2021-06-27 Super Solo Sunday Status

Today I’m getting a half day all to myself. My man has gone “picking” with his bro at a farm in Seward Nebraska. I hadn’t heard of picking until he Introduced me to the concept and cited the show American pickers as an example.

Jim is big into finding “treasure” at antique stores and estate sales and more specifically that which has some local significance to Omaha and Nebraska (and Iowa). 

This year we went to an event called “Junk Stock” in search of old road signs to adorn our game room walls. He found some but also met a woman who lives out in Seward Nebraska whose husband is a scrap metal worker and brings home all kinds of discarded signs, old farm equipment, and other various machines. 

So today they are taking a trip out to their farm to see what they can find. Which leaves me with about a half day to do whatever I want. 

Sure, there are 4 teenagers here but they are either going to work or sleeping in because it’s Sunday. My first order of business?…

Treating myself to an extra long session on the treadmill. Hell, I might even go for a solo bike ride too. Get ALL the exercise I want and probably still have time enough to enjoy lounging on the couch with my cats. 

Speaking of cats… we have a 5th cat this week because we’re cat sitting for my friend M, who is on vacation this week. Our new fluffy friend is Stormy and he’s a very lovey, fluffy friend. His breed is Norwegian Forrest Cat and he is big with super long fur including the most gorgeous mane which makes him look like a lion, except his fur is dark grey with a little white on his paws.

Stormy loves people but he’s a very sensitive soul who doesn’t like change. He spent most of the day yesterday under the bed in his “all inclusive” bedroom. The door is closed and we’re not introducing the other cats so he doesn’t have too much “new” to deal with. He finally came out from under the bed at about 10pm (I think to use the litter box) and this morning he came out right away to greet me and get some love. 

He’s so pretty and all the kids think he’s great. You know we are a household of crazy cat people.. it’s not just me and Jim. All 4 kids love all the cats so much. I’m pretty sure we all like the cats more than we like each other.. ha! So Stormy has a great home away from home here. 🐱💕🏰

In other news, I’m excited to report I’ve got three new poems forthcoming with three different publications. Two were originally drafted during the advanced poetry studio class I took at UNO and the third is one of my newer “response” poems. 

When I first had the epiphany of writing a series of poems that were responses to other poems, I knew I would have to write a lot of poems in order to amass a collection that works as a unified body of work. The Universe knows there are a million poems out in the wild that are available both in print and online, the trick is finding ones that really speak to me enough to spark a response. 

Thus far I think I’ve only written six and my focus lately has been revising and submitting and I haven’t been inspired to write anything new. I’ve actually gone bananas submitting these six and the one being published in July is the first to get picked up. Coincidentally, the title of that poem is “Bananas”. 😜

Two of the others I believed to be really strong but have lost a little of that confidence with the myriad of rejections I’ve received. Two others are prose poems that I feel are not as good but keep working on them and sending out. The final one is also relatively new and frankly the only viable poem I’ve written so far this year (I think) and I’m in love with it and submitted it to like 25 places. If it gets picked up, my work will be cut out for me in the way of withdrawing all those subs. 

It would be nice to write a few new things that have some merit, but what can I say.. if I’m not feeling it.. I can’t force it. Maybe today will be the day for that too. 

On that note, I suppose it’s time to read my three daily poems and see what the Universe thinks I need to think about today with my copious amounts of free time. 💚💛🧡❤️

With Peace and Love and Peanut Butter Toast, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-06 Life as a Kitten Mama

This morning I had to take Gustav to the vet for shots and so I’m getting a strange late start to my day. These days it’s curbside appointments only. You pull up and call when you arrive and they check you in and come out to the car to get your pet. Then you wait in your car. Or if you’re me you make a quick trip to the Dunkin that’s in that same plaza for a medium hot latte with French vanilla swirl. Mmmmm.

20 minutes later they call back and get your payment info and then bring your furry back to your car. Gus had his first round of shots today and will have to go back in a month for the follow up.

He’s worn his harness a few times now and outside of the drive from Michigan, he’s barely been in the car. Maybe like 4 rides total. But he did great. They say that in the first six months you should do everything you intend to do with the cat in their life to get them used to it. I’ve definitely not taken Gus for as many rides as I did with Kayla.

She was in the car with me a lot and I even took her to the badlands. Still, there was a long stretch after that that she was almost never in the car and I think she forgot all her conditioning. Now when we go she is very nervous and does a lot of mewing. It’s the only time I ever hear her talk.

Come to think of it, all our cats are pretty quiet. Wonder why that is.

When Gus talks he still has his baby-monkey voice sometimes. Like In the car today. I’ve heard him have a big-boy mew a few times but not a lot yet. I kind of wonder if that tiny, squeaky voice will stick around or if he’ll grow out of it completely. It’s really adorable. He’s adorable.

The vet said she had a tough time listening to him (his heartbeat I’m guessing), because he was purring so loud. He’s a purr machine! And it is loud and so cuddly. He’s 7 pounds 9 ounces now. A ball of energy that has two speeds, go-go-go and sleep. He definitely has the energy of a kitten and the other cats seem to like him ok, but sometimes lay there and watch him like “I used to have energy like that.”

Sometimes Gus Gus (not a typo, that’s one of his nicknames) provokes Doug cuz he likes to wrestle. Him and Doug go rounds of pounce and roll until Doug has had enough and tries to get away. Doug is like more than twice his size so it’s super adorable. You can tell that they are just playing and Gus is relentless for more.

Like an annoying little brother who just wants the attention of his big bro. With Kayla it’s a different story. She’s top Kitten here and wants to make sure the other cats know it. She chases and pounces too but it seems a little more aggressive and territorial. And after introducing Gus, the hierarchy was established and Gus doesn’t really challenge her anymore.

She definitely was not maternal like we had hoped. Maybe once she realizes he’s not a threat, she’ll be a better sister. We can hope anyway. 🤷‍♀️

As one of my first orders of business this week, I wanted to give the kittens all some better attention. Lots of pets and playing. And of course get lots of pics of all the cuteness that goes on. Which is a lot.

Another prime directive is to spend each day working on my personal endeavors. Yesterday I submitted to about 4 new places. I told Jim that sometimes I aim high and sometimes I aim low and sometimes I close my eyes and don’t aim at all. Which is to say that I just “discover” places through Submittable and don’t research them at all.

Probably not the best way to go about it but it is a lot of work doing the research. Sometimes I wander away to the websites to see what they have to offer and what they have published in the past. I would say that has caused me to rethink submitting a few times. Save my worlds and my $3 for someplace else.

Yesterday I took a different approach to aiming high. I opened a newly acquired poetry book by one of my MFA mentors Jim Peterson, and read the acknowledgements page. Then I went through that list of places and started looking them up, one by one, to see if they had open calls. About half so far have.

I’ve thought about submitting a full manuscript but I’m not quite there yet. Feel like maybe I should try to get more individual poems published first. Then again, sometimes I question the point of it all. Maybe that’s just the mood I’m in today. Which is that I-just-want-to-snuggle-kittens-all-day mood.

While I was sitting in the car at the vet this morning I read a new email from my MFA program coordinator relating info about the lecture topics for this coming residency. In an instant my blood pressure went up and I felt a knot form in my stomach. I just don’t wanna think about it at all.

The other lectures look extremely informative and well thought out and my one sentence description was very generic. I wrote it that way for a reason, like 6 months ago as I was supposed to give a lecture at Res this past summer.

I deferred till winter in classic Miss. SugarCookie procrastinator form. The reading doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just reading. But giving a lecture is icky. Of course I’m terrified. Of course I’m unprepared. Of course I’m worried that I’ll bomb and people will find out I’m a big fraud. Of course, of course, of course. 🙄

I guess I’ll have to put some more effort into figuring out what exactly I’m going to talk about. /deep sigh 😔

But first…. kittens!! 🐱🧡💛

Time to get on with it.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-23 Random Facts About Having 4 Cats (Among Other Things)

  • Having four cats means you have to scoop litter boxes everyday.
  • This morning I started crying in my kitchen. I was loading the dishwasher when Alexa started telling me about memorial plans for Ruth B.G. as a part of my daily news briefing. I had not really grieved the loss yet. It just happened.
  • I have 6 days left at my job. And I’ve already logged like 24 hours this week. 🙄
  • Having four cats means there are cats everywhere you go in the house (mostly because they follow me around though).
  • Today I put on dirty clothes to carry out my morning routine cuz I wanted to wear my favorite sweatshirt and have been procrastinating doing laundry.
  • I had tickets to see Elton John in June of 2020. This was cancelled, of course, because of the arrival of the end times. Today I learn from the almighty in-box that the concert has been rescheduled for March 2022. Yeah. Not a typo. 2022. Hope he lives that long.
  • Having four cats means you don’t get a good night sleep unless you kick them ALL out of the bedroom. And sometimes you don’t get good sleep even then.
  • I’ve got some poetry that’s going to be published starting this week. A publisher that accepted ALL of the six poems I submitted to them. I keep thinking I should do more self-promo on social media. But that feels too much like having bronchitis.
  • I’m back to using my tiny SE first gen. Yesterday my daughter showed me how to increase the font so I can read without my glasses. That’s when you know you’ve officially arrived at old age.
  • Yesterday my daughter was tested for a thyroid condition. Her brother has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and since that’s hereditary, we thought it would be good to rule that out for her. The results were swift and good. She doesn’t have it!
  • When you have four cats you spend a fair bit of your day loving them up. And as a consequence you don’t get other stuff done. I mean, like laundry and dishes and making the bed. And whatever else you can think of to blame on the cats.

That’s a wrap. Or a sub sandwich. Or.. better yet.. a Cheeseburger!

Peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-16 Kittens of the Castle 🐱🏰

Starting late again today and short on time. I had Better sleep last night as Jim forced me to keep the cats out of the bedroom, for my own good. The two bigger cats, Doug and Kayla are both visibly upset by the newest member of our household.. Gus 🐱

Doug is clearly stress eating and has gained some weight. He seems sad.. if it’s possible to tell that a cat is sad. He’s lost the spring in his step and won’t chase treats like he was before.

Kayla has this look of disgust in her eyes and every time we let Gus into the living room she stalks him and tries to swat at him. The living room is her domain. She’s not being as maternal and mother-kittenly as we had hoped.

Emma is a different story altogether. She never comes out of the bedroom she lives in upstairs. We have that door set so she can get in and out but the other cats can’t get in (she is about half their size). That room is her sanctuary. They can’t use her litter box or eat her food.

Still, she’s decided to also be upset and let’s us know by peeing on the carpet. That’s a big problem that we have not figured out how to solve. One damn thing at a time I suppose.

The priority in the last week or two was to try and get shit fixed around the house. I mean.. the list had gotten ridiculous and enough is enough.

Included in the repairs: A broken refrigerator and freezer in our kitchen, a broken range top where none of the burners would fire, an AC that went out and accompanying furnace that also needed replaced, plumbing that needed snaked out all the way out to the main, broken toilet, leaking sink, a second sink which doesn’t get cold water unless you run it solid for 10 minutes. There’s more. But that’s enough. Don’t you think?

It’s amazing what people are willing to live with and for how long. I’ve been showering in my daughters bathroom upstairs for about 9 months now because the water in our master has one temp that is too hot for me. Some plumbing issue that won’t be fixed without tearing out the shower wall and that’s another thing that just has to wait.

How is it I started writing about the cats and ended up lamenting about all the broken things in this beautiful castle? I mean, it is beautiful. It’s just big and kind of a maintenance nightmare. I don’t want to come across as “poor me”, because seriously.. how many people get to live like this? It’s really amazing. When shit ain’t broke. 😜

That’s all I have time for today. I think I’ve decided to let Doug back into the office for my workday today. Hopefully he will perk up if he has his spot at the end of the bed behind me back. See.. I totally had to quit my job so I could be a better cat mama!!

11 more efffing days to go. Today I’m planning on a minimal work day. But I’ve said that before and always seem to get roped into more and more. We’ll see.

Peace Ya’ll,

~Miss SugarCookie