Mary this week:
What do a queen and a beach bucket have in common?  This week’s column at Today’s Catholic Woman on Mary’s title Queen of the Apostles.

Outside my window:
The sun is just coming up. We have less and less time with our friend the sun, and though it’s been a cool summer anyway, there’s a different sort of nip in the air.  Last night I had my wool blanket on (and off, and on again, and off again) and this morning, for the first time in months, I’m wearing socks to keep my feet warm.  Fall is coming!  I love the seasons!

In thanksgiving:
For wifi — in my house!
For a long overdue visit with family.
For tomatoes by the buckets-full.
For baby feet.

Kitchen meanderings:
This week, because I can’t spend all this time canning tomatoes without enjoying some of the fruits of our labor, we’ll be enjoying red sauces at least once (or twice, or three times…).

Nose inserted:
I finished Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love yesterday while we were in between rounds of tomatoes.  This week, I’ll start Every Woman’s Journey, by Katrina Zeno, which I received in my mailbox a while ago thanks to the Tiber River reviewer program.

In my ears:
Right now it’s the rather strange compilation iTunes DJ puts together. Later today, while we’re canning, it will either be podcasts or conversation.  Later this week, it might be Taylor Swift or Darius Rucker or Sarah Bauer or something else altogether.

Around the house:
One is sleeping, one is lounging, and I’m in the living room with the lounging one, enjoying the strange experience of having wireless internet in my home, despite living in the boonies.

A favorite thing:
Our new Verizon MiFi, which came at a very low cost thanks to a phone upgrade and a rebate paired together.  For the first time ever, we have wifi in our house!  It’s great!  (Except for the fact that one of our PCs won’t play nice…I think it’s a Windows Vista problem, but that doesn’t help me solve it…grrr!)

Plans made, possibly kept:
It’s the last week of my summer sabbatical.  No, my book isn’t done, but I really didn’t expect it to be.  It has a pretty long deadline on it, so that’s really not a point of stress.  This week, I’ll be working forward a bit on things like laundry and meal planning.  And I’m going to keep praying.  I have a great deal of peace at this point in my sabbatical, and I am looking forward to the revised responsibilities I’ll have at the parish.  All the other kids around us start school, but we’re waiting until after Labor Day.  Going back to the office will be enough of a change for now.  One thing at a time.  (I’m not good at that.  Not at all.  But I’m trying.)

Food for thought:
All of the health-care interest groups — hospitals, insurance companies, professional groups, pharmaceuticals, device manufacturers, even advocates for the poor — have a major stake in the current [health care] system.  Overturning it would favor only the 300 million of us who use the system and — whether we realize it or not — pay for it.  Until we start asking the type of questions my father’s death inspired me to ask, until we demand the same price and quality accountability in health care that we demand in everything else, each new health-care reform will cost us more and serve us less.  (From the long, but worth reading, article in The Atlantic Monthly, “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” by David Goldhill)

Worth a thousand words: