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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:

Doggie Weekend

September 10th, 2017 Comments off

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 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:

Grooming Wookie

July 24th, 2017 Comments off

I may have accidentally stumbled upon a way to make grooming Wookie less of a battle. Of course, we’ve been down this road before with mixed results. For instance, when I learned that putting her up on the kitchen counter would keep her from running away and she would calm down, I started doing that, but that was short-lived. Giving her treats while grooming her works, but only if Joe is around to do so while I work on brushing her. She eats the treats frantically, however, so I know she’s still stressed out by the process.

The problem is how easily her fur mats once it gets just a little longer. I can brush her in the evening and the next morning there are new what I like to call mini dreadlocks on her legs and near her tail. So of course it’s painful when I try to get them out. I try to hold the fur close to her leg so the brush isn’t pulling and hurting her, but despite having touched her legs, paws, face, etc. since she was 8 weeks old she still doesn’t care for it. Sometimes if the mats are too large I will just cut them off even if it causes her fur to look a bit weird in that spot because it’s easier and less traumatic for her.

In addition, she has watery eyes and gets tear stains. The stains themselves are the least of my worries even though they are unsightly, and I bought some Burt Bees liquid to clean them, but my main concern is how her fur gets very crunchy in that area if it isn’t cleaned and combed daily. She really really hates the comb near her eyes and nose and will nip at it and my hands. She bit me pretty hard last week (although she didn’t break skin) and it really made me feel dejected because I’m merely trying to take care of her and she’s biting me. I know I took it too personally, but it’s hard not to feel that way when the dog you love is biting you.

I have this pair of gardening gloves I purchased years ago to wear when handling Steve the rat. Joe wore them when Wookie was stung by a bee so he could hold her paw while I removed the bee stinger. It dawned on me that I should wear them when grooming her to see what would happen. As soon as I started brushing her legs she of course started biting at the brush, and by default my hands, but since it wasn’t hurting me I kept going. She stopped trying so hard after that. In addition, I had left her toothbrush on the rug and she started chewing on it. She was so focused on the toothbrush that I was able to continue grooming her, even getting some of her muzzle, and she didn’t seem nearly as stressed as she is when Joe is giving her treats. That’s an added bonus since she can eat through quite a lot in one session. On top of that, I didn’t have to put her up on the counter which tends to make her pee from anxiety.

Pretty much the only thing I don’t have too much trouble doing is brushing her teeth because she likes the toothpaste. That being said, it’s really difficult getting her back teeth since I have to kind of hold her down and pull on the sides of her mouth to get back there. Of course those are the teeth that already have plaque buildup so she’s definitely going to have to get a professional cleaning at some point to the tune of $165. Other than the dental chews sold at the vet, I’ve been told Greenies and Dentastix don’t do squat so that explains why even though I give her those I haven’t seen any improvement in those teeth. The vet-approved chews are a) more expensive and b) not nearly as appealing to her for some reason. Figures.

On the plus side, now that I’ve discovered her desire to chew on the toothbrush, I will be using that when brushing her. I just hope she continues to enjoy it.

Also, she was cut very short today. Isn’t she adorable?

I will try to keep brushing her daily even though it won’t be necessary so she can form new associations with the brush and not fear it since it shouldn’t hurt if she isn’t matted. Honestly, I think some of her reaction is just her being sensitive since I can be brushing an area with no mats and she still tries to scoot away or bite.

Categories: Pets Tags:

Home Depot is Dog Friendly

July 17th, 2017 Comments off

Did you know you can bring your dog to Home Depot? I remember reading it somewhere so I called the one near us to confirm and they said yes. So after a walk with Wookie at Community Park in Carol Stream, which we hadn’t visited before but won’t be returning to because it sucked, we took her with us into the Depot to look at transition pieces. We never put one in between the dining room floor and the living room carpet but we need to now that Wookie exists because she was chewing on the carpeting. As a temporary fix we moved the couch back a few inches to hang over the transition and put a throw rug down in the walkway. Unfortunately, not only did they lack pieces that would match the color of the laminate in the dining room, they were extremely expensive compared to the prices at Hobo ($30+ compared to $13 per piece, of which we’ll need two). So we’ll be heading back to Hobo at some point so we can stop using the stupid throw rug which I’ve nearly tripped and killed myself on more than once. 

Honestly, I was pretty surprised when the Home Depot employee I spoke with indicated they have dogs in the store all the time since I don’t recall ever seeing one in all the times we’ve shopped there. Coincidentally, as we were leaving the store a couple was coming in with their Chihuahua. The woman glanced at Wookie in the cart and kinda chuckled. I wonder if they had also never seen another dog there as well. 

Categories: House & Home, Pets Tags: