What prompts? January

The prompts are prompting too much private thought.

(apologies for this whole post, because i am rambling and there is feast, and there is famine.)

and so i’ve got nothing from them to share here. believe it or not, there is a level that i do not share here. Isn’t that wild?

I’ve just finished my big project and i’ve got these three days to do ‘nothing’ and so yesterday i turned on the tv mid-day. this is not progress and nope, it wasn’t satisfying.

i am going to try and read today, and put more plastic on windows and try to make this place a bubble of plastic and blankets.

the sun is out hard today and i love it. it is doing its damnedest from millions of miles away, to unfurl the leaf of the rhododendron. the birds are happy for it, and i’m rueing the day i put on cotton socks.

i’m sitting in my kitchen wrapped in a flannel blanket my grandmother made for one of her great grandchildren. these are footsteps i like to look at, but can only limp towards.

the last two days i’ve woken up in the range of 4 am. i’m going to lay my mood at the feet of the gods, and tomorrow with no one to wake up and no one to ferry, i will make up for it.

the kids are with me this weekend and i heard my middle on the phone with his dad and his gf (as an aside: why? i do not know. generally one is enough on the phone, but you know? whatever. i try to envision every having a man on the phone with me, to talk to my children, and cannot. it upset me but its probably totally normal, i don’t know. )

so anyhow, the dad asked what was on the plan for this weekend and so my son asked me and so i thought these things:

we’re in a pandemic. it is likely to be under 30 degrees outside. we’re not going anywhere. we’re not doing anything.

and then i felt bad, i did, i do, even. like, maybe i’m not a good enough mom because i’m not taking them fucking skiing or something.

and then i thought, i don’t want to take them fucking skiing. its a pandemic. it is likely to be under 30 degrees outside. we’re not going anywhere. we’re not doing anything.

so. any big plans this weekend? If you’re going fucking skiing, my kids would like a ride.

love love,


so there.

The art box. Marbles in paint. It was magic. It was.


These things, January.

i’m not following a prompt, but they’ve been influencing me greatly these past two weeks.

what has?

these things.

  1. the creative minds of others. i’m just blown out of my space by these people. out of my orbit. How can they walk around with all this color and word-richness in their heads? How do they bear the weight?!
  2. I finished the big project today, and sent it off. shortly had a mini-meltdown of mood. its not the first time, and this past few weeks i was struck by how often i could feel myself at the top of a hill, spilling downwards like Jill. I couldn’t seem to stop it, and there it was, despair. great hairy balls of fire.
  3. my old college roommate (she’s old, not me) allows me to use her as an accountability partner on these big projects. I let her know each time i zoom past another thousand words. It makes such an enormous difference. really. Lets Hear it for KIM!! RAAAAH!!
  4. i love the winter, the darkness, the safety in staying home. BUT my kids are chafing, so very chafed. pandemica makes me not want them doing anything at all, and i do let them do things, and i have fears that i am killing people by doing this. i both see the irrationality and don’t, so don’t address it with me. the middle starts in-person this week and the eldest in two weeks. i want a complete and total freeze on the old people. no, zero. no.
  5. i made two lasagnas today, because i’ve been worried about my former in-laws. they will get one, yes, my father-in-law claims to love love love them. my mother in law is my best woman ever, and she is going into dementia and it hurts my whole body.
  6. holy fuck kim. i just did math. its been a long damn time.
  7. i’ve decided to suspend rational thought when it comes to men. yes, i have suspicions that mine and their wants are different. but now, i just want to deal with right now. i’m too tired to dwell in suspicion. its a thing i can just let go. i can always live in regret.
  8. tomorrow there will be a new president. and yes, i have been holding my breath for the past few weeks.
  9. all the cups are empty, and they are all over the house. Should i read into this?
  10. my middle kid has requested a peach tree. how damn cool is that? I am looking into it. For real. Peaches in the yard.

i love you guys. i’m really tired.

love love,

me .

Kate in the kitchen


What is in your margins, January?

  1. In response to an Isabel prompt : some of that quote that brought me to my knees last time, what is in your margins, baby? what’re you constantly underlining, again and again, like new every time?

  1. Colors, always colors. I’m downright a.d.d. when it comes to distraction by beauty. Color, shape, the painting I no longer do, the detraction of value from myself for that. Oh. So much. Slight miss, peeled off, scraped off, value gone, value gone. Not creating, not. Scrape, peel, scrape peel, bare walls left. And more, peeled, scraped down to studs. And then what? Where then? Shelter gone. Zero. And wind. The wind blows through. Again. That’s my underline, right there. the biggest one. over and over. manic. manic. manic.
  2. I keep finding these men, these men who really cannot fit a woman into their lives, and I keep thinking of their loss, to lose me, this valueless non-creator, and then I see again that I am so uncertain I can do this all again and I know I use them to distract, like pretty shiny pennies.
  3. Can I live on macaroni and cheese with an occasional tomato thrown in? Is rickets a thing for me now, on this pirate ship of a pandemic house? Am I at sea now, for months at a time, while the kids take their boats out again and again and I am home… rocking in my chair on the waves.
  4. I’m not there anymore, I’m not there anymore, my chant when I wake from the bad dreams. Still, five years out. Anxieties about something so far gone. This brain, and where she roams when I sleep. Poor thing.
  5. I stick my head in the plants. I run my hand through the rice. I light the tree until I feel the itch for space and emptiness . and it itches. And I return to dreaming of painting.
  6. I woke up at four today. I feel pleasure in this, though I acknowledge that my evening will be affected. I have added another thousand words to the work writing and I am so glad and also, sad that there is still so much more to go and I’m running down my timeclock. Sometimes I think I deserve this, this halfass pride in work that I don’t want anyone to read. You know those cheapass romances that you buy for .99 on amazon? That’s me. I write that shit. sometimes. Welcome to the ambivalence. And return.
  7. The potato bugs have moved in, must be the season of… what? Mate? Coldness? They are everywhere. Slow moving creature of prehistory. I love how peacefully we coexist. I’m not sure when we decided we could, but we did.
  8. I keep meeting addicts. I keep finding them, the sharp, the intelligent, the weak, the traumatized. I find them, I love them. I have shifted away from taking them in, housing them, and that’s the change in the margins. Just a color change, same words, but progress. Big.
  9. I understand how deeply I need winter. This return of the cold, the dark. The stay home. Pandemic or no. this is the acorn buried deep. This is the time I understand how to protect my children. Stay. Warm. Socks. Hats. Lights. This is the time I understand.
green acorn
Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on


There is nothing wrong, January.

“The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion.
The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one’s work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again – not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life.” –
Maggie Nelson

This quote. This thing settled down on me like a net, slicing through me in geometries.

Its not, repeat and repeat until you finally learn the lesson, its not ‘cycle after cycle of the same lesson’ because you just cannot get it, you are so thick you fell for another addict…it is the revisitation that constitutes a life.

i’m not stupid, i’m just living.

JESUS. Pleasure, not trial.


I mix my hedonism with practicality, i do. but i wish more people could lighten up. get earthy with themselves.

there is so much in there, and i don’t even know how to begin to dig it up, to unearth it for you.


go find some.

i’m going to organize another raised bed for myself this spring. I might go wild and plant all flowers again. my kids don’t flipping eat vegetables, so what is the point of spinach? Maybe a pepper or two? I’ll have lavender to sell this year, barring pestilence.


Pleasure. run your hands through a bowl of rice if you have to. climb under the weighted blanket, or lover, or dog. whatever you got.

that quote. man, i am sliced.

slices of red orange on white background
Photo by Any Lane on

there’s nothing wrong with you. you’re just living.




A freaking poem. January

Poem, in style of George Ella Lyon, as part of a Cynthia lee prompt.

I am from narcissus bulbs, beauty and stunk, placed so carefully in white stones.

I am from Velveeta and Legos, goulash and basement worlds.

I am from the first Cape built in the neighborhood, the one with no double lot. The model home, the one with the sweetest garden.

I am from the smell of geraniums,  and summer sand wet with morning dew.  

I’m from slumber parties and children’s games.

From Harriet and Margaret.

I’m from the frugal, the skilled, the teachers.

From the you are so fae and so overly dramatic.

I’m from the small unadorned white church, high on itself, and warm.

I’m from the suburbs and the rural,

From Monkey bread and baked apples, molasses cookies.

From the broken wrists of the sledding hill, the knife in the eye in the kitchen (fine)

The fragments gathered in a quilt of mine, hanging steadily on the clothesline in the back.

black clothes peg with dew drop closeup photography
Photo by Bernardo Brandolin on

You can do this too, in fact the original poet wants you to.

its pretty, and i like how it hangs. I’ve been very reminiscent lately. i wrote a whole piece on the closets in my parents room this week. hm. particle board doors and all.

love you guys. get out there. do the thinking. do the thing.