Friday, 22 April 2016


 Prince Rogers Nelson "Prince"
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
When I heard the news yesterday of Prince's passing, I was too stunned to even write this post.  I had to make sure that the TMZ report was true...and so it was.
Prince died at his Paisley Park Recording Studio/Home in Chanhassen, Minnesota after a bout with the flu.
One of the most iconic singer/artists, Prince is gone. The Purple Reign is over.
He was 57 years old.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to his parents Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and John L. Nelson a lyricist and pianist, he would become a child prodigy teaching himself a myriad of instruments including piano, guitar, drums and bass.  He would also become a great vocalist with an incredible vocal range.
He wasn't just a singer, he was a musician, songwriter, producer and actor as well....a creative icon.
He wrote tons of songs for himself and others and they did well on the charts.  Songs drenched with sexual overtones and songs filled with spirituality, that was the pop star that was Prince.
His music influence was pop, R&B, funk, hip-hop along with a whole gamut of other sounds.

Back in my partying days it was totally unheard of not to play his music...what's a party without His Royal Purpleness....boring.
I loved him for his incredibly crazy music......his flamboyant performances on stage...his extravagant dress never knew what he was going to do next.
I loved him too because we shared the same birthday.
He was eccentric and I mean that in a nice way.  In 1993 after a contract dispute with his record label Warner Bros., he changed his name to the" Love Symbol" sign and became "The Artist formerly known as Prince."   I was shocked, but then again that was Prince...the Unpredictable.

When he changed his name back to Prince, I was cool with that too.

Prince the prolific writer and arranger was still there no matter what he called himself....we the fans didn't care.

I never had the opportunity to attend one of his concerts....concerts that went on past the three hour limit because of the dedicated performer that he was.  It always seemed as if my trips to the US would never coincide with any of his concerts no matter how I tried.....I do have two of his concerts on dvd....electrifying and stunning guitar work accompanied by his indelible vocals...incredible.

Some of my favourites: Purple Rain, 7, When Doves Cry, For you, Controversy, 1999, I wanna be your lover, Let's go Crazy and KISS.
Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide (I am included in that total), making him one of the best selling artists of all time.
He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award.
In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Here is an interesting article on Prince, one of his rare interviews.

His career spanned over 35 years, in which he released 39 solo albums....he was always releasing new material....and working on new material...up to four albums in the last 18 months. 
The legend of Prince alludes to tons of his unreleased material known to be in "the vault" ....The vault is packed to capacity with his work....we could hear new music for many years to come...approximately one album a year for the next 100 years.
His legacy as a singer and musician along with his limitless creativity can never be replicated...ever.
Fans all over the world are in mourning. 
Purple tributes are everywhere....buildings and famous landmarks all over the world are bathed in purple lights in his honour....the grief and shock is raw.
Gone too soon.

He will be missed....the world won't be the same without him.
Rest in peace Prince...if you can find that at all possible....Rest in Peace.
All images for this post were respectfully borrowed from Google Images.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Adieu Doris!

 Doris Roberts
November 4, 1925 - April 17, 2016

If you are an "Everybody Loves Raymond" fan like myself, you must be saddened at the passing of Doris Roberts the no-nonsense Marie.
Doris died in her sleep on Sunday at her home in Los Angeles.
She played the mother of Ray Romano and also the wife of the late Peter Boyle (Frank) on the show.

She was a hoot and her overbearing character always made me laugh with her "mean-well" interference and snide remarks to members of her family but in particular Deborah (Patricia Heaton.) her daughter-in-law.
Over the years I have been watching the comedy reruns whenever they air and you know why?  It's clean with no filthy language and I love the smooth roll off the tongue comedy.

I can't believe she was 90.
Rest in peace Marie, I know deep down within that you are somewhere that is not here continuing to enjoy life.

All images borrowed from the internet for this post.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Harvest Sunday

Last month when we attended one of the Sunday services at our "new" church, it was Harvest Sunday.
After the service, along with the usual refreshments, there was a display showcasing the artistic talents of the members.
God-given talents should be treasured and shared and this exhibit was the right forum for doing so.
All kinds of talents, hobbies and interests were on display. 
The Plant enthusiasts and Gardeners were happy to oblige.

 Beautiful flowering orchids


Bounty from the garden
I loved this orchid in this cute pot.

Photography display

Jewelry and carved wooden items
What amazed me was that I have all of these talents as well....with the exception of wood carving.
I made a mental note to myself that next year I will be contributing to the  Harvest Display as well....yes you can hold me to it.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Whatever next???

On Saturday morning as I sat  in front of my computer "nosing" around Face Book and reading an interesting article that was posted, I was assaulted with a noise emanating from my desktop that sounded like one of the African snails as it lays dying after being salted.
A series of broken multi-coloured checkerboard squares appeared on the screen and my mouse refused to respond to any kind of movement.
What now?
To be honest my pc was working quite slowly recently, hanging up on the simplest tasks, taking forever to  boot up and shut down, and giving me cryptic messages every so often.
The deadly noise continued sounding more ominous by the second.  It was then that I jumped into combat mode...grabbed the phone and called my techie guy Sir Charles.
"Sounds like your hard drive is failing Vee," he said, "Shut everything down quickly."
Why is it that whenever you're trying to do something quickly it seems to take forever?
I finally managed to close the computer down by disconnecting the power cable and then restarting in safe mode and then closing down....phew!!!
I really couldn't afford to be without a computer since I had loaned my laptop to daughter dear whose laptop was down, and now my pc was on the blink too....whatever next?
Disconnected my poor baby and called my friend this time he had sourced a replacement hard drive online from Bajan Best Buy and he informed me that it would be delivered to him after lunch.
As I clambered into Beast and carefully placed my poor pc on the back seat I wondered how on earth I was going to manage without it.
Dropped off the poor pc and some funds with Sir Charles and headed out for a quick jaunt.
Visited the RSPCA to get some ointment for Brownie who was shaking his ears quite a bit as if he had a bug in there.  I could not believe my eyes when I pushed the many many many people were in the vet's office, I thought they were giving away free dog food or something. Since the new building has come into operation, more pet owners find themselves seeking veterinary services there. I was given a tube of Otomax for Brownbie and I headed back home after running a few more errands.
Back home, I realised that all I had left to go online was my Galaxy tablet, and so it was.  It's kinda hard to surf adequately on a tablet, even harder to write a blog post, but I did persevere until I was able to at least leave a few comments on a few blogs that I love.
Every day after that was painful...I really missed having my pc around.
Daughter Dear was very thoughtful and made me a lovely trifle to cheer me up.

 Running smooth as butter and ooh so much faster
Finally yesterday my baby was ready to come home.  It was up and running smoothly and my dear friend Sir Charles informed me I now have a Terabyte hard drive and much more memory which he so graciously installed as well.
So my baby is back home.  I am still busy re-configuring everything to my liking but at least I can comfortably write this blog post, surf the web, place online orders and download whatever I please.
 Thankfully he was able to retrieve all the data from my old hard lucky am I?
As always THANK YOU Sir are a life saver....hope you enjoyed the big dish of macaroni pie I made specially for you.

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Crucifix

In this hectic world that we live in, we hardly have time for ourselves.
We find ourselves in the hustle and bustle that we call life with hardly a minute to spare.
I am supposedly retired but my days are filled to capacity with lots of things to do.  Sometimes when I lay my head down to sleep I am tired beyond tired.

Early this morning there was a short shower of rain and then a beautiful rainbow appeared....a reminder of the promise.
I had a few errands to run on the south coast of the island.
A meeting of sorts.
"We can meet at Lanterns Mall at 10am," we agreed, and so it was.
A phone call later to announce that they were running late.
"No prob, I'm sitting here comfortably in the Food Court awaiting your arrival" I replied.
One of my favourite pastimes is people watching and I find great fun in wondering what they're really up to.
I could create a wonderful story just from seeing someone pass by.
As I sat waiting outside Subway on the upper level I found myself looking around and taking it all in.
Across the road the waves of the sea were full-bodied, blue and frothy.  Workmen were busy constructing a building in the "hot broiling sun" and I was happy to be in the shade with the sea breeze caressing my body.
 Cars continued to drive in and out of the car park below, and out of those cars came many patrons to mingle in the mall to shop and eat and work.
 It was still a bit early and most of the Food Court had empty chairs.
As I sat there, I was surrounded by folks going by, and couldn't help but overhear a few animated conversations of others around me.
I saw a lady come by to visit the computer store at 10.17am, but it was her exclamation that made me look at the time. 
"Wait, I thought this store is supposed to open at 10am? I don't understand this at all!!!!"
I smiled, because she accosted a young lady sitting at a table not far away from me "Do you work here? At least you get to work early!!"
I smiled again, I knew exactly how she was feeling.
 My table was positioned right beside the glass-encased elevator and I found it interesting to watch the mechanical workings every time someone rode on it.
It was then that I heard another gentleman sitting at a table behind me say quite loudly, "Man don't hurt you head wid dem, they don't spend nuh money...a whole night and all dem buy from my bar on a big Friday night was nuff water and two "dis and dat" (expletive) beers.
I smiled again....our language is very colourful and the best cussing one could ever get is from a Bajan ...or so I am told.
It was then that I saw amidst all the activity and the noise something that stood out and made my heart feel good.
Above my head and positioned on a column beside the elevator was a crucifix.
I have never seen anything like this before.
Someone, I have no idea who....perhaps the owner, a manager or a worker had placed this reminder of their faith high above so that one had to look up to see wonder.
I am wondering if it may have been an investor who said at the financial meeting of the minds, "I will not invest my funds except a crucifix is placed somewhere in the building!"
Whatever the reason, it was nice to look up and see it just where I was sitting.
A reminder of my faith...such a good feeling.

Update: April 15, 2016
I couldn't take it anymore.  I called the Mall Office and spoke to a very nice lady who informed me that the Director's wife who is of  Catholic faith insisted that the mall be blessed, hence the placement of the crucifix.....a blessed touch....mystery solved.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Making it work

There are times when I look in my pantry and I don't see anything that I feel like eating.
There are also times when I look in my fridge and the same thing happens.
Sometimes though, when I look in both places I do discover items that need to be used immediately.
Tins of foodstuff about to expire soon or veggies that are beginning to show their age (like me)...haha.
Last week I found a few wrinkly carrots, wilted bok choy, okras on the hard side, rubbery looking potatoes, pumpkin, cabbage leaves, plantain, frozen peas which my friend Joyce had given me ages ago and a few beans that weren't so green and crispy anymore.
Decision time:  Toss or keep?

Decided to make a big pot of soup.....and guess what?  That soup was the one of the best tasting soups I have ever had in my life.
One large chopped onion and some fresh herbs from the garden were also added to the pot and that soup was cooking "quick fast and in a hurry."

For good measure I made a few Bajan dumplings and added them as well.....absolutely lovely!!
Filled me up good and proper and tasted oh soooo very GOOD!!
It sure worked....worked like a charm.

Monday, 4 April 2016

The Rescue Mission

My dear friends know me so well that when they're discarding items they give me a call first.
They know how I love a project, and that my world revolves around recycling and making stuff new again and also creating new things.
Most of all I love giving old things a new lease on life.
I guess I'm just an "artsy fartsy" kind of labeled by one of my crazy male friends many many years ago.
A couple of months ago (think last year), a friend of mine said he was getting rid of some bed pieces and that I could come by and see if I wanted them as he was about to dump them.
Doesn't take much to get me excited at the prospect of another project so off I went.
It was an old bed and he had already dumped the bed spring which I didn't mind, since I was thinking differently.
After daughter dear moved out I had been wanting to turn her room into a guest room and a bed was needed.
The wood bed head and foot came home with me.  He also gifted me with a new set of bed latches/ thoughtful.
I wasn't sure what kind of wood it was made from but my joiner friend D identified it as Honduras Mahogany and wondered if I was going to transform it the way I usually do....told him YESSS!!
That meant it would be refinished in a pickled white paint.
First off the bed spring braces were removed and the holes were filled.
Then came the arduous task of removing the varnish and sanding the wood back to its bare bones.
I had purchased some wood stripper but that was slow going so my joiner friend D came to my aid....coming by one morning to scrape and sand the bed parts for me...thank goodness.  He knew all the tricks of the trade and made light work of the process.
He then made me two sides and 7 lathe supports from some left over wood I had knocking around. 
Originally the bed had cubby hole wood slides at the front for storage with a backing for safety...all these were was now to my liking.....and the bed was now complete.
A few weeks went by before I got back to the bed project.  I know, I know but I was working on other projects....believe me I was.
The bed head ready for paint.

Berger 404 Satin Flat White Paint and Oil Paint Thinners 
Time to mix the pickle paint.
I ran into a problem at first because I only had SupaGloss Oil paint thinners on hand.  When I mixed the pickle it just wasn't coming together properly and I couldn't figure out why.  It was then another friend told me to use the plain oil paint thinners and it worked.
I really thought I had lost my mojo for painting since I had not pickled anything for a long time.

I mixed the pickle at 3:1 ratio.
One portion of paint to three portions of oil paint thinners using a plastic measure spoon but any kind of measurement will suffice as long as you stick to your ratio.
I used a large ice cream container to mix the paint.

A new paint brush was necessary to avoid all streaks.
I know I've told you before how happy I am when I'm painting anything.  I am in love with the low odour paint formulas of today even though I am still affected by paint fumes, I can still enjoy one of my favourite hobbies.
Let the games begin!!

The bed foot with it's first coat of paint.
New hinges shining pretty but they were painted too.
                                 Painting the side pieces
All painted

All the lathe supports standing at attention.

Time for two coats of Clear Acrylic Overglaze.
I love this product, it dries really quickly and brushes wash out in water it, love it, love it.
The more coats you apply the glossier it becomes.
I love a matte finish so I stuck to two coats only.

                       Ta dah!!!  Rescue Mission completed. 

All finished and ready for a new mattress and she (yes she) has been saved from the dump heap.  I think I will get the first night's sleep too.
Now on to other projects to whip this bedroom into a nice comfy guest room.

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Lion's Roar

I'm a doer...that about sums it up.  I have taken the Nike slogan "Just Do It" and ran with it over the years.
That is my mantra for getting things done.
Sometimes though, I put projects on hold because other projects get in the way.

The so-called "store room" that I'm clearing out is really my chill out room.  It only became a store room after my dear daughter moved back home several years ago and dumped all her belongings in there.  Now that she has moved into her dad's home, I have requested that she take all her "belongings" and "stuff" with her if not I will be charging a storage fee.  She wasn't enthused with my comment, but at least she has now moved most of her "stuff" out and I am beginning to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel....the room is almost cleared now.  
Soon it will be time to sand the walls (moisture problem) and apply the waterloc product then some paint and we are back in business.
During the cleanup, I came across many items that had been stored waiting in the "holding pattern" of To Do Soon.
 Concrete Lion Head
One of these was this concrete lion head which was given to me by my friend at the Home and Garden Shop stone works business.  I have blogged about them here before.
It was his first attempt at casting that particular mould and he was not pleased with the result, so it was scheduled for the dump heap.  That's where I come the rescue....saving it from an untimely death in the dump heap.....thank goodness the owner is a perfectionist like me.
I brought the lion head home over four years ago vowing to myself I would turn it into a doorbell.
I never got around to it until last week.
The thing is I couldn't for the life of me understand why I hadn't done this project before because I had already purchased the new doorbell as well.
Took the old doorbell down and cleaned the area.
Please don't look at the door, that is being scraped to be repainted.
It was time to mix the Cemix tile cement.
Smeared a nice big dollop on the back of the lion head and spread it out evenly making sure not to cover the hole for the doorbell insert.
Placed the lion head into position making sure it was level and propped it up with some pieces of lumber until the cement had dried completely.
It was now time to rewire the new doorbell.
The contacts on the old bell were too big to fit into the hole in the lion so I opted to discard them and make new contacts with just the wires attached to the connectors on the bell itself.
Made sure it was secure and then safeguarded it with some bathroom sealant to protect it from the rain.
All finished.
Another project taken care of....another 6999 more to go.
Now it's time to work on that door.

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