Posts Tagged With: dogs

Weekend Shenanigans

Hello folks!!

Summer is officially here (at least in my mind), and that means more beach time!!!  Yay!!!  This weekend we kicked off our summer with a trip to our favorite snorkeling spot, Shili Beach, and boy was it a sight for sore eyes.  Other than the water being ridiculously cold, we had a great time snorkeling with some teachers Nick met while teaching on the island of Cimei.  We saw some clown fish, zebra fish, and I saw two eels!  We even brought the pup along  He didn’t appreciate being left on the beach while we went for a swim, but he had fun digging in the sand and playing ball.  It was a great day, that’s soon to be repeated!

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Nature, Taiwan, The Beach | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Survive Winter in Penghu

During winter, Penghu is one of the windiest places on the planet.  Move over Chicago, there’s a New Windy City in town (or the world in our case).  From around November to March, we are constantly bombarded with gale force winds.  (To be honest, idk what gale force winds actually are, but I have a feeling they’re really strong winds).  The windows rattle, scooters get blown over, trees grow sideways, and nobody wants to go outside.  In fact, in order to go outside for any length of time, one must bundle up like an Eskimo lest the winds blow right through your clothes and chill you to your core.  On top of the wind, there are no heaters built into the buildings, so even when you’re inside, your poor little nose, fingers and toes are constantly cold. ALWAYS.  So, without further ado- how to survive winter in Penghu.

  1. Wear thick socks.  Your tootsies will thank you for it.
  2. Get a dog.  One that likes to cuddle.  They’re always warm!
  3. Invest in a thick coat, and use it always, even inside if you must.
  4. Wear scarves, gloves, hats and face masks in order to expose as little skin as possible to the Wind.
  5. Make sure everything you need for the whole night is nearby so that you can avoid getting up and disturbing the warm nest of blankets you’ve made.
  6. Watch lots of movies.  I mean, LOTS!
  7. Get a space heater and put is as close as possible so as to stave off some of the cold.
  8. Send your husband to bed first so he can warm it up.  🙂
  9. Drink lots of hot tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. Not only does it warm the soul; it also warms up your poor little phalanges.
  10. Complain as often as possible.  It really does help (by circulating extra hot air around you). 😛
This is a great example of survival tip #2.

This is a great example of survival tip #2.

Categories: Fun Stuff, FYI, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Missing the Boat

This week I was supposed to go teach on a little island called Wang-An (read about my previous teaching adventures in Wang-An here).  I was all set for my week in isolation.  I had my iPad stocked with movies, my nook loaded with the new book I’ve been wanting to read, and my bag stacked with snacks to fill the lonely nights.  This may sound a little ridiculous, but ask any foreign teacher in Penghu who’s done their week of island teaching, and you’ll find out that there isn’t much to do.  Most of the islands don’t even have a 7-11 (that’s a cry for help right there :P)!  I arrived Tuesday morning all ready to set out.  I had given the dogs and Nick hearty goodbyes, and was setting out with my co-worker to catch the boat to Wang-An.

We arrived at the port and to my excitement disappointment, we were told the boat wasn’t running today because of the weather.  Living in Penghu, everyone knows that everything depends on the wind on that particular day, and I guess Tuesday’s wind was just too strong for the boat to brave. Darn! 😛  We returned to school with the sad thought that I would be staying in Magong all week. Shucks!  Unfortunately Fortunately, there was another boat that would make the journey in the afternoon.  Yippee!

After spending the morning being very unproductive productive, we set out again for the port.  When we arrived at the port, the boat was sailing away!  Boo!  Apparently no one told us that the boat sometimes leaves early, and sometimes leaves late, but hardly ever on time.  Who knew?!  So as we waved to the people on the boat, I settled into the sad happy reality that I would be staying in Magong with Nick and the pups all week!

If I had been in Wang-An, I wouldn't have this awesome cuddle time with Bai!  Everything happens for a reason. :)

If I had been in Wang-An, I wouldn’t have this awesome cuddle time with Bai! Everything happens for a reason. 🙂

Categories: Family, Humor, Island Teaching, Taiwan | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Breaking the Radio Silence

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’m sorry, I know your lives all revolve around my blog posts. 😛  The writing bug hasn’t really hit me lately, but today, I’m breaking my radio silence! (Insert applause here).

I just want to start with how amazing Fall is!  Unfortunately, we can’t watch the leaves change color here in Penghu due to the fact that we only have plam trees and evergreens, but we can delight in the change in weather.  I love Fall!  The weather, the clothes, the upcoming holidays, the soups, the PUMPKIN, the opportunity to wear jeans to work and not sweat to death, everything!  I’m using a lot of exclamation points here, but Fall is totally worth it!

To kick off Fall, I made pumpkin pie!!! This was my first time making pumpkin pie, and I have to say it was a success!  Not like it’s that hard, but you’ve gotta enjoy the little things.  I made three, which I thought was a little excessive, but then everyone wanted to try some, so it went pretty fast saving Nick and I from pumpkin coma (it’s a real thing).  We followed up by making Flautas for a bunch of the foreigners in Penghu.  Everyone loved them!  That’s another great thing about Fall, we can cook and not sweat to death (as you can see, summers here are pretty brutal without air conditioning).

Fall has already brought about many adventures in cooking, and as you know, we LOVE adventures!  Another recent adventure of ours is dog sitting two dogs for a friend for a month.  We love having dogs! Nick was a little skeptical at first, but the dogs worked their magic and now he LOVES them!  They add so much fun and excitement to our lives!  The say people with animals are happier, and while I haven’t done any kind of studies, I agree with them.  It’s a constant source of entertainment!

dog on couch

Dogs are just so funny!

So there you have it, The recent happenings in our exciting life!  (Impressive, huh?)  As soon as I remember to bring the camera to school with me, I’ll write some more about our summer adventures, but if you know me, my memory isn’t my best asset, so it still might be awhile. *sigh*

Categories: Cooking, Fun Stuff, Nature | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Running is bad for my health

I hate running.  I think it was sent from Hades himself to torture me.  I know many of you are thinking, “running is great!”  “I feel wonderful afterwards!”  “It helps me relieve so much stress!”  “I do my best thinking when I run!”  “Liv, you should really give it another try.”

Well, I have, and it’s just not workin’ for me.  Running makes me feel like the kid from The Goonies who’s forced to do the truffle shuffle.  I hate it.  I get sweaty and stinky and I have to take a shower afterwards (another thing I hate is showers), not to mention I wheeze like a chronic smoker.  Yeah, it’s not a pretty sight.

truffle shuffle

And for the record, the best stress reliever for me is sitting on the couch snuggling and eating brownies while watching a movie.  Now that right there is perfection! Also I do my best thinking while sitting and thinking (it takes lots of concentration).

Despite my vaguely concealed hatred, my husband still thinks it’s a good idea to “take a jog” every once in a while. So, earlier this week, I conceded to his pleas and went for a jog run…with three dogs. (Granted, I was only holding onto one of them- the old one mind you.)  So we wake up early and begin our, didn’t know ’til later, two mile jog run.

As always, I started out thinking.  “This isn’t too bad.”  “The weather’s nice, it’s not that far, I can do this!”  What a lie.  About 5 minutes in I’m huffing and puffing and getting pulled by the (old) dog.  I keep encouraging myself until we reach the halfway mark.  By then, I’m spent.  I’m thinking, “just go get the scooter and pick me up here, then find a nice grave by the ocean for me.”  Rather than die, I decide to take a break and walk a little, which means that Nick gets soo far ahead of me.  Oh, yeah and the dog still wants to run, so I’m still getting pulled.

Thinking I’ll be clever, I decide to make a short cut through the field to catch back up with Nick.  Little did I know, but there were people playing golf in the field. (It is a driving range, but, really, people, golf at 6 am?)  So now I’m trying to catch up with Nick (which means more running), pulling a dog that now decides it’s time to find a place to poo, but I’m also watching for flying golf balls!  In the midst of my golf ball dodge, I suddenly realize I’m just pulling an empty collar on the leash.  The dog had wriggled out of it and was sniffing around, the devilish fiend!  FINALLY, I make it back to the side walk with the dog in tow and catch up with Nick who’s now waiting on me.

So there you have it folks, running is bad for my health.  Now excuse me while I go gobble up some gooey brownies and watch a Disney movie.

Categories: Fun Stuff, FYI, Humor | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Stuffed Peppers

Hello Friends!

We know we’re not a foodie blog, but the stuffed peppers we made last week were epic, and they had an epic (at least for food) end as well, so we decided they were blog worthy.  Just sit back, relax, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show!

Let’s set the scene.  

Now, if you’re new here or have memory problems, we live in Taiwan.  Penghu, Taiwan to be exact.  In Taiwan, specifically Penghu, Tex-Mex is hard to come by, and if we want it, we pretty much have to make it ourselves.  We’ve been craving Tex-Mex lately, so after scouring the internet, we decided to try our hand at Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers.

Act One.

After  many busy days and nights, we had a quiet Thursday night in which to make and enjoy our stuffed peppers.  All day long we were looking forward to these tantalizing treats, and couldn’t wait to get home to start on them.  But when we got home, we were both exhausted (an ill-planned late-night cup of coffee left us wide awake most of Wednesday night), and decided to take a quick nap.  Given our track record with “quick naps” we should have known; this nap would not be a short as we hoped.  We woke up around 7:00 and hummed and hawed about whether we should go ahead and make the peppers or get something out.  We eventually decided we would make the peppers, and I am glad we did.

Act Two.

These peppers were delicious!  They totally satisfied our Tex-Mex craving and left us raving.  We normally don’t get this excited about food, but we couldn’t stop saying how delicious these puppies were.  I’m drooling just thinking about them.  Anyways, we were watching Psych (a great show, btw) while eating our delectable peppers, and all of a sudden we hear a CRASH!  We whip our heads around and see the second pan of peppers dumped all over the floor and the dog running for cover from the wrath he knows he’s about to receive.  I almost cried over the loss of the peppers; there was no way to save them, so I just had to trash the whole thing. 😦  Nick pulled the dog out of his hiding place (under the table), and made him sit in time out.

Closing Scene.

After several minutes of time out, Nick knelt next to the dog and calmly talked to him about what he did wrong and that it made “mommy” really upset.  He knows this doesn’t have any affect on the dog, but it made him feel better. 🙂  He’s gonna be a great dad!  Our evening ended well with some family time on the couch and no bitter feelings, just longings for left over stuffed peppers.

Moral of the Story: Put the left over food in the highest place possible when curious puppies are sniffing around.

Categories: Cooking, Family, Humor, Taiwan | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

The Dog Days

Hello everyone!

I have to start out by saying that Nick and I are really liking it here.  We have started to feel more at home here.  We’re getting to know our way around town better, we know the names of the roads (an accomplishment for sure), and everyday we’re discovering new cool things about Penghu (like stores decorate for Christmas)!!!

On to the important stuff!  Nick and I volunteered to keep a friend’s dog for a while when she is out of town.  Our official duty does not start until December 8th, but we got a free trial this weekend, you know, just to make sure we all like each other.  We had so much fun keeping him!  I think he likes us, and we definitely like him! 🙂  I am so excited to be keeping him for a longer stint; having a dog in our house has been a long journey.

Meet Bai. Bai means “white” in Chinese

Before we got married, Nick insisted that he would never want a dog.  I pleaded and pleaded with him, and finally he said maybe, but it would have to be an outside dog.  I did not like this response, so I pleaded and pleaded, and he didn’t really budge on that for a while.  I understand his concerns, but I just feel like it’s so harsh to leave a dog outside all the time.  I know everyone has different opinions on this, but that’s just me.  Finally one day (unprovoked I might add) Nick started talking about getting a Cocker Spaniel one day.  I was estatic!!!  A Cocker Spaniel was not my dream dog (I’ve always wanted a chocolate Lab), but it’s a dog none-the-less!!!  As the time went on, we would talk about a future involving a dog, this always made me happy.  You know, studies say that people with dogs are much happier. 🙂

Anyways, flash forward to our life in Taiwan.  There are dogs everywhere!  People here really love their dogs, I mean like really love their dogs.  They will take them everywhere!  The funniest dog sighting we have seen was a lady in McDonalds, feeding her dog (who was sitting on a chair in a sweater) french fries and chicken.  She even blew on the food to cool it down for the dog.  Now that is love, and slight insanity. 😛  Watching everyone’s love affair with dogs made me really want to have one!!!  I would ask Nick all the time if we could have a dog, and like the reasonable person he is, he would remind me that it wouldn’t be fair to the dog because were would be leaving soon.  I understood his reasoning completely, but I still wanted a furry companion.  Then we met Sharon.

Sharon does all sorts of humanitarian stuff around Penghu, and Taiwan.  She works on the island of Wanganyu during the summer, rescues animals, scuba dives, and is learning to free dive.  We met her while at The Beach Break surf shop one day.  She told us that she was going out of town a couple times this year, and needed some people to keep one of her dogs.  We immediately said yes, and have since fallen in love with Bai!!!

Aren’t we a cute family?

While we had him, he was such a good boy!  We immediately learned that he really likes to cuddle.  Whenever you start to pet him, he’ll put his head up against you and lean in.  It’s so cute and he wins me over every time.  He was also very chill when we had him.  He just went with the flow and loved going for walks!  Monday morning, the alarm went off and the clock said 7:50!  We are supposed to be at work at 8, so I woke Nick up and we rushed around to get ready.  Nick had to take the dog out, and when he got back in 5 minutes later, he looked at the clock again and said that it was 6:50.  I double checked all the clocks in the house, and he was right, it was 6:50, I had just read the clock wrong!  But the whole time, Bai didn’t care a bit, but he was really excited when we took him for a longer walk!

No animals were hurt in the production of this picture.

We will train Bai to do this!

Well that’s all I have to say about that.  Love you all, and talk to you later.

Categories: Family, Friendship, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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