They say it’s your birthday

music

02/27/2015 February is one of the weirdest months. How can someone be born in February but only have a birthday every 4 years? Such is Bill’s life, he is a Leap Year baby and yes, I’m married to someone who is almost 15. Happy Birthday tomorrow and Sunday Bill, or do we wait until 11:59:59 Saturday night and celebrate until 12:01:00? Don’t expect cakes and gifts.

Yesterday morning I noticed Emmy sitting in an unusual spot and staring at the wall. I followed her line of sight to this:

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The lizard was moving in the window and the shadow was driving her crazy!

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Mr. Lizard

I believe she is a lizard slayer but doesn’t like the taste, unless she eats them and I don’t know it. And EWWW, I hope not because that’s just too gross. She sleeps with me.

Last Saturday we Bill helped out at Camp Bay school. I went along but didn’t really do anything physical because of my arm. The school house is 2 rooms, Kindergarten on one side and 1-6 on the other. Only one of the 2 rooms had working lights and the rooms were painted dark colors and had dark painted wooden window louvers. There are 3 people from Canada, Brian and Addie and Nancy (I think) who had a fund raiser for $$ for the schools down here. There are several they are hoping to fix up. They were there working hard as well as Ben Welcome and his crew. Bill helped Brian do the re-wire.

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All the desks and chairs outside.

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Books for grades 1-6

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This school actually has books

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More conducive to napping than learning

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One of the 2 doors that was stripped by a mother and son team. They did a great job!

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Kinder learning materials

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Plaque

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Bill helping to re-wire

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Brian doing the re-wiring

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New lights they bought for the school

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Ben and his crew framed the roof so a wooden ceiling could be installed

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A E I O U

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Kinder stuff

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The teacher had no other way to fasten things to the wall so the papers were GLUED up. The walls had to have all of this glued paper residue scraped off before they could be primed and painted.

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Food

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Can you believe they still use these toys to teach. Not all of them worked.

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Paper scrapings

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Nidia

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First Aid Cabinet

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pretty empty

I walked down by the church that was below the school. What an idyllic setting for a church. I met the woman whose Father donated his land for the school and the church, she was a super sweet, very pretty lady. I enjoyed talking to her.

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Sitting right on the edge of the sea.

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stunning!

When we left for the day both rooms had electricity. After leaving there we stopped at Jimmy’s (La Sirena) for a beer and onion rings. OhMyGAWD, they are so flipping good!

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love this place

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really love the onion rings

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wow, a photo of me. Bill must have been drunk.

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view on the way home

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near my friend Jeanie’s house

Sunday we hung around here and worked, still so much to do all the time. I guess it doesn’t matter where you live, if you own a house there is always work to be done.

Monday was a run errands kind of day. I decided I needed to get stuff done and not go to the beach. Anyhow, I would have gotten weird tan lines with my bandage on.

Tuesday I had an appointment at the physiotherapists again. It was to be at 10 but I didn’t get seen until 11. ARGGHHH! I hate to wait. By the time I got out of there it was after noon and I had to get my butt to Oak Ridge to help out at the Vet clinic. It was pouring all morning and the Vet area was a mud hole. Helping Paws Across Borders is here for 2 weeks and doing free spay and neuter operations for people who can’t afford to pay for the surgery. They were also doing vaccinations, worming, flea and tick and general animal care. One poor dog came in with what was thought to be a tumor; turns out it was a litter of dead puppies and pus. Luckily the dog lived. There was a boy named Diego that kept bringing in dogs. We aren’t really sure where the dogs were coming from but he must have brought us at least 10.

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They had tables to work on and they also used clean mats on the ground. There were animals all over!

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We had a table set up in one of the tents where we checked in animals,  it was ohmygosh at least 127 degrees in there, I can’t imagine how the vets were able to work.

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We met with a lot of resistance to neutering the male dogs. People were afraid the SNIP SNIP would reduce the boy dogs bravery and machismo. We did talk several people into doing it though.

I was exhausted when I got home and soaking wet from sweating bullets all day long. And YAY! I was going to do it again on Wednesday. I ran to the store Wednesday morning and got stuff to make Avocado Deviled eggs for the Vets and the people working there. They are yummy, even for a person who doesn’t like Avocado (like me). Recipe is:

Deviled Avocado Eggs – Mash 1 large avocado with 3 egg yolks. Add 1 tsp. chopped cilantro, 3 tsp lime juice, 1 tbsp chopped red onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Top with a sprinkle of chili or paprika.

Wednesday was INSANE at the clinic. Those poor vets were inundated with animals. By the time I got there at noon there were over 50 animals, by the end of the day we were on our way to 200. IN 1 DAY!!!

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Working on the ground!

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Animals everywhere!

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A literal sea of dogs

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Even young kids were bringing in their dogs for VITAMINS. Everyone asked for vitamins! We didn’t have vitamins.

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Brenda from Royal Playa resort was there every day, my friend Cleo helped and Shannon came to help on Wednesday too.

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Surgery line up

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So many pets covered in ticks and fleas

I got home and showered the sweat off of me for another day. It’s so awesome that these vets volunteer here and Belize and Mexico to help the pets, if you ever visit the island you will see the need.  Read about them here. Jennifer Cherry, the founder was one of the vets at the clinic.

I didn’t make it Thursday to help but they were covered anyhow. I guess it was crazy then also because RECO, (Roatan power company) had issues and power was out on the island, one of the vets left and never returned. Life on an island is always exciting.

Thursday morning I had another physiotherapist appointment and an appointment to get my hair taken care of. I honest to God followed a car from French Harbor to Coxen Hole, a tourist van none the less, and the driver drove with their left foot on the brake and the right on the gas, the WHOLE FLIPPING WAY AT 20 MPH. There was too much traffic to pass and the guy directly behind the slow moving vehicle was tailgating to the extent that I would have had to pass 2 vehicles in one fell swoop. I was so pissed but there was nothing I could do except turn up the music and enjoy the ride. Did I tell you my new car has a working CD and radio. What a novel idea! The doc wants to see me maybe 2 more times. He has helped me immensely but after being muscle and tendon constricted for 8+ months, I can’t expect miracles.  After that I treated myself to a visit with Nadia @ GLAM, my hair gal. I love Nadia, she is so much fun and I love the way she does my hair. Heck, she went and got me candy samples from the place next to her that makes delicious chocolate AND she gave me some Moroccan Oil for my hair. Sure, she is 30 minutes away but that’s OK, she’s worth it.

I stopped to get more paint at the Stihl chainsaw place (don’t ask) but the paint lady was gone and she had the samples with her. Of course she did. I said I would be back in the morning.

I was getting around this morning to go to get paint and to the “Farmacia.” I honestly felt like I was melting and went to look at the weather station @ 9 A.M. The outside temp was 79, inside was 82 and the HUMIDITY WAS 95%. No wonder the sweat running down my back felt like the Nile! I ordered the paint from the store. I didn’t have all afternoon to wait to order AND get the bill so I told them I would be back to get the paint and to please have the bill ready for me. This is the concept of this store. They get in a shipment, check it in and put it away. Then when the customer ACTUALLY WANTS TO PURCHASE something they have to scan through pages and pages of items looking for the number to find out the price. It takes them 30 minutes. I die a little every time. I am so OCD I want to number and code everything in the whole damn store. If these people weren’t so nice, I would go elsewhere. When I went to pay for it I used my new DAVIVIENDA debit card. How awesome that is. I also used the ATM too. No more standing in lines at Lafise to withdraw money. Banking in the new realm is fascinating stuff for me.

This afternoon I went to help out with an art project at Cattleya School. I went there once before when I rode with Jurgen to pick up the students. I feel like a slug because I have not gone back but I will talk to Connie and see what I can help with. The students here are learning disabled and/or handicapped physically. Cynthia was teaching animals parts to the students and Janice and I were helping the kids make the animals out of clay. There were only 4 students today, Loren is pretty self sufficient, he is a very talented artist and is very precise with everything he does. Paola is a doll, I love her. She is pretty good also, she knows what is expected of her and she likes to write and draw. The other 2 boys are young, one is Angel and the other is Denzy. Denzy was a handful to say the least. He didn’t want to sit in his seat, he hid the clay, grabbed everyone’s clay, crawled on the floor and tried to squish the clay animals.  And YAY, I was in charge of him. He and I made a cow and a rabbit, well, that’s what they were supposed to be.

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Hard at work

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Angel

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This is Denzy.

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Some of the clay animals

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Paola, isn’t she a doll? I just love her.

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Angel looking angelic. Don’t be fooled, he is an active boy.

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Loren is such a DUDE. He saw me get my camera out and grabbed his shades quickly!

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Finished animals

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Love Paola’s turtle with the orange shell

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Connie, the amazing founder of Cattleya and her son Loren. Loren is quite the artist and loves horses. He will be showing his art soon at an event at Herby’s.

It’s been a long busy week for me and it’s not over yet. Tomorrow is the airport gig from 11:30 to 4’ish, Rambo is painting downstairs some more tomorrow, have to get that done before Cheryl and Cis get here. I also found out that my friend Karen (KP) who was a waitress when I tended bar at the Old Corner Hotel is coming to visit from Australia the end of April, I haven’t seen her or Cis and Cheryl since the early 1990’s. And if all of that isn’t fabulous enough, Chance is coming the first of August for 10 days. SO much to look forward to this summer.

I plan to help out at the vet clinic again next week and who knows what else I’ll get into. Stay tuned for more photos from our wonderful life on this rock. Have a great weekend everyone! To my stateside friends and family, stay warm!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocking the Radical Catamaran

bangs02/20/2015 What an epic week this has been! Last Thursday Jeanie and Roger brought their BBQ grill to our house and cooked dinner here. (yes we have a grill but Roger is a BBQ Nazi and must use his own) I made a big salad and we had roasted baby potatoes and RED MEAT. Now I haven’t eaten RED MEAT in years, don’t like to chew the stuff but this was good RED MEAT brought from the states and covered in pink peppercorns before grilling. The smell was wafting past my nostrils and when Roger sliced it and I saw how perfectly done it was all thoughts of my chicken breast that he cooked for me went out the window. I wanted RED MEAT. OMG, it was delicious. This does not mean I am a carnivore by any means. I don’t think eating red meat once in 3 years makes me a meat eater. We finished dinner with rum cake and some Mango Rum. Yummy meal but even better was the company, it was fabulous. It was so much fun to hang out with Roger and Jeanie!!

I picked Nancy and Chuck up on Saturday at the airport, we stopped and got Nancy some snorkel gear @ Barefoot Key in preparation for our Sunday excursion on the Radical Catamaran. I dropped them off at their house Saturday afternoon only to pick them up again at 8:30 Sunday morning to go to Oak Ridge to get on the boat. We set sail soon after 9 AM and were off to the eastern end of the island. It was a gorgeous sunny day, made even better by warm pineapple muffins served by the crew.

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The best adventure!

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Jeanie and Chuck

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Llyn and Kathy

I know I’ve said it before but this is a first class operation, Ed and Julie provide an exceptional day onboard their gorgeous boat! After sailing for awhile we stopped to snorkel again at the Cow and the Calf. I told myself prior to getting there I was going to snorkel the calf but I went right to the cow again.

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Sand diver on coral

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Christmas tree worms, you can see the bodies of both of the worms coming out from the bottom of the tree

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Tube sponges

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Looking down on tube sponges

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Conch

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Close up of worm coming out to eat

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More Christmas tree worms, these fascinate me.

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Coral with white banded coral disease

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Jeanie and Nancy

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Needlefish

After snorkeling the Pina Coladas came out in full force. Sun, boat, gorgeous water, crazy people and booze…

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Llyn and Jeanie attending to Kelly’s every need. I won’t mention someone drinking out of his navel.

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I wanted to plank so Rosalie and Jeanie did their version, all the while Kathy is saying, THAT’S NOT PLANKING!!

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Finally, planked the cooler. Kathy is still saying, THAT’S NOT PLANKING.

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Nancy and Jeanie

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Jeanie made me do this.

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Bob and Rosalie, just love these two!

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Martina

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Nancy and Chuck relaxing the day after they arrived, still unwinding and not yet unpacked!

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Jeanie dressing Kelly. Don’t even ask. Can you say too much rum??

We stopped for another snorkel at the Horse shoe. It was a swim over there but worth it.

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Black sea urchin

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Bolder of coral

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Cool sandy area in the coral.

After snorkel stop number two we broke out the wine and lunch was served. People were perching all over to eat their yummy lunch consisting of salad, rice and beans, chicken and shrimp skewers, home made rolls and dessert. All washed down with some chardonnay. After lunch we stopped at a wreck for snorkeling but I lacked the energy required to get my gear on again so I stayed on the boat and had some more wine. That took way less energy. The day was drawing to a close and nobody wanted it to end. Seriously, this is the most fabulous way to spend a day on the water with a group of friends. I would do it weekly if I could.

We all drug our weary butts off the boats and back on to shore for the drive home. I dropped Nancy and Chuck off and headed home to pass out from all of the excitement.

Monday morning once again and we were off to Mondays don’t suck at Barbon beach in Camp Bay. Today I picked Nancy and Chuck up at 11:30 and we started the 30 minute drive east. We were there before most everyone else but they all began arriving soon after we did. There was some Sargassum weed in the water so we moved further down the beach to avoid it.

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Barbon beach, Camp Bay

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simply fabulous beach day

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Proof

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Skip and Jeanie

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Chuck warming his bones after being on Long Island in the frigid temperatures for a month.

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Jeanie Nancy and I went out with rafts in the crazy surf. I got my butt kicked once I got back to shore and tried to get out of the water.

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Nancy and Jeanie floating

I still have sand in my suit after washing it twice. I think I still have sand in various parts of my body also. I pulled my camera out the other day and sand fell out of it too. It was rough and crazy and so worth it. We hung out on the beach until around 3:30 and then made the difficult drive home. Anytime you are driving west in the afternoon prepare to be blinded. Between the sun and the shadows you can see nothing. Luckily there isn’t much traffic! Another fun day, another day I went home and crashed.

Tuesday morning I had my teeth cleaned, the first since I’ve been here. I know, that’s way too long to go without doing it but I hate going to the dentist. They said my teeth were in good shape, not much plaque at all. I didn’t tell them I use the sonic care twice each time, sometimes maybe 3 times because I FORGET WHERE I HAVE BRUSHED so I do it again. and again. Lack of focus on my part.

Bill got his truck back but something weird happened. I know, weird and on Roatan, how unusual. Prior to the head gasket blowing the alarm never worked. Never. Now it does, WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING OR STARTING IT OR JUST ANYTIME. Nice feature to have. Needless to say it is back at the mechanics, something about the glow plugs and the alarm issue? Well, they are disconnecting it. When in doubt, disconnect.

There have been lots of police stops lately and I seem to be quite lucky. I pull up with a big HOLA!! The other day I saw my buddy Ronald. I pulled up alongside him and he came over to shake (hold) my hand. He said he needed to come to my house. I said REALLY? He smiled and said yes. I slapped his hand and told him he was bad. He just smiled. I saw another road block this morning on my way to French Harbor and I pulled up and said Hola and the one cop said Hola Sweetie!!I don’t even have a license plate, there aren’t any in Honduras. Rumor has it that there will be some available this year. HAH!! No license plate and the papers for my car are still in someone elses name, hopefully I’ll get a proper registration for my car soon. Speaking of cars, I still LOVE mine!!

I’ve been having a pain in my upper left arm for over 8 months now. It hurts to get dressed, dry my hair, roll over in bed, just hurts all the time. I finally decided to do something about it and went to a physiotherapist here on the island. He is very good and for the first time I am able to lift my arm up without it hurting. He has an office in Coxen Hole. For a 60 minute treatment it was $60.00. He taped my shoulder like the therapists used to do in Everson for my knee.

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This will make weird tan lines

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My arm feels so much better. He said not to use it, no lifting, no swimming,  just let it relax so the tendonitis settles down.

I was supposed to go to Cattleya school yesterday to help with an art project but the one lady who was doing it is sick and it’s been postponed until next week.

We have banked with Banco Lafise since 2011. I’ve wired money to them from BoA since 2012 with no issues, until a few months ago when they returned my wire TWICE because my name wasn’t first. It’s been coming with Bill’s name first for 2 years but they decided this one time they didn’t like it. I had to change the way the wire was being sent. Aside from the fact that they are the slowest tellers on the face of the earth, things usually go smoothly. Last week I went in and a new teller asked for my passport. I don’t carry my passport, I am a resident. She then took my residence card and my passbook (yes, they use them still AND carbon paper) and turned {with her back to me} to the supervisor who began doing stuff online. I said is there a problem? The teller shook her head YES. Well, WTF is the problem? This infuriates me to no end because you never take someones ID without telling them what the issue is and what you are doing. I left the teller window and went over to a girl I knew at the bank and asked WTH? She said there was a new system and they had to update. I went back over to the window and finished my transaction but then had to go fill out a form.  Once the form was filled out I asked the girl “will my husband have to do this too?” Yes, when he comes in. Bill ran to the bank to get some cash and they told him HIS NAME WASN’T ON THE ACCOUNT. F’ing idiots. He just took $$ out last week so they must have screwed something up. He came home and got me and we went down to the bank. I told the girl I knew what happened and she looked on the computer and said he wasn’t an “owner” of the account. Then why the F did they give him $$ last week? Yes, he is an owner, always was. So she was fixing that and I went to withdraw money. The teller told me it didn’t show we had an account. By that time I was going to murder the next person I looked at. They finally got a manager out there who was LOOKING IN TO IT. All this time there was another gringo couple in there having the same issues. Only idiots are allowed to work at Lafise. They got things straightened out, I got my money and paid my light bill. We left there and went to Davivienda Bank and opened an account there. The young man, Noe, who helped us was polite, professional and knowledgeable. We now have a Lempira checking account and got a debit card and checks in 20 minutes. The next day we ran some errands and went in to Banco Lafise to close the account. I went up to the idiot teller and said I want to take all the $$ out of my account and close it. There was several thousand dollars in it. She got the deer in the headlights look on her idiot face and I almost punched her. She once again turned her back to me and she and 2 other women and 1 guy started talking. That really pissed me off. I told her that the least she could do was tell me what she was doing. The guy next to her said to me, “she needs to know why you are closing your account.” I said, “BECAUSE YOUR SERVICE SUCKS.” LOUD and with a big smile on my face.. He smiled and I heard someone giggle. It took them awhile but finally I walked out of there, cash in hand and happy because I never have to deal with those f’ing idiots again.

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This little boy was selling peeled oranges outside of Davivienda. We bought a bag and gave him some extra cash for himself. He was so damn cute!!

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Highway and Lola watching Bill

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she puts her paws over the rail

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This was last night. We are having strong NE winds and Lola was doing her Titanic scene.

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pretty windy

I am one of 4 women on this island who write for Women Who Live on Rocks. Another is Amanda Walkins. Amanda has her own blog, Awalkontherun which I follow regularly. Amanda also writes for International Living and The Huffington Post. She recently did an article for The Huffington Post and used some photos from people who live on the island, me included. Check out the article @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-walkins.

My friend Nancy brought me some Chai Green Tea that I sent to her in NY. I am addicted to STASH green and regular chai tea. I wanted a cup the other night but it was after dinner so I looked on Amazon to see if there was caffeine in it. This is what it said:

Enjoy this calming and stimulating tea with milk and sugar

Kof-K Kosher certified, contains caffeine, ships in Frustration Free Packaging

Calming and stimulating at the same time? No wonder I’m a whack job!

 

Mondays don’t suck

octopus

Finally. I got to go to Camp Bay beach for the ex-pats, Monday’s Don’t Suck fun day. I spent too many years of my life dreading the inevitable; MONDAY morning, back to work. I didn’t hate my job, not in the least and I adored the people I’ve met in all my jobs, they are my bestest friends ever. It was still WORK. I had to get dressed, wear a bra and decent shoes. I had to comb my hair and put on mascara. The preparation for work was as bad if not worse than the actual work.

I don’t do that anymore. My mornings are mine. I do what I damn well please and it is so nice. I get up and feed Emmy, then myself. I read the news (what I want to read) peruse FB, check my email. I make a cup of tea, visit with the doggies then clean up the kitchen for the day.Sometimes I don’t get dressed at all, just keep my sleeping clothes on all day, unless someone comes here, then I have to get dressed. Usually someone is here, never fails. That’s ok, really it is.

Monday Bob and Rosalie swung by and allowed me to follow them on my inaugural drive alone in the new car out to Camp Bay. The car has not been driven very much and it is a 30 min. dusty rutted drive out there. The car and I survived with no complications. No biggie. I’m good to go there alone or with friends from now on.

The ex-pats party on a nice beach on the far east end of the island that is deserted on Mondays. There is NOTHING there. It’s shortly before one of my favorite restaurants, La Sirena. Everyone brings a dish to share and a sandwich or something to grill for themselves. They play games, swim, float, sun bathe, nap and just do what ever it is they want. There may be some alcohol involved. These folks are absolute concrete proof that MONDAYS DON’T SUCK. They even have a flag stating that so doubters, take a hike. It is what it is. You work your ass off  all your life for a reason and this is it. I feel sorry for the people who don’t take the leap. Quit your job and enjoy your life. You don’t get a do-over. I am so glad I did, I could never go back.

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My fabulous friend, Jeanie. I met her when Teri B. and I were planking at Camp Bay in 2012. She is holding the flag that says MONDAYS DON’T SUCK. It must be true if there is a flag stating that.

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Me blabbing while Jeanie took a pic

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Gorgeous day

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My water hammocks (rafts) were a hit!

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yep, end of the world kind of place

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my knees

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The Diva with her wine

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games on the beach

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Bob’s flag

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And a chicken, who may or may not be an ex-pat.

We arrived at the beach around noon and soon after that we were water bound. I think we were bobbing, floating and riding the waves for a good 45 minutes. There were some awesome long floaty waves, perfect for the raft to just glide over. It was pretty flipping fabulous. The water and the company were perfect! I’m not sure what time we ate but there was a lot of food. After being in the water, drinking vodka, sitting in the sun and eating, I was ready for a nap. I laid down on my chair, having switched to water as my beverage and I had to keep forcing myself to stay awake. I soon decided I better get moving and drive my burned out ass home. It was 3:45, I had a 30 minute drive and then had a party to go to at 5 PM. Needless to say, we were running late. I think we made it to Parrot Tree around 5:30. There were so many people at the party and we saw so few of them. We didn’t stay too long, I was bone tired. Our short drive home from Parrot Tree in the dark seemed like it took weeks. My headlights suck. The one low doesn’t work and they are aimed all wrong. Just horrible. I’m so happy we were close to home when we discovered this! I talked to Pascual and he already thought they may be an issue and is replacing them next week. Other than that the car is perfecto. I’m madly in love!

Bill has been working on the night stands for the past few weeks, they are almost  done.

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Almost done

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Hand cut dovetails

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Higher than normal b/c our bed is high

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close up of dovetail

 

Rambo painted again yesterday using SUR paint, which we are not happy with either. We still haven’t found paint we like as well as the Royal from Ace who has NO PAINT. I’m telling all of you, be very grateful that when you go to get good paint you can actually GET it. Here, not so much. It’s a chore.  We’re going to grab a gallon @ Pinturas Victor on Saturday before we pick Chuck and Nancy up at the airport. Maybe that will cover better.

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New paint in the bedroom

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A fabulous tropical green

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guest bath is turquoise.

 

Lola is still a urine machine. I’m ready to take her back to the shop where I got her. I know she can go all day long with no accidents on the porch because she has done it many times. The whole day I’m thinking she has been peeing where they are supposed to pee. However, she proves me wrong time and again. SHE SAVES HER URINE. And then she pees all over the porch in 7 different places in a short period of time. Spiteful little bitch. It’s a good thing she’s cute.

Yesterday Bill called me downstairs because the Army or Cleaner ants were here. They are big black ants that come in the thousands and go through your home cleaning it of all the bugs. Well, there weren’t thousands, maybe a few hundred and they never came inside. They checked out the foundation, climbed up a concrete pillar then went out back, crawled around the fence and up onto the rubber tree. I wonder if they have a leader and if so does the leader make the decision on whether to go inside or not?

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big ants

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we’ve been told to stay out of their way, they bite.

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The dogs moved when they saw them.

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No cleaning in my house today. I wish they did floors and windows.

Yesterday afternoon my friend Nidia (Because We Care) messaged me to see if I wanted to ride along to a school very near our house to deliver some chairs. I said yes so she and Abraham swung by to pick me up. The school was literally in the valley below our house. When I say school, I mean, lean to. It was a dirt floored area with a tin roof and no walls. It is a kindergarten class, one of the many overlooked by the government. The teacher volunteers, she is not paid. They have no books, no blackboard, no tablets, pencils, crayons or scissors. They have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. NOTHING! They were thrilled to receive chairs that have a desk top attached. Thank you to Linda Edwards who so wonderfully volunteered to buy them for the school! What a fabulous thing she did for these sweet kids. They each helped carry the chairs over to their “classroom.”

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The road right up from the school

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A neighborhood store.

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Nidia and Abraham with Carla (the teacher) in the flowered dress

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Happy kids!

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So happy to carry a chair.

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Pride

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View of the classroom

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Abraham smooching the little girl

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CUTE CUTE CUTE Kids

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The kids are so sweet

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chickens in the classroom

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The table is a little high for these kindergarten kids. Now they have their own desks!

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Can you imagine your children going to school here? I can’t.

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So nice to be able to do something for these forgotten children. Thank you again Linda!

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The kids had the chairs all lined up, ready to learn.

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The beginnings of a classroom.

Today I went to pay our property taxes in Oak Ridge at the municipal building. Once they found our parcel # they realized they didn’t have the dimensions of our house. WTH? They figured the square footage over a year ago (after we realized our architect had never purchased the building permit and we had to get one) but somehow lost that info. They said the taxes were $446.00. I said, WHAT?? He said that they didn’t have the sq. ft of the house so they were charging me that. I asked how they could charge me if they didn’t know how big my house was. He said to do it right they would need to come measure again. Well, alrighty then, let’s go measure, but I still wanted to know where the info was from when Aaron measured 14 months ago. They got Aaron and between 3 of them couldn’t find any info on the size of our house, so off they were to re-measure the house again. They should have the amount due next week. REALLY?? So, I couldn’t pay my taxes.

Jeanie and Roger invited us out to their house for dinner tonight but we have such shitful headlights on my car that we can’t drive that far at night until they are fixed. So, Roger and Jeanie are bringing everything here and cooking dinner. Should be a fun evening.

Tomorrow we are getting paint and picking our friends up at the airport, hopefully they make it in this week. On the way home we’ll swing by Barefoot Key so Nancy can get some snorkel gear. Sunday is the Radical Catamaran that we are all going on again, really looking forward to it.

I’ll end this post with some photos of the Urine Queen and the boys.

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T.U.Q. (The Urine Queen is so spoiled.

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UGH!! Cute overload

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Highway and his shadow

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the look

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She has selective hearing

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Lucky the flasher. Anytime I get close to him this is what he does. XXX rated.

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What a dog this guy is. The torment and abuse he takes daily from T.U.Q. is unbelievable!!!

I’m off to make a salad for dinner. Hasta la vista!

 

Car shopping, island style

weird

Thanks Lowanna!

Granted, there are many exceptions to my story, not everyone experiences what I have, luckily. While living in the states I always had a nice vehicle that I kept spotlessly clean inside (not out.) I’m not a girl who has to have a brand new expensive car every other year, to me it’s a waste of money. Especially since I wanted to build a house on a Caribbean island, cars were of much lesser importance to me.

I moved to my rock in Nov of 2012 for 4 months, alone, with my cat. It was not a move that my husband encouraged or really liked; however, he did come with me to help me get settled and to find a car. We met a guy through a friend who said he would help me find a car. It just so happened he had his wife’s car for sale. A nice clean antique (1994) Toyota Camry named Scarlet, for her color. Of course, he wanted way too much for the car so we looked at a few other options. One was a total rust bucket, running boards were almost rusted off, the seats were torn and stained, the body was a mess and they wanted 5K for it. All the other cars available at that time were way over my price limit, all except Scarlet. My husband was only here with me for a week and he wanted me to have a car before he left, so we bought Scarlet. YAY, I had wheels.

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I would like to paint the hood white then adorn it with a big SCARLET A.

My husband went back to his normal life in the US and Scarlet and I started exploring the island. She was a good car except she was very finicky about the roads I drove on. She sat unusually low and the tumulos  (speed bumps) were bound and determine to ruin the exhaust. She ran well for the 4 months I drove her. When my time here was done (March 2013) and my husband said he was coming to get me and take me home we left Scarlet with the guy I bought her from. He was going to do some suspension repair while I was back in the states.

Flash forward to October of 2013. We had sold our house and were moving to the island, finally. It was a long time coming. My friend who had my car met us at the airport and took me to get my car. We stuffed her full of luggage and went to our rental.

Next thing you know, it’s December 2014. We started actively looking for a replacement for Scarlet. After 2 years with her, the name Scarlet had nothing to do with her color but more to do with The Scarlet Letter. She was a tramp of a car. The suspension repair that was done was either never really done or done so poorly for too much $$$ that it’s like it never happened. The guy who had my car is a big man and he broke the drivers side door handle off. That made it a challenge to even get in. The radio doesn’t work, the windows don’t go down, the key fob doesn’t work and I can’t unlock it w/ the key, (Bill can,) the hood needs a stick to prop it open, the trunk leaks and the key falls out of the ignition as you’re driving down the road. She has had 2 blown head gaskets repaired and several hundred $$’s spent fixing the suspension, the fuel leak, the window, that doesn’t work again, the wipers which quit working and a variety of other things. In other words Scarlet is a P.O.S, but she runs great. I had a flat tire when Yvonne was with me, Scarlet overheated while I was alone at Serrano’s, an hour away from home, she blew head gasket #1  just as Cleo and I pulled in to the West Bay mall, head gasket #2 when I pulled into the bank, alone again, but closer to home. Tramp car. The last thing you ever want to do is open the hood of your car if you are a woman and are alone. You will have EVERY backyard mechanic in a 3 block radius assessing your car. They will want to add fluids, cross wires, get tools and just do other general things to your car that it doesn’t need. They ARE men after all.

You know how in the US you can go to a car dealer and find a nice used car, test drive it, look it over, be sure of the mileage and all that? Not so much here. Due to the condition of the roads here I wanted an AWD or a 4X4. I have beaches to lay on, places to go and people to meet. What I want is hard to find. Story of my life. Decent cars are hard to come by and they are way overpriced. Most of the cars here are US cars that were wrecked, salvaged, bought by someone in Honduras, fixed and sold on the mainland and the island. You can buy a brand spanking new car here or on the mainland but what are you going to do for your warranty work? Ship it back to the mainland at $150 + each way? A new car doesn’t make sense to me, however there are brand new trucks and I’ve seen at least 3 new Audi wagons at 60K each. Someone has waaayyy more $$ than me.

The first car we looked at was a Honda CRV that they wanted 10K for. It was worth maybe 7 and needed some work. We had our mechanic check it out and he agreed it wasn’t worth what they were asking. While at the mechanic’s Bill had it out for a test ride and I got Lola, but no car.

We contacted a guy on the island, Pascual, at Bay Island sales and rentals and asked him to look for a car for us. He had just gotten a Rav 4 to sell and his brother told us to come drive it knowing Pascual had gotten the car for someone else. We drove it, came back to the shop and the people who were promised the car were there, wondering WTH was going on. Rather than put Pascual in a bad spot, we deferred, although we would have purchased the car. Pascual felt bad and tried to find us another car on the mainland. He found an ’06 Mitsubishi Outlander in excellent condition with less than 100K miles on it. We gave him 4K cash as a deposit and he went to the mainland to get it.

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This is silver and in great shape.

By the time Pascual got to the dealership, they sold the car. Someone offered more $$. So sad, too bad. Pascual ended up bringing another Mitsubishi Outlander back to the island for us to look at. This is the one I talked about before that had 66K miles on it. Bill did an $8.00 VIN search and we found out it had 266K miles. No thanks!

Back to square 1. I was super bummed. Just this past week Pascual had another Outlander scoped out in San Pedro Sula, the murder capital of the world, on the mainland. We did another VIN check and the miles were correct, the damage was light. I was interested. He got a $500.00 deposit from us, sent it to the guy and left the next day for the mainland to drive the car. He said it was in great shape and he doubted we would find anything this nice for the $$ and in AWD. We transferred the FULL amount to his bank account on Wednesday, Thursday he bought the car, drove it to Ceiba and had it put on the cargo ship bound for Roatan Friday morning. Then I heard about the coming storm. Our friends took the ferry back from Ceiba Wed. afternoon and they said it was a nasty trip, the ferry was getting tossed around in the waves and it was to get worse by Friday, when my car was coming. Thursday night I watched the horizon on both the north and the south shores, checked the weather, found a site with the storm surges/ wave heights, I was stressing. I felt like the epitome of the saying, “If it weren’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all.” I had myself all worried that the cargo ship would sink, or get lost in the storm or that one of the BIG waves from the movie The Perfect Storm was going to come and only wipe one car off the deck of the boat. MINE. My thoughts were, did the cargo ship have insurance on what was on it? I mean, it was my car, paid for in full in CASH. If it disappeared, I was S.O.L.

I was so relieved to hear from Pascual on Friday, I heard Bill say, “and the car?” Pascual said it was at his lot and would be ready in an hour. YES.

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Just fabulous to see this sitting in the driveway.

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ready for company

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Almost identical to my Outlander that I drove in the US for 9 years but this is 3 years newer, I LOVED that car and was sad to have to get rid of it. Luckily for Trace, he bought it and has been driving it ever since.

This means I can drive up to Brass Hill to help with the sewing machines, I can drive down to the schools and I can drive myself to Mondays Don’t Suck at Camp Bay beach.

Unfortunately Bill’s Mazda diesel p/up just blew a head gasket and is in the shop awaiting repair so we have to hold on to Scarlet awhile longer. What is it with us and head gaskets???

Enough of the car drama! I’m so over it. Saturday we were to pick friends up at the airport. They live in NY and have a home here and were returning for 3 months. However the plane had issues and due to that they missed their connecting flight to Roatan. No other flights this week so they come next Saturday instead. We headed into town in the new car to run some errands. On the way to Serrano’s, my favorite store, we stopped and got some more movies. I bought Wild and Cake, Bill got this season of the Walking Dead. We ordered our movies, went to the hardware store and stopped back to get our movies that were being uploaded to our stick. Our friends pulled in while we were there so we got to see them for a bit too.

We stopped to talk to the mechanic about Bill’s truck. He and Bill were talking over by the truck and Bill called me to come over. Nelson had a baby goat in his arms. My first words were, “I am NOT taking that goat home.” OMG, cute much??

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Cutest little goat!

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I had already planned to watch my movies, it was a gray, cool damp Saturday. Wild was first, it was a great movie, a different type of role for Reese Witherspoon.  I liked Cake better, Jennifer Aniston was excellent in this movie, my favorite out of all of the movies I’ve recently seen.

And then there is Lola. She is getting huge and is not a very friendly dog. When Highway was young he loved to lay on our laps and sleep, not this girl. You can’t hold her for more than 15 seconds before she starts crying and squirming to get down. She’s being raised by Highway and she only wants him.

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the wonky coloring is because our porch lights are yellow

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I apologize for the top towel, it’s clean but has wood stain on it, that’s why it’s a rag. BTW, the towels were warmed in the dryer, Lucky was under one too.

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Some more road repair, this is at one of the busiest intersections on the island.

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Did they plant a tree on the road?? Nope, just a marker for a hole.

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Another tree

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This time, to hell with the tree branch, use the trunk.

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We seem to have over inflated our bed, causing the seams to blow. Of course, this is on my side of the bed and has gotten much larger.

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This is another alien that I dug out of my ankle. It is a hard piece of skin, which, after removed left a nice hole in my ankle. Again. Another one is currently forming.

I received an email from Amazon.com the other day. It said: We would like to thank you for being among our most active members. I do not think this is a good thing.

It’s Sunday morning, kitchen is cleaned up, laundry in and I am going to the grocery store to get some things to make for the beach party and another party tomorrow night.

I even see a bit of sunshine peeking out this  morning! Happy Sunday!