Krissie: Best Laid Plans

Photo on 2013-01-15 at 08.51 #2 Okay, I accomplished a fair amount yesterday. Made the three doctor phone calls, called the courts and printed out the paper work (can’t finish that up until tomorrow or Thursday because the person is out), then went and deposited checks and visited with Sally while she’s trying to finish the quilt she started making when her daughter got pregnant (Caleb’s almost a year old). It’s an incredibly labor-intensive embroidered and applique’d quilt so I’m keeping her company and catching up with Homeland.
As for the hair, I think I’ll make an appointment and get it shaped just a bit. I’m going to be in civilization for four weeks (two at Crusie’s, two in the city with Sally while we dog-sit on East 66th St.) so I think I’ll play with my inner Barbie.
Ah, speaking of inner …
I need to remember my inner Dresden ballerina. I’m feeling a little unsettled right now, for a number of reasons but playing roulette with my meds doesn’t help. So I think I need to just keep being positive and not give in to the drama.
I picked up a useful tip — when you body goes into fight or flight mode (in my case usually flight) you need to stop and try deep breathing. It can shortcut the anxiety.
So as I start to get edgy about all the things I need to do I stop and take a few nice deep breaths.
Sunday was a strange day. I missed two missives concerning money — one was an email with an attachment about money for Kaim, the other was a Christmas card from a dear, dear friend. I’d been too ambivalent about Christmas to open any cards, and I finally found them under a stack of magazines. In the card was a check. Burst into tears, of course.
It was such a lovely gift. Not the money — I tore up the check and then burned the pieces. But that someone cared that much about me. Needless to say, I thanked her profusely, and I know it was sent from love. Still couldn’t accept it, but it was such a loving gesture that it cheered me immeasurably.
So when I’m down or anxious I need to remember that I am loved, and that this too shall pass. It always does, no matter how bad things can seem. And right now things are stable, my inner Dresden ballerina is doing pirouettes and my inner Barbie bought new mascara. I’m heading to NJ on Friday and all I have to do is write and play.
Crusie and I are going to wrap each other in duct tape and belly dance (not at the same time) and I’ll cuddle the dogs while she paints and we’re going to have a blast.
Nothing but good times ahead.

Travels with Krissie’s Sinus Infection

that’s Krissie with a sinus infection. Now every time I blow my nose (not often) it’s bloody. Glands are swollen, ears are screwed coz of the airplane pressure. Felt horrid yesterday, better today. Don’t know what to do — the cough is worse and my throat hurts. All the warnings are justified — I’ve seen how antibiotics can screw people up. But Richie gets chronic sinus infections and they fix them. (Shrug).

But I digress. I’M HOME!!!!!!!! Of course, anywhere Jenny and Lani are is home, anywhere just one of them is is home. I still have to deal with the cruddiness that’s bothering me (or maybe I don’t for a few more days, till the meds take effect) but I’m here, and I can breathe a sigh of relief.
The place looks fabulous. Well, it looks like a bomb hit it, but that’s because so much stuff is cleared out and gone. it’s wonderful. They’ve both been working so hard. Today we’re going to go through Jenny’s clothes, ruthlessly, I’ll take what I want (because I’m getting skinnier — I’m moving into a XL and Jenny’s moved out of it). The main thing I need to do is get rid of clothes when I get home, which is easy. It’ll be fun to replace old stuff with new, even if the old stuff is perfectly good.
There’s also a huge goodwill pile that I’m hoping we’ll sort through. I’d love to take it to Goodwill and then poke around there. They have an excellent Goodwill.
For food we’re gonna have to be adaptable. I’ll eat well as often as I can, but f’rinstance I’ve had a craving for pancakes and in my pitiful condition I deserve pancakes, so we’re going to ihop this morning. And I need to buy a gallon of water because Cincinnati water is so god-awful you can’t even make tea with it, and I need my tea with honey.

Anyway, now I’m torn as to whether to call my doctor back. It’s been 9 days now, and just gets worse (though the first two days were awful — I just slept). This is distracting me from my depression — how dare it! Nah, I can’t be too depressed here at Squalor on the River.
So happy to be here, but missing Richie, who’s been nothing but wonderful. Hey, and so has my son since he’s been back. We’ve had long talks, he vacuumed the house yesterday, he tells Erin he loves her, he’s good with Alex.
And my daughter is taking care of business, god bless her, and I’ll see her soon. It’s gonna be okay.
And it’ll be so great with Jenny close enough that I can jump in the car and visit for a few days any time I want. And when Lani moves she’ll be even closer.

Nothing but good times head.

Travels with Krissie Pt.1

That’s me sitting in the BWI airport (I always think of British West Indies when I see that. And I won’t tell you what I think of when there used to be Northwest Airlines (NWA).
But as usual, I digress.
Turns out I have a sinus infection, I call my doctor (who told me to call back if it didn’t get better) and she blithely said they routinely want people to have it for two weeks before they use an antibiotic. Now I understand and agree that antibiotics are over-used and people will become resistant to them, yadda yadda yadda. But a) I seldom get sick, so I’ve had very few antibiotics and b) she fucking thinks I’m gonna stay with this pain for another week?
Might be time to change doctors.
Any, I’m digressing again. Except that the stupid doctor told me to take ibuprofen, which I’ve been to stomach occasionally, but apparently I can’t deal with taking it at night. At least half a dozen Tums, two doses of liquid Maalox, pretzels, a banana, and applesauce with granola and I finally fell asleep in my chair for a couple of hours. (I had vicious heartburn because I hadn’t eaten enough with the ibu and I didn’t feel like dinner, so eating bland stuff helped).
So, no sleep, off to the airport (three hours away) leaving at 6. But Richie and I had a good talk about things, and I’m going to keep a wait and see attitude. At this point I’ll have Richie pick me up in NJ the weekend of the 17th so I’m home for Thanksgiving. If I need to I can turn around and go back to NJ in December for a week or two, depending on how stressful things are.
But I had a mini-triumph. I’ve been eating terrible stuff, just awful So I got on the scale before I left and still managed to be in the 220s (just barely). Stuck here in BWI I went to a diner where I could have had pancakes (I’ve had a craving for them) french fries with gravy, all the sorts of things I tell myself I could have. Instead I chose one of the healthy offerings, a fruit and lettuce salad with chicken and blue cheese and lo-cal dressing and it was incredibly good! So yay for me for making the right choice.
We’re going to have to go to our favorite places on our Farewell to Ohio Tour. Steak n Shake, Ihop, Olive Garden, Panera, and maybe Outback. (there’s not much cooking going on at Squalor on the River, just baking, and in the chaos of Jenny trying to pack I’m sure everyone’s even less likely to cook. (I was proofreading and found I made a Freudian typo. I had “everyone’s even less likely to book.) We must book. All three of us. But that’s part of what this is all about.
Oh, and pot stickers. Must have potstickers.
And maybe we’ll have to have Cincinnati chili just because. Jenny says it’s yucky but since it’s famous (and what could be so yucky about spaghetti with chili and cheese on top?) we might have to do it.
And then there’s Hobby Lobby and Jungle Jims.
Of course, I’m doing all this with absolutely no money. But I’m not gonna think about it. Too much to think about and I’m cherishing my inner Dresden ballerina (maybe she’s Marguerite? Eloise?)
Jenny and Lani (or maybe just Lani) are hauling ass up to Colombus to get me (it’s a couple of hours away) because it was the only way I could get a decent flight. If I’d gone from Burlington to Cincinnati it would have been $540. This flight was $237. And Lani’s got a new to her Prius (has she told you about it?) so the gas will be cheap.
And it will be so wonderful to see them! I’m so happy!
We’ll be better about photos this time, since it’s our last get together at Squalor on the River (presumably).
So the Come to Goddess Convocation is about to begin.
As if Ohio isn’t already overwhelmed.

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.

Krissie: Home Again, Home Again

Lani and Alastair are taking me to the airport at the crack of dawn (or maybe a little bit before dawn). We’re leaving around 4 am. Turns out I’ll see my son — he flies out in the evening, so we’ll be ships that pass in the night, but I’ll be so happy to see him before he goes.
And then I’ll be home, facing reality. Our house will be ours again — no trauma, no “are they going to break up or aren’t they?” going on. Well, I’d prefer the question to the reality of breaking up, but if it’s always going to be the unhappy ending I’d just as soon have it fast.
But I’ll see my darling Richie. And I’ll sleep on the plane, and all will be well, I’m sure. I’ll check in when I get home, probably weeping copiously.
I really, really prefer happiness over sadness. And I do think happiness can be achieved if you work at it and can let go of things. The serenity prayer had it right — accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can.
So I’m off into the friendly skies tomorrow, leaving Squalor on the River for Squalor Holler. I’m going to miss them so much.
It’s good to know when you have sisters to watch your back. A place you can run to, where you’re safe. Do you have any idea how rare that is?
Of course you do. How many of us have that to count on? Well, some of you may have families to turn to – mothers or sisters or such.
I’ve got my sisters here by the river.
Thank God.
update — here’s me in Washington, waiting for my next plane. I do look like something the cat dragged in — I only slept an hour. It really will be good to be home, no matter how much I hated to leave.

Krissie: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing


There’s a saying in AA (and OA). Beware of H.A.L.T. Halt! Never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, because it leaves you open to slips.
I did fine when I went to Syracuse, because I had Richie with me.
And I had a fabulous time in Richmond. The air was gorgeous, the grass was green, the people were wonderful. But … I got tired. And by the end of the weekend, trudging through the airport, I was at low-ebb. Had a small bowl of oatmeal and a breakfast bar, hours ago, and … Excuses, excuses. I gave in. Continue reading

Krissie: Back to the Airport

Great hotel room here at the Richmond airport, though I couldn’t sleep. Everything decided to hurt last night, so I was flopping around like a landed fish. However, I’ll sleep on the airplane and start to snore and wake up with a jerk. (Well, it depends on who’s sitting next to me. Chortle). Rinse and repeat.
I do hope we don’t have delays going this way — I might not be so sanguine.
Traveling is always a hassle, leaving the comforts of home a challenge, but it’s always worth it once I get going.
Here are some things I learned.
1. Chris Pine is incredibly hot in “Unstoppable.”
2. You can make your own kaffir/kefir/whatever
3. lots of people of faith down here who don’t make me feel uncomfortable to say I’m a Christian. I always have to put the caveat that I’m an ultra liberal Christian, so no one thinks I’m cursed with being narrow-minded and judgmental, which seems to go along with way too many people of strong faiths, no matter whether they’re Christian or Muslim or whatever.
4. I had so much in common with the various people who carted me around, including our own Stephanie. Adoptive mothers, dog lovers, women who loved being out in the country. Sheer serendipity, I would guess, but it was a special treat talking to Stephanie and Mary Anne and Mary.
5. There were other things I marveled at, things people told me during my talk, which I’ve spaced right now but will come back to me.
So in the end a most educational, entertaining, friendly way to spend the weekend, with the bonus of some great food. I managed to resist the lure of wicked Chinese food (there was a bowl of fresh fried noodles right in front of me that was absolutely killing me, but I never gave in. Had chicken and asparagus and steamed brown rice while those around me had General Tso’s ((sob), and last night some really divine seared tuna and asparagus (don’t you love asparagus season?) followed by fresh berries without the whipped cream.
Yum!
A few too many goldfish to nibble on (I really need to give those up entirely) but hey, a good job of eating while on the road. Only concession being a second DC at lunch, but after talking for two hours my will was weak.
So back I go to the land of snow.
Go over and post the three things that make you happy, and then read everybody else’s list. It’s a great way to begin and end the week.