2021-09-12 Twenty Years

I didn’t write anything yesterday. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about nine eleven either except little discussions and rememberances that popped up in the course of conversations with Jim. Where he was. Where I was. How he had a one year old son and I had my first child on the way.

He told me a story about where president george bush was at the time and how the news was broken to him. Then shared the still motion photo he found on the internet—the one that was captured of the president as one of his aids was speaking to him at a visit to an elementary school.

I still can’t get my head around it completely. It really happened and human beings really do conspire to do horrible things to each other.

We visited ground zero on our trip to New York in 2019 but that did not come up in conversation yesterday. Still.. all those artifacts we saw are burned in my mind and I can’t help but become emotional if I think about it too long. Seeing all that made it a whole lot more real. Like sometimes you know something is real but your mind kind of denies it anyhow. I think that’s how it is for me. 

Twenty years. 

Where are we now? What’s become of the situation and people involved? How are people coping and healing? 

The truth is, that not a lot has changed and there probably is no real coping and healing for those most affected. They just have to keep living life like the rest of us and they either do it, or they don’t. 

Don’t get me started on the Taliban or Afghanistan. What a mess! 

One thing I find necessary yet frustrating is that the day, “9-11,” has developed into a day made for rememberance. The memorials and events designed to do what? Not forget? Yet it comes and goes and then that’s it for another year. It feels too fleeting. Tweet your tweet. Write your blog post. Google the news. Maybe share a memory. Then the sun goes down and comes up again and we all go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Again.. what else is there? What more should I expect? What more can I do? The answer is not a lot. And the other answer is that I just have to keep doing the best with what I’ve been given. Because if there’s anything that 9-11 reminds me of, it’s that time is a gift and we should not waste it. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-08-11 Happy Birthday Erika 🎂

Days like today I think about all the memories I’ve made with friends who are not in my life anymore. A baseball game I went to for a new friend’s birthday when I was 12 where we laughed so hard (at what I don’t recall) we cried. Years of pre-Christmas baking sessions and ornament exchanges. And many celebratory birthdays, engagements, weddings, and baby showers. Where does all that time go? 

Then the moment passes and I’m back to thinking about today. My mom’s last (hopefully) of 6 chemotherapy treatments before her next big surgery. Taking my son to a new doctor for what will likely be a lifetime of visits to check his free T-4. And returning home to not one, but two broken air conditioners, a house that’s hot as Hell, and endless laundry and dishes. Good gravy! 

I’ve been pretty uninspired lately and there have been a lot of rejections coming my way. This time next week my daughter will be back in the dorms in Lincoln and my son will also be back in school. You know when you hang your hat on the stay at home mom thing and the kids are either gone or totally don’t need you anymore, there is a hole that’s left and needs to be filled with something else. 

My problem lately is that the typical set list of activities I would gravitate towards to fill that hole feels very “meh” to me right now. I don’t feel like writing (even this blog) or reading or gardening and my mood has been downright rotten. What’s a girl to do? 

So strange to, just a few short months ago, feel great about the future and be high on life and now this? I just don’t understand it. 

Yesterday was a challenge and I ended up in tears over a few words with Jim. Not seeing eye to eye on something is not like us. I am looking forward to our next vacation together but is that what life is going to be like now? Me twiddling away and feeling very not needed and unimportant? Why can’t I just do the things I usually love and be happy? 

How many episodes of Masterchef do I have to watch before I get sick of wasting my time on it? 

All the time that’s gone and all the time I’m not sure what to do with. That’s life. 

With peace end love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-07-22 California Adventure Day 0: No Love for San Fran (But Big Love for My Z) ❤️

San Francisco and I have a storied past. In all honesty, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t visit again. I’m not really a fan. I think the city is overrated and don’t quite understand the appeal. Am I not cultured enough or hip enough to “get it?” Perhaps. But arriving yesterday I was reminded not only of how uninspired I am by this 7 by 7 town, but also all the “meh-mories.”

First trip in my early 20’s with my mom and sister with a primary goal of visiting my brother who lived in Santa Clara at the time. I don’t remember much except the few touristy things we did which included a ferry ride on the bay and visiting the Pier. That trip was overshadowed by the one and only time I had the gumption to have words with my sister in law who (to this day) is a unique piece of work. 

I visited again in my early 30’s with a girlfriend and her friend. My first real “girls trip.” Of course that was near the end of my marriage and I was a little bit of a wreck at times. I remember drinking too many Bloody Mary’s  on the layover in Vegas on the way here and ending up with the most splitting migraine on the afternoon of my first day here. It took me out for a day, but I bounced back enough to do the touristy things, like riding a cable car and visiting the Pier. I also remember we went to a club one night that had salsa dancing and I had a great time. The man I danced with was a strong and brilliant lead and I remember thinking THAT was what I wanted from life (or rather who). 

Fast forward about 4 years to 2012. By then I had been divorced about 2 years and was newly dating Matt. We had our big two week California adventure which began and ended in San Fran. We flew in, took the Starlight Coast train to Seattle and then drove back down on highway 101. It was a good trip but visiting the bay area was mostly just in and out. Of course we made time to visit the Golden Gate Bridge and, you guessed it, the Pier. We also had friends, Rahul and Sarah, we visited here and that was probably the highlight of our stay in the Bay. 

Matt and I would travel to San Fran several more times during our five year relationship. He worked for a start-up that had regular meetings and I loved to travel so I would tag along. I don’t remember much except drinking and food and quit doing the normal touristy things. How many times can you see Alcatraz or the Sea Lions and not have it be sort of “so-what?” 

I also can’t help but have a few memories about Matt from here that sadly (but fittingly) remind me why we were not a good match for each other. I could spiral down into that here, but I’ve not got the time or emotional energy for it right now. The point is, I’m so not in love with this town. I’m not even in like with it. So why am I here?? 

The short answer is because of my darling daughter, Z. She’s never been here before and when we were working out where she wanted to go for her High School Graduation gift trip, visiting this town was a big part of our grand plan. Of course that was last year and then the pandemic hit and all our plans got squashed, but we finally made it to the coast, about one month before she goes back to begin her sophomore year at UNL. Originally we had concert tickets for Fall Out Boy and now that’s not happening until a week after she goes back to school so instead we are planning our own little drive down the coast to go to Universal Studios in Hollywood. 

For now, we have about 3 days to explore the area here and she does not know the extent of my feelings about the town so I’m open to doing whatever she wants to do. I’m sure that will involve many of those touristy things I’ve grown to groan about. But this trip is not about me, it’s about her. I want to make her experience as fun, memorable, and positive as possible. 

Yesterday was day 0, travel day, which began super early and was very long. We had our first view of the bay, the bridge, and the pacific ocean. We had pizza for dinner at a local place that’s supposed to be one of the best followed by a quick stop at Ocean Beach to see the sunset. We also hit Target and TJ Max to pick up a few essentials and snacks and with that, I think we are set for getting the most of out this trip. 

Today, thankfully, we are getting out of town and heading north to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom where Z is getting to meet her friend Alex in person for the first time. They met online and have been friends for a number of years and she’s one of the reasons visiting northern california was so appealing to Z. I’m excited for them. I’m not particularly jazzed about the amusement park, but we’ll see how that plays out. 

We’ll see how all of this plays out. Maybe San Fran can redeem itself on this trip. Maybe something about it will change how I feel? A girl can hope right?? 

On that note.. It’s time for me to get up and get ready for the day. This early AM writing without my treadmill is very different but I’m going to try and document as much of this trip as I can for posterity.

Cheers to West Coast Wandering,
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-07-01 The One To My Ex About Actions and Consequences

To admit you feel as though you want revenge is to admit to being human. That’s my excuse. I’m human and therefore flawed in all the miraculous ways human beings are. It’s a miracle that we are here at all— stranded on this spiral arm of stars. 

I’m flawed for feeling as though I’m enjoying a version of revenge served not by my own hand but the hand of fate which is, indeed, the sweetest kind. A dish best served not only cold, but guiltless and stringless. 

That I was a victim of your circumstance is circumstantial when so many years have passed. But we are all victims of our own circumstance, dear. Who would not agree? 

Scratch that. You probably would not agree—the consummate devil’s advocate in you has been nothing but consistent. But that was just a fraction of our fractured past. A piece of glass not worth looking at most days. But it’s on my mind today. 

Rewind a few days when I had to be the go-between in a disagreement you were having with our son. Except it was more of a one sided argument that you started when you didn’t like something he did. You just wanted to rant and lecture without any thought about the consequence or end.

The irony in it is that his behavior is learned behavior. Behavior he picked up from you. How many times have I tried to communicate with you only to be “ghosted”? So it’s not a surprise when you reach out to him and he ignores you. 

More irony in that you say he can’t just do what he wants when he wants and that there are consequences to his actions. Because that’s all you have ever done in your life—whatever you want regardless of the consequences. Quite literally.

You tried to pull me in and play the “unified parent” card for “his own good.” It’s bullshit. I’m not playing. 

You call me an enabler. You pigeonhole our son and predict his future to fit your own agenda. You say he’s a manipulator who plays us against each other. You say he hides from the world because he’s lazy and lacks confidence. I say, “sounds familiar.” 

For as much as he’s like you, he’s also like me. An introverted kid who keeps to himself and stays in his room doing what he enjoys most. He’s not motivated by your approach. He’s just a teenager who is vulnerable, impressionable, and probably lonely. To which I say, aren’t we all? 

Last night I scrolled through my text messages to find my last message to you, which you never replied to (two days old now). You had just finished ranting and preaching about “social contracts” and the courtesy of responding to text messages and then you undercut your own point by not responding to my attempt to communicate some sort of a plan to get our son more active. Typical.

Of course I know we both want what’s best for our son but in this case, I don’t happen to agree with you about what that is or how to achieve it. 

You hardly ever see your daughter and I wonder if you realize why that is. You burn bridges and then throw your hands in the air and wonder why people don’t come back to you. 

I began this writing about revenge. Or something that feels like revenge. When in actuality all I’m really doing is enjoying my life and the positive, open, and caring relationships in my life. Revenge implies I have something spiteful to get back at you for. 

For many years I held it against you that so many years of my life were wasted trying to make something out of us. I’ve since come to realize that none of it was wasted and that time is short and all we can ever really do is make the most of what we have been given. This is exactly what drives me now. 

Stop burning and start building. Or don’t. It’s your life and your relationships with your children. 

The only question for me now is whether I let this incident go, or say something more to try and get through to you? For your own good. For theirs. I’m just not sure. 

Waiting and watching 👀,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-06-12 The Security Camera Saga: A Prequel 🎥

A prequel? Hmmmm… This is new. 

The briefest definition of “prequel” that I have found is a story or movie containing events that precede those of an existing work. And for sure I began writing this blog post several days ago with the intent to get into the weeds of the analysis I was doing at the time in order to come to a conclusion about what security camera system to replace our existing cameras with.

However, sometimes, when I begin to write, the words come out of nowhere and go in a completely different direction than I intend. It happens quite often actually and while I am sure it is all part of some grand plan, I’m left with little nuggets of treasure I don’t quite know what to do with. This one happens to be about writing bios. 

I’ve written and rewritten my bio dozens of times and included it in a hundred (plus) submissions. In the beginning a person really doesn’t know what to say about themselves. In 2017 I was at the beginning of a new chapter of my life and had just started rekindling my passion for writing. As such, I had nothing noteworthy as a writer to say about myself or my life. 

You can’t fake or fib experience and so all you really have to go on is your current status—Where you live, what you do, perhaps your personal familial situation or pursuits. My bio back then:  #ILikeTurtles. 😜

In 2018 I was tasked with writing my first bio by a publication that required it for their print poetry anthology. It was supposed to be about 50 words. I toiled over that because I didn’t have enough to reach the requirement. 

Now, after just a few short years, I have a tough time narrowing it down for those lit mags that have a 50 word max. I’m now faced with deciding what’s important or relevant to include and what I can let go of. It’s a nice  problem to have. 

For one, it means that I’ve been somewhat successful in my attempts to get my poems published. I now have a healthy list of publishers I can reference in the standard sentence that lots of folks include in their bio about recent work. It’s also good to have something about how a person is or has participated in the industry at large besides just being published. For me, that is my involvement with The Good Life Review. 

As I stated, I’ve now been through many versions of my bio and it hasn’t been just because of the aforementioned experience. It’s partly because my personal life has had a lot of big changes in the past couple of years too. Marriage, moving, and transitioning away from working at a traditional job to name a few. I feel like life has been a fast moving train since 2017 and is just now starting to slow down.  

Though my move was not THAT significant (same state and general metro area, just a different city), it did warrant a tweak to the bio. I also finished my MFA in writing AND had to up the kitten count from 3 to 4 when we got Gus Gus last year (yes, the number of cats I live with is important! 😂). 

Though there have been many iterations of my bio, the first bit about who I am and where I’m from has not changed much. I mean, those things are not going to change. I have shorter and longer starter sentences based on the word count requirement and have gone back and forth about the importance of folks knowing the state or the general area I grew up in. No matter the verbosity and specificity I’ve landed on calling myself an “analytical Virgo” and that’s just stuck in all the variations. 

Back when I was a practicing IT analyst, I didn’t have to include that detail but now that I no longer have a career where it’s inferred, I’m somewhat compelled to slip it in there. My analytical nature and affinity for left brain tasks are near and dear to my heart. It’s a double edged sword—the “thinkers curse.”

The big benefit is my ability (and passion) for digging into a task like researching options for replacing our security camera system here at the Castle. If you’ve ever looked into such things you know that it is less of a rabbit hole and more of a dragon cave! I don’t often use the word “Saga,” as I have done in this set of posts, and would never do so lightly. 

This is the part of the post where I was finally getting to my actual point, and was really super excited to document for all-time and perhaps even provide some helpful insight and value to individuals stumbling across my blog. Sadly, I ran out of time. Even more sad than that is that I thought about the best way to transition into that “real” topic and came up empty. But the saddest of all was that I actually started writing this on June 12th (it is now June 15). Life is a fast moving train indeed. 

I suppose the conclusion of this particular post (like a lot of prequels) is anti-climatic and doesn’t truly have much to say since the meat of the real story hasn’t actually been posted yet. And, if I were keeping true to the definition of the word “prequel,” those other posts would come first. But that’s not happening either. #fail 

Hopefully, though, all that noise will be ready soon.🤞 I for one am super excited about my new cameras!! Stay tuned to hear all about it. 😂

With Peace and Love and Bubblegum Bath Bombs,
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-06-05 Cliches About Time are Cliche Because of Their Truth

The push and pull of all these days blurs into a gravity that begs to be let go of. Time is relative. Emotions are relative. Thoughts are relative. The next thing can only be measured against the last and the moment in time that lingers longer than it should, repeating itself in the mind, becomes greater as time passes. It’s natural.

Funny how the more you want to let it go, the harder it holds on and the harder you want to hold onto it, the faster it slips away. Why? I often think that I’m not ready to work on answers to the questions yet, because I’m still working on the questions. Maybe in my last minutes wandering this waking world I’ll come to understand the questions. Maybe then, and only then, I will feel ready for the answers. 

Since the funeral on Thursday, I’ve been replaying the same moment in my head over and over again. Each time I think maybe I can get through it without that emotional swell that brings me to tears. 

My mom and I arrived 20 minutes early for the funeral and there was no one in the receiving line before entering the main part of the chapel. Even before I saw the line, I could feel my emotions rising through my body, in my stomach, and up into my throat. By the time I was standing in front of my ex, i was already full and bursting from the eyes. I attempted to maintain my composure as I gave him a light hug and offered my condolences. 

Next was his mom, who I had been most worried about and felt very sad for. She hugged me tightly and whispered in my ear, she loves me, she’s glad I came, thanks for sending flowers, and that I’ve done a good job raising the kids. 

See, I can’t think of it now without tearing up again. 

I was worried and anxious and had nothing to worry about. I wish I had been more prepared. So many unsaid things are in my head and it’s too late for me to say them. So now they are stuck inside of me. And now I realize it’s too late, their “stuck-ness” hurts. 

I proceeded down the receiving line. Kristy, Wendy, Scott, and Larry. Family that used to be my family. Family that would be my family had I stayed married. Family that I was separated from suddenly and unnaturally. It was the toughest part of my divorce and standing there I was reduced to my younger self, broken and exposed and not knowing what to say. 

I hugged each person in turn, followed by my mom making easy casual conversation with folks the way she does. Why couldn’t I have inherited her easy social nature? 

We proceeded into the church and selected a spot near the back of the room. The service was nice. The personal portion was touching and the religious portion allowed me to splay my thoughts in different directions. 

My children were there, sitting with their cousins and though I said hello to them, it felt like I was approaching strangers, not really a part of that circle. They are all so grown up. The oldest cousin having children of his own now. That’s life. 

We didn’t stay for the reception after. My mom was in a hurry to get going. I almost regretted bringing her as I may have stayed longer if it wasn’t for her. It was probably for the best. I don’t really belong anyway and it would have been awkward. 

That was 2 days ago and that 120 second clip of navigating the interactions in that line will not stop replaying in my mind. Two mornings now I’ve woke up thinking about it. The words whispered, the embraces, the flood of emotions. It leaves me wondering what I will need to do to release myself from repeating that memory. That’s the question. 

I’ve told three people, and each time I began to get weepy and still that did not help. I’m hoping writing this will help. I guess we’ll see. Time will tell. 

Time heals and time wounds. Time is forgiving and cruel. Time keeps its secrets until it’s too late, revealing the questions when the answers no longer matter. 

My former father-in-law is gone and I can no longer tell him how I feel about him and how much he means to me, my memories locked inside because I’m not able to sit around the table with the family and reminisce. 

I can’t reach back in time and change anything. I can’t rewind and ask my grandfather about his life. I can’t stay in touch with Stacey and convince her life is worth sticking around for or change the way I treated KS. Life goes on and as cliche as it is, it waits for no one. 

That’s a good a place as any to stop. There’s more I could say about family and attempting to spend more quality time lately, but it’s Saturday and going to be hot out and I need to water my plants. 

Another cliche but so true—there’s no time like the present.

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-29 KC Road Trip Part 1: It’s All Going to Be OK

This is new. My daughter is having her first “friend” road trip/weekend and I’m backseat chaperoning and trying not to backseat drive. She drives like a teenager—too fast, following too close, and extremely irritated when I offer pointers. I’ve seen what she calls her most social finger waving to me from the driver’s seat at least 4 times now. I have to bite my tongue.

Right now she has one hand on the wheel and one hand awkwardly gripping the top of her Starbucks cup, sipping some overly-sweet concoction that doesn’t even have coffee or espresso in it. In my head I imagine she squeezes too tight and the lid pops off and the seat of my car is irreversibly sticky, uncompromisingly ruined as syrup and melted whip cream seep into the seams of the fabric. 

I wince as she removes her “wheel” hand to pinch the straw and swirl it around the bottom of the cup. 

The miles stretch on as we pass semi after semi. She read somewhere that driving seven miles over the speed limit is “acceptable.” Acceptable meaning, you won’t get pulled over. Sometimes I have to look away, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and remind myself (in my head), that it’s all going to be OK. 

This is her trip and she’s waited a long time to get to do something like this. It would probably have happened during or just after her senior year of high school but the Coronavirus had other plans for all of us that year. So much of what was supposed to happen had been ruined and, at times, I feel like I am overcompensating–trying too hard to make it up to her. I feel like I might be doing that for the rest of her life. Letting her drive is such a small thing. 

I have to remind myself that I did this trip to KC when I was her age—a right of passage for many teenagers from CB and Omaha alike. We didn’t have chaperones. We rented a motel in town the night before we left, didn’t have reliable cars, or smart phones. Hell, we didn’t even have enough money for gas for the trip home. We didn’t think too far ahead and didn’t worry about breaking down or all the terrible things that could have happened. We just went and it all turned out OK.

***

It’s all going to be OK. 

Or is it?

***

When my daughter approached me with the idea for this road trip.. I was all for it. I would even have been ok with her and her friend going without supervision or help. They are very responsible girls and my daughter is a serious planner so she would have thought of everything well in advance. Well, only the things she knew to consider anyway. 

It was her friend’s parents that would not let them go without a chaperone which I happily agreed to do. I even said up front I would stay out of their way and let them call the shots (hence the driving situation). What I didn’t realize then was that the weekend they were planning was a holiday weekend and also one of the first of the season when the main activity they wanted to travel for would be bonkers busy. The destination I’m talking about is Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. 

All the planning in the world can’t prepare a person for the fresh hell we experienced at the park.

We arrived at our hotel in Liberty Missouri about 1pm and were able to check in early. Side note for all you young travelers—in these parts you can’t rent a hotel room unless you are 21 years old. It’s a good thing I was along for the ride! 

With no time to waste, we changed and drove a stones throw up the road to Worlds of Fun.

Parking? No problem.

Waiting in queue to enter the park? No problem.

Navigating to our first ride? No problem.

But that was the end of our problem-less sidewalk.

We surveyed the line for the first “starter” coaster we wanted to try. It seemed extremely long. We got in it anyway. In about 10 minutes time it barely moved. Red flag. 

The woman in front of us was eavesdropping on our conversation, part of which included the fact that there was a Panda Express right next to the ride and how absolutely gross their food is. After a few more minutes she says, “you guys know this line is for the Panda?” Ugh 😩 

So we wasted about 15 minutes in that line and quickly made our way to the correct line, which didn’t seem all that long. In fact, I kinda remember the last time I was at the park and it was equally as long. It moves pretty fast. I said to myself. 

It didn’t. 

And it’s one of those lines that you can’t really see where it winds around as the queue is out of sight. Well, you can’t see it until you’re already far enough that you’ve committed 40 minutes of your life to it, which is exactly what happened. And it wasn’t moving fast.. It was barely moving.

My daughter was the one who made the call. We dipped out of the line to go elsewhere. Mind you, we arrived at the park at about 2pm and now it was 3. She said “which way do we go?” 

I urged that we head toward the Mamba, which is the major coaster at the back of the park. She said “we can’t start with that one!” 

I said, “ok. We’ll stop at a few on the way.” The first one the girls were interested in (that was operational) was the detonator. An extremely tall tower that you sit in and it shoots you up like a rocket. There are two towers, 12 people at a time each. We got in line. 

Between people with fast passes and only one of the two towers being operational (and clearly incompetent people running the ride) it took two hours and forty-five minutes to get to the front of the line.

After dipping out of the line on the first ride, we were all-in on this one and no way we were leaving without actually getting to ride. It was horrible. The ride was good, but not worth the pain. 

When it was over, the girls looked at me for direction. I just shrugged and said “maybe if we hurry we can ride the mamba before the park closes.” The park closes as 7pm. We sprinted in that general direction. 

We got as far as the end of the line and made the call, no way in hell we were waiting in that line. We retreated and continued on the path to leave. It was now about 6pm and we had been at the park 4 hours and rode exactly 1 ride. I was one hot mama on the hunt to get my daughter a refund for the hundreds of dollars she spent on tickets for this weekend. 

En route to the exit, we stopped at the Zulu and waited in line 45 minutes to ride it. So 5 hours and 2 rides. I explained to the nice kid at guest services that my daughter paid in advance for three people for three days at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun including a fast pass for three people for Sunday that she purchased while we were standing in line at the detonator.

They were ready. They knew that people were angry and it’s not like we live here or have season passes and can come back any day. No. This was a destination for us. This is the whole reason we came to this city. We wanted a refund. I told the kid “there is no way we are returning for two more days of this.” They gave her almost all of her money back, including the money for the tickets for the current day. What a relief. 

Sad to be so relieved to not have to go back to an amusement park, but true. 

We eventually found our car in the sea of departing vehicles and got in yet another queue to leave. Little did we know that the park was not done with us yet. The line to leave didn’t budge. We sat for 20 minutes without even driving 1 car length. There are a series of parking lots all connected by one road. One way in and one way out. 😩 

So we waited. 

My daughter had happily given up the driver’s seat and sat behind me googling directions on her phone. She said that there was another road in the map, an alternate way out. I argued that if that was the case, more people would be going that way. 

She pleaded and I was just desperate enough to listen and indulge her. I peeled out of line and went the opposite way. 

We arrived at a gravel lot where the road was crumbling, but I continued to follow it around to another paved road that had a sign—no guest access. The girls giggled from the back seat, “just DO IT.” So I did.

We wound all the way around the back side of the park and came to what was clearly an employee / service area. Then we hit the end of the road. A large metal gate blocking the path. We could see the main road just on the other side of that. We were so close.

My daughter wanted to try and move the gate, but it wasn’t latched and it looked electronic to me. I started to back the car out to go the other way and she pleaded again to let her try. 

I said “it’s not the kind of gate a person can move. It’s probably operated from a remote or keypad or button.” Just then, I surveyed the gate again and saw a button. I said “like THAT ONE!!”

I jumped out of the car and pushed the button and sure enough, the gate began to open. Huzzah! Something finally went out way!! 

On our way out, we drove past the long line of cars still waiting their turns at the final stop sign before the exit onto the main drive. We probably saved ourselves an hour by bending the rules. And I was ok with that. I Just hope that decision is not going to come back and bite me in some way. It might.

***

Despite it being almost 8pm at that point, we found a spot for dinner and still had time left after that to visit Wal-Mart and pick up a card game and some snacks. I crashed out about midnight and vaguely remember asking them to turn the TV off sometime quite a bit later.

Now it’s tomorrow and so far this day isn’t going as planned either. But it’s not my day and it’s not my plan and whatever happens, it’s all going to be ok. Right??!!

Until next time,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-27 The Elephant in my Heart

After a time.. feel as though my hiding from the world at large is exhausting.

Maybe I’m just exhausted from lack of sleep. No matter how productive I am, it’s not productive enough. 

Still..  was looking forward to today when I woke up. Despite the dishes piling up, clumps in the litter box piling up, and mail requiring attention piling up, I’m still looking forward. The biggest question now is if I’m writing that because I want it to be true or if it’s actually true. 

My friend T texted she won’t be at the exercise class today, the one I vowed a few weeks ago I was quitting but too chicken-shit to tell her so I ponied up 50 more bucks for 5 more classes. 10 bucks a class is outrageous. The only way I can get my monies worth is to get the unlimited package and then go to like a gazillion classes. 

I need to grow a spine and just tell her. She probably already thinks I’m a complete flake, backing out of class after class. Then yesterday I went and lifted too heavy on biceps and hurt my arm. I’m going to start lifting with my husband instead. We have all this damn equipment at home I never use .. I just need another person to feel motivated to exercise (outside this treadmill walking). 

Why is that? 

I just need to tell T I want to hang out with her outside of a class, just you know, coffee or the zoo with her kids, or just sitting at one of our houses. 

Right now I’m avoiding the elephant in the room of my heart—the passing of my former father in law, my kids’ grandpa. He was a father figure to me for 18 years of my life and a genuinely wonderful person. I had a better relationship with him and his wife than my own parents who never paid any attention to me. His parents cared and they showed it.

And on it went like that through the duration of my 18 year marriage until the day I ended things with my ex husband and became enemy #1 in the eyes of my mother in law. I had to sacrifice my relationships with most members of his family for that decision, including the one I had developed with Larry. Sad that it had to be like that.

Just because I haven’t talked to them in years doesn’t mean I don’t feel grief. I do. I am hurting. I’m feeling it for myself, my ex-husband, my children, for the whole family. Funny the way it is when someone dies and you just don’t know what to say. I just don’t know what to say.

The kids are pretty closed up at this point, their first (close) grandparent to pass and just internalizing their own pain. They don’t want to talk about it and we’re all holding our breath in a vacuum waiting for news about services. The longer we have to wait, the more likely it willl be this weekend, which is in conflict with my daughters first planned road trip with a friend. She’s had so many disappointments from plans being derailed in the last few years, it’s disheartening.

I’m a little closed too, kind of feeling I have no one to talk to about how I feel about him or his dying. We all knew it was imminent, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I think most people would think I have no right to be upset, because it’s been so long but people feel how they feel. That is part of what makes us human.

For me this creates a bit of a conundrum about whether or not I should go to the funeral. If I had my way I would but Jim thinks I should not. I feel like it’s the respectful thing to do but he thinks it would not be right. It’s one of those situations where I don’t trust my own judgement and seeking counsel from others. Ultimately the decision is mine but I just want someone else to tell me what to do. But the fact that I’m resisting Jim’s advice is telling.

It has been 10+ years since I had interaction with the family. But I want to be there for myself and my kids. But they have their dad. But their dad might want me there. But he might not. My head goes back and forth and the worst part of my indecision is thinking if I go for myself that it will be selfish or self-serving like my mom saying she wanted to go to my step-moms funeral last year “for her kids” (all grown and not needing her and frankly not wanting to be there themselves). 

Still, maybe I need some sort of resolution for myself and I shouldn’t be so concerned what other people think. But I do care and their feelings matter. I just don’t know. 

If we were still in the middle of COVID, that would be a big reason not to go. But we’ve all been vaccinated now. I just don’t know. 

I’m not really feeling motivated to continue walking (or thinking about this) right now. I have so much to do today. Too much.

Deep sighs,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-18 Music as Inspiration and Other Rando Crafty Thoughts…

I’ve had my new phone for over a week and finally.. FINALLY.. got my music library loaded. So now I’m officially down to using one device daily. 💃💃💃

This morning, instead of picking a playlist, I’m listening to the ultimate shuffle—all the songs that are in my library. Another advantage of my new phone is that it has space to hold all the music I’ve loaded onto iTunes on my laptop, which is a fraction of the songs I’ve acquired in my lifetime. I only load artists, albums, and songs that I want to hear so as to avoid spending time skipping a whole lot of garbage that I’m not into.

In any case, listening to the ultimate shuffle today began with Mrs. Potters Lullaby by Counting Crows. That’s a song I once got inspired to write a poem about. One of the few instances (besides my Fall Out Boy poem) where I remember the exact circumstance—where I was and when.

I was at the Panera Bread in Papillion on 72nd street and it was just after a meetup with my ex, Matt. I sat in a corner chair—one of the bigger lounge chairs that’s not at a cafe table. I had my laptop out and was writing when the song came up. I was immediately immersed in the song and stopped writing. I couldn’t remember hearing that one before and I’ve listened to a LOT of Counting Crows. 

After the song was over, I hit the back button to listen again. And then again as I began to compose a poem. I let the song influence the poem, both in meter and rhyme. Each time I listened I pulled a line or two out to mingle with my own thoughts and I repeated the song until I was satisfied that the first draft was complete.

I then closed my laptop and drove home. 

Months later I found it again, perusing my personal slush pile and worked on revising, with the limited knowledge I had at that point (still early in my MFA). I didn’t spend too much time on it though, dismissing it because of the heavy rhyme and all the lyrics I’d hijacked and twisted to suit my needs. I wondered if the poem was too much of the song. Would that be considered plagiarism? 

Fast forward about two years and I’m revisiting my slush pile again, hunting for something to submit to workshop for my final MFA residency. I had a lack of new material and really wanted to push the envelope with something I felt was good and worthy of workshop, but would spark conversation about rhyme and “stealing” lines. 

It did exactly that and I was pleased with the outcome, yet, I have not submitted that one for publication and as I write this, I’m questioning why not. 

Perhaps that should be one of the next poems on the agenda for revision and research. Research because sometimes it takes a little effort to find a place that the poem would be a good fit for. Many publications I research actually say that rhyming poems are a tough sell and honestly, the poem itself is lacking tension and that’s probably a problem.

But tension can come in many forms. The subject itself can be edgy, the writing can be such that it surprises, or the tension can be more subtle—hidden in the play between the fundamental elements of the poem. Interruptions in established meter or form, changes in diction, or juxtaposing simple colloquial speech with complex rhetoric can all be effective means to create tension. I just have to decide what my poem wants—what would work with what’s already there. 

But… it could be that this is just a learning experience and the poem isn’t meant to be out in the world. Many aren’t. 

Maybe the experience I can learn from happened years ago when I first composed the poem, leaning into a song for inspiration. Maybe the daily reading of poems for inspiration can be expanded to include whatever song I feel moves me the most. 

Right now I’m listening to a song by Justin Bieber and that’s NOT inspiring me to write anything. I like some of his songs but listening to the ultimate shuffle, I’m still left skipping through a lot of garbage. Ugh!

Times up now anyhow. The taco Tuesday train is about to leave the station. All aboard! 🚂 

Peace, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-07 On This Day in History… 🤱

Seventeen years ago, at this very moment, I was gettin busy pushing a baby out my vagina. That’s pretty freaking amazing right? That I can grow a human being inside my body and then birth it into the world in a matter of hours. 

More amazing than that is the mystical act of parenting. That a tiny, helpless being would be completely dependent on me in order to survive and thrive. And eventually get to the state of life where he could refuse to have his hair cut, develop an affinity for grape gatorade, and be sensitive and secure enough at 17 to hug his mama in front of his schoolmates. Yup.. pretty incredible indeed. 

He’s always hated having his hair cut. It wasn’t until very recently that, as a parent, I let go of pushing my own agenda for his hair. I let go and it was a beautiful thing. He’s not quite at man-bun stage yet, but well on his way. We’re now actively encouraging him to grow his hair out and get through the current awkward phase where it’s long enough to be in his eyes but not long enough to tie back. 

At first he thought we were trying to use reverse psychology on him but now we’ve reached the understanding that we’re all super stoked about it. His sister included, which I think seems to help. 

And contrary to his sister who was in line at the dmv at midnight when she turned 16 waiting to get her drivers license, he’s a year past that now and still has no interest in driving. His dad thinks he’s lazy and I dunno… I think he just has it all figured out. 

It’s not a bad thing to be chauffeured around everywhere and not be responsible for running errands for your parents. I was like that at his age. I never wanted to drive either and the sacrifice of being dependent on other people never bothered me that much. 

That’s why when his dad called me last week, in a fit, because C was refusing to drive, I just shrugged it. It will happen (his learning and getting his license) and I’m not worried. I just listened and said that I’d support helping him learn by driving with him when school is out. 

Also.. His dad having his panties in a bunch over it is delightful to me. That’s wrong, I know, but I don’t care. 😜

I’m actively working to slow down time, engaging in practices to allow the world around me to move at a pace that’s more amiable to my own. I don’t mind if it takes him the whole summer to learn and have drivers Ed. I don’t mind one bit. 

I’m sad to not get to spend any time with my super C today. He’s off school and hasn’t even responded to my text yet. I’ll wait a little bit and call. I’ll get my QT with him this weekend or next week. It’s a good thing that he gets to spend time with his paternal peeps today anyhow. 

Today is Friday and if I recall correctly he was born on a Friday too. Lemme check…. (Hold please)….

Yes! It was indeed a Friday. Thanks Google! 

That’s what made the timing so perfect for bringing him home from the hospital, We were able to do that on Sunday which just happened to be Mother’s Day. The same as it this week. 

Jim is off today and we’re just hanging out—cardio together, running a few errands for his son’s birthday, and probably yard work later. His sons 17th birthday is today too. How wild is that. 

At the same time I was pushing a baby out my va-j-j, my future husband’s first wife was having her belly cut into to extract their son. No disrespect to any woman who has had to have a C-section, but I’m glad to have done it the natural way. Even if they had to pull that baby-suction device out of the closet of the labor and delivery room to pull him out. Crazy times! 

Anyhow… that’s probably it today. Not a lot else going on. 

Three Cheers for Successfuly Slowing the Passage of Time, 

~Miss SugarCookie