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 #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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