No WiFi Sunday…Are we too dependant on WiFi?…

Peter, Paul, and Mary (she’s in the center) couldn’t have posed better for this shot.

It’s getting hot here now that winter has ended and spring is in full bloom. Yesterday was 93F (34C), and today should be the same. Although this doesn’t sound that hot, when sitting all day outdoors under the shade of the veranda roof, coupled with the humidity, we are well aware of how warm it is already.

We’re well prepared that when we return here in December 2022, it will be even hotter. South Africans find this weather to be pleasant, but for us, living in mostly cooler climates, we can certainly feel the impact of the heat. But we will easily handle it when we return in the summer in months to come.

After all, this is Africa, and with the pleasures, sights, and sounds of this amazing continent, we all pay the price of heat, humidity, snakes, mozzies, other insects, and power outages. Speaking of power outages, we’re grateful there hasn’t been any load shedding since we returned from the US, other than a few short periods of “overuse” issues. Of course, last month we experienced five days without water. That was challenging.

An older photo of Tiny and Narrow. We’ve yet to see Tiny since w returned. He may have been culled, which makes me sad.

However, among power outages, there are WiFi outages. The infrastructure here is unstable, and WiFi outages also happen from time to time. Usually, they last for short periods, but yesterday we were without WiFi from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (1700 hrs), a total of six hours.

I had already started the post, and in order not to lose what I’d already written, I had to use my phone’s WiFi as a hotspot to complete and upload the post. Once I was done, I turned off the hotspot to save on the outrageous expense of using the phone’s data for any longer than necessary.

Keeping in mind, we’ve never turned on the TV in this house, we no longer read books after years of doing so, and neither of us felt like playing cards or games. I could have done a puzzle, but we don’t have table space, other than in the dining room, where there’s no airflow. I decided against it.

Warthogs enjoy drinking from the birdbath since they can’t reach the pool. (Photo was taken during the greener season).

Tom played the same solitaire game on his phone that he occasionally plays while I fussed in the kitchen for a short period, preparing a few items for dinner. Needless to say, once I was done, we both were bored. We couldn’t go to Kruger National Park or sit overlooking the Crocodile River due to overcrowding and traffic from holidaymakers.

It had been a long time since we were bored. If we lived in a home of our own, we could have watched a movie on the TV using our DVR, cable TV, or non-WiFi services. If we lived in a home of our own, we could have tackled some projects around the house.

I thought about packing, but I have so few clothes I need to access over the next 24 days until departure. It was quite a dilemma. Gerhard had given us some movies on a flash drive, which I downloaded to our external hard drive, so we decided to see if we’d like any of them. As it turned out, we’d seen most of the movies, or they were those Tom doesn’t care for, such as superhero, fantasy, and science fiction.

I turned on the WiFi on my phone long enough to look up details of a few of the movies. Fortunately, I found one with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, a peculiar film called Florence Jenkins Foster that we watched and found mildly entertaining. In the middle of the movie, Tom needed a nap but only slept for 15 minutes, after which we finished the movie.

Hal is drinking from the birdbath.

At 4:00 pm (1600 hrs), we decided to head back to the veranda for sundowners. With our new speaker with songs we play using YouTube and Spotify, we realized we couldn’t enjoy the music without WiFi as we’ve done on other evenings. Instead, we sat there with the heat of the sun shining on us at 93F (34C) while we chatted. At times, we wondered when the WiFi would return, hoping it would be back on for our usual after-dinner streaming when we go inside due to the mozzies.

Much to our delight, at 5:00 pm (1700 hrs), I heard a ping on my phone that the WiFi was back on. We were thrilled. We proceeded to make dinner on the braai consisting of steaks and chicken breast. On the side, we had a salad with sweet corn and rice for Tom and grilled eggplant for me. It was a lovely dinner.

Tonight, we’re making roast beef and chicken breasts on the braai, with sauteed mushrooms and salad. Tom will have rice and sweet corn on the side while I have shrimp salad and grilled eggplant. It will be another great dinner. The boredom is gone.

Yes, based on our lifestyle, when WiFi is out, we scramble to find ways to entertain ourselves. It’s the “nature of the beast.” Thank goodness this doesn’t occur frequently, and most likely, while back in the US for a few months, it won’t occur at all.

Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 27, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India on day #188. This is where we planned to lounge on the chaises at Madafoo’s in Diani Beach, Kenya in 2013. It was a guarded area overlooking the Indian Ocean.  For more photos, please click here.

Another fantastic evening in the bush…Holiday weekend in the bush…Heritage Day…

Thick-tailed bushbaby eating yogurt we left out.

Note: The WiFi is out today due to overuse by holidaymakers in the park and a fault with the line. I am using my phone as a hotspot. But it’s slow and uses lots of data. As a result, few photos today. Thank you!

Friday was Heritage Day in South Africa, resulting in many long weekend visitors to Marloth Park. We have often mentioned that holiday seasons and long holiday weekends are our least favorite times in the bush.

Last evening, on our way to Kathy and Don’s home for dinner, we couldn’t believe the number of cars, bakkies (trucks), and safari vehicles encountered on the roads. The majority of tourists are South Africans who want to get away for the long holiday weekend. After the long constraints of lockdown, many people come here to “let their hair down.”

In essence, Marloth Park is not a place to “let loose.” It’s a place of tranquility, reflection, and quiet contemplation of nature and its many wonders. But, many groups of people come here to socialize. That in itself, is fine, as long as they respect the rules of the bush, rules of the road, the safekeeping of the animals, and the expected quiet that the bush invites.

Often, we’ll see bakkies with their truck beds filled with people standing up, yelling, drinking, and playing loud music, men shirtless and women scantily dressed. Many are here to “party!” Others seek the quiet and solitude of the bush and the gentle meanderings of the wildlife. It’s an oxymoron, often making it difficult for the two groups to cohabitate well in this special place.

This morning, only Frank and The Misses appeared along with a few bushbucks, which is a rarity for us on a Sunday morning. We have meat treats for the mongoose, but we wonder if we’ll see them until Monday or Tuesday after the park has cleared out.

When thick-tailed bushbabies are around the usual small bushbabies run for cover. The larger species will kill the little ones.

When we arrived at Kathy and Don’s lovely home, overlooking the Crocodile River, Don suggested we enjoy the evening on the main floor instead of heading up to their third-level veranda with expansive views of the river.

There were so many vehicles on the river road. There’s no doubt we’d all be annoyed by the traffic noise. The ground floor outdoor area is fenced and provides excellent privacy. As the night progressed, we didn’t even notice the vehicles passing by.

Once we were situated outdoors with our beverages and snacks on the patio, Rita asked Gerhard, “Did you bring our meat?” Gerhard shrugged and said, “Nope, I forgot the meat!”

Rita chimed in, “It was my fault too. I should have reminded you.”

Then, I looked at Tom, “Did you pack our meat in the cooler?” We all laughed out loud when Tom said, “No  you didn’t remind me to pack the meat.”

Rita and Gerhard laughed over the fact we’d also forgotten our meat. In minutes, Tom and Gerhard took off in Gerhard’s off-road vehicle to head to our house and theirs to pick up the meat for the braai.

Once on the road for about 5 minutes, Tom realized our house keys were in our car back at Kathy’s and Don’s home! They drove back to pick up the keys, arriving back at the party about 45 minutes later. There were lots of vehicles on the road making driving time much slower.

Finally, back at the dinner party, we had a lovely evening with great conversation, excellent food, and again, the perfect host and hostess, with the six of us, plus Michael and Lorraine, Don’s cousin and his wife. We hadn’t seen them in three years and it was delightful to see them again.

By 9:45 pm (2145 hrs) we were back at our bush house and shortly thereafter headed to bed for a good night’s sleep. As we count down until we leave Marloth Park, we realize how quickly the time will go. We will spend every possible moment cherishing that which is before our eyes and the blissful nature of Marloth, especially when the peace and quiet of the bush are restored in a few days.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 26, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #187. In places, the path from our holiday home in Kenya to the beach in the Indian Ocean was filled with flowers. For more photos, please click here.

Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew…

We made two of these large pans of apple crisp and one smaller pan. We’ll bring one large pan to Kathy and Don’s tonight and keep one large and small pan at home.

Desserts are my favorite foods to make, although I don’t eat them. It’s not unlike me to volunteer to make certain dishes to share with others when I have accumulated so many amazing recipes over the years. There’s something special about making desserts that feels like love.

Lately, I’ve been making either blueberry or lemon poppyseed muffins for Tom, enough to last a week.  My desire to provide comfort food has been satisfied by making his muffins. No, I don’t encourage Tom to eat sweet treats, but when he was buying muffins in the market, at least I knew my homemade muffins didn’t have preservatives and chemicals. Making them myself assured they had quality ingredients, with no trans fats and bad sources of oil or butter. Only he can decide when he’s ready to give them up.

In South Africa, bringing our meat to braai and drinks is traditional. It is more the norm than not. We appreciate this tradition since we enjoy bringing our preferred cuts of meat when Tom and I eat larger-sized portions of protein than most.

Because I eat such little variety, meat and salad may be the only items I’ll eat at a host’s home. Tonight, we’re bringing beef tenderloin, cut into appropriate portions for Tom and me. Kathy and Don will serve baked potatoes, salad, and sweet corn. This way, our hosts can spend time with all of us instead of working in the kitchen.

A few days ago, expecting the dry socket to be totally better by now, which it is not, I volunteered to bring homemade gluten-free apple crisp, a dessert we’ve found many enjoy, especially when topped with vanilla ice cream, which we’re also bringing. Little did I know at the time that I would still be under the weather due to the ongoing pain, although greatly diminished, and off pain killers would be an issue.

So, upon awakening this morning after sleeping for nearly 10 hours, according to my FitBit, I still felt sluggish, and the socket was still sore. I’d hoped by today, it would be over. This painful scenario has left me feeling out of sorts, especially after spending several days lying on the bed, propped up on pillows, on narcotic pain pills, which I’ve since stopped. I feel weak from lack of activity and the horrible drugs.

Last night, we went to Jabula with Rita and Gerhard, but we were home before 8:30 pm (2030 hrs). We watched an episode of Big Brother, and I dozed off to sleep. When I awoke at 9:00 am, I thought, “Wow! I am going to feel great after this long night’s sleep!”

But, once up, showered, and dressed, I wondered how I’d manage to make the apple crisp still feeling unlike myself. As always, Tom helped peel the zillions of apples. I wanted to make a big pan to bring tonight and another big pan to have at home. This resulted in peeling, coring, and slicing over 40 apples.

Prepping a little more than we needed, I had a third extra smaller pan than we required, surely Tom will finish it off in no time. We gave all the scraps to the bushbucks and kudus, including Bad Eye. They all loved them. Bad Eye, although not treated for her injury, seems to be doing better. The bleeding has stopped, and it looks as if, at some point, it will heal. She still has a good appetite, devouring the apple scraps with her three female friends/family members.

By noon, I had the first of the three pans of apple crisp in the oven. The small oven only fits one pan at a time. It’s hot today, and the oven will most likely be on for about three hours to thoroughly cook the three pans. It’s already pretty hot in the house, so once I put the first pan in the oven, I came into the bedroom to sit on the bed with the fan on to cool off and recover from standing on my feet for 2½ hours. Surely, later on, I’ll perk up.

We aren’t expected to arrive at Kathy and Don’s house until 5:30 pm (1730),  leaving plenty of time to finish baking and get dressed and ready for tonight. There will be eight of us at their home for dinner. I doubt I bit off more than I could chew making this multi-step dessert, but now that they are baking, I’m relieved to have it done and out of the way.

Nothing more is required of me today other than completing and uploading today’s post. I’ll have plenty of time to chill out, work on more corrections and enjoy jumping up every so often to welcome visitors to the garden until it’s time to get ready to go.

Have a pleasant day and evening!

Photo from one year ago today, September 25, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago in lockown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #186. A few zebras meandered down the hill to the water, but mom didn’t seem concerned. Giraffes and zebras seem to blend well in the wild. For more photos, please click here.

It was good to get out…Busy weekend on the horizon…

Little and Bossy sharing pellets is a nice sight to see.

Last night, sundowners weren’t quite the same without a glass of my light red wine. Still, once the conversation started at Rita and Gerhard’s house, I forgot all about it and was content with my mug of iced tea, as I’ve been the past few weeks since the awful tooth extraction two weeks ago resulting in a dry socket.

Miracle of all miracles, I am better today. Although there is still some pain, it’s diminished considerably from the horrors of a few days ago. When Tylenol (Paracetamol) and Advil (Austefin) stopped working on Monday, I switched to the pain meds the dentist had prescribed, which gave me good relief for about five hours, resulting in waking up during the night when they wore off. I barely slept two or three hours most nights over the past eleven days.

Young kudu on the veranda.

Finally, I am off of those dreadful drugs and almost feel like my “old self.” Hopefully, in a day or two, I will be totally free of the pain. Thank goodness, I went to the dentist in Marloth Park when Dr. Singh was on holiday. She treated the socket, which helped tremendously, but it took a few days to feel the improvement.

Tonight, we’ll have dinner at Jabula with Rita and Gerhard, leaving us with only three more Jabula Friday nights until we depart on October 21.  They will leave here on October 15, returning to their home in the US for the holiday season. Tomorrow evening we’re heading to Kathy and Don’s for dinner. In the morning, we’ll make a dessert to bring.

Some foreign nationals that stay here for part of the year leave the park during the holiday season since it’s crowded with tourists and outrageously sweltering in December. Those realities don’t scare us. We’ll be back in December 2022, a mere 14 months after we leave, a few days before Tom’s birthday.

Hal visits every so often.

It is always such a joy to meet up with our readers, as we have on many occasions throughout the world. One of our loyal readers, Lisa, and her husband wrote a few days ago and plan to be in Marloth Park when we return in 2022. That was how we met Rita and Gerhard, who’ve become such dear friends. They’d been reading our site for years and decided to visit Marloth Park, renting holiday homes from Louise as well.

Little did we know or expect, we’d become such close friends with people who happen to come to a location due to reading our posts. What a fantastic side benefit we’ve been blessed to experience!

But then again, we’ve been blessed in many ways, and we often pinch ourselves when we take a moment to reflect. It’s times like the past few weeks that it’s easy to forget how grateful we are when we are distracted by illness or inconvenience.

Bossy is such a pretty girl.

We are grateful for many reasons; the first, we are together, and we never forget it for a day. Secondly, we have the love and support of family and friends as we continue on our journey. Thirdly, we have the carefully managed financial resources to continue to travel for as long as we physically are able.

No, it’s not always easy, and like most people in their 60s and 70s, we have setbacks, some age-related, some not. But, above all, most importantly, for now, we are experiencing good health. We’re grateful we’ve been able to avoid contracting Covi-19. However, we’ve both suffered from other viruses that made recovery time-consuming and difficult in the past year.

Two Franks and two Misses, a rare sighting.

Through it all, we’ve stayed strong and resilient. We have no regrets. And we pray for more time and good health to allow us to carry on, fulfilling a dream neither of us ever knew we had until 2012, when we decided to embark on this journey, never aware of how long we’d be able to continue.

Here we are almost nine years later, amid many trials, and yet in 27 days, we’re on the move again. Yes, it’s a temporary foray back to the US for a variety of reasons, but a few months later, we’ll be back into the “world” to explore its many wonders.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Photo from one year ago today, September 24, 2020:

One year ago, this photo was posted in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day # 185. Minutes before the sun descended from view in Sumbersari, Bali, in 2016. Before dark, the security guy visits our villa, turning on outdoor lights, returning at sunrise to turn them off. For more photos, please click here.

Four weeks from today…Savoring the moment…Food obsessions…

A new bushbuck to our garden, Short Horn. Notice the size difference between his right and left horns.

It’s hard to grasp the concept of us leaving Africa in a mere four weeks from today. Tom asks me why I keep track of how many days until we go, especially when leaving is not my preference. Well, the answer for me is simple. As detail-oriented, I am a “numbers” person. I keep track of all kinds of numbers in my brain, some important, some useless.

But doing so doesn’t mean I am not savoring every last moment, capturing pictures in my mind and on the camera. Only moments ago, I was cutting up carrots, cabbage, and lettuce for the bushbucks and kudus. They love the cool crispness and moisture in the vegetables. It’s one of those daily tasks I do with love.

Warthogs don’t care for cabbage and lettuce. They prefer the sweetness of the carrots. Already this week, we’ve gone through 10 kg, 22 pounds of carrots. The most recently purchased huge bag contained many small and large carrots with many pieces that I didn’t have to cut for the smaller bushbucks, like Holy Moley, Big Spikey, Little Spikey, and Baby. They savor every morsel.

We’re always thrilled to see Torn Ear.

The wildebeests, kudus, and warthogs can easily chew an entire carrot, but a few in the bag were so large I cut them to avoid a possible choking hazard.

Yesterday, when I tossed carrots to Little and his new girlfriend, Mom and Babies, one carrot landed in the cement pond, now filled with sand, dirt, and rocks. The carrot landed in a tight spot. Last night, Little knocked off almost every large boulder surrounding the cement pond, intended as a border, but could not get to it.

This morning, he remembered that the carrot was there and again tried to get to it. Success! He managed to get the hard-to-reach carrot. I can imagine Little thinking about that carrot all night long. That’s Little for you! He’s quite the “pig.” I suppose at times in my old life, I may have thought about a remaining piece of a pie in the fridge and finally got up in the morning to eat it with my cup of coffee. Did that make me a pig? I suppose. We all have our various food obsessions.

Helmeted guinea-fowl and four of her chicks.

Tom is on a salted, roasted peanut kick right now. We purchased good-sized bags of peanuts on Monday, and two are left. Surely, by the end of the weekend, they will be gone. Since I began a low-carb way of eating in August 2011, improving my health so much that we decided to travel the world. I’ve only had a few occasions where I have “cheated.”

Please don’t give me credit for a tremendous amount of self-control and discipline. I have been highly motivated. If I went back to the typical  American low-fat, high-carb diet, undoubtedly in no time at all, I would be in pain and unable to continue on our journey. That’s how this significant change worked for me. It may not work for everyone. (However, I am not exempt from experiencing painful conditions, such as my current painful dry socket from a tooth extraction 10 days ago. Nope, it’s not better yet).

With this degree of motivation, it’s been relatively easy for me to give up my old food addictions, such as; eating a big bowl of high-carb, fat-free, sugar-free ice cream at night after dinner or eating high carb, high sugar winter squash with dinner almost every night, which was an excellent way to get full, while eating piles of green vegetables with small amounts of lean protein. It kept my weight down but made me have high blood sugar and be pre-diabetic.

Benny, Henny, and Lenny stop by less frequently than many other warthog families. Where’s Penny?

If I ate like that now, I’d surely be diabetic based on a strong propensity from family genetics. My blood pressure and blood sugar spike if I eat too many vegetables, unsweetened Greek yogurt (which I love but don’t eat), and fruit.  I suppose I am one of few who checks these readings every week to ensure I am doing ok. After all, I have coronary artery disease, which is exacerbated by high blood pressure and high blood sugar.  I am trying to stay alive. No food is worth increasing my risk of a heart attack or stroke.

On the other hand, Tom naturally has very low blood pressure and blood sugar. He can eat anything he wants with little impact on his blood sugar or blood pressure. His family history is primarily longevity and good health. Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t gain weight when eating high carb and sugary foods. Like everyone else, he can easily suffer from the effects of excess weight and body fat and other conditions commensurate with being overweight.

At 4:00 pm (1600 hrs), we’re heading over to Rita and Gerhard’s for sundowners. Their holiday home is located on Hornbill, a house we rented while here in 2013/2014. I won’t be drinking any wine today and haven’t for days since I am on pain medication for the dry socket. Hopefully, it will heal soon, and I can enjoy being pain-free and back to my  “old self” once again.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 23, 2020:

The Golden Temple Amritsar, India
We posted this photo one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #184. The Golden Temple Amritsar, India, is seen through a decorative archway on the religious grounds of the historic Sikh location. Please click here to see more photos from Amritsar. Please click here for more on the year-ago post.

Thirty or forty of these infrequent visitors came to call…A pleasant soaking rain has started greening the bush!…A speedy resolution for a painful situation…

Impalas are fantastic jumpers. We watched this female jump into the air when she was startled by Broken Horn.

Yesterday afternoon, Tom beaconed me outdoors while I rested in the bedroom after another stormy night’s sleep due to this darned painful tooth socket to say we had 30 to 40 visitors of the same species. I assumed they were impalas since they are the only animals, other than birds and mongoose, where we’ve had such numbers in the garden.

Impalas are the most prolific antelopes in Marloth Park and also in Kruger National Park. They can give birth twice in one year and are healthy and sturdy animals. As mentioned in a prior post, over 100 impalas were relocated from Marloth Park to Lionspruit, providing more hunting opportunities for Desi and Fluffy, the only two lions in that game reserve located within the borders of Marloth Park.

I couldn’t believe how many impalas were in our garden and the surrounding bush when I stepped outside. It reminded me of a similar invasion we had in 2014 while living in the Hornbill house Rita and Gerhard currently occupy.

On that particular day, there were many more impalas, hundreds, much to our surprise. What an experience that was! But, yesterday, we were as thrilled as we’d been way back then. With many impalas recently moved to Liosnpruit and the possibility many were culled, it’s unlikely we’ll see hundreds of them in the garden anytime soon.

Impalas have such pretty faces and markings. A helmeted guinea-fowl manages to “photo-bomb.”

Here are some interesting facts about impalas from this site, you may find enjoyable:

“Impalas are medium-sized antelopes that look like a mix between a goat and a deer. They have long legs and necks and black, twisted horns. As members of the Bovidae family, they are related to goats, cattle, and sheep.

Size

Impalas weigh around the same amount as a large dog at 88 to 165 lbs. (40 to 75 kilograms). According to National Geographic, they grow to 33 to 39 inches (84 to 99 centimeters) long by adulthood and typically come up to the chest of an average-sized adult man. The male’s horns grow to 18 to 37 inches (46 to 94 cm) long.

Habitat

The impala is native to Africa and ranges from Angola, Namibia to northeast South Africa and north through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. According to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web (ADW), it lives in woodlands with little undergrowth and low to medium-high grassland. They also live in savannas.

Habits

Impala are diurnal, which means they are most active in the early morning and right before sunset. During the rainy season, impalas gather in groups of hundreds. In the dry season, the herds roam together to look for food. During the rainy season, males can be territorial and will herd females around a territorial area.

Groups of young impalas are called creches. According to ADW, these groups of offspring are like nursery schools for the young, and they play together and groom each other.

Diet

Impalas are herbivores, which means they only eat vegetation. Their diets consist of bark, leaves, wood, and stems.

Offspring

Before giving birth, a female will leave the herd. After a gestation period of six to seven months, she will give birth, usually to only one offspring at a time. After a day or two, the mother impala will bring her calf back to the herd. Baby impalas are called calves. Calves are weaned at four to seven months, and at 12 to 18 months, the calf is mature enough to have its offspring. Impalas usually live to around 13 years in the wild.

Conservation status

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), impalas are not endangered. Currently, the population is estimated at almost 2 million. Fifty percent of the population is found on private land, and another 25 percent of the population lives in protected areas. As a result, for the most part, the population is stable or increasing.

Other facts

Impalas are fantastic jumpers. According to National Geographic, they can leap as far as 33 feet (10 meters) and as high as 10 feet (3 meters). If impalas are running from predators, they are known to jump over obstacles in their way, such as large bushes or stumps, instead of going around them.

Impalas have reddish-brown hair with white fur on the underside of the chin, inside ears, on the belly and lips, over the eyes, and on the tail.

They also have black stripes down the forehead, tail, thighs, and ear tips. According to the University of Michigan, some scientists think they use these black stripes to identify each other. ”

They were all over the garden, close to the house, which is unusual for them.

Excitedly, I scurried about the veranda attempting to get good photos. However, impalas are very shy and cautious. Every motion I made sent them running into the bush. Instead, I decided to stay in one spot with the camera to ensure the best possible shots. They even reacted to the sound of the click when taking a photo. I have since turned off this feature.

As for today, I had booked a 10:00 am appointment with the dentist at the clinic in Marloth Park. Dr. Singh was off this week, and I couldn’t wait another day. The pain in the socket was excruciating, with no improvement over the past week. It has been nine days since the extraction.

With little sleep due to the pain, I had no choice but to seek help from another dentist in Dr. Singh’s absence. Fortunately, I was able to get an appointment for this morning with Dr. Lizannie, a 10-minute drive down Olifant Road, the only paved road in Marloth Park.

Tom waited for me in the car, playing with his phone, while I entered the medical clinic, fully masked, as always. After a 20 minute wait, I was escorted into the dental suite, where the dentist was waiting while filling out a health history form.

It took her exactly 30 seconds to diagnose my painful situation as a “dry socket,” I’d expected this after reading considerable information on pain after tooth extraction. In almost every case, I continued pain a week after the extraction due to a dry socket.

Every so often one of the impalas would pick up their head and look at me.

From the Mayo Clinic in the US, a dry socket is described as follows:

A dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that sometimes happens after a permanent adult tooth is extracted. A dry socket is when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed.

Typically, a blood clot forms at the site of tooth extraction. This blood clot is a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The chunk also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and the development of soft tissue over the clot.

Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face. The socket becomes inflamed and may fill with food debris, adding to the pain. If you develop a dry socket, the pain usually begins one to three days after your tooth is removed.

Dry socket is the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as removing third molars (wisdom teeth). Over-the-counter medications alone won’t be enough to treat dry socket pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon can offer treatments to relieve your pain.”

Dr. Lisannie explained precisely how she was going to resolve it. She would numb the area of the socket with several injections. With the gums so sore from the past nine days, I was hesitant about those long needles, but surely whatever she would do would be more painful than the injections.

In no time at all, I was numb, and she began scraping off the layers of the socket to reveal fresh blood which is intended to form a new blood clot to start the healing process all over again. The first clot never stayed in place.

Back home by 11:00 am, I didn’t take any more pain medication when I wanted to see how it feels when everything wears off. Now, at almost 3:00 om (1500 hrs), the pain is back, but it is nowhere near as painful as it had been before the procedure.

It’s expected I will be pain-free within a day or two. In the interim, no coffee, acidic foods, chunky foods, or wine until I am pain-free. Of course, I never felt like any of my light wine with this degree of pain, plus it’s not a good idea while taking any pain medication.

Impalas were getting along well with the kudus while they shared pellets.

I already made our dinner tonight. Italian mozzarella stuffed meatballs with sauce and cheese for Tom, and finely chopped chicken salad, using chicken breasts we’d cooked yesterday. I may try to add a small finely chopped lettuce salad on the side.

Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, I’ll feel much better when we head to Rita and Gerhard’s house for sundowners. If I’m still not 100%, I’ll drink room temperature iced tea instead of the wine I am drinking now and throughout the evening.

Sorry for the late post! Have a lovely evening!

Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago today while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #183. Hans, our landlord, and next-door neighbor, invited us for dinner outdoors in their garden. He built a roaring fire to which he later added a grate to cook an entire beef tenderloin without charcoal or lighter fluid. Check out that moon smiling down on us! For more photos, please click here.

Funny little mongoose story with photos…

This morning, the mongoose’s fur got wet and they looked spikey!

Mongoose are funny little characters. Having been around humans in Marloth Park for all of their lives, they’ve become quite used to us. We take special care to avoid getting too close to them, but they wait at the screen door to the veranda for us almost every day. They carry several diseases, and their bite may cause a severe infection.

As carnivores, known for killing snakes and being immune to the venom, they always welcome visitors as the snake season is fast approaching. Snakes don’t necessarily hibernate, but their system slows down during cool weather. Thus, we’re less likely to see snakes during the cooler winter months.

The minute we put down the prawn scraps a mongoose arrived and alerted the others with her cackling that treats were being served. They all came running so fast, I didn’t have time to take more photos.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone killing snakes, scorpions, and other venomous reptiles and insects. They are all a vital part of the ecosystem of the bush. Add that we see no less than a dozen, often as many as 50 or 60, of the little furry creatures almost daily. We feel at ease knowing they’re keeping an eye out for venomous snakes and insects.

But, if it’s a choice of “them” or us, we let the mongooses do their thing with respect and admiration for their determination,  skill, and immunity to toxins. Subsequently, we don’t hesitate to feed them daily, inspiring them to come around as often as possible, usually two or three times in one day, then miss a day or two, only to return with considerable enthusiasm to see what’s on the menu today.

One after another came cackling toward the prawns, grabbing as much as they could fit into their mouths. We couldn’t stop laughing.

Here are some exciting facts on mongooses from this site:

“Mongoose are long, furry creatures with pointed faces and bushy tails. Despite popular belief, mongooses are not rodents. They are members of the Herpestidae family, which also includes civets and meerkats.

Size

There are 34 species of mongoose in 20 genera, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web (ADW). With so many different types of mongoose, sizes vary greatly. According to National Geographic, their bodies range from the dwarf mongoose at 7 inches (18 centimeters) long to the Egyptian mongoose, which is 2 feet (60 cm) long.

Habitat

Most species of mongoose are found in Africa, but some also live in southern Asia and the Iberian Peninsula, according to National Geographic. Some species of mongoose have been introduced into other areas of the world, such as the Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.

It happened so quickly; they were all gone in about two minutes.

Mongooses live in burrows made of a complex system of tunnels or in trees in many different types of landscapes, including deserts and tropical forests. The bushy-tailed mongoose, for example, lives in lowland forests near rivers. The Gambian mongoose lives in areas with grasslands, coastal scrub, and forests.

Habits

Some species of mongoose are very social and live in large groups called colonies. Colonies can have as many as 50 members, according to ADW. Other species of mongoose like to live alone. Banded mongoose colonies live, travel, and fight together as a team. They stay in one area for around a week, then move in a wave to another location, much like a flock of birds when they migrate, according to Animal Planet.

Mongooses are active during the day and sleep at night. Throughout the day, they chatter incessantly to each other and combine discrete units of sound somewhat like human speech, using vowel and syllable combinations to possibly coordinate group movements, foraging information, and other important messages.

Diet

Mongooses are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and vegetation. Typically, they prefer to eat small animals such as birds, reptiles, fish, snakes, crabs, rodents, frogs, insects, and worms. They will also supplement their diet with eggs, nuts, fruits, roots, berries, and seeds. To get into eggs, mongooses are known to crack the eggs against hard objects, according to National Geographic.

The pile of prawn scraps was dwindling fast.

Conservation status

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), most mongoose species are threatened but not extinct. Ironically, in the 1800s, mongooses were introduced to Hawaii and the West Indies to control rodent populations at sugarcane plantations. This introduction, in turn, caused many species of birds and other animals to almost become extinct.  The small Asian mongoose is listed as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species.”

We enjoy visits from these humorous little animals. Their endless chatter amongst themselves truly sounds like conversations in the form of a high and low-pitched cackle. When they visit us, standing on the veranda, that cackle is different from those when they’re issuing a warning, such as when another band is approaching or an eagle or hawk is flying overhead. The variations are impressive, and if we listen carefully, we can detect the various tones. It’s quite entertaining and fascinating.

So on to our little mongoose story. On Friday night, while out to dinner at Jabula with Kathy and Don and Rita and Gerhard, I asked Kathy if we could share in some of the leftover prawn shells and tails from both hers and Don’s dinner. They laughed when we suggested this. “Why in the world would you want our leftover prawn tails that always go into the garbage at the restaurant?”

And then…they were gone, gone, gone. That little scarp that fell onto the veranda was taken a few moments later.

We explained how we brought them home from their last dinner with us at Jabula when they didn’t have any interest in saving them in a “doggy bag.” I said it would be fun to see if the mongoose would like them. After all, they eat crusty snakeskin, crunchy scorpions, and spiny centipedes. Perhaps prawn (shrimp) tails and shells would be equally appealing.

When we had dogs in our old life, they loved the shrimp tails but not the shells. When Ben and Wille smelled shrimp cooking, they twirled around in circles, hoping to get the uneaten tails. We always laughed over their interest in them. Why would mongoose be much different?

So, last Friday night, Don gave us his leftover spicy peri-peri seasoned prawn parts, and Kathy, who agreed to give it a try as well, took her own lemon-garlic shrimp tails in a doggy bag.  We added Tom’s leftover rib bones to the plastic bag. The last time we brought the scraps home and served them to the mongoose, they ate every morsel, every tiny prawn leg, and every little scrap.

On Saturday morning, I received a text from Kathy saying, “Jessie, you’re nuts! My mongoose hated them, and now I have prawn parts stinking up my garden.” Tom and I laughed out loud. We were lucky the last time they ate them?

Over the busy weekend with holidaymakers in the park, we never saw our band of mongoose again until Sunday afternoon when they arrived, looking into our eyes with their beady little eyes, wondering, “What’s on the menu today?”

I took this photo a few minutes ago. Mongooses piled up on each other on the veranda, since it’s raining. Too cute for words.

We grabbed the bag of shells and bones from the fridge and proceeded to first dump only the prawn scraps onto the pavement at the edge of the veranda so they wouldn’t be covered in dirt on the ground. Immediately, while cackling with fervor, they went after them, grabbing a chunk and running off a little way into the bush to avoid sharing their bounty with the others, kind of like a dog does when they get a special treat.

Well, leave it to me to take a before and after photo to send to Kathy. In a matter of a few minutes, the prawn shells, tails, and heads were gone, gone, gone.

After Tom noticed them drinking from Frank’s litter water dish, he said, “Those were Don’s peri-peri seasoned prawn parts. Maybe they liked them better than Kathy’s lemon garlic seasonings.” We couldn’t stop laughing. They were thirsty from the spicy prawns.

After they finished the prawns, we dumped the rib bones, and once again, they got busy, grabbing bones and heading to the bush to avoid having to share with one another. More cackling ensued. To say the least, it was pretty fun.

Again, this morning, they arrived looking like oversized hedgehogs with their wet hair standing up from the gentle rain falling in the bush. This time, with no leftovers, we cut up some paloney (a huge round loaf of meat) for them, and they were as content as they could be.

Cackle. Cackle. Cackle. It was a fun morning in the bush. Hmm…that reminds me. Soon it will be Halloween, our ninth anniversary of traveling the world. Time to celebrate.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 21, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #182. The chef at the Blue Moon Cafe in Kenya in 2013, insisted we take a photo together! For more photos, please click here.

It’s a new day and a new dawn…

Wildebeests in the driveway. They eventually headed to the back garden for pellets,

To awaken this morning with considerably less pain in my mouth, I texted Kathy and said I could go with her and Rita to coffee at Stoep Cafe and later shop at Spar Supermarket. Last night, in awful pain, I’d written to her saying I doubted I’d be able to go since today when we needed to head back to Malalane to see Dr. Singh. Last night, the pain in the socket was awful.

As soon as I awoke this morning, I was excited when the Advil and Tylenol (Paracetamol) I’d taken before bed had worn off, and I was in minimal pain this morning. I jumped out of bed, letting Kathy know I would go with them after all. I showered and dressed for the day and tidied up the house, folded the laundry from the rack, and settled down with my laptop to start today’s post. I took one Tylenol to get me through the morning with the “girls,” which once it kicks in, I am almost pain-free for a few hours.

A photo from a few months ago when everything was green and giraffes were walking along the paved road in Marloth Park. My photo-taking appeared in the rearview mirror.

It helps to start the post before heading out, so when I return and put away all the groceries, it won’t take me too long to get it done and get to work on the corrections. I am now down to 42 pages of 20 posts, attempting to do one page per day. There’s no way I’ll be done by the time we leave in one month. But I’ll only have about 10 or 12 pages of 20 posts left when we arrive in Arizona, taking less than two weeks to complete.

Once completed, I’ll take a short break and then begin doing the three significant stories for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), something I have to do once a year going forward. I’ll do one a week and then be done, after which my afternoons will be free at last. What a great feeling that will be, after over a year of corrections on over 3400 posts and the time I’d spent in India working on the new site!

Torn Ear is such an adorable boy, even with his healed left ear injury.

With only one month left until we depart for the US, it’s time to start thinking about packing. We will go one big plastic tote with clothes we won’t need until we return 14 months later. In reality, since I need so many new items, it may not make sense to leave much behind. Once we start packing, we will know.

I just returned from the trip to Komatipoort with Kathy and Rita. We had a great time at Stoep Cafe while they had breakfast, and I had decaf coffee with the “crema” and real cream. What a treat! I didn’t eat for two reasons; one, I wasn’t hungry, and I always strive to avoid eating when not hungry: and two, there was no way I could rinse out my mouth after eating, which I do now, to clear any food particles from the sore tooth socket. I know, TMI, but it’s important to do when recovering from an extraction.

Although the nearby birdbath was a better option with clean water, Tom adds daily. A mongoose was drinking from the pool. There’s not a lot of chlorine in the splash pools in the park since animals often drink from them. We never use the pool.

With two weeks of groceries needed, Tom suggested he’d come to Komati to pick me up after shopping so Kathy and Rita wouldn’t have to wait for me. This only made sense since Rita didn’t need any groceries and Kathy only needed a few items. I would have felt rushed and concerned about them waiting for me when it usually takes about 40 minutes to shop for two weeks. It proved to be a perfect plan.

Only minutes after I left the market with my trolley filled to the brim, Tom was there and loaded the boot of the little car with our bounty, and off we went back to Marloth Park. In no time at all, we had everything put away, and I could get back to today’s post and hopefully get it uploaded before too long.

A mongoose was contemplating her next move, taken a few months ago when the grass was green.

When we returned, several bushbucks were waiting for us as well as no less than 20 mongooses peering into the veranda door, wondering where we’d gone. We had some treats for them, resulting in a funny story we’ll share with photos in tomorrow’s post.

I cleaned three bunches of celery, saving all the ends and leaves for the bushbucks. They love the crispy and moist celery tops and will enthusiastically devour the batches we’ll toss out every few hours or so. When we clean vegetables, we share the miscellaneous stems and pieces with the animals providing them with much-needed nutrients. Of course, we always check to ensure nothing we toss is toxic for them and that the veggie scraps are cut to size and are easily digestible for them.

Tonight, we’ll stay in. We have several fun social gatherings planned for the upcoming week and weekend, which we’ll share as they occur. May you have a lovely week!

Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2020:

Ironically, after Friday’s story on our first visit by a giraffe since we arrived here in January 2021, this photo popped up from the post one year ago, while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #180, On a Thursday morning in Marloth Park in 2013, as I stepped outside onto the veranda, camera in hand, this was the first thing I saw. Quietly alerting Tom, who was still inside the house, he rushed out to witness this same sight. And then, in minutes, they were everywhere, a dozen total. No words can describe our joy. For more, click here.

Two fun nights out on the town…Now, a quiet Sunday dinner…

One Wart is a frequent visitor.

In yesterday’s post, we were so excited by the visit of the three giraffes. I failed to mention the delightful evening we had Friday evening at Jabula with friends Rita and Gerhard, who’d just returned from a trip to Germany for two weeks, and Kathy and Don. The place was jumping with dinner guests, a “hen” party, and enthusiastic drinkers at the bar.

As always, we arrived at Jabula at 5:00 pm (1700 hrs), as did Rita and Gerhard. Kathy and Don always arrive at 6:00 pm (1800 hrs), after which we immediately took our table for six on the veranda. It was a chilly night, but everyone had dressed accordingly, and the conversations, excellent food, and drinks flowed with ease.

Mom and baby bushbuck stop by several times a day.

It was interesting to hear about Rita and Gerhard’s trip to Germany for his mother’s 98th birthday, the motivation behind their trip back to their birthplace for this special event. But, like us, being away from the bush for any length of time creates a longing we all share that is hard to describe.

The six of us together is a non-stop chat-fest. The girls sat at one end of the table and the boys, the other. It’s always fun to have some “girl talk,” something I’ve missed being away from girlfriends for so long. And, of course, it’s great for the guys to talk about “guy things.”  Not to differentiate the sexes, but let’s face it, sometimes women and men favor specific conversations over others.

Yesterday afternoon, Medium Daddy came to visit for quite a while. We kept the carrots and pellets coming, which he enjoyed.

The six of us have plenty of opportunities as a group to converse about a wide array of topics. With similar interests in travel, wildlife and nature, we never find lulls in conversations. We’ll attend a braai at Kathy and Don’s home on Wednesday evening, overlooking the Crocodile River. I suggested we each bring our meat, along with our drinks. That way, it’s so much easier for our thoughtful hosts.

Typically, we’ll bring a side dish to share, again, making it easier for the hosts rather than spending all day in the kitchen. We’ll arrive at 5:30 pm (1750 hrs), in time to watch and take photos of the sunset. No doubt it will be another lovely evening in the bush.

Last night, Tom and I returned to Jabula Lodge and Restaurant on our own. We feel it’s important to support the restaurant in any way we can. Dawn and Leon, the owners, have become special friends over the years. Dining there a few times a week, during times of Covid-19, is a small part we can play during these lean times for restaurant and shop owners.

Medium Daddy has a handsome face but hasn’t quite gained the confidence to chase away the warthogs when they steal his treats.

Besides, we always have so much fun there sitting at the bar. Tom sips on his brandy and Sprite Zero while I consume on my usual few glasses of low-alcohol, “extra-light” wine. There’s a steady flow of locals and visitors, and the conversations are always entertaining.

Last night for the first time since we’ve been in Marloth Park, we met three guys from the state of Texas in the US. It was unusual to speak to traveling Americans here for the first time in years, besides our friends, as mentioned above (Kathy, Don, Rita, and Gerhard), are Americans. It was the three guys’ first time here. We enjoyed hearing about how much they’ve enjoyed seeing the wildlife in Kruger and Marloth Park. They, like us, couldn’t believe such a place existed.

By 9:00 pm, we were back home to settle in our bedroom to watch a show on my laptop and eventually settle down for the night. After having loaded up on Advil and Tylenol (Paracetamol) before I went to sleep this morning, I found the socket still painful after the meds had worn off. Tomorrow, I will contact the dentist to find out why it’s been hurting for so long and what to do. I may have a dry socket.

Broken Horn, what a guy!

Tomorrow morning, I’m going with Kathy and Rita to Stoep Cafe in Komatipoort for breakfast, and then we’ll all go grocery shopping. Most likely, I’ll head back to the dentist on Tuesday if the socket is still painful. We’ll see how it goes.

As for today, I didn’t feel up to going anywhere with this painful situation. Instead, I am making one of Tom’s favorite low-carb dinners; mozzarella stuffed meatballs with homemade pasta sauce, topped with hand-grated mozzarella, a side of white rice along with a big green salad. I’ll skip the rice and have the meat, the sauce, and a salad. Of course, neither of us eats the starchy, carb-laden noodles that usually accompany this dish, but it’s so good, it doesn’t need them.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you have a pleasant Sunday!

Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #180. This photo was taken at our landlord, Hans’ construction site in Diani Beach, Kenya, in 2013, where branches were used as supports. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, they came to call, eight months later!!!…

When peering out the kitchen window, we saw this image in the front of our house.

Yesterday was quite eventful in our garden. While stopping in the kitchen to refresh his iced tea, Tom said, “Hurry, get the camera! There’s a giraffe in the driveway!”

We hadn’t seen a giraffe in the driveway since we arrived in Marloth Park in January when we moved into this holiday home. Six or seven giraffes were at the end of the driveway on the road, and we took several photos, hoping at some point they’d come to our garden for a visit. Now, eight months later, they finally came to call.

Not only were they in the driveway, but they were standing close to the house. The tricky part was taking photos since giraffes don’t interact with humans for food, like the other wildlife. They eat the leaves at the top of trees and don’t bend down for pellets or other food offerings from humans.

There were a total of three giraffes, two that stayed in the bush and the one that dared to get close to the house for the tree he found worthy of the risk.

Subsequently, they are as shy here in Marloth Park as they are in Kruger National Park. They tolerate cars passing, but don’t care to interact with humans on foot. When we opened the front door, I could barely get a quick photo when they thundered off, kicking up dust on our dirt driveway.

We decided to leave the front door open since it makes noise upon opening and be patient and wait. They were obviously after the lush green vegetation at the top of a tree close to the kitchen window. We waited patiently. Although we couldn’t get good photos based on their hesitancy around us, we managed to get the few we’re sharing here today.

After all, being within three or four meters of the giant animals is exciting in itself. Where in the world is that possible in the wild? Where in the world is that possible, close to your front door? Nowhere that we know, other than Marloth Park or another game reserve in Africa.

It’s hard to believe we can be so close to these majestic animals.

Once they’ve discovered such an “edible” tree, we feel confident they will return at some point. The question becomes: will we happen to be looking out the kitchen window to spot them when they do? In the future, we’ll make a unique point of looking out the front of the house, as opposed to the usual back garden where most of the animals visit. With the dense brush, it may be hard for them to navigate their way back there.

This holiday home consists of very dense bush surrounding the property lines. It’s an excellent factor for privacy and noise reduction but less appealing for giraffes and zebras who seem to avoid getting tangled in the low-lying branches, which warthogs, bushbucks, wildebeests, and kudus, who don’t seem to mind.  They’ll maneuver through any dense bush to get to some pellets.

We’d hoped they’d stay around longer. But, in their typical manner, they ate and moved on in search of more vegetation.

Whereas giraffes don’t bend to the ground to eat, although they bend to drink. Here’s exciting information about giraffe’s eating habits from this site:

“Four facts about giraffe’s eating habits:

The giraffe is the world’s tallest terrestrial animal and thrives on a diet of fresh greens. These curious creatures tower above the bushveld and, despite their gangly appearance and awkward gait, they move with ease through their environment. They survive in arid landscapes, savanna, and open plains; and vary in size and color depending on their region.

The next time you’re in a game viewer and come across a giraffe devouring greenery, take a moment to observe their eating habits. Here are four facts about a giraffe’s eating habits that will ensure you have a deeper understanding of their dietary habits.

1. Giraffes don’t need to compete for food.

Giraffes are browsers that feed off fresh shoots and leaves, and their height advantage means they have access to plenty of foliage that other herbivores cannot reach. The only other animal that can reach into the giraffe feeding zone is the elephant. The pachyderms stretch upwards and reach branches with their trunks, also allowing them to grapple lush greens outside of the zone of other browsers. The male giraffe is always in an enviable position, given that they are almost always taller than their female counterparts! There’s not much competition for food sources with these delightfully curious terrestrial animals.

2. Giraffes eat old bones.

When herbivore animals eat bones, it is commonly referred to as osteophagia. The reason for digesting such unpalatable items is purely to supplement their diet with calcium and phosphorus. If their diet lacks nutrients, giraffes will bend down to the ground to scrounge for old bones. They will then chew/twirl the bones in their mouth to extract as many minerals as possible.

Goodbye giraffes! It was great to see you here!

3. Giraffe’s favorite food is acacia. But acacia trees talk. 

The bushveld is dotted with African acacia trees, which have juicy leaves and a thorny spine. Giraffes use their prehensile tongue to grip the leaves and extract the greenery without disturbing the thorny bits. Because this is their favorite meal, it means that our tall creatures tend to journey towards belts of acacia. Acacia will release an excess of tannins when under threat from overfeeding, and this compound leaves the greenery tasting incredibly bitter. The other trees will recognize the tannin release as an alarm system and follow suit. Giraffes activate the natural alarm system in acacia trees – a truly fascinating fact!

4. When a giraffe drinks water, it’s quite a process. 

Giraffes only drink every few days and gain most of their moisture from their herbivorous diet. When they do drink, they approach their water source with caution. They scan their environment for potential threats, hesitate, stand for a while, and then decide to drink. The giraffe will open its legs quite wide, bend its knees and lower its neck to lap up water, which leaves them in quite a vulnerable position and at the mercy of predators.”

In any case, we are thrilled they stopped by, and we’ll make every effort to spot them again when and if they stop by to munch on the green trees in the front garden.

Have a lovely day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #179. Our glass table was set and ready for our dinner guests in Kenya’s outdoor living/dining room in 2013.  The landlord, Hans, and his wife, Jeri, were coming for dinner. With no Windex or glass cleaner in the grocery stores, I’ve had a heck of a time cleaning the glass tabletop. I asked Hesborn, our houseman, how he could clean it so well with no streaks. He said he uses soap and water on a rag, drying it with a dry towel. I tried this method, only to end up with streaks. For more photos, please click here.