July 31, 2015

It's the weekend!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! 

What do you have planned? 

Starting today we have a steady stream of doggy guests who will be staying with us. That's a total of seven dogs who will stay short and long term for the next two weeks. So it should be pretty fun and exciting around here. And those doggy wall hooks will be busy holding on clients bags during the duration of their stay. I used to just store their bags on top of our washer and dryer but saw these hooks and thought they were perfect for Piri's Place guests. 

Not to leave you with a tearjerker today but you just have to watch this Subaru commercial about a dog's bucket list journey. I watched it three times in a row and was just bawling throughout. 

Have a good one everyone!

July 30, 2015

TBT: My mom. Seoul, Korea. College years.

#4. That's my mom.

The banner on the wall reads "Mok Hwa Ah Gah Ssi Sun Bal" -- it was like a beauty pageant type of competition held within her college. "Mok Hwa" means Cotton {or I presume Cotton Flower} and "Ah Gah Ssi" means lady. I didn't know exactly what "Sun Bal" meant, just always had a hunch based on how the word was used within context, but according to Yangkyu it means person. Usually "Sun Bal" would be followed by the word "Dae Hwe" which means competition, so "Sun Bal Dae Hwe" would mean human or people competition. I am thinking "Dae Hwe" was cut off from this picture. 

I love that my mom's skirt is close to her knees and is plain and straight. I love how simple and fitted her blouse is. And her white heels. She had great taste. Not too fancy and overdone. Very simple and minimalist. That was her style. 

Anyway my mom didn't win. I think I remember her telling me that she was dropped from the first round. She always said it was because she was short. 

Growing up she always used to say I should compete in the Miss Korea competition. I had the eyebrows for it {they were thick and almost a unibrow, which didn't bother me until I got older}. I laugh now recalling this because I am so far removed from what an ideal Miss Korea competitor looks like. Also when I was young I would always come back home with dirt on my hands and face and a new scrape on my knee or legs. Every time she would see a new cut she would say "Miss Korea Na Ga Gi Tul Ryut Suh" or "Now you won't be able compete in the Miss Korea competition." 

My mom always told me that I didn't have a pretty nose and my face was big, but my forehead was beautiful because it was big and wide. So I always grew up thinking that I always had an ugly nose and a big face but a pretty handsome forehead {which I didn't like because I thought it meant I was bald}. I didn't grow up with a shattered confidence though. I know some people may be shocked by my mom's taking blows at a little girl's confidence and body image but I guess those kind of things never really bothered me. I never wanted to have my face or body parts looking a certain way {ok except the brows when I got older}. I think I was more concerned about books {I was always at a bookstore and even turned my little town upside down when I went "missing" one day after kindergarden. I was reading books at a book store and my dad found me there} or collecting stickers, pretty pens and stationary {I would still be doing this in college, ok even now}. And plus it was my mom. I knew she loved me and despite what she said about certain features she thought I was the cutest. And she never really said them in a demeaning way. It also felt like a kind of an endearment. 

Anyway by the time I was in college I had friends who would remark how I had such a pretty nose and how my face was so small. At first I thought they were joking but more and more people began to tell me the same things. When I told them how my mom thought otherwise they were surprised. They also told me they didn't think I had a wide forehead like I always I thought I did. You wouldn't believe I relieved I was to hear that. But even then I didn't really care for a pretty nose or a small face. 

July 29, 2015

Making: DIY Dog Toy


If you hop on over to DogVacay's blog you can see a quick and easy DIY dog toy I made using old t-shirts. I had a good time making and repurposing as well. Having Spootie as a helper kind of made the whole thing fun too. See you over there? 

July 28, 2015

Life lately, according to my iphone.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
-- Maya Angelou

July 27, 2015

July Project Color: Pink

You know, I hated the color pink growing up. It was too girly for me and I gravitated more towards the blue and gray hues. I hardly wore dresses {unless there were for concerts at the Manhattan School of Music}, let alone pink and puffy ones, and actually rummaged through my brother's closet and wore his clothes instead.

It was only about four or five years ago when I rediscovered the color pink and thought it wasn't so bad after all. I think I might have seen it displayed in a minimalist setting, added on as a pop of color. It worked well and did its part to certainly catch my eye. 

It took a while for me to come around to this color, but pink, you're alright with me. 

Thank you Trishie and Jessica for joining in this month via Instagram {#WRLprojectcolor}!

 // creativeindex // 

August will be all about the achromatic color gray. 

If you'd like to join in, email me one photo at windingridgelane [at] gmail [dot] com that depicts the color gray by Friday, August 21. 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

July 24, 2015

Take fewer photos + the weekend.

I'm learning something new when it comes to taking pictures - not the techniques of how to shoot but learning how not to take a zillion photos of the same moment. I have this thing where if I don't snap away, I feel like I may miss that perfect moment. In turn I have ended up with too many photos that I just don't need, stored away, taking up way too much space in my external hard drives {I am already on my fourth one}. 

I think my mentality of keeping items in the house to a minimum is seeping into every aspect of my life. Ha. On my to-do list right now is actually cleaning out my computer and hard drives of all things I don't need, including too many folders of RAW image photos dating back to 2010. It's kind of cringe worthy. Maybe I'll start tackling it little by little this weekend.

What are you up to? 

Hope it'll be a good one! 

July 23, 2015

Making: Two Things

I made this delicious Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodles for dinner a couple of nights ago. I chose to add a little bit of chicken stock for a soupy consistency {as suggested in her notes section for those who would rather like their soup that way} but I think it would've been better without it. Perhaps next time I'll go without it and have the soup more velvety and sticky. 

I also got some boards at The Home Depot to make a new photo board. I picked up 6 {48" in length, 4.5" in width and about half inch in depth} and gave them a quick one coat of wood stain {I chose dark walnut which I diluted with water - 1 part wood stain/1 part water}. After it dried I used our left over white paint that we used for our walls {Ralph Lauren Paint in Brilliant White}. I just did a few strokes and didn't worry about getting the entire board covered perfectly in white because I wanted a little of that distressed look. Right now the boards aren't nailed together and so I have to set up the boards piece by piece for photo shoots, which I don't mind, but perhaps in the future it'll get too tedious, in which case I'll just have to ask Yangkyu to nail them together. 

Finally I ordered a tripod arm the other day to have a little more fun with taking pictures straight down. The picture above was not taken with the tripod arm though as I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet - it's on a list of things to-do, a list that seems to get longer and longer and me trying to find time to do them all. 

Yesterday we were all feeling a little under the weather and Yangkyu even took the day off to rest. But today we are feeling a whole lot better and started the morning off with some really horrible dancing in the kitchen with Piri and our DogVacay guests. We've been watching this Korean singing competition show called "Bok Myun Ga Wang" {or translated into King of Masked Singer} and we've been getting back into listening to Korean songs again {we go in and out of phases of listening to them and then not}. Our little dance party was done along to one of the songs sung on that show. I love songs that make you dance without knowing it, don't you? 

Anyway, today I'm playing catch up!

What are you up to?

July 21, 2015

A Girl and Her Dog: Susanna + Frank

Hello and welcome to July's edition of A Girl and Her Dog. We have a franktastic duo to introduce today - a girl named Susanna and her slinky dachshund named Frank. They are originally from New Jersey (me too! high five!) but currently reside in the Frankfurt area. Frank in Frankfurt! Don't you love it?

From the looks of their pictures on Instagram it looks like Frank has settled quite nicely in his country of origin {dachshunds are originally from Germany} and also well on his way to getting his gold travel badge -- see him at Cologne, Heidelberg, Brussels and Paris below. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out with a playbook for all dogs who want to travel with their humans. 

Susanna and Frank are one of the happiest and funniest pairs I see on Instagram and I think a lot has to do with Frank's doe eyes, his long velvety wiener body and snout and short stumpy legs. All that is jammed packed with lots of spunk and character. And ever since he came into Susanna's life they have certainly formed a wonderful bond filled with love, laughter and fun routines that involve a squid {read on to find out more!}. 

Here is all about Susanna and Frank. 

The Girl: Susanna 
The Dog: Frank but his full name is Franklin. Only really used when he is in trouble. He is a miniature dachshund. 
Susanna's favorite snack: Ice cream! 
Frank's favorite ice cream: Fruits and veggies. 
From: Originally from Hoboken, NJ but just recently moved to the Frankfurt, Germany area a few months ago 
Find them on Instagram: @frank_the_wiener 
Also on their blog: Frank the Wiener

From as long as I could remember, I have ALWAYS wanted a wiener dog. I always thought they were so funny looking and spunky. After 26 years, I finally got one as an early Christmas present from my husband. He has been the best gift I've ever received. It's really funny how I just look at him and feel so much love. My husband and I always joke that we both equally love Frank more than we love each other. That's probably 90% true.

Frank is the most interesting dog I have ever met. He has SO much personality and sass. He can be very sensitive and an emotional mess. If he is mad at you, you are most certainly going to know it. The first time I ever yelled at him when he was a puppy, he hid under the bed for hours until my husband came home. Another weekend, I had worked 37 hours and he let me know he was mad at me by leaving me a nice smelly present right next to my work bag. He has NEVER done that before. He also has some really funny characteristics. For example, whenever we come home, he ALWAYS has to greet us and then show us something. He'll usually grab his current favorite toy or a bone and continually squeal with excitement with the object in his mouth for a while. He will do the same exact thing every morning when we wake up and get him out of the crate. Before going to bed, he always has to get his squid and bring it to bed. If I say "Let's go to bed. Go get squidy!", he will run to get his squid and then sprint all the way back to bed. Everyone always jokes at how human-like he is. 

When I found out that we would be relocating to Germany for my husband's job, I was not nervous for myself one bit. The biggest anxiety that I had was Frank flying on the plane. He can be quite a whiney baby so I could only imagine how upset he would get being trapped in his little bag on the floor for 8 hours. Somehow all of our lucky stars must have aligned and he slept the entire flight. I truly believe that Frank is LOVING it here in Germany. There are SO many beautiful parks that he just loves to run around at. Germany is so dog friendly that he goes out with us everywhere. He has become so well behaved at restaurants now. I bought a mat and trained him to lay on there whenever we were out and it's been great. Frank also has an apartment more than doubled the size that he is used to PLUS an awesome balcony where he soaks up the sun all day. He has also become quite the pro at traveling. So far we have been to Frankfurt, Cologne, Heidelberg, Paris and Brussels. We have many more trips planned for the future!

I would have never in a million years guessed where Frank's Instagram would have taken us. When I made his account three years ago, it was only because I didn't want to annoy my friends on my Instagram with all of his pictures. We have gotten so many great gifts and opportunities that we would have never been able to encounter otherwise. The Instagram community is truly remarkable. When one dog is in need, everyone always joins together and helps. Our friends and family always tease us about Frank's "Insta-fame" but we wouldn't have it otherwise because without it, we wouldn't have met so many amazing people! 

Thank you Susanna and Frank!
You can see more of the life they share on Instagram and on their blog.

Photos via Susanna.

July 20, 2015


So I had planned on writing about something really exciting and fun to kick off the new week but honestly this morning I'm feeling a bit uncertain.

I couldn't sleep last night. 

Today and the past few days leading up to today have been pinches of dreadful. Dreadful in a way because I was uncertain. About my feelings. 

This past Friday marked 1 year of us closing on our house. We didn't really celebrate, but rather just acknowledged it. I looked back on the picture we took with keys in my hand, standing in our backyard with Piri. I remember feeling elated. 

A few days later we moved in. Today marks that date. 

Today also marks the day when I miscarried. 

See, it's already been a year and we have so many good things happening in our lives right now and so on Friday and Saturday and then on Sunday, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be upset. But then I got all confused and started feeling uncertain about how I actually felt.

I mean, am I really ok? 
Or am I just trying to feel ok? 
What does feeling ok actually feel like?

Then I saw dots and began to connect them even though they were probably never meant to be connected. Because in my mind everything decided to happen around today.

I had mentioned how Yangkyu and I started calling her Basil. And in another post how I was playing around with the name Clover if it was a girl. It was way too early to even get into baby names but I did anyway.

Anyway, one of the dogs we look after is actually getting a brother - he's a litter from the same mother and so they are really brother and sister. Her owner texted me a few months back to tell me that they decided to name him Clover. Because he was born on St. Patrick's Day. She texted me again yesterday to let me know that they were going to pick him up and bring him home. 

Man. I know. It's like dots that was never meant to be connected. But I kept thinking.. what are the odds of being introduced to a puppy named Clover? Really.

I asked for pictures. He is adorable. Looks just like his sister with different colors. And I think the name fits him perfectly.

I tested a couple of days ago. It was negative. And I'm expecting Aunt Flo or Aunt Dottie, or whatever you call your monthly visitor, today.

Of course. Of course she is expected to visit today. Of course.

I was trying to fall asleep last night but kept remembering my miscarriage. When I woke up to a pain that was so unbearable I can't even describe it. I haven't thought about the experience much but last night I was tossing and turning. And even though I only got a few hours of sleep, I woke up at 5 am. That was around the time when I was being rushed to the ER. A year ago today. 

I went on about my morning how I normally do. When I close my eyes I see me from a year ago, but I also see Yangkyu's face and other random faces - people looking at me with puzzling glances, inquisitive stares, sad faces, consoling looks. The scene plays really slowly and when I can't replay the scene anymore I open my eyes. And then I'm going back to my routine.

I don't know. Honestly. I don't know how I feel. 

Today is kind of a happy, not so happy, day. 

And maybe that's ok, too.

July 17, 2015

Summer beets + the weekend

A couple of days ago I pulled out two beets from our vegetable garden. The tops of them were protruding out from the soil for several days now, and while I still didn't know if they were ready to be harvested I gave them a tug anyway because curiosity always gets the better of me. 

Aren't they pretty? They were tasty too. I boiled them with a little bit of vinegar and added them to our salad. We have a few more growing out in the back and I can't wait until they get to be a good size.

What do you have planned for the weekend? 

We had a few days off at Piri's Place {except yesterday when we took in a last minute daycare request} and starting Saturday we have guests coming again. So today it's all about cleaning our house top and bottom and the rest of the weekend will be lots of doggy time, maybe trying out a new recipe and working on a new photo board. 

Have a good one! 

July 16, 2015

Summer Sparklers

We bought a couple of packs of sparklers a few months ago in anticipation of summer because summertime means sparklers, right? 

Last night we brought out one of the packs and showed Piri how his name was spelled. He wasn't really impressed or interested and proceeded to scratch at the screen door to go back inside. 

Then we drew him a heart. 

He wasn't fazed.

 // 2014 Fourth of July sparkler fun

July 15, 2015

Letters to Piri // 06

Dear Piri, 

So... I took this Me vs. Breed test thing on the American Kennel Association website and, you know, naturally I chose the cocker spaniel. I just had to laugh at the results. Get this -- it says that you're basically easier to train than me. And you're more playful, social and cleaner. Ha! Ha? Hm. 

Ok, moving on.

I thought you hated lamb. You wouldn't touch it or go near it or eat any other food that was touching the ground lamb. I actually Googled {but trust me, there have been weirder things I have Googled when it comes to you and your odd behaviors} if some dogs actually didn't like the smell of lamb and you know what? I read stories of dogs being scared while the lamb was being cooked! Have you heard of this? 

Anyway, all this time I thought you hated lamb and then yesterday you peek into the kitchen multiple times and when I gave you some and you ate it! Ate it like it was your favorite thing in the world! 

You're confusing. 

But that's ok. 

We've been thinking about going on a road trip. I know, we've been thinking about this for the past five years. But come fall maybe we can do a trip to Florida or if we decide to get really ambitious, maybe San Francisco? I know.. it's kind of crazy... Yeah.. we'll probably just stick to neighboring states probably. 

I know we can't have favorites among our DogVacay guest but do you have a favorite? It's ok. You can tell me. I won't tell anyone. 

Were you going to say Murray? Cos I thought I heard a "Muurr"

Ok, ok. You don't have a favorite. They are all your favorites. Me too. They are all really swell aren't they.

Hey, why were you cracking up by yourself? What was so funny? 

Did you know that your name.. not your name name but your breed name comes from the woodcock? You know, the bird. You guys used to hunt them and hence the name, cocker spaniel. Ring a bell? No? Ok. 

For a hunting dog you literally show zero interest in squirrels, birds and bunnies. Just saying. 

But that's good. They are our friends, even if they like drop poop bombs on our deck, throw away their trash in our yard {those nutty squirrels} and nibble at our vegetables.

I have a confession. I have been stuffing the VetriScience supplement you hate inside things like sweet potatoes, peanut butter and pill pockets. I think sometimes you can sniff it out because you just don't eat it or spit it back out but other times you eat it without really knowing. Like yesterday - just chewed right through it with the sweet potato. 

I got you pretty good. 

Lately I've been noticing how you don't want to be the first one out the door to get inside the car. I'm afraid that you are now associating these car rides with going to the vet's office to get your Sub-Q fluids. Do you not like getting them? I get it if you don't. Does it hurt when you get pricked? Of course it must hurt. Do they prick you in the same spot? I'm so sorry. I can't imagine one day if you start needing them on a daily basis. I feel like right now, getting them 2-3 times a week is a lot. 

You know, I get really worried wondering if my home cooked meals are enough or too much for your kidneys. All this trying to understand and measuring nutritional values is really confusing and it scares me sometimes because I don't know if what I'm doing may be more harmful to you or not. But when I see you now struggling from time to time to eat your K/D prescription food I feel terrible. I feel terrible for giving it to you in the first place. But I go back and forth from trusting the prescription food to not trusting it. And then I cry and wish I had given you more tasty things to eat when you were healthy. 

I hate kidney disease, Piri. I really do. But hey, you're doing really great. Thanks for always coming back around. Come back kid, right? 


The girl who knows that your favorite guest friend is Murray, who won't tell Yangkyu that you fell asleep on top of his freshly washed clothes and who is, all throughout writing this post, trying to figure out the best way to get you inside the bathtub later without you getting all grumpy. 

July 14, 2015

Making: New crochet mat using old winter sheets

Our winter bedsheets were old and I wanted to get new ones this year. I wanted Yangkyu to be on board with that too. Being the frugal one between the two of us, Yangkyu sometimes doesn't understand why things need to be replaced when what we already have functions perfectly fine. I think in a similar fashion too sometimes {for instance, I have a pair of sunglasses that work just fine. I don't need 5 more}. But other times I do like to do a little replacing or, ok, duplicate buying too.

I also wanted him on board because the winter sheets we were using were given to us by his late mother. And so just switching it out and giving it away without asking him first didn't seem right. And so I asked. And he was fine with the switching out part of it but giving it away? He asked, "Can't we just keep it and store it away?" 

Another weird thing about me is that I hate storing things away. If we don't need it, we don't need it. There is no need to hold on to it because we will never use it and it'll just take up space, something we don't have a lot of, and collect dust, and I hate dust.

Yangkyu on the other hand likes to keep everything. I mean really. Even nice boxes that come in the mail. He thinks we'll be able to use it one day. I secretly threw those out without him knowing and I still don't think he's realized that I got rid of them. And jackets from like 20 years ago. I'm serious. I threw those out when we were moving out of our Maryland apartment because I didn't want to lug his old coats and jackets, which he was never going to wear and has never worn since stopping me from getting rid of them when we were moving out of our Queens, NY, apartment just two years prior. So this time I secretly chucked them and he didn't know they were gone until I told him. Months later. 

In this way we are so very much like our mothers. My mom had no trouble getting rid of things she deemed useless. She only kept a few things but they were nice pieces that she really loved or were practical to her. And she took great care of them. She still has her favorite pair of sunglasses and bag to this day, and they are both in very good shape. Her favorite dishes she kept and sent them over to me when she couldn't take them with her to Korea. And she had also kept her small art pieces she picked up at antique shops in New York. 

Yangkyu's mom on the other hand kept everything and she never threw anything out, including food. Yangkyu used to tell me how their freezer would be jam packed with things - things even from a year ago. When she passed away and we were cleaning out her apartment we found all sorts of random things like a parasol, 10 different nail clippers, 10 different umbrellas, cassette tapes, old newspaper clippings, baby books, hundreds of make up samples and more. She always thought there will always be a time when we may need these things, and if we already have them, why throw them out to buy again?

Both ladies approaches to things are perfectly fine, I guess. Especially if they don't have to live with each other. Ha. I jest. But for me and Yangkyu we came up with a compromise. 

We decided to repurpose our old winter sheets into a new crochet mat for our entryway - mainly for Piri since he's always slipping and falling over the tiles. 

Let me tell you, it's one of my favorite things I've repurposed. Piri also uses it on a daily basis and likes to rest there while waiting for Yangkyu to come home. We've even seen our guest dogs take naps on it as well. It's a lot sturdier than the t-shirt crochet mat I made {which is still in our kitchen} and it's being well used by all 2-legged and 4-legged creatures. Yangkyu loves it too and also says it's one of his favorite things that I've made. 

So it's a win win for everyone, including Piri.

What are some things you're repurposing and making over where you are? 

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