Mary Beth Writes

The Zoom meeting with Tom Palzewicz yesterday was as easy and interesting to listen to as the last time I heard him.

He introduces himself by explaining the three issues he is running on.

1. Health care for all.  As anyone paying attention has realized; tying health care to employment can be and now is a disaster.

He mentioned this, though. Right now, 3.5 million people in the US work for health insurance companies. There’s no way we can simply turn that system off and some other system on; there needs to be a transition plan. He described lowering the Medicare qualifying age in stages. If Medicare began at 55 (not retirement, just Medicare health insurance) this would begin to address a lot of issues. All of us who are older understand that trying to get a new GOOD job when one is already in their 50’s or 60’s is nearly impossible because employers don’t want to hire people in the highest health insurance premium bracket.  Lowering the Medicare age would be a game changer.

There are a lot of other really positive ramifications to this idea of transitioning from private insurance companies to national health care in stages.  

2. Climate change.  It’s not an option to not take climate change seriously. It is insane that Trump can manipulate and end environmental policies that were enacted by Congress and by the EPA.

3. Gun Violence reduction. There are sensible practices that the majority of Americans want and support including gun registration.

Palzewicz described the dangerous and dysfunctional dynamic we are living in right now this way. “The bullies are running the show.”  Sensible legislation cannot even be discussed because Mitch McConnell does not allow the proposed legislation into the senate.  At the state level Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald do the same thing. If they don’t want change, they won’t allow any discussion.  And at this point the only action Vos and Fitzgerald are engaged in – is trying to sue the governor.

Palzewicz is running again Fitzgerald for congress, Wisconsin 5th District, this November.

This is his website:

If you donate through this URL, the accounting will show that your donation was received because of the efforts that Len and I put forth.  Not essential, but it gives us some sense that we made a difference:


I've been working several hours on some thoughts about St. Augustine of Hippo and shopping at Target.  I will finish those thoughts and post them here tomorrow.  

Even when one is on lockdown at home, one can run out of time.  Maybe I spent too much time this morning burning sticks and digging in my dirt?

Instead of words, here are some pictrues in no order and for no reason other than I like them and hope you do, too.




Love the pictures! The March Marigolds are lovely. Lots of them flourishing this year with all the rain. The cinnamon rolls picture inspired me to make some! Thanks!
Mary Beth's picture

Len asked me who took the marsh marigold photos - and I said me. Or maybe Kathryn... Last year at Scuppernong.

I read your Lutefisk joke with fond memories of the old folks on my Swedish mother's side. I could practically hear the Swedish accent in the lines. Thanks for a good laugh!

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Quarantine Diary #150 8/11/2020 Taking a Break

I’m depressed. How about you?  I’m not the kind of depressed where I should call a doctor. I’m more “Michelle Obama depressed.”  Things feel stuck, wrong, and getting worse. There’s the pandemic and the feeble, chaotic response to it. There’s racial strife. When, if ever, will the police police themselves? Teachers and kids are being thrown back into schools like spaghetti thrown against a wall - to see who will stick? There’s the angry self-entitled idiocy of too many people.

Quarantine Diary #142 Swimming Lessons

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

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