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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Two Versions of Heidi

I posted about this before, sharing excerpts from two different versions of Heidi.  Here’s another example:

Much later in the book, Heidi at last gets to return home.  She has come home with a fair sum of money the grandfather wishes her to put away to save. She asks instead if she can’t use it to buy daily white bread for Peter’s grandmother, and she talks about how good it was of God to let her be able to make this plan. You don’t read about most of that in the Illustrated classics, though. You just read of Heidi’s plan to buy the grandmother bread and of how proud her grandfather is of his grand-daughter’s generosity…. Nobody thanks God or even mentions Him.

“That evening at dinner, as Heidi chatted about her life in the city and how kind everyone had been to her, a change came over Grandfather. For the first time in a very long while, he saw the goodness in other people. And he saw this goodness through Heidi’s eyes. He realized what a gift this child was and that his life of bitterness was not good for him and certainly not good for Heidi.. That night Uncle Alp make an important decision. He decided to return to a life that included other people.
The next day was Sunday, and Grandfather told Heidi to get dressed in the clothes Clara had given her…

(they go to church, the people are friendly, the pastor talks him into moving down during winter months so Heidi can go to school, they return home and chat more)
He had finally give up the bitterness that had made him a lonely old man without friends or neighbors. now, thanks to Heidi that was all over. He had begun a new life.”

Thanks to Heidi?

Here’s what the original version says:
At this the child gave a bound, shouting: “Oh grandfather, now grandmother won’t ever have to eat hard, black bread any more. Oh, everything is so wonderful now! If God Our Father had done immediately what I prayed for, I should have come home at once and could not have brought half as many rolls to grandmother. I should not have been able to read either. Grandmama told me that God would make everything much better than I could ever dream. I shall always pray from now on, the way grandmama taught me. When God does not give me something I pray for, I shall always remember how everything has worked out for the best this time. We’ll pray every day, grandfather, won’t we, for otherwise God might forget us.”
“And if somebody should forget to do it?” murmured the old man.
“Oh, he’ll get on badly, for God will forget him, too. If he is unhappy and wretched, people don’t pity him, for they will say: ‘he went away from God, and now the Lord, who alone can help him, has no pity on him’.”
“Is that true, Heidi? Who told you so?”
“Grandmama explained it all to me.”
After a pause the grandfather said: “Yes, but if it has happened, then there is no help; nobody can come back to the Lord, when God has once forgotten him.”
“But grandfather, everybody can come back to Him; grandmama told me that, and besides there is the beautiful story in my book. Oh, grandfather, you don’t know it yet, and I shall read it to you as soon as we get home.”
The grandfather had brought a big basket with him, in which he carried half the contents of Heidi’s trunk; it had been too large to be conveyed up the steep ascent. Arriving at the hut and setting down his load, he had to sit beside Heidi, who was ready to begin the tale. With great animation Heidi read the story of the prodigal son, who was happy at home with his father’s cows and sheep. The picture showed him leaning on his staff, watching the sunset.

“Suddenly he wanted to have his own inheritance, and be able to be his own master. Demanding the money from his father, he went away and squandered all. When he had nothing in the world left, he had to go as servant to a peasant, who did not own fine cattle like his father, but only swine; his clothes were rags, and for food he only got the husks on which the pigs were fed. Often he would think what a good home he had left, and when he remembered how good his father had been to him and his own ungratefulness, he would cry from repentance and longing. Then he said to himself: ‘I shall go to my father and ask his forgiveness.’ When he approached his former home, his father came out to meet him—”
“What do you think will happen now?” Heidi asked. “You think that the father is angry and will say: ‘Didn’t I tell you?’ But just listen: ‘And his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck. And the son said: Father, I have sinned against Heaven and in Thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called Thy son. But the father said to his servants: Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet; and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry: For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”
“Isn’t it a beautiful story, grandfather?” asked Heidi, when he sat silently beside her.
“Yes, Heidi, it is,” said the grandfather, but so seriously that Heidi quietly looked at the pictures. “Look how happy he is,” she said, pointing to it.
A few hours later, when Heidi was sleeping soundly, the old man climbed up the ladder. Placing a little lamp beside the sleeping child, he watched her a long, long time. Her little hands were folded and her rosy face looked confident and peaceful. The old man now folded his hands and said in a low voice, while big tears rolled down his cheeks: “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and Thee, and am no more worthy to be Thy son!”
The next morning found the uncle standing before the door, looking about him over valley and mountain. A few early bells sounded from below and the birds sang their morning anthems.
Re-entering the house, he called: “Heidi, get up! The sun is shining! Put on a pretty dress, for we are going to church!”
That was a new call, and Heidi obeyed quickly. When the child came downstairs in her smart little frock, she opened her eyes wide. “Oh, grandfather!” she exclaimed, “I have never seen you in your Sunday coat with the silver buttons. Oh, how fine you look!”

The old man, turning to the child, said with a smile: “You look nice, too; come now!” With Heidi’s hand in his they wandered down together. The nearer they came to the village, the louder and richer the bells resounded. “Oh grandfather, do you hear it? It seems like a big, high feast,” said Heidi.
When they entered the church, all the people were singing. Though they sat down on the last bench behind, the people had noticed their presence and whispered it from ear to ear. When the pastor began to preach, his words were a loud thanksgiving that moved all his hearers. After the service the old man and the child walked to the parsonage. The clergyman had opened the door and received them with friendly words.

“I have come to ask your forgiveness for my harsh words,” said the uncle. “I want to follow your advice to spend the winter here among you. If the people look at me askance, I can’t expect any better. I am sure, Mr. Pastor, you will not do so.”

When they had parted at last, the uncle looked after them with his face shining as with an inward light. Heidi looked up to him and said: “Grandfather, you have never looked so beautiful!”
“Do you think so, child?” he said with a smile. “You see, Heidi, I am more happy than I deserve; to be at peace with God and men makes one’s heart feel light. God has been good to me, to send you back.”

 

This is a story worth telling. In the first version, the focus is on what a wonderful person Heidi is, and those around her on thankful to her and proud of her. It is true that she is a precious little girl. But in the true version, she is also conduit of God’s grace and mercy, and those around her are, grateful to God. Most particularly the hard hearted and embittered by grief Grandfather is deeply expressive of his relief and his gratitude to God.

It is not an insignificant difference. One has to wonder why the producers of Illustrated Classics work so hard to eliminate the religious themes of the classics they reproduce, because Heidi is not the only one.

Another change which also seems small but is odd to me, is the issue of schooling for Heidi. In the real version, it is a demonstration of the Grandfather’s converted heart and repentance that he goes to the Pastor and on his own, immediately asks if he can still send Heidi to school, and makes plans to do so. In the Illustrated Classics version for some reason, this does not occur to him. In his visit with the Pastor it is the Pastor who again broaches the subject and asks the Grandfather to change his mind.

Once again, people often recommend these books as stepping stones to greater reading later, but I see no point.

Commented Chrissy in the previous post: “I think that anyone who would say that you interest a child in something delicious but unknown by giving them a dry cracker and then saying the unknown thing is just like it, only better, is a crazy person. ”

They do not need to read this gutted, diluted, watered down and butchered version of Heidi in order to appreciate Heidi later, nor do they need this kind of thing to build up their reading skills. To build their reading skills so they can later appreciate the complex themes, language, syntax, and ideas of Heidi they can be reading excellent quality books already suited to their age and reading ability.

I’ll share some titles and tips later.

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for those keeping track at home…

Our 11th and 12 grandchildren were born this week.  Baby girls and their mamas are doing well.

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