Monday, November 17, 2014

War Horse

There really is nothing quite like a first class Theatre production, to thrill and inspire us.  I was so privileged and blessed to have been part of a group of women from here in Bandolierkop, to head down to the big city this weekend for a very special outing.
Inge, Xanthe, Tanya, Des, Marisha, Landi,  Susan, Anna and me :)... We had saved and planned for it for the best part of 6 months.  We left the Lalapanzi Hotel on Saturday morning all full of excitement, laughter and friendship... making the four hour journey to Monte Casino in a combi. We stayed at the hotel, and enjoyed some down time in the shops, before dinner and the show. We were completely captivated by the War Horse production, and loved every single minute of it. Oh how I wish I could get more tickets... I would drive back there tomorrow with my hubby and kids, and whoever else I could get, to go with us!
 No photos may be taken, so it's very easy for me to just download some off the internet...
 The skill of making these puppets come alive is just breathtaking!

YES - this was a real highlight for me!  Thanks so much Tanja Richter, and all of the ladies who made it so memorable!  Will do this again in a heartbeat!
AND - to just perfect the weekend, we have finally had some beautiful, soaking, gentle rain! It's pretty cold now, but at least the rains are around.

Klein Kariba Annual Auction

I guess I am not the only one to wonder what happened to 2014!  We are already half way into November, and with only two more weeks of exams for the children the December holidays are almost upon us!
We had a busy October, with a last minute hunt coming in. Great to have Tommy Morrison and John Cross visit with us. Thanks guys!
Our trip to Klein Kariba at the end of October, for the Northern Nguni Club auction was uneventful. Lovely to get away and to reconnect with our fellow Cattlemen and Cattlewomen! :)  We are not the only farmers longing for the rains.  The earth is groaning for relief all over Southern Africa.
The children had their prize giving at Merensky, and both of them made us so proud all over again!
Micaela is part of the school band that was started in the third term.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Youth Show Merensky High School

We have another short school break coming up at the end of the week for 10 days, and Micaela will be off to attend the Youth Show with the school show team. Sadly we won't see much of her these holidays. She really enjoys working with the cattle, and their school team represents the Limpopo Province.  Here is a photo of her with one of the PinZyl cows that is part of the Merensky school herd.
They get a good scrubbing for the shows.
We got to do a little fishing this weekend, much to all of our enjoyment, and especially JohnD's delight!  We spent the day with the Preece family on Saturday. What a special place they have! He caught a really nice bass.
We have our annual TB and CA testing of the entire herd of cattle tomorrow, so we will be kept out of mischief! We will also pregnancy test those cows who will be going to the Klein Kariba Northern Nguni Club Auction, at the beginning of November.

Can you believe it, Ken and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary last week! Lots of wonderful memories and so many blessings to count!  We really are so very grateful for all that we have from our Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Posting Pictures, Summer Sun and "What-a-lot-we-got"!

What-a-lot-we-got: New friends, Wonderful memories, Special trophies, and all of the catch-up too... farm work, office work, spring cleaning, building maintenance... okay I will stop. The list get's longer each time we review it! My golly gosh it never ends does it?
We said a sad goodbye to Rick just over a week ago. He was our closing hunt for the season, so it has been pretty quiet at the lodge. The storm of neglected farm work, and behind office work seems to be calming down a little, and we are starting to feel a little rested! We loved each and every one of our special guests this year, and really were blessed. Thank you to one and all!
I really don't know how to catch up the blog news - so I am going to just post a few pictures and add captions, as I think of the news!

 Dad helped me install a dishwasher at the lodge! :)
 We opened up all of our boundaries with a substantial fire break!

 Little Penny is growing up so fast! She is a busy little blessing!
 Penny keeping Micaela company while she was practicing her guitar.
 Thanks Uncle Rick for this very special hammock!  Talk about competition for time in it!
Micaela and JohnD did so well with the recent Tri-Tech competition at school and won best in their Environmental and Social Science category. Their project was called "Re Tired Tires".
Oh dear! This photo caused great hilarity with a joke Ken played on Micaela.... saying that our beloved CAMO had been arrested for breaking and entering.  I guess she was distracted (being on her first date) and she believed his story.  Truth be told, we have had so much difficulty with poachers, that when the dog unit came to lift the tracks of the poachers, CAMO would not stop bothering the police dog. So while their dog was working, CAMO got a little "time out" in the police van. Much to his disgust!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

June and July Hunting Highlights

Oh boy oh boy !!!  8 Safaris since I last wrote.  LOTS of special memories and treasured new friendships formed.  Each and every group leaves a little of themselves with us, and we sure do hope that they take a little of us with them too!
We have Wikus Bezuidenhout helping out now, as it has been hectic going for Ken to continue on his own. He has been hunting non-stop since March, and so much of the farm work has just got behind.
We loved having Brian and Dannette back with us, and Brian harvested one of our mature buffalo bulls during his hunt.  Both Ken and Brian were dreaming buffalo by the end of the hunt!
We had the joy of some of our local friends and family visit and hunt too, keeping us all out of mischief every single day.
Micaela managed to squeeze in a camping weekend with her friends too, during the school holidays.
Both she and JohnD helped with catering and hunting during the holidays, and were such stars! I so miss them when they are away at school.  They sure do help a LOT when they are home.
Kenny and Beverly Cole together with Bill and Angie Jordan also enjoyed a wonderful BOW hunt, with Kenny successfully bagging (among many other wonderful trophies) - one of our buffalo bulls with his bow on the last day, making a perfect heart shot. So much excitement, and LOTS of wonderful memories. Beverly also did some hunting too.  We have a freezer full of BUFFALO meat! My very first attempt to braai some of the rump was a bit of a disaster. The sausage certainly is good. THANKS KENNY! :)
The Applegate Family enjoyed a photo safari here, followed by time in Kruger and Thornybush. So many stories, shared laughter, and LOTS of photos. I believe I have permanently corrupted their UNO GAMES from now on!  I had the joy of taking them into Kruger National Park this time, as we had a new hunter (Mr Robert Wayne) arriving the day before they were due to leave.   Robert and Wikus didn't waste any time, and managed to get all of their hunting over quite quickly, so they were also able to enjoy some time in Kruger Park too.
Robert was followed by Clemens and Maria Wouters from HOLLAND, who also felt like family to us all! We certainly are blessed to have so many special folks, contribute to our lives, our business, and our family. Thank you so much to each and every one of you.

Dad and Mom are keeping well, and Ken's sister Cathy is visiting.
The August winds have arrived, and Ken spent most of yesterday fighting a veld fire.
The Cattle are now in the spring breeding season.
We finally have Ken's camera back.
Penny is growing up so fast! Full of mischief and fun. Micaela has taught her to "high five", shake and "high ten"!
Camo has been "snipped".  He has had a rough month, with an injury to his neck and an abcess on his cheek.  Hopefully he is now on the mend.  Lady is still her loving, sweet self!
My office work is so far behind, and my desk a bit of a war zone!  My days roll by so fast with one meal melting into another...  Big hugs to each and every one of you - FROM THE BALLS IN THE BUSH!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Little Penny

We are right in the middle of our hunting season now. We sure are keeping out of mischief! Ken has been going non-stop, as have I. :)  It was so special to have Brian and Dannette Reed back again. They hunted with us in 2011. We also had the joy of Russ & Patty Perkins at the beginning of June.
We have a new addition to our little family!!!  "Penny" is a little fox-terrier puppy that we got on Friday last week from Wighardt. She is the puppy of Snip's sister, so looks quite like our little Snip did, except she has a brown face. She is very cute of course, and terribly spoilt.  There is nothing like a little puppy in the house for the kids especially at the beginning of their long school holiday!
We have just finished quite a large under-taking to widen the fire-break around our entire perimeter fence, so that is a relief.  We hired a large machine to do it, as our labour force is not large, and trying to do it by hand would have taken years! We have also recently broken a section of the concrete counter near the wash area in the lodge kitchen, in order to install a dishwasher there! J  Dad and I tackled this project together, and while we have yet to finish the “cosmetic” finish, the machine is at least operational! YAY!!!  I so love the purr of a dishwasher in the evenings, knowing the staff don’t have to face the mountain in the morning.
We had our first fire of the year today, along the N1. A very kind motorist must have put it out for us, and then called to say that we need to just check on it. Fortunately Ken had just slashed that entire section, so it was relatively simple.
Both Micaela and JohnD are well, and they both enjoy school.  We are so glad that it is now the winter vacation for the children. They have 3 weeks off school, and will hopefully be kept busy helping us with the hunters.  JohnD is especially helpful with the hunting, and is proving himself to be very accomplished in the field.  Micaela is just awesome and can be given so many things to do, and she is just a trooper!  JohnD is now taller than all of us and wears his Dad’s clothing…. But sadly he cannot share shoes any longer, as he wears a size 12 shoe now!
The cattle are all well, and keep us busy too. We have just a few more expected calves and then our winter calving is finished. We had twins “born” last night, but the poor heifer had tremendous difficulty with the second one getting stuck. We finally managed to pull him out, but he had died inside. She at least has a little heifer to nurture and it might take a day or two before she is back to normal. She really had a tough time. We are so lucky we didn’t lose her too. It is her first pregnancy.  
Dennis and Carol are well, and both keeping busy.  Carol plays bridge about once a week, which is great for her, and she has just finished a beautiful, reversible quilt which she gave to JohnD for his birthday. She is so talented.  Dad also keeps busy, and they both help so much with errands – especially now while Ken and I are both so busy. Sadly Ken's camera is still in the "shop" so no photos yet again. I am sorry!
Well, this comes with lots of love. We are having quite a mild winter, and the sunny days are welcome!
Love to you all!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cape Town Wedding, and Russ and Patty Perkins

We are excited to have Russ and Patty with us at the moment, and they just returned from Kruger. They had some lovely sightings, and have now experienced some of our REALLY CHILLY winter days. The weather turned really cold today, but at least the sun is shining.  I believe I will need a full long winter coat tonight. I do feel sorry for those who sadly don't have one.
 :) The kids are home, and are nose to the books because of exams. They have 3 weeks of school left, and then they break for our 3 weeks of winter holidays.
Ken's camera died about 20 days before the warrantee expired, so we are without a camera at the moment! Sorry no pictures again.
I had the pleasure of going to Cape Town for two days. My cousin had his final wedding (third one) to celebrate with South African family. He lives in London and has married an Irish Lady, so they had celebrations in both London and Ireland.  We were delighted to meet her and get to know her.  I travelled without my man and kids, they were left to hold the fort!  I believe they missed me... as Micaela said that she didn't think that I should go away again...  I absolutely LOVED seeing all of my family again but it was way too short.  It is such a beautiful city, and really is a world of it's own.
The weather there was damp and cold!  We celebrated in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which was a first for me! Just beautiful.
Well dinner is calling, so I'd best get moving if we are to have anything for supper!  I believe some French Onion Soup is on the menu.