My goodness! What happened to November? Seriously, where the heck did it go?? I could’ve sworn November just started, and I still have a long list of crap that I planned to get done before Thanksgiving, but obviously that didn’t happen. =\
Before I get off topic, let’s talk about this rust colored little number I got from forever 21 a couple weeks ago, which is unfortunately already sold out (waaaahhhhh!!!). I’ve been loving rust this season (which is why I just ordered two rust corduroy jumpsuits from F21 too…they’re linked in the carousel if you want to check them out:)). I figured this would be the perfect Thanksgiving outfit since it basically fits like a potato sack and hides the food baby. That also means that maybe it isn’t the most flattering piece on a shorty like me, but it’s certainly better than sporting a Turkey Day muffin top, right??
Speaking of Thanksgiving…what a crazy turn of events that was for us. Earlier in the month my parents somewhat surprisingly decided to spend Thanksgiving at our house. I had been inviting them for the longest time, but it didn’t really sound like coming to Charleston was an option for them. I hadn’t seen them since last summer (2017), so I was sooooo happy when they told me they were coming:)
So here’s what else ended up happening….
As I just mentioned, my parents decided to come AND also stay in my actual house, which is basically a miracle bc ever since they got their motor home years ago they never travel up here without it and annoyingly feel like they’re imposing if they’re at my house for more than an hour.
Then on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, while I was on the phone with my mom when she called to tell me that her and my dad had just gotten on the road to start their trek up to South Carolina, my sister beeped in on the other line to ask if my invite to her still stood, which of course it did, and that’s when I found out she was already packed up and on the road heading up here with the kids (yay!). I was definitely NOT expecting this. My sister is going through a divorce right now after 20+ years of marriage and I figured it sounded like a major long shot for her to be able to make the long drive up here for just a few days between work and dealing with her piece of crap ex. Yada yada yada….we decided we wouldn’t tell my parents so her and the kids’ arrival would be a surprise.:)
Right when I got off the phone with my sister I texted my brother (he’s the poor middle child), who’s an Air Force pilot stationed in North Dakota, and asked if there was any chance he’d be willing to get a last minute flight out for the holiday since everyone else in our immediate family was going to be here (and he’s already scheduled to work over Christmas, so we definitely won’t see him then). He’s super cheap, so I knew this was a MAJORRRR long shot, but like 20 minutes later I shockingly got a text from him with his flight deets for the next day. Clearly I love surprises, so I told him not to tell anyone he was coming. Of course I had to tell Michael since we would now be having a house full of last minute guests, which was pretty nerve racking bc Michael is always spilling the beans.
Amazingly it all worked out perfectly. My sister and her two kiddos arrived about an hour after my parents got here late Tuesday night, and of course my parents were pleasantly surprised. And the next night my frugal brother sprung for an Uber so nobody would be suspicious of my sudden departure from the house to go pick him up at the airport, so instead he was able to walk right through my front door and completely shock everyone. Seeing him show up was the absolute last thing on the planet anyone expected. My niece and nephew adore my brother (he’s way more fun than I am around kids;)), so they were so thrilled their “Uncle Johnny” came to visit.
The smartest thing we did to prep for thanksgiving was deciding to order the entire dinner from our local grocery store. Michael happened to see a brochure about their prepared holiday meals, and it seemed that it was actually a way better deal than us trying to make everything from scratch. Not to mention the time we’d have to spend making it, which would be precious time not spent enjoying my parents (who I haven’t seen in over a year). Thankfully I convinced Michael to order enough food to (supposedly) feed 28 people back when we were only planning on having 7 (Michael, me, my parents, my mother in law and her husband, and my sister in-law), and thank goodness he listened to me since we ended up with a house full (and still ended up having leftovers for dayyyysss, so it’s a good thing we had some extra eaters show up!). I was nervous the food would taste store-bought (even though it obviously was), but it was actually delicious and 1000x better than anything I could’ve made.=\ If we hadn’t told everyone ahead of time that the food was pre-made by our local Harris Teeter peeps, nobody would have ever guessed it. If we’re hosting again next year, we will definitely be ordering again. Sooo much less stress, and we would’ve spent twice as much money for way less food (we had two friggin turkeys and two huge prime rib roasts, plus loads of yummy traditional sides….all for $200).
The holiday would’ve been perfect if it weren’t for an emergency trip I had to make to the vet at around 4am on thanksgiving morning to bring our little brindle piggy, Gertie, in. We still aren’t sure what caused her symptoms, but I literally never went to bed Wednesday bc I was up all night with her in the living room trying to figure out if she was just being a whiny baby bc she wanted to
visit annoy all our house guests during the night, or if she was having a reaction to some sort of toxin, or a response to pain. I knew it was time to go to the emergency room when she put herself in her crate, which she absolutely hates bc we only use it for time outs when she’s being bad, and she didn’t want to come out of it…..even after my brother came down stairs to see what was going on. When I put her on my brother’s lap she just continued to tremble, pant, and whine and scurried away from him…definitely NOT normal for this little attention hog. She stayed at the emergency clinic for treatment and observation, and I got home around 7am, took a two hour “nap” until 9am, and then got up to start prepping the house for our Thanksgiving meal scheduled for 2pm. Again, THANK GOODNESS we ordered everything bc I wouldn’t have been able to pull off a decent meal otherwise while dealing with Gertie’s medical crisis.
Dinner all went great, and at 5pm I got the call from the clinic that Gertie was stable and the day-time doctor said she wasn’t given any medications all day, so she felt like she was ready to go home since they weren’t really doing anything for her. Great news! Except after leaving our thanksgiving dinner and guests to make the 40 minute drive to go get her, as soon as we saw her we knew she wasn’t ready to be discharged. She was still panting (it sounds more like hyperventilating to me….especially when it’s super cold outside and panting makes no sense), whining, shaking, and just behaving really oddly. We told the technician we couldn’t take her home bc she still had the same symptoms that caused me to bring her in. I felt terrible bc the doctor discharging her was trying to get home for the tail end of thanksgiving, but she kinda had to talk to us to see why we wanted to re-admit Gertie, rather than dumping the paperwork on the next shift.
While we were waiting to see the doctor Gertie kept losing her balance and would have to quickly side-step to keep from falling. As if that wasn’t difficult enough to witness, while the doctor was in the room Gertie lost her balance and face-planted into the floor….twice! Poor thing just fell forward smashing her squishy little face into the floor. So soooo heartbreaking to watch. I was worried that her terrible frenchie spine was causing some of her symptoms (we’ve been through disc surgery with our other frenchie, Gracie, so I’m super paranoid about it….Gertie had an MRI last year so we already know her spine is a disaster, but that’s pretty common for frenchies).
The next morning (Black Friday) my dear friend who’s an oncologist at the same clinic was there seeing patients and she gave Gertie lots of extra attention for me and let me know that she seemed like she was back to normal, but the night-time ER doc (the one who admitted her when I first brought her in) told my friend that she was definitely having some issues throughout the night, so it’s a good thing we left her there. They ran blood work and did some other diagnostics and nothing has provided any answers. Their best guess is that she ingested a toxin, which is an even bigger mystery bc I’m such a crazy helicopter dog mom….there’s just not a lot of opportunity for them to get into anything at our house, nor is there anything for them to get into. After monitoring her all day, they discharged her Friday around 4pm, and thankfully this time she really was back to her crazy ass self.:)
As an aside, if you ever consider getting a frenchie or english bulldog, insurance is an absolute must (unless you’re a multi-millionaire). Seriously though.=\ The reimbursement check that we’ll get from just this one emergency vet bill will cover our monthly premium costs for all three dogs for an entire year. And this definitely isn’t the only reimbursement check we’ve gotten this year, so basically the insurance definitely pays for itself…and then some. This year was surprisingly a cheap year too, though it isn’t even over yet….knock on wood. Gracie is actually supposed to have her palate trimmed soon, but our regular vet is in the process of building a new clinic that should be done this month, and me being my paranoid self wants her surgery done in the fancy new clinic, but I also want all the kinks worked out there before they operate on my baby. Last year we had around $15k in non-routine veterinary expenses between Gilbert’s cardiology care before he passed, Gertie’s palate trim and nares (nose) resection, an emergency visit with Gertie when her anal glands became impacted, and her MRI (that’s just what I remember off the top of my head). Our insurance covers 90% of the bill for all accidents and non pre-existing illnesses (minus the exam fee), so we’d definitely be in the poor house without it. The year before we had Gracie’s back surgery, which was over $5k, and Gidgie’s eye surgery, hernia surgery, bladder surgery, post op eye care for the rest of her life, etc etc etc. Honestly, if I had any breed of dog I would get them insurance. The premiums are usually less expensive with mixed breeds, or less medically problematic breeds (as compared to frenchies), and now that I know how it feels to not have to hesitate due to financial concerns when it comes to our dogs’ medical decisions, I never want to go back to feeling like I’m not doing enough, or taking shortcuts in diagnostics or treatment in order to try to save some money, or having to foot a giant bill. Our poor kitty isn’t insured (he’s too old for me to get coverage) and I feel super guilty every time I cringe at his bills, or question the necessity of diagnostic tests.
Whew….this post has sure gone off the rails! I guess this is what happens when you take over a week off and have way too much of a whole-lotta nothing important to say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’ve already written wayyyyy too much, so I guess I’ll leave you with a very belated Happy Thanksgiving:) I’m so thankful for this little outlet and all of you who are willing to read my rantings!
Did anyone else have an unusual Thanksgiving (whether in a good way, or bad way)?? I’d love to hear about it!