Words from the homebody.

July 7, 2019  Blogging has been the last thing on my mind, it’s just been too damn hot. We had temps in the 90’s with a real feel of 131. I did nothing but float in the pool or lay in front of several fans. My house is a disaster and I really don’t care, I can’t so anything about the dog hair. Well now, that may change soon. I bought a used Roomba from someone leaving the island. It is designed for DOG HAIR. The battery on the one I bought is not holding a charge (I knew that when I bought it) so my friends are bringing me a new battery down, they arrive today. Then I’ll let the Roomba loose on my floors. My fear is it will grow legs and run away at the sight of the atrocious amount of dog hair we have. I can’t wait to try it.

UPDATE: Roomba works pretty well except one of the brushes that grabs the hair and pulls it into the vac broke. My friend Ryan is bring some new brushes when he comes down.

My friend Tammy and her husband Ryan came down for a visit. I still can’t believe she came down, it was so great to see her and to get to know Ryan. Tammy and I worked together at Peoples Bank in Lynden, WA for 5 years and we had so much fun that sometimes it didn’t seem like work at all.

The day after I went back to the chiropractor who fixed my foot (8 months of foot pain, surgery, a cortisone shot and no relief, one visit with the chiro on the island, I felt better), was the day before Tammy came. I was trying to clean my car out that morning and became extremely light headed. Earlier that day I had some dog obedience training with my friend Amy for Highway and Lola and I could hardly stand up. I laid on the chaise out front in the shade and felt like I was going to pass out. Now, I do have moderately high blood pressure and take medicine for it daily and that keeps it normal. Bill got my BP cuff and I took my BP, it was 73/55. Never in my whole life has it been that low. I laid around for quite awhile while the girls were cleaning my house. Later in the day I started to feel better and was able to meet our friends for dinner that night. The day after my friends arrived I had another appointment with my favorite chiropracter, Dr. Mary Mason at Tranquility Spa. She is seriously the best chiro I have ever been to. I dropped Tammy and Ryan off in West End to do some shopping and I went to see Dr Mary. I told her about my BP and she said, Oh yeah. When she did the pressure points behind my ears she actually fixed my foot and lowered my blood pressure. A chiro lowered my blood pressure. Doctors must not know this and I’m sure big pharma companies don’t want you to know this. I now take 1/2 of my normal dose and my BP is fine, I check it on a regular basis. Who the hell knew?

That night we went to Cal’s with Tammy and Ryan. It was a fabulous meal, as usual. We are so lucky to have a restaurant as good as Cal’s so close to our house.

I tried to keep my friends busy with my regular outings that all my guests get to enjoy, Arch’s Iguana Farm  and Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. These are two of my favorite places to take guests, they are each unique and offer something that you don’t normally get to experience. Plus, the Arch and Johnson families are my favorite people on the island.

The baby iguanas are kept in cages for 2 years, otherwise they would be food for a snake or a bird and would not have the chance to grow up.

This guy was chilling. Some of the iguanas are over 30 years old.

Ryan and Tammy (holding a sloth.) They really are the sweetest creatures. At the sloth and monkey hangout they are very particular about how you hold them, you can’t pet them, you just support them.

On Sunday there was a Roatan Marine Park Fundraiser at Beach Club Roatán, just a mile or 2 away from us that we were going to go to later in the day. We hung out by the pool for awhile, then Trish and Dave, Trish and Fred and Liza and Mike came over. We had some snacks and drinks before heading to the beach. There were a few bands playing but we went mainly to see Brion James and the Scallywags. Unfortunately, as things often happen here, Brion didn’t start playing until after 5:30, which is about the time most of the people left, including us. Oh well, it was a nice day sitting around people watching, there was even a girl fight, first for me.

My bestie Nidia was at the beach with her daughter Cookie. I haven’t seen Nidia in a few months, we both laughed when we saw each other in orange dresses.

I took Tammy and Ryan on the mangrove tour and then out to see Captain Ed @ Hole in the Wall.

We debated on whether we would walk into this house or not, the foundation didn’t look very stable. This is right by the dock where Ronny picks us up for the mangrove tour.

I really love the mangroves, especially love kayaking through them.

Exactly where we were going when the tour was finished.

A large crystal clear pool of water in the area of the mangrove tunnels.

A table at Hole in the Wall

The infamous Hole in the Wall.

We spent most nights down by the pool, having a few cocktails and watching the dogs and their antics.

This just proves that Lola is possessed.

Highway is lazy and only partially gets on the stool.

Bill and Ryan surrounded by the dogs.

My cleaning girls put the top on my toothbrush. I usually don’t turn the light on when brushing my teeth, just go in, grab the brush, put toothpaste on it and walk around while I brush my teeth. Imagine my surprise when I stuck this thing in my mouth with the plastic cover on it. It’s even on backwards. My thought is, they don’t see many Sonic Care toothbrushes. Lesson learned.

He has a whole porch, yet he lays like this.

I felt a trip east was a good idea with Tammy and Ryan. We stopped by Barbon Beach and then went out to La Sirena for rum punches and some lunch.

So beautiful but it will change soon. They are saying there will be cruise ships on the east end by October. There goes the peaceful end of the island. Greed will destroy the last beautiful beach on Roatán.

No need to change your watch, the whole island is on Island Time. You’ll know this for certain and sure once you try to get help doing anything. Mañana doesn’t mean tomorrow, it means, not today.

Tammy and Ryan, they were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this trip. @ La Sirena

Ryan took this photo of Tammy and I on the beach on the moon.

I had friends donate money to be used for a school so I bought new library books for the Froylan Turcios school that is close to our home. We are friends with the principal, Marlon. He does everything he can to get the students reading. All of the kids in the photo had already reserved the new books that were purchased. Tammy, Ryan and I went while they were being passed out. I love seeing kids read, it opens their minds and their eyes to the world around them.

One evening Tammy, Ryan and I went down to Kristi’s for drinks and to listen to Brion James play. It was just Brion and another guy doing percussion. It was excellent, really enjoyed listening to him and hearing much different music than he usually plays.

Their last full day here we went to West Bay Beach for sun, swimming and snorkeling. It was a non cruise ship day and the beach was pretty empty, perfect, just the way I like it.

Blue Tang

Smiley parrot fish

Stoplight parrot fish

School of blue tangs

I see a school of tangs every time I snorkel in West Bay.

If you look closely, there is a peacock flounder very well camouflaged. I can’t believe I even spotted it. This might be Tammy’s photo, at this point, I’m not sure.

Me, snorkeling.

This is supposedly the largest turtle in the world, it sits on top of a building in West End.

The last day they were here was Mother’s Day. I was sitting by the pool with the dogs when Tammy came down. She had a canvas bag that said, “Actually, I’m a Mermaid” in her hand and when she gave it to me she said, “Happy Mothers Day.” In the bag were all kinds of mermaid gifts for me.

A mermaid necklace.

Mermaid coolie.

Mermaid shirt that she bought while shopping the day we left the beach. Sneaky.

A beautiful mermaid mug.

Magnetic mermaid wine charms.

A beautiful mermaid tail blanket.

And all of these gifts were in the cute canvas bag. Thank you Tammy!

My sister sent me a few photos of Dad. He wanted to go out to eat so Miss and Mark took him to the Ale house. Dad really wanted a burger, fries and a coke, so that’s what he got. While waiting for the meal he and Missy did some coloring. When the meal came, he would not touch the hamburger, they tried everything and he just was not interested in it. He did eat his fries though.

Coloring at the Ale House.

Missy at the bakery

Missy and Mark were in Rochester NY for a friends son’s wedding and stopped at the Savoia Pastry Shoppe. Uncle Don, (Dad’s brother) used to always bring these cookies when he came to visit. They picked some up for Dad.

Dad and Mark sitting out on the porch at the center where Dad lives, enjoying a cookie. I can tell by the look on Dad’s face that he’s enjoying the cookie but wondering why Missy is taking another photo. Doesn’t he look amazing for 98 years old? Mark and Missy are so good to him, I can never thank them enough.

This is my favorite waiter on the whole island, Reynaldo @ Cal’s Cantina. When Bob and Deb were here they met Reynaldo and decided to send a Little League Baseball hat for him and for Mr Sherman from the Iguana farm. In case you didn’t know, Bill and I are from Williamsport, home of Little League Baseball. Reynaldo wore his hat to work and a baseball shirt.

My boy Barrio. He is such a Momma’s boy, he never leaves my side. For some reason he has two toys in his mouth instead of the usual one that he carries around. The scar is from a fight he and Max had a long time ago.

Beautiful sunsets every night

Dog butts, all I see are dog butts.

Bill put up this sun shade so the dogs have more shaded area to lay in when they are at the pool. We have not cut the poles off yet because he is going to switch it around. Tonight we had an insane wind come from out of nowhere, the sky was black all around us, I could barely get the south facing door open the wind was so strong. Bill grabbed wire cutters and a ladder and we took the shade down for fear it would rip. It’s now laying on the dining room table. All that work, put plants down, moved chairs and rafts and not one damn drop of rain. It’s a freaking desert here.

I just received a private message from my friend Marlon. He’s come across a grandmother who needs food. I asked him to please find out if she needs anything other than food, he said he would go see her tomorrow. Hopefully I get my car back tomorrow (bad radiator fan) and can go get groceries for her. I’m also going to Mega Paca tomorrow and buying a mattress for my friend Soila’s hubby. I met her years ago when we cleaned the police station and made all the beds and arranged the kitchen before their grand opening. She was there scrubbing out a donated refrigerator. Then I ran into her again at a vet clinic I was working. The following vet clinic she came back and I ended up taking her home with her dog and several kids with their dogs. I was with our friend Miguel a few months ago in Oak Ridge and I saw Soila, she works for the municipal cleaning the roadside of trash. She and 3 other ladies work their tails off in the heat. I often take them Cokes. I stopped along the road to hug her and just then Miguel said she was his aunt. She was so surprised to see Miguel and I together. Anyhow, her husband hurt his back and they have no mattress. The mattresses at MP are not brand name but they are new and clean and 6″ thick, I’m sure they will enjoy having it.

UPDATE: Soila has the new mattress for her husband and I bought a bag of groceries for the elderly lady.

$25.00 worth of groceries goes a long way for someone who has no money. I never buy anything perishable because many of them have no electricity so no refrigerator.

I’m currently collecting donations for food baskets for the Senior Luncheon the 24th of this month. We expect 350-400 seniors for a day of music, food and gifts. We are helped in this endeavor by Live Again Ministries.

This group of wonderful people does so much for the island of Roatan, it’s really amazing. They distribute buckets with water filters so people have potable water, they bring boxes of dictionaries, bibles. sandals, dresses, handkerchiefs, hats, reading glasses, so many things. They also pay for the bulk of the luncheon, without them, we could not do what we do. Pastor Ronny and his group are people I am proud to call my friends. This is the 5th year in a row that Because We Care has put together this luncheon.

We finally had a rain day and it was glorious, we so need rain. I woke this morning to another dark day. I never turn lights on inside until around 7 at night. This morning it was so dark I had to turn them on so I could make breakfast. It’s sunny again so lights out and going to the pool with the crazies.

I’m currently re-watching seasons 1 and 2 of Stranger Things so I can remember what happened before I watch season 3. I have been reading a lot. Currently reading Fly Girls, just finished Little Fires Everywhere. I’m also in a Property Brothers rut. I hate the show but I love it.

Chance went back east to see my Dad and family. He took his girls with him. They had a great time. My sister took them to D.C. then Chance and the girls drove to Williamsport and saw friends, then to Hershey Park, back to Maryland, then back to South Dakota.

My nephew’s wife, Sofie, Alexah, Chloee and Eric, my nephew at The Cheesecake factory in Columbia, MD

Chance, Dad and the girls.

They recently had a prom at the center where Dad lives and Missy was his prom date. She said it was her first prom in 40 years. She is so amazing with Dad, blessed to have her so close.

We were lucky and had a very quiet 4th, didn’t hear or see any fireworks/firecrackers. The dogs were happy.

I’m going to wrap this up and get it posted before another month slips by. This is for you squeeze.

Happy July!

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The difference between living and existing

04/28/2019 I’ve struggled with the thoughts rumbling in my brain, putting them down for others to read is difficult. I was recently back in the states visiting with my 98 year old Father. I’m so happy that I went, despite the fact he may not even remember I was there. He does not remember that I moved out of the country 6 years ago, he does not remember that my Mother, his wife of almost 70 years has passed away. He does not remember going flying with Bill in his plane, he does not remember time spent with the boys in the Outer Banks. The only thing he seems able to recall is WWII. Something he never spoke of when we were young.

My Dad was always a strong, intelligent hard working, well respected business man. He taught the 3 of us to be responsible, to be honest and kind and to always work hard. He (and Mom) taught us to be good parents, they led by example. To see him like this is so hard, my proud Father reduced to this man who doesn’t remember if he ate breakfast. What a horrid disease dementia is.

My trip there was uneventful, I got bumped to first class on the way to Houston.

Wine and apple pie..

I realized on the way to Houston that my AT&T sim card did not fit in my new phone which meant I had no internet when I arrived at Reagan International airport near DC, my final destination. This posed a problem because this was the first time I ever flew into there AND I had to find my way to my sisters house in the dark with no GPS. I was stressing. I tried to find somewhere to get my sim card cut at Houston but had no luck. They called my flight and had us waiting to board when someone (thank you whoever you are) noticed that the plane had a flat tire. We had to wait until they changed it. Fine with me, it would really suck to take off in a plane with a flat tire.

Thank you tire Gods.

Finally, @ 10:30PM we landed at DCA in Washington DC, well, really Arlington Va. My foot was throbbing in my always super comfy Skechers that I wear to travel. I could not find where I was to go to get the rental car and walked the length of the empty airport looking for someone to ask. Finally, I was told I had to go outside and get a bus to the rental facility. When I got there I was number 9 in line with 2 agents and it was 11 PM. I was a little stressed. When it was my turn I poured my heart out to the agent and he said he would fix me up with a car with a nav system in it for 11 million dollars more. At that point, after paying for insurance (because I no longer have insurance in the US) I didn’t care if it was 15 million dollars. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I found the car in the deserted parking garage, the kind you see on movies that muggers and rapists lurk about in. I didn’t see any keys for the car but noticed a push button start, which didn’t work. I had no clue, I’ve never driven a key less car, remember, my car is 13 years old. I found an attendant who reached to the very front of the dash, over the lip, grabbed the key fob and told me; hold this in your hand, step on the brake and push the button. I’ll be damned, it started. Then I had to program the route to my sisters. Once I was on the road I was OK but still really stressed. I was driving on the poorly lit, riddled with potholes, George Washington Memorial Parkway, then I was on I 495 and I saw signs for Rte 200, which I know is a toll road. I’ve driven on it before and ended up being charged $45.00 each time because I don’t have one of those pass things. I pulled off the road and figured out how to set the GPS for no toll roads and was back on the highway again. I don’t know what time I made it to my sisters but I was frazzled.

FRED, my Ford Flex. I actually liked this car a lot. It reminds me of something Fred Flinstone and Barney would cruise around in, hence the name.

I went over to see Dad the next day. He was sleeping and I tried to wake him but he didn’t stir. I decided to go take care of my phone and buy a new sim card for it. Once I had that I felt a whole lot better. I realized that on my drive from the airport to my sisters, I couldn’t even call anyone if I needed to, it was like 1970 with no cell phones.

I had a foot doctor appointment at noon that day so I did a few things then went to see the podiatrist. The unusual thing was, my foot has been so much better since I went snorkeling a few times, I was barely limping. The Doc was very nice, read my list from the 5 previous orthopedic surgeons and their thoughts on my ailment. He said he wanted to take his own X-Rays, I said OK. He took the X-Rays and came back in to see me. His opinion was I had severe arthritis in my big toe. The one that was operated on Dec 3rd. He gave me 3 choices: a cortisone shot, orthopedics to wear in my shoes (flip flops 24/7) or surgery. I told him I would think about it and call him back. When I checked out they said my medicare number was not correct so I told them I would follow up on that.

I left there and went back to see Dad and decided to wake him up. He was so surprised to see me, he recognized me right away and sat up. His socks were tucked into the nightstand drawer, far be it for my Dad to ever throw anything on the floor. His shirt was hung up and his dress pants were over the chair. He got up and dressed and we went out to the main room where people congregate. He is on the top (3rd) floor in a memory care center. None of the residents can operate the elevator, for their own safety. They have a key pad by the elevators for the workers to use. There is a lady named Shirley who thinks it’s a phone and uses it to call her Mother every day. She also tries to get on the elevator to go downstairs and escape to freedom, so you need to tell her it is going up.

That afternoon they had a nice man come in to play some music. I recognized a few of the tunes, obviously Dad did not and quite loudly said, many times, “well, he’s trying but he’s not very good.” I could have crawled under a chair.

Dad and I sat for 3 hours in this room and as happy as I was to be with him, it was heart wrenching to see my strong intelligent Father sitting there wondering what was going on around him. I saw a younger man who seemed very with it, I assumed he was a visitor but he was a resident. There were a few couples where the one partner was mentally fine but their spouse was not. One couple in particular, I really admired the man who was there because of his wife. The sacrifices he made to be with her. I wondered if he would leave and move out if and when she passed. My sister said there are many people who she never sees anyone visiting and she would know as she is there almost daily. She and her husband Mark are my Father’s angels, and sometimes he is a very difficult man to deal with. They know it’s not him, it’s the disease, it was something I had to learn again. Despite the fact of knowing that, it still hurts.

When I got back to my sister’s I got online to the Medicare website, turns out I never got the “new” medicare card. I didn’t know because I’ve never used it. I called Medicare and of course, they could not give the number to me over the phone. I decided to go to the Medicare office that was close by and get the number. I waited almost 2 hours in the most confusingly numbered system I’ve ever experienced. When I finally got up to the window the girl said she could NOT give me a new Medicare card. I assured her that I knew that but could she give me the correct number pretty please? Yes, she could and did. I was in there so long the weather went from cool and sunny to cold and rainy. I think I may have gone shopping to ease my pain. The following morning I went back to the Dr and got a cortisone shot in my big toe. It didn’t hurt but by the next day I had developed a new pain in my foot and I had a hard time walking. Great. From bad to pretty darn good to a new kind of bad.

This was my first trip to TJ Maxx where I believe I set a world record for filling a cart the fastest. Don’t even ask me what I bought, I know there were dog toys and a pair of shoes. ONLY 1 PAIR OF SHOES THOUGH.

I went back there a few times with my sister. We share the same shopping skills, inherited, passed down from our Mother. Our wallets thank her.

My sweet adorable nephew’s wife came over to see me and she and Missy and I went to Target in Gaithersburg. O M G. I miss that store. I wanted one of everything. Missy, Sofie and I did a substantial amount of shopping, I was feeling good, I love to buy new stuff. We got back to Missy’s and Eric, Sofie’s hubs and my favorite (only but still favorite) nephew came over to see me. He made some kick ass guacamole and we had another amazing meal.

I’m sure I’m getting my days mixed up but I’m allowed to, I’m not on a schedule. My BFF Olivia lives in Bel Air, MD and we have not seen each other for too damn long. She took a sick day and met me at TJ MAXX in Columbia, MD. We did some shopping and then went to a fabulous place for lunch. We were debating going in when a cop walked by us and said, “have you eaten here?” We said no, he said, “try it, it’s fabulous”, so in we went. My BFF Olivia is a foodie, she lives to eat. I eat to live but we have found common ground and it works for us.

Everything was fresh, made to order right in front of you. It was delicious.

I made sure my nephew Eric and his wife knew about this place since they just bought a new home in Columbia.

I called Dad late one morning to see if he wanted to go to McDonald’s. He has always loved a plain cheeseburger with fries. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. So I repeated myself. He started shouting that he didn’t know what I was saying and why was I bothering him with this. He didn’t know what I was talking about and didn’t want to go. I said, “Dad, why are you yelling at me?” He said you are talking crazy talk and he hung up on me. My brother in law heard the conversation and came out and said, give him an hour, he won’t remember a thing. I waited until after lunch and went over. Mark gave me a can of Coke for him and a straw. He did not remember talking to me and he guzzled that Coke down so fast. I got him to go out and walk around a little bit. Not for long though, he wanted to go nap. He came to Missy’s one night for spaghetti and meatballs. He ate a good meal but was ready to go home before we even ate.

 

Dad and I.

Missy, Dad and I. Sorry these are smaller, can’t make them any larger.

Dad taste testing the spaghetti to see if it’s done.

Missy had some cards made for him with photos of family and flowers and other things. Two cards of each photo and he tries to match the cards. He really enjoys playing it but can not, for the life of him, remember where the matching cards are.

Mark, Eric, Missy and I went out for dinner one evening to Cava. It looks very nondescript from the outside, it is in a strip mall, but once inside, OMG.

More bar seating but we were at the actual bar, of course we were.

My first ever Moscow Mule made with Vodka, Ginger Beer, crystallized ginger and lime juice. These things are dangerous.

Eric and his dad Mark. So much fun to hang out with them. I love that Eric wanted to spend time with me.

Me, Eric and Mark at Cava.

They serve Naan bread and some hot spicy dip and oil and tzatziki dip, we got chicken skewers, fries, grilled brussel sprouts and lamb sliders. I did not eat Mary’s Little Lamb. The rest was delicious.

Missy, Mark and I outside of Cava.

The next day my brother and his daughter Devon came down for Easter. They came a little early so they could see me too. We all went over to see Dad one afternoon. Missy and Devon found a puzzle so we helped Dad put it together in the dining room. He was very upset because we were in the dining room and people didn’t usually hang out in there.

Dad had a difficult time with the puzzle but Devon helped him.

Yep, I look like my Dad.

Dad and his kids.

PJ and Devon. She is such a happy girl, always smiling, unless PJ is making her do something she really doesn’t want to do, like turn off the computer. I’m so glad they came down and I got to see both of them.

We were sitting out on Missy’s deck when I got an alert from United saying they were expecting severe thunderstorms in the afternoon on the day I was leaving. I called Bill and he said to call them and reschedule. They put me on a 10:10 AM flight, which meant I had to leave at 7 to return the car and find my way. I went over to the memory care center at 4:20 that afternoon to say good bye to Dad. He was in bed and would not get up. I wanted him to go eat dinner but he said he wasn’t hungry. I gave up, didn’t want to upset him so I hugged him, kissed him good-bye and left with tears in my eyes. It sucks to leave, you don’t know if that’s going to be the last time you see him or not. He still doesn’t understand that I am not close and can’t pop over for lunch on a whim.

Missy took this of me on her deck.

Me, Missy and PJ

That night we all (minus Dad, he doesn’t do trips more than 10 minutes very well) went to Eric and Sofie’s new house for dinner. They just moved in a few weeks ago and were excited for us all to see it. It’s a great house, lots of room and a beautiful back yard. They made parmesan chicken and stuffed shells. Missy made a salad and I took wine. It was delicious.

Sofie has hit the ultimate coolness factor with me. She has a T-Rex sippy cup. I was in love.

Devon took this of Missy and I. The first one she took was hysterical, it was of her thumb. This is a picture off of a phone.

Eric, Sofie, PJ and Mark, waiting to dive into a fabulous meal.

Getting ready to dig in.

PJ, Devon, Sofie, Me, Eric and Mark.

We helped them clean up and then headed for home. I still had to pack. UGH. We sat around and talked for a short time after we got home but I had to get up early and get on the road so I said good night.

I was out the door at 7 AM, stopped to fill up the tank and then got lost in VA trying to return the rental car. I was pulled off the road cursing at the Nav system because it just stopped and I was clearly nowhere near the rental return. Just then a cop pulled up and asked me how I was. I was stressed and lost. He was so nice, he told me exactly where I needed to go, repeated it several times and said, don’t take this turn…I finally found it, dropped off the car and made my way to the airport. Once I was checked in I got something awful to eat (donuts) and went to my gate. My foot was hurting so much I could hardly walk. Once I got on the plane to Houston I was able to sit back and relax. I arrived in Houston much earlier than scheduled due to my flight change times. I was spending the night at the Marriott at the airport. You have to get your luggage then go down a level and catch the subterranean subway to the hotel. I made it to the hotel a few hours before check in, they said no problem. I got checked into my room, took my shoes off and opened my suitcase only to realize they had ruined my suitcase, the zipper pulls and the TSA lock were missing. Now that it was opened there was no way to close it. I called United and she told me to take it back to Terminal C and they would replace it for me. My foot hurt so bad I asked if there was anyway they could deliver it. She said no, but she had just been in Roatan on vacation and loved it. YAY. I emptied everything out of it and trudged back over to Terminal C. I spoke to a man at the United luggage desk. I expected it to be a lot more difficult than it was. He got some info then walked me over to these glass door closets filled with NEW suitcases. He asked if I wanted a hard or soft side, I said hard please. He gave me a brand new 28″ suitcase and sent me on my way. As I got on the subway to go back to the Marriott a girl said, “you must have come from somewhere warm.” I said, not really, I’m going home, I live on Roatan. She said, OMG, I just got back from there and am going again in August. Then she proceeded to pick my brain for the short 4 minute ride to the hotel. I got back to the room, re packed, took a bath, called room service and ordered a chicken ceasar and opened my box of wine.

Brand spanking new and I adore new suitcases for some odd reason.

Cracked open the box before I even got home!

I couldn’t figure out how to work the remote in the hotel room, (it had 300 buttons on it and was more than likely handled by very germ laden people) so I went to sleep. I was up by 7 and at the airport by 7:30 and checked in. 10 minutes later I was at my gate for the almost uneventful trip to Roatan. All was fine until we got ready to land and the pilot could not see the runway. He was way too high to even bring it in if he could see it. We flew over the ocean for awhile and he came in for another landing. This time I could see the runway, phew. I just wanted to be home. I was waiting for Bill when he walked up behind me. He had Max with him, once Max saw me he went crazy. He missed his momma. We came home and when I unpacked I realized the TSA agents stole my damn Skechers. I couldn’t wear them because my foot hurt so much, so I hid each in a separate travel cube. My cubes were open, clothes strewn all over and my shoes gone. Another call to United, they are taking care of it.

The dogs were so happy to see me and to get their new toys. When I got home my foot was way worse than it was when I left and I didn’t know what to do. I called the podiatrist in Maryland and he said it didn’t sound like a cortisone flare (I had googled that and it was not the issue), he suggested I see an ortho doc. Thing is, I’ve seen 5 and none of them helped me at all. Wonderfreakingful. I was talking to my friend about her results from seeing Mary Mason, a chiropractor from Austin TX who has a practice here. She suggested I go see her about my foot. So I did. My friend Steph and I went together, she is having neck/back issues. Dr Mary has a much different approach to chiropractic work than I am used to, I’ve seen chiropractors for 50 years. She worked on some bones behind my ears, the backs of my legs and my hips. She had me go out for a walk while she worked on Steph. Then she gave me another adjustment before I left. I was really sore (and still am) but I can walk without a limp. I’m going back to see her again tomorrow, hoping that one more treatment is all I will need.

Boys having a swim.

Lola getting comfy.

I wanted Dra Diana, the vet from Tegus who gave us the miracle cream for Max’s wounds, to check Max’s ear, he seems to be shaking his head a lot and we wanted to get both he and Highway tested for heartworm and erlichia. Max and Highway were in the back of the truck, Max sat there perfectly quiet and Highway howled the whole damn trip (25 min) to the vet. I was losing it to the point that Bill threatened to turn around or let me out. I had him drop me at the vet and he went to the plumbing store. After they were tested and Dra Diana tested the goop in Max’s ear, we were ready to go. Bill suggested I sit in the back with Max and allow Highway up front. UGH. Fine, whatever. Can you believe this idiot dog didn’t howl once on the way home? He must have called SHOTGUN in dog speak and I didn’t catch it. He was howling BECAUSE I WAS IN THE FRONT SEAT. He really pushes my buttons..

Highway, the howler. This dog is lucky he didn’t get thrown out of the car when we went to the vets.

Max was perfect, as usual.

I have company coming on Thursday and I can’t wait!! I haven’t seen Tammy since 2013, looking forward to catching up with her and showing her around the island. I have a zillion things to do so I should probably post this thing and get moving.

It’s hot and humid, my weather app says: OMG, It’s so hot and humid. Who the frak even needs clothes today. Forget clothes. It’s 9:45 AM and already 86 but feels like 97. Luckily, we’re up on the hill top so we have a nice strong breeze blowing through the house.

Happy Monday everyone!

I should just stay home

02/20/2019 to 3/21/2019 Some days you’re just destined to be flummoxed at every step along the way. Welcome to Roatan.

I have been a recluse, just staying home with the dogs. My foot hurts to drive, there was nothing I needed or anywhere I had to go, so home was my choice. The dogs and I got into a nice routine and it was working well for 5+ months. I did leave the house to take my car to get repainted, that was to be a 2 week job, 5 weeks was the reality of it all. I also left again to pick up my car when it was done. The check engine light came on over a year ago. They plugged it into the computer and it said oxygen sensors were bad. First clue that was wrong should have been the fact my car was running fine, but that’s what the (faulty) computer said. We ordered oxygen sensors from the US and had them installed. The light went out, for 2 days. Then was back on to stay. We took my car in for a rattle (5 days to find it) and they said my catalytic converter was bad and needed replaced and it probably ruined my new oxygen sensor. ARGGHH. So we ordered a new catalytic converter and oxygen sensor from the states. They were installed when they finished painting the car. They also removed the windshield tint film that they ripped when they took out my dashboard to fix the rat chewed electrical system. The check engine soon light was off, finally. I drove my car yesterday and the A/C was not working at all. While I was going down the road it came on. Soon after that the check engine light came on again. But, hey, my car looks damn nice with a new paint job and it runs great.

I decided to go see another orthopedic doctor in La Ceiba, I don’t even know why I did but…I took the ferry over, Donald, my friend and taxi driver picked me up, took me to D’Antoni hospital. I got in to see a dermatologist first, then waited about ten minutes and saw the orthopedic doc. He had me get Xrays done, 315L, about $12.00 for 2. I went back to his office, he took me immediately and said he felt I had reflex sympathetic disorder chronic pain. He said I would need physical therapy. He also said he didn’t see what the surgery on my big toe was for, it had nothing to do with what was wrong with my foot.

I made plans with myself, even made lists of things I needed to accomplish. I was going to do it Monday. Monday passed so I decided Tuesday. Well, that didn’t happen either, however I had to go see about therapy for my foot on Wed so I was forced to leave the house.

I showered and got dressed, then decided to put away some things on my desk. One of the items was my favorite bottle of OPI polish, orange with a glimmer to it. Well, I dropped the bottle on the concrete floor and it shattered. The mess was insane. It was all over the floor, cupboards and wall. I freaked out. I hadn’t heard Bill come home but he was in the kitchen. He grabbed a roll of paper towels and poured nail polish remover on the floors and tried to clean it up. He got the polish off and also the finish that was on the floors. Now I have an obvious large white area on the floor. And I don’t have my favorite bottle of polish. He took the garbage outside since it’s flammable, I just texted him that I need the color off of the bottle of polish so I can find it online. He’s more than likely ready to strangle me. Such is life.

After that mess, I left the house. I was to meet Rosemarie at her property very close to us at 9:30. I have met Rosemarie once at the swearing in of the mayor for his second term. She has been following my blog and always comments. She told me she got me something while she was in Sonoma and wanted to give it to me, so I met her on my way to town. She got me mermaid socks, a beautiful mermaid key chain and gave me a mermaid sticker from Palau. So sweet of her to do this, I love everything.

Love the socks and yes, I do wear them, with flip flops.

I’ll find somewhere for this little sticker.

I love this, too pretty for a key chain.

After I met Rosemarie I headed right to the bank. The traffic in French Harbor is awful, they are putting in a new road. The wait could have been much worse and we’ll have a nice road, so I’m not whining about it. I haven’t been in the bank for 5 months and my debit card stopped working about that long ago too. This means I have spent zero dollars in 5 months. I walked in to my friend Noe’s desk. I handed him my debit card and asked if he could make me a new one while I did some banking. He said he couldn’t make one. I asked why not and he said the card making machine was broken. Of course it was, nothing ever works in the bank. He said he could “fix” my card. Now, I was a banker all of my life and was very dubious when he said that as I was sure the mag stripe was bad, it wouldn’t work in an ATM or at a store. He did some magic finger stuff on his computer and said it should be good, to try it in the ATM when I left. I did my banking, got in my car and went to the ATM, which was out of order. As usual.

My list was made up of simple things: AAA batteries, bank, gas, blinds, tennis balls, ceiling light and 2 more fans for the school. They needed 6 and Miss Claire only had 4, so I bought those. Ace had only batteries. Puerto Cortez had no fans, blinds or lights.

I then stopped to fill up my gas tank. I gave the guy my card and said I doubted it would work. OMG, it worked, I couldn’t believe it. From there I went to meet Nidia at Bojangles in Coxen Hole. She was with some people from the Live Again Ministry.

A rose between 2 thorns. Nidia, Pastor Ronny and me.

I have known Pastor Ronny for several years and have worked with him and various members of his team. What an amazing group of people. This time Pastor Ronny was joined by sweet Maria and the rest of the people belonged to the Riddle/Jensen family. I met most of them last year and fell in love with them. Keith and Tamson have 3 children, Luke, Lela (twins) and Carlie. Tamson’s Mom and Dad made their second visit here also. This time her brother, sister in law and their 2 kids came too. I made it a point to go see them while I was in the Coxen Hole area. It must have been my lucky day. Tamson brought me bags of gifts too.

Inside this was the mermaid bag below and a solar phone charger, a pair of angel wing earrings, and her mother brought me some silver earrings too.

Love anything mermaid..

After we had lunch I met a new friend at Petro Sun gas station, Lily, and she took me downtown to RBC, a Rehabilitation center on the island that helps people get more mobile. I saw a young girl who did some electronic stimulus on my foot, then some heat/ice and stretching, all of which I can do at home, except the electric stimulus and I had that done on my hands 2 times a week for over a year and it did nothing. No reason for me to drive to Coxen Hole for this. My foot is still bothering me (since SEPTEMBER) so I made an appointment to see a doc in Maryland when I go back home. In the meantime I scored an appointment with an orthopedic doctor from Health City Cayman Islands this Saturday, they will be here on the island. I so want to get this fixed.

What you can’t see in this photo is the orange nail polish all over my left foot and also on my right foot. The girl looked at me like I was incapable of painting my own toes.

After my appointment we walked back to Lily’s car and she had a flat tire. Of course she did, this was my comedy of errors day. We walked out of the parking lot and were approached by this boy and his father.

The boy was selling bracelets for 10L each. I said to Lily, maybe the father would change her tire so she asked him and he said sure. While he changed the tire I bought some bracelets from his son.

They put the lug nuts on here so they never come off, especially when you need the damn things to come off. The poor guy finally broke the last one free.

After I got back to my car I was ready to be home but was still 45 minutes away. Nothing is ever easy here.

Lola and her coconut, this girl loves these things.

New sign for a restaurant in Punta Gorda.

This is a Tarantula Hawk Wasp. It packs the most painful non venomous sting in the world. We did not kill it, is was dead in the pool skimmer basket.

Not sure what to say about these steps.

Our friends donated money to me to do what I felt was needed for the school in Pandytown. They had 3 new classrooms but the municipal didn’t have money for fans. We bought 2 fans for each of the large classrooms. I took them to the school and gave them to Miss Daphne, the school director, on the right. They are very excited and said the electrician will be installing them this week. Once the fans are installed I will be buying them a printer with left over funds from my friends and funds donated by other friends. Thank you to all who donate.

Speaking of donating, this year Nidia and Because We Care received enough donations that they were able to outfit 1153 students so they could attend school. Without a uniform, you can’t go to school.

This happened one evening we were out, I hope that baking powder was good.

We had never painted the ceiling in the living room, it was a sand color. Once we repainted the walls the ceiling was screaming to be painted. What a difference it makes.

The walls were blue before. the gray is so much better. I’m still deciding whether I want anything over the windows or not. We can look out any window upstairs and see the ocean, why cover that view??

No doubt about it, I love the gray and white ceiling. Now if we can do the bedroom and bathroom and closet I may shut up.

We got company on the 11th. Bob (who has been Bill’s friend forever) and his wife Deb came from PA for a week. The weather could not have been more perfect, blue sky every day and a good strong breeze to keep the heat down and make for good sleeping weather.

Deb went diving with Subway one day and had 2 great dives. I took them to Arch’s Iguana farm, we had a nice talk with Mr Sherman and after that we went to Daniel’s monkey and sloth hangout. Once they were done with the animals we went out snorkeling with Daniel and Dustin. It was the first I had been in the ocean for 9 months, at least. Ridiculous I know, I live on an island. The water was warm but there was a good current and it was choppy even inside the reef. It was hard to take photos because I couldn’t stay still.

She was just hanging out.

This boat slammed into the reef one evening when the guy was trying to get through a shallow unfamiliar cut using GPS at night. He didn’t make it. Unfortunately he did a lot of damage to the reef.

Lots of fish.

An anemone.

A big lobster. They are out of season now, mating time.

A black spiny sea urchin.

It felt so good to get back in the water again. After that I decided we were making a trip to West Bay on Sunday to snorkel some more. Saturday found us in Jonesville. We took a tour through the mangroves then went to Hole in the Wall and hung out with Captain Ed. We had an absolute blast sitting there talking to him.

Through the mangroves

The biggest natural swimming hole on the island.

Why the fork not use a fork for a phone holder?

Mañana does not mean tomorrow, it means, Not Today.

Yep

Deb and Bob

Deb and Bob at the bar chatting with Captain Ed

As we were leaving..lousy photo from the moving boat.

Sunday morning we left here at 8, destination West Bay Beach. It was St Paddy’s day, Deb had never had a Monkey LaLa drink and we were going to snorkel some more.

My favorite hangout, Bananarama

Deb and Bob with their green Monkey LaLas

I had to have 2 to make sure I celebrated properly.

Yep, the beach looks like that.

Star coral.

Trunkfish

Brain coral

Parrot Fish, they gnaw on the coral and poop sand.

Elkhorn coral

Sea fan with solitary hydroids growing out of it.

We got back from the beach, showered and ran down to the iguana farm for sweet Isla Marie Arch’s first birthday party. What a sweetheart she is.

One year old on St Paddy’s day!

Sam, Chelsie and Isla.

Sam’s aunt makes the best pinatas on the island. I don’t know how she does it but they are gorgeous!

We couldn’t stay at the party very long because of…dogs. I won’t go into our issues with the dogs but this last month has been sheer hell. We are just coming out of it and hoping and praying that we can keep order in this pack. They have been our lives, especially since the pups were born 4-15-2015. We have centered our lives around them, the recent incident shook us to the core.

Hoping for better days ahead.

Dysfunctional blogging from the “dog” side.

12/16/2018 and 1/16/2019 and 1/28/2019 Sorry, not sorry. I started this a month + ago and then didn’t want to post it. Now, because of laziness I will add to it and then hopefully post it online sometime this month.

12/16/2018 After 3 months of limping I finally went to a surgeon in Tegus (Dec. 3rd) and had an operation on my big toe. He said there were bone fragments (no clue from where) in the joint. I had amazing people taking care of me there, especially the surgeons daughter who is in Dublin Ireland going to medical school. She was awesome. The only negative was the bill. Even though it was nothing like the states I still feel I was overcharged for a one night stay by about $1500.00. My stitches come out tomorrow (thanks to Wendy) and hopefully I will be walking normally again soon.

7 AM flight from Roatan to Tegus, flying over Cayos Cochinos with mainland Honduras in the background.

Honduras is a gorgeous country, even through the old plexiglass of the plane window.

So many mountains, Tegus is closer to the Pacific than the Caribbean and has one of the 10 most dangerous runways in the world.

I won’t gross you out with my incision, you get the idea.

We are in the tail end of a norther. The wind was 40 MPH yesterday and last night brought rain and more wind. When I woke this morning I couldn’t see either shore but it cleared up for awhile. It is now getting gloomy and gray and the horizon is vanishing again. ‘Tis the season for these storms.

The first day the storm was moving in, view to the south.

You wouldn’t know it was Christmas, I don’t have one single decoration out and I really have no interest in doing so, nor do I have any interest in Christmas parties, except for the ones Nidia and I are doing for the kids on the island. This year my friends David and Gretta will be Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They are looking forward to giving the island kids a good Christmas. We have two days of parties planned, the 20th and the 22nd. The 22nd will be in Juticalpa and that will be a big party with face painting and Santa. It will be the first time we’ve done a Christmas party there.

I was fortunate to have two different high school friends visit Roatan just a few days apart from each other. Mac and Phyllis from Florida came with some friends. I gave them an island tour of the east end, we came here, met the dogs then went to Cal’s for lunch. A few days after that Ginny and Gary from PA came to visit. We did the same things but didn’t do lunch at Cal’s. Both of them brought a lot of things for the kids, school supplies, candy and clothes. My downstairs was looking like a store. I had school supplies from: John and Lizeth, Dave and Kerry, Mac and Ginny and Julie and Brian. I also had the stuff that was dropped at Daniel Johnson’s Sloth and Monkey farm for Because We Care. I feel blessed that people are so willing to help Nidia and I do what we do. Nidia and Franklin came last week and picked up most of it to store until school starts in February.

So many needed things for the kids.

A perfect type of oxymoron, candy and toothbrushes and toothpaste.

A while ago I joined Instagram and I really love it as it’s not all the mundane posts that are on FB. Most of it is beautiful photos taken around the world. One of my favorite people to follow is Kimi_Swimmy. I knew nothing about her until I found her on IG. I looked at her website and saw that she was featured in the Netflix show called Fishpeople. If you have access to Netflix, check it out.

I have always been a Lady Gaga fan and was lucky enough to see her in Vancouver, BC a few years ago with some friends. It was amazing and only solidified her (in my eyes) as one of the best performers, musicians of my time. When I found out there was a Netflix documentary on her, I was all over it. The show is called Five Foot Two and it’s awesome, just like Gaga. Last night I watched A Star is Born with Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I cried through most of the movie, pretty much non stop. The movie was so so so good and damn, Bradley Cooper has some gorgeous blue eyes. They both gave stellar performances, I’m looking forward to watching it again, probably today, since the weather is forcing me to stay inside.

While in the states this summer I bought 3 boxes of Black Box Pinot Grigio wine. Each box holds 3 Liters of wine. I drank two boxes, not in one night, honest, and was “saving” the last one for a special occasion. The night I came back from having foot surgery was deemed as special enough. Bill opened the box and poured me a glass. I was eating a Chicken Caesar salad from Cal’s at the time. The wine tasted funny so I chalked it up to the salad. Later on I drank some more and it tasted terrible. I called Bill into the bedroom and had him taste it. Yep, bad. It had fermented in the box and tasted like bad wine vinegar. I googled it, secretly hoping for a remedy so I didn’t have to throw out 3 bottles of wine (that’s what the box held). No such luck. Wine will get bad in a box but not a bottle. If the box had been opened and sat that long it would have been OK also. It took a few days before I could admit that we had to pour the box down the drain.

Alcohol abuse. BooHoo, it was traumatic, I couldn’t watch.

We have been eating at Cal’s quite a bit, I ate there 3 times (once was take out) the week of my surgery and have been there a few times this past week. It really is the only restaurant on the island that I will go to more than once a week, it’s that good, plus I love Reynaldo the waiter. Always fun to see him.

Most of you know we are dog people. We have 5 island rescue dogs and they are not just lawn ornaments in our home. They are a huge part of the family. I’ve gotten a little obsessed with them and prefer to be with them instead of going out. Maybe it’s because they don’t talk and I am fine with that. I can even put up with the shedding most of the time, however these guys have decided they are not outdoor dogs, they prefer to be inside with us. Of course, if we are outside they are right beside us too. The past 3 months I have spent a lot of time in bed reading (since I can’t drive or walk normally) and the boys have been by my side the whole time. Bill and I were talking the other night and wondered what it was that has so firmly attached us to the dogs, especially the 3 brothers. I know for me it was the fact that I was with them from birth and devoted 6 weeks of my life to keeping them fed and clean, however it also has something to do with the personalities of these guys. They are really good dogs and have given back to us way more than we could ever give them. I get kind of sappy thinking about them and when I’m not home they are constantly on my mind.

No clue why Highway does this..

My synchronized swimmers.

Lola sleeping on the railing. It’s hard and so is her head.

Gringo got scolded for barking. He does not like to be scolded. He jumped up on my lap and put his butt on my chest. When I tried to get him off of me this is how we ended up.

I scooped this out of the pool the other morning. It was doing the pincher stroke in the deep end. It’s a Rhinoceros beetle and they do pinch, they have gotten the dogs noses a few times. This was a big one, about 2″ long. Lots of creepy crawlies in the jungle.

This is a video of the dogs eating. I had to buy Barrio and Gringo special slow feeder bowls, they’re like a maze. Previously they would inhale the food in 15 seconds, now it takes them as long as the others to eat. And then there is Lola, the only girl. She will not eat until the boys are done and come looking for her food. She starts to eat then and growls the whole time to keep them away. It’s got to be a domineering personality trait. Click HERE for the video.

Jan 16, 2019 This was the first Christmas without my Mother and I really don’t have my Father anymore. Physically he is excellent for almost 98 but mentally there is nobody there. He and I used to chat on the phone for an hour weekly, now I’m lucky if I get 3 minutes from him and none of it makes any sense. He has become a little “frisky” with ladies in the memory care center where he lives. My sister was with him at a Veterans Day get together and he asked his lady friend if she wanted to go to bed with him. She said NO. He will be 98 Feb 17th. I guess this has been happening quite often so he was put on meds to reduce his libido. 98!! He also thinks my younger sister is my Mother. He can’t quite understand why she isn’t living with him but he forgets soon after he questions her. The last few times I spoke with him he said he was driving and was down by my place and he wanted to stop in and say hello but he had other people with him. He has told me this twice now. It makes me sad.

The Christmas parties went off without any weather problems. I rode with David and Gretta to Mudhole. This is an area of Roatan near the awful dump. There are lots of families with children who live out that way. Nidia had her 2 kids helping and my friend Judy helped out too. We made 4 stops along the road at designated places where families were waiting. Mr and Mrs Claus were a huge hit!

Mr and Mrs Claus

Judy passing out apples

Mrs Claus loving on the kids

Group photo from the first stop.

Such a beautiful little girl.

Some of the face painting that Mr and Mrs Claus’ children were doing.

Soccer balls were big!

Mr and Mrs Claus with my friend Melissa’s children, Keon and her new baby Logan.

This is Melanie. My friend Ryan from Live Again Ministries has a special place in his heart for this girl. He has been helping her for several years.

Mr and Mrs Claus and their kids, Sidney, Abby and Wyatt.

I can’t believe I am blogging about Christmas and it’s mid January, obviously I’m not too into blogging any more.

This photo is a few weeks old. I’m facing towards the mainland and you can see all the rain out over the ocean.

We have started a visitor calendar again for this year, looks like it may be a busy one guest wise. Bill has a friend from Williamsport and his wife coming in March. My friend Tammy from Washington and her husband are coming in May and Chance is coming in August. I think I’m going to try to make a trip back to Maryland in April, waiting to hear from my sister on dates that work for her.

We (Bill) has many projects that need to be done before the first guests come, unfortunately Bill and I are not on the same page with that. That being said, he did get the living room / kitchen painted, however, now we (he) realized that the ceiling must be painted white, it looks nasty. That’s next and then the roof top pergola. Slowly but surely.

It used to be blue upstairs, now it is gray. I remember when we were painting it I messaged my friend Yvonne and said, “Do you like this color? I’m so unsure because I am not a blue person, I don’t like blue.” Then we painted the living room and kitchen that shade of blue. Flash forward 1 year and I hated it. Four years later and it’s GONE! I need to buy white blinds for all of the windows, 9 of them. UGH.

My car has been in the shop for 4 weeks, it’s getting all scraped down to bare metal and repainted. They originally said 2 weeks but, island time, it will be a month at least.

The car was a salvage vehicle from N Carolina. We pulled up the VIN and saw the small amount of damage that was done to it and the odometer was correct so we bought it from someone of the mainland. I had the same car in the US (Mitsubishi Outlander) and loved it and this has been an excellent car for me. The paint job was bad though and it was rusting through, the hood was awful looking. I don’t mind driving an old car, as long as it’s clean inside and gets me where I need to go I am good. This car does all of that, AWD and good tires. I can’t wait to get it back.

It’s OK that I am without wheels because I still have a lot of pain in my ankle when walking. The doc said to get a metatarsal pad for my foot so I ordered some and my friend brought them down last Wed. They ripped already, totally not worth the money I spent on them. Further update, I’ve decided to see a doc when I am in the states, I just don’t know whether to see a podiatrist or an orthopedic doc. Big decisions. All of the pain is in my foot close to my toes and I have no flexibility in my ankle, it’s swollen, my toes and my foot below my toes are all swollen. Suggestions? Maybe I’ll take a poll, or better yet, cut off my feet and get a tail, as in Mermaid.

I have been watching (obsessed) with home reno project shows on TV. I was watching one called Desert Flipper. It was a couple in Palm Springs who bought homes in need of repair and fixed them and sold them. In one episode there was a big black scorpion, probably 10″ long on the porch of one of the homes. I am NOT a scorpion fan. The same night I was closing the back door and saw a BIG 3″ dark scorpion crawling along the floor by the wall, IN THE HOUSE. I pushed the dogs back and screamed for Bill. I couldn’t find it with the big flashlight but when I opened the pantry, there it was. First it met the broom handle and then it had a burial at sea. I won’t kill a tarantula, scorpions are different. I immediately wanted Bill to call the scorpion exterminators or Ghost Busters or someone. I slept with a can of raid in my hand.

These are our friend Miguel’s kids, Miguelito and Michelle. A friend from high school sends me money on a regular basis to help where I think it’s needed. I decided to use the recent money to buy these 2 and Ephrain and Osman school clothes.

Bill and I wanted to buy Miguelito and Michelle watches for Christmas but couldn’t find any decent ones here. I ordered them from Amazon and the Duchess of Camp Bay brought them down for me. The kids were SOO excited!

I finally bought tickets to go see my Dad. On United for me to fly to DCA (Ronald Reagan) in DC it’s $370.00 RT. Same day, same flight leaving Roatan but flying into Baltimore it is $1032.00 RT. That is flipping insane and ridiculous. It’s the same distance to my sisters house from either airport, only reason I would ever fly to BWI is because I know the airport but DCA is so much cheaper and it’s a small airport with rental cars on the grounds. I have a mouth and am not afraid to use it to ask questions if I am unsure. So it’s DCA for me.

My friend back in the states received a piece of mail for me the other day. I used her address for my WA state drivers license and she messaged me that I was summoned to jury duty. HAHAHA. I called them and told them I didn’t live in the country and they didn’t question me at all, just said OK, I’ll mark you as not available. So easy, I thought it would be 50 questions and proof like my residency card or something. Nada.

To be honest, the only reason I am even posting this is because Rosemarie messaged me and asked when I would be posting another blog. Then she told me she got me something and sent a photo, mermaid socks!! I am so excited. So Rosemarie, this is for you.

Back to blogging

Dec 2, 2018 Long time, no type. I’ve been so bored with my lack of a life that I had no words to put on a blog. To say I’ve been home all the time is not an exaggeration. I have been out to eat a few times but that’s it. I’ve been to the grocery store once in 2 months. That itself speaks volumes.

As I sit here on a Saturday afternoon, staring out at the water, some words slipped in to my head so here I am.

Quick update: my foot is still swollen, I was in a cast for 3 weeks, supposed to take it easy for a week and then be good to go. Nope, was no better. I went to an orthopedic Doc from the US (he lives here), he said Celebrex for 2 weeks, no improvement. I plan to go see a specialist on the mainland as soon as I can get in. Enough of this crap, it pisses me off big time. It will be 3 months Dec. 6th.

I have been spending a lot of time by the pool or in bed, resting the foot, so I’ve been reading. I read a book based on a true story called The Radium Girls. It’s unbelievable because it’s true. I just finished Flowers for Algernon and am starting one called Magnolia about Chip and Joanna Gaines. I’ve also been binge watching House Hunters International, Fixer Upper and Caribbean Life, along with my favorite TV show, Modern Family. Although my TV watching is always in the evening, unless it’s raining. Of course, when it rains our internet has not been working so I couldn’t watch anything. The internet company has been here 4 times in one month because we have been without internet for 24 hours each time. So ridiculous. I know, first world problems but dammit, WIFI is not too much to ask for is it? The internet provider blames it on the electric company but I can’t complain about the electric company, they’re not that bad. We’re on an island, I’m amazed we even have electricity.

We finally got the house painted. The old paint is the dull green on the left. It’s now fresh and bright green and I love it. The guys who painted it did a really nice job.

You can see the rain falling out of the sky.

A few weeks ago the power went out at 8:30 PM or so, I went to the window and looked out to see if the colonia below us was out. It was dark down there but there was a huge ball of red further east. It was a BIG fire. I posted on Roatan 911 that there were big flames coming from Politilly, several others had posted also. Bill walked into the bedroom when the power went out and we just stood there and watched the flames grow until there was a red trail floating skyward. It was awful watching it. We were told the fire may have been intentionally set by a woman mad at her daughter. Regardless of the reason, 3 houses were destroyed 2 more severely damaged. Many people are homeless. They will rebuild the homes ASAP.

The dogs are a lot of company as they follow me everywhere I go and beg for any speck of food I put in my mouth. Highway has been spending most of the time downstairs if Bill is out of the house. I get too exhausted telling him to be quiet all day long. He’s a whiner and a yapper and he is an instigator. With him downstairs it’s really quiet up here. When he gets all wound up he sounds like the 3 Stooges making their weird noises all at the same time. He does this over emergencies (a watusa or an armadillo in the yard) that do not warrant that reaction. In a nano second I have 5 hysterical dogs. Downstairs for the win.

This duo of Armadillos was moved to an area far away from us.

They allow me a small space to sleep. I’ll never own nice bedding again. They so own me.

Barrio is my Zen dog. He gets out of the pool and STOPS. He just stands still for 10-15 seconds, sometimes his eyes go closed. He totally experiences the feeling of the water running off of his body, he digs it. Lola, in the background, HATES the pool with a PASSION. To her it’s a large water bowl.

Cone head again. He seems to have grown what looks like a second butt hole. No clue what it is, not exactly like Gringo’s tail hole. Island dogs…He’s been on meds, it looks much better. Let me say, I don’t look, that’s Bill’s job. We took his cone off today, keeping an eye on Barrio. He seems to have a Highway butt fetish. Dogs are really gross.

They were looking for turkeys. I especially like their reflections in the pool.

Bill was slamming doors the morning I took this. There were dogs running and jumping on the bed. I was all, WTH is going on, it’s not time for me to get up, but I did, mainly to find out what was going on. Bill wanted to take a shower and the RATS/ mice? had once again chewed the hot water heater wires. Bastards. They have invaded my car again too and there is no food in my car at all. They are eating the rug floor mats in my car.

Click HERE for a video about the Founder of TOMS shoes, he was on Jimmy Fallon. It’s quite a powerful video considering gun violence is on the rise. Please watch the video.

I signed on to FB the other morning and there was a post from my friend Julie in Alabama. Julie and her husband and kids have been to the island, stayed here a few times and I know the kids too. Julie’s Mom had her two daughters at the mall shopping holiday sales. They were walking in the mall when a fight broke out between 2 boys. One had a gun and started shooting, a bullet struck my friends daughter Molly in the back. Thankfully, she is physically OK, no major damage, just that she will have a bullet in her back forever. I hope that she and her sister (and grandmother) can recover from this horrific accident emotionally. The fact that you can’t be in the mall, doing yoga, at a dance or a concert and be safe says a lot about the state of the US. Something needs to be done about these crazy shootings. Sign the TOMS petition, easy and free and doing something is better than doing nothing.

My friend the Duchess has owned a home on the island for a long time, she spends 3 months here, then back to the states, then here again, several times a year. She’s seen a lot of stuff happen, to her and to others that are illegal in most normal places. In the past year there have been several home robberies. They have the kid on video, everyone knows who it is but nobody does anything about it. The main criminal has kids under 18 do the dirty work because there is no prosecution whatsoever if you are under 18. These kids are getting brazen and out of control. The communities got together to discuss what could be done to stop the thieves. The Duchess was sitting at the meeting with another friend, a male, who has also been here a long time. Said male is very happily married and has been for years. As they sat awaiting things to get going a young girl who is related to one of the thieves was being very boisterous. She told our male friend that she was available. He tried his best to respond with a serious face. She then noticed his wedding ring and she said, “Oh, you married?” He shook his head and said “Yes I am.” Always a gentleman. She responded by saying, “I don’t care, I’m still available.” I would have been on the floor in hysterics. As the meeting began and people were discussing the issues at hand this girl continued to yell and talk loudly, totally disrupting the whole meeting. People had enough of her and threw her out and locked the doors of the school they were in. She continued to bang on the windows, cursing and screaming so loudly that the meeting became worthless. She then managed to find a way in and came at the group leader with a pen in her hand, held like a dagger. The woman speaking saw her coming and grabbed a desk and smashed it into her. At that point people got up and started to leave, not much was sorted out at all. You can’t make this shit up. As the island turns.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with friends at the Pineapple Grill. Yvonne, who I met Christmas eve, 2013, got a group of 20 people together. Big mistake for me was they had a huge salad bar and I adore salad bars, so when the heaping plateful of food came I could eat about 1/3 of it. It was delicious and fun getting out and seeing people. Not fun having to walk to get in there though, in all reality, Bill should have carried me.

Someone in the colonia below us is setting off firecrackers. I have no clue why as Nov. 24th signifies nothing as a holiday for the islanders. Maybe they are practicing for Christmas. Nothing goes better with baby Jesus than firecrackers?? {I see no correlation whatsoever.} Barrio has decided he does not like the sound of firecrackers so he follows me around like he’s attached to my ankles. He’s laying on my feet under my desk as I type. Bigger firecrackers going off now. And I guess I missed the fireworks at the beach below us. I also missed the wedding (which I was invited to) that was held there and that was the reason for the fireworks, totally forgot about it.

My shadow

My eye was bothering me the other morning and it looked a little red so I went to the doggie meds drawer and found an unopened bottle of Tobramycin eye drops. Nothing like diagnosing yourself. Hope the drops make whatever it is go away. THEN, I was out by the pool reading and got stung by a horsefly type creature. They are triangle shaped and they really hurt if they get you. The dogs chase them and try to eat them so I chase the dogs and don’t let them eat them. I killed several that landed on me and didn’t get stung but this one got me good. He’s dead now. I called Bill and asked him to stop and get me wine because my eye was infected and a bee stung me. Seemed like a logical reason to need wine. Two bottles. One for my eye and one for my knee.

I am the admin on a few FB pages for Roatan and it’s become a joke with my band of friends on the island (guys) to say, Just Ask Debbie. Not only did they make a Google page for me, nice isn’t it??

They also did this. Never a dull moment here, sometimes I feel like a referee.

Remember Alexi, the young boy we have helped? He was in the Bomberos (fire department) for 2 years but they were not paying him so he is working for Bulldog Security. Happy he has a good job, not many young men do. I’m sure Bill’s influence on him has a lot to do with his success. Alexi has a sister Juliana and she has a son, Osman, a sister Jessica and a brother Ephrain. Ephrain has become Bill’s sidekick. Ephrain is not allowed to go to the school 2 minutes from his home because the teachers hate his mother and claim he is white. He’s not. Therefore, he has to take a taxi to school that is 15 min away. Most of the time his family is to meet him to ride home but they never do, they depend on Bill to pick him up. Actually, Ephrain is flunking because he misses so much school, they are too lazy to get him up to go. The other day Jessica sent Bill a photo of Osman and said he was sick. The one side of his face is all swollen. Bill told her he needed to go to a Doctor and she said Juliana won’t take him, she doesn’t care. Bill went and got him and picked up half the damn family for the joy ride to the clinic. They saw him then we took him back again to see the pediatrician. They said it is not a dental issue, it’s in his cheek. We went to their home yesterday to check on him and it’s not any better. I contacted my friend Miss Peggy who runs Clinic Esperanza. They have a very good pediatrician there so Bill took him this morning. Peggy had notified the clinic that we were coming and Osman got immediate attention when they got there. We are still waiting to find out what is going on with him. I just don’t get it. I take better care of my dogs than some people do of their children. Juliana is afraid she may have to spend $$ on Osman and she will not do that, probably because she knows that we will take care of him.

UPDATE on Osman. Bill went to get him this morning and his Mother wanted to go because she wanted to do something fun, she didn’t care about Osman. Bill told her NO. She said he was mean. It’s a good thing I wasn’t there, I would have defined mean for her, a mother who cares nothing for her children is mean. Anyhow, Osman had blood work done and something is going on. The doctor said it is a mass in his cheek so tomorrow back to Vessels of Mercy to get an ultrasound. Poor kid.

This is Osman, notice his left cheek.

Ephrain, Alexi’s younger brother

Bill and his buddy.

Jefferson, he and his family just moved in with Ephrain’s family.

A new construction on the way down to Miguel’s.

Doggie working on a sun tan.

This is the property that Bill is overseeing the development of, our friend Miguel is the watchie and head of the construction crew.

Two big docks

This is so gorgeous.

These guys are making charcoal. They build a metal shed and set the wood on fire, any kind works. Then they cover it with wet leaves and let it smolder until it’s charcoal. Back breaking work for sure.

I have a cleaning girl here. She started in the bathroom at 8:15, she was still in there at 10:30 and she brought me a handful of expired medicines. OMG. I want her to move in and never leave. I’ll be afraid to even walk in there it’s so clean. She’s going to be a regular here, I might even see if she’ll move in. She came back the second day and worked another 8 hours in the living room and downstairs. This girl has a permanent job!

It’s Sunday, I have a trip to Tegus early tomorrow to see a doc about my foot. Second time to the land of plenty murders and to land on one of the 10 most dangerous runways in the world. I do have more things to share but I will save them because it’s taken me about 2 weeks to get this together. I promise, it won’t be another month until I blog again. Stay tuned.

I can’t get rid of the alien

Oct 1, 2019 I think the 3 blogs about La Mosquitia drained my brain, I have had absolutely no desire to write anything. Instead I binge watch TV shows I have seen before, like Weeds and Friends. Next will probably be Seinfeld. Mindless TV for mindless me. Bill is usually watching something on the big TV (yes we have one but no cable) so I am watching on my Samsung Galaxy Tab e tablet, which for the record let me say, I HATE IT. It’s the most poorly functioning despicably designed tablet I have ever owned. Several times a night I say, I hate this damn tablet. And I researched it and read reviews, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision.

Speaking of electronics, I used to have a Moto G 4 phone, I loved it, except the camera on the phone is awful. Photos look like a drunk 93 year old person took them. I love Instagram and like to be able to take a pic and post it immediately. I finally broke down and bought a Moto G5 which one step up from my phone and the same phone Bill has. The photos are so much better, still struggling with the thickness of the phone, my Moto G4 case was boxy, this is slim and trim. Changes are hard when you are old.

So, what have I been doing since I got back from La Mosquitia? Not much. We did some TOMS shoes to several schools on the east end. Still have 1 school and a kinder to do. I’ve been staying home with my dogs, hanging out by the pool or afternoon napping, which has become a very decadent past time of mine. Me, a fan, a few dogs, I’m good to go. A champagne chocolate truffle from the UK helps too. OMG. Pure and absolute decadence.

These things are oh so damn good, thank you Mandy and Darren!

As if truffles weren’t enough, Mandy and Darren brought flowers. Brightened up the kitchen for a week.

The dogs and I still have tea every morning by the pool. They bark and chase each other, the boys swim, they pretend it’s the biggest water bowl in the ‘hood. It’s a morning ritual.

Brotherly love, or tolerance. These two have some issues with each other, I can tell by their body posturing..scares me.

Luckily we keep the chlorine level VERY low. Just enough to keep it from getting green.

I took the covers off the dog beds to wash them. This was on top of one of the kennels. I KNOW for a fact that Gringo did this. He has had a foam fetish since birth. I keep forgetting to take the cover of this destroyed piece to Waldina to have her cut me the 18th piece of foam for a dog bed. My dogs should be called the Destroyers.

My morning tea spot.

When we came back from La Mosquitia we took a week off and then started fitting TOMS shoes again. We did the Froylan Turcios kinder, Juticalpa kinder, Politilly kinder, Barrio Lempira kinder and the older kids, Marcos Aurelis school in Oak Ridge. We still have a few to do. All the shoes are in my guest condo downstairs. Along with soccer balls, school supplies, clothes, 4 bags of dog food because it’s been hard to get so we are stockpiling and paint for the house. We are repainting the exterior of the house, same color. The verde (green) fits in with our surroundings. Lots of prep work before painting. Plan to do the outside, then the inside during rainy season.

I am not going to caption all of these photos because I would be saying the same thing, cute kids.. just enjoy these faces, the best part of doing TOMS is taking photos of the kids.

Our fitters, Chase, Diane, Leila and Mac.

 

Handsome, AKA Nidia’s son Franklin.

I love how she is leaning on Franklin’s back,

This is the extent of the playground.

This pair made it one year. Old TOMS for new TOMS

How do they sleep? It must be like the “old” days when we went to bed with curlers in our hair.

S H O E S TOMS S H O E S

Chase, Gail, Leila and Diane sweating like crazy while fitting shoes.

The kinder class

Pastor Bill and his daughter. He helped us for the whole day, great guy.

I think he needed new TOMS shoes.

Many times it’s absolute insanity.

Clarence and the kids.

Chris and Franklin

The red hat gang. These guys work so hard and are always happy, really a joy to be around.

Clarence fitting a lone blonde boy.

We also went to Punta Gorda and fit the kids there. Some of the students wear the traditional blue and white and others wear the Garifuna clothes.

The children in the royal blue are Garifuna.

We had some of the older students help us to fit.

Because We Care strives to give new shoes to as many school kids as possible. TOMS shoes rock!!

Childrens Day was Sept 10th, Independence day was the 15th.  All of the schools get dressed up and march. The school we help a lot was marching from below our house, past the driveway and up to their school. We went out to watch.

This is Osman, Ephrain’s nephew. He goes to a different school in Politilly. You can see our driveway behind him.

The stilt walkers. We watched these guys practicing at Jonesville last year. They actually tie themselves on to the stilts. I guess if you fall, it’s going to hurt.

Little girls all dressed up.

Ephrain, in the hat with the white X on it. He was the only one not wearing sunglasses so he asked Bill for his. Of course, Bill gave him them but I doubt Ephrain could see a thing as they are prescription. Bill told Ephrains lousy excuse for a mother that he needed the glasses back. Now she says she lost them. She sold them, I bet you $$. I can’t even speak to her I dislike her so much.

Little girls and boys so dressed up!

I saw this praying mantis on my porch, it was less than 3/4 of an inch long, just a baby.

I was paying bills and running errands on Sept 6th, wearing a pair of comfy Dr Scholl’s sandals. When I got home later that day my right foot was bothering me. By Friday morning it was full on limping. Oh well, figured I had strained something and it would get better. On Saturday morning I went to my friend Linda’s house and picked limes, so many limes it’s not even funny. It was killing my foot to walk around on the uneven ground but I wanted limes!!

I came home and started juicing. I have 2 plastic ice cube trays and filled them each 4 times over the next few days. I now have bags of lime ice cubes in the freezer, ready for a recipe or some ice water.

I could sit here all day and juice.

The rinds got thrown into the jungle for the animals to feast on.

If I am at the pool, so are the dogs.

Getting ready for company, Barrio checking things out.

Barrio taking a swim, happens many times a day.

Max and Gringo getting out, Max shakes before he gets out of the water.

All I need is an IV tube and needle, I would be all set to go.

I was trying to lay in bed, Barrio had other plans for me.

Max and Barrio do not get along, sibling rivalry over me.

More Hot Tamales from Oregon, thanks Steve! This makes 23# of Hot Tamales people have brought to me.

Bill had food, despite the fact they already ate, they put on their starving faces.

Gringo has no shame.

So, flash forward three weeks from Sept. 6th, my foot is still killing me. Bill thought I had plantar faciitis, so did I. I googled it and couldn’t find symptoms similar to mine so I joined a PF group on FB. Once I was admitted I posted my symptoms and several people said it’s not PF. Great.

On Friday I messaged my friend Andrea, the nurse at Coco View. She said I needed to have it looked at and she texted Dr Izaguirre, the orthopedic surgeon. She made an appointment for me for Saturday morning.

Bill took me down to the hospital. The Doctor wanted me to get an X-ray, but there was nobody there to run the X-ray machine. He examined me and said I have a fracture of the 5th metatarsal and I am not allowed any weight on it for 3 weeks. In reality, I should not have been walking on it the last 3 weeks, must be why the pain was so bad and I was too stupid to realize that. I’ve also had issues with a screw in my left ankle since I had surgery March 31, 2013. My ankle gets a hard calcified thing that comes out of it, I’ve called it my alien for years. Doc said he could remove the screw for me and Bill said, you’re already going to be laid up, why not. I’m pretty convinced he hates me. So the Doc got me in a surgery room and did a local on my ankle. Once he cut me open he realized the screw was right below the skin and he also realized it was a special screw and he didn’t have a screwdriver to remove it.

This is the alien trying to come out of my ankle. It’s actually hard calcified skin. If my ankle gets bumped by the vacuum or a dog, it’s instant pain. Sometimes I can dig the calcified skin out and then there is a little hole in my ankle but the callus always regrows.

The doctor trying every single tool he could find. I could feel him trying to turn the screw but it wouldn’t budge using the tools he had available. No wonder the insurance and medical stuff in the US is such a mess when doctors have to use screws that require a (ridiculously priced) special screwdriver to remove it and that hospitals in other countries don’t have access to.

So, after digging for an hour and the local wearing off, when I told the doc I could really feel what he was doing he decided to quit, stitched me up and said he’ll remove the stitches in 2 weeks when he checks my broken right foot.

Did you know you can not use crutches if you can’t put weight on either of your damn feet? I am a crutch spaz anyhow, I detest them so I have been using my desk chair to scoot around on, using my left foot that’s not broken and a crutch. That was working well until the chair tipped over this morning and I fell out. Believe me, I am grouchy as hell and not having fun with this at all.

Friends donated 2 trumpets to me and I knew which school would want them. Froylan Turcios is the school we help the most and Marlon the principal has been wanting to acquire instruments.

One of my high school friends has been donating money every few months for me to use as needed. I decided to use some of it to help families who are raising their grandchildren. Marlon from Froylan Turcios found the needy families for me and Bill delivered the food to Marlon, SINCE I CAN’T WALK. This lady was a recipient.

Bill with bags of food.

Another man that received food for the family.

This is Don Lorenzo, he said, “thank you, thank you for your help. Blessings!”

A little bit of food goes a long way for these sweet people. Having someone hand them a bag filled with $25.00 worth of non perishable foods (they don’t have refrigerators) is a big deal.

We have had a lot of company recently. Just last weekend John and Lizeth came from Kentucky. We first met (when I was volunteering at the airport) in the immigration room. She recognized my name on my name tag from reading my blog. We’ve been friends ever since and we can’t wait until they finally move down here. They offered to bring stuff for us so they “muled” down my new phone, repaired jewelry, eye glasses and 8 jars of hot peppers that I ordered from Tony’s Deli in my hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They also brought a lot of donations for the kids and a box of these;

MMMM, good stuff.

Gringo, Max and Barrio laying on me

Max and Barrio’s face.

My boy Gringo..

I’m going to have dinner, pour a glass of wine and go back to bed to watch TV. I’m sure I’ll have some dogs with me. I’m hoping to be back in action soon.

The last 3 days in La Mosquitia.

 

Day 5 in La Mosquitia was a busy day. Eric, the Mayor Edgardo and his wife Graciela picked us up after breakfast and we set off to visit some communities. We started our day by going to the store and buying soda and water and snacks, and candy for the Mayor to pass out to the kids.

Local grocery store

Getting to anywhere in the area is not easy. The people in Roatan complain about the state of the roads, Puerto Lempira roads make ALL of the roads on Roatan seem like super highways. I saw one partially paved road in the city, the rest are dirt, red dirt. Dusty red dirt that gets slippery when wet and very dusty when dry.

This is the mayor’s home. They have church every Sunday on the lower porch. Every church we passed was full to the brim, overflowing with people.

We drove for awhile until we got to the community of Palkaka. A while ago when the mayor was running for office one of the men in Palkaka told the mayor he would vote for him if he brought him a gringo wife.

The children of Palkaka.

Nidia’s sister Rose Mary spotted a woman sitting in a doorway so we walked over to her. This parrot is her constant companion.

This is Lillian. She was born blind. Her home has a hammock, a small table and a mud stove. The mayor kept a mattress and a sheet back for her and I’m sure it has been delivered already.

Nidia the Nomad, passing out candy.

Some of the homes in Palkaka.

Everyone was running for candy.

I was surprised to see a young Albino girl in the community. We were told there are several in La Mosquitia.

What a pretty girl.

Some of the kids in Palkaka. They loved seeing their photos.

The man in the middle is our tour guide, Edgardo, the mayor of Puerto Lempira. I can’t begin to tell you what amazing people he and his wife are. So down to earth. The man in the yellow is the one who said he wanted a gringo wife. When he saw me get out of the truck he thought his prayers had been answered. He smiled so much and for so long. He only had about 6 teeth, but man, could he smile.

This was a restaurant in Palkaka.

Yep, just walking around with a turtle shell.

We left there and made the drive to Tansin. Don’t ask where it was because I’ll say, “Right there.”

Tansin is an amazingly gorgeous place sitting on the banks of Lake Caratasca. The trees were huge mango trees, everywhere. I don’t mean a few, I mean groves of them. And breadfruit. We walked to the lake with some women and kids and while we were standing there talking a breadfruit the size of a football, but harder, fell from high up in the tree. Good grief, that sucker could put you in a coma. I think hard hats should be required.

One of the homes on the way from Palkaka to Tansin. Not sure this one had residents.

Water. Crank the handle and the water comes out. There is no running water in the community.

Beautiful.

We walked down onto a very rickety dock that stretched about 15′ out into the lake. It was surrounded by emptiness. There was nothing out there. There were 10 cayucos laying around the lake. They are each a piece of art.

Water lilies. I haven’t seen these for years, a feast for my eyes.

While I was on the dock taking photos a young woman walked down and out into the lake in her clothes and bathed. She had a bucket with her which may have contained her wash.

This woman approached us as soon as we got there. She was very sweet and had her son on her shoulder the whole time. I noticed the side of her face was very swollen and I mentioned it to Nidia. I thought it was a tooth infection. She told Nidia she had a tumor. I have thought about her several times. She has a tumor and can’t do anything about it. Heavy on my mind.

Nidia and the Mayor with this beautiful lady. She walked up to us as we were standing near the dock. She doesn’t know how old she is but she is feisty. I would love to hang out with her. She did a sexy pose for Nidia. What a cool lady. It was right after this photo that the breadfruit fell out of the tree and made a crater size hole in the ground. (not really but it could have.)

Holy crap, the trees were filled with these Tillandsia, or Bromeliads. Not sure which these really are, prob Tillandsia.

We walked to a different area of the community / village. Let me explain this, there is so damn much land in La Mosqiuitia that the people build in small villages within a community. The communities themselves cover a very large area for each location. It’s not just what you see when you are walking the path to the lake or going to the school. These communities go waaaaaay back and get a little more remote and simple the further back they go. It’s someplace you just want to get lost in, visit the people who live basically cut off from society. It’s really not that bad of a thing. When I was in Kaukira, even Puerto Lempira, I thought about the not having power until 6 PM daily situation. It was totally doable. So much less.

We went into an older ladies home, I didn’t want to take her photo out of respect to her. She lived in a spotlessly clean, empty wooden home. Her bed was boards covered with cloth. Her daughter and probably her grandchildren sleep in a cot like sling over-top of her bed. She is ill, has severe pain in her womb. Been bedridden for 4 years. By now she has a mattress to sleep on. She decorated her walls and door with pages from old advertisements.

Her KITCHEN. No Cuisinart here.

Clean as a whistle, despite the baby chicks running up the steps and inside the house. The chair is her only piece of furniture.

The bathroom at the school in Tansin. The school is asking for solar panels so they have some electricity at the school. Can you imagine your child trying to learn in a school with no power, no fans, no running water? Kids in the US could not function, yet to these children, it is the norm.

Their faces. I just can’t stop taking photos of them.

It was late in the afternoon so we headed back to town. Tomorrow was the big day of unloading

We had to honk the horn for this pig to move, it was laying in a deep puddle in the middle of the road.

The next day we were picked up late morning to go to where the container was. When we arrived the truck they use to move the containers was out delivering so we had to wait for it to get back.

Huge thanks to Mayor Jerry Hynds who donated a 40′ container and free shipping so we could move these items to Puerto Lempira.

This is only a portion of the propane tanks that are sent to Ceiba to get filled and returned to Puerto Lempira.

The woman found a desk. What an obscure place for a desk. Nidia and I sat on it for awhile and waited.

When you don’t have a funnel, just cut off the tip of a traffic cone. Instant funnel, it’s how they pour gas in La Mosquitia.

There were several ministers in this group and Nidia, the Mayor and I. We held hands and they blessed the contents of the trailer.

Snipping the lock.

OHMYGOSH. It was jam packed. Carnival cruise lines donated chairs, couches and 140 mattresses, sheets and blankets. We had shoes, sandals, food, clothes, school supplies. A little bit of everything.

We unloaded all of the furniture first so we could get to the mattresses. While doing so Nidia and Graciela, the Mayor’s wife had to pee. We were in the middle of nowhere so they walked out into the woods. While out there they noticed a house across the water with a guy out front. They started to yell and jump around trying to get the guys attention. He jumped in his Cayuco and paddled over, thinking they needed help. All they really wanted was to give him a mattress and some school stuff for his younger siblings.

This is not a photo you’re likely to ever see again. People in cayucos do not usually carry a mattress. Look at the smile on his face. He was the man of the house, his Mom had a few other children. He was the oldest.

Word spread around their village like wildfire and women and kids started coming out of the woods. These 2 got backpacks and school supplies.

All 3 ended up with packs and the younger one got some candy and some clothes.

Such a beautiful child.

The boy on the right was very happy, the one on the left, not so much.

Nidia helping to load all of the mattresses. This truck we call the stuck truck. You’ll see why. It was actually a livestock truck, that’s why they put tarps down before the mattresses went in.

A little overloaded. This truck took the mattresses to the school and then came back for another load.

After several truck loads (the Nicaragua bus truck was delivering for us also), we finally got the container emptied. Next stop, the school in Mistruk. It was almost dark, Nidia was going to wait for the Nicaragua bus truck guy so I rode in the stuck truck with 2 men I’ve never met. Neither spoke any language I could speak so not a word was uttered the whole way there. Several times on the ride I envisioned us getting stuck and being there for a while until someone came along. The sounds of silence. We didn’t get stuck until we got to the school. And boy was he stuck.

Finally the Nicaragua bus truck came and pulled him out.

We got everything unloaded and sorted, shoes in one room, clothes in another, mattresses in yet another. Now we had the long drive home. We had 4 military police guarding the school.

The mayor picked us up at 6 the next morning and we went by boat to Laka, a very impoverished area. We took enough food to feed the whole village. They did not know we were coming but soon after we got out of the boat, word had spread and people were coming out of the houses.

These boys were the first to greet us.

Before long they stripped to their undies and were swimming.

This house was pretty much on the waters edge. Talk about water view.

The faces of Laka. Many of the children were all smiles but some seemed so distant.

This little guy was so happy and filthy dirty. Boys and dirt.

Babies, little kids everywhere.

These ladies had just gotten food.

The family living in the house on the waters edge.

The girl with one shoe. I mentioned it to Nidia and the mayor asked the community leader. The story is she found this shoe on the edge of the water. She has been wearing it since hoping that she finds the other one.

We righted an overturned cayuco and filled it with food. Everyone walked along and grabbed one of everything.

My mother recently passed away and she had a lot of costume jewelry. Neither my sister or I wear it but we just didn’t want to “give it away” since it meant a lot to Mom. We decided I should take it with me and pass it out to ladies who don’t have much. Taking it to La Mosquitia was perfect and after we passed out the food, Nidia suggested I pass out the jewelry. She and Rose Mary and I walked around putting pins, earrings and necklaces on ladies. BLING in a very remote part of the world.

This was the community leader, she got a chain. The ladies in the background got brooches and necklaces.

I think that’s a smile. She got a brooch.

And this girl. I bought my Mom this necklace in Macy’s. It’s all of her favorite colors. When I saw this young girl, I knew it was going around her neck. Her face just lit up. Hope Mom was watching. The man on the right in red was mad we didn’t bring anything for the men, he wanted jewelry.

This is as close to running as you can get on a boat. Word spread people were giving out stuff. We don’t know where these people came from. We asked and were told, “right there.: Everything in La Mosquitia is right there. It could be 75 miles, but it’s right there.

We walked up to the school and just as we got there my camera said my card was full. I switched to my brand new card and it wouldn’t work. Said it was a read only card. I called Bill (barely had a signal) and he said to unlock it. There was no lock on the side of the card, nor could I format it because it was locked as read only. I had to delete photos and I was furious because we were on our way to the big give away in Mistruk.

Another home in Laka.

We left there, went back to a different place where Eric picked us up and we were off to Mistruk.

We knew there would be a lot of people but had no idea there would be as many as there were. It was crazy.

We started with the school kids. They all got shoes, sandals, backpacks, school supplies, deodorant, toothpaste and brush and hugs. They all got hugs. And boy did they hug back, some of them even kissed me. It was amazing, they weren’t pretend hugs either.

I would say 95% of the kids came in with no shoes on. They were some of the dirtiest feet ever. Shoes are new to them, they walked like they had planks stapled to their feet.

What stories these faces tell.

The mayor in the front and his wife in the back with the white hat. These 2 sat on the concrete all morning fitting shoes. Amazing, humble people.

New shoes.

These feet haven’t been in shoes before.

The Mayor and his wife helping a young girl.

The kids showing off their backpacks. Some of them didn’t know how to wear a backpack. New things.

I would have brought her home.

My buddies standing outside of the building. They were getting a kick out of me taking pics like this.

Backpackers.

This pretty much says it all.

Next we passed out shoes and clothes to the adults. This guy had on my brand new Diesel shoes. I only wore them once and Highway chewed up the shoe laces. I never could find any laces that looked right so I never wore the shoes. He didn’t care about the laces.

Mothers getting clothes and shoes

Men getting clothes and hats.

Nobody had shoes. Nobody.

We passed out little girls dresses made by Live Again Ministries.

No words for this one.

New dresses, no shoes

Another beautiful face.

The girls with new dresses.

It was getting dark when we started to pass out mattresses and small tables. The community leaders made specific lists, considering who lived in the house, single, elderly, large families and they were passed out like that.

She was waiting.

The village is probably 1/2 mile from the school and the people carried the mattresses home.

Playing in the stones.

So many kids, so many faces.

It was like a sale at a Serta store.

And the mattresses go marching home.

She has her hands full.

Mattresses everywhere.

People still carrying their mattresses home.

The perfect ending to a perfect day of giving from sun up to sun down. Sheer exhaustion. Quiet ride back to Puerto Lempira, listening to country music and watching for shooting stars. I think I saw one.

The next morning the mayor and Eric were waiting for us at 6 AM for our ride to the airport and our flight to La Ceiba and then on to Roatan.

Check in counter, Puerto Lempira airport.

The runway. A plane landed and drove around the people standing on the runway. We didn’t have to wait long for our flight. In about an hour we were in La Ceiba.

We had an hour wait there and I was starving so Nidia called her friend the taxi driver and told him to go get us a pizza and bring it to the airport. He did! Food never tasted so good. Our flight home took about 15 minutes.

I was happy to be home but more happy that I went. It was a once in a lifetime experience. The good news is, we are going back.

One of the best things I ever did on Roatan was introduce myself to Nidia Webster. Without this woman in my life I wouldn’t be having these amazing giving experiences. Roatan Because We Care is her community grassroots organization and believe me when I say, this woman can move mountains. She does so much for the island of Roatan, and now Puerto Lempira, blessed to call her my bestie.