• party party,  The Zoo

    Fiesta and a Little House Tour


    Here’s the secret to unpacking your house quickly: plan a housewarming party with a set date. Nothing like knowing a bunch of friends and family are going to come through for a tour to motivate you to unpack and clean and purge. It was a challenge, man. The weather, the combining of two households, the weather…the problem of too much stuff. Did I say the weather? Why did I choose to move during the dog’s breath days of summer? I do not know!

    But we did it! We even fixed up a lot of things nicer than they were before I moved in. I love our house now. I was so worried that I wouldn’t fit in. That our two styles of decorating would clash but that is not the case. I love our combined style. It’s different, a little eclectic and silly but then so are we.


    The party was nice. We almost didn’t pull it off. We were so busy fixing up the house that we left grocery shopping and food preparation to the last minute. Like down to the last half hour last minute! We pulled up into the driveway with the car full of groceries and Payam’s mom was already there. But then that’s kind of normal for family, right? They’re allowed to see the underbelly of food prep—the chopping and various plastic grocery bags strewn all over the counters.


    A fiesta theme is my all time easy, go-to theme. I may or may not have used these peccadillo garlands more than once. For once it pays to be a hoarder saver! Tacos are super easy and so is a tequila bar.  (Between you and me I am never going to choose bottled juices over fresh squeezed again. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for a Paloma is SO MUCH BETTER!)

    And now to the house tour:


    I don’t have pictures of every room in the house. I’ll get to that someday maybe. But what I am most excited to share is this giant print of my friend Deb’s work. It’s not an actual painting but actually a Mettaprint on cardboard. I’m super privileged to get one of these because Deb’s work is very sought after and limited (of course). I printed it as big as I could. Mettaprints maximum size is four feet by eight feet so this print worked out to be four feet by five feet. That seems huge but Payam’s walls are so big it almost doesn’t quite seem big enough! Crazy, no?!!

    I think at some point I’ll add something contemporary to the sides of it. Hanging light bulbs or air plants? Muted watercolor prints? I don’t know. I’m just super happy that Payam is cool with my kind of art.


    And the kid’s rooms you ask? They turned out pretty awesome. Bug loves her mosquito net thingy that I’m not allowed to call a mosquito net thingy.  She says it’s some kind of princess protection net or something. It keeps the good dreams in and the bad dreams out. I just smile and nod and hope she doesn’t roll over in the night and rip the hook out of the ceiling with a giant piece of sheetrock.


    Joon is super stoked on her room. She’s a One Direction fan as you can see, much to both me and Payam’s chagrin. But she makes up for it by choosing that awesome paint color. It turns out I do get to have a turquoise wall and Joon picked it all by herself! Here I was moping about losing my turquoise wall. Silly me.


    The pets on the other hand are not doing so well. Ty (the dog) is fine. He loves me. The cats are plotting mutiny. I’ll catch you up on that in my next post but let me just say this: I’m considering letting Aqui become coyote bait with the way she’s keeping us up all night with her blood-curdling, hunt-Lucy-to-the-death battles. Of course that won’t happen but we are not too happy with their co-mingling skills. Send all your best cat advice.


  • Beach Bits,  The Zoo

    The Surfing Dogs Post


    First of all I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented and emailed me about my last post. I was so afraid to write that. I’m glad I did though because you all had so much good advice. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this craziness. I feel less afraid and more equipped. Thank you.

    So surfing dogs! That’s not something you see everyday. I hardly even believed it possible but dogs are so loyal. They will really do anything you train them to. Including standing on a board and being pushed through water with ripples and waves and then getting tossed by the waves that are freezing cold and letting their owner put them back on the surfboard and push them out into the ocean again when what they’d really rather be doing is sniffing other dogs on the beach.

    I love dogs. I am in awe of their intelligence and loyalty. They put humans to shame.

    I didn’t used be a dog person. I was a cat person through and through. I thought dogs were stinky and they jumped on you and left paw marks all over the back door. I didn’t realize that I’d just never met a well-trained dog before. I never had a dog as a house pet before.

    And then came Holly.  Holly was the best dog ever. I couldn’t put her outside. She was one of us. She was family. I miss her*.

    That was really hard for both Bug and I while we were at the dog surfing competition. There were dogs everywhere and they all made us miss Holly.


    Something I noticed at the beach that day was how many dogs there were and not one of them was fighting with another dog. They were all good dogs. They were all happy dogs. They were all owned by people who really really loved them and treated them right. I mean who else would take their dog to the beach on a dog surfing competition day? Not drug dealers who train their dogs to eat people. Not people who are too busy to play with their dogs. It was really amazing to be around so many happy dog people and so many happy dogs. If you ever need a mood lifter. Go hang out with a bunch of happy dogs for a day.

    There was one dog you see up there in the top right corner. What is that? A French bulldog? I’m not sure. I don’t really know my dogs very well. That dog was so cute. Her name was Zsa Zsa. She was just a puppy but so well behaved. The owner didn’t seem to mind the throngs of people crowding around to pet her and Zsa Zsa didn’t seem to mind either. She licked everyone and let Bug and her friend hold her while I took pictures. It made our day.

    Which is saying a lot because you already know what kind of day it had been.

    *For anyone new here who wonders what happened to Holly, don’t worry. She wasn’t really our dog. We borrowed her for two years while we lived in the sticks. I was afraid of my neighbor and she kept us safe when we were living in a mobile home with single pane windows. She actually belongs to my mom and is back at my mom’s house, roaming her half acre with the other two dogs. She’s very happy. She runs around and plays all day. I think she misses us too though because sometimes when we go visit, she tries to get in the car with us.   I don’t think she forgot us. I think we’ll always be part of her pack.