BOOM – Bad Boy

AFE3FD13-3A13-4BCC-A739-64DB36ED85B7.jpegOur Dibley looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth but this thirty pound fur ball thinks he owns the neighborhood.

When he is out for his walk, be it the morning or evening one he has to pee on every mail box. He has a squirting technique that has to be seen to be believed.

If his walk takes him in one direction in the morning he will choose a different route in the evening. I am guessing this is to make sure that the dogs in all directions will smell his sent.

During his walks he generally ignores most people and if he decides to acknowledge them it is in a friendly way.

He also generally ignores dogs that are behind their electric fence in their own yard.

BUT and it is a BIG BUT if he sees another dog walking towards him he goes berserk.

He was attacked as a puppy by a dog on the loose so this behavior may have something to do with this bad experience. Or it may simple be my inability to discipline the rascal.

Based on advice from a friend, who is good with dogs, when I see another dog approaching I pull Dibley aside and rub his ears which he loves in order to distract him.

This works if I can keep him from looking at the other dog as they pass by.

On a walk last week we had a disaster. Our neighbor was out with her two big yellow labs who fortunately are very well trained and well behaved and obedient.

As I was pulling him aside to let the labs go past I didn’t realize that Dibleys leash was loose and I pulled it right off him.

So of course he now sees the labs and takes off across the road barking at them. My poor neighbor had to hold onto her big guys while I got hold of this pint sized scoundrel.

I was totally mortified, profusely apologetic and feeling like a useless case but all my neighbor had to say was “well I got a better workout than I thought I’d have”

Even though the fur ball is ten and a half I am determined he must be taught the new trick of obedience because I have had it with him this time!!!

Blessing #76 – Understanding Neighbors

BOOM – Basalt


The Giant’s Causeway is a wondrous place. In fact a place of legend.

It is right at the very North of Ireland in County Antrim on the Atlantic Ocean coast.

The Legend is that the Irish Giant Finn Maccool was having a barnie with his giant friend in Scotland.

The pair started to throw stones at each other. The result was the Causeway on the Irish side and on the Scottish side Fingels cave.

Today the Causeway is one of the most Instagrammed places in Ireland. Maybe even in the world.


But as this wonderful photo of my Daddy shows, when he was a lad in the early thirties, the more things change the more they stay the same.


With him that day, which was for sure a big event for them, his Mum my dearest Granny Barr.


Blessing # 75 – Rocks of Ages

BOOM – Bargain Beauty


Do you have any products or services that you recommend to friends?

I’ve shared some with you in earlier BOOMs.

Another one of them is Moroccan  Argan hair oil.

As I was opening a new bottle today it came to mind that we really should acknowledge more the products that do what they say they will do.

This is the easiest thing in the world to use and man does it deliver on its promise.

You rub it into your hair while it is still wet and the comb just flies through it. No need for conditioning with this and literally a few drops will do the trick.

Best of all it gives your hair a lovely smell, a bit of bounce and my impression is your hair dries quicker too.

It is a steal at under five dollars for a bottle that lasts half a year. So get out their and get some.

If you like it let us all know and please also share your secret little favorites.

Blessing # 74– Getting what is promised


Bit of Banter on Bananas 🍌

green banana tree
Photo by on

There are so very many things to be said in praise of the bounteous banana. Don’t you just love everything about them. Their smell, their color and their big umbrella leaves.

The fruits are botanically classified as berries and grow in clusters up to 100 lbs in weight. You would need a rare appetite to munch through that bunch.

Bananas come in many sizes and different colors too. While native to South Esst Asia they are now grown in tropical climes  all around the world.

Can’t remember the first time I had a banana. Most probably it was smashed up as a weaning food since they are known to be gentle even on the tiniest tummy.

What does come to mind is that banana sandwiches and bananas on toast were a quick staple meal in my childhood home.

My Mum told me stories about how, during World War II, it was impossible to find a banana. So people would improvise by mashing up parsnips and adding banana essence to them and then spreading this concoction onto bread instead of the real thing.

When I first went to work in Switzerland I once made a banana sandwich for lunch. The people working with me had had a deprived childhood and had never seen such a thing! They thought it was hilarious and for the longest time I had the nickname “La BANANE

More fond memories of the wondrous fruit include my first trip to India with Krishna. There, of course, bananas were growing in abundance including the tiny sweet baby ones that I got to taste for the first time. We bought them in the traditional market in downtown Mysore and took a big bunch with us when going to visit Krishna’s sister Kamala.

When you think of a snack size bite size treat the baby banana is nature’s original best.


Also on this first trip to India we had plenty of the very tasty salty banana chips. They are made from underripe plantains that are deep fried in coconut oil. YUMMY!

If you haven’t tried these yet then hunt some out at your local Asian supermarket. They are so moreish so very crispy and perfectly sized for dipping. If you like spice you will certainly find some hot ones.


What is so wonderful about the banana plant is that it grows so easily and self propagates. We eat them but so do many other species too. They are an excellent rapidly digested energy source and pack a powerful punch of minerals and antioxidants too.

Best of all not a single piece of the plant goes to waste. Herbivores like buffalo and cattle will happily munch through the skin. The leaves can be used as disposable plates and the fibrous stalks can be transformed into construction materials. The possibilities are endless and they clean up the air for us too.


What would our world do without the glory of the big yellow berry bunch!!!



lightning during nighttime
Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Early this morning we had a horrendous thunderstorm. It started about one o’clock and went on for well over an hour.

Of course this woke us all up and Dibley was shaking as usual.

The thunder was so powerful that the windows were shaking and you could feel the whole house vibrating.

Lying awake counting the seconds between lightening and thunder Brought back to mind the 1970s and 1980s in Belfast when we had bombs going off on a regular basis.

The houses would shake and based on the extent of the vibrations we would speculate as to where the bomb might be.

Some friends had extensive damage done to their homes when businesses and government buildings were targeted close to them.

We lost a few windows on several occasions but the closest we came to injury was when we lived in central Belfast.

Our home was in a troubled area called Roden Street that divided two deeply sectarian roads.

At one end of the street was a police station that was targeted on a regular basis.

One Friday night when I was about eleven I was in the bath for the weekly deep cleaning session.

My Dad must have won a bit of money on the horses because we had just had tiles put up around the bath.

Well you can guess what happened when the Police Station was bombed. Nearly every tile fell of the wall into the bath beside me but I didn’t get a single scratch.

We moved to the suburbs soon afterwards where we weren’t immune from bombs but were more distant from primary targets.

Those days of bombs are long gone. Northern Ireland has returned to being a beautiful peaceful place where we may hear the odd blast now and then but thankfully it is just thunder.

Blessing # 73 – The relief of the storm that has passed

BOOM – Botched to Bonnie

FCE53A45-84F9-4A9D-917A-17A09A2185CF.jpegEarly this spring I bought a pack of tomato seeds and little starter pots and potting soil.

As carefully as is possible for a speed freak like me I planted half the seeds, watered them and put them in a nice warm and light place in the hall.

With great confidence in my work I was certain that these were going to be the best and bonniest tomatoes you could have!!!!!

Alas the poor things did not do well at all. They were anemic, just like thin blades of grass and eventually shriveled up and died.

The disappointment was grave and  once again forced me to admit that  confidence alone does not yield results.

In late spring I came across the remaining half pack of seeds. With little hope of a result the seeds were just tossed into a planter on the patio to see what would happen.

Well would you believe it they started to grow. They were fine and strong little spéculums and these last minute little seeds have now become a gigantic bush.

Just sun and water and the good outdoors did the trick again and of course the hand of someone much greater than me.

Blessing # 72 – Earth and the Unearthly

BOOM – Backpack and Back to Bed


Today school starts again in our district so of course this means an early rising.

Aaron has his first class at 7:10 so working backwards he needs to leave home at 6:35 and get up at 6:00.

In the past I had been getting up at 5:30 to get my breakfast and coffee in before waking him and heading for the shower.

All this has changed over summer in so many ways.

First, because of his job Aaron is used to getting up much earlier than he needed to today.

He has perfected the art of multi system alarms (mostly involving some dreadful music), the ultra quick shower and the no thinking OJ and cereal breakfast.

Aaron of course now has his very important driving license and he has his own car too. So he can drive to school.

Finally, there is no call for me to run around like a headless chicken getting ready for the school drop off before heading on to work.

Bottom line is there is no longer much need for Mom and Dad to get the lad to school at all.

Except of course that hugs and kisses are irreplaceable so we still set the alarm for six…………

………. and then at 6:35 went back to bed for a nice extra little snooze!!!!!

Blessing #71– No Need to Rush

BOOM – BIG Blooms



Krishna loves hibiscus plants. I think they remind him of India.

I bought him one for his birthday last November and of course it had to live indoors because it would not have made it though the Ohio winter.

The poor thing was well water but a little tired and sad looking by the time this summer came.

It was more of a stick than a plant.

In the hope of a resurrection we moved it to the front door where it would get lots of sun and attention.

Slowly it came back to life. First a few new leaves then a few more.

This second chance was well worth while.

Just yesterday it gave us the most beautiful big blooms.

These are much much larger than those when it first came home.

Maybe a little hibernation forces out the best in us!

Blessing # 70 – Fresh Air and Sunlight in Abundance

BOOM-Balle Balle Bajwa’s

In the early 1980s Krishna met a young businessman called Jaspal who was working for Nestle in India.

He also got  to know Ninoo who had recently married Jaspal. The couple went on to have two little girls and in 1984 they all moved to Nestle HQ in Switzerland so the friendship got even closer.

In 1985 when I also moved to Switzerland the beautiful Bajwas became my friends too.

Krishna and I were among the first people to meet their son when he was born and really we became like one family.

When we married in Belfast in 1986 the Bajwas stood in for Krishna’s parents and made lots of new family and friends.

We often stayed with them in India and they with us in various parts of the world. They are now in Canada and came to visit this weekend.

It was lovely to see Aaron as a young man getting to know them better too.

He learned some more about their culture. Jaspal showed Aaron how to tie a turban and also the typical Balle Balle Sikh gesture of happiness. What fun!!!

Blessing #69 – Saying Cheers After All These Years


BOOM -Beating the Bell, Breakfast and Brunch


Aaron has been on the breakfast shift all week. This means leaving home at 4:30 for a 5:00 am start.

Up until now I’ve been taking him to work, coming home and getting back into bed for a few hours.

In Ohio new drivers have a curfew between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am. So that was my « excuse » that I had to take him.

There is an exception to this rule. If the young driver can prove he is going to or coming from work. So you guessed it Aaron got a letter from his boss to say he was working early shifts.

Of course I am glad to see him working and developing independence but I can tell you it does not result in any improvements in maternal sleep patterns.

Not only am I worrying about him driving I’m worried about him getting up on time too. So since I have no alarm set on the clock my internal alarm wakes me up at regular intervals all through the night just to be sure he is up on time!!!!!

I know this is a necessary part of the parenting process but certainly not the most warm and fuzzy.

As in all things there is one advantage to this.

As Aaron had little time for breakfast this morning he was a tad hungry by the time his shift ended at 1:00.

So the lad goes to the Japanese restaurant next door to the hotel and brings himself home a takeaway the scale of which was such we all enjoyed a little light brunch!!!!!

Blessing # 68 – Tucking into Teppanyaki

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