Sad and worrisome news about our friend…

Three little piglets, nursing from their mom. I couldn’t get closer, or the piglets would have run off. Plus, I didn’t want the one with the bad leg to run needlessly.

It’s been a rough few months. Our friend Jeff passed away in bed in the guest cottage on September 21. A few days later, our friend Bruce died at his home in Marloth Park. And now, our dear friend Leon has been diagnosed with incurable cancer that no treatment can improve.

When Dawn and Leon spent Monday night staying in our lovely guest cottage for a short getaway, we made every effort to make it a peaceful and restful time for both of them with good food, love, support, and friendship. Little did we know that a day later, Leon would be admitted to the hospital in Nelspruit for a blood clot in his leg, a dangerous condition related to his illness. The next few days will determine what happens from here. Our love and prayers are with him and his devoted Dawn.

Of course, we are worried and devastated.  The party they’d planned for all of their friends for this Saturday has been canceled. Jabula remains open with all of their friends that traveled from near and far for the party, some staying at Jabula Lodge with others staying in other nearby holiday rentals. There is nothing we can do at this point.

Giraffes have been stopping by frequently.

Our hearts go out to Dawn when many friends will be flooding Jabula with the best intentions to eat, drink, eat and support the business. But this load falls on Dawn, David, and her staff with the number of people they’ll have to serve over the next several days.  She will spend as much time as she can with Leon at the hospital while managing the busy establishment at the same time.

In the meantime, we also worry about our friend in Hawaii, praying that he recovers from the terrifying diagnosis that prompted him and his dear wife to leave Marloth Park a year ago. We recall the day we drove them to the airport in Nelspruit, saying a sorrowful goodbye, wondering…

Is it our advancing age and the ages of our friends we love, who are leaving this world for the next, often with the dreaded “C” and other terminal respiratory illnesses? We knew these times would come, as they do for all of us who have been gifted with beautiful friendships and face the loss of many of those friends over time. Most recently, it has been too many in one short period.

We love seeing giraffes in the garden.

Our hearts are heavy while we still attempt to maintain a hopeful attitude for the future. Of course, it’s natural for all of us to question the longevity of our own lives and the potential of contracting some awful disease sometime in the future. No, we don’t obsess about this, but it’s hard not to think about it now and then, especially under these current circumstances.

This morning a light rain passed over the bush, brightening the leaves on the trees as the dust was washed away. After several soaking rains, the bush is beginning to sprout new leaves on the bushes and trees, and the animals can finally eat a little more greenery when it was so sparse the past many months.

In about a month, if the rain continues, we’ll be able to stop ordering lucerne and feed pellets as a treat for our visitors. This morning, chopping a bunch of vegetables, I made a big bowl of scraps for what I call “Norman’s Lunch.” He now knows when I ask him if he wants “his lunch,” his ears perk up, and it appears he has a smile on his handsome face. As do many bushbucks who stop by, Nina and Noah also partake in the vegetables.

This one looked at me when I called out.

Bad Leg, a bushbuck with a leg injury, has spent most of his time in our garden recovering. He’s begun to walk better. We brought food to him each time he visited, where he rested by the little wooden fence. We’d give him a mixture of lucerne,  pellets, cabbage, celery tops, apples, and carrots. It’s lovely to see him improving each day.

There’s a mom with three tiny piglets we’ve seen each day since they were born in Louise’s garden last week. One of the piglets has a very bad right front leg on which he hobbles to keep up with his mom and siblings. She tends to lie down when they visit to give herself a rest from the strain of walking and running. It’s so sad to see, and we hope she heals soon.

Norman was fluffed up when he spotted some Big Daddies in the garden.

Based on the number of warthogs in the park, the rangers and vet don’t spend time or money on warthogs and their offspring. It’s heartbreaking to see warthogs suffering from horrific injuries. But, if they lived in Kruger National Park, there would be no help for them. there either. It’s a sorrowful situation for wildlife.

Let’s face it; Life is hard. There’s no easy answer for those suffering, whether human or animal. We can only pray for the comfort and peace of those dealing with Life’s impossible challenges and do whatever we can to ease those we love in the process.

Be well.

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

Often, other animals clear out when a Big Daddy arrives. For more photos, please click here.

“It’s always somethin’ Jane!”…

Six years ago today, on November 19, 2013, we posted this photo when we visited the Swahili Beach Resort for dinner at Diani Beach, Kenya.

We can live anywhere in the world, and wherever we may be at any given time, life isn’t free from worries and concerns for ourselves and our loved ones. As we spend more time with family while in Minnesota, we have a first-hand opportunity to witness the trials and tribulations of those we love, often centered around health problems commonly found due to aging and other causes.

With our dear DIL dealing with cancer and similarly one of Tom’s sisters and with Tom’s sister, Sister Beth, in the hospital with some unknown illness, we find ourselves worried. Tom spent the better part of the day at a local hospital with DIL Tracy, who tests for a problematic condition, yet unknown, we feel like health issues are everywhere. We hope and pray Tracy will be OK.

No one is exempt from the risks of acquiring health conditions. When Tom met for lunch with several railroad retirees last week, more than half of the group was suffering from one serious illness or another. Railroad workers are often exposed to toxic chemicals in their line of work which may result in severe health conditions later in life.

When we’ve met with his family over these past several days, it’s evident that many are in the throes of recovery from surgery or illness or in the manifestation of a new condition in itself.

What’s happened in this world? Why are so many people getting cancer, heart disease, and a wide array of other life-threatening illnesses? When I think of my situation, I can hardly blame it on lifestyle or pesticides. I’ve spent a lifetime eating healthy, fresh foods, avoiding sugars, starches, and now in the past eight years, grains.

Of course, there’s no easy answer. For many, illnesses may be age-related, lifestyle-related, environmental, and as in my case, genetic, the most difficult causal factor to change. 

As research, unbiased of course, not funded by Big Pharma, continues in many of these areas, “they” are discovering more on the role genetics play in our health throughout of lives. Perhaps, not in our lifetime, but down the road, more discoveries will be made to attempt to avert some of these seemingly inevitable scenarios.

On this topic…as each day passes, I begin to feel a little better. My cough is about 20% better than yesterday, now day 4 of antibiotics and Prednisone. I can’t wait to be able to breathe more easily and sleep better at night.

They provided us with discount coupons for the meds! Amazing! Still, I remain grateful for the quality of care I had at the local Medexpress Clinic and, of course, the reasonable fees of $189, plus the cost of the various medications that weren’t too bad.

Next week on Wednesday, when I see the cardiologist for my early one-year heart check, it will be much more expensive, and we’re bracing ourselves for that. Since my heart feels good, I see no reason for a plethora of tests.

As one of the world’s worst patients, I tend to pick and choose what I feel is appropriate for me, not necessarily what the doctor may order. Many may disagree with this type of thinking, but we each have to be our advocates and do what we feel is suitable.

Taking drugs that cause me to be exhausted, in pain, and feeling ill is not on the horizon for me. Quality of life is of the utmost importance, and I continually strive to build and maintain such a lifestyle to enhance that possibility.

That’s it for today, folks. Please stay tuned for more mundane updates on family matters. In nine days, we’ll be in Las Vegas. Certainly, there will be a few more photos ops and forms of entertainment to share with our readers.

May you be well, healthy and content.

Photo from one year ago today, November 19, 2018:
Kudus in the garden. It was always important to feed the animals during the dry summer months in South Africa, during a drought. Vegetation was at a minimum, and they often depended on offerings from the visitors living in the bush. For more, please click here.