Mary Beth Writes

Can you balance on one foot for a minute?

Me, neither.

 I practice “balancing” fairly often.  I do this by standing barefoot on one foot as long as I can and then I stand on the other foot. It’s interesting that some days I can do this and then, the very next morning perhaps, I will balance on one foot about 9 seconds before I tip over.  Sort of a mini-check-up, I guess. On the 9-seconds days I figure my body is lopsided or badly fueled or distracted. A good day to take care while doing stuff.

Balancing requires a particular amount of attention - but not too much. If I think about not falling over, I fall over. If I don’t think about falling over, I fall over.

If I stare at a spot on the wall, or listen to the music Len has on in the kitchen, or if hold my arms out as gracefully as I can while thinking about my grandbaby – pretty often I can be my own heron for a half minute.

Paying just enough but not too much attention – this is the trick to standing on one foot. Also to raising children, making bread, flirting with your partner while you are eating burgers at a dim and tasty place on Friday night – and writing.  As well as to most of the rest of tricky human endeavors such as surgery, neonatal care, managing a huge enterprise or project, and engine repair.

Paying attention while not being swamped by the swirl of minutia; that’s the trick.

Last week I sucked at being my own heron.  I was distracted by many fine and needful things, some of which are these:

Halloween. We only had one set of trick-or-treaters. If you live in Waukesha and need more Halloween candy, I have about 30 Blow-Pops and mini candy bars left.  I’ll pay you a dollar to take it.

A carrot-beet cupcake (made by Len for me) and a glass of milk. Life is good.

When I was a kid my mom was a Pioneer Girl Club leader. Pioneer Girls were our church denomination’s answer to those secular Girl Scouts.  (I became a Jr GS leader when my daughters where in school. Loved it.) Mom arranged crafts every week for the 40 girls in our church’s club. One project I still remember was dried milkweed pods that we got to spray paint gold and silver; they were magnificent! I loved making them and I loved the outre' bouquet Mom made for our house. A kid whose mom (or dad) makes cool stuff out of free stuff is a lucky kid. 

I still love milkweed pods.

I never paint them…

 

Back in the spring I read a blog where the writer was encouraging people to buy and sell stuff on eBay (and other selling sites) as a way for all of us to consume less. She highlighted eBay sites where people were selling TP rolls!  I thought that was funny and with no goal in mind, started saving them, also.

Last week my daughter was talking about possible crafts for kids to do at a birthday party. I mentioned I had TP and paper towels rolls. She asked how many. I sent this pix.

Now I am in charge of the crafts at the party. 

If you save something, and then let people know, you too might become the person leading paper tube giraffe crafts for preschoolers.

 

 I was out for a walk before the sun came up. I saw this spooky orange-lit porch.

I finally started really writing.  This was the view from my office window last week.

What has distracted you lately?

Len added a note below - and a URL to this pix.....

 

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Clever of you to write about 'Balance' right after you wrote about 'The Tipping Point.' https://grassrootsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/balance-akt.jpg

I laughed and identified with a lot your wrote. Especially the balancing part. Wonder at what age you start to loose your balance. This might be a fun Thanksgiving test after we have stuffed ourselves. My distractions last week. Month end - sick kid - packing. This week is better. The ocean.

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Read this, Friends. "Home" by Warsan Shire

I just read this poem. The small part I can do today is pass it along to you.

https://genius.com/Warsan-shire-home-annotated

Home by Warsan Shire

(Shire was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family, as a child, to Great Britain.)

 

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

To Never Return - “No Great Mischief” by Alistair MacLeod

I read a remarkable book that I think some of you might like to read, also.

It’s “No Great Mischief” by Alistair MacLeod (1936-2014) and it is considered one of the Canada’s finest novels.  

The book is set in the 1980’s; Alexander MacDonald is the narrator. Curiously there will be three Alexander MacDonalds in this novel; each lives out a particular destiny of immigrants to North America, each moves the modern story ahead.

Our Un-rocky 4000 Mile Road Trip to the Rockies

I am very happy to have this website back! So is Len ... now he can go go on to OTHER projects on his list.  Fixing this after the attack-hack of early May - it was not an easy thing. 

But we're good to go now ...

While I was offline I was one a big old road trip to the Canadian Rockies. And then I was writing about it.

Some of you remember the Prairie Dog Quadrilateral - my weekly newsletter. I published it in PDF mode because it allows me to add a lot of photos.

(Don't) Send in the Clowns

Where this blog-post started: Several posts ago “The Non-Consumer Advocate” was about clowns. Specifically, the weird clown flotsam one finds when thrifting.  Here’s what Katy Wolk-Stanley posted at her site. http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/goodwill-badwill-questionable-will-clowns-clowns-more-clowns/  

Marching for Our Lives in Milwaukee Today

Len and I went to the March for our Lives in Milwaukee today.

Here are of our observations and thoughts.

First: There were as many not-young people as young ones. It was the most age-diverse protest/march I have ever attended and that felt good. This is a young person’s movement right now, and that's awesome – but the reality when one is there feels far less “youth vs old people” than the media makes this out to be. People young and old and in-between want our laws to reflect the common sense of the majority of American citizens.

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