Joe had the day off this past Monday so we took advantage of the nice day. Give me upper 60′s any day over the 80 degree weather we are experiencing now. Sure, the hotter temperatures are great for swimming but they suck for trekking around parks and nature preserves. We finally got around to visiting Lilacia Park in Lombard while the lilacs were in full bloom. We’ve only been trying to time it right for a few years now! Not only do they have all sorts of varieties, but the park has a lot of tulips and daffodils as well. The lilacs smelled so good I wanted to take some with me.
After the park we stopped for lunch at one of our favorite Thai restaurants around the corner from our doctor’s office as Joe had an appointment to see her about his recent asthma issues. She was confident they were caused by a build-up of cat fur in the house so it’s now official that I won’t be fostering any more of the cute little buggers. It sucks because I really enjoy photographing them and now I have to work extra hard to get my butt out of bed in the mornings since there’s no real compelling reason to do so.
After the doctor we visited Moron Arboretum in Lisle where I got to take advantage of the new compact binoculars I recently purchased (I paid only $13 on Amazon and they work nearly as well as the huge pair I inherited from my grandfather). Keeping track of the bluebird and a coyote we spotted from a distance was fun. We also saw hundreds of little tadpoles in a pond in one of the gardens.
Today is my last day as a foster, and I’m gonna miss this little guy so much. I love all my foster kitties but this one is extra special. He’s just too sweet & cute for words. I’m sure his new foster mom will love him, as will whomever ends up adopting him.
A bit of foster kitten swapping has gone on this week. On Monday evening we dropped Cilantro and Peppermint off at the rescue organizer’s home, hence forward known as L, so they could be spayed on Tuesday. Basil didn’t go with them because he had diarrhea. He turned into a little terror once his sisters left, however, carrying on with the meowing like there’s no tomorrow and nothing would satisfy him. He also jumped on my back Monday night and put three holes in the tank top I was wearing, effectively ruining it. He then spent all night and the next day constantly moaning whether he was outside the kitty room or not. I thought if I let him roam the house he would calm down but instead he would follow me everywhere meowing and run in front of me and suddenly stop, causing me to nearly trip over him. Needless to say I was happy to swap him with two other kitties who needed a home since his sisters were not coming back as planned because someone is already interested in adopting them. I know Basil will be happier at L’s home where there’s plenty of other kitties to play with. He’ll be neutered tomorrow and then at an adoption show this weekend where he’ll no doubt be taken home as he’s super soft, cuddly, and affectionate. I just hope his new home has another kitty to play with or he will drive everyone crazy.
The two new kitties are small for their age (11 weeks) because they had no mom so they were bottle fed. They also have colds so I’m giving them antibiotics. I’m not sure how long they will be with us because they are going to be our last foster kitties. Last night at 2:30 am Joe woke me up because he couldn’t breathe. Luckily there’s a Walgreens right down the street where we purchased a nebulizer which worked like a charm. It was really scary, though, and it has to be the cats as Joe’s asthma hasn’t bothered him so severely before. I let L know today what happened and that we will no longer be able to foster, although I’ll still help out in other ways. She was very understanding and expressed how much they like me and would like that I still do other things for the organization so that was nice.
In any case, here are Rodman and Pippen (both males, and not named by me, but obviously someone is a Bulls fan!)
This marks the 3rd month we’ve put off an intended visit to the Shedd Aquarium. Back in March we planned to go during their Illinois Discount Days until I learned it would be cheaper to go the first weekend of the month through Bank of America’s Museums on Us program instead. In April we decided not to go because the date we had chosen fell on the same day as a big race that included shutting down streets around the museum campus where the aquarium is located. Today the reason for postponing our visit was that I woke up a few times during the night and when the alarm went off at 6:30 am was not feeling up to going into the city. Plus my back was hurting after playing tennis and frisbee with Joe and Brother # 2 yesterday. So our new plan is to go in June which may work out best in the end because by then their new sting-ray touch exhibit will be open and there will be something different to see (which I’m sure will cost extra, but hopefully not too much since even with the free general admission it’s still $6.95 per person to add on Oceanarium access and another $3 to see the Jellyfish so that’s $20 for the two of us plus parking. Even free days aren’t so free if you want to see the good stuff.)
The weather has been really nice this weekend and we’ve currently got the windows open to get some nice fresh air. We have to enjoy it while we can. Our neighbors (the annoying ones who were outside smoking every half hour) were foreclosed on a few months back and moved out leaving their place a mess. The bank recently sent someone in to clean it up and there have been multiple showings the last few days. They really lowered the asking price of the unit so I doubt the place will remain empty much longer. Unfortunately, we do not seem to luck out when it comes to neighbors so the thought of new ones is stressing me out. Is it too much to ask that they be non-smokers who don’t own any dogs (or at least any that bark) and aren’t loud or cook stinky food? I’m afraid that would just be too good to be true (even though that description applies to us, so it is possible). It’s tough sharing walls with people when most of them seem to lack consideration for the people around them. Please cross your fingers that someone good moves in because with the market the way it is, coupled with me not working, it’s not like we can afford to move elsewhere.
In other news, we rented Silver Linings Playbook last night and hated it. I honestly don’t understand all the good reviews. The characters were so odd and under-developed that I couldn’t care less what happened to any of them, not to mention that the ending was predictable from the very beginning. What a disappointment. It made me feel like people only liked the movie because of the actors who starred in it and less about the plot, which I thought was boring and choppy. I don’t know why but it really irks me how much it sucked; I’m just glad we didn’t end up seeing it at the theatre as it was barely worth the $1 rental fee as it was.
Why are text messaging packages so expensive? Trick question – everyone knows the answer is because the phone company wants to make an insane profit, as texts cost them next to nothing, and nearly everyone wants to be able to text so they will buy the unlimited plan. We’re grandfathered into a plan that’s no longer available – 200 texts per month for $5. There is only one other option through AT&T and it’s unlimited texting for $20. Oh how I wish we could afford that (scratch that because even if we could afford it I refuse to increase my monthly $122 bill by an additional $30) because it’s so annoying trying to make sure I don’t exceed the limit every month.
I end up using three different texting apps which is annoying. I’ve got the regular messaging app that I use for my friends who have iPhones since iMessages don’t count as SMS texts, I’ve got Google Voice for texts between me and my brother and sister in law, and then I have a third “free text” app to keep in touch with Joe. The reason I don’t use Google Voice for all other texting is because their app seriously sucks ass. It breaks texts up into separate conversations, it doesn’t always alert me when a text comes in, and I often have to exist the conversation and re-enter it to clear out the notification once it does.
As for the other text program, I’ve gone through a few recently because the one I was perfectly satisfied with for the past year, WhatsApp, decided to mysteriously stop working one day. None of the texts I send to Joe ever went through after the one day when it stopped working and no amount of uninstalling and reinstalling made a difference. So I moved onto IMO but that one started behaving strangely as well and wouldn’t always alert me of an incoming text. We tried going back to an older program from a couple of years ago, Text Plus, but the notifications on it was spotty as well.
For now we’re sold on eBuddy XMS. The interface is clean and it always alerts us of incoming messages. As a bonus, I can log into the app via my web browser and send Joe texts from there when I’m sitting in front of the computer instead of having to type on my phone’s keyboard (which I suck at and will never master) and all his responses go to both the web version and my phone so I can see them if I walk away or shut down the computer. My only complaint is that I can’t use the text alert noise with the app, or shut off the noise it makes when I first enter the app to look at a new message. But considering all that went wrong with the other apps that is small potatoes. I just hope this app doesn’t decide to mysteriously stop working one day too because we’re running out of options (Trillian, which we also tried, was the worst. We couldn’t even see one another online even though we were both logged in).
By the way, if anyone knows of an app that works well with Google Voice please let me know. I’ve tried a few with no success. The notifications wouldn’t work at all. What good is a texting app that doesn’t notify you of a new text?