2021-01-18 Happy Blog-A-Versary!! 💃💃🎉

2017-01-15 –> Now. Four years (+ a few days).. Yo!.. That’s a good freaking run!! 

(Spoiler Alert, this recap could get long. If stats are your thing and you want to skip the drunk trainwreck intro, scroll to the end, but don’t forget to click “like” before you leave. 😉)

In January 2017 I decided to start posting my personal journey online. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t put a ton of thought into aesthetics, format, or the best way to approach doing what I wanted to do. Honestly, I didn’t even know what I wanted, or expected outside of wanted to find a way to live a happier, healthier life. 

If a person had asked me then what I thought would become of Miss SugarCookie in 4 years, I would not have had an answer. I wouldn’t have a clue. And there’s no possible way I could predict most of what has come to pass. 

Most of the time when I write, I’m writing in the moment. I’m writing for today. I’m writing for an audience of one. I’m trying to sort through what I’m thinking about and how I feel. I try to steer clear of hashing through old news that doesn’t concern me anymore. Most of the time, I try to do that. But sometimes, like now, it’s good to reflect. And it’s really good to see how far I’ve come. 

In January 2017 I was still very fresh off the end of my “big love” relationship. I was broken and closed and unhealthy, both mentally and physically. I was killing myself for a job that was never going to give me what I needed from life besides a paycheck. I was lost and confused and, after returning from my sister’s destination wedding in Mexico, I knew something had to change. 

I spent every other night in Mexico drinking until I couldn’t walk straight. I spent mornings after with blinds drawn, unable to eat any of the “all-inclusive” food that was available 24-7. One night I ended up stumbling drunk, laying on the grass next to the cart path that led to my single-occupancy room, sobbing. I begged the Universe for someone, anyone, to find me and want to help. I just wanted another human being, even if it was a complete stranger to care about my well being. 

I felt so alone. 

Other nights on that trip I wrote and tried to be social with the other 50 people who made the trip for my sister. I’m fairly certain there wasn’t another single person among them, besides my first cousin who I’ve never been close to and who (apparently) didn’t have trouble finding companionship on that trip. I wasn’t interested in a hookup though. I just wanted someone to talk to. 

I drunk texted people on FB messenger or iMessage from my room where there was WiFi. I don’t remember who, probably Josh and HL. I probably made confessions. I probably fell asleep mid-text. I had to write a maid-of-honor speech and sobered up to do that. 

I did a lot of wandering around the resort. I did an incredible amount of thinking. It’s probably then when the idea for posting my thoughts online came to me. I really don’t remember but it seems highly likely. 

Back in Nebraska a few short weeks later I was re-booting Miss SugarCookie who made her original debut in 2014 on Tumblr. But I’d become a solid WordPress fan and recognized the appeal of a versatile platform that was, at the time, the front runner for personal blogs (IMHO). 

I still remember one of my first posts, “The Riddle of the Middle” where I thought through the problem of starting something new, like I was, in the middle of the story. So much history, where does one begin to make it all make sense? The answer is.. to just begin. 

Eventually all the backstory would be  revealed organically. I know that now, but didn’t then. So many things I know now that I didn’t know then. 

And, as I said, could never have predicted what would change in the 4 years to follow. 

I learned along the way my “big love” had started seeing someone new a hot minute after our 3rd and final breakup. That helped me put a nail in the coffin of my hope for a reconciliation. 

I entertained a friends with benefits relationship with a good friend. It was both helpful and hurtful I’m a way. 

I quit my fucking job of course, by the following summer and elected to use my savings to take a six month sabbatical. One of the best decisions of my life! 

In those 6 months I began eating healthier and working out more. I traveled with and without my kids and had some amazing adventures. It was during our trip to the Pacific Northwest that I decided to get more education for my passion, writing poetry. 

By then, I was already well on my way to writing from a treadmill or elliptical machine each day. Wait… did I really write from an elliptical machine? I could not possibly have done that as I’m not that coordinated. I must be remembering that wrong. 

In any case, I do remember clear as the clearest day being in an exercise room at the holiday inn express by the Portland airport when I decided to apply for an MFA program. 

The beauty of this is.. I don’t have to remember because it’s verifiably in the archives of this blog. That’s some bonafide bonus-plan shit! 

I also started dating again during that sabbatical. Hello Bumble! There was a string of posts about my dating experiences (the good, the bad, and the seriously ugly) and navigating new territory. I’m probably going to struggle here. 

-Blog Intermission- I was going to go into a ramble calling out every made up name for every noteworthy person I went out with. Then I checked it and decided not to wreck it. So NOT going to go off on that major tangent. -End Blog Intermission-

Fast forward 5 or 6 or 8 months to March 2018. That’s when I said “Buh-bye” to Bumble. And good riddance. Dating sucks unless you’re dating someone you know you have a future with (at least that’s how I feel about it). 

Of course I’m talking about dating Jim and falling in love with Jim and being proposed to on my birthday in August of 2018. If you’re dating THAT person, dating is amazing! 

We went on dates, road trips, full-fledged vacations, and planned to “merge” our two households in early 2019. Of all the things.. this turn of events in my life was the least expected. And it happened so, so fast (based on the pace of my last long term). 

In 2018 I came off my sabbatical and took a job with a company learning a bunch of new stuff, which was great but fairly unpredictable as far as number of hours per week goes and, like most places, they would take all they could get. 

In 2019 the kids and I moved in with Jim and his boys and life just would not slow down for anything. I had work, the kids, Jim, the house, and school to take care of. Not to mention all my other relationships with family and friends. I was overcommitted for sure and by summer I was throwing my hands up and requesting to leave the work project I was on. 

I think my employer knew I was right on with my assessments about the project and let me bow out gracefully to bring a more skilled SQL person to work on the ETL. That fall was fantastic as I had time to work on my writing, MFA, and take care of my home and family (and also plan a wedding). 

By the time 2020 arrived, the wedding became the top priority and it’s the kind of thing that takes over your life for a while. Thank goodness we married as early in the year as we did (02/02/2020) because chaos in the world was about to take over. And so it did. 

I still finished my last semester, had a honeymoon, and began working again. Two of those three were fantastic. Can you guess which one wasn’t? 

By late August I put in my notice at work. This time I was going to be done-done with no option for accepting future contracts. Another great decision. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t nod to 2020 as a train wreck of a year for many other reasons. Still, despite that, I finished my MFA, had a few road trips, managed to get my darling daughter off to an OK start for her freshman year, and oh, by the way, set my sights on starting a new online literary publication. Which I did. Obvi with lots of help from some great peeps. 

Yeah. That’s another thing that I could not have imagined 4 years ago. Little Miss SugarCookie Starting and managing a lit mag. Wild!! 

So today’s the day!! 4 years (and counting). AND.. This post would not be complete if I did not end it in classic Miss SugarCookie style.. with the rest of the stats:

1460 Days
1143 Posts
8336 Visitors
6296 Likes and

That’s fantastic! This quick look back has been refreshing for me. Quite rejuvenating actually. Were there bumps in the road? Yes, but I feel like I am on the right track now and look forward to the future. Only time will tell what can happen in the next four years. On that note, I’m just going to keep riding this wave as long as I’m able. 

Cheers to Four Years..
Love Ya’ll Bunches and Bunches! 
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-17 Reminiscing With My Daughter About My Daughter

Day 2 waking up with cringe-worthy cramps. But.. I’m not going to let it keep me down today. I can do better.

I have a little time to collect my thoughts and get my act together. Yesterday I may have “let go” and tried not to let my mood control the day. I may not have been a complete success but it wasn’t too bad either. 

I spent a lot of time with my daughter and though we didn’t find what we were after, we had some great talks and she asked me about topics we’ve never discussed before which gave me the opportunity to tell a few stories. Chief among them was the story about my decision to have her and the journey I went on to make that happen. It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Then of course she wanted to know about her brother which is a good one too.

After that, and running around town in a mask I was done for. We ended up at Target and I just hit a wall. We still needed to go to office max so she could look for packaging supplies, but went home after that. Much of what we were after are items for her new business. I’m impressed by her focus and determination when she has her mind set on something. And I want to encourage that spirit, so I’m being as supportive as I can. 

What started our conversation was just that. She’s 18, almost 19 and heading into semester #2 of her freshman year at college. I think about this sometimes. How when i was her age, I had just met her dad and also working through a 2 year program at community college. I talked about how farther along she is with knowing herself and what she wants from life. At her age I was clueless. 

Getting engaged, married, and moving to Vegas we’re not on any life plan. I had no life plan. I was just cruising, you know, doing the next thing. I have regrets for all that aimless wandering, but I don’t regret getting married. I was in love and it got me away from my family which is what I desperately needed. Of course that led to having two beautiful babies. Would not change that for the world. 

That’s how the stories began yesterday, with the events that led to her dad and I becoming more serious instead of just hanging out as friends. And then to the circumstances that brought her and her brother into my life.

All that reminiscing might have contributed to my exhaustion. I also haven’t been out much lately and was really shocked to see all the people everywhere. It’s as if there’s no pandemic and thousands of people aren’t dying every day. I think deep down I was kind of sickened by it and also that I was among them. After a few hours I was ready to go back into my hiding place. 

And so we did. 

We watched movies and ate leftovers and I was, you guessed it, in bed by 10. 

It’s Sunday today and I’m ready for the weekend to be over and get back to business. Ready to let go of letting go and start kicking ass again. The best part of Sunday is making my to-do list for the coming week. So much hope, and promise, and so much to accomplish. It’s the push and pull of thinking and not doing that causes me grief. 

Once I actually just start “doing” I feel better. That might be why last week I felt so good. I was making progress on several endeavors and that feels good. Tomorrow I’ll be back on that train and I’m ready. 

I think that’s it today. Cutting short again to get started with my day. 

Ready, Steady, Let’s Go, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-26 Soooo Ready

Having recently run out of episodes of my favorite, albeit old news, comedy series on Hulu, The Mindy Project, I had stopped watching anything altogether. 

It was the one show I watched alone. You know, folding laundry or eating lunch by myself on weekdays. All the other shows we watch, we watch as a couple in the evenings. The Crown, Lost in Space, Mandelorian, Umbrella Academy, and we just started Breaking Bad which is a show that I’m apparently the last person on the planet to watch. 

Anyway so I ran out of episodes on my one show. So I’ve been eating at my desk working on other stuff and folding laundry just standing there with the solo sound of gears turning up in my own head. Until this past week. When I rediscovered the Bachelor. 

Normally part of the appeal of this show is just being a part of the buzz while the show is unfolding on live TV. All those rose ceremony addicts and the girls fueled by drama and tears of some complete strangers’ crazy lives. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m one of those. 

I also love seeing alll the pretty dresses and cute outfits and hot bodies. I mean, they don’t pick ugly people to be on the show. The bomb first dates and glimpses into some primo vacation destinations is not bad either. So I started watching another season despite the fact that I’m pretty sure it’s all old news. 

This elaborate explanation reveals a piece of me, Miss SugarCookie, and my character and habits. But it’s also the setup for what I really want to write about today which is kicking 2020 out the proverbial door. So ready to be done with the nonsense that this year brought to the world. And mine. 

It was supposed to be the BEST year of my life. I was to get married to the man of my dreams, whichI still did, followed by the most badasss honeymoon ever, which we also did. It all went to shit shortly after that with the onset of the pandemic. 

No prom for my daughter, no graduation, no big grad party here at the house. She was robbed of lots of experiences she was supposed to have in that last semester of her senior year. Instead she retreated deeper into the shell of her bedroom. And frankly was seriosly affected by the isolation. Physically and mentally. 

Our “graduation gift,” that was a trip to San Fran to go to a Fall Out Boy concert was cancelled. Well, postponed, so they are holding our money hostage. As is the airline as those tickets were turned into virtual cash to be used on a future flight. No summer trip. 

No trips requiring flight anyway. No Austin, no San Francisco or San Diego. No fall trip to the northeast or anyplace tropical. We did drive to Colorado twice though. Once with my darling daughter, as a mother daughter make-up trip to sub for the Cali trip and to cheer her up. The second was just Jim and I when we really needed a couples only weekend. 

What else? Oh, I was supposed to graduate too. A summer residency at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City with some of my newest favorite peeps. Sitting out on the back deck and sipping a drink and listening to stories. Followed by wearing cute dresses to present my lecture and give my graduation reading. Not to mention actual graduation. 

I elected to defer graduation until Winter, holding onto hope that the Covid would have run its course and we would have “flattened the curve” enough to get back in person. 

You guys remember that? When flattening the curve was all the rage. Where we listened to the news every day to see what havoc was happening in every state and when toilet paper and hand sanitizer suddenly became the hot commodities? Feels so long ago. 

No graduation for me and the changes in everyday routine things started to take a toll too. No Jazzercise. No coffee or lunch meetups. I mean, I still did some of those things (except the Jazzercise), but to a much lesser extent. The isolation kind of got to me too. 

Having my kids do virtual school was rough too. Ramping up to near full time at work also pushed me to an edge. It doesn’t matter how much I like to work.. it was a  painful project. They made quitting fairly easy.

Did I mention the habitual use of benzodiazepines to help with sleep that wrecked me for several months. I realized I had to change that the day I realized that my substance abuse was sort of out of control. Too much drinking, caffeine, and said sleep aids. I tried to cut cold turkey in May or June and totally wrecked myself. 

I subsequently came down slow, on doctors orders, and that took like 5 months. No joke. 

By the end of August I was off the meds but still feeling the withdrawal for about 6 mire weeks. By the end of September I was done done with my day job too. By the end of October I was finally feeling better. But the emotional mood swings and situational depression persisted. 

I wanted to drive to Austin for the election but was so down (and was sick that week) so it didn’t happen. I let go of it ok, but also had to let go of hope that I could graduate in person. Things are going to be virtual next week and it’s not fine but what can I do? 

I’ve known a few people who had Covid but everyone came out ok, albeit rather worse for wear in some cases. My immediate family has not been affected, miraculously, though my son had quarantine at his dads house for two weeks. My kids grandparents on their dads side  both had it but recovered. 

They (my kids) lost a grandparent anyway to Cancer. A speedy decline that was invisible to us until like the last two weeks of her life. They were not close to that grandparent (nor was I)  which is actually a blessing at this time. 

All of this is pretty character revealing too, right, but it’s just another setup. Because what I really want to write about today is all the things I was able to let go of in 2020. Things I would call successful little revelations. 

Like not caring about my hair and letting it grow really long. And also not seeing my esthetician since like January has led to the conclusion that I don’t need to wax my female bits anymore. After doing that for 10 years, there’s not much left. And what is there is completely personally manageable. No more $$$ going out the door for that or nail care. I can do that myself too. 

My skin is great thanks to my man bringing home great products and also not needing a shower every day. Usually winter brings seriously dry skin but so far this year has been great. 

What else? There has to be more but with all the meandering I’ve run out of time. 

Normally I would wait till January to reminisce and recap but I’m just so over 2020. 

Hey 2021!… The bar is really low, let’s GO!!’ 


~Miss SugarCookie

PS. The featured image is a glass ornament my darling daughter made for me. It says “2020 In Case of Emergency Break Glass” and is full of tiny little toilet paper rolls. So clever!

2020-12-23 Missing Christmas

Today I’m thinking about how in life, sometimes, not always, you get what you give. 

There have been times in my life where I apparently had nothing but time. Scrapbooks, photo albums, hand crafted Christmas cards, and all manner of hand written letters. Who remembers hand written letters? What a wonderful thing to go to the mailbox and get a letter you’ve been hoping for. I wanted to gift that to the people I adored. And I did. 

Now I struggle to do anything with that extra measure of hand-crafted caring. It takes a lot of time, you know, which seems like the most precious commodity these days. 

Rewind about 5 years. I sent out about 50 Christmas cards. All hand crafted. I used a paper cutter to cut red and green card stock in envelope size rectangles,  used a corner punch to punch decorative photo holder trim into the cards. Mounted 50 individually selected photos. Printed a brief greeting and cut and glued them on the back of each. Then hand addressed each envelope, adding a stamp and sent them through the post. 

It was fun. I enjoy that sort of thing but I also selfishly relish getting cards in return. I love the updates, pictures, and really just seeing how many I would get. 

In 2016 I was just wrecked and didn’t have it in me. The Christmas spirit. And you know, it didn’t come back. 

Christmas sometimes feels like a lot of work. You get all the decorations and lights out and for what. For teenagers who don’t care about it? What was once tradition and magic became a fight to have them help me. 

And I was busy too and didn’t really want to do it either. Work started ramping up and I enrolled in school. I don’t think I did cards in 2017. I don’t remember. 

2018 I was in a fully committed relationship again and getting ready to move. No Christmas cards. 

2019 I was on the verge of getting married. My time was spent on planning and sending invitations instead of Christmas cards. 

Now it’s 2020 and the year has been needy and greedy and I just don’t have it in me again. Just trying to keep my head above the water. Just trying to keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other each day. Hence, no Christmas cards again. 

And I know everyone has had a rough year, you know, so I don’t blame them for not sending cards either. I really don’t. But it makes me sad to not get them. 

I’ve gotten exactly 2 from friends. Sad to get more from service industries than friends. I got one from my financial advisor, insurance agent, and realtor. Ok. My realtor is a friend of mine so that counts two ways I suppose. 

I think about the people I lost touch with this year. Two or three folks I would see fairly regularly but just haven’t because of the pandemic. I miss going to Jazzercise and to my aesthetician and coffee and lunch dates. Happy hours. 

It’s not the places or food I miss (though I do miss those too) but it’s the people. I miss face to face conversations. Laughing. Reminiscing. Hearing and telling stories. 

So now we’re getting to the heart of it. It’s not the Christmas cards. That’s just the start of it. 

I’m not sure how long things are going to be like this and what the new normal willl be after. We’ve all just lived through a very dystopian year and it’s still going. 

I keep saying “2021 will be better” but that’s just me trying to pep myself up. I want to believe it. I need a little magic of Christmas here. 

Anyway. I’m cutting short because I’m short on time today. I’m going to give my dad a Zoom lesson remotely and don’t know how this will go. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-17 One Way to Save a Life

It’s December 17 again. I see the calendar and think, “This day again.” We all have them. A day in time, a date on the calendar we recognize immediately, a date that takes us back to the past. We may have several, but for me, December 17 will always be a day that gives me pause. Whatever it is I am planning to do, I have to stop and think. I have to nod to what I have accomplished in my life and what I have made of myself and my time. And my children! 

Long before my children were winks in my mind, I spent a lot of time alone. I spent a lot of time thinking about relationships (that I didn’t have). Not just romantic relationships but also relationships with my parents, siblings, grandparents, and acquaintances that I daydreamed could be friends if I tried hard enough. It was teenage stuff, sure. 

Common I’m sure. But to the melodramatic teenager, the isolation, angst, and constant daydreaming was a sort of maze I could not figure out how to get out of. 

By the tender age of 16, I had already turned to writing to find my way through that maze of endless walls. So there is some verifiable proof of the events of my life that led to what happened the night of December 17 (the year escapes this current recounting). 

I don’t intend to recount the events. That’s not my aim. My angle today is one of gratitude. More than anything it’s gratitude for writing. The ability, freedom, and its saving graces. 

By December 17 I had already begun writing a fictional story about a set of twins, Stacia and Elizabeth. Separated at birth and suddenly back together as teenagers in high school. It’s not lost on me that these girls were me. I gave them and both characteristics I felt in myself. As is often the way with young writers. 

Their chapters unfolded with events I dreamed up, both hardships I was enduring and daydreams of scenarios I wished for my own life. By December 17 I had chapter upon chapter of their lives on paper, with no goal of a conclusion. No earthy idea how the story would end. I understood that there should be some climax, resolution, and anti-climax, but was not concerned about that. 

The night of December 17 events Of my own life seemed to find their way to a natural climax. It was dire and I could literally take no more of what life was offering me. 

That night, as I cried and wrote and wrote and cried, one of the twins made her way through events of the the alternate universe I had created. The house and the conversation she had with her mom, the woods where she would wander alone, the high-school with its winter dance in progress, and finally the street with its concrete curb. The place where she tiptoed over the edge, into oncoming traffic, and died. 

I’ve long since come to terms with what had happened, both in reality and in the story. I don’t remember writing any more of that story after that. I suppose it was the climax I didn’t know I was looking for, didn’t know I desperately needed. As for an anti-climax, well, I suppose this will have to do. 

I still have some of that writing. Some was lost to the fire, but that’s another story altogether. I was such an emotional teenager. 

In 2019 I wrote a poem about some of this. My experience with isolation and suicide as a young adult. This poem was published this year in an online literary publication, Boston Accent Lit. The Poem is titled “Nothing Can Kill You” and is still online at the site here.

I suppose that’s part of the resolution too. Writing how it had been my constant companion and savior (and still is). Now I make beautiful art from my pain. It’s a therapeutic endeavor. And I know that it will be there, reliably, for my whole life.

There’s been a lot of introspection lately about writing and the path of my life. The journey of the poetic voice (the topic of my MFA lecture). I would be remiss if I didn’t nod to my own experiences, my personal evolution, and somehow (without being too preach-y) encourage people to evaluate their own writing to discover what it has to teach them. 

As a part of my MFA I’ve studied the poetry of people like Louise Glück, who this year won a Nobel Prize. But it isn’t until I began studying their life that the puzzle pieces begin to form a more complete picture. 

Said poet finished high school while undergoing psychiatric therapy that continued for 7 years and caused her to not enroll at a college or university in a formal program post HS. I wish I could ask her if she feels writing saved her life. 

Of the 4 writers I’ve included in my lecture, she’s the only one still alive. That’s a good reminder too. This life.. it doesn’t last forever. Better use it till you lose it. 

That’s it today. Time to listen to some “Sweet As Whole” by Sara Bareilles to get in the “write” frame of mind to write the conclusion for my lecture. 

Stay Frosty, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-01 4AM Thoughts About Yesterday

Trigger warning: this post is about death.

I know it’s only 4:30AM but there’s no way I’m laying in my bed for 3 hours thinking about the implications of my dad’s wife dying. I’ve barely had time to process her diagnosis let alone the lack of prognosis and how she could have progressed from seeing an FP doctor less than two weeks ago to being surrounded in her own living room by her children and grandchildren yesterday, breathing her last breath.

It wasn’t Covid but it was, apparently, everything else. At one point in the evening yesterday my dad, standing between my sister and I behind their kitchen table, pulls an 8 by 10 paper that he had folded up smaller than a dollar bill out of his wallet. On it was a hand written list with her name at the top. The list was all the things she had going on inside her body. The list was not in my dads handwriting. Might have been a nurse or perhaps his wife’s daughter (my step sister) who wrote it.

The list helped clarify why we were all standing there, the lot of us crammed in the living / dining room of their new house, congregating around a hospice bed waiting for the guys from the funeral home to show up. But it doesn’t change the speed at which a thing can be processed. Especially something a person is not prepared for.

Despite our differences and disparate histories, I don’t believe any of us was prepared. But who ever is really?

I received a text in the late afternoon that I just didn’t know what to do with. I wasn’t sure how to respond and not having more info I spent time thinking about it. Too much time. Which is to say that she was already gone by the time I arrived. Inside the big picture of their lives, it’s inconsequential I wasn’t there. A person on the periphery of their circle. In my own words, a red-headed step child.

I’d never even been to their new house. They just moved a few months ago and I suppose if there was no pandemic I’d have been invited for a visit. At least that’s what I’d like to think.

Instead I’m seeing it for the first time. At one point my dad awkwardly suggests a tour. I opted out until after they came for his wife. After she was gone, the crowd started to peel off, one by one, hugs, tears, and “see you tomorrow’s” as they went out the front door.

When most folks were gone my dad goes to the kitchen and brings back a coffee mug. Some thoughtful gift from someone else that took time to collect pictures of me, my children, his other kids and their kids off Facebook. He shows me the mug and goes through each picture, talking about us. He tells me his favorite is the one of me and my kids, Z and C, at Universal Studios, where we all had matching captain America t-shirts. I have the same photo framed in a display case at my house. “Tup, that’s one of my favorites too” I say.

When look around the house there are lots of family pictures. Of all of us. Seeing how fairly represented we are both surprises me and also makes me want to cry. I go ahead and cry. Lots of people have been so it’s not unusual.

I learn that my step sister and her daughter have taken turns staying the night with them since they came home from the hospital Saturday. Which is just two night’s but the setup in the house makes me realize she didn’t want to die in the hospital and that’s why they let her come home. They tell me she had two last mornings with her coffee and cigarette in the garage. They said she was still capable of conversation that morning.

What must that be like? Death imminent? I can’t begin.

When I arrived they were taking off her jewelry and already deep in reminiscing. I was there about 3 and a half hours and waited until everyone else was gone. I knew my dad had not eaten and neither had I. He said he wasn’t hungry so I fixed us grilled cheese sandwiches.

We talked idly about how cooking on a gas stove is easier and how he’s still getting used to it. Their previous apartments always had electric. We remained at the kitchen table with our empty paper plates without a lot to say. He mentioned his nightly calls with his brother so I urged him to make the call. I listened in as he relayed the news.

Before he made the call he asked if I wanted to be on speakerphone. In the moment I said no and didn’t think too much about it. But thinking about it now makes me realize that that’s probably how those calls were with his brother normally, on speakerphone with his wife at the table too, listening in. In hindsight I should have said yes when he asked.

After the call, my dad urged me to get going home. Having developed a headache which I’m pretty sure was headed for migraine status, I was grateful. I asked him if he was going to be ok. He said he thought so.

Not super re-assuring but I could not envision spending the night. I hope that wasn’t a mistake too.

It’s now close to 6AM and I’m gonna try to slip back into bed so I can be there when Jim wakes up. Both him and Z work today so it’s highly likely I’ll be headed back over to CB.

I really have no idea what to expect from today. Phone calls and making arrangements I guess. Likely I’ll be talking to two of my siblings. I need to call C too. That’s a whole other thing I’m not prepared to process. The first death my children have to deal with. How does one do that? Help their children when they, themselves don’t know what to do or say.

The answer is, do the best you can, I guess.

Headed back to bed now,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-26 Rock Out With Your Turkey Out

I’m cooking the traditional today, for the 3 or so other people who also live here and want to partake. 3 people with picky palates and tummies and are used to getting exactly what they want and when. Today.. at the Castle, I’m making it all about me. I’m cooking food that I like to eat and will serve it when I want to eat it. And I’m not doing any ducking dishes when I’m done. None!

Zip, zero, zilch!

And since we are having holiday dinner Miss SugarCookie style, there will be no salad, veggies, or casserole. Efffff that noise.

I mean, I love me a mean broccoli-cheese casserole or veg tray with a savory dill dip but why not skip it and make more room for pie. Yes, there are only 4 of us here today but I bought two pies. Pumpkin and apple. Hey, ho, let’s go.

Say Yo?! What’s up with the voice today? The tone, the attitude? Must be the caffeine. Oh yeah, and imma have coffee today too and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Say Yo?! Do you ever feel like you’re just walking along having a conversation with yourself? Heh. Me too. 😏

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Productive despite not getting exercise or eating right. My four stats, in case you’re the newest member of the team and don’t know yet, are sleep, Exercise, productivity/mood, and healthy eating. I was going to say that since keeping track again I’ve not yet hit a day where I “achieved” my goal in all four categories but I just flipped back through the book I’m using to keep track and there have actually been 3 days where I hit 4 out of 4. 💃💃💃💃

November 6, 16, and 23rd. Despite the really rotten days, this is actually encouraging. That’s why it’s good to keep track. It’s also good to have days that you just toss into the wind, throw your hands in the air and tell the world that you just don’t care.

Say Yo? Guess what else? Two nights ago I did my first real honest to goodness public poetry reading. For realz. Now for some people I can guess that this is no big deal but for this SugarCookie it’s a BIG DILL.

Blog intermission: There should be a pickle emoji. Why is there no pickle emoji? Somebody needs to get on that.

One of the poems I read was “Cake at the Castle” which has several layers of meaning (pun intended) but people would not understand the layers unless they know me. I mean really know me. I’d like to imagine a scenario where I’m surrounded by all my favorite people and I read that poem and it makes them all smile. Not just for the attitude, but because they get it. They get me.

On the surface, it’s a fun poem, lamenting about hating cake, which is true. I don’t care for cake and when folks made a good god damned big deal about the cake that would be served at my first wedding I did not have the words to explain how much I did not care about the cake. I also didn’t really care much for all the wedding and reception planning, decisions, decor, food, yadda-yadda. I just wanted to focus on finishing my associates degree so I could  run away to Vegas with my love, which is where he was stationed in the Air Force and where we would live for the first two years of our marriage.

Fast forward 25 years and I’m getting married again and I STILL don’t care about cake. It’s just like it says the lines of the poem. But with this go round I had to make all the decisions and do all the planning because there was no future MIL who was going to do it all for me.

I literally waited till the last possible minute and ended up ordering from the grocery store down the block. I mean, I suppose I could have had pie, but in the end I realized I DID want that tall display and to stand beside my love, shoving a piece of stupid cake in his mouth. Oh for the love of a moment.

That’s what’s on the surface, of the poem. Dig deeper with some of the other lines though and one would have to know me and that one of my favorite bands is Cake. There was a time in my life where I crossed the line from fan to fanatic. I mean, as much as one can with a life of responsibility.

I traveled to watch them play live and collected stories about my failed attempts  to bring home a free tree to plant in my yard. I’d get drunk at parties and tell people all about how I had failed but was analyzing their selection process and figuring out how best to get their (the bands) attention the next time so I could win a free tree. 

I even participated in the music video experiment they orchestrated with fans around 2010/2011 for their song, “The Winter.” I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before. I’m in the video for a fraction of a second.

A fraction of a second of fame is all I’ll ever squeeze out of this life. But I’m satisfied.

But that’s just the middle layer of the poem. Going deeper requires an understanding of my connection to the Cake song referenced in the poem, “I Bombed Korea.” And here, my friends, is where the meaning is mired in the mind(s)—the intersection of my introspection and the interpretation by other interested minds peering in, drawing conclusions from their own experiences. Mysterious roads leading to mysterious places. So mysterious, in fact, that sometimes even I don’t know the deeper meaning of a poem I have written. Here are the full lyrics of the song: 

I bombed Korea every night.
My engine sang into the salty sky.
I didn’t know if I would live or die.
I bombed Korea every night.
I bombed Korea every night.
I bombed Korea every night.
Red flowers bursting down below us.
Those people didn’t even know us.
We didn’t know if we would live or die.
We didn’t know if it was wrong or right.
I bombed Korea every night.
And so I sit here at this bar.
I’m not a hero.
I’m not a movie star.
I’ve got my beer.
I’ve got my stories to tell,
But they won’t tell you what it’s like in hell.
Red flowers bursting down below us.
Those people didn’t even know us.
We didn’t know if we would live or die.
We didn’t know if it was wrong or right.
We didn’t know if we would live or die.
I bombed Korea every night.

I really dig that song. 

It never fails to amaze me, when I do this—Analyze one of my own poems and find some other meaning. Or return to one years later, reading with a fresh perspective and uncover a different spin on it. The deeper meaning hidden in “Cake at the Castle” shifts as my life shifts, though it has only been a year or so since it was born. I listen to the song today while walking the treadmill and am filled again with that “fuck yeah” feeling. Freedom. Don’t even get me started on not knowing if what you’re doing is wrong or right or being in the midst of life and just doing what it is you are “supposed” to do. Or telling stories about it, years later and knowing that the stories don’t do justice to the original experience in either meaning or implication. 

Kind of like me writing about setting up my camera and tripod at the kids’s elementary school park and shooting video of myself singing a few lines of the cake song, “The Winter” with the hope of making it into their music video. You just can’t know what that really meant to me. 

Say Yo?! So what’s a girl to do? I gush. I rush. I crush. And I mush and mash potatoes. Bake bread. Serve stuffing from the stove top. Yeah, that’s the only kind of Thanksgiving dinner I’ve cared for since I was just nineteen. 

Anyhow, that’s enough wandering for one day. Time now, to get that bird in the oven. 

With Peace an Gratitude,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-09 Advantages of Overcast Day

Today I’m going to wear lounge clothes all day. Enjoy the darkness a rainy day brings. Sit on my couch doing all that needs done nestled with my favorite blanket and pillows.

I’ve got plenty to do there, until 3PM when I need to leave to pick my son up from school.

The weekend was good. The best I’ve had in a while and I think it’s partly because there’s a giant weight lifted off my shoulders. Off America’s shoulders. I know I’ve been on edge lately and I wasn’t really aware how much of that was due to the political climate. I mean, this year has been bad enough without that. So it stands to reason.

I’m late getting down to business today. Gathered those blankets and pillows early to snuggle in for an hour or so after Jim left for work. My cat curled up behind my knees. I needed to sleep off the meds I took at 3 am to help me get back to sleep. Some OTC antihistamine that causes drowsiness. Apparently no amount of weight lifted will allow for a full nights sleep.

As such, it’s almost brunch time. Part of my good weekend was allowing myself to eat whatever. I blew my calorie numbers up and crushed those 30% protein dreams. So today it’s back to the “plain.”

Exchanging stats with my friend on Sunday and hers are N out of 5, whereas mine are N out of 7. Mine I know are days and I’m not sure if hers are but if they are that means it’s probably the weekdays only. And maybe that’s the way to be. Perhaps I should always use weekends as more lenient days, within reason. 🤔

In other news, I had another poem accepted to a publication yesterday. One that looks like it’s more we’ll established than some that I’ve been accepted by. That’s exciting! It also means I have to withdraw that poem from the 15 other places I’ve submitted it. Which is part of what my “couch-time” is dedicated to today.

This business of trying to break into the publishing scene is definitely a process. And it’s definitely work. All the research, letter composition, and trying to keep track and stay organized. It’s work. It is interesting to see how other places operate and each time I get an acceptance, I’m introduced to some other nuanced way to approach the process with regards to how we do things at the GLR. It’s actually quite helpful.

Yesterday’s acceptance came with info about the “author agreement” which they handle 100% within submittable. For our first issue, we did this with a word document. Letting the agreement be housed in Submittable is an interesting idea. I wonder if we can do that with our plan. 🤔

My hour is not quite up yet, but I’m gonna cut here. Might try to get more steps later when Jim is doing his workout. We’ll see.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Today’s featured image is my bike posing at the suspension bridge on trail 2 at Schramm State Park in Nebraska. A late day drive/ride which turned into a hike when my bike got a flat. Turns out, walking a bike on dirt trails in the woods is a good substitute for cardio and strength training at the gym. Plus it helped me get to my step count yesterday whereas just riding would not. My weekend combined two day step count… 35K!!!

2020-11-05 Nothing New to Say Thursday

Day 7 without a good nights sleep. It’s sort of like having a newborn without having to breastfeed. You go a little cray-cray after a while. I find myself being irritated at small things. I find myself giving up on stuff too easily. I’m walking a lot to try and compensate.

I try to take naps. Three days this week so far I’ve forced myself to lay down and try and sleep in the afternoon. I maybe have gotten 20 minutes sleep tops if anything and I would say I wake up feeling more tired because I didn’t really get a full restorative cycle. Damnit Janet!

What else? What can I possibly write about that is different?

I’ve literally been walking for 15 minutes listening to random music on shuffle. I have nothing to say.

So here are a few brief glimpses of what I’m thinking based on the music in my ears:

Lemonheads (insert any song from “Come on and Feel”): Reminds me about the better parts of my life in Vegas. 20 years old, laying outside by my apartment on the patio or at the pool playing super Mario or Tetris on my game boy. I must have listened to that album a gazillion times. The relentless sun warming my pale skin. Ignorant of the world and free from responsibility, it was a carefree, albeit fairly lonely time.

R.E.M. (any song): Elicits a strange mix of memories from both my ex husband and the maddest crush I had in HS, Scott. He doesn’t go by that name now. He’s used his middle name, Christian, for so long Most folks probably don’t know his real given first name. Last I heard he was a professor at Stanford. He had it all going for him in HS. The brains, the hair, the eyes, the shoes. When we were seniors I lived across the street from him. Yeah, serious wonder years kind of shit. I’m sure my journals from that time are full of fluff about that boy.

Both he and my ex were fans of REM and as such, I too became a fan. There are a lot of songs and bands I’ve liked in the past that I elect to skip now when they come up. But not R.E.M. I never skip them.

Blue October it depends on the song. Some of them are solid Joshua. Joshua the first time I fell for him. And oh the irony because he hated Blue October.

Yeah, I was reeled in by that guy twice. I don’t think there was music associated the second time around.

Arcade Fire: Is Jackson and the residency we spent in adjacent rooms, knocking on the wall good morning and good night. He would wander over to my room to nom on my snacks late in the day. That’s when he introduced me to the band.

He’s literally half my age and I just enjoyed listening to him talk. Partially for his enthusiasm and fresh ideas and partially because it reminded me how glad I’m not that age anymore.

Counting Crows: There’s a lot from this band that comes up but I don’t think I associate them with any person, place, or experience. Perhaps there are one or two songs that elicit certain thought, like Murder of One, which kind of reminds me of the end of my marriage. “You don’t want to waste tour life now darlin / change change change.”

And possibly that time near the end when my sisters and I did a road trip to Chicago to sight see and go to their concert. That was a fun weekend. Oh the stories.

Ohhhhh “Separate Lives” by Phil Collins is an interesting one. It reminds me of my parents and how I imagine their relationship would have been after their divorce. The male and female vocals, the conversational lyrics, and the hope at the end of the song that they would someday be “looking in each other’s eyes”. Probably projecting my own hope for my parents.

Maroon 5 belongs to Matt as do the Foo Fighters.

Sheryl Crow is also Vegas.

Dave Mathews is another strange mix, reminding me of both a guy I dated for a hot minute and an ex-boss who both were really into the band. The guy is a good guy that I’m still friends with on FB but I ended up hating my ex boss so much that I literally can’t listen to Dave Mathews without getting angry so I always skip those songs. Always. And I’m never getting over that.

Kelly Clarkson reminds me of watching American Idol. Haha.

Taylor Swift always makes me happy. Reminds me of my strength as an independent woman. There’s a few songs that remind me of Matt but mostly the power I found putting my life back together after our relationship ended and I was finally “Clean.”

Now I’m just fast forwarding through songs to see how long it takes for Jason Mraz to come up. There’s a point in my life I hijacked like every one of his songs off the inter-webs and my library literally has hundreds of songs from albums and live recordings. It’s an anomaly none has come up in the shuffle.

Upon further investigation, it appears that the music library on my phone currently has zero MR.AZ. This will have to be remedied in short order after my treadmill time is done. 

Jason, of course, reminds me of my friend Vis. As does David Ford and Death Cab for Cutie. All in the best ways. The one negative song. “Wish List” by Pearl Jam will forever be a scar on my brain from the night I realized he was truly going to pursue another girl over staying with me. My heart broke that night and kept on breaking for weeks. Years would go by before I could listen to that song again without getting upset. Strange how music has that kind of power over our minds.

I think that’s enough random shuffle memories for…. A long time! 😉 

No News is Good News.. I Guess, 🤷‍♀️
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-03 Cheers to Mediocre Sex

Guess what? It’s before 6AM and I’ve been awake for almost two hours (surprise, surprise). I woke from a disturbing dream just after 4am and proceeded to think about what it meant and everything else. The election, my angst, my headache, not being in Texas , my friend taking her kitty to the ER last night, my depression, Jim and our relationship, and I felt so isolated and alone.

I literally laid in bed and went through a mental Rolodex of people I could possibly try to visit in person today just to have some live person to talk to. Pretty soon, when I had exhausted the list, as I don’t want to impose or feel like a burden to anyone I began to cry. It was horrible.

I didn’t want to get up and I didn’t want to stay in bed, held hostage by my thoughts. The final straw that forced me out of bed was not wanting to wake Jim up. He has to work a full day. It’s going to be a long day for him and he needs his sleep.

I went to my daughters room briefly to check on her and then I grabbed my water bottle and reading glasses and went down to the treadmill. But I really only got like 3 or 4 paragraphs in before I realized it was close to the time Jim’s alarm would be going off. I also decided that we needed each other more than sleep. He’s my person and I need to be able to rely on him even if it means his day will be a little longer.

I know he needed me too as I’ve been pretty distracted and unavailable lately. We’ve only have sex like once a week For several months now and for a newly married couple that’s not great.

I would say the primary cause is timing, as he’s so damn busy during the day and doesn’t have time for “us” until 8:30 or 9:30 at night. By that time I’m spent and have nothing left to give and just the thought of sex is exhausting. So I go to sleep and he goes to sleep and then we get up the next day with the alarm (Or before that in my case) and it starts All over again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

That being said, I can’t deny that another big factor is my lack of desire. I just haven’t felt like making out. I can’t seem to get my body or mind to engage in that way and I know it’s obvious to him. Moments he initiated physical contact and I just pull away. Those moments are adding up.

I feel is there is something wrong with me, but then I pass it off with reasons like the pandemic or kids in the house or not good timing. It’s ridiculous.

When we first met we had sex all the time. Practically every time we spent the night together and sometimes daytime meetups too. I ask myself if this is just what happens after you’re married? Or is it really just the stress of life taking a toll right now.

In any case, I decided to slip back into bed just after 6am and I was the instigator, which I know he likes.

It ended up being mediocre but that didn’t matter. It felt good to be that close and feel wanted. It was exactly what I needed. And as I said, I know he felt the same way.

After that, the rest of our morning routine was the same. He got ready for work and I cooked breakfast, fed the fish, and then sat with him while he ate. I talked and threw cat treats to our kitties and he ate and listened which is the norm but the energy was different—more positive. I could feel it.

Today I drove him to work and now I’m back on the treadmill. It’s going to be a long, stressful day as it is for most Americans.

As I was cooking breakfast Alexa told me that temporary fencing and other measures have been put in place in and around Washington in anticipation for potential riots.

I sure hope all Americans, standing on the laurels of our founding fathers remember that a peaceful transfer of leadership is a cornerstone of our countries principles.

But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that people are fed up with the way things are. Folks are primed and ready for a fight and violence is the only language that they feel will be effective. We’ll see.

I’m truly hoping to capitalize on the positive energy to fuel me to get more done today. I need to quit procrastinating and get my act together.

It starts now.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie