Sunday, December 30, 2007


I use a very old, worn with wear, oak box that used to hold library cards. I wish that I had my grandmother's recipe box-- but, I wasn't living in the area when they went through the household goods after she died. I have no idea as to where the recipe box ended up-- I do doubt that anyone is actually using and treasuring it, however.. and that is sad.. because, of all the grandchildren.. I would have cherished and used it.

She did teach me how to cook and sew for my Four H Club projects. AND, there are quite a few recipes that I do wish that I had my own copy...

I do have this recipe for Fresh Apple Cake that was my grandmother's because .. I had borrowed it and never returned it. For once, not being prompt was a good thing.

What does your recipe box look like? Do you have any old recipes to share?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

You just never know what you'll see when you go to the market in Seoul, Korea

I know you've said to yourself time and time again.. "Now, if I just knew where to buy 'glow in the dark' belly dancing outfits, my life would be complete!"

Can't decide what color of fur you'd like for a new winter hat? Get this one.. of course, you'll probably have to wear only black or you'll clash with everything else.

Mannequins training for ninja fighting? Or as a secret agent spy program?

Mannequins getting 'frisky'????

Friday, December 28, 2007

some photos for your entertainment...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Christmas ornament for ME!

I usually make some sort of hand-made ornaments for friends.. but, tend to forget myself in the rush to get everything completed. So, last night.. after all the holiday celebrations was over... I decided to knit myself a little ornament. I used a snowflake chart from the pattern: Fireside Stocking in the 2007 Interweave Holiday Gifts knitting magazine.

I just used scrap acrylic yarn and a small amount of thin white fuzzy acrylic yarn for the snowflake. If I'd had enough, I would have doubled the yarn to make it the same size as the red yarn.

*I'm going to make a ribbon change and put a white ribbon on the ornament- I think that the contrast will look better?

The fabric that I used for the back of the ornament-- is almost just like the actual knitted snowflake. Sweet!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

You never know where you are going to find one of Santa's Helpers!

The other night, my friend and I went to TOY ALLEY to pick up some last minute items. We were there a couple of hours and we were walking back to the subway station, carrying our purchases, when out of the corner of my eye.. I spotted one of Santa's helpers crouched hiding behind some boxes. Of course, I snapped a photo...
Not sure why she was hiding? Maybe she didn't want anyone to know that she was one of SANTA'S HELPERS?

Well, in celebration of 'giving' to others less fortunate... the military base where I work also participates in the TOYS FOR TOTS program.. however, the toys donated here- are taken to orphanages off-base for the local community as a gift from the Americans associated with our military base.

I had purchased a few toys that I put in the drop box and wanted to buy a Barbie doll as an additional 'girl gift.' There weren't any Barbie dolls to be found in our small toy selection-- so, I bought an 'off-brand' fashion doll.

I took her home and knitted her a warm wool sweater, scarf, and hat for the Korean winters. Then, I sewed some of the fabric samples from the fabric building that I had, to make other items of clothing for the doll. After all, isn't a doll even more fun with some extra clothing?

And, since it was going to a little girl in an orphanage.. there probably wouldn't be anyone else adding to the 'clothing collection' for her doll. I made a poncho, some skirts, 1 tan sweater (that matched everything of course!), and other odds and ends. I even found a cowboy hat, in the fabric building, that fit the doll perfectly!

Here is the little doll with all of her outfits... I just layered all the clothing in the box- so, nothing would be separated from the doll- since, you can't wrap the gifts prior to donating them.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve...

Although, it's blurry.. here are some of the lights on base.. it's a little touch of America in the middle of a foreign country.

Holiday flowers from the flower market.

My new snowman to decorate the area outside my apartment door. It was another cute snowman to replace the one that was stolen when I moved to Italy 3 years ago.. and never even got to use!
My new door wreath:

Prior to this new wreath, I'd been using NOEL spelled out in stuffed fabric letters, that I'd bought in a craft show about 20 years ago, it was time to upgrade.

I tried and tried to download a video that I took with my camera.. but, it (blogger) kept saying it was downloading it.. but, nothing ever happened and I tried 3x and it would 'download' for 20 minutes w/out anything happening-- so, if anyone knows how to help me-- let me know, ok?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Amazing.... It's a new knitted scarf!!! SEE, it really is a KNITTING blog!

This is a super easy pattern.. with a nice little ruffle edge. I used some really thick acrylic wool mixed yarn from Turkey. I like the way that it softens the color changes. *CLICK on photos for a larger image

I took a photo of it outside the apartment building in one of the trees all decked out for 'winter'... every tree gets this little handwoven reed wrap around the trunks about 3-4 feet from the ground.


Some closeups of the stitching... and the ruffle edge.

Let's just say taking photos of a scarf wrapped and tied in a tree trunk, out in front of a 23 story apartment building.. must have been entertaining or confusing at best for the security guard. :D

Friday, December 21, 2007

If a little 'sparkle' is good.. a whole lotta SPARKLE ought to be even better, right?

In December, a few stores in Namdaemun Market change their inventory and start selling CHRISTMAS decorating items.. well, you could call it that... I guess...

Personally, I think saying that they sell 'Christmas decor', is like saying that Dolly Pardon sort of wears tight garments in the 'busty' area.. I should add that most residents of Korea do not celebrate Christmas-- it is 'for the most part' a Buddist country. However, that being said.. some do decorate and you'll see quite a few 'businesses' decked out with a tree, wreath, and/or lights.

In the middle of all of this 'stuff' are some really cute items... but, sometimes it's too overwhelming to look.

There is no way to photograph the blinking lights and all the overpowering sparkling flash and massive amount of items.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Photos from a small flower shop on my street. It was closed- but, I thought that they had a nice display in their window and it was nice to see some Christmas decorations.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Signs of being TIRED..

Last night, I made some homemade soup. It was cold. Soup is good when it's cold. Best of all, I'd have left-overs for a couple of days to take for lunch.

As soon as the soup was done-- I had a bowl of hot soup.

I woke up this morning to this.

That's it.. I had forgotten to put the soup in the refrigerator. Sigh..

Monday, December 17, 2007

Worth watching.. Christmas singers

Safe for work.

I don't know how to put a video here- I tried and tried.. but, blogger was just 'freezing' up and not working for me. Bummer.

I found this video at

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Living on the EDGE.. mayonnaise wise, that is..

You might remember my 'almost fire' a week ago? And, the fact that the power was off about 38 hours? Of course, I had just gone to the grocery store the day before:

Notice the dripping pool of now 'wilted' raw spinach.... Of course, I had to toss almost everything out.

Well, today.. I thought I'd make some home-made pimento cheese for sandwiches to go along with the soup that I'd make for dinner. This combination would be yummy for today and also provide easy lunch meals at school for the upcoming week.

Well, today I dumped the entire new bag of shredded cheese, put in some chopped pimento and added some dollops of mayonnaise. I blended it all together, grabbed 2 slices of whole wheat bread and made myself a sandwich.

I took a big bite and noticed it was a little 'whangy' but, I knew that pimentos sort of have a different taste anyway. I then glanced down and noticed the two-thirds full container of mayonnaise and realised that I had NOT THROWN IT AWAY like I did the yogurt, milk, and other assorted foods that had been in the refrigerator.

I suddenly heard in my mind-- every warning about food poisoning caused by 'potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni salad' left out too long at picnics. And, here I was.. eating the not MIGHT 'get you sick' from sitting 2 hours outside mayonnaise in 'suspect' potato salads.. oh, no.. we are talking about..

MAYONNAISE that has been been without refrigeration for about 38 hours and I had just taken a big bite of this 'tainted' pimento cheese sandwich prepared with the 'guaranteed to make you sick if you eat it' mayonnaise!

Of course.. that was the end of lunch.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's winter. You live in Korea. You drive a motorcycle for your job. What do you do to keep your hands warm?

You see 'homemade' versions of these 'winter glove protectors' pop up, in a variety of styles, once cold weather hits. I'm surprised that someone hasn't patented this idea to start selling them. It's just gloves taped to handlebars.. of course, some sort of padding to protect the hands from the cold air and plastic for rain and snow protection. All they do is slip their hands inside the gloves and 'go' in warmth.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Big announcement: I am 100% debt-free... woo hoo! Could I hear an AMEN SISTER? OR even a "You GO GIRL?"

AND, if my $550.00+ hadn't been stolen.. I would even have some 'spending money' to celebrate this big day.

Of course, I don't own a home and my car is 34 years old.. but, hey.. I did pay off all of my debts and that counts for something.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do you suffer from PMS? Know someone who does? Looking for a college?

Well, do I have a place that might interest you - maybe you could get some relief AND, best of all.. while you are there you could get an education at the same time..

Sign recently found on the subway and it made me giggle out loud.

Can't you see the university sweatshirts now? Yep, right there in front.. a big ole PMS right in the middle of your chest for all to see. A real first date conservation killer, huh?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Forget being a Wal-Mart meeter/greeter in the blue vest.. this is the job that I want when I retire...

Elevator Operator! And, notice the snappy uniform? Beats the blue Wal-Mart vest any day. Of course, it might get hot wearing a wool coat and wool felted hat in the winter months? But, that's the price you'd have to pay to have a nifty uniform and push elevator buttons for the elevator passengers. Oh, and let's not forget the 'announcing' of the floor numbers.

When I'd watch classic old black and white movies.. it always amazed me to see the 'job' of elevator operator. I mean, really, how did this job get started in the first place? Did they think that the visitors would be too dumb to press buttons w/ numbers representing the different floors in the building? And, apparently, it was a job that lasted for many, many years.

I can even remember when I was about 6 years old... riding in an ornate elevator that had an elevator operator. I distinctly remember the man 'pulling the heavily carved golden gate shut before pressing the buttons. It was in an old four story building that had been a department store in the 1880's and had now been turned into offices/etc. The building still had the 'old fashioned' elevator because it still worked and replacing an elevator for only 3 or 4 floors was probably a pretty expensive endeavor?

I do remember thinking that it would be a 'neat job' when I saw one like that at the tender age of 6.

I don't know if I remembered it because it was likely one of my first elevator rides? After all I lived in a rural area and all the buildings in the nearby town that had more than one floor- simply had stairs to get from one level to another. But, what a memorable elevator for one's first elevator ride...

Did I remember it so vividly because the elevator was all gold and shiny (of course, I now know that the 'gold' was really polished brass.) or was it the attendant's snappy uniform w/ tassels on the shoulders and a hat like people in marching bands wore?

This elevator operator reminded me of a time of elegance so often featured in the old black and white movies of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. A time that had ended before I was born. I'm also glad that I happened to live in the rural south, and had a chance as an impressionable child, to experience that ornate elevator with the elevator operator, and what in the past, was an everyday experience.

Maybe we need to bring the elevator operators back to help instill better 'elevator manners?' I'm sure that when the elevators were operated by men wearing snappy uniforms with tassels on their shoulders that there wasn't any pushing to get on the elevator before the current passengers had a chance to disembark?

And, maybe having the one person pushing buttons would stop the people who push the buttons repeatedly.. 'as if' the elevator is a machine with feelings and will know that this passenger MEANS BUSINESS because they pushed the button several times?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My new yarn..

that I got in the 'yarn market' yesterday. I'm making a hat for a co-worker's soon to be born baby. They decided not to 'know the sex' of the baby in advance-- which I thought was quite refreshing. After all, that is probably the biggest surprise out there-- waiting 9 months to find out the sex of the baby.

Anyway, I thought that this yarn was pretty gender neutral. It's a soft self-striping yarn from Japan. The only problem with it? I've already found 3 knots!

Can't you just see this hat on a baby? I'm going to also add some earflaps after I finished knitting the hat.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's OPEN!!

The 'sort of across the street' Indian Restaurant!!!

A couple of friends and I went shopping in the market today and we stopped by to have a late lunch.

Yes, I did have NAAN bread, Saffron Rice, Samosas, and Tondori Chicken.. why do you ask? And, since the owner remembered me from when I stopped by to check on the 'projected' opening date a couple of times.. gave us a 34% discount on our meal!

Friday, December 7, 2007

IT snowed!!!

But, not enough:
This photo was taken on base in one of the 'teacher parking lots' see.. the wall of new and still not ready for renting.. high-rise apartments? They are right off base.. but, RIGHT NEXT TO OUR MILITARY BASE. There is a group of 10 of them and most are 34 floors or so. They are next to the gate that I enter to come onto base.

This photo was also taken from on base-- a view of the 'huge' museum.. off base- but, on property that used to belong to the military base. It used to be a golf-course. The big white flat area is a baseball field.

You can see how big the building is here.

We still had school ALL DAY.. no delay, no missing school.. Teachers get just as excited about the possibility of a 'snow day' as the kids do.

UPDATE: By noon there was no evidence of any snow... anywhere...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gypsies, Tramps, and MIDDLE SCHOOL THIEVES

We had an hour long teacher's meeting in the cafeteria after school on Wednesday. I was trying to pack up a package up a Christmas present to mail in the 6 minutes that I had after student dismissal until the time for the meeting to start...

I looked up at the clock and realized that I had to leave NOW.. so, I wasn't late. In my haste, I didn't lock the outside or inside (hallway) door to my classroom.. So, I left and left my coat also.. since, there isn't a place to put your coat, sitting in the cafeteria chairs, and the cafeteria is right outside my 'outside' door.

Since, my hand injury- I've been keeping my money in a small 'make-up' bag in my coat pocket. Not a place anyone would look- and easy access w/ an injured hand. I wasn't carrying a purse anymore- just something to hold my military ID/etc.

Well, imagine my surprise when 'after school' I finished up what I needed to do for the package and departed my classroom to go to the post-office before they closed. (didn't make it) Sitting in my car, I checked how much American money I had in my little 'money bag' so I could determine if I needed to go to the MONEY MACHINE prior to the post-office or not..

AND, I found that the bag was GONE from my pocket. I was running short on time and I didn't go back to my room- because I figured it had just fallen out of my pocket when I threw my coat down on top of the cardboard box, against the wall, and behind my desk (the only place to put my coat). So, I didn't worry about and went on to the post-office.

Well, the next morning.. I searched the area where my coat was and the little blue silk Asian make-up bag (uh, money bag) wasn't there. I went to the office to see if it had been turned in and it hadn't. :(

Problem is.. the bag had over $450.00 in Korean won and about $45.00 in USA money. I had just gone to the money machine to get won to 'do the last of the Christmas shopping'...

About an hour later- the secretary calls me to let me know that the bag had been found in the 6th grade girl's bathroom that morning. EMPTY of all paper MONEY!! They did leave my 'multi-subway pass', the coins, and my stamps. (about $4.00 in coins)

So, someone either entered the unlocked classroom (my fault totally for forgetting to lock it- but, all students know not to go back into a classroom after school and especially to STEAL SOMETHING) and took my money from my coat pocket.

OR... someone found it in the 'female staff's bathroom', in the hallway outside my classroom, where I might have gone right after school on my way to the post-office. I usually throw my coat down on my 'heavy teacher's bag'.. and it could have fallen out of my pocket and I didn't realize it- especially in my haste to leave. *NOW, I'm not for sure IF I WENT TO THE BATHROOM on my way out of the building that afternoon- but, it is very likely that I did do so- since, the bathroom is on my way out the hallway to depart the building and I do stop there often on my way home?? *It is the teacher's bathroom, but children do use it- even though they aren't supposed to do so- no way to monitor it- because of the location.

THE WHOLE POINT IS.. someone took the MONEY THAT THEY KNEW WASN'T their property. AND, here's the sad thing- the office is right where my classroom and the 'bathroom in question is located' so, it would have been so easy to turn in the 'lost' make-up 'now' money bag' to the office... OR take it right back to my unlocked classroom -before I got back to my room an hour later.

THE LOST and FOUND is right outside my classroom hallway door- so, it is possible that a student was in that hallway after school- they've been making announcements to come and find your 'stuff' before it gets donated to Afghanistan at winter break.

Now, you might ask.. how, on earth would any students know that I kept my 'money bag' in my coat pocket? Well, I dismiss my students for lunch and sometimes I walk right up there w/ them and they've seen me take money out of my coat pocket to make sure I have enough.

AND, worst of all.. 6th graders were the class DISMISSED for lunch the day that I lost my MONEY and I had unzipped my 'money bag' while getting the kids in line at the outside door to go to the lunchroom, and some of my coins fell out of my money bag .. and some kids helped me pick it up. AND, as a result.. many students saw the 2inches thick of KOREAN MONEY in my bag!

I'd hate to think that a kid that goes to my school or even that I teach (if they came into my classroom and took it out of my coat pocket) did this.. but, the fact is.. it was done that way and the 'bag' was found EMPTY except for:

My Christmas stamps, the coins, and my subway pass. woo hooo

AND, none of our children 'are poor' as you'd find in the states. They are only living here because either one or both parents are either in the military or work for the US Government. Housing and utilities are paid for by the government. AND, children of the military also receive: Free medical, dental, eye care.

SIGH.. another day.. another dollar to 'earn' back..

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Look what SANTA (uh, my friend Pam) sent ME!!

The 'Santa' is a night-light! Isn't that the cutest thing? And, Christmas socks.. (something teachers tend to do for the kids!), and the cup says: Madill Wildcats.. that's where Pam and I went to HS.. our school's mascot was the: WILDCAT... grrr

And look at this box full of CORNBREAD from OKLAHOMA! Made in Shawnee, Oklahoma.. (thus, the name of the company is: SHAWNEE MILLS) Now, if you're not from the south- you might not realize the importance of 'good cornbread'... I didn't get to go to Oklahoma this summer-- (usually I put some packages in my suitcase and mail some to myself so, I have enough 'cornbread' to last me throughout the year.) Pam, being the good friend that she is, always sends me some if I run low of cornbread.

AND.. the best of all? Those are southern Oklahoma (grown in the same area where we went to HS) paper shell pecans! MY oh MY!!! Pecans are native to Oklahoma.. and they are so good fresh. If you even 'sort of like pecans' (pronounced: PEE cons) you'd swoon if you got a chance to eat fresh from the tree pecans!

Paper shell means: YOU CAN CRACK THEM by squeezing two of them together, hammer them w/ a remote control, (ask me how I know) and if you want you can even put one in your mouth and crack it w/ your teeth. Hey, when you first open your box.. and you see all of those pecans.. all reason goes out of the window and your goal is to: CRACK THOSE PECANS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE and start eating!

I also have a box of southern OKLAHOMA grown peanuts in the car. I'm not sure if they are raw or roasted or both? I had too much to bring in from the car when I parked in the parking garage to carry everything to the elevator and then to my apartment-- so, something had to stay behind in the car.

I've lived all over and there are things that I miss from each place that I've lived.

I miss the juicy white peaches, the roasted chickens from the markets, all the wonderful cheeses, the wines, and all of the pastries that are found in Italy.

From Okinawa, I miss the clean air, turquoise waters, and the most vivid sunsets that I've ever seen.

From the Philippines, I miss the unleavened bread/crackers that we'd get with our meals in the Officer's Club, the lemonade drink made from a small green citrus fruit.

And from Oklahoma .. I miss...

fried Okra, homegrown garden veggies, catfish, Sonic drive-in's, my uncle's fish fries, and of course the Oklahoma peaches, sandbass, pecans, peanuts, and cornbread.

When I returned to Korea- the first thing that I went out to eat was one of the wonderful ice-cream fruit bars that they have here. They taste like a honeydew melon and are sooooo good. Also, I had my favorite drink here- 'MILK-IS'..

So, what do you miss from previous locations?