Mary Beth Writes

Israel’s Health Ministry this week announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — one of the world’s most effective shots — was offering only 64 percent protection against infection and symptomatic illness caused by the delta variant.

The vaccine was still highly effective at preventing severe illness and death, the ministry said.

(I read this in the Washington Post, though it’s other places also.)

Statistics are never perfectly perfect and there are always more questions. But as a person with two Pfizer vaccinations in me – I’ll sure keep wearing a mask and I will be wary of guests in my home who are not vaccinated. Which is complicated because I’m spending some time this summer with two kids and their mom who I met via volunteering with the neighborhood school.

What are you doing? Are you confident about the health of you and your loved ones? Are you still wondering?

I also read that Wisconsin has had no Covid deaths in several days.  And that Pfizer is asking to be able to provide 3rd/booster vaccines for those who have received two. I think people are paying attention. Maybe this time experts are the ones moving on this. Won’t that be nice.

This week I donated a good-looking but very beat-up solid wood table. Neighbors gave it to us when they were moving out two years ago, which happened to be the day before we were going to help our table-less kid move into a new apartment. Well, she just moved again and she no longer needs it. I thought about refinishing it – but not a one of my kith or kin wants a new table.

It was hard donating a potentially nice piece of furniture it to Goodwill but doing so freed room in our garage and on my to-do list.

This week Len delved into our under-the-fridge freezer to jettison some tired and/or yucky items. The freezer has room in it again.

On social media I was following great sites that say powerful things about women’s rights to live with more respect and less self-criticism in their family and work lives. For months I’ve been reading these pithy comments until this week I realized their points make me so frustrated and angry.

And the thing is, I’m not disrespected in my family, and I’m retired. I unfollowed those sites. They are strong for women in the struggle to live more freely in their relationships, to demand work conditions that are inclusive and whole. 

But those aren’t my battles anymore.

There’s an strategy of solving problems by taking things away. If something is too hard to figure out … maybe the solution is not to try harder but to offload some of the parts, options, and details.

Can we apply this to how it feels to be an aware citizen right now?

There are so many realities that are awful and worse.  Instead of paying attention to it all, can we pay attention to less in order to act on more?

Len went fishing yesterday evening with our son. They were on the Rock River four hours and Len came home late and happy. I don’t “get it” – not a fan of sitting on a bench holding a stick - but his photos of the river at dusk are beautiful. He and our son joked and talked. He had his camera (his third eye).  I guess that’s why he doesn’t get bored.

This made me chuckle, so I put the book on hold at the library.  If it’s as good as this line, I’ll let you know.

“It was an ordinary day, a Friday, twenty minutes til lunchtime, five hours til quitting time and the weekend, ten months til vacation, thirty-seven years til retirement. Then the phone rang.”   

 Jack Finney, Time and Again

 Happy Friday.






I am fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and continue to wear a mask, and socially distance. I hosted my first gathering at home to celebrate my mother's 83 birthday with 13 women. They were all vaccinated, which is why I hosted. It was wonderful! I have chosen to accept less in my life (on all counts) so that I can do more with it. Last fall I got off all social media, and my life is richer for it. Be well. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Boy, how we relate to social media, there's a highway for thought. We al know its not great for humans - but we also know from time to time it is very helpful and funny and good. Your party sounds wonderful. The sticky tricky part is how to connect to kids. Other kids. Our grandkids. Until kids are vaccinated they both vulnerable and possibly contagious. This is not a simple time.

Yes! My grandson is medically complex, and our family , specially my daughter and son in law, work hard at keeping him safe. Parents are fully vaccinated, and have slowly opened their world a bit to fully vaccinated family members. I was finally able to see him after 16 months ( after COVID testing). It was glorious. Not a simple time indeed. I miss the contact social media gave me with family members and college friends. And also, hilarious postings. But, Not enough to have me go back. Patricia

Add new comment


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

Three Things 9/11/2021

The photo is from a trip to Arizona that Len and I took several years ago. His employer had said he had to take vacation time.  We sat here in our office not knowing where to go or what to do; it came up that fast. We looked up cheap flights from Milwaukee,; Phoenix popped up for $150 round trip. That was how we decided.

Of course, we rented a car and stayed in motels and ate in restaurants so no, it wasn’t a $300 vacation.

Three Things 9/3/2021

1. This morning I was texting with Franc about our heritages. He was born and raised in the Midwest although his ancestors are from Puerto Rico. Being the child of children of a Caribbean Island means he probably has Taino DNA as well as African and European. Heck, he probably has Phoenician and Viking and Pacific Islander because island people and sailors have always thought each other cute.

Three Things 9/2/2021

Regarding Texas: I’m so angry today.

From The Buried: An Archeology of the Egyptian Revolution by Peter Hessler

Hessler is making a case that a significant reason for the failure of Egyptian governments is because citizens are not looking for competent political leaders. They vote for men who lambast the “corruption and immorality” of present leaders. They vote for those who promise a “return to our traditional Islamist values.”

Three Things 8/25/2021


Where did these damn fruit flies come from? I borrowed a 400-page book from the library yesterday and just finished it an hour ago. ONE fruit fly bumped me every twenty minutes through the whole damn tome. I hit at it every time it zipped past but I never zapped it.

I’ll get him (or her?). I put an inch of apple cider vinegar into a glass, covered it with plastic wrap, punched some tiny holes, set it next to our fruit.

Bugs bug me.


Is it really August already?

I woke up this morning feeling wistful. It’s the third week of August. Where did this summer go?

I have not ridden my bike even once (there are giant construction trucks all over my favorite route). We’ve hardly entertained friends at our Bistro (the apron of the garage that I painted last year). We’ve not traveled other than to see our kids. My six tomato plants are producing an unenergetic number of tomatoes. Didn’t see the Perseids. Didn’t serve umbrella drinks by our pool. Oh wait, we don’t have a pool.

Len is Raising $ for the MAAC Fund Again

About this photo: these are the four guys who first started riding together, years ago. Jack heard about the MACC fund, so they all did it together. Last year, out riding one fine day for the fun and exercise of it, Tom, the tall guy, suffered a terrible accident and passed away. Sometimes when they ride together now, Tom's humorous and kind spirit accompanies them. 


This is the MACC Fund

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent anniversary antlers apples Arrows Ashland August Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cat romance cats cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering depression Destination Today Detroit disasterprep dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable 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 GeorgeFloyd ghosts gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland Ocotillo 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 rhubarb rime RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch Willa WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion