Roatan ramblings

05/28/2017 I haven’t been into blogging lately, actually, I haven’t been into much of anything. Seems I spend more time with the dogs that with anyone else. We communicate endlessly.

A friend I met on FB and then caught up with twice while she was here visiting came down and stayed with us for 2 weeks while she was finalizing some things with her house build. They plan to be in their new home by the end of the year, it’s going to be awesome and they have a fabulous view. The beach is at the bottom of their land and they sit up on a hill overlooking the sea. Anxious for them to move down here. Diane is a dog lover so she was perfectly comfortable with our pack, Lola took a special interest in her and seemed to gravitate to Diane’s side.

Diane and I helped Connie with the Mother’s Day event to benefit Cattleya. It was held in Loren’s studio above their restaurant, Romeo’s, in French Harbor. The kids paid to make Mother’s Day gifts and when the gifts were completed they each got a pizza and a drink. Diane and I helped at the first station. At our table the kids drew on coffee filters, that had been opened and flattened, with markers.

The coloring station

The one little girl was very pensive, it took her a long time to do 10 filters.

These two were awesome, Jazmin and Matthew. They are the grandchildren of Miss Valerie who runs the Charmont Bilingual Academy (it’s an amazing school) for children who come from families affected by AIDS.

After they each colored 10 of them, they were individually spritzed with water until the colors bled. Then they were dried with hair dryers at the next table.

The ladies helping here are all teachers at Cattleya.

Once dried they were folded, twisted at the bottom and then opened into a flower shape. After that they went to another station where they added things to the bouquet.

Annie helping to make the bouquets beautiful.

Sweet brother and sister.

This is Matthew, he gave me a big hug before he left, what a sweet boy!

The final table was glitter then wrapping the bouquets up like a real flower bouquet. After they were done we all had yummy pizza, courtesy of Romeo’s restaurant.

This is the outside area of the art showroom.

Love the painted seating

I’m not sure what type of paint they used but I really like this artwork.

This was one of my favs.

It’s great fun helping Connie with an event, she is always so appreciative!

Diane and I also helped Nidia with the Mother’s Day event at Infinity Bay. It was held the day before Mother’s Day. The manager of Infinity Bay is always willing to give back to the community and he did it in a big way. The event was in their banquet room, tables were set very nicely, the food spread was incredible, they offered free 5 minute massages and all the ladies got a gift. Nidia planned for 120 ladies but several brought friends and children. I fast counted 135, we think there were 140+ people there.

These ladies came dressed in their Sunday best.

Many of them have never been to Infinity Bay (it’s quite a posh resort right on the beach) or West Bay beach.

Gifts for all

Nidia (in red) leading a game on the porch. The ladies weren’t playing by the rules so Nidia didn’t give out the prize.

Free massages

Nidia and one of the ladies dancing. The lady in black had the music in her, she danced while she waited in line for her food. She was a total joy to watch!

Diane and I were both tired when we got home. I really have to praise Nidia, this woman hass the drive and the power to get things done. It’s nothing for her to throw together a shindig like this, bringing ladies from the far reaches of Roatan to have a fun day. She’s totally amazing.

I’ve had some problems with Jessica, (the young girl I got back in school) she hasn’t been going to school. I had her over here one afternoon so we could talk about the situation. She was unusually quiet while she was here though and I couldn’t get more than 2 words out of her at a time.

She was picking dead leaves off of a plant.

The week after she was here she missed 2 out of 4 days of school. The first time she said she had to babysit. I told her she didn’t have any children that she was responsible for and that I was paying for her to go to school, not to babysit. The second day she missed I called her and asked what was going on and she said she was sleeping. She does nothing all day (school is 8:30-10:30 AM, M-Th) , stays out late with boys at night and can’t get up for school. I give up. She doesn’t want this for herself, if she did she would be like Alexi and not miss school. I even paid extra for her to attend a class trip the following Friday which included lunch at Bojangles.

I told her I was done and not to go to school anymore. I called Sister Judy and explained the situation and told her Jessica was done and that they could use my money as a donation. I felt awful doing it, it still haunts me, but if she doesn’t want a better life, nothing I say or do will change that. No different than getting rehab for an addict. She will be pregnant soon, Alexi agrees with me. He is furious with her as is her older sister Juliana. She told me she wished she had someone like me who cared when she was young. I am still stressing over this. A good friend who lives near the family and has known them for years told me not to waste my time, that Alexi is the success story from that family and to lavish our attention on him. He needs and wants it. Sad that their mother, who lives above Jessica and Juliana, doesn’t care. It’s so frustrating. I wanted better for Jessica, I thought she did too. I was so looking forward to helping this young girl. I am crushed that this happened, I had big plans for Jessica. Maybe she will come around, I can only hope.

We started adding onto the pool deck. The girl who was cleaning for me while my other gal was on maternity leave happens to have a very skilled craftsman for a husband. Enter MoMo. Thank you Andrea!! He is here everyday early, works non-stop all day long. He has expanded the deck, built a pergola, deck railings, a table, 2 benches and 2 chairs, a large counter with shelves and doors and 4 side tables. ALREADY! He is now building a box to hide the hideous hot water heater that Bill insisted on hanging where everyone can see it on the back porch. Then he is building doors to cover the storage areas on our back porch. After that it’s a pergola and furniture for the roof. I would really like to adopt him, he’s awesome and such a nice guy. He’s so good that Bill is allowing him to use his tools, BILL NEVER ALLOWS ANYONE TO USE HIS TOOLS. MoMo is in heaven. I’m in heaven because things are getting done here.

You can see by the stained/not stained what we added.

He made the table and chairs. The 2 benches are still waiting to be sprayed with finish and I have to have cushions made for everything..

Nice storage area, the tile for the counter is in, I have to pick it up tomorrow. I asked my friend Trish to paint a mermaid on the wall behind the counter.

The tables he made are so sturdy they can be used as seats too.

I love the table. We can’t have a glass table down on this deck, the wind is wicked strong, it would either be in Parrot Tree or shattered.

Fabulous views and some afternoon sun protection.

I’m quite pleased that we are getting all of this stuff done, my honey do list was stagnant and it was pissing me off. Our whole house needs repainted, inside but especially out. The sun is a killer on paint down here, it’s only been 3 years and the paint looks like crap.

Good lord, I love these dogs. Max (l) and Barrio

Max is on the table, Highway is doing his lap dog thing.

Bill had a small bag of Cheetos, the dogs were starving to death, as you can see.

Tres hermanos

Whoa, serious blues.

They must want my wine.

5 dog protection. Nobody, 2 legs or 4, gets by these dogs. Highway is a flipping idiot. When he barks it sounds like all 3 Stooges making their weird woop woop woops all mixed together. I HATE IT! Not a man, child, watusa, dog, duck, cat or motorcycle/car/truck gets by these guys. They are freaking relentless. It’s why Highway sleeps inside at night. Much easier than getting up 10 times screaming, shut the hell up, during the night.

Look at these boys, Barrio, Max and Gringo on the steps. They do a few laps several times a day. Max runs and jumps in. Do they know they are brothers?

Mr. Gringo, he thinks it’s a big water dish.

Bill went to Diane’s to check some measurements at her home that is under construction. It is in Politilly, not far from where Alexi’s family lives. (Glad he doesn’t live there anymore). Bill stopped to see Osman and Ephrain. (Alexi said Ephrain’s name has an N, not a M on the end). I stand corrected.

Osman (l) Alexi’s nephew and Ephrain, Alexi’s brother. They adore Bill and throw themselves on him. They get no attention from anyone, no father figure at all, no male in their lives, no mother either, really.

Odd looking Hummingbird. Mr. Anole crawls right up, doesn’t matter if there are Hummers there or not.

The other night the dogs had just eaten and were outside playing when all of a sudden they went bat-shit crazy. I could tell by the sound of Highway’s bark that he was jumping up in the air with every bark. I went down to the pool deck to see what was going on and the neighbor boy, Eddy was outside the fence. Eddy lives with several family members in the colonia below us. His Mother is not one of them, she lives in Coxen Hole, 30 minutes west of here. His grandparents are poor and do not treat any of the boys well. The 6 and 8 year olds come up here barefoot with machetes chopping firewood. Eddy is the oldest, 15 years old, he works every day as an unpaid bag boy at Eldon’s, the only money he makes is from tips. Weekdays he only works until noon, then he goes to a school to learn tourism. It costs him 2000 ($85.00) lempira a month for school, plus he has to pay for his transportation to and from school and work every day. Tonight he came up here very upset, he wanted to talk to Bill. His grandparents said he has to quit school and work full time because they need the money. We are pushing for him to stay in school, his future is grim if he stops going. It’s so sad to see a young boy in this situation. He’s another soul who gets no attention from anyone. No parental figures in this young boy’s life. WTH is up with the mother, why does she not see her child? How can she do that? I’m not judging, I just have serious questions. Sometimes it’s so hard to wrap your brain around things that you see. We will try to help Eddy and keep him in school, if we can. Ultimately, it’s not our decision.

Alexi is doing well, he’s here on his days off from the Bomberos, either working / hanging out and falling in the pool on occasion.

Mr. Muscle laying in the sun after he “fell” in the pool after cleaning it. He’s using his phone for eyeshade, this was before I gave him glasses.

He has to go to the mainland for the month of August, if he does well there he will hopefully become a paid Bombero. (firefighter/rescue) Currently, we are his only income.

We are so proud that he received this.

Our friends Kevin and Pam brought 2 bags of nice t-shirts for us to pass out. We gave Alexi, Miguel and MoMo first choice, what was left I took to the station and gave to the Bomberos guys, It always makes Alexi look good to his peers when someone close to him donates to the team. Alexi on the L.

If (praying he does) he gets in he needs to buy his own uniform and boots and 20 white undershirts. WTH? 20? He said yes, that’s what they have to buy. We need to revisit that and have him talk to the boss, that seems excessive. Thursday he told me he needed a white single sheet  on Friday. I didn’t have one so I went to Mega Paca, no white sheets of any size. I wish he had told me before so I could have found one for him. The big General from the mainland is checking out the stations this weekend while he is here for the Bomberos competition on Saturday. Alexi is so funny, he was telling us he’s not even going to try to win the competition, he’ll enter but he’s just going to go slow and be chill. HAH! He plans to win that thing for sure. I was on his case all day, he loves the back and forth banter.

We had a conversation today about the amount of water he DOESN’T drink. I’m a water chugger, I drink minimum 90 oz a day. He drinks coke. Many times Alexi will come here and his legs hurt, he says they feel like he can’t stretch them out. I give him 2 ibuprofen and make him drink water. I told him one of the main reasons he’s getting these cramps is dehydration. He promised me he would drink more water. He also never wears sunglasses or a hat, except when he’s in uniform, then he must wear a hat. I had a pair of sunglasses with polarized lens that I bought but they weren’t prescription so I never wore them (not a clue why I bought them). Once I found them again (he actually told me where they were) I showed them to Alexi. He really liked them so I gave them to him. He couldn’t believe what it looked like when he put them on, he said colors were different. Umm, yeah, they are. I also bought him a dark pink (his favorite color, because some girl told him he looked good in pink, he does) t-shirt that says Fire and Rescue on it.

He LOVED it. He was showing Bill the glasses before he left and he said to Bill, “she loves me.” Bill said, “yeah she does.” I won’t get into the fact that he clogged our toilet and it overflowed all over the floor, thankful for concrete floors and for the fact he knew where everything was to clean up his mess. UGH. I wondered what the heck was taking so long.

Because We Care is proud to be associated with Live Again Ministry. These are groups of people from different churches in North Carolina who have fallen in love with Roatan and the people here. These wonderful people have chosen this island to bless with their love and kindness. This visit a few of the things they did were; donate water filtration buckets to 150 people in Esperanza and El Higuero, painted the inside of a school, painted a medical clinic, passed out toys and sandals and dresses, toy cars and trucks and lunches to children in Oak Ridge. I know they did many other things this visit but unfortunately, I’ve been housebound because we have a worker here. Bill’s busy, so that means I hang at the house.

Pastor Jim in the green, he led the group this visit. I’ve met him, his son Josh, Dave and John before. It’s so cool that they keep coming back several times a year.

These are Sawyer water filtration buckets. If maintained properly they will filter at least 250,000 gallons of water, making it potable. Maintenance is easy. Is used properly, this could change lives, providing fresh drinking water to people who have been getting bottles of water from the stream.

Some of the many recipients

Milton is one of the children who lives in the same home that Eddy (who has to quit school) does. He’s one who comes here barefoot with a super sharp machete. He is so cute; a nice boy with not a snowball’s chance in hell to succeed in life.

Little girl with her new dress.

They were posing.

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

This is the inside of the school they painted. The teacher / principal picked the color.

Passing out gifts, dresses, toys and flip flops

Many thanks to the people from LAM, your smiles and open hearts are making a huge impact on the people of Roatan.

I took one of my 5 dogs to the vet on Wednesday. Barrio’s been digging his ears a lot. The vet was doing a complicated repair surgery so I waited and chatted with other friends who were there. We sat in the same room as the vet doing the surgery, the operation was happening 3′ away. You can watch if you want, I do off and on. After about an hour of waiting I went to wipe the sweat off my face with my dress and realized I was still in my nightgown with a swimsuit top on underneath. Total island girl.

And here it is almost June. Class reunion in Penna. in September, trying to make flight arrangements has been ridiculous to say the least. There are very limited flights. In the time it takes me to get home I could have flown to Australia and back. Almost. Insanity.

Last pic is of my gorgeous granddaughter Alexah. She posted this on FB and said, Last day of middle school. Ever. 

How did she get so old?

And….I’m done. Peace out.

Planes, boats and fins

04/30/2017 First of all, I apologize to those of you who received an email yesterday saying that a new blog was published, only to have me take it down. Somehow the post got published and wordpress wouldn’t allow me to get it back to a draft so I had to trash it and do a shabby copy and paste into a new blog. Our internet has been shit so that may account for it.
Saturday afternoon was the first I stopped and relaxed in a solid week. Remember, I’m O L D. Very old. Don’t misunderstand me, I had a blast entertaining Jillian and Justin this past week. Jillian is my great niece (well, Bill’s really, but I claim her as mine) and Justin is her boyfriend. It was Jillian’s second visit and Justin’s first. In fact he had to get a passport to come visit. We’re happy that he made it to Roatan. So are the dogs, especially Lola, she really liked Justin.
I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. I’m a weirdo who loves to go to the airport to pick up friends. I see so many people I know that it’s like a big party, this Saturday was no different.
Once Jill and Justin got through the insane immigration lines, we headed east, stopping at Eldon’s for them to get some food. After getting settled we all retreated to the pool, it has been so flipping hot that being in the water is all you can do.
Sunday we made the routine Mega Paca shopping trip then came home and got ready to go to the Reef House on Oak Ridge Key. We parked the car and went by boat for the short ride there. I was excited to see my dive friend Caroline there, haven’t seen her for months. We spent some time in the water then I got out and wandered around talking to friends. Tim Blanton, who lives on Roatan and is an exceptional photographer was there with his drone. He made a short video of the Oak Ridge area and hovered over the porch where we all were posing. Check it out HERE. Beautiful video of the area.
Monday we went to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. I didn’t know until Justin and Jill got here that Justin’s favorite animal was the sloth. It was a no brainer that we would go there first. When we got to the farm Preston was waiting to give us one of his exceptional tours.
One of my favorite animals is the Coati. They are a part of the raccoon family. Two of them live here.

The first cage we got to go in was the monkey cage. The white faced Capuchin’s are named after the cast of The Jersey Shore, AKA, Snookie, Vinny, JWow, Pauly D etc.  These monkeys are very friendly and love to interact with people.

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

They are like kamikaze monkeys. They vanish and then out of nowhere come flying onto your shoulders. They were so much fun.

Next we looked at the spider monkeys but they are not very friendly so guests don’t interact with them.

When we were ready to leave Justin walked over to look at the water again and the monkey grabbed his sunglasses. He finally managed to get them back, all in 1 piece.

Next stop was the parrots, the Red and Green Macaws. These birds are so stunning. There is only 1 green one, Fiona, from Shrek. Her colors are so intense that she doesn’t seem real.

I think the red macaw is named Rose from the Titanic and the other is Fiona.

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

We saved the best for last, the sloths. These are all 3 toed sloths and are all rescues.

Quite literally, just hanging out.

Jillian and Olivia the sloth. The sloth is adorable but Jillian is gorgeous! Love this young lady!

Justin’s dream come true

The sloths mostly live in the trees and venture down to the ground once a week to poop and pee. Their only defense is camouflage, they do not use their claws except to climb and grab leaves.

Just an FYI: Daniel does not buy animals, every animal he has is a rescue and they are treated very well.

After we saw all the animals and were getting ready to leave, Daniel arrived. He invited us to go on his maiden snorkel trip on his new snorkel barge later in the week. We said sure, something else fun to look forward to.

We went straight to the Iguana Farm, critters to critters. It was a hot sunny day and there were iguanas all over the place. Jillian and Justin fed them, Jill wasn’t ready to get up close with them though.

Feeding from a distance

This is a black spiny tailed iguana, indigenous to Roatan. This one is molting, shedding it’s skin. Black spiny-tailed iguanas.

This dude just chased another male out of his tree. Sam (Arch) said they are very territorial, especially during mating season.

So magnificent.

Look how long the spines are on this guy’s back!

We had a great visit at the iguana farm, especially because we got to see Sam. Sam and Daniel (sloth farm) are 2 amazing young islander men (and cousins) who work very hard and are quite successful. I am blessed to have them as good friends.When we left the iguana farm I called my friend Marcia to see if we could come kayak and snorkel and she said sure. The 3 of us went home, changed, ate and left for Carib Bight and Marcia’s house.
An extra bonus of going to Marcia and Dennis’s home is I get to see one of my puppies, Duke and their other 2 dogs, Shay and the new rottie, Luna. Puppy breath is the best.
Justin, Jillian and I went down to the water and got the kayaks down and set off for the mangroves. It was a little later in the day so there wasn’t much boat traffic. We kayaked all the way through the tunnels and back.

Justin and Jillian

We then tied the kayaks up to the broken down dock and snorkeled out to the reef. For some reason it was extremely murky and stirred up and the visibility was not very good. And, my camera battery died. bummer.
Once I got more puppy kisses we came home, all got showered and went to Cal’s for dinner. We had an excellent meal, as usual. It was a busy day and we were all tired so it was early to bed that night.

The view from Cal’s and my friend Linda’s house.

Jill and Justin

The next morning we stopped at Jessica’s school to see why she was absent Monday. The teacher said her mother’s lame assed boyfriend kept her home from school because they all overslept. I’d like to lynch him.
From there we drove through Punta Gorda to hand out some of the toys that Liza and Mike brought down for the kids. Once again, it got crazy. The kids were grabbing out of my car, the ones I gave toys to hid them and said they didn’t get any. It became bedlam so I did what I had to do; I closed the trunk and left, no more for them. We passed out a few more along the way, choosing wisely where we stopped.
Jillian wanted to go to La Sirena in Camp Bay, it’s pretty much a must see spot. We all had onion rings and rum punches. My friends Don and Janice were there so we sat near them and chatted for awhile while watching the wind surfers. {side note, I bought a new camera, a Nikon CoolPix B 500 with a 40X zoom lens on it} I am still learning to use the camera and did not have it on the correct setting so these photos aren’t the best.

It must be so amazing to be wind surfing at Camp Bay, it’s one of the more pristine spots on the whole island.

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

Alligator Nose, just seeing it makes me miss the Duchess of Camp Bay and her husband.

Almost every day when we came home from our activities we jumped in the pool to cool off, rinse off the salt water and visit with the dogs. On Wednesday I thought we could go to The Buccaneer in French Harbor for something different. If I had known they charged $5.00PP entrance fee I would have stayed home in my own pool.

It’s a nice place but it isn’t worth the entrance fee.

They have an area roped off from the sea and pretty much protected from the waves. There are huge decks, swings in and out of the water, hammocks, floats. It’s just not the beach to me.

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

Unicorns, flamingos, swans and penguin floats. I can’t imagine what it looks like with all of them floating around,

Hammock row

Very colorful and somewhat tropical. I liked the ceiling at first but then I didn’t. It’s trying too hard.

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

I think the painting would have been enough without having fake flowers and dried up leaves on the ceiling.

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

Jillian was interested in seeing Cattleya school so I made arrangements with Connie to go there after lunch. When we arrived the students were with Kamille learning ASL. Afterwards they split into groups and did various projects.

Cattleya is a school for physically emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It’s an amazing school.

We watched the 3 different teachers conduct their classes and learned what each one was doing. The little girls flip-flops on the floor in the photo are some of the ones I donated to Cattleya, thank you Kelly. I’m still passing them out. I also donated the 3 games that Kelly brought to Cattleya.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our pool at home. We had big salads for dinner and drank some wine on the roof.

Beautiful evening.

Thursday morning we hung around the house, in and out of the pool, waiting to hear from Stephanie and Daniel. We were going snorkeling with them this afternoon. As soon as they called we went over to the sloth farm. I sat and chatted with Daniel’s Mother until they arrived. Stephanie’s parents were here visiting and they had been touring the mangroves, zip-lining and then going snorkeling. We were fortunate to be invited and very excited to go. Daniel just built a new snorkel barge with The Steelers (as in Pittsburgh) and Big Ben stenciled on the sides. Nice boat with an easy access ladder.

We went out in front of CocoView and snorkeled there. It was beautiful.

Daniel had my camera for a few minutes and snapped a pic of me.

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

Four eyed butterfly fish, Daniel may have taken this photo.

These are amazing Spaghetti worms  (click on the name for a fascinating video on the worms). They are alive and move along the sand getting food to take back to their hole.

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

They can puff themselves up to 3 times their normal size by drawing water into their abdomens. Once inflated their spines stick out and they are quite long and very sharp. They do this to protect themselves from being eaten by other fish. Then we moved to a different spot to snorkel, looking for lobsters.

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

Love to hate, hate to love. The Lion Fish. Beautiful but poisonous if you get stung by them and they are decimating the reef by eating all the small fish. They are the only fish you are allowed to spearfish (with a permit). Kill them all.

A conch slowly trucking along. I swam past him on the way out and on the way back he had barely progressed.

Daniel and Dustin (red shirt) wrestling underwater trying to pull each other’s mask off.

Beautiful day with our heads underwater with friends, can’t beat that.

I dropped Jillian and Justin off at Cal’s at 6 so they could have a nice dinner together, then Bill went down to get them when they were finished. They were done in less than 45 minutes, I thought something was wrong but they said it was all good, he just wasn’t busy.

The next morning we left here at 8:45. We stopped and got Ann then took Jillian and Justin to zip-line at South Shore. Ann and I sat and watched them zipping along under the canopy of trees.

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

As soon as they were done we went to West Bay Beach, grabbed some chairs at Bananarama and waited in the water for Sean (my friend from Canada) to meet us. Soon as he arrived we walked down to Infinity to snorkel.

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

I love when I see an opening out into the deeper water. Really feel like a mermaid then.

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

I was swimming around in the shallows looking at little things and hoping to find this big Parrot fish. I swam around a coral chunk and there he was in all of his magnificent glory. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with him for several minutes, watching him do his thing.

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

You really can’t tell the size from this photo but this guy was almost as big as my dogs.

He had several fish following him as he gnawed on the coral so he could then poop sand. I know the best facts!

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

Such a beautiful beach. After snorkeling we ate at Bananarama then floated our cares away.

Ann walked up to a restaurant called Nice and Spicy to get her husband some dinner so we ran Sean over the hill to the place he is staying, then went back and got Ann and took her home. We went inside so I could meet her new kittens and I wanted Jill and Justin to see her place and her view. After that we made the long drive home. As soon as we opened the gate to come in the driveway the power went off.

Wonderfreakingful. Bill was making pizza. He got the dough rolled out and partially cooked on the grill before it got dark. Then we put the stuff on the pizza with the LED’s for the lightsource. It was so windy that Bill had to cover the pizza with another cookie sheet just to carry it out to the grill.

Nothing says romantic better than glaring LED’s. I lit candles several times, only to have them blown out by the wind.

The pizza master

Miraculously, the power came back on just as it was time to eat. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen and all ran to take showers while we had water pressure. Not long after that, the power went out again. It wasn’t only us, it was island wide. Just a 36 mile strand of darkness in the Caribbean. It really wasn’t a big deal because there was a very strong wind blowing through the house, keeping temps cool.

We hung out here the next morning, watching Flightstats to see what was going on with Jillian and Justin’s delayed flight. Once we saw it was airborn we went to the airport and got them checked in. The line for departures was long so I took them for a tour of Coxen Hole, the “downtown” center of the island. We drove all along the waterfront and stopped to take a photo of the new sign by Petro Sun. I dropped them off at the airport with time to spare before their flight. We enjoyed having Jillian and Justin and look forward to them returning.

I started talking to them about diving. I suggested they do the course work at home, then get their certs with my friends @ Blue Island Divers when they get here. I need to get Jillian’s sister to do this also, she will be here the end of June.

It’s been unusually HOT. 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Despite the insane temps the wind has been blowing hard and steady, keeping the air moving and keeping it cool inside. If there were no breeze we would either have to remain in the pool 24/7 or melt. The wonderful wild and crazy wind is blowing so much dust and dirt around that my screens are filthy and everything is covered in an inch of dust. Lola is sneezing and Barrio has goobers in his eyes, I think it’s allergies for both of them. Tomorrow is Max’s last day of meds, keeping my fingers crossed.

I have a busy few weeks coming up. A friend is coming for a few days to sign the papers on the land she is buying, another friend is coming to stay with us for 2 weeks while she sorts things out with her house building project. I am helping at a fundraiser for Cattleya for Mother’s Day and am also helping Nidia with a Mother’s Day luncheon on the 13th. TOMS shoe delivery will start in June, super late start this year due to some customs snafu.

Off to find something to watch on the computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend, it’s kind of quiet around here. Jillian and Justin, maybe you should come back.

The flip-flop mob

04/13/2017  First of all, I apologize. This stupid damn blog program will not allow me a space between my paragraphs. This is like a big long run on sentence with punctuation.
I’ve had a few down weeks and it felt good. The weather was unbearably warm with the real feel temps showing 101. That is not unheard of here at all, just far from normal for this time of year. It makes me very grateful for the pool.
Max seems to be back to normal, he is getting in trouble and barking all the time. I don’t know what to think was even wrong with him since I had so many varying opinions about everything. He still won’t go in the pool, which is really the oddest thing since he was the first one in every morning and then swam at least 5 more times during the day. It’s baffling to say the least. The most important thing is, he’s better.
This post is a real pain to type because my laptop keyboard is barely working. My keyboard drops letters and the spacebar doesn’t work, no spaces at all, other times it puts 5 spaces. A new one is on order. Chalk something else up to the elements of dust, dirt and humidity.
I went to Jessica’s house to gave her the nice white shirt Kelly brought for her and to give Osman and Efraim the new underwear and shorts, also from Kelly. Jessica didn’t have much to say, she wasn’t feeling well plus she was upset because I scolded her for missing school and told her if she missed anymore I was done paying for her to go. I’m very happy that the teacher messages me when she is absent.

Osman, Alexi and Jessica’s nephew. He got new flip flops and undies and nice swim trunks/shorts. I hope his Mother doesn’t sell them.

Ephraim is the youngest of Alexi and Jessica’s siblings. He got the same stuff Osman did.

I gave Jessica sandals and a new white school shirt. The little girl next to her also got a pair of flip flops. Thank you SO much Kelly!

I gave more sandals to some kids after leaving Jessica and the boys. It began with a few kids but soon there were 25+ people there. They were grabbing at any and everything in the back of my car. I had to close the trunk because it was close to a mob scene. On the way out of the town ladies were slapping my car hood as I drove by asking for “slippahs for ma babies.”

These 3 little boys started the flip flop frenzy. I also gave them a soccer ball.

I finally got my car fixed, it was in the shop for a week. The rats had done more damage than we first thought. Little shits like to chew on wires too. Nelson pulled the dashboard and fixed the hose that drains the A/C water out of the car. He also fixed the rattle in my door, it was actually the lock, not in the door. But, since they had the door apart now the window is making a weird noise when it goes up and down, that needs fixed. Nelson put a new fuse in my horn (Bill had removed it because it was honking erratically) and he soldered some wires together. Well, when I started up my driveway the horn started honking and it honked the whole way up. That needs re-fixed. While they were taking the dash out of my car, they scratched the sun screen film on the inside of  my windshield, leaving holes right in my line of sight. Now I either have to take the film off (which Bill wants me to do but I don’t want to) or have them replace it. AND, I have an large extra piece of plastic car part left over that was laying behind the seat of the car. I know, it’s an island car but still.

It’s Semana Santa week here, all hell breaks loose before Easter. Roatan is invaded by mainlanders from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and planes full of Americans and Canadians. It’s the week many gringos leave the island or else, like us, we hole up and don’t go west or east at all. There are hardly any vacant places to stay on the island and the beaches will be a filthy mess from all the trash left behind. I feel sorry for the coral and the fish.

We were gone for about an hour, pool gate wasn’t closed so we can’t blame this totally on Lola but this is all that’s left of a beautiful flowering cactus. The pot previously was full of soil.

Most of the dirt out of the pot was on the deck but what wasn’t was all over the pool steps. Nice dark soil in the pool.

Highway and Max, back to back.

On Monday we had Carmen and Brett over for the day. It was a gorgeous pool day. They are leaving the island on Saturday for the summer and they will be missed. We also invited my third son, Sam Arch and his wife Chelsie over. They wanted to chat with Carmen and Brett about a possible business venture. Bill made his “now famous” pizza for dinner. It was a great day spent with good friends.

Chelsie, Sam, Carmen and Brett. Nice shot of the view from the pool of the North shore.

Tuesday I was going diving and Sam and Chelsie wanted to go with me. I picked them up at the iguana farm at 7:30ish and we drove down to Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay. Once again I felt otherworldly going to my friends home and walking by the giant iguanas scattered all over the pavement. There was even one guarding their front door. They are the most majestic creatures.

It was a nice sunny day for a dive, the water wasn’t flat but the waves weren’t too bad. We dove Wicked. I was looking forward to diving with Sam because he has eagle eyes, he can spot things so quickly. It was a nice wall dive with some swim throughs.

Elton, boat captain at Blue Island Divers

Sam, Chelsie and one of the DM’s

I don’t know what these yellow orange things are but there are a lot of them.

odd shaped sponge

Sea rods

More orange coral

Chelsie and Sam

Club finger coral

Sponge

This coral looked like it was made of lava

Blue Chromis

Common sea fan

Huge vase sponge

Looking for Dory

Sea Fan

Spiny lobster Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Spiny lobster Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

More cool coral

Sam, he really doesn’t even need a tank, I swear this guy has gills.

Purple coral with orange centers and lots of sharp nose puffers. They only get to be 4″, these were barely 2″

Chelsie. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Me. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Not sure what this is. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Blue Chromis (I think) Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

The beauty of the sea. I think this one was by Sam Arch using my TG3

2 varieties of brain coral

four eyed butterfly fish Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

A whitespotted filefish, first one I’ve ever seen. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Elkhorn coral

I think this is some kind of fungus coral.

It was a fun day underwater with my friends. Once our gear was rinsed and we paid for our dives we started back to the east end of the island. I dropped them off at the iguana farm and I came home and took a shower. Shortly after I got out of the shower Chelsie called to see if she and Stephanie could come hang out by the pool. Of course I said absolutely. We sat in the sun and chatted (and ate the rest of Carmen’s pasta salad) for a few hours before they had to go home.

We had a brief rain shower on Wednesday morning but it was enough to coat the window seat and my good beach bag in mud. Where does that crap come from? I had to scrub my beach bag and set it out to dry. There must have been something small in it that fell out and ended up in the garbage disposal because it was making a horrific noise. I didn’t do the dishes when our company left because Bill was going to tear the disposal apart in the morning. {Just an FYI: I know how to unclog a garbage disposal when the trap gets jammed. I clogged the first one in Washington so many times that Bill made me learn how to fix it myself. I had to do it twice in one meal when we had company from Taiwan for dinner}. When he checked it this morning, it was seized. Whatever was in it had jammed the blades. Once he took it apart he couldn’t find anything in it. I realized that it was the zipper pull off a small bag I had in there. It must have gotten dislodged and gone down the drain. My life in a zipper pull.

On Wednesday I cooked, baked and cleaned. Dave and Lynda were here visiting the island and came over for dinner. The last time they came over was soon after the pups were born and they had not seen them since. They own a great rental house here, in fact Teri and Olivia stayed there the summer of 2012 with Bill and I.

This Saturday our friends Liza and Mike arrive. They live in Oregon, we met at La Sirena a few years ago, then Mike found my blog and the rest is history. We’re friends and really enjoy each other’s company. They own land near my twinnie, Ann. It will nice when THEY FINALLY MOVE DOWN HERE. Hint Liza. They will be spending Easter Sunday with us, we are hoping for a pool day.

Then on Monday my friend Sean and his 2 dogs arrive. They live(d) in Ontario. Sean and I met on FB and then in person when he was here visiting.  He is renting from a friend of mine, Linda, who I also met on FB. Sean is hoping to make a move here in the near future. We will be picking Sean and his dogs up at the airport and taking them to their house. After that I am meeting Mike and Liza and helping them pay their taxes. I paid them for them last year, this will be their first year doing it themselves and remember, we’re in Honduras. Nothing is easy.

Holy cow, thank you FB and my blog for all these fabulous friends. 

Bill’s niece’s daughter and her boyfriend arrive the 22nd for a week. It will be Jillian’s second visit to the island. Hoping for good weather and calm seas.

I have really been into sleeping lately, I’m going to watch The Voice from last night and then go to bed. I think I went to bed at 7:30 on Tuesday after I dove. That’s a lot of work for an old person.

Happy Easter everyone. I’m looking forward to spending it at home with good friends.

 

Come dive with me

 

03/28/2017  I am always making new friends on FB and then meeting the people when they finally come to Roatan. Case in point, Rick and Ruth Bailey from Missouri. I met them quite some time ago online and was waiting until they made their next trip down here to meet up. They came to the island before Teri B left. They were staying for a few days on the east end of the island so they came over and spent a day with us in the pool. After sunning and having a few drinks we all went to Cal’s for dinner.

Ruth and Rick Bailey @ Cal’s Cantina

I used to like the Bailey’s a lot but Rick recently bought Ruth a gorgeous blue Mini Cooper with a racing stripe and I’m a little green with envy. The damn pot holes are so big here that Mini would disappear in one of them, never to be seen again. (Nice wheels Ruth) I can somewhat justify me not having one here. Somewhat….

After Teri left I got an email from my goldsmith in Bellingham’s wife. I started going to Fairhaven Gold in 1995, when we moved to Bellingham. Bill, the owner became my most trusted jeweler. In July of last year I lost 2 gold bracelets he made for me while snorkeling down here. My eagle-eyed son Chance found them in the sand under the water. The next day I called Bill to tell him what happened and that the bracelets were being sent to him for repair. That’s when he told me they were coming down, but he didn’t say when. Their daughter was going back to Utila to live for 4 months. She wanted to see Roatan and her dad, Bill wanted to get certified for scuba. He got his certification at Blue Island Divers and his daughter did some diving with them as well. I picked them up one afternoon and took them for a tour of the eastern end of the island. We went through Oak Ridge and Punta Gorda. After stopping for refreshments, we drove east to the Secret Beach and hung out. It was a gorgeous day, we sat listening to the waves and chatting. After that we stopped back here to tell Bill that we were going to Cal’s for lunch. (see a pattern here?) After that I dropped them off in French Harbor and they got a taxi back to Sandy Bay where they were staying. So nice to see Bill and meet Gina and Mackenzie.
Still dealing with Max being sick put a damper on my life. I needed to get in gear and get ready for my upcoming guests.

I met my friend Abe a long time ago, in a galaxy far away, called Bellingham. Abe used to come to the bank (Bank of America, where I worked) with his Father and sometimes his brothers and or sister. I got to know him through there. I was always impressed by Abe’s Father and by the way all the kids behaved. I transferred to a different department temporarily but when I returned to the branch I saw that Abe had recently applied for a job. I called him for an interview but he was working at another bank, he started there a few weeks ago. I offered him more money and less hours. He said OK and came to work for me. His smarts, personality and his demeanor with people was/is outstanding.

I left BoA in 2005 for another bank. Abe left banking soon after to try a new job with Border Patrol. We always kept in touch. Abe decided the Border Patrol was not for him and moved back to Bellingham. At that time, I needed a Personal Banker where I was working as Customer Service manager so he applied. The personnel office contacted me and said he had worked for them before for a short period of time. I said that he didn’t. They then told me when it was and that he quit to work for BoA. I realized it was because I hired him out from under them and now was hiring him back. They agreed to rehire him and he was very successful there as well. I moved on and he stayed there for a while until he decided to move to So. Calif.

Anyhow, the rest is history, Abe and I have always been in contact with each other, he calls me his American mom. His Mom, Maria is a lovely lady and I know his brothers and sister as well as his father. Great people, love them all.

Flash forward to mid Feb when Abe messages me that he needs a vacation and was thinking about coming to see me. I was very excited to say the least. We chatted about it off and on, talked on the phone and at that point I decided to plant the seed about diving. Abe had never snorkeled, let alone gone scuba diving. He asked if his buddy could come visit too and I said sure. They both wanted to get certified for Open Water Scuba diving. I contacted Eric @ Blue Island Divers and he got them all set up.
I picked them up at the airport on Thursday March 16th, we stopped and got groceries and then came here. They put their groceries away and we ran to Cal’s for food, they were starving. Bill didn’t go, he was getting over a stomach bug and food was not his friend.

The next morning I took the guys to Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay to start their certification. The weather had been crappy and the north shore was pretty choppy. The guys began their first day long certification and I left, ran errands and came home. (30 min. each way) I went back and picked them up at 3:30, 4 PM and we headed home. They were asleep quite early after a long day of studying. The next morning we were up and back at Blue Island Divers for day two of training. I did the same thing, I went home, then went back to get them. One of the days I stopped by my twin’s house to say hello and get sneak peeks of Miss Juanita, Ann’s new cat.

Day 2, the guys did some open water work with Ernesto.

I met another lady on FB, well, actually she found my blog and PM’d me. She had been here once on a cruise ship and was returning on Sat. for another visit. I was unable to pick her up at the airport as I was running with the guys. Kelly brought down 70 yes, SEVENTY pair of Old Navy flip-flops for the island kids. Customs was not going to let her through with the suitcase. I called my friend Karen who was working that day and she went and talked to them. They needed a letter saying they were being donated. Luckily I was able to get the letter the same day and get it sent to the customs lady. All was well in Roatán.

70 pair of Old Navy flip-flops(zorie’s for Jeanie) , a long-sleeved white shirt from LL Bean for Jessica, undies for Osman and Efraim and bathing suits for them too. Kelly also brought the game Trouble, Jenga and a box of Lego’s to build a fire truck. I really wanted to give them to the boys (Osman and Ephraim) but their wretched horrible mother will sell them and the boys will not get to play with them. She’s a miserable woman. I’ve decided to donate the toys to a school, probably Cattleya.

Kelly knows the way to my heart, she brought me a mermaid bag. She also brought each of the dogs a BeneBone. They are Y shaped and the dogs LOVE them.

The games Kelly brought

The clothes

This little boy is one of many living in the 2 room house in the valley with his grandparents. We gave him school supplies from John and  Lizeth awhile ago.

Two more of the boys. They were chopping with machetes in the woods.

Abe and Paul and I were beaching it at West Bay on Sunday so I invited Kelly to come with us. I stopped by Pristine Bay to pick her up and we were off to the beach. It was the only day in the whole week there were no cruise ships in. We sat at Bananarama for the day. The beach was not very crowded but still a good day for people watching. The guys and I walked down the beach to Infinity Bay. We entered the water there and tried to swim out the channel to snorkel but it was so stirred up the visibility was awful. This is what happens when we get winds from the north. Many of the dive boats were on the other side of the island also.

The miserable ugly West Bay beach.

See how sucky the water was? I gave up.

Big brain coral

A parrot fish

While floating in the water with Kelly we met a lady named Vera, who was holding her dog in her arms while she floated. She was telling us her story, all the time Fido was zen in the moment, not moving a muscle, loving the experience. Turns out Vera and her husband are friends of our friends Stefi and Jurgen who moved back to Germany. It was so nice chatting with her, she even says shit just like Stefi did

Vera and Fido

We had lunch on the beach, had a few beers and headed home. I took them to see the south-west shore of the island and then drove through Toxic Hole (Coxen Hole) so they could see the “downtown” area.
On Monday we were all going to Mondays Don’t Suck on the beach on the moon. I picked Kelly up, got the guys and we set off first for La Sirena for some lunch. Imagine my disappointment when they said they didn’t have bread crumbs to make the onion rings. I was looking forward to having them for lunch, especially because I didn’t bring anything to eat at the beach..

Paul and Abe chowing down

On the dock at La Sirena

After we finished at La Sirena we drove down to MDS beach.

Simply gorgeous.

Tres amigos, Abe, Paul and Kelly. This was at the start of MDS, they were not as calm and normal at the end of the day.

Terry and Roger

MDS turned out to be a fabulous day at the beach. The weather was glorious, the waves had settled down and we had the beach to ourselves.

The beach gang

Jeanie AKA The Duchess of Camp Bay, me, Kelly, Paul and Abe

Lowanna wanted shirtless photos of the guys.

They were playing soccer on the beach

Food, drinks, chairs, rafts, towels and people. Really a fabulous day.

Carmen and I wearing our Sargassum Seaweed crowns. We were absolutely the best Sargassum Sirens.

I love this beach.

I had not eaten and I drank almost a bottle of wine. By the time the day had ended and I had to drive home I was on another level. Very thankful that the majority of the road home was dirt and empty. It’s a slow going road anyhow, potholes, speed bumps, cows and horses. I did have to drive a few miles on paved road but there was no traffic. I drove to my house and told Bill he had to take Kelly to Pristine Bay. I knew I couldn’t negotiate the cars and traffic in French Harbor. I went inside, got the pounds of sand out of the unmentionable parts, showered and passed out on the couch. Once Paul and Abe each showered, they came upstairs too and we all watched Bill make us pizza for dinner.  Well, I sort of watched from the couch but when the pizza was ready, I was starving and ready to inhale several pieces. After we ate and cleaned up, I  went to bed and Paul and Abe went down to their bedrooms and crashed too. Tomorrow was the final day of their dive certification.
Amazingly, the three of us made it down to Blue Island Divers again on Tuesday morning. They were doing 3 dives that day and I planned on diving with them their last dive of the day. I dropped them off and came home and laid down for a while. I noticed on FB that it was Ernesto’s birthday (their divemaster) on Tuesday. I stopped and grabbed a birthday cake for him on my way back to the dive shop. I made it back by 1:30 for a 2 PM dive. I chose not to take my camera because I’m still working on getting perfect buoyancy. We had a great dive, only went to 53′ for 49 minutes.

Abe, Ernesto, their divemaster, Paul, Laura and Ismael, also divemasters

Ernesto with his 2 cakes, photo-bombed by Ismael, who is from Chile.

Let them eat cake and drink beer. It was after 5 PM, the rules of the dive shop for the employees consuming anything alcoholic.

Abe and Paul, modeling their newly purchased BID rash guards.

Paul signing his name, OWD certificate is complete.

Abe’s turn

One last shot of Blue Island Divers, they have such an idyllic spot.

On the way home we stopped at the grocery store and Abe and Paul bought some steaks for dinner. Paul was the chef and along with the meat (I don’t eat meat) he made some delicious fried potatoes too.

Abe checking out the food prep

Our chef for the night

Max resting on Gringo’s hip

On Wednesday morning I picked Kelly up @ Pristine Bay. We came back here and she got to meet the dogs and then we all went to Oak Ridge to meet Carmen and Brett @ BJ’s. They were having us over for the day. The sun was shining, the sea was calm and glistening, a perfect day to be on the south shore.
Carmen had a whole spread of food for us and beer and wine and Bloody Mary’s too. The guys went out snorkeling while we sat and talked. When they returned from snorkeling and dried off, we all got in the boat and went for a tour. We cruised Calabash Bight, then out in the open sea to the mangroves. After we circled around the swimming hole we went to Hole in the Wall. It’s a small bar/restaurant that has been around forever.

The snorkelers

Black spiny sea urchins

On the boat

Into the mangroves

Calabash Bight, my friend Kathy lives in the house on the right and the other place will soon be a Pizza Hut. (hah)

The gang

Paul, just a little happy.

Even Charlie enjoyed the ride

Carmen took this because she said I am never in the pics.

So beautiful

The mangroves open up onto this and continue on the other side

Such a beautiful spot.

First stop, Hole in the Wall. Lobster nachos and cheesy fries

Need a new word? Douchenugget seems to be the word of the day.

Everyone signs their name

Quite an interesting place

This is what you do to your toe when you mysteriously trip getting out of the boat. NOTE: I did not spill OR drop my glass of wine.

Captain Ed, this guy has the bluest eyes I have ever seen. He runs the show there.

From there we went to Trico.

Carmen and Charlie

Bar dog

Another one, this one was really pretty.

Swak Creek, WA? Never heard of it.

This is how we do it here.

Our day was done. We were dropped off at BJ’s and I drove back to our house. We washed up and went to Cal’s for dinner again.

Kelly, Abe, my friend Reynaldo, the waiter and Paul.

After a fabulous meal we took Kelly home and headed back to our house to feed the hungry dogs awaiting their food.

Thursday was their last day here on the island. We picked Kelly up and went to Arch’s Iguana Farm.  The guys enjoyed seeing and feeding the iguanas. Afterwards we walked down to the water and looked around, it’s so beautiful down there. Before we left Abe picked up a few things for his daughter Natalya at the gift shop. We planned to go to the Sloth farm but we ran out of time.

Feeding the iguanas

It was a sunny day so there were a lot of them out and about.

Such amazing creatures. I absolutely love them.

After a stop at the gas station for baleadas for breakfast for the guys, I took them all to the airport. They got checked in and were ready to go through security. Kelly had the shortest trip home, Paul the longest, he was going to Seattle. I said good-bye to everyone and made my way home.

It was an eventful and exhausting week but I enjoyed the company of all 3 of them. The guys are already talking about returning and Miss Kelly better get back down here soon too. We really enjoyed Paul and Abe, super nice guys, lots of  fun to hang out with.

Bill volunteered to make 2 bed frames for a family a friend was helping. We delivered them on Thursday before we took Max in to the people hospital to get X-Rays for the vet on Saturday.

This was before the truck broke down.

The adorable little girls and their dog. The frames were for mattresses for these cuties.

There was plywood for the tops of the beds also, just not shown in this pic.

Max got his x-rays Thursday evening, I swear he is the best dog ever. He doesn’t fight us no matter what we do to him.
He went to the vet from Tegus on Saturday morning. He seemed to be feeling better but she did a check-up anyhow. He had a slight temp so we waited 10 minutes and took his temp again, this time  it was higher. She did a blood test and after viewing the results said he has Ehrlichia. Before Doc C said he had Ehrlichia on Feb 15th. Then Dr Diana did a SNAP test for Ehrlichia and Heart worm on 2/24, it was negative. She also checked his blood with a microscope and said he did not have Ehrlichia. Then on 2/28 Dr Bueno drew blood from him and had it checked and said no Ehrlichia. Now on 3/25 Dr Diana says he has it. I’m so pissed off and confused, I don’t even know what to think. I hate to keep giving him medicine but I don’t want to stop in case he does have it. No wonder I’m nuts.
Final photos of the day, Abe left a pair of almost new Reef shoes here for Alexi.  He was so excited with the shoes and they fit. Alexi would have chopped his toes off so they would fit, especially because they were from Abe.

Reef shoes for Alexi

This is one of Trace’s “doodles.” I think he should make some copies of these and sell them.

The detail is freaking amazing.

It’s a nice day, I’ve been typing  all morning and I’m done. The pool is calling my name, sort of like the siren song.

Hasta Manaña Peeps.

 

Stressed to the Max

 

03/24/2017 Max getting sick on Feb 11th has dampened my spirits to the point of me being depressed and not wanting to go anywhere or do anything. We thought we were on the road to recovery with the ehrlichia diagnosis but after 2 weeks of meds, he was no better. I took him to Dr Diana @ ProVets on 2/24. They come once a month from Tegucigalpa. I’ve been to them several times when I need more of a diagnosis than Doc Calderon can give me. She tested Max for ehrlichia and said he didn’t have it, nor does he have heartworm. She used a catheter on him and checked his urine, he had crystals in it. Little did I know, this could be the root of his problems. She gave him some shots and wanted to see him the next morning. I saw no change in him overnight. On Saturday the 25th we went back to ProVets, she assumed he had a UTI and put him on Baytril, 630L for 6 pills, $4.50 a pill. I didn’t give him one until Sunday because she gave him several injections on Saturday. Sunday night he was not good, he was listless, not drinking, no energy, not hungry and this girl (me) was freaking out.

By Monday morning I knew I was going to the mainland to see Dr Bueno at his animal hospital. I messaged Bethany, Doc Calderon’s assistant and asked her to come with me, I would pay for everything. She said sure, she even called Dr Bueno for me and told him we were coming and needed an ultrasound.

I met her at the ferry dock at 1:30, got our tickets and got Max his boarding pass. While I was waiting for his pass to be printed, the computer crashed and she couldn’t get it up and running again. Someone else came in and jiggled some wires and got it to boot up. She got his pass printed with minutes to spare. They put him in a wire kennel, he looked so lost and scared, I felt awful. Bethany, Max and I just made it on the ferry.

Monday Feb. 27th was my first experience on the Galaxy Wave, aka the Vomit Comet. I normally don’t have a queasy stomach so I really wasn’t worried about getting sick. I was more concerned about Max.

Leaving Roatán. The ferry dock is right by Mahogany Bay cruise ship dock. And there is a wreck there also. Reassuring for everyone traveling by water.

I called my friend Pablo, a taxi driver in Ceiba. He speaks English and is a really nice man with an utter P.O.S. taxi, but he had no problem taking my dog in his car. He was there when we arrived and took us right to Dr. Bueno’s animal hospital.

Dr Bueno had contacted someone with an ultrasound machine and he came to the vet clinic about 30 minutes after we got there. We got Max up on the table and they smeared ultrasound gel on his furry belly and started looking around. What they found were kidney stones in both of his kidneys. KIDNEY STONES IN A DOG? Who even knew of this? Not me. Doc wanted to keep him overnight so they could keep an eye on him and keep him on meds. I was not thrilled about leaving him in an outside kennel along the streets in the city of Ceiba but I had no choice. I was an absolute stress case. Bethany and I checked into the Paris Hotel in Ceiba, close to the vets and a Pizza Hut. We said we were from Bonacca and got two nights for the price of one. We went to the Pizza Hut for dinner, I have not been to one for 15+ years. I ordered a small pizza and ate 2 bites of it. When stress moves in all ideas of food move out.

The Grand Paris Hotel hahahahahahaha

See the A/C upper right corner? You had to stand on the bed to operate it, no remote.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel then Pablo picked us up and we went to the vets. Max was so happy to see me. They put him on IV’s for fluid and I sat on the floor in the waiting room with him for a few hours. After the fluids they wanted me to walk him to get him to pee but he wouldn’t. This guy pees in the jungle, he’s never peed on a city street where there are cars flying by, horns honking, sirens blaring and the occasional horse-drawn cart. Not his favorite places to take a leak. They jammed another catheter in him and got out 8 syringes full of urine. I have to brag for a moment: Dr Diana did a catheter, Dr Bueno did two and Max never struggled, NOT ONCE. He just laid there and let them do it. Everyone fell in love with Max. I cried several times, it was really just my stressed out ass leaking from my eyeballs.

Bethany, if you are reading this, I LOVE you girl! I love you for going with me, for loving Max (and all my babies), and for putting up with my basket case self. You rock.

Bethany was leaving on the 4:30 ferry as she had school that night and had to work with Doc in the morning. Max and I would spend another night and leave on the 9:30 AM ferry for home on Wed.

I had Pablo take me to a grocery store so I could get something to eat, mainly because Dr. Bueno was having a fit that I wasn’t eating. It was a Honduran store (there are more normal stores in the area, more gringo-ish) and the music was so loud that I couldn’t even begin to partially assemble a  thought so I grabbed chile lime peanuts, zucaritas (Honduran Frosted Flakes), Tostitos, Red Velvet cupcakes for Pablo and some water. I went back to the Grand Paris hotel and crashed.

Pablo picked me up in the morning, we went and got Max, who has thrilled to see me again and once we got his meds and I paid the bill, we left for the ferry.

Max and I arrived home around 11. He was so glad to get in his own yard so he could pee in peace. {While in Ceiba I somehow managed to lose the remote gate opener. Great, I NEVER lose or misplace anything and I lost this. I was so pissed. I searched every nook and cranny of my bags and realized it must have been in a plastic bag I threw out at the ferry terminal in Ceiba. Thankfully we had extras but Bill was upset because it required him to reprogram all of them.} By 4 PM the day we got home I had Max in the car, going to see Doc C, I didn’t like the way he was panting, breathing at all. Doc said he was probably in pain and to try to keep him quiet. We came back home and I was so stressed I could have pulled all of my insides out of my body using my tongue. I really couldn’t even function, I was drained, starved and stressed. All just a lovely combination. In all honesty, they SHOULD have drugged me. It would have made the world a better place temporarily.

The bad news was I had to take Max back in a week. I decided I could go alone, my driver speaks English and will go in anywhere with me, the vet can speak English too, all was good. We left in the afternoon on the 8th of March.

Max waiting in Roatán

I saw Chris Benson and his friend Tony, they were starting off on another ride.

Pablo picked me up again at the ferry and we went to the vets. We were sitting next to a table with New Testament books on it when Pablo laid his keys down. I immediately noticed the silver fob amongst the keys and I grabbed them and said, this is my gate opener, where did you find it? He said it was on the floor of his car. YAY!! That kind of made my day.

They did another ultrasound as soon as we got there at 4:30 and the kidney stones were gone except for one small one but the vet wanted him to have an X-Ray in the morning. There went my chance of leaving on the 9:30 ferry.

I found a hotel that would allow Max to stay in the room with me, Hotel España, also close to the vet. Pablo took us back to the hotel, we checked in, got situated and I decided to take Max to pee. There was a lot across the street and the manager of the hotel was kind enough to walk over there with me. Max still wouldn’t pee.

Never a shortage of wires

The street view from the balcony

My sweet boy waiting and watching

My bed for the night. The shower reminded me of the one in The Birds. I did not shower.

Fancy curtain rod could have lacerated my leg.

The city waking up. Max peed in the lot across the street. Sweet relief.

The masses of wires amaze me

In every direction

Waiting to leave

My room key

I took Max out early to go pee and when I got downstairs the owner was naked except for a blue striped towel around his waist, sweeping the floor. He was all nonchalant, like everyone sweeps the lobby of the hotel naked. He unlocked the doors (which I found odd that he kept them locked at ALL times) and finally, Max peed in the lot across the street for like 7 minutes straight.

I was hoping we could get the early ferry home but the radiologist wasn’t in until 8, which in Honduras means 9, 9:30ish. All time has ish after it. 10ish, noonish, fiveish. Pablo took me there, we sat for a few minutes until he realized we were at the wrong place and we walked down the street a half a block and waited some more.

Waiting at a medical office. Since Max is so dark, people walk F A R away from him. He’s scary looking.

He got his x-ray in this building.

The guy finally came and took the x-rays.  Dr Bueno, the vet was also there. He then took the x-rays to the radiologist who did the ultrasounds on Max. I kind of thought the radiologist was a guy with a traveling ultrasound machine and went  to bars or circuses and offered to do ultrasounds, but he was a bona fide radiologist who worked at a big hospital on the waterfront. Pablo and I sat by the beach and waited while Dr Bueno and the guy chatted over the x-rays. Then Dr Bueno came out and got me to show me the x-rays. I walked through the hospital to this office and they explained that there was fluid outside of his lungs and his heart was slightly enlarged. Great. At that point, I also told the Radiologist he should speak English. Go Deb!

Max hanging with me and Pablo at the beach

It really was quite lovely but Pablo told me not to wander too far and to not use my phone or camera unless I was next to him.

We were done with all of the x-ray stuff by 11 and I had the rest of the day to wait until I took the 4:30 ferry home. I chose to just sit and wait at the vets and Dr Bueno was OK with that. Max was familiar with the place, there were no dog parks or really any safe places to walk a dog, so we waited. While there I met a wonderful lady named Olga who was there with her cat. We chatted for a few hours, I really enjoyed meeting her, such a sweet lady, she hugged me good-bye.

Since I was leaving at 3:30 to get to the ferry and get Max’s ticket, I really had to bug Dr Bueno to get my meds ready and my bill so I could leave when I needed. Finally at 3:15 he began the procedure of gathering the medicines for Max, while internally I am a big ball of stress from waiting. Max was on prednisone, antibiotics, meds to break up the kidney stones, meds to dilate the urethra, meds to make the fluids around his lungs go away and pain pills. OMG. I instantly thought of my sweet grandmother who had a pill for every function.

Max and I were on the 4:30 ferry, which is the real reason behind the name Vomit Comet. The afternoon ferry has many victims of puke. Max goes in the cargo hold area and this time I sat upstairs, in First Class. It was a rough ride but I did my mind over matter mantra and I didn’t hurl. Others were not so fortunate. Puke-o-rama.

It was almost 7 by the time Max and I got home. Thankful we were home, Max was with me and I had the damn gate opener.

As I write this, we think Max is feeling a little better. He has more energy. His appetite never waned, he eats like a dog who hasn’t eaten for a LONG LONG time. 6 hours between meals KILLS this boy.

Barrio, Max and Gringo

We took Max to the people hospital to get x-rays last night. We are going back to Dr Diana (vet from Tegucigalpa) tomorrow and she wanted lateral thorax and abdomen x-rays. I have them all ready to go along with all of his blood and urine test results. Hopefully she can find the missing link. I’m also messaging a friend in AZ who is a vet. We’re trying to figure out how to send him pics of x-rays. I was told digital wasn’t an option at the clinic.

I am totally convinced they are all missing something and if they can figure it out, voilà, we’ll be good to go.

I also believe in unicorns and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

In case it’s not obvious, I would move hell and high water for my dogs. No, I’m not rich, but it doesn’t matter. My dog will be healthy again.

**Before I forget, I have a new Pennsylvania based phone number. Anyone can call it, no charge to you or me. If you don’t live in PA and have free long distance, it’s just that, free.  1-570-980-1551. It will only work if I’m home because I don’t have internet on my phone when I’m out running around, diving, boating or dancing. Important shit takes precedence.

Later peeps, another blog to follow soon, a really fun one. Peace out, for the love of dogs.

Almost a century

 

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02/22/2017 I have been lost in space the last several weeks, seems like months since I blogged. I’ve had company and a sick dog but all is now well and we are enjoying day visits with new friends. I’ve been to Calabash, Camp Bay, West Bay and West End, even made a few stops in Sandy Bay to see friends.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t filled you in on the Pirate party, it was held at a different spot this year because Franklin and Francie sold their fabulous home where the previous parties were and set sail for a year or more (boo) in the Caribbean. This year it was in the Calabash area again, on the water @ Andy’s home. I was “picked up” by Franklin and Francie for the ride out to Calabash. The road left a lot to be desired, although the location was very nice, right on the water, it did make up for the lousy road. It was a fun party but was not quite as epic as last year’s.

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Llyn reading a farewell poem to Francie and Franklin. She was followed by Rosalie who also wrote them a poem. Sad, I had tears in my eyes.

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Cindy Macy is flipping me the bird.

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Carmen, enjoying herself as usual. I love this girl.

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Jeanie, Carmen and Cindy who is hiding in the tree.

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Brett, Carmen’s husband, and me.

Lots of my friends were there and the Bobby Reiman band was playing tunes. Needless to say, we partied, danced and planked. Of course we did. What’s a party without pirate plankers?

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Martina, Marilyn, me, Francie and Jonna

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Carmen, Jeanie, Pam, Marilyn, kissing me and Francie.

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Jonna, Marilyn, Francie, Martina, Karen and me on the dock

I’m not sure who I handed my camera to when we planked, it was one of those moments, “here take a pic of us being awesome.” It may have been Brian Boyer.

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Me, dancing my way down the dock.

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Front to back, and I’m guessing because I can only see butts and arms. Me, Marilyn, Pam, ? Jeanie, Cindy, ? Wendy and Heather. Maybe. It was fun anyhow, always.

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We danced.

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The most famous and well loved Pirates of Calabash, Franklin and Francie. Their faces sure are missed. Love you both big time.

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Having just lost a pair of prescription sunglasses I was very cautious not to forget these. It was a perfect resting spot while we danced.

Nothing beats hanging out with your friends and being crazy. I’m so thankful for the friends here on the rock, such a great group of peeps.

I was invited to a luncheon at my friend Milesse’s. She is the one who owns Barefoot Cay. Since the place changed ownership she gave up her condo there and moved into a friends guest house in Sandy Bay. This is no ordinary guest house, it’s AMAZING. The place is decorated perfectly, everything about it is stunning, which is no surprise. Milesse’s previous place was pretty stellar also. There were just a few of us there, we enjoyed a great lunch and wine, of course. Then we had dessert and some more wine down on the palapa over the ocean.

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The vaulted ceiling

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Kitchen

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I fell in love with the wall sconces

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Sunroom

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View from the palapa

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Drinking some water that was poured over the spilled wine

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Tidepools

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The guest house, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Every bedroom has a private porch and an amazing bathroom.

It was a fun day spent with some of my favorite ladies.

A friend and I met at Cal’s one afternoon, and over a glass of wine we discussed how to best help Alexi and his family (not mother). Alexi is living at the Bomberos (fire department) and he said they didn’t have much food. My friend donated a big box of food for them and I went to the store and bought them all sorts of food items and powdered drink mixes. Their fridge was well stocked and the guys were very grateful.

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This is the kitchen at the fire station

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Some of the food for them.

We were hoping they didn’t eat all of the food in one sitting, Alexi reassured me they didn’t.

I met Jessica at her school, paid for the matriculation fee and the first Q. After we were finished there we went to the store and bought backpacks for her and Osman. When I was taking her home we saw Ephraim, he was on lunch break.

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I gave him his new backpack that was given to me for him. I was also given bags of clothes for him, Osman and the girls.

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Osman with his new backpack. Both of the packs were filled with school supplies brought by John and Lizeth! Thanks you two!

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This is Alexi’s mothers home. She and her idiot boyfriend and Ephraim live upstairs. Jessica, Julianna and Osman live in 2 rooms downstairs. The lower level has no windows, breaks my heart that children live like this.

Osman was not in school when I gave him his backpack. I asked why. Jessica said he didn’t have shoes. We bought his clothes and backpack and gave him donated supplies. His mother has internet on her phone, her mom’s boyfriend got a new motorcycle but nobody has $15.00 to buy the boy shoes. Bill and I decided we had to step away, we will continue to take care of Jessica and Alexi but the whole situation with the mother is just too much. We are afraid she sells the things we give the kids, it’s happened before. We were told to be careful. Sometimes helping can backfire and with a mother as evil as theirs is, we need distance.

My friend Teri came to visit, she is Frito, the 3 legged wonder dogs Momma. The day after she arrived we went to Mondays Don’t Suck, of course. There was a small crowd there, always fun.

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The beach dogs. The black one was very sick looking. I didn’t see the pups the last two times I was there. I hope they are OK. These beach dogs are so sweet, I always take them food.

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What a gorgeous place

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Looking west towards Alligator Nose.

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I could photograph this forever.

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She claims she didn’t have a glass. As far as I’m concerned, a bottle is a glass.

The next day Teri and I went to Marcia and Dennis’s home to go kayaking. It was a nice day but pretty windy. Going to the mangroves required some effort on our part, coming back was a breeze with the wind at our backs.

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Entering the mangroves

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So pretty. The tunnels were made by the Paya indians a long time ago so they could go from place to place without going out in the open sea.

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Teri floating along

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On our way back

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Marcia and Dennis have one of Frito’s pups, Duke. Isn’t he handsome?

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Duke and his big sister Shay. Both sweet dogs and very loved.

That evening Teri and I went to Cal’s for dinner, yummy as usual. International Living asked if there was a local hangout that I would like to write a little blurb about, so I did one for Cal’s. It was just published in their March issue. I’m going to print it and laminate it for Carl.

cals

Teri and I hung around the house for a few days, pooling it with the dogs. On Saturday eve I was in bed and Bill came in and said Max puked. I came out and he had puked 2 puddles about 3′ in diameter, all over the floor and the one dog bed. We got it all cleaned up, hosed bed cover off to wash the next day, and I went back to bed.

Sunday Teri and I went to the Reef House for a party. The sky was looking ominous on our way there, I called Keith and Jimmy came to get us. It was starting to drizzle as the boat docked at the resort. I said to Teri, we better run it’s going to pour in minutes. 30 seconds later the sky opened and it poured. All of the people went into the dining room where it was nice and dry. Alex was playing outside so he moved all of his equipment inside. It was kind of crazy for ten minutes, the rain must have made everyone realize they needed a drink because Keith was slammed. Teri and I finally got drinks and settled into chairs. Soon after that, the rain stopped and the sun came out, people slowly migrated outside again.

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After the downpour

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The “pool”

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Not a huge crowd but a good one due to the weather.

When we got home Bill said Max puked again, a lot. Now I was worried, he wasn’t eating or drinking and we hadn’t seen him poop. I was giving him pedialyte and water with a syringe and we held back food for 24 hours to give his stomach time to settle. He was having difficulty walking and had no energy. My vet doesn’t come until Wednesdays. Tuesday morning I took him to Doc Calderon’s office, my friend was going to start a saline IV to keep him hydrated. When we got there, he actually seemed better and we decided not to do the IV and I would just see doc in the morning.

On Tuesday afternoon Teri and I ran to West End, she needed to get a few things to take home.

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Loved this piece of a man in a Speed-o.

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Awesome floor

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Nidia scored some of these awesome maps. They are on canvas, plan to get mine stretched and mounted.

We stopped and saw my other family at Blue Island Divers, love all the people there, really amazing group. After that, I took Teri to the sloth farm. Now she wants a monkey and maybe a sloth. Daniel Johnson has such a fabulous place for his animals, they are so well taken care of.

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Monkey talk

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These two jumped on Teri from up high, causing her to scream.

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Male sloth hidden in the trees.

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I love sloths, so amazing. Their only defense is camouflage.

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One of the sloth whisperers. The sloths are not caged, they just stay in the trees.

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Gorgeous parrot

I was at the vets at 6:30 Wed. morn with Max. Doc called Bethany around 7 to translate for my friend KJ (who was there w/ her dog) and me. He drew blood and checked him to make sure he wasn’t bloated, checked for hard masses/lumps, took his temp, all ok. I took the blood to the lab to get it tested, making sure they knew it was for a perro, dog. I then came home and waited until Teri was packed and ready to go and I drove her to the airport. She was headed home to see Frito, who she missed terribly. Then I drove towards home, stopped at the lab and got the results from the blood test. I went back to my house, picked up Max and drove back to Doc’s. He read the test results and said Max is anemic and has ehrlichia, which is a tick borne disease. I don’t get it because they all get monthly flea and tick meds and heartworm medicine, like clockwork. Max was given 2 shots by Doc and he is on doxy and prednisone. He is slowly feeling better.

I stayed home the rest of the week and read by the pool with the dogs, keeping an ever vigilante eye on Max.

On Monday my friend Ann came down to our house and rode with Carmen, Brett and me to Mondays Don’t Suck. It was a fabulous day on the beach with a great group of people. The water was crystal clear with small waves. It was postcard beautiful.

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AMAZING

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My twin Ann, strolling down the beach

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Boundless beauty

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Flags proudly flying

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Beach dogs. I put dry food on the big leaves, the pups were not around this time.

I gave more school supplies to Eddie’s brothers, Milton, David and Lester.

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Such cute boys. Being raised by their grandparents

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The one in red is a year older than the one in the skull shirt. Thanks again Lizeth and John.

I still have crayons and pencils and that cute raincoat to give out. I’ll do that soon.

I have been in touch with Jessica’s teacher and she has been going to school daily. I’m anxious to talk to her and see how it’s going. I’m so happy she is back in school, it gets her out of that horrible environment for a few hours a day.

I expect we will soon be delivering TOMS shoes, it’s that time of year again. The people from Live Again Ministries are coming as are our good friends Brian and Addy from Canada. Looking forward to seeing them all again. It’s always a pleasure to have Pastor Ronny and the gang come to help, fantastic group of people.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy summer, visitor wise again. Three of the people are repeat visitors, three of them are new to the rock. I always love showing newbies around!

My last thought for the night; my Father just turned 96 on Feb 17th. NINETY SIX YEARS OLD. He has lived on this earth almost 100 years. I see the subtle changes every year when I visit, see him slowly, mentally slipping away. He was always such a strong figure in our family, someone you could always go to and get the best damn advice ever. He was always right. I was, and still am so fortunate to have this amazing man as my Father. I wish him many more happy birthdays!

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Victor @ 95

It’s time for me to stop typing and go to bed, going on 8 PM, close to bed time. I will make a conscious effort to be more timely with my blabbing. I still have a lot to say. Life is never boring.

 

The good, the bad and the ugly.

awesome

01/31/2017 When the weather has been crappy for so long and then it gets nice, $hit starts happening and it gets downright exciting here on the rock. We had Francie and Franklin over for Bill’s signature pizza, which he had made the day before while I was running around with Jason and Alex. We sat by the pool and sipped wine for awhile, then went up to the porch to have salads and pizza. As usual, the pizza was the bomb, there were only 2 small pieces left from 2 big pizza’s. Old Kentucky Bourbon chocolates from our Kentucky friends were dessert. Thank you John and Lizeth for the yummies. I am eating the last one right now. And Francie and Franklin, you are missed already. {They took off last week to spend some time on their new boat  yacht. They’ll be cruising around wherever they want to for the next year or so.}

I met Jason (IL) at Barefoot Cay on Thursday morning for a tour with my wonderful friend Milesse. Milesse is one of the founding owners of this exquisite small boutique resort on it’s own private cay.  We started with a tour of the resort. Having been there many times before, I thought I knew the resort rather well, I didn’t. Milesse pointed out so many things, took us into the rooms, behind the closed doors, laundry, food storage, into the villas and into the condos above the dive shop. I wrongly assumed the places above the dive shop were nice, clean little rooms for divers. So wrong. They are elegant condos overlooking the water that separates the dive shop from the cay. There is nothing plain about any of the rentals. They all emanate subdued elegance.

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From there we went over to the palapa where you can enter the water to snorkel or lay on the hammocks and swing in the breeze.

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The color of this water is why I moved to Roatan.

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Not sure what this is.

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Very nice villa with a kitchen, 2 nice bedrooms w/ AC and baths, and this porch, overlooking the 3 steps to the beach. Paradise.

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Your private beach!

We walked all around the cay and saw where they will do a few more rentals. They won’t overpopulate or change the atmosphere of the resort, they have a lot of unused land. BFC has become Barefoot Luxury and will seek out new locations in the Caribbean to open dive shops or a new boutique resort or both.

When we were finished with our tour we went to the second level of the restaurant and had watermelon smoothies. They were extremely refreshing! It’s always pleasant spending time with Milesse,  getting to do it at the resort is like icing on the cake.

From BFC Jason and I went to French Cay to Arch’s Iguana and Marine Preserve. My friends own the iguana park and I am blessed to have become family with the Arch’s.  They are a very cool, well known and respected island family. The Arch family patrols the Marine Park Reserve which is right off of their docks, 24/7. It’s all protected waters with no fishing allowed and people still poach at night, stealing small conch and baby lobsters. It’s a never ending thankless job. People that do this stuff either don’t care or don’t understand that they are ruining the future of these sea critters. Kill the babies and you’ll have no adults. such bad behavior.

Jason and I got to visit with the iguanas, see the babies and let the big guys crawl across our feet.

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So many baby iguanas. They are caged until they are around 18 months old. If they weren’t caged, the chickens and birds and black spiny tailed iguanas (carnivorous) would eat them, few would survive.

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Yep, I allow warm iguana bellies on my feet.

Just as we were finished looking at the babies, Sam came. He took us out on his boat (that he and his father built) Miss French Cay. We were in the area that he protects, down to Fantasy Island, CocoView and back. It was simply gorgeous on the shimmering sea.

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Some of the boats in the cay. The water in the cay is protected by the reef,  many boats safely anchor there.

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CoCo View. The most returned to dive resort in the Caribbean. My friend Andrea is the nurse there.

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Under the bridge

We left there and drove straight to our house. I wanted to show Jason the view from our roof, which is amazeballs. We, along with all 5 dogs, went up there, he took some photos and then we left for the quick drive to Cal’s for lunch.

When we got there I told Carl (owner of Cal’s) who I was with. He actually smiled. If you know Carl, a smile is a big deal. Jason and I had a great meal, I saw some friends there and we also saw Paul, a gringo who Jason interviewed on Tuesday. When we went to pay, Reynaldo said Carl got the bill. Super nice of him, not necessary, but appreciated.

Feeling satiated, we went straight to Daniel Johnson’s Sloth and Monkey Hang-out. Daniel wasn’t there when we got there, they said he was just at lunch. Stephanie (Daniel’s GF) had our name on the sheet and we were given a guide and taken in. It was later in the day so the sloth’s were sleeping in the trees but we could easily see them. Some of the monkeys were running helter skelter on the roof, sounding like rhinoceros. The monkeys all get 2 hours a day out of their cages (in pairs, not all at once). The guide took us in the cages with the huge Macaws. These birds are magnificent. Now, let me say, I’m not a bird person. I used to lock myself in the bathroom when my mother let her damn parakeets out to fly around the kitchen. Here I am in a cage with birds bigger than my head. Just then Daniel came and he stepped into the cage with us. They held a sunflower seed over my head and the freaking bird landed on my head, 2 TIMES. I ask Daniel if it was going to poop on me and he said, you never know. Great, thanks.

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Monkeys climbing high

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Beautiful bird

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The colors are brilliant

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These birds were all rescued

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Jason holding one of the macaws

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Not what I imagined doing that day

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Walk like an Egyptian

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A sleeping sloth

Daniel talked to us about his next project which is to make his cages much larger and taller than they currently are and to move a few things around. He has a nice operation and he takes impeccable care of the animals. He is Sam Arch’s cousin, small island.

Jason had another appointment in West End at 3ish and I had volunteered to drive him back to the other end of the island. Once I dropped him off I called my friend Ann and ran up and said hello, she’s my twin, in case you didn’t know that.

On Saturday Jeanie and Roger came here and we all rode together to Trish and Dave’s home in Sandy Bay. Trish and Dave were headed back to Canada the 23rd. We had a nice dinner, enjoying the amazing view. Once it started to get dark, we left for home. I never had the tint removed from my windshield, it’s pretty dark and makes a night drive similar to driving at night with almost dead flashlights. Plus, the Duchess and husband still had to drive to Hell with a View in Camp Bay.

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We ate dinner out here, gazing over the north shore

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Beautiful

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Never ending beauty

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The Duchess having a chat with Santiago, her watchie man.

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My twin Ann’s house is partially visible from Trish’s deck. She lives the next hill to the east.

This is part of the mess we came home to. Barrio and Highway were left inside. Aside from the bottle of Black Seed Oil that Barrio chewed up on top of the ottoman, he also destroyed a styrofoam egg carton. This really isn’t a big deal, but I never buy eggs in styrofoam, only in a cardboard flat of 30. I then transfer them to the styrofoam containers because they fit in my fridge so much easier.

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I found the GLASS dropper from this 2 days later. So happy he didn’t get hurt but not sure how he got the screw top lid off.

Sunday was a day at home. I did go to Mega Paca in the morning but then stayed here all day, we had several workers so I stuck around and made sure things I wanted done were getting done.

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Alexi finishing the barbed wire top of the fence. he also wrapped the rubber tree branches in barbed wire, it will thwart any would be thieves for sure.

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One of the things Bill and Miguel did was put the top forms on the concrete gate posts. Now to get them finished. The gate does open with a remote now, no more getting out of the car and opening or closing it. SO MUCH BETTER.

The school bells are once again ringing for the island kids, they are on break Nov-Feb. This year Alexi will be going to a different school, one he needs to go to for the Bomberos (fire fighters) that is held every Sunday in Punta Gorda. He needs new school shoes, we are taking some of his pay every week and holding it for him so he has some money to buy things he needs. If he has money, his mother “borrows” it and never repays him, of course. We are going to open a bank account once he gets ID. He has never had any because it requires his mother to actually do something to get it. Jessica, his younger sister is going to go to the English school that Alexi went to the last 2 years. She needs everything for school except undershirts and socks which Julie and Robby brought for her already. Alexi’s brother and nephew both need school clothes also. I don’t know if it’s me and my attitude or what but it pisses me off that Alexi’s lazy assed “mother” will not spend one penny for her kids to go to school. If someone else doesn’t cough up the money, so sad, too bad, they don’t go. This will be Jessica’s first year back to school after not going for a couple years because her mother wouldn’t buy the uniforms and supplies that she needed. In her defense (and believe me, the last thing I would ever do is stick up for the lousiest mother of the year award winner) the uniforms are expensive. We spent $100 USD on 2 pair of dark blue pants, 2 white short sleeved shirts, a pleated skirt for Jessica and a pair of slip on black shoes for her and socks for the boys. We also got them each writing notebooks that they needed. $100.00. A hundred dollars to get kids almost ready for back to school is nothing for people who have a little money but for the majority of people on the island, it is a LOT of money. Now remember, many families have MANY children (hello birth control?) and they can’t afford the uniforms so the kids don’t go to school. In a country with such an overpopulation of children and extreme poverty in the majority of the communities, why the hell do they have to wear uniforms? How does that change their  learning capabilities?

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Jessica and Efraim, he’s trying on a shirt for school.

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Bill bought the boys each a bag of peanuts.

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Osman on the L and Efraim on the R. Efraim is Alexi’s brother to a different father and Osman is Juliana’s 5 year old son.

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We bought local and went to Oak Ridge to Clifford’s store. he is the Vice Mayor of Santos Guardiola and a really nice man. He helps Nidia out a lot.

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A motorcycle coming down the hill and 3 guys on horses. It’s the wild wild west.

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Efraim

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Osman

We dropped Juliana and the boys off at a seamstress in Politilly. The boys both needed their pants shortened and tucks put into the waist. Hopefully they will get 2 years out of the pants. We didn’t buy them big on purpose, they were the 2 smallest pair they had.

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This door is on the second story of a house by the seamstress.

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Jessica and a friend’s baby.

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Efraim and Osman on the porch where the seamstress lives.

When we were leaving Politilly we had to slow down to go around a motorcycle on the road. When we got right up to it Bill said, “well, look who it is.” It was Alexi’s poor excuse of a mother and her boyfriend who beat Alexi. She probably knew the kids were with us and that we were buying them school clothes but she never even said thank you. We should have knocked them over. Or run them over. I turned my head, I was afraid of what I would say. If she cared at all, just one tiny little speck of care, I wouldn’t feel so upset by her, but she doesn’t. She just does not give one $hit about the kids she brought into this world.

It’s all about the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m trying to make peace with it, I struggle.