Archive | April 2012

I will not be deprived!

To ensure that I will not be deprived of as much crafty & creativity I could possibly want, I did an Etsy search of shops based in the UK, & victory is mine! There are adequate quantities of fun & whimsy available for my buying pleasure, should I so desire. Here’s some of the goodies I found:

Going to need a coin purse here since they use a good deal of coin monies. This little nautical baby would do quite nicely!

Speaking of the sea, I thought this necklace made with Scottish sea glass was really interesting & unique!

You know I love me some fun paper goods like this retro camera card! Can’t wait for my correspondence collection to be found in the move shipment!

I will be back into this hobby hopefully soon as well! When I’m planning out funsies for the new place, I’ll know where I can get some letters.

Also on the decorating end, these paper poms could be an easy splash of color. I like this navy one, but there are some fun brights, too!

This is a sweet little print – do you think the hubs would appreciate it? Also from this shop (below), I love a good bit of cheeky humor.

Here’s a great line-up from another print shop:
I love the simplicity of the black on white, each inspirational in their own way.  The ma’am print is fun for me because I tend to use ma’am a lot…& mine is definitely like a southern “ham” but just lives on the “farm.”

Things do get a bit chilly around here; some warm socks or these ankle warmers might be just the ticket.

Me thinks this would be a great dress for a date weekend in Paris : )

When I came across these paintings on old book pages, I fell in love. Love! I love old books; I love fun illustrations/art – I couldn’t resist! Here’s some more:
Oh, Mr Darcy!
Down, down, down.
I absolutely MUST have these for my collection! An assortment of her works as postcards!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this selection of British Etsy fare, lovelies. I plan to be sharing more English experiences with you soon!


Diary of an International Puppy Move

We have made it to the UK!  We moved here for my husbands job, and today, we shall discuss how much fun it was getting our beloved pooch over with us.  Yes, you may read heavy sarcasm into the word “fun.”  I tried to snap shots with my phone of the actual move process, so you could see how it went.

First of all, isn’t he just so cute?!  How could we not do everything in our abilities to take this sweet face with us?  We had a decent amount of head’s up that the move was coming & started working through Defra’s Pet Travel Scheme early.  The regulations actually just loosened at the beginning of this year: only 21 days as compared to 6 months wait, no longer requiring the FAVN test; even so, it is still a complicated process. To simplify it: Step 1. Microchip your pup (& make sure it is an international standard chip – Jack had a chip already, but it wasn’t the right kind, so now he has 2 – double-oh-chip is double-safe 🙂 pardon the run on in the parentheses); Step 2. Rabies vaccination – the voice of experience reminds you to please have your vet note the maker of med, med name, & serial number on the vac certificate as well as listing said proper microchip number there as well; Step 3. Documentation – a health certificate must be completed within 10 days of travel by an official vet – I bold “official” because we found out a little on the late side that that meant a USDA vet had to clear it & stamp it off as well as whichever vet you get to fill it out. Luckily, our USDA vet was very helpful & made sure everything was completed correctly. Step 4. Tapeworm treatment given between 24-120 hours prior to arrival in the UK; Step 5. traveling on an approved route.

Can you see why this has been so “fun”?  That’s just what you have to do to make sure your pet is allowed into the country without a 6-month quarantine.  Most of our fun on the actual move came from the different stages of air travel we took to get there. So, here we go:

First, locate a pet-friendly hotel at which to stay. We visited family before we left, & our hometown isn’t exactly a big one. We got dropped of in St. Louis, MO to rest our heads before our first day of travel.  At this point, we have booked our flights, domestic & international, making sure to space them out & get straight shots only so as to avoid breaching the rules for max amount of time in the kennel for the pup.  Also, we’ve been wading through the rigorous requirements for the international flight, such as ensuring the proper kennel size, bringing the right things to go with the dog, & completing pre-customs preparation via fax.

Make sure the hotel has a shuttle that is big enough to hold said kennel.  Jack is not small, and we purchased what is advertised as an extra-large kennel for him. It’s not small.  They had to bust out this shuttle bus because the 15-passenger van-shuttle was not going to cut it.

We arrive at the airport, load up our multitudinous baggage & the kennel on a cart, and roll up to the counter like some kind of traveling circus.  The first thing someone says to us is “oh, that kennel is too big!”  Helpful hint to airline people: do not greet your customer with any statement like “oh, that’s not going to work,” especially when your customer is a dog-parent that has spent months trying to prepare for this, repeatedly asked your phone representatives questions regarding the logistics of this & clarifying that this would work, and is hanging on her last shred of sanity.  I was this close to laying down right there and running through the deep breathing exercises that my sister, Counselor Kayla, had me going through at home when planning was getting dicey, even though it probably would have looked more like hyperventilating & they mostly likely would not have let me fly after that, realizing that I was obviously unstable.

See, I am not laying on the ground! Anyway, the extra-large kennel was not going to fit in the M-whatever plane. They tried to find us a smaller one around the airport, as apparently they normally have a few around, to no avail. Off goes the hubs to save the day by taxiing to WalMart to buy us a large.  Jack got lots of visitors while we waited & did exceptionally well at staying calm – much better than myself, I’m ashamed to admit.

The difference you see here caused 3 hours of work, stress, & a bump to a later flight.  It’s a good thing we always show up so early.  We broke down the XL & checked it because we still needed it for the international flight.

Here he is, all ready to go on his first flight! He did ok, I guess.  We heard him barking indignantly when we walked away, leaving him with the gentleman from TSA.  You can pretty much tell exactly what he is meaning to say: “excuse me! you are leaving me here! hey guys! you forgot me! I’m back here in the cage!”  The voice starts slightly alarmed & quickly proceeds to frantic.  We landed at JFK & headed down to baggage claim, being informed that he would be brought out there.  We heard him barking before they raised the 4-foot, silver, mini-garage door and unceremoniously shoved the kennel out of it, slamming the door behind.  Needless to say, he was slightly traumatized.  Sam took him straight outside to walk it off, while I flagged down someone to help me with all our junk & point me in the direction of the car rentals.

We spent a pretty penny renting this little beauty not only to tote Jack & all our stuff around in, but also because we wanted to make a mini-vacay out of our 36hour stint in NYC.  We needed the means to get out & see the city while we could.  Luckily, the hubs is completely capable of driving a vehicle this size through the confusing mess that is NYC traffic; if you couldn’t guess, I am not.  Also, to note, finding a pet-friendly hotel around JFK was a little trickier.

We walked around that afternoon & the next morning to help wear Jack out before his next flight and to enjoy the NYC experience as you see. At the recommended 4-hours prior to departure, we rolled up to British Airways Cargo drop-off to send the baby to England.  There I am with Jack & all of his accompanying stuff, when the guy I need to talk to finally shows up & blurts “that kennel is too small for that dog!”

Let’s clarify that the kennel he’s referring to is the XL, the one we chose after meticulously following there 2-page handout about how to pick the right kennel based on measuring your dog.  As I stare blankly & I’m sure a bit incredulously at him, he continues to repeat: “that dog can’t go in that kennel, it is too small for him” at me. If you watch Modern Family, you will know what I’m referencing when I say that all I could get myself to do was put on a smile that was creepy like the smile Claire kept doing in the last episode, a not happy smile but for some reason my face has decided to do this, while I said “could you just wait & talk to my husband when he comes in from grabbing something from the car?”  I think it was all I could do to not go postal right then & there. I might have even been twitching.

So, we establish that Jack needs the GIANT kennel since he needs a certain amount of head clearance & is so tall.  Turns out, I’m an idiot (no big surprise there) & read the dimensions of the kennel in the wrong order – dad, maybe it still would be a good idea to get me that “Undercover Blonde” bumper sticker, or maybe we should go with a pin that I would wear everyday & people would know that they really are dealing with an airhead in disguise.

Anyway, here we are again, waiting & worrying, as Sam runs around trying to fix things. He finally finds a giant kennel, which not everyone stocks & is advertised as “St Bernard size,” only to realize that it didn’t have holes in the back. Ventilation on 4-sides is another kennel requirement. I’m talking to Sam on the phone during the revelation, and he yells, “there’s a sears. I’m buying a drill” & hangs up.  Now we are both questionably insane.  Sam busts in the cargo waiting room shortly thereafter & literally starts cranking holes into the back of this thing with a drill, causing a lot of noise & mess, but taking care of business nonetheless.

After that, we squared away the remaining details/paperwork & loaded him up just in time to get him on his scheduled flight. They put live animal stickers all over it. We filled his rabbit-like water bottle, gave him some food & a treat, attached more food & his collar/leash to the top, & fussed over his bedding. Here he was before we said one last goodbye & took ourselves to the airport.

When we landed at Heathrow, our sponsor was there to pick us up & drove us to the nearby Animal Reception Center. After Sam pulled on the door a bit & we pondered why it was locked, a gent opened the door & let us know that we should push. The next door really was locked though,  despite the big sign saying use buzzer, we tried it anyway.  We are quite brilliant. So, the ARC worker told us Jack was there & out of his kennel, but the cargo company guy needed to come down & talk to us about some paperwork.  He came down to say that Defra was in a tizzy because the brand name of rabies vac hadn’t been listed & they had to have it to release Jack. Geez, why didn’t you say that specifically anywhere on your website about requirements!  We had to wait at least an hour for the vet in Corpus to open, then wait around 5 more hours for Defra to communicate what they needed, the vet to understand & find it, and the vet to get that info back to Defra. It took for-e-ver. I had plenty of time to be patient, get hungry, get food at nearby services (gas station, or petrol as it were), take a nap, & waking up steaming mad. We finally got everything sorted, & the ARC ladies let us know that Jack had already had tea… he’d been fed apparently.  The reception center seemed to take good care of him because he wasn’t crazy, on-the-edge Jack that had come out in the kennel at JFK. He was normal, excited-to-see-us Jack that came out on his leash for greetings.

That’s the story of how Jack is now legally allowed here on UK soil.


I like to play DrawSomething. I play it with the hubs, my parents, my sis-in-law, & some friends.  I have to admit, though, I’m pretty terrible. Here are some of my masterpieces:

That is supposed to be Michael Jordan. Do you like my non-orange basketball? That was before I had enough points for colors. The thing on the jersey is supposed to be a bull – it looks like Mickey Mouse. Also, yes, I cheat & write words because honestly who would have guessed that otherwise?!

I was so impressed that my mom got this one. The writing says “Tim loves Jesus.”
Yep, downgrading to the smaller size line doesn’t really help.
This drawing was for “Easter.” Doesn’t it just scream springtime & celebration…and ugly bunnies?
This one is a little better, maybe. I was so excited to get “peacock” because Sam & I had been to the zoo the day before where there happened to be a peacock. I was trying to get a picture with my phone, & Sam accused me of chasing it. I proceeded with wiping this picture & drawing Sam telling me to “stop chasing it, babe.” I thought myself clever.
I’m very proud of this one. I tried really hard & made it work with only 4 colors. If you don’t know what it is, then we can no longer be friends.

So the best part is playing with my parents. It’s obvious my talent was inherited from my dad:
This is his farm, but better yet, try to figure out what this is:
My inappropriate husband said it was an indian, and then that’s all I could see. Since headdress wasn’t an option, I had to make dad give me a hint. It’s a hangar. That little x-thing is an airplane. Even better yet though is that kind of hangar is spelled with two A’s. Geez!!

My mom sasses us both about the poor quality of our drawmanship. She does draw very well, but it certainly helps that she is 1. meticulously perfectionistic & 2. drawing on an iPad. I mean, come on! Her screen is about 4x the size of the screens dad & I are working with. She did draw “IronMan” as a buff guy lifting weights. She said “you know, from one of those super here movies” when I asked her about it.  In our family, heckling is bonding.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my lack of skills. If you would like to play with me, my user name is SamsKim. I’ll draw you something awesome or hideous or hideously awesome!

Look Out, Katniss!

I want to take up archery. That would be a neat hobby. I promise that this isn’t entirely due to The Hunger Games. Although, you must admit that Katniss looks pretty bad-A:

Before her, Romola Garai was making archery look posh & lady-like in Daniel Deronda:

I couldn’t pick, so I included both. British period movies had me before this as well with Gwyneth’s Emma:

Nothing like shooting stuff in a dress. That’s definitely how I’m going to do it.  But the earliest thing I can think of that impressed me with bow & arrow was Orlando Bloom in LOTR:

I’m still not sure how he pulled off that white-blonde wig.

Today, I kick-started my new hobby with a bow my husband made years ago. Yes, I said “made.”  Isn’t my hubs cool?  I think so!  So, we shot the homemade bow & hodgepodge of arrows at a small cardboard box, & miracle of miracles, I hit it!  Definitely taking this up in England, in a dress, with a tiny hat.  For how, here’s me looking a lot less nice:
For funsies, here’s hubs showing off his shots, too.
Hahahahahahahaha!! I love that man!