Planes, boats and fins

04/30/2017 First of all, I apologize to those of you who received an email yesterday saying that a new blog was published, only to have me take it down. Somehow the post got published and wordpress wouldn’t allow me to get it back to a draft so I had to trash it and do a shabby copy and paste into a new blog. Our internet has been shit so that may account for it.
Saturday afternoon was the first I stopped and relaxed in a solid week. Remember, I’m O L D. Very old. Don’t misunderstand me, I had a blast entertaining Jillian and Justin this past week. Jillian is my great niece (well, Bill’s really, but I claim her as mine) and Justin is her boyfriend. It was Jillian’s second visit and Justin’s first. In fact he had to get a passport to come visit. We’re happy that he made it to Roatan. So are the dogs, especially Lola, she really liked Justin.
I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. I’m a weirdo who loves to go to the airport to pick up friends. I see so many people I know that it’s like a big party, this Saturday was no different.
Once Jill and Justin got through the insane immigration lines, we headed east, stopping at Eldon’s for them to get some food. After getting settled we all retreated to the pool, it has been so flipping hot that being in the water is all you can do.
Sunday we made the routine Mega Paca shopping trip then came home and got ready to go to the Reef House on Oak Ridge Key. We parked the car and went by boat for the short ride there. I was excited to see my dive friend Caroline there, haven’t seen her for months. We spent some time in the water then I got out and wandered around talking to friends. Tim Blanton, who lives on Roatan and is an exceptional photographer was there with his drone. He made a short video of the Oak Ridge area and hovered over the porch where we all were posing. Check it out HERE. Beautiful video of the area.
Monday we went to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. I didn’t know until Justin and Jill got here that Justin’s favorite animal was the sloth. It was a no brainer that we would go there first. When we got to the farm Preston was waiting to give us one of his exceptional tours.
One of my favorite animals is the Coati. They are a part of the raccoon family. Two of them live here.

The first cage we got to go in was the monkey cage. The white faced Capuchin’s are named after the cast of The Jersey Shore, AKA, Snookie, Vinny, JWow, Pauly D etc.  These monkeys are very friendly and love to interact with people.

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

They are like kamikaze monkeys. They vanish and then out of nowhere come flying onto your shoulders. They were so much fun.

Next we looked at the spider monkeys but they are not very friendly so guests don’t interact with them.

When we were ready to leave Justin walked over to look at the water again and the monkey grabbed his sunglasses. He finally managed to get them back, all in 1 piece.

Next stop was the parrots, the Red and Green Macaws. These birds are so stunning. There is only 1 green one, Fiona, from Shrek. Her colors are so intense that she doesn’t seem real.

I think the red macaw is named Rose from the Titanic and the other is Fiona.

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

We saved the best for last, the sloths. These are all 3 toed sloths and are all rescues.

Quite literally, just hanging out.

Jillian and Olivia the sloth. The sloth is adorable but Jillian is gorgeous! Love this young lady!

Justin’s dream come true

The sloths mostly live in the trees and venture down to the ground once a week to poop and pee. Their only defense is camouflage, they do not use their claws except to climb and grab leaves.

Just an FYI: Daniel does not buy animals, every animal he has is a rescue and they are treated very well.

After we saw all the animals and were getting ready to leave, Daniel arrived. He invited us to go on his maiden snorkel trip on his new snorkel barge later in the week. We said sure, something else fun to look forward to.

We went straight to the Iguana Farm, critters to critters. It was a hot sunny day and there were iguanas all over the place. Jillian and Justin fed them, Jill wasn’t ready to get up close with them though.

Feeding from a distance

This is a black spiny tailed iguana, indigenous to Roatan. This one is molting, shedding it’s skin. Black spiny-tailed iguanas.

This dude just chased another male out of his tree. Sam (Arch) said they are very territorial, especially during mating season.

So magnificent.

Look how long the spines are on this guy’s back!

We had a great visit at the iguana farm, especially because we got to see Sam. Sam and Daniel (sloth farm) are 2 amazing young islander men (and cousins) who work very hard and are quite successful. I am blessed to have them as good friends.When we left the iguana farm I called my friend Marcia to see if we could come kayak and snorkel and she said sure. The 3 of us went home, changed, ate and left for Carib Bight and Marcia’s house.
An extra bonus of going to Marcia and Dennis’s home is I get to see one of my puppies, Duke and their other 2 dogs, Shay and the new rottie, Luna. Puppy breath is the best.
Justin, Jillian and I went down to the water and got the kayaks down and set off for the mangroves. It was a little later in the day so there wasn’t much boat traffic. We kayaked all the way through the tunnels and back.

Justin and Jillian

We then tied the kayaks up to the broken down dock and snorkeled out to the reef. For some reason it was extremely murky and stirred up and the visibility was not very good. And, my camera battery died. bummer.
Once I got more puppy kisses we came home, all got showered and went to Cal’s for dinner. We had an excellent meal, as usual. It was a busy day and we were all tired so it was early to bed that night.

The view from Cal’s and my friend Linda’s house.

Jill and Justin

The next morning we stopped at Jessica’s school to see why she was absent Monday. The teacher said her mother’s lame assed boyfriend kept her home from school because they all overslept. I’d like to lynch him.
From there we drove through Punta Gorda to hand out some of the toys that Liza and Mike brought down for the kids. Once again, it got crazy. The kids were grabbing out of my car, the ones I gave toys to hid them and said they didn’t get any. It became bedlam so I did what I had to do; I closed the trunk and left, no more for them. We passed out a few more along the way, choosing wisely where we stopped.
Jillian wanted to go to La Sirena in Camp Bay, it’s pretty much a must see spot. We all had onion rings and rum punches. My friends Don and Janice were there so we sat near them and chatted for awhile while watching the wind surfers. {side note, I bought a new camera, a Nikon CoolPix B 500 with a 40X zoom lens on it} I am still learning to use the camera and did not have it on the correct setting so these photos aren’t the best.

It must be so amazing to be wind surfing at Camp Bay, it’s one of the more pristine spots on the whole island.

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

Alligator Nose, just seeing it makes me miss the Duchess of Camp Bay and her husband.

Almost every day when we came home from our activities we jumped in the pool to cool off, rinse off the salt water and visit with the dogs. On Wednesday I thought we could go to The Buccaneer in French Harbor for something different. If I had known they charged $5.00PP entrance fee I would have stayed home in my own pool.

It’s a nice place but it isn’t worth the entrance fee.

They have an area roped off from the sea and pretty much protected from the waves. There are huge decks, swings in and out of the water, hammocks, floats. It’s just not the beach to me.

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

Unicorns, flamingos, swans and penguin floats. I can’t imagine what it looks like with all of them floating around,

Hammock row

Very colorful and somewhat tropical. I liked the ceiling at first but then I didn’t. It’s trying too hard.

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

I think the painting would have been enough without having fake flowers and dried up leaves on the ceiling.

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

Jillian was interested in seeing Cattleya school so I made arrangements with Connie to go there after lunch. When we arrived the students were with Kamille learning ASL. Afterwards they split into groups and did various projects.

Cattleya is a school for physically emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It’s an amazing school.

We watched the 3 different teachers conduct their classes and learned what each one was doing. The little girls flip-flops on the floor in the photo are some of the ones I donated to Cattleya, thank you Kelly. I’m still passing them out. I also donated the 3 games that Kelly brought to Cattleya.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our pool at home. We had big salads for dinner and drank some wine on the roof.

Beautiful evening.

Thursday morning we hung around the house, in and out of the pool, waiting to hear from Stephanie and Daniel. We were going snorkeling with them this afternoon. As soon as they called we went over to the sloth farm. I sat and chatted with Daniel’s Mother until they arrived. Stephanie’s parents were here visiting and they had been touring the mangroves, zip-lining and then going snorkeling. We were fortunate to be invited and very excited to go. Daniel just built a new snorkel barge with The Steelers (as in Pittsburgh) and Big Ben stenciled on the sides. Nice boat with an easy access ladder.

We went out in front of CocoView and snorkeled there. It was beautiful.

Daniel had my camera for a few minutes and snapped a pic of me.

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

Four eyed butterfly fish, Daniel may have taken this photo.

These are amazing Spaghetti worms  (click on the name for a fascinating video on the worms). They are alive and move along the sand getting food to take back to their hole.

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

They can puff themselves up to 3 times their normal size by drawing water into their abdomens. Once inflated their spines stick out and they are quite long and very sharp. They do this to protect themselves from being eaten by other fish. Then we moved to a different spot to snorkel, looking for lobsters.

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

Love to hate, hate to love. The Lion Fish. Beautiful but poisonous if you get stung by them and they are decimating the reef by eating all the small fish. They are the only fish you are allowed to spearfish (with a permit). Kill them all.

A conch slowly trucking along. I swam past him on the way out and on the way back he had barely progressed.

Daniel and Dustin (red shirt) wrestling underwater trying to pull each other’s mask off.

Beautiful day with our heads underwater with friends, can’t beat that.

I dropped Jillian and Justin off at Cal’s at 6 so they could have a nice dinner together, then Bill went down to get them when they were finished. They were done in less than 45 minutes, I thought something was wrong but they said it was all good, he just wasn’t busy.

The next morning we left here at 8:45. We stopped and got Ann then took Jillian and Justin to zip-line at South Shore. Ann and I sat and watched them zipping along under the canopy of trees.

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

As soon as they were done we went to West Bay Beach, grabbed some chairs at Bananarama and waited in the water for Sean (my friend from Canada) to meet us. Soon as he arrived we walked down to Infinity to snorkel.

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

I love when I see an opening out into the deeper water. Really feel like a mermaid then.

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

I was swimming around in the shallows looking at little things and hoping to find this big Parrot fish. I swam around a coral chunk and there he was in all of his magnificent glory. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with him for several minutes, watching him do his thing.

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

You really can’t tell the size from this photo but this guy was almost as big as my dogs.

He had several fish following him as he gnawed on the coral so he could then poop sand. I know the best facts!

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

Such a beautiful beach. After snorkeling we ate at Bananarama then floated our cares away.

Ann walked up to a restaurant called Nice and Spicy to get her husband some dinner so we ran Sean over the hill to the place he is staying, then went back and got Ann and took her home. We went inside so I could meet her new kittens and I wanted Jill and Justin to see her place and her view. After that we made the long drive home. As soon as we opened the gate to come in the driveway the power went off.

Wonderfreakingful. Bill was making pizza. He got the dough rolled out and partially cooked on the grill before it got dark. Then we put the stuff on the pizza with the LED’s for the lightsource. It was so windy that Bill had to cover the pizza with another cookie sheet just to carry it out to the grill.

Nothing says romantic better than glaring LED’s. I lit candles several times, only to have them blown out by the wind.

The pizza master

Miraculously, the power came back on just as it was time to eat. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen and all ran to take showers while we had water pressure. Not long after that, the power went out again. It wasn’t only us, it was island wide. Just a 36 mile strand of darkness in the Caribbean. It really wasn’t a big deal because there was a very strong wind blowing through the house, keeping temps cool.

We hung out here the next morning, watching Flightstats to see what was going on with Jillian and Justin’s delayed flight. Once we saw it was airborn we went to the airport and got them checked in. The line for departures was long so I took them for a tour of Coxen Hole, the “downtown” center of the island. We drove all along the waterfront and stopped to take a photo of the new sign by Petro Sun. I dropped them off at the airport with time to spare before their flight. We enjoyed having Jillian and Justin and look forward to them returning.

I started talking to them about diving. I suggested they do the course work at home, then get their certs with my friends @ Blue Island Divers when they get here. I need to get Jillian’s sister to do this also, she will be here the end of June.

It’s been unusually HOT. 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Despite the insane temps the wind has been blowing hard and steady, keeping the air moving and keeping it cool inside. If there were no breeze we would either have to remain in the pool 24/7 or melt. The wonderful wild and crazy wind is blowing so much dust and dirt around that my screens are filthy and everything is covered in an inch of dust. Lola is sneezing and Barrio has goobers in his eyes, I think it’s allergies for both of them. Tomorrow is Max’s last day of meds, keeping my fingers crossed.

I have a busy few weeks coming up. A friend is coming for a few days to sign the papers on the land she is buying, another friend is coming to stay with us for 2 weeks while she sorts things out with her house building project. I am helping at a fundraiser for Cattleya for Mother’s Day and am also helping Nidia with a Mother’s Day luncheon on the 13th. TOMS shoe delivery will start in June, super late start this year due to some customs snafu.

Off to find something to watch on the computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend, it’s kind of quiet around here. Jillian and Justin, maybe you should come back.

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The flip-flop mob

04/13/2017  First of all, I apologize. This stupid damn blog program will not allow me a space between my paragraphs. This is like a big long run on sentence with punctuation.
I’ve had a few down weeks and it felt good. The weather was unbearably warm with the real feel temps showing 101. That is not unheard of here at all, just far from normal for this time of year. It makes me very grateful for the pool.
Max seems to be back to normal, he is getting in trouble and barking all the time. I don’t know what to think was even wrong with him since I had so many varying opinions about everything. He still won’t go in the pool, which is really the oddest thing since he was the first one in every morning and then swam at least 5 more times during the day. It’s baffling to say the least. The most important thing is, he’s better.
This post is a real pain to type because my laptop keyboard is barely working. My keyboard drops letters and the spacebar doesn’t work, no spaces at all, other times it puts 5 spaces. A new one is on order. Chalk something else up to the elements of dust, dirt and humidity.
I went to Jessica’s house to gave her the nice white shirt Kelly brought for her and to give Osman and Efraim the new underwear and shorts, also from Kelly. Jessica didn’t have much to say, she wasn’t feeling well plus she was upset because I scolded her for missing school and told her if she missed anymore I was done paying for her to go. I’m very happy that the teacher messages me when she is absent.

Osman, Alexi and Jessica’s nephew. He got new flip flops and undies and nice swim trunks/shorts. I hope his Mother doesn’t sell them.

Ephraim is the youngest of Alexi and Jessica’s siblings. He got the same stuff Osman did.

I gave Jessica sandals and a new white school shirt. The little girl next to her also got a pair of flip flops. Thank you SO much Kelly!

I gave more sandals to some kids after leaving Jessica and the boys. It began with a few kids but soon there were 25+ people there. They were grabbing at any and everything in the back of my car. I had to close the trunk because it was close to a mob scene. On the way out of the town ladies were slapping my car hood as I drove by asking for “slippahs for ma babies.”

These 3 little boys started the flip flop frenzy. I also gave them a soccer ball.

I finally got my car fixed, it was in the shop for a week. The rats had done more damage than we first thought. Little shits like to chew on wires too. Nelson pulled the dashboard and fixed the hose that drains the A/C water out of the car. He also fixed the rattle in my door, it was actually the lock, not in the door. But, since they had the door apart now the window is making a weird noise when it goes up and down, that needs fixed. Nelson put a new fuse in my horn (Bill had removed it because it was honking erratically) and he soldered some wires together. Well, when I started up my driveway the horn started honking and it honked the whole way up. That needs re-fixed. While they were taking the dash out of my car, they scratched the sun screen film on the inside of  my windshield, leaving holes right in my line of sight. Now I either have to take the film off (which Bill wants me to do but I don’t want to) or have them replace it. AND, I have an large extra piece of plastic car part left over that was laying behind the seat of the car. I know, it’s an island car but still.

It’s Semana Santa week here, all hell breaks loose before Easter. Roatan is invaded by mainlanders from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and planes full of Americans and Canadians. It’s the week many gringos leave the island or else, like us, we hole up and don’t go west or east at all. There are hardly any vacant places to stay on the island and the beaches will be a filthy mess from all the trash left behind. I feel sorry for the coral and the fish.

We were gone for about an hour, pool gate wasn’t closed so we can’t blame this totally on Lola but this is all that’s left of a beautiful flowering cactus. The pot previously was full of soil.

Most of the dirt out of the pot was on the deck but what wasn’t was all over the pool steps. Nice dark soil in the pool.

Highway and Max, back to back.

On Monday we had Carmen and Brett over for the day. It was a gorgeous pool day. They are leaving the island on Saturday for the summer and they will be missed. We also invited my third son, Sam Arch and his wife Chelsie over. They wanted to chat with Carmen and Brett about a possible business venture. Bill made his “now famous” pizza for dinner. It was a great day spent with good friends.

Chelsie, Sam, Carmen and Brett. Nice shot of the view from the pool of the North shore.

Tuesday I was going diving and Sam and Chelsie wanted to go with me. I picked them up at the iguana farm at 7:30ish and we drove down to Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay. Once again I felt otherworldly going to my friends home and walking by the giant iguanas scattered all over the pavement. There was even one guarding their front door. They are the most majestic creatures.

It was a nice sunny day for a dive, the water wasn’t flat but the waves weren’t too bad. We dove Wicked. I was looking forward to diving with Sam because he has eagle eyes, he can spot things so quickly. It was a nice wall dive with some swim throughs.

Elton, boat captain at Blue Island Divers

Sam, Chelsie and one of the DM’s

I don’t know what these yellow orange things are but there are a lot of them.

odd shaped sponge

Sea rods

More orange coral

Chelsie and Sam

Club finger coral

Sponge

This coral looked like it was made of lava

Blue Chromis

Common sea fan

Huge vase sponge

Looking for Dory

Sea Fan

Spiny lobster Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Spiny lobster Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

More cool coral

Sam, he really doesn’t even need a tank, I swear this guy has gills.

Purple coral with orange centers and lots of sharp nose puffers. They only get to be 4″, these were barely 2″

Chelsie. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Me. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Not sure what this is. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Blue Chromis (I think) Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

The beauty of the sea. I think this one was by Sam Arch using my TG3

2 varieties of brain coral

four eyed butterfly fish Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

A whitespotted filefish, first one I’ve ever seen. Photo by Sam Arch using my TG3

Elkhorn coral

I think this is some kind of fungus coral.

It was a fun day underwater with my friends. Once our gear was rinsed and we paid for our dives we started back to the east end of the island. I dropped them off at the iguana farm and I came home and took a shower. Shortly after I got out of the shower Chelsie called to see if she and Stephanie could come hang out by the pool. Of course I said absolutely. We sat in the sun and chatted (and ate the rest of Carmen’s pasta salad) for a few hours before they had to go home.

We had a brief rain shower on Wednesday morning but it was enough to coat the window seat and my good beach bag in mud. Where does that crap come from? I had to scrub my beach bag and set it out to dry. There must have been something small in it that fell out and ended up in the garbage disposal because it was making a horrific noise. I didn’t do the dishes when our company left because Bill was going to tear the disposal apart in the morning. {Just an FYI: I know how to unclog a garbage disposal when the trap gets jammed. I clogged the first one in Washington so many times that Bill made me learn how to fix it myself. I had to do it twice in one meal when we had company from Taiwan for dinner}. When he checked it this morning, it was seized. Whatever was in it had jammed the blades. Once he took it apart he couldn’t find anything in it. I realized that it was the zipper pull off a small bag I had in there. It must have gotten dislodged and gone down the drain. My life in a zipper pull.

On Wednesday I cooked, baked and cleaned. Dave and Lynda were here visiting the island and came over for dinner. The last time they came over was soon after the pups were born and they had not seen them since. They own a great rental house here, in fact Teri and Olivia stayed there the summer of 2012 with Bill and I.

This Saturday our friends Liza and Mike arrive. They live in Oregon, we met at La Sirena a few years ago, then Mike found my blog and the rest is history. We’re friends and really enjoy each other’s company. They own land near my twinnie, Ann. It will nice when THEY FINALLY MOVE DOWN HERE. Hint Liza. They will be spending Easter Sunday with us, we are hoping for a pool day.

Then on Monday my friend Sean and his 2 dogs arrive. They live(d) in Ontario. Sean and I met on FB and then in person when he was here visiting.  He is renting from a friend of mine, Linda, who I also met on FB. Sean is hoping to make a move here in the near future. We will be picking Sean and his dogs up at the airport and taking them to their house. After that I am meeting Mike and Liza and helping them pay their taxes. I paid them for them last year, this will be their first year doing it themselves and remember, we’re in Honduras. Nothing is easy.

Holy cow, thank you FB and my blog for all these fabulous friends. 

Bill’s niece’s daughter and her boyfriend arrive the 22nd for a week. It will be Jillian’s second visit to the island. Hoping for good weather and calm seas.

I have really been into sleeping lately, I’m going to watch The Voice from last night and then go to bed. I think I went to bed at 7:30 on Tuesday after I dove. That’s a lot of work for an old person.

Happy Easter everyone. I’m looking forward to spending it at home with good friends.