2017-08-21 What I Would Do for Totality.. Apparently

Be up over 36 hours straight.
Suffer through a migraine.
Suffer through a terrible hotel stay.
Have the worst “free” hotel breakfast ever.
Hours of waiting (this part wasn’t so bad before the eclipse because we were with friends).
Stupid paper glasses (ok, now I’m just being a whiny bitch).
Lack of proper nutrition (my fault for not being more prepared).
Cramps and bleeding (sorry, now I’m going all TMI).
AND.. A one and a half hour drive home that took THREE hours.

But we were there, at the fairgrounds by Beatrice Nebraska right on the line of totality for 2 minutes of a total eclipse of the sun. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty freaking awesome. I was cheering and jumping up and down. It was also cool to watch the moon as it passed in front of the sun for an hour before, with the glasses of course.

We had off and on thick clouds so it was never a guarantee we were going to get to see anything. Just seeing the partial was really cool. When we all got to take the glasses off and the sky was mostly dark except for a 360 degree of “sunset” on the horizon, that was amazing. We even saw stars in the sky. What a sight. Despite all my hardships, I am glad that I went.

Despite all my anxiety and indecision leading up to it, I am glad I went. I’m glad I got to take the kids and that they got to experience this once, maybe twice in a lifetime event.

And now, I’m glad that it is over and I am back home in my own room in my own bed. It’s only 7PM, but I daresay I will not be able to stay up very much longer.

Totality Wiped Out,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-08-21 The Very Worst Thing Ever

As predicted after we hit about 2PM yesterday things just went as they went and it was all fine, mostly. Z convinced me to book a hotel in Lincoln at the last minute so we could be closer to our Eclipse destination and NOT have to stay in a tent. They (both kids) threatened mutiny if I made them sleep in a tent again after their long Yellowstone vacation with their dad where they tented most nights. I’m actually OK with it too because sleeping on the ground is not appealing to me anymore. I’m not sure if it ever was. As it turns out, the hotel option turned out to be the very worst thing ever for me, but I will get to that.

Actually booking the hotel alleviated several of my concerns and came with a few added bonuses. First and foremost, actually committing to something helped all by itself for some reason. Like just pulling the trigger on it made a little of my anxiety about the uncertainty of the day melt away. Like I stated, we will be closer to our destination and avoid some traffic traveling there late in the day. In the AM, the kids will get to swim and they have free breakfast so those are both marks in the “win” column.

Our guests arrived shortly after 3, I think, and then we did the complimentary tour of our castle. The kids played a little while we unloaded the bikes from the car and then there was about 45 minutes of fidgeting with tires and seats and brakes and such to get people ready to go. I was worried about the ride because of C. He does not ride his bike and he hates it. Every time he rides, he’s unsteady and crashes. He just has never gotten enough practice to really gain skill and confidence and then is quick to quit when he takes a fall.

My concerns were warranted. About 3/4 the way to the trail he faltered navigating some planters on the downtown Papillion sidewalk and completely kinked his back break line and got a nasty cut down his leg. After that he wanted to quit, but the rest of the crew was already ahead and the trail. We walked the bike that distance and then our new friends helped fix the bike at least enough to continue on. We did just a short distance on the trail, 84th street to 72nd, and then turned back because we needed to be back to the house by 6:15 to greet someone picking up his car for use these next couple of days. It took C and I a bit to get back, and they were all onto something else by the time we arrived home. My conclusion there was that C needs a bigger bike that fits him better and more time riding to really get the hang of it. After today, it will probably take some serious incentives to pull off though.

After that, I cooked dinner and the kids played some more and everything went off pretty much as expected. I never really got rid of all my angst. I was very guarded the entire time and felt very much like I was trying really hard to be engaged in the conversation while appearing to effortlessly put on this fabulous meal AND be a good parent. I’m noticing a pattern of behavior with my interactions with this person and I’m still trying to figure that out, but it’s probably deserving of a blog all of its own.

The time ticked away and past 8PM I started to think we need to be getting them back home (because now they were without a car), which was a good 40 to 45 minute round trip through the heart of the city. When I arrived back home it was just about 10PM and the kids were pretty much ready to jump in the car to drive to Lincoln. The drive from Omaha was quick and there was thankfully not a lot of traffic, which was of course part of the bonus of staying in a hotel there. What I did not count on, however, was arriving at the hotel only to be greeted by the very worst thing ever (for me), as soon as we walked into our room.

As I opened the door to room 116 of this very average Quality Inn my olfactory sense was immediately hit with a burst of sickly floral perfume. It was if someone over-did some terrible air freshener to cover up what was undoubtable another horrible smell. As soon as took a few breaths, my headache was triggered. I get migraines from the smell of certain things like cigarette smoke or the scent of baby powder or perfume. For this reason, I avoid walking through that section of any department store and never go into a bath and body works. Having had this my whole entire adult life, I know what scents are OK and what scents cause an issue and it is typically the more floral ones that trigger my headache.

I was tired and the kids were tired, so I thought I would just try and get right to sleep and sleep typically is the magic trick that makes the migraine disappear. At home, I have meds that make me sleepy and alleviate my nausea but I didn’t even think to bring any of that because we would not even be gone a whole day. Plus, I’ve only had one migraine in the last year, so the chances of that seemed very unlikely. But I wasn’t counting on what was behind door number 116.

I could not sleep. I laid in the bed breathing in that terrible smell and tried to make my mind calm and not focus on the pain. I was sick to my stomach and the song “Sucker for Pain” from the movie Suicide squad was on repeat in my brain. It was terrible. I knew I couldn’t ask for a different room because we arrived so late and the hotel was completely booked. In fact the lady on the phone earlier in the day said we got the very last room.

At 3AM I got up to ask the front desk if they had pain meds. They didn’t (that does not sound like a Quality hotel to me). The nice lady at the front desk told me there was a gas station just down the block so I grabbed my keys and went to get some Tylenol. Typically I would take Excedrin, but they didn’t have any. I had caffeine in my car so the acetaminophen plus caffeine would have to do.

When I got back to the room, I vomited. Then I took the meds on an empty stomach and went back to bed. I laid there for another few hours and slowly got to the point where my head was feeling a little better, but sleep never came. I was breathing through my mouth the entire time and at one point rolled over and had a deep breath through my nose, and it was like it triggered my headache all over again. Damn.

At 5:30 I looked at the clock and my brain started doing math on how long I would have to wait to take more tylenol. Two hours. Damn.

At 6:00 I gave up trying to sleep and opened my phone. The light on the screen didn’t make me wince (which typically happens with a migraine), so I knew at that point the worst was over and all that was left was to deal with a lingering headache, and the fact that I had no sleep and still need to get the crew to Beatrice by 11AM.

At 6:30 I got my laptop out and started to write. That pretty much takes me to right up to the present moment. It is 7:30 and I just took my second round of Tylenol with a cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long day today. It’s already been a long day and now I’m getting ready to start round 2. Hopefully, the Migraine and sleepless night really are the worst thing that will happen. I’m sure there are much worse things that could happen which is me just trying to look on the bright side of things.

Speaking of bright sides. The sky is sunny and mostly clear now and I am hoping it will stay that way for the eclipse today at 1PM.

Happy Total Eclipse Day,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-20 Things You Can’t Control

My anxiety is high today. As the minutes tick by it is getting worse. Why do I feel this way? I really hate that I get so nervous about things I can’t control. Like the weather for example.

So here I am in Omaha, really, really close to the path of full totality for the eclipse. But Mother Nature may have other plans for all of us around here. I’ve had a rough “plan” around this whole thing from the very beginning and I mean really rough. I told the kids they could stay home from school because I was planning on taking them SOMEWHERE for the event. We were invited to hang out with my friend Denise who rented a camp site near Beatrice Nebraska which is in the path of full totality. Cool. But I hate to commit to anything like that because I wanted to stay flexible.

Up until a couple of days ago, I was still on the fence about it and wondering if it would not be easier just to get in the car and drive southwest and spend a picnic afternoon on the road, jumping out of the car to see this “once in a lifetime” spectacle. But I didn’t have glasses (because Denise had already bought some). So I had a mini freak out. I called around and ended up finding some at a nearby grocery store. They look legit. One crisis averted. I just needed to decide which way to go, south or west. I figured I would let the weather decide, which is also something you can’t really be sure about until it’s almost the day of.

Denise is already at the camp site and I was afraid of mass crowds and super bad traffic so I’m still hesitant to commit, but I had told her to save us a spot. Then this morning, she texts that the bad storm last night was 60MPH winds. Her tent broke and everything they brought got completely soaked. Now I am looking at the forecast and it’s going to be cloudy. So I am leaning on driving west, but now I feel bad for her and the fact that I probably will not go there. Waiting to hear back on how things are going as I type this.

It’s the weather though.. you know it is a thing that is outside of everyones control. Even my brother who does contract work for NASA could not have predicted what August 21st would be like in the year 2017. Although he is the one who told me the further north west you go the better the chance are for clear skies. Yes, my rocket scientist brother is in Casper Wyoming where the viewing will be outstanding. Of course.

I need to let go of this anxiety. All of this is outside of my control.

Now, let’s just pile on that I’m having guests today and they will be meeting my kids for the first time and I’m so nervous about that. I have no REAL reason to be nervous. They are great, my kids are great, the house is clean (as clean as it gets anyway), and I’m sure everything will e just fine… Still my heart is beating faster and I’m worried that something will go wrong. Someone will be in a bad mood, or they won’t be agreeable to whatever we elect to do for activities or will refuse to eat the food I cook. All of those are possible, but again, outside of my control. We are who we are and it is what it is. Part of me wonders why I am so riddled with anxiety over all of this because it’s just one afternoon in the grand scheme of things. But I am who I am and apparently that is out of my control too.

Hopefully once they get here and the kids start to play, my nerves will smooth out and everything will be fine. It will.. right?

Time to go finish a few last minute things. The kids are at Brian’s so I have to go get them. After that.. I’ll be quite preoccupied for the next 24+ hours. Probably no time for writing unless this eclipse is a total bust because of the weather.

Look to the Skies,
~Miss SugarCookie