What am I doing about an abscess tooth during times of Covid-19?…Mating season in the bush…

Elephants digging into a dirt wall in Kruger National Park. We’ll never know why.

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Today’s photos are from May 27, 2018, from Kruger National Park, South Africa.  Please click here for more details.
When posting past photos and videos we’re reminded of all the fantastic experiences we’ve had in the past barring the three months of my confinement in 2019 and no over two months in lockdown in India.


During this peculiar lengthy period in lockdown our past stories, photos and videos have put a smile on our faces. No doubt, the question remains…will we ever be able to return to our lives of world travel or will this current pandemic put a damper on travel into the future for us and for the world?

As we’ve mentioned many times, we don’t know, the world doesn’t know. Only time will tell, when and if it may be possible for us to continue on. In the interim, we find ourselves often reading past posts, looking at photos, and watching videos, often chuckling over our past experiences.

Four “Big Daddy” kudus stopped by with one female, all vying for her attention.  They were more interested in her than pellets.

But, the present is what we have to deal with and face full-on which right now means an abscessed tooth that is quite bothersome. Before we left South Africa one year ago, in May 2019, and three months after I’d had triple coronary bypass surgery I went to our wonderful dentist in Komatipoort to see if she could work on a tooth that was bothering me a little.


Trusting Luzanne as much as I do I took her advice to heart (literally and figuratively) to wait at least a year for any invasive dental work which in this case, most likely would require a root canal and crown. 


Since it wasn’t bothering me much, other than an occasional twinge when I chewed down on it, I didn’t give it another thought until about a few weeks ago when my face, particularly my right cheek, was feeling funny, more of a dull ache than a sharp pain, coming and going throughout the day.

Kudus sniff the female to ensure she’s ready to mate.

With no doctor’s offices open or safe to visit during the lockdown, I had no choice but to treat this myself as mentioned in a prior post. After two rounds of antibiotics, the second of which I received from a local pharmacy that delivered them to the hotel, I began to be concerned. What’s the problem? Why wasn’t it getting better


I only needed relief to last long enough to get us to our dentist in South Africa or another dentist in any other country we may visit while we wait for the SA’s borders to open.

By the way, I wrote about this in a prior post. Click the link
here.  Anyway, on day 5 of the new antibiotics and the situation not improving, I knew I had no choice but to find a dentist allowed and willing to help me during times of Covid-19. That was a daunting task in itself. They were all closed during the lockdown, leaving suggestions for suffering dental patients to go to the local hospital with a dental emergency.
This male was the “kingpin” and kept the three other mature males away.  Check out the size of his neck which enlarges during mating season.
There was no way that I’d be willing to walk into a local hospital, jammed packed with Covid-19 patience. I persisted contacting several dentists to no avail when finally, a five-star rated dentist, Dr. Kavita Kumar, only 10 minutes from here was willing to help.

After taking photos of my face and tooth (tricky to accomplish) and sending them via WhatsApp and after talking to her at length, she’s agreed to see me on Friday or Saturday. She’s waiting for her supply of PPE (personal protective equipment) to arrive in the next day or so and hopes to see me by Friday or Saturday.


Definitely, she stated, due to my recent heart surgery, she will not perform a root canal or crown feeling it is too invasive at this time and under these particularly delicate times. 
Even Frank and The Mrs. were busy working at building a nest in the bush in our yard.

However, she’ll take a full head x-ray and perform a comprehensive exam after which she’ll come up with an alternate plan of attack that should see me through the next several months. She explained that in some cases an abscess can be treated without invasive treatment. We shall see.


I informed the hotel reception desk that I will need a ride to the dentist while the driver waits for me during the appointment. No problem. Am I worried about going out? Not really. I will be well prepared with a face mask and gloves on for the drive and ask for goggles during the exam.


Based on the photos of the dentist’s office online I can only hope this highly professional dental practice has taken and will take every precaution. I have no choice. I have to proceed.

Warthogs testicles become engorged during the mating season.

Yes, I am sick and tired of having medical issues. I guess if we were like “normal people” we’d live in a retirement community in a warm climate with a regular doctor and dentist at our disposal as needed requiring no mention here whatsoever.


Hopefully, by the end of the weekend, I’ll have an action plan in place and continue to go back to worrying about when we’ll get out of here!


Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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Photo from one year ago today, May 27, 2019:
Connemara marble is described as follows from this site: “Connemara is bounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and encompasses a wide variety of natural and semi-natural habitats, reflecting its great geomorphologic and geological complexity. It also has diverse economic resources. Among the more unusual are extensive deposits of soapstone and veins of green marble and vivid white quartz. In Neolithic times, the green marble was traded as far away as Lough Gur, County Limerick, and possibly to the Boyne Valley. ‘Connemara Marble’ is a serpentine-rich rock, popular since ancient times as a decorative facing stone. With its ‘forty shades of green’ and its wild patterns, it represents perfectly the landscapes of the Emerald Isle. Connemara Marble inspired artists, architects, and artisans throughout the world. Jewelry and other small objects such as key rings, coasters, and crosses are also made with this unique stone.” For more information about our tour of the Connemara Heritage and History Centre, please click here.

I gave up…

Rough seas on a ship while sailing through the Chilean Fjords in December 2017.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.

Today’s photos are from May 26, 2019, from Connemara, Ireland.  Please click here for more details.



Basically, I’ve had it. I am done listening to all the conspiracy theories in regard to Covid-19 now realizing I had glommed onto this pursuit as a feeble attempt to distract myself when a modicum of fear entered my psyche.


Being in lockdown in a hotel room sent me into a frenzy of looking for answers when the reality remained…Whatever I learned would serve a no bigger purpose. I gave up.

 
The patio at Tigh Mheaic.  We commented that we doubt diners would sit outdoors in such cool weather even when the weather warms up by a few degrees during the slightly warmer summer months. 

That’s not to say I’ve stopped listening to podcasts and news on TV with medical updates, in each case, having to decipher what is fact and what is speculation, not always easy to do, especially when the medical professionals are all over the place in their perspectives.


Also, I prefer to stay well enough informed to have a handle on when we may be able to get out of here. Each day I checked the news for any potential changes on which countries may be opening their borders in the next few months.

Tom kept referring to my information gathering as an obsession. When he’d mention this, I’d become defensive and dismiss his observation saying I was merely seeking knowledge. But, perhaps to some degree he was right. 
Note the vines growing on the outside of their building.  Quite impressive.

That’s hard for a person like me to admit, as one who strives for balance in life in every possible way. And, what inspired me to “give it up?”


The answers are very simple such as; Conflicting opinions; The politicizing of every aspect of the pandemic; The lack of good science backing medical opinions and suggestions; The intent of Big Pharma to turn Covid-19 into billions of dollars in their coffers charging the public outrageous prices for upcoming drugs and vaccines that may or may not work; The ridiculousness of Walmart and Costco staying open and yet the “mom and pop” stores remaining closed to eventually be forced out of business. All of this and more. 


Until such time as there is definitive, reliable, truthful science-based information, I am done, done, done. Who are these people who claim to know so much when no one had had any previous experience with this type of bug, the differential being: symptom-free carriers passing on the virus, even when they speak, let alone cough or sneeze?

Hummm…we’ve seen this sign at locations throughout the world.

This one fact alone is what I believe attributed to the lockdown. If symptom-free people can pass this on the virus, only lockdown would be beneficial in putting an end to its continuation. But, even this premise is not definitive. 


At this point, my focus is on legitimate science, when the borders will open, allowing us to leave India and how in the interim and in the future we will keep ourselves safe.

The design and decor of the bar depict exactly what one would envision for a small-town pub in Ireland.

Good grief. I have a raging toothache which most surely is an abscess that needs an in-person dental appointment which is entirely impossible at this time. All dental offices in Mumbai are closed. Besides, who’d dare risk going to a dentist if they were available? Gross.


Oh, dear, listen to me carry on. But, each in our own way has multitudes of worries and concerns during this pandemic, many with much bigger concerns than us. 

Eventually, we moved into the dining room.

Duh, feeding their families. Earning a living. Having a job when this is over. Living without a loved one who has passed from this devastation. Bearing lifelong physical disabilities as a result of having had and survived the virus. 


What about those currently in ICU on a ventilator, alone with no loved ones at their side, fearful each time they awaken from their induced coma if they will survive. The challenges facing medical professionals, from doctors to maintenance, who are risking their own lives each and every day.

We don’t care for taxidermy in general due to our love of animals. But, this reminded us of the antelope heads at Jabula Lodge, our favorite restaurant in Marloth Park.

However, as we all know, “everything is relative,” so well described here:
“The saying “Everything is relative” means that the way in which YOU (yes you, me, and everyone else) perceive the world is by way of an “Individual Experience” and the only way for each of us to comprehend or make sense of that “Individual Experience” is by comparing one thing to another.”


As much as most of us feel compassion for others, we all stay stuck in our own situation and rarely does the greater suffering of others place us in a better state of mind. or let alone, put a smile on our faces.

We assumed there would be entertainment on this small stage but none started while we were there. A handcrafted sailboat replica occupies the space between stage performances.

No, I am not “down in the dumps.” I am attempting to allow reality to maintain a hold on me knowing we, (none of us), will be in this situation forever. And, whenever we can leave we will do so with the utmost of caution, enthusiasm, and hope for times to come.


Thank you to many of our readers who have graciously offered us kindness and support which we extend to every one of you and, all the citizens of the world that in time, “this too shall pass.”

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Photo from one year ago today, May 26, 2019:

On the way to the pub, we stopped for a photo of a pheasant. For more photos, please click here.

Conspiracy theories…Alarming news…

From the rooftop of our riad in Marrakesh Morocco in 2014. 



Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.


I made an error in yesterday’s post. The photos included were actually from today’s date one year ago. Since it would take so long for me to make the adjustments, I will leave them in place. No big deal, right?


Today’s photos are from our post on April 24, 2014, while we were living in a riad (a three-story house with a huge open-air center courtyard) in the souk in the Medina, known as The Big Square, in Marrakesh Morocco. It was quite an adventure. We hope you enjoy the photos.

As we walked the souks deciding where to dine, these varying roof lines of a courtyard caught my eye. For this post from April 24, 2014, please click here.

As for today’s heading, I must admit, as an information junkie, I am somewhat obsessed with reading information on COVID-19 which also includes opinions from health professionals, universities, medical institutes, and individuals with expertise from over the world.


Realizing that exploitation is the name of the game when it comes to the news media it’s a challenge to fetter out the truth from the lies and exaggerations. When I hear or read something that rattles my cage, I do my own research, often for hours, seeking the truth of a claim that may sound farfetched.

We were curious as to what lies behind the many doors like this, similar to ours, in the Medina.
My intent today is not to express my personal views on any of the wide array of conspiracy theories that are flooding the news and social media. Some may include a few morsels of truth with a lot of “spin” on it and some may, in fact, be totally accurate or totally false, which may frighten and increase fears of what has transpired and what is yet to come in light of COVID-19.



My own personal truth which I willingly share today is that censorship of our opinions, however farfetched they may be at times, violates our civil rights and freedom of speech. 

There are endless styles of rooflines throughout the Medina.

No, I don’t advocate rioting and toxic vitriol spewed out at random by vehement individuals that have little knowledge or expertise. But, we are interested in hearing the opinions of those who may be qualified to espouse their views and have firsthand knowledge and exposure to truths being discovered at this time.


This morning while on the first of my hourly walks I was listening to a podcast by an individual whom I trust for gathering and sharing information.  What I heard made me walk faster to return to our room so I could verify the facts.

This kitten was tiny, no more than 60 days old, on its own to search for food and shelter. The locals are fond of cats so most likely someone was feeding her.

Effective immediately YouTube will no longer allow videos by anyone, regardless of their expertise and affiliation to express views contrary to those stated by WHO, the World Health Organization. Please see this video here from YouTube’s CEO stating this restriction.


As most of us who are Facebook users, we’ll be seeing fewer and fewer posts on varying views on COVID-19 (and other topics) that don’t concur with their (Facebook’s) views as mentioned in this article.

After hundreds of years of wear and tear, the stones crumble in certain areas, leaving an open spot for trash and debris.  Overall, the souks are very clean.

This infuriates me. Tom, on the other hand, has told me for years this was coming…censorship by social media of what we can and can’t see. When we see information such as this, we can easily fall prey to conspiracy theories since in essence, deciding what we can and can’t say, hear and read may appear as a conspiracy theory in itself.


If those, who weren’t aware of this censorship heard about this, they may say “Hogwash. We have our constitution to protect us!” 


To this, I say “hogwash!” As COVID-19 proliferates throughout the world we see more and more governments dictating our actions, our thoughts and, our right to voice our opinions.

Shades of pink and orange are seen throughout the Medina and souks.

Lockdown is a tough situation for all of us. We understand the necessity of this and most of us have willingly complied. We hope that doing so has ultimately reduced the number of deaths worldwide. 


But now, people need to get back to work, exercising extreme cautions, or our countries as we knew them will be changed forever, while our freedoms may be greatly impacted in the process.


I could take out my soapbox and go on a rant about all of this for months to come. But, I won’t. I can only encourage those of you who are interested in knowing more, to conduct your own research (as long as we can) to determine where you stand on these matters. Perhaps, sometime in the future, the collective, will “have a voice.”


In the interim, please stay safe.

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Photo from one year ago today, April 24, 2019:

This same time the prior year, our little friend, this female toad, (or perhaps another) came to live on this light fixture on the wall of the veranda.  For months, every night, she ate many flying insects to fatten up. We’d leave the light on for a while to ensure she’d have plenty of options.  In the spring, a small male joined her on the fixture and they stayed there together for a few weeks and left, not to be seen again until she’s returned this week. Yet, another cycle of life in the bush. For the post from one year ago, please click here.

Sitting Kills…Moving helps with health and stress…




While living in Atenas, Costa Rica in October 2017, we experienced quite a tropical storm. Please click here for that day’s post.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.
A waterbuck at the Crocodile River.

Today’s photos were all from our post from one year ago on this date. Again, we’re disappointed to be posting many photos we’ve already posted in the past, but right now we have no other options when we never step out the door to take photos.


It would be nice to get some fresh air, but now the temperature in India is rising and humidity is high and uncomfortable. At the moment with our room being cleaned, we’re situated in the lobby on comfortable furniture, but it’s very hot in this area.

The ceilings in the lobby and dining room are very high and to keep costs down during the lockdown the air con is turned off in all the common areas including the corridors. We aren’t complaining. We are just happy to be here.
Hippos in the Crocodile River.

After sitting here now in the lobby and also in the hot dining room during breakfast and dinner we’re both hot and sweaty, looking forward to returning to our cool room. Our room bakes with the curtains open and we often consider keeping the sun-blocking drapes shut during daylight hours.


But, it’s imperative to have sunlight in our eyes during the daylight hours to maintain our circadian rhythm to allow for a good night’s sleep. Thus, we keep the darkening drapes open until darkness falls.

A female lion on the prowl.

As I walk through the corridors once an hour the warmth and humidity hit me the minutes I exit the room. I’ve adjusted to this situation by walking once an hour instead of over long stretches. 


Besides, it’s beneficial to get out of a seated position once an hour, which has a vital impact on our state of health. Many years ago I wrote a post about a book I’d read, entitled Sitting Kills. Here’s the link to that story and information on the book, in case you’re interested in reading it. 

A parade of elephants kicking up a lot of dust in Chobe National Park in Botswana. Todays’ photos are from a year ago post. See here for details.

During this disastrous time of COVID-19, it may be of particular interest to those of you who are feeling a little guilty for sitting so many hours a day. Before I started walking I felt angst each time I thought of walking but didn’t feel motivated.


Now, that I am doing it, I can’t express how much better I feel and what a stress reliever it is during these tough days of lockdown. Now that parks and walking paths are opening up all over the world as some restrictions are lessening, it may be the perfect time for many to start walking.


Unfortunately, due to ongoing lockdown restrictions in India, we can’t be seen walking outdoors, besides the fact that it’s too hot and humid. Also, we aren’t in a particularly safe neighborhood in the center of Mumbai.

These knobs on the head of giraffes are ossicones. Females have hair on theirs. Males have lost part of the hair from headbutting when vying for dominance.

I’ve promised myself to continue walking once we eventually leave here, whether it’s safe or allowed to do so outdoors. Walking is walking. Where one does it is irrelevant, as long as its a safe location. Indoors is fine with me if that’s necessary. The steps are still tracked on my FitBit and I continue to experience the benefits.


Yesterday’s post wasn’t my best effort. After days and days of writing with little to no new fodder, the content has been challenging. Thank you, dear readers, for staying with us during these boring times.


I’ve run out of sci-fi movies and Married at First Sight episodes and I’m scrounging for some new content to watch during the quiet afternoon hours when Tom is busy on his laptop. He doesn’t care to watch shows during the day while I can easily get outside my head with a good series or movie. 

Mongooses standing at attention while awaiting eggs. Note the little “arm” holding onto her friend. So cute!

I try not to watch any shows he may like to save those for in the evenings when we watch together. Yesterday, I signed up for Acorn TV on Amazon which is a compilation of great British TV series, some of which we’ve already seen. 


If any of our British readers have any suggestions for TV series they’ve liked, please let us know. We’re now watching a few suggestions from our friend Liz in Bristol, UK. She always makes great recommendations. Thanks, Liz!


So here we are… another day without a huge amount of optimism. But, somehow, we’ll all get through this, regardless of how long it takes for some semblance of our former lives. It will never be the same. I believe we’ve all resigned ourselves to this reality.

Ken, Tom, and Don having a good time, as usual.  We’d planned to all be together again soon before we left in May 2019.

The more we can do to use our time in lockdown for our benefit, both health-wise and emotionally, the better off we’ll be when it does come to an end, of one sort or another.


Hang tight, dear friends. We’re thinking of all of you, along with our family and friends.

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Photo from one year ago today, April 23, 2019:

 A mating pair of hornbills stayed around our garden each day, most likely a mating pair. When they wanted seeds, they sure let us know. For more photos, please click here.


Living in limbo…The impact of change…



Living in limbo is an unusual experience for all of us. It’s impossible not to dwell upon what will happen next, the economic consequences, the long term impact on each of 
our towns, our villages, our cities, and our countries, and our immediate surroundings.
For us, the considerations are less long-term and more immediate.



Will the hotel stay open to shelter us until this passes? If not, where will we go? Will the hotel be able to receive deliveries at some point? When will I be able to eat vegetables again, a mainstay of my diet?


I never knew I would long for the crispiness of a bite of romaine lettuce or the crunch of sautéed broccoli cooked al dente. For many, any food at all is a luxury for which I continue to remind myself. We are fortunate during this unusual and trying time in history.


And yes, this period will go down in history as a time of great loss, sorrow, worry, and fear. None of us are exempt from the impact on our lives.

For those of us who will have avoided the ravages of the virus, we can always remind ourselves how our diligent efforts along with a stroke of good fortune kept us safe in the wake of others dying around us.

I would like to believe there’s always a reason for such disasters. Is it Mother Nature’s way of reminding us of who is in control? There’s no smog in Mumbai today. The waters in the canals of Venice are crystal clear with sea creatures arriving in excited pods to play in her clear blue waters. What does that say?


Sure, there are endless conspiracy theories flooding the internet right now surmising many possible scenarios. Any single perspective may be partially plausible or not.


I prefer to let it lie in the grasps of a higher power deciding this world needed a reset, not just financially but spiritually as well. 


We all could have lived a better life with more compassion, less judgment of others, less toxic vitriol, less consumption, and with more tenderness toward each other and our planet.

And, here we are now, with an opportunity to rethink how we function in this world, with each other, with nature and with wildlife. Everything was askew. 
And now? 



We wait to see if this demon in”flu”encer will leave us when it determines we are ready for change.


More of the world believes in a higher power than not. Maybe it’s time for us to not only pray for “it” to “go away” but also pray for our individual strength and resolve to build a better world, a healthier planet.


When in all of history has each person, each country been in the throes of the very same fears and reactions? Not even during world wars. Let’s embrace the worldwide power of this moment and come together in peace and harmony.


Our heartfelt compassion and sympathy for those families impacted by this global devastation. We offer love and hope for all of us to heal, to restore and to play a personal role in the upcoming impact of change.

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Photo from one year ago today, March 28, 2019:

“Don’t get too close to my baby,” says mama mongoose, one year ago today. See here for more photos.