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

2017-08-19 Satisfying Saturday

I could talk about the health tests I took yesterday. That was pretty cool, and I want to talk about it but now does not feel like the time.

I just got back from an evening bike ride which started at my house and led me into and past downtown Papillion and then west on the Patio trail to 108th. It started out as an evening ride, but it’s almost 10PM now and pitch black. The sunset was pretty awesome but the ride got really buggy after that and I had not explored west on the trail before so I was really trying to pay attention to where I was. At one point I got a bug right in the eye and I had to stop for like five minutes to try and fix that. Ewwww. When I arrived home (pretty much 10 minutes ago), I took some benadryl because something else on the trail triggered my allergies. I have not had a lot of seasonal allergies for a few years now, so I am quite surprised, but hopefully the benadryl will fix it and also make me nice and drowsy.

Back it up a little bit and I grilled out tonight and also cooked my first zucchini from my garden. It’s really an event because I did not have any last year, likely due to lack of pollination where it was located and this year I messed with it so much I’m surprised the plants are even still alive. That being said, I only cooked half and the other half will be tomorrow night when I am having guests over. So tonight was kind of the trial run.

Back it up a little more and I went to the driving range with Barb and we hit balls to try and remember how to do that for our annual golf outing next Saturday. I golf once a year. That’s it. One time with Barb in her husbands work outing and after that we store our clubs away for another year. I hate golf and I think she does too. We just have fun drinking and driving the golf cart. Isn’t that why people play anyway?! 😉

The rest of the day I spent cleaning and doing things around the house and yard to also prepare for my guests tomorrow. I’m having a new “friend” and his daughter over for dinner so he can see my place and the kids can play together. They are coming over around 2PM and then staying through dinner. I’m not sure how the afternoon and evening will go but I’m hoping for the best. It’s one of those things.. I’m unsure and have some amount of anxiety but it is going to happen and whatever happens happens so I just should just let it. Still, I want to make a good impression so I at least want the house to be presentable. I mean, I should wait till later to reveal the fact that I only vacuum a few times a year. Right?

If nothing else, it is a good excuse to clean and finish a few unfinished projects. Now that I’ve done that, I feel very satisfied with the result so no matter what, I’ll have that to enjoy.

All in all, I am very satisfied with how today turned out. I’ve been feeling happy and positive all day, which is nice. I think that benadryl is kicking in so I’m going to head to bed. Hopefully I will have another great day tomorrow.

Toes Crossed,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-18 In the Name of Health

Today is Friday and this day is JAM PACKED with goodness. It’s not even 6AM but my body has decided that more sleep is just not going to happen. Rather my brain has decided. I drop the kids off to school at 8AM and the first thing I am doing is going to UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha) Exercise Physiology Laboratory located in the Health and Kinesiology (H&K) building. I have an appointment at 9AM for fitness testing. Today I am doing three tests.

The first one is an resting metabolic rate test. This is where you sit in a resting position for like 30 minutes basically doing nothing but breathing into a tube. What this test will reveal is how many calories I burn per day if I were to do no activity whatsoever. I think this is a really good baseline test because not only will I be able to calculate calories in/calories out, but as my muscle mass increases, my RMR should also increase. For that test I had to fast for 12 hours, which means I have not eaten since dinner at 6:30PM last night. I can’t remember the last time I went to bed hungry. It’s probably part of the reason I had such a rotten night sleep.

The second test is an underwater body fat percentage test. Years ago I had the one they do with the calipers at my gym and frankly I don’t remember the result. This is obviously another good one for baseline muscle mass and a good indicator on my health. These tests are too expensive to have done all the time to check progress, but it would be very interesting to do them every couple of years to see how things change both as I increase my activity, which I have been trying to do, and also as I age.

The last test is a VO2 Max test which measures how well the body consumes/uses oxygen under a cardio load. It is pretty much an indicator on my cardiovascular fitness. What they do for this test is have you breathe in a tube while performing some cardio exercise. Typically this is a treadmill or bike. I hate running on a treadmill and it is hell on my knees so I chose the bike option. They start at an easy pace and then over time increase the difficulty until you simply can’t do more. That is why it is a “max” test. I consider myself a somewhat healthy person, but I don’t think my cardio endurance is very good. I get winded jogging a block or going up a flight of stairs. It will be very interesting to see these results. I am not sure if I will get the actual results today.

I was turned on to this by a discussion I had with Lance who lives in Denver when I was out to visit a few months back. He’s doing the testing in about a week (at CU) and he wanted to have a bet about who was in better shape. He’s a tall thin dude who hikes and bikes and also lives at a higher altitude, so I told him “no way”. I’m not a sucker and I know a losing bet when I hear it. He’s convinced I am in better shape but I think he was just trying to lead me into saying yes.

After that I am sure I will be starving and want to eat lunch and I am supposed to meet Chris in Blackstone at 1. That might sound familiar if you follow along as we were supposed to meet this past Tuesday and that once again was cancelled. Third time is the charm.

At 3 or 4 I am meeting Steph for happy hour. It’s her last day of work. She said I “inspired her” to quit her job. She was pretty much fed up with her company anyway so it was not a surprise. We are going to toast to “sweet freedom” with margaritas at someplace in Papillion. That concludes what I have actually planned and I am guessing that after all that, I will be pretty done in and ready to come home and rest.

If there is one thing that I really wanted to do during my time off work, it was get more healthy and on a good path with my fitness plan. I won’t be able to tell with just this one round of testing if I’ve made progress already, but I will have a better idea where I am at now and get a sense for what I need to do in the future. Of course, that goes hand in hand with the choices I make for what I eat, but that will be another topic for another day.

To Health!
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-16 Dinner Time – Always a Good Time…

Just go make your own meal already. OK, this post is pretty much going to be a rant about my daughter. So sorry in advance for the less than stellar parenting that is about to be revealed.

Today was the first day of school. She was so tired when she came home that she slept for three hours as soon as she hit the bed in her room. Poor girl. Something must have taken a lot today. However, this means she missed dinner. C and I had a lovely meal and I will admit that after really over working myself today with the exercise I did not have any reservations about the pizza and red wine that I made for dinner (C just had pizza BTW). We did have some slices left and that was the first choice offered to her when she “came to”. That was met by a resounding “NO”.

Then pepperoni. No
A ham sandwich. No
A taco. No
Cereal. No.
Spaghetti . No
Oranges. No
Blueberries. No
An apple. No
Corn. No
Broccoli. No
Eggs. No “You know I hate eggs”.
A hamburger patty. No
Chips and salsa. No
Taco meat with chips (aka nachos). No
Bacon. No

Me – “Seriously, no to bacon? There is something really wrong with you”. Really.

So I said I was done and I left the room. She can just starve. I don’t care.

Here are things that we have on hand that I did not offer because I know already she won’t eat them…

Granola bars.
Pistachios
Almonds
Sunflower seeds.
Oatmeal.
Rice.
Steakums (yes they still make those).
Shrimp
Brussel Sprouts
Kale
Tomatos
Zucchini

Here are the things we have on hand that I did not offer because I really do care…

Ice Cream
Doritos
Hershey’s kisses
Cheetos
Pancakes
Toast

Really, I’m amiable to almost anything. Most parents would probably just say “You didn’t eat what was for dinner so you can just be hungry”. I can’t force her to eat and at this point I am way past caring. Me and my two glasses of wine are way past caring and already super focussed on maybe catching up on GOT before it’s time to go to sleep. We get to do this again tomorrow so I’m just going to let go of today and that will be that.

I’m sure season six episode five will be awesome. I’m going to forget what just happened and turn my attention in that direction.

Bon Appétit,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-15 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The kids got back on Sunday night and I got to hear all about their big adventure. Monday we had a pretty balanced day and I just could not help but feel how everything is right with the world again. I know they make me so mad sometimes but having them home is good and I just would really be lost without them.

Yesterday we went shopping for school supplies. I normally don’t batt an eyelash at such things but when our total rang up to like 60 bucks my jaw just dropped. That was just for paper and folders and pencils. I almost don’t believe it. They have expensive taste and like things to be well organized, just like their mom, so I can’t blame them. I just hope they realize if they are going to carry that taste with them their whole lives they better get good jobs to support that. My not having one right now is kind of eye opening because I look at every purchase like “do I really need that”. It’s good for me I think.

Today we have registration/check-in at the high school and after that I will be meeting with Chris W. back in Blackstone for coffee or ice-cream or something. We were supposed to go last week but I opted to reschedule so I could do that swim day with that person I have met up with several times now for coffee and his daughter. I’m not sure how the conversation with Chris will go as we only know each other through Matt. I wonder if he will have lots of questions or if it will all just be random catching up on stuff.

Tomorrow is the first full day of school and I will also be glad to get back into more of a routine schedule. Up at 7, done with drop-off by 8, and then I can figure out what to do with my time between 8 and 3.

Well, now I’ve got to pick Z and her friend up now in order to make it to registration in time. I’ve got a tight schedule if I want to do Jazzercise at 4:30.

Time’s a Wasting,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-13 Today is Mine

When I woke this morning at 7:33 after about 7 hours of sleep I said to myself, “Today is going to be my day”. I said it in a nice way, like I was going to hug the day and enjoy every minute of it’s time. Not in a mean sort of ownership way.

I’m rolling into a phase here where I intend to take my time and enjoy it and really do things I want to do. If that means I eat some ice cream and take a nap, then that is what it means. If it means I go on a 40 mile bike ride, then hooray for that. I’m going to try to not worry about the small things and appreciate all the wonderful parts of my life and the world around me.

So here now, after most of the day has come and gone, is “My Sunday” Status Update…

Jazzercise at 8:30 with one of my favorite instructors was a success. It was a great start to the day. When it was over at 9:30 though, I was done and left to go back home.

I spent about a half an hour putzing on the internets and completed my Red Cross “Rapid Pass” for the third time in two weeks. I have not needed it due to the low iron, but as I got in my car to drive to today’s location I said to myself again “Today is going to be my day”. Low and behold, my hemoglobin was 13.6 and so I was allowed to donate. Yes!! Great success.

After that I did a few random chores around the house and changed to go meet my sister downtown for Sushi. We went to Hiro 88 which I have not been to for sometime and it was awesome. I did not feel bad for ordering and eating the crab rangoon or some of each of the five rolls we selected or drinking two most delicious purple kimono drinks.

When I arrived back home I was really full and feeling very much like a nap would be a great idea but when I laid down, Josh texted and wanted to go for a walk. So I opted to get the steps instead. We went to Walnut which is about an hour walk and toward the end of it we both remarked that the trail is getting kind of boring. It really is. He also was lamenting about being hungry so we drove to Qdoba where he had a quesadilla and I had chips and queso. I knew I had overdone it when my stomach started to hurt. Too much goodness in one day.

That brings us to right about now. 7PM and the sun is starting to get low in the sky. I’ve had good conversations, good food, 15K steps, and am really ready for my kids to return home tonight. Today was my day. Tomorrow will be ours together.

Hasta Manana,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-12 Looking Forward

It’s good to have a plan. It’s good to have things to look forward to. An event or a meet up or a vacation in the future that you can think about and be excited about. I’m a planner by nature and I love having things to look forward to. That’s probably why I am always planning to meet people for lunches or daydreaming and scheming about my next road trip or vacation. From the moment Hawaii was a done deal, it has been a topic of discussion with people and a wonderful thing to be excited about. That happens in November and I bought those tickets last spring, so I will have enjoyed looking forward to that for like 6 months.

One thing that was great about my job was that it paid enough to support my travel habit. There are so many places I want to see and so many things that I want to do that as soon as I get back from one, I’m almost immediately thinking about what is next. The downside to the job thing is, well, only three weeks of paid vacation a year. Bummer. I’m also a fan of the long weekend, you know take a Friday and maybe even Monday too and take off for a road trip. I think my PTO balance at work was often hovering around zero. Whatever job I elect to have next, I would like more time off. Four weeks is not unheard of but five would be the bomb. That’s probably stretching it some.

I originally planned to take three months off of work. Well, three months where I was just going to get some serious R and R and not think about work at all and then potentially another three months looking for the “right” job. For the most part being off work has been great, but now that I am almost halfway through my first three and about a month past my big Pacific Northwest adventure, I am really starting to want to plan some more things with the time I have left.

I’m supposed to do a quick trip with my friend Denise to Beatrice to witness the Solar Eclipse on the 21st, but that will likely be a one day trip. The one day trip I took to that crappy water park in Grand Island was more of a spur of the moment thing and not super awesome. I need something more substantial. Yesterday I had texts with both my friend Rebecca in Austin and my Mom about potential trips.

It looks like we (my mom, the kids, and I) will be going to visit my brother in Colorado in October over the four day Columbus day weekend. That’s so far away still. I may be going to Austin mid September too. That will probably be decided here in the next couple of days. Rebecca also wants to plan a girls trip sometime in October or November so that will likely be awesome too. Then we are leading right into that first week of November when I will be on the island of Maui. So that’s all very excellent.

I’ve also been thinking I would like to get back to the Badlands this year. I love that place so much. That is one of the benefits of being in a relationship .. you have someone to experience things with. I don’t much mind traveling solo, but when you get to where you are going, eating all your meals and seeing cool things by yourself is just not the same. You see the most amazing sunrise and you look to your left and your right and don’t have anyone to say “wow, how cool is that” to. That’s a bummer. Still, it would be nice to get back there before my time runs out.

For the next few weeks I need to focus on getting the kids back to school and potentially doing a little soul searching about my future. That’s another kind of “looking forward” that I’ve intended for this time in my life. I should capitalize on that opportunity while I’m at home and waking up each and every wonderful day with the luxury of doing whatever it is I feel like.

I guess it’s time to do that now. I wonder what this day will bring.

Always Looking,
~Miss SugarCookie