Christmas for the kids

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12/30/2015  It’s over. The holiday parties for the kids are completed. There were 3 and they grew in intensity and insanity as they progressed. I am blessed that 3 was the limit. I don’t know how Nidia does it. Yes, she is younger than I am, but holy crap, this girl gets shit done. She is well enough known on the island that her name is recognized almost everywhere you go. EVERYBODY KNOWS AND LOVES NIDIA. It’s very chaotic but she really has things totally under control. It just doesn’t seem that way to me and I think intense organization is needed in this type of situation. I chilled.

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The one and only Nidia Webster. Photo by Ana Svoboda

The final party we did was a big one with about 500 kids. There were lots of toys donated by so many people, it’s really cool when people who don’t even know these kids or their situations, donate money so we can buy things to help them. It’s humbling. Thanks again to Walt and Judy, Beth and Aaron, Trish and Dave, Cathilee, Ginny, Ralph and Rick.

I got there around 11 Wed. to help set up. A few representatives came from Carnival Cruise Lines with lots of toys and stuffed animals. There were some really really nice things there. My friends from Alabama brought 4 backpacks and a suitcase full of toys and sandals. A lot of the sandals they brought were brand new Reef sandals and were totally fabulous. Thanks Robby, Julie, Cortnee, Jessie and Molly!! Miss Peggy (Clinic Esperanza) brought some people to see the children and to help us out for a few hours. Peggy helped cut the hundreds of hot dog rolls for lunch.

This will be an un-wordy post because I have so many pictures I want to share, so bear with me, I’ll be back in a few days with the stories about island life.

This was the best, a donation from my cop buddy, Eduardo. This is the first time Nidia has ever gotten a donation from the Police department. Thank you Eduardo Fuentes Torres!!

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The party was held in an open walled bar across the street from the water. Right down the street was the Cruise Dock terminal. The tables wrapped around 2 sides of the building and were full of toys.

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The photos are terrible because the lighting was weird. The room was round with open walls but a roof overhang, difficult to get decent lighting. More toys

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Minnie Mouse and Barbie bags, jump ropes, crayons, rings

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Stuffed toys everywhere. Some were brand new Beanie Babies..

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4 tables of stuffed toys

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Miss Peggy (Santa hat) cutting rolls

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Toys from Carnival Cruise Lines

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More Carnival stuff

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The little girls will love these shoes

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1 huge table of sandals

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Bags of candy and small toys, gold for babies, red for girls, blue for the boys

Carnival Cruise’s stuffed animals

And then there are the faces…and the big dark eyes with the insanely long eyelashes!

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beauties

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Please take our picture..

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Too cute!!

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With his older brother

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Pretty girl

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A new friend named Greg snapped this w/ my camera..

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Showing me their toys

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Waiting for Santa

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Lousy shot, gorgeous girls

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Love the shirt

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Look at her shirt, it has a candy cane tucked in the belt

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They love to have their photo taken, such a novelty. So different from the kids in the states who take selfies all day every day and post them for all the world to see.

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My friend Jeanette and I. I met her and her husband Don last year doing the food drive.

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Another brutal game of musical chairs. We ended up with a broken chair and a crying little boy. He was OK..

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It was like the Fight Club of musical chairs

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The clowns were all dressed up. One did face painting and the other balloons.

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Cool clown shoes

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Forming a circle to play another game.

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These kids..

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The balloon was bigger than him

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This little cutie pie is 4. She was in my pics from Helene, her Mom is my friend Darla. When she saw me today she gave me a big kiss..

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Dimples much??

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They did lots of waiting

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Another pretty girl

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beautiful young girls

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He’s here!!

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a cutie with some ears..

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Nidia’s fabulous hat from Jeanette’s daughter. The girl to Nidia’s left with the baby (her niece) is my friend Darla, she teaches school on Helene.

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Santa is looking serious..

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love Santa’s flip-flops

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waiting for Santa

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Just like in Punta Gorda, everyone got a Santa hat or Minnie/Mickey ears..

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Santa’s everywhere

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Beautiful smile and teeth

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second pic of this girl

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Santa hugged all of the kids.

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No matter how big they were.

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Santa played a sleight of hand kind of game with the kids bags of candy. The boys were all giggling.

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Hugs

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My friend Darla’s niece

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She is so pretty

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Franklin, Nidia’s oldest son took a pic of us w/ my camera..

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Adorable

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her sister

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caught her mid bite with ice cream

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Nidia surveying the situation

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After Santa passed out the candy to the kids then we passed out the gifts.

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Cruise ship anchored out at sea, 3 ships in port, can’t all be at the dock.

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And, to end the day, my friend Ana came by with her sick German Shepherd dog Coco. I was a part of Coco’s Bucket List, places for Coco to visit. I can’t think of a better way to end my day than hugging Coco.

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This photo was taken by Captain Carlos Aguirre Lopez of Taca airlines. You can see the 3 cruise ships in Coxen Hole dock, then the airport runway, then the white area to the upper right of the runway is the 4th cruise ship at Mahogany Bay. It was a busy day on Roatan!!

So there you have it, the end of the holiday season on Roatan. This was the first time in a few years that Nidia didn’t do a food drive. It’s always nice to feed the needy but when it comes to the holidays there is nothing that kids look forward to like Santa and the whole legend surrounding him. Santa is not a big part of their Christmas because their families don’t have the money to buy them things. If it weren’t for the Christmas parties sponsored by various groups on the island, many children wouldn’t really have a Christmas.

Thank you so much to all of my friends who have so generously donated. You DO make a difference.

** All of the leftover things from the party were shipped to Helene, the small island that is separated by a mangrove channel but is still part of Roatan. The people there were asking for help with Christmas. Many of them have next to nothing so anything to give their children would be a blessing. They received toys, sandals, stuffed animals, bags of candy and other toys.

Happy New Year everyone!!

Island style Christmas Magic

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12/22/2015  Aaaah, yes, holidays on the island. It’s so different from what I am used to, from what was brainwashed into my head for so many years, the unrealistic expectations of Christmas. Here it’s different, people don’t get new cars and big trucks for Christmas or another diamond necklace, people are happy with a bag of rice and beans and the kids take a jump rope or a stuffed animal and they smile. In the states kids want Wii, Xbox and iPads, here a truck or a frisbee or a Beanie Baby is wonderful! No excessive gift giving on this rock.

On Thursday we had the kids party in Fiddlers Bight, an area with water access only. The kids from Calabash Bight came also, we think there were around 175 kids total, more than the previous year. When our boat arrived at the party spot the kids were busy making and flying paper airplanes with this cool set Marilyn and Alex bought for them. They were having fun with that, seeing who could throw theirs the farthest. A few of the girls were drawing with chalk on the macadam. It was a calm, hot as hell day, my shirt was soaked by mid afternoon and Francie was glistening.. At one point I thought my calves were melting. Too bad the sun can’t melt your ass off, or your gut..

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The coolest paper airplane kit that Marilyn and Alex brought

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So bizarre, part of a doll hanging on the fence. Random

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Santa’s new chair, made by Bill, painted by Marilyn

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I love DUBAI?? The country?? HUH?

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Kat, BJ’s gorgeous daughter, explaining the folding process for the airplanes

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Frosty in a box

The kids played for awhile, then the story lady told her version of the birth of Christ and Kat translated it to Spanish and rearranged some of the story to keep it on track. Lets just say the story lady has a slightly different version. Kat was great though, she told the story in a very animated way, the kids were really paying attention to her.

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Story lady on the right holding up a picture.

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gorgeous little girls

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really, could she be any cuter??

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Derek, my favorite

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Marilyn and her jester hat

After the story lady was done we gave the kids a stick and let them take turns beating the candy out of poor old Frosty the Snowman. I kept getting freaked out, afraid they might whack Francie a few times, the boys were slammimg the crap out of Frosty. Once they got a hole torn in it, it was all over. The kids dove on top of one another for the candy, as always, some get a lot some get a little.

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My new friend Judy staying WAAAYY back from the stick.

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Yes Carmen has on 2 sets of antlers.. It’s a look.

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Bashed Frosty

Then someone spoke the magic words, “here comes Santa”. Sure enough, standing up in the boat that was coming across the water was Santa Claus. Pandemonium. In all reality, for as little as these kids have, seeing Santa is a big deal and they were exceedingly excited. Second year in a row I’ve had tears running down my cheek when Santa arrives. You can feel the excitement.

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Waiting for Santa

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You can see by this little boys face that he sees Santa’s boat coming

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The one and only, SANTA!!

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Kids of all ages

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Even Santa’s boat captain is a reindeer.

Santa (we have a fabulous Santa) insists on wearing the full outfit, boots and gloves too, despite the 90 degree heat. He spoke to every child and when they left he told them “Santa loves you”. How cool is that? Mrs. Claus, chief elf and organizer Francie did a fab job too, hoisting the kids from their Mom’s arms to Santa and then back to Mom when they were done. She was the one glistening. Elf Joe helped keep the gifts flowing, Dave did crowd control, Melanie was the main photographer while Rosalie marked their hands, indicating they already got a gift. Smooth as clockwork.

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Twins were having none of this Santa stuff..

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Love the little boy’s look

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Such gorgeous kids

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He looks a little shy

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This kills me

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Anxiously waiting

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No Santa for this boy either

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This is the first little boy I ever fit for Tom’s shoes. He’s the one who hugged me before I even fitted him. His name is Derek

Mom must have a busy night planned. All the Moms want to sit on Santa’s lap too, that’s why he needed a sturdier chair.

Melanie took 465 photos in a few hours. For over an hour she knelt on her knees, on a piece of cardboard, on the dirt ground, taking photos. Amazing.When Santa had seen everyone the ladies there (many mothers) served the kids food.

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This little girls hair is so long, just beautiful.

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The most gorgeous kids

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Nice looking young boy

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Another good looking boy

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These kids are all cute

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Pensive

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So pretty

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With her new doll

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Family rowing home after the party

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Party is over, time to go home.

We left shortly after that and went to Alex and Marilyn’s house for dinner. She is so phenomenal in the kitchen, she can whip up an impromptu meal in no time and it rocks. Tonight was no different.

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Brett AKA Cute Boat Guy and Carmen

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The guys chatting

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Kathy and Judy

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Marilyn’s recycle bin

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Lounging in the living room

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The tree looks great

Great meal, yummy salad (Carmen).  There were quite a few friends there, we sat around and chatted for awhile. I met a new lady from Cali that lives here too. She had further to drive than I did and it was dark so we had Alex deposit us back at BJ’s and we each drove back to our homes.

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Ride home

Friday was BJ’s, I went there after my fiasco at the municipal. Late Saturday morning we took the dogs to Parrot Tree swimming. They haven’t been for a while and they knew exactly where they were and they were uncontrollable. Once they got to the other side of the lagoon, we set them free.

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My babies

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Barrio chilling on the chair

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They are water dogs

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Handsome Barrio, out of the 3 pups he has the sweetest demeanor and is the calmest, also the most skittish.

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Sweet boy Barrio

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L to R, Max, Barrio and Gringo in the front, he is the biggest by far, pushing 55# of solid muscle.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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Gringo, I’m not positive but he might have been taking a whizz..

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Barrio in front, Gringo, Max

These puppies have a serious hold on my heartstrings. I can’t really describe the depth of the emotions but I feel so responsible for them, even responsible for their happiness. I worry that they are bored, maybe they need exercised, maybe we need a bigger enclosed area, how about a pool for them to swim in?  Is their food good enough, do they eat enough? It’s an issue for sure. I truly feel like I gave birth to these dogs but obviously I didn’t, and I do know that, but it does not lessen my feelings of motherhood to these 3 pups. Plain and simple. They own me.

Saturday afternoon we went over to our friends, Chuck and Nancy’s for drinks and dinner. It was a nice break from our daily busyness and it’s always nice to visit with them and see the progress on the building they are working on. It is almost done and it looks fabulous, amazing…I could live in that space.

Sunday was the first of Nidia’s Because We Care Christmas parties for the kids. I arrived too early, as is my damn style.

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The Ark is taking shape..

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Just the view going into Punta Gorda. I make sure to NEVER take this view for granted.

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A house in town

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The party was held on this beach.

Nobody was there so I turned around and drove back through town, called Nidia and then decided she wouldn’t be there for 45 min. so I went home, (10 min.) and kissed the dogs for awhile. On my way home one of the boys who was dressed in shorts and nothing else, his body covered in black oil, wearing a mask  and brandishing a wooden spear, walked up to the front of my car and shook his belly. Then he came over to my open window and said ‘gimme 5 dollars. ” I said No, I’m not giving you 5 dollars, now move. And he did.

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They call themselves something in Spanish that roughly translates to Barbaric Indian. I guess I was supposed to be scared.

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So beautiful

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You can see forever

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Photo op

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I want this boat

When I went to Punta Gorda the second time things were starting to happen. Nidia and her two daughters and one of her sons were there, Santa was there and Nidia had lots of helpers. They brought the tables so we put the gifts out on the tables, which maybe is a mean thing to do. Mixed emotions on this one. After 2PM the kids and parents started to arrive.

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Getting the toys out

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Hats and jump ropes

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Nidia arranging the dolls, mouse ears, cars, trucks and assorted other gifts

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Flip-flops

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quite a variety of toys

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These kids are so cute

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Nidia in the center, her 2 daughters, Krista in red and Janisha. Love them all.

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A little bit of everything

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They delivered chairs and all the kids sat on them while the adults stood. Finally Sully (Santa) stole 2 for us.

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She posed for me, OMG!!

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Blowing up a balloon

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Cutie

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She was also trying to blow up a balloon.

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Kudos for him even trying. They were long curly balloons, not easy to blow up at all.

Once there were lots of kids there, most all in Santa hats, Nidia had the kids play musical chairs for a while, the DJ was rocking the tunes. It always blows my mind to see kids playing this game and wondering, do kids in the US still play musical chairs, like ever??

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Musical chairs using the chairs from the restaurant

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Pretty girl in her Minnie Mouse ears

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Couple more cuties

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Her dress, her barrettes, her ears and the balloon..

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Kids in Santa hats were everywhere…

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Once they were done playing musical chairs, Santa came.

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Such a doll!

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Getting organized into lines

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These kids are so gorgeous…

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This is my friend Gail in the pink. I met her the day I picked my friends up at the cruise ship, she was hanging in my friends store. She is from eastern Canada. She is with 2 Barbaric Indians. The kids all ran and screamed when they saw them.

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The little girl in the pink frilly dress had 2 balloons stuffed in the front of her dress.

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hmm, one of everything please

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And here he is, Santa. Sully (Santa) also helped out last year with some toy and food delivery. I believe he has helped Nidia many times, really a nice guy. This Santa was a tropical one in flip flops!!

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He was swarmed by the kids

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It was a sea of Santa hats

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Ho Ho Ho

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Adorable

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Santa and the kids

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My friend Miss Linda from Camp Bay and her grandson

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Santa, in between passing out gifts..

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Feet

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I always find the shoe choices interesting

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Gorgeous

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Sweet boys eyeing the goodies

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Santa passing out candy bags, then I passed out toothbrushes..

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Lunch, hot dogs, juice and ice cream

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Kids waiting for their gifts

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you could cut the tension with a knife..they wanted gifts

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The gift guarders

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How do you keep a few hundred kids in lines and quiet when all they can see is gifts?? Answer: YOU DON’T

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Please, something for me…

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Gorgeous twins. I walked over later and gave their dad 2 toothbrushes for them and 1 for their little brother. He thanked me in perfect English.

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He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

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eating ice cream

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Then something happened and he started crying and there was no adult with him. We kept trying to find out why he was crying but could make no sense of what he was saying. Poor little guy.

It was a long afternoon,  5.5 hours there and I was done. I headed towards home around 5:30 and became a vegetable. Sheer exhaustion set in. I tried like hell to get this blog out that night and just COULD NOT DO IT.

I did some stuff around here this morning, ran to town, got groceries, brought them home and went to Oak Ridge to pay for the permit. I did the Pay To line on the check before I left home b/c it’s long and with my shitty hands, I have a hard time writing legibally. I did NOT make out the written dollar amount, I wanted to wait. I also took a SPARE check, just in case. Well, it’s a damn good thing I had that extra check because I did the Payee name in blue and the amount in BLACK, dated and signed in BLACK and they would not flipping take it b/c it was in 2 colors of ink. They said Davivienda Bank is very fussy. WTF? At that point I wished I had a sharpie because I would have written the damn check out on his forehead. Good thing I didn’t because when I left the office I saw the Mayor and got a hug and kiss before I left the Muni. He was sitting out in the waiting room watching TV. He’s a really nice guy and I do like him and, I think he tries his best.

When I left today, this was in the road. Bill took the photo. Not a soul around, no glass, no signs of blood, no bodies. Really, nobody came to investigate this accident??

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I got home and was working on the blog and picking up around here when Trish called. They were on their way home from Mondays Don’t Suck (I missed it again, too busy) and stopped by here for a drink on the roof. It’s the first I’ve seen her since she arrived last Monday! Looking forward to hanging out with them while they are here.

The wonders of Facebook continue to thrill me on a daily basis. It allows me to be in touch with people I used to see daily while working for Bank of America. Believe it or not, you make friendships with those people and being able to maintain those friendships via Facebook is incredible. One of those friends is Chris Castle, Chris was in the bank daily and he and I became friends. I knew he and his wife had 2 sons and that Chris was a soccer ref. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Chris and his boss Phil. After I left the bank I would run into him every now and then but when we moved, we lost touch. Until I saw him on my friend Katy’s FB. The rest is history, except for the fact that Chris’s wife is a very talented artist. I really enjoy seeing Julie’s work that Chris posts. He recently set up an Etsy shop for her. Please take a few minutes to look at her work, she is really good. The web address is https://www.facebook.com/Sand-Castle-Shack-Studio-448528448665578/?fref=ts  and her Etsy address is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SandCastleShack?ref=hdr_shop_menu. Merry Christmas Chris, Julie and family!!

It’s 10 PM, I have to get 4 dogs outside and drag this tired old butt to bed. I have the one big BWC Christmas party on Wednesday then it’s fun and games and partying with our friends this Christmas season.

To all the amazing people who follow my blog, thank you. Bill, Highway, Lola, Frito, Gringo, Max, Barrio, Emmy and I wish you a fabulously Merry Christmas and an enchanting New Year..XOXO

JINGLE BELLS, ISLAND STYLE. Thanks to Jeanie for this one..(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

We sit with drink in hand
Without a hope of snow
Under spreading palms
A hurricane’s sure to blow
Santa Claus will find
That things can turn to shit
He won’t be riding eight reindeer
He can’t get his permit
      Oh, hells bells….coconut shells
       Cervezas all the way….oh what fun it is to ride….in a pick-up truck today

 

 

 

 

Living this blessed life

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12/19/2015 The big day is fast approaching but it seems rather subdued here.  I think the mere simplicity of Christmas on the rock helps us all realize the gifts we have every single day and to truly appreciate the friends we have made. It’s a much different lifestyle, more down to earth, more people cherishing their friends, meeting and making new friends and not looking for material things. Simple things, simple life.

Sunday evening we had some new friends down for pizza. I met Daryl and Tarra on FB and then met Tarra the day she arrived on the island with her dogs. I had previously given her the low down (via FB messenger) on what would happen and how it would be handled with her dogs. She carried 2 on the plane and 1 came cargo. I put her in the fast line to get her through immigration, she was carrying 2 dogs who had been in a carrier for 10 hours. Then I checked to make sure she was getting through customs w/ her other dogs.  That was the only time I met her. We have stayed in touch before, and since they’ve arrived, sometimes they message me w/ questions or they ask them on FB and I always try to help them. I had never met Daryl but we have talked on FB often. Tarra loves dogs like we do, they had 10 when they lived in the states. She likes white wine, doesn’t eat fish or seafood. Hmmm. This all sounds familiar. It was a gorgeous evening to have dinner on the roof (with 5 of the 6 dogs in attendance), an enjoyable evening spent with new friends. They just shipped a huge boat down here and are starting a business. Check it out here.  

I really enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. I can only hope that the knowledge we have gained living here, can in someway make their transition a bit easier. Packing up and selling most of the world as you knew it and moving to a third world country that is so different from where you came from, is a bit of  a bitch. It’s NOT easy and as I’ve said before, it’s not for the faint of heart.

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Pizza dough in the making

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Cocktail corner

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Southern view

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It was too bright up there to take a decent photo.

This week has been a busy one. Monday I had lunch with one of the police officers on the island. We met at the Beach Grill, a place that my friends own (along with Bandit and Sable, 2 of my Frito’s puppies). He was accompanied there by 3 other cops. After Eduardo and I ordered I called the waitress over to order something for the other 3 guys and she said they were already being fed, by the Beach Grill. Way to go Rob and Lisa, that was so awesome!! Eduardo and I had a nice chat in his broken English (actually he is pretty good) and my pitiful Spanish. He is a young guy, joined the Police Academy at 16, is now 28, his wife is an English teacher and he has a 9 month old son. My opinion of him is; he’s a nice smart young man who really wants to do a good job. Unfortunately the government of Honduras continues to do a 3 month rotation of police on the island, which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. No progressive thinking here at all. It is what it is.

We just got home from dinner at a friends house and I got a message from Nidia that said she got 3 huge boxes of candy canes from Eduardo, the cop I had lunch with the other day. What a sweet gesture on his part. Nidia does not know him and it’s the first donation she has ever had from the police. Way to go Eduardo!

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Bill is busy with the fence construction and getting a foundation poured for the garage. It’s getting there, now we are waiting on material and for a gate to be made. Waiting is the name of the game here.

I went to pay for the permits on Friday before BJ’s and thought I would be all smart and make the check out prior to going there. I mean, I just had 3 Spanish lessons and we did numbers, I can figure this out. I wrote the check out for the correct amount but I inserted the word dolares. As in:  Quatro mil, diez dolares and cuarenta centavos and that screwed the whole damn check up.  You know, old bank brain going dollars and cents. Obviously it’s the first check I ever wrote down here that had cents in the amount. Foiled again by foreign languages. I have to take them another check on the way to Mondays Don’t Suck.

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Digging the footer for the garage

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Fence wall is up, just need fence material

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Big area for the dogs

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They will be happy with all this room to run!

Tuesday I ran errands, went to Mega Paca of course (ran into 2 friends there), went to ACE hardware to check on the broom I asked them to order and came home and cleaned up after the dogs, again.

On Wednesday I had my first foray into the world of cruisers. Never being on a cruise it’s an unusual concept for me. Don’t ask if I would go on one because I don’t have an answer. I would enjoy being on a large ship for a day, just to look around but other than that I really can’t say yes or no.  I left the house very early in the morning, headed to the cruise ship dock to pick up my friends Robby and Julie and their 3 girls, Cortnee, Jessie and Molly. I ran into Serranos hardware and bought Alexi a pair of nice rubber boots to work in and I parked there. I was walking up to the cruise ship dock and saw my friend Bob in front of his store. I went over and gave him a hug and went in to say hello to Debi. While waiting for her to finish with a customer I met a lady named Gail who was on the island, waiting for her family to arrive from Canada. They came last year also to help out with the Christmas food deliveries that Nidia did last year. Gail and I walked up to the port together and took some photos of the boats.

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Norwegian Dawn pulling into the dock.

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People ziplining by

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Not much of a zipline but if you don’t want to leave the port, here is your semi thrill..

I hung around the dock and then walked back down to the Made in Roatan store and chatted with Bob until Robby and Julie and the girls got off the ship. Once we did our introductions there, we headed right to Arch’s Iguana Farm to meet Sam for our snorkel adventure.

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Some of the older males at the farm

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Molly sat down and let the iguanas crawl over her and nibble on her feet while she enjoyed their company. She’s quite the critter lover.

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She is such a cutie!

We met Sam in the midst of the iguanas. I was very excited when Sam said that Chelsie was coming with us. She is Sam’s fiancee and a good friend. Sam is like a 3rd son to me, I just love him and his family and everything they embody.

We all got on the boat and while motoring out to snorkel, Sam gave us all a briefing on the green eels in the area. He said they have become aggressive and we should always be on the lookout for them. As soon as we got in the water there were conchs everywhere, more than I have ever seen in one spot. So cool.

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Surrounded by conchs, some were so huge we could see them from the boat.

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Sea life is so amazing

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There were these Jelllyfish everywhere and you couldn’t avoid them. I swam through so many and didn’t get stung at all. I asked Sam and he said if you squish them in your hands you will get stung. In all reality, I had no plans to do that. EVER. Who would?

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Feather duster, I am so fascinated by these.

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Sam and a puffer fish

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Butterfly fish

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Christmas tree worms, another thing that fascinates me in the sea.

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Coral

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Another type of feather duster

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A bridled burrfish. It had the coolest eyes ever.

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The eyes are a different color now

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These are so fabulous!!

You have more than likely heard of Lionfish. They have invaded the Caribbean and are a huge threat to the reef remaining healthy. Lionfish are a stunningly gorgeous, incredibly destructive and poisonous to the touch, fish. To get a better understanding of what it is that makes them so damaging, read this.   They are I am told, delicious.

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Lionfish, the scourge of the sea.

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Stunning

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A rarity, a photo of me underwater, thanks Sam!

After snorkeling for about an hour we got back on the boat and Sam dropped us off at the Big French Key dock. Julie and Robby’s girls did super fantastic in the water. No complaints no nothing, they just swam. I was really impressed with them, cool young ladies with good manners and great personalities. And gorgeous to boot..  We hung out at Big French Key for a few hours until the girls were getting hungry. Rather than eat lunch there, they really wanted to try Cal’s, of course. Everyone wants to go t Cal’s, it’s the best. So off to Cal’s for a mid day lunch but first we had to get back to my car at the Iguana farm, not at Big French Key’s dock.  When the boat pulled up I asked the cute young guy if he was Sam’s cousin, he said yes. I said, cool, Sam said you would take us to his dock because I parked at the Iguana farm. He said he would, we just needed to wait for the smaller boat.

We arrived back to Arch’s dock and walked back through all of the iguanas towards my car.  We ran  into Mr. Sherman Arch (Sam’s dad) on his way down the hill. He was all smiles when he saw me, I introduced him to Robby and Julie and we talked with him for a few minutes. Seriously, the Arch family is somewhat of a legend on this island.

Shawn Jackson  is a Roatan native who recently moved back here and has just opened up an art gallery showcasing his amazing work. His underwater photos are nothing short of incredible, actually, all of his photos are fabulous. Check out the link in his name to see his work, it’s worth a look. He just started a series of work called Faces of Roatan. For this project he went from village to village looking for people who were born and raised here.  Shawn photographed the people and gathered some info about each one. He is currently showcasing The Faces of Roatan Series in West End at his gallery.

This is Shawn Jackson’s photo from The Faces of Roatan Series of Mr. Sherman Arch. 

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After a great lunch at Cal’s I buzzed up to our house since we were so close so Julie and Robby could see we really do have a house. They are returning and staying here in March. Back to Coxen Hole to Nidia’s to drop off some stuff that Robby and Julie brought for the kids (like 4 backpacks full), thank you so much, it will all be put to good use. Then I had to say goodbye to them, they weren’t positive if they had to be back by 5 or by 6 because they got off the ship before the announcement was made, so we played it safe and chose 5 PM. It was a fun day spent with people I would never have know if it weren’t for this blog.

Next on the agenda is the Christmas Party for the kids from Calabash Bight and Fiddlers Bight. And you know what? I’m tired and don’t feel like thinking coherently right now. I’ll pick up with the kids party next time, right now I just want to lay down on the couch so I think I will.

Merry almost Christmas everyone.

 

A tree glows in Calabash Bight

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12/11/2015   I went up on the roof and had a Dos Equis the other night, it was a beautiful evening and the view was as amazing as ever. We really have the best of both worlds, being able to see the N and S shores of the island. Sometimes the weather can be completely different if I turn around.

The dogs are having some issues running around up there, it’s much more slippery than when it was regular old concrete. But it looks so much better, they will just have to chill the hell out..

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roof view, looking Northwest

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Guess who this is? She is famous in Camp Bay, a Duchess of sorts.

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The wind blew her glass onto her shirt so I suggested she wring it back into the glass..

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She even brought her own vino, she’s a fussy Duchess…

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On Sat we went to Sandy Bay to pick up a friends new mattress. We stopped at the gas station and the guard in front of the former Banco Lafise was holding a phone to his ear with his right hand and he was holding his rifle with the same hand while the gun was balanced with his left hand which is HOLDING ANOTHER CELL PHONE. Surely he has no idea what is going on around him.

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We were picking up the mattress in Sandy Bay. and needed to do it earlier in the morning because the seller had to be at the airport by late morning. It was kind of a stormy, iffy day, Brett and Carmen brought a big tarp.

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Deserted beach

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coral display

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quartz tower

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The sea looked angry

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Sorry this is all the closer I could get of this place. The building on the far right has a chute to slide your kayak into the water. Pretty cool..

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Wee wees, or leaf cutter ants. We do not like the wee-wees.

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Bad wee-wees, die wee-wees

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A house that our friend is doing some work on. It was right across the street from where Mike and Liza were staying in West Bay Village.

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The people who bought this place made it bigger and it’s pretty darn close to the neighbor’s stairway.

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Bill, Liza, Carmen and Mike. Brett is just behind Carmen.

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Christmas tree at Bananarama. We walked up the beach from Mike and Liza’s and had lunch there. It was great!!

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Mike, Brett and Carmen.

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The sea was rough, we had a semi-nor’easter come through here.

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Bananarama had the shade sails down and rolled up. I imagine the wind would get those things flying and send these lamp posts off with them.

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It is a hard way to make a living, selling ice cream on the beach, especially on a severely overcast day.

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I was warned not to step on the gurgling sand as it was akin to quicksand and would gobble me up. I played it safe and just snapped a pic.

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Weird this pic turned out like this, I was walking when I shot it. The day wasn’t that dark.

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This shows how dark it really was.

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lonesome pier

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Mike and Liza’s place, lower level, just a few seconds walk to the beach.

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Sports court (or a football arena if you’re Nathan W) Flowers Bay, right on the sea

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This photo looks like a painting, not sure why a few of them turned out like this. Also shot while sticking my hand out the window w/ the camera and snapping away.

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Same situation

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Nothing surprises me, I just like to document things for you all to enjoy

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Big ship in port, Columbian Navy Vessel.  The video in this link was shot by Daine Etches as the ship was coming in to port.

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It’s beautiful!!

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Yes, I have seen pretty much everything.

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This is the ark looking nightclub El Boske is building in Politilly.

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This is the front of it

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Bill and Brett loading the mattress and frame on the boat.

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Some Baaaaaa’s on the way home

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They are always wandering around the same spot..

A friend sent me this video, it’s pretty amazing, especially if you are a skier. Check it out here. I think I have watched it 11 times already, it mesmerizes me… not much does.

Sunday morning it freaking poured buckets. It was raining so loud it woke me up. Usually when I get up I can get 1 minute before D O G S happen, this morning they were inside and there was no escape. It’s ok though, they’re not a bad thing to wake up to, unless they are barking incessantly. Which they sometimes do. I ran to Mega Paca and grabbed some baby toys for the upcoming Christmas party then went and got groceries too. It was a crappy day earlier but it cleared up enough that I was able to walk 4 of the 6 dogs, Bill walked the other 2. Nothing like making 4 trips down and back UP our driveway.

Monday came and went and I did nothing except clean up the kitchen and cook eggs for the week for my breakfast. Bob and Rosalie stopped by so Bill could see if he was able to fix their generator. (He did)  Rosalie and I visited while they were doing guy things. Tuesday was another do nothing day, the concrete bags were delivered and stored in the downstairs living room. Come on, isn’t that where YOU store your concrete too? Cement mixer and drill press in the kitchen, dog meds in the 1 bedroom, soccer jerseys in the other and a couch for a friend. I will fall down on my knees and praise the Lord when Bills’ shop is done. Just an FYI, it’s not started yet..Need to get our permit and to do that they want hair from your first born during it’s first 2 weeks of life and 3 sets of scorpion pinchers, other than that, no big deal..

Wednesday I met my friend Jan at the bottom of her road. She was going to Ceiba Thursday for her residency and was going to check to see if our cards are ready or not.  If not, I have a friend going next week who will also check for us. Super pain in the ass. They sure don’t make it easy to live here or do business here.

We had a visit from Dave Symons, he brought me a gazillion candy canes for the Christmas parties Nidia is doing, along with a bag of toys that I picked up earlier. Thank you Dave and Trish!!  I was going to take the canes the day I took the toys except I had errands to do and they would have turned into peppermint syrup in my car, and yes, it is December. Dave, Bill, 2 other guys who were here and the neighbors worker hoisted the couch over the deck railing and onto the porch, then inside. YAY, my couch is inside. AND THE DOGS THINK IT’S FOR THEM. They are not allowed on this or the other couch, especially not this one. It’s a game, they think. So happy to have the couch inside!

One of the people I met through my blog was Sean from Canada. Sean and I messaged/emailed often about Roatan and many things on the island. He and his wife were here over Easter last year (busiest week of the year) and decided to come again this Dec. They arrived, along with 2 of Sean’s wife, Caralee’s friends. Sean travels like Bill does and like Mike does, with sister wives. Kinda, but not. Anyhow, Sean and the group arrived on Monday. We were hoping to get together so we could at least meet. He messaged me today, “We are going to Parrot Tree, may stop at Cal’s for lunch.” I responded, “I’ll find you.” I ran and met Jan, then went to the ATM, which was down again. damn banks.  I had to go inside and to me that is a hateful experience. I got done with that and then went to Parrot Tree to look for Sean. They weren’t there so I went home. I had a yogurt, loved the dogs and went back to look for them. On the way I noticed an X-Terra that could have been a rental (Sean’s car). I got to Parrot Tree, walked down to the water, no Sean. So I drove over to the other side of PT and checked out my friends house, looked at a house that has been being built for a long time and went back to the lagoon. I noticed the X-terra from Cal’s was there. I thought for sure that was their car. Seriously, I should have been a detective, I really like looking into things, getting to the bottom of it.. Anyhow, the super sleuth in me knew I was onto something. I saw a guy that looked like Sean with several women on the other side of the bridge that goes over the lagoon. They started to walk alongside the south side of the lagoon, thinking there may be beach on the other side of the wall, but there isn’t, it’s ironshore. By this time I knew it was them. They were walking W towards the N shore of the lagoon. I started walking W towards the S shore. When we were close enough to be heard I yelled, “You must be Sean, you’re the only guy on the beach with 3 women following you.” He gave me a big hug as did his wife Caralee. I liked them instantly. Caralee’s friends were very cool too. Funny thing is, all 4 work together in IT in a big bank in Canada. Bankers to Bankers..

We hung out along the lagoon for awhile talking. Then I thought I would let them relax and come home to see what the dogs were up to. They said they had some toys for the dogs and would come over when they left PT. Now when these people say they have a few toys, prepare to be floored. A FEW TOYS??? My dogs got a whole aisle of a dog toy store. All super tough, chew resistant (really a myth) toys. Actually, these look like the strongest toys the dogs have ever had. I’m keeping all the toys inside and only giving them a few for now, although I did give them an adrenalin rush and gave them all of the toys at once. They freaked out.

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The goods, these are not just regular toys, they are made for dogs like mine. Dogs that have an insatiable chewing desire..Oh wait, that’s every dog I’ve ever owned, except Frito. She has never destroyed anything.

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Max, Barrio and Highway

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Highway has choices

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They all picked a toy and ran to their spots to play with it.

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Highway was a little testy, like, don’t screw with my toy young pup. He was all growly and acting macho.

Needless to say, these toys are a huge hit, they are loving them.  Thank you again so much Sean and Caralee!! Hope to see you on Friday @ BJ’s.

On Wednesday I got a call from my hairdresser to see if I wanted to come in the next day. Did I need my hair done. Turns out she was leaving the island for a month and wanted to do the people she knew would need to have color. Poor Nadia, how selfless of her, her brother was murdered in Italy and she was trying to take care of her customers..Love that woman so much. She is off to Italy tomorrow, safe travels my friend..I went early Thursday to get my hair done and to hug on Nadia.

After I left Nadias’s I went to Plaza Mar to buy rice and beans for the Christmas bags and then went to Nidia’s to drop off the toys and candy canes from Dave and Trish, my super awesome friends from Canada. They are also the people who brought 2 suitcases full of new soccer uniforms. We hope to pass those out while they are here this visit..they also donated 3 bags of syringes for Clinic Esperanza, I dropped those off when I took Mike and Liza there. Mike and Liza brought a few dozen bottles of OTC pain relievers for the clinic. Liza said when she bought all the meds in Walmart the guy really looked at her strange, like, “are you really sick?” Mike and Liza are going to gather medical supplies while at home and start bringing them on their future trips here. Dave and Trish always bring something to benefit the people of the island. Thank you Mike and Liza and Dave and Trish. .

I got my errands done in Toxic Hole and headed home to pee, kiss the pups and get more ice water. Then I drove to BJ’s and was picked up by Carmen with the ever dashing boat guy Brett of the long eyelashes, (Carmen’s husband), escorting us to Miss Marilyn’s place on Calabash Bight. We helped Alex get the stuff out of their attic. Honestly, I had no clue people had attics on Roatan, interesting. Marilyn had a freaking shitload of Christmas lights. I mean, a SHITLOAD. Some worked, some half worked, some didn’t and were crap and we wanted to crush them. Well, I did, Carmen was more reserved and Marilyn kept pulling bags of lights out of I don’t know where, a secret light storage closet that she didn’t tell us about. Some were brand new, in the box AND THEY DIDN’T FLIPPING WORK. Let me state this: Christmas lights that don’t stay lit if one bulb is missing are shit. Lights that flicker are shit. Lights that don’t work are total shit. LED lights are the way to go.

After 2 bottles of wine the tree was up and decorated, it took a 3rd bottle to finish talking about it, have a yummy salad that Alex made and wonder why the hell Marilyn was still bringing out ornaments for the tree.

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Pandytown, water side. On the way to Calabash Bight.

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Santa’s chair

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The tree, fresh out of the box and leaning

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Carmen,”I got this.”

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We had an issue with the male female plugs and had to start over once. Only once..

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Random non-superstitious dog

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lights and then some

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So Marilyn pulls this out and I am speechless. It is bedazzled amazingly well.

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A most fabulous piece

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I couldn’t stop looking at it

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Such gorgeous pieces

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I covet this

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up close and personal

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The piece that looks like a planet is one of my favs..

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The finished tree

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3 broads, 3 bottles. I eased up on the last bottle, I still had to drive home after my boat ride to BJ’s

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Alex honey and his tree

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perfecto

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riding back to BJ’s w/ Brett and Carmen

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we went through the little tunnel, across Oak Ridge bight to BJ’s..

Friday was the gift wrapping party at BJ’s. We had Spanish class at 12 and then right right to the bar. Several of us took tables so we weren’t wrapping on bar stools like last year. The tables worked perfectly..We got all the gifts wrapped, re-bagged beans and rice into individual ziploc bags to be passed out, gifts sorted by boy/girl and age group. While I was wrapping I noticed my friend Woudsin from Helene sitting at the bar. I went over to talk to him, give him a big hug and condolences for his Dad passing away. We chatted for a bit then I went back to wrapping.. A little bit later he called to me and I went over. He introduced the guy he was with and it was someone I knew from 40 years ago in Williamsport, my home town. Small freaking world..When I was walking in the door he was going out and I thought, he looks familiar..Nice to see Rick Benedict,  I knew his wife Marika better than I did him, but still, to run into someone from home is random. He was here finalizing the sale of the property he owned with my friend Perry Adelson on the island of Helene.

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Let the wrapping begin

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Rice and beans, the mainstay of the local’s diet here.

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Santa will be busy. Thanks to Beth and Aaron, Judy and Walt, Cathilee, Ralph and Ginny, I was able to contribute a LOT of nice gifts for the kids.

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So the guy in the hat on the phone is Woudsin, a good friend from Helene, the guy next to him in the hat is Rick, haven’t seen him for decades..Then to run into him at my Friday hangout, pretty cool.

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Wrapping and drinking..

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Lots of paper

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gifts and more gifts

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sorted age and gender

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each bag of toys will get beans and rice

I love Fridays at BJ’s. I love my east end friends, everyone is so chill. It was muy caliente in Spanish class, {no electricity} and hot hot hot wrapping inside BJ’s, lots of bodies, lots of activity. I was sweaty in my Christmas Story t-shirt. It was appropriate for the holidays but it was hot.  Really good to see some people, like Kathy and Marcia. Hopefully I’ll be snorkeling with Marcia soon..

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A virtual dog carpet

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I cleaned the dog hair off the ottoman Barrio is on, laid a clean blue towel down then one of my sarongs to protect it from dog hair and dirt. I can clearly see now that I need to nail the freaking thing on..Barrio, Lola and Max, (L to R)

It’s Friday night, I got home around 4 from the afternoon festivities and laid down on the new couch. I knew I had to meet Jan at 5 to get our temporary residency papers back. Somehow my mind woke me up and I jumped off of the couch at 4:57, I grabbed my keys and ran to Cal’s to get our papers. Grateful to Jan finding out about them. I think I was still in a sleep stupor when I went down to Cal’s. Day drinking, even 2 glasses of wine, does me in.

Sometimes my age shows..

In memory of Laura

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12/03/2015 The crud is gone, we are both still coughing and Bill still overheats anytime he does anything but we are better.

Last Sunday I met a new friend who found me through my blog. She was on the island looking at land because she and her husband have decided to retire from Canada to Roatan. She invited me over to Media Luna where she was staying so we could talk. I couldn’t stay very long because we were taking the cupboard doors to Jeanie so I invited Diane to ride along to Camp Bay. We drove over here, loaded the doors in my car and headed out to Jeanies. It didn’t take Bill as long as he thought it would to hang the doors, once hung, we headed back home.

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The view out into Neverstain Bight from Media Luna resort. We can see this bight from our house quite well but we can’t see the resort, it’s tucked back in.

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Stunning, all inclusive. Mainly French Canadians I believe as the people don’t arrive through the US on Saturdays.

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Amazing vistas at every turn

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An unusual way to shade a beach area..

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Looking towards mainland Honduras

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The inside of the dining hall. Have heard food is typical buffet food, nothing spectacular but adequate.

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This is the new nightclub being built near Oak Ridge, thankfully not close to us. It’s going to be a big boat. It looks much more “boat like” now, will get some updated pics

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The view from the road to Media Luna. It’s a good distance from the road, most of the road you drive on is newly paved so it’s quite nice.

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X marks the spot of our friends home. It’s on Caribe Point Bight, lovely place and a nice kayak to the reef from there.

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View of the bight and Jonesville to the right

On Wednesday my friends Mike and Liza came for 11 days. They flew in on Avianca from the mainland. We met Mike and Liza when KP was here and we were visiting La Sirena in Camp Bay. Then Mike found my blog via my friend Amanda Walkins blog, his wife emailed me and the rest is history. After being in contact for months via FB and email, it’s like we were best friends already. I offered to pick them up at the airport at 10 on Wed. morning. Once we got the car loaded with their stuff (Orlando was sweet and went and got their bags for them and took them out to the car) we went to the Re-Max office so they could get their property deed. Yes, they are land owners on Roatan!! After that we went to Eldon’s and got some food and drink stuff, then I took them to Cabana Lana, the place they are staying in West Bay for 4 days, then they moved down to a place by Infinity Bay. A little variety this trip.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and we were meeting Mike and Liza at the Beach Grill at 3:30. I had to meet Cristiana (our lawyer) in French Harbor to pay her for our residency papers, then I met Sam to pay the balance on the roof job. When I was done with that I ran into Lady Lee for the big Black Friday sale that started on a Wednesday. I spent $180.00 and got over $350.00 worth of toys. Thank you Beth and Aaron and Walt and Judy, Ginny, Cathilee and Ralphie! Another friend of mine from Williamsport sent me money for the kids, thank you Rick, I donated all of your $$ to Because We Care and Nidia is buying toys for over 1000 kids with the money we are able to raise. When my errands were completed, I hustled back home and got ready for turkey dinner.

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Photo by Lisa Blythe, mama to 2 of our puppies, she and Rob own the Beach Grill. Mike and Liza and Bill and I, 11/26/2015

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The only girl of the litter, Sable. I adore this dog.

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Bill with Bandit & Sable. I am so blessed that Rob and Lisa took these 2, they were meant to be together, they have been inseparable since birth.

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Sweet boy Bandit, biting my arm exactly like Barrio does. He and Barrio look like twins.

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Beautiful and oh so loved pups, Sable and Bandit.

On Thanksgiving @ the Beach Grill, I introduced myself to Madison Keith, the owner of Roatan’s radio station, Blue Wave Radio, 101.1 FM. We have been friends on FB and comment back and forth. I had tuned in earlier in the day while running errands and he was playing Alice’s Restaurant. IT MADE MY DAY. Today after we chatted and I met his lady Greta,  he had me say on air, “Hi this is Deb, broadcasting on 101.1 FM, Blue Wave Radio, Roatan”. It’s a fab station, he plays music that makes me go, “wow, it’s been years since I have heard that song”. That’s what good radio stations do.

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Sable has a girl crush on Jefferson, one of the wait staff at the Beach Grill. He seems like a really cool guy and I can tell he really loves the dogs.

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Handsome Bandit

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Liza getting kisses from the pups

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View from the Beach Grill

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This is where we had our fantastic turkey dinner with no clean up for me!!

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Our friends Rob and Lisa own this place. It’s very popular with tourists but mainly it’s an ex-pat hang out. Olivia and I stayed at the resort attached to the restaurant, Blue Bahia, in 2010. It had different owners back then.

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I love this photo

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Driving down the beach after turkey dinner

Friday and yay!! BJ’s. Mike and Liza came over around 11 and we headed to Oak Ridge for our Spanish lessons at noon. They wandered around Oak Ridge while we learned about conjugating verbs. When class was over we all (as in the whole class) went to BJ’s and hung out for a few hours. After we left there, we came back here for toilet break and then went to Cal’s for dinner. Yummy as usual! Mike and Liza headed back to the other end of the island after dinner. Mike said the headlights of their rental were both pointed in the ditch along the side of the road, makes for a challenging drive because the roads here are pitch black.

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The Banditos

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Bill and Dennis. Dennis and Marcia have another one of our pups, Duke.

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My BFF Jeanie standing in the background, and L to R, Kathy, Mike and Liza

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L to R, Llyn, Betty, Gail and Kathy, fun loving ladies..

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Our friends Keri and Doug’s boat. They just moved here permanently from Snohomish, WA

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Love the boat name, Calabash Biter..

Saturday we cleaned around la casa. (I had Melissa over on Tuesday and she did all the windows and the tracks, it took her 5 hours to do the windows. And guess what?? They’re dirty already. It freaking rains dirt here.) Alexi came over and helped Bill clean up outside and I swept and dusted inside because friends were coming for pizza and they were bringing another one of our puppies, Tank, the big handsome brute that I had a terrible time parting with. Kevin and Claire own Blue Reef Properties . We had a fabulous evening with them, and the boys and Lola got along quite well by the end of the evening. Except Highway, who was a total freak and was banished to the bedroom with the cat.

I met another guy on FB via my blog, via Amanda’s blog. He contacted me on FB also. Sean and I have been emailing and FB’ing for a few months. He and his wife decided to come down again this Dec. from Canada and he asked me for info on where to stay; I hooked him up with Kevin and Claire and he is thrilled to be renting from them and will be here the 7th. I’m looking forward to meeting him and his wife and friends. Sounds like Sean travels like Bill used to, with my 2 girlfriends..his wife is also bringing 2 friends. My friends Mike and Liza travel with 2 other ladies, they call them the sister wives, what do you think Teri B and Olivia?? You 2 into being called sister wives??

Sunday morning we went down to Oceano to get my new couch and then made another trip to pick up one I got for my friend.  We had to get Alexi to help us because they are too heavy for me to even begin to help, they are sleeper sofas and obviously well made. We also brought home the new dog bed. Well, it’s not really a dog bed but a floor pillow, however, the dogs love it and we bought it for them.

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It matches the pillows on the new couch that we can’t get upstairs.

I had a fretful Sunday afternoon. I was really nervous because we were both flying to the mainland the next day and what if something happened, who would take care of the dogs, what would happen to them? would they be fed and spoiled and loved. And the boys, who would contact them? I frantically was making arrangements the night before thinking to myself how damn unprepared I really am. The Queen of Preparedness, the ex Girl Scout, the person who separated their rubber bands by size AND thickness. SO unprepared. I have made it a priority to do this by the end of the month. There, I’ve said it..out loud to the world, I have to do it. And girlfriend, you know who you are, let’s get on this..

Monday morning we arose at some flipping ungodly hour to ALARM CLOCKS. I hate alarm clocks. We had to get to the Roatan airport by 6. Bill sucks with airport arrival times, we were there before THEY OPENED THE DAMN PARKING LOT. And I forgot my book. Boohoo. (reading the Glass Castle) We were bound for the mainland, La Ceiba and it was currently (almost) cheaper to fly than to take the 1 hour plus Ferry. Bill is not a boat fan to begin with. We flew. I fell asleep probably before take off and I woke when the gear went down to land in Ceiba. We had 3 empty suitcases for shopping after we did our residency. Our lawyer had gotten all the papers for us and a letter from the Chamber of Commerce and we had a cabbie who spoke English (and was referred by many friends) pick us up right on time and whisked us off to the residency office. He took us in, told us what line to go to, talked to the ladies there, he had it down. I had the temporary residency papers for 4 of our friends also so Pablo took them and got their cards for me! We got our card stuff done and then we hit WALMART. Yes, a brand spanking new store too. However, it was a huge let down for me. Let me say right off the bat, I am not a Walmart woman, B U T, they do have good prices on so many things like shampoo and paper towels and soap, necessities that are so expensive here I thought I could stock up. I got a few things, like new heavy rubber floor mats for my car. Bill said they are so heavy they will decrease my mileage. hah. We left there and went to DIUNSA. They were having a big sale and we ended up buying a mattress and box springs for the guest room downstairs (Robby and Julie, Merry Christmas) and Bill got his outdoor cooktop.

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It will be nice to not have to heat up the kitchen cooking dog food and other stuff. Really, why not use it all the time?

It’s easy to get stuff shipped over, our stuff came the next day. Our driver in La Ceiba could not have been any nicer and should the need arise to go to the mainland again, we’ll be hanging with Pablo. Thanks Joe and Betty, Cindy and John and Heather and Ron.

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Brand spanking new

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This is something I’ve not seen in Roatan. Yet.

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Pablos’ seat belt lacks a hook to fasten into the part alongside the seat so he just loops it over his head.

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He got his wife Poinsettias @ Walmart

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It was a rainy drizzly gray day in Ceiba but Pablo took us to the waterfront. It looks like they have a nice Malécon too.

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Right next to the beach

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The walkway to the beach

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The benches and trash cans (and there were a lot of trash cans, unlike Roa where there are NONE) all looked very Fred Flinstoneish to me,

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They definitely decorate their trees differently, it was really pretty.

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Pablo said this place is owned by a cajun and he makes some mean gumbo.

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Nothing but the best when it comes to a boarding pass

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Cayman Airways at the La Ceiba airport

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Good sized mountains along the runway

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Yep, that’s a John Deere

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Flying over Ceiba, almost to the coastline

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Cayos Cochinos in the distance.

When we were coming in to Roa, I could see the runway and thought there is no way in hell he’s going to land, he’ll have to go around and get lower. Nope. This guy dropped the plane from a good altitude and set it down nice and smoothly on the runway. Blew my mind. He’s done this MANY times before. When we finally got home the dogs were very happy to see us, Bill ran Alexi home and I loved on the pups.

I had been dying to go to Mega Paca the last few days but they had been closed down by the DEI. They are like the IRS on steroids with flak vests and machine guns and a Terminator demeanor. I was going to write a whole blurb about it but my friend Jeanette Gartner already did so here is her link,  check it out, it’s amazing what they have done and are still doing on the island. We do not feel threatened, it just shows how very corrupt and backward this country is. However, we do NOT have mass shootings like the US is experiencing on a daily basis (it seems). People think Roatan is an unsafe place to live and some have even left because of that. Honestly, I do not feel unsafe here at any time. I use precautions just like I would in the US, I drive all over the island, alone. Are there places I won’t go? Yep. Were there places I didn’t go in Bellingham or Seattle? Yep.

Rumor was Mega Paca would be open Tuesday and to my utter delight, it was. I strolled through the housewares and my favorite color of green caught my eye. I ran around to the other side of the shelf and grabbed it. I immediately flipped it over and it is a brand spanking new green Chantal baking dish. It was $10.00. It was also going to be mine!! Score.

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So excited, the color is actually brighter, more of a lime green.

The next few weeks are going to be busy, BJ’s, Mondays Don’t Suck, a gift wrapping party and then 3 Christmas parties for the kids on various locations on the island, plus friends come in on a cruise for the day and I am picking them up and hanging out with them. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the month. Tomorrow is Spanish class, then BJ’s, Sat we are taking our friends to West Bay to get a mattress they bought then going to meet Liza and Mike, maybe snorkel, have lunch on the beach and visit with them before they head back to Oregon.

We have been dealing with foot issues with the dogs. Gringo has a sore between his toes, he was limping, Lola has her back feet licked raw and Highway’s one paw was swollen to twice it’s normal size. They are on a variety of meds right now. My concern is the meds are a band-aid because we don’t know the cause of any of this. If we stop the meds, the issues return. We may end up taking all 3 to ProVets and that will be super expensive. They come once a month from the mainland and they do testing, skin scrapings, etc.,but they charge just like the vets in the US. OUCH! 3 dogs at once..

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Highway’s foot

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Lola’s paw

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Maxillicious

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Gringo, my love..

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Barrio, Bandit’s twin

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Lola, the dog without a brain

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All of them playing on the newly fiberglassed roof. Now we have to repaint the sides of the walls because they fiberglassed part way up to keep any water from getting underneath.

I need to get something accomplished today besides organizing my closet. I have too many clothes and don’t wear half of them. I gave Melissa, my cleaning girl, a big bag of stuff and I have more for her.

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Dresses

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Skirts and tops

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Sleeveless tops and more skirts. I really am a skirt girl, I prefer them over shorts any day..

This time of year is hard down here, I miss my boys a lot. I wish I could be with them and my parents and brother and sister and Bill’s sisters for the holidays but I can’t. I get involved in so much stuff down here trying to help the kids on the island that it’s difficult for me to leave now, I’ve already committed to these things and I want to be a part of them so here is where I’ll be.

As I was surfing the net I came across this hysterical story. It’s about a man who borrowed his son’s GoPro camera to take a trip to Vegas. His son didn’t give him any lessons on how to use the GoPro, so the poor guy used it the whole vacation but had it backwards on the selfie stick. His vacation photos of Vegas are actually photos of him with some of Vegas behind him. Check it out, it’s pretty funny. Definitely a blonde thing, in other words, I could have done that.

I’ll attempt to do a better job at blogging, when I don’t have a lot of readers it almost seems like a waste of time and I get discouraged and grumpy. If there are subjects you would be interested in knowing about, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fill you in with the down and dirty truth.

This photo is my cover pic on FB. I did not take it, it was taken by a friend of my friend, Laura Osterloh. I got to know Laura because her husband worked at Grizzly. Bill and I were the first people to visit their first 2 children when they were born. Jack is the oldest, then Ellie, who was born with Cystic Fibrosis and then sweet Ava. Early September Laura got sick and was sent down to Seattle where they discovered she had pancreatic cancer. She was not able to eat or to go to the bathroom due to blockages. They put stents in, did procedures that were very painful, all in an attempt to get her ready for chemo. The first few rounds of chemo did not go well and after her condition worsened the doctors decided there was not much they could do for her. She wanted to go home and be with her children so Hospice was set up in their home on the Bellingham waterfront. Her multitude of friends in Bellingham knew she loved Glassybaby candles so they made this tribute to Laura on the dock outside of the window where her bed was set up.
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Her husband posted today that she passed away this morning, she was 45 years old and leaves 3 children behind. My heart is broken. Please say a prayer for her family. Rest in peace Laura.