Wednesday, 30 April 2014

International Jazz Day

 Oh Happy Day!!
Special day today for was International Jazz Day....a day to celebrate jazz the world over.

A few years ago, back in November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April30 as International Jazz Day.
I don't need a special day to celebrate jazz is already embedded in my caresses my tired body at night before I drift off to keeps my psyche intact.
My world would be empty without jazz....yes, it would be.
Even though I spent the day in the kitchen preparing for my hen party tomorrow, I was surrounded by lovely jazzy music from a few of my favourite guys.
I would have given an arm and a leg and ten toes to have been in Osaka, Japan today.
Oh Happy Day!!
Hope you had a wonderful jazzy day too.

More info here and here.

Monday, 28 April 2014

National Heroes Day

Today was National Heroes Day, a public holiday on the island.
Every year on April 28th we celebrate National Heroes Day to honour the lives and contributions of ten outstanding individuals who helped to shape our island into what it is today.

The correct title for our National Heroes is "The Right Excellent."
Our ten National Heroes are listed below according to the order they fall in the picture above.

The Right Excellent Bussa - an African slave killed during the 1816 slave revolt.
The Right Excellent Sarah Ann Gill (1795-1866)
The Right Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod (1806-1871)
 The Right Excellent Dr, Charles Duncan O'Neal (1879-1936)
The Right Excellent Clement Osbourne Payne (1904-1941)
The Right Excellent Sir Grantley Herbert Adams (1898-1971)
The Right Excellent Sir Errol Walton Barrow (1920-1987)
The Right Excellent Sir Hugh Worrell Springer (1913-1994)
The Right Excellent Sir Garfield St.Auburn Sobers (1936-Present)
The Right Excellent Sir Frank Leslie Walcott (1916-1999)
The National Heroes Gallery, an interactive museum is located in the West Wing of the Parliament Building. It is dedicated to telling their stories and providing valuable insight into the contributions that they made to the island. 

You may read more here .
And also have a read here.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Grow your own Food Expo

Earlier in the week I had received this email invite to a Grow Your Own Food Expo at a local garden centre.

Today being my jaunt day, I thought it would be good to check it out.
Even though we're experiencing a drought, I needed to plant a few more edibles in my herb/veggie garden.
Of course the kale in the advert caught my eye, and I had a vision of me returning home with a large tray of kale seedlings.

I arrived early for the 9am start, and waited patiently, not realising that the store had kept its regular  eight o'clock opening hour.
There were quite a few shoppers on the inside by the time I pushed the door to enter the store.
A good selection of seedlings

The kale was already potted......not the seedling trays I had hoped for so I did not purchase any.

The vendors on the outside had lovely produce displays which I couldn't resist.
I bought some okras and cucumbers.

The Butterfly Choice Mulch stall caught my interest.
Operated by the SBRC (Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre Inc.)
Various blends of mulches made from 100% recycled organic materials were available for sale.

Coconut & Wood Mulch is porous and repels snails, and provides a protective layer over the soil surface hence reducing water cost  and suppressing weeds.
Green Waste Mulch is an excellent organic soil cover which improves the drainage of clay soil and reduces soil erosion.  It can also be used as a raw material by adding manure for composting.
Wood Chip Mulch is a decorative medium for covering footpaths and makes a great weed suppressant.

 I was happy to see this banner and to learn that this service was available to us plant lovers when we have a problem with diseased plants.

I tried the Jergens lotion and liked the Aloe/Cucumber one the best.

Who can pass up free Dannon yogurt at the sample stall?
I enjoyed a blueberry-flavoured one.

Plant purchases were placed not too far away while the samples were enjoyed.

 ....and Costa Rican gourmet coffee were also sampled.

I guess you're wondering if I didn't purchase any seedlings since the kale packs were not available...well yes I did.

Two six pack trays of lettuce of different varieties.  I can't wait to enjoy them.
I planted them in this evening when the sun was lower in the sky and gave them a good watering to make them comfy.  I hope they do well.

Friday, 25 April 2014

A day of honour

If my Mum were still with us, she would have celebrated her 85th birthday today.
To honour her memory, I spent the day working outside in the back garden where she loved to relax by gardening.

We are almost at the end of April, and still no sign of our April showers.  We could use some rain.
Outside is dry and hot, and the earth is cracked.  Even though the grass is brown and crispy, there was still lots of trimming to be done.  Cutting dry brown grass is definitely not fun....dust flying every which way and the grass cuttings making you sneeze for evermore....not fun at all.
By ten o'clock I had had enough of the sun, and the grass.
Hustling inside, I rinsed my favourite mug to make myself a cool drink of one of our local drinks...mauby, a great thirst quencher.  As I started to dry my mug with the dish towel, it fell from my hands and crashed to the floor.

 You know that slow motion thing when you can see what is about to happen, but yet you know you can't do anything about it......because you just can't.
I saw my mug falling to the floor, but my hands just did not engage to break its was as if they knew it didn't make any sense trying.
Brownie realising that something was amiss decided that he should come into the kitchen to investigate, and I had to chase him away several times before he stayed away, while I cleaned the broken slivers up carefully from the floor...I did not want him to get any of the broken pieces in his paws.
I found him a few minutes later sleeping like nobody's business.
 Ain't life grand when you can sleep comfortably with your foot cocked up in the air??

My friend Paul had brought me some lunch from his lunch lady is always a healthy portion, and I am never able to eat it in one go.  Today I had leftovers.

Macaroni pie, rice and peas, baked chicken, steamed veggies and a tossed salad as it arrived yesterday.

Today was my Mum's birthday, and I know that she was with me in the beauty of the garden in spirit.
Happy Birthday Mum!!!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Ash ash everywhere

It has been going on forever.

From as long as I can remember, during the sugar cane harvesting season, (known as "the crop"), which happens to be our dry season with intense drought conditions, there have always,.... yes,...... I repeat.......always been a series of cane fires and bush fires.
Tons of acres of cane/bush fires deliberately set by the stupid folks who walk among us.

Back in the olden days it was definitely necessary to light cane trash to eradicate invasive rats living among the sugar cane on the plantations, but no longer.
Our cane fields have dwindled over the years, creating room for housing, and we can barely produce enough tonnes of sugar for export.
I guess due to this fact that our sugar production has reduced drastically, it is no longer appealing to set fire to the cane fields, hence the "stupidees" have moved on to bush fires.

Cleaning the house is a nightmare, for no sooner have you finished mopping the floor, down comes another avalanche of ashes from the sky.  Closing the windows and doors don't help, for it somehow manages to creep inside via any available niche and cranny.
This morning as I opened my kitchen door, the ground was littered with ash....ash everywhere.

Here is ash

There is ash

Everywhere is ash ash

These fires, whether cane or bush  pose a serious threat to property and life.  For asthmatics like myself it is a nightmare...a torment so to speak, which puts our lives in grave danger.
This seasonal habit has got to stop. A couple of weeks ago, at the end of the school term, schoolchildren and their teachers had to evacuate and seek urgent medical attention for the asthma and sinusitis sufferers among them, due to bush fires that were burning in a nearby vicinity to the school.

Some have pointed out that this is the dry season and that bush fires will occur naturally, but we all know that Mother Nature has nothing to do with these fires.
We have the "stupidee" pyromaniacs and also those folks who still insist on burning their rubbish outdoors to blame for these ongoing fires.

The Barbados Fire Service has been working overtime trying to control these fires.
Senseless fires set just for the fun of it, and destroying land and sometimes property and animals.

Several acres of land burnt unnecessarily...putting a strain on our limited water supply....this is our drought season.
Cane cutters at the plantations are now harvesting burnt sugar cane....ridiculous.

It makes no sense to me.

Some serious penalties need to be imposed by the authorities for anyone caught committing this practice.
This reckless madness has got to stop.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Earth Day 2014

Image from Google Images

Today more than a billion people worldwide will celebrate Earth Day.
Today is the 44th anniversary of this annual event which began back in 1970.

Today do something nice for the earth and give back to her some of the goodness that she has given you.

We only have this earth, let's look after it.

Honesty is the best policy

My all-over good feeling story.
A couple of days ago when I went into the city to take care of a few matters, I walked along the back boulevard of the city by the sea side.  On the way, I came across a store that sold all manner of snacks  (Snack Shack) that I had not known existed.
Being the "snackist" that I am, I could not help but enter this store to check out their selection of goodies.
I cruised the aisles and picked up a few of my favourite snacks (which were well priced), and approached the cashier.
The cashier was a pleasant young lady who checked my items in a professional manner.  We exchanged pleasantries as she handed me my change.  My mind was still focused on all of the errands that I had ahead of me, and so I did not realise that I received incorrect change.
I headed out the store and continued on my way.  It was not until I was in another store when I reached into my purse to pay for my items that I realised I was short of funds.

In the Snack Shack,  I remembered I had paid with a $50.00 bill but the receipt reflected that I had paid with a $20.00 bill and I had been given change accordingly.

I hurriedly retraced my steps to the store and explained the situation.  The supervisor who handled the matter was also very pleasant.  She however explained to me that they did not have the authority to run a subtotal of the cashier's funds in her till until the end of the day, so she would not be able to count her funds and check for an overage difference at that time.  Apparently the head office had changed the store policy in that regard.  There was nothing that could be done except wait for the cashier to finish her shift which finished at 6pm.
There was no way I could hang around or return at that time, so the supervisor and I exchanged contact information and I headed home. 
The following day was Good Friday and the store like all stores on the island was closed.

Saturday morning, I placed a call to the store, but the supervisor was not on duty that day.  I began to get a funny feeling.
What happened next made me feel so good all over.
The friendly cashier took the call and told me that she was indeed over the difference when she checked out at the end of her shift, and that I could come by and collect the change.
WOW!  I was totally blown away.  I had hoped that I would get the money back, but I knew full well that honesty does not always take part in proceedings like these.

I immediately went in search of my stash of "on-hand" gifts that I keep for emergencies like these and chose a nice token of my appreciation....wrapped it up  and placed it in a gift bag and set off for the store.

When I arrived, the cashier, ever so pleasant said she was sorry for the error, and handed over the change.  I told her not to worry because we are all human and we all make mistakes. 
I gave her my little token of appreciation.  The card simply read.."Thank You for your honesty!"
She smiled and thanked me.  I told her to don't ever change her ways. 

You know what happened next don't you?  I cruised the aisles again, and picked up more snacks....just couldn't help it.

Thank you to Jakera and Miss Callender, you are both a treasure to your organisation.....keep up the good work, and thank you for your honesty.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter weekend

The Easter weekend here is a happy time and one that is looked forward to, since it lasts four days.
The Monday after Easter Sunday is called Easter Monday bank holiday, and is a day that find folks on the beaches with picnic baskets and coolers, flying kites, playing cricket, and generally enjoying the day.

My weekend was mostly quiet.
Good Friday,  daughter dear hopped on a flight to NYC to spend Easter with her cousins, leaving Brownie and I behind...she left in such a hurry that the poor boy was not included in her goodbyes...he was sleeping. When he awoke, he could not find her at all.
Where is she?
He spent quite a while looking around for her, and when he could pace and look no longer, he finally decided to eat his lunch.
I may as well eat my lunch before it disappears too.
 Lunch was followed by one of the leftover cupcakes which we shared for our dessert.

Saturday, I had an experience at a store that gave me an all-over good feeling which I will post about separately.

The Easter cupcake basket was dropped off for the staff at the RSPCA, and I spent the afternoon baking for a get-together in the evening.

I attended a farewell get-together for one of my friends. He is leaving for another island to live and work, and a party was held in his honour on Saturday evening.

 I baked a macaroni pie and a chocolate cake for the occasion.

The table centrepiece made with fruits and veggies.

As always, when we friends get together we have a great time.  We wished our friend the best in his new venture and promised him we'd take a trip to see him later in the year after he is settled in with his new job.

Easter Sunday dawned bright and sunny, and I rushed off to the early morning service, making it there just as the choir was beginning the processional.
The inspirational service and the poignant sermon were both well received, and we in the congregation had the opportunity to renew our baptismal vows.
As the priest kissed everyone (the ladies only) on their cheeks at the door after the service, he inquired whether I enjoyed the service, and I told him yes, and that I may even consider transferring my records to his church.  His eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.  It is something on my To Do List, and I need to take care of it, sooner rather than later.

There was no need to cook a big luncheon since it was just me and Brownie.  I fixed a simple lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, watching tv, and chatting with my friends on the phone.
Stir fry seasoned veggie rice, stuffed green bell peppers with granburger stuffing, steamed kale, and a tomato salsa.

A wonderful quiet and reflective day.....

Sunday, 20 April 2014

He is risen!!

Image from Google Images  

Matthew 28:6

King James Version (KJV)
 He is not here: for He is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Wishing everyone a blessed and peaceful Easter Sunday.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

An Easter basket

I made an Easter basket.

As an Easter surprise for my favourite vet and his staff, I decided to bake a goodie basket full of cupcakes.

I found a recipe online for a sponge cake with no eggs, which I adapted for cupcakes.

It was all whisked together in no time

A light fluffy creamy batter

Cupcake batter all ready to go into the oven
Iced to perfection with miniature Easter eggs and marshmallow flowers.

These two didn't make the cut..... Brownie and I took care of them....couldn't have them loitering around could we?

I have to oversee ev....ery---thing that goes on here.

In the middle of the cupcake plate I placed a lovely doily flower that I had made.

All ready to go

The vet and his staff are the most hardworking and caring folks that I know.....they deserved something nice.
Entering the office, I was greeted with a warm welcome, and a hug and a kiss from Dr.Huey himself, who commented, "Boy we can't let anything happen to your little one, if not we wouldn't get lovely surprises like these!"
He always makes me laugh.
What a wonderful way to spend my jaunt day today.
Happy Easter to all of you...thanks for looking after us whenever we show up.

Here is a copy of a recent news article about my beloved vet.
and the RSPCA Barbados Facebook page link.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday

Image from Google Images
Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Where were you today?

What do you mean, "Where were you today?   I find you most rude to be asking me my personal business, but if you must know, I went into the city to take care of a few matters."
On My last trip into the city I promised that I would walk through the city via the lower end of the Careenage, and today I was able to take a lovely leisurely "stop and stare" stroll along the Wickham/Lewis Boardwalk to keep my promise.  So here goes.
The Boardwalk in the city of Bridgetown stretches from Hincks Street by the heliport along the Wharf and up to the inner basin of the Careenage.

Moored at the lower end of the Wickham/Lewis Boardwalk familiarly called the Bridgetown Boardwalk is the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship.

Strolling further along, we come across several sailing vessels docked in the Careenage.
These range from yachts, charter fishing boats, and fun-filled catamaran cruises.

At the eastern end of the Boardwalk is a lift bridge called the Chamberlain Bridge 

A different view as we continue on our way.
There are benches scattered at different intervals along the Boardwalk where you may linger and enjoy the view.

The Boardwalk looks empty, but believe me it was a task trying to take decent photos with so many folks around.....lots of patience to wait on a slow down of pedestrian traffic.

Carlisle named because of its location in Carlisle Bay.

On the land side of the Boardwalk are many downtown offices.

Speaking of those fun-filled catamaran cruises.
Old bond buildings across the water.

Opposite the boardwalk is the beautifully restored Old Spirit Bond Mall. 
The Old Spirit Bond Building has been refurbished as a mall with a number of small shops. The old brickwork was retained to add to its old world charm.
The building itself dates back to the 18th century and was used as a warehouse for rum and other fine spirits hence its name Spirit Bond.
In its strategic position right alongside the Careenage, it was easy for trading vessels to dock and offload their cargo and then reload with rum, molasses and sugar to transport  back to Europe and North America.
Details of the roof of The Spirit Bond

Shall we continue our walk?
You do remember I love sailing, and by-passing these boats is not my idea of fun.

The Plaque on The Boardwalk

The Independence Arch along the Chamberlain Bridge (swing bridge) which allows entry into the inner basin of the Careenage. 

Bridge House now the home of lovely shops and restaurants was also an old bond.

Parliament Buildings

On the Chamberlain Bridge....

On The Chamberlain Bridge looking toward the inner basin of the Carenage and the Duncan O'Neale Bridge.

There are some beautiful old buildings in the city, which I will highlight in another post in the future. Some of them are my old work places.

Time for me to get a move on, no more dawdling and taking photos and wishing I was off sailing somewhere.

Here are two youtube video links of the swing bridge in action.

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