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Sexual Assault (Krissie)

11 Oct

Photo on 10-11-16 at 10.24 AM Obviously the news is full of stories and op-ed pieces about the way men assault, demean and belittle women. I tend to avoid politics here because they can be so divisive. Wise, intelligent people can believe the most amazing things, support really unconsionable people. I assume that anyone who’s going to read here doesn’t have a conservative bent, giving how wildly anarchistic Jenny and I happen to be (I shouldn’t speak for her, but needless to say we have no patience for bullshit). But that’s not what I’m writing about.
I’m writing about sexual assault. […]

All About You (Krissie)

19 Sep

Photo on 9-19-16 at 10.04 AM First off, you guys in the New York/NJ area – be safe.

2: You go, Rami Malek!

3. Did I mention I lost more weight? I’m at 227.2 which makes it a little more than 22.5 pounds. It’ll be 25 eventually – wahoo! I am losing weight slowly, but then, I’m not really trying. I’m just avoiding unhealthy stuff, pushing fiber and fruit, avoiding fats. I’ve lost my taste for a whole lot of stuff (sugar, crispy fried stuff) and when we get back from Tahoe I’ll start swimming again.

4. Sigh. Okay, we’re leaving for Tahoe tomorrow. My stomach is in a knot and I’m feeling worried and upset. I did go to an Al-Anon meeting Saturday, which was great. It’s tricky, because the issue is now more mental illness than substance abuse, but hey, I qualify at Al-Anon with my father and brother and sister. And Tim’s years as a druggy teen. I have to figure out balance. Good thoughts and prayers gratefully accepted.  And while I’m weepy, edgy and distressed I’m not depressed (gotta keep celebrating that fact).

We’re meeting with lots of people.  I’m feeling really pulled in a lot of directions, and I have to perform triage.  I think first I have to take care of me because, like the example of people on a plane needing oxygen, if I don’t get mine first I’ll pass out before I can help anyone else.  Second, I deal with the sickest.  Third, I deal with the troubled.

I didn’t cause it, I can’t change it, and I can’t cure it. Not for anyone.

I’m try to embed a video because it’s gorgeous, but I’m a Massive Fail, but here’s the link.  I’ve always had a weakness for scantily clad leaping male ballet dancers, so I leave you on a cheery note. Oooh, hey it looked like it worked after all.  Enjoy!


After that delicious treat, tell me what’s on your agenda?

All About You (Krissie)

29 Aug

Photo on 8-29-16 at 8.53 AM O bla di, o bla da life goes on.Tim is talking to Peruvian Princesses and finding spiritual meaning in the MTV awards. But he seems to be relatively stabilized.
And you guys were absolute lifesavers! You gave us both hope with your stories of people living with mental illness, and when we called NAMI they were incredibly helpful. It no longer seems desperately hopeless. Part of it is the shift from thinking our son is a hot-tempered, difficult asshole (whom we loved dearly but is really hard to be around) to accepting the fact that he’s more disabled than we thought (he has severe learning disabilities as well). It also seems pretty clear that these issues are hereditary, and the more we think about it the more we realize that we gave both our kids a really good life. We modeled the best marriage in the world, we showered them with love, and if we were a little lax on discipline I think the kids wouldn’t have have done well under a disciplinarian. They don’t have behavior problems. They go deeper than that.

So we’re shifting into the new reality, getting ready to go out there and stabilize things with getting him the services he needs. We’re planning to book flights out around the 10th of September, which would mean we could be here when the grandchildren come for a few days and when Richie’s niece is here with her children (Richie’s niece = good, Richie’s nephew = not so much).
But if things escalate we can always get a flight the next day for $500 each, which is expensive but not the end of the world.
We need money, so I’m making an effort to work on the e-book reprints (and we’re doing some of my very favorite oldies). I’m making a lot of progress on the house (I once again had twenty seven baskets of stuff in my bedroom but I separated out the linens (almost filling Tim’s room with them) and the containers mainly have my clothes in them, which is much more manageable. I’m also not eating much, which is nice, so I think the weight is probably still coming off. Saturday was an amazingly beautiful day.
So, life goes on. We’ll keep research stuff this week, I’ll work on books and and the house. I’ll try to stay calm and positive.

What’s on your agenda?

All About … (Krissie)

22 Aug

Photo on 8-22-16 at 9.42 AMWhat’s it like to have a disabled child? I should know – Tim had severe learning disabilities and then pretty bad drug abuse problems, so bad he had to go to alternative schools for troubled youth. Except now he’s an adult and he’s … mentally ill. Last weekend he was in jail after hearing voices telling him some men on the beach were abusing their kid. (They punched him out, he went to the emergency room, refused to leave, and that’s why he got busted). He’s still hearing voices.
I know people with grown schizophrenic children, children who are unable to live on their own, and the parents manage a productive, happy life. I know this isn’t the end of the world. But when I told Richie that things were escalating he went into a dark slump of despair. And he refuses to have Tim in the house even as a temporary measure while we’re finding him some kind of intensive care. We have to go out there, we have to figure things out, and right now I’m overwhelmed.
Clinical depression is a funny thing (moi). Right now I’m weepy, upset, anxious, worried. But I’m not depressed. Maybe I will be after the crisis is over, but I don’t think so. The kind of depression I have seems pretty clinical, and I get through awful times (like the year my sister died and Richie had a heart attack) without falling into a dark hole.
Anyway, I’m spending the morning looking up mental health resources in California and here (though I don’t think we can bring him home unless we have a place for him to go into). And I might be a little distracted for a while. I’ve been enjoying myself, doing the Great Fabric Beatdown, which I’ll talk about later, and our new bathroom is almost done. My grandchildren are coming up the first of the month for a few days. Richie’s sister and her daughter and two babies are coming up the first of the month. I think that goes out the window this year, but I can fly down and visit with the grandkids later in the fall.

so. Put on my big girl panties (now slightly smaller since I’ve lost close to 20 pounds) and deal. Any advice would be much appreciated.

But tell me what’s going on with you. If it’s tough times I can commiserate, if it’s good times I can rejoice with you. Sometimes life is just hard.

Madame Chubette (Krissie)

27 May

Photo on 5-27-16 at 12.49 PM #2 So, I went back to WW. I’ve done it so many times I’m practically an expert, and yet, actually, it almost always works. I’m doing it online this time (which isn’t as effective for me) because it’s 25 miles to the nearest meeting and I’ll have rehearsals starting up in a few weeks, so making the meeting won’t work. I had to cut out the exercise portion because at this point i can’t do any of it, and I think maybe I’ll adjust my daily points downward just a little. Or try not to use them all up. Day one I overdid, day two I went a little under. I figure it’s the only thing that’s not outside of my control, and I really need to stick to it. Right now I can barely do anything, even going up and down the stairs (I try to keep it to a minimum). I may not be able to do anything about getting older, but I don’t have to accept being a cripple. Which I basically am at this point.
So, I’m feeling emotionally energized to do this (physically is another matter but then, I don’t have to DO anything, I just have to STOP doing stuff, and I’ve been stopping doing stuff so much that I’m an expert at it.)
I was horrified when I got on the scale — 249.9 when it had been about ten pounds lighter. It was probably an artificial high, but hell, I’ll take it because it’ll make the loss bigger.
So I’m on the case.
Had a horrible moment last night. First, a little background. My nephew died in car crash when he was 18. The police called my sister but wouldn’t tell her anything, they called his stepmother but wouldn’t tell her anything, not until Ted could confirm it. And when I talked to Laura (the stepmother) recently she started talking about the phone calls, and I started crying behind my sunglasses.
Fast forward to last night. Tim’s been doing great – really really well. Richie and I were watching tv, the phone rang, and caller ID showed up on the tv screen as California St …
and I lost it. Screamed at Richie to get the phone, and then when I realized who it was (California State division of Social Security about Tim’s disability, not California State Police) I had a complete breakdown. I still get weepy even talking about it.

It’s odd, because many many years ago, when Tim was 12 or 13, he was out one night and the Vermont State police called, and asked if we had a son named Timothy. And I said yes, and asked what was up. It was the dispatcher, and she said she couldn’t tell me, and I calmly demanded, and she said she’d transfer me, and at least a minute later (and trust me, 60 seconds in those circumstances are endless) I found out Tim had been busted, in a car with underage drinkers with marijuana on him.
And I just calmly went into crisis mode — no tears of panic.

And that was about 7 or 8 years after Stuart (my nephew) was killed.  It’s now 26 years since he died.
I was always surprised that I didn’t flip out when that happened. Didn’t flip out when Richie had his heart-attack, when Tim had his major snowmobile accident, when my sister died. I can usually deal with crises.

It was probably a combination of talking to Laura last week and dealing with Jo’s death. I try not to let myself panic when someone doesn’t return home in a timely manner and I don’t know where they are. I didn’t even freak when Tim disappeared and I found he was in the hospital. Getting freaked out about something that probably hasn’t happened is ridiculous. Freaking out when something has happened is counterproductive.

But yesterday was just bad. I almost told Tim about it, then decided there was no reason for him to know. I tend to share too much, and that would probably make him worry about me (he already does).
Still, it’s kind of rotten that no one in my family: my father, my brother, my sister, my nephew, my adopted-away niece, and even my 98 year old mother all died without warning. (I need to look on the bright side, which is that we don’t have cancer on either side of my family, which gives you plenty of warning). So it tends to make a girl untrusting.

So instead of making Tim worry I’m sharing it with you guys. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to control myself, but I don’t want to be prey to those kinds of nightmares. People do die, and there’ll be more agonizing deaths in my life, even if there aren’t that many left. Gotta pull up my socks and get on with it.

Does everybody get those panicky feelings, or is it just me because I’ve lost so many people that way? It kind of seems to me that if it happens even once you start to lose your faith that everything will be all right.

All About You

9 May

Photo on 5-9-16 at 10.04 AMMy goodness — Crusie was AWOL with happiness!  Tsk tsk.  You tell me about your happiness here — last week’s happiness is still good.  I am so freaking weird — I’m enjoying life, feeling hopeful, looking at things with pleasure instead of a feeling of doom.  So now I’m worried that I might suddenly have become bipolar (which runs in my family).  Now, I can get silly, and giddy, but I’ve seen bipolar.  When you’re on a high you do rash things, you spend money like crazy, you get a sort of an intense look in your eyes, you’ve got a tongue like an adder (sorry – that’s the sort of thing my mother would have said – you don’t have a forked tongue, you have a poisonous one).  I still remember some things my usually sweet Aunt Ailie said to me on a high.  And I have no interest in spending money, being rash, being intense, or saying mean things.  In fact, I’m relaxed.

So what I am is currently free from depression.  Which is weird — it’s like suddenly putting on glasses when you’ve been going without.  Everything is sharper, brighter, clearer.  Strange.  But very very nice.  And I’m not afraid that the veil is going to drop again, or whatever.  I expect it will.  But I’ll cycle out of it again, and I need to remember how I feel now.  That it’s not all pain and death ahead, but lovely things.  And pain and death come at any time in life, and it’s part of life, and I have to damned well get used to it and move on.

So I am.

So — finished the book and I love it (which helps account for my good mood).  I even worked on making a doll dress but I picked a Vogue pattern, fool that I am, and the teensy little details are a bitch one time around, and they want me to do it twice in a complete lining.  I’ve decided “screw that” and I’ll just do facings with bias tape and self-fabric (I know that sounds like Greek to some of you).  I’ll finish it up this week and show you guys.

I need to revise the book, haul my butt to Social Security because they keep sending me checks at the wrong time, do a little more cleaning on the house (I’ve been doing baby steps).

So life at Hacienda del Ohlroggio is good, I’ve got work to do, the sun is shining (though it’s in the 30s) and all’s well with the world.

What’s on your agenda?

Happy Ed Balls Day! (Krissie)

29 Apr

There’s a reason so many romance writers and readers are Anglophiles.  Yesterday was #Ed Balls Day, an unofficial national holiday in England.  Five ago a luddite British politician accidentally tweeted his own name, Ed Balls, and nothing else, and of course Twitter in England went wild.  People do all sorts of ridiculous things to honor it (Domino’s in the UK had pizza balls with his face on it) and in general have a good time. I do love the British.

Unfortunately for me, April 28th has another meaning.  It was the day my sister Taffy died, just a few days short of her 65th birthday.  I’d even gotten her an iPod Nano with her name and “happy 65th” on it.  This followed the death of my father at 58, my nephew (Taffy’s son) at 18, my adopted-away niece (Taffy’s other daughter) at 37, and my brother at 40.  This left me with our problematic mother — Taffy and I used to say “don’t you dare die and leave me with her.”  I know Taffy is still chortling that she did.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad day for Taffy — she died peacefully in her sleep, her last act was to smoke a little weed, and she wanted to be reunited with her son.  She didn’t particularly want to die (I kept razzing her about her health) but she always said not to worry because she’d be perfectly happy to be back with him.  She didn’t want to leave her daughter (Mini-me) but she was good with what fate handed her.

My son is still torn up about it, seven years later, because she filled a spot in his life that no one else did.  She also smoked weed with him when he was young, and it’s a good thing I didn’t know about it or she would have died even younger (grrr).  But mostly we’ve simply made room in our hearts for the sadness that always linger (though in our family the dead take up a lot of room).

Every year us few remaining would call each other on the anniversary of deaths and bring flowers and find some way to mark it.  I would find myself getting depressed as the time neared, remembering all the grief. But as the years passed we decided we should celebrate their lives, not their deaths.  In fact, six weeks before Taffy died I brought her flowers on the anniversary of Stuart’s death (her 18 year old son) and she said she was now going to mark


his birthday instead.  (I also told her about falling off the rolling walker I was using in the store and being unable to get up and me crying and the girl behind the counter crying, which in retrospect we both found hysterically funny).

I talked with Mini-me and my son yesterday, and didn’t say anything about the date.  But reading about Ed Balls this morning, it gave me a new attitude.  Life is about the ridiculous.  Life is ridiculous – there’s no rhyme or reason.  There’s actually as much joy as there is pain – my fall in the store ended up being funnier than sad.  It’s all in how you look at things.

So from now on April 28th is not the day I lost my sister.  May 11th is the day she was born (four years before I came along and ruined her life) and April 28th is Ed Balls Day.

So to you and all your loved ones, Happy Ed Balls Day!