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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Making Memories?

This morning the Washington Post has an article about how we make memories. Interestingly, just because we say we are “making memories” doesn’t mean we are. Most little kids will not start making many memories until they are around age 8. Memories get stuck in our mind if they involve several senses and we are going slow enough to pay attention. If one WANTS to remember something, stop paying attention to everything else that is going on, focus in on the thing you care about using more than one sense. Recall it again later. Deep sleep on it overnight and good luck with that.

Three Things & One Announcement 7/16/2021

Thinking Outside the Box: 

Len once told me this WWII story. The first generation of bomber raids from England to Germany resulted in a terrifying number of bomber planes being shot down. Experts carefully examined the returning planes to create detailed reports of the bullet holes as they tried to understand how to reinforce the planes to make them safer.

7/5/2021 Three Things (Don’t miss Highland Mitzi)

Last year was the Covid quarantine so most of us didn’t do very much over the 4th of July holiday.

This year, with half Americans now vaccinated there’s more freedom to do things and be with people.

Three Things (Well, Four) 7/1/2021

Bill Cosby is out of prison on a technicality. The judge said 40-year-old Britney Spear still can’t run her own life. Yesterday 88-year-old war criminal* Donald Rumsfeld died comfortably in his bed.

My gut is twisting. How are you? Power, injustice, and money still row the boat that we’re all on. This nation is playing whack-a-mole with justice, hope, and human rights. It feels ominous. I thought I would just mention this in case you thought it was just you that felt assaulted this morning.


Three Things 6/23/2021

Almost two years ago I went to a local optical store for an eye exam. The nice optician said I had a cataract and he could refer me to a specialist. He also said I could wait but if it got worse, I should see to it (hah, see to it…).

I have considered my looming doom several times a week since. Low grade anxiety. Don’t you love it?

Love is Love is Love. And also Eating.

This month is our 40th wedding anniversary.  Whoa…

In honor of this milestone, I have two things to offer. One is instructions of how to wrangle TWO fabulous restaurant meals into one date. The other is a DIY interview for you and someone you love – partner, friend, family. If the one you love best is a dog or cat, these questions still apply but you will probably have to supply the words.

We celebrated our long streak of wedded bliss (hah) with a maneuver that only took 40 years to perfect; we ate two restaurant meals on one date. This is not dating for beginners.

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