Busy day on the horizon…Rushing this morning…

Kudus don’t typically graze off the ground, although they will eat some grasses. But, pellets are a taste-tempting treat they’ll happily bend down to eat.

Rita will arrive to pick me up in a few minutes, and we’ll head to Stoep Cafe for brunch and girl talk. We enjoy this quiet time together when most often, we’re with the guys, and the conversation takes on an entirely different theme than idle girl chatter. Don’t get me wrong, Rita and I don’t discuss trivialities. We tend to talk about important life issues, dreams, and hope for the future.

I’ve always been blessed with having wonderful close female friends. We’ve been through thick and thin over decades of life challenges and joys. Living in Marloth Park, off and on over the past nine years, I’ve been able to make fantastic relationships that I treasure and, too, will last forever.

Nyala Norman, on the left, Noah in the middle, and Nina on the right, all stopped by for pellets.

On top of that, Tom and I have been fortunate to make many “couple” friendships with the partners of those female friends, providing us with a busy and rewarding social life. Sure, some of those friends aren’t here all the time, and we miss them. But we all stay in close touch until we’re all back together again, whenever possible.

We left many friends in Minnesota, many of whom we’ve also kept in touch with. When we visit the US and time allows, we try to see as many of our old friends as possible. Of course, on this last visit, we had Covid-19 and didn’t see family or friends during the 24 days we spent in Minnesota and Nevada.

Before too long, Noah will separate from his mother and begin to live on his own. He may choose to stay with his dad, Norman, but that’s yet to be seen.

Reviewing our upcoming travels, it looks like we won’t get back to the US until the second half of 2023, which isn’t that far away. Hopefully, this time we’ll be able to see our family members first and then some of our friends.

Nowadays, it’s a rarity for me to be able to sit down over coffee or tea with a friend like Rita and mull over the finite details of our lives. It couldn’t be more enjoyable and meaningful. No doubt, Tom and I talk about everything, including topics one might enjoy with friends. After all, we are the best of friends and companions, and lovers.

Noah’s coat will change in time to be a darker brown, like his dad.

There were times in my old life before I met Tom that were particularly challenging and emotionally impactful. But, since Tom and I have been together, everything changed, and my life took off an entirely different meaning and purpose, filled with love and companionship like none other in my past. I never spent a single day not thinking about how grateful I am for this life with this man.

We often giggle and say such things as, “Hey, Sweetie, look around, can you believe it,” as we point to the bush and our magnificent surroundings. Tom often says, “Who would have thunk it?” We never imagine spending so much time in Africa in our old lives or in any of the fantastic countries we’ve visited along the way.

Norman and I have a special relationship. He likes me to talk to him. (yea, I know this sounds crazy, but how about talking to your dog or cat?). He won’t touch pellets we’ve tossed until I stop talking to him. His ears flip back and forth as he listens to me.

Although we didn’t love every country we visited, we certainly found ourselves in awe of our surroundings, wherever they may have been. When we opened the door of our “riad” in Morocco in 2014, finding ourselves in the world-renowned “souks,” we shook our heads in sheer wonder.

If you have never seen our posts from that period living in the Big Square in Marrakesh, you can check out posts beginning at this link, where we stayed for 2½ months. What an experience! Most often, tourists visit Marrakesh for a week or two, but we had the opportunity to learn a lot about this magical place living there for so long.

He has started sniffing Nina again. Is a new mating on the horizon?

Well, I need to go. Rita will be here in a few minutes. May each of you enjoy close friendships that last a lifetime.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 11, 2021:

Although a little blurry, we shot this photo of a dining leopard in Kruger National Park on this date last year. For more photos, please click here.

Thank you for all the kind comments and inquiries!…

This kudu has huge, wide horns. Such a majestic and wonderful animal!

Gosh, we’ve had many comments and inquiries about our non-starchy roasted vegetables, as shown on Monday’s post here. Most of the questions were regarding which vegetables were included and the spices used. Here are the vegetables I used, but you can use any you prefer.

  1. Zucchini
  2. Onions
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Red, green, and red bell peppers
  5. Carrots (a small amount, if low carb)
  6. Eggplant
  7. Garlic

Seasonings

  1. Himalayan coarse salt
  2. Garlic powder
  3. Onion powder
  4. Bottled Cajun spices or any other spicy mix
  5. Fresh ground pepper

I spray the pan with olive oil or coconut oil spray and then place a piece of parchment (baking paper) to cover the bottom of the pan to get the paper to stay in place. Then I lightly spray the vegetables before adding the spices, so they stick nicely. Bake for 90 minutes at 375F, 190C, tossing with a spatula every 30 minutes. These will keep refrigerated for four days. Reheat or eat cold; delicious either way.

Also, a few readers have written that they are not receiving automatic emails again. Please email me if you aren’t receiving the emails; we will report it to our web people again. In the interim, if you do not see a post, check for a new one each day at the same time, and the latest one will appear. Type: www.worldwidewaftage.com in your browser’s address bar. Thank you for being so patient. It’s some fluke the web people can’t figure out but keep trying.

Last night, for the first time in days, we could relax and enjoy our sundowners on the veranda. The issues have bogged us down. We had to resolve and for me to get the taxes ready for the accountant. We must wait for the duplicate tax documents to arrive at our mailing service and forward them overnight to the accountant.

This morning, these two male kudus rested in the garden for a few hours.

The cruise credit has been processed for the next upcoming cruise, our paperwork is in order, and I feel like I can relax for the first time in a while.

In 10 days, we’ll be leaving for our next visa stamp trip, returning to Zambia and Botswana for more safari adventures.  We’ll only be gone for a week and plan to post each day as always, providing the WiFi is working OK at the resort and hotel. Hopefully, we’ll have some stunning photos and stories to share.

Today is another perfect weather day, and the wildlife has begun to return since the holiday weekend is over as of last night. The majority of the holidaymakers have left. The roads are quiet once again. Construction sounds waft through the air from time to time since sound travels in the bush, but we aren’t bothered by it.

My tooth to be pulled when we return isn’t hurting right now. The dentist gave me extra antibiotics (which I hate taking) if it flares up while we’re away. If it becomes a problem, I’m bringing along plenty of Tylenol (Paracetamol). I don’t particularly appreciate packing for these short trips and most likely won’t start packing until the day before we leave.

Then again, I wouldn’t say I like packing anytime we leave for anywhere when we aren’t taking everything with us. In those cases, I have to decide what to bring and what to leave behind; when we go for an extended time, taking everything with us is much more straightforward.

Yesterday, I made Tom some “regular” (not low carb) blueberry muffins which he loves. Here’s a photo:

Two dozen blueberry muffins I made for Tom yesterday afternoon. He takes one out of the freezer each day. To have with his coffee.

Instead, I’d make these for him rather than have him eat those awful chemical-laden muffins sold at the Spar Market. He invariably buys the junk at the market if we don’t have homemade muffins or banana bread in the freezer. At least when I make them, I know the ingredients I am using are good quality.

Tom reminded me today that he was getting low on coconut banana bread. When checking his frozen inventory, he only had a few pieces left in the freezer. He takes one piece out of the freezer daily to savor after dinner. A new double batch is in the oven, taking 60 minutes to cook. I put the ingredients together, while he mashes the bananas. When it’s done, we let it cool, cut it into individual portions and place them in a freezer bag.

With him enjoying one of these days, the entire two batches last 24 days. There will be a little left when we return from our trip. But, the day after we return, I have my tooth pulled and may not feel like baking for a few days. I may make these all again next week. Fortunately, Tom has a propensity to enjoy the same thing repeatedly. That’s why he likes me!!!

After the baking, we’ll head to the butcher store here in Marloth Park to purchase some prawns for our sundowner event with readers/friends on Sunday. I’m making a list of starter-type items to serve, all of which will be as filling as a meal but served as appetizers. None of our guests will need to return to their houses to make dinner. Serving this way is easier, leaving me time to spend with our guests.

That’s it for today, folks.  Enjoy the day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2021:

Spikey and his mom came to visit. For more photos, please click here.

Busy Monday morning…Cooking and tax prep day!…Food photos…Exciting news on the horizon…

This morning, I cleaned and cut these vegetables to make spicy roasted veggies for me for the week. Tom won’t try them, but they are delicious, heavily seasoned, and roasted in the oven for 90 minutes, tossing them every 30 minutes. This photo was taken before they were cooked.

I realized it was tax prep day, but I had an urge to cook. All the prep shown in today’s photos was done by 10:00 am, and now I can work on the post. After the post, I’ll work on the tax prep and forward everything to our accountant in Nevada. The vegetables are in the oven now and should be done soon after turning them every 30 minutes during their 90-minute roasting time at 375F, 190C.

The roasted vegetables taste good hot or cold. I may have a cup full during the day and another cup with dinner, heated in the microwave. Often, when I make this much, I freeze half of them to eat the following week. I season them well since I like them spicy, but they can be made mild for those who don’t.

By roasting them now, the oven will be available to cook the two pans of meatloaf. I cook both for ease of use when eating the leftover loaf down the road. We defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it in the microwave later on both occasions; it’s moist and delicious, like the leftover roasted vegetables.

Scraps for the animals. They love all these vegetable pieces, and they are good for them.

I prefer to cook a lot at once, leaving me free on other days only to make a salad and the rice for Tom. It’s a rarity that we’ll make a meal for only one night, except when we have guests for dinner and never serve leftovers. Even when we have something easy on the braai, we’ll buy at least two nights of meat but only cook one each evening. It seems to make life easier for our lives.

No doubt, my days are hectic. I hardly ever sit and do nothing, even when we’re enjoying the wildlife, for which I jump up every few minutes to feed them pellets or, in today’s case, fresh veggie scraps. Unfortunately, none of the animals like the veggies visited us this morning. The long holiday weekend ends tomorrow, and our furry friends will return to see us.

We’ll keep the veggie scraps in the refrigerator until they return. We can only imagine how refreshing moist, cool veggies taste to them on a warm day. We can easily detect their enthusiasm. This morning, we did see our usual band of about 40 mongooses. Did we have some treats for them!! Last night Tom had the remainder of a small prime rib, and I had the remaining four tiny chops from a rack of lamb. We carefully prepared the leftover meat and bones in bite-sized pieces for them.

Of course, they arrived this morning, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to share this special treat with them. I know this sounds unbelievable. When we see the mongoose in the garden, we make a clicking sound, and they scramble to get to us. They know this sound from the old house two km from here, and they respond quickly, all the while making their hysterical cackling sound.

These two pans of meatloaf, shown before cooking, will last for many dinners. We top the loaves with butt bacon which is meatier than streaky bacon. We eat one loaf for three nights (we love to do this!) and freeze the rest for busy days with little time to cook.

As for the exciting news on the horizon, our old friends from Minnesota, Connie, and Jeff, with whom we’ve been friends for over 30 years, are coming to Marloth Park and will stay with us in the guest house on the property. Jeff always dreamed of coming to Africa, and now, we’ll have the opportunity to share this special experience with both of them. They will be here in mid-September which isn’t too far away! How fun that will be!

The last time friends came here to stay with us was Lois and Tom, in October 2018, whom we met on a cruise in 2016. We had a fantastic three weeks together and loved sharing the wonders of Marloth Park. When we were in Florida in April this year, we met up with Lois and Tom for lunch. It was such a joy to see them and share the fantastic experiences we had in the past.

We’re excited to build these same memories with Connie and Jeff. Nothing can compare to sharing the adventures in Marloth Park and Kruger National Park with newcomers to Africa.

That’s it for today, folks. As they say, “I have other fish to fry” and must continue with today’s tasks.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 8, 2021:

This is one of our favorite bushbucks, Thick Neck, also known as Bad Leg. His leg eventually healed, and we no longer called him Bad Leg, only Thick Neck. For more photos, please click here.

A quiet Sunday in the bush…Exciting upcoming social event…

Norman (nyala dad) beyond the wicker chaise lounges.

Last night we made a rack of lamb for me and a small rib roast for Tom on the braai. We’ll have leftovers for Tom’s easy meal with veggies, salad, and rice. As a result, I won’t spend too much time in the kitchen today on yet another perfect weather day.

We’ve seen a good flow of animals in the garden this morning, including lots of kudus, warthogs, wildebeests, and, much to our delight, five giraffes with photos we’ll share here today. It’s warm, and there’s no breeze but not uncomfortable by any means. I’m trying to do laundry, but there’s trouble with the washer, and I can’t seem to get even one of the two loads to go through a complete cycle. We’ll deal with this tomorrow since we don’t like to bother Louise and Danie on the weekends.

Five giraffes visited us this morning.

It’s not uncommon for a major kitchen appliance to bite the dust. Load shedding has a significant impact on the performance of electrical appliances. It even has caused problems with my Fitbit, which keeps losing the connection to the WiFi when the power goes on and off. We have power now and don’t expect load shedding today but it can happen at any time with little to no warning.

When I left the laundry room across the driveway, I saw a couple walking on the road. They approached, asking if they could come closer to take photos of all the animals in our garden. They are renting the house next door until Tuesday. We stopped for a delightful 15 minutes chat. People are so friendly in South Africa, not unlike we found it to be in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.

Big Daddy and giraffes.

Without any construction (not allowed on Sundays), it is so quiet today; that I can hear the fluttering of birds’ wings as they fly by. Unfortunately, from 42 years on the railroad, Tom has lost about half of his hearing and doesn’t have the advantage of cherishing the myriad sounds of the bush that I find enchanting.

Each time a hornbill eats seeds off the birdfeeder on the trolley above the side garden, I can hear the enthusiastic pecking and pleasing chirping they express while eating…a happy sound. I can listen to the footsteps of a quietly approaching animal, often inspiring me to jump up and see who’s coming. I am never disappointed.

Tom will frequently jump up from his comfy spot on the veranda to toss pellets to whoever has graced us with their presence. It’s such an easy existence, one we never tire of or find boring. There’s never a moment or hour of the day where we feel bored. We’ve even learned to entertain ourselves during the frequent power outages.

It’s always such a joy to see giraffes in the garden.

Tomorrow, I’ve committed myself to get all our tax stuff ready for the accountant in Nevada to do our taxes after filing an extension some months ago. I would have done it sooner, but we were traveling, requiring my undivided attention for several hours. I must admit I have put this off, but now I am putting it in writing to ensure I follow through. It’s not due until October. It’s the one task I procrastinate over, year after year.

But, for the rest of today, I am free to putter around the house, perform little tasks, prepare vegetables for dinner, and try to get the laundry done if the fickle washing machine cooperates.

Next Sunday, we’ll be busy preparing for our sundowner gathering of friends we made that came to Marloth Park due to reading our website over the years. There will be nine of us, maybe 11, and without a doubt, it will be an enjoyable day. We are looking forward to this special event.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 7, 2021: t

Thick Neck/Bad Leg in the garden with Broken Horn and a warthog. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2….Two new exciting bookings…Update on the ailing little bushbuck…

This weekend is Women’s Day in South Africa, which is actually on Tuesday, August 9. For information on the holiday, please click here for last year’s post where we described details regarding this holiday.

Busy morning with ten zebras stopping by for drinks from the pool and pellets.

As for our injured/sick little bushbuck baby that we discovered in the garden yesterday, we received an audio message on WhatsApp regarding her condition. I tried to move the audio to today’s post so you could hear it, but it wasn’t possible to do with my version of WordPress.

As a result, the audio message explained that the issue with the young bushbuck was a hydration issue, resulting in her inability to get up. With the bush sparse in vegetation and the mother unable to eat sufficiently to produce milk, the baby was near starvation. They are bottle feeding her at Dr. Piet’s office, and it’s “touch and go” for now.

If she makes it through the next few days, they will move her to the boma, where she will be nursed to health by Deidre at Wild and Free Rehabilitation Centre until the little one can return to the wild in Marloth Park. Will she find her mother at that point? Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to say. But, by the time she’s released, she’ll be old enough to eat on her own.

“Why not eat some pellets and get off my feet?”

As for our next booking, we booked another cruise on the Celebrity Summit, which will sail one day after our Azamara cruise from Scotland to Amsterdam ends, which sails on Norway’s north and west coasts. The itinerary for the new cruise is as follows:

Friday, August 18 Reykjavik, Iceland 4:00pm
Saturday, August 19 Isafjordur, Iceland 8:00am 5:00pm
Sunday, August 20 Akureyri, Iceland 7:00am 4:00pm
Monday, August 21 At Sea
Tuesday, August 22 Prince Christian Sound, Greenland (Cruising)
Wednesday, August 23 Qaqortoq, Greenland 7:00am 5:00pm
Thursday, August 24 At Sea
Friday, August 25 At Sea
Saturday, August 26 St. John’s, NL, Canada 7:00am 6:00pm
Sunday, August 27 At Sea
Monday, August 28 Halifax, NS, Canada 7:00am 6:00pm
Tuesday, August 29 At Sea
Wednesday, August 30 Boston, MA 7:00am

The cost for this cruise is US $7280, ZAR 122162, for a two-person balcony cabin, including taxes, port fees, gratuities, drink packages, and WiFi for two. To receive these perks, we had to pay the additional US $1200, ZAR 20135, but overall we saved money doing it this way. We could use only a part of a credit we received from Celebrity when we contracted Covid-19 on the last two days of the most recent cruise from Florida to England.

The reason why we could use only half of the credits we received is due to the fact the credits would expire before the upcoming Celebrity cruise mentioned today. However, they had made a typo on my certificate and listed the expiration date as 2024. But Tom’s certificate stated it expired in 2023 before the sail date. There was nothing we could do. We were grateful we got half due to their typo, but we had to make a fuss about it.

When the cruise ends in Boston, we’ll visit my cousin Phyllis for a few days and then head to Minnesota and Nevada to see more family over a month. During that time, we’ll renew our driver’s licenses in Nevada, our state of residency. Sometime between now and then, we have to renew our passports. It may be required for us to travel to Cape Town or Johannesburg to visit the US Consulate to do so.

One thing at a time: we have plenty to figure out right now regarding getting new 90-day visa stamps to continue using South Africa as a base for this next year when we leave for other adventures.

There’s always so much for us to figure out. I looked at Tom and said, “Do you want to stop traveling?” Immediately, he answered an emphatic “no,” asking me how I felt. I don’t want to stop either. So the challenges of figuring out our travels continue.

Even when the others began to wander away, a few remained at rest.

When we had canceled the three back-to-back cruises due to our inability and unwillingness to mail our passports to a visa service or consulate and be without a key in a foreign country (very risky), to obtain a visa for various countries along the way, we had already paid in full for the first of the three cruises.

Last night, after a fantastic dinner and evening at Jabula with Rita, Gerhard and Lee, we received an email from Azamara. They will NOT give us a refund for the canceled cruise. Instead, they are giving us a future cruise credit that expires in June 2023.

We won’t be able to apply it for the cruise we have booked with Azamara for next August to Norway. We will lose almost US $5000, ZAR 83896, unless we book another cruise on Azamara by June 30, 2023. This infuriated us! We can’t call until Monday evening since their offices are closed over the weekend. We’re trying to figure out what we’ll do. Once we know, we’ll report it here.

We’ve decided not to make ourselves crazy worrying about this until Monday. We’ll still enjoy the blissful weather and visitors who may stop by on this busy holiday weekend. We are grateful we are safe, healthy, and doing well.

Enjoy our photos from the past few days, and have a lovely weekend as well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 6, 2021:

Helmeted guinea fowls were kicking up the soot in the firepit while taking a “soot bath.” For more photos, please click here.

Tough night…More wonders in the bush…Dental update…

It was time for the family to take a drink.

Last night I awoke every hour itching like crazy. They weren’t mosquito bites but chiggers, sand fleas, or midges, whatever one may call them. The bites last for weeks. One bite can keep me awake all night when the crazy itching won’t stop, no matter what cream or method I use to control it.

They took turns moving in and out from the edge of the pool.

A few years ago, Rita gave me a battery-operated zapper that produced heat that seemed to help if I used it within an hour of getting the new bite. Recently, from overuse, it stopped working. Within a week, a package from Takealot will arrive with a new zapper in the shipment. I am looking forward to using it.

It’s not even summer yet when the mozzies arrive. I will continue to use repellent regularly, but it doesn’t seem to work for the bites as mentioned above and irritating allergic responses.  I wear long sleeves, long pants daily, and full coverage pajamas at night always doubled up with Tabard roll-on repellent. TIA…This is Africa….it goes with the territory for those of us who are sensitive to insect bites and response to dust mites.

Handsome Big Daddy.

I am not the only person that experiences these bite-related annoyances. I have talked to many locals who share the same situation with no new means of combating the issue.

Lollie is on the right, and her boyfriend (she has two) is Busybody. Her other boyfriend is Rueben.

As for our dental updates…Tom’s two new tooth implants are not causing him any problems. It felt tender the first day they were seated, but he was fine a few hours later. I am hoping when I get the implant for my painful tooth in months to come, my result will be similar to his.

As mentioned earlier, the tooth caused me discomfort in the fourth to the upper right. Once the tooth is pulled, the hole will be shown when I talk or smile. I told Dr. Singh I want a temporary tooth (or bridge) while we wait for the bone to heal over the foundation for the implant, which will be put in place the day the tooth is pulled. It may be three to six months until I can get the permanent implant.

Yesterday, once again, the nyala family came to call, including Norman, Nina, and their son Noah.

In the interim, Dr. Singh will have a bridge made to fill the hole so the hole won’t be visible when I talk or smile. I’d considered having this three-day process done before we leave for our visa-stamp trip to Zambia/Botswana on August 20 for a week. But, the last time I had a tooth pulled, I had a horrible time with an unbelievably painful dry socket, resulting in me being on pain meds for three weeks. I don’t want to go through that again.

But, certain people are prone to dry sockets. If I had the tooth pulled now, I run the risk of the recovery time running into our travel time and being miserable while we’re gone. There was no way I wanted to take the risk. Instead, Dr. Singh prescribed antibiotics, a three-day Z-Pack dose that didn’t work. He sent me another prescription for a different antibiotic which I’ll get filled and use only if I need to.

Closer view of the family of three.

The appointment for the extraction is the day after we return from the trip. It was the best decision we could make considering the circumstances. Right now, the discomfort is minimal, and I’ll wait and see what transpires with the abscess in the interim.

Today, we are working on getting our certified vaccine certificate from this site for only those vaccinated in the US. The fee is US $2.00 each, paid by credit card. We may not need this but are doing so just in case we need it for traveling to any country. Today, we checked to discover we won’t need any Covid-19 tests before traveling or returning to South Africa. This is good news.

Have a pleasant day and evening!

Photo from one year ago today, August 3, 2021:

It was delightful to see Torn Ear return to our garden. For more photos, please click here.

Another fantastic evening in the bush with friends…A welcoming surprise for our guests….

Bossy, (kudu) Marigold, Tulip, and Lilac in the side garden looking for pellets.

Shortly before Rita, Gerhard, and their friend Lee arrived for dinner, we were delighted to see that Norman, Noah, and Nina were in the garden. With their holiday home about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from here, it’s unlikely they’ll have an opportunity to see them unless they encounter them while driving around the park.

We hoped they’d hang around until our guests arrived. But Tom offered them plenty of pellets to keep them busy. Since the nyala family is so popular in the park (they are the only nyalas), they don’t always eat all the pellets we offer when they may already be full. They don’t seem to devour them with the same enthusiasm as the other wildlife.

Lots of zebras stopped by last night with Lollie photobombing as usual.

We were fortunate when a few minutes later, our dinner guests arrived. I greeted them outdoors and asked them to be extra quiet in case the nyalas would be scared off by unknown humans. The nyala family is used to us but not necessarily newcomers to their territory. After all, they must be comfortable with us when they usually stop by two or three times a day, except during holidays when the park is packed with tourists.

It was such a joy to watch the faces of Rita, Gerhard, and Lee. They were so excited to see them when they hadn’t since they were here almost five months ago. They couldn’t believe how much Noah had grown in such a short time and how his features were changing from looking like Nina to looking like his dad Norman who looks much different from a female of the species.

Female kudus jumped the fence.

They each took photos with their phones, but that was just the beginning of the evening. Over the next few hours, many more animals stopped by to entertain us, even an adorable bush baby partaking of a little cup of fruity yogurt. It couldn’t have been more enjoyable.

Of course, the conversation was the second highlight of the evening when after not seeing Rita and Gerhard for five months, we busied ourselves telling countless stories of our recent adventures and trials. They have been in Germany and Croatia for the past months and shared some stories and photos. Having never met Lee before, it was fun to hear his take on being in the bush for the past 24 hours. He could not believe what he was seeing!

Bossy gets up close and personal, but we don’t hand feed.

No one can imagine the excitement and joy of living in the bush, even if it’s just for a week or two. Seeing the pleasure derived by newcomers is equally exciting for us. Sharing this magical place with others adds to the experience in many ways.

Crooked Face stops by no less than once per day. He may have a crooked face but we find him very handsome.

All the food turned out well, and everyone enjoyed the various items we served, as mentioned in yesterday’s post here. Fortunately, we have plenty of leftovers for tonight’s meal since I didn’t have much enthusiasm to cook another meal today. This morning I made a double batch of Tom’s Coconut Banana Bread using the ripe bananas we’d stored in the freezer. He’d had enough low-carb muffins and was ready for the “real deal.”

Bad Ear often joins Crooked Face.

I’ll individually wrap each piece in a Ziplock bag, which we’ll keep frozen. This way, it stays fresh when he eats only one or two pieces daily. It was a favorite recipe he loved in our old lives. Luckily I found it in my cloud. Although I don’t bake many non-low-carb treats for him, I was happy to make this favorite he so much enjoys. Plus, I do enjoy baking from time to time.

As for today, it’s a quiet day except for the steady stream of wildlife stopping by, often in the dozens every hour or so. We’re cherishing every moment, knowing another holiday weekend is coming up this week, and we won’t see as many animals until the holidaymakers leave the bush next week. August 9th is Women’s Day, which isn’t until next Tuesday, so that things won’t settle down until next Wednesday.

We hope you have a fantastic day and evening.

Photo from one year ago today, August 2, 2021:

This hornbill was contemplating eating seeds we placed on the veranda railing. For more photos, please click here.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?…

Big Daddy and zebras get along well. They are used to grazing in the bush together. There’s Lollie in the background, as usual.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a 1967 American romantic comedy-drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and written by William Rose. It stars Spencer Tracy (in his final role), Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn and features Hepburn’s niece Katharine Houghton.”

Tonight, Rita, Gerhard, and their friend from the US, Lee, will be coming for dinner. On short notice, I decided to make an easy meal, starting with easy snacks during sundowners: potato crisps (Gerhard’s favorite), peanuts (Tom’s favorite), sliced cheese with keto, and regular crackers chicken liver pate. (Rita and Lee are also doing keto, like me).

Norman is a regular visitor. He comes by about three times daily, along with Nina and Noah.

For the main course, we’re roasting two whole chickens on the braai with keto barbecue sauce and marinated keto lemon chicken breasts, in case the four breasts from the two chickens aren’t enough for all five of us. If we have leftovers, no problem, Tom and I will eat the chicken tomorrow.

For the sides, steamed buttered broccolini, roasted vegetables, seasoned white rice, and my traditional fresh veg salad (Rita loves this with my homemade dressing). We won’t be making a dessert since I hadn’t planned ahead and don’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand.

We love zebra visits, but they never seem to engage with us as the other wildlife.

Early this morning I started prepping all the vegetables to roast. Actually, I am cooking them now since they require tossing every 15 minutes, and I don’t want to be in the kitchen when our guests arrive; instead, spending time with them. I can quickly reheat the vegetables in the oven in an oven-proof serving dish. I’ll cook the broccolini last minute.

Tom will put the whole chickens on the braai at about 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., and let them cook on low heat until tender and juicy. I will cook the chicken breasts in the oven to ensure they aren’t overcooked, which can happen on the braai when Tom may be busy chatting and forget about them. The two whole chickens won’t require more than occasional basting with the sauce.

This morning’s zebra visit. Again, Lollie is photobombing once again.

It’s cold and cloudy today, so I made Tom and me heaping cups of low-carb hot chocolate with raw cocoa, coconut cream, and liquid sweetener. As we’re sitting outdoors, chilled to the bone, this is an excellent way to warm up. At the moment, our only visitors are one Big Daddy, Nyala Noah, with a few warthogs along the fringes of the garden. It’s been a busy morning now that the weekend has ended.

Tulip and Lilac are enjoying my veggie scraps from this morning’s prep.

Another holiday weekend is upcoming this week, and it will be crazy busy here in the bush again. Indeed, the five of us will be heading to Jabula on Friday night, as we always did with Rita and Gerhard and often with Kathy and Don. Gosh, we missed them too.

Our lives here in Marloth Park are filled with many memories that warm our hearts. It feels like living in a unique environment surrounded by friends and wildlife, always enjoying sundowners, and homemade dinners at one of our bush houses, in the heat, in the cold, and in between. We top it off with memorable evenings at the Cheers-like bar at Jabula, and fantastic dinners shared on their veranda.

Tulip and Lilac prefer to eat inside the fence since the larger animals take over on the other side.

Right now, bushbuck Mom and Baby, Tulip and Lilac, are eating the scraps from the vegetables I cut this morning. A moment ago, little Lilac picked up her head with bits of vegetables hanging out of her mouth while she chewed with enthusiasm. What a joy! We couldn’t ask for more.

Have a great Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, August 1, 2022:

One year ago, my friend Kathy took this photo of where an elephant had knocked down the fence between Kruger and Marloth Park and managed to get into the park. The elephant returned to Kruger National Park a short time later. For more photos, please click here.

“Oh, What A Night!”

We thought of the above song released in 1975 by the Four Seasons this morning after discussing our fun evening last night at Jabula with Louise and Danie, her parents Estelle and Johan, and readers/new friends Marilyn and Gary. We sat at the same table on the veranda where we usually sat with friends Kathy and Don, Linda and Ken and Rita and Gerhard, and others from time to time.

Mom bushbuck Tulip is feeding her young female, Lilac. They often visit several times a day.

Speaking of Rita and Gerhard, we just heard from them, and they will arrive in Marloth Park tonight. We look forward to seeing them as soon as they are settled into the house on Hornbill, where they usually stay. They are stopping to shop in Nelspruit after the long drive from Johannesburg, with another hour’s drive to Marloth Park. We are looking forward to seeing them soon.

Last night, the food was delicious, and the conversation was as lively as ever. There were times we were all talking at once and enjoying every moment. I know I kept interrupting Tom (sorry, Honey) to add to the stories he was telling, but he never seemed to mind. We often do this with one another, which makes us laugh.

Big Daddies are wondering what’s on the menu. Pellets, perhaps?

It’s funny, but Marilyn and Gary know us so well from reading our posts since 2012. There’s hardly a story we can tell that they haven’t read about. We love that aspect of our readers coming here to Marloth Park or anywhere else in the world we may be at any given time. It’s like we’ve been friends forever. Now, all we have to do is spend more time getting to know them, which hopefully we’ll be able to do over the next month they’ll be here.

Today, we’re staying in on yet another perfect-weather day. Tom just took off for Komatipoort to Spar to pick up a case of my low-alcohol (5.5%) wine we ordered. It is the best-tasting low-alcohol wine I’ve had. It’s lower in alcohol than my usual Skinny Red, but I prefer it that way. It’s probably more psychological than anything – I get the taste of wine without the resulting woozy feeling and never a hangover if I drink one or two glasses too many.

Norman fluffed up with Big Daddy nearby while an oxpecker works on his ticks and fleas.

We could have waited to pick up the wine next when we shop, but Tom so thoughtfully offered to drive alone to Komati to pick it up so I’d have it for upcoming social events over the next week. I’ve been busy this morning, setting up bills to pay using online banking, tracking spending, and chopping and dicing tons of vegetables for tonight’s planned dinner.

I am making a chicken stir fry tonight now that I’ve found all the spices and seasonings to make this dish. On the side, we’ll have a big salad and Tom will have white rice. If I even get a bit more ambitious, I’ll make a low-carb dessert to go along with it based on the ingredients we have on hand.

It’s fun to see him fluff up like this.

Few animals were visiting us this morning when again, the bush is busy with holidaymakers. Early, we spoke on WhatsApp to dear friends Kathy and Don in Hawaii. There’s a 12-hour time difference, so the only good time for us to call them is early morning. It was wonderful to hear their voices.

While we were chatting, Nyala dad, Norman, showed up. We tried to get the video to work on WhatsApp, but the signal was weak, and we couldn’t show them Norman. After living in the bush for many years, they are missing it here and hopefully will return one day soon. We are so looking forward to that time.

Tom just returned from the store with the wine. I thought a case would be 12 bottles, but I guess, here in South Africa, a case is six bottles. Oh, well, hopefully, we’ll be able to get more next time we shop.

We’ll be working on getting more photos when the holidaymakers leave on Monday. In the interim, we’re sharing what we’ve taken over the past week.

Have a lovely weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2021:

Little and his newly adopted family stopped by for another visit. Pellets are on the menu!!! For more photos, please click here.

Weird coincidence!…Back from the dentist once again…

Marigold is so sweet.

What a weird coincidence it was this morning when I started to do the post, to be completed when we return from the dentist, Dr. Singh, in Malalane. I went to the year-ago bar to grab the photo to place at the bottom of today’s post. The heading read,

“Busy morning in the bush!… Trip to Malalane to the dentist and more…”

That’s what’s happening today, exactly one year later, as shown here. But another irony is that the first thing I saw this morning when coming out of the bedroom after getting ready for the day was as many, if not more, mongooses waiting for us in the garden (at the old house) as shown in that post.

This is Spikey, a young male bushbuck.

The only difference was that at that time, we gave them eggs. Now, we provide them with paloney, cut into little pieces, which ensures every one of them gets something. There were always a few mongooses with the eggs that didn’t get a taste. The paloney I’d cut into pieces, the size of their little heads was enough to ensure each one gets at least one bite. No one is left out.

We find our lives are filled with weird coincidences, most often revolving around events, dates, and places. How peculiar it is! Does it have something to do with the fact that our lives consist of various experiences that we’re bound to encounter similar situations? Who knows? I guess we’ll never figure it out.

Each day when I make our dinner salad, I give the vegetable scraps to the bushbucks, duikers and kudus. Zoom in to see how cute Spikey is when eating his lettuce leaf.

History is filled with amazing coincidences outlined on this website, such as:

  1. Mark Twain’s birth and death coincide with Halley’s Comet.
  2. Stephen Hawking shares his birth and death dates with Galileo and Einstein, respectively.
  3. Political adversaries Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of each other—on July 4th.
  4. Anthony Hopkins happened upon a signed copy of the book he was searching for in a train station.
  5. John Wilkes Booth’s brother saved Abraham Lincoln’s son from death.
  6. And that same son of Lincoln’s witnessed three presidential assassinations.
  7. An engaged couple discovered their parents almost married one another.
  8. One woman survived the TitanicBritannic, and Olympic shipwrecks.
  9. The first and last battles of the Civil War were fought next to the same man’s property—in different towns.
  10. The first and last soldiers killed in WWI are buried next to each other.

For details on the above coincidences, and more, please click here. The stories surrounding the above are pretty interesting.

Nyala Norman, fluffs up his fur when he’s in the presence of a more dominant male antelope such a Big Daddy. He pays no attention to the warthogs.

Today we drove to Dr. Singh’s office in Malalane (also spelled Malelane). Wouldn’t you know that an accident on the N4 backed up traffic for 25 minutes from Marloth Park to Malalane? Thank goodness, Tom suggested we leave at 9:00 am for our 10:00 am appointment. We walked in the door to Dr. Singh’s office exactly at 10:00 am. (Even that was somewhat of a coincidence).

Tom had his two implants seated, which looked like his normal teeth. He’s relieved to have the big gap where two teeth were pulled many months ago, finally no longer visible when he smiles, laughs or talks. He doesn’t feel any pain or discomfort.

Alas, I have to have the same thing done. My painful tooth, easily visible when I open my mouth since it’s the fourth tooth from my front tooth, has to be pulled. Dr. Singh explained it had already had a root canal (many years ago in the US), and repeating root canals have a poor success rate. I now have an abscess which is why it’s hurting so much, which I’d expected.

Known to be very shy, impalas are coming closer and closer to the other animals eating pellets.

The only alternative is to pull the tooth and have an implant after the bone heals. I cringed when I heard this. The last time I had a tooth pulled was last September, resulting in an excruciating dry socket. Dr. Singh had gone on holiday, and I suffered dearly for three weeks when I finally visited another dentist to work on the dry socket.

Statistics show that certain people are prone to dry sockets. That’s me. Oh, I don’t want to go through that again! I started antibiotics today but couldn’t make the appointment for the extraction until after returning from Zambia/Botswana on August 27th. It was too risky to do it before we left if I had complications like I’d had last time. We don’t want to be away while I am in pain.

By taking antibiotics now, a must, the pain may return by the time we leave South Africa on August 20. If that’s the case, I’ll have to go on another round of antibiotics that only help an abscess for a short time. I would have refused antibiotics if I could have the tooth pulled in the next week, but it will take three days to make the temporary bridge to see me through the three months necessary to wait for the final implant.

I assure you, during those three days while waiting for the temporary to be made, I won’t be going out and about for anything. I have no desire to look like a “toothless wonder” while waiting for the temporary tooth. Tom said, “You could wear a face mask if a social thing comes up!” Hahaha. I won’t be going anywhere that week!

Nina and Noah in the garden after jumping the fence.

This morning while we were gone, Louise and Danie dropped off a better-working refrigerator for the kitchen, and we’re thrilled! Louise unloaded and reloaded all of our food, and the new refrigerator section is roomier and easier to use. I couldn’t be more delighted and thanked them profusely. Soon, the washer part will come in, and the repair guy will install that. Then, all of our appliances will be working.

Tonight, we’re meeting Louise, Danie, and her parents, Estelle and Johan, for dinner at Jabula. David reserved a spot for us at the bar and our favorite table for six on the veranda. It’s a gorgeous day and shouldn’t be too cold outdoors for dining. We’ll undoubtedly have another fantastic evening at our favorite spot in Marloth Park.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, July 29, 2021:

When we returned from Malalane one year ago, these mongooses and more awaited us in the garden. Quickly, Tom began beating some eggs for them. For more photos, please click here.