All About You (Krissie)

28 Nov

Photo on 11-28-16 at 10.35 AM

So shall we do a tap dance and tell you everything is fine? Not my style, but then, there are times you gotta pull up your socks and move on. (Bad Tim stuff).

I’ll go with our first holiday tradition – Stoop Soup. A treasured recipes from the 1970′s made by yours truly when I was a cute young wife living in an old farmhouse in the tiny town of Stannard, VT (where Bernie used to live). First, you cook a huge, fabulous Thanksgiving turkey. Then you strip the leftovers off the bones and put the carcass in a huge pot. You throw in an onion, carrots, celery, any leftover veggies plus peppercorns and a bay leaf and you put it on the back burner of the stove and you turn it on. You let it cook – well, it’s supposed to take 4 hours but I usually forget about it and get back to it in 6, 8, or 12 hours. And you can’t cheat and use a crockpot – it gives it a mushy flavor. When it’s time to go to bed and you can’t cook it any more, nor can you put it in the refrigerator because there’s no room with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving, you put it out on the door stoop, where, because it’s Vermont, snow is covering the ground and the temperature is, at the very best, in the low thirties. You put the lid on and go to bed.
For the next three months you pass it every day and think “God, I have to dump that mess in the woods” but you don’t touch it, and by the time Spring rolls around you make your husband trudge out past the fields into the woods and dump the incredibly horrible smelling mess of bones and mold and rot. Bring the pan back, scrub the hell out of it and start all over again next Thanksgiving.

On rare occasions you can vary the recipe by bringing the stock pot back in the next day, draining it over a colander, toss in some turkey, more veggies, a splash of sherry, a splash of soy sauce, and maybe some leftover rice (though if you don’t eat it all the the rice will swell up even more and become slightly weird). But then you miss the winter decoration of the stockpot on the door stoop, and this time of year it’s all about tradition, isn’t it?

This week I’m meeting Miranda Neville for lunch, going into Burlington to drop off stuff for Goodwill, going to NAMI meetings (tonight and Thursday), start decorating the house, write, sew, and keep my fucking sanity. Also, not cry more than twice a day.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

So what’s on your agenda, my darlings?

Making Joy At Home

27 Nov


How did you make some happiness this week?

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

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).

All About You (Krissie)

21 Nov

Photo on 11-21-16 at 8.51 AM This is the picture of a woman fighting off depression. But I’m fierce – I can do it.
Had a fabulous week down at Crusie’s, and if I were a good person I would have posted and taken pictures but I’m just born bad. I got masses of writing done, I cuddled with Milton, we watched movies, we crocheted, we talked about writing and politics and family and children. We had a seamless drive to the eye doctor’s (i-80 was a breeze) and lots of naps and good night’s sleep. I hated to leave, but I listened to a really funny, really fabulous book called THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne during the drive down and back, which made the time speed by (er … I’m afraid my car also sped by a bit but I kept it under control).

Ah, but back home. Tim’s in crisis again, Daniel appears to be taking a second 6-month medical leave of absence for his depression (he’s never worked a full year in his 32 years) and it’s getting harder to fight off the … nope, not going there.

Had to miss a NaNoWriMo get together because of the snow (we got blasted) but now I’m facing a tough week. Excuse me while I pull up my big girl panties.

OK, I want to write all week. I love the book, and I always feel better if I write. We have to decide if doing something for Thanksgiving will make us feel better or worse. I’m sentimental when it comes to holidays, but my troubled kids are thousands of miles away (good thing!) and our friends have all moved away. So if we do a small thanksgiving for the two of us will it make me feel better or worse? Should I get a small turkey and make mashed potatoes etc.? Or just ignore it?

I have to call the mental health center and see what’s going on. I’ll bring Richie with me to see my shrink tomorrow so we can come up with a plan on how to deal with things. And my grandchildren will be up this weekend! We’ll only get a few hours with them but even that’s a treat.

Part of me is having my normal reaction to Christmas – oooh, shiny! Part of me is – bah, humbug. Let’s hope the shiny part wins.

So this week: write. Sew (it’ll make me feel better). Crochet (ditto). Shore up the levees as the hurricane approaches. Gird my loins. On top of that, deal with the huge psychic and emotional upset of the election and our intense feeling of paranoia.

May you live in interesting times. That’s what I’m doing, fighting all the way.

What’s on your agenda? I hope your journey is more serene this week than mine. Tell me stories of families coming together and joy in Mudville.

Reach for Happiness

20 Nov


There’s a metaphor there . . .

How did you reach for happiness this week?

All About You (krissie)

14 Nov

Photo on 11-14-16 at 9.03 AM #2 I’m in NJ! I’m wearing a gorgeous new coat/sweater Jenny made (it’s lovely when I get here, not only do I get Jenny but an armful of gorgeous crocheted goodness). It’s freezing cold outside (from some reason I thought it was going to be warmer) but the house is snug and I had a magnificent night of sleep. I sleep so well here it’s amazing. Part of it is the memory foam mattress, but I think the main part is just being here. there was a cartoon or a card or a t-shirt that said something about “true friends are when you go to visit them you both nap.” So true.

We spent most of yesterday talking about the election. At this point I won’t talk about it here – people are worked up, friendships are being lost, etc. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to speak up, more than I ever have before (the very foundations of the earth tremble at the thought) but if we all need to vent some more (me included) I’ll do another post and we can keep it there.

So. I’m a little behind on NaNoWriMo but I’ve still got … I think 18k words, so that’s excellent. Tim is going off the rails again, but at this point there’s nothing we can do about it but talk to the mental health people out there and hope for the best. While I’m down here we’re going to watch movies and crochet and go to the laundromat (if I have to drag Jenny kicking and screaming) and the eye doctor and talk and watch movies and crochet. It’s gonna be bliss.

I also have to get my NaNoWriMo words in each day, but I’m determined. I can do it.

I was gonna ask what’s on your agenda, but last week has had such a huge impact that I’m thinking that some of us do need to talk about it. And really, I’ve pretty much told you my stance – I’m not going to run, I’m going to stay and speak out. In fact, I should have talked about it last week so we could all talk about it, but I was too disheartened.

So. What’s your agenda? If it’s straightforward then tell us about it. If last week … (I want to go off into a side rant on “had an impact” and “impacted by” because I don’t like impacted by and it’s incorrect but it still feels like the right way to put it) if last week is making a difference in how you view this week, then talk about it.

And for those of you who really can’t bear to read another word about the situation, just skip this week if it gets political and come back next monday (or during the week – I’ll be talking about what Jenny and I are doing).

So … what’s on your agenda?

Happiness and Beyond

13 Nov

real happiness-01

It was not easy to find a Happy Post today.

But I have realized that part of anxiety and sadness and regret is the feeling of helplessness. The Republicans own the government now and what they can do with that is truly terrifying. And I did my best. I voted.

But of course, that wasn’t my best. I live in a blue state that went for Hillary, so I really couldn’t have changed anything here, but I could have been more active. I could have done so many things. And I didn’t. Because better people than me were handling it. Because she was going to win. Because . . . I could have done more.

And I think that’s the takeaway here, to do more. To do the easy things like give to Planned Parenthood (it’s one of the donantions you can sign up for through AmazonSmile), to give to Emily’s List, to give to the ACLU. (For more worthy groups, go to Jezebel’s list.) To do the harder things (for agoraphobic me) like volunteering at Planned Parenthood or looking into the local Democratic party. To help with the food banks and the volunteer groups that are going to be overloaded when the safety net disappears. And to do the basic decent things like watching out for the people endangered by this election, which in a real sense is all of us.

A lot of my worry, my depression comes from the feeling of helplessness. But I grew up protesting a terrible government that was killing my generation in an illegal war. That was fifty years ago, I can do it again. And I do believe that equality and justice will prevail, I do believe this is an extinction burst and the future will be better for my grandchildren. I believe that the universe bends toward justice, but that doesn’t mean justice is a free lunch.

We have good work to do. Good work always makes me happy.

What good work made you happy this week?