Two weeks from today and we're off...Fun night last night with new arrival, another family member...


Two years ago, Tom and I sat in the hotel bar in Palermo, Buenos Aires watched the Minnesota Vikings playoff game. We were the only patrons in the bar, but had a wonderful evening together. For more, please click here.
?Last night, Tom and Eugene picked up Kevin (Mary and Eugene's son and Tom's nephew) at the airport. Kevin retired a few years ago from a lifetime career as a police officer and wanted to spend some time with his parents for 11 days.

While they were gone, I finished the final details of the meal we were bringing over to their home to share with everyone. Tom dropped Kevin and Eugene off and then he returned here to load up the hot food into Margie's car, which we continue to use.

By 8:00 pm, we were having dinner amid non-stop talking and laughter. By 10:30 I pooped out and drove myself back to our place, falling into bed. It was a busy cooking day and a good night's sleep was on the menu at that point.

In minutes I dozed off and awoke at 1:30 am when Tom came in. In no time at all, we both dozed off. Today won't be as busy a day. All I have to do it go to OfficeMax to have the India 26-page itinerary printed and stop at a local outlet store to buy a few more items.

At 4:00 pm today, we'll walk to the pool area where there will be the usual Wednesday evening fire pit get-together. Most likely, we'll spend the remainder of the evening in, dining on leftovers and relaxing.

There are several social events over the next several days and most likely, we'll attend most, if not all of them.

Our long-time reader/friends Pat and Dan referred their adult daughter Christina to us to discuss suggestions for a single woman traveling to South Africa alone to spend a few weeks in Marloth Park.

Christina called yesterday afternoon and we chatted for quite some time. She is a ranger in Yellowstone Park and the thought of Marloth Park is a dream come true for her. It was delightful talking to her. Plus, she spent two years in India as a missionary and it was fantastic to hear her enthusiasm for India.

Many people have stated concern over us staying in India for so long, all of whom have never been there. Yes, we're well aware of the pollution (and other issues) in the country. A few days ago our two high tech filtered face masks arrived. We don't care how we look wearing them, which we'll do in the big cities when appropriate.

On Monday afternoon Tom will drive me to Mesa (and pick me up later) to meet up with another dear reader/friend, Staci with whom we've been conversing for several years. She'll be in Scottsdale for a business trip and carved out time to meet up with me so we could get together for dinner and "girl talk." 

I am so excited to finally meet Staci after chatting back and forth online for these past years. Hopefully, I'll take photos and post them here the following day.

That's it for today, folks. May you all have a fabulous day.
Photo from one year ago today, January 15, 2019:
Tom was sitting at the end of the big table on the veranda. It was such a happy time for both of us. For more from that date, please click here.

A year ago memories...That never happened...

She decided to look at her reflection in the glass of the little red car assuming it was another hornbill, perhaps a possible mate. For more, please click here.
As I read the year ago post I felt a little melancholy. It was a post about how we assumed we were leaving in one month on February 15, 2019. See the post here.

We were getting ready for an upcoming birthday dinner party for our friend Rita (husband Gerhard) whom we'd met from our site who ended up living in the same house in Marloth Park where we'd lived for three months in 2013/2014. 

They rented the house when our site directed them to Louise, our dear friend and property manager who'd rented the Hornbill House to us and them, and then four year's later rented the Orange House to us. 

Rita and Gerhard became friends fast enough that they hosted Tom's birthday party on December 23, 2018 and to joyfully reciprocate, we decided to host Rita's birthday party a several weeks later. 

The same wonderful group of friends were coming to the party. Linda and Ken from Pretoria were coming to stay with us for a week which only added to the excitement and fun.

In the interim we were all headed to Tambarina Restaurant for dinner that night for the first celebration of Rita's birthday. We all loved a reason to celebrate and then again, we didn't always need a motive other than the pleasure of sharing time together.

Kathy had arranged a going away "girl's day" for me on the upcoming February 5th to include pedicures and lunch. That never happened.

Kathy and Don were hosting a going away party for us on Friday, February 8th. That never happened.

The next night on February 9th, our last Saturday night in the bush, we were all getting together for dinner at Jabula. That never happened.

Leaving for Kenya for a fantastic tour and numerous safaris was on the schedule with our intended departure date on February 15th, the day our visas ended. That never happened.

Eighty four days later, we were supposed to be in Minnesota. That never happened.

On Friday night February 8th, after the heart disease diagnosis with the subsequent emergency open heart surgery scheduled for February 12th, Kathy and Don invited all of us for dinner at their house. I'll always remember that night when we all sat around the fire in their garden sharing stories and our deepest feelings.

The next night, February 9th, we all met again for my pre-surgery dinner party. It was a bittersweet evening with loving friends. I'll always remember these times with heartfelt gratitude and devotion.

So, reading yesterday's post reminded me of all of these events which will always be emblazoned in our hearts and minds, grateful for our friends and for Dr. Theo who discovered my condition on a hunch.

Yes, as we look forward to heading to India in 15 days, we'll never forget what we've left behind and pray for the days we'll all be together again.

May you enjoy good health and loving friends.
Photo from one year ago today, January 14, 2019:
"Pig in a pond." Mom opted for a sitz bath on the steamy hot day while the youngsters played nearby in the bush. For more, please click here.

Recipe request from many readers...More fraud on one of our credit cards...

One of several giraffes we spotted last night when dropping Rita and Gerhard back at the Hornbill house.  The partial moon is shown in the photo. For more, please click here.
After yesterday's post and mention of our dinner last night, we had many requests for the recipe. I must mention this high fat recipe is only recommended for those on a keto or low carb diet, having converted their bodies from burning sugar for fuel as opposed to consuming sugar inducing foods such as sugar, fruit, wheat and other grains, and starches. (More on this way of eating here).

We both decided to also resume intermittent fasting several days a week to aid in our health as described here which may be highly effective in maintaining health and losing weight. These two means are effective for many health conditions including heart disease as described here in a Harvard study.

(Please keep in mind, we are not providing medical advise nor recommending you eat this way. Please check with your physician before starting any new health regime or diet).

Many, who have been following us all along, may wonder, "If these ways of eating were so effective, how did I end up with cardiovascular disease and the subsequent bypass surgery?"

The doctors in both South Africa and the US explained that I'd had hereditary CVD for 30 or 40 years, long before I started this way of eating. Also, I exercised all of my life. They stated that my low carb diet and exercise most likely prevented me from having a fatal heart attack. 

Also, this way of eating and exercise prevented me from having type 2 diabetes, another hereditary condition. Before I started eating this way my blood sugar was construed as pre-diabetic. Surely, by now I would have been on medication.

Everyone has to make decisions that work best for them, based on many factors including heredity, lifestyle, sleep patterns and stress. When my children were young and I was a single parent with two young sons, owning a stressful business with no child support being paid, my life was exceedingly stressful. 

At that time, I drank caffeinated beverages all day in an attempt to maintain a certain level of energy. This, coupled with my bad genes was highly instrumental in my developing severe cardiovascular disease, although I exercised all of my life and at that time consumed a low calorie, low fat diet.

I began this way of eating in 2011 and there is considerable information here on our site. If you type in '"low carb" into the search box on the right side of our home page under the word "Search" located below the advertisers, you find many posts on this topic.

Thus, here the link to the above mentioned recipe which we found at this site many years ago. If you decide to make this, let me know if you love this dish as much as we do.

Today is a busy day, taking care of financial matters. We had another credit card number used fraudulently. That's two card numbers stolen since we arrived in Arizona. Go figure. This is more fraud than we've experienced in any other country. We're awaiting the new card in the next few days.

May your day be pleasant and fulfilling!
Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2019:????????
I'll feed gentle Ms. Bushbuck from my hand, one of few instances in which we do so. For more please click here.

The Minnesota Vikings continue to disappoint...Social evening softens the blow...Prescription drug error...

In Kauai, Hawaii on this date in 2015, here is another of Tom's exquisite sunrise photos. For more photos from this date, please click here.
Yes, we were sorely disappointed by the Minnesota Vikings loss yesterday afternoon. The playoffs and the season is now all over for them until next season when preseason games begin in August and the regular season, in September.

Tom watched the game with the boys at Colleen's home while I stayed behind at our place continuing to work on more of the contents of our package that arrived on Friday night. A year's supply of my three prescription drugs had to be popped out the plastic packs and placed into bottles with my name and prescription in the label. 

Carrying loose pills in those plastic containers asking for trouble. If stopped at  security, the pills could cause a real issue as we discovered early on in our travels.

Also, I'd ordered quite a number of bottles of supplements, suitable for cardiovascular disease as opposed to taking statins, a decision I made many months ago. As mentioned, Tom and I went through the vitamin bottles consolidating as much as we could while leaving them in the original bottle.

In the process of going through the newly arrived prescription drugs, I noticed that the bottle of thyroid medication I'd been prescribed while in the hospital (when I was running out before the surgery) was for the wrong dose, .25 mcg as opposed to .75 mcg. 

My new prescription was for the correct amount of .75 mcg. Subsequently, I'd been taking ? of my previously required prescription. After all we'd been through I never looked at the tiny print on the bottle but I did notice the pills were round, not oval. 

Since many drugs look different from country to country due to a variety of generic drugs, I didn't give it another thought...not until yesterday and then I understood why after all this effort to feel 100% failed in part by not taking the appropriate dose of this important drug.

Subsequently, I've had typical symptoms of hypothyrodism which may be found here. I wondered why I gained weight over the past year (15 pounds) and been unable to lose it as I've always been able to do easily. Also, it explains why I've had a hard time getting up in the morning, staying in bed until 8:00 am or later.

I was always the early bird, along with Tom, bolting out of bed at 6:00 am ready to tackle the day. This all makes sense. Today, I took the first correct dose but it takes about a month to see an improvement.

In India, I'll continue to eat a healthy diet of mostly fish, chicken and vegetables and of course, we'll be walking a lot while on tours over the next several months.

When, a few days ago, we received our final itinerary for our almost two month tour in India, we were able to check the menus at the various hotels. Neither of us will have a problem based on these menus. 

The hotels are four and five star and appear to have excellent highly rated restaurants. No beef of course, but plenty of other meat options that will work for both of us. Tom doesn't eat lamb which is a popular item on their menus but he will eat fish on occasion and chicken at any time. We breathed a sigh of relief.

Last night, after the game Tom returned. I sliced our remaining roast beef we'd cooked the prior night, reheated the huge pan of mashed potatoes, cooked green beans and made a salad, all of which we loaded into the car and brought back to Colleen and Gene's home.

The seven of us gathered around the big kitchen, eating our reheated leftovers that everyone seemed to enjoy. The conversation was lively as always with many funny stories flying around the room. We had a great time!

This morning I made a favorite low carb hamburger casserole with a big salad for tonight's dinner. We'll stay in, while Tom watches more football today and tonight, we'll stream a few shows we've been watching.

May you and yours enjoy a fantastic Sunday!
Photo from one year ago, January 12, 2019:
Frank and The Mrs and friends stopped by for a visit. Frank is on the far right, the Mrs is found on the left. They never had a chick the entire time we were there. Maybe next time. For more photos, please click here.

Laundry and football day...

Saturnalia, a Sculptural group by Italian artist Ernesto Biondi at the botanical garden Buenos Aires in 2018. For more photos, please click here.
This morning while it was still dark, Tom bolted out of bed at 6:30, gathered up most of the laundry and headed to the laundry room. With many RV patrons here, most without laundry facilities in their units, lately we've had a hard time finding available washers and dryers.

I got up shortly after he left, stripped the bed and gathered more dirty items and between the two of us, we had it all done by 9:00 am. Upon returning, re-making the bed and putting everything away, we made breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sausages. 
With the Viking game not starting until 2:30 pm, we may not have dinner until close to 7:00 pm by the time we get back to our place from watching the game with Eugene at Colleen and Gene's house. 

It appears the sisters will be getting together with neighbors in Margie's home to play the popular Dominos game, Mexican Train. I'd prefer to watch the game with the boys since I am very interested in what transpires today.

Yesterday, I spent considerable time reorganizing my suitcase and the supplies bag including new items we'd recently purchased. I decided against shipping any warm clothing to be stored in our large mailbox at the mailing service. 

I'd purchased all the warm clothing I've been wearing at excellent prices at TJ Maxx (average $12.99 per item) and it's not worth incurring additional baggage fees when flying or bearing the cost of shipping the items back and forth. 

I can always purchase additional items along the way which won't be too difficult once we arrive in Europe in the spring. Also, it might be fun to purchase a few cotton items while in India.

Today, Tom was reading the suggestions made by the Maharajas Express train as to what clothing we'll need for the six-day journey. Apparently, the weather is very cool in the mornings and evenings this time of year and they suggest warm items for these periods.

It's hard to believe we'll be on our way to India in only 18 days. We still have a lot to do to be ready to leave. But, overall, my packing is almost complete barring the addition of some of the warm clothing I've been wearing lately and a few more items I need to purchase. The same goes for Tom.

We've been in the US for over two months. We've accomplished our objectives and spent quality time with family (and some of our friends), our primary objective in returning to the US. We may not return for another two years, hoping to stay in close touch with those we love while we're traveling.

Are we excited about heading out on the next leg of our journey? Of course, we are, very much so. And although there may be a little trepidation due to the events of the past year, we're emotionally and physically ready to continue on. 

Let's face it, regardless of how we live our lives there are always challenges. This nomadic life is no different and, although it may seem ideal to always be traveling with a sense of abandonment and freedom, there are always responsibilities, tasks and, unexpected events that may impede the quality of our experiences from time to time.

None the less, we are in awe of the world around us and perpetually grateful to be able to live this life, with its ups and downs, with its peculiar nuances, all combined with our passion and commitment to continue to live "outside the box."

Happy day to all!
Photo from two years ago on this date: (We hadn't posted one year ago today due to illness):

Cactus garden at a botanical garden in Buenos Aires. For more photos, please click here.