2019-08-13 “Everything Now”

At residency Jackson introduced me to a band. It’s not a new band, they’ve been around, but they are new to me. That’s how my life goes. That’s how everyone’s life goes, you know. You don’t know something until you know it. That’s why we need people. Other people. To know things and show us things we might otherwise miss. I digress (from the start, good grief!).

I woke up sometime after 4. I think the Fitbit on my wrist read “4:46”. Whatever. I laid there a while and let the thoughts in my head roll around like stones. It was something about stones, and rocks and cobbles and pavers. Something I was thinking and writing about just before I went to bed. It was something that wants to be something but can’t find the shape of itself yet.

It’s something about addiction or maybe just doing drugs and getting stoned and quite honestly I don’t know enough about the subject matter to put the right language into it. It’s just another daydream that emerged as the story of a witch who was being ushered to the stake. Burning in the Fire was the trial that had been used to determine guilt or innocence. But of course as the story goes, if you are innocent. It’s too late to save you anyway. The deed would already have been done. Damn those Putnam girls. (I digress again… damn!).

So this witch is walking toward the stake and lifting her hands and reciting incantations and her words are turning into miasma and evaporating from the air leaving a trail of copper dust behind her on the cobble stone path.

She’s dooming the village and it’s inhabitants to drown under a field of ash. But I fell asleep before the volcano could erupt. See, the language was just all wrong. It wasn’t what I was wanting to say and I let it go.

As I lay in my bed at 5:29am I was trying again to conjure the words I wanted about rocks and stones and this semi-charmed life, this hotel in California place I’m in and again, it turned into a different daydream (it’s technically almost day, right?). I was driving in a car on the highway. I was waking up behind the wheel. It wasn’t what I wanted either but I went with it.

At this point, I got out of my bed and went up to the room where my notebook is so I could write it all down. I began in a familiar phrase, language that’s so me it’s muscle memory. I wrote and wrote and came to the end of the poem and when I came to it, I knew it was the end. That’s how you know sometimes, when you are so sure about that last line you just put your pen down and say out loud “that’s it”.

Then I began to cry. The tears came out of nowhere, literally, and I had one of those feels-so-good-to-cry-and-let-it-out moments. Such a release. I looked at my Fitbit and it said “6:01”. I was crying at 6am. That’s something!!

6:01am and I had just finished writing what I am sure is my best poem yet. Damn this is a good life.

It’s 8:16am now and I’m on the treadmill and recounting all these minutes and listening to “the best of Arcade Fire” playlist on Amazon Music. Every single song is about my life RIGHT NOW and it’s amazing to me that it’s all just coming to me now. It’s “Everything Now”.

Modern Man

Everything Now

Keep the Car Running

We Exist

Wake Up

Black Mirror

The Suburbs

We Used to Wait

Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

Reflektor

No Cars Go

City With No Children

Electric Blue

I’m so damn grateful. I just want you to know.

Stay Frosty,

XOXO

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-12 Into it Now

My focus is shifting. The days of my life have changed and they are very different now. Adjustments are always tough, even the good ones. You have to let go of pieces of you, some that you kinda like. You have to recognize that, even if you are going in the right direction, the road still has bumps. If you decide to quit something, then there should be more time for everything else but that’s an illusion – a trick. The hourglass of life is still the same size and the air and sand inside don’t ever change.

There’s a saying.. The only constant in life is change. I think that’s not true. I think there are more things we can count as constants. We have all been born, and we are all going to die, and we all have a limited amount of time to make the most of our gift which is each and every day slipping away. The challenge is the vast number of variables we have to work with, and making the right choices.

All of that to say (or self-motivate) that we are at the start of a new day and a new week and to be careful to not waste it. Though things have changed I believe I’m well on my way to making the most of all these very different days. They will keep changing, sure, but the changes should slow down now (I hope I’m not guessing wrong about that).

I’m in it.

I’m all in.

I’m into it now.

I can do this.

Today is going to be a great day. I’m always leery of setting the bar too high because the definition of success is meeting or exceeding expectations. I just have a good feeling about this one. The routine is on track. The kids are home and sleeping, my love is off to work, I’m walking, there’s good music in my ears. I have a meeting with my mentor for this semester this morning and I believe I am prepared for that. I have a fairly good set list of things to get done today and, barring any unforeseen developments, I should be able to get a lot accomplished.

We’ve had a couple overnights with some steady rain and so there is not a lot that is needed in the garden. The kids go back to school this week and we will have to do a little shopping for supplies and such. I’ve got a little planning I want to get done for the rest of August and September and that’s milling about in the back of my brain. Other than that, my focus is primarily on writing and reading and more writing. I’m totally stoked about the direction things are going already and my terror about the requirements for this term have been replaced with positive energy.

Today there is no yesterday and today there is no tomorrow. Today there is only today to contend with and that, my friends, is worth something. Get into it. Don’t wait.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-11 Hung Over Sunday Status

We had a shindig at the house last night and I’m feeling it this morning. Jim has a lot of relatives and so when we have a family gathering, it’s a pretty good size crew. No representation from my side. My one brother and one of my sisters live in Colorado and my other sister is on vacation this week in Yellowstone. My mom couldn’t come cuz she’s watching my sisters animals and my dad wasn’t invited. Such is life.

I’m on the treadmill trying to walk off the crummy side-effects from too much vodka-cran and so far, it’s not really working. I’m not really in a writing mood either and that makes it the perfect time for a Sunday Status Cheat Day. I haven’t done one of these in a while. That’s something noteworthy I think.

With that, I’m going to just take a quick look at the entire month of July and compare to August so far since we’re already a third of the way through that. Eeeeeek!

For steps in July I got an average of 13k per day, which is over my goal of 12k so that’s pretty good. August, so far, has been only about 8k a day and that’s pretty rotten. Hard to balance out to 12 with that much of a deficit.

In contrast, my sleep was poor in July and I only had about 6 hours average per night. I blame residency and NYC. So far this month I’m back up to about 7.25. Seven and a half would be better (I just need two more bits). I think I can shoot for that. I think I’ll start right now.

***

That’s enough of that. I needed a do-over so I took a half a Xanax and had a fat nap. I needed the sleep more than the steps. And I needed to find my way to some sort of normal Sunday. Not sure I’m there yet

I put on my kitty cat earrings and left my engagement ring on the shelf after my nap.

My tennis elbow pain, which woke again from its cortisone sleep somewhere in New York City is just really angry now. I went to lift a water bottle off the counter and pain surged up my arm. I’m gonna have to get back to the ortho again. /deep sigh

The kids who also missed the family party because they were at the wedding of one of their first cousins (on their dads side of course) which was somewhere in Kansas. I miss them, and perhaps that was one thing that contributed to my being a little loosy-goosie with the vodka last night. They have seven 1st cousins on their dads side and I haven’t seen most that crew for 10 years. I saw pictures posted on Facebook last night. That made me a little sad too. They are all grown up. Life happens.

When I was at res I met a guy named Jackson. After the lodge switched me to the second floor because of the wasp problem my room was right next to his. I hung out on the patio real late a couple of nights and he’d follow me down to my room to chat after. He helped me eat the hummus and crackers and cheese I brought with me and I was grateful since I couldn’t eat it. I hate when food goes to waste. Sharing a wall, we devised a “knock code”. Two knocks for good night and three for good morning and the classic “shave and a hair cut, two bits” knock for “hi, is anybody there”. It was sweet.

We’ve been to lunch twice now and I sat with him and another newbie of our little UNOMFA program at a poetry reading Friday night. Jim was spending the evening with his son who is headed back to college this week and I was grateful to know a few faces at Kaneko and not sit all alone.

Not sure if I mentioned this after residency but my kids went on vacation with their dad to Yellowstone and glacier national park while I was gone. Lots of driving and camping and their dad proposed to his girlfriend somewhere out there on some beautiful scenic overlook. It’s been a long time coming and there’s a little part of me that wonders if my getting engaged has a little to do with the fact that he’s finally pulling the trigger too. Ten years really is a long time for two divorced people to both remain unmarried. When I got divorced I vowed to never get married again. Guess I was wrong about that.

He told me a couple of years ago he would never marry that girl. Guess he was wrong about that too. That’s life. February 2nd is going to sneak up fast and I have flashes of inspiration about the ceremony and the reception, but mostly it’s all still pretty fuzzy. I think I need to think about it some more, but today is certainly not the day for that.

I’n a little bit the kids will be coming home and I’m going to have leftovers from the party for dinner. I don’t think I’ll be quite back to normal until tomorrow. It sucks to get old. I remember when I could drink like that and have a grand time (like I did last night) and wake up the next day feeling great by 10AM. Now hangovers seem to last about 24 hours. It’s rotten.

What I should have done this weekend is a lot of reading and writing but just never got down to it. The weekend hours are waning now and I may do a little light reading and see if I can get myself into it. Maybe.. no promises of course.

I guess this qualifies as a status. Status minus most of the stats. Ha.

Two bits and I’m gone,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-09 A Whole Lotta Starting Going On

Getting a late start with my everything today. What I mean to say is, I’ve started a lot of things and had a lot of distractions and not made it to the end of anything. I was up again at 5am, working on a little writing project that’s proving to be more of a challenge than it needs to be, but I got hit with some inspiration and didn’t want to waste it.

I started working my way through that endeavor and didn’t finish. I had to stop to make breakfast.

Instead of getting back to that after, I started organizing one of our kitchen drawers. Cuz that drawer has been bugging me for months no time like the present.

That led me to the garage. Most of the things in the kitchen drawer belong in a drawer in the garage. The garage organization, by the way, is quite a disaster. It needs me. It really needs me and so I said “ok”, let’s start this today too.

An hour deep in that mess (you have to get everything out and sort and count it – it’s the only way), and I realize I have some other things I started yesterday that we’re left undone. Some should have been done already. I put the clothes in the dryer on “refresh”. Why is that so urgent now?

I realize it’s been a few days since I had a shower, so I guess that’s one thing I started and finished today. Yay for clean hair.

I started another poem that hit me while I was folding laundry and I followed that thread of thought and that’s two more things that have not been finished.

I really wanted to get some walking in and so I’m in the basement now, but I won’t get to finish that either because I’ll need to leave shortly for a lunch date. Chances are, I’ll both start and finish eating lunch (I’m starving) so I’ll give myself a gold star for that.

I don’t feel too bad, because forward progress is not nothing and I’m grateful to wake up and have another opportunity to start.

The sky is really blue outside today and I have two good eyes to see it. It’s time now for me to do that. Perhaps I’ll finish this blog post later…

Cheers to Friday!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-07 The One About Fluff and Stuff

No.. those are not the names of my kitten cats, but they could be since they are so super soft.

I didn’t get to walk this morning, or this afternoon like I had planned. The whole day has been drained away by other duties as assigned. I had a solid 4 and a half hours of sleep as I was up late writing and then woke around 4:30AM to start wrapping up my first major assignment for school. Aside from cooking breakfast, I wrote through till about 10am in order to hit send on a bunch of “stuff”.

“Stuff” is the best way that I can describe what was in the collection of writing we (my mentor and I) are calling my “packet point five oh”. It was an agreed upon acceleration to the typical schedule for the semester, which would include sending the first official packet, “packet one” around the end of August. The “stuff” included a little bit of brilliance on what I want my craft paper to be about this term surrounded by a very large amount of “fluff”. “Fluff” being all the filler of words you use when you are wanting to fill up a page but have nothing of real substance to say. The packet also included four new, very messy poems about a topic we discussed with some measure of detail during our time together in July. Namely, my house (AKA, the Castle) and my new life.

One of my goals this term is to be less general with my creative work, and really get into the weeds of the details. Some of those details will be about my current life, and not some rehash of all the same ole, same ole I’m always going on about. Mind you, I write about my every day, well, almost every day, but not in my poetry for some reason. It seems I’m always sticking to musing about the world in quite a general way. You know, the meaning of life, and why we are all here and things like that. I shy away from details. That’s where the devil hangs out. But that’s gonna change, apparently.

I submitted my stuff today with a fairly high level of confidence that those pages are never going to amount to anything. I’ve tried to prepare all the parties involved (which at this point is just my mentor and I). I’ve written past the end of the story on three of the four narratives and not sure there is an actual poem among them. I guess I don’t need to think too much more about it, because it’s sent now and out of my hands (for the moment).

I’m not inclined to wait for feedback before I dive into the stack of books I have acquired for this term. I’m totally excited to take my time and spend my time on some high quality reading. As it is late in the day now and the sun is heading for the horizon, I think that reading may just have to be something that gets started tomorrow. But, perhaps I’ll have time to take a peek at one of the more bite size books after I put on my pajamas and get comfy on the couch. Perhaps.

The rest of my day was all snoresville. A few errands around town, very limited QT with my children (they have better things to do), and lots of cleaning and yard work as I continue to prepare for an onslaught of houseguests which starts tomorrow and will continue through Saturday evening. Amazingly, the sink is full of dishes again. I gotta believe nobody is going to want to read a poem about endless dirty dishes in a bottomless kitchen sink. Aint nobody got time for that. Certainly not me.

I suppose that’s enough fluff and stuff for today. Those pajamas and that book are calling my name… I just need to be able to stay awake long enough to get that far.

Sweet Dreams Ya’ll,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-02 Things that Can Happen When You Blink

And just like that, the majority of the summer is gone. I blinked and it came and went. It’s four days until school registration and 12 days from the start of it. It just doesn’t feel like we’ve had enough time. Sure, we’ve done some incredible things, but having some lazy, relaxing summer days just doesn’t seem like one of them. It’s always hurry up now, and onto the next thing.

Today is actually the first day in over three weeks that I’ve been able to wake up and enjoy my regular morning routine — chores, treadmill, writing, chilling with the cats. And what is it about never having time to pick up a book to read? I honestly thought when I quit my job, the reading would happen naturally. But my new gig is pretty demanding.

Yesterday I had all day, but ended up spending hours in the garden doing some much needed weeding and tending to my tomato’s that have become overgrown and were falling over. There went my afternoon. But it takes as long as it takes, you know.

I did get to ordering my books for the semester when I arrived back from our NYC adventure. They are now arriving on my doorstep daily and I’m craving to dive in, but I also have my first deadline this Sunday and so that’s a priority. It’s what I should be focusing on now instead of musing about my life. Still, getting back into my normal groove is important. I need to get this hour of walking in. I need to find my center of gravity. I need the music in my ears pointing me in some right direction.

Today I’m listening to Arcade Fire which was introduced to me by a new acquaintance from Res. Interesting guy.. and like so many people and experiences from Res, not enough time in life to explain them all. In any case, the color of this music has been shaping my thoughts for a couple of days.

It’s Friday today and that means the weekend is so near. This one is already shaping up to be a busy one which means that the summer slowdown I’ve been craving is nothing but a sweet daydream. The Summer office party for Jim’s work is on Saturday and then Sunday I have a date with my friend Sam to have lunch and go dress shopping. I’m trying not to think about that too much, or it will consume me.

Today is exactly 6 months from our wedding date.. which, as I am well aware, will also fly by in a blink. I’m far from prepared and feeling very different about the whole thing depending on the day of the week. On Tuesday I’m excited and by Saturday I’m downright terrified. This weekend will be a good time for me to talk with Jim about it, and I need to not chicken out (again).

Well, there you have it folks.. August 2nd, 2019 in a nutshell. Time to get moving and actually be productive doing something.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-07-24 NYC Day 0 – The Arrival

Flying in at night was cool. City lights stretched out as far as the eye could see. I guess that’s what 8.6 million people looks like from the sky. Pretty freaking incredible.

***

It’sofficially flipped over past midnight here but the travel all happened on the 24th so I’m sticking with that.

We landed at just past 9:30pm, hailed an Uber, and made it to our 4 bedroom VRBO home away from home in less time than I anticipated. It’s a nice place with enough space for all 6 of us and seems to be in a great location. Well do grocery shopping tomorrow AM (because that’s how we roll) and get our bearings with regards to coffee and Walgreens and which way true north is here (that’s just me).

I’m really hoping for a little time each day to write and reflect. I think that should not be a problem since we have 4 teenagers that also dig their “me” time. The itinerary we have set is pretty balanced. We’ve covered the basic bases with a good selection of must see activities and places.

Since NYC is the biggest city in the US, I guess that makes this the biggest SugarCookie adventure yet (if population was the measure and not travel time/distance). We’ll soon see!

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie