Sunday, 23 February 2014


When the tight knit community of internet gadgetry heard about the arrival of Mr.FLOW in their neighbourhood, not everyone was pleased.
Mr. ARRIS knew that he would be retiring, and was happy to do so.  He had worked long and hard giving of his best with not a single sick day in all his work life.  It was time to go home and rest and allow Mr.FLOW to take over.
Mr. CISCO Linksys, the router, on the other hand was none too pleased.
"I'm not too sure I want to be working with so much speed....why does it have to change anyway....I don't like this one bit.
Mr. NETGEAR Extender didn't care one way or another, he was waiting to see what was what.

A few weeks before Mr.FLOW arrived on the scene, Mr. NETGEAR Extender began to behave quite erratically.  One minute his signal was strong and the next it was as low as could be , and he was basically all over the place, not reliable at all.
The complaints started to come in.
"I keep on dropping off the internet."
"My pc is saying Connected but I have No Internet Access."
"I can't get online properly." 
This went on for a few days, and after many phone calls and a kind favour, Mr.FLOW arrived in all his high-speed glory.  He came accompanied by a big bad-a$$$$$ CALIX wireless modem and had an air of authority about him.
 Mr. CALIX wireless modem

That was when all hell broke loose.
Mr. NETGEAR Extender worked when he felt like, and when tested was found to be just about 50 percent strength.
He was blamed and threatened to be thrown outside with the rubbish.
 Poor Mr. NETGEAR Extender.  He was no longer the popular guy who everyone loved.
Upstairs and downstairs loved him because he allowed the wifi signal to be accessed throughout the house.
"Get rid of it."
"Look for a better and newer model."
"We need something that is actually working."
The loudest cries were being voiced by Mr. CISCO Linksys router.

The terribly poor wifi reception continued until yesterday when it was decided that enough was enough.
Time to invite Sir.Charles over to calm the unrest and make things right again.

Mr. NEW POWER SUPPLY decided that he wanted to join the party of the disgruntled as well, and broke down with a soft explosion, filling the room with a burnt electrical scent and bringing all surfing to an abrupt stop on the desktop.

Sir Charles arrived on the scene and started to carry out an in-depth inquiry.
Upon further inspection, it was discovered that Mr. CISCO Linksys was THE problem and head trouble maker of all.
He was found to be only pushing out 50 percent capacity, and thus poor Mr. NETGEAR Extender could only transmit what he was receiving.  He had been blamed wrongfully all along.   It was a good thing he had not been dumped into the rubbish as suggested.

So it was that my Saturday jaunt day became a day of calming the villagers and coercing them to talk with each other, but they were having none of it.
Time to get some new villagers for the internet gadgetry neighbourhood.  Some who were more willing to communicate with each other and make the neighbourhood a happy place once again.

A call to the store where Mr. POWER SUPPLY was purchased back in October, only to be told that the three month warranty had expired.  Go figure it decided to go bum in month four.
A new one, (not the same brand) was purchased and installed.

 Omega ATX Power Supply....lets hope this one lasts more than 4 months

It was decided that the BELKIN N300 router would cohabitate lovingly with the Calix modem and the Netgear Extender. 
 Belkin N300 router working flawlessly
  They all moved into the internet gadgetry neighbourhood, and peace reigned throughout once more.

Apologies were flying all around and  Mr. NETGEAR Extender was exonerated.
He was extremely happy to stay in his home among the blue and white pieces on the etagere sending all the signals that he received from Mr. BELKIN N300.

 Mr. CISCO Linksys is no longer a resident of the neighbourhood, and has moved on to other pastures.

Peace and unity has returned to the neighbourhood once more.
Wifi signals can be retrieved from anywhere in the house and also outside in the garden now too.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Look who's blooming now!

Tillandsia bloom
Yesterday after clearing the excess branches off the Japanese Tree Fern, I discovered that my tillandsia plant was blooming. 
This made the hard work of trimming the branches all worth it.
I've had this plant forever, and this is the first time it has bloomed.
A couple of months ago, I took it out of a pot where it resided on the patio and tied it on to the trunk bark of my Japanese Tree Fern......and voila!!
I hope it produces even more flowers as it gets accustomed to its new home.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Gardening Habits

We all have them......gardening habits that we are either proud of or ashamed to admit.
This morning with my glass of juice in hand, I decided to take a wander around the garden and enjoy its beauty.
Needless to say, when I walked by the Japanese Tree Fern, the undergrowth was so dark, it felt like a dungeon under there.
To make matters worse, there was black blight beginning to envelop the leaves.
What do you think happened next?  Mind you I'm still dressed in my nightdress and I'm not prepared for gardening, but I started to trim the tree with my loppers and saw.
Reaching for the step ladder, I spied Brazen lying on my neighbour's wall curled into a ball.  He looked quite ill.  I'd never seen him looking so vulnerable.
None of his mates were nearby, but there he was lying quietly and not looking too well.  When he saw me, he barely raised his head to acknowledge my presence, and then he rested his head back down quickly.
I felt sorry for the poor chap.  After a while he dragged himself up and moved along the wall back to safety. I took my eyes off of him for two seconds, and when I looked back he was nowhere in sight.
Even though he is a menace, I hope that he will be okay.

I spent the next hour lopping and sawing off large tree branches....I heard you....YESSSS in my just had to go there.
My neighbours already have me figured as crazy, so no problem there.
It's daughter dear who seems to be concerned about my behaviour sometimes, but then again if she doesn't know me by now.....she will never never never know me....ooh ooh ooh....
Furthermore what's wrong with trimming trees in a nightdress....common tell me.

Trimming the excess branches away

Clear views once again....I can now see the harbour through the branches.

The monkeys will no longer sit and chill out on that part of the wall because it's too exposed now.

If your gardening habits are anything like mine, you would already know that trimming the tree was not the only thing that got done before I headed back inside all tired and sweaty.
I kinda  like my "bad habit" gardening....I get a lot done that way......and YESSSS sometimes in my nightdress.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The new look "grass verge" Part 2

Time for a new look for the grass verge outside the front wall. 
Off to see my friends at the Home and Garden Shop.  Run by a husband and wife team who provide A-One service, it is almost impossible to leave empty handed.

All kinds of wonderful statuary and stone ornaments abound, and it's no wonder that items must be ordered in advance, since they sell quickly.

Friendly workers make everything available for sale from various molds.
I knew what I wanted.....second quality concrete pavers and balls.  If you are creative and love a messy project, well then I suggest purchasing the unfinished items or the second quality items....those that would not pass the scrutiny of a discerning customer, and finish them off yourself.
The large pavers lined up along the driveway.
I chose three different patterns since I don't care too much for monotony

The concrete balls

We have a decorative textured finish made by a local company, Trowel Plastics, which is used for coating walls. Most homes are finished with this product.  
I decided to give my balls a "finished look."
I steadied the balls on a brick and got to work.  Using an old paint brush, the product was brushed on all over the balls.
With my hand in a glove, I gave them a smoothing caress.

All three balls finished and ready for their debut.

I finished the stone pavers with a wash of natural colour solution.
Time to start the laying out process.  I had a staggered box pattern in my head, but it was hard to stick to it since the area is not squared properly.  I used a slightly different sequence instead, using all three patterns of the pavers.

Once again my dear ex-hubby came to my rescue and assisted in lifting the larger pavers and also to help set the balls in place.

After reading several online websites about the high theft rate of garden ornaments worldwide, I wasn't prepared to take any chances.

 I dug a big hole for the balls........

.........while he mixed a batch of concrete for the hole

Filling the big hole with the concrete

The balls setting up safely in their concrete bed.

For the pavers, I dug some shallow holes and sunk them into the earth until they were flush with the surrounding soil.
At this point I decided I wanted some smaller squares in between the bigger ones....dear ex-hubby came to my rescue again.

With a masonry blade on the angle grinder, he cut a few of the larger pavers into four quarters which would give me the exact look I'd created in my head.

Asparagus densiflorus "Sprengeri"
I knew that I wanted some kind of delicate fine textured flowing plant in between the pavers to soften the look....something I wouldn't have to worry too much about in terms of maintenance, and I decided on a rice fern to do the job.
The rice fern has spiny thorns and would make a good deterrent for those folks who "like" to hang around my property.

 My plant buddy girlfriends came to the rescue and donated several pots and pieces of rice fern for my project...thanks to Dawn, Eureka, Helen and Joan!!
Thanks also to ex-hubby who gave me a few baby plants as well.

Getting there......

I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel
Finally ........all done
I just need to find some more of the rice fern to fill in the remaining spaces.
I am so very very happy that I no longer have to cut grass in this area anymore.....YEAH!!
I can't wait until it is all filled in and looking lush and beautiful.
I promise to post an updated photo in a couple of weeks. 
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

I've been busy......

As busy as a bee, and then some.
The garden, as always takes up quite a bit of my time to keep it in shape.
Some of my fellow bloggers already know the amount of time it takes to keep palms looking seems they shed fronds every second.

Trimmed Golden Palm fronds
In between the hard outdoor work, I still found a little time to fix lunch.

Curly Kale drizzled with EVOO (ExtraVirginOliveOil) and sprinkled with salt and pepper before baking

Macaroni Pie, Granburger Stew with Kidney Beans, and baked Curly Kale

The last of the Christmas treats........all consumed now

It's still our tourist season and the cruise ships continue to sail into the harbour every day.

Lovely beach view on my way to visit friends headed off to France for a week

Brownie waiting for his lunch in the doorway
"What's taking so long?"

A girlfriend of mine thought I was in need of a break after all the work I'd been doing recently and gifted me with a ticket to a local theatre production.
 "Laff it Off" is an annual theatrical comedy production that sheds a satirical look at local political and social issues.
It runs from January to March and has a huge following.
The production started back in September 1985 from the need to promote theatre in Barbados and is now in its 29th year.
The title this year was "Yuh Got to Pay" and as usual the scenes were hysterical with the actors on stage delivering their lines in heavy Bajan dialects.
Barbados is a lively island especially in the area of politics and the majority of the performances were based on political events that occurred throughout the year. It gives one a chance to laugh it off but also to ponder the seriousness of it all.
The show can be a bit raunchy at times but a definite laugh its is.

Life goes on. know the everyday stuff that life is made up of.
Cussing at the gas company to have my gas delivered after five days of delivery promises.....telling off yet another stupid person visiting the neighbour next door NOT to park blocking my driveway....collecting new plants from friends, obtaining quotes for fabricating the new gate, and on and know....the usual stuff.
Isn't life grand??

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The earth moved

 As usual I was up early this morning, although just a bit earlier than normal since BrownBerts had unceremoniously jumped up at the side of the sofa and started to paw me.....all the while making a funny whiny sound over and over again....he just would not stop.  Getting up I opened the door to let him out.  He headed outside in the pre-dawn light to investigate his domain while making sure to christen another of my newly planted shrubs.
Suddenly he shot off in the back garden like a bat out of hell, and started to run up and down, up and down, up and down.
What strange behaviour I thought.
"Brownie what's up with you?" I asked him, but he continued to run up and down, up and down, up and down.
Sitting back on the sofa, I felt a strange sensation.  I then heard the many pieces in my blue and white porcelain collection rumbling on the etagere, but still I did not make the connection.
We were experiencing an earthquake.
It was about 5.30am.

The earthquake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale and jolted the entire island wide awake, although some folks managed to sleep right through it.

 The epicenter was 126 miles northeast of our capital city Bridgetown at a depth of 20 miles.
The tremor affected the entire island but was mostly felt in the north and the east.
The US Geological Survey confirmed that the 6.7 magnitude quake occurred 107 miles NNE of Bathsheba (east coast) and 116 miles NNE of Bridgetown (west coast) at 5.27am at a depth of 20 miles.
 The tremor was also felt in the neighbouring islands of St.Lucia and Martinique.
According to news reports, over the last 18 hours there has been heightened seismic activity in the area.

Coincidentally, over the weekend I viewed a documentary highlighting the Canary Islands fault line and the resulting mega-tsunami that would occur if the predictions of the scientists came to pass. 

The last earthquakes in Barbados were two months ago when two occurred on December15th and  16th.  The first, which occurred to the south of the island, measured 3.8 on the Richter scale. The second was slightly weaker, magnitude 3.6, and struck to the north of Barbados.
The last major quake was back in 2007 and during that quake my six dogs were running up and down, up and down, up and down too.

See the news reports here and here.

Here is the link to the Worldwide Seismic Monitor.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Holetown Festival 2014 - Part 2 - Arts & Crafts

After the parades were over, it was time to visit the arts and crafts stalls of the festival.
Food stalls were plentiful, and the smells were tantalizing, but I was on a mission to find my girlfriends who had a plant stall at the festival.
So many tents with so much to see....where should I start?
 It was like a large tent city

I decided to start at one end, and make my way back up through the crowds until I found my girlfriends and then make my way back to where I had parked.

Both locals and tourists were out in their numbers

Beautifully decorated stalls depicting our local chattel houses

Artists displayed their paintings

The next three paintings were HUGE and had HUGE prices attached to them.
Boys with guttaperks  and handmade wood lorries -Bds$10,000 (US$5,000)

Sugar cane cutters harvesting sugar cane -Bds$10,500 (US$5,250)

Lady working in her kitchen garden....I think this one was Bds$11,000.

At first I thought these Bob Marley paintings were exquisitely done I was fooled.
Straw made goods

Carved wooden ornaments and statues

Local Pottery

Carved Coral Stone decor

Where did you get that hat?

Leather sandals of every description

Shells, shells, shells

Barbados souvenirs

Painted calabash (gourds)

Wire art

Stalls with everything under the sun



The toy stalls had many kids spellbound...young and old.
Lucky Dips for boys and girls in the pretty wrapped boxes at the side of the table
In my day, lucky dips were 50cents...they're now $3.00

Tourists love these island festivals.


Ezra (plant buddy) among his plants
Finally I found my girlfriends....about time was creeping up to lunchtime for you know who...time to make my way home.

My two crazy girlfriends

Individual bands provided music throughout the crowds.
It was such a lively place to be on a Saturday afternoon....I should have considered staying a while longer.
Perhaps I should have given BrownBerts a call to let him know I would be home a bit late. The phone booth is only doesn't work....hahaha.
(CJ this photo is for you!)

Until next year.

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