Random things I did today…


Did a load of wash. In the process, “attended” our semi-automatic washing machine 14 times (turned on the water, turned off the water and turned on the “swisher”, drained the water, repeated that 3 times – I usually do at least 3 rinses since there’s so much dust in the clothes – and transfered the clothes to the spinner, half the load at a time.) If I hang them outside, they’re usually dry an hour later, or less. If I don’t “attend” the washer promptly enough and the load doesn’t get finished until that night, or if it’s really hot outside (and I’d rather not go out) or windy (and therefore especially dusty), I usually just hang them inside on the drying stand, and they’re dry soon enough anyway.

Listened to the Dreamer as she showed me another gift she made for the Engineer’s Easter basket (we haven’t always done Easter baskets, but the Dreamer has decided to make one for the Engineer this year and it’s going to be loaded) – today she made a couple of cards filled with “picture-messages” (where you have to figure out the word from the picture, like a picture of an eye for “I”).

Turned on the air cooler a bit earlier than I would have needed to, to keep the house cool just in case the power went out.

Pretended to eat grapes from the Engineer’s Duplo-truck-trailer of “fruit”. The green ones were the best, but the red ones weren’t bad.

Filled the water cooler with water from the water filter and added a frozen water bottle. Refilled water filter.

Sent the kids on an “errand” to the local dukhan (a few houses away) to buy bread, at their request. They came back with two handfuls of candy from the dukhan owner.

Looked up seed on Wikipedia, since the Engineer wanted more details about what’s in seeds. Lately he’s been trying to cut open every kind of seed he can find, including a few large ones that Mr. Rikshaw had to open with a hammer.

Cooked quasi-whole-grain noodles (which I found at a store on the other side of the city some time ago, was very excited about, and bought as many as I could since I didn’t know if I’d see them again) and frozen green beans (another great find, though a bit more common, and much appreciated especially during the hot season when there aren’t too many fresh vegetables) for lunch. Added olive oil and salt to the noodles. Sometimes I also add green onions and tomatoes, but today I had the Dreamer crumble some jibna beDa – literally, “white cheese,” a very common cheese hear that somewhat resembles feta cheese, which I’ve never cared for myself but the rest of the family likes it. The D in beDa is one of those way-back-in-the-throat sounds, so I took the opportunity to practice saying it a few times and reflected that it comes easier than it used to.

Cut up onions and tomatoes for dinner (Indian Dhal and rice). Reviewed the recipe (from Mr. Rikshaw’s Curried Favors cookbook – he’s usually the cook for Indian food in the family, but I’m trying to learn to do it myself more) and reminded myself to keep it simple as much as possible. I really like good food, typically food that takes a lot of time and energy to cook, but I’m trying to cook simply more often, even if it doesn’t taste quite as well. Part of my effort to lower my standards, so I can meet my standards more often. I reflected on our dinner a couple days ago, when our neighbors came by with a large pot of cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and asked me to bring a bowl so they could fill it up and share with me. The father in the family had just been in a car accident, but he wasn’t hurt, and so as an expression of thankfulness to God, they cooked some food to share with all the neighbors. The beans were just cooked with a little oil and salt, and I made some rice, and that was our dinner. The kids loved it, actually – I hadn’t realized they would like it so much – and I reminded myself to have beans and rice more often.

Turned off the cooler so I could sweep the floor. The cooler works by sucking in outside air with a powerful fan and squirting some water into it as it enters the house. It works fairly well this time of year, when it’s still so dry, and as long as we have an open window on the other side of the house, it keeps the air well-circulated through the whole house. So well-circulated, in fact, that it creates a continuous breeze that doesn’t help when I’m trying to sweep up dust.

Asked the Engineer to water the garden just outside our hoesh. He knows how to turn on the water pump, turn on the faucet in the hoesh, take the hose and make sure each tree or bush gets plenty of water. He also waters the plants inside our hoesh with a watering can. The garden needs to be watered every day this time of year.

Woke up the Dreamer from her nap. It’s extremely rare for her to nap (although, if I could I would have them both nap every afternoon so we could take better advantage of the cool mornings and evenings) but she was determined that she would nap today, because she wants to be able to stay up late.

Worked with the kids to prepare some dirt for planting in containers. Mr. Rikshaw recently got the dirt from the Nile River, and it’s got more in it than the sand here, but it is in hard clumps that have to be broken up. I hope to finally plant some Basil seeds that I brought with us from the States. I also hope to grow some lettuce in our well-lit kitchen (I had found a “heat-resistant” variety in the States) – hopefully it will be cool enough inside.