Un año entero

10/26/2014 Today marks the one year anniversary of our move to Roatan. I find it hard to believe one year has passed. The night of Oct. 25th we were a family shoved into a van on our way to Seattle for the biggest move of our life.

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Dooce, Highway and Emmy (not pictured) crammed in with the luggage.

We went from this:

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This is the stage the house was when we arrived 10/26/13. We THOUGHT we would be moving downstairs in a few weeks. HAHAHA!

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This is what the house looked like on 12/27/2013. Still not ready to move in to the lower level.

This is where we are one year later. Not bad for 1 year..

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Yes, there is still construction going on. There probably always will be. Furniture to make, a shop to build, never ending.

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Main room ceiling

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Into bedroom on the left. The door there has been recently hung.

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Still need some upper shelves in the kitchen.

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Island ends are closed in.

We’re getting there. The guest condo is complete, although it needs repainted and some more furniture made for in it. Bill, could you get on that please? And we have a house to live in, which was the main objective.

Sooo, living in a third world country where the government employees are the “bad” guys is interesting. Political corruption at it’s finest. Education, police protection, functioning judiciary, poverty reduction, clean water, sanitary living conditions, health care, waste disposal, none of it matters. Non functioning idiots.

We are living on an island where:

We can get in more trouble drinking water while driving than you can for passing on a steep hilly curve going 20 miles over the acceptable speed of 30, in the pouring rain with no lights on. Makes no sense. There are NO driving laws here. There are no road rules here. There are no painted lines on the road, there are no smooth birms and there are only a few street lights. There is not a traffic light and there are only a few stop signs that most everyone ignores. There is no drivers test here. If you can pay for the license, pass the physical and answer 5 IQ questions, you’ve got your license. You actually DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE to get your drivers license.

We can buy most medicines over the counter, no prescription necessary and the cost is about the same price of the co-pay in the US

We can buy most DVD’s very soon after the movie opens. In a nice organized store. For $3.00 each, great copies.

We can buy bags of pineapple juice in a bag for less than $2.50. Good juice.

We have faster internet here than we did in Everson. For real.

We can buy Havaiana sandals on the island for cheap.

We can be in the clear blue ocean in less than 10 minutes.

Some of the best food on the island is 3 minutes from our house.

Some of the things we had in the US that I miss {this list was vastly amended after my recent USA jaunt.}

The kids and families and friends, for sure.

Stupid things: My car, our driveway, Bandit wine, clean house windows (impossible to keep the windows clean here) and cheap kitty litter. I miss the chicken caesar salad @ the Black Forest. I miss walking the runway with the dogs, it was level and easy on the knee.

Some things I don’t miss:

Carpeting. OMG, concrete rocks..

Wearing clothes, like more than 1 or 2 pieces (dress or skirt/tank)

Having to wear PROPER shoes. UGH, just the word scares me

Carrying a portable heater around with me at home for 9 mos. a year

Outrageous heating costs

Neon lights and billboard signs

taxes, taxes, taxes

4, 6, 8 lane highways

ROUND-A-BOUTS

icy roads

snow and gross dirty snow

rain for days and weeks

summer starting after July 4th

Costco, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Target, Walmart, TJ MAXX, just don’t miss them. I was so freaking excited but when I got in the store and started looking at all the stuff it reminded me that I’m not into stuff anymore. The things I bought in the states were actually things we NEEDED. (except for the Trail Mix from Costco and the bags of Archer Farms snacks from Target) Changes..

Living here is not for everyone. It is sometimes very challenging but there is also the beauty that surrounds us daily. Like the other day Cleo and I made a rum/beer run to the market in Oak Ridge. We both commented what a gorgeous view it was, we could see the north and south shore reefs just driving down the road. We see it everyday; I don’t want to ever take it for granted. It’s a slower pace here. It’s good.

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Selling cookies with her apron still on, in the middle of the road, on the speed bump.

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Mediocre DVD’s, not to be confused with the excellent ones at Action Rentals.

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I’ve not shopped here.

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This was recently painted.

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Passed out

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Roatan shopping

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Always someone around to make an extra lane, pass anyway you can, right, left, middle..

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Traffic is already at a standstill because someone PARKED in one of the 2 lanes. Then this guy comes rolling his cart down the other lane.

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Scary party stuff

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Plastic city

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I still have a laundry fascination.

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There was a free dental clinic in Oak Ridge. Obviously some of the police decided to get their teeth fixed. This photo was taken of one of them, still holding onto his M-16.

Yesterday was a rainy day, a much welcomed rainy day. I love it when we have a day like that. They will be coming more often as we get into the rainy season on the island. My buddy Liz posted a pic of First Bight when it was storming. I took a few pics and posted them, mine looked nothing like hers. This is Liz’s photo:

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South shore, First Bight

 

These are mine:

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John’s house, North shore

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East, N shore

 

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East

It did clear up right before dark:

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John’s, N. shore, can see the reef break (white in the water) again

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East

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South shore

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4 Hummingbirds sitting on the clothesline during the storm.

We have been having trouble with the boys at night, they will not stop barking. Thursday night Bill went out to see what they were going insane over and there was an OWL perched a top one of the chain link fence posts just staring at the dogs, who were in serious frenzy mode. This morning they started again and it was an OWL in the tree. What is up with that? First it was the vultures, now OWLS. At least the OWLS are pretty.

Bill has been walking the dogs because my knee hates the downhill part of the walk and the other day he saw a Boa Constrictor. I am so pissed I missed it, I still need to see that, a crocodile and an armadillo. That should take care of the land based animals on the island. It must be baby lizard season, we have so many little lizards running around here it’s crazy. Bill opened up the panel box the other day to see what was going on with the power and a big lizard jumped out of it. Nice. Glad it didn’t happen to me, I would have peed.

All in all, it’s been a great year. We have met some wonderful people, seen some gorgeous places and are happy in our new home. We have 3 great dogs and one fabulous bitchy cat. We won’t talk about the being together 24/7/365. I’m a little anal, he’s a lot not. It works.

What more could we ask for? Bring on año número dos, we’re ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s an omen

zombie

Where do I begin? It feels like this is my first blog, it’s been so long. Thank you to the people who have messaged me wondering why there were no blogs! It’s David Boyd’s fault, AKA Squeeze. Nice to be able to blame this on you.

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to the US. Luckily I got bumped to first class out of Roa and sat next to my friend Linda’s husband, Jay. The longer leg of the trip wasn’t first class but it was in the roomier seats so it wasn’t bad. There were so many thunderstorms in the mid west that the pilot circumvented causing us to get to Seattle 1 hour and 15 minutes late! My instructions were to call the cab company as soon as I arrived so they could dispatch a cab. Of course, my phone isn’t working because I needed to get a sim card for a Us carrier so I had to use a PAY PHONE. G A S P! I haven’t used one of those in 20 years. I called and got a recording. GREAT, I figured I was spending the night at Seatac. I turned around to walk to the luggage carousel and some guy said, “Are you Debbie?” UMM, who’s asking? He was from the cab company, HALLELUJAH, he waited the whole time for me. DUH…I tipped him well.

As most of you know I have hand issues, it’s a repetitive use issue stemming from counting other peoples money all my life. I have had surgery on both of my hands and in 2011 I had the CMC (Carpal Metacarpal, ie thumb joint) replaced. In 2012 I had the CMC surgery on my right hand. This whole thing ended up being an L&I claim, work related injury. Despite the fact that they were not paying me any money, my claim was never closed. They decided they wanted to examine me again so they could close the claim and they paid for me to fly to Seattle and take a taxi to Everett and they comped my room for 5 nights and my meals. It happened very fast so I kind of threw things together and was out of here.

The last time I was in the states was April, so it’s been awhile. I was excited as hell to go shopping. I am a shopper girl, I love(d) to shop. My friend Janene drove down Monday from Bellingham and picked me up. We got a sim card for my phone and then set off shopping. With a vast array of items in front of my eyes, I became withdrawn, I didn’t want to shop for all the things I WANTED. I realized I didn’t NEED most of it. Janene took me to Costco. I needed a new bed pillow and Bill needed socks. I got both and a big 4# bag of the Kirkland trail mix. That’s it. I really didn’t want to look around in there. And let me say this, Costco shopping is fun and relaxing if you are not at the Bellingham store. The store in Everett wasn’t crowded, you could actually move and the check out lines were short. We also went to the Alderwood Mall. I don’t think I’ve ever been there and I was overwhelmed. I did buy 4 bottles of OPI polish in Macy’s but that was it. Jury is still out on whether I like the pillow, until my neck stops hurting and popping every time I turn my head, no pillow will be comfy!

Tuesday I had an appointment with a doctor (found out at the last minute she was a shrink, hahaha, jokes on them! Put me in a room with a shrink, they should have known better.) It lasted all of 30 minutes. From there I went to Wal Mart, WOO freaking HOO. I was a WALMARTIAN! I bought a lot of stuff there, like a new hand mixer, 4 tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste, new heads for our sonic toothbrushes (cheaper than they were at Costco), dog treats and some of Bill’s favorite underwear and Tshirts, Fruit of the Loom. I also bought a lot of stupid shit. Heavy shit. Like 2 humongo jars of peanut butter, 1 Skippy, 1 Peter Pan. This will be an interesting test. All of my life I used Peter Pan peanut butter, nothing else, had to be creamy, no crunchy ever. When we moved to WA in 1995 I was near suicidal because there was NO PETER PAN. What were they thinking??? I swore off PNB, but that didn’t last, especially since it is my number 1 food staple. Then I met Janann and Sara Blonde @ BoAmerica, both of their men were in the military and had access to the base stores. AND GUESS WHAT?? They had Peter Pan PNB!! I had a connection! But I’ve been a Skippy girl for years now, only because it was ridiculous to be so obsessed over PNB.

See, I was talking about buying heavy items and digressed severely over freaking PNB. And they put me in a room with a shrink. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! So damn funny.

Back to the shopping. I also bought 2 big bags of Uncle Ben’s brown rice. Yes, you can get it here but I noticed it on the shelf and saw the price, $2.00 less a bag and me myself and I go through a bag in less than 2 weeks. Bag of rice weighs 2#, I bought 2. Jar of PNB weighs 2#8oz, I bought 2. See how fast the weight adds up? Trail mix = 4#’s!!

So anyway, did the Wal Mart gig. Trace came down on Tuesday night and we went out to eat, so nice to see him, it’s been almost a year! He headed back up towards home (foothills of Mt. Baker) around 7:30 that night. Before he took me back to the hotel he found a drugstore so I could get some Bandit Pinot Grigio.

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It’s silly to be so excited over this, but I was! I spotted it half way down the first aisle. The green seemed to be calling my name. I used restraint and only bought four, 1 liter each 🙂

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I miss my Outlander. Damn, I loved that car! Trace enjoys having it also, he can haul all his climbing gear in it and also sleep in it at the trail heads, waiting for dawn.

I had another appointment on Wednesday with an orthopedic doctor. He talked too much and thought he was really funny. I thought he was stupid. I liked the shrink better. Anyhow, this guy went over my file verbally with me, then he did it again into a microphone. This took about 13 minutes. Then he asked me to sit on the table while he called in a nurse. It was actually the receptionist girl, whatever. He then had my put my arms over my head, then down to a 45 at my side, then straight out in front, then turn your hand over, then make a fist, hands on your hips, behind your back, palms up. I almost broke into YMCA by the Village People. The whole exercise took about 2 minutes. Assholes.

After that it was back to the hotel (dive) to wait for Teri B. She drove down, picked me up and we ran around to a few stores. We went to World Market and all I bought was jerk seasoning and some fajita stuff. We ate dinner at a little restaurant behind the dive I was staying in, called Terracotta Red. It was good but the drinks were expensive and weak. Teri got a room at the hotel, she worked in Everett that day and had a meeting in Seattle the next morning. So nice hanging out with her, laughed our butts off!

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Hobbit beer

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Wine, wine, glorious wine!!

I also sent some Amazon stuff to Teri B which she brought down. This was heavy to lug back to the island but it’s a really nice float. I tried it yesterday, it’s very comfy and it does have a drink holder but it’s ROUND. Bandit boxes are square. Oh well, I only have 2 left, drank 1 at the hotel, brought 3 back, drank 1 already. I’ll be sad when my Bandit is gone.

Thursday I wandered around a bit, I was actually ready to go home at this point. I brought a pair of Diesel flats with me in case it was cold weather. I wore 1 of the shoes for about 2 minutes in my room and decided against regular shoes. My toes were bitching up a storm in those 2 minutes!! I wore flip flops the entire trip. I was in Macy’s looking around for something to do and noticed the women in leather jackets with scarfs, jeans tucked in to their knee high boots and an expensive heavy leather bag over their shoulder. Me, a pair of leggings, a long top and flip flops. I did consciously not look as I walked through the BOOT and SHOE department. It was difficult, I admit that.

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This is the way over sized box that Amazon sent my raft in. I gave them some feedback on their packaging for sure. Ridiculous!!

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Welcome to the PNW, where it drizzles enough daily to be a pain in the ass. Just rain and be done with it, and what’s with this cold weather when it rains?

Thursday my friend Bahana drove down to Everett when she got off of work. Nathan and Bryan were coming up from Magnolia to meet me for dinner that evening. Luckily they got up to Everett early enough so B could go eat too. We went to Lombardi’s on Marine View Drive for dinner. I FINALLY got to meet Nathan’s other half, Bryan! I also met Brinkley, their Golden who was content to wait in the car instead of at home. She’s a little spoiled.  It was so nice spending time with Bahana and Nathan and Bryan!

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Nathan and Bryan

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Dinner @ Lombardi’s

All in all, the trip was not as alluring as it sounded. Other than seeing my son and my friends, it was a waste of time. I did not enjoy my stay in the US and it made me realize, I do not want to live there and I am so glad I don’t. Give me the island life, loose comfy clothes, no make up, flip flops and never having to worry about what your hair looks like, not that it ever was a concern of mine. I was looking forward to getting back on the plane on Friday night to come home, although that wasn’t until 11:59 PM. I had a whole day to kill and nothing to do. I had to be out of the hotel by 2 and wasn’t getting picked up until 8 by the taxi company for my ride back to Seatac. I watched Nashville and a few other shows on my tablet and wasted time until Trace came down at 4:30 for dinner. We went back over to Terracotta Red b/c it was close by and they had Stella Artois beer. MMMMMM. I like Stella. After dinner Trace and I sat in his car and talked until around 7 PM. Then he was going to Seattle to stay at a friends and meet his climbing buddy in the morning to go over the mountains to Vantage to hike and I was waiting (again) for my ride.

I got to the airport quite early, breezed through security with the Global access and was at my gate to WAIT. I did get bumped to first class again but their white wine was awful. Bummer. I had a long layover in Houston, that seemed longer than the 4 hours it actually was. I had tried and tried to get a window seat from Houston into Roa but couldn’t. The flight was packed, not an empty seat. I got stuck in an aisle seat and while it beats middle, it still sucks. Security and immigration at Roa was fast, no fingerprinting, no photo taken. It did however take eons for my luggage to come out. Obviously priority means NADA on the island. I think the fact that United put the Priority tags on my bags made them get taken off first in Roa and loaded onto the first luggage cart which means it was the last cart brought to the carousel. My theory anyhow.

I got home and started tearing in to my suitcases. I found dog toys and treats and the catnip banana I got for Emmy. I also got one for Craig and Cleo’s cat, Tailor so I decided we needed to take it down to her. We walked down there, stayed fifteen minutes, came home and I went to bed. I slept for 4 hours, got up, ate salad and went back to bed.

Bill got a lot done while I was gone.

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The bedroom door. He did a neat design in the wood around the door too. He also hung the one downstairs that goes from the entryway into the living area. I’m too lazy to walk downstairs and take a pic though.

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He also closed in both sides of the island.

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Highway checking out his property.

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Beautiful but windy night

Before I left I watched the movie, Fault in our Stars and read Gone Girl and Dark Places both by Gillian Flynn. Excellent books, can’t wait to get the Gone Girl movie!

I was bored one day a while ago, it was rainy and windy and I stayed indoors and goofed around online. I did a few of the quizzes, like:

How smart are you? Brilliant

What color is your aura?  Green

Should you have a dog or a cat? Cat

How well do you know America history? I don’t

How much medical knowledge do you have? I could be a doctor I know so much.

What mythical creature should you be? I got MERMAID!! Of course I did.

Mermaid

You are a mermaid! You’re a very fun loving and outgoing person. You have the most fun with your friends and you feel whole when you are near the ocean. You also value the environment and you are a big time animal lover.

So there you have it. Mermaid it is..