10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #80


Project: 10 Year



One rainy night, we got raincoats from a local convenient store and walked around in the rain.  I could feel and hear the rain better without an umbrella.  All the light bounced off the wet ground.  It was very beautiful.  I spotted a pinkish house with no windows or doors.  The gentle shadow of the tree was soothing the mean pink wall.

It was a fun night.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #79


Project: 10 Year



We started living in an apartment that was rented for travelers.  It was very small but better than living in the hotel, so we moved in.  We couldn’t get a normal house because we didn’t have the proper visa yet.  It was an interesting experience.  In the beginning, we chilled in the house.  It was nice being home even though it was tiny.  Eventually, we had to stretch our legs out and started walking around the neighborhood.

It was late autumn.  The sunset came earlier.  I was taking pictures and captured him right before he knelt down to tie his shoes.  Even though it was a bit chilly, the sunlight bouncing off his back made me feel warm.

Somewhere close to our place, we met this giant Totoro tree.  It was literally the My Neighbor Totoro.


10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #70


Project: 10 Year



Before we left Virginia, we visited a beach.  I wanted to swim at the beach while in Virginia but we didn’t have time for it.  I asked him to drop by the beach on the day we were heading back to New Jersey.  We walked for a while enjoying the salty breeze. It was pretty early in the morning so we could hear the waves without any interruption.

It was the perfect way to start the journey.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #66


Project: 10 Year



I know I talked about Honey so many times. But it’s never enough to say how much I look forward to seeing her every time I visit my in-laws. The first time I saw her, she was too small for me. I’m used to small but heavier dogs. I told my husband I don’t like how small she is because I feel like I can hurt her too easily. But after I hung out with her so much, I lost that thought completely. My husband still teases me about how quickly I changed my opinion about her.

I even wanted to have a small dog like her here in Japan but unfortunately, we can’t have any animals in our house. This is one of the biggest reasons I want to go back to the U.S. soon.

Beside Honey, what I enjoy in Virginia is the old downtown area. Not much happens there but I like the semi European looking town. Our favorite bar is also located there so that is plus.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #39


Project: 10 Year



I used to be a tomboy.  From elementary school until early high school, my hair was always short.  Even after I started growing my hair longer, I had to cut it short from time to time.  When I first met my husband I could tie my hair in a very short ponytail.  I don’t know why I decided to grow it so long, but I didn’t cut it for about two years.

My hair got so long that it was pretty heavy for me.  I wanted to cut it.  Then I remembered I saw something about donating hair somewhere.  I found an organization in Korea that collecting donated hair and make wigs for pediatric cancer patients.  I asked my husband to cut my hair and sent to the organization.  It was my first hair donation and since then I’ve been regularly donating.

In Korea, this bible quote is very popular.  Most people know about it even if they are not Christians.

‘Do not let your right hand know what your left hand does.’

I agree with this quote most of the time.  But I talk about hair donation fairly often to others.  Many people don’t know they can help kids with their hair.  I think it should be a very common thing.  Many of us, especially girls, grow hair out and cut it so many times throughout the lifetime.  If we always consider donating the wasted hair, we could help so many kids who need them.

After cut my hair, my husband posed with it like pigtails.  We went out to drive later that day.  I felt so light.  My lifted mood made me enjoy the driving even more.

I went to a hair salon in Korea shortly after.  The hair designer was surprised how well he cut my hair.

I’m growing my hair for my 4th donation.  I think maybe late this year or early next year I can cut it again.  I’m very much looking forward to donating my hair and having short hair again.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #27


Project: 10 Year




Our first real hiking together was Mt.Fuji. We had a chance to climb up the mountain with his flight. To watch the sunrise from the top, we started hiking around 5:00 p.m. I used to hike with my parents often when I was young. Korea has so many beautiful mountains all over the country. Hiking is one of Koreans’ most popular weekend activities. So climbing Mt.Fuji wasn’t a big deal for me.
The climbing itself was fine but hiking at night was new to me. It was too dark and from time to time there was a strong wind blowing. When it happened, we had to stop moving to stabilize our feet. If there were not so many people heel to heel, it could be harder. Usually, I prefer fewer people during hiking for walking at my own pace. I can also enjoy the quietness of the wilderness. At Mt.Fuji, I’m glad there were people around me.
At the base of the mountain, we bought a long stick. It was for support while climbing and also for collecting all the stations’ stamps. We stopped at every camp, and got all the stamps on our sticks. A couple of times, we ate some miso soup and snacks.

Even though it was getting harder on my body, I didn’t want to rest too long. I wanted to have the same momentum until the top. We reached the top at just right time for the sunrise.

It was way more windy and dusty than what I expected. Because of the sandstorm, it was hard to talk to each other but we did not need to talk much. The sun came up soon after we got our spot. The view was breathtaking.

I made this drawing of the view I saw at the top of Mt.Fuji, a few years back.
It is available as a print from here: click


Climbing down from a mountain is the relatively easy part of hiking. At least most of the time. For Mt.Fuji, it was definitely an exception. The trail was a long winding slope covered with small rocks. It was really hard on our legs. We got so tired, we did not speak most of the time. At the bottom, we were so exhausted. My husband was sitting down leaning the stick against of his forehead. He didn’t even want to hold it anymore.

I had some difficulty walking for a while. I remember every time my legs didn’t do what I wanted them to, I bursted out laughing. One day, I want to climb the mountain again.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #25+1


Project: 10 Year



The first time I ever had American-Chinese food was at my parent in laws’ house.  I was very excited to see the rice containers which is the trademark of American Chinese food that I saw in a lot of my favorite American shows.

When I started living with my sister in New Jersey, it became our go-to food when we didn’t want to cook or didn’t know what to eat.  In the U.S., Korean food is not on the delivery list that I know of, and the closest food we could have was Chinese.  I’ve never thought I’d crave for it but sometimes I do very strongly.  When I think back, it was kind of my comfort food in the U.S and probably the reason for my craving.

I wonder if the Chinese food from China is similar to American Chinese food.  Korean food in the states,  it certainly a bit westernized here and there, mostly a little sweeter and less spicy, but overall it’s the same.  One day I’d like to go to China and have some delicious food!

God… I want some Mongolian beef and Lo mein!

10 year · Art · painting

Project: 10 Year #15+1


Project: 10 Year



I’ve never had a Rubik’s cube and never played before.  I saw one at his place and started playing with it.  I didn’t know there was a mechanism you can use to solve the puzzle.  He taught me and I was obsessed with it for a while.  It’s been a while since I played.  His Rubik’s cube’s colors were faded a little bit.  I forgot the method too.  I should pick it up again.

10 year · Art · drawing

Project: 10 Year #15


Project: 10 Year



In Korea, we couldn’t travel outside of Seoul often.  Even though I don’t agree with it, it’s very common among Korean families, not all, that kids especially girls are not allowed spending the night outside their home before they get married.  We had to manage going places early in the morning and come back before my curfew.

We wanted to hike on Mt.Seorak which is one of the most popular and beautiful mountains in Korea.  Since it was almost impossible to actually hike up to the top and come back in time, we took the earliest bus and a cable car to go up the mountain.  After, we went to a fish market nearby, got ourselves a squid sausage before hopped on the bus.

I took this picture when he was drinking water from a fountain after we came down from the mountain.  He took a picture of me too and that picture became his favorite that he framed and kept next to his bed.



10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #12


Project: 10 Year



My husband took some Korean classes in Korea.  One time he asked me the difference between some sounds.  I couldn’t explain how to make the sounds different.  Eventually, he figured it out himself listening to me for a while.  It’s very interesting how much native speakers don’t know about their own language.  It’s so deep in the culture, it’s hard to think about the gap between the textbook and the conversation language.   I checked his textbook out and realized that even though everything in the book was correct,  it seems very unnatural.  I think I felt that way because I’ve never learned Korean that way.  I wonder if native English speakers feel similarly looking at a typical English textbook.

He has good ears for sounds and his pronunciation is pretty good.  One time he called me and said ‘Yeoboseyo’, Korean phone call greeting, instead of saying ‘Hello’.  I had a no idea it was him.  He sounded just like a Korean guy!  He is still very proud of himself that he tricked me.

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