I have lots of Melothria scabra

 

08/11/2017  A few of you will understand the above quote. A lesson learned.

Today around 1 PM my friend Kelly messaged me a photo of her electric bill. Obviously to make me feel better, however she lives where it’s really damn hot, Arizona and has to run A/C 24/7, 100 KW a day. We use 400 KW a month. We started messaging, by 3:30PM she had agreed to purchase a lot in an area she and I looked at (that is 15 min from me) when she was here (she brought all the flip flops). By 5 PM we had a builder and a project manager and by 5:30 a design, plus I introduced her to 2 of her neighbors via FB. That’s what I accomplished today.

AND I found out I have:

Melothria scabra growing. Don’t panic, it’s not contagious. It’s an incredible, small cucumber-like fruit that’s shaped like baby watermelons. They are good added to salads or can be pickled. They have a cucumber-like taste with a touch of lemon. Some people call them sour gherkin cucumbers. The ornamental vines have tiny leaves and flowers and are perfect for the cottage garden. (mine don’t have flowers, though they may have and we now have fruit, only an observation, don’t hold me to it). YAY.

We already have people coming up trying to grab some of our coconuts, seems our one tree is special. They have to go through Lola to get a coconut. That’s NOT going to happen. Now they will be coming for miniature watermelons. Wonderfreakingful. I’ll set up a stand at the bottom of the driveway. Bite sized watermelons that taste like cucumbers. That’s what my sign will say. Oh and I have not rushed to taste one because two islanders said they were poisonous.

Josh says they are not poisonous so I’ll soon be wealthy and able to afford $6.00 a bottle wine, the good shit. Sorry for the crappy photos of the cukes, it was with my phone. And, I’m lazy.

I’ve been looking at my recent Pinterest saves and you guys, I really scare myself. I’ve determined I want different color and style of hair, indicated by my Pinterest saves. I would need a total hair transplant to achieve this hairdo that I so desire. Such a quandry.

Bill spotted this guy in the tree last week. I took over 200 shots in 3 days. He was so beautiful.

Then a few days later Lola was sitting at our huge window at the tops of the stairs and she started barking like crazy. There was another iguana inside of the fence. I got a few shots of her, (a pregnant female) before she crawled through the fence.

I know this was a preggo female because I asked Sam Arch and he said, yes. He’s never wrong.

This is a male anole. Pretty thing, they are everywhere. I even found one sitting on my soap dish in the bathroom.

Then I saw a baby iguana in the papaya tree but by the time I got my camera, it was gone.

Today I was speaking with the Duchess’s husband on the phone and spied the iguana in the tree. I said good-bye and ran for the camera. This guy didn’t like me around at first and tried to get far away. He was standing on 2 papaya branches, balancing in the breeze. I managed to get some good shots. This was a different one, not as large as the other male in the tree.

Fabulous creature, I’m so intrigued by them.

On the top of the papaya tree.

Smaller but just as detailed.

It’s been a lizardly week for me, I can’t seem to stay away from the papaya tree and all the awesome things I find in it.

My dog’s favorite food, Cicadas.

Nidia and I did one last day of TOM’S at the public schools yesterday. We met at Politilly at 8:30 and fit the kinder and then the older students from Pedro Nufio came over and we fit them. Alexi’s nephew, Osman goes to the kinder and his brother Ephrain goes to Pedro Nufio. When I got there, Osman wasn’t there. I asked the teacher where he was and she didn’t know but sent a girl to go find him. Soon after he whizzed past me and into the school. I was in the doorway listening to them singing a song, I had my sunglasses on. Click HERE to see and hear the kids singing.

Osman kept looking at me so I took my glasses off and his eyes got really big! Just about that time I felt a tugging on my shirt and there was Ephrain, not in school clothes. His mother Shelly and sister Juliana were with him. I asked why he wasn’t in school and his mom said the teacher didn’t like his haircut. There was not a damn thing wrong with his haircut.

This is Ephrain. You tell me what part of his hair the teacher could complain about? It’s not like they are at a magna cum laude school either. Come on.

He wanted to take photos while we did shoes, so I gave him my camera. He’s played with mine before when he came over swimming and also played with Julie’s, same cameras, he knew how to operate it.

Right before I gave him the camera.

Selfie.

I hugged and kissed Ephrain and Osman so many times that the other kids were asking for hugs and kisses, no idea how many kids I kissed, but they were all adorable.

His mom is on the closest end in the blue shirt and no I won’t capitalize the word mom for her. I’m amazed she helped. I should be grateful, I am. Almost. I know too much.

He must have liked this fence, he took so many photos of it.

I had control of the camera for the next few. This is Osman, Ephrain’s nephew. I adore him.

Cute little girls.

So pretty, I love her eyes.

This is most of the Pedro Nufio crowd.

After we were done I approached Ephrain’s teacher. I told her who I was but she said wait, and called in a translator. Miss Kendra came in to translate. Turns out Ephrain couldn’t go to school because his mother didn’t turn in paperwork. I pleaded with the teacher not to punish Ephrain for his mother’s lack of interest in his education, it’s not his fault. He loves school and it’s the only break he gets from his miserable home life, he wants to learn, he’s a smart little boy. When I was done begging, with tears in my eyes, the teacher relented and said Ephrain could return to school. I went out to find him to tell him he could go to school and he was holding on to my car door, convinced he was leaving with me.

I couldn’t take him, we were going to the Instituto Honduras, a big school in Jonesville.

The building at the top of the steps going up to the school. It says Sat’s See Gym.

Unusual chairs. When we were finished and packing to leave, there was a large group of students milling around here. I realized they were waiting for their boat rides home and could see the boats approaching from there.

The first time I ever helped with TOM’S shoes (2015) we fit the kids in Pandytown. This little boy, Derek, was my first and he hugged me before he even sat down. I have since learned he is also a favorite of my friend Francie (she helped teach English at his school and does other work around the island teaching, she’s a lady of many skills). I’ve seen him at Christmas parties in Fiddler’s Bight but not again for shoes. I spoke with him today and actually got to fit him with shoes. Derek is an adorable young man, good parenting. He, Osman and Ephrain made my day.

There was an unending number of students and they were not very co-operative.

The stilt master. This dude was good!

One of the 3 could actually walk on them.

We fit almost 460 kids with new shoes in one day.

As I was leaving I snapped a pic of this boat. I see it often when we take a boat through the mangroves. It’s called Twitter.

Barrio, one of the 3 brothers we kept.

Gringo, my hunka hunka burning love. Brother # 2

And Max. Maximillion, Maxillicious, Maxie the bad boy of the group. The expensive one. Brother #3.

From Cal’s Cantina last Friday night. The food was excellent, as always. Going there again tomorrow night with the gang.

We have had some dark stormy nights here this last week. Almost every night the sky is lighting up around us. A few dogs and I sat on the roof tonight, I was enthralled with the light show surrounding me. On the roof we have an approximate 320 degree view, it was phenomenal. I felt so freaking tiny, like just a speck. The 2 dogs went down, there weren’t enough of them up there to carry on. It was just me and the lightning. Kind of surreal and I felt vulnerable.

The moon the other night. I often wonder what moon people are like? Do they wear bras?

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance…..

Perfect night for a dip.

Hanging on the roof

The dogs love it up here.

All of the boys. Barrio usually has a toy in hs mouth. He sticks it in Highway’s face, whines and shakes his butt. Highway gets so mad he bares ALL of his teeth, then he snaps at him. It’s really annoying because Barrio is loud.

Barrio

Butts and tails

Last few pics then I’m off to sleep. Have to be at a school at 1 for the Microenterprise dedication, {at Froylan school} they are doing the dedication of the new ice chest and thermos and reusable cups, donated by Julie (AZCK). When I leave there I’ll go size the children at Cattleya for shoes. Saturday I am picking our friends up at the airport, along with their two new puppies. And on Sunday we are having a family who lives below us and their 3 kids up for a pool day and lunch. I’ve met Aida a few times at the airport and although I feel like I know her husband, I don’t.

If you are from Williamsport (my hometown) and happened to see the magazine, West Branch Life, that comes out with the paper 4 times a year, there was a story about the Summer of Love. If you read that story (came out beginning of August with the Sun Gazette) and wondered if you might know who “Carol” really was.

You do.

Rocking Punta Gorda, island style

#1 to Christ, #2 to husband, #3 family....

08/04/2017 The third annual East End Senior dinner was a huge success. It was held on July 26th at Henry’s Cove in Punta Gorda. Initially it was going to be down at the marina there, which is a lovely setting but the morning of the event it was starting to rain, with rain in the forecast. We decided to move it back up to the dining hall where it was held the first year. This event is amazing and it wouldn’t happen without the help of Live Again Ministries. This is the 3rd year I’ve worked with Nidia and Because We Care, and Live Again Ministry has supported us all the way, financially, emotionally and lovingly. This group comes to this island and every time they have to go home, they leave a little piece of their heart tucked somewhere on Roatán. I know this to be true, I see it in their faces. I see it in the faces of the people they touch. Mighty fine people.

The boss Nidia and Ryan, from LAM. His mother and sister were here with him during his second week of this visit, his son Cordel was with him the whole two weeks.

Susan, Toni and Mac setting up the outside tables. People were sitting there but once it started storming we got them all inside. Cramped, but well fed and dry.

Baskets of love

This luncheon was one for the books. It was an epic event. The weather didn’t co-operate, but we didn’t let that put a stop to the fun. This was the liveliest, most fun party I’ve been to, especially one that was all seniors.
The people began arriving early, all of them eager to see friends they haven’t seen since last year. They were served water and drinks while the band played and they mingled amongst each other.

My friends, starting top L in bright blue: Susan, (Ryan’s sister and my new friend) Fred in flowered shirt, Susan with her back to us, Trish in front of her (Fred’s wife) and next to Susan in a dark shirt is my other new friend Carrie. Carrie was on vacation but still came to work her tail off, get rained on and have a great time.

The guests arriving

Sitting on the back porch, overlooking the hill down to the marina.

These are all the baskets we made up. They are each filled with $50.00 worth of food. There were 40 of them and the money was raised to buy them.

We had hundreds of pairs of new readers brought down by LAM so Nidia asked Miss Peggy if she had any volunteers to help ensure the people got the correct lens for their needs. This was amazing, every single person got new readers they could actually see with. There were 2 young adults and a father with 2 daughters. There were wonderful and I think they provided a really fantastic contribution to all of the attendees.

Two adults being checked. They had books for them to read so they could get the most beneficial lens.

This little girl, yeah, I would have kept her. She was so into what she was doing, she oozed personality. Her dad says she’s 11 and is either whining or focused. Today she was incredible.

I am sorry I didn’t get a photo of Miss Catherine and myself this year. Miss Catherine is my favorite island lady, she is so beautiful, inside and out. She is my friend Daine’s Mother and is a true island gem.

Enjoying their meal

The first course of the meal was soup, then onto a big plate of food. Afterwards there was ice cream and they all took home cake and a rice pudding.
We had drawings throughout the day, people won trips on the Galaxy Wave Ferry to La Ceiba, 2 nice foam pillows were won by many and some others won baskets of food. The oldest person from each community was also given a food basket with $50.00 worth of food in it.
So many wonderful things happened that day.

Our musicians had the place rocking, especially when they played “Kick the Devil Out.” All it took was these two volunteers to get the music in them and they had the whole place feeling it.

Christopher and Clarence, the dancing machines

If the people weren’t up dancing, they were chair dancing. Some of them didn’t walk to where they were going, they danced. It was fabulous. Even the beautiful minister from Helene was dancing!

When the party was over and it was time to go home they were given ball caps, handkerchiefs for men and women, washcloths, toothpaste, so many nice gifts for them.
The smiles on their faces as they left told the story of the day. They reconnected with old friends, saw neighbors they rarely see, they sang and danced and were waited on and pampered, as they all so deserve.

Without Nidia and BWC and Live Again Ministries, all of our donors and all of the volunteers, it wouldn’t have happened.

I was so tired when I got home I had stove top stuffing for dinner, (my friend Trish asked if I cooked it) showered and went to bed.

So happy to have met Nidia, she is the most energizing person I know. She gets things done despite any obstacles she may face. I will be alongside her helping however I can, as will the Live Again Ministry group. They are an amazing group of people, Roatan loves you. Once again Pastor Ronny, this one’s for you. You’re the best and were missed this year.

The Fourth Annual Senior’s Luncheon is something I am looking forward to already.

The day at the boat dock

07/28/2017 I hate having a kitchen, dishes, pots and pans, the whole works. I hate cooking, preparing any meal of any type. I hate washing dishes, drying them and putting them away. I am NOT a foodie. I’ll take a peanut butter sandwich over any fancy meal there is. There. I said it. Food prep is not my friend. I go to bed hungry most nights because I am too lazy to make anything to eat.

I wasn’t always like this. When my boys were little I made everything from scratch, even their baby food. I baked all my own bread, canned, froze, you name it, I did it myself. I even grew chamomile and made the boys tea if they had upset stomachs or were fighting sleep. It’s odd, then I really didn’t have the time but I knew, nutritionally for the boys, I needed to do it. Now I have the time and have no desire whatsoever. None. I used to eat salads all the time but I don’t even make them anymore. Too much work.

I truly am one of those people who eats to live. If I could take a pill and not have to eat, I would be so happy. PLEASE, Someone invent one. If you have eaten at my house, I like you.

DISCLAIMER: I still relentlessly save food links on FB and on Pinterest. I should change the food category on Pinterest to: Meals I’ll never cook. It goes along with all the exercise videos in: Exercises I’ll never do. I’m such a damn phony. OMG. I just saved a banana bread recipe on Pinterest and a fried pickle recipe too. WTH?

We won’t start discussing my issues.

My new friend Emilio and I finally met. He found me online (somehow) and we connected. He has started the Roatan Community Online. We have been chatting online for months. He was in Roatan awhile ago but the stars didn’t align then for us to meet. This time, we were doing TOM’S shoes and I invited him along. Emilio is an amazing photographer/videographer and she got some great photos of us fitting at the Spanish Town school. You can find his photos on IG as roatancommunity and on FB at https://www.facebook.com/RoatanCommunity/  Take the time to look at his photos, excellent.

We met at Petrosun and set off for the day with my lovely friends, Barbara Blue, Trish Nixon and Judy Brownfield. Talk about a group of fun ladies. Shaken, not stirred.

Students waiting for shoes

This little cuties Mother was helping us fit shoes

There are homes adjacent to the fence of the school. Lots of little faces.

Barb and a student. Sorry it’s blurry, I keep the camera in my pocket and often when I pull it out, the settings get skewered. At least that’s the story I’m sticking to right now.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Old Tom’s traded for a new pair.

I had to park in a horrible spot, there was a 2′ drop off immediately in front of my L tire (parked the wrong way on the road). I saw this girl and her abuela (grandmother) sitting on the porch stoop. Note the windows and the padlock on the door. It’s a different life.

The following day I picked up another new friend who wanted to help with shoes at a store close to the school. The school was right across the road from where we met. We started setting up shoes and chairs. Right before we started passing out the shoes, Miss Peggy from Clinica Esperanza arrived with some volunteers and a family who was on vacation and wanted to help out also.

Waiting for shoes

Nidia, the force within this woman is AMAZING, she’s a whirlwind. She has lists of each child’s name, grade by grade and they are checked off as they enter for their shoes.

My sweet new friend Lynette. We’re doing a beach day Saturday!! Snorkel and float. The man to her right is a clinic volunteer. They were a nice group.

This young girl was running around the school yard. I’m not sure why she wasn’t in school. Notice the lady behind her selling snacks, and the ice cream man had just ridden his bicycle by. She twirled and danced around this tree, not a care in the world. Oh, to be so free.

One of Miss Peggy’s volunteers, I believe they were all pharmacy techs.

After we finished up with the shoes, I dropped Lynette off and came home to see my buddies. They were awaiting my arrival and barked and howled like they always do. OMG, so loud. Gringo sounds like a wolf howling at the moon.

We were graced by this the other evening, didn’t even go to the roof, this is out the living room window. The sea is beautifully illuminated.

We had Chef Carl and his boys to our house for a swim day and pizza. What nice, polite, well spoken boys they are. I really enjoyed being around them. It was nice to cook for him for a change. Most of you know him as the owner of Cal’s Cantina.

Cal enjoying the pool. They had my camera and the pics they took were all of Cal, none of Miles. Guess we know who had the camera.

It was nice to be able to really talk to Carl, he’s always so busy at the restaurant. Such a fabulous chef. I’m currently addicted to his chicken Caesar salads with a glass of Sauvignón.

We are still doing TOM’S shoes. It’s a lot of work and I give mad props to my bestie Nidia. Honestly, I don’t know how she does all that she does. Total amazement and so blessed to be a part of all the joy she brings to Roatán. She is the vision of what every woman wishes to be. Beautiful, confident, strong and capable of saving the world, if she had the time. I want to be her in my next life. But since that will never happen, I’m content to help her how ever I can. Because We Care was fortunate again to have the Live Again Ministry team down here with us, some stayed for 2 weeks.  These people are the real deal! They had a medical brigade with them, several young people, a Mother, her son and daughter and grandson. {Yes you, Honeycutt’s!} These groups have been working non-stop, day in, day out. They painted a kindergarten, they passed out shoes, they played with the kids, they checked their health situations and they gave out lots and lots of love. That’s really their biggest gift to Roatán. Plain and simple. LOVE.

Not only do they raise money so that BWC can do things for the island, they bring toys and shoes and hats and all kinds of wonderful goodies to give to the people on the island. This is my 3rd year volunteering alongside them, makes me feel very lucky.

On Monday we (Because We Care, BWC) and (Live Again Ministry, LAM) teamed up with a medical brigade with our sights set on St Helene. We were at Clifford, the Vice Mayor’s dock at 8AM, boat was to arrive 8:15.

Waterway was pretty quiet

It was hot. It was well past 8:15. It was HOURS past 8:15. Supposedly the boat left Helene late. Hours late.

It was hot. The boat never came. It broke down by Ft Morgan Caye. Ran out of gas. Two larger pangas came later on and took the medical brigade out to Helene. The boat that ran out of gas was getting filled by the boats carrying the med techs. The big boat finally came for us. It had been a long hot waiting around kind of day. It is what it is.

The whole time we waited I never heard one person complain. Sure, we were all hot and tired but we made the best of the situation and just did the only thing we could, wait.

While waiting for a boat, any boat, the kids were coming to the afternoon school. I caught this little girl jumping off the boat, her ride to school.

Just another day of school to her

Nidia watching our ride come in the channel. It motored right on past us and put on an interesting show when it attempted to turn around. Then it docked at a dock that was a few away from where we were waiting. Some time had passed before we found out the boat had a steering problem. Dang, I could have swam to Helene by now. We decided not to do shoes that day so the LAM team, Nidia and I went on home.

We decided to try to go again on Friday and when I got to the dock Crosby was already waiting. Except we needed more than 1 boat. Once the other boat arrived we loaded up and set off for Serene Helene.

Our boat had to make a stop at the new Madeyso hardware store that opened in Oak Ridge. Just another location of a store that we do a lot of business with. Nice people, nicely run store. Once we got their pipes loaded on the boat, we were on our way.

The new Madeyso, closer for Bill than the one by the airport.

If this were my house I would sleep on a raft wearing a swimsuit, mask and snorkel.

The first boat beat us to Helene so the frenzy surrounded them. There were people everywhere. Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunts, a few Rasta dudes and tons of kids.

Shenanigans

This guy wins for longest eyelashes ever. This is the 3rd year I’ve taken photos of this cutie.

Third year for pics of Keesha (spelling?) She is a sweetheart. When we walked to the North Shore a year or 2 ago she and her mother Darla were with us. Her mother teaches on Helene but they live on Roatán. It’s a commute for the 2 of them every Friday and early Monday morning. Every day they walk over the mountain to Darla’s family. They live on the North shore of Helene (school is on the South shore). Oh good heavens, it’s simply beautiful there.

Our fitters were lucky, there were steps at the school, good level to work from.

Misty must have been showing them a game or photos. They didn’t want to leave her side.

These TOM’S were different, they are made of a “croc” like material. I think they’ll be beneficial for the kids who live out muddy roads (96%). They will be easy to keep clean.

I had 2 boxes of shoes balanced on one side while I attempted to catch this little guy. He was filling his pockets with rocks.

Symbolism is screaming right here.

The other boat. They brought some of the teachers back to Roatán.

The local boat marina

She lives is a house out over the water. It must sound lovely in her home. I think I would be lulled to sleep all day long.

So we’re on the way home and the tall guy on the boat asked where I was from. I said I lived here and was friends with Keyna and Woudsin in Helene. Everybody in Helene knows Keyna and Woudsin. I then asked if they knew Dr Perry? Perry Adelson was a well known dentist from my hometown, Williamsport. He and I met in the late 60’s. We hung out often around that time frame of our lives.

I knew Perry and Kay had land on Helene but I had no idea where it was until he was on island and took me to Helene for the day. I ended up spending the night, so beautiful there. Anyhow, these two guys could not believe that I grew up in the same town and have known Perry for 45+ years. Small world. These are my new friends Crosby and Eric.

Perry’s wife Kay, calls Crosby her son. Eric, in the white t-shirt, makes killer pizzas on Helene, no Roatán delivery though.

We had a fast ride home, a little wet but we made it in good time.

I was so exhausted from the boat ride to Helene and back, passing out shoes and keeping the flow of students going that I asked Bill if we could go to Cal’s. I came home, washed my hands and face, took off my Mermaid hat, raked a brush through my knots and said, let’s go. We had a quick meal there, after glass of wine number 2, I was almost asleep on the table. I came home, fed the dogs, showered and crashed.

I met Nidia at 11 the next morning to pick up the wash basins that we were using for the senior dinner and to order cups for Marlon’s school. The cups have been ordered and are in. I’m picking them up tomorrow after I take Barrio to ProVets and then pick up Lynette for our beach day.

Marlon is the Principal at Froylan Turcios school. This is the same school that Bill made a loooong handrail for the steep uneven concrete steps going up to the school. Marlon wants to discourage sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks for the kids. He plans to begin on Monday with natural fruit juices and washable cups. My friend Julie generously donated money to buy the coolers and I have enough of her money leftover to buy 125 reusable plastic cups. Normally the schools serve things in plastic bags and they add sugar to everything, even milk. He wants that to stop.  I applaud him for his efforts!

Marlon with his new cooler and thermos.

He wanted a photo of me too!

The senior luncheon happened but that will be in a post all by itself. It was an epic event. I was there for 9 hours, setting up, making baskets, cleaning chairs and taking photos while chatting with all the amazing people that came. I didn’t help with the serving because I tend to stay away from any situation that would allow me to spill things on people (no grip strength). This was the liveliest Senior Luncheon I’ve ever seen. Even the minister from St Helene was dancing when they played and sang to “Kick the Devil Out.” After I left there, I stopped at the fire station and gave Alexi the T-shirts and suitcase from Ryan. I was so exhausted that I kind of passed out, then made stove top stuffing for dinner and went to bed.

I was up early the next morning because I was finally getting my mermaid on again. Kelly was picking me up and we were going diving at Blue Island Divers, of course.

There were 4 divers plus the divemaster and 3 snorkelers. I didn’t take my camera, damn.

We dove Wrasse Hole, with a plethora of fish. Ernesto finds the teeny tiniest things ever, he must have absolutly perfect vision. He spotted a minute sized drum fish, a small eel in a hole, tiny little cleaner shrimp, lobsters and a fire worm. I found a brittle star in a sponge but Kelly spotted the best thing of all. A big turtle. It was on the surface with it’s head out of the water, then it ever so slowly descended, swimming past us all. We watched as it descended into the deep blue. Magnificent. That’s my first turtle sighting in Roatán in my 10 years of being here. We also saw grouper, a large permit and Kelly’s favorite fish (to eat) a hogfish. So sorry I didn’t have my camera.

It was a fabulous dive as always with my favorite dive shop. I equate going to Blue Island with Cliff or Norm going to Cheers. Some of you may not be old enough to get that reference. Where everybody knows your name.

Bill is keeping an eye on a project for a friend down by the water. The night watchie found 2 dogs chained together, running through the woods. They got caught in the barbed wire so the watchie separated them. One ran away and the other stayed. Now she is in love with the watchie. She’s warmed up to Miguel, who will be living there and he wanted a dog so hopefully this one has a happy new home. She will live down at the property. I met her this afternoon and gave her some worm meds and cleaned her ears. On Monday we’ll start her on Heartgard and some fipronil for fleas and ticks. If she sticks around I’ll take her to get spayed very soon.

They wanted to call her big ears, Bill said NO. We’re hoping she grows into them. They named her Bonnie. ??? Don’t ask, it’s Honduras.

Just a few more pics.

They were repairing the road, burning wood for a fire for the asphalt. At least the Mayor on our side tries to maintain the roads.

Bill and I ran down to the water so he could give the guys a ride home and I could clean the dog’s ears and deworm her. Isn’t she adorable?

This is the watchie, Martin Martinez. He adores this dog but can’t take her home. He rents and can’t have pets.

Looking over to our friends, Jaw and Brigitta’s former home. Our other friends bought property on the top of that hill. They will have amazing views, I wish they would hurry up and move.

Nothing more restorative than the ocean.

Just a few mangos. I came home with mangos and an almond. There are lots more almonds and mangoes down there. I want to see how long it takes for the almond to dry out and the fruit to be edible.  Alexi already got avocados from Mr John. It was a fruitful day.

Mr John’s avocados are HUGE

Avocados, bananas, mangoes and a lonely almond. All picked, not bought.

I’m wrapping this up, have to go put the clean sheets on the bed and relax. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I’ll be at the beach all day tomorrow, don’t hate me too much.

 

Words that fell out of my head

July 11, 2017  I lied. I said I would blog more and I haven’t. I hung around the house while we still had a worker and once he was done we started the TOMS shoe drive. My friend, the Duchess of Camp Bay’s husband was returning back to the island and I offered to pick him up. Once we got his 6 ton bags loaded into my car we did a quick stop at the grocery store for him and then met his neighbors in Cal’s lot for the remainder of his ride home. It saved me a trip to the east end of the island.

I decided to take Max with me on Monday to his first beach day at the beach on the moon. There were only a few people there and he was super good, loving running the beach and swimming in the waves.

My water baby

He loved it!

A kitesurfer came all the way down the beach but he got it back in the water and headed east.

Max had a fabulous time and was so well behaved until the beach dogs came begging for the food that was being grilled. Our dogs live a quiet pack existence, they are not mean with other dogs but I’m afraid they will follow them and not come back.

The moon the other evening, love my new camera.

Bill’s sister Kathy, niece Missy and great niece Jen were all coming from Williamsport so I had to get my rear in gear and get things done. Kathy and Jen were here 2 years ago. Karla, (my cleaning girl who just had a baby) came and gave the downstairs a good cleaning. The following week we began passing out TOMS shoes. I had to bake and clean the upstairs too. Karla to the rescue again. She came the morning before they arrived, I baked and cooked and she cleaned. That evening we joined our friends at a new Indian restaurant called Aroma. There were 15 of us in the group. It was a great meal and fun to be with our friends again.

The week prior to our company arriving, Nidia finally got the TOMS shoes from the mainland. She had a hard time getting them this year, we are usually done with the shoe drive by now but due to several different issues, the shoes were delayed.

The very first day I was joined by several friends who helped with the shoe sizing and fitting. I picked up Carly and her sons, Garret and Grant (her hubby Eric is my dive guru @ Blue Island Divers) and my friend Annie. We set off for Barrio Lempira in Oak Ridge. When we got there other friends of mine had come to help, Pam, Gail, Kathy, Kim and Paul. We took some shoes in Pam’s truck and went to Pandytown, one of my favorite schools in Oak Ridge. We don’t just do a mass handout, each and every child is personally fit with new TOMS. We measure their feet the best we can and go from there determining size. The shoes all need stretched toe to heel and throat, which takes time, before you even attempt to put the shoe on. They are supposed to fit snug because they are cotton and they stretch. A lot.

Kids moving the shoe boxes inside the school room.

Crew of fabulous volunteers who helped for 2 solid days. Thank you!

They couldn’t be any cuter!

Old TOMS, new TOMS

Fitting the shoes. With the bigger kids I stretch the shoes out and let them put them on,

Garrett and Grant and Pam taking a break.

Cuties with their new TOMS

The old TOMS, I think he really needs a new pair.

This was day 2 in Punta Gorda. Another student who wore his shoes from last year.

This young girl is Garifuna, her school outfit is different from the other students.

The students at Juticalpa waiting for TOMS shoes on day 3.

My friend Melissa’s son, Keon.

Melissa helped fit the students at the Juticalpa school. I couldn’t. My back was killing me from 3 days of leaning over.

At Froylan Turcios in the air conditioned computer room. Day 3

Day 3 (Thursday)  at Froylan Turcios. I took a group of friends there to fit the kids. Thanks to Bill, Alexi, Marcia and her worker Christian, Doug and Susan Geddes and Maya and Brian. We got those kids fit in record time.

Friday I took the day off so I could be here when Karla cleaned and I could get my cooking and baking done before guests arrived.

I picked them all up at the airport on Saturday, made a fast stop at Eldon’s and came home and got poolside. It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed it to the fullest.

Sunday morning we left for Mega Paca at 8 AM and were there 3.5 hours. My great niece Jen was in retail heaven. By the time we left there, we came home, ate and it was time for us to leave for my friend Marcia’s to kayak through the mangroves. Kathy was going to hang out by Marcia’s pool since she doesn’t kayak. It was quite a workout getting to the mouth of the mangroves because the tide was coming in and the current was quite strong. We had a great paddle through them, we only met one boat.

Entering the mangroves

Jen, she is a natural at everything. And photogenic, geeze louise.

Boat crash (not really), perfect time for a pic of Jen and Missy.

No filters, no photoshop, this is the color of the water.

Coming out of the mangroves. The water was too rough to snorkel out to the dive buoy so we paddled over to the sandy bottom, set anchor and tried to find the reef. We did not succeed.

Afterwards we all cooled off in Marcia’s gorgeous pool then headed home to our pool for the rest of the day.

What a view!

Marcia’s olympic (almost) sized pool. It’s gorgeous.

The next day we set off for the east end of Roatán. First stop, La Sirena for onion rings and drinks.  After that we went to the beach on the moon and hung out for awhile with my friends.

La Sirena

Jen and Missy on the beach on the moon.

Jen, Jeanie, (the Duchess) and I floated for at least 30 minutes. We walked against the current, floated back, and did it again and again. It was a great day to be at the beach on the moon.

The next day there were no cruise ships so we were headed to West Bay beach. We stopped at Lisa’s to cut Bandit’s toenails. She has Bandit and Sable, 2 of Frito’s pups.

Sable would not stop kissing me. I love her, she was the only girl of the litter.

And Lisa holding Bandit.

We were some of the few people on the beach. It was deserted, just the way I like it. Jen and Missy and I went down to Infinity to do some snorkeling, Missy just wasn’t in to it so Jen and I went out into the deep blue.

Tangs and more tangs and a HUGE parrotfish

Cool coral. You have no idea how badly I want to touch this but I don’t. I’m just dying to know what this feels like.

Look at his mouth, giant Rainbow Parrotfish

Smaller rainbow parrotfish. You can see his teeth.

So many tangs

Wish I had been diving to do this swim though

We ate lunch at Bananarama and then floated in the gorgeous water for awhile.

Paradise

After we had enough sun and sand and food we headed home. I decided to stop and see my friends at Blue Island divers.  They are like my other family, love them all and wanted Kathy and especially Jen to meet them. (She and Jill both want to get certified) We sat down and had some drinks. My sweet friend Maria makes a damn good Monkey La-La! After that it was the loooong drive home.

On Wednesday we decided to go to Milton Bight and fit the kids for TOMS there. It was just  Missy, Jen, me and 2 mothers. The kids were really cute.

The kids had to wait outside while we set the room up. They were all eating pastellitos.

Drinking her sugar laced colored water

The group eating and waiting.

Jen and a young boy at Milton Bight school

This guy fell in love with Missy and Jen and didn’t want to leave.

Missy stretching the shoes, you really have to stretch them before you even try to fit them.

Missy and Jen with some of the kids from the school.

Thursday was another non cruise ship day so we went to West Bay beach again. We picked up my twin Ann on the way, then went to the Grand Roatan. They allow us to sit at a table if we eat and snorkel, however their beach chairs are forbidden. So lame. That’s why I like Bananarama.

Jen, Ann and I went out snorkeling. I ended up in the deep blue, seems I always do. Then when I turned around to come back I went to look for the parrot fish and found the biggest of them all. I was so close I could have touched him, but I didn’t. Don’t touch the sea life. EVER. No matter how damn bad you want to, don’t. (Thinking of you my friend, Rika)

And this dude. My friend said he was the size of a German Shepherd. He was big, look at his lips. He was also within 5″ of me. I so wanted to pet him and say, “you are a damn gorgeous fish.”

Christmas tree worms. These fascinate me so much, just the way they have evolved. I mean really, how did some of this shit come to be? Like Christmas Tree worms, who thought of them? They are utterly fascinating.

I love the sea

Wonder what tooth whitener he uses?

Beautiful Queen Angelfish

Sergeant Majors and there are a lot of them because the idiot tourists feed them. I kept saying, “Please don’t feed the fish, they are not your pets.” My words fell on deaf (another language) ears.

Friday Jen, Missy Alexi and I ran down to the small kinder in the valley below us, TOMS shoe delivery. We had enough shoes for everyone but we needed 2 larger sized pair so we ran home and got them. I passed out trucks and dolls and ponies that Liza and Mike brought down awhile ago. The toys were a huge hit. I doubt there was much reading or writing going on that morning.

The school has a dirt floor. The whiteboard that Bill made is in the back right (thanks to Judy and Walt for the donation) . This school is more or less ignored by the government (actually most schools are). My theory is they want to keep the people uneducated because if they get smart they will toss all the idiot politicians out on their asses. Just my theory.

This is the whole reason I do this.

I believe after the shoe thing we had another marathon at Mega Paca and Jen did get some awesome stuff. Three hours worth of stuff. We also took some thing to Froylan Turcios school that Missy and Jen brought down. The teacher was very happy to have them. They are doing a great job at that school and it’s nice to support them. It’s also where Bill built the handrail for the treacherous steps.

Missy, Jen, the profa and some of the students.

Friday was their last night on the island so we went to Romeo’s for dinner. It’s a great place on the water, except, the Roatan Aggressor is parked at their dock every Friday and ruins the whole view. It’s a 120′ live aboard dive boat that travels the bay islands. Yeah, it’s a cool boat and all but it makes the view non-existent.  Bummed. The meal was good as usual but the atmosphere certainly changed.

Not the normal view

Missy, Jen and Kathy at West Bay

And on our roof

My favorite butts. Max, Barrio and Gringo

Sad to have them go but so glad I wasn’t sick while they were here, that would have been awful! They brought some cool stuff for me, I’ll share in my next post. This is bordering on novella length.

The day our guests left I was feeling kind of yucky so I asked Bill to take them to the airport. I wanted to lay down for awhile as we had dinner plans that evening. By the time we needed to leave, I was full on sick. We had a fabulous dinner at our friends who live in a yurt. I’ve never been in one before and I was very impressed. It’s a really cool home. They are building a real house in the near future. It was a fun evening, just wish I had felt better.

Sunday morning I missed Mega Paca. OMG, I never miss going at 8 AM. I was too sick to get out of bed. And I felt the same way Monday and Tuesday. Pure crap. It felt like a tractor trailer had parked on my forehead and I couldn’t bear the weight of the load. My head was near exploding.
My remedy? Sudafed and valium. Swear, I didn’t die and I felt good enough Wednesday to take my dog and cat to the Florida vet clinic. If you have something specific that the Wed. vet can’t diagnose/treat, these guys are great. I left home at 6:30, got there at 7:30. They had massive amounts of people in line already. I said I would wait as long as my exploding brain would allow. Finally, I could wait no more and went to tell Daine. She said, wait, I think you are going to be seen soon. I walked Barrio and carried Emmy up to the check in table, within 5 minutes, we were seen. Emmy has had for almost a year a vitreous blue looking eye. The vet here said she was blind, she’s almost 12. I wanted a second opinion. The vet at the clinic said she had a corneal abrasion and gave me some drops. OMG, 3 days and I saw a difference in Emmy’s eye. And she is coming out of hiding, chasing the dogs, wandering the house so much more. I am still using the drops, hoping her eye will clear completely. I can actually see her eye and the color of it. Before it was a blue blob. I’m so glad I went to the vets and waited. Barrio is having some skin issues so he is on a special whitefish dog food, AND, we are no longer cooking for the dogs. I know, we suck. But OMG, life is easier.

One of the days I felt like crap I wanted to nap. These guys can’t let me alone. Love them so.

At the vet clinic, Ems actually likes Barrio. She even lays next to him.

We were seen, got lots of meds for both of the animals and headed home. I thought I would be nice and allow Em to roam the car, even though Barrio was in his seatbelt harness. Emmy kept trying to get on my lap and look out the window. I’m not driving like that here, so I put her on the passenger seat.

And she shit. I had to drive somewhere that I could pull off so I could open the window and toss the turds out.

Why me?

I was literally down and out for a week. Saturday we had appointments for free skin cancer screening check-ups at Barefoot Cay. After that Bill and I hit the grocery and hustled home to get things ready. Chef Carl from Cal’s Cantina and his boys were coming for the day and then home made pizza. We had a great day, Cal and Miles played in the pool, nice boys.

Sunday morning I went to Mega Paca but was only there an hour or so, I was still so worn out. The sun has been shining, a light breeze, very comfortable out. Spending as much time possible poolside.

A few thoughts just fell out of my brain, so I’ll share them before I wander off.

My parents: Mom is 91, VR 96. She told him he doesn’t give her enough money to spend to buy who knows what. Last August I cleaned out her cupboards and closets and threw away YEARS of shit that she bought. She thinks she needs more. VR told her to get a job and earn her own money.

The other night I had bacon with a vodka chaser for dinner.

I get a crown this week. Finally. No emeralds or diamonds though and 2.5 years overdue.

TOMS shoes began again this week, school was on vacation last week. I am joining in on Wednesday, still about 85% health wise.  Thanks to all of my friends who volunteered to help!

Off to the couch to watch Netflix, into a show called Gypsy with Naomi Watts. I won’t lie and say I’ll do better blogging next month, we all know how that works.

 

Roatan ramblings

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

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

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

The coloring station

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

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

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

The ladies helping here are all teachers at Cattleya.

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

Annie helping to make the bouquets beautiful.

Sweet brother and sister.

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

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

This is the outside area of the art showroom.

Love the painted seating

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

This was one of my favs.

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

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

These ladies came dressed in their Sunday best.

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

Gifts for all

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

Free massages

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

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

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

She was picking dead leaves off of a plant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fabulous views and some afternoon sun protection.

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

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

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

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

Tres hermanos

Whoa, serious blues.

They must want my wine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are so proud that he received this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the many recipients

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

Little girl with her new dress.

They were posing.

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

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

Passing out gifts, dresses, toys and flip flops

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

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

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

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

How did she get so old?

And….I’m done. Peace out.

Planes, boats and fins

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

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

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

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

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

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

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

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

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

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

Quite literally, just hanging out.

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

Justin’s dream come true

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

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

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

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

Feeding from a distance

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

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

So magnificent.

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

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

Justin and Jillian

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

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

Jill and Justin

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

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

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

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

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

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

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

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

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

Hammock row

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

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

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

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

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

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

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

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

Beautiful evening.

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

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

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

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

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

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

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

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

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

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

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

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

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

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

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

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

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

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

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

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

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

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

The pizza master

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

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

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

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

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

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

The flip-flop mob

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highway and Max, back to back.

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

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

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

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

Elton, boat captain at Blue Island Divers

Sam, Chelsie and one of the DM’s

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

odd shaped sponge

Sea rods

More orange coral

Chelsie and Sam

Club finger coral

Sponge

This coral looked like it was made of lava

Blue Chromis

Common sea fan

Huge vase sponge

Looking for Dory

Sea Fan

Spiny lobster Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Spiny lobster Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

More cool coral

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

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

Chelsie. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Me. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

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

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

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

2 varieties of brain coral

four eyed butterfly fish Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

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

Elkhorn coral

I think this is some kind of fungus coral.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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