Mary Beth Writes

Israel’s Health Ministry this week announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — one of the world’s most effective shots — was offering only 64 percent protection against infection and symptomatic illness caused by the delta variant.

The vaccine was still highly effective at preventing severe illness and death, the ministry said.

(I read this in the Washington Post, though it’s other places also.)

Statistics are never perfectly perfect and there are always more questions. But as a person with two Pfizer vaccinations in me – I’ll sure keep wearing a mask and I will be wary of guests in my home who are not vaccinated. Which is complicated because I’m spending some time this summer with two kids and their mom who I met via volunteering with the neighborhood school.

What are you doing? Are you confident about the health of you and your loved ones? Are you still wondering?

I also read that Wisconsin has had no Covid deaths in several days.  And that Pfizer is asking to be able to provide 3rd/booster vaccines for those who have received two. I think people are paying attention. Maybe this time experts are the ones moving on this. Won’t that be nice.

This week I donated a good-looking but very beat-up solid wood table. Neighbors gave it to us when they were moving out two years ago, which happened to be the day before we were going to help our table-less kid move into a new apartment. Well, she just moved again and she no longer needs it. I thought about refinishing it – but not a one of my kith or kin wants a new table.

It was hard donating a potentially nice piece of furniture it to Goodwill but doing so freed room in our garage and on my to-do list.

This week Len delved into our under-the-fridge freezer to jettison some tired and/or yucky items. The freezer has room in it again.

On social media I was following great sites that say powerful things about women’s rights to live with more respect and less self-criticism in their family and work lives. For months I’ve been reading these pithy comments until this week I realized their points make me so frustrated and angry.

And the thing is, I’m not disrespected in my family, and I’m retired. I unfollowed those sites. They are strong for women in the struggle to live more freely in their relationships, to demand work conditions that are inclusive and whole. 

But those aren’t my battles anymore.

There’s an strategy of solving problems by taking things away. If something is too hard to figure out … maybe the solution is not to try harder but to offload some of the parts, options, and details.

Can we apply this to how it feels to be an aware citizen right now?

There are so many realities that are awful and worse.  Instead of paying attention to it all, can we pay attention to less in order to act on more?

Len went fishing yesterday evening with our son. They were on the Rock River four hours and Len came home late and happy. I don’t “get it” – not a fan of sitting on a bench holding a stick - but his photos of the river at dusk are beautiful. He and our son joked and talked. He had his camera (his third eye).  I guess that’s why he doesn’t get bored.

This made me chuckle, so I put the book on hold at the library.  If it’s as good as this line, I’ll let you know.

“It was an ordinary day, a Friday, twenty minutes til lunchtime, five hours til quitting time and the weekend, ten months til vacation, thirty-seven years til retirement. Then the phone rang.”   

 Jack Finney, Time and Again

 Happy Friday.






I am fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and continue to wear a mask, and socially distance. I hosted my first gathering at home to celebrate my mother's 83 birthday with 13 women. They were all vaccinated, which is why I hosted. It was wonderful! I have chosen to accept less in my life (on all counts) so that I can do more with it. Last fall I got off all social media, and my life is richer for it. Be well. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Boy, how we relate to social media, there's a highway for thought. We al know its not great for humans - but we also know from time to time it is very helpful and funny and good. Your party sounds wonderful. The sticky tricky part is how to connect to kids. Other kids. Our grandkids. Until kids are vaccinated they both vulnerable and possibly contagious. This is not a simple time.

Yes! My grandson is medically complex, and our family , specially my daughter and son in law, work hard at keeping him safe. Parents are fully vaccinated, and have slowly opened their world a bit to fully vaccinated family members. I was finally able to see him after 16 months ( after COVID testing). It was glorious. Not a simple time indeed. I miss the contact social media gave me with family members and college friends. And also, hilarious postings. But, Not enough to have me go back. Patricia

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My step-grandmother Ricky ate an apple every night. She’d sit on her bed, lean against the headboard, then chomp the apple after which she would remove her false teeth and lay down to sleep.

I haven’t really thought about Ricky in years but this week for no identifiable reason (because we were talking about unsung aspects of our lives?) I dreamed about her. I awoke one morning seeing her face as she stood in her dining room chatting with my mom and me. Ergo, I started thinking about her.

What's Ordinary in Your World?

This train photo is not cribbed from anywhere. It's a Genuine Leonardo. 


Hello and how are you? I am writing less and less as Len and I meander around to doctors, specialists, dentists, and that way-too-early appointment at the endodontist. (So far, we are fine.) The irony being that most of what we are attending to are the side effects of medications prescribed for stuff that didn’t hurt and we didn’t even know we had.

A Quiet Week

The cat in the picture is my daughter's cat, Nancy. Sometimes we all just need a quiet place to slow down and think.


What's going right in your world?


My teeth again. Argh. This past week I’ve had a jaw ache/toothache that got worse instead of better. Today my dentist said I need a crown but also that’s not the thing that is causing the swelling and infection and ache. I now have an Rx for an antibiotic and an appointment for that crown and an appointment with an endodontist to get an Xray worthy of NASA.

Memory & Consequences


To remember hard stories truthfully requires bravery.


The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...



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