come to be and let me tell you, the world would have been a lesser place without those great kids and their mom.

Biology is messy. Life is imperfect. You have to allow people to make choices you disagree with–and I am no great fan of abortion, let me be clear–in order to save those choices for those who would die without the right to make them.

To the men in Texas who think requiring a face mask is a violation of one’s rights but dictating medical and lifetime outcomes to women is not, we have a Constitution that protects all religions from the adherents of any other one, and as I understand it, under Jewish law, the life and health of the mother come first. And–here I’m less sure of myself, please correct me if I’m wrong–the spirit is thought to enter the body at the first breath of life. Before that it’s just parental happy anticipation.

Texas’s law cannot stand. It must not. The only thing it accomplishes is punishing women and those who love them for the sake of the political aspirations of a few men who don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves. They are the biblical Pharisees passing by on the other side of the road from the wounded, punishing any Good Samaritan in sight.