Mary Beth Writes

Over here at the Lucky Dog Chalet (our house) we are at Day #5 of being above-average happy about Life in General.

I’ve always been more curious about success than failure. It’s easy to be miserable; just eat a sleeve of store-bought cookies, blame it on someone else, then watch the news. Right? How to be miserable in 3 simple steps without getting off the sofa

But happy? Content? Pleased?

What happened? What brought on this Cloud of Mild Cheer?

Here’s what happened.

Less.

The past few months were by no means miserable. We have friends, things to do, good health, tasty things to eat and bikes to ride. Life was fine. But we were also pretty busy. I just deleted my list of the stuff we’ve been doing. You don’t need to read it; you have your own list.

We kept saying to each other that now that we were past this event or that thing, it was going to be easier. We could get back to days of being home, writing, learning Drupal (that would be Len), taking care of ourselves, and having time for walks and bike rides. And then another week would fly by that felt like that moment when you are just about to bite into the lovely s’more you just made – and an out-of-nowhere wind puffs ashes and grit all over your melted marshmallow. You stare at it as your heart fills with ridiculous disappointment. There are people on earth suffering. What is it with safe, healthy, whiny adults who can’t seem to ever be quite happy??

So we decided to cut back on activities - and we’re four-going-on-five days into mostly writing and computer-language-learning. Well, to be clear, don’t think we dived into some super organized schedule of productivity. The nature of what we do when we invent what we want to do- is to procrastinate with chores, walks, bike rides, and meandering conversations over coffee in the morning and wine at night. Being focused, at least around here, is surrounded by a lot of flim-flam time.

Nevertheless it’s working. We are calmer. We are concentrating. Stuff is getting learned and written. Sooner or later you will see my new website. At some point Len will create a professional website for his professional self. We will be here, working on all this, over the coming weeks and months.

I remember being a kid at the county fair. My two favorite parts of carnival rides were 1.) Imagining how awesome they were going to be, and 2.) When I got off them.

It’s like that.

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What's in that Museum?

Do you go to museums? I enjoy them, but I think they are more complicated than we give them credit for.

This past weekend Len and I and our daughters, plus Len’s sister and her teenage sons, spent the day at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. At 400,000 square feet, the MSI is a huge old place; the buildings were part of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 that were re-purposed into the Museum during Chicago’s 1933 Century of Progress. (An aunt once told me about seeing a black and white electrical show in a box at the Century of Progress. They called it television.)

Surprise Dancing Lessons 1/7/2018

This is almost a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. “Unexpected travel is a dancing lesson from God.” (Vonnegut said “Peculiar travel suggestions are…” or some such; I need to reread Cat’s Cradle.)

December Seen Things 12/31/2017

Happy New Year's Eve!

Here is the latest edition of Things Seen in December.

You need to click on the icon to open it. It's small. 

PDF icon12-31-17_vol_1.pdf

My New Year’s Resolution

I mentioned to Len this morning that this year I am going to make a New Year’s resolution. Usually I don’t make resolutions because I don’t believe people change (very much) by determining to “do better starting tomorrow.”  The person who works mightily to stop eating cookies tonight - while there are still cookies in the house - is probably going to become healthier than the person who is going to Stop Eating All the Sugar and Only Eat Roasted Brussel Sprouts … starting tomorrow.  Don’t ask me how I know.

A Request for More Readers

A Request from Me to You

I just finished the She Writes post about being more courageous and stubborn on my own behalf.

This fits right in. I’m asking you to consider doing something on my behalf.

Do you know a person who might like to read this website?  If you are here you already know I write about frugality, I write random essays, I tell you about places I went and books I’ve read. I am fascinated by colonial American history. I repost things I wrote ages ago. Sometimes I write short stories.

Not Buying Presents for Christmas? What Fresh Hell is this?

We spent a lot of money on our kids this past year and they spent a lot of their own money arranging and getting to all the stuff this family did. (Wedding events and more….). It was my opinion we didn’t need to spend more cash on each other. When I mentioned this to my daughters and sister-in-law, they agreed - so we decided to just do food gifts. Baked stuff, cooked stuff, tasty treats from delis, bottles of wine, etc.

This is what Christmas without major presents-shopping and buying has felt like:

Very. Very. Good.  

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