I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in 2 1/2 weeks. I’ve been super grouchy and prickly. I haven’t wanted to be around any humans. Yesterday was a particularly thorny day. Got my feelings hurt on Facebook by a group of people that brought me to tears. I try to wear a thick skin when skating around on social media but sometimes thoughtless spears and careless conversations stab through the softer bits. Not drinking alcohol means a whole layer of protection is missing.

I’m still on a news fast. I’ve been on a news fast for almost 2 months. There’s no way I can let myself go back to reading the news while I’m not drinking. I can’t handle it. I see the headlines so I know what everyone’s getting mental wedgies over but I have clicked on no news links and watched no news programs. I miss The Daily Show a lot. The day I found out Jon Stewart is leaving the show I felt so betrayed and depressed. When the only sane voice in news gives up on us all – it’s pretty much OVER. I realize that someone else will take his place. I also realize that his team will still be there writing and producing a good show, but without him…I can’t even bear to think about it right now.

I have spent a lot of time on my couch under my favorite blanket watching Murder She Wrote. Most days that’s all I can do after I come home from work and take care of Max and do a few dishes. My days off I try to get work done on my apothecary business. But to be honest, I’m just tired all the time.

I know I’m not going to be like this all the time. I know this fog will lift. I know I’ll move forward. I know I’ll get some energy back. So I guess I’m just in a holding pattern until I can dislodge whatever has been blocking all my words and shake them loose. Every morning before work I open Scrivener and I try to get a few words out. Some mornings it’s like shoving my head into a plastic bag, other mornings I squeeze out a couple hundred words and it feels great. I try not to focus on all those times I wrote 5,000 words in a day.

I’ve found solace in quilting some evenings and have almost finished the quilt my friend Pam sent me over 6 years ago. I’ve also been finding some peace in my front garden. I don’t like my back yard. That’s where the dogs poop and we don’t keep up with scooping it up. It’s over-run with bamboo and oak. But the front garden is all mine. I can sit on the porch to enjoy it. I can do little things to it, plant just a couple of flowers, weed one bucketful, and it makes a big difference because the front is so small.

I’m excited about making more potions. I’m excited about learning to make soap which is the next skill I want to add to my arsenal. I still love living in the house we live in. I’m still incredibly happy to be in Santa Rosa. I love this place. I’m excited that Max is taller than me* and his shadow mustache is growing more distinct. I’m enjoying the last kisses on those baby-soft cheeks of his because they’re going to be rougher soon. I’ve let him mature at his own pace and it’s paying off.

Five years ago I worried so much about his eating issues and now he loves trying new foods and though he still doesn’t like much produce for its own sake, he ate fried plantains not long ago, ate coleslaw on a pulled pork slider, and eats avocado (and sometimes tomato) on hamburgers. He’s become a gourmand just as I predicted he would someday be.

My mom is doing really well. She gets stronger all the time even though she still feels tired a lot. I’m hoping this year will be surgery free for her.

I guess I’m giving all the updates today.

I’m going to pour another cup of coffee and chisel a few more words out of my brain into one of my manuscripts. Later I will be heading to the library to renew my card and find history books on San Francisco in the 1870’s if they have any, and costumes from the same period. I also might look up a book or two on typhoid for fun.

I hope you all have a peaceful day!

*He thinks it bothers me that he got taller than me so don’t break it to him that I enjoy seeing him grow taller.


  1. NM says:

    Hey, friend. I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling sad, and sorrier still you’re too far away to hug. Depression stinks, and so does writer’s block. May both bouts end soon.
    Haven’t been much on Facebook lately, and was surprised to find you gone.
    Here, things have been bumping along; thought we’d found land, things were a real whirlwind for awhile, and then … not. So that was disappointing, but, onward.
    We’re renting 1/4 acre on someone else’s farm in McMinnville on which to practice farming. From this, so far, I have learned farming is hard work. Who’d have thought?! ;p
    The garden is located between a goat pasture on one side, and cow pens on the other. The animals are very friendly and the goats are hilarious. They regularly come over to the fence to see what we’re doing.
    I’m excited about having more garden space then ever before, and I am using some of it on flowers. So very happy, to have space for flowers. Much time is being spent on this endeavor. Also, much money. Turns out, farming’s expensive, too. Even if you’re mostly just buying seeds. It’s supposed to be a money-Making enterprise, you say? Hmm.
    There are approximately one million little starts in the greenhouse, and I can’t make up my mind whether I’ve started them all too early or I’m way behind. Since the greenhouse is unheated, they are not growing as fast as I would like, although they are probably growing faster than I think. It’s hard to keep track when you’re staring obsessively. On the other hand, they presumably shouldn’t need much hardening off ?? I don’t know. I’ve discovered that I don’t know anything about what I’m doing. What exactly is a vegetable, again?
    Really, I’m enjoying it all. I’m just doing so in a mildly petrified state.
    Take good care of yourself! May your words come home, soon.
    In hopes you will find this funny:
    “American poet William Stafford offers this advice to poets who suffer from Writer’s Block: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.”
    (Don’t CRY! You KNOW this is an issue for most writers, at one time or another. Hence the term. And the quote. And the ton of writing about writer’s block. It just always feels as though it only happens to you, while everyone else on all sides is merrily scribbling away.)

  2. angelina says:

    What a fabulous update to get from you Nicole! I miss you so much! I’m sorry the land you thought was going to work out didn’t but glad you found a place to practice in the meantime. I wish I could dome visit you and see your extra little patch of soil – and the goats and cows too! I’m not sad all the time or anything – I have a lot of inertia but a lot of it is from the day job. You know how tiring being out in the world can be, more so if the place you work is full of bitter people, a boss who…(will leave all the expletives out in case my blog is stumbled on by work people)…basically a really toxic work environment. I only work part time but I find it drains the life out of me. But I’m combating it on my days off and in the garden. Don’t forget to check out Stitch for some new garden pics – I have been loving my little patch and it has been picking my spirits up. This weekend I actually had a great writing day so I feel revived by that.

    I need to start seeds now too! I want to start tomatoes and Alpine strawberries. I’m going to need to make some raised beds in our driveway if I want to plant enough tomatoes this year. Two of my front beds are taken up with garlic (which is doing really well!). Plus I have medicinal herbs in the front.

    I’m off of facebook just for a while. I need a break from all the negative people picking each other to death. The good thing is that I’ll probably end up blogging more and I should be doing that – just for myself. It keeps the writing going and gets the crap out. It’s always been really good for me.

    Your update was exactly like a giant Nicole-hug. Lots of love to you and Rick and the menagerie! Lovelovelove hearing about what you’re up to!

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