|Chihuly glass chandelier|
Weather: Cloudy with a chance of rain, or sun; temperature feels quite brisk. Who knows what the weather will do today?
It was a bad week: On Monday night we got a call that my husband's father had passed away while on a vacation to Arizona. He was diagnosed with congestive heart disease earlier this year but had still been able to handle a modified schedule in his life. His death came so suddenly we were completely shocked. Here is a literary tribute I wrote for my father-in-law. While still in shock and grief about Chet, we learned that my brother's cancer has spread and will knock him out of the possibility of the experimental treatment they thought he could get. I am clinging to the hope that the same treatment that cured Jimmy Carter will be available for my brother.
The light at the end of the iPad tunnel: at the beginning of the school year I entered a dark tunnel known to many as iPad Hell. I am finally nearing the end of the tunnel and can see the light. After launching iPads to nearly 2000 students we have had a steady stream of students with problems with their devices. At one point I think there were something like 200 iPads piled up for the Tech to attend to. As he would fix one, another one would come in the door with a similar problem. Two thing were at play. The district decided to go with a managed Apple ID, if student logged in with any other Apple ID it would shut down the device requiring a reset. The other issue outside our control was the launch of Apple IOS 10 at the moment we were getting the iPads in kids hands. The new operating system had (has) some glitches that don't sync well with the district network. If a student updated his device, a trip to the library to have it reset or returned to the lower IOS was required. It has been a long, long month. We are finally down to under 20 devices needing attention and about that same number of devices that still need to be checked out. Finally! I will be able to do something other than work on iPads like get books into student's hands!?
It has almost been a month since I posted in the Sunday Salon: I don't think I've ever gone that long without my weekly update. In that time we have traveled to Eugene twice for football games and for family gatherings; Don traveled to Virginia for an Army JAG conference; and I don't what else. When one is enveloped in grief it is hard to want to blog.
Books I have read since Sept. 11th, my last weekly update:
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen---this month's book club selection. I listened to the audiobook and think that is the perfect format for this book. I hope to blog about it and the book club discussion we had over it soon.
- Flannery by Lisa Moore---a YA selection and a delightful coming-of-age tale. Flannery thinks she is in love with a boy so she is willing to overlook all his faults. This causes all kinds of troubles for her. When she finally wakes up she realizes she needs to love herself not some dream of another person. Good message for teens.
- The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian---another YA selection and an audiobook. I didn't care for this one. The serious situation was handled in too trite of a way. I won't recommend this for anyone to read.
- The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse---another YA and audiobook. This one is set in occupied Netherlands during WWII. The main character gets caught up in trying to locate a Jewish girl and learns about the horrors of the Holocaust. The Mystery is quite compelling.
- Out of Africa---yes, I am still plodding along on this book. I've made it through 75% of the book. At this rate, I'll be done by Christmas!
- The Reader by Traci Chee---a YA fantasy novel about the power of books and reading and all other adventury types of things. When I have felt like reading this week, which hasn't been often, I have enjoyed the escape this book allows. 25% done.
- The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty---a YA audiobook, the sencond in the Colors of Madeleine series. It is odd I would be spending my time right now on this series since the book has been out for over a year, but I want to read the third book as a potential Printz book and don't want to read them out of order. It is a very imaginative series but so far I like the first book better. At the 50% mark.
- Hondo by Louis L'Armour---the book I picked up at the used bookstore yesterday to read in tribute to my father-in-law who loved westerns. 10%.
Skimming for solace and hope:
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young---daily devotions of positive nature which help me focus on giving God my pain and despair and to relax into his love. Here is a one thought from the August 23rd entry: "Entrust your loved one to me; release them into my protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one---as well as yourself."
- Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill---reworded Psalms into prayers. Many have touched my heart this week. From Psalm 6: "Be gracious to me, Heart of my heart, for I am sad and weary. Surround me with your healing Light, that my body, mind, and soul might heal." I am praying that one not only for myself but for my brother.
Classics Club spin is tomorrow: I always look forward to the spin because I am "forced" to read a classic book which I always end up enjoying. Check out my post which has the list of the 20 possible books and the details. Join me if you like! You will notice that all of the books on my list are authored by females. That was my commitment to read female authors of classic books this year. I've done pretty well. So far I have read five books which fit the category, with this one and Out of Africa I may make it to seven for the year. Not bad!
I really recommend you watch this video by comedian John Oliver. I actually think it is helpful in comparing the scandals of Clinton and Trump. They aren't equal.