March 11, 2018

Happy birthday, Mr. Bartles

Today is Mr. Bartles' birthday. He would've turned 14. Instead he is forever 13 and lives in my heart.

I miss him. A bit too much, a bit too often and a little more every day.

I almost rambled on a sad note about how much regret I still have and how I still feel bad for those nights when I got frustrated. But I erased all that because today should be a day to celebrate.

Today isn't the actual day Bartles' was born. No one knew his real birthday. And so the day he was rescued became his birthday. 

I asked Yangkyu if he thinks Bartles was having a birthday party with all his friends across the rainbow bridge. He said, of course. They have so many good things to eat. 

I wondered if Bartles will get to have any. He was such a good boy that he always shared. What if he kept sharing and there was none left for him? 

"That's Bartles..", Yangkyu said. 

That is our Bartles. Always a big heart. 

Happy birthday, sweet pea. Happy birthday. 

March 1, 2018

My favorite month of the year

Happy March!

It's my favorite month of the year.


Because all three of my cockers were born this month: 

Piri on March 19, 1999
Bartles on March 12, 2004
Lady on March 24, 2003

Actually, Bartles and Lady's birthdays aren't accurate. Their birth dates were unknown when they were rescued and so Bartles' birthday is the day he was rescued and Lady, well she had two birth dates listed on separate documents when we adopted her - July and March. Since the year on the July date was off we decided to go with the March date.

It'll be a month of celebrations for us.

We may also luck our incredibly this year if cherry blossom forecasts stay the same. It looks like peak bloom will fall on dates when Piri's Place is closed so we'll be able to trek out with Lady. 

In the past when we didn't book up so quickly, we were able to block off dates and once predictions were out we were able to officially close without it getting in the way of pending reservations. Now we get booked months ahead and cherry blossom forecasts don't really solidify until we hit March. We are already fully booked for this month and have reservations for April and so I was a little wary that we may not be able to go this year.

I ended up taking the entire week off at the end of the month in March since we'll be booked from the beginning of the month for about three straight weeks, and thankfully the predictions happened to fall on those off dates. Let's hope it stays that way and doesn't get delayed.

Lately, I've been loving that it's not quite dark out at 6 pm, that daylight savings is around the corner and my hands aren't as dry and cracked as it used to be during the cold cold winter months.

I thought February was going to be brutally cold but it wasn't so bad. Thank goodness! 

February 28, 2018

Wall of plants

Over the weekend we got rid of our chalkboard wall and decided to turn it into a wall of plants. 

It was definitely bitter sweet!

The chalkboard wall was one of the first things we painted when we moved and have etched our names - Piri and Bartles too - on it numerous times. But I have been itching to make changes to our home for the past few weeks and decided to say good bye after all. 

Thankfully we had all the paint cans and paint things left over from the last time we painted our walls and I was able to get it done in one afternoon (I also painted another wall that went through a slew of holes and paint stains, which now looks so clean and fresh). 

We picked up some wood boards measuring 55 inches and put two up for now. In my mind I picture the shelves filling up with lots of pots and more boards added in the process. This time around we just picked up 5 plants (because we're always always 5 - Piri, Bartles, Lady, Jane and Yangkyu) and added two other plants we already had to the space.

The brightness of the wall makes the space feel much bigger and brighter. 

On Instagram, I have been following feeds that feature amazing interiors filled with greens and that's where I had originally gotten the idea. Aside from falling completely in love with potted plants, I have also found a handful of feeds of interiors of Japanese homes that I love - they are all based outside of the city with lots of wood as a medium to their living and kitchen spaces. I have been diligently cleaning and rearranging and decluttering as much as I can to recreate our space as such.

Today is my last day of break before welcoming our March guest dogs to Piri's Place. Ever since Yangkyu started grad school, there are less opportunities to venture out on evenings and the weekends (although this weekend we were free but I ended up getting sick and it was raining too). I don't drive and so I haven't been going out on my own during the day time, which usually is ok but after months and months of this pattern, I think I'm beginning to get antsy. I know Uber is always at my finger tips so perhaps I'll take a trip out somewhere this afternoon.

February 27, 2018

On Aging

I've had a peculiar feeling I've been dealing with for the past few days. It all started when I caught wind that H.O.T. was reuniting and doing a comeback concert after 17 years.

For those who don't know who H.O.T. is, they are a 90s boy group from Korea who had caused quite a stir and had enormous popularity. For me, they are a group that got me to start listening to Korean music and learn Korean (I couldn't speak Korean then and H.O.T. put out albums that was  completely different genre of music than what I listening to at the time, which was The Cranberries, Phish, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead, Belly, Indigo Girls, Oasis, etc.). It was 1997, just a year after they had debuted. I was a senior in high school. 

Getting to know H.O.T opened up so many new things for me that I had not known. I recall days and nights with friends (all non-Korean but loved Kpop anyway) trying to learn the dance moves and almost breaking our elbows trying to breakdance with the best of them. So silly!

Anyway, H.O.T. already had their reunion concert and it aired this past weekend (we watch our shows through On Demand Korea online). Originally the producers for the show where H.O.T. held their come back concert reserved a venue that had 800 seats. The venue was upgraded to 12,000 seats after an outpouring of interest from former fans who were eager to see them in person. I presume the producers could have reserved an even bigger venue but the reasoning was that if H.O.T. ever decided to hold a concert of their own, they wanted to leave it up to them to choose a venue to fill thousands of seats.

But those kinds of details isn't the reason why I'm feeling nostalgic today.

When I was watching their concert with Yangkyu, the fans held up signs. Some were funny, like, "Waited forever for them to reunite and became a mom." "Used to be (insert H.O.T. member name)'s wife. Now the wife of (insert her husband's name)." And many who were interviewed said that their mother in laws were understanding and let them go to the concert (the concert fell on the eve of Lunar New Year, which is a huge holiday in Korea. Traditionally, married couples/families spend time at the homes of their husband's families, which isn't always in Seoul, and the night is spent cooking and preparing). Other fans held up signs that read, "I was cooking jeon (which is a popular New Year's dish) then came to the concert!"

Seeing those signs really brought home the fact that everyone had aged. They all grew up and were no longer teens who used to wear junior and high school uniforms. Instead they are career women and moms in their thirties.

Many cried. Many.

I never understood people who cried during concerts but I found myself crying too.

For me, it wasn't because I was happy to see the reunion, although I was, but I think it was just a recognition that we are older now and the reunion was a chance, an opportunity, for us to step back and take a trip down memory lane and be young fans again.

And it was also trying to understand the unknown. Well, it was for me at least.

So much has happened in the past 17 years. You try to picture what happened to everyone during that time. So much has happened to me, why wouldn't it be the same for them. So many trials and tribulations but happy things as well. Trying to take that in just made everything so emotional. 

Some friends of mine have a hard time aging. I don't.

I actually never really enjoyed my teenage years. It was one of the most difficult times of my life where I was trying to understand my mother's mental illness but I didn't want to. It was a time when my peers weren't all that helpful or understanding and made me feel embarrassed.

I don't miss my twenties either as it was a time where I didn't have a voice to fight back and stick up for myself.

Thirties were my best years - it was when I had the two very best people in my corner, Yangkyu and Piri (yes I realize Piri is not a person but he kinda was). I'm not trying to say that my life got better after I got me a husband, it's more like my life got better because I finally found someone who got me.

While I will miss these very best years of my life where I was the happiest (I am in my last year of being in my thirties), I look forward to being 40. I admit it scared me a few months back, but not so much anymore. Perhaps it's because I still feel very secure and comfortable with where I am in my life. How I feel and who is in my close circle of friends - they make my stepping into my forties secure and exciting.

But the feeling of nostalgia always brings such peculiar moods.

It is a quiet night tonight. And I think I may spend it again Youtubing a bunch of old school music videos.

February 21, 2018

I like this life with you... I miss this life with you // 020

“Believing takes practice.”
-- A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle

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