Working Wednesday: March 14, 2018




Krissie put up the first ReFab post on the last day of 2011 and started a great blog.  She had big plans (post every day?) and the idea of the blog morphed over the years, but it was always a private-ish space where we could talk about personal things that didn’t belong on our regular professional (ha) blogs.  I’m going through some of my old posts here now, planning on copying some to Argh so they’re in the archives there, and we definitely had some good times here.   We’ll have more, we’ll just have them over on Argh and Drama Queen.

So thank you all for playing along with us for five years.  We couldn’t have done ReFab without you.

Working Wednesdays have now moved to Argh:
www. arghink.com.

Come on over . . .

 

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Happy Trails (Krissie)

The sun’s sinking in the west and this ol’ cowgirl’s heading for the last roundup.  Okay, enough of that fantasy – the only roundup I want to head for is one with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in Cowboys and Aliens.  Terrible movie, but two fine men.  I’ll take turns.

But I digress.  We’re closing down good old Refab – we’ve both got lots on our plates (a metaphor – we’re dieting) and we need to gather the wagons.

Why am I stuck in the old west?  I have no idea where that came from, but I seem firmly ensconced there.  I can’t think of any other cowboy I’d like to strip down and cuddle with , using his saddle for a pillow …  Aha, I’ve got it! Sam Elliott!  . I’d lay my bedroll next to his anytime. Oh, my!

And of course, David Carradine as Shane, be still my heart.

I never change, lusty old crone that I am. Anyway, Jenny and I are now so completely fabulous that there’s no room for improvement. Just kidding. She’ll be putting the Happiness posts and the Working Wednesday posts up on Argh, and I’ll continue my ramblings at http://anne-stuart.com/blog/ and Jenny and I will never speak to each other again because … God, can’t even come up with a believable joke. Just kidding, folks. BFF means Forever. We’ll do some chats on Argh (surprise, Jenny!) and anne-stuart.com/blog/ to keep you entertained. Hmmm, might even be fun doing a live one.

We’ll close down at the end of the week, and catch up with our guests and favorites and co-founder (Lani). Keep tuned for one last space of time and then, adios, amigos.

(where the fuck did the old west come from?)

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Krissie and I are both swamped, so we’re shutting down ReFab again, BUT we’re moving Happiness Sundays and Working Wednesdays to Argh, and Krissie’s Monday updates to her blog.  Krissie’ll post a good-bye notice tomorrow with a link to her blog.  For now, here’s your link to Happiness Sunday:

The Happiness of Power

 

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Working Wednesday: Back Next Week

So I still don’t have power which is what happened to Happiness Sunday, and I’m not supposed to get power until Friday, but I am supposed to get eight to twelve inches of snow tonight . . .

I’m thinking about the Instagram thing and I think it solves our can’t-post-pictures here problem.  I’m thinking hashtag #workingwednesdaypix because that’s really easy to remember.

I’m also thinking it’s time I bought a big expensive generator, but that’s another story.

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.

Monday (Krissie)

I was born in Philadelphia. And I don’t like like Trump-loving, football-deflating quarterbacks no matter how pretty they are. So hurray for the Super Bowl!

Richie and I watch it every year, mostly for the ads. We aren’t sports people (except for the Winter Olympics) though I have a fondness for basketball when the players have long hair (ah, Pistol Pete!), but we get sucked into the super bowl game every year, despite our determination to only watch the ads. I was expecting the Patriots to clobber the Eagles in the last minute. Ha ha ha.

But seventeen years ago my son ran headlong into a truck while riding too fast on a snowmobile. He was thirteen, and he flew twenty feet in the air, it knocked his helmet off, dislocated one hip and gave him a compound fracture of the other leg. He could have died so easily, and I’ll never forget sitting in the waiting area at the emergency room and numbly watching the Patriots win.

But after all that, and what felt worse in the intervening years, he’s good. He’s strong, he’s handling things. He made it. I don’t understand why some do and some don’t, and I expect I’m not supposed to understand it. But hurray for Tim and hurray for the Eagles and hurray to me who survived it all.

Anyone else hate football but watch the game anyway? I even looked up how to make potato skins (last year was the first time I did chicken wings).
Do you notice something missing from all this? Friends. We’re not that interested in drinking (though we have nothing against it) and sports don’t particularly matter, and we live in a very small town where we’ve always been out of the mainstream. So we have our little super bowl party alone and enjoy ourselves tremendously.

Friends are a difficult issue once you’re past fifty. Everyone’s already got their own circle, and changing isn’t easy. I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing – on the one hand, I enjoy people, I find them interesting. I love to talk with them, hear what’s going on, share things with them. But on the other, I need vast quantities of time alone. I was going to say I always did, even before I became a writer, but I kind of always was a writer. I need time to live in my head, with my stories.

I don’t worry about it any longer. I’m a little off-beat – a little colorful, a little different, a little over the top, and some people aren’t comfortable around me. (I do figure it’s a grave moral defect on their part but I forgive them – not enough people embrace their own fabulousness in this world and they’re uneasy around people who do).

So fuck ’em. I want you all to go out and embrace your fabulousness. The world needs it. We’ve had two impossibly shitty years – it’s time to make this year amazing, despite the evils in Washington. Do something fabulous! Wear something outrageous, put on bright red lipstick, a dashing scarf, and a smile and go out and greet the world. If the world won’t be fabulous we need to go out and make it so.

Live, my children!