Mary Beth Writes

We hiked on Sunday.


How was your weekend?

Have you noticed that with this omicron iteration of covid isolation – if one is not an employee - it’s tricky to tell what is a weekend and what is not? I think about what my kids might be doing and maybe we call them and that is the main way weekends are different from weeks. By what other people are doing.

My daughter, son-in-law, and their little kids are about a week into Covid and are doing very well, which is amazing because they have been inside their house all this time. For our part, Len and I get to play dollhouse again with the 5-year-old. By late afternoon it’s good for everyone in her house if she goes to a corner of the living room by herself to hang out with us.

Sunday was hilarious. She asked for the story of Snow White. Sure, we can do that. I picked out her favorite little girl doll to be Snow White. Picked out another one to be the Mean Queen.

I asked who else we needed. She said woodland bears (this kid has vocabulary). We have bears.

Story launched.

Snow White is loved poorly by the Mean Queen. Mean Queen’s mirror says Snow White is the most wonderful in the land. Mean Queen sends her into the forest. Little animals find her and take her to a cottage in the forest i.e., the dollhouse on the dining room table. Everything inside the woodland cottage is a mess, so the woodland animals help Snow White clean it up. Then they have snacks. Then they are tired so they all go upstairs and find the various beds and lay down.

The Three Bears come home. Someone has been eating their snacks. Someone has been using their potty and knocked it over (Boy, was our kid laughing). Then they find Snow White and her friends piled up in their beds.

At which point I understand that somewhere along the way I switched from Snow White to The Three Bears and it is working. Grandkid is scolding. “No, Grandma, not like that!”

My daughter came into the living room to see what was going on. The child formerly known as grumpy is now falling over and giggling. So are Grandma and Grandpa.

So that’s how Quarantine is going. It’s not the story we planned for, but it is a story.


Here’s a curious thing. My daughter, son-in-law, and the 3-year-old all tested positive and are coming through Covid. The 5-year-old has not tested positive, though she is totally right there, unmasked, in her home. She received her second vaccination two days before the rest of them tested positive. (They’ve done both PCR and Antibody tests.) Did the incredibly fresh vaccine protect her from Omicron? This sounds great but likely means their daycare will ask her to quarantine an extra week because she’s exposed.

It's always something.

FYI: In case you have A-Fib or you take fish oil supplements, here’s a weird thing I read this morning. Read here. 

“Make an Effort”

I can hear my mom talking with her friends. Someone they know, most likely another woman, is suffering through a hard time. Things are going poorly. Loss is happening. It’s going to be hard for a while.

But the woman they are discussing is enduring. She is still going to work, keeping up with her contacts, cleaning her house, organizing what she can against the chaos that is out there. She is using what energy she has to keep her life going in a good and meaningful way.

My mom and her friends say to each other, “She is making an effort. It’s hard right now but you can see her making an effort.”

Parts of our lives are not easy right now. Loss is happening. We can’t make gold from this dross.

But I like to think we can make an effort.





Leonard's picture

Mary Beth is absolutely brilliant at dollhouse. When the bears and the Bad Guys and the Princesses start talking to one another, the rest of the world melts away from her and she disappears into the dollhouse. For example, when the aforementioned Snow White and the Three Bears incident was in progress, I was standing right there whispering "there are no bears in Snow White." and there was absolutely no impact. Sometimes I'm afraid that she won't come out of the dollhouse, and she'll live there, eating the cake and chocolate chip cookies until the school teacher finds a way to return her to mee.
Mary Beth's picture

Just saw this and I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.

When my grown sons were young, we read together every night before bed. As they got older and we graduated to chapter books, they often begged for "one more chapter". More often than not, I agreed; and they would gleefully say, "Yes! We always get you into it!" I wanted the next chapter as much as they did. It's easy to slide into that "zone" when you don't want the magic to end.
Mary Beth's picture

Yes yes yes to this. My favorite memories of raising the kids are reading to them every night. I was always up for one more chapter. I felt a little sad when they learned to read well and wanted to read on their own because they could go faster.

Love the entire story and Lens reply. You guys are awesome Grandparents.

You forgot the part about the hair on my chinny, chin, chin
Mary Beth's picture

Next story. Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf with the chinny chin chin?

Just heard that my husband's sister's family got Covid after being exposed over the holidays. There are 5 of them. 3 got it. The two who didn't were an adult who'd just been boosted and a 10 YO who'd just had his second shot. I think there's something to this Science! LOL
Mary Beth's picture

I'm sending your comment to my daughter!

Hope your daughter's family is back to health soon. Thank you for the info about the possible connection with fish oil to Afib. I took fish oil for many years in my 40s and early 50s due to concern about vascular issues on my mother's side. I was diagnosed with Afib at age 53 but can't remember if it was before or after I stopped taking the fish oil. Either way, I won't be taking it again after reading this. My cardiologist believes it was caffeine overconsumption that started it. I still have to take a beta blocker every day but it's way better than having a stroke. No more caffeine either. Another study I have heard of connected over exercising with Afib. Interesting in that my husband and I both have Afib and we were both " on foot" mail carriers with routes about 10 miles each, 5 to 6 days a week.
Mary Beth's picture

That's really interesting about the exercise and AFib connection. The day Len had his huge episode - he had ridden his bike 10 miles, though that was/is normal for him.

Love the dollhouse story! A few years ago one of my granddaughters told her dad that Grandma Judy is the best at playing dollhouse! We made up crazy scenarios and used lots of props from things we found in the cupboards and toyboxes. The dollhouse has been passed along to one of her younger cousins now, and Carlina has moved on to searching for Sasquatch, drawing, baking, reading and basketball. Hope she doesn't forget our fun times with the dollhouse, I know I won't!
Mary Beth's picture

I would love to play dollhouse with you. Hmm. maybe we should FaceTime with each other...

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

GNTL - So Many Words!


Grownups Noticing Their Lives - Words!

The month of May might have been above my paygrade. I contributed to a weeks-long writing project in our congregation. I met friends more often than usual to talk and catch up. Two grandkids came for a sleepover last week. Our daughter and her little dog spent last Friday with us. Saturday another grandkid slept over.

GNTL - Kathryn's Garden


Grownups Noticing Their Lives - Kathryn’s Garden

My friend Kathryn sent some beautiful photos of her garden to me this morning, I asked if I could post them here and she said yes. 

Some of you know Kathryn Rouse so you know this is not a garden-come-lately. She’s been building and growing her garden since, I think, the late 1970’s. The bunny in a hurry is a Bill Reid sculpture.

I think Kathryn's photos are the right frame for the poem.

A-Z Observation

5/24/2023   O is for Observation

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was a pre-telescope Danish astronomer who looked at the sky more precisely than anyone before him had done. He was obsessively careful about measuring what he saw and he studied the sky every night he could. To accomplish what he wanted he reinvented and fine-tuned the sky-gauging tools of his era – sextant and quadrant.

You may have seen these tools in paintings of old-time sailors. They would hold them up to their face, look at the stars, figure out where they were in the world.

GNTL - Squirrels & Gardens & the Sonoran Desert


Grownups Noticing Their Lives

My garden thrives in ignominy.

Yesterday I posted some frugal things I’ve done lately at the Non-Consumer Advocate website. I do this because the kinds of people who try to be frugal are often (not always) people who I wish would come over here and read my website, too. I don’t write too much about frugal strategies but I write lot about values. We are in the same Venn diagram, right?

GNTL - Walk, Mounds, Spirit

Grownups Noticing Their Lives


The local TV weather folks talked about ‘a pneumonia front’ for two days. I’d never heard the term before but we all know temps can change fast, right? It’s more generally called life on planet earth. Keep a jacket handy if you can.

M is for Various Mom Memories

If you haven’t read yesterday’s comments, go back to read some wonderful memories of peoples’ aunts and “aunts”.

My morning's been packed. Before it was even 8:00 we played facetime dollhouse with our 6-year-old grandkid. She laughed extremely hard at the wedding of wee Kristoff (the Frozen story) to a new clothespin doll from Goodwill, because the groomsman kept standing on the cupcake table. No one could get the groomsman to straighten out so a collie had to run over and bite him.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent aging Alaska anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine aunts baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM Blue BookReport books boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows danger DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Echoes Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana ferns firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fungi fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls GNTL gorgons goulash GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola groceries Guatemala gum guns Hair happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart heaven HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope humor hurricane Ice Cream idiosyncrasy igloos impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus jewelry JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich Jump justice Karen kites ladder Lady Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mounds mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland nope observation OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples poetry Preaching privacy Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet staining stars stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stream monitoring stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards Three Thing ThreeThings Three Things TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria words
Ad Promotion