Mary Beth Writes

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

8/1/2022

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.

More fun is spending time with our kids and grandkids. The one who is fearless in water. The one who is fearless everywhere. The one who wept because he doesn’t have enough train pictures (we send them most weeks, cribbed from Google Images). He has at least fifty pages of train photos but there are never enough. He peruses them at night in his crib and then sleeps with them. The kid who starts kindergarten this month and right now is the Empress of Everything.

I read a wonderful tweet this morning: We’re done being overachievers around here. Please tell me the extremely boring and adequate things you’ve been doing lately.

People responded with gems such as:

  • “I got gas for my car.”
  • “I fed my kids sugary cereal.”
  • “I ate a Twix bar while driving home.”
  • “I’m still riding high on rehanging a mirror that’s been propped on the floor for four years.”
  • “I selected a perfectly ripe avocado.”

When way too much is going on, it’s stress-relieving to consider, list, and celebrate the extraordinarily ordinary stuff we are doing.

So that’s where I am today.

  • I washed the rug the cat barfed on this morning.
  • I ate an apple.
  • I looked up the lovely healthy volunteer plants in my garden and figured out they were poke plants which are very poisonous. I dug them out and threw them away.
  • When I was walking and heard a train coming, I stopped and turned around to watch the engines (You see where that grandkid gets it, right?)

Stressed? Kerfuffled? Anxious or depressed?

What ordinary things did you do yesterday and today?

 

 

 

Tags

Comments

Yesterday, I read all afternoon Today - grocery shopped Picked up stones from the parking lot for next weeks crafts Found my first monarch larvae of the season. Just sat down for a nap and reading.

Dead headed some lilies; “Snacked” the chickens; harvested yellow squash; spent a lot of time watching you-tube vids on Russia and scrapping and dumpster diving

Today I: Got a mammogram Made cat food (yeah - I do it, too) Looked up what a Poke plant looks like

Finished my book Zorrie by Laird Hunt… A beautiful story about an ordinary woman’s life in rural Indiana ….It was a slow story that I almost put down numerous times! In the end, I felt it was quite a remarkable tale and reminded me that the ordinary things I get to do each day are actually quite satisfying and enjoyable. I’m also getting the house ready as my daughter, son in law and two grandkids are arriving tonight for a visit! Hooray!

I dropped my husband off at a trailhead on the Appalachian Trail. He will be out walking for about a month, barring any injuries or illness. I swore off meat for the month as I am not crazy about it and never have been. I love animals and the planet Earth but this is simply because the taste is not something I would ever crave. On the drive home alone I stopped at a McDonald's to use their bathroom. The smell of the grease overcame me and I ordered a slathered-with-mayo chicken sandwich. It wasn't bad.

How fun to just enjoy..
Mary Beth's picture

I LOVE all these so far!

Dropped my kid sister at O'hare so she could fly to England and have an adventure, drove to Forest Park instead of home because the drive was shorter, stayed the night, work up at ten, crawed out of bed at eleven and showerd, went for a breakfast of eggs and catfish, and have accomplished nothing... There's always tomorrow...

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent aging Alaska animals anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine aunts baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM Blue BookReport books Boxing Day boy scout Bread breakfast BreakfastClub BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus climate change clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote crime CrimeShows danger DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering deer democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep distraction dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Echoes Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana ferns firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Food Pantry Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fungi fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls GNTL gorgons goulash GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola Grief groceries Guadalupe Guatemala gum guns Hair happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart heaven HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HowCrowGotOutofJail humor hurricane Ice Cream idiosyncrasy igloos impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus jewelry JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich Jump justice Karen kites ladder Lady Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len lies Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens MineralPoint Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mounds mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha NAMI Nancy Drew Newfoundland New Mexico New York City Nomadland nope observation OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples pizza poetry Preaching privacy procrastination Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism reading recipe recipes recommendations religion Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage romance Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez satellites sci-fi ScottSimon sculpture Seasons Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet St. Louis staining stars stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stream monitoring stress SUBSTACK Survival swim Talent taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou therapy ThreeBillBoards Three Thing Three Things ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant Umbrella UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning Vocabulary vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria Won! Wonder words Xeriscape Yellowstone Zebra
Ad Promotion