Happy Thanksgiving!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Happy turkey day! The wild turkeys came to visit a few days ago — they’re sending a happy, wild and free thanksgiving to all of you in civilization!

It’s just Richie and me, but I bought a small turkey because, you know, you gotta have turkey. I’m watching the Macy’s parade, then I have to choose between the dog show or Shri Rama Lama Ding-Dong’s Mansion of Fun (David Johannsen’s program on Sirius-Xm The Loft — I adore the incredible variety of music he plays). You know, I think I might go for music – I miss dogs too much and it might make me sad.

The rest of you will probably watch football.

Here are just some of the things I’m thankful for, in no particular order:
The man I love doesn’t care much for football either, my children are alive if not well, my niece and her husband have a happy life, Richie and I are healthy, despite my fears I’m not sinking into a depression, the cold and snow keeps coming but it’s pretty, Richard Thompson, the house is warm from the firewood we ended up buying, Crusie, cats (even if we don’t have any right now), my grandchildren, Tom Hiddleston, Korean dramas, my iPod, American Girl dolls, quilts, tears, laughter, children, babies, dogs, life, ReFab, my new bathroom — man, life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

The thing about that great quote from Auntie Mame is that some people are trapped, and it kind of feels like you’re blaming the victim if they’re not tap-dancing. I think the point is that even in the worst times of our lives we can find things of beauty, and it’s the only way we can survive some of the stuff that life throws at us. So to quote Auntie Mame, live!

Happy thanksgiving. When you get around to your laptop, tell us some of the things your thankful for. (You can be thankful for Tom Hiddleston too).

Christmas Wednesday/Turkey Thursday (Krissie)

Crazy day today.  I’ve been on the verge of tears alternating with feeling happy and hopeful.  I think the chronic pain has a lot to do with it (I really can’t use my right arm at all nowadays) plus the hoo-rah about Tim leaving, and he had an emotional relapse (brought on by the stress of the Big Change) which gave me flashbacks.  You have no idea how bad it was last winter.  I’m pretty sure we shut Refab down around that time, so you didn’t have to hear the bloody details.   I don’t know if I was in any shape to pass on the bloody details.

But in general he’s so much better.  And I have to let go and let God.

Tomorrow we have our small thanksgiving, and I think we’ll watch Tomorrowland.  But in the meantime, I’m going to list everything I’m grateful for.

Richie, for everything.  Daniel who’s happy and employed.  Tim who’s made huge leaps and bounds in the last six months.  My grandchildren.  All the cats and dogs I’ve had over the years (I need a new fur baby or two).  My gift.  The fact that I’ve been able to make a living from it.  the stories I’m still in love with.  Audio books.  My sister and brother and mother and father and nephew and cousin, all gone now.  I’m grateful I had them for as long as I did, and I’m not longer pissed off at them for dying.  Mini-me.  Vermont.  Washington State.  GAAR (the theater group I’m part of).  My laptop.  Sewing machines. Crusie.  (This is not in order of importance — I don’t cherish sewing machines more than Crusie).  Books.   Movies and tv.  Stories.  Shakespeare.  Singing.  My cousins.  My iPad.  Al-anon.  Tom Hiddleston.  Spike.  Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans.  Alan Rickman.  Princeton (with all its drawbacks).  Drugs that improve things (pain, tension, depression).  Music, oh, god, music!  Hell, Derek Hough and Bindi winning Dancing with the Stars.  Sally and Lani.  Not having ovarian cancer. Vintage dolls.  Romex. Venice.  Japan.  Spain.  Being off diet sodas. Never having smoked or done acid (figured I was too crazy to begin with).  La Boheme.  Ballet.  Miss Tatlock’s Millions.  Georgette Heyer.  Mary Stewart.  Judith Ivory and Laura Kinsale.  Good Vibrations.  (the store, not the song, though the song is wonderful too).  San Francisco.  The lake.  Bob Dylan.

There’s so much more.  Anything I think of makes me feel gratitude, because even the bad stuff  brings good with it.  I could bitch about all the things that are wrong about everything I’ve listed — I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said “people are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  Or something like that.  With a little help from Effexor and Wellbutrin, of course.

Christmas!  Did I mention how much I love Christmas?  And Refab, which gives me far more than I put out there.  And then there’s Tom Hiddleston.



How many things can you list?tom

All About You (Krissie)

Well, everyone talked about what they were doing yesterday, so we’ll talk about what we’re going to do.  I had to blow off NANOWRIMO after I fell — couldn’t see for days, and then it became clear Tim was leaving at the end of the month and I have a thousand things to do.  December will be my NANOWRIMO.

We’re having a small thanksgiving.  Just Richie and me and Tim — Daniel will stay out in WI.  We have to decide what’s happening at Christmas — whether he’ll come home or not or we’ll go out there.  I think we’ll bring him home — the grandchildren will be up as well and I don’t want to miss them.

So here’s what I have to do this week:

book Tim’s flight

help him find a place to live

set up bank accounts for him (we have to go 90 miles to find the nearest national bank)

find a doctor for him (call Mini-me and see what she can do)

stop worrying about Christmas for him (Mini-me’s place will be filled up and there’s no public transport back and forth).  He’ll work it out.

talk to his current medical prescriber (a fiend from hell)

Get the extra kindle fire up and running so he can check Facebook, email and do FaceTime.

Okay, that’s everything to do with Tim.  I also have to:

get the snow tires on

get the old car taken to the garage or wreckers

make stuffing, dessert and rolls

clean the living/dining area (for my own peace of mind)

limited food shopping

my therapist

do enough laundry that I have clothes to wear

take a tranquilizer.  Ack!

I’ll tell you what I do on Thanksgiving.  First I watch the Macy’s parade. Always.  Of course when I lived in NYC Macy’s was my favorite store (much more than Bloomies, etc).  then leave the dog show on if it’s running, while I retire to the kitchen, stuff the turkey and start cooking it while I listen to George Winston’s December CD (with “Thanksgiving” on it).  I’ll probably need Richie’s help when it comes to stuff the turkey — I don’t think I have the strength in myright arm to wrestle with it.  We eat in the late afternoon, collapse on the sofa and watch something cheering on TV.  Maybe Scrooged (one of my favorite Christmas movies).  Maybe call cousins to wish ’em a happy Thanksgiving.

And then back into getting stuff done for Tim’s move.

Do I see writing anywhere on this list?  I love writing.  I love going to that special world.  I need to carve out enough time — it’s my therapy (as well as my income).

One of my favorite books on writing and on life is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  If any of you happened to miss it, go out and buy it (or download it) immediately.  You don’t need to be a writer to make use of its life lessons.

I suppose I should count my blessings.  No racist uncle blowhards, no tipsy aunts, no group of people who sit on the sofa and don’t offer to help.  In fact, there are a lot of good things, and I think one more thing I’ll do this week (Thursday or Friday) is to list all the good things that I’m grateful for, with no caveats, no take backs, etc.  There’s a lot to be thankful for if only I’d stop and notice it.

If you’ve got a second to spare show up here and list your gratitudes as well.  The more good will we have sending out into the world, the better place it will be.

Who’s cooking?  Who’s traveling?  Who’s pretending the whole damned thing doesn’t exist?  Who lives in other countries where the whole damned thing doesn’t exist?  And which of you are foolhardy enough to plan on Black Friday skirmishes?

Gird your loins, maidens of St. Trinians.  It’s a week to do battle.

Krissie: Oh God

Literally. I’m going to church. I probably shouldn’t, considering I have a book to finish plus thanksgiving meal to cook, but it’s our minister’s anniversary of his ordination, plus he’s baptising his first grandchild and he’s written a song for her (he’s a musician as well as a minister). And the baby is doubly precious — his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early twenties. And it might even be the first Sunday in Advent — I haven’t looked at a calendar. I haven’t done anything but write.
But I figure if I can’t take an hour and a half off for church then screw it.
I wrote 7k words yesterday, and could have done a lot more if I wasn’t having brain problems. I’m not sure why my mind isn’t working right. I checked my meds and it’s not side effects. I think it’s part of PTSD over all the deaths in the family, including my mother’s. Right now I’m having trouble seeing the big picture, so I’m just writing and writing and hope I can pull it all together in the end, by cutting and slashing. Some people, me included, usually get the first draft pretty close to right. Some people’s first drafts are in scenes and outlines and bits and pieces all over the place. That’s what this one seems to be, but I’m determined not to panic. Once I have all the pieces then I can figure what works and what doesn’t.
So. It’s snowing and blowing, and I’m not allowing myself Christmas until after we have Thanksgiving dinner and after I finish the book. And I’m champing at the bit (chomping at the bit?) because lord knows I am the biggest Christmas slut in the world.
But bird by bird. I need to cook a meal and finish a book. then I can move ahead.
I got an unexpected check in the mail, and I’m putting it to one side. It’s not that big, but it’ll help, and I’m hoping I can use it for a modified Christmas. There’s only the immediate family and Mini-me, so it’ll be pretty easy. Except that I love to give gifts.
One day at a time. My son’s going mad from bug bites — there are fleas in his room (not in other parts of the house) and he’s always been terribly allergic to bites. Plus he’s still getting hives from the sulfa drug they gave him three weeks ago (and he promptly stopped taking).
Anyone know of a) a treatment for hives and b) a healthy way to get rid of fleas. We’ve dosed the cats, we have the magic clicky things in the outlets, which help with ants and stuff. His room gets very very hot, and I think that’s why he has the problem.
Ah, I know. We could take up the carpet (we put it down ourselves, we can take it up.

Any other ideas?

Krissie: work work work

That’s oatmeal and raspberries and splenda brown sugar. One thing I need to work on is finding healthy alternative sugars. But that’s for later.
I was over at Sally’s, writing (cause she’s out of town) but it didn’t work, and I came home and shoved just about everything in my office into a big box and covered it with a tablecloth. Hey, that’s what my sister used to do. So my office is relatively clean (You wouldn’t think so to look at it but for me it’s a vast improvement) because I discovered to my absolute delight that I only have 8k words to do. (at the least). I have to do enough words to finish the book, which will be more).
Easy peasy. I can have the draft done by tomorrow night, then have Thanksgiving on Sunday when Erin and Alex can come, and we’ll have a fabulous time.
I’ll do revisions and get the book off early next week and then I can dance all over the house.
I don’t know why … yes, I do know why I had such trouble with this book. I suffered a major life blow in the middle of it, when my mother died. It’s really thrown me. Someone mentioned yesterday that sometimes the grief is harder when you have a rocky relationship with your mother. I don’t know, I just know the past was very rocky indeed and I’m having a shockingly hard time. Part of which is she’s the last. This will be the first thanksgiving without anyone from my nuclear family — they’re all gone (and Mini-me is in Tahoe).
But I’m not thinking about that, I’m thinking about my office, and then I get to sew.
I think one thing that’s helped through all this is the handquilting. Not that the quilt is worth the effort, but I was with Crusie and she didn’t have a free motion foot. I have several, so I can remedy that (just as I had an extra walking foot for Lani’s bernina). Anyway, I bought this autumn fairies panel at Keepsake a couple of years ago, so last year I decided I had to do something with it. So I took all my extraneous autumn fabric and cut it into 2/5 inch strips and then sewed them together randomly, then cut those into 2.5 inch strips. I cut out the panels and then framed them with a soft green and the multi-pieces strips. I used the walking foot to outline them, but since it’s an autumn quilt that I wanted finished this season (blew that, but wtf) I worked on it down in NJ.
So, off to work. Well, here to work.
The rest of you can probably take it easy this weekend, but for me, I’m in full Maidens of St. Trinians mode.

Krissie: Thanksgiving

I’m on the wrong computer and I can’t get my photo, but trust me, it’s fairly zen. In truth, I think everything is a day to be thankful, even if one is feeling a little blue. For me, I’m ignoring my traditions (Thanksgiving Day parade, smell of turkey, listening to George Winston, beginning of holidays) and going off to work. We’ll have a nice turkey dinner sometime this weekend, when Erin and Alex can come over but in the meantime, I can be thankful about all sorts of things. About my family being healthy (relatively), that we’re working through things, that I got an unexpected check, that I’m going to get the book done, that I’m back in the right eating zone with relatively little stress.
I’m happy about the election, that there’s a cease-fire, that alijibres exist, that Damien Lewis exists (“ginger all over” he says). About music and a blue sky today, thankful for all sorts of things, big and small.
So, no matter how wretchedly stressful your day is, hope you can make a list of things you’re thankful for.As for me, I’m going to go work, come home and make a lovely dinner of salmon and shrimp cocktail and salad. (We couldn’t find

Krissie: Home again

Today I pack up and go home. It’s time. I’ve ignored real life for too long.
Fortunately I think I’ve stayed just long to enough to have … well, not overstayed my welcome, exactly, but for Jenny to be ready for some solid alone time. We got Dragon Dictate started yesterday (had to buy a new microphone but I found coupons and she saved over $50 at Staples. I’m trying to encourage her to use more coupons).
Richie and son had a good time visiting old haunts (he grew up about 45 minutes from here), plus a cousin, but his favorite pizza place was closed on Monday so we had to make do with inferior stuff. As for me, I’m going to squeeze myself into the back of the car and work on my book, listen to audio books (I’ve discovered Darynda Jones) and make cheerful plans. And I get to see my kitties.
Jenny and I will both focus on work, and when I come back we will NOT indulge in our bad food choices (though we had salads and stuff too). She’ll have worked out a schedule that works for her, and I already have one (I did more than 12k words since I’ve been here — wish it had been twice as much but 12k ain’t shabby). And my BFF’s house will be empty when I get back so I’ll work there … ooops, no I won’t, because her recliner isn’t there. Well, I’ll figure it out.
And I usually love the holidays. So I’ll try to be cheerful and forward thinking about the next six weeks. It’ll be huge to have this book done. I hadn’t realized how badly my mother’s death would shake my world.
I’ve been eating a lot of sugar down here. When I get back, no more sugar, or, given the season, I wouldn’t stop. I’m going to work on my eating through the holiday season, because I can. Otherwise there are constant excuses to make.
And really, I haven’t been horribly indulgent. Not buying chips or sweets to bring home (though I did succumb to gingerbread cookies). It’s going to be okay.
It’s just time to go home, as peaceful and stress-free as being here is.
I’ll talk about the rest of the stuff when I get back. Be prepared for a long, emotional post tomorrow. But for today, I’m determined it’s going to be smooth sailing for the rest of the day.