June 30, 2015

Me and my peoples

My peoples like to take me everywhere.
Yesterday I saw a giant hamster wheel but it was for peoples.
They paid money to ride it. 
And they looked at me like I was the odd one. 
I guess they never saw a dog with a red convertible before.
Peoples are so odd.

--Piri, June/2015, National Habor, Maryland.

June 28, 2015

Vegan Cuts: June Box

June's Vegan Cuts Beauty Box had more sample sized items than last month but since last month had more full sized products it seems to balance out nicely for me. 

Here is what is inside: 

 + Emani {Full size, $20 value} : This is a two-in-one brow filler and eye liner duo. I am certainly not the best when it comes to make-up, especially for the eyes {and forget the eyebrows, I have never tried!}, but I am definitely going to try it out and eager to do so!  

 + Eco lips : This is a bee free lip balm. I have an abundance of lip balms which I don't use on the regular so I am going to send this one over to my mom. And I am sure that she will enjoy it. 

 + Bee All Natural : A coconut oil soap that is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. I am very tempted to keep this to myself but I think I'll send this one to my mom as well. I think she will love the scent. 

 + Pacifica : I have actually started to use this foaming face cleanser and I love it very much. It smells like the sea and it is coconut water-infused. 

 + Schmidt's : I haven't used this type of natural deodorant before but as with Emani, I am eager to try it. 

 + Hello : A pink grapefruit and mint-flavored toothpaste, which sounds so amazing but unfortunately both my mom and I have sensitive teeth and we use a special toothpaste to protect and strengthen our enamel. I have a separate pile of items to give to friends who may be interested in this though so this will definitely join that pile. 

Thanks for another lovely month of great vegan products!

As always, if you are interested in trying out this service, you can always sign up to receive your Vegan Cuts Beauty Box here! {They also have Vegan Snack Boxes 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.

June 27, 2015


What an amazing day it was yesterday when love triumphed. Here is the beautiful closing paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy's gay marriage ruling. 

PS -- While we celebrate, let's not forget that there are more battles to be fought beyond marriage equality. And even more that are not listed here. And while Yangkyu and I have faced {and sometimes still face} our share of struggles, we also sit here in the comforts of privilege. It's not enough that we rejoice and show our solidarity by sharing pictures on social media. There are much much more battles to be won for all marginalized members of our community {seniors, youth, children, women, immigrants, low-income residents and our animal friends, just to name a few} and things we can all do to help make that happen while also recognizing that there are people on the ground, day in and day out, who risk all to fight for their, and our, equality. What a wonderful place this world can be and what an even more wonderful thing to know that we can make it happen. 

June 26, 2015

Have a wonderful weekend + links

We received about 5 or 6 of those knotted hanging planters from Yangkyu's friend. Apparently they were on sale for really cheap on Amazon and so we received one too many. But then again I guess you can't really have too many indoor plants... can you? 

What are you doing for the weekend?

Two of our DogVacay guests leave today and our third guest will stay with us until Sunday. We may swing by our favorite dog park, maybe give our new fire pit a try and play with bubbles in the backyard. 

I was in the mood to do some weekend links again. The one with the dog retirement center bought tears to my eyes and we'll be donating to them for sure. They are called House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

 // This woman pours all her heart into making sure senior dogs live out their lives with love and care. A look inside a dog retirement center

 // I am definitely part of the 4-14%

 // My new go to place for all things cute

 // This tote bag is everything to my knitting soul. 

 // Amigurumi! Of course I'm linking to a dog pattern {smirk}. 

 // Definition of hell for each Meyers Briggs Type. Mine wasn't that funny but others are HILARIOUS! {I'm ISFJ by the way}

 // My favorite rescue family on Instagram. Their whole story is about second chances. 

 // Father's Day is past us but I'm still remember this touching ad by Toyota. 

 // Another video but another good one! Amanda Seyfried and her best friend Finn. Yes. He's a dog.

 // Perfect song to start the weekend!

Happy weekend! 

June 25, 2015

June Project Color: Purple

To tell you the truth, I am not really a big fan of the color purple but when a storm passed by us a couple of nights ago and left the skies the color of a glorious purple hue I was left breathlessly stunned. I might have been wrong about this color all along. 

A beautiful chrysanthemum, petals from garden balsams that are currently blossoming beautifully in our backyard and a candle holder round out this month's project color. 

Thank you Arni for joining in this month using #WRLprojectcolor on Instagram! 

 // arniderivera // 

July is going to be all about the color pink. 

If you'd like to join in, email me one photo at windingridgelane [at] gmail [dot] com that depicts the color pink by Friday, July 17. 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 Project Color: Green

June 24, 2015

The happier person should do the harder work.

A couple of months ago I was reading the Modern Manners section of Real Simple magazine {May issue} when I came across a story. It went something like this: 

A woman and her husband were expecting their first child, and it was also a first grandchild for her husband's parents. And rightly so they were all very excited.  
Unfortunately her husband's older sister and her husband have been unable to conceive and were looking to adopt. According to her she said that when they announced she was pregnant she received very rude comments from the husband's older sister and her husband including that "we were not to tell people that we are pregnant in front of them because it hurts their feelings."  
She acknowledged the difficulty they were going through and says she has been giving them their space to deal with it, but the bitter comments and ignoring of family functions have hurt her feelings too. She says "I feel as though I cannot be excited about having my first child or discuss anything about it for fear that they will be offended." 

The response give by Catherine Newman, Real Simple's etiquette expert, to this woman's social quandary was this: 

"You're having a baby! You should be thrilled, and you are, so let your abundant joy spill over into compassion for your unhappy sister-in-law. (There is a good rule of thumb in many difficult situations: The happier person should do the harder work.) Ideally, the couple would muster a bit of graciousness at family gatherings. But if they can't, you will have to continue to dial down your excitement. Pregnancy is such a poignantly visual reminder to would-be parents struggling with infertility. Doubtless they feel as if you're flaunting it when you so much as step into a room, and ignoring you may be their best option in their own raw state. So keep cutting them slack, and consider visiting with your husband's parents alone so that you can rejoice openly together. And cross your fingers that the adoption goes through. Once those little cousins are running around together, all will be well again."

Several more months ago I saw an article online. It was one of those times when I saw a bajillion pregnancy and birth announcements on Facebook, which always seem to occur right around the time when I find out that I am, once again, not pregnant {sorry, I sound like a broken record don't I?}. I was looking for things to read to make me feel better. You know, to find voices of women who are going through the same struggles, who are writing about their feelings I can relate to. Even finding someone who wrote a good vent session because I surely could have use one at the time. But the blog post I ended up reading was about women couldn't stand hearing about their friend's infertility problems. I was appalled. I don't talk about my infertility issues with friends for different reasons - I sometimes write about it here on the blog but it's mostly done in private conversations with Yangkyu which are largely filled with sadness, sometimes anger and lots of tears. And after reading this online I was kind of glad I kept my issues to myself and within my own space. 

Among other points the blogger {who is going through infertility} wrote, two things stood out. That for every single infertility "whining" a friend has to bear, her infertile friend probably has to smile and congratulate 10 of her friends on their birth and pregnancy announcements. And every day, week and month, that friend who is whining about her infertility has to comment and like and coo at 20 different babies because it's her niece or nephew or a child of a very close friend. That she is obligated, despite the fact that even seeing a baby may be difficult for her, because she is family or that she is a good friend. We just have to suck it up and be happy for them otherwise we're relegated to being cold, heartless, selfish, sad, bitter infertiles.

But what the blogger also points out is that it's all about balance. I sometimes can't stand it when people only talk about one thing all the time - whether it be babies, dogs or food. I like variety in my conversation. And so I get that if the person is only talking about her infertility every single time, that it can get a bit overbearing as well. 

One person's comment on why she was annoyed with her friend and her constant talk about infertility stood out for me. She wrote how she stayed by her friend's side, got excited for her when her friend finally got pregnant and wept when she had a miscarriage. But years and years of this wore down on her because it was the only thing her friend would talk about. That she too wished she could get pregnant but couldn't because she was trying to find someone to settle down with. And she hurt that her friend could not see that.

For me, this person had every right to be annoyed. 

Everything about life is about balance isn't it? Sometimes it's so hard to see that. But I also agree though, that the happier person should do the harder work. It's not pitying. It's being mindful and self aware of the privilege we have on being on the happier side of things. 

Whenever I see a person I follow on Instagram who shares that their dog has crossed the rainbow bridge, I don't post a picture of Piri for a day. I know they are probably not even looking on Instagram and are grieving away from their phones. But it's just what I do to grieve with them. Sure I can say, "Well my dog has kidney disease and we are on borrowed time so I will post as many pictures I want because it's my space and he's a sick dog!", but I don't. My dog is still alive despite his issues. 

But of course this doesn't mean that I'm sensitive to everyone and their feelings - there are too many struggles out there for me to understand. I'm sure I still put my foot in my mouth and have made insensitive comments but I acknowledge it, say sorry and then don't do it again. It's sometimes tempting to say "but.." and put the blame back on the other person but I try not to do that. It doesn't really accomplish anything.

Compassion and empathy are really hard to embrace and practice. It's really an every day learning experience.

Where is Sydney?

Sydney is a doggy guest staying with us right now. See if you can find her in this picture.

PS - Those are the sorry streamers and lone banner I put up for Yangkyu's birthday. Ha.

June 23, 2015

A Girl and Her Dog: Sara + Bailey

We have a fantastic duo from California for this month's A Girl and Her Dog series. Sara and Bailey are from San Diego, and their story is one of rescue and truest of true love. If you read their story you will know that they were meant to be together from the beginning despite not having the best timing and having to get over some difficult hurdles. But I'll let Bailey tell you that story. {yes! Bailey, not Sara, is the one sharing the story here!} Before I let her takeover though, let me just give you a glimpse of how adorable this girl is. 

See here


And here. {I mean, can you Vogue like that?}

Sara's wonderful pictures and Bailey's adoring and funny captions of their daily moments together is heartwarming and adds that extra smile to my day. They also didn't let their happily ever after end with them - they foster dogs so that they may also find a place to hang their leash with their forever family {you can see some of Bailey's past foster siblings here}. These two are truly amazing. 

Here is all about Sara and Bailey. 

The Girl: Sara 
The Dog: Bailey. She is some mystery mix of Bichon/Poodle/Coton Breeds. She's a mix of love. 
Sara's favorite snack/drink: I am actually obsessed with affogatos (espresso poured over gelato!) and watermelon juice! Not at the same time though. ;) 
Bailey's favorite snack: Bailey is insanely addicted to Polka Dog Bakery's Cod Fish Skins! I have some stashed in my nightstand and she will sit and stare and stare at it until I come over and give her some.  
From: San Diego, CA 
Find them on Instagram: @darlingbailey

The story about you and your dog human: 

Hi I'm Bailey! I begged mom to let me tell you our story. So in true Instagram style, here it goes! 

I was almost three months old when we first met. My foster mom brought me to my (soon to be) new home and I worked hard to be devastatingly adorable for them. At the time, my mom and dad were looking for just the right pup! And at 4lbs and 6oz of fluffy joy - they knew I was the one! 

Mom first saw my picture on Second Chance Dog Rescue's Facebook a month earlier. It was love at first sight, but it was also too late! I had been quickly adopted by another family. Unfortunately, I was quickly returned to SCDR because I had come down with the deadly virus, Parvo. Soon after, the rescue found both my sisters also had the virus and sadly the smallest one didn't survive. Things were just not going my way. Where are you forever family?!!

A month later when the doctor cleared me, the rescue put me back on their website. Even though I made a full recovery, all of the sudden interested families were scared of my Parvo history. Well one late night while surfing the Internet for adoptable puppies, mom saw me again! She thought it was a mistake because she knew I had already been adopted! She immediately emailed them and then fell asleep. The next morning, my foster called her and asked if she was ok with my medical history. Of course mom said yes! And jumped at the chance to welcome my little bouncing butt of fluffy happiness into their lives! 

Before I went to her house, I had an appointment with another family to meet before my mom's turn with me, but they canceled because of my Parvo history - again! Well it worked out for the best because I was then taken to my mom's house so we could meet and I never left!! Imagine me, the cutest little ball of fluff, on my best behavior, being all cute and adorable. There was no way they could resist me! My mom said if she let me go back to my foster's to think about adopting me, she would have lost me forever and she was not about to let that happen. Again!! I was the perfect fit for them. The missing puzzle piece. 

Now I wake mom and dad up every morning and show them my appreciation for loving me by pouncing all over them and covering them with kisses. They must save a lot of money from my massages and facials of love! Parvo didn't affect me one bit! We do everything together! We go to the beach, go to the park, go shopping, explore San Diego, meet lots of Instagram doggie friends, and so much more. I even keep a diary of all the places they take me. 

Ok, I got to go. Mom just opened the pantry and I smell fish sticks! Thanks for reading our forever and ever story!! 



Thank you Bailey and Sara!
You can see more of the life they share on Instagram at @darlingbailey.

 // Read more "A Girl and Her Dog" stories here.

June 22, 2015

A birthday and Father's Day

On Saturday we celebrated Yangkyu's 36th birthday. It was actually a really hectic morning but somehow I was able to put up little decorations {ok it was one small banner and a couple of sorry looking streamers} and tied a yellow bow around Piri's neck and called him downstairs for a happy birthday cheer. 

I had intended to make him a really hearty breakfast meal but after taking care of all the dogs {5 at the time!} and fighting with the streamers, my energy was spent. Instead we settled for some take out {and thank goodness for take out}. 

Adding on to my miserable fails in not being prepared to celebrate Yangkyu's birthday was the fact that I didn't even buy a cake for him. But our friends came to the rescue when they dropped by with double chocolate cake and balloons! I think I might's have seen angel wings on them because they looked more like angels than friends to me at that moment {hallelujah!}. 

One final fail came when I could not, for the life of me, find the bajillion birthday candles I had bought throughout the years for occasions just like this and instead relied on jar candles {#fail #fail #fail} for him to blow out. 

I am notorious for giving Yangkyu the worst birthdays but man I think this year just topped it. But what is so great about this guy is that he was all smiles throughout. 

Someone asked me a long time ago what I liked most about Yangkyu and I said he always makes me laugh. She rolled her eyes and said how that was so boring and typical and that should never be the best thing to like about a guy. It should be given. So for a while I stopped staying Yangkyu making me laugh was the best thing I liked about him because I got so self conscious, but then realized, hey, um.. but that really is the best thing I like about him! He makes me laugh in an intended and unintended way {unintended like when he laughs at really weird, dumb and odd things that I don't find amusing at all but I still end up laughing because seeing him laugh in that uncontrollable goofy way is so contagious}. 

After he blew out the miserable looking candles, I asked what he wished for and he didn't tell me. Of course. If you tell someone your wish it won't come true. Then after taking a bite out of his cake he said he wished to win the lottery. Well that's just sealed the deal for us. Now we are never going to win the lottery!

The following day we didn't really celebrate Father's Day I but made a little shout out. 

You know actually when it's just me, Yangkyu and Piri, we don't say that we are Piri's mom and dad. I say I'm his nuna {older sister} and Yangkyu is his hyung-ah {older brother - I know this probably sounds really incestuous but please read on}. 

See, my brother got Piri for my mom, and my parents took care of Piri for the first 7 years of his life. Those glorious years were spent in Atlanta, GA. Then my sister in law got pregnant {she is not a dog person and didn't want to have dogs after she and my brother married but they eventually settled on a deal that once she got pregnant Piri would be re-homed} and my parents were splitting their time between Korea and the U.S. {they have since resettled back in Korea for good}, and so Piri came to live with me in New York. I didn't want to take the "mom" title away from my mom and since he was being re-homed within the family I stuck to the title of being his older sister. I was dating Yangkyu at the time and to make things easier he became Piri's older brother or "hyung-ah" because you know Korean honorifics can be used outside of immediate family members {among friends, colleagues, etc.}.

After Yangkyu and I got married, we all ended up taking up Yangkyu's last name and to people outside and folks who don't know Korean we ended up saying we are Piri's mom and dad {or that we're his human} but when it is just us, I'm his nuna and Yangkyu is his hyung-ah {"hyung" by the way is older brother and "ah" is just.. how do I explain.. a cute attachment to the honorific that little kids use.} 

But even with all this confusing relationship status we have going on here, I still thought Yangkyu deserved a pet papa shout out. 

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Here's to a productive week! 

June 19, 2015

Some random ramblings and things

A couple of weeks ago I took our old winter bed sheet and decided to make a new mat out of it. The previous one I had made is becoming a little tattered around the edges and originally I was going to add on to the mat to make it bigger but I thought that maybe I can make this one more oval instead of circular. I've already crocheted one side of the bed sheet and have the second side left. I'll work on my stitches today and throughout the weekend. Working with a fat crochet hook and bed sheets is a little bit more tricky and less smooth than working with yarn and a smaller hook but it still has the same soothing effect on my soul. 

Speaking of soothing the soul, I've picked some fresh mint from my herb container garden and making myself a hot pot of tea. 

I've recently discovered the show VEEP. Do you watch? I don't know how I've lived my life before I knew about the show. How could I have only heard about it now? I love it. It cracked me up to no end and I can't wait until the new season starts. 

I've also been on a stuffed anchovy olive kick for the past few months. I finish a small jar in one sitting, a large jar in two sittings, which  makes me go through a few jars a month. Is this healthy?

I'm noticing that Piri has developed a chronic hacking cough. He's had it previously but only once or twice a day. Now it's more like more often. It gets me worried when he acts out of the ordinary. Oh my dear Piri.. will I ever stop being such a worry wort?

Whenever I find a bug in the house and ask Yangkyu to get rid of it, he talks to them. In front of me. He says things like, "Bug, why did you come in here?" or "Bug, why did you let yourself be seen? Evil Jane wants me to kill you now." And then I start feeling a little guilty but then remember that I really really hate bugs. Yesterday I found a bug that looked like a scarab and put a plastic cup over it. When Yangkyu was done with his conference call I asked him to get rid of the bug and the cup. Flush it down the toilet. Do not let it go outside! I then busied myself and Yangkyu made small talk, made me laugh and then I did hear Yangkyu go downstairs and heard a "ding" sound which is our motion sensor on our balcony door, but didn't think much of it. 15 minutes later I got a suspicious hunch and then this conversation happened: 

Me: Yangkyu? Did you out outside? To the yard? 
Yangkyu: Yeah..
Me: Why? 
Yangkyu: Oh to let the.. I mean to get some fresh air. 
Me: You let the bug go didn't you. 
Yangkyu: No.. 
Me: Yes you did. 
Yangkyu: No I didn't. 
Me: I told you to flush it! 
Yangkyu: Come on Jane! It was just a baby! 

I am still trying to formulate a response to that. 

Oh. I found that same bug, or what I think is the same bug, hanging out on our screen door just moments later. 

There was a spider on our living room ceiling a couple of hours after that. 

Why me. Why do I always spot them?

Yesterday I had a memory smell. It was of the time when we first moved into this house. It brought me back to that bittersweet moment when we stepped into this house and dreamt of new and beautiful opportunities while feeling utterly sad about our miscarriage which happened the day of our move. I had a moment when I thought back and wondered if we had a healthy pregnancy that our Basil/Clover would been around 3 months now. But then I wonder if our infertility is a blessing in disguise. That in some odd and heartbreaking way it is giving us more time and attention to Piri. His most recent health scare got me thinking how we would've handled everything if there was a little baby to take care of as well.

But maybe it's just another one of my defense mechanisms so that my heart won't hurt as much. I sometimes do this. Convince myself or to put it more harshly, lie to myself and make myself believe in different possibilities to make sense of our infertility. 

On a more lighter note, tomorrow is Yangkyu's birthday. It's a full house at Piri's Place and Piri is still on the mends but I plan on putting up a little decoration. I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do for his cake. But even if it means I'll only get to put up two sorry looking streamers, I'll put up those sorry looking streamers because he deserves a little something special. 

What do you have planned for the weekend? 
I hope it will be a delightfully pleasant one. 

June 18, 2015

On the mends

Has it really been 8 days since Piri began showing signs of being sick? 

8 days since I've been on this space? 

The good news is that it looks like Piri is finally on the mends. Two days ago he received strong antibiotic shots to fight off what looks like was an infection in his stomach that he just couldn't fight off. As of this morning, he still doesn't really have an appetite but he is walking better although he prefers to lie down and sleep most of the time. But his eyes, oh his expressive eyes are back and he looks alert and peeks over at us when we are walking around. 

I can't tell you how many times this past week my heart dropped to the floor and then was uplifted with hope. I can't begin to tell you when I saw the life just literally escape him. I can't recount all the times I broke down crying, when I lost hope and when I thought, "is this really good-bye? Like this?" 

At his lowest he lost all control over his legs, was peeing on himself, was not eating, couldn't open his eyes property because they were so bloodshot and tried to bite us when we tried to move him, probably because he was in pain. He walked into the vet's office for the first time to treat whatever was ailing him this past Saturday and a few days later we found ourselves carrying him in on a big ole blanket

Yangkyu and I haven't been eating well because whenever we tried to have a meal it just didn't sit well with us. I haven't even found time to shower until yesterday because whenever I wasn't caring for Piri, I was making sure our DogVacay guest Max was cared for and loved. I never missed a play session with him and Yangkyu has been diligent in giving him his epic massages. Yesterday while we were all out and about I bought him a little toy from Target. An extra thanks for being so sweet. 

Our kitchen looked like it went through some disaster. Because Piri wasn't eating I was cooking up all sorts of things to entice him, to get his appetite back, but in the end I only ended up with food not eaten and a butt load of dirty dishes and pots and pans. And at the end of a long day after not sleeping and eating so well, feeling groggy because I also couldn't shower, worrying to death and being perky and cheerful for our guest, the dirty dishes just looked like an excruciating chore to even get in the dishwasher. Not to mention unloading the dishwasher. That was just as painful to do.

And I don't even have the breath to mention the amount of laundry I've been doing. 

But these are just all frivolous complaints. 

Things look brighter and I feel lighter. 

Yangkyu has been working from home and putting in extra hours and helping me with everything. His birthday is in two days and while I already forced him to open his present {because I couldn't wait.. I know.. it's not even my birthday and I wasn't the one opening presents..} I am still planning on doing a little something special because man I think he deserves it. He doesn't expect it and I think he thinks we'll just go on with the day like any other day but even if it means I can only put up sorry looking streamers, I'll be put up those sorry looking streamers :) 

Finally, I can't believe all the wonderful people who were rooting for Piri from the blog, Facebook and Instagram. Beautiful people! I've cried and laughed and felt positive. I guess that is the power of words. 

Thank you for making us feel like we can flex our muscles again. 

I have so much catching up to do but will soon.

Here's to our little old man, Piri, and his road to recovery.

I told you he was our comeback kid. Always has. And always will.

June 10, 2015

My Old Man Piri

Well it was a tough night for Piri. 

For the past two days, Piri has not been happy with his k/d food. He has been resisting yet still he's taken food from my hand and have eaten it. Yesterday's lunch time was a bit more of a struggle but in the end the little pieces of asparagus got him going and he ended up finish his food. Dinner was another story. He ate just a few pieces and then he stopped altogether. He pulled out all the stops, even bringing back his odd behavior of "burying his food" with the piece of dish cloth I had laid under his dish. He moved his head back and forth until almost all his food was covered and then he tried to pull the dish cloth from under the dish. 

I remember reading somewhere that little pieces of pasta was ok to give to dogs with kidney disease. I boiled some and gave them to him. He ate it up. I was relieved that he got something in his stomach. I gave him his blood pressure medicine and his joint supplement. We went to bed. 

At 12 am and then at 3 am, Piri asked to be let out. He needed to relieve himself. He strained but eventually got it out of his system. I think he had an upset stomach. He didn't want to go back upstairs with us after his second outing and I didn't nudge him to since I know it's harder for him to go up and down the stairs. He has a bed in the kitchen and also a couple of mats he likes to sleep on. And so I let him be. 

At 4 am I heard gagging sounds coming from the kitchen and I saw that he threw up twice. Little pieces of pasta I had given him and a bunch of his k/d food. I felt horrible. I wonder if I gave him too much broccoli or asparagus. Or if the pasta did not sit well with him. Or if it's the k/d food he's been forcing himself to eat.

I carried him up the stairs this time and put him on his bed next to us. He fell asleep shaking. I stayed up looking up all sorts of things on the Internet that got me nervous and anxious and terribly sad and helpless. I woke up this morning to find him in the bathroom shaking like a leaf.  

Since yesterday Piri has been lethargic, tired and very emotionless. I am not sure what to feed him today - in the past when he wasn't feeling well, we gave him some boiled chicken and rice but Piri can't have chicken anymore. I'm trying to rack my brain to get something soothing inside his tummy and I have no idea. 

I ordered new food for him. It's from Just Food for Dogs and it's homemade food. I got the vet supported renal support low protein food for Piri and it's due get here on Friday. Until then I was trying to get him to eat. But now I'm afraid to give him anything. 

I'm babbling here. I think I just need someone to listen. I already told this story to Yangkyu. But it somehow makes me feel better to repeat the story to others and just say it again and again. I say Piri's burying behavior is odd. I guess I'm not far from being odd either. 

Please keep Piri in your thoughts. This may just be a one time thing where he had an upset stomach, but I can't help being afraid that this is his kidney disease getting progressively worse.

I'm hoping it's not. 

Today we're taking a short one day break from Piri's Place-DogVacay. Yangkyu also took off from work and so we're planning on taking it slow, maybe going for a car ride, which Piri loves and getting some sun. All the while we'll be trying our hardest to nurse Piri back to himself.

PS -- We were at the vet not too long ago and his vitals and kidney levels were all reading ok. We are dropping off a urine sample this morning. You won't believe how proud I was for being able to catch his pee inside that tiny plastic cup. Let's hope his creatinine and BUN levels are ok.

June 9, 2015

Making: Granny Square Step Stool Cover

While I am still struggling to finish that big ole granny square blanket I started a bajillion years ago {ok.. maybe not that long ago but it feels like it!}, I took a little blanket break to make a cover for our step stool. 

I made tiny granny squares - only three rounds - using this basic pattern - using a size E crochet hook. Unfortunately I don't remember which yarn I used, they were ones picked up at my local yarn store. 

I chose colorful yarn just because I love a pop of color now and then. The border is done in a creamy white. I like the balance. I don't have a pattern for the border. I eyeballed it {always a bad idea in hindsight but at the time I feel like I can make it work} - using double crochets all around and in the first round I did two double crochets in the corners. Then for rounds two, three and four, I decreased every 5 stitches. Even so the cover is still a bit loose but that's ok.

My stitches are also a bit messy. I feel like I say this every time I share a crochet project. I was messing up on the border because I was going off on a feel and then that right corner granny square started to unravel  and the one below that started looking a bit funky and then I just lost my patience altogether and plowed through. Sigh. But I'm always trying to remember to crochet slower and neater. I need to find an art print that says that. 

Now on to that blanket of mine...

What are you making {or dreaming of making}? 

June 8, 2015


Several days ago I made a random decision to cut my hair. I haven't had it cut in 2 years and throughout all this time I've trimmed my own bangs and even bought thinning shears to thin out my own hair all around. 

You see, right after my wedding {almost 6 years ago} I chopped off all my hair - it was pretty long then but for some odd reason I thought it would be liberating to get rid of the long locks. I ended up with a super short cut and I had a hard time styling it and feeling good in it. The cut came at a time when I gained weight rapidly and so I was feeling a little insecure about my body image {still am, but trying to be better at it} because I felt as though the short hair-do made me look heavier. 

Anyway, I went through this short hair style phase for a long time because I didn't have the patience to grow it out again, but then a stylist I once saw in Flushing, NY, during a short trip we made there, once said to me that I would never be able to grow my hair out again. That I was stuck with this short cut. FOREVER. It was just such a shocking admission. I was a bit taken aback because of how confident she sounded, too. And maybe a part of me wanted to prove her wrong. And so I bit the bullet and decided to be patient through all the awkward growing out phase.

I also ended skipped going to the salon altogether. 

Well, I skipped going mainly because every time I asked for a trim, with the stylists I saw here in my neighborhood, they would cut 2 inches off and I felt as though every time I grew some hair out it would get all cut off. What?? Why?! Was this a conspiracy theory to prove that I wouldn't be able to grow my hair out? 

I jest. But man was it annoying.

When I was living in New York, I went to a salon in midtown called Le Salon Chinois {now closed} and had the best stylist ever. Her name was Asami and she would give me these cuts that looked fabulous even after I washed my hair. I literally didn't have to do anything to it. Sometimes I didn't know what I wanted and she would come up with a style that I ended up loving. I asked for hair dyes that was the closest to my natural hair color and she did exactly that.

Ever since moving to the Virginia area I have been going to a place I was pretty indifferent to. The people were nice but every time I went with a picture of a particular hair style I came out looking the same. They never did what I asked them to do but perhaps then I didn't really care about my hair either to switch places. And then I just stopped going. 

YouTube tutorials on how to trim bangs became my best friend. I turned to natural products and lots of conditioning to make sure my hair was moisturized as my hair grew longer. But the tangles. And the shedding. It was getting a bit too much. And all those different hair styles I wanted to try when my hair grew long? Never really happened. Or never really looked right. I mean do they ever? {If they do, tell me your secret because I want to know!}

So why was I torturing myself with all this hair? 

On Sunday, I walked into a salon and came out pretty content.

While it does seem a little weird not to have all this hair to put up in a messy bun {I look at the picture on the left and miss the messy look} and those insecurities about looking heavier are creeping back on me, I feel as though it's more manageable. And so now I guess I will start pinning different things I can do to style a medium length cut that'll probably end up not looking the way it's supposed to, but that's always the story of me and my hair. Unruly and never wanting to conform, I guess. 

PS - I know I always talk about body image here and how I always say I'm heavy. I don't want to come off as someone who looks fine but is always complaining about how "fat" she is. For me, it's been a bit hard to have gained weight so rapidly and having to deal with it all of the sudden {I never had weight control issues until I hit my thirties, and I think it's one of those changes that my body went through that I am still trying to understand and come to terms with - but even with this, I still say my thirties are the best years of my life!}. I have a lot of fat and flab that I've accumulated all over and it doesn't feel very nice, and isn't probably very healthy either. Those are the things that I feel the most insecure with. I have ran and gone on diets and have lost 13 pounds at one point but I haven't been able to maintain a healthy body. I am still trying. And I am still trying to be ok with my body the way it is and not comparing it with how I was in my early twenties. I'm a different woman now. I just need to find what makes me feel good inside. I know I will find it. And accept it. And love it. I'm sure. But now I'm still searching.

June 5, 2015

Super Spootie to Start Your Weekend!

Happy Friday! 

A couple of months ago, we were invited to write a post for DogVacay's Doggy Diaries - each diary tells how a dog's stay went with their host and host dogs from the perspective of the dog. My Doggy Diary featured Spootie from when she first came to Piri's Place for doggy daycare. The post coincided with DogVacay's relaunch of their daycare service and we were stoked to be a part of it. 

Come start your Friday and weekend fun with super Spootie! Read all about her stay with us {and Piri makes a small appearance too so you can see our happy old man there}. 

What do you have planned for the weekend? 

For me it's a bit more reading and hopefully watching our Netflix movie we have had out for a gazillion months - Maleficent. 

Have a good one! 

June 4, 2015

TBT - My Mom and Her Niece. Korea. Year unknown. Maybe mid 1950s.

I remember when my mom showed me this picture when I was a child. It was so weird to see my mom around the same age as me - as a little girl. When we are young, it's hard to imagine that our parents were once children too. And forget about imagining them as teenagers! 

That's my mom on the left. And on the right is her niece {in my previous stories I had mentioned that my grandmother had my mother very late and my mom's oldest brother was old enough to be my mom's dad. He had a daughter around the same time my mom was born. That is her.). 

My mom said she was sick here. She has a sore throat and that's why she had a handkerchief around her neck to keep it warm. I feel like that is such an old wives tale of treating sore throats. Or maybe not.

Despite her being sick she is seen playing rock, paper, scissors with her niece. When my mom told me this story she laughed because she said she was so bad at playing that game. She always lost. Years later, when I was in college, my friends I would play rock, paper, scissors to see who would be the one to do grunt work like wash the dishes or run to the nearest market to pick up junk food. I always lost. And I always thought I inherited being fantastically horrible at rock, paper, scissors from my mother. 

There are so many things I love about this picture. I love the hanbok {traditional dress} they are wearing, which was still a norm to wear as every day dress back then. The little stains she has, probably from being a mischievous tomboy. And the fur lined vest tells me that it was probably winter when this picture was taken. But I wonder about this place. I wish I could see it in real life. The shadows and the tables and the checkered floors all fascinate me. Where was this?

I also love the handkerchief loosely tied around her neck and her butterfly hair clip. Despite her being sick with a cold she has a smile. Their hands are blurry from calling out rock, paper, scissors. I bet they were squealing in anticipation at what they would both put out. And I wonder what move my chose. I bet it was paper. Paper always loses. I always put out paper. I didn't even realize it until someone told me that was the reason I always lost because everyone knew that I always put out paper. 

I see this little girl and I see my mother now. And I think back on her life. It's amazing but also scary to think that this happy little girl, from when she would turn 40, would battle a mental disease that would hamper her life. You sometimes wonder the what ifs. What if she got to live her differently. What if we could've provided her a different environment that fostered a more healthy mindset for her. When I look back the story of my mom, it almost all the time ends with lots of questions, what ifs, a heart full of apologies and regrets. 

June 3, 2015


Isn't it great when you can fully use something without throwing any of its parts away? I'm finding out that eggs are like that.

A few months ago we began to save our eggshells for our compost. When our vegetable garden grows bigger and bigger, critters will start coming around and hang out there. That includes slugs. Yangkyu read somewhere that if you crush eggshells and spread it around your soil, it will deter the slugs from hanging around - mainly because the pointy edges will poke them and, well, I guess no one really likes getting poked. Eggshells are also rich in calcium and while it works to deter slugs, it also provides great nutrients to whatever you are growing.

So every time we crack one, we have been washing the shells and saving them up. We have also started to compost our egg cartons as well. In the past we have always bought our eggs from the farmers market and saved our egg cartons to buy a dozen each week, but with the dog daycare business we have going here, we haven't been able to make it out in a while. We hope to change that though. I mean, we say we haven't been able to make it but really, if we thought it was important enough to get our eggs from the farmers market we would somehow make it work, right? Plus, it's disheartening to read how labels can be deceiving and in some cases there are no regulations in place, and so while we may be buying "cage free" eggs or "free range" eggs from the market it doesn't necessary mean that chickens are roaming around on sunny green fields. 

The other day I was tempted to try a small sampling from what's been growing in our garden. Some Perilla Leaves, Galilee Spinach and Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce. I looked at them freshly picked, unwashed and homegrown and man did that feel pretty good. We had them for dinner and we enjoyed every flavor and crunch. 

Every day I'm learning something new about gardening. I'm such a noob it's not even funny. Even things like thinning out vegetables is something I'm trying to figure out {like can somehow literally show me? And yes, that is why I go on YouTube every morning}. Our carrots and basil have been exploding and so have our Garden Balsams and Poppies and I just don't even know where or how to even begin thinning them out. But I'm figuring it out slowly but surely. 

What are you growing {or dreaming of growing} over where you are? 

June 2, 2015

Life lately, according to my iphone.

 "Be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios." 

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