Refrigerator Water & Ice Dispenser

August 29th, 2016 No comments

Not sure if I’ve even mentioned it here, but over the past year or more we’ve been having trouble with the water and ice dispenser on the refrigerator which sucks because I drink water 99% of the time and don’t care for the taste of tap water.

In any case, I suggested to Joe we try to return the part we purchased online last year since it was failing. He was skeptical, but I looked for the order confirmation email and it had been a week or two shy of a year, and they allow 365 day returns for a full refund, so we requested one.

Joe also gave them a call during the week to ask whether they could just send us a new part, and that’s when we learned that the part we had ordered isn’t quite the right one for our refrigerator. I’m not sure how we came to the conclusion that it was, but the rep that Joe spoke with said they’d refund us once the other part was returned and we would have to order the correct part. Interestingly enough, they look almost identical, but the part we ordered was nearly half the price! On top of that, it arrived the day after I placed the order.

It’s only been about five days but so far it’s working flawlessly. I really hope that solves this issue so I can return the Brita water filters we purchased from Costco. We’ll hang onto the pitcher that came with two filters in case the dispenser acts up again, however. I hope not, though, since the water from the fridge tastes better.

Categories: House & Home Tags:

OBGYN Visit & Flea Market

August 29th, 2016 No comments

Friday morning the construction company came by to look at the leak over our front door. Turns out it’s the window above the door which we are responsible for maintaining so that sucks. The company did put some sealant around it so I’m hoping that keeps water out for now.

I had an appointment with my OB/GYN for my annual exam so Joe took care of the construction company. What’s nice about the new insurance is there’s no co-pay for the visit, or the resulting mammogram I have to schedule. Everything is covered 100%. He also gave me a prescription for Elmiron which I probably won’t fill since I expect it to be expensive. Although I’m not sure yet since they supposedly called it into the local Walgreens and I’ve yet to hear anything. (I ended up having to call them to find out what was going on).

After my appointment I spent some time at the library browsing the movies, CDs, and books. I love just looking around. I borrowed a book about Disneyland since we’re planning a trip to Phoenix later this year and were contemplating driving the five and a half hours to Anaheim to visit the park. After reading half the book we decided against it due to time/cost. We’d rather visit when we have more than a couple of days to explore so that won’t be happening after all. I joked that Joe lost his bargaining chip to get me on a plane (I am so dreading it).

When I got home Joe was out doing a taste test survey so I made a chicken salad sandwich and watched some TV. Later that evening we were both craving burgers so we went to Culvers for dinner.

Saturday we didn’t leave the house. We just surfed online and watched some of the movies I had borrowed for the library. It’s too bad not every town’s library has the selection ours does. For instance, the library where my brother lives is horrible. They have nothing and it’s a real bummer because it saves you so much money on entertainment (not to mention you’re paying for it anyway via taxes).

Sunday we decided to check out the flea market in Rosemont. Joe purposely drove past the airport so I could watch the planes. I get just as anxious watching them takeoff and quickly bank as when I’m actually in a plane and the same thing happens. Anyway, it’s only $2 a person to get into the flea market so it’s not bad, although the clouds had cleared and it was sunny and humid by the time we arrived. We did see a lot of stuff, but only purchased two things – a gravestone decoration for Halloween ($0.50) and a bag of hot fries ($0.25). Once we couldn’t take the heat anymore we went across the street to Target to kill some time because Joe had the idea of having lunch at Hamburger Heaven in Elmhurst. I went to their website to check what time they opened and wouldn’t you know it, they are closed on Sundays. So we decided to stop at Mariano’s for a mini gelato (I had fudge banana which I enjoyed and Joe had cappuccino) and then went to Luong Loi for lunch. I had the always delicious Kung Pao chicken and Joe got the chicken and broccoli lunch special.

Monday we took our rollerblades to Armstrong Park. We only bladed a little bit because we are both rusty. I hate blading down hills because it feels so fast and I worry I’m going to wipe out. We have wrist guards but we should have brought our bike helmets too. Next time. After we got tired we walked a loop around the park before heading home. It is just so humid lately and I can’t stand it. Even when the temperature is nice the humidity makes it feel ten degrees warmer.

I took a shower when we got home and then we did some grocery shopping at Meijer and Aldi. Since then I’ve just been straightening up, updating our finances, doing some laundry, and cleaning up my computer desktop. I like starting the work week with things organized.

Categories: Health, Shopping Tags:

Milwaukee Zoo

August 22nd, 2016 No comments

We decided to visit Milwaukee Zoo today since admission is free with our Cosley Zoo membership which is due to expire in four days. I don’t think we’re going to renew it for awhile since we just visited not long ago and we usually get our money’s worth by visiting other zoos where we can get in free or for half price but we don’t have any vacations currently planned. Plus in December admission is free for their zoo lights so we might wait until next year to renew, or when Joe gets a job, whichever comes first.

I think today’s visit was our longest ever, probably because it wasn’t too hot or crowded. I brought my newest zoom lens (55-250 mm) and was rather disappointed with its performance, particularly in low light. My 28-135 mm lens produces much sharper images but doesn’t have the reach. Luckily I was still able to get some halfway decent shots by playing around with the settings. I just wish I could afford a higher quality zoom lens so I can get the shots I want. Maybe some day!

IMG_9060-Revised

Amur Tiger

Jaguar

IMG_9109-Revised

African Lion

Reticulated Giraffe

Female Guam Kingfisher

Flamingo

I was happy to get a few photos of the red panda even though he wouldn’t stop moving so they aren’t as sharp as I would have liked.

Red Panda

Red Panda

Once we left the zoo (after being there 3.5 hours) we visited the new Mars Cheese Castle.

Mars Cheese Castle

The last time we visited we weren’t impressed but the new one is much nicer.

From Wikipedia:

In 2011, a project widening Interstate 94 forced the store to relocate 50 yards (46 m) away from the freeway. The new store, over twice as large as the previous building, was designed to more closely resemble an actual castle; it features a watchtower holding the store’s wine and an entrance which resembles a drawbridge. A special statute passed by the Wisconsin Legislature allowed the store to keep its 80-foot (24 m) sign at its new location despite a state law prohibiting signs that tall.

We purchased a couple of pastries and then drove to The Brat Stop for lunch where Joe had a brat and I had a cheeseburger which I had been craving all day. We had packed a lunch for the zoo but decided not to eat it.

Categories: Animals, Excursions, Photos Tags:

Armstrong Park & Family Game Night

August 22nd, 2016 No comments

Another fun-packed weekend is over.

Friday we visited Armstrong Park again because I wanted to see the Purple Martins. We didn’t spot any, but I did get a few good photos of some egrets and a great blue heron.

Egret

Great Blue Heron

Saturday was our rescheduled (from July) game night at my second cousin’s house. We arrived around 3:30 pm and debated whether to go swimming in the pool. It wasn’t quite as warm as I would prefer and then it started drizzling so we went back inside to chat. About an hour later her daughter, who is my first cousin, and her family arrived. I haven’t seen her in over a decade (the last time was at my grandmother’s funeral in 2003) so that was nice. Plus I got to meet her husband and 9 year old son. I also met my second cousin’s youngest daughter (she’s 22 or 23) when she got home from work. My second cousin and I were never really in contact until my uncle passed away two years ago which is why it took so long to meet her one daughter.

Anyway, my cousin made this ridiculously tasty blueberry vodka lemonade that I could not stop drinking. Luckily the alcohol content was weak since I have a low tolerance. We had a delicious dinner of grilled chicken, red potatoes, pasta salad, and a spinach salad with walnuts, cranberries, and feta. After dinner we played Uno Attack and then took a break for dessert which was the brownies I brought topped with ice cream. After dessert we played Aggravation and a game I had never played before called LCR (left right center). By that point it was 10 pm so we decided to get going since it’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive back home.

It was nice to spend time with family members we usually don’t socialize with. My mom and my second cousin never really got along so if it wasn’t for Facebook I probably never would have spent any time with her or her husband which is a shame because even if she wasn’t nice to my mom growing up she’s always been nice to me.

Sunday morning we decided to visit Armstrong Park again but to ride our bikes since it was a gorgeous cloudy day. The park has a very nice, mostly flat, paved path so we got almost an hour of riding in before I got tired.

Balog Island

Lake George

Later the same afternoon I wanted to check out a small park in Wheaton called Hurley Gardens to take some flower photos. I brought my Canon SLR with the stock 18-55 mm lens and thought I was losing my mind when it wouldn’t focus on the flowers. Turns out something is wrong with the lens. Joe’s lens of the same type, plus my other lenses, work on my camera fine. I’m glad it’s not the camera itself since I wouldn’t be able to replace it for awhile.

Categories: Animals, Excursions, Family, Photos Tags:

Staycation Recap

August 19th, 2016 No comments

In an effort to not let my staycation end without some fun, Friday we went to see The Secret Life of Pets. It was between that and Suicide Squad which we’d like to see eventually, but it was pretty crowded at the theater for a weekday and our movie was much fuller than it would have been on a Monday, so we decided to save Suicide Squad for then (although we didn’t end up going at all).

Saturday we were bored and decided to check out a forest preserve we’ve never been to called East Branch. As we were walking the path around the lake we surprised by all the people who had dogs with them off-leash. It was a little unsettling, and it wasn’t until we got back to the parking lot and were leaving that we noticed the verbiage at the bottom of the sign that said “off-leash dog area”. Duh! We headed to a different East Branch entrance but that path just curved back to the street toward a business park which was disappointing, so we decided to scope out Armstrong Park as a future spot to go rollerblading since based off memory it has a nice flat paved path. We arrived to a very deserted park which was eerie. It was extremely overcast and threatening to rain, but it was still strange how deserted it was. We walked around a bit, including around the reservoir, when it started to drizzle so we left before exploring one of the lakes that had a bunch of water fowl in it. I also missed seeing any Purple Martins thanks to the rain.

From Armstrong Park’s website:

The colony of Purple Martins at Armstrong Park is the largest established colony of the Purple Martins in the country. The colony is housed in several apartment-style houses or “castles” on Balog Island, located on the west side of the park. The Martins have been returning to Balog Island since the mid 1970’s. Their presence and their unique needs have brought about a partnership between the Purple Martin Society and the Carol Stream Park District.

Now that I’ve linked to the park’s website it’s pretty apparent why it was so deserted on a Saturday afternoon – the park had just reopened after some extensive construction. It looks really nice, too, which further contributed to our confusion over no one being around.

ArmstrongPark

Sunday morning we visited Northside Park in Wheaton for a nice walk, and then went to Cosley Zoo. I only brought my small camera so none of the pictures I took came out very good. I did get a nice video of a Great Blue Heron fishing, at the park, however.

Monday we visited Morton Arboretum with the intention to hike one of their many trails but with the overcast weather the mosquitoes were out in droves and we didn’t want to get eaten alive, so we drove around the grounds instead. We came across two fawns in a field and stopped to watch them for awhile with our binoculars. When they decided to sit down in the field you almost couldn’t see them at all, except for a twitch of their ears. It was really cute but of course that was the one time I decided I didn’t want to lug my camera along so I didn’t get any photos. After walking a couple of loops around Meadow Lake (surprisingly mosquito free) we left and made a stop at Willowbrook Wildlife Center. I love checking out all the birds they have, plus the pet rats. I only saw one (a dark female) this visit.

We also decided to visit the Wheaton Library where we made a quick stop at their cafe just to see what it was all about (very nice!) and then read some magazines before visiting nearby Memorial Park where we had a picnic lunch and watched people come and go looking for Pokemon. It was nice, but I was a little sad because I do miss the days where we’d go looking for a new place to eat lunch. With our limited income and after spending so much on Indiana Beach I don’t want to spend any more money than we have to, so it sucks having to always find free things, or stuff that we’ve already paid for like the zoo and arboretum, both memberships of which are due to expire this month and we’re contemplating not renewing right away since money is tight.

It’s kinda sad when you get excited about buying a new scale and some socks from Walmart.

Categories: Excursions, Photos Tags: