Drumroll Please....

I get to keep my hair!


In Praise of Feminists

We women could not be what we are, or have what we have, or do what we do, were it not for the Feminists.


You may not agree with all their positions, (I don't!) but please stop bashing them.

OK, OK. I'm a little cranky. I have read ONE TOO MANY quotes from conservatives who BASH Feminists not recognizing they owe much of their quality of life to those women who were not afraid to be labeled b*y, loud, obnoxious, satanic and angry. Cuz the were pissed - for themselves, their moms, sisters, you and me.




I have in the past posted some funny misspellings from ads, mostly from CraigsList, of which I am an avid fan! It goes along with my love of thrift shops and yard sales. I shake my head in disbelief at some of the posts:

trapalane - the rubbery bouncy thing that your kids like to jump on

Wallmart - doesn't even your 5 yo know how to spell this environmental disaster?

rod iron - as in older patio furniture and railings. What spirit wrought her thus?

Bratt Pit - you know, Angelina's man



Boo got some cold hard stuff from Grandma. It was tucked nicely in one of those special cards for such occasions. We encouraged him to read the message on the card. He opened up the card and read:

"Place money or gift card here."


To: Boo
Love, Oma and Daddy

To: Boo
From: Fireman Sam

To: Boo
From: The Goldfish

We celebrated Christmas, Part II, today, when his uncle and troup came from Atlanta via New York. He was like a puppy, running around furniture, so eager to see his Uncle Po.



To open the remaining presents. One from his goldfish. This world has not been separated and catagorized for him yet. It is all magical and anything can happen!

"Oma, did the fish really get me a present?"

"Yes, honey, they tapped on each others' tanks and said 'brrrbub brrrbub what shall we get that little boy?' "

He giggles. That open, free giggle of my child, that bubbles into my soul and effervesces in my belly. I soar, feeling proud that I can make him laugh like that!

"Oma, oma, are you joking? Did the fish really get me a present?"
"No. I did. Because the fish can't drive."
More giggles. Bubbles of joy floating on disbelief.

I like that his world is so magical he's still not sure. How can I crush the magic? How dare I squelch his joy? Why should I break the spell that makes his world so delightful? Because even now, in the first grade, his difference is starting to show. I am proud and stubborn and mama-bear about his difference, and I cannot tolerate seeing him be teased by other children.

Why can't my Precious, my Special Treasure, be left to float on bubbles?



Jook, Congee, Xifan

When a Korean child's tummy aches, she longs for a nice, warm bowl of "Jook." It is truly a treat, made especially when a child is sick. These days, I know you can order it at restaurants and buy instant mix at the grocery, but when I was little, nobody wanted to stand over the hot coal stove, stirring the mixture of rice and water for close to an hour. My mom, well-known in our circles as a great cook, made ours with chicken broth and tender pieces of boiled chicken.
In Korea, it is known as "jook," but in Chinese as tzuok, conzee or xifan. Most east Asian countries have their version, varying only slightly by what is served with it. The basics are the same - rice, cooked on low heat so that it is a watered down, soft porridge. It is therapeutic for its very blandness.

My mother-in-law, raised on a dairy farm in western Pennsylvania, was served buttered toast, sprinkled with sugar and covered with warm milk. I have another friend, raised in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, who had a similar recipe for a sore tummy.
What is your comfort food?


That Lovin' Feeling

Did you grow up in the days when each kid owned 2 pairs of shoes? if they were lucky? I think I had school shoes, gym shoes and maybe flip-flops, which we used to call "thongs."

Do you remember that feeling when you got new school shoes? Like you wanted to wear them out of the store and for the rest of the day? Did you ever get to wear them to bed?
Boo will never be able to relate to the shoes thing, but I think every kid knows the feeling of really, really liking something new that they got and never wanting to let it go.


Where Have You Been All My Life?

I have been on a hunt for years. Years. For the tree topper of my dreams. I had it in my head that I wanted an angel. It is said that an angel can show up anywhere . . . to wrestle with Jacob . . . at the elderly Abraham's tent to announce an improbable pregnancy . . . to young Mary to announce an impossible pregnancy . . .
And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud
in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, r
emembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."
How did I know I'd find you on the sale rack of Home Depot?



I am just getting over a terrible bout of strep throat. I couldn't swallow anything. I was so weak, I could barely sit at the table for lunch. Sit?! I couldn't walk over. Lunch? All I could even think of eating was rice porridge. All I could drink was herbal tea. I alternated between sweating through my clothes and shivering with a heating pad. I would sit on the toilet with a blanket around me! I slept 20 hours a day. I'm finally feeling like a person again. I actually went out today for pre-admission work for my upcoming surgery and got in a little bit of Christmas shopping. But boy, I was sick as a dawg for 3 days. Like a wet rag. Had the stuffin knocked outta me. Add any other cliches you'd like.

This morning, I arose, checked my email while drinking my coffee. Like a real person. As I was taking my long overdue shower, I was so darn GRATEFUL. I was GRATEFUL I had a house. GRATEFUL I had running water. GRATEFUL it was waaaarmmm. Very warm. I was GRATEFUL I had shampoo. And a big cushy towel. Everything felt like Spring. Even the freezing weather was a joy to me.



A Treat

Boo's mom has been laying around since Friday. Literally. I've been sleeping about 20 hours a day.

Boo made a house call and made all manner of examination using a tweezer and mirror, even calling upon Fireman Sam. Dr. Boo decided on my treatment:

"Oma, I need to cut off your hiney."

That is the best news I've had in days!



Strep Torture

As a kid, my parents often told us to "cham-uh," or tolerate it. You know, a nice way of saying "suck it up." So it finally dawned on me that maybe I should call the doctor. I mean, I couldn't swallow. Anything. If you get my drift. It never occurred to me that I'd have strep but that's what the doc thought and prescribed me an anti-biotic. Thank God! Until HH brought the stuff home from the pharmacy.

Honestly. I said I can't swallow!



Parting Shot

There's this kid in Boo's class, who, thankfully had his last day of school on Friday. He and his family are moving to Florida. Which is too close, in my opinion.

As an early Christmas present, he slammed Boo in the eye with his lunch box.



15-minute, Fool-proof Dinner

My favorite TV chef is Nigella. But I think she bit the dust. Though fancy dust it is with her millions. I don't think this would be in her repertoire, but every once in awhile I need:

a) a quick dinner
b) a cheap dinner
c) comfort food
d) something everyone will love

or, all of the above. I assume you have those times, too, when you're sick of ordering pizza or Chinese, and you want to serve your family some real food, but you're real tired. So, I am willing to share the family recipe with the world! *sigh*

It seems like a recipe found in a home journal type of magazine from the 70's, but it is honestly, very yummy. I got it from my Scots-Irish mother-in-law, modified just a tad by moi:

Creamed Chicken With Biscuits
Serves 4

Put pop-open type biscuits in the oven. I've even seen them in whole grain.

In a 2-qt sauce pan:
  • Chopped onions - stir fry in olive oil
  • Chopped celery added to above
Add in order:
  • 1 can each Condensed Cream of Chicken & Cream of Celery soup (reduced fat and sodium or "healthy" version) Remember to keep stirring occasionally - it is cream soup
  • 1/2 to 1 can of water
  • 1 cup of frozen baby peas (Optional - nice for color)
  • 1 cup of cut-up pieces of chicken (I usually buy a roasted chicken. See a) above.)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of pimentos, or to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
Serve over the biscuits.



Pink and Red All Over

I decided I wanted red and pink this year. I know, that's supposed to clash, but like anything, if done right, can look good. Anyway, I like it! That blob of pink at the top is supposed to be a bow.

And the answer to your question is : 11 feet.



A La Carte

Boo borrowed a book from his school library about sharks:

"Sharks have killed fewer people in the United States in the past one hundred
years than are killed . . . over a single holiday weekend. And no shark in the world counts people as part of its regular dinner menu."

Boo's response was, "Just lunch?"



Yes No Maybe

I thought the answer would be definitive: Yes or No. Do you ever think that way? You pray about something - whether to do something or not, something to happen or not - and you think God's going to write it in the sky with a great big Yes or No, as if He were a survey.

But it is not to be. He decides in His way, in His own time, for our good.

So, the message I got from the surgeon is that the results are not definitively bad. . . if that seems vague, it's because I can't use the proper terms. I just can't. Yet. However, there are some "abnormal cells" and he can't know for sure until it is excised and biopsied fully.

He decides in His way, in His own time, for our ultimate good, for His glory.

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me in your saving faithfulness."
- Psalm 69:13



Waiting for the Light

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, theycomfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of theLORD Forever.


My son, like most young ones, is afraid of the dark. Our rec room is his play room filled with favorite toys, crafts, DVD player, books and matts. But, he will not go down there when it is dark. If I insist he do it, I can sense his stress level rising and can foresee an overload. So, I go down with him. I hold his hand and chatter pleasantries as we descend the stairs.

I can't say that his fear is totally gone. In fact, his steps as we get deeper into the dark become a tad hesitant. But he continues with me and trusts me to stay with him. And then, at the doorway, he lets go of my hand and shouts, "I'll get the light!"

I am afraid, walking my current darkness, but my Father is holding my hand, every step of the way. I await the day that I will spring forth and say, "I'll get the light!"



Another Real Ad

Bench. Shabby Sheik. $15.

Wondering what an Arab bench looks like.


Kickin' My Heels

Nothin' like a new pair of shoes to lift my spirits!!



How Green is My Valley

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Do you know what I imagined for a shepherd? I imagined a shepherd walking in the lush, green hills, the ocean breeze cooling the sweat off his head. A shout away from his sister, who might run to him with a meal prepared by his mom, some rich stew, perhaps. I got the Middle East mixed up with "Heidi," or St. Francis!

David is talking about his land, not St. Patrick's. His Kingdom, at his death, roughly covered the Sinai peninsula to the south and current day Syria to the north, Jordan and a bit of Iraq. You can see on this map, how little of it is green. The rest, is "wilderness," or desert! The shepherd had to lead his animals through some rocky, rough terrain to find patches of green. What's with the geography lesson?

This is such a rich passage, and the analogies are striking. But here is what struck me Thanksgiving Sunday*, as I was worshipping in New England with my family:

The Shepherd has to lead His sheep through some dry, dusty land, some wilderness, to get to the green pastures. That is the reality of that land. Roughly the southern half of the Kingdom is the Negev! Probably, the more accurate picture is at left.

But surely, He will lead me. During the passage, He might need to take his staff and trip me or jerk my neck around to keep me to Himself. It probably won't feel good. But He will keep me safe. Safe? Children bullying my son? Surgery? The prospect of cancer?

I am in the wilderness, and He will keep me safe. He knows me by my name. I am one little sheep and He will take account of me. He will not let me go.

And then I shall rest in green pastures, for His name's sake.

*Thanks to Pastor O'Leary, of First Presbyterian Church Northshore, Ipswich, MA.


Mid-evil Night

From my recent posts, you'd think my life has been just peachy-keen these past few days. Well, let me tell you, it has not. You know those big, wooden Medieval catapults? Well, that was me Saturday night, right into the porcelain throne. Fortunately, I got there in time all FOUR times, even if it was crawling on hands and knees.

The Lights post, I had written a week ago and had it scheduled to post. The brag post, I was so sick of laying horizontally, I dragged myself to the computer just to be able to do something, anything else. (I say anything, but you note I didn't drag myself to do any housework!) Sunday, I lay in bed sick as a dawg. SICK as a DAWG I'm tellinya. I must have eaten something bad on Saturday. The only thing I can figure out is the vegetarian wok-fried noodles.

I feel like a human being now, having gotten up at 10:30. Whew. I make it a rule never to get up in the double-digits, but today, all bets are off. So technically, it was coffee time at Noon and lunch should be in a coupla hours. Maybe I'll even get a shower in there and actually make it out of the house.

Today, I am grateful to the big, bad pharmas for inventing Zantac. And Motrin.

Tomorrow, I'll post my Sunday thoughts on The Shepherd.



Proud Mama

Indulge me.

From Fireman Small, by Wong Herbert Yee:

"Come quick!" Mother Rabbit cries,
Holding back the tears in her eyes.
Fireman Small peers in the well
Climbs down to where Litte Bunny fell.
Finds Litte Bynnyt asleep on the ground
Brings her back up, all safe and sound.
Mother Rabbit shouts: "HOORAY"
Fireman Small drives back to the bay.

He pulls into station number nine.
Walks upstairs, one step at a time. Closes the curtains, gets in bed
And pulls the covers over his head.
JING-A-LING-JING the telephone rings.
Bakery's on fire! Can't see a thing.

Quickly out of bed he scoots,
Jumps into his pants and boots.
Ready to go, he slides down the pole
Puts on his helmet and coat below.
Sirens cry, lights flashing by
Fireman Small see smoke in the sky.



Bright Lights

My mom had such style. She could take dime-store items and make them look classy.

So, it's Christmas, 1972. Brady Bunch. Laugh-In. Love, American Style. Marcus Welby, MD. Oh my gosh, and The Movie of the Week. You had to sit around aallll week to see a new movie! Polyester photo shirts. Bell bottoms. The first time around - on boys and girls. Hip huggers - but only on the "bad" girls.

Oh, I digress.

We'd just gotten finished with Thanksgiving and here comes another holiday to decipher: this time, Christmas. Are you old enough to remember the big fat Christmas lights? The ones for the tree were about the size of your thumb. (Remember, this is the era of the aluminum tree.) I remember every once in awhile, a too-dry tree with lights left on would start a house fire! The ones for the outside were huge. Like, the size of two thumbs. There weren't those cute white blinking lights or the icicles or the blanket of lights. You could only get them in strings like, ten or twelve feet long, and connect them and hope a bulb didn't blow. To hang them on the eaves, your dad had to get up on a tall ladder and hammer nails in. Then he had to untangle them from last year and risk his life and limb hanging over the ladder to reach the end. A few cuss words were known to hover in the neighborhood air.

What happened in our town, which was 99.44% pure, white christians, was that every house was covered from shingle to sill with these gigundous, multi-colored lights. I remember one year, sitting in the front porch, at my mother's direction, unscrewing all the multi-colored bulbs off the strings of lights, and screwing blue bulbs on. Our white, wood-clapboard bungalow in central Pennsylvania then glowed with strings of blue lights, peaceful - standing out from the garishness of the neighborhood.

I thought my mom was the greatest in the whole world.



Please Don't. Please.

Who can know the mind of God? I mean, who can fully know the ways of God Almighty?

And yet.
And yet.

Would He let my little boy, who suffered so many losses, lose again?




Did the title of my last post strike you as slightly odd? "American Korean." Not "Korean-American." Of course, you know I wrote that intentionally. No hypheNations for me.

What would I call my husband? A Swiss/Scotch-Irish-American? A White-American? What if he were a Swiss immigrant? Would he still be called White-American, with unintentional implications? I'm willing to bet then, that he'd be called Swiss-American, or plain ole Swiss.

Nationality and Heritage are not the same thing.

  • I have a friend, an American now, formerly a Kenyan national, of Muslim Indian heritage.
  • Here's another one. A close friend is American of Korean ethnicity. His wife is a French national, of western European heritage. They live in Brazil. Their children are Brazilian, of Korean and French ancestry.
  • My best friend is American, of African descent.
  • I am an American, of Korean ethnicity.

I never call myself Korean-American, or Asian-American. I am American. I do not need to or want to put a "conditional" on my Americanness, as if my allegiance were half-baked. Such awkward phrases! What do I call myself? Korean. In reference to my ethnicity. Cuz I know that's what you want to know. But. Don't you dare question my nationality.



An American Korean Family Celebrates Thanksgiving

The cooks . . .

family times. . . texting. . .

a tom. . .

candied sweet potatoes, baby onions in cream, sweet-sour salad . . .

corn, oranged string beans. . .

beautiful food . . .

. . . and Scripture reading from the Palm Pilot. As American as lobster.