October 31, 2014

Thoughts on finding the right fit to head into the weekend.

Guess what guys? 

We met with our new vet for a second opinion for Piri and it was great. She was knowledgable but not pompous, calm and reassuring, caring and professional. She listened, she made sure we were comfortable and most importantly she made Piri feel calm. 

And you want to know what else?

Piri began to eat his kidney diet food. An entire can. It was tough trying to get him to eat a quarter of a can for the past two weeks. Our new vet noticed that his blood pressure reading was too low and suggested we take him off of one of the two medications he was prescribed. She also sent us home with a couple of new k/d food brands to try and also an online resource for us to learn more about kidney disease in dogs. 

I went through a battery of emotions since his diagnose and yesterday, while I was happy, my emotions continued - from being happy, to angry, to puzzled. 

I wasn't 100% happy with our previous vet. Right from our first visit she said and did things I didn't like, prescribed one medication after another even though I was telling her he wasn't eating well and every single lab result she delivered was in such a dramatic fashion and she stressed me out completely. I recall telling friends how I expected more of a calm and reassuring diagnosis and next steps, not a delivery where she made me feel like it was the end of the world. 

I thought back to that conversation yesterday and while a part of me wanted to be to critical of our previous vet, instead I thought, perhaps it's all about finding the right fit. 

Isn't it like this in most aspects of our lives? People are always looking for the right fit - the right person to lead a team on a project, the right personality to take care of our children, the right kind of professionalism to handle the  most intricate details of the most important and serious days of our lives, the right click with a partner to live the rest of our lives with. So while I wanted to write a seething review, I reasoned with myself and thought.. she is probably a really great vet to someone else. I just happen to be not that person. And so instead of focusing on being negative, I decided to take away positives, like knowing how to be more assertive and proactive about finding the type of person who I would like to guide us and our dog through this inevitable stage of kidney disease. Someone who is knowledgable but not pompous, calm and reassuring, caring and professional. I think we may found our fit. We're crossing all our fingers and paws over here that she is the one.

What do you have planned for the weekend? Now that Piri is slowly coming back to being himself {not only is he eating, but his energy level is coming back up, too} we are thinking of heading out to seeing some fall foliage at Shenandoah National Park. We would love to go back and take in some fresh air. It'll do all of us some good I'm sure. 

Hope you have a pleasant weekend. 

PS - I truly really appreciate all your thoughts and concerns with Piri these past few weeks. I'm sorry if I babble on and on about him and his condition. Thanks for bearing with me, reading, listening and also being there. It means so much. xx 

Happy Halloween!

I crocheted a witch hat for Piri. It's terribly lopsided and has a couple of holes throughout. Oops. I really should get crackin on reading patterns correctly. In the meantime, Happy Halloween, from Piri the Witch! 

PS - If you're looking for some ghoulish tunes, give this playlist a try. 

 // Piri the bear, Halloween 2013
 // Piri the ghost, Halloween 2012
 // Piri the pirate, Halloween 2011

October 30, 2014

A crochet hexagon wall decoration.

I saw this beautiful crochet hexagon wall hanging and wanted to make some for myself. So I grabbed my hook and learned how to crochet a hexagon, since I already learned how to do puff stitches from making my sunburst granny squares. The edges don't look quite as sharp {what's the trick?!} but I still like the way it came out. 

We live right next to the woods so I went out one day and grabbed a bunch of sticks for this project and will go out more for some other yarn craft ideas I have in the back of my head. 

I actually had two more hexagons but I got lazy and didn't secure the end properly and so it all unraveled. That unraveling feeling is terrible. Oh boy. Maybe I'll make more hexagons or something else will join this wall hanging. I just like that I finally have something up on that wall which remained bare all this time. 

Tell me, what crafty, yarny, homey things are you making? 

October 29, 2014


Growing up, I heard a story about a young girl in Japan who was sick and she attempted to fold 1000 cranes so that her wish can come true. Throughout the years I have seen similar stories of people, inspired by this girl, who would try folding 1000 cranes. They were mostly people who were sick and trying to overcome their illness, or from people who would fold these cranes on behalf of someone going through a hard time. 

I remembered this story one day after I found out about Piri's stage 3 kidney disease and picked up some colored paper made specifically for folding cranes and began to just fold. I don't know what I was doing but I was willing to embrace anything to help us through these uncertain times. 

Here is the real story behind the paper cranes. Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. She died on October 25, 1955, from Leukemia. Sadako folded cranes daily hoping to create senbazuru (1000 paper cranes strung together) because a person's dream is believed to come true.

This story brings a lump to my throat and it makes me emotional, not only because it's sad, but also it's very uplifting and teaches me about patience, perseverance and believing. 

After I shared this photo, people on Instagram sent us so many caring notes, messages and emails and began to fold cranes for Piri as well. Some also created a hashtag #1000cranesforPiri. You know, I sometimes get so disappointed in people, but there are times when they bring a lump to my throat. I'm so very thankful for the community out there who are all rooting for Piri. We can't cure kidney disease, but we do hope that we are stalling the disease from overtaking his little body through good diet and medication. He hasn't been eating well and hasn't been able to take his medicine on some days, but he also has some tricks up his sleeve and shows bursts of energy and appetite when we least expect it. The past couple of days he has eaten well and tomorrow we are going to a new vet for a second opinion.

We are surrounded by love. I hope everyone is lucky enough to have this kind of love and support when they or their loved ones are going through tough times. Let's all remember to show love to those around us who need it the most and graciously accept when it's given to us.  

#1000cranesforPiri -- thank you everyone who send us messages, folded cranes and shared with us on Instagram. 
Top row (left to right): @winterm ; @mulberrytreeds ; @valerie_cracker
Second row (left to right): @thecatyouandus ; myself 
Third row (left to right): @lulu_and_me ; @nelliescustomcakes ; @ice__pandora

 // Linking up with Blogpaws Wordless Wednesday bloghop 

Royaldress: an Etsy shop.

I like shirts, pants and dresses that flare, are a little on the plus side and hardly flatter your body. I love the loose fitting feel and the flowy motion of the fabric. And I love cotton and linen. I know I get a lot of head scratches and wrinkled noses when people see me in this style of dress but I have never really bothered with what people thought of the way I dressed since like forever. So why start now right? 

Earlier in September I came across this long black dress on an Etsy shop called Royaldress and put in an order. If you recall, I also wanted this skirt, which I put on my October wish list and it's from the same shop. I still hope to get it one of these days. 

Anyway, the dress arrived in the mail two days ago and I look forward to wearing it. {even though it's made with light fabric and we're hitting lower temperatures now. I can always layer I guess.}

The shop sells from China and the order took longer than I expected due to the fabric running out and also by the time the dress was made it there was a week-long national holiday in China, which closed all delivery services, but I didn't mind because I wasn't in a rush to get it. 

I think I'll pair it with a chunky scarf I crocheted a few weeks back and also some ankle boots from Minnetonka that I've been eyeing for a while {although I've been trying to find similar ones that are vegan}.

Cheers to flowy dresses everyone!
*These pictures directly above are from the Royaldress Etsy shop store. 

Two teas to soothe the soul.

I'm more of a coffee drinker, mostly to keep me awake in the morning as I plow through the news and also things I need to get done in front of the computer. Lately though I've been filling myself up with lots of tea as well to soothe my mind and soul because right now my heart is going up and down like those scary roller coaster rides and I could use a bit of help to calm my nerves down. 

Roasted corn tea, or oksoosoo cha {oksoosoo is corn in korean and cha means tea}, is a childhood favorite. I don't think there is one Korean person out there who didn't grow up drinking this. We always stock up when the colder months come around. It's definitely comforting and soothing. {You can also read about it from WorshipBlues. Yasumi is one of my favorite bloggers out there!}

Mint tea has been also a favorite and I've been drinking it mug after mug. Our good friends have a wonderful garden and they grow mint, too. We've had some at fresh mint tea at their home and they recently send some over to us to help me get through some rough times as I cope with Piri's health issues. I have never really been a fan of mint but my goodness! I am hooked on mint tea. It has definitely calmed me down when I needed it the most.  

What are some teas that help you get through tough times? 

October 28, 2014


My first Halloween was in 1986. I was in the 2nd grade. I had no idea what this holiday was about. My family had come to the US from Korea in August of that year and so we were learning a lot about different things in our new surroundings. 

I was a bunny that year. My costume was homemade. My mother put me in a white cardigan and sewed a rabbit's tail on my skirt. She topped the costume off with rabbit ears we picked up at Toys"R"Us. I remember liking my costume but once I saw what other kids were wearing I remember not liking it so much. I wanted what the other kids had -- the plastic looking pumpkin and ghost costumes from Party City. It didn't particularly look nice but it was just what everyone else was doing. Oh how I look back and think how ungrateful I was. 

Halloween was never particularly my favorite holiday. I think I stopped dressing up after 6th grade and did once more in my senior year of high school. We haven't had trick or treaters come by where we lived in so many years that I forgot what it felt like to hand candy out. 

Maybe it's the feeling of finally being rooted somewhere {our new home} but I've been getting kind of into the Halloween spirit. We were going to dress up but probably won't, but instead we dressed our home up a little. We also have candy once more and think that there is a good chance we'll have trick or treaters. I am guessing that there will be a lot of Elsas, Annas and Olafs. But by golly Halloween better come around quickly because I may just finish all our candy before it does. 

PS -- My favorite Halloween costumes as of late are the ones where people mash up names. Like.. Stevie Wonder Woman or Pee Wee Herman Munster or Carrot Top Chef. Oh I also saw a I Love Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds costume floating around the Internet somewhere. If you could, what would you do for a mash up costume? 

October 27, 2014

The boy who cried wolf.

Lately I've been feeling like him. You know, the boy who cried wolf. 

Piri had some rough patches these past few days. He has lost his appetite and when he is able to get some food in, he can't hold it down and throws it back up. I have been on my wits end and had some crying spells sprinkled in a few of times during the weekend because I am on edge and I am desperate for him to eat. He did manage to finish up a bowl of boiled cabbages and chicken on Sunday afternoon and that lifted my spirits up significantly. But later on that night he threw up and also asked to go out during the wee hours of the night because he had an upset stomach. If you see my Facebook status updates it goes from one end of the happiness spectrum to the other end, which is total despair and nervousness. As soon as I post something about Piri being terribly sick he would eat his heart out and be in good spirits. And the minute I get excited and let the world know of his good condition he'll throw something up, have no energy, sleep for hours on end and we'll be back to square one. 

After I came back from letting Piri out at night, I couldn't go back to sleep and frantically searched online for how to prepare meals for dogs with renal disease. This I did a thousand times over, but I always feel like I'll find something new. But instead I found a forum where one lady was seeking help in taking care of her dog with end stage renal disease. It was terrible. The whole strand within the forum went from having hope to ultimately putting her dog to sleep because she just was not eating. This all in the span of one month. I cried.. and cried.. and cried. 

There are such joyous moments when you own a dog. It's really indescribable the happiness you have when you are showered with the love from a dog. But there are moments like this. Moments when you heart worries and breaks. And I am learning what it really means to be there for him when he needs it the most. To show love, care, patience, warmth and strength. 

Through all this I feel like I'm slowly losing control of other aspects of my life. I have been good about getting quality sleep so I can function throughout the day, to promptly respond to emails, requests and be on top of my routine and getting through all my tasks and responsibilities for the day and week. I have not been able to do any of this and it's making me feel unproductive, irresponsible and, well, like I don't have control over anything anymore. I sometimes feel groggy and don't want to do anything except to see if Piri will eat. I need to come out of this zombie state. I am trying. 

I think this weekend was a good start to try and get back on track with things. It was a good busy kind of Saturday and Sunday. We had a Dogvacay guest who was just the happiest little guy - Gizmo, a 10.5 week old Havanese puppy. I took care of some holiday Dogvacay booking requests and meet and greets and we finally got around to chopping up some logs for firewood. We also spent an impromptu gathering at our friends house around some warm fire and dinner, too. Piri was with us and got some comfy cushions to lay on and massages. He loves those. I am thankful for these moments and these wonderful people who we recently became friends with who love and care for Piri's well being as much as we do. I really think things happen at a certain time and for a reason. Our meeting them really has been some kind of wonderful. 

Hope your weekend was a good one, and hope the week is even better. 

PS - We learned over the weekend that Miles crossed the rainbow bridge. If you remember, Karen had shared their wonderful story on June's feature of "A Girl and Her Dog." Miles was 15 years old, just like Piri, and his story has really touched my heart and taught me about perseverance. Wishing Karen much peace and comfort. Rest in Peace Miles, you sweet sweet boy.  

October 24, 2014

Thoughts on baseball to head into the weekend.

Have you been watching the World Series? 

I haven't watched baseball in like forever. Throughout elementary school and junior high school, I was madly in love with baseball. I was first introduced to it by my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Sobel, who taught us math through baseball by letting us create our own fantasy teams and figuring out player averages and such. He was a NY Mets fan and so I fell in love with the Mets as well. I collected baseball cards and had boxes and boxes of them.

I also got to go to see some ball games, all at Yankee Stadium. One time I was able to go with a few girl scouts from the UK who had no idea how baseball was played and so we taught them the rules while they taught us who to cheer, British style {and boy did they have a pair of lungs}.  

Then came the early nineties and I fell in love with the Atlanta Braves. I had all my favorite players - Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, Mark Lemke - just to name a few, but I liked all the Braves players from the 1991/92 roster. I would check the newspaper for score and standing updates, watch the news at night and those silly baseball shows which would air at odd hours during the weekend. I swear, I think probably 14 people watched it, me being one of them. I remember my young heart being broken two years in a row watching them go to the World Series and losing to the Minnesota Twins in 1991 and then again to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992. I saw them win the title in 1995 but that's when I began to slowly lose interest in baseball. 

But as an adult, I continued to sporadically go to see games -- when I lived in LA for a while I went to a Dodgers game to root for the Mets who were in town and where some Dodgers fan told me to go back to NY as I was the only one rooting for them. It was ok though, the Mets totally won that game. And after moving to Maryland with Yangkyu we caught the Washington Nationals game {who I only found out recently were the Montreal Expos - what?! When did that happen!}, again when the Mets were in town, but unfortunately it got rained out and we went home without spending the 7th inning stretch together {7th inning stretches at Shea Stadium/Citi Field were always so fun}. 

I used to get excited when October would roll around for the Fall Classic. But year in and year out I didn't care much, until a couple of nights ago. I tuned in -- San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals and the excitement came back. Me, Yangkyu and Piri all cozied up on the couch and began to root for the Royals {I knew someone from LA who is an absolute loyal fan and so I found myself supporting him and his team}. And then I began to re-watch the world series recap videos from 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1996. I also began to look up where all my favorite players were now. Some have gone on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame or became coaches themselves, while others had not so great endings. It was bitter sweet. I remember some of them as rookies or stars and to see them now in a not so great place made me have deeper, profound thoughts about the choices we make and the circumstances we are in that put us in a different trajectory in life. But I think that is a story for another time. 

For a long time, baseball was stuck in the early nineties for me. But Yangkyu and I both decided that we would try and follow it next season. We're just having trouble figuring out which team - the Mets? Or the Nats? Or maybe the Braves {although now I don't like the Tomahawk chop they do and wish they would stop it altogether}. We're not quite sure yet but we hope to watch/make it to the Nats season opener in April where they will face.... the NY Mets. 

This weekend, we'll be watching World Series games 3, 4, and 5 with a guest. We have a Dogvacay puppy coming to stay for the weekend so it'll be nice to have another paw to cheer the Royals on. Oh and of course, I hope to be knitting, too. I just received my package from Wool and the Gang and I'm so happy I can hardly contain myself. 

Happy weekend to you. See you on Monday! 
  // I have a scarf and a cowl in mind. I love knitting with big needles. Knits up super quick and chunky yarn is always so soft to the touch. // 
  // Been mixing white rice with some brown and long grain wild rice. The combo is ... interesting. // 
  // I decided to just juice the last of our remaining apples. No pie again this year. Ah well. // 
 // Switched our comforter cover yesterday and retired some more clothes to turn into rag rugs. It's yet another thing I want to do but lately I have been feeling so desperately behind in things -- emails, reading blogs and such -- but I hope to slowly get back to my regular routine soon and start and pick up on different projects again. // 

October 23, 2014

Every time I hear this song, I remember that time way back when.

Sometimes old memories flood my head with a sound of a song. Does that ever happen to you? 

Today I got reminded of the time when Yangkyu and I used to date -- the time when we shared the little shoebox studio in Rego Park, NY, and got our favorite tacos on 63rd Drive. We created so many memories there. Oh how much time has passed. 

Around this time we dubbed a song as ours. And now every time I hear it I get reminded our days in Queens - when we were young, in love and just silly to the bones. I guess now we're old, in love and still silly to the bones. 

 // This is our song -- Chiisana koi no uta by Mongol800, which we love, but the cover by Goosehouse gives us the goose bumps. 

October 21, 2014

Some precious moments by Min J Park Photography.

My dear friend Min sent over these pictures a few days ago from the time when she and Anna came to visit us. Min is a professional photographer {also textile designer} and so we're super lucky that she brought her camera, snapped these precious moments and took the time to edit, upload and send us a link to download for ourselves. It's a process that takes time and so I appreciate these photos even more. 

Min is based out of New Jersey but she does travel domestically and internationally for weddings. She also does family, maternity, newborn/toddler/children, pet and other lifestyle sessions. You can see more of her work here and here. She's talented but also very genuine and gives 110% to anything she does. It makes having her on the other side of the camera and computer that much more meaningful and wonderful. A talented gal with a great personality to boot. Now that's a combo I'm down with. 

Thanks so much, Min! 

Photos by Min J Park Photography

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