Osteoarthritis

I thought I was going to have to put Liana down last night. She was in so much pain that both of her back legs wouldn’t work properly. She refused to eat, couldn’t stand, didn’t want any treats at all. I hurried to give her medication. That morning I’d rush ordered Cosequin joint supplements for her, which, of course, she did not want at all, and I knew that she wouldn’t when I opened the bottle and it did not smell appetizing in the least. Damn it all. Such a huge bottle too. Maybe Gable will benefit from it. She did not want to go downstairs to go to the bathroom, she only wanted to go out the front door and then wanted to go into the woods, refusing to go back into the house. I think she wanted to die again. When I finally hefted her back into the house, she didn’t want to attempt any stairs except for the one that leads upstairs to her sleeping bed. 

I admit, I lost my temper with her last night. When I get scared, I get mad, and when I get mad, I do things I don’t mean. It’s scary to watch her go through this. Really and truly, I thought I’d have to put her down. Thankfully I heard her walking around last night and she didn’t cry or anything. The medication had worked. Finally, I could let go a little and sleep, knowing that she was OK. The way she was last night, I didn’t think she’d make it to the new year. I’m taking her to the vet in the next few days to see if they have better medication for her and any recommendations for a better glucosamine supplement that maybe she’ll eat. Otherwise I’ll just break it up and make her take it like a pill. Another expense, yes, but a necessary one. Just when I thought I had my finances down pat. 

At first I thought it was another spinal thing, but the more I watch her and work with her, the more I’m convinced it’s just very bad arthritis. The medicine keeps working wonders on her and that’s a good sign that it is what I think it is. I’ve ordered her a mobility harness to help her up the stairs and to support her hindquarters. 

I can’t forget about Gable. He’s just as old as she is and when it’s his time, he’ll be even worse…she is much MUCH more tough than he is. Lighter too, by almost 20 lbs. 

Even if she doesn’t make it into the new year, when she tells me it’s time, I need to just listen and let her go. I’m being selfish here, but like I said before, when the medications no longer work, when she no longer wants to eat, when even the juiciest grilled steak no longer entices her, when squirrels are no longer interesting and worst of all, when going on walks no longer excites her, then it’s time. 

By God, I hope she makes it past Christmas at least.

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Monday Once More

And once more, I am going to work. Uuuugh. This working on Monday thing is getting old…says that spoiled hygienist. Haha… It makes me remember why I only work 4 days to begin with: I wanted to spend more time with my doggies, my family, and also because I value my body. My one goal in life to be as happy as possible. Working not full hours allows me to do that.

Liana was feeling better there for a while, but today she’s back to limping and being terrified of stairs. I think I’m going to go ahead and buy a chondroitin supplement I think she might enjoy the taste of. Turns out it more than likely not her spine as her hip. When she fell and when Gable knocked her over, it must have damaged the joint. Her right hip is painful and when I pinpoint it for a massage, it’s one of the deep areas around her hip. She limps and doesn’t like to lay down on that side, lying predominantly on her left side. She’s depressed, being unable to do things. She doesn’t want to play with toys, she doesn’t want her boxes, she’s starting to not want her food again. She does, however, want to go outside and be with us wherever. It’s so painful to watch her dominant ego disappear. Some days are better than others. This morning she was very slow, but that might coincide with the rainy weather expected tonight. Or maybe not rain, but drastically colder weather. 

She’s grumpy, but I can’t really blame her. Grumpy and depressed because her body is failing before her mind or heart are. It makes me think about humanity and growing older. I correlate it with the experiences my older patients tell me about, and it’s the same. Their mind still works similar to what it was, their heart wants to do this and that, but their body says a firm, no. I already feel that way now at times, which is only the tip of that iceberg. Keeping up with workouts has helped tremendously. I’m taking care of her now in her feebleness, frailness and old age. The physical and mental toll it’s taking on her is heartbreaking, but there’s nothing to stop it, only things to try and alleviate it. She still does not want my help, even though she begrudgingly asks me with her eyes sometimes. Hah…maybe it’s good practice for the future. 

…I think I’ll understand how she feels when I get to her age in life, because I’m going to be the same way, except with no one to help me through it, just myself. 

I was thinking this weekend about that selfishness I tend to gravitate towards when I’m feeling depressed, myself: why is it that I’m spending my life taking care of others? There’s only ever been one person who took and takes care of me, and that’s my mom. I look after her now, I owe her that and more, but what about everyone else? When is it my turn to have someone take care of me? Everyone is so ungrateful about it too, so I feel taken for granted, I feel used, and it makes me want to just be mean to everyone. But of course, I can’t. And I won’t. What is life if not to be in service to others? If my goal is to find happiness in life, then I’m certainly not going to find it caring only for myself and my wishes. It’s worth it to see them smile, to see them happy, to see them elevated. I guess that’s my gift.

I’m so sad, the more I observe my baby girl. I shouldn’t forget my boy, but she’s the one with more pressing issues. As I watched her struggle this morning, I finally allowed myself to admit that at some point along the near future line, she’s going to reach the point where she’s going to give up, that it’s going to be too much for her, where the meds don’t work anymore, when even if it did, it doesn’t matter because there’s no point in living if it’s just misery to her. That I’m going to have to make that decision, that terrible, heart-wrenching decision…the one I don’t want to have to make and wish that it could be made for me, naturally. I’ll wait for her to tell me, and they say that you’ll just know when it’s time. I dread it so much, but in a wholly selfish way…my tears know no end, I wallow in grief for days on end. Tears will spring up at a moment’s notice (I already can pretty much cry at will), and I’ll just be depressing to be around for a while. 

In regards to my house, I want to sell it soooo baddddly, but I decided I don’t want to and will continue to take the financial hit for Liana. Until it is time that she no longer has interest and sees no benefit from it, or until I lose her, I should keep it. We shall see starting tomorrow. As of right now, my mom and brother will take her down tomorrow, and I won’t see either of them until Thursday when I make it down. It makes me nervous, I admit, especially with her in her current physical state, to let her away from me for that long, but I know it will be a disaster if I don’t let them take her. I’m anxious. I’m worried. Ugh. 

Wow, no more time. Off to work I go.

First snow of the season!!!

Whoo!!! Pretty! Last night walking the dogs, the sky seemed very snow-like. Bright night clouds, a very wet and cold atmosphere. And today, voila! Right away it stuck to the road and the sidewalk. I wasn’t sure if it’d be cold enough, but there you go!

While I think it’s gorgeous and I LOVE snow, it’s less enjoyable when you have to drive through it. I don’t worry about me as I enjoy it personally, it’s the traffic and inevitable crashes and such that bother me. Just have to leave early today. Hopefully people will be given the option to telework today instead of driving. That will help a lot. The dogs continue to and always will love snow because usually I like to run them around in it. :)

Liana is healing along and doesn’t complain as much, except, as usual, last night when I was not present and in the bathroom, she screamed in pain again. This is what happens when I’m not around and my family does things. She’s OK, because, again, I refuse to let her be this poor lump. As long as her limb isn’t broken, she’s OK. Rubbing and massaging the area and rest and a pain medication and she’s fine. She appeared in my room this morning and made the stairs last night fine. She’s doing well. Though, even if she’s making it better, it doesn’t mean I’m ignoring that there’s a problem. She’s tough enough to handle things. I expect that of her until she can no longer do it. More of a worry is her being addicted to the pain medication. That and the fact that I notice she’s taking advantage of us loving her and giving attention when she’s hurt. Pretending like she can’t make it up the stairs when I’m not around so that she doesn’t have to climb it, or pretending she has trouble lying down without help, but when you ignore her long enough she’s made a nest and is sulking in it.

In the meantime, while she’s super tough with the pain, Gable accidently stepped on one of her small play boxes last night and screamed, cried and all around acted like he’d just stepped on hot coals or broken his leg. He needed kisses and comforting and then suddenly he was better. LOL. Men.

Looks like I have to hurry up and get this morning routine over today. Gonna check traffic and go for it. Sigh.

Thanksgiving this year for us is going to be extremely low-key. Just the 3 of us and the 2 dogs. Not that I’m complaining too much. Less to wait for people and such.

My laptop battery life is getting shorter and shorter.

Prepare for several days of work from hell! My only hope today is that everyone decided to cancel instead, but these days no one wants to do that because you can’t get back in. I hate the holidays around work because the doctors are always on edge and arguing and otherwise stressing out about nothing which drives everyone else batty.

Since I’m working a 5-day week this week, today should be my Friday and my body knows it. Ugh. Pray for me.

Tuesday

I worked yesterday. It was only from 7-1 but it was like a full day and it went quickly! I could get used to hours like that, you know? It was also Veteran’s Day which meant not too much traffic. All in all a strange day for me. The worst part about the timing was that my mom as off work and typically I’d be off and that meant we could wander off on her rare day off and do things. Alas.

Since Sunday, Liana had been terrified of going up stairs. We figured it was her leg acting up again, not surprising given how rainy is was going to be, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I came home yesterday and apparently Gable had knocked her over by accident in a fit of excitement and made it all that much worse. It was just like last year with her neck. Must have been a lot of pain and she was very stressed out. Good thing I came home and a good thing I didn’t follow the doctor’s orders last year to give her all of the gabapentin because the gabapentin and Rimadyl regimen from last year worked wonders on her by this morning. was very stressed out too. I HATE seeing her in pain or Gable in pain. It’s the worst thing. Didn’t sleep well last night at all because I just kept waiting to hear her yell out in pain trying to shift around and was trying to plan on how I’d do things and then worrying about her being home alone on Thursday and also about what we’re going to do about next week. As it turns out she must have healed well over night because I woke up early to give her extra time for the walk this morning and while I was in the bathroom, she was up and about, honking outside my door. That made me so happy and I was even more happy to see her excited to go and eager to attempt the stairs. She feels better and I have to make her slow down, but my heart felt light to yet again see that transformation in her will to live.

Just like last year, yesterday must have been unbearable pain (she is a super stoic dog) because I walked her outside to let her pee which she wanted and needed and she went to the corner of the backyard and gave me that look. I’m so glad she found it difficult to lie down because otherwise she would’ve just lay down and given up, ready to die. Again. Just like last year. I think that pains my heart more than seeing her in agony, her defeatist attitude. I know that’s natural, that she’s had a good life and that in the dog world what good are you if you can’t contribute to the pack, only slow it down? Gable was picking up her slack and becoming her superior as is written in the code of Dog. I refused to let her do that. I made her take each step one by one, with me behind to push and help her along (like a PT patient), and after enough of that she eventually started feeling better because of the meds and made it up the shorter flight on her own. My mom was freaking out telling me that it’s a bad idea to let her out on a walk, but I had my phone and I REFUSE to give up on her. I want to demonstrate to her she can do it, to give her that self-respect and prove that she can contribute to this pack still. Her appetite was still good and she wanted to go. Eased her down the stairs (sad nature of townhomes) and a short time into the walk, she was so excited that she could still walk!! She even tried to run a little, testing out the leg. Everything was normal except that I cut it short to prevent excess strain and also because I didn’t realize kids are still coming home at 4pm from school. Her mood was so lightened, that’s when she decided she wanted to try going up the short flight of stairs (split level entrance). Success! Later that evening, I took them out downstairs for last pee, and while the longer flight was too scary still, she made it up the shorter one and –get this– went up the 2nd story flight all on her own!!! I was elated!!

The power of carpeted stairs, people. I know everyone likes the hardwood, but you know what? Old people, children and pets have much less fear and more stability on carpeted stairs. Falling on carpet is painful, but not nearly as much as hardwood. The beautiful dark hardwood here is covered in rugs because it’s too slippery for dogs. Especially old dogs.

I am happy, writing this. I’m happy that she’s happy. The dark circles under my eyes are proof of my anxiety. I know that one of these days, the ending won’t be so happy, but until that fire in her burns out for a real and legitimate reason, I won’t give up on her and refuse to let her give up without at least trying.

Now the real question is how to calm the crazy red brindle…always causing problems that guy. He gets very worried about her when she’s like this. They’re both so cute.

I bought her a wagon, just in case, recently. Hopefully I won’t have to use it too soon.

 

Friddaaaay

It’s been really nice having my co-worker back. The office runs so much more smoothly that way, and more than a co-worker she really is my friend even if we don’t hang out outside of work. I can tell she’s chipper to be back too. Without her in the office, I don’t mind working with other hygienists and my usual coworkers (temps aside) are good company, but the familiarity ends there. It becomes just like work at that point. We actually care about each other with the closeness of friends. I care about the others too, but not in like a “sister” way. Now if only finding a soul mate was that easy.

Speaking of which, I was reading some stories in my “Lovestruck” story app and the main protagonist was going through a phase where the love interest guy was treating her very coldly. It was eating her up inside and before I was even aware of it, tears had gathered at the corner of my eyes and my heart felt deeply sad. When I became conscious of what was happening, I realized that it hit so close to home and I guess I’ll never get over it. It’s not something that bothers me or that I think about every day, not even every week or month, but sometimes when something reminds me, then I have to tell myself that, see? It was never meant to be. All the signs, all the pain and the tears. All the times he cared nothing about you and only about himself. Like you were just a tool, a means to an end for him. It bothered me that the character wasn’t strong enough to let it slide off her back, but it bothered me more that I was unable to do so. This app is so much better now than the Chapters app I was so taken with for a while. There was strange shift in the Chapters app wherein it suddenly became very trashy. All along, the Lovestruck app was better written, but while a little trash can be intriguing, it’s been a common theme in all of the newer books to the point where I refuse to finish most of them now. All of the protagonist girls are shallow, annoying, selfish and seem to only care about sex. Sorry, that’s not how I like most of my books. Lovestruck has some steamier parts (they’re both 18+ apps) but they’re very tasteful and sex isn’t the focus of it all. The stories on Lovestruck are very well written and really capture the reader’s attention to the point where I’m like, NOOOOOO I want to keep reading!!!

While driving this week, my mind wandered around a bit (as usual) and I came to the realization with some embarrassment in regards to relationships, dealings with patients, etc, that I had been very petty in my 20s. It’s a function of immaturity and age, but it’s crazy that I felt and thought the way I did. Subsequently, it highlights how much mental maturity happens as one gets older. The yellow/red fire of youth growing hotter towards a blue and white flame. Stabilizing, less waving furiously around and seeking oxygen, but feeding and leading to the mature flame. It’s a wonder how in the history of humanity we managed to do anything. Verily, at my current age I’d already be a grandmother and considered age-wise. I will say that it’s nice to not be controlled by breeding hormones anymore, that my temper is not nearly as volatile, and that my pettiness seems to have calmed down more than in the past.

Then again it’s this age where one tends to want to give up. Time for the next generation to do things. Just let me live, thanks.

I’ve pretty much given up on finding a soul mate and life partner. More and more I am accepting that biologically I have more testosterone in me than other females (where the whole theory of having a dead fraternal twin is highly likely). It makes me rather manly at times, and there’s no arguing with my more manly physique too. Different traits most physically and psychologically. Guys don’t generally like that in a life partner. They want my hair long and feminine, they want me in a dress, they want to see me in heels and earrings and wearing nice smelling lotion. They don’t want an alpha personality, someone who likes to focus on muscle growth and can grow that muscle readily, who likes short hair and driving aggressively and fast, who only likes to wear pants and T-shirts. Or worst: can beat them at games or other activities.

Yeah. I give up. I just accept that it’s impossible to live with me or get along with me in that life-partner way.

Tuesday

Election Day. I’ve been reliably going to the polls every since the end of Obama’s first presidential term.

Mozart’s Romance is such a beautiful piece.

Yet another rainy day! I spent my 4-day weekend cooped up inside playing video games. I stopped playing Pokémon Moon again to play Assassin’s Creed Origins. Old game, but hey. I LOVE Assassin’s Creed games, even if they’ve started becoming less Assassin’s Creed and more other games in order to appeal to the masses. This one in particular is very reminiscent of Far Cry (and I’ve only played a portion of one Far Cry game) with a huge map that I’ve been busy exploring and doing instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Heh. Heh. Heh. I’m level 18 and haven’t even done the level 8 or 10 story quest.

It’s these types of games that kill my ability to play other games, you know? Because then I feel like I should be doing something useful like finishing my dog costumes before the end of the year (hello, this weekend was absolutely PERFECT to do that), or dismantling the rest of the grill to get rid of it, or donating the pedestal sink if I’m not going to sell it. And speaking of selling, I need to sell the extra Xenoblade Chronicles OST CD set I have. Or even cleaning up the backyard a bit. Maybe putting down mulch? I was so busy playing I’d forgotten to put away my Halloween lights and now it’s too soggy to do that. Maybe empty my vacation bag? Clean the bathroom? Switch the shower curtains? Get a flu shot???

I guess the only thing I actually did usefully was 2 loads of laundry, brought the plants to the basement, and got outside and walked a bit. A few times on my own for Pokemans, and took the dogs to the park.

Liana slipped yesterday in her excitement to go on a walk and that combined with the damp weather meant that she had pain in her back right leg and had lots of trouble standing up and such. I’m an absolute wreck when she gets like that and it makes me worried now to leave her at home by herself. I desperately need to hurry up and buy that foldable wagon so that I have something in the event we go on a trail walk and she can’t make it back, or even if she collapses on the walkies here and I can’t carry her back.

Maybe I should practice carrying her. Ever since I got sick TWICE in the last 3 months (good gravy) my muscle tone has not been very good. I lost fat at the beach (walking 6 miles every day will do that), but then came home and ate like 3x the usual amount and gained it all back in a week. I have been horrible about working out as it got colder. I need to do this for her. There’s no hope of me hefting Gable, but I can at least do her who seems in more immediate need. That wagon will be extremely useful. I want to try and maybe create a backpack out of it so that on bad days I have it with me. We’ll see when I get it. It’s the cheapest at Target, fyi. Amazon’s price is ridiculously higher than any other seller.

I’ve been trying as hard as I can to stay far away from Amazon. The way they treat their workers and how they do things would not be stood for if it were companies like Walmart or Target, so how are able to get away with it all? More than likely because there are so many blind followers for the convenience. It drives me crazy, too, that most of the sellers on there are actually Chinese companies that try hard to appeal. I mean, nothing against entrepreneurship, but dangit I hate when I finally get a product and it’s clearly a ripoff or an inferior thing. Been to Whole Foods lately? Ever since Amazon took over, there’s been a strange aura in the store not found before from the workers. Maybe it’s just my store. I still love their dried mangoes, though. Only place you can get them. Then again, I have a similar disdain for Wegmans.

My uncle told me once that I practice antiestablishmentarianism. Ha ha. It’s sort of true. I turn away from highly successful people, companies and things. I’ve always rooted for the underdog, though I don’t discredit the success. No, Wegman’s fruit tart is the absolute best tart I’ve ever eaten. Their crust is amazing. I see what’s good, but just because I like something doesn’t automatically mean every aspect and every decision of theirs is golden and perfect and should be revered as holy.

I think I must’ve been a rebel in a past life, or lives. I probably died early, too, for my insubordination. Or maybe I had my own followers. Maybe it’s the reason I am in love with Assassin’s Creed games.

Back to work! Hopefully this coming weekend will yield more productiveness than this past 4-day weekend.

Topsail Beach 2018

Here it is!! Finally! I can’t put it off any longer because if I do, then it will never get done. I was just looking for details on Thanksgiving last year and ever since the whole relationship debacle thing, I feel like I’ve not been very good about details. Whenever I go back to look up something, it’s not there because I just didn’t feel like writing it. I’d say it the result of a minor depression! Even video games didn’t interest me like it did. I can’t let it stay that way. My work game is back, my video game playing is back, let’s make this post right.

…if I can still remember it all.

Saturday, October 20:

SO EXCITED. We had packed things up in the Yakima Skybox with some arguing, but overall success and driven down South Friday night to ease the dogs but also to help with traffic the next day. It’s a good thing we decided to do that because later I found out that there was a major accident on 95 north of Stafford. It was rainy. My wipers are annoying, but there was no traffic. We stopped by the NC visitor’s center because I realllly had to pee. Bought a water bottle, and then let the dogs pee for a bit in the rain. Off we went again and stopped at our traditional BP gas and Chick-fil-a. Exit…473? Something like that. Then it was more driving. My brother decided to drive the entire trip. We ended up reaching there right around 4pm, checked in (since it was under my name this time) with Topsail Realty and BOOM across the bridge! The worst part of it all was driving through the back roads and seeing how much destruction was wrought and how much recovery was still ongoing. It had been over a month. Topsail itself also had lots of homes needing repairs and giant piles of debris and trash from compromised homes, but it was much better off there than inland. We reached the house and in we walked! It was very cute and quaint, though with immediate evidence of damage and new paint. We had been warned that Topsail hadn’t allowed anyone to rebuild the beach accesses properly since the dunes were all messed up still, so to be careful. She wasn’t kidding! Immediately, though, we had an issue with the modem, so no internet. Didn’t matter! First Harris Teeter run with my mom! Liana refused to eat. She was anxious the entire ride this time and not Gable. It’s like they flip flopped this year. I can’t remember if we walked out to the beach that night or not. Sleeping! The dogs were craaaazzzy excited but we all took our rooms. AAaand my mom ended up with a GIANT cockroach in her room, so we lured it down and I trapped it in a trashcan to throw it outside. I really try not to kill things. It did not manage to find its way back into the house, but I did have one more brush with it, seeing its shadow skitter by in the darkness one night.

Sunday:

FIRST SUNRISE AT THE BEACH on the trip! I was up first as usual, though not as early as I usually get up. Probably something to do with the fact that it was late October. Still, I got my first pictures, and took my dogs out to walk. Gable’s so funny, he never forgets the bur plants. It’s always hard to make them poop on the side walk walkies. I was actually glad for all the debris because it made him interested in pee/pooping. I feel bad for this one house that was still shuttered up because that was basically their pooping grounds all week. Then we excitedly waited for my mom to get ready for a beach walk! While waiting, Liana was so impatient she parked herself by the back door. It’s amazing that they remember. Every time we go we have a routine: Morning walkies, beach walkies, then breakfast. It’s been an entire year and they don’t forget. First step on the beach! Thank goodness there was a private access right next to the house that seemed unaffected by the storm because the bottom of the stairs of our house (Appel Cottage) had a makeshift fix and was hella scary. We basically just used that the whole week. It didn’t matter because there was no one next to use and no one at the house with the beach access. The beach was gorgeous. There was a lot of debris around, giant balls of dead vegetation rolled up by the waves and probably filled with dead things (Liana LOVED them), shells, trash and so many broken pieces of wood. It was humbling, depressing, but still beautiful. The dunes were completely eroded. A good 5-6 ft missing. I couldn’t help but think about how natural it is when storms erode the shores, and how humans strive to resist a natural occurrence. All of the areas that retained their thick native vegetation were mostly unscathed. Palm trees that bunched together saw minor damage, while the ones on their own did not fare well. Breakfast and off to do more grocery shopping! Topsail had added a Publix since we came last. My brother and I were hitting all of the Pokémon Go gyms and Pokestops.

The rest of the week came and went with grocery shopping, Golden Corral and other shopping at Target for water, the Dollar Store, etc. We went to Jacksonville twice. I just can’t remember the exact days we did them. Monday and Tuesday were the most beautiful days there where it got at most 78 degrees warm. It was fall, so it was expected to be cooler, but I was only able to wear my 2 bathing suits twice. It was funny because that Tuesday (or was it Monday?) was so nice there were actually other people out on the sand too! I spent an afternoon looking for shells and ended up with at least 10 fly bites. Awful creatures.

Our lack of wi-fi was dragging on me, so after a massive blowup about how I literally have to do EVERYTHING, I finally managed to call Charter and try to have it fixed. We tried to switch out the modem at the Spectrum store, but we still were only able to have either cable or internet, never both. As it turned out after having a tech guy come out, it was a problem with the main line and not getting enough signal which was why we could only have one or the other, not both. Sigh. Always something wrong with the house hardware. Last year it was the door, this year the internet.

I spent the first half of the trip reading my books, writing in my journal prompt thing, and Pokémon Go. It wasn’t until the second half that I pulled out my DS and got hooked on finishing Pokémon Moon. I think every single day there was an excuse to drive somewhere to hit the Pokestops and Gyms. It was to rain on the Friday and get cold by Wednesday and Thursday, so we took the opportunity to go sightseeing on Thursday to the USS North Carolina Battleship! I’m SO GLAD we went because even though they have to do lots of work there, too, it was awesome! We’d never even thought about doing things like that because this time it was just the immediate family and not extended family. It was just the dogs left in the house which is always a worry (because anything could go wrong!), but I purposefully waited until they were comfortable in the house before leaving for a few hours. They were fine.

It wasn’t until the very end of the trip that we went to Cora’s Deli, a local sandwich shop because for whatever reason we’d never really gone into Topsail Beach the city before. It made me really think about why we were giving business to large corporate stores when we should’ve been patronizing the locals there instead. It’s a deli inspired by and with a greyhound! The owner guy actually turned his car around when he saw me walking my pups and invited us to come. The sandwiches are GOOD too!

I ran into a dilemma towards the end where I was freaking out because my phone refused to charge. Turns out it had gotten some sea foam or salt dry on the charging thingy and it wasn’t until I picked it out with my mom’s plastic toothpicks that it was charging again. Of course by that time I had already bought a wireless charging pad and some emergency phone drying packets. Figures.

As usual, everyone hated taking pictures, but got some good ones I did. The dogs are hilarious. Gable was SUPER GRUMPY OLD MAN in the vast majority of the pictures while Liana was pretty good in them.

When it was time to leave, Liana was a wreck. She was upset, and angry, and sulky while the old man was super happy to finally go home. The trip back was, as usual, quick, and we took our traditional 473 exit. We returned South to leave the Skybox and went back North (I drove the 50 miles back) where I finally was able to enjoy a night in my own bed. Ahhh. Nothing like your own bed. Liana continued to hope we would return to the beach for the next few days. I can’t deny her that, so it seems I will have to try and make it work next year too, if she’s willing and healthy enough to go.

I dunno, I keep saying that, but these two are such happy pups, I might have them years yet.

Wow. I can’t believe how much I’d forgotten already! Next time, gotta write it ASAP! Or better yet, day by day during the trip.

If you were to ask me if I prefer off-season like that or shoulder-season like we usually go, I’d have to say…I’m not sure. I like that there was literally no traffic. That was the smoothest I-95 run we’ve ever had on vacation. Topsail is usually not full of visitors anyways, but this was even less than it would be in off-season given they’d literally opened the beach mere days before our trip. We were the very first wave allowed to come after Hurricane Florence. There were vacationers, just not as many. The weather was cool. There were warm days, and the sun was relatively warm, but I think I’d prefer it warmer than that. Certainly the dogs would enjoy less clouds and more sun. I mean, I wore shorts the vast majority of the time (well, capris). Friday rained torrents and the saturated ground ended up flooding the streets. It was kind of concerning. I can’t even imagine what it was like during the hurricane. So, given the pros and cons, I…don’t know which I’d prefer. Can’t beat the off-season price, though, let me tell you.

All in all extremely enjoyable and I just loved it. The dogs loved it too and the pictures are a great reminder of why you should always go see it in person because no picture could ever do it justice.