Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things of NOTE

Since we returned from Kruger and I was done posting about it… I slacked off. Mostly because … taking pictures of things other than the landscape, animals or flowers is really a challenge for me…. And I hate taking them, because when I look at them I see where I could have done better … MUCH Better!!!

So what have we done in the last 5 weeks… Not too much exciting stuff and in no importance of order….

 Axel became and IT! With Linzy maturing, we didn’t want to have an accident. Axel, while beautiful, has too many genetic issues we did not want to procreate. He is allergic to both his environment and foods. We were hoping Africa would be good place for him, and so far, much better than the states, environmentally.

 I started my job. My security clearance came through, so I could begin work. I started on November 15th. I work in a Classified area -so no electronics or phones are allowed in the area. We have to leave them in a lock box outside the door; I don’t know how I am going to get along without a SMARTphone, which is the repository for all important information!!! I am a Logistician; and that big title, basically means that I shift inventory –either from here to there or -from there to here or –into the warehouse here. I also am charged with keeping track of where it all is!!! So far there hasn’t been too much to do in regard to shifting.

 We cracked my iPhone! It’s not perfect but it’s better than using the Blackberry Pearl that I had been using; and for the record, I hate multifunction keyboards!!! It’s a shame that you can own a product and then be restricted from using it the way you want to use it. And the government and environmentalists wonder why the landfills are filling up. Instead of making things more compatible, we make things more restrictive and less functional for the life of a product. I would be happy to use this phone on any network for a year or three or even longer if nothing better was produced down the road. Speaking of iPhone…. The pictures are from the iPhone today. Too lazy to do the big camera.

4 dyed fish skins

 Also, I got some very interesting leather. When we were here last year and took the ‘tannery tour’ I was shown a fish skin that had been tanned, (there was also a purse made from one, but I didn’t like the purse). It was so supple and soft, and at the time I didn’t ask if I could buy it… and left. Well since then I have been asking if they had any more… Well I now have 4 fish skins. I don’t think they are from the same fish that I saw before; but I do have some and they are cool. These are from Nile Perch caught in the Zambezi River and have been dyed… (you can

Scale side of fish
have animal skins with the fur dyed here too). Any way on the reverse it looks just like any other leather but on the front you can see the scale ridges. Makes for a very cool texture. So what am I going to do with them? Not sure yet.

 We also went to a wedding. One of my husbands colleagues met a South African lady here and now they are a legal couple. The wedding was a combination of South African and American rituals. Part of it was conducted in English and the other part in Afrikaans. But if you have been to one wedding … well you had a good idea of what was being said.

Downed Tree
 The weather here has been the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. Warm and rainy. Not the usual for South Africa in December. Generally it is nice in the mornings and then an afternoon rain Thunder shower, but not recently. We have had huge very powerful and loud Thunderstorms that make the summer storms in the Midwest seem very tame by comparison. The good thing is tornado like activity is minimal here. On Wednesday overnight to Thursday morning, last week we had 8-10 inches of rain. Not something the infrastructure in South Africa can handle… almost. Thankfully we had the house repaired where -water was seeping under the wall along the foundation in the downstairs bathroom, before the big rain came! Not that we didn’t have a problem from the rain… one of the trees in the backyard came down. It's really 2 trees that the root system had become one...It will be like this until after the 10th of January.

 Another part of the ‘Festive Season’ is its prime Holiday Time here. Most people take 2 weeks and go on Holiday. Its summer, sunny and warm –school is out for the year. December 16 is a holiday here, The Day of Reconciliation. In the old days, it was the commemoration of ‘The Battle of Blood River’, for more on this… see http://africanhistory.about.com/od/apartheid/a/SAHolidays.htm. But has been changed to a day to recognize the new South Africa and the differences in Culture. So from mid December to mid January most of the country is away from work. This year also due to the South African Holiday, known as The Day of Goodwill (known as Boxing Day elsewhere), which falls on Dec. 26 but will be observed on Monday Dec 27, we will have a 4 day weekend and then there is New Years…

It is close to Christmas, and I just am not really into the whole Christmas frenzy this year. I have lived in California, where cold is maybe 32F, and that is overnight… not during the day –so I am comfortable without snow and freezing temps. So our house is done in minimal Christmas. Yep, this is the extent of the decorating. I have 3 strings of LED battery operated lights…. Red and White (they are also the total extent of the Christmas décor I shipped over. That’s it. We have decided that rather than do gifts (to each other)…. We would see Africa while we are here.

 And last but not least I got a fabric postcard in the mail today from my friend Karen, who blogs here. The postcard is a replica of a quilt she was making and blogged about it here A Creative Kick . I would just love to see the quilt in person… but this little gem will have to do!!!

Until later...




Sara said...

Poor Axel! I'm pretty sure he didn't think the whole surgery thing was the best idea. lol

Your iphone took a pretty good picture! Pretty colors and I'll be interested in what you do with the fish skins but can I just say "EWWWWWW".

Love Karen's postcard.

Exuberant Color said...

It would seem strange to have hot weather at Chrismtas, since I've never lived anywhere except Northern Illinos.
Is your job not too busy right now because of the month break that the country takes?

Becky said...

Beautiful fish skins and postcard! Good luck with the new job! We still don't have smart phones, so don't yet understand their appeal. Have a great Christmas!!

Karen S said...

I'm glad you liked the postcard.

I love those fish skins -- I can't wait to see what you do with them!

We're having a white Christmas here -- but, honestly, I don't get it. There wasn't snow in Bethlehem. I could live without the tornadoes too -- even after all my years in the Midwest, I still find them terrifying.

Jean said...

It is always strange to start a new job, I think. I hope you find it satisfying after you settle in. I have never thought of retiring until just the last few months, but in reality, I probably will work for years yet.

The colors on the fish skins are terrific. I can't wait to see what you decide to do with them. Of course, I like the red one...

Christmas here means vacation -- and my grandsons come, so that means the trees and such, but seeing Africa while you are there -- well that sounds so fabulous, the best gift of all for you!

Anonymous said...

OMG those fish skins are bee-u-ti-ful. Whatever you create with them will be amazing! I can't wait to hear about your next adventure. Merry Christmas!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Merry Christmas to you out there in South Africa. Not too much snow in Toronto, but it is below freezing.