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 #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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