2020-05-24 Sushi Sunday Anyone? 🍣

We had a glorious thunderstorm last night (apparently) and I woke at the end of that, happy to hear the rain as I’ve done some planting of annuals in pots the last week or so and every day it rains is a day I don’t have to. Thanks Universe!

I also went back to sleep after both my 3am and 5am wake ups.. with no meds. That’s pretty glorious too. I was able to get a collective 8 hours which is rare and also really necessary to get that restoration I was talking about yesterday.

It’s apparently going to be a pretty rainy day out today too. Perfect for getting stuff done inside. This includes work work, work on the lit mag website (which is supposed to go live today), and probably getting in another episode of Picard before our one month trial of whatever the streaming service that show is on runs out. I think that ends on the 26th so if watch 1 episode a day, we’ll get to the end (we don’t watch a lot of TV).

Truth is, I have a hard time watching TV anymore because I always start to feel like I’m wasting time. It has to be a really good show. Picard has been good, but not quite great, even for Trek fans, so we’ll see.

I woke up this AM and one of the first thoughts in my head was that Sushi sounds good. Sunday’s used to be my day to treat myself to that. It also used to be my day to check on my stats. I haven’t had/done either in a while. The stats thing is just kind of depressing and I gave myself a big ole pass on it because of the pandemic but that’s just a sorry excuse.

There is, however, no excuse for skipping out on the Sushi Sunday experience. I might just have to right that wrong today.

Of course, we had been on serious lockdown because of the pandemic for a while and that included take out. Those restrictions have eased up a bit lately and we’ve treated ourselves. (I’ve probably treated myself a little more than we agreed upon, bending that “minimalistic” approach we agreed upon). 🤷‍♀️

After yesterday I think my veg garden is all in. I finally found that Anaheim pepper plant I’ve been looking for and the pumpkin seeds are in, which is probably too late to have actual pumpkins ready in October. Some varieties take 120 days. I’ll have to look at the seed packets.

My grape iris are in full bloom now which is late for them because they typically pop in early May and are amazing by Mother’s Day. I would cut some and put them in a vase in the kitchen but Doug, the resident plant destroyer, would probably just munch them. Maybe I’ll do that anyway.

We’ll see.

Peace and love and sushi, 🍱
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-04 A Zone 7 Beauty Thriving in Zone 5

(Happy Star Wars Day Friends.. May the Force be with you today and always!) 😘

It’s a rainy Monday in Nebraska and my list of tasks never seems to lighten up. Instead of going there, though, and dwelling on the endless caravan of sideshow attractions, I’m gonna sit in the dirt and marvel at the earthworms that find their way to the surface.

In the last week, I’ve dug into the dirt with my favorite shovel. I twisted the big, unearthed clumps with my garden claw, and then raked it all smooth again.

Yesterday Jim and I grabbed our masks and jumped in the Jeep. We went to a local hardware store store and went our separate ways there. A half an hour later we came back together with our respective carts full of garden goodness. His was all landscape project odds and ends. Heavy stuff like bags of rocks and some pretty solar lights, cuz he’s Jim and lights are his thing. And that’s just one of the things I love about him.

My cart? Porting soil to mix in with the dirt from last years pots to prep them for annual color all season. But that was not my primary objective. Nope. This trip was all about bed #1 of 3. The one that’s dedicated to tomato’s and peppers and marigolds.

Last year was a good test of my new space. I had too many tomato’s and peppers so this year I have Dialed it back to 3 regular tomato plants- better boy, big beef, and celebrity. Two different variety of bell peppers, and one Anaheim (I’ll have to find the Anaheim somewhere else cuz they didn’t have those. The marigolds are to ring the border of that garden and that’s my tradition.

Yesterday I only got as far as planting the veg I bought. The flowers will have to wait till one day this week. And it won’t be today because lots of rain and lots of work to do.

I’m definitely in my happy place In the garden. It’s sometimes painful work, turning dirt and bending over and being on my knees, making things just so. But it’s so satisfying. And I think being alone for a little bit is great for my mental health. Somehow I’m able to shut off all the voices in my head that are urging me to do this or that.

I’m able to forget about the website work that needs to be done or the issues with the new design or the dirty dishes or the un-vacuumed floor or some seeder data that’s going to need to be loaded into the dev database for testing. It all melts into some place in the corners of my mind and I am able to focus on how I’m shaping the mounds of dirt around me new little babies.

This one likes “wet” feet and that one likes well drained soil. They have different needs just like people and as long as you know how to treat them, they will thrive and be happy. Some plants are “hardy”. This means they can tolerate too wet, hot, dry, or cold conditions (to a certain point). They don’t need as much tending cuz they will be all right.

If I were to tag myself with some characteristics, I would say that I’m hardy but prefer Zone 7. I mean, my life was just meant to be in Zone 5, and now I’m putting down even more roots. I can tolerate a lot. I’m low maintenance and mostly just want a good balance of being left alone and having great conversations with people I love. Like a Stella Daylily. Coming back time and time again regardless of the care or feeding I’ve had. Always reaching for the sun.

Yellow has never been my color though, so perhaps some orange variety or the tiger lily, spots of freckles in view when I’m happily in bloom. And so it goes.

The best thing about the hard work I put in to my garden is the times I can just walk back there and look at it and know that I did that with my two hands. I tend the plants and I they do the only thing they know how to do, which is live and grow. And then.. on one magical day in July or August, I’ll be able to pluck some tomato or cucumber or cauliflower or pinch off a head of dill or some cilantro before it flowers and Make something delicious to eat. Or, in the case of my cherry tomatoes, pop them right into my mouth right there in the garden. Glorious.

All right. That’s enough garden talk for now. Ive got to get down to other business. All those melted away things are starting to creep back from the corners and taking shape again behind my eyes. Mondays. 🤷‍♀️

No rest for the wicked,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-27 Today’s Big News Top 5 List

It’s Monday again but not just any Monday. Lots of big things to report on. Perfect for a top 5 List:

  1. Thesis = Done (I’ve said that about 4 other times, but I think this is it. Yes, I still have to print copies and send to the university by snail mail, but I’m not planning on touching it anymore). 💃💃💃
  2. It’s officially spring. I’m putting my money on no more freezing temps. It will be 80 today and I really don’t think we’ll see those low temps again since it’s so close to May. 🌷🌷🌷
  3. This week is my darling daughters last day of high school. May 1st is her official last day and then that’s it. Kind of feels anti-climatic, but I’m gonna do my best to make her feel special this week. It’s a big deal and just because her last semester and graduation has been hijacked by a pandemic is no reason not to do a happy dance and do something fun. 🎉🎉🎉
  4. It’s also Jim and my 3 month anniversary this week. Doesn’t even feel like we ever got married since the world went to shit after that. Things are going well. It’s nice to know we can work together through such a stressful time. Wonder what married life is like when there’s not a life threatening virus in play? 💕💕💕
  5. I took a shower yesterday. Normally that wouldn’t be news, but in these desperate times, we have to take all we can get. 😂😂😂

In other news, I seem to have some sort of mood swing thing going on. One minute I feel so happy and content and like the I’ve got the whole world in the palm of my hand. And the next I’m full of anxiety and sadness, triggered by the smallest stuff.

I woke up at 12:22am. My mind was wrecked with worry about lit mag stuff and I couldn’t fall back asleep.

Rewind to yesterday in the garden when I was listening to my tunes and digging in the dirt. I was inspired with so many great thoughts and ideas. I actually had strange heart palpitations and felt like I had taken a double shot of espresso or something. It was euphoric.

Two hours after that I saw a Facebook post that led to deep contemplation about my strained relationship with my father and it led me to the edge of tears. (The answer is to stop looking at FB ) and I guess do what Jim suggests and just treat the situation how I would counsel my children to do when they are adults. It’s good advice. He’s a keeper.

Anyway. You get the point. How is one supposed to focus with all this noise going on inside? 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I think that’s gonna have to be it today. I need to get to work.

Cheers to the last week of April,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-26 Sunday Un-Status

Well.. today is the actual deadline for getting my thesis submitted for a formal format check but since I sent that off last week, I’ve already got my reply.

There are changes I have to make because it’s an official university document. Some of the choices I made for section headers for the 5 sections of the manuscript and images for those section separating pages just have to be removed. It’s a bummer. I was so proud of how those images fit perfectly with my theme.

I was reminded that it’s not an actual book so even though it’s common for poetry manuscripts these days to have images, mine have to go. Ok.

I was also told the left margin has to be 1.5 and though I have not gone back into word, I know that’s going to seriously mess with my table of contents. Each of my 60+ poems has to have its own line item and it’s all gonna probably shift. Fixing all that is one of the items on my to-do list today.

More work in my garden is another. It’s going to be a lovely Nebraska day out there and I’m looking forward to spring. The garden on the northwest side corner of the back yard is one of the places I feel I actually own where this house is concerned.

It might be a big house, but the room decor and furnishings were all established before I moved in. It’s all super cool, but I would not have decorated in the same ways. In fact, that’s been a tough part of my adjustment process. I went from being the person who made all the decisions and being really independent to really not having any say.

Of course, that’s not an absolute and it certainly doesn’t provide a complete picture. We completely re-did the room that is my daughters before we moved in, among a few other changes since then. On the whole, though, there’s not been a ton of changes or decisions. Except the garden.

I’m the consummate gardener in the house and as such, I’ve got free reign over what goes in the garden. It’s my happy place and I’m rolling into my second year figuring out the space. It’s a great space to work with and I’ve got the former owners to thank. Gardening was one of their pastimes too so there’s already three garden beds encompassed by railroad ties with the rest of the pathway set with brick pavers.

Wood does what wood does when it’s exposed to the elements and so the railroad ties are starting to rot. Still, they will last for a few more years. My focus is deciding what arrangement of flowers and veg is best and perhaps how I might finally be successful with herbs like cilantro and dill and whatever else we might use in our summer cooking.

Anyway, there’s some of that in my future today and that makes me happy. This weekend has brought a lot of happiness and contentment thus far. My kids are at their dads and though I miss them and am looking forward to their return tomorrow, I’m still grateful for the time I’ve had both alone and with Jim this weekend.

As for an official report of my status, I’m sort of feeling very “so what” about it. My steps are down, my weight is up, my sleep is sub-par, and oh.. by the way.. I’m healthy and don’t have a life threatening virus. How’s that for a Status?

Now that my thesis is pretty much wrapped up, I turn my attention this week to the lit mag startup and developing the forms for Submittable: somehow we went from 3, maybe 4 genres to like 8 different sections. It’s pretty ambitious. And since the content will be online only and not formatted in an actual book (which is what I wanted to do), I guess it doesn’t matter as much how many pages the whole thing collectively would be. I might lobby again for an actual “pdf” of each issue, and if we do that, the volume might become more important. I’m probably overthinking this.

I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm of the people who have graciously volunteered their time and effort to this project. I hope we can keep that energy up as we get closer to “going live”. It feels like each time I start working on something new it leads to uncovering more tasks that need done.

Hopefully the Submittable thing won’t be like that. Perhaps I’ll dip my toe in that today and see if I can figure it out. I have to remind myself.. one thing at a time. “Stay focused!”

That’s it today. My hour is up and I need to go make some coffee.

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-25 Just Another Rainy Saturday in April

It could be any rainy day. It could be any April day. It could be any other day in the known and unknown calendars of the universe. But it’s not. It’s today.

I didn’t have my walk today and just a little bit ago I had to take my Fitbit off cuz the battery is E-M-P-T-Y. I refused to take it off earlier as I was getting ready to do yard work and no way I’m not getting credit for that effort. Yard work almost always = lots of steps. And I need all I can get today especially after being lazy and sleeping till like 9 today. (Yes, kids, 9AM is sleeping-in in the land of the SugarCookie).

Now it’s later and I’m just sittn here enjoying the rain coming down. The random rumbles from the sky every once and a while are pleasing too. The cats look like they are gearing up for their evening naps and all is quiet here.

I did make some progress in the garden today. About half of the beds have now been turned and weeded and raked flat again—ready for planting. I have a fair number of pots along the far fence that I pulled away to rake and they will stay that way as we are having some of the old fence sections replaced next week. Over in early spring, several sections actually fell over onto the neighbors property (on the opposite side of the back yard) and so we are having all the oldest parts of the fence replaced.

Mother Nature aint stopped by Covid and luckily the fence companies aren’t either. In fact, a lot of places in Nebraska still seem operational and it kinda feels like there’s no global pandemic at all. We made a trip to Lowes today and it was packed. And unlike my trip to the grocery last Monday, almost nobody was wearing masks.

I suppose they are either over it, don’t think it’s a problem, or aren’t afraid of getting sick. I fall in group number 1. I suppose as long as I still get QT with my garden this spring, it’s really nothing to me to be home all day every day.

Jim was off yesterday and so that felt kinda like a Saturday which makes today kinda feel like a Sunday. Even though I worked yesterday, it still feels like a 3 day weekend. Cheers to that.

Earlier today, when we had our first bout of rain, we opted to enjoy it from the greenhouse. It’s not a typical greenhouse. I mean, it is a greenhouse with three walls of glass with a glass roof that curves down on the corners, but we don’t use it as a greenhouse (though we could). Instead, there’s a double bed against the wall with a rug and a bean bag on the floor and the decor is red and black and white with a Japanese theme.

When it rains, we like to lay in there and talk. Or just listen. Today was a great day for that.

Jim is outside now, in the rain, trying to finish what he started in the way of outside projects today. As for me, once I took the Fitbit off, I succumbed to the appeal of pajamas and am, at the present moment, sinking into the couch in my comfys.

I’ve got a few other bits of important business I need to get to on my laptop today before I can truly let go and drift into veggie land. More tomorrow (perhaps).

Happy Rainy Caturday 🌧🐱💙
~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-29 Cage Match with Ornamental Grass

It’s late in the day for me to be doing the treadmill thing and trying to come up with something to write about. I guess I don’t have to, but it feels so necessary. It’s the end-times after all, we need all the unverifiable documentation that we can get.

Jim gets home from work and asks what I did today. It always feels like a question that makes me feel guilty. It shouldn’t, but it does. I fed the cats and cleaned litter boxes. I fed the fish twice and the birds. Ran the pool cleaners and put more water in (we have an undiagnosed leak). I spent two hours digging out ornamental grasses from layers of landscaping fabric, dirt, and rocks. It was out of control and frankly an eyesore. We have a lovely waterfall and stream and you can’t see it because of all that weedy looking grass. Now the grass is gone and it looks a ton better.

When I finished I was covered head to toe with dirt and sweat and itchy skin but was quite satisfied. I did not have enough motivation to get to the fun part, which is planning and replacing it all with some flowering perennials. Not sure what yet. Something low like dwarf Lillies or mums (except I hate mums) or coneflower. Ahhhh, flowers…

Anyway, I always feel like I don’t do enough, you know, around the house. It will never match what contributions he makes from the office, the hours he puts in, all the plates that are spinning all the time. I have to remind myself that what I’m doing is enough, I guess. Just appreciate it for what it is.

The hostas are in bloom now which draws a different crowd. We have had hummingbird sightings which is really cool cuz I’ve never seen one in real life before. We have a feeder out and I wonder if they are using that. It’s full of some red-sugar liquid.

The gardening kept me busy this morning and also kept me from missing my Jazzercise class since I was, once again, stuck at home. Ugh. Sucks to be a girl sometimes. Wonderful most of the time, but what a poor biological design!! I even thought about that today, with the struggle I was having with the rocks and roots and trying to pull it all apart and dig it all out. Who came up with all these crazy designs? Rocks and trees and dirt and stuff.

Probably didn’t help I was listening to “Ship of Fool” again. Lots of references to God in there, and the Devil and big cosmic-ness kind of stuff. It’s quite funny actually. I wish I had more poems on audio tracks like that. I’d love to hear more poets speak their poems. That’s probably why I like to go to readings so much. I always get inspired.

Toward the end of my pulling and digging and sweating, I was thinking of writing a poem about that. I had a pretty good title, and then a different title, and then it turned into something else in my head and by the time I was done and showered I lost most of it. But I had to shower cuz the itch was driving me batty. It’s the end times I say!

The only line I half liked from what spilled forth was this one..

“As stubborn and refusing as God’s Defense Attorney”

(The Force from the Fool poems is strong)

In other news.. There are a couple of bad-ass spider webs around the yard and I’ve left them alone. This morning I almost walked into one and the spider on it was frightened up to the top of the web and she was huge! I was all like “I know it’s going to get cold soon, but you need to stay out here and burrow into the ground or a tree or something and are NOT allowed in the house”. Yeah, the kind of spider, if you see it in the house, you scream like a little girl and then don’t take your eyes off it for a second while you think about what is close by you can smash it with (sorry RH – It’s just the way things go around here).

If we’re down to discussing spiders, that must mean my time is almost up. I’d post a pic of my triumph over the grass, but it’s dark out now and I didn’t take any. I should have gotten a before and after shot. 😕 Oh well. So much for documented proof.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-06 Six, Six, Pickup Sticks

I’m not sure why Day to Day I either have a lot to say or I don’t. Today I don’t.

Do we talk about the weather? Do we talk about how water is the Way and then follow its virtue around rocks and through valleys to the deep blue sea?

Do we talk about how poetry is everything and everywhere? It’s a orange sun impossibly large, sinking into the sherbert horizon, rays of energy splayed up as hands open in gratitude. Another turn and turn and turn. Another stanza recorded as the exit of light plays out on a grand stage.

Or can we just sit in silence and drink in the heat of a new day as it rises from the bricks and dirt in the garden contemplating how all life needs is the Ways of water and light and heat. It’s natural tendency is to face the sun. We should be students of nature. There is much to learn.

When everything else falls away, there is still poetry.

***

The time of the iris is coming to a close for another year and the lilies on the side of the house are starting to open. Some of the seeds I planted in my garden have sprouted – cucumbers, pumpkin, and zinnias. The herbs have not yet, but it’s hard to tell since there’s lots of little green sprouts poking up which could be the spearmint, dill, sage, and cilantro or it could be grass or weeds. I’ve never planted sage or spearmint so I’m not sure what they look like.

The tomatoes and peppers I planted don’t seem to have grown much but it’s hard to gauge at this point. A few hot, sunny days like the one we had yesterday and I’m sure they will really get going.

That’s it.

For today.

I guess.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie