Easy and safe food prep…Repeating meals over and over again!…Wild weather, but we still ventured out last night and again tonight!…

The eyedropper bottle is a mixture of liquid stevia and sucralose. Unable to consume any form of sugar, it is a staple for me to use in moderation. You can easily substitute other sweeteners that you prefer to use.

Ten years ago, on this date, I posted the recipe for our favorite sugar-free coleslaw, which can be found here. In that post, we also wrote about how most of us home cooks tend to repeat the same ten meals repeatedly, meals that don’t require looking at a recipe or spending lots of time in the kitchen, chopping and dicing and prepping ingredients.

In that old post, I wrote:

“Let’s face it; food is fun. Dining is an integral part of our daily lives. It sustains us. It gives us comfort. It gives us joy. It brings us together. It inspires memory and emotions. If done correctly, it can provide good health, renewed energy, and a sense of well-being.

Suppose you were coming to dinner at our home in Tuscany tonight. In that case, we’d be having a string-tied grass-fed beef roast wrapped in fresh herbs from the garden, served with natural au jus, roasted carrots, onions, and mushrooms, stir-fried seasoned eggplant, tomatoes, and basil (from our garden) and, course, a side of Jessica & Tom’s Repetitive Coleslaw Recipe for World Travel.

Repetitive meals are comparable to a happily retired couple being together daily, night after night. It’s looking at the same face, hearing the same voice, and hugging the same less-than-a-perfect aging body, and it still feels good.”

Green cabbage and carrots that we prepped most days for our repetitive coleslaw recipe, a favorite while traveling the world with the ease of finding and keeping the vegetables fresh. Lately, since we’ve been in the US, we’ve been eating lettuce salad instead of coleslaw since we can get romaine lettuce here, which isn’t always available in other countries.

Here we are, ten years later, and nothing has changed. We still eat the same meals repeatedly during the usual five nights we cook dinner since we dine out twice a week. Breakfasts are also routine, consisting of bacon and eggs, bacon and omelets, bacon and scrambled eggs, or as of lately, an egg, mushroom, sausage, and onion casserole that I cut into portion sizes and freeze, taking out enough to defrost in the refrigerator each day for the next day.

As for repetitive dinners, it was fun to look back and see what has changed for our list of “ten things” that “they” say most households repeat repeatedly. Here is our list, posted ten years ago today…

Our meals are made using local ingredients, grass-fed, free-range meats, and organic vegetables when available.

1. Pizza with a side salad, cooked vegetables
2. Italian meatballs with sugar-free, wheat-free pasta sauce, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Side salad and cooked vegetables.
3. Chicken breasts or whole chicken with a side salad and roasted vegetables
4. Steak with sautéed mushrooms (this could include various cuts of steak, prime rib, filet mignon) with a side salad and cooked/steamed vegetables
5. Pork which could include pork chops, pork roast, baby back ribs (rub type seasoning, no sauce), side salad, and cooked/steamed vegetables
6. Pot roast/roast beef with roasted carrots, onions, mushrooms, with a side salad and additional roasted seasonal vegetables
7. Mexican taco salad with chicken, shrimp or leftover pot roast, olives, tomatoes, onions, grated cheese, sugar-free/wheat-free taco sauce (no chips, no shell) topped with sour cream, avocado, or homemade guacamole
8. Seafood to include crab legs, shrimp, salmon, and cooked fresh fish or crustaceans with a side salad and cooked/steamed vegetables (mainly me since Tom isn’t a huge fan of fish)
9. Hamburgers topped with nitrate-free bacon, sautéed onions and mushrooms, cheese with a side salad, and additional cooked/sautéed/steamed vegetables.
10. Chicken salad, tuna salad, or seafood salad made with onions, celery, and mayonnaise atop a bed of fresh greens with a side of coleslaw and cooked/steamed vegetables

In going over this list, there have been some changes but not that much. As for #6, we can’t always get the cuts of meat to cook a pot roast, but we’ll substitute a beef roast of one type or another, whatever we can find; some require slow cooking, and others can cook more quickly for medium-rare doneness.

This morning I did a Kroger order which will arrive on Monday morning, and we’ll make one of our favorites; a copycat bread-free subway-type sandwich called an unwich at Jimmy John’s. However, we only “real” sliced meats and aged cheese rather than highly processed deli meats and cheese. It is much more expensive this way, but we go for the more healthy version whenever we cook anything. I’ve written several posts about how to put together these “unwiches.”

We posted a repeat of these instructions in this post in 2020 while we were in lockdown in a hotel in India for ten months when we were dreaming of eating these fun “sandwiches.”

Most of us don’t change our menu preferences that much in ten years. We’d love to see some of your lists. Please feel free to post in the comments section!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 8, 2013:

This knife was part of the kitchen equipment available for our use in the house in Boveglio, Italy. It’s sharp and with two hands on the handles, making it impossible to cut oneself. That fact, in itself, makes it a must for me. The bonus is the ease with which it cuts and chops almost anything. For more, please click here.

Hot today…Whew!…A scorcher….

This was one steep road to walk down, but back up was more challenging.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2013 while we were living in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the post here.

Today, at 3:00 pm, the temperature will be 95F, 35 C, with the dew point at 84, the highest we’ve seen since we began traveling. This creates an uncomfortable environment, and we won’t go out today. The news reported these conditions feel like the temperature is 108F, 42C.

The neat trim look of many of the homes caught our eye.

I still went for a walk this morning since it was early enough that it wasn’t quite as miserable. It’s no wonder so many people leave Florida in the summer. Being here results in being indoors all day and spending a lot of electricity for the central air conditioning running non-stop, which is the case in this holiday home.

Unfortunately, homeowners have to find other areas to park their cars, especially when it snows in the winter.

We are comfortable with the thermostat set at 78F, 26C during the day and 72F, 22C at night, although we often turn on the overhead fan in the bedroom for a little more cooling. It’s hard to believe it’s hotter here in the summer than in South Africa in the summer. At least there, many days were much cooler, whereas here, the heat seems to be consistent, day after day.

Don’t get me wrong, we like it here and could see returning sometime in the future for a short stay while awaiting a cruise out of Florida. Tom always says living here is comparable to the movie, The Truman Show, where everything is impeccably clean and organized, including the yards and gardens at every single home. We’ve yet to see a house that wasn’t well maintained. Perhaps that’s a requirement of the codes and covenants for the area.

Two lookalike cats live here, often hovering around the entrance to the home, one of which was looking out the left bottom on this colorful door covering.

Subsequently, many seniors hire lawn and garden maintenance people to oversee the care of their gardens and mow their smallish patches of green grass. Also, we’ve noticed that two houses next to one another are always a different color on the outside, a different floor plan and design, and an overall unique look from house to house. Even the driveways are unique to houses next to one another. This takes some serious planning.

It appears that narrow tractors and trucks can make their way on the narrow roads to homes to deliver wood and building materials.

Still, we received more inquiries about whether we’d consider eventually living here. And still, we feel we would not. As mentioned above, we may visit for a few months in the future but this type of area doesn’t appeal to us. We aren’t golfers, and many activities here don’t appeal to either of us.

Another decorative entrance to a home.

If a resident didn’t get involved in the classes, sports, games, and group meetings here, it could be lonely, like anywhere else in the US and many other countries. As they age, some people aren’t interested in participating in the many activities offered here, many of which don’t require payment.

Tom enjoyed his beer while I drank sparkling water. I didn’t drink alcohol for 20 years, which included the first several years of our world travels.

Then again, most of the locals here seem to be able to afford the few events that do require some form of payment. It’s not cheap to live here with the cost of houses, fees, taxes, utilities, entertainment, and groceries. We have spent at least $250 weekly on groceries, yet we dine out twice a week, don’t eat lunch, or buy sugary treats and packaged foods.

Also, we haven’t had to buy any cleaning supplies other than laundry soap or paper or plastic products, except small ziplock and garbage bags and, most recently, toilet paper. If all of those items weren’t available in this house, we’d have easily spent another $40 or $50 a week.

    One of the few relatively level narrow roads to home, a welcomed relief.

We could afford to live here, but we have no interest in doing so now or in the future. Plus, we’re not interested in buying a home here or anywhere for that matter. We are content living our lives the way we do.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 6, 2013:

As we walked to the pub in Boveglio, we found new roads to explore. For more photos, please click here.

Shocking number of events for our upcoming two months…Yesterday’s fun phone call…

The chaos at the grocery store in Pescia inspired us to avoid shopping again on a Friday, obviously a busy day. Surprisingly, these little villages have enough population to attract this crowd. The cashiers sit while checking out customers, and there is a charge for carts (Euro $1.00) and each plastic grocery bag (Euro $.05.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2013 while we were living in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the post here.

Planning a cruise isn’t a singular booking event. Around it includes flights, ground transportation, rental cars, and hotels. Also, we booked our upcoming nine days in Henderson, Nevada, and one month in Minnesota while we await the cruise to Galapagos.

Such bookings, from the time we leave here on July 28, included:

  1. Flight from Orlando International Airport  in Florida to Edinburgh Airport in Scotland
  2. Transportation from the airport to the hotel in Edinburgh. TBD
  3. Three nights in a hotel in Edinburgh while we await the cruise
  4. Cruise Edinburgh to Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  5. Flight to Reykjavik, Iceland
  6. Transportation from airport to hotel. TBD
  7. One night in a hotel in Reykjavik
  8. Cruise from Reykjavik, Iceland, ending in Boston, Massachusetts
  9. One night in the hotel (airport hotel) in Boston
  10. Transportation to and from the restaurant from the hotel to visit my cousin in Stoughton. TBD (We will rent a car in the next few days).
  11. Flight from Boston to Las Vegas, Nevada
  12. Transportation from Las Vegas Airport to the hotel in Henderson Nevada
  13. Nine-night stay at a resort in Henderson (No rental car during this period-Uber is a better and much cheaper option).
  14. Transportation back to Las Vegas Airport (Uber)
  15. Flight from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Minneapolis, Minnesota
  16. Rental car in Minneapolis for one month stay
  17. Stay for one month in a hotel in Eden Prairie, Minnesota

All of the above has been booked (and primarily paid in advance) except for those items noted at TBD (to be determined), including a rental car in Boston and Uber in the other cities, which we’ll book at the time.

The stone floors were still wet when we returned from the market when our thoughtful housekeeper, Santina, cleaned every Friday. She often brought pies (for Tom) and vegetables from her garden.

At this point, we’ve yet to book transportation to Quito, Ecuador, but we will do so during our nine-night stay in the resort in Henderson, Nevada, as well as book hotels and holiday homes for our extended stay in Ecuador. While in Ecuador, we’ll book our plans to visit The Pantanal and other venues in South America.

Whew! If any of our readers have thought it is easy to live this life of world travel, consider the above. This is only for two months. When I think back to how we ever managed to book our travels for two years out (at the beginning of our world travels), they can see it’s not as easy as it looks.

Once Covid hit, everything changed, and we couldn’t book anything for more than a few months at a time, except for the extended period we spent in Africa, minus several trips away during that period for new visa stamps and five trips back to the US for me and six times for Tom (when his brother passed away and I stayed behind).

It’s a lot of work planning, but there are times when we aren’t rushed, and we enjoy it. As we often say to each other, “It’s the nature of the beast.”

The long narrow hallway in the 300-year-old stone house we rented. We had to duck our heads at certain points when walking down this hallway.

So even when we spend extended periods in one location, we often spend many hours planning and booking for the future. People often ask why we spend so long in some areas, and for us, the answer is two-fold; one, we enjoy staying long enough in a location to learn about its people, culture, environment, and nature. Secondly, it’s a nice break from constantly planning and booking for the following location. Overall, it’s easier when we don’t plan too far ahead.

As for yesterday’s fun phone conversation, our dear friends Rita and Gerhard called yesterday afternoon. As mentioned in many prior posts, we met them in 2018 in Marloth Park. They were long-time readers of our site and, as a result, decided to come and experience Marloth Park; during their many months in Marloth Park over the past five years, our friendship grew, and the four of us shared many beautiful memories.

We’ve been in close touch since they left Marloth Park in 2022 or 2023. Yesterday, they told us they were returning to Marloth Park in October. Of course, we won’t be there during the six weeks they’ll be there. We’re thrilled that they’ll be renting our old house and can see all of our animal friends and send photos of our favorites.

They may be able to work it out to visit us in Nevada in September, but we shall see how that goes. It was great to hear their voices from their home in Vancouver, Washington, where they’ve been busy working on their home. They’d been away a long time and wanted to do some updates.

Gosh, we love not having the responsibility of maintaining a home or paying for storing belongings we left behind. But our lives are busy in other ways, as shown here today.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 5, 2013:

On our way back through Collodi from shopping in Pescia, maneuvering two roundabouts, we began the steep climb back up the mountain to Boveglio, a 30-minute drive with many hairpin turns and guardrail-free narrow roads. From what we can determine online, this mansion is the Villa Garzoni. For the post, please click here.

Happy 4th of July to all of our family and friends in the USA!..


Many of our readers are not living in the US and are located in countries worldwide. For those readers and American readers who may like to be updated on the meaning of the Fourth of July, we’ve added the following from this site for convenient reading:

“The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. The Fourth of July 2023 is on Tuesday, July 4. When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.

By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.

On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies independence.

Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution but appointed a five-man committee—including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of ConnecticutBenjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and Robert R. Livingston of New York—to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

Did you know? John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written mainly by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on, the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Early Fourth of July Celebrations and Traditions

In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions, and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776, some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty.

Festivities, including concerts, bonfires, parades, and the firing of cannons and muskets, usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war.

George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at the Battle of Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities.

Fourth of July Fireworks

The first fireworks were used as early as 200 BC. The tradition of setting off fireworks on the 4 of July began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. The ship’s cannon fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “at night,” there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.” The Sons of Liberty set off fireworks over Boston Common that night.

Fourth of July Becomes a Federal Holiday

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812 when the United States faced Great Britain again. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees.

Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has, since the late 19th century, become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.”

Today, although we aren’t celebrating in any special way, we observe this special day with reverence and respect for our nation. Yes, there are issues in our country, as is seen in countries worldwide but many of us reflect on these special occasions with hope and prayers for better days to come.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 4, 2013:

Last week I found this photo from when we walked to Petra in May 2013. I’d saved it in the wrong location, realizing it was never posted. These steps were much steeper than appearing in this photo. To see this horse gingerly tackle them in the scorching heat was both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring at the same time. For more, please click here.

Out and about today…More Tuscany photos…

During our walk, we encounter this shrine with two water faucets running continuously for the use of the locals.

Today’s photos are from a post on this date, 2013, found here.

There’s not much going on here this week. This morning, when the house cleaner, Rafael, came to clean the house for the once-a-month-included cleaning, we headed out to the Publix grocery store, refueled the golf cart at Walmart, and made a quick trip to the liquor store for wine.

These steps were a lot steeper than they appear in the photos. We puffed and panted our way up.

We haven’t been doing sundowners much while staying in lately. We decided we didn’t need to do sundowners as often as we had in South Africa and have saved most of our cocktail hours for those nights we go out to dinner and a few occasional nights at the house.

Also, the cost of wine is much higher here than in South Africa, and although one bottle of wine lasts me three nights, the wines I like are about $15 per bottle, as opposed to the price we paid while we were in Marloth Park. I don’t see a need to spend $5 daily on wine. I’d instead not drink until the weekends when we go out since it’s $10 to $12 for a 5-ounce glass of wine in a restaurant.

We neared the ramp by climbing many steep steps.

I don’t mean to be a tightwad, but I monitor what I spend to keep our budget on track. It’s hard enough with the cost of groceries here. Each quick trip to Publix for a few extra items we didn’t order or couldn’t get in our weekly online Kroger order is at least $100. This adds up.

The BAR Ferrari, the local pub we stumbled across on our extensive walk in the neighborhood. The bar was in the “square,” a miniature version of various “squares” we walked in Venice, almost nothing like St. Mark’s.

Today, as we perused the aisles at the market, we were shocked by the price of any meat, whether chicken, beef, or pork, let alone the cost of fresh seafood, which is a shocker. We looked at a small 2.5-pound smoked ham, and it was $39. We can buy a similar-sized beef tenderloin in South Africa for half that cost, providing us with three dinners for the two of us.

Soon, we’ll visit this bar at happy hour. It didn’t appear that they carry Tom’s preferred beverage of choice, Courvoisier, but most assuredly, he’ll find an alternative, if only a beer.

Recently, with company coming for dinner, we purchased two t-bone steaks to cook at the house for $20 each! We won’t be doing that again. That’s ridiculous! We can buy two meals in a restaurant for that price. Sure, we spend more going out with a few drinks, taxes, and tips, but getting out for dinner a few times a week is an excellent way to connect with people and get out of the house.

The drive to Publix was pleasant today, even in the hot weather. It’s fun to get out in the golf cart. When he fueled it today, Tom only needed to add less than a gallon of gas. What a great way to get around!

Tom was the first to notice this pretty entrance, an operating hotel.

Speaking of the hot weather, it’s a scorcher again today. Right now, the temperature is 96F, 36C, with humidity at 47%, but the dew point is an uncomfortable 86. The highest recorded dew point was 95 on July 8, 2003, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on the Persian Gulf. That’s way more uncomfortable than what we’ve experienced in Africa.

While we were out and about today, I stopped in a spa to inquire about getting a pedicure before we leave on July 28. I asked about bringing my polish for two reasons; one, I’ll have the polish for any necessary touch ups; two, it’s more sanitary to use my own polish rather than the polish they use on so many other patrons.

Trying this path proved to be a dead end after a steep climb on irregular stone steps. Back down, we went to try again.

The manager told me they don’t allow people to bring their polish “for sanitary reasons.” That made no sense to me. Then, I asked if I could buy polish there and have the nail technician use the one I purchased. The answer was still “no.” They don’t sell polish there. Go figure.

Tom drove me to another nail salon where they didn’t care if I brought my polish or if I wanted to buy a new one from them for the technician to use. I booked the appointment for July 26, two days before we departed. The cost for the basic pedicure is surprisingly only $30. I expected it to be much more.

The new chaise lounges were on the veranda a few days after we asked if they had any chaise lounges. Later in the day, the sun was in a better position for a bit of sunning. Grazie, Lisa, and Luca.

Tonight, we’re having leftovers, and we purchased ingredients at Publix for tomorrow’s dinner, a favorite keto ground beef, and mushroom casserole with enough for three nights, to which we’ll add fresh green beans and a salad each evening. Then, on Friday, we’ll head out again.

That’s all for today, folks. For our family and friends in the US, have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 3, 2013:

Leaving the square, we began our climb back up, trying in vain, to find a less strenuous path for one of those nights after happy hour at the pub. For more photos, please click here.

Plans for the Fourth of July?…More Tuscany photos from ten years ago tooday…

A pretty entrance to a home in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy.

Today’s photos are from this date ten years ago at this post.

Since we’ve been out of the US for most of the past Fourth of July holidays, we haven’t really celebrated in the past almost 11 years. Once, I recall, we were in the US and had a barbecue at our son Greg’s home in Minnesota. After beginning our journey, as mentioned in prior posts, we don’t celebrate many holidays anymore.

Without a home of our own, we don’t put up US flags, and now, here in The Villages, the fireworks displays are too far away for us to reach by golf cart. We’d have to drive far to get back to the house amid tons of traffic in the dark. As a result, we have no particular plans to watch a fireworks display. We are OK with that.

The beginning of the steep walk downhill toward new discovery points in the neighborhood on a finally warm and sunny day.

Most of the friends we’ve made here are away for the long holiday weekend, seeing family members and friends outside of The Villages or who are like us; it’s no big deal whether we participate or not.

Last night, I had the worst night’s sleep in months. I was awake until 3:30 am, tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep. I did breathing and relaxation tips I’ve read online over the years. But, nothing I did let me drift off until that late hour. If I would have been able to sleep until 9:00 or 9:30 am, I’d have been OK. But, at 8:00 am, I was wide awake and decided to get up and get on with my day.

It was evident that the owners of this house had taken special care of an appealing well-kept exterior. The stone lasts for centuries.

Since we arrived here, on Sundays, we’ve been washing the bedding and remaking the bed. We hadn’t washed our own bedding since we were in Arizona in January 2020, before we left for India. Wow! That was a long time ago. Also, I usually make a special dinner on Sundays, perhaps something that takes a little longer to prepare.

Today, I’m making baby back pork ribs for Tom, enough for two nights, along with fried rice and salad, while I am making a shrimp and scallop stir fry for me, enough for two nights and a salad. I like ribs and will eat them occasionally, but it was easy to make a separate dish for me when we had one large slab, enough for Tom for two nights. This way, I won’t have to cook tomorrow, only make a fresh salad and heat our respective meals at dinnertime.

Often beads, vines, or ropes are used in the doorway of the front entrances, most likely for privacy during the day with an inner door to lock at night.

We had another fun evening out last night at the bar at City Fire. Before 7:00, we returned to our new favorite restaurant, Cody’s Original Roadhouse, for another excellent dinner. I ordered shrimp and steamed broccoli, which I had along with their delicious bottomless salad.

The statue we discovered is in the center of the square.

Tom ordered pulled pork (not on a bun) with mashed potatoes and ate salad. The waiter forgot to bring Tom the buns but didn’t ask for them when he had plenty to eat. By 8:30, we were on the road again to head home to stream another show on Starz, which we downloaded to watch the series we love, Outlander, but ended up watching a fantastic series, The Serpent Queen. We’re now hooked on that one too, and hopefully will find a few more series we like on the app.

After dinner, we’ll relax and stream both series until I get sleepy tonight and can make up for last night’s poor sleep.

Notice the year this house was built above the door. We were staying in a 300-year-old stone house in this neighborhood.

Sorry, we are so dull right now. This is what life would be like if we stopped traveling and lived somewhere in the US. We’re looking forward to being on the move again and have no plans to stop our journey unless health makes it an absolute necessity (which will happen at some point, a reality we accept).

May our family members and friends in the US have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 2, 2013:

The view above us from the level parking deck I’d discovered a few days ago was as far as I’d ventured on my own, fearful of getting lost in the maze of narrow passageways. With Tom’s excellent sense of direction, continuing was easy. For more photos, please click here.

Problems with a popular streaming service…Oils we use…Remembering Tuscany ten years ago…A video…

We’re like many others worldwide. Sure, we’re world travelers, soon to be on the move again, but when we aren’t busy at night, going out or with friends, we hunker down and stream series on our preferred streaming services, which include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

After hearing so much about the popular series, Ted Lasso, we signed up for the AppleTV streaming service. My sister Julie recommended another series, The Morning Show, both fantastic shows on the streaming service, so we signed up for a free trial to see if we liked the two series. We did.

When the seven-day free trial ended, we signed up to pay $6.99 a month, figuring that within a month or so, we’ll have binge-watched both series in their entirety. While we had the streaming service, we stumbled upon another show, Severence, that Tom likes more than I do.

Once we got into the first series, we noticed the screen froze about every 15 to 20 minutes, requiring us to log out of the show to restart it. Somehow, we got through the Morning Show and a few seasons of Ted Lasso, but I was fed up with getting up three or four times per hour to fix it.

The HDMI cord doesn’t reach the sofas, so we keep my laptop on a dining room chair we pull up each night, close to the TV, to stream shows. We’ve had no problems with any other streaming services.

Of course, I looked online only to find that Apple TV is not geared to working on a Windows computer, which I have. It prefers Apple products and only supports Apple products that we do not use. We still hadn’t gotten through all the Ted Lasso and Severance episodes, but I finally told Tom I gave up. I canceled the app, not willing to pay another $6.99.

The app will continue to work until our contract ends on July 19, and since we paid, we’ll try it one more time, but I doubt it will be any different. If any of our readers have encountered a similar scenario with Apple TV using a Windows device and have a workaround, please let me know.

Today, we didn’t have any new photos to share. We haven’t been out in several days due to inclement weather, but tonight, the forecast looks good, and we’ll head out for the evening. We’ll most likely go to the City Fire bar for a drink and then head to Cody’s Original Roadhouse again for another fun atmosphere and a good meal.

The food at restaurants in The Villages isn’t exceptional for us. Many of the restaurants cater to some seniors’ tastes, including burgers, pizza, sushi, and a variety of ethnic restaurants that either I can’t eat, or Tom doesn’t like. We never order burgers, pizza, and sushi. I’ve only found that dinner-type salads work for me when most of the meals have sauces, carb-laden toppings, and sides, which would be good on a regular diet.

Often the only option was salmon and salad, and every other night while in lockdown for ten months in a hotel in Mumbai, India, I ate salmon and veg. Since then, I have had no desire to eat salmon in a restaurant, although I have made it for myself a few times and don’t enjoy it anymore.

Plus, I don’t eat toxic vegetable oils, which many restaurants use to make most dishes. Salads are a safer option without added dressing. Instead, I order sour cream for salad dressing. Sadly, most salad dressings are made with vegetable oils of one type or another. It’s not the fat I’m worried about; it’s the chemicals used in making oils.

Often, olive oil may not be pure and made with other oils, so I avoid that too. Generally, I use pure virgin, unrefined, organic coconut oil or pure avocado oil. These aren’t used in restaurants due to the cost. But they are affordable for home use, especially since we don’t fry anything.

That’s it for today, folks,

Photo from ten years ago today, June 30, 2013:

No photos were posted on this date other than the above video. For the text, please click here.

Funny photos from four years ago today…Starting to think about leaving in 29 days…

On this date, four years ago, while in lockdown in Mumbai, India, a side view after Tom cut his hair. We laughed about this for days. From this post, here.

The photos we’re posting today were taken during lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, for a long ten months. We still can’t believe how we got through that, managing to keep our spirits up, staying calm, and maintaining a cheerful demeanor with one another.

Part of what maintained our positive state of mind were two things: 1. The hope each day that we’d get out the next day. 2. Having a sense of humor. And that we did with aplomb. Many times each day, something made us laugh, whether it was a comment we made or a situation we encountered from being stuck in that hotel room.

For those of our readers who didn’t have an opportunity to read about our ten months in that hotel room, please search our archives from March 2020 to January 2021, when we finally could leave and head to South Africa to wait out the pandemic.

Full frontal view after his haircut. Hahaha!

That decision to return to South Africa proved to be the best decision we could make, although we couldn’t get the vaccine when it became available, and we had to return to the US to get it there. We did so when it was time to get another 90-day visa stamp which, in the end, worked out well.

We had a wonderful time during those 2½ years we stayed in Marloth Park, including the times we had to leave for a visa run, of which there were many. Unfortunately, when we went for a cruise in 2022, we both contracted Covid-19, the Omicron strain, and became very ill for several months, still impacted when we returned to South Africa a month later.

Other than that awful experience, those 2½ years left us with wonderful memories spent with friends and wildlife, neither of which we ever lost interest in. Our day-to-day lives were fulfilling with one exciting adventure after another. Now, in The Villages in Florida, we’re experiencing a different lifestyle that we’ve found appealing and enjoyable.

We hardly notice the hot weather here, except we venture out on the golf cart. Generally, we go out later in the day. While in South Africa, I often wrote about the heat, humidity, and dew point since we had no aircon other than in the bedroom. We spent our days in the summer months sweating in the heat.

Tom, before his haircut.

In The Villages, Central Florida, we stay indoors other than on our morning walks and going out in the golf cart. But the heat here in the summer is not unlike South Africa in the summer (it’s winter there now). For example, today at 3:00 pm, the temperature will be 95F, 35C, with a dew point of 83 which is more humid than we experienced in the bush. Thank goodness we don’t have to be outdoors all day here. It would be tough.

On another note, yesterday, it was one month until we’ll leave Florida to fly to Edinburgh, Scotland, for our first of two cruises in the month of August. We look forward to these cruises and pray we’ll be safe from any potential illnesses on the ships. It’s hard to avoid being near people, but we’ll do our best to stay healthy.

Today, we’re staying in. We have leftovers from last night’s Grubhub order from Sunrise Asian Restaurant, that we enjoy about once a week. We always purchase enough to last two nights and thoroughly enjoy it for dinner. It’s nice not to have to cook for the nights we takeaway and go out to eat, mainly on the weekends.

Tomorrow night, we’ll head out to Brownwood for the late afternoon and evening, and if the weather holds up, we’ll go out again on Saturday.

Be well.

Photos from ten years ago today, June 29, 2013:

Our hotspot. On the right is our MiFi that we’ve rented from XCom Global, providing us with high-speed Internet connection worldwide. Unfortunately, due to our current location in the mountains of Tuscany, we’re unable to get a good signal. For more, please click here.

Corrections to our posts…Redundancy…Today is our 32 year anniversary of meeting…More Tuscany photos…

In Tuscan, laundry is typically hung outdoors from windows and make-shift clotheslines. Photo from this post.

In the past week, we made a few errors which a few readers kindly corrected. One was the birds in yesterday’s post when I described two birds at a golf course as Red-headed Herons when they were Sandhill Cranes. The second was the date the Titanic sank. I posted May 31, 1012, when it was April 15, 1912.

In both cases, I researched online, and in both cases, I noted the wrong information. Not everything we find online is accurate, as we so well know. Besides, I’m not exempt from typing incorrectly or inadvertently assuming information that may be inaccurate. In any case, I appreciate the correction and take no offense.

This small clothesline worked except for sheets and towels. For those, we made a clothesline that did the trick.

Writing a daily post such as this is bound to have errors, typos, inaccuracies, grammar and spelling errors, assumptions, and the relaying of inaccurate information I may have found online. Although, on a day-to-day basis, I try to be as accurate as possible.

The most frustrating error I face daily is paragraph spacing. In most cases, I cannot correct them, although I continue to try. Also, copying and pasting an article or photo from another source often impacts the format of my entire post, making specific corrections impossible.

In those cases, I decide the content I am adding is more important, removing the formatting errors, and I let it fly. These incidents slow me down; preparing a post often takes an hour or longer than usual.

This entrance appeared well maintained.

Another issue we face with our posts is redundancy, described as follows:



In linguistics, a redundancy is information that is expressed more than once. Examples of redundancies include multiple agreement features in morphology, multiple features distinguishing phonemes in phonology, or the use of various words to describe a single idea in rhetoric.”

It would be tough to avoid redundancy after writing almost 4000 posts (we’re at 3956 today) over the past 11 years. In the first few years, we didn’t do a post daily, but as time passed, we decided daily was more meaningful. Besides, doing it daily made it easier for me to be consistent and motivated rather than writing sporadically.

I went for a walk by myself down this narrow passageway.. It was like a maze.

To avoid redundancy, I’m not making a big deal here of our 32nd anniversary of meeting on this date in 1991. In the past, I’ve written and posted photos about this special day (for us), but today, we’ll enjoy it among ourselves. It’s funny, but this date has more meaning for us than our wedding anniversary of March 7, 1995, neither date of which has as much meaning as the anniversary date of the beginning of our world travels, October 31, 2012.

The anniversary date of our world travels represents so much for us, our choice of freedom to decide how we live our lives, a powerful sense of adventure, the continuing challenges that test our resiliency and adaptability, and the opportunity to experience the cultures, wildlife, nature, people, and scenery. We are truly blessed and grateful.

I suggested we use the rain gutter to dry the sheets. Tom ran to get the hangers to avoid getting the sheets dirty. Then, he moved the table and chairs to ensure the sheets didn’t touch the tabletop. It worked. Most locals hung their sheets outside their windows.

It looks like we won’t be going out today. There is wild thunder, lightning, wind, and rain. It makes no sense to go out in the golf cart today.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 28, 2013:

As we walked to the garden in Tuscany, we noticed these live vines over a doorway to another “attached house. Tom grumbled, “You’d never catch me walking through those vines each time I went outside!”  I thought they were cute. For more photos, please click here.

Worrisome news from Marloth Park…Replay of our live broadcast/podcast in Minnesota in 2022…

Here’s the Nyala family from left: Noah, Norman, and mom, Nina. We adore them so much. Since this photo was taken, Noah is now on his own after Nina and Norman sent him away when Natalie was born. For the post this photo was first presented, please click here.

When Tom spotted the following story on Facebook yesterday, I couldn’t read it quickly enough. At first, I thought they were talking about Norman and was very worried. Immediately, I wrote to Louise, and she assured me it was Noah, Norman’s son. Norman was OK.

I  was immensely relieved it wasn’t Norman, but we were saddened to read that Noah had suffered such a painful injury. It’s funny how, while we’re here, we can’t help but stay in touch with what’s happening in Marloth Park.

*Good news!*
The Nyala bull has been located, and Dr. Piet has confirmed that he has a hip injury. This injury might be the cause of his weight loss as it limits his ability to walk far for foraging. It is important to note that the healing process for his hip injury will take some time. Please provide him with the recommended food options if you have the means. *However, avoid feeding him mielies or bread.”
Opt for nutritious options like lucerne, wildlife pellets, and sweet potatoes. Additionally, the Nyala bull (Noah) is currently in Geelslang and Mamba. Thank you to all who have reported his whereabouts, as your help has been crucial in finding him. Please continue to monitor his condition and provide any necessary care and support during his healing process.”
We’re always so impressed by how Dr. Piet and the rangers take such good care of the animals. Unfortunately, they can’t provide similar care for warthogs. There simply are too many warthogs in Marloth Park, and mostly, they are very sturdy and recover well from injuries, often even from infections as a result of injuries. When warthogs get infected, maggots will work on eating the dead tissue aiding in warthogs’ recovery.
Wildlife we spotted at a golf course in The Villages. These are Sandhill Cranes, popular in Florida.
Back to our life here in The Villages…Yesterday, we went to Walmart, and we were disappointed to find it was only a grocery store, not the usual big Walmart stores we’d been to in our old lives or the last time, in Hawaii in 2014. We purchased the grocery items we needed but did find their prices were better than other local grocery stores.
Tom filled the golf cart’s fuel tank, only spending another $2. It’s no wonder residents tool around in their golf carts instead of cars when golf carts use so little fuel. We’re getting by, going out several times a week on the $2 fuel top-off. That’s amazing!
We didn’t stop for breakfast since we’re both watching our weight, and eating breakfast out is often very fattening, especially when we don’t know how much of the toxic seed oils they use in the preparation. Dining out twice a week is challenging enough for me when I try hard to avoid seed and vegetable oils. Instead, I ask for my food to be prepared using butter, but there’s no guarantee the cooks are preparing the food accordingly.
Subsequently, I order a salad with dressing on the side, of which I eat very little. When possible, I’ll order sour cream as a salad dressing which is a much healthier and safer option if one can tolerate dairy, which is not a problem for me.

Today, when we listened to yesterday’s podcast of Garage Logic, as we do each day, they replayed the episode of the podcast we were on when we were in Minnesota on May 6, 2022. It was fun listening to it once again. If you missed that podcast, you can listen here.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 27, 2013:

Our view of Boveglio from the winding road as we began our descent to Pescia. For more photos, please click here.