All About You (Krissie)

This is how Richie sees me. This is True Love.
We were talking about how most women have the One True Love, or The One That Got Away, or the Dog of their Heart. As in, the man they still secretly pine for, even though they’re happily married with children and grandchildren. (Dog of your heart was my dog breeder aunt’s term for the special dog – you love them all, all your animals, but there’s one every generation or so that touches you in an even more profound way).
Richie was shocked at the notion (it came up because we were discussing my DIL and my troubled son and her previous and post relationships, and I think that even though I can’t imagine them ever being more than civil he’s still the dog of her heart and vice versa).
So Richie was surprised by this concept – not the dog part – we had Leo and Rags (plus we had Lilian and Rosie) and it goes with cats too. So I told him Sally’s and a couple of others, and then we went out to dinner with his sister who’s spending a couple of weeks here in the wretched Big Brown House and I asked her, and she promptly came up with hers.
I don’t think it means that was really your true love – I think it’s just that the love and longing never had time to fade, and it’s always a question of unfulfilled promise.
But here’s the interesting thing, that I hadn’t even considered until this morning. When I was talking to Richie about the concept he never asked me who mine was.
At dinner, last night, Anne did. Ask me about my True Love, and of course I answered the honest truth. Richie. There’s no one I’m pining for, no one I’m curious about, etc. When I think of people in my past that I could have married I shudder (and some of them are really quite lovely).
Of course there is Tom Hiddleston, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, David Carradine, Jerry Orbach, Gram Parsons, Daniel Day-Lewis, etc etc but there’s no secret about any of them – Richie just rolls his eyes and kisses me.
Mind you, I think Richie looks like this: .

To quote one of my favorite songs by Jack White – “Love is Blindness.”

In other news, I’m back from New Mexico, worn-out but happy, and I’ll give you guys a trip report later. I basically ate meat and starch – no fruit or veggies, and trust me, I really missed them. I hurt like a mother (chasing a 3 year old is not easy for someone with two destroyed knees and a funky shoulder), slept all day yesterday, and feel physically out of sorts and restless and needing to get my life back.
And of course wanting to immediately get back on a plane and go back there, because …. grandchildren.
But I need to tie up the loose ends in the book, do some sewing, nesting (I love fall). Plus, we’re finally having summer (almost 2 weeks of it). So lots of lovely things to do. I just need to find the time to do it all.

How’s by you? Who’s nesting, and what are you doing about it? Next week I’ll tell you the Fall-ish things I’ve done – for now I’ve got summer. I may even get in the lake this year after all.

Talk to me.

Work Time (Krissie)

Well, I came in, all ready to put up photos, and I couldn’t find my photos. Last week, before I left (I’m in NM with my grandkids, oh, joy, oh rapture) I added another two borders onto Alex’s quilt, so now it’s ready for quilting. That makes three tops = when I get back I’ll make the backings (have the fabric already) and then sandwich them and quilt them. Not sure what’s next on the agenda, though I need to make another doll outfit because they make me happy.
Let’s see if I have anything I can show you …. The red dress on the left is the one I made. Otherwise I’m gonna have to figure out a way to move dropbox photos to the blog.
And now the three year old is calling and I must go. Pray for my joints.



Hmmm. I tend to sort of chew my lip when I take my picture. Silly.
So I’m here in the mountains of New Mexico, exhausted. I had a few hours sleep on Saturday/Sunday – 2 hours, from 1 am to 3 am and then left of the airport, slept a few hours on the plane and I’m still not caught up, but I’m with my grandchildren and I’m so happy! Last year I sat in our local airport, waiting to pick up Daniel, and there were all sorts of grandparents arriving, with grandchildren greeting them, and I cried. But now I get to be one of those grandmas! Ali’s very cuddly and demonstrative, Alex is sort of reservedly so – he made his bed beside mine in Ali’s room (pillows on the floor) while Ali popped into bed with me. I am a happy grandma.
So this week I get to finish the book (seriously – I wrote everything but the final 2 or 3 scenes on Saturday – the bad guys are dead, the hero has rescued the heroine (who could have rescued herself but was gobsmacked by a death) and everyone’s gone to school or work or bed (Hari the cop and probably soon to be ex-boyfriend works nights) so I have all this time to myself, at least today and Thursday-Friday. tuesday-Wednesday Ali will stay home with me while Alex takes the school bus and Erin takes the car to the airport. I fly home on Saturday.
Man, I love children! Especially my own (no blood relationship with either of them, but they’re my own). I usually spend a couple of hours facetiming with them every week (where half the time the phone is left on the kitchen table while they run around but it’s worth it.
My mother should never have had children – she didn’t like them until they could make intelligent conversation. But then, glorious moi would not exist. But I’ve always loved ’em. Loved babysitting, etc.
Funny, though. When I was going through infertility and making the usual bargains with god, I never offered to give up my writing for pregnancy. Children are my heart, writing is my brain, and both are my soul.
And Richie … words fail. So why do I whine when I have all three?
Well, actually I haven’t been whining much lately, in case you didn’t notice. It’s been more than a year and a half since I’ve been depressed. I’ll have to ask Crusie if there’s a huge difference in me when I am and am not depressed. It’s probably more internal than external.
The best things in life do require sacrifice, and you often have to sacrifice your dreams. (Or at least let go of them, because they just aren’t going to happen, and make peace and joy out of it). I knew I was never going to have that magical pregnancy, but it was okay. My children are the exact same souls I would have given birth to it, though birth-children would have been more fucked. No, that’s not a typo – we have so much addiction and mental illness in my family that genetic offspring would have been screwed. This way I can love my children but not feel guilty that I chose to reproduce with my biological heritage. (Daddy was a bipolar alcoholic who died at 58, Mummy (that’s what I called her) had a borderline personality. I knew there’d be trouble. Thought actually Mini-me is beyond fine, she’s fabulous, warm and creative and thoughtful and capable of doing a million things without getting frazzled.
But while I never got 9 months of fatness without guilt, I still have wonderful, if troubled kids.
I wonder if other women would have traded writing for children when they were in their early 30s. I’d had two books out before I tried to great pregnant (in my 20s) so I was a little further along, but it had saved me all my childhood.
Do we have fabulous things coming up this week? At least there’s be no weather-lated catastrophe for a while, I hope, though more earthquakes could follow Mexico.
Onward! I have grandchildren to love!

All About You (Krissie) Labor Day Edition

It’s starting out as kind of a Mournful Monday. Funny the stuff that can set you off – for me it was a dress shirt of Tim’s. It just brought back the time when things seemed relatively normal and there was a future ahead.
But weeping is a waste of time (though maybe occasional little weeps are all right – you can’t just ignore loss) as long as I put on my big girl panties and move forward. Though trust me, even keeping almost 30 pounds off, my panties are always big girl.
It’s a cool, glorious day in the north country. I have a lovely cup of Sumatran coffee, my children are stable, I’ve had fun with my heritage BFF (Sally) and I get to spend time with my indie BFF next month (that’s Sally and Jenny), and I get to spend a week with my grandchildren due to unforeseen circumstances. I have a pretty close relationship with my almost-DIL, which is lovely, so I get to help out, etc. Sometimes DILs can make it hard to see the grandchildren, and God knows Erin’s family tries to keep me away, though I think they’ve finally begun to accept that we’re part of the kids’ family (grudgingly).
So, tell me what your week looks like. (No, this isn’t a stupid, disinterested (I just accidentally spelled disinterred) writer on Facebook trying to drum up hits, this is me and community wanting to know). Do you have one thing of joy you’re looking forward to? One thing you’re dreading?
My joy is seeing my grandchildren on Saturday. Beyond joy.
Am I dreading anything? Not crazy about the flight. Oh, I know. I only have a 55 minute layover in Atlanta, and I can’t move fast (leg gives way). Kinda dreading that.
But most of all I soldier on, and even on a Mournful Monday I taste the Sumatran coffee and watch the the bright orange and red leaves dance in the breeze..
So, tell me about your upcoming week.

All About You (Krissie)

Ah screw trying to come up with a photo.  I just gotta get to work.

True confession time = I didn’t write last week.  Seemed like just too much stuff was going on.  I did get a bit more work done on the sewing room, but that’s because I’d go to bed and not be able to sleep so I got up and folded fabric.  Oh, I know why I didn’t work – Monday and Tuesday I spent the days with Sally, mostly playing the guitar, because she was heading down to NYC and when she came back her son will be visiting, so that’s pretty much the end of her visit.  I don’t know what I did on Wednesday but Thursday Richie and I finally got to the big city for much-needed shopping, and Friday … God, I don’t remember.  Not work.  Saturday a funeral, reception and then visited relatives.  Sunday, church, then lunch with said relatives.  I baked a double batch of blueberry coffee cake (from our blueberries) and froze half, I cleaned the kitchen (amazing!) and … damn, I don’t know what I did.  Still working on the time management thing, and I’ll get there.  But I’ve been happy.

Today’s Daniel’s (older child) birthday.  He’s 32 and has worked less than a year in his life.  Sigh.  Somehow my kids turned into special needs children when we weren’t looking.  At least I don’t have to feel guilty about my laissez-faire style of parenting.  Strict boundaries wouldn’t have helped them – they just have their own issues, some of which may come from adoption.  But I love them both desperately, as does Richie, and mostly we try to support without enabling.  Best we can do.

We’re having gorgeous, cool weather.  Summer is over.  Disasters keep flooding the world (Texas in our country, Sudan and shit, is it Yemen?  I don’t even remember where the terrible humanitarian crisis is.  It’s shameful that I waste more attention on 45’s foolishness and not what matters, which is people.)

So, this week.  Finish the book or die trying (not really).  Get the other two cabinets up into the sewing room and work on more organizing.  Enjoy the weather.  Do some sewing.  Love my children.  Find ways to make money.

I feel so old and wise  now.  We had lunch with long lost relatives (my beloved cousin Jody’s children) and loved what they were doing, the stupid financial choices they made out of love of art.  They were beating themselves up over it (Josy and Jason tried to start a theater company and lost $400,000).  I told them that when they’re older they’ll be proud and happy they did it, even if it failed.  And they’re still fighting the good fight – Josy got her graduate degree and works for the California Arts Council (or whatever their official name is) and Jason, who got a law degree, is a lawyer for charter schools and works in special ed.  I’m so happy and proud of them.  Her brother Jackson (lots of J’s there) is working for a company (I sat too far away to get the deets) but he looks happy and healthy and he has a lovely girlfriend he’s been with for years.

I like to concentrate on the goodness of things.  I had a little meltdown over 45 on Friday, and I’ll continue to get outraged and be part of the resistance, but I’m still going to try to reach for joy and beauty and love every time I can.  Which, I think, is why I’m happy.  Even when I’m depressed I still tend to reach out for those things.  It’s only when it’s really bad that I can’t see them.

I know Jenny talked about happiness for the week.   I’ve got an alternative question – what do you do to reach out for joy, instead of waiting for it to come to you?  At the end of Scrooged the Bill Murray character says you have to be greedy for love and goodness, and I think that’s true.  Sometimes you have to chase it down.  Do you guys have any way you use, and if you don’t, we should brainstorm some ways to do it.  Like walk in a garden.  Swim in a lake.  Reread a beloved book.  Clean the kitchen (some people find joy in polished surfaces – I’m not judging).  Oh, and singing.

I’ll tell you what’s on your agenda this week – identifying a way to seize beauty and kindness in your life.  Any of you figured this out already?

All About You (Eclipse Edition)

Here I am as Lorene VanderPelt, a combined character in The Time of Your Life. That’s my cousin’s husband John beside me – he played Mac … something, a longshoreman. We had a great time – it was a bit ragged but loads of fun, and I even grew to love the play (with reservations). Sean Haberle came up from NY to play the lead – he was Claudius in Hamlet and Atticus Finch, plus he directed Annie Get Your Gun, and I adore him. He’ll try absolutely anything on stage – he’s fearless, and an absolute sweetheart as well. Like many actors, he’s also IATSE (the stagehands union) to support himself, and right now he’s working on the Colbert show, which he says is lots of fun. He had a couple of Colbert ID cards on his backpack and all of us wanted to steal one (or at least I did and a 16 year old stage crew wanted to, which is about right. I’m like a teenager). Funny thing – the NY stagehands aren’t suppose to make eye contact with the talent. He says Colbert seems great though, and all the people who work with him love him.

But I digress. Happy eclipse day. Don’t look at the sun. Easiest way to see it is look at the reflection in a bucket of water – assuming the sun is out. I intend to float in the pool with my eyes closed, basking in the energy. Except it’s possible that energy might be negative – who knows.

Didn’t write much last week – I had only a few days to spend with Sally, sewing, so I did, and then I was tied up in rehearsals. Today I’m taking an eclipse day, tomorrow I finally go to the big city and do what I need to do, and Wednesday I go straight through to the end of the book.

I’ve said this before, but my main problem is I have too many things I’m dying to do. So many things on the computer I want to watch, so many things I want to sew, books I want to listen to, organizing and decluttering (because I find all sorts of cool stuff), things I’m dying to write. Plus I have to grab the time when it’s limited to spend with Sally (who’s basically the only family I have left from the old days – we grew up together, we knew each others’ parents intimately). Everyone else in my family of origin is gone, and the only one left is Mini-me, who’s now having a lovely if sad time on Martha’s Vineyard (her SIL just died).

So my week is planned. I’m happy. It’s interesting – to someone I might seem bipolar, since I have Major Depression but I’m feel such joy in life. But I don’t have any of the bad things with Bipolar illness (which runs in my family so I know it well). I don’t go on spending sprees. I don’t get nasty (which they often do when they’re on a high). I don’t run on at the mouth. I’m not impulsive.

I see the world full of glorious things, but I think that’s part of my basic nature, and intervals of depression hit sometimes. The thing is, I want to be happy. So I try to notice beautiful and good things, I try to let go of things I can’t change, I’m not a perfectionist (thank God), and being a Taurus (or being me) I love Things. Shiny, bright, dark, rusty – there’s just such a feast of things in this world (which I have to stop collecting but I love passing on things, plus I find ways to use them). Everywhere there’s a richness of life that I don’t have time to get to.  I can’t change my son’s illness or worry about the future when there’s nothing I can do (I think a lot of the last 15 years have been spent weeping and worrying about my children). I can let go. I can grieve and it won’t destroy me.

I’ve always taken Auntie Mame as a role model – “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!”

So that’s my goal for Eclipse Day. I’m just gonna live.

Next week I’ll try to organize my life so I can start doing all the things I want to be doing without feeling like I should be doing something else, but that’s next week. For now my way is clear.

So – any of you in the path of the Eclipse.? (We’re getting 60% – in other words, a typical cloudy day in Vermont). Any of you doing anything to mark it? If I’d thought earlier I would have come up with something significant we could all do. But maybe’s it’s significant enough to live well.

So tell me, what’re you doing for the Eclipse, are you celebrating it in any way, spiritually or otherwise?

All About You (and Politics)

I may look cheery there but I’m not. And for God’s sake, this isn’t political! It’s human. It has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat or Trump.
I’m just so angry and heartbroken about Charlottesville. That such things can happen in our country, that they’re happening more and more. That somehow that kind of evil has become part of our society worries me deeply.

I don’t understand where evil comes from. Those screaming white nationalists are good men, I know they are. How did such vile hatred become there identity? How does this sort of thing ever happen? In general I don’t believe in evil, I believe in sickness – of the soul, of the mind. Does adversity drive most people to these kinds of terrible beliefs and behaviors? Sorry, but it’s just so deeply upsetting.

On to better things. I’m almost finished the book. I’m doing massive stuff on my sewing room. Today I’ll get to sew with Sally, and the weather is good (though still cool). I find I can float in my pool and listen to audiobooks (I’m on the new Sarah MacLean and it’s excellent) if it’s 68 or above and the sun in shining. If the sun goes away and there’s a breeze it gets a little nippy. But I am going to wrest some summer out of this too-short non-summer or die of pneumonia trying.

I rehearsed last week for a theater gala last night, and I joined a bunch of old friends singing the nun music from Sound of Music. This weekend we’re doing a staged reading of The Time of their Lives wherein I play the role of “an unattractive woman.” When I first read the play I said “I’ll play any role but that one.” Really, really didn’t want to play her because of my complex issues of feeling “un-pretty” most of my life.

But then I thought if I felt that strongly about the part (and it’s not a large one) then I should definitely play it, so instead I requested it, and we’ll be having rehearsals Thursday and Friday and perform Saturday and Sunday. So at least I get a taste of theater, which makes me happy.
And this is my sewing room mid-scramble. I’m slowly getting it organized – I’ll have more stuff on Wednesday to show you.

So this week. Deal with the situation in this country. Rehearse the play. Work on the book (finish the draft?). Sew with Sally. Play the guitar and sing. Maybe finally get my butt to the big city (I’ve been putting it off for weeks and weeks).

What’s on your agenda? Lots of you on vacation as “summer” winds down? Though many of you (including those in England) have more than their fair share of summer. Mini-me was over during a heat wave in … I think it was early July. She just landed again this morning – her SIL is dying and she and her Brit husband have gone to say good-bye.

It’s times like these that “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python comes so mind.

So, my children, what’s on your agenda?

Oh, and I had at least one typo and now I can’t find it (I think it was a homophone) so be generous with me. Yeah, I really do know how to write – I just type too fast.