April 04, 2023

Dog-Sitting in Illinois

Jerry and I are finally home after a week at my sister's house to take care of her dogs. She and Shawn actually went to California to Shawn's treatment center for his one-year sobriety anniversary! He's been doing so great--he's had a lot of big changes recently and he's managed to get through all of it without drinking, and I'm super proud of him.

One big change is that Jeanie and Shawn are moving permanently up north to their cabin. Shawn was able to retire and they are excited to be able to be up north full-time. It sucks for us, because they'll now be ten hours away instead of six, but I'm happy for them.

Our week was long and uneventful, so unfortunately I don't have much to write about it! Jerry and I weren't sure until the last minute whether he was going to come with me and in the end, it worked out that he could. I was glad--I think it would be nice to have a few days completely by myself, but I would probably get lonely pretty quickly, especially since it was someone else's house and none of my usual stuff was there.

Joey did so good in the back of the car--I completely forgot he was there most of the time!

When we got there, the dogs naturally had to do the three way butt-sniffing greeting...

The weather was pretty bad the whole time we were there. There was actually a tornado warning at some point and we could hear the warning sirens. We were alerted to seek shelter, so we took the dogs in the basement. Joey and Bentley, who had been quiet and lazy all day, suddenly came to life in the basement and started chasing each other. (Not the best place to get wild.)

The first evening, we went grocery shopping (eating out is way too expensive, so we decided to eat out just one time--at a vegan brewery!). The grocery store was enormous and I'd never been to it before; it was fun to look around and see all of the things we don't have at home. We bought some healthy stuff--no junk at all, really--which was totally unlike any trip we've taken before, haha.


Asian pears, and they were beautiful-looking Asian pears! I was SO happy.

I knew I was eating way too much, however, and I was sure my weight was going up. We still decided to go out to dinner anyway. The brewery is called Pig Minds Brewing and it is 100% vegan (food and drinks). I ordered something that sounded delicious AND healthy--a Spicy Korean Tofu Bowl.  Jerry ordered a patty melt, which definitely wasn't healthy, but it was MIND-BLOWING delicious!

Patty melt with tots

He also ordered a flight of their on-tap beers. He was thrilled, to say the least.

I took a couple of bites of his patty melt and we both agreed it was the best burger we'd ever had, vegan or not. Jerry went as far as to say it was the best bar food he's ever had! The picture doesn't do it justice.

My meal was amazing, too--cauliflower "rice" (I know it's a fad thing, but I'd never tried it, so I figured it would be fun to try something different), with crispy tofu, sautéed Brussels sprouts, carrots, a mildly spicy Korean sauce topped with green onions and sesame seeds. I couldn't stop exclaiming how good it was!

Other than the grocery store and Pig Minds Brewing, we actually didn't go anywhere. We had several movie/TV marathons. And since Jeanie and Shawn are going to be selling their house, Jeanie asked if I would be interested in caulking. Haha! Only I would find that to be a fun project to work on while on a trip. I stripped the old caulk from the kitchen counters, the sink, the bathroom vanities, and the bathtub--then I applied new caulk to all of it. It was happy with how it turned out! Hopefully Jeanie and Shawn thought so, too.

We didn't get to see them because they left Wednesday morning (we didn't get there until around 1:00) and then we had to leave super early yesterday morning because Eli had his first baseball game (which ended up getting canceled due to lightening halfway through Eli's at-bat!). I was hoping to get to see Jeanie and Shawn, but I'm sure we'll go up north this summer sometime.

I've been ridiculously overwhelmed and stressed out since we got home--I didn't reply to texts, phone calls, emails, NOTHING for a week and now I don't even know where to start. I'm actually behind on all of those things anyways, but now it's just been a week with zero progress. I'm actually sitting in the bathtub while I write this--the tub is empty, because I don't like baths, but when I need quiet/alone time this is where I like to go. So weird, right?!

Anyway, the dogs got along great (we brought Joey with us). Joey and Bentley (one of Jeanie's bassets) are apparently getting old because they didn't play nearly as much as they used to. Jeanie recently adopted a senior/special needs basset named Walter and HE IS THE SWEETEST DOG EVER. I offered to trade Joey for him (kidding). He was so chill and followed me around and just wanted to snuggle all the time. When I was sitting down, he would bury his face as deep as he could into the crook of my elbow or knee.

When one dog got attention, the other two wanted attention, too, so this ended up happening a lot:

I don't have many pictures of the dogs because it was impossible to get them! Every time I would grab my phone for a picture, they followed me. When they started to play, the pictures turned out super blurry. So I didn't get many.

Sweet, cuddly Walter

Overall, I'm glad to be home (I can't even DESCRIBE how much I missed Duck!) but being home also means that all of my responsibilities are just waiting for me. On top of all of the stuff I have going on (causing me to be overwhelmed), Eli's baseball season started and he has about 40 games, many double-headers, this season (which is only two months long). I like to go to his games (he's excited to be starting catcher on varsity this year) but good grief--I don't know how I'm going to get anything else done! The timing is rough.

Well, it's back to the grind now and my posts will go back to normal. I'm probably not going to post a weigh-in tomorrow because I can *feel* the weight I gained while I was gone. Next week, I'll share what the number on the scale was this morning--it was scary! Haha.


  1. Welcome home. I could feel the overwhelm building while you were away because I know that feeling all too well. One email at a time. Big hugs. We missed you.

  2. I'm glad you had fun on your "vacation", but truly don't understand how you can be so overwhelmed by a few emails and texts. Just sit down like someone who has an office job, and work on it for 8 hours every day until it's done. It's really not that overwhelming unless you don't do anything about it. And yes, it is weird that you sit in your bathtub to write a blog post in a house that has adults living in it. No one is screaming, crying or nagging you for anything, right?

    1. Were these remarks necessary? Seems like someone felt the need to be mean. Save opinions if & when asked.

    2. Chris, I have no idea whether you know Katie in real life or not, but what I truly don't understand is why you'd choose to spend your time and energy writing critical comments on blog posts online. She's a real person with a life you see the smallest glimpse into through her blog. Maybe you were having a bad day or maybe this sort of behavior is your form of fun, but just because you don't have the same struggles as someone else doesn't mean those struggles aren't valid.

    3. Why read/respond if you aren't interested? I love sitting in my bathtub (water or not!). Everyone has different oasis's, and things that overwhelm them. Where's your blog where you share about your personal life?

  3. Well Chris, I seriously doubt that Katie needs you to "understand" her feelings of overwhelm nor does she need you to give her advice on how You think she should fix it. And frankly, if she chooses to sit in her bathtub to feel peace, or even her cat litter box for that matter, she doesn't need Your opinion on that rhetorical question. Hiding behind your keyboard doesn't allow you to be judgemental. SMH

    1. Im, thank you for coming to Katie's defense. Katie always has to hold me back when I want to defend her against ridiculous comments like that. It's nice to see I'm not the only one.

  4. Sounds like a great time. Sometimes a quiet vacation is just what's needed. What that serves vegan food? What a great find.

  5. What an incredibly rude comment above. Katie, I am sorry that people are so unpleasant and presumptuous. I would never walk into someone's home and make a rude and judgemental comment like this to someone; it amazes me that people come into your online space (your blog is another 'home'), and say things they would NEVER say to someone's face. And the reason they'd never say it to someone's face is because if anyone else was around, there would be immediate consequences to rudeness like that. You do you, Katie. I'm glad you had a good time and are back home now.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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