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Three Weekend Catchup

August 4th, 2018 No comments

Last weekend was pretty busy. Friday (7/27) we saw Shinedown and Godsmack live. I was wise to the venue’s shenanigans so I hid two extra water bottle caps in my bag so when they confiscated the ones on our water we could reseal them and put them back in our bags so they’d stay colder. We had a quick dinner at home before leaving but stopped at Target by the venue to grab a few snacks which we enjoyed during the show. We had seats but didn’t care for their placement so headed up to the lawn area like last time. The bands were much louder this time around so it was a good call. Shinedown put on a good show even though the actual sound seemed a bit distorted. Godsmack was much better, though! I really enjoyed their energy and wasn’t even mad that (I think) they played Whatever twice since I love that song. I’ve been trying like hell to find either a review or a recording of the full show to validate this, but haven’t had any luck. We did take off during the last song so we could get out of the parking lot with ease. There were definitely twice as many people in attendance than when we saw Poison but luckily even though the far away bathroom had a line it moved swiftly. They have about 40 stalls in there with workers directing you to open ones by calling out the number painted on the outside of the door which is very helpful to keep things moving. Standing on the lawn made my feet sore, though, but the show was too good to sit through.

Saturday (7/29) we relaxed since Sunday was Pierogi Fest day! We picked up my brother around 10:30 and made it to the fest right around official opening. We headed straight to Dan’s Pierogis like we always do and spent about 25 minutes in line. We shared some sweet cheese plus Joe got a meat one and I got cherry. He let me have a bite of the meat and I liked it so I’ll be getting some of those too next year and skipping the cherry. I didn’t get as many piergois as I normally can eat because I was saving room for a taco pierogi from the Mendoza truck, only to find out they no longer make them because the owner sold the truck but not the machine that makes the pierogis. That was a pretty huge disappointment. Joe got a polish dog, J got a corndog, and we shared some mini donuts that could have been better (first time even getting mini donuts that were not that good). We ended up at the White Castle just outside the festival grounds to get a couple of sliders before dropping J off and heading home. So I guess this year was a bit of a flop, although the weather wasn’t terribly hot like most years and despite the crowd being bigger (we usually go on a Friday) we were able to find parking nearby and a place to sit as long as we shared a table with others. So all in all not bad, but because of the timing we had to skip the Milwaukee Brew Fest this year. It would have been too hectic plus there wasn’t anyone to watch Wookie. That’s probably the only one thing I don’t like about having a dog – not being able to just do stuff without worrying about who is going to keep an eye on her. We let her roam the downstairs when we’re not home and she pretty much just sleeps the entire time but I would feel awful leaving her home alone any longer than 8 hours at a time.

This weekend was spent with Joe’s dad who is visiting from Arizona. Joe picked him up on Thursday (8/2) after work while I was at home tidying up the house and preparing a surprise dessert – chocolate peanut butter pie – which ended up being a hit with both of them. I also made beef stroganoff for dinner.

Friday (8/3) was their birthdays so we went out for breakfast, drove around the arboretum for a bit (his dad cannot walk long distances), and stopped for gelato on the way home. We originally planned to have Red Robin for dinner but his dad slept so late (he takes daily naps) we decided to order deep dish from Lou Malnatis instead.

Saturday (8/4) we went to IKEA for breakfast and spent a little time in the pool (his dad just sat in the shade). After Joe’s dad’s nap we went to Red Robin for dinner.

Sunday (8/5) we had a light breakfast at home because we had lunch at The Pit Ribhouse in Hickory Hills at 1 pm. The kids both brought their significant others which was fun. They were late to arrive (no surprise there); E and his girlfriend (who we met for the first time) had to leave early as it was so they didn’t get to visit too long.

After lunch we dropped Joe’s dad off at Joe’s aunt’s house. We visited for a bit and fixed her computer’s wifi connection so Joe’s dad could get on Facebook. We also left with two pieces of homemade pineapple upside-down cake which we didn’t get to enjoy right away since Joe wasn’t able to eat on Monday due to a colonoscopy on Tuesday. He ended up doing the same prep I did since it was cheaper than the prescription. The doctor said the prep was good and he didn’t have any polyps. We’re both free from this nonsense for five years which is good since it’s going to cost us about $1200 out of pocket, thank you crappy insurance. It used to be only $250 through Blue Cross Blue Shield but they haven’t been an option with Joe’s recent employers. We have Aetna which I don’t like as much.

Friday (8/10) I did a deep clean downstairs since I hadn’t cleaned in almost two weeks! I also reorganized the laundry room and guest bathroom cabinets. Once Joe got home we headed out to Dollar Tree and Costco. We decided to get a couple of hot dogs before shopping and just as we were finishing up I spotted friends of ours in the checkout line. That’s the second time in about two months that we’ve run into them at Costco. We chatted for a bit and then did our shopping. We also took Wookie to the dog park that evening. I got the pass last month since it’s half price after July 1st.

Saturday (8/11) we had breakfast with Joe’s dad, aunt, and cousin and then visited with his dad and aunt at her house for a bit since his dad was flying home that afternoon.

We decided to visit Lake Katherine and The Little Red Schoolhouse before heading home. I brought my camera and got some nice shots. We didn’t stay long at either location very long since it was around noon and already very warm and humid outside.

That evening we took Wookie to the dog park again where she almost played with this cute white Bischon named Luna. She (Luna) was egging Wookie on but I think she’s still not sure how to dog. That’s totally our fault for not socializing her enough as a puppy. I hope after more trips to the park she’ll figure it out because I think she’d enjoy herself if she realized the other dog isn’t trying to hurt her. I plan on taking her to a local daycare next week after our neighbor sang its praises. It would be good to have a place close by we can take her in a pinch. Their rates are not much different from what my friend charges and Wookie could play with other dogs (assuming she wants to do so).

Sunday (8/12) we ran more errands and I got a bunch of different colored leggings from Walmart as well as two shirts that go well with them (and are long enough to cover my crotch which is perfect for wearing leggings outside the house).

I’m also still dealing with the whole glasses/frames fiasco. I really wish my eyes didn’t get so dry and itchy with contacts so I wouldn’t even need to worry as much about finding a comfortable pair of frames.

Categories: Excursions, Family, Food, Fun & Games Tags:

Shoes & A Visit From E

June 25th, 2018 1 comment

Saturday (6/23) we decided to walk around Geneva since it was their annual Swedish Days festival. It was a beautiful day outside and it was fun looking at all the stuff for sale. We picked up these cute little garden animals for $1.39 and put them by our tree in the front.

We also got Wookie a new toy for only $1.50.

As we were walking out of a shop we ran into my good friend, C, with her husband and two of her daughter’s friends. It’s funny how we tend to run into her at fairs, festivals, or just out shopping, more than anyone else we know.

Before leaving we tried a new place called Atlas Chicken Shack and shared an order of fries and a chicken sandwich smothered with ranch dressing. We really liked the dill in the ranch dressing; it gave it a unique flavor.

On our way home we stopped at Old Time Pottery and found a plant stand for outside the front door like Joe had been wanting. It’s already come in handy for setting things down when opening the door (since we STILL can’t use our driveway … more on that in a bit) so I’m not sure I’d even want to put a plant there. Plus, we’re not so good at keeping plants alive. We planted some wildflowers in the planters this year and they just started flowering, but that’s only because they don’t require any care and the rain has been keeping them hydrated.

Joe also spotted that they had a metal baking pan with a plastic lid which I have been searching for to replace ours since the non-stick coating on the inside was coming off. It was on sale too so it was only $7.

Sunday (6/24) we ran to Kohls so I could return a pair of grey Addidas running shoes I had purchased a few weeks back. I’m bummed because I really liked the style but once I started walking around in them (in the house, to keep them clean until I was sure I’d be keeping them), I found they were uncomfortable. I replaced them with a grey pair of New Balance shoes that cost slightly less ($56 after 20% off coupon) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will fit better. I wanted a sneaker that wasn’t white yet light in color to go with certain outfits that don’t quite look right with my black shoes.

We also stopped by Costco and I ended up getting a black pair of Reeboks since they were only $20. I’m not positive I’m going to like them but I figured they were worth trying for the price (and their generous return policy).

Joe’s son decided to pay us a visit Sunday afternoon which was nice. He’s been so busy with school and two jobs that we rarely see him. We went out to lunch and then to the mall since he likes the FYE there. He ended up getting 6 Funko POP! vinyl characters (he collects certain ones) and a CD. I’m so glad he’s making his own money now, LOL! But seriously, he was very sweet offering to buy us the Stefon POP character that we got all excited spotting.

I took a picture of it for my Instagram but I don’t want to actually own it. If anything, I want to have less useless possessions, not more.

Back at the house we played The Logo Game and watched some YouTube videos before E took off around 8 pm.

Today I went to Savers to look for clothes because I’ve recently donated all the stuff I don’t wear and replaced it with stuff I love, like leggings and cozy shirts. I scored three items, one of which I think I might be able to wear with leggings to work since it’s long enough to cover my butt. I wish it was easier to find tunics because I don’t feel comfortable wearing shorter shirts with tight-fitting pants.

Despite being told on Saturday by someone who works for the company who is replacing our driveways and patios that they would be filling the driveway aprons with concrete today, they didn’t do it. All they filled was the remaining patios and rip up some driveways on the remaining building. We are both extremely aggravated by this since the last time they did ANY work on our building was a week and a half ago. They have been trying to do too many drives/patios at once and were nowhere to be found for a few days last week. There’s just no reason this should’t be done by now. I called to complain last Thursday but they don’t care.

Meanwhile all these people are unable to use their driveways/garages for WEEKS and it’s getting old. And because they ripped up even more while the two buildings they were in process of working on are still not done there are even less available parking spots on the street. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow so chances are nothing will be done then either. So best case scenario at this point is they will fill the aprons on Wednesday and since you have to wait four full days before driving on them we won’t be able to use our driveway until Monday which is past the last day they claimed this would all be done (June 29th). That last building won’t have to wait as long since once they are done with our two building they only have one left to work on, although at this rate I feel like they purposely drag things out that should have taken a week or less. I’m just beyond annoyed at this point.

Poison Concert

June 11th, 2018 Comments off

Saturday we went to see Poison live at the venue in Tinley Park (currently called Hollywood Casino Amphitheater). I did my due diligence and checked the website to see what we could bring in and still got screwed when we arrived at the gate because the list posted there was not the same. They said empty refillable water bottles were allowed but they didn’t specify they can’t be aluminum.

After a trip back to the car to leave my bottle, we once again got in line and since the idiot checking bags only looked in the main compartment of my backpack, we were able to sneak in three water bottles even though the sign stated one per person (Joe had the other two). Of course, they made us open both water bottles they knew about and confiscated the caps because they are assholes. Seriously, WTF? They are SO worried about littering that they also don’t give lids or straws with any drinks you order either. So… we had to carry around our bottles of water we weren’t yet ready to drink and make sure not to spill them. God, I hate that place!

Unfortunately we’ll be back there in late July for another concert so I’m going to sneak in bottle caps just because I can. Screw them. Also, there’s going to be littering no matter what they do – someone left a half-empty container of nachos and their drink on the stairs leading up to the lawn area when there’s garbage cans right there. Did anyone working at the venue clean it up? Nope. It was there for a good hour at least. SMH

Anyway, we had purchased seats way in the back so I wasn’t prepared to have my ears nearly blown out by the opening act, Pop Evil. I think I might have enjoyed their music better if I wasn’t worried the tinnitus in my right ear was going to get worse.

After they left the stage we decided to move to the lawn area (we brought a blanket just in case) where the sound for the next act, Cheap Trick, was much better even if I only recognized one of the songs they played.

It wasn’t until after 9 pm before Poison took the stage. They were good, though, and I knew more than one song which was nice. I had just returned to a trip to the furthest away bathroom (because the one closest to the seating had a ridiculous line all evening) when they had just started Unskinny Bop which we were hoping they’d play. By that point it was after 10 pm so I decided to google their previous set lists for the tour to see if we could gauge how much longer they’d be playing. From what I could tell after the guitar and drum solos they were only going to play Every Rose Has It’s Thorn so we decided to leave. We patted ourselves on the back for beating everyone to the lot and being able to exit without a long wait.

Now when I check the set list I see we missed the one song we had hoped they play – Nothin But A Good Time. Son of a!!! Plus they played a two-song encore after that! Kinda pissed about that, but what can you do? I’ll need to do my research ahead of time or just suck it up and stay til the end and deal with waiting out all the people to leave.

We were pretty exhausted Sunday so all we did was watch My Name Is Earl ALL DAY LONG. Seriously, we pretty much watched the entire 1st season. I forgot how good that show is!

Categories: Excursions, Music Tags:

Rain, Infinity, and Flowers

May 14th, 2018 Comments off

Rain ruined plans to visit the arboretum this weekend.

Saturday (5/12)Avengers Infinity War @ Classic Cinemas with new reclining seats you have to choose at purchase. Not a fan that you can’t choose seats that leave a single one between groups. At least feet can touch floor when seat isn’t reclined.

Movie was a disappointment. I liked Thanos more than the heroes, plus I was bummed there wasn’t an Ant-Man appearance.

Beef Shack for lunch thanks to Groupon.

Sunday (5/13) – Joe gave me a Mother’s Day card from Wookie. So cute and thoughtful! He even used a stencil he found online to draw the paw prints.

Mall to purchase glasses from Visionworks. $473 for two pair (and one of those was technically free). They will be ready for pickup in a few days.

Five for $23 deal on Wallflowers at Bath and Body Works. Got all new floral scents with the exception of the Pistachio Ice Cream.

Afternoon visit to Lilacia Park. Very crowded thanks to holiday and live band. More tulips than lilacs which bloomed and started to disappear (probably due to our weather going from warm to cold and raining and then back again).

Long walk at Camera Park with Wookie. Can’t stand that park, though. Would rather travel further to a nicer one.

Categories: Excursions, Health, Movies, Photos, Shopping Tags:

Mammograms, Zoo Lights, and Star Wars

December 20th, 2017 Comments off

Saturday (12/16) began with a visit to the radiology center for a mammogram. I had to reschedule my original appointment after the facility informed me that I also needed a follow-up ultrasound from the one I had last year. Since there wasn’t time during my original appointment to do both, I rescheduled it. Then Friday evening I got a text from the facility to remind me to bring my doctor’s orders in for the tests. I called to ask whether one was required for the ultrasound too and that’s when they informed me that yes, I needed one. I was livid and let them know they should have told me that sooner. Of course my doctor was gone for the day at that point and wasn’t due back until Monday morning which meant I would have to skip the ultrasound and could have just stuck with my original appointment. Shortly after this I received a phone call from someone else at the facility with yet another appointment reminder, at which point I explained they could cancel the ultrasound portion because I wouldn’t have the order I didn’t know was required.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when I check in and am asked for my ultrasound order. #$*(@*#)!! I had to explain that I already told them I couldn’t have it done. Then when I’m in the room with the tech she mentions that they don’t have any of my previous mammograms for comparison even though they didn’t tell me that last year. How incompetent is this place?!? Plus how good is their screening if they don’t have earlier scans for comparison and just let that go for an entire year? I swear to god!

I also haven’t received my test results back even though I was told Tuesday at the latest. It’s probably because their horribly designed form asks whether you want your results by phone or not and I checked off no since I wanted them in writing. But then AFTER that portion near the bottom of the page there’s a note saying you’ll get them by mail regardless of whether you want them by phone. Well WTF, why don’t you put that first BEFORE the person fills out the form? And no, there weren’t any asteriks indicating there was more to read below about the choices. So I scratched out the part where I checked off “DON’T call me” and initialed it but those people are such idiots I bet they didn’t realize that I was trying to tell them that they SHOULD call me. I don’t even want to know at this point in case it’s bad news. I’m actually in a good mood this holiday season and don’t want to risk that getting ruined. I wouldn’t be able to do anything about a bad test result until after the holidays anyway.

Also, I was just thinking about this – last year when they told me I needed a second mammogram and an ultrasound, I’m fairly certain I didn’t need a new order from my doctor, so why would I think I needed one this time? I swear, I need to switch facilities moving forward. I only started going to this place because it was cheaper than the hospital but I don’t trust them with my health.

On a lighter note, Saturday night we made some hot cocoa and went to Cosley Zoo to see their lights. They are rather lame, and even more so this year it seemed, but they had an Ozinga cement truck there all decked out with lights coordinated to music which was fun to watch. I ended up having to download the Light of Christmas song by Owl City since it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I really enjoy the upbeat nature of the song despite the fact that I’m not religious.

Sunday (11/17) morning we went to a very early first showing (8:45 am) of the The Last Jedi. The theater had a decent amount of people but no one in our row or in front of us which was perfect. I enjoyed the movie but can understand why people have bones to pick with it, some of which I noticed and others which escaped me.

We had lunch at Red Robin before doing some shopping and then relaxed the rest of the day. I made chicken taco soup in the crockpot but chose an older recipe instead of the better one I found online so that kinda sucked. That older one has now be obliterated so I never mistakenly make it again.

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