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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May Magic ...

Oh yes!  It is a lovely time of year. Our winter calves have been coming with one and two born a day for a few weeks now. They are just so very cute, and with lots of little heifer calves so far, I have a happy farmer!
We LOVED having Sayle Lewis and Stuart Crawely with us from the South. We have been having SD card problems and my photos seem to slip into an unknown zone so I can't even share a picture with you! I have re-formatted it, and hopefully we won't get that error again.
Dad and Mom celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary today.  What an incredible blessing and a Godly Heritage they have given to us! May there be many more.
They are both well, keeping busy, and we are so proud of them both.  During last week, Mom played in her very first All Day Bridge "tournament" (I don't know what to call it!) and she WON!  We had all prayed for her, and she didn't only win, she had probably the highest score ever. We were all tickled PINK! 
We have a huge monster like machine working here at the moment, clearing our boundary lines of encroached bush. It's quite something so see how much bush it can clear.  There is going to be A LOT of work ahead of Ken, but this will certainly make a huge difference to his slashing every year, and it will improve our property fire breaks.
On Sunday, it dumped a huge Naboom (Euphorbia) onto the fence line by accident, and so our staff have been learning under pressure, how to repair broken fences!
The kids hockey season is coming to a close, with only a few more games ahead of them.  They have both done well, and love it!  John-D has been so helpful with some of the South African hunters that we have had this past month, and has earned himself a little extra pocket money.  Micaela had Entrepreneur's week at school last week, and she together with her friend also made themselves some nice pocket money selling ice creams!
Well, the impala are in RUT, the warm sunshine is so welcome during the day as the nights are now so very chilly! The grass has turned golden and the brilliant green of summer has faded.
We are looking forward to the Perkins arriving with us for their photo safari on Sunday.
We hope you have had a happy MAY!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DE-FUNKED WEBSITE...... AGAIN. :( :'(

Where oh where has my website gone?
Where oh where can it be?
All the photos, words, documents and info,
Where oh where can it be?

Can anyone help me? How does an entire website just disappear off the face of the web?
This is now the third time.
So I guess I am doing something wrong.
Oh if I could just have back all of the time that I poured into trying to work out the "do it yourself" website program.
So we are right back to square one.
OH HELP.

Monday, April 28, 2014

9th Safari - Terry and Jo Blauwkamp

Welcome back Terry and Jo Blauwkamp.... 9th Safari with us, and we have just BEAUTIFUL weather for you this year. :)  Let's hope it stays this way.
Without a doubt, winter has moved in, and the temperatures are plummeting!  It's awesome to have the kids home again for a week off school, with all of the public holidays.  JohnD got to spend some time with the Preece family this past weekend after an away hockey game.  They had a ball! Ian, Nikkie, De Anne and Kayle had come hunting here the previous weekend, and De Anne shot her first animal - a Kudu cow.... followed shortly thereafter with an Impala ram.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Field Hockey, and the MHS Valentine Ball photos

The winter sports have started at Merensky, and both Micaela and JohnD are in field hockey teams. JohnD played his very first game on Saturday, and their team did well considering they are all fairly green to the sport. JohnD plays left link, so it's LOTS of running. Micaela also plays Link too.  I thoroughly enjoy standing next to the field and shouting for their team.
We loved the company of the van der Gryp and the Dyason families over the weekend too, and celebrated Saartjie's birthday all together.  It's been quite a number of years since we all got together. Silly really, as we all live relatively close, but our busy schedules seldom have time.
The repainting of Micaela's room is almost finished, and I am getting quite good at it all! I'm rather tired of the smell though.  She certainly is excited to have it all fresh. I somehow think it won't be long and JohnD is going to want the same!
Camo is completely healed up thankfully.  With winter approaching, we have not clipped all of his fur again. My goodness - in our bush his fur is like Velcro!  Shame, it's not fun for him getting combed every night, but he is learning that it's to his benefit.
We finally got the photos of the kids from Valentine's Ball...
 JohnD with Alicia.
 Micaela and Alicia
 My two treasures!
Micaela with Kegan
As always, it's good to have the cattle all in the craal... the incredible rains and abundant grass has them all in just BEAUTIFUL condition.