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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Comments

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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Happy Birthday to Len

11/30/2022 

Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 

11/21/2022

Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?

11/17/2022

Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?

11/9/2022

It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day

11/8/2022 

So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

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