7 September 2012

Figs of life

We're close to clearing the 3 month line here and life is good!  In fact, life is quite different from what it used to be 3 months ago.  Living in rural Lebanon has been a real adventure for all of us.  I would like to share some facts of life (or what I call figs of life given that it is fig season here!) for us here.  Obviously, this list is by no means complete.  Just a few points that a disorganized, scatterbrained mom has observed.  I anticipate adding to the list as we discover, or perhaps more accurately, as we become aware of other such figs.

1.  It is not possible to use the microwave, heat water for the bath and use the washing machine at the same time.  I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to plug in the water heater during the day, only to remember at night right before bath time.  The kids have put up with quite a few cold baths...  Despite the heat, they don't seem to be fans of cold showers.

2.  Using a ringer washer is waaay faster than an automatic.  I can wash 3 loads of laundry in under 30 minutes!  It is also waaay more fun for when kids want to help with the laundry.

3.  Speaking of laundry, it is practically imperative to do laundry on a daily basis.  This is so for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, laundry pile up is a drag.  Doubly so when there is not enough clothesline space to hang the clothes out to dry.  Secondly, and infinitely more important, sweaty clothes in a plastic hamper on a hot day STINK to high heaven.  And yes, I found this out the hard way.

4.  J is very attached to her stuffed bunny.  I know this NOT because she can't fall asleep without him, or because she wants to take him everywhere, but because of how dirty that bunny gets.  So dirty that we were forced to give him a "bath" in the washing machine last Thursday along with M's rhino.  The first thing J does now at laundry time is grab her bunny.  I've had an interesting time convincing her not to dump him into the washer each time.

5.  Another rather important daily chore around here is washing floors.  In Lebanon, one does not remove one's shoes indoors, which means floors get exceedingly dirty by the end of the day.  Having young children who love to play on the floor, it then follows by extrapolation that those same children need to be washed every day.  I can finally understand how the Blackfoot Indians came to be so named - such is the state of my children's feet each night before bath time.

6.  Eggs, as I've already mentioned, are from free-range chickens.  We get them sometimes right from the chickens and mostly from the "corner-store".  They look so pretty in their carton!  (And they taste better too!)

7.  We are also spoiled with regards to milk.  You see, we get our milk straight from the cow.  I mean, it's still warm from the cow when we take it from the farmer.  We boil the milk to sterilize it and then use it to make yogurt and cheese from it.  (Lebanese are not big milk drinkers for the simple reason that refrigeration has only been around for a short period, and is not quite 100% reliable yet.)

8.  All stoves in Lebanon are gas stoves with a propane tank compartment built in.  This is a very convenient fact when the electricity shuts off and one is in the midst of cooking dinner.  :o)

Well, it's time to get dinner rolling.  For tomorrow that is!  Hope you have a wonderful day and a full weekend!  I will have to find some time soon to tell you about our visit last week to Baskinta village and the monastery there, complete with an impromptu tractor ride.  Cheerio!

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