The misspelled, illustrated, and short newsletters
March 2001-Dec 2001
Debember 31, 2008
Near the beginning og the month we had a NH ice storm which knocked down trees and power lines and made ice fangs on the park benches outside. We got our electricity back on by the end of the day--probably because we live within one mile of the power lines, but out internet was off for a while, so instead of playing internet I went out and took pictures of ice covered grass, pine trees, and red berries.
One weekend we made fun chocolate gingerbread houses. I like chocolate better than gingerbread so I made chocolate cookies instead of gingerbread.(except one house was gingerbread) My son wanted to help so I made him a tent-house to decorate (from a broken wall cookie). He loved sticking candy on, and was happily occupied for quite a while. My house has a tree and garden on one side.
After my sister arived and we put up the christmas tree, there were a couple of big snow storms that kept us from going out much--except to help shovel snow and scrape ice off the driveway. It looked so fun that even our son wanted to help and ran around with a snow shovel.
For Christmas, my husband, me and our son got stockings with some assorted candy, and various things. Our son got some Thomas the Train stuff which he plays with everyday. I got a new laptop (my husband waited all night at the Best Buy parking lot thanksgiving to get on our credit card that won't take forever to pay off). After christmas, we put together a summerish puzzle and enjoyed out christmas time together.
November 30 2008
Some days it was still warm enough to take my son outside to see the trees (like the interesting grandmother tree that has a face) or to the park. He loves to play on the slides and climb on the stairs, but dosen't seem to notice the cool becuase he's having fun. Another thing we do for fun is walk across the street to the building site where the land looks like some abandoned quarry. There are a couple construction tractors parked for the winter and some big rocks that are fun to climb on.
The day was sunny and bright on thanksgiving, and we ate the tradition turkey and potatoes. My parents-in-law came over for lunch and played with our son for the day. Durring the day I deside to hand some painting in the stairway so they would be out of the way. I think paintings look good above.
Sometimes the stars and moon look very interesting. The other night the moon and two planets looked like they were next to each other. I tried to take a picture, but basic point and click cameras don't really work well for night pictures.
The weather has been fluxuzting a lot, from warm to cold, making many steamy large swamps and icy places in the feilds outback. When the light is just right, the swamps reflect the trees very nicly, and make the hundreads of rotting apples show up clearly on the ground.
Oct 31, 2008
Recently I have been making a collection of various coloring pages that are available online free so that any time my son wants to color, I can print one page of whatever he wants to color. So far I have about 500 printable pages with themes ranging from an ice cream cone to Holly Hobbby. (rar Download 61.3MB)
Last week the local mall set up a farm theme play area in the center of the food court for young children to play in. My son's favorite item was the chicken coup slide/tunnel. I think all malls should have play areas for children so they can use up some energy before having to sit in a stroller.
I don't have any pumpkin carving tools other than a steak knife and a potato peeler, but that didn't stop me from carving a pumpkin into a cat face. The cat design is more or less based on one I saw online--but re-drawn on my pumpkin.
On The last day of the month our son dressed as Sir Galahad the Knight. During the day I took some fun pictures, and in the evening we visited a few friends houses to show him off and get yummy candy.
Fall is mostly over in NH now, and the air had gotten to cold for me. But I still like going for walks in the forest and fields which still can look interesting. One day I dropped some large rocks into an small stream that crosses one of the forest paths to make a stepping stones bridge. It must have looked like fun, becuase after the first stone, my son was tossing rocks into the water and laughing at the splashes.
September 30, 2008
Since the driveway here is smooth and black, I concluded it was perfect for chalk drawing. I found some cheap sidewalk chalk and began to draw parking spaces on the driveway while my son scribed chalky colors everywhere (including on our car). After a while, I decided to draw a largest Sierpinski gasket I've ever drawn. It was larger than a car and very fun to look at.
Origami...at the time it seemed more fun than watching car slide shows on my laptop, and because it only took about 250 units (instead of 600 like the origami flowerpot took) so I began to make a 3d origami turkey. I cut the paper into little bits the first day, folded all 250 units the second day, and assembled the turkey (with some modifications) on the third day. It came out pretty nice I think.
Thinking of origami, I was able to visit the Origamido studio* by Michael Lafosse (origami master)and his partner Richard Alexander before they moved to Hawaii. I had fun looking at the very nice origami they made and asking about origami as an art. Just because there happened to be one there, and I asked Michael Lafosse how it went together, I learned how to make a butterfly ball.
Deerfeild fair came and went in the rain this year, but we still had fun seeing the tractors, the unicycle circus act, the cute little pigglets with their mother, quilts and paintings. At the end, our son had a fun pony ride on an old fashioned merry-go-round.
One of the nice things about fall is that the mosquito population tends to shrink. This means that we all enjoy going outside to visit the lake or just walk in the yard together without worrying about putting on bug repellent or moving constantly to keep ourselves bug free.
August 31, 2008
Near the beginning of the month my brother visited. Because he was here, we all went to see the Flume; a natural waterfall in central NH cleverly made into a tourist attraction by putting board walks along the moss covered side of the mountain. We posed for picture in front of rocks, and both me and my husband posed with the big tree roots. We had fun walking on the mountain paths and under bridges. We also saw a red covered bridge, a mountain that looks like George Washington's profile (sideways) and some nice road scenery.
In the yard at my husband's parent's house, depending on the day, you could have found all sorts of interesting things. My son and husband sitting in a kayak left out form a camping trip, some beautiful flowers, a colorful garden, and a peach tree full of tasty preaches ready to eat.
Time to play outside is always necessary for boys, and trees are a perfect place for my husband and son to play. When the day gets to hot, my son sits in hid duck tub/pool. He bearly fits in it anymore, but he loved it anyway.
My father recently got a lathe and had to get it into his work area inthe basement, so he made a ramp of boards down the bulkhead stairs, tired the lathe to the back of the car, and then slowly backed the car and lathe down the ramp. It look a long time, but inthe end the lathe happily made it into place in the workshop.
July 31, 2008
This month seemed to pass quickly since my younger sister visited. I gave her a Korean T-shirt and matching scrunchy in one of her favorite colors and then made her sit outside so I could take her picture wearing them.
One week, while at an art store, my sister saw some fuzzy blue yarn that look fun, so she bought some and asked me to knitt her a pillow to help decorate her room. I agreed and with the help of my mother who sewed a cloth backing made her a very fluffy pillow.
July is the middle of summer, and some days are so hot that water looks refreshing-- not only to drink but also to splash in. So it was on one of theses hot days, my sister and I put some water into a kid's splash pool and had a pool party. The water wasn't really deep enough, so we dumped buckets of water over our heads whenever we felt hot. It was fun and my son tapped us on the head and thought we were silly.
On a different hot day we all went to the Plumb Island beach. I made the first sand castle with some dripping wet sand, but it looked so fun my sister made another one and we had fun playing in the sand while my husband had fun going on a walk and playing with my camera. On the way out I took a picture of the wild rosehips that grow all over the island.
Before my sister left, we went to paint ceramics at the local ceramic shop. (They have a special "ladies night" discount once a week.) All of us enjoyed painting our various ceramics. I made a TARDIS mug. I like it a lot, even though the blue paint did come out a lot darker than I expected.
One day I found an old canvas laying in the attic and decided to see what kind of picture my son would paint on it. After removing most of my son's clothes so they wouldn't get dirty, I opened the paint bottles and let him paint. In the end, he had fun, made a large mess, and a now I have a fun looking painting.
The last day of the month, my son's hair was getting just a bit long. So we went over to a local haircutter (who happeneds to be friends with my mother). She had my son sit on my lap and whenever he was still for just a few seconds she was able to trim a little of his hair. She trimmed his hair well, and everyone liked it.
Most kids like riding rocking horses, but around here you might find a kid riding a rock horse instead.
June 30, 2008
NH is a nice place in the summer. Since the air dosen't usually get very hot, it is fun to walk around, play, and look at rocks; such as the nice quartz rock my parents brought from Ecuador and put into a rock garden outside. Or you can sit on the big back yard rock dug up durring the house's construction.
The bacment is a great place for us to sleep in the summer, but it is nearly impossible to keep our bed area tidy, so my parents bought some pink accordian insulation, cut it, duck-taped it and then laminated it to make a good looking divider. Not only does this give us a bit more privacy, but also ensures that piano student's won't see the mess.
Almost as soon as we unpacked our suitcases in NH, it was time for our son's second birthday party. Our families all visited so that he could see all his grandparents and great grand parents at once. Our son loved eating the train cake my mother made for him. He later had fun playing with his birthday presents, playing in the sandbox, and wearing his new clothes.
One day my father found a broken slide at the dump that was missing legs and a stabilizer, but my father fixed the slide with some other pipes he found. After it was fixed, we painted the pipes blue. Our son loves to slide.
My father's birthday is just a week or so after our son's. But instead of a birthday cake, he wanted birthday eclairs, which sound fun, but candles don't stand up long when in between eclairs, so he had to blow the candles out quickly before they fell, which was good because it ensured we got to eat the eclairs sooner.
I finnaly finished my "3D block origami" project from one of the origami books I got for my birthday. I made a vase pot with stripes. it took more than 30 sheets of paper cut into over 400 little rectangles which each had to be folded and then fit together. It took a long time so even though the result looks nice, (espicily with origami flowers inside the pot) I proably won't make another soon.
May 31, 2008
Near the beggingin of the month we visited a place called "Seoul Tower", which is one of the higest places in the city. At the bottom of the mountain where the tower is built, there is a nice tall fountain. My son wanted to watch the fountain forever, but enjoyed the stairs to the top once we started walking. When we reached the top we looked at all the locks that friends and couples have locked to a fence in a sign of their unlockable friendship. Thr view from the tower top is amazing. You can even see the city smog.
I was able to beta test the new Growing Gifts application in Facebook. It was fun, but there are still a lot of thing that need to be fixed. I think that by June it will all be fixed and running smoothly. Playing with the application motivated me to make a lot of new flower plants for fun.
For my birthday, I got some fun complicated origami books, a new Sunday shirt and a gold tooth (but not for free). The caked looked sweet and fattning, but turned out to be choclate bread with a very mild cream on top. (It was good) The cake even came with 3 candles, matches and a plastic knife.
The other day I saw what looked like an ice cream sunday for sale from a shop and bought it. ("Pat bing soo") When I received the dessert, I was a bit disappointed to find it was like a weird slushyish ice cream. It was a bowl of plain shaved ice topped with sweet beans and some fruit. Another Korean thing I tried was the fast food special kimchi burger which is fried breaded port coated in kimchi in fried rice patties instead of bread and comes with a soda and french fries. It is really good.
No good space is ever wasted in Korea, not even the tiny bit of space on the curb beside the road. People plant lettus there and pick it as it grows. I just hope they clean all the car exaust off it before they use it.
We are leaving to return to the States in a few days, and sadly the town tore down the playground outside out apartment to build a new one whihc we will never see. Here is my son's last run across the grattitng at the nearby park.
April 30, 2008
Spring has come to the city, all the trees are in bloom and there are flowers everywhere--even lilacs. Cheery tree blossoms can be seen all over the city along with some popular bushes that have bright pink and red and white flowers.
The nearby resting place has a canopy with hanging purple flowers and is a fun place to rest after a walk. On our building there are even pretty flowers growing in the window ledges. I am not sure weather these were planted or not.
Along with the flowers, the ants are awake. On the paths and sidewalks, ants of all sizes can be seen looking for food, with our son crawling closly behind yelling "aaan!" excitedly over and over at them.
Ever want to know what a see what a boared amature photagrapher takes pictres of? (not really) Too bad, I'm going ot tell you anyway. I took a picture of my own footprint next to my son's. This is what happends when you carry a camera around all the time and get boared. Oh well, at least it's green-- my favorite color.
March 31, 2008
Near the beginning of the month we visited one of the major tourist attractions in South Korea called "Gyeongbokgung Palace". Mostly people just wander around and look in and around the various royal buildings. (we weren't allowed in the pagota) One very nice building is in the center of a lake. The buildings all had bright flowers painted in various patterns on the roof beams and hallways. I found out that this type of painting is called tanchong. The repetition of the same pattern over and over again makes it nice to look at.
My husband and I took turns holding our son who was wearing his monkey backpack. At one building, our son decided to sit in a fun looking fireplace used to heat the palace floors during winter. What was funny about this, is that every person who walked past took a picture of him in the fireplace. Afterwards, I said, I could make a lot of money if I charged to have his picture taken in the fireplace.. "Come see the amazing baby in the fireplace. 50 cents a picture..."
One day it seemed like my son wanted to try paining again, so I got out some paint and paper, only to discover my son was more intersted in rolling the paint bottles around the floor than actually painting. I didn't want to waste the prepared paint so I used it to make a rough impressionistic tree. I think it came out kind of interesting. The tree almost looks like it is faded or old because of the colors.
One day durring a family walk, (see my husband and son walking the same) I noticed that beside the stream the new bike path under construction is almost done. the smooth red pavment and nice white lines in the center make it look very inviting. The green section on the right is for joggers and walkers. I guess the pedestrian path is closer to the water so that wobbly bicyclists won't topple into the river.
For the past 2 weeks, I noticed a basketball stuck on some rocks in the the stream that we walk past everyday. So I finally went and fished the ball out for our son. Our son loved the ball, he bounced the ball and chased after it over and over for a long time. Meanwhile I was getting boarded, so i dug a big pit in the playground beside the slide for our son to sit in when he was tired.
Easter is here early this year, but there were no Easter candy or items for sale anywhere in Korea. As replacements for "little eggs" in our Easter baskets I used peanut m&m's. I also made some soft candy stuff and used a rabbit head shaped boiled egg mold (a concept I find weird) to make rabbit heads. I then covered the rabbit heads in chocolate, which made them look a little odd. Nevertheless they taste very good and everyone likes them. We got some other various chocolate sent to us from the States which was very nice.
Febuary 29, 2008
Sometime during the beginning of the month was the Luner new year. Korean stores close for the day, people visit their families, and wear Hamboks (traditional Korean clothes). The only times I have ever seen Hamboks or any Korean stuff in the department store is near hollidays, and it is very interesintg to look at. We didn't celebrate except ot atend the church new year party. My son wore a Hambok, played with his father, and got a fun free flower balloon.
On the way home from church we pass by a school that has a rather large netted cage containing a peacock. Peacocks are really quite large, bright birds, so not to see one is nearly impossible. Now, whenever I'm nearby, I say hello and admire the peacock.
While i was looking at some of the modular origami online, I noticed a base shape called a "sonobe" that looked like the shape I use to make cubes and discs.After closer inspection, the sonobe turned out to be exactly the same shape-- i have been making sonobes for years thinking they were cube sides! Soon after I understood this fact, I made 12 unit sonobe ball.
For Valentines day I gave my friends some origami rose pens and some candy. From my husband, I got a big box of "sea creature" chocolates. The chocolates are shapes of seashells and sea horses with white and dark chocolates mixed to make the shapes look realistic. They are very tasty.
One day I thought my son needed to try somthing new, so I got some paints and a kids paintbrush (cleverly disguised as a kitchen utensil in the store) and let my son learn a new art medium. He enjoyed painting a and made a dripping modern art painting.
January 31, 2008
Happy New Year!
It seems that in Korea, January is the month of winter. One day we had some real snow-- which means it didn't melt when it hit the ground as usuall. Local kids were trying to slide down small hills in cardboard boxes while other were building snow forts behind benches or building snowmen. All this is pretty amazing considering the fact that there was only 1 or 2 inches of snow. Nevertheless it was fun. My son enjoyed pushing the snow of all the parkbenches we passed.
Everyday we go for walks past this blanket/ Korean matress shop. It is one of the most colorful shops we pass. Just for fun, I decided to take a picture of the shop. I like how Korean beds are foldable mats that lay on the floor. They seem very practical.
There are some interesitng crust-like cookies here called "Lotte Leaf" which make great afternoon snacks. The other food we seem to eat all the time is called "mandu". This is a type of bit-sized dumpling filled with either meat, vegtables and clear noodles or kimchi, which is spicy pickled cabbage. Mando comes like ravioli inthe states--frozen in large bags. I like to steam mandu over a pot of boiling rommen noodls,that way lunch is ready all at once.
As my son gets closer to being an offisial toddler, he learns to play more and more silly games like putting fingers in someone else's mouth and clicking the computer mouse when no one is looking. He also enjoys playing with some massage toys that look like little animal cars. The best thing about those toys is that they only cost $1.
One day I went to the store and bought markers so I could color the "Velvet" stickers I brought with me from the States. I wanted to color something and they were just the right kind of easy/hard coloring i wanted. They are easy because I color in precut shapes, but I like to add details and shading which makes them "hard" to color --meaning it takes at least an hour to complete. I think they came out well. I made a fun rollover so you can see the stickers before and after being colored.
Thinking of art, it is just hard to stay away from origami when I have so much great origami paper. Recently I made a nice origami boquet with some little tiny blue flowers. A different day I practiced making roses and figured out a way to attach leaves and a stem to make them look almost real. My finished roses are small but look quite nice. I also worked a long time on making a webpage with diagrams on how to make the origami rose if you are intestered in that sort of thing.
All icons were hand drawn by author in Paintbrush