In the Spring, we’re overrun with these eeeeeenormous millipedes called Shongololos. We had a few who lingered on our (outside) stairs for a few weeks before they disappeared, so we of course named them. This one is DeShon, but there was also Shon, Shonda, LaShon, and Shondra. Quick tip: if you find one in the house and you’re trying to move it, don’t flip it onto its back. Oh, the writhing! My skin is still crawling!





Halloween seems to finally be catching on in SA, and our neighborhood was no exception! The homeowner’s association put on an organized walk-around, and told us there would be about 35 kids. I don’t know if they mis-counted, or we had some gate-crashers, or if it just seemed like 200 kids in the chaotic candy-grabbing, but we were overrun! I manned the door with our 3 bags of candy while John ransacked the pantry for anything remotely sweet (including a giant tray of fancy Ferrero Rocher chocolates, which made the trick-or-treaters QUITE happy).

Ghosts and witches and goblins, oh my!

Ghosts and witches and goblins, oh my!

Oops, I Did it Again

Getting back into a blog groove is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be! Hold onto your hats — here begins a 5-week catchup (back-dated, so although this one will publish as October 27, today is actually November 30. Magic!)

To start things off with a bang (not really), I reorganized our spice drawer!! Nothing revolutionary, but I’m feeling pretty clever for finally standing the bottles on end after chasing rolling spices around a drawer for so many years. It could definitely be a bit snazzier if I didn’t have the handwriting of a serial killer, but you can’t win them all.

An offering to my inner nerd

An offering to my inner nerd. Note the roadside dried chilies sold in an old vodka traveler.

Ice Ice Baby

After one too many free beers on our flight to Indonesia last year, Johnny G picked up the in-flight duty-free catalog and purchased a white, rubberized Ice brand watch (allegedly for me, though I don’t ever wear a watch). And in the opposite of buyer’s remorse, it turned out that he loved it even more in the light of day!

White Watch has not, however, been such a hit with John’s relatives (you can see him taunting Chuck and Tracy with it in the first photo in this post). So I’m sure there was a collective cheer from the Southeastern US a few weeks ago when White Watch suddenly stopped working and was ultimately pronounced un-fixable. (The tiny metal frame around the tiny date window came off, and got caught around the hour and minute hands).

Luckily, Ice Watch has fabulous customer service, and even though JG couldn’t produce any of his original purchase paperwork, they replaced the watch — for free! So his warranty starts over from this week, ensuring that John will have two more years of an easy means of fretting his family, no further away than the end of his arm. Viva White Watch!

Avenue Queue

Is this a thing in the US? I loooove that most of our grocery stores have one single line for all of the registers — once you get to the front, there’s a digital sign (or sometimes an employee) directing you to the next available cashier. As someone who otherwise always picks the slowest lane, I adore this system! Though I can see the drawback if you had kids, since this also means that the candy aisle is about 15 meters long…

Buenos Cape Town

I am not the daring one in my group of old friends, as far as international moves go. That title would belong to my friend Beth, who has lived in Mexico City, Sri Lanka, and now Buenos Aires — the last two locations with 3 kids in tow! Her husband Jake is with the State Department, so they’ve had some cool opportunities to globe-hop when not living in their home base in Georgetown, DC.

I had met her twin boys Nick and Henry, now five, when they were tiny (so tiny, if I recall, that I accidentally let one of them topple over like a weeble-wobble. What?! You know I don’t know anything about babies!) But I had never met Olivia, who is three — which is the exact age where Beth and I became friends!

So it was a fabulous weekend of getting to know the three new little people, hanging out with Jake, and reconnecting with one of my oldest longest-known buddies. And man, are those kids portable! They happily went everywhere we did – including out to dinner at a fairly swanky spot at 8pm, and (of course) to a couple of wineries. Thanks for visiting, App family!

[Despite my promises to take tons of pics on my fancy new phone, I failed this weekend. Hopefully the official photographer of the trip will have more to share when they finish up their safari and head back to BA later this week…]

Family photo at Groot Constantia winery. Photo setup was like herding cats! Hopefully the official shot (the camera that Jake and Henry are looking at) turned out better.

Me and Beth, with Lion’s Head in the background – which the entire family hiked earlier that day!

Nick, Olivia, and Henry on what was deemed “the beach of a million shells”, which was probably down to about 950,000 by the time these three were done with it. I can only imagine what the family luggage must smell like by now!

Brave Pug

Just a checkup, not a ridiculous emergency.

She got a rawhide bone for exceptional bravery (note the curled tail – a rare sighting at the vet!)