Today's the day!...Our guests arrive this afternoon...Breakfast in town...Tom's short haircut...


It was a good idea to set up this bar and get the clutter off of the kitchen counter.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
This dead beetle was lying on her back on the veranda.

We flipped it over for this photo.  This is an African Black Beetle.  They don't sting but have a powerful toxin they release when agitated that can feel like a sting and cause irritation.  We swept it over the edge of the veranda.  A few minutes later a band of mongooses stopped by and one of them immediately started devouring the beetle, savoring it so much, he made funny noises while crunching on its hard shell.  Mongooses are carnivores.
A part of the fun of entertaining guests is the preparations to make their stay as pleasant as possible.  We ran around the house, organizing and de-cluttering in an attempt to make everything as pleasant as possible.  We outfitted their rooms and bath with soaps, towels, insect repellents, toilet paper, and tissues.
Our friend Kathy recommended this quaint café in Komatipoort which we finally visited for the first yesterday.  We had a fantastic breakfast of bacon, eggs, veggies (Tom splurged on toast and jam, hot tea and bottled water).  Total bill was a paltry ZAR 170 (US $11.61) including tax and tip.
We loved creating a nice bar area as shown in today's main photo using everything we had on hand and adding some new items Tom and Lois indicated they liked to drink and the end result was quite pleasing.

Tom's eggs and bacon.  He ate his two pieces of toast and mine also.
It's not that we drink that much. But, we entertain fairly often.  Tom likes a one-shot brandy and Sprite while I occasionally have a sugar-free gin and tonic.  But, more often I drink low alcohol wine which has 30% less alcohol.  
I ordered this spinach omelet only to discover it had creamed spinach inside.  I have to learn how to order better for my further restricted lactose-free diet.  Next time, I'll ask for plain spinach.  This time I scraped off all of the spinach and ate the egg part.  There was no way I was going to ask them to take it back when I failed to order properly.
Luckily, low alcohol wine is available, made by South African wineries and is quite good.  When we dine out as we did last night for an excellent dinner at Aamazing (spelled correctly) River View overlooking the Crocodile River, I was able to order Four Cousins Skinny White wine.  I had two glasses during the entire evening while Tom had two-one shot glasses of Klipdrift brandy with Sprite Zero.
There is both indoor and outdoor dining at this delightful spot.
I ordered the grilled calamari steaks with salad (no dressing) while Tom had chicken Corden Bleu, rice, and salad.  Our total bill including the drinks, tax, and tip was ZAR 414 (US $28.36). It's almost more cost effective to dine out than cook!
Many lovely gifts can be purchased here.
It was unusual for us to eat out twice in one day but after the house was cleaned so perfectly by Zef and Vusi, I didn't want to make a mess.  This morning I started the food prep for today's lunch and dinner. 

A few minutes ago, they were both here, cleaning the floors, making the bed, taking out the trash and cleaning the veranda which must be cleaned daily with all the dust kicked up from the wildlife and the soot from the sugar cane fires.
The charming gift shop at the Stoep Café.
Josiah is here now emptying, cleaning and refilling the cement pond so the wildlife can have fresh water to drink.  Plus, recently, Little Wart Face sat in the pond.  It is a good idea to keep this clean.

After breakfast at the Stoep Cafe, we headed to the dentist's office.  Tom has a sore spot on his gums that needs to be checked.  As it turned out they'd moved to the same building as Dr. Theo at the Trio Centre.  He couldn't get an appointment until next Tuesday so he's using warm salt water rinses in the interim.  We'll see how that goes.
Bottles used decoratively in the stone walkway at the Stoep Café.
At the dentist office, which shares the space with an optometrist, I purchased a really nice pair of sunglasses since those I'd purchased in Zambia fell apart a few days ago.  

From there we headed to the pharmacy for a few toiletries and then off to Spar for a few more groceries items.  We weren't planning to return to the house until around 1400 hours (2:00 pm) but we'd purchased meat and needed to put it into the freezer.  Fortunately, the boys were wrapping up the cleaning and it all worked out well.
Tom before his haircut.  Scary!
A few hours later we headed to the Aamazing River View in time to watch the sunset.  We enjoyed a leisurely wait until our fresh, hot and delicious food arrived.  The wait was worth it.

Back home by 2100 hours, (9:00 pm), we decided to watch the finale of Master Chef on my laptop.  I fell asleep on the sofa for almost two hours and missed the finale. Once I got up and was ready for bed, I had an awful time falling back to sleep after the two-hour nap.  Today, we're both a little sluggish but surely when our guests arrive, we'll both become energized.
Tom after his short haircut, trim and neat.  A great improvement!
Over the next three weeks, our posting times will vary depending on the plans we've made with Tom and Lois. We'll keep you updated on the plans and experiences during this busy time for us in Marloth Park with friends!  However, we will continue to post each day! 

Have a spectacular day!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 10, 2017:

Tom took this beautiful photo in an early morning in Costa Rica as the moon was setting.  Nice job!  For more photos, please click here.



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