Sunday, November 28, 2010

Purple sweet potato gnocchi and other domestic tasks

Ah Sunday, a day of rest and relaxation, a day of procrastination, or a day of panic before the start of another week? For me it has been all three.

I tried to start the day off with a trip to Costco. That didn't work so well as all the cars had been checked out already. Instead Myleah and I walked down to the local store only to find it closed. We lingered in a coffee shop until it opened, made our purchases and returned home. When I returned home 5 hours ago I had big plans for my day. I was going to go to the gym, finish organizing the slides in my classroom, finish my lessons for this week, and clean my apartment. In reality I have watched some tv, played some computer games, cleaned up part of my apartment, made several trips to storage, made purple sweet potato gnocchi and vegetable soup stock, cleaned out my fridge, and filed or deleted all of my October e-mails. I feel I was productive, but I didn't really make a dent in my list of to-do's.

I have a little over two hours before making something to go with the gnocchi. Part of it will be spend cleaning off my dining room table. Hopefully the other part will be filled with highly productive powerpoint creating.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The quest for goodness

Today was an amazing day. Here in some chronological order is why.

1. I woke up sans alarm clock and it was sunny outside. I finally feel like I am getting enough sleep, and I just LOVE waking up to the sun shining in my bedroom.
2. I skyped with most of the family. I had some face time with Mom, Dad, Savannah, Chris, Laurie, Patrick, April, Kelan and Aidan. I saw a lot of Kelan, including his smile, and a moment of Aidan.
3. Had a venti Starbucks latte. Yum.
4. Went shopping with some of the girls. We went to Insadong and Namdemun. I purchased some Christmas gifts (Mom, Mary, and Chris), a wedding gift (JP and Nora), and some things for me. For myself I purchased some hanji coasters, gloves, ear muffs, and a table top Christmas tree.
5. I had leftover Thanksgiving food for lunch. Yum (again).
6. I went to Itaewon where I had a massage and an adjustment by my chiropractor.
7. I had an early dinner at Quiznos (you guessed it, yum)
8. I explored part of the city via subway system.

Here is where the actual story begins. Upon returning to my subway stop I got turned around and ended up taking a different exit than I had planned. I knew where I was, I just wasn't where I wanted to be. Well, on my way up to the street level to catch a cab home I spotted several folks with Auntie Anne bags. I had seen them before but hadn't really given them any thought. Tonight it was different. I decided to find the Auntie Anne's and purchase a soft pretzel. Well, I went up and down 10 stories in two buildings before i came to the food court I had been in yesterday. I had looked around yesterday briefly so I knew that Auntie Annes' wasn't there but I figured another look around wouldn't hurt. I noted the Japanese place, the Kraze burger, the Mister Donut, and then with nothing but a line of people in front and two vats of lemonade I found the Auntie Anne's. I ordered an original pretzel, cheese, and lemonade. Good thing they understood my pointing and that I learned the word for cheese in Korean last week (~chees-a). I had my pretzel then found a taxi and came home. Bonus finds during my wandering include a Smoothie King, a Friday's and a Bennigan's.

I hope that tomorrow is just as good as today and that I get some homework done.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Crepes, hot chocolate and muscle atrophy

This morning as I was putting on lotion I realized that my right leg had atrophied. It isn't terrible, but noticeable. One of my friends was able to see a difference, even while I was wearing jeans. Time and use will even things out.

This morning I started life with two functioning feet by swimming laps. I only swam for 20 minutes, but it was great.

The school day was nothing really special. One of my students wasn't feeling well so I made her a card. I cut strips of construction paper (orange and blue) and wove them together. Then I glued that to a piece of white paper and wrote her a get better soon message on the back. I was going to give it to her when I taught her after lunch. Too bad she left school early. I understand she wasn't feeling well, but I had gone through the effort for nothing. The card sits un-given in my bag.

After school and swim practice my building mates and I went for dinner at a crepe place. It was AMAZING! I had a savory crepe with cheese, potatoes and bacon. It was so good, but of course, the company was much better.

After a quick stop at the store for some essentials (apples, cheese, kiwis, and green pens) I took a taxi home. While walking to catch a taxi I passed several coffee shops and was very tempted to buy a hot chocolate. I resisted the urge, and I am so happy I did. I decided to make my own once I got home. I have never made my own hot chocolate. I have always used the instant powders. Today I made the best hot chocolate I have ever had. Not only is it very tasty, but not too much work, and much less expensive than the coffee shop drinks. Not to mention I used low fat milk.

All in all, today was a day I enjoyed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pepero Day, two shoes, and study groups

Big things happening. Sorry in advance for the lack of order or connections.

Today is Pepero day in Korea. On November 11 it has become tradition to exchange Perpero treats. These are little cookie-ish sticks that are either dipped in chocolate, chocolate and nuts, or filled with chocolate. They are good and it was fun giving them to my students today. I gave them to some classes as they watched a movie on Global Climate change and as prizes for students getting the correct answers in another class. It was different.

I went to the doctor for another round of x-rays and a consultation today. I went with a book in hand and low expectations. I was told by my doctor in the States that a break like the one I have can take up to 9 months to heal. It has only been 3 and at my last appointment there had been no indication of healing. I arrived at the hospital, was taken to the x-ray area and left to wait. After a few minutes my number was called and I went for my 4th set of x-rays. This was the first time I was given a lead apron to wear. I was especially happy to have it as I just finished a lesson on mutations due to radiation. The tech and I went through the normal x-ray steps. He said a few things in English and motioned a lot. I sat, I stood, and I turned this way and that way. After my X-rays I went and waited for my consultation. The news this time was better. I have showed signs of healing, although my toe is still broken. I have been cleared to wear sneakers and swim, but specifically told to avoid running, jumping, or heels. Tomorrow will be the first time this year that my students will see me in two shoes. I have to take care as there is a possibility of re-breaking my toe. I suppose the new trampoline will have to go without my testing for another two months. I go back in January for more X-rays and another consultation.

Upon my return to school from the hospital I had 8 students join me in my room for some extra help. They didn't really need me, but I provided a place where they could study in groups. That was my big push last week at parent/teacher/student conferences. To try studying in a group. I am happy to see that several of them are giving it a shot. I think they will benefit from the effort. I love getting to know my students more.