Mary Beth Writes

This cartoon is from FB. I don't know who created it, but they definitely know from cats. 


Yamiche (the cat, not the much awarded and highly esteemed journalist) has a strong need to be both present and inconvenient while one is getting dressed. As soon as one lays out their jeans, socks, t-shirt, etc. on the end of the bed, she is THERE. She sits on them. I have to push her off my clothes so that I can put them on, and as I’m putting on my shirt, she is already on my jeans staring up at me with her “I dare you, Woman” eyes.

She is a fierce shoelace enthusiast. Seriously, I have barely decipherable scratch marks on both my hands from these morning wrestles to tie my shoes while she attacks the laces. I was laughing so hard this morning when Len said, “That’s why I have a decoy shoe.”


I had been noticing (but not very much) that sometimes one of his shoes is on the floor in the closet, next to the stool he sits on when he’s putting on shoes.

“I wave around an extra shoe, and then put it down for her to attack it while I quickly tie my shoes.”

So that’s how today is going to be.


Len took this photo a year ago. We had camped with our son and his wife and their two dogs at Governor Thompson State Park. The whole week had been lovely warm September weather, then that Friday night the temps plummeted to 30-degrees and we were all so frozen that we got up to discuss the situation before dawn. Our son, who sort of lives by “if you can’t fix it, you might as well go fishing” motto – decided to go fishing. Len went with him. I stayed at the campsite with my daughter-in-law and the two dogs, one of whom was lame from the cold (Bean has had complicated surgery on one leg, he limps when he’s cold). It was a beautiful morning. The mist is golden from the rising sun in a town 200 miles north of here.


Gary Cozette - Chicago skyline.

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
― John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

Jennifer Beiriger - Small child, looks suspiciously like Jennifer.

“She can't help it,' he said. 'She's got the soul of a poet and the emotional makeup of a junkyard dog.”
― Stephen King, Under the Dome


Jennifer Beiriger – That cat is limned and rimmed with light.

“Cats are marvelous creatures - they either adapt to circumstances or decide to make circumstances adapt to them. Either way - they win.”
― Will Advise, Nothing is here...

“The line between insanity and mysticism is thin; the line between reality and unreality is thin. Liminality as a spiritual concept is all about the porousness of boundaries.”
― Esmé Weijun Wang, The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays

Jennifer Beiriger – Ice

“The wind makes you ache is some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die - migrate or die.”
― Stephen King

"Those who loved the most, those who were obsessed with love, it was they who took the frost."
- Jonas Gardell, Death

Mary Kay Friedel – A Black & Blue / Guinness & Blue Moon, enjoyed at the Yardarm with a friend who has since passed away.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne.

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.


“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” ― Abraham Lincoln














Oh my gosh —- a decoy shoe. Brilliant and I’m laughing Awesome pictures and quotes.

1. I learned a new word (“liminality”) which is super evident in my life right now. 2. It’s eye-opening to realize how much I adjust my routines around 1 cat: getting dressed, sleeping, eating, showering, cleaning, where I sit... I never really thought about it! Your husband is really smart!

Love the picture of the "little gator," and the quote: "soul of a poet... emotional makeup of a junkyard dog." <3 Thank you for your posts, MaryBeth. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

I didn't even notice the gator on her blue shirt! Takes a Floridian to see a Floridian?? Thanks!

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Quarantine Diary #681 "If this were easy ... "


Thanks to you who responded to yesterday's post with affirming comments. It feels awkward and sad to cancel activities we want to do with people we like and love. As our friend David so helpfully reminded, “Just because we’re paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t out to get us.”

Are you also are confused about quarantining? This HuffPost article is the clearest article I’ve read yet about how long to isolate if one has Covid, or one is positive, or if one has been exposed.   

Quarantine Diary #680 Too Close Covid


Judy suggests a podcast that her daughter-in-law, an infectious disease physician, listens to and recommends. It’s The Osterholm Update: COVID 19. Osterholm is an epidemiologist and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He’s on President Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board.

The podcast is a little wordy here and there but one can fast-forward. Here is what I learned that makes a difference to me.

Quarantine Diary #674 - MLK Day


It’s Martin Luther King Day.  I read this last week (in Soul Matters for those of you who are UU). 

There is no such state of being that can be called - “I’m not a racist.”

There is only racist and anti-racist.

Quarantine Diary #668 Making an Effort

We hiked on Sunday.


How was your weekend?

Have you noticed that with this omicron iteration of covid isolation – if one is not an employee - it’s tricky to tell what is a weekend and what is not? I think about what my kids might be doing and maybe we call them and that is the main way weekends are different from weeks. By what other people are doing.

Quarantine Diary #664 Whine, whine, whine.


Lincoln gave a speech in January of 1838 to Americans alarmed by mob actions.

He begins: “In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American People …

Quarantine Diary #662 Janus month.


I can still hear my mom saying, “I don’t know whether I’m coming or going today.” I thought of this, one of her favorite sayings, when I wrote this letter to the Third Graders yesterday.

Dear Kids!

I hope you had a fine winter holiday. Now it is January 2022. Do you know where the word January comes from?

In ancient Roman culture, Jānus was a god of doorways, beginnings, and of the rising and setting of the sun. The Latin word jānus, means doorway. Janus is where you enter or leave a space.

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