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Ferrets & barkTHINS

October 9th, 2017 No comments

Saturday we went to the “Greatest Ferret Show On Earth” to visit our friends who were showing their ferret. It was $7 per person to get in and there wasn’t too much to look at but we spent three hours there socializing with our friends so it was definitely worth it. I was surprised they didn’t have it listed as an event on Facebook, though. A missed opportunity to bring in a bigger crowd.

Prior to the show we stopped at Abby’s Breakfast & Lunch as we tend to do every October. I got my favorite – Hawaiian eggs benedict. They were delicious, as always! Right outside the restaurant there was a barkTHINS booth set up as part of the Scarecrow Festival and they were giving out free bags of chocolate. We ended up with two new flavors to try – pumpkin seed and blueberry. Both are good but I prefer the former.

On the way home we stopped at Just Kabobs to pick up lunch and bring it home. I am just amazed at how inexpensive and delicious their food is. There was enough to cover lunch and dinner and it was only $15 total.

Sunday we were back in St. Charles for the scarecrow fest. After checking out the scarecrows we contemplated getting more barkTHINS but decided against it since they seemed to be running low. I love dark chocolate, especially when it’s free, but I didn’t want to be greedy.

Once we got home we played with Wookie and then much to her dismay groomed her and gave her a bath. She smells really good now, but I had to brush her again this morning because she already had developed mats! Ugh, if I was rich I’d just pay someone to groom her twice a month but it would be $120 so no thank you. I have a feeling my Christmas wishlist is going to be all dog related grooming items this year. I want to get a table with a grooming arm and possibly a muzzle since she gets really bitey when you brush her legs. Guess where most of the mats develop? Yup!

Categories: Excursions, Friends, Pets Tags:

Two Weekend Catchup

October 2nd, 2017 No comments

Last weekend (9/23) was Wookie’s birthday party (she turned a year old on 9/21). My brothers and R came over to celebrate, although R couldn’t stay long as she had a wake to attend. I made homemade sloppy joes and we drove my brothers back to B’s house around 4 pm so J could drive home from there since B wanted to attend the wake as well. They brought their dog over and she wasn’t too thrilled with Wookie. Anytime Wookie would get close their dog would growl at her. She seemed better once she was off-leash in the dining room, though, so it might have been leash aggression which I’ve read about. I do hope they end up becoming friends, or at the very least can tolerate each other, since I don’t like the idea of leaving Wookie with a stranger when Joe and I go on vacation. That’s why even though we’ve talked about going to Disneyland California next year I haven’t started planning anything yet.

Saturday (9/30) we met the kids for breakfast at Denny’s. They were a half hour late which was pretty irritating, but I gave them shit about it and plan to address it again before we see them again. Unfortunately their tardiness is becoming a habit which I really don’t like as I find it rude and insulting to make people wait for you and not even give them a heads up. Other than that it was a pleasant breakfast, and E brought us gifts he found at the secondhand store – whiskey stones for Joe and a copy of Aggravation for me. Hopefully I didn’t insult him by asking whether he wanted to keep it. I just didn’t want to take it knowing we have like three others at home since we always buy them when we see them too.

In the afternoon we took Wookie to the harvest festival near where I work. We went to the same festival several years back and were underwhelmed by it. Unfortunately, it really hasn’t improved much in all those years. The only good thing was the zucchini bread we purchased from the Girl Scouts’ bake sale. Now I want to make my own!

Pumpkins

Yesterday (10/1) we spent some time at the arboretum to check out the scarecrows. Unfortunately the trees haven’t really turned color yet but I got some pumpkin photos.

We walked around Yorktown mall afterwards since there’s some home stuff we’re in need of (specifically a new bedding set, silverware, and a bath mat although we didn’t find anything we liked) and I really want some new fall sweaters. I found a black one at Forever 21 and then noticed it was tearing at the sleeve so I left in disgust. We went to Savers earlier in the week during their 30% off sale, and I went again today since everything was 50% off, but none of the sweaters I tried on fit properly and I tried on at least 15 between both visits. I did end up with a black cardigan, however, as well as two more pairs of flannel pajama pants, a blue t-shirt, and a cute Tsum Tsum blanket I got for Wookie’s crate.

I’m in the mood to shop lately for some reason. When we had dinner at Red Robin a couple of weeks ago we went into Bath & Body Works to, as I told Joe, look around, but I ended up buying a leaf Wallflower plug and 5 wallflower refills because I’m addicted to the Marshmallow Fireside scent. A YouTuber who I watch recommended the candle version but the plug-in diffusers are a better buy since I only keep them plugged in over the weekend and the smell lingers for days afterward.

Sunday after the mall we stopped at a new fast food chicken place called PDQ for lunch. I got the Thai Peanut Bowl since it sounded really good, but it wasn’t that impressive. Turns out I really don’t like mango salsa. Joe had the California Chicken sandwich which was better, but the star of our meal was the zucchini fries with ranch. Mmmm…

Categories: Excursions, Kids, Pets, Shopping Tags:

Transition Piece(s) & Oktoberfest

September 18th, 2017 No comments

Friday after Joe came home from work we took care of some errands which included taking donations to Savers (remnants of what we weren’t able to sell at the garage sale last year plus some clothing I no longer wanted) and recycled our old lightbulbs at the Lowes before shopping at Costco.

Saturday was our busy, but fun, day this weekend. Joe installed the transition pieces in the morning and I think they look pretty good. 1st photo is before and 2nd one is after.

The only thing that annoys me is that crease in the carpet. It was there before, though, I just forgot about it because we were using an area rug to cover the spot to stop Wookie from picking at the carpet. I just have to get used to not stepping on the transition piece directly which for some reason I tend to do.

Saturday afternoon we went to our town’s Germanfest (aka Oktoberfest) with our friends K & E. I had a schnitzel sandwich and Joe got the pork shank which he thought was good but not worth $16 for the plate. Between our food and his single beer we spent $33! It was hot outside and even though we were in a tent away from the sun it was still too warm to spend much time there, plus the band was hella loud, so after an hour we headed back to our place to cool off.

We played a game called Loaded Questions which our friends brought over, had dinner (Joe made meatball sandwiches), and watched Popstar. I don’t think our friends enjoyed it as much as we do, plus I was annoyed by the fact that the Blu-ray wouldn’t load. Luckily the set came with a DVD version but that sucks because Joe bought it for me back in January for my birthday and I hadn’t opened it so there’s nothing I can do about the issue now.

Our friends had fun interacting with Wookie. She has gotten better with people in general, but especially those she remembers, so she didn’t bark at them when they first came over. In fact she wouldn’t go to sleep after they left because I think she thought they were still there. I had carry her through the house to show her it was empty before she’d calm down. I think because she didn’t nap most of the day she was overtired, but she made up for it on Sunday with several naps.

Sunday I made chili in the crockpot and Joe made cornbread in his cast iron skillet. Both came out delicious! Now that it’s football season our Sundays will be mostly at home days although I plan to get to the arborteum soon to check out the changing leaves. We can get there early and be in home in time for a noon game though.

Things I organized over the weekend:
The portion of the garage in front of my car including the shelving unit
My marbles and candle stuff in the hall closet
The pet room

Categories: Excursions, Friends, House & Home Tags:

Doggie Weekend

September 10th, 2017 No comments

Saturday morning we headed to the Morton Arboretum with our friend, K, and her dog for their Tails On The Trails event. The line to get in was nuts and we had to park in a temporary lot that was set up since it was so crowded, but we had a great time walking around meeting dogs and their people. They had a scale available so I weighed Wookie – she’s 9.8 lbs now!

After two hours of walking around we found a place to have a picnic lunch before heading home.

After K went home Joe was going to work on the transition piece in the living/dining room but it turns out the pieces we purchased from HOBO were the wrong type. Luckily they let us exchange them even though it was a little past the 30 day refund/exchange window. Joe left a tool at his work, however, so he didn’t actually install them. It’s now scheduled to be done next Saturday morning.

In the meantime Joe decided to wash both cars and I sat outside with Wookie to keep him company.

This morning we took Wookie to the CSBarks Festival in Carol Stream. We go every year but it was even more fun having a dog with us. We ran into Stormy, one of the dogs from Wookie’s Petsmart puppy training class, as well as the neighbor two doors down with her dog, Panda. Our vet and groomer had a combined booth at the event so we stopped by to say hello as well. Wookie ended up with a nice bag of people and doggie swag from the event. She was very well-behaved too, even lying in Joe’s lap while we watched the dogs perform.

After the frisbee dogs we headed home so Joe could catch the first Bears game of the season. I made my usual – brats (which we got from Costco this year) with kraut. Yum!

Categories: Excursions, Pets Tags:

Arizona 2017 (8/28-9/02)

September 4th, 2017 No comments

Saturday (9/2) we came home from a five day trip out to Arizona to visit Joe’s family and we brought Wookie with us.

His mom recently found out she has cancer for the third time, this time in her uterus, so we wanted to visit her before her surgery which was on Thursday, 8/31. Despite having to be admitted to the hospital the day before because she wasn’t behaving normally (she could barely stay conscious and had trouble walking), she was cleared for surgery and everything went as well as could be expected for an almost 80-year-old woman.

Since this wasn’t actually a real vacation (it was too hot to do much anyway as it was over 100 degrees every day), we didn’t plan any activities and spent most of our time just hanging out or eating at restaurants since Joe’s parents no longer cook. We ended up dining at Village Inn four times over our 5-day visit. It would have been five times if Joe’s mom hadn’t gone to the hospital Wednesday since that’s where his dad wanted to have dinner because he’s a creature of habit. The place is like a Bakers Square although the decor isn’t as nice. That being said, the food was decent, and the staff was friendly, so there’s that.

We were able to convince Joe’s day to accompany us and our niece and her family to Backyard Taco for Taco Tuesday where all he would try is the flan because he doesn’t care for tacos. It was a bit irksome when I asked the girl if any of their tacos came with cilantro, she told me no, and lo and behold there was cilantro all over the pork taco, but other than that the food was flavorful. Plus I don’t mind cilantro, but Joe doesn’t care for it and we were sharing. The pork had pineapple pieces in it and the steak tacos were pretty good as well. The only taco that was bland was the chicken. I liked that they had a salsa bar for any toppings you wanted to add. A funny thing happened there – our niece’s daughter, O, who is only two years old, chucked a plastic fork and it landed right in the crook of this girl’s arm at the table next to us. That girl has quite the arm! She managed to peg me in the forehead with a goldfish cracker sometime during the week and it actually stung!

Our Week

Monday afternoon – Arrived at Sky Harbor, got picked up by niece and her daughter, went home to drop off luggage, went to In-And-Out for food
Monday evening – Village Inn for dinner with Joe’s dad & niece’s family

Tuesday morning – Village Inn for breakfast with Joe’s parents
Tuesday afternoon – Drinks & a corndog @ Sonic; played pool & shuffleboard at clubhouse since internet was down
Tuesday evening – Backyard Taco for dinner

Wednesday morning – Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles with Joe’s dad (he liked the iced tea and waffles)
Wednesday afternoon – Joe’s mom was acting strange so we called Joe’s niece (she is medical POA)
Wednesday evening – Red Robin for dinner with Joe’s dad, sister, and niece’s daughter. We brought food to niece who had driven Joe’s mom to the hospital and had her admitted.

Thursday morning – Breakfast at Village Inn with Joe’s dad before heading to the hospital
Thursday afternoon – At hospital
Thursday evening – Picked up pizza from Salerno’s on the way home; woman who we adopted Wookie from came over to visit while Joe and his dad went to the clubhouse to use the internet

Friday morning – Breakfast at Linda’s Hoosier Cafe with Joe’s dad (we met the owner and her son), then accompanied niece & her husband to her ultrasound appointment (she’s 6 months pregnant with her second daughter). It was really cool seeing the baby! Joe’s dad left him an impatient voicemail just as we arrived back at the trailer at 10:35 to pick him up even though we had told him we’d be back between 10:30 and 11:00 am.
Friday afternoon – Visited Joe’s mom in the hospital, then after dropping his dad off at home went out for snacks. I ordered a tall green tea lemonade from Starbucks but they screwed up and charged me for a grande, then upgraded me for free to a trenta which is 30 oz! I shouldn’t have drank the whole thing but it was really good (I paid for it later at the pool when I almost had a panic attack so I’m guessing it’s either caffeine or sugar that could be a trigger). Joe got a shake from In-and-Out and we went to his sister’s house to hook up her Wii & computer. Despite having never peed in anyone’s house before, Wookie peed on her bedroom rug. Whoops! Afterwards we stopped at Jack In The Box to try their nuggets but they don’t know how to count and gave us 4 instead of 5 so we ended up with 9 total after Joe complained. They were decent but not worth $2 for 5 nuggets.
Friday evening – Dinner at Village Inn with Joe’s dad, sister, niece, and her daughter

Saturday morning – Flew home

Flight Stuff

I swear the more I fly the worse I get. I thought after falling asleep on the flight home last year I would be less anxious but even with 1.5 mg of Xanax in me I was still very nervous during take off and landing. I can’t stand the low altitude turns and both flights had periods of turbulence which required them to turn the seatbelt sign on. Coming into Arizona there was one part where the plane felt like it “dropped” considerably which scared me enough that I made an audible noise so Joe teased me about that. The takeoff on the flight home freaked me out because there was considerable vibrating when we first got airborne that I don’t recall hearing/feeling before. Even Joe later remarked it was unusual to him. We paid extra to upgrade our boarding position on that flight and ended up sitting forward of the wings whereas on the way out we had sat behind the wings. I think ideally I’d like to sit over the wings in the future. I also had to keep going pee on the flight home (3-4 times!) whereas on the flight out I only went twice.

At least Wookie was very well-behaved in her carrier for both flights. More than a few people remarked how quiet she was when we were waiting for our flight home. Sky Harbor has a really nice animal relief area too. Wookie wasn’t interested in using it, but I liked how it’s located after you go through security. We met a cute black Brussels Griffon named Pickles in there. It’s a large room near the restrooms that has fake grass, a fire hydrant, poop bags, and a sink. In contract, Midway airport has an outdoor fenced-in concrete area over by baggage claim before you go through security. It makes no sense.

TSA Hates Me

The worst thing about our trip is that I was singled out by TSA at Midway. First they swabbed my hands but apparently they didn’t like the results so they pulled me aside for a full pat-down and went through my carry-on bag. I got picked for a hand swab at Sky Harbor too but luckily that’s as far as it went. The security lady was giving me attitude, however, because I was trying to keep an eye on my jacket going through the x-ray instead of walking all the way down to where she was pointing. She kept ordering me to leave my things alone even though I wasn’t trying to touch them so finally I yelled “I’m just trying to keep an eye on my stuff!” Seriously! Thank god Joe was there to keep an eye on my stuff since I had the dog in my arms too. Someone could have easily grabbed my stuff since no one was paying attention to it since they were so concerned about what a threat I apparently was. *rolls eyes*

Observations

It got so hot during the day the asphalt would bubble and pop when you drove over it.
None of the stores or restaurants were overly air-conditioned like they are here. Probably because they can’t afford it! The only exception was the hospital.

Final Thoughts

All in all it was an interesting trip but I would never visit Arizona in August/September again unless absolutely necessary. It was so hot you couldn’t do anything outside unless you got up super early or stayed up late, and even then it was already in the mid 80’s. We slept in the trailer’s Arizona room which wasn’t as air conditioned as the rest of the trailer so the flannel pants and sweatshirts I brought were useless. I purchased a very large suitcase the weekend before at TJ Maxx for $70 which was perfect for all my stuff plus Wookie’s.

We borrowed a crate and fencing from the girl we adopted her from who lives across the street but Wookie refused to step foot in the crate so she slept on some fleece on the ground. We also ordered a potty pad holder that we had shipped directly there and which she used faithfully. The heat seemed to affect her appetite like it did us and she only ate about half the amount of food I brought. For the most part she got along with everyone except niece’s daughter since she’s not used to children. She also would bark at Joe’s dad since he wasn’t home when we first arrived so in her mind he was an intruder. That being said, by Thursday she was running around his legs wagging her tail. She got along ok with Bella even though they didn’t play together, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about her previous mom’s (whom she didn’t remember) dog. Everyone seemed to enjoy playing with her, though, and she was mostly well behaved except when we’d leave her locked up to go out. Once she realized we were actually leaving the house entirely she would calm down, however. Hopefully next time we travel we can leave her with someone we trust because while it wasn’t a big deal on this particular trip, I can’t see having her with us on a real vacation. Plus it’s $95 each way on Southwest even though she takes the place of a free carry-on.

Categories: Excursions, Family, Vacation Tags: