Countdown to Africa

Well, I’ve loaded a bunch of pictures into this post that have nothing to do with going to Africa.  But it seems that that is what is foremost on my mind.  Whether I want it to be or not.  One week from today at this time I will be in Birmingham, Alabama.  That’s where the group will meet for orientation.  Then we will all leave together for Kenya.  Its starting to seem more real.  Because the people in my church are LOVING talking about this trip!  I was a little excited earlier today.  Now I’m just tired.  After church I decided to do a little of the shopping for the trip.   Exciting stuff like DEET mosquito spray.  I have gotten 3 different travel pillows now.  I only need two (one for my lower back and one for my neck–I’m determined to be comfortable on this trip LOL.)

Ooh, I scored so bigtime at the thrift store!  Got four shirts  that were marked $3.50 , but when I got up to the counter they were having a ‘special.’  Only $1 each.  The weather is supposed to be 70-90 there, so I needed a few lightweight shirts.  And, I got a practically brand new beautiful black knit dress.  All designer stuff!  And it all fits now.  I was also thinking I wished I had a few more of those sleeveless t-shirts that I liked so much from WalMart this past summer.  And wouldn’t you know it, WalMart had a sale rack–got a couple of them for $2 each.

Christmas decorating was so simple this year.  Instead of dragging 7 tubs of decorations from the storage shed to the house, I just rummaged through a few of the tubs out in the shed and carried in a few of my favorite decorations.  No tree this year due to you-know-who.  Although you-know-who has been pretty darn good about the decorations I did bring in.  He was very curious, but then left them alone.

In spite of the *(*%%$&*%&*() rain, I have kept up with my exercise.  Plenty of walks, and half an hour at the gym about every other day.  There was one day in there where I stacked a cord of very heavy wet oak.  Ouch.

Noah in the back seat on the way home from our walk:


Sophie and Monk are not fans of the rain:

Tonight I had a cup of peppermint coffee from Trader Joes (coffee with peppermint leaves, vanilla beans, and a dash of peppercorns–yummy):

And tried out a new recipe from the Nutrition Action Healthletter:

Simple recipe, but so delicious:  one pound of green beans steamed (you know I boiled them,) one onion sliced thin and browned in 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup sliced almonds.  So decadent.  Why would anyone want to make that old mushroom soup green bean recipe?  BTW, that is a salad plate.  But I did have a double serving of beans along side a regular serving of ham.

And now for a little truthful food talk.  AAAAARRGH!  I am eating too much food.  Too many extras.  Too many sweets.  Two more days of work, two more parties.  THE END.  I am hoping to eat really clean on the three days before I leave.  I am pretty sure food is not the main feature of this trip.

I have been a little worried that, as Cammy put it, “I’ll get off the health(ier) bus and lose my lifetime boarding pass.” That’s one reason I have been so faithful with the exercise.  Not so I can ‘eat more.’  No, just to remind myself of who I am now.  So I weighed myself at the gym, and I am just 2.5 pounds over my current goal weight.   Okay.  Moving on.  Hopefully.

Oh.  That fruitcake I made the other day?  I delivered it to my mom yesterday, so I got to taste it.  A-MA-ZING.  Not ‘diet’ food in any way, shape or form.  I might put the recipe up over there on the other blog just so I have a record of it for myself.  Pretty sure I can keep Mom happy with one of these big boys each year.  And like I told someone, most people who say they don’t like fruitcake are like a person who has only eaten Whitman’s chocolates and declares “I don’t like chocolates.”

Gonna sign out for now, and relax for a few before going to bed.  I’ll check back in in a few days!

23 thoughts on “Countdown to Africa

  1. Of course the queen doesn’t like the rain – her belly gets wet when she has to go outside! But good on ya for keeping up with the exercise despite it. 🙂

    Nice score on the hot-weather clothes! I can’t believe your trip is almost here – this is so exciting!!!

    • I know. Poor Sophie looks so miserable trying to find someplace dry to pee. I am a little sympathetic–hate sitting down on a cold toilet. TMI, I know.

  2. You’ve got rain. We’ve got rain. Warm steamy humid stuff. We even have mist. Just like the NW coast only this is from sub-tropical weather. Yuck! John is getting upset because the grass is growing a mile a minute and he needs to mow the lawns but we need it to stop raining before he can do that. It’s been like this for ages. I’ve hardly seen the sun for 2 weeks.

    I’ve left so much undone I have a busy few days ahead.

    Just in case I don’t get a chance to leave any more comments.

    Have a wonderful trip and I want to hear ALL about it.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


    • That reminds me of the rain in Texas, and the grass growing so fast you can’t keep up with it.

      I’m sure I will have a lot to report when I come back.

  3. I apologize in advance and can’t believe that I missed this, but why are you going to Africa and what will you be doing? I’m sure a trip of that magnitude is not a spur of the moment thing, so somehow I’ve just missed the history or maybe it started before I found your blog. Anyway, I’d like to know something about it and when you leave and return, so I can pray more specifically for your safety and that the trip accomplishes it’s purposes.

    Love the pic of Noah! Who could resist those eyes? And I gotta try those beans!

    • Hi Sharon–if you type Africa in the search bar on my blog, a few blogs will come up that will tell a little more about the trip. (I know, because I did that last night!) Thank you so much for your prayers.

      Noah does have amazing eyes. I haven’t captured a picture of him when he is alarmed. I’ve never had a dog who could open his eyes so wide.

  4. Awww, I love that you put out a few decorations even though you didn’t need to!

    And the quilt? You KNOW I want that quilt. I’ll give you real money for it.

    You are quite correct, food won’t be the emphasis on your trip, although I hope you get lots of opportunities to eat the local cuisine. It’s actually pretty healthy and delicious. Oh, and how you are managing to even sleep at night what with all the excitement about your trip is beyond me!

    • Ooh, thanks for the positive input on the food over there. Trying not to be nervous about it.

      The quilt is a gift for the young couple who head this organization ( After I get back I bet I make a few more ‘Africa’ quilts!

    • Yes I made it. I think I got the center panel in Tracy at a store called Sew Many Quilts. They have quite a nice collection of international fabrics.

      It was a fun quilt to do. All hand-quilted, and quite a bit of beadwork on the people in the panel.

  5. That quilt is stunning!

    I would be totally excited to try the cuisine over there 😀 Of course, that is me and the food maniac talking.

    I can’t believe it will only be 70 to 90 degrees. That is perfect weather, but please be oh-so-careful with the sun. I know you will, though.

    Food is just tough at this time of year. There is no way around it and no matter how ‘good’ one is, extra stuff will just creep in. Not the end of the world, you know that. It’s just annoying to have to do all the work just to get back to baseline.

    • I think you’re more adventurous with food than I am! After all, you like Indian cuisine…

      Thank you for the sun reminder! I thought of it yesterday, but promptly forgot–now sunscreen is on my DO NOT FORGET list!

      Thanks also for the ‘food encouragement.’ I panic a little, and then I think of all the delicious healthy food that I don’t want to give up. And that calms me down.

  6. LOL Noah looks like he’s saying, “Can we just go, please?”

    I followed your line of thought today at the gym. Not that it was “make-up exercise”, but evidence of my *overall* commitment to my improved self. So the eating is off a little. Or a lot. As long as we’re mindful of the reasons, we’ll easily get back to 100% when we don’t have so many temptations and deliciosity(a new word!) around all the time.

  7. Love the quilt! I’m so excited for you. The pups will miss you, though 🙂

    Thanks for the review of the green beans. I saw that recipe and wondered about it, but since it has your endorsement, I’ll try it!

    {hugs} to you and the food thing. Are you concerned about how/what you’ll eat in Kenya?

  8. So excited for you!!! Glad you’re getting excited, too; I think I’d be a nervous wreck!

    Thanks, as always, for posting the doggie photos. Fun for me, and a good meltdown distraction for Thing 2 during our trip to the grandparents. 😉

    Your Whitman’s comment made me chuckle. And almost made me want to give fruitcake another try, but liquor in sweets makes me ill. (When I was little, I got into some of my grandma’s homemade brandy cherries and was a very sick puppy that Thanksgiving.)

    p.s. I sent you an email, but in case you didn’t get it, THANK YOU!!!

    • You’re welcome, Pubsgal! Ooh. Brandy cherries sound yummy. Even though I don’t drink, evidently I find alcohol in food very appealing LOL. But I can see how a little kid would get very sick if they ate too many brandy cherries.

      Glad to be a help with Thing 2!

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