Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Persimmons A Plenty!

"Known to the ancient Greeks as fruit of the Gods"

Persimmons are one of the main crops here in Sangu. The fruit trees are everywhere! Sangju claims to be known as the City of Three Whites.
One being rice, another silk, and the persimmons, which start out as white and change to an orange color as they ripen.

This cute little girl was more than willing to pose for a picture for me.

They don't pick the persimmons until they are ripe. There is a funny taste in the fruit (high levels of tannins) that is gradually removed as the fruit ripens.
Koreans also believe that as long as any fruit is on the tree it is living, and as soon as it is picked it becomes dead.
So they try and ripen all the produce while still on the tree, bush or vine. Thus you have much better tasting strawberries, canteloupe etc., etc.

They string up the persimmons to dry after they are picked.

Many of the older ladies in town take jobs during harvest to earn some extra won. ($$)
I was amazed how they do every thing by hand and that no one has yet figured out a quicker way of doing this.

They have their work cut out for them stemming and peeling all these persimmons!

I had never tasted a persimmon before coming here, and I can't say they are the best fruit I've ever eaten, but when in Rome...

(Lets just say I would rather eat persimmons than kimchee,)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another birthday? Make It A Double!

"A years gone by,
How time has flown.
We can't believe how Emmett's grown!
He's such a joy and so much fun
Oh, my our Emmett's turning one!"

It's Emmett's Big day today! Happy Birthday double E, double M, double T, which in another year could also spell trouble!

Emmett was not due on Lisa's birthday.
He made his arrival on it anyway.
He turned out to be a pretty good present, even if he will steal her thunder for the next couple of decades.

Since it IS also Lisa's birthday, we will devote this blog mostly to Lisa.
Emmett can't read.

Lisa was a perfect baby and the cutest little girl. We kept saying how good she was and how she never cried or complained. It was nice while it lasted (sigh) and then she turned two, but that's a whole other story. So for this post we will stick with the facts...

~Lisa posing with that look of determination~

Lisa would not have had to share her birthday with her son if she had arrived the week of Halloween when she was supposed to. Maybe her and E struck a deal in the pre-existence to share the same day.
Determination is one of her traits. Maybe it was a survival skill she learned being the middle child :)
If she puts her mind to something, good luck trying to talk her out of it.
It made for some interesting younger years, but is such a quality as an adult.

Lisa has so many great traits.
She is not a procrastinator and she is very organized. She goes through her closet every 6 months and pitches what she doesn't wear anymore. (Is she really my daughter?)
She isn't afraid to try something new...this year she bought a bike, started training and did her first bike race.

She complained about her white skin when she was a teenager.
I admire how she could care less now. No tanning beds or sunless tanners for this girl.
She doesn't ever try to be something she is not.
She is the real deal inside and out.
She has learned to accept her trials and learn from them.

She is a great daughter, sister and a very loyal friend.

She has angelic qualities.
She is kind, sensitive to the spirit, to the needs of others, and would never intentionally hurt anyone. She is also quick to forgive.

She occasionally surprises us.
We had our dog stolen in Provo one year. She tracked down the thief (long story but the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack...did I mention determination?) went to the dog snatchers house and asked for the dog back...drove to Butte and set him on the front porch with a sign around his neck that said "Butte or Bust", then she rang the doorbell and hid around the corner :)

Lisa has the longest eye lashes. For many years she wouldn't put much mascara on them because she thought they looked like spider legs! She also has close to perfect teeth (so said a dentist) without ever having braces...and we won't even discuss the fact that she had over a 9lb baby and went back to her pre-pregnancy weight within 6months, eating milkshakes and oreo's.
Lisa is beautiful on the inside and the outside.
We love you! Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Carrie!!!

"Celebrate this day and embrace all the reasons to believe in wishes again"

Carrie said to me shortly after Lillie was born how strange it seemed to have a little baby girl that belonged to them.
I remember telling her that within a day it would feel like she belonged to their family and wouldn't be able to imagine a life with out her.
Today as I was sorting through pictures of Carrie and getting this post ready I thought how true that also is of my daughter and son-in-laws.

Carrie may have sacrificed the possibility of a modeling career to join our family. Instead she improved the Winterton gene pool when it comes to beauty and height.

She takes great care of this crew.

She has georgous big eyes...and can be seen pulling this face when she doesn't like the food, what she's doing, or doesn't feel too good.

She supports and loves Eric, and somehow manages to keep him inline.

She's smart and worked very hard to get her Bachelors degree in nursing.

Shes always aware of the needs of others and is sensitive and thoughtful.

She's very crafty, very talented (she sewed these outfits Lillie and Ella are wearing)and always a great mom.
Carrie sees things that need to be done, and doesn't wait to be asked. She just goes to work on it.

We are so grateful you are part of our family!
We hope you feel good enough to eat a slice of your birthday cake...If not, make a good wish and we will keep our fingers crossed that it comes true. Happy Birthday!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Delicious Autumn!

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
~George Elliott~

The company Lyle works for decided we needed a trip to Naejangsan Nat.'l Park to see the fall leaves. They let him skip a day at work to avoid the weekend crowds...Thanks Woongjin!
The scenery was breathtaking, and I was wishing I was a better photographer, and had a better camera. But Mother Nature made up for my inadequacies. So enjoy this fall walk in Korea. I know we did!

Everything looks better with the right background...even us!

It was about here I started quoting Robert Frosts poem about two roads diverging in the woods...

Our Chaperons for the day: Mr. Goo on the rt. (process engineer) and Mr. Jang (plant manager).

Living in Butte gave us only about two weeks of fall weather before the freezing temperatures and snow usually put an end to it. Moses Lake wasn't a whole lot better due to the wind that ususally blew the leaves off what few trees they had the week after the trees changed colors. So we have been loving this autumn. It started in September and we are told will last through November. Low 70's during the day, cool nights and no wind.
Makes me want to bake pumpkin bread, go for a walk and kick some leaves.
I love Fall!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mike Turns The Big 30!!

"Just remember...
Once you are over the hill,
You begin to pick up speed."
~author unknown~

Random things every one should know, and admire about this "Birthday Boy"...

Mike is lovingly known as one of the "Valley Boys".
He loves the Star Valley area where he grew up. Let's just say you can take the boy out of the Valley, but you can't take the Valley out of the boy.
Mike loves the great outdoors. He has been known to wake up at 5am, go for a long hike up in the mountains alone, to get out of the city and reconnect with Mother Nature. And then be back at 9am, just as everyone else is barely rolling out of bed.
He is very good at woodworking, and made a gorgeous log that is up at the cabin.

He loves to try new things...bonsai gardening, fly fishing, and gourmet cooking to name a few.

He is the most patient guy on the planet, always puts others needs ahead of himself, and is still living that scout motto of doing a good turn daily.
He loves the gospel, and is a very dedicated member of the church.

He's a great husband and the perfect match for Lisa.

He's a great dad!
His "dangle baby skills" are much better than Michael Jackson's.
At 6'4" he will forever hold the honor of being the tallest member of our family... we look up to him not only physically but also because of his many great attributes.
Happy Birthday Mike!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Autum Bike Riding

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle." ~Earnest Hemmingway~

So about a month ago we bought bikes!
We could only walk along the same couple miles of river dodging other Koreans that are getting their exercise as well, before we had the desire to find out just what does lie around that river bend that we couldn't see by car.
We have been biking almost every night after Lyle gets home from work, and I am sad the weather is starting to turn cold and we will have to put them away for a season.
I brought the camera with me last week and here's some pictures from our little ride.

One thing we discovered is "Pumpkin Bees" You can't really see this guy on the sunflower because he blends in so well, but their bodies are orange and black, some of them are quite large...and they do sting.

Here's Lyle striking a pose while I take a picture of all the flowers along the bike path. Along with the bikers and walkers, this narrow road also had an occasional car driving along the 8 mile path. Koreans can squeeze into a small area better than anyone I've ever met.

A few elderly people collect boxes and cardboard to earn extra money form recycling. The rules of the road are they have these people have the right of way...tough way to make a living at any age.

The one and only horse we have ever seen in Korea. (Horses take up too much space.) This guy was riding along the river and hollered at us because we were "Migos" translated-- Americans.

Did I mention horses are few and far between? So you improvise and go for a cow ride.

Regarding this picture and the seven women and children in the small wagon, refer back to my previous comment that Koreans are great at fitting into small spaces.

Rice fields in Sangju just about ready for harvest.

I tried to get Lyle to do this, but I think some of the romance has turned into practicality...like keeping our balance, and not falling off the bike.

A farmer getting ready to start up the ol' tractor and take off.

Farmer doing that never ending job...weeding.

Gloves...check. Hat...check. Arms covered...check. Face covered...check. The legs...who cares!
It's all about sun protection. They don't want their skin to be dark, the whiter the skin the prettier you are.