Mary Beth Writes

The picture is from a wonderful picture book, A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert. 

...

My computer was becoming slower than a cold sloth. I would turn it on before my morning shower and a half hour later when I sat down to work - it would argue with me over Microsoft Word. And Photoshop. And my email. And anything on the internet. Not everything was slow all the time; just here and there it would stop and spin. Len knew it was a background program that was using the computer at the same time as me. Some people disable that program, but we were anxious about disabling something that came pre-installed. 

It was on our minds that we should buy a new computer for me but I was reluctant. So much money and work!

My son was getting rid of old computer.

“Would Mom like it?”

Mom would.

There was still an awful lot of finagling, but Len does not go crazy doing this. This morning I am working on this new-to-me computer and it is amazing. I can flip from program to program. Things pop right up.

The right tool for a job is my kind of luxury.

PS: Inserting photos into my posts will require a different process. Curious to see if you can tell.

Mary sent a pix of her dog Moira. 

Moira swam in the Root River often last summer. Now they have to keep her away from the ice and water!

Nothing is more wonderful than a happy grandkid holding a puppy.

Len and I watched two movies this week that are worth talking about.

Both movies circle around these life questions. How does one build and maintain a meaningful life? What do we need? What do we deserve? What will make us happy?

(Also, will winter ever end and how do I get through another week of this weather?)

The first movie was Some Kind of Heaven (Review here)  It’s a documentary about the huge Florida retirement community named The Villages. The movie follows four Villages residents: a married couple, a single man, a single woman. The Villages is home to 150,000 citizens so discussing the place via four individuals is obviously a slanted way to look at the entire place. The movie is both fascinating and sad. It was easy to see what selfish and incomplete souls the two men were. Just as sad and weird is watching the women trying to navigate a world as complicated and arbitrary as high school felt for many of us.

By the time it was over, Len and I felt as if we were doing a good-enough job with our time and resources here in retirement. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since we watched it, both of us have volunteered to do some new things that sound interesting to us.  

The next evening we watched (recommended by John Harvie) Kenny. (Review here)  It’s an Australian movie about (da-dum) Kenny, a guy who is the crew chief of a porta-potty business in Melbourne. He talks fast and his patter is often hilarious. What a guy! I will forever cherish, “Some families are close and then some families are Christmas cards at twenty paces.”

It’s a mockumentary; the director is manipulating a story to show us this guy who is a Hero for Our Time. Many people disrespect him because of his job but he never stoops to their cruel or dismissive level. He’s clear-eyed about the strengths and foibles of his coworkers. He’s divorced; “One could skip the drama of divorce by finding a person they hate and then giving them a house.” His ex-wife complicates his life considerably but he never talks poorly about her to others or in front of their kid. It’s clear his love for his boy is everything.

By the last scene, honest to Pete, Len and I were cheering for Kenny.

So anyway, if you are feeling sluggish and underachieving with what you are doing in your working and not-working hours – watch both movies and the path will become clearer.

Err on the side of love.

 

Comments

I’ve put the movies on my list! Love the pictures.

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Dancing Lessons & What’s Next on Your List?

“Unexpected travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Kurt Vonnegut

Yesterday I got a text at 5AM from one of our kids. “Mom, are you awake?”

Heart stops.

Heart starts again.

Nancy Drew (her cat) was sick. Nancy had been stumbling, rolling to her side, couldn’t walk, tried to jump up to our daughter’s bed and fell. Daughter took Nancy to a 24/7 emergency vet clinic.

Obviously, she had already done the only thing there was to do. Get to a vet.

A Wonderful Photo, Brownies, Voting Rights, Kids & their Books

These are things I thought about this week:

1. I am a person who has to use self-discipline to not bake cookies and desserts ALL THE TIME. I can go from “Hmm, brownies would be tasty” to made-from-scratch brownies in my mouth a half hour later.

Every strength - is also a weakness - is also a strength.

Here’s my brownie recipe from a Lutheran cookbook I impulse bought at McDonald’s Bakery in my hometown in the middle 1980’s when we were visiting my mom. I made these so often the cookbook fell apart at this recipe, so I threw the rest of the book away and just kept this.

Your Favorite Poster’s Post-Easter Post

I don’t often share my physical challenges with you, but today, Friends, I have suffered. I own three barrettes and I cannot find any of them and my hair has been slip-sliding into my eyes all day.

Why is it the littlest stuff that trips us up?

I could buy more barrettes and perhaps someday I will. Though I have learned this tricky lesson in my life - the more one owns of a small item, the more likely it is one will not keep track of that thing and it will become utterly lost.

Anyway…

MB's "Twilight Bark"

Today I am writing what I could most accurately describe as a Twilight Bark. As in, one dog barking a heartfelt warning to many other dogs. (Do NOT miss this Twilight Bark clip from YouTube.) 

On Friday Len went for his annual checkup. While there, he received a pneumonia vaccine, because after all the hoopla about the covid vaccines, the pneumonia shot is no big deal, right?

Len started feeling lousy that very afternoon and he still felt awful on Saturday. So we didn’t go to Chicago to visit our kids and grands. 

A Slower Week

Last week I had enough to say to write three posts. This week, not so much. This week I cooked and baked things to share with some friends who were having trickier than usual weeks. I wrote letters to the Third Graders. I always enclose some stickers (many from you guys) which are super cute, and I didn’t think any more about this, except, this week, one kid asked for a toy.

The End of The Quarantine Diary 3/16/2021

It’s time for me to end this Quarantine Diary. This has been a place to sort what we were hearing and seeing. So many, including the former president and his minions, said Covid would not be a big deal. Medical and science experts said otherwise.

Show us Trump and Fauci standing next to each other? That wasn’t a hard choice. We went with science.  

So, like you, Len and I mostly stayed home. We ‘ordered and picked-up’ what we needed – groceries, wine and IPA’s, library books, some cats. We went outside almost every day to walk, ride bikes, or find new places to hike.

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