2020-03-15 Out With the Old, In With the New

I’m briefly interrupting the current SugarCookie Series to write the Sunday Day Trip Status with a hint of realization and a pinch of actual stats.

Where to start? An interesting thing happened when I opened this note, started to type, and realized the date. March 15th. The Ides!!

Usually as this day approaches I think a lot about it (because of the history in it) and also usually get an ominous vibe thinking something bad is going to occur. Did Cesar have a creepy feeling when the soothsayer issued him a warning? I would think that would give anyone pause.

I have not thought about any of that or had any worry this year. I actually didn’t even realize what day it was. Shortly after getting up, we packed a few rations and jumped in the car. We drove west on I-80 with the hope of seeing some Sandhill cranes. We had a quaint little day trip and got as far as the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary.

The visitor center there was open despite all official tours being cancelled. We had no interest in going inside because we could learn anything we wanted by reading about the cranes online. We went to see the birds, which we did. Sort of.

We saw some from the car and used binoculars to get a closer look. We rolled the windows down so we could hear them, but we didn’t really get to experience the mass of birds you hear about when people talk about the migration. Apparently we would have had to go farther west for that and also arrive wherever that is at dawn or dusk when they are most active. Perhaps next time. We stopped there and turned around to head home.

For me it was just nice to get out of the house even though we didn’t even get out of the car. I wasn’t in the mood for a cold muddy hike and was more interested in just getting to spend 5 uninterrupted hours with my man. It was good conversation and we did learn a little googling about the migration along the way.

So, like I said, it wasn’t until I started to type the date just now that I realized what day it was. The 10 year anniversary of my divorce and also the anniversary of the day my dad had his heart attack. That’s how I know my life is so much better now.. I don’t dwell on these details. It’s a beautiful thing to forget the bad times.

Spending half a day in the car means I didn’t get any steps in so I’m trying to make up for that now. We’ll see how well I do this late in the day. I’m already losing motivation to follow through with the status analysis part of this session. Perhaps an abbreviated check..

Sleep: Average sleep score of 73 with an average of 6 hours and 49 minutes of sleep each night.

Steps: Just over 70k steps which averages to 10k a day. Ok I guess. This stat has taken a hit this week cuz Jazzercise classes are on the restricted activities list. Booooo!

School: I finished editing 2/3rds of my current thesis manuscript. Cheers for that success!

Weekly submission goal: Success! I’m now 3 for 3 with submitting to some publication or contest. Let those rejections commence. This week I also created a spreadsheet to track that activity and loaded it with my submission history going back to my first submission in 2017 (until 4 weeks ago, there’s only been a total of like 4 so I’ve almost doubled that in one month).

Work: I put in a whopping 18 hours. Money in the bank baby!

What else? I finished watching the bachelor and was disappointed in the result. It was dramatically satisfying but c’mon Pilot Pete?! How could you??!! Whatever.

I think that’s all I have in me today. I think it’s enough.

I guess the ominous bad thing happening March 15th this year is the chaos caused by a global pandemic. Things seem to be changing rapidly each day and I just don’t know what to expect when I wake up each day.

Cheers to forgetting bad memories and replacing them with good ones,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-02-14 Kauai Day 4 – Aloha from Our Lanai in Hawaii 🌴

My preference, of course, would be to write a little every day. I like to record the memorable moments and some of the great experiences I’m having. However, I’ve opted not to sacrifice any time thus far, doing things and seeing things for sitting down to write. It’s a good choice I think and hopefully the pictures we have taken will serve us well as a memory into this special time.

I’ve been snorkeling twice with Jim so far this trip and so this morning, I suggested he go alone and venture out a bit more than he would be able to do holding my hand and constantly attending to my fear and anxiety about the water. The whole snorkeling this is pretty bad-ass, and I’ve seen things I never would have seen if it weren’t for his love and support and encouragement. I’m not going to hash into the reasons why I have a fear of the water and drowning, I just know, it’s pretty amazing how he has helped me deal with that enough to enjoy the activities here in such a short time.

As with the previous three days, today is going to be another action packed adventure. When he returns we are doing a self-guided driving tour of the south part of the island which will include some cool hikes and stops at points of interest along the way. With four distinct areas of the island, it’s about a day each to explore around and really take in all that Kauai has to offer. After that, we return to the resort for a couples massage outside at a cabana by the ocean followed by dinner at a nice steak house (as long as we don’t opt for something else, which has happened a couple of times on the trip thus far).

It seems I’ve already used my hour up, again opting to sit and stare at the ocean, drink my espresso (there’s a machine in the room and that is definitely something I could get used to!), and write something special into the valentines day card I bought my husband to surprise him with a gift I brought all the way from home.

Yes, folks, not to be ignored is the fact that it is Valentines day. Historically a day I have loathed and grumbled about. This year, though, I get to keep living my word – which is to love the people you have in your life everyday and not just on special days. Today, I celebrate with my love and hopefully will get to keep on celebrating all throughout the year.

Loving the Whole World Today! 💕🌸💕

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-02-10 Miss SugarCookie is on the Move 💃✈️ 🌴💕🍹

We successfully woke up and got up when the alarm went off at 3:55AM. Yo, that’s the freaking middle of the night. But that’s the price you pay to get to your destination with enough time to get your bearings and potentially do something before the sun goes down.

So this is it.. the honeymoon I’ve been dreaming of my whole life. Literally. Even when I was a teenager and vowed that I was never getting married, I still fantasized about having a honeymoon. That some handsome and charming man would sweep me off my feet and we would escape together. Of course it was off into the sunset. Sometimes it was on horseback (yes.. really) and sometimes it was in some cute sports-car. I was a very day-dreamy girl.

Well that vow never to get married was broken when I was 19 and I never had a honeymoon. I mean, unless you count packing all my clothes into the back of a used Honda and driving across the country where we were stationed (las Vegas). I don’t count that. I made many questionable decisions and was fearless. I wasn’t riddled with anxiety and had not learned yet what bad things lurk everywhere. Just a baby really.

Fast forward a lot of years of learning about life and love and really being in control instead of always just letting everyone else dictate my choices. I jumped in the drivers seat and took the wheel. I was still that same girl, with the same dreams. By that time it was more realistic. It still involved a person, an equal partner. Someone supportive and kind who would lift me up but that bit about escaping into the sunset didn’t really change.

You remember that Vis? You called me out for having fantasies of fairy tales? Yeah.. that hopeless romantic was still a strong force inside. I said “whatever.. what girl wouldn’t want that?!” I still remember writing those words. (I recognize that not every girl does, because we all have different dreams).

I fantasized about Hawaii and going on a honeymoon there. In my head it was that ultimate romantic destination. Even after my divorce when I said I would never get married again, I still thought about the islands with, of course, the man of my dreams.

Then when I Thought I found him and was so sure he was my person and we would be together for the rest of our lives, I began to hold my breath. We had some great vacations and we slowly began to build a life together. Slow would be how I would characterize that aspect of our relationship. We loved fast and lived slow.

It was sometimes so slow that time may have stopped. After about 3 years the holding of the breath started wear on me. In all fairness, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted either, so his fear of commitment dictating the pace was something I just shrugged about. In the back of my head, and down in my soul, something still festered and became restless. Was it the idea of a honeymoon in Hawaii? Was that just the facade for the real dream.. the person who would be for me? I think so.

Most of this is history I’ve poured over before, but today of all days, it’s about as relevant as it gets.

I decided to leave that 5 year relationship and shortly after that was done-done (late 2016), I was also contemplating leaving the job I’d had for 5 years. Enter the Organic Miss SugarCookie, who made her debut early in 2017.

That year I not only figured out how to take back control of my life (again) but also learned how to really start making decisions to move myself in the right direction. I let go of the fantasy of finding someone to complete me and sweep me away to some tropical destination and magical life. I started making changes to make myself healthier and happier. As my tag like says “one day at a time”.

Not only that, but I said “Efff you” to the idea Of a honeymoon in Hawaii. I booked a trip at the end of 2017 to spend a week on Maui with my two amazing children. It was an epic vacation and an unforgettable time for the three of us. We did so many incredible activities and I wanted to make it one of the most memorable times of their life. It was priceless and proved to me that life can be whatever you want if you work hard and go for it.

Little did I know that four short months later I would meet my person. Yes.. the one!!

Fast forward about 2 years (yeah, coming up fast on that anniversary), and here we are. Sitting side by side on a plane on our way to LA. After a short stop there (barely enough time to get to the next gate) we’ll be taking off for our final destination… Kauai Hawaii!! 🌴

Oh the irony! 😜

Getting ready to land. Next stop.. the beautiful tropical paradise of my dreams with the person of my dreams!!! 💕🌸💕

Much Love!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-12-28 MFA Res Day .998 – Serious Shrug

(They can’t all be winners.)

I did a little catching up with some of my peeps last night but was hampered somewhat by a slight headache and a lack of desire. Desire for what I’m not sure. A few folks were talking about being nervous and or excited but it’s their second term. This is my 4th and some of the nerves have faded but it’s been traded for a bit of a shrug.

It was cold when I went to my room and I resisted going to the car to get my supply of Tylenol for my headache. I had a very brief phone conversation with Jim and then crashed out with a pile of like 8 pillows on my bed.

My sleep was poor and brief and I woke with a worse headache. The first thing I did was check the temp outside. 37. I could not put off going to my car. It’s dark and rainy and cold but the fresh air felt good on my skin and in my lungs. And now I’ve had Tylenol and my daily dose of circumin, biotin, and Claritin. Oh.. and the cold water that was in my car.

It’s 6am and there’s a long day ahead for this SugarCookie. Breakfast, orientation, workshop, 2 or three lectures, lunch, a round of mentor introductions, a graduating student reading (yay Michelle!! 💃), dinner, faculty readings. I’m exhausted typing that list and considering I’ve only had 5 hours of sleep it’s going to be a long day.

By this time I’ve realized the short list of things I’ve forgotten to bring. There’s always something. Some things I can get at the Walgreens but at least 1 can only be found at my home.. my migraine meds. Having a headache reminded me of that and thankfully this headache is not a migraine. I just have to hope that doesn’t happen or be prepared to make some sacrifices over time if one develops.

This has got to be the most boring blog post ever. I’ve only been on the treadmill for 20 minutes and I’m so bored with myself. I kind of want to go back outside. I kind of just want to walk in the rain. I kind of want to get in my car and drive home and climb back into my own bed. I’m hoping this strange subdued mood leaves my body and mind soon.

That’s it for today I think. 30 minutes and I’m done. Perhaps I’ll have more interesting details to report after my first full day here.

Peace,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS List of Forgotten items:

1.imatrex.

2.neutrogina facial cleansing wipes.

3.a book to read (I always bring books and never read them due to lack of time and now I’m wishing I had my current read and/or a few of my unread poetry books).

Not bad.

2019-12-27 MFA Res Day 0.5 – Midnight in December

6PM on December 27th in Nowheresville Nebraska and it might as well be midnight. Last time I was here I had to request a new room after 3 days because of a wasp problem and this time? It might be a neighbor problem. Time will tell. I’m not next to my friends anyway so they can put me wherever. Put me back home or wherever. Or whenever.

I looked at the first two or three days of the schedule and tried to consume it. Tried to put some ginger snaps in my mouth before and after to make it taste better but it doesn’t. My hearts not in it and all of a sudden this feels like a big mistake. I’m going to write a thesis? A What?! Are you looking at me when you say those words. I don’t even the hell know what a thesis is. I don’t know if I can learn the definition in time. Too many other things to do, you know, and never enough time.

It’s so dark and I’m already missing home. The cats and the kids and Jim. Not the dishes or the laundry though. Nine days not doing laundry is truly the definition of a saving grace.

There’s dinner tonight and as dark as it is now it will feel like a late night snack. All 62 of us sneaking down to the pantry to pull a plate of some baked chicken and sauce de jour. Please, oh please, let it be marinara tonight. With some motz cheese and maybe a noodle or two to twist onto my fork. Who doesn’t love a midnight snack?

The schedule for tomorrow has six events I want to go to and the day after that is 7 and already I’m exhausted because I haven’t slept for three days. I’m exhausted from not sleeping for the next 3 or 5 or 8 days and I don’t believe I have enough Xanax to get me through.

Oh my but how it is cold at midnight in Nebraska. I suspect the temp in this room is a fickle as my grandmother said it was her prerogative to be. Just scooch a degree up and watch her say “you want it hot?! Fine.. I’ll show you hot”. Every room a different shade of grandmother in this chateau. “Lodge” is such a rustic word. Such a hard square word that sort of chokes you when you try to say or unsay it.

I’m afraid it’s too late to unsay this little adventure. And this post. And what’s about to happen now. Soon it will be 1AM and for the love of all the trees in the world, please let me be sleeping by then.

XOXO,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-12-27 MFA Res Day 0

Why day 0? Cuz I’m a numbers nerd and all good counters start at 0.

Today is my last minute mad scramble to get my act together and haul myself and half my world to Nebraska City for the start of my 4th official Residency for my MFA.💃💃💃 Festivities kick off this afternoon and I’m hoping to be there by 3pm but we’ll see. My checklist needs a lot of work.

I’d love to get to Jazzercise this morning but that’s not looking likely at this point. If I was packed perhaps. If I’d have done laundry yesterday perhaps. If the kids weren’t here perhaps but even my 4:45am wake-up wasn’t enough to Make a good dent. Why oh why is it so tough to commit to 10 days of clothing? And why do I decide to sit in my closet painting my toenails instead? And can somebody please tell me why I feel the need to pack a supply of food and snacks when 1. All the meals are provided and 2. There’s a market 5 minutes from the Lied Lodge? My stupid brain.

And if history repeats itself (which it ALWAYS does) I’ll be making a trip to Walmart while I’m there anyway. /shrug

I’m super excited to see some of the people I’ve gotten to know better during the course of this program and am hoping that I can have a good balance of activities so I can keep my sanity. Since it’s winter there will be no escaping for walking outside.

One of my goals this time around is to do all my notes same day so that submitting the assignments can be done and posted before I leave. I also need to try and keep my focus on the tasks at hand and not let my anxiety get the best of me. Spending 10 days in this environment has historically caused this introverted SugarCookie to go a little bit off the rails. And of course I’m expecting Bob to be there so I’ll have to share the one treadmill in the gym there. 😜

Anyway, that’s probably it for today. Lots to do and the clock is ticking. ⏰

Next Stop.. Nebraska City,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-12 Great Day’s and Girls Only Getaways

I ended my post a few days ago with “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Great.” And indeed it was and how did I know that? How?

On Wednesday evening when I was walking the treadmill and thinking and writing I was sort of in a sour mood as I had been running around all day and did not accomplish much. The things I did get done were not very satisfying. I guess I was thinking (or hoping) that the day to follow was going to be better. Perhaps more self-fulfilling prophesy than premonition. Whatever it was.. the next day (Thursday) was really great.

Of course because it was great, I didn’t have time to write about it and the day that followed that (yesterday) was pretty stellar too and super busy. No time for treadmill or writing or even just sitting and thinking about stuff. Is that why the past two days were so great, because I was busy and had no time to spare? I would say maybe a little bit, but for the most part no.

Yesterday is still so fresh in my mind and far overshadows the day before that. It all started a few weeks ago when my Z sent me a text message about a concert she wanted to go to on October 11th. Skillet is one of her favorite bands (in her top 5) and she begged me to go but the closest show was in Kansas City. KC is about a 2.5 hour drive (2 to the outskirts where the Airport is) and so it is a pretty quick little road trip for us. Not that the road trip part of it mattered, because we both love road trips so even if it was 7 or 8 hours we probably would have gone. I actually briefly considered the Oct 10th show in Chicago. That would mean she would have to miss school though which would be bad parenting (not that I haven’t bent those rules before in certain circumstances).

The reality is, my time with her at home is really getting short now and a year from now she will be off at college. I want to take advantage of any opportunity I can to spend QT with her. The fact that she is 17 and still thinks of me first when doing this sort of stuff is pretty great and I knew it would be a good trip for just the two of us. I actually had other plans I had to cancel (the Phil Collins concert in Omaha), which I was really looking forward to (because I’m an old nerd), but it was totally worth it.

As it turns out, with Parent Teacher conferences this week the kids had a 4 day weekend so there was no school Friday. This meant we could leave at whatever time we wanted and take our time and make a whole day of it. I had several things to take care of in the AM before leaving (work and also the last harvest of the season before the temps drop to freezing) and after that we got on the road.

I knew I would not want to attempt to drive back to Omaha after the concert so we booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express. We arrived just in time for check-in. Shortly after that, we made a quick run to target for a few things (because every good road trip needs a Target run) and then it was back to the room to get all dolled up for dinner and the show.

The concert was in the heart of downtown KC in the power and light district at the Arvest Bank Theatre (super cool vintage venue). Doors opened at 6 and the show started at 7. There were three bands total and though I dig concerts, the music at this one was not really my thing. The first two bands were extremely loud. I never was a big heavy metal fan and they were both rock approaching metal. Even Z covered her ears for a lot of those first two acts.

The band we came for, Skillet, was a little closer to something I might typically listen to and therefore more enjoyable. She clearly enjoyed it, beaming from ear to ear when each new song she recognized started. It was a medium sized venue, so there were really no bad seats, but we were in the very top section, with all the other people who don’t stand during the show. We were at the end of a row so she had a perfect view of the stage. It was so great to see her so happy.

The whole thing lasted about 4 hours, which included us getting half way to the car before realizing the sweatshirt we bought was the wrong size and had to walk back to exchange it. I’m not sure what time we arrived back at the hotel but I was wiped out and ready for bed. I fell asleep as she was messaging with a few of her Cali friends and someone who was in a time zone where it was only like 2:30 PM – good grief where in the world must that person be?

The room was too cold and the pillows were just all wrong for me and so I did not sleep well at all. I was actually awake at 5:30AM and contemplating sneaking away to the hotel exercise room to walk and write. I didn’t though. I just turned the heat up and laid there for a while. Eventually I pulled out my laptop (yes, the new shiny) and .. waa-la.. here we are.

If it were up to me, we would be going down to take advantage of that “free” HIE breakfast right about now, but she’s still fast asleep.

I suppose I could climb back in bed and see if I can remember why Thursday was so great or what was so different about Thursday compared to Wednesday. Some days I think it’s just a mood or a vibe. Today will probably be good because we get to drive back to Omaha and then I get to spend the rest of Saturday with my fiancé without any obligations. Keep those great days coming!

Cheers to the Weekend!

~Miss SugarCookie