Monday Redux (Krissie)

Okay, why is this computer being weird?  I’m bouncing between three computers and none of them are working right, but what the hell.  I’m trying to add media (as in, put a picture or two up) and it’s not working.  Grrrrr.

I’ve been busy!  After being so worried about my lack of energy, I seem to be able to do more, the more I push.  First off, I’m making myself turn off everything before 11 and start trying to go to sleep then.  While I’ve generally been sleeping till about ten, Yesterday I got up at seven and today at quarter past six.  And I did so much yesterday.  I scrubbed the kitchen – every bit of countertop, tossing things right and left.

I think it was Hoarders that did it.  I’d watched it a couple of times in the past and felt great sympathy for the people who were trapped by their possessions, the clear mental health problems that affected them.

And then I watched it a couple of weeks ago, and took a look at my house.  It truly is appalling.  I don’t know how it got so bad, but it’s really horrifying, so bad that when I showed Tim what my bedroom looked like when we were Facetiming he was shocked, and he grew up with my haphazard ways.

So I cleaned the room.  It’s an ongoing process, but I removed incredible amounts (5 bags to Goodwill) and in the following two weeks I keep chipping away at the stubborn stuff left, not letting it slide back into chaos.

Everywhere I look it’s horrifying, truly.  So I’m feeling really good about what I’ve been doing so far.  Last week alone I did the following:

wrote every day, worked on revisions for older books, made a dress, pants and outfit for the Wellie Wisher doll I’m giving Ali (You can find what I’ve been making on Instagram – I followed Jenny’s plan for posting an art project every day, but in my case it’s just my creativity for the day.  
Son of a bitch, it’s upside down again. That was my doll sweater which, while not perfect, is still useable. I added white buttons.

Sigh. 3 computers and none of them working well. So, made bread pudding, fresh bread and seafood scampi for dinner, went to church, worked on cleaning out the hall, squared up Ali’s quilt, went off to the big city, the shrink, crochet class (I’m taking a beginner’s course to work on the basics). Lots and lots of other stuff this week as well, all without ending up flat on my back in exhaustion like I was (technically I know I should say “as” I was but what the hell).
And I think a lot of it is my worry & anger about feeling so gobsmacked the other time that I was determined not to give in.
Let me tell you about my sister. Taffy was a beauty when she was young, but all three of us children were damaged goods. For some reason I survived and they didn’t. My sister lost her 18 year old son, and then her adopted away 38 year old daughter, and it was too much. She’d wanted to be waited on her entire life (her toddlers would bring her her cokes) and she basically got in a chair and didn’t get out. She had Chronic Fatigue (probably) and unbearable grief, even though she still had Mini-me, and when something hurt she gave into it. By the time she died she’d gained more than a hundred pounds and could barely walk, and her death was from emphysema complicated by obesity. I still have things I need to process about all that.

But I was starting to feel like I couldn’t move, like I was too exhausted to even try. So I rested a couple of days, and then got up and got moving. And I keep pushing just a little more every day, and the more I push, the more I can do. It’s logical – we all learned this when we were young, but it’s easy to forget as pain and age start to take their toll on our bodies. I’ve got something called Chronic Pain Syndrome, with two destroyed knees, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, replaced shoulder that is very funky (weak and painful) blah blah blah.
My sister, and a lot of other people, focus on that pain. But since you can’t really get pain-free (and people run into trouble with opioids when they try) you have a choice to cave and whine or to keep fighting it. (Taffy didn’t whine, but she was understandably hopeless). I’m going to keep fighting, and I’m beyond happy with the very fast results.

I think it’s a part of aging – you keep expecting to have the energy and mobility you had thirty years ago, but there’s wear and tear on the joints, and damn, you just get tired. But you have to push beyond your comfort zone, or be the sort of person obsessed by her aches and her troubles.

(I bet you’re rolling on the floor because I probably seemed obsessed by my aches and troubles on here. I’m not, but when I talk to you guys I’m thinking about my life objectively, so I may whine a bit. Mea culpa).

So that’s Sister Yoda’s advice for the day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Sister Yoda is from Wales). Or, as my role model would say, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!” It is a banquet, full of wondrous (and horrible) things. You can wait for your food to be delivered on a tray to your hospital bed and you can go out there and wrestle it to the ground.

I’m all for wrestling.

Yippee! (Krissie)

Can’t put this on Facebook but I just had a medical professional be sensible about opioids.  First, some history.  About 8 years ago I had a crisis with my legs, and could barely walk.  I went to see a rheumatologist, who put  me on 15 mg. of Vicodin a day.  I slept in a recliner for five months, used a walker to get to the bathroom, and barely moved.  She upped the Vicodin to 30 mg. and I slowly got better.  I cut back the stuff in the daytime, taking it once a day and once a night instead of twice a day. Then I cut it out during the day and just took took 2 pills at night. at night.  A 20 day supply lasted me a month and a half, but things got worse in the country and everyone got fussy.  I tried to explain that I don’t get any positive feeling from them – apparently addicts get some kind of “warm” feeling or something.  Doesn’t do a thing to me.  I also am totally lacking the addictive gene.

They don’t listen.  They’re so used to justifications and people playing games (and opioid addiction is a tragic, terrible disease) that whatever I said went over their heads.  After 8 or more years on the stuff, with me decreasing the dose, they still thought I could get addicted.  And they started giving me stuff that tears my stomach up again as an alternative (hence me feeling like shit for the last week).

However,  I did realize I got so twitchy and defensive about the meds because everyone else in my family was addicted to them, as well as tranquilizers and alcohol.  I somehow missed that addictive gene (or maybe it wasn’t genetic and I just had a different personality).  But I felt like I was being accused of it and it pushed my buttons.  Once I realized that was my problem I chilled.  And since they were so worried I cut my meds down again to 5mg  a day with no ill effects.

I just talked to a nurse about my latest run-in with NSAIDS and she talked about maybe I should consider taking a smaller dose of vicodin during the day..  I said I didn’t want to and she asked if it made me drowsy.  I said no (it doesn’t – I drive, I act, I write with no dulling of senses).  I just didn’t want to take more meds – I’m used to living with a certain amount of pain.

But finally someone open-minded!  It was so refreshing for someone to suggest upping the meds (even though I didn’t want to do so, but meds, despite their dangers, are to make things better and sometimes people need more.  I just don’t want to take more).

And I no longer have to feel so defensive now I realize where that’s coming from with me.  They can pass judgment all they want and suspect me of furtive behavior.  It’s annoying that they can’t get over it but fortunately, I can.

Hell, growing older ain’t for sissies!

Heat Wave (Krissie)

I’m at Crusie’s. I came down to drive her to the eye doctor (she might have to get a shot in the eye – at the very least she’ll be dilated and god knows how hard it is to drive dilated. (And no, I never had babies so I’m not thinking about dilated cervices and childbirth). Stopped at Hobby Lobby on the way, beating myself up as I did (I know, I know, morally indefensible, but it’s the only one in the state and there are some things that can’t be f0und elsewhere. At least I didn’t give those judgmental bastards very much money). Anyway, listened to the end of DIRTY by Kylie Scott and it was excellent! Then started White Hot by Ilona Andrews, a book I’ve been waiting for, forever, and it’s as good as I hoped. Went through cloudbursts with zero visibility, got down here about 4:30 (left at 9 am). So good to be here – I was really in the mood to be here. Well, I always am, but for some reason I was particularly psyched.
We went to Applebees, came back, talked talked talked and then headed to bed. I know, not terribly exciting but I thought y’all would like to hear how we hang out. “You know you’re good friends when one of you comes to visit and you both nap.” That’s Jenny and me.
Today we wait for the arrival of her brand new iPad Pro. I’m so excited – more than she is, I think. I’m about to do some writing (this is procrastinating) and later we’ll crochet and watch tv – tomorrow the eye doctor. Life is good.
Funny thing – the moment I arrive Milton must sit beside me. He ignores Jenny but has to cuddle with me.
In fact, I seem to draw small children and pets to me – that is really a glorious compliment!
Anyway, I’ll give you updates, but basically we’re going to eat and shop and crochet and watch television, rinse, repeat. It is such a fucking treat to have a BFF, and I’ve actually got two – a legacy one and a new (30 years or so) one. I live in a tiny town and a tiny state where I don’t really have anyone to go to the movies with, go shopping with, except Richie, who keeps me divinely happy but sometimes you just need another woman. Crusie in NJ is worth half a dozen in Vermont – I go for quality, not quantity (though I’d accept quantity too – I’m just a nice, friendly person).

And you know, I’m not sure I need to reinvent my fabulousness. I’m pretty fucking fabulous already.

As are we all. I think maybe we don’t need to reinvent as much as recognize. Though maybe it has to do with the time in one’s life. We started this 5 years ago, when Jenny and I were looking at 65 and Lani was newly divorced. It was time to reinvent ourselves. Jenny moved, Lani … er … made a mistake, but she’s golden now, and I needed to get out from under a cloud. We’ve gone through a lot of shit in the meantime, but we really are fabulous.

So – let’s claim a bit of fabulousness every day, because we all have it. Name one fabulous thing about yourself. It can be tiny or huge (I’m not talking body parts). I’ll start.

I have great hair. It’s no big deal, nature gave it to me, but still, it’s wonderful and I celebrate it!
Not sure where this will go – I’m making it up as I go along. Maybe Wednesday will be our official Claim your Fabulous day. Or hell, maybe every day. Gratitude, always an important thing, is implicit. But sometimes you just gotta celebrate!

The Great Yarn Beat Down, or Life at Jenny’s

So I’m here in NJ where we’ve been having a Gathering of the Goddesses, including Lani and her two amazing daughters, Sweetness and Light. I hadn’t seen the girls for years, and I still thought of them as around 11 and 13, which was way off – they’re now 15 and just-turned 18 and they are admirably fierce. Sweetness got her nose pierced for her birthday, the fearless creature, and Light kicks butt (in a thoroughly charming way). Lani, of course, is the goddess she is, with a great streak of pinkish-purple in her hair. She’s got a fabulous job, a fabulously empty bed no longer filled with a faux-Scots wanker, and life is good.

I got here on Wednesday, drove Jenny to the eye doctor on Thursday and on Friday we played. Saturday Lani & Co. arrived and we went out to breakfast, where Jenny terrorized me. Of course, I’d been jabbering in Danish at her for two days so it’s no wonder she was looking a little glassy-eyed and and thinking wistfully about “Saw II: The Reckoning.”

We ate too much at breakfast, then Crusie crashed, Sweetness and Light crashed and Lani and I went shopping. (When the going gets tough the tough go shopping).

And we returned for the Great Yarn Beatdown, similar to this summer’s Great Fabric Beatdown.

First of all, Jenny’s got a stash that she’d never get through if she lives until 100, and the sheer amounts are crushing her. So she’s doing slash and burn – she’ll still need to go through things again, but right now she’s made a huge difference, and Lani went home with a bag of yarn, a half finished sock (her knitting is phenomenal) plus a new Crusie purse that I reluctantly passed over (happily Crusie showers me with treasures, so I was willing to give it up since I already have the Disney Villains on my usual purse.) So we came back from brunch at Kathy’s and Jenny attacked the pile.
It’s been a massive undertaking. The girls played outside with the dogs (Jenny’s house is basically a tiny house full of treasures and magic) while Lani knitted and I crocheted.

So I’ve got a dozen trash bags full of yarn (plus a car loaded with other goodies). Which means I can crochet madly while listening to audiobooks, which I need to do because I need many ways to wallow in story. I’ll be showing you my creations and the books that I read – hey, maybe I’ll even do that on Facebook.

Anyway, Lani and the girls left (sob) and we were all set to watch “Moana” when we had an epic brown-out and we both toddled off to bed. Today, more yarn, then (heehaw) clothes. Tomorrow I head back home.

Anyway, peaceful goddess time in NJ (we weren’t in the mood for wild right now) and we have to do it again. Maybe next time with tattoos.

So, with all this excitement I gotta ask – what’s on your agenda?

All About You (Krissie)

So, the photo on the right is today, 2017. The photos on the left are, on top, me from 2012, when I’d lost a lot of weight, and 2013, when I gained it all back. If I get to the other computer I’ll see if I can find photos from the same day in ’14, ’15 and ’16. I never realized when I started putting up photos that I’d end up with such an interesting resource.

So, anyway, how did you guys survive the blizzard, those of you who had it? We got thirty inches or more, coming down at 4 inches per hour at times, with a strong wind. Every school in the state was closed, and we know how to deal with snow in Vermont. Now we’re opening windows (it’s only 50 or so but it’s nice to get fresh air.)

Speaking of being fabulous, I’ve decided I have to go back swimming again. I feel like I’m living in a coffin-shaped box – that’s about how much I move and can move. It’s only in the water that I can really stretch out. It takes time and money, but neither price is crushing (I can swim for $100 for 6 months and the pool is available from 6 am to 8 pm (with two hours off in the afternoon for students). The drive takes about half an hour, but if I lived in NYC or near traffic it would take that long or longer – it’s 24 miles away). All the time changing and showering is time I don’t waste at home doing the same thing (I go under the shower before I get in the pool). I can’t walk, my replaced shoulder is incredibly stiff and painful, and I my body’s become a prison. Plus, I won’t get all the exercise I usually get in the summer when I’m acting. Gotta do something.

The weight is staying off (though not dropping lower – it would be lovely to drop below 220 and stay there.) My big goal is to get below 200 and stay there for a while. I guess I need to put a little more effort into it, but right now it’s absolutely painless – I don’t lust for sugar and fried food and huge amounts. But I could probably cut healthy carbs back a little.

It’s nice when it’s no longer vanity motivating me. My relationship with vanity has always been contentious (I think that’s true for most people). My sister was beautiful, and she always made it clear that she was the pretty one. That backfired because she started feeling that being pretty was her only value, and she basically ate herself to death (it said her death was caused by COPD complicated by obesity). And in fact I’ve been going through old photos and looking at myself dispassionately and realizing I’ve always felt way too negative about myself. I remember about 50 years ago Buffalo Springfield had a song about “pretty girl, why not love me?” and I wept because I wasn’t a pretty girl. And you know, I was. Almost all 18 year old girls are.

Feeling good feels a lot better than looking good, and that’s my goal. Tomorrow I will lumber onto the scale – nope, that’s too negative. I will trip lightly onto the scale, face the music, and move on.

I can’t fix everything (there’s a stunner!) and I can’t fix much, but there are things I can do.

So tell me, what’s up for you guys? Anyone serious about their weight and their mobility right now? Or is work a major consideration? Family? I’ve got all three things pulling at me, and the body tends to be the first thing to go by the wayside but I’ve got to spend time on me if I want to do all those other things. Seems I’ve got energy right now.

So … wassup?