Last week, we showed you how to make an awesome (yes, we’ll toot our own horn) DIY Raised Planter Box. This weekend, we went out and planned (and planted) our urban garden. Here’s what we got:
Red Bell Peppers
Before planting our vegetables, Joey did his homework on what soil combination to use and how much and what type of soil our planter box would need. He found the website gardners.com to be very helpful in determining how much soil to use with their calculator and the ratio of topsoil, compost, potting soil, and fertilizer. Here is what we used:
Water the soil until it starts to leak from the bottom
**We drilled a few hols in the bottom of the bed so the water could drain easier**
Unintentionally we waited a day of two before planting the vegetables and they seem to be taking to the soil well. The goal of the soil composition above is to retain the nutrients and water so the plants have time to absorb them to grow big and fruitful! Fingers crossed that is works!!
As always, feel free to run any questions past us and let us know how it works for you.
Yesterday we posted about our friends, Courtney and Bryce, who are traveling the United States in their van. They recently posted a video of the meals they eat during a typical day on the road. To celebrate (and lovingly mock) them, we thought it would be fun to replicate their meals in our full-sized kitchen and document our reactions in this 9-minute video. Enjoy! (Because you probably won’t get many more of these.)
We made oatmeal, chickpea salad sandwiches, and peanut butter stir fry! You can find more details about those recipes here, as well as see the full video from Courtney and Bryce, which gives you a better idea of how to make them.
What we learned from making their meals:
There are delicious plant-based recipes out there you can make and love to eat. (This may sound blasphemous, but not everything has to be made on the Big Green Egg.)
It’s hard to make yourself vulnerable to an audience on camera.
Documenting your life on camera is consuming, so it’s important to take moments to just enjoy what you’ve created.
We don’t live a cool, van life, so we have the time to make reaction videos to our friends’ lives, apparently.
Our friends are adorable and funny, and we love them for putting up with us (and this video).
Oatmeal doesn’t fill you up. But peaches on your oatmeal are by far the best fruit to put on your oatmeal. (Tehehehe.)
You can make the chickpea salad sandwich your own by swapping out ingredients, as Courtney mentions in their video. Melissa suggests swapping tomatoes for grapes!
Make the peanut butter stir fry with just a half bag of rice noodles for more saucy and veggie goodness! Also, dabbing Sriracha or sprinkling some cracked red pepper could add a little spicy kick.
Two people can eat on $22/day and have leftovers to spare.
We are incredibly proud of our friends, Courtney and Bryce, deeply respect what they have been able to accomplish in the last five months on the road, and look forward to seeing what else is in store for them!
$22/day for 6 meals = $3.68/meal
We went to KROGER to buy all the ingredients to make these meals, and it cost us a whopping $22, and we even had leftovers! We think that’s amazing. Courtney and Bryce get a lot of questions about how they afford to take a trip like this. It’s because they make sacrifices all the time by 1) making everything themselves even when it means the inconveniences of doing dishes at a campsite, and 2) not spending money on going out to eat along their trip. We’re not sure that’s something we could do!
The last thing we want to point out is that their meals are healthy. Yes, they have a lot more carbs than we’re used to, but because they are healthier grains, we burned through them fast – especially on a VERY hot Houston day. Typically, people make excuses for not eating healthy. “It’s too expensive or too hard to cook.” But their videos prove healthy meals can be affordable and easy (especially if you’re not living in a van).
Dear Courtney and Bryce,
Thanks for being such an inspiration! We are literally telling everyone we know to SUBSCRIBE to your page. We love you!
Although it’s been over a month since the release of the highly anticipated Incredibles 2 movie, you can deal with our late review. Pixar Animation Studios made us wait 14 years for a new Incredibles movie, so you guys can wait over a month for us to see the movie and write about it. Plus, our review is still timely, as Disney just announced the digital and Blu-Ray release dates:
Digital: October 23, 2018
Blu-Ray: November 6, 2018
On a funnier note, we thought we would look like this in the movie theater:
But instead, there were plenty of couples just like us, because this movie was MADE FOR US! Keep quiet kids, your parents (and DINK friends of your parents) want to know what powers Jack Jack inherited.
4 out of 5 stars
Let’s start with the short film before Incredibles 2, Bao. Bring on the laughs, tears, and ultimately, a gut-wrenching twist at the end, which left everyone in our movie theater in shock. Bao depicts an over protective mom, balancing the parent-child relationship, especially as her son grows up and becomes independent. It’s worth going to see Incredibles 2 just to see this beautiful Pixar short film that leaves you wanting to hug your mom and eat delicious Chinese dumplings (which hopefully do not come to life).
Despite making us wait 14 years, I think everyone will agree Incredibles 2 was worth the wait. The movie gives you a glimpse of the 17 different powers Jack Jack has acquired (Yes, you heard me correctly.), which is by far the BEST part of the movie. The film takes you on a familiar journey with a nostalgic story line. It’s best to describe as being brought straight back right to 2004. In addition to seeing Jack Jack’s new superpowers, viewers also get to see more from Elastigirl, which is definitely something we have all been waiting for.
I definitely recommend seeing in theaters this weekend – or even waiting the two months until the digital release date, but you should definitely add this soon-to-be Pixar classic to your watch list.
4 out of 5 starts
Was it worth the 14-year wait? OH SUURREE. I thought the movie was great and worth the trip to the movies. It was no surprise that Pixar did a great job on this one and made it on par or better than the first. There were funny moments, serious times, and lots of crime fighting thrills. I’m giving this a 4 out of 5 and would tell anyone in our age group who saw the first one as pre-teens/teens, you have to see this one for the millennial generations’ sake!
If I could give this book higher than five stars, I would. Honestly, I think everyone should read this book, because the world would be a better place. Let me walk you through a few of my favorite takeaways.
To really “brave the wilderness,” Brown walks us through four elements, which are each chapters in her book:
People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.
In this chapter, Brown talks about the incredibly divisive world we live, and what we can do to stop dehumanizing one another. She also includes a powerful interview with Viola Davis who says:
“We are all worthy of telling our stories and having them heard. We all need to be seen and honored in the same way that we all need to breathe.”
Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil.
This chapter explores the lesson of words being the ultimate weapon. She gives a few examples of this, but one stuck out to me most. It was about a son who verbally attacked his father for calling a neighbor he was helping “Oriental.” Instead of engaging his father in a civil conversation about how the term is outdated, both shut down. This stuck out to me, because I think the son was trying to speak truth to bullshit, but in excluding civility, ended up adding to the bullshit.
Hold Hands With Strangers.
This chapter was emotional for me. Brown talks about a few times in her life where she came together with strangers to mourn, celebrate, collaborate, and more. The one that stuck out to me was her recollection of the Challenger explosion. She was driving down FM 1960 in Houston, and a bunch of people were pulled off to the side of road. She joined them and learned the space shuttle had exploded. Together, they sat there for 10-15 minutes and just cried and grieved together. Then, they returned to their cars. Despite the tragedy, there’s beauty in coming together with complete strangers and being there for each other because it’s the right thing to do.
Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart.
This chapter is harder to explain – you just have to read it! It talks about how achieving a wild heart isn’t a one-time effort. It’s something you have to work at every day. There will be days when there are haters, but be true to yourself, let attacks roll off you, and continue your quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone.
I’m hoping to get Joey to read this one soon! It’s one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I’ve been coming back to it everyday to remind me how to be true to myself.
Two weeks ago, in early August, we traveled to Tampa to spend some time with the Daigneault family. Here’s what we did:
Saturday, August 4, 2018:
We picked up Melissa’s Nana and her boyfriend, Jerry, and went to Tampa’s famous La Teresita for a Cuban breakfast. We sat in the cafeteria, and made sure to get our cafe con leche with buttered and pressed Cuban bread. The best part about this is dipping your bread in your coffee!
Next, we went and saw Joey’s parents at the new Pach’s Place location inside the Tahitian Inn. Pach’s original location recently closed, and it was a favorite of The Neeley Family. Everything here looked great, but we were too full from our first breakfast, so we just got more coffee.
Next, we hit the road to Madeira Beach! Our condo wasn’t quite ready, so we killed some time at John’s Pass. We were still full from breakfast, but Melissa’s parents wanted lunch, so we stopped in Beach Bites Cafe, where they ordered specialty hot dogs.
After lunch, the condo was ready. We found a great one on AirBnb. Check it out here. This was our view from our balcony:
From there, we got a few nice hours on the beach before Melissa’s sister, Andrea, and her boyfriend, Jordan, arrived. We wrapped up our beach outing, and headed for dinner. For dinner, we went to Angry Pepper, where we both got fried shrimp baskets.
After dinner, we all went onto the balcony, where enjoyed our first sunset.
Melissa Side Note: Here’s a fun one of Joey making a face while I was using him as a subject to show my mom how to use the portrait feature on her iPhone:
Sunday, August 5, 2018:
On Sunday, we spent as much time at the beach as we could. We may have gotten a little burnt, but it was worth being able to soak up all that sun.
For dinner, we tried to go to VIP Lounge & Mexican Restaurant, which is a restaurant Melissa’s parents recently found on their last beach trip. However, Mother Nature decided it wasn’t the right night. The wait was an hour, and it started to storm. We tried to wait it out in our car, but VIP ended up losing power. We decided to leave and eat at the condo. We’re glad we did, because VIP’s power didn’t come back on for 2.5 hours.
There was no sunset this night, but we stayed up playing Yahtzee and Rummy, while drinking my mom’s famous slush recipe, which you can find here.
Monday, August 6, 2018:
For breakfast, we decided we wanted to go to the Daigneault’s favorite breakfast place, The Frog Pond. Every summer, Melissa’s family would vacation at the beach. After checking out, they would walk on over to The Frog Pond. They’re known for their incredible omelettes.
After The Frog Pond, we spent a lot of time on the beach. We headed up a bit earlier than our family to work on some laundry. That way, we didn’t have to take home sandy clothes and wet bathing suits. Although our skin probably needed the break!
This week, you get a dual review! On our way to Tampa to visit family, we both watched Netflix’s new movie, “Like Father.” Featuring a killer cast, including Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, and Seth Rogen, “Like Father” explores the story of workaholic Rachel, who is left at the altar on the same day her estranged father, Harry, decides to come back into her life. Drunkenly, they start to reconnect, and Rachel unintentionally invites Harry on her honeymoon, a cruise to the Caribbean.
4 out of 5 stars
Although Rotten Tomatoes only gives the film a ~50%, I stand by my 80% review. Despite having some very dramatic moments, “Like Father” had me laughing out loud on our plane ride. Not only does the movie illustrate the importance of being present, it accurately depicts a father-daughter dynamic (even though this father and daughter pair are just meeting again after 25 years). Although the movie is a predictable, feel-good reunification story (and probably something I won’t watch again), it’s a movie I’ll look back on and remember laughing. I will also remember the incredible chemistry the actors, especially Bell and Grammer, had with one another. If you have Netflix, I recommend. It’s a fun and easy 1.5-hour watch!
4 out of 5 starts
This movie was exactly what I was hoping it would be; a little far-fetched, laugh out loud funny moments, and slightly corny self-realization story line. It was a great movie to watch on a flight when we didn’t feel like reading or napping that left me feeling satisfied about how I spent 90 minutes of my life. If you are looking to escape the heat this weekend without spending $50 at the movies, look no further!
“The Pisces” by Melissa Broder tells the story of emotionally unstable Lucy, who has taken nine years to write her dissertation on Sappho. She has coasted through life on university research checks, and hits a new wall when she breaks up with her long-time boyfriend. Her concerned sister invites her to spend the summer away in Los Angeles, so she can escape her problems in Phoenix. During her summer away dog-sitting her sister’s beloved Dominic in her multi-million dollar glass box beach home, Lucy falls in love with a merman named Theo, who she meets on the rocks of Venice Beach – just a wagon ride away from her sister’s house. (Anyone who has read the book will get my wagon reference.)
I’m not one to typically be critical, but this book is just not good. Despite all the hype around mermen with Shape of Water being nominated for so many awards, this book is simple and disgusting. I felt like I was losing brain cells while reading. The only reason I’m giving it a 1.5 out of 5 stars is because there were some moments you can relate to, especially if you have ever been a female in the modern dating world. However, this tragic book touches on so many disturbing moments I feel would have been better off not read. There’s nothing erotic about this fantasy. In fact, I think it should have been called a neurotic fantasy.
There were six of us at Book Club this week, and we all agreed this book was just too much and too weird. We hated the main character, Lucy, so much that we didn’t even feel comfortable picking an actress to play her, because there’s no actress we hate enough.
On a sort of irrelevant side note, I thought of one more positive I took from the book. In the book, Lucy visits Abbot Kinney fairly often. Abbot Kinney is a strip of shops and restaurants close to Venice Beach, which I will say the author does a great job of illustrating. After reading, I had a trip to Los Angeles planned to visit a friend (which you can read about here), and I was able to see the infamous Abbot Kinney strip Lucy throws up on, buys sexy lingerie from, and more. So that was cool, I guess?
Our Host, Hayley
My friend, Hayley, hosted Book Club this week, and here’s what she had to say about everything, which I think sums it all up perfectly:
If for some reason you’re still inclined to read “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder, you can at least get some great ideas from Hayley’s wonderfully themed evening:
There was sushi, “seaweed” (grapes on a stick), spiced edamame, cute little oyster cookies with edible pearls included, and let’s not forget the bite-sized brownies with fish sprinkles. Oh, and there was champagne and wine, because there was no way to survive discussing this book without it.
Our August Pick
I’m excited for us to return to a Reese’s Book Club novel this month. If you want to keep up with what we’re reading, my Book Club is currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, September 5, 2018:
Melissa here. I’m three weeks overdue with this post, but I’m excited to tell you more about my mid-July trip to Los Angeles to visit one of my best friends, Heather! Heather and I have known each other since high school. We ran cross country together, and served on student council together. Most recently, she stood by Joey and me on our wedding day. We’ve had so many sleepovers I’ve lost count, but none of them compare to our most recent sleepover in LA.
Importance of Girls Trips
Have you seen the movie “Girls Trip” yet? It’s hysterical and reminds you of the important role your friends play in your life. Sometimes, you just need to get away with your girls and talk about girly things – like what types of face wash you’re using nowadays and what happened on your latest date.
Although my girls trip to LA didn’t have drama like the movie (Thank, God.), it did allow me to reconnect with one of my best friends. Heather and I haven’t lived in the same city since graduating high school in 2009. We catch up as often as we can, but nothing beats a long weekend exploring, beaching, dining, and lounging.
Exploring Los Angeles
My flight landed around 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. We headed straight to the Venice Beach area to see the sunset. As the temperatures dropped quickly to a chilly 68 degrees (don’t judge me), I forced us to retreat to Heather’s apartment in Marina del Rey. There, I was able to drop off my suitcase and put on a jacket. Then, we took a Lyft over to Abbott Kinney to eat at The Butcher’s Daughter. The wait was about 45 minutes, so we walked down to The Brig for drinks. Heather ordered a Mexican Mule, and I had my typical Gin and Tonic. When our table was ready at The Butcher’s Daughter, we settled in with a glass of their house red wine. Over great conversation, we enjoyed our vegetarian Carbonara and Risotto. Everything was delicious! After dinner, we went back to Heather’s and passed out. We wanted to conserve our energy for an unplanned busy Saturday.
On Saturday morning, we heated up microwaveable breakfast sandwiches (don’t judge us) and got iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts. We were in a rush to get to the Griffith Observatory, so I could see the Hollywood sign for the first time. This was my first trip to Los Angeles, and I told Heather, “I don’t care what we do as long as we get to see the Hollywood sign.” After taking a million pictures in front of the sign alongside a million other tourists, we explored the observatory some more, and Heather showed me the LA neighborhoods from a cool vantage point.
After the Hollywood sign, we ventured over to Hermosa Beach, where we met up with some of Heather’s friends. Everyone was so nice and even shared their pizza with me after Heather and I skipped lunch to rush over to the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect – high of 75 with not a cloud in the sky. Even though the water was a bit too cold for me, it was incredible to dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean. It’s not something I get to do too often! We laid out for a few hours.
After beaching, we headed to the Hermosa pier to eat. As a group, we all checked out The Baked Bear, which puts ice cream in between two cookies. Heather and I split our ice cream sandwich, and then split off from the group to get a real meal. I ordered a chicken sandwich and Heather ordered a burger from American Junkie off Hermosa Pier. The food was your typical bar food, but you couldn’t beat sitting on the pier while the sun sets in the distant.
After exploring Hermosa Beach, we relaxed at Heather’s apartment and called it another early night. Beaching ain’t easy.
On Sunday morning, we woke up to go to brunch at The Misfit in Santa Monica. Another one of my bridesmaids and best friends, Meredith, was also in LA to visit her sister, Angela. (I promise we didn’t plan our overlap.) It was so fun watching my two worlds collide in Santa Monica. We had such a fun time eating way too much food. I ordered a Bloody Mary, salmon toast, and Brussels sprouts. (DID YOU KNOW THAT’S HOW BRUSSELS SPROUTS ARE SPELLED?) It was all so yummy!
From there, Heather and I ventured to the Santa Monica pier where we took a lot more photos. We decided we hadn’t eaten enough (not really, but the views were unbeatable), so we stopped in at Mariasol, where I had the best Piña Colada ever. There were also chips and salsa, which you can never turn down. Our seats overlooked the end of the pier, where there was an entertaining street singer. After a lot of uncomfortable staring, Heather and I both decided he was lip syncing. Nonetheless, his 1990’s/2000’s alternative covers were fun(ny).
For some reason, Heather and I were so tired. We ended up going back to Heather’s apartment to nap. We woke up just in time to eat dinner. Sunday was definitely our foodie day. For dinner, we headed to ROC at Playa Vista, where Heather’s roommate ordered everything for us. We had scallion pancakes, crab fried rice, soup dumplings, garlic green beans, and pork wraps. I doubt those are the Taiwanese titles of the dishes, but I never saw the menu and appreciate the nicknames. I left feeling so happily stuffed.
After dinner, we stayed up and chatted for a while about so many topics. From foster care and adoption to discrimination. Again, we went to bed early, because my flight was out of LAX at 7:00 a.m. I was so sad for this trip to come to an end.
Thanks for generously hosting me for a long weekend in LA, Heather! I appreciate you playing tour guide, and not over scheduling our weekend. I loved our chats and just being able to relax on the beach. I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks for an amazing Girls Trip!
It’s been two weeks since we last posted. So much has happened. We’re excited to get back to our regular posting schedule, but wanted to give you an update on our sweet pup first.
Side note: Thank you to all who contributed to our GoFundMe page. You raised $480 in three days, which helped put us in a better position to pull the trigger on Regal’s TPLO surgery. We can never repay you for your generosity, but we hope you enjoyed the cute Polaroids Regal shot for you. Thank you so much!
Monday, July 30, 2018: Consult With Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists
If were weren’t down on our luck enough, we had some trouble with our first orthopedic consult where we first discovered Regal’s ACL was torn. The first place (Gulf Cost Veterinary Specialists) wanted to charge us more than what a typical TPLO costs ($2,000 more), because they only do a fancy, unnecessary procedure in conjunction with the TPLO surgery. They didn’t tell us that there were other, just-as-effective, and less expensive options, which is what ultimately made us the most upset.
But after talking with Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists on the phone, we knew this would be the right fit for us. Joey took Regal to his consult appointment. On just three legs, Regal limped in, acting as a ham, per the usual. He received lots of pets and was a champ! He handled the poking and prodding and didn’t become upset until he was back in his room after the exam. The orthopedic surgeon team there confirmed he did tear his ACL, and Regal needed the TPLO surgery. Luckily, they had an appointment open for the next day.
Monday night was rough, because you continually have these thoughts that it might be the end of the road for you and your best friend. Also, instead of being able to just lay around and snuggle, we had to give Regal an anti-septic bath. Regal hates baths, and to make matters worse, you have to leave this special soap on for 10 minutes before rinsing. The poor guy couldn’t even rush to his favorite part of bath time, which is toweling off. He was mad at us the rest of the night, which made Melissa even more emotional.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018: Regal’s Surgery
We woke up bright and early to try and ensure Regal was the first surgery of the day. There are no guarantees, but we dropped him off as early as we could at 7:00 a.m. When dropping him off, the surgical team sat down with us and walked us through what to expect. We handed over some food and treats, and then, handed over Regal. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach started.
Around 10:30 a.m., the surgical team said Regal was prepped and ready for surgery. They were waiting for the anesthesia to kick in to take him for updated radio-graphs and surgery. This is when Melissa’s stomach pit grew larger, and she could feel it in the back of her throat until she received the next call…
At about 2:00 p.m., the wonderful Dr. Bubenik called to say Regal was out of surgery. The surgery had gone great, but they did find that Regal had also torn his meniscus. They were forced to remove part of that tissue too. But she expected Regal would still make a full recovery. Melissa’s pit returned to stomach only.
At 4:00 p.m., the surgical team called to tell us Regal was awake. They were letting him slowly wake up and rest, but they were going to try to get him to eat and go on a walk soon. They said at around 8:00 p.m. they would send us a picture update.
These are the pictures Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists sent us that night (aka Regal on drugs):
Wednesday, August 1, 2018: Reunited With Regal
Although knowing Regal was doing OK, it was still hard to sleep well Tuesday night. When we woke up on Wednesday morning, the surgical team called to setup a pickup time. We landed on 4:00 p.m. When we arrived, we spent about 45 minutes talking with Linda (She is so great!) about post-operation procedures for Regal.
We learned our new, daily routine for the next 6+ weeks will look like this:
Feed boiled chicken to ensure there’s food in the belly.
Repeat 1-2 more times per day.
I’m not sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into. After being a little overwhelmed by PT exercises, we were finally reunited with Bubba:
It made our new daily routine seem worth it. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach finally went away.
Since Regal’s surgery on August 1st, he has been doing great, but only because of some very special people:
The team at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists: Thank you for walking us through everything to expect. You recognize our pets are our children, and our concern runs deep. The detail you put into your work eased us during an incredibly “ruff” time, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the step-by-step instructions and videos.
Meredith and Colton Beall: Thank you for taking over post-operative duties while we traveled to see our family on a nonrefundable trip. We could never repay you for showing up for us and our little champ. (Sorry he hated taking his pills.)
Our friends and family: Thank you for continually checking in. We appreciate getting to tell you how Regal is, because it reminds us that he is going to be just fine.
Supporters: An additional thanks to those who helped make this surgery possible. Without you, we would be a lot more stressed.
Olivia Craig: For sending us cupcakes and pupcakes from Sprinkles. You made us feel a little bit sweeter about the situation we were in.
Regal still has a long road to recovery, with a follow-up Monday, and another check-up in four weeks – but from what we can see, he is going to make a full recovery, and be able to live a normal, active, playful life again soon. Now, if only we could get him to take his pills more easily. <Insert frustrated because our dog is stubborn faces here.>
Our post-surgery pup, Regal, and delicious cupcakes and pupcakes thanks to our sweet friend, Olivia.
There is an old saying that bad luck comes in threes, and let us tell you, it hit us hard recently. It’s why we haven’t been as active as we would have liked to be on here – especially this past week.
We encourage you to lean in, learn more, and maybe even help us conquer this bad luck curse.
Floating On Air
Do you ever feel like you’re floating on air? Like everything is going your way? But you try to remain humble about it all? Because well, you know, Karma’s a bitch?
All we try to do is put out positivity, and hope it comes back to us. It typically works until God decides we left Earth for a little too long, and He doesn’t want us just floating any longer.
Everything was going great here! I mean we recently launched this blog to share our love for life, eats, and dogs. We got people interested in writing for our page. We gained followers in family, friends, and strangers.
And then, our bad luck curse hit…
Bad Luck #1
About four weeks ago, Joey was on his way home from a Houston Astros baseball game. Despite being a year to Houston, Joey hasn’t spent much time navigating downtown. Being a later workday than normal, Joey switched his brain to autopilot and followed the car in front of him turning left on a one-way downtown street. Unfortunately, Joey missed his red light, and side swiped a car coming through the intersection on their green.
Thankfully, no one was injured. But “Big Red,” Joey’s 2003 Nissan X-Terra was totaled. And just for that, this day will forever live in infamy.
Joey takes full responsibility for this accident, but it meant we had to purchase a new car. Not knowing what our bad luck fate held, we opted to get Joey what he really wanted (and what was practical for us), since he had been driving a 15-year-old car. “Big Red” had her learner’s permit for goodness sake! We ended up buying a 2017 Toyota 4Runner with 30k miles through Hertz Auto Sales. We were hoping to write a blog on our shopping experience with them, but our bad luck continued…
Bad Luck #2
As everyone knows by now, when it rains in Houston, it pours.
We feel so blessed to have survived Hurricane Harvey with no damage to the house we had only bought and moved into two months before the storm decided to camp itself over our town. We watched as water creeped about five feet from our house, and then quickly and luckily receded through the baby canals on our street. Although we were on an island for a week, we were so much better off than so many others.
We felt like we really needed to say that before we complained about our Bad Luck #2.
Since Melissa has lived here, Houston has had Memorial Day flooding and Tax Day flooding, which our little 1950s house has survived. However, most recently, during the Independence Day flooding (PSA – Dear Houston, you need to stop celebrating holidays with floods.), our 1950s home had endured too much.
As the rain came in sheets, and Fourth of July parades were canceled, we noticed our dining room ceiling showed a little leak, while our kitchen ceiling revealed a substantial leak. We were able to get to the leak in the dining room and put a bucket under the drip, but the leak dripping into the kitchen ceiling was unreachable. The water continued to spread across the room. Thankfully, Joey thought to poke holes where the water was sitting and moving to, which allowed the water to drain out of our ceiling.
What was supposed to be a day spent on the Big Green Egg was spent talking to our insurance company, inquiring with emergency roofing companies, and asking around for recommendations. Luckily, the rain subsided (and still hasn’t really returned since that day), which has allowed us to fix our roof and ceiling.
We thought this would be our last headache, but we had obviously forgotten about the bad luck curse, and the worst of our bad luck hit us very hard…
Bad Luck #3
One of our last posts was on Regal – about a small limp and a recent trip to the vet. We wish we had better news to tell you, but we’ll just spit it out: Regal tore his ACL and needs surgery.
<Insert picture of Melissa ugly sobbing.>
To make a long story longer, about three weeks ago, we noticed Regal, had a small limp. We took him to our vet, where he was put on an anti-inflammatory and advised to rest. We followed the vet’s directions, but Melissa left town for a trip. When she came home a few days later, Regal was so excited to see his mom that he over exerted himself, and all of a sudden lost all mobility in one of his hind legs!
We immediately rushed him to have X-Rays done, and we were referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon said Regal had fully torn his ACL, and he was recommending TPLO surgery. TPLO, or tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL). Although there are other surgical options other than a TPLO that are less expensive, for a young active dog like Regal, a TPLO is usually the gold standard treatment with quickest return to normal function.
For those of you who don’t know him, Regal is happiest when he’s running through the dog park, chasing balls across the yard, swimming in the lake, rolling in the grass, and sprawled across the couch with his head in your lap. Without this surgery, Regal may never get to experience his favorite things in the same way again. And that breaks our heart.
This leads us to an ask for help we never wanted to make, but feel like we have to, because every little bit helps…
Although we know there’s so many worthy causes out there to support, we’d love for you to consider supporting Regal and us through our GoFundMe page. We feel silly even asking, because typically we’re asking you to support foster care and adoption, which makes a difference for so many at-risk children. But as newlyweds with bad luck hitting them with the curse of threes, we’re left in a less than ideal financial situation.
We’ve decided to cancel our 1-year anniversary trip to pay for half of the $5,000 surgery, but we are hoping some generous friends, family members, and strangers will help to pitch in for Regal and for us. Every little bit helps!
We won’t ask anymore than this, but please consider donating to our page here. Thanks for considering!
The saying is true… Bad luck does come in threes.
And although that bad luck caused our wallets to be empty, our glasses are still very full. As newlyweds out to conquer the world, we are grateful to have each other, you, and this platform to share our lives. We promise there is a lot less complaining to come, more Big Green Egg recipes, and updates on our champ, Regal.