Showing posts with label desert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label desert. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Black Friday

On our last day in the desert, we got up early, as usual; Calvin made breakfast, we packed and loaded the car.

Calvin's dad has a friend of more than 50 years. They have been friends since they were in second grade and have been in each other's lives all their lives. The friend lives in the desert. Calvin called the friend and the friend wanted us to pass by before we left.

I asked Calvin to take a couple of pictures of me before we headed out. I was so glad to have finally gotten a chance to see the desert house.

It was kinda cold as you can tell by my outfit

Calv did what we used to call closing procedures in my years of working as a security officer; walking around the house ensuring all the windows are closed, doors locked, water thing closed, etc. As he was doing that, I walked around taking the scenery in one last time.

That's when I spotted these: 2 Prickly pears!

I come from an area named after prickly pear because there are so many of them. We used to even sell them growing up. We would fill old paint cans up with prickly pears and sell them to passers by along the main road from Uitenhage through Cape Town. I had never seen this shade though. Calv picked it for is...with his bare hands! I was like, are you sure you should be using your bear hands for that? He relied, 'babe, I'm a tree specialist! I know what I'm doing!' Ok, smarty pants!

Peach prickly pear. 

I had never seen a peach prickly pear before. Maybe it should be called prickly peach? I enjoyed it though. I hadn't had prickly pear since forever. Just before we left, I said something about my dry skin from the desert weather. Calvin ran back to the front yard, tore up an aloe and brought a piece. he told me to use some of the juices on my skin. I was like, ?!?!?!? I didn't want to say anything to the Tree Doctor. It's quite nice having someone so handy around, who knows things regular people don't know. He comes in handy more often than not.

Calvin spotted a toad as he was turning off water. See? on the left? there were three of them

When all was said and done, we headed over to Cal's dad's friend's house. It's downtown, so to speak. Cute house. Cute Harley Davidson bike outside. Nice and clean. Red. Have you noticed how bikes are hardly ever dirty? The friend came out to great us. A True biker, he came out in jeans with a Harley Davidson T-shirt on and had shoulder length silver hair. It was nice to meet someone that cool. You wouldn't expect that in that town. always expect the unexpected. He gave me a good, strong hug and told me that he had heard so much about me; that Cal's dad loves me and always raves about me. It was such a humbling thing to hear. I love Cal's dad, he is the nicest person you will ever meet in your life and an awesome cook. I guess that's where Calvin gets it from.

Back to my roots!

We hung out. I love other people's homes. I love to see how they decorate them and stuff. I'm into that. Feel free to send me pictures of your homes too, for real! I love them, I think you can learn a lot about someone by just looking at their home. I specifically love clean homes, ain't nobody got time to tiptoe in a filthy house where you can't even put your expensive handbag. That ain't right! It doesn't have to be all white. Lived in but tidy, where you don't have to spring clean, or lock some rooms when you expect someone because you're embarrassed. The way you live also shows your state of mind. If your house is chaotic, it means your affairs are all over the place. I really believe that. You wanna keep things in their own place in your head and in your house. Why not? Life's easier that way. You want to be able to walk from your bedroom to the bathroom or any other room for that matter, in the middle of the night, in the dark or with your eyes closed because there is no mess on the floor that you will trip on.

Anyway, we sat on stools by a counter between the living room and the kitchen and drinks! The friend took out his precious stash for Cal because he considers him his nephew. We all chatted and joked around. I love that guy, he's so cool. So Fun! There were a lot of that's what she said jokes. And you know me, I always down for a that's what she said joke. The friend's wife came home. She had been visiting her sister in the hospital. This is the fifth wife. Apparently the friend had been married and divorced four times and Calv's dad was best man in three of those weddings haha. I love such stories, the craziest things you will ever hear. The friend told us their started off as a group of five or six friend but half have since passed away. He and Cal's dad are the only two that are still close. 

The wife invited us to their 20 something or so anniversary. This may be the fifth marriage but it stuck! They have been married for a very long time! Calvin agreed.. Not too long after the wife got home, it was time for us to head out. Back to LA, it is! I noticed Calvin walking kinda funny to the kitchen. I had asked everyone to take a group selfie. It came out great. I sent it to the wife's phone for them to have a copy. We walked to the car and that's when I saw that Calvin was really having a hard time walking. All that good stuff that the friend was giving him, may have been too strong for him. Great! That means I'm driving all the way home!

But first!We went to the mall. I had seen one of my favorite stores in the mall when we went to Walmart. I asked if we could check it out seeing as it was the real Black Friday. There was nobody in the mall, I think everyone was still at Walmart since the night before. I needed a black, everyday handbag as my old Ann Taylor one was busted. I had had it forever though. Since my sister came to The US for the first time. I was still in South Africa then, dreaming of coming to America. This was 2009 or 2010. I highly recommend Ann Taylor, a bit pricey but oh so worth it.

I found a cute BCBG Tote.

Cute and just the right size
Just what I needed! And it's reversible!

Yass! 

Not only that! It came with another bag inside. A Crossbody bag. My kinda sht. If you've noticed my bags over the years, especially on Facebook or Instagram; I always have a crossbody bag.

Amazing bag that keeps on giving

It seemed like I was getting three bags for the price of one. What more could you ask for? I also needed a pair of sunglasses. I had been breaking mine like there's no tomorrow. I found two pairs; one Oscar De la Renta and one Tommy Hilfiger pair. The Tommy was going to replace the Rockawear pair that stretched out on me. They were kinda similar.

I saw a cute pair of Navy  swede Calvin Klein Moccasins for Calvin. Unfortunately, he told me they're not his style. When it was time to pay, Calvin insisted on paying. I didn't even turn him down because I deserved it considering I was bout to drive us all the way back home and I drove to the desert as well. 

Approaching Johannesburg

What? Where are we?

Johannesburg with 172 population. 

This cannot be the same Johannesburg as the one in South Africa has a population of around 5 million.

I'll leave you with me in Johannesburg. See you in the next blog. Thanks for reading!





Friday, May 13, 2016

Giving Thanks

Here we are, at Walmart, Ridgecrest, ready to shop till we drop! We had to drive around a bit looking for parking. It was already packed by the time we got there even though we were early. Clearly, we weren't the only ones who were Smart Brooks! Shouldn't these people be Thanksgiving-ing? Black Friday comes but one a year, I guess! We found parking, I kinda felt bad for people who were going to shop on actual Black Friday, there wasn't going to be anything for them to buy.

So, we walked towards the Walmart entrance and boom! Yellow tape all around the store! They had security all around the entrance. You couldn't do what I sometimes do and enter from the exit door and vice versa. Those police weren't playing. I asked one of them, why are there police here tonight? He told me that it was for black Friday. Wow! I am not a big Black Friday person, I just do my thing and if I was going to be at the stores, then so be it.

When we got inside, there was only one direction we could go, everything was contained within security tape. Also, the way they packed everything, it was impossible to go back, once you went black passed a section. It was pretty organised, I must say, big up to Walmart! We had to grab whatever we thought we might want, we could then sort everything out before we headed to the cashier. Calvin, being his impulsive self, was just grabbing and thowing on the cart (trolley)! I had to ask him if he really needed some things. He told me that he would give some away as Christmas gifts, which was a Smart Calvin move. I headed straight for the printer. It was going to be my first time owning a printer. How American of me!

I was lucky, they still had a huge pile of the HP Printers I was eyeing. In fact, they had different ones as well, but mine was cuter. Calvin bought all kinds of things, he really doesn't need anything, that's why it's so hard to buy him something for a special occasion. He's modest too, when I ask him what he would like for Christmas or something, he will tell me, 'I don't need anything, babe! If I needed anything, I would've already bought it myself'. I have a George Foreman grill that I got from a good friend of mine when she relocated, I told you that story. I use that to make toasts as well. They had toasters for $10, so I grabbed myself a cute, silver one. Calvin bought himself a ricer cooker. I have my amazing pressure cooker, that I hadn't even used, so I didn't get one of those. By the time we were done, this was us...



The stuff was very nicely priced though, I didn't feel bad at all, plus Calvin paid. He offered to pay for my Printer. He didn't need anything and ended up buying so much, so I felt kinda bad and paid for some of his stuff.

We loaded our stuff in my truck and wend to eat. Ridgecrest is a very small town, they didn't have that many options of places for Thanksgiving dinner, so we went to the first place we saw open; Dennis. Lucky Bastards!


Calvin ordered appetizer. It was ok
I never order appetizers and all that. Calvin almost always does. I just shoot for the most exotic item on the menu. This is Dennis, they don't do exotic.

My dinner. It was decent. The shrimp was meh

Calvin usually orders for me. I ask him to because he is such a foodie. His choice of food is always so good!

Calvin's dinner. Delicious

I had some of his food, as usual!

There were a couple of families to my right who had toddlers with them. Those kids wouldn't stop crying. First I was annoyed, then I ended up feeling bad for the families and the cry babies.

After dinner, it was freezing cold out! We ran to the car and headed back home. Heater on! We snuck into our sleeping bags and went to sleep. It was a great day indeed!

PumlasFood Cookbook

Soooooo! First and foremost, I would like to give a huge shout out to my sister Pumla Brook-Thomae on her amazing new cookbook that just came out. Well done, sis! You relentlessly make me proud! I will definitely buy myself a copy or two! Please support a sister! Her book is entitled PumlasFood: Family Style. It's very scrumptuouus,  really simple to make meals. She is taking preorders now and is shipping them within South Africa. International sales will be dealt with at a later stage, she will inform everyone. You may find her on Social Media, (Facebook, twitter, Instagram) under her name or look up Pumlasfood. She has a blog as well http://pumlasfood.blogspot.com . She's a great soul with a big heart, always sharing recipes on her pages, health and lifestyle tips.

My sister Pumla's highly anticipated Cookbook
Anyway! Back to the business of business! Remember, we were still in the desert, we did some shooting.

Shotgun

I hit the target my very first shot with this baby...
Revolver

Target. No watermelons were harmed during the production of this experience!

That's a fake watermelon. I nice time was had all around!

By the way, before we went shooting, we went to the local Walmart to buy earmuffs for me. When we got there, Calvin noticed that they had a printer dirt cheap. I had mentioned to him that I need one. I wanted one for my eBay business. It's so much easier to just print the label and drop the package in the drop box. It definitely beats waiting in line at the Post Office forever. A lady overheard us when we were going gaga over the printer. She told us that they were lowering prices for black Friday, which was the following day. She did mention, also, that they were going to start selling at the sale prices that very night! Thanksgiving night. Black Friday, as you may know, is the Friday after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November in The US and in October in Canada. I told Calvin that we needed to go back to the sale. It was nice and late, we could do whatever we needed to during the day and then head out there before the sale started, pick what we wanted and be first in line once they started ringing Black Friday purchases. 'Smart, Brook!', he said. 

We got what we needed from Walmart and headed out to the shooting spot. Not before getting stares as if I was back in Eastern Europe. My gosh! Adults could contain themselves, but kids! Poor kids! Some parents stared too though. It got to the point where, I told Calvin and he told me to tell him whenever I spy a starer. We made out every time someone stared at us. Give them something to gawk at.

Traffic? What's that? 

I love driving in Ridgecrest, there is no such thing as rush hour over there. You may look it up, it's a very small town, with not much going on.
Driving Brook

After shooting, Calvin drove us back to the house. He loves shooting. I was glad to have shared in that experience with him. 

Back in the house, we just hung out and talked. I had always had a feeling that after our first trip to the desert, we would be that much closer. We did a lot of talking. I opened up even more to him. Believe it or not, I am not one to put out all my business out there. This may be hard to digest considering I am on all the social media sites (look me up and add me Babalwa Brook. Team follow back!) and I have a personal blog but still! I am not just someone who tells everyone everything about me, just like that. I have been in relationships and friendships with people for years and they still don't know all there is to know about me. I have friends who talk about stuff I even forgot happened to me because I never have any intention to bring up. I don't now if this makes sense, but I am not a big fan of feeling vulnerable. Hat off to people who can go there. 

I did try to call my family on Thanksgiving and couldn't reach them, especially my mom. I know Thanksgiving is an American thing but I am so big on gratitude (I've had a gratitude journal since 2014), I wanted to talk to the people I am most grateful for, my family. Time difference is a mutha, I tell ya! 

There are a bunch of CD's and VHS tapes in the desert house. We tried watching some TV to no avail and ended up watching a serial killer DVD on my laptop. I had taken it along because in all the times I have imagined being in the desert, I had imagined it being this cute house where my beau and I would be alone, listening to music off my iTunes. Nice and romantic! The laptop came in handy because we ended up watching serial killers haha. That can be romantic! No? Ok!

I'd had my nails done just before the trip. Calv's treat. Gel Nails

Calvin made us lunch, we ate and chilled. After all that, we headed for Walmart for Early Black Friday!