Day Two

These are going to be out of order, and possibly posted more than once, largely due to my wonky and incredibly frustrating issues with the blog and my internet connection. Apologies for that.
Hope you haven’t already seen this five times.

Day Two:
Fun facts:
We Left Chicago in the morning at 10 or 10:30 our time. We flew for 13 hours and it never got dark- every time we opened a window shade, the sun was blindingly bright. The window shades were mostly kept shut because many passengers were sleeping. It was night by the time we left Tokyo and flew to Manila. I saw sunrise from the plane, and it was lovely- all silver and platinum, and fairly speedy.
We are around five hundred miles from the equator here. The sun sets early, and there’s not much of a twilight. It’s late afternoon and then around 6 p.m. and in fifteen minutes or so (at least it feels that way), it’s night.
The Philippines driving looks scary, but it was described to me that people here drive defensively, and people in the US are offensive drivers. I can see that once it’s been explained. People make U-turns from the far right lane over to the left, and cross traffic, turn right or left on red, and cut into traffic. Pedestrians dart through traffic. Other drivers may not always be happy about it, but they aren’t aggressive about it, either. They stop and let people who show they mean it slip in.
Some houses have an outside kitchen- essentially a sink and a counter and a place to plug in your stove top burner or frier. Those kitchens are called dirty kitchens- kind of like a summer kitchen in Indiana, but without the walls, and only a partial ceiling (enough to cover the immediate area from rain).
Most of my K-dramas that I have been following are not available via DramaFever in the Philippines. So I need to find a K-drama streaming site available here. (Hola works)
I think I left my kindle on an airplane.=( (Nope, I DEFINITELY lost it somewhere in an airport).
Everything but the mall closes at Christmas- so a house may not be ready before the 1st of January because there are no painters, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, cleaners, available to finish getting it ready for the next renter.
Milk is expensive here, and mostly sold in small shelf stable boxes, maybe around a quart. I was told one brand is fresher, but it comes In bottles the size of smaller waterbottles at home. I mentioned the Durian flavored one, which I liked but the boy did not. Tonight I tried a melon flavor, and it was delicious. Think of a cold, creamy cremesicle, with noteo f the flavor hints of popsicle stick or paper wrapper, only better. I don’t know what the boy might have thought of melon flavor, because I didn’t share it. These bottles are around .70 each, and they contain ingredients like “Milk, sugar, durian meat,” or ‘milk, sugar, melon flavor.’
Tonight a lovely Korean American family took us out to dinner- they gave us a choice of various options. I don’t remember what the other options were because when they said doubtfully, ‘or perhaps a Korean restaurant, they have a buffet tonight?’ All the other offers flew out of my head and left me with an empty head- other than the excited burst of saliva. IT was delicious, and the family were delightful, interesting, and very kind.
We were confronted for the first time by children begging for pesos outside the restaurant. They were quite pitiful, and I would have given in and given them something if I had any pesos, but I understand that isn’t what you are supposed to do. They may well have been tiny scam artists for all I know, intellectually. Emotionally, they still linger. They weren’t particularly tragic figures. They seemed clean and while they were slight, most Filipinos seem tiny and undernourished to me because my frame of reference is a particularly corn-fed section of middle America. There were three, on older girl and two little boys. And they linger.
The Boy is a center of attention everywhere he goes. He is so tall he stands out a bit even in the states, but here, he literally is head and shoulders and a bit of pectoral muscle above everybody else. He is also, and I do not just speak as his mother, quite handsome. He says six strangers in an hour came up and asked if he played basketball this evening. Basketball, he will tell anybody who asks, is the sport in which he is least capable, and it seems a cruel irony, that. But anyway, people stare, point, smile, and come up to talk to him.
We have looked at 4 different houses today, and this is our second day here. The pictures I will share when I can share them (my phone to computer transfer process is glitch) will look rather ghetto and raw. Please understand this is because of our low budget for housing. We’re going for frugal here. The fourth house we looked at is a place where even my mother could be comfortable and feel good about us living in, it’s just priced outside of our means (around 600 dollars a month, I think).
I took two loads of laundry out to the laundry room today (across the yard from me) and while I was figuring out the very different washing machine, the helper came out to show me how to operate it, and said she would take care of drying and folding them. A few hours later, we found them in the laundry room clean, dry, and tidily folded or hung up
It is December 15 and there are periwinkles, portulaca, and several other flowers I don’t know blooming all over the place. (Ixora is another one)
One of the houses we looked at had a coconut tree in the backyard, and it wasn’t even the most expensive house.
My husband has met a couple of his potential students, and I’ve had a whiff or two of a couple things I could do when the housing question is settled.

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Free Kindle Reads: Written learning is a fixed luminary…

Tradition is but a meteor, which, if it once falls, cannot be rekindled.
Memory, once interrupted, is not to be recalled.
But written learning is a fixed luminary, which, after the cloud that had hidden it has passed away, is again bright in its proper station.
So books are faithful repositories, which, may be awhile neglected or forgotten, but when opened again, will again impart instruction.

colorful book border

  • Unless otherwise noted, books are free but this can change without notice. Doublecheck.
  • If you click a link and it doesn’t finish loading, just hit refresh. Sometimes the page just kind of hangs for some reason, I am not sure why.
  • If I don’t say, “I loved this book” or “I read this,” Or something along those lines, I haven’t read the book. I haven’t read most of these. I’m just your book bird-dog, sniffing up potential good reads.
  • I use various search methods to come up with titles. Then I read the blurbs, a couple of the best and worst of the reviews, and sometimes scan the free pages.
  • I screen out so many this way that I end up *not* posting more books I’ve looked over than I post. And yet, still some duds slip through. I do my best not to let that happen, but forgive me when it does.

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

Exposition of the Apostles Creed FREE
About the Author:
Robert James Dodds was born near Freeport, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, on August 29, 1824. His parents were Archibald and Margaret (Davidson) Dodds. Possessed from his youth with integrity of character and amiability of disposition he was dedicated to God for the work of the ministry. At an early age he began his classical studies under the direction of his pastor, the Rev. Hugh Walkinshaw, and made such rapid progress and proficiency in all the departments of literature taught in a College, that he was recommended as sufficiently advanced to begin the study of theology in the spring of 1844. He studied theology in the Allegheny and Cincinnati Seminaries, and was licensed by the Pittsburgh Presbytery, June 21, 1848.

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

In and Out of Three Normandy Inns, Free.

Anna Bowman Blake Dodd (1858-1929) was a US journalist and author whose anti-socialist sf novel, The Republic of the Future (.99), or Socialism a Reality (1887 chap), set in New York in 2050 CE, offers a scathing and comical portrait of egalitarianism brought to the uttermost, resulting in a technologically advanced antlike Dystopia. The tale actively deprecates Feminism.

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

Peveril of the Peak, by Sir Walter Scott, Free!  You must read some Sir Walter Scott this year.  I insist.
Excerpt: Let the destruction of the father and mother, with the ruin of our ancient house, satisfy your resentment for any wrong which you have ever received at my husband’s hand.”

” Hold your peace, housewife,” said the Knight ; ” you speak like a fool, …

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

NOT free:

9.99 for Kindle: Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World
by Steven Quartz (Author), Anette Asp (Author)
Reviews: Review
“A refreshing new analysis of conspicuous consumption . . . Essential for all psychology collections.” ―Dale Farris, Library Journal (starred review)

“This engrossing history merges evolutionary biology and economics to explain our spending habits.” ―Mental Floss

“Cool is as important as it is elusive. People want to find it and brands want to be it, but what is it and why do we all care so much? Cool probes the far reaches of our brain to answer these questions, shining a light on the essence of cool and the fundamental motivations that make us all human.” ―Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and bestselling author of Contagious

“Both a sweeping history and a scientific exploration, Cool charts the evolution of an ineffable concept that, whether or not we realize it, influences our decision making every day. Reading this book can’t make you cool, but it can give you the tools to figure out why cool matters.” ―Richard Florida, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, University of Toronto, and author of The Rise of the Creative Class

“Steven Quartz and Anette Asp expose a mystery that plagues us all–spending–and do so by uncovering the biological roots that guide our desire for status while following ancient rules that kept our evolutionary forebears alive. They remind us that forces that drive our modern habits were put in place long before there was anything modern. Cool is a delightful book that will inspire discussion.” ―Read Montague, Director, Human Neuroimaging Laboratory, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and author of Your Brain Is (Almost) Perfect

“An ambitious work that explores well-worn theories in detail before throwing them out, this book rejects the common idea that the world is degenerating into morally suspect, puerile, corporate-manipulated consumption. In its place, the authors propose that inner moral values and external social ones are in fact very much aligned, and that our basic drive to signal social status makes the world a better place. Trendsetters rejoice: Quartz and Asp have got your back.” ―Publishers Weekly


Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free. The older, public domain books should, because they are all in the public domain, but sometimes….

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing. If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something. Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works. People have tried to explain, but they start with numbers and my ears buzz and I can’t hear.

Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless. Of course, if you regularly shop on line, you can also sign up for ebates, and then always check ebates first, before you do your regular shopping. You can get quite a tidy sum back on the purchases you were going to make anyway, which is not a bad deal. And then you can use the money for books- or for other things.=)

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have a Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books. Or I will start there to see if I want to finish it later or remove it from my Kindle already. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers. Personally, I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full since I have no sense of proportion when it comes to owning books, both real and virtual.

You can left click on a title on your Kindle and delete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently. Now that I have my tricksy little new phone, I have added it to my list of devices to which I can download devices. Woot!

commentary sources: Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from reviews on Amazon’s page.

To organize the books on your kindle

Thanks for reading!

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Beginning our Third Week in the Philippines

I’m going to have to figure out something to do about our internet connection because this is driving me nuts. I can hit refresh all day long, and eventually get a five minute window to try to post something- but as often as not, in the middle of trying to post I will get this notice: “Connection lost. Saving has been disabled until you’re reconnected. We’re backing up this post in your browser, just in case.” And it never stops until, da da da daaaan: I get a 524 error. Or, I will hit post, and after an interminable wait, it will tell me it failed to post and has a 524 error, but it may have actually posted anyway, only I won’t know if it posted or not until I hit refresh for another 12 hours. I know, I know. My problem, not yours. But so exasperating. The only thing I really have not loved here is the internet connection issue everywhere we go. The Philippines has the worst internet of all of Asia. Also, we are going to need a permit to get internet in the house.

This is the beginning of our third week here, roughly. I think. While my husband is not working and our son is not in school I have no sense of time beyond Sundays for worship. The rest of the week is one long, lovely, interesting day full of new things to learn and see.

I’ve already mentioned (I think) that we had some of the people from church come over and visit. They really like the basketball court here at the school, so even though it is kind of far for them to come, they came to play, and we fed them pizza. They fed us friendship and grace, and we are the larger beneficiaries.

One of the men went with my husband to look at the house we are renting and helped explain some things and reassure us about what to expect. A couple of them helped us place the order for the pizzas. I got shopping advice from the sisters. One of the brothers helped the HM with pricing air conditioners and probably saved us a lot of money. And, as usual every time we meet, they worked on teaching me some Bisaya, and I’m practicing every day, although I don’t feel like I make much progress. They are so encouraging- and, of course, in every post I have to make mention of baby J. and what a sweet little baby he is.

He both makes me miss my grandbabies more and also comforts me over missing them at the same time.

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Vintage Recipe: Cheese Dream

The first sentence had me really excited about this recipe.  It is delicious, but you’ll recognize it:

“Our tried and true tea-house friend, the Cheese Dream, occasionally comes out in new dress. Try the following, for there is nothing better than any sort of perfect Cheese Dream for any lunch or supper. Make sandwiches of buttered bread and slices of cheese, cutting the bread about one-fourth inch thick and the cheese one eighth inch thick. Trim off the crusts and brown the bread richly and crisply on both sides in butter in a chafing dish. Serve on a hot plate with two or three spoonfuls of highly seasoned tomato sauce poured around each. Of course, the Dreams may be browned in”

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Random Observations

Interesting factoids: clothing brands hire the people who work in the clothing stores and sell you clothes, not the stores.
Bring your own toilet paper.
IT’s a comfort room, not a bathroom.
Hot water is only available in your shower if you buy an external hot water. I don’t know how they all work, but the one in our shower, the term ‘hot’ is rather an exaggeration.
There is only cold water from the kitchen tap. If you want to wash dishes in hot water, heat it on the stove top.
Most houses do not have ovens, just a two burner cooktop attached to a gas or propane tank.
We have a gecko in the room! Geckos, actually. I love geckos.
I have just eaten some freshly sliced pineapple so sweet it tastes like it was sugared.
The Filipino people must be the friendliest people on earth. Also, I am told, they love to sing.
You might find fresh green beans in three or four different places in the produce section because the produce is shelved based on the company which produced it, not on the product alone, so all of Farmer Jones’ produce is in one area, and all the McFarmed produce in another part (all in the produce section, though), and Choice farms produce yet another (Choice is the brand of eggplant I bought tonight).
It is hot and sticky, but honestly, not so bad as I was expecting. It helps a lot that we are arriving in December and not July. Or rather, March, which I am told is the hottest month of the year.
There is a rule for the guest quarters that you may not eat Durian fruit inside the rooms.
They sell Durian milk in the supermarket, and also melon milk, along with the more familiar strawberry and chocolate.
I have seen two or three cows out grazing in an empty lot here and there in town, as well as plenty of poultry and an occasional goat.
At at least one grocery, once a day the clerks mostly stop what they are doing (except not at the cash register), line up and sing and dance. No, I haven’t learned why.

We like it here.

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