Mary Beth Writes

Here’s a rabbit hole.  (A rabbit hole is anything you suddenly need to learn lots about that you weren’t even thinking about five minutes ago.) (Peg, I need your rabbit hole photo!)

I was thinking about days of the week and how 35 days into this quarantine many of our best jokes are about how confused we are. I saw one joke that said today is March 97th.  Or the one about how interesting this leap year is: February had 29 days. March had 57 days and April is five years long. So far.

I visited Copan, Honduras one lucky time in my lucky life. A guide there explained that Maya people lived by a 20-day week.  Which, if you ask me, is way too long till Friday.

So I just looked up the Maya calendar to see if I remembered that correctly – and I did!

The Haab is a 365-day solar calendar which is (more or less) divided into 18 months of 20 days each. Kin equals 1 Day.  Uinal equals 20 kin AKA a Mayan week. And scientists know that the Mayan calendar is based on OLDER indigenous calendars.

We humans really, really like and need to know what time and day it is. We crave that time and days should be predicable and should be rung in and rung out by regular sleep times.

Consider that a form of torture used by all cultures that torture (including ours) is to put a person in a place where they can’t see daylight, so they don’t know what day it is or how long they have been there.

Or how hard we work to switch a newborn’s sleep schedule to match ours.

Or that a known health risk is to require a person to work a night shift. Or worse, switch their shifts every few weeks.

The first place my brain goes in the morning is, “What day is it?” Usually I can figure it out and then I can get up and get the coffee. Or drink the coffee Len has already fetched.

I have no big point to make here, other than to acknowledge that today is Friday. My spirit is happy about this even though I haven’t worked a regular job in three years. 

Len is out right now at the liquor store.  We haven’t had an IPA in five weeks, and we ran out of Cab Sav a week ago. Isn’t it telling that Friday afternoon awakens our desire for alcohol?   The internal clock knows. 

If one is an abstainer, tell me what delight Friday wakes up in you?

How do you tell the difference in the days these days?

Prone. Proning.  Have you read about proning patients? Covid is so new and so serious. Medical care providers around the world are talking to each other about what they are learning and discovering. This is a terrible time.  It must also be such a unique time for frontline caregivers as they communicate with their colleagues in China, Italy, Spain, France, NYC, and all the other places where people are trying so damn hard to get a handle on how to heal.

Someday I want to read the book that describes what is happening right now as non-political professionals share what they are learning.  Right now, this is where Peace on Earth is happening.   

Anyways, I’m sorry but I can’t source the precise article. Pretty sure it was The Washington Post of New York Times.  Here is a similar article from CNN.

 A physician explained that he has never in his professional life had to tell a patient to get off the phone so that he could put that person into a coma and then intubate him for a ventilator. That moving a patient to a ventilator has ALWAYS happened when that person is already so sick they are unconscious.  With Covid often peoples’ minds are still functioning as their oxygen levels are plummeting them towards death.  This is not only tragic, its extremely medically interesting. 

Some are trying a new therapy and sometimes it works. They “prone” the patient. Which is literally turning them over to be on their stomachs.  Many patients are obese so they are use maternity beds; supportive bed with the tummy and maybe breast area indented enough to allow a full-figured person to lie on their front.  And that no matter how they get the person prone, it seems to elevate oxygen levels very quickly and dramatically.

This week, on my walks, I have paid attention to this body-mechanics phenomenon.  When I walk up a steep hill - if I try to maintain upright posture I get more winded than if I lean forward into the incline.  Get the lungs free of body weight as much as possible and they open up a little so that more oxygen can flow in. When we talked about this, Len realized that leaning forward posture is normal bike riding posture - the weight of  shoulders and head is not over the lungs but over the bike. The weight of one’s girth is lower and also not on the lungs.

We are so complicated and also, we are so simple. Lungs gotta have air.

In the pre-Covid world, Len and I were starting a car trip on Monday. Sigh.

This afternoon I ordered a backyard firepit. We have all those logs, limbs, and tree trimmings. Plus IPA’s.

Lucky is having a plan behind a plan.

What was on your calendar for next week?









This is well- known in the NICU. Premie and newborn chest walls are more pliable, and babies often will oxygenate and ventilate better on their abdomens. This was not new to this 'seasoned' NICU RN. :)
Mary Beth's picture

Part of the article was that people are communicating across boundaries that usually divide them, as they share expertise. Bradley birthing classes - back when we were about having babies - was adamant that delivering mothers should not be "tied" to machines. Bodies need to move. I understand this can't always be the case, but it made sense to me then and still does.

Friday and my heart is happy too. Two days to do nothing but work around the house and maybe do some baking. I’m not bored! Friday night - for as long back as when our boys played sports - means pizza. Tonight we ordered pick up and ate in the truck. It was delicious. Pineapple and all. Ha
Mary Beth's picture

"If you sit in a bath of pineapple chunks, it can kill you. That's well documented." ~ Karl Pilkington I don't know who Pilkington is, either. Or if this is true. But who even knew there are "Quotes about pineapples"?

OK, now I'm laughing about the pineapple......but where were you going on your trip? Thanks again for the daily up lift too.....
Mary Beth's picture

A car trip south and west - Big Bend National Park in Texas and several places we hiked in Arizona a few years ago. We want to hike in desert/river/canyon places but it looks as if we will be vacationing in our backyard in Waukesha this year.... Thanks to Chet, at least will will have more sun and less Box Elder bugs.

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Remembering Stuff

“I’m getting so old. I just can’t remember anything anymore.”

Okay, I understand and accept that forgetfulness is weird and awkward. We talk to someone about this movie and that house repair and that small restaurant from which we ordered amazing food a few weeks ago and it feels as if we are talking with 95% of the words we used to know. What was that guy’s name? Where did I read that really powerful thing about political strategy now?

Ayad Akhtar's "Homeland Elegies" & Do We Understand Colonialism?

I heard part of an NPR / Fresh Air interview with writer Ayad Akhtar so I borrowed the book from the library and read it.

In the 1960’s his parents earned medical degrees in Pakistan and then emigrated to the US where Ayad was born and has lived all his life. (His parents are now deceased.) His dad was a highly respected cardiologist. In the 1990’s, when Donald Trump was having heart issues, Dr. Akhtar was flown to NYC to examine Trump.

Susan's Birthday Questions 10/19/2020

(One decorates for October birthdays with orange trees.) 

Last week was my birthday. My niece Susan sometimes sends me birthday greetings where she asks excellent questions. She doesn’t know I still have the card she sent six years ago; I meant to answer her questions in the blog I had then, but I never got around to it.

Stereotypes Day

Today is October 12th - Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Not Columbus Day, okay?

I was in the process of giving birth to one of our kids and it was getting on towards midnight. The midwife wondered whether our baby would be born on the day we were in or whether it would be a few more minutes and then the child would have the next day as their birthday.

10/11/2020 This Crazy Advent We're In Now

This painting is by Andrea Kowch


Regarding Time: It’s been about a million months since the quarantine started. It will be an at least one epoch if not two, until a vaccine is available to quell it. Election Day is here now (I’ve already voted, have you?) yet it feels as if it will never be done and gone. Even when Nov 3 arrives we could be in for more epochs of anxious and angry waiting as ballots are tallied, argued over, recounted, all while lawyers and politicians fight and scrap.

Quarantine Diary #204 10/4/2020 3 Short Takes

Three things to say today and none are about our goatish, swag-bellied, canket-blossomed president. How to create a Shakespearean insult. 

1. I just read this WONDERFUL and REMARKABLE book! The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable apples Arrows Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Berry birthday bistro BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit Dreams Duty eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode ghosts GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MindfulChickens Mistakes Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves New York City Nomadland OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes Remember Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining Stereotypes StoryStarts Survival swim taxes teenager Thanksgiving ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather
Ad Promotion