Country Girl Roots

I find that the older I get the simpler my needs are. Just a day out with Norman or a chat with my family or friends can give me such a boost. That was certainly true both last weekend and this weekend.

We did not do anything to celebrate on Halloween evening which got me a bit down, there were no trick or treaters at the door which I assume is due to the trifecta of corona, lockdown and kids not wanting to cross the security boom at the entrance of our suburb.

We planned a family zoom meeting last Sunday and of course we decided to dress up. Norm got out the dress up boxes and we had a rummage through but nothing really struck my fancy. I googled ‘easy DIY Halloween costumes’ and came up with the idea to do a scarecrow and Norm found a few bits and pieces to put together a SWAT outfit for himself.

Before he got dressed Norm nipped out to get us a take away. By the time he got back it was 10 minutes before the call was booked. I wolfed down my calamari and ran upstairs to do my make up. I forgot to do the stitches by my mouth but overall I thought it was not too bad for a 5 minute bodge it!

Mom was a bit confused by the recent daylight savings time change in the US and was very late to join us. For someone who lives in Gun Land she seemed very put off by Norm’s weapon.

Lily was dressed as a fortune teller, Caitlin was a hippy, Trevor was a Star Wars character (she says vaguely not being a Star Wars fan). Everyone looked brilliant with minimal effort. Caitlin was eating her dinner as always when we do a family zoom.

The call perked me up no end. We had such a laugh as we always do when we chat. We all talk over each other and spend half the call saying ‘what?’. I love these calls.

On Monday I was back working and I made lunch for Norm and I instead of just snacking on bits of cheese and olives and celery like I often do. We had a rotisserie chicken we had bought on the weekend in the fridge so I made a yummy salad of cos lettuce, cilantro, rocket, red onion, olives, carrots, tomato, cucumber, almonds and cheese and added shredded chicken breast to it.

That afternoon I ended up in a debate in a Hout Bay Facebook group with some South African QAnon Trump supporters. I cannot understand anyone supporting him or believing that conspiracy nonsense, but why would South Africans do so? As a result of dealing with the feckwits I had a killer headache and was seeing flashing lights and had to lie down. I finally got fed up with their barrage of nonsensical abuse and deleted my comment and left the group. The group is full of trolls anyway and adds nothing to my life so why risk them giving me a stroke? Arguing with morons is bad for my health and rather pointless.

We had nothing to cook for dinner that night and I would not have been up for cooking anyway as I could barely see so Norm went out to get us something. I had sushi from K1, my comfort food. It was a very hot day so it was perfect for the weather and my grumpy mood.

We again had a take away on Tuesday but it was healthy and low carb: espetada fillet steak, salad and vegetables from Casarecchio. My stress levels were starting to ramp up as the election came nearer. I had to take a sleeping pill to get to sleep as I was fretting. The electricity ran out in the middle of the night so a sleepy Norm and I were up at 3am trying to purchase a top up online. The only reason I woke was that my electric fan went off and it was a muggy hot night.

The next morning Norm put the election results on the telly while I was working but listening to the results come in was stressing me out so much.

I had a meeting with Janet who made the gorgeous red caftan I bought in Hermanus. When I tried it on at home it unraveled along the side seam and Janet offered to either repair it or swap it for me. We drove over to her workshop in Salt River and I went through lots of different fabrics and found two I loved and when I could not decide which to take Janet offered me the second one as a gift for all of the effort of tracking her down and driving to the city! I was ever so pleased! That is the ultimate customer service which you seldom get in South Africa. These are the 2 prints I chose.

By this time it was noon and we were both starving so we popped in to Salisburys Deli and Wine Shop in Woodstock.

It was hot and windy outside so I had a rather delicious iced coffee and Norm had a cappuccino. We both ordered breakfast and it was served quickly and was yummy. We then rushed back home to get back to work and listen to the election. It has been such a nail biter! A very slowly dragged out nail biter, but still. I had a few vodkas that evening because I was so stressed.

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says "Don Winslow @donwinslow It shouldn't be this this close. Not after caging children. Not after selling out our soldiers. Not after 230,000 dead. Not after 4 years of breaking every law on the books. It should not not be this close."

Norm had popped down to the shop for food that day and I cooked chicken breasts wrapped in bacon. I chopped and fried the left over strips of the bacon and then added brussel sprouts that I had trimmed and cut in half. I added a chopped onion and fried it all in the pan with the bacon until browned, I then topped it with chicken stock, added a dash of chili and garlic and let it simmer til the liquid was gone then added a blob of butter to fry it off again. I roasted sliced sweet potatoes and we had a delicious meal.

We hoped to wake to a Biden win on Thursday but the election was still dragging on but with Biden narrowing the gap towards the required 270 electoral votes.

I made a big pot of chili con carne for dinner. I started with a base of celery, red pepper, carrot, onion, chili and garlic and once fried I puréed it into a paste and kept it aside.

I then used the same pan to fry off chopped bacon and once brown I added the minced beef and fried that. Once both were browned I added the puréed vegetables, beans, cumin, chili powder, paprika, dried chili pepper flakes, a bit of beef stock and a bottle of passata and let it bubble away for a few hours. To serve we topped it with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

On Thursday night it started to drizzle with rain and it carried on all day Friday. You could not see the mountains through the mist.

Norm had to nip into the city of Cape Town on Friday morning to collect his visa. He is now legal to remain in SA for 2 more years. As he arrived back home the heavens opened and it started pouring with rain.

Late afternoon it cleared up completely. The new Ruby Woo Retro Matt MAC lipstick and other bits and pieces I had ordered on Takealot had arrived so I tried it out as I was getting dressed for dinner that evening. What do you think? I adore red lipstick and this one is fabulous. The smell, the texture and the colour are perfection.

On Friday evening we were booked to have dinner out at Mexicola Locale, a new venue in Hout Bay. It serves ‘modern’ Mexican food and is part of the Cheyne Morrisby empire. I love the food Cheyne creates at all of his restaurants so I was very excited to try the new one as Mexican food is my fave and very few South African restaurants make food with authentic Mexican flavours.

Norm and I arrived first and got the drinks ordered. The vibe is very reminiscent of a place you might find in Mexico with exposed brick walls, wooden tables and not a cheesy sombrero in sight.

Norm ordered wine for the table but I ordered a frozen raspberry margarita. They have both traditional lime or raspberry flavours and you can have them frozen or on the rocks. The traditional lime one is called the Walter White and the raspberry one is called the Jesse Pinkman, a little nod to Breaking Bad. This made me irrationally happy (as did the copious amounts of tequila I consumed).

We met up with our friends Mel and Steve whom we had not seen since lockdown.

They brought their daughter Chloe who refused to be photographed. She is such a beauty I do not know why she is so reticent to show it off!

We had a look at the menu. We ordered some snacks to munch while we were deciding on our order and chatting. We ordered 2 portions of the green olives and 2 of the chorizo.

We then had a bowl of the Carne Locale nachos for the table to nibble. These were delicious and had a proper baked queso sauce. The beef had a deliciously rich flavour. Next time I will order an extra portion of the tortilla chips to go with the nachos as there was a lot of sauce baked on which I was digging out with my fork. I really recommend the nachos.

We all just ordered a few rounds of bits and pieces as we went along. I had seen a pic on Instagram of a yummy looking dish which I did not see on the menu and I asked if they would make a portion of the cheese and jalapeno croquettes. It tasted like a cheese croquette and a chili popper had a baby. Oh my lawdy they were ¡Muy bien!. Crispy outside, creamy and spicy inside. The jalapenos were chopped so you did not have to chew through them around the hot oozy cheese as you sometimes do with a chili popper.

Most of us ordered the El Pastor pulled pork tacos. The pork was juicy and not fatty, the sauces were divine and the coriander lifted it beautifully. I ended up having 2 of these as did Norman.

Norm also ordered the Baja taco which is filled with bites of breaded and fried fish.

Mel ordered the Chicken Mole which she enjoyed.

We all had dessert. I love churros and I love waffles so how could I deny a churro waffle? It would just be rude. It was a perfect ending to a gorgeous meal.

I ended up having far too many of those delicious raspberry margaritas. Mel and Steve ended their meal off with a tequila. The waiter offered 3 different brands. It was served in a cute shot glass with a skull suspended inside of the glass and was delivered on a sugar skull tray which I loved. The tequila was served with pineapple wedges.

We sat having a chat until our taxi arrived to get us home. It was an absolutely delicious and divine evening. Our waiter knew the food, he understood the contents and ‘heat level’ of each dish. He even knew about the croquette poppers I asked about which were not on the menu. He was attentive and kept the drinks flowing and kept us fed to the brim. I give everything about the new venue 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

I expected to be feeling very fragile today but I am fine. I slept like the dead and woke to both cats lying on top of me as it was so chilly. We are going to have a lazy day inside as the weather is rubbish. Norm has made us brunch and we will watch a film.

The election has still not been called so we are keeping an eye on the counts. Trump is in his bunker throwing tantrums. Almost all of his sycophant republican pals have ditched him. He does still have a few on his side, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump is raging that the GOP are not throwing money at him for his legal defense as he wants to sue all of the states for counting all of the mail in votes.

He has been sowing the seeds of dissonance for months and his believers have swallowed the toxins he spews and are rebelling against mail in voters and claiming voter fraud. He is pushing utterly baseless conspiracy theories in an attempt to discredit his electoral defeat, and hopes he can convince the Supreme Court to hand him the election.

A bigger, less bitter man would concede defeat. Trump would have to win all of the remaining states to get to the required 270 electoral votes, i.e. Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. If he does not win Pennsylvania then he has no chance of victory.

CNN has the following electoral vote result counts as they have included Arizona in Biden’s points:

But the Associated Press has Biden at 264.

Hopefully the vote counting will be finished by the end of today, I am not as stressed as I was on the 4th because I am confident that Joe and Kamala will win, however the drama and trauma to our democracy will drag on until someone has an intervention with the Toddler in Chief and tells him to suck it up and he has lost.

The weekly stats on Covid are that 4,940,719 people in South Africa have been tested with the following results.

On a world wide count, for total cases SA has now dropped to 13th after several weeks in 12th place.

On the global count of deaths per 1 million people we also dropped to 32nd after remaining at 31st for several weeks. The USA is still 1st globally for both the highest number of cases as well as the highest number of deaths. They are 10th for the count of deaths per 1 million people. Hopefully Biden will put in policies to protect the citizens once the orange terror gets out of the White House and they will start to improve on their management of the spread.

The UK has gone back into lockdown as very few people seem to be practicing safe distancing or wearing masks.

I pray for a vaccine soon so that some semblance of normality will be possible and Norm and I can go and visit my Mom.

Last weekend Norm and I watched the new film, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

This is not my ‘type’ of film, we watched it because of all of the hype around the Rudy Guiliani crotch fondling scene. I detest Rudy but I am not convinced that he was fondling himself, but why did he go into the bedroom, why is he patting her waist and why are his hands down his pants? It all seems very inappropriate.

We did have a few laughs watching the film but we had far more cringes. The debutante scene made me want to hurl. And before my feminist friends tell me we should not feel shame at our bodily functions blah blah blah, I do not have any issue with other people’s bodily functions, I just do not want to be a witness to it. Menstruation is not a spectator sport.

I have started watching the series Nashville. As many of you know I grew up in the Georgia / Tennessee area and my Mom is still in Georgia. So I still think of it as ‘home’ to a certain extent. I often say you can take the girl out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the girl. So far I am really enjoying this series, it is like a musical soap opera.

For my musical treat section I provide Nashville singer-songwriter Kelsey Waldon performing a cover of a Nina Simone song “Mississippi Goddam.”

Waldon said “Nina Simone wrote “Mississippi Goddam” in 1963 after a white supremacist bombed a Black church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls. This was on the brink of the Civil Rights movement in America. This song, which showcases racial injustice as well as the enduring fight and fear that the Black community has had to endure in this country for centuries, still rings true decades later.”

Sticking with my Nashville theme, I include Katie Pruitt performing a NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. Katie has a stunning voice and her sound has more of a rock vibe than a country vibe. She is a very talented musician.

I hope you enjoy the music.

As always, if you can stay at home please do. If you go out please wear a mask, wash your hands, use sanitiser and socially distance.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

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