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. .

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The Good Old Days???

9/28/2022

Over the past few days Len and I have been emailing with two cousins regarding this interesting topic.

Were the Good Old Days All That Good?

The four of us grew up in the late 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. We are from three hometowns. Two of us were and still are science nerds. Two of us grew up in the same family and church.

This is what Len said about his childhood.

This is a more intense version of joking to kids that our smallpox scars are power ports.

Send $ to Welcome the Strangers Among Us.

If you have a heart for new immigrants among us and are open to another way to support them – Listen Up.

Three Things - Surviving the News, Our Web, Hiking Pix

9/16/2022

Len and I went on a hike yesterday at the Monches section of the Ice Age Trail and the photos are from there. 

Was it only a week and a half ago? My how time flies when one lives in an open and free society under daily assault.

3 Things - Cool, 9/11, Bulbs

The photo is from Hiroshima. It's the shadow of what was there before the bomb. 

9/11/2022

Yesterday it was hot and muggy and sticky. Almost every day since May has been hot and muggy and sticky. We have a small house with air conditioning; utility bills are not prohibitive so I am a lucky that way.  It’s usually cool enough in here.

But spending time outside, as one ought to do, is perpetually hot and muggy and sticky. I’m weary of sweating. Most weeks my laundry has included nearly twenty spent t-shirts … just from me.

3 Things - QE2, Triplets, & Me

The death of Queen Elizabeth dominated the news yesterday and it still thick afoot today. ‘Thick afoot” is my attempt to sound like a wee English countryside river animal political pundit. You know. An otter with a pipe. A weasel in a dark suit and an appropriate tie. A crow with an Hermès scarf.

I have two responses to QE2’s passing.

Wild Horses & Other Beauties

8/23/2022 

I first saw this photograph on Twitter in April. I don’t know the photographer, but the photo stopped me in my tracks. 

The Twitter handle of this person is Chris Byrne @ChrisByrnePhoto. He has a website; I think he leads photography workshops. His website is: chrisbyrnephotography.com.

Meanwhile, here I am, awestruck by a beautiful and wild place I will likely never go. It’s called Torres de Pain and it’s a national park in Chile. https://national-parks.org/chile/torres-del-paine

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