Happy Halloween everyone! Today, I’m sharing what I’ve been up to in October!
It’s been a very busy and crazy month! I’ve had a lot to do, which has been exciting. But the weird thing is that the month had some very high ups and very weird downs! Nothing too terribly dramatic, but it’s been a bit of a roller coaster considering how steady the rest of the year has been. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to!
My October Life
I figured I’d start with the dog’s updates! Fox had his first two vet visits for some vaccines and a general check up! Well, first two with me as his mom anyway. His first vet visit was early in October and his vet looked over his vaccines, recommended some heartworm meds for him, and then gave him a vaccine too. His vet was quite lovely, as was the rest of the staff! Apparently Fox behaved very well, except that after he got his shot he did growl at the vet as if telling her not to do that again! His vet also said Fox weighs 12.8 pounds and recommended he get closer to 11. But we’re down from 13+ so that’s a great sign!
For his second visit, he had to get the follow up of the first vaccine (much like the Covid one I suppose!) and this time a tech could do it. And, since he didn’t need anything else, he got to take that vaccine in the car! The tech came out and started poking at him to try to desensitize him but he growled so she got nervous. I turned Fox to face me instead of the tech and held him a bit while she gave him his vaccine. He growled again but didn’t do anything else. After that, we were on our merry way!
I think the most annoying thing about that vet is how long they take to get to my dog. I always set the appointments to be at 4:30pm so I have time after work to take him out and then drive over, and I always check in about ten minutes early. But then they take 30+ minutes to get back to me to tell me they are ready! I am always left wondering what the point of setting up the appointment at 4:30pm was then! Should I just set it up for 4pm and tell them I’m there but drive over for 4:30 or something? Of course, I’ve only had two appointments so it’s hard to judge just from that but it’s still annoying to think that I might have to deal with that again for the next one!
Oh, one more thing! I enrolled Fox in some dog training! I went to the first training this past week and it was a “humans only” sort of class. There are four other dogs in the adult class, so I’m excited for Fox to get to know other dogs but worried he’ll bark at the other dogs too much. I really want to get him used to meeting other dogs or humans and to learn some commands, as he really doesn’t seem to know any! The humans only class was mostly to train us on what to expect though! We got to know the instructor who shows her dogs for obedience and agility, and she very easily gives advice on anything we ask, even if it’s not related to the class. For example, she gave us tips on crate training and even playing fetch with the dog! It was pretty funny during the class though when she talked about how our dogs would behave on walks and wouldn’t pull us down the street. At that point I told her that honestly my case was the opposite and my dog doesn’t want to walk so I am the one pulling him! Luckily she reassured me that we would fix that. The other people in the class seem nice and the instructor has been training for years, including another older dog for another class attendee and the dogs of the mom of another class attendee. I can’t wait! Oh, she also made it very clear that only positive reinforcement is allowed in class. She said we’re not allowed to get mad at the dogs and take it out on them and she didn’t approve of anything besides positive reinforcement. That was nice to hear too!
Oh, one more update! I took Fox shopping for the first time! We went to PetSmart, TJ Maxx, and Michaels. PetSmart went fairly well but when a dog started to approach to say hi Fox barked and scared him off. Poor friendly dog! Again, I’m hoping the training class helps with that. With TJ Maxx and Michaels, I have previously checked and they both had said they were pet friendly. Their general brand is but individual stores can vary so I did call ahead to check back when I had my puppy niece for Camp Cuddles. I didn’t call ahead this time but I do double check from time to time. Fox behaved very well for both of those stores! He doesn’t seem to mind people, especially since they keep their distance when shopping due to the ongoing pandemic. But I’m sure if another dog had approached he probably would have barked and at that point I was prepared to leave with him right away if he didn’t quiet down so an employee wouldn’t have to kick us out. Oh! During that trip I did buy my next bujo too!
Shopping with Friends
Early this month I mentioned to a friend and coworker (the one who told me about my current job!) that I had a dream that I had gone shopping and found a great new rug! When I woke up I had been a bit sad to learn that I hadn’t actually found a new rug. My friend said we could go shopping as she need stuff for her home and kept saying I could find a rug. I eventually laughed and told her I don’t actually need a rug! I had just had a dream about it but yes, I would join her. She invited a former coworker of ours from our old company to join us and we met up in Schaumburg. We ate lunch first and chatted before we headed to the store to shop. At the store our former coworker/friend spotted the rug section and pointed it out at which point I had to explain again that I don’t actually need a rug! It was a lot of fun to be able to get out and have a hint of normalcy again as I really don’t eat at restaurants often anymore. It is allowed, it’s just that I don’t! So that was very nice and it was fun to shop with my friends.
Apple Picking with the Sister
My sister randomly invited me one day to go apple picking with her and her college friends. I decided I would join in! We went to a place in Union, Illinois, which as so far from most of us! The friends that had picked the place live out there so it made sense for them even if the rest of us had quite a journey. Unfortunately those places weren’t pet friendly so all the pups stayed home but it was nice to see my sister, her roomies, and then some of their other friends. I had met some of them before but others were new to me. We all had a ton of fun talking and they got to know me a bit too which was quite nice of them. One of them had a girlfriend who also wasn’t a college friend and everyone was super inclusive of her as well. They were a great group! Once we got to the place though, we weren’t able to go pick our own apples as their orchards were picked already, so we walked around the small orchard for a bit, then bought stuff at their store. After that a few of us pointed out we’d passed another, larger, orchard about five minutes away where we saw a ton of people driving in.
At the second orchard though, there was a fee to get into the area since it was more of a farm/park experience. We didn’t want to pay to get in so we instead bought food outside of the orchard and sat at a picnic table and chatted. The place was more family oriented so it wasn’t quite what we wanted either but we did know we went late in the apple picking season, so we sort of weren’t too surprised! Hopefully if the group goes again next year I still get an invite and the place is closer though!
So, almost two weeks ago now my old Google Pixel 2 broke. I think I’ve had that phone since 2018 or so, and it had been acting quite strange lately but not strange enough that I felt I had to hurry to replace it. I had been casually considering it for the new year though because it was happening more often. Things like the phone shutting down and claiming low battery, only to show 30% battery when plugged in. Then it also started lagging a ton. Then, when I would plug it in to charge it would shut down and refuse to turn back on until I unplugged it. But then, one Tuesday morning, I went to lock my phone and it shut down. After that, it would only show me the first logo screen, sometimes the second logo screen, but then it would shut down again. It did turn on to the lock screen once but otherwise it completely refused to boot up again!
The next day, Wednesday morning, was the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro reveal event. After watching it and liking what I saw from the presentation, I preordered the Pixel 6. At this point I was still hoping the 2 would boot up again to get me until the new phone arrived but nope! I finally got my new phone this past Thursday and THAT was a struggle too!
It arrived, I booted it up, logged into stuff and connected to the wifi, and it was going well. I eventually put in the old SIM to my phone, and it refused to connect. I chatted with Sprint and tried using the new T-Mobile SIM they had previously sent me, and nothing. Finally, it connected with the new SIM but then about a minute later it unconnected again. I got transferred to someone else (on chat), and eventually the eSIM worked. It was such a struggle though! If I had known it would take so long (about an hour and a half), I would have just gone to the store, and even said so when I connected to the chat. It was just frustrating that they had me on the chat so long instead of just connecting the old SIM like I wanted.
Oh! I also got a free pair of Pixel Buds with my preorder and I love them!
Dia de Muertos Activities
With Dia de Muertos coming up, I participated in many fun activities for it! The first two were free through a nearby park district. The surrounding areas send out their park district booklets to my house so I finally decided to sign up for some of their stuff. First, I did a sugar skull decorating workshop. I think the activity was meant to be for families, so whoops! I showed up a bit early and sat down to wait. Apparently the class was supposed to be full but almost no one who registered showed up so parents chaperoning their children joined in and a family also dropped in without having registered before. I think the group that did the event was stressing because they did let the parents/non-registered people decorate a sugar skull but were worried if everyone else showed up then they’d run out. The other people never showed though. It’s so disappointing when that happens!
I did enjoy the educational portion of the class, which I hadn’t expected. I thought it would be more of a “just get to decorating” sort of thing but instead we watched a few videos and the kids answered a few questions for the presenters. The decorating didn’t take too long, but it was fun! I do think the presenters were a bit annoyed though that so few people showed up when they had a full workshop planned and it did come across despite their best efforts. They were quite nice, but I do think they were a bit negative due to that though.
The following weekend I also went back to the same park district to go to their Dia de Muertos Celebration. It was more of a mini fair and I was excited to go. It started at noon but I didn’t show up until about 3 because I had another event to attend prior to that (more on that one in a bit). Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that they had scheduled presentations because they never advertised it with any sort of schedule! I arrived and realized the last presentation were traditional “folklorico” dances had started at 2:30pm and the small theatre had already filled up so I could only watch from the doorway with other late arrivals. If I had known, I would have tried to get there a little earlier! I would have missed the other dance group and the mariachi anyway, sadly, but I could have made that last performance if they had published more information prior to the event. It was so disappointing!
Also, the weird thing was that the event was supposed to go until 5pm but it seemed like everyone was leaving and wrapping up after the dances ended. I think a lot of people who showed up had been there for the dancers and left after they were done. Plus, the other activities were all asking for payment such as the face painting or other sugar skulls to decorate (the same sugar skull people were there). There were a few vendors in the main building and I wandered over to the next building and realized there were more vendors in there, including another library regular that I know! I would have missed the other vendors entirely if I hadn’t wandered over just to see what may be going on over there. I guess I did appreciate that the park district tried to celebrate and did the event, but I just wish a little more effort had gone into the planning and promoting of the event.
One last event I attended was a virtual event through the Smithsonian Museum! It was branded as a Dia de Muertos event too but ended up being all about folklorico dances. It was an hour long presentation where they did talk a bit about the history of Dia de Muertos super briefly, then switched to things to note on the dances they were going to show. Then they just played a series of videos of folkorico dances. I was kind of disappointed by that too as the dances weren’t live at all but it was still cool to listen to and watch.
This was the event I mentioned earlier when I talked about the Dia de Muertos Celebration! Forest Bathing was pretty much a guided meditation walk at a nearby forest preserve. This program was hosted by my local library and my librarian friend had been trying to get me to attend for multiple seasonal sessions. I finally managed to make it to one and I really enjoyed it! I think it really was a great activity for my goal to create peace in my life.
We started with guided breathing and light movement. We then were given a cup and told to pick up (non-living) stuff we find that caught our attention. We later were able to use the items we gathered as “offerings” to bodies of water as well as making a nature artwork together. I really liked the walking portion and this entire first part! The part that I thought was sort of silly was that we were told to go find a tree and talk to the tree. It would have been one thing to be asked to go say “hi” to a tree but we were told to have a fifteen minute conversation with the tree! As one of my coworkers said after I shared this with her was “wow, that’s a long time for a one sided conversation”. So instead I just watched the people who were arriving to the forest preserve, including a little dog who reminded me of my Fox.
At the end we sat and had some tea and a snack provided by the guide. She said she had researched stuff that naturally grew in the forest preserve, bought those items, and made the tea for us. I think she said dandelion root, raspberry leaves, and there was something else that I already forgot. It was so good!
Despite the silly tree thing, I would totally go again to forest bathing! The next one is likely in the spring, as everyone politely refused the idea of a winter one. It was a bit of a spiritual activity, on top of a nature walk. Oh, and a lot of people from Tai Chi showed up so clearly we are all on this journey towards peace and intentional living together, even if they may not think of it that way! And we managed to recruit another forest bathing attendee to Tai Chi! What influencers we are!
Finally Finishing These To Do Items
So I thought I’d lump a few things into this section! These are things I’ve been meaning to do for ages but kept putting off.
First up, I renewed my passport! Or, at least, I sent it in with the required stuff. It expires in this next week so I for sure waited super last minute to do it. I would have done it this past summer but I thought I might go to Mexico so I wanted to keep it a little longer. Then I sort of forgot until very recently! I finally mailed it in and I hope I don’t get denied if it is opened after it expires. Wish me luck on that!
Next, I finally closed out my old 401k accounts! I had one from my most recent job at the online university and one from my old event management job. My new job doesn’t offer a 401k until one year of employment, unfortunately. But my old events job one was being charged crazy fees and so I had to move it. I opened a rollover IRA account and moved all my funds there. It was stressful as I was worried I was going to mess up something and it was a lot of money to mess up! But luckily it all worked out and I was able to get the funds reinvested into a new Target Date fund with my new account.
I am part of a book club at my library, which focuses on non-fiction books. We had picked a book that we thought would be great for spooky season! I finished the book but we all hated it! Lots of people, the librarian included, didn’t even finish it. We just really didn’t enjoy it and we finished discussing our problems with it after about 15 minutes into our 1 hour discussion. So instead we started talking about other stuff! The book touched on grave robbers who would sell bodies to scientists in the 1800s who were studying the human body so we talked about if we would donate our bodies to science or not. Most of the attendees are older, and one of them had said he’d already figured out everything to do so. He shared his experience in finding an organization and how he put it into his documents too. One of the other attendees said her parents had done the same thing and she told us what she could remember about the process. It was pretty cool! We also talked about cemetery tours or local spooky activities that people used to attend pre-pandemic and such. Before we knew it, the hour had passed and we picked our next book, next book club date, and went on our merry way!
I wanted to share a bit of NaNo here because I’m part of a write-in event this year! My library has decided to host virtual write-ins for NaNo, so I signed up to both help out a bit and attend. Yesterday was our “kick off” meeting. Only myself and the librarian showed up to the kick off, despite multiple registrants so hopefully there is more attendance during the month. Since it was just us two, we talked about our plans for NaNo, our writing processes and experiences, and other stuff! This is the same librarian who does the tai chi class, the artist lectures, and a few other programs I attend. We also talked about other upcoming programs and we are in the process of scheduling a lecture that I will be presenting too. More on that as more details get worked out!
So that is what I’ve been up to for October! Hopefully November is also exciting and fun!
Thanks for reading!
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