Tom’s new laptop is ready to use…Another fun evening of playing cards…

It was pleasant to see so many flowers blooming in the desert.

Tom’s laptop is done. Since he didn’t want to carry over “junk” from his last laptop, I loaded every item separately without using Google’s transfer tool. Over the years, he decided he didn’t want to keep many old and useless files that invariably get carried over using any transfer tool.

That’s why I took so long to give him a clean start. He wanted to save some items, but they are on two clouds, Dropbox and Google Drive. This way, his Windows desktop is uncluttered and easy to manage with a fresh start. This allows his device to operate more efficiently and gives him ease of use.

Overall, it took me about eight hours to complete the process while he helped by sending links to website pages he uses regularly. Now, as needed, he can add folders that will automatically save on Google Drive.

Windows includes a browser that neither of us cares to use, Microsoft Edge. Removing this browser from the laptop is difficult when we prefer to use Google Chrome. Microsoft has made it nearly impossible to eliminate Edge, so we make Google Chrome the default browser. At times, Edge seems to pop up. It’s Microsoft’s way of ensuring its Windows users also use their browser to make more money.

Undoubtedly, Google Chrome is a money maker for Google, but since we can choose our preferred browser, we operate with the one we like, regardless of who’s making money from our use. All browsers are money-makers for companies. Who are we to complain when we also have advertisers on our site? It’s the nature of the beast. We’re “small potatoes” in the realm of things.

We don’t make much from our ads on our site and YouTube. Why? We haven’t promoted our advertisers since that’s a job we didn’t want to include in our life of world travels. Nor did we hound our readers to use the links on our site. However, we kindly ask that you consider using some of our advertisers when making purchases.

By using our advertisers, we make enough money to cover the costs associated with the operation and management of our website. The links have the same products and services as you’d find if you go directly to the sites from your browser. It costs you no more, and small amounts of revenue are sent our way to cover our costs. Thank you to our readers who use our advertisers! It’s so appreciated!

Last night, we sliced some ham and cheese and brought it to Colleen’s unit for snacking while playing cards. Tom had gone to lunch and wasn’t ready to eat a full dinner before we headed to her place. I had nibbled on a few healthy items during the day and was fine without making dinner.

Today, I’m bringing a huge batch of chicken salad and a green salad to one of the sister’s park model when we gather again this afternoon. Another family member, brother-in-law Tom (Rita’s husband), arrived late last night. Now, there are eight of us for the next few days until Mary and Eugene head back to Minnesota for a funeral, where they’ll stay for the summer, returning to Apache Junction late next fall.

We don’t know how they can keep up two houses, as many retirees do, to get away from cold winter weather up north and other areas in the US with inclement weather in the winter months. We love not having the upkeep on one house, let alone two or more. It provides us with so much freedom.

Have a great Tuesday!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 16, 2014:

At the Terrasses des Espices Restaurant in Morocco, we were served this black olive Tapenade, which I could eat along with a basket of bread for Tom. Notice the ashtray on the table. Smoking is allowed in restaurants. For more photos, please click here.

The WiFi saga continues, along with the auto email issues, along with the high humidity…But…

This male kudu’s right eye appears injured and pushed into the socket.

The “but,” as mentioned in the headline, is that I didn’t have a headache all day for the past two days until around 4:00 pm 1600 hrs. I am trying to figure out what causes it to return in the late afternoon, but I need to wait a few more days to discover a pattern.

In the interim, we’ve been working on resolving the problem with our WiFi, and after three techs were here late yesterday and we still couldn’t stream last night, I’ve concluded that the router is too far away from the bedroom. The router is located upstairs on the second floor to facilitate the “smart TV” and its Netflix account, which we never use.

Four Big Daddies were eating the leftover lucerne. We have one more delivery tomorrow. The bush is greening for the animals, and they will have natural vegetation to eat along with pellets we’ll continue to offer for treats, along with vegetables and some fruit.

As mentioned yesterday, I prefer not to use the stairs at night since we’re often in the dark due to load shedding. However, the router is too far from the bedroom to provide a good enough signal for us to stream. Why this has changed in the past month, we’ll never know. But, right now, this is a logical solution.

I ran an online test called Speed Test. Just type “speed test” into your address bar, and it will tell you the quality of your connection. It’s free, and there are no advertisers nor a sign-up required. When I tried to run the test in the bedroom, it didn’t even register due to a poor signal.

Tom put some pellets on the railing for the Big Daddies.

Louise called Tech Connect to have them send out a technician to move the router to our bedroom on the main floor so we can stream at night. Last night, we tried watching a show on Amazon Prime, and it cut out every 30 to 45 seconds. Very annoying. We quit trying after a while. Also, other users in the area are using the nearby tower at night, which slows down the signal. This makes all the sense in the world.

In the next 15 minutes, I will hear back from Tech Connect regarding when they can move the router. It will require a hole in the wall or ceiling. I just received a Whatsapp call from them, and they will be arriving sometime this afternoon. Hopefully, by tonight, we will have a suitable signal and be able to stream our favorite shows.

If they drop one pellet, they look for it.

We’d hoped to go to Kruger this week, especially since my head has felt a little better, but now, for the second day, we have to stay put to wait for the technician to come to the house. We have no problem with this if the issues get resolved today.

We have wanted to go to Kruger, but with the headache, the thought of moving my head back and forth across the road, searching for wildlife, hasn’t been too appealing. We can do it in the next few days.

He was resting after his snack.

Our dear friend Leon is thankfully out of the hospital and on the mend from the blood clot in his leg. We’ve been in touch every day, and it’s been great to hear his voice. We will give him a few days to rest and see him on Friday evening. I am baking a special treat to bring to him.

Currently, Tech Connect’s internet service is down in the entire area, so I can keep typing but will lose everything if I don’t copy and paste what I’ve written so far into a Word document. Ah, the challenges are many, but we’re holding up.

With the WiFi issues we have today, I am signing off now. Hopefully, by tomorrow, things will be better.

Be well.

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

A hippo is quite far from the Marloth Park side of the fence. For more photos,  please click here.

Finally, a photo of us!…Getting ready for special guests on Monday on our 10-year travel anniversary…

Yes, we know Tom needs a haircut. He’ll get one next week. This photo was taken yesterday at the phone store using Tom’s new phone.

We only post a few photos of us. If it weren’t for our readers, who often ask us to post photos of us, we’d post them even less. But, when we look back years later, we’re glad we posted a few here and there.

The only tricky part is looking back and seeing how we’ve aged in the past ten years since we began traveling the world. In our upcoming 10th anniversary post, we’ll include some of those photos from the past ten years. But, a month ago, we’d mentioned posting a new itinerary.

Norman took a rest in the garden, very unusual for him.

But, as it turned out, as much as we tried, we hadn’t booked anything yet beyond the two upcoming cruises next August 2023, less than a year out, after which we’ll spend about a month in the US visiting family, which we missed doing this past May when we both ended up with Omicron and were too sick to see our family while we were in Minnesota and Nevada.

Hopefully, in September 2023, we won’t have Covid-19 again, and we can spend the month enjoying our loved ones in the two states. We have a tentative plan of where we’ll go from there, which we’ll share in the upcoming anniversary post.

Yesterday, I managed to get Tom’s new phone set up. Since the new phone wasn’t another Google Pixel we both prefer, he was okay with purchasing the new phone for US $307, ZAR 5575. As mentioned in a prior post, he’ll use this phone until we return to the US in September and can each purchase two new Google Pixel phones, which don’t come out until October 13, 2023.  We’ll have to play it by ear to see how long we are in the USA.

Norman’s son Noah, also took a rest, along with his dad.

As for our upcoming special guests coming to stay at one of the two little cottages on our property, our dear friends, owners of Jabula, Dawn, and Leon, are coming for a special Asian dinner we’re making with some of Leon’s favorite dishes. Since they are always waiting on us, Monday and Tuesday will be days we’ll be fussing over them.

Leon has been stricken with a horrific terminal illness, details we’ll share later with their permission. We are heartbroken and will do everything we can to be there for them during this sorrowful time. Life is hard. There’s no easy answer as to why these things happen. Lately, our lives have been surrounded by the illnesses and loss of friends we’ve cherished over the years.

Each day, Noah is looking more and more like his dad. Soon he will have the dark brown coat and mane which makes Norman so handsome.

All we can do as friends is provide love and support in any way that works for them. This isn’t about us. This is about the loved ones and dear friends who have been at our sides over the years and how we can support them during sorrowful times. We will share the special menu for Leon and Dawn with food photos.

Load shedding just ended and the washer restarted where it left off. Soon, I will be able to hang the second load that stopped over two hours ago when load shedding started. It appears there won’t be any more outages today but that can change in a minute. Tonight, we’re off to Jabula to be with our friends, at the friendliest and most fun bar on the planet with over-the-top fantastic food.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 28, 2021:

One Tusk is becoming quite popular around here. Perhaps, a replacement for Tiny, who never returned after we visited the US in July 2021. For more photos, please click here.

What an undertaking!…Switching from Chromebook to Windows 11…

Tom’s dinner consisted of a fresh turkey club sandwich and chips (fries) when we dined once again in the Lucky Penny restaurant in the resort.

In the “old” days switching from one Windows computer to another was implemented by using a cable between the old and new computers. Some apps and data could be transferred wirelessly or using a flash drive or external hard drive as time progressed.

But now, after using a Chromebook for the past two-plus years, and storing all my saved files on the cloud, Google Drive, I need to rethink how I store and use the information we need to keep. I saved all my old files on an external hard drive and the cloud from the time I last used Windows in early 2020, but I don’t want to clutter this laptop with all those unnecessary files. This time, I am starting anew.

Our old posts and photos are stored online, so there’s no issue there. The old posts and included photos can easily be accessed via our archives. There is no need for me to save any of those offline. New bookings, photos, and financial information will be easier to access via files and folders saved on my desktop, which I missed with the Chromebook. There is no way to save folders on the desktop on a Chromebook, at least not by any means by which I was familiar.

Gosh, when I think of people who are not computer savvy and find it necessary to make a change such as this, it baffles me how they’d get through this process. Indeed, it would be daunting and overwhelming.  Then again, those who are very active on and offline already know how to do this stuff. For those who use email and Facebook and browse online, it could be relatively easy.

Tom’s daily breakfast in the Lucky Penny; eggs, hash browns, ham and toast with jelly. He’s certainly enjoying this big meal.

But, for those seeking to participate in advanced tasks, such as keeping detailed and accurate records for business and personal use, making such a change could be time-consuming and difficult. I am not finding it difficult. But, starting from scratch  it will take some time.

So far, as I’m preparing today’s post, I keep encountering the necessity of adding apps I use in preparing each day’s post, some of which are Google-related (Chromebook), not Microsoft-related (Windows). I have found it necessary to continue to use some Google features I like, such as Google Photos, Google Keep, and… I may keep using the Gmail app instead of Outlook. I was never a big fan of Outlook, even in the early days when I used it exclusively.

In any case, I won’t continue to bore our readers with this massive change after today’s mention. Each day, I’ll add more and more apps and files, and perhaps in the next week or so, I’ll have it done. I am looking forward to being done, although I must admit, I enjoy doing this for some odd reason.

As I prepare today’s post, I’m thrilled about how much easier it is to type. When I started working on this Lenovo Flex 5 yesterday afternoon, I automatically banged extra hard on the letter “L,” which motivated me to purchase a new laptop. Other keys and the spacebar required me to bang on the keys to get a result.

My breakfast of three egg white gluten free tortillas, with chicken, guacamole, salsa and onions. It is low carb and very delicious.

What a pleasure it is now. I can type easily, although I am learning to use a different keyboard with numerical keys on the far right that I didn’t have on the old Chromebook. Thus, I need to position my hands toward the left to avoid accidentally hitting numbers instead of letters. In no time at all, I’ll get used to this change.

How are we feeling today”? Tom says he is 75% to 80% better than a week ago. I am, too, but I am still experiencing a lot of congestion, a sinus-type headache, and a degree of lethargy. Although not a napper like Tom, I am getting well over eight hours of sleep each night, according to my Fitbit. It seems sleep is the most beneficial aspect for the recovery of Omicron. We tested positive four weeks ago today.

In four days, we’ll depart for South Africa on a two day journey, spending one night in Johannesburg to avoid driving on the dangerous Highway N4 at night. There have been countless car-jackings using a device called spiking which tear up a car’s tires and causes drivers to stop and get out of their vehicles. At that point, the drivers and passengers are often killed and robbed of their belongings. This is scary. There is no way we’d drive on that highway in the dark.

Well, folks, that’s it for today. Sorry for the lack of interesting photos. Neither of us feels up to looking for photos ops right now. We’ll have plenty of opportunities when we’ll be back in Marloth Park in less than a week.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 18, 2021:

Mongoose waited at the door for food before we’d even gone outside in the morning. For more photos, please click here.

Frustrating day attempting to resolve issues…

Last night we took this blurry photo of our visiting porcupine through the glass and the screen doors to the veranda. If we’d opened either door it would have run away.

It was hot and humid. The dew point was 73, and the temperature was 93F, 34C. It felt as if it was much higher due to the thick and stifling air. Knowing I still had to do the walking, I struggled to follow my usual routine throughout the day. I set the alarm on my phone to remind me to walk every 15 minutes.

On less hot days, I set the alarm for every 20 minutes. Cook, walk, do post, walk, do laundry, walk, feed animals, walk. But yesterday was different. I spent the entire day on the phone, on hold cumulatively for hours, trying to figure out a solution for our cellphone situation. When they put me on hold, I’d walk, stopping when they came back online.

It was hopeless with Google Fi. They are suspending our service due to overuse of roaming data and phone, on or about March 12, which is 30 days from their original notification letter. We leave here on or about March 24. Most likely, today we’ll book our flight and rental car.

What a rare occasion! Broken Horn and Hal sharing pellets! We were thrilled to see them getting along so well.

From March 12th until we enter the US, we will be without phone service, when Google Fi service may or may not be restored automatically. If it is, it’s not a solution for us. Once we leave the country on April 8 to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the UK, the service may be suspended once again.

Our only option is to sign up for a service such as T-Mobile with their senior international plan, which requires we call them once a month to “reactivate our service.” The cost for such a plan will be a little more than we’re paying now, but their international data is unlimited, which would enable us to make calls on Whatsapp, Skype, or other such online calling services.

When I spent an hour on the phone with T-Mobile yesterday, I concluded this would be our best option. I set a notice on my calendar to call them once a month on, let’s say, the first of each month to ensure our international service continues seamlessly. This calling requirement is weird, but it will provide service worldwide.

This was the first time we’d ever seen them together. They even politely sniffed each other’s butts, not unlike dogs would do.

In the interim, next time we go to Komatipoort for groceries, we’ll purchase SIM cards for our phones and will be able to talk and text. However, all our accounts are set up to send us texts at our current phone number. We may or may not lose our phone numbers.

If the service is restored once on US soil, we can quickly get to a T-Mobile store to get their SIM cards installed (our phones can’t sign up remotely to T-Mobile’s network), and we will be able to keep our current phone numbers. If the service is not restored with Google Fi, we will lose our phone numbers and reset our new numbers into each online app that texts us to verify transactions.

During the gap from March 12th on, we will have to make sure we request verification through email, if possible, or enter the SIM card phone number into each account. This could take quite some time to complete and then would have to be redone once we are in the US, one way or another, whether we can use our old numbers or have new phone numbers. It’s all a lot of extra work.

This adorable male impala whom we’ve named Chevy has been stopping by frequently.

A thoughtful reader and world traveler wrote to us last night explaining she is using T-Mobile’s international plan and is working for them with a few adjustments here and there. Thanks for writing, Lisa. We appreciate your input. We always value our readers sharing solutions for similar situations we encounter and sharing our solutions in our posts.

I made it through the day, managing to get all the information we needed and get in all but 500 steps of my usual routine. Today, I will make up for it. On Sunday, the day of my birthday, I doubt I will be able to get in all the steps. Louise and Danie have a surprise for us for my birthday and are picking us up at 9:15 am. We don’t have a clue what it will be. Whatever it is, I’m sure we will like it. They know me very well.

I hope you have a fantastic day and evening!

Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2021:

Helmeted Guinea-fowl and their four chicks stop by daily for seeds. They are so shy it’s difficult to take a good photo when they don’t stay still for a moment. For more, please click here.

Day #126 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…Our new website…Streaming issues…Our worst nightmare…

A Great White Heron was standing in the water at Sunset Dam in Kruger National Park.

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 shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from July 27, 2018, while in Marloth Park, South Africa. See the link here for more photos.
The process of re-doing our website and moving over almost 3000 historical posts from the archives is taking longer than we’d expected. But, we aren’t concerned when the developer stays in close touch with us, sending the links as it progresses day by day. We’ve been happy with their service, a company, coincidentally here in India.
This was our friend Tusker. He is the sweetest guy who comes to visit several times each day, particularly after 1600 hours (4:00 pm). He was so comfortable he often stayed for a short nap.

As many of us are aware, India, in general, has some of the most skilled tech people in the world, and we were thrilled to use the services of a well-known company with rave reviews. We’ll post more information on this company once we go “live” with our new site sometime in the next 45 days. 

I’d anticipated this process would be stressful, but our skilled and calm developer has made it as painless as possible for me, quickly responding to changes and inquiries.

We never tired of seeing these wondrous animals, both in Kruger and in Marloth Parks.

We’ll give you, our readers, a heads-up when we know it will go live. The link will be the same, and thus, there will be nothing for you to do but to continue reading and commenting as you have over the past eight-plus years.

On another note, we’ve been grateful for the excellent WiFi connection we’ve had during the past 126 days in this hotel. But, as more and more businesses re-open in India, although cases of COVID-19 continue to rise rapidly, we’ve noticed a slowing of the connection from time to time.

Zebras were crossing the road in Kruger.

Don’t get me wrong. We appreciate being in this beautiful hotel with great food and service, especially with the conscientious efforts to protect all of us from the virus, requiring their staff to live on the premises, unable to leave for months at a time until they are given a two-week break.

(When a staff member returns from their time off, we are only served by those that have been in residence for at least two full weeks, continuing to ensure our safety).

A bloat of hippos at Sunset Dam in Kruger.

Our worst nightmares here would be (beyond exposure to COVID-19 or other health issues) that WiFi service would go down in Mumbai or the hotel. At that point, we’d lose our ability to continue to post, and equally important is our ability to stream shows from the internet to our HDMI cable to the flat-screen TV.

Last night, we had a taste of what that would be like when, for some odd reason, we were unable to stream on Netflix for the first time since we arrived on March 24, 2020.

OK, folks, here’s a new one for you…This is a “bask” of crocodiles!

We were watching season four of the beautiful historical series Reign when the signal dropped repeatedly. I started and re-started my laptop to no avail. For two hours, we continued to attempt to get the show to resume. 

Finally, the later it got, the signal improved. We have to consider the reality that as more time passes, the hotel has more and more guests, mostly business travelers, since this hotel is primarily geared toward business travelers.

As winter continues, there’s less and less green vegetation for the wildlife in Kruger and Marloth Park.

Some domestic flights have resumed in India, although as we’ve mentioned, international travel remains at a standstill. The added domestic travelers have certainly impacted the quality of the WiFi in the evening hours when most will be online. 

Hopefully, we won’t experience this issue in the future.

Stay safe and healthy!

Photo from one year ago today, July 27, 2019:

A six-year-old photo was posted last year when our photo inventory for Ireland was lacking. Busy preparations surrounded the church in Campanario as workers rushed to get the decorations in place for Saturday’s religious festivities. For the post one year ago, please click here.

Finally, a new fitness watch and a bag…7 days and counting…

One year ago, we posted this photo we’d taken in 2013 while on a road trip. Bourke’s Luck Potholes was our favorite photo of the day on our three-day tour of the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon. See the original post here.

Yesterday, after completing the post, I headed out shopping. I don’t care to shop for anything other than groceries which I find quite enjoyable. Browsing through any department store makes me cringe. 

I wasn’t this way in my old life, but with my limited wardrobe over the past seven-plus years, knowing I have to toss something from my one suitcase of clothing to maintain the consistent flight approved weight if I purchase something new. This fact makes shopping less than fun.

Over the past three years, I have been using a blue cloth grocery bag as a means of carrying the necessary items with me when we’re going out for an extended period.

On shorter outings, I only bring lipstick to be stuffed into my or Tom’s pockets. (Many women’s pants don’t have pockets). Now that my flip-open RFID phone case has space for ID, cash, and credit cards, I no longer need a wallet.

Over the past three years, I’ve become tired of using the navy blue grocery bag. With the long and arduous upcoming flight to India, I reconsidered if I wanted to carry that blue bag one more time. I do not.

What I wanted to find was a cloth-type bag that can be squished enough to fit under the seat on an airplane and yet large enough to hold what I usually carry with me onto the plane: phone, camera, cosmetic bag, hairbrush, earpieces, and charging cords and a wide array of odds and ends.

(With this upcoming flight, we’ll need to bring along a few toiletries based on traveling for almost 30 hours, including an eight-hour layover. In checking information on British Airways, it appears they provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, our biggest concern).

As it turned out, I found the perfect item at TJ Maxx, a black Steve Madden padded, parachute material bag that zips with several pockets, all secure, leaving the contents relatively theft-proof. Sure, a thief could steal the entire bag off my arm, the reason I haven’t carried a prominent handbag all these years. This new bag is more of a carry-on type bag.

The next item I wanted was a fitness watch. I’d ordered one online in December, and it never arrived. I am now awaiting a refund. If I don’t see it come through in the next few days, I will contact the credit card company to remove the charge, especially since I have an email apologizing for their error in not sending out their product.

After the trip to TJ Maxx in Mesa (a 20-minute drive), I followed the road circled the mall to the Best Buy store. They had several models, but many included music and Amazon’s Alexa. 

Since Alexa doesn’t work in most countries, I saw no need to purchase the more expensive Fitbit Fitness watch. I selected the FitBit Charge 3 that suited my needs at a fixed price of $149. I’d shopped quite a bit online over the past week researching models and settled on this particular watch.

Yesterday, while wrapping up the completion of setting up Tom’s old laptop for my use, I also set up the watch itself and the app for the device on my phone and the computer. 

By dinner time, I had everything set up and was thrilled with the results. I love my new FitBit. Overnight, last night I downloaded all the photos from my old laptop onto our external hard drive, My Passport. 

Now, I can reformat the drive on my old laptop and offer it to Tom’s sisters if they’re interested. If not, we will recycle it at a proper facility, as mentioned.

Tom just left for the Mesa airport to pick up his sister Rita from South Dakota, staying with Margie for a week. It looks like some fun card playing is on the agenda! There will be nine of us, including Mary and Eugene’s son, Kevin, who’ll be leaving in three or four days.

Once Tom brings Rita to Margie’s home, we’ll pack up food for me and beverages for both of us. This morning Tom purchased a roasted chicken for me to bring today since they’ll all be having sandwiches and chips.

That’s all for today, folks. We’ll be back again tomorrow with more. 

Have a fantastic Wednesday!

Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2019:

Basket, the Bully, was feeling sad after his right ear was nearly torn off in what must have been as a result of a fight he most likely provoked. We comforted him with pellets, apples, and carrots before he took his nap in the hay. For more photos, please click here.

Great time with Staci from Texas…Paperwork and haircut for Tom…8 days and counting…

Staci and I by the entrance to the Red, White & Brew restaurant. The wine and food were excellent, and the companionship was spectacular. Hopefully, we’ll meet up somewhere in the future.

Yesterday, Tom decided to drop me off and pick me up after dinner with friend/reader Staci from Texas. She and I had been communicating back and forth over the years, and it was such a delight to meet her face-to-face.

Tom drove me to the restaurant and picked me up when I called later. The packed restaurant (we arrived at 4:00 pm) had excellent food, wine, and service. As a result, I was able to enjoy some fantastic red wine with Staci. 

The conversation was delightfully varied as we each reveled in the opportunity to talk to one another in person. Also, it was remarkable to share in some “girl talk” often missing from conversations when Tom and I are gabbing with other couples.

We feel so grateful for all the beautiful people we’ve met due to our daily posts. Meeting them in person is a bonus. Now, as we’re about to carry on in our world travels, many readers are writing to us, wishing us well. 

We try to respond to each message, but please bear with us if we fail to do so due to the volume of email messages. Please know that we read every message we receive and, in most cases, respond within 24 hours.

Once we leave Arizona next Wednesday, heading to India, we’ll be traveling for almost two days to reach Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Then, on the train, a few days later, most likely, WiFi will be sketchy. 

By February 8th, after the Maharajas Express (train) ends, our 55-day tour begins, again with unpredictable WiFi. Please bear with us if we’re unable to post or reply to messages as we usually would.

However, we’re hoping to upload posts and photos, which, based on information online, looks like a good possibility. We’ll have to hurry to get it done when our days and nights will be so full. But, as always, we somehow find the time to stay in touch with all of you.

This morning we ventured out in the rain to OfficeMax to print, sign and scan a few documents to send back to the immigration attorney. Once completed, we found the closest Great Clips, where Tom had hoped to get a haircut. 

The place was so packed. The wait would have been at least one hour. Neither of us cared to wait that long. Tom looked online for other facilities only to be told the wait would be one or two hours.

Instead, he decided to show up early tomorrow morning, hoping to be their first appointment. I’ll stay behind and work on other projects, which are many at this point, with departure day looming.

Today will be low-key. I’ll run out for a few last-minute items. Tonight, we’ll dine in. I have completed the transfer of my data to Tom’s old laptop, and all is working well.

In rearranging the items on the start menu and the desktop, I have made Windows 10 work for me which I am using now as I prepare today’s post. I have a lighted keyboard, touchscreen, and one terabyte of storage, and all the features work. It feels good to use a faster machine after dealing with my slow, fast-fading laptop. 

We hope you have a meaningful and productive day and that all is well your way!

Photo from one year ago today, January 21, 2019:

On many occasions, we’ve seen several bushbabies on the stand. For more photos, please click here.

Defining our digital needs going forward…9 days and counting…

An Egyptian Goose on the far shore of the Sunset Dam in Kruger National Park. For more photos, please click here.

Tom purchased a Google Chromebook with an entirely new operating system. He was sick of Windows 10 on the Acer 15.6 laptop he’s been using for over a year. I understood his concerns.

Although I tried to help him figure out “workarounds” for the features he didn’t like, (as opposed to Windows 8.1, which he did like), unless a person is using the system day by day, it’s challenging to determine exactly what changes need to be made. Also, a part of this is about personal preferences.

His laptop was running very slow but otherwise seemed to be in good shape. My Acer 15.6 laptop (5 years old) has been showing signs of a possible crash at any time. (I’ve backed up everything, of course).

Our current plan was to purchase two new smaller (11.6) Chromebooks since neither of us cared for Windows 10, nor are we Apple people, and we appreciated the smaller, lighter size of Chromebooks.

Recently, we purchased one Chromebook with the plan to get it up and running before leaving Arizona. If we both liked it, we’d buy another for me this week. 

After setting up Tom’s compact-sized unit, I noticed several features (or lack thereof) that would make it difficult for me to keep records and to do the daily posts. It simply isn’t the most sophisticated device for my needs but works great for email, Facebook, Ancestry, web browsing, managing financial apps, and syncing with his Google phone.

After considerable discussion and the fact that I thought by “restoring” Tom’s laptop to basically “clean it up,” I could start using his with a clean slate. 

Of course, this was subject to its functioning as a new computer. Otherwise, we’d have no choice but to purchase a new Windows 10 laptop for me, which with all the features I need and want, could run $700 or $800.

After the all-day-long process of restoring his laptop and bringing it back to the original Windows 10 operating system, I started entering my information to determine if the restore brought it back to out-of-the-box condition. It did! I was thrilled.

Over the next several days, I will continue to set up my apps and transfer my files. Then, I will restore my old laptop to wipe everything out to see if one of Tom’s sisters can use it. If not, before we leave, we’ll take it to a computer recycling facility.

It will be a significant relief to have this behind us, adding to our peace of mind in leaving the US in a mere nine days. There’s yet much to do to be ready by a week from Wednesday on January 29th, but as always, we’ll get there.

I am looking forward to today’s 4:00 pm get-together with friend/reader Staci in Mesa.

Have a fantastic week!

Photo from one year ago today, January 20, 2019:

The hippo’s skin is gray to brownish-red with pink areas around their ears and under their chin. They have very few hairs on their body but do have stiff whiskers on their broad lips that feel like a broom and a small amount of fuzziness around the edges of their ears and on their tail. For more photos, please click here.

Setting up new laptop today…More tasks before departure…

Two years ago today, this scene at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires particularly caught our eye. For more photos, please click here.

Today is another busy day. This morning we started transferring files from Tom’s current laptop to a flash drive which, once I am done here, I’ll begin loading his new Chromebook with his files.

We’re going to do it a little differently this time. He’s placed most of his essential files into online Dropbox. He’s had some issues with some of his files, creating problems when they’re transferred over. This time, we’ll go for simplicity and only transfer the bare minimum.

If we both like the new Samsung 12″ Chromebook, much smaller than our 15.6″ Acer’s with Windows, we’ll head back to Best Buy to purchase another identical or similar model for me. The weight differential is substantial enough that this transition to smaller, lighter laptops is a big plus for us.

Today we’ll spend the bulk of the day at Colleen and Gene’s house playing the card game Buck Euchre. This morning, Tom got out a deck of cards and re-introduced to me how to play the game. In only a few minutes, it all came back to me.

Years ago, he and I played this fun card game with my sister Susan while she lived with me when Tom and I were dating. It will be fun to play once again.

We’ll rotate playing the four-person game. In between my playing, I’ll work on Tom’s new laptop, getting everything set up and transferred to his liking. He’ll play the game while I’m working on the laptop. Then, I’ll step in and play for a while. 

Over the next several days, we’ll continue to work on other projects we have in the works as we prepare to leave the US in 13 days. We’d hoped to be able to spend time while we’re still in the US, booking properties to rent while in the UK and Europe this upcoming summer. 

But, as it turns out, we’ve decided to see if we’ll have some downtime while in India during our two months in the country. If not, we’ll book everything while we’re on the 29-night cruise before we arrive in the UK and Europe. 

We aren’t worried at all about getting this task completed on time. We have flexibility on dates, and in the worst case, we can always find a bed and breakfast or several hotels within the budget.

Tom just left to walk down to Colleen’s while I wrap this up. I need to stop at the rental office to print a return label for a belt we purchased at Amazon that didn’t fit Tom. Tomorrow, I’ll run it to the post office to return. This morning I ordered the replacement in his size. So many little things to do.

When we’re outside the US, we can’t do any returns, and generally, we’re meticulous in ordering the correct sizes and items that won’t require a return. We erred in this case and have to handle a return.

Off I go, folks. I’ll pack up the laptop and cord, my bottle of Crystal Light lemonade, and a few more items to take with me for card-playing day. 

Gee…I’m looking forward to sharing “BIGGER,” “BETTER,” and “MORE INTERESTING” events in our daily lives.

Stay tuned. We’re only a few weeks away from that transpiring!

May your day be pleasantly eventful and exciting!

Photo from one year ago today, January 16, 2019:

One year ago today, Little was lounging in the water in the cement pond. For more photos, please click here.