Mary Beth Writes

Today is the birthday of a person in our family. Until the quarantine, we had plans to celebrate this weekend but of course those plans fell through. I don’t feel devastated, but I am sorry to miss this celebration. Smaller losses add up.  

Do you think we can change the karma around us by thinking up small good things to fill in the spaces where everyday losses happen?  I’m not talking about the loss of health, livelihoods, security, relationships.

But what about birthday parties for adults? Going to the movies on discount Tuesday? Impromptu pizza when one is out and about? Sharing a meal with friends?

What are the small things you do now to fill in a blank place with a good thing?

Talk or text a friend? Bake a half batch of something you love, for yourself? Look at Susan’s flower mandalas on Instagram? 

Dance in the kitchen with the dog? Sneak around the back of the sofa to surprise the cat?  Send a good donation to a good cause?

Tom Palzewicz

Start getting used to his name if you don’t know it already. Tom Palzewicz (Pals-a-wits) will run as Wisconsin’s 5th District Democratic candidate for US Representative.  Len and I are supporting him.

Palzewicz has a quiet demeanor and impressive resume.

The step his campaign is currently working on is to obtain signatures from voters in the 5th district in order to get on the ballot in the fall. In ordinary times, volunteers would be out gathering signatures. These are not ordinary times.

Here are three things to know.

1. Do you live in the 5th district?

2. Here is how to sign his nomination papers.

3. Len and I will be hosting a Zoom Meet the Candidate Open House.  ANYONE can attend. Having a good rep in the US House of Reps helps us all so Vermont and Wyoming and Illinois – you will be welcome at our Zoom event. However, if you live in the 5th and you respond to the email invitation we will send to you, we will bring Open House snacks to you the day before! Because Len and I do NOT do parties without food.  

We don’t know the date yet. It’s in the works and we will let you know. If you want to make sure we invite you, respond in the comments. I won’t make public your potential RSVP or email address.

Today as we were reading to our 3-year old, several times in the middle of stories she piped up, “I’m here!” 

We read to her via Facetime. One of us reads, the other zooms the camera viewer over the pictures. Sometimes we can see her sweet face hunched over the camera watching the pictures. Lately she’s been wearing her cardboard princess crown during story-time. She loves ‘Corduroy the Bear’ and ‘The Runaway Bunny’ and ‘Alfred the Running Bear.’   

But today for no reasons we can think of, several times she responded to the stories with an intermittent, “I’m here!”

That’s all I really have this evening, too. I had a busy day inside and outside. We are making plans to support a good candidate. We are making a list of things to do to make our yard nicer and to be able to grow some vegetables. I know more about the health issues and politics of this pandemic than I did at the beginning of the day. Len and I took a walk to look at a newly delivered railroad replacement rail next to the tracks near our house. Len laughed when he asked if I wanted to check this out and I said yes.  He said I have been married longer than I know; that this was not a response he would have gotten from me 40 years ago. He’s right.

He made a new loaf of bread and now it is time to eat some of it.

I’m here.

How was your day?  



I'm here-- I think of eating Len's lovely loaf of bread while actually eating my no texture store bought loaf... I text my friends, that's not really new but it filled my life with joy before ¿so why not now? I ride my bike.( haven't done that in 2yrs )... I'm cooking big meals and eating the leftovers so I don't have to cook for 3 days )... I walk through the yard and get on my hands and knees to get close-up view of the new shoots and blooms that are opening every day... And last but not least I'm revisiting the piano after a long hyatis... I'm here!!

I’m here too. Just wanted you to know I’ve been reading your diary every day and enjoying the companionship it brings. Thanks, Mary Beth ❤️

I am enjoying reading about the good, nay, GREAT things people are doing for each other! I may not be able to participate but I can send along some of that stimulus money. We got take out at a local place we enjoy, first time not eating at home in weeks. I added a good tip and thanked them for being there! Baking way tooo much and eating way tooo much. But hell, we are alive. Laughing on the phone with friends. Made a mermaid bowl instead of a fairy garden. Enjoy reading your posts!
Mary Beth's picture

I've been taking a photo every time a new loaf of Len's bread comes out of the oven and I fear one of my "souvenirs" of this crazy time is going to be a folder filled with 100 pictures of bread. Thanks for your comment!

I'm here too... so count me in when you have your Zoom "Meet the Candidate" open house with Tom Palzewicz . Wow, an open seat! That give him a real chance. As does the fact that he ran before and got 35% vote against the longtime incumbent. He will already have some name recognition. It's great that confronting climate change is one of his top issues. After your Zoom open house with Palzewicz, will match whatever you and Len give to his campaign.
Mary Beth's picture

Awesome, Gary! This is a good way to start my day!

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Quarantine Diary #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.


 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.


Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.


Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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