Social distancing is my uber skill

03/20/2020 I am not going to say I’m practicing social distancing because I have it mastered already. I do not like crowds or large groups of people. This is not new, it’s my normal. The older I get the more I realize I don’t have a need to be with a lot of people, I chose who I want to be with rather than be thrust in a group of 20-30 or more people that I really don’t know or care to know. I have a few years left in my life and only want to spend it with the people I like, not once a week or once a month friends. I have no need for that.

Bill was here for 10 days, I told the dogs he was coming but all they heard was blah blah blah. I took Max to pick him up in Phoenix. Max was super excited. When we got home I had Bill let the other two out of their crates and they went batshit crazy. He sat down on the chair and was totally mauled. Gringo even added the special loving touch and humped his shoe.

Bill is the tan pants under 200# of dogs.

He got all of the Honey-Do list done which was fabulous. He: put the dresser together, put the trundle bed together, fixed the lights, took down the saltwater pool box, hung 2 huge Cool-a-roo curtains, figured out the accent night lights in the yard, added new timers to them and to the filter. Moved the desk which weighs 11 tons, hooked up the batteries for the electric couch since we have no outlet close by. He moved the washer and dryer out so I could scrub under them and replaced the guts in the master bath toilet and added some RAM to my slow laptop.

Dog loving while hanging the blinds.

This made my computer so much better, it was booting up so slow I hardly used it.

I found a local nursery online that wasn’t far from the house so we went one afternoon. It was huge but it was also a mess. There was trash everywhere, broken pots floating in with the koi, totally overgrown with weeds, buildings falling down, I was not impressed. Most of the cactus looked good but the other stuff was pretty much dead. They did have some interesting things laying around but I didn’t buy anything. Doubt I will return, I can’t stand places like that.

Cactus fence posts

Becoming part of the landscape

This was the cleanest building that we saw.

An old cash register.

Cholla, these things can stick in a dog so easily.

This is the same type of cactus we have. Ours is huge and a bird is nesting in it.

Reminded me of sea creatures.

Innovative hose holder

I almost bought some Rosemary but didn’t feel like dealing with it.

While he was here I decided I needed some houseplants so I bought 2 nice pottery pots at Lowe’s and got a Dracena and a Sansevieria (snake plant). Bill helped me pot them and bring them inside. I would like a few more indoor plants. At one time when I lived in a cabin on the Loyalsock Creek in PA, I had over 80 indoor plants. I spent all my time at greenhouses, I was obsessed.

Sansevieria

Dracena

Bill took a LYFT back to the Phoenix airport. His flight was at 12:40AM and I detest driving in the dark. He got home just in time to be on a small island that has shut down. Many tourists are stranded there, the Canadian flights came empty to take the Canadians home but the US carriers haven’t done that yet, I read that they will soon begin to pick up US travelers that are stranded. People think being stranded on a tropical island would be the shits. Well, it’s not. Granted they have not run out of toilet paper and eggs like in the US but they have the island on lockdown right now. People are to stay at home. It amazes me how many people don’t pay attention to the rules and have their own little pool parties. Stupid. The craziest thing to me is the government saying there are no reported cases on the island. REPORTED is the keyword here. A few weeks ago, when this was just getting to the US but was all over Europe, 20,000 people (from all over the world) came on cruise ships in one day. They shopped in local stores, they were picked up by locals who do tours, they went to the beach and bought from locals working there. You tell me none of those 20000 people were asymptomatic. HAH. The virus was more than likely passed on to a local and then taken back to the colonias where the majority of the homes have no running water and rarely have soap and never have hot water or hand sanitizer. These are the people who don’t have rolls of toilet paper stacked in their pantry. The colonias are where many elderly people live and Roatan also has a very high number of diabetics on the island, they are more prone to this disease. The Corona Virus is there and anyone who thinks it isn’t is just kidding themselves. No cases and no reported cases are two entirely different things. I hope for the best for the island, I have many gringo and island friends there and Bill is there too. I am constantly telling him to stay home as I watch on FB the gringos having parties and ignoring the orders to close their businesses down. I hope I’m wrong about the virus but realistically, I find it so hard to believe it’s not on the island. 

I’m still walking the dogs daily, my tendinitis is pretty much healed. I swear using the kinesiology tape helped me, YouTube videos showed me how to apply it. YouTube is amazing. I couldn’t get the front mats out of my car (kind of dark in the garage) so I YouTubed how to get them out, duh. It was so easy, even in the semi-dark when I realized what to do.

I alternate which dog goes first on our walks and figured out the easiest way to remember. When I walk one, the other 2 go in their crates. When I return I put the leash in the front, middle or back of the crate so the next morning I can figure out the order.

Gringos crate, he was first this morning. He’ll be last tomorrow.

Max was second, he’ll be first tomorrow. He always poops on his walk, just love carrying that steaming bag around.

Barrio was last today.  He’ll be second tomorrow. See, there is a method to my madness.

Being my OCD self, I decided to change from all the colored scrapbooks I have to plain black binders. This was more of a task than I thought it would be as I had to punch holes in all of the page protectors so they would fit in the new 3 ring albums.

I had 17 12X12 scrapbooks full of memories.

Now I have them in 7 new books. I just ordered one more because one is overly full. I also ordered some binders for my 8.5X11 books and my 8X8 scrapbooks. All black, all the same except the 8X8 isn’t available in a 3 ring so I just ordered black. I posted on one of the local pages that I had 17 scrapbooks free for the taking. They were gone in 15 minutes.

I saw my first Arizona scorpion on the wall above the dog food dishes. It was dead as soon as I squashed it. I called the pest control right away and they came and sprayed.

Me 1, scorpion 0.

Things are beginning to bloom, spring is on the way. I can’t wait to be able to get into the pool, it’s still 64 degrees.

New growth on the trunk

Growth all the way up the tree, can’t wait to see what it looks like in a month.

New shoots all over.

Cactus babies

Palms

different type of palm

My oldest granddaughter Alexah was to come and stay with me for 2 weeks but I doubt that is going to happen. She was coming on April 1st. I had all sorts of things planned to do with her, even bought tickets for an event in Scottsdale but I’m pretty sure it will all be canceled.

The boys were all in dog training classes. Max went Saturday, Gringo Friday eve and Barrio on Not helping much at all. The classes have been postponed but at the last class, Max sat with his back to the room and stared at the wall for the full hour. The teacher cracked up every time she looked over at him. Maybe he was social distancing, who knows?

And there you have it. I’m going to take the dogs outside for a while then curl up and read.

If you know anyone interested, here’s a link to our house. It’s a really crappy time to be trying to sell a house! https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mx1HH2FLC3I

 

 

Sixty days later, I’m still alive.

02/26/2020 By the time this gets finished and posted, I will have been here alone for 2 months. I’m fine. We’re fine. I’ve done things that I never expected to do at my age, (like today, maneuvering the auto pool vac somewhere close so I didn’t have to get in the frigid water but still be able to switch from auto vac head to manual, all the time keeping the hose submerged to keep suction and holding the 15′ pool upright with one hand while the other held the part from the manual vac that gets inserted into the pole) but here I am. I did it. And yes, that was a 3 Stooges episode I’m sure. And my big pool is clean. It’s MUCH more difficult to clean than the pool in Roatan. So much stuff blowing in it that comes from outer space.

He swims from the shallow end and up onto the ledge to get out.

It was pouring. For like 10 minutes.

I’m much stronger than I gave myself credit for and smarter. I actually can be a man. You know, figure out how to put things together without looking at the instructions, because really? Who needs instructions? Not this girl. I carried an 8X10 rug on my shoulder from the back of Lowe’s to the check-out and then carried it out to my car. I weeded the whole back yard by hand. TWICE. I’m feeling a little independent. Luckily, Bill is used to this part of my personality.

Living on Roatan alone for 4 months was interesting but not difficult, even though I was living in a foreign country, didn’t speak the language and knew nobody. I managed. I do believe it prepared me for what was to come.

Bill and I really needed to get away from our jobs. My job had ruined my hands. Bill had to get out due to stress. His job was way more stressful than mine and mine was stressful. Life is so short, how long can you keep doing the same crap every day? How long DO YOU WANT TO? I was done, physically mentally done, Bill was the same. Roatan was our escape.

And now here I am back in the US but not working, which is great. We’re (me and the dogs) usually up by 6:30-7, sometimes 7:30. They rarely wake me, just patiently waiting for me to wake up and put my feet on the floor. Then they start swarming. I let them out first thing and decide how many layers I will need for our walks. Sometimes I’ll have on 3 tops. After the first mile with one dog, I’ll remove my jacket. After dog # 2, I usually take off my sweatshirt and am down to a long-sleeve Coolibar shirt. It’s not really been too cold but we have had a crazy cold wind coming from the east that stings your eyes and dares you to wear hair spray. Today I did not remove any layers, it was chilly. I have a route measured out. I walk one dog, the other 2 are in their crates. Then I come home, switch dogs and walk again, three times EVERY day. Today my foot was feeling better so I made the walks longer, almost 1.5 miles per dog. I usually pass the same people walking in the mornings, they often ask if this is dog 1, 2 or 3. If it’s #3, I am excited and exhausted all at the same time.

My garbage can. The guy who I bought the house from had 2 swimming pool poles and neither of them extended. I threw them out and bought a new one.

Max started doggie school last Saturday. He HATED  it. I’m not taking them to learn to properly walk, they all know that. I’m just going for socialization and last week Max flunked with flying colors. He was able to do all the things she wanted him to do but he was giving a sweet 4-month-old female shepherd the evil eye. I don’t know if he is scared because he certainly is not an aggressive dog. Gringo, my hard-headed boy starts class Friday eve and Barrio starts in March. For 3 weeks I will have 3 dogs in class, Wed eve, Friday eve and Saturday. AGGGHHHH. These dogs own me, mind body and soul (and pocketbook). I have to work with Max at home but I have to either put the other 2 out or go out with Max because all 3 follow me around like the clowns that they are. Update: class one for Gringo, he was not a happy boy at all. He snarled at a cute puppy a few times. When it was time to leave I wanted to take advantage of the freebie coupons so I went to get a few things, he was a wreck, he needed OUT of there. That was Friday night. I took Max on Saturday for class # 2. I went in early (more coupons from Gringo’s first class) and Max was having a hissy fit. I took the stuff out to the car, he mistakenly thought we were leaving and was so stressed that we went back inside. The same puppy that Gringo snarled at got in Max’s face and he snapped at her. I was horrified but the teacher said it was OK, he was telling her to get out of his face. I have never seen Max be aggressive. He was more than ready to come home.

L to R. Max, Barrio and Gringo. I did buy a quilt and pillow shams and the dogs know they can’t get on the bed until I take them off every evening.

Friends that I met on Roatan came to visit last week. I picked them up at Gateway Mesa airport. They were here for a week. We pretty much hung out here except for one day we went to the Casa Grande ruins and then to Creative Cafe for lunch. The afternoons were gorgeous with plenty of sunshine. While they were here my Amazon obsession was slightly curtailed. Only slightly. I’m trying really hard to not shop, but now I have a candle thing. UGH, this is like a cold that gets worse until you have bronchitis.

Brett and Carmen told me the secrets of doing a puzzle, Brett’s mom is a whiz. He got the whole frame done and I haven’t touched it since they left.

We drove to Coolidge to see the Casa Grande Ruins.

History & Culture Compound A Drawing The Casa Grande in Compound A NPS A Brief History of the Casa Grande Ruins This is an artist’s depiction of the Casa Grande (“Great House”) and its surrounding compound as it may have appeared around 1350 C.E. One of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America, its purpose remains a mystery. Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancestral Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 C.E. Archeologists call a site where there are earthen buildings, red on buff pottery, and extensive canals “Hohokam” but this is not the name of a tribe or a people. Years of misunderstanding have confused the ancestors of the O’Odham, Hopi, and Zuni people with the name Hohokam, which is not a word in any of their languages nor the name of a separate people. KinoAnzaKearney artworks Padre Kino, Juan Bautista de Anza, and Stephen Kearney. The Casa Grande was abandoned around 1450 C.E. Since the ancestral Sonoran Desert people who built it left no written language behind, written historic accounts of the Casa Grande begin with the journal entries of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino when he visited the ruins in 1694. In his description of the large ancient structure before him, he wrote the words “casa grande” (or “great house”) which are still used today. More became known about the ruins with the later visits of Lt. Col. Juan Bautista de Anza’s expedition in 1775 and Brig. Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny’s military detachment in 1846. Subsequent articles written about the Casa Grande increased public interest. During the 1860’s through the 1880’s more people began to visit the ruins with the arrival of a railroad line twenty miles to the west and a connecting stagecoach route that ran right by the Casa Grande. The resulting damage from souvenir hunting, graffiti and outright vandalism raised serious concerns about the preservation of the Casa Grande.

Amazing what the people were capable of so many years ago. Have we really evolved to a better place?

I complained to Carmen and Brett that the umbrella was broken and I couldn’t even get it out to replace it. While I was walking the dogs one morning Brett opened it. It took HOURS before I noticed and we were all out back and I still didn’t see it was open!!

One day before Brett and Carmen came I was sitting on the floor in the kitchen making my way around the edges under the cabinets and scrubbing them. I cleaned the drawer on the oven and then opened the oven and saw this.

It was burned inside, the guy must have had a fire in the oven. No way I was using that thing.

Unfortunately, there is no gas in the neighborhood so I had to buy a new electric range.

Bill picked this one out on Lowe’s site and I went in and bought it. Now I’m waiting for the guy to come and cut the granite for the backsplash. Luckily we have 2 big pieces left.

Everyone wanted to see photos of the house so here you go. I still don’t have most of my artwork and I detest the colors of the walls but am not willing to pay over 7K to get the interior repainted. I’ll wait for Bill to get here or find someone more reasonable.

Master, oh yeah. I hate the carpeting too. That’s going to go soon.

Master bath

Entrance, and I don’t like the front door either. UGH. The dresser was bought for the guest room but is too big so Cindy and I moved it to the foyer and I bought a tall one for the guest room. It still sits in the garage. I need a mirror on the wall.

Barrio and the island. I love this granite. All of my windows have sunscreens on them. You can see out but it keeps the sun from warming up the house and bleaching your furniture. It’s actually quite cool inside.

Living room, new couch, tables, light and rugs. Brown leather chairs and ottoman belong to the dogs.

Bill picked out this dark gray leather couch with electric recliners on each end. We don’t have any nearby electrical outlets so we had to buy a battery-operated rechargeable unit to power the chairs.

This room is cavernous, hard to hear people talking to you, at least it is for me.

I was so tired of people knocking on my door and driving the dogs crazy that I bought a sign. Let’s hope nobody makes it weird. They’ll be running and this song will be blasting in their ears.

At first, I thought these were cool hawks or something but they’re just regular old vultures looking for some fast food from their local Desert Dive Through.

Beautiful morning sky

Goofy Barrio.

Chilly morning walk.

Kind of obsessed with these shadow photos. The desert is at the top of this little hill.

Crazy birds building a nest in this extremely pokey cactus.

BILL, DO NOT READ THIS.

So far I have placed 49 orders at Amazon in 60 days. Yikes. I swear I am going to stop. Today I woke up wanting some nice candles so I drove to Marshall’s and bought a few (after looking on Amazon but I was missing the smell factor, had to buy in person). I love the smell of a good candle burning.

I binge-watched Schitt’s Creek. I’ll probably binge it again soon, it was THAT good. I love Daniel Levy, I want to be his BFF and hang out with him all the time. I also rented Judy on Prime. Renee Zelwegger won an award for it. I’m not sure why, she was good but the movie itself was mediocre, in my opinion. Says the person who has watched the whole series of FRIENDS at least thirty times.

This morning I was attempting to weed under the gnarly cactus again.

I started yesterday but found a decomposed dead bird. That kind of grossed me out so I threw it in the trash and quit for the day. I tried to finish under the cactus this morning. I was down on my hands and knees weeding when all of a sudden I spotted this.

I am not an arachnophobic (unless it’s a scorpion) so I didn’t really freak out. I nudged it with a twig and it didn’t move so I picked it up.

Someone’s leftover Halloween ring.

I lived in a third world country for seven years, I am used to anything not cemented down being stolen. When I first began to walk the dogs I was amazed that my neighbors had cute things in their yards that were not chained down and/or guarded by a vicious rottweiler. I passed this surveyor’s set up a few weeks ago and thought to myself, that will be gone tomorrow. It’s still there, NOBODY STOLE IT. I am amazed!!

I am going to run to the store, I forgot something yesterday and then hope to come home and work on the puzzle (lol, I doubt it). Brett and Carmen, you’ll probably need to come back and finish this damn thing. No amount of wine will make me puzzle proficient.

And here I am.

 

 

Jan 31, 2020  So there you have it. Starting a new decade in a different house, in a state I’ve never lived in and somewhere that I don’t know anyone in the city I’m in except my cousin, who I have not seen for 30 years. It’s just me and the boys. Roatan was just not where I wanted to be anymore and I’m fortunate that I was able to leave.

We had a rather difficult trip here with the dogs, American Airlines suck, to say the least.  After filing 5 complaints and getting zero responses I just posted on their FB page, Yelp, Twitter and Trip Advisor. I’m not done either, going to get some more email addresses and send them off later tonight.  I won’t go into the details except to say when we made reservations on the phone, they would not allow me to pay to take my elderly cat on board. When we got to the Roatan airport the American agent said we were given incorrect info and could take her on board but I did not have the proper carrier.  As a result of that, she died the day we arrived.

Bill, the dogs, cat and I spent 10 hours in the Dallas Fort Worth airport. We could have gotten 2 hotel rooms (2 pets per room) but with 3 dogs and their crates and a cat and a crate, three big suitcases and 3 carry-ons it would have been more stressful getting to the hotel than staying at the airport.

Imagine me trying to do this alone. 3 dog, 1 cat crate, 3 checked bags and three carry ons PLUS 3 dogs and a cat.

Max, always a lap dog.

Bill was desperate for sleep.

Me. I just wanted to charge my phone so I could order a mattress and other stuff on Amazon. These three dogs were so well behaved at DFW. All night long in an unfamiliar place with random people and big floor polishing machines. They were excellent.

DFW rules says if you have an animal that was traveling with you they must be on a leash. My dogs were perfect angels the whole night. I took them outside across to the parking garage at least eight times, begging them to go potty but it smelled too much in the dog relief area and they wouldn’t go. I even found an area with grass in it and crawled up on the wall and got the dogs to come up too, still no potty. And it was COOOLLLDD out.

While back in the airport I had Barrio with me and went in to the bathroom to fill up their water bowl. It must have been 2 AM, I had nothing to eat and was cranky as hell. A homeless woman came into the bathroom schlepping all her shit in cardboard boxes and bags. She yelled at me to get my dog out of the bathroom. She yelled at the wrong person, I explained that my dog had a paid for ticket and he had every right to be with me. Then later on I was sitting on the floor, charging my phone while ordering a new mattress on Amazon (isn’t that when you order mattresses?) and she came by again wanting to go into the bathroom. The boys were laying down, nowhere near the entrance. She yelled at me to get my dogs out of there, I suggested she find another bathroom if she couldn’t fit in the entryway to this one.  Later I saw her sleeping in a chair and was tempted to have the dogs go wake her up but she looked pretty insane and I didn’t want anything to happen to the dogs. Crazy assed people.

The agent who wouldn’t allow Emmy to fly in the cabin booked us on the 7:15 AM flight out of DFW to PHX. Dogs being allowed to travel is very dependent on ground temperature at all airports. We NEVER should have been booked on that flight. The nice AA agent in DFW put us on the next flight and did not charge us the $200 fee per ticket to change the flights because it was an AA agents error.

We ended up on the 9AM flight but the damn plane had a mechanical issue so we sat for 50 minutes before the freaking maintenance crew came. It took them 3 minutes to fix the plane. The whole time I was freaking out about the animals. I was in an aisle seat and the young man next to me really needed two seats, as he took up most of mine. I was unable to have my left arm in the natural position, I had to hold it in front of my body, there was nowhere else to put it and there was not an empty seat on the plane. The young man could not fasten his seat belt either, none of the flight attendants even checked. Thankfully we had no turbulence or I would have been flattened.

We arrived in PHX an hour later than scheduled. We were in constant communication with our friends (we met them on Roatan but they live in PHX). They graciously offered to meet us and take us to our house AND to let us use their extra car for the week Bill was here. We were headed to the baggage claim when they met up with us. Bill and Dave went to over sized cargo and got the dogs, Kerry and I waited for the luggage. Once they got the dogs out of their crates they took them to the dog relief area at PHX and I guess they all exploded their saved up waste and were very relieved to do so. Emmy was not doing well at all. She was almost limp, the trip was too much for her. We made it to the house, Bill had 2 of the boys, I had Barrio in Kerry’s car. Once Dave opened the gate and I took the dogs leashes off they were in the pool in a heartbeat.

First swim in their new pool.

The realtor came with all of the keys for us. Soon after that Kelly came. She planned to be at the airport but I didn’t see any reason when we could fit everything in the 2 cars we had. Kelly came to the house with everything you could think of that we would need. She brought towels, paper plates, water, wine, snack trays, fruit, garbage bags, screwdrivers, you name it, she brought it. She also brought a queen sized blow up mattress because my mattress wouldn’t be delivered for a few days.

Kerry and Dave left their second car for us to use while Bill was here, Dave even brought tools along in case Bill needed to put things together or whatever. So thoughtful. What a blessing, we didn’t have to rent a car.Kelly was still here. I kept checking on Emmy and she was not getting any better, she couldn’t stand up. I just had a gut feeling that she was not going to make it. A few minutes later I went in to get her, thinking we could take her to a vet but she had passed away. Just what I needed, two days of travel from hell and my cat dies the day we arrive. We found a vet and took her there, they said she had passed and could handle the remains for me. Poor Emmy cat, she was 13 years old and had a good life. I miss her.

So began my life in Arizona. Bill was here with me for the first week, we had to find a car for me and get furniture. I don’t remember any of what we did the first few days. One day we drove to the Phoenix area and looked at cars. We saw a few but one I really liked, a  2015 Honda CR-V.

The car is perfect for the dogs, good shape, 78000 miles. We bought it. It seemed like we were gone for so long I wanted to get home to the dogs, they were still stressed being somewhere new.

My new wheels.

Barrio and Gringo. I bought them new beds for their crates, first time they used them Barrio ripped a hole in his. Stressed I’m sure. I got some material and patched it.

Max, dead to the world, having doggy dreams.

I had to call the furniture store and verify the time they would be here on Sunday. We still had no internet at the house and neither AT&T nor Verizon work in the area we live. I had to drive to where I got a signal and call them. While I had them on the phone I ordered a bedroom suit for the guest room too, why not, as long as I was already paying a delivery fee. I sat by the Cowboy Church and had a great signal.

In front of the Cowboy Church.

I had Bill change all the smoke detector batteries so that I wouldn’t be trying to silence one going off on the 18′ ceiling in the middle of the night. He also changed the bulbs in the fans and I washed the glass covers, new filters on the furnace and hung some hook things in the laundry room. I was struggling to keep the kitchen island clean. A battle I did not easily win. We were taking turns walking the dogs. Bill did most of the walking until he left, then I took over.

Bill was here a week, he went home on the 4th. It was me and the dogs, a new TV and new laptop but no internet to use either. The furniture was delivered Sunday and the internet guy came Monday. Finally, things were moving along. All I had to do was figure out how to use a smart TV. Remember, I have not watched TV on a TV since 2013. This was a whole new world getting signed into all of my accounts on the TV. Yikes! It took lots of curse words, a few Whatsapps to Bill and a call to Amazon, but I got it.

I was walking all 3 dogs at the same time, three times a day. After being knocked down twice by them getting all excited and strangling my legs with the leashes I realized something needed to change. At my age I’m just one fall away from a broken hip and I don’t have time for that! I took the boys to be evaluated by a dog trainer in the area. She evaluated them individually and said they were all suffering from anxiety. Probably. She also said NOT to walk them all at once because I had no control over anything and also to stop using a choke chain. I bought 2 harnesses from her (Gringo and Barrio share). They are made by Canine Equipment and have a leash hook on the chest and one of the leashes fastens on to the Martingale part of the harness on the top of the neck. They don’t choke the dogs, they can’t get out of them and it gives me the control. So now I’m walking each of them individually two times a day. I did not sign up for her classes though because her website says $100/ dog for 4 training sessions but because my dogs are older it’s $250/ dog. I would visit with her an hour a week and she would evaluate what the dogs learned and tell me what to work on. So I was paying her to train me, which I understand is the actual thing that is done but I didn’t want to be trained by a piece of paper, I wanted a trainer watching. What if I’m training the wrong way? So $750 for 1 hour +/- for 4 weeks. No thank you.

Suicidal dog walking.

I bought one of these for 3 dogs. It didn’t work at all. I should try to resell it on Amazon.

My new mattress came on Thursday. It had a very dirty cover on it so I drove to the cell phone reception area and called Amazon. The rep said no problem, put it back in the box and we’ll issue a call tag for it. I said, “wait, what? Put it back in the box, that’s impossible.” He said maybe a neighbor can help. Twenty neighbors could not get a mattress that came compressed to 6″, wrapped by a machine and put in the box by a machine. The mattress was now 10″ thick, 20 if folded in half, the way it came. He could not understand that. He suggested I put it in my car and take it to UPS. I said NO. He got a UPS rep on the line and I explained to her and she said, “it is impossible to get that back in the box,” Thank you. The Amazon rep suggested I get a bigger box from UPS and ship it that way. I thanked him and hung up. The next morning I went out by the field (cell phone reception area) and called Amazon again. Rico realized there was no way to return the mattress and offered me a good credit. I took the credit. Seriously, stuff it back in the box, hysterical. Now that we have internet my google voice number works but AT&T, Verizon and TMobile do not work here.

Bill wrestling with Max.

I’m the blue speck. Luckily the furniture came two days later.

I like the mattress, it’s comfy and not too soft. The dogs seem to like it too, they are all sleeping with me. They are all also following me to the bathroom. All 3 of them get in the little “toilet room” area. Barrio always knocks the TP off the holder.

My toilet buddy. Every. Single. Time.

My feet are killing me, walking 5-6 miles in my $40.00 Skechers. After my last walk of the day when I take my shoes off, I can hardly walk, my calves and ankles hurt a lot. My friends said to go get good shoes so I drove to Chandler to The Walking Company and got fit for new shoes. I ended up with Abeos. After a quick trip to Costco to see how much money I could spend in 10 minutes flat, I came home.

Seriously, I could have spent more. Four bags of dog food, towels and 3 bags of cheese, all for less than 3 bags of dog food on Roatan.

I came home, changed shoes and we started walking. By the end of the day on Thursday I had clocked 6.6 miles. Not bad for a formerly sedentary old lady. My ankle pain was still very violently protesting my walking, even with new shoes. Friday I cut my trips short, just under 6 miles, Saturday even shorter, just over 5 miles. Today, Sunday, we are not walking. I have to give the feet a break and allow my ankle to heal, new shoes won’t fix an old injury. The dogs were bummed but I am happy to report they are all using the ledge at the deep end of the pool. They have it figured out.

Max is not eating very well, he misses Highway and Bill. A LOT. Highway was his Alpha and Bill is his daddy. He’s depressed. I have been doing everything possible to get him to eat, buying canned and freshly made dog food at the store, scrambled eggs, cheese, yogurt. He eats half and then lays by his dish and drives Barrio and Gringo crazy because they want to eat his food. Tonight I actually SPOON FED him. Yes I did. He ate it too.

This is a Palo Verde tree. They are all over the neighborhood. The name is Spanish and means green stick. The bark of a palo verde tree is green because it’s filled with chlorophyll. Unlike most trees, this plant gets a lot of photosynthesizing done through its bark. It is the state tree of Arizona.

Agave or century plant. They are called century plant because they are thought to take 100 years to bloom. This is not true, they bloom in about 20 years.

Caught this when I went out with the dogs to pee. Wait. I went out with the dogs while THEY peed, I did not.

Morning sky over the desert.

Me and my shadow.

A back path behind our hood, it backs right up to the desert. I’ve never seen anyone walking here. There are 2 nasty dogs in a yard (high block wall), can’t see them but can tell by their barks one is small and one is large. The other day Gringo and I were walking like normal and the dogs were both barking like crazy, Gringo was getting all freaked out. Then the dogs started fighting. Believe me, I know what the sound of a dog fight is. I was freaking out but there was nothing I could do.

I’m not a fan of walking in the hood, especially when the kids are all out and about. The dogs need more socializing. I found a lady 30 minutes south of here who has great references and is reasonably priced and I am with her for the whole lesson. She will work on socializing all of the boys so they’re not afraid of everything. I keep telling the kids in the area to NOT run up to the dogs, they don’t like it. I ask them to stand still and let the dog sniff them, most are respectful but there’s always an asshat kid in the bunch, like the one who zooms back and forth past Gringo with his scooter. He can see it terrifies Gringo. I’d like to knock him on his ass but I won’t. I’ve decided to walk early, once the kids are on the bus and again before they get home. Sundays are going to be no walking days. When school is out the only time I can walk them is really early because of the heat. I always try to get them to poop before we walk because I don’t particularly like carrying a bag of steaming dog shit with me on my walk. I was getting pretty good at pooping them prior and then all hell broke loose. When Gringo goes to poop here it takes him a freaking fortnight. I know this because I hold a flashlight for him to go. However, when out on a walk he can make a colossal pile in less time than it takes for me to realize he’s squatting. All of the dogs recently started sneezing, a LOT!! I talked to my friend Kelly who lives here and has dogs and she said, oh yeah, allergies. They were doing a lot of grass sniffing last week, normally they don’t do that, they stay on the sidewalk. Then Barrio started with the sneezing and soon they all were. I find myself saying Bless you to my dogs. I’m hoping it’s only temporary. Five days later, they are still sneezing but not as bad, Gringo and Barrio are much better, Max seems slower to get over it so he has a vet appt. on Friday. I have them all on Zyrtec. [Update: Max is on antibiotic and a cortisone drug for his allergies and they are doing a complete CBC checking for tyhroid, diabetes, erlichia, any and everything. He walks 2 miles a day and he’s gained 10#’s. something isn’t right. I sure hope for the insane price I paid for these tests (I’m sure not in Honduras anymore) that they find something.]

Friends of mine in Pittsburgh asked for my address, I was hoping they were coming to visit. They weren’t but they did send me 3 gifts: They sent me Maldon salt so the house would always have flavor, bread (gift certificate for a great bakery) so the home will never go hungry and wine so the home will always have Joy and Prosperity. Thank you Andy and John. Now come visit.

I had never heard of this salt until I got it as a gift. You do not use it to cook, only on the finished product. Read about it, it’s fascinating. Each salt piece is like a tiny pyramid. I’m hooked!

My friend who allowed us to use her car for a week came down from Phoenix and had lunch with me. We went to a great spot called Creative Cafe. Excellent fresh food. Today my island friend, Cindy Darby, who now lives in Nevada came to visit me and I took her to the same restaurant. She loved it too. My crates from Roatan are arriving tomorrow at 8 AM. My neighbor will help me open them and then Cindy is coming back down on Thursday to help me attempt to set up house. I have no idea what is even in the crates, guess I’ll find out soon. (update: crates arrived and are open. I have to wash every piece of clean clothes that I packed because it sat around so long in the humidity, then being on the boat, disgusting mildewy smell.) That had the dogs and I all gagging yesterday. I have 75% of it put away. Still lots of laundry to do.

When I moved back to the states I was looking forward to real recycling. Well, guess what? They don’t recycle here, there isn’t even anywhere to take my recyclables. That totally sucks.

Just a few final photos and I’m off to visit with Dr Teal and a bathtub.

I HAVE A BATHTUB!!! First tub bath since 2013. What a luxury.

Saw these on Amazon so I got some, they are fabulous and have all different kinds.

I ordered some Croc felt slippers. I just wanted something to slip on my feet when I was done walking. Well, they are like walking on cardboard but Barrio seems to enjoy carrying them around.

This was the tag on the Croc slippers. Do you wear your bedroom slippers specifically on escalators? Really? WTH is up with this tag?

Since this has taken me almost 2 weeks to write, I’m going to wrap it up. Update on American Airlines, they refunded half of the fee for us transporting all 4 animals, almost $500.00. The squeaky wheel does indeed get oiled.

AND, I’ve been here one month already, I have not cleaned up any gecko poop nor have I had anyone come head on at me on a curve on a hill while driving. I hear no compression brakes, I got my AZ drivers license in 10 days, it cost $10.00 for 5 years, I did not have to go to the Sudan for testing and my license plate arrived already, No more manana.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Coral

Massive coral

Coral with Christmas Tree worms

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

Giant puffer hiding

Anemones

Spiny black sea urchin

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

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

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

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

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

Mahi Mahi and some jellyfish.

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

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

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

Eels and a barracuda.

Whale Shark

This was my favorite, the Octopus.

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

This was one of the walls.

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

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

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

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

These were gift bags filled with toiletries.

It was a full house!

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is before the swing.

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

Much better gray.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And babies, we have had tons of babies.

Another photo of the big guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fabulous old mirror.

The wallpaper was incredible.

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

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

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

I forgot how beautiful Pennsylvania was.

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

Devon and me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her pool is gorgeous but it was coooold.

She had a table made in the pool. Genius.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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.