Tuesday, December 22, 2020

This dang Covid-19

 Good afternoon dear Blogger friends; as posted last week, I have been very busy with my accommodation. 

Since restrictions of travel and then interprovincial travel was lifted from August onwards, I have had occupation. I haven't actually done the math but I think I have had 60% occupancy through the months. And that's good. 

The months of November  I had a week (five days) and one Friday night that I didn't have guests. 

During December, I've had guests throughout. And mostly long stays. Last week I had a couple arrive on Tuesday and leave on Saturday. Then a young family arrived on Saturday afternoon and is checking out tomorrow mid-morning. Way back in November, I had a long stay reservation for December. A mature couple arriving on 23 December and checking out 2 January 2021.

On Wednesday, 
Thandi and I will go and clean after the family stay; prep and sanitize for our couple coming for Christmas and New Year. 

All good?


Today (24 hours before arrival) the lady guest phoned me to say her husband was feverish and has a wet cough. He's had a Covid test and they will know within 48 hours whether is positive or not. If not, they will be here. But as things stand now, they can only come on Thursday 24th December and not tomorrow as booked. If he is positive, that's it. They have to cancel. 

I will phone the booking agency later this evening to find out exactly what the situation is whatever the outcome.

If they have to cancel, due to this dreaded illness, I have to re-advertise my accommodation - at this late stage.

And, even though I've never met this couple, I communicated with them at length and feel as if I know them. 

Here's hoping for the best. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

All's well in the Hedges pet household

 Hello to Mum's Blogger friends; this is Ambrose. All's well in our household. Mum posted a lot about the doggy so I don't have photos of him here. Mum says I look like a gipshun cat in the photo below. I don't have Unca Shadow anymore to ask him what a gipshun cat is, but I think I'm a very handsome gipshun cat.

I, Ambrose, the gipshun cat 
Chappie relaxing on the carpet near Mum's desk 

Mama and Missy love to play 
Tails flicking and ears back, the kitties mock attack 
Missy lifts her hind legs as Mama jumps on her 
Mama rolls Missy over onto her back
Then Mama walks away, not wanting to play anymore 

Missy and I also have a game sometimes. Mama and I still don't get on with each other. She frightens me with her hissing and then Mum scolds me when I attack her for real! 

Ah well...


Author's note: This is too complicated for Ambrose to post so I, Jo am adding my bit here. This week we had a big scare. On Sunday night I walked outside and Missy dashed into the garden. Over the past months I have become confident that she always returns. And she always does. Even if I am in bed already. She arrives at my front door with window panes, and meows which alerts me and I let her in.

This night she never arrived. I hardly slept. I kept getting up and going to the front door to see if she was there. I continually opened the door and quietly called her. Quish-quish


Next morning as the dawn broke, I was sure she would come running across the lawn onto the veranda and ask to be let in. 


All day I called her. I showed her photo to all the Star and Nurse who work for Janine on my right. And Thandiwe (who was frantically looking for Missy as well) told Joyce, who works for Ronnie to look out for our baby cat. I told Derryn about her disappearance and sent her a photo. She said she'd check around their large garden in case she'd got in there, and heaven forbid, been killed by one of their many dogs. 

Missy has JUST turned three years old this month. A young farmer found her sitting next to her dead mother who had been hit by a farm machine. He brought her to Collette at the shopping center on 4 January 2018. We gauged her to be about five weeks old. As you know, (because I posted about her regularly) she spent most of her days sleeping on my desk in the shop and often on the counter, much to the delight of shoppers who entered my shop.

I eventually brought Missy home, but for almost a year, I kept her indoors. I just didn't not feel comfortable letting her out into my garden; especially with the three dogs next door. 

Eventually I let her out, and she has had the run of the garden. And then we progressed to me letting her out at night and her coming home every time. 

My sister who also knew my kitty was missing, WhatsApped me on Monday night asking if she had returned. I said no.

That night we were geared up to hear a message from President Cyril Ramaphosa. At 8pm/20h00. There is a second wave of Covid19 and we were all worried about going back into hard Lockdown again. The radio announcers were referring to his talk as the "family meeting." At  19h54, I walked to the kitchen sink and as I turned around I saw the little pointed face through the window pane. I yelled: MISSY  so loudly that she ran off towards the right. I opened the door and diving onto the cat, picked her up and brought her inside. I was beside myself with relief. 

Skabby jumped up and sniffed at Missy. Mama came through from the bedroom and sniffed her from head to toe. 

Missy was very subdued. She kept grooming herself and when I stroked across her back and down along her tail, I felt grass seeds stuck to her fur. 

When I told Ronnie (who also knew Missy had been missing) about her having grass seeds stuck to her fur, she said she probably went walk about through the cattle paddock below my cottage. And into the grassy fields beyond. Something: perhaps the cattle stomping in the dark or dogs barking, scared Missy and she went into hiding. My sister kept reassuring me that cats normally return home at night when they deem it safe because dogs and other creatures are sleeping. 

The rest of the week, Missy has hardly moved from her sleeping place on top of my cupboard. When she is down on the floor and Skabby makes a sudden move, she puts her ears back and cringes. She has been out on the veranda but as soon as the dogs next door start to bark, she dashes indoors. 

I am just so very grateful that she returned safely. Thandiwe, when she arrived on Tuesday morning was so happy to see "Baby" had come home. She kept saying Nyabonga Nkosi yami

(Thank you, my God) with her hands covering her eyes; which  choked me up all over again! 

Thank you, God for this story's happy ending. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Fan-tailed Widowbird

 Good morning Blogger friends. In between a very busy week in the farm office (I'm licensing 11 farm vehicles online, among other tasks); delivering my last beauty products of the year and signing on new members to my Virtual Weigh-Less groups, and cleaning after guests, prepping for incoming guests, (these fortunately all long stays of four days),  Skabby and I make time to walk on the farm. 

As always, Skabby runs ahead and explores the interesting smells in the grass and then dives into the dam.

So many exciting smells for a dog to experience 
Then a dip in the dam 
Clambering up the bank
A good shake  ! 

I'm always fascinated how thoroughly a dog shakes itself. Feet anchored firmly on the ground, Skabby shakes himself from the tip of his nose, through his body,  to the end of his tail.

On the walk, I'm always on the lookout for something interesting to photograph. This day I wasn't disappointed. A Fan-tailed Widowbird sat swaying on a tall silver frond of grass; frequently nipping off a grass  seed and eating it. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Flower child dog

 Good morning Blogger friends. I thought I'd get in before Ambrose' Sunday post and do a post about Skabby.

The boy had his thrice-yearly shave and grooming on Monday. We have a travelling grooming team who come from Pietermaritzburg. Gavin and his team of dedicated Zulu men groomers have a pop-up salon at the home of Terry. On that day, Terry, her husband Roy and their teenage daughter Tenaka work just as hard as the team of groomers, welcoming owners with their woolly pets; opening and closing gates and swiping card payments after the job is done. 

Skabby's appointment was at 3pm. I left him on the lawn with a wire cage over him... tongue lolling, and watching the many other poochies being bathed, clipped and groomed. I live 13km from where the grooming takes place and Terry said to go home; she'd phone me when he was ready. 

At 5.15 Terry sent me a WhatsApp saying my furbaby was ready for collection.

He looks super cool and is super cool. He has lost quite a bit of weight (even before his lumpy chin issue) and looks ultra slick as well.

Last night he had been lying in the shade under the plumbago bush in the garden. When he emerged to come into the house, I noticed he had little blue blooms on his smooth and shiny head. 

Of course, as soon as I focus my camera on Skabby, he gets coy, I kid you not. Eventually I managed to get a decent photo of his flowery head.

Such a cool lad! 
On our way to the dam
...and AWWW MUM! 

I thought I'd share...

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Early morning walk

 Good (Sunday) morning dear Blogger friends. It's been a bit busy these days. Holiday season is upon us and I have had back-to-back guests. Thandi and I feel we can clean, sanitize and prepare for next guests in our sleep. I am very grateful for the business. And after three years, we do seem to have it off pat! I now offer breakfast which is a challenge as I live 20km from my holiday unit. But I worked around it...

My  Inhouse Self-Service Two-Day Continental Breakfast

Back to this post: Skabby and I walked very early today. We've had several days of good rains which makes our going very muddy! 

While Skabby ran ahead and sniffed at interesting trails, I stopped to photograph these LBJ's. I imagine they are female and juvenule Pin-tail Whydahs. When I downloaded the photos, I found that the birds had interesting expressions on their faces, causing me to make a little story about them! 
I'll just ignore the fidgeting next to me 
Ergh, let's get to that itch!
Do you have an itchy toe now? 
At last: peace!
Uh-oh! What's that? Who has an itch NOW? 

Mr Skabby is 100% after his recent illness and vet visits
His coat is still quite short, but the last grooming session takes place here tomorrow. So off we go for a summer clip
A pair of White-faced duck were on the dam, when Skabby jumped in for his daily dip 

Then with great noise and honking, a Spurwing landed on the water 

I'm sure it has a nest nearby as it made a big fuss until the other duck and Skabby left the water! 

White-fronted Bee-eater are prolific in my garden and all over the farm
The cows at the milking shed 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here 


Ambrose at the helm

 Good morning to Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose and at last I have a turn to post about the Hedges Household of Pets.

I, Ambrose, resting on the cool veranda floor
Chappie asleep in the lounge near Mum's desk 
Skabby and I are big friends. He's very gentle with all of us 
Mama found a cool, damp spot in the garden 
Missy on top of Mum's closet close to the ceiling fan 

All's well in the Hedges Pet Household! 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

A cuckoo sighting and other critters

 Hello dear Blogger friends; once again I am here on a Saturday, catching up with my blogging and visiting. 

On Thursday as I was loading my car for my Weigh-Less group in the Valley, I heard a Diderick Cuckoo calling... in a tree above where I was standing. I had my camera on the passenger seat. I picked it up and walked around the farm yard trying to spot the bird. It was calling incessantly: dee-dee-deederick.

Gavin, the other, younger farmer, saw me; he went to his Prado to look for his binoculars and as he faced upwards,  he saw the bird. He called me into their backyard and although it was very high up, I managed to zoom in and get a sort-of photo. Apologies for the poor quality but here it is:

Diderick Cuckoo female

Skabby has rallied and doing well after his spell with vets and meds. He's still on antibiotics but he's well mended. 
He loves his daily swim

Blogger has been a challenge today. Uploads fail; I can't enlarge my images. 

Wildflowers on our walk 

A daisy type flower 

A close-up of the first image 

Blogger has been a challenge today; uploads fail; I can't enlarge images. 

I am joining Saturday Critters with Eileen here


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Hedges kitties and dog

 Hello Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose. I have had to wait to post about the kitties and our doggy friend. Mum has been worried about Skabby being ill (he's getting better now) and she has also been very sad. We, the Hedges pets decided to be good to help her! 

Chappie on the lawn
I, Ambrose with Skabby the dog who is healing 
Mama in another part of the garden 
Missy asleep on top of Mum's cupboard