Mary Beth Writes


Last week I invited you to submit pictures of animals who are visiting your life these days.

By far, this is the best picture and it is not a photograph - it's Karens desciption! "Yesterday morning, when I was shoveling the light, airy snow that fell overnight, I noticed coyote pawprints on the back sidewalk that traveled up to the front sidewalk and across the street to the woods. During the brutal -30 windchill a few days ago, a feral cat that lives in the neighborhood casually trotted down the road and into the woods like the weather was no big deal. Juncos, chickadees, sparrows, and woodpeckers were all over the suet."  Submitted by Karen K on January 20, 2024

Remember the deer in Rhonda’s backyard? Well, this week this guy showed up. I am reminded of a Thanksgiving dinner years ago. A handsome fellow like this showed up in our backyard. Our young nephew, son of his mighty hunter dad, saw the deer first. “Shoot him Daddy!”

These turkeys were and probably still are in Kathryn’s backyard. I also like to visit Kathryn’s yard and sometimes do this with friends, though never this many.

My niece Susan has been in California and Florida lately.

 Look at that temperature. Remember fifty degrees? Susan has a Facebook page in which she notices small, fine, often quirky moments in her life as a resident of and public-school teacher in LA. You can request to be her friend at


This is my daughter’s small dog just back from a very cold Chicago walk.

Recently some grandkids visited us a few hours. This photo is of the activity one gets to do at my house. It’s called, technically, “Ingredients.” Give a kid leftovers (my grandson doesn’t like toast with jam? I’ve seen him scarf down red snapper, roasted broccoli and cauliflower - but jam and toast is unpleasant?), a cup of this, a ramekin of that, the gravy boat with water in it (not filled up, guess how I learned?) and tell the kid to make cupcakes for squirrels. This activity is like high stakes playdough.

This is a squirrel eating those cupcakes.


That photo of the eagle at the start of this post? He is a preview of my Saturday Substack story. Len and I drove to Prairie du Sac last Sunday afternoon to see flocks of eagles. When we got there, there were only five although they were good ones.

My story is short and features a younger eagle who yearns.

You can sign up by clicking here and entering your email address. Then an email will come to you on Saturday mornings at 8AM and if you click it, you can read what I posted this week. You can do your subscription as paid or free.

And this is a sea serpent pulpit, from 1750, in Dobroszow, Poland. Wow. 

Later, gator.








I had no pictures of animals to send you but in a few short weeks, we will have hundreds of sandhill cranes in the fields around us ! I will get some pictures of them! That pulpit is kind of awesome!
Mary Beth's picture

You KNOW I love sandhill cranes!

Wow. Got to wonder how the context of that pulpit affected messages delivered…makes preachers feel like Jonah?
Mary Beth's picture

I wondered that, too. Preaching from the belly of the beast? The "whale" was where Jonah told God he wouldn't run away from God's calling anymore. And yet.. and yet.. the serpent pulpit is so CUTE!

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Hot Weather Diary #3


Today was another hot one and right now, it’s still 93 degrees in my backyard.

Hot Weather Diary #2


“Time wasted at a lake is time well spent.”  (I tried to learn who wrote this; it seems to have arisen spontaneously on a Pinterest plaque for your cabin.)

There is an argument that civilization started on the banks of rivers, the oceans, and along the shores of the hundreds and thousands of lakes on our earth. Waterfront is where people and animals gather to drink, eat, cool off, and watch the youngsters while they play. Also, it’s where adults gather to chat, fish, breathe in beauty, and sometimes swim far out there where joints don’t ache and its quiet.

Hot Weather Diary #1


We all knew it was coming and here it is. A Hot Week! We are in the news! We are important! Humans around the nation, especially in the East and Midwest, will be living through a week with temps in the 80’s, 90’s and worse.

What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 


Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

Swan Story


I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s writing lately and I have decided there is too much to read. Much of it is very good but there is JUST TOO MUCH!

So my goal going forward is to write shorter posts, more often, that might remind you of the glory, power, and goofiness of your life as well as mine.

So, let me say again what’s always very true. Thank you for reading what I write.


About My Memorial Day Story


Today my story ‘Memorial Day’ is posted at Substack. Read it here. 

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