Another busy day in the bush…Final Kruger photos…

A hornbill sitting atop a bush.

We are relieved the immigration application has been submitted. Now we wait to hear what transpires in the next 60 days. If we aren’t approved, we’ll have to leave in seven days. We’re optimistic that we’ll be approved. We continue to read about Celebrity Cruises canceling. So far, our April 8 cruise is staying in place.

Today is a busy day. Our eye doctor appointment is at noon, followed by vaccine boosters at the Spar Market. I don’t know how I feel about getting a booster outside a supermarket. But, it was the only nearby option for the J & J booster. We need to get this done.

A yellow-billed stork on a branch.

After both of those events, we’ll grocery shop at Spar with a comprehensive list for Friday evening’s dinner at our place. Rita, Gerhard, Petra, and Fritz are coming for dinner. Louise and Danie may join us if Danie’s feeling better by then since he’s currently under the weather. We have a good menu planned and will share details later.

Vusi and Zef are here now, cleaning the house. The mechanism for the master bath toilet has been acting up for a few days. This morning, Louise went to Komati to get the parts for the boys to replace the inner workings today. It’s been making a squealing noise with the water running constantly. We did the usual “jiggle the handle” thing and even looked inside to see if an adjustment would help.

Vultures, on the lookout, for possible prey.

Toilet parts are different here than in the US, so neither of us knew how to fix it. Plus, there was no shut-off valve under the toilet. Tom, hard of hearing, couldn’t hear the squeal all night long. It was one of those sounds out of his range of hearing. Luckily, last night I was tired enough that I was able to sleep through the noise with the aircon and the fan on.

It’s a beautiful day. The humidity is lower than usual, with the temperature now at 84F, 29C, perfect with the light breeze. It’s a welcomed relief after weeks of high heat and excessive humidity, causing us to swear constantly. Doing my fast walking the past few weeks has been a challenge in the heat. Today will be easier.

The walking is going well. I am up to 6000 steps a day, 4.8 km, 3 miles, adding more each week. After being relatively inactive compared to how I was in India, walking 8 km, 5 miles a day feels good. Within a week, I’ll be at 7500 steps which are 6 km, and I will be happy with that. The 10,000 steps a day theory is just that:

A dazzle of zebras in the bush.

I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an expert on step counts and health, the 10,000-steps target became popular in Japan in the 1960s.”

More on this from this article, stating:

“A 2019 study by Dr. Lee and her colleagues found that women in their 70s who managed as few as 4,400 steps a day reduced their risk of premature death by about 40 percent, compared to women completing 2,700 or fewer steps a day. The risks for early death continued to drop among the women walking more than 5,000 steps a day, but benefits plateaued at about 7,500 daily steps. In other words, older women who completed fewer than half of the mythic 10,000 daily steps tended to live substantially longer than those who covered even less ground.”

If this is true, I am on track with the number of steps required to do me some good. I had read this article  (from a different source) while in India, which inspired me to strive for 8 km per day.

A lone wildebeest.

But, here, 7500 steps is more practical since it’s not easy walking so many steps while indoors. Ideally, I could walk outside, but with the lions nearby and the uneven dirt roads, it makes more sense to do it indoors to avoid tripping and potential injury.

I set my timer for 20 minutes, and I do 500 steps each time it goes off. So I must pay attention to doing this for at least five or six hours a day. Sure, I could do it all at once but breaking it up seems better for me. I like to be done by 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs. In between the walking, I do the post, visit with the animals stopping by, take photos, prepare food for dinner, and do laundry. It’s a pleasant routine.

It’s around that time for us to head to Komati. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

May your day be pleasant and fulfilling.

Photo from one year ago today, January 19, 2021:

As I stepped out outside onto the veranda, I encountered this. Tom was sitting very close to this snake, eating a frog, and had no idea the snake was there. For more photos, please click here.

Busy morning…Off to Komatipoort and back and back…

What a thrill it was to see this adorable dark impala at the entrance to the airport.

As I begin today’s post at 11:00 am, it is currently 102F, 39C, scorching for this early in the day. Oddly, at noon the temperature will begin to drop rapidly, as much as 30 degrees by dinnertime. Whew! That’s good news. Usually, the temperature drops like this result in severe weather. But, according to the weather report, which is reasonably accurate for South Africa, the chance of precipitation will be at a maximum of 30%, with a minimum of 10% throughout the remainder of the day.

This morning we headed to Komati (short for Komatipoort) to grocery shop. However, while we’re there, we thought I’d pop in and see Dr. Theo about the rash on my left leg that now has become very painful, although the blisters are healing. I want to make sure there’s no infection attributed to the pain.

The only time I’ve had a rash with pain was over three years ago when we first arrived, and I had shingles which Dr. Theo treated with particular medications. I had already had a vaccination for shingles but got it anyway. Sound familiar these days?

When I tried to get an appointment this morning to coordinate it with our grocery shopping trip, the calls wouldn’t go through to his office. I contacted Louise and asked her to try calling his office, but she couldn’t get through either. I decided it would be best if we showed up at his office to see if they could squeeze me in. He was the only doctor in the office this morning (out of their usual three), and the only time he could see me was at 12:30 pm. That was at 9:30.

We decided to go the Spar to shop, load up the car, drive the 25-minute drive back to Marloth Park, unload the groceries, and then head back at noon in time for the 12:30 appointment. That’s in 26 minutes from now, so I’ll keep banging away on the keyboard, knowing I’d never be finished by the time we have to leave.

Another view of this adorable dark impala, which is an anomaly, something we’ve never seen in the past.

We unloaded everything and put it away, sweating like pigs, in the high temperature in the kitchen while we attempted to put everything in its place, leaving us time for a few tasks before we headed out again. I managed to make a lovely salad for tonight’s dinner and only got this far until it was time to head out again.

I have the weather channel app on my phone, looking at it from time to time to see when the temps start dropping. In less than two hours, it’s supposed to drop down by 20 degrees. That certainly will make the rest of our day a breeze, no pun intended.

“Everything can change on a dime” as “they.” Part of the charm for us is that unpredictability, although this flows into the running of the government, the bureaucracy, and political issues. (No, I won’t get that here.) That’s what we like about Africa…nothing is predictable.

Yesterday, the drive to Nelspruit to take Kathy and Don to the airport went quickly, with the four of us chatting on the way. We hugged our biggest hugs and said goodbye, not knowing for sure when we’d see them again. Such close friends for both of us. We will miss them terribly. But then, there’s always Hawaii where they live, and it wouldn’t be that unusual for us to head there to see them at some point in the future.

They’ve even offered us to stay in one of their rental properties near them in Oahu. Of course, we love Hawaii, and we love them, all the more reason to visit before too long.

Oops, time to go. Be back to finish later on.

We’re back.  I am not surprised by Dr. Theo’s diagnosis. I have a combination of hives from allergy to dust mites, and on the back of my left leg only, I have shingles for the second time in three years. Apparently, as it heats up and chickenpox becomes prevalent, many people get shingles this time of year. I thought this is what I had, as mentioned above.

He gave me a prescription for a drug that should help in a few days, said to continue using calamine lotion, and of course to use the encasement mattress cover I ordered from Takealot yesterday. Within a week or two, I should be free of all the itching and pain. It’s helpful to know what is going on, freeing me from any worry or concern.

That’s all I have today. We’ve been too busy for me to take many photos. But, we got the above main photo yesterday at the Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger Airport entrance, a dark-colored impala. We had seen this anomaly when we went to the airport to fly to the US in July, when it was much smaller. It was fun to see it again.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 18, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #240. This was Thanksgiving with friends at our place in 2018 while living in the Orange house. For more photos, please click here.

Good genes vs. bad genes…The differences for Tom and I…

Two kudus grazing on the side of the road.

Tom had dental surgery yesterday, which included moving bone between his gums and sinuses to create a bridge for two implants. It will need to heal for over six months, and once we return in December 2022, Dr. Singh in  Malalane will permanently make the crowns sit atop the metal implants.  In the interim, he still has the noticeable gap on the right side of his mouth, which shows when he smiles.

Why not get it done sooner than 13 or 14  months from now? The foundation won’t be ready while we’re in the US, and if all goes as planned, we’ll be on the move in many countries outside the US. It will be best to wait. He’s fine with that. Also, the cost for the two implants is 70% to 80% less in South Africa than in the US.

After the 45 minute procedure, he came out to the reception area and looked fine except for the wad of gauze he had in his mouth. Comparable to when his teeth were pulled, he has to be extra careful not to disturb the site while it heals by eating on the opposite side, avoiding brushing in that area and not touching it, or playing with it with his tongue.

Surprisingly, he had no pain after the anesthetic wore off and had no trouble eating a bacon-wrapped fillet mignon and rice for dinner. He passed on vegetables and salad but will have them tonight with his pork chops cooked on the braai. He says he’s feeling fine with no discomfort at all.

Medium Daddy and his girls.

When I had my tooth pulled recently, I suffered dearly for three weeks with a dry socket and a few days ago noticed a bone spur sticking out from the gums in that area. Oh, good grief. My appointment with Dr. Singh was before Tom’s, and in no time at all, he numbed the site and, using a laser while I wore special glasses, he filed down the bone spur.  The area will heal in a few days. Thank goodness, no pain or discomfort from this easy procedure.

But, all of this brings to mind how different Tom and I are when having an illness or medical procedure. Tom recovers without incident, and I go through hell with complications that can haunt me for weeks, if not months, after I have any medical issue, surgery, or procedure.

The vast difference is in our genes is that Tom’s family members are robust and healthy. His mother, Mary Lyman, lived until almost 99, and before her final days, she wasn’t on any medication. Tom takes no medication other than a few vitamins. I envy how fortunate he is but am grateful we don’t have to deal with any medical issues.

On the other hand, my family’s genes are a mess. Many suffer (mainly on my mother’s side) with diabetes and other metabolic diseases, obesity, heart disease allergies (such as asthma and hay fever), cancer, and more, all inflammatory-type conditions. Thus I’d have diabetes if I didn’t eat such a low-carb diet. I have coronary arterial disease and am riddled with many allergic conditions, including asthma, hay fever, and a high propensity for reacting to allergens with hives, especially in South Africa.

The females are bossier about getting pellets than the males.

As mentioned a few days ago, the usual dust mite invasion in the bed, typical this time of year, causes me an outrageous amount of massive, crazy itching welts. Most mattresses and stuffed furniture, bedding, and pillows have dust mites in them. Most people don’t react to these nasty invisible mites unless they are allergic to their presence, as I am.

Unbeknownst to me, this past weekend, in one night, the dust mite invasion happened as the weather had heated up, and in the morning, I had red, raised welts all over the entire left side of my body. I lay on my left side, barely moving all night long. This is not new to me, as mentioned previously. But, by the time I had developed the welts, it was too late. The itching typically lasts for two to three weeks.

Louise was all over this. She arranged for Zef and Vusi to make an all-out attack on the dust mites in the mattress by washing all the linen in scalding water and drying it all at high temperatures. Then she purchased an ultra-thick mattress cover which was added after they vacuumed every inch of the bed and sprayed everything with a particular non-toxic chemical, specifically for this purpose.

This was all done yesterday on Monday. The hard part was that I already had the welts, and last night, I had no way of knowing if what they’d done would be beneficial. I can only wait until the welts heal. The itching is unbearable. My Fitbit says I slept for only three hours each of the last two nights.

With several types of cream on hand, cortisone-based and antihistamine-based, I got no relief after slathering it on every few hours. The itching only lessened for an hour or so after I got up during the night and took a hot shower. The heat seemed to help as opposed to advice online saying heat would only make it work. Dr. Google isn’t always right, although I did find a few entries stating heat could be beneficial for some types of allergic responses.

Of course, I took two different long-acting antihistamines, 12-hours apart, with no relief whatsoever. Today, I am trying to do things differently. I haven’t used any cream yet. This morning we went to the little store, and I purchased calamine lotion. I determined that touching it every few hours was spreading the welts. Tonight, before bed, I will take another shower and then gently apply the calamine lotion with a cotton ball. I am not scratching at all, as tempting as it is.

Then, around 11:00 pm, 2300 hrs, I will take two 25 mg Benedryl, which we have on hand, hoping this will help the itching and put me to sleep. I didn’t use any Benedryl yesterday since I had taken two other non-drowsy antihistamines, providing no relief.

I keep looking at the time, for once, hoping this day passes quickly. We’ll busy ourselves in the bedroom after dinner streaming a few favorite shows to distract me. We’ll have the aircon on since today is the hottest day we’ve had here since we arrived last January.  Right now, it’s 104F, 40C, and rising by the minute. It’s too hot to sit outdoors or even in the lounge.

With it so hot, the animals are hunkered down at water holes and in the shade. There have been no more comments about the lions, but we’ll keep you updated.

Have an excellent day! Please check back tomorrow!

Photo from one year ago today, November 16, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India on day #238/ Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times/Shutterstock (11008794b) Crowded street of Ranade road for Diwali shopping at Dadar west, on November 8, 2020, in Mumbai, India. Diwali Festival 2020, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India – 08 Nov 2020. For more photos, please click here.

Our bag is here!!!…What a relief!…Tom’s dental disaster…

This is not Tiny, whom we’ve yet to see, eight days after our return. This is The Imposter, who resembles Tiny. He’s become a regular visitor whom we welcome with pellets.

There was no question that someone had gone through our bag with a fine-tooth comb. We had purchased vitamins in the US and hundreds of Vitamin D3 gel caps that spilled all over the bottom of the bag, and everything else was askew. Some of our toiletries spilled, but nothing seemed to be missing.

Our five pairs of shoes were intact, as well as the clothing items. We have to figure out if we are filing a claim and how and when we’ll be reimbursed. We were informed that there would be no compensation for the “inconvenience,” only the items we had to replace. As mentioned earlier, there was nowhere near us to replace any of the contents in that bag while we were without it.

It was delightful to see Torn Ear return to our garden.

We’ll take whatever airline credit we can get and see if we’ll ever bother to use United Airlines again. But that is behind us now, and we’re anxious to put the annoyance to rest. Tom is currently at the dentist in Malalane, and I’m home alone trying to recover from my current flu virus of some sort.

I don’t believe I have Covid, nor did Tom. It was just a bad cold, the same cold/flu Tom had a week ago, from which he has since fully recovered. Soon, I’ll hear from him when he leaves the dentist to find out what transpired there.

Whoa! I just got a call from Tom. He had to have two teeth pulled! I feel so badly for him. It is disheartening to lose teeth, especially when it’s a reminder of the ravages of aging, and it leaves a gaping hole that must be dealt with in three months after it fully heals.

Based on feeling under the weather, we haven’t taken many photos the past few days.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post here, there’s no escaping the realities of health issues regardless of where we live in the world. Fortunately, here in South Africa, we have access to excellent dental and medical care, a fact we fully appreciate. This isn’t an assurance in many countries we’ve visited in the past and something to consider going forward.

Over the next few days, Tom will be recovering from the two extractions. We intended to go to Kathy and Don’s home tomorrow evening for sundowners and dinner. But based on how I am feeling and now, Tom’s recovery from his dental work, neither of us may be able to go. It isn’t very reassuring.

But, Kathy and Don will be here until the end of November, and hopefully, we’ll have plenty of time together with them and all of our friends in Marloth Park.

We dumped all of the sweet potatoes into the garden for the wildlife. They quickly got in the bag indoors, requiring us to put them in a pile outside. Within a few hours, they were gone.

Based on my being sick and Tom’s recovery from his extractions, it doesn’t look as if we’ll be too active today. I’d taken tenderloin out of the freezer and placed it in the fridge to defrost overnight. Tom won’t be able to eat steak tonight. Instead, I’ll make scrambled eggs with cheese for him, which will be easier to eat.

He’s since returned and seems to be doing well, albeit with a little bit of pain and discomfort. The dentist gave him a prescription for probiotics and mild pain killers. The antibiotics we had him taking over the past four days were exactly what they would have prescribed, suggesting he continue them for one more day.

Hopefully, in the next few days, he’ll be feeling better along with me. Weirdly, we’re both under the weather at the same time, but we will continue to take care of one another.

Torn Ear preferred the pellets over the sweet potatoes. But, once he devoured all the pellets, he got to work on the potatoes.

May your day be pleasant and fulfilling!

Photo from one year ago today, August 3, 2020:

From a post on this date while in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #133. Our photo, as we drove into the city of Paris. It was an experience in itself. For more photos, please click here.

It’s not always easy…But, that’s how life is, regardless of where we live…Hornbills are back!!!…

This hornbill is contemplating eating seeds we placed on the railing.

If we lived in a retirement community in the US, we’d be no more exempt from day-to-day issues, illnesses, and challenges than we are now. In essence, it all boils down to the adage, “You can run, but you can’t hide.” This is especially true in today’s world, now more than ever.

This darned pandemic is rampant in most countries throughout the world.  If a person tried to escape it entirely, they’d be kidding themselves if they thought those countries with low case levels were any safer than anywhere else in the world. Many more obscure countries aren’t reporting cases of Covid-19 or don’t have the medical infrastructure to do so.

Hornbill is eating Frank’s seeds.

Sure, at this site, Worldometer, out of 220 countries, there are a handful of countries with no deaths recorded, based on a small population. But there isn’t one country of the 220 countries listed with no cases of the virus whatsoever. If such a haven of health existed, no doubt, a particular faction might choose an extended stay for their long-term safety.

As Covid-19’s Delta strain cases continue to ravage many countries, we look at the stats in South Africa, and comparatively, if, at all accurate, we are safer here than we were in the US during our four-week visit. As we’ve read more and more about the fully vaccinated becoming infected anyway, we now wonder how careful all of us must be going forward. There’s no clear and concise answer to these questions. Opinions are all over the place.

One aspect we feel confident may be reasonably accurate: if one were to contract the virus after being vaccinated, it may, and I emphasize, “may” be a milder case. I suspect that boosters will soon be required for better protection regardless of the brand of vaccine one received. If a booster is required for future travel and our safety, we will opt-in.

Hornbill in a tree.

While here in South Africa in 2018, we went to Dr. Theo for boosters for vaccines we had before leaving the US in 2012. I don’t suppose, in our minds, getting a Covid booster will be much different, providing it is readily available to us. We never received a text for an appointment from South Africa’s vaccine registration app after we’d applied within days of the app’s availability.

We’re assuming; since we’re foreigners, we’d never be included. This may be the case when and if a booster is available in the province of Mpumalanga. The controversy surrounding the vaccine is as rampant here as it is in the US and other countries. We choose not to judge anyone for their choices. We all have the right to make our own decisions.

Amid all this madness, life continues, albeit in a less familiar manner to most of us. I don’t believe most of us take the impact of this virus in our stride. It’s changed everything. Only about 18 months ago, life as we knew it is becoming a distant memory as we all struggle to accept mask-wearing and social distancing.

Hornbill at the bushbaby house.

Life goes on. Sickness and illness continue in other ways besides Covid-19. We get flu, viruses, coughs, and colds. Tom is now recovering from a cold he got weeks ago. Over the weekend, I developed a bad sore throat which is now on the downswing; no cough, no fever, no loss of taste. I’m just feeling a little tired with a sore throat that is gradually improving hour by hour.

I attribute the tiredness to the severe lack of sleep we experienced for a week. That is also improving with a considerable amount of sleep each of the past three nights. Tomorrow, Tom has a dentist appointment in Malalane since he’s had a bad toothache for several days.

It’s good that we have access to excellent medical care within a half-hour drive of Marloth Park. It provides us with tremendous peace of mind. In many countries we’ve visited over the years, we didn’t feel confident about medical care. We will strive to be conveniently located to quality medical care in the future, especially as we age.

Another hornbill took a turn at the seeds on the railing.

We still haven’t seen Tiny, but his look-alike, whom we call “The Imposter,” has become quite a regular. “The Misses” is back to visit us, along with Frank,  as well as many other regulars. Since our return one week ago, we hadn’t seen as many warthogs as before we left. However, it’s been wonderful to see Little and his new family a few times each day. Hopefully, in time, Tiny and his friends will return.

In the interim, it was fun seeing our favorite hornbills once again, pecking at the windows while chirping at us for seeds. We’ve been happy to comply, as shown in today’s photos.

Hopefully, today, Leonora will return from the airport with our missing bag.

Have a pleasant Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, August 2, 2020:

This one-year photo is from the post while in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #132. Tom is as content as he could be while in Costa Rica at La Perla de Atenas. For more photos, please click here.

Day #274 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Part 3…Christmas wishes…Chanukah wishes (belated)…Kwanzaa wishes…Boxing day wishes!…

On the last night of the Maharajas Express, we were all assisted in dressing in traditional Indian attire.

Today’s photos are from the post on March 18, 2020, as we recapped some of the time we spent in India prior to the lockdown. For more on this date, please click here.

Reading the post from March 18, 2020, made us cringe when realizing it was two days later, when our booked middle-of-the-night flight to South Africa, for which we were turned away at the airport at the last minute, required that we return to the hotel from whence we’d come, only to close a few days later. This resulted in our search for a hotel that was allowed to stay open during the lockdown. Subsequently, that scenario brought us to this hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport.

We never imagined we’d see the Taj Mahal. And yet, that morning in the haze and pollution, it lay before our eyes in its full splendor.

This is no typical Courtyard by Marriott one finds in cities throughout the US and other countries, often with few floors and fewer amenities than many larger hotels. This hotel is comparable to a regular Marriott with outstanding decor, many levels, and great amenities. There’s nothing budget-like here.

Amid all the issues over foods we don’t eat, noise, inconsistencies in food preparation, and the endless stream of mask-less guests, overall it’s as good of an experience as we could have expected under these challenging circumstances. Never once was any request we made dismissed or not regarded with the highest esteem.

Exquisite decor in ancient palaces and temples.

The cleaning, room service delivery, and management staff have excelled in every way. We’ve been treated with the utmost respect, kindness, and consideration for which we are very grateful.

Fortunately, booking the continuation of our stay, month after month enabled us to get the best possible pricing, allowing us to easily afford this long hotel stay, unlike any stay in the past. Most recently, the prices for about a six-week period dropped to as low as US $50 a night, INR 3697, per night, the lowest we’ve paid anywhere in the world.

The locals doing their laundry in Lake Pichola but no laundry soaps are allowed. Fishing and private boats are not allowed on the lake in Udaipur.

Being able to use our accumulated “stamps” from Hotels.com on our site, also provided us with many “free” nights when 10 stamps result in one “free night” of comparable value. Of course, these low rates reduce the value of the “free night” credits for future bookings, using the accumulated stamps.

The food situation surely has been the most challenging during this stay. With my ultra low carb way of eating and Tom’s picky taste buds, we had no choice but to order meals outside the realm of our desires and tastes. In the interim, eating a diet of increased carb consumption each day, more than I was used to. The red Indian sauces and excess amounts of vegetables, often greasy and overcooked, caused my health to go downhill.

Several castles are located in or near the man-made lakes in Udaipur.

Tom had no options other than eating chicken pasta with a creamy white sauce every night resulting in a weight gain. I hadn’t gained during that period, but my weight was up considerably from my usual, which had crept upwards while recovering from open-heart surgery.

Many of the medications I’d been taking after the surgery (none of which I still take or need) left me sleeping half the day and grossly inactive, rapidly gaining weight. A year later, I was up 25 pounds, 11.3 kg, and my blood sugar was high, bordering on familial Type 2 diabetes, which only exacerbates cardiovascular disease and blood pressure.

A snake charmer, an expected event in India.

Chronic pain returned making walking the corridors all the more difficult, although I never missed a day. A few months ago, I stopped eating those high carb sauces and vegetables, reducing my blood sugar to a low normal range, and have been able to totally stop taking medications for hypertension, with my blood pressure now at 100/60 without drugs.

As of this morning, I have lost the extra 25 pounds, 11.3 kg, and now fit in all of my old clothing. Thus, when we pack soon, I will be able to donate all the clothes I’d purchased in larger sizes, while in the US a year ago. Whew! So, in that respect, being in lockdown forced me to research ways in which I could reduce my blood pressure and blood sugar, which subsequently resulted in weight loss with relative ease. What a wonderful Christmas gift to myself!

The fantastic chef on the train, John Stone, who assured all of my meals would be perfect and they were..

Tom has lost a portion of the weight he needs to lose as a result of eating that high carb pasta, but surely will do so within the next two months, especially after we get to South Africa when we can prepare our own meals. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, we’ll be leaving  India in 21 days (three weeks from today), arriving in 22 days. We wait with bated breath!

For those who celebrate, we wish you a Merry Christmas and New Year!

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

Photo of the beautiful Crocodile River taken from Marloth Park on this date in 2013. For more, please click here.

Day #231 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Home grown dental care…

Tom checked in at the reception desk at the dental office while we waited outside with no indoor seating areas. The dental office was located on the hospital grounds.

Today’s photos are from this date while living in Savusavu, Fiji, on the island of Vanua Levu For the story and more photos from this date, please click here.

Today’s historical photos put a smile on our faces. What an unusual experience we had on the day in Fiji when Tom had a raging abscessed tooth requiring immediate attention! Our landlord explained there was a dental office located across from the hospital parking lot. Otherwise, it would have required a four-hour round trip drive to the next closest dentist.

Tom was his usual cheerful self even under these troublesome circumstances. 

Appointments weren’t required. We contacted Rasnesh, our usual driver, to take us the short distance to the hospital grounds where the dental office was located. Rasnesh explained he had been seeing this same dentist since he was a child and was happy with the care he’d received, giving us peace of mind.

As it turned out, Tom did indeed have a bad abscess revealed on the x-ray, and the doctor recommended either pulling three teeth in that area or Tom taking antibiotics. In three months, we’d be in New Zealand, where he could be treated as needed. The dentist gave him three prescriptions; two antibiotics and one for high dose Paracetamol (Tylenol).

The treatment room was spacious and seemingly well equipped.

When we proceeded to pay the dental bill, we couldn’t stop giggling. We walked across the parking lot to the hospital’s pharmacy to discover the prescriptions were “free.” In both cases, we offered to pay more, explaining we were tourists. Still, their national health care system, which included visitors, refused payment, handing over the neatly wrapped medications. Wow! The x-ray, exams, and the time with the dentist came to a total of US $2.76, INR 204!

Within three to four days, the pain was gone. Still, once more, he needed a round of antibiotics two months later when the pain returned while we were waiting to board a cruise in Sydney, Australia (see that post here) ending in New Zealand, where finally, he had the one abscessed molar pulled (see that post here).

We could only hope for sanitary conditions.

We both had a cleaning appointment scheduled before we left South Africa in 2019. Still, after my open-heart surgery, the dentist refused to work on my teeth due to the risk of infection, possibly after heart surgery. Thus, I haven’t seen a dentist since 2018. Tom kept his cleaning appointment in South Africa in 2019. Once we return, we’ll both head to our fantastic dentist in Komatipoort, 20 minutes from Marloth Park.

While in lockdown, I had an abscess which seems to have resolved after taking the same antibiotics Tom had taken for his. No prescription is required in India for non-narcotic prescriptions. Hopefully, it doesn’t return, allowing me to have it treated when we get to South Africa, whenever that is.

Luckily, he didn’t have one of these dreaded injections.

In the interim, we are cautious with our teeth, frequently brushing with our Braun battery-operated toothbrushes, using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide every few days, continuing with our usual regime of “oil pulling” using organic unrefined coconut oil. Here’s a US scientific study on some of the health benefits of oil pulling using coconut oil.

In addition, we both floss after each meal using brush picks and dental floss. Hopefully, these preventive procedures will help us make it to our dentist in Komatipoort in many months to come. Of course, there’s no substitute for quality dental care by a licensed professional. For now, as with everything else, we do the best we can.

The used sponge on the sink could instill a degree of concern for sanitation. Then again, we Americans may be overly concerned about germs.

On a side note, at the end of yesterday’s post, two of our kind readers wrote, “Why don’t we live in a holiday/vacation home in Mumbai as opposed to staying in this hotel?” For their comments and our responses, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

We certainly appreciate the comments and questions and fully understand the basis of such questions. But, in reviewing our responses, you’ll see how staying put in this hotel makes more sense for us right now. All those wedding guests cluttering the corridors without face masks yesterday have since checked out in the interim. I was able to walk without issue this morning, much to my relief. Yesterday, I stopped walking halfway through my daily goal when countless guests were not wearing face masks.

The bill for the dentist visit was surprising at FJD 6, $2.76, INR 204!

At the moment, Tom is watching the Minnesota Vikings football game played yesterday in the US. We’ll see how that goes!

Find comfort in the small things.

As we entered the hospital’s pharmacy. We only waited a moment for service. The medications he received were already packaged and ready to go. Only the label was added with Tom’s name and instructions. 

Photo from one year ago today, November 9, 2019:

There was no post on this date one year ago. We had just arrived in Minnesota to be with family, and we spent a hectic day.

Redesigning our site…Tooth abscess update…

Wild a night in the bush with more wildlife than we could imagine.

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 30, 2013, from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  Please click here for more details.

Umer, our driver, and guide insisted we stop for a photo op in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on this date in 2013.

Yesterday, we began the laborious process of redesigning this site after finding a quality web developer online. Our previous design company ceased operations about three years ago, making any changes cumbersome and difficult for me.

By no means am I qualified as a web designer. I’ve never taken any interest in spending even more hours online learning all the skills required to make the type of changes we need at this time.

Not my most flattering photo. We’re standing in front of the architectural scale model. After we posed for this picture, a security guard rushed over, telling us we could not touch one another in the mosque.  Of course, we complied.
When we were informed that Blogger, our current hosting company, is changing its policies at the end of June, it became necessary to find a company to work with us. After considerable online research, including reading many reviews, we found a company that will re-do our site beginning today.
 
Of course, I was hesitant about doing this. We didn’t want to lose any of the almost 2900 posts we’ve uploaded to date. As it turns out, we’ll have an opportunity to work online closely with the new company to ensure everything is for our ongoing daily posts and your ease of reading.
The White Mosque in Abu Dhabi, also known as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, we visited on this date in 2013.

Nothing will change for our readers. You’ll be able to click on our page and easily see each new post, photos and find our archives easily on your smartphone. 

As seen above in a “Note,” I’ve been posting a recommendation for a means by which readers can find our archives on your phone as easily as you can on a computer, laptop, Kindle, or tablet of any brand.

As we neared the mosque.

It’s been frustrating to post the instructions to see our archives at the beginning of each post, along with the fact that our advertiser’s links are older and need a new look.

Making this significant change will require some work, but what better time than to do this now, during the continuing lockdown in Mumbai, India? Hopefully, in the next month or so, we’ll have it done. You’ll only need to find us as you’ve always done or received email messages as you’ve requested. We’ll keep you updated as to the transition, which will occur spontaneously once we’re done.

As we approached Sheikh Zayed Mosque.  Based on its size and location, it was difficult to get a full shot of the mosque’s enormous expanse.

Many of our dear friends/readers/family members have inquired how I’m doing with my tooth abscess. After another whole week on antibiotics, while cutting back a little on my vigorous walks, always a good idea when trying to heal from most conditions, I am experiencing some relief.

Our mouths were agape at the world’s first-round skyscraper, AIDer HQ, as we entered Abu Dhabi.

The excellent dentist I found online, Dr. Kavita Kumar with Designer Smiles in Mumbai, is readily available by phone or Whatsapp: 098212 43274. Her support and assistance have been beneficial but based on my heart condition and the risk of the virus. She suggested no invasive treatment is recommended. I never took the risk of going out to see her at this point.

The continuation of the antibiotics for a few more days and saline rinses were the recommended treatment. If the painful symptoms return, which most likely they will since abscesses rarely go away on their own, she wants me to contact her immediately to come up with a new treatment plan.

This chandelier, one of three, was made entirely with gold and jewels.

She has continued to stay in touch with me each day to see how I am doing. The comfort in knowing she is there if I need her has provided a tremendous amount of peace of mind and a reduction in worrying. 

In the interim, we’re holding up OK. I am back to walking once an hour, and Tom and I are enjoying some new BBC series in the late afternoons and evenings to keep us distracted, thus reducing the risks of stress during these trying and unusual times. 

Standing among the gilded elegance left us in awe.

Mealtime continues to be the highlight of the day. I’ve been switching my dinner entrees between; grilled chicken, paneer Mahkni and grilled salmon, always along with a large portion of vegetables. 

I have a vegetable omelet and two chicken sausages for breakfast, while Tom has the same fried eggs, bacon, and toast each morning. Tom is still ordering the same chicken penne with white sauce, roasted potatoes (from my entree), and toast. Boring? Yes. But delicious each time.

Only steps from the door to exit the mosque, Umer again grabbed the camera, insisting we take one more shot of us, pressing me to smile. The dry heat was suffocating that day, well over 40C, 104F. 

Have a good weekend, as we see many parts of the world opening up their shops and services. But, please everyone, stay safe in the process.

Photo from one year ago today, May 30, 2019:

A pair of look-alike cows, maybe a mom and a calf in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

 

Part 2…British Day…Language, slang and expressions as we’ve traveled the world…

A female lion who’s not looking well, seen at the Verhami 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 in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.

Today’s photos are from May 29, 2019, from Connemara, Ireland.  Please click here for more details.

After a positive response from yesterday’s post about Australia’s use of the English language, including slang expressions, we looked forward to posting more of these commonly used by British people, not necessarily including those in other parts of the UK, such as Ireland, Wales and Scotland each of which has their languages.

Tom had to duck his head to enter the house at the Connemara Heritage and History Center.
English people, on the other hand, speak English and as we know, don’t necessarily use another standard language in their repertoire. However, like many other countries, England has had an influx of immigrants from all over the world, resulting in a melting pot of languages spoken.
Today, like yesterday, we are focusing on England’s English speaking language which consists of many slang expressions we’ve found endearing and humorous, especially over the past several years as we’ve traveled the world.
This twin-size daybed is located in the main living area, although there is a bedroom as shown in the photo below.
Overall, we’ve probably communicated more frequently with Australians and British folks we’ve met along the way, many on cruises and some in other areas in which we lived for a month or more.
Many, including Afrikaans/English speaking South Africans, seem to use the English language in a way similar to the slang expressions used by Australia and England, although most are of Dutch descent. We’ll save their distinct slang expressions for a post, hopefully sometime down the road when we’re back in South Africa.
The one-bedroom in the house was most likely where Dan and his wife slept.
Our close British friends, Linda and Ken, and many more, who live in South Africa but, are from England, possess an adorable mix of both English and South African expressions that always make us smile.
There’s no doubt, we’ve picked up some of this lingo along the way but as mentioned yesterday, we avoid going overboard in using such expressions when years ago, the singer Madonna, was bashed by fans for suddenly speaking with a British accent after living in England for a few years.
Spinning wheel in the corner of the bedroom.
Many immigrants retain their origin-based accent as many as 40 or 50 years since they left their homeland. We won’t be such presumptions about acquiring dialect or accent other than that we learned growing up.
So here are some expressions used by the British, many of which are used with their special tongue-in-cheek sense of humor which we adore for this site:
 
1. Ace
‘Ace’ – a British slang term that means something that is brilliant or excellent. It can also mean passing something with flying colors.
For example, ‘Jenny is ace at the lab experiments’, or, for the latter definition, ‘I think I aced that exam’.
2. All To Pot
Slightly more of an outdated version, this British slang term is still used, and its meaning remains relevant today. ‘All to pot’ refers to a situation going out of your control and failing miserably.
For example, ‘The birthday party went all to pot when the clown turned up drunk and everyone was sick from that cheap barbecue stuff.’
3. Blimey
‘Blimey’ is used as a way of expressing surprise at something, often used when seeing or looking at something surprising or impressive instead of shocking or upsetting.
For example, you might say, ‘Blimey! Look at that!’
4. Blinding
‘Blinding’ – a slang term that is far from something that physically causes someone to lose their sight. ‘Blinding’ is a positive term meaning excellent, great, or superb.  For example, ‘That tackle from the Spanish player was blinding.’
The Dutch door to the barn next to the house.
5. Bloke
Bloke is an extremely common term denoting a man, usually, it is used in reference to an ordinary man, akin to the US ‘average joe’, but it is not uncommon to hear it used to describe a man generally. As such, you can use it like this, ‘That bob is a good bloke.
6. Bloody
You probably don’t need me to describe this, out of all British slang, this is by far the most popular and most commonly used. In the past, it was regarded as a swearword but now, due to its common usage, it is generally acceptable. It is often used as an expression of anger or is used to emphasize a comment.  In anger, you might say, “Oh bloody hell!” Or to use it as emphasis, ‘That’s bloody cool!’
7. Bob’s your uncle/Fanny’s your aunt
The first form of this is far more common and is sometimes used internationally. For those unaware, the expression essentially used at the end of a series of basic instructions. The origin of the expression is unknown, and is quite old, but is still in general use. In context, ‘Get the food, put in the microwave, heat it up, then bob’s your uncle, ready to eat.’
8. Bollocks
Perhaps one of the most internationally famous British slang terms, ‘bollocks’ has a multitude of uses, although its top ones including being a curse word used to indicate dismay, e.g. ‘Oh bollocks’; it can also be used to express derision and mocking disbelief, e.g. ‘You slept with Kate Upton last night? Bollocks…’; and, of course, it also refers to the scrotum and testicles. For example, ‘I kicked him right in the bollocks when he wouldn’t let me go past.
9. Bollocking
Very different from the ‘bollocks’ of the previous suggestion, a ‘bollocking’ is a telling-off or a severe or enthusiastic reprimand from a boss, co-worker, partner, or anyone you like, for a misdemeanor.  For example, ‘My wife gave me a real bollocking for forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning on my way home from work.
10. Brass Monkeys
A more obscure British term, ‘brass monkeys’ is used to refer to extremely cold weather. The phrase comes from the expression, ‘it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” For example, ‘You need to wear a coat today, it’s brass monkeys outside.
Note the small size of the barn.
11. Brilliant
‘Brilliant’ is not a word exclusively in the British lexicon, but has a very British usage. Specifically, when something is exciting or extraordinary, particularly when something is good news, ‘brilliant’ can mean as such. For example, ‘You got the job? Oh, mate, that’s brilliant.’ Sometimes brilliant can be shortened to just “brill” to give it a more casual feel.
12. Bugger All
‘Bugger all’ – a British slang term used to be a more vulgar synonym for ‘nothing at all’. For example, ‘I’ve had bugger all to do all day.’
13. Butchers hook
This is the cockney rhyming slang version of having a gander, to look at something. Though it may seem strange at first, it’s pretty simple. It is constructed out of the expression’s second word, in this case, the way ‘hook’ rhymes directly with ‘look’; however, perhaps contrary to expectations, the word ‘hook’ is often removed, so you may hear someone say ‘have butchers at this.’ But like most things cockney, it’s becoming less popular.
14. Car Park
One of the more boring and technical terms on this list, a ‘car park’ is in effect, the place outside or attached to a building where people park their cars. The British equivalent to the American ‘parking lot’ or ‘parking garage’. For example, ‘I left my car in the car park this morning.’
15. Cheers
‘Cheers’ doesn’t quite have the same meaning that it does in other counties – of course, it still means ‘celebrations’ when toasting a drink with some friends, but in British slang, it also means ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’. For example, ‘Cheers for getting me that drink, Steve’.
This breed of white horses is indigenous to Connemara.
16. Chuffed
Chuffed is used more or less all over the UK, it seems to be decreasing in popularity, but is still in relatively common usage. Essentially, it is an expression of pride in your own actions or achievements. For example, you could say ‘I’m feeling properly chuffed I won that.’ If you’re talking to someone else you can use it as such, ‘I bet you’re pretty chuffed you won!’
17. Chunder
Not a wonderfully melodic word, ‘chunder’ is part and parcel of British slang terms. Meaning ‘to vomit’ or ‘to be sick’, ‘chunder’ is almost always used in correlation with drunken nights, or being hugely ill and sick.  For example, ‘I ate a bad pizza last night after too many drinks and chundered in the street.’
18. Cock-Up
‘Cock up’ – a British slang term that is far from the lewdness its name suggests. A ‘cock-up’ is a mistake, a failure of large or epic proportions. For example, ‘The papers sent out to the students were all in the wrong language – it’s a real cock-up.’ Also, ‘I cocked up the orders for table number four.’
19. Damp Squib
More of a usual term, a ‘damp squib’ in British slang terms refers to something which fails on all accounts, coming from the ‘squib’ (an explosive), and the propensity for them to fail when wet. For example, ‘The party was a bit of a damp squib because only Richard turned up.
20. Do
A “do” is essentially a party, to my knowledge, it doesn’t refer to a particular form of party, so feel free to use it as you like. For example, you might say ‘I’m going to Steve’s birthday do tonight.’
A shed used to store peat moss which may often be used for heating as well as: “Gardeners use peat moss mainly as a soil amendment or ingredient in potting soil. It has an acid pH, so it’s ideal for acid-loving plants, such as blueberries and camellias. For plants that with more alkaline soil, compost may be a better choice.”
21. Dodgy
In British slang terms, ‘dodgy’ refers to something wrong, illegal, or just plain ‘off’, in one way or another. For example, it can be used to mean unlawful – ‘He got my dad a dodgy watch for Christmas’; it can be used to mean something food-related that is nauseous or nauseating – ‘I had a dodgy kebab last night, and I don’t feel right.; and it can also be used as a pejorative – ‘He just seems dodgy to me.
22. Fortnight
‘Fortnight’ – a British slang term more commonly used by virtually everyone in the UK to mean ‘a group of two weeks’. For example, ‘I’m going away for a fortnight to Egypt for my summer holiday.’
23. Gobsmacked
‘Gobsmacked’ – a truly British expression meaning to be shocked and surprised beyond belief. The expression is believed by some to come literally from ‘gob’ (a British expression for mouth), and the look of shock that comes from someone hitting it. For example. ‘I was gobsmacked when she told me she was pregnant with triplets.’
24. Grockel
This is cheating, it is almost exclusively used in the English county Devonshire, but I’m including it as its fun to say. It is used as a derogatory word for tourists. For example, ‘I don’t go over there anymore, it’s full of jokes these days.’
25. Gutted
‘Gutted’ – a British slang term that is one of the saddest on the lists in terms of pure contextual emotion. To be ‘gutted’ about a situation means to be devastated and saddened. For example, ‘His girlfriend broke up with him. He’s absolutely gutted.’
View of the creek running through the history centre’s grounds.
For another 25 of these fun British slang expressions, please click here.

On another note, we’re saddened and devastated by the police brutality in our home state of Minnesota and the subsequent riots causing further injury and loss of lives, loss of businesses, and following other loss of jobs. We live in challenging times and pray for the well-being of the citizens of Minnesota and all over the world.

 
Stay safe wherever you may be.
Photo from one year ago today, May 29, 2019:
This is the tiny house Dan O’Hara, his wife, and seven children lived until they were forced to vacate when they couldn’t pay the rent during the potato famine. For more details, please click here.

Part 1…Aussie Day…Language, slang and expressions as we’ve traveled the world…

Elephants are so intelligent. Watch this wonderful animal digging a hole to reach water in the heat of summer in South Africa.

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 28, 2019, from Connemara, Ireland.  Please click here for more details.
Pansies at the Connemara Heritage and History Centre appear to have little faces.
As we’ve traveled the world during the past 7½ plus years, we’ve somehow managed to pick up language nuances from many countries we’ve visited. Surprisingly, the majority of citizens of most countries speak English except in select European countries.

During our stays in non-English speaking countries, we’ve somehow managed to learn a few words, sufficient enough to get us by. Also, when we’ve chosen to live in more remote locations, English most certainly wasn’t the first language of choice.

Here in India, it’s a mix. Many speak excellent English while again, in more remote locations, Hindi and one of 22 other languages are expressed as follows:

“India has 22 official languages, namely Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.”
Tom has been wearing the flannel shirt he purchased in Penguin, Tasmania, in 2016/2017.  It comes in handy in cooler weather in Ireland.

Unfortunately, with few interactions with locals during our now four months in India, we’ve had little opportunity to learn much of the Hindi language. Many drivers, hotel staff, and other service professionals speak good English, although, at times, it’s been tricky to decipher their English due to their very rich Indian accent.

But, like most countries, there are nuances used in speaking English, whether it’s the native language or the second most common language. Many of those nuances have been endearing to us. Invariably, we’ve picked up some along the way.

The most prevalent in our minds is in Australia, The UK, and South Africa, all of which were British colonies that share many common nuances and slang usage of the English language, which over centuries have become commonplace.

Tom stands in the doorway of an old building located on the grounds of the centre.

Let’s start with Australia. Here is a list of some of their most slang expressions which we always found the most humorous from this site:

1. Arvo: afternoon
 
2. Barbie: barbeque
 
3. Bogan: redneck, an uncultured person. According to the Australian show Bogan Hunters, a real bogan sports a flanno (flannel shirt), a mullet, missing teeth, homemade tattoos (preferably of the Australian Flag or the Southern Cross), and has an excess of Australian paraphernalia. This “species of local wildlife” can be found by following their easily distinguishable tracks from burnouts or the smell of marijuana.
It’s easy to see how tiny this lamb is standing next to Tom.
4. Bottle-O: bottle shop, liquor store
 
5. Chockers: very full
 
6. Esky: cooler, insulated food, and drink container
 
7. Fair Dinkum: true, real, genuine
 
8. Grommet: young surfer
 
9. Mozzie: mosquito
 
10. Pash: a long passionate kiss. A pash rash is red, irritated skin due to a heavy make-out session with someone with a beard.
 
11. Ripper: great
Me, in the doorway of the old fieldstone building on the ground of the center.
12. Roo: kangaroo. A baby roo, still in the pouch, is known as a Joey
 
13. Root: sexual intercourse. This one can get foreigners in trouble. There are numerous stories about Americans coming to Australia telling people how they love to “root for their team.” If you come to Australia, you would want to use the word “barrack” instead. On the same note, a “wombat” is someone who eats roots and leaves.
 
14. Servo: gas station. In Australia, a gas station is called a petrol station. 
 
15. She’ll be right: everything will be all right
 
16. Sickie: sick day. If you take a day off work when you are not sick, it’s called chucking a sickie.
Pretty flowers were blooming on the shore of the lake in the garden.  Thanks to reader Laurie for identifying these flowers as rhododendron!
17. Slab: 24-pack of beer
 
18. Sook: to sulk. If someone calls you a sook, it is because they think you are whinging
 
19. Stubbie holder: koozie or cooler. A stubbie holder is a polystyrene insulated holder for a stubbie, a 375ml bottle of beer.
 
20. Sweet as: sweet, awesome. Aussies will often put ‘as’ at the end of adjectives to give it emphasis. Other examples include lazy as lovely as, fast as, and common as.
 
21. Ta: thank you
 
22. Togs: swimsuit
These two buildings were homes at one time.
23. Tradie: a tradesman. Most of the tradies have nicknames, too, including brickie (bricklayer), truckie (truck driver), sparky (electrician), garbo (garbage collector), and chippie (carpenter).
 
24. Ute: Utility vehicle, pickup truck
 
25. Whinge: whine
 
26. Good onya, mate! Understanding the Aussies should be easy as now.
 
No doubt, we didn’t pick up all of these while we were in and out of Australia for 22 months, from June 2015 to April 2017. But, we certainly can know what Aussies are talking about in general “convo” (conversation) when these expressions are used.
Bridge across the lake to an old home.
We have often wondered when in the company of Australians if we should use their expressions or if we’d be too presumptuous to attempt to mimic them. An occasional word was thrown out here and there that seems to pass with flying colors when they, too, often chuckle over our attempts to fit in.
 
Tomorrow, we’ll be back with the same for British expressions for which, most likely, we’ve experienced more frequently.
These beautiful flowers are often found in Ireland.
Not much is happening today. As usual, we’re hanging out, doing the usual. Our cable box quit working. Within minutes, a hotel staff member stopped by (we were all wearing masks) and had it working in no time. I’m still waiting to hear back from the dentist for my upcoming appointment. Status quo.
 
May your day be safe.
Photo from one year ago today, May 28, 2019:
Note the little horns were growing on this lamb. Too cute! For more photos, please click here.