Mary Beth Writes

3/29/2022

 The following is taken from this morning’s letter from Heather Cox Richardson. If you aren’t getting her letters, why not? She’s a historian and professor and is one of the smartest and most non-inflammatory voices right now. (Subscribe to her free newsletter at: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/ )

United States District Judge David O. Carter of the US District Court for the Central District of California ordered John Eastman to disclose 101 documents to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Judge Carter says, “Eastman and Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was a coup in search of a legal theory…. If [the] plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.” 

And then this morning we learn: “Internal White House records from Jan show a gap in President Donald Trump’s phone logs of seven hours and 37 minutes, including the period when the building was being violently assaulted, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News.”

Today would be a good day to email or call your reps to say that you fully support the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack. Because if we all write to all our reps they will have to deal with the reality I think many Republican representatives are assuming – that since we don’t say anything to them, we don’t care.

We came THIS CLOSE. There were dozens of planners, many enablers, and hundreds of followers who were ready to overthrow our democratic process.

That was crazy and we get to and need to say so.

If you are wondering about my heart, well, so am I. I thought Froedtert was the premier heart place in SE Wisconsin? I called again today and my nurse practitioner’s assistant called back to say she just called the lab where I sent the heart monitor.

She says the monitor is contracted from a company. They send the monitor to that company which then prints the info somehow and then sends that to the cardiology team at the big Froedtert central hospital. They look at it and then send it back to the local clinic to the patient’s medical care person. So, it takes a while.

What do you see here? I see a medical care system that has increased profitability by outsourcing a complicated set of information to a cheaper venue. I wonder if that company is in some other nation. I don’t know, I’m guessing. Then they send it to the central people who know what the score is and can select out patients who need immediate care and also who is likely to become a profitable patient. Cynical observation? Yes, but one wonders.

I understand that margins can be tight and providing health care has many places where an institution can’t be and do everything. But it's been three weeks and here we are. I have more questions about American health care than confidence in it.

Let’s talk about something easier.

How do we know it is Spring? A whole lot of the “Spring is busting out all over” observations are sentimental poppycock. Flowering trees, daffodils, birds and bunnies, windy days, and kites? Easter eggs and little kids in pastel clothes? It’s the end of March in Wisconsin and right now the windchill is 24 degrees.

Instead of just going with what they have told us is spring – WHAT IN YOUR PART OF THE WORLD TELLS YOU THAT IT IS NOW SPRING?

THIS: A couple days ago I woke to a persistent racket on the other side of our bedroom wall. The sound is of someone chipping at the wall with hammers. Once again, like each year we have lived here, birds are building nests at the crook of two walls. Where gutters meet there is snug place on the gutters, under the eaves where some local flutter-budgies tamp sticks into a nest.

I hear the hammering, I see little brown birds flitting past the window, and I know that once again in our gray urban neighborhood, it’s Spring.

THIS: Fresh asparagus at the grocery store. (I picked asparagus my first job out of college. Not kidding.)

THIS: The sound of Sandhill Cranes flying WAY overhead, going north to the Arctic.

 

What are signs of Spring where you live?

 

 

Comments

Thank you for the reminder to write our Representatives. Did it. So often we just sit with bated breath waiting for the outcome of these investigations, when we need to make our voice heard to take part in our democracy. Maybe if you elevate your voice a bit more - you can get the results of your Holter monitor test a bit faster. Squeaky wheel and all that. Spring always seems slow to arrive. But the squirrels are acting "squirrely", and the birds are building nests - it can't be long!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks and yes, I think it must help somewhat to let ALL our reps know we are paying attention. We have squirrel who has, I fear, a broken shoulder. I think of her as female and have named her Clarissa in honor of the little girl in the wheelchair in the Heidi story. Clarissa grabs a seed or crumb, then flop on her side to eat it. I worry about her.

Contacting the Wildlife rehab center at the Wisconsin Humane society might give you some help in what to do for Clarissa. https://www.wihumane.org/services/wildlife-rehabilitation-center

Spring is busting out all over here in Middle Georgia. Dogwoods, irises and azaleas blooming, all the trees leafing out in myriad shades of green, birds nesting (we have a Carolina wren nest on our back porch, and she's sitting on eggs). I'm setting out my tomato and pepper plants this week, and the temperature will be in the mid 80's this afternoon. This is a bit warm for the time of year, but we have a lot of temperature swings in March. Nothing like your 24 degrees. Not since two weeks ago when we had a low of 20, the coldest morning of the winter.
Mary Beth's picture

That sounds like May here - and it sounds wonderful! Enjoy it for us! Len and I are just back from a short walk. Today it is misty moisty gray, about to rain, and 40. We will take it.
Leonard's picture

Looking at your picture, it looks like it would kill your back. There are people hard at work, as we speak, designing lasers to harvest asparagus. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/eaef/6/3/6_105/_pdf

Despite having written a poem about how the crocuses are in conflict with the biting wind on my neck, I know it's sitting because the birds who live in our back porch eaves have hit the best all built and are increasingly in a flurry. It makes a big mess (also included in the poem), but it does feel comforting to know that they're getting ready for something. I trust the birds. I suppose I trust the crocus too ... Did you know there was an ancient ritual involving crocus petals to invite the wind? Perhaps they aren't foes after all!
Mary Beth's picture

I didn't know about crocus petal rituals. Now I will have to look that up. Hmmm.

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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