Mary Beth Writes

Lambs are being born!  Friend Heidi Woehick called yesterday; we’d made plans a year ago that this spring my family - two little grandkids, no waiting – could visit her farm in lambing season. Well, it’s here now but we are all in quarantine, so we won’t be visiting in real time. 

Then I asked if there were any photos! 

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not believe in stress and yet, somehow, stress seems to believe in me.  I can tell you six ways to Sunday how I am not delicate, not overly sensitive, how I can get up and do what needs to be done.  I talk a good story and as many of you are my friends and I know you – most of you are sprightly, courageous, seasoned, and strong.

We’ve got this. Right?

But there is this other thing going on.  I am turning into a lava lamp of symptoms. 

In the past month, my body has been all these places (and more).

First the skin around my elbows pinged. I think the proper term is neuropathy. The skin was unusually sensitive and felt as if little sparklers were intermittently going off right inside my skin. I could hold my hand against the sore places, press in gently and firmly and that would calm the flares. This unusual adventure was how I learned what neuropathy is.  If you google “sparklers in your skin” you get directed right there. 

Two days later it was gone.  A couple days later I had one sparkler in one leg. Gone the next day.

Indigestion-tinged aches appeared high on one side and low on the other; this on a day where I ate modest amounts of normal things.  A few hours later, all gone.

A light 2-day headache located in one place over one ear.

Once my wrist sort of just “went limp” and I couldn’t pick up a teapot. That only lasted an hour.

I have a medical care person. I had my annual physical exam recently and I’m in good shape.  No diabetes, no blood pressure issues, cholesterol under control, nice thumpy heartbeat. I can walk and I can sleep, and I can get down on the floor and then get back up (it ain’t pretty but I can do it).  

So let’s start this over again.

How is this stress affecting you?

I’m sharing this that I read on several tweets, because I think it helps us to be empathetic and respectful.

There is a difference between what we are being asked to do – Social Distancing; and what workers cannot always mange –Physical Distancing. Social distancing and physical distancing are not the same thing and the difference is crucial. A bus driver who takes fares is not failing to *socially* distance. He or she cannot *physically* distance, which is what actually saves lives -- his own and others'.

And then this: “from a grocery worker interviewed on MSNBC tonight: "I feel like 'essential' just stands for exhausted and expendable.”

If we are in a situation where we can move but a worker cannot we need to be mindful enough to move and to remind others around us to step back, also. 

And then to say thank you. 

Len made our first real sourdough bread and it is astoundingly good!

If I feel overfull this evening, it won’t be from stress.




Stress. Never heard of it. My stomach aches, neck aches, headache off and on has absolutely nothing to do with stress. But, it does help that we are all in this together. We will all get thru this. The lambs are adorable.

I don't believe I'm feeling all that much stress and maybe that's a good thing. George is stressing out enough for the two of us... Having the person I love more than anything in the front lines should have me stressing out but I can't go to that place... I started riding my bike, lifting weights and doing sit-ups... Which I think are helping with the stress and keeping me from over indulging which could easily happen when you are locked up... Also finding a possible new friend online keeps my mind in a happier space than were it would be otherwise...

Yes, stress can certainty affect us physically. Having a husband who makes a loaf of bread that looks that good probably helps. Too bad you can’t visit the lambs now. That could help, too.
Mary Beth's picture

The bread is amazing. Kind burnt on the outside, super crunchy, the inside is tangy. Oh Lordy, I had a second piece for dessert.

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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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