Mary Beth Writes

The Long-Awaited Groceries (The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is in my brain right now) came last night at 9PM – when it was raining. A woman named Sarah, late 30’s, brown ponytail, not-posh sweatpants and hoodie – carried ALL our groceries across the street from her car to our porch. This included 8-packs of Gatorade plus boxes of seltzer water, plus lots of other heavy stuff. Did I mention it was raining? Yes, we had tipped her well when the order was placed but still- that was hard work and she and all the other gracious delivery people out there are the Empresses and Emperors of quarantined Americans.   

This morning we had whole wheat pancakes with yogurt and raspberry preserves and an egg.  Plus I ate grapes, one by one, while I was making the pancakes. Nobody in a thousand-dollar suit brought me my food. Just one strong woman who smiled and said she is kind of enjoying the deliveries; “Gets me out of the store sometimes.”

Also, after I slid my egg onto my plate I forgot to turn the burner off. Len noticed it 20 minutes later.  Wasn’t someone just writing about Safety at Home?

I’m talking with my adult kids more than I used to. It’s not every day, it’s never long gabby conversations. But things come up and we communicate a bit, and this means everything to me. Almost every conversation eventually touches on these three topics.

  • What we are cooking.
  • We are going to stay separate from each other except if one of us needs help, then we are all going to towards the fire.
  • What we are eating.

(Honest to Pete, two of the kids are, right now, baking bread together while 100 miles apart.) 

If you have adult kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids, adults you knew when they were children – isn’t it powerful to watch them now? Did you read the comments from yesterday? Chris’s son is an EMT without enough PPE (personal protective equipment). Franc’s sister (he was a teenager when she was born) is going back to work in a hospital this week after her vacation.  These adults we know and sometimes raised are holding the world together. They are trying to protect us. What we did, raising this generation, was good.

I don’t want to hear any of us judging others on the basis of what decade they were born in. That’s lazy, stupid and divisive talk. Being a Boomer or Millennial or Gen X’s might explain the music we like or the TV shows we remember. It says nothing about the content of our character.  

We bought a whole chicken to cook. I asked Len how he was going to cook it. He said he was going to simmer it and then …  I stopped him. “You’re going to just start out boiling it in water?”

So that conversation got real right away.  If the wife wanted roast chicken, she was welcome to do it.

This is a picture of me rubbing poultry seasoning onto and into the cold, dead bird. It was impossibly intimate and the next time we get a whole chicken (we don’t often) I will eat it boiled with cornflakes if that’s what I have to do to avoid ever again sticking my hand where the chicken’s toilet paper should go.

Laughing is good, isn’t it?

Here are “the best women’s tweets of last week.” RIGHT HERE. They are very, very good.



Thank you. Loved the tweets!!

Ick. I hate touching dead, cold, wet chicken. But, then again your house will smell awesome and it’s gonna taste delicious! The women’s tweets were the best. I flip thru Facebook way to much - just to laugh at all the gifs. Yes, laughing is excellent!

Today Angela sent me a photo of the medical supplies catalog from which she was ordering her own supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment ) I told her she's like a teacher buying their own school supplies so their students can actually learn in class... I fear for this woman that has been the most important member of my family...She's been my kid ( Long Story ) since I was a nappy headed 12yr old Gay boy looking in her crib & shouting "SHE'S MINE" after she came home from the hospital... And even more so when our father died when she was 8 so I'm invested in this smart woman... I don't want anything happening to her because her employer can't supply the safety equipment she and her colleagues so desperately need...

I laughed so much I had tears...and signed up to receive myself! Franc: thinking of your sister: her safety, her honor, her life I just returned from a long quiet, so many birds. I can breath clean air; no exhaust to clog my bronchial tube. Mixed blessings.

Add new comment


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

Quarantine Diary #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.


 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.


Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.


Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable Advent apples Arrows Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Berry birthday bistro BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cats cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit Dreams Duty eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson exit polls FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode ghosts gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MindfulChickens Mistakes moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves New York City Nomadland OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes Remember Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rime RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes StoryStarts Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather
Ad Promotion