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Furry Friends Again (Krissie)

17 Jan

So here’s the roundup of the rest of our darlings.  I’m astonished at the difference the cats have made in our lives.  I think it’s because we always had animals – we never realized what it was like not to have one.  But two years ago Cello died (a rescue cat from my ex BIL), Pooska died (a darling mini-Maine coon cat) of extreme old age (19 – she’d just showed up in her garage one day when she was a baby).  We were left with Phantom, who was such a darling he filled our lives.  And then, as Tim’s illness exploded (indeed, on the very day something seemed to snap with him) Phantom was hit by a car.  It’s even possible he accidentally hit him – we’ll never know.  And life was so hideously awful that we were just holding on for dear life, like survivors in a Tsunami as the flood waters swirling around us and the wind shook the trees we were clinging to.

We went through two years like that, with the occasional respite of cuddling Crusie’s dogs, who are exceptionally snuggly.  And then things hit rock bottom, Richie was so depressed it was almost clinical, I was shell-shocked.  And the kitties arrived.  I said to Richie that suddenly things were better – that I was no longer pushing him to see a therapist.  He started to deny feeling better (because we’re still a little terrified about what might happen) when I said “it just sort of grounds us, having the animals.”  And that’s what it does.  Life is just not so bleak.  It’s a reminder that certain things are eternal when so much else is random.

But you guys with pets know that.  In a way it was a good thing not to have the pets for a while – I took them for granted as a part of life.  I’d never realized just how necessary they were. IMG_0542 copy IMG_0546 These are Jennifer’s kitties – they bought some chairs to assemble and of course the cats claimed them. I’m assuming the boxes were too flat for them to crawl into.



And we have image1 – Kelly’s babies. Sophie and Zep. Zep has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, but he still feels part of her life.



And a guest visit from Neko, Barb Samuel’s 20 lb. horse-kitty. She was just so damned cute I had to add her. 10846104_763606667063258_1826272992756446438_n

VOTE (Krissie)

8 Nov

Photo on 11-8-16 at 10.21 AM

Ah, screw it. You know I’m with Her, doncha? The future of the world couldn’t get me into a pantsuit, but I had white in honor of women’s suffrage. I haven’t worn this dress since the day of my mother’s funeral, and the Eileen Fisher jacket is close enough to a power suit in terms of powerful women. (Plus they’re both size Large. For someone who’s been in 2x and even 3x for the last decade of so that’s a sweet extra (I’d been good about eating when my mother died but immediately afterwards started eating again). And the dress is even loose!

And let me call out the detestable “Mary Poppins.” Not only does it have Dick Van Dyke (who was lovely in other roles but nauseating in this movie) but the whole suffragette subplot was deeply offensive to me when it came out when I was 16 in 1964). Still is. (Plus I like my nannies warm and fuzzy, not starchy.) I know – heresy! But I’ve always been a heretic.

My mother considered herself an early feminist, and I guess in truth, she was. She was born in 1914, won prizes in writing, worked toward her MA in Journalism, travelled, worked professional jobs her entire life. She hadn’t quite finished her master’s when she went to work for Princeton University Press, naively assuming she could finish her degree there while she worked. Uh-uh.

She did also tell me, when I asked her why my little brother was going to private school and not me, that it was because he was a boy, but we all have lapses. Inequality shocked her – when she first visited the South in the 1930s she was appalled by segregation.

So this day is a day I’ll think good things about my mother. She’d be very proud.

Y’all better damn well vote. Our forebears died for our rights – cherish them.

All About You (Krissie)

7 Nov

Photo on 11-7-16 at 9.05 AM Our nightmare is almost over – tomorrow is election day. Actually I think the sturm und drang will go onward, but let’s be positive.

And here’s your task for the week (if you live here – the rest of you are excused). VOTE!!!! I’m sure there’s a way to put that in flame-colored, blinking text but I’m not gonna bother because I’m in the zone.

Now actually I’m supposed to tell you to vote your conscience, but just vote. That would be a politically correct lie. I want you to go out and vote for my candidate and if you’re going to vote for the other one then, hell, why not just stay home and comfortable? But since you don’t know (though I imagine it’s pretty obvious) know which one I despise you can just go ahead and VOTE!

Ahem. Just saw an ad on The Weather Channel – from three pm to 11 pm they’re going to have absolutely zero election coverage. Instead they’re going to show soothing nature videos of beautiful places. Yahoo!

There’s something else I want to watch for coverage but I won’t mention it because it will make it even more obvious who has to win as far as I’m concerned. And you know, in general I wouldn’t shy away from politics – I’d be happy to voice an opinion. But we’re all so burned out over this election that I’m not going there. I’m self-censoring because we’re all fucking tired of it.

But on to more important things. NaNoWriMo has been a wonderful so far — I’ve written over 8k words since Tuesday, and while I only wrote 185 words yesterday I spent hours making notes and coming up with some really clear stuff about where this is going to go, who these people are, and I’m about to jump in again. So NaNoWriMo every day. Work on the sewing room and maybe get to work on some projects, maybe start swimming again is I can figure out how to make the time, and maybe start going through my too-many linens to take to Goodwill. One problem is quilts – Crusie passed a bunch of gorgeous quilts on to me and I can’t let go of them. But hell, since I love them I’ll damn well keep them. I’ve got tons of sheets and towels to get rid of – the Marie Kondo rule is keep only what you really love, and I really love those quilts. So don’t make me feel guilty.

In fact, what I tend to do, particularly with clothes, is give away my old stuff and save the new from Jenny. Which is particularly helpful because Jenny is a lot smaller than I am, and the stuff she’s given me was the stuff that was too big on her (she’s lost weight over the last couple of years) and a lot of my stuff is now too big for me. So it works out really well, and Goodwill gets the really oversized stuff. I do need to look up a charity that serves larger women in need of work clothes, but a lot of my clothes tend to be too flashy. But still, I’ll add that to my agenda.

I think there’s tons of stuff to get rid of and still be able to hold on stuff that might not be practical but that I love.

So that’s my plan for the week.

What’s on your agenda? Besides VOTING? Jane, you go have a cream tea in our honor, accent on the tea. We promise never to throw any in Boston Harbor again. The rest of you overseas – go out and have the best hamburger and French fries you can, washed down with a Coke. We’re having Trader Joe’s pumpkin waffles tonight with lots of fruit – comfort food in our time of national stress.

So tell me. Wassup?

All About You and Drugs (Krissie)

24 Oct

Photo on 10-24-16 at 10.22 AM Okay, I confess I slept late. Mea culpa. Then watched John Oliver talking about pain meds, which gave me a lot to think about.
I take pain meds. I’ve never taken them as prescribed – I’ve always taken less. Back when I’d have six refills for six months I’d fill about three of them and have tons of pills left over. Then when they gave me three written prescriptions, as the laws changed, I’d fill two. Now they do them one at a time, and a month’s worth last me about two and a half. For some reason the plague that killed so many in my family is missing in me. I’m just not addictive, which is a fortunate thing since I grew up in the ’60s and was what you might call “counter-culture.
Of course it’s easy for me to be noble. I don’t feel anything when I take the pills that I do. (And they’re relatively low on the danger scale). I gather people get a warm feeling or something like that when they take the meds. I did get a floaty feeling when I took a much heavier drug after my shoulder replacement, but then I ended up in the emergency room with an obstructed bowel that I considered worse than the surgery, so it would hardly be something I’d seek. All I feel from stuff is a lessening of pain (not a removal of).
But I hate what these meds are doing to people. I hate that is can also bleed over into a power trips by doctors (not mine). I’m so worried and angry about what these meds do to people that I’m thinking of not taking them (Can’t take ibuprofen – my stomach explodes).

But that doesn’t really make sense. Giving up Diet Coke made sense because it was bad for me, and it was also a statement. By not buying it, not ordering it I was making public that it’s something to avoid. Giving up a prescription that helps me and is entirely private (you notice I’m being a little cagey because addicts can do desperate things) doesn’t seem to accomplish anything.

Could I live without them? Absolutely. I take them at night when the pain is bad. During the summer when I was so active I ended up taking them daily. Since the plays finished I very seldom take them during the day. But I’m an exception.  I’d be in a lot of pain without them.  I’d be more sedentary – I wouldn’t be able to be in the plays, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do.  But if I didn’t push myself I’d be okay (though I don’t think Richie’s ready to be caretaker).

I guess it’s just that I want to do something, make things better, and I can’t figure out how.

Oh, well, enough about that. I’m getting stuff accomplished – we got the bunk bed out of Daniel’s room, moved the empty plastic shelves up and have lugged most of the boxes of fabric. I should take some pictures – if I lived somewhere that I had a signal I’d have my phone with me more and I’d tend to take more photos. Anyway, I’ll work more on the room (it’s fun) and keep on with the new work (as I said last week I thought that not writing new stuff might be making me edgy and I was right. As soon as I started working on new stuff the edginess left.
So this week, writing every day. Working on the sewing room. Working on the reprints. Cleaning out the bedroom. Lots of things to do, but I’m enjoying all of it. We got five inches of snow yesterday, the temperature is 20 degrees colder than normal and I made whole wheat bread and corn chowder and banana muffins.
And no one’s in meltdown. Life is good.

What’s on your agenda? Anyone in meltdown? Anyone doing their autumn nesting (autumn in my favorite time of year).
Tell me what’s going on.

New Glasses (Krissie)

13 Sep

Photo on 9-13-16 at 8.25 AMPhoto on 9-12-16 at 8.39 AM

New glasses. Whaddya think? I was talking with my granddaughter on FaceTime and she said “crazy hair.” Which I like. But my niece put a picture of me up on Facebook and it seemed as if my forehead was huge Lemme see if I can get it.

Here ’tis: emilie

So – do I add bangs (probably not) or change my part? Opinions? This is, after all, Reinventing Fabulous, and I’m happy to become even more fabulous.

All About You (Krissie)

5 Sep

Photo on 9-5-16 at 9.38 AM The weather has been glorious up here. Cool and clear and sunny – just exquisite. I’m trying to concentrate on that.
I’ve lost another chunk – I’m down to 228.9 (or I was a couple of days ago). First time I’ve been in the 220’s since 1994 – that’s a long time. Not overly interested in food, and I’m not borrowing trouble by worrying about when I have an out of control appetite again. One day at a time.
We’re going to Tahoe on the 21st (earlier if things escalate).
In the meantime I’m working on the house, on reprints, staying as mellow as I can. This week I’ll have to move all the fabric back into the house, figure out a way to get rid of the bunk bed, start moving the plastic shelves up stairs and sort through things. Gotta go through Break the Night to get it ready for an ebook, and get ready to work on the new stuff.
One day at a time.
What’s on your agenda? Any end of the summer rituals?

All About You (Krissie)

4 Jul

13557675_10208684777810513_1692661946707182999_n That’s me riding in style during our Fourth of July Parade (held on the 2nd of July). I’m surrounded by the kids from the theater camp – we sang songs from Sleeping Beauty (their production) all the way down Breezy Avenue and up Craftsbury Road (our main intersection). Clearly I am not troubled by vanity. And I’m actually having my cousins and their partners over for dinner tonight so we can watch “SHE LOVES ME” (it’s streaming for a week – I already saw the live stream). One of my favorite musicals, and since we all do musicals together, and since i’m the one with the Rokus, it’s up to me. So I’m cleaning (ohmygod) and Richie will grill mesquite rubbed chicken and make focaccia (which we call Chewbacca) and a big salad and then maybe shortcakes with blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream (or ice cream) for a red white and blue dessert.
This week – oh, god. You know, if the fates wanted me to be depressed they’d send me all the shit I have to deal with.
1. Son not working, depressed, overdrawing his account
2. Older child on medical leave for depression, us paying the college loans
3. Publisher loses interest
4. Mortgage stuff for refinancing such a horrible mess (their fault) that we’re leaving our bank of 39 years and we have to deal with it first thing tomorrow
5. Grandchildren being kept from me by evil other grandmother
6. Shrink on vacation
7. chronic pain
8. Waiting for both children to implode- they both seem emotionally disabled, with Tim’s situation even more complicated.

Anything more? Probably. And yet I soldier on instead of curling up into the fetal position. When I’m not depressed I can deal with anything. I come up with a plan, a list, deal with things one day at a time. I don’t freak out and weep (I never get mad so that’s not an option). I ache for my children. But I can’t fix them, and I refuse to offer up my well-being as an act of solidarity. The worst statement ever made by a mother was “I’m only as happy as my most unhappy child.” YeGods!

I rehearse almost every day (being in two shows is a time sink but in general I love it), the weather is gorgeous, ob la di ob la da life goes on. I’ll deal with items one through eight (on the pain from I’ve lost more than twelve pounds) and hope the stars align for better times.

What’s on your agenda this independence day? Hey, now I have a theme, after I’ve written the post. OK, let’s tie it all up.

I declare independence from tying my emotional health to my children.

What do you declare independence from?