Busy Monday…Time to do passport renewals…

An adorable young male kudu was resting in the shade. Notice his tiny spikes of budding horns. Cute, eh?

We have a lot of work to do today. Today’s post will be short and to the point, as opposed to my usual chattering on and on. We’ve already had breakfast, gone for our walk, and I’ve made a fresh salad for tonight’s dinner. Last night, we thoroughly enjoyed my slow-cooked lamb neck (I ate half of it) and Tom’s separate big pot of roasted short ribs; it was all finger-licking good.

It’s not easy to eat those two types of meat without using one’s fingers when the meat is tender and falling off the bone. When meat in South Africa is butchered, they leave on a lot of fat that locals savor as a specialty. As Americans, we’re used to well-trimmed meat with little fat and don’t quite have a taste for the fatty portions.

As a result, as we ate, we used our fingers, me more than Tom, to ensure we got every delectable portion of the meat minus the fatty parts. It was one of the tastiest dinners we’ve had lately, although many have been quite good. Louise and Danie introduced me to lamb neck when they invited me for dinner at their home while Tom was away. I loved it!

When Tom returned from the US, we went to the local meat market in the Bush Centre, and I was able to buy a lamb neck. It was ZAR 150, US $8.38, enough to feed me for two nights, unlike when I dined with Louise and Danie, and I ate the entire thing in one sitting! For me, it was like eating candy.

After dinner, we sat outdoors for a while until the mozzies got bad and then headed indoors to stream a few shows and call it a night. Since today, I took the last dose of Prednisone; my sleep has been fitful the past ten days since I started the medication. It tends to cause insomnia. Last night, I slept through the night for a total of 7 hours and 38 minutes, according to my Fitbit. This is the most sleep I’ve had in weeks.

Nina, Norman, and Natalie have been in the garden several times each day. Note the two kudus in the background.

This morning on our walk, I noticed I had more stamina for the first time, and we went a little further. After being immobile this past year with this head and sinus thing, I spent too much time lounging, never getting much exercise. I feel more confident walking fast and getting my heart rate up after knowing my cardiac condition is excellent after Friday’s stress test. Gosh, peace of mind is worth everything.

For many, a spiritual aspect of our lives is vital to our sense of well-being. We always say if one has their health, they have everything, but as seniors who’ve lived long and full lives, we know this is only true in part. Many other life circumstances make us feel like we have everything; good relationships, financial stability, an active social life, mental health, physical health, and well-being.

If one of these above areas is lacking, we can find ourselves unhappy and distraught, even if we have good health. Occasionally, any of us may be wrought with sorrow associated with the loss of any of the above. As resilient human beings, we have it within our power through love, support, spiritual resources, and sheer will and determination to overcome such sorrows in time.

It’s not easy, by no means, but we all possess the ability to learn, to grow, to recover. and eventually, to move on. When I think back to times when the challenges felt like they were too many to conquer, somehow, most often out of a sense of responsibility, I muddled my way through, as all of you have done at different times in your lives as well.

Now, we’re off to work on the passports, and we’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 3, 2022:

Tom and Lois (who visited us in Marloth Park in October 2018) and the two of us at the biker bar, Nav-A-Gator Bar and Grill, in Arcadia, Florida. For more photos, please click here.

One day and we’re off!…We’re busy getting ready…Male lion warnings!…

This Big Daddy visited early this morning, wondering why he didn’t see us yet. Too early for us!

Last evening, we had intended to visit Louise and Danie for sundowners before taking off on our Thursday trip. When we returned from our pedicure appointments, there was a message from Louise on Whatsapp stating that Danie had come down with the flu overnight. It made no sense to expose ourselves to germs with this upcoming trip.

We appreciated her letting us know. She’d insisted on stopping by before dinnertime to drop off a special treat she’d made for our intended visit. We certainly didn’t want to take any risks, especially since I am already working on recovering from this long-term acute sinusitis.

Wearing a face mask, Louise approached the veranda’s railing, handing off a warm pan of prawn skewers and a fabulous dipping sauce. I’d already prepped a dish and a salad for dinner but decided the prawns would be perfect for tonight, our last night before leaving. We only chatted for a few minutes, and then she was on her way.

Since Tom’s not a big fan of seafood, except lobster, Oysters, Rockefeller, and escargot (which he likes to eat on cruises ships), we could take a few pork chops out of the freezer for him while I eat the prawns tonight. Of course, last night, I couldn’t resist eating a few of the skewers; they were delicious.

Last evening, there were many insects on the veranda, so we decided to eat at the dining room table with the doors closed. Four zebras stopped for remnants of the day’s pellets during that time.

This morning, I prepped Tom’s pork chops after they defrosted overnight in the fridge, made a big salad, and got Tom’s rice ready to cook when we put the chops on the braai. I’ll quickly reheat the prawn skewers and enjoy them with the sauce and the salad on the side.

Tom just returned from Daisy’s Den, where Tracy is a seamstress. Tom left this morning to pick up a pair of jeans. I had  Tracy cut off to hem for long shorts. Over the past few years, I wore that pair of jeans so often, I wore holes in the knees. There was no way I’d wear jeans with holes in the knees. Although it’s cute for young people to wear jeans with holes, I don’t find it attractive on older individuals.

I need to get over myself about the scars from the heart surgery. Since I don’t own a pair of shorts, all of which I’d tossed a few years ago with all the scars on my legs from the surgeries, I knew this tropical trip would require at least one pair of shorts to wear when we go out to the islands on our upcoming Seychelle cruise. This is a step in the right direction.

I’m even bringing the one swimsuit I own. But, the antibiotics I am on, specifically state to avoid the sun due to a high risk of sunburn. Since neither of us has tanned for so long, we must be cautious. We’re bringing organic sunscreen with an SPF of 30, which should serve us well. The cruise line requires all sunscreen, shampoo, and conditioners to be environmentally safe for coral reefs. Fortunately, we were able to find such products at Takealot.

Tom didn’t get outside until around 7:00 this morning and missed this handsome visitor.

On another note, warnings about lions in Marloth Park are posted on Facebook a few times daily. There are two males on the hunt. “And another warning! Here is today’s warning:

November 23, 2022
The Carnivore Team has released a VERY URGENT WARNING that two substantial male lions are on the move and hunting! They are active and moving fast between Gate 1, East of Olifant and Oribi! The situation is extremely dangerous, and the status could change anytime, so PLEASE be vigilant!
If you encounter the lions, please get in touch with the Carnivore Team! DONT POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA for safety reasons!
The Carnivore Team and Security are patrolling and monitoring the areas and situation and will report any variances for safety reasons!
Everybody needs to be highly cautious, especially if you are having a braai outside tonight; make sure the area is well-lit and sit with your backs to the wall!
This an urgent alert for joggers, hikers, and cyclists along these areas throughout the day!
Please do not allow children alone in these areas, period – as the lion could be hiding anywhere! 😳
Unfortunately, the warnings are not taken seriously, but the onus is on everyone to adhere to the alerts and warn others of the dangers.
Should you spot any lions, please get in touch with one of the following persons at all hours:
Rangers 082 802 5894
CPF/ Nadine 082 672 4545 Gerrie Camacho 082 353 9097,
Ernst Röhm /MTPA 083 626 6309,
April Lukhele: 082 807 1057. Jan Koekemoer 063 053 7601.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding – Carnivore Team, Rangers, MTPA, CPF, Security, and the Vet.”
We can only hope that visitors and locals will heed these warnings and be diligent when outdoors, whether near their braai, bonfire, walking, or biking on the roads and to and from their vehicles when out to dinner, bars, and shops. We’ve heard several stories from locals who’ve seen the lions and heard the roar of these lions but, as yet, we have not. We are very careful.
That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with a post tomorrow as we prepare to head out the door by 3:00 pm, 1500 hrs., for our 6:30 pm, 1830 hrs. flight from Nelspruit to Joburg.
Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 23, 2021:

An Egyptian goose was fluffing her feathers while on an island on the Crocodile River. For more photos, please click here.