Saturday, September 28, 2013

Flower girl

Isn't Little V a cutie? She was helping me collect seeds from 4 o'clock plants that I had spotted a while back. She carefully shook the plants to have the seeds fall on the ground. These are the awesome ones with striped flowers like I had planted when we lived in Kentucky. In fact, those plants acted like perennials, even though the seed company said they were annuals. Maybe because I was lazy in cleaning up the "dead" plants, maybe because the winter was mild enough...I don't know.
So, I have a handful of seeds now, and when we got back, I realized I don't have a good place to plant them. We're on the second floor, but even if I used some of the space in front of our unit, it doesn't get enough sunlight. Too many trees there. I'm planning on having some indoor garden-type plants on our glassed in porch (I hope it doesn't get too hot) but I would only need a few seeds for that, not the entire handful that we collected. I must think about this...


Friday, September 27, 2013

Korean War museum

Last weekend we went to the Korean Museum of War and Peace. (Beware of the popups!) Or, in other words, The War Memorial. It's kinda in the middle of the base, although you have to go out a security gate to get to it. Most of the exhibits are about the Korean War, although right now there is an animal taxidermy display downstairs, and a human body exhibit on the first floor. But, I think our favorite things were wandering around the planes, tank, and boat outside, and looking at the scale models (but still quite big!) of ancient Korean fighting boats.
The picture above is the family on the model of a Korean castle wall. The sign doesn't say, "Do Not Touch", in case you were wondering. If I remember correctly, it said "No Go Up" because the museum did not want people to climb up that green wall in front of the castle display.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tea Cabinet

I know friends and relatives have tea cabinets of their very own, so I'm not ashamed to show mine.
LOL, actually, I just got a box from OtherSister, that had a lot of my tea stuff from Kansas. I spent 15 minutes re-arranging my shelves so I could have everything in the same place, and I wanted to show off what made me happy tonight.
Hmmm...Panda Berry, Peach White Tea, or Decaf Earl Grey? (Thank you R!) Time for a cuppa!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ring-necked Pheasant

There are pheasants here! Real pheasants! I've seen this male several times on base, and I've seen a mommy and her babies, too.

Monday, September 23, 2013

1st Day of Kindergarten

Little G's first day of kindergarten was several weeks ago. (Bad mommy!) She was excited to be going to the same school as her big brother. Because the elementary school was holding a reception in the morning for parents of the new kindergarteners, Big J and I drove both of the kids to school that morning.
Here is her Kindergarten Room. Her teacher is the lady in the yellow cardigan, and Big J is standing next to Little G and her backpack. Every place had a child's name, and a little can of playdough.

The teacher said that they could play with the playdough while they were waiting for everyone to come in. The picture caught a funny expression on Little G's face, but she was having fun when we left.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Baby and mothra larvae

Big J says that this is the only worm that a girl could like: the mothra larva plushie.
Which should look like this:

When it grows up.

And yes, Little V is in a basket with her blanket and plush toy. She and her Daddy conspired to put her there, but no, she didn't fall asleep.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thai in Korea

We lunched at Wang Thai on Itaewon Road today. I don't know about Big J, but my vote was influenced by the English bookstore downstairs from the restaurant. Like almost everyplace on Itaewon, it was expensive (the entire street caters to foreign tourists) but the food was good. I like ordering pad thai at any new Thai restaurants we go to, just to see how different they can be, and this one, makes their version with an orangey tamarind sauce. (My favorite in the states was a place in Louisville. Yum!)
Then, once the tribe had been fed, we went down to What The Book bookstore. It's not huge, but it's a nice size. English books are more expensive because they have to be imported, but the used book section was quite reasonable. Heh, Big J was the first one who wanted to leave, although the kids were a close second. I had to go back to the used sci-fi section at the last minute, because I had picked up a wrong book for the buy 3/get one free sale. What a horrible thing to happen, I should say not!
Little J was all for heading home after that, but I had one more place to stop. Little G has wanted new hair accessories, since we moved here, and I had promised her since before school started that we would find a store with some in it. There's two of the Apportation stores on Itaewon, but we went into the smaller one, because it was on the way back to the base. Little G got to pick out her new hair clip, Little V was bending out of the baby carrier to entertain the shop girls, and I picked some hair ties for me too. And this one, is for Little V....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fwd: Real knitting content

It's been awhile.
I've been knitting, really. Not very productive, though. Moving does that to me.

Things i've learned recently:
1. I am very suggestible. See Yarnharlot's post on her dishcloth. Of course, I brought cotton yarn along on our move so that I COULD make dishcloths, so I probably can't totally blame her for my project.
2. I can not do Bee Stitch in a movie theater. Ripping occured afterwards.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This is Little G and Little J doing taekwondo here. It's a big class, with probably 30 kids, but there's 3 or 4 teachers and they break the class up into smaller groups, like in the photos. Little J and Little G's group is working on the routine to pass the yellow belt test.

Our car isn't here yet (I should be studying for my driving test tomorrow, but I haven't studied at all) so going anywhere on the post bus takes an extra 30minutes to an hour. And because we don't have a car, I'm carrying groceries back on the bus. I'm limited to how much I can carry (about two bags) so I go almost everyday. The walk TO the store is nice, a paved footpath with no traffic allowed and trees growing along it.

And the monsoon rain has stopped, and we're used to the heat, so it's not too bad. We usually go to the playground near our house after supper, and that's 15-30 minutes I can read or knit while the kiddos scamper about..

I've taken a couple of trips out into Seoul now. The first, Big J went with us all, and we went to the Korean Immigration Bureau to get our visas in our passports (us civilians, that is). We took the subway, and the office itself wasn't too exciting. Lots of people waiting in a big room. But the kids were excited by the vending machines in the too! There's almost anything in them, and the kids liked the ones with juice and cookes, but I would swear I saw one that had books in it. Korean books in hangul, but still an awesome idea.

The second trip, I went with the kids to get Little G ballet clothes. That was a bit more of an adventure, because I got off on the wrong subway stop...but I knew where we were, all the subway stops are labeled in english letters, and, I Have A Map! We wandered around a bit to find lunch (I'm firmly of the belief that the street food the locals eat is safe, and we found a lovely, REALLY nice, dumpling place down an alley), and eventually found the store we needed. The buildings may have numbers for mailing addresses, but I haven't seen any posted on the buildings themselves. makes it hard to find a specific place.

She's smiling, but i seem to have taken the picture with her eyes closed. Little G did really well for her first time, but she told me after that she wasn't sure she liked it, and she thinks she likes soccer better. I said we'll try it for a couple times before we quit, maybe she'll like it better after she is used to it. I can't wait until we need to go find soccer shoes!

People on the subway have been really nice. The trains are usually full, and I've been carrying Little V in the baby backpack, so I would be happy to stand. People (especially old ladies) would give up their seat so Little G could have a seat, or people would move so that the kids and I could sit together. And then, people would come up beside me so they can pet Little V who doesn't want anything to do with I smile at the people, because they're usually quite nice people who think the littlest Girl is cute.

It turns out we don't get a new address. All our mail goes through Big J's office. It only seems to take about two weeks to get from the states to here, but Big J is soon going to be gone until the end of the month, so I'm happily not getting any bills...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

We have a house!

This picture is from this morning. The rocky waterfall tumbling down a hillside among the trees is one of the prettiest places in Korea I've seen so far, but it's not a good example of Seoul...except that it is almost an ideal landscaped scene. Oh, and I still see smog in this view. Most of Seoul, including the view out our hotel window, is full of business and highrise apartments.

The army base here is unusual in that most buildings do not go above two or three stories. The housing areas are three stories, but that's still not normal for Seoul. Many of the apartment buildings in the city are 20-60 stories tall, and one that is under constuction will be 123 stories.

Visiting the Housing office today, took over four hours. That's really not too bad, considering that first we had a meeting with a counselor so she could offer us two houses to look at (I think it's a bit of a psycological trick. There's really not much difference between any of the army housing, but if there appears to be free will involved, the renters are happier about the results), then we took the shuttle bus over to the housing area to look at the two possible houses. Before we actually looked at the houses, we had to fnd the housing office in the area, and this took a chunk of time, because we got lost. :( We're not familiar with the areas, and I think we probably got off the bus at the wrong stop. So we walked around until we found the office, and thank goodness I had brought the baby carrier along for Little V to ride on my back.

A nice woman from the office (This office, like most of the other installation offices, was mainly staffed with native Koreans. They all speak English, to some extent.) walked over with us to see the locations that had been offered. Big J put on camo booties over his army boots before we looked inside -- the kids and I just slipped off our shoes. Both possibles were on the second and third floor of the condo complexes. 3Br, 2 1/2 bath, for those of you who read the realty ads. The square footage is pretty small, but it will work for us. The kitchen is best described as a very efficient box! The only difference was on the rear patio. One had just a railing, and the other, that we picked, had been glassed in, with sliding windows and screens. It may get warm in there in the summer for any plants (I hope not too much!) but it will be more useful in the winter time (also monsoon season) because it's not as exposed to the outside.

Then, we traipsed back to the bus stop, and then back to the main Housing Office, where we waited longer to talk to the counselor, to finalize our choice. Also, to put in our request for furniture. I've explained to many people before we left, but because the Army really doesn't want to transport more stuff overseas than they have to, the base will lend us most of the furniture for the house. It's all army-issue stuff, so I have no idea what it will look like (I have slipcovers for the couch) but it will all be service-able. I requested almost everything, from beds to kitchen tables and chairs, only excepting floor and table lamps, that we don't use. We did ship our bed for the master bedroom, but it won't be here for a few more weeks (and I really hope it fits in that little bedroom...) The counselor said that the furniture will be moved in, and the house will be ready for inspection and for us to move in on Monday. Yay! I could turn cartwheels for joy, except that we're still in the hotel until then, and that would be too noisy for the people underneath us.

And my wonderful family, waiting around for me by the hotel's deli. Hi, family!