Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Rambles

::Weekly Rambles::

What’s really on my mind and heart?
The suffering that goes on around the world---in Iraq, in Israel, in Ferguson, and just in everyday lives where people are suffering from various illnesses. What's my response to that supposed to be?

What am I thankful for?
So many blessings---too many to count, though I try. This week, I'm thankful for a long weekend, and a kid who comes home from college for a short visit.

What’s going on in school?
You guys, officially our Causevox fundraiser for our new school building ended yesterday, and there is exciting news on the site today! Please go look, and if you haven't given, won't you please consider a small donation? Every bit makes a difference.

What’s cooking?
Pulled pork roasted all night in the oven. This is like the easiest dish ever, and everyone in the family loves it. And the leftovers.....we're happy for days around here. I use Tyler Florence's bbq sauce recipe, but we just coat the Boston butt in sea salt before roasting. I'm sure a rub would be better, but we have 0 complaints about this way!

What’s on the needles?
A ginormous cowl, or infinity scarf. I made one for a friend, upon request, and now I'm making another. On size 50 needles it doesn't take long!

Still working on Clapo-ktus....well into the decreasing now, so every row is faster. I can't wait to finish it and wear it---even though it may be too warm for that for a long while!

What’s special about this week?
Busy with AHG! We had a new parent meeting last week with lots of registrations to process (and that means checks to deposit for this new Treasurer!), and we have a special meeting for Leaders this week with all the girls coming next week. 

What am I reading?
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. I have to remember to read it in his "voice" if you know what I mean, otherwise it isn't funny. :-)

The Beauty of Broken by Elisa Morgan, recommended by one of my good friends. It's about how no one has a perfect life; we all have baggage and issues that prevent us from fully living out God's plan. I think. I'm not that far into it, and I had terrible dreams the other night was awful...and about brokenness....I think I'll read this book during the day and not just before bed. 

What am I praying about?
All of those things listed above, family, and friends, and our school fundraiser.

What’s on my ipod?/
Some of my favorite podcasters have been AWOL, so I listened to a book that I really didn't care for, but the story had great potential and I wanted to see how it ended. The ending was decent, but it was still a trashy novel. 

What projects are happening at home?
One weekend I had a lot of energy and started cleaning and thinking about a yard sale, but I haven't had the time or energy since then, so the bags of Keep, Trash, or Giveaway are still in the upstairs hall waiting. I'd still like to finish cleaning the house, though, even if I don't sell the junk but donate it instead.

Maybe an Etsy shop is in the works. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

College Catholicism

This book was given out by the Catholic center when we went to orientation in July. It's a really nice prayer book! I didn't expect anything quite this nice from a university---excuse me----Institute. ;-)

Tom accidentally left it at home when we took him to college, but I'll make sure he gets it back! I used it at adoration on Wednesday and I just love it! It's a lovely little prayer book full of a wide range of useful, beautiful prayers.

I'm following the priest, on Facebook, who is assigned to the Catholic center and I'm very impressed with what I've seen. He is a blessing to this college community.

What experiences do you have with the Catholic community at universities where you attended or your children attend?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

7 Quick Takes - A Bucket List


I am excited about the ALS #icebucketchallenge and the attention that ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is getting from it. It's a stupid gimmick, but those are exactly the kinds of things that go viral in the world we live in. This is bringing attention to a horrible disease, and I hope, quite frankly, that people are actually looking it up instead of just dumping ice water on each other.


In case you're new here, or you've forgotten, my mother died from ALS 7 years ago. As much as I hate the fact that she is gone from this world and I don't get to see her or talk to her anymore, I think she was one of the "lucky ones" that her form of ALS was fast moving and she sped through all the stages in only a year. I can't imagine how hard it is on the people (and their families) who have to live with ALS for many years.

Here's a link to a heartbreaking video that shows a little of what it's like to live with and care for someone with ALS. And this young man has it himself! (Major language warning there! Don't watch this one with your kids!)


I'm moderately excited about the more than $20,000,000 (that's 20 MILLION!) that have been donated in just a few weeks. At first, as I was watching all these videos on FB, I was under the impression that everyone was just dumping the ice water and not giving, but I was very wrong! ALSA has raised $53 million since July 29, 2014, compared with $64 million in all of 2013. Other research institutes are also benefitting from the ALS ice bucket challenge---like the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. I've given to the ALSA before without thinking about whether or not I find their research ethical. Now, having looked at the graph of where their money goes, I think there might be better options out there. In my opinion, not enough of those funds go to research, regardless of whether it's ethical or not, and even less goes to support the families living the ALS nightmare. But hey! JP2MRI will direct your funds to ALS research if that's what you want!

UPDATE: I guess I wasn't very clear about the issues Catholics face with donations that fund embryonic stem cell research, which is why one would choose to give to the JP2MRI, but my sister pointed out the ALSA position on stem cell research which isn't as bad as I thought. I believe Catholics can donate to them in good conscience and even note where they would like their donation to be spent. Personally, I'd still like to see a higher percentage of funds being spent on research and patient support.


The Kimberly Kim Foundation is one option for helping those families. 

Although the Emory ALS Center was the initial beneficiary of funds raised, the Kim family quickly discovered how much families living with ALS need financial assistance. Home modifications, wheelchairs, handicap vehicles, and communication devices are but a few of the expenses families face. While insurance provides some help, a large portion is not covered; the financial burden over the years of living with the disease is enormous. The foundation will search for ways to ease this burden. Families living with ALS have enough challenges to face.

A cure would be awesome, so would some kind of treatment, but for those who may not see either of those things happen in their lifetime, the support of local organizations or ALSA chapters in providing all those things listed above is invaluable.


Do you know someone with ALS? Supporting those families might be one of the hardest things you ever do, but your help will be greatly appreciated.
  1. Meals for the family. 
  2. Babysitting while the ALS patient goes to the doctor. 
  3. Housecleaning. 
  4. Sit with the ALS patient while the caregiver gets out for a much-needed break. It might be a little daunting, but the person you knew is still inside that malfunctioning body! 
  5. Visit with the ALS patient even while the caregiver is home. Make them laugh. Talk. Read aloud.
  6. Offer to help and keep coming back. It just gets harder and harder for the family, and the support system gets smaller and smaller.


My baby participated in the challenge today after being nominated by her cousin.  video


I hate this disease. A lot of people hate cancer, but at least they have an arsenal of drugs to fight with. ALS has nothing. Just time---will it be fast or slow? Who knows, but it will be a death sentence, and not a gentle one. 

Have you been nominated or made a donation? Give your money, but give of yourself, too. :-)

Maybe there are less depressing Quick Takes somewhere else:
Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!


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