Bietjie bietjie, y’all.

6 weeks into the new job and things are lookin’ good!
I did survive the voicemail system (thank goodness for phone technicians) as well as our annual banquet, and am getting a handle on all things ‘Chamber’!

If you are wondering what the title of this post means (or whether I just made up some words), the Afrikaans translation of ‘bietjie bitjie’ is ‘little by little’ – and y’all translates from Texan to ‘you all’. ;)
Little by little, I am making 2017 progress. From new job tasks to joining a new church, to improvements on our little house, things are going well and I am so thankful! Now if only I could start a habit of working out. Ha. We just can’t win everywhere. :)

While there is still a huge mound (Huge. Major. *in Trump voice) of general work to get through at the chamber, I am focused this week on working through the logistics of implementing a new spring event: Corks and Kegs Queso Fest.
Yes. I know. It’s awesome – and I hope it will be a roaring success!
Food trucks, Vendors, Music, Texas Hill Country Wine and Craft beer, and a Queso Competition?
Sí, por favor.  .

While they have big ol’ wine fests farther north in the Hill Country with German themes, we are going to South-Texas-fy it and have mariachi music, folklórico, Mexican imports, enchiladas, empanadas, queso, and a fiesta of a good time. (Matter of fact, Fiesta winery is on my invite list.)

Stay tuned for updates on this amazing event! Logo, Facebook page and all, coming soon!
(Date set for Saturday, March 25th, 2017)

In the meantime, check out this video for a briefing on some of the things that make Uvalde County great!

The ‘Six Day Notice’ Wedding

Oh, the wedding that I had six days to plan…
It turned out to be amazing!

I did accomplish everything on my checklist- and it all looked so beautiful.
As with all weddings, we ended up having some logistic problems (crises), but they were sorted out as well as could be, and sometimes you just have to remind yourself: “que sera, sera”.

They exchanged their nuptials under our custom-built cedar and chiffon chuppah adorned with a beautiful spray of flowers, and drove off into the sunset on our Abbott Tank. Continue reading “The ‘Six Day Notice’ Wedding”

Event Coordinator? Why, that’s me!

Hello there, long lost blogging world!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost five months!
Life can certainly get busy and change – and quickly, too! Continue reading “Event Coordinator? Why, that’s me!”

Cowboy Mardi Gras!

In case you didn’t catch my Instagram feed blow-up: We went to Cowboy Mardi Gras this past weekend, and almost needless to say with those words put together- it was so much fun! Although Mardi Gras is traditionally done by those over in that coastal area of Louisiana, when you give us Texans a party theme- we’ll probably do it bigger (and maybe better).

So, should you happen to find yourself in the San Antonio, Texas area during the next Mardi Gras time- I strongly suggest moseying on over to the little weekend town of Bandera. (The town has a resident population of 861- until Friday afternoons when it can skyrocket up to the thousands.)

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Cowboy Mardi Gras was originally started by the famous 11th Street Bar – which they argue is the ‘Biggest Little Bar in Texas’.

This year’s festivity marked the 11th annual Cowboy Mardi Gras! Each year there is Cajun food cooked by food trucks hauled in from Louisiana, Costume Contests, Live Zydeco and Country Music, and the ever-anticipated Mardi Gras Parade. This year marked the first Gumbo cook off- and man did that food look good. Continue reading “Cowboy Mardi Gras!”

Baffin Bay Speckled Sea Trout

As mentioned previously, we spent the weekend a couple of weeks ago with some (great) friends at their house on Baffin Bay, just south of Corpus Christi, and as all do when you have a pier right outside your door- you go out fishing- a lot.

Luckily, we love fishing!

But, before ending up in Baffin Bay, we met up in Corpus Christi at potentially the most amazing fishing shop known to mankind- Roy’s Bait & Tackle Outfitters!

I mean- look at all of that inventory! They have any and every thing you could dream of needing for any kind of fishing! I even found a hook they use for Great White Shark fishing (permit required)!

Once the first light came up the next day, we were in the boat and out on the bay until sundown. Unfortunately, we didn’t have so much catching luck – we only caught one little Speckled Sea Trout, that was too little to keep.

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However, under the green light (after I left the cold-bearing fishing crew and fell asleep) they caught several more Speckled Sea Trout that were above the length limit and were able to be kept.

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So we (husband) kept them, and they came all the way back to our house- where we cooked them that night! (Recipe below)
Maybe our next trip I will get to catch a Red Drum, or a Flounder!

 

Speckled Sea Trout Recipe:

First, you gotta do what husband did and clean the fish- I was asleep for that part. Then, keep them on ice until you are ready to cook them- two days max on ice i’d say- then put them in the freezer for up to two months until you are ready to cook them.

Ingredients:
Trout
Baking Pan
Foil
Olive Oil
Sprigs of either fresh Dill (which we used), Tarragon, or Rosemary
Salt and Pepper, freshly ground to taste
Two large lemons, sliced into wedges
Additional deep pan, filled with warm water, to keep fish moist. (This is referred to as a ‘water bath’ when baking, mostly used with cheesecakes.)

Preheat oven to 400*F
Line your baking pan with the foil. In a bowl, mix together the olive oil and  seasonings. Rub most of it on the inside of the fish, making sure to get some on the bottom so that there is a surface of oil between the fish and foil. Place the lemon wedges along the inside of each fish cavity. Use remaining oil/seasoning mixture to cover tops of fish, and garnish with additional lemon wedges and sprigs of herbs.
Bake on the middle rack (with pan of water on bottom rack) until done- about 20 minutes. When the meat starts to easily flake off, it is done.
Make sure as you are eating that you don’t get any little bones- but ours easily fell right off without any problems.

Easy, pleasey, lemon-squeezy!
We enjoyed our trout with fresh broccoli and couscous – It was delicious!

Have you been saltwater fishing? What is your favorite fish??

Update; NaBloPoMo Results

Well hello, hello there, long-lost friends!

As previously mentioned in my last post – we have been so busy since landing back in Texas- and I mean exceptionally busy! We have done our own tiling, flooring, paving, and all sorts of other remodeling projects. We are still getting our clothes out of a suitcase every day, but I do finally get a kitchen sink and cabinets installed in TWO days!
Bietjie bietjie maak baie! (← one of my most favorite Afrikaans sayings, and it translates to ‘little by little, makes a lot’!)
Moving to another country always has its little battles! Still on my list is to sort out medical insurance and university documents- but I am registered for classes! Bachelors of Arts of Interdisciplinary Studies, here I come! ….but give me a year and a half. :)

As for NaBloPoMo: Continue reading “Update; NaBloPoMo Results”

We Are Here!

So, as it turns out, there was zero airport entertainment in the way of quirky passengers or otherwise during our travels this time. So sad.

I apologize for my lack of posts- and yes- I technically failed at NaBloPoMo since my last November post was on the 23rd, and only managed to crank out one post on the ‘Thankfulness Challenge’. Whomp whomp. :( NaBloPoMo was still a really great try and a wonderful experience! My upcoming stats post is going to be pretty mind-blowing!

We literally hit the ground running once we landed back in Texas and have been excessively busy ever since- and there is STILL so much to do! We did make the wise decision to get away from all the madness this weekend and visit some friends at the coast- Baffin Bay. I’m so glad we did!

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It’s just past 11:00pm here now, and everyone except for me and a very attention-seeking Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle cross) named Honey are outside fishing off of the pier. Continue reading “We Are Here!”

Almost There!

Departure day draws nearer by the minute! We (I) have successfully packed one carry-on case, three hard case suitcases, two large duffel bags, and a bow case with right at 350 pounds of jackets, sweaters, pants, shorts, (many) dresses, shoes, a gilly suit, game caller, binoculars, holsters, hunting gear, fishing gear, books, and 500 brochures. Tomorrow I just need to pack all of our tech and valuables into our last carry-on case and my purse, and we will be ready to go!

I must say, I am so very thankful for the South African work force. Day laborers seek work by the thousands, so house-helpers such as maids and gardeners are very common for just about every household to have. We don’t normally have a maid at our house, mostly because I’m too picky and because we live so far away it ends up being more work to get someone here than for me to do it myself. But today, while going crazy ripping our house and bedroom apart and stuffing them into suitcases, I really needed the extra help to clean the house- and oh my goodness what a difference it made! I am very thankful that we were able to have Dorah come today and help us with the house. I got everything packed and ready- and a spotless house to relax in afterwards! It really is a blessing and I am so grateful for it and her.

Stay tuned for airport entertainment to come soon! 😃

As Close To Oblivion

 Here I am, once again at Brooklyn mall, pretty tipsy off of one glass of TriBeCa’s house Sauvignon Blanc, listening to none other than Robbie Wessels’ Grootste Treffers- the one at the moment being “Leeuloop”.  I just finished eating some super awesome chicken strips (my favorite) and it was such a huge serving, that it could have easily fed two. My super amazing cappuccino just arrived, and I’ve gotta tell you, that is certainly one thing I’m going to miss in upcoming weeks- the amazing coffee everywhere you go in South Africa.
 Seriously- this culture enjoys their coffee! I have been exceptionally spoiled with gourmet, properly made, high quality, coffee in the variety of cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, and filter coffee that hasn’t been sitting in a pot since 6:00AM. Ah, South African coffee, how I will miss you so. Continue reading “As Close To Oblivion”

Life in Limbo

It isn’t unusual for the week before our international departure to be a bit hectic; our lives go into a kind of limbo, even more than it usually is…

There are countless things to do:
*Get rid of all of the perishables from the fridge and pantry.
*Clean. the. whole. house.
*Service and prepare our vehicles that will be driven very minimally for the following months.
*Pack all clothes we want to take with us- which is always an immense hoard of winter clothing…
*Decide on and pack all of the other things we do or don’t want to bring with us- Mountain bikes? Bow? Mohair Coat? Play Station? Fishing Poles?
*and, the most difficult of all to manage- Spending time with family and friends. Continue reading “Life in Limbo”

Never-ending Laundry

Laundry is just one of those never-ending chores.
Laundry, Dishes, Sweeping, Mopping… As soon as you thought they were done, they are ready to be done all over again.

When I first moved to South Africa, I wasn’t too pleased with the fact that no one uses tumble dryers here- everyone hangs their clothes out on drying racks.

But shortly thereafter, I fell in love with laundry all over again. Continue reading “Never-ending Laundry”

My Hunting Dream List

One of the things that comes with being a part of the global hunting community, is a vast knowledge of species around the globe, and therefore a big hunting ‘bucket list’.
(much to my husbands’ wallets’ dismay..) ;)

So, without further ado, here is a simple, yet comprehensive, list of the species I would like to hunt during my lifetime.
More than likely, I will only ever be able to hunt about 10% of this list- but i’ll be more than happy with whatever I am ever able to have the opportunity to take.
The asterisk (*) means it is a priority species for me. Continue reading “My Hunting Dream List”

Afrikaans Language History

Have you ever heard of the Afrikaans Language?
No?? Well, it is a pretty big deal over here.

South Africa has 11 national languages:  Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
However, English, Afrikaans, and Zulu are the most widely used across the rainbow nation.

Learning any language is always a good decision- it enables you not only to connect more intimately with other cultures, but also to know what people are saying when they think you are just the average American tourist. :)
If you are visiting South Africa any time soon, I suggest learning some Afrikaans phrases, as well as knowing the commonly used terms.

So, some history on the Afrikaans language:
(A bietjie geskiedenis op die Afrikaanse taal.) Continue reading “Afrikaans Language History”

International Travel: Flying Habits

Hello there again! We booked our plane ticket back to Texas last night, and it got me to thinking about how much of a seasoned international traveler I am. Traveling a lot is one of the things that goes hand-in-hand with having an international marriage.

Because of this, I know airport call signs by heart, which airlines have the best food and entertainment, time zone differences off the back of my hand, and I have my passport and frequent flier numbers memorized – for myself and my husband.
Last but not least, another skill that comes with traveling often- I am an expert packer. I know exactly how to pack our check-in bags and what to carry on the plane, both in my carry-on luggage in the overhead bin, and what I want in my purse within easy arm reach.

After 12 transcontinental flights, you get a bit of a gist for what you need on the flight and a timeline of how to survive it best. Continue reading “International Travel: Flying Habits”

Diverse Gauteng

As I delve into all of the different areas of South Africa over the next couple of weeks, I thought it would be best to start at home, with the Gauteng province.

Oh, Gauteng, such a unique province you are.
It truly has so much to offer and is extremely different from one area to the next- even just traveling a mere 40 kilometers away.

We live just outside of Pretoria, so obviously that is where we spend most of our time, and therefore where I know most about.

I would like to think I’m not biased, but I am. I love Pretoria.
The Jacaranda trees lining the street in full bloom in spring is something that everyone should see first hand.

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IMG_3021   Continue reading “Diverse Gauteng”

Wanderlust is Wonderful!

We do a fair amount of traveling in our line of work, and I am so thankful for it! I have seen more of South Africa’s landscape than most native-born residents have. Truly. From Hoedspruit to Cape Town, Mafikeng to Johannesburg, Kuruman to White River, Kimberly to Polokwane, Hluhluwe to Ellisras- I have been there!
Method of travel has mostly been by means of driving our trusted Land Cruiser, but also via Kalahari Ferrari, commercial airline and private jet a select couple of times.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to highlight on the larger topographic areas that we have been to, as well as select trips that we have enjoyed, with of course the aid of many pictures.
So stay tuned because there is much more to come soon!

Speak Like a South African

SA MEME
Planning on visiting South Africa?
Here are some words you’ll need to know.

USA English > South African
Awesome > Bakgat
BandAid > Plaster
BBQ > Braai
Beat Up/Hit > Bliksem
Biscotti > Rusk
Blinker > Indicator
Brass (spent ammo) > Doppie
Bug > Gogga
Cheers! > Duzzai!
Corn > Mielie
Crazy > Mal
Destroyed > Moer toe
Disgusting > Siff
Drink > Dop
Eat > Chow
Excellent > Hundreds
F%#! Off! > Voetsek
Fancy/Uppity > Laanie/Kitch/Posh
Farmer > Boer
Farm > Plaas/Plot
Fed Up > Gatvol
Finished > Klaar
Friend > China/Chommie
Gas > Petrol
Gross > Seis
Guy Friend > Bru/Bra/Boetie/Maatjie
Hangover > Babelaas
Hello > Howzit
Hood (of a car) > Bonnet
House Shoes > Pantovels
In a minute (soon) > Now Now
In a while (later… or never) > Just now
Jerky > Biltong
Kebab > Sosatie
Ma’am > Tannie
Millipede > Shongololo
Mini van > Kombi
Mountain > Berg
Movie Theater > Cinema
Nice/Cool > Lekker
No > Nee
Not Nice/Awww > Ag, Shame
Ooh… > Eish!
Ow! > Eina!
Party/Good Time > Jol
Pasture > Veld
Pick-up/Truck > Bakkie
Pretty Girl > Poppie/Cherrie
Purse > Handbag
Ranch > Farm
Rough/Trashy Person/Thing > Zef
Sausage > Boerewors
Sh!* > Kak
Shot > Injection
Shrimp > Prawn
Sir > Oom
Slap/Hit > Klaap
Some Guy > Oke
Stoplight > Robot
Stupid > Doff
Surgery Room > Theatre
Swim Suit > Cozzie/Costume
Tennis Shoes > Tekkies
Trashcan > Dust Bin
Trunk (of a car) > Boot
Waiting in a line > In a cue
Wallet > Purse
Wow > Jirra
Yes > Ja/Yebo
Young Boy > Laaitie

An Introduction

Here I am!
Married in March, and only now do I decide to start documenting this transitional time in my life.
Thinking about it, I don’t know at what future date our lives will cease to be transitional. College, dating, moving, paperwork and visas, marriage, more paperwork and visas, moving again, babies, paperwork, babies while moving, paperwork….. Paperwork, changes, dishes, and laundry, are about the only constants we can count on.

I decided to start a blog because it seemed more sensible to me than buying yet another journal, that I will write in approximately 8 times a year. Detailed entries, yes. Good handwriting and commitment to writing frequently, no. However, one thing I am diligent with using on a daily basis, is my handy-dandy, world-connecting, handheld device- my iPhone. So a blog, a public journal, if you will, sounded more reasonably suited for documenting my thoughts and experiences. Plus, there is so much less anxiety in publishing a blog post that was written with a public audience in mind, than carrying around a journal filled with personal thoughts. (Flashback to Jr. High when schoolmates found my journal. *shudder* ) Continue reading “An Introduction”