Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our Hero!

Marlena, our hero! She "saved" our lives this morning!!

I plugged my roaster oven into a too-small transformer and blew the transformer. Melted the insides.

Marlena smelled the toxic fumes and immediately alerted everyone and tried to make sure everyone was out of the house (even though we were all safe LOL!!). We have some friends in the guest room and Marlena was just bound and determined that she "save" them too.

Although we were in no danger since we were handling the situation, we're so proud of our little girl for instinctively protecting us!

Friday, November 21, 2008

DVD Wish List

We have a ton of DVDs!! But some of our collections are incomplete and some we just don't have, and I always forget which ones I want/need when I am out shopping. So I made a list and thought I'd share it with you!

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Seasons 4, 5, 7, 8, 9
Deadwood - Seasons 2, 3
The Fugitive (1963 tv series) - Seasons 2, 3, 4
Have Gun Will Travel (1957 tv series) - Seasons 4, 5, 6
Nip/Tuck - Seasons 5, 6
Northern Exposure - Seasons 3, 4, 5, 6
Reno 911! - Seasons 4, 5
Taxi - Seasons 1, 3, 4, 5
The Waltons - Seasons 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabahn

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

Mission Impossible (with Tom Cruise)
Mission Impossible III

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Ever After
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Love Letter (a Hallmark movie)
Billy Elliot
The Devil's Arithmetic
The Emerald Forest
Very Bad Things
The African Queen
The Full Monty
Life is Beautiful (In Italian with English subtitles)
White Christmas
Mama Mia!

I just finished our latest DVD inventory and although we have a lot, the ones above we still want to add! Living in Korea, with Korean television, the DVDs do get quite a bit of use.


We spent a day in Insadong, one of our favorite areas of Seoul. Insadong is the art and antiques district and has so much to see!

This photo shows the contrast of Seoul, with the traditional homes and high-rises blending together.

Some grafitti on the bathroom wall!

Another shot of a traditional Korean building, in the heart of Insadong.

This gallery is very nice, and on the very top is one of our favorite restaurants (no photo of the restaurant, sorry!)

This sign for a tea room made us giggle "Sound of Korean Lute Without Chords" - is that like the sound of one hand clapping? How very Zen!

Yes, Starbucks is EVERYWHERE!!

A little bamboo oasis in the heart of Insadong.

This photo below is not in Insadong, but is one street over from our house. I just wanted to show you a typical street in Songtan. Yes, it is a driving street and no, it is not one way! Drivers here tend to be pretty considerate about deciding who gets first dibs at going down the street.

Seosan, South Korea

Recently we took a day trip to the seaside village of Seosan, on the East Sea (known outside of Korea as the Sea of Japan).

Pictured here are some natural wetlands in Seosan.

And here are the plans for the development to take over the wetlands. *sigh* (sorry the photo is sideways!)

Here, Marlena contemplates the sea.

This woman was shucking oysters and clams with a traditional tool, a simple wooden stick with a pointed metal pin attached.
Marlena discovers sea grass!

Fishing boats off the pier.

For my friend Brianna, a castle we saw while driving to Seosan!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yes, I Am Boring

I know I've been bad about posting - or good about NOT posting!!

Truth is, there just isn't much to blog about. I've been sticking pretty close to home, being boring. I get up, drink coffee, play some Scrabble on my cell phone, do dishes and laundry and all that June Cleaver stuff, take the dog out to pee, play on the computer.

The weather here is finally nice. Or at least as far as my definition as nice is. Autumn, little chilly, no more humidity. Leaves are falling. Usually they fall faster if you have just swept up the ones that have fallen. LOL!!

Snuffles has some leave for the next several days so we plan on doing some traveling around the country. Short trips here and there. We've booked Marlena at the boarding kennels for three days this coming week, and four days the week after.

No definite plans as of yet. We will head east and north (but not to North Korea!). Since we both need our tourist passports updated, our travel will be limited to in-country. It's hard to plan a trip since any tourist information about South Korea revolves around Seoul.

I look forward to seeing the sea and the mountains, and hopefully some of the more traditional Korea. To get away from the hi-rise apartments and sky scrapers of Seoul. We hope to find a traditional Korean guest house for at least one night, rather than staying at a tourist hotel.

I spent part of Saturday helping out the base Girl Scout troop. The girls were working on their Quilting Badges by making quilts for the local orphanage. They did a great job! I was paired with a young lady who has never sewn before at all and she did so well. I've invited her to come and sew with me anytime she wants.

With Thanksgiving coming, I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones. I have a couple of friends who's husbands are stationed here so they will be coming to visit during the holidays, and I can't wait! A new friend of mine is looking forward to cooking her first Thanksgiving dinner here at my house; I'm delighted to let her do the work and of course I'll help out when she wants. I've invited various people to come for Thanksgiving dinner but not yet sure how many will come.

I've got some good friends up at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul now, too, and it's always a treat to pop up there and meet them for lunch.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Little bit of this, Little bit of that

Hello again!

  • Went to see Mama Mia! last night - what a great movie!! Snuffles, of course, refused to go when I told him it was based on the music of ABBA. I can't wait to buy it when it comes out on DVD, and the soundtrack!
  • It's been years since I last had a new pair of glasses and mine are so trashed that there is no point in cleaning them anymore. While I was out and about downtown today, I decided it was time for a new pair! I went into Sun Optical and received a free eye exam and had my new glasses in about an hour and a half! The price for the glasses wasn't much cheaper than in the States but it's nice to be able to see again. That cross-hatch effect of the scratches may be kicky in some modern art but not when you just want to see!
  • My main goal downtown today was to take a quilt to be quilted! Yes, I finished a quilt!! Pieced front, pieced back and binding. I'm so proud. Too bad it's a seriously garish quilt LOL! It's a Halloween theme in bright orange and purple. I've actually grown accustomed to it but it still seems to terrify Snuffles when he sees it laid out on the bed. The quilt shop provides the batting and puts it all together; it will be done in two weeks for a total cost of . . . $45! Forty-five bucks for a twin sized quilt!! I know that's a great price and I am very pleased. I was hoping it would be done before the spouse's meeting next week. The spouse group is just starting out and I had planned on offering it as a raffle item to kick off fund-raising if raising funds is part of our plan. I'll still offer, if appropriate, but it would have been nice to have the finished product with me.
  • Right now, Marlena is chasing around a snack-sized bag of Korean bugles (the corn horn-shaped snack) and is digging her nose in so far that she then spends a couple minutes trying to extract her head from the bag, while crawling backwards. Goofy dog.
  • Speaking of Marlena, she's had a set back this week. We've got another week to go before she is "cured" but two days ago she encountered another dog and went absolutely bonkers barking and jumping at it. So for the last two days, she's been coughing almost non-stop. The vet prescribed some more steroids, so let's hope this gets rid of it once and for all. She has an appointment next Friday (the 26th) and while they are not due to check the heartworm for another three months again, I think I will request that they do a chest x-ray just to confirm that she is in the clear.
  • I'm on the books to take my driving test for my Korean driving license next week! Watch out, Korea - I'll be on your roads!! It will be a welcome relief for Snuffles, I am sure; he will no longer have to be my chauffeur at all times. I just know how much he enjoys going out to the fabric warehouse LOL!!
Now for the big news: My son has proposed to his girlfriend and she accepted! Such mixed emotions - I am so happy for them and proud of him for being so completely grown up but at the same time, where did my baby go?!? I made so many mistakes with him, mistakes where I could have done so much better. I feel like I've let him down on a lot of things and I wish I could do it over and do it better. Do all moms feel like this? I have never loved anyone as much as I love my son. He has thrived despite me and no one could be prouder than I am of all he has accomplished.

Katie, his girlfr . . .oops! fiancee!!! is such a nice girl too. It's truly a pleasure to see them together and how well they interact with each other. They are a good balance to each other and this in iteself is a strong foundation to a good marriage.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Merry Chusok to all!

This weekend marks the three-day Korean holiday of Chusok. To compare the holiday in importance and festivity, this is the Korean holiday most similar to Christmas in the United States. I mean this in terms of the holiday atmosphere.

Last week we made a quick trip to E-Mart (the Korean version of WalMart) to do a little shopping. The store was filled with lovely women in beautiful traditional hanbok:Each of these lovely ladies was showcasing different gift packages to give for Chusok. Similar to the American Hickory Farms packages or other gift baskets, there were packages of instant coffee, packages of Spam with Olive Oil, fruits, mushrooms and traditional cookies.

For Chusok, families will all travel to the home of the oldest relative to celebrate. This is a holiday for honoring ancestors and spending time together as a family. The city of Seoul will be virtually deserted, as most older Koreans live in the small villages outside of the big city. Most businesses will be closed for the duration.

It is said to avoid traveling during Chusok. While it may normally take an hour to get to Seoul from Songtan, over Chusok it can take five, six or eight hours!