Psycho babble

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11/16/2014   I had the pleasure of riding with my buddy Jurgen a week ago Friday. He drives the bus for the Cattleya school, which is a school for physically and mentally challenged children. The regular schools on the island can barely educate a child with normal needs let alone one with special needs. Once all the students were picked up he dropped them off at their school in French Cay. I spent the afternoon at the school with their sweet teacher Erica. There were 7 kids and 2 of them were the younger siblings of the special needs students and only were there for something to do. The one little girl was a huge helper with her older sister. These kids are awesome, I fell in love. They are so happy to be there and to have things to do. My only issue is the huge handicap I HAVE. I don’t speak Spanish and I really need to work on that ASAP if I want to be a part of this. I planned to go back this past week but Scarlett (my wretched poor white trash car) is in the shop AGAIN. This time it’s her rear end. Hopefully next week.

I learned another new lesson this week, fresh coconut is not always the best thing to bake with. I mean FRESH, cut from the coconut that fell off the tree and shredded finely. I planned to take some coconut macaroons to Chuck and Nancy’s for a get together on Sunday. Yeah, well, not going to happen. I did not drain or bake the coconut and that was stupid on my part. I should have GOOGLED, “How to bake with fresh coconut” first. I did not. I got the cookies made and in the oven and all the coconut milk cooked out and all over the pans and it turned into a congealed mess. I needed a machete to get the freaking things off the pan. They were not cooked but were a gooey expensive mess (full of almonds) that I threw in the garbage and vowed never to make them again, especially NOT with fresh coconut.

The coconut thing kind of pissed me off so I went to Parrot Tree pool to while away the afternoon. I was the only person there until the silence was broken by a screaming child. I don’t mean crying, I mean full on screaming because her damn flip flop came off while she was sitting by the side of the pool. It didn’t piss me off that she was crying, what did piss me off is that the 2 older girls with her ignored her and just LET HER SCREAM. Annoying. Finally they put her damn shoe on her. I noticed as they were entering one of the condos that they left their trash floating in the pool. First a screaming child, then litterers. I got back in the pool and got their cups and water bottles out and threw them in the trash cans. Man, I hate people who expect others to clean up after them. It seems to be the mentality around this island and it infuriates me. Every day I see people throw shit out of their car, RECO (electric company) trucks, cabbies, tourist vans, you name it, just toss it. Someone else will pick it up for you. PMO, BT. (piss me off, big time!)

After 4 hours at the pool I decided to go home and think of something else to bake. On the way I swung by Walter’s to say hello. He and QuiQay were there, Walter was making stew and QuiQay was cleaning out the fridge. I sat and chatted with them for a bit and Walter invited us to dinner that evening. I came home, showered and made a salad and dressing for the meal at Walter’s. We got there around 6 and were surprised to see 2 other vehicles there. I hoped I had enough salad! Nancy and Chuck were there and Myrt and his wife Edith. We had a great dinner and sat around the table talking for quite awhile. Myrt and Edith were telling us some stories about the crocodiles on the island. Edith was pretty hysterical to listen to and their stories are right out of the “you can’t make this shit up” book. All in all, a very fun evening.

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Walter took this photo celebrating his official “housewarming” dinner party.

Sunday morning I decided to bake apple nut bread so Bill ran to the store for me to get what I was lacking for the recipe. It turned out yummy so I took a few slices down to John while it was still warm. At 4:00 we rode over to Chuck and Nancy’s with Craig and Cleo and a plate of apple nut bread. Nancy was making her killer Margaritas and Pina Coladas and had a variety of yummy snack items for us. We sat out on their deck overlooking Milton Bight and talked for several hours.

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Chuck, one of the hosts, on the left, Craig on the right.
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Bill kind of unknowingly photobombed this one.
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Nancy and Cleo
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My favorite chairs from Umbul Umbul,  I wish they were mine.
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Their side deck
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On the steps to the art studio.
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A view of Milton Bight and my friend Annie’s home.

Have I mentioned that I stopped drinking alcoholic beverages? Contrary to popular belief, I never drank that much. I am too much of a control freak and I don’t like not remembering the night before. (Yes, I have experienced those things in a previous life and once at Parrot Tree pool recently.)  I usually only have one vodka per night, on a rare occasion I would have 2 and never finish the second. If I’m drinking wine, I drink more. This, I believe, is because it’s easy. Just pour, or in the case of me being lucky and having some Bandit, just sip out of the carton. Anyhow, the night Stef and Jurgen came for dinner was the last I drank and that was 10/30. It doesn’t bother me not to drink and I like that. I have been chugging copious amounts of water though, which is not a bad thing. Despite the fact Walter had wine for me and I love Nancy’s Margaritas, I stuck with water. I don’t plan to never drink again, just not nightly.

Since it is the rainy season it has been kind of cool, like in the upper 70’s. Don’t laugh and make fun of me. If you are used to 88 degree days and then have the temp drop 15 degrees, it’s cold. We went to the store to get stuff to make a crock pot of chicken stew, some French onion soup and I wanted to bake pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing. I actually put on a pair of capris and a cotton sweater. By the time we got out of the grocery store the sun was out and it was hot. So much for chilly soup weather. We made the onion soup and the pot of stew anyhow and I was back in a sleeveless dress in a heartbeat.

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My legs were almost covered, a real rarity on the island.

The baking bug has bitten me in the ass recently. When my boys were young I baked all the time. I was skinny then, it didn’t matter. Then I stopped baking because if I bake it, I eat it. Not a good thing. The other day I decided to bake an old favorite, a recipe Cathy Hurvitz gave me years ago, pumpkin bread. I made cupcakes instead and also made a from scratch cream cheese frosting. I’ve since gained 7.5#’s in each butt cheek. But, OMG, they are yummy.

I drug some of my scrapbooking stuff upstairs the other day. I’m not sure why but I ended up making a few things; however I no longer have the overwhelming desire to do it. I think it’s possibly the lack of available supplies here and if I use what I have, I won’t have any more. It is the reason there is still one box of Bandit still in the pantry. If I drink it I won’t have any more. I know, it’s a mental issue thingie. Just another to add to the sordid list that are my brain malfunctions.

We took the boy dogs to the vets for their shots. The Doc was not there yet so we had to wait for quite awhile. Lucky of course, was polite and well mannered. Then there was Highway who is such a blundering idiot that I am embarrassed he is mine. See the little red spot under his eye? He gets these pustule sores every now and then and we have to put him on Cephalexin for 5 days and they go away. This is also something that the vets in the US couldn’t figure out, even after we spent $5000.00. So he gets sores, he gets meds and they go away. Most expensive pot licker dog in the universe, and he’s mine. Yippee shit. Lucky has been chewing his paw and he has a sore there. The vet gave me a scrip for a spray for it. That one is healing but now he has one on his butt. I’m not sure if they are hot spots or what. I’ll keep treating this one too and if it’s not better he goes back to the vet on Wed. We have to go anyhow because Dooce and Emmy need their shots too. Three dogs and a cat is too much for one trip. It took 2 people to hold Lucky on the table for his shots and his heart worm test. I could barely contain Highway who couldn’t understand why Luck was on the table getting attention and he was on the floor. He had already had his shots but he kept trying to get back on the table with Luck. I had to take him outside.

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IDIOT DOG!
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Both of the boys, Highway has fits when he sees another dog and barks and growls and slobbers. Luck is all, so what, it’s a dog..

I took half a dozen cupcakes to the vet too. Kevin, the one assistant wasn’t there so it was just Bethany and Dr. Calderone who got the treats. She said they were “finger licking.” I need to do that more often because I really appreciate the fact that he comes over here weekly to doctor our animals. He’s a great guy! Kevin, his assistant is trying to raise the money to attend veterinary school on the mainland. It will cost him around $6000.00 a year for room and board, he also has a partial scholarship. He is from Roatan and his family does not have the means to send him to school. The Roatan Humane Society is trying to help him as much as possible. His dream is to come back to the island and be a full time vet and it is so needed. Kevin has a heart of gold and will do an excellent job, here’s hoping he can raise the money!

I have been allowing Emmy to get into the routine of jumping out the window in the morning and exploring the porch. That is until the other day when I forgot she was out there. When I went to look in her normal spot, she wasn’t there. Luck and Dooce were on the porch but Highway wasn’t. That meant one thing, Emmy was where he was. Sure enough she was down in the grass laying and he was jumping, like the fool that he is, around her. The look on her face was kill me now. Or better yet, KILL THIS IDIOT. I don’t want her down there because she can get out through the gate and she would take off and in no time at all be Vulture food. Plus, she doesn’t have fleas or ticks or bugs and she sleeps with me, I would kind of like to keep her pest free. Now she is not allowed out and she is pissed. I could put a collar on her and leash her out but the last time I did that (in the early 70’s) friends came to our second floor apartment and asked why my cat was hanging from her neck off the porch. Well, I guess it’s because she jumped. No leash for Emmy.

On Thursday I went to another lunch at Cal’s, the restaurant that is right down the road from us. I thought it was going to be a small affair, half a dozen women, but it wasn’t. There were at least 15 women there, too many to have a conversation with. I had eaten a few pumpkin cupcakes in the morning and by the time I got there, I wasn’t hungry in the least. I wasn’t going to eat anything but decided on a salad so I didn’t sit there with nothing to eat while everyone else was eating. I did get to chat with a few people I don’t get to see often, so that made me happy!

On Friday I banished the dogs from ever setting foot in the house again (this lasted about 36 hours) and I cleaned the huge amounts of dog hair from the shelves, floor, upholstered couch that it sticks to like glue, OMG, it was everywhere. Add to that the filthy screens and windows and this place was a pig sty. I busted my butt cleaning and once again, hurt my back. I hurt it enough that at 4 PM I went to bed with my laptop and stayed there the remainder of the night. I didn’t even get up to eat anything. (Lie, I ate another cupcake) AND, I missed the damn safety meeting about proper safety head wear. I can just imagine my punishment for this infraction. This is the email I received due to my non-appearance.

Following are the minutes from yesterday’s safety meeting.

1. Attendance SUCKED!
2. There were no presentations on Safety helmets.  Members are at great risk with no protective head gear.
3.  Meeting was adjourned due to dark clouds.
4.  Several members drank to much and had to go to Cal’s for dinner.
 
Next meeting agenda item will include but not be limited to Safety Footwear. Locally made here on Roatan, the discussion will center on whether to endorse this product line with the SCM Stamp of Approval.
 
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These minutes are hereby approved for distribution.
This is the kind of shit you have to put up with to live in a PWT hood.
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I bought this skirt when I was in the states. I really liked it but it was too long. I bought it anyhow. I decided to remove the bottom ruffle and then hem it, Viola’, a short skirt. I know, don’t tell me, I’m not 14. I’m too old for short skirts, blah blah blah. I don’t care. I will not lie, I like short skirts and I will wear them until I die. WOW, a rhyme..
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Skirt with no ruffle
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I then hemmed the ruffle’s raw edge and made an infinity scarf.
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I saw this truck when I was with Jurgen in Coxen Hole. It’s a fruit truck and to advertise their wares they have random bags of fruit tied ALL AROUND THE TRUCK. Only on Roatan.
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Maybe a Cicada?? Again?

Yesterday Jeanie and Roger came over for brunch. We decided to eat dinner early because they have a long drive back to their house in Camp Bay. Bill once again made his semi famous pizza on the grill and I made a salad. While at the ladies lunch the other day Jeanie, Annie and I were talking about sewing and I said I had one needle left for my machine and that Susan was going to bring me some when she comes down. Jeanie shows up with needles, chocolate and this cute metal sandals wall hanging.

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I have the perfect place for the sandals, the needles will be on my sewing machine and well, the chocolate will be in my mouth.

Jeanie knew I hadn’t been drinking but she informed me I would have a glass of wine with her, and I did. In fact, I had 2 glasses, 1/4 full each so not really even a full glass. We had a super time hanging out with them. I sure am happy we met Jeanie in 2012 while we were planking at Camp Bay. It was destiny.

One last “you can’t make this shit up picture” and I’m going to go fold laundry. I know, the excitement of it all. Going home the other day we followed this truck. It had a huge box that was tied with a rope in the lower 1/20th of the box. Like it would stop it from toppling out of the back of the truck.

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Nothing over the top, nothing higher up on the box, just this little old rope and the Incredible Hulk laying his strong hand on the box to steady it. Only on Roatan.

I’ll leave you with this cuteness. Emmy was laying alongside of me on the bed, kneading. She did it for about 10 minutes, but in this clip, if you turn your sound up, you can hear her purring really loud! She still loves me.

 

Life in the ‘HOOD.

 

breathe

11/6/2014  After a rainy rainy week we finally are getting some sunshine. Normally I could tell you how much rain we got but our weather station reset itself the beginning of November. Who knew? Speaking of November. How the hell did that happen? It was just July wasn’t it? Of course, here on the rock, seasons are insignificant. December, May, August, February, all interchangeable. Well, in certain respects. We do have a rainy season, enter November; however that is not to say we don’t have rainy spells during the year. This is NOT a desert island, it’s a veritable jungle. It’s green for as far as the eye can see and from our house, that’s pretty far. GREEN GREEN and BLUE. I’ll take it. This is my breakfast view.

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South
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North

Our residency cards must be renewed yearly and to do this you have to go to Tegucigalpa. It is a ridiculous pain in the ass so I contacted Cristiana (our lawyer) to see if she could do it for us. She planned to go there on Wed. so on Monday Bill and I drove down to her house and dropped off our cards and the fee. This has to be done yearly for 5 years and after that once every 5 years. It’s so much easier and cheaper to have her do it that it’s insane to even bother to attempt to do it ourselves. We got our new cards yesterday, good for another year.

This house needed cleaned, not downstairs since Bill is using that once again as a workshop (constant UGH) but upstairs was dirty and dusty. With the rains the dogs were inside and 3 good sized shedding dogs make a huge hair mess. Add to that the sawdust that blows upstairs and comes firmly attached to Bill’s clothes and socks and shoes and you have a pig sty. I dusted, swept and mopped. All clean but it doesn’t last long. It is incredibly dusty down here, the screens and window tracks are covered with dust at all times. Oh well, I really try not to let it bother me and I am 50% successful 50% of the time.

On Tuesday Jeanie stopped by. I haven’t seen her since our trip to La Sirena. She and her husband were back at their home in Atlanta for a few months and just returned. Always enjoy her company. Later on that evening Cleo came over to visit us, so nice having them as neighbors, I just wish they were permanently our neighbors and not moving out to the other end of the world. It will be OK though because I like boat rides and we’ll find out soon enough if all 3 dogs do too. Craig is getting a special boat that is dog friendly so we can come out and stay for extended periods of time at the ranch. Thanks Craig, what a guy you are when not wearing garbage bags.

I met a new friend on Facebook and she finally moved to the island. Welcome to the island Jen, so nice to finally meet you! As luck would have it, a malnourished little kitten found her in Coxen Hole. Animals know who to go to, like Highway getting hit by the truck in front of me..She was taking the cat to Dr. Calderone on Wednesday so I said I would meet her at the vet office. The little kitty was adorable but she couldn’t keep it, she can’t have pets where she is temporarily living. She was lucky enough to find a good home for it. I took her to Carniagro and then to the mall to go to Tigo. Tigo was closed just like the banks were, for the rest of the week. Nice way they decide to change holidays and group them all together, on a whim. Nice vacation for the Hondurans. We went in to Roatan Motorsports, what a great store. The first time I was in they didn’t have much stuff, now they do! Lots of fishing and snorkeling gear and rafts!! Many different types of rafts, nice rafts too!! Anybody looking for a raft, check there.

On Wednesday afternoon Don and Janice came by for some wine and a visit. Always a pleasure visiting with these two.

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afternoon snacks, cheese, grapes, almonds and starfruit

Thursday Bill and I did some running around, had to get groceries and wine because Stef and Jurgen were coming over for dinner. We have seen Jurgen recently but not Stefi since she had been sick, so it was fabulous to see her once again. After dinner Craig and Cleo came up and joined us for drinks. The pleasures of ‘Hood living.

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It was a stormy night off and on so we hung out inside.
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We even ate inside, that was a first.
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Yes, I use a plastic wine glass. Crappy hand grip, nice glasses and concrete do not mix well.

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Bill was making pizza, his new specialty. He makes the dough from scratch and cooks it on the grill.

Friday we were planning to go to BJ’s with Craig and Cleo but the weather was so nasty we decided against it. For our dose of Halloween we were going to watch Beetlejuice and Craig and Cleo were going to join us, except only Cleo came. We sat down to watch the movie and were half way through it when we heard Craig at the door. Bill went down to let him in and when Craig walked up the steps I lost it. We have a standing joke that our neighborhood is PWT, Poor White Trash. We have gone back and forth with ordinances, safety meetings, steering committee, rules and regulations for living in a PWT hood. Well, I’ll spare you the photos since I haven’t asked for or gotten permission to post them and I’m not even sure they are acceptable to be posted online; BUT, picture this. A man in his undies and white trash bags with trash stuffed in the bags. BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUME EVER. I’m still snorting over it.

Saturday was a soul drenching day. It POURED and then some all freaking day. You couldn’t see the horizon, let alone the water on the south side!

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South side of island looking towards the mainland of Central America. You can’t even see Neverstain Bight.
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So misty, foggy, whatever you want to call it, it felt good. The air was cool and crisp and the sound of the rain was soothing. I loved it. This is the eastern view of the north shore.
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Raining men, women, children AND cats and dogs.. Our 3 were inside sleeping soundly all day. Since it was such a cool day I baked. FOR THE DOGS. I made doggie cookies. I always double the recipe but this time I doubled the doubled recipe and made a crap load of dog treats. I also made some pill pockets things for Dooce’s daily pills, sure beats dirtying a knife everyday to get peanut butter to cover her pill. I’m lazy, I know.
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These are human grade but rather bland and cardboard tasting. The dogs LOVE them though & that’s all that matters!
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Using my fancy peanut butter jar lid cookie cutter.

Sunday was a gorgeous day. It was sunny and only semi cloudy. We hung around here, I sat on the patio with the boys and read and actually got some sun. My tan is fading..

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I got my bag out again on Sunday. It is my favorite thing ever and I have used it constantly since my BFF Andee sent it to me.

It is made by a company called thirty one. They have lots of cute stuff. I have my Contigo water bottle, my tablet, my phone and my camera along with my sun hat all tucked neatly into the bags and it’s myriad pockets. I love this bag.

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Along with the stormy weather came some pretty strong wind. It was so strong it blew the toilet paper off the stand, out of the bathroom and off of the roll on to the floor. Notice the caps for the bolts on the toilet have not been put on yet. I guess the bolts are too long and need cut so the caps will fit. I had to order the caps on Amazon, toilets here don’t always come with them.
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We had a hatch of these damn bugs the other night. They were everywhere. In the morning there were wings inside and out. Bill took the shop vac to all the window tracks in the house. I have yet to go through and clean them. I don’t think this is a wise time of year to waste my energy doing that. I mean, I don’t want to be hasty.

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Beautiful sky
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ever changing color
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Emmy has been sitting on the table looking out the window the past few mornings so I slid the screen back to see what she would do. She jumped out the window onto the patio table
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And stared at me.
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She likes to go out and lay under the steps but she doesn’t like when Highway nips her in the butt. You can see Neverstain Bight in this photo, it’s the tiny body of water to the right of Emmy’s ears.

Bill has been busy making these wooden lounge chairs. He made them many years ago when we lived in Pa and thought they would be nice to have down here, hoping also that he can sell a few of them. He was given a chair pad from a friend, makes a nice comfy place to lay in the sun.

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He also hung the last light in the kitchen. I recently brought it home with me. Thanks so much Teri B for getting it for me.

I was out on the deck with Lucky the other day and he was laying under the corner table. I watched this lizard run under my chair, under the bench and jump on Lucky’s paw, his leg, his shoulder and then onto the wood post behind Luck. It all happened so fast I couldn’t get a pic and Luck couldn’t even react.

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This guy is not afraid of dogs or he didn’t even realize Luck was alive.
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Luck is either under my chair or in the corner in the shade. OR, out in the bright sunshine working on his tan.
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They all love yogurt. Lucky licked this container clean. I think he looks so funny with it on his lips and nose.
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This is where Highway spends his days. He rests his head in the same opening and watches the driveway and the yard, waiting for something to bark at. Car, bird, lizard, leaf…
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This damn dog…..

Tuesday I went to my first ladies lunch. I’ve been invited for a long time but really didn’t have the desire to go.  Jeanie messaged me a day after she was here and asked me to go with her. I didn’t know if it was just a small group or the big ladies lunch and I must have been off kilter at the moment, because I said yes. I was going. Crap. I am not much for lunch or for large groups of people, I much prefer small groups. It was being held at Blue Bahia, where Olivia and I stayed in 2010 and also where we ate Thanksgiving last year with some friends. Tuesday was a nasty day, raining buckets and blowing. Jeanie was coming from the far east end of the island, picking up Nancy and coming here. Then we were leaving from here with Cleo driving. It stopped raining once we headed west, not such a bad day except for the huge pools of water laying all over the roads. We stopped at Lawson Rock and picked up Judy and set off for Blue Bahia. They had a good turn out, lots of people I’ve not met and many that I know. It was a nice time, I got to talk to Connie from Cattleya School and plan to go there with Jurgen. It is a school for mentally and physically handicapped island children. Such a cool thing they do, I want to see if it’s somewhere I would like to volunteer.

Bill got an email that was sent to 2 different email addresses of mine and 3 of his. It was from the realtor we bought this property from in 2007. The last we saw him was 2008 when we were on vaca here. Jim’s Mother passed away while we were here and he ended up going back to Wisconsin to sell her house and never returned. He emailed us because he is on the island until Sat and is hoping to see us. He came back down to sell some property he owned. We’re kind of sticking around here hoping to hear that he is able to make it down to this end of the island. The last time he saw our land it was a grown up, jungly piece of property with a cistern and that’s it. Things have changed.

Since I had walking pneumonia a month ago I’ve had trouble with my ear. The same ear that I perforated the eardrum when I couldn’t equalize on a dive in Akumal. I saw my friend Andrea when I met Jen @ the vet’s and she told me not to go in the ocean until my ear is healed. She said when I think it’s healed she wants to check it (she is a nurse) because if the hole in the eardrum hasn’t closed I can will get an infection. I planned to go snorkeling with Jen and get more water in my ear with the hopes the remaining water would leave with the new water, Andrea said not a good plan. It’s been a month now and it’s still not better, it feels like that ear is underwater every time I swallow. It’s a marvelous sensation. I am ordering special earplugs on Amazon, sending them to my friend Susan who I will be picking up at the airport when she arrives in December. Maybe then I can get my diving refresher course with Kristi and can start diving again! Keeping fingers crossed.. Speaking of diving if you have never seen a frog fish here is a fantastic video of one curiously going after a diver. I DID NOT film this, found it online. Talk about a creature of the deep. I will be looking for these guys once I get back underwater.

I’m headed back outside in the sun for a little while longer. It’s so freaking intense it felt like my boobs were getting crispy through my black dress. Hmm, maybe that’s what the burning smell was..

 

Un año entero

10/26/2014 Today marks the one year anniversary of our move to Roatan. I find it hard to believe one year has passed. The night of Oct. 25th we were a family shoved into a van on our way to Seattle for the biggest move of our life.

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Dooce, Highway and Emmy (not pictured) crammed in with the luggage.

We went from this:

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This is the stage the house was when we arrived 10/26/13. We THOUGHT we would be moving downstairs in a few weeks. HAHAHA!

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This is what the house looked like on 12/27/2013. Still not ready to move in to the lower level.

This is where we are one year later. Not bad for 1 year..

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Yes, there is still construction going on. There probably always will be. Furniture to make, a shop to build, never ending.
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Main room ceiling
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Into bedroom on the left. The door there has been recently hung.
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Still need some upper shelves in the kitchen.
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Island ends are closed in.

We’re getting there. The guest condo is complete, although it needs repainted and some more furniture made for in it. Bill, could you get on that please? And we have a house to live in, which was the main objective.

Sooo, living in a third world country where the government employees are the “bad” guys is interesting. Political corruption at it’s finest. Education, police protection, functioning judiciary, poverty reduction, clean water, sanitary living conditions, health care, waste disposal, none of it matters. Non functioning idiots.

We are living on an island where:

We can get in more trouble drinking water while driving than you can for passing on a steep hilly curve going 20 miles over the acceptable speed of 30, in the pouring rain with no lights on. Makes no sense. There are NO driving laws here. There are no road rules here. There are no painted lines on the road, there are no smooth birms and there are only a few street lights. There is not a traffic light and there are only a few stop signs that most everyone ignores. There is no drivers test here. If you can pay for the license, pass the physical and answer 5 IQ questions, you’ve got your license. You actually DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE to get your drivers license.

We can buy most medicines over the counter, no prescription necessary and the cost is about the same price of the co-pay in the US

We can buy most DVD’s very soon after the movie opens. In a nice organized store. For $3.00 each, great copies.

We can buy bags of pineapple juice in a bag for less than $2.50. Good juice.

We have faster internet here than we did in Everson. For real.

We can buy Havaiana sandals on the island for cheap.

We can be in the clear blue ocean in less than 10 minutes.

Some of the best food on the island is 3 minutes from our house.

Some of the things we had in the US that I miss {this list was vastly amended after my recent USA jaunt.}

The kids and families and friends, for sure.

Stupid things: My car, our driveway, Bandit wine, clean house windows (impossible to keep the windows clean here) and cheap kitty litter. I miss the chicken caesar salad @ the Black Forest. I miss walking the runway with the dogs, it was level and easy on the knee.

Some things I don’t miss:

Carpeting. OMG, concrete rocks..

Wearing clothes, like more than 1 or 2 pieces (dress or skirt/tank)

Having to wear PROPER shoes. UGH, just the word scares me

Carrying a portable heater around with me at home for 9 mos. a year

Outrageous heating costs

Neon lights and billboard signs

taxes, taxes, taxes

4, 6, 8 lane highways

ROUND-A-BOUTS

icy roads

snow and gross dirty snow

rain for days and weeks

summer starting after July 4th

Costco, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Target, Walmart, TJ MAXX, just don’t miss them. I was so freaking excited but when I got in the store and started looking at all the stuff it reminded me that I’m not into stuff anymore. The things I bought in the states were actually things we NEEDED. (except for the Trail Mix from Costco and the bags of Archer Farms snacks from Target) Changes..

Living here is not for everyone. It is sometimes very challenging but there is also the beauty that surrounds us daily. Like the other day Cleo and I made a rum/beer run to the market in Oak Ridge. We both commented what a gorgeous view it was, we could see the north and south shore reefs just driving down the road. We see it everyday; I don’t want to ever take it for granted. It’s a slower pace here. It’s good.

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Selling cookies with her apron still on, in the middle of the road, on the speed bump.
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Mediocre DVD’s, not to be confused with the excellent ones at Action Rentals.
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I’ve not shopped here.
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This was recently painted.
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Passed out
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Roatan shopping
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Always someone around to make an extra lane, pass anyway you can, right, left, middle..
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Traffic is already at a standstill because someone PARKED in one of the 2 lanes. Then this guy comes rolling his cart down the other lane.
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Scary party stuff
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Plastic city
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I still have a laundry fascination.
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There was a free dental clinic in Oak Ridge. Obviously some of the police decided to get their teeth fixed. This photo was taken of one of them, still holding onto his M-16.

Yesterday was a rainy day, a much welcomed rainy day. I love it when we have a day like that. They will be coming more often as we get into the rainy season on the island. My buddy Liz posted a pic of First Bight when it was storming. I took a few pics and posted them, mine looked nothing like hers. This is Liz’s photo:

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South shore, First Bight

 

These are mine:

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John’s house, North shore
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East, N shore

 

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East

It did clear up right before dark:

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John’s, N. shore, can see the reef break (white in the water) again
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East
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South shore
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4 Hummingbirds sitting on the clothesline during the storm.

We have been having trouble with the boys at night, they will not stop barking. Thursday night Bill went out to see what they were going insane over and there was an OWL perched a top one of the chain link fence posts just staring at the dogs, who were in serious frenzy mode. This morning they started again and it was an OWL in the tree. What is up with that? First it was the vultures, now OWLS. At least the OWLS are pretty.

Bill has been walking the dogs because my knee hates the downhill part of the walk and the other day he saw a Boa Constrictor. I am so pissed I missed it, I still need to see that, a crocodile and an armadillo. That should take care of the land based animals on the island. It must be baby lizard season, we have so many little lizards running around here it’s crazy. Bill opened up the panel box the other day to see what was going on with the power and a big lizard jumped out of it. Nice. Glad it didn’t happen to me, I would have peed.

All in all, it’s been a great year. We have met some wonderful people, seen some gorgeous places and are happy in our new home. We have 3 great dogs and one fabulous bitchy cat. We won’t talk about the being together 24/7/365. I’m a little anal, he’s a lot not. It works.

What more could we ask for? Bring on año número dos, we’re ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s an omen

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Where do I begin? It feels like this is my first blog, it’s been so long. Thank you to the people who have messaged me wondering why there were no blogs! It’s David Boyd’s fault, AKA Squeeze. Nice to be able to blame this on you.

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to the US. Luckily I got bumped to first class out of Roa and sat next to my friend Linda’s husband, Jay. The longer leg of the trip wasn’t first class but it was in the roomier seats so it wasn’t bad. There were so many thunderstorms in the mid west that the pilot circumvented causing us to get to Seattle 1 hour and 15 minutes late! My instructions were to call the cab company as soon as I arrived so they could dispatch a cab. Of course, my phone isn’t working because I needed to get a sim card for a Us carrier so I had to use a PAY PHONE. G A S P! I haven’t used one of those in 20 years. I called and got a recording. GREAT, I figured I was spending the night at Seatac. I turned around to walk to the luggage carousel and some guy said, “Are you Debbie?” UMM, who’s asking? He was from the cab company, HALLELUJAH, he waited the whole time for me. DUH…I tipped him well.

As most of you know I have hand issues, it’s a repetitive use issue stemming from counting other peoples money all my life. I have had surgery on both of my hands and in 2011 I had the CMC (Carpal Metacarpal, ie thumb joint) replaced. In 2012 I had the CMC surgery on my right hand. This whole thing ended up being an L&I claim, work related injury. Despite the fact that they were not paying me any money, my claim was never closed. They decided they wanted to examine me again so they could close the claim and they paid for me to fly to Seattle and take a taxi to Everett and they comped my room for 5 nights and my meals. It happened very fast so I kind of threw things together and was out of here.

The last time I was in the states was April, so it’s been awhile. I was excited as hell to go shopping. I am a shopper girl, I love(d) to shop. My friend Janene drove down Monday from Bellingham and picked me up. We got a sim card for my phone and then set off shopping. With a vast array of items in front of my eyes, I became withdrawn, I didn’t want to shop for all the things I WANTED. I realized I didn’t NEED most of it. Janene took me to Costco. I needed a new bed pillow and Bill needed socks. I got both and a big 4# bag of the Kirkland trail mix. That’s it. I really didn’t want to look around in there. And let me say this, Costco shopping is fun and relaxing if you are not at the Bellingham store. The store in Everett wasn’t crowded, you could actually move and the check out lines were short. We also went to the Alderwood Mall. I don’t think I’ve ever been there and I was overwhelmed. I did buy 4 bottles of OPI polish in Macy’s but that was it. Jury is still out on whether I like the pillow, until my neck stops hurting and popping every time I turn my head, no pillow will be comfy!

Tuesday I had an appointment with a doctor (found out at the last minute she was a shrink, hahaha, jokes on them! Put me in a room with a shrink, they should have known better.) It lasted all of 30 minutes. From there I went to Wal Mart, WOO freaking HOO. I was a WALMARTIAN! I bought a lot of stuff there, like a new hand mixer, 4 tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste, new heads for our sonic toothbrushes (cheaper than they were at Costco), dog treats and some of Bill’s favorite underwear and Tshirts, Fruit of the Loom. I also bought a lot of stupid shit. Heavy shit. Like 2 humongo jars of peanut butter, 1 Skippy, 1 Peter Pan. This will be an interesting test. All of my life I used Peter Pan peanut butter, nothing else, had to be creamy, no crunchy ever. When we moved to WA in 1995 I was near suicidal because there was NO PETER PAN. What were they thinking??? I swore off PNB, but that didn’t last, especially since it is my number 1 food staple. Then I met Janann and Sara Blonde @ BoAmerica, both of their men were in the military and had access to the base stores. AND GUESS WHAT?? They had Peter Pan PNB!! I had a connection! But I’ve been a Skippy girl for years now, only because it was ridiculous to be so obsessed over PNB.

See, I was talking about buying heavy items and digressed severely over freaking PNB. And they put me in a room with a shrink. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! So damn funny.

Back to the shopping. I also bought 2 big bags of Uncle Ben’s brown rice. Yes, you can get it here but I noticed it on the shelf and saw the price, $2.00 less a bag and me myself and I go through a bag in less than 2 weeks. Bag of rice weighs 2#, I bought 2. Jar of PNB weighs 2#8oz, I bought 2. See how fast the weight adds up? Trail mix = 4#’s!!

So anyway, did the Wal Mart gig. Trace came down on Tuesday night and we went out to eat, so nice to see him, it’s been almost a year! He headed back up towards home (foothills of Mt. Baker) around 7:30 that night. Before he took me back to the hotel he found a drugstore so I could get some Bandit Pinot Grigio.

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It’s silly to be so excited over this, but I was! I spotted it half way down the first aisle. The green seemed to be calling my name. I used restraint and only bought four, 1 liter each 🙂
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I miss my Outlander. Damn, I loved that car! Trace enjoys having it also, he can haul all his climbing gear in it and also sleep in it at the trail heads, waiting for dawn.

I had another appointment on Wednesday with an orthopedic doctor. He talked too much and thought he was really funny. I thought he was stupid. I liked the shrink better. Anyhow, this guy went over my file verbally with me, then he did it again into a microphone. This took about 13 minutes. Then he asked me to sit on the table while he called in a nurse. It was actually the receptionist girl, whatever. He then had my put my arms over my head, then down to a 45 at my side, then straight out in front, then turn your hand over, then make a fist, hands on your hips, behind your back, palms up. I almost broke into YMCA by the Village People. The whole exercise took about 2 minutes. Assholes.

After that it was back to the hotel (dive) to wait for Teri B. She drove down, picked me up and we ran around to a few stores. We went to World Market and all I bought was jerk seasoning and some fajita stuff. We ate dinner at a little restaurant behind the dive I was staying in, called Terracotta Red. It was good but the drinks were expensive and weak. Teri got a room at the hotel, she worked in Everett that day and had a meeting in Seattle the next morning. So nice hanging out with her, laughed our butts off!

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Hobbit beer
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Wine, wine, glorious wine!!

I also sent some Amazon stuff to Teri B which she brought down. This was heavy to lug back to the island but it’s a really nice float. I tried it yesterday, it’s very comfy and it does have a drink holder but it’s ROUND. Bandit boxes are square. Oh well, I only have 2 left, drank 1 at the hotel, brought 3 back, drank 1 already. I’ll be sad when my Bandit is gone.

Thursday I wandered around a bit, I was actually ready to go home at this point. I brought a pair of Diesel flats with me in case it was cold weather. I wore 1 of the shoes for about 2 minutes in my room and decided against regular shoes. My toes were bitching up a storm in those 2 minutes!! I wore flip flops the entire trip. I was in Macy’s looking around for something to do and noticed the women in leather jackets with scarfs, jeans tucked in to their knee high boots and an expensive heavy leather bag over their shoulder. Me, a pair of leggings, a long top and flip flops. I did consciously not look as I walked through the BOOT and SHOE department. It was difficult, I admit that.

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This is the way over sized box that Amazon sent my raft in. I gave them some feedback on their packaging for sure. Ridiculous!!
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Welcome to the PNW, where it drizzles enough daily to be a pain in the ass. Just rain and be done with it, and what’s with this cold weather when it rains?

Thursday my friend Bahana drove down to Everett when she got off of work. Nathan and Bryan were coming up from Magnolia to meet me for dinner that evening. Luckily they got up to Everett early enough so B could go eat too. We went to Lombardi’s on Marine View Drive for dinner. I FINALLY got to meet Nathan’s other half, Bryan! I also met Brinkley, their Golden who was content to wait in the car instead of at home. She’s a little spoiled.  It was so nice spending time with Bahana and Nathan and Bryan!

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Nathan and Bryan
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Dinner @ Lombardi’s

All in all, the trip was not as alluring as it sounded. Other than seeing my son and my friends, it was a waste of time. I did not enjoy my stay in the US and it made me realize, I do not want to live there and I am so glad I don’t. Give me the island life, loose comfy clothes, no make up, flip flops and never having to worry about what your hair looks like, not that it ever was a concern of mine. I was looking forward to getting back on the plane on Friday night to come home, although that wasn’t until 11:59 PM. I had a whole day to kill and nothing to do. I had to be out of the hotel by 2 and wasn’t getting picked up until 8 by the taxi company for my ride back to Seatac. I watched Nashville and a few other shows on my tablet and wasted time until Trace came down at 4:30 for dinner. We went back over to Terracotta Red b/c it was close by and they had Stella Artois beer. MMMMMM. I like Stella. After dinner Trace and I sat in his car and talked until around 7 PM. Then he was going to Seattle to stay at a friends and meet his climbing buddy in the morning to go over the mountains to Vantage to hike and I was waiting (again) for my ride.

I got to the airport quite early, breezed through security with the Global access and was at my gate to WAIT. I did get bumped to first class again but their white wine was awful. Bummer. I had a long layover in Houston, that seemed longer than the 4 hours it actually was. I had tried and tried to get a window seat from Houston into Roa but couldn’t. The flight was packed, not an empty seat. I got stuck in an aisle seat and while it beats middle, it still sucks. Security and immigration at Roa was fast, no fingerprinting, no photo taken. It did however take eons for my luggage to come out. Obviously priority means NADA on the island. I think the fact that United put the Priority tags on my bags made them get taken off first in Roa and loaded onto the first luggage cart which means it was the last cart brought to the carousel. My theory anyhow.

I got home and started tearing in to my suitcases. I found dog toys and treats and the catnip banana I got for Emmy. I also got one for Craig and Cleo’s cat, Tailor so I decided we needed to take it down to her. We walked down there, stayed fifteen minutes, came home and I went to bed. I slept for 4 hours, got up, ate salad and went back to bed.

Bill got a lot done while I was gone.

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The bedroom door. He did a neat design in the wood around the door too. He also hung the one downstairs that goes from the entryway into the living area. I’m too lazy to walk downstairs and take a pic though.
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He also closed in both sides of the island.
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Highway checking out his property.
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Beautiful but windy night

Before I left I watched the movie, Fault in our Stars and read Gone Girl and Dark Places both by Gillian Flynn. Excellent books, can’t wait to get the Gone Girl movie!

I was bored one day a while ago, it was rainy and windy and I stayed indoors and goofed around online. I did a few of the quizzes, like:

How smart are you? Brilliant

What color is your aura?  Green

Should you have a dog or a cat? Cat

How well do you know America history? I don’t

How much medical knowledge do you have? I could be a doctor I know so much.

What mythical creature should you be? I got MERMAID!! Of course I did.

Mermaid

You are a mermaid! You’re a very fun loving and outgoing person. You have the most fun with your friends and you feel whole when you are near the ocean. You also value the environment and you are a big time animal lover.

So there you have it. Mermaid it is..

 

Lobsters, Lizards and a Barracuda named Frank.

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It’s been a jam packed two weeks of fun in and around Roatan. Paul and Sharon arrived on the 13th during the Great Airport Debacle at the Roatan airport. What a freaking mess. The Delta flight from Atlanta arrived late and then United and 2 American flights came in back to back on the day they decided to start fingerprinting and photographing EACH person. With an untrained skeleton crew and new equipment, it didn’t go very well. Nothing like having 600+ people standing out in the 95 degree sun W A I T I N G. It normally takes 45 minutes tops to go through customs, get your bag and be on your way. Not this day. It took hours. Luckily they got the issues sorted out and things are once again running smoothly, well, as smoothly as possible in this third world country.

Sharon brought a big bag of stuff I ordered from Amazon, it was like freaking Christmas!! Stuff stuff and more stuff.

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Measuring cups and spoons, almonds, toilet bolt covers, Mod Podge, dog toys, cat toys, Havaianas, dive boots…
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OPI polish, suit bag, tablet and phone case, turquoise jute band to make curtain tie backs, pepper mill and pepper, drying mat, shoelaces, whisk. Christmas in September, it was the best!!!

After we got home from the airport we fed Sharon and Paul and then headed down to John’s pool. Seems that was our standby every day, so lucky it’s available to us anytime! On Sunday we went to Oak Ridge and walked across the bridge and out to the spit of land across from BJ’s.

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Bill went to buy cigars and this building was across the street, love the colors.
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Old wooden boat being repaired in Oak Ridge
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Cool fence
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I feel like this is me some times!
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Sharon enjoying the sea breeze
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I love colorful houses

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Paul and Sharon
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Guard dog
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same fence, different perspective
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great old toy
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color!!
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bottle tree
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Love lies bleeding plant @ BJ’s

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We went to La Palapa for lunch {we were swarmed by bees while eating, it was ridiculous} and the ITIB school performed while we were there in celebration of Independence Day.
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These kids were fantastic
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Looking out over the lagoon
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No, it’s not, it’s September

Here is a short video of the school’s performance, we absolutely loved it!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuUb1ER-GLw

On Monday we went to Havana Beach Club, a short 5 minute drive from here. It was a nice breezy day so the bugs weren’t too bad. It really is a beautiful spot, too bad they can’t get a decent restaurant in there that would draw a local ex-pat crowd. The restaurant business is one of the most unpredictable and difficult businesses to own or to venture into. So many start and fail here due to such a distinct difference between the busy and slow season. It sure is a gorgeous beach.

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Sharon and Paul

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An aerial view of Havana Beach Club posted on the Roatan Cooking Facebook page. We won’t talk about the fall I took at the tip of the island in the bottom of the picture and how huge of a bruise I still have 2 weeks later.

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We laid around a bit the next day, at least that’s all I can remember doing. It’s so nice having a pool close by to swim in when we want to and it’s been super crystal clear, which is a bonus! On Wednesday we decided to go to Little French Key for the day. It was a great day to be there, no cruise ships = no crowds.

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monkey love with Lisa

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Melissa wants to know, “are you my Momma?”
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Sharon and the Kinkajou.
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Lawrence has gained over 150#, in fact they had to put him on a diet.
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Nice teeth
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such a gorgeous cat
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Lawrence has a huge cage on the edge of the property, overlooking the sea. One side of it faces a pen with a goat in it. Lawrence looks at that goat daily, wanting like hell to tear it apart. I wonder if the goat is aware of the killer across the path?
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SERENITY NOW
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They were making these fantastic benches on the top deck of the building. If you look close you can see the side of one. It’s body shape curved plywood with wooden slats across, has a raised part for your knees. I want one or two of these on wheels for the roof.
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Little French Key
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We finished the night off with dinner and a bottle of wine @ Cal’s.

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Thursday was another day of fun and adventure on the water.  Did you already recognize the theme I have going on? Everything I do or want to do involves the water, so if you’re coming, you better be a fan of the ocean.  We were to meet Jordan @ 9:30 at Oak Ridge. He was going to take us out snorkeling and fishing on his dad Woudsin’s boat. He was a little late, and while we were waiting I realized I didn’t have my phone with his number so I could call him. Bill ran home to get it. By the time he got back Jordan had come and gone to get gas and returned.  We loaded our stuff into the boat and were off. Through Oak Ridge and Pandytown, through the cut in the mangroves to Calabash Bight. We got to see our friends future home from the water for the first time, what a great location they have, it’s so beautiful out there. We went past Lime Caye and Fort Caye. Fort Caye is talked about in the book Roatan Odyssey, (it actually used to be a Military base.) Past New Port Royal to Old Port Royal and before I knew it we were at Helene. Jordan dropped anchor in about 10′ of water offshore from Rocky Point. Probably not a good place for people to learn to snorkel. We had to jump off the boat into the water and guess what? After snorkeling for 30 minutes I had to drag my ass over the SIDE of the boat to get back on it. We ALL had to. No ladder, just a couple of strong young guys. We made it and next time we’ll go to a better place to start snorkeling.

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On our way, Jordan’s cousin steering.
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Our friend’s home and dock
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Pastel church

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Mango Creek Lodge
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stunning colors

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Fort Caye
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Jordan, my friend from Helene is sitting next to Bill. His parents are friends of mine too. What a super young man, his folks have done a great job raising him.
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Through the mangroves
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View of my friends home. I met Jordan and his family through these friends of mine from Pennsylvania, who own this home on Helene, a part of Roatan.
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Sharon snorkeling for the first time!
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Jordan {who can hold his breath forever} and Sharon
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Wondering how in the hell we were getting back on that boat???
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Docked at my friends home. I spent a night there back in Feb., it’s fabulous.
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Jordan
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Lunch on Perry and Kay’s dock
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Such a gorgeous place!
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Paul caught a barracuda. That thing had some mighty nasty teeth on it, YIKES!!

Before I forget, I took none of the pictures this day, Paul took all of them. This is because I forgot to put THE MEMORY CARD BACK IN MY CAMERA. I was pissed. To think Bill went home to get my phone, me not knowing my card was missing until we got on the boat. It was a great day on the water, well, as far as I’m concerned, any day on the water is a great day.

On Friday we had plans to go with Craig and Cleo to their new home in Calabash. It was a nice ride out there and fun looking around the place again. After that we were all going to go to BJ’s but we decided to go to Jimmy’s, AKA, La Sirena, instead. Those rum punches were calling my name. Bill asked one of the guys if they knew Miguel (our friend and worker) and he said he did, he was his cousin. We knew Miguel was Selena’s cousin, obviously a big family. While we were sitting there a truck pulled up and Selena went out and carried in a young sleeping girl. She laid her down on a straw mat and she kept right on sleeping. A guy came in and sat down by us and I asked if he was Jimmy, the owner. He was, so we introduced ourselves and chatted for awhile with him. I was thrilled we got to meet him because Camp Bay/ La Sirena is my favorite place to chill.

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I LOVE this place
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What’s his name, waving at me.
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The owner’s daughter napping


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After Camp Bay we headed back home, washed up and went to Cal’s for dinner. A delicious end to a fabulous week!

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Carl, the chef @ Cal’s
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Our friend Reynaldo, the waiter there. We just found out Reynaldo plays for the Gravel Bay Marlins baseball team. We’re hoping to go to one of his games.

Saturday I took Sharon and Paul down to West Bay beach to snorkel. There were only a few people there, the water was calm, a perfect place to find your sea legs. There were so many fish right at shore I couldn’t believe it. They were little nibblers too.

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Stoplight Parrotfish
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nibblers
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Sharon was surrounded
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Black Spiny Tailed iguana
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The guy selling hats hung them on the ironshore

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Juvenile Spotted Drum fish
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Feather duster
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Parrot fish and a striped Sergeant Major

All in all, a great day snorkeling at West Bay beach, I love that place! The next day we went over to Parrot Tree Plantation and hung out by the pool. UGH! The water was so hot it didn’t even feel good. How can water in a pool 320′ long be so warm? Maybe because the pool is long but not deep it heats up quickly, not sure but I hate water that warm.

We went to Lady Lee on Monday to talk to some one about our gas oven. First we couldn’t get the oven to maintain the temperature. It would get up to 325 and then shut off, also, we couldn’t get the pilot light to stay lit. They were going to send a repairman the next morning to fix it. We hung out the next morning and nobody came. At 4 PM I get a phone call from Lady Lee stating, “The boy who is coming this morning can’t, he’ll be there mañana.” Sure he will. Wednesday morning I was taking Paul and Sharon to West End to do some shopping. Once we parked the car and got down to the stores it started sprinkling. Then it started raining. We hung out in Waves of Art for awhile until the rain slightly subsided then we made a break for a few more stores. On our way back to the car it poured and by the time we got back to the parking lot we were soaked. I still had one more stop, Umbul Umbul of course. I picked up a few more pieces of batik to make a bedspread and pillowcases and Sharon got a cute dress and top and lots of other stuff. By the time we got home the repairman was here and he fixed the pilot light and explained why the oven didn’t stay lit. D U H. You have to set the timer for the required bake time BEFORE you turn it on because once it reaches the temperature if the timer isn’t set for how long to maintain the temp, it shuts off. Obviously the manual is in Spanish, which I read as well as I read Russian and Arabic.

We ran down to Mahogany Bay so Sharon and Paul could finish their shopping. I’ve been there many times before with company but this time they wanted ID, they gave us passes and KEPT my residency card until  I left and returned the passes. I doubt I will go there again because I did not like handing over my card to someone and hoping like hell he still had it when I returned. Weird JuJu.

I have wanted to go back to Lobster City since Ron and Yvonne took Teri B and I snorkeling there. I contacted Sherman Arch and arranged a time for us to go. Cleo went along with the 4 of us. We got to the Iguana Farm and while waiting they gave us branches to feed the iguanas. Luckily I had my dive boots on because they were stepping all over our feet. They are such amazingly gorgeous creatures. They have over 2000 there, they aren’t fenced in, they are free to leave but they don’t. They have it made.

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The females are green and as they age they remain green on their belly.
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This one decided one tail wasn’t enough so it is growing another.

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Frank, the Barracuda. He liked my shiny gold bracelets. I didn’t find this out until AFTER I got in the boat.
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Lobster City, these lobsters are protected from poachers 24/7 by the Arch family.
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A funnel of Grunts
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Sam hand feeding the lobsters

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The Arch’s boat

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Friday morning we met with a former US Tax attorney, tax guru about our taxes. After that we went to West Bay beach to do some last day snorkeling. Bill decided not to go so he sat on the beach while we snorkeled for over an hour. It was crystal clear and for some reason, even though I couldn’t see out the viewfinder on my camera because it was fogged up, I got some good photos.  As soon as I went under I saw a snorkel laying in the sand about 10′ deep. I swam past it, looked at it and then came back and dove down and got it. I ended up carrying it with me for an hour. A new snorkel, perfect timing, as Bill’s is leaking.

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Awesome sign at Banarama made out of Seahorses.
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Sharon and Paul rubbing it in to Sharon’s brother Darren. She made it to Banarama before he did!

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Clouds offshore
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Coral
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Parrotfish
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Queen angelfish

 

 

 

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Spotted Drum fish
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Coral with a Christmas tree worm
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Another shot of the Spotted drum
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Sea fan
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Paul and Sharon snorkeling

 

 

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Christmas tree worms
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A plethora of Christmas tree worms
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more
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Feather duster

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Another Parrot fish
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Boats on West Bay Beach

 

On Friday a local [and very amazing] photographer was going to do the shark dive and take some photos. What he came across in the process was nothing short of unbelievable. They found a boat with 20 Cuban refugees drifting in the sea. They had been sailing for 11 days in a home made boat. The story is here: http://www.bayislandsvoice.com/para-cuba-no-mas-nunca-refugees-vow-they-will-return-to-cuba-only-feet-first-2014092610104

This is the boat they left Cuba in. The whole thing is handmade.

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This incredible photo Shawn Jackson took while the boat and the refugees were being rescued.

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Oceanic whitetip shark circles boat of refugees, hand paddling off shore.

That’s it folks, this has taken me two days to get my thoughts and shit in order. Our company is gone, we’re laying around the house, may head down to the pool for a float or maybe head to bed under the fan for a nap. Hopefully we’ll get our TWIN CLOCKS hung today. Sort of like TWIN PEAKS, but not.

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It’s a long story but we ended up with 2 Fibonacci spiral clocks from Plow and Hearth. The move was murderous on them so we ordered new parts, have them working again, just need to hang.
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Me loving my boyz!!
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These two boys are so close, it makes me happy when I see them laying next to each other, Highway’s head resting on Lucky’s butt. I’m so glad we got Lucky, Highway needed a brother and we all love Lucky Boy so much!!

P.S. My two words would be don’t settle.

Adiõs

Raining lizard’s tails

 

drinks

 

 

We are getting ready for the imminent arrival of our first real “guests.” Teri B you don’t count, you’re not a Roatan virgin, you’ve already been sucked into the vortex. It’s just what happens here. So many people I’ve met say the same thing. They came here on vacation, fell in love with the island and bought a house or land. That’s sort of our story, sort of. We were accumulating lots of frequent flyer miles with Bill’s work and we took advantage of them and traveled. We made several trips to Curacao, talked about buying something there and retiring but that’s all we did was talk. We went to many places in Baja and Mexico, St. Kitts,  Nevis, Hawaii, the South Pacific, lots of places but never discussed moving there. When we got certified as SCUBA divers at Sunken Treasure Scuba in Penna. our trainer couldn’t do our final check dive because he was going to Roatan diving. He told us about it and at that time, 1989, it wasn’t as easy to get here as it is now. In 2007 I was looking for somewhere different for us to go and said lets go to Roatan and buy some land. I contacted several realtors and chose the one who answered my emails the fastest and most consistently. His name was Jim Hanseder with Margot & Matt Real Estate office. He said he would pick us up the morning after our arrival @ 10 AM. Bill said, sure he will. The morning after we got to Roa, he was there on time and he said, “I’m yours for the next two weeks, let’s do this.” And here we are, 7 years later.

Where was I? A.D.D. much?? Guests, yes, we’re going to have some, so excited I can’t sleep. I am on such an adrenalin high! Sharon and Paul from WA will make their maiden trip to Roa and I know they are going to love it here. They are staying in our “guest condo” on the lower level. This is the area that hasn’t been cleaned since we moved upstairs in April. This is also the area Bill has been using for a tool storage area. I kid you not. It was enough to make me hyperventilate. When I complained he said only I noticed the mess, other people didn’t. YES THEY DO, THEY HAVE EYES TOO!! I do feel his frustration. He had a 40X60 shop and now he has a 6X8 bodega. It sucks, we need, he needs a shop. But look on the bright side, he might not have a shop but he still has me.

Damn, there I go again, back on track.

The banister is complete. It looks really nice. Super job by Mr. Wonderful. He made the top part with curved ends so it didn’t get caught on clothes and make someone fall. Someone like me. Klutz that I am.

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September 10th is Day of the Children in Honduras. Last Wednesday I went with my friend Janice to visit a few schools. Janice wanted to find out what they needed for the celebration and what time they would be having it. I was amazed and devastated at the condition of the schools. These poor kids barely have a fighting chance to learn, let alone survive in this crazy dog eat dog world. These children are so adorable I just want to bring them all home with me. It breaks my heart to think that many do not have electricity in their homes, they don’t have tubs for a warm bath before bed and they don’t have cupboards full of food to chose from. They eat what they are fed but yet they smile. This is all they know. It’s not like they had “things” and now don’t. They never did.

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A teacher left her purple suede heels in the classroom and this little girl HAD to wear them.
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The kids got all giggly when I took their photo then showed it to them on my camera.
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The wall at Juticalpa school

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The desks are made out of old plywood.

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Two bags of candy donated for Children’s day

On Wednesday afternoon Wendy and Andrew stopped by to see our stained concrete floors. As soon as the boys saw Wendy they decided they didn’t like the screen door separating them. It’s now Dogs 3,197,418 : Screen door 0. Highway also did a number on her beaded bracelet. This dog is such an idiot he embarrasses me.

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I hate this damn door!

Thursday I started cleaning downstairs, there was lots to do before our friends arrived. I hired Melissa, the sister of Miguel, our lead worker, to help me clean. She’s cleaned for me before and I love her. She came on Friday morning and cleaned non-stop downstairs until 3:30. The bedroom, bath and kitchen look great. She came back on Sunday at 9 and worked until 3 again. We finished downstairs and started upstairs. I scrubbed all of the screens, 17 up and 7 down and all of the windows that I could get to inside and out. One living room window we can’t get 1/2 of it out so we can’t clean the other half. Bill will have to use a ladder in the back of his truck. Now if he did it Honduras style he would put the ladder ON TOP of the truck cab to wash the window. We hung ALL of the pictures, YAY!! That’s a big deal. I would have done it myself a long time ago but you have to drill in the concrete wall and I’m not into that stuff. Bill almost finished the drywall in the pantry. For the record I hate drywall and everything about it. He sanded yesterday and I had to wash everything, all my dishes and pans. There is now a sheet over the island.

The new shelf in the pantry is complete and everything in the pantry is covered in sawdust too. Bill just now, (Thursday morning) finished the sanding of the drywall and is putting the primer on the wall. Progress..(Thursday update: drywall is done and wall is painted.) Happiness abounds.

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Now I need to find a bamboo blind the right size to cover the pantry.

Last Thursday evening Jurgen and Stefi came over to hang out with us. We sat out on the porch and talked for a few hours then moved inside when it started to rain. Always a fun evening with those two! Jurgen won’t be happy until I get the pantry sorted, and alphabetized, {maybe that was the Damiana talking} Soon Jurgen, soon!

Saturday I ran errands, had to go to Serrano’s Hardware and to Eldon’s to get groceries. I also stopped at Umbul Umbul, of course I did, once I’m near Coxen Hole, Scarlett the car just heads there on her own. She’s assertive like that, one of her redeeming qualities, that and cold A/C. I so love Umbul Umbul, the more you look, the more you see! I bought a basket, a couch throw to protect the couch from being faded by the sun, a dress, pants and a cute fish to cover up a concrete screw up in the stairway.

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Cleo and Craig, if I forget to give you Tailor’s nail clippers, they are in this basket. Please take them.

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Batik throw, 2.5 yards for $20.00

Our neighbor paid someone to come clean his pool. He was having issues with it. He has a habit of letting the chlorine level get low and then trying to shock the hell out of it to make it clear again. That doesn’t work. You have to keep the chlorine at a constant level. Bill was telling him about it and his response was, “well, it’s just a little low.” Bill’s answer was, “That’s like being a little pregnant.” So now the pool guy told him he HAS to keep the floater in and the pool is spotless, crystal clear and I’m in love. It’s like a magnet, it draws me. I’ll be up here cleaning, sweat running like the Nile between my boobs and dripping off my forehead and all I can think of is the pool. Needless to say, I’ve been there a lot. John loves the company too so it’s all cool. The other day I talked Bill in to going down for a dip. As we were walking down I saw a black bird with a squirming lizard in its mouth. It flew down to John’s Mango tree. Bill was sitting on the bench talking to John and noticed the bird in the tree eating the poor lizard. All of a sudden the lizard tail fell from the tree and landed on the back of the bench right where he was sitting. The tail kept moving for a few minutes. Of course, I didn’t have my camera or phone. I also found a lizard tail on the floor downstairs, I don’t know if the dogs ate the rest of it or not. Can you even imagine what it must be like to be a lizard and shed your tail?? I wish I could shed my ass and grow a new smaller one.

I was cleaning out stuff on the porch and this frog was in a bucket. It jumped and hung on to the side of the counter on the porch.

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The white fuzz on it is Lucky hair,
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I had the screen slid open the other day and this came to say hello.

The boys are a constant source of entertainment..

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All Luck wants is loved..
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The Dynamic Duo
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These are my new snack addiction, they are really good and much healthier than potato chips.

Monday and Tuesday were spent cleaning and scrubbing stuff, washing bedding and towels and floating in John’s pool. Pretty much ended Monday and Tuesday in the pool.

Wednesday was Children’s Day in Honduras. We met Janice and Junior and a few other people and went to 3 of the schools dropping off toys, pinatas and a brand new soccer ball for Jonesville Point. This is a photo of the OLD and the NEW soccer balls. What sweet kids.

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The students were playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey, island style. They were not using the conventional donkey. They don’t have the conventional donkey.

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The girl in the teal top has on knee high sneakers, kind of like sneaker boots. They were really cute but OMG, her feet must be sweating! The little girl with the cast fell off the newly donated playground equipment.

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This little girl was quietly sitting up on the porch of the small kitchen where breakfast is made daily for the kids.
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They were getting ready to play musical chairs but they had no music in this room so the teacher tapped on the board and when she stopped, they fought for their seats.
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The Kindergarten class at Juticalpa school had NO toys. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines supplied toys to several of the schools, the kids were so excited. The two little girls on the right look like dolls, so stinking cute.
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This is the schoolyard at Juticalpa school
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Notice the pile of lumber in the classroom.
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Bill carrying in some of the toys, he was the Pied Piper.
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How cute is this? Melt my heart!

I’ve also included a few videos of the kids playing games on Children’s Day. They students were allowed to wear regular clothes for the celebration, no uniforms on this day of celebration..

I could go on and on about what these students DON’T have but I think if you look at the photos you will be able to figure that out. It’s so different from what my kids experienced in school 20 years ago and I can’t imagine the changes made since then. Kids in school in the US and other developed countries have computers and fancy desks and chairs, huge well lit bathrooms and cafeterias. These kids have none of that.  They are so grateful for anything that is given to them. If any of you are interested in donating, please look at Roatan’s Children’s Fund:  http://www.roatanchildrensfund.com/help.htm

This is a legitimate group and all of the money raised goes to help the children on this island.

It’s amazing what $20.00 can do. 

We met another couple from Washington state, well, we met 1/2 of the couple. Keri and Doug are from Snohomish and recently purchased a home here on the island. Keri came over to our house with Liz. Once they sell their home and business in WA. they will be here full time. She posted this on Facebook the other night and I’m really excited about it. You MUST click on the link ( this ) and read the story, it is the best!! I think we should start a “sect” on the island. I have a red and a green colander, I think I’ll use the green one, although red is typically associated with spaghetti. Olivia is looking for a teal one because it’s her new favorite fall color. She was concerned about bringing it with her and whether she could put it in her carry-on. I suggested she wear it, I would.

Shawna Hammond wore the unusual headgear because it is deemed a suitable accessory for her 'Pastafarian' religion, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Later Pastafarians!! Keri, you made my day with this one! See you soon.

Drunk Shopping

tiara

 

09/02/2014  I want to start this post by thanking my parents. There are many things I can/should/will/have thank(ed) them for but this one really hit home recently.  When I was a child my parents FORCED me to take care of my teeth by making me floss, brush my teeth and go to the dentist ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I hated everything about the dentist (and hated the dentist, who was a good family friend.) After I left my parents home and was out on my own, I was terrible about making dentist appointments. Once I had kids things changed. I had to set a good example by taking care of my teeth. I never really gave my teeth much thought. Yeah, they served a purpose but I just figured they would always be there. Like your feet. I now think back to my grandparents, Mom’s side. They kept most of their teeth in a cup by the bed. My parents always took care of their teeth, especially my Mom. They still have their teeth, at 89 and 93. Sure, as a child I had lots of fillings. Actually, more than normal, because I was a sloppy brusher & a candy eater. I can vividly remember getting fillings. LOTS AND LOTS OF THEM. The dentist always used to say, “Raise your hand if it hurts.” Hell, I dislocated my shoulder waving so hard and all of a sudden he was blind. I bit him. A few times.  I was in agony, or was I? Perhaps I just immensly hated his hands in my mouth. I hated hearing him continually reprimand his nurse, “MISS OAKS!” She was flipping terrified of him. She quivered in fear. It was awful. Me? I just bit him and hated him. It would have been better if my dentist hadn’t been good friends with Mom and Dad. He was one of the guys Dad skied with yearly in Aspen. He was OK as a person, but he was my DENTIST. He had Highlights magazine in the office, but there were never any lights on when you walked in. He was too cheap. As I got older my parents would drop me off in front of his office on E. Third St and I would go upstairs to the dentist myself. After a few of these drop offs I realized I could skip and just not go. Well, that worked. ONCE. Anyhow, off or on the subject, who knows? My kids went to the dentist, got braces, retainers, had perfect teeth AND then went in the military and they stopped wearing their retainers. WTH? Retainers aren’t all matchy matchy with BCD’S??  (Military glasses are called birth control devices. They make you so ugly nobody would want you.) Or so they thought. The boys both take care of their teeth now though, that lesson they learned. The reason all this tooth crap is in my head is, we know someone who is 85 and is missing about half of his teeth. He went to the dentist and they are going to pull ALL HIS REMAINING TEETH and make him some new choppers. Going through this at any age sucks but doing this when you’re 85  is highly unusual. We will be keeping an eye on him.

*UPDATE: Teeth are gone and in SIX weeks he will have new ones. I made him some jello, should have made it with rum instead of water, he would have LOVED that!!

We made a short list of “have to do before company comes” and are gnawing away at that. One thing is completed, FINALLY! Two to go and then clean up. The bathroom has been “almost” done for months. Well, it’s now done!!

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This is all the junk that was in the downstairs bathroom. Now there is nothing down there, it’s all upstairs and waiting for me to organize it. I love organizing but Bill hates it because then he can’t find anything.
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Previously there were no doors nor shelves in the end units.
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Got the junk whittled down.
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I realized from these photos I never dusted the lower shelves. They are now clean.
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I seriously love this mirror from Umbul Umbul! It fits perfectly between the 2 windows.                                                                         Why, I believe it was made specifically for there.
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Organized
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Our off center toilet in the toilet room

 

Bill is working on completing the handrail in the stairs. It’s a necessary component, especially since the stairs are narrow in the center and concrete. It’s almost completed.

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The steps don’t really look like that, weird lighting.
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He still has to do the piece at the top of the steps.
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Last piece goes here.

The handrail was quite an engineering feat. There are so many twists and turns and different levels in our stairway that it made it a time consuming task. They look really nice though and definitely add a huge amount of safety to the stairway. Especially if you’ve had a few drinks!

Once the last piece is done then it’s on to the pantry. Bill is going to build another shelf unit to put in there then finish the drywall around the front and paint it. We really need more storage in it and I think the extra shelf unit for cans will be great.

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New shelf here
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Just not enough storage, no way to organize. I want to label the whole pantry. Go ahead and tell Kevin Trautman that too, I don’t care. Labels are where it’s at. I LOVE LABELS!

 

Last Wednesday we ran our friends’ Watchie and their dog Milagro to the vet again. And again, the vet wasn’t there. The assistant called Dr. Calderon and the Watchie spoke with him. After the conversation he said he wanted to wait until the vet came back before he had the dog put down. We will go again this week, although the vet will not be there. The assistants will be at the clinic and can euthanize the dog if that is the decision that is made. Neither Bill nor I look forward to this, we are both crazy about dogs but this dog isn’t living a quality life and it’s sad. We know how difficult it is to let go. We are more than willing to help our friends in any way possible and if this is a part of it, then so be it.

{I just found out the vet, Dr. Calderon, who normally comes to the island on Wed. (from the mainland) will not be on the island for a minimum of 4 weeks, maybe longer. He is tending to some health issues of his own. I hope that he is well soon and can continue to do what he loves, taking care of animals. He is really quite an awesome man.}

After we took Sebastian and Milagro home we decided to go to Parrot Tree Pool to cool off. I made a drink in my 1 L cup and took another water bottle with another drink in it. We decided to stop by Walters and see what he was up to. He decided to join us at the pool. I was the first one in, it was dreadfully hot outside and I so wanted my internal temperature to cool down. WELL, I WAS IN FOR A SURPRISE!! The damn pool water was as H O T as the air. It was not even an iota refreshing. BUMMED. Nevertheless, Walter ordered food, Bill had a few beers and I drank both of my drinks, on an empty stomach all while standing/floating in a HOT pool. After awhile we decided to head home with a stop at Eldon’s grocery store before. We dropped Walter off and went to the store. I remember getting lettuce and paper towels and Fresca but that’s it. We did see Stef and Jurgen there and I think I said to them, “I’m drunk.” At least I realized it.

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Love the reflection
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HMM. I may have had too much to drink while still in the overly HOT pool because looking at this photo, I remember I went down the slide. It was dry, not running. I walked and shuffled on my ass down it. Must have been fun.

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Such a nice pool, I wish someone would clean it. And make it 15 degrees colder.

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I didn’t get wild or crazy in the store and we made it home with no complications. I peeled off my suit and laid down on the bed and promptly passed out. I’m not sure how long I slept but when I woke up I was still drunk. I had a salad with too much olive oil on it for dinner and went back to bed. I had a headache and fell asleep dreaming of a pool with cold water in it. Or was it Vodka in the pool? Cold cold Vodka..

After my snooze I posted on FB : Drunk grocery shopping should be an Olympic sport. Or, at least a reality TV show.

Below is the Facebook message between Jurgen and I after my post.

Jurgen Derer    you just got home?????

Debbie-Leigh Crofutt    No Jurgen, we’ve been home but I passed out for a bit

Jurgen Derer    hope not at eldon’s

Debbie-Leigh Crofutt    no, I waited until I was home.

Saturday evening Bill and I went to Walter’s house for dinner. His friend Myrt was there, he’s lived on the island for a long time and Qui Qay, who is an islander and a good friend of Walters. Walter made spaghetti and I took a huge (way too much) salad. The meal was very good, he also had bread with artichoke and pesto on it. Nice evening spent talking and laughing in his kitchen. We’re both glad Walter’s back, he’s fun to hang out with!

Sunday it was super windy and looked like rain all day long, but it never happened. Bill finished the bathroom and I cleaned out the closet. It still seems like there is so much to do before Sharon and Paul come. Sharon is bringing an extra suitcase filled with all the crap we’ve ordered. Stupid stuff you can’t get here, like shoelaces, nice pepper grinder and good peppercorns, cat and dog toys, black salve, clock hands, mod podge and a variety of other things we wanted (notice I didn’t say needed.)

I am still walking the dogs every morning. I really want to quit but I can’t because they LOVE it so much. All 3 of them wait for me, it’s our routine, go for a walk, pee and poop, Lucky does his hysterical thing which is: pee, then kick all the dirt with his back legs while sneezing the whole time. He has me cracking up every morning, except when I’m not paying attention and all of a sudden I’m covered in dirt. Then I’m not laughing. He is a silly boy and he loves me so much! He puts his front legs on my lap and stands on his tippy toes so he can get closer and nuzzle under my chin. This drives Highway craaazy. He bites Luck’s back legs and makes all these weird guttural noises. Luck and I for the most part ignore him. We are worried about Dooce. She seems fine, has her normal amount of energy (very little) but she pukes up her undigested food soon after she eats. We changed her diet to rice but she is puking that up too. Kind of sucks because now there is no vet here…We are not going to feed her today and tomorrow give her small amounts several times a day and see what happens. I hate pet issues..We also started her on some Pepto Bismol, boy she didn’t like that.

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Highway was helping.

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Yesterday while walking the boys I had something get in my Flip Flop and stick in my toe. I finished the walk and had Bill look at it. There was a thorn of some sort in my foot. He got it out, all was fine. Until last night when it started hurting and I noticed my foot was swollen. He looked again but didn’t see anything. I took some Benadryl and it is OK this morning. Just what I need, another Alien.

We went to see one of our workers the other day down in Oak Ridge and ended up taking a little ride to an area we haven’t been before. These are some photos I snapped along the way.

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The above photos were all taken in and around Oak Ridge, a small community to the east of us. The photo of the road is our view on the way home from Oak Ridge.

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He moonlights as a contortionist.

Bill and I both went to the orthopedic specialist from Georgia who has a practice here. Bill went for a follow up visit and I went because I am having a lot of pain in my knee. While he was checking my knee he asked if Bill and I had the same surgeon. I said no, that my surgery was done in Bellingham. He asked by who and I said Christopher Van Hofwegen. Dr. Terry very casually said, “I trained him.” SMALL WORLD. He said I have a small pad behind my knee cap that is inflamed and  is causing the pain. He suggested I wear shoes with support (OMG, NOT FlipFlops) when I walk the dogs, especially since I have such a high arch. He gave me some exercises to try to strengthen the area and hopefully alleviate the pain. He also said that in order to fix and completely rid my ankle of the resident alien he would need to cut it open, remove the metal plate and round off the bone. Well, doesn’t that sound like fun? I won’t be doing that since we have no insurance! I’ll live with my Alien, it is what it is.

I’m outta here, places to go, things to do. Well, not really. Tomorrow I’m meeting Janice @ 8:15. We’re going to the schools to visit with the children. I would love to go on a regular basis and have story time with the kids,  really looking forward to this. I’ll have lots of photos for my next post!

In the meantime, do what I do everyday…

 

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Longing for a 34 A

 

bra

 

One year ago I was struggling through the aftermath of knee surgery. My thoughts one year later:

Am I happy I had it done? NO

Do I have less pain while walking? NO

Is my knee prettier? HELL NO

Am I able to do things better since I had the surgery? NO

Can I once again crawl across a wooden gym floor on my knees while in the Lotus position? NO

Am I knee pain free? NO

Do I wish I never had it done? HELL YES!

I hate my new knee and I want my old one back.  And, I still have a flipping alien living in my ankle (that was broken.) A little tidbit they left for me after my surgery.  I’m sure I paid extra for the frigging thing too!  I go to the Orthopedic specialist at the Stem Cell Center on Sept. 2nd to see what he says about my knee and I am hoping he will cut my ankle open and get this damn stitch out once and for all. The alien/stitch thing has been going on since March 31st of 2013!!

**ALIEN update:  I dug it out of my ankle with my hot pink TWEEZERMAN’S. I have been picking at the thing that was poking out of my ankle for a solid week. Before that I picked the hard thing off of it but it (as in not belonging to my body) got another one. It was like a mass of calloused skin. But now I’ve lost it and I wanted to look at it with my camera zoom and a magnifying glass. I want to see what the little shit alien looks like. Now I don’t have to embarrass myself by asking this doc about the Alien. That is unless the little shit decides to move back in. Then it’s war. Right now I have a hole on my ankle where the Alien was living.

The dog days of summer are here. HOLY HANNAH IN HADES it’s HOT. Not our normal warm weather, this shit is hot. I have perpetual sweat running down every crevice of my body. There is a constant rash under my boobs which would probably go away if I could wear a bra for longer than 1 hour. I just can’t stand to put one on, they are so hot, even though they lift the boobs up and help to alleviate the rash, I still can’t handle them.  These are the days I desperately wish I were a 34 A. The glory of not having to wear a bra is something that I haven’t enjoyed for many many years. Granted, back in my hippie days I went without but that was a L O N G time ago when they were still kind of perky and it wasn’t so gross. I’ve been told it’s going to get hotter next month. I can’t freaking wait. This will be my first September here, bring it on. Can you believe in 2 months it will be a year since we moved? How times flies when you’re sweating uncontrollably.

Last Sunday we took the Dude swimming again. This time we decided not to take Luck or Dooce, they’re not interested in swimming, but this boy is.

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Walkway to the far side of the lagoon. We keep him away from other humans.
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The lagoon
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There were a lot of people there.
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CRAAAAZY is as CRAAZZY does.
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Bill and his buddy
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Bill said he heard someone calling Highway. I wasn’t in the water and didn’t hear anything. Then all of a sudden I saw someone swimming towards us yelling Highway.  I recognized the person, it was Walter. He lives at Parrot Tree and had just returned to the island the day before. He swam over and Highway went crazy when he saw him, crazy to the point that he scratched Walters chin with his claw.
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He needs to make sure he’s covered in sand!

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The lagoon and on the far side of it, Second Bight and on into the Caribbean.

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We have been sort of slow this week, seems like it’s taking longer to do everything. It has to be this oppressive damn heat. Bill has been working on the handrails and I have been bringing the rest of the kitchen stuff up from downstairs and out of boxes. Just trying to find places for “stuff” is exhausting. The other day Bill decided he would hang the curtain rods that we bought 5 months ago, along with the curtains. I got the ironing board out, set it up over the door in the bathroom and ironed FOR ALMOST 3 HOURS. There were six pairs of polyester curtains that the wrinkles seemed to be a part of the fabric. Like they were melted into the cheap material. Disgustingly hard to iron! We got the rods up and I hung the curtains a pair at a time as I was finished ironing them. They look nice, except for the wrinkles (I know Cleo, I look) they break up all the blue, they billow in the breeze AND they keep it much cooler in here. I had a huge mess to clean up because there was concrete dust everywhere from Bill hanging the rods. Concrete house = huge mess. If you are doing ANYTHING with the walls, it’s messy. Love hate relationship.

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The curtains are hung!

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I love how they billow in the breeze!

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YAY for finally having curtains. I love the subdued look they add to the room. Kind of nice to have the glaring sun hidden from view. One thing we never considered building this house is the fact that when it  rains we have to close the windows because there is no roof overhang to keep the rain out. None. Zip. Nor is there a roof overhang to cut down on the sun. Because of the lack of any overhangs, all of the sawdust Bill produces is blown around and ultimately ends up on the window screens, then it rains and the sawdust ends up in my window tracks. They are disgusting. I long for the day when Bill is not using the table saw and making dirt. I’m sure he also looks forward to that time!

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The makings of the biscuits
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Finished product

I made more dog biscuits, this time with a recipe using wheat flour, honey, PNbutter milk and baking powder. I rolled them out and cut them with a glass, baked them and the dogs LOVE them. They are so spoiled, Bill makes dog food to mix in with the dry so they get some vitamins and nutrients from their food and I make them biscuits. Speaking of dogs, last Wednesday I got an email from my friend on Long Island asking if we could take their caretaker and one of their dogs to the vet.  Bill and I went up to get Sebastian and Milagro. Milagro has many cancerous tumors on his belly and my friend doesn’t know if the vet will put him down or not. They said it was up to us to make the decision and that they would respect whatever decision we made. Sebastian lifted Milagro into the bed of the truck and jumped in himself. Since we don’t like to have people in the back of the truck we insisted they (he and dog) got in the back seat. We drove down to the vet and wouldn’t you know it, the vet didn’t come this Wednesday, he had an emergency on the mainland. (This vet comes once a week from La Ceiba.) So, this Wed. it’s back to the vet with Milagro. Pets, it’s so hard.

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Milagro

On Monday we had some guys come up here wanting to do landscape work. Bill told them no twice before, then they called, he said no again so they came up, again. What didn’t they understand about NO? Soon after they left I noticed a lot of smoke coming up the driveway and thought they burned up their brakes going down the road. A little later when the smoke cleared I realized the truck was on it’s side on our driveway. Bill went down to see if everyone was ok, they were. Turns out they tried to go up our neighbor’s drive, something happened and they rolled their truck 6 times.

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None of the guys were hurt and none of them had on seat belts. They were lucky.
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Tow truck came and hauled them away
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This is vehicle # 7 that has had an ISSUE with our driveway since we moved here..

We had Walter over for dinner on Wednesday night. Bill made home made pizza dough and we cooked it on the grill. It was really good.  Other than working around here constantly we have not done anything fun. On Thursday I moved more boxes downstairs and organized stuff better, killing my back in the process. On Friday we were to go to our friends birthday celebration and we had every intention of going until Friday night came around. I was just taking a shower at 7:15. At that point in the day there was no way I was getting dressed and going anywhere. We ended up on the couch watching a movie and going to bed early. Early to bed, early to rise. The weekend sort of buzzed by. Sunday was a rainy day, it started right after I got back from the dog walk in the morning and it didn’t stop for most of the day. I baked some Amish cinnamon bread  and while it was still warm I took half a loaf down to John. It is yummy and super easy to make. I was having trouble with my oven and have concluded two things: #1. I use an oven thermometer because the oven is C, not F. Oven thermometers don’t work well if they are right against the glass of the door. #2. A ceiling fan directly above the gas oven makes it difficult to get an accurate temperature reading or even get the oven up to temp. I hope to remember these two things the next time. However, this time I lit the oven all alone. Normally I call Bill and make him light it after my gas oven explosion downstairs but I told myself I could do it and not blow up the house. YAY for me.

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This stuff is wicked good. It can’t be fattening (hah) 2 sticks of butter!!

 

I took the dogs for their morning walk and it was a minefield of Hog Plum fruit. I hate these trees with a passion. They have flowers that cover everything including my screens and all over my porches, then they start to develop fruit and then the fruit falls all over the ground and rots and stinks and it’s squishy and slippery. UGH!!

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I really planned to drive down to West Bay beach for the day but am even lacking the ambition to do that. I do have the strength to walk the one minute it takes to get to the neighbor’s pool though, and that is where I’m headed!!

That is if I don’t melt first!

 

 

 

OITNB

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Busy as bees here. Well, sort of, or Bill is. Although I did help put the poly on the island and the drawers and cupboards, I still need to poly the insides of the drawers, hopefully this weekend. Everyday something else gets checked off the list.

We have shelves and drawer fronts. I’m a happy girl. Like Gene @ Umbul Umbul said, “Happy wife, happy life.”  At this point I can’t find enough drawer pulls that I like for the kitchen so until I do, we will have none. My kitchen in Everson didn’t have any and it was fine.

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One set of drawers, I like how Bill carried the grain across both of the drawers when he made them.
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The island is not done. It still gets a face frame and ends but electrical work needs to be done before the ends are completed.

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The dishes will eventually go in a cupboard to the right of the sink. Bill has to build that yet. Until then, this works fine.

 

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I like my stools.

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The corner to the right of the stove still needs to be finished.

I decided the boys needed new beds. I wanted them made out of waterproof material but not plastic stuff. We went to a shop called Waldinas AKA Valdinas. I think it’s Waldinas because the email is waldinawonderwoman@….I like this Waldina chick already. We opted for the less costly Guatemalan Sunbrella imposter. It was $30.00 a yard cheaper than the US Sunbrella, which costs Waldina’s $1000.00 / roll. These ARE dog beds and Highway DOES have a tendency to destroy all dog beds, except the heavy ones from Costco. He hasn’t destroyed one of those yet. We ordered them late Wednesday afternoon and she said they would be ready the next day and they would call me. Yeah right. You’ll call me. HAH!! No call on Thursday, which was no surprise. I planned to stop by on Friday when I went out. Friday morning at 9 AM they called, the cushions were ready. I ran to the bank and then grabbed the new beds and came home. I was anxious to give them to the boys. I went up on the back porch and took them out of the bag, threw the first one down on the ground and Highway jumped on it, attacked the bed and grabbed the corner in his teeth and started shaking his head. We were both very quick to stop that particular behavior. When we left yesterday I put the 2 new beds on the table so he wouldn’t eat them. I don’t know what I was thinking buying new dog beds but once I get fixated on something usually nothing can change my direction. You may say I border on the side of obsessive. Maybe. And Bill, I know exactly what is going through your mind at this very moment. Not funny. The point of this whole convo is that my boy dogs have new waterproof orange beds.

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ORANGE is the NEW BLACK
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Nice comfy new beds
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And where does my Lucky Boy lay? On the floor.
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And then there is this.

 

I also decided we (I) needed a sideboard for the house. Dian who owns Umbul Umbul (love that store and Annie’s) just received a shipment from Bali. In fact they were closed WHEN WE DROVE BY ON MONDAY. I think it’s the first I have ever driven by and not stopped. The container was parked across from the store and there was stuff that I wanted to buy sitting everywhere. As we drove by, I wiped the drool from my chin and told myself she had a sideboard I wanted. I just knew it.

Yesterday we had to go to Coxen Hole and Sandy Bay so we stopped at Umbul Umbul. I swear I am there more than anyone else. The first thing I saw was a sideboard. It had my name on it. Well, mentally it did. Bill is very much not interested in the stuff there It’s not that he doesn’t like it,  it all stems from him being a woodworker, these pieces are not made to his likings. But they are so damn cool I don’t care. We looked around and checked out the 2 levels below, Bill had enough and went out to sit in the truck with the air on. The piece I wanted didn’t have a price so Gene went to ask Dian. She had advertised they were overstocked and she was having a sale on the Teak furniture, which is what the piece I wanted was. Gene came in with the price and I went out to talk to Bill. He was like, whatever and came back in to look at it, looked at the broken rail and said easy fix, they loaded it, I paid and we left. We stopped to look at a new used Hyundai Santa Fe for me but they want too much for it, cars are very expensive down here. There is a Mitsubishi Outlander on the mainland, like I drove in the US but 1 year OLDER and they want $7500.00. Mine was in excellent shape and booked for 2 grand. WTH?? We got home, got the furniture off the truck and inside but it was too heavy to carry upstairs. Or so I thought. Amazingly, I allowed it to sit downstairs overnight. Yes, it bothered me, I really wanted to put it where it belonged in the house.

I spent my Friday night drinking wine out of the bottle (there wasn’t enough left to warrant the effort to pour) and watching a stooopid chick flick called The Other Woman. I only watched it because Leslie Mann is in it and I think she is hysterical. After that I watched Mission Blue on Netflix. It’s about the amazing Dr. Sylvia Earle. What a woman! If you are interested in all things related to the ocean check it out.

The rain woke me again last night as it was blowing across the room and onto the bed. It was thundering and lightning so I let Dooce in to go downstairs and hide in her hidey hole, the guest shower. It is a bunker for her. I went back to bed because the porch was still dry so the boys were OK. I couldn’t go back to sleep, after playing Angry Birds and getting, well, ANGRY, I played Yahtzee, Pinterested for awhile and ended up on the porch with the boys. I brought them both inside with me and they followed me into the bedroom. By now Dooce was hiding in a corner of the upstairs closet. Luck went over right away and licked Bill, who was sleeping. Luck ended up sleeping on my side of the floor with his head under the bed, Highway was in the middle of the room and Dooce was tucked away securely in a tiny corner. Bill got up with the boys and made bacon. I was planning to stay in bed and sleep since it was pouring but the bacon was like an elixir, drawing me from the bedroom with that pungent high fat smell that is so delightful. Bacon Bacon Bacon. I bought the bacon mainly so I would have bacon fat to make dog biscuits. Yes, I am Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart without the jail sentence. Cleo makes them and gives them to our dogs, it makes me look bad. I had to gain the respect of the dogs back, so bake I did. This is the recipe I used: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bacon-Flavored-Dog-Biscuits/Detail.aspx?prop24=etaf. I decided to add some chopped apple to half of them, we’ll see how that turns out. I am not cool like Cleo though, she has a cutter the shape of a dog bone. She is an over achiever. I made mine to look like meatballs, hopefully they will flatten like cookies..First batch out, not flattened so I flattened them and did the second tray before it went in the oven. The biscuits were a licking gobbling success. The dogs loved them!

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The dogs will either love me or make fun of me.

 

Bill managed to carry the sideboard almost all the way onto the deck alone so I helped and we got it inside with ease. I planned to put my pendulum on it. We bought the pendelum in Lahaina, Maui and had it shipped home. When we got it we noticed it was made in North Carolina. Funny. Something happened to the sand/glass that the pendulum moves in. It’s W E T. I now have it sitting in the sun hoping the moisture will go away. Damn Caribbean air.

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I’m loving this!!
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Drying the sand, hopefully.

 

I recently read the book Roatan Odyssey, written by Anne Jennings Brown. It is supposed to be a “true” story that takes place on Roatan from 1966-1976. I found it quite an enjoyable read. If Anne really did many of the things she says she did, she was a very strong woman. My problem with her story is that she left her young boys in a boarding school in England while she traipsed across the world and settled on Roatan. How do you do that? How do you leave your young children? I never could, never ever..

 

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Friday night feeding frenzy
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Students did this mural along the road.
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School’s out for the day, Coxen Hole
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US Coast Guard with a helicopter on it. Docked at the cruise ship dock in Coxen Hole.
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My favorite wall on the island. It used to be red, I like this better.
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This island is comprised of OXYMORONS. Mini super is one of my favorites.
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I think Highway happened to this little lizard.

It must be baby lizard season because I have seen and rescued several tiny ones. There was one in the house last night that I think was a baby iguana because it had a black and white tail. We saw another larger green iguana in the tree yesterday when we were leaving. Iguanas and Anole lizards are OK, I just don’t like geckos. I don’t like their color, or lack of color, they are too close to flesh/skin color for my liking and I find them ugly as hell and want them to go away. Have I mentioned I’m a little obsessive?

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This is my ideal hammock location, under a container in a dusty parking lot.

AND, my favorite new band, Walk off the Earth. I seriously love these guys (and girl.) Check them out here and here.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Just dance!

A YEAR AGO

08/10/2014   Happy Birthday Sharon Prouty-Hall, we’ll see you soon, I can’t wait!!

Not a lot happening this past week. It’s been scorchingly hot, holy hell. I had a headache for two days, one day I laid in bed all day with the fan on, didn’t feel like doing much else. Bill has been working non stop on finishing stuff around here. Only 3 more drawer fronts to put on and then we’ll seal the wood. He has more to do on the island also, but not much. I still have not thought about tile for the back of the counters, I’m in no hurry, when I see something I like, I’ll buy it.

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Drawer fronts all done
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Cupboard doors on, 3 more drawer fronts to do
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And my favorite, hidden garbage can!

Famous last words. IT’S GETTING THERE.

On Monday I was meeting Janice at the Police station in Oak Ridge to get the beds made and the kitchen set up. It was a scorcher of a day, OMG! On top of the heat the power was out and the fans hadn’t even been installed. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much.

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These are tight quarters by American standards but by Honduran standards, they are nice. 8 bunks in a room and there is a bathroom off of the bedroom. There will be 2 more dorm rooms with baths.
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One of the local guys hand made the stencils. I thought he did great job.
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The new kitchen.
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Inside of the kitchen, no fridge or stove yet.
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Dining room
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Rotary does so much for this island!
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This is Alexi, the boy we bought school clothes and shoes for. He no longer goes to school because it’s boring. Truth of the matter is, it’s over his head. He can’t read or write Spanish or English and he is 15. He is now working for an electrician earning a measley wage. His Mother doesn’t force him to go to school because she needs any money he can contribute. It’s very sad, with no schooling at all he will never be able to better himself. Such a vicious life circle..
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There were lots of people at the building today, a flurry of activity. The head of ALL of the police in Honduras was going to be at the opening ceremony on Wednesday so they wanted to place to look “good.”

We worked for a few hours on Monday, sweat was pouring off of me and dripping on the floor, so gross. Around 2 we were done, well, as done as we could be with what was there. Junior was putting up the fans, the one guy was doing the emblems on either side of the door, others were trying to figure out what to do since the shower opening was much bigger than any shower curtain rods. Lots of little things yet to do for the dedication ceremony on Wednesday at 10. The crews had worked through the night putting down many yards of gravel, unloading chairs, cleaning up the garbage from left over boxes, putting away tools, it was a community effort for sure. Bill and I got there a little before 10 on Wed., it was another scorcher of a day. A definite sweat producer. They were just starting to set up the big tent.

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We were introduced to the man who has the infamous honor of being the head of all of the police in Honduras. My thoughts were, he seemed like such a nice man, I expected him to be a bad ass. He must be in some respect to get to where he is.  There was a panel of important people and they each spoke, some in Spanish so we only got bits and pieces of that conversation. Then Mayor Dilbert got up to speak. He started talking about the people who had made this possible, like Janice and Don. He called them both up front along with a guy from Rotary. Janice gets things done, she knows who to turn to, where to go, she and Don are fantastic advocates for the community. I feel grateful I was asked to help. Well, didn’t the Mayor call me up to the front, Bill too. He really shouldn’t have because I did so little compared to the others. I felt we were up there under false pretenses but, what do you say? “NO, that’s OK, I didn’t do that much!” Bill offered to make clothes pegs for the bathroom so they had somewhere to hang their clothes and towels. He has some of them done, needs to make a few more.

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This is the head of ALL OF THE POLICE IN HONDURAS. What an honor to meet him!
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Ribbon cutting ceremony

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As we were leaving I noticed this plant. I had never seen one like this. Then we realized someone had taken the fruit off the Palm Oil tree and put them on the ends of this Bromeliad. Looked pretty cool actually.

I have been passively looking for bar stools. I bought 2 that I love from John and Lin when they left the island. I need 6 total, 4 up, 2 down. Since we aren’t using the downstairs we brought the 2 stools up. THEN, the other day I was at Umbul Umbul and realized they had stools to match, but they were very expensive despite the fact they had been there a long time. I thought and thought about these stools, the $$ for 2 of them was enough money to buy 2 stools and 2 end tables with money to spare. Decisions. I called the store and found out they were 20% off, that was all the news I needed. I drove down there the other day all set to buy them, but when I got there, ONLY ONE MATCHED, the other had a solid back instead of the woven. Now some people could stand that, 3 with a woven, one solid but I couldn’t. 3/1 with something like that is not a good thing for my OCD brain. I was bummed but thought, I’m buying two stools today and being done with it. They had only 2 others stools that had 2 available. I chose fold up stools and got some cushions that are a woven rattan color, they look fine. I now have 2 woven and 2 with cushions and you know what? I’m fine with it. Which is not normal for me. In my other life I would have put the 2 super nice stools downstairs and bought 4 of the same for upstairs. This is the new me..able to live on the edge.

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I totally can live with this!

I stopped at a wood shop on my way home and talked to Antonio. Bill and I had stopped there last week and Bill noticed they had 2 Shop Fox machines and I noticed a Grizzly tool in the back. Bill told Antonio about his previous life as a Grizzly drone and then he noticed another really old Grizzly tool. Small world, so naturally we have to deal with Antonio. He was supposed to call me with prices for 2 night stands and 2 stools. Of course, he never called so we’ll go there again on Monday.

While sitting on the porch yesterday I saw big areas of Sargassum weed floating by. They are having a problem with it in Flowers Bay, in fact the Muni is cleaning it out and hauling it away. I have read different articles, some say it should be left alone and in the water, other stories say to take it out. Whatever they do I’m sure I won’t be swimming in it. Luckily it is mainly on the south shores so it’s not circling the whole island. It is a vital habitat for sea life though, mixed emotions on this one.

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Sargassum in Flowers Bay
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The light spot on the water is a mass of Sargassum.

Have I mentioned how much I love having my washer and dryer in the closet? I LOVE IT! Sure, it makes the closet smaller but it’s so easy. I take the clothes out of the dryer, throw them on the bed, fold them and turn around back into the closet and put them away. So stinking convenient! I remember when we lived in Cogan Station in a 3 story house and I had 2 dirty boys. I had to carry the laundry up and down those stairs, that was hateful!! It just makes so much sense! Little things.

After stopping at Antonio’s wood shop I headed to Eldon’s to get some lettuce. Walking across the parking lot I saw a truck with several cops in the back. The cop driving recognized me and motioned me over. I see him all the time on the road at road blocks, he kissed my hand once. I’m super nice to them and they are nice to me. I chatted with him for a minute and then did my shopping. On the way out of the store I heard someone call my name. It was our friend Liz. She dropped a vehicle belonging to one of the rentals she manages off for repair and needed a ride back down island to get her Jeep. I brought her to our house and then Bill took her home because my car won’t go down the Milton Bight road very easily, sits too low. Just as Bill was leaving to take Liz home Cleo and Craig came to drop some stuff off at John’s. They left yesterday to go back to the states for FIVE WEEKS. I’m jonesing already, we will miss them being on island, they are super fun to hang out with, always ready for an adventure.  At least when they return they will be living next door to us which will be great! They were going to Cal’s for dinner and since we haven’t been out to dinner for a few months we said we would join them. We took our neighbor John with us. I hadn’t had anything to drink all week because I was headachey so I grabbed a glass of wine to go for the minute ride to Cal’s. We had a fantastic dinner as always but the place was dead. Not normal for a Friday night at all. We had two bottles of wine between 3, maybe 4 of us and by the time the meal was over, we were dancing! Yes, Cleo, myself, Tami and Marian all danced. Carl was all smiles and didn’t seem to care one way or the other. It was a great evening!! We miss you already Cleo and Craig!

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Dance on!!

 

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View from kitchen to bath
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View out window behind stove

It’s 1 PM and we haven’t done squat today, we need to get moving. I’ll leave you with this photo of the airport on Roatan. If you are lucky enough to have a window seat, you’ll get a great view!!

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And while you’re at it, Just dance.

 

 

 

Eclectic Twist

Design And Live Outside the Lines