April 30, 2015

TBT: My First Uncle. Korea. Year Unknown.

I already introduced Seung Il samchoon in my previous post. This is my other uncle - the first child, first son of the family. He is the one who was old enough to be my mom's dad when she was born who also had a daughter the same age as my mom.

Unfortunately I don't know his name. Actually, I don't know much about him. I don't even think I ever saw him and if I did, it was when I was real little and I don't have any recollections of it. 

Remember how I said how moms come up with nicknames so kids will remember which uncle and aunt is who? And how my aunt was called ddoong ddoong ee emo? Well, we all called/referred to my uncle here as dwe ji samchoon. It's because he apparently owned a pig farm and dwe ji in Korean means pig. So he was basically known as pig uncle. 

My mom had albums and albums of all her family pictures and also pictures from her youth and college days. Because I couldn't take all of them with me when I went to college, I picked and chose and created a little album of my own. For some reason I took this picture of my uncle. When I saw this picture as a little kid I thought he was so handsome. But as I grew older and older the picture began to haunt me a little. I can't explain why. For some reason he looked more cold than handsome.

As with Seung Il samchoon, I also wonder what happened to him. I wonder if he's still alive or if he passed. I wonder where he lived and if he was successful. If he continued to own a pig farm. If he had more kids and if so where are they now? Do they wonder about me too? 

When I see other people who have large family gatherings I get slightly envious. It's because for me my extended family live all far away and some I don't even know if they exist. 

 // Linking up with Want/Need

April 29, 2015


This is Hannah. She was an 11 old Boston Terrier and I fell for her pretty hard from the moment she came to stay with us in late March. She had the cutest snorts and snores and these soft longing head nudges asking to be petted all day, everyday.

Some of her favorite things to do was to chase sunlight and do a little dance right before treat time. I even followed along with her and so there was always some sort of impromptu dance party in our kitchen. 

Hannah was like this. She was lovable and made those all around her act all silly in love.

About a week ago, Hannah's mom emailed me to let me know that Hannah crossed over the rainbow bridge. It was incredibly sad to hear and even more difficult to try to understand what it was like for Hannah's mom.

The night before Hannah came to stay with us she had had her first seizure. During her stay she was doing great, but the night before she was set to go home she had her second seizure late at night. I remember feeling helpless and sad watching her get through it. But she was a fighter and she did. 

The next morning Hannah's mom let me know that Hannah was diagnosed with brain tumor and that the doctors didn't know how advanced it was. They were on borrowed time and seizures would become a norm for them. Hannah was put on medications to stop her seizures but that made her lose control of her hind legs - she was wobbly, couldn't stand and walk straight and her fun and spunky nature was subdued. 

Hannah stayed with us a couple more times for daycare. I was glad that Hannah's mom felt comfortable leaving Hannah with us during the day while her and her husband were away at work. Those days I hand fed her, put her in her favorite sun spots in our home to nap and while she no longer did her dance before treat time, she still enjoyed them and made those pretty noises with her mouth and nose which let me know she was still dancing her heart out. 

Before Hannah left this world she had two more seizures before being seizure-free for nearly two weeks. She didn't get out of them and Hannah's mom had to let her go. When I heard the news I went through the day feeling sad, then ok, feeling sad, then ok again. I still think about her from time to time but I also think about the heartache Hannah's mom must had, and may probably still be having.

Dogs are really great. They most certainly do teach us about love, but they also teach us something about loss. It's so difficult when we have to say good bye.

I know Hannah is at a place where she has an abundance of sunlight, treats and hopefully also a spirit guardian that gives her all the neck scratches she wants.

Thank you sweet lady for filling our lives, mine, Yangkyu's and Piri's, with so much light and love during your stay with us. We are certainly lucky to have met you. 

PS -- Yangkyu says he misses having snort offs with you. You always looked at him with these eyes that said "You speak my language human!" Rest in Peace, Hannah. xx  

  // This is the first picture I took of her when she came to stay with us. Man, I miss her. //

April 27, 2015

Vegan Cuts: April Box

I extended my subscription to Vegan Cuts Beauty Box for another three months so I will be receiving one every month until June. 

I think I am most excited about three of the six items that came in April's Vegan Cuts box; the sunscreen, sea salt hair spray and insect repellent. I am thinking this is probably because it's getting me excited for summer! 

Here's a detailed look at all the items:

 + Emani : This is a lip shine made with organic fruit extracts and oils. Mine came in a blush color. I don't usually wear lip shines and my mom doesn't either {in my last post I said I would share some items in the next three-months supply of Vegan Cuts with her}. I think I will keep it inside its packaging and perhaps give it with a girlfriend if they are interested in giving it a try. I don't want to keep opening things and end up using it only once and then throw it away months down the line.

+ Goddess Garden : An organic sunscreen that is kind to your skin and the environment! We have actually been using sun block from Alba for the past couple of years but it's always good to find what else is out there. We'll be spending a lot of time out back in the garden so I am certain this will come to good use. 

 + Petal Fresh : Last month I received the Petal Fresh shampoo and now this time I received the conditioner. I think I will actually send this to my mom for her to try. I was skyping with her a couple of weeks ago and we were both talking about different methods we use to take care of our hair now. I told her about my apple cider vinegar experience and she said she uses beer to help with adding volume, especially at the roots. My mom is totally into organic natural things and even cut meat out of her diet a few years ago. She doesn't take medicine and tries to solve all her health ailments naturally. I think this will be a good addition to her overall organic natural way of life. 

 + Captain Blankenship Sea Salt Hair Spray : This is supposed to add texture and also moisturize your hair. I actually have "A Breath of Fresh Air" facial spray from LUSH that also smells like the sea. I was super excited to try this product but now I am thinking maybe perhaps I should also send this to my mom as well since my current facial spray can also be sprayed on hair. I think she would appreciate it just as much as me. 

 + Wellinhand Action Remedies : This is a vanilla rosemary scented insect repellent. It's 100% natural and DEET-Free and is used to repel bed bugs, flying bugs and ticks. It says it's recommended for the beach, the ranch, the kennel, the deck, the barn and outdoor construction sites. I can't wait to try this out. Yangkyu and I have already planned out what flowers and herbs to plant to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away {marigolds, lavender, lemongrass, you name it!} so we are all for adding more natural ways to keep bugs away this summer.

+ Pacifica BB Cream : The only other BB Cream I tried was from The Body Shop and unfortunately I broke out in bumps and hives! I am crossing my fingers that this one will be kinder to my skin.

As always, if you're interested, you can sign up to receive your Vegan Cuts Beauty Products here! {There is also a Vegan Cuts Snack box as well}

 // I paid for Vegan Cuts on my own, but this post contains affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you sign up for the service through the links. All opinions are my own.

April 25, 2015

Something cool and exciting!

We have something exciting to share with everyone! Starting tomorrow, Sunday (4/26) till Saturday (5/2) we'll have a guest spot over at DogVacay's Instagram account! For an entire week there'll be pictures of some of our adorable guest friends of Piri's shared every morning. {And I've been bursting at the seams waiting to share some of them because they are just so cute!}

If you're interested you can see them at @DogVacay.

Thank you!

PS - That's Rain sleeping in the picture. She's an Australian Shepherd mix adopted by her owner about a year ago. She was one of our recent guests and actually coming back tomorrow night for a week stay. I'll definitely share more of her in a blog post with some other guests soon.

April 24, 2015

Facebook Facebook!

Yes, that's two facebooks in the title for ya because we just created two pages - one for Piri the Cocker Spaniel and the other for Piri's Place

I never really thought about getting Facebook pages for anything - Piri, the blog or Piri's Place - but ended up creating them on a whim yesterday. Both pages are still bare bones and I am trying to figure out the best way to share content - on the one hand many who have already liked the pages are already following on Instagram or are personal friends on Facebook, and so I am trying not to put up the same pictures and recycle content, but I am also thinking about the potential of getting followers who may not be connected to me in any other way but Facebook and wonder how to balance everything out. Ah dilemma dilemma!

How do you guys use different social media accounts? Do they attract a different following? Or the same? Do you use them to support your blog?

All my social media accounts - blog, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter - have different followings because they were all created at different times and not necessarily to help promote the blog. First came Twitter in 2009, which I used mainly for news, social issues and work, then Instagram in 2010 where it was predominantly all things Piri and dogs, then the blog about our life in 2012 and Pinterest in maybe 2013 or 2014? My Instagram community is not necessary interested in my blog and vice versa. Human behavior on social media is all very fascinating to me but also so tricky. I'm sure we'll figure out something somehow someway. 

In the meantime, if you'd like to come on over and say hello you can find us here {Piri the Cocker Spaniel} and here {Piri's Place}

Happy Arbor Day!

Who knew? But today is National Arbor Day in the US, which is celebrated on the last Friday of April.

In lieu of wedding favors, Yangkyu and I donated to two organizations -- the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Arbor Day Foundation. Plant a tree, save a tree, care for a tree!

What a wonderful day isn't it?

April 22, 2015

Making: Crochet Apple Coasters

Lately we've been borrowing a whole lot from our friends - their gardening tools to even their compact exercise machine. As a show of gratitude I crocheted them these little apple coasters I found on Ravelry. You can find the pattern here. I added an extra round that included 2 double crochets (2 DC) and single crochet (SC) in every DC from the previous row.

You can most certainly use them for hot and cold beverages but also for hot skillets and pots as well. I think would make nice decorations, too. 

It's not fancy but I enjoy making things to gift to friends. In fact, I have a list of folks who I want to make things to show my thanks for their kindness. I started some but most I have stopped because I am still fumbling with the yarn and crochet hook/knitting needles and messing up miserably. One day I'll look super cool but right now it's a lot of wrinkling of the eyebrows and making weird faces as I try to pull and yarn over and not drop a stitch. 

What are you making lately?

April 21, 2015

Blogger Profiles: Yasumi of Worshipblues

I like to think I was born fearless and wild and I get upset with myself when I do not live up to these qualities. I think life in UK has done something to make me more fearful, or perhaps it is age. When I was a child growing up in Kenya I grew up quite wild and was allowed many freedoms to roam and explore from very young. Because of this,  I saw many things that are hidden away from children these days especially in UK. Like animals making a kill. The blood would turn the grass red and stain their faces but that would not scare or repel me. I understood from young that the ways of life and survival are harsh. I once came across a man slaughtering a goat in our local market and my mother shrugged and told me that that is where our meat was coming from that evening. That night I ate my barbequed meat and I quietly thanked the goat. I thought the best way that I could respect the goat was to eat every little bit of meat that my father gave me because wasting it would be wrong. He understood and told me that I must do the same with my rice to show respect for the Japanese farmers who give up their backs to provide good rice for us. Up till this day, I cannot waste food. Yet here in London, I see mountains of food going to waste. It is hard for me to understand the thinking behind it.

London, UK

 // The Blogger Profiles on Winding Ridge Lane is inspired by the stories of people on Humans of New York. For this series, bloggers share snippets of their life -- their random thoughts, unforgettable memories, whimsical dreams, goals, their closeted fears, life hacks, beautiful mentors, people who make them laugh, their trials and tribulations and more. You can read more Blogger Profiles here

April 20, 2015

April Project Color: Green

This month's color challenge kind of crept up behind me and so I had to scramble to get a couple of the pictures {looking at you lime and yarn}, but I am liking the overall look of the green collage.

You know, I was never really a fan of this color but I found that I have a lot of this color all around me {and I just noticed we're color coordinated in green in our blog picture on the right over there}. 

I always associated green with negative things like greed and envy and never something positive like growth and freshness. Interesting how a color challenge can help me begin to think differently.  

Thank you Trishie for joining in using #WRLProjectColor this month! Love your glorious wreath!

May is going to be all about the color blue. 

If you'd like to join in, email me one photo at windingridgelane [at] gmail [dot] com that depicts the color blue by Friday, May 15. Please send the picture as a cropped square image, otherwise I will crop at my own discretion. Photos should not be smaller than 900x900 px. Along with your picture, please include your name and blog name and url {if applicable}. If you are on Instagram, post your picture using #WRLprojectcolor and I will try and include it in the blog round ups! 

April 17, 2015

Happy Weekend!

I just couldn't help but share one more picture from our cherry blossom outing in DC. Look at that little cocker lookin straight into the camera. That rarely happens unless I have a treat in my hand, something I actually didn't have this time. So bless this boy for finding the camera and giving me one of his classic looks. 

What do you have planned for the weekend? 

Yangkyu and I are going bowling tonight! There'll be some major gutter ball action if you know what I mean. And if I end up not feeling tired by 10 pm we may go singing at one of those karaoke places that gives you a private room. We haven't been to one of those in a while. Then it's more garden work on Saturday and Sunday - we put together some raised beds last weekend and so now we'll be filing it with soil and fertilizer and letting them chill out together for about another week. We're also going to put some mulch around our veggie garden, pull out some major weeds that has been popping up everywhere and relax on new patio furniture. We picked those up too recently. Sometimes I feel like we are playing real life Sims. Oh yes and Napoleon the doxie {aka. 5 star treat general} is coming on Saturday and staying for a night with us. He's always fun to have around. 

Have a great one! 

April 16, 2015


Today marks 1 year since the Sewol Ferry tragedy where more than 300 people died, most of them students from Danwon High School. When the disaster happened I followed the news 24/7 and tried to get updated as much as I can. But then slowly but surely, life went on for me.

I had a moment today realizing that for an entire year when my life went on, families were still grieving and fighting for answers. There have been supporters too who have never left their side.

Unfortunately it looks as though there hasn't been much progress with anything. People are still angry and rightly so. 

There are images of rallies, vigils and marches in Korea being shared on social media, along with yellow ribbons, with the hashtag #remember416. There are also ongoing efforts to get answers for the families - mostly organized in Korea, but also in different countries and online. While the families grieve and fight, I hope everyone who remembers this day also grieves and fights along with them.

TBT: My grandmother. Date unknown. Somewhere in Korea.

This is my mom's mother. My grandmother. I never met her and only heard a couple of stories about her. And I just realized, I don't even know her name.

She had my mom when she was old - I mentioned before that by the time my mom was born, her oldest brother was old enough to be her dad. In fact, his daughter, I believe, was born around the same time as my mom. 

My brother met her when he was little but I don't think he has any recollection of her. I think when she passed away it was hard on my mom. It's not something she outwardly told me, it's just an inkling I have. While she had her older sister to lean on, I think my mom leaned on her own mom the most.

When I was a kid, and even now, I loved cold buckwheat noodle soup, or neng myun in Korean. Any time we were out, whether it was summer or winter, all I wanted was that. I recall my mom always saying how my grandmother would've loved seeing me eat neng myun so well. My grandmother loved neng myun, too. And my mom also added that my grandmother would've made me her famous Pyongyang {yes, Pyongyang as in North Korea Pyongyang} style neng myun just for me. 

My mother's family was originally from the northern part of Korea. That was before a random line, the 38th parallel, was drawn that would split Korea into two, North and South. Right before the war broke out, my mom's family came down to the southern part of Korea and took refuge there. A few months ago my mom told me this wild tale about their trek down and how their family unfortunately got split up but then was reunited by a miracle -- something to do with her oldest son and how he was able to get an army vehicle to help them.  I just don't know whether I can believe her or not. It just feels like the whole story is made up from her illness, but a small part of me thinks, what if she's telling the truth?

When I see so much hated, ignorance and mockery spurred at the people of North Korea, for being backward and almost delusional, my heart sinks with sadness. I think people, even those who live in South Korea, forget that we are all the same. We are one. We are all Korean. Not South Korean or North Korean, but Korean. That for some of us, we may still have family there. The whole Korean War and it still being divided in two is a sad story, one that started with greed and politics. And inbetween were families who were separated. When I think about my grandmother and my mom's wider family, I wonder if I too have distant relatives who I may never get to know, who live in a part of the country where the entire world seems to think it's ok to mock and degrade. That makes me sad.

 // Linking up with Want / Need

April 15, 2015

Spootie + Max + Murray

Remember Spootie? Well, she was back again at the end of March. She is becoming quite a regular here at Piri's Place and that is a good thing because we love her! She is just a year old, an age where they are spunky and energetic. We began to stop taking in younger guests because of their energetic traits which is now a bit too hard and overwhelming for Piri, but Spootie here is so sweet and gentle with him and leaves him alone. I think maybe she senses that he needs his sleep and his space. Well, she does from time to time try and sniff him but she does it in the most quietest and stealth way that Piri doesn't even notice. Most of the time she is either chasing squirrels or playing with her toy and coming to me to play tug of war. Spootie also loves backyard time and conversing with other neighborhood dogs. I wonder what they talk about. Maybe what they ate for breakfast? 

This is Max. He is a 6 year old Bichon/Yorkie mix. He was a little timid and unsure of some of the dogs that stayed at Piri's Place at the same time as him but he warmed up very quickly and decided that his bunk buddies weren't that bad afterall. But Max mostly either found his comfortable spot right on my lap or on top of cushions! He climbed Mt. Soderhamn {name of our sofa} like it was nobody's business. He conquered it one cushion at a time. Bravo Max! 

One of the most darling traits about him was how he would get so excited to greet Yangkyu when he came home from work. He stayed back while the other dogs were all over him near the front door, but when Max had some alone time with my husband he was all running around and barking and wagging his happy tail. Boy did that make Yangkyu feel pretty special - a solo serenade just for him. What a lucky guy. 

Thanks Max for being such a happy sweet guest. I hope you come back soon. 

You guys all know Murray. He's also a regular at Piri's Place. When he first came, he was so shy of the camera, but he has come a long way! During his latest stay with us he wasn't as scared and sometimes even looked straight at the camera. That wasn't so bad now was it? But Murray is still scared of the dark and also the motion sensor lights we have out in the backyard. I coax him to come out for the last time before heading to bed with some peanut butter {owner approved!} and lots of encouraging words like "You can do it, Murray!" or "Baby steps! Baby steps!" and "Just a little more! We're almost there, Murray! Whoa!" There were a few times when we were alllmost out the patio door but then he would hear a sound or the lights would go on and he would scurry away and we would have to start the whole process all over again. That's ok though. I had moments when I needed some extra encouragement because I was a little unsure - we all had those moments. For Murray, it's getting comfortable in the dark. 

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