The Great Yarn Beat Down, or Life at Jenny’s

So I’m here in NJ where we’ve been having a Gathering of the Goddesses, including Lani and her two amazing daughters, Sweetness and Light. I hadn’t seen the girls for years, and I still thought of them as around 11 and 13, which was way off – they’re now 15 and just-turned 18 and they are admirably fierce. Sweetness got her nose pierced for her birthday, the fearless creature, and Light kicks butt (in a thoroughly charming way). Lani, of course, is the goddess she is, with a great streak of pinkish-purple in her hair. She’s got a fabulous job, a fabulously empty bed no longer filled with a faux-Scots wanker, and life is good.

I got here on Wednesday, drove Jenny to the eye doctor on Thursday and on Friday we played. Saturday Lani & Co. arrived and we went out to breakfast, where Jenny terrorized me. Of course, I’d been jabbering in Danish at her for two days so it’s no wonder she was looking a little glassy-eyed and and thinking wistfully about “Saw II: The Reckoning.”

We ate too much at breakfast, then Crusie crashed, Sweetness and Light crashed and Lani and I went shopping. (When the going gets tough the tough go shopping).

And we returned for the Great Yarn Beatdown, similar to this summer’s Great Fabric Beatdown.

First of all, Jenny’s got a stash that she’d never get through if she lives until 100, and the sheer amounts are crushing her. So she’s doing slash and burn – she’ll still need to go through things again, but right now she’s made a huge difference, and Lani went home with a bag of yarn, a half finished sock (her knitting is phenomenal) plus a new Crusie purse that I reluctantly passed over (happily Crusie showers me with treasures, so I was willing to give it up since I already have the Disney Villains on my usual purse.) So we came back from brunch at Kathy’s and Jenny attacked the pile.
It’s been a massive undertaking. The girls played outside with the dogs (Jenny’s house is basically a tiny house full of treasures and magic) while Lani knitted and I crocheted.

So I’ve got a dozen trash bags full of yarn (plus a car loaded with other goodies). Which means I can crochet madly while listening to audiobooks, which I need to do because I need many ways to wallow in story. I’ll be showing you my creations and the books that I read – hey, maybe I’ll even do that on Facebook.

Anyway, Lani and the girls left (sob) and we were all set to watch “Moana” when we had an epic brown-out and we both toddled off to bed. Today, more yarn, then (heehaw) clothes. Tomorrow I head back home.

Anyway, peaceful goddess time in NJ (we weren’t in the mood for wild right now) and we have to do it again. Maybe next time with tattoos.

So, with all this excitement I gotta ask – what’s on your agenda?

Krissie: Squalor on the Lake with Sisters

Nanny Ogg, Magrat, Granny Weatherwax

Here we are — Terry Pratchett’s three witches. Nanny Ogg, Magrat (Lani) and Granny Weatherwax (Jenny). I’m the lustful one, of course. We’re off to Kathy’s for a divine breakfast, then to Home Goods, where I don’t need anything at all, and then back home again. I cleaned out my fountain pens so they’re ungunked, and I’ll start the new Rohan book later today.

I turned off the phone when things from home got stressful — before Jenny and Lani could take it away again. They’ll probably steal it, so if someone tried to call me and I don’t answer, that might be why. It also might be because I never carry the cell phone with me because I’m not used to getting a signal.

BTW, my default cell ring is “Ma-na-ma-na” by the Muppets. Very cheery.

My waist is small, I’ve been constipated for weeks, pancakes await. I feel a lot less stressed down here, and it’s so great to have Lani here as well. I miss her so much, but I know what it’s like to have a lot of people need me, and family has to come first. But she’s looking gorgeous and happy, she loves teaching and she’s been doing the couch to 5k chased by Zombies running program, so she just glows with health. Jenny and me, not so much, but we’re getting there.

And Jenny’s house is looking wonderful! You should see the kitchen. It’s lucky she can see the big picture, because I would have given up long ago, but slowly but surely she’s turning her magic cottage into a gem. And man, it has the best mattresses and the best show in the world. Plus the best dogs. And the best friends.

I’m going home on Thursday because Richie is blue and missing me (because he’s dealing with the same loss and he’s a worried and if possible, he loved Phantom even more than I did, but I don’t know if that was possible). And I want to see as much of the grandchildren as I can before they go, and we’re off to the PNW for three weeks in October. Which I hope will help me let go, because it’s a good move on their part.

Anyway, I hear Lani’s wonderful laugh coming from the kitchen as she and Jenny figure something out. Sisters are the best thing in the world, if you open your heart to them.

Jenny: The Power of Un-Positive Thinking

Lani and I were in the living room the other day:


ME: I’m getting discouraged.  I can’t eat anything, I can’t smell anything, and pretty soon I’m not going to be able to see anything.  This sucks.

LANI: You don’t know that.  You can do anything.  I bet you don’t lose your sight at all.  And you can eat lots of stuff, you’re making all those new recipes–

ME: Oh, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  Are you ever not chipper?  Is there ever a time you’re not upbeat and happy?  DOES THE CHIPPERNESS NEVER END?

ALASTAIR (on the other side of the living room giving sub-q to our terminal dog): Snerk.



LANI: Oh.  That does work better.

ME: Yeah.  I”m not sure what that says about me, though.

ALASTAIR (still on the other side of the living room giving sub-q to our terminal dog): Snerk.


Thank God I have sisters.  And Alastair.

Jenny: The Family You Make

I met Anne Stuart online first through the GEnie RomEx boards in 1993.  My first book was just out; she was on her . . . I don’t know, fiftieth maybe?  Of course she’d been publishing since she was eight (not kidding), and I didn’t publish my first until I was 43, so she had a headstart.  She was a role model and a mentor; she talked me through bad times, gave me great career advice, and told me who to get for my first agent.  She was wonderful.   Continue reading

Jenny: We Were Always Going To Be Here

I’ve been having really disconcerting dreams that I couldn’t remember.  I knew they were disconcerting because I woke up disoriented, distressed.  Then last night, I finally broke through.  I’ve been time-traveling.  Every night for the past month or so, I’ve been dreaming that I’ve been going back in time and changing something I’ve regretted and then playing out the new future that would have resulted from that.  I only have pieces of some of them, but in the end, I always end up back here, not just because I wake up but also in the dream.  Because I was always going to be here. Continue reading

Jenny: Listening Skills in 2012

My best friend, Krissie (aka the fabulous Anne Stuart) emailed me this on Dec 29:

I want to do a blog like Lani’s, though only for a year, and I want it to be about personal transformation. Losing weight, getting healthy, changing my reality. I want a place where I can post daily, get support, keep myself honest, and I think a community and feedback would help me in the process.

Then she asked me if I wanted to journal-blog with her.   Continue reading