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Court & Wookie’s Birthday

September 25th, 2018 No comments

Friday (09/21) Joe worked from home and we went down to the Bridgeview courthouse to look into how to stop getting a $36 annual fee for old child support accounts that are still open with the state. Apparently even though the terms of the orders were fulfilled, you have to appear before a judge to have the account closed. Of course, trying to even find out WHERE to go has been an exercise in frustration because you can speak to three people and each will give you a different answer. We had been convinced, thanks to a conversation Joe had with someone, that we needed to go downtown. Luckily I called the number on the paperwork and was instructed, in not the nicest manner I might add, that we needed to go to the court where the order originated, which would be Bridgeview. I wasn’t 100% convinced that was true, but figured it would waste a lot less time and money going there and being wrong than heading into the city.

Luckily that information was correct. We had to fill out some very complicated and not self-explanatory forms, and then file that same information online on computers they have set up for that purpose. That process, too, was not easy whatsoever and required an employee to stand with us to show us every step. Your tax dollars at work!

FINALLY, after much back and forth, he had his court dates. Yes, that is plural, because when his pain in the ass ex originally filed for child support it was before they were divorced (and she was awarded LESS money than he was already giving her (that’s what she gets for being greedy)), and then a new order was opened when they divorced since it also included alimony. The original order wasn’t closed, however, and because one is strictly child support and the other divorce related, he has to see two different judges on two different days because certain cases are only heard on particular days. Fun! Again, your tax dollars at work.

I have no plans on accompanying him to either court date because a) I will be at work for one of them and b) I have a difficult time hiding my disdain for this entire ridiculously convoluted process.

Observations:

They really need to stop hiring people who hate people in general, because the woman I spoke with on the phone was pretty condescending, not to mention stupid. She told me since the accounts had a $0 balance there was nothing we needed to do despite the paperwork stating otherwise. And she works in the department that handles these queries on the regular!

It makes no sense that the automated process knows when to stop deducting child support from his checks but you still need to appear before the judge to officially close the account and stop getting billed an annual fee for account maintenance. Just another way Illinois tries to get money as much money as possible out of people!

Anyway, I was more aggravated than Joe was once we left the office. We stopped for some breakfast before heading back home so he could do some work and I could clean the house. I did a quicker job than I usually do since I wasn’t really in the mood plus didn’t have as much time to get things done.

Friday was also Wookie’s birthday so we gave her some special treats and new toys to celebrate.

Wookie’s Birthday Presents

I also ordered this cute Chewbacca treat jar a couple of weeks ago from Petco since it was only $8 and practically has her name on it.

Star Wars Treat Jar

We also took her to the dog park before the regular time most people go since she prefers to be alone to sniff all the areas without being bothered. It worked out well since we met up with our friend, D, for dinner at Culvers followed by miniature golf. After golf we ended up at a dive bar where her friend was hanging out and had a few drinks and played pool. By the time we got home it was around 10 but I wasn’t able to get to sleep until after 1 am!

Because of that, we got up later than usual on Saturday (09/22). I wanted another Acai bowl from Costco so we headed there for breakfast. This time we each got our own. I just wish they had put more granola in there.

Costco Acai Bowl

We also stopped at Walmart for a few things and ran into our friend SL there. I found a pair of Halloween themed leggings that are super cute too.

Halloween Leggings

Later that afternoon we also took a trip to the library which we haven’t done in months. Having free On Demand movies through Joe’s work has eliminated the need to borrow any, but I did want some books and Joe wanted to check out the new music releases. I want to state for the record that having access to movies via On Demand is really convenient, but at the same time I miss the excitement of going to the library to see what good stuff you might find in stock. It’s just not the same when everything is so readily available.

Sunday (09/23) morning we finished our breakfast leftovers from Friday before heading to a charity dog show nearby. It was held in the same place as another dog event that apparently lost funding and ceased after several years. This new one was sponsored by a local animal hospital and the turnout was even worse than the aforementioned festival. There were far less booths, only two food trucks, and no place to sit and enjoy the various contests going on (such as waggiest tail, best costume, etc). The festival would have bleachers which is a must because this park is just littered with goose feces. Ick! I told Joe that if they hold the event again next year we should bring our own chairs so we can stay longer. We were there for about two hours anyway, but it was such a nice day out I would have liked to have stayed longer.

Monday (09/24) I headed to Savers but it was a bust. Did see this very unique Deadmau5 artwork, however.

Deadmau5 Artwork

I also went to Target where I ended up spending $55 on fall and Halloween decor! They had a spiderweb tablecloth that I wanted, plus a matching table runner, and by that point I figured I’d re-buy some black pumpkins to get the $5 off $30 deal and then return the original ones from my receipt earlier in the month. I also spent a lot of time digging through the disorganized Bullseye Playground section as well and found some cute fall things although I’m starting to rethink the light up leaves as they aren’t as cute as I originally thought.

New Fall Decor

Note: The pumpkin lights aren’t from the cheap section.

Categories: Food, Friends, Pets, Shopping Tags:

Cheese Days & New Halloween Decor

September 17th, 2018 No comments

Friday (09/14) as I was getting my stuff packed for our Saturday day trip, I picked up my sunglasses and they snapped. Great. It’s very hard for me to find decent fitting sunglasses with my small head. Off to the mall we went to check out the sunglasses at New York & Company since that’s where my current pair had come from. Luckily I found a pair that was similar, although not quite as comfortable, but they were good enough, and on sale for only $7, so I grabbed them. Crisis averted!

Saturday (09/15) R (my brother’s g/f) came over to keep an eye on Wookie while we drove up to Monroe, Wisconsin with our friends K&E to attend Green County Cheese Days. It was so hot/humid that I didn’t eat nearly as much food as anticipated, though. In fact, I only ate half my beef sandwich when we stopped for dinner at Beef Shack before heading home. The main attraction, deep fried cheese curds, had such a long line that we didn’t end up getting any, although we did have fried cheese with maple bourbon syrup (yum), a grilled cheese sandwich made with brick cheese with some type of green mustard and rye bread, and a Kona ice slushie (I got peach flavor which was ok but had a bit too much syrup in it). My friend and I met Wedgie the Cheese and got a photo with him which was funny.

Before leaving we picked up some fudge and I got a Hip Klip to try out for those times when I don’t want to lug a purse around. So far I’m not entirely loving it but it might work in the winter when I’m wearing my thick leggings at work and don’t have pockets for my phone. I hope so since it was $35 and I really hate wasting money!

Notes for next time we attend this fest (which should be the year 2020 since they do it every other year):
Get there a little earlier
Get in line for the deep-fried cheese curds right away since the line only gets longer as the day goes on
After that, go on a dairy farm tour before it gets too hot and no one feels like going
Don’t expect to have any cell signal (unless using Verizon)

Sunday (09/16) after getting gas at Costco we split an Acai bowl that Costco recently starting carrying in their cafe.The acai (pronounced ah-sah-ee) berry is considered a superfood. Since it hails from Brazil, it’s typically only available in the U.S. in puree form and can be on the pricey side. So $5 for the bowl, which contains acai puree, strawberries, blueberries, and granola, isn’t bad. It was really tasty too and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I could see myself getting one about twice a month for breakfast.

Afterwards we did a little shopping and I couldn’t resist grabbing more Halloween decor from Target. I was so excited they finally put out the Halloween stuff in the seasonal section. They’ve had some Halloween stuff available for awhile in their Bullseye Playground but I wanted to see what else they had this year and the black pumpkins did not disappoint.

The bat lights up purple, and the sign, which was only $1, is reversible.

As much as I love my fall decor, which I ended up putting up Labor Day weekend, I can’t wait to put up my Halloween stuff. I plan on waiting until October 1st if I can. Although most of my fall stuff will end up going back up after Halloween for Thanksgiving since it’s very pumpkin-heavy which works for that holiday too. If it wasn’t for the colder weather and earlier sunsets, I’d love fall even more than I already do.

Categories: Excursions, Friends, Shopping Tags:

Dog Days & Old Stuffed Toys

September 12th, 2018 Comments off

Friday (09/07) we went to Costco to look at some fake candles they had for 50% off in their ad. In person they were way too yellow for my taste so that was a big fail. I’ll probably just end up using the candles I picked up on clearance from Target since let’s face it, my mom is going to think they smell like my house no matter what I do. I made chicken taco soup in the crockpot which ended up feeding us all weekend.

Saturday (09/08) was dog day at the arboretum. Our friend, KD, couldn’t join us but we still had a good time because the weather was nice and cool but not cold. We spent two hours just walking around and seeing all the other dogs. We also bought Wookie some homemade treats. It was such a perfect day!

On the way home we stopped at Willowbrook Wildlife Center so I could give them some dog food donations and picked up food four ourselves from PDQ. Their zucchini fries are so delicious! If they were closer to home I know we’d be eating there more than once a year. After lunch we ran back out to pick up two pairs of Joe’s shorts from the cleaners. The owner, Mi, does tailoring and try as I might I wasn’t able to sew the buttons back on his shorts without it coming right off again so we paid Mi $4 to do it. I know they won’t ever come off now because she reinforced the clasp on a pair of dress pants I used to wear to my old job all the time and it’s still like new. We also grabbed some stuff from Aldi.

Sunday (09/09) morning we did some shopping at Walmart but not before a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts. I tried their new apple crisp donut and I gotta say – meh. I’m looking forward to visiting Sonny Acres in the next month or so and grabbing some fresh baked apple cider donuts instead.

We found ourselves at Target later that afternoon and I picked up a cute black glitter tree for Halloween. It’s in storage until the end of the month though since all my fall decor is out at the moment.

Monday (09/10) Joe flew to Denver for work. I did my regular cleaning and worked on rearranging the hall closet a bit to accommodate some of my home decor that I don’t want to store in bins in the garage. It’s amazing to me that I’m still finding stuff to donate/sell during this process but it feels so good to get rid of stuff. I wish I could just stop myself from acquiring new home decor (my weakness).

I also went through six years worth of Kraft Food & Family magazines, posted the ones I want to try to Pinterest, and put them in the recycling bin.

I rearranged some magnets on the refrigerator and accidentally broke the one from Milwaukee Zoo. :(

It was rather hard to part with them but they had been taking up space in a free-standing cabinet in the kitchen. We’re not using that space to store some of Wookie’s most frequently used items and we removed her crate from the kitchen. She prefers sleeping in her bed under my desk so we don’t lock her in the kitchen anymore.

Speaking of decluttering, I recently took photos of my old stuffed toys I found in the garage. Without further ado, below is my Popple, Pound Puppies, and Fluppy Dog.

Categories: Pets, Photos, Shopping Tags:

Septemberfest & Labor Day Weekend

September 5th, 2018 Comments off

Friday (8/31) Joe and I decided to have dinner at The Village Inn Tavern since we haven’t eaten there in years. I don’t know why, but that place just doesn’t thrill me that much even though the food isn’t bad. I had a Reuben with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and Joe had the all you can eat fish. Our bill with tip was $36 which seems high for that type of food. In contrast, we went to Chuy’s out in Schaumburg on Sunday for lunch and paid closer to $30 and enjoyed our meal much more, plus we had a ton of leftovers. The free chips, salsa, and jalapeno dip alone can really fill you up, plus we got free queso for checking into Facebook (which I had planned to do anyway). I got their #1 combo and Joe got the #2 but I think next time maybe I’ll just get the chicken flautas since that was my favorite part of my plate. I also liked the enchiladas, but could have done without the ground beef taco, rice, or beans.

After dinner on Friday we headed to Target where I found some nice unscented candles on clearance. I ended up buying five for only $13.14 (regular price was $29.25 and the cashier forgot to scan one of the candles for some reason). I originally intended to gift them to my mom but I’m thinking about keeping them for myself. I wrapped them multiple times in plastic bags and put them in an upstairs closet to keep out any scents just in case, though.

I also got a candlescape set on clearance. In addition, we found a box of six solar pathway lights (called Malibu lights back in the day) on clearance for $10.50 and decided to get those for the front walkway. Joe put them up and they look so nice! I’ve always wanted some but didn’t want to shell out a lot of money so we were both pretty excited about our find.

Saturday (9/1) we took my car to the dealership for them to do recall work. Apparently the car can stall at low speeds when the A/C is on full blast. I never run it that high, especially now that my windows are tinted, but got that out of the way anyway. The recall was announced the week before I took my car in to get the headunit updated since my bluetooth was randomly disconnecting, so I wish they had done the work then, but they claim they didn’t know about it at the time. While they worked on the car Joe and I first had breakfast at Taco Bell and then went to check out a dog boarding place nearby. Unfortunately I don’t think it would be a good fit for Wookie since it’s similar to the place near the house that makes her anxious. We also hit up Dollar Tree to look around and by then the car was done.

Sunday (9/2) we headed to Schaumburg for Septemberfest since they always have the best craft booths. We found really close parking too which was nice. What wasn’t nice was how muddy the grounds were because it had been raining all weekend. I’m so glad I didn’t wear my new grey sneakers or flip flops like I had been contemplating because our shoes were caked in mud and I had to clean them in the sink when we got home. We ran into my friend, C, which I totally expected since I know she loves that fest. It took us about an hour to go through all the craft booths and by then it was already getting really warm so we decided to take off. Chuy’s wasn’t open yet so we decided to kill some time by checking out a pet store, Dollar Tree, and Target in the area. I got a new toy for Wookie at the pet store but she doesn’t seem to like it very much. I found a cute Beware sign at Dollar Tree and since I couldn’t decide between the orange and white one I got both. At Target we found another box of the solar pathway lights and they were even cheaper – $7.50. Score! We decided to put them around our back patio.

Labor Day (9/3) we dropped Wookie off for a half day of doggie daycare and did some shopping, then I came home and documented all my Halloween decor so I know what I do and don’t need this year. Hint: I don’t NEED anything but I might see something I really want. Also, I wouldn’t be sad if I found a nicer door hanger than the one I’ve been using for years. I also decorated for fall because I couldn’t wait.

During this process we cleaned up the garage a bit more and I came across a storage tub of my old stuffed toys from my childhood that I had completely forgot I even had. In it were my Pound Puppies, Pound Kitty, Fluppy Puppy, Garfield, and my Popple amongst others. I can’t believe how clean they still are after 30+ years! I definitely need to get some pictures of them and decide whether I’m willing to part with any of them. I think not for the Popple but the others are up for debate. I do want to get rid of my Care Bear collection since that one was acquired as an adult (why???) but they’ve just been sitting in a bin for years with tags still on. What a waste of space.

We made cheddar brats for dinner on Monday and then ended up eating our Chuy’s leftovers for dinner on Tuesday.

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Doggie Daycare & Shopping

August 28th, 2018 Comments off

Friday (8/24) I took Wookie to a local doggie daycare/boarding facility called Camp Ruff It for an evaluation and a half day of daycare. It was only $5 with the coupon I had instead of $20. She was, as expected, very shy and reserved according to her report card. They did mention she crawled into one of the workers laps to give her kisses. I’m sure she was looking for reassurance since she still isn’t convinced other dogs aren’t ready to attack her at a moment’s notice. She loves to play and chase certain little dogs at the dog park, but she gets scared when they try to do the same. I feel so bad that we didn’t properly socialize her when she was a puppy. I’m sure a lot of this could have been avoided. In any case, I’ll be bringing her back to daycare on Labor Day for another half day so she can hopefully become used to the facility and the workers so we have somewhere to leave her when we go out of town. Our friend can dogsit but she also watches other dogs so often she’s not available. She also isn’t a neat freak like I am so I’m worried Wookie would get into something on her floor and eat it since I noticed some stuffing from toys lying around on the floor the last time we visited her. Plus she’s forty minutes away from us and works during the week so Wookie wouldn’t be under supervision 24 hours a day like at this facility. That being said, I don’t want her to be stressed out the entire time we’re gone so I’m hoping this place works out. I had hoped my brother could watch her when we went out of town but since we haven’t had any opportunity to have her and his dog spend time together I’m not sure that would work out. It’s a shame since we wanted to go out to Indiana in a few weeks and their home would be on the way out there.

Since it was so hot this weekend we took advantage of Joe’s free movie ticket (for his birthday) to go see The Meg on Saturday (8/25) and had the entire theater to ourselves. The movie wasn’t bad and seeing Jason Statham shirtless is always a treat. ;)

After the movie we went to a store called At Home to look at fall decor. I didn’t see anything worth getting and was more than a little annoyed that they were playing Christmas songs over the loudspeaker. Seriously? It’s August! I’ve complained about this before, and I’m going to do it again – I hate that everyone gets a hard on for Christmas months in advance of the holiday. It’s ridiculous how much time and energy is spent on a single holiday. It makes me dislike it more every year. I’d be so much happier if we could start talking Christmas after Thanksgiving and stop talking about it once January rolls around.

After shopping we got some food from Just Kabobs and I ended up taking a nap on the couch when we got home. I woke up with a huge headache and got really nauseated for some reason. I pushed through it to take Wookie to the dog park since we knew it would be too hot to go again for at least a few days and ended up feeling better after that.

Joe had to work Sunday (8/26) so I did my usual Monday cleaning then and once he got home around noon we went to Downers Grove to check out a new restaurant called City BBQ. Joe had a beef brisket sandwich and fries and I had plain beef brisket with mac & cheese and cornbread. The beef was good but I wasn’t really in love with any of the sauces and I could have done without the sides. Joe’s sandwich was pretty awesome, though, so I think we’d go back just for that. On our way out we ordered a peach cobbler to go and the woman told us it was on the house which was so nice. Normally it’s $5 which for the size and how delicious it was is totally worth it. I’ve been working on it here and there since it’s over 1000 calories; I definitely didn’t want to eat it all in one sitting.

Monday (8/27) morning I went to Savers and scored a nice long flowy purple tank top which will go great with my black capri leggings, a pink/purple/grey flannel (I so missed having a soft comfy oversized flannel), and a nice polyester blanket to add to the couch. The total was $8.24 for all three things; you can’t beat that. Some seasonal pillow cases I had ordered on Amazon (which shipped form China) came in too.

I do like them, although the shiny/slippery material kinda throws me a bit, and they are super white which I wasn’t expecting. I plan to switch them out each season just for a nice decorative touch.

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