In the blink of an eye



05/01/2016 This is an old post that I hid for almost a year due to a request from someone. I’m not hiding it any longer. Sometimes the  truth hurts.

Fridays the gang usually meets at BJ’s Backyard but BJ is in the hospital on the mainland so the festivities were held at The Reef House.  The Reef House is just a short boat ride away from BJ’s. Dave and Trish came to our house and we rode to BJ’s together. From there Jimmy picked us up and took us to The Reef House. My friends Davey and Dilcia own The Reef House but they were in Atlanta, returning the next day. They missed the fun!

Just beautiful
My own private pool
crystal clear and super warm
Playing cornhole

All the usual suspects were there and then some. The Reef House is situated right on the water and unlike the water at BJ’s, this is nice and clean and swimmable. We ladies got in the water and floated around, it was fabulous, felt like it was 90 degrees. I just wore a swimsuit and a cover up, I was amongst friends, who cares. Trish and I were in the water for quite awhile, just hanging out and chatting.

Trish and I enjoying the water. Photo by Melanie Wood.
In heaven
Trish and me
Awaiting Marilyn. She was slow because she had precious wine in the glass..
Marilyn, me and Trish

After 1 too many glasses of wine I gathered the ladies for an epic plank on the concrete dock.

Bill is the picture taker
Then we got more people to join us. I think this photo is Melanie’s too
People thought we were looking for fish
For a moment we considered a pyramid but then we remembered we were drinking and we were on a concrete pier. Thanks Melanie for the photo!
My friend Kelly, he so rocks this hat!!
Bill and Terry talking.
Dave, Grizzly the dog and Bill.
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Marilyn and me, photo by Gail.
Keri and I, maybe we were dancing, not sure. Photo by Gail.

I am pretty sure I had a blast there. We left around 3:30-4, came back here, Trish and I showered off the salt water and we went to Cal’s for dinner. Mr. John, our neighbor was there eating alone so I drug him over to our table and then my friend Mitch came, so he joined us. We had a great meal at our favorite food hang out on the island.

Saturday was airport day and I had a fabulous group of ladies working with me. Marilyn and Cindy rode in with me and Laine, Kimberly and Jill all worked too. We got 539 PAX in and out of immigration in 2.5 hours. It was super smooth. I came home and fell asleep on the couch. Woke up, ate something, and went to bed.

Sunday is my Mega Paca day, I was there at 9 AM. My new friends Erik and Jan (they went to Guanaja with us) were meeting me there. We shopped until after 11 and then went to my house to grab some onions before we went to La Sirena for lunch. I really wanted to show them more of the island since they so graciously give their time volunteering here, doing whatever they can to benefit Roatan. Bill decided he wanted to go with us, he’ll never turn down a meal at La Sirena.

It’s a good thing I took onions because when I went inside to hug Jimmy, the owner, he said, we’re out of onions. I said, no worries, I brought 2. No way was I NOT having onion rings.
Love this place
While we were sitting there Betty and Joe and Llyn and John and Lucy came for lunch too. Plus there were friends inside when we got there.
Diego. We first met him when he was a little pup (July of 2012).
Bill, Llyn and Jan
We stopped at our Mondays Don’t Suck beach so Jan and Erik could see it. There were a lot of locals and a considerable amount of trash.
So gorgeous!

We dropped Jan and Erik off at the mall and they got a taxi back to Sandy Bay. The dogs were happy to see us when we returned, it’s like we’ve been gone for years! Of course, we had “other” dogs smells on us so we were in trouble for that.

This past week has been a slow hot week. Monday Bill and I ran some errands but didn’t really do too much. The temps keep creeping up and the humidity is a killer. Once again, I cleaned, then let the dogs in. I don’t know why I even bother, if I allowed the dog hair to accumulate we could be transported back to the 70’s with a shag rug look! It’s never ending.

On Tuesday we  took Alexi home, armed with new soccer uniforms for the guys he plays soccer with. They play on the beach right next to the water in Politilly. He was so proud to be able to be the one handing out the uniforms, it made him feel important.

Alexi, first row, right
The guys were happy with matching jerseys and shorts, the other teams don’t have them.
Their field
Guys kitesurfing! Pretty awesome to watch.

Thanks again to Dave and Trish Symons for bringing all of these uniforms from Canada. There are still a whole teams worth to take to the school down the road from us @ the Froylan Turcios school. There is a soccer field right across from the school and Bill already spoke to the director, she would love to have them.

Wednesday was snip snip day for my baby Max. I normally would have had him neutered a long time ago but shit happens and I was busy many Wednesdays. I am super protective of these pups so I wanted him to be done when I could spend time with him and keep an eye on him to make sure he was eating drinking, peeing, AND, not licking. Of course, my vet didn’t have any cones to discourage that.

I hated watching this but wouldn’t/couldn’t step away.

We had taken Gringo with us because he has two lumps on his chest. I was afraid they were hematomas like the one he had before but Doc said he is fat, and they are fat deposits. Gringo is on a diet. Bill took Gringo home while Doc removed Max’s family jewels and then came back to get us, poor little guy was wiped out.

I sat with him all day and kept him in front of and under a fan. I fed him ice chips and kept rousing him to wake up but he wouldn’t. Finally, later in the day he began to come to. Bill carried him downstairs and he wobbled around, {looked like me last Friday at the Reef House}, and then he peed. We brought him back upstairs and let the rest of the crew inside with him.

We wanted him inside with us at night so he got the luxury of sleeping with us. I spent most of the night awake making sure he wasn’t chewing his stitches out. The next morning he had an appetite so I gave him some eggs and yogurt. He was still either stoned or felt the loss of the testosterone, he was just off. I had a hell of a time keeping him from licking. I did find a place that has cones so I’ll get one for Barrio for next week when he gets snipped. The real feel temperature yesterday was 108. Hot as hell.

We have guys here working in the backyard so the dogs can’t be out there running loose and Bill is pouring concrete out front. This means I am running a poorly funded, barely functioning version of Deb’s Doggie Daycare for Dysfunctional Dogs. And I wonder where all the dog hair comes from.

Last evening we had just finished dinner and the power went out. It was weird. We have 2 feeder lines coming in here, don’t ask. First one went out, which meant part of the lights, then the other one did. I am so thankful my new laptop battery works and we have battery backup for the internet. I posted on the electric company page that our power was out and saw that friends from one end of the island to the other also lost power. It was island wide. One whole island in the Caribbean sea was dark. I laid on the couch and aimed a flashlight at Max’s man parts so I knew what was going on there and dozed off and on. Very grateful we live where we do and that we usually always have a breeze because last night and all day yesterday I was sweating uncontrollably and I did NOTHING. I couldn’t, I was too damn hot. With no fans when the power was out the breeze was appreciated.

While I was on Guanaja I saw a dog that was hurt, sick and bleeding. When I took Max to my vet on Wed. I talked to him about the vet there and he gave me her phone number. Bethany, Doc’s assistant told me, “you know who she is Deb.” I said nope, I don’t. Bethany said she is the lady who was caught with 63K in cash traveling to Belize. Turns out the $$ was properly accounted for and she was charged with nothing, however the government, being as crooked as all others, kept 1/3 of her $$. She does a lot for the island of Guanaja, which is more primitive than Roatan is. I called her on Wednesday and explained the situation to her. I told her I had a photo of the school and the dog so I posted them on her vet clinic FB page. She owns the clinic and said she would have the vet go get the dog and they would take care of it. Aside from being a dog rescuer, she has a very distinguished past, she is uber famous. While alone in South Dakota she discovered the largest T-Rex skeleton in history, it is named after her. Read her article hereclick on Highlights at the top of her page for the T-Rex story.

I spent almost 30 minutes chatting with this lady on the phone. I’m telling you, this island life is so freaking amazing. I love my rock!

I made the dogs some new treats, no bake because who can bake when your boobs are melting off?

Peanut butter oatmeal balls

3/4 c peanut butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 water
Mix well, add 1 1/4 c oats, 1/4 c at a time.
Shape into balls, freeze on cookie sheet w/ wax paper on it. Once frozen store in ziploc in freezer. My dogs prefer them slightly thawed when eating them and they LOVE them. Well, Highway won’t eat them because he thinks there is a pill in them. He’ll eat the pumpkin ones though. And he thinks he’s so smart!

Friday is my day to misbehave with my friends, however, I spent it at home, dogsitting. Bill poured 1/3 of the concrete garage floor and his back was killing him, he was done for the day.

Friday afternoon Nidia called me. She had been in Oak Ridge at the school when she heard a shot. Not thinking too much about it, she went to BJ’s to see if I was there. She realized when she got there that the party must have been at The Reef House again because none of the usual misfits were there and BJ’s was closed. She saw the lady who sells pineapple cookies every Friday and she told Nidia that Carmen, BJ’s husband, had shot himself. He was dead. Nobody is really sure what went down other than the week before, on my way to the Reef House, I went in and hugged Carmen and asked about BJ. He was upset, saying he didn’t know how BJ was and he was told he had to move out. He was 78 years old and he felt he had nowhere to go. (My friend recently told me that three different people offered him options. She also said, most suicides in elderly are successful because it’s not a cry for help, it is their choice of a solution.) She’s right. What happened was Carmen’s choice. Knowing that helps, but it doesn’t make me any less sad.

A week later (Friday) the lawyer and the cops came to evict him and he got a gun and killed himself. We are all in shock, profoundly hurt, not sure why someone didn’t recognize that he was desperate. There is a big black cloud of anguish hanging over the east end of Roatan. Oak Ridge and BJ’s will never be the same. BJ is out of the hospital but none of us have seen her, she is in Sandy Bay, hasn’t returned to Oak Ridge yet. She is doing much better, the internal bleeding has stopped. I hope she makes it through this. I hope we all do and that at some point we can accept what happened. Blink, and your life changes.

BJ and Carmen at the Pirate Party Feb 4th. He was pointing his finger at me (I was in the pool) and saying, “girl, you better behave.”

RIP my sweet friend Carmen, you will never be forgotten. Oct 2, 1938 to April 29, 2016.

Carmen’s obit was just shared on FB so I am sharing it here so that those of you who never knew him have an idea of what the man was like. This is the best written obit I’ve ever read, it’s like Carmen wrote it himself.

He was born Feb. 12, 1938, in Pascagoula to Floyd and Ava Byrd, passed away in Roatan, Honduras on April 29, 2016. Carmen was a graduate of Pascagoula High School Class of 1955 and University of Southern Mississippi. He was a beloved brother, a prodigal son, a well-intentioned father and probably a better husband in theory than in practice. Carmen loved women–probably too many–and was loved by them in equal measure. As a young man, he dove from the Pascagoula Bridge at midnight and swam home to Gautier, was rumored to be the first to waterski jump barefoot, and taught Elvis how to waterski. His career spanned days as a proud Marine in Oki Nawa, where he once played a trumpet solo for the Emperor of Japan; as an orderly in the psych ward of a hospital in California; ups and downs as an elevator repairman in his then father-in-law’s business; a successful general contractor in New Orleans (until he wasn’t); an owner of a dive resort and marina in Roatan, and most recently, as the chief entertainer at his wife’s restaurant, BJ’s Backyard in Roatan. His suspected career was imagined by some to include stints as CIA operative, DEA agent, drug smuggler, jungle guide and exotic fish consultant. We may never know which were true and which were someone’s fantasy, but we do know Carmen thoroughly enjoyed the speculation. Hearing issues caused by firing deafening artillery in the Marine Corps led to the title of his as-yet unwritten biography, “Consonants and Context Clues; the Life of Carmen Byrd.” And when that book is written, it will tell the story of an adventurous spirit, a teller of tales that seemed tall but always rang true, a debonair rake, and a lovable scoundrel. His ego was large, his heart was larger and he could strike just the right pose for any occasion. He has left a throng of heartbroken survivors, including his wife, BJ Ebanks of Roatan; his devoted sister, Carolyn Byrd Norton of Washington, DC; his children, Kimberly Erwin of Louisiana, Ashton Byrd of Phoenix, AZ, Shannon Byrd of Roatan, and step-daughter Tracy Ebanks of Roatan; his nieces Amanda Norton Miller of Alexandria, VA, and Julia Norton of Washington, DC; his grandchildren Amy Harris Schwendimann and JJ Harris, James and Maegan Byrd and his great-nephew Ryan Miller. –

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