Geez, sorry it's been so long since I've written anything substantial. I sure was wrong about the "Keegan's gone, more time to write" idea. He gets back today (yay!), and I have no new blog entries to show for his absence. But I have a lot of new Gilmore Girls knowledge, that's for sure!
So, what's new? Well, spring has come to South Korea, and it's very welcome! The weather has gone back to chilly and windy this week, but last week was gloriously warm and sunny. Gardens that have lain gray and quiet all winter are being turned and tended anew. Pea plants are growing like weeds. Cherry trees, azaleas, and forsythia are blooming in a profusion of white, pink and yellow blossoms, and flower shops have daffodils and other bright flowers spilling out of their doors. I am anxious to see what the next phase is for the rice paddies, but so far they remain dry. Many have been plowed, though, and look unkempt and forlorn filled with huge clumps of dirt.
Before Keegan left, we took advantage of the spring weather to go for a walk up the hill towards Okpo. We spent some time in the park on top of the hill, trying out the ubiquitous exercise equipment and looking at the DSME shipyard from the colorful pavilion. On the way back down the hill to Deokpo, Keegan pointed out a dirt trail forking off from the main road. We decided to follow it for a bit. As we walked along, we noticed row after row of logs next to the trail, carefully leaned against each other and covered in little holes filled with a white substance. We were confused until we finally came to a row of logs that had mushrooms growing out of them. Apparently we had discovered a shitake mushroom farm! I went back to the farm to take pictures later in the week. Keegan and I continued along the path, enjoying the views from the many gravesites along its edges. Finally we ended up on the hill overlooking Deokpo, behind Deokpo Golfland. We walked back to the apartment through the small golf course. We particularly enjoyed the part of the walk where we were in the parking lot under the driving range and could hear the golf balls thwack and whizz against the netting above.
Glenda and I also spent some time during Keegan's absence decorating our apartment. I had a whole box of pictures to be hung on the walls but a distinct lack of ideas for where they should go and a pronounced reluctance to try my hand at drilling concrete. Glenda was a definite help with both of these problems. So now, eight months after our arrival in Korea, the apartment finally has pictures on all the walls and looks a lot more homey. It will be fun to show Keegan our work when he gets back.
The kittens have been good company during the past week, but they are definitely in an ornery adolescent phase. Last week, Glenda gave me a cute little decorative birdhouse, complete with a little plastic feathered bird perched on the outside. The kittens clearly thought this gift was meant for them. When I woke up the morning after receiving the birdhouse, the house was on the floor, feathers were scattered all over the apartment, and the bird's body was nowhere to be found. It finally turned up days later, covered in toothmarks, behind the guitar in the study. Let that be a warning to any birds considering residence in our apartment! The cats also managed to break a drinking glass, and Pepper learned to jump from the top of Keegan's desk chair to the top of our tallest bookcase in the study. I am running out of places inaccessible to the beasts!
The weekend ahead is looking good. Tomorrow Glenda and I are getting together with our students for coffee and English practice in the afternoon. Then on Saturday, Keegan mentioned that we might be able to go see the Cherry Blossom Festival they're holding in nearby Jinhae. I'll try to be more prompt in writing up those experiences for my loyal audience.