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rainbowgardener
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living like an American

Heat wave finally got to us and we closed up the house and turned on the central air a couple days ago, for the first time since 2007 or 2008...

So I'm discovering what it is to live like an American. The central air makes you hate the outdoors. We keep the thermostat at 83 so it's not like it's really cold. But even going out at 6 this AM, when it was actually cooler outside than in, it felt awful setting foot outside the door, because so humid and muggy outside while the air inside is all dehumidified.

The house is quiet as a grave inside with no bird song and still air. I feel bored and listless, watching too much TV and reading and time on the computer. Totally disconnected from the natural world. I have made my honey promise that we will turn the A/C off again and open up the house by Sun, even though next week it will still be in the 90's all week.
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Orenda
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I am an 'open the windows' person too. My Husband is not :?

We have had the air conditioning on for about a week now and I miss hearing the Cicadas and Birds. Yesterday I made myself have the early morning coffee on the Patio but quickly got myself inside.

Apart from picking the Cucumbers and Beans, checking on the rest of the veggies growing, and watering, there has been little gardening done.

This morning we have had a thunderstorm and yes ~ the windows are open at this moment but I think we will be 'closing up' pretty soon.

It seems to have been a year of extreme weather, probably not but it seems so. A few weeks ago we had too much wind and rain and Texas was having fires and drying up!

I wish those that need rain get it and I wish those that need the sunshine get that too. Ah for an ideal climate for us all.
Orenda ~

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Charlie MV
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103 here today, real feel 115. No AC, you can die. We were 95 degrees at 11PM last night. We usually sit outside at night. Not now.

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hendi_alex
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I was a little late getting in my 3 mile slow run this morning. Must have been 85 by the time I left around 9:45. Has been over 100 degrees for 4 days now and has been 92-102 degrees for almost two months. The garden is still putting out produce but the heat and humidity are taking their toll. Seems I lose a couple of tomato plants every week or two and watering is a twice a day chore in this extreme heat. At least we do have an abundance of water, and in this sand the aquifer gets recharged during the wet winter most years.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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cherishedtiger
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We cant decide if its going to be hot or tolerable... my garden doesnt know what to do either!
I have to wait to do anything in the garden until its shaded by the fence... I am a leave the windows open type of person too, but in this heat we have got to shut the windows and blinds and kick the a/c up. Cant wait until fall when we can open them all back up again!
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pickupguy07
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Re: living like an American

rainbowgardener wrote:So I'm discovering what it is to live like an American. The central air makes you hate the outdoors. We keep the thermostat at 83 so it's not like it's really cold. But even going out at 6 this AM, when it was actually cooler outside than in, it felt awful setting foot outside the door, because so humid and muggy outside while the air inside is all dehumidified.
.
Welcome to the "Southern" United States. What you stated happens here EVERY year. I never gets any better, and most never get used to it.
(Actually over the last couple years it has gotten worse.)
Honestly I don't know why I don't just move....

Oh yeah I do.... The Government has everything so screwed up NO ONE can sell or buy a house... so we are stuck in the situation we are in. ggrrrr
I better stop now before I get started on a RANT
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thanrose
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Those of us in the southeast know heat with humidity very well.

We can be fresh air fiends, but we pay for it with moldy books and limp upholstery. When I lived a bit more inland, I had to powerwash with bleach my house exterior to keep the mold down yearly. Is chlorine bleach toxic? Sure it is, but the HEAT caused the chlorine to offgas and dissipate before it hurt anything on the ground.

If you want relief from the heat, you leave trees growing all around your house. If you want relief from the mold, you cut the trees down. If you want relief from the bugs that will come in when you cut the trees down, and they will, you move to another state.

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tomf
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I sweat real bad so I do not think I could take the humid heat, Boston was bad enough when I grew up; I cannot imagine the deep South.

Charlie are you on your boat? I would be some place where I was in the water most of the time; I am a water dog.

Charlie MV
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Tomf, we're on the boat but we worked all day. Seems like we work the garden and work the boat.

We decided to paint the galley cabinet interiors white along with the counter top. Took the sink out on the aft deck to clean off the old plumber's putty. My wife blistered her finger on it. You can't leave any tools outside or they will burn you.

We're too sore to put all the junk away in the cabinets. It will be there tomorrow. I gotta say that this heat is sucking the life out of us. It's hard to breathe outside.

Tomorrow we will do som serious swimming and floating but remember the water temp is in the mid to high 80s. We usually go for a ride at night but it's staying near 90 degrees until 11 PM.

The AC systems feel goooooooood. :D

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It's been around 100 here for a while (I know, I'm not in America) and we don't have AC or a pool(they are both considered a luxury here). Summer lasts from May until September or October. We open all the windows and keep a good supply of cold water and ice pops on hand. I do my errands in the morning and I give the kids their baths around 3 or 4 in the afternoon when it's really hot out to help them cool off. Other than that we just try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Good luck staying cool. 8)
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hendi_alex
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I can remember those 100 degree days as a child, before we had an air conditioner. With cold a person can add layers. But with hot, once you have taken most everything off, there is just no escaping it. Makes a person tougher I guess, but that one I can do without.

If I couldn't afford a/c would definitely consider some version of a home made swamp cooler. A fan, a moderate sized pump, and some material to use as a wicking membrane and you are in business. They work remarkably well, especially in hot areas with relatively low humidity.
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rainbowgardener
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My point was not about how hot it is, but how much I hate the A/C and closing the house up. Since I hadn't done it for the past four years, I forgot what it was like.... the house feels dead and I feel trapped inside it. Today is the day we open everything up and go back to living in the natural world.

Yesterday we had a woods restoration work day at my Quaker Meeting (church). Heat index 95, very high humidity, sweat POURING off me, doing heavy work in the woods, but I felt wonderful afterwards, just glowing and so glad to have been out in the woods for a little while (admittedly after two hours of that I came back home to A/C and cleaned up!).

Trouble with our very high humidity is that sweat doesn't evaporate and cool you, just runs off, and evaporative (swamp) coolers don't work so well either. What we use is a whole house attic fan to suck heat out of the top of the house all night and window fans at the bottom to pull cool night air in. In the daytime all that goes off and just ceiling fans to circulate the air. It works great as long as there IS cool night air to bring in. When we get a heat wave and it doesn't get below 80 all night, doesn't work nearly as well. But the worst of the current heat wave is past us and our night time temps are going to be back down in the 70's, so I am eager to open the house up!
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hendi_alex
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I guess that it just boils down to what a person is used to. During the day I leave the a/c on about 81 upstairs where I'm on the computer generally for 3-4 hours. Downstairs I swing the a/c between 78-80 depending upon what it takes to feel comfortable. Outside, I don't particularly mind the temperature up to mid 90's or so, but inside, in the stale air as you say, a moderate input of a/c improves the comfort level for me. We rarely open the house as the tree and grass pollen and other allergens are best left outside.

When I was teenager up to leaving home, my dad had this notion, [room temperature is 72 degrees.] So whether winter or summer, the thermostat was set at 72 degrees. My wife and I took on the same habit after setting up our first home in 1969. After the first oil embargo, we started looking for ways to save on energy, to do our part. At that time we started creeping the a/c up until we got to between 78-80 degrees. After an adjustment period, interesting thing was that we were as comfortable or were more comfortable in the new temperature range than we were at the old one. And as you and others have pointed out, before we were addicted to inside the house during the summer, as the shock of going from 72 to much over the mid 80's was almost unbearable. The new temperature setting opened an entirely new world for me, as ever since I've never minded getting out in the heat during the summer months. I must admit however, that when the temperatures reach near 100, I mostly spend my time indoors.
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Charlie MV
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Rainbowgardener, sweat dries????? :shock:

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gixxerific
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hendi_alex wrote:I was a little late getting in my 3 mile slow run this morning. Must have been 85 by the time I left around 9:45. Has been over 100 degrees for 4 days now and has been 92-102 degrees for almost two months. The garden is still putting out produce but the heat and humidity are taking their toll. Seems I lose a couple of tomato plants every week or two and watering is a twice a day chore in this extreme heat. At least we do have an abundance of water, and in this sand the aquifer gets recharged during the wet winter most years.
Please be careful Alex. My mid 20's neighbor who does 7 min miles or something and comes in first or close in most of the marathons he runs became over heated on Sat. He was running 7 miles and on the way back was overtaken by the heat. Luckily one of his friends was driving by saw him and picked him up. He was in bad shape even though he is normally in awesome shape. This was at about 7 am.

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hendi_alex
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I used to feel a need to go out and run 6.5 or 7 minute miles. Never was an accomplished runner but did complete my last marathon in a respectable (for me) 3 hours 35 minutes. I don't really run any more. All this week the fastest mile was at 9:45 and the slowest while running was about 10:15 pace. With only going three miles and such a modest pace, there is little danger of overheating. Thanks for the warning though, as heat exhaustion is a real danger when a person ignores its early signs.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I just don't know about y'all....I lived in Atlanta for seven years. Not one house or apartment building in which I lived had air conditioning. I sometimes worked (worked my way through college) in air-conditioned offices, but I *never* went home to an air-conditioned residence.

Georgia Tech, Emory, and Georgia State weren't fully A/C then, either, although they were doing their best to "make it so"!

So when I talk about the July when it was over 100 deg. F for 17 days in a row, I was out in that 100-plus heat and trying to sleep at night....

Let's not talk about those periods when I earned my living in construction.... :roll:

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hendi_alex
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What a difference a few days makes! Was really late getting my three miles in today, getting on the road just after noon. Rained like crazy last night and the temperature was 76 degrees for the entire run. Mostly overcast and near 100% r.h., but a very comfortable run. I even stepped it up to a 9:45 pace for the first two miles. That is pretty rare for me these days, when its it mostly run a couple of utility poles, walk a pole, alternating for the three miles.
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I've been reading this thread with a smile on my face. It's interesting to see different reactions to the heat. We normally have fairly high humidity, but it gets so hot, it seems to melt the humidity away until it cools in the evening. 106 degrees today with 110 later in the week. No idea when the heat will break as we slowly move into fall. We typically keep our air conditioner set in the low eighties. I normally work in the yard or garden for one hour in the heat and sit under the air conditioner for one or two hours. It's amazing how cold the low eighties feel in the house after I have worked outside. By days end, I normally will have spent two or three hours working in the heat. The only difficulty I have is working in the direct sun. I wear a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off my head and face and do well. I actually feel better after working in the summer heat than when I do the same work in cooler weather. I make a wild guess and believe I am sweating the toxins out of my body and replacing my body fluids with fresh, clean, cool water. We turn the air conditioning a little cooler at night because it removes the evening humidity. It does run all night since it was 95 degrees at midnight last week.

I used to avoid the heat at any cost. When American troops first arrived in Iraq and Afghanistan, the news media was reporting the temperature at 117 degrees. I was very curious about how much heat a human can take and still function. I learned that 105 to 110 degrees is my limit working in short intervals. I still don't understand how the troops survive that heat for long periods.

My philosophy is "grin and bear it". It will cool eventually.

Ted
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This is how I beat the heat
1. Live in Florida
2. Ride a bicycle as my primary form of transportation -- year around.
3. Periodically ride to St Augustine on the hottest day of the year. The road is shadelss and over 20 miles long.

If you survive that, any other heat ain't no big deal :wink:

DeborahL
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I hate the hot sun so much that if I never grew another thing that would be fine with me.
I simply do not have the vocabulary to describe the deep and deadly hatred I have for hot weather.
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

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digitS'
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Ouch!

I know that I can get in trouble here when someone is struggling with difficult weather. You might want to stop reading right now, Deborah. I see that LA has just gone thru some 100°F weather.

The other day, I was out most of the day. Heavy overcast, windy . . . after about 5 hours of this, a hazy sun broke thru the clouds.

"There's the sun," says I, stating the obvious.

"Feels good," says DW.

"I can't feel a thing." I said . . . under my 4 layers and inside my dew-soaked shoes. The clouds quickly blew across the sun :? and it disappeared for the rest of the day.

We had 2 gorgeous afternoons last week. The wind died away, sky cleared to a lovely blue and the sun shown down!!

Soon, those afternoons will just be memories. The sun may shine but its feeble weakness will be all too apparent on those days with a little winter haze. Other than some appreciated winter light, it will contribute nothing to the cold air.

I've always been happier in heat than maybe I should be. In recent years, I creak about in the winter cold. Sub-zero is painful - even indoors, with heat. My skin becomes so sensitive that I'm uncomfortable in my clothing . . .

I am quite unfamiliar with humidity. I once lived on the northern California coast. If I'd been there many more years, the cool humidity would probably have killed me . . . I was a smoker then :oops: .

Maybe moving about in search of more comfortable surroundings would help. I'm thinking of evicting the resident and moving into a mud-lined beaver lodge for the winter. Probably set the thing on fire, tho'. It would be a fitting way to go - melt some ice, I'd bet.

Steve
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tomf
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In Oregon it has been the rain keeping us indoors, I love being out side. It is foggy today but I will go for a walk some place. This year I have not had the time to even walk to the other side of my land or to my creek even. When it was not to hot or raining this summer and fall I worked on my house remodel.

tedln
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I've never been a fan of hot weather. If given the choice, I would choose cold and snowy every day over hot and humid every day. Where we live, we have two months every year which I would prefer to endure in a drug induced coma. Fortunately, we have ten gorgeous months which almost make up for the two lousy months. Enough said by me about the weather! I like your writing style Steve.

Ted
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DeborahL
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I don't mean to complain. It's just that I feel sick and weird and weak when it's hot. I take cold showers to calm down.
I'm in the middle of quitting smoking and am often fighting hysteria. I'm sad that the only way I feel normal is sucking on a cigarette. Nothing helps-no encouraging words, nothing.
I just lost my Mom, my house, my job and alot of self esteem, so it's a very bleak time in my life.
The loneliness for my Mom is unbearable. I'm quitting smoking because she wanted me to.
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tomf
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That is a lot to go through Deb, all I can say is it has to get better. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your self even if it is hard. My hart goes out to you.

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digitS'
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That is just too, too much . . . by a power of 10, Deborah!

I hope there are others very close at hand who can help you get through some of that. People don't often need much help with weather related problems but you have an enormous amount of change to adjust to.

Please try to be as open with others nearby as you have just been with us.

When I was quite a bit younger, my life was up-ended by my wife's kidney failure while we had an infant to care for at home. After about 3 or 4 years of essentially watching her in the process of dying, then recover a little, running a dialysis machine for her 3 times a week, seemingly spending half of my time in the hospital with her, and still caring for a small child - I was something of a basket case!

I went off to support groups: Well Spouse and Caregivers. Because of the suggestion of one of the professionals associated with those groups, I turned up at the offices of psychotherapists one day. All of the above, helped me get my feet back under me. I owe them so much for whatever peace of mind that came to me during those trying years.

Your Mom wanted you healthy. You knowing that means a lot.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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Thank you, Tom and Steve.
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tomf
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You are more than welcome Deb and I hope things get better for you soon.

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Thank you, Tom.
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lorax
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You're all wusses, y'all with the air conditioners.

35 C today with not a cloud to be seen, but at least it's a dry heat. The Ecuadorian concept of A/C is to build your house out of adobe with 6-12" thick walls, so it's always cooler inside than out.

If I were to go downslope today, I'd be looking at 45-50 C with 80-90% humidity, and I'd want to spend the entire day in a river.

This said, I'm likely to put on jeans and a t-shirt today, because it's still spring. And I'm gonna crank up my oven an make bagels!

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digitS'
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Don't let him fool you!

Bagels are cooked mostly on top the stove in boiling water -- the heat and steam will quickly dissipate.

:wink:

Lorax will just be using that oven for a quick toasting of the crust. Yep.

Steve
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lorax
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Dude, I'm a lady....

And Montreal-style bagels involve the boiling much less so than New York style ones - for each dozen, we're still looking at 20-25 minutes oven time at 350 F after boiling.

Plus I usually make leftover bagel dough into bread, and that's a longer oven time as well.

Oh, and it exceeded my expectations today and has hit 40 C. It's lovely.

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digitS'
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Sorry, Lorax.

My childhood was pre-Dr. Seuss.

Steve
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Deb, I just read through the thread, and my heart goes out to you. Know that we would all bring you veggies, bread and more if we could, and a few moments of comfort. That sounds little compared to the rest of your disrupted life.
As for the cigs, good to quit, but take things one step at a time. In my situation, an adult son just moved back in. I don't know his history, don't ask, but implied there was drink and drugs. He smokes and drinks coffee. He somehow got out of the drugs, and doesn't drink. I stay away from the cig issue (and he smokes outside). He stays away from me drinking beer. What I am saying is we need to know our own limitations in our own situation.

How much I wish I could say Hang -in, Things will get better. In the meantime you are allowed to cry, and smile.
Have fun!
Susan

Charlie MV
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lorax wrote:Dude, I'm a lady....

And Montreal-style bagels involve the boiling much less so than New York style ones - for each dozen, we're still looking at 20-25 minutes oven time at 350 F after boiling.

Plus I usually make leftover bagel dough into bread, and that's a longer oven time as well.

Oh, and it exceeded my expectations today and has hit 40 C. It's lovely.


My wife called me a wussie one day in front of her mother. Her mother told her that ladies don't talk that way. I told her mother " she's no lady, she's my wife"

The wussie part didn't bother me. I'm very secure with my masculinity even if I do behave like a wussie on occasion and happen to love air conditioning. So there lady.

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lorax
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I don't care about the wussie part, but I do object occasionally to being mistaken for a man. If you knew me, you'd know why - it happens in person as well as over the interwebs, regardless of me having a reasonably nice pair of gazongas.

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rainbowgardener
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40 deg C = 104 deg F. Wow!!

But the comment about the A/C brings us back around towards where I started this thread (it's been a lot of other places in the meantime! :) ).

My point was not only are USAian's spoiled with the A/C, we give up a lot for that comfort... Like being able to walk outside (if your house is 75 and dehumidified, then stepping out the door into humid 90 feels terrible!), being able to breathe fresh air, hear the birds and crickets and cicadas and generally be part of the natural world.
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tomf
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Lorax if you do not mind me saying this; I do not think you come off as a man at all and I think I remember seeing a photo you posted of your self and you are pretty. What I think shows the most about you is that you are knowledgeable and aware. One thing I like about a number of people here is their knowledge as I value intelligence but a big thing to me is the kindness with which many of you show in your writing. Please excuse me for being nice I just finished a class where I learned it is OK to be nice to people.

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Definitely post a picture Lorax. You've peaked my curiosity and interest. I'm a fan of gazongas. Does the z have a "th sound in the Spanish pronunciation ?



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