Updates and tidbits…Fun photos!…


A photo from guests staying at our upcoming rental house in South Africa.  Doing laundry takes on a whole new meaning!

As we write about the nuances of our days, on occasion we may leave a reader wondering what transpired with a particular situation that we may have mentioned in an earlier post.

The rental car: With no further email from Budget, we are assuming they decided to let us keep the car until we return it to Venice on September 1st.

When they agreed to extend the rental agreement (which we have in writing), they billed our credit card on file for the prorated balance through the return date.  Oddly, when they informed us that the car was sold, they reversed the charge of over $1300, yet to charge us for the balance.  There’s no doubt they’ll charge us for the balance once we return the car.

The bees and the fly’s issues: The coins in the Ziploc bags hanging in the doorways have reduced the influx of bees by 95% and the flies by 75%. Unfortunately, a few flies enter each day. For some peculiar reason, they don’t seem to land long enough to kill them. They are vicious, biting me with a frenzy. As a result, I have no less than 10 fly bites at any given time, that take no less than 5 days to stop itching. 

Can you imagine soaking in the tub with these visitors stopping by to say hello?

At 4:00 am this morning, I was awakened by the itching forcing me to take a Tylenol PM to get back to sleep.  Tylenol PM and other over the counter sleep aids, often contain diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that causes drowsiness and stops the itching. Luckily, I fell back to sleep.

It seems most of the bites occur around dinner time, the smell of food drawing them inside. Instead of feasting on the food, they feast on my arms and legs so fast I can’t shoo them away. Tonight, I am going to wear my Bugs Away long pants during and after dinner, hoping to keep the biting at bay.

The weather: For almost two weeks, we had over 90 degree days. Last week, it was 97 degrees, one day with humidity to match. It cools down nicely at night. On two nights we slept without covers, fortunately, not losing much sleep over the heat. 

Now that it’s beginning to cool down, it was so cool last night that I slept in warmer PJs. With the mosquito netting over one of the master bedroom windows, we can sleep without buzzing around our heads, enjoying the cool breeze. As we sit on the veranda while I write this, it’s no more than 68 degrees, wonderfully comfortable.  We’re hoping it continues to stay cool as we prepare to leave Tuscany soon.

Seat assignment for our upcoming flight: A few days ago, I called Turkish Air able to speak in English to a representative. She informed us that arranging seat assignment wasn’t possible until August 26th, a full week before the flight. I’ve never heard of this before. Most likely, we’ll be charged to sit together which we’ll disdainfully pay. 

Upcoming year’s prescription order.  In early July, we ordered all of our upcoming year’s prescriptions. They were to arrive in 6 boxes.  As of this date, only 4 boxes have arrived.  Now it may be too late for them to send them.  I’ve decided to wait until Monday. If they haven’t arrived, I’ll contact the company having them resend the missing boxes (hopefully, at their expense for expedited shipping). 

A box from our mailing service: The chargers for both of our computers will soon die, based on the difficulty we’ve begun to experience. Thus, it made sense before we leave for Africa, to order two new chargers, in the event either or both of them entirely fail. The replacement cost was US $9.95 each with free shipping in the US only. Also, I needed a few cosmetic items I’d be unable to find in Italy. 

We put together an order from Amazon, all with free shipping to be shipped to our mailing service in Nevada.  The chargers, along with my few cosmetic items were all shipped in one small box at a cost of US $50. Of course, they included the few pieces of mail we hadn’t received as yet, most of which we look at online at a cost of $2 per scan. The box arrived in 18 days from the shipping date via USPS international, coming directly to the door here.

Overpayment on credit card: When we saw the charge on the credit card for the prorated balance (as described above) on the rental car, I immediately paid the bill off in full.  Our goal is to keep all of our credit cards at a zero balance in the event of an emergency. When Budget reversed the charge (go figure) a few days later, we ended up with a credit on Master Card. Wouldn’t one assume, they’d just leave it there until additional purchases we made? Oh no! They mailed a check to our mailing service. How inconvenient!

Fortunately, we’d left dozens of envelope and deposit slips with our mailing service before we left Nevada, in the event we received any checks. Contacting our rep at the mailing service by email, I requested they deposit the check. Looking each day to confirm the deposit was made, it finally came through, taking a full week from the date it was mailed for the deposit to show in online banking.  Good to know. 

Staying on top of situations and tasks such as these, however small they may be, is thought-provoking and time-consuming. Luckily, Tom and I both prefer to avoid tasks hanging over our heads, so we strive to be diligent in getting tasks out of the way as quickly and painlessly as possible.

We’d rather save our time and energy over that which we have no control, the surprises, the unexpected. 

Now, I’ll go make a baking soda paste to see if that will help with the itching. I checked today to discover that both houses, in Kenya and in South Africa have screens. Yeah for screens!

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