The good, the bad and the ugly.

awesome

01/31/2017 When the weather has been crappy for so long and then it gets nice, $hit starts happening and it gets downright exciting here on the rock. We had Francie and Franklin over for Bill’s signature pizza, which he had made the day before while I was running around with Jason and Alex. We sat by the pool and sipped wine for awhile, then went up to the porch to have salads and pizza. As usual, the pizza was the bomb, there were only 2 small pieces left from 2 big pizza’s. Old Kentucky Bourbon chocolates from our Kentucky friends were dessert. Thank you John and Lizeth for the yummies. I am eating the last one right now. And Francie and Franklin, you are missed already. {They took off last week to spend some time on their new boat  yacht. They’ll be cruising around wherever they want to for the next year or so.}

I met Jason (IL) at Barefoot Cay on Thursday morning for a tour with my wonderful friend Milesse. Milesse is one of the founding owners of this exquisite small boutique resort on it’s own private cay.  We started with a tour of the resort. Having been there many times before, I thought I knew the resort rather well, I didn’t. Milesse pointed out so many things, took us into the rooms, behind the closed doors, laundry, food storage, into the villas and into the condos above the dive shop. I wrongly assumed the places above the dive shop were nice, clean little rooms for divers. So wrong. They are elegant condos overlooking the water that separates the dive shop from the cay. There is nothing plain about any of the rentals. They all emanate subdued elegance.

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From there we went over to the palapa where you can enter the water to snorkel or lay on the hammocks and swing in the breeze.

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The color of this water is why I moved to Roatan.

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Not sure what this is.

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Very nice villa with a kitchen, 2 nice bedrooms w/ AC and baths, and this porch, overlooking the 3 steps to the beach. Paradise.

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Your private beach!

We walked all around the cay and saw where they will do a few more rentals. They won’t overpopulate or change the atmosphere of the resort, they have a lot of unused land. BFC has become Barefoot Luxury and will seek out new locations in the Caribbean to open dive shops or a new boutique resort or both.

When we were finished with our tour we went to the second level of the restaurant and had watermelon smoothies. They were extremely refreshing! It’s always pleasant spending time with Milesse,  getting to do it at the resort is like icing on the cake.

From BFC Jason and I went to French Cay to Arch’s Iguana and Marine Preserve. My friends own the iguana park and I am blessed to have become family with the Arch’s.  They are a very cool, well known and respected island family. The Arch family patrols the Marine Park Reserve which is right off of their docks, 24/7. It’s all protected waters with no fishing allowed and people still poach at night, stealing small conch and baby lobsters. It’s a never ending thankless job. People that do this stuff either don’t care or don’t understand that they are ruining the future of these sea critters. Kill the babies and you’ll have no adults. such bad behavior.

Jason and I got to visit with the iguanas, see the babies and let the big guys crawl across our feet.

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So many baby iguanas. They are caged until they are around 18 months old. If they weren’t caged, the chickens and birds and black spiny tailed iguanas (carnivorous) would eat them, few would survive.

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Yep, I allow warm iguana bellies on my feet.

Just as we were finished looking at the babies, Sam came. He took us out on his boat (that he and his father built) Miss French Cay. We were in the area that he protects, down to Fantasy Island, CocoView and back. It was simply gorgeous on the shimmering sea.

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Some of the boats in the cay. The water in the cay is protected by the reef,  many boats safely anchor there.

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CoCo View. The most returned to dive resort in the Caribbean. My friend Andrea is the nurse there.

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Under the bridge

We left there and drove straight to our house. I wanted to show Jason the view from our roof, which is amazeballs. We, along with all 5 dogs, went up there, he took some photos and then we left for the quick drive to Cal’s for lunch.

When we got there I told Carl (owner of Cal’s) who I was with. He actually smiled. If you know Carl, a smile is a big deal. Jason and I had a great meal, I saw some friends there and we also saw Paul, a gringo who Jason interviewed on Tuesday. When we went to pay, Reynaldo said Carl got the bill. Super nice of him, not necessary, but appreciated.

Feeling satiated, we went straight to Daniel Johnson’s Sloth and Monkey Hang-out. Daniel wasn’t there when we got there, they said he was just at lunch. Stephanie (Daniel’s GF) had our name on the sheet and we were given a guide and taken in. It was later in the day so the sloth’s were sleeping in the trees but we could easily see them. Some of the monkeys were running helter skelter on the roof, sounding like rhinoceros. The monkeys all get 2 hours a day out of their cages (in pairs, not all at once). The guide took us in the cages with the huge Macaws. These birds are magnificent. Now, let me say, I’m not a bird person. I used to lock myself in the bathroom when my mother let her damn parakeets out to fly around the kitchen. Here I am in a cage with birds bigger than my head. Just then Daniel came and he stepped into the cage with us. They held a sunflower seed over my head and the freaking bird landed on my head, 2 TIMES. I ask Daniel if it was going to poop on me and he said, you never know. Great, thanks.

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Monkeys climbing high

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Beautiful bird

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The colors are brilliant

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These birds were all rescued

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Jason holding one of the macaws

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Not what I imagined doing that day

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Walk like an Egyptian

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A sleeping sloth

Daniel talked to us about his next project which is to make his cages much larger and taller than they currently are and to move a few things around. He has a nice operation and he takes impeccable care of the animals. He is Sam Arch’s cousin, small island.

Jason had another appointment in West End at 3ish and I had volunteered to drive him back to the other end of the island. Once I dropped him off I called my friend Ann and ran up and said hello, she’s my twin, in case you didn’t know that.

On Saturday Jeanie and Roger came here and we all rode together to Trish and Dave’s home in Sandy Bay. Trish and Dave were headed back to Canada the 23rd. We had a nice dinner, enjoying the amazing view. Once it started to get dark, we left for home. I never had the tint removed from my windshield, it’s pretty dark and makes a night drive similar to driving at night with almost dead flashlights. Plus, the Duchess and husband still had to drive to Hell with a View in Camp Bay.

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We ate dinner out here, gazing over the north shore

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Beautiful

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Never ending beauty

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The Duchess having a chat with Santiago, her watchie man.

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My twin Ann’s house is partially visible from Trish’s deck. She lives the next hill to the east.

This is part of the mess we came home to. Barrio and Highway were left inside. Aside from the bottle of Black Seed Oil that Barrio chewed up on top of the ottoman, he also destroyed a styrofoam egg carton. This really isn’t a big deal, but I never buy eggs in styrofoam, only in a cardboard flat of 30. I then transfer them to the styrofoam containers because they fit in my fridge so much easier.

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I found the GLASS dropper from this 2 days later. So happy he didn’t get hurt but not sure how he got the screw top lid off.

Sunday was a day at home. I did go to Mega Paca in the morning but then stayed here all day, we had several workers so I stuck around and made sure things I wanted done were getting done.

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Alexi finishing the barbed wire top of the fence. he also wrapped the rubber tree branches in barbed wire, it will thwart any would be thieves for sure.

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One of the things Bill and Miguel did was put the top forms on the concrete gate posts. Now to get them finished. The gate does open with a remote now, no more getting out of the car and opening or closing it. SO MUCH BETTER.

The school bells are once again ringing for the island kids, they are on break Nov-Feb. This year Alexi will be going to a different school, one he needs to go to for the Bomberos (fire fighters) that is held every Sunday in Punta Gorda. He needs new school shoes, we are taking some of his pay every week and holding it for him so he has some money to buy things he needs. If he has money, his mother “borrows” it and never repays him, of course. We are going to open a bank account once he gets ID. He has never had any because it requires his mother to actually do something to get it. Jessica, his younger sister is going to go to the English school that Alexi went to the last 2 years. She needs everything for school except undershirts and socks which Julie and Robby brought for her already. Alexi’s brother and nephew both need school clothes also. I don’t know if it’s me and my attitude or what but it pisses me off that Alexi’s lazy assed “mother” will not spend one penny for her kids to go to school. If someone else doesn’t cough up the money, so sad, too bad, they don’t go. This will be Jessica’s first year back to school after not going for a couple years because her mother wouldn’t buy the uniforms and supplies that she needed. In her defense (and believe me, the last thing I would ever do is stick up for the lousiest mother of the year award winner) the uniforms are expensive. We spent $100 USD on 2 pair of dark blue pants, 2 white short sleeved shirts, a pleated skirt for Jessica and a pair of slip on black shoes for her and socks for the boys. We also got them each writing notebooks that they needed. $100.00. A hundred dollars to get kids almost ready for back to school is nothing for people who have a little money but for the majority of people on the island, it is a LOT of money. Now remember, many families have MANY children (hello birth control?) and they can’t afford the uniforms so the kids don’t go to school. In a country with such an overpopulation of children and extreme poverty in the majority of the communities, why the hell do they have to wear uniforms? How does that change their  learning capabilities?

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Jessica and Efraim, he’s trying on a shirt for school.

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Bill bought the boys each a bag of peanuts.

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Osman on the L and Efraim on the R. Efraim is Alexi’s brother to a different father and Osman is Juliana’s 5 year old son.

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We bought local and went to Oak Ridge to Clifford’s store. he is the Vice Mayor of Santos Guardiola and a really nice man. He helps Nidia out a lot.

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A motorcycle coming down the hill and 3 guys on horses. It’s the wild wild west.

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Efraim

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Osman

We dropped Juliana and the boys off at a seamstress in Politilly. The boys both needed their pants shortened and tucks put into the waist. Hopefully they will get 2 years out of the pants. We didn’t buy them big on purpose, they were the 2 smallest pair they had.

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This door is on the second story of a house by the seamstress.

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Jessica and a friend’s baby.

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Efraim and Osman on the porch where the seamstress lives.

When we were leaving Politilly we had to slow down to go around a motorcycle on the road. When we got right up to it Bill said, “well, look who it is.” It was Alexi’s poor excuse of a mother and her boyfriend who beat Alexi. She probably knew the kids were with us and that we were buying them school clothes but she never even said thank you. We should have knocked them over. Or run them over. I turned my head, I was afraid of what I would say. If she cared at all, just one tiny little speck of care, I wouldn’t feel so upset by her, but she doesn’t. She just does not give one $hit about the kids she brought into this world.

It’s all about the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m trying to make peace with it, I struggle.

 

 

On the go again

 

summer

01/26/2017 I’ve been so busy having fun that I forgot about this blog. Not really, but I’m good at putting it in the back of my mind while there is partying to do. And there was partying.

I went to a great party in Port Royal at the lovely property owned by Mel and John. They have put so much hard labor into this piece of property, in the year since the last time I was there, the changes are amazing. This was an undeveloped piece of land situated right at the water’s edge. They have built a large boat dock there and they are still living in their boat while building and working on their land. They have a bodega with a living roof and an awesome casita called Casita Lisa, named for Mel’s BFF. There is a beautiful hand laid stone path winding down from the casita  towards the water. The spot for their home is ready and waiting to be built on. I rode out with Francie and Franklin, it’s a long drive on some rough road. We went to the landing in Port Royal and got a ride with Maggie and Norm on their boat, along with Deanna and Roger and Jeanie. It was a great day with wonderful friends.

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A real cow skull on the front of the living roof.

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Fabulous old canoe, think this was given to them by Franklin and Francie

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This is the roof of the bodega (storage building)

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The crowd and the food table

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Jeanie, Francie and I sat on this bench for awhile and chatted about..life.

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The amazing trees next to their property. I hope nobody ever cuts these down. I was told that pirates used to seek out these trees because they could find “sweetwater” near them.  I think they are some type of cypress tree.

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Francie and Jeanie

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This says it all

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Roger and Jeanie on the boat

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Francie, Me, Roger and Jeanie with Heather in the back

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The boathouse next to the dock we tied up to.

They had BBQ beef and pork and even though I don’t eat meat, I did and loved it. We left late afternoon for the loooong drive home.

On Friday the 13th I decided to push my luck and go diving with my friends Eric and Carly who own Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay. I have not gone diving since I hurt my foot on Oct. 6th. It was time. After the 5 shots to the ankle it was feeling pretty darn good. I had my friend Carmen’s dive gear to use. She has company for the forseeable future and then they head back to the states so she decided I may as well use it. I got to the dive shop and Eric checked out my gear, got everything ready and we left in the boat. There were 3 other divers with us besides Eric, Carly and I. One was the new DM, Pauli, and a couple and another guy. We got to the spot and fell overboard, waiting for everyone to get in the water before descending. I have used the same mask since the end of Feb 2008. I bought it then while in Curacao with Olivia. It cost $40.00. The last time I dove with it the mask was fine, no fog, no leak. Perfect.

I was having difficulty equalizing and had to ascend a bit before I could clear my ears. Plus, my mask was filling with water. I got my ears equalized and descended with Eric. My mask was like a funnel, I must have cleared the damn thing a dozen times. As soon as I would get it cleared, it filled up again. It reminded me of a situation when we were getting certified. I had a mask with a big profile, it held a LOT of water. We found this out while doing the mask clearing part of our certification. I took my mask off underwater, put it back on, cleared it but couldn’t get all of the water out so I sat on the bottom of the YMCA pool w/ a regulator in my mouth and my mask filled with water. I was fine, just chilling, waiting for the instructor to make his rounds. He came to me and gave me the “up” signal. He asked what I was doing and I told him I couldn’t get all the water out and he said, “so you’re going to sit there with a mask full of water?” Yep, I was. He gave me a different mask, I went back underwater and cleared it immediately. This is what happened diving this time. After clearing it so many times I said, screw it, just dive. So I finished the dive with my mask 1/2 full of water. My dive kind of sucked, had to keep my head in a certain position and didn’t want to go to the surface because, well, I just didn’t. I was pissed. And I had a major head full of snot. UGH! New mask is on the horizon.

After my dive I went up to Ann’s house. I’m so glad she lives close to Blue Island because I may not get to see her very much if she didn’t. We ran and grabbed lunch, I took her home and made the drive east myself. Not bad driving east at days end, you don’t have to fight the blinding sun like you do when you drive west.

Bill and I went to Chuck and Nancy’s house for drinks and dinner one evening. They live 4 minutes away. We were joined by Lynda and Dave and Don and Janice. (thank you for the CD Lynda)

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Nancy, me, Lynda and Janice (Lynda’s photo)

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Drinks on the deck overlooking Milton Bight

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Drinks, see my Mermaid cups? One for wine and one for water. {Thanks to Julie Bennett. }

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The view

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The tree in the center of their circle

Earlier in the month I was contacted by my friend Amanda Walkins who used to live in Scotland but she and her Irish Colombian husband recently moved to Ireland. Amanda has a boring life. NOT. This girl travels and she writes. This is sort of how we met. Anyhow, she emailed me and asked if I would be interested in meeting Jason Holland. Jason is the Latin American editor for International Living (IL). Jason was going to be visiting Roatan in the near future.

I said of course I would. I asked my friend Alex Poirier to join us. Alex is a Buyer’s Agent and has been here for a long time, he has a boat and is a buyers agent for the realtors on the island. Jason wanted a tour of Port Royal and the waterways surrounding and Alex was going to do that.

Alex and his wife (and my partner in crime) Marilyn and I picked Jason up a few days after he arrived. We showed him some properties for sale, showed him Pristine Bay, Havana Beach, went to Eldon’s, to new areas being developed and we showed him a home for sale. After that we went to the dock, jumped in their boat and went to Alex and Marilyn’s house for a drink.

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Jason and Marilyn. It was so windy his shirt was filled with air!

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CBYC Calabash Bight Yacht Club, AKA Alex and Marilyn’s home

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Alex, Jason and I at CBYC

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Their miserable view. (it’s gorgeous) The house on the hill to the right of the mast is my friend Kathy’s. Rumor has it there is also a Pizza Hut (sic) somewhere on that mountain side.

After that Alex, Jason and I did a tour in the boat. We would have gone down to Port Royal but the ocean was rather pissy that day, it was blowing hard with good sized waves.

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Calabash Bight

Alex would need to stay inside the reef and you can’t do that to go where we wanted to. So we went back to the car and drove there. On the way to the landing in Port Royal, we stopped at Martina’s restaurant and B&B. O M G. Martina makes these curly fries from potatoes she spiral slices very thin. Again, O M G. We also had Jerk Chicken Tenders that were absolutely delicious. If you are ever on the road to Port Royal or in Camp Bay, go to Martina’s, yummy stuff. Or spend some time there, the rooms are nice, she cooks for you and it’s a very tranquil setting.

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The view from Martina’s deck

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Beautiful shrubbery surrounds the property

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The dining area

With full bellies we left Martina’s for the boat landing. There we grabbed her skiff and went to Port Royal the short way. We were headed to Kim and Joe Wonder’s house on the water.

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Martina’s boat. From here we could reach our destination and still remain inside the reef.

Kim and Joe live totally off the grid. They have their own electric and water and with boat access only, they have become very adept shoppers. So unlike me who forgets so much shit that I sometimes travel to the store a few times a day or I talk Bill into going for me. Their home is very nicely done, amazing bathrooms (main home and guest house) it’s well taken care of, everything looks new. Honestly, the view literally takes your breath away. AND, it’s for sale. They want to go out on their big boat and do some live aboard traveling. Here is the link to this gorgeous home: http://www.islandrealestate.com/view/roatan-home-4354/  Check it out and spread the word.

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Their home, guest house to the R in the photo.

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It’s a very nice home, I could easily live there.

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This is their boat, Sea Song. They will be traveling in her when they leave.

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Seriously. This is their view. How stunning is that, looking right at the cow and the calf. Excellent snorkeling right in their front yard.

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Some of the Yabba Ding Ding Kim and Joe have found over the years. Left over from the pirate days.

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Glistening water

After we did the Port Royal tour we drove Jason out by La Sirena in Camp Bay and then turned around to make the long, into the sun, drive west.

I hope Jason had a good time. There were still a few things I wanted to show him so we made arrangements to meet on Thursday morning for a little tour of my favorite places. Unfortunately, we did not make it to my favorite place on the east end, the beach on the moon. Maybe another time.

Wrapping this up because I need sleep. These past few parties (in the next blog) have worn me out.

Come back soon.

Another year, another birthday

life

 

01/13/2017 To me, the New Year means another birthday. Having my birthday on Jan. 3rd has always been sort of lackluster. Everyone is still in the NYE hangover phase, struggling to write the correct date when they go back to work, worrying about taking down the tree and putting all the decorations away. Me? I’m over here going, yep, another year bites the dust. I don’t feel my age most of the time but there are days when it’s a neon sign right on the WTF lines between my eyes.

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Just in case you didn’t already know this.

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Google remembered my birthday.

A couple weeks ago the klutz in me resurfaced. I was going down the back steps, they are wooden and shaded and slippery as hell, just like ice. Yep, all 5 dogs around me and I fell. My left leg was under me and I landed on it. Cue knee replacement pain. OMG. I finished what I was doing and came in and had a time out with a bag of frozen peas. I’m sure it’s OK, it’s metal to begin with, I’m damn near bionic. I must have cursed a blue streak because two of the dogs were terrified.

We finally had some sunshine and I totally absorbed every ray I could get. I read a book the first day, front to back, then I started another. This was pretty much my rhythm for the week, the dogs and I were in heaven once again.

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Lola, Gringo and Barrio, working on their tan lines.

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My handsome boy Barrio. He was the only pup I was going to keep. See how well that worked out?

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The jungle guards, Highway, Gringo and Maxillicious

I was introduced via FB to a vet from California who brought HeartGard meds to donate. Dirk and his wife Patti came over to give me the meds and meet the dogs. Bill knows a lady who loves her pets but can’t afford to get veterinary care so once the road down to her house is fixed we will start dispensing the meds there. Thank you Dirk and Patti, we’ll be able to help several dogs with the meds you donated.

On Tuesday the 3rd I went to see my orthopedic doc @ Cemesa Hospital about my re-sprained foot (from the slip on the stairs) and to talk about removing the alien. When I got there and checked in they said he wasn’t coming. WHAT? Obviously he had an emergency surgery at the other hospital so they rescheduled me for Wednesday. I arrived early Wednesday and he was ready and waiting for me. He said to remove the alien from my ankle that he can give me a local, slice the ankle, remove the screw and sew it back up in 15 minutes, I just have to schedule that with a days notice being necessary. Yes, a DAY. He also gave me an anti-inflammatory shot in 5 different places where my leg meets my ankle to see if he could settle this down. It finally is feeling better and I can walk without a limp.

Thursday our friends from Kentucky (who arrived on Sat. and were staying in West Bay) were heading down to this end of the island and they stopped by. It’s really funny how we met. I was working at the airport, walking around chatting with people and I had a name tag on. I spoke to this woman and she said, “You’re Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you?” From that point on we were friends. John and Lizeth are wonderful people and we can’t wait until they finally make the move. Last time they were here John’s sister and brother-in-law were with them. We all went to La Sirena for the afternoon. This visit they brought their son Philip who is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology, super nice, handsome, sweet and obviously very intelligent young man. Lizeth brought 2 bags of school supplies for the kids and the cutest little REI raincoat for some lucky little girl. I’ll start passing things out when school begins in Feb.

They did a mangrove tour in the morning and afterwards we met them at Cal’s for lunch. Always a good meal at Cal’s. As soon as I got home from Cal’s I called the Duchess, Jeanie, and she was at Nancy’s so I made myself a big vodka fresca and drove the 4 minutes to Nancy’s. There were a few other friends there doing some art projects. Chuck and Nancy have a fabulous art studio in the tower of their home. I stayed for almost 2 hours and then came home and laid on the couch for the rest of the evening.

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A young girl who just moved here did this henna tattoo on herself.

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She did the mermaid on the Duchess. The extra lines are charcoal and will wash off.

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Chuck helping Valerie

Yesterday I dropped off some other supplies (that people brought to Because We Care from the US) at Nidia’s store then went to see my friends at Blue Island Divers. They have been SUPER busy and I’m so happy for them, they are good people, they have an excellent dive op and they work really hard. The Doc said I can dive in a week. YAY!

After that I went to West Bay to see my friend Mario who was staying at Bananarama. I met Mario on a flight from San Pedro to Houston, he was on his way to start college @ Midland University in Nebraska. I was so impressed with this young mans demeanor and attitude that we became FB friends right away and have stayed in touch. He messaged me that his family and his girlfriend were coming to Roatan for a few days so we decided to get together. I got to meet his girlfriend, parents, both sisters, brother in law and adorable 2 year old nephew Mathias. We talked for about 30 minutes, his parents are both college professors on the mainland and they want to build a house here. They asked me if I could help them find land, I said I would try.

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Mario and Sharon. I borrowed this photo from FB.

In the meantime, my friends John, Lizeth and Phil had just gotten back from a dive so I met them at the dive shop, we grabbed lunch at Bananarama (no ranch dressing Liza) and then we went and looked at their property.

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Their view is amazing

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They are so close to the water!

After that we went back to where they were staying and laid on the rafts in the water and had a beer.

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No cruise ships meant a deserted beach

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It felt so good to be back in the water, floating. I love the Caribbean.

It was really nice to spend an afternoon with John, Lizeth and Phil. I am still overwhelmed by the amazing friends I have met through Roatan FB pages or my blog. I’ve been very blessed.

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The sky last evening

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It was a pretty night

Last night when we went to bed it was a semi calm evening. I woke in the middle of the night to huge winds and heavy rains, both bedroom windows, bathroom windows and closet window were open and everything was soaked. Again, thankful for concrete floors.

I got up this morning, sliced the dogs banana and sat down at my computer.  I asked Bill why he had closed it and he said my hard drive was running. I opened it and tried to boot it up and this is what the screen looked like.

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What he didn’t realize when he closed the laptop was, there was a pen laying in it. The pressure of the screen on the pen ruined my display. I’m now using my laptop hooked up to an old monitor while a new screen is ordered for my laptop.

The next morning the weather had turned downright ugly, winds up to 40 MPH, raining sideways and zero visibility, we have a full blown nor’easter bearing down on us. I feel sorry for the people who arrived on Saturday for a weeks vacation, at least it’s not snow and 5 degrees. I still went to Mega Paca. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these shoppers from the swift competition of the newly marked down.”

I just read on crime watch (a Roatan FB page) that there is a diver missing on the south shore, 5 boats and a helicopter were looking for her. She was a skilled 72 year old female diver and was last seen by her DM @ 200′. WTH? 200′, who goes 200′ besides a technical diver?? The divemaster tried to get her to go back up but she didn’t respond and he had to turn around. If she was at 200′ and still going down she was either unconscious or dead. No recreational diver would do something that insane on purpose.  Always a terrible thing to read about, I feel sorry for the family, the DM, the resort, just sucks.

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The sky this morning, crazy winds. This was taken later this afternoon when the rain stopped.

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Earlier this morning you could see nothing but gray, the shores were not visible. It was like living in the clouds.

I have vowed to make these blogs shorter and to post more often and that’s exactly what I am doing, ending this one here and now.

Check back soon, I’m not done yet.

Out with the old, in with the new.

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01/07/2017 Aside from all the parties for the island kids we did some partying of our own. The evening after our trip to St Helene and the boat fiasco we went to Alex and Marilyn’s home. They live on the water in Calabash Bight, boat access only.

Alex picked us up, along with Franklin, Francie and Sarah @ 4 PM. We stopped by to talk to Brett, who assumed his wife was still with me. He didn’t know Carmen had been home for a few hours. When we pulled up to the Calabash Bight Yacht Club the first thing I saw was a huge mermaid pinata! It was so cool.

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We had a few (sic) drinks and some yummy finger food while we waited for the lighted boat parade.

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Marilyn, Martina, the Mermaid and Skipper and Scruffy.

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Francie and her daughter Sarah

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Carmen and Brett arriving

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Martha, I mean Francie’s ode to Christmas

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Francie showcasing her masterpiece

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The table was true Marilyn style, elegant.

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Marilyn’s cute little Hallmark tappers

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The feast

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Outside looking in

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Marilyn’s mother made this years ago. I am in love with it.

This was the first year for they had the boat parade, there were 7 boats. I hope it grows and people start coming from all over the island to take part in it, I think it could be a really cool holiday attraction for the east end.

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Just as the parade began, my camera battery died. I took a few pics with my cell phone. I just suck at night time photos. The boat parade started in Jonesville and ended in Calabash Bight. We played “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” loudly, as they motored by. After the show was over and we all had full bellies, we had Alex take us home. It was after 9 and we had 5 starving, frantic dogs.

Friday night we had another party to go to at our friends in First Bight, Linda and Jay. Their home is ahhhmmaazing, I’m always excited when I get to go there. They had a huge spread of food, turkey that was smoked and a big ham along with every side dish you could imagine. The food and the conversation was excellent, such a great group of gringos. Dessert was all fat free, cookies and to die for peanut butter fudge with chocolate topping. OMG and Baileys too. Yep, I didn’t gain an ounce that night for sure.

Saturday I was on the borderline of feeling better and getting sick again. I was coughing a lot and I kept telling myself it would go away. It didn’t. Rather than go to the Christmas party at Ed and Julie’s and cough like a TB patient, we stayed home. I know we missed a great party and I’m pissed but it was the right (polite) choice.

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This is my fiber optic tree that is about 20 years old. It still works. I did a Prism (app) fix on it in this pic.

Christmas eve the dogs didn’t want to sleep outside because it was raining, no, it was pouring. Even though they stay dry on the covered porch, I allowed them to sleep on their comfy dog beds in the living room and I curled up on the couch to sleep. (If I don’t sleep in the living room with them, they may eat the couch). Around 2 AM Lola started pacing and barking, I hushed her once but she continued, barking even louder until I was wide awake. When I sat up I smelled something burning, it smelled electrical. A few seconds later I heard snapping and spark like sounds and they were coming from the monitor. I woke Bill and he came out and unplugged the monitor. When he took it apart the next morning that is what he found.

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Damn geckos. It may be salvageable.

The week between Christmas and New Years was pretty crappy weather for the most part. I putzed around here, had my cleaning girl come and we cleaned upstairs. On Friday Dave and Trish and Natasha, the rum cake queen, came for pizza. Surprisingly, we had a decent evening to eat on the porch.  It’s always nice to visit with the Symons, looking forward to them being here full time in the not to distant future.

New Years eve there was a party out at Mondays Don’t Suck beach but  it’s a 40 minute drive and the road are beyond awful, we decided not to make that trip. I’m pretty sure I was in bed way before midnight. Bill still says NYE is for amateurs.

We went to brunch with a group of friends at one of my favorite places, Barefoot Cay on New Years Day. We reserved the second floor of the restaurant. The view, the ambiance and the service there is stellar. New Years day was gorgeous, sunny and warm. Finally.

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A Catamaran docked there

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The pool view from the room where we had NY day brunch

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One of the nicest boutiques resorts you will find. It’s comfortable, not pretentious. BFC encourages you to relax and enjoy yourself and they will be there when you need anything.

When we got home I put on a swimsuit, grabbed a book and crawled on the raft and floated. At various times throughout the afternoon I was joined by one of the boys, they get in, swim a lap or two and get out to lay on a chaise. Yes, they have a terribly rough life.

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Handsome Barrio, he was the only one of the pups I was keeping. See how well that worked out?

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Lola, Gringo and Barrio

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Highway, Gringo and Max, defenders of the jungle.

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My folks at Missy and Mark’s for Christmas. My sister is an angel, really, she is.

Dad turns 96 Feb. 17th and Mom will be 91 in August. They are still living on their own but my sister is 5 minutes away. On the day of NY Eve Dad called Missy and said that Mom was having difficulty breathing, she has asthma. Missy had tried to take her to the doctor on Thursday, PJ was down for the weekend and tried to take her Friday, she wouldn’t go, she was fine. Sure she was. They admitted her on Saturday, got her breathing taken care of, started her on IV’s and kept her there for a few days to observe her. She is home now and sounds good. I’ve called nearly every day. When VR answers the phone and realizes it’s me, he says, “oh, you again.” I’m not sure if there is a hidden message in that or not. Not that I really care.

I am headed to the roof with some wine and my camera. Happy New Year to everyone.  I certainly enjoyed ringing in the New Year in my bathing suit, it beats being cold and bundled up anytime.