Don’t ask me where I’ve been, I don’t know.

11/10/2019 It’s been awhile, actually longer than awhile. So long that some people have contacted me to see if I’m OK. I am, just doing the daily living taking care of the dogs stuff. In fact, that’s pretty much all I do anymore. Since Max was attacked by his brothers and our female dog in February, I have had a hard time leaving the dogs alone. Granted, we separate Max, he stays upstairs, Highway is downstairs, Barrio and Gringo are each in a crate on the back porch and Lola is loose on the back porch. She hates the pool so we don’t have to worry about her getting in there and she can’t get out front and even if she could, our yard is Fort Knox. They can NOT get out. The reason they are fenced in is because at the end of our driveway, a fast romp for the dogs, is an insanely busy road filled with people who have no right to be behind the wheel of a car. Many of the taxi drivers try to hit the strays and if someone hits a dog, 95% of the time they won’t even stop. That is why my dogs live the secluded life they do. I freaking hate it, I hate that I can’t walk them because the road is so busy and there are so many stray dogs everywhere. My dogs are sheltered, may not be a good thing, but they are not around other dogs. They are not socialized. I recently went to get my hair cut and was taking Max with me to get groomed. I had him in a harness as we crossed the busy road to the hairdressers. There was another dog sitting outside the bakery with it’s owner and I assumed that’s where it would stay. Once we got across the road the dog came running towards Max. Max freaked, got out of his harness and ran across the busy road. I totally freaked out. Once I got over to my car Max came to me. I was a wreck. I tightened his harness and yelled to the guy to please restrain his dog. I got Max into Nadia’s and she locked the door so nobody could open it and have him run out. He was panicked, I think he thought that dog was going to attack him. It was an awful experience. Him being attacked has changed me, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over that.

As many of you know my Father died Sept. 6, 2019. He was 98. I foolishly thought he would live forever. I never envisioned a world that he was not in. It’s here now. It’s my reality and I’m not ready. He lived the last few years of his life tormented by Dementia. I swear it is the most awful thing ever to watch your parent turn into a child again. My sister and her husband were so amazing to Dad, I can never thank them enough for what they gave to him, and gave to my Mother before she passed in 2018. It takes very special people to care for loved ones suffering from dementia, it’s a hateful disease. I miss my Father daily, he was my rock. I have not had him mentally for about 4 years but at least I could hear his voice. I am my Father’s daughter, there is no doubt about that.

As I said before, I mostly stay home with my dogs. I’m not a party person, hate themed parties like Halloween, etc. I just feel that I’ve been there and done that and it’s not my thing any longer. I go to the beach when we get company but my preferred snorkeling is at Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout in French Cay. I think the snorkeling is much better there, the coral isn’t dead from all the tourists walking on it and I always see a ray of some sort. Plus I get to hang with Steph and Daniel or Dustin, always a good time. I took Chance snorkeling while he was here. I was having camera trouble (my stupidity, thought the camera was broken when it was actually bad batteries). Chance and Steph and Daniel ventured off to the west but I stayed in the area I was because I was finding all kinds of cool stuff, until my camera battery died.

Coral

Massive coral

Coral with Christmas Tree worms

This is a spaghetti worm, it’s actually alive and feeding.

Giant puffer hiding

Anemones

Spiny black sea urchin

As I was checking out the puffer that was hiding, all of a sudden this Lionfish was right in front of me. I moved away very quickly as their spikes are venemous and can pack a punch. They are the only fish here that you can legally spear and there is no limit. (You must have your Lionfish license and be certified by the Marine Park). Lionfish eat all the small fish on the reef, thereby decimating our reefs. They are not native to the Caribbean and many places are doing their best to eradicate them from the sea.

It’s impossible to not have a dog by you at our house. Chance is loving on Max and Highway the idiot.

Our back porch. The dogs hang here a lot. There are steps down to the pool and steps up to the roof. There is usually a lot of activity on the porch. Gringo on the left and Barrio in the crate, AND, Highways butt.

I took the Live Again Ministry group snorkeling at Daniel’s also. They all had shirts made with Minions on them and they say Nidia’s Minions. We posed for this picture just for Nidia, the Boss Minion.

A group of local artists got together and painted 2 concrete walls in Brisas de Valle, a small community near Coxen Hole. Julie and I went there to see it and to visit with Nidia. It’s gorgeous and I hope it has the intended effect that they hoped for.

Mahi Mahi and some jellyfish.

The artists hope was that by beautifying the area maybe people would stop throwing trash around. Many of the paintings are about getting rid of plastics.

Trash in the ocean is a huge problem. Turtles mistake the plastic bags for jellyfish.

Sadly, you can’t go far on the island without seeing trash. Above and under water.

Eels and a barracuda.

Whale Shark

This was my favorite, the Octopus.

Sad that so many turtles die from humans polluting the sea.

This was one of the walls.

We had the 5th annual East End luncheon for the people on the east end of Roatan. Nidia and Pastor Ronny from Live Again Ministry started this in 2014 and it was so successful that we just can’t stop doing it. The islanders look forward to this event because they get to see friends and family that they rarely see. This was the second year it was held at Fantasy Island Resort.

This is the group from St. Helene. They traveled the furthest to get to the luncheon. Since there are no roads connecting Helene with Roatan, they must come by boat.

We had over 350 people attend the event this year. We had nurses checking blood pressure and also doing diabetes testing.

The oldest from each community got a huge basket of food. The rest of the baskets were raffled off.

These were gift bags filled with toiletries.

It was a full house!

Nidia, the head of Because We Care holding the microphone for one of the men from the ministry group.

This is the pool at the resort. Fantasy Island was one of the first resorts on Roatan. It was beautiful in those early days I’m sure, but now many of the rental units have fallen into a state of disrepair. It would take a lot of $$ to bring it back to it’s glory days.

This is Auntie Clara, she is 103. She always sings at the luncheons. I was lucky enough to get to go to her 100th birthday party.

I have been asking Bill to build a pergola on the roof for 4 years. The views up there are tremendous but you can’t be up there during the day for more than a few minutes because you will fry. Finally, we have a pergola.

The dogs love it on the roof, they can survey their domain.

Bill also made a giant swing and I had cushions and pillows made for it. It’s a fabulous spot to relax with the dogs and watch the sun set.

This is before the swing.

You can see in the next photo that we repainted the walls all gray to match the newly re-fiberglassed floor.

Much better gray.

The view, the water was crazy flat. My friend told me that sailors use the stripes on the water to tell them info about the wind. Not sure if that is true or not.

These 3, the brothers, are in the pool ALL the time. Especially Max, the dark one in the middle. It’s not unusual for him to go in a dozen times in one day.

Lola and Emmy. They stare at each other for a long time, have no clue why.

I was closing windows one night to go to bed and the dog toys were laying on their ottoman like this. Are they messing with me?

We have had a lot of lizards around the house lately. The big ones drive the dogs crazy. This guy walked across the hill below the pool and all five dogs were going into cardiac arrest. By the time I got my good camera he was about 50′ away. Grateful for a good zoom.

This is a male green iguana. I can tell it’s a male because of the large jaw muscles, the females don’t have the jaw muscles that the males do.

And babies, we have had tons of babies.

Another photo of the big guy.

This is a male anole. We see so many of these daily that I no longer notice them, except when I see a good size dead one laying on a dog bed. Gross.

Another baby iguana, looks like it’s eating a bug.

I decided to get off the island for a bit, I was getting stir crazy. I booked 2 separate trips. One from Roatan to San Pedro Sula (mainland Honduras) then to Houston and on to Phoenix. I spent the night in a hotel in Phoenix and caught an early flight out of Phoenix to Chicago and then on to Wilkes Barre, PA. 6 airports in 2 days. It’s no wonder I arrived sick. My destination was Williamsport PA, where Bill and I were both born. Some of my high school friends who live in the area have a get together once a month. My friend Stan from New Hampshire came down and we crashed the party. It was great fun except I was sick.

Stan and I have been best friends for over 55 years. In that time frame we have always stayed in touch.

The class party was Sunday and Monday I was at the doc’s. I had bronchitis. Great. After a few days on meds I felt good enough to go meet some friends. My brother (where I was staying) and his daughter Devon and I went out for dinner on Saturday evening. On Wednesday I met some friends for lunch. I saw Mary when I was in town for my last class reunion but I have not seen Sue Stroble in 35+ years. When I was a wild and crazy, no longer in college person, who was too much for my parents to handle I moved out. Both Mary and Sue’s parents welcomed me with open arms. I spent my time between their 2 homes.

Mary, Sue in the back and me. Long time friends.

Before I met Mary and Sue for lunch, I had tea with Bill’s sister Kathy at an old home from the great lumber baron days in Williamsport. There are many of these grand mansions that have been restored and are used as homes or restaurants. This one used to be a dentist’s office. It was donated to the Historical Museum who sold it to the people who own the Backhouse Coffee and Cafe’. It has been lovingly restored and is absolutely gorgeous.

Fabulous old mirror.

The wallpaper was incredible.

Even the woodwork detail on the door was gorgeous. I could have spent a few hours in there looking at all of the cool restored parts of the home.

I had breakfast with another friend on Friday morning. I had not seen Francie since before we left PA in 1995. On my way to get her I saw the Stoned Dog. This dog was painted back in the late 60’s and someone is still keeping it nicely painted. This brings back MANY memories.

My brother’s back yard. He lives in a valley with a mountain in front and behind of his house, I couldn’t make calls on my cell phone and had a hard time opening photos or attachments unless I stood by the bird feeder.

I forgot how beautiful Pennsylvania was.

The trees were all changing, something I’m not used to at all.

Devon and me

Devon and my brother PJ. Oh, and Lily too. She adores Devon and doesn’t let many people get close to her.

I went out to eat with Bill’s sister Kathy, her husband Mike and daughter Missy. We went to a place called Boom City. Food was excellent and they had a beer selection Bill would have loved.

My last night there I met some friends at the 505. It’s a restaurant/bar that I worked at before Bill and I were married. It was great to see Cicily and Mary, Ryth and Tim and Darri, Dave and Chuckie. It’s been a long time.

I was up early the next morning and drove back to Wilkes Barre for my flight to Phoenix by way of Dulles. Going a round a bout way to get there. I arrived in Phoenix on time and my friend Kelly was right outside the door where I got my luggage. We went to a fabulous wine bar, I grabbed a salad and then we split a humongous dessert. After that we went back to Kelly’s home. She lives in Chandler, AZ. Let me say, her home looks like it’s from Architectural Digest. I could move in and change nothing. Stunning house. And she has 2 dogs and was watching a third for her friend so I got plenty of dog loving.

These are Kelly’s two, Daisy is the little one and Payson is the big black boy. The other one was named Sadie, she was a sweetheart too.

No, this is not a photo from a magazine, it’s Kelly’s backyard. No words.

Her pool is gorgeous but it was coooold.

She had a table made in the pool. Genius.

We went to a place called Oregano’s for lunch. It was great food. The waiters shirts said Legalize Marinara.

My good friend from high school who rescued me when I got stranded in LA has a daughter I have not met. She lives in Chandler, about 20 minutes from Kelly’s house. I ran over one morning to meet Katie and Jon and of course this adorable little nugget, Dane. He is the only brown eyed grandchild out of 5 for Tim and Cathilee.

I’ve been home for a little over a week. When I arrived in Roatan I was getting my luggage and my friend who works there said Bill was there with a dog. When I walked out and said Max he almost jumped in my arms. I could NOT wait to get home to the other ones and give them their toys and lots of loving. Barrio, my shadow really missed me.

Barrio was sound asleep, I had about 4″ of bed.

We have not had rain for months and months. People’s wells were drying up, plants and trees were dying, it was getting bad. Well, lo and behold, I brought rain. I took this photo outside my back door and it looks like snow. It was really pouring.

This was the next day. We have had thunder storms at night and hard rains during the days. The island needed it badly.

Usually after a long dry spell we have termites, wood lice, whatever they are called. They are black bugs with 4 wings. They are attracted to light and swarm. They mate and drop their wings (or vice versa, never watched) and then they leave. Behind is the massive mess of wings. They are like Christmas tree needles, you find them months later.

These things were brown instead of black, probably a mutated bug. There were so many the birds were at the back door eating the bugs.

This is my outdoor concrete sink, full of wings. They are disgusting.

So, I’m back, haven’t done much, other than getting some work done on my car and staying home with the dogs. I can’t guarantee that I will be any better about blogging but I do promise to try.