Feeling like the weak link in the midst of pack mentality

02/07/2018 It seems like the rainy season may be slowing down. We had an insane 94″ since October, that’s a LOT of rain. I used to be a pluviophile but I no longer am. I’m sooo over this dampness and rain. Everything in my house has mold and mildew growing on it. Everywhere. Bill will have been gone 3 weeks on the 5th and I have drained the pool 5 times, 3 times I drained out quite a bit. Once it was ready to overflow, which wouldn’t really hurt anything but it would be a PITA. (pain in the a$$)

My neighbor called again to ask me what day it was. This is the second time. Poor guy, I think whoever set his clock or whatever set it on PM, not AM because he said it indicated  it was Monday. I worry about him being alone.

Things had been going really well with Bill gone. I muscled up a big 5 gallon water bottle and got it in the stand, hoisted a big bag of dog food and dumped it in the container. I’m a big girl, or so I thought.

I attended the inauguration party for the new mayor of Oak Ridge. I was meeting my friends Diane and Andy there and ended up sitting with them and other friends Don and Janice and another lady who has lived here for 20 years. On my way in I saw Alexi who was there with the Bomberos (Fire Department). When I parked my car I backed in alongside a telephone pole. I was on the left of the pole, the fire truck was on the right. I figured easy peasy, I can pull right out when I want to leave. Totally forgetting where I live.

Our Mayor, Carson Dilbert and his wife at the inauguration.

They had a stage and podium and music and were planning to feed everyone there.

One of Bill’s best friends, Sterling Lucas, he was elected as a council member.

When I went to leave (before meal was served) someone had parked in front of me and the car next to me. Seriously???

A cop went and got the driver of the Bomberos truck to move it so I could get out. Island intelligence at it’s finest. The Bomberos guys were super nice about it.

Friday night I was meeting friends at Cal’s for dinner. I got down my driveway to find a truck stuck sideways. Normally I could have gone around it but the ground is so wet and muddy, I waited. They finally were able to lift the truck back onto the concrete and move the stupid thing.

Only in Roatan do they lift up a truck.

On Monday Miguel and the kids came up and we went to the Vice Mayor of Santos Guardiola’s store in Oak Ridge and bought all 3 kids new school uniforms. I already gave them some Tom’s shoes that were leftover from last year. We will be delivering new shoes to their school again this year. We got a backpack for Naeli, the other two are OK for now. (Miguel said they don’t need new packs, that they will need them when the ones they have are worn out). In other words, they’re not getting them until they need them and I can respect that. He’s doing an amazing job being a Dad. This is the first he’s been with his kids in 2.5 years. He’s doing everything possible to make them grow up as responsible people and he wants them to be bilingual and get an education. He had to quit school at a young age to help pay for his 2 older brothers to go to college. They are both college graduates, Miguel is not. He could have been but was not given the opportunity.

Naeli, Michelle and Miguelito. Bill just told me the two girls are not really Miguel’s kids but he has supported them for years. The oldest, Naeli wants to change her last name to Miguel’s but it’s 10,000L (almost $500.00) to do it.

After Miguel and I got finished buying their school things I ran into the muni and paid our property taxes, $150.00 a year, then we walked down to my friend Gretta’s house to see Bailey. Bailey is one of the dogs Bill found and Miguel was raising. Gretta and her family adopted her and are in love with this dog. She’s grown quite a bit and is extremely happy in her new home.

Wyatt loving on Bailey

I also took the kids to buy some school books, crayons, colored pencils and reading books. I also bought a Spanish/English dictionary to help Miguel teach them English. We got them helmets because they ride to school on their Dad’s motorcycle. Unfortunately no DOT approved helmets here. The soccer shoes were donated by my friends John and Lizeth. They brought sandals, a pair of soccer shoes and tons of notebooks for the school kids.

All their stash.

He is such a cute kid. The school they go to has their own soccer uniforms (donated by Dave and Trish a few years ago) and Miguelito loves to play soccer.

Michelle in her new helmet.

These are the 3 boys who live down in the village below us. One is the boy who fell out of the tree with a sharp machete in his hand. Bill had to take him to the emergency room to get it sewn up, he has quite a bad scar. They wanted to see if I had any notebooks for them for school. And I did, thanks to John and Lizeth. I also had some shoes left over so I was able to fit the two younger ones. Their names are Milton, David and Lester.

As they started down the hill I heard, “Thank you Miss Deb.”

The dogs are still misbehaving when I leave, it’s actually getting worse, not better as they mature. The other day Max took books off the shelf and chewed them up, along with a Fed Ex folder with Bill’s papers in it. The next day I kept Barrio in with Highway instead of Max and he got a tightly closed bottle of Turmeric pills off my computer desk, OPENED THE BOTTLE, TOOK THE COTTON OUT, SPILLED THE CONTENTS THEN ATE 1, MAYBE 2 OF THEM. They taste awful, thankfully, or he may have OD’d on Turmeric.

This is Max’s mess

And Barrio’s mess, he also got a bag of brown sugar off the shelf and had it all over.

On Tuesday morning it was raining, the back porch was wet slippery concrete. There were some stray dogs in our driveway and Highway saw them and totally lost it. He actually becomes possessed when he sees a dog in the driveway. He cries, howls, barks, whimpers and makes the most high pitched ear splitting noise you can imagine. Since he is Alpha he whips the rest of the pack into a frenzy, barking and howling relentlessly. I got Highway in a kennel and closed the door. He continued to howl and cry, I thought my ears were going to bleed from the noise. Just about then Barrio and Max went after each other under the steps where it’s hard for me to get to. I got them separated and was putting Max in a kennel when Barrio walked by. I don’t know who started what but in a split second there was a vicious dog fight. I was trying to get them separated, pulled Barrios collar off and then fell on the porch. By that time Lola and Gringo had joined in on the fight. Max had Barrio’s face in his mouth, right over his eye, I thought for sure he was going to rip Barrio’s eye out. I tried to pry his mouth off of Barrio’s face, no luck. I got bitten twice, no idea by who. I was on the floor in the middle of 4 frenzied dogs, Highway still in the kennel going completely apeshit. If he had been out he would have been in on it too. Somehow I got Barrio away and crawled to the back door and threw him in the house and got Max in a kennel. I then sat down and sobbed. I had blood all over me, it was the most horrifying experience of my life. I went into check on Barrio, luckily he wasn’t too bad. He has a big gash on his forehead between his eyes and another one that starts at the corner of his eye on his face, that ones not deep. Max was in the kennel holding his paw up. I put Barrio in the bedroom and brought Max in. He had a bad wound on his R leg, his L paw was all swollen and he had several more bites on his back legs. I had a puncture wound on my arm and another on my knuckle. I was beyond stressed out. I called Bill, who was in Oregon and told him what happened. He assured me dogs don’t hold grudges and that they would be fine. Later that night I let them all inside together and there were no problems. I am hoping that the reason this happened is because Highway had them whipped to a frenzied state, they had nothing to do with their excitement so they turned on each other. I’m very thankful they did not turn on me during all the insanity.

Wednesday morning I took Max to Doc Calderon at 6:45 AM. Max’s one wound was so bad he knocked Max out and cleaned the wound, got the blood out from around it and put in 8 stitches. He checked my bites and put Max, Barrio (who I didn’t take to the vet) and I on Cephalexin. Then I started thinking I should have taken Barrio in. I called my friend Pam who is a nurse and asked if she was going to town to please stop by and look at Barrio for me. She came on Thursday and Highway went apeshit again. I put him in the kennel, again, he continued to howl and cry. Max was inside with a cone on his head because when Pam came I was in the middle of trying to change his bandage. He refused to let me so he got the cone. I brought Barrio in to have Pam look at him and he walked past Max and they went after each other AGAIN. I threw Max in the bedroom. Pam felt Barrio was OK and said he would heal but have a scar because he didn’t get stitches.

From that point on I was terrified to have them together again. My emotional state was not able to go through that again. I kind of shut down emotionally and mentally. The dogs sensed my stress too and did not like being separated. Max didn’t want to eat because he wasn’t eating with the pack. It was not a fun time for me, I love all of these dogs and the thought of them not being able to be together and play together was breaking my heart.

Bill was going to stay in Oregon for 2 more weeks and had it not been for this episode, I was totally fine. When he realized how much this had affected me he got a plane ticket and came home. The dogs were super excited to see him.

This is my sweet friend Lizeth. I met her through my blog, she’s the one who said to me (when I was volunteering at the airport) you’re Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you? We’ve been friends ever since. They own a beautiful piece of land here and will be building sometime in the (we hope near) future. She and John and her sister, brother and sister’s boyfriend came to visit. We went to Cal’s for lunch and then came back here for a bit. This pic was taken on our roof.

The parrots were back but the sun was right behind them, crappy photo.

So this is a ReMax magazine that I picked up somewhere when I was with Carmen. I always like to look through them and see who’s selling what. I laid it on the new counter top, meaning to recycle it.

It stuck to the counters and I was freaking out. I laid a hot dish cloth on it repeatedly until I could rub all the stuck on paper off. It didn’t even leave a mark. WHEW.

They DO get along and love each other.

I think I forgot to mention that Bill won a 40″ TV from our internet provider. We didn’t even know it until Trish messaged me about it. Funny, 3 other people I know won one also, including Trish who told us to begin with.

A photo of the house. The paint is fading so badly, this sun is so hard on stuff, paint, stain on wood, you name it.

This photo is of Highway, totally comfy on the stool. The pillow behind him is brand new, found it at Mega Paca, it says Sea, Sand and Sunshine, $3.00 Deal..

This is one of the new TSA approved locks I sent to Bill while in Oregon. Yes, the idiot TSA cut the lock to get in the bag and thoughtfully taped the pieces to their inspection sheet. I emailed TSA and they were worthless so I emailed the place on Amazon that I bought them. They said unfortunately TSA sometimes does not take the time to try and open them, they just cut them because they can. They are sending me brand new ones. Excellent customer service.

My latest favorite movies are Wonder and Lady Bird. Both really good movies, and while Bill was gone (3 weeks) I cleaned up 307 piles of dog poop. Yes I made a spread sheet and kept track.

Signing off on this rainy, windy Wednesday. I’m totally hoping there is some normalcy returned to my life.


Earthquakes, Dementia and other stuff

01/24/2018 Home alone and left to her own thoughts. Will she go stir crazy or not? Answer is, NOT. I’ve kept myself busy, getting some things done that I’ve wanted to do but was too lazy and reveling in the fact that my kitchen and house can stay clean for days on end. It’s amazing. You’re wondering why I have a clean house?? Bill is in the states, he’s been there a week so far and isn’t sure when he’s returning. He’s going to help a friend with a project, but first, he got to spend some time with Trace in Seattle. They went to Everson, where we moved here from, and Bill visited a friend and also went to see our 3 legged dog that Teri adopted. Frito didn’t remember Bill and he was sort of hurt by that. I get it, but I’ll take it to mean she’s happy in her new life and has forgotten the miserable life she had until I found her and had her leg removed. Not really as gruesome as it sounds, if she hadn’t had the surgery, she would have died and the 7 pups she was carrying would have died too. Then I wouldn’t have the dog loves of my life, Barrio, Gringo and Max.

Speaking of dogs, they know Bill is gone and are overly attentive to me. They wait for me to come upstairs when it’s night time, they lay outside the door when I go in the bedroom. They are tuned in. Pretty amazing creatures.

The day after Bill left, the hot water heater stopped making hot water. I am so not a cold shower girl. I went to ACE and bought new batteries for it and changed them but I could not get the door that holds the batteries in to latch. I had to have Kevin come over and do that for me. After several tries I finally got the igniter to light and voilá, hot water! Later that day I dropped my favorite sweeper in my whole life and broke it. It still works but doesn’t stay together. I used some green masking tape but that didn’t hold for crap so Bill said to get some GORILLA tape. That shit works. I think I can live with my McGyver fix.

Other than a few outings, I’ve been at home. The day I took Bill to the airport I stopped at Mega Paca and bought 2 new mattresses for Miguel’s kids. You should have seen the guy and I getting them in my car, hysterical.

Miguel came to get them on Tuesday, on his motorcycle. It was windy out, not just a breeze. WINDY. He tied the mattresses (that were wrapped in plastic so they were slippery) together and wore them home like a back pack. Now, this is not a normal feat accomplished by anyone.

Never saw anyone wear two mattresses as a back pack.

He had to go down our steep drive, get on the main highway for a short distance, then go down a 2 mile mud/dirt road that we can’t get down because we don’t have a huge 4X4. He called once he got the mattresses unloaded.

You have to be a “badass’ as my friend Sue said. And he is, but in the nicest way. We both feel very lucky knowing Miguel, he’s a good man.

He already built his kids bunk beds for the mattresses. The kids were thrilled and so was Miguel, he didn’t have to sleep on a lounge chair any longer. We are waiting for him to get their school records so we can get them enrolled in Marlon’s school, Froylan Turcios. It’s one of the more productive schools I’ve been to. Marlon, the principal and soccer coach is a good guy. He tries and he cares, that’s a pretty big deal. You’ll see pics of Miguel’s kids when the weather clears and I can get down there and go snorkeling with them. Kimberly, Michelle and Miguelito. We’re beyond excited he got to have them for a few months, it’s been years, they are really happy with him, spending every nice day on the beach and in the water. (those nice days have been very few, it’s still ugly here)

So, earthquakes. Yep, on Tues Jan 9th, at 8:53 PM I posted on FB, Umm, Earthquake?? We were all in the living room, Bill on his chair, me on the couch. The boys were all sleeping, Lola was pacing. I leaned over my laptop to do something and all of a sudden everything was undulating. Weird freaking juju..the cool thing is, it lasted so long we were talking about it while it was “quaking.” I had quite a long response to that post as the island felt it but had no damage. The quake itself was very shallow, which is what saved us because it was a 7.8, which is a pretty good shaker. Lucky this time.

We are the blue dot on the map.

I know I’ve spoken about the increasing difficulties my poor sister and brother-in-law are dealing with keeping an eye on my parents. In less than a month my Dad will be 97 and he still dresses as sharp as he did 40 years ago, always a well dressed man. His mind is failing him and he is aware of it and it bothers and angers him mercilessly. Mom on the other hand is 92, 93 this summer, and she is not a picture of health, she has lung issues and a bad knee and certainly not a candidate for surgery, a live with it kind of pain. Her mental acuity is failing also. Not a real capable pair. I was worried about my dad and him not being the man he wants to be. I can’t imagine how he must feel, he was always such a proud but quiet man, this is a terrible thing for him to be going through, and for my sister and Mark.

I recently started watching a show on YouTube called A Mother and Son’s Journey with Dementia. It’s so good, I binged 53 episodes of it. The woman in the show, Molly, is younger than I am and she is way way worse than my Father. He is 30 years older than her. I have been pounding that into my head consistently because I worry so much about them, me being here, them in MD but then I realize, holy shit, he’s almost 97. He can be crotchety and nasty if he wants to. Still doesn’t make me feel any better about my sister and Mark having to do so much for them. After seeing that show though, it really put things into perspective for me. If anyone is dealing with dementia check out the videos, they are very well done.

While Bill is gone I have been watching movies. I was without internet all day one day so I watched a few. I have seen, The Florida Project, The Greatest Showman, Lady Bird, Call Me by Your Name, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Hacksaw Ridge. I’ve also watched Little Big Lies twice. I’m almost caught up on Modern Family and This is Us, the only other TV I watch besides HGTV HHI, and Netflix. I enjoyed all the movies except Call Me by Your Name, it was confusing to me.

Bill took this pic of the pack, L to R Gringo, Highway, Max, Barrio and Lola. What a crew.

Gringo hovering on the corner, Max zzzz’d out.

Chance took this photo of my parents on January 4th, he had such a good visit with them. It meant a lot.

We finished the counter tops in the kitchen. I am in love with the sink, turned out really well. We want to do our bathroom and the kitchen downstairs. Maybe the back porch too.

My camera takes crappy indoor photos. We had everything covered, or so we thought.

Doing to the L of the stove. First some black and white

Smear it around

Mix a little more

Never sure what it will look like. I’m sure with practice and developing a technique, you could somewhat get what you want.

Then you torch it. After it’s torched then you can start spraying 90% alcohol mixed with different powders. Then after you do that you can torch it again. The alcohol makes all the strange effects. It also makes air bubbles, not cool.

We had no clue how to do the sink but wanted it to look like a whirlpool sort of. It turned out awesome.

In the process of doing the sink, drain and garbage disposal were pulled. Bill thought he had enough covered area under the drain hole. Not so much, epoxy resin everywhere under the sink.

It turned out pretty cool.

My favorite part of the kitchen is the sink.

We took the boys swimming early one morning to a beach nearby. They had a blast.

But it started raining

Dog butts

We need to take them swimming more often, not so much to swim but to run. Once the road to Miguel’s is fixed we’ll be going down there with them.

There is a new recycling initiative on the island. Many restaurants have stopped selling single use water bottles and plastic straws are becoming a thing of the past. I cut up 6 yogurt containers and stuffed them all into one bottle along with a big plastic bag and 3 laundry detergent bags. Bill made the stuffing stick for me, helps to really cram the bottles full.

A lot of single use plastic can be stuffed in to a bottle. The SOL Foundation is building a wall with the stuffed bottles.

With these well stuffed bottles and some concrete they are building walls, flower beds and other things. They also are cutting wine bottles and using the bottoms in concrete to make a wall. The tops are then broken up and used as colorful drain catchers at the bottom of drainpipes.

So my 4 year old Google Nexus tablet died a slow death. It won’t recharge. Sad because it was almost an appendage on me. I broke down and bought a BIG 9.6″ Samsung tablet, I love it but hate the cover I got for it and have ordered a different one. Bill bought a new battery for the dead tablet, if it fixes it we’ll either hang on to it or sell it.

When we still lived in PA the boys and I spent a lot of time on the Loyalsock Creek. Almost every day (before we got a pool) was spent there. On my high school class page they posted a contest to vote for the favorite creek. Loyalsock creek won, but it wasn’t for the best creek in PA, it was for the BEST RIVER. How can a creek win the best river contest? So insane. Only in PA.

I’m planning to call my parents this morning. Every single time I call and Mom answers she hangs up on me, usually 2 or 3 times before we actually connect. She says the on off button is on the side of the phone but I don’t think it is. Kind of funny. My neighbor Mr John called me on Friday and wanted to know what time it was. I told him, then he asked what day it was. Then he asked me to call him at 9 AM the next morning so he would know when to go somewhere. Obviously he only has a watch for a clock and the battery must have died. Poor guy.

There are political marches on the mainland as the President prepares to take office. He is hated by many and loved by many. I just wish they would get their crap together and quit fighting so I could go to the mainland and get tile for the kitchen back splash. I’m hoping the madness will soon be over.

Just an FYI for those of you who get email notices for my blog. GMAIL has changed their sorting of mail and it may go in your promotions tab. Part of the new algorithm they are using. Why can’t they leave well enough alone?

It’s a sunny day which is a rarity here, I’m going to head outside and read for awhile. I’ll leave you with a few pics of the bed with all 5 dogs on it. It rained really hard one night so I kept them all inside.

Barely enough room for me

Max is upside down on the right

L to R, counterclockwise. Barrio’s ear, Max, Highway, Lola and Gringo. The cat jumped up, looked around, hissed, said OH HELL NO, and left.

Off to hang by the pool, have a fabulous day wherever you may be.

I’d rather dodge bullets than potholes



1/4/2018 First time typing or even thinking 2018. It’s here and I’m already another year older (yesterday)! I haven’t been doing much except for a few Christmas parties for the kids and a couple get togethers with friends so I thought I would share some island revelations. Instead of NY resolutions, I mean, really WTH are they? Does anyone REALLY do them? I think not.

Revelation #1. So, how many of you check the toilet before you sit down on it? We are a lid down family. Always down, I like it that way except for the one or two times in my life that I had too much to drink and forgot. I lift the lid and I check the bowl. Every. Single. Time. You ask why? Well, I’ve read about snakes coming up the pipes and being in toilets and I read about a lady that sat down to pee and a frog jumped up and hit her in the butt. I’m telling you if I ever saw a snake in my toilet or a frog touched my butt, it would be the last time I ever peed. EVERRRR. I would just blow up in a weeks time and explode all over creation. I did not make that a NY resolution. Actually I don’t think I ever in my life made one (well, one that I kept anyhow).

Revelation # 2. I hate, detest, abhor Geckos. I don’t care how cute anyone thinks they are, I hate them. Honest, given my choices and I know I’ve said this before, I would prefer a 4′ iguana in my house rather than a 4″ gecko. They give me the major creeps. They can all die or relocate to a different island and I’ll be cool with it.

Revelation # 3. I do not handle having no internet or a non or poorly functioning laptop/tablet well. It’s my boiling point. It makes me crazier than I already am.

Revelation # 4. I no longer am a shopper. Living on Roatan has put an end to that. My needs are little, my wants are nil, it’s so simple and easy. I never was one for designer handbags, personally don’t like them, just not my style. My handbag is a Keene that I got at Mega Paca for $3.00 and it’s perfect. It’s waterproof and I can wipe the mud off of it with no worries of stains.

Revelation # 5. I wear my day clothes to bed. ALL THE TIME. Usually a dress and undies, that’s my go to at home wear and many days I crawl into bed in the same clothes I wore all day. The epitome of laziness. That’s me.

and last but not least: #6. I blow dry my razor. If I don’t it’s good for one shave only. It turns into such a rust heap that it’s a definite source of lockjaw. So towel dry, blow dry, cover and store out of the shower.

OK, done with revelations, I could go on but it may get disturbing to some so I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

Nidia and I did 2 Christmas parties for the kids this year, back to back. The first was in an area we went to the very first year we helped Nidia, in 2014. It’s called Brass Hill but Bill thought she was saying Brazil so we now refer to it as Brazil. It is a very very poor part of the island. The majority of the children do not go to school, most of them don’t have shoes.

Our very own tropical flip flop wearing Santa, AKA Sully.

Everyone got a Santa hat

One of the local homes

Fridge/ bench, it’s versatile.

The Queen Bee, Nidia, getting the group organized. Sort of.

These children are so beautiful. This one loved Santa, she was beside him all day.

Checking the list..naughty or nice. Not really, we had a list of kids that would get gifts.

Happy kids, toys and candy

My idea of a selfie.

Our motley crew, Nidia, David, Nicola and Charlie (David’s sweet kids) Sully and me. And my antlers light up!

Me with a sweet young girl. Francie, I have on our top.

Santa going back to his sleigh, errr, truck.

This was on a Friday and the next day we were having the big party in downtown Coxen Hole. It was held at The Merry Inn Seaman Club. I had seen the signs but never been inside the building. I had to park a couple blocks away and luckily brought my rain coat, even though it was a sunny day. It was a wise move on my part. Usually I let things like that, or my umbrella in the car.

At one time this was a well known and busy establishment. They are still open, random hours though.

The inside was a museum, the artwork was amazing. I couldn’t believe it. It saddens me that it is being destroyed by the elements. It really should be preserved.

The Pirate history of Roatan was painted on some of the walls. I met the lady who’s uncle did the artwork, he has since passed.

There were 2 cruise ships painted on the walls, fantastic details on them.

Roatan has a huge pirate history.

The bar had all kinds of fish painted on it.

Don’t know what the hell this fish is but I don’t want to meet it.

These were some homes along the building. The far one has an outside sink, which is very common.

There was a cruise ship in port that day

We blew up balloons to make streamers and sliced all the hot dog buns, got the toys ready, waiting for the arrival of Santa. Word got out that he was there and he was mobbed before he even got in the room.

The kids were very excited.

More Santa hats

Santa was swarmed like bees on honey

He could barely walk

This face

Santa gave everyone toys and candy

Me and Nidia

It was getting dark and was pouring buckets and I had to walk to my car. I put my raincoat on, hood up and left the party at 5. It’s an hour drive home, even more in the rain and my windshield is very tinted, making it difficult to see in the dark, I was so exhausted when I got home that I just vegetated on the couch before I went to bed.

The kitchen view on Thanksgiving day.

Newly re-upholstered couch. The ottomans have covers on top of it (it looks wrinkly) to keep the dog hair off of the new upholstery, I can take the cover off to clean it.

I took my curtains down and gave them away. I hated them. I don’t want curtains but Bill does. I haven’t taken the brackets down yet but will before we paint. Once the counter tops are finished, we’ll do the tile back splash and then I’ll choose a color for the walls. One thing at a time.

On Christmas Day we went to our neighbors (a mile away) and had Christmas dinner with other friends. They had their tree decorated.

My friend Yvonne being bartender. Not really, I think she was just getting something to drink.,

Part of the group

Lots of excellent food, turkey and ham and every side dish imaginable.

Dessert table, chocolate rum cake, Italian Cream cake, key lime pie

And Yvonne’s decadent Reese’s bars. I think I ate 8 of them.

The parrots have been around a lot lately. Just the other night a flock of them flew overhead, so noisy. It’s the first I ever saw a flock of them around here.

These two perch in this tree often. They are wild yellow naped parrots.

These two are babies, no yellow on their necks yet.

This is why I can’t have nice bedding, the dogs and the cat. The cat has a thousand tiny holes in the spread from jumping up on the bed a zillion times a day. And the dogs, well, hair..

A friend noticed this dog down by the abandoned pirate ship, she had been feeding her. I went and fed her a few days and started looking for a home for her.

Found out the second day she has an owner and she’s not covered in fleas or ticks so maybe she is OK.

Mom and Dad with the Harry and David cookies I sent them for Christmas. It’s so hard to buy for them at 96 and 92. I just sent them 100 photos of things around the island via Walgreen’s. I type on each photo what it is so they know what they’re looking at.

Currently Chance is visiting them. He arrived last night and is staying with my sister. They are very excited that he is there.

Our eating space the other night for pizza when our friends came over. It didn’t even rain until the rum cake dessert was finished. Lucked out that night.

The other evening the power went out around 6:20. My friend Ann messaged me and said she wonders what the cruise ship people think. They are leaving the island around 6, just getting mid island and the whole island goes dark. Maybe they think we turn the island lights off after the cruise ships leave.

Life has been pretty much stay at home, I honestly do NOT want to go anywhere because the roads are so bad. I have never seen them like this and with the rain we have been having they continue to deteriorate. It’s just not worth it to even go out. Today I’m going in to town because Nidia is finally getting a vehicle and I’m going to meet her at Island Shipping when her new to her car arrives and take photos. She is 40 and has never owned a car and if anyone needs one, she does. A Go Fund Me was started by a friend and raised enough money to buy her some wheels. She is beyond excited, she said never in all of her life did she think she would own a car. I hope she can avoid the damn potholes for awhile until the new Mayor takes office and things change around here.

I’ll end this with a video of an every freaking day occurrence at our house. Barrio always takes this toy and shoves it in Highway’s face while whining, crying, singing, who knows. Watch Gringo’s face (bottom right) at about 20 sec. Highway is the one laying upside down on the dog bed. Click HERE.

Happy New Year everyone.


I killed the Alien

12/17/2017 Yes, it’s still been raining and I am damn sick and tired of it. We have recently had a few nice days, the first for awhile, sunshine and blue skies! The pool got drained too low but it rained enough to fill it back up. I have not been in for a few months, which is really odd. I was in almost daily last winter. Just goes to show this was an ugly rainy season.

So, the election happened country-wide. The island made out well, Dorn, the mindless mayor is gone, hopefully for good, and Jerry Hynds is the new mayor of the west end of the island and we fortunately still have Carson. Between the two mayors we should be able to get this island rolling again. The last mayor of the west end, I’ll refer to him as MM, did nothing in four years except waste taxpayers hard-earned money. It’s really a shame to say but he was totally worthless, everything he did was half assed and made no sense. Not one major accomplishment in 4 years. The mayor on the east end needs pages to list what he did with his 4 years in office. He did A LOT! The new mayor has his work cut out for him but he is an established businessman and can get things done. There is hope. My friend Nidia was selected for city council. This is great because we need a strong woman like her on our side.

However the Presidential election is not over. It was Nov 26th but they can’t seem to come to a conclusion on who won. I read they had one month, so the day after Christmas. There have been riots in the cities on the mainland, mass looting, tear gas, shots fired, people killed, police officers wounded, it’s ugly as hell over there. It has also disrupted service to the island. The ferry was shut down for a day or so because the roads to get to it were blocked by rioters, bridges were closed and a national curfew was put in place. The curfew was lifted for the Bay Islands if we could remain peaceful with NO marches or rallies.

They did a recount and still have not finished, or so they say. It’s really the lesser of two evils, the current President had “special” congressmen appointed after others were fired. They allowed him to run again, despite the fact the office was previously limited to one four-year term. The incumbent President is linked to Mel Zelaya who was ousted by the US. He’s a bad guy (so they say, what do I know, I live on an island) and the opposition is in his ring. Not good. I’m just happy we live here and not on the mainland, two different worlds. Here is an article on the situation if you are interested.

Enough with politics, I honestly hate them and am thrilled for the people who won on the island. It can only get better.

This is the beginning of busy season and initiating a curfew to tourists who just arrived is a sucky thing to do. So we escaped with no curfew, not that I care, I wasn’t going anywhere anyhow. It seems to have all leveled out and things are running as dysfunctionally normal as usual. Not a bad thing, just island life.

I saw someone post on FB that they were looking for a puppy for their family. I sent them photos of one of the pups we found. After the family saw the photos, they wanted her. Bill and I met them in Oak Ridge. Turns out when she said where they lived I knew the house and the color of it. They have 3 grown kids, Wyatt, Sidney and Abby(i)? Sweet kids, mom Gretta is thrilled to have this pup and her husband is in love with her also. It’s a definite win win for the dog and the family.

Wyatt, what a sweet young man!

Abby and Bailey (that’s the name they chose for her)

Sidney and Bailey

I get FB messages from Gretta, the mother of the 3 kids and they feel their family has been blessed with Bailey. They absolutely adore her and are already making her dog treats. She is spoiled and loving it.

I’ve still been a homebody, spend more time here than anywhere. I would rather be with the dogs. Or the beach. With the weather being so miserable, I stay home. That and the fact my car’s rear end was practically falling off. All of the bushings were shot, even the differential had to be pulled. The car was rattling even before I hit any potholes. And let me tell you about the potholes. They are EPIC. There are spots in the road that you have to crawl and maneuver through at speeds slow enough to stall the damn car. I’m driving along, almost stalling and the whole right side of my car disappears into the cow burying sized rut in the side of the road. The view out the side window is mud and rocks and garbage. It’s not pretty. And you know what? I’m not lying or exaggerating at all. I am so sadly serious.

Ok, I’m currently having a dilemma. Inside this colored keyboard that Bill bought me is a






bug (the typing above is me trying to kill it). It’s crawling around and I can see it and it’s driving me crazy. I have used half a can of compressed air. It’s still alive. I’ve tried to stab it with the canned air nozzle thingy, still alive. I’m ready to hose this keyboard down! I have not seen it scurry amongst the lighted keys recently so I may not go overboard this evening. Unle, aaaaggggh. It’s still alive. ioooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiivv00-0—0. I got a steak knife and I think I stabbed it. Bill said it wasn’t a good idea to be murdering a bug in my keyboard with a steak knife. But hey, you do what you gotta do. Extremely annoying.

One steak knife= one dead bug

I follow a woman on Instagram called mrs_angemi, follow her!!  She has a website called iheartautopsy.com. She posts crazy (gory kind of) photos of stupid shit people do or unusual accidents, broken bones, gun shot victims. I don’t find it gross at all, it’s so educational to see all the body parts she shows. Like this woman who decided to rinse her hands off WITH THE PRESSURE WASHER. Hello, did she NOT read my blog? Well, she turned the pressure way down but SOMEHOW it got turned way up and she blasted the hell out of her hand. The Doctors had to slice the hand up more than it was ripped to get the imbedded dirt out of it, then they sewed and stapled it closed. EeEeWWW. I was so freaking lucky. And we need to pressure wash again, this time I will wear my rain boots, promise.

*The next day

Before I could get carried away blogging last evening, my computer locked up again. It said I had no more space. I deleted my recycle bin which had 20,454 items in it. That took FOREVVVVER. So I went to bed. Bill informed me that I have photos from 2002 on my computer so he has me going through and deleting them to free up space. I made it to 2011 and quit, too boring and exhausting. It’s similar to work.

On Wed. a friend messaged me about a sick dog, I had no car so I messaged my friend Ana. She went and got the dog and took him to the vet. He was on his last legs, couldn’t even stand up.

How a human being can allow a dog to get to this condition baffles me. It makes me sick.

Look at his hip bones. I seriously could hurt whoever did this to this poor defenseless animal.

He was starving and severely dehydrated. Doc gave him several IV’s because the dog couldn’t swallow. Ana took him to her house and made him a bed of towels. Remember, this guy has been abandoned by some idiot and was left starving on the streets on Roatan. He was unable to keep food down so she was feeding him broth. He could barely swallow. Ana was giving him liquids with a syringe. Finally he was able to drink some broth the next day. When Ana would approach him he would wag his tail although he was still unable to get up. She messaged me this morning that he passed away last night. She is devastated as am I and all of the other dog lovers who were following this story on FB. So very sad. Ana blessed him with Holy Water and buried him in their pet cemetery. So heartbroken over the senseless cruelty animals endure at the hands of man.

I picked my car up at 5 on Wednesday so that I could do a Christmas thing with Nidia. All the rattles are fixed but now there is a weird noise in the brakes. I’ll take it back in next week.

When Nidia says she’s taking you somewhere you have never been, be prepared. I picked Andrea and Kenzie up at LFK after their day excursion from the cruise ship and we met Nidia at Bojangles. Andrea and Kenzie brought a TON of Santa hats and 43 backpacks filled with school supplies. (backpacks will be passed out when school begins again) We went to the Franco Flats area of Coxen Hole. When I parked my car I asked if we were walking up that and Nidia said yes and smiled. Knowing full well that my knee hates all hills.

The first thing I see is this poor iguana tied to the boys shirt. I wanted to steal it and take it to the iguana farm so it can live to be an old iguana.

At least he let me pet it.

This was the hill we had to climb. I had on flip flops. It was slippery mud. Some politician at some point laid a big concrete slab in the middle of the muddy hill. You can’t drive to it nor can you drive off of it up top. In fact you have to jump off the top. Utterly ridiculous waste of $$.

Stream 1

Kids carrying stuff up the hill. See the beach ball the kid on the left has? Denna brought a lot of them, I blew them up the other day and we had the kids help carry them up the hill. Bad idea. They vanished. Think of this when you see the little boy pouting.

View from the top. I did not walk up the road, my shoes were muddy and wet, too steep.

We had the adorable kids come down and carry stuff for us. Once we made it up this hill we had an incredible downhill to go.

We had just gotten to the top of the first hill, walked through here, passed a store on the right. Then we began the downhill part of the event.

this is going back up the hill from hell, and you can’t even see the worst part of it where the muddy steps were. I think I held onto a barbed wire fence carefully for support.

We walked through an area that had been devastated by the floods. The majority but not all of the homes down here are on stilts. The ones that aren’t didn’t fare too well.

A hammock in the mango tree. All you need is a bucket of water and a towel to wipe and rinse the mango juice off of your elbows.

The hill had steps made of slippery mud. Nidia said if I fell to land on my boobs so I would bounce. That works. We had to cross a few streams to get to our destination.

Stream 3, I didn’t take a pic of stream 2, which had you stepping on rice sacks filled with dirt to try to keep your feet dry. Stream 3 crossing required us to jump up a muddy bank on the other higher side of the stream with not a lot of area to land on. I set my sights on a fence rail wrapped in barbed wire. I told myself I was not grabbing the barbed wire and I did not touch it. Stream 4 was a recrossing of this same one, except we had a bridge made from the door of an old appliance, I think. As soon as you stepped across the appliance part and were on the mud again, there was a home right there. Sticking out of the home was a loop of barbed wire. And there was a tree on the roof and the wall fell over when the kids leaned on it.

This is the home right by the bridge made with the appliance door

A sea of Santas

This beauty found a bench to sit on and eat her hot dog

He found somewhere to sit too.

The iguana again

Oh so cute

They all want their photos taken and then they want to see it. I love showing them photos of themselves.

This whole area was severely flooded in both of the recent floods. It was evident everywhere we went. Homes had ruts under them, the unlucky ones on ground level were still filled with mud. Not fit for anyone to live in. Once the kids got organized, we passed out Santa hats, hot dogs and juice, toys for the smaller kids and flip-flops to everyone we could fit. The babies got the small balls and the big beach balls kind of disappeared. (Thank you Denna for the 100 pair of flip-flops you brought us along with all the balls). After we were done with the festivities, we headed back up the hill and I took Andrea and Kenzie to Mahogany Bay to catch their boat back to NOLA. Thank you Andrea and Kenzie and Denna! You made a lot of kids happy today and that’s what this whole thing is all about.

Look at these steps. They are insane. I give major kudos to the builder of these, it must have taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears to build them.

The camera loved her

OK, here’s my pouter. I thought he was mad he had to wait for a hot dog. Not so..he wanted a beach ball.

He didn’t hide his emotions.

He’s an adorable child. If it weren’t so impossible to get in there I would go look for him and take him a ball. Maybe after it dries up a bit I will.

We had 100 pair of sandals my friend Denna brought. We fit everyone that we had shoes for. There are some left that will be donated at Christmas.

That’s how I rock socks and flip-flops too, Zories to my friend Jeanie. And I even spelled your name right.

This was walking back down to my car. The piece of concrete is ridiculous. I walked the mud path along the concrete because by now the treads on my sandals were caked solid with slippery mud. This is Nidia’s sister Rosemary walking down.

And here it is Sunday and I’m still not finished with this blog. We did the 3rd part of the counter top re-finish yesterday. Saying we because I add comments to what colors are needed and mop up drips, Bill does the actual work. It’s epoxy resin.

This is what the counters looked like before. They were acid stained with a clear finish. The finish was terrible stuff and did not hold up well at all, it peeled, chipped, turned white, just got downright ugly. The edges in this photo have black and white epoxy on the edges.

This is the top of the bar after he poured 2 colors of epoxy on it.

After touching it with the torch but before any sprays of different colors

This is after some sprays of 90% alcohol with no color mixed in.

After some colors were sprayed on, copper, green and brown

Really difficult to get good photos with bar lights right overhead.

Torching the top

This is the top-level of the bar, it’s finished.

This is the lower level prior to refinishing

Poured some black epoxy on

Adding white

Smear it around a bit with a brush, a stick, a plastic putty knife, whatever.

Torch it and it starts to change

I was the drip catcher..

Too white, added more black

Now it’s galactical!

Like I said before, impossible to really get a photo of how gorgeous this is.

Last shot

It’s sunny out today, I couldn’t force myself to go to Mega Paca, the roads and the crowds are so bad that it just makes me bitchy all day if I go. Not worth it.

Off to the pool to read with cup of tea # 2.

How cute is this guy? He made himself a little snuggle area with a towel that was on the bed and promptly settled in for a nap. Max, you are a sweetheart!

Oh yeah, this is the alien it took me a week to dig out of the hole in my ankle. It’s just extremely hard calcified skin I think. When it’s still in my ankle I can’t have a sheet touch it, it hurts that much. Once I dig it out it’s fine until another one forms. One of these days I’ll get the plates and screws removed to see if that permanently kills the alien.

Nidia and I still have 2 Christmas parties to do. I have not put up one single decoration at my house, just not feeling it this year. Could be due to the counters being done and things have to be moved and set where they don’t belong or it just could be sheer laziness. I opt for the latter. We are going to a party on Christmas day at our friends home. They live really close to us. Miguel, our island friend is going to get 3 of his kids this coming Saturday. This is a big deal so we will make sure they each have a nice gift to open for Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all. It’s the time of year when I miss my family so much, especially the boys.


2500 PSI versus toes

11/26/2017 First of all, I apologize for being MIA. My laptop died soon after my last post and we have been waiting ever since for the new fan. It finally arrived on Wed and Bill installed it a few days later and it works. He also put in a new laptop keyboard but the space bar isn’t working. Damn. Bill just discovered the space bar only works if you hit it right in the middle, either end doesn’t work. Nice..And a lot of the letters don’t work. I sent Amazon a bitchmail telling them it was defective and it would cost me $50.00 to return it and they credited me the money. Bill bought me a keyboard at Technos for 170 L, about $7.00. It’s kind of psychedelic.

At least it works.

I was sick when I returned from my class reunion but once I saw the ENT @ Clinica Esperanza and got  the right meds, I was better in two days. I felt great for about a week and then the rains began here. It rained so much and for so long that I became a hermit and didn’t go anywhere unless I absolutely had to. One night I woke in the middle of the night, all stuffed up, figured it was an allergy. After a few nights of that and Benadryl not working I got some Zyrtec, thinking that would do the trick. Nope, didn’t work either. I started on Nyquil before bed and again when I woke at 2 AM unable to breathe. Nyquil works but only for a few hours. I was going through boxes of Kleenex like an alcoholic goes through cheap gin. I dealt with this for  5 weeks, I kept thinking I was getting better, only to feel worse the next day. I ended up going back to the same ENT as the last time. He said it was definitely allergies, probably to mold and mildew. Gee, I live in the jungle, it’s rained for 6 weeks and there is mold on my tshirts and my pocketbook straps. Nothing is sacred here. I bought 2 Damp Rids for the bedroom and in less than 10 days they are filled with water. Dampness is everywhere. Jungle life is not for everyone. The ENT Doc  gave me the names of some nasal sprays, I bought 2 of them and some Claritin for about $40.00 and felt better immediately after using the nasal spray. It’s a flipping miracle. I am finally off the Nyquil and sleeping fabulously again.

We were without power for 12 hours one weekend. Our friend had a generator he wanted to sell so we decided to buy it. Bill and Miguel went to pick it up and brought it home to hook it up in the outside bodega. Bill got it all hooked up (by now we were with no power 15 hours, I was going stir crazy, enough that I played Yahtzee alone for a few hours and read a book in a day) and threw the switch. I was sitting on the front porch and the lights came on. Then they went off. I went into the foyer and smelled something electrical burning. I assumed it was just the generator getting started but the smell got stronger. Bill was back in the bodega and Miguel was out front with me. I told him I smelled something and he said lets go look. We came upstairs and the smell was awful, instant headache awful and there was smoke. I knew right away what it was. The surge protector under the island had caught fire.

During the boredom

Not looking good

Burned wood. I realized the following week when I was cleaning the shelves that it burned the lower shelf too.

It also fried our good Belkin surge protector. We don’t know why it did this, it may have been the plug on the generator or something else. It had previously been worked on by an islander and not saying it’s their fault but many times they really don’t know what they are doing but they won’t ever tell you that. We’ve decided against that generator and are going to get one but something smaller. We don’t need one that big, just enough for the fridge, the computers and a few lights.

We did get blessed with an awesome rainbow right after the near fire. The next day Bill bought a fire extinguisher.

All of the dogs are healthy, Gringos tail healed perfectly. They were thrilled when the sun came out and they could swim. I get so much enjoyment watching them have fun in the pool.

Gringo and Barrio in the pool, Highway and Max on the edge, looking for something to bark at.

I have not done very much these past 6 weeks, Carmen and I did some shopping one day. A trip to Mega Paca and then Ace and Eldon’s grocery store. I picked Chuck and Nancy up when they came back to the island and the other day I had lunch with Jeanie and Nancy at Cal’s, he’s finally open! Yummy garlic laden caesar salad, I could eat it every day. Except, my breath, OMG. I could start campfires with it.

I started watching Stranger Things on Netflix a few months ago but kind of forgot about it. I saw all of my friends posting about it so I decided to start over and watch both seasons. I was hooked and totally binge watched it. Shortly after it was over I wanted Eggos, really bad, like craving them. I forgot them when I went to get groceries with Carmen. I asked Bill to get them, he either forgot or thought I was kidding and didn’t get them for me. I finally remembered to get them the next time I went to the store. I stared at the selection and ended up getting the plain ones. When I grabbed the box it felt damp. I knew right then they were going to be crap and they were. Disappointing Eggos, frozen and thawed so many times on their journey to Roatan.  There was no softness to it, nor was there a crispness on the outside. It was like eating a cardboard plate with butter and syrup on it. I even tried to thaw them before I toasted them. Cardboard still. How disappointing. I frisbeed them over the bank into the jungle figuring some animal would love them. Next time I’ll try the local brand. UPDATE: I tried the local ones (ShurFine) and they are edible.

This past Friday I wanted to pressure wash. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Bill brought the pressure washer up on the concrete pool deck and I got to work. I love the way it cleans everything. The mold and mildew from all of the rain had turned the deck brown and green. The pressure washer returned it to it’s normal color. It’s just the coolest thing, until you hit you two little toes with it. It took the skin right off, nail polish too. It sort of bled but not a lot. I decided to finish where I was washing, then go dry it and stop the bleeding. I wiped the dirt out of it and went back out and pressure washed some more. Bill was not thrilled that I was doing it in flip flops to begin with nor did he see any intelligence in the fact that after I hurt myself I continued to use it in flip flops. At that point there was no way I could put a shoe on anyhow, my foot was too sore. 2500 PSI can do a number on your skin. I had no idea. I didn’t really clean it out, just rinsed it off in the shower before we went out to eat. I did smear some triple antibiotic cream on it.

That was the night we finally got our $hit together and made it out to dinner with the mid island gang. Thank you Yvonne for not giving up on us. We all met at Cal’s, along with some friends I met awhile ago after a FB friendship. There were 12 of us, it was a gorgeous night and the food was superb, as always. Nice to have a mix of people from our part of the island and a few from a bit further away.

The next day my foot was throbbing so I googled pressure washer injuries and read that if the pressure washer was over 100 PSI (mine was 2500 PSI) to seek medical help. At that point I thought maybe some hydrogen peroxide would be a good idea. That stung like crazy. I then put some antibiotic creme and a bandage on it to keep it clean and started taking cephalexin in case it got infected. Then I talked to a friend who said to soak it in warm water, dry and bandage it, which I did. And another friend who is a nurse said to stop the ceph and only take it if it starts to look infected. I kept it covered for a week and it is fine, still very sore and bruised but not oozing any longer. My biggest issue was the dogs stepping on it, which happened two times before I learned to pick my foot up and stand on one leg while letting them in or out.

Healing, with a piece of dog hair stuck in it

Bill always likes to have Thanksgiving at home so this year I invited Sam and Chelsie Arch and Daniel Johnson and his woman, Steph. Chelsie and Steph went to college together in the states and Sam and Daniel are cousins. I love these 4 so much. Sam’s family has the iguana farm and Daniel has the sloth and monkey hangout. I cooked a big turkey with filling, mashed potatoes and gravy and a variety of other stuff along with desserts. Unfortunately Sam has the flu and couldn’t make it which was really a bummer, he was missed. We had a good meal and stuffed ourselves. I didn’t even have room for dessert.

Bill and Marcos were at our friend Susan’s house doing some work and caught two more baby iguanas. They took them down to Arch’s Iguana farm. We have rescued  lot of them this year. There was a big one in the tree, the dogs spotted it. I came in to get my camera but idiot Highway and his barking scared it away.

On Saturday we had other friends over for pizza. Kevin and Claire live close to us and have one of our pups, Tank. We had dinner at their house last so it was our turn. I think we could sit and chat with these two for days on end, especially if there is wine! I had a headache this morning, I rarely drink more than a glass of wine at a time and I had 2 last night. Woke with a pounding headache this morning.

Remember the sign my friends husband made for me that said Warning Mermaids? Well, he made this awesome sign for me too.  I’m going to hang them inside because I like them so much and don’t want them to get ruined by the weather. Thank you Gary!!

Max the lap dog

My messy kitchen. Bill is doing the concrete counters in an acrylic epoxy, hopefully he will get started this week.


Today is a pivotal day for the country of Honduras and for the island. It’s election day. The President of Honduras is a very evil corrupt man. It is against the constitution for him to be running again but he changed the rules so he could. I pray he does not win. The island of Roatan is divided into 2 parts, each with their own mayor. We live in Santos Guardiola and our Mayor is a good man. He really tries his best to help the island, he has done work on schools, roads, many things to help the communities that make up SG. The other end of the island is run by a megalomaniac. He has wasted so much money traveling with his bunch of sheep to various places in the world looking for alternate energy sources. Our power company is owned and run by an extremely wealthy Texan. The idiot mayor from the west end has done everything in his power to harass the power company, instead of being smart and working with them. The mayor lost the election in his party so he has moved to a different party and is running again. He has done nothing for the schools, the roads on his end of the island are deplorable, the garbage is not picked up, the crime is bad and he is doing everything in his measly amount of power to ruin the island for tourism. He can not be re-elected. If the current president wins and the ridiculous excuse for a mayor is re-elected, we will really need to evaluate some things.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, except for missing the boys and our families, ours was great.

Rainy days and rainy nights

10/23/2017 The rains are here. It’s been a dreary gray wet week with lots more rain coming. Maybe a little early for the season to begin but we can’t do anything about that so we’ll enjoy the cooler temps and no humidity, even if it means we have 5 dogs underfoot all day long. I believe the nor’easter that was predicted to arrive has arrived. It’s raining sideways, I can’t see the ocean from any window, it’s just total grey, and wet. Damn wet. However, we wouldn’t live in this gorgeous jungle without the rain, so let it pour. The rain is running in both of the bathroom windows, dripping off the counters onto the floor. Damn idiot window guy screwed up 98% of the windows he installed and screwed up 100% of the screens. Good thing he’s a minister and is honest and stands behind his work. Oh wait, no he doesn’t.

Before I left for Maryland to visit with my family I received an email from the husband of a friend that I used to work with. He said he had made something for me and wanted to send it to me in Roatan. Since mail is not easy to get here I suggested he mail it to my sister and I would get it while there.

Thank you Gary Murphy for the awesome Mermaid sign. I love it. Trying to decide where to put it.

I met another new friend on FB who wanted to bring flip flops down for Nidia and I to distribute. I sent her a letter to help her get through customs (they think she is going to sell them, well, that’s their claim, anyhow). Denna and Sean and Ben came out one afternoon so we could finally meet and she brought me a bag of flip flops. We sat and talked for quite awhile, all the time Ben was entertaining the dogs. They were fascinated with him, perhaps because he was crawling on all 4’s on the pool deck had something to do with their intrigue.

Sandals and beach balls

And a cooler full of reuseable cups.

The day before Denna and the family left for the states, she messaged me that she found another bag of flip flops that they brought for us. I told her I would meet her at the airport and get them. Saturday morning I was getting ready to leave and she messaged and said she was at the airport and everyone wanted sandals. I said, run outside. By the time I got there, it was raining and Denna was hanging out with a few airport workers out of the rain. I pulled up, hugged her, threw the sandals and some leftover beach balls in my car and was outta there. Denna also brought me a gift: this fabulous set of wooden bowls. I am in love with them (and I also am very fond of the burlap bag the bowls came in, which means it doesn’t take much to excite me).

Thank you Denna for thinking of me.

And while I’m at it, thanks to my SIL Kathy for the mermaid pillow. I sleep with it, it is my reading in bed go to, never leaves it’s position. Thank you.

In the world of I still hate to cook, we (Bill) got an instant pot. I won’t even turn on the gas oven let alone read a manual for an instant pot. I thought it may satisfy his need to eat syndrome. Ta-da! We have one and I have been pinning recipes, which I print and hand to Bill. I just pinned a hard boiled egg recipe for the IP but it was too confusing. I put them in a pan with water in it, supposed to be until they boil, but I forgot about them and started doing something else, then remembered. Oh shit. Reason # 327 why I ALWAYS need to use a timer. The eggs survived.

One day a few weeks ago Bill calls me with another, guess what call. Who the hell has a guess, this IS Roatan after all. He tells me that “someone” threw 3 puppies out on the road and he picked them up and they were at Miguel’s. A few days later I went down to see the puppies. One white, 2 tan females. Adorable, and covered with fleas and ticks. They all got thorough Dawn blue soap baths, let them dry, rinsed them and combed all the dead and any live fleas out of all of them. I also pulled all the ticks off of them and squashed them until they squirted blood between my fingernails. They need to die. The pups ears were a mess so I cleaned them, need to go do it again. They are so sweet. They are now flea free, are eating dog food with baby cereal supplement. That way they will get some extra vitamins.

Me and the girls

Bill carrying them down to the water. A bath down there didn’t work too well. Not with 3 of them. And Bonnie.

My friend Kathy decided she would take one of the puppies, her dogs are getting old so she took the white one. The pup slept with her the first night, I think they’ve bonded. The pups are ready for their second set of shots and I’m re-worming them next week. Hope to find homes, we and friends will pay for the spaying. They MUST be spayed. Puppies anyone?

These are the 2 girls that are still looking for homes.

Miguel finally was able to get our tile grouted on the pergola counter top, one more thing finished. Bill has decided to redo the steps down to the pool, they were done incorrectly the first time, then done incorrectly the second time. I’m hoping the third time’s a charm.

Last Thursday morning Bill came in the bedroom with Gringo and said, we have a problem. Bill is a harbinger of gloom and doom, honest, he is. I was still asleep. He got Gringo up on the bed and pulled his tail away from his butt and there was a sore big as a 50 cent piece. Inside the raw wound was a hole. Not just a little hole but a hole that looked like a groundhog lived in it or something. There isn’t a vet on the island until Wednesday. I was going to take him to the mainland to be seen but decided since he wasn’t sick from this injury that I could wait for Doc. I started him on antibiotics right away and used Vetricyn spray on the wound. We wrapped it during the day and at night took the bandage off and had him wear the cone. I wanted to keep the wound as clean as possible. It was actually looking better after a few days. We asked Miguel to go with us to the vet on Wednesday to translate since Bethany (who usually translates) doesn’t come in until 8, we were there at 6:25 AM. We got him up on the table and Doc examined it, gave him a shot to knock him out and we waited. Finally he was stoned enough for Doc to start working.

Gringo, he was feeling no pain but his eyes were open.

Doc cut some skin from the edges, cleaned out the hole thoroughly, debrided the whole wound and then put stitches inside and outside. Doing this is genius, it’s the way vets in the US do it because it doesn’t allow a pocket of blood to form between the wound and the stitches. Doc said he will be fine, keep him on antibiotics, take the bandage off in 3 days and come back in 2 weeks. We were there for 45 minutes, 30 of those minutes he was tending to Gringo. He gave him a shot to knock him out and one for pain and charged me 750L which is about $31.00. We are so lucky to have a surgeon of his calibre come to the island. When Doc removed Fritos leg, it was the cleanest incision I’ve ever seen. There was never a bump or a red spot on it. The guy knows what he’s doing and his compassion for animals is overwhelming.

When I posted this on FB, people at first thought it was a severed head. OMG, not my boy Gringo. This is the comfy cone that I hate. Don’t buy one. There are so many raw edges at the neck opening that Gringo’s neck was raw. I’m back to using the old cone.

Gringo was still stoned, Lola laid next to him for awhile.

Then Barrio snuggled next to his brother.

While one was with Gringo, the other 3 were in the stairway. They never got far away from him, laying there until the sedative wore off and he was up and around. Strong pack instincts.

Gringo got his bandage off on Saturday, finished his antibiotics yesterday and his tail incision looks fabulous. Unfortunately, he won’t stop chewing at it so he is in the cone most of the time.

On Wednesday afternoon I heard Highway barking like crazy (not unusual since he’s an idiot) so I went out to see why. These boys were outside our fence, they live down in the valley and cut wood nearby. Milton was calling for me, he needed water because David had cut his foot. Bill walked around the fence and carried David to the porch. Bill cleaned the wound and bandaged it. I gave them all sandals and small balls from Denna, underwear from Kelly and Hot Wheel cars from Mike and Liza. After that Bill took them all home. Seriously, kids this young cutting wood in the jungle in their bare feet, it’s life down here. People do what they need to to provide for their families. This is the norm for island life.

left to right, Milton, Lester and David, who cut his foot. Milton and David and Marcos (not pictured) went with me to the children’s day party that Nidia had last month.

We have eaten at Aroma twice in the last few weeks with Trish and Dave, always an enjoyable time with them and the food is delicious. We also had dinner and visited with our friends who have one of our pups, Tank or Tankerdoodles as I called him. Oh how I love all of these dogs that Frito had.

Me and Tank

Chance and the family are coming in June, can’t wait for them to visit again! He found some good prices on tickets considering he is coming from Rapid City.

We believe this is a geode but as Trace says, “until you break it open, it’s just a rock.” It was found while building our home.

View from the porch with my ZZ plant on the table. I’m going to need a bigger pot soon, this thing is growing like crazy. Thanks Ann for telling me about them.

The following are some of Trace’s doodles. They can all be purchased here: https://traceplace.pixieset.com/art/

He also has larger pieces available at: https://traceplace.pixieset.com/largerart/

My friend ordered some via the site, said it was very easy and they were delivered in a week. He calls them doodles, I call them amazing art.

At our class reunion I heard the name Carol called but didn’t think much about it, until I realized it was me being called. Carol was the fake name for the article about the Summer of Love. Maybe I’ll dye my hair pink since I can’t seem to get it the color I want it.

This does not look comfortable. I guess if you don’t have a brain, it doesn’t really matter.

We got our furniture back from the upholsterer, it looks fabulous, although it is sitting in the middle of the room covered in sheets. I want to re-arrange the furniture but need to get Bill on board to even attempt it. Once we get it situated I’ll post photos. I took my old curtains down and gave them away. I don’t want curtains, Bill does, he doesn’t have to wash and iron the stupid things. Waldina’s (the upholstery shop) is recovering the throw pillows for the couch and making 2 covers for the ottomans that the dogs lay on. They will be made out of sunbrella (the whole couch is Sunbrella) so they will be cleanable.

Last week Marcos was cutting with the weed whacker and noticed these five babies in the trees. On Saturday he caught one and he and Bill took it to Arch’s Iguana farm.

Two in the papaya

Two in the hog plum

And this dude with the molting skin on his head. I saw him before in the big papaya by the pool patio.

Love this photo and love my Nikon CoolPix B 500 camera

Kevin and Pam got me this hand towel in California. (They also got me my awesome Mermaid hat.) I doubt I’ll be able to use this towel, I think I’ll have Bill make a stretcher frame for it and I’ll hang it on the wall. Thank you Kevin and Pam. XOXO

Another glorious full moon.

It sounds like the rain has stopped for the moment, it may be a good time to take the five dogs out to potty. Bill made some chicken noodle soup in the instant pot tonight. Power is still on, rain has stopped. Could be a good night despite having 5 dogs inside because the porch is totally wet.

By the way, the 26th of October it will be 4 years since we moved here. Four damn years, where did my life go? No regrets. Dinner with a huge group of friends on Friday night, living la vida loca.

Happy freaking rainy season everyone.

My comedy of errors life.

09/27/2017 The photo and quote were on the wall at Emily’s home, I felt it was appropriate to use it on this blog.

The day before I was to leave the island I was down at the pool. I went to lock the gate open with the hook and eye that Bill installed on it to hold it open so the dogs could go in and out. When I went to place the hook in the eye, there was something in it. I pulled it out and just about died. It was Lola’s whole pinky toenail, totally ripped off her toe. She compulsively jumps over the gate in her effort to always be first and must have caught it and just torn it right out. I can’t fathom how much that must have hurt her. We started doctoring her immediately. Great, I’m leaving tomorrow and need to worry about this. Bill was Lola’s nurse for the week and I’m happy to say it’s all healed up. I started her on cephalexin immediately so there wouldn’t be any infection and she wore a sock and the cone of shame for 9 days.

UGH freaking UGH!

Poor girl, she was a trooper though.

My trip to the US began on an excellent note, I was upgraded to First class on the Houston to Baltimore route.

Excellent, free wine but no food. I got to Baltimore, got my bags, got my rental car and drove to the hotel I was staying at for the night. When I went to check in she said my reservation was for Sunday night, not Saturday. It actually was 1:30AM Sunday morning. When I made the reservation on Expedia before I confirmed online, I called the hotel and asked the person who answered the phone about it. He said, no, it would be for Sunday night, not Saturday because Saturday ended at midnight. So I bought the reservation. The girl at the desk said, “well, actually, it still is Saturday.” I see her point, but it wasn’t. I told her I spoke to a male at the desk and he said to make the reservation for Sunday. She said the hotel was full and there were no single bed rooms available. A room with 2 beds was $50.00 more. Seeing as how it would be 2 AM before I even got to the room and planned on leaving by 10 AM I could see no reason to pay for a bed I wouldn’t touch. I was really nice to the girl, explained where I came from and that I would be in the room a short time. She finally gave in and put me in the 2 bed room. I was so excited I gave her a nice tip.

I got up in the morning, showered and set off for my sisters house. Missy called Mom and Dad and they wanted me to come for brunch so I hustled over to their place. They were waiting in the area by the dining room. They both look really good and were extremely happy to see me. We sat down to eat near the salad/fruit bar. Dad got up with me to help me get some food, like I need help. He kept trying to get me to have some milk or tomato juice. Never in my life have I liked either of them, nor did I want any, especially since what he was trying to get me to drink was ranch dressing and french dressing. They were in the big plastic bottles with the red pour spouts. I told him I thought they were salad dressing but he said they were milk. We had a good breakfast but while we were sitting there Mom was freaking out over some lady who was taking all of this food back to her room in to go boxes. I tried to tell her not to worry about it, she wasn’t paying for it. She was relentless and very loud about it. I think since she is hard of hearing she doesn’t realize how loud she speaks. It was an experience for sure.

We went back up to their apartment and visited for awhile. Missy was having us for dinner that evening so I got Mom and Dad together, ran a few errands for them on the way and went to Missy’s home, less than 10 minutes away. We had a great meal there. Mark and Missy were astounded at how alert Mom and Dad were and that they seem to have changed after Ashley’s wedding the previous weekend. It’s the first they have been out to a real social gathering in quite some time (their choices not to socialize). Mark and Missy and I stayed up for awhile after Miss and I took Mom and Dad home, chatting about the situation with them and coming to the realization, it is what it is.

The next morning I headed to TJ Maxx, oh how I’ve missed that store. I shopped for a few hours but felt guilty the whole time I was there so I left (after buying a few things) and went to visit Mom and Dad.

It’s been a long love affair.

I asked Mom if she wanted to go shopping, she did, of course. I said she had to take her walker, she said, “your Father will be fit to be tied.” (We have some Pennsylvania Dutch in us). My Mother has a bad knee and she’s NOT a knee surgery candidate, she should be using a walker, but my Dad won’t allow it. He said she looks stupid and it embarrasses him to be seen with her. OMG OMG OMG. I said that I didn’t care and he could deal with me. We got off the elevator and she didn’t know which way to go to get outside, there are no signs at all. I figured it out and once we got there, VR (my Dad) was wandering around. He walked outside with her to wait while I brought the car around. When she got in my car she said he told her she looked stupid with a walker, she looks like an old lady. For shits sake, she IS an old lady, she’s 92.

Seeing the two of them have really made me think about getting old(er)

I wanted to go to Target so we set the GPS and were off. We shopped for a little bit, she bought him 5# of M&M’s. Then we went back to the grocery near where they live. She was looking all over for cannoli but ended up buying eclairs and coke for VR. Eclairs, Cannoli, not the same.

They wanted me to go to the dining hall with them for dinner. I was introduced to everyone there as their OLDER daughter who lives on an island. I was thankful that this year Roatan had not moved, last year it was in the Pacific Ocean. Or so my mother thought, geography was never a strong subject for her. While waiting to be seated 4 ladies came in, all with walkers, all in a line. Dad said, “look at those lazy women, they could walk if they wanted to, they’re just lazy.” I was appalled. I told him he didn’t know if they could walk without them or not and it was not nice to judge them for using a walker.

After we were seated I went to get some fruit and Dad once again offered me milk (ranch dressing). During the meal he asked me when I started wearing glasses, I said 5th grade, don’t you remember? I wouldn’t leave the bathroom at 4 Mile elementary and they had to call Mom to come over. He was off on another subject by then. We were joined by a man at dinner and neither Mom nor Dad spoke to him so I started a conversation with the man. He had some interesting stories and every now and then he would say something that piqued their interests, like eating at Horn and Hardart in NYC. Then they had something to say. That evening Dad wanted ice cream. It was not served fast enough and he filed a complaint. OMG OMG OMG. Let me also say my Father drinks 3-4 cans of coke a day. He NEVER drank soft drink and he eats M&M’s by the pound. Mom says she buys 7# bags for him. The man does not have a single speck of fat on his body and you could probably bounce a bowling ball off of his abdomen. No, I did not try.

I left after dinner and went back to my sisters. They told me some stories and I shared some thoughts with them. This was Monday night, I was still feeling good.

Tuesday I was driving to Silver Springs proper to meet Barry, one of Trace’s best friends from Williamsport. On the way there I stopped by Mom and Dad’s. Mom was in bed. I asked Dad what was wrong and he said, she’s sick. I said does she have an upset stomach, he grimly replied, she’s sick. I’m all like, WTH? Does she have a headache, is she having trouble breathing? He said, SHE’S SICK. I said, fine, I’ll stop on my way back through. Oscar the grouch personified.

Mom and Dad at their apartment

Mom and Dad at my niece Ashley’s wedding the weekend before.

Barry (Trace’s friend) and I have been friends on FB for a few years and he wants to come visit us and get certified. We met at a Thai place that was super easy for me to find. How did I live in the US as a young mother without GPS? What wasn’t easy was figuring out how to do the bar code scan parking. I got the app installed, set up a pay from account and then got frustrated and went to a bicycle shop for change. She gave me a $2.00 roll of nickels, it worked. Barry and I had a great lunch, reminisced about many things from Pa. and discussed the best time for him to visit. After we said good-bye I was on my way back to visit with my parents.

I walked in and there Mom was at the counter, cutting up an orange. I said, “You’re up, are you feeling ok?” She replied, “I’m fine, your Father told me to go back to bed this morning, so I did.” I asked if she would jump off the balcony if he told her to and got a dirty don’t be stupid look. Why did he so gloomily say, She’s Sick? I lost brain cells while there. Soon after I got there Missy arrived too. I had messaged her and relayed the scenario. She called and Dad told her Mom was sick and in bed. SHE WAS NOT SICK. Maybe he has Munchausen’s syndrome? Miss left and I got to go to dinner with my folks again. While I was eating lunch with Barry my throat felt scratchy, I knew I was coming down with something. After eating with Mom and Dad I went back to Missy’s, took some cold drugs and went to bed.

I felt worse in the morning so I went to Macy’s. Isn’t that the cure for sickness? I needed something magic to suck my gut in for my class reunion dress. I found something that reduced my fat by 1/4″ so I bought it, 2 bras and 5 pair of undies (which are all too big, they look like something my grandmother wore). The lady at Macy’s said if I used my Macy’s card I would save $80.00. I haven’t used that card for 4 years. They reopened it for me and I did save a little over $80.00, that’s a lot.

I left Macy’s, picked up my dress at the cleaners and went to my sister’s. I thought I should stay away from Mom and Dad for a day, maybe a mental health break. Miss and Mark cooked a good dinner, I organized my stuff (Amazon Prime is my middle name) and went to bed.

Thursday I went over to Mom and Dad’s a little later in the morning. Mom wanted to go to CVS to buy some miracle anti aging creme (she’s 92, remember). She’s addicted to that stuff and let me tell you, it does NOT work. I took her to the grocery again and spent some time with them in the evening. I told them I was leaving in the morning to meet my friend Stan at BWI but I would stop and say goodbye before I left. Missy and Mark took me out for dinner that night to a great restaurant that I think we went to a long time ago.

Missy and Mark

After that I made sure I had everything organized, stuff I needed for Williamsport and my other suitcase with things for Roatan.

I said good-bye to Miss the night before and Mark carried my bags out in the morning. I drove to BWI, got there on time, called the FBO and told them where I was so they could pick me up to meet Stan in his plane.

We made it to Williamsport around 1 and drove around for awhile. Stan stopped by his parents graves then we drove past my old house on Edercrest Rd.

I grew up in this house, we moved here when I was in 4th grade. It was 3 houses down from the Williamsport Country Club. My brother and I became WCC brats, we were there from the time they opened until dinner time, when we had to go home.

We then stopped at the Bullfrog Brewery for some lunch. Stan parked 3′ from the curb so I told him to move the car closer. He did but forgot to put $$ in the meter so we came out to a ticket. Simple things.

We drove around a bit more and then checked into the old City Hall. They renovated the building into rooms and some businesses. It’s a pretty nice place, especially for Williamsport.

The City Hall Grand. That’s me on the L.

My room at the City Hall Grand.

I have no idea when Stan took this photo but it’s awesome. He is an excellent photographer. The red roof on the lower right is where my goldsmith used to be.

We arrived at our reunion spot around 5 PM. It was at the old Shore Acres, my old stomping grounds, now nicely renovated into a busy restaurant called Pier 87. There is a lot of inside seating, seating on the porch and outside seating by the Loyalsock Creek. It’s owned by young Frankie Morrone and his business partner. Frankie and his parents, Barb and Frank are all long time friends. I tended bar for the Morrone’s at the Pub and The Old Corner many moons ago. Some of my favorite people.

A few of my girlfriends come out to see me there, wish I could have visited with them longer but I had my high school friends to visit with too.  A lot of our classmates were there setting up for our party that began at 6.

Karen, JoAnn and Sue setting up.

Not classmates but long time friends, Deb and Mary.

My BFF, Stan.

Mary and my other BFF from high school, Steve Cimini.

I was tapped on the shoulder and turned around to see someone I haven’t seen since 1990, Deb Caulkins. I almost cried, love her so much. Mary, me and Deb.

I was pretty under the weather and the night got quite chilly down by the water so we left around 10 and went back to the hotel. I took some meds and sacked out. The next morning I met Stan and we walked to a place called the Sawhorse for breakfast. It was across from Lycoming College. We had a good breakfast and were trying to decide what to do for the day. On our way back to town we noticed a farmer’s market so we walked through there. Stan bought some pickled jams and jellies to take home.

Mums at the farmers market

Helmrich’s, very fishy smelling in there.

Then he went to Helmrich’s seafood for smoked shad. UGH, my kids loved that stuff.

Our original plan was to go to Montreal to see my college friend for lunch but Stan left his passport in New Hampshire. We called Jan and Jerry to see if they wanted to ride to State College with us for lunch. Jan is Stan’s cousin and Jan and Jerry happen to be some of my best friends from Williamsport, our kids grew up together. I’ve known them since the early 70’s. I still was feeling pretty crappy and had no voice and a super sore throat, but it was a sunny day and it was nice to be with Jan and Jer.

Rockville Federal Penitentiary. You’re not even allowed to stop in front of the place.

Amish horse and buggy

Piece of art outside of a store called Doug Albert Art Gallery, a friend of Stan’s. Cool stuff in there. I named this Fish Face.

Jan and Jerry Fink

We had lunch at the Tavern, an old restaurant in State College that has been there for years. After we ate Stan wanted to walk up on campus so he and Jer did that and Jan and I sat and shared photos and talked.

Our class reunion gig began at 6 PM so we started our way back to Williamsport. Jan and Jer came into the City Hall and checked out each of our rooms, then we said good-bye to them and got ready for our big party.

We decided to walk over to the hotel where the party was, it was only 3 blocks. It was the first I’ve worn shoes other than sandals in 4+ years, I wasn’t sure I could do it but it was just like riding a bike.

Stan took my photo before we left for the evening.

And we did a selfie. Stan has been my friend since 1966, we have always stayed in touch with each other over the years. We were hell raisers in high school. He’s a good guy and a fabulous friend.

These two people I love so much. Steve Cimini and I have been friends since 10th grade and Cathilee and I for longer than that. I’ve seen Cims several times over the years but this was the first I’ve seen Cathilee.

Me and Cathilee.

The reunion was a lot of fun, Ginny and the crew worked non-stop for a year dreaming and planning. They did a great job. It was so nice to see people I’ve not seen since 1967, yet still have a connection to. It was a wonderful evening, I’m so glad I made the trip.

Two of my partners in crime, Richard Tebbs and Stan.

Sue and Garry Masley. These two have been married forever and look just as great as they did in high school. Love them both.

Lynda and I have been friends for a long time and still talk weekly. Ralphie and I have been friends and email buddies for years and years.

Ginny, the mastermind of the gala, she worked so hard for this to be a perfect night. Well done my friend. The handsome guy is my friend Cathilee’s hubby, Tim.

Aaah, two more of my guys, Ralphie and Bill Maule.

I was feeling pretty crappy so we walked back to the hotel around 11. I took a hot bath, soaked my face with hot washcloths, took more meds and put on leggings, a long sleeved shirt, socks and went to bed. The next morning we drove out through Bloomingrove Rd and Poco Farm Rd, stopped by Cicily’s but she wasn’t home. I wanted to see my brother P.J. before I left town so we met him and Devon at Perkins at 10. I saw them come in and got up to greet them and on the way back to the table Jen and Missy Jackson spotted me. My niece and her daughter, so good to see the two of them, absolutely adore them. We had a nice breakfast with PJ and Devon, they were talking about coming down and Devon said she wants to. We would love to have them visit with us, Devon is an excellent swimmer, I think she would enjoy the ocean.

PJ, Devon and I at Perkins. I really really hope they come down!

After that we drove back down to Montoursville to the airport for my ride back to Baltimore.

My (well Stan’s) plane awaits me.

I got to BWI and the driver for the FBO (flight bureau operations) took me over to United. I checked in and went to my gate to wait. We should have been boarding by 4 and we weren’t. Then they announced a gate change and said the plane was late. Great, I had a short connection in Newark for my flight to Los Angeles. I talked to the gate agent and she said we had plenty of time to make the connection. She lied. She also forgot to tell us we had to take a stupid slow bus to our gate which was forever and a day away. When I got out of the bus was the time boarding closed. I do not run, I can’t run. I walked as fast as I possibly could, sure I was going to stroke out at any minute. They were waiting for me to close the gate, I was the last person on the plane. PHEW, didn’t miss my flight to LAX.

BUT…about 2 hours into the flight the flight attendant came on the speaker to say we had to make an emergency landing, somewhere. We were leaking hydraulic fluid in the left wing. Hmm. I was sitting over the L wing. Great. Then she came back and said we would be landing in Chicago and would need to stow everything, take off our glasses, pens out of pockets and they demonstrated crash position landing. The two young girls next to me were freaking out, the one was near tears, other people were crying. It was pandemonium. I got my phone out despite them telling us to turn them off and stow them. I signed up for United’s wi-fi, paid $9.95 for 30 min and messaged Bill, Mr. Pilot. I told him the hydraulics were leaking and he said they are redundant. What does that mean? He said there are backup hydraulics on everything. I asked why the flight attendant made it doom and gloom and we’re all going to die? He said procedural. I got the two girls calmed down somewhat. As we neared Chicago I told them we would be met by fire trucks and ambulances and that we would more than likely come in hard and fast. As we were on final the attendants were strapped in yelling BRACE BRACE BRACE. It was getting ridiculous. I was in the window seat and could see all the  vehicles racing down the runway while still in the brace position. We landed fine, no issues at all. I told the girls that we were ok, no worries, the one started crying again. They shut the plane down and we were towed to the gate.

I knew I was going to miss my 11:39PM flight from LAX to SAL (El Salvador). As soon as I stepped off the plane I called the Premier desk at United. After 41 minutes the girl booked me on a later flight at 1:30 AM out of LAX to El Salvador. Turns out I missed that flight too. We arrived in LAX about 10 minutes after my flight to SAL left. By this time my butt was dragging, I barely had a voice and I felt like absolute crap. Again I called the Premier desk at United and she said they had me booked on the 11:39PM flight to SAL on Monday evening. I gave her my baggage claim checks and she verified that my luggage was at Avianca (my flight to SAL and then to Roatan was on Avianca) being held for me. She told me to walk to the end of the hall and turn R for the customer service desk. I approached the desk and the guy said, “are you Debbie?” They had 2 nights room vouchers and $60.00 worth of food vouchers waiting for me. I waited a whole hour to get to the hotel. Luckily I was the last one on the bus which meant I was the first one off so I didn’t have to wait too long to get checked in. My room was freezing, I had no toothbrush and only the clothes on my back. I wore them to bed.

The next morning I got a message from Cathilee who lives 20 minutes from the airport saying she was coming to get me. Cathilee picked me up and we went to the school her 2 youngest grands go to. She called Poppy down to meet me and this is how she did her hair.

Poppy said her hair was down when she got to school. Then she put it in pigtails, then she braided the pigtails, then she used the pencils to make this look.

Poppy is so creative, she will make a name for herself someday. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

After that we went to Cathilee’s daughter Emily’s amazing home. Lucky day for me, I got to meet all 4 of the gorgeous Power kids. I felt like I knew them already.

Hudson, it was his 8th birthday. He is ADORABLE!

Piper, Hudson, me, Poppy and Polly plus the 2 dogs.

After that Tim and Cathilee took me to Terranea for lunch. It was AHMAZING! It’s where Mike Nelson filmed Sea Hunt. We started lunch off with the best soft pretzel I have ever had in my whole existence! OMG.

Cheap scuba gear

The grounds were amazing.

The entrance

I was freaking over the variety of succulents.

After we left there we went back to Cathilee and Tim’s home and relaxed with them and sweet Ginger, what a funny dog. She craves attention. I got a toothbrush from Cathilee and brushed my teeth before we went to meet the Power family at a sushi place for Hudson’s birthday. Emily and I chatted about them all coming to visit, there will be 11 but if Latifa and her crew come too it will be 16. I would love it. I feel like I know all of them from FB and Instagram so it was another reunion of sorts.

After dinner we went to Cathilee’s and they called an UBER to take me to LAX. The girl came on time and dropped me at Avianca. The lines were huge, 150+ people waiting to check in. I noticed a Star Gold Alliance sign, called the Premier desk again and they said to go there. I was the 3rd person in line. She checked me in gave me my boarding passes, called baggage to retag my bags and I was off to my gate. I have never been so happy to board a plane in my life.

I can’t begin to thank Tim and Cathilee and Emily and kids for their hospitality, I honestly felt like part of the family. I love all of them!

My flight to San Salvador was fine, my flight to Roatan was on time and all I wanted to do was go home and see my dogs.

I slept some the day I got home and went to bed early that night. The next day I went to the clinic and they advised me to get a z-pack and take it. I did and am feeling so much better. It’s really a drag when you go to your class reunion and don’t have the voice or the stamina to uphold your riotous reputation. It was still fun and I’m happy I was able to see my parents, sister and brother and niece and all of the people who put up with my shenanigans during our school years.