March, 2023

March turned out to be a busy month. I took Sif in for his first dental cleaning at a new highly recommended vet clinic in Glenwood City. Luke of course was a ball of nerves, as most of us pet parents are whenever our babies have to go under anesthesia. Sif did great though and only had to have one tooth extracted. We got him some doggie ice cream to celebrate being so good and to try to buy his forgiveness for having to hide all his toys for a few days while his mouth recovered. There is nothing, in particular, to report about Siegward and Alvina other than they are just as adorable (and sometimes sassy) as ever.

We did not make it to the Twin Cities this month for our new-to-us restaurant experience but we did meet up with Luke’s family at the Shanghai Bistro in Eau Claire. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that their Rainbow Roll was fantastic! So was everything else though, too. It’s great to finally find a restaurant closer to home that I can get excited about. One Friday night this month I cooked up an old recipe I had for enchiladas in honor of a dinner night with Luke’s parents. Luke’s mom made a rice and beans dish to compliment the enchiladas and everyone agreed it was a delicious meal. Afterward, we adjourned to the living room and enjoyed watching Where the Crawdads Sing. Overall, it was a nice and relaxing evening.

March 16th marked Cole’s 2-year death anniversary. I won’t say it was easier than last year, but I do feel like I’m doing better at balancing grief with my day-to-day life. I still miss him beyond measure and I still can break down into tears when I look at his pictures or when I’m feeling particularly lonely or struggling with some sort of life event. Those are the times when I was most grateful to have his presence by my side. He brought a kind of comfort and calm that can’t be matched. I’m hoping to one day have another companion of my own to travel with when the time is right.

Forever in my heart.

Shortly after Cole’s death anniversary was my birthday. I hate that these two events are so close together. It makes it really hard to celebrate another year here when I’m also reminded that it’s another year that Cole is gone. I decided to do my best to celebrate my birthday by taking a weekend trip to Madison to see some friends. First, Luke and I stopped at my friend’s new place in Sun Prairie. We hung out, played with her dogs, and ordered lunch to be delivered. Next, we headed into Madison so I could meet up with another friend to get a long overdue pedicure complete with a hot stone massage which was fantastic, other than the crowded atmosphere at the salon. After we were done there, Luke and I checked into our hotel and rested for a short bit before heading over to another one of my friend’s places to hang out a bit before going to Takara for dinner. After dinner, we made a quick stop at Hy-Vee to get some cake to take back to the hotel with us which we enjoyed in bed after I took a candle lit soak in the hot tub. In the morning, after checking out of the hotel, we headed across the street to Nani Restaurant for dim sum, followed by a visit to the National Mustard Museum, and some shopping on Monroe Street before heading back home to Menomonie.

The next day, back in Menomonie, was the actual day of my birthday so Luke and I decided to use a gift card we had gotten over the holidays to have dinner at Wilson Creek Inn. The atmosphere there reminds me of an old supper club-type place. We were seated at a cozy table that had a fish tank built into the backside of the seats. It was fun to dine with the fish but sadly my main course meal wasn’t prepared as requested so that took a little away from the overall experience. Not satisfied to let that be my lasting impression of my birthday dinner, the next day Luke made me another version of the meal, this time just how I liked it. He really is a super sweet guy and I feel lucky to have him in my life.

The last week or so of the month was a bit hectic. There was much for me to do to prepare for my upcoming road trip to Massachusetts for a pet sitting job. I scheduled an oil change, did laundry, cleaned out all the winter grime and dirt from my car with Luke’s help, and packed. Before I knew it, it was time to hit the road. I planned to do the drive in three days, starting from Wisconsin, going through Illinois, Indiana, and resting in Ohio for the night. The next morning I drove from Ohio, through Pennsylvania, and rested in eastern New York. The next morning, before checking out, I heard from the homeowner that she was “violently ill” so I decided to stay put for one more day and arrive shortly before she left the next day to limit our contact with each other. The next day, I made the quick 3-hour drive to Amesbury, Massachusetts where the homeowner, doing much better, helped me bring in my bags and showed me around the house and introduced me to her cat, Trillium. After she departed for the airport, I began the process of settling into the house and making friends with Trillium. I had a lot of work to get done in the next couple days so I set up my work station first and proceeded to split my time between work and sleep until everything was done. I’m happy to report that I completed everything I needed to on time. Now I can turn my focus to exploring the area. I have lots of places already identified and I’m sure I’ll find more and more I want to do as the month rolls on. I can’t wait to see what adventures this next month brings!

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