Thanksgiving Staycation

November 27th, 2017 No comments

I took the week of Thanksgiving off from work, and since I normally only work three days, I only had to use 2 vacation days to do so.

I was all set to stop at the library Thursday (11/16) after work (I drive right past it daily) but before I reached it my car gave a warning that my back right tire pressure was much lower than the rest of the tires so I headed straight home instead. Joe was out walking Wookie and I stopped to tell him what happened. That’s when we found a screw in the tire. We immediately took the car to Discount Tire to see what they could do. They suggested since the car was so new (less than 300 miles on it) that we call the dealership and see what they would do for us. The answer to that – absolutely nothing. Typical. I didn’t even write about how my salesperson harassed the hell out of me recently for not giving them perfect scores on the survey Subaru sent me even though they did nothing to deserve them. I’m done with that dealership and will take the car elsewhere when it needs service.

Anyway, once we informed our Discount Tire rep how unhelpful the dealership was being he suggested we walk over to Portillo’s and have dinner while they took a look at the tire since there was a pretty long wait (hour and a half it turned out). Luckily, despite the screw being at an angle it missed the sidewall and they were able to patch it. They didn’t even charge us. Now that is good customer service! This isn’t the first time they’ve repaired a tire for free – I don’t know how they make money. I was just relieved I wouldn’t have to fork over $100 and come back the next day to buy an identical tire (since they didn’t have mine in stock).

We finally made it to the library on Friday (11/17) after Joe got home. I got a handful of books and we both got CDs. Then we headed to Ace Hardware so Joe could pick up a shop-vac they had on sale since his died over the summer. It was his dad’s so it was pretty old. From there we stopped at the cleaners so I could have them fix the seam on my dress pants which came apart. The woman who does the tailoring happened to be available and fixed them right there in less than five minutes. She’s the best and we always come to her when we need clothing repaired. We picked up a pizza from Lou Malnati’s next door and brought it home for dinner.

The weather was cold and rainy on Saturday (11/18) so we didn’t do much after our two hour shopping trip at Target. This time of year they always have a deal where you get a $10 gift card when you spend $50 on groceries so we had to take advantage of that. We picked up a few Christmas presents for Joe’s kids as well.

Sunday (11/19) we headed over to IKEA (to return a bath mat) and Bed Bath and Beyond (to return the outfit Wookie didn’t like). It was pretty crappy outside so all I wanted to do was go home and veg afterward. Joe made chicken and dumplings in the crockpot for dinner which came out delicious.

Monday (11/20) was just my regular upstairs cleaning day, but Tuesday (11/21) I had an endoscopy to check my esophagus since I have frequent acid reflux. My doctor was running behind schedule so we waited about an hour longer than normal. The procedure itself is only 10-15 minutes but man they must have used a particularly strong sedative because I don’t remember the doctor coming to speak to us in recovery AT ALL and I kept telling Joe the same stuff repeatedly throughout the day. I also took a nap when we got home and went to bed early that night.

Any procedures I’ve had done in the past 15 years or so have always been at the same hospital but my doctor is in a different network so we went to a surgery center instead. Luckily it was very modern and all the staff were quite nice and caring. The only snafu I ran into was when they gave me a bell to ring when I was prepped but still waiting to be taking into the procedure room and no one could hear me. When the nurse came back to get me I explained I had been ringing it because I needed to urinate and she was very apologetic. I hate how when I’m cold and nervous I have to pee like crazy even though I hadn’t drank anything since 6 am (and at this point it was around 11:30 am). Also, unlike the hospital they don’t let family members hang out with you until right before the procedure so I was freezing, lying in this bed all alone attached to an IV, and really had to pee. So that sucked. My discharge paperwork says I have a small hiatal hernia (which I already knew from the last time I had this procedure) and esophagitis (which is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus). They took a biopsy so I’ll know more in a week or so.

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Categories: Car, Health, Holidays, Shopping Tags: ,

Mish Mash Of Stuff

November 6th, 2017 No comments

Monday
We took my Crosstrek to the dealer and they fixed the loose wire that was causing the window and door lock buttons on the passenger side not to work. We then had dinner at a new Tex-Mex restaurant called Chevy’s. It wasn’t the best food I’ve ever had but I could see us going there occasionally. I particularly liked their chicken flautas.

Halloween
We only got a single trick-or-treater this year – our next door neighbor. Meanwhile, my brother got over 100 kids at his new house. His girlfriend said we should come to their place next year and I’ll definitely be taking her up on that offer. I didn’t feel like deconstructing the treat bags I put together so I brought them into work on Wednesday and left them in the break room for the taking.

Weekend Stuff
This weekend was a pretty gloomy one so we mostly just shopped, although we did get together with one of our friends to play BINGO Friday night at the VFW. It’s not as crowded as BINGO at the church, it’s warmer inside, and it doesn’t seem to drag on as long. Of course we didn’t win squat! Plus I feel like they call out the numbers so quickly that I can’t keep up. I doubt we’ll be going again anytime soon.

Sunday I tried a new crockpot chili recipe because while my usual one is ok, it wasn’t one that I really looked forward to eating. The new one is pretty good and with a few tweaks will probably be our new go-to.

New Obsessions
I may have mentioned how I decided to buy plain throw pillows and covers to upgrade the look of our couch. They don’t quite match but look a lot better than the 13 year old pillows that came with the couch. Now I’m on the hunt for a better wall clock but everything I like so far is over $100!

I’m currently obsessed with Walmart’s plush leggings. I wore a Halloween-themed pair on Halloween (and every night thereafter since they are so comfy) and picked up a Christmas patterned pair this weekend.

Family Stuff
Joe’s niece had her second daughter, A, by c-section on Wednesday.

Joe’s mom’s cancer is worse than originally thought so his niece is arranging hospice care for her. It sucks she had to go through the surgery and it doesn’t seem to have helped.

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Skating & Housewarming Gifts

October 30th, 2017 No comments

Thursday after work we took Wookie to a Halloween party hosted by her vet and groomer. The postcard we received said it would be from 4:30-6:30 with a raffle drawing at 6:15. I made a delicious cheeseburger casserole for dinner and we arrived at the party at 5:45 pm and they had already done the raffle! Wookie did get some treats she likes at least but it seemed we missed out on most of the events so we’ll have to go earlier next time. She was also the only dog not dressed up due to her aggression with outfits.

Speaking of that, Saturday morning I posted on a forum I frequent looking for advice and got a nasty comment from one person. People are known for being pretty nice on there so it threw me. She basically chastised me for wanting to put clothes on Wookie and made a remark that if I need to do that so bad I should consider getting a doll or having children. I just replied “wow, your comment was really rude” and someone else commented about how harsh she was.

Saturday evening we met up with B and R at Culvers for dinner and went rollerskating with a Groupon I had purchased. I expected it to be crazy crowded like the time we went for my birthday (at a different rink) but when we pulled into the parking lot and it was nearly empty I was perplexed. I asked an employee if it was usually that dead and he laughed and said no. He pointed out with it being the Saturday before Halloween most people were probably at parties. I liked that it was pretty empty because we didn’t have to worry about crashing into anyone. R only skated around the rink twice because he ankle was giving her trouble but B had a blast. He rented roller blades and even though he hadn’t skated in years he got back into the swing of things quickly. He was skating backwards, doing turns, and lapping us as if we were standing still (although I did manage to catch up to him at one point, much to his surprise).

We arrived at the rink around 7:45 and left about 9:30 or so because it really wore us out, plus Joe fell and scraped the palm of his hand on the floor. When we got home we gave B&R some housewarming gifts since we weren’t sure when they would be ready for us to visit. We got them a blender, multi-cooker, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, a candle from Bath & Body Works, and a $50 Target gift card. My brother seemed very overwhelmed as he didn’t expect so much. I like getting people gifts, however. I was worried whether R would like the candle scent I had picked out (Marshmallow Fireside) but when they came in the house she immediately smelled the oil diffuser I have in the bathroom and remarked how much she liked it and it was the scame scent, so it worked out perfectly.

Sunday we were to Sonny Acres for apple cider donuts. When we arrived there weren’t any fresh donuts ready yet so instead of waiting a half hour we opted for the day-old donuts which weren’t bad; plus we got them for half price. We tried their pumpkin donuts too and I think I liked those even better. I got a walking taco too. I was aggravated the food booths weren’t ready when we arrived because I incorrectly thought they opened at 9 am since that’s what was listed on Google, but according to their website they open at 10 am. I’ll have to make a mental note for next year.

We went home to swap vehicles and then I took my new car to the arboretum where we drove around for a bit. Then we came home and prepared some crockpot beef stew for dinner. I ended up re-organizing our master bedroom closet too.

Today I met up with a friend for lunch at Portillo’s, but I’m not sure I’ll be suggesting going there much in the future as I’m finding more and more of their food unappealing. First the beef got shamed by Beef Shack. Then I got turned off from their cheeseburgers when they served them cold and kinda hard one time. And then I got turned off by their chopped salad, which I normally love, because the chicken had a fishy flavor the last time I ordered it. Today I got their seasonal apple walnut harvest salad. It was good, but not great, and I kept getting the greens from the spring mix stuck in my throat. We came back to the house to chat for awhile and Wookie was very vocal at first, then calmed down and was licking my friend. But then she was barking at her awhile later. Then she went back to licking her. Is my dog mental???

We have to take my car to the dealer tonight because the window and locks panel in the passenger side door aren’t working. I hope it’s a quick fix. We plan to try a new Tex Mex restaurant in the area that we spotted when we picked up my car. Based on one YouTuber’s videos it’s supposed to be really good so I hope we like it!

Categories: Excursions, Family, Food, Pets Tags:

Anniversary Weekend Shenanigans

October 24th, 2017 No comments

Saturday early afternoon we headed to a craft fair at a local high school and found some cute Christmas gifts for my brothers and the kids. I wanted to find a new keychain for my new car key since my old keychain has seen better days but I didn’t come across anything I liked. There was an admission fee of $3 per person which normally annoys me but the money goes towards scholarships for the kids so I didn’t mind. There was also a little band there called Wombat Carnival playing tunes, including Just Live Heaven by The Cure. It was like they played it just for me! ;)

Saturday evening we took the Gallery of Ghoulish Homes tour in St. Charles and ended up going through not one, but two walk-through haunts. I’m not a fan of haunted houses but these were tolerable, just barely. After the tour we stopped at McDonald’s for some food and Joe ended up breaking up a fight between two eighth grade boys. At first we thought they were just messing around until they started pounding each other pretty hard. The manager called the police while one of the boys went outside. One of the other staff gave us a coupon for a free buttermilk tenders meal as a thank-you for stepping in. Oh, and a by-stander was showing Joe this large pocket knife that one of the kids must have had on him because he said it fell to the floor. SMH

Sunday it was rainy so we went to IKEA for breakfast and to look for home stuff. We found a bath mat that seemed promising until we got it home and I realized it’s not that comfy. So that will be going back next time we’re in the area. We also purchased a gift for my brother at Bed Bath & Beyond and the cutest little Christmas pajamas for Wookie. Unfortunately I might have to take those back to because she gets weirdly aggressive when wearing it. I can’t figure out if she hates it or is possessive over it like she can get with new stuffed toys. She willingly comes over to me and lets me put it on her but once it was on and I tried to adjust one of the feet she viciously bit me! She didn’t break skin but it really hurt. After that you couldn’t go near her or she’d bare her teeth and they try to attack. I had to distract her with treats while Joe took it off and then she immediately went back to her normal self. It was very odd and scary. Now I’m questioning whether I should put her in the light-up Halloween shirt my mom got her.

Monday was our anniversary so Joe took the day off work. We originally planned to take my car to the arboretum but it was raining so we took his car to the grocery store to get the ingredients to make homemade crepes. After breakfast we went to Savers and then to Home Goods where I got some sleeping socks and a new toy for Wookie. We also stopped at Target where I got a new pair of fuzzy boots and four long-sleeved shirts. We skipped lunch and had an early dinner at Claim Jumper. It’s been awhile since we’ve been there and I don’t think the filet was as good as I remember it being. Luckily thanks to a gift card we only paid $15 out of pocket.

Today Joe was back at work so I cleaned the house and ordered some stuff from Amazon. Now I’m getting ready to take Wookie to the groomer because she has too many mats in her fur for me to remove. I got lazy when I was sick so it’s just easier to have her shaved. I like her hot mess look but it’s difficult to maintain.

Categories: Excursions, Food, Pets, Shopping Tags:

2018 Subaru Crosstreak

October 24th, 2017 No comments

Friday Joe brought Beef Shack home for lunch before we went and picked up my new car – a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek in Quartz Blue Pearl!

You may remember how back in May I went car shopping and test-drove an Impreza but decided I preferred the Crosstrek. The issue was whether or not to wait for the 2018 models in the hopes they would have the upgraded technology the 2017 Imprezas already had. Boy am I glad I did wait because not only did they upgrade the tech, they changed the body styling which looks even sharper, the rims are more attractive, and they switched the yucky ivory interior to light grey. I call that a win win win win!

We test-drove a 2018 Crosstrek on Labor Day at a Schaumburg dealership after attending the nearby Septemberfest. I ended up ordering a car that day because they didn’t have the color I wanted on the lot. Nor did they have any vehicles in the exact configuration I was looking for – Premium (not Limited because I didn’t want leather seats) with the upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system and Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology. I opted not to get a moonroof since I’ve barely used the one in the Jetta.

Since placing the order I’ve been getting emails from Subaru regarding my car’s progress, which apparently was built in Japan. Once it was on a train headed to their local distribution center I knew it was a matter of a week or so when the dealership would be contacting me. That text came on Wednesday but I was still sick and not in the mood so I told our rep we’d be by on Friday between 3 and 5 pm. I messaged our sales rep on the way to the dealership around 2 pm Friday and he was out to lunch so we killed some time looking for housewarming gifts for my brother (who recently purchased his first home) as well as home decor for our place because I’m tired of the stuff we’ve had up for the past 13 years and am craving a change. I found a cute sign at a store called At Home that I initially was planning on giving my brother but I like it so much I’m probably going to keep it for myself and either get another one for him or find something else. But I digress…

Despite the fact that we were paying in cash (or to be more precise, putting $2000 on our credit card (strictly for the points) and paying the rest by check), we were still at the dealership for two hours because they had two people handling paperwork and five sales simultaneously in progress. Apparently the new Crosstreks are flying off the shelves so to speak. They can barely keep any in stock. The manager, who ended up doing our paperwork when we inquired what was taking so long, claimed that one person tried to purchase a Crosstrek that was a specialty order of another customer by offering $1000 over sticker. If that’s true that’s pretty crazy. I think patience is a virtue. Not only did we get a great price (I paid less than I did for the Jetta), but I got everything I wanted by waiting for the new model. We were just happy they finally explained what was going on because we were both getting pretty grumpy that they had just washed the car before they got there and still had to run out and fill the tank with gas. They also temporarily misplaced one of the keys but found it before we were ready to leave.

In any case, once we went outside to see the car, which was the first time I had actually seen the color combo I chose in person, all my hesitation about replacing my beloved Jetta disappeared because the Crosstrek is even more beautiful than I remember. I truly made an excellent choice and I am even more excited about it than I was when I got my Jetta! Also, it only had five miles on it. How cool is that? Our rep took us for a drive to show us how all the safety features work. There’s definitely a lot of settings I will need to adjust to, particularly on the steering wheel. I love how stylish the car looks and all the updated technology inside. The only thing that I will need to adjust to is that it doesn’t quite accelerate like the Jetta does because it’s bigger/heavier and doesn’t have a V6 engine. Not that the acceleration is sluggish – it’s actually so smooth you almost don’t realize how fast you’re going at first whereas my Jetta has a very tight suspension and you feel everything. The Crosstrek rides smoother and you can practically steer with one finger. I also love how it’s higher off the ground so I can see better. Oh, and did I mention the car came standard with heated seats and has all-wheel drive? I can’t believe that for the price we paid we got so much!

Saturday afternoon we ended up taking my new car to my work so I could practice backing into parking spots. The car has a backup camera which makes it much easier since I’m not really great about backing in. However, I plan to start taking up the first spot in the lot which is easier to pull out of than back out of which is why I wasn’t parking there before. I want to minimize how may cars are parked next to my precious new car, hence why I plan to shift one spot to the right. No one consistently parks there now so it’s not like I’m taking someone’s regular spot or anything.

I wanted to drive my car around more this weekend but it’s been raining the past two days and I’m hesitant to get it wet/dirty. I know that sounds nuts since it’s inevitable but I want to drive it to work still looking spiffy tomorrow, although based on the updated forecast it might have to wait until Thursday since they are calling for possible snow flurries now. Ugh, why!?!

Here’s some more photos.

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