Monday, 26 September 2016

The vengeful grasshopper

I decided to plant some lovely white bougainvillea in pots in the back garden a few months ago.


They were filling out so beautifully and the sprays of white flowers were gorgeous....I admired them daily.

Then to my horror one morning I saw that some pest had eaten the flowers during the night.

It was on...I had to find the critter that had done this.

Night after night after night I went looking for the critter.  No slug trails or any identifying traces could be found...nothing.
I threw a few slug/snail pellets into the pot, but caught nada.
One morning after breakfast I took a stroll outside and my goodness gracious that darn critter had now started on the leaves.
I knew it had to be a flying critter.


That night I staked out my poor plants and waited, but again nothing.
I turned those pots upside down, inside out , dug around in the soil checked under each leaf carefully and still I found nothing.
On Thursday last week I told my friend Dawn she could come by and take them for her garden before they were completely decimated...no need to tell her twice, she came over immediately.
Would you believe that that very same night I heard an insect butting itself against my front door.  Brownie was on the patio and he was going crazy trying to catch whatever it was.
I peeped through the curtains and there was the BIGGEST brown grasshopper that I have ever seen in my life.
There he was flying against the glass door over and over as if he wanted to come in to do me harm.
He come to "pick a fight" with me...oh mercy what a thing.
BUP!!!  Why you move my dinner plants?  BUPP!! I come out tonight looking to get something to eat and the plants gone!!  BUPPP!!  BUPPP!!  You know how long I was feasting on them and laughing at you wid yuh torchlight at night trying to find me?  MEEE???  You want to find me?  BUP!! Come out here  if you is  a woman!!!  BUPP!!! BUPPP!! I guine show you who is boss! BUPP!! BUPPPPP!!!
I am sure he was probably throwing me a few cuss words too in between not suitable for this blog.
I thought for sure he would break the door if he continued this way.
Brownie had had enough. He took one spring and pounced on him after one of his landings, and bit his head off and BUP! that was the end of him.
Can you imagine the audacity?  A grasshopper coming to take revenge on me? For protecting what is mine? How vengeful could he be?  Just like some people.  They watch you work hard for what you have and then they come along and want to rob you of what's yours.
Ain't gonna happen on me and Brownie's watch....oh no way!
Now I have to find some new plants to put in those pots...something that is not on the buffet menu for pests and critters....wish me luck.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A blaze of glory


It rained all day today and I couldn't give Mr. B the bath I'd promised him.
As a result we were cooped up in the house all day but.....we were rewarded with this beautiful sunset this evening.
The sun made a brief appearance and then said goodnight in a blaze of glory.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Ted


 Wolfgang "Ted" Maritsch
1966 - 2016
I met "Ted" many years ago through my friend Frank.
"Heyyy you have to meet my friend Ted," he'd said, and so it was that not only me but everyone in our circle of friends met the infamous Ted.
Frank claimed he had christened Wolfgang as "Ted" because he looked like a "Ted."
Ted was Austrian (originally from Oberndorf bei Salzburg) but he had made his home in Barbados when his family migrated to the island years ago.
He was a breath of fresh air...cool and calm with a sense of humour that made you feel as if you'd known him for a long time.....we welcomed him with open hearts and he fitted into our crazy group instantly.
I became "Werginia.....that's how Ted pronounced my name....a remnant from his Austrian roots....I liked it....the only thing about that was that everyone in the group started calling me "Werginia" too.
Our friendly get-togethers were such happy occasions and one of them sticks out in my mind.
Ted's family lived on the beach and one evening we were hanging out at his home.  We lit a bonfire on the beach and roasted some breadfruit and fish....a local Bajan ritual.
Ted's dog (for the life of me I can't remember his name, but it was something funny) wanting to get into the action "nosed out" a crab from its hiding hole in the sand, and then that dog (I kid you not) held that crab in its mouth and sauntered over to the bonfire and dropped the crab into the fire to be cooked, as if to say "Hey, that one's for me!!"  We all laughed, but Ted pointed out that his dog caught crabs all the time.
We had good times, lots of good times.
At his Service of Thanksgiving yesterday afternoon, we were serenaded with many inspirational songs but it was still hard not to feel sad.
As the words "I make my journey through eternity" from Immortality lingered in my mind, I left the Chapel in a pensive mood.
Outside after the service as I stood waiting in the bright sunlight a large firefly landed on my shoulder.  I was startled.  "What the heck," I said to myself, "what's a firefly doing out in this bright sunshine?" but I cooly brushed it off where it landed on the ground unharmed..  I kept my eye on it for some time, and then I looked away for a brief second, when I looked again it was gone.
My friend Ted knew I didn't like bugs...I laughed, Okay I thought, you get the last laugh Ted.
So long for now my friend Ted, my Manchester United loving Ted, my lover of the outdoors Ted, my hearty laughter Ted, my friend who teased me Ted, my "Werginia" Ted.....I know we'll meet again.



Thursday, 22 September 2016

Another year has gone by

Steve
 The best father in the world!!
Always in our hearts.

Two years ago today you were ripped from our lives but not from our hearts.
Missing you more than you know. 
Nat enjoying a beginners lesson of tennis from  a pro who was patient, kind and full of love...her Dad.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Soursop Punch

My friend Angus of Bob and Sophie's French Adventure blog recently posted about seeing a strange fruit in his supermarket.
The strange fruit was a Soursop (Annona muricata)/Graviola.
Soursop is in the same family as the custard-apple. 
This tropical fruit has a prickly skin on the outside and its pulp is made up of individual sacs filled with seeds on the inside.


My girlfriend had gifted me with a freshly picked soursop from her tree about two weeks ago but since it was not ripe......


I had to wait until it was ripe to make a Soursop Punch.
I wrapped it carefully in a sheet of newspaper and waited (impatiently).
One morning I knew it was ripe from the heavenly scent that enveloped the kitchen as I walked in. Unwrapping it I saw that the skin had now turned yellow and was ready to be used.
Soursop has a distinctive taste...a mix of tart and sweet...like pineapple and melon or papaya....a candy like taste.

First I peeled all the skin off.

Next I cut the fruit in half and removed the stem (heart) in the middle.

Then it was time to remove the seeds.
Most of the sacs are seedless and the seeds are black and shiny.

The seeds are encased in individual sacs inside the fruit.

Seeds and non usable pieces for the garbage.

Time to strain the delicious juice.  A large strainer over a glass bowl was perfect for this task.

Using the back of a large spoon, the juice was pressed/squeezed from the pulp.....

Leaving about a cup and a half of fresh soursop pulp.
At this stage I could have either made ice cream or a smoothie, but I was making Soursop Punch.

I'm not an advocate of cow's milk  and most folks use condensed milk and regular milk to make the punch.
You can use any kind of milk, I may even try soya milk next time.
Instead I added a tin of coconut milk, a tablespoon of vanilla essence and a few tablespoons (maybe 4) of sugar.
Blended the ingredients up in the blender till it with nice and  creamy.

The reward?  A lovely glass of fresh soursop punch.
Tasty!  Delicious!  Nectar of the Gods!
No I didn't drink it all at one time although I could have easily done so.  The remainder was shared with daughter dear and some was bottled and stored in the fridge....which didn't help matters at all since it was still consumed within a few hours.
Also check out my previous post on Soursop Ice Cream here.
The lovely vase above was a Christmas gift from my friend Frank many years ago. He had attended an estate sale and didn't buy anything for himself but he thought I would like the vase and he was right, I love it.  Now that the ginger lilies are fully grown and blossoming, I make sure that my table has fresh flowers everyday, and now every time I look at it I will be reminded of my friend Frank forever more.
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