2021-01-25 Waking Up in Nevada 💃☔️

Yesterday when I talked about gettin outta town, I really didn’t think I would be waking up today in Nevada!! 

The original plan? To have the car loaded and ready to jet at 5:30am. Drive for 9 hours, see the sunrise from I-29 south, and reach our destination in Oklahoma by 4 or 5pm. 

Then about 5Pm yesterday our phones started blowing up with winter storm warning notices and cancellations. First it was our kids’ schools and we thought, “here we go again.” Then it was other random places that we might frequent. Then it was our city trash service notifying that the schedule was being modified with a day delay this week due to the weather. And then it was the whole city of Papillion. An automated message from the freaking mayor that the city was declaring an emergency. Holy crap? Is this it? Is it the end times? 

Of course it is. I mean, I’ve just gotten everything I ever wanted so the end of the world was inevitable. 😜

Whatever. I was en route to drop my son off at his dad’s house when Jim called and said they closed his office too and he was being advised to drive tonight and not wait for the morning. So as soon as I got home, it was scramble time. I had a myriad of tasks that were not done yet. I finished the things on my list while Jim did research on how far to drive and where to stay. 

We we’re on the road and headed for Nevada Missouri by 8:30PM. 

So here I am. Walking on a treadmill at the Nevada Holiday Inn Express staring out the window at a rainy morning and excited about the thought of having a free breakfast and taking a long hot shower before getting on the road again. 

The rain looks glorious and the sun is up just enough that it’s starting to get light out there. Jim just sent me a screenshot of the winter storm which is depicted as a white mass across much of the Midwest from Denver Colorado to Kansas City, lead up front with some wicked rain storms stretching all the way to the Carolinas and the Atlantic Ocean. That’s a massive weather system Yo!!

If I don’t see a single flake I’ll be a happy girl. The temp here will not dip below freezing and fo sho we’ll be outta town headed farther south within an hour or two. In fact I just checked and the temp for our destination and it is already 64 so the only “weather” we’ll see today is this lovely, amazing rain. ☔️ 

Leaving in a bit of a rush, there were bound to be a few items we intended to bring but forgot. I don’t have my water bottle which will be necessary if we do any hiking and the Roku was left behind too. Since our whole plan for the week was to balance outdoor activities with binge watching movies and TV, we plan to hit the wal-Mart on our way out of the area. I wonder if Nevada has a Wal-Mat? 

Nevada??!! Ha! As we rolled in last night I was cracking jokes about the Vegas Strip. Nevada has historically been bad for me, but this little town seems all right. I mean, as a HIE fan girl, what’s not to love?

Cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, orange juice and coffee here I come!

3 states down, 3 to go, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-24 On the Eve of Adventure

We had snow yesterday and it looks like it was a precursor to the winter storm headed our way tomorrow. The perfect time to get the fuck out of dodge. We’re skipping town just as the fun will be starting tomorrow at 6am. I’m just hoping things don’t get too bad for my daughters sake. 

The early start is perfect for me and for once I won’t be chastised for wanting to go to bed at 9pm. We’re planning on having everything ready to go today so we can wake up and roll out. I’m excited to see sunrise from I-29. I told Jim this morning we should charge and bring the good camera. Of course I’m thinking of last minute things I’d like to get from the grocery store. Of course. 

I have a busy day planned for myself today. Lots to hurry up and do in order for us to be able to disconnect for a week. Just getting the house in order and hopefully in nice shape to come home to is a big task. I’m grateful we have several responsible kids teetering on adulthood to care for the animals in our absence. I will miss the kids and the cats but am looking forward to 5 glorious days of not having to scoop litter boxes or feed fish. Hooooray!

I love road trips. Our route will actually take us through 6 states. Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. If I know Jim (and I do) he’ll want to dip into Texas too since we’ll be so close. I’ve only ever driven south through to Texas, never stopped in OK before to look around but I guess it’s really beautiful where we are going.

It’s a true statement that if there was no pandemic we probably would not choose Oklahoma or Arkansas. So this adventure was totally inspired by our inability to fly and a deep desire to get away.

I’m excited about some of the fun activities planned this week and after the cold and snow, highs in the 50s will probably feel great! The high when we arrive tomorrow is supposed to be 66! Yowza that looks amazing. 

My mind is wandering. 

Wandering away to activities of the day. 

To Monday and Tuesday. 

To fire pits and hot tubs and Sunrises. 

Wednesday and Thursday. 

Jeep rides exploring new territory. 

Binge watching movies cuddled close. 

Reading and writing, walking and talking. 

Friday Horseback trails and trotting. 

Laughing through Late breakfasts. 

Snacks and snuggles and sunsets. 

Toasting to year 1 and all the years to come. 

Keepin’ it Frosty,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-23 Up and Down, Round and Round

It’s been a strange week and I’m very much looking forward to shifting gears. The focus this weekend is on vacation prep. That’s right.. I said vacation. 

It’s still too sketch to fly so we basically put a pin in Omaha and did a radial circle around it with a driving distance of  10 hours max. Our first bit of research landed us in South Dakota and we’re both so hungry for getting away that it actually seemed like a viable option. We booked an air b n b near Deadwood. Two days later we had issues with the rental contract and both did a facepalm… South Dakota in January?!! WTF were we thinking??!! Who goes NORTH in Winter?? 🤦🏼‍♀️ 

We were able to get out of that deal without issue and quickly turned our attention to the opposite side of the circle—south to Oklahoma and Arkansas.

With our second attempt to zero in on a destination that would be “off the grid” enough to disconnect from normal life but still have comfort with amenities to get some good R and R, we landed on Broken Bow Oklahoma. Well, near Broken Bow anyhow. 

For 30 years of my life I’ve had to do all the vacation planning. Let me tell you, it’s really easy to get used to someone else taking control. It’s just one of the many reasons I love my husband. He’s incredible for a lot of reasons. The excellent vacation planning is just one thing. 

The vacation is partially to celebrate our one year anniversary. And what a year it has been. Natural disasters, the BLM movement hitting another climax, a nail-biting election cycle, and.. oh yeah.. a global pandemic bringing humanity to its knees. My friend Rebecca said if we weathered this ok in our first year, we can survive anything. I sure hope so. 

Other things on my agenda this weekend besides laundry and cleaning and packing include trying to catch up on my GLR tasks that always seem to be falling behind. With the strange week that has been very up and down and round and round, it seems that some of those tasks fell to the “I will do that tomorrow” list. I’m also in a holding pattern on a few things that have started to become sources of irritation. Namely the contest that we’ve been waiting to announce since the beginning of January. In truth, when we originally planned it, the window for submissions was supposed to open on December 15th.

Now it’s nearing the end of January and we still don’t have all the content needed on all four judges to round out the lineup. It would be strange to have bio and pictures for two of the judges and not the other two. I also have other growing concerns but nothing worth writing through right now. Or at least not on a Saturday before vacation.

In any case, lots to do today and no time like now to get on it! 

Cheers to Caturday! 🐱

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-22 Good News in My Inbox is Bad News for the Litter Box

It was a short night for me but the sleep I had was good. Yesterday ended ok and I felt ok about what I was able to accomplish. No surprise though that some unfinished business is stacking up. I’m really going to have to bust my booty today to get it all done. 

Not that anyone needs to know, but the litter box situation has become dire. My cats are starting to give me serious questionable looks. Two of the four of them have followed me here to the gym and are patiently waiting for me to finish. 

I dare say I won’t be walking long.. as it’s 6:40am and I’ll have to shuffle myself into the morning routine about 7, chef and chauffeur hats waiting for me.

I often feel like the jack of all trades here at the castle. A sentiment expressed in the first stanza of a poem I wrote about a year and a half ago. One of the longer castle poems I’ve written. One that I learned (when I checked my email at 5:30am) will be published in an online lit mag in February. Hooray for that.

This one was the fastest turnaround I’ve had on an acceptance yet. Less than a week but they publish an issue a month so I suppose they have to have quick turnaround. Either that or it was a matter of good timing.

In any case, it’s great news and frankly not something I can fall back asleep after reading. Shame on me for checking email at 5:30am. But I was already wide awake so it doesn’t matter. 

It also means I have to spend some time this morning withdrawing those poems (oh yeah, they accepted more than just that one) from other places I’ve submitteed. Sorry kittens, your litter boxes will just have to wait a little longer. 

On that note… I gotta head back upstairs and find my chef hat. 👩‍🍳 

Later gaters, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-21 Doing the Thursday Smile and Wave 👋🏻

Yesterday was such a strange day I want to let go of and forget it ever happened. By contrast today has been pretty freaking great so far. I just don’t get life sometimes. Is it life or is it me? I really do wonder if other people’s lives are like that. One day is shit and the next is sunshine.

I had 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night so that helps I suppose. Darth didn’t make an appearance, nor did I wake up with strange dreams or sweating through my clothes. I slept all the way to the 6am alarm and when it went off, I was like “holy crap!”

I stretched and checked my stats and other notifications that came in while I was sleeping. Then I thought, “it’s gonna be a great day.” And so the tone was set. 

So far everything else is the same. The morning routine, breakfast, commute to school, and now this. Still, the good mood persists. I guess I should not question, just enjoy it while it lasts. 

My set list today includes things I put off doing yesterday plus all the stuff on my Thursday list. Somehow it all feels manageable today and I’m not overwhelmed. 

What else? Today is my little-middle sisters birthday. She’s 39 I think. I wonder what kind of mood she’s in or what she thinks about being 39. Wonder if she is freaked out by being 39. For me 39 was no biggie. Life was crazy and I hardly cared how old I was.

My whole life I will not be able to separate my sister’s birthday from my ex Matt. They are the same age too and I REALLY wonder what he thinks about being 39. Never married, no kids. I wonder if he regrets “us” in some way, either that it was a mistake to let me go or perhaps that he wasted those 5 years of his life on me. Time is a funny thing and as it passes, it sometimes changes how we feel about a person or situation.

When I met Josh for coffee last week we talked briefly about Matt and I said I kind of wondered what he thought about my life now. Being married, a doctor’s wife, taking care of family and no longer clocking in at a paying gig.

Josh treats other people’s lives, questions, and problems very matter-of-fact like. He basically said Matt probably just thinks that “Shyla got everything Shyla wanted” and that’s it. It’s true. I knew what I wanted and I got it.

The life partner, living together, pursuing my passion for writing, the secure future for my children and I, and having the opportunity to do what I want with the rest of my life. How did THAT happen?

I suppose my mind still wanders to Matt at times but it’s no longer pangs of “what if.” Now it’s more just hoping he is well and finding peace with life, doing things he likes to do. I don’t really wonder about his relationships anymore really which is healthy. I think getting “everything” I wanted helps with all of that.

But now that I have “everything” I have to think about what else I want. Since I never imagined getting here, I never really dreamt beyond it. 🤷‍♀️

Wonder what my sister wants too. She’s been engaged since before I even met Jim. That’s coming up on three years. I wonder if they are going to be engaged forever and never actually get married. Or if they are both good with the “parent life” ship sailing away. They bought a house together last year finally. That seems like a big commitment to stay together. I’d ask her but she’s never very forthcoming when talking about these things.

What else? I’m not terribly inspired today to write. I’ve got some new content in my in-box and will make a go of reading some. Perhaps it will inspire me in some way to write. We’ll see.

On that note. There’s not much else for now. 

Waving from the Wave, 👋🏻🏄‍♀️🌊

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-20 Take Two

I kinda told the whole world to fuck off today. I mean, within reason. 

I cancelled the appointment I had with my financial advisor. I really don’t see the need to talk to him unless I need something or he needs something. Feels like a waste of time. He’s got my business, my money is in his hands, I trust him, he’s a good guy. But we really have no reason to chat. 

His company must require it though as he wanted to reschedule. So I kicked that can till Friday and continued to host my own personal pity party from my living room couch. 

I cancelled lunch with my dad too. Bad daughter but I just couldn’t. I just didn’t want to. Prolly try to Friday on that too. 

Then I put my darling daughter off too. Bad mom. In order to pull that off I had to promise tomorrow. I’m hopeful tomorrow will be less of an existential shit show. 

At 2:15 today I slid back under the covers for a 30 minute rest. That helped me regain the energy needed to get through the afternoon. 

I picked up my son from school, had a chat with my sister on the way, met with some folks about lit mag business, and then cooked dinner for a few peeps. Might have had a glass of wine with dinner. Might have eaten too much. Might be walking off that “too much” feeling now. 

I punched my subs back up to 75 today. Going the free route for most of it and and aiming low with batches of poems from my thesis that are still unpublished. New strategy is to mix up the batches though. A few old and a few new. Never know what’s going to appeal to a reader. It’s just all a gamble anyhow. 

I also sent like 30 declines for the GLR which I have decided makes me grumpy by default. Partially because I hate being the bearer of bad news (even if it’s largely anonymous) but also partially because it forces me to see just how careless most people are with their work. Why put so much time into the crafting of the poems and then completely ignore submission guidelines, formatting, requests to de-identify the manuscript. It makes me lose a little bit of respect. (Or a lot). 

I want people to have a good experience but good grief!! What is so damn difficult about making the title of your submission match the title of your attachment. IT IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!! 

My lit mag meeting today was with Kate Gale, owner of Red Hen Press and LA Review. Yeah, she’s big time. All my questions are about funding and trying to run a sustainable business. But it’s been a long time since she was where we are, at the beginning. She’s operating on a million dollar budget and talks about donations and getting thousands of subs, and those being the two top revenue streams. We ain’t got none of that going on. We just small potatoes. 

The way I figure it, we will be operating in the red until we can get the paperwork for the non-profit status in order. I dunno. It’s a lot of work. And $$$. 

It’s now past 8. I’m so done with this day. Hoping to head to the couch for some serious veg time soon. 

Thanks for hanging out, anyhow. Have a great night. 

Yours truly, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-20 Serious Sleep Rant

There’s absolutely nothing I’m looking forward to today. That’s messed up. 

You know what else is messed up? Stats that lie. Sleep score of 82 last night…. my ass! 

Per the usual I was asleep about 30 seconds after I closed my eyes at 10PM. I woke up just before midnight. Ugh!! 

I knew right away I wasn’t going to be able to fall back asleep. I knew it wasn’t because of the cats, or my brain spin. I knew right away because I heard what has now become the all-too-familiar sound of Jim breathing. Heavy and loud like Darth Vader. Only with the occasional inhale snore. I lay there and listen getting more and more angry with each breath. 

It’s not his fault but that does nothing to quell my anger at midnight. How is it possible that I was dating Darth for 18 months, and living together, and not realize it? How does THAT happen??!! 

I haven’t been forthcoming with this problem, which did not present itself until sometime last fall. Had it always been this way and I just didn’t realize it? What has changed? 

We’ve talked about it and he thinks it’s allergies. This is yet another reason to keep the cats out of the master bedroom area. But we have been doing that and the issue is not getting better.

I’ve tried sneaking out to a spare bedroom to sleep and that’s a bummer. It also doesn’t yield a good night sleep because of the cats, and also all the lights. Nothing like spending 10 minutes unplugging, pulling shades, and unscrewing to wake a person up completely. Then lay there in the dark not being able to fall back asleep. 

A few days ago I had an idea. I have been meditating in my closet and brought a few pillows in there to sit on. Then I got a sleeping bag and decided I would try sleeping there, like camping. This way, when I wake up I have a place to go back to sleep that’s cat free, dark, and close enough that I can go without waking completely and just fall back asleep. 

So dumb. I mean, not every idea is a winner. 

Last night when I was laying there listening to Darth, I thought.. this is a test. Can this idea work? I shuffled myself to the closet. I hedged my bets and took a sliver of an antihistamine in route. 

The closet was hot and the floor was hard. I remembered immediately how much I hate sleeping on the ground. My pelvis bones ground into the floor. I turned on my side and was reminded how uncomfortable it is to sleep on my side too. But I lay there anyhow and let the sleep aid I had ingested take over. I fell asleep. 

I woke up two or three hours later, groggy, sweating, and just immediately pissed off. I hoped the heavy breathing had subsided and went back to the bed. 

It had and I fell back asleep, waking again at close to 7am. I suppose despite the grumpy night, the fact that I was able to get a certain quantity of sleep and not actually being awake for that long were the reasons my FitBit reported a “good” sleep score. But damn, I feel like shit. 

Something else has to change but I have no idea what that is. The stupid antihistamine is part of the problem. A solution that’s worse than the problem. But in the wee hours I’m not thinking clearly. I will do anything to get back to sleep. 

It’s 9:30am now and I think it’s almost cleared my system. But I’m still not looking forward to anything today. I’ve got a meeting with my financial advisor, lunch with my dad, another meeting for the lit mag (with a prominent publisher), and I don’t want to do any of it. Nope. 

I also have to send a bunch of declines for the lit mag and that’s a shit job too. Plus those other “to-do” items I didn’t do Monday and Tuesday. Ugh! 

Wow. I’m just a ray of sunshine today huh? 

Suppose since I have nothing positive to contribute today, I should just quit now. I’m on a pretty good run with regard to exercise and getting my steps lately and so it’s ok if I miss a day, right? 

Perhaps I’ll get some mo-jo after I have my coffee? We’ll see. 

In Need of a Do Over, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-19 The One Track Mind of My Desires ☕️🍔🌮🍕🍿🍫

I subconsciously added the word “food” in my paper planner on each day of the week this week instead of “mood.” This would be fine, except that I already have another daily goal for eating healthy which I abbreviate to “eat.” The result is the following five daily goals: 

Sleep, eat, food, mind (for meditation), and Exercise. Apparently my subconscious knows I’m hungry. I’m always hungry. When am I not hungry??? 

The answer is never. 🤷‍♀️

I changed all the “F”s to “M”s. My subconscious might have ulterior motives but right now my focus is on meditation and mood. I mean, perhaps if I was full and satisfied I would not be fatigued all the time but, but.. hold up!! 

Sometimes when I’m writing, I learn something new and I think I just had a lightbulb appear above my head. 

A few months back I had decided that I was going to try to get more protein each day and that was going to help with my energy levels. But that whole exploration ended in failure because I became a little too obsessed with counting calories. Past the point of reasons, in reality.

But maybe I need to revisit that. Maybe I need to try again but slow my roll. That little experiment reminded me of how easy it is for me to slip into bad patterns of behavior but also about how many calories are a legit amount to have each day and what reasonable meals look like. I might try again, without actually  counting calories and just try to eat more protein. 

This would be going against my New Years résolution to do less goal setting and not add more expectations on myself. Mark the calendar… 19 days in and I’m already considering breaking my resolve. But I haven’t done it yet so there’s still time to save it.

Can you just see how I’m my own worst enemy. Who else do you know who makes a New Years résolution to do less and can’t keep it??!! 😜

Whatever. Yesterday I finally listened to the entire day 4 of the waking up app. Ironically, the session was about being able to meditate even with distractions and I could not listen to it all the way through because I kept getting distracted. I tried on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I felt like I was never going to be able to finish days four. Complete failure.

However yesterday I finished. Not entirely successful but I did get to the end. Today will be day 5. Perhaps the trick is to do this when no one else is home. I know the ultimate goal is to be able to meditate anywhere and in any circumstances but I’m definitely not there yet. I actually think the day 4 lesson was introduced too soon. I’m still figuring how to focus on my breathing and just recognize sensations and let them pass.

I’ve got a full set list of things I want to get done today. A bunch of stuff for the lit mag plus getting my car registration taken care of. Plus the normal Tuesday chore of taking care of trash and recycling.

Several months ago they switched our recycling to once every two weeks. And then about six weeks ago they switched our pick up carts to these giant bins, that can be automatically picked up and dumped by the trucks.

All of this has led to a recycling disaster in my house. 

As the overlord of the house, I’m kind of a stickler about recycling and therefore we generate a lot more recycling than we do actual trash. If it can be recycled it goes in the recycle bin. The problem at this point is that we are generating more recycling than the amount that will fit in the bin every two weeks.

I’m flattening all the cardboard, squishing all the bottles and cans as much as I can but there’s just no way to make it fit. Two weeks ago, I left a bunch of flattened cardboard next to the recycle bin like I used to with our old system and hoped that they would Make an effort to pick it up. But they didn’t.

So I had to drag all that wet soggy cardboard back up to my garage let it dry out and try to put it in the bin this week. Which I did however now all of the other bottles and cans and cardboard won’t fit.

There’s a pile of cardboard growing in the corner of my garage and I don’t see a way to solve this problem. I guess we can always get another bin for the additional cost but it’s frustrating to have to pay extra for trying to be a good human. This is what’s wrong with our world. 

It’s tougher to be good than to just be rotten or to not care at all. This IS the change I want to see in the world. I suppose if I want to see the change, I need to do as they say and be the change. But I’m just one human: what can I do? 

I have a lot more to say on this subject. There’s a whole post brewing on the things I’ve just said in the last two paragraphs. But today is not the day. Today I need to focus. I need to get done what is directly in front of me. I need to follow through on immediate responsibilities and obligations. 

And then I need to meditate. 

And then I need to eat. 

And then I need to decide what is the next best thing. 

That’s the order of operations today.. maybe not in that exact order though, cuz I AM kinda super hungry and would like to eat first. 🤣

My cats have all been waiting patiently for me to finish my walk. They all find their own little spot to lay down in the exercise room to wait. Each day, they follow me from room to room, from task to task, napping in each different location. I think their primary objective is to nap while keeping one eager eye on the person who feeds them. They have life all figured out. Maybe I should take a lesson. Ha! 

On that note.., I’m done for now. Time to eat!

Cheers to Taco Tuesday!

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-18 Happy Blog-A-Versary!! 💃💃🎉

2017-01-15 –> Now. Four years (+ a few days).. Yo!.. That’s a good freaking run!! 

(Spoiler Alert, this recap could get long. If stats are your thing and you want to skip the drunk trainwreck intro, scroll to the end, but don’t forget to click “like” before you leave. 😉)

In January 2017 I decided to start posting my personal journey online. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t put a ton of thought into aesthetics, format, or the best way to approach doing what I wanted to do. Honestly, I didn’t even know what I wanted, or expected outside of wanted to find a way to live a happier, healthier life. 

If a person had asked me then what I thought would become of Miss SugarCookie in 4 years, I would not have had an answer. I wouldn’t have a clue. And there’s no possible way I could predict most of what has come to pass. 

Most of the time when I write, I’m writing in the moment. I’m writing for today. I’m writing for an audience of one. I’m trying to sort through what I’m thinking about and how I feel. I try to steer clear of hashing through old news that doesn’t concern me anymore. Most of the time, I try to do that. But sometimes, like now, it’s good to reflect. And it’s really good to see how far I’ve come. 

In January 2017 I was still very fresh off the end of my “big love” relationship. I was broken and closed and unhealthy, both mentally and physically. I was killing myself for a job that was never going to give me what I needed from life besides a paycheck. I was lost and confused and, after returning from my sister’s destination wedding in Mexico, I knew something had to change. 

I spent every other night in Mexico drinking until I couldn’t walk straight. I spent mornings after with blinds drawn, unable to eat any of the “all-inclusive” food that was available 24-7. One night I ended up stumbling drunk, laying on the grass next to the cart path that led to my single-occupancy room, sobbing. I begged the Universe for someone, anyone, to find me and want to help. I just wanted another human being, even if it was a complete stranger to care about my well being. 

I felt so alone. 

Other nights on that trip I wrote and tried to be social with the other 50 people who made the trip for my sister. I’m fairly certain there wasn’t another single person among them, besides my first cousin who I’ve never been close to and who (apparently) didn’t have trouble finding companionship on that trip. I wasn’t interested in a hookup though. I just wanted someone to talk to. 

I drunk texted people on FB messenger or iMessage from my room where there was WiFi. I don’t remember who, probably Josh and HL. I probably made confessions. I probably fell asleep mid-text. I had to write a maid-of-honor speech and sobered up to do that. 

I did a lot of wandering around the resort. I did an incredible amount of thinking. It’s probably then when the idea for posting my thoughts online came to me. I really don’t remember but it seems highly likely. 

Back in Nebraska a few short weeks later I was re-booting Miss SugarCookie who made her original debut in 2014 on Tumblr. But I’d become a solid WordPress fan and recognized the appeal of a versatile platform that was, at the time, the front runner for personal blogs (IMHO). 

I still remember one of my first posts, “The Riddle of the Middle” where I thought through the problem of starting something new, like I was, in the middle of the story. So much history, where does one begin to make it all make sense? The answer is.. to just begin. 

Eventually all the backstory would be  revealed organically. I know that now, but didn’t then. So many things I know now that I didn’t know then. 

And, as I said, could never have predicted what would change in the 4 years to follow. 

I learned along the way my “big love” had started seeing someone new a hot minute after our 3rd and final breakup. That helped me put a nail in the coffin of my hope for a reconciliation. 

I entertained a friends with benefits relationship with a good friend. It was both helpful and hurtful I’m a way. 

I quit my fucking job of course, by the following summer and elected to use my savings to take a six month sabbatical. One of the best decisions of my life! 

In those 6 months I began eating healthier and working out more. I traveled with and without my kids and had some amazing adventures. It was during our trip to the Pacific Northwest that I decided to get more education for my passion, writing poetry. 

By then, I was already well on my way to writing from a treadmill or elliptical machine each day. Wait… did I really write from an elliptical machine? I could not possibly have done that as I’m not that coordinated. I must be remembering that wrong. 

In any case, I do remember clear as the clearest day being in an exercise room at the holiday inn express by the Portland airport when I decided to apply for an MFA program. 

The beauty of this is.. I don’t have to remember because it’s verifiably in the archives of this blog. That’s some bonafide bonus-plan shit! 

I also started dating again during that sabbatical. Hello Bumble! There was a string of posts about my dating experiences (the good, the bad, and the seriously ugly) and navigating new territory. I’m probably going to struggle here. 

-Blog Intermission- I was going to go into a ramble calling out every made up name for every noteworthy person I went out with. Then I checked it and decided not to wreck it. So NOT going to go off on that major tangent. -End Blog Intermission-

Fast forward 5 or 6 or 8 months to March 2018. That’s when I said “Buh-bye” to Bumble. And good riddance. Dating sucks unless you’re dating someone you know you have a future with (at least that’s how I feel about it). 

Of course I’m talking about dating Jim and falling in love with Jim and being proposed to on my birthday in August of 2018. If you’re dating THAT person, dating is amazing! 

We went on dates, road trips, full-fledged vacations, and planned to “merge” our two households in early 2019. Of all the things.. this turn of events in my life was the least expected. And it happened so, so fast (based on the pace of my last long term). 

In 2018 I came off my sabbatical and took a job with a company learning a bunch of new stuff, which was great but fairly unpredictable as far as number of hours per week goes and, like most places, they would take all they could get. 

In 2019 the kids and I moved in with Jim and his boys and life just would not slow down for anything. I had work, the kids, Jim, the house, and school to take care of. Not to mention all my other relationships with family and friends. I was overcommitted for sure and by summer I was throwing my hands up and requesting to leave the work project I was on. 

I think my employer knew I was right on with my assessments about the project and let me bow out gracefully to bring a more skilled SQL person to work on the ETL. That fall was fantastic as I had time to work on my writing, MFA, and take care of my home and family (and also plan a wedding). 

By the time 2020 arrived, the wedding became the top priority and it’s the kind of thing that takes over your life for a while. Thank goodness we married as early in the year as we did (02/02/2020) because chaos in the world was about to take over. And so it did. 

I still finished my last semester, had a honeymoon, and began working again. Two of those three were fantastic. Can you guess which one wasn’t? 

By late August I put in my notice at work. This time I was going to be done-done with no option for accepting future contracts. Another great decision. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t nod to 2020 as a train wreck of a year for many other reasons. Still, despite that, I finished my MFA, had a few road trips, managed to get my darling daughter off to an OK start for her freshman year, and oh, by the way, set my sights on starting a new online literary publication. Which I did. Obvi with lots of help from some great peeps. 

Yeah. That’s another thing that I could not have imagined 4 years ago. Little Miss SugarCookie Starting and managing a lit mag. Wild!! 

So today’s the day!! 4 years (and counting). AND.. This post would not be complete if I did not end it in classic Miss SugarCookie style.. with the rest of the stats:

1460 Days
1143 Posts
8336 Visitors
13,513 Views
6296 Likes and
599 Followers

That’s fantastic! This quick look back has been refreshing for me. Quite rejuvenating actually. Were there bumps in the road? Yes, but I feel like I am on the right track now and look forward to the future. Only time will tell what can happen in the next four years. On that note, I’m just going to keep riding this wave as long as I’m able. 

Cheers to Four Years..
Love Ya’ll Bunches and Bunches! 
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-18 A Caravan Traveling Toward the Unknown

Today the lingering ghost of disturbing dreams and waking drenched in sweat and exhaustion has me walking a slower pace than normal. What was I running from all night? What had me peering back over my shoulder and looking off at the airfield in the distance, climbing a steep grassy slope to a narrow stair with a single metal rail? 

I somehow fell into a row there with other people running away from or toward something. Our pace slowed by growing numbers ascending the stair. At the top of which was a tiny door. More of a window really, too small I thought, for some people to slip through. How would we all fit? And where would this human  caravan lead? Does it matter when you know your life depends on finding a new place to dwell? When the perception is that any consequence is better than the alternative of staying, it doesn’t matter. 

I fit through the window and after, was when I woke, my head pounding with questions, I shuffled safely to the bathroom to fumble in the dark with the Tylenol and water I had left on the counter before going to bed. 

I didn’t think about the potential meaning of this dream until just now. 

Could it be random or am I already trying to reconcile news of a caravan of human beings crossing Mexico on foot to get to the United States?

They don’t get the news from Alexa each day. They don’t understand that nothing will change immediately just because there’s a change in leadership. Change here is slow. Policy and procedure are large and heavy. 

But they don’t need the news. Promises have been made and they have no option but to believe in them. 

My news source is opinionated. Like the rest of the media the words are often filtered, carefully chosen, and slant. I truly don’t think there’s an honest, unbiased source of news left. I don’t think it’s possible. 

The best I can do is solicit news from multiple sources and piece together the truth from all that. Like a patchwork of events, people, and statements. Pulling the verifiable squares together and using the spool of my mind to stitch it until it fits together. But even that is flawed because I’m biased too. 

I say “let them cross”.. and if the whole world decides to move to America we’ll figure it out. But it’s complicated and I don’t profess that I understand all of the moving parts. I’m also not in any position to make any difference and whatever will happen, I dare say, it will not affect me much. But still I dream. 

Still my unconscious mind puts me in the midst of the migration. Sketchy circumstances. Just another body crossing fields and slipping through chain link fences. Why was there an airfield there? Why was there a narrow stair? What’s the significance of the thin pipe handrail or the door that was more of a window? 

Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions and it’s all nonsense and doesn’t mean anything at all. 

Yesterday I was looking forward to the start of a new week and now I’m just tired, with a headache and no motivation. I stare at myself as I walk on this treadmill, 2.5 miles an hour, and wonder how fast and far the caravan from Honduras walks each day. Their motivation far greater than anything I can conceive of. 

I don’t want to think about that. So selfish. I’m gonna have to quit now. 

More later, 

~Miss SugarCookie