Thursday, December 2, 2021

Doing Our Part


I left the dehumidifier running in the bedroom yesterday morning when I went to work, and by the time I got home it had pulled nearly two liters of water out of the air. This blows my mind. We got another 3/4 liter from the living room overnight. I'm fascinated by this device, though I'm still wrestling with how best to deploy it. Should I move it from room to room every day? Should it run 24 hours a day? Is it possible for things to get too dry? I guess we'll just learn by doing.

I did hear back from our maintenance company regarding the rotting fascia on the outside of the house and the moisture issues in the living room wall. They're going to send someone around to look at it -- insha'allah, as the Moroccans say. (Literal translation: "God willing." But used more generally to mean "we hope this thing happens but one can never be sure.")

I squared away our annual charitable donations yesterday. Dave and I have been giving to the same three groups each year since Trump got elected in 2016 -- Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU. It feels good to get that done. I consider it my little effort to maintain sanity in the world.

Oh, and speaking of maintaining sanity, I did finish "Tales of Silver Lands," thank GOD. It has the distinction of receiving my most negative Newbery review yet. Next up: "Caddie Woodlawn," from 1936. By the way, if you're interested in what I've read so far and what I've had to say about it, I'm maintaining this page on the school's web site. You'll see my intro with my terribly flattering picture (NOT!), followed by a gigantic tag cloud and then, below that, a short review of each book. I need to work on those tags. There are too many of them and I haven't used them very consistently.


Olga says hello, and wishes you would let her sleep a little longer.

(Top photo: A shiny Buddha head in a front garden on Finchley Road.)

49 comments:

  1. I love that shiny Buddha head ... and Olga. I also love your choices for charitable giving. Regarding the maintenance company: In Spanish, the word is ojal√°, which comes from the Arabic 'ma sha allah' (should god will it). Same modern usage... such as “If only.”

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    1. Interesting that Spanish still carries those linguistic traces of Arabic.

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  2. To read all those books is quite a task you have set yourself. It was interesting to have a look at your school's website.
    Also interesting is your dehumidifier water output. Two litres of water in your bedroom sounds amazing. Maybe a build of of moisture when the room is occupied by two moist men for so many hours?
    Your charity choices are targeted and worthy, among many worthy. Disturbing things are happening for women in the US at the moment, a battle that was thought to be won.

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    1. Well, I do wonder if the humidity was high because Dave, Olga and I all sleep (and breathe for eight hours) in there. But it's strange because the humidity isn't a noticeable problem in that room -- it's the living room where we see effects of dampness.

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  3. In my mind, Insha Allah translates to 'Maybe...maybe not.' I love the picture of Olga.

    I remember Caddie Woodlawn. I did enjoy that book as a child. From the vantage point of many years, I wonder how I would view it now.

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    1. Yeah, that's basically the translation. And yes, "Caddie Woodlawn" already seems MUCH better than the last book!

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  4. Nice webpage! And honestly, it makes me feel better to know that there is an official listing of your reading and reviews. Glad you've finished the dreadful "Tales of Silver Lands."
    Strangely, your dehumidifier story reminds me of when I heated with a woodstove. We used to keep a pan of water on it to maintain humidity. Weird, huh?

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    1. I guess it's easy to go too far in either direction with humidity!

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  5. Down here we say 'god willing and the creek don't rise'. I learned a couple of weeks ago that originally 'creek' referred to the Creek Native Americans. Or so says the woman who told me. Great pics of the Buddha and Olga.

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    1. I dunno -- I'm skeptical of that story. Seems much more likely it just means creek as in river, but we'll have to do some research!

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  6. Good on you for donating to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU. They especially need our help these days as much as we need theirs.

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    1. Absolutely. My original intention was to support them through the Trump years, but now that I've started I intend to continue.

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  7. My Mom would let the dehumidifier run all of the time in the basement as I remember. I think she did something with the water that accumulated - maybe use it for steam ironing? I think it is distilled water and I just googled that it IS good for ironing and also for plants!

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    1. It IS great plant water. In fact I just emptied the tank this morning into our geraniums!

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  8. That photo of Olga is adorable. I felt pretty much the same this morning. I did not want to get up.

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    1. She loves the bed. It's her favorite place, and who can blame her?

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  9. I love that webpage of your Newberry goal. That's quite a list of books. I'm really glad you got through the worst one.
    Olga is so cute. Definitely a sweet snuggly girl.

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    1. Well, the worst one so far! I still have about ten to go!

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  10. That Newbury page is impressive! I read your review of "Tales" & ouch! I think it's so great you're doing this.

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    1. It's been fun, though truthfully I didn't realize what an undertaking it would be when I started.

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  11. For me, lack of humidity means I wake up in the morning with a dry throat, dry nose and dry skin. It will get to the point where I start to get random nose bleeds. We run our whole house humidifier set at 40% which seems just about right to prevent all that stuff. If we set it any higher, we start to get condensation on the insides of the windows.

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    1. Forty percent is a good level. Our indoor humidity runs more toward 60 percent, which is too high.

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  12. I'm sure you'll figure out your dehumidifier soon. I love the photo of Olga. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I'm amazed how much moisture the air carries.

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  13. My plumbers are coming to fix my leak today, insha'allah as my daughter's Senegalese friends also say. That is disturbing how much moisture is in your walls and air.

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    1. Isn't it? And yes, insha'allah is a very useful word!

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  14. Yes, awful picture. Yes, good donations, and yes, those books are unknown to me but wonderful. I was raised with the Victorians.

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    1. LOL -- you're not supposed to agree that my picture is awful! You're supposed to say, "Oh no, Steve, you look great!" Ha!

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  15. What do you do with the water from the dehumidifier? I have heard that it makes good drinking water. Put it in a jug and stick it in the fridge for later. Reading all the Newbery winners was a challenging goal to set yourself and I applaud you for the steady, determined progress you have made. When you read the last one you will deserve more than a martini!

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    1. I'm sure we could drink it, but I usually put it on the plants -- though at this rate we'll have more water than the plants need!

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  16. My cottage has limited ventilation upstairs and I have to use dehumidifiers 24/7 ..but not the electric ones

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    1. 2 litres in such a short time is far toomuch

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    2. Yeah, I know. I do think it was worse because we were sleeping in that room, but overall we have too much humidity.

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  17. Well, I will take a look at your blog on the Newberrys.

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  18. Thanks for the link! I looked at a list the other day and was a little disturbed to recognize so few of them. In fact, I think I've only read one! (When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead) Speaking of books... I wish I could sit down face to face and discuss Lawn Boy with you. It's a book that offers a lot to talk about and I really enjoyed it! I particularly liked the main character and was very satisfied with the way things ended. My only real complaint? The profanity. I'm no prude by any standard and salty words do occasionally pass through my lips, but I was raised to believe using profanity (to that extent) was the product of a small mind. I'm glad I read it, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! I also liked the main character and was satisfied with the ending. I guess the author was trying to channel how someone like Mike might actually talk -- and let's face it, profanity is part of life. (But like you, I avoid it if I can!)

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  19. Hello Olga!

    Yes, plant watering water. Very good for that

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    1. I've heard that. We need some place to store it until it's time to water the plants.

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  20. Great source for plant watering, and always nice to see Miss Olga. You do seem to have a moisture problem though.

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    1. Yeah, definitely, at least at this time of the year. It's better in spring and summer when we can open up the house and ventilate.

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  21. Why I think that IS a very flattering picture of you! And the one of Olga is a definite, absolute, unequivocal keeper!

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    1. Olga is definitely more photogenic than I am! LOL

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  22. Hi Steve, Dave and sweet little Olga. It has taken me all day to find Olga under that blanket. Finally I saw some eyes and then the nose and I knew that was Olga. I love that baby and love the way you all take care of her. She is a pampered pet. I was telling my sister that sometimes when I am not feeling well I think about giving my fur babies to the SPCA. She told me to make sure I have visiting rights because I will be there every day. (lol)

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    1. That's a huge step, Angelicastar -- I think you would miss them if you ever gave them away. Maybe someone can help you take care of them if you need assistance?

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  23. Olga Girl, You Stole My Heart - What A Photo

    Cheers

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