Overwhelmed by Laundry?

I actually set ours on fire in the yard once. Had a big bonfire. 
 
Long story short, we had 3 kids, and then adopted two more kids who came with scabies, and it kept recurring no matter what I did and my husband, OF COURSE, was always deployed when we had another outbreak.  The kids, btw, were 2, 3, 5 but severely disabled, 8 and 9. Essentially, as long term readers know, we had 24 hours notice they were coming and they arrived 2 weeks before Christmas with nothing but a few outfits which were scabies playgrounds.  I had never even heard of scabies before.  At first when the social worker told me they had scabies I thought it was some  kind of allergy.  Cue hollow laughter.
In addition to homeschooling and parenting five stair step little girls, we moved to the country and had goats and chickens to care for, and the deployments did not decrease.   So, about the fifth scabies outbreak/husband deployment in a year, I went to the doctor again, in tears, asking him what else we could do.  He said if I wanted to be really insane about it, I could throw out our clothes and get new ones, steam clean stuff, and, once more, use the toxic lotion we had used all the other times.  He said that as though obviously I would not want to do all that other stuff, and he would just write me another prescription.  Silly man.
 
I decided Insanity was highly appealing and easier than resistance at this point.  I burned all our clothes and stuffed animals, steam cleaned the house, threw out other stuff, bought us each five outfits (Walmart, new), and at last we never had another outbreak.   We also insisted on no more gifts from the birth mother unless they were new and still in the package.  I felt really bad about this, but all the other outbreaks were rather co-incidentally timed with receiving second hand gifts that were none-too-clean from her.  I did always wash them first, and it is entirely possible it was just coincidence, but I was clutching to ragged little remains of my sanity by shreds of cobwebby, tenuous stuff, and couldn’t take the chance.
I also discovered that really, about 7 outfits was all we needed to make life simple, and one of them should be our ‘We are going to town so don’t let’s look like homeless hillbillies, ‘k?’ clothes.
We could have gotten by with three outfits for home and one for going out, except that far too often it was an emergency if I didn’t get one load of laundry done every day, and some kid had to run around with nothing on but a pinned towel until her clothes dried.  I needed a cushion for those nights I couldn’t get the laundry done, or those days when the stomach virus from Hades raced through the ranks.
Did I say long story short?  I, um, exaggerated.
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As the life of a flower…

“[To ] lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago. Death is the beginning of another life. So did we weep, and so much it cost us to enter into this, and so did we put off our former veil in entering into it. Nothing can be a grievance that is but once. Is it reasonable so long to fear a thing that will so soon be despatched? Long life, and short, are by death made all one; for there is no long, nor short, to things that are no more.

Aristotle tells us that there are certain little beasts upon the banks of the river Hypanis, that never live above a day: they which die at eight of the clock in the morning, die in their youth, and those that die at five in the evening, in their decrepitude: which of us would not laugh to see this moment of continuance put into the consideration of weal or woe? The most and the least, of ours, in comparison with eternity, or yet with the duration of mountains, rivers, stars, trees, and even of some animals, is no less ridiculous.—[ Seneca, Consol. ad Marciam, c. 20.]”

Essays of Montaigne

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Living here

Ideally, you do wash your clothes the night before, or in the morning early and get them out on the line, because it’s going to rain in the afternoon.

We have a washing machine. It’s outside.  A friend from church tells me I am fortunate, most Filipinos wash by hand.  He asked if I had ever done that before.    It was years and years ago when we were poor and had no money for a washer or the laundromat.  So I did sometimes wash clothes in the bathtub. He was surprised to hear it- astonished, in fact.  I told him I hated it, and as soon as we had any money at all, that was one of the things I stopped doing.

In the morning a vendor peddles down our road peddling a food of some sort.  I can’t recall the name, and I haven’t bought any yet- usually he comes about the time I am busy getting the Cherub up and dressed and I can’t stop and run out.  I’ve been told it’s a kind of dessert/breakfast food.  I have been told it is delicious and that it is disgusting.  It’s sort of a sweet, sticky (sticky like mocha or raw biscuit dough consistency) thing. I think I will be among those who like it because I’ve had similar thing at a church potluck and at a mall vendor and I liked it, but don’t know yet for certain.

In the evening another vendor comes- two, actually.  The first is selling balut, the half grown duckling in the egg.  I am not ever going to try this.

The last vendor of the day is ringing a bell.  I don’t know how it is in other neighborhoods. In ours, it is a family and they are selling home-made ice cream in cones.  The ice creams so far have been ube (deep purple) and pandan (deep green.  Ube is sweet potato.  I can figure out what, precisely, pandan is.  I have had pandan cookies and I like them, but the flavor doesn’t match what I am told pandan is, and the ice cream tastes the same no matter what colour it is.

Because so many people don’t have their own transportation, almost everywhere, we are told, has some kind of delivery system.  You can even call and have McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken deliver (COD).  We haven’t had much luck with that because accents over the phone are difficult in both directions.

There are apps, but you still deal with other issues.  For example, we tried McDonald’s.  It took forever to get the app to complete our order. Than we got a phone call- they did not carry the drinks the app said they had. We said okay, just remove it.  They said okay and hung up. Then we got a second phone call- keep in mind, phone calls are not free for the receiver. I forget what the second phone call was about- possibly asking for clarification on the directions.  Then, about the time we thought the food would be arriving, we got the third phone call.  In an order consisting of five chicken sandwiches, on apple soda (that they did not carry), and two French fries, they were now calling to tell us they were all out of chicken sandwiches, would we like cheeseburgers instead?  The burgers were more expensive.  We canceled the order and removed the app from our phone and the HM walked ten minutes away to the Chinese restaurant and ordered carry out and brought it back.  We also got their menu and they also deliver.  We’ll give them a try some time.

It’s hot here, but it’s not just the heat.  I keep forgetting the tropical sun is tropical because we are near the equator.  It burns.  Filipino women carrying parasols or umbrellas are not just being quaint (I read a book on Philippine history, supposedly by an expert, and he referred to the custom as some sort of residual affectation from Spanish Colonization).  It really does make a difference.  Men working out in the son will wrap t-shirts around their heads for some of the same reasons.

We had a housecall from our new vet.  It cost about five dollars, and that included some medicine for the dog, who has not been eating well since he had his free rabies vaccine.  The vet is a friend of a friend, newly returned to Davao City.  He was practicing in Manila, but was homesick.  He wants to start a clinic, so he is asking around for new clients, and making housecalls to build his client list.

We asked them to stay for dinner, and they did.  The deviled eggs were immensely popular, but they didn’t like the name.

I also had a masseuse come make a housecall.  She, too, was a friend of a friend.  Her nephew asked me several times if I wouldn’t like to have his auntie come do this (I’d been sick, and he thought it would help a lot).  I finally gave in and accepted, thinking this was as much for building relationships and helping nephew help his auntie as it was for me.

However.  That should have been only around ten dollars, but I had didn’t have a small enough bill and it ended up being closer to 20, which was frustrating.  However, the massage itself was terrific, and it did help.  I had been sick with a high fever- we d0n’t know how high because I didn’t bring a thermometer and I haven’t seen one to buy.  But it was awful hot, and I hurt like crazy, and alternated cold chills and hot sweats.  When it all went away I had this weird rash on my lower calf and ankle.  It wasn’t really rashy looking, it looked like a giant burn- very reddish in colour, but not speckled or anything.  It felt bruised.

Well, ‘Auntie’ massaged that and it felt like ripping off an old scab- you know, kind of painful. but relief at the same time.  When she was done, it was almost all gone.  The massage was terrific- lasted nearly an hour and she really worked my joints and muscles everywhere.

But when the whole thing was over, I asked if I was supposed to pay and that’s when I found out I was.  I had only the larger bill and I hesitantly held that up and explained I had nothing smaller, and the nephew took it quickly and said that would be fine and would I also share these fliers about a housing property Auntie managed with all our friends, and also I should get this massage at least once a month, okay?  Off they went. My husband texted him and suggested they could give us our change by buying load for our phone- you can do this here. You buy load and you can send it to anybody whose phone number you have.  This is how we put new load on our cell phones- we go to the local sari-sari store and tell him we need load, and he looks at his phone and tells us how much he can spare, we pay him, and he sends it to our phone number.  Anyway, so my husband suggested to our friend the nephew that he give us our change this way.  He gave us half the change due via texted load to our phone,  and said nothing about the rest.  We dropped it because relationship.  But I won’t be getting this massage once a month.   It’s an experience I am (mostly) glad to have had once, but won’t be repeating.  I also will probably not let nephew talk me into any more services (previously he’d also tried to get us to have a friend make our dog a kennel, only it turned out the kennel was going to cost three times more than buying one at the store, which we could not afford).

Our son bought long pants for his school uniform and decided he wants shorts.  We asked around if anybody knows a sew lady who has a machine to him them into shorts for him.  This cost us about 60-80 cents a pair, and we didn’t have to do anything but give them to a friend who delivered them to the seamstress and brought them back- in one case the same day (he had two pairs done because he couldn’t find the third, and then he had the third pair done later when he found them).

Our water bill was about five dollars.  Our electricity bill is considerably more.  Our internet bill is not the 80 dollars we were originally quoted (from a company that decided they couldn’t come out after all), but about 20-25 dollars.

We are going to start taking weekly Visayan lessons.  This will be interesting, as my husband and I are taking them together.

Our household helper has told us if I will give her money in advance, she will go to the palinke (I am undoubtedly spelling this wrong)  before she comes to work and buy us fruits and vegetables because they will be much cheaper there.  My husband has been twice.  I have yet to go, because nobody thinks it is a good idea to take the Cherub with me- there are too many things for her to grab, and the walkways are narrow, uneven, and often wet.

Those are just a few things from our life here so far, and in no order.  Is there anything in particular you are curious about?

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Free and bargain basement priced books for Kindle

Truman by David McCullough, 2.99 for your Kindle version
The Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America’s beloved and distinguished historian.


1.99 for Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture
Blurb: Finalist for the 2016 IACP Awards: Literary Food Writing
An innovative new take on the travel guide, Rice, Noodle, Fish decodes Japan’s extraordinary food culture through a mix of in-depth narrative and insider advice, along with 195 color photographs. In this 5000-mile journey through the noodle shops, tempura temples, and teahouses of Japan, Matt Goulding, co-creator of the enormously popular Eat This, Not That! book series, navigates the intersection between food, history, and culture, creating one of the most ambitious and complete books ever written about Japanese culinary culture from the Western perspective.
Written in the same evocative voice that drives the award-winning magazine Roads & Kingdoms, Rice, Noodle, Fish explores Japan’s most intriguing culinary disciplines in seven key regions, from the kaiseki tradition of Kyoto and the sushi masters of Tokyo to the street food of Osaka and the ramen culture of Fukuoka. You won’t find hotel recommendations or bus schedules; you will find a brilliant narrative that interweaves immersive food journalism with intimate portraits of the cities and the people who shape Japan’s food culture.
This is not your typical guidebook. Rice, Noodle, Fish is a rare blend of inspiration and information, perfect for the intrepid and armchair traveler alike. Combining literary storytelling, indispensable insider information, and world-class design and photography, the end result is the first ever guidebook for the new age of culinary tourism.

FREE! Free, http://amzn.to/2lms18j 37 page Kindle booklet on dog training.

FREE!! Voyage of the Liberdade: A Journey from Brazil to America in a Hand-built Boat, by Joshua Slocum
Blurb: About the Author
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. An international bestseller, Sailing Alone Around the World was a critical success upon its publication in 1900. Slocum enjoyed widespread fame in the English-speaking world, including an invitation to speak at a dinner in honor of Mark Twain, until his disappearance while aboard his boat the Spray in 1909. At the time, it was believed his boat had been run down by a steamer or struck by a whale, however it was later determined that the Spray could also have easily capsized. Despite a lifetime at sea, Slocum never learned to swim. He was declared legally dead in 1924.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Joshua Slocum is widely known for his Sailing Around the World Alone, the story of his solo circumnavigation. The Voyage of the Liberdade, his first book, is equally compelling. In it he recounts his journey to Brazil and back – he sailed down on the Aquidneck, his own ship, and returned on the Liberdade, which he built there. What happened?
Slocum describes sailing from port to port in Brazil, trying to take in and deliver enough cargo on the Aquidneck to make her voyage profitable. Through a series of mishaps he is saddled with a crew which turns out to be composed of brigands, not sailors:
“My pirates thought their opportunity had surely come to capture the Aquidneck, and this they undertook to do. The ringleader of the gang was a burly scoundrel, whose boast was that he had “licked both the mate and second mate of the last vessel he had sailed in, and had “busted the captain in the jaw”…Near midnight, my wife, who had heard the first footstep on deck, quietly wakened me, saying, “We must get up, and look out for ourselves! Something is going wrong on deck; the boat tackle has been let go with a great deal of noise…” My first impulse was to step on deck in the usual way, but the earnest entreaties of my wife awoke me, like, to a danger that should be investigated with caution. Arming myself therefore, with a stout carbine repeater, and eight ball cartridges in the magazine, I stepped on deck abaft instead of forward, where evidently I had been expected…”
Slocum, who landed in jail for shooting a one of the mutineers, eventually lost the Aquidneck on the reefs. Not wanting to remain a castaway in Brazil, he and his family build the Liberdade, the ship that would bring them home

1.99 AGatha Christie’s Body in the Library

FREE!
Mister Mottley and the Key of D: An Edmund Mottley Short Mystery
This is just a short story (17 pages) but the three pages I read were so funny I downloaded it to my Kindle to finish later. She’s published three other books, one is just 2.99, the other two are .99 each.

FREE! Tupenny Hat Detective – period mystery written for teen audience, so clean (plenty of murders, though). Over forty people have reviewed it and it has a solid 4.5 star rating.

FREE! Sherlock Holmes and the VAlley of FEar

1.99 for The Basque History of the World

Here’s a blurb: The Basque History of the World is the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Signs of their civilization existed well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 B.C., and though theories abound, no one has ever been able to determine their origins. Their ancient tongue, Euskera, is equally mysterious: It is the oldest living European language, and is related to no other language on Earth.
Yet despite their obscure origins and small numbers (2.4 million people today), the Basques have had a profound impact on Europe and the world for more than 2,000 years. Never seeking more land, they have nonetheless fiercely defended their own against invaders ranging from the Celts and Visigoths to Napoleon and Franco. They have always been a paradoxical blend of inbred tradition and worldly ambition, preserving their indigenous legal code, cuisine, literature-even their own hat and shoe-while at the same time striving immodestly to be leaders in the world. They were pioneers of commercial whaling and cod fishing, were among the first Europeans in the Americas, Africa, and Asia during the age of exploration, and were prosperous capitalists when capitalism was a new idea, later leading the Industrial Revolution in southern Europe. Their influence has been felt in every realm, from religion (the charismatic Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits in 1534) to sports and commerce. Today, even while clinging to their ancient tribal identity, they are ready for a borderless world: The unique Basque concept of nationhood has never been more relevant, at a time when Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.
Mark Kurlansky’s passion for the Basque people- their heroes and commoners alike-and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout The Basque History of the World. Like his celebrated book Cod, it blends human stories with economic, political,
The Basque History of the World is the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Signs of their civilization existed well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 B.C., and though theories abound, no one has ever been able to determine their origins. Their ancient tongue, Euskera, is equally mysterious: It is the oldest living European language, and is related to no other language on Earth.
Yet despite their obscure origins and small numbers (2.4 million people today), the Basques have had a profound impact on Europe and the world for more than 2,000 years. Never seeking more land, they have nonetheless fiercely defended their own against invaders ranging from the Celts and Visigoths to Napoleon and Franco. They have always been a paradoxical blend of inbred tradition and worldly ambition, preserving their indigenous legal code, cuisine, literature-even their own hat and shoe-while at the same time striving immodestly to be leaders in the world. They were pioneers of commercial whaling and cod fishing, were among the first Europeans in the Americas, Africa, and Asia during the age of exploration, and were prosperous capitalists when capitalism was a new idea, later leading the Industrial Revolution in southern Europe. Their influence has been felt in every realm, from religion (the charismatic Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits in 1534) to sports and commerce. Today, even while clinging to their ancient tribal identity, they are ready for a borderless world: The unique Basque concept of nationhood has never been more relevant, at a time when Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.

Mark Kurlansky’s passion for the Basque people- their heroes and commoners alike-and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout The Basque History of the World. Like his celebrated book Cod, it blends human stories with economic, political,

Reviews are largely positive though they note two things consistently- he is very pro-Basque so it’s not really neutral (that is okay by me so long as we know), and he’s a reporter, not a historian. I have beefs with journalist authored books in general- they can be tedious, circular, repetitive, and I suspect this is no different. At the same time, they are usually informative and have plenty of interesting stuff. I just usually wish they had an editor cut their stuff down by about a third.

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Why Nature Study?

Emphasis mine, some slight editing for simplification


Nature-study consists of simple, truthful observations that may, like beads on a string, finally be threaded upon the understanding and thus held together as a logical and harmonious whole. Therefore, the object of the nature-study teacher should be to cultivate in the children powers of accurate observation and to build up within them understanding.

WHAT NATURE-STUDY SHOULD DO FOR THE CHILD

First, but not most important, nature-study gives the child practical and helpful knowledge. It makes him familiar with nature’s ways and forces, so that he is not so helpless in the presence of natural misfortune and disasters.

Nature-study cultivates the child’s imagination, since there are so many wonderful and true stories that he may read with his own eyes, which affect his imagination as much as does fairy lore; at the same time nature-study cultivates in him a perception and a regard for what is true, and the power to express it…. Nature-study aids both in discernment and in expression of things as they are.

Nature study cultivates appreciation for beauty and design.

But, more than all, nature-study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature. Let this latter be the teacher’s criterion for judging his or her work. If nature-study as taught does not make the child love nature and the out-of-doors,
then it should cease.
Let us not inflict permanent injury on the child by turning him away from nature instead of toward it. However, if the love of nature is in the teacher’s heart, there is no danger; such a teacher, no matter by what method, takes the child gently by the hand and walks with him in paths that lead to the seeing and comprehending of what he
may find beneath his feet or above his head. And these paths, whether they lead among the lowliest plants, or whether to the stars, finally converge and bring the wanderer to that serene peace and hopeful faith that is the sure inheritance of all those who realize fully that they are working units of this wonderful universe.

NATURE-STUDY AS A HELP TO HEALTH

Perhaps the most valuable practical lesson the child gets from nature-study is a personal knowledge that nature’s laws are not to be evaded. Wherever he looks, he discovers that attempts at such evasion result in suffering and death. A knowledge thus naturally attained of the immutability of nature’s “must” and “shall not” is in itself a moral education. The realization that the fool as well as the transgressor fares ill in breaking natural laws makes for wisdom in morals as well as in hygiene.

Out-of-door life takes the child afield and keeps him in the open air, which not only helps him physically and occupies his mind with sane subjects, but keeps him out of mischief. It is not only during
childhood that this is true, for love of nature counts much for sanity in later life.

This is an age of nerve tension, and the relaxation which comes from the comforting companionship found in woods and fields is, without doubt, the best remedy for this condition. )there is plenty of research available toay showing that time in nature reduces stress, clears the mind, etc).
From Comstock’s Nature Study book

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