Krissie: Moving Day

Photo on 2013-03-08 at 09.12 So Crusie was saying we’d been so busy I hadn’t commented on the posts. And we have been busy. Tuesday we tried to go to the storage area and bring some of the stuff home, were De-nied, salved our wounded souls with Jo-anns, Ruby Tuesday, Marshall’s and Barnes and Noble. I have now completely caught the crocheting bug, even though my hands hurt, and am gleefully making off with all sorts of lovely yarn that Jenny is culling from her enormous stash (she has more yarn than a yarn store). So lots of nice, calming projects ahead.
Wednesday was laundry day (7 loads) and dropping by Sarah’s divine and expensive yarn store, where I bought Japanese yarn for … well, I won’t tell you. One of those rash moments, but I don’t regret it, and I had a little money tucked aside.
And then yesterday, the Move. Jenny, her realtor, realtor’s husband and son and a Budget rental truck made the hour-long trip, unpacked the storage bins and somehow managed to cram everything into the house. We’re trying to wend our way through things, my car is already back to the gills, and the dogs are so confused that Veronica and Wolfie ended up sleeping with me. And Milton, god bless him, is a trouper, getting stronger and better each day, plus Mona’s my girl.
Today we drive through a snowstorm to get a shot in Jenny’s eye, then come back and hunker down. I’m going to make chili again, so we have lots of nice, luscious stuff.
I only had a few hours sleep (too hyped up and in too much pain) so I’ll probably fall on my face in a couple of hours, but I need to wait until we get back home.
Here’s what the place looks like: Photo on 2013-03-08 at 09.11
I haven’t moved since 1986. Maybe I ought to rethink this whole relocating thing.
No, I’m decluttering. I’m good. And I know my colors, or at least the main ones.
More of that later — gotta get dressed for the doctor.

Krissie: All About You

Photo on 2013-01-28 at 08.12 I’ve been terrible about reporting in, but having a lovely time. Though I gotta say it’s been freezing and right now it’s snowing in NJ! Have I brought winter here? (Though when it was 7 degrees here it was minus 24 at home so I shouldn’t complain).
This is the week we (coz I’m still here) move in. I came down here for two reasons — one, to get a break and start the new book, which I have, and two, to facilitate Jenny’s moving. I thought her furniture would be here but it’s not coming until after I leave, but at least I can help with the stuff here. Hell, I washed floors yesterday (don’t let Richie hear!). Mainly because in Casa de Rental they had a showing, so we had to grab the dogs and get out.
Today we go and wait for the cable installer. I’m coming too because I speak Television. This week we’re going to find the quilt store (looking for Joann’s was a semi-failure because Joann’s was in the midst of moving but there was a great Barnes and Noble and an excellent Marshalls and a healthy Ruby Tuesday). And we may make it to Rockaway Mall. But apart from that, Jenny’s going to be painting and I’m going to be writing and bustling. Doing laundry, dishes, cooking. Such a good little housewife.
Don’t tell Richie. (Yes, I know that’s the second time I’ve said that. Don’t tell him.)
I’ve also been crocheting a lot, and I’m going to continue that. Not a very onerous week, eh?
BTW, Jenny had 51 pairs of underpants. That’s not counting what she still had that were clean. I have a gigantic drawer full and even I was impressed.
This is a very good thing since she won’t have laundry facilities for a while.
Oh, and I’m going to quilt this week. I finished the quilt top I made out of strips Jenny gave me, and now I’ve got a basted Christmas quilt I’m going to do.
Busy busy.
So, my darlings, what’s on your agenda?

Krissie: NJ Day Three

That’s Jenny at her new workspace and Lani in the kitchen while they madly discuss Keurig coffee makers (the rental came with one and we’re all in love). That’s me looking skeptical. Don’t know why I’m skeptical, but I am.
I’ve been eating like a pig. Not buying anything fattening, just eating everything provided. But I had a salad for lunch and a low-cal sandwich for dinner, so things are good. Gotta get back on track.
I even got 1000 words written yesterday. Gotta find some time today, and starting tomorrow I hunker down. Maybe I’ll go downstairs and see if there’s a good spot for me to work.
The depression is back. I don’t think it went away, but I was just so busy being sick and packing stuff up and helping with the move that I haven’t held still long enough to feel it. It first hit me again when I was swimming at the hotel, and it’s hovering around my shoulders like a bad angel (and not the sexy kind). However, things are going well at home, and the good news is I know I can feel better. Back when I saw the doctor I didn’t feel like this was going to pass. Now I know it will. Intellectually, at least.
The one thing I don’t want to do is bring Jenny down. She’s under so much stress, and chipperish-speaking Lani leaves tomorrow, and I’m worried I’ll not only fail as a cheerleader but I’ll bring her down too.
Ah, well. I yam what I yam. Gotta bring in the bags of stuff and go through them, because it sounds like my son is coming down with Richie to pick me up, and there’s not going to be massive room in the car. I mainly scored Christmas presents so I’ll make sure those get back.
In the meantime, I suppose I need three things that make me happy. Jenny being out of the rut she was stuck in. Spending time with Lani. Uh … hell, pumpkin muffin tops from Panera. But I gotta get away from food making me happy, damn it.
I got a great email from my BFF, telling me I gotta think about me right now, and not saving everyone else. And damn, she’s right. I really have to concentrate on me.

Krissie: On the Road Again

That’s my look of utter terror at the thought of all the stuff we have packed in the car and all the stuff we still want to fit. And all the stuff I didn’t manage to get packed. So my task when I get home is to clear out, clear out, clear out, and make way for the new!
I’m packing grapes and carrots for the trip. And cough drops. Lani’s already left with the huge ass truck. Pray for us and the others on the road.
And all will be well, and all will be well, all manner of things shall be well.

I’ll have photos tonight when we stop in PA.

Krissie: Seriously Relieved

This is a seriously happy woman. Hey, come on, you know my politics. It’s okay if you’ve got different ones, and this isn’t a political blog. There are much better places for those kind of arguments. Just count me as profoundly thankful and relieved.
But on to problems again. My magpie problems. Combined with my absolute inability to buy anything. I am filled with lust over things that Jenny is letting go of. There’s a white cabinet I would kill for. (She may end up taking it). Ditto a sideboard she gave to Lani. Outdoor furniture which we can have if we come get it.
Well, you know, that doesn’t seem so bad in retrospect. She had discarded kitchen cabinets that we could retool for our kitchen revamp, she has the world’s best washer and dryer that she’s leaving behind (though Lani and Alastair could probably use those). I see and I lust.
Anything that can get to NJ in the big truck can get home to me. I’ve scoped out Christmas presents, I’ve been brutal, and when it comes to fabric I’m driven with lust.
But I have to control myself. I’m an impoverished Taurus who loves Things. I intend to toss all sorts of stuff when I get home.
I don’t know what it is about things, but it’s not just me. They make me happy, they fire my imagination, nothing’s coming in without other stuff going out. Since this is a recycled Christmas this year I’ve got great shoes for Kate and a book of Fillmore posters for Tim and a vintage Hawaiian dress for Erin. Such good stuff.
Stuff. And yet part of me longs for a zen-like simplicity. I watch Niecy and Clean House to give myself a wake up call. It’s just part of me loves pretty.
Gotta come to terms with it. My lust for things embarrasses me. I feel like a scavenger, a vulture looming over Jenny’s magic “stuff.”
I don’t think I’ll ever get over my passion for stuff. Mini-me doesn’t have it, and I ended up no wanting most of my mother’s and sister’s obsessive collection of stuff.
But pretty things make me happy,and this is shopping without money.
Down girl. Let go of all this stuff.
I need a plan to divest myself of my stuff and divest myself of my longing for stuff. It fills the cavewoman part of me looking for supplies. It feels the empty place where there was no mother and now there’s no one for comfort. But damn, there’s stuff.
I think I’ll look at Ikea for an alternative to the white cabinet I long for so desperately, plus replacement kitchen cabinets.
And when I get back home I’ll nest. And talk to my therapist about my passion for stuff.
It’s a wicked thing. That’s the cabinet I’m lusting over. But you know, I can find one. I can find something that will work just as well at Ikea, which I will force Jenny to drive to when I come back down in December.
I’m also fond of the weeping angel, which scares the shit out of Sweetness and Light since they saw the Dr. Who episodes.
And this is the backyard she’s giving up:

Krissie: Go Vote

This is me with a zen-like calm on my face. I’m happy to be here.
Yesterday Crusie and I did our swan song at Steak n Shake, Hobby Lobby and Jungle Jim’s (Christmas presents). We tried to mail off her incredible collages via UPS but the sneaky bastards had moved. Ate leftover Chinese food, went through most of the clothes while Jenny worked on her office.
Uh, there’s one problem for the Magpie.
Here are the things I’m taking back:

Which means I’ve got to throw this much out of the house. Aiyee!!! But new clothes. I kept picking things up and thinking: they’ll never fit. And they did.
So I guess it’s time to start getting rid of all the 1x as well as the 2x since these are all XL. The one thing I won’t wear is Liz Lange. She’s a great designer at Target and Jenny bought a few cool things, but they’re maternity.
I remember when I had my hysterectomy and my belly was all swollen the support group said to buy maternity clothes.
No. No. Just … no.
I could never get pregnant, and in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m an earth mother. I wanted to be a mother so badly, since I was eleven years old. I loved babysitting, love children. And because of the DES my mother took there were no pregnancies. So no way in hell will I put on a maternity dress.
Funny how so much later certain things still stab at your heart when you think you’ve made perfect peace with them.
I’m going to try to face writing today. It’s been a huge wall, and I’ve refused to even talk about it, but it’s time.
Maybe today won’t work, given the stress of the day. But it’s time to move my head back into the world. Gently, carefully.
No force. Just a visit, to see if I like it there.
The rest of me is feeling better. Now I just have to face the elephant in the room.

Krissie: Fear

So let me tell you about my friend Ann. She’s 72, and her husband is 75. Five years ago the two of them built a three-bay shed (by themselves). They’ve finally sold their house in Vermont and are moving full time to Cortez, Colorado, and Tim is thinking that at 75 maybe he’s not into building the house they’re going to live in.
They’ve lived everywhere, gone everywhere. In the winter they throw their camper on the back of their pick-up truck and drive down to Mexico and camp on some beach. She says they just drive until they find an unoccupied stretch of beach and park there.
They take a family vacation every year, camping (via tent) with their children and grandchildren. They seldom make reservations ahead of time, just show up at state and national parks and there’s usually some place they can camp. They just drive, and check things out, and then come back again, living life as it comes.
They’ve lived in the San Juan Islands (with two kids and no electricity), on a sail boat (and nearly drowned — did you know you can hear the voices of the drowned during a life-threatening storm?).
They lived in Taos and took in foster children, they ski (downhill and cross-country) and just live life to the fullest. And I was asking her about the camping, which we hadn’t done since we were in our thirties, and she said you just have to be fearless. Just go out there and do it.
So many things hold us back. We get fond of our creature comforts, our safety zone. It’s easier to stay stuck in old patterns of behavior because they’re comfortable, or if they’re uncomfortable, at least they’re familiar. As so many other things are changing (our bodies, our families) at least sometimes the isolation or the dysfunctional stuff can be a weird stability.
I’ve wanted to break free of this place for a long time. I’ve lived here full time for 41 years (27 in this house alone) and I just want to try something new. I want to travel, I want to camp, I want to show up on a beach and wake to the water on the sand.
I watch House Hunters International obsessively. I want to do what Eloisa James did and spend a year in Paris (can’t afford that) or buy a tiny house in Spain. I feel like Anthony Bourdain, hungry for experience, and yet fear holds me back. Well, maybe poverty holds me back, but there are things I can do that aren’t as expensive.
Though actually, as I get older I get less fearful. I love talking to people, asking about what they’re interested in. I think I’d probably do fairly well out and about.
So why don’t we just pick up and go? Why are we afraid of making a move, when god knows nothing is permanent?
One problem is that Richie is a chronic worrier. He’s always had trouble making changes, committing to things. He’s always worried about money, whether it was rolling in or when we’re living hand to mouth.
I want to strike out, go somewhere new. I’d rather have my safety net, my home to return to. In a perfect world we’d probably spend summers here, because it’s cool and incredibly beautiful. But if we find a new home that’s beautiful as well there might not even be a reason to come back.
I think fear keeps us from making decisions, making moves. Fear of change and fear of making mistakes.
Ann and Tim have sold everything (they’re finishing up with a yard sale this weekend and I went to help out) and they’re going to drive across the country in a pickup, hauling a trailer. They’ve got a whole new world ahead of them, countless possibilities. They could go live on a boat again, build a house, buy a house, go anywhere, do anything.
A good friend of mine is currently battling breast cancer. And I was thinking about how a diagnosis can sometimes wipe away all the tiny, miserable little fears that have been holding you back. When you’re fighting for your life you realize that all those little worries don’t mean shit. It’s time to just go for it.
I don’t want to wait for a diagnosis to go live life to the fullest. I want to embrace everything, go everywhere. I want to stop worrying about little things. I want to go to France and get on the metro and speak my lousy French, I want to sit by a river in Oregon, I want, I want, I want …
I want to live! And I don’t want fear to hold me back.
I think a timeline. I think an ultimatum for Richie. I think we go for it, and devil take the hindmost (isn’t that a great phrase?).
I’m ready.