I have always wanted to take a trip around the world, ever since I found out there is such a thing as an around the world airline ticket. I now have enough United miles for a free one, but not enough time off or money to use it yet.
On my most recent trip to Africa I met a man who as on a three month trip around the world, which would include London, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Patagonia and I forget where else. He was from NJ and taught English as a second language. As he was the only other American on my safari, we hung out a lot during the trip and I was grateful for his company. He just got back home and if you want to read about his trip (since many people reading this blog are interested in travel) here's the link - I suggest starting from the beginning. http://ahepner.wordpress.com
My Africa trip to Botswana, Namibia and Zambia was for a magazine, and this past week we've been working on the final edits and the photo captions. It looks like the article will be in the June issue of my favorite magazine, Budget Travel, so check it out when it hits the stands!
I have been keeping myself very, very busy with a kitchen remodel and associated home improvements. I think the last few weeks this has been to avoid thinking about Callie's issues. I am taking her to a neurologist in Portland today and I hope we can determine what is going on. It's not a brain tumor they say, and it would be an exceedingly rare presentation of epilepsy since there are 20 minute "seizures" during which she remains conscious and alert but unable to control her movements. Also, the first one had her in the dog ER for a week and recovering three more weeks. Seems unlikely to be anything I've read about so I hope that the neurologist has a lot of experience. Luckily, Callie and I are staying with my friend and roommate from my trip to Uganda. She has a dog who does agility, Cowboy, and I know Callie and I will be comfortable there and not alone in a trying time.
The cats love the remodel, by the way. When the kitchen cabinets were empty and being removed they loved climbing in the drawers and sliding out, exploring all the spaces, opening the cabinet doors and playing peek a boo. Every day they inspect the work and see what has changed. Lizzie even tasted the paint for the laundry room (she decided yellow doesn't taste good). I get tremendous enjoyment from seeing them observe the changes - Lizzie even stands on her back feet to look at the new holes in the wall and the new wiring coming out of the wall. Oscar loves to supervise and has jumped onto the shoulders of three very surprised contractors so far. It defiantly adds a dimension to the work. I have only hired pet friendly contractors - if you don't like pets you just shouldn't come to my house.
The water in the canal out back should be in tomorrow - so we will have an experiment. I'll remove the fences that go through the canal and we will see if the goats stay in the yard - they can get out if they want to get a little wet. So far no neighbors have complained about them.
By the way, I HIGHLY recommend getting a handyman. I hired a guy off Craigslist to do something for me and he indicated a desire for more work. Since there is always work at the ranchette, he has been coming on weekends for several weeks. Were it not for him and his friend, the goats would not be securely fenced in, the chicken coop would not be predator secure, the new sink would not be installed, the canal would not be cleaned out, etc., etc., etc. It is wonderful to make a list of things each week and have it magically get done and done well. All kinds of onerous tasks are flying off the list - even fencepost replacement! If this keeps up then by fall I will have the backyard landscaped, a new deck built and a ton of other things done. Its like a little Christmas each week - make a list and viola - it gets done!! Super cool, way better than having a maid clean your house. Plus, he's a great sport - "Can you move this 150 lb stump over into that far pasture for a goat toy?" No problem.