Roasted Veggies & Easter Decor

March 25th, 2019 Comments off

I made the mistake of decorating for Easter on Friday (03/22), when Easter is still a full month away. Two days later I was already tired of looking at the stuff, so today I ended up removing some of the decor and spreading some other stuff elsewhere so it’s more minimalist. I feel much better. I’m finding that I prefer a more minimalist look in general, like I had going for St. Patrick’s Day. This is great because I’ll save money owning less decor in general. Incidentally, I finally found something I’ve been looking for since last year – white ceramic bunnies!

They were in the Target dollar spot for $3 each and were sitting in random spots so I’m not sure whether they’re supposed to be more poses. Nothing ever seems to be organized in the dollar spot. I used to think it was laziness on the part of the employees but now I’m convinced it’s a ploy to make people spend more time in that section hunting for treasures, because you do tend to miss the best stuff if you do a quick once over.

Saturday (03/23) we took a big bag of old paperwork to a neighboring village to be shredded. I’m so relieved to have that out of my house. I’m getting ready to donate some of the stuff I have listed on Offer Up that isn’t selling as well, just to get it out of my house. I’m tired of it sitting in the spare room / office.

After the shredding event, we had lunch at BonChon in Schaumburg and it wasn’t as good as the first time. The spicy and soy garlic chicken was just as good as before, but I opted to try the pork buns… and while they weren’t terrible, they aren’t something I’d order again. Joe didn’t care for them either.

Sunday (03/24) I discovered the deliciousness that is roasted carrots. Can you believe I’ve lived 43 years not really loving carrots? I don’t mind them in soups or stews but I’d never eat them on their own. I tossed them in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper before roasting them at 400 degrees for about a half hour. The best part? I added some honey to melted butter and drizzled it on the finished carrots. OH MY GOD were they good. I enjoyed them more than the main course! I have been roasting green beans for a few weeks now too, so now I need to try roasting other vegetables that I thought I didn’t like. Apparently the cooking method really does make a difference when it comes to taste.

Categories: Food, House & Home Tags:

Roller Skating & St. Patrick’s Day

March 18th, 2019 Comments off

We had quite the social weekend and I’m mentally exhausted now.

Saturday (03/16) B & R came over and I made dinner for them – grilled chicken breasts with roasted green beans. We then went to the roller rink for 80’s Night. We arrived a little after opening and the place was packed! We should have just left, but we soldiered on. Unfortunately we didn’t get to skate very much because not only was it crowded, but there were very young kids on the rink, as young as 4, which made it very difficult to skate. There were people going super slow and super fast and it felt inevitable we’d fall. Someone fell and broke their arm shortly after we got our skates, in fact; an ambulance came and took them out by stretcher. I only skated to a handful of songs the entire evening. B probably skated the most of all of us. R didn’t skate at all, and Joe threw in the towel around 9 pm. It definitely was the most disappointing skating session we’ve had; even the music was pretty disappointing. I think we’ll need to go back the weekend before Halloween like last year since it was pretty dead.

Sunday (03/17) our friends K & E came by for dinner. We made corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot. When we had dinner with them last time E had mentioned how much he loved it and was planning on getting some from the restaurant we were at (the one I didn’t like), so I had to step in and invite them over. No way was I going to let him eat their disappointing food. He really enjoyed dinner so I definitely made the right call. We also sent him home with leftovers. K doesn’t care for corned beef and cabbage so she brought her own tortilla-less chicken fajitas. I offered to make her something else but she’s on a limited diet so it was easier for her to bring her own food. They came over around 2 pm and left just after 7. Wookie was a bit annoying, barking at them here and there, but they didn’t seem to mind. I hope so because I want her to be good with visitors. She peed on B’s sock on Saturday because apparently both my brothers get her overly excited. She doesn’t really excitement pee when we come home anymore, but with certain visitors she does. I really wish she’d grow out of it, but it doesn’t seem likely. R told me she has a friend who has a Mastiff who does the same thing so it could be worse; imagine how much pee a Mastiff would leave all over the floor!

Categories: Family, Friends, Fun & Games, Holidays Tags:

Test Results

March 16th, 2019 Comments off

The ultrasound of my abdomen didn’t reveal any abnormalities, although apparently they couldn’t see my pancreas due to the excess gas in my belly. It would have been helpful to know that could be an issue beforehand. Hopefully that doesn’t end up being the one organ that has something wrong with it, especially because stuff like pancreatic cancer is very deadly. Moving on…

My urine was cloudy and had trace amounts of blood, but that is normal for someone with interstitial cystitis.

My blood work was mostly better than last year. My cholesterol went down, and that my ANA changed from homogenous to speckled and the antibody levels went from 1:160 last year to 1:40 this year, which barely registers as elevated. I’d like to discuss these changes with my doctor since they’re a bit perplexing. I’ve seen them remain steady or increase, but never decrease. I thought once you had autoimmune issues they didn’t just go away… right? I’m so confused.

The only thing that was in an abnormal range in a bad way was my Vitamin D. It was only 27 and needs to be 34 or higher, so I need to also talk to my doctor about taking supplements. I’m not sure if the 2000 IU pills I currently have are enough to make a difference.

Guess I’ll need to schedule an appointment on Monday.

Update 03/18/19 – My doctor’s office called to explain my test results and the nurse said my doctor wants me to take 2000 IU daily so I’ll start doing that. I’m not going to bother making an appointment just yet, although I’m still not convinced my issues that come and go are from Fibromyalgia. I mentioned a few symptoms to B’s girlfriend and she said he suffers from the same stuff. Could I have chronic lyme disease as well? I don’t want to have it, but it could explain everything from the panic attacks to losing some of my hearing and developing tinnitus. Based on some preliminary research it sounds like doctors really aren’t interested in diagnosing and treating it, and the test I took last year is known to give many false negatives, so it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have it. I just know know how much money I should spend trying to pursue it outside of the insurance. The thing that bugs me the most is feeling my as if my brain doesn’t work as well as it used to. I have so much trouble coming up with the right words for things, particularly in social settings. Not sure how much of that is anxiety, though. I might have to experiment with taking xanax and seeing whether that improves my ability to speak properly.

Also, speaking of insurance. It’s so weird because I always call ahead of time to get an idea of what something might cost me, and it’s never what I’m told. My doctor visit was supposed to be free, the ultrasound would be $17 (although the facility where I went claimed it would be $125 and suggested payment that day, which I declined), and my bloodwork was going to be $110. Looking at my claims, the doctor visit was $20, the ultrasound was $23.80, and my boodwork was $10.26. Not even close, but that puts me ahead so who am I to complain?

Categories: Health Tags:

Home & Craft Projects

March 10th, 2019 Comments off

Today Joe installed some particle board under our cabinets to go over the old contact paper that wasn’t even the same color. It’s a pretty close match and looks so much better now. Not bad for only $16! Thank you, Menards. Strangely, neither Lowes nor Home Depot carry such boards.

Before:

After:

While he was working on cutting the boards, I decided to tackle two craft projects, one of which I will reveal next month when I put out the Easter decor. The other one is a shamrock banner for St. Patrick’s Day using $2 of Dollar Tree products – 1 pack of glitter foam shamrocks and some Jute Twine. I happen to already own a glue gun and some glue sticks that my mom gave me years ago that was collecting dust in the closet. It was my first time using a glue gun, and my first DIY home decor craft, so all things considered I think the end result is pretty good even though the spacing between the shamrocks isn’t uniform (I just eye-balled it) and the one shamrock is a bit more angled than the others.

We don’t really have a lot of decor for St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve been gravitating to more neutral colors and a more minimalist look, so it’s perfect. I’m pretty proud of how it came out.

Categories: Holidays, House & Home Tags:

Best Teeth Award & Couples Date

March 5th, 2019 Comments off

Friday (03/01) we went to a new dentist for our 6 month cleaning. We didn’t care for the one we went to last year because they seemed to overdo everything in an effort to get as much money from the insurance as possible. They did a whole head x-ray which, while cool, is overkill. Insurance only covers it once every five years, so that’s pretty telling. They also told Joe he needed a deep cleaning (and refused to do his regular cleaning), which the new dentist didn’t feel was necessary. So good riddance. I do like our new dentist, although their front staff is a bit questionable – I found a copy of someone else’s driver’s license on the back of the paperwork they asked me to fill out. There were also two copies of the same form so when the woman pointed out I didn’t fill out something, I had to point out I didn’t need to fill out the same form twice. *rolls eyes*

Our hygienist was ok, albeit a bit odd and intense. When she was pointing out some plaque in a bottom tooth, I acknowledged her by saying ok, and she responded “it’s not ok”. No shit, I was just trying to say something with your tools in my mouth, you moron. Anyway…

The dentist remarked that I have the nicest teeth she’s seen in the practice, so I’ve been lording that over Joe ever since. I wonder if the relative ease of this latest visit was in part due to me actually flossing occasionally. I also started using ACT mouthwash at night.

Ever since our visit, I’ve been flossing every night, then brushing with my electric toothbrush, and then using the ACT mouthwash. In the morning I just brush with a manual brush since all I’m really doing is freshening my breath. I want my dentist’s prediction – that I’ll keep all my teeth for life – to come true.

The topic of our dentist visit came up over dinner on Saturday (03/02) with our friends, K & E. We first went to a matinee showing of The Upside starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, which was good. It’s been probably a decade since we’ve been to The Marcus Theater in Addison even though we’d drive all the way there from Oak Lawn when we were first dating. Eh, I’m not all that impressed. Our friends prefer it, so we gave it a shot, but it’s pretty expensive. Our two tickets were $19 whereas at the mall by us it would have been $9, or $15 at the other theater we like with the reclining seats.

So dinner was at a restaurant we had eaten at once a decade or so ago and never went back. Well, now I know why. I ordered the ribs and fried chicken combo with a side of mac & cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. NONE of those things were very good. The chicken was dry, tough, and flavorless, plus not all that warm when it came out. None of my food was, although Joe didn’t have that problem (he also ordered fried chicken), so maybe mine was an older batch. The ribs could have been cooked longer, plus I didn’t care for the sauce they used. The mac and cheese was worse than Kraft taste-wise, and the mashed potatoes tasted possibly fake, plus were cold (my butter wouldn’t melt). I felt bad because our friends really like the place, and eagerly wanted to know what I thought. I had to be honest and say I wouldn’t come back, lest we end up eating there again. It felt especially awkward because they were paying (we had paid the previous time we went out), but I didn’t go into detail like I have here. K is pretty blunt herself, so hopefully she wasn’t offended by my polite distaste for my meal.

So anyway, about that dentist visit discussion….

E mentioned how he flosses daily and was giving Joe so much grief over not doing so. But I ended up giving E grief because he admitted he flosses in the morning. I’m like what good does that do after the food was sitting between your teeth rotting all night? How much you want to bet next time I see him he’ll have switched to flossing before bed? He’s conscientious like that. In fact, E and I tend to be alike whereas K and Joe are. Both E and I are always cold and have to pee frequently, whereas K and Joe can hold it all day and night and are always complaining about being warm. The similarities don’t end there either, and have become a joke how we need to switch SOs.

Other notable weekend activities:

Created a cute candlescape in the dining room with the candles I got on clearance last year.

Dropped off three boxes of donations at Savers.

Purchased dried sweet potato treats for Wookie at Home Goods, which she loves.

Decluttered my nail polish into one container instead of two. They just barely fit, and my plan is to try some shades that are questionable and throw them out if I don’t like them or if the consistency has gone bad. At some point I might just start getting my nails done professionally since my home jobs last 2-3 days at best before starting to chip.

Categories: Friends, Health, Movies Tags: