What I’ve been reading:
Never Let Me Go was highly recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The story is so eerie because it could totally happen today. The book follows a group of friends who are a part of a program that grows organs for other people by cloning “donors”. Sadly the group of friends are the donors in this story (so that was tough) but they are the lucky ones who get to live in an experimental school that treats the “donors” like normal kids. I was horrified to learn that the other less fortunate donors are raised in dreary dormitories and basically treated like animals. The author explores: What makes a person a person? Do clones have souls? Can clones love? I loved the thought provoking topics the book brought up, but I just couldn’t understand why, once they knew what they were created for, they did not try to revolt or run away? But overall a really good book.
Boy, Little Stranger, was a creepy book! It was a more slow burning haunting story than Haunting of Hill House, but it was very eerie. The story follows the life of a small town doctor whose path crosses with a down on their luck, formerly wealthy family who are trying to eek out a living on a dying estate after WWII. The story has a mischief making ghost, a seriously creepy house, lots of psychological suspense, and a ton of sketchy characters that make it a delightful spooky reading experience. There was also a twist at the end that I did not see coming, so that was neat.
What can I say about State of Wonder? To sum it up, I would say it is Medicine Man (with Sean Connery) meets Apocalypse Now. So if that intrigues you….try out this book! It was very well written and fast moving.
Cool things I’ve learned lately:
We took a trip to Wisconsin to see family for Thanksgiving and got to see a lot of cool museums along the way. We learned a lot about the Civil War from these really neat talking mannequins at the Civil War museum (not creepy at all….) We saw a ton of dinosaur fossils at the Dinosaur Museum and got to see an Archaeopteryx fossil up close (I know it was only a cast, but I have only seen these in books) Then we headed up to the Our Lady of Good Help shrine and learned that in the old days, families would build these little chapels on their property, so people could stop in to pray. Apparently in the rural area, there were not a lot of Catholic churches around at the time.
Something making me happy:
I absolutely loved getting to take a trip with these two kids. They love museums as much as I do, so it was nice to not be rushed through the exhibits. Both kids know so much about dinosaurs that it was almost like having a tour guide with me. Ben is a military history junkie so he had a ton of fun seeing weapons, uniforms, and battle maps up close.
Something I’ve been happy to accomplish:
Emma and I actually completed our first pilgrimage to a holy site. We joked about being pilgrims and who we would be from the Canterbury Tales (I claimed the nun and said Emma was the Wife of Bath!) all the way up to Champion, Wisconsin to see the Our Lady of Good Help shrine. It was amazing. The shrine is the only Marian apparition site in the US. Mary appeared to Adele Brise in 1859 under a tree at this location and asked her to teach children about the Holy Sacraments. Being obedient, Adele opened a school shortly after and a chapel was built to commemorate the miraculous sighting. We got to see all the crutches that people cast aside after they were miraculously healed after asking Mary to pray for them, so that was awe inspiring. Miracles really do still happen today. We caught the tail end of a rosary which we were very excited about because the rosary is tied to this site. The story goes that the church members were caught inside the chapel during a massive wildfire caused by a long drought (this was actually a part of the Great Chicago Fire that spread beyond the Chicago area) and prayed the rosary all night begging God to spare them. The next morning they came out to find the church was spared because it started to rain during the night while everything else was burned to the ground. It was beautiful to see.
Something I am looking forward to:
Sleep. Ben had a really bad cold the week before our trip, so I got very little sleep. Then, on our trip, I had very little sleep because Ben was still snoring due to his cold and he was my bed partner. Finally, when we got home….Emma had her wisdom teeth removed and we have been struggling along with that. So basically I am a walking zombie. Hopefully our lives get easier soon….Mama needs some sleep. **You always think once your kids outgrow their babyhood it will get easier…..ummm……no! It is still hard, just different.
Funny things that have happened lately:
We totally geeked out in IKEA. We kept exclaiming over everything and the kids got their pictures inside the staged room sets. I think people thought we were a tad bit uncool….but oh well….it was amazing!
I saw this adorable mug in the shrine gift shop and just had to snap a pic. I think we all need this reminder daily. The funny part was a random dog kept trying to run into the gift shop with us every time we opened the door. When we finally got inside, he started whimpering and ran off to find someone else to sweet talk instead.