Finally, we shopped in Komati…This season’s hottest day yet!…99F, 37.2C, dew point 72, humidity 50%…Plus load-shedding…

Norman had some branches stuck on his head. It looks as if the branch went through his ear, but it was between his ear and horn. He is fine, thank goodness.

We procrastinated about going grocery shopping due to the 11½ hours a day without power, wondering if whatever we’d bought would stay fresh. Eskom sent a message this morning stating that load shedding was dropping from Stage 5 to Stage 4 today and down to Stage 3 on Sunday with only five hours of outages. That’s a significant relief, but most likely will be short-lived, especially during the holiday season and here in Marloth Park, with almost every house filled with owners and holidaymakers.

We only wish visitors would be more mindful of not wasting power and water, which has an awful impact on those who diligently monitor their usage. Surely over the next few weeks, the situation will escalate, and we all may be out of power for days, not hours. This is when we worry about our food in the refrigerator and freezer.

When we left on November 24, Tom put a single coin on top of an ice cube in each of the two ice cube trays, one in the refrigerator freezer and another in the chest freezer. When we returned, we could see how much ice had melted in the trays, and the coins dropped down into the cubes. This way, we knew the food in the freezers hadn’t spoiled when the coins had hardly moved. A nifty little test, eh?

This side view clearly illustrates it didn’t go through his ear.

We missed our opportunity to go to Kruger since we returned five days ago. When it rained a few days, there wasn’t a good day to go, and I overslept on a few others. Tom didn’t want to wake me, figuring I needed more sleep than seeing more wildlife. In the long run, he may have been right…today is Day #4, with no headache and no facial pain. Surely, good sleep helped in improving this dreadful long-haul Covid issue.

If any of our readers suffer from long-term sinusitis, please see your medical professional for assistance. Two nasal irrigation products worked for me the most; one Pysiomer used three times a day, and the other, a nasal irrigation kit with a dispenser and added medications used both morning and night, using warm sterilized water (not hot). Again, please see your medical professional for guidance in using these or similar products.

He was finally able to shake it off.

Now, to enter Kruger, we’d have to make a reservation and be faced with crowds at sightings. We’ll wait until the holiday season ends and go again when it’s quiet, sometime in January. In the meantime, we’re content with all the wildlife visitors stopping by each day and evening.

Once back at the house, after shopping, it took every ounce of energy to get everything put away in the heat. Since I had open heart surgery, I have had trouble bending over for any time. As always, Tom pulls a dining room chair up to the refrigerator to let me easily put everything away. He stocks the fridge on the veranda and the chest freezer. Before we knew it, we were done and able to enjoy a fresh mug of iced tea while he caught up on tasks on his laptop, and I began doing the post.

Nina was eating “Norman’s Lunch” along with the deceased Hoppy’s two siblings. Note the duiker in the background, most likely Delilah.

Today, at around 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs, I will put a “gammon,” a ham, in the oven to cook for one hour as suggested by the butcher when we bought it a few days ago. He said it would dry out if we cooked on the braai. I wouldn’t say I like the idea of turning on the oven on such a hot day, but we need to cook it today since it’s been defrosted for a few days and sitting in the fridge during countless hours of load shedding.

Tom will have ham, white rice, green beans, and salad, and I will have the same minus the rice. As always, it will be a lovely dinner, but with the mozzies and the humidity, we may have to eat in the dining room with the veranda doors closed. We’ll see if it cools down by then. However, according to the weather app on my phone, that doesn’t look promising.

Nonetheless, we are fine, cheerful, feeling well, and content. What more could we ask for?

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 15, 2021:

Mom and baby hippo on the Sabie River. For more photos, please click here.