observations pragmatic historian

The COVID-19 Map That’s Bugging Me

As we settle into the stay-at-home routine necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a map I have been obsessively checking every day. It’s a map of the State of Minnesota that is part of the MN Department of Health’s Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019. It shows the number of positive cases by county of residence. Here are the maps that I have taken screenshots of since March 31, 2020.   I live in…

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history observations pragmatic historian thanks work in progress

Website Work Continues

This week I exploded two websites. Not really, but that’s kinda what it felt like. I decided, in what felt like a spur-of-the-moment decision, that I no longer wanted to keep up two personal blogs. While I had been blogging weekly at The Pragmatic Historian for about two years, my blogging at this site, maryewarner.com, has lagged. If I didn’t have a job and other obligations, sure, I could write for two blogs, but that’s…

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family observations

How Could I Not Love Radishes?

About a month ago now, just before the COVID-19 pandemic grocery-buying panic, I bought a large bunch of radishes at Fresh Thyme. There were especially lovely and fresh and I hadn’t had radishes in ages. I cleaned them all at once, because that’s the easiest thing to do with radishes, and put them in a bowl. I immediately ate several of them before putting the bowl in the fridge, where I could retrieve radishes when…

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observations reading

I’m Not an Action-Adventure Gal

After a marathon day of reading yesterday that ended at 11:30 p.m., I am finally finished with the first book I’ve read in 2020: Reamde by Neal Stephenson. I picked it up on the promise that it would involve technology, which it does but only tangentially. What I discovered in this 1000+ page tome was a lot of shoot-em-up action-adventure. If you like action-adventure, that’s great, but I’m not an action-adventure gal. The book was…

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observations

I’m Going to Leave This Right Here

It has been months since I have added to my blog here. I’ve been spending my blogging time over at The Pragmatic Historian, keeping up with a weekly blogging habit there. While I focus that blog on the uses of history all over society and I can write about a gazillion different topics with that focus, sometimes I run across something that doesn’t quite fit. I have a habit of pointing out odd package labeling…

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observations

Who Knew Cotton Balls Could Be Dangerous?

In the annals of funny packaging that somehow attracts my attention, I’ve got a new observation, this time from a package of cotton balls. Let’s zoom in a bit and look at that “Satisfaction guaranteed” box. “For questions or comments or to report an undesired reaction or side effect, please call ….” Wait, what? What “undesired reaction or side effect” are you expecting cotton balls (that are 100% cotton) to have? Are they going to…

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family observations

Can’t Stop Thinking About The Umbrella Academy

A quick thought … Hubby and I have now watched all 10 episodes of The Umbrella Academy, a Netflix series about a family of siblings who have special powers but are highly dysfunctional due to their wicked-cruel father. The production on the show is outstanding, as is the writing. I know this because after every episode, I kept thinking about the show and the open questions it left in my mind. Even with the final…

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ideas observations writing

Notebooks So Beautiful They Are Stultifying

Hubby and I were at Barnes & Noble the other day. Hubby hangs out in the coffee shop while I peruse the books. During our latest trip, I saw this end cap of beautiful journals. Blank (or blank-ish, as the case may be) journals are always compelling to me, just like adult coloring books. I can’t not pause and wonder at writing in them. But, also like adult coloring books, I always realize that journals…

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observations reading

Do Not Tumbletry

Bought a set of socks from Amazon before the holiday season. They were marketed under the brand name of Lovely Annie’s, which I thought was a delightful name. Strange thing, though. While I was searching for warm, knee-high socks to buy, I kept running across what appeared to be photos of the same set of socks (sometimes with 4 pair, sometimes with 5) with different brand names. I mean, these photos were identical, not just…

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design observations

Bunny Socks

I have been on a hunt of epic proportions. Ever since finding old-fashioned tube socks at my local Walmart, I have been wearing several pairs of them in constant rotation. What I love about them is they are thicker than most women’s socks. Because I am always wearing a pair of them, they are getting thin in the heels and toes. Soon I’ll end up with holes in my socks, so it is imperative that…

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observations

Those People Who Always Know When Rain Is Needed

When you live in a place like Minnesota that gets four distinct seasons per year, you tend to be attuned to weather fluctuations, simply because it is always changing. Although, if you’ve lived here long enough, you can get all Buddhist about the weather because of the constant change. You stop paying attention to it and go with the flow. (Yeah, that’s not very mindful, is it? The Buddhist acceptance of constant change is cancelled…

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