Krissie: What I did For Love

Photo on 7-2-14 at 10.13 AMFortunately I do most everything out of love and very little out of duty. Or so it seems. You can tell by what my house looks like. So here’s what I did yesterday.
Woke up, wrote a blog, checked my email (briefly). Wrote 2,300 words. Went into the pool (couldn’t float because my sunburn on my legs is too nasty). Copied my pages from the script, went through and marked my lines and my cues. Went in the water again. Loaded the dishwasher. Fixed the printer. Went through more of family boxes and letters (a report my father did on how women spent their leisure time in the 1950s — he was a researcher for the Saturday Evening Post at that point). Plus photos and letters and wonderful pictures from Mini-me’s wedding, all of which was slow and either painful or not (the wedding pictures weren’t at all painful, even though happy memories often are). Did three hours of rehearsal/read-throughs. Came home, went swimming, had dinner (salad), went to bed. You know, it doesn’t sound that tiring when I write it down.
Our key phrase this summer is from Calvin and Hobbes — The days are just packed. Phantom (the cat) spends his days hunting. The stupid robin yesterday decided to hop away from him yesterday instead of fly, but fortunately a squirrel was caught in the netting that protects the blueberries and he got distracted. Then he found a mouse. (I’m writing on the front porch and I watch him stalking back and forth on the edge of the grass, or perched on a rock and watching.
Richie saved the mouse (I don’t know why) and praised Phantom and brought him inside. Let him out later, Phantom found the mouse again. Richie came out once more, this time the mouse was dead so he threw it in the grass. Yesterday morning we had a squirrel head on our deck (small enough so that I didn’t notice, thank God). Now Phantom is sleeping under the picnic table. The days, as I say, are just packed.

So, today I write another 2k plus words (which I’ve been doing I came back from Crusie’s, where I wrote 3k a day most days) and I’m still at a place where I love this damned book so much. I have no idea if the pacing is right or any of that shit — I’m just loving the story as it unfolds for me. Usually that means it’s a winner. On occasion it means a broken heart. But you pays your money and you takes your chance.

I really really need to get pool supplies and food, but Richie’s going to the town where the grocery store is so he can get necessities and I can go out tomorrow when I don’t have a rehearsal. The pool can wait one more day. It’s been in the upper 80’s every day so really wickedly hot, though poor Mini-me is stuck in Sacramento on jury duty so comparatively speaking I don’t even know what hot is. So I’ll write and I’ll swim (carefully, since the sunburn is still bad — it seems to have gotten through the wet towel I placed over my legs on Monday). I really need to go to the basement and sort through the fabric and stuff for costuming, but I keep putting that off. And today my rehearsal schedule is brutal — 4 to 7 for chorus (not so bad) but 8:30 to 11 pm for Acting as in Act, damn you. I go to bed at 8:30! Fortunately Billy Bigelow is darling, and so is Enoch Snow and Jigger Craven. In fact, Mrs. Mullin will make eyes at just about everybody (I’ll keep away from Zack, who’s about 17 and still a kid). Oh, and since it was just a read through I got to sing along with “Mr. Snow” – which I used to warble as I’d walk uptown in Princeton every Saturday. (People must have thought I was nuts).  It was fabulous!

So. I’ll write. I’ll swim. I’ll empty that stupid box and maybe even get down to the basement for a little bit. By the way, Richie cut peonies for me and put them on the table beside my loveseat (thank you Crusie) and they smell divine. There’s a breeze (there’s almost always a breeze) and it blows the scent to me. You have no idea how exquisitely lovely it is here. It really is breathtaking, and even the heat is lovely with the breeze (it’s not a hot breeze yet — it’s probably still in the low or mid 70s right now).

And I will walk to the end of the driveway and back once a day. I need to call the orthopedist and be reassured that walking won’t make my knees worse. He saw the latest X-rays – he would know. And my BFF is coming back next week, so I’ll sew with her. Maybe I’ll see if I can do a little bit about the disaster of the living room. It’s depressing. But I gotta conserve energy for tonight.

When I can get my Cougar on.

I think part of it is (ahem) aging. We don’t realize we haven’t got the limitless energy we had when we were younger (at least mine was limitless) and we can’t pace ourselves properly and we get so frustrated that we collapse in exhaustion over what should be trifles. But it must be a universal problem because everyone wants more energy.

Aha, Phantom has joined me to walk across the keyboard, bless him Better get to work — I think there’s sex in the offing.  (not for Phantom — we had him neutered a few weeks after he showed up at our doorstep.  Not for me.  Ah, but for Bishop and Evangeline … I love my job!)

(Oh, and there was nothing for make it Wednesday.  Go out and take pictures of your gardens and put them in dropbox.  That’s your task for the week).

27 thoughts on “Krissie: What I did For Love

  1. Lynda says:

    My God, you do more on one of your slow days than I do in a week, maybe two weeks. Hell, you do more than I do in a month at least. As hot as it’s been, I haven’t stuck my head out of the house for three days. I think all I did yesterday, apart from 40 minutes on the exercise bike, was to finish reading THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE.

    Speaking of hot, how did Mini-me wind up on jury duty in Sacramento? I thought she lived in Tahoe.

  2. Well, you look great, and you sound great. Can’t beat that winning combination. Just pace yourself. Don’t burn out (one of my problems when I get all enthusiastic about something.)

  3. So inspired by yesterday’s post, I walked the dogs. it’s 84, but Milton was raring to go, so I walked him the long way down the street, to the end of the road, and back. I don’t know how many steps that is, but I will tomorrow when I get everything organized. ( I figured it was more important to get everybody walked before the rain than to futz around with apps.) By the time we got back, his tongue was on the ground, but he was still trotting happily, so maybe tomorrow, we’ll go farther. Then Mona; we went the other direction which is not as far, and I turned around when I thought she might be tiring because of the bad knees, but she really wasn’t ready to quit when we got home, so tomorrow, farther. Then Veronica, and we got almost all the way to the other end of the road before I turned around because of short legs, but she was still ready to go farther. I’m hesitant to take them too far because when they get tired, they just sit down and I have to carry their little lard asses back. Wolfie was the funny one: I put on the leash and he was ecstatic, so we went down the (very short) drive, he stopped and pooped by the bushes, and then turned around and came back, which is when I remembered that Lani said she took him out the front several times every time when she dogsat because the back stairs are so hard on him. So Wolfie and I will be taking short jaunts because he LOVES them. He was leaping about with excitement at the door. Then out to the road, poop, back home again. My kind of dog.
    So they all got good exercise but I got great exercise. At least I think I did. I’ll know more when I get a pedometer working.

    Also, Krissie, I found out that if there’s anything between the phone and the door (like Veronica), the lock won’t work. I also found out that if I hang my purse close to the door, it’ll work for anybody. Love this lock.

    Also, I would like to point out that you’re losing a thousand words a day not being here. Something to think about . . .

  4. Cindy says:

    No, it does sound exhausting written out!

    And you look so pretty in that picture! Your hairs looks soft & wavy…very feminine.
    And you look happy!

  5. RanchGirl says:

    Garden I can do for Make it Wednesday, but since I am not talented like many of the posters here, I confess I did not make a note of how to get to the dropbox.

    I think I need an invitation? I have dropbox already for my photos.

  6. Kieran says:

    Can I share a little here, please? Last month a 17-year-old boy here, a casual friend of my son’s, accidentally drowned. I knew him but not really well. I knew he was big and goofy and sweet. It hurt to know that he died, that his promising young life was snuffed out. I knew his mother from church. Today, another 17-year-old boy here killed himself with a gun. I just saw him a few days ago, smiling, happy.

    Long ago, he pushed my son out of the way when a large oak tree broke in half on a windy day, and he saved my son’s life. My son was friends with both boys. My two nephews were very close to both boys. I knew the second mother really well. When I found out today about the second boy, I was in a public place, outside a coffee shop in downtown Charleston, and I wailed with no care for who heard me and just took off down a city sidewalk, lamenting the loss of such a dear boy. I didn’t give a shit what I looked like. A block later, I saw a man eyeing me–he was the owner of the coffee shop, and he’d followed me. He was in front of me, looking back to see what was going on with me. He was the sweetest man in the world. I told him what had happened, and he told me to come back to the coffee shop and sit down. But I didn’t. I thanked him and kept going and found my daughter in a store and life, dammit, went on with all its practical matters like having to drive a car home and let the dog out. But I feel so empty. My son seems–*seems*–to be okay. One of my nephews, 17, isn’t talking. He’s lost two good friends in less than one month. The other nephew, 18, is acting like my son, kind of like this is really bad but they’re not crying. They had been–my sister told me they cried when they heard.

    The second boy’s mother begged my sister, who is one of her BFF’s, to tell her it was all a dream. No one knows why he did it. He was so excited about becoming a senior in high school.

    I’m not asking for comfort. I’m not the one who needs it. I’m an onlooker who feels the horror of all this, and I’m just sharing because I do believe we need to talk more about suicide and depression, and I think we need to slow down and be kinder if we all possibly can set aside our agendas to do so.

  7. I can’t imagine the pain of everyone involved. I’m glad you have this community to support you, and I hope the others have solid, supportive communities too. I’ll work on being kinder to those who annoy me in the coming weeks.

  8. Oh, and what I read the comments for initially — I thought I’d uploaded a picture of my FOUR HUNDRED ONIONS! but all I saw at dropbox was the .doc file describing the 400 onions. So I uploaded the pic again for next week. Although by then, the onions will be almost ready for harvest, I think!

  9. Carol says:

    Sometimes it feels like the world is so upside down and things are just wrong, wrong, wrong especially when young ones are suddenly gone. Will pray for you all.

  10. Carol says:

    You look fabulous and happy.

    Have been gardening and in the heat too. It has been very hot here but not complaining, better than the constant rain. I decided to rip out everything along the fence in the back garden. Going to start fresh with a new garden plan. Lots of bending and stretching and crouching. Still must dig and turn over with more soil and nutrients. Then I ironed with the windows open and a lovely breeze to cool me off. Maybe I’m one of the last women in the world who irons. I blame my mother who always ironed and instilled it into me.

  11. THAT’S what that was. I saw it go in and thought, “What the hell is Four Hundred Onions?” It’s in there now.

  12. I’m so sorry, Kiernan.
    I was just reading about the suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge, how they’re going to rig a net to stop them because suicide is so often an impulse and if you can stop somebody in the moment, many won’t try again. I think the teenage years are so damn hard that there must be those moments for almost everyone, especially since we never know what’s really going on with them. When I taught high school, we had several suicides, boys who didn’t do as well in sports as they were supposed to, boys in the closet, it was awful. I went through hell with Mollie in high school because she was so unhappy and I didn’t know how to FIX it. I think now, maybe the best way was to sit down and say, “No matter what happens, you’re not trapped. It gets better. I’ll help you. I will find you a way out of anything. Just stay with me, please.” Because the alternative is just not survivable for a parent. You may go on breathing, but part of you must die.
    I’m so, so sorry.

  13. Kieran,

    I’m sorry. I watched part of a documentary called The Bridge –about people who attempt suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. When they talked to survivors, the survivors said that as soon as they jumped, they realized that all their problems could be solved except that they just jumped. What a gift to give people who are even contemplating suicide. I hope the documentary gets wider distribution.


    You look like you have a delicious secret you are not sharing. And, no offense, but I hope the secret is more exciting than you gave up Diet Coke, lol.

  14. Kiernan, my heart breaks for the family and friends.

    When my youngest was fifteen, his best friend in the world was killed by a drunk driver. Not the same kind of loss as the suicide, but absolutely devastating. It changed all our lives, in a thousand small ways (and some large ways).

    We made it a point to talk about Ryan later, to get our son some counseling, but mostly, to keep Ryan’s name alive in our family, and to remember the wonderful things about him, because he mattered. That may help your son and nephews in the months to come… once the shock is fading, just reminding them that their friend is not forgotten, that he made a difference, that he mattered, can be comforting.

  15. JenniferNennifer says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about these tragedies. My heart goes out to all of you.

    I hope I am not officious, but I feel impelled to say that grief counseling can be so helpful if one can find a good counselor or program and your son and/or nephew would be willing to try it. Your local hospice may be able to give you a referral of someone who deals specifically with loss. My sister teaches trauma resolution techniques, so I have seen what a huge difference it can make; perhaps especially for young men, who are less likely to reach out for support from friends than we women are.

    My thoughts will be with you all.

  16. Micki says:

    Some people here have errand strollers — it’s basically a basket on wheels that has a lid that flips down so the strolling one can sit and rest a spell. And I’ve seen this lady taking her little dogs out for a walk with them in the stroller. And I have to admit, I’ve been the slightest bit judge-y. I never thought that they might be on the *return* trip. (And I also never thought until just now that maybe *she’s* using the stroller for a little rest, too. I just thought she was showing off her adorable doggies and trying to tell myself it was OK not to make them walk.)

    I hate it when I’m judge-y, and now I’m going to be able to relax and enjoy the sight of tiny dogs in a stroller. Yay!

  17. Micki says:

    So very sad, and I do send comfort to you and everyone who was touched by these twin tragedies.

    Exploring one’s potential for kindness is a good idea — but it’s important to realize that it’s a combo of bad brain chemistry that day and accidents of fate and happenstance.

    The Smithsonian online (of all places) had a good, short article on depression and how to be with a friend who has it.

    So, in the spirit of that article, let me just say that that really sucks. I’m thinking of you.

  18. Little dogs with little legs can’t go far. If she’s trying to make a mile or whatever and wants them to get out, that may be the only way she can get her 10,000 steps in or whatever and still keep them with her in the sunshine. Quality time.

  19. pamb says:

    I love those dog strollers! Says the woman with a 70# dog, so no dog stroller for me. But if we ever add a “little” dog to our lives… 🙂

  20. Kieran says:

    Thank you, everyone, for your kindness. We’re heading to the funeral now. What Jenny said about always having choices really resonated. My uncle, who was a Marine chaplain in Vietnam and worked with a lot of traumatized young men, told me that the best advice I could ever give my kids is to tell them there are always options. You never, ever have to be boxed in.

    Hugs to you all!!

  21. Leigh says:

    Hugs, Kieran. You have a big heart, and it must feel squeezed hard right now. Big. Solid. Hugs, from Leigh-Ann

  22. Kelly S says:

    I have a cat stroller. Cats typically don’t do “walks” but this legs me bundle mine in and they can watch the world as I push it along.

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