Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am SO PROUD! My friend finished her first knitted project!

I've been teaching a friend how to knit. She is left-handed and wanted to learn the typical 'right-handed' way. She learned how without any problems- got her tension down really quickly and in no time learned to recognize the purl and knit stitches.

We saw some scarves knitted in the basket weave stitch pattern (blocks of knit and purl and the scarf is reversible as a result) I am happy to report that she just finished her first scarf. It's a wonderful thick wool yarn from Turkey that we found in the Yarn Market here in Seoul. She knitted it in a basket weave pattern and it was a good way to follow a pattern and to learn to recognize 'purl and knit' stitches when you see them.

She has already started her next scarf and has already knitted about 9 inches on this new scarf. I think that she is already hooked! YEAH!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A few facts.. about ME..

*I'm tired.. I haven't done anything interesting to write about so.. here's a few tidbits about your blog author:

1. The soda machine in the teacher's lounge does not have Dr. Pepper in it (the one in the elementary where I worked for the past two years did have DP's.) The MS teacher's lounge has two buttons for: coke, Pepsi, 1 for sprite, and 1 button for Diet Coke.

So, when I bought a soda.. I would hit the button H1 (for coke) instead of the G1 (coke too) because on the little digital screen it looked like the word: HI was spelled out.

2. I have recently been watching DVD's of the old TV show MASH. It's been fun watching them with the perspective of someone who has or is living in Korea. It feels like I'm one of the cool kids with inside information.

3. I do not in any shape or form like diet soft-drinks.

4. I think penne pasta tastes 'just a little better' than the other pasta forms. When I lived in Italy- I'd have them put the sauce that I wanted on penne instead of whatever choice the dish was served with.. like spaghetti.

5. I do like to squeeze the last drop out of the toothpaste tube. It's almost like a contest between me and the toothpaste tube.. can I get enough toothpaste out to brush my teeth one more time? *I recently bought this thing that goes on the end of the toothpaste tube.. and you push it downward along the tube as you use it- and it helps you get the last drop out even more than just pressing on the tube with your hand. It's pretty neat.

There ya go.. a few facts. Now, share something a bit on the off-beat that you do/believe/etc.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's cold.. how about some soup?

This is the best homemade tomato soup that I've ever had! It probably has 1,000 calories per serving and is probably the secret to it's wonderful taste. It's a little bistro near my apartment- only a block away. Real home-made french bread.. (bread isn't a big deal here- so, this is a delightful find), great salads, and yummy, yummy food. OK, and the food is more than you'd want to pay on a regular basis- but, it's still well worth it- because the food is awesome.

This is where I took my friends, on a Saturday, a few weeks ago when I took them for their first outing to the Tondaemun Market. The market is overwhelming and tiring for your first visit- so, I suggested getting something for lunch when we got back in my (and the military base) neighborhood when we departed the subway.

Needless to say, we've been back to this little hidden gem, also known as a restaurant, a few more times and we might go back this week too??? If we do, I know what I'm going to order.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another knitting project finished!

It's another baby gift! I think that I'm caught up now on my knit baby gifts?.

The photo of the brighter turquoise is the most accurate.

I can't believe it.. two posts in a row of completed knitted projects! WOW.. I'm a knitting machine! ha ha

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Well.. look at what I just finished..

It's a new scarf. If you look closely, you might recognize the yarn from last weekend's photos of my new yarn purchases. This lace scarf was knitted out of Italian Mohair in an easy lace stitch pattern. The pattern is from the book: Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

I haven't woven the ends in yet- in case you did notice the hanging yarn. I think that this will be a gift for a friend.. now, to just figure out who would want this soft, Italian mohair scarf??? (I made it to be a warm, dressy scarf.)

AND... a co-worker had a baby girl born last week- so, I knitted the baby some little mittens for the Korean cold winter weather.
I think that the color works for a girl, doesn't it? It has turquoise, white and lavender. I just winged knitting the mitts as I went along.

I have one more baby gift to make and then.. I can make something FOR ME!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ok, let's suppose you read my blog entry about the bathrooms in the floor and 'try' as you might.. you just couldn't wrap your mind around


Here ya go.. (You're welcome for the photo and it's nothing, I'm just doing my part to perform a public service of cultural exchanges!) :D

*AND, yes.. I did take a photo of the public bathroom and yes.. someone did come into the bathroom while I was in the middle of the photo taking 'session'.. and yes, they did stare at me. Oh well, I just look at it as giving them 'something' to talk about at dinner that night. :D

Now you see why I wondered how people on crutches, knee injuries and the such would be able to use this type of bathroom safely or at all?

And notice the toilet paper .. not all public bathrooms include this feature- so, I always carry one of those small tissue holders. As a matter of fact, I made one for myself and thought it was so cute.. that I made some for my friends.
I made the tissue holders 'reversible' and the inside fabric is the "Dick and Jane" fabric that the 'sock monkey' tissue holder is sitting on... *They were all teachers so.. the 'Dick and Jane' fabric was very appropriate.

On a sidenote.. when I first moved to Italy in 1997.. I was really excited about getting to go to Italy for the amazing food, the museums, the famous landmarks to visit.. and I actually said it outloud..and there would be no more squattee bathrooms and it would be "THE END TO SQUATTEE" bathrooms. (the in the floor squat models)

HA HA.. the squattee types are all over Italy! Even in nice restaurants. Boy was I surpised.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Please tell me that we are not trapped in a 70's time warp??

Yes, those are leg warmers in the photo. Yes, they are for sale. Yes, this photo was taken in January 2008.

I do have to confess that I did not wear them the first time that they were in style.

I doubt that I'll wear them this time either. Of course, when there was no heat in my classroom today- and it was 13*F outside at 11:00am.. it might have been nice to have some legwarmers. I was wearing my knitted entrelac shawl wrapped around my shoulders securely clipped in place with a heavy duty paper clip. It didn't have the elegance of a fancy jewelry clip- but, it served its purpose just the same.

Of course, I did feel a little like someone from Little House on the Prairie. Make that the school teacher in the little one room school house on the Little House on the Prairie. Well, except for the big metal paper clip-holding my shawl in place, that is. Other than that.. I did feel like a LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE school teacher with my wool shawl wrapped around my shoulders.

Of course, this photo, of the legwarmers, was taken in Seoul, South Korea.. so, maybe they are only being sold here?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

OOhhh.. I got a box in the mail!!


The return label didn't provide any information and neither did the 'custom's form'.. so, I wondered what was in the box....

What could I do, but open it up as soon as I got home..

AND inside I found....

What is it you might wonder? *It counts rows and stitch patterns when knitting..

but, what I thought was pretty unusual was this..

I just wonder how they were able to 'squeeze the row counter' into the box? Do you think that they needed assistance shoving it in the overpacked box?

The remote control, for size comparison, is a smaller than normal sized remote control.

I had to dig about in the box to make sure that nothing else was in the MUCH TOO BIG FOR THE ITEM BOX.. but, nothing else was packed in the box.

Maybe this is companies they charge so much for 'shipping and handling?' :D

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I interrupt winter to bring you a little 'spring time'??


Update: It snowed on MONDAY all day until about 1:00pm.. then, it did a mix of rain and snow and that melted the snow on the streets. Then, it stopped and the temps got to about 39*F. So, most of the snow was gone by then.

This morning, it started snowing at 6:15 and snowed and snowed all day. About 3pm, it started snowing and raining at the same time.

ALL I can say is.. until March 1 rolls around.. I'm keeping the dream of a possible SNOW DAY (as in: SCHOOL IS CANCELED) alive! :D

Knitted scarf update- I ended up ripping it out- I just thought the scarf was too wide for the yarn. I wanted it to be a dressy mohair lace scarf. I think that I'll make these as gifts for next year. Of course, I'll probably want to keep at least 2 of them for myself?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

One skein of the new yarn has found a useful purpose for it's life..

it is being knitted into a scarf...

This will be my 'knit' on the go project. It's already more than twice the length shown in the photo.

Other news:

They are predicting snow/rain mix today and tomorrow (as in TUE) so, maybe, maybe it will snow like it did last time (but, they didn't cancel school or give us an early dismissal EVEN THOUGH IT SNOWED HEAVY FROM 6:15 am- 7:30pm-darn it.) and maybe.. we'll miss school on TUESDAY? I will disregard the weather prediction of less than one inch of snow expected.

Instead, I will focus on the 2 days in a row of predicted SNOW (and rain) which might give us a day off from work! And, of course, the fact that Tuesday will be the last day of the semester that just happens to have that ONE 'difficult' class is not influencing me at all. Not at all. :D

I met with my 'knitting student' last night. I taught her how to 'join another skein of yarn' on her scarf. She is doing just great! I gifted her w/ a collection of stitch markers that I had made in 2 different sizes for future knitting projects.

UPDATE: It started snowing at 7:30am and it is now 8:15am and the ground, sidewalks, and side roads are already covered in a blanket of snow! The big 6 lane road that I can see out my window.. is mostly wet and is not snow covered-but, there is constant traffic on this road. SO, maybe.. we will get a day off tomorrow? Too early to tell right now.. but, I will keep my fingers crossed!

And the ANSWER/S is/are..

Flower photos results:

#1.. fake (However, the flower market here .. has silk orchids that look and
feel real) *WHEN I first bought them .. I had fake and real ones
in the same color and it was hard to tell.

#2.. REAL

#3.. White one is fake (silk flower) and the one with just the STEMS and leaves
is REAL.. it had already bloomed.

#4.. White flower in front is fake and the other two are real..

Looking at the photos .. reminds me that I need to go and get me some real orchids soon. I miss having blooming flowers around.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Today, I went shopping and bought

YARN, YARN, AND MORE GLORIOUS YARN!! **** CLICK on the photos for a larger image

This yarn is from Italy.. I was able to buy this yarn by the skein.. instead of the usual packages of 400 or 500 grams of yarn.

I plan to make soft, mohair lacy knitted scarves out of this yarn. Some for myself and some for gifts.
Close up photos of the yummy yarns..

I only purchased 2 skeins of each color of the soft Italian mohair yarns.

AND.. I bought..
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this yarn- but, I loved the color changes. I bought 2 skeins.. it's really thick wool.

AND.. here's one example of the yarns that I bought in the 400 or 500 gram skein packages. I got enough to make hats, gloves, mittens, or hats.

*The yarn on the bottom left was a package of yarn that my friend and I bought together and split.

All but two packages of yarn was on sale- that's why I bought so much yarn! I'm teaching a friend how to knit and I told her that we needed to get the yarn while it's on sale so that we'll have it ahead of time to knit up for Christmas gifts next year.

As I looked at the photos, it looked like I was on a buy..'the blue yarn family' and multi-colored yarns mission today.

*PS.. Tomorrow, (Sunday)I will give the answers for the flowers on Friday's blog entry.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's FRIDAY!!!

May I present my orchids?





Now which one/s is/are fake? Are they all fake? Are they all real?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Mile LONG building..

In Tondaemun Market is a building that I call: "The Mile Long Building" because.. it has to be a mile long.. SEE? And, the building is much longer in both directions than the photo shows.

Inside this building, in the winter, you will find: hats, hats, and more hats. Here are just a few photos.

Yumm... soft angora hats

Playing a trip to Florida and need a new hat to go with your white or black socks and sandals?

A pimp? Or know a pimp? And need a fuzzy hat with just the right amount of style?

See any you like?

By the way, the fuzzy animal hats are worn by kids: MS and HS kids and even the 20 something military stationed here. They look so cute on all ages.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I went to the Korean grocery store today

I needed to take some water to school- I ran out last week (Wednesday even) and have not remembered to get water- so, since I was getting headaches and I usually drink a lot of water and hadn't been for a few days. All of these clues, let me know that I was clearly dehydrated from the lack of water during the day. Today's chant while driving home was.. "Don't forget water. Don't forget water."

In the little grocery store sort of across the street from my apartment, you have to walk downstairs to enter the grocery store. AND, where is the 6 pack of big bottled water stored? At the top of the stairs. Since I don't speak Korean to tell them that I want to purchase the 6 pack of big water bottles.. I had to haul the water down the stairs and then back up again after I make my purchase.

I spotted one of the miniature shopping carts (they use these in Japan and other parts of Asia too) and thought you'd like to see what is used in the stores here.
You can see how small the cart is in comparison to the water bottles.

You will find some grocery stores that are larger than the one by my apartment- but, none of them are as big as the typical grocery store in America.

I took a few photos of some snack foods in the chip aisle:

I often send packages of Korean junk food home to my friends.

And what did I buy besides the water?
I LOVE, LOVE Dipping Dots! I've only seen them sold in public places like: Amusement parks, zoos, and other cultural entertainment locations. So, you can imagine that I was pretty happy to find DIPPING DOTS at my local grocery store. Of course, I bought the chocolate.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hello, HELLO.. is this microphone on?

Is there anyone out there?

I see the little number counter, that counts the number of visits to the blog, changes a lot each day. So, I know that my blog has visitors. A few of you do comment and I so appreciate it.

I take photos and think of something to put on my blog on an almost daily basis.. and trust me.. some days it is hard to think of something since, my days consist of this:

Get up, check email, check my blog to see if there are any questions or comments to answer, have breakfast, go down to the parking garage, warm up my car, drive to work in the dark, hope that cars on the 3 lanes that I have to cross within a half block of a 6 lane road will let me merge- I have a left turn arrow to help me cross the last 3 lanes, (ok, I really say out loud.. "Let me in, Let me in!" I think it helps, of course.. I do realize that they can't hear me. BUT, I need to say my little chant for my mental health and lane crossing abilities.),

THEN.. *I teach all day, (AND every other day one class period makes this a challenge-- but, that class will end on January 25.. not that I'm counting or anything), check my mail, do errands (if needed), go home, rest, take a photo or use one of the photos that I've already taken when I find something unusual, write my blog entry for the day/using a photo to jazz it up a little, knit a little, check email again (that time zone difference means you never know when someone will send an email), prepare or find something to eat, resist the urge to see if my 401K has more $$ in it or how much it has dropped $$ (I just don't check anymore- I'm waiting for the magic of compounding interest to start working. I've been waiting a long time.), and then I might watch some tv or a dvd.. and then go to bed to start the process all over.

So, you see.. this is my life and my life isn't that exciting. I look forward to comments on my blog.. it makes me feel that I've given someone a chuckle, or I've touched a cord of common interest/etc, mostly.. I try to let you see a small glimpse in my life.. which even though I do happen to be living in a foreign country- I am actually doing almost the same thing as you are doing wherever you live.

However, when I see that many, many people have visited my blog in less than a day and not one person leaves a comment... it just makes me feel like no one is interested in the blog, my blog wasn't interesting, etc.

And, for those that have commented in the past.. you make my day when I see that someone has left a comment. I do try to reply to all comments and I might miss one or two here and there- but, mostly, I do answer and comment back to any comments I receive.

SO, what I'm saying is people.. come on.. think about it.. leave a comment, every so often. PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON IT. *If you don't have a blog you can still leave a comment. (in case you didn't know that) IF you have any suggestions for improving the blog- please share your suggestions too. I also understand that you might not want to leave a comment and that is fine.. but, after days and days and many, many visitors to my blog and no one leaving a comment.. I was getting a little sad and even thinking of taking a break from the blog. :*(

Today, was one of those days, where I am drained.. So, forgive me- I'm not in a very good mood. Ok, I'm actually thinking of running away- but, I work for the US Government, I have a official government passport, and they have my fingerprints on file- so, it would be very difficult to run away.

Yes, today I had 'that particular' 7/8th grade class that has a 'unfortunate mix' of trouble makers/severe discipline problems, kids in it. They are scheduled ever other day and they will not come anymore after January 25.. not that I'm counting or anything. :D
I have taught them since August and they have drained me of the joy of getting to teach art for the first time in several years.

Thank you for visiting my blog- I do appreciate it and hope you enjoy the photos and the chance to see a place that you might have been to before or just see a place that is different and yet, in some ways, the same as where you live.

Thanks.. for being a reader of my first blog attempt.

OK, I apologise for the double 'poll'.. I don't know what happened and I can't make one of them be deleted. So, if you answer the poll- just answer the one on the top. Thanks. It is time to go to bed.. when one is outwitted by a 'blog entry poll'.. :D

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is an EMPTY MOVIE THEATER a sign that the movie SUCKS?

Is this not funny? A friend and I went to the movies the last week of school prior to the winter break. We went on a day when it felt like we were just trying to 'keep the students safe and uninjured.' Teachers also count the days and hours until Friday as much as the kids do. So, we decided that we needed to see a movie as a mid-week form of entertainment.

I don't remember the name of the movie now- but, it was a 'mystery movie' to us.. not a mystery as in: A type of movie that has mystery that needs to be solved.

No, this particular 'mystery' means.. that since, we are in an overseas location, and don't have commercials on TV advertising new movies, or movie reviews in the local newspaper, and rarely get to see 'previews of coming attractions' in the movie theater on base. So sometimes you see a movie that is a total MYSTERY as in: You have no idea as to who is in the movie or what the movie is about.

That is how I saw 'SILENCE OF THE LAMBS' accidentally! I kid you not. All we knew was the poster with the name of the movie: SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.. featured Jody Foster w/ a butterfly in her mouth. Now, how could that be an indicator of a scary movie? Our base had no movie previes and all we knew was that Jody Foster was a good actress and had been in several good movies. Now, how on earth were we to know about the beyond scary plot?

I have not seen the movie since and am almost afraid of innocent butterflies. Ok, I'm afraid of butterflies on people's faces would be more like it.