Mary Beth Writes

Last week I went thrift shopping with my friend Franc. We saw this mobile made from dried paint brushes.  It’s hanging from the ceiling in the Habitat for Humanity reStore in Wauwatosa. 

I appreciate eclectic things made by real humans – as opposed to all the cool, anonymous stuff straight from a design team in some random place you’ve never heard of, that comes in an appropriately designed box, and it looks just like everything else. 

What is an object in your life that you love, that you would like to take with you to your last apartment and beyond?

Don’t pick something that reminds you of someone else’s love for you. Pick something YOU crafted, cobbled together, picked up at some off place on a fragile day. Something that helped you transition from who you used to be to who you are now.

What are you proud of that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you?  And not your kids, yeah, we all know our various kids are the best thing we did (or the worst, but we still love the knuckleheads). 

But what did YOU make or find and then keep and use – that comes from you only?

Also, Happy Pi Day.

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When we downsize - a few of my baskets will be going with us. I look at them and can’t believe I hand crafted them. They are sturdy, pretty and useful. I absolutely loved basket making. Basketmaking is messy and takes room to do. The results are amazing. I might have been a pioneer woman in a past life

I've made many things; baskets, paintings, drawings, jewelry, blankets, quilts and so much more! I surprised myself when creating that list...I sound like a craft factory! I could live without all of those creations, but I knowcI would keep the small cabinet my son created in junior high (Goodwill must recognize such objects when they show up!). It is only 7 inches high and 3 wide with 3 drawers and a door made of balsa wood and tiny nails. We have used it as a storage container for life's necessities such as rubber bands, safety pins, key rings, and keys for mystery doors. It is an essential part of our lives now after 25 years. I treasure it for it's usefulness, design and facinating oddness!

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Why is it so hard to keep a poor Black man who has committed NO crime out of jail?

(Our Brother’s back story is here:  https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/what-happens-personal-finances-when-one-grows-poor-and-black-america )

.....

Our Brother is not in jail. This has been a challenge for him, for the people he loves, and for those of us who try to help and support him. Keeping O.B. out of jail is a modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress.

“Oh,” you ask. “Did he commit a crime?”

Love, two days later.

As some of you know it was an unromantically large number of years ago when Len gave me flowers. (The story is here.) 

The next morning, he drove me home on his way to work (read the first article if you have forgotten how why I spent the night at his house and in his bed…)

He ignored me for a day while I rested and recuperated in my apartment.

#UTLAStrong!

My niece Susan is a speech therapist educator in the Los Angeles public schools. She is on strike and I am proud to be in her family. Teachers are the foundation of everything else we all do. For most of the skills most of us depend on to live our lives - If no one teaches you, you don’t know.   

Some Unrelated Observations 12/31/18

I'm working on some big projects lately, so here are some small thoughts along the way. 

...

Mansfield Park is Jane Austen’s weirdest novel. Jane-Readers love Jane because her best characters are bright women stuck in situations too small for them. Their observations are bitingly perceptive; you see their inner spirit and you identify, identify, identify.

I’m amazed at critics who think that those of us who love Jane Austen are not-quite-evolved humans; how can we love a book about a girl in a big dress catching her man?

A Small, True Christmas Eve Story

Christmas Eve is when we remember that we are capable of wonder and astonishment. It is a day for unexpected light and warmth, for animals who speak, and for people who thought no one was looking - becoming the center of a love story.

Four Days Up North

If you click into the icon that's right here, you can read my take on our recent small vacation to northern Wisconsin. We hiked - and took photos!  Pictures are by both of us, though a lot of the most astounding ones are from Len and his 10-year old Nikon. 

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