Art · landscape · painting · plein air

Garden of the cabin in Monroe

Early this year, my husband and I and our dog had a short trip to Monroe, Washington, for our anniversary. We rented a lovely cabin with a good-sized garden. Early morning the next day, I went out to the porch with some hot coffee. The rain was drizzling. The cold, wet morning made my coffee tastier. I sat at a table watching my dog exploring the new place and certainly had an urge to paint. I set my small painting kit up and painted the center of the garden. While I was painting, my dog kept asking me to throw his ball for him. I always have a hard time ignoring my dog’s play invite; it’s my weak spot. Thankfully he moved on to sniffing, and I could manage to finish the painting. Painting outside is pretty new to me. It quickly became my must-do thing when I go on vacation, especially if I stay at a quiet place like this. (Even though there was a helicopter hovering forever somewhere near us.) My husband joined me at the end of the painting process. Watching him playing with our dog put a smile on my face. Small memories like this will give me the strength to live day by day a bit happier. What memories do you have that help you to push through your life? I hope everyone can feel today as the day that will make the next day happier.

Art · digital art · Visual essay




It was an exceptionally cold morning.

My dog’s footsteps on the icy ground harmonized with his sniff.

I love the emptiness of early morning.

Art · digital art · Visual essay



Art · digital art · Visual essay

Morning Sun

Gloomy morning Feb082019_sm.jpg


We recently adopted a dog from a humane society.  There is an elementary school near our apartment and I walk with my dog there every morning around the time the kids go to school.  As most dogs from shelters do, our dog has quite a few problems we are working on. But one thing he is good with is people.  He just loves everyone.  We don’t want him to lose that friendliness, especially with children.  So I go to the school in the morning and afternoon when I can manage the right timing.

One morning next to the school, I looked up and saw the sun. It was a very foggy day.  I love looking at the sun, moon, and stars, especially at odd times.  We often see the changing shapes of the moon but almost never see the shape of the sun.  That morning, I was surprised how round the sun was! (Such a weird realization)

Going out for my dog multiple times a day isn’t easy.  I often need to break from my work.  But I love walking with him.  It gives him joy and that gives me great happiness.  The chances to see beautiful moments throughout the day is a huge plus.

How often do you walk with your dogs?  Haven’t gone out with them yet today?  How about going on a stroll right now!

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #81


Project: 10 Year



Early in 2015, we went to a nearby park to enjoy the winter air.  We like to go to parks in the winter.  It feels like we are alone in the park, and the sunlight in the chilly wind is so warm.

One of many things that I like about winter is the leafless trees.  They remind me of sea trees (coral).  It’s still hot nowadays but I noticed it’s cooler in the morning and at night. Also, the night is getting longer.  I can’t wait to see the winter trees again.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #77


Project: 10 Year



One day we decided to take a train and go to the last stop.  We ended up in a small village surrounded by mountains.  We followed a hiking path little bit until a sudden shower dropped.  We found a spot under some trees to block the rain.  I had a hoodie so I put my handkerchief on his head.

The village was very quiet, it almost felt like a ghost town.  But from time to time I encountered small things that reminded me of life.  Smoke was escaping from chimneys and cats were sleeping in the street.  When we were about to go back, we could see people coming back from work too.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #76


Project: 10 Year



When we arrived in Japan, the first thing we ate was Japanese curry.  I was enjoying my curry until I saw a small fly.  I’m a bug-phobic. I’m so scared of bugs, I have very sharp eyes for them.  My husband was taking pictures of me and caught my stone face and body.

I think it’s ridiculous that I’m scared of tiny bugs, but I can’t help it.  I sometimes think about doing a project on bugs so I can get over the fear but I’m not ready yet.  It makes me cringe just thinking about it.

At that time we didn’t have a long-term visa, we couldn’t get a house.  So we stayed at a hotel near the base that we know well. Even though the hotel room was pretty small, it was nice to see the streets from higher up.



10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #71


Project: 10 Year



I haven’t had long road trips before I met him. In Korea, I visited Busan almost every holiday when I was young, but Seoul to Busan is not a long trip; about 5 hours without traffic.

During our first road trip, we listened to each other’s favorite music and talked. For the second trip, we listened to a lot of podcasts. I found that podcasts were the best for killing time, but it prevented us from talking to each other a bit.

Also, I found out that driving without anything playing was nice too. I felt so much comfort in silence, fully aware of his presence. Next time we go on a road trip, I want to have this quiet time with him more.

What do you usually listen to in your car? My go-to music is 90’s Korean pop. I’m starting to understand my parents’ music choice during those trips to Busan.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #69


Project: 10 Year



In the U.S. the gas stations are self-service in the most states.  But in New Jersey, they have a person do it for you like in Korea and Japan.  On the road in the U.S., if you need some food or need to use the bathroom, you go to a gas station.  In Korea, we go to a service station and the gas station is a section of the place.  Some people visit certain service stations only for food.  Often they sell the local snacks and goods.

When my husband lived in Korea, he had to drive to Busan. He entered a service station for gas. As soon as he entered, he heard a very loud greeting from the air. He couldn’t find a person who said it. Then he saw a lady far away, bowing and greeting with a headset. He said he was so confused before he saw her. I laughed so hard.

When I visited a gas station in the middle of the U.S., I saw a snack called ‘pork rinds’.  My favorite meat is pork.  So automatically my eyes were fixed on ‘pork’.  I didn’t know what rinds meant then.  I asked him what kind of snack it was and he told me it was fried pork skin.  I gasped and snatched it from the rack immediately.  Since then, it became my favorite snack.  Pork skin is a big deal in Korea.  It’s a very popular food for drinking soju and I love it.

What kind of snacks do you like to have on the road?  Do you like pork rinds?  Have you had grilled pork skin before?




10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #68


Project: 10 Year



Going back to New Jersey from Virginia was simple. We put all my stuff in the storage facility and rented a smaller car. I was excited to be on the road again. It was still hot. Everything was yellow from the heat.

The small cornfield reminded me of when I visited my sister in Illinois back in 2007. She took me to Indiana to see her friends and there were corn walls next to us for almost the entire trip.

This kind of memory makes me realize how much time has passed and how we have changed. And I hope I’ve become a better person.


10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #67


Project: 10 Year



Can you sleep well at night even though you took a nap? I can’t. But my husband is really good at going to sleep. Of course he has hard times from time to time but usually, he falls asleep before me.

I mentioned before that I don’t like to take naps because it’ll affect my sleep at night for sure. I asked him how he can go to sleep so well. He said he tries to think about good stuff and how comfortable he is on the bed. I’m trying to do that but still, it’s a bit difficult.

There are a couple of things that help me though. One is exercising, and the other is taking a bath. I knew taking a bath helps you go to sleep better, but I didn’t know why until recently. When you raise your body temperature in the bath, your body tries to cool itself down. Our core temperature drops and it makes you sleepy. The cooler temperature is better for sleeping apparently.

There is a really good podcast about sleep. I highly recommend it!

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #65


Project: 10 Year



When he came to visit me in New Jersey, he had a long beard. If I’m around when he needs to shave his beard or hair, he usually lets me do the honors. It was so satisfying to cut his beard with scissors. Afterward, he shaved everything nicely.

My place in New Jersey wasn’t that convenient. I had to take a bus everywhere. Many times I walked instead. One day, he wanted to have some drinks, but the closest liquor store was about 40min walk away, and there were no good bus routes.

We decided to walk. It was quite the dedication for a bottle of whiskey, but I enjoyed it a lot. We left home at sunset. The temperature was cooling down and the streets started to light up here and there.

After our journey, we had so much fun with what we went out for.

Would you walk 40min to get a bottle of whiskey?