Wednesday, 30 October 2013

When it's not one thing.....'s another.

I had been keeping my eye on a few areas on Brownie's skin that were not looking too right.
The area under his neck was coming along, but then I saw a few tiny spots appear on his front legs which he kept on licking.
He also began to carry out a strange ritual many times during the day and night.
Lying or sitting quietly, he would suddenly get up quickly as if stung and begin to roll vigorously on his back on the floor throwing his feet into the air.  It was quite quirky and a bit funny at first, but then I realised that he was actually trying to counteract something going on with his itch perhaps?
He did wriggle and squirm on his back  before but not with such intensity and ferocious abandon.

Brownie in "itchy back" mode

Time to call up my good friend Mr. Google to see what I was dealing with.
To my amazement several dogs were having the same symptoms as a result of problems with mange, yeast and fungal infections as well.
Next course of action, a visit to our friendly veterinarian.

In the vet's office I attempted to explain and demonstrate what Brownie was doing, and my vet was so impressed with my display that he said to me, "Do it again!!"
He is so funny.

After a quick weigh-in (19.1 lbs), he was declared to be "Too fat!" and needed to be on chow only.
Weight also determined the correct dosage of meds needed.
Diagnosis: A fungal infection.  Mr. BrownBerts is on meds for a month and a cream to be applied to the areas twice a day.
 Meds and cream for Brownie

 "A notepad for the other patient"

He slept right through the night and didn't once have the "itchy back" syndrome since his first tablet yesterday.
 My only problem now is how to distract him from licking the cream off after I have applied it, so that it gets a chance to do some good.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Rose-ringed Parakeets

Yesterday......another rainy day....grey skies, gusty winds.....another day of not being able to complete my outdoor chores.

Suddenly, a loud chattering, a mystery at first, but then I saw a flock of birds fly towards my neighbour's coconut tree and settle on the swaying fronds in the rain.
I first became aware of their presence a couple of months ago, when I heard their squawking in my neighbour's golden apple tree.  It was hard to make them out then, for the leaves and the apples were bright green.

From then on, I tried desperately for quite some time to take some photos of these gregarious birds.  Somehow, they always knew when I went in search of my camera, and would disappear by the time I was ready.
Yesterday, they granted me my wish and decided to chill out for a while.

Rose-ringed Parakeets - Psittacula krameri

The Rose-ringed Parakeet is a 16 inch parakeet with greenish yellow plumage and a long pointed tail.
A few pairs were released in the Bridgetown area back in the 80's. 
They are sexually dimorphic.
With large populations on the island, they travel in large groups.
Their diet consist of fruits, vegetables, berries , nuts and seeds.......maybe that's why they hang out in my neighbour's golden apple tree for long periods of time.

They seemed quite happy sitting on the utility wires enjoying the rain.

Time for us to bounce.....she's taken enough photos....she should be happy now.

You may read more here.

This post was originally released under the title "Green-rumped parrotlet."   I somehow knew that I had misidentified these birds.
Requesting the kind help for their true identification from a local bird specialist here on the island, I was informed that the Green-rumped parrotlet has not been seen in Barbados since the early 1960s and are considered extirpated.
The birds above are indeed Rose-ringed Parakeets.....thanks John!!!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Iceberg Hunters

I've been watching The Weather Channel again......yeah, yeah, yeah, nothing else suitable to watch at the time I had available for tv viewing.
Never mind, I found another interesting tv reality series that enlightened me to the life of an iceberg.
Did you know that there were Iceberg Hunters??  You didn't???  Me either!!

Iceberg Hunters is a show about a family of three men, Whyman, Dale, and Travis Richards, a brothers-and-son team who travel through the deadly "Iceberg Alley," the most densely packed concentration of icebergs in the world situated off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, seeking portions of icebergs to sell to water bottling companies.
They face many hardships out on the open seas in their search to harvest ice for the production of pure bottled water and vodka.
Every spring, thousands of skyscraper-sized icebergs are released from the Arctic circle.  These flow into the North Atlantic Ocean where strong currents push them towards the coast of Newfoundland. Most boat captains avoid these treacherous waters, but not the Iceberg Hunters.

From May through August, these men go out to wrangle these huge icebergs to satisfy the discriminating palates of folks who drink purer than pure water (no spring water here).
 A bottle of iceberg water melted from glacial ice frozen thousands of years ago can cost from ten dollars and up. It's supposed to be free of minerals, pollutants, and so pristine that it has absolutely no taste.
I've just read that Sipping Iceberg Water is Like Drinking Air.
See Wall Street Journal article here and another article here.

Plying the dangerous waters until they spot a suitable "berg," they fire their rifles in hopes of breaking off half-ton "bergy bits" that they can sell to the water bottling plants.
This is dangerous work for the crew and their hand built 38-foot boat where rough seas, fog, or hitting one of the same icebergs can play a part.
The profits aren't incredibly huge.  A boat load of ice can fetch between $1,500 to $1,800, and with about 3 loads per day, it's no huge payout.  A great risk to life....why do it even?
Their passion and love for what they do is the answer it seems.
Whyman (54yr old captain) and Dale (brother) are really crab fishermen who built their boat "Cape Richards" by hand.
Travis is Whyman's eldest son, and together the three make it work for them.
A saying they all love...
"It's a Good day for Huntin' Bergs."

Two interesting links about the iceberg bottled water here and here.

Here is the link for the show.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Back to normal

Did I say that things were back to normal??  Well they kinda are.

Garbage collection days are still at the whimsy of "who knows who."  Last Thursday at 4am I heard a rumbling and a crashing sound.....Yes I was already up, so I knew I wasn't dreaming.
Dashing outside quickly, I realised the garbage truck had just by-passed my house and my garbage had not been collected. 
Why you ask?  Well because my garbage was not outside awaiting collection, because our collection day is "supposedly" Friday, not Thursday.
There I was, in the pre-dawn hours chasing behind the garbage truck with my big bag of garbage.  When the guys saw me coming, the comedian in the group shouted, "Man yuh late!!!"  He took the bag from me and threw it into the back of the moving truck.  "Thanks!" I yelled back. "See you guys next week!"  "Yup, maybe Thursday, or another day!!" he laughed back.
Very funny....very very funny.

Do unexplained noises upset you?  They do for me.
My pc had been making a freaky noise for a little while since I got back. I then noticed that I kept on getting error messages that some program or another was not responding.  Drat!!!   I knew it was time to get my baby fixed.
Off to my pc guru, who located the problem (faulty power supply). The solution required a quick trip into the city to purchase a new 700w digital power supply which he promptly installed while I waited.  No need to leave my baby for days on end in his workshop.......thank goodness.

I'm writing this post right now using my  "fixed" baby.  Thanks Sir Charles!!!

My neighbour's cat was still enjoying its early morning ritual of soaking up the first rays of sunshine while lying atop the car roof before my neighbour leaves for work.

Peaceful slumber after a night of cat-a whowling perhaps?

Gosh a cat can't rest in peace without the crazy woman next door taking photos.

Meanwhile Brownie is enjoying the company of his new and old friends.
Phant, Monkee, Big Blue Rat, and Pinky Pig

I've been trying to take care of some gardening chores, but with the rain falling quite haphazardly of late, this has been hard to achieve.
To make matters worse, when the sun did peep out for a while, I decided to spray some pesticide on some tree weeds in the back of my property (my neighbour's land but he couldn't care less).
What else could possibly go wrong? 
As it turned out, my spray can had died a natural death and refused to work.  As we say here , the can said, "See muh here." (take me as you find me)...gosh now I've translated, it sounds sexual doesn't it?
A quick trip to the hardware store to get a replacement part and the friendly sales clerk almost laughed me out of the store.
"Yuh don't get dem nuh more....I ain't know de last day I see one of gotta buy a new can dat's fuh sure!!....Hahaha."
Okay, so say hello to my new friend.
 New Gilmour Professional Spray can

Of course it had to be inspected by the master of the house to make sure it was okay for me to use.

Yep, back to normal......

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Shop.......again

Remember I wrote about my girlfriend's shop a little while back?
Well she decided it was time to get the ball rolling, and have the shop up and running, but not before it was blessed.
Saturday, October 12th was a bright sunny day, and we, her friends and family gathered at the dedication ceremony to be a part of her happy venture.
After prayers by Reverend Roslyn, the shop was blessed (with its official name), and we were invited to wander around the gardens.
The Shop is located in a beautiful Eden-like garden filled with lots of exotic plants, birds and other wildlife.
Ferntrail Garden Centre
aka "The Shop"



Strawberry planter filled with Cuban oregano

The shop would not be complete without one of her favourite plants --orchids

An array of pots and garden decor
(hope you're not selling the pot-man that I gave you girlfriend!)

Handmade items like these maple leaves with broken glass mosaics

Beach stones with butterfly appliques of broken glass and coloured pebbles

Wandering around the garden, I ended up in The Fernery.  My girlfriend LOVES ferns, hence the name of her shop "Ferntrail Garden Center."

The Fernery

Walking around the garden for a while longer, I came across this little grotto with a few pink flowers peeking out from some foliage below.

On closer inspection, I discovered that it was this beauty.....

Nursery holding area

Double red desert roses
Euphorbia milii - Crown of thorns

More garden views

Time to head to the gazebo for eats....look who's leading the way...Ginger the cat

A scrumptious breakfast buffet

Nina was keeping a close eye on everything

"Thank you" gifts from the hostess

I hope that this new venture will take off, and that the shop will be filled with lots of customers who will love everything they see and spend lots of money to make their gardens pretty.

I'm wishing you the best my friend....the best of everything, and may you live long and prosper.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

As you were

Since I've been back home, so much has been happening all around me, but things are basically back the way they were before I left.

Brownie is back to his normal self with the exception of a little irritated spot on the right area under his neck.  I'm hoping it's not mange. I'm using Apple Cider Vinegar and Bio-Oil on it and watching it carefully.

I missed a few events while I was away, but as soon as I landed, the invitations started coming my way.

Another one of my dear friends has FINALLY joined the Fifty-Plus boat, and she held a big party to celebrate the occasion.  We had a great time eating, drinking, dancing and enjoying the evening's performances. 

Happy Fiftieth Girlfriend!!!!

My plate of delicious food, including pumpkin fritters which I LOOOOVE.

I'm wishing her many many many many many more birthdays with God's blessings.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Homeward bound

My flight out of JFK departs at 8.30am headed to Barbados.  Check-in time time for me was 6.00am which was no problem, since I am up early anyway.....doesn't matter if I'm traveling or not, my body clock is set to get up early.
Goodbyes all around......more standby tears which seem to pop up from nowhere.
After a quick ride to the airport, checking-in with two bags (I had to transport some stuff for a friend), I found myself sitting quite comfortably in the gate lounge area.
A hot chocolate and a scone was just the needed thing at that time of the morning.
Every time I strike up a conversation with persons serving me, in this case Dunkin' Donuts, they immediately catch on to my accent, and then proceed to tell me of all their travels to the island, or the family they have still living on the island, or if I know someone they know who lives on the island.
Some chose the island to either get married or to honeymoon, family reunions, whatever, they love my 166 square mile island.  I love talking to folks who love Barbados like I do.
I sat comfortably (Gate 26) awaiting the boarding announcement of my flight.

Suddenly an announcement advising us that there was a gate change.
Off to Gate 16 we all trotted.

Gate 16 waiting area

Then the announcement I'd been waiting for. Time to board. I was very anxious to get back home after my daughter called and told me that Brownie was sick at the vet.

Captain Paul was in charge of my flight home.  Welcoming us aboard, he informed us that because of some weather on the east coast, we'd be flying over Norfolk,VA on our way to Barbados.
Norfolk, VA holds a dear space in my heart, reasons I won't tell in this post, maybe some other time.
Despite some mechanical sounding noise on the plane throughout the flight, which no one but myself seemed to mind, it was a wonderful flight with a safe landing.  Cheering all around as we landed.
It's always sooooo good to be back on home soil.

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