Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Whenever one moves into a new house, there are new things to learn. For example, which door squeaks, how long it takes for the shower in the far end of the house to get warm, or whether you can flush a toilet while someone's in the shower without making them scream. In a new city, you have to learn what days the trash comes and where to pay your water bill. Likewise, I've had to learn some new things about living in our house here and what I need to do in my daily routine. Here's a few of them:
*First thing in the morning, go through and open up the windows to let the fresh morning air in.
*Laundry should be washed right before bed or first thing in the morning. Prime drying time starts at about 9:00 a.m. and it's best if laundry can be hanging out by this time.
*When you hear rumbles of thunder or drops of rain, everyone from the house needs to pitch in to get the laundry inside quickly.
*Add a capful of bleach to a sink of tap water when rinsing dishes. Also do the same when washing fruits and vegetables.
*Shopping is best done mid-morning if you want to avoid walking in the rain.
*About 6:00 in the evening go through and close the windows of the house so that bugs don't get in.
*When going outside of the church grounds, even just to go to the tienda across the street, always take your keys as it IS possible for wind to blow a steel door closed.

I have also learned that baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are the same thing. (Probably should have remembered this from science but I had to google it to see for sure.) As I've tried to bake here, I've hit several 'walls' but am finally figuring things out. I have managed to find the correct kind of flour now and have found brown sugar and baking powder and baking soda but still cannot find baking cocoa. I found a recipe for no-bake cookies that uses chocolate milk mix instead of cocoa and it has turned out really well, though and is a hit with Jose and Norma. I'm hoping to get some cocoa from another town in the next few days. I found Ritz crackers and a powdered cream of mushroom soup mix so in the next few days we'll have Poppy Seed Chicken, but without the poppy seeds. :)

We keep hearing how our friends back home are suffering in the heat wave. The temps here are running in the low 80's for highs. Usually the rain starts mid-afternoon and goes off and on till late at night. Yesterday it started mid-morning and rained all day until late into the night and at times was torrential. Today has been more back to a normal day.

I think I can finally put up some pictures of our kitchen window that I tried to do last week. Here's what it looks like from across the room. And then here's what the view looks like when you look between the glass panes. It's so tranquil to look out at the mountains and the trees and cattle. Sometimes there are lines of clouds that form halfway up the mountains--as someone who has lived in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas, those giant mountains in the distance are quite a change from what I knew. The song that I learned as a teenager pops into my head frequently: "I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I write the music for the whippoorwills. Control the planets with their rocks and rills, but give you freedom to use your own will."

Jose has asked Teresa and me to start teaching a class this Sunday for teen girls. Monte and Jose will be teaching its counterpart to the teen boys. Tonight we go to Marta's house for the mid-week services. Afterward, we've been invited to Reina's for chicken tamales. On Monday we got to have a little mini-adventure by going out in the backyard of the church/our house while Reina gathered banana leaves to wrap the tamales. You can view the pictures on my Facebook album at: It was a great surprise adventure for us. I've made a double batch of no-bake cookies today to share with her as a thank you for her generosity. I'm hoping to take Ruth to go visit some of the ladies in their homes tomorrow.

The rain is falling now and I'm going to go bag up cookies to take to Reina's. We're looking forward to a wonderful evening.
Dios le bendiga.


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