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Nine snippets of news and novelties for your weekend musing.

Our life has been changed and our son’s life sustained by the incredible and collaborative care at UCSF. It is not surprising to me that they should rank so high in this national survey.

If this reporting is accurate, that is a wonderful example of how we need to give more credit to lower income families and how family truly forms the child. My question regarding the author’s way of presenting the research is this. The author reports pre-school enrollment dropped in 2008, likely due to parental unemployment. If that gap narrowed in school readiness, then wouldn’t that put more educated parents at home than before the rise in unemployment levels. I would like to see if we control for parent education levels if the results still remain. For a resource on providing more books at home, check out this project by Dolly Parton, the woman you naturally think of when you think of family life.

I was moved by this video of Jim Carrey (never thought I would write such a sentence! It was in the darkness of grief that I began to cling to beauty and art, which before had been a hobby and simple pleasure. The contemplation of beauty draws us out of ourselves. It is a great antidote to grief, loss or depression.

 

Gratitude is a powerful force for good, as this article illustrates. Would you consider ending each day with a moment of gratitude, considering three things you are thankful for? It can help us through dark times, balance our perspective, and overcome automatic negative thoughts.

I suspect objecting to this painting is a matter of Conservatives trying to get back at or making a point that if someone did a Christian parallel of the same thing, it would be publically unacceptable. On a deeper level, patriotism is a spiritual thing, the Statue of Liberty is one of our national symbols, as is the American flag. I do not believe these should be altered to express one person’s message. They are enough in themselves. We could also analyze that this doe-eyed lady is an exaggerated form of how women are distorted in media, and the strong stance with the torch is diminished by her gentle hold as if it were a bouquet of flowers.

No matter how busy life is, we really should make time for events like the solar eclipse on August 21. I hope we do in this household, though there are no plans as of yet.

Your words matter! I began to guard my grammar as my children grow. It takes practice, but we can do it. “Gonna” and pronouncing to as “ta” (If you’re going ta do this…”) are two habits my husband and I are currently trying to root out of our speech. I heard a song yesterday that rhymed over with you by pronouncing them as “ova” and “ya.” Brain cells have been lost by listening to music like this!

My reflection from this article on the reemergence of a vocational crisis: A priestly vocation requires heroism in a world such as ours. John Paul II inspired this heroism in the youth of the world and encouraged us to go all in. That is why my generation of Catholics is referred to as the John Paul II generation. We need inspiration from our leaders in the Church to “be not afraid” and “put out into the deep.” Too many times, to draw people into the church, leaders in parishes water things down, make it simpler, gentler. Our generation and the generation that follows ache for something to live for, for something strong we can hold on to in the moral chaos of our society. We need something to fight for. John Paul II and the priests of this generation show us that.

This is worth sharing since an American paper seemed to have picked up the original absurdity. I wonder Associatedsociate Press will be able to restore its credibility?