Krissie: Progress

So I looked in the mirror yesterday and for the very first time did a double take. I looked thinner. Yeah, I realize the rest of you have noticed, at least from my face, but I hadn’t. We have a tendency to focus on the bad, and as my face has gotten thinner it all seems to drop to my pouchy chin.
But I looked in the mirror and I could see a noticeable difference in my torso. Plus, I found a pair of black jeans in the back of my drawer that had been too tight and put them on and they were loose.
Also, my tummy has been an issue. It never used to be droopy until I had my hysterectomy, when they cut through all the muscles, and since then it’s been saggy and annoying and hanging over the incision scar, getting itchy etc. (I know, TMI). Well, it doesn’t any more. I can lie in bed and feel it and it’s really smaller. Yippee!
Of course, I went 450 calories over yesterday, simply by not paying attention. I keep thinking I can go by instinct but I’m not there yet. Still trying to figure my way through it all. I want to keep losing, not stall out again. I liked what I saw yesterday. I’m greedy, I want more. More skinny, that is.
One good thing: I haven’t had any of the nausea/stomach stuff that was plaguing me a couple of weeks ago. Knock wood.
The plan for today: do research. write a little. go swimming. watch what I eat. And sing.

The song for yesterday? “Pack up your sorrows” by Richard and Mimi Farina. We had a rocky start to the day yesterday, heading toward frustration, depression and anger. (Give you two guesses what/who set it off). So “Pack up your sorrows” seemed like an excellent thought. Not sure what I’ll go with today. It seems ridiculous that my fingertips would hurt after one song on a nylon string guitar, but they did. Not sure I could have done a second. But they’ll toughen up in time, and then I can sing more.

And for you guys who say you can’t sing. I bet you can. It’s like kids. You ask five year old how many of them can draw and they all raise their hands. Five years later you ask the same question and only a small group of them raise their hands.
Cars are great places to sing. Just bellow along at the top of your lungs. I remember my sister insisted she couldn’t sing, but she could. It was just that I was good at it, and her stronger talents lay elsewhere. But hey, we can sing, and we should.
Crusie says she can’t sing — wrong.
Years ago she and Eileen Dreyer and I did a skit at RWA, which called for us to sing “You Don’t Own Me.” While rehearsing Crusie, who didn’t know me that well at that point, kept saying to Eileen (who will sing at the drop of a hat and loves performing) “you’re the singer, Krissie and I can’t sing.” It was default for her, and I had to practically beat her about the head and shoulders, verbally, to realize I didn’t put myself in the same boat.
(However, I really, truly, honestly can’t draw. Trust me. I can prove it to you.)
Eileen is a great singer — she loves it, she does it as often as she can and she’s kept her voice in good shape. But I can still sing — two years private voice training, years of singing and playing guitar. And Crusie can sing — she loves music and has a good sense of pitch. (FWIW Lani’s got a really nice voice too).
Singing is a gift the Fates/Hp/God gave us (and by HP I don’t mean Harry Potter or Hewlett Packard, I mean one’s Higher Power) to make up for all the crap we have to go through.
So, sing!

55 thoughts on “Krissie: Progress

  1. Rose says:

    I just fruitlessly searched YouTube for the “You don’t own me” skit.

    Congratulations on the progress. Your face looks a lot thinner in your photographs, and the chin issue looks like it is going away, too.

    I’m one of those people who can sing, just not well enough so that it sounds goos. I do my best in the car with the radio turned up high enough to almost drown me out, even in my own head. And no passengers. But I envy the ability to play a musical instrument. I have an old out of tune acoustic guitar and many books on teaching yourself to read music and teaching yourself to play gutar, but I’ve never actually put the effort in to learn it. I keep saying one of these days, and then spending my time watching tv. I should probably just throw out the TV, but then I’d miss How I Met Your Mother.

  2. I’m glad the view in the mirror is catching up with the view from our side of things!

    Someone once compared my singing to that of a cow trying to yodel. On the plus side, I figure I could make money by people paying me /not/ to sing 😉

    All I knew about Richard Farina was ‘Been down so long it looks like up to me.’

  3. Maine Betty says:

    Yes, sing! Sing alone in your room, sing alone in the shower, sing Carmen while vacuuming (one of my favorites), sing in community choruses, sing in church choirs.
    I’m a voice teacher and I say: sing!
    At a vocal health workshop I attended at Massachuesets General Hospital, the laryngologist said that singing is the most complex physical act humans engage in, I guess because of all the parts of the brain it uses. Dang, I knew I was smart!

  4. Sharon says:

    Well, of course, everyone can sing. I enjoy singing but no one wants to listen to me-I couldn’t carry a tune even if I had a bucket. I am also tone deaf. I do like to hum and whistle as well. One day I was whistling and a young child looked at me and asked,”Do you have a bird in your mouth?”! I do agree with you that singing and musical lessons can help a person but only the ones with a gift from God can become truly wonderful.

  5. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Yeah, singing… I actually love to sing, and when I am not put on the spot (i.e., have an audience, whether of one or more), I can also carry a tune halfway. My dog thinks I sing wonderfully and she even dances with me (quel surprise, eh?!).

    My husband, who sings sort of Neil Young-y (not quite off tune) loves to sing and he believes he sings better than he does, but hey, that’s okay.

    When we first started dating, he insisted that everyone can sing — but then decided I can’t. And, of course, because he feels that way, I won’t sing along.

    (But — did I mention this already?? — my dog loves my singing!)

    However, I’m not soooooo bad. I recently sang a snippet from something and our son recognized immediately what it was. So, I’m not soooooo bad.

    And anyhow, my dog loves it. So I sing when she and I are home alone. Or in the car.


    Oh, yeah, and the pooch (who is still learning her way around after just a couple of weeks) heard me play the piano for the first time and decided she had to sing along. Tooooo cuuuuuuute!

  6. I love to sing, but it’s not very pretty. I did sing in a trio at my 8th grade graduation, and I was in a musical in high school. I’d forgotten about that until just now. Huh. That was fun.

    I belt it out in the car to the point I’ve taken a long road trip and arrived hoarse at my destination. My daughter loves to sing, but she needs work. Her father is a singer, was the lead singer of a band for years, so she should have some inherited talent in there somewhere. Buried deep though.

    Happy to hear you’re seeing what we see. And when you see it all over? Oh, that’s the best.

  7. I love to sing! Mostly in the car, although I have no fear of making a fool of myself in front of others. It makes me so happy to hear my boys sing, even the “pitchy” ones.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better as well as looking better!

  8. I love to sing, but seriously, I’m tone deaf. I OWN a small karaoke machine that has a built in TV screen that displays the words. I kid you not. My favorites are anything by the Supremes, and Blueberry Hill. “I found my thrill…on Blueberry Hill…”
    We’ve had parties where my chapter mates have sung along and we’ve had a blast, except on ocassion had to wrestle the microphone from the hands of the overly enthusiastic. I should take the machine to the hotel for National. I’m driving over to Anaheim. Nah, they’d probably evict us. Ha ha.

  9. Krissie, you look great! You should wear pink more often as it totally suits you.

    Thanks for the encouragement about singing – I do sing in the car when I am alone. My son, who is increasingly embarassed by the antics of his mother (I told him to get used to it), visibly cringes when I sing in front of him. I come from a long line of non-singers (my mother is even worse). I am ok with my lack of vocal prowess. But next time a familiar song comes on the radio, I will crank up the volume and sing out loud and proud.

  10. Egads says:

    I’m not a good singer, but I could always sing my son to sleep. When he got older, he didn’t want me to sing (didn’t want to sleep! and now probably I just embarrass him). We play a game “What’s Mommy going to do if I…” and he’ll list something to tease me. Sometimes I respond, “I’ll sing!” and then I do. To shut me up he has to come kiss my cheek. Muwahaha.

    I win.

    Glad you are seeing the results now, Krissie.

  11. German Chocolate Betty says:

    “…To shut me up he has to come kiss my cheek. Muwahaha….”

    My guys will do almost ANYTHING to shut me up. Except our 18-yr-old would definitely NOT kiss my cheek. (More likely imitate Munch’s “Scream”)

    Double muwahahaha!

  12. Go you! Isn’t it brilliant when the too tight trousers become the nice and loose trousers….am currently wrestling with the wages of Easter bunny visiting while I was being weak, and then it’s full steam ahead for target weight by the end of August. I’ve got some spring grit about me just at the moment.

    As for singing – well I love it, and I think it is one of the best things in the world for us, as well as other things I am officially ‘bad’ at, like dancing and running around a squash court. So I don’t care what pain I inflict on my family, I get my playlist on in the car and I sing my heart out. And sometimes, even the cool 15-year old minion will sing along too, especially to old faves like American Pie. My dream is to have a school where the teens sing every morning, but songs like this:
    I love PS22. Just look at those kids sing sing sing.

  13. Chris J. says:

    Years ago I saw a poster or T-shirt that said (something like), “If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing. -African proverb”

    Think about it, it’s true. Doesn’t mean you can sing or dance *well*, but for most purposes doing it is more important than doing it well. (IMO.)

  14. Well, I suppose it’s like anything: use it or lose it. I *can* sing, but I’m not sure any of you would like to hear it. {I don’t know what it’s called when you can’t pitch your voice to match the music, but that’s my problem. Is that what people mean by “tone deafness”? I’ve never been clear on that.} But you know, with practice, miracles can be worked.

    For example, if I lived near you (Krissie), I would march in there and teach you to draw. You might not know “how” to do it, but trust me, you used to know how (like most kids) and it can be relearned. Drawing is not about using your hands, it is about using your eyes to see things more clearly.

  15. misspiggy don'twannabe says:

    I’m glad that you’re singing. I love Judy Collins songs – they’re often too high for my voice but I belt them out in the car. I can relate to “Where Did the Time Go” and I love “Send in the Clowns” – you’re also looking great!

  16. Maria Powers says:

    I totally agree about the singing. Everyone can sing even if you “can’t”. Sing in the car, sing to your kids, sing funny songs, folk songs. Sure you may not be America’s next idol, but who cares!

    And for the love of all that is holy, please the next time you sing happy birthday, pick up the pace and don’t let it be a funeral dirge. I don’t know why but now when I hear Happy Birthday sung by a group it ends up being s—l—o—w—e—d way down to funeral tempo. If you need to sing it in that style think New Orleans and march!

    Okay, I’ll get off my soap box and start humming “When the Saints Go Marching In”

  17. You look fabulous, dahling! And I’m glad you’re feeling better too.

    I love to sing–usually in the car, very loudly 🙂 I also sing around the house, which occasionally makes the cats yowl. I’ve never decided if they are singing along or critiquing.

    How about “Walking on Sunshine”? That one never fails to cheer me up.

    Also, I am almost through the massive revisions on the current WIP in time for my birthday this Saturday. If that isn’t something to sing about, I don’t know what is!

  18. Lulu says:

    I’ve had people standing next to me put their finger in their ear because I throw them off pitch. True story! And when I sing in the car, my eyes always tear up (yes, I “sing” with at least melodrama), and blinded by tears makes for unsafe driving, so booo.

    And I’m up 5 lbs since Feb, which is absolutely the wrong direction I meant to be going in. So, pretty much all is borked here. But it’s well and truly springtime, and I’m better with the sunshine and warm weather, so at least there’s hope, not to mention 10K, 12K, and half-marathons coming up to put me back on track (ha!) to drop some weight and get healthier again.

  19. Yay! You finally noticed how good you’re looking!

    Yes! to music and singing. It can definitely make the day go better. And I feel the same way about my miserable, out of shape legs as you do about your fingers! Grrrrr

  20. I’m sorry, I haven’t read anything except the very beginning of the post. And yes, Krissie, you’re looking sublime.

    I just got back from the Vet, my oldest dog, Midnight, has inoperable cancer and I have to take her to be put down tomorrow. She can’t eat anymore, basically she’s starving to death, and I know it’s wrong to let her suffer. But I just cannot stop crying. FGBVs for strength please, or I’m likely to flood the Vet’s office tomorrow. Someone tell me why we get so goddamn attached to these creatures whose lives are so short.

  21. McB says:

    Congrats on finally noticing your own progress! See, just when you needed a little more incentive, your mirror cooperates.

    I agree that everyone can sing. Unfortunately mine isn’t usually recongized as such. But with the radio blasting and the car windows rolled up, I can belt ’em out with the best.

  22. Rose says:

    FGBV’s to you. Saw this the other day, and it feels appropriate here:

    A Do’s Purpose, According to a Six-Year Old

    Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

    I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

    As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

    The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

    The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

    Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

    Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

    The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

  23. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Oh, god, this sooooo made me cry. What a wonderful, wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I’m so sorry, Kate. I burst into tears yesterday in the pet aisle at Kroger, I miss Lyle that much. Midnight is lucky to have had you for a mom all these years, and now you’re doing the right thing, but it’s so, so, so hard.

  25. I did keep doing that. Sorry, Krissie. And I really can’t sing. But I am GREAT at improv comedy. You should have seen me bullying Krissie as the Editor from Hell (she was the Newbie Writer in the skit.) We all have our strengths.

  26. Lynn says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Midnight, Kate. Take it from one who has flooded the vet’s office on many occasions — they are used to it. Of course you’re going to cry.

    Wishing you and your sweet puppy an evening full of cuddles, tears, love, and as much peace as possible.

  27. Lynda says:

    A zillion years ago I took infant Greg into his room to change him, while his big brothers(2 and 5)played nearby. Greg was in a happy mood and I was feeling playful, and soon I was belting out “My Funny Valentine” while I changed him. When I finished the song, from the next room Marshall’s five-year-old voice popped up, “Oh, Mommy, that was beautiful!!” I had totally forgotten about the older boys overhearing me.

    Life isn’t always kind, and Marshall was gone at age 28, but I have never forgotten the sound of his little voice that day, and when Greg was in his early 30s and married a wonderful woman, the DJ at the reception asked if there was any special song I’d like played for my dance with my son. I chose “My Funny Valentine.”

  28. Thanks for the kind words from you all. It helps, except now I’m crying again. We are so lucky to have had Midnight in our lives. And we rescued her from a bad situation so maybe she was lucky too.

  29. Oh God…now I’m crying. We had to put Rhani down because of cancer. It’s been 2 years, and we still miss her. Rhani was a serene lady. Our 2 year old, Miffy, is nuts, but we love her just as much.

  30. My voice breaks and cracks every time I try and sing these days, but that doesn’t stop me 🙂 Never have been able to yell either, I go into yodel-mode.
    But singing is so good for the soul 🙂

  31. Maine Betty says:

    Of course she was lucky! I remember staying with a dog friend on her last night. She wasn’t worried, and I let her do anything she wanted, including eating the potato chip crumbs out of the bag, and then licking the inside of the bag of all the salt, because, why not? I certainly cried the whole time. And other times at random for the next week or so.

  32. H says:

    Gah! I hate that itchy belly scar thing… (mine’s from a c-section). So glad you’re feeling the improvement now, not just seeing it on the scale.

  33. Micki says:

    (-: I have to disagree — we can all draw, too. Maybe not genius drawing, but the more we do it, the better our eye and drawing muscles get. There’s so many fun things you can do with stick figures! And getting in the zone with drawing (or calligraphy) is so quiet and amazing . . . . Totally unlike being in the zone while I am singing (which is also amazing).

    I’m not a good drawer, and people have complained about my handwriting all my life. But, I enjoy it. (-: And it’s easier not to inflict on other people than singing (-:.

    We should all take time to do these arty things, whether we are good at them or not.

  34. redwood kim says:

    Skills need practice to learn and master. And some instruction, too. I think we don’t sing because we expect ourselves to sound like Beyonce. Our standards are incredibly high, and if we can’t teach ourselves, we must not be able to learn. That’s just dumb. I spent years thinking I es a terrible singer. I’m not. I need to sing with other people regularly to help me hear the pitch, and nobody’s going to pay to hear me, but my voice is fine. I can draw, too, if I do it often enough.

  35. Micki says:

    YES! I think this is one of the tragedies of our age . . . we have the leisure time to do stuff like sing and dance and draw, but we are comparing ourselves with Beyonce, and Baryshikov, and Lichtenstein. We can’t compete with that sort of slick professionalism, but we *can* do enough to make ourselves happy . . . if we let it happen. And tell our inner and outer critics to stfu.

  36. Actually almost anything can be learned. I did take a class in drawing at a quilt festival a few years ago and my pitcher looked like Donald Duck, but I’m sure I would have improved. After all, I’m slowly getting a much stronger sense of color and composition.

  37. Mary Anne in Kentucky says:

    (And if the staff know Midnight well, they’ll be crying with you. I work in one.)

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