A Coalition of Cheetah and a Poesy of Parks’

family definition great grand aunt

My husband reminded me that after I posted about the 5 cheetah we saw in The Kruger, I never came back to tell you what a group of male cheetah are called. A “coalition.” A coalition of cheetah. When I first heard the word, I thought our heavily accented guide was saying “a collision of […]

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The Lion at Our Window

lioness travel Africa

Yesterday marked one year since we arrived in South Africa, and we have not had a single visitor. I do understand the travel distance and flight cost. It’s an epic vacation, for sure, even once-in-a-lifetime. We still ask ourselves how we ended up living here, and having these insane adventures, like this latest Kruger trip […]

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What Kind of Hero(ine) Are You?

Writing at sunrise over the Indian Ocean.

I had a minor “Manuscript Monday” epiphany while in the Maldives. Okay, maybe not so much epiphany as another mini-insight. (I think epiphanies are for people who overlook all the minor revelations on a regular basis.) It was the last morning before catching our plane back to reality. I woke early to watch the sunrise […]

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Mourning a Man Who is Not Mine to Grieve: Africa’s Mandela

Though his death was no surprise, I was surprised by how much it hurt to read this morning. My heart has been tumbling over itself with emotion. I learned the news from my nephew in America. Here in South Africa I woke with Kurt around 4:45. The first thing I do each morning is check […]

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A Man in the Jaws of a Crocodile

Wale Ayeni writer quotes fairy tale

There is a writer I follow on Facebook who regularly posts inspiring quotes. I don’t always catch his posts, but on days I’m watching my News Feed, I’m always moved by what he chooses. Recently he posted one that has become a personal favorite. It’s a quote that reflects my perspective on life, and I […]

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Up is Better Than Down

expat life South Africa adventure travel

“Tell the truth…” Kurt asked me, as we stood atop Table Mountain, looking down over the Atlantic Ocean and toward the Chapman’s Peak drive we would take later, “When did you want to quit?” I just smiled and turned back toward the view. It was a perfectly clear day. “Okay, I’ll go first.” He said, […]

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Attack of the Terrapins

turtles in Kruger National Park expat life Pretoria South Africa travel

If you ask my nephew, turtles are freakin’ creepy. I never saw them that way, until our recent trip to Kruger. South Africans call turtles “terrapins” which is also what the British call them, according to Wikitardia. Driving a back road from Olifants Rest Camp to the overlook, we stopped while crossing a little pond. […]

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It’s DNA Day! Is Marla a Skolt Saami from Scandinavia? Is She Related to Bono?

genetic mutation Factor V Leiden family tree genealogy

Has there ever been a BETTER reason to celebrate than DNA Day? Um, yeah, every other reason is better. DNA is boring, right? Well, kinda sorta maybe, but I’ve had fun with it. For instance, it was just lovely to find out about that hereditary blood-clotting mutation I have, the Factor V Leiden I told […]

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Muscle Beach Marla?

Muscle Beach Venica CA travel Los Angeles Venice Beach California writer blogger

A humiliating but incredible time weight training at Muscle Beach yesterday, and I’m posting photos today as promised. But first I want to tell you where I am. I’m blogging to you right now from the business class section of a Boeing 777-200LR (I know, right? I’m trying not to pee all over this fancy […]

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December Flashback: Carol of the Druzgals

In 2009, before I began blogging, Kurt and I shared an eventful year via a video holiday card for family and friends. We were living in Los Angeles. 2009 was insane. Obama’s inauguration was the first I ever watched. Kurt had assignments in Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Hastings, Nebraska before being moved to Los […]

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