Thursday, 29 August 2013

The sun peeked out today

It's been raining for the past few days.  Lots and lots of rain. So much so that my lawn was flooded at one point.

  Rain in the day
Rain in the day that looked like night
 Rain and more rain .....rain, rain, rain.

The sun did not have a chance.

What's a dog to do?  


Sleep some more
Help Mum websurf for a new laptop

The sun made a gallant effort early this morning, and peeked its head out.  I decided to head out as well to run some errands in the city.
Headed back home, and stuck in slow moving midday traffic, in "the hot broiling sun" as my mum would say, what did my eyes spy but several members of the police force conducting traffic violation inspections.
You know the feeling that you get when you know that you're going to be pulled over?
It came over me.

I watched them wave through the three vehicles in front of me, and yep, you guessed it, I was pulled over for the spot check.
A pleasant lady constable.
"Hi Ma'am, we're conducting a spot check, and won't take more than five minutes of your time.
(Like I had a choice right?)
"License and insurance please." I handed them to her, and she looked them over very carefully, and handed them back to me.
"Thanks. Enjoy your day Ma'am."

As I said, "the sun peeked out today."  I met a pleasant police on duty today.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Reverse Sneezing

What a scare for me.  
Over the weekend, my boy Brownie had a double bout of gagging and gasping for air....long inspirations.....very long inspirations.  Very scary.
One minute he was fine, and the next he was standing with his body stretched out in an awkward position and making the most awful gagging snorting noise and gasping for air.
I immediately thought it was a heart spasm and his lungs were about to give out, so I started rubbing his chest area to stimulate his heart.
After the episode passed, I became quite concerned.
My usual tactic before heading off to the vet is to check out the internet....lots of online vets there with lots of useful information, and also lots of dog owner forums with great advice.
What I found out was that my boy Brownie had had a bout of Reverse Sneezing.
According to my friends at Wikipedia, Reverse Sneezing (Pharyngeal Gag Reflex or Inspiratory Paroxysmal Respiration) is usually observed in dogs. The exact cause is not known, but may be as a result of nasal, pharyngeal or sinus irritation such as an allergy, or maybe even from over-excitement.
In this case, Brownie had just been excited by the presence of Brazen and company cavorting in the trees and along the back wall.  There was also some thunder rumbling quite loudly every now and then.  He became so agitated that he was drooling from the mouth (like when your mouth waters for a tasty morsel). 
It was quite distressing for my BrownBerts, and I for one was very distressed seeing him like that.  Reverse sneezing is not known to be harmful, and many dogs, especially small breed dogs, are more susceptible, and will experience the phenomenon at some point in their lives.
It occurs most commonly when the dog is asleep or after a long snooze, or simply after inhaling dust.

There are some common remedies which work well....
Pinch the dog's nose and scratch its throat.
Blowing in the dog's face lightly may also help. After swallowing a couple of times, the dog will then stop the reverse sneezing.
Rubbing the dog's sides and back helps to calm the dog and end the episode quicker.
Most dogs don't require medication, but if the problem is serious, a course of antihistamines or steroids may help.

After the second episode, I pinched Brownie's nose together for a few seconds, and the reverse sneezing immediately stopped.
He was fine again, as if it had never happened.

Reverse Sneezing is not harmful to the dog, but very scary and very distressing to both the dog and its owner. 
I'm glad it's nothing serious, but I'll still take him in to the vet for a full's time for his yearly check up anyway.

You may see Reverse Sneezing here.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

"The Shop"

On Saturday, while we were out, we thought we'd pop by and check in on another dear friend. Sadly, she was not at home, and our surprise visit was a bust....but not completely.
The surprise was on us.
She had recently finished a project which she'd planned on implementing for some time now.
It was so nice to see it all completed.  Her dream had been realised at last.
"The Shop" that we'd been hearing about for the past few weeks was standing proud and beaming brightly in the morning sunshine.
She loves plants just as much as any other plant enthusiast, but she is "the orchid lady".
Her "shop" is beautiful.  I am so happy for my friend.

"The Shop"

It looks a bit scanty now because loads of plants were sold during our recent Crop Over festival.
Don't worry, her two nurseries with have her stock back up in the blink of an eye.

Spacious and airy inside, it's like a greenhouse extraordinaire

Speaking of those orchids
Seek and ye shall find
Blooms everywhere
This was my favourite

Small white desert rose

Red Mussaenda

These ducks have absolutely nothing to do with the shop.  They belong to her dad.   The last time I visited, he had rabbits, now they're gone, and now he has ducks.  Next time, who knows?  It may be Guinea fowls.
He can never seem to make his mind up.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

My white desert rose

 A collage of my white desert rose in bloom, especially for my blog friend Africanaussie (Gillian)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Soursop Icecream

 Sour Sop (Annona muricata
other names Graviola, Corasol ( French), Guanabana ( Spanish)

If you've never tasted the soursop fruit, you have been missing out on an exquisite taste.
The fruit is made up of  a rough green skin with small spiny bumps, but please don't let that deter you from the manna inside.
A white creamy fibrous pulp is contained in segments with black seeds. The taste is like pineapple mixed with a slight tangy taste.
It is a distinct taste for sure.
In the tropics we use the fruit to make a punch, ice cream and several other sweet eats.
When my girlfriend (yes, the croc hunter) called and asked whether I would like a couple, I immediately said yes.  Recently, I had been having a hankering for some soursop icecream.
Back in the day, my mum would make all manner of home made ice cream for us as kids.  Especially as a Sunday treat, so in my mind it's a Sunday treat, a leftover ritual from my childhood days.
Couldn't start the ice cream process immediately, since the fruit were not quite ripe. When they were ready, I gathered everything I would need, and started to make my ice cream.

Two small soursop fruits

Cut open the fruit and remove the outer skin and the heart (hard inner piece attached to the stem)

Place the pulp into a clean bowl
Cover the pulp with two cups of boiling water
Use a potato masher to mash all the goodness out of the pulp.  Easy going with the boiling water added.
Make sure you get all the goodness out by straining the pulp thoroughly in a large strainer.
Pour all the liquid gathered into a blender. Add one tin of condensed milk.
When I opened my milk it was brown and no good, and therefore I had to make a quick trip to the neighbourhood shop to purchase a tin of condensed milk.
Remind me to check my pantry for other expired products.

Add one tin of (unexpired) condensed milk and a teaspoon of vanilla essence
Blend for roughly two minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Pour into a plastic container.   I used an actual ice cream container that I didn't have the heart to throw away.

(No, I'm not a hoarder. I just knew it would come in handy one of these days in an instance like now.)
Place the sealed container in the freezer.  After the ice cream has frozen, remove from the freezer, and blend a second time. This takes away any ice particles that may have accumulated after the first freezing.
Return to the freezer for a second time.
The next time you open up the container, you'll be rewarded with this.......
Soursop ice cream
....a tantalising dessert fit for a queen.  Soft, creamy, tasty and full of goodness.  YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY, and so good for your tummy.

Next time I'm going to use either rice, almond or soya milk and add honey or agave nectar instead of the condensed milk. I'm also going to try other fruits like mango and coconut.

An interesting article about soursop here.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Croc hunting

Yesterday, Saturday, my day,  the phone rang.
It went a little something like this.....
"Hello my friend, I'm going croc hunting, you wannuh come?"
"Wow, I've never been croc hunting before, I'm in.  What time?"
"I'll be there by 8.30am."
"I'll be ready."
Internet photo from true-wildlife.blogspot
You all know I love adventure, and adventure loves me.
 A Saturday morning jaunt with a difference...croc hunting....where do I sign up?
Yesterday was also my friend's know which one, the one who works at my favourite plant nursery..yes, my friend Patrick.
My girlfriend needed some potting soil, and she was headed to the nursery as well.   Since I was already tagging along,  I thought I'd take a gift for my friend.
Baked a birthday coffee chocolate cake and iced it, wrote a nice card, and added candy and gourmet coffee packets, and a small gift token just for him.
We headed out to the nursery.
What a surprise, he was thrilled.  I just love bringing happiness into the lives of others....I feel so fulfilled, and I'm extremely happy too.  I'm on a natural high.  Yes, I've said it, I get high from making others happy.
There were some new plants on display that were not in my collection, and I made a mental note for my future acquisitions.

The day was HOTTT   HOTTTT   HOTTT, so obviously, we had to stop off at John the friendly coconut vendor for a cool delicious coconut on the way.  As usual he gave us some extra opened coconuts for the jelly....thanks John, you are such a generous guy!
John cutting open my coconut
Can you see the cricket team in the background? One guy wanted me to give him a massage!!
He was very funny.
We continued on our way.
The Limegrove Lifestyle Centre has the total package for shopping, living and entertainment.
Opened back in 2010, it is located in the heart of Holetown, and sits on ten acres of prime real estate on the platinum coast. It is home to many of the world's leading retail brands along with local and regional establishments.
The stores are built around three distinctly different courtyards, bordered by several boutiques, restaurants, bars, and delis, as well as an art gallery, spa, salon, roof deck nightclub, and two 3D  cinemas. An all inclusive setting for liming (chill out/relax).
Without sounding as if I'm doing a commercial for this upscale duty-free mecca, they're all here, the who's who of brand name world class shopping.
There is Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Armani,  Michael Kors, Villeroy & Boch,, MAC, Smart Store, Ciao Bella, Agent Provocateur, Kartushe, La Casa del Habano (Cuban cigar  lounge), and much more, too many to mention.
But enough of my chatting, let's get the photos up for your enjoyment.

Beautiful stonework tower
A view from the parking area

Kinetic metal wind sculptures

How I would love one of these for my garden
They're spellbinding to watch

Water fountain feature
Remember, we haven't gone inside yet

Inner palm tree courtyard with contemporary sculptures

A much closer look
Un Dimanche à Paris
I dared not go in, for I knew I would find something nice.
I've given my card a much needed holiday.
The piano that plays by itself
Mendelssohn electric piano
See the real "play by itself" movie effect operated by an electrical plug at the back
NuEdge Art Gallery

The Tower waterfall
Gorgeous...I could have watched this all day. 
I love the sound of flowing water.

Looking down

Looking across the way
The ylang ylang tree on the left had me captivated with its scent.

Looking down again

A view to the street entrance
 Looking down on the shady palm courtyard
 More stores

 Lots of tempting nooks and crannies to sit and relax

Classy 3D cinema.
Food/snacks are served at your elbow while you enjoy the movie

Finally......we found what we were looking for in this oasis of fabulousness
The Crocs store at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre.

....we found them.  The crocs that we were seeking.
Thank goodness!!

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