Mary Beth Writes

Last week I went thrift shopping with my friend Franc. We saw this mobile made from dried paint brushes.  It’s hanging from the ceiling in the Habitat for Humanity reStore in Wauwatosa. 

I appreciate eclectic things made by real humans – as opposed to all the cool, anonymous stuff straight from a design team in some random place you’ve never heard of, that comes in an appropriately designed box, and it looks just like everything else. 

What is an object in your life that you love, that you would like to take with you to your last apartment and beyond?

Don’t pick something that reminds you of someone else’s love for you. Pick something YOU crafted, cobbled together, picked up at some off place on a fragile day. Something that helped you transition from who you used to be to who you are now.

What are you proud of that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you?  And not your kids, yeah, we all know our various kids are the best thing we did (or the worst, but we still love the knuckleheads). 

But what did YOU make or find and then keep and use – that comes from you only?

Also, Happy Pi Day.

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When we downsize - a few of my baskets will be going with us. I look at them and can’t believe I hand crafted them. They are sturdy, pretty and useful. I absolutely loved basket making. Basketmaking is messy and takes room to do. The results are amazing. I might have been a pioneer woman in a past life

I've made many things; baskets, paintings, drawings, jewelry, blankets, quilts and so much more! I surprised myself when creating that list...I sound like a craft factory! I could live without all of those creations, but I knowcI would keep the small cabinet my son created in junior high (Goodwill must recognize such objects when they show up!). It is only 7 inches high and 3 wide with 3 drawers and a door made of balsa wood and tiny nails. We have used it as a storage container for life's necessities such as rubber bands, safety pins, key rings, and keys for mystery doors. It is an essential part of our lives now after 25 years. I treasure it for it's usefulness, design and facinating oddness!

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Nomadland. How people live well enough when there is no way to live well.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century - by Jessica Bruder

 

You’ve read these kinds of statistics before.  In the US our incomes are spread like this: The top 1% suck up 81 times MORE annual income than the bottom half of ALL Americans.

Len's Marinated Story Starts

Our family gathered for Easter dinner this year, um, the Saturday after Easter. I guess flexibility is one of our survival skills.  Our three kids have in-laws, one baby, two dogs and all three live 1-3 hours away. We are grateful when these kids show up at all, let alone needing them on specific dates.

So. Easter dinner. The kids had given Len a new Weber grill for his birthday – which inspired an Easter menu of kabobs. Some marinated and grilled veggies plus a lot of marinated and grilled meat.

Update on Our Brother

In June I wrote about Our Brother  HERE

Here’s an update:

Our Brother is still working at the same warehouse, full-time, $9/hr.  

Back in June the Child Support dep’t had negotiated 3 purges (purge is the term Child Support uses for the bond one pays in order to get out of or stay out of jail once warrants are listed). His three purges on his three child support cases were $350 and $500 and $500. I invited people to make contributions to his cause.

Detroit!

This is a small compendium of photos and observations from a quick trip we took to Detroit last weekend.  

Amazingly, this has taken ALL my time since Wednesday morning. Sheesh, one seldom really sees Giant New Things to Learn as they come down the pike straight at one. 

These photos are from my phone, Len's phone, and our camera. So I got to play with two on-line albums of photos and then, surprise-surprise, the end product was "too big" - so today I got to run all the photos through Photoshop to make them smaller pixel-wise.  

What Happens to Personal Finances When One Grows Up Poor and Black in America?

What Happens to Personal Finances When One Grows Up Poor and Black in America?

Our Brothers story -   “Black Lives Matter”

I met Our Brother when I was the coordinator (and only employee, hah) of the Jail Employment Program in the Racine County Jail. I did this job nearly a decade and retired from it two years ago. (The jail disbanded the program a few months after I left.) Each year I worked with several hundred current and some former inmates; helping about 100-125 of them obtain employment.

Read this, Friends. "Home" by Warsan Shire

I just read this poem. The small part I can do today is pass it along to you.

https://genius.com/Warsan-shire-home-annotated

Home by Warsan Shire

(Shire was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family, as a child, to Great Britain.)

 

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

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