All About You (Krissie)

Yeah, that’s not me. I thought taking my picture this morning would be boring so I looked among pictures stashed on my desktop and thought, there’s never too much Hiddleston in this world, even on Pinterest.
Got a thousand things to do, coz I get to go down to see Crusie tomorrow! Gotta cancel the knee surgery (more later), order refills, deal with all sorts of ephemera. I finished the taxes (phew!) and now I can enjoy myself for a few days (though I’ll work in NJ too).
One hassle – I was going to bring beer down as a present for Mollie. Up the road is a world class brewery – people come from all over the world to get their special brews. I was going to bring down a couple of growlers, and Richie was going up to buy them when we discovered they’re closed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (and last week they were closed on Saturday as well). With the brewery they don’t give a shit that it’s one of the biggest tourist weekends in VT (Columbus Day and Canada Thanksgiving) and they just closed. (No matter what time of year or time of day you have to be prepared to stand in line to get your beer – they’re that hot shit).
I’m really lucky in that I have two BFFs that I can have girl time with. With Crusie we talk writing, pop culture, crochet, and everything else. With Sally we talk family history, quilting, k-dramas and everything else.

So here’s the question. Do all of you have a BFF that you get to run away with/to every now and then? Or do you have to live through it vicariously? My sister actually used to be one of my BFF’s. We did masses of stuff together – travelled, shopped, took each other to the doctor, etc. I just realized that’s not usual. I also realized that I’m actually suffering from some PTSD from my mother’s rages. Interesting.

Anyway, do you get Girl Time with friends or sisters? The soul needs it, as well as a room of one’s own.

I promise reports and pictures from NJ.

All About You (Krissie)

Okay, good news. Tim qualifies for SSI, which will help – we spend more than 1500 a month to house and feed him, and between him and Daniel our now very small savings account goes down $2,000 a month. In less than 20 months we’ll have nothing. So this is a helpful sign. Now that the draft is finished I can look into refinancing the over $100k of college loans that I co-signed. Yes, we are in dire financial straits.
But what me worry? I’ve been flirting with depression – I probably mentioned that (or denied it). In fact, I wasn’t flirting, I was getting depressed, but I went to lunch with my indie writer friends and fortunately burst into tears when Lisa asked how I was. And it came out that I was on neurontin for my fibromyalgia. Turns out neurontin can cause depression – you have to be very careful when you give it to people with a history of depression, and they’d just had me raise my dosage. I stopped, and in a day or so the cloud began to lift. Phew! The very thought was making things worse (though I tried not to think about it). Dodged a bullet!
In the meantime I’m doing my 2016 taxes before time runs out (do we detect a theme of financial irresponsibility here?). My parents were appalling when it came to finances. Richie’s were extremely careful – too bad I’m the alpha.
So, this week. Get ok’d to be Tim’s payee for SSI, finish the taxes, begin revising. Sew, damn it (finished the backing for three quilts – now I have to go down and sandwich them so I can start quilting. Continue to build my calluses for playing the guitar (I try to play every night) and just try to get my shit together. It’s a lost cause, and I can but try.
What’s on your agenda, my darlings?

All About the Heat (Krissie0

Okay, I slept late. It’s miserably, blastingly hot. Well, not by a lot of people’s standards, but by mine. We don’t have much air conditioning up here, and it’s never a dry heat. You’ve heard me complain loud and long about the lack of a summer. Nature decided to give it to us in September, after the pool and the portable air conditioner were put away, after the killing frost, after enough cold weather to make the lake really chilly. It’ll probably reach 90 today, maybe higher. On the weather map Burlington is the hottest city, hotter than Orlando. It makes me grumpy.
But. I finished the book! Saturday was too hot to do much, so I sat on the desk and decided to write long-hand, since I seemed to have a mental block with this book and I couldn’t make myself finish it. I wrote for hours on the deck. When the sun reached me I moved to the side deck, and when the sun reached there I dragged the chaise and moved to the front lawn, which never gets sun. (We’re entirely private with 20 acres, btw. Back when we built 20 acres cost $15,000.)
I wrote so much the muscles isn my arm were cramping (not the hand, interestingly enough). I wrote until the happy ending, I even added a coda (maybe if I call it a coda Jenny won’t realize it’s an epilogue and yell at me. Just kidding – she never yells. She just looks at me sadly and shakes her head).
So, today. Business Monday, transcribing all those pages into the computer (my Dragon Dictate no longer works and the new one is $300 so transcribing R us.) And then the great unknown.
I got up in the middle of the sweltering night, came downstairs and dragged boxes and boxes away from the outside door in my office so I could get a cross-draft. And I do have a nice blue fan Crusie gave me, so I won’t melt.
Mind you, at 10 degrees I wear gloves. At 0 I button up my coat. Minus 10 and I might even wear a hat. Minus 20 I’ll wear silken long johns. I’m like the logger, if you remember that song.

Hmmm. I don’t think that works. Let me see.  Oh, looks like it does.

Anyway, enough about the weather.  It’s small potatoes (a great X-Files episode, BTW) compared to hurricanes and earthquakes, and I’ll stop bitching.  We’ll go do geriatric tubing – I climb on the floatie (maybe even the one that kept dunking me in the pool) and we’ll tie a rope to the kayak and Richie will paddle me in the lake.  It looks ridiculous and it’s wonderful.  I do have the best husband.

But now – work.  Work work work.  And perhaps one more song.


Anyone joining me?

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.


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?