Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 12 10

What an AMAZING day I’m having.

There’s only two things that could make this day any better.  And no, I’m not including the fairy god mother who could wave her wand and go: poof! with my entire house and get it reorganized.

I stopped into the store where Survival: Heaps has been on the shelf.  It’s been two weeks.  Three copies sold.

I want to throw up.  Really.

It’s been a drama week for me.  Full of heart break but these past twenty four hours?  I keep getting slammed in the forehead with good things.

I’m not a cryer.  I don’t have complex emotions.  Deep ones, yes.  What I feel, I feel completely.  I usually don’t feel much.  Not that I don’t let myself.  I just… don’t.  Last week, I took my balls in my hands and attempted to do something I just figured out.  While that didn’t work out so well, and I’m okay with that, I have that same “need to puke” feeling right now.  The same feeling when my first book sold and the entire circumstances around that.

I walked into Play the Game, Read the Story and saw that there was only one copy on the shelf.  One.  I had left four for sale.

This.  This is the moment.  Just like when my first book sold.  My heart is so damned full right now, I am on complete overload.

I woke up earlier this week knowing that, while I was in pain, my heart had finally healed from years of neglect from my ex.  I had an experience that blew me away and showed me that I am completely capable of being human again.

Today, I learn my game sold.

Today, I braved 690 in Syracuse, after my head was blown off at the store and got lost.  And for anyone that knows me, I get lost a lot while driving.  I made it through an entire construction zone at speed.

Today, I did get lost three times in Syracuse and made a lot of wrong turns.  But I found every store I was looking for without too much difficulty.  I made it to Natur-Thyme and bought my favorite roasting grounds.  I made it to Michael’s and found an adjustable stand for my counted-cross stitching so I can do my thread work.  My rooms upstairs are ready for building into my play and crafting rooms.   I saw a hawk on the power lines on my way home.

Again, for anyone who knows me, I have been teased for a long time for usually missing animal sightings from the car.  So this was a big deal for me.

Yesterday, someone who I care about and cares about me back took care not to hurt my feelings over something I am sensitive about.

I am shaking and happy and really, there’s only two things that could make this day any better.  So much that I probably will wind up puking by the time I try to go to bed.  So I am going to take this energy I’ve been blessed with and put it into the upstairs and keep going with the goodness…

Blessings, all!

Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 12 08

Love is…

Jana has been teasing me this week.  A lot!  She’s been such a blessing since I had an incredibly painful, ironic situation happen.  The details of that will remain private but it has shaken me awake even more.

I think one of the hardest parts of letting go is not knowing what to fill yourself with afterwards.  A lot of people feel that I think or worry too much.  I’d say that’s about half true.  The analyzing I do comes from four different sources inside myself.  One of the ones I have been, well… not analyzing, but allowing it to be in my consciousness has been a complex puzzle.  The general love I have for others.  For what is outside of myself.

I am smiling softly at memories that most would find to be either outrageous or completely outside mainstream.  Which, I would have to say, they are.  I am thinking about my pack.  How we lived, way back in the day, as they say.  It’s with fondness and affection.  I am also fully aware that I would not want to return to the chaos or drama of it.  Those memories are also alive and always in the background.

I have a handful of Billy Joel songs playing in my head as I think about them.  “Keeping the Faith” is one of them.

“Still I would not be here now; If I never had the hunger; And I’m not ashamed to say; The wild boys were my friends”   and   “You can linger too long; In your dreams; Say goodbye to the; Oldies but goodies; ‘Cause the good ole days weren’t; Always good; And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems…”

I love those guys, despite the pain that I endured since.  I found forgiveness.  This is still a shock to me that I did.  The memories of my daughter passing isn’t as hard and the miscarriages of every child since then doesn’t seem so harsh.  I found a way to let go and still retain what I believe in.  That I can love someone, irregardless of the damage they cause.

There is a book I read once… Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it, but it basically boiled down to: “My feelings of love for you have nothing to do with you.”  This was so freeing.  Like a brick to my head.

There’s been many, many moments I’ve had like that.  “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” a movie, and, yes- definitely a chick flick, was one of them.  At the end, the hero of the story completely melts his girlfriend’s pain by telling her they could adopt.  It may have been a movie but I’ll tell you, watching that changed so much of my perspective on my long term relationship and what was wrong with it.  There were two children I had wanted to adopt back then.  And my ex and I had many intimacy issues after I lost the last child.  This movie fixed a lot of my broken heart.

I mention these because while I could, and have, sat and let my heartache bleed out, I can’t say I have many regrets.  I think that love, in all its wondrous forms, is part of why Life is worth living.  It’s not my ultimate but I can say that no matter what damage I’ve taken, being able to love and to feel is right up there.  And to hell with logic, which can be used to justify just about anything.  Logic isn’t about being alive.  I have loved the wrong people.  I have left myself open.  And, while I am deeply hurt in some pretty horrendous ways, I can’t say I regret.  The hurt is.  It just is.

I don’t regret loving the people who have done such tremendous damage.  I don’t regret loving my ex of 17 years.  The love I felt for this man was incredibly strong and was there because of who he was underneath.    What I do regret is stepping on myself and accepting that he chose to give so little.  What I regret is not walking away when I should have.  What I regret is accepting that the person he was remain buried and I stayed, constantly trying to communicate with someone who, ultimately, chose fear and to not hear me.  It was his choice, how he wanted to live that life.  It hurts, hearing that the life I had wanted to live with him is one that he chose to live with another.   That’s on him and I don’t own the pain of it anymore.

My “movie moments,” those experiences that mostly come from reading books or occasionally with people, they are the stuff of dreams and I hold them dearly.  Cherish them deeply.  Let them move me and heal me and feed me and touch deep within.  THAT is love.  That is Life.

I have returned to work, which is nice.  One of the things I missed about working was coming home.  I live in innocence, in many ways.  A soft bubble inside my home.  My cats greet me at the door.  Wake me.  Spend their days with me, as I do them.  I rush to get home from errands or being outside.  While most might find that annoying, I do not care.  I am loved.  Cherished. Wanted.  Sought out.  For being who I am.  After a lifetime of being pushed aside?  This is the love I seek.  Why should I push or fight to be within someone’s life that does not reach out for me?  I do not need to.  I have the shocking joy of waking from the cold nose of one my cats on my back.  I sleep to the memory of someone’s hands in my hair and their arms around me.  I dream of the love I have pulled into my life, even if it is no longer present, and cherish the love that is right in front of me.

I mention Jana’s teasing…  It is because one of the books I have written is solely for my own pleasure.  One I will not publish.  It was a way for me to say “goodbye” to my ex.  A way for me to find my own voice again.  My own perspective.  To define what I wish for my future.  Wrapped up in the love of someone who would not wait or hesitate or live in fear.  Wrapped up in the love of my pets.  Wrapped up in the comfort of my home.  Wrapped up in the love of knowing that, while whomever I let in will cause hurt and damage, if there is effort, the pain will lessen and the care between people can heal anything.

Loving this completely?  I am still capable of it.  I will still seek it.  I am not made of such stern stuff that I feel no pain.  It is that I know and accept that love, in any form, can be both painful and rewarding beyond any grief or hardship.  It is how I have always been.  What I will always be.  So, if I am caught up in thinking, it is mostly because I do not regret and do not wish to have regret.  I have loved and lived.  I love and live and I will not apologize or walk away from it ever again.  I will enjoy the rain storms and the snow and watch the flowers bloom.  I will love the people I love and accept that that is who I am, even if they can not.

Blessings, all.


Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 12 03


Today is another breaking normal.

This is product I worked on.  In a shelf.  In a store.

Right now, and this may seem angry sounding, but it isn’t; in my head, these are sort of images-  I’m thinking about:

the doctor who told me I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 35.  I’m now 43.

the same doctor who told me I’d never walk in high heels again.


These are my five inch heels that I wore to the movies last night.

I’m thinking about the ex who told me I couldn’t do anything for MB6.  There is now product.  On shelf.  In a store.

I’m thinking about almost giving up on writing so many times.  The overbearing criticism by a well-meaning relative, the acerbic and cutting remarks by my grandmother, the derogatory remarks again made by that ex.  And I have two books in published print.

Yesterday, I ripped out the carpet in an entire room and I am getting it ready to become my quilting room.  Once I had it all bagged, I knew there’s only two smallish pieces of nasty carpet left in the entire house.

I had someone do something amazing for me a week ago.  After all the times I’ve been told I am unlovable or too difficult.

None of these are angry thoughts, the way they used to be.  They aren’t ego thoughts.

These are pieces of my life breaking.  Old hurts that are just MELTING away right now.

BREAK the normal and go BOOM!

You deserve it.



Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 11 27

Whew, this coming up for air deal is pretty weird.  After writing for nearly seven weeks straight, 14 hours a day, reality seems… strange.

Today was my first day at my new job.  Let me tell you, after directing conversation between horrified, angry people and resolving their conflicts, sometimes, having a face to face chat is a challenge.  I had trouble even answering the phone because I kept wanting to type out my “hello, how can I help you?”

I’m not saying the past couple of months have been reality free.  I think that may have been part of the reason for keeping my head in the books so much.  My cell, laptop, and car all had electrical issues all within a couple of weeks of each other.

And, I have a new mouse, too.  His (her?) name is Broke Butt.  Yes, my toothless cat caught this one.  Broke Butt has leg troubles but not from having a 15 pound cat catch him.  His back legs are slightly deformed.  If he was able to stand on his hind legs and walk, he’d basically look like a furry penguin.  I don’t want to pick this poor little one up too much to check on gender yet.  But, yes, I now have kitty TV #4.  And, yes, the cats are still watching kitty TV #3- the empty 55 gallon fish tank.  Still cracks me up.  They are also now watching the original kitty TV- my 25 gallon tank, which is also empty and not lit up.  I’m converting that one into a plant tank.

While I loved my gold fish, and loved having the tank, I’ve had fish for 20 years.  I still have two, a beta and a cory, in separate 1 gallons on my kitchen island.  But I think it’s time to give up on the larger tanks for a bit.  Do something else for a change.  Maybe actually have an indoor plant that doesn’t turn into kitty salad.

I am so looking forward to this season.  I have Christmas lights- white- that stay on two walls all year long, as gentle lighting.  The tree will be up soon.  That, to me, is Christmas.  Not presents.  Just the tree.  While it is bitter sweet, all the memories of my family long gone, I can still enjoy it with my sister.  And, while I miss him dearly, not having Sandy around anymore to ride the tree to the floor is somewhat a blessing.

My aunts, who I was unable to see very often for very personal reasons I will not be putting on a post, gave my sister and I Christmas ornaments in the mail every year when we were kids.  My great grandmother made ornaments out of felt.  I still have a great number of them, and they are older than I.  I hang  pine garland across the ceiling and nearly a hundred clear glass ornaments glitter.  So, each year, I either make or buy at least one new ornament.  I try to make them.  A couple of years ago, I started in July and made four counted cross stitch stockings- beautiful and helped me reconnect with those bittersweet memories.

This year, I bought.  And they are so awesome.  A cross between Granma’s hand made felt and the rustic charm of most of the others I have.  So glad I accidentally bumped into the shelf of them.  I was looking for completely clear glass globes for Halloween for next year.  I found a really cool design for floating eyeballs.  Okay, so that’s an odd thing to put into a Xmas post, but hey, those are my two favorites, so… DEAL!  (Yes, NBX!!!)

So, yeah.  Coming back to reality from starving people and a virus outbreak and corpses everywhere to Christmas, faulty electronics, and hey- what the heck happened to fall?  Odd.  Plus starting a new job.  Plus…

You know?  I think it’s time I got off the one “dating” website I’ve been on.  Or at least… well, here’s the thing.  It is a dating site.  But it does state, right on there, LOOKING FOR FRIENDS only.  And I did put right in my profile- I take my time getting to know people.  I know some of these places are just hook up sites.  This one’s a bit different.  Why I like it.  It doesn’t quite have that greasy, let’s go get smacking feel to it.  At least, it mostly doesn’t.  So I’ve started scaling back my profile.  A lot.  And I’ll probably cancel the account.  Even though I do enjoy the personalities I see.  Sometimes, it helps with writing, so maybe not.

But on happier news, SURVIVAL:HEAPS has been live released into a local game store.  That’s on MB6, if you want info on that.

Last night was the kicker of my week.  I had someone say just about one of the nicest things anyone ever has to me.  You know that feeling when you’re slightly chilled and you step into a hot shower, your body relaxes and your brain turns to goo?  It was like that.  And it’s stuck with me.  All day.  Been almost 24 hours and, despite the oddness of not getting up to spend all day writing and some unpleasant statements made by others and starting a new job, that “goo” feeling has stuck with me.  It’s going to stick with me for a very long time, and I feel almost completely at peace…

Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 11 20

Wow.  Six weeks!  I am sorry I have not been more observant of the time.

For those of you who know about Kitty TV, yes, it is still working and we have a new channel.  My sister and I are both coming up with truly awful and trite names.  “As the Mouse Wheel Turns.”  “Days of our Mouse.”  There were about ten of these and unfortunately, I can’t remember them all.

As far as Novo: Ridge Lake is concerned, unfortunately, I believe I will be late in putting out Ash.  Jana is 7.5 months pregnant!  And very tired.  So, the cover art will need to wait until she’s ready.  I do not mind as her work is always stunning.

I have, however, nearly finished writing all of Books 5, 6, and 7.  I am starting to get a handle on book 8.   This is the main reason I have no idea what day it is or that it’s been 6 weeks since I put a post out.  (And yes, my eldest kitty did pass.  This is the other reason.)  Since my last post, I have been writing between 16-18 hours a day.  It’s only been a couple of days since I fully came up for air and holy cow, THANKSGIVING is this week.  I was aware of it, but not.  The last thing I remember it was 10 days to Halloween.  Then Halloween.  I am reminded of the old RPG’s when cyberpunk and shadowrun were all the rage.  I need a dataport jack so I can save my poor fingers!   I have been eating, breathing, sleeping in this world for so long, some of the slang I’ve come up with is starting to invade my everyday speech!

I have some funny new quotes and poor Jordan.  His nose gets pinched so much and there are escapades with chickens that I can not wait for people to read about.  And, of course, more insanity with Hell’s Bells.

I am a little disjointed this evening as half of me is in the real world and the other half is visiting Oak at the new hospital….  hmm… worlds of intrigue are developing as LaBrelle is making headway with Mert and Oak has quite a few personal demons to conquer…

As far as my other good news:  SURVIVAL: HEAPS the board game will be released November 26th.  Please come visit me at Play the Game, Read the Story, in Syracuse, NY, at the main store on Clinton Street.

Have an awesome evening!

Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 10 04

If you’re an animal lover, you’ll understand this post.  If not, well, I am sorry but this is one I have to tell.  I love all animals.  Even the ones that scare the crap out of me.  I’ve had dogs, cats, fish, rodents, turtles, indoors, outdoors.

As many of you know by now, I’m in a hospice situation with my eldest kitty.  It’s only a matter of days.  Maybe two weeks at the most.  He’s happy.  A little irritated with the head collar he has to wear but on the whole, happy.  He’s picked out a new happy place in the middle of the floor by my desk.  We’ve been doing a whole lot of head scratches.

Right around eleven at night is normally when I give out meds and feed everyone.  It used to be 8 p.m. last winter, when I got home from work, but as I’ve changed my sleeping hours, I moved it out to 11 so that I only had to do 2 rounds of the house and not any more than that.  I start getting bugged for evening meal around 7:15.  Anyone that’s got animals knows what this is like.

I said all that to tell you my story.  So you have an idea what a normal evening around here is like.

Someday I will tell the story of how this happened, ’cause it’s actually pretty funny, but for now, I will explain “kitty t.v.”

Most of the windows in my house face another house that sits maybe fifteen feet away.  I have only one window that overlooks the backyard that my cats can get to.  The other is in the bathroom and there isn’t enough room to put up one of those window seats for them.  I know because I tried and let’s just say that getting 22 claws in your bare legs while using the facilities isn’t the best evening a person can have.  There are two other windows.  One is under the porch roof.  One is over.

My cats get bored.  Oh, they have plenty of toys on top of me being their favorite plaything and I wouldn’t change that for the world.  Right now, though, my hospice kitty gets preference over anything he wants.  Like the back window.  It isn’t often, so I don’t feel any guilt over kicking another cat out of the way.

I have a fish tank.  This is one version of kitty t.v. but they don’t really watch it anymore.

It is the other kitty t.v.  The favorite kitty t.v.  There are actually three of them.  This is the main reason I moved evening chores to 11 p.m.  I have mice.  How they came to live with me is the story I will tell another time.

Mice are nocturnal.  I have no issue with that, since I am normally up all night these days.  I have no issue with it for another reason.  I can actually get in my bed at night when I want to, now that I have kitty t.v.  Any pet owner or caretaker knows the nightly wrestling match that can occur, whether or not pets are allowed on the bed.  Mine are.

The mice are now in two wire cages, with exercise wheels that go all night.  Fortunately not those squeaky wheels, but a low pitched rumbling.  Less noise than an average air conditioner or dryer and I can pretty much just tune it out.  Some of the mice, during quarantine, I had been keeping in a huge 55 gallon fish tank.  This is kitty t.v. #3.  It’s empty now.  My cats, however, do not understand this yet, and still watch it for any possible movement.

This cracks me up.  Each and every time.

So, it’s 11 p.m.  I open a can of cat food for my elderly cats.  Scoop litter boxes.  Change the water dish.  This is received as AWESOME, because it’s well past 7:15 p.m. and apparently I have been completely ignoring their basic needs.  I go upstairs, scoop the other litter boxes and check on the mice.

This is a fascinating process for my youngest cat.  Because she can’t decide between watching me or watching kitty t.v. #3, which, as I just said, is empty.  She knows there’s mice somewhere.  She knows that they are making the really fun noises from the shelf she has absolutely no chance of jumping on.  Both wire cages are on the same shelf.

Tonight, though, as I went through my water changing and mouse feeding ritual, baby kitty is no where to be seen.  All right.  Not a problem.  She’s probably sacked out on my bed.  I’m watching the mice.  They still aren’t used to me.  This is okay, too.  I change their food type every day, so that they get proper nutrition.  Some days fruits and veg, some days pellet food.  Tonight was chunky peanut butter on banana chips.

Now some people might think this is a lot of effort, work and money to go to for mice.  For me, my cats have instant entertainment whenever they want and I no longer have to worry about stampedes going down the stairs.  And, as I mentioned, I get my bed at night.  Sometimes actually to myself.  Kitty t.v. is working!

(The mice are 100% safe, too.)

I’m watching the mice.  They are watching me.  They know there is peanut butter.  One of them actually overcame her rodential paranoia and took at least three bites before taking off down one of the tubes I have attached to the cage.  (Part of the other story.)  After about five minutes, I decide the mice’ve had enough and I should let them eat.  I turned around.

Baby kitty is sitting there.  Tall, upright, like a statue.  Her ears are laid back.  She is squinting at me in that look that all pet parents know.  That quiet, hoarsely whispered… “you….”

I couldn’t help it.  I burst out laughing.  Because she’s jealous that I get to be face to cage with the mice and she has to stay on the floor.  “… you….”


Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 09 20

Whew, it’s been an odd couple of days.

Fifteen months ago, I was laid off from a job that I absolutely loved.  I knew it was going to happen.  I had gone into the job, four years ago, knowing it would come to an end.  The plant was moving and they needed help.

The people I met there, my team, were the most wonderful people I’ve ever worked with.  I miss them very much and I still stay in contact with two of them.

After I left, I decided to try and change my career.  I met this bright, caring man at the D.O.L.  I took his classes and we talked about a personal issue I’ve been having since high school, about careers and what I wanted to do with my life.  His advice is something I tried to follow.  It didn’t work out well, because Life always gets in the way.  But that’s okay.

I mention those two things because after I was laid off, I went to see my doctor.  I have some kind of serious medical problems, and well, ya, the PTSD.  She and I also talked about me changing careers.  She asked me, at one point, how I survived what I did and that maybe I should write a book about it.

Dr. M. is pretty cool.  She’s the one that figured out most of my issues, when 8 other doctors couldn’t.  I’d been coping with these problems for a decade.  Each “issue” is annoying but not too serious by themselves, but it basically stems from having an over-reactive system and maybe a traumatic brain injury.  We haven’t gone after the TBI diagnosis yet.  She’s also found a single medicine that helps with the PTSD, instead of the seven I was on at one point.  I don’t have to take it every day, either.  Totally AWESOME!

So, when I started Smashed Potatoes, it was intended to be a book at one point.  To show people who have also gone through trauma and or violence that there are ways of managing and coping, but not from a therapy perspective.  More like peer-counseling.  Sort of.

Three days ago, I started writing.  It’s now 115 pages later.  I had every intention of publishing what I wrote but now I think I won’t.  Not because my intent on reaching out to others has changed.  Not in the least.

I laid the book out in sections, one for each emotion with examples and how I look at it, how I deal with them, with the PTSD, and why I think the way I do.  The words just flew out.  Like when I’ve been in a fiction writing fever and I can’t step away from the keyboard.

Things like Logic.  Logic is a form of critical thinking.  But it is based on mathematics.  You have to make assumptions, even though you are laying out a linear progression.  It is a tool and only a tool.  One tool.  While Logic can help in therapy, it isn’t the only tool and it shouldn’t be used alone because emotions and memories aren’t math.  Logic can help guide you out of a problem but it can also talk you in to one.  A lot of people out there think that if you can “think about an issue or emotion logically,” it will fix the problem.  It can help.  Not completely fix.  It can also lead you into denial or the wrong kind of desensitization to an emotional issue, so Logic really does need to be used in conjunction with other techniques when it is used.

While the Irish Toast is a humorous example, and was completely meant as a funny-funny, I am also quite serious.  One of most common points of issue I hear from friends is that my logic isn’t “linear logic,” so therefore, I am being irrational.  My point is that emotions aren’t math and I am not a machine.  I’m a human being and if I am applying therapy correctly, a fully functioning one, with hopes, dreams, desires, feelings, and yes, being sensitive.  None of those are math.

That may sound simplistic.  It’s meant to be.  I don’t appreciate being dehumanized, especially if I am telling someone that they have been a complete and total insensitive jackass.  If I’m hurt and saying something about it, I’m hurt a hell of a lot worse than you could ever actually know and it’s way past being “logical” about it just to get you out of the jakehouse.  I get to be a human being, too, and not some rock you can smash up against.

So these sections, one for each emotion…  It’s been a wonderful experience.  Hard, too.  When I got to the end, the section on Forgiveness…  By the time I got there, just before I got there, I felt like a cleaver had cut through so much bullshit I’ve been carrying around, and sliced it to the side.  I almost didn’t even write the section.

I’ve known for years that I have had to hide most of who I am because other people can’t deal with knowing what I survived.  That a lot of my problems, trust issues, and PTSD do come from from that inability to cope.  It isn’t that I can’t deal with it.  I did have a lot of flashbacks.  I do have problems with the memories.  I won’t deny that or that they can be really, really bad when they happen.  Can be.  Not will be.  And how bad or whether or not they happen mainly has to do with the people around me.

I do take responsibility for healing myself.  That is massively important.

But when I got to the Forgiveness section, I had written about some friends that I had over the years.  The ones I was with when I was a teenager- they had this awesome attitude that has been an absolute gift.  “It’s okay.  Go have your nutty.  Then suck it up afterwards and let’s go get a burger.”

They were aware of my problems and what caused them.  I don’t ever remember a single time when they pried me open to know more.  It wasn’t that they didn’t ask questions.  They did.  It was that their response and attitude that I was strong enough to take it, relive it, and get through it that made it possible for me to BE that way.  That life continues on and you just roll with it, good, bad, drooling, or whatever.  When it’s done, it’s done for a while.

Even better was the humor that came with it.  They didn’t take things easy on me, kicked me in the ass when I needed it.  No one shied away.  And when they needed the same things from me, they got it.  They didn’t stop their own problems from popping up and they actually let me close enough to help.

That is awesome.

I’ve had that catharsis a handful of times.  Writing these 115 pages did that.  Getting my arm tattoos was another.  Getting the next tattoo will be one, too.

So that’s today’s message.  BE ALIVE.  Be present.  Be open in the moment, even if it’s a sobbing, snotty mess.  If someone else can’t cope with you being a survivor, too bad.  Fall on your ass and get up.  Don’t let anyone cripple you or treat you like a victim.  Look down at your scars and say- “What a beautiful mess.  I AM ALIVE!”

And if someone shows up in your life, can see, can deal, and doesn’t yank back, then you got a good one.  Cherish them.  They’ll be the glitter that turns those scars into fairy tracks lighting up the night.

Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 09 15 Part 2



I just met with a local printing house and earlier today, I talked with a local game store.

I am so excited right now.

The printing house has everything needed to get Survival: Heaps to market and I have a place to launch it!


This is a dream come true.  I am literally shaking right now and I can’t get the grin off my face.

Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 09 15

Ever notice how anything against grey pops out?

There are a lot of cloudy days in CNY but I love them. This past week has been lovely. Across the street from me is a gorgeous red bud tree. All summer, it’s leaves are reds to purples. Next to it is a very healthy aspen.

A lot of people think I don’t leave my house much because of problems or because I’m shy. The truth is, I love it. I love being home.

On sunny days, I am surrounded by a blanket of green (and one spot of reddish-purple). Green trees, green grass, green plants.

On grey, storm cloudy days in the summer, I look across the street and see these bombs of color, and all the hundred year old maples on the other side of the houseline turn into EVERY shade of viridian. My neighborhood is FULL of old trees of all sorts, and beyond the back yard- 150 year old maples and huge dusty green pines, despite living close to downtown. Emeralds and limes and that lavish hue of deep cedar. All those colors that I can’t see on a sunny day.

From the end of August to November, the front of my yard blooms into pinks. My cosmos stand taller than I do and I feel like I’m in a fairy forest. I get Spring and Fall at the same time.

There’s been a light, misty rain several days this week, with that multi-grey overcast sky and I’ve gone outside so many times just to look, in wonder, at all the beauty surrounding me.

Fall is coming. This thick blanket of green is turning and soon, reds and browns and violent oranges will assault and overwhelm the area. Yes, it is my favorite time of year.

These past six months have been odd for me. I’ve been home so much, after being sick. I’ve thought about switching main careers for the past year. I’ve cleaned up so much clutter in my life. It’s been hard. Looking at a lifetime ago and feeling, for the first time, that it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. I’ve traveled these mental pathways before. Through my twenties and thirties. Actually driving to places I used to live in some sort of effort to let it all go. Some times, that helped. Sometimes, it made Life harder.

What changed this time? I decided, like when I left that part of my life behind, most of it didn’t matter any more. Sure, it bugs me. The hard parts are still going to be there. Knee-jerk reminders of a life I never wanted to live again. After ending a long-term relationship, you wonder where you made the wrong turn.

Mom’s been gone now for six years. I’ve been floundering without her. Without having to take care of her. Without seeing her face light up in amusement with the cats or to look out into our neighborhood and see all those same colors I do. Without her twisted sense of humor.

This summer has been painful, confusing, alarming, and I let myself feel. As much as I could. Especially with all the bad things that have been going on. And you know what? It’s been an amazing experience, now that I am through most of it. There has been trust gained, trust broken, catharsis, new adventures, lethargy, severe confusion, anger, sadness, grief, worry, amusement, movies, drive-ins, new spices, and this sense of light and darkness in my life.

It’ll get hard again. I know this.

Right now, though, I have a sense of freedom I haven’t felt in months. Getting rid of so much clutter- mentally and physically. Knowing I can trust again, even if things went all wrong, that is a precious gift. Getting rid of my philosophy books and things in my home that remind me of a different lifetime.

Spending time, outside, in the light rain, with all that color around, I feel like I am ready to begin again.

Katrin Greene’s Smashed Potatoes 2017 09 12

Ron White is one of my favorite comedians.  I love how unapologetic he is.  Not necessarily the bad boy stuff, but that he’s upfront about what his personality is.

I used to be that way.  100%.  I started stepping on myself in my early twenties.  I tried to be something that I wasn’t and in a weird way, I fought it tooth and nail as much as I accepted the concept of “should be.”

That’s that dichotomy part of me.

When I was in my teens, I can almost split that time into sections.

I had a close friend, girl, that I cared a lot about and we spent a lot of time together.  We had some things in common, both good and tragic.  With both came a sort of understanding.  A connection between two people.  That ended one night when she did something rather stupid that I warned her not to do, but she did it anyway and dragged me along for the ride.

I wound up paying the price for it.  For protecting her and for getting her out of trouble.  I stepped in because that’s what I always did.  A very dark time in my life.  A time that, while I no longer think about it every day, it’s still always going to be there, whether in my brain or looking at the scars on my body while putting on lotion.  It was one of those defining moments for me.

The friendship ended because there wasn’t a single “thank you” for doing what I had done.  Never an acknowledgement and, in fact, worse than that- judgement for an event that had taken place a handful of years later and something I didn’t let myself get attached to that had nothing to do with me.

I met my best friend from those years, guy, not long after this evening of violence and stupidity.  He was one of those unapologetic people.  I loved him for it.  I always knew where I stood with him, even when he was being a manipulative jackass.  He had “it.”  That “it” that actually winds up making you want to smack the back of someone’s head for getting away with the crap that they did.

One of the best memories I have was a night that I was a complete mess.  I couldn’t sleep and this hardass I had in my life rode on a bike, in a nasty thunderstorm in the middle of the night, with his guitar strapped to his back, just to come and spend time with me and play me to sleep.  He didn’t care what crap I was going through.  The actual problem didn’t matter.  He couldn’t fix it, couldn’t change the past, couldn’t change the memories I couldn’t deal with.  And he didn’t change himself in any way.  He was still the same jackass he always was.  But he came.  The first thing he told me was to “f–king clean myself up and stop whining like a girl.”  Even if I wound up crying again.  He sat.  Listened.  Ignored my screwed up problem.  Ignored the idiocies I was spouting.  He let me be weak in a way that actually helped me not be weak.  To stop apologizing and excusing and to see that the damage I was reliving had absolutely nothing to do with me.

There were a lot of things like this that he gave to me, and even in my darkest days, living with the PTSD or other tragedies, I’ve never forgotten them, even if I couldn’t always put them into action.  It was so different than my stringent grandmother’s sense of propriety and to never let damage show and the strive to be perfect and controlled.  To wear the right clothes, know the right people, to do the perfect things- body, speech, and action.  In a lot of ways, I loved my grandmother’s strength.  She was also one of those unapologetic people.  But after that night I was a mess, I also saw her strength as a weakness.  A cage.  I know she was trying to teach me what she thought of as having dignity and pride.  I also knew that it was because she wanted to have and be the perfect family, and nothing was going to get in the way of that life.  The one that had no cracks in it.  Where nothing bad ever happened.  A complete lie.

And here was this guy, with all the hell he’d lived through, also unapologetic, sitting in my bedroom and living his life.  Living his hell.  Loving his life in as many ways as he could.  Unashamed and arrogant and pissed off and accepting, all at the same time.  Accepting me, as I was.  He never stopped me from biting off more than I could chew.  He never stopped me from taking risks.  He never stopped me from falling on my ass when I needed it or coddled me in any way.  When I was hurting?  He never let me back down from that, either.

My second fiance was the same.  Completely different in his outlook and personality.  Adrian was a lot gentler and more compassionate with people.  He was also unashamed to be who he was and lived his life to the fullest, especially since his family had tossed him out.  His death in a car accident was a loss for the world.  Recently, I’ve been reminded of the gift he was in my life.

This is why I’m grateful not to be 23 anymore.  I got hung up in the “should be’s” even though I have never believed in them.  I tried to be a housewife.  I tried to be perfect for jobs.  For interviews.  To make the unpalatable about Life in general not be shoved up the noses of the people around me who couldn’t deal with it.  I tried to walk away from being the wild child I was and actually apologized for it in many ways, including being silent when I shouldn’t have, because of other aspects of my outlook in life that I do believe in.  And that is how I wound up stepping on myself.

One of the questions I get asked the most be people who know some of the details is “how the hell did you survive?”  Including today, when I was talking with a neighbor.  I just… did.  I’ve been struggling with this dichotomy for a bit and I’m nervous about the interviews I’ve been on and will be going on.  I hate those questions:  “Where do you think you’ll be in five years?” or “what’s your definition of ‘success?'”

You know what I always want to say?  “If you have a cookie cutter job, what difference does it make what I say here?”

I’m sorry, but to me, if you have a job or meet someone who is worth putting up with the bullshit for, why on earth would you ever leave?  Isn’t that a plan?  A success?  Why would you walk away from something good or could grow into something being good, even if it doesn’t fit your ‘plan’?

My neighbor said something very nice to me: “Life doesn’t ever get easier.  It’s just going to keep being that way.”  I love her for saying it.  Because it reminded me to keep going.  A gentle ass-kick.

I’m not sorry that I stepped in for my younger friend.  I never will be, even with the consequences of that night.  I was being me.  I was being me when I stayed silent, too, and that is the part of me I am giving up on.  I’m not the young idiot anymore who believes in blind loyalty or proving what I believe in and who I am when there’s little coming back.   I’m also not the young idiot who believes in having that perfect mask all the time, either.

There is a Facebook page I’ve seen recently called “Do No Harm but Take No Shit.”  Boy, that phrase certainly puts my thoughts in perspective.

I’m not perfect and I don’t try to be.  I don’t want to live in limits.  I’m not saying I want to live stupidly again.  Life has so many amazing experiences to offer and I’m not willing to give those up.  Not anymore.  I’m not willing to be a passive observer in my life who only “should” keep in mind all the things I’ve survived and let it limit me.

There are people and situations in the world that ARE worth putting up with the bullshit for.  Someone who’s willing to ride through a thunderstorm on a bike?  Hell, yes.  It was worth it, even when he acted like a complete jackass.

I love my cats, my writing, my tattoos, cooking, quilting, counted cross stitch.  I love what my house is turning in to.  What I tried to make it as, while trying to be a working housewife.  It certainly isn’t perfect and I do get annoyed when the plumbing goes, each and every time.  I also love fixing it.  I love my tools even though I never wanted to have as many as I do.

No.  My life isn’t what it “should have been.”  Yes,  I miss a lot of people that are gone now.

And yes, that isn’t my life anymore.  I’m grateful for it.  I can say “so what” to f__k ups and put myself together after being ripped to pieces and forgive.  To say: “Okay, a wrong choice was made here.  Is it worth going back and fixing it?” instead of being apathetic.  To say:
“Okay, I don’t necessarily like what I do for a living anymore, but I can take steps to change that because I have my books now.”

Today is a gorgeous fall day, and even though I am sad and nervous over some things right now, I also see my cosmos are in full bloom.  The sun is shining and last night, there was a silvery layer of dew all over everything.  I have a pumpkin growing out of an unexpected plant that will be awesome for Halloween.  The bees are out and I’ve seen a hummingbird flitting around the past week.  My car got fixed.  My cats are healing.  I had an amazing weekend.

I have plot lines going through my head for about six books.  I feel the fever coming on.  The itch to write and, at this point in my life, there is no one stopping me.  No one saying- “hey, you have to put that aside for my needs.”  Except for my princess cat who is flirting up a storm so she can get my chair.  I have Ron White’s “They call me Tater…” going through my head and wonderful memories and playing my favorite mix of music that, after almost two and a half years, I haven’t gotten sick of yet.  I’m finishing up Ash and all my white boards are full of ideas for Oak, Hawthorne, and IvyLampLight will be coming out in March 2018, and I have a massive rewrite in progress for my first book, The Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing, because I finally figured out where I went wrong with the last remake of a novel I started over 30 years ago.

Even with all the crap Life spits out, there is so much good and I am learning to know what I want to ignore, what I want to leave behind, and what I want to reach for.  If it reaches back, AWESOME.  If it doesn’t… there’s always a reason to keep going.