Sunday Morning 8/21/2022: Now We Are Three

One little guy had a long, exhausting, and confusing day but still started settling right in.

We are dog owners again! We left Nashville at 6:00 am yesterday morning, and enjoyed an easy, scenic, four-hour drive up to Odon, Indiana, to meet and take possession of our new little ShihPoo puppy, Kaipo (Hawaiian for “sweetest boy”). Odon is an Amish/Mennonite farming area, and our daughter-in-law was fascinated with and thrilled to see the big farms running without electricity or motorized vehicles, horse drawn buggies and wagons, and the traditional clothing and cooking worn by members of both groups. If we were in love with Kai before we met him, we were even more in love once we set eyes on him. We spent about thirty minutes at the kennel getting acquainted with Kai, learning as much as possible about his routine, picking up all his paperwork, and making our final payment. Then it was off to the Dutchman’s Diner in Odon for a buffet lunch of homemade Amish-style cooking (we ate outside). Kai was a trooper the entire way home, considering the shock and confusion he must have been experiencing after being separated from his friends and the only home and people he’d ever known. We arrived home around 4:00 p.m., and since then Kai’s either been exploring or sleeping – currently his favorite spot is curled up next to me. He barked for the first time when Brett woke him up from a nap, has eaten a small amount and drank a bowl of water, and slept in his crate next to Brett last night. It’s going to take a few days for him to figure things out, but he’s off to a good start. Oh, did I mention we’re in love? And that he’s perfect and exactly the dog we wanted?

Scenes from yesterday’s trip to Indiana. Apparently it isn’t an official road trip for us unless there’s a big storm somewhere along the way.

Otherwise, this past week was far less hectic and messy than the one before although there were still plenty of small jobs that needed to be taken care of. We are very, very close to being done though! Our electrical outlets in the living room are working again , the screen was replaced on the door out to our patio, and some pictures were hung along with our Japanese Boys’ Day banner. The only thing still remaining to be assembled is the credenza, but only half of it showed it up last week! To say that was disappointing would be an understatement, but the company stayed in contact with us as they tried to locate the missing box, and when unsuccessful they sent a second order. We’re looking for that to arrive this coming week so we can get the task finished and our TV up off the floor.

Getting the Boys’ Day banner hung went a long way to making our apartment feel like home.

We had dinner together with our son and family on Wednesday evening and then said goodbye to him and our grandson; they departed for Japan early Thursday morning. They made it home safe and sound and are now in the process of settling into “bachelor life.” They’ll be back here in December, but for now we’re on full support duty for our DIL and granddaughter. K is an absolute character and a joy, and we are having loads of fun with her.

This morning I am thinking about:

  • What we accomplished this past week: 1) We took care of many small tasks this past week, especially organizing all sorts of odds and ends that were lying around and getting some pictures hung. 2) Other than the credenza, Brett finished assembling everything. 3) I used my new air fryer for the first time this past week and I love it! It’s a great solution for the two of us, and will help keep our electricity usage down (instead of always firing up the oven). I also used my new slow cooker. I liked the InstantPot, but honestly prefer the slow cooker. 4) We had a great trip up to Indiana yesterday and back to pick up Kai.
We’re looking forward to visiting Carter House and learning about the Civil War Battle of Franklin Trust.
  • What we are looking forward to this coming week: 1) Our main priority this week is getting to know our puppy, getting him used to the apartment and us, taking walks with him, playing with him, and so forth. 2) We are planning to do a first bit of local exploration this coming week: weather permitting, we’re going to explore the nearby historic downtown area of Franklin. There are some Civil War sites to check out, and the central area is filled with interesting and fun shops and restaurants. There will be no shopping for us though other than the window kind, and dining out will be limited to glasses of tea or an ice cream cone. 3) I’m looking forward to going back to Aldi at the end of the week and getting our shopping done once again without paying sales tax.
  • The ways we saved: 1) We continue to eat what we bought on our shopping trip the week before (except for getting burgers one day and having lunch in Indiana, and we still have plenty enough on hand to get us through this coming week. 2) We shopped at a local pet supply store for necessary items for Kai, and not only received a discount but a free bag of healthy treats for him. 3) Brett tracked down and will be receiving a $160 refund from the dentist he saw back in Portland in 2019 (!) and I received a $130 refund from my dentist on Kaua’i. Both amounts are going into our travel slush fund. 4) ATM charges of $15.10 for international currency exchanges while we were in Mexico were refunded to our checking account; those also were transferred into the travel fund. 5) We saved $220 by having the kennel take care of Kai’s neuter before we picked him up. His shots were also considerably less that what we would have paid at a local vet.
This kitchen rug is one of my favorite new items in the apartment.
  • Good things that happened: 1) The best thing of all was finally meeting Kai and adding him to our family! 2) I wanted to get a cushioned mat for the kitchen, but found a small rug at Lowe’s for less and bought that instead. The colors and size are a perfect fit for the kitchen and the rug makes me happy every time I see it! 3) We wanted to add a picture rail in our bedroom versus hanging individual pictures, but were wondering how we could do that without putting holes in the wall. Surprise! Command turned out to make a picture rail! I am becoming more and more amazed by the Command hook products – we also found very classy metal Command towel hangers this past week to use in the bathroom. 4) We had a full day of errands last Monday, and treated ourselves to cheeseburgers and hand-made shakes at a Sonic drive in. I’d never been to one before (or even heard of them), but they’ve been a longtime favorite of Brett’s. We enjoyed our meal and look forward to eating there again (as a treat). 5) We had some unexpected visitors in the green space behind us last Wednesday. We have now seen rabbits, deer, and loads of birds out there (lots of cardinals!), but I’m hoping a fox shows up. Skunks can stay away though.
I had to shoot the picture through the screen, but I was surprised when these two walked out of the woods right behind us and into the green space.

One thing I’ve been amazed by here is that any and every business anyone can imagine is located nearby. Besides the big and/or well-known ones (Target, Walmart, Lowe’s, Whole Foods, Talbot’s, REI, Macy’s, Belk’s, Sprouts, UPS, CVS, etc.) there appears to be every other business under the sun as well, as well as every restaurant chain one could think of. Although I’m glad to have so many choices and options available (I love that we can go to Lowe’s here instead of only having a Home Depot available, for example), it’s frankly overwhelming at times. Thankfully most of these businesses don’t tempt me in the least. One store we’ve never had nearby though is Sam’s Club and we’re thinking we might join for a year to see if we like it, especially since they’ve offered us 50% off of their annual membership fee. I love Costco, but I’ve always been curious about Sam’s Club, and it’s the same distance away from us as Costco but in the other direction. Sam’s Club’s gasoline prices are usually lower than Costco’s too (both are usually the lowest in the area, less than $3.35/gallon now, but we saw a Nashville station yesterday with regular gas at $3.19/gallon!).

That’s a wrap for this exciting past week! I hope it was as good for everyone else as it was for us. We’re exhausted but looking forward to a good rest today, and then getting more done next week. The finish line is in sight!

32 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 8/21/2022: Now We Are Three

  1. I love the heartland! Such beautiful photos! I love Sonic milkshakes… lol. You are in a beautiful area and so fun to see deer in your backyard!

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    1. We had a great trip up to Indiana. My dad is from there (just north of Indianapolis), but the area we were in looked very similar and it was like going home for me at times.

      The Sonic shakes were awesome! We wanted banana, but they didn’t have bananas that day so we got fresh strawberry instead. I want to stop for another tomorrow!

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  2. I very much enjoy reading about your adventures. Congratulations on your new addition, Kaipo.

    I was in Nashville/Franklin a few years ago for a wedding at Arrington Vineyards which is a beautiful spot not too far from you.

    Carol

    p.s. – I live in Westford, MA which is a few towns away from Andover, MA that I saw you mention recently.

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    1. We are very much enjoying our new addition! He’s still figuring things out, and we have puppy pads all over the apartment, but he is very lovable and affectionate.

      Did not know about the vineyards so we’ll check them out – we’ve started a list of local places we want to visit, and we’re always up for a winery visit.

      Loved visiting Andover when we were there! Love the whole area, really and wish it was more affordable.

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  3. Your new pup looks a lot like ours! Fletcher saved our mental health during the pandemic (we adopted him October 2020) and continues to be a joy.
    If you’re concerned about social issues-check out the company policies of Sam’s Club vs. Costco.

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    1. We joke that Kai is more of a PooShih than a ShihPoo. You can still see the ShihTzu in him but he really is built like a toy poodle. We are really enjoying him – he’s a good dog, and very affectionate.

      We probably won’t join Sam’s Club. I have done more reading and there are several reasons, including social issues, that makes Costco the better choice for us.

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  4. Wow, you’ve had a very exciting week! Sounds like there is going to be so much to do and see in Nashville.

    Kai is cute as a button!!

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    1. Last week was exhausting but we got so much done. We’re making a list of local places we want to visit during the week, and working with our DIL to make a list of more distant locations or weekend trips we can do together.

      Kai is very cute! It was so hard to tell his size and such from the videos we were sent, but he’s perfect for us.

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  5. And he’s here, everybody!! Such a cutie! You’ll need a new picture of the Occasional Nomads😃

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    1. Finally! We are so excited and happy that he’s finally with us, although we’re only getting started with training, etc. and he’s still figuring things out as well. He loves to take walks, is very affections, and is a very good dog and well socialized. He is perfect for us.

      New picture will probably be taken at Christmas, when we’ve got someone to take it of us. And yes, it will include Kai because he will be traveling with us!

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  6. Your granddaughter is a cutie and she must bring you both a lot of joy. Your puppy is adorable

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    1. Get ready – there will be more pictures! He is a very cute dog. We love that he looks more like a toy poodle than a ShihTzu, although you can definitely see the ShihTzu genes as well.

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  7. Oh Kaipo!!! What a handsome lil guy!!! He’s one lucky pup!!!

    Sam’s Club has always been our choice over Costco. Shorter lines for sure and typically common choices.

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    1. Handsome, affectionate, well-mannered – he’s got it all! Now, if we can just get him house-trained. We’re off to a fairly good start, but it’s going to take a while, especially at his age (starting at 6 months versus 8-10 weeks).

      We’re going to check out Sam’s Club, but will probably stick with Costco – we’ve been members for over 30 years.

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  8. Such a cute puppy! Love the pics! And your granddaughter is adorable. So nice that you get to spend all this time with her. My kids spent a lot of time with my parents at that age and it’s a bond that lasts forever.

    My last job took me to S. Indiana a LOT, and those roads are very familiar. Beautiful country in the summer. (Is that church in Jasper, by chance?) Also, we are big fans of Amish chicken. We have a meat store near us that carries it, and it’s so flavorful compared to other kinds.

    Nice to hear you’re getting settled in and all is going well.

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    1. We are completely head over heels in love with our little guy. He is a great fit for us and our current lifestyle. K and Kai adore each other and love to play together already. She’s over here every day after school for a couple of hours so they’ll get plenty of time together, and she’ll be spending this whole weekend with us. I grew up close to my grandparents and forged strong bonds with them.

      The church tower was in Jasper! We got off the freeway and came up 231 and over to Odon. DIL just marveled at a way of life so different from regular American life, and like nothing that exists in Japan. When we were stationed in Southern Maryland, there was a large Amish and Mennonite community in the area, and we purchased meat and produce from them. My mouth still waters when I think of the melons they grew in the summer.

      Just a few small tasks left to go – today is the first day in I don’t know how long without something in my Amazon shopping cart or anyplace we have to go to find something. We’re relaxing with our puppy!

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      1. One of my customers in Jasper told me his grandfather helped build that church. The roof is distinctive. 🙂

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      2. It was! The church is currently under renovation and covered with scaffolding. We were surprised that it was a Catholic Church – never seen one with a clock tower.

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  9. What a cute new puppy! It sounds like you are getting settled in to your new apartment. It is always interesting to see wildlife in the backyard, thanks for sharing the pictures of the deer.

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    1. The wildlife here really has surprised us because in spite of all the vegetation it still seems too urban for wild animals. We realized though that we won’t be able to set plants out on our patio because of the deer – unless we put them closer to the wall they can poke their heads through the rails and nibble on everything. And, away from the railing means reduced sunshine, so not so good for the plants. 😦

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  10. I have only been to Franklin once but specifically stayed there and went with my daughter to a civil war museum/plantation. The supposed only private civil war cemetery with both both union and confederate soldiers. Specifically after reading the book Widow of the South. Which describes it. I loved the book and the tour. I’d encourage you to check into it.

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    1. Was the museum/plantation called Carnton? It’s already on our list of places to visit! The other day we were driving home and saw a plantation home, but I don’t think it was Carnton. Plantations are historically interesting to visit unless tours leave out or minimize the presence of and work slaves did to maintain the house, grounds, lifestyle, etc. We’ve visited some that included tours of the slave quarters, and discussions of what they did and endured, but others that left the presence of slaves out completely!

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  11. The new addition is adorable. If you decide to join Sam’s…download the app so you can use the scan and go. The lines (even for self scan) are usually terrible and you can skip all it. I’d probably drop my membership if I couldn’t use that.

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    1. Our little guy is already a treasure – really a good puppy. He’s still getting acclimated here but improvements are happening every day and he’s healthy and happy. Best of all, so far no chewing other than his toys and of all things, his puppy pads.

      We’re going to check out Sam’s but will most likely stick with Costco.

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  12. Love Kai. such a cutie. My cousin who lives in North Carolina just sent me a picture of 4 deer in their backyard. They also have a lot of bears.

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