Mary Beth Writes

Len says one can hear LOTS of frogs when one rides their bike on the Drumlin Trail.  


 Frugal Wins during the Time of Coronavirus. 1. Haven’t bought anything except groceries. 2. Haven’t eaten anywhere except home. 3. Not cooking a splendid Easter dinner for kids or friends so no outlay for a wondrous multitude of groceries.  4. No Easter candy (well, some Peeps for me and maybe a chocolate bunny for Len). 4.5 The Savings on Easter Grass, right?  5. Not buying gas to drive anywhere. 6. Another eBay item sold today. A little clutter out/a little money in. Anyone willing to pay $7.50 plus shipping for an old china bunny is a person who WANTS the bunny which is great. 7. Len and I invested over $2000 for therapy when we were in our 30’s and that is still working. Therapist/counselor/psychologist, psychiatrist - whatever you call them– if you are anxious and your state of mind is crumbly – these professionals work via phone, skype, zoom.  They don’t fix you, but they can help you find YOUR light and YOUR strength. If you need help, get it and the more you can’t afford it, the more you probably need it. Find a person and then talk with them about ways to afford it. They can help you figure that part out.

Len bought on-sale patio lights more than a year ago. We had not yet put them for a variety of reasonable reasons. Today he strung them IN our garage and I’m excited to dine alfresco this evening. We we are meeting some friends via Zoom and I’m kind of grinning just writing this.

In normal circumstances it is possibly silly to deck out one’s garage. These are not normal times. I’m up for a change of venue…

Rationales. Be Careful with them.

Years ago, when I worked in the jail, I attended a seminar presented by an organization that worked with women who had been victims of assault.

The presenter talked about “magical thinking” and her example was this. They had worked with a woman who had come home from work one day to a stranger in her house. He violently assaulted her. The trauma affected her for years.

The presenter said, “She would say in therapy sessions, ‘If only I hadn’t come home right then…’” 

She could live with the fact that it had happened. She could not live with the reality that the violence was random.  If it was random, she couldn’t figure out how to protect herself so that it wouldn’t happen again. She would rather believe that it was her fault, because then at least, she was in control. 

I think of this story often and I am thinking of it these days. People are getting sick and people are dying, and we are looking for rationales. This victim did this or that person didn’t do that.

This is magical thinking. We need to stay quarantined.  We can try to eat well, stay hydrated, go outside for walks or bike rides IF we don’t live in a city where there is no space to do that.  There are boundaries to observe.

But even if we “do everything right” there is randomness to this.  When you hear that a person contracted it – watch your words, watch your thinking.  Don’t blame the victim.  Don’t blame yourself.

Judy Woodruff, a few weeks ago, stated what to me is the most profound statement I have heard yet. Her general words were, “Today the stock market rose a huge amount. Today hundreds of people died.  This really doesn’t make sense.”

Why do I have an app THAT CAME PRE-INSTALLED ON MY PHONE where I can check the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, NYSE, and more?

Where are the American indices that ask:

  • How many work-able adults in the US are currently working?
  • What it the average wage per house in the country right now?
  • If we select out individuals earning more than $100,000 per year – what is the average hourly wage?
  • What is the average cost of health insurance for a family of four?  Can we break that out by metro and rural area?

Wouldn’t these indices say more about the core strength of our nation? 

Today, Monday, the stock market rose 1600 points while the known death toll is now over 10,000.  

I can’t live in fear, anxiety, and anger.  As soon as Len gets back from his bike ride, I’m drinking wine with him in the garage. 

What ridiculous thing are you looking forward to?










TY, Look forward to your daily musings..

I don’t know if most of your readers are local or not, but I’m kinda proud that I know what “drumlin“ means! Other readers, do you know? If you do know, don’t spoil it- if you don’t know, don’t cheat! What do you guys think it is?
Mary Beth's picture

Drumlin... A secret Wisconsin word!

We ate dinner outside tonight, too, for the first time this year. It brings an added element of excitement--a change of scenery. We are so fortunate to live where we have a fenced in back yard; the boys & puppy can play and we don't have to worry. They are also still riding their bikes/scooters around the neighborhood. Feeling blessed and grateful for the sun. Not so in love with my garden at the moment... LOL
Mary Beth's picture

I discovered (well, reconfirmed) that whereas inside the house I generally have one small glass of wine - outside the house I have two regular sized glasses of wine. I see some kids outside but not many. The baby across the street just returned from her morning stroller ride.

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Quarantine Diary #66, 5/24/2020 Zoom Birthday

This week we Zoom-celebrated (zoom-abrated?) the first birthday of our grandson. This was a very different kind of party in our family which ALWAYS celebrates kid’s birthdays. We always have over a few too many friends and relatives. We always have a mound of presents the kids doesn’t actually need. We always have appetizers and pizza, an activity for kids, and a cake. We always sing Happy Birthday too slowly while the kid stares at the candles.

Quarantine Diary #65 – 5/22/2020 Shontay & Irresistible Iridescence

Science Daily website reports this scientific discovery. Bats have an unusual mammal response to viruses they encounter; they don’t get sick to fight the virus like the rest of us mammals do. Instead they act as a kind of long-term host for viruses. A bat is a repository of the viruses it has encountered in its batty life.

Quarantine Diary #64, 5/20/2020 Twenties & Assets

First of all, tonight at 8:20 the time will be 20:20 on 20/2020. If you have kids, or if you are your own odd duck, I think that would be a good time to celebrate. When our kids were young we celebrated New Year’s Eve by piling, on a table on a tablecloth, a crazy stack of metal cookie sheets, muffin tins, bread pans, and bowls. When midnight struck they would try to pull the tablecloth out from under the stack, everything would teeter and then tumble with a terrific crash and the cats would run and it was satisfying.

New Photo & Old Column About Spring

The photo is from this morning and is for you, Michol! This dam on the Fox River is alive with rushing water.

Quarantine Diary #63 - 5/18/2020 Flooding, It's changing now

We had three inches of rain here yesterday. This is what the Fox River by Riverwalk condominiums looks like today.

While I was walking along here, an older woman (says me, ahem…) was standing on her sidewalk with her nervous beagle, looking at the over-its-banks river.

Quarantine Diary #62, 5/16/2020 - Invisible Crisis, Spring

Little Women Again: Louisa May Alcott volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War. She intended to serve three months but after several weeks she became deathly ill with typhoid pneumonia and went home. Typhoid was treated at that time with a medication made with mercury. She survived typhoid but would deal the rest of her life with an autoimmune disease possibly triggered by the mercury.  

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