Vacation is over. SUMMER is over, even though it’s still the middle of summer. Back to work on Monday. Back to the harsh reality of working. Guess it's a good thing I love what I do!
The violinist at church enlightened me about borrowing audio books from the library. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it; maybe it was because I had a really, really cheap (<$100) tablet that I may have dropped and messed up the audio. Or maybe it's because said tablet had 0 storage on it, even after putting in a massive SD card. Oh, and one other thing: it would only stay on for about 4 hours, tops, and I couldn't use it when it was charging.
Right before we left for vacation, I broke down and got a Samsung Galaxy. I have a couple of iPads for work, but they're the school system's, and I refuse to use them for anything but work. Anyway, I found this tablet on Amazon (yay, Prime!) and it works marvelously!
Now the only problem I have is that I put some books on hold and they're all ready at the same time!
One of the best books I've read this summer is "Saving Sammy: a Mother's Fight to Cure her Son's OCD" by Beth Alison Maloney. This book sheds light on PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections). It is commonly known that strep can cause rheumatic/scarlet fever, but it can also attack the basal ganglia; symptoms include OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), tics, moodiness, anxiety, and/or separation anxiety. The symptoms appear seemingly overnight. I have a friend whose daughter has been diagnosed; I had no idea what they were going through until I read the book. I'll be handing this book to my special ed direction next week and encourage her to pass it around the department.
I have to say something that I just can't hold in any longer: I very much dislike the way Michelle Obama has cheapened the role of first Lady. I really enjoy James Corden's Carpool Karaoke, but (and this is just my opinion) the FLOTUS should not be participating while she is in that position. I feel the same way about the Obamas showing up on talk shows, as well. You can agree or not, but I'm just giving my opinion. I would say the same thing if any of the former First Ladies participated while their husbands were still in office.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest: When we were on vacation, for the latter part of the time we were in SD there was a lovely family from Kansas beside us. As we were talking, the husband pointed to a notebook that his wife had and mentioned that she was super-organized. I went over to take a look, and noticed that she had a page with the Catholic churches in the area. I took a look at what she had. The church was right on the road as we got into town, so we knew exactly where it was. If that family hadn't been camping beside us, we probably wouldn't have attended Mass, and we would've missed out on a beautiful service. The church (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel---Keystone, SD) was just wonderful. It is a mission church; there's only 1 weekend Mass celebrated.
We were greeted by an elderly lady as we walked in; she made us feel very welcomed. The deacon gave an excellent homily. Afterwards, we stood in the parking lot and talked with our "next door neighbors" for a few minutes, just like we would do with friends at our own parish. It just felt like home.
We could have gone over to the next town for Mass at 10:00; however, we would have felt compelled to take yet another trip to the winery if we had done that, though!
One of the things that amazed me on our drive home from Colorado were signs by the side of the road in Kansas. (I believe we saw some in Iowa-on the way to SD- as well.) Some of them had the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the words "I trust in You". Some of them were pro-life. It really warmed my heart to see that, as well as billboards for Catholic radio. Being from the Bible belt, we just don't see those things as often. It really gave me hope for our country.
By now, I'm sure everyone has seen the following clip:
The youth director from my parish and her son (who will be entering the seminary this fall) left 2 days ago for World Youth Day. They have some once-in-a-lifetime things planned while they're there. Please keep them, and all attendees, in your prayers.
I'm joining Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for the link-up.