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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.

Categories: Car, Family, Food, Holidays, Shopping Tags:

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:

Arizona 2017 (8/28-9/02)

September 4th, 2017 Comments off

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:

Indiana Beach 2017

August 14th, 2017 Comments off

This year we decided to visit Indiana Beach on a Sunday. Since the car rental places aren’t open on Sundays we opted not to rent a van and planned to take two cars. Brother # 2 contemplated coming along and would have driven me and Brother # 1 while Joe would have the kids and ES, but then my brother bailed because he found out he has Lyme disease, started medication over the weekend, and (understandably) wanted to take it easy.

The revised plan was for me to drive my other brother and myself but then Joe’s son, E, bailed as well. So that’s how we all ended up crammed into Joe’s Escape. ES sat up front since he’s the biggest of everyone and I sat between K and my brother. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be although I’m sure the Xanax I took that morning helped. We were mostly right on schedule other than the extra wait at K’s place while ES tried to locate his missing annual pass.

Indiana Beach Sign

Even so we arrived at the park right before they opened at 11 am which is not easy when they are an hour ahead of us. We opted to park in the free lot since we didn’t bring food but just a cooler with drinks. We managed to sneak some water bottles inside and made the Taco Shoppe our first stop. Everyone had two tacos except K who got a walking taco.

Tacos

Rides I ended up going on: Den of Lost Thieves, bumper cars (twice), Growler, train, carousel, Music Express. The first ride would have been better had the “guns” worked. No fun when you can’t shoot any of the targets to animate them. The Growler would have also been more fun if our car was able to spin. I didn’t want to spin too much, but it wouldn’t spin AT ALL.

Rides I wanted to go on but didn’t because a) I was worried about my balance issues or b) I didn’t want to get wet: Scrambler, Flume, Bumper Boats.

Lame, I know. Know what else is lame? Finding out the old game tickets and Cool Cash cards from previous years were not accepted. Even lamer? The new Cool Cash card we purchased was only good for the season so we ended up blowing $11 playing Skee-Ball just to ensure there wasn’t any money left on it. Even lamer still? The dumb puzzle game I got just to use up our “tickets” (electronically stored on the card).

In between rides we noshed on some Pronto Pups (aka corn dogs) and everyone except me got ice cream as well. On the way out of the park (around 4 pm) we stopped at the Taco Shoppe and grabbed tacos to go which we ate back at the car so we could wash them down with water/pop from our cooler.

The weather was warm but comfortable the entire afternoon and for the most part I didn’t feel too sweaty. Didn’t get burned either since we slathered on the sunscreen when we arrived.

While the visit was more enjoyable than I anticipated, I doubt we’ll be going back next year. I’m kinda over that park. It definitely looked even nicer than last year because just about everything was freshly painted (lot of orange was used in particular), but the rides still weren’t operating properly and most were either too intense or too childish for my tastes. Perhaps Disney has spoiled me but the only really appealing thing about Indiana Beach for Joe and me nowadays are the tacos. Since they are now open on the weekends through the end of October we MAY go back one more time just to walk around and get tacos but for a 2+ hour drive I don’t think that it’s worth the effort. Hopefully the kids and my brother won’t pester us to go next year. The main reason we felt obligated to go this year was because we had last year’s season passes that were also good for 2017.

» All Indiana Beach photos

Interesting notes/observations:
This one kid promptly fell flat on his face after getting out of his bumper car. I felt bad for him but it was also funny.
We had to get off the expressway in Indiana and take the side streets through Gary (ew) since traffic was so bad.
After dropping Brother # 1 off we had dinner at Culvers. Apparently all that theme park food wasn’t enough for us?!?!
Total out of pocket for food: $100 (since Joe paid for most of it other than Brother # 1’s Pronto Pup, nachos, and Dippin Dots).

Categories: Excursions, Family, Food Tags:

Joe’s Birthday Weekend

August 8th, 2017 Comments off

Thursday was Joe’s birthday so we had dinner at Red Lobster. Neither one of us was terribly impressed since the prices seem to keep going up while the quality goes down. I ordered the Sweet Chili Shrimp appetizer as my meal and it was way spicier than I remember. Even the strawberry lemonade that I loved so much last time wasn’t quite as good. WTH?

Friday we ate out again, this time at Red Robin so he could get his free birthday burger.

Saturday we ate out AGAIN! Sensing a theme here? This time we treated the family (my two brothers, my dad, and my brother’s g/f (my mom didn’t go)) to dinner at Warsaw Inn which is a Polish buffet that my family has been celebrating special occasions at for years. Last time we ate there with my cousin and her husband I wasn’t too impressed with the food but this time around everything was delicious. I wish my stomach could have handled even more food but at a certain point I was too stuffed to keep eating. The BBQ ribs were moist and saucy and even the stuffed cabbage was pretty decent. It had flavor at least, unlike what was served at Pierogi Fest last weekend. The pierogis were delicious too. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on where the blintzes so I’ll avoid them next time since they were dry. My only complaint was the tap water they serve – it tastes like someone bled in it. Must be well water or something.

Sunday we went to HOBO to buy transition pieces for the floor in the living/dining area and also a bag of grout since Joe is going to have to redo it in our master bathroom. It keeps cracking and pieces are coming out. We also took Wookie to the dog park where she had the place to herself for an hour which was nice. Also, she didn’t get stung which is a plus!

Monday I had lunch with a dear friend and then we did a little shopping at Half Price Books and Five Below. I got Wookie the cutest little emoji dog bed at the latter, as well as some gel pens and markers for my coloring books.

Categories: Family, Food Tags: