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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.

Categories: Car, Family, Food, Holidays, 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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Christmas Cleanup, Car Troubles, and My Aunt

December 28th, 2014 Comments off

The Christmas decorations have been taken down and packed away. Most of them, anyway. Joe has been working on my car since 10 am so the tree itself is still up, as are two things that too high up for me to reach. Once he’s done with the car he’ll be taking that stuff down so I can put everything away and we can go back to having a non-cluttered house.

We also have some errands to run but at this rate I’m guessing they will have to be put off for another day. We need to pick up some sweaters we dropped off at a local tailor to sew, get gas for my car, and visit the library. I’ll probably be hitting up the library tomorrow since it closes in less than an hour and Joe is just now finishing up my car. I’m sure he’d like a shower and something to eat; I know I would!

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day too because I need to swing by the sleep center to pick up the sleep study equipment (assuming my doctor’s office faxed over the info and the center is able to get insurance approval quickly). Plus, once Joe gets home from work we have to head out to Bridgeview to attend my aunt’s wake. Apparently she had been in the hospital for awhile but no one had informed my dad so neither of us knew. She passed away the day after Christmas. It’s sad to think she died all alone without any family around. She’s the only aunt on my dad’s side that I kept in touch with.

Edited to Add – It turns out my aunt wasn’t sick in the hospital, my dad just didn’t relay the information accurately. She actually spent time with family every weekend, and the day after Christmas she collapsed, was rushed to the hospital, and couldn’t be revived.

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Spending moolah & my leaky Jetta

December 20th, 2014 1 comment

We are bleeding money over here!

I decided to go ahead and buy my parents a computer for Christmas this year and it’s turned into a bit of a hassle. I ordered an ASUS from NewEgg at the beginning of the month. It arrived a week later but I waited a week to unpack it so I could configure it, and then learned the damn thing wouldn’t even turn on! It was like the power button wasn’t actually connecting with anything inside the case. I would have opened it to investigate but that would void the warranty so instead I sent it back to NewEgg for a refund.

We ended up buying a Dell from Staples last Sunday instead. It was about $27 more since we had to pay tax, but has 2.5x the memory and the hard drive is twice the size, so it ended up being a great deal once the associate forced the system to give us the price advertised in the sales ad. Initially, he seriously asked me if I was ok paying $50 more than the price in the ad since the computer was giving him trouble. I told him absolutely not and that he should get a manager to give us the correct price, which he did. We had to have it shipped to our house since none of the computers in the ad were actually available in store. Hmmm… and you wonder why these office stores are having a rough time financially. Anyway, at least the new computer works. I installed Firefox and a bazillion Windows updates on it. Now I just need to install TeamViewer and test that it works with our PC so we can help them remotely when issues arise.

This week we spent money buying gift cards with bonuses to be used during the coming year. We bought:

Two $10 Savers gift certificates and received a free $5 certificate that is good through January 10th.

One $25 Buona Beef gift card and received a free $5 certificate that is good through the end of February.

One $100 Lou Malnati’s gift card and received a free $25 gift certificate that is good through the end of June.

Two $25 Culver’s gift cards and received two free value basket coupons that are good through February 22nd.

So in all we spent $195 but got approximately $53 worth of freebies which equates to a 27% discount at places we would have spent money at throughout the year anyway. I call that a win-win! The challenge for some might be to use those certificates before they expire (something each establishment is counting on), but I just added reminders to an app on my phone so we don’t forget.

We also hit up Omaha Steaks to use up the gift cards I had accumulated. We got $100 of food for $52 out of pocket. Included in our assortment are some steaks and pork chops I’ve never tried before, so I’m looking forward to that. If you would have asked me what I thought of Omaha Steaks a few years ago I would have told you they sound overpriced and I’d never buy anything of theirs, but after years of getting gift cards for Christmas for their products, I think overall they’re a pretty good value. If you think about what you’d spend on a nice steak dinner at a restaurant, they are actually more affordable. We really enjoy their burgers, hot dogs, and Italian sausages too. The only thing I’ve tried that I would caution against are their chicken cordon blue bites. They are just terrible! I actually ended up throwing away half of them. My mom gets some from Market Day that are eons better.

During all our running around today, Joe noticed my car was leaking fluid, so we brought it to the local dealership for a diagnosis. They told us the thermostat needs to be replaced and they wanted nearly $700 to do it. Joe told them no thanks, ordered the part from AutoZone, and will replace it himself which will save us over $500 even after paying the dealership $66 to look at the car. I guess it’s a good thing that a) I’m only working two days next week and b) my commute is so short (2.5 miles each way) I can safely drive the car before it’s fixed since it’s not leaking enough coolant to cause the engine to overheat.

I’ll be glad when my birthday comes and goes in early January since then we’ll be done with the spending for awhile!

Categories: Car, Food, Shopping Tags: