September 30, 2017


Today I took out Piri's old lead and used it on my walk with Lady. I haven't held it since Piri crossed the rainbow bridge. It fit like a glove. Like it was meant for my hands. Lady and I enjoyed a nice walk - 40 minutes. Our favorite route includes my occasional jogging route. Lady also has been wearing Bartles' old harness. It's like her brothers are always near her, watching out for her. And me. 

Tomorrow marks 3 months since Bartles crossed the rainbow bridge and 14 days until Piri's 1 year of his passing. I have been going through a wave of emotions. Sometimes I just want to be sad. Sometimes I want to be happy. Sometimes I'm anxious because I don't know how to feel. And sometimes just don't have any feelings at all. I just presume that this is normal behavior. 

I've just finished reading The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. I finished the last 150 pages sitting at a Panera near our home while Yangkyu finished up his homework for one of his grad school courses. At the tail end of the book, I began to bawl. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's poignant, sad and beautifully written. 

When Piri was fighting cancer, for some reason I began to read about cancer and children. At the time, Humans of New York was holding a fundraiser for a hospital in New York treating children with cancer. Their pictures and stories broke my heart and I cried every night reading a new story. Then I came across this article, When Do you Give Up on Treating a Child with Cancer in the Times, and I bawled and was amazed at what had happened to this child. It wasn't the same, but I kept trying to imagine the heartache of these parents, families and children as they fought a terminal disease. I was a wreck with my old senior dog fighting cancer, I wondered how much more frightening, tiring, hopeful and at times hopeless it was for these young warriors and the adults who would do anything to protect them. Heal them. It was what I had wanted to do for Piri. I don't meant to sound insensitive comparing Piri's fight to theirs. It might be a tactless way to try and relate, but I couldn't help but try to make a connection. 

I have never done well with death for as long as I remember. Every time I try to figure it out, I talk it out with Yangkyu but we never seem to find an answer.

Tonight is very quiet. Just the sound of my keyboard typing. We'll soon all get ready to go to bed and starting tomorrow, it'll be busy with guest dogs coming and going for most of October. 

One night a couple of weeks ago, Lady got up in the middle of the night, looked in the direction of my closet and started to growl. I was scared but then wondered if maybe Bartles and Piri had come to visit. I coaxed her and told her it was ok. And in my head I thought, "It's just your brothers. It's ok. Go back to sleep." She hasn't growled since that night. I am hoping that it's not because they haven't visited, but because she now realizes that they are kindred spirits, coming to say hello.

September 18, 2017

Korea, according to my iPhone (pt. 2) + 5 years of blogging!

 // Travel Korea: Seoul
 // Trave Korea : Seoul

*Our blog turns 5 years old today. I looked back on the first ever post and it brought me right back to that moment. I'm happy now, but I think from this moment on from when Piri crossed the rainbow bridge last year were the happiest years of my life.

September 17, 2017

Travel Korea - Seoul


We're back with our Korea travels and we're almost at the end. This day is from one of our last days in Seoul before we headed back up north to Paju to stay with my parents for a night while preparing to fly back home. 

It's hard to believe that we were in Korea 5 months ago. It only feels like yesterday and yet so much time has passed and so much has happened since. 

After our adventures exploring palaces, secret gardens and traditional homes right in heart of Seoul, Yangkyu and I ventured to a place we were familiar with, the N Seoul Tower, or what we used to know as just Namsan Tower. 

I remember N Seoul Tower from kindergarten. I believe we went there on a field trip. Sadly, the only thing I remember from that trip was seeing a cardboard cut up of ET.

ET actually scared me a as a little kid and so I wasn't particularly fond of seeing him, but it was one of the most popular movies among kids back in the 80s and so I think he left a big imprint in my mind (to the point where he is the only thing I remember from my trip to the tallest point in Seoul). 

To be completely honest, both Yangkyu and I weren't expecting too much at N Seoul Tower but it was just one of those places we thought we needed to check off while in Korea (we flew all the way there! we have to go!). Mostly I really wanted to place a lock with our names on it. It was something I had always wanted to do (one of the reasons I wanted to go to Paris last year) and this was our chance.

And while N Seoul Tower wasn't a place I thought I would enjoy a whole lot, I ended up enjoying every minute of it. It was a complete surprise. 

We took the subway and walked, which was a little hard because there is a hilly part you have to get over. If you're used to walking and enjoy it and consider yourself on the fitter side, then it shouldn't be a problem. If you don't enjoy walking a whole lot and running for 5 minutes knocks out your lungs, perhaps finding another alternative to get to the main building to ride the cable cars up to the tower would be a better choice (I believe there are free shuttle buses at the nearest subway stop to N Seoul Tower). 

Going back home, we ended up walking down hill towards the shuttle bus area and ended up taking the bus to the subway stop. We thought we were almost going to die because the bus drivers tend to drive a bit on the scary side, but we held on to dear life, along with everyone else in the bus (we felt like we were inside an anchovy can - just like in the cable car) who let out woos and ahh and oh my goshes throughout the ride. I almost forgot I was inside a bus. It felt more like a roller coaster ride. Ok.. maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit.

As soon as you get off of the cable cars, there are fences and fences of locks with people's names and messages, ones probably of their hopes and dreams of good health, fortune, happiness and love. 

We bought our lock and borrowed a marker from the seller and wrote what we had wrote when we were in Insadong when we hung our tag at the Wall of Love - "Jane, Yangkyu, Piri and Bartles - Always the four of us."

Afterwards we made our way towards the tower, grabbed a bite to eat at one of the eateries (we got burgers and fries), enjoyed the expansive view and then made our way inside to the elevator that takes you up the tower. 

While on top we found points of interest for us including directions toward our old home and current home (New York and Washington D.C.) and our dream home (Jeju Island). We did some shopping (souvenirs and presents for friends) and took our separate time trying to take in the tiny buildings and roads and cars. The view was breathtaking. I used the restroom before going back down and one side is made entirely of glass to take in the view ... while you go. Ha. It was a bit odd but neat in a way. 

Yangkyu and I were lucky enough to have the right timing to also get a nice treat while back outside. There were special performances of poongmul (traditional drumming - Yangkyu and I used to also play) and traditional sword play and we stayed the entire time to watch. It was nice to see so many foreign tourists enjoy and cheer along and just as nice to see the performers incorporate them into their routines. We gave loud cheers and applause - it was just so enjoyable to watch (I like these types of things and so perhaps that's why I had such a great time).  

I'm glad we were able to squeeze an outing to N Seoul Tower during our trip to Korea. The only regret we have is not going at night. This was a continued regret Yangkyu and I had -- not sightseeing at night. We always began our days so early that we were too tired to stay out late. There is alway a next time. 

We'll do a another iPhone look at our trip from Korea and then post about a neat little art village in Paju. I hope you'll come back for those.

September 8, 2017

Friday Favorites // Doggie Treats

Happy Friday. 

With the small changes in weather and my sleeping schedule currently our of sync, I find myself cruising through the day in a slight funk - sometimes busy and productive and sometimes moving around like a zombie and being lazy as hell despite knowing that I have a zillion things to do but not having the energy to do them. I am hoping that I'll come out of this one soon.

What do you have planned for the weekend? 

I'll be hanging out with a pair of adorable cockapoo siblings, Spootie and Clover, and of course with Lady as well, doing the things they love, including eating treats. 

Lady eats so well that I have to catch myself from not giving her too many treats. With Piri, I was more on the strict side and only gave him two treats during the day along with fruits and vegetables. With Bartles that changed a little but he was also sick and so I didn't want to give him too many that may overwork his kidneys and liver. Lady currently doesn't have any serious medical issues and is completely healthy and she loves food. Every time I look at her face she has this look like, "treat time?" And I almost fall for it at every single look. But even while she's healthy, we want to keep her that way and so we're going easy on the treats (but special treat times are ok - we had one last night at midnight when we all stayed past our bedtime!)

So in honor of Lady and our guest dogs' favorite time of the day - treat time! - we'll end the week with Lady's favorites.

Have a good one!

 // Primal Beef Nibs
 // Primal Venison Lung Snaps
 // The Honest Kitchen Wishful Filets
 // The Honest Kitchen Nice Mussels
 // Zuke's Z-Filets Grilled Chicken Recipe

September 6, 2017

Backyard BBQ

We have a tiny everything -- a tiny car, a tiny house and a tiny backyard. And while there are days when we wish for a little bit more wiggle room and storage space, we are happy with what we have. Mainly because of what is inside, meaning each other and the good friends who come to visit us once in a while. 

This past weekend, Yangkyu's college friends drove down from New York and spent a few nights. While the original plan was for them to enjoy the bike trails in the DC area and go sightsee, they ended up spending more time with us, in the home since I couldn't go out because I had to care for guest dogs. And so we spent time playing board games, video games, talking about anything and everything until the wee house of the night and doing a little cook out in our tiny backyard, too. That night, we started a little fire in the fire pit and continued talking. It was one of the most enjoyable weekends I had in a long time. 

So here is to good company and tiny spaces that make things a little extra special.

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