Mary Beth Writes

Lambs are being born!  Friend Heidi Woehick called yesterday; we’d made plans a year ago that this spring my family - two little grandkids, no waiting – could visit her farm in lambing season. Well, it’s here now but we are all in quarantine, so we won’t be visiting in real time. 

Then I asked if there were any photos! 

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not believe in stress and yet, somehow, stress seems to believe in me.  I can tell you six ways to Sunday how I am not delicate, not overly sensitive, how I can get up and do what needs to be done.  I talk a good story and as many of you are my friends and I know you – most of you are sprightly, courageous, seasoned, and strong.

We’ve got this. Right?

But there is this other thing going on.  I am turning into a lava lamp of symptoms. 

In the past month, my body has been all these places (and more).

First the skin around my elbows pinged. I think the proper term is neuropathy. The skin was unusually sensitive and felt as if little sparklers were intermittently going off right inside my skin. I could hold my hand against the sore places, press in gently and firmly and that would calm the flares. This unusual adventure was how I learned what neuropathy is.  If you google “sparklers in your skin” you get directed right there. 

Two days later it was gone.  A couple days later I had one sparkler in one leg. Gone the next day.

Indigestion-tinged aches appeared high on one side and low on the other; this on a day where I ate modest amounts of normal things.  A few hours later, all gone.

A light 2-day headache located in one place over one ear.

Once my wrist sort of just “went limp” and I couldn’t pick up a teapot. That only lasted an hour.

I have a medical care person. I had my annual physical exam recently and I’m in good shape.  No diabetes, no blood pressure issues, cholesterol under control, nice thumpy heartbeat. I can walk and I can sleep, and I can get down on the floor and then get back up (it ain’t pretty but I can do it).  

So let’s start this over again.

How is this stress affecting you?

I’m sharing this that I read on several tweets, because I think it helps us to be empathetic and respectful.

There is a difference between what we are being asked to do – Social Distancing; and what workers cannot always mange –Physical Distancing. Social distancing and physical distancing are not the same thing and the difference is crucial. A bus driver who takes fares is not failing to *socially* distance. He or she cannot *physically* distance, which is what actually saves lives -- his own and others'.

And then this: “from a grocery worker interviewed on MSNBC tonight: "I feel like 'essential' just stands for exhausted and expendable.”

If we are in a situation where we can move but a worker cannot we need to be mindful enough to move and to remind others around us to step back, also. 

And then to say thank you. 

Len made our first real sourdough bread and it is astoundingly good!

If I feel overfull this evening, it won’t be from stress.




Stress. Never heard of it. My stomach aches, neck aches, headache off and on has absolutely nothing to do with stress. But, it does help that we are all in this together. We will all get thru this. The lambs are adorable.

I don't believe I'm feeling all that much stress and maybe that's a good thing. George is stressing out enough for the two of us... Having the person I love more than anything in the front lines should have me stressing out but I can't go to that place... I started riding my bike, lifting weights and doing sit-ups... Which I think are helping with the stress and keeping me from over indulging which could easily happen when you are locked up... Also finding a possible new friend online keeps my mind in a happier space than were it would be otherwise...

Yes, stress can certainty affect us physically. Having a husband who makes a loaf of bread that looks that good probably helps. Too bad you can’t visit the lambs now. That could help, too.
Mary Beth's picture

The bread is amazing. Kind burnt on the outside, super crunchy, the inside is tangy. Oh Lordy, I had a second piece for dessert.

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Remembering Stuff

“I’m getting so old. I just can’t remember anything anymore.”

Okay, I understand and accept that forgetfulness is weird and awkward. We talk to someone about this movie and that house repair and that small restaurant from which we ordered amazing food a few weeks ago and it feels as if we are talking with 95% of the words we used to know. What was that guy’s name? Where did I read that really powerful thing about political strategy now?

Ayad Akhtar's "Homeland Elegies" & Do We Understand Colonialism?

I heard part of an NPR / Fresh Air interview with writer Ayad Akhtar so I borrowed the book from the library and read it.

In the 1960’s his parents earned medical degrees in Pakistan and then emigrated to the US where Ayad was born and has lived all his life. (His parents are now deceased.) His dad was a highly respected cardiologist. In the 1990’s, when Donald Trump was having heart issues, Dr. Akhtar was flown to NYC to examine Trump.

Susan's Birthday Questions 10/19/2020

(One decorates for October birthdays with orange trees.) 

Last week was my birthday. My niece Susan sometimes sends me birthday greetings where she asks excellent questions. She doesn’t know I still have the card she sent six years ago; I meant to answer her questions in the blog I had then, but I never got around to it.

Stereotypes Day

Today is October 12th - Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Not Columbus Day, okay?

I was in the process of giving birth to one of our kids and it was getting on towards midnight. The midwife wondered whether our baby would be born on the day we were in or whether it would be a few more minutes and then the child would have the next day as their birthday.

10/11/2020 This Crazy Advent We're In Now

This painting is by Andrea Kowch


Regarding Time: It’s been about a million months since the quarantine started. It will be an at least one epoch if not two, until a vaccine is available to quell it. Election Day is here now (I’ve already voted, have you?) yet it feels as if it will never be done and gone. Even when Nov 3 arrives we could be in for more epochs of anxious and angry waiting as ballots are tallied, argued over, recounted, all while lawyers and politicians fight and scrap.

Quarantine Diary #204 10/4/2020 3 Short Takes

Three things to say today and none are about our goatish, swag-bellied, canket-blossomed president. How to create a Shakespearean insult. 

1. I just read this WONDERFUL and REMARKABLE book! The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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