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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Four Days Up North

If you click into the icon that's right here, you can read my take on our recent small vacation to northern Wisconsin. We hiked - and took photos!  Pictures are by both of us, though a lot of the most astounding ones are from Len and his 10-year old Nikon. 

Missionary Types in the Mississippi Watershed in the 1600’s. Oh yeah.

Happy All Saints Day.

Today (though it will probably be yesterday by the time I get this written) we are going to discuss Catholic missionary types who proselytized Mississippi watershed country in the mid-to-late 1600’s.

Nomadland. How people live well enough when there is no way to live well.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century - by Jessica Bruder

 

You’ve read these kinds of statistics before.  In the US our incomes are spread like this: The top 1% suck up 81 times MORE annual income than the bottom half of ALL Americans.

Len's Marinated Story Starts

Our family gathered for Easter dinner this year, um, the Saturday after Easter. I guess flexibility is one of our survival skills.  Our three kids have in-laws, one baby, two dogs and all three live 1-3 hours away. We are grateful when these kids show up at all, let alone needing them on specific dates.

So. Easter dinner. The kids had given Len a new Weber grill for his birthday – which inspired an Easter menu of kabobs. Some marinated and grilled veggies plus a lot of marinated and grilled meat.

Update on Our Brother

In June I wrote about Our Brother  HERE

Here’s an update:

Our Brother is still working at the same warehouse, full-time, $9/hr.  

Back in June the Child Support dep’t had negotiated 3 purges (purge is the term Child Support uses for the bond one pays in order to get out of or stay out of jail once warrants are listed). His three purges on his three child support cases were $350 and $500 and $500. I invited people to make contributions to his cause.

Detroit!

This is a small compendium of photos and observations from a quick trip we took to Detroit last weekend.  

Amazingly, this has taken ALL my time since Wednesday morning. Sheesh, one seldom really sees Giant New Things to Learn as they come down the pike straight at one. 

These photos are from my phone, Len's phone, and our camera. So I got to play with two on-line albums of photos and then, surprise-surprise, the end product was "too big" - so today I got to run all the photos through Photoshop to make them smaller pixel-wise.  

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