Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Google This, Kim Kolchiak!

Well, if Kim Kolchiak can sing a song called "Google Me," then I can certainly post a photo taken in Google's DC office when I was visiting once, using the miracle of my cell phone camera.  I sort of like the fun decor and bright colors and the plant, but you do have to sign in electronically at the nice young receptionist's desk on some great long form that no one really takes the time to read but is probably some sort of non-disclosure thing. There's candy to eat too as well if you like as well as a screen on the wall which gives an electronic picture of where all the Google searches in the world are taking place -- beams of light of higher and lower density coming up from a map of the earth. It really does reveal where or where there isn't electricity on the planet (e.g., there's not that many people googling from the middle of Africa).  Then it sometimes switches to another view, showing all the keywords that people are searching on all across the world in all the different languages. I'd be real surprised to see my name being searched, that's for sure! But I bet Kim Kolchiak gets searched a lot and I wonder if Google likes her new cute song?  Someone told me that the most common things googled for are religious things, like people use Google to search for all kinds of things in the Bible, or when they start looking for God.  Now that's awesome!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cropping the Basil

Late this summer I planted some basil seeds that someone had given me from their garden and by the end of September I had a good yield. Here's a photo of these little plants that I just harvested before they flowered.  After washing them and brushing off any strange looking yard bits, I pulled the leaves off and put them on paper towels on a cooking sheet to dry them. To speed the process I put them in the oven after I had finished cooking dinner, and so they slowly dried out overnight.  I noticed the next evening -- when I went to cook dinner again in the oven -- that the leaves were not completely dry, so I put them back in the oven overnight for another drying session (that is, after the oven was turned off!).  By the third day they were nice and dry and I could crumble them into a sterilized dry jar. So now I have home grown basil to cook with.  I threw some of the leaves into a soup the other day and when we next make pizza you know I'm going to use these then! There's something very satisfying about growing your own stuff and eating it! Praise the Lord for warm ovens and green basil!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No ancestor temples in Washington, DC, or are there?

Right in the middle of Seoul, Korea I visited what used to be the sacred shrine of a Chosun dynasty king from the fifteenth century who was buried in a tomb on the top of the hill. Standing next to his tomb are several stone figures of revered administrators as his dynasty was known for organizing the Korean culture and establishing stability in the kingdom. I don't think it likely that we would find such a memorial in Washington, DC to "administration" as it is our bent to make fun of federal employees and the federal government but maybe there is something here in terms of respect for God-given government which does in fact made our world safer and more stable.  I also visited the nearby Buddhist shrine where the the royal family would perform ritual services for their ancestors, such as this king. Of course, off in the background is modern-day Seoul, with residential apartment towers and office buildings scattered over the hillsides which once were agricultural lands owned by the king and the traditional administrative families, who lived in pavilions amid the plum trees, I was told. It looks very different today but this city of over 10 million people seems to be well-run and organized, and the people that these stone figures may commemorate may be proud of their reach into a bustling 21st century world.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Leftovers


This morning on my way to catch the #G8 bus to work I looked down on the sidewalk and saw the remains of Halloween candy scattered about. Of course this was just the empty wrappers of Milk Duds and Snickers, and a candy carrying bag and not the chocolates or candy that the kids had gobbled up already. At first I was kind of annoyed that the neighborhood streets were littered with more than leaves and nuts and other seasonal debris until I realized that these wrappers were seasonal debris and paper wrappers are just leaves and nuts in different form. So then I thought how great it was that kids could freely walk about in our neighborhood and knock on the doors of strangers and ask for tricks and treats and only get treats. In fact I can easily recall when it was not safe for most of the neighborhood kids to go out on Halloween as the drug sellers and buyers were messing up the streets too much, leaving their litter of little crackie baggies and cigarette lighters and occasional needles and condoms. But that was over ten years ago and seems like ages ago. And so it's a good thing -- that children go out and do this.  I also felt sad that I wasn't at our house to give out candy this year as I had to go out of town unexpectedly. I rather enjoy putting on a witch hat and cloak and opening the door and seeing all the angels, princesses, Spidermen, Supermen, bumble bees and spooky characters that ask for candy each year. So this year we ended up giving all our candy to my neighbor to give away for us. Thank God for little kids knocking on strangers' doors and wearing strange costumes!