Monday, Monday (Krissie)

It’s Monday, I’m still energetic (though in a shitload of pain, but hey, chest la vie. Or Det er liv, in Danish, but I imagine there’s an idiom. I have been studying Danish for 307 days straight (I’m doing Duolingo and it keeps track – it’s a free app and has tons of languages if anyone’s interested). I’ve also finally been watching the Craftsy courses I bought – I particularly like one on using precuts of Jenny the owner of Missouri Quilt Co. or whatever it’s called. there’s another on creative quilting with a walking foot, plus several others. I’ve been bouncing around, watching a lesson here and a lesson there.

Which brings us to the point that learning new things, or refining old things, is fun, rewarding, and really good for your brain. Yeah, it takes time, though for me it’s just part of my nighttime ritual. Instead of surfing or playing solitaire (well, I do a little of that) I do my dansk (the Danes don’t capitalize much) and Craftsy. The only drawback is that I do Pinterest and other craft ideas (look at patterns, etc) and it gets me energized at 11 at night, when I need to be falling asleep.

I might humbly suggest that you guys might consider taking a class. If I lived in civilization I’d love to take a hands on sewing class, but at this point my main options are on-line. (Though I’ve love to learn excel and they do sometimes have courses on that. I imagine I could also learn that on line).

I’m also relearning the guitar and learning new songs. I used to play a lot when I was young … I mean, really a lot. Guys would always get me to sing with their bands or just with them, I wrote songs, sang at weddings and benefits, etc. Richie and I first met over music. I’m slowly getting my fingers toughened up and can even play my Martin D-35 (which is a really stellar acoustic guitar). I stopped playing in my early thirties as writing became more demanding, and there have been so many wonderful songs since then that I never learned to play. Fortunately I have a decent ear for figuring out what the chords are for various songs, so it’s been fun and satisfying. I’m even learning “Elle a les yeux revolver” which inspired Black Ice and the ice series, arguably my most popular books.

So guys … any of you play the guitar when you were younger? Do you still have it around? Failing that, ukulele’s are easy and fun. In fact, back in 1963 I taught myself guitar on my father’s baritone uke – the four strings are the same as the top four on a guitar. I learned “Blowin in the Wind” and “We Shall Overcome” in the key of A. Ah, youth. Kennedy was still president and I was a sophomore in high school.

I digress. If you’re musical, drag out your guitar or buy a ukulele. Singing is really good for you physically and spiritually – the breathing, etc.

And learn something. I want you guys to do some research and find a course/class you want to take in the new year. Fuck losing weight – it never works and in the beginning the main reward is vanity. Check your local colleges and community centers, etc. Check on-line – Craftsy and tons more. If you’re not into it, tant pis (don’t know a Danish equivalent) but I don’t care. Choose something, and report back.

On a mixed note. Speaking of music, Mel Tillis just died. I used to sing “Mental Revenge” – one of his songs. And I’m sorry, but I saw that Charles Manson had died and I cheered. I don’t know if I believe in evil – I tend to think it’s sickness instead – but if evil existed there was a lot concentrated in that pathetic creature. I hope next time around he can expiate his sins. (No, I don’t want him roasting in hell if I believed such a thing existed).

Enough wickedness on my part.In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving. Richie and I will do it alone again (alas), but we’ll have fun. I’m going to try a canola oil piecrust – my aunt Ailie use to make fabulous pie crusts with cooking oil, so I’ll see how I far.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I know, too many questions, but I’m curious.

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!