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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Nomadland. How people live well enough when there is no way to live well.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century - by Jessica Bruder

 

You’ve read these kinds of statistics before.  In the US our incomes are spread like this: The top 1% suck up 81 times MORE annual income than the bottom half of ALL Americans.

Len's Marinated Story Starts

Our family gathered for Easter dinner this year, um, the Saturday after Easter. I guess flexibility is one of our survival skills.  Our three kids have in-laws, one baby, two dogs and all three live 1-3 hours away. We are grateful when these kids show up at all, let alone needing them on specific dates.

So. Easter dinner. The kids had given Len a new Weber grill for his birthday – which inspired an Easter menu of kabobs. Some marinated and grilled veggies plus a lot of marinated and grilled meat.

Update on Our Brother

In June I wrote about Our Brother  HERE

Here’s an update:

Our Brother is still working at the same warehouse, full-time, $9/hr.  

Back in June the Child Support dep’t had negotiated 3 purges (purge is the term Child Support uses for the bond one pays in order to get out of or stay out of jail once warrants are listed). His three purges on his three child support cases were $350 and $500 and $500. I invited people to make contributions to his cause.

Detroit!

This is a small compendium of photos and observations from a quick trip we took to Detroit last weekend.  

Amazingly, this has taken ALL my time since Wednesday morning. Sheesh, one seldom really sees Giant New Things to Learn as they come down the pike straight at one. 

These photos are from my phone, Len's phone, and our camera. So I got to play with two on-line albums of photos and then, surprise-surprise, the end product was "too big" - so today I got to run all the photos through Photoshop to make them smaller pixel-wise.  

What Happens to Personal Finances When One Grows Up Poor and Black in America?

What Happens to Personal Finances When One Grows Up Poor and Black in America?

Our Brothers story -   “Black Lives Matter”

I met Our Brother when I was the coordinator (and only employee, hah) of the Jail Employment Program in the Racine County Jail. I did this job nearly a decade and retired from it two years ago. (The jail disbanded the program a few months after I left.) Each year I worked with several hundred current and some former inmates; helping about 100-125 of them obtain employment.

Read this, Friends. "Home" by Warsan Shire

I just read this poem. The small part I can do today is pass it along to you.

https://genius.com/Warsan-shire-home-annotated

Home by Warsan Shire

(Shire was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family, as a child, to Great Britain.)

 

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

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