Friday, 28 April 2017

Oh heck!!!!

Living and taking care of an old house can sometimes be tedious or a wonderful learning experience.
I have learned so many new things over the years that I am now capable of handling handyman jobs both inside and outside my home.
Even though my DIY repertoire of knowledge has increased, there are still some jobs that I don't feel comfortable with....electrical work being one of them.
This is when I call on my male friends to help.
"My Guys" are invaluable as friends and priceless as my knights in shining armour coming to my rescue.
My dear friend Charles wears many hats....he is my pc guru, my walking wikipedia with a wealth of knowledge in a variety of topics, and also a certified electrician.
When he comes by to help me out, we make a reservation for an early time slot, usually 6.00am.  We work on the project and he is back home by 8.00am.
A few days ago was no different.  I picked him up at 6.30am and we were in full swing by 7.00am.
One of the projects involved running a new internet access point to my room.  Wireless is fine sometimes but with the new smart tvs a wired internet connection is always better.

It was a straight run from the living room point to my room, requiring only a hole to be drilled in the problem.
Standing in the way was the étagère with my treasured blue and white porcelain pieces.

The étagère is metal with glass shelf inserts.

I started to move it very gingerly out of the way....a little pull from the right and a gentle pull from the left.  Everything was going well until...... CRACK _A_ LANG LANG!!!
At first I couldn't comprehend what had happened, but then I saw the entire top shelf had broken and all of the pieces had fallen on to the second shelf and also on to my hands that were still adhered to the left side of the shelf pulling it slowly along.

"OH HECK!!!"
"Charles!  Charles! Charles!," I cried out.  "HELP!!!  NOW!!! HELP!!!"
He came running over and started to remove the precious ornaments and place them on the dining table. Some were about to crash on to the floor and I begged him to save those ones first.
It seemed like he was moving in slow motion but in actual fact he was moving as fast as he could under the precarious circumstances.

Only when all of the pieces had been rescued was I able to remove my hands which were penned under the broken glass shelf.
Believe it or not....NOT ONE single piece was broken chips or dents.
Thank goodness Charles was there...I don't even want to think about what would have happened if he were not there to save them all.
Each one was precious......from the lovely lady figurine given to me by my Mum to my prized pieces purchased in faraway lands and acquired at estate sales, also gifts from an old friend and a farewell gift from a former workplace.

What an awful scare.

Off to the hardware store to purchase a replacement piece of glass for the top shelf.

The guy at the store was very helpful.
He cut a new piece of glass and told me that this piece was of better was also heavier and it was a tad thicker.
It fit perfectly.

 Back in business.

My ornaments are now safe once again. 
Today is National Heroes Day, a holiday here on the island.
I can't help but think that I now have another hero in my life.
.....thanks Charles!!!!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Pawpaw Taste Test

Remember way back when a certain bow wow (who shall remain nameless in this story) was introduced to mango?
Do you remember the way he twisted up his mouth and how he glared at me as if I were crazy to even think I could get him to eat the delicious fruit?
Since then I have been trying to give him some pawpaw fruit, but he was having none of it.

Guess what?
My girlfriend Eureka has a pawpaw tree and the monkeys in her neighbourhood actually allowed her to reap a few....kinda.
She actually managed to rescue one of the precious fruits for me because she hid it between some leaves on the tree.   WHAT??
"What kind of idiotic monkeys you have over there?" I asked her.  "the monkeys up here by me would know how many pawpaws are on the tree before you do.  How come your monkeys so stupidee?"

 "I don't know!" she replied, "but I have this one for you and I have another one hidden in the leaves for me."
I laughed....a full blown hard belly laugh....a laugh at her and her stupidee monkeys.
I brought the "just beginning to ripe" pawpaw home and placed it on the counter to finish its ripening process.
Finally a few days later it was ready to eat.
 I cut the pawpaw open and look what I found inside....nothing....not a single seed to scoop out.
Gosh that was the easiest pawpaw to eat.
I could slice it and scoop it out in spoonfuls......

.....or I could peel the skin right off........

.....cut it into cubes and enjoy it that way too.

Decided to try a small piece with "he who shall remain nameless in this story."
"Try it you may like it." I told him
"Doesn't look or taste like mango Mum," he said...(yes he speaks English too)
"Just try a little piece," I coaxed.
Well what'da you know? The sample piece was gobbled up in a quick second (yes there are seconds and there are quick seconds....this was one of the latter.)
I stared at my empty hand...could it be? Did he really eat it?
I reached for another piece and he gobbled that off too.
From then on, I had to eat fast to keep up with cube for me and one cube for cube for me...another one for him.
Wow what did I just do?  I had created a fruit eating monster.
Robbed myself of a lovely pawpaw breakfast that I had all for myself.
Hey Mum is it all gone?  Can you go and get another one for breakfast tomorrow?
I love was so tasty.....what's it called again?
Oh yes, pawpaw....get me another please!!!

I gave my girlfriend a call to request another one and hear her,
"Girl, those monkeys come and clear the tree...not a one out there now.....they obviously heard you laughing at them."
Guess I won't be laughing at her monkeys anymore.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A special Easter basket delivery

Today was a good day.
A jaunt day to make a special delivery.
I know that you know exactly where I went.
To visit my "family" and deliver a special treat from Brownie to his friends at the RSPCA.
This year I didn't have the urge to bake, so everything was store bought....but still carefully chosen.
A special Easter basket with candy-filled eggs and lots of chocolates. Technically it should have contained more but I sneaked out a few.....ssshhhh don't tell anyone.
A lovely sponge cake from a local supermarket bakery.....couldn't dare sneak a piece out....darn...that's why I like homemade baking.
A tin of butter cookies (Dr. Huey's/the vet) favourite....thank goodness I purchased another tin for the household....if not who knows?

With love and admiration always.
Happy Easter to each and every one of you...The BEST veterinary staff in the world.
THANK YOU for looking after my Brownbie whenever we show up on your doorstep and for taking care of us like family.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Another Warm Welcome

Today I paid a visit to my girlfriend Joyce but she was not at home.  
No worries, I had a warm welcome none the less.
Amaryllis...not sure of the cultivar.
One of her babies was in full bloom......

A delicate beautiful bloom.....

....that took my breath away and then some.....

With more gorgeous buds to open that will make a dull day full of sunshine.

What a beauty!!!
What a stunning welcome....I had a wonderful day after that.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

St. Matthias Church

Another sad afternoon two weeks ago.
The mother of my friend Helen had passed away and I attended the funeral at St. Matthias Church...  my childhood church.

 St. Matthias Anglican Church

St. Matthias Church is located on the south coast in the parish of Christ Church.
Situated on three quarters of an acre of land donated back in 1837 by John Mayers, a clerk of the House of Assembly who also became the chief builder of the church.
The church was originally built as a Chapel of Ease but when completed after a cost of four thousand, two hundred and fifty pounds ( £4250.00), it was rather grand and larger than the other chapels of ease and other churches on the island.

It was consecrated on August 2nd, 1850 by Bishop Thomas Parry.

Due to its close proximity to The Garrison where the British soldiers were stationed it was utilized as a chapel and the two institutions formed a close bond.
The British Government leased the chapel at  £75 per annum for the soldiers. The Chaplain of the Forces conducted the Sunday morning service and the Vicar conducted the evening service.

Today St. Matthias still has close ties to the military as it serves as the chapel for the Barbados Defense Force with its Rector as the Chaplain.

Arriving early for the funeral with my girlfriends, I had the opportunity to wander around and immerse myself in memories of bygone years.
It was nice to see the old familiar building again where as a child I had lingered at the doorway many times looking up wondering if I were able to climb to the top ( I was a tomboy back then).
Entering a church is always a humbling experience for me and funerals seem to make me ponder the delicacy of life more, and this evening was no different.

The church is listed as an architectural and historic interest by the Barbados National Trust.

The Dauntless Tomb
Herein lie the remains of fifteen officers and the captain's steward of the HMS Dauntless who died from yellow fever as a result of the epidemic that gripped Bridgetown in 1852.

The frigate was moored off Carlisle Bay and the deadly disease  claimed the lives of sixty seven men on board.

The marble tomb was donated by the Royal Navy and is located in the southern section of the church cemetery.
Also buried in the cemetery are other citizens who succumbed to the disease.

A brief history of the church here .
More historical info here.
I found this Youtube video "Morning has Broken" with the church's bells.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My poor Beast

My dear old Beast was in poor health.
Trying to oblige my desires each morning as I started him up, he would splutter and wretch.
Umpteen times I turned the ignition and he would make an effort but then he would give up... after several tries he would finally give another sluggish attempt to engage and then spring to life.
I knew it was time for a service.
I had been working him so hard recently.
Fetching and carrying heavy loads and I really had not been taking the time to care and nurture my poor baby.
Called up my friendly mechanic Frank to schedule a service.
I decided too that I would book my poor baby for an under body chassis and engine wash since we still had not found the transmission leak even after changing the seal and hoses.
 The guy I previously used for the under body wash service had gone out of business so another car care place was recommended.
I went by to check it out (can't take my beloved to any old place you know) and I was pleased with what I saw.
"Do I need to make an appointment?" I asked the pressure washer guy who was busy cleaning under a huge truck on the hoist.
"No Miss, just come by early and it's first come, first served. We open at 7.30am" came the reply.
The following day Beast and I arrived extra early.  I paid for the service inside the office with a very pleasant young lady and then headed outside to wait my turn.

 Even though my poor boy continued to give a hard start in the mornings, I was always amazed at his "ready to go" attitude.  Once he did get started he drove smoothly on our many pot-holed roads of late.
Frank was still backed up and couldn't schedule Beast for a service immediately as I'd we waited.
One day I begged him to come by to see if he could figure out the problem.
This he did.  He jumped in the driver's seat, pressed the gas pedal twice, turned the ignition and presto Beast sprang to life immediately!!
"Well Vee, you've got an old boy now so the automatic choke is will now have to do the job of the choke from now on.  Before turning the ignition, give Beast a little gas and then switch on and he should be good to go," Frank advised.
All I heard out of that is that I now have an old boy....which me as an old girl will have to look after even more (not that I mind) dear old Beast.
I thanked Frank, and he left promising me that he will fit us in early the following week for a service.
Daughter dear was a bit concerned, "Don't you want something newer to drive Mum?" she asked.
"No thanks," I told her.  "Beast has been so loyal to me over the years....has never broken down on the road....always brings me back home and then shows up the problem....brings me back with flat tyres that miraculously show up the following day before I set off from home....I know what I have now, but I don't know what I will get.  Hope you don't think of getting rid of me too because I'm getting old too."
"No MOTHER!!! Of course not!!" she cried.
Finally service day rolled around.
Beast has had his service and all is well.
We will continue to grow old together....all is well that ends well.
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