Shaky Grounds

The drama with the transition of power in the US drags on. Trump has stated that he will not concede and even that he plans to remain for a second term. Trump and his mercenary henchman Giuliani continue to spin a fantastical conspiracy that only their followers are buying into.

It is an embarrassment to America and sounds like a dictatorship not a ‘democracy’ (or even the pseudo-democracy the US pretends to be). Guiliani makes himself look foolish by what comes out of his mouth as well as whatever poisonous toxins appears to be leaking from his skull during his demented rants.

Rudy Giuliani press conference, face drip shows Trump admin falling apart -  Business Insider

Now Trump is trying to do as much damage as he can before he is ejected from office. First he sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper because he denounced Trump’s threat to use troops to suppress ongoing protests in the US. Trump then appointed Chris Miller as the acting Secretary of Defense. This week Christopher Miller announced that the US will withdraw thousands more US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by Jan 15, 2021.

This announcement was made before the withdrawal which puts the men at risk and has delighted the Taliban. A Taliban spokesperson said Wednesday that the insurgent force welcomes President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw thousands of US troops from Afghanistan, calling it a “good step.” While the Taliban welcomes the move, Afghan national security officials and military leaders have raised concerns about a premature withdrawal.

There was a supposed ‘Million MAGA March‘ in Washington D.C. last weekend but there were nowhere near a million people in attendance. Some of the deluded attendees were Women for America First, right-wing activists such as the Proud Boys and conspiracy theorists. The best comeback line I saw to Kayleigh McEnany’s lies about the ‘more than one MILLION marchers’ was on Twitter.

The demonstrations were peaceful for most of the day, but counter-protesters clashed with the president’s supporters and violence erupted as night fell.

The President encourages this type of nonsense but it just results in needless drama. However he is on shaky ground with no foundation for his claims of an illegal election.

Speaking of drama and shaky ground we had an earthquake in South Africa on Monday night! The dogs, Norm and I slept right through it. (The cats are too cool to act as if they are phased by anything in life.)

We had a lot of rain last Saturday which then cleared and it turned out to be a nice day and we have had a sunny warm week with bouts of intense wind.

Last Saturday Norm and I popped over to Blue Route mall as I had ordered some things online which I needed to return and I needed to go to the chemist. We decided to have brunch. We went to Mugg & Bean in the mall and they had a table available for us even though there were far less tables than usual thanks to Covid compliance of half capacity of a venue. They were practicing all Covid protections, they took our temperature and phone number and had us sanitise our hands and they washed down the table. The staff were all wearing masks. We took ours off only when we sat down.

I ordered an iced coffee. I wanted literally a milky coffee on ice but I received a coffee and ice cream blend. It was tasty but I did not want the sugars of the ice cream. Next time I will be more specific.

Norm ordered the California omelette. It was filled with cheddar, mozzarella & fresh basil, topped with avocado, back bacon, feta & basil pesto mayo and served with pan-fried rosemary cherry tomatoes.

I had the low carb breakfast which has two poached eggs, grilled halloumi, avocado, sautéed baby spinach & pan-roasted cherry tomatoes. It was simple but very tasty and hopefully counteracted my sugar laden drink.

This was my first time shopping in a mall since lockdown and I found it very stressful. It triggered my anxiety badly. Part of my anxiety is due to wearing a mask which fogs up my glasses and makes me sweat like a ho in church. Then when you see half the people have their masks around their chins it does not make you feel safe. I was in the chemist and a girl came right up and stood shoulder to shoulder with me, when I looked over she had her mask around her neck. I gave her a piercing Mom look that would make you quiver and she quickly pulled it up and shuffled off. Silly cow. People also do not adhere to the distance marked out by the spacers on the floor in the queues for the till. I have had to ask several people to back tf up. I was glad to get out of there.

After shopping we came home and relaxed. We finished watching the last of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ which I mentioned in my last blog. We loved it and I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

We also just finished a very silly British comedy called ‘Truth Seekers‘. It was created by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg whom I think are both ridiculously funny. It is a tongue in cheek show about paranormal investigations. Frost plays Gus, a broadband installer by day and paranormal investigator at night (or day if he can get away with it.) Gus is a widow and Malcolm McDowell stars as Richard, Gus’s aging father-in-law. It also includes Emma D’Arcy, Samson Kayo, Susie Wokoma, and Julian Barratt (of The Mighty Boosh fame).

I give it 4 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Last Sunday was my gorgeous Princess Pixie’s 11th birthday. She is getting to be an old lady and struggles with her back and her vision but is still a happy girl full of love. She sleeps a lot but still loves going on walks and she would sell her soul for a treat. I adore her so much, even when she is grumpy.

Norm and I did a bit of gardening last Sunday. Norm put down bark along the path that circles the periphery of our garden. Only the dogs use it but now it looks nice.

He also did some weeding in the beds around the pool.

I did a bit of weeding of the bushes and pot plants and pottered about moving things but mostly sat in the shade in my throne on the porch and watched Norm work. I moved my metal butterfly to sit in amongst my wild irises by the pool, can you spot him? He really catches the sun at certain points of the day.

I rearranged the stone and metal birds which I have collected over the years so that they were a bit more spaced out. They live in my pot plants where I can gaze at them.

As a reward for all of Norm’s hard work I made him a brunch of bacon, avocado, tomato and an omelette with onions and salsa.

On Monday Norm and I were back working. The animals all cluster around and keep me company. I had to make a little bed by my chair for Lola as he wants to sit on me or on my keyboard and almost corrupted my data with her butt.

On Monday night we were watching the news before bed when Norm saw a flash of something run across the lounge and behind the TV unit. The dogs had been sleeping but Navajo woke up and started frantically sniffing under the unit. Pixie woke up and shuffled around looking disorientated but Panda clung to me like the bolshy coward he is.

Norm suggested he flush it out and that I then drop the plastic box over Mr Mouse. There was no chance in hell I was getting off of that sofa. If Mr Mouse had ran across my foot I would have had a heart attack. Norm managed to flush him out but he ran under the other sofa and Navajo was frantically trying to catch him. Norm put Navajo in the garage to get him out of the way and eventually managed to drop the box over mousey and pop a lid on it. It was so cute with the stripes along the back and his big round ears. It was pretty big as far as mice go.

I googled and it turns out he is a 4 striped grass mouse and a friend said it looks like it is pregnant (so a she I guess!) but I did not flip it over and do a gynecological exam so who knows! We had the funniest conversations in our family group the next day. My mom is a hoot.

Dinner that night was chicken breasts. Norm shops and buys the same things every week and I get tired of repetition so I try to change it up as best I can. I fried a red pepper, an onion, chili and garlic and then added chopped chicken breasts. Once browned I added in passata, cream, cumin, chili powder, paprika and more garlic and let it simmer for 45 minutes. I made coleslaw and roasted cauliflower coated in olive oil and parmesan cheese and tossed in some raw sliced almonds. It was all so tasty and full of flavour. The almonds added a nice texture to the cauliflower dish.

Thursday night’s dinner was Mexican themed. I had mince and a lot of salad I needed to use up so I made a mexican salad. I fried a red pepper and an onion until half cooked then added minced beef and fried until browned. I added 2 packets of Old El Paso taco seasoning and mixed it in then topped it up with water and let it simmer to absorb the sauce. I added lettuce and tomato and red onion to a bowl as the base. I made guacamole from my last avocado. We grated cheddar cheese and topped it all with the guacamole, sour cream and salsa. It is delicious and satisfies my taco fix without the tortillas or shells. I was surprised to find out that a low carb tortilla has as many carbs as a slice of white bread. They seem so thin and innocent, those shady tortillas!

Thursday I cooked a pork fillet. I coated it with Dijon mustard and garlic and poured over teriyaki sauce. I added a few knobs of butter to keep it moist then covered it in red pepper slices to add flavour and baked it. I sliced mushrooms and fried those then added a whole bag of carefully cleaned baby spinach then once the spinach had wilted I added some cream. I used the other half of the cauliflower from a couple of nights ago and again I roasted it in olive oil with some raw almond slices.

Friday was a hot day so I decided to wear my other new caftan from DammitJanet. I love the African design of this fabric and the caftan is loose and comfortable and perfect for wearing when I am working from home. It feels so free, it is like discreet nudism.

And Pixie likes the shelter when we sit outside.

It was so warm outside and I chose sushi from K1 for my Friday night takeaway treat. I had prawn tempura, prawn roses, salmon roses and prawn cucumber roses. It was refreshing on a hot evening.

We had all of the doors open to enjoy the cooler air but there were parties on both sides of our house which were so loud we could not even hear our telly. We finally discovered where the mysterious ukulele girl lives, she is in the house beside us which shares our back wall. I do not know how to record just sound without doing a video and it was dark – so no need to adjust your screen it really is dark.

Eventually it quietened down after hours of singalongs, but it was quite cheerful and we did not mind it too much.

This morning we have had a slow start and had our coffee on the upstairs balcony off of our bedroom. I love watching the clouds move around the mountains.

Of course all of the animals came to hang out with us.

Eventually Norm showered and popped to the shops as we were out of milk. While he was out I moved downstairs and watched the butterflies and listened to the birds chirp.

Now for my weekly Covid counts. The number of people tested in South Africa is 5,243,055 and the full set of stats is:

On a global scale SA has dropped to 16th for total cases!

Last week we were 14th, the previous week we were 13th and before that we spent several weeks in 12th place, so we are steadily improving. Even better news is that on the global count of deaths per 1 million people we dropped to 39th! Last week we were at 36th so that is a good leap.

The USA is still 1st for total cases and total deaths and is 10th for global count of deaths per 1 million people. Trump is still doing nothing to manage the virus and the deaths have now reached 260,312 people. Hopefully Biden will be able to stem this massacre once the orange terror allows him to take over.

I was so relieved when my Mom told me that the family are not doing Thanksgiving this year. I was sad that she will be on her own though and we have organized a Zoom call with her that evening.

For the musical section of my blog I bring you Mickey Guyton performing an NPR Tiny Desk concert. She is accompanied by keyboardist Lynette Williams, who also plays in Childish Gambino‘s band, Jon Sosin on guitar and Paul Allen on percussion.

Mickey’s set list is “Black Like Me” “Salt” & “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?”. She is billed as a country pop artist but her sound is very soulful. I also love her dress even though it is possibly a maternity dress as she is pregnant. I would just call it a caftan and move along wearing it.

And for something completely different here is the new track by Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa. It is a bit of a Lesbian Vampire fantasy. I love the ending with the cameo of drag legend Divine stating “I’m a free woman now and my life is just ready to begin.” It is a line from John Waters’ classic “Female Trouble”.

I hope you have enjoyed reading and that you have all have a great weekend and week ahead. Stay safe, stay distant and wear your masks.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0

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