7 Quick Takes: Calendar Clean-Up Edition

— 1 —

It’s that time of year again! I have always loved the beginning of the school year, even when I’m not myself a student. It’s a time of getting organized, renewing your zeal for learning, and getting office supplies at discount prices (yay!).

And for me, it means looking at my Google Calendar’s To-Do List and sighing (yet again) because I *still* have not managed to catch up. In fact, I’m further behind than ever.

But in addition to actual “to-do” items, I quite frequently stick up there websites that I want to go back and check out at a later date. So, I’ll use my Quick Takes today to list them out and share a few of the good ones with you!

— 2 —

FOOD!

Weeknight Bolognese

Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich – sounds delicious!

Beef and Bean Taco Casserole

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping – my aunt makes these for every holiday dinner. They are amazing!

Meatloaf – I am normally not a big fan of meatloaf, but something in this recipe must have intrigued me, or I wouldn’t have bookmarked it.

Iced Coffee – I may try this one day… Likely when I feel ambitious and have no money for Starbucks

The Military Diet – Because after all this food, I could probably use a good diet.

Eat Yourself Skinny – Recipes that don’t require post-eating dieting. πŸ™‚

— 3 —

Random Items

10 Words You’ve Probably Been Misusing – This post lists words, their commonly-thought-to-be definitions, and what they really mean. I am so guilty of a lot of these…. πŸ™‚

PASS – A new way to share photos. I’m always looking for a better solution. Nothing is perfect… yet… πŸ™‚

Toddler Summer Reading Program – I’m always looking for more suggestions for good books for kids. If you have any recommendations, please pass them along!

Atlas of True Names – This shows the etymological roots, or original meanings, of places on maps. Pretty cool to see how place names have evolved over time. But maybe I’m just nerdy like that.

Three Bookish Girls – They have a website where they list what they are reading this year. I love discovering new books!

Liliputing – They write an article about using your phone to scan documents to Google Drive. Not that I’ve used Google Drive all that much, but one day it may come in handy.

— 4 —

Things to Buy

I know. Like we need more stuff, right?

Therapearl Pals – These are cute little animals that can be frozen or heated up in the microwave to help your kid through boo-boos.

Something is Wrong with my iPad, I Still Hate My Life – So funny! But beware, content may not be entirely kid/work-safe.

— 5 —

Catholic/Religious Links

Apostleship of Prayer – They go around giving retreats, and I had the opportunity to attend one when they were in the area. It was really good. I would definitely recommend it.

Theology of the Body, Extended – Susan is working on a new book! πŸ™‚ I’ll have to add it to my TOB collection.

Holy Heroes – Books, CDs, DVDs for kids!

Strange Notions – Brandon’s website where he offers a place of dialogue, I think mainly Atheist-Catholic, but I’m sure it could be helpful for a wide range of people.

Teaching Faith to Children – a YouTube video

Lent Photo Challenge – I know, we are probably as far away from Lent as we can get, but hopefully I will remember this. I’d like to try to do it next year. πŸ™‚

Theology of the Body – Here is a place online where you can read the original General Audiences given by Pope John Paul II

Detroit Priest – a website of the Office of Priestly Vocations for our archdiocese

— 6 —

Health and Medicine

Why Diabetic Medication Fails – They give a good explanation in layman’s terms of how food, etc., affects blood sugar. Currently, I’m trying out a new medication to see what works. After my meningitis, I can no longer tolerate the medication I was taking previously. Jury is still out, but it looks like I will be changing yet again in the near future. πŸ™‚

Pulmonary Exam – In case you want to know how to do one of these…

— 7 —

Entertainment!

Best YA Books of 2012 – If you haven’t checked out Forever Young Adult yet, you should totally GET OVER THERE! πŸ™‚ It is run by Posh (who is awesome) and her friends and their reviews are hilarious. I always go here to find out the next YA book to read (when I’m looking for something fluffy and not spiritual/theological), instead of taking my chances with pulling something off the shelf at the library or bookstore.

Paperman – A super-cute short film by Disney.

Monster’s University – Lauren gives a review for us. I *still* have yet to see this movie! *sadface*

Thanks for putting up with the glut of links! My to-do list thanks you!

God Bless!

DSCN5553

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

It’s the Cow’s Fault

I always feel a little bad about digging in my purse during Mass, grabbing a pen and paper and writing. I feel like the priest or deacon preaching the homily is up there, looking at me, upset that I’m not paying attention. Even though, this is just what our pastor has suggested that we do, as we are supposed to be listening, especially during the Gospel, to what God is saying to *me*. And the homily is meant to break open the Word.

Today, I drove out to Plymouth for Mass, as I was scheduled to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Deacon Chris is a transitional deacon who is assigned to our parish for the year. As he proclaimed the Gospel today — the story of the Prodigal Son — I was reminded of the first reading, of the Israelites making and worshiping the golden calf.

As Deacon Chris read the Gospel, I thought about the different characters in the story. Today, I lingered on the person of the older brother. The first reading gave some insight (or perhaps I just had a wacky thought) on the older brother.

The Israelites were fine with following God when He was in their midst day and night. Of course, this isn’t to say that they were grateful for what they had. On the contrary, they complained about food, water, walking…. But things really began to unravel when God went up the mountain and left them at the base of the mountain with with Aaron. Once God wasn’t immediately present to them, they put their focus on something else and their priorities in their affections became skewed. Suddenly, this golden calf became the center of their worship.

I think something similar was going on with the older brother. Although we didn’t specifically hear it in the Gospel, we can assume that he was fairly okay living with his father. From his later statements and actions, we can surmise that he wasn’t entirely grateful for the life he had in his father’s household, but that he felt like he was a slave within his father’s house, “working” for him. But it wasn’t until the prodigal son came back home that this disorder within his heart was revealed. What he pointed to as being the problem was the fact that the father killed the fatted calf for the welcome home party.

Again, this calf distracts from the blessings offered by the father.

It’s all the cow’s fault.

Lop eared Calf

Sometimes Mockery is a Public Service

I fully admit to being influenced by teenage boys in my formative years. And I definitely believe that somethings are Guy Things and some things are Girl Things.

Enter example from this week:

Scenario: 3 guys and myself watching TV. At the end of the night, one guy has left, so it’s me and the remaining 2 guys. There is a question about the rules of baseball which were displayed in the episode we watched. I find myself having to explain the difference between a ball and a strike.

Batter

Then, I think…

WHAT?!?

Shouldn’t they know this stuff? Didn’t they have to pass a test in order to pass puberty? I’m pretty sure it’s required.

So, I immediately called them on this fact.

Why am I, a GIRL, explaining this stuff to, not one, but TWO GUYS?!?

But, before you think I am all mean and uncharitable, I submit that perhaps it was a public service. I was calling them to be better men. And I was remarkably restrained in my mockery.

Especially given the fact that my mockery instinct had previously been provoked by this stunning display of a “tackle” on the September Chapel Chat AKA Exhibit #1: Please watch to the end…

Quarterly Challenge #11

Sorry that I haven’t posted too much lately. I have a good excuse though. I’ve had meningitis. It totally sucks. But I’m getting better, thanks be to God. While I’ve been out — not counting the couple of weeks where all I could do is lie there and stare at the ceiling — I’ve been able to read a plethora of books. I even finished my Quarterly Challenge #10 with a couple days to spare! πŸ™‚

But now we are entering a new month, and a new Quarterly Challenge! Here are the details of #11:

Note: Books listed in italics are ones that I *plan to read* for the particular category. Books listed in regular font *I have read*.

Duration: September 1, 2013 – November 30, 2013

We are a YA Book Club, so all books should be young adult (unless otherwise noted).

You have 3 months to read 10 YA books that satisfy following requirements:

1) Read a book that is a new release published in September, October or November of 2013. GoodReads offers lists of the most popular new releases by month, they might help you to make your choices – September, October and November (If you have difficulties obtaining these new books, you can read a release from the same months in 2012).
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

2) September 22-28 is Banned Books Week. Celebrate your freedom to read by reading a book that has been banned and/or challenged in any country. The American Library Association has several lists available, but you do not have to read from those lists nor does the book have to be YA.
1984 by George Orwell, completed 9/6

3) Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) and read a book with a Hispanic main character. If you need ideas, REFORMA has a great list. Thanks, Neha, for an excellent GoodReads list.
I Will Save You by Matt de la Pena

4) Read a book that has been translated into English. Oliviasbooks has provided a great list.

5) September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Read a book about pirates or seafaring people. Some ideas can be found here.

6) Read a scary or horror book for Halloween.
Drought by Pam Bachorz

7) October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read a book where any character is being abused or has been abused.

8) Celebrate World Post Day, October 9th, by reading an epistolary novel or real correspondence letters. Ideas can be found here.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

9) November 12th is Chicken Soup for the Soul Day. Read a book with a heartwarming or uplifting story.

10) Reread a book that you loved to celebrate Book Lovers Day (first Saturday in November).

I will try to update my progress as I go! πŸ™‚