Mary Beth Writes


I haven’t eaten breakfast yet though I did have a cup of coffee in bed while I played Wordle which I nailed (?) in five tries today. Maybe I needed more coffee?

It’s been an oatmeal kind of week for me except for yesterday, when I met a friend for breakfast and had scrambled eggs and bacon. I’m not generally wild about bacon. Maybe I had to eat too much of it, still rubbery, as a child. My dad said if I’d eat it my hair would get curly and I would be able to run like a deer. This from the same loving man who also said Santa is real and women shouldn’t speak in church so you can see how I came by my skepticism.

What did you have for breakfast today?


Two people have commented about weird food combos their dads ate. Maria wrote “Yesterday I had "goatmeal". That's what my dad called oatmeal. After he had quadruple bypass surgery, he became an oatmeal fanatic. Every day, quaker quick oats, and a good dose of apple sauce. This looked a lot like glue. No one wanted to watch him eat this because it quickly became a slurry when he would pour in his coffee as well so he could just drink it.”

And David wrote to me, “This reminded me of the slop my dad had for lunch. He was always concerned about getting his gut working. For lunch, J served him homemade soup that contained potatoes, carrots, green beans and tomatoes. But, to that soup my dad would always add a crumbled-up bran muffin plus some prune juice, in order to really get the old GI tract working. … My dad would have said something like, ‘it’s all going to the same place, anyway.’” 

So I guess we need to add a new category to this January menu quest.

What did you have for breakfast?


What have you witnessed people eating? Especially Dads.

Our family was eating pancakes when, instead of syrup, Len topped his with black bean garlic paste. (This was not unusual; Len likes salty stuff more than sweet.) The next day one of our kids had a medical appointment with a new doctor in our new town of Racine. That guy, rather humorless, asked my kid what she’d had for dinner the evening before (I can’t remember why) and she said her daddy had pancakes with smushed black garlic and that moment has, as you can imagine, stayed with me.

Tomorrow is January 6th. I remember sitting here writing when Len called me from the living room. I could hear that the television was on which was unusual, we don’t turn it on till the end of the day. “Mary Beth, you should come down here. Something is happening.”

The vision on the TV screen confused me. Was someone making an action movie? Then I did understand and it made even less sense.

I have been, like many of you, angry ever since. Angry at those thousands of people, so many of them property owning white men, who gave themselves permission to wreak havoc upon the rest of us. I have read enough colonial era history to know they were a million miles from what happened at the inception of our nation in the 1770’s.

The shameful, ugly, self-serving, mayhem of that day has now lived in us for three years. I’ve read that the stress of it has affected the health of many of us. I resent that I cannot be bored by my government. I am furious that ordinary people, many of color, get slammed in and out of their days in court – but a powerful man can drag a nation through all this and still be out there being his ugly selfish self.

The anger and stress you feel is not just yours. This is a long story and we are still in it.


Also, right now and for the second time this morning, teachers and students from the middle school close to here are on some kind of walk. They are extremely noisy and colorful. The very macho and also ‘shorter-than-the-girls’ boys have their jackets unzipped. Clutches of girls with knit hats pulled low across their cold foreheads are chattering and shrieking. They are all, obviously, going somewhere to see something somewhat educational.

It cheers me to see the kids. This is a long story and we are still in it.



On Sunday evenings - my Dad would have a bowl of popcorn covered in milk. He ate like cereal.
Mary Beth's picture

That sounds just so .. disgusting! People who had been kids in the Depression had some crazy hungers...

Dads are the best! My dad put butter on his radishes, salt on his watermelon, and a slice of cheese on his apple pie :) I don't do any of these, but it makes me smile to remember that he did!

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

The Lies We Live By


Aristotle wrote a lot of important stuff, very little of which I’ve read. But this Aristotelian idea is cool and I don’t know why we are not taught this in high school. It helps untangle the importance of what we read and watch.

Fat Tuesday & Valentines Day & Ash Wednesday (says it all)


I think today has to be a Three Things. You probably don’t even know I have Three Things scaffolding in my secret writing toolbox of organizational tools, but I do. Sometimes it’s how thoughts present themselves, you know? Things to say, but not for too long.

(Now that I've finished and read what I wrote, I guess this is five things but some days, in our expanding universe, the math just works this way,)

Successful & Failed Artists


Last week I finished reading Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard. (I discovered this book via Librarian of Burgos Instagram because I am her fangirl now.)

If you like to read a book that has a recognizable plot of sympathetic characters moving forward through a problem to a solution– you will likely not enjoy this novel. Heck, I’m not sure if I ‘enjoyed’ it.

Animals of Winter


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

The Republic of False Truths


I set a goal for this year to read one translated modern novel every month. I’ve been following ‘Librarian of Burgos’ on Instagram and this woman keeps hyping and explaining books I’ve never heard of, which intrigues me mightily. I think she might be a reader’s reader. Anyways, she is European, has transcendently luminous skin plus several master’s degrees and a doctorate in history. Sometimes she even recommends books that are not, sadly she says, not yet translated into English. Cracks me up.

Who's In Your Backyard?


It’s been a wowser of a wintery week. We had the deep and blowing snow last Friday which turned into the heavy-as-concrete snow on Saturday which turned into a deep and frozen crust on Sunday - and here we still are. Last week’s snow still limns the trees and branches. A foot of snow still covers every roof. When I walk (why yes, I’m still going out for strolls) it’s a matter of life and limb navigating the jagged piles between sidewalk and street. I do use my “Alpine” walking stick these days.

Change is coming but not today.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent aging Alaska animals anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine aunts baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM Blue BookReport books Boxing Day boy scout Bread breakfast BreakfastClub BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus climate change clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote crime CrimeShows danger DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering deer democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep distraction dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Echoes Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana ferns firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Food Pantry Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fungi fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls GNTL gorgons goulash GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola Grief groceries Guadalupe Guatemala gum guns Hair happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart heaven HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HowCrowGotOutofJail humor hurricane Ice Cream idiosyncrasy igloos impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus jewelry JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich Jump justice Karen kites ladder Lady Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len lies Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mounds mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha NAMI Nancy Drew Newfoundland New Mexico New York City Nomadland nope observation OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples pizza poetry Preaching privacy procrastination Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism reading recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage romance Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez satellites sci-fi ScottSimon sculpture Seasons Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet St. Louis staining stars stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stream monitoring stress SUBSTACK Survival swim Talent taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou therapy ThreeBillBoards Three Thing Three Things ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant Umbrella UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning Vocabulary vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria Won! Wonder words Xeriscape Yellowstone Zebra
Ad Promotion