November 21, 2017

Around here

November 19, 2017


Just like Piri and Bartles, Lady has some of the best resting cocker face expressions.
One more week until we get our tree. I'm pretty sure this is the face she'll be wearing once we get it.

November 17, 2017


The other day, I was looking through old photos, photos of when we first moved into our home and noticed how bare it looked. Bare but very nice. We were just moving into this new space and finding homes for all our things but we had also moved while I was on a big minimalist kick. I threw away or donated many of our items, including all my books (except my absolute favorites - less than 20), little collectables which always gave me a headache because they would collect dust and was a pain to clean and clothes. Lots of clothes. I kept only things that we needed, used often or really liked. And we only bought things we absolutely needed or really liked, sometimes putting items on a wish list and waiting to buy it after a few weeks if we still thought we wanted it or needed it. It turned out we ended up not needing a lot of things.

We were pretty good about keeping this lifestyle until one day I noticed clutter and that we didn't have space in our house to put things. We don't have a lot of storage space in our home to begin with and I don't like it when it looks like a lot of junk is just jammed in there. And I hate putting things away in hard to reach places to be completely forgotten. It'll just sit there unused for years and years , which is completely pointless to me. I like all my things within reach, which can be taken out and put back in with ease. If we don't have space for it, we don't need it.

Unfortunately I have forgotten my minimalist motto and now have one too many yarn baskets, throw blankets, dog beds and furniture including a kitchen island we recently bought that I'm desperately regretting but don't have the heart to tell Yangkyu. While he thought the kitchen island was a good idea as well, he is often the more wiser of the two of us when it comes to buying things we need vs. buying things we don't need. We also come from different schools of thinking -- me, I used to think buy it and if I don't need it later then donate or throw it out. Yangkyu, once he buys something, he will keep it forever and ever and ever. He doesn't have the heart to throw things out. Even iPhone and iPad boxes. He thinks there will be a use for them later on. I throw it out later without him knowing and he never knows that it's gone. I always tell him he takes after his late mother. When she passed away and we were cleaning out her apartment, we found all sorts of old (I mean really old) Korean newspaper clippings of "Let's Learn English" columns to an old beat up beach parasol (so random) to cassette tapes (she didn't have a cassette player). Anyway, I digress.

That kitchen island we bought because we don't have enough counter top space to cook with (more) comfort (elbow room, etc.). I rationalized that since I'm cooking more and more now, it'll be easier to have that moving kitchen island to have my vegetables sprawled out, cutting board and knife out along with different mixing bowls, etc.. I had completely forgotten my golden rule -- if you don't have enough space for things with the space you already got, you have too many things. 

And so I'm in a predicament. I can't throw out or donate that kitchen island or other clutterly things around the house because, well, it's too wasteful. While we are comfortable with what we make in terms of salary, we don't have the luxury to always buy and then throw out when the trend is over or when we don't need it anymore. 

My solution? 

I am mulling over different ideas to maximize our space without having to get rid of (many) things. And it's time to go through the medicine cabinet, condiments, craft items get rid of expired items and glues, markets and paint bottles that are old and dried out. And it's time to embrace my motto again and have a go at doing the waste challenge again on the daily (it's too hard to do the zero waste challenge but we try to do a version of it that challenges us enough that we don't try and create extra unnecessary waste). 

How do you manage "things" with the space you have?

November 15, 2017

Currently Knitting: Cowels

Me: What do you want for Christmas? 
Yangkyu: Hmmm.. a cowel. 
Me: Oh. I'll knit you one. 
Yangkyu: I want two. 
Me: I'll knit you two!
Yangkyu: Three. 
Me: I'll knit you three..!
Yangkyu: Five.
Me: Do you not want me to knit you a cowel? 

It's that time of year when we ask each other what we want for Christmas. I get to make a longer list of things because my birthday and Christmas fall just days from each other. Sometimes I add a big whammy and try to convince Yangkyu to get me that as a birthday/Christmas gift. A two for one kinda of deal. In the years past he got me my first DSLR and my first iMac. Such wonderful  wonderful surprises (I still remember the feeling and his face expressions when I opened them).

I still have that DSLR (Canon Rebel xsi) and that iMac I am still using today. While I would love to upgrade to a bigger iMac I don't think I will ever give away my first DSLR. I don't shoot with it at all now but there is just something about that first camera that I can't seem to part with.

I've begun knitting for the winter months. We like wearing cowels around here and so I've been knitting and crocheting those. I always download patterns because I want to try adding different colored yarns, patterns and cables but I always start the first couple using simple stitches. I don't even go off of a pattern. Just eyeball it. Maybe that's why Yangkyu would rather buy a cowel instead of me making one for him. Ha. They don't always turn out so pretty, or practical. 

This first cowel for the season I knitted with yarn I picked up at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. It was my first time going and I picked up a couple of skeins of yarn (white Shetland with 15% fawn angora) from the wonderful ladies at the Rosefield. They included with my purchase a small bottle of Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash and told me to try it when I block my work. I have never blocked any of my knits before and so it was a first for me. 

It's a slow evening for us. We had a couple of daycare dog guests come the past couple of days but starting tomorrow we will have several overnight guests come for the next week and a half through Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has never really been a major holiday for us to celebrate and it doesn't excite me as much Christmas, but this particular year it's especially so. I don't look forward to our traditions (watching the Sound of Music and breaking out our 1000 puzzle piece) and our attempt at doing a vegan Thanksgiving doesn't seem so exciting anymore. Ah, maybe it's just one of those many funks I am go through -- always ebbs and flows.

November 9, 2017

Lately at Piri's Place

I'm still a little behind in putting pictures up from Piri's Place. But I'm kind of glad. I get to look back on Bartles when he was still with us.

I miss him and our little ritual. I miss his lazy sleeps and peaceful rests and how friends would nap next to him. Such precious friendships. I wonder if they miss him as much as I do. 

These are from May. In just two months, we would say our see you laters with Mr. B who would cross the rainbow bridge so suddenly and unexpectedly.

We miss you, Mr. Bartles {nose boop}.

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