Mary Beth Writes

6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Oh hell. There was an open hour available to do this the next day, so I drove back. I don’t always talk out loud to myself in the car but when I’m anxious I do so there was some “you can do this, you got this” chatter. Then a woodchuck waddled across the road after which three deer leapt across the same road. They say a man can never step into the same river twice, because he will not be the same man and it will not be the same river and I thought about that yesterday, during that drive. I was a newly anxious woman and now the road had creatures.

Soon I was at my dental office that is kitted out to look like a log cabin. Why would dentists choose that? Are we supposed to feel cozy and calm recalling 19th century dental care that started with getting the person drunk and ended with pliers, screaming, and blood?

The dentist fixed my teeth. Wasn’t great. Wasn’t horrible. I was done in 40 minutes whereupon the front desk people said the total would be $560.00. (This was just for the fillings. I’d paid for the cleaning the day before.) I may have sworn out loud.

Prices are going up like crazy everywhere. We came through a pandemic and we are supplying a war and CEO-and stock-price driven monopolies are outright fleecing us because they can. Dental practices are probably making up for lost business. I bet some of the elements in the filling material as well as tools are from complicated places. Worldwide shipping is nuts. So here we are.

I don’t know how families on modest incomes are going to afford dental care.

I came home and read a library book for three hours. For dinner last night Len drove out to buy a hot fudge sundae for me.

Ice cream for dinner was my silver lining.

I read this tweet from a Michael Herriot: “Serious question for white people: What do YOU mean when you say “woke?”

Do you think of yourself as ‘woke?’

I think for most of us, if we claim any “wokeness’ at all, we probably remember life experiences where we were not in charge, where we were disrespected, intimidated, scared, or badly used. We remember where we were vulnerable and anxious.  

Being woke grows, I think, out of a deep and respectful understanding  that confidence and safety are not birthrights.

Here is a small way to use your wokeness.

My state senator and rep are Republicans who win because of Wisconsin's blithering gerrymandering. Such as: In 2012 there was a 430,000 majority of Democratic votes over Republican votes, but Republicans won 60 out of 99 senate districts because of gerrymandering.

BUT: Many elected officials have political issue surveys at their websites that are skewed to make you say that you support their talking points. Take a few minutes to look at the websites of your officials. If they have surveys, take those surveys using your “wokeness.”

Next time an elected official says, “The majority of voters in my district want …. “and then they state something that seems suspicious to you – quite likely they are quoting from their own partisan-slanted survey.

You can do these surveys often. You have to sign in with your name and address, but no one in their offices is going to comb through everything to see if a constituent fills it out once, or once a week. Political website surveys are not legal documents, they are a gimmick they use in order to look as if they are “communicating with their constituents.”

This: “Art is born the moment you move a molecule intentionally. There is art and nature. How you eat, sleep, drive, walk, and talk is a declaration of your awareness, an intentional change to express, confront, or cope with life. Art. Mindfulness creates value and brings virtue to art.”  This was a tweet from Clay the Rude Scot.

I am in my annual push-pull contest with my yard. What should I plant under the hydrangeas in front? I planted the marigolds from my nephew’s Boy Scout sale, but marigolds are not fancy. Is this okay-enough or should I think of fluffier flowers and then drive out and buy them and then spend an hour crawling around in there (an ant colony bit me last year) planting them?

I replanted many beet seeds over the weekend; replanting seeds the robins and chipmunks ate. Dang critters. And then I spent $10 at the dollar store buying cookie cooling racks to cover the incipient seeds. Will this work? Are the birds going to eat the Nasturtiums seeds I planted? Should I try to make pinwheels out of something around here? Len said I can use his baby outfit (see photo of him in this suit) to make a small scarecrow. Hmm.

Are you moving molecules intentionally in your yard or deck or porch or window? Did we know we are creating art?

 

 

Comments

Our dentist is sending out estimates for work that they say we need; estimates good for 60 days only, I got one, my husband got one and a 65 year old friend who has never even had a cavity now needs a root canal. In 2008 I was a law office manager, we had a few dentists as clients. In times of economic stress, people do not go to the dentist or hairdresser. My guess is our dentist is prepping for hard times ahead. I also worry about how regular folks are affording gas, food, electric, etc. Two guys I know in the building, repair trades say they are extremely busy but it is work for second home owners, primarily. These are often retirees who depend on stock dividends. Nothing good comes from this big economic divide between the haves and have nots. If you have a coupla extra bucks, donate to your local food bank. Peace
Mary Beth's picture

Exactly. We have to give, write letters to politicians, pay attention, then give again. This is a weird time and the rich are absolutely getting richer.

Thank You!!!!

Yes, thank you! "Liberty and Justice for all" is hard work, and takes action. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Being a citizen in a democratic republic is not a free ride... And FYI, I also noticed GardenPat is missing from that blog we both follow.

I guess I was far off track when I thought of the state of being "woke" as open to change, open to differences and being able to see through political bulls_it storms. Maybe we all have a different interpretation. Coming home from my daughter's house one town over last night, I saw four cottontails. Yes, the creatures are out and about here in Massachusetts too! I had a similar experience with my dentist. Sadly, he told me most of the work we need at my age (60s) is to repair the old work which apparently doesn't last forever. I'm starting to think I need a separate savings account just for dental work. Even with insurance the dental bills just keep coming. What a cute picture of Len! Funny how some babies when they grow into children and then adults keep looking the same throughout life. Len is one of those people. Maybe they look more youthful than the rest of us. Lucky them if that is so.
Mary Beth's picture

Len is one of those people who looks younger than he is - cynical on the inside, cute on the outside, and strong as the Polish salt miners from which he descended. .

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

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

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.”

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent aging Alaska anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport books boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola groceries Guatemala gum guns happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope hurricane impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len 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 mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples poetry Preaching privacy Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards Three Thing ThreeThings Three Things TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion