Category Archives: friends

Doggy vacation

The ending of 2014 and start of 2015 have been both amazing and bittersweet for the husBen and I. One thing that sticks out the most is Curie’s diagnosis of cancer. Curie and Voltaire, our two mini schnauzers, have been with us since June and September 2010. They’ve pretty much been the love and fluff of our lives, opening our unexperienced eyes to all sorts of adventures and “Oh god, is this what it’s like to have kids?!” kind of moments.

We noticed a change in Curie’s movement and energy back in November. Just to preface, she is without a doubt the most spunky and OUTSPOKEN dog I’ve ever met with an appetite that rivals my own. With this grandma policing the grounds, not a single rice kernel or Dorito chip gets dropped unnoticed. Curie’s nose always appears out of nowhere only to touch the spot and…just like a Dyson…it’s gone. Sometimes even her bowl of kibbles is not enough. Voltaire, our more submissive boy, is always happy to move aside and let his sister finish his bowl (a lot like how I jab my fork at Ben’s bowl of panang curry while he’s still eating…) Anyways, in November we noticed she was eating less and less. Her movements were getting slower and, in December, there was a scary fluctuation in her body where one second she seemed find and then all of a sudden she would be hobbling in pain, practically immobile. Her entire belly was large and tender and we could no longer touch it or pick her up without her yelping.

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We went to the vet many, MANY times. Once or twice a week. The first blood work came back to confirm she had pancreatitis (very common amongst schnauzers). So every time she was struck down with pain, we assumed it was that and switched her to a low-fat prescription diet. But the belly aches always returned, leaving even her gums and tongue so pale (nearly white) which the doctors said was a sign of dehydration and possibly a leakage of blood somewhere internally. In January, we finally took an Xray as well as an ultrasound. The Xray showed that her lungs were free of cancer cells which was a huge relief (because by the time those reach the lungs, it’s usually too late) but her ultrasound showed huge masses in her spleen that somehow went unnoticed in previous vet visits (probably because when it did get large she would do something like jump on a couch too quickly and tear the mass, causing it to bleed and disappear for a short time only to return).

Curie went into surgery immediately and had a splenectomy after they found three masses. After the biopsy, we were told that it was indeed cancer. The really bad kind. Frankly we were shocked and I couldn’t hold back the tears while the surgeon explained what would happen. Canine hemangiosarcoma is a tumor that lines the blood vessels (essentially a tumor of the blood) which makes it extremely tricky and destructive because it travels quickly and usually hits the lungs, liver, heart or brain first. 1 out of 5 Golden Retrievers will battle this during their lifetime, and “1.5 to 2.5 million out of 72 million dogs will get hemangiosarcoma and succumb to it”. The cancer cells in our baby Curie were going to spread in the next 3-4 months and she would pass a few weeks after that. That was the hard fact and I panicked inside because we were almost out of time. 3 or 4 months? That’s it. That would give us until April or May. June if we were lucky. Curie might see us in our silly costumes for Emerald City Comicon and excitedly bark at all the episodes of Game of Thrones season 5 (she loves watching those horses run on screen) but there’s no guarantee. She most likely won’t make it to her 13th birthday in June (we adopted her on June 4th, 2010) and we’ll have to feed her a delicious box of canine cookies early.

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(Did someone say TREAT?!!)

 

But even with the grave news, there were so many things to be grateful for after the surgery. For one, Curie was no longer in excruciating pain like she was back in December. It was a night and day difference and it made the surgery worth every penny. After a week of bed rest, she was relinquished from the cone of shame, bouncing around and barking like her usual self. She was munching down on her food like the little piggy that I know, though her belly was tremendously smaller than it was before since there was no longer a spleen or three tumors. But the most heart warming thing was what our amazing friend, Erin, did on Curie’s behalf. After I told my friends and co-workers what had happened and about the financial expense of the surgery, Erin took it upon herself to set up a Tilt account. Basically it’s a campaign site where you set up a page that describes a goal you want to reach, and then you start collecting donations from family, friends and even strangers who wish to contribute. You set a minimum “tilt” goal (so no one’s credit card is charged until you hit that number) and you continue raising money towards the goal after you tilt. When Ben and I found out what Erin had done, we were just overcome with gratification and what can only be compared to as the best heartburn. Wow. Just WOW!!!! Our amazing friends (even my boss!) had pitched in on behalf of our baby girl and raised a whopping $1,779!!! Holy schnauzer!!! I can only cry (some more) and thank each and every person who sent us their love. We were overwhelmed, truly.

 

With a few precious months left, we decided in early February that we’d go on as many adventures as possible and at least one memorable trip (which we did just this past weekend!) With our dear friends Kelsi, Ryan and their puppy Bourbon, we drove down to Oregon and rented a cute little house only a walk away from Cannon Beach. It was one of the most beautiful places I’d ever set eyes on (that line kind of upsets me because it’s definitely an understatement…everyone says that psh). William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition once described this beach as “…the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean…” back in 1806 (meh, basically what I just said). I’ve never seen the sky and giant rocks reflected in wet sand the way it is on the Oregon coast. Everything shines, and if you span the beach with your eyes, your left and right look misty and blue but the sunset in front of you is ablazed in pink and gold which makes the blue seem misplaced but hauntingly alluring. It’s what I imagine the coasts of England to look like.

 

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Those few days we spent frolicking in the sand, barking at other dogs, playing board games and just soaking in all the wonders around us.

 

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It was the most perfect trip and I think Curie had a blast :)

 

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Running in Color

We tried this last year and had SO much fun that Ben and I paid $50 each to do it again this year. It’s called the Color Run and it’s AWESOME. Why? Because you run through the streets of Seattle and literally get color thrown on you. It’s known as the most happy 5K in all of America and we have the unicorn mascot to prove it.

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But on an honest note, last year was just a smidge more exciting because they threw powdered color on us as we ran through each check point which was waaaay more vibrant than liquid color. The liquid this year was…a lot like watered down Gatorade. Mixed with more water. But we were rewarded with powder at the end of the 5K so twas not a disappointment. There aren’t really words to describe the amount of color….everywhere. Clouds of color end up in your hair, ears, mouth, eyes and eventually your insides. At the end of it all, we were spitting color, crying color and had colorful boogers. It was glorious.

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Back!

Soooo…I realize it’s been a while since my last post. I’m sorry. Truly. I’ve become one of THOSE bloggers who was on a good streak for weeks/months/years but got distracted by life/living and relapsed. Then of course I try to make up for it with a great “I’m back!” entry and promises of never leaving you again but we both know that’s a filthy lie. Well, what’s my excuse hmmm? Why have I been so busy???

May 24-27

Ben and I attended our first BIG concert event – the Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater. We camped four days (a 30 minute walk from the Gorge) and watched/drooled over/cried over/danced to the following bands: Macklemore, the XX, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Arctic Monkeys, Imagine Dragons, Dropkick Murphys, Capital Cities and of course MUMFORD & SONS! There were many more. You know you’re camping when you progressively drink beer earlier in the day (until one day you have beer for breakfast at 8:30) and you wear less and less makeup. By day 4 you look like the saddest, dirtiest, most primitive monkey-of-a-man even a mother couldn’t hug. Ahhh, but the music was divine! Thank you Anne, Rob and Derek for the unforgettable experience (we have Lumineers coming up in September!)

 

May 28

We closed on a house. Yup, no biggie. Just bought a crib with a great yard after an 8-month search that started in October 2012. After looking at 88 homes (that second “8” is not a typo) we thought number 85 was pretty cool so we put a ring on it. Or rather signed a hundred documents with blood which is kind of like when a dog marks its spot. OURS! INVESTMENT! CASA! ADULTHOOD! There’s a lot of work ahead but Curie & Voltaire love their new yard and mama loves her new hard wood floors :)

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June 6

I turned 26. And wore (stick) antlers to celebrate! Office theme was imaginary creatures and I was spoiled rotten by all my friends, family and Ben.



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I found it. One of the more popular children’s books that I’ve been looking for on bargain shelves. Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is now sitting on my “new” book shelf (which I bought off of Craigslist) devoted almost entirely to my children’s book collection. It’s not a perfect copy – definitely a veteran of another kid’s childhood – but for $0.69 I can’t complain.

So that’s the gist of the past couple months! I think we both know what’s next. House beautification (I already painted my art room Montpelier Ashlar Grey and bought 3 pieces of furniture), long nights of Craigslisting (funny cause that’s where I bought those 3 pieces of furniture), weeding and gardening the new front/back yards (which I’ve already used to make bouquets of flowers), multiple trips to Michaels for DIY projects, etc. This is a dangerous time folks. A dangerous time…for my WALLET! Which is precisely why I love that Michaels coupon ap…40% off any one regular priced item. You know what I’m talking about.

Stay tuned :)

Bead Up

Some people suit up…some people bead up.

Back track. I’m always amazed at how many talented people there are in my life. Forget inspirational blogs cause my family and friends are the shiiiii (no not shingles). They draw and paint like it’s nobody’s business. They wiggle their fingers and beautiful sounds erupt out of funny looking instruments. Their cooking demands that a new restaurant be opened up. So luckily for you guys, my friend and colleague (Erin who I like to call Ewin) set up shop here on Etsy and is now selling her handmade jewelry! She designs wine accessories by day and delightful trinkets by night – a dabbler of the arts.

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These beauties are hand-twisted, hand-flattened and hand-beaded with love and perfection. Yes, some people take the time to lace microscopic beads onto a string one by one until they look like THAT. Cool huh? So for the guys who flopped on last year’s Valentine’s gift – you know what to do. Ladies who deserve a treat…you work too hard and look too pretty not to have one of these hanging off your ears.

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Remember what Adam Glassman (Oprah’s old creative director) said about accessorizing: “Try wearing just one big, memorable piece. A wide cuff (or earrings in the semblance of peacock feathers) can easily become your calling card.” ;)

Front Page

I don’t know if you remember my post back in March 2012 which featured the fabulous work of friend and artist Caroline McGah, but today she was featured on the front page of Etsy! Check out her adorable “Heart & Soul” greeting card. I think it stands out the most :)

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I don’t know if most people realize this, but being featured on Etsy front and center is a HUGE deal. Why you ask? Elise White explains it well in her article:

“Etsy is the largest online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. (It) has a robust and thriving community of sellers and buyers who love interacting in the Etsy marketplace. The Etsy admin choose user curated collections of Etsy sellers’ items, called treasuries, and feature them on the front page.

These items then get hundreds of views, which means they gain new fans of their artwork, and maybe even an influx of sales.

Being on the front page can be a big money maker or at least a confidence boost for the seller.”

So there you have it folks. The chosen one amongst thousands and thousands of talent. Congrats Care Bear and thanks for sharing your lovely paper things with the world! Check out more of Caroline’s illustrated cards here

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2012 Undressed

2012 was, yet again, a major success (I like to think that every year is). Instead of boring you with all the details of my ups and downs, I will keep this as visual as possible and write about….

2012 DRESS UP DAYS!!!

As some of you know, I work in a very unique and creative environment at True Fabrications. We’ve made a new tradition (last) summer. Whenever it’s someone’s birthday, the birthday girl/boy chooses a theme and everyone dresses up accordingly. It can be whatever theme they want – Star Wars, baseball, Final Fantasy, the color blue, etc. Also we enjoy dressing up on holidays and special occasions. But it’s become clear that Halloween once a year just isn’t enough for us…we live for those moments when we get to put on a mask/tail/funny hat/toga and flounce around the office like decorated peacocks. So here’s a toast to 2012 and to MANY MORE dress up days in 2013!
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Theme: BOLLYWOOD (Dhruv’s birthday)

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Theme: THE OLYMPICS

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Theme: 4th of JULY (Erin hand-painted her pants!)

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Theme: The 80’s (Hermi’s birthday)

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Theme: Citizens of the Capitol from The Hunger Games (Caroline’s farewell party)

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Theme: LISA FRANK (Val’s birthday)

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Theme: HALLOWEEN (zombies, Doctor Who, unicorns, road kill and more…this was a two day event since Halloween fell on a weekday!)

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Theme: VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS (Jen’s birthday)

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Theme: SUPER HEROES (Mo’s birthday)

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Theme: OLD PEOPLE (Erin’s birthday…and a sneak peek at what we’ll look like in 40 years!)


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Theme: YOGA (Kristy’s birthday)

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Theme: END-OF-THE-YEAR CHRISTMAS PARTY (ugly Christmas sweaters or keep-it-classy)

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Happy New Year folks :)

Tis the Season (to be grateful)

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Wishing family, friends & WordPress extraordinaires a holly-jolly Christmas and a happy new year! Curie and Voltaire howl in agreement :)

There’s so much to be grateful for, this season and always. My heart swells up just thinking about my rich life where I’ve never gone hungry or wanting for anything. I have too many amazing family and friends who go out of their way to make me smile. I live in a beautiful home that would appear to be a castle for those less fortunate. I come home to two ecstatic dogs who are always overjoyed to see me even when I’m a grumpy beast. I work at a place where I absolutely love what I do and the people I work with. I live in a country where I can wear what I want, eat what I want, read what I want, speak my mind (and get my craft on at Michaels 24/7) without being shot down or hunted. Just the fact that I can walk into a store and buy a plate of tofu teriyaki cause I crave it is an absolute luxury. Best of all I get to hang out with this guy (points to husband) for the rest of my life and we’ve only just begun.

So lets not fret about the small, meaningless things in life and just be darn happy to be here! Go out there and laugh a lot. Eat good food. Buy a meal for someone, homeless or not. Hold hands. Donate to charities. Pick up trash. Give your best smile to a stranger. Tell your kids you’re proud of them just for being them. Paint a picture. Dance like you’ve never danced before. Tell your significant other they look ravishing. Adopt an animal at a shelter (there’s so many that crave love!) Light a candle and remember those we’ve lost. Spoon one another (pretty sure that’s a commandment in the Bible). Read a book based on a true story. Or just read a book!

The possibilities are endless. Happiness is within reach :)