Monday, November 28, 2011

This past Thanks Giving, while at home cooking turkey, smelling the Cinnamon coming from the kitchen and eating sweet cranberry sauce, I couldn't stop thinking about the dogs who still desperately in need of a good home at the animal shelters. Speaking of giving thanks, I can't think of anyone more deserving than our pet companions that give so much love to us and turn a house into a real heart warming home.

When I went to visit the animal shelter last time, I was struck by the extraordinary eyes of a three months old pit bull puppy. He had beautiful blue eyes, pink chubby paws and a little white dot on the tip of his tail. He looked like a real angel, he reached out his paws to grab me,  crying to beg me to let him out. Since I was there just to look, I couldn't really take him home. Later I wondered why I didn't go and ask for a visit so he could at least come out and play. When I came back to see the puppy the second time, he didn't come up to me, instead he was curled up at the back of his cage, looking very down and broken hearted that no one had come to his rescue.

Here are some of the many many beautiful doggies from Orange County Animal Shelter at 561 The City Drive  Orange, CA 92868

(714) 935-6848

There are many simple ways you can do to help a puppy to be adopted such as posting their profile on your facebook page and spread the words around to family and friends. Sometimes the best ways to receive love is to open up our hearts to a little darling in need. You will find that the love they can give back to you is a hundred fold more!


 ROCCO
Pet ID: A1136419
Sex: N
Age: 10 Months
Color: WHITE - BLACK
Breed: AMER BULLDOG - MIX
Kennel: 292 

CHEWY
Pet ID: A1135483
Sex: F
Age: 4 Years
Color: BROWN
Breed: PUG - BEAGLE
Kennel: 291
MANNY
Pet ID: A1136481
Sex: M
Age: 4 Months
Color: BLACK - TAN
Breed: MIN PINSCHER - MIX
Kennel: 330
CHRISS
Pet ID: A1137306
Sex: F
Age: 6 Years
Color: GRAY
Breed: SCHNAUZER MIN - MIX
Kennel: 365

Sunday, November 27, 2011

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Dim sum for breakfast and Christmas tree shopping afterwards. Since Christmas tree is an American tradition and I didn't grow up with it, it was such a novelty for me when I first came to live here. Putting up a Christmas tree in my very own home has been a dream for years, it's a dream come true, in a trivial kind of way. For me this is happiness, so I'm going to enjoy this moment:)

Friday, November 25, 2011

The night before Thanks Giving, my husband and I were reading upstairs in our own rooms. Around midnight, we suddenly heard a noise sounded like something had slide over the fence. I thought it must be a burglar, we turned off all the lights to look outside, Kelly got scared too and followed us closely instead of laying in her bed by her lonesome. We were too afraid to go out, so we locked the doors and went to bed. The next morning we got up to check the backyard when the neighbor called me across the fence to come outside and have a look. And this is what that mysterious noise was...


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Apparently, the tree root had rotted so much that there was barely any root left to grab a hold to the ground, so it collapsed and crushed our neighbor's car. We joked around that it must be the squirrel jumping up and down a little too much because there was certainly no wind or rain that night. Our neighbors got positively excited, all took out their dslr cameras to record this exciting moment in the neighborhood, I'm betting some money that we'd finally make our 15 minutes of fame at the neighborhood newsletter.

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So, the first thing that popped into my head to solve the problem was to call Louis, our fix-it-all gardener, to come in and saw the tree apart and change the roof and plumbing while he's at it too. While that didn't seem like too good of an idea, we decided that we might just be able to lift up the tree, plant it a little deeper into the ground and scotch tape it, and then it will be just fine. We toyed with the idea for a little bit, then decided that our neighbors might just not like it so much, finally, maybe we should call some tree expert to take the tree apart so we can have some nice firewood.

Yesterday was Thanks Giving, our neighbors were nice enough to let us deal with it today. Since the tree blocked out their front entrance, they had to dug a walk way through some bushes to let their guest in for their holiday party, one of the owner's friend said to us, "you know, it's always on Christmas or Thanks Giving that this sort of things happen!" Our neighbors were really nice about it, or maybe they are settled with the fact that their new neighbors are just young and stupid!

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This year I wasn't planning for a full on Thanks Giving dinner, but it just happened that my mom bought pre-made dinner for us. I still had to cook a turkey and make cranberry sauce, but it was the easiest Thanks Giving dinner ever, all I had to do was stuff the turkey to the oven and relax. I think cooking some but not all of the dishes is the way to go!

Since this is my third time cooking a turkey, I've gotten a few tips that seem to work well.

1. Rub the turkey skin with generous amount of butter (come on, it's a holiday, you can think about diet and health later), stuff it with a mixture of apple, onion, cranberry, carrots, rosemary, cinnamon, seasoned with all spice, salt and pepper. Cook the turkey in the oven at 500˚F for 30 minutes or whenever the skin begin to look crispy and golden.

2. After that cover the turkey with a aluminum foil cap and set the oven for 350˚F for 2 1/2 - 3 more hours or however it requires to reach 200 degrees on the thermometer.

This way the skin is crispy but the meat stays juicy and tender.

Did you have a nice Thanks Giving day?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

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A few days before Bobby died, I was wearing an old beige trench coat whenever I went out, and sometimes I just left it on the sofa when I came home. For a couple of days it was left on the sofa arm and by the time I got to it, I noticed that a button was missing. I knew immediately it was Bobby's doing because he loved chewing buttons off clothes. I searched in and around the house, under the sofa, tv stand, bookshelf... but I couldn't find the missing button. I remember searching on the internet trying to find a match, but it was hard to find the exact same shade of color since this was an old coat. This afternoon I went upstairs, and when I came back down, it was laying right there on the white wooden floor. I immediately picked it up, wondering where could Alfie have found it when I searched everywhere and it never showed up! It put a smile on my face, it was some connection to the days I spent with Bobby, and that was very comforting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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A few fairy gardens in progress! I added more climbing plants to the trellis, and now I just have to wait for the tree to grow big, why didn't I get a slightly bigger tree? I don't know!

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Fairy garden #3. I took out the house and other things to make it more roomy.

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Fairy garden #4. A metal plant holder transformed.

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tadah!

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And the fairy garden #5, in progress because it has no fairies yet!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

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Remember fairy garden #1? Well, I didn't have the patience for the tree to grow very big. It was too much to stare at the bare garden all the time so I'm in the middle of remaking it. I'm also re-doing the fairy garden #3, more pictures to come later:)

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We took Kelly and Alfie out for lunch and a walk in the park, they certainly loved their hot dog and chicken meal!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bobby's Tale - Love


I call him Bobby,  Baba, Boy, or Boy Boy, or, on a day when I feel particularly funny, Mr. Bobinsky!  Soon after I adopted him I found out that he was a mischievous sweetheart.  Sometimes I stayed in one room of the house, looking at him through the door in another room, he would stare at me straight for a long time. At first I couldn't figure out why he was doing that, then when I moved a bit and was able to see his tail, I realize that he was wagging his tail really hard the entire time to show me that he was happy. That was him, always happy and sweet, all the time. After that I realized that whenever Bobby saw me, even just a little head perking out, he was always wagging his tail.  It brightened my heart like nothing else.

Every few weeks or so I gave him a bath, I could never forget how he looked so small and bony with such sad and large eyes after being soaked with water. He felt afraid and special at the same time, it was the only time I would completely pay attention to him without the little white dog bothering him. After the torturous shower was over, I dried him with a large towel, rubbed his belly and used a blow dryer and comb to dry his hair, and he liked it! Those moments when I took care of him, I really grew to like him too.

Periodically in my life, I would have frightening nightmares. It started when I first left home to live in a boarding music school in Beijing at 15 years old. Away from family all year round except summer and winter vacation, I lost sleep night after night, and had bad dreams when I did finally sleep. The problem stayed with me for years after. I'd dream about blood, dying, and woke up soaking in sweat. One such night I dreamed of being stuck inside a castle like slaughter house. It was dimly lit by candles, I looked down, the stone floor was covered with blood, and when I looked up, human body parts hang off the high ceiling. Frightened, I ran out to the door, within blink of an eye, I was back in there again. I woke up, sat up in the dark alone. Bobby had snuggled up to Kelly in a dog bed in another room. The door was open, I whispered his name, and a second later I heard a small rumbling and he showed up.  It sent a comfort that no words could describe. That night I let Bobby sleep on the bed next to me, it took away my fear, and from then on, my bad dreams disappeared.

When I moved to my new house, I let my mom took care of both Kelly and Bobby while I got the house ready and furnished. Since my husband was never used to living with any pets, I decided to take one dog in at a time. One day I went to take Kelly to the new house with me. I grabbed her leash, her bed, toys and some food. Bobby seemed to realize that I wasn't going to take him with me. Usually, when this kind of injustice occurred, he would cry on top of his lungs, but that day he was silent, he didn't make a sound at all when we went out the door. I drove away feeling quite uneasy. According to my mom, that day Bobby fell to the floor, he didn't move or bark all night, he didn't bark when other dogs walked passed her house, or ate anything when she tried to give him food. Maybe he thought Kelly was being taken away forever because her bed was taken too, maybe he thought he was abandoned. I went back to get him a few days later, and decided that I was never going to do anything to break his heart again. 


We had so much fun together at the new house. We threw parties and Bobby was always the center of attention because everyone loved him. My husband and I took them hiking, to the dog park, walked long walks, played fetch, cooked salmon and cheese dinners, they slept on real children's bed with mattress, duvet, pillows and ate lots of treats. Two days before he died, I grabbed my purse and took him and Kelly for a long walk, we went around the neighborhood and through a park until we reached a shopping plaza. I bought coffee and sat with them there for a little bit. That day Bobby jumped on short brick walls and bathed in the sun. He loved being outside and he loved to play, and this happiness spilled all over me. I thought to myself, how could life be any better?


He followed me everywhere at home, that include me taking a trip at night to the laundry room, or putting together furniture in my blue room, or sitting with me on the sofa while fell asleep from reading. If I had closed a door on him and opened it a moment later, he would be right there tilting his head, wagging his tail waiting for me. Since he was gone, home have not been the same, and I have not been the same. I often wondered if I could believe in the afterlife. If when I opened the door to heaven, will I see him waiting for me right by the door, tilting his little head and wagging his happy tail?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

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Mini garden #3.  The first time I saw mini gardens I thought they were pretty tacky, but now I'm hooked!

Friday, November 4, 2011

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Alfie and I made a trip to our local nursery today. There is nothing in the world that recharge me than being inside a beautiful nursery or garden! It was raining in the morning so I walked around in rain boots, it seems that Alfie is more intrigued by rain than afraid of it, I bet if I get him rain coats he would go for walks with me even under the rain. I saw a lot of humming birds at the nursery, it's like a little paradise in heaven!

I had no idea there was such a thing as a miniature sized pomegranate tree. So you can imagine my excitement and surprise when I saw one today. A small plant like this is quite inexpensive compare to many other miniature trees, so I got one today hoping I will be able to use it for one of my future fairy garden projects.


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After a bit of light pruning on the base, they now look like real trees with a big fat trunk. It will keep growing to about twice the height, but that's going to take years. Isn't it just beautiful?

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Here is another tree that I have, it's a miniature fuchsia tree, so delicate and pretty!

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Alfie just thinks they smell nice.

Thursday, November 3, 2011




I can always relate to art with a theme of nature. By Rober Bissell.
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Working on a cardigan again, hopefully I will have it done before the weather really turns cold!

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When I went to the backyard today, a fairy showed up at the fairy garden;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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It's as if I am attracted to stray dogs in the neighborhood, every other day when I go for a walk, I find one of them!
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I love second hand bookstores, but then again, who doesn't?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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Fairy garden #2... still under construction! I'm waiting for the baby tear to grow and cover the entire ground, also the tree to get much bigger. The climbing plant on the trellis is a type of mini fuchsia, in time it will grow to cover the entire trellis, and bloom pretty red flowers! I can't wait til when they get to be a year or two old!
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A fairy came to live in the fairy garden!

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