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Life has definitely taken me to places I never thought I would go to....but nothing more exciting than where I am right now! Welcome to my world...


Friday, August 31, 2007

Nothing exciting...which can be a very good thing!



Nothing exciting today...which I think may be a good thing! Still haven't found the cord to connect camera to computer...???? Where did I put it for safekeeping? I did find, all the camera cords to broken digital camera and the camcorder...but they don't fit this camera. Very frustrating...since I took photos of my baltimore blocks...so far.....and those stinking MAM (mile a minute ) blocks! finished about 28 and have about 50 more from, small to needing one more strip sewn on. My arm gave out....before I could get them all caught up.I have decided they breed like Rabbits...just when i get the crumb pieces up to a Half block....I seem to have new Baby blocks!!!! At any rate, I also sewed up several leaders and enders for a blue/tan quilt...and red /cream/white for another one. I am so thankful that our ice cream...( as crappy as it is here) comes in plastic tubs...as I have filled one with reds....and one with blue....that I hope to stitch into 4 patches tomorrow.....maybe have 100 of each by the end of the day. The ice cream tubs have lots of 2 " squares in them!!!! Then have to decide how to start planning the put together quilt..... did manage to do several scrapbook pages this week, so it was a good week by that standard. And I am taking a mosaic class in the morning.Hoping to learn how to prepare the surfaces...so can redo patio table when I come back home. The girl who is teaching the class, lives in East London, about two hours away, and I had the privilege of staying in her home back in May, what a creative person...not only does she have mosaiced mirrors in her bathrooms...but she actually built a mosiac tile divide in the bathroom, using mirror and glass....and big beads. It was so cool. I loved what she did outside in her garden...she had done a gorgeous colorful mosaic on the cement wall. It was phenominal...and her clawfoot tub had been mosaiced! Very artsy! I loved it. I don't know how much I will learn, but looking forward to the morning. Bob and I are planning on attending the Rotary conference in Lesoto, the mountain kingdom, later in Sept. I can't wait to see this place. As they wear very unique hats...and dress!So should be very interesting. Just need to find the stinking camera cord! Can't believe the ones I "found" don't fit. Will eventually put the photos on a cd at camera shop...so can post them then. But sure miss being able to load with the story.Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Can't believe that it is Sept. already. Oh, special thanks to my niece, Farrah, nephew, Sonny, Jan and Rob for gathering all the books ....and John for paying to ship them. Yikes! You are stars! I will pick up the last of the bags on Monday. And we will take photos... of the delivery, at the Library on Thursday of next week. I want some of the Rotary Ann's to see the difference in the Library as this will be the last for a while. Thanks to any of you who donated books to the cause. It has been so beneficial to the cause. Will post photos ...think I have some of the library AFTER the first Big delivery by Karen and Charlie Morello of San Antonio, and Donna Laubach, of Okeene Oklahoma. The difference to the next photos will be so noticable. YOu can't believe what your contributions have done. There is alway room for more of course...and those books are certainly being used. The shanty houses are located just across the street from the library, but one of the shanties is being replaced by a proper house...it gets a little more done every time I go out. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ANother Day in my world!!!!!!

Ok.....today has turned cooler again...but at least we had power! I know the old adages...about the best laid plans....ya da ya da ya da..... and If you aim at nothing you will HIT it every time....but I had such plans today....so the first thing I did this morning...after standing in line at the post office..to pick up the books.....For my little township library....YES.... the AIR MAIL packages sent in MAY full of books.......finally arrived!!!!! I received the notification about their arrival...and hurried to post office at 8:30 (opening time....every day except Wednesday???? Not sure why WED. is different) but arrived with 7 people in front of me. And they were painfully slow...when it was finally my turn...it took her 15 min. to go back and forth to the back room....( the secret room...where all the mail is kept) and then she came out and informed me that the parcels had been sent to Ezibeleni post office. Now Ezibeleni is the township ....where my little library is located...but they were addressed to me....in Queenstown.....so I queried this...and this especially cheeky employee told me that indeed it had an EZEBELENI stamp on it...so that is where it was!Now there was also a registered letter ....so I asked if I could have that. She then ...with attitude .....said "It has an EZIbeleni stamp on it...so it is there also." I further asked her why the books would be sent there, when they had always been sent to my house in Queenstown....all she did was say they were "OVER THERE" and pointed toward EZIBELENI! Iam getting a bit ticked off by this time...and I told her I have no idea where in that township the post office is.....? She shrugs her shoulders at me.Well, that really wasn't the right thing to do ....I am spitting mad now! So I went to the gentleman at the end of the counter...and ask if I might see the Post Master....he points me back around the corner....to the main post office.(let me explain that here....we have to pick up parcels...as our postman ....when he feels like it ...delivers letters....by bicycle...or leaves slips in your post box at the house...telling you to pick up things.They do not pick up mail...you have to take it to the post office and drop it in the outside mail box.I get wrong mail for other people all the time...so wonder what doesn't make it to me?????? At any rate...I walked around the building...out the side door...back into the front door to the main part of the post office, where they stamp documents...as in NOTARIZE...not post stamp....or make copies or up until they shut down the lottery last Jan....for corruption/collusion....sold lottery tickets, and they pretty much did just about everything but sell stamps! At any rate, I entered the main part of the post office...only to encounter the dreaded steel doors!They are at every bank...and now that the post office ....yes ...it is a bank too...... they have bullet proof glass doors...on steel frames....and you have to open the first door....let it shut...all the way...at which time a red light inside turns green...then you can open the second door and actually enter the "POST OFFICE". So I go through all that...and every time I have to do this at a BANK..... I pray there is no fire...because HOW COULD YOU GET OUT QUICKLY????? I enter the Post office...and head toward the Enquiries sign...only to find no one there....so I am standing in front of branch manager door...employees only..when a very unsuspecting woman opens that door.I immediately say I wish to see the post master.She invites me in...there is a gentleman in there and he asks what I need.I ask why parcels addressed to me have been sent to Ezibeleni???He looks at my slips...then says WHO helped you? I told him...and HE Practically dragged me BACK to the PARCEL pick up point. HE then sorts another person to contact that post office....and get my books sent back to this post office.He chats up the SURLY girl, and he informs me that she will help me find the registered letter...as IT IS THERE!!! IN THIS POST OFFICE!!!! She managed to find it in less than a minute....and then I did the PICK UP routine...show your passport, sign documents...... stinking cheek! I can only say that because I know I am in South AFrica...I did ask if the parcels would be delivered to Queenstown POst office by next WEDNESDAY, as in 4 business dayS???? IT is only about 9 miles away.....but I have no intention of driving into an unfamiliar area....as they sometimes have demonstrations and have burning tires on the road...so Its not a safe thing to do. I feel very comfortable taking my books into the township....as I know where it is...and its only 1 block off the main road...very safe....but not a clue where I would have to go to get the post there. Now this took so long, that I only managed to finish sewing the leaves on Baltimore block...started sewing cherries this afternoon.But I did start to sew MAM's .... MIle a minute blocks.....Boy, it would have gone smoother if I was an organized kind of girl...didn't have strips cut small enough....but they are addictive. I wish I could show you what progress I made???? But my newest digital broke a couple of weeks ago.so using the old one kids gave me...and being the disorganized person I have been the last couple of weeks...have lost the cables to the old digital camera....With no ability to uplaod to computer, I must dig them out from who knows what corner I plopped them in. At any rate....trust me....I made sandwich for baby quilt...then started the MILE A MINUTES!!!! Have about 50-75 in various stages of completion....Hope to finish those tomorrow...and start another navy and white quilt....using all stash fabrics! OF COURSE!! I have been so good....not bouught any fabric since Korea in April! May get done with last 4 rows of tesselation center as well. I plan to sew all morning...then scrap in the afternoon!I have no obligations...unless I have to go stand in the Queue at the post office AGAIN TOMORROW!!!!Have a great day....I did today once I sat at the sewing machine! I do think sewing is way CHEAPER than therapy!!!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Neighbors house burgled last night.....

The burglaries in our area seem to be coming more frequently. The girl who has a scrap store in her house...was burgled on Friday night...along with three others, all in about 3 blocks of our home. Then last night the next door neighbor's home...was entered.They got over the "spikes" on the brick wall totally surrounding our property,past the locked perimeter gates, then entered the neighbors veranda...after slicing through the plastic blinds, which provide shelter from wind on her back veranda. They managed to unplug the stereo on veranda, raid the fridge they keep for guests who stay in their b and B, then the security alarm went off....so the burglar/s ran, the security company came...noticed a guy down by the corner...when they gave chase...he dropped the bag of goodies he was carrying...and got away.The bag contained outdoor lamp components...outdoor lights!Now why you 'd steal those...including the big light bulbs...I have no idea.But hope we have an uneventful night tonight. This occured about 3:15 AM. So really need a good night's rest. I have things to do in the morning. I'm hoping to sew on Baltimore block no 8 tomorrow.It is partially completed...but loads of hand applique.Took photos of the completed ones ...but I am already locked in my bedroom...without camera cables.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Lights out in South Africa

Well, another power failure....in our neck of the woods!I do get tired of these outages...which occur almost as frequently as changing underwear....maybe more frequently than that for Teenage boys that I remember when they were young! Yikes, I won't reveal names so as to protect the ....er....guilty! I managed to finish piecing a baby quilt for my friends second grandbaby, hope to maybe "sandwich" up tomorrow, then begin machine quilting...if I have power!??? I did sew on a Patriotic quilt...just not happy with the way it is going....It needs something to add a little ooomph!Not sure what. Also sewed up all red/cream/white leaders and enders into squares....had 70 four patches...very happy about that. I also started sewing up some of the navy/tan ones I had ready to begin....leading and ending with. I do love Bonnies hints.... Hope to get those all sewed up this week...to see what I have.Then plan to start the mile a minutes....using up all my accumulated scraps from the various quilts I have going! I am teaching scrapping tomorrow morning...to some of the girls I crop with regularly. They were going through my book last week...decided they want to copy' or "scraplift" some of my pages...so I said fine, next weeks crop.It is here already. I only have two months until I go to the US once again...will only be there for a month, then back to South AFrica for another 2 months, then permanently back to the US.. But need to get so much sewing done before then. Have to use up my fabric here....am highly motivated. Think I may not go to the gym.....er....actually haven't been in quite a while....but love to have a "reason" not to go!!!! Maybe I'll go sit on the bikes for a half hour. Hate taking the time to do the class...when we always seem to be waiting....when I could have sewed a few extra min. I am making a plan to sew every morning...at least an hour. If I have full days...will have to get up earlier and I hate that more than the gym! .And hope that we have power...since I'm not sewing on a treadle machine. Now kind of wish I had bought the treadly I saw at the used furniture store.It would definitely come in handy the past couple of weeks. Hate not having power...for hours at a time. At any rate....going to scrap in AM, then sew at least an hour...if not more tomorrow aternoon. About to go to bed now...it has turned much colder today....going to be below freezing tonight, at -1 C. Just hope we keep some power....so can keep the chill out of the lounge, with the small oil heater we have. We have no heat built into our home, so it can get very cold, when it stays cold and is overcast. Hoping for sun, which always chases away the chill. Thankfully, the security system at the house has a battery backup...so we are safe even with no electric as long as the battery lasts. Hope to take some photos tomorrow of some of the MIP's (Masterpieces in Progress..)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More of the same....Quilts!


Sorry, meant to add the shot of my "stolen" quilt hanging at a quilt expo we did here. It really shows how pretty it was. I was sick when it went missing. I must admit, because I "scratch" in the Off cut/imperfect bin, many of my quilts had similar colors, I offer other examples...of some made from more "leftovers". I am determined to get at least several more bed quilt pieced before I come home for good next spring.So probably more of the same colors. I do have a bag of brown and white traditional print...and a few more "wild" off cuts, and some black and white fabric to make a quilt out of. But lots of navy, don't know exactly why all of the navy was in the bins.....but I like navy so no problem at 2 US dollars for 2 pounds of material!I certainly couldn't resist. But have been so good lately, knowing that the moving day is coming....I have only purchased thread and light bulbs for the sewing machine.???That is another question, I have probably only bought 4 or 5 bulbs for my sewing machines in 20 plus years of sewing, but don't you know, that I have gone through that many bulbs in the last 2 yrs here???? It is crazy, thank goodness we don't have 220 electricity at home for all appliances, toasters, lamps....etc. My maid has burned up an iron and a toaster. Its got to be the electric or the cheap crap they sell here. I think my last iron, became obsolete after 20 years...but still worked great!Not here, I am on the third iron...they last about 1 year....just after the warranty runs out!

My UFO's and MIP's.....





Since I taught scrapping on Wednesday, and helped three girls do their prep work for the tesselation quilt class I am teaching on Sat...day after tomorrow...., haven't had much time to sew on my projects...but did finish a quilt last week....made from some scrap fabric I found in the reject bins at the local fabric store.The only problem is that I didn't have enough fabric to make it a bed quilt...so I improvised!Just a bit. It was wild fabric anyway...so add a little more to it.....then its big enough ....doesn't really matter if it is wild to me. At any rate finished it last week...and have almost finished another bed sized one.....I have always been a quantity /over quality type of girl anyway....as my family can attest to! Using just my leftover scraps from a quilt I made my daughter in law.....and out of the really small bits of red and white schwe-schwe fabric, I plan to make at least one more small 9 patch quilt...hope it will be double sized! That one is on the planning board ...er....paper ....as we speak. Had to share the news....but haven't taken a photo of either one yet. will get them this week...and if lucky, will finally finish the lavender and green tesselation one started earlier this year...yes it is from scraps too...another UFO project from a friend...which I cut into squares and did a small 50 in. or so tesselation quilt center out of. It is going to be my Demo /cutter for the tesselation class. But I digress.... I want to explain to those non quilters...that a UFO is an Unfinished Object...in United States Quilt speak....however, here in South Africa, they call them MIP's....Masterpiece In Progress! I love that, so will be teaching South african slang, when I return to the States. I am sharing a photo or two of the latest projects, a handquilted quilt I just got a few weeks ago from my handquilter. She is working on another one, which I think is far prettier. Can't wait to get it back. This large navy oversized queen quilt with leaf applique is called My African Vine, since I used the traditional geometric prints that most domestic/rural folks make their clothes out of. I asked all friends to donate scraps of their Schwe-schwe fabric, so it has many different patterns....but similar colors.It was a take along on trips,in car,while waiting to have my car washed...project. The lovely ladies holding up the quilt for me, are my some of my neighbors maids, Dorothy and Beauty. I need to start a new take along quilt soon...but at the moment am working on a hand appliqued Baltimore Quilt in Autumn shades.Many fabrics purchased at the fabulous Fabric mart in Taegu South Korea!Love that place, sure hope Jen is scoping out a box of replacement fabric for me! The other quilt is unfortunately the stolen one, the photo is of Noluthando, my hand quilter, quilting it before the stinking burglars took all my stuff. So if you ever spot this quilt, I look every time I'm driving to see if it is hanging on a clothes line or fence.... it is mine, and is labeled on the back! I loved that quilt. Had to share a photo of it. The reward wasn't enough to get it back unfortunately for me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Remembering to be grateful.....

I am truly blessed. I have a wonderful husband, children, grandchildren and friends!When I was a young wife, very young..... I always dreamed of being a MOM to at least 3 children, at least one of each sex, have a nice home, with two cars in the garage. This harkens back to the early days in Sharon, living without spare vehicles I think???. I certainly would never have guessed that life would lead me where it has ....all those many years ago...when I used to walk up to the West hill in Sharon, and sit on the hill above Sacred Heart School in the early evening hours and look at the twinkling lights of my little world. That is the stuff dreams are made of, so hope to have more dreams to dream and achieve. I have over the years come to realize how fortunate I really am. I've enjoyed every adventure, my husband and children have drug me to/through! I never thought to be able to leave Pennsylvania, much less been to 4 continents!I may still get to Australia, we have certainly met enough Aussies here. I have enjoyed doing things for others, from helping to start the Children't Christmas tree project in Jacksonville....and the Celebration of Lights in Pampa, Texas.And most recently getting books for an African library.(I love Oprah, and sure wish she'd send me a box!) My friends, acquaintances and family have all helped with my projects over the years.These have certainly been more successful than I dared to hope for. I still hope that God has more for me to do. I will certainly look forward to doing some Stateside projects when we return home next May. At present I have no idea where we will end up when we return, just know that its all in someone else's hands! Again lucky me....not to have to worry about what the future may hold, just sit back and enjoy the ride! And I really can't think of anything much better than that. At this stage in my life, I can be proud of my childrens accomplishments, enjoy the antics of the much younger grandchildren...laugh at the good times and be happy about still being in love "after all these years"! Coming up on 34 years..... who knew that we could make it through it all. I must be nostalgic, think all the upcoming grandbaby talk is making me think back to my young married days. Not that I would want to go back, but time sure seems to have flown by, while I wasn't watching. Maybe that is why I enjoy scrapbooking so much, to recapture and remember those good times. I am teaching a scrap class tomorrow in a town about 45 min. away.... with much younger woman. Hope they can appreciate and enjoy all that they have ahead of them ....as much as I did.

I wish I could tell you......




Well, we had a fun time in East London, I didn't win a million, but did get to eat ice cream, see two movies...and have a nice meal. I actually had two ice cream cones!Shame, but we went straight to Woolworth's to get Bob's saltine crackers...now that is still crazy to me, to have to drive two hours...through cows, goats, sheep.....literally. They are always in the roads here. Apparently, although very valuable...they pretty much graze anywhere they want to....with very little supervision. And when you are driving about 125 K (80 miles) per hour,and come round a bend on the Highway...and see cows....you don't argue with them! The sign above....warns to be cautious of.... cows/animals for the next 180 K, about 110 miles....and that says it all. You drive at your own risk...from animals, pedestrians, and very crazy drivers! I would like to note that while driving up to Durban....about an 8 hr drive from here....on a very good day...with light truck traffic...I was shocked to see the number of pedestians on the Toll Interstate type of highway!.....Yikes, I was even more shocked to see vendors selling....golf balls, veggies, and anything else they thought people might stop to buy! My dear husband pointed out...that they wouldn't sit there...if people didn't stop to buy! So it must be so! Had to add this out of focus photo of the Offending ....vendor I actually caught as we drove by 85 miles per hr. Very crazy! have a great day....and enjoy those UNEVENTFUL trips in the car!

An encounter of the too close kind!

Although this occured a couple of months ago...I have been asked to post it here..... Where to start.???? Bob has been walking the small mountain in our neighborhood a couple of times a week...sometimes during lunch break...sometimes early in morning or after work. Well today...he went on his usual walk while I was out...so I didn't know he had gone. When he walked in, he was all brushburned/scratched up...dirty and practically hyperventillating. I asked him what happened. ....to which he replied...if he didn't have a strong heart...he would be dead! That is a pretty dramatic thing to say...and it did pique my interest to say the least. He then went on to say that while walking....his mountain.....he came up on a huge cobra snake....it was raised up in defense...about 2 feet off the ground...and hissing...blown up head....(another defensive move) He said he stopped short of it by about 3 feet...not nearly far enough! He had a walking stick he always takes along in case a babboon doesn't run away from him, but not enough defense against somthing so scary as a cobra. Anyway he took several steps back....ended up slipping off the path...and started falling down the mountain...end over end...lost his stick...hitting things on his way down the very steep incline...and realized he was heading toward the edge of the cliff....so he gathered his senses....and successfully stopped himself just before hitting the drop off. He was near the top of the mountain...and managed to get home ok minus the stick...a little older, (greyer) and wiser I think. We have agreed...no more walks without telling me...and he has decided not to walk that mountain again until summer is officially over or winter is officially here....whichever comes first. Actually he said today...he may never walk outside again!According to Bob, the cobra's head looked about 3 ft across....in that moment...and by the time he got done telling it to friends...it was even bigger!!! A very scary story...but had to share it with you. Wish I had a photo of that cobra to scrapbook....but Shame he probably would have lost the camera too. Not that I can see him stopping to take a photo before going over the side of the mountain. Now this occured in March, but since I just posted the photo of the mountain...in the game reserve photos...thougth had to share it with people who hadn't heard his "SNAKE tail". Enjoy your days....but watch where you WALK!!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some local sights I love in South Africa






There ARE some things I am really enjoying in South Africa....have to include some of those on this blog.I love the animal sightings...which will spoil me from ever enjoying a zoo back in the states....in quite the same way! Not only seeing the animals up close and personal..but in the Wide Open Spaces of our local game reserve.If you look at this photo...you can see the lovely city of Queenstown in the distance. The small lone mountain near the center of the photo...is the one and only mountain of my husband's TOO CLOSE encounter with a cobra...while out walking!





And I couldn't leave out the photo of the newest member of their family. This baby Giraffe was 2 weeks old when we saw him. What a cute baby! Its especially nice to see them like this...as there are no predators in the park...except illegal poachers...or dogs who get loose from nearby farms! So they are relatively safe here. The park also contains Zebra,a lot of buck, Baboons of course, water buffalo and Rhino! We have seen them pretty close....several times.






These particular Rhino were at another National game park, called xhixhlui (pronounced shishlooy) They were everywhere in this particular park...kind of like Elephants in the Kruger Park...so by the end of the safari ride...you are like, "Ah, its just another Rhino!"
I know it sounds jaded....but you really get that way...we must have seen 30 or 40 Rhino in less than 2 hrs...and NOT an ELEPHANT in sight.Apparently they are long on Rhino and short on Elephants! So there you go! But some of my best memories of South AFrica have been watching the wildlife.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Its just the way it is!

OK, last post for this week.... It is almost 10 PM South AFrican time, quite cold outside....and I am tucked up under the covers to keep warm...remember....we don't have heat in our houses. I do have my good old water bottle warmed up to keep feet warm. Its supposed to be 2 degrees C tonight...so just about freezing!As I said, tucked under the covers...Bob is sound asleep....we are locked/down/in for the night. That means...that we have locked every door into every room....from the inside...and we have locked ourselves into our bedroom...and we have the security alarm on for the whole house....except the room we are in. The infra red beam outside our bedroom is on...the metal gates on the outside doors have been padlocked. So I am feeling quite secure in ....er.....OUR little cell.....as Bob likes to call it. But it has been a quiet night...no barking dogs....no security alarms going off ......out there somewhere. And I am feeling quite snug. I have my Baltimore quilting class tomorrow morning...then in the early afternoon, I am helping to serve Tea and eats to an old age home.....and I think we are having Irish dancers perform there...so should get a cute photo...of them with the old souls. Then we are eating pizza...yeah....the kitchen will stay clean....and its off to East London....and the oceanside open market there. It also means I can go to the casino......with Big Bob. I love to gamble in rand, as it only costs me about 17 to 24 cents a pull to gamble. I got lucky and won about 200 US dollars last time.....And left immediately! But since we don't have a movie theatre here in Queenstown...(why I don't understand..since there are 188,000 people in the area?But maybe it would be too costly for security?) At any rate, no theatre, no ice cream parlor...and the casino complex has it all. We are such creatures of habits...that they know we are from Queenstown...the People in the shops! They always ask me if we've just driven down from Queenstown. But I don't care, I can see movies, get some decent ice cream, then have a nice iced coffee....and do it all in one place that is pretty safe! And we can run to Woolworth's to see if they have saltine crackers...for Bob. Believe it or not, you can't buy saltines in Queenstown. The grocery stores here...have very little variety, or selection. And if you can find an item once, it doesn't mean you will ever find it there again! I have been waiting for water chestnuts...for over 6 months!Sometimes we can't get celery!They just don't have much in the way of fresh produce....unless it is locally grown and in season. Now down at the coast....they cater to the tourists...so they have much more variety, but the interior...is ....well....its Inferior! You have to special order your meat in advance if you need large quantities, and then HOLD THUMBS ( cross your fingers ) that it will arrive. Its just the way it is!!!! Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Maybe the best diet in the world????


Something truly disgusting. I have tried many new foods while traveling around the world, some I loved...some I felt compelled to try because of the once in a lifetime experience, like eating a Mopani worm at an African Cultural Village.Some I thought I might be able to eat...but in South Korea..at the So Mun Market I spied /smelled some of the nastiest stuff I have EVER encountered!I mean when you are talking "Stanky" this stuff really was! While walking the market with my daughter in law, Jen, I avoided the most horrible areas of the market..having been forewarned. But the tolerable places contained something I HAD to see! It is called, Pondiggy.....a kind of brown, larva.... which on closer inspection ....resembled a cockroach belly. These things are sold boiled in a little cup, and if you can believe it...there was a line that I had to wait in to buy this delicacy. I didn't want to offend the vendor who sold it to me, by trying it in front of her "stand" in case it wouldn't stay down, so after buying my little cupful, I proceeded round the corner to have a photo op! The problem came while looking down into that cup, at those little brown things, I manage to spear one on the provided toothpick...and the little kids standing near me...were finishing theirs off with relish! But as I brought it towards my mouth....I just couldn't permit it to break the barrier! So I had Jen take the photo....and I very quickly asked a mom of one of the children standing near me...if the kids wanted a TREAT!!!And passed my goodies off to them! This is their idea of FAST FOOD! The market was full of very Unusual food items....some still alive!Definitely not for the faint at heart....and remember I didn't go to the REAL NASTY part of the market. Their supermarkets had very FRESH foodstuff as well, if you know what I mean by fresh! I just don't enjoy picking out live stuff to eat.Give me ready made any day of the week. To each their own...and I have to admit...I never saw an overweight person in South Korea the whole time I was there....so maybe a little FRESH goes a LONG way and could be the best diet out there for those wishing to lose!That's all I'm saying!!!!

Me and Shaka....Zulu look alike in front of the Elengeni Sun hotel, Durban, South Africa




When we returned to South Africa, my husband had a meeting in Durban, which is located in Kwazulu Natal area of South Africa. It is also where Zulus lived in the old days of Tribal seperation. They still speak Zulu in that area...as it is one of the 11...yes ....11 Official languages of South Africa!In the Eastern Cape where we live, the locals speak mostly Xhosa, a beautiful language full of clicks and throat clicks. I enjoy hearing it...though I only recognise an occasional word. This guy dresses up like Shaka, for the tourists. I was happy to have my photo taken with him. But across the street was the most wonderful street market where I got some fabulous carved things...a couple of very cool masks...and a carved table. I love Zulu land...they have the best carvings in South Africa....maybe better than the Cape Town markets. Bob and I went to the market....then Jayne, my friend from the UK(England) went with me. We bought several cool treasures to ship home....unfortunately I have to ship by container...and it is growing all the time! Just hope I can fit all this stuff in.

trying to catch up on sharing photos...old and new


Ok, in South AFrica....the norm is anything but...from a US perspective???I don't remember the last time someone pumped my gas at home in the US. Here they not only pump your gas..but check under the hood, fill the tires..wash the windshilds. They also wear the "Uniform" very similar to when I grew up and we'd drive to the Texaco station. And usually it is at least 2 guys working on your car at the same time!Some are very enthusiastic, like the guys in this picture...or v..e...r...y...........slow....... As in they are getting paid the same...so it is no big rush!I also think the price of gas will never seem high again. Petrol as it is refered to here...is about 3.80 US per gallon. It cost us almost 80 to put gas in our car last weekend...and we don't drive a large vehicle!That will get us to East London, about 250 Kilometers away and back. I am so excited as we are going this weekend. It is on the Indian Ocean...and it is also where the Lights went out last time!So I will make sure I have a torch/flashlight this time! Will keep my eyes open for some more "unusual" sightings!And hope the lights stay on this weekend!

Baby its cold outside!




You know that its cold when the lady street sweepers( municipal workers) build a fire in the street to keep warm. Of course they would probably be warmer if they wore pants ...not dresses to work in!!! It is that cold here today....but took the photo earlier in the winter. Course there was snow on the mountain early last week...the mountain is the one the local municipality has been renamed after.....changed from Queenstown to Lukhanji.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baboons by the roadside....

Since coming to South Africa 3 yrs. ago, there have been several invitations to speak to local/not so local groups, as "the American". Today, was one such occasion, as I was invited to speak to a Garden Club. I spoke about Texas, and some of my stateside Ladies club traditions...like passing candy when you are sharing good news or secret sisters sharing gifts secretly for a year. The presentation went well, I was able to show a couple of quilt projects I am working on, and some scrapbook pages...as well as a Texas Style Baby Door badge. I also made some money for a Rotary project I am working on, but it was the drive back that was fun! It is about a 70 Kilometer drive, and during the first ten K, there must have been about 45 Baboons along the highway, they were sitting by/on the road....until I got quite close, then would run off toward the fences along the roadside. What was wierd was that I decided to try to slow down and get a Photo of them...as the babies were too cute! But when I slowed down to a crawl, they ran past the fence and into the brush, no idea why? They didn't seem to mind me driving by at a normal speed, but paniced when I slowed down. Hate to think that people may slow down...and hurt them/hunt them for supper???? I can tell you that there is not usually a lot of "road kill" left out on the roads around here....the Road Crews ...eat very well.....as disqusting as that may sound! But these baboons were too cute....and so many of them. I am going back to speak to another group next week...and maybe I will get lucky and get a clean shot...er...I mean a picture, of course!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

cold nights, no electricity and going to the DOGS.

OK, it is stinking cold here in the Southern Hemisphere....we keep having power outages...so the little oil heater...that works like a radiator goes off...and without HEAT in our home...it gets cold!I can not recall more than 4 or 5 times in my 53 + years of living...that I didn't have electricity in the US...as in under a power outage! How can this country have blackouts every stinking week...usually 2 or 3 times per week.Could it be the "free" electric that they keep giving to people...without building new power stations!How can the electric company that used to supply the power to a very minute part of the population pre 1994, give electricity to an additional 80 % of the population that previous lived in villages????This whole business makes no sense to me?We woke up to snow on the mountains on Tuesday... the mountains which pretty much form some kind of ring around our town.No snow in town...thank goodness....its hard enough to drive without there being any impediment caused by MOTHER NATURE.That would only add aggravation to an already "less than safe" driving situation!Bob is happy that the cold is holding...as it means he can walk safely on the mountain with no fear of another face to face with a COBRA! :o) I am sick of the cold!Sick of heating up hot water bottles to warm my bed up at the feet! Doing a mental countdown until it starts warming up here...or I come to the US, whichever comes first. Of course, since I am scheduled to arrive back in the US on OCT. 29, it will be getting warm here...and getting cold there....so I will miss some of the South African summer. I don't think I can win this year????!!!!!Just now I am worried about my luggage allowance for the return trip to the States. I have always flown British Air...so always had same luggage allowance...and it could be checked through...but this return trip I am flying Virgin Atlantic to London..then United to States. Hope they will check luggage through as London United flights only allow 1 bag...weighing only 21 k total..about 40 pounds. Not very much....especially traveling Eskridge style! Yikes....hope no problems. Dogs have kept us up three days running..so I am beat tonight. One stinking dog across the road...with very deep WOOF, sounds like the dog from "Lady and The TRamp" DOG. He barked so long last night...he woke Bob up....I could hear him with my earplugs in my ears. No sleep!His owners left to go out of town for the long weekend, ..for Women's day. Hate it when they leave...which is every long weekend. And you can't complain to the cops about it...they don't care...or the dog pound...they don't either. Heck...the owner's don't care!Just hope he is worn out for tonight as I am about to go to bed. Hope your days are warm...and nights are without barking! Later!

Friday, August 10, 2007

INAUGURAL POSTING

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, the eldest of 14 children....yes.....14 kids and yes, we did have a television!I am just not sure it was on very much! We were pretty poor, my dad was a steel mill worker, a self educated man. Mom had graduated from High School, but with 14 kids, she DEFINITELY was a stay at home mom. Her only vacations from us, were when she went to the hospital to have another baby...just about once a year!My parents insisted we all at least graduate from High School and with much gnashing of teeth, they managed to get that accomplished. I was the first one to go to college in my family, extremely under/unprepared.....I actually thought they gave you books to use...similar to public school!My father gave me about 10.00 to start my first semester in college, I had about 35.00 dollars saved from summer employment...and no I went to college in the latter part of the 20th century!So this represented savings from my less than 1.00 an hour job... at the YMCA as a lifeguard. I had never had my own car...my parents only ever had one working vehicle at a time... er ...usually???...and many of those, Dad had purchased for 5o.00, run the crap out of them, then sold them to the junkyard for 25.00 which he put toward the next car! I personally loved the electra Cadillac we had for a couple of months...but it could barely make it up the west State street hill......by the time we reached the top, I could have walked faster than that car was going! Ah, the good old days.... But I digress. These postings are coming from the fabulous town of Queenstown, South Africa...where I am currently a resident of the most temporary kind. I am here, accompanying my dear spouse, who is working for the National Treasury of South Africa. Because we only have dial up available...the adsl here is not the most reliable...kind of like many of the things I have come to wonder about in South Africa...so very slow. I will only post small bits...hope to keep it up to date...but not being very techno savvy..this may prove most challenging. I'm sure that this will become easier....or at least less painful to figure out what to say.