Winding down…Three weeks and counting…

Check out this mongoose mom and a tiny baby.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah.  (Photo by friend Ken).

Tom always says counting down the days until we depart the time goes by too quickly. For me, it’s the opposite. I savor each day, knowing there are so few remaining.

Three weeks from today, the next phase of our world journey begins when we drive to Nelspruit on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, to spend one night in a hotel to board an early morning flight to Johannesburg, change planes to then we’ll be off to Nairobi, Kenya.

As I meander through this good-sized house, I see things we need to pack in almost every corner. In essence, the process has started. I’ve already gone through all of my clothing and removed everything I will no longer wear.  
Dad is proud of his fast-growing chicks.

Many items no longer fit with my weight loss of 10 kilos this year (22 pounds). I’ll donate what I haven’t already given away to the sellers on the street to see if they can make a little money on my good-condition clothing.

Doing so leaves me with very little to wear on the upcoming cruise from San Antonio, Chile, to San Diego, California. But at this point, I’m not worrying about what I’ll wear on a cruise ship on dress-up nights. 

For the rest of the days and nights, I’ll wear jeans, shorts and lovely tee-shirts, of which I have plenty of. I still have four somewhat dressier tops, when paired with black pants, can work fine for more formal occasions.

It’s hard to believe these chicks have increased from the tiny little things they were six months ago.

Of my five pairs of shoes, one pair may be construed as a little dressy. Tom has several button shirts to wear to dinner and one white dress shirt for dress-up nights. We’I can add a scarf or costume jewelry for dinners in the main dining room to dress up an otherwise dull outfit. We’ll make it work, as we always do.

When Louise stopped by yesterday, she offered to store anything we may want to keep for our next visit. We may be willing to store a few roasting pans and outdoor lights to watch the wildlife at night.  

Other than that, she suggested we leave any food, spices, canned or bottled items we don’t want in the cupboards, and she can distribute them to their many rental houses for future guests to use or give them to the locals. 

It wasn’t easy to differentiate the chicks from the parents.

As it turns out, many of the food products we use aren’t used by the locals in their cooking method. But tourists from other countries may use the spices and condiments, of which we have many after cooking here for the past year. 

On Tuesday, we went through the chest freezer to inventory precisely what we had left to consume. After doing so, we realized we might not have to purchase much in the way of groceries, especially protein sources, of which we have plenty on hand.

Ostriches seem to love hanging out at this same house we’d observed five years ago.

I’d forgotten we had the frozen filling, already made, for one more pumpkin pie, left from our Thanksgiving dinner party. With it defrosted later in the day, I created and rolled the dough for one more pumpkin pie for Tom (his favorite).  

With the cooler weather, the pie crust came out better than on “pumpkin pie hell day” (click here for details) when we prepared the special meal for 12 of us. There wasn’t enough filling to fill the pie, but Tom loves the homemade crust. See the photo below of the pie I made on Tuesday.

Newly baked pumpkin pie made with a shortage of filling, but it suited Tom just fine!

We also found three large tenderloin steaks, enough for two nights each, so tonight, we’re starting with that, spacing out the balance over the next three weeks. With many upcoming social events and dinners out in the remaining three weeks, we’ll only need to replenish salad fixings, other fresh produce, and a few miscellaneous items such as coffee, cream, butter, eggs, paper products etc.

This morning in Komatipoort, we stopped at the dentist’s office to purchase an at-home teeth whitening product. Next door, I ran into the doctor’s office to make an appointment with the doctor to have my three (non-narcotic) prescriptions refilled for six months (it’s required in SA to see the doctor for refills).  

We can’t help but admire these stunning animals, which have never been domesticated due to their unsuitable demeanor.

The prices for refills are low enough here. It’s worth the office visit cost at ZAR 662 (US $48) rather than ordering them online from my usual supplier (ProgressiveRX).

We each have one more dentist appointment remaining to have our teeth cleaned, at which time I’ll have two remaining amalgam fillings removed and replaced with the safer white material. 

Female zebra grazing in the bush now that there’s so new growth of vegetation due to rain.

At that point, I won’t have any remaining amalgam fillings or teeth requiring any work, which will be a huge relief. I’ve meant to have this done for years. Ironically, we had to come to South Africa to work on our teeth, but the dentist is fantastic, and prices are considerably lower than in the US or other countries.

Back at the house, after shopping at Spar, buying three bags of pellets at Obaro, and Tom heading to Lebombo for carrots, apples, and eggs (for the mongoose), we’re suitable for the next week.

Zebra were looking healthy and well-fed.

We’re staying in for the remainder of today, beginning to work on some other organizing and packing projects. For me, doing a little each day feels more productive than waiting until the last day or two. Tom, on the other hand, prefers to wait until the day before we depart.

It’s all these slight differences between us that make traveling the world together more exciting and entertaining. It would be mighty dull if he was just like me!

Be well. Be happy wherever you may be.

Photo from one day year ago, January 24, 2018:
There were no photos on this date one year ago as we were heading to Ushuaia, Argentina, to board the ship sailing to Antarctica.

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