Krissie: All About You

Photo on 12-15-13 at 9.10 AM Well, the week was interesting. It’s odd, because we celebrated Christmas in FL, and yet it’s pre-Christmas here. Plus I have a few presents to get, and I’ve lost a week of Christmas doings. Yesterday Alex and I made a rice Krispy treat castle, stuck together with red icing. We’ll still do a gingerbread house. I put most of the house decorations up before we left, and I think we’ll do a smaller tree. I’ve got some crocheting left to do.
One problem is immense frustration over the weather. I want to drive down and visit Crusie. I need to have a crochet seminar, I want to watch movies with Crusie and cuddle dogs. I was going to leave Friday morning, but then had a last minute doctor’s appointment (everything’s fine – it’s just pain). So, Saturday morning. Nope, big snow in NJ. Sunday morning. Nope, the storm reaches VT. Tentative new plan? Monday morning. Except the weather report now says the wind will pick up and the roads won’t be clear till Monday afternoon. I was going to stay a short two days (and stay longer in January) and planned to drive back on Thursday.
Weather report in Vermont? Snow on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
By then it’ll be too late to go down. I’ll want to put up the tree, go to church, bake, get the stuff for Christmas dinner and Christmas eve dinner (soup and sandwiches, so that’s easy enough). I want to sew. I want to enjoy the season.
So I keep watching the Weather Channel and the local weather reports because weather reports always change. So I’m going to hope for the best. I figure there’s a small chance I could leave tomorrow, and if it’s just snow showers later in the week I can manage that (though I gotta say I was horrified at what little traction I had when I left for my doctor’s appointment on Friday through snow and unplowed roads and major accidents — shudder).
So I’ll be ready to turn on a dime. (oops, that sounds too much like what I was doing when I on the slippery roads Friday morning). If worse comes to worst I’ll go down between Christmas and New Years, but I want to go now. This morning, damn it! Except we got a foot of snow and it hasn’t stopped and the wind is picking up.
However, I’m hopeful for tomorrow.
So, I almost hate to ask, but what’s on your agenda? What holiday fun do you have planned? What holiday duties can you make into fun, because Christmas shouldn’t be about obligation, it should be about fun.

Krissie: All About You

images-11 Much as those look like walking penises, they are dancing broomsticks from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (or maybe dancing hot dogs) from Disney World. Where we are all going, leaving today for a stay and fly hotel by the airport (makes like easier and gives you cheap parking). And you know what’s on my agenda for the week? Nada. Nothing. Zip, zilch, a big fat goose egg. I am going to have fun. I have a certain smile that Richie calls my Disney smile — it’s mega watt and I get it when I get to Disney (every five or ten years, usually for a major birthday). The only other time he’s seen me with it was when I found out Tim and Erin were having a girl and were going to name her Alison after my sister Taffy. I had that glow for days. (In fact, my Disney Avatar is the Cheshire Cat).
I’m not sure I’ll be able to post at all, and I’ll only do it if I want to. Because this week is for me. It’s to celebrate my 65th birthday, an age my sister didn’t manage to attain (she died two weeks short of it). It’s to think about life and happiness and not mourn those I’ve lost. I’ll think of them happily. And if anyone wants to rain on my parade, I will pop half a trank and go off somewhere nice on my own and have a lovely meal and screw them. Ha!
But no one will. Oh, Tim will blow up (I gave him Donald Duck as his avatar because he’s explosive) at some point (though he didn’t five years ago when we went). Kaim will probably want to talk about having her elective surgery, which gives me the heebie jeebies. Richie will worry about the money. Alex will have meltdowns, and Erin will fight with Tim.
But I will be happy happy happy. So think of me this week, even if you don’t see me on line. Think of me smiling, and you smile too.

So what’s on your agenda? I hope you get your own smiles too.images-12

Krissie: The Seven Joys of Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas. A fairly typical Christmas, with one child sobbing on my lap and the other rising to the occasion. Missing my mother — I sort of don’t want to be able to talk to her because if she knows what i’m thinking she’ll know the negative stuff.
Ah, but I digress.
Mary had seven joys, and I figure we can come up with seven joys of the Christmas season (doesn’t just have to be yesterday) to light up our tree.
1. Our tree. Richie planted it as part of the windbreak and for Christmas trees, he went out and trimmed it over the years. It’s not a perfect tree, but it’s lovely and it’s ours. Tim got one from the windbreak too for Erin’s house.
2. My BFF went out of her way to buy me a lot of tchotchkes (like hoisin sauce and hot chocolate and quilt magazines) and wrapped them so I’d have stuff to open under the tree. She knows how much I love Christmas and that I wasn’t going to have much to open, so she made sure I’d have some stuff.
3. Tim had a hard day. He bit the bullet and went with Erin to all of her family gatherings, with Erin wearing her engagement ring, and was treated like shit. Not that some of it isn’t deserved, given the past, but on Christmas you should be welcoming. And no one talked to him, no token gift, or card. He came home early, upset, and I was afraid we were going to have grumps. But he went and picked up Erin and Alex and we had a wonderful Christmas dinner and evening. He was able to put it behind him. He’s growing up.
4. I’d made a loaf of stuffing bread and used it and it was dee-lish.
5. I talked with my cousins, who were worried about me, and they were good, and healthy.
6. I went to the Christmas eve candlelight service.
7. I was able to calm and comfort Kaim’s meltdown without feeling bad myself, which was huge progress.

There are so many other joys of both yesterday, the season, and my life. Probably the biggest joy is Richie. We’ve had a tough year, and we’ve come out as close as we ever were (we couldn’t have gotten closer).
So I’ll throw Kaim’s melt-down under the tree as a piece of coal — it wasn’t bad of her, she couldn’t help it, but it’s a lump of coal in the fabric of life. And that hideously mixed-metaphor is a special gift for you guys. Smooch!

Speaking of fabric, you know you’re a sewer/sewist if you’re absolutely thrilled when you get an ironing board for Christmas. A super wide one, which will be great for ironing fabric, plus a sleeve-board for when I sew clothes. It’s very cool. And a Keurig is coming, which I lusted after ever since I lived with one at Casa de Rental.

And today is total veg-day. There’s plenty of leftovers for people to eat, I can watch what I want on tv, I can be cozy and lazy and just fine. Ah, the joys of doing absolutely nothing!

Do you have seven joys to come up with? Any coal (drunken or racist relatives, etc)? Decorate away.

Krissie: Rescue

Aw, guys. I don’t need rescuing. That’s something we all need to fight against — we’re women, we’re hard-wired to nurture, to fix things. But I don’t need fixing. I just wanted the chance to vent, to moan, to wail.
This is a special, safe place for me, and I look for advice and support and a slap upside the head when needed (a gentle one). I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the offers of financial help, but no. No, no, no. It’s not that I’m unwilling to let people help me — I said yes when when Kate offered to come and declutter, I took Jenny’s Frequent Flyer Miles since she wasn’t going to fly again and I wanted to visit her. It’s not that I have to do everything on my own. I even let other people pick up the check sometimes, when I’m hardwired to do it. But truly, bless your hearts, I don’t need your financial help. Your emotional and problem-solving help is much more important.
That being said, things are never as bad as they seem to be. And even if they’re that bad, things tend to get better. They always do.
There’s a good chance the people who fixed our car after the accident (which is the root of what’s going on now) will fix it for free. We called and they have a guarantee. So Richie’s taking the car up there today and we’ll hope for the best. Even a discount on the work would help.
Though I gotta admit I did find a used bright blue Camry that I fell in love with.
So Richie’s dealing with it. While I was out he went and cut the tree that he grew and got it in the stand and even put the lights on. Made me sooo happy. I bought a freaking huge white poinsettia for the church in honor of my mother and the other dead ones, and even went to the advent meditation session (where I’m afraid I fell asleep but that’s okay).
I’ve been told I haven’t said anything new for a while (at least, not at Refab), so maybe we’re coming to the natural end of things. But I’m not going to worry about that now.
For today, I’m going to enjoy Christmas. I’m going to see if Alex can come over to bake, I’m going to wrap presents and decorate the tree and listen to Christmas music and maybe even curl up and read. It’s snowing, and we’ll get three to six inches on the weekend so that’s lovely. I think I’ll even go to the christmas eve service for the first time in many years.
I have some thinking to do. But I’ll stay warm and dry, drink Christmas tea and pick up a bit (the living area is staying in pretty good shape but I need to keep after it).
So all will be well. It’s a comfort day, the first day of winter, the end of the world?, the day after the solstice, which means the light is returning.
Here’s your assignment. This evening, after rush hour in your area, fill a thermos with hot chocolate or coffee or tea, load the dh or the kids or the dog into the car and drive around the neighborhoods and enjoy the lights. From the tacky to the elegant, enjoy them all. The solstice is light returning after the darkest day, and enjoy holiday lights is a great way to do it.
And Sister Krissie the impeccably demure blesses you all.

OH, and I found this great poem by Robert Frost, one of the few poets who made rhyming seem effortless. It’s in public domain, so we’re cool.

Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Krissie: What I’m Going to Avoid

I’m not talking about it. There are plenty of places to talk about it, and if we feel the need to talk about it we can. I didn’t even know about it until Mini-me called me, and Alex was here so I didn’t immediately turn on the tv to find out the details. I turned the tv on for a few minutes, saw Obama cry, and then turned it off.
But all that grief and pain can go in a little part of my heart, where I’ll grieve for them. But I also need to bless what I have, treasure it.
I guess I talked about it after all.
Change of subject. That’s me with my hair unbrushed, which I like better. This is me with my hair brushed: Sally likes it better that way. I used some great product in Ohio that made it look great, but we had already left and I had no idea what it was. Need to find some kind of curly hair product (me who had straight hair all my life).

So Alex came over and we made our gingerbread house (photos tomorrow), crescent rolls (he loves them), I basted one quilt and I’ll baste the other today.

Today I finish clearing the downstairs because Sally and Tony are coming over to eat Salmon from Costco and watch A Christmas Story. Gonna bake, and clean, and then try not to be too tired.

OK, no basting today. That’s too much. I can do that in a couple of days.
Today I do need to cook and clean. So that’s my scaled-down plan for the day.


Krissie: Busy busy day

‘Morning, children. Our plumbing woes have deepened. The guy flushed everything out and discovered we have a cracked pipe going to the dry well. So that when the dishwasher runs or both sinks (bathroom and kitchen) run water bubbles out of the ground. Considering it can get to 30 below and occasionally worse here, that’s not good. We also can’t dig up the whole line when the ground is frozen.
So we’re having the plumber come by and do a temporary bypass the so the gray water goes into the septic tank instead of the dry well and the leach field. am I speaking Greek? I’m married to someone who’s effectively a contractor. He knows plumbing, electricity and most of all carpentry, which means nothing gets done because he can do it all so we hate paying for someone to come in and do it.
But I digress.
So the debts keep mounting. I’m catching up on all the dishes and we’re going to push paper for the winter, since the septic tank, though emptied a couple of days … oh, hell, you don’t want more plumbing details.
I’ll tell you what I did yesterday. Went to my therapist, did some shopping, came back and went over to Sally’s to sew. I finished the iPod/iphone bags except for the closure (did the straps and flaps), did the trim on the purse I made for my mother a previous year, and then did something I’d been planning for three years. (And then I just went into details about my present for Mini-me, including a photo, before I remembered she reads here. So I saved it for later. If I knew how to do a spoiler thingie where you can mouse over to see what’s hidden I woulda done that, but I have trouble even uploading videos. Anyway, I’ll get everything wrapped and off for them, clear off the dining room table and get the stuff moved down to the basement.
Uh oh. the dishwasher is moaning.
Anyway, masses of work ahead of me. My older child, Kaim, is coming home on Sunday night, and I’ve got to slog out her bedroom, which of course has become a store room. I’m not allowed to talk about her on the blog, and she’s very very internet savvy (she understands Anonymous and Foursquare – I think that’s their name) and all that stuff. She’s in school learning to design video games, so she could find anything I put on line, so I need to tread carefully. Plus, of course all her friends are totally internet savvy, so if she missed something someone else could find it.
So busy busy busy, and Alex may come over later. But what the hell. I’m just going to enjoy myself. Clean, wrap presents, bake, play Christmas music loud …
Or maybe I’m setting myself up for frustration — maybe my plans are too scattered and ADD. Maybe I ought to narrow it down, but there’s just so much to do.
I guess the most important, as always, is to keep decluttering and straightening the living space. I could bring in a card table for wrapping and do that sort of thing after dark. For some reason I tend to shut down after dark, and dark comes early nowadays. But I can wrap at night.
So maybe I’ll focus a little more. Otherwise it looks as if I’ve accomplished nothing.
OK, neaten living/dining room first. Then kitchen. then sewing if I can.
I’ll work on Kaim’s room tomorrow, when Richie can help move the heavy stuff.
But I’m up for all this stuff. I’m excited and feeling Christmas-y.
You know what — I’ve been eating sloppily. I think, along with everything else, I’m going to push veggies today. Have a big salad for lunch, not nibble. And while we’re having fresh salmon for dinner, I’ll make something interesting for veggies and be sure to eat them first. Aha!

I have a plan. Maybe I need to work on a plan every day. I’m not really ADD, but I think it’s a bit of an ADD kind of season.

Krissie: Banner Day

My heavens, yesterday was a frabjous day! I had a lovely (though exhausting) time. We filled Sally’s Subaru with with bags and boxes for Goodwill, and we stopped there first. Then we slogged through Bed Bath & Beyond (3 coupons), AC Moore (1 coupon), Marshalls, Toys R Us (15% off toys coupon), then Japanese food for lunch. Then, god help us, Walmart. Off to the bead store to get onyx beads for Kate, and then, by god, we got pedicures, and man was that nice. Massage chairs, nice women massaging our feet, nice rest, and adorable results. Here are Sally’s feet from FB: Mind you, Sally has gorgeous feet. I have better fingernails, but she thinks her feet are her best feature. Not true, of course.
So we were very festive as we went to Costco and I spent $460 (mainly stocking up on food and meds) and went into shock and then we drove home, still feeling very merry and bright (This was an 11 hour day since the shopping place is 65 miles away and it doesn’t even have a Target — none in the state, in fact.)
And arrived home to hear Jenny’s fabulous news!
She’s definitely felt like she’s turning a corner, Lani already did, and now maybe I’m ready to. It’s fragile, but hopeful.
I see my therapist today, and we’ll talk.

Of course, our household trail of disasters has been disheartening. Richie dug up the septic tank (almost as bad as digging a grave in frozen ground and we got that drained (the dishwasher and sink were leaking). Then he found a sagging waste pipe and he fixed that. Still water gushing everywhere. So now we have the VT equivalent of Roto-rooter here, (Hartigan) flushing out our pipes. I shudder at the cost of all this. The hot water heater is rusting and leaking so that will need replacing (do we go instant, which is expensive but saves money). The tv was acting wonky but I’ve fixed that (I think). Our kitchen sink is rusting through. We’ve been in the house 26 years and we put on a 20 year roof.

But hey, I’m not going to think about it. I’m gonna have a Holly Jolly Christmas, god damn it. Tonight I’ll go to the Advent sessions we’re having a church (prayer and meditation and music). Speaking of which, I still can’t sing from all the screaming. Probably shouldn’t try for a while, though I do love to blast out “Joy to the World.”

So, a wonderful time shopping with a dear friend (that’s what Lani and Jenny did yesterday too). I’m feeling merry and bright, and I’ll have a dishwasher and sink back. What more can a girl ask?

To quote Bob Marley in “No Woman No Cry” – “everything’s gonna be all right.”

And then we ended up with the Who and the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger saying it was the largest collection of old British musicians ever gathered, and I sent money, of course (Sandy Relief).

So all in all a stellar 12/12/12. How was yours? Any of the rest of you turning corners?