Busy morning in the bush…Paid off a debt hanging over our heads…

This is our boy, Torn Ear. So adorable.

This morning’s visitors were plentiful. We had no less than eight bushbucks, seven warthogs, 50 mongooses, and Frank and The Misses. Tom was busy feeding everyone while I showered and dressed for the day. Once done, I was outdoors and joined in on the feeding and usual chatting with the wildlife.

It’s odd to think about talking to wild animals, but many of them look into my eyes, tilt their heads, flick their ears in response to the gentle, albeit high-pitched voice. No, they don’t necessarily know what I am saying, but I often repeatedly use the exact words, and they may quickly become familiar with those words.

Lots of mongooses this morning!

At this point, the most frequent warthog visitors do a little dance when I say, “Do you want some pellets?’ It’s not different than asking your dog, “Do you want to eat or go for a walk?” Pigs are listed as smarter than dogs. Is it any wonder that the warthogs and other wildlife would eventually associate my words with actions after a while? It’s not surprising to me at all.

The most significant joy of interacting with the wildlife is the way they make eye contact. As I’ve mentioned in the past, zebras don’t seem to make that same type of eye contact. I genuinely believe that the lack of emotional interaction with them is why we seldom see them in our garden, although they do visit from time to time.

In today’s heading, I’ve mentioned the payoff of a debt hanging over our heads. When I had open-heart surgery in February 2019, and our then insurance company refused to pay, we had to pay the entire balance out of pocket. After we paid off the bulk of it, we had a remaining balance which we agreed to pay monthly to the tune of ZAR 10000, US $678, a month.

Big Daddy stopped by.

On Friday, I made the final payment. The actual US dollar amount varied monthly based on the rand (ZAR) value, but we chose to pay in rands rather than US dollars, which ultimately saved us some money. We could have used personal funds to pay this off, but it made sense to pay it off this way when no interest was charged. Now that this is finalized, we can put this behind us.

We used a credit card each month to make the payment using a South Africa payment app through a bank, but we paid off that card every month, as we usually do, avoiding any interest charges. It feels good to have this behind us since we have no debts, without a home or car and accompanying lifestyle.

Being debt-free is a good reason why we always strive to live within our means. That way, we never have to worry about money which can be an enormous stressor. Sure, from time to time, we’ve charged substantial amounts on our credit cards to pay for expensive cruises, but we’ve always managed to pay them off quickly.

Bossy drank from the pool as opposed to the birdbath.

I easily recall being a single mom while owning a business subject to the ebb and flow of the housing market and how financial struggles kept me awake at night. I never stop appreciating how fortunate we are these days, not to worry about money. But, here again, we live on a tight fixed income, and foolish spending is not within our realm.

Speaking of spending, finally, after 12 days, we’re going grocery shopping once again. Having dined out several times during this period and using all the meat we had in the freezer, we made it through. But today, we’re down to the “bare bones,” and grocery shopping is a must.

That’s it for today, dear readers. And thank you for all the kind and thoughtful messages regarding yesterday’s post about losing my sister, Susan, one year ago while we were in lockdown in Mumbai.

Be well. Be safe. Be happy.

Photo from one year ago today, August 16, 2020:

One year ago, this photo was posted in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #146. With almost 13,000 restaurants listed on Trip Advisor in Paris, it’s tricky deciding on where to dine. For more photos, please click here.

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