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Dear Readers and faithful friends,

After a number of years of wonderful blogging, this blog has effectively become dormant - except for occasional updates regarding my book, MAXDOG. I have left this blog as a legacy to my dog and a place of sanctuary where we can reflect upon his life. Take your time, peruse the pages spanning Max's 18 months in cyberspace. Feel refreshed and uplifted because his story is an amazing one of..."LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX!"
My activities have now moved on to my new blog entitled "LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX". Please join me there where you can read about my family and canine companions. I also invite you to visit MAXDOG's FANPAGE on FACEBOOK. You can follow the specific links by clicking below:

* MAXDOG, the book: click HERE

If you would like to follow me on a deeper, spiritual level, then I invite you to visit my more personal blog:

May God bless you and thank you for following me!


Monday, March 22, 2010

WINTER answered...

MAXDOG here...

Hello there to all my furry friends around the world!

It's a cool and overcast day here in JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, on this my

44th day of Grace!

It is also a public holiday here today, so my 'girls' are both home from university and have their noses in their books. (I wonder what news could be THAT interesting!?!)
Mom and the "Boss" are taking it easy - like us dogs.

As you know, KING TOFFEE has a flared up grass alergy and his little paw on his left foot is quite raw from all his chewing. He really doesn't enjoy his feet being bandaged up and is quite a miserable little soul at the moment. Mom has been giving him extra treats and lap sessions. She also made some socks for him (out of old bandages) which are supposed to keep his feet away from his mouth. Pauper's socks...!

But as you can imagine, they are no problem for KING TOFFEE! He simply chewed right through Mom's efforts even though there was also sticky plaster involved. Unfortunately the KING has to wear the dreaded satellite dish now...
not exactly regal...!
Anyway, I am sure that with all the tender loving care he's receiving he'll be back on his throne very soon.

Well, I know that my Northern Hemisphere friends are experiencing touches of Spring.
This means that we are about to go into Autumn (Fall) here where we live.
Some folk have again expressed curiosity about our weather in
So I thought I'd discuss it a little today.

If you look outside our windows at the moment you will still see our resident weaver bird going about his usual business...

You will notice that our plants are still very green and there are still many grass seeds for the little weaver bird to feed his family and himself...

Although winter is just around our corner, we are still experiencing our rainy season here on the 'highveld'. Our city of JOHANNESBURG is located at 2000m above sea level. On most afternoons we experience violent thunderstorms over our city.
The heat of the day and the high humidity help to fuel the big thunderheads...

If the storm arrives in the early afternoon we are treated to magnificent sunsets...

With all the rain, there are many insects, so their little predators are also out in force...spiders, lizards and geckos. We always have little house geckos on our walls. You have to admire them for their ability to walk upside down and for their instinct to rid our environment of mosquitoes...

The arrival of winter is heralded by a countryside full of cosmos flowers (weeds if you really want to think of them that way!).
The moment the season changes, the 'COSMOS' appears and can be seen along the long national roads of South Africa...

Some are snow white whilst others are glorious shades of purple and pink...

But yes, where I live (on the 'highveld') it is NOT a reflection of the entire country!

Our country has a kaleidoscope of different climates from the vast coastal desert and semi-desert in the West to subtropical forests in the east and grasslands all around. In the Cape we have a mediterranean climate and in some parts of our country we have dry woodland. It really is a country of MANY climates!

Here is a map of the rainfall distribution of Southern Africa to give you an idea...

So the question which often crops up is...


The quick answer YES!!!

Here in JOHANNESBURG  we experience biting cold winters with wind chill factors which fall below freezing at times.  Because we live in a predominantly hot country (i.e. most of the year), our houses aren't really equipped for cold conditions. So, in general, we simply brace ourselves for the 2-3 really cold months (May, June, July) and huddle around heaters.

Snow is usually restricted to the high lying mountainous areas of the Drakensberg mountains and the Cape Fold mountains. On occasions (although very seldom) we might have a small flurry of snow here in Johannesburg. If this happens our citizens go wild with delight because we don't often see it. There are parts of the country where snow will fall heavily, but it usually doesn't lie around for long.

And...as always...our Sunshine is just waiting to cut through the clouds.

For the moment though, our trees are still green here in Johannesburg. Odd ones are turning a shade of yellow. The Easter Weekend (in 2 weeks time) usually brings us our first cold front.

For the moment, we bask in the sunshine!
...or sleep on the cool floors...

So I hope that answers some of your questions(?)

We also want to apologise for being tardy and not getting around to your blogs as much as we'd like.
Please know that you are all very special to us and we send you lotsaluv and lotsalicks.

Enjoy your day!


Madi and Mom said...

Hi Max Dog and crew and Mom!!!
Happy 44th day of Grace Max....you are truly a living breathing miracle!!! God Bless you!!! Thank you very much for the wonderful information on S. Africa...you are our first friend from S. Africa so we have lots to learn. Happy Holiday too!!!
Madi and Mom

houndstooth said...

King Toffee, we think that you should have your mom attach some frippery to your collar and you could have an Elizabethan collar, which would be quite regal and befitting a dog of your stature!

Max, we're glad you're still feeling good and thanks for sharing the great pictures!


BRUTUS said...

Interesting as always! So funny to think of June, July and August as "winter"!! We are so glad to be able to finally do some sun-basking ourselves here! Poor toffee - that is a great photo of him sitting on his "throne", E-collar and all!!

Brutus the Frenchie

The OP Pack said...

WE hope you all have a lovely holiday together. Tell those girls to get their noses out of the books long enough to have some fun with the pups:)

We are in Spring here but we had quite the snowstorm on Saturday. Now the warm temps have returned and the grass is peeking through the fast-melting snow. But that can only mean beautiful green grass, budding trees, and lovely flowers - and lots of nice walks for us.

Hoping your winter isn't too cold for you.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Wooos Max Dog! Nice to see woo are doing well on your 44th day of grace! Poor Toffee, having wear that thingy on his head, yuck!!!!!!!
Interesting about the weather, sounds a bit like us in the summer, with the afternoon storms, lovely sunsets... but we are at sea level.... the winter sounds the same ( just at different time) and so does the heat!
~puppy kisses~
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Priscilla said...

I'm sorry poor Toffee has to wear that thing on his head!
The weather sounds great. Hope you enjoy your holiday together!
Enjoy your days of grace, max! May they be filled with love and happiness.

hkairedalespack said...

Glad to hear Max is feeling good today. Hope that Toffee's poor paws heal quickly, allergies are not fun. Thank you for the lovely photos and info on your weather. Mommy was wondering what it was like there.
Hugs, Miley and Mariah

Ina in Alaska said...

We hope the King's paws heal up soon, but he looks cute in his satellite dish!! Hugs and Love as always to Max and all of the Pack. xoxo

KB said...

Isn't it funny how we humans declare some flowers to be "weeds" and not others? Those look like beautiful flowers to me... It must be a lovely time of year.

Yet again, I learned something new about Africa. I had to go find a map of Africa to figure out where you were located on the rainfall map (I'm embarrassed to admit). So, I know more about African geography than a few minutes ago. And, I didn't know that it got cold there...

Geckos on the walls must be very interesting. Do they stay active inside your house all winter?

Finally, and most importantly, I'm glad that the dogs are doing well. The poor King... I hope that his allergies let up soon. And, MaxDog, well - he's simply amazing! It must be all the loving care that he is showered with!

Beautiful cloud photos!

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey Max Dog, Mand crew,
Just another example of what a positive influence you are on us; we've learned so much of the SA culture from y'all. Sorry to see that Mr. Toffee has been delegated to wearing the Cone Of Shame just as Dug the Golden Retriever did in the Disney animated feature "Up." We are so grateful to God that you have been granted a 44th day of Grace and wish and pray that you have many more. Although the days of your season grow shorter we want them all to be comfortable and pain free. We ciontinue our prauyers for your well being and hold you so very close in our hearts.

Pibble said...

King Toffee, now that you're wearing the satellite dish, what channels do you get?

But seriously, I had forgotten that as we embark on Spring, you're settling into Autumn. UGH. We had a long, hard winter here in the Northeast, with our last snowfall just a few short weeks ago.

My favorite seasons a Spring and Autumn, as the trees spring to life, or the leaves turn their beautiful colors before dropping from the trees. Then the dreaded heat of summer or cold of winter. Ah, well! I guess I'm a little like Goldilocks. I like the seasons to be "just right"!

Hugs and waggles to all!

Scout and Freyja said...

THANK YOU so much for the weather comparison! Momma's sister, Diane, lived in Australia for several years so momma knew that your Christmas was warm where ours is cold but having a more complete 'view' is so cool!

So happy all of your loved ones are surrounding you today! Be sure to hit them up for extra snacks!

Mrs. JP said...

I'm so glad you explained your weather to me.
Poor, poor, poor, King Toffee. The cone collar is most humiliating but it is effective. That is such a pitifully cute picture of him. I'm laughing with Toffee, not AT you!!! Right???

Stella said...

Hey, Max! Wishing your 44th day of Grace is wonderful and wishing for many, many more for you!

Poor King Toff! Thats no way for a King to have to live. Where is his velvet pillow, his sweets, his court? Hoping for a quick fini to the allergy.


brooke said...

Maxdog! I love seeing posts from you!
Poor King Toffee... Instead of a crown on his head he gets to wear one around it!
Loved all the pictures of South Africa... EXCEPT the gecko... ughhh... I hate geckos more than anything! They give me the creeps!

Mack and Mia said...

Poor Toffee! I can't even speak of the cone. It makes me shudder! Tell him to keep his head up anyway, it'll be off soon and he can go back to being the proud king he is.

Another day of grace, thank goodness. You have angels looking over you Maxdog and you might not realize it, but you are an angel to many other pups and their pawrents.

Rest well dear friend.

Wags and Woofs,
Mack and Mia

SGR said...

Woof! Woof! MAX ... thanks for sharing South Africa's weather. Just curious and it's amazing that you have such beautiful flowers/garden during the weather months. Oh! Toffee I also have an allergy on GRASS but it only seems to occur only when I roll-over then I get a rash ... it's odd. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

The Army of Four said...

LOVE those sky shots!

Gail in Aberdeen said...

Interesting post as ever. But I still think you get away lightly with your winters in South Africa! (I bet Stella and her Mom think so too!)
PS Finally, I have some daffodils in my back garden

Maggie and Mitch said...

Your cosmos are so beautiful growing wild!
We hope you lose the evil lampshade soon, Toffee, and regain your royal throne!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Ms. ~K said...

I should send Toffee some dog booties like the Iditarod pups and Ina's pups wear.
Sorry about the dreaded conehead!
I had snow on my daffodils this morning...such is Spring in the southeast US.
Enjoy the cool floor Max and Tammy...Hugs and belly rubs to all,

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Hi Max (and co),

We are so glad yoo are doing well. We are sending yoo more healing purrs. And we're sending some for Toffee's poorly paws too.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Thanks fur sharing more of what makes ALL of WOO so furry special!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan and Bibi-Chan said...

Thanks for ll the interesting info and great pics.

Poor Toffee. We can imagine how miserable he must be feeling....

Woofs, Purrs and Hugs,
Tommy and all the Poupounette Gang

Anonymous said...

44 days of Grace. Maxdog, you are amazing!

Did you know we have those pretty Cosmos flowers here, too? We lives in a high desert so peoples plant them cuz they don't require too very much water.

I liked looking at the geckos. They're Most Cute and anything that eats mosquitoes is okay by me!

Wiggles & Wags,

Paco,Milo, Maya and mommy Simona said...

We're sooooooooo happy reading about your good health!!!!
We're keeping you in our prayers everyday!!!
And you're our hero!!!!!

We love love love your weather post today!!!
It's interesting learn all those things about your country throught your blog!!!!
You're such a great tour guide!!!!
Mommy would love come in SA and see all the wonderful things you're showing us!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Toffe....we know how miserable the King must be feeling!!!!!!
Hope his allergy passed soon!!!!!!!!!
Take care of you!!!
Tons of love and kisses!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

44th day Way to Stay in Grace!

As always we enjoy such interesting information about South Africa.

Really sorry that you have to wear the halo King! That really sucks!

Hugs, Tessa

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Hurray for day 44! That is so wonderful! It is too bad that Toffee is going through allergy season though - the chewing sounds awful - too bad the socks didn't work - they looked cute! We are adding some purrs for Toffee to be over the allergies quickly to our regular ones for Maxdog!

Piappies World said...

Hello Max!

Happy 44 days of Grace! Another interesting post today. Our favorite photos are the sunset and the flowers. Mommy jumped when she saw the lizz... sorry we could not type it. Waaaaaah It's a creature she fears a lot!

We sure hope King Toffee gets better really soon.

-Frappie, Mocha, Sugar & the Piappies

Sierra Rose said...

Yay for the 44th day of Grace!
Love hearing about your seasons and weather. Mom is fascinated! What brilliant thunderheads, and quick afternoon storms. Lovely cosmos (weeds :)). Thank you for sharing. The floor does look cool for you two!
Hope Toffee can take the 'dish' off SOON!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Jacqueline said...

Beautiful photos and a wonderful lesson about your climate...So happy Max is doing well and hope Toffee loses the halo soon!...Blessings.

The Life of Riley said...

Hi Max,

I've been away at the beach for a long weekend so when mum got back to her computer this morning she was so pleased to read to me that you’re enjoying your 44th day of grace with your family.

Thanks for your weather lesson - we had forgotten how cold it can get where you live.


Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

Oh, I have a photo of my late Louie in an Elizabethan collar w/his ears wrapped and not looking happy at all :). Be well, King T., you will make it yet - and yeah for you, Max: thanks for sharing your weather w/us - it is indeed the opposite of what we experience here in southeast Missouri, USA.

Anya said...

Hi Max & family
Thans for all information about your country .....
it sounds very interesting !!!

Hugs to all Kareltje =^.^=

YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

Toffee, we hope that you will get better soon and hope that you don't have to wear that silly collar any longer.

Those are great info about your country. Wow, those Cosmos are beautiful!!!

Maxdog, we are so glad to hear that you are on your 44th day of grace!

Sam & June

sprinkles said...

I wish we didn't get much snow here. We do every winter though. :( Today we got hail. I was about to take my boys for a walk and looked out and it was coming down pretty hard. If it warms up a little more this afternoon, I might still take my pups for that walk!

Your country is so beautiful!

I feel for King Toffee. Poor little guy! Hope his paws heal soon so he won't have to wear that collar any longer.

Sallie said...

Yay! Thank you for all the great information!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, my sympathies to King Toffee. Those dreaded collars! I have used baby socks to great success here. You might give those a try.

All best wishes for healed paws!!

GonetoTheSnowDogs said...

Wow, I learned alot from this blog today! Thanks for all the great information!

Woo Wooo
Shiloh, Shelby, and Their Mom

Twinkietinydog said...

The King is looking rather pitiful rather than royal. OMD you guys need a spare pair of paws to help you out around there? I wish I could volunteer, but although I wouldn't cost much to ship, because of my weight, I think my family would really miss me.

Clive said...

Hi Max

We really enjoyed your post today - so much information! We love Cosmos! We plant lots here every summer and particularly the chocolate ones which Murray loves to smell! The don't grow with such abundance in Ireland though!

We are so thankful that you are on your 44th day of grace - Max! Look after yourself!

lots of love
Clive and the NSLM

Mommyof2girlz said...

Happy 44th Day of Grace Max. Poor King, not exactly the crown he should be wearing. Lots of wonderful info you shared with us, your such a smart pooch!

TK said...

Now i has to say, that the 'radar dish' is more of an Elizabethian collar for the noble King Toffee.
We loved the videos!

Ben said...

Looks like I am post 44 on day 44. Hip Hip Horray for 44!!!
King Toffee - hang in there the satelite dish can double as a crown if the peeps put a little glitter on it.

Benny and Lily said...

Oh Toffee you are the king.BOL
Benny & Lily

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Ok...that whole thunderstorm every afternoon would knot my shorts!

We are having out first storm as I type this and the Lacie is panting and quite beside herself...I may have to go and fix the little dear a smoothie...

Oh Max...we're so delighted you are enjoying all these days of grace. To live life with grace...that's a lofty goal.

We think of you so often...saw a golden climbing one of our few reamaing snowbanks this weekend...he roached and rolled and generally had an amazing time...while it's seventy degrees!!

Kisses to all and especially to dear Toffee...that cone of shame seems a bit undignified...perhaps I should come and hold his paw for him? Let me know!

Love you.


Tweedles -- that's me said...

King Toffee
I know you are just in misery having to wear those footies and now your special collar. I hope that medicine works fast on those little tosies of your.
Thank you for answering our South Africa weather informaiton questions. I have pondered the questtions many times.
I think you have some of the most magnificient thunder head clouds that I have ever seen and most brilliant pink sky ever.
I feel like I am right there with you. (just as I tell you I am)

Tanuki Maxx said...

Hi Max and family!
Happy 44th day of Grace!!
Sorry to see Toffee in that Elizabeth collar..oii the humility of being seen in that!
Hope it comes off soon!
Thanks for keeping us updated on things in South Africa!!


TwoSpecialWires said...

We were doing really well ... enjoying your post and imagining the beginnings of autumn for you ... till you mentioned the thunderstorms. That sent us to a place where we could bury our heads and pretend that we didn't hear. You are very brave, Max, in so many ways.

Continue those days of Grace. We are so happy for you and your family.
Jake and Fergi xxoo

Teal'c said...

Hi Maxdog! We are glad and happy to see that you are so well!
South Africa looks a bit like Australia! Except from the "Winter" it doesn't get too cold here. At least not in Sydney...
Slobbers Teal'c

The Thundering Herd said...

As always, thanks for the education on your beautiful country. Though, we do not think that sounds very cold (grins). And always happy to see your smiling face.

Darcy and Bailey said...

Hi Max!
Thanks for stopping by our blog. We're having fun and it sure looks like you are too!
Licks & Love!

Anonymous said...

Oh Poor King Toffee. Im sorry he is having such a hard time.

So glad Max is doing well too.

The Kitties were watching what is called a Video Catnip. It has lots of birds and squirrels in it. We love to watch them when we put it on. They get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

ScrapsofMe said...

OH NO! The dreaded cone of humiliation! I feel for Toffee...I realllllly do.

sniffies to all,


Samantha said...

Happy 44th Day of Grace, Max! And dear Toffee - hope you will be able to shed that cone (keeping your bandages on heheh!)furry soon! We always LOVE hearing about anythingSouthAfrica from you - so interesting to think of Easter being "cold" rather than a Spring (warm) thing. Thank you always for your wonderful perspective! Get your rest, sweet Max! We think of you so much!
Hugs xo

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

Thank you for letting us know about your season. Even though our Dad is a Geography teacher, we weren't aware that you had seasons, especially cold ones.

The Rocky Creek Scotties

Mango said...

Sigh, the cone of shame...

Things sure are different where you live. Hard to believe we are all on the same planet.


ocmist said...

Your area sounds a lot like ours. Here in California, we have the lowest desert and one of the highest mountains in the States, as well as the ocean, all within 2-3 hours drive from where we live in the San Joaquin (Wa-Keen)Valley.

We, too have only small amounts of snow and it is a BIG deal if we get some.

I LOVE hearing about your country, and seeing your pictures of the sunsets and clouds.

We are so sorry to see poor Toffee looking so miserable in the Cone of Shame. Continued prayers to all of you! Linda and the Country Corgi Crew