Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Last day in Asheville

All good things must come to an end.The last few days of our trip to Asheville had rain in the forcast so our outdoor exploring was put to an end. Good thing there are lots of fun places to go in town. One morning we had breakfast at Sunny Point Cafe. The wait was long and the place was packed! A local favorite for sure.
I had some orange corn cakes that were so yummy! I should try to make them. I wish I could have some this morning.
Travis had the vegan huevos rancheros which he really liked.
We passed the Moog factory several times and decided to visit on Saturday. We wanted to tour it, but sadly the tours only run during the week! It was still fun to play around with all the equipment.
I really liked playing with the theremin. It sounds like a UFO.
We got more donuts at The Vortex, because why not? The one in the back is mango margarita flavor!
Someone at the donut shop recommended that we go to the Grove Arcade downtown. It was mostly lame, not really our thing, but The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar was pretty great! It is a big used bookstore with all kinds of nooks and crannies that make you want to explore.
Also you can bring your dog!!! There were sleeping dogs around every corner!
I had been looking for a cool older edition of Watership Down. Perfect!
This teeny baby puppy was the star of the store. Look it how sweet! I wanted to go pick her up!
Another place we wanted to see was The Odditorium. It is a side show themed bar with cool art on the walls and weird stuff for sale. We were pretty lame and went during the day, instead of at night when there was a show.
Every wall outside was painted.
We got some mid afternoon cocktails. I had some kind of cherry cider thing I think?
The bar tender was real cute!
There was cool and weird stuff everywhere.
They even have a mural painted by the wonderful Camille Rose Garcia! I love that gator!
I had heard The Hop had vegan ice cream, and we couldn't pass that up! I got a Sundae...
And Travis got a banana split! Yowza!
When we got back to Lake Junaluska we wanted to swim in the pool but it was reserved for a special event, AGAIN! Ah well, Travis and I rented a canoe and paddled around the lake. (Well, he paddled).
That little canoe speck is us (I think. Crystal took our photo)
It started to rain so we headed back in. Ah well.
Asheville was very good to us. Anywhere with as many waterfalls I can swim under is A-Ok with me!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mirror Maze!

I guess now I have time to finish posting about our trip to the Appalachia's in the summer! I wanted to tell you about one of my new favorite things, a Mirror Maze! This is the second time we've done one and it is so fun! This time we did Hannah's Maze of Mirrors in Pigeon Forge.
Here we are watching the cheesy intro. Something about a vain princess being banished to a mirror maze and we have to find her? Or a jewel? I can't remember.
When you do a mirror maze you have to wear plastic gloves. You WILL run into the mirrors, and if they are all smudged the illusion is ruined.
We hung back once we were let out of the intro thing. We wanted to be last in, and the halls leading to the maze were so good for photo ops! This perfect green and yellow hallway!
In the maze! It is so fun and disorienting! It looks like this every where you look.
We spent a lot of time dancing! The other people going through probably thought we were crazy. It was just too fun! And that same music played over and over.
Which one is the real one! Sometimes you really couldn't tell! I would think I was walking towards Crystal or Travis and then they would be right behind me!
Crystal and I would hide from Travis. Here is his fail safe mirror maze technique.
It was so fun! Did I say that yet? Haha. Here is a very attractive photo from when we won. There are fireworks and stars and they seem to go on forever in the mirrors!
After we beat the maze, we couldn't resist a quick go-kart ride on our way out of town. I think it was around 11 pm and this place was jumping!
I love a double go kart. Pigeon Forge, you charmed me again!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My girl Phyllis

Like I mentioned yesterday we recently went through a health crisis with Phyllis. She is better now, but it was very likely we would lose her.
She had been kind of off for a while but we couldn't figure out what the deal was. She had been to the vet because she was wheezing but x-rays and blood tests didn't show anything. About a week later when I got up in the morning she wouldn't eat anything at all, not even some peanut butter off my finger. You KNOW that means something is really wrong. I watched her for a few hours until the vets office opened and rushed her straight there. That started a six day visit.
My vet has a webcam when you can watch your pet live. I was pretty much glued to it every second I could be. It was so hard to be away from her, worrying that she would die and I wouldn't be there.
She had a bad case of pneumonia. She was having such trouble breathing, and the coughing was just awful. The first two days when I visited her I don't think she knew it was me. She was concentrating so hard on breathing that she was pretty oblivious to what was going on around her. As you can imagine, I was a total wreck. She was iv fluids for days.
Her nose is so small it wasn't practical to put a normal breathing tube in for her. Our vet, Dr. Paula at Animal Ark in Franklin, rigged up this solution. A cone with plastic wrap on the front and an oxygen tube. Doesn't she look like she is in astronaut training? It was a trade off because it made her hot and stressed, but it also got her oxygen when she needed it.By the way, I highly recommend Animal Ark if you are in my area. Dr. Paula is like no other vet I've ever known. She really cares and communicated with me all the time. I felt very supported while we went through this.
The webcam was a blessing and a curse. It was so hard to watch her struggle and not get much rest. Our visits would be up and down. She would seem to get better, then get worse again. 
One day, maybe four days in I was able to be with her for two and a half hours. I got to do her nebulizer treatment, then I held her like this for about 45 minutes and she was able to go into a deep sleep. I hope it was because she was soothed by me being there. By this time she was perking up when I came to visit and she was eating. I would have sat their all day with her if I could have. 
Travis and I were stressing out so much about how much her care was going to cost. The original estimate for two days in the hospital was $400-500 and we were getting into day four with no end in site. That stress on top of the stress of her being away, and the effect it was having on Priscilla was wearing on us. After much thought and encouragement I made a go fund me, hoping to raise $500 to put towards her bill. I was so nervous about it, and worried that people would think I was asking to much, that I didn't look at it for three hours. And when I opened it this is what I saw:

Words cannot express what I felt when I saw that. I burst into tears and Travis thought something was wrong! I was so overwhelmed by the response from friends and family. It made it so we didn't have to make care decisions based on our fear of the bill and not being able to pay it. In the end we raised almost $2,000 and it paid for a huge portion of her bill. We didn't know I was going to lose my job at the time, and I'm so thankful we didn't have to clean out our whole savings account. That just adds another layer of gratitude.
On the morning of the sixth day Phyllis was going to have to be put under to get a lung culture. I was very worried about it, but it seemed like the best option to find out what exactly was going on. I got a call from Dr. Paula saying that Phyllis had stood up and wagged her tail when she saw her. She seemed to be feeling good so she wanted me to come by after work and see what I thought. I rushed right over there and ended up getting to bring her home! She was out of immediate danger and they knew she would be able to recover better at home, where she would have less stress. It was an amazing feeling!
When I got home I put both dogs in bed with me and just stared and Phyllis for a while. I am so happy that this wasn't the end for Phyllis. We still have 6 weeks of at home treatment, and we have another x-ray next week to see if both lungs are clear, but she is out of the woods.
I will never forget how my friends and family came together to support us and this little dog. She is so special to me. I hope she is with us for many more years.
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