Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Five Years Ago: Of Falling

Five Years Ago on the 23rd of December, Mike and Melissa sat with a group of four friends hoping the weather would clear and they could board their plane for Southeast Asia. The semester leading up to this point had the crew researching politics, culture, economy and the environment of Southeast Asia, as well as the skills necessary for conducting ethnographic research.

As a group there were mixed feelings about being so far from home for the upcoming holiday mixed with great anticipation at exploring an unknown land and meeting her people. As an individual, Melissa was facing feelings of a different, unexpected sort. Having sworn off men for her entire college career, she was surprised to find herself crushing on the "quiet guy". Having spent the previous summer working alongside this humble soul in the beautiful mountain space that was HR Wilderness Camp she knew the depth of his kindness, quiet wittiness and ability to tackle mountain-man-esque activities with a vengeance, however she was surprised to feel her heart quickly falling for Mike Harrington.

Having made it out of Denver regardless of extreme winter weather conditions and safely landing on the opposite side of the globe the whole crew set out to discovering the lay of the land and the hearts of the people with packs on their backs. Days of trekking through villages, meeting village chiefs, monks and loads of children did little to distract Melissa from the ever growing desire to catch the eye of one particular gent.

The trip took shape with a number of memorable episodes including a night at "Spider" monastery, joyfully sung Christmas carols from the mouths of children, avocado smoothies, Buddha-filled caves, traditional foot massages and the expressive faces of so many beautiful people.

As the trip came to a close and Mike and Melissa spent some last moments with the tour guide and his wife, Melissa confidently claimed that her college singleness would take her well into her adulthood. With a knowing look in his eyes, the guide made eye contact through the rear-view mirror where only Mike and Melissa sat as the rest of the team went by taxi and spoke a set of prophetic words while glancing between the two "Or maybe not."

When asked about falling in love, Mike is often unsure of an exact moment. Melissa however knows that each day of that fateful trip during the winter holiday of 2006-07 had her falling more and more in love with one quiet, humble, god-fearing soul.

It wouldn't take long before those feelings came spilling out in all their raw honesty...but that dear readers, is a story for next time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peach Wine: The First Glass

Remember this September adventure at 519 Korea?

Well a few months later and the Harrington's (who are obviously the epitomy of class) are drinking some home-made peach wine from plastic bottles.

The result?

Alcohol is noticeable. Wine became a bit watery during fermentation. A slight woody taste caps the otherwise simple, slightly peach themed wine.

The Harrington's (the WHOLE clan) can soon see if this batch is aging well and hopefully there are some future batches of increasing deliciousness on their way!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Waygook Liver Transplant Update

About a month ago we wrote about a fellow foreigner here in South Korea who found himself ill and in desperate need of a Liver Transplant. Since that time, Mick was able to get the transplant from his brother, Randall, who traveled to South Korea from New Zealand with the hopes of being a suitable donor. The surgery was a success and they are both recovering in the hospital. They are both able to focus completely on their recovery because of the generosity of the people who stepped up and donated money to cover his medical costs. So many people have, and continue to donate, and they are forever grateful. They are halfway to the quoted amount (amazing!) to pay for the surgeries, and are still in need of the other half. Thank you for helping Mick in this horrible situation, and please consider passing this information on.

Paypal account -

Nonghyup Bank (National Agricultural Cooperative Federation)
Name: 마이클 (Michael Milne)
Account - 811057 52 067773

... If you are sending funds from another country to Mick's Korean account:
Bank name: National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Nonghyup)
Name: Michael Milne
Account number: 811057 52 067773
Address: 75, Chungjeongro 1 Ga
Jung-Gu, Seoul, Korea
Phone: 82-10-7552-1964

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: Another Year Without a Turkey


Although Christmas (and the arrival of the greater Harrington clan) is fast approaching, let us not forget the thankfulness that was felt and expressed as the month of November came to an end. Although Thanksgiving in Korea lacks the heart and soul of the holiday, that is family and the culinary centerpiece of perfectly brined turkey, the Harrington's are ever so fortunate to have a slew of family-like-friends living in the city who are equally eager to celebrate holiday traditions and pass the time feeling less far from loved ones than they truly are.

So it was, on Thanksgiving Eve after a day of teaching and freezing in Korea's public schools the Harrington's braved the Thursday night traffic and headed over to Harris' home to enjoy rotiserrie chickens, chicken-lemon porridge, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies and a few glasses of wine with the added joyful presences of Aaron, Elspeth and Hogan (Harris' newest, 4-legged house mate). Along with the abundance of good food, the crew also had the perfect joy of watching American football - making this the truest possible Thanksgiving when living over 6,000 miles from home.

And since Thanksgiving isn't a 5 day weekend holiday in the land of kimchi, the Harrington's were ready to celebrate the holiday once again with a new group of friends on Saturday night. Gracious and beer-brewing hosts Garrett and Alla welcomed a slew of brewers and friends into their 'river-side' home to enjoy a massive potluck complete with chickens, chili, pasta salad, rolls, sweet potatoes, ice cream cake and so much more as well as some outstanding homebrews.

As the weekend came to a close, the Harrington's opted to host yet another event and enjoyed an afternoon of Catan and Christmas crafting/decorating so that the month of December could be filled with holiday cheer.

So it was, Thanksgiving came with the traditions of being overstuffed, football on the big screen, enjoyable company, fun memories and Christmas preperations as well as hearts full of gratitude.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Five Years Ago: A Series

Mid-July 2008 the Harrington's began making their mark on the world wide web via 'blog', first with their introduction quickly followed by a piece on CouchSurfing, the more exciting aspect of thier lives at the time.

The Harrington Times has since captured numerous CouchSurfing stories, memory-making with family and friends, epic Road Trips, World Tours with a World Cup Game thrown in, followed by life in Korea, nights at the norae-bang, and falling in love with a dog among many other stories and memories.  However, a series of stories have not yet been told in this place.  Those are the stories of falling in love, of engagement and of marriage.

In September the Harrington's celebrated their fourth complete year of marriage (with friends and as a family) and entered year number five.  That means, five years ago, a lot of things were in motion for Mike and Melissa to become The Harringtons.  Therefore, we at The Harrington Times have deemed it a worthy journalistic pursuit to record and relay the story of the Mr. and Mrs. whom ensure this blogspot remains active and alive.

So, with the backdrop set, stay tuned for the first 'love story' which began just about Five Years Ago.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In the Kitchen: November 2011

The most impressive thing coming out of 519 Kitchen in the month of November were the treats made with spent grains from Mike's brewing operation. Being the dumpster-diving-frugal-living-reuse-and-repurpose-couple that they are, both the Mr. and Mrs. were eager to discover the possibilities that may be available for re-using spent grains (that's the grain used in brewing after it's been steeped like a 10 kilo bag of tea in a cooler which is officially called a mashtun). Common uses for spent grain include compost and livestock feed (particularly for larger brewing operations) or bread, crackers, cookies, granola, dog biscuits, cakes etc. Because spent grains are generally a bit moist since being 'steeped' most of these dishes require a bit of extra flour or baking time, but the results are delicious and nutritious. In November, 519 Kitchen failed in the granola operation but succeeded with a batch of Cookies and Dog Biscuits. Other notable feats were the quick and delicious things that can be made with a handful of vegetables, eggs and large tortillas such as Brunch Quesadillas and Brunch Omelet Burritos. And to top off the month, the Harrington's hosted a games and craft afternoon with a lovely bowl of Choco-Peanut Butter Popcorn. (recipes are linked below-pictures included, all ingredients are available in South Korea although pumpkin puree requires a real pumpkin and a bit of time rather than a can and can opener)

Dog Biscuits for Daejeon's Sweetest Lady ^.~

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oats and Spent Grain Cookies - shared and enjoyed with Korean co-workers and Thankful friends during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Brunch Quesadilla - great way to motivate and energize while busting out papers for a Master's of Education degree...

Equally beneficial while doing course work, the Brunch Burrito...

And a sure win for any get together or for a quick fix on a sweet craving, Choco-Peanut Butter Popcorn.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Problem with Distance that life keeps moving forward on both sides of the globe.  Not only does life move forward, but life (or lives) also end.  Unfortunately, this isn't a new phenomena for the Harrington's.  They've said their fair share of 'good-byes' from 6,000 miles away in the 15 months they've lived in South Korea. They've shed their tears, grieved and mourned, yearned for home, questioned the choice to remain at this distance and wished they weren't forced to carry on as if nothing happened so quickly after such significant loses.

The day after Thanksgiving (Korea time), the Harrington's took in the news of perhaps the most tragic of all the loses they've suffered while living abroad.  Thanksgiving morning, a young, lively, opinionated but kind-hearted, would-do-anything-for-anybody gentleman passed from this life to the afterlife.  The boyfriend of Melissa's dearest sister, an eager host and companion during the Harrington's arrival in Denver, trip to Cheyenne, shenanigans in South Dakota and return to Denver during thier August 2011 trip, Ryan left an admirable and favorable image, one greater than he may ever know.


Hearts are breaking, attempting to heal, mourning and grieving in Denver, Colorado. Hearts are breaking throughout the United States and on the otherside of the globe in ways that are unexplainable.

If you have prayers or positive thoughts to share, send them toward the multitude of friends and family who loved and continue to love Ryan, and please, add an extra dose for Melissa's dear sister because that's what Melissa needs from her community.

From to Trash to Craft: Crate Display


Morning walks with Lady often take the Harrington's right on past 'trash corner'. There's a lot of trash there. There's also a lot of discarded goodness: shelves, chairs, 'ladders', etc. One morning, this dirty, grimy little crate was lying around. Assuming there was a perfect use for this discarded 'beauty', Melissa picked it up, took it home and set it aside until proper inspiration hit. Well, with the greatnes that is Pinterest and the joy that is never having to take to online courses ever again, for all time, inspiration finally hit...and folks, here you have a simple but AWESOME, crate display. Just push pin some twine and/or ribbon along the edges of the grate (being careful not to destroy your fingers on the crate), pick up some cute little clothespins at the stationary store and get ready to display some favorite photos, notes or Christmas cards!

Looks good against that Wyoming flag, don't you think?


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