Happy Easter to those who observe…One day and counting…

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates.

We had a fun time last night. We’d made a reservation at Luna Rossa. With a 100% chance of rain, we canceled the reservation early in the day. It made sense to go down the one flight of stairs to The Pub to avoid getting soaked on the longer walk to Luna Rossa.

We got good seats at the bar; we didn’t bother moving to a table to order and eat dinner. Maybe subconsciously, we ate at the bar to be reminded us of Jabula in Marloth Park so many times in the past. Although it was not as entertaining with other patrons and hosts, we had a great time chatting, laughing, and discussing the future, although much is unknown at this time.

We discussed a plan if we get called to Cleveland Clinic sooner than three months, and both of us have accepted the reality of that possibility. With two of my four valves considered to be “severe,” the mitral and tricuspid, they may try to get me in sooner. I’m hoping so. It’s a bit scary right now with the severity of this situation.

Easter is special to us for its spiritual aspect and the opportunity to speak to family members once again today. There will be no special dinner, dessert, Easter baskets, candy, or colorful decorations. We’ll make bacon, onion, and cheese omelets tonight with a slab of ham on the side.

Tomorrow, we’ll stop somewhere along the highway for breakfast. We won’t be rushing to make the five-hour drive to Apache Junction. It should be a relatively easy drive.

Shortly, Tom will order an Uber to take him to the airport to pick up the rental car and return shortly after that. Today, we should be able to load some of the bags into the car since it will be secure in the secure parking garage.

I have the last two loads of laundry going and will head to the building’s laundry room to put them in the dryer. I will have used all the money I loaded into the laundry app except for $2. They don’t provide refunds of balances.

Last night was a fitful night, although I managed to sleep for seven hours. I was awake during the night for 2½ hours and did a little worrying, which always seems worse in the middle of the night, as opposed to during the day when it seems easy not to worry.

There won’t be a post tomorrow, but we’ll be back, posting from Arizona on Tuesday. Happy Easter to all!

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 31, 2014:

Bead and jewelry-making supplies in the souk in Marrakesh. For more photos, please click here.

Big dent in packing…Easy from here…Two days and counting…

Beautiful wild flowers in South Africa.

Dinner out tonight at Luna Rossa for the last time will be a pleasant treat after many tasks over the past several days. Yesterday, I received a notification from Cleveland Clinic that they set up a file for me which I construed as a good sign that I will get an appointment and have been accepted as a patient.

After another great night’s sleep with no awakening during the night, this morning, I got up early. I started packing the nonperishables in a box, using our cloth grocery bags for the overflow. We’re asked for a full-sized car that Tom is picking up tomorrow morning, and we’ll start loading it right away. Hopefully, everything will fit.

Since we were here for 3½ months and are driving to Arizona, we can pack the nonperishables and cleaning supplies we accumulated during this extended stay. We usually leave unused items to the cleaner, manager, or owner. It feels good not to be concerned about the weight of our bags since we aren’t flying anywhere in the next few months. We’ll drive to Cleveland when the time comes.

It’s a good feeling to be this organized two days before departing. All we have left to do before we leave is pack the laptops and digital equipment, the clothes we’ve been wearing, and the clean laundry, which we’ll wash, dry, and fold tomorrow morning using the remainder of the money left on the laundry app for the laundry room in the condo complex.

I wrote to the owner this morning, asking him to send a link to review this property. We have only wonderful things to say and will give it a five-star rating. As we’ve mentioned over the past 3½ months, we have loved this location and property. Surely, whenever we return to Las Vegas, we’ll plan to see if we can rent this vacation/holiday home again.

Over the past 15 months, I’ve been alternating wearing the same two identical pairs of jeans when we arrived in Minnesota in November 2022. Our bags were lost when we arrived, and we headed to Target to buy clothes. I purchased those two pairs of Lee jeans without trying them on. Surprisingly, they fit, although they were too short for me. At that point, I couldn’t be picky.

Nonetheless, I’ve worn those two pairs of jeans repeatedly. In the meantime, I lost over 20 pounds (9 kg), and the jeans didn’t fit well. A few days ago, I ordered two pairs of Lee jeans from Amazon that were on sale for $26.95 each. I ordered them in three sizes smaller than the jeans I had ordered in 2022, taking a chance.

They fit perfectly, and since I could order “extra long,” they are a good fit and long enough. I am thrilled. I may not be fashionable, but I don’t like those “highwater” pants and refuse to wear them. The only other jeans I have is a pair of white jeans I wore for “White Night” on the Azamara cruise in August. I doubt they will fit now, but I packed them anyway.

Our Easter day won’t be very exciting when we use leftovers from the refrigerator to make sliced ham and omelets tomorrow night. We hope those who celebrate have a lovely Easter Day with those you love, whether family, friends, or pets.

That’s it for today, dear readers, and thank you again for all the warm and supportive messages.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 30, 2014:

Once inside the restaurant, closing off the door to their courtyard, we warmed up enough to remove our jackets while we had dinner. For more photos, please click here.

We’ve started to prepare to leave Nevada in three days…

Tom, walking on the beach in Placencia, Belize, in February 2013.

This morning, I managed to pack my clothes and miscellaneous supplies. Tom will pack his clothes and all the digital equipment in the next few days on Monday before we depart. Tomorrow, I will pack the food supplies and miscellaneous kitchen tools we purchased while here.

We’ve accumulated a lot of non-perishable items while here but knew we’d be driving to Arizona and able to bring them with us. We have several spices and unopened cans, such as tomato sauce, coconut cream, and Mexican and Chinese sauces and flavorings frequently.

It felt good to be packed when I’d anticipated it would take longer than it did. Of course, I have been getting up much earlier each day, and now I am sleeping through the night. My new sleeping plan worked, and I am no longer awake for hours at night. I still have trouble falling asleep, usually not nodding off until midnight or later.

My Fitbit records sleep; I currently get between seven and eight hours. As soon as I wake up, I jump out of bed to begin my day. Getting enough quality sleep feels excellent, although I get a little sleepy around 3:00 pm. Yesterday, I dozed off for about 15 minutes, and wow, that feels good! A short nap is such a refresher!

It also feels good that I sent in my package of documents for Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. It will arrive on Tuesday, and then the clock begins ticking for an answer to my appointment date, which I’ll know within two weeks. That will help us make plans for the next several months.

Yesterday, I perused some vacation/holiday rentals in Cleveland, near the hospital, at VRBO. Countless lovely properties are available within one to three miles, perfect for our needs. The hotels are more expensive than the rentals, and it would be better for us to stay in a house with full facilities.

Oddly, I am at peace, not worrying and feeling hopeful for the future. I was more stressed when I didn’t know my fate. I have accepted this reality and will proceed with optimism and confidence that I will be in good hands.

No words can explain how grateful we are for all the beautiful messages from our readers/family/friends. I spent the first hour when I sat down to do the post, answering many messages we received, primarily email and many online comments. Because we’re getting ready to leave, I won’t be able to reply to everyone.

But I want you to know I have read every single message and will continue to do so. How thoughtful and kind of all of you. Our readers are the best in the world. No doubt, your messages are uplifting.

Dinner is prepped for tonight, and I don’t have much to do today besides walking and exercising. I’m glad I got an early start on the packing. All is good.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 29, 2014:

Before we began planning to travel the world, I had a vague recollection of where many countries were located. On the other hand, Tom, a history and geography buff, was much more knowledgeable. As we’ve continued, we’ve significantly enhanced our geographical knowledge of the world, but we still have more to learn. Many of our readers commented that they were surprised that we were still in Africa while living in Morocco. How often does one take the time to look at a world map to be reminded of that which we learned in grade school? Not often. For more photos, please click here.

We’re back…News on test results…What does the future hold?…Four days and counting…

An ornate mirror in the master bedroom of the riad in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Yesterday, when I returned three hours after the cardiology appointment after I had another echocardiogram, the third in a year, I couldn’t bring myself to write the post. I needed to talk to Tom, devise a plan, and get to work on implementing a plan to ease our minds.

No, the results were not good. The status of my mitral and tricuspid valves had worsened progressively in the three echocardiograms I had in the past year. The state of the valves progressed from “moderate” to “severe” in less than a year, indicating that I need surgery, according to the cardiologist, the second such cardiologist making this diagnosis since November 2023.

My hope would have been that I could have the easy repair done through the groin with a few devices, but I am not a candidate for that procedure based on my prior open heart surgery in February 2019. Here we go again, another open heart surgery which, last time, took me a year to recover.

I had plenty of time to prepare myself for this eventuality and wasn’t shocked when the doctor told me yesterday that it was too risky to wait. Sure, I might get lucky, and it wouldn’t get worse. But leaving it, when it doesn’t heal by itself, would put an end to our ability to travel again and could result in a fatal heart attack or severe damage to my heart from which there would be no coming back.

At this point, my heart is healthy. However, the valves pumping blood through my system have caused serious regurgitation. Most seniors have some degree of regurgitation, a normal aspect of aging, but mine is far beyond that safe zone.

Even if we didn’t travel, there are too many risks to either ignore or postpone this scenario. I could have a fatal heart attack wherever we may be at any given time. I’ve thought about my age at 76; maybe my life expectancy isn’t very long anyway. Living with this and worrying about it is not my style. I want to be active and able to tackle whatever we do in whatever upcoming years we may have left.

I have faced this reality over the past year since I was diagnosed with Afib (the bad valves are causing the Afib) and researched options if I did need surgery as to where I’d have it done. Ultimately, I chose the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Mark Gillinov, the top valve surgeon in the US, if not worldwide.

The question would be, could I get a timely appointment with him in Cleveland, Ohio, to address this situation? Yesterday, after Tom and I had discussed the problem at length, I decided I’d get to work to get an appointment with Dr. Gillinov, knowing he’s booked months in advance.

The process has started. This morning, we headed to the UPS store to make copies and mail all the documents I’ve gathered and questions I’ve answered according to their requests on a comprehensive checklist. Once he receives the documents and reviews my situation, he’ll determine when he can see me and when the surgery is likely to occur. After a lengthy conversation, his assistant Tina assured me yesterday that July might be the soonest I can get in.

That’s only three months away. If I started having bad symptoms, they’d get me in sooner on an emergency basis. The symptoms are being tired and having swollen legs and ankles. I have neither of these symptoms now. They can occur in a day or gradually over time.

Here’s our plan. We will continue to travel in the US to see family, starting in four days when we depart Lake Las Vegas. When we hear from Dr. Gillinov, we’ll drop everything and head to Cleveland, Ohio. It could be in a month or, as mentioned above, in three months, most likely not later.

Last night, I called Louise to tell her we are postponing our trip to Marloth Park after I have been cleared to travel on the long flight and feel well enough to tackle it. I told her to hang on to our deposit. As always, she was always wonderful and supportive. The house on Ratel will be waiting for us once we know when we can get there.

As travelers, it’s easy for us to find a place in Cleveland where we’ll stay for the surgery and subsequent recovery. Also, the clinic has accommodations for reasonable rents, and it would be comforting to be close to the hospital after this extensive surgery.

How do I feel? I’m ok, not depressed or feeling hopeless at all. I’m anxious to get this over with, but I will enjoy our family members and friends during our travels in the US in the interim. Tom is always supportive and will do everything he can to help me during this process.

I know we’ll lose many of our readers over the next six months, and I fully understand your reluctance to continue reading our posts until we’re on the move again. Please start checking back with the news of when we’ll return to Africa.

For those of you who will continue to read our posts through all this mundane news, I will continue to do a daily post and update you on the surgery dates, during which I may not post for about two weeks.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow. I guess it’s time to start packing.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 28, 2014:

Today, we’re posting the 17 mirrors in Dar Aicha, Marrakesh, Morocco, which we believe may enhance the appearance of the narrow sizes of some of the rooms surrounding the central courtyard. For more photos, please click here.

Six days and counting until we depart Lake Las Vegas…

Beans, jarred fruits, and vegetables are readily available in the souks of Marrakesh, Morocco.

The past 24 hours flew by in a flash. We had a great day, following our usual routine with pleasure and smiles on our faces. The six-pound roasted chicken came out perfectly after being in the oven for three hours. It was much tastier and healthier than the pre-roasted rotisserie chickens found in most grocery stores.

In years past, we’d buy rotisserie chickens from markets, but the list of the most unhealthy ingredients has steered us away from this “convenience food.” Many of these chickens contain wheat and starches that may not be suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Also, the inclusion of countless chemicals to enhance flavor and preservatives is alarming.

Prepping the chicken for the oven took me no more than 10 minutes, and most of that time was spent slicing white onions into chunks, cleaning whole portabella mushrooms, and peeling carrots to add to the roasting pan. Then, I seasoned everything in the pan with fresh garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, coarse ground pepper, and mixed barbecue spice seasoning.

I set the timer on my phone to preheat the oven and start the chicken cooking three hours before eating. As expected, the chicken was so large that tonight, we’ll have the other half for dinner. We’ll repeat this meal Sunday for Easter dinner using the second, much smaller chicken since that will be our last homemade meal at the condo since we’re leaving Monday morning.

I thought I’d begin packing this morning, but I’m not ready to start the process. Once tomorrow’s cardiac ultrasound and subsequent doctor appointment with the results from the test are done and I have a verdict on whether I need another open heart surgery, I’ll be committed to begin packing.

I don’t know why it is necessary for me to be motivated to begin packing, but this idea stuck in my mind when the appointment was made three weeks ago. It’s been a long wait, and I’m anxious to get this over with. The waiting has been awful since we were in Ecuador, and the cardiologist told me I needed surgery on my valves in the next few months. That was in November, and at that time, I became motivated to get signed up for Medicare with a good supplement plan.

Signing up for Medicare while we were in the US was imperative, as it required signing documents and sending them by snail mail. Now that both Part B Medicare and Aflac’s Plan G supplement are in place and effective since March 1, I have peace of mind knowing this is now in place.

Also, I wanted a second opinion from a US cardiologist to determine if, in fact, I needed more heart surgery, which I dread with more angst than I can describe.

As for tomorrow’s post, since I am leaving for the test and doctor’s appointment at 7:30 am, I will prepare the post when I return to the condo. I haven’t asked Tom to go with me. There was no point in him sitting around for two hours and making the Uber ride up and back with me. I am fine going on my own.

Regardless of the outcome, I will post it tomorrow, but it may not be available online until a few hours later than usual. Of course, I will share the outcome with all of you.

Thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers from many of our readers and friends. You all mean the world to us.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 26, 2014:

This camel mom didn’t seem to mind that we were taking photos of her youngster. For more photos, please click here.

Finally getting some sleep..Only two days left until my cardiac test…Seven days and counting…

Lily pond at the botanical garden in Marrakesh in March 2014.

We’ve both been working on getting more sleep over the past week. I never knew how much control we could have after we’d exhausted most of the suggestions we’d read online. Our last resort was to change our sleeping and rising patterns to adjust our biological clocks, which had been off for the past two months.

In a way, it was comparable to jet lag without the unusual daytime symptoms. Only our sleep was impacted. Could spending so much time in the US after being away for so long have precipitated this peculiar situation? It’s not perfect yet since we need to awaken a lot earlier than we are, but making the change of allowing ourselves to get ample sleep in the mornings has lessened the middle of the night-awakenings.

Last night, we both slept eight hours, with only a short awakening at around 2:00 am and 3:00 am, respectively. We feel so much more alert today as this process has progressed in the last week. Hopefully, we can continue on this path when we move along a week from today, heading to Arizona.

Arizona’s weather is similar to the weather in the deserts of Nevada. We’ll be traveling from one desert to another. Although I apply lots of moisturizers daily, I can feel the dryness on my skin. I’ve never had a problem with dry skin other than when we stayed in and around Las Vegas. There will be no relief until we get to Minnesota in about two months, which is known for its humidity.

Early this morning, while still in bed, I noticed a call on my phone reminding me of my ultrasound on Wednesday morning at 8:15. I didn’t answer since I didn’t want to awaken Tom, who’s usually up and about by 6:00 am. Once up, I returned the call to confirm I would be there on time. I didn’t want to assume they’d think I wasn’t keeping the appointment. Confirmed, I had peace of mind.

On Wednesday morning,  I’ll set my phone’s alarm to 6:30 so I won’t be rushed getting showered and ready for the day. Getting up so early and being on my way in the Uber by 7:30 will be challenging. Plus, I don’t know how long it will take for Uber to pick me up. I’ll likely contact Uber at about 7:10 since Lake Las Vegas is a less popular pickup location than rides closer to Las Vegas.

When our groceries arrived yesterday, we received the two chickens I ordered. I planned to make one today and the second one on Easter for some semblance of an Easter dinner: roasted chicken with vegetables, rice, and salad. Oddly, I noticed the two chickens were utterly different sizes; one was a little over three pounds, and the other was over six pounds.

With all our meals accounted for this upcoming week, with one night out to dinner at Luna Rossa, this large chicken will result in two meals instead of the one night we’d factored for each of the two chickens. Tom eats white meat while I eat dark meat, which usually results in a tiny chicken for one night’s meal. This upsets our calculations for the week, but we’ll figure out a way to finish the larger chicken.

Sorry for the trivialities of our daily lives. We realize they’re not very interesting at times, and we surely appreciate our loyal readership, every one of you. Also, we appreciate all the positive feedback. We seldom receive “hater’s” comments, making these days of mindless drivel easier to write. Sure, we’d prefer an endless stream of fantastic photos and stories, but this is life for most of us…it’s not always an adventure.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 25, 2014:

A guide offered to take our photo in this sunny spot at Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden in Marrakesh, Morocco. For more photos, please click here.

Sunday Morning…Eight days and counting…

The air is smokey from the prepared street food on a typical evening in the Medina in Marrakesh.

We received our final grocery order from Smith’s Marketplace by Instacart this morning. I canceled our monthly delivery plan of $7.98, which more than paid for itself with special coupons and discounts on groceries we received over the months. Carefully, as always, I calculated how much food we’d need to get us through the next seven dinners since we are dining out next Saturday.

With Easter on the horizon, we didn’t make any special plans for next Sunday since we’ll be packing and preparing to leave the following day, April 1. On Sunday, Tom will take an Uber to the airport to pick up the rental car and return it here while we start packing. Since we can park in the secure parking ramp, we won’t be concerned about leaving bags in the car overnight.

So far this morning, I’ve done over half of the walking required for the day. Going back and forth down the long corridor helps me accumulate many more steps. Everything is prepped for tonight’s dinner: two small sirloin steaks and one leftover hamburger patty left in the freezer that we’ll add to the meal.

Also, I am washing two more loads to hang up on the indoor rack this morning, which will keep me busy. Before too long, I will set up Tom’s favorite news show, Sunday Morning, on the TV using the HDMI cord, which we’ll watch while I hang the wet laundry. Overall, it’s a busy day, but not so much so that I feel rushed. That will come next weekend when we pack, but we don’t experience any stress about packing and unpacking.

But even so, since we’re not flying, it will be a lot easier to pack this time when we’re driving. It only takes about five hours to drive to Apache Junction, Arizona. We’ll only be there for about seven weeks. By next Monday night or Tuesday, we’ll be unpacked and ready to enjoy our time with Tom’s three sisters, who will be there most of the time we’ll be staying at Robert’s Resort.

Not being concerned about the weight of our luggage is a nice bonus when driving to our following several locations over the next few months. That won’t be a concern until we return to Africa on June 17 or 18. We’ve yet to book our flight and will do so sometime next month.

We finished drying the bedding and jeans in the laundry room, a long walk down the corridor. Tom made the bed with the clean, dried bedding while I continued to hang the remainder of the wet clothes from the washer. It’s a bit weird that there’s a washer in this condo but no dryer. There is room in the laundry closet for a stacking washer/dryer combo.

Where we are headed next, Apache Junction, our unit won’t have a washer or dryer. Instead, we’ll have to drive to the resort’s laundry room since it’s too far to walk. It is a minor inconvenience, but in this case, we’ll wash everything only once a week instead of every three or four days.

Otherwise, everything else will be convenient while there. We know exactly what to expect this time when we stayed at Robert’s Resort in December 2019 and January 2020 before we left for India. Little did we know that Covid-19 would immobilize the world while we were there, resulting in us being in a hotel room for ten months in lockdown. Wow! What an experience that was!

That’s it for today, folks. We wish you a lovely Sunday!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 24, 2014:

We’ve yet to take one of these horses and buggies when we prefer walking in the Medina. Also, we feel uncomfortable with these poor horses working for hours in the hot sun, often without water. For more photos, please click here.

Why are we more busy now than before we retired?…What’s the deal?…

Lovely fresh flowers were on the table when we dined in Marrakesh, Morocco.

When I think back to our old lives, before we started traveling in 2012, I don’t know how I ever accomplished all the tasks necessary to manage our lives and household. Often, I heard retirees mention that they were busier in their retirement than when they worked.

Tom worked 12-hour days, with two hours of driving time (an hour each way), and when he got home, he was exhausted and had no time to help manage a household. He didn’t shop, cook, or clean in those days. I often worked 12 hours a day during my career, but it was nowhere as taxing as Tom’s work. Also, there were many days that I worked for eight hours, leaving me time to do what I needed to do to keep things running smoothly in our lives.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had a house cleaner once a week, which helped tremendously. In the later years, before we left, I had groceries delivered, which saved a lot of time and effort. I could whip through an online grocery order in less than 10 minutes, as I do now.

For most of my career, I was self-employed and often kept my workout clothes in the car, enabling me to work out whenever I had a break. Since Tom usually worked through dinner time, I would go in the evening if I missed working out during the day. Beginning in the 90s, I started shopping online when others thought I was risk-taking in doing so.

In my mind, shopping at a mall was a waste of time. Instead, I’d use that time to go to lunch with my friends and co-workers. This allowed me to build and maintain excellent relationships with my girlfriends, which I still hold today through phone calls and texts. Family time was usually reserved for the weekends when everyone was more readily available, except for Tom, who often worked on weekends with two days off during the week.

I always assumed when we retired, our lives would be spent with family and friends and time together with a sense of ease and few constraints. But, once I retired in 2010, I found myself busier than ever when I worked. My days and nights were jam-packed with errands and social events with family and friends, all of which were enjoyable but seemed to fill my days to such an extent that I had to figure out when to work out and maintain a pleasant home life.

Retirees often say how busy they are/were, and after only a few months, I understood what they were talking about. In a short time, I was spewing the same phenomenon. Did I schedule too much for myself since I now had an extra 10 hours a day to fill? Most likely, that was the issue.

You’d think that now, with no home to maintain and living away from family and friends, I’d have many extra hours to fill each day. But, much to my surprise, I am busy each day running this household, managing financial matters, cooking, cleaning, working out, and chatting with Tom, family, and friends. It’s almost as busy as it was before we began traveling.

I’m not complaining; I love the daily activities, except for the cleaning, as mentioned in yesterday’s post here. Even once I’ve prepared tax stuff for the accountant, I enjoy the time spent managing money each month. The tasks aren’t difficult or time-consuming, providing a tremendous sense of accomplishment when done.

Speaking of which, it’s time to finish exercising for the day, after which I’ll wrap up the preparation for tonight’s dinner: steak and rice for Tom and salmon for me, along with the big salad I prepared this morning. Last night, we dined at The Pub and had a fun evening and meal.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 23, 2014:

While walking in the souk, I often hold the camera and shoot, getting whatever I can. Sandals and shoes are popular items for sale in the souk in the Big Square. For more photos, please click here.

Unpleasant tasks….Are there many in this nomadic life?…

“Throughout Morocco, each door has a different story and design that reflects Moroccan values and culture. While some doors signify Islamic values of humility and respect, others illuminate a past of colonialism and cultural cohabitation.”

Whenever I have a task to do that I don’t enjoy, I find myself wanting to make excuses to postpone it. I am not a procrastinator, but some tasks make me wonder if I have tendencies in that direction. This morning, on cleaning day, I thought of ten reasons why we should change it to another day, mainly the reality that I didn’t feel like doing it.

In my old life, I had the lovely Teresa, who cleaned our entire house every Wednesday. During the in-between times, I cleaned as necessary but only washed floors after we’d had company for dinner on the weekend. I cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms daily, and laundry was tackled every three days.

With Tom working 12-hour days, I didn’t expect him to clean the house, although he took care of everything outdoors on his days off. When he was home for dinner or when we entertained, he did a huge portion of the cleanup and always did the dishes, a huge help, even now.

With him retired, he’s very helpful in keeping things tidy and still doing all the dishes. I clean the counters, stovetop, and refrigerator’s front and handles. I thought by now, with modern technology, there would be fingerprint-free refrigerator doors, but I’ve yet to experience such a “luxury” in any holiday home.

Ten days from now, while in Apache Junction, we’ll do our own cleaning. The park model is small with one bedroom and bath, and once a week, we’ll clean everything, getting it done in about 40 minutes. We’re not willing to pay $200 or more for a weekly cleaning. That will be another six weeks of cleaning; we’re free from there! We’ll have at least four months when we won’t be doing the cleaning.

Overall, I’d say cleaning is my least favorite task. I’d better get used to it since we won’t have a cleaner until we get to the hotel in Minnesota around May 23. From there, we’ll stay in hotels, and then, pure bliss, we’ll be in Marloth Park until the latter part of September.

In Marloth Park, we have Zef and Vusi five days a week. On the weekends, when they are off, all we do is make the bed and clean up after cooking and doing dishes. I can’t recall a day when we didn’t make the bed or had someone to do so. That’s no big deal.

The next thing I procrastinate over is getting the worksheet done for our accountant to do our taxes. I did this earlier this year, and at the moment, our accountant in Nevada has everything he needs from us. Tom gets worried about this, and although he never nags me about it, I can tell he’s concerned. It’s a job I’ve assigned to be my responsibility since I handle the money, but I tend to procrastinate about getting this task done.

Regarding procrastination, these are the only two tasks that I fall short of my usual “get it done” mentality. Everything else, I do when it comes up or on a regular schedule without giving it another thought. Even getting the daily walking and exercises done doesn’t find me looking for excuses to avoid the daily responsibility. I just do it without giving it much thought.

Every one of us has tasks we dread. If you’d like to share some tasks you dread, please comment at the end of today’s post. I’m curious to see what nags at you.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 22, 2014:

Yesterday, this was my meal at Le Jardin: fillet of Dover sole with a spinach sauce made with a flourless cream reduction sauce. In the center is an array of cooked vegetables, including carrots, zucchini, and eggplant. The chef prepared this meal after the server showed him the restriction list on my phone. It was fabulous. Now, I can’t wait to have this again! See how tempting it is to return to my favorite restaurant in Morocco when I can order a dish as unique as this? For more photos, please click here.

11 days and counting…Looking forward to the next step…

The sun was filtering through the uneven slats on the ceiling of the souk in Marrakesh. This display was colorful scarves, so often worn in Muslim countries.

Once we start getting close to the end of our time in any specific location, we both start looking forward to our next adventure. Even leaving this fantastic location in Nevada allows us the luxury of enthusiasm for our next step, which is upcoming in 11 days. The countdown has begun.

There’s no specific number of days that we start posting the days until our departure. It happens organically when I suddenly enter the countdown in our daily headline, perhaps mentioning it in the body of the post. Counting down the days until we depart a location has little bearing on whether we’re anxious to leave.

In this case, when we’ve enjoyed this location and condo so much while working our way into a delightful routine, we still have no problem knowing we’ll be leaving soon. The only time I feel disappointed to be leaving is when we are in Marloth Park, leaving all the wildlife and our delightfully engaging friends. But I can’t think about that now.

Will this upcoming visit to South Africa be our last? With my heart situation, traveling so far away may not be wise. However, after the cardiology appointment next Wednesday, I will know if this will be the hard facts about winding down our journey. That doesn’t mean we won’t keep traveling; it may change where we go and how long we stay.

Many world travelers only stay for a week or two in any location. But, as seasoned readers know, we tend to stay for a few months in any given area, partly because it’s easier than moving every week or two. We also love becoming immersed in a location, living somewhat like the locals, and learning as much as possible about the culture and surroundings.

We often read posts from other world travelers and find those who move around every week or two are usually much younger than us. Plus, few can constantly be on the move for the long haul and afford the added cost of moving frequently. When we stay in any location for a few months or more, we save money from added flights and travel expenses.

Also, short trips often require hotel stays or higher costs for holiday rentals for brief durations. We’ve often been able to negotiate a better rate for holiday rentals directly through an owner, sometimes saving thousands of dollars on long-term rentals.

There have been many exceptions over the years, especially when dealing with visa restrictions or traveling to meet up with a cruise or multiple cruises. In the past year, we embarked on three cruises, which required us to fly to specific embarkation points with many flights, layovers, hotel stays, and other travel expenses, such as transportation, tips, and meals.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, road trips to the seven states we’ll visit between April 1 and June 17 will require a lot of time and expense in the next few months before we fly to South Africa again.

Not much is happening today. Soon, I’ll prepare vegetables and salad for tonight’s dinner, when our main course is the final of the three-day portion of our delicious, most recent recipe. All is good here.

I’ll head out for another long walk in the corridor to ensure I meet my walking goals. I never miss a day or excuse myself from the responsibility. Since starting the yoga workouts from BetterMe, I’ve faithfully followed the routine each day for the past 23 days and will continue to do so along with walking.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 21, 2014

Humphrey Bogart is in front of Rick’s Cafe in the movie Casablanca, which we watched ten years ago in Morocco. There is an actual Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, fashioned per the movie. For more, please click here.