Halloween Blues

Today is Halloween, one of my favourite holidays. We normally have a party but we stopped the tradition last year and this year we would not even consider it. The venue we always used has closed down and we are not keen on having lots of people in our home. We are doing a family zoom tomorrow which at least means I get to dress up! I have no clue what I am wearing though.

Yesterday I had a bit of panic when I could not get hold of my Mom. There had been a hurricane in Georgia and she had not been commenting on our very busy family WhatsApp group and she had not been on Facebook. I tried ringing her mobile and she did not answer. I messaged her on Facebook and she did not answer. I even messaged my cousins to ask if they had heard from her. I contacted one of my schoolmates and asked her to ring her but Mom did not answer so she said she would get Mom’s neighbour to go and check on her. We used Norm’s skype to ring Mom on her land line and eventually got through to her. She was fine, she just had not been answering her phone as she said she had loads of calls pressuring her to vote for Trump. Maybe I over-reacted but I worry so about her there on her own.

Since I have been living a life of exclusion and non-activity, as fun as it was, our trip away last weekend exhausted me. I felt like I had jet lag for the first few days of the week.

On Monday my manicurist Vanessa came around to do my pedicure. My feet were a bit of a mess from all of the walking we did while away and Vanessa said she ‘took the Hermanus off of my feet’. We have such a laugh when she comes around and we chat about everything. The fact I can do it in the comfort of my own home is just so fabulous.

We had not yet done a shop on Monday so Norm and I got take aways from Casareccio. We were both starving as we had no lunch. We ordered the espatada for R185 and shared it. We have it with vegetables and a rucola salad and it gives us a full plate of healthy low carb food. There are always 4 large chunks of fillet steak which is plenty for us to share.

The needle on the scale is finally starting to move after weeks of attempting to keep to low carb eating. I even cheated a bit on our weekend away but did not go overboard and still made progress so I am feeling revitalised in my efforts to lose weight. When you give up chocolates and pastries and are not losing weight it make you question why you are depriving yourself.

Tuesday is gardening day and the dogs bark and bark all day every time Mzudumo moves near the door. It makes it awkward when I am on an online call with the client. Noisy little beasties.

After Mzudumo left we saw that little Panda had an oopsie in the kitchen floor. The colour of it was very dark and I thought it looked like it had blood in it but Norm insisted it did not. We just assumed Panda was stressed from all of the activity or had not wanted to go out while Mzudumo was in the garden and he had exploded (Panda is a weird little fellow).

Norm went down to the village to shop for us as we were in need of stocking up after our weekend away. That night Norm cooked fillet steaks and I made mushrooms and spinach in a creamy sauce, roasted sweet potatoes and steamed baby broccoli to accompany the steaks.

That night Panda did not want any dinner and he looked miserable. He just wanted to sleep and cuddle his mommy.

He kept waking up all of Tuesday night and running off to poop in the bathroom and he vomited on the bed during the night so on Wednesday morning Norm took him down to the vet.

The vet said that Panda has Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG). She gave him 3 injections which he was not very happy about, an antibiotic, an anti-nausea medication and an anti-inflammatory for his gut. She told us to only feed him poached plain chicken and keep an eye on him. Norm had to take him back on Thursday for a second check and the doctor gave him another injection and 2 types of oral medication. He perked up greatly after the injections and the doc said that he was not dehydrated. He has not vomited again and was not up all night pooping so it seems we caught it before it was too pervasive.

Panda also had been scratching at his right ear and shaking his head so I thought he might have an ear infection. The vet checked and said it was not red but then she spotted something deep inside it which turned out to be a hair ball! I always say he is half cat. The vet removed it and he is now just fine.

Panda spends ages at the gate barking at the world and as always he has Navajo nearby watching out for him. Navajo is like an over protective mother to little Panda even though Panda is about twice his age.

Wednesday was also my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 86 years old. As he died at 49 it is so hard to imagine him as an old man. I so wish he was around to know his grandkids. He would be so proud of them.

For lunch I used my leftover steak and mushrooms from the previous night’s dinner to make a salad. I added some emmental cheese, green olives, gem lettuce, cilantro, baby tomatoes and cucumber.

For dinner on Wednesday I fried chicken, spinach and feta sausages in a pan with butter, mushrooms and onions until brown. Norm fried some halloumi cheese in olive oil and I made coleslaw and a salad with lots of red onion and avocado. I think halloumi, red onion and avo go so nicely together. In fact it all went nicely together.

The weather took a turn on Wednesday night and it started to rain. The weather stayed cool and overcast on Thursday and did not get terribly hot on Friday either. Today is sunny but windy.

On Wednesday I cooked a comforting winter type dinner of pork chops, fried cabbage and onions and roasted sweet potatoes. I also used up the last of the coleslaw from the previous night to round it all off.

Friday is bin collection day and our normally quiet cul-de-sac is full of activity, rubbish and recycling trucks, bin scratchers and men working on the trucks. The dogs go absolutely insane defending their territory from marauding rubbish thieves.

Friday morning I had a webinar with my client and then in the afternoon we had a online meeting with my contracting house to update us on the latest company news. Lola helped me stay focused.

Afterwards Norm and I went with Caitlin, Wes, Susan and Joe (Wes’ mom and dad) to view a house which Caitlin and Wes are keen on. It was a nice enough house in a decent area. It needs a lot of work though so not sure if they will end up making an offer.

We all then went to Peddlars for dinner as Caitlin has recently had a promotion and wanted to treat us all which was very sweet and generous of her.

Caitlin, Wes and I had the Chicken Camembert Burger for R135. It consisted of a 180g chicken breast, cranberry sauce, and fried camembert and was served with rustic fries. It was messy and delicious.

Norm had the slow-roasted lamb shoulder for R198. It was served with Baby Potatoes, Seasonal Veg & Mint Salsa Verde. He enjoyed it.

There was a bit of a buzz at Peddlars. It was nice to be out and to see the kids and to get to know Wes’ parents a bit better.

On Saturday I had to take a dress back to the shop so Norm and I headed down to Mainstream Mall. I did a bit of clothes shopping for some comfy casual summer things and we went for brunch at Allegria Cafe and Life. We were lucky to get a table outside. It was a bit windy but we prefer the wind to being inside.

We ordered one of their delicious coffees – they have the best coffee in Hout Bay in my opinion.

They had the chicken salad with almonds and dried cranberries on special again and we both opted for that when the owner told us she had just cooked a fresh chicken. It did not disappoint.

We did a quick run around the grocery shop to get some bits and pieces to tide us over this weekend and then headed home.

There have been rumours of South Africa going into another lockdown. The premier of Kwazulu Natal said that people are behaving as if there is no lockdown. I am not sure if he was speaking only about his own province or nationally but the stats for the country on a global basis have stayed stable for the last week. There have been additional cases and deaths as you might expect, but to me it seems to have slowed on overall numbers.

There have now been 4,800,823 people in SA tested. The overall statistics are:

SA has managed to remain at 12th place globally for total cases and we also remained at 31st for another week on the global count of deaths per 1 million people.

I hope that there is not another wave and that the increase in cases slows further.

The USA is still 1st globally for total number of cases and total deaths, the highest numbers in the world. They are 10th for the count of deaths per 1 million people. Many more will die if the orange terror stays in office for another 4 years. This week we will find out whether the nation has woken up to his insanity or whether there are still people backing him.

For my musical treats I am providing a few NPR tiny desk concerts. The first is by Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, a Grammy-nominated singer and guitarist from Clarksdale, Mississippi whose sound is evocative of his mentor and collaborator Buddy Guy. This concert was shot at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale with bassist Paul Rogers accompanying Kingfish. If you like blues you are going to love this one. I certainly do! Blues trigger feelings deep inside me, something from my ancestors.

And for something from a completely different genre, I provide another NPR tiny desk concert by Gracie and Rachel. Gracie and Rachel have an almost ethereal quality which reminds me of a more modern version of Enya. I am a huge fan of violin music. It speaks to my soul.

That is it for this week. I hope you have a fabulous weekend and week ahead. Please stay safe, if you can stay at home, if not please wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

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