Mary Beth Writes

6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Oh hell. There was an open hour available to do this the next day, so I drove back. I don’t always talk out loud to myself in the car but when I’m anxious I do so there was some “you can do this, you got this” chatter. Then a woodchuck waddled across the road after which three deer leapt across the same road. They say a man can never step into the same river twice, because he will not be the same man and it will not be the same river and I thought about that yesterday, during that drive. I was a newly anxious woman and now the road had creatures.

Soon I was at my dental office that is kitted out to look like a log cabin. Why would dentists choose that? Are we supposed to feel cozy and calm recalling 19th century dental care that started with getting the person drunk and ended with pliers, screaming, and blood?

The dentist fixed my teeth. Wasn’t great. Wasn’t horrible. I was done in 40 minutes whereupon the front desk people said the total would be $560.00. (This was just for the fillings. I’d paid for the cleaning the day before.) I may have sworn out loud.

Prices are going up like crazy everywhere. We came through a pandemic and we are supplying a war and CEO-and stock-price driven monopolies are outright fleecing us because they can. Dental practices are probably making up for lost business. I bet some of the elements in the filling material as well as tools are from complicated places. Worldwide shipping is nuts. So here we are.

I don’t know how families on modest incomes are going to afford dental care.

I came home and read a library book for three hours. For dinner last night Len drove out to buy a hot fudge sundae for me.

Ice cream for dinner was my silver lining.

I read this tweet from a Michael Herriot: “Serious question for white people: What do YOU mean when you say “woke?”

Do you think of yourself as ‘woke?’

I think for most of us, if we claim any “wokeness’ at all, we probably remember life experiences where we were not in charge, where we were disrespected, intimidated, scared, or badly used. We remember where we were vulnerable and anxious.  

Being woke grows, I think, out of a deep and respectful understanding  that confidence and safety are not birthrights.

Here is a small way to use your wokeness.

My state senator and rep are Republicans who win because of Wisconsin's blithering gerrymandering. Such as: In 2012 there was a 430,000 majority of Democratic votes over Republican votes, but Republicans won 60 out of 99 senate districts because of gerrymandering.

BUT: Many elected officials have political issue surveys at their websites that are skewed to make you say that you support their talking points. Take a few minutes to look at the websites of your officials. If they have surveys, take those surveys using your “wokeness.”

Next time an elected official says, “The majority of voters in my district want …. “and then they state something that seems suspicious to you – quite likely they are quoting from their own partisan-slanted survey.

You can do these surveys often. You have to sign in with your name and address, but no one in their offices is going to comb through everything to see if a constituent fills it out once, or once a week. Political website surveys are not legal documents, they are a gimmick they use in order to look as if they are “communicating with their constituents.”

This: “Art is born the moment you move a molecule intentionally. There is art and nature. How you eat, sleep, drive, walk, and talk is a declaration of your awareness, an intentional change to express, confront, or cope with life. Art. Mindfulness creates value and brings virtue to art.”  This was a tweet from Clay the Rude Scot.

I am in my annual push-pull contest with my yard. What should I plant under the hydrangeas in front? I planted the marigolds from my nephew’s Boy Scout sale, but marigolds are not fancy. Is this okay-enough or should I think of fluffier flowers and then drive out and buy them and then spend an hour crawling around in there (an ant colony bit me last year) planting them?

I replanted many beet seeds over the weekend; replanting seeds the robins and chipmunks ate. Dang critters. And then I spent $10 at the dollar store buying cookie cooling racks to cover the incipient seeds. Will this work? Are the birds going to eat the Nasturtiums seeds I planted? Should I try to make pinwheels out of something around here? Len said I can use his baby outfit (see photo of him in this suit) to make a small scarecrow. Hmm.

Are you moving molecules intentionally in your yard or deck or porch or window? Did we know we are creating art?

 

 

Comments

Our dentist is sending out estimates for work that they say we need; estimates good for 60 days only, I got one, my husband got one and a 65 year old friend who has never even had a cavity now needs a root canal. In 2008 I was a law office manager, we had a few dentists as clients. In times of economic stress, people do not go to the dentist or hairdresser. My guess is our dentist is prepping for hard times ahead. I also worry about how regular folks are affording gas, food, electric, etc. Two guys I know in the building, repair trades say they are extremely busy but it is work for second home owners, primarily. These are often retirees who depend on stock dividends. Nothing good comes from this big economic divide between the haves and have nots. If you have a coupla extra bucks, donate to your local food bank. Peace
Mary Beth's picture

Exactly. We have to give, write letters to politicians, pay attention, then give again. This is a weird time and the rich are absolutely getting richer.

Thank You!!!!

Yes, thank you! "Liberty and Justice for all" is hard work, and takes action. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Being a citizen in a democratic republic is not a free ride... And FYI, I also noticed GardenPat is missing from that blog we both follow.

I guess I was far off track when I thought of the state of being "woke" as open to change, open to differences and being able to see through political bulls_it storms. Maybe we all have a different interpretation. Coming home from my daughter's house one town over last night, I saw four cottontails. Yes, the creatures are out and about here in Massachusetts too! I had a similar experience with my dentist. Sadly, he told me most of the work we need at my age (60s) is to repair the old work which apparently doesn't last forever. I'm starting to think I need a separate savings account just for dental work. Even with insurance the dental bills just keep coming. What a cute picture of Len! Funny how some babies when they grow into children and then adults keep looking the same throughout life. Len is one of those people. Maybe they look more youthful than the rest of us. Lucky them if that is so.
Mary Beth's picture

Len is one of those people who looks younger than he is - cynical on the inside, cute on the outside, and strong as the Polish salt miners from which he descended. .

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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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