Mary Beth Writes

Can you balance on one foot for a minute?

Me, neither.

 I practice “balancing” fairly often.  I do this by standing barefoot on one foot as long as I can and then I stand on the other foot. It’s interesting that some days I can do this and then, the very next morning perhaps, I will balance on one foot about 9 seconds before I tip over.  Sort of a mini-check-up, I guess. On the 9-seconds days I figure my body is lopsided or badly fueled or distracted. A good day to take care while doing stuff.

Balancing requires a particular amount of attention - but not too much. If I think about not falling over, I fall over. If I don’t think about falling over, I fall over.

If I stare at a spot on the wall, or listen to the music Len has on in the kitchen, or if hold my arms out as gracefully as I can while thinking about my grandbaby – pretty often I can be my own heron for a half minute.

Paying just enough but not too much attention – this is the trick to standing on one foot. Also to raising children, making bread, flirting with your partner while you are eating burgers at a dim and tasty place on Friday night – and writing.  As well as to most of the rest of tricky human endeavors such as surgery, neonatal care, managing a huge enterprise or project, and engine repair.

Paying attention while not being swamped by the swirl of minutia; that’s the trick.

Last week I sucked at being my own heron.  I was distracted by many fine and needful things, some of which are these:

Halloween. We only had one set of trick-or-treaters. If you live in Waukesha and need more Halloween candy, I have about 30 Blow-Pops and mini candy bars left.  I’ll pay you a dollar to take it.

A carrot-beet cupcake (made by Len for me) and a glass of milk. Life is good.

When I was a kid my mom was a Pioneer Girl Club leader. Pioneer Girls were our church denomination’s answer to those secular Girl Scouts.  (I became a Jr GS leader when my daughters where in school. Loved it.) Mom arranged crafts every week for the 40 girls in our church’s club. One project I still remember was dried milkweed pods that we got to spray paint gold and silver; they were magnificent! I loved making them and I loved the outre' bouquet Mom made for our house. A kid whose mom (or dad) makes cool stuff out of free stuff is a lucky kid. 

I still love milkweed pods.

I never paint them…

 

Back in the spring I read a blog where the writer was encouraging people to buy and sell stuff on eBay (and other selling sites) as a way for all of us to consume less. She highlighted eBay sites where people were selling TP rolls!  I thought that was funny and with no goal in mind, started saving them, also.

Last week my daughter was talking about possible crafts for kids to do at a birthday party. I mentioned I had TP and paper towels rolls. She asked how many. I sent this pix.

Now I am in charge of the crafts at the party. 

If you save something, and then let people know, you too might become the person leading paper tube giraffe crafts for preschoolers.

 

 I was out for a walk before the sun came up. I saw this spooky orange-lit porch.

I finally started really writing.  This was the view from my office window last week.

What has distracted you lately?

Len added a note below - and a URL to this pix.....

 

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Comments

Clever of you to write about 'Balance' right after you wrote about 'The Tipping Point.' https://grassrootsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/balance-akt.jpg

I laughed and identified with a lot your wrote. Especially the balancing part. Wonder at what age you start to loose your balance. This might be a fun Thanksgiving test after we have stuffed ourselves. My distractions last week. Month end - sick kid - packing. This week is better. The ocean.

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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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