Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Story of Louie

November 18, 2009

We weren’t looking for a cat when Louie entered our lives in March of 2005 and in fact, RocketMan was in China for work when Louie came to live with us. My son was dating a girl at the time whose parents fostered cats. He had been telling me for few weeks about this 9 month old kitty who was afraid of all the other kitties and had 3 1/2 legs.

In a moment of weakness, I told him to bring the kitty over for me to look at. Well, one look was all it took and with a $100.00 donation, he was ours. He didn’t come out from under my son’s bed for weeks after we got him. He would only come out when we were sleeping to eat and use the litter box.
RocketMan was not happy that I did this without discussing it with him which was wrong of me. But Louie has become a part of our family and we really missed him while we were in South Korea. Our son was still living at home at the time and took care of Louie while we were gone. I always said Louie was his cat which wasn’t true.

Shortly after we adopted Louie, his 1/2 leg (stump) began to bleed all the time and leave blood stains all over the house. I took him to the vet and it was determined the only thing to do was to amputate the leg at the hip.
Don’t look at the next picture if you are squeamish at all!


The surgery went really well and thankfully RocketMan decided to go with me to pick Louie up. It was a good thing because when they brought him out, I felt all the blood drain from my head and I almost passed out. The incision was huge!! He recovered very quickly and today the only time you notice his is missing a leg is when he walks slowly. He has a huge limp but when he runs you cannot tell.
My mom can’t believe we paid so much for a rescue cat. The surgery was about $500.00 so Louie costs us about $600.00. Money well spent for the joy he brings us.

He also is a misfit because he has mitten paws on all his limbs. It is really unusual and makes him all the more loveable.
Louie is still terrified of visitors and will hide under the bed until they leave. It’s interesting when my folks visit because he will stay hidden the entire time they are here. I thought he might outgrow this fear but it seems unlikely at this point.
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Birds Do It!

November 13, 2009

They repurpose too, in this case, plastic. I found this nest in a bush while on my daily walk today. It made me think of recycling back in South Korea. They take it very seriously! We had to separate our garbage by the following: paper, plastic bags, metal, glass and wet garbage. We had a separate bag for each and this was in addition to our regular garbage or, should I say, whatever didn’t fit in the above categories.
I can say now that I never did separate our wet garbage. It just was too disgusting for me. My Korean girlfriends would be all over me about this and not too happy with me but it was one thing I refused to do. We could take out the regular garbage any day because you had to buy special bags, so you had paid for whatever fit into that bag. But Sunday and Wednesday were recycling days. I would bring my bags down and dump them into the appropriate bin, which was labeled (in Korean). I would really be thrown off when they would switch up the bins so I had to peer in before I empty my bags. Many times there would be an ajosshi (older Korean man) watching everything that you did. They would scare me because I’ve heard that they will yell at you if you do it wrong. I never got yelled at but occasionally the ajosshi would just take my bags from me and do it for me. That way they knew it was getting done right.
I was ALWAYS scared to take out the regular garbage. The bags were thin and you could kinda see what was in them. Remember, I had wet garbage in with my regular garbage. I never got caught but it was always a long ride down the elevator from the 10th floor to the ground floor with a camera watching me the whole time. Ahhh, confession is good for the soul!

34 Years Ago Today – Edmund Fitzgerald

November 11, 2009

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Leaves and Lines

November 10, 2009



While out on one of my daily walks, I found that the township had painted new pavement markings. Every time I walked on this newly marked street I would have a different emotion: anger and disappointment just to name the prominent ones. How difficult can it be to brush a few leaves out of the way of the spray painting? Did anyone care? How could anyone intentionally do this poor of a job.



But Rocketman told me, “Becky, it is a truck that sprays the lines. They probably didn’t even notice there were leaves in the way.” But then I say, “Who was running the truck?” It is my feelings that whoever did this didn’t care about the job they were doing.

A few years ago I probably wouldn’t have even noticed this but I’ve changed a lot from living in South Korea. The Koreans I met, whether it was my girlfriends or the ajumas (older Korean women) waiting on us at a local restaurant, everyone tried their best. Everyone wanted to please us so we would have a good impression of Korea and that was important to them.

I used to get a little irritated at how nationalistic the Koreans are: Samsung everywhere (anyone heard of Panasonic or Sony?), Hangul is the best alphabet in the world, Korean food is the best (I agree with that) and so on. We live in an incredible country with equally incredible people.

And sometimes I just need a little Grass Roots!

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Budae Jjigae!

November 9, 2009


Today was the day I first attempted my beloved Korean budae jjigae since our return from Korea. I miss our favorite restaurant in Suwon, Nolbol, that has the best budae jjigae. I was able to get all of the ingredients for it except hot pepper paste called sunchang gochijang and kimchi. A recent trip to a Korean market solved that problem. The picture above is all the ingredients I used except I forgot to include a small potato, one clove of garlic minced and some green onions in the photo.


It was only two of us for lunch, myself and Rocketman. I used a wok to cook it in. As required in Korean cooking, I had a lot of stuff to cut up: garlic (minced), green onion, hot dogs, balogney, potato and about 1/3 of a can of SPAM.


I have an electric stove and cranked it to high (the only way Koreans cook) and added chicken stock. I brought it to a boil and added the ramyeon noodles. I cooked it a few minutes later and it was ready. It really would cook better on a tabletop gas stove like they use in Korea. I wonder if I can get one here.


I also made rice and not Minute Rice (which is the only thing I used until living in Korea) but it turned out mushy. It was always perfect in my Korean rice cooker but I left that in Korea. It was delicious. Cooking is tough for me but when I see Rocketman’s face light up it is all worth it. He even does the dishes!

Halloween 2009

November 3, 2009


It was so fun to be able to spend Halloween with our grandson, Noah. They came over for dinner and then we went out trick or treating in our neighborhood. It was a little chilly but at least it wasn’t snowing.


Noah was so excited and it was great to see our neighbors.


He went home with a lot of candy. We had only two doorbells worth of trick or treaters. We were in Korea for the past two Halloweens so I don’t know how those years were but we always went through at least a couple bags of candy.
I got smart this year and bought candy the day before Halloween and also bought candy that we did not like. I remember years past of empty Snicker bags weeks before Halloween. We sent the extra candy home with Noah.

Batman and Batgirl for Halloween

October 27, 2009


When the kids were little I loved to make their Halloween costumes. They would tell me what they wanted to be and I would head off to my local JoAnn Fabric store to find a pattern. It was definitely more expensive to do it this way than to buy a pre-made costume but I enjoyed making them and they were always unique.

Rocketman and I were at the retinologist last week for a post surgical exam. It has been four months since his detached retina. Due to the steroids he was prescribed during recovery he has developed a significant cataract in that eye. He is having surgery in a few weeks for that.

I must say this waiting room is one of the most interesting ones I’ve sat in. The average age of the patient is 70 and I hear all kinds of stories. One lady told me about death of her hubby over twenty years ago and her love of yorkies.

Another patient when hearing that he didn’t need to be seen for 4 months yelled out, “Four months! I could be dead by then!” It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. When scheduling the appointment, he also let us all know that he preferred a morning appointment since they schedule all the afternoon ones for the same time and you wait forever standing because there are usually no chairs unoccupied. We have discovered this too and it’s soooo annoying and ridiculous.

I happen to be sitting next to the door when this gentleman left and he told me the same thing that he could be dead in four months. I just smiled at him and disagreed while inside I was thinking we all could be dead in four months. Tomorrow is never a guarantee.

A Trip to the Mall

October 16, 2009

I had our grandson, Noah, for an overnight and I like to take him to the mall. They have a play area and he can run and play with other kids. While I was there with my mom, a Korean dad sat next to me with his little daughter.
I started a conversation with him and told him about my recent return from Korea. He is a Korean citizen and going to school here on a education VISA but would like to live here permanently when his schooling is finished. We talked a lot about Korea and I don’t know about him but it made me homesick for Korea.
He wrote down instructions on how to get to a great Korean market. He said it had great kimchi and mandu (Korean dumplings) which are two things I have been craving. I’m planning to go to this market next week and I’ll take my camera. I’m curious to see how it compares to grocery shopping in Korea.
The maedeup piece in the picture is going to used as a lanyard for my next trade show. How better to advertise the beauty of maedeup then by wearing it myself.

Korean Fashion

October 14, 2009


While living in South Korea, I would pick up Korean fashion magazines. They are huge, over an inch thick in many instances. Compared to U.S. magazines they were a steal at 5000 – 8000 WON (5-8 USD).


This is one of my all time favorite pictures. The baby bunnies are so cute.


I feel the Seoul is one of the hidden fashion meccas of the world. Just stand on any street corner and watch the fashionistas walk (or run) by. I found a great source for Korean fashion at feetmansoul. I always felt under dress when in Seoul with my jeans and tennis shoes. I still wonder how the women manage the uneven pavement, subways and stairs with 4-6 inch heels. My Korean girlfriends were pros.

Say It Ain’t Snow!

October 12, 2009

I woke up this morning and looked out my front window to this blanket of snow. The leaves are still on the trees for the most part. I was hoping the weatherman was wrong but it looks like we ended up with about four inches of snow. Luckily, it was too warm for it to stick to the driveway and roads.
Finnigan decided to give me a wake up meow at 3 a.m. which was answered by a hissing Louie. I really tried to get back to sleep but it was sporadic at best. Louie was exceptionally crabby this morning going at it with both of the cats. I can’t think of a worse sound than two cats fighting. It freaks me out! Here I was worried that the two cats would pick on him.
I did run out today to pick up a few things. I had never used the defrost on our Sonata before. I drove all the way to the store and back before I found the button. It is a little rectangle with squiggly lines on it. How was I suppose to know that meant defrost! Oh the challenges of living back in the United States.