The misspelled, illustrated, and short newsletters
December 31, 2007|
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Near the beggining of the month, I put up some Christmas lights that have 8 different flashing modes (including one mode that doesn't flash at all) I managed to hang the lights on small nails I banged into the cealing. Then, because origami is fun, I made some origami ornaments and hung them on the lights for extra decoration along with our christmas stockings.
This month I made 3 kinds of cookies, gingerbread, oatmeal raisin, and peanut butter swirl cookies for a Christmas cookie party at our apartment. I made about 100 cookies which I baked in an electric oven lent to me by a friend. I gave some cookies for my husband to take to his school, and the rest were for the cookie party. There were 6 people at the party, including me and my husband. We all took a Christmas Bible quiz and had a quick gift swap. Overall i think it was good, and everyone took cookies home. The leftovers were just right for us.
As presents to 2 friends, I knitt some "very easy" but super thick slippers (that go under the name of "stripped slipers" online). I've never actually finished a pair of slippers before now. The trouble with making slippers is you have to knitt two of them-- so if you take to long on the first, you aren't going to be motivated to work on the second, and as time passes the chances of the second one every being completed becomes dismal at best.So, to make knitting faster, i "cheated" by using knitting needles (the coathanger ones) twice the thickness of the ones the pattern calls for and the thick slippers still came out great.
This year We had a very small christmas, and a small christmas tree. We didn't do much other than relax and eat nice food. Our son started eating the chocolate covered pretzels he got in his stocking while we opened our stockings. He got a book, some new clothes from his grandmothers, and some tiny trains to play with. I got a cat/dog a apron and some minty soap. My husband got his new CPU early, so on Christmas he got salsa and Fairy tale theatre.
More recently, I've been submitting "growing gifts" pots for the facebook application. I actually got an email from the design manager saying they are going to add a few of my pots to the "cue". Of course now I end up checking facebook everyday just to see if my pot's appeared yet..
November 30 2007
Most weekends my son and husband play their seperate games. Later, my son smashes his snack crackers to make play-sand and then tries to clean it himself by spreading them around the entire floor with the broom until they can't be seen.
One day I bought a new kind of baby wipes that just wouldn't sell in the States no matter how fancy the label. They are "Green Finger" baby wipes. I'm just hope I don't get a green finger when I use them.
While in the book section of the local store, I saw the last Harry Potter book just coming out for sale in Korean. Interestingly they only seem to be in Trade paper back form, and quite thin. Later I discovered the reaons for this is that in Korea they release thick books in three parts.
It is interesitng how that there are fun flavors here that you can't get in the States except maybe from "every flavor botts beans", but then you get bad flavors too. I really enjoy this rose gum and pine flavored toothpaste. The toothpaste makes my mouth taste like christmas.
I tried to make some strawberry pizza for fun, but the crust recipe said 8 instead of 4 cups of flour, so I ended up making strawberry shortbread for all our friends, the teacher's at my husband's school, my Bible study and still had one for home.
I remember seeing a few color Twilight Zone episodes when my family was in the States one year. I wanted to see more of them and re-watch the one's a saw so long ago, but it took me a long time to find them. They arn't available on VHS, DVD and arn't shown on tv anymore. The only place you can find them is online*, misspelled as "the new twiglicht zone".
October 31, 2007
Ever since we moved here, I've noticed The windows here have a "frosted" look about them from a distance, but actually one side is actually goved into many many tiny squares. Oddly, this effects the way outside lights appear. Instead of a plain circle, the light is refracted into a circle with a square inside.
More orgami is always fun to make, but this time I wanted to make something really complicated. So I desided to learn how to make an origami rose. It is said to be one of the most difficult things to learn (I learned the "easier" version of the kawasaki rose) and even after finding how to make the "standared rose*", it took me two days to get it right. The roses do look nice, so the time spent was worth it.
The cool air somehow convinced me to try knitting again. I never made a hat before, so I started making one, only to find the hat was to small for me, but perfectly sized for a child. So now my son has a hat, and the next day or so I knitt a larger hat the right size for myself. (Not that it matters much, but there are no knititng needles here. My needles were actually sawn off plastic coathanger bottoms with the tips melted into points on the stove.)
In order to get a better night's sleep, we switched the position of the computer with the bed in our apaerment so that the bed is farthest away from our neighbors wall (and their T.V.) This turned out to be a good change and even increase the floor space slightly.
One weekend we went on a hike to a nearby man made lake/dam on a mountain with some friends. On the way we saw a bright yellow spider on the rail. Unfourtunatly, I have not been able to classify it. The path leads beside a man made lake wich has some interesting swirls near the waters edge, and a nice lookout point for people to walk to. The path itself was quite nice and our son loved running along the path. When we was tired he didn't even want to go into his backpack, but finnaly rode all the way home on my husband's back.
For Halloween, my husband's school asked him to dress up as a "halloweenish" type character as halloween is an "American" holliday they wanted the children to "expierence" it. So my husband dressed up as a very intelegent wise man or wizard and gave the students candy provided my the school.
Sept 31, 2007
One of the weirdest thigns that I noticed when i first arrived in S. Korea was the door key to our apartment. Instead of the way keys usually are with bumpy edges, this key has round dips in the sides as if someone was playing with a drill press. So, if the key looks like that, what does the inside of the lock look like I wonder.
Our studio apartment, (which is in a small building compared to thoses around town) is small--meaning the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and computer room all in the same place. bathroom is also small, but nicly fits the plastic bin I use to wash our son. All the furnishings came with the apartment--including a korean style clothes rack to hang wet clothes on. My husband gave me the nice painted fan and a trip to Pizza School $5 pizza welcome gifts.
Almost everyday my son and I walk to one of the local department stores called Lotte Mart. One interesitng thing about the store here is they give you an "extra 30%" but they just tape the extra 30% to the side of whatever you're buying. Or if it's buy one get one free, just to make sure you don't forget the "free" thing it's taped to the side. They also have some tasty crackers in a box that are fun to eat.
Korean money (won) comes in many denominations, this is a 10000 Won note (about $10). It is quite detailed and even has a holographic little bit in it. Not that is has anything to do with money, except that it is green and you need money to buy it, green tea is very popular here. They have everything from green tea corn flakes to green tea icecream--both are pretty good.
I found some very nice triangular beeswax crayons at the store, they work really well and have a nice smell to them. I also found that origami paper here is very cheap and colorful, so i bought a set teaching how to make a Korean flower ball mobil. After Two days of trying to figure out the instructions, the flower turned out to be in an inside out simple iris. It takes 40 of the flower to make the mobil, so i spent the next day assembling the ball.
One weekend, we went ot the korean village, and saw a many traditional Korean type houses, a beautiful wild garden, and a small parade. The rock walls were layered and had thathced roofes. A shrine pile of rocks where people tied "prayers" had a badly trandlated sign saying "This is a place praying for your wishes of yourself, your family, and lover. Please write your wishes on the paper and hang it on the sacred rope. It in the forbidding rope." Many snigns thougout the village were translate by the same person (who obviously does not speak english well), the funniest of which was the trash bins encouraging people to waste.
The last week in sepetember was the second largest holliday in Korea called "Chusok". Chusok is basicly a Buddest thanksgiving to the ansestors for good crop and prosperity. Durring this holliday, they make all kinds of foods, mainy kimchi which is made from hot peppers dried in the sun. The one food I do not like much is a slimby/chewey rice cake made from powdered flower and water "caked" or pressed together.
For Chusok, my husband's school gave him a "Spam Giftset" and one of our Korean friends bought our son a traditional Korean outfit called a "Hombok". It is pink and dark blue, which seems strange to me, but here pink is not a "girl" color, but a "festive" color worn traditionaly in the Hambok by both men and women. Interestly someone got our son to try a bit of rice cake while he was wearing the outfit. I'm not sure he liked it, but it makes a cute picture.
Aug 30, 2007
Nothing very exciting happened this month, mostly I had the house to myself while everyone else who lives there went off to visit relitives. This of course gave me time to watch a few movies with my son, and watch him learn to climb the couch everyday. We also had the chance to visit his paternal grandparents and their beautiful garden several times.
Summer is almost over, and all the sunflowers are comming out, specificly, the very short sunflower in front of my grandmother's house. The flowers are quite small for sunflowers and the plant itself is quite short, but that of course dosne't matter becuase the bright yellow flowers still are fun to look at.
One day, while driving home from church, I saw a very nice turtle sandbox at a yardsale for just a few dollars, so despite the fact that we were leaving to Korea in a week or so, I bought it, cleaned it and now have it stored with all the rest of our stuff for our son to play in whenever we return.
Another intereting toy my son got was given to him my his paternal grandmother. It is a stuffed dog that sings songs such as: "la cucaracha" (with differnet words) and head and sholders knees and toes. It also says little rymes, like "this little puppy.." After no one is touching it anymore, the dog says "hug me" and "I love you" at random intervals before autiomaticly shuting off. This dog is nice-but as you can imagin it gets anoying fast, so I only let him play with the dog in the car.
One time, such as the time my sister and I were lost for hours in MA after buying a very nice baby backpack (so i could easily carry my son though the airport without a stroller), the toy dog lulled my son to sleep and he slept camly for a long time.
July 30, 2007
Before my husband left to teach English in Korea we visited the nearby shaker village, which is now "closed" as no shakers live there, but it is still open for tourists and some local artisans. There town logo looks very nice, espicily on a coin.
When I cleaned out our refrigerator in GA, i found an onion growing. I felt sorry for it, so i put it into a large plant pot brought it to NH. now it has grown tall and made a pretty white flower.
One day I convinced everyone to dip their hands into hot wax to make hand shaped candles like the one I made in GA. Even after melting the wax, the candle making process is an all day project, so I forgot to take pictures of my husband or my sister dipping their hands in wax. My new hand came out neat, and everyone elses came out nice too.
One nice thing about my grandmother's/parent's house in NH is that sometimes a hot air balloon will land in a nearby feild with its interesintg puffing sounds making the sunset more fun to watch.
One hot day here, my sister and I visited a nearby lake and splashed in the very cold water, and a few days later we were able to visit the Plumb Island beach. At low tide, Plumb Island has mini streams of calm water on the beach that are perfect for small children to play in.
In Korea, near where my husband teaches at J Language,(in the top upper-right of the building inthe picture). As if proving the local need for english teachers, there is a weird and funny sign on a window in town that make no sence at all.
June 30 2007
The weather is incredicly hot--to hot to go walking, but fountunatly, the community pools are finally open (hurray!). So now, about three times a week I go to the nice cool pool with our son. He loves to play and splash water everywehere while floating in his floating toy.
To start the month off on a fun note, our son turned one year old in June. For fun, and becuase I found some green food coloring laying in the cupboard, I desided to make a cute turtle cake. Our son really didn't know how to eat his cake, but he sure knew how to play with it. That night he got to wear his first set of real todler pijama's--space pijamas.
Only a few weeks after his birthday, my husband received word that his paperwork in the Army was complete, and that he was finnally out of the service, which meant or course that we would be moving yet again... At least the military is nice enough to help us move. Movers came to our apartment and after noticing several times how many books we had, packed up everything into boxes. It took them several hours but it was nice ot have them pack as it would have taken us weeks.
Nearby there are some very nice cat-o-nine-tales growing which swayed happily for me as i took pictures. I also took sictures of some of the interesting looking trees with the usuall airplants hanging from them.
Sometimes, when you look at all the little shops in a town, you'll find something very interesting. For example, while on a walk in downtown Savannah, I found a fun candle shop that sells "hand" candles. What you do is dip your hand into ice water and then into the vat of melted wax. You repeatadle dip your hand from the ice water to the wax-vat until the wax on your hand is nice and thick, then the shop helper losends the still soft wax from you hand and dips it in whatever colors you like. All this only takes about ten minuites, and is quite fun. Here is the hand I made.
Things move fast when you have an empty house, and soon we were on our way to NH again. My husband wanted to bring his computer and also to visit some of his old college friends, so he drove a long road trip form GA to NH, fourtunatly my son and I were able to get a direct flight and travles the same distance in 3 hours on an airplane. Happily, he was able to call me on the phone durirng his trip to tell me his progress.
May 31, 2007
My younger sister visited for a week or so and so one day we decorated cookies. with chopsticks, which was very fun. That weekend, we went on a dolphin tour by the beach. Although we had fun watching the dolphins jump into the water, we didn't manage to get a single picture of a dolphin out of the water becuase they more so fast. The pelicans, on the other hand just sat around almost as if they wanted their picture taken. Not that it really has anything to do with the paragraph, but after the dolphin tour i discovered a family resemblance in the way my sister and son walk.
For my birthday this year I got a nice chocolate cake and little bath oils that tell a silly story, a rock tumbler kit and an apron to tye-dye (which i did with my sister while she was here). I also painted a birthday plate which was very fun.
Durring the last weekend of the end of the month, one of my husband's college roomates and his family visited. The kids had never been to the beach so we made a trip there. As usuall i dug a big pit, and then all the kids played in it. As the tide came in, our friends (who helped build the pit) had fun building a wall around the hole to keep the water out.interestinly our son for the first time wasn't afraid of the waves and really enjoyed getting slpashed by the salty water.
Just for fun, here's a picture of our son walking past a fire-hydrant, i thought it gives a good perspective on how tall --or short he is right now.
April 30 2007
Recently I've been having a little extra fun with my camera. First I made a panoramic picture from 2 pictures of the computer room. But that wasn't nearly as interesting as the 3D Stereograms*/magic eye pictures I made. To make, I took one picture and then slid the camera to the left and took a second picture. One shows some toys (showing the painted fully assembled wooden puzzle merri-go-round model i got for christmas). and the other is our messy table.
For easter I tried to make chocolate eggs the same way i make egg candles, but it didn't work as easily as i thought. Chocolate is not slippery smooth like wax, making it very difficlt to take the shells off. On the good side, they did taste good...
I now understand more personaly what it is about used car salesmen that makes people cringe, as we (for the first time) bought a "new" used car that adds an extra bill into our monthly budget for a couple of years. Atleast the car gets good gas milage, runs well, and looks nice. I like it and hope it lasts for a very very very long time.
Oddly, our son learned how to climb stairs while we waited at the army tax offie to get our taxs done. When we got home he enthusiastly started up our flight or 14 steps with us following close behind. While on the subject, our son started to walk near the middle end of April and can wobble himself across the living room now. Right now his favorite games are making a mess with mud, dirt or sand, and water. One time, I even caught him trying to play in a just-cleaned toilet.
One interesting thing about living near an Army airfeild is that we get to see all the helicopters and interesting airplanes come and go all day long.
March 31, 2007
Flowers bloomed brightly all month, as the spring is here. Flower gardens are everywhere. I took pictures of a regular yellow daffodil, a weird flying saucer flower, one that almost looks like a rose and one that has long yellow "hair" in it's center. My son just looks on and yells from his stroller.
Summer comes without waiting for sping for pass here in the south, and as usuall, none of the community pools open until mid-may. One day I sat my son on the counter with a bowl of water, tring to stop him from dumping water all over the floor while I cook. He liked playing in the water so much that I found a nice little "duck pool" (really it is thing you're suppose to put into bath) for my son to play in on hot afternoons. The only trouble is that i can't fit, but at least now i don't have to worry about spilled water.
For some reason that i think my brother-in-law demonstrates in his log*, babies think boxes are very fun to play in, with or without the packing. When we got a fun package, my son loved sitting inside and playing.
Now that I care much, but it seems Windows has gone crazy creating another system hog called Vista, which we now have installed on our computer. It is kindof fun, and has different lables for everyrthing like "personalize" instead of "properties", and the usless 3-D flip programs thing is fun to stare at when I'm boared.
February 28, 2007
It isn't offishally spring, but after the freezing ice cold of NH, it sure feels like spring here, espicily since it's warm enough to wear sandles or sit outside and read in the sun as my husband demonstrates. On a walk past a tall pine tree, I even saw a white rose.
Recetly I've been busy trying to tidy the living room and make a scrapbook page while simotaniously watching our son crawl around the house pulling on things such as chairs, bookshelves and laundry baskets trying ot stand. Just for reference, our son grew four front teeth while in NH, although at the moment it seems it's easier to see the bottom teeth when he opens his mouth.
For valantines day, my husband gave me some chocolate and a puzzle game called Zuma (screenshot) i'd been playing on my parent's computer. Basicly you shoot balls from the center of the screen at some rotating balls that come twords you making similar colored balls dissapear until all the balls are gone.
Bath's are fun, but even more fun if the water is blue. It's been a while since I had bath tints, and again i found them to be very fun, espicily with a rubber duck.
January 30, 2007
New years was celebreated by heating up grandma's ice cold driveway with some very pretty fireworks. I think that this january was one of the weirdest one's I've ever had. First of all, my husband had to go to training on a desert base in CA (near some hills) and i could not come, so i stayed in NH and helped my younger sister finish a couple of corespondent courses (english and biology), which was harder than it sounds becuase sudoku is evidently more fun than homework.
In between playing with our son and looking over homework, me, my sister, and mother visited a ceramic place called "You're Fired*" and painted some interesting things. I made a spoon rest for the stove and an icecream cone for my husband to eat icecream from. My sister made a dolphin mug to hold pencils, and my mother made a nice flower hotpad.
Sadly, my sister's pet dog and best friend Ace, died suddenly at the age of 5, as she was hit by a truck in the road. we are all very sad about it, but a peach tree will be planted over her grave in the spring so that she will be remembered with life.
Instead of a snowstorm in january, there was an ice storm which covered everything in icicles and ice, making trees and the world look as if it was made of crystal. My sister and i had fun slipping on a nearby pond that turned to ice. My son loved to look at the ice from his excelant warm viewpoint, and wiggled happily despite the fact that he was getting his first four teeth all at once.
Before going to NH, i bought some nice cloth and started making a circle skirt, but couldn't figure out how to make the waist, so i brought the coth with me to NH, and my grandmother and mother helped me finish the dress. I think it came out very nice. Thinking of grandmothers, our son had fun visiting both his grandmother'sdurring the week, and getting his picture taken while learning to crawl or playwith with bubbles.
All icons were hand drawn by author in Paintbrush
* notes off-site link