The return of the trade winds

05/30/2018 Let’s see if I can pick up where I left off. Hmmm. Nope, no can do. It was way too long ago and I apologize. I’ve been distracted and busy. And hot and sweaty, OMG. If I could market and sell under boob sweat I would be a millionairess. If there only was a need for it. Sad times.

It’s been a super hot month. It was very miserably hot while Trace was visiting, too hot almost. The heat made afternoon siestas a part of the day. He took a lot of photos of the homes we’re looking after and built a website for us. It’s not up and running yet, it’s very involved and detail intensive using a website like this for a novice like me. Being Miss OCD does nothing to lessen the frustration. I will say I get pissed and want to give up and maybe do give up for that particular moment, but I’m back figuring it out some more in no time at all. It’s taking me a long time to get things the way I want them, which is all the same, but different. Some of you get that.

We did manage to have some fun on a few short boating trips. One day Trace and I “boated” to Calabash Bight to check out some guests. While there Trace took some photos but not the ones for the website, he took those later. He and I went snorkeling with Daniel and Stephanie at the Sloth farm, awesome snorkeling in the protected waters of the marine preserve. Another day Trace and I went to West Bay by way of a water taxi from West End because the actual road is so bad.

We ate at Cal’s a number of times just because it’s excellent and it’s 3 minutes away. Who can say no to that? Not me.

Our friends Liza and Mike came from Oregon to spend some time here. They own land in Sandy Bay, about 40 min west of us. The day after they arrived they came down to hang out around the pool and eat some pizza. They brought me some things I ordered and also a bulk foods bag of HOT TAMALES. I have not had them for 5 years. I caught Trace eating them and yelled at him. I told him he could buy them in Seattle, I can’t get them here and dammit! I was being stingy and not sharing. I hid them and allotted myself a certain number (12) each night before I brushed my teeth. They lasted from April 13 to me savoring the lonely last one on May 16th. It was a very sad night.

When they were plentiful

When there was only one.

The the next day Trace and I met Liza and Mike at Pineapple Villas, mainly so they could meet Nidia. She is kind of famous around these parts. After that I took them to the Monkey and Sloth Farm where we held sloths, let monkeys look for bugs in our hair and held macaws and yellow naped parrots. 

These monkeys are named after the cast of Jersey Shore. You know, J Wow, Snookie, Vinnie and Pauly D. Here one is sitting on Trace’s neck.

They are insane, so much fun.

Might be picture of the week. Trace trying to get his camera lens cover from the monkey.

Spying on us, planning his attack.

I so love this photo. Mike is just like, OK, there are 2 crazy monkeys on my head.

She’s found her calling, Liza the sloth snuggler.

My favorite bird. The colors are intense.

Trace took this video while we were snorkeling in West Bay. The fish didn’t even seem to notice the camera on the broom handle (improvised selfie stick). They swam all around it and then pretty much had Trace in the middle of their school. He got some awesome footage. These are mostly Blue Tangs, in different stages of development. Some other fish join the school, there’s even a nice sized Barracuda towards the end on the left.

Having a visitor in the house seemed to confuse the dogs. They got a little panicked (Lola) a few times when Trace would come upstairs. She would have barking fits, carrying on like a velociraptor was coming up the stairs. One time they were so freaked out that Barrio was shooting pheromes out his butt. I’m serious, it was gross and it squirted on the walls. It was like he emptied his anal sacks by himself. Sorry, is that TMI? He was so afraid of Trace that he didn’t go near him during the whole time he was here. Gringo and Max and Lola and the idiot (Highway) were fine with him, not Barrio.

Trace holding Lola, who is a showgirl.

Lola, see? She’s crazy.

Max, Lola and Highway

Our electric company is called RECO. I went in to the office and signed a form to get access to their online bill payment system. They said I would get a password in a few weeks sent to the email address I gave them. A month had passed when I emailed them and said “what’s up, where is my password?” A few days later I was in the pool and my phone rang. Caller ID said RECO emergency number. I answered it and they said, “this is RECO calling to say that we got an email (from me) stating that you (me) never got a password for the online payments.” I said correct. She said, “could I get your email address so we can send the password to you?” I was like, but but, you are calling because you got an email from me, you HAVE my email address. Remembering where I lived, I gave up and told her the address and one month later I have still never gotten a password. I later found out everyone got the same password to sign in with and you then had to change it immediately and sign in with the new password that you created. I signed on with my friends temporary password. It worked. You can’t make this shit up.

I recently had a bug night. My husband was sound asleep and a gorgeous moth with a 2″ wide wingspan landed on my nightstand. I couldn’t hurt it so I captured it and threw it out the window using a cup and a piece of paper. But it didn’t work, I threw air out the window. The moth was on the wall when I went back to bed. Damn! I used the same maneuver but used something hard below the paper. It worked, I carried it outside and set it free. Came back to bed and there’s a beetle on my reading light. I tried to capture it until it flew at me three times. I swatted it down and slammed it with a bottle of allergy pills and mortally wounded it and gave it a proper water burial in the toilet. Then I had to pee and was afraid it was still alive and was going to fly at my ass. I thought of my friend Megan who lives on the other end of the island. She went to the bathroom one night and there was a good sized crab in her toilet. She removed it with tongs. Now I look every time. One of the teachers at Froylan School (where we help out) woke to find a huge boa constrictor in her bed. Honestly, I would have died right there on the spot. Dead as a nail. Just roll me off a boat. I live in the jungle.

There was another beach concert right down the road from us. Trace and I went and ate dinner and stayed for the music. I’m sure he wished he had been an ostrich so he could have buried his head in the sand, totally ashamed that his old lady mother danced almost every song. It’s good exercise. And dancing and wine go well together. I’m sure he doesn’t agree that wine makes me an excellent dancer. .

Trace was photographing kids at the beach before the concert started.

They love cameras and cameras love them. Beautiful kids.

This is Ephrain, Alexi’s little brother.

My high school friends donated money early this year to help do some work at the Froylan Turcios School. Bill re-did the bathrooms and they got the building painted and a door installed. They have working toilets and sinks. My friends also bought the school a volleyball net. Bill gave them a long metal pole they can cut in half and cement into tires to make holders for the net. A few weeks ago I got a friend request from someone named Chris. I looked at his profile, he does stuff like we do so I accepted. Then he contacted me to say he had some groups coming down to do missionary work, could I suggest a school. Well, yes, Froylan Turcios. I told him a bit about the school and introduced him to the Principal, my friend Marlon. After Chris spoke to Marlon for awhile he realized he was the real deal. Being the Principal was not about him, it was about the kids. Now Chris and his organization have stepped in to finish the roof, using the stuff we bought to repair the leaks, they are building Marlon an office, he does not have one and they are building benches and tables and a playground for the kids. I still have about $210 left from the money my class donated, plus another 25 was donated and I’ll put in to make it 250 which is enough to buy the 3 toilets and one of the 3 sinks for the first new school EVER in Pandy Town. The kids have never had a school, let alone a new one. They are in a 3 room building behind the church. It’s crowded and hot and dark. They deserve this. I’m thinking $250 would buy the sinks and all of the materials needed to plumb the bathrooms. I have a new goal.

This is the new school. A very exciting event for everyone in the community.

Update: The Rotary club has said if the school puts in a formal request they will present it to the board and possibly buy the toilets. I have been in touch with Miss Iris and told her if that falls through, I will buy them. If that works maybe we can supply the lights or the ceiling fans for the school. We are on hold but will be doing something for the school one way or another.

A little comic relief. The boys going for a swim.

Barrio and Lola sharing a kennel. They love being in their kennels.

Rainy late afternoon, rainbow producer. See the size of the deck to the back left of the stairs? Well, it’s bigger now.

This is how much bigger. Two days and it was done.

I’ve ordered a 10X16 sun shade for this area, more shade for the dogs and a place to nap out of the sun.

The shaded eating area

Enlarged seating area, soon to be shaded.

North shore view

South shore

Trace and I did a few snorkel trips and saw great stuff each time. Actually, anytime I can get my head underwater is a good day.

Saw this beautiful French Angelfish snorkeling. I swear it was following me.

Quite an overbite

White common feather duster worms

Christmas tree worm

Beautiful healthy coral

A pea or baby porcupine

These tangs encircled us, it’s like we weren’t there.

Blue striped grunt

Stunning evening sky over the south shore.

North shore sky.

Trace and I went snorkeling with Daniel and Steph from Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. Always excellent snorkeling because it’s in a protected marine reserve.

Common feather duster worms

Spaghetti worms, amazing to watch them move. I’m very curious what they feel like.

They are so fascinating, here is a video on them.

This was a large porcupine pufferfish, it started to come out towards us but changed it’s mind.

Googly eyes on the porcupine puffer fish

This was an awesome find, some type of burr fish. This thing had big spikes sticking out of it.

Four eyed butterfly fish

A live beautiful conch. See the eye sticking out on the left of the shell? It’s a tube. They have 2 eyes, just like us. Sort of.

Beautiful protected harbor of French Caye.

The son..

Daniel and Steph, two of my favorites..really, I love these 2.

Daniel’s grandfathers shrimp boats.

The dogs were going absolutely crazy one afternoon. Highway was jumping straight up, a few feet off the ground every time he barked. The 3 brothers were non stop barking. {I seriously pity a thief coming here, they have no chance.} Bill spotted this guy in the Gumbalimba tree by the deck. He was kind of hidden but I did get a few shots. So gorgeous.

I love iguanas.

They are such beautiful creatures. I think they were eating the berries on the tree.

Their skin looks like the hand beaded animals they sell in Mexico.

Cruise ship passing.

I interviewed Lauren who owns The Roatan Wine Room for an article I wrote for Incomes Abroad, an International Living publication spin off. Lauren recently opened her business in West End. I look forward to making a trip there soon, who doesn’t love wine?

Nidia and I are planning to go to the Mosquito Coast of Honduras for 3 days. The poverty is extreme. We have free shipping for all of the donations to the mainland so we will be able to buy a lot of stuff, like 200 bars of soap, 200 toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes. We take so much for granted. I got an amazing generous donation from some new friends, Nidia and I started planning how to spend it as soon as I called her. Our trip to the coast will not be a vacation. We are going where there is no electricity or running water. I’m a snoopy eater so I’ll have to take enough peanut butter sandwiches, potato chips and hard boiled eggs to last several days. It will not be GLAMPING. It will be an experience that I should get to have. I’m very excited.

The rag tag gang. I’m a sweatball, Bill’s shirt has a hole in it so he tucks it in under his belt to hide it. Poor Trace.

The wind has picked up, it’s crazy windy after no wind for a week. I was making a sandwich and it blew the cheese off the sandwich. Score for the dogs. Great sleeping weather and no bugs.

Today I had a much needed girls day with Jonna. We ran errands, went to the labor board, went to the municipal, found Roatan Provisions where we bought (split) a $52.00 jar of kalamata olives went to lunch, had mojitos. Little more shopping and then home. I saw dishes I wanted but didn’t buy because they were pottery and I will break/drop them. I thought they were the lightweight melamine. Oh well. I got olives.

Trace helped us get the counters downstairs finished with epoxy resin before Chance, Alecia and the girls come on the 12th. So excited to see all of them!

This is in the kitchen

Turned out really nice but now I don’t like the tile at all.

The bar, Trace added some orange to it. Again, that awful tile.

I would say I’ll try to be better about blogging but we all know that’s a lie. I started this Monday night and it’s Friday. I’m done. We’ve had a guy here installing the back splash tile in my upstairs kitchen ALL DAY and the whole place is a mess. There is stuff all over the floors, hoping the counter tops are still OK. Not very thrilled with the tile job, I will be going to see them tomorrow.

I’m publishing this sucker before another week passes. Happy FriYay everyone.

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Three years of destruction and mayhem

04/14/2018 My boys are 3 today. Barrio, Gringo, Max, and their siblings, Tank, Duke, Bandit and sweet Sable (the only girl) have been blessing us humans for 3 years. Tax day puppies! Thank you Frito for the best gifts ever! Three years of three boys, teething, destroying beds, toys, chairs, shedding 497 kazillion pounds of dog hair (including Lola and Highway) eating 3 bags of Kirkland a month, pooping all over the yard multiple times a day. Killing everything that crosses their path, luckily no iguanas have been harmed, I can’t say the same about Anoles or geckos. In their (the dogs) defense, I don’t think they mean to kill them. They catch them and in the process hurt them then spit them out because they taste like crap. No matter what these boys do, even through the bad times like when they fight, they are loved. My favorite dogs ever and I have had dogs since I could walk. That’s a long freaking time ago. I don’t remember a time in my life without a pet.

Three years ago today, 2 were born at the vets, one was born in my car on the way home. Another as soon as I got the crate out of the car. Then she had 2 more and acted hungry. I fed her and she proceeded to have # 7. Healthy beautiful pups. At that point I had 11 dogs.

We have been busy, boring and busy some more. It’s all good. In the past few weeks we have met some wonderful people and look forward to growing our friendships with them. Meeting people is my thing anyhow, I love it. Always have. I used to be shy but I doubt anyone would use that word when talking about me now. The times they have changed.

Nidia and I are hoping the TOM’s shoes come in soon, we want to get them passed out. I just spoke with the principal at Froylan Turcios school, the one Bill’s been working on the toilets and sinks. They are all now functioning. We are trying to find a source of water to run a pressure washer to clean the roof of the bathroom, then Bill and the guys will paint the roof with something to stop the leaks, we already have it, just waiting to get it clean. One of my fabulous friends from high school is sending me $25.00 a month to help feed a needy family. Marlon, the principal and I are going to talk about this next week. I don’t want to do the same family every month, I would like to switch it up a bit. More to come with photos soon.

Before of the school bathrooms

After the new paint, looks so much nicer.

We were having Kevin and Claire over for dinner one night before they left the island. I made the “Natasha” special rum cake and had just injected the rum into it. I pushed it away from the edge of the counter, then realized it was dripping syrup all over. After I wiped the plate clean I failed to shove it to the back of the counter and Barrio took full advantage of that. Little sneak, he was gobbling like he hadn’t eaten in years when Bill caught him in the act.

The worst part is, we cut the dog eaten parts off the cake so guests would not have to eat it.  We ended up eating the chewed gnawed on cake ourselves, what’s a little dog slobber in your life?

With Kevin and Claire leaving the island they had to find homes for their 4 dogs. Since Tank was one of Frito’s pups I said I would find a home for him. I wanted him so badly but knew that 4 brothers in the house was not a good idea.

Bill and I took Tank down to the beach where Miguel lives to see if he may be a good fit with Bonnie and Bella. After seeing how many ticks Miguel’s dogs had on them, I decided against that as an option for Tank.

He’s such a handsome boy. He looks like Barrio but has no white on him at all. He remembers Bill and I and is so excited to see us. I find it amazing that I was able to imprint on these dogs when they were puppies and they all remember me. Island dogs rock, well, all dogs rock.

I finally found a home for him on the beach in an amazing location with my friends G and Robert. They had tied him out one day and they went golfing. He had never been tied so he chewed through the rope and ran away. When I found out he was gone I said, “we’re on our way.” I was frantic, wondering where Tank was, if he was hurt, caught in barbed wire, I was a nervous wreck. Bill and I drove around for 90 minutes looking for him, no sign of him at all. We came home depressed and just sick to our stomachs. Twenty minutes after we got home G messaged me that he was back. Relief filled my heart. Now he has figured out that he needs to stay home. They went golfing and left him home. He was on the porch sleeping when they returned. I think he will really bond with G because she runs 3 miles every morning and she takes him with her, he loves it. I’m so happy he has a good home.

My sister Missy had Easter at her house. Mom and Dad, my brother PJ and his daughter and my handsome nephew Eric and his wife Sofie were there. I wish we could have been there too! The main downfall of living on an island is missing family.

Missy and my 97 year old dad coloring eggs. Missy is so good to them, it makes me feel really bad that I’m not there to help more.

Eric, Sofie, Mom, Dad, Missy, PJ and Devon. Love them all!

Bill went out to the outside bodega to get something and saw a head peeking out from under the door. When he opened the door, he was greeted by Miss Boa. As soon as he saw her he called me and told me. I was inside the house and had not one speck of desire to go look at the snake. I said, “take pics.”

She was big and strong, he tried to grab her with the snake tongs but she was too strong for them so he shooed her out the door.

She made her way back to the jungle. She could come back and live here if she started eating the dog poop. It could be a win win for both of us, except snakes don’t eat dog poop.

My friend Ryan has been coming to Roatan for years with the Live Again Ministry. They do so much for the island, painting schools, feeding the hungry, they bring clothes and shoes and toys, school supplies, things for the teachers, supply water filters for the areas that have no safe drinking water and provide the funds for the always highly anticipated East End Senior Luncheon. They are really an amazing group of people, led by Pastor Ronny. I love them all and appreciate their love for the island. Talk about giving from the heart. Ryan had never been snorkeling so it was my mission to take him this trip. I called my friends at the Sloth farm and they said come on down. Dustin took us out on the barge in the marine park protected area to snorkel. It was a really windy day and the waves were high and the current was strong. We decided to go for it, despite the less than ideal conditions for a first time snorkeler

As soon as I stuck my head underwater I saw this sea biscuit.

Intermediate French Angelfish

Anemone

Southern sting ray

Another shot of it. We saw so many that day.

Another sea biscuit

I was trying to get a photo of Ryan snorkeling but there was so much sargassum floating in the water that every time I took a shot, it had floated in front of my camera. Then my battery died. It was still a great day in the water and I’m hoping to take Ryan and his sister Susan snorkeling on their next trip here.

We were driving past the grocery store the other day and saw this dude crashed on the sidewalk of the bank.

A little too much party?

A few hours later we drove by again and he was laying flat out.

He was gone the next day.

Cal’s Cantina was our dinner spot two nights this week, once with Denise and Michael and again with Julie and Brian. I really could eat there nightly.

We met some new friends from the UK. They live in Politilly. Like us, they are dog lovers and have 2 rescues at their home here and dogs at their permanent home in England. They came over to our house the other day to meet our pack. Highway fell in love with Mandy and kissed her to death. She said they had cut flowers for me but forgot them. We hung out by the pool and watched the dogs swim, had some snacks and chatted. After they left, they went home, got the flowers and brought them back to me. They are beautiful!

Bouganvillea, Lobster claw, red ginger and shell ginger.

This is the view from another friends home on the south shore, beautiful place right on the iron shore. Great pool to sit in with cocktails and watch the sun set and the stars twinkle.

This is Far Tortuga and it is for rent, if you’re interested, let me know.

My laptop died in the middle of this post. I was sure I lost my blog post but was actually amazed when I finally got my laptop up and running again, I hadn’t lost anything. Save draft needs to be imbedded into my brain, you would think by now I would have that figured out.

Tonight is the last Brion James beach concert before he goes on tour for 9 months. Planning to feed the dogs and head down there around 5. Hopefully I’ll get my life together soon and be able to get a few more blogs out. Thanks for following!

 

 

Moving along on Island time

03/14/2018 Just saying, we do NOT change our clocks here in Honduras. We are on perpetual Island Time and most of the time, that is a good thing. Except when you’re trying to get something accomplished. I thought the limit of bad things was 3? We’re on #4.

It seems Bill and I are playing tag with our cars being at the mechanics. I was without a car for a few days, then he was without a truck. He got his truck back and it still is not fixed, it’s going back to the mechanic today. It’s always something.

Bill decided to add another filter to our water filtration system, he bought all the parts, laid them out so he knew exactly what he was doing, got it all hooked up and the UV bulb wasn’t working.  He went to the place where he bought the new UV bulb and told them it was flickering again. They said he must have moisture in the glass tube that it is in and that will burn out the bulb. Bill called the manufacturer and they said no, that will not burn out the bulb, they even laughed and said more than likely a part was bad. Bill figured out which part was bad and went back to the store to get it, $350.00. It’s $137.00 online. So we ordered it.

Our hot water heater stopped turning on automatically. Now you have to go turn the hot water on in the shower, then go outside and flip the switch, go shower, then go turn it off. The guy came and fixed it, worked for 2 days, doesn’t work any more. He’s coming back tomorrow.

And the pool, oh the pool!

The poor dogs are so confused, there was water in it one day, the next day it’s empty.

The idiot who installed our pool did not properly back fill it, causing little bubbles and then the coating would chip off and you could see the fiberglass. This happened in several places. We decided to wait a year and see how many more we got. Ends up we waited 2 years until we contacted the company. They sent a young guy by the name of Dylan out here. Turns out he’s related to Sam Arch (iguana farm) and good friends with Daniel from the sloth and monkey hangout. Dylan has been a blessing, he knows what he is doing and is meticulous with his work.

Holes in the process of being fixed

Before the white gel coat is applied. After he was done you couldn’t even see where he had fixed it.

We also found out that the deep end was not properly back-filled however the factory said if we haven’t had any issues in 2 years, it would be fine. The steps were another issue. The factory repair guy was going to come over here and stay and fix the pool. He would need a place to sleep and he spoke no English. Bill said he could stay downstairs and I said OH NO HE CAN’T. First of all there are the dog issues, Bill is gone most of the day usually and who is going to feed this guy? There are no baleada stands in walking distance. Reminds me of when Bill said the workers from Asia were going to move into the 3 spare bedrooms in our house in Everson and again I said OH NO THEY’RE NOT. Not a fan of having non English speaking people sharing my living space. Life is difficult as it is. Now if it were 20 Honduran kids, that’s different, maybe, for a night or two. Or 50 dogs..

The guy from the pool company suggested we remove the blocks from behind the steps and try to pack dirt in underneath them. So we did. We had poor Devon come out and chip the covering off then use a hammer drill to bust the blocks out. It was an awful job to do.

This photo was taken after we broke the block out and now have to put blocks in and cement over it. Seriously?? The little room is access to our filter for the pool. I apologize, my cell camera sucks.

Once it was done, we found out we didn’t really have to do that. We could have (and did) drill holes in the steps and fill them with concrete. Then Dylan will fill them all in, re glaze all the fixed areas and we’ll be calling Brown’s (yes, that’s the name of the water company) to fill the pool. The dogs will be so happy.

HOLES. He drilled HOLES in the steps. Then he meticulously filled the holes with cement. Once it is set we will fill the remainder with fiberglass resin to fill in all the nooks and crannies. This is all providing the guy fixing the pool agrees with that theory.

The guy doing the work is also a tour gide on cruise ship days so he is a very busy person. We appreciate his help a lot!!

The east end (more mid island) got lucky again. Brion James and The West End Players returned to Beach Club Roatan, just down the street from our house. Needless to say, I HAD TO BE THERE. I had so much fun that evening, I think I danced to 96% of the songs he played. My feet were sore the next morning because I was dancing in my bare feet. We danced like nobody was watching. It really is the best way to dance. Most all of our friends were there too, making it a rocking good time. It was over at 8 pm, we’re all old.

Sunset at the concert

Brion James. He’s a freaking legend…

Brion is going on a world tour again with the Dan Reed Network in April and will be playing his last show back at the beach club by us. You know where I’ll be that night. When he plays Purple Rain, I turn to jelly.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to join Nidia and some friends of Pastor Ronny (Live Again Ministries). Pastor Ronny is the real deal, his life is lived via his heart, he’s a very special man, to many many people. He was being joined by the Jensen and Riddle families. The Jensen’s had their 3 amazing children with them. It really makes you step back in amazement when you see these kids so confidently walk into a classroom and start saying hello to all the students.

The amazing young girl in pink is Lela Jensen. she came with her brother and sister, parents and grandparents to do missionary work on Roatan. I did NOT take this photo. It was taken by Lela’s mother Tamson. I think this photo speaks volumes about the type of young woman Lela will be. Pretty amazing kids, all 3 of them.

Luke carrying supplies for the school from the boat. The little dory was laden down with a box of dictionaries, boxes of school things, sandals and notebooks+ 10 people. It was NOT stable. We went from Clifford’s dock to Calabash Bight Key and then back to Pandytown.

Such a beautiful little boy

This little cutie, I have many photos of him, this was my favorite. He liked his new sandals.

This is inside one of the 2 classrooms at Pandytown. The rooms are very dark, warm and not conducive to learning.

These doors are a mystery to me. What is the weird shaped one for anyhow??

The teeny tiny Dory, however returning, the load was considerably lighter. Nidia and Lela with the boat captain.

It’s so enjoyable to give to the kids and the teachers. There is no government funding of the schools, sad but true. The majority of them are in a state of disrepair.

The other morning Bill went out on the back porch and said through the window that there was a vulture on the fence post. I thought it would be a cool shot so I grabbed my camera and stepped out on the porch. As soon as I did, this guy spread his wings in a display of finery I’ve not seen elsewhere. I took almost 20 shots of him.

This was taken the night before the beach concert, full moons are pretty amazing here due to the lack of ambient light.

On FB the other day I was tagged in a photo from a friend in my home town, Dolli. Another girl I know but am not FB friends with posted this photo. It is an old permanent wave machine for the hair. The girl who posted was selling them and she said there were two. Another friend asked where it was found and soon people were putting two and two together and realizing they were in the basement of the beauty salon my Father owned for many years. My sister asked Dad but he didn’t remember them at all. She asked Mom and Mom said no, never saw them. Yet, when I spoke to Mom on the phone she remembered them, she said there were 2, described them to me and said when they used them the hair stylists had to really watch because these suckers could burn your hair. Pretty wild stuff.

Mom now says Dad doesn’t have any memory issues (he’s 97), he is just choosing what he wants to talk about. Not sure where that came from but I’ll go with it for awhile.

My little coconut opener managed to sneak one up on the back porch. That is a no no because of the mess, it’s bad enough in the yard. Max is waiting for the bonus, fresh coconut.

My friend David sent this photo to me. I want to let my hair grow and do it. It’s the best!!

I bathed the boys on Friday and took them to the beach on Saturday. Then gave them baths again when they came home. Total glutton for punishment. Barrio, Max and Gringo (l-r)

Max is still having health problems. I just sent some test results to a friend who is a vet in AZ and we are going to get another x-ray on Thursday and I see the vet from Tegus on Friday. I noticed at the beach he was unable to keep up to his brothers, something is still wrong. This has been going on for a year. He’s had so many tests and nothing conclusive. The one doc in Ceiba said kidney stones but I think he was totally ripping me off.

Gringo and Barrio. Their fur is completely different from Max’s, his is like a wolf’s. He must have had a different baby daddy than the other 6.

These three listen so well, total opposite of Highway. They are really amazing dogs. Gringo, Barrio and Max, always bringing up the rear.

This is Miguel’s (in the background) oldest daughter, Naeli. She is a sweetheart. She is one of the children my high school friends helped get ready for school.

Sweet Michelle. I adore these two girls, not sure where Miguelito was when I took these photos. She too was helped by my friends.

We are finally going to do the roof, well, we are having someone do it because the reality of Bill having time is non-existent. We will have the same guy do the extension on our deck. Bill did these drawings.

 

It’s a small small world

 

26/02/2018 On a warm Sunday eve, on the edge of the Caribbean, away from all the tourists, no ambient light, there was a concert. Not just any concert, a Brion James and the West End Players concert at Roatan Beach Club, 5 minutes from our house.  It was an amazing evening under the stars. Bill didn’t want to go, my car was in the shop (I don’t drive the yuck) but I was determined to go so I hitched a ride with Dwight and Karen. I hung out with Karen and Susan and the gang while they ate at Lionfish Louie’s and then the band started at 6. My friend the Duchess and her husband soon joined me. The Duchess and I danced along the waters edge, after dark. We danced up the walkway and down the pier to Buck and Amy’s boat that was docked there. It was the best, I felt 20 years old again for a few hours, that seldom occurs.

Brion plays all over the Caribbean and the world, he is a well known musician. And he lives here, on Roatan. A friend, Dave Barons is the drummer and Mike McGuire is the other guitarist. Fantastic trio. They are playing again in March, I will be there and I may wear bells.

 

Dave the drummer, chilling while they move a tree behind him

Brion playing, crappy pics, cell phone

The beach before sunset

Brion doing some sound checks as the sun begins it’s dip below the horizon, on to another land.

Nidia messaged me the other day to see if I wanted to go to Miss Norma’s, the Luis Bogran school in Jonesville Point with her. I sure did, one of my favorite schools. Nidia was apprehensive about my driveway so I said I would meet her at the bottom. I got in her car,(first time I’ve ridden with the new driver and new car owner). She introduced me to the people in the back seat, Rick and Melissa. Melissa said to me, you’re the Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you? Small world, she reads my blog. They are from NY and brought school supplies for each of the kids and some things for the teachers. It’s a 2 room school and Miss Norma runs it. She’s a saint of a lady, I admire her.

They were given ice cream first, it was melting..

Rick and Melissa setting up the bags with school supplies

Waiting. again, taken with my phone b/c my good camera’s batteries died as soon as I got to the school. GRRR

Getting their bag of school stuff, construction paper, sharpener, pencils, erasers..and notebooks donated by my friend John and Lizeth.

They always ask me to take their photo and I always happily agree.

Yes, Nidia uses her vehicle hard. She is the only person I have ever known to carry a Pinata and 2 boxes of shoes and a box filled with bags of school supplies.

Impromptu fitting for some of the bigger kids who needed shoes

Two of Roatan’s finest ladies, Nidia and Miss Norma. Miss Norma is the teacher/principal of this little school. She is a mother to all of these children, sometimes giving the most loving the children get all day. She gives it freely.

The dock that many of the kids use to get to school, they come by boat from Lucy Point, across the bight.

After Nidia dropped me off at home I got in my car and left to go feed Sexy, the dog who lives at the Pirate ship. The owner drives a red tuk tuk from Punta Gorda. He says she is his dog and that’s her name. And then to emphasize what her name was he sexy strutted for me. My life should be a comedy but it’s all true. We (my friend and dog lover Pam) and I have been feeding her but she seemed pretty well taken care of. Or so we thought. Pam stopped to see her, as she passes that way on her way to town, and messaged me that she didn’t look good. She got some wormer and wormed her. I went two days after and she was happy to see me, she came running, but she was a finicky eater. She never was before. There were 2 other dogs there and she placed herself between me and the food and them. I went over and fed them and got her back to the dish but she was too upset that the other dogs were there, at least I think she was.

Sexy..what an awful name for a dog. I call her Pirata since she is at the Pirate ship.

This is one of the other dogs, there is a brown and white one that is identical but they are both spooked, scared of people. Sexy is very territorial with them.

For those of you who haven’t been along for the ride very long, you may not be familiar with the Pirate ship. This was intended to be a disco, complete with disco ball, light show, terraced inside around a large dance floor. You could walk around the boat, get right up by the ropes to the crows nest (non OSHA approved) There were three bars, gift stores, VIP seating, reserved areas (I was given a Reserved sign from there). It was a big deal and the neighbors were not happy, not in their backyard. I don’t blame them, they moved to the quiet end of the island and this monstrosity opens. Well, it had it’s soft opening but before they could do their GRAND opening night, the head of the whole thing was carted off to prison. He was a big dude with the Sinaloa drug cartel. The disco was a money laundering op. So, it closed. We stopped with friends one day to look at the outside and the guard offered us a tour. We gave him 100L, about 5 bucks. He then gave me 2 carvings, a turtle and another of monkeys and birds. Then we stopped with some other friends and he gave me a seahorse and her a fish. After that Bill saw him there and went and got him lunch and we ended up with the rest of the carvings. I kept the seahorse, turtle and another one with a monkey and bird. Our talented friend Kevin painted the turtle and the seahorse and now I don’t want them outside, I like them too much. Recently the club is supposed to be re-opened on the weekends, not sure about that though.

After I fed the dog I drove to Oak Ridge, parked up on the hill behind the muni and walked down to the bridge and over the inlet to my friends home. The people who adopted one of the 3 pups Bill found live there. I had some movies for them and some toys for Bailey the dog.

I love these buildings, on my walk to my friends.

Walking over the inlet

Miss Bailey. She’s adorable and she’s loved. Her friend Alice the cat is lurking above her. If Bailey is ignoring Alice, Alice goes after her tail, quite the pair. They will be great buddies.

I came home the other day and Max was inside with Highway (so Max and Barrio don’t fight) and Max chewed up 4 hardback books downstairs. I was pissed and had the books in my hands asking who did this??? Like he’s going to say, me???

He ran in the downstairs bathroom and hid. He thought he was invisible. That face though.

The pool has been in use, by the dogs..last year I swam all year. I haven’t been in since the end of September. Ridiculous. Hoping tomorrow.

Our friends Dave and Trish are leaving for freezing Toronto in a few days so we had them over for pizza. The Duchess (Jeanie) and Roger came too. It was a nice day but windy. So windy the tablecloth wouldn’t stay down. Bill fixed it with 4 clamps.

Gringo has a new thing for the table. It’s why I always use tablecloths now.

Cal’s is open 4 days a week, I ate there 3 days last week. And once this week, it’s too damn easy. And so good. Bill and I went there with friends Dave and Lynda. They own a home down here but permanently live in brrrrr Minnesota. Teri, Olivia and Bill and I  rented their home in 2012 for a vacation, before we even knew Dave and Lynda. Always nice to visit with them when they’re here. I also met some new friends from Bellingham, Elaine and Jeffrey. They are friends of my jeweler Bill and his wife Gina, who were on Roatan last year with their daughter Mackenzie. They gave their friends my info and I helped them get island info, places to go things to do. Finally we got to meet one day at Cal’s, then I brought them up here to meet the pack and see the views. They brought some NW Salmon, Bill is beyond thrilled. We also went to dinner at Cal’s last Friday with friends, that was my 3 times in 4 days. He probably gets tired of seeing me.

I think I totally missed mentioning some new friends I met in January. Scott and I met awhile ago on FB and became friends. I was giving he and his wife Linda info about moving here from Tennessee, moving a dog here, just trying to be of some help. I knew they were coming on my birthday, that was their move down here day. We ended up finally meeting at, where else, Cal’s for lunch. We had a nice visit and they followed me home and met Bill and the dogs. They also brought me a bottle of vodka and some fresca. The vodka turned out to be a lifesaver one rainy windy night while Bill was gone and I realized I had no vodka. I have now become Linda’s favorite person to butt dial, Inside joke but funny nonetheless.

I have been social media friends with David through my friend Amanda and her blog. David and I have been chatting off and on via Instagram. Recently he messaged me he would be here with his Mother, who plans to live here soon. We began communicating more and chose a date to meet. I picked him and his Mother Isabel up at Pineapple, we went to feed Sexy (she ate 2 cans then) and then went to Cal’s for lunch. After lunch we came up here to meet the dogs. We went down to the pool and of course, all of the dogs went swimming. David brought me mermaid things, of course. He works for a company in LA that does hand painted wallpaper called Gracie. Seriously, it’s a thing, a very expensive thing. Check it out, it’s amazing. So anyhow, David recently started working there and told his boss he already had plans to go to Roatan. She freaked out because she comes here all the time to dive. He mentioned my blog and she said she reads it. OMG, (now the stupid Disney song, It’s a small world after all, it’s a small small world is stuck in my head). She ended up coming while he was here and went with him on a discover scuba dive with Roatan Divers. He’s hooked.

This is one of the gifts

And a lightweight Mermaid Tail blanket is another. It came with a a Mermaid charm. He also bought me a Mermaid sticker for my car, which is of course, already on my car. I’ve used the blanket already too, it was chilly the other night.

This sign was at Cal’s. Hole bean coffee. Yum, makes me happy I hate coffee.

Four, Highway is on an ottoman. They all have beds too.

Mr. Hunka Hunka Burning Love decided that he prefers sunbathing ON THE table.

Monkey see, monkey do. Lola joined him, Highway is behind her. Honest, she’s not malnourished. She eats a lot and is wormed regularly. She’s just hyper as shit and never sits still.

Gringo laying, Highway standing. You can see how much his hip is out in the photo and Lola the Dominatrix is under the table. So is Barrio but he’s hiding.

Last evening we had dinner at a friends and tonight Bill got take out chicken and we ate, well I did, in front of my laptop. I actually laid in the sun today, it felt good. That’s the first in a long freaking time. If only I had some Bain de Soleil. I’m seriously thinking of ordering two tubes of Bain de Soleil just for the memories. I could have Liza bring them with her. Liza?

It’s a very windy evening, it’s just howling out there. We have not had local phone service all day, that’s OK, I hate phones anyhow.  Thankful for messenger and email and seeing people in person.

I’m off to la la land..

AAAAAANNNNNNDDDD, it’s the next day. LaLa land snuck up on me last night and when that spell was cast, it was curtains for me.

Simply stunning day today, again. I spent it all outside reading a new book called: Tips for Living. So far, excellent. I have a tub of coconut oil in the fridge but it’s hard. I was in dire need of some moisturization for my skin so I came in and slathered Olive Oil on my legs and face and neck. The dogs thought I was dinner. The other night I allowed some coconut to melt and rubbed it on my arms and legs and feet. I became a giant oil lick for 5 dogs. Not a fun experience.

So today, I ate breakfast, had tea by the pool and then gathered my “pool” stuff in my Gracie bag and hung by the pool with my tablet and all 5 dogs. They swam many times throughout the day and kept trying to steal my chaise lounge by the pool…they have their own chairs. We all had a great day in the sun.

A few weeks ago I got a FB note from my friend Sue. Sue and I have never met but were introduced on FB by our mutual friend Cathilee. Sue had something for me and wanted my address. Well, we don’t get mail here so I said I could give her a friends address and they would bring it to me. Then another friend chimed in and said she would be here in a week and was willing to bring it. I met my friend Kristi today and got the envelope Sue sent to me. This is the note that was in it:

And this is what she sent me. I LOVE it, the colors, the saying, it’s just perfect. This is a close up of it, made by Vicki McMahan @ Pewter Lane.

Full size and it is so cool! Thank you so much Sue!

 

I spent another day by the pool reading. I think it burned me out so much yesterday that I went to bed before 8 PM. I have to get tan again, this white girl crap isn’t cutting it.

I’ve finally given up the “being a blonde ruse.” I had a hairdresser in Williampsort tell me it was a genetic mistake I wasn’t born blonde. I adapted that and made it fit my life quite well. After all these years the blonde has tarnished so I’m giving up the ghost and going gray tomorrow. Probably with a hint of purple underneath. Shit happens when you get old(er).

I’m going to go make a drink but before that, this is getting published. Adiós amigos.

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.