Jenny: The Good Wolf Makes Gravy

I want a new stock pot.

My mother never had time to teach me to cook, and I never had time to learn in college, so my first meals as a bride were godawful, which offended my sense of achievement. So at twenty-one, I decided to learn to cook, and by the end of the year, I was really good at it. Then we were stationed someplace permanently, I went back to work, and I let those skills slip. Cooking seriously was so far off my mind the Bad Wolf didn’t even comment. Well, he had a lot of other things to chew on. But now that I’m putting together the cottage kitchen (small) that I want on the cheap, I am suddenly cooking again, and the Bad Wolf has returned, licking his chops. Continue reading

Krissie: Wolf Meat is Chewy

Photo on 11-22-13 at 9.24 AM First off, hurray for having Toni back! I miss her when she’s not here.
We had our own rehab challenges yesterday. Richie built a wonderful casing for a linen closet for the upstairs call and then we couldn’t get it upstairs. Very frustrating. I think he should saw it in half at the permanent shelf, use that for a bottom and inset a top shelf on the bottom half, then clue and screw them together when they get upstairs. That just gives us a think joining line which will disappear when I put the finish on. C’mon, Richie!

I counted my knit long-sleeve tops. 39. Not counting whatever is in the laundry, not counting my Christmas ones. Except that I’m no longer feeling as Christmas-y as I used to, so it’s not important to wear something festive every single offing day!
I shoved all 39 of the pieces in my drawer (they fit) because it was time to go to bed, but I’ll go through them tomorrow. I think I need to take half of them out. I have about 5 black tops and about 5 cream or white ones. It’s so hard to be brutal. But I bitched like hell about moving my mother’s 32 skirts every time I move her (5 times — sigh, I guess six including after she died) so I need to put my money where my mouth is. I’ll go through the drawer and whittle down. And that doesn’t count any that I happened to hang up.

I need to be brutal.

So I finished the book at a relatively slow back of seven and a half thousand words on monday and eight and a half thousand words on Tuesday, which came out to 39 pages. I always tend to rush through a book, and I’m surprised I didn’t work faster, but it as actually a sane pace for me. I was totally in the zone and not feeling any pressure. So good for me. Now I have to revise it in three days. Yikes!

So it’s snowing outside, I’ve got a cup of tea and a mss. and life is good. I’m not going to worry about all the things that could cause me anxiety. I’m not going to worry about being haunted (it happened last night as well). I don’t know if I went into detail about the hauntings but I will another time.
Gotta make bread and brownies for the church bake sale, go see a play read-through tomorrow night, but apart from that I’m good. It’s snowing all the time and it’s going to get bitter cold, but on Monday at 8 am someone is coming to help me clean! Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!

I’ve been chewing on the bad wolf (or dining with him, taking your pick) by worrying that everyone will have a good time at Disney, when really, it matters that I have a good time at Disney, which I always do. It’s for my 65th, and while bringing my grandson is a major joy it’s actually more up to his parents and we’ll probably split up. And I get to see Kaim, who’s not coming home for Christmas (a first). So I intend to have a fabulous time and everyone else can have a fabulous time as well. But it’s not up to me.

Good wolf is cheering madly so I don’t have to gnaw on him. Besides, he’s young and tender, not old and gnarly, so he’d be tastier. But he gets to bounce around like a puppy and yip in excitement that I’m being so sane.

But first I have to revise the book. And giveaway 18 shirts.

Krissie: Good Wolf/Bad Wolf

Photo on 11-15-13 at 10.22 AM 241.2 which is up .1 pound, which makes me happy because it means I’m actually going down. Well, I know I am. Main problem seems to be dizziness at night, and at other times of the day, which I assume is some form of hypoglycemia, so I need to push the protein. but I think I’ve had enough.
Yesterday — oatmeal with raspberries and brown sugar splenda. lunch – grilled chicken snack wrap at McD’s with limited bbq sauce. It’s one of the few non-fried, low calorie offerings at McD and I was on my way to the shrink at 1 and hadn’t eaten yet (I ate the oatmeal when I got home). Dinner was cajun catfish, roast cauliflower and quinoa. Plus grapes. Now shouldn’t that have been enough protein? Oh, I had a cup of oyster crackers too (5 oz. cup). Seems reasonable.

But I was really taken with Barbara’s Move It post on Wednesday — if you missed it go back and read it. She talked about listening to your body.
My body and I have a strange relationship. It betrayed me in the most fundamental way a body can betray a woman. I adored children, loved babysitting, wanted nothing more than half a dozen children (you can tell in my books — it’s often part of the epilogues – don’t hit me Jenny – of the ones I write). When I was in my late twenties I somehow knew I was going to have trouble conceiving. I never thought that I simply wouldn’t be able to.
We went through all sorts of things and procedures (though it was too early for IVF if you didn’t have tubal issues and my fallopians were just fine — it was my uterus and cervix that were screwy). And one cycle I got pregnant. I knew it immediately. Of course I got my period, thought it was late and I’m never late. And of course, no tests, no proof. But with approximately … 468 periods in my life (from 10 to 46) I knew if one single one felt different. (Actually there was a second one but I tried to ignore it since I’d been so shattered the first time).

And I’ve been terrified of cancer, but I suddenly got the sense that if I had cancer I would be fine. I would fight it and recover and be great. But I don’t know if those are listening to your body or part of an intermittent psychic ability (I’ve known certain bad things would happen, etc.).

I remember in my early thirties a friend was shocked that I couldn’t tell what my body was telling me. But I can’t. If I hurt I’m afraid I’m going to die, depending on my state of mind. I remember one day when I was depressed I was sure I had breast cancer (it was a long time ago — I have no idea why). I checked my breasts 4 times that day. (Almost as often as I checked my breasts the one cycle I was pregnant, and yes,the girls were very different when I was pregnant).

I went through a series of dizzy spells a few years ago, saw the heart specialist and had all sorts of tests and was convinced, absolutely convinced that something was terribly wrong. A little voice kept telling me that (or I kept telling me that). Turns out it was incredibly stupid — I couldn’t sing in the choir with bifocals. I couldn’t read music and look up and then down and then up with the lineless bifocals.

With the cyst that became borderline cancerous — sometimes I was panicky, but my doctor kept saying it was nothing, so I put it out of my mind and prepared to ignore it. It took almost seven years to suddenly become dangerous, but I was ready to cancel the appointment that sent the new doctor into overdrive, and I might have ignored it until it was too late (I’d already asked my regular doctor to do the gyn stuff and she said no, I needed a specialist). I got told so often (not by the new doctor) that it was nothing that I believed it.

Then we come to my knees. They’re weird. They’re fucked. Barbara had this great things where the Bad Wolf tells her “you’re too fat, that’s why your knees hurt, if you just lose weight everything will feel better” (or maybe that’s what my bad wolf says, but her BW and my BW are BFFs ) And I tell myself why get my knees replaced when my back hurts and my sciatic nerve hurts and my feet hurt? I should lose weight, and then maybe the other stuff will get better and it’ll make all that pain and rehab worthwhile. But it’s like waiting for your life to start until you lose weight. Your life is now (sez my Good Wolf).

And then, there’s my gut. I was terrified to have a colonoscopy because I was sure something dark and evil was lurking up there (mainly because I have irritable bowel syndrome so nothing is ever normal). And I was fine! A tiny polyp that they almost didn’t see.
But I’m feeling bloated, and I have a chronic ache from adhesions following the hysterectomy, but all sorts of other strange feelings going on. They told me to call if anything felt off (I’m down to two visits a year in follow up) but my CA125 was normal and they didn’t feel anything and I don’t know what my fucking body is telling me.  I feel dizzy and I think I’m dying.

I know I make myself sick when I push too hard. I know stress makes me sick (I’m pushing too hard and stressed right now). I just wish I could close my eyes and listen and know what my body is telling me.

But as I said at the beginning, and should have gotten over by now, my body betrayed me. Every month the blood of my dead babies washed away. Maybe I’m trying to punish it back?

I want to walk. Hell, I want to dance, at least a little bit. But another part is that I’ve done this to my knees by eating, and part of me wants to punish myself for it.

Good God, I am totally fucked when it comes to my body, aren’t I? And yet I can look at myself and think I’m gorgeous (sometimes). And yet I could never ever say I’m pretty (another really loaded word).

Well, now I feel totally nuts, dumping all this. But Barbara’s post really got me thinking, and clearly this is a huge area I have to work on, because it’s a real psychic and emotional tangle once I open Pandora’s Box.

Any suggestions on how to go about working on it? (and no, that’s not the blogger’s question to get comments, that’s me needing help).

Krissie: Back to the Dark Place

Photo on 2013-11-01 at 09.28 No, it’s not the emotional dark place, it’s the rain and month with least sunshine place. Gloom and doom abound.
The drive home was a piece of cake, though I felt sleepy. My stomach’s wonky (not sure why) so I’m being very careful about what I eat and eating a lot less than usual. It’s like my gall bladder’s acting up but I no longer have a gall bladder.
Shrug. I’ve been too self-indulgent anyway.
So. Today I write. Tomorrow I write. I’m more than halfway through the book with two weeks to go — even though I wrote steadily I still got into this mess. I always do. My books want to be finished in a white hot blaze. Sometimes that blaze comes on me at the very beginning of a book and soars all the way through. The few, rare, precious times.
Mostly it’s hard work.
You know, it’s hard when your heart is torn in two places, I want to be in NJ and I want to be here. If/when we move it’ll be three places.
But I’m not going to worry about that. I’m going to go deal with the wicked Viscount, get him married off in a marriage on honor if not convenience, and see what happens.
There certainly could be worse jobs in this world. I really am blessed.
No good wolf bad wolf today. I think the Bad Wolf is busy eating Jenny’s liver, telling her she should be writing, telling her she should be doing this and doing that.
The good wolf came with me, and I’m sorry about that. I’ll try to send him back.

Krissie: The Wolf is Out to Lunch

So Jenny started the Good Wolf Lunch, which was perfect for her. We all have our character flaws, and one of Jenny’s worst is her tendency to beat up on herself (she’s made that clear to everyone so I’m not being indiscreet). She’s waaaay too hard on herself, and therefore the Good Wolf/Bad Wolf analogy made a lot of sense. She needs to listen to her Good Wolf and ignore that scroungy bastard.
When she got overwhelmed with stuff she asked me to take over, and I said sure. Only one problem. The analogy doesn’t work for me. I don’t beat up on myself (well, very very seldom). I do keep thinking of things I could have done differently when it came to my mother, but when I look at it clearly I realize that there really wasn’t anything I could do. Things that I could have changed (gotten her into some kind of assisted living) probably would have killed her even sooner. And damn, the woman was one month shy of 98 and still independent. Trying to find guilt is purely self-indulgent.

So each time I try to come up with a Good Wolf/Bad Wolf post I get sort of tangled in the metaphor, and it loses its point. So we’ll leave Good Wolf lunch for whenever Jenny feels so inspired, and on Fridays I’ll talk about whatever I feel like. F’rinstance, how the week has gone.

Which is okay. I’ve gotten some writing done. On Monday and Tuesday I was feeling weepy and anxious — on Wednesday and thursday much more cheerful Part of it was looking at some amigurumi patters for Final Fantasy characters. Because we’re going to Disney World in December (my 65th birthday present to myself) we’re having a really scaled back Christmas. And last year’s presents for Kaim were a huge disaster, and I’ve finally gotten it through my thick head that I shouldn’t buy her presents. She’s changing her name, and we’ve been marginally resistant (feels a little like a rejection of us as parents) but we improved over it so I ended up getting her name stuff. A mug with her new name on it. A new sign for her door (it had said “Kate Street” and I got a new one that said “Kaim Street.” A silver necklace with the new name. And maybe a Christmas ornament with the name.
I thought I was being lovely and assuring her of our total acceptance. (Loud rude buzzer noise). The mug was nice. The rest was stupid, no one wears a necklace with their name on it (yes, in retrospect I realize that but her name was symbolic of her new identity that were were accepting and loving and I thought that was different. Nope.
She’s bitched about silly stuff I’ve put in her stocking in her past, etc. Not much in the Christmas spirit, I’m afraid.
So this year she was getting only gift cards or exactly what she listed at Amazon.
But with the cost of Disney, which is our present to each other (I’m taking everyone — Kaim, Tim, Erin, Alex, me and Richie) then Christmas will be very lowkey and homemade.
But Kaim adores Final Fantasy (and other anime stuff) and I can crochet her amigurumi. Which she might reject as well, but at least I’ll have fun doing it.
It’s kind of a drag, because I really love giving presents, and it’s hard with a child who doesn’t want them and doesn’t seem to understand the spirit of the thing. But c’est la vie. I can also make her fingerless gloves, which she likes, and I’ll make a hat which may or may not be a reject. And that’ll be it.
So looking at the amigurumi photos made me smile. Here are a couple of them:black mage That’s the Black Mage, and he’s fairly easy.
Kaim’s always loved Chocobos, so I thought I’d try this one:
And the biggest challenge will be Vincent Valentine, a luscious vampire. Here he is as amigurumi, and here he is from the video game. vincent valentine final fantasy vii - amigurumi pdf pattern crochet-f44283vv

So this makes me happy. I’ve already finished three shawls (got one more to make) and then I’ll start in on other ideas, but in the meantime I’m going to try to think of stuff that cheers me up. After all, the weather is gorgeous, the book’s keeping be emotionally invested, and there’s a baby coming!

Nothing but good times ahead. How’s your week gone? It’s been wretched for people close to me, so I wonder if there’s stuff in the air.
As Florence (of Florence and the Machine) would say, “Shake it out.”

Krissie: Are You a Good Wolf, Or a Bad Wolf?

Photo on 10-4-13 at 10.19 AM You know, you’d think with the Bad Wolf eating at my liver I’d be getting skinnier. My current craziness, since I don’t have to worry about my kids right now (or because worrying about my kids makes me even crazier) is being obsessed with Richie’s health. I think Richie’s main problem is he’s depressed, but he’s been tired, I haven’t liked his color, everything hurts, so I started thinking he was having heart troubles again. And then, yesterday, when Richie was working in the woods, I got obsessed that he’d been crushed by a tree. I seem to be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
I’m working through the whole loss of original family stuff. I’d put off grieving for my sister, so I got my sister, my mother, and the complete loss as a triple whammy (not complete — I still have Mini-me, but she wasn’t around for the first 20 years of my life and she wasn’t a witness. Which is part of why I couldn’t laugh off my BFF’s comment – she’s really the last witness. I’ve known her since we were both eight — she grew up with me, we knew our crazy-ass families intimately. I’ve been going through boxes of stuff in storage because we spend too much money on two storage areas, and I’ve been finding letters. Being thrown back to horrific (I’m not using hyperbole here) times in my life. Seeing my parents from their points of view (totally fucked, but interesting). I can’t keep putting off dealing with the stuff, much as I want to.
I don’t think it’s the bad wolf pushing me into the pain. It’s the puppified good wolf keeping me company as I go through it. I take a break when I need to, but sometimes you have to face tough things. Sometimes denial is a wonderful thing, but sooner or later you really do have to face things.
(I’ve been watching the recorded episode of Project Runway from last night and feeling like one of those designers, facing a challenge I really don’t want to face.)
I keep wanting life to make sense, and it’s not right now. I’m not sure why — I’m not sure why I ever think it makes sense, or why I want it too right now. I think for now the only way around the chaos that seems weighing down on me is straight through, one foot in front of the other.
So that’s what I’ll do.
I don’t think it’s possible to hide … oh, wait, yes, I do. I do think it’s impossible to push something so far away that I never have to deal with it.
But mostly that’s not an option.
Damn it.