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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"Death Comes for the Archbishop" and How to drive to the Y without a map.

I read Willa Cather’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop” when I was in high school. I heard it was an important book which made me curious (still does), so I borrowed it from the library and read the whole thing.

It was mud. I didn’t care about the characters; two middle-aged priests who go to the American southwest to build and strengthen the Catholic church. Snooze. Nothing cohesive happens. They do a bunch of walking around in the desert followed by episodes of trying to be helpful a few days here, a few years there. Yawn.

When Weaving is NOT a Metaphor

I wrote this 12 years ago.  It's long and even I get confused as to what I wrote when one gets about half way through this  - and I was there!   But some of you will be interested to read how those "ethnic weavings" from Guatemala begin.  Next time you buy something hand woven, for less than $20, you will understand that price is not right.

.....

Retirement Smackdown

I just made a list of fourteen friends who have retired in the past five years. Of the fourteen, SEVEN retired early and abruptly when their employer’s business practices, for various reasons, changed or failed.

There is a myth out there that retirement is a fixed event with a date one knows years in advance. Then at the desired retirement age there will be a company party where one gets a memento from their employer - and after that they live aimlessly, trying to find purpose.  

Cahokia

Last week we went to Cahokia with our pals, Otis and David. Our Corps of Discovery (not to be confused with Lewis and Clark’s expedition of the same name) started because, at my daughter’s request, Otis had sewn a quilt for her. Len and I decided it would be fun to drive to the central Illinois village where he lives to pick it up, thus saving them the fortune it would cost to ship it.

And if one is going to be tootling down along the Mississippi River, why not hop on down to Cahokia, across from St. Louis?

I mean, how much further can it be? 

4th Thoughts

I’m reading a new book about the Upper Midwest, late 1500’s - 1750ish.  The book is Indian Women and French Men; Rethinking Cultural Encounter in the Western Great Lakes, by Susan Sleeper-Smith - and I am reading it as avidly as my granddaughter listens to story hour. 

This is from the introduction: “In kin-based societies, behaviors change as people struggle either to attain or retain symbolic capital – what people sense as honor, prestige, respect, or authority.”

Pastor Betty Rendon has been Deported by Our ICE

This is on Facebook this morning:
...
 Here is a message posted by Pastor Betty Rendon, who landed yesterday in Bogotá after being d

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