Krissie: Things

I like things. Can’t help it, I just do. Maybe it’s the Taurus in me (probably it’s the Taurus in me). I go to Jenny’s and it’s “oooh, shiny” and I can’t resist. Places like Home Goods are murderous.
I’m pretty good about glassware. I like the set of blue crystal water glasses Taffy had because I remember them from childhoood, and I like the crystal wineglasses I got from various people because I remember the people who gave them and they’re pretty. The Waterford is also pretty but I’ve never used it and it came from my evil SIL so that I could sell. Hmmm.
China. Ooooooh, god, I love china. I have a set of Wedgwood that belonged to my mentor, Meissen that was my Grandmother Stuart’s, Villeroy & Boch Naif because I adore it (used to be my everyday china until I found out how much it cost). I have three sets of Stangl (Blueberry, Thistle & Flower Garden), faux Imari, a set of Bavarian dinner plates and two sets of Christmas china, one every day and one for Christmas Day. Yeah, a set of dishes for one day a year. Crazy, no? But I love it! I did have a set of china (the stuff we used for formal dinners when I was growing up) but my cousin wanted to buy it so I happily thrust it upon her.
You’ve seen the silver. The silver coffee set is cheap and either being given away or sold in the garage sale. A few of the other platters will go too. They’re plate and mean nothing. I was able to talk Mini-me into taking the Tiffany silver cup that was a wedding present to her mother, plus the sterling hot water server for high tea, a gorgeous piece but I wanted her to have stuff. But I like the silver. Shiny.
Four sets of flatware. One cheap set of plate, one nice set that I grew up with and added to, one sterling from my MIL and one sterling that came from my grandmother, the latter two initialed. I don’t use the stuff from my grandmother, but it seems like a family betrayal to sell it. That one I might consider.
Obviously I love fabric. Lots and lots of fabric. I’ve managed to keep from buying more most of the time, unless it’s something really irresistible or I need a treat. Beauty soothes the soul. I also give away fabric to anyone who wants it (unless I have a strong need for it).
I’m less entranced with clothes and shoes. Oh, I like them, and when I find something flattering AND comfortable I do tend to adore it. But they don’t have the “oooh, shiny” thing going. I think for most women it’s the other way around. I don’t care much for my mother’s Royal Copenhagen figurines, except the ones I remember from the earliest years. I forced several on each cousin (who wanted something to remember her) and I will sell the rest on ebay. But I love her RC dishware, even the chipped stuff. It’s so freaking expensive (a place setting is $1,000 — I kid you not) that I’d like to just mend it and use it.
I don’t get terribly excited about jewelry. I don’t come from a jewelry family — no gold or fancy stones, and I can’t imagine spending money on it. It’s like antiques or crafts. You don’t buy antiques — you inherit them. You don’t buy most crafts, you make them.
What else do I love? Oaxaca! Love Oaxaca figures — they’re like magical realism personified. And I’m awfully fond of linens, both table and bed linens.
And sewing machines and ipods and MacBooks — can’t have enough of them.
There are some lucky people who don’t have that magpie streak in them. Who can basically walk away from anything. And there are those who like one thing, like jewelry or clothes, but don’t care about household things.
Pretty things just please my soul. Fortunately I can now buy books and music to go on my Kindle and iPod, so I don’t accumulate as much of those, but I can still revel in them.
Notice I don’t spend money on most of this stuff (except the fabric and technology). But that’s why I’m overloaded with clutter.
And Jenny’s decluttering. Getting rid of fabric and Oaxaca and clothes that fit my new size. Want.
Gotta figure out what soothes my soul and what’s just magpie-clutter. I have too many kitchen utensils. Too many sheets and towels (though I’ve done a lot of weeding out).
What’s what I need to do. Weed things out.
Oh, the pain!

Krissie: Try It Tuesday (or Saturday)

I got most of my to-do list accomplished yesterday. The bills, the thank you notes, the writing, found one kindle, etc. Lots more to do, but I’m so excited, because’s Crusie’s coming!!! She’ll be here mid-September and this far north the color should just about be at peak. She’s never met Richie, never seen Vermont, and I’m so excited!!! (I think I need more than three exclamation points but even I can’t go that far. But it’s a six exclamation point happiness). Continue reading

Krissie: Packing


So I’m spending all the time when I’m not involved with the play packing up my mother’s stuff. There’s a lot less than there was the five or so times I moved her. First my sister and I moved her from her house in Hopewell where she’d lived for more than 30 years. That was a massive undertaking. She had such a mountain of crap to be hauled off.
She moved into a two bedroom apartment in Lawrenceville. That one I was on my own (completely) until a dear friend brought her husband and son and helped me move the large stuff. Then I had to drive a huge u-haul back to Vermont, which terrified me. I slept on sofa pillows on her floor and left at 2 am because I was afraid of that big thing in traffic (I can drive in any weather but cities and traffic petrify me).
Then she had to move from the tiny apartment she was in (the house was being sold) but had to stay with a friend, so I moved her in there and put everything else in storage. (When I counted that she had over 30 skirts she’d protested that some of them were very old. Not taking into account I still had to move those damned 30 skirts).
Then I moved her, with help from Richie and my former BIL, into her new studio apartment in Princeton. Then from that apartment to a one bedroom apartment down the hallway. Then up to Greensboro to stay with my sister for the first winter. Then into her apartment.
Most of those were done solo. Hanging the curtains, the photos, putting the dishes away, etc. And now I have to pack up or get rid of everything. 7 boxes of Earl Grey tea. We’re at seven bags of clothes and counting. 8 bookcases, full. 17 teapots.
I’m making progress getting rid of stuff, thank god. We have until August 31 to empty the apartment, but the sooner the better.
I learned from helping my niece empty Taffy’s house that I’m really not going to wear any of her clothes, no matter how nice. I considered selling the Coldwater Creek stuff on eBay but it sounded so Dickensian. It’s just a hundred tiny decisions when my brain isn’t feeling decisive.
Crap, I was going to meet someone down there. Better go.
Last night of the show. Reports tomorrow!

Krissie: Rainy Day

Good day yesterday. When Erin and Alex were over on Thursday I’d said I’d be happy to pick him up after school etc., and she said Friday might be a possibility though her sister was lined up to do it. But it was simply a possibility, and when she told Alex yesterday morning that her sister would be picking her up he said “but you said Grandma Krissie could do it!” Heh heh. So I got him yesterday too.
Had a grumpy moment with Richie before I went off to write, but called him back and apologized for my half of it. He said the wrong thing at the wrong time, but I reacted badly.
Which is why we’re so happy together. When either of us screws up we take responsibility.
So I went off and got a little accomplished, then took my mother out while I went to mail off a package of stuff to my son. Realized there wasn’t time, took her out to lunch. She wanted a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich (she didn’t want to get out of the car for a restaurant) so I went to Subway and got a healthy one for me first and we sat and ate. Picked up Alex, treated them both to creamees (soft serve ice cream) and then dropped her off.
Fell asleep at 6:30. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I think the stress was taking its toll on me and I’m catching up.
So. Today.
I think it’s a decluttering/cleaning day. Oh, and a sewing day. I’ve been dying to sew since I was in Ohio (though I left the gorgeous material I bought behind — quelle idiote!) But I have plenty of projects to work on, and that will be fun.
Funny that spending the day decluttering feels like self-indulgence. Funny how I suddenly feel anxiety creeping in.
As for the food, just doing my best. Working on just holding my own while I slowly get my life back in order. The breakup of a 4 year relationship, of a family that was so dear to me, is hard, harder than many things people usually have to go through. It’s not a momentary disappointment or a fight with your husband. So I need a little time.
But ordering my household, or working on it, will be in lieu of ordering my family.
Now if I were Queen of the Universe …

Krissie: Onward


Pretty good day yesterday. No noticeable progress, but still.
I started out the day going to Sally’s to write. I’ll take some more photos, but it was gaw-juss! I did a fair amount of work, just planning, and realized my hero was Irish, which is a big change.
But I couldn’t get the internet going, so I left and went over to the Big House (I’ll tell you about that particular albatross some other time) and met up with Richie. No internet there, so I went to visit my mother, downloaded some Kindle books for her, then came home, did a little work, and then Alex and Erin came over!!!
They stayed for two or three hours, we sat on the deck and talked while Alex watered the plants and played in the sandbox.
Then we went out to the movies with our friend, Tony (husband of BFF) and saw Men in Black 3. Well, half of it. I fell sound asleep and missed most of it (though Josh Brolin was great!). Home again and then to bed.
However.
Today I will get pages written. Today I will get more accomplished on the house.
But most of all I’ve got to focus on the food I’m eating. I’ve been nibbling, not paying attention. I think I need to give NettieD her due.
God. I just realized I’m dumping too much stuff on myself. I’m decluttering, starting a new book, refocusing on weight. I can’t throw myself into everything — it’ll make me crazy.
Deep breath. Okay. Baby steps. Spend 15 minutes on the living room (use the timer). Spend 15 minutes on the bedroom (use the timer). Do my daily writing (use Vitamin R, a great timer system).
And for food — just keep away from dangerous food for now. I’ll come up with a plan, but for now, staying at this plateau is okay. I cannot make myself crazy.
OK, I’ve got a plan.
Onward!

Krissie: One Small Step

Only burst into tears two or three times yesterday. I guess I got most of it out of my system on Tuesday. I had to rush around to get meds for my mother (she takes some that I need a written scrip for, and she’d run out, so I had to go and wait at the health center and then wait at the pharmacy and stock up on food. But I still had time to sit on the deck with Richie.
So I started. Started by just throwing stuff off, but decided to clean off the sofa and make a dent on the coffee table. Here’s before and after:

So that’s a start. I also did a couple of loads of laundry, made bread, did the dishes, put away some clothes, put clean sheets on the bed. Today I’m going over to my BFF’s house to work (and maybe sew a bit), then back for more decluttering. And Alex and Erin might be coming over — Yippee!!!!
I got tons of great ideas yesterday. I’ll see if I can find a teenager who can give me a hand with stuff. My darling niece-Jenny (as opposed to Crusie) called to commiserate and mentioned how she laughed at the idea I’d find a clear spot to put everything, because there are no clear spots in my house (she reads Refab). And we were going to do a garage sale until the garage got filled with my son’s stuff. (You know, I think I’m gonna give up and start calling him by name. I’ll ask Jenny and Lani first). Anyway, I got the brilliant idea of setting up our three room tent. They used it at Taffy’s when they did her yard sale. What I thought we’d do is simply put the stuff for the yard sale in tot the tent, and then rent a canopy (or hell, make it a yard sale) when we do the actual sale.
Plus we have a dumpster and Richie’s going to open up the bulkhead so we can throw more stuff out.
But first, I gotta work. I have to re-immerse myself in the next project and put the one from my heart on hold. Because that’s a spec project and while the contract work won’t pay the bills, it will help.
So there we go. A plan.
Set up the tent, go through the house and put the stuff for the yard stale in a staging area. God, that would be so liberating!
So we move forward, one step at a time.

Krissie: Augean Stables

Remember I’m the scion of a academic/classic family. One of the tasks of Hercules was to clean out the Augean stables, which apparently were filled with enough horseshit to … er … choke a horse.
That’s my office. And actually I don’t think my office is as bad as other parts of my house. Here’s proof:

When Jenny did this she picked out a section at a time. That might be a smart way to handle it — I always sort of flit around like a very large hummingbird, picking up a piece of crap here and a piece of crap there.

That’s where I try to write. Notice there’s crap all over the chair, all over the tables on either side? Chaos. It’s a good thing I’m able to shut everything out when I work.

It seems to me that a neat office would exude a kind of zen-like calm. I put most of my awards away, along with book covers, because I wanted my room to be about writing, not about being a writer. I really don’t need all the crap that’s in here:

And I can’t even get to my desktop computer, which holds my quilting software and embroidery designs. So maybe I’ll start with the surfaces on either side of my chair, then go to the worktop with the PC on it, then the counter with the printers. Or maybe start on the floor. God, where do I start?

It’s just not my nature to be neat. I like my things spread out around me, so I can see them, so I can reach them.
Aha, I know the answer. Go back to our original bible, the tome that started it all.

Time to fire up the old Kindle. Well, the new Kindle Fire with the lovely steampunk cover.
Pray for me, boys, I’m going in!