Friday, September 30, 2016

Oh my word!

Hi everyone. When I clicked on my dashboard, I realized my last post was ten days ago. And before that, probably four/five days. I've had a mail from dear friend, Penny who was concerned that I'm not active on blogger. She reminded me that even when I had malaria in days gone by, I would post. 

My apologies. Life has been rather hectic. Grant was very ill last week and we're still not out of the woods. But being a guy, it's difficult to convince him that he should be taking it easy and rest and really get well again.

In between, my routine has been more or less the same: the dogs and I walk on the golf course every day that I'm home. One of the activities Grant's been recommended on doing to improve his health, is to walk. Well, it's been a week and the dogs and I would still be at the gate from day one, if we had had to wait for him. Perhaps next week; he assures me he'll start walking with us as from Monday. 

With spring in the air, although the wind is still pretty chilly, the wildflowers are popping out all over on the golf course. I also managed to get a reasonable photo of a butterfly. 

Skabenga, sleek and shiny ...
... and enthusiastic about life! 
Eddie has recovered well after surgery on her hind leg. Nothing fazes this old lady! 

Some of you might remember me periodically posting about friend, Rudi who visited us in April, and who's home we stayed at when we traveled to Cape Town in mid-May. 

He visited us again in July (Grant, Rudi and I made another quick trip to Cape Town in mid-July) while Grant was rebuilding a 1988 motorcycle for him. 
Grant and Rudi working together in the garage  
Rudi and Rina acting the goat while we had supper at Rina's house - 6 July 2016
A photo I took of Rudi and Grant watching the sun setting over the Karoo. This was on 12 July on our return trip from Cape Town

 Rudi went home to the Wilderness at the end of July. On 12 August a mutual friend phoned us and said he hadn't seen Rudi for several days. He went up to his cottage where he found Rudi asleep in the middle of the day. But when he tried to wake him, Rudi was incoherent. As Rudi didn't drink at all, the friend was most perturbed - he thought Rudi had had a stroke - and phoned us. I managed to contact Rudi's daughter living in Cape Town, via Facebook. She and her brother drove the four hours up to Wilderness and took their father back to Cape Town with them.

From then things got steadily worse. On 9 September, Rudi had a CAT scan which revealed that he had cancer in both his lungs. (Rudi was a chain smoker and already suffered from COPD) and within a short time, Rudi was so weak he became completely bedridden.

Because Rudi was too weak to hold the phone against his ear or even to talk properly anymore, we kept in contact with the son, Byron,  on Rudi's condition. 

Last Thursday at 8pm, Rudi passed away. Although he suffered immensely during the past six weeks (the doctor said Rudi was suffocating) and he's at peace now, we - his friends - are devastated at the news. Grant and I have known Rudi since 1991 when he and his wife and three children came to the diamond mines of Oranjemund, Namibia. His wife - from whom he was then divorced - died in a bus accident in December 2008. His younger son, Nathan died in a motorcycle accident, on the way home from work, in February 2010. 

Rudi and Grant have worked together in West Africa in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, Rudi was out of work, and I found him a position on a mine in Liberia, West  Africa. When that contract was completed, he secured a position in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was a fit and healthy man..until he retired in February this year. 
We're driving through the Golden Gate National Highlands Park to Durban
As this post is aired, Grant and I will be on our way to Durban. Rudi's memorial service is being held in Cape Town. But friends and family from Kwa-Zulu Natal, (and us from the FreeState) are meeting up later this afternoon to commemorate Rudi's life.  
The completed motorbike which Rudi will never ride. I'm busy with paperwork to register it and then we'll sell it for Rudi's children


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My spring garden

Spring is here in South Africa. And I'm one of the lucky people whose garden hardly missed a beat during the cold, dry winter months. The reason for this (IMHO) is that I garden primarily with drought-resistant, hardy and indigenous plants and shrubs. I also have a wonderful gardener in John Tsie.  Since I returned to SA 18 months ago, he and I have revamped and reestablished the lawns, beds and shrubs surrounding the house. I taught John to make a compost heap way back in 2006 and although he'd neglected it somewhat while I was in Africa, he and I have recreated beautifully moist, black compost. This has done wonders for the ground when it is dug into the beddings and spread onto the lawn. 

One of the first perennials to flower as the weather warms up is the Banksia Rose. This isn't native to South Africa but boy, is it hardy and is it beautiful. Wherever you drive through town, this climber rose is flowering over fences and gate posts - in profusion. 
My Banksia Rose cascades over the gate posts every September through mid-October - as seen from the street
A close-up of the dainty roses 
Glorious against the sky
Bulbines - which are indigenous and my all time favorite perennial,  flower abundantly along the sidewalk outside my garden
The sidewalk from our motor driveway - John and I always plant swathes of the same flowers - to great effect

The garden along the driveway leading up to the motor gate
The view from my office window
A view of the front garden 
Looking back down the driveway to the patio and garages
A walled area off the patio - with bird feeders and holes that Eddie digs to lie in! 
Another view of the garden along the driveway
The back garden (which is the front garden from the patio, LOL) with the Melianthus cosmosus tree in the foreground
The view from the back garden along the side of the house - to my bedroom window where our three cats sit on my kist and enjoy the sunshine

Another one of my favorite indigenous perennials is the Gazania Rigens. This is a half-hardy ground cover which creates a carpet of beautiful soft green leaves with yellow flowers. It's native to Southern Africa but has been naturalized in other countries: the Central coast and Sydney regions of NSW and South East Queensland and the peninsula of Eyre 
Gazania Rigens

This is my world today - I hope you enjoyed it. You can read about other worlds on Our World Tuesday here as well. 

On a note from comments on my Saturday blog: I was asked what "moo-poo" was. It's cow manure/ a cow pat and Skabenga absolutely loves to pick a piece up on his walk to munch on as we return home! 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hedges Pet Hotel

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers. This is Ambrose with photos of the remaining menagerie in the Hedges Pet Hotel. 
Old Aunt Eddie who has just had surgery on her leg
Big dog, Skabenga having an early morning swim
Unca Shadow with the shadow of the window guard on his back
Dad Ginger and I, Ambrose sleeping in the sun
Cousin Chappie resting in the lounge

Cousin Tipsy is doing well and settling in with his Mama Rina in their own house...

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Critters on our walk

Earlier this week, the dogs and I found ourselves on the golf course before the sun was up!

Farmstead lights across the golf course
No problem to my crazy Lab; into the dam for his early morning swim!
Shake yourself dry all over the old lady

The sun was rising as walked back up the fairway to the street. I noticed a few other people out and about...
The young aerobics instructor striding along on her early morning jog
And another two energetic local ladies
While I took photos, Skabenga found a delicious piece of moo-poo

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here


Friday, September 16, 2016

Full moon September

Full moon; visibility 98%; age 15 days. 15 September 2016 at 6.34pm

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cousin Tipsy has a new home!

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose with new news: Cousin Tipsy has left the Hedges household. He has a new home. Well, as Mum says, it's not really a new home because his old owner lives there. 

Yes, our yoomen dad managed to get permission from the man who gives permission for these things, for Tipsy to live with his yoomen Aunty Rina in the retirement centre. The rules are that cats and dogs aren't allowed in the centre. 


I wonder why?

Anyway, this afternoon, while we - The Marquard Moggies - were lying in our sunny bedroom, our yoomen dad and Mum took Tipsy in the car to Aunty Rina. Afterwards, while Mum was busy in the kitchen, I sneaked a peek at her photos and used these in my post...
Cousin Tipsy's new (old) mama opens the travel cage on the carpet
Cousin Tipsy looks nervous here - we kitties are like that!
Here he explores the spare room...
...the hallway...
...and his mama's bedroom
Then he remembered his mama and went for a petting
Here he and his mama have a cuddle

Not only is Cousin Tipsy reunited with his mama, but now we Hedges kitties have the run of the entire house any time of day or night. No more being closed into the bedroom while Tipsy has a turn in the garden; no more does Tipsy have to be closed into his room while we three kitties have a run around house and yard. 

For more cute posts about pets, please click here

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sunrise this week

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here

Regarding my fence post yesterday, I've had several mentions on the lethal-looking lower posts on the palisades:

These are called "doggy bars". They keep the dogs inside and I've not heard of dogs being injured on them.  We removed our doggy bars two years ago and inserted wooden slats for privacy. 

No problem to Eddie, our ancient Jack Russel: she merely dug UNDER the palisades and escaped! She always come back and sits at the electric motor gate until someone opens for her. Like Queen Tut! 

Eddie has fatty lumps on a hind leg. These are harmless enough but on one such escape, she hooked the lumps and subsequently licked the wound until it was raw. It cost us a trip to the vet; I assisted him (holding the comatose dog, while he operated) and we paid a pretty penny for the job!  

At another expense, Grant bought mesh wire, the gardeners, John and Jacob dug a half meter deep trench around our entire property. Grant sunk the wire,  John held it while Jacob tired the tops over on the horizontal palisade bars. Eddie has not managed to escape since! 

However, the dogs behind the bars in the photo above are obedient and larger, so I doubt whether they'd ever suffer the same fate as Eddie! Our ole doggy is just  one dog who loves to escape, run around in our quiet street (the odd vehicles passing by, know her well!) and then ask to be let into the yard again. These days she waits until a car is going out or coming into our yard and then slips out!