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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Life Lately

Hey guys. I have so many blog posts in my drafts my life has been a roller coaster lately. If you follow me on Instagram you know we have been dealing with a health crisis with Phyllis. I was going to post about it in the middle, but couldn't find the words. I was so afraid that we were going to lose her. Things have turned around, but that whole saga deserves its own post!

As soon as I had recovered from that, I was signing severance papers at the job I've had for most of my adult life. I know it is an opportunity to find something better, but at the moment I am feeling sad and out of my element. This is not something I was expecting.

Hopefully things will get back to normal around here soon. We've had enough excitement to last through the end of the year at least!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Estate Sale Report!

It has been a LONG time since I went to an estate sale. 6 months in fact. I don't even look at the ads anymore because I want to get through our house clean out (slow and steady) before I start bringing home more stuff. But a friend sent me a message telling me about an amazing sale in town that I couldn't miss. The ad led with the fact that the home owners had owned a vintage store in California and the pictures were very enticing, so Travis and I headed there on Saturday. It was the last day of the sale, but there was TONS of stuff left.
Now I DID take lots of pictures of this cool house. But I didn't notice until the end that I had left the SD card for my camera at home. *Womp womp* I put a few cell phone photos at the bottom of this post, but here is what we brought home!
You wouldn't believe the yard art they had at this house! I only got that owl and the skunk, but I wanted so much more. I always pick up those wall squirrels if they are a descent price. I have a bunch hanging in my craft room. I love the style.
Some picks from the 50 cent kid's jewelry table! Miss Piggy roller skating was a must. And how could I leave behind that MJ glove!?
There was a shed full of cool little toys. That bagpipe player is a coin purse!
Pom pom fox with sleepy eyes? He's coming home with me!
Travis found a whole bag of starburst silverware. We're going to replace some of our plain stuff with these cuties.
Christmas crafting supplies. I have a few plans for this holiday season. Hopefully I'll get to them.
I Love a kitchen witch! They are so weird and kind of ugly but still cute.
I didn't notice until we got home that she is a magnet! Perfect.
And these barrettes! There were three packages and I convinced myself I didn't need them all. My best friend went to the sale later and she bought the other package! Perfect!
I wanted these deer. Really bad! But we have a set like this already. They were only $45 for the pair. A pretty great deal.
Display cases full of toys!
There was a lot left in the house. I wonder if they will extend the sale. The prices were pretty high on lots of things. I bet if they did 75% off they would clear out a lot more of the house.
I'm regretting not getting this big concrete dog. He was $11 and about waist high. Travis wasn't into him though.
We did get a plastic swan though! I replaced the one I bought at goodwill years ago. It was in really bad shape and the head snapped off when I picked it up! Travis got that brown vest too.
It was really fun going to that sale. I miss them. Maybe I'll be back in 2016, and I'll be able to resist buying every single thing I like.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cummins Falls

Cummins Falls has been voted one of the top ten swimming holes in the country, and you know I love a swimming hole! We've talked about going a bunch of times, but it is the same direction and about as far from Nashville as Rock Island, which you know I LOVE! Labor day weekend was beautiful here in Tenneessee. The temps were in the 90's and that might be the last hot weather of the summer so Travis and I decided to give it a try.
When we got there we couldn't believe the amount of cars. HUNDREDS. We had to circle 6 or 7 times to find a spot. Then we were in a huge crowd down to the trail.
We weren't sure what to expect. First you walk down a hill with lots of switch backs then there is a long walk through water back to the falls. It was a little weird. There were people carrying strollers! Why?
We finally round the corner and see the falls! And so many people! I know, I know, it was a holiday weekend. But it was insane!
The waterfall is over a pretty amazing series of rocks that you can climb up pretty safely. There is also a pool at the bottom for swimming. It was deep enough that we couldn't touch in the middle. Really gorgeous place. I read some tips that coming earlier in the day helps beat the extreme crowds.
Awkward selfie. I learned my lesson in Asheville and wore contacts. Maybe someday I'll finish going through those photos.
The beauty of the falls made up for the crowds. look at that place!
Always sitting under the waterfalls.
We stayed maybe an hour? Not worth the drive this time. We spent more time walking there than swimming. It was just so crowded you couldn't really hang out and there were SO MANY barking dogs. Nonstop barking. If your dog doesn't like other dogs, please leave them at home.
Before we left Travis made me sit under the waterfall. Verdict: Beautiful place but I definitely like Rock Island better for the hangs. We might try Cummins again next summer at a different point in the season, on a less crowded day. 
Have a summah!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dog Day at Rock Island

Here we are, back at our favorite swimming hole, Rock Island State Park. The summer has turned rainy here in the South so we're trying to get in all the swimming we can before the temperatures drop.
This time our friends Aubrey and Beiser came.
And they brought their precious pup Kabuki. He is a boochi, aka Boston Terrier/ Chihuahua mix. He basically looks like a short Boston and it so sweet! Look at that smile.
Travis was the king of rock jumping as usual.
Aubrey was brave and jumped twice. She ended up getting a concussion from hitting the water so hard but we didn't know until the next day. Scary!
Look at him!
Travis has great diving form.
He wasn't into swimming. He was kind of into riding on a float like a little prince.
Varuca likes swimming a little more each time she comes out. She has gotten so big!
It was such a beautiful day!
He mad.
Mani cam.
Usually we just stick to the one spot but we did a little exploring this time. It is a beautiful place.
Everybody climbed this cliff. Aubrey and I stayed at the bottom with the puppies.
Awwww baby Veruca.
A few more jumps and it was time to go.
It was a tiring but fun day.

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