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 #150 8/11/2020 Taking a Break

I’m depressed. How about you?  I’m not the kind of depressed where I should call a doctor. I’m more “Michelle Obama depressed.”  Things feel stuck, wrong, and getting worse. There’s the pandemic and the feeble, chaotic response to it. There’s racial strife. When, if ever, will the police police themselves? Teachers and kids are being thrown back into schools like spaghetti thrown against a wall - to see who will stick? There’s the angry self-entitled idiocy of too many people.

Quarantine Diary #142 Swimming Lessons

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

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