2020-09-25 Tides Don’t Turn

They’re relentless rolling towards the shore where waves crash like an unforgiving Kublai Kan. Or the resulting opiate inspired vision in dream. Just a fragment. A sliver of the largest moon that ever pulled the tide up with such reliable gravity. Such a tragedy that the only words to linger after the last line are ones about broken hearts.

Today is a strange day. Yesterday at about this same time, when I was thinking about today all I could think about was the fact that it’s my brothers birthday and also the 25 year anniversary of the day I started my first job as professional adult. I actually thought about that for a while and considered writing about it but the end of the world seemed more important.

Plus, the anniversary is today so I figured it would make for a better fit for today anyhow. But now it’s not.

Get this. I have (had) 4 days left working at my current job (Same professional line of work— different gig) and my boss tells me yesterday late in the day to take Friday off. What?!? That’s does not happen.

So instead of pontificating over the fact that my career is ending neatly at almost exactly 25 years to the day it started, I’m waking up to thoughts of writing poetry and beginning my journey catching up on stacks of books and lit magazines. With the day off, I also got a pass at getting up to make breakfast and ended up laying in bed with my laptop until like 9:30.

I revisited my spreadsheet of submissions and my Submittable account. I went through and marked all the recent rejections (I highlight them in light orange because it’s so much more pleasing than the red color that is oft associated with rejection). As I look through this spreadsheet I’m delighted by the few stripes of blue that have started to appear.

I colored in another row last week with that cornflower blue. I’ve got a poem that will be appearing in December in a journal that, like my beloved Good Life Review, is on its maiden voyage. The poems I had submitted there were one’s I had not submitted anywhere else and really, the whole process feels like a twisted crap shoot. The fact they picked up the one they did amazes me. Who knows what might appeal to someone or fit with what they are looking for? 🤷‍♀️

Oh to get into the heads of those editors!! 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

Still.. it gives rise to a warm fuzzy inside. Cozy like a cat stretched out by a crackling fireplace in the middle of winter.

So I had to send them a new bio and headshot. My headshot is not really a headshot, but it’s the best I’ve got right now. The new bio took me a bit as they wanted more words than I typically offer and just wasn’t sure how to beef it up.

Once that was done, I hunted for new places to submit. I took my time (still gloriously laying in bed) revising a few things for three different new places. That’s what delayed me by like 2 hours getting down to my treadmill. But I’ve got the day off so who cares!! 💃💃💃

And with that.. I’m now checking the weather and contemplating a bike ride and perhaps sitting out on the patio sipping an iced latte. Time to get down to figuring out what this jobless life is going to be like .. right!??!

Feels like it’s the perfect time to resurrect “First Draft Friday.” Again., it’s been so long since I’ve written anything new or worthy of sharing and I very much want to do that. The best place to start, of course, is by reading. That stack of books will be the perfect jumping off point. Yes??


My bro, the rocket scientist, is 49 today. He’s a brilliant person who is a good role model for what it looks like to live your best life. He’s nearly two years my senior but has never had much time for me. When we were kids he avoided me like the plague at school.

Now he makes stacks of cash working for Ball Aerospace on contracts for NASA and spends his free time hiking and climbing mountains near Boulder Colorado.

He’s never given me as much attention as he did that time I climbed a fourteener. I remember arriving back to the apartment I was staying at in CO after that climb and being exhausted out of my mind but not able to rest until I called him to tell him. We talked and talked and I was so pleased he was impressed with me. Guess I’d been waiting for a long time for that. Admiration from someone I’ve looked up to my whole life. Life is strange.

That saying.. “The tide is turning”.. where did that come from? Tides don’t turn do they. I mean they get larger and smaller but they don’t turn. Rivers never flow the opposite way. The toilet may flush down in the opposite direction, but only when you are in the opposite hemisphere. What gives?

Anyway. That’s it.. my hour is up.
Happy Birthday Bro,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-24 Could it Really Be?…

The End of Days. Have we finally tipped-toed (or trampled) too far into territory we can’t escape from?

Humans and their appetite for self destruction. Their inherent self-centered nature. Their insatiable need for more. We’re they destined for this end from the start of their days?

I say “they” and “their” when what I really mean is “we” and “our”. There is no escaping the fact that we are all in this together. But what is “this?”

As far as I’m aware no one alive predicted the vortex of doom that 2020 has become but humans have been spinning prophecy about the end times for a very long time.

These stories, rooted in religious beliefs and more recently dystopian fiction, have some strange appeal that makes them interesting commentaries on the state of our world in the present day. Why are we fascinated by revelations (maybe it’s just me)?

I did not have a religious upbringing but I still went through a period in my life that I thought reading and understanding the Bible was a good idea. I didn’t get very far. Despite all the juicy drama that I heard about, I just could not stick with it. And ultimately skipped to the last chapters to see how the story ends. (Which is what I always did with books that were too verbose when I was a teenager.)

This morning I’m pondering the possibility that we… the human species… have finally arrived at the last chapter. Hold tight with me now.

The Bible talks about plagues and cataclysmic global events. There’s fantastical things that occur to clear the place out. And how different is that from this life threatening virus showing up on scene this year?

It does not matter if it came into existence with some flick of mother nature’s wrist or engineered by some mad biological scientist in a lab somewhere. The ominous characteristic of affecting humans and not other species is curious. Yes, rooted and explained by science.. but damning none the less.

And if that was it.. we might consider ourselves lucky that we’ve just been decimated instead of becoming extinct. But that’s not it folks. Its compounded by fire raging because of the perfect combination of drought and the spark from a gender reveal party. It’s exacerbated by relentless extreme weather caused by global warming and melting polar ice-caps. These storms pummel coastlines around the globe with no sign of letting up.. and get worse each year. How much can be endured before people abandon their posts and migrate inland? It’s too late for that.. we’re too dependent.

And let us not forget the rage that rises within the individual human soul that incites violence at every turn. “No place to rest. No peace in war”. Check the daily news. Every day there’s something more.

So I ask again.. is this it? Have we arrived at the end of days?

Perhaps.. But wow. Aren’t the sunrises just incredible here.

Sipping Slowly,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-11 Does Time Have Memory?

Time is a construct. It’s a concept developed by humans to keep track, count, measure, and communicate. We also use instances in time to attempt to accurately remember. Humanity has many flaws and we’re all afflicted by the loss of time and an inability to retain the sharp details of experience.

The farther away we get from an experience, the more the truth of it dissolves into a mix of perceptions based on all that has happened since.

People may ask, “Where were you on that day?” And you might remember but how much do you really recall? What did you have to eat or drink? We’re you alone and depressed and just trying to get through the morning? Did you stop by the store on your way to work to buy a Carmel apple to enjoy as an afternoon snack?

Did you forget about that apple as you huddled around a radio with coworkers in the room next to your office, listening as hundreds of people scrambled for their life as the towers came down.

We’re you full of horror or sadness or disbelief. Or we’re you lost in space and time just trying to comprehend the news. Did you fall into a state of helplessness and kick into auto pilot.

Perhaps you arrived home from work that day and had a conversation with your spouse who was also struggling to make sense of all the chaos. And after having brief communication with family, decided there wasn’t anything that could be done and so why not drive to Lincoln as planned to have dinner with them.

Maybe you sat around a Japanese steakhouse grill table while the chef sliced and chopped meat and vegetables and rice right in front of you. Did you take turns letting him flip shrimp into your mouths with a spatula? Did he spin and toss eggs into his hat? Did he make a volcano of fire with a stack of onion rings.

You’re sure you had a soda with your stir fry. After all you were 3 months pregnant. That was before you gave up soda. Come to think of it, that day predates a lot of changes in your life. Big and small. You had two children—a girl and a boy. Got a divorce. Went to Europe alone. Fell in love a few times and had your heart broken. Learned how to be independent and found out what truly makes you happy—makes you sing.

There’s a lot you remember but do you remember the drive home that night. Or tuning into the news for answers. It would be days and weeks and months before there were any real answers. Followed by a war.

You wouldn’t really know the whole story until about 18 years later when you visit New York City with your new fiancé and his kids and yours. You walk through the 9/11 memorial past pictures and displays and giant bent pieces of Steele that were once support beams for the twin towers. You walk past a fire engine that was partially crushed presumably by concrete and debris that came down as the towers fell. You listen to the audio on your headset as you walk and try and hold back the tears.

You walk beside the daughter you were carrying inside you on that day. And you think about how unfair life is that you get to be with her, here and now, while so many other people lost their lives or loved ones. It makes you both sad and grateful. Grateful for your life. And grateful for time.

There’s a wall at the memorial, as you descend to the deepest level that has a different color of blue tile representing each individual that lost their life during the tragedy that would come to be known by the name nine-eleven. The words on that mosaic say “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”

But time does not have memory. Time is a construct and does not live or think or remember. Only people remember. And it is what they remember that is passed on through to others. The only way that the memory of those people and that day will survive the test of time, is through stories and retelling and words of people who were alive at that moment. And their children who will, in turn, tell their children.

No time shall erase you from the memory of that day.

Never Forget,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-13 Moving Day and Memories

Earlier this week I took my daughter to the gynecologist for her first visit. For me, it was one responsibility in a long list of parenting checklist items. Each thing crossed off the list gets her closer to independence and being more prepared to try and navigate adulthood.

Strange to be walking into the same office I walked into 19 years ago when I was in my second trimester carrying her. My OB delivered her. Dr. Sjulin was the first person to touch my daughter as she came into this world. She was the person who reassured me she was ok as she took care of the things that happen during and after delivery that nobody ever talks about.

As far as I can tell they don’t talk about those things because the memory of them pales in comparison to the frenzy of getting a first breath from and stats on this tiny new human as quickly as possible. The rush of it expedited so she could be returned quickly and safely to the weak and incomprehensibly needy arms of her mama.

She was 6 pounds and 6 ounces and just so tiny. Her head was pink and misshaped from the trauma she’d just been through. But she was perfect. No wonder I don’t remember having stitches. No wonder I don’t remember what was said amongst the staff or anything my husband said. The world is silent in the shadow of a miracle.

In a way, taking my daughter into that office was a kind of Baton passing. Mother to daughter. All the conversation and sharing of experiences wrapped up in these steps toward her becoming an adult. It’s a lesson you want to teach your children.. to take care of their bodies and health. To be educated and to be their own advocate.

That was earlier this week. Last night I sat in her room with her with painters tape and a sharpie. I marked her moving bins and laundry baskets with her name and dorm address. I listened while she worried out loud that she has too much stuff and I tried to reassure her it would be fine.

We’ve talked about this day for a while now. Her moving into the dorm room at the university and what it would be like. I’ve reminisced about her first day of kindergarten and how all the parents were coached ahead of time to keep it together because kids are affected by their parents emotions and if you lose it, the kids will have a hard time.

I did good that day. Camera at the ready I kept my cool all the way into the classroom, seeing her grab the hand of her pre-school best friend as they sat next to each other in the circle of tiny humans. She was so excited and happy. I held my composure until I was out that door and down the hall, headed back outside the building. Interesting that the memory of that is also muted. I only remember details of her in the classroom and not much after that.

Today we’re loading all her stuff into the car and driving toward college. By the time this day is over, she will have crossed another threshold and I will once again be trusting the Universe with my precious baby. It’s hard to trust that she will be ok. It’s tough to let go.

But if there is one thing I’ve learned these past few years, it’s that we don’t have to let go. We can hold on to and cherish all these experiences of our lives. I’m not letting her go. I’m helping her enter this next phase of her life successfully.

There’s been no coaching for this day. Just advice. “Wear sunglasses” they said, so people can’t see you’ve been crying.

To that I say, I don’t care.

My daughter is cut from my cloth. She’s got her own checklist and openly admitted to crying when she drove away from her fathers house yesterday. She talked about being really sad to think about not being with her brother anymore. Which I had not considered.

Being divorced, we’re all long used to being apart for days and so I positioned her leaving for school as just a longer time away. For her though, she’s always with her brother. They may not always see eye to eye but they are always together at home, at school, in the car, and on vacation. When she said to me that being apart from her brother was making her really sad, it hit me hard.

She also worried that telling me that might hurt my feelings in some way. Yeah.. that’s MY girl! Sensitive and empathetic. Intelligent and creative. Beautiful inside and out.

I’m excited for her. Also anxious, and nervous, and sharing in her swirl of emotions. I think I’ll be able to keep it together if she does. But the moment she breaks down, it’s game over for both of us.

That’s it folks. Time to stop walking and start doing.

Cheers to Moving Day,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-31 Adios July.. Don’t Let the Door Git Ya!

Remember all that I was saying yesterday about riding out the hormonal storm until the crashing waves calm down? Yeah, just effff that. It really is easy to talk logic than to put it into practice sometimes.

Listen. Yesterday was a bitch. Work sucked. And at the end of the day I was on the couch, half laying into a stack of pillows watching some YouTube video Jim was playing for me. It’s a guy playing like a really old guitar. We’re talking made in the 1600’s old. And I just started to cry.

Was it that a guitar that old could still exist? That it could still be played, strummed by human hands and make such beautiful music? The mystical mastery of fingers picking the strings. That ‘we’ are capable of crafting an instrument out of wood and strings. And compose music. It was beautiful.

I told Jim it made me cry. He said it makes him want to take guitar lessons. I told him it makes me feel like I’m wasting my life. He just laughed.

He reminded me I’m working hard on my art, and that’s a good thing. He’s right, damnit, but ugh… the stress of trying to do too much is, well, too much.

Today is Friday and the last day of July. It is the last day that’s the window for submissions for the first issue of the good life review will be open. And midnight tonight the window will be closed. At midnight tonight the clock is going to start ticking down for reading, copy editing, author agreements, and all things required to publish that first issue. It’s going to be a lot of work. I need to quit my job.

I have been working hard on my art. The new lit mag is just one of the balls I have thrown into the air and I am trying to figure out how to catch without it falling on my head and cracking my skull open.

I’ve been revising poems and attempting to attend workshops to learn some new things. I haven’t really written a ton of new stuff, but the few things that I have written in 2020 seem like good candidate to continue working on in the future. You know sometimes you get a vibe about a piece of writing. Sometimes there is something in the core of it that remains so strong that you know that even if it looks like garbage on the surface, there could still be a diamond hidden underneath.

Either that or I’m just too emotionally attached to these precious few new poems in my virtual poetry pile. Someone told me once to set aside a new poem for at least six months. Let the emotional attachment fade. Then when you revisit, you can see with a fresh perspective if there’s something worth working on.

I mean I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, but it does help me justify procrastinating revising new material. 😜

One final thought before I adjourn this session. On this day in history (not sure what year) my parents were married. When I think about that.. I can’t help but realize that if they never met or got married, I would not exist. Or if I did exist I would be a different person completely. Wild!!

Anyhow. That’s it.
Cheers to Friday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-15 The End is the Beginning

Spoiler alert. The world ends with a whimper and not a bang.

I traveled into the future yesterday and found that all endings are an open door to the beginning and all beginnings are glasses full of possibility. Drink it down people. Get drunk on it and savor every drop. Realize that when it’s half gone, it’s still half full.

Yesterday was a long string of zoom meetings. Strange how one could be so sick of inviting other human beings into their home yet still crave being with them and hearing what they have to say. Still wanting to be a part of the chaos. It’s the reason I’m back at it today. To try again.

Yesterday when it was all over I met my love in the backyard. We slid into the hot tub together letting that warm water smooth our aching minds. He asked me how my day was and I proceeded to lament. That lasted about 60 seconds at which point he asked, “is the glass really that half empty?”

Then silence fell between us as I thought about his question. I look around. It’s the height of summer. All the flowers I’ve planted in pots around The backyard are in bloom and the ivy is taking over the bricks. I’ve positioned the Mandevilla just so, the tendrils reach up and grab a strand of the ivy. The vines have become intertwined and one uses the other to grow in its preferred direction. One climbs up and the other down. I engineered that on purpose.

The sky grows thick with dense grey clouds and I can feel that relief is imminent. It will rain. My eyes weary and in need of the rain. I think about how fortunate I have been to have met Jim. To be sitting here, at the precipice of a summer storm, contemplating life and our future together. I say “of course it’s not half empty. It’s over half full.”

Later, we are in the theatre room getting ready to watch the series finale of “Dark.” He doesn’t push play right away. Instead he goes into a bit of a monologue about meeting me and how things are how they should be and how he could not imagine a life without me. He believes in fate. His statements are less about the overarching story of our lives and more about how it is to take every day as another chance to make the most of what we’ve been given.

We’ve had choices, but could we look back and say we would have chosen differently? I don’t think so.

We both spend most of our days tending to responsibilities we’ve committed to that don’t have anything to do with each other. Some days we only see each other and really get to talk for an hour or so. But we get to look forward to that time every day. I sometimes forget that.

His words were both poignant and heart felt. I agreed with what he said by squeezing his hand and looking in his eyes. And with a simple ‘thank you’.

Then he pushed play and we watched the show. Together.

The end of the day is just an open door to tomorrow.

The day ends as I slip my weary soul between cool sheets and rest my head on a pillow that quickly forms a nook the shape of my neck. I close my eyes and tell the universe I need rain. The rain has been so elusive lately.


Today I wake to dark skies and rain. I say “thank you.” My glass is full again.

I get up and shuffle to the kitchen. I make Jim breakfast and we sit at the table together talking about the plans we have for this day. A full day of work at the office for him and a full day of zooms for me.

Did I kiss him goodbye as he left? I can’t quite recall.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-10 Three Types of Death

All those days I wasted lamenting
All the sunsets I missed with my eyes fixed on a screen.
All those neurons bounced around aimed at connection in pursuit of answers.
The real opportunities missed as the clock ticks down to zero. Or near zero.

Did you know that when you are pronounced dead, there’s a timer somewhere in the world that starts ticking down. 48 hours.

In the biz, we call it the death date time out clock. The Organizations that are interested in the eyes of the deceased don’t necessarily agree with those who are interested in your skin, or heart valves, or bones. Or your organs. There are markets for all these things. They are just material. All the parts of you might be valuable. Depending on what kind of life you’ve lived.

At the end of life. Your body is physical potential that exists beyond whatever happens to your essence. From now on, I’m going to try and use the word essence instead of soul. The soul is so overused. Abused. It’s cliche. The universe forbid clicheI

Anyway, back to the death date time out clock.

Saying “Death date” simplifies things a little bit too much though. In the biz, it’s actually CTOD. Or certified time of death. (Because people just love acronyms).

Maybe nobody was in the room when you died. Then we don’t really know the actual Date and time of death. In that case, it’s LTKA or Last Time Known Alive. That’s kind of sad. Someone so alone that they just died and there was no other human being there to witness it hold their hand or think a thought that might allow their essence to surf away to a better place.

That’s something, you know. What if human thoughts created wavelengths that allowed the essence of the dead to ride up and away instead of float down and settle into the carpet, and floorboards and earth below. I wonder if dying alone is some eternal tragedy. That the point we miss in life is human connection. that in death, those connections are a bridge. Doesn’t that make you want to be with people?

It does for me. I hate this pandemic. I miss people.

Asystole is another type of death date. Maybe you’re heart is hooked up to a machine that measures the beats. I suppose there are thousands of people in hospital beds and in hospice and nursing homes that have some sort of heart monitoring going on. Asystole is an event. The moment that the beat turns into a flatline.

Like LTKA, asystole can happen when nobody is around. But it is less likely. If you’re hooked up to a monitor, probably you are already under some sort of medical care that’s being managed by other people. They are watching and are hopefully nearby to assist if you go into cardiac arrest.

Sometimes, though, nothing can be done. And it’s just the end. And the date and time are recorded and the timer starts.

48 hours. How quickly can people work to follow all the right protocols in order to give you one last opportunity to give to your fellow human beings. Isn’t that something? That you can still give more to life even after you are gone. One last gift from the dearly departed.

If there is a tally somewhere keeping track of your good deeds. If there’s a supreme being with a clipboard and pen, checking off boxes and writing names on a special guest list, would that final gift be enough to get an invite to some eternal happy place?

What if you were a rapist or murderer. If, as your dying wish, you donated your eyes to some blind child or heart and kidneys to a dying person, would that be enough to turn the tide in your favor?

Isn’t it absurd to think about. The idea of heaven or hell or the idea of an omnipresent being lurking around and keeping score. I find it so absurd.

But if it keeps the believers in line, so much the better. Some people aren’t born with a moral compass and for them, I believe organized religion is a good thing.

For the rest of us, probably it’s enough to come to an understanding that the more sunsets we can see and the more people we can connect with, the better our life will be. And it’s not really worth wasting neurons on the questions of what and why and how and when. The questions are not the point. Time well spent is what matters.

I’ve got more to say about this, but ain’t nobody got time for that (including me).

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-05 What a Girl Really Wants 🍷

Yesterday was a long day. Just a blur. And I’m tired. I had that thing happen again, where I was inspired to write something but I was in the middle of something else and couldn’t just drop everything to get that down.

I thought, foolishly, for the hundredth time that it would linger around long enough for me to remember later when I had a break. But I never got that break and it slipped away you know. Out the back door like a clandestine lover. Now she’s gone and didn’t leave her number. No way for me to find her again.

Not that what I had to eat yesterday is interesting to anyone, but it’s revealing:

  • 8 oz cup of coffee with an excess of vanilla creamer
  • 2 pieces of peanut butter toast
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 pre-packaged rice crispy bar
  • 2 Pagoda Egg Rolls (frozen snacks heated in the toaster oven)
  • 4 Pagoda Crab Rangoon with sauce
  • 1.5 glasses of red wine (actual amount is subjective 😜)

Sadly, those last 3 things were at like 8:30 pm and I was so out of focus by then I couldn’t think straight or enjoy it (or remember any conversation I had with Jim).

I probably vented about my irritations from the day or lamented about how every month my period is so unpredictable and how annoying that is or how I need to figure out how to consistently refer to a person as “they” when I’ve never had to do that. I’m trying, you know. I’m trying with regard to everything but at the end of the day I’m pouring that glass of red wine and throwing my hands in the air like I just don’t care.

And that red wine goes down sooooo easy.

Funny tangent.. I have my favorite brand of red wine. People who know me – who REALLY know me, know this about me. I found it years ago. It’s called Jam Jar and it’s a sweet Shiraz. It’s not a wine
connoisseurs wine. It’s more like a wine-cooler connoisseurs wine. It’s sweet and best served cold yet it has the same %alcohol content by volume as a regular bottle of red wine. It’s my Jam. And as an added bonus, it has a screw off top. Yeah, super classy.

They stock this at two places in town I’ve found. Whole Foods and cost plus world market. It’s cheaper at cost plus, when you buy like 4 or 6 at a time (which I refused to be shamed for doing). I’m not going to cost plus cuz of the pandemic right now but can get away with a random trip to Whole Foods because Of other grocery needs.

It’s still a crap shoot though. Sometimes they have it and sometimes they don’t. Two trips ago they were out (and my supply is desperately low), and I’m so loyal I just didn’t buy any wine. Whatever.

Last time I went was last week and they had 4 bottles left. But.. to get the 10% discount there, you gotta buy six bottles. So I picked up 2 other random bottles. I suppose it’s good to try new things because you never know when you’ll find a new favorite thing!

So the new selection was chilling in the fridge when I poured the last ounce of my original stash of Jam Jar last night and I was like… now seems like a good time to try the new thing. But I was so tired.

I pull the bottle out and what does it say about me that my heart sank in disappointment at realizing it was a corked bottle. Oh my goodness. So much extra work.

This, people, is how you know that the pandemic has not affected my life at all. That my emotions are being dictated by woe at having to find a corkscrew and exasperation at not getting dinner until 8:30 pm and with irritation about my period being unpredictable.

Such hard problems. 🙄

And how about the fact that what I end up writing about for an hour, when I have it, is my favorite red wine, instead of something way more interesting like that sweet secret that slipped into and out of my mind yesterday, never to be seem again. That’s the real tragedy.

I suppose that’s enough nonsense for one day. I guess, anyone who reads this will really, REALLY know me. More than other people who should but don’t. But that’s life I guess.

Cheers to Tuesday, 🍷
~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

2020-04-29 Mathematics and Other Tragedies

I could draw myself into a spiral. I could pretend to be a straight line or paint my life as an isosceles triangle in perpetual motion. The faster it spins, the more the points blur into circles that create borders that can’t be penetrated.

If I was reborn as a star, would I have five points or six? Or Seven!?? Would I be a better poet if I was a broken heart, or the zig-zag white space between the two separate halves.

Hearts don’t ever break in half. It’s never an equitable split. Most are fragments shattered like that round dish that was dropped on accident or because it was too hot to touch. And there are never any answers for that. Just possible explanations and plausible deniability and revisionist history. What geometric shapes are those? It must be a chapter I haven’t gotten to yet.

I’ve spent so much time with my face on the the floor because of gravity.

I’ve spent so much time enduring air travel trying to escape gravety.

I’ve spent so much time trying to learn how to finish this geometry so I can finally move on to algebra 2.

I fear there’s a long way to go before gravity will start making sense.

So many apples. So little time.


You’re welcome for that nonsense. You know a lot of the poetry I write is sort of nonsense. Or based on little connections in my brain and sparks of thought where one thing just leads to another. I think the closer I get to finishing this mfa program, the more my brain will feel the freedom of writing what I want to write again for me, and my sanity.

I’ve spent so long studying craft that it’s altered my perception of reality. It’s hijacked my creative instincts in some way. Or perhaps it’s that my life is just good now so I have less to muse about.

Here’s a secret (spoiler alert, some “poor me” might slip in here). Once upon a time I was in love with a guy. And having been previously conditioned to have a fear of commitment, I was unable to go all-in. Right up to the day that I realized that’s all that was left for us. So I tried it.

I convinced myself with this little nugget of logic .. if my heart gets broken, then I’ll just have so much good poetry. Yes, I actually told myself that. That was me bargaining with myself to tip the scales in the favor of the “all-in” option. It worked.

Then, wouldn’t you know it all fell apart after that and my heart got crushed. And then you know what happened? There was no fucking poetry. I just cried all the time and couldn’t write a single line of a single poem. I wrote a lot of journal entries (mostly because I didn’t have close friends to talk to), but the empty space where those poems were supposed to be crushed me even more.

I had trusted myself, and was betrayed. So I said “I’ll never do that again”.

Yeah, so that’s that melodramatic charm of mine coming through again.

Fast forward 4 years and I’ve finally found a few lines and arranged them into a poem and it was such a clinical process that I actually learned something about myself and also about the art of making poetry. That was the point I guess. It passed the JP test and made it into my thesis manuscript.

I’m attached to the idea of it more than the poem itself.

After my heart was broken in 2016 I turned to a guy friend for comfort. I thought I loved him too. Which is a blurry line.

I loved the idea of being in love with him.

I loved the way he spent so much time with me and listened to me and held me when I cried.

He was always clear with me “we” could never be, so it was safe. I didn’t have to worry about the unknown quantity in the air after I said “I love you”. I knew the response and that was in some fucked up way, really comforting.

If you tell someone you love them, the Tough part is in having their response be unexpected.

What have I learned? That I really loved Matt, and that I really loved Josh but for different reasons, and Vis, and of course Brian. Stitch all that together and the picture becomes more complete. It’s a complicated shape. Still a bit above my current geometrical comprehension, but I’m nothing if not a diligent student.

What other option do I have anyway? That’s life.

Thanks for hanging in with what was not intended to be a rehash of my broken heart again. But, I will take all I can get.

XOXOXO 😘
~Miss SugarCookie