Monday, February 24, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Grieving in private is too lonely, especially after you've lost the one creature that was a constant support. I'm sorry for posting something so sad, but if you can't post this on your blog, then where can you post it? Plus, the only time I feel better is when I'm talking about her. I was so proud of the little mutt. That's one part of why it's so hard. I felt so lucky and so convinced that she was, in fact, the cutest dog that ever lived.
That day I drove out to Yelm, with my sister and her boyfriend, I wasn't even sure I'd be getting a puppy. There were no pictures in the classified ad; I just knew they were chihuahua-corgi mixes. I felt it was serendipitous, since I'd only ever known corgis and corgi mixes.
I had planned to get a boy, if any, since they were cheaper. The sister was so much smaller, though, had funny patches above her eyes, and ears that were about 2/3 of her head. I knew it was her. I had to have her. I borrowed the money from Brian and we made it official.
She was so scared on the car ride home. I felt bad. I'd hoped she would just cuddle up and fall asleep. She turned out to be rather uncuddly, especially for such a small dog. She was independent, somewhat unsentimental and never into having too much fun. She never "played". Everything was serious work for her. It was hard to take a 6 pound dog seriously, though. She trained with her kitten friends and always kept other dogs in check. Despite her size, and to her detriment, she was never afraid to round up a big dog or two. She was a true herder. Gentle once a chicken was corned and always ready to do it over again.
Two of her best friends: Piggy on the left and Delilah on the right. The only other dog she truly liked was my aunt's rott-lab, Simon. They are finally reunited in doggy heaven.
When she was about 4 months old, she escaped and was attacked by an old, black dog that probably mistook her for a rabbit. The neighbors, thinking she was their aunt's dog from across the street, rushed her to the vet. She was lucky, and only needed stitches, a drainage tube, and a night at the animal hospital. From that day, I felt maybe I was too lucky. With the exception of the attack and the anxiety brought on by undiagnosed food allergies, she always made my days happier & brighter.
In September of 2005, I wrote "Out of all the [name] meanings, joy is what fits best for that is what you have always been to me."
There's so much I would trade to have those years back. I would give up coffee and toast. Forever! She made me laugh, even on the hardest days, and I knew I was never really alone. Picnics and walks when Trevor was gone on business are some of my most blissful memories.
I took this picture when I was laid up with foot problems. Frida was right there with me, recovering from back problems.
She was so patient, quiet and genuine. Bubbly, but not in that intense way most little dogs are. If she was truly happy to see someone, she let you know. Her sideways wiggle alone was enough to make someone feel happier & truly appreciated. If she hated every minute of whatever she was doing, her face expressed it. She hated being held and was forever disappointed that she had been born a small dog.
She really hated Petco for some reason.
Mathilde was one the few people, and probably the only child, that was ever able to get Frida to sit in her lap for an extended time.
This last summer, she turned 10 and started to lose the use of her tongue. It was my worst fear: a mystery that not even a vet neurologist could solve without thousands of dollars of scans, that would probably only bring more bad news. Instead, we spent more time together. I hand-fed her all summer and she got really good at it. We had a system down and both enjoyed the extra time outside. She learned to drink from a watering can, rather than a bowl, and every day I would wipe her little mouth with baby wipes after she ate. She was so full of life, so happy, when she was outside, you would have never known her age or her troubles.
On her last walk, we trudged 8 blocks in the snow, to the coffee shop up the hill. Frida was always in the lead, unless pulled aside by the sight of a squirrel. When we got there, she didn't want to be left outside as usual. She just wanted to sit in my lap, something she rarely did. She shivered and barked at a child making faces at her through the window.
On her last morning, I just remember her being so happy. Even though it was much earlier than her usual wake up call, she was happy to go outside with me at 7:30am. Happy to get a drink, happy to be going somewhere with me. I hope that she felt that same peace and happiness when her little heart gave its last beat. I am comforted in knowing that if it hadn't been that day, her future days would have only grown darker with the pain of what we now know was a tumor in her jaw. A selfish part of me regrets opting to have the surgery for a feeding tube, but I now know the extra time I would have gained would have only been for my comfort, not hers. I just wanted to be the last one to hold her.
I thought if I was truly grateful for her every day, and expressed it, she would never leave me. She was my joy; my heart. The best parts of me all bundled up in a wiggly, fuzzy, adorable little being.
For a time, I'll only feel heartache when I think about that last walk and that last morning, but I know it also means that I'll find her again someday.
My joy, my heart, my best friend.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
My best friend of 10 years and 4 months is gone. It was rather sudden, but something in me knew she wasn't coming home. There will never be another dog like her. Her buggy eyes and airplane ears made me laugh every day. I'm glad I got to take her for this last walk, but I'm sorry I never made good on that promise to get her a kitten.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Here's a simple way to make your Valentine's mail even more special.
What You'll Need:
1 address label
A cute card
A cute friend
Fill out your card. The mushier the better.
Just kidding. That's gross.
Seal it up in its paper envelope, then slip it into the cellophane envelope. You can get a package of them here.
Throw in a pinch of glitter and a pinch of confetti. Seal up the cellophane. Make sure you don't fold the cello envelope smaller than it really is (tip from USPS). Use the washi tape to seal any gaps where the glitter escapes.
Address the envelope. Add postage, duh.
Fill someone's mailbox with love!
P.S. I made that Grumpy Cat stamp! I've made so many cards with it. They watch over me while I sleep.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Uff da! Work has been rough. I ended my week of emotional eating with relative self-control on Super Bowl Sunday. I mean, I didn't feel completely sick. I made the most delicious green & blue cupcakes and managed to eat only 3 yesterday!
I'm not the biggest sports fan. Really, I'm your classic Seattle 'fair weather fan,' but any time my city is happy, I'm happy. Also, that was a really good game, so it wasn't torture to sit through. The best part was watching it with a bunch of awesomely funny people. How did you spend the "holiday"?
Once again, you can buy pretty much everything in this outfit! The bag and shoes aren't listed yet, but the floral jersey dress is and the belt is on sale!
UPDATE: The sandals are finally listed on Etsy!
UPDATE: The sandals are finally listed on Etsy!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Four seems to be the age when birthdays really start clicking for kids. They understand what's going on a little better and they get excited and less overwhelmed. This year, Mathilde asked for a French birthday, but we think she meant she wanted everyone to speak in French. Or something. She didn't seem too disappointed when no one spoke in French, save a few words. I helped with the decorations and baking. My mom & sisters did a ton of cooking.
The party turned out more balloon themed. She had about a dozen regular balloons and then we accidentally over-bought Mylar balloons (it's hard to resist when you're at the $ store). She ended up with 10 of those.
DIY Idea: Making pretty banners for cakes and table decorations is relatively easy. Use a pencil and just keep sketching until you get the shape you want. Also use the pencil when writing so you can go back and correct any letters you don't like. Then trace over the letters with a nice pen.
I found this awesome matte, neon wrapping paper in the Target After-Christmas sale. I kinda wish I'd bought two rolls.
DIY Idea: Save the little cello envelopes that cards and stickers come in and reuse them to add another dimension to gifts. They turn the card into the centerpiece of the gift, or use a tiny one for the tag. The addition of glitter makes them even more festive.
Emmett, terrified, and Tilly in two of her birthday presents.
My sister Maddie made Tilly a chocolate & vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. She made a strawberry sauce and then mixed it with cream cheese and powdered sugar. It was completely delicious.
Aside from a few nonsensical outbursts of "I hate my birthday!" when she was frustrated with her zipper,Tilly was the sweetest birthday girl. She thanked each person that gave her a gift or a card and at the end of the night said "Thank you everyone!"
Friday, January 24, 2014
I wish it was warm enough to wear this. I'm so tired of winter already, and it's not even February! I shouldn't complain as we've had a very mild Winter so far, but it's still chilly and I hate the amount of effort that goes into layering. I prefer simple dressing.
I'm very much looking forward to wearing more off-the-shoulder pieces, like this floral dress. It shows off my favorite features while hiding the parts of my arms that drive me nuts.
Thank you, to my camera, for cooperating and taking some lovely photos.
Vintage floral dress - vintage wooden sandals
Monday, January 20, 2014
Ok, I think I've gotten to the point where I need some help with my photos. It's time to take a class. This winter light is just too harsh for me to deal with. These turned out ok, but, try as I may, post processing has not made them look natural or anywhere close to as good as I'd like them to look.
I took photo through middle school and high school, but it was for old fashioned cameras (digital cameras still took floppy disks). What I do remember from class seems hard to apply to my digital SLR, even though it should translate just the same. I get by on luck, is what I'm trying to say.
How did you learn about lighting and photo editing?
This skirt is from a fantastic set a got at Value Village after Thanksgiving. It came with a matching belt and blouse (not shown). Unfortunately, one of it's previous owners wore it with a blue jacket or cardigan that was not colorfast and so the blouse has some blue stains on the arms. I've decided to keep it and sell the skirt and belt. You can buy the pair on my Etsy shop! You can also buy the striped bateau top I've paired it with!