Krissie: Mud Season Moods

Photo on 2013-04-04 at 10.05 I have no idea why I look so surprised. Maybe because I feel so funky. No shower except sponge bath for a looooong time, and the pool is holding some sort of intramural meet in the afternoons so I have the choice of writing or swimming.
Writing trumps it.
I forget what I ate yesterday. I thought I kept track but apparently I didn’t, and I forgot to eat dinner. Screwed up my back and took a pain pill and nibbled. Well, nevermind. 222.9 this morning. But it’s warm and glorious today and I go see my therapist and I’ll work things out.
I traditionally get depressed in the spring. Always have — that’s why they first put me on Prozac. Since my nephew died in the spring (March 13) that’s thrown the usual cycle out of whack. And I’m NOT depressed — I just got over a clinical depression. But I’ve got a case of SADD going on. Funny that it hits me when weather is getting better.
So, outside in the sunshine it is. And the weather will keep getting better, so that will help. And I really really want to figure out how to get down to NJ again. And the stranger who inhabited my son is still around — it’s about two months now. Weird as hell. He ain’t perfect, but man, he’s so sweet and thoughtful.
So, okay. Netdiary. Watch my back (literally). Enjoy the sunshine. See my shrink. Play the radio really really loud (maybe make a happy list).
Aha. We’ve talked about this before but I see no playlist on my ipod to reflect it. I need happy songs for a Cheer the Fuck Up Play List. I made one thirty years ago when I was dealing with infertility (I tended to cry my way to the doctor and back listening to dirge-y music).
First song — “Wouldn’t it Be Nice.”

Yeah, I know, we’ve done this dance before. But it’s easier to ask again than go searching, and besides, a whole ‘nother year of music has passed.
So, guys, give me happy songs for a Cheer the Fuck Up playlist.

Krissie: A week to go

One more week. Gynecologist appointment in the big city on Friday, but that way I can do one more load to Goodwill and finish up anything I need to finish up.
I’ve got a problem. Richie was so incredibly grinchy that I don’t want/expect presents from him. We have so little money that I want to spend on the others, and yet part of me feels lonely and sad and unloved. I want someone to get as much pleasure and joy from coming up with something wonderful for me and damn the cost as I feel toward
everyone else. And you can do it without damning the cost.
But everytime he asks me what I want I get sour, and time’s running out. Someone talk some sense into me, willya? I don’t see my therapist until Thursday, and I’m only hurting myself.
Yikes — okay, now I gotta go 45 miles to the vet to take two sick cats to the vet, tomorrow I go 45 miles to get the car looked at (but Richie follows in the truck and we do some shopping and have a nice lunch) and Thursday I see my therapist and Friday my gynecologist and oh my god I’m going to scream.
Deep breath.
I could put off both the gynecologist’s appt. and the car appointment but it takes me places where I can get last minute Xmas stuff. But it makes me have to rush rush rush.

Ah, well. Kaim will come with me to the vet, so that will be nice. I need a calming hand to stroke my head and tell me everything is going to be all right. It will, won’t it?

Stupid me. I’m making myself crazy. Why?

Mellow out, Krissie.

I’ve got Richard Thompson, John Hiatt Emmy Lou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Sam Bush, and so many others singing “The Weight” in honor of Levon. That’s enough to make me happy.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Krissie: A Lovely Saturday in June

Phantom and I are out on the deck this morning. It’s cooler today, and I’d just as soon it was steamy since the pool is finally filled, but I’ll be patient. We have a very cold, deep well so it’s gonna be cold for a while, but the last three days definitely helped warm it.
What great suggestions yesterday! I’m going through with a notepad and making two lists of songs — the ones I already have on my iPod that I can move into a cheery playlist, and the ones I need to listen to and probably get. So many great ideas.
And I’ll divide it into two playlists. The “Get up and fight the world” list and the “poor baby” list, which would definitely include the Nina Simone, “Oooh, child.”
Then I’ll look at the the songs I don’t know but will probably love. I’m betting the Pink song will wow me.
It’s interesting — some of the other happy songs have emotional connections for me, so I can’t use them. We sang “Watching the River Run” at my friend’s wedding — the friend who suddenly dropped me. So that one makes me sad.
And I listed to “One” (and “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”) obsessively when my brother died.
But ooooh, Galileo! So many many good song to be reminded of. Bless you all.

Today … I have many things to do today. Our satellite receiver’s hard drive failed so I have to plug in the new hard drive, download saved stuff, and then switch over receivers and reprogram the remote controls. A pain in the butt but it must be done.
I have baking to do as well. Bread and banana bread and lemon poppyseed muffins. With splenda and whole wheat pastry flour. More for Richie than me — as I said yesterday I’m a starch rather than a sweet person, though it is nice to indulge a little bit in a muffin that’s okay for you.
In order to get to the tv I need to clear out the living room a little bit, so maybe I’ll set a timer and declutter around it for a while.
And I think I want to write, after fighting against it for days. Not sure.
I’d love to sew, but that’s down in my dank, dark basement. I wish I could figure out a place upstairs to bring one of my sewing machines, but the place is so cluttered I can’t.
Well, hell, yes I can. I’m taking over the dining room table. Richie has two desks upstairs plus the dining room table. I’m claiming the latter for mine.
Okay, that’s a plan. Bring the mini sewing machine and set it up on the dining room table along with an iron and cutting board/iron mat.
Busy day ahead. Oh, crap, and the Duty Visit.
But still. The sun is shining, the air is soft and cool, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Gotta count my blessings.
In the meantime, iTunes here I come. (Oh, and Amazon MP3s quite often have the same songs a little cheaper, particularly albums. I tend to use a mix of both, plus a gray market site if I’ve already bought the damned song in three different formats (lp, cassette, cd) and can’t find it).
And she shall have music wherever she goes.

Krissie: Comfort Food

Not a great picture but I’m distracted.
Yesterday we were talking about my epic battle at fighting off the Blues, and someone suggested doing little things to make me happy, to comfort myself. And I realized that for most of my life that’s been food.
Food is comfort, albeit temporary. Think about all the lovely things — a nice big macaroni and tuna salad with hard-boiled egg. Mrs. Fields Cookies, hot from the oven. Cereal. Birthday cake. God, I could go on forever.
I think it comes from when you’re a little baby and you feel empty and alone and you cry and someone picks you up and holds you and fills that emptiness inside you. And from then on you keep looking for it.
Especially if there’s no one to fill the emotional emptiness inside you. If there’s no one to pick you up and hold you when you cry, even if you’re not hungry.
So food was always my friend. In particular starches – nice, soothing starches. I could eat whole loaves of bread, plain. Potatoes and rice and noodles. Anything bread-like made me feel a little less alone.
Ridiculous, but then, when it comes to feelings of abandonment and pain common sense doesn’t make any difference. When I was talking to my therapist yesterday I was saying “I know this is irrational, and not true, but I feel this way!” (Accompanied by wails, of course). Maybe I need a more powerful mind. A more powerful will.

That’s one of my favorite images. I’m big on the Salmon of Correction. Stinkin’ Thinkin’ gets us nowhere.
But lord, it’s a battle this time.
So … comfort food. Watermelon slices. Gotta be careful because watermelon gives me terrible stomach cramps if I eat too much. But if I’m reasonable it’s a treat. Ditto cherries.
Goldfish — 55 goldfish are 140 calories and fit in a 5 oz. cup and I take my time eating them, splitting them in half with my teeth and then letting them dissolve in my mouth. Not the same as a plateful of cheesy pasta but a good substitute.
Home-made whole wheat bread. One slice. It’s usually enough. I think my main problem has been grazing. I start to feel anxious and I wander out to the kitchen and grab something. An extra handful of goldfish. An extra breakfast bar (also a good substitute for Entenmann’s raspberry twist coffee cake).
But I need to look for comfort beyond food. Because if you look to food for comfort the relief is only temporary, and then you need more, and then your stomach hurts, etc etc.
One thing I’m going to do is work up a new playlist, a comfort one. I did a happy one years and years ago, when I was going through infertility and had to drive 65 miles to my doctor. I used to listen to Celtic music and sob all the way, and then I decided enough was enough and made a mix tape, starting with “Wouldn’t it be Nice” by the Beach Boys.
So, a comfort tape. “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley (“Everything’s gonna be all right”). “You got to Walk That Lonesome Valley” (“ain’t no one can walk it for you” – great for helicopter parents). “All Shall be Well” by Terry Gold (musical version of Dame Julian). I need some more “hold on, it’s gonna be all right” songs.
Any suggestions?

Krissie: Progress

So I looked in the mirror yesterday and for the very first time did a double take. I looked thinner. Yeah, I realize the rest of you have noticed, at least from my face, but I hadn’t. We have a tendency to focus on the bad, and as my face has gotten thinner it all seems to drop to my pouchy chin.
But I looked in the mirror and I could see a noticeable difference in my torso. Plus, I found a pair of black jeans in the back of my drawer that had been too tight and put them on and they were loose.
Also, my tummy has been an issue. It never used to be droopy until I had my hysterectomy, when they cut through all the muscles, and since then it’s been saggy and annoying and hanging over the incision scar, getting itchy etc. (I know, TMI). Well, it doesn’t any more. I can lie in bed and feel it and it’s really smaller. Yippee!
Of course, I went 450 calories over yesterday, simply by not paying attention. I keep thinking I can go by instinct but I’m not there yet. Still trying to figure my way through it all. I want to keep losing, not stall out again. I liked what I saw yesterday. I’m greedy, I want more. More skinny, that is.
One good thing: I haven’t had any of the nausea/stomach stuff that was plaguing me a couple of weeks ago. Knock wood.
The plan for today: do research. write a little. go swimming. watch what I eat. And sing.

The song for yesterday? “Pack up your sorrows” by Richard and Mimi Farina. We had a rocky start to the day yesterday, heading toward frustration, depression and anger. (Give you two guesses what/who set it off). So “Pack up your sorrows” seemed like an excellent thought. Not sure what I’ll go with today. It seems ridiculous that my fingertips would hurt after one song on a nylon string guitar, but they did. Not sure I could have done a second. But they’ll toughen up in time, and then I can sing more.

And for you guys who say you can’t sing. I bet you can. It’s like kids. You ask five year old how many of them can draw and they all raise their hands. Five years later you ask the same question and only a small group of them raise their hands.
Cars are great places to sing. Just bellow along at the top of your lungs. I remember my sister insisted she couldn’t sing, but she could. It was just that I was good at it, and her stronger talents lay elsewhere. But hey, we can sing, and we should.
Crusie says she can’t sing — wrong.
Years ago she and Eileen Dreyer and I did a skit at RWA, which called for us to sing “You Don’t Own Me.” While rehearsing Crusie, who didn’t know me that well at that point, kept saying to Eileen (who will sing at the drop of a hat and loves performing) “you’re the singer, Krissie and I can’t sing.” It was default for her, and I had to practically beat her about the head and shoulders, verbally, to realize I didn’t put myself in the same boat.
(However, I really, truly, honestly can’t draw. Trust me. I can prove it to you.)
Eileen is a great singer — she loves it, she does it as often as she can and she’s kept her voice in good shape. But I can still sing — two years private voice training, years of singing and playing guitar. And Crusie can sing — she loves music and has a good sense of pitch. (FWIW Lani’s got a really nice voice too).
Singing is a gift the Fates/Hp/God gave us (and by HP I don’t mean Harry Potter or Hewlett Packard, I mean one’s Higher Power) to make up for all the crap we have to go through.
So, sing!

Krissie: Catch up

The earth moved. Actually, the scale moved. I was playing with the thought that maybe I wouldn’t think about losing weight, just keep on with the very healthy, controlled way I was eating, but I got on the scale yesterday and I was 233.5 (which I’d dipped down to before, I think, but was stuck firmly around 235).
Got on the scale this morning to see which way it was moving and it was 232.5. It’s finally moving.
Yesterday I did everything I wanted to do (or at least, everything I was working on). I ate mindfully. Didn’t do NettieD but kept her in mind. Even measured my whole wheat pasta last night (2 c., which may have been too much but I didn’t have lunch). Finally got back to swimming for an hour (and loved it — had to stop because things were starting to hurt but I could have gone on). Wrote 2k words. Good words — the new, speculative thing is just wonderful!
But I’ve added one more thing to my list of things. When I was young I lived for music (see Sunday’s post). I taught myself to play the guitar in my early teens, and when I would pray every night (god, I forgot that I did that!) I would ask that I could play the guitar well enough to work for me. Didn’t want to be a virtuoso, just wanted to play well enough. And I did. Got good enough, that is. I sang, I played the guitar, I even wrote songs (a couple of them fairly good). When I met Richie he and I would play and sing together, I would sing in bars, sing with bands. (I also had classical voice training for a couple of years as a teenager).
But music is a way to work out love issues — longings and broken hearts etc. And my heart wasn’t broken any more. Plus, music was a huge emotional, artistic outlet, and I was turning my life to writing. And I couldn’t do both. I had to give everything to one or the other, and writing won.
But I’ve lost my voice from not using it. And singing is wonderful for so many reasons — the breathing, and the emotional release. So I’ve decided (and I’ve tried to do this before and failed) that I would sing one song every day. My fingertips are too soft to handle any but the nylon string guitar, and even that hurts, but I’ll build the skin up. I got out the Joan Baez songbook, the Judy Collins songbook, and the Motown songbook to begin with (all 30-some years old). Song of the day: “Tracks of my Tears.” And then, when I watched “Dancing with the Stars” (yeah, I’m weak) it was Motown night and they opened with Smoky singing “Tracks.” I figure it’s a sign.
So we’re getting a song of the day. Haven’t done today’s yet, but I’m making a commitment to sing at least one song a day, and I’ll report in.
Today I’m doing research, not writing, and heading to Jo-Ann’s, then picking up Alex, so a fun day. And I’m finally losing weight! Nothing but good times ahead.

As for the kid front: Thank you guys, so much, for your support. I was so shocked by what the DIL told me that I didn’t stop to think. For one thing, I doubt he said it more than once. For another, he may not have said it directly to him. No, I’m not in denial. When the DIL gets mad she says stuff that will get me going and then turns out not to be quite the case. I have to figure out what to say and how to say it — some things I should just keep out of, but not when my grandson (or any child) is being hurt, be it words or actions. One thing that Richie pointed out, though — he’s drinking huge amounts of caffeine. Red Bull and coffee. Too much caffeine can make you a foul-tempered asshole. Gotta figure out what to say, though.
(Update — DIL said don’t say anything at this point — she gave him an ultimatum and his friend talked to him about it).
So … we move on. I am going to get the I WAS SO MAD book to help Alex understand. And love him. If they break up I’m taking him and the DIL to Disney World on my own (I’m planning and saving for a trip to celebrate turning 65 with all of them and my daughter).
Anyway, enough of that.
I’m hitting on all cylinders today.
1. I’m letting go of worrying about my son and his family
2. I’m doing writing stuff (research)
3. I’m going to play a song
4. I’m watching what I eat
5. I’m even doing some sewing stuff (the trip to Joanns for interfacing)

Cool. I’m proud of myself. Onward!