On the go again

 

summer

01/26/2017 I’ve been so busy having fun that I forgot about this blog. Not really, but I’m good at putting it in the back of my mind while there is partying to do. And there was partying.

I went to a great party in Port Royal at the lovely property owned by Mel and John. They have put so much hard labor into this piece of property, in the year since the last time I was there, the changes are amazing. This was an undeveloped piece of land situated right at the water’s edge. They have built a large boat dock there and they are still living in their boat while building and working on their land. They have a bodega with a living roof and an awesome casita called Casita Lisa, named for Mel’s BFF. There is a beautiful hand laid stone path winding down from the casita  towards the water. The spot for their home is ready and waiting to be built on. I rode out with Francie and Franklin, it’s a long drive on some rough road. We went to the landing in Port Royal and got a ride with Maggie and Norm on their boat, along with Deanna and Roger and Jeanie. It was a great day with wonderful friends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A real cow skull on the front of the living roof.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fabulous old canoe, think this was given to them by Franklin and Francie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the roof of the bodega (storage building)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The crowd and the food table

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jeanie, Francie and I sat on this bench for awhile and chatted about..life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The amazing trees next to their property. I hope nobody ever cuts these down. I was told that pirates used to seek out these trees because they could find “sweetwater” near them.  I think they are some type of cypress tree.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Francie and Jeanie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This says it all

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Roger and Jeanie on the boat

15977318_10155089761452334_8497061343720818474_n

Francie, Me, Roger and Jeanie with Heather in the back

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The boathouse next to the dock we tied up to.

They had BBQ beef and pork and even though I don’t eat meat, I did and loved it. We left late afternoon for the loooong drive home.

On Friday the 13th I decided to push my luck and go diving with my friends Eric and Carly who own Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay. I have not gone diving since I hurt my foot on Oct. 6th. It was time. After the 5 shots to the ankle it was feeling pretty darn good. I had my friend Carmen’s dive gear to use. She has company for the forseeable future and then they head back to the states so she decided I may as well use it. I got to the dive shop and Eric checked out my gear, got everything ready and we left in the boat. There were 3 other divers with us besides Eric, Carly and I. One was the new DM, Pauli, and a couple and another guy. We got to the spot and fell overboard, waiting for everyone to get in the water before descending. I have used the same mask since the end of Feb 2008. I bought it then while in Curacao with Olivia. It cost $40.00. The last time I dove with it the mask was fine, no fog, no leak. Perfect.

I was having difficulty equalizing and had to ascend a bit before I could clear my ears. Plus, my mask was filling with water. I got my ears equalized and descended with Eric. My mask was like a funnel, I must have cleared the damn thing a dozen times. As soon as I would get it cleared, it filled up again. It reminded me of a situation when we were getting certified. I had a mask with a big profile, it held a LOT of water. We found this out while doing the mask clearing part of our certification. I took my mask off underwater, put it back on, cleared it but couldn’t get all of the water out so I sat on the bottom of the YMCA pool w/ a regulator in my mouth and my mask filled with water. I was fine, just chilling, waiting for the instructor to make his rounds. He came to me and gave me the “up” signal. He asked what I was doing and I told him I couldn’t get all the water out and he said, “so you’re going to sit there with a mask full of water?” Yep, I was. He gave me a different mask, I went back underwater and cleared it immediately. This is what happened diving this time. After clearing it so many times I said, screw it, just dive. So I finished the dive with my mask 1/2 full of water. My dive kind of sucked, had to keep my head in a certain position and didn’t want to go to the surface because, well, I just didn’t. I was pissed. And I had a major head full of snot. UGH! New mask is on the horizon.

After my dive I went up to Ann’s house. I’m so glad she lives close to Blue Island because I may not get to see her very much if she didn’t. We ran and grabbed lunch, I took her home and made the drive east myself. Not bad driving east at days end, you don’t have to fight the blinding sun like you do when you drive west.

Bill and I went to Chuck and Nancy’s house for drinks and dinner one evening. They live 4 minutes away. We were joined by Lynda and Dave and Don and Janice. (thank you for the CD Lynda)

16178760_10207071688265304_2795817189258740546_o

Nancy, me, Lynda and Janice (Lynda’s photo)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drinks on the deck overlooking Milton Bight

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drinks, see my Mermaid cups? One for wine and one for water. {Thanks to Julie Bennett. }

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The view

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The tree in the center of their circle

Earlier in the month I was contacted by my friend Amanda Walkins who used to live in Scotland but she and her Irish Colombian husband recently moved to Ireland. Amanda has a boring life. NOT. This girl travels and she writes. This is sort of how we met. Anyhow, she emailed me and asked if I would be interested in meeting Jason Holland. Jason is the Latin American editor for International Living (IL). Jason was going to be visiting Roatan in the near future.

I said of course I would. I asked my friend Alex Poirier to join us. Alex is a Buyer’s Agent and has been here for a long time, he has a boat and is a buyers agent for the realtors on the island. Jason wanted a tour of Port Royal and the waterways surrounding and Alex was going to do that.

Alex and his wife (and my partner in crime) Marilyn and I picked Jason up a few days after he arrived. We showed him some properties for sale, showed him Pristine Bay, Havana Beach, went to Eldon’s, to new areas being developed and we showed him a home for sale. After that we went to the dock, jumped in their boat and went to Alex and Marilyn’s house for a drink.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jason and Marilyn. It was so windy his shirt was filled with air!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CBYC Calabash Bight Yacht Club, AKA Alex and Marilyn’s home

16112541_10157952763520161_6382461887391283345_o

Alex, Jason and I at CBYC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Their miserable view. (it’s gorgeous) The house on the hill to the right of the mast is my friend Kathy’s. Rumor has it there is also a Pizza Hut (sic) somewhere on that mountain side.

After that Alex, Jason and I did a tour in the boat. We would have gone down to Port Royal but the ocean was rather pissy that day, it was blowing hard with good sized waves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Calabash Bight

Alex would need to stay inside the reef and you can’t do that to go where we wanted to. So we went back to the car and drove there. On the way to the landing in Port Royal, we stopped at Martina’s restaurant and B&B. O M G. Martina makes these curly fries from potatoes she spiral slices very thin. Again, O M G. We also had Jerk Chicken Tenders that were absolutely delicious. If you are ever on the road to Port Royal or in Camp Bay, go to Martina’s, yummy stuff. Or spend some time there, the rooms are nice, she cooks for you and it’s a very tranquil setting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The view from Martina’s deck

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beautiful shrubbery surrounds the property

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dining area

With full bellies we left Martina’s for the boat landing. There we grabbed her skiff and went to Port Royal the short way. We were headed to Kim and Joe Wonder’s house on the water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Martina’s boat. From here we could reach our destination and still remain inside the reef.

Kim and Joe live totally off the grid. They have their own electric and water and with boat access only, they have become very adept shoppers. So unlike me who forgets so much shit that I sometimes travel to the store a few times a day or I talk Bill into going for me. Their home is very nicely done, amazing bathrooms (main home and guest house) it’s well taken care of, everything looks new. Honestly, the view literally takes your breath away. AND, it’s for sale. They want to go out on their big boat and do some live aboard traveling. Here is the link to this gorgeous home: http://www.islandrealestate.com/view/roatan-home-4354/  Check it out and spread the word.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Their home, guest house to the R in the photo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a very nice home, I could easily live there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is their boat, Sea Song. They will be traveling in her when they leave.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seriously. This is their view. How stunning is that, looking right at the cow and the calf. Excellent snorkeling right in their front yard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some of the Yabba Ding Ding Kim and Joe have found over the years. Left over from the pirate days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Glistening water

After we did the Port Royal tour we drove Jason out by La Sirena in Camp Bay and then turned around to make the long, into the sun, drive west.

I hope Jason had a good time. There were still a few things I wanted to show him so we made arrangements to meet on Thursday morning for a little tour of my favorite places. Unfortunately, we did not make it to my favorite place on the east end, the beach on the moon. Maybe another time.

Wrapping this up because I need sleep. These past few parties (in the next blog) have worn me out.

Come back soon.

Another year, another birthday

life

 

01/13/2017 To me, the New Year means another birthday. Having my birthday on Jan. 3rd has always been sort of lackluster. Everyone is still in the NYE hangover phase, struggling to write the correct date when they go back to work, worrying about taking down the tree and putting all the decorations away. Me? I’m over here going, yep, another year bites the dust. I don’t feel my age most of the time but there are days when it’s a neon sign right on the WTF lines between my eyes.

15874829_394655297540684_7107706843019434563_o

Just in case you didn’t already know this.

img_20170103_134649

Google remembered my birthday.

A couple weeks ago the klutz in me resurfaced. I was going down the back steps, they are wooden and shaded and slippery as hell, just like ice. Yep, all 5 dogs around me and I fell. My left leg was under me and I landed on it. Cue knee replacement pain. OMG. I finished what I was doing and came in and had a time out with a bag of frozen peas. I’m sure it’s OK, it’s metal to begin with, I’m damn near bionic. I must have cursed a blue streak because two of the dogs were terrified.

We finally had some sunshine and I totally absorbed every ray I could get. I read a book the first day, front to back, then I started another. This was pretty much my rhythm for the week, the dogs and I were in heaven once again.

img_20170106_083714

Lola, Gringo and Barrio, working on their tan lines.

img_20170106_082200

My handsome boy Barrio. He was the only pup I was going to keep. See how well that worked out?

img_20170101_085458

The jungle guards, Highway, Gringo and Maxillicious

I was introduced via FB to a vet from California who brought HeartGard meds to donate. Dirk and his wife Patti came over to give me the meds and meet the dogs. Bill knows a lady who loves her pets but can’t afford to get veterinary care so once the road down to her house is fixed we will start dispensing the meds there. Thank you Dirk and Patti, we’ll be able to help several dogs with the meds you donated.

On Tuesday the 3rd I went to see my orthopedic doc @ Cemesa Hospital about my re-sprained foot (from the slip on the stairs) and to talk about removing the alien. When I got there and checked in they said he wasn’t coming. WHAT? Obviously he had an emergency surgery at the other hospital so they rescheduled me for Wednesday. I arrived early Wednesday and he was ready and waiting for me. He said to remove the alien from my ankle that he can give me a local, slice the ankle, remove the screw and sew it back up in 15 minutes, I just have to schedule that with a days notice being necessary. Yes, a DAY. He also gave me an anti-inflammatory shot in 5 different places where my leg meets my ankle to see if he could settle this down. It finally is feeling better and I can walk without a limp.

Thursday our friends from Kentucky (who arrived on Sat. and were staying in West Bay) were heading down to this end of the island and they stopped by. It’s really funny how we met. I was working at the airport, walking around chatting with people and I had a name tag on. I spoke to this woman and she said, “You’re Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you?” From that point on we were friends. John and Lizeth are wonderful people and we can’t wait until they finally make the move. Last time they were here John’s sister and brother-in-law were with them. We all went to La Sirena for the afternoon. This visit they brought their son Philip who is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology, super nice, handsome, sweet and obviously very intelligent young man. Lizeth brought 2 bags of school supplies for the kids and the cutest little REI raincoat for some lucky little girl. I’ll start passing things out when school begins in Feb.

They did a mangrove tour in the morning and afterwards we met them at Cal’s for lunch. Always a good meal at Cal’s. As soon as I got home from Cal’s I called the Duchess, Jeanie, and she was at Nancy’s so I made myself a big vodka fresca and drove the 4 minutes to Nancy’s. There were a few other friends there doing some art projects. Chuck and Nancy have a fabulous art studio in the tower of their home. I stayed for almost 2 hours and then came home and laid on the couch for the rest of the evening.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A young girl who just moved here did this henna tattoo on herself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She did the mermaid on the Duchess. The extra lines are charcoal and will wash off.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chuck helping Valerie

Yesterday I dropped off some other supplies (that people brought to Because We Care from the US) at Nidia’s store then went to see my friends at Blue Island Divers. They have been SUPER busy and I’m so happy for them, they are good people, they have an excellent dive op and they work really hard. The Doc said I can dive in a week. YAY!

After that I went to West Bay to see my friend Mario who was staying at Bananarama. I met Mario on a flight from San Pedro to Houston, he was on his way to start college @ Midland University in Nebraska. I was so impressed with this young mans demeanor and attitude that we became FB friends right away and have stayed in touch. He messaged me that his family and his girlfriend were coming to Roatan for a few days so we decided to get together. I got to meet his girlfriend, parents, both sisters, brother in law and adorable 2 year old nephew Mathias. We talked for about 30 minutes, his parents are both college professors on the mainland and they want to build a house here. They asked me if I could help them find land, I said I would try.

15895119_10154787573890505_473868150236151023_n

Mario and Sharon. I borrowed this photo from FB.

In the meantime, my friends John, Lizeth and Phil had just gotten back from a dive so I met them at the dive shop, we grabbed lunch at Bananarama (no ranch dressing Liza) and then we went and looked at their property.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Their view is amazing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They are so close to the water!

After that we went back to where they were staying and laid on the rafts in the water and had a beer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No cruise ships meant a deserted beach

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It felt so good to be back in the water, floating. I love the Caribbean.

It was really nice to spend an afternoon with John, Lizeth and Phil. I am still overwhelmed by the amazing friends I have met through Roatan FB pages or my blog. I’ve been very blessed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sky last evening

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a pretty night

Last night when we went to bed it was a semi calm evening. I woke in the middle of the night to huge winds and heavy rains, both bedroom windows, bathroom windows and closet window were open and everything was soaked. Again, thankful for concrete floors.

I got up this morning, sliced the dogs banana and sat down at my computer.  I asked Bill why he had closed it and he said my hard drive was running. I opened it and tried to boot it up and this is what the screen looked like.

15966603_10154462227018533_596547243_o

What he didn’t realize when he closed the laptop was, there was a pen laying in it. The pressure of the screen on the pen ruined my display. I’m now using my laptop hooked up to an old monitor while a new screen is ordered for my laptop.

The next morning the weather had turned downright ugly, winds up to 40 MPH, raining sideways and zero visibility, we have a full blown nor’easter bearing down on us. I feel sorry for the people who arrived on Saturday for a weeks vacation, at least it’s not snow and 5 degrees. I still went to Mega Paca. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these shoppers from the swift competition of the newly marked down.”

I just read on crime watch (a Roatan FB page) that there is a diver missing on the south shore, 5 boats and a helicopter were looking for her. She was a skilled 72 year old female diver and was last seen by her DM @ 200′. WTH? 200′, who goes 200′ besides a technical diver?? The divemaster tried to get her to go back up but she didn’t respond and he had to turn around. If she was at 200′ and still going down she was either unconscious or dead. No recreational diver would do something that insane on purpose.  Always a terrible thing to read about, I feel sorry for the family, the DM, the resort, just sucks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sky this morning, crazy winds. This was taken later this afternoon when the rain stopped.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Earlier this morning you could see nothing but gray, the shores were not visible. It was like living in the clouds.

I have vowed to make these blogs shorter and to post more often and that’s exactly what I am doing, ending this one here and now.

Check back soon, I’m not done yet.

Out with the old, in with the new.

tail

01/07/2017 Aside from all the parties for the island kids we did some partying of our own. The evening after our trip to St Helene and the boat fiasco we went to Alex and Marilyn’s home. They live on the water in Calabash Bight, boat access only.

Alex picked us up, along with Franklin, Francie and Sarah @ 4 PM. We stopped by to talk to Brett, who assumed his wife was still with me. He didn’t know Carmen had been home for a few hours. When we pulled up to the Calabash Bight Yacht Club the first thing I saw was a huge mermaid pinata! It was so cool.

img_20161222_184619

We had a few (sic) drinks and some yummy finger food while we waited for the lighted boat parade.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marilyn, Martina, the Mermaid and Skipper and Scruffy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Francie and her daughter Sarah

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carmen and Brett arriving

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Martha, I mean Francie’s ode to Christmas

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Francie showcasing her masterpiece

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The table was true Marilyn style, elegant.

pc220207

Marilyn’s cute little Hallmark tappers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The feast

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Outside looking in

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marilyn’s mother made this years ago. I am in love with it.

This was the first year for they had the boat parade, there were 7 boats. I hope it grows and people start coming from all over the island to take part in it, I think it could be a really cool holiday attraction for the east end.

img_20161222_183957

img_20161222_183850

img_20161222_183829

Just as the parade began, my camera battery died. I took a few pics with my cell phone. I just suck at night time photos. The boat parade started in Jonesville and ended in Calabash Bight. We played “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” loudly, as they motored by. After the show was over and we all had full bellies, we had Alex take us home. It was after 9 and we had 5 starving, frantic dogs.

Friday night we had another party to go to at our friends in First Bight, Linda and Jay. Their home is ahhhmmaazing, I’m always excited when I get to go there. They had a huge spread of food, turkey that was smoked and a big ham along with every side dish you could imagine. The food and the conversation was excellent, such a great group of gringos. Dessert was all fat free, cookies and to die for peanut butter fudge with chocolate topping. OMG and Baileys too. Yep, I didn’t gain an ounce that night for sure.

Saturday I was on the borderline of feeling better and getting sick again. I was coughing a lot and I kept telling myself it would go away. It didn’t. Rather than go to the Christmas party at Ed and Julie’s and cough like a TB patient, we stayed home. I know we missed a great party and I’m pissed but it was the right (polite) choice.

img_20161226_213424_processed

This is my fiber optic tree that is about 20 years old. It still works. I did a Prism (app) fix on it in this pic.

Christmas eve the dogs didn’t want to sleep outside because it was raining, no, it was pouring. Even though they stay dry on the covered porch, I allowed them to sleep on their comfy dog beds in the living room and I curled up on the couch to sleep. (If I don’t sleep in the living room with them, they may eat the couch). Around 2 AM Lola started pacing and barking, I hushed her once but she continued, barking even louder until I was wide awake. When I sat up I smelled something burning, it smelled electrical. A few seconds later I heard snapping and spark like sounds and they were coming from the monitor. I woke Bill and he came out and unplugged the monitor. When he took it apart the next morning that is what he found.

img_20161224_115442

Damn geckos. It may be salvageable.

The week between Christmas and New Years was pretty crappy weather for the most part. I putzed around here, had my cleaning girl come and we cleaned upstairs. On Friday Dave and Trish and Natasha, the rum cake queen, came for pizza. Surprisingly, we had a decent evening to eat on the porch.  It’s always nice to visit with the Symons, looking forward to them being here full time in the not to distant future.

New Years eve there was a party out at Mondays Don’t Suck beach but  it’s a 40 minute drive and the road are beyond awful, we decided not to make that trip. I’m pretty sure I was in bed way before midnight. Bill still says NYE is for amateurs.

We went to brunch with a group of friends at one of my favorite places, Barefoot Cay on New Years Day. We reserved the second floor of the restaurant. The view, the ambiance and the service there is stellar. New Years day was gorgeous, sunny and warm. Finally.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Catamaran docked there

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The pool view from the room where we had NY day brunch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the nicest boutiques resorts you will find. It’s comfortable, not pretentious. BFC encourages you to relax and enjoy yourself and they will be there when you need anything.

When we got home I put on a swimsuit, grabbed a book and crawled on the raft and floated. At various times throughout the afternoon I was joined by one of the boys, they get in, swim a lap or two and get out to lay on a chaise. Yes, they have a terribly rough life.

img_20170106_082200

Handsome Barrio, he was the only one of the pups I was keeping. See how well that worked out?

img_20170106_083714

Lola, Gringo and Barrio

img_20170101_085458

Highway, Gringo and Max, defenders of the jungle.

15775086_1165824713532567_4961311513865398070_o

My folks at Missy and Mark’s for Christmas. My sister is an angel, really, she is.

Dad turns 96 Feb. 17th and Mom will be 91 in August. They are still living on their own but my sister is 5 minutes away. On the day of NY Eve Dad called Missy and said that Mom was having difficulty breathing, she has asthma. Missy had tried to take her to the doctor on Thursday, PJ was down for the weekend and tried to take her Friday, she wouldn’t go, she was fine. Sure she was. They admitted her on Saturday, got her breathing taken care of, started her on IV’s and kept her there for a few days to observe her. She is home now and sounds good. I’ve called nearly every day. When VR answers the phone and realizes it’s me, he says, “oh, you again.” I’m not sure if there is a hidden message in that or not. Not that I really care.

I am headed to the roof with some wine and my camera. Happy New Year to everyone.  I certainly enjoyed ringing in the New Year in my bathing suit, it beats being cold and bundled up anytime.

 

 

Hustle and bustle of the holidays

xmas

12/27/2016 Christmas is here and gone. The build-up to it is so much less than when the boys were younger and still at home. I used to make myself frantic ensuring everything was just perfect for them. Now we barely celebrate, we stopped exchanging gifts when I moved to Roatan alone in 2012 and never resumed. It’s not like things are easy to find here, shopping is pretty much nil except for Mega Paca, ACE and Serranos. Other than them (a used clothing, household store and 2 hardware stores) it’s slim pickings. And that’s OK, there really isn’t much either of us need or want, really.

Christmas has a different meaning here on this island where so many have so little. The kids on the island don’t have a clue what the kids in the US experience at Christmas time. There are no iPads, iPhones, new laptops, motorcycles, flat screens for their rooms, none of that. The majority of the kids don’t even have a Christmas meal that is any different from their everyday meal of beans and rice. Some don’t even get that because their families are so poor.

Nidia has taken it upon herself for the last 18 years to try to make things better for the kids on Roatan. For her to have so many parties or do food drives is a huge undertaking, but she does it and she does it well. She is so well respected on the island that people jump at the opportunity to help her. I first met her in 2014 when she was doing a food and toy drive at Christmas. We dropped off food and she was there and I introduced myself and said we would help. That was our first year. In 2015 she decided to concentrate more on the kids and make the whole thing center around them. That year there were 2 large parties, one on the east end and one on the west end. This year she expanded to 4 parties and 2 days of visiting different forgotten communities. People have no idea what is involved in pulling off something like this on Roatan but Nidia is undaunted, she just digs in and gets it done. I am so proud to call this whirlwind of energy my friend, I adore her, she is truly a gift to the island of Roatan. Without her, none of this would happen.

I apologize for the super long post (yes, this is one of those, laden with photos). I could do it in 2 posts but I’m not going to. So grab a bottle of wine or a pot of coffee and chill for a bit.

I would say being down here in the gorgeous sunny weather is reward enough but the weather has been downright shitful. WET WET WET, sick of it. Yes, I like the rain but in excesses like this, I’m over it.

My friend Milesse owns Barefoot Cay, and she is also the one who started the airport volunteer group. She had a few ladies over to her place to meet the wife of the new General Manager of BFC. We talked about what we did on the island and had a fabulous lunch and mimosas and wine. It was a nice afternoon. A few days after that I was back there again with all the volunteers that greet at the airport. Once again, Milesse served us lunch and we had drinks and chatted about the direction the airport greeter group was going.

Then we were back at Barefoot Cay again for an evening get together to once again introduce the new GM and his wife. That was a great night, lots of incredible food, the wine was flowing and the place was filled with wonderful people. If I have to go somewhere several times in a short period of time, I can’t think of a better destination, Barefoot is really a one of a kind boutique resort. Everything there is done with exquisite taste.

15493323_1214949731920035_6779995186791725673_o

My friend Dario, the head of Immigration at the Roatan airport and Bill and I at Barefoot. Note to self, wear black bra next time.

Alexi turned 18 on December 12th. We took him to Mega Paca and let him shop for clothes. Most things there aren’t over $5.00 and he spent $63.00, he had a stack of clothes. After that we took him to Herby’s for lunch, he’s never been there before. He changed into a pair of his new shorts in the back seat of the truck before we went to lunch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

His stack of clothes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alexi, making himself comfortable

img_20161212_125337

Alexi’s first time in Herby’s, probably his first time in a nice restaurant.

img_20161212_104925

Saw this truck at ACE

img_20161211_115949

Dead dinosaur in the pool, actually, it was an Anole. I’m surprised because I have seen them swim in the pool before. Maybe this was a catch and release by the dogs.

img_20161211_111337

Mega Paca haul, 4 each of the dishes and the seahorse wall hook, score.

img_20161211_092518

Morning glories at the end of the driveway

Our friends Marcia and Dennis were having a full moon party at their house. They just had a huge pool put in and were celebrating that and the moon. They have one of Frito’s pups, Duke. It was Marica I was snorkeling with last year on my birthday when the sea was full of jellyfish, it was pretty amazing. Trish and Dave came over and we all rode together to their house. They had over 60 people there, it was a lot of fun. I failed to bring my swimsuit, damn, I could have done some synchronized swimming with Francie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Caribe Bight

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Inside of their home

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Their new HUGE pool, it’s gorgeous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Francie went for a dip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bill, Trish and Dave chatting.

My friend Carmen and her sister, who was visiting from South Dakota, wanted to come over to the house. Brett and Carmen live boat access only and don’t have a car. The girls took a taxi to get massages in Politilly so I picked them up on my way back from BJ’s in Oak Ridge, (I dropped off a box of soccer balls, wrapping paper and a few toys for the Fiddlers Bight kids Christmas party).

15590557_10210023614019625_2726522115903022341_n

These are some of the soccer balls donated by Hillcrest Village Soccer club in Toronto. They were brought down by Dave and Trish Symons and given to me to pass out, along with the soccer uniforms. There were over 60 balls to start, this is what’s left. I’m sure the kids loved them.

Carmen, Kecia and I came back to our house and Kecia met the dogs, sat by the pool for awhile and chatted and then went to Cal’s for lunch. Soon as we sat down and Reynaldo brought our drinks, he said, it’s going to rain. And it did, almost immediately. We moved to a table under the roof and enjoyed our meal. I took the 2 of them back to Oak Ridge and Brett picked them up.

15578543_10154831894418103_395981157089754730_n

Kecia and Carmen, I didn’t take this, it’s from La Sirena at Camp Bay.

Nidia has been getting ready for all of the Christmas parties for the island kids for the past few months. Once she got enough money donated she went to the mainland shopping. She scheduled 4 parties and 2 days of doing deliveries in the smaller communities.  The first one was held in a small community called Wild Cane. It was outdoors under a tree, along a pretty busy road and a stream. Nidia expected 200-250 kids, there were 500. They came from so far  away it took the kids over an hour to walk there, not what we expected at all. We had many generous donations from all over that helped purchase a ton of Santa hats, toys for all of the kids at ALL of the parties, bags of candy, hotdogs, drinks and ice cream cones too. I was excited to see my friends, Fred and Trish, Faber, Jeanette and Don, K.J. and Mike and Toni there. Of course Janisha was there to help her mom and Johnie and Hector helped at several of the parties also. Faber comes from the states for the parties, every year. He goes to every one and is a huge help. He also brings donations from the people he works with at the hospital. (He also comes for the TOMS shoe deliveries.) Jeanette and Don, Faber, Janisha and Kirsty helped out at Big Rock also, slicing rolls, passing out hot dogs, removing packaging from toys. You name it, we did it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The set up area at Wild Cane

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Passing out santa hats

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hmm, Moms weren’t supposed to get hats, guess she slipped by with one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love these boys.  (Notice the mud. YUCK)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pensive

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cuties with Minnie ears

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a sea of red

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love the curls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, I always find the dogs. I fed this pitiful pup but one meal wasn’t going to do much for him. He was on deaths doorstep.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Santa arrived in the big shiny truck parked along the wall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They held onto him as he walked

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Passing out toys

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Santa and the one and only Nidia, the woman with a heart as big as Roatan. Actually, Santa is pretty awesome too, he loves this gig.

The second party was on a Monday in Crawfish Rock, a small community down near the water. The road to Crawfish Rock is dirt and this time of year with the torrential rains it is slick mud with huge ruts and potholes. I was not looking forward to the drive down there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the way to the party I came around a corner and there were cows in the road, a common sight here on the island. The one cow on the right was running rather haphazardly on the road. The guys on the motorcycles behind them were the “handlers.”

Helping at Crawfish Rock were Janisha, Faber, Johnie and Hector and Rusty and Sheila and of course our own special Santa, Sully.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I recall from doing shoes at Crawfish Rock that most of the kids are shoeless. It was the same this time. Once it rained, the whole area turned into a mudhole.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nidia’s dog Coco

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An unhappy Minnie, waiting for an ice cream cone

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Soon after we got everyone lined up, it poured. We all ran to the school carrying anything we could get ahold of.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Waiting for ice cream

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s backwards to serve the ice cream first but there is no other way to do it when refrigeration is an issue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We line them up smallest to biggest, at least we try to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Since it was raining we set up in a classroom and luckily, it had empty shelves. I was sad that the bookshelves were barren, to me, it meant that the kids had no books to read.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Santa visiting with the kids

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I dug food out of the garbage bags and fed this dog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy kids

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These boys were so cute!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Boxes of apples donated by Ron McNab, owner of the Galaxy Wave ferry. He did this for every party!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A visit with Santa is priceless.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He was afraid of Santa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The school

After it rained 3 times while we were there the road turned into a muddy slip and slide. Santa, in his big truck got stuck, I was able to drive right out of there with my AWD car. Faber and Johnie were amazed that we didn’t get stuck.

When I got home on Monday from the party I took a shower immediately. Once I got out of the shower I felt a sore throat coming on. It got worse as the night progressed and by morning I had a full blown cold. Tuesday Nidia and some volunteers (Sheila and Rusty and Bob and Rosalie) were going to a few communities and passing out toys. I had too much to do that day and felt miserable so I didn’t join her. They went to Mudhole, Corazol and Hottest Sparrow. Santa has been busy.

Wednesday was the biggest party at Big Rock in Pensacola. Nidia expected 400+ kids and we had almost 700. Word travels fast on this little island. Many thanks to Don and Jeanette, Faber, Kirsty, Janisha and Franklin and all the other ladies who came to help control the chaos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saw this momma pig on the way to Pensacola. She was wandering along the road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

744 Hot dog buns, second time my car was full of these.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We took as many toys as possible out of the plastic wrap that it came in. One less thing to have to clean up afterwards.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This year instead of throw away cups, they got cups they could take home with them, less garbage is always a good thing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I fed this dog too and if he had not been so timid and come closer, I may have had 6 dogs. He was gorgeous, I really wanted him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Big Rock bar has changed a lot from last year. It’s really been fixed up with these cool surfboards on the ceilings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He was a ham

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nidia’s little dog Coco got away and ran under the porch. It took them quite a while to get her out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My friend Kirsty passing out Santa hats

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beautiful

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love her, she has a necklace and a handbag.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoying his ice cream

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Santa dishing up ice cream cones

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The place was packed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Using paper plates, no styrofoam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mesmerized by Santa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He’s a happy boy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By 4 PM I was feeling awful so I headed home. Everyone was fed, all Santa had to do was pass out toys. After an hour drive, sniffling and sneezing the whole way, I was home and exhausted.

The last party was Thursday on the island of Helene. Helene is part of Roatan but it’s separated by a cut in the island. There is no electricity on the island and they got a well just 2 years ago, prior to that there was no water except for streams and springs. We were taking 2 boats to get there, one owned by Clifford Mejia, the Vice Mayor of Santos Guardiolas (the east end of Roatan) and the other owned by Ron McNab, who owns the Galaxy Wave ferries that go between Roatan and Le Ceiba. Ron is also the one who donated 2 cases of apples to each of our parties. Bob and Rosalie, Faber, Natasha, Nidia, Darla, Carmen, Rusty and Sheila and Mike, Toni and their son Rhys came along. Most of us got in Ron’s boat as Clifford’s was full of Christmas toys and baskets of food for the people of Helene. We set off for Helene close to 9AM. We were out as far as Port Royal, right near Fort Morgan Cay when the boat all of us were in stopped. We initially thought he was slowing down to maneuver inside the reef so the ride would be smoother but alas, not the case. We were drifting perilously close to the reef and to keep from colliding with it we called Joe Wonder on the radio (they live in Port Royal on the water) and he came buzzing out in his little skiff and pulled us away from the reef. Clifford was also alerted and he turned around and came back. The boat had died. We never did get the exact reason it died, all we knew was, we were being towed to Fort Morgan Caye.

Fort Morgan Cay is a small privately owned island. It is approximately 30 acres in size and was once a pirate hideout. There is a small runway on the island and a few pirate ruins and a fabulous large home with 4 rentable rooms. I can safely say that the majority of us on the boat were very excited to see Fort Morgan Cay. We tied the boat up there and all got off.

Clifford was going on to Helene, with Nidia, Rusty and Sheila and all the toys and food. The rest of us waited behind because we all couldn’t fit on one boat. Some of the stranded people started wandering around until they got reprimanded by the German manager. After talking to an islander who lives there and helps maintain the place he said he would take us for a tour of the west end of the island. If I were going to be stranded somewhere, this would be my choice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At Clifford’s dock in Oak Ridge, this is my friend Darla’s daughter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ron’s boat that we were all going to Helene in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Loading the boats

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Food donated by Ron and the Galaxy Wave to be given to the people of Helene.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just south of Lime Key where the boat stopped. Look at the color of this water. It’s why I moved to Roatan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clifford came to tow us to Fort Morgan Cay

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The skiff in the top of the photo belongs to Kim and Joe Wonder, Joe came and towed us away from the reef until Clifford could get to us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The buildings at FMC, notice the chairs on the roof.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An outdoor shower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The pool, OMG, it was gorgeous. The guy walking on the left is the one who gave us the tour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looks like a deserted island

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What dreams are made of

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I could be shipwrecked here for a very long time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Natasha is the daughter of Dave and Trish who have a home on Roa. She’s awesome (and gorgeous), I absolutely adore her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Part of the old pirate fort

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

wall decor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Absolutely waterfront

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Doors to one of the rooms

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Outdoor shower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She is not camera shy. I know her name but have no idea how to spell it. Keneesha??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ron said he was calling his Dad and he would come with a bigger boat. He forgot to mention it was a flipping yacht. We drooled.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ron’s boat is pretty amazing itself, it has 3- 300 HP outboards, but compared to this big “boat” it looks a tad insignificant.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After they got more gas transferred to the other boat, they left us in their wake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Going through the mangrove cut.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the school in Helene

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ron McNab, passing out toys, I think the cute boy in glasses next to Ron is his son.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This little boy got a big plane and was thrilled with it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This school is in deplorable condition. So sad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These kids are adorable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some are shy, most are not.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cute young boys

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pretty girls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The kids were told to wear red or green, most did.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Look at the eyes on the girl on the left, gorgeous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another poorly cared for dog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ron, Rosalie and Nidia giving the kids toys. Santa didn’t come on this trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The older boys got soccer balls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sleeping beauty

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MMM, apples

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I remember this little guy from the TOM’s shoe drive and from when we passed out backpacks. He has the longest eyelashes ever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Big sister drying his tears

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Natasha handing out candy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carmen liked this little guy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Baskets and bags of food to be passed out to the residents of Helene

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got to see the Free Radical on the way home. That’s the boat the EXPATS go out on for the day and party.

It was a fast, uneventful trip home and we even made it by early afternoon. I was amazed. We had a party to go to at 4 that day so I was thrilled to get back in time.

Nidia and a few others were doing deliveries to Camp Bay and Diamond Rock on Friday with a Santa that came from Canada, but I couldn’t go due to prior plans. At the end of one week approximately 1800 kids got Christmas gifts. A significant number indeed.

It was a busy week for all of us but much more so for Nidia who orchestrated the whole thing. She could probably run and direct the next economic summit or be Speaker of the House. I think her skills and her ability to make things happen far outweigh anything I have ever seen. Remember, NOTHING is easy here, we’re a small island belonging to a 3rd world country, floating in the Caribbean. It just goes to show that when someone puts their mind to something, anything is possible. Nidia has proven that time and again.

It will soon be March and time to begin the distribution of TOM’s shoes, something else to look forward to. Another good deed and the kids of the island once again benefit. Because of the force that is Nidia P. Webster. I love you girlfriend.

Coming into the Holidaze

weird

12/07/2016   It was a dark and pissy 2 months ago yesterday that I fell and hurt my foot and today is also my granddaughter’s 14th birthday, Happy Birthday Alexah!

I am walking but it’s painful, standing, well, forget it. I think my issue is tendinitis but I’m not a Doc so I’m guessing, and being optimistic that there isn’t a fracture. I have not done any diving or snorkeling yet because I enjoy being able to walk and the pain is enough to still be a deterrent to any new aggravation.

Our company arrived on a semi sunny Saturday, Nov 19th. Early that morning we took Gringo to the vets from Tegus who come to Roatan monthly to find out what was going on with his skin. Dr. Diana did a skin scraping and took some blood from him. The skin scraping showed a bacterial infection and I was positive it was fungal. So much for my veterinary degree. After 2 weeks of new meds he is 95% better and we are thrilled with that. We still bathe him often and have decided to keep him on meds for another 2 weeks. Keeping our fingers crossed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mr. Handsome Gringo was not happy about being at the vets

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had Bill’s truck (the dog food is in my car) so I couldn’t feed this poor dog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Talk about long lunches and crazy hours. Lunch is from 12PM to 2 AM and then they work until 5:30PM. Really Honduras?

We took Gringo home and I drove back into the airport to pick up Julie and Robby. Unfortunately 3 planes landed at the same time and it took them FOREVER to get through immigration. They were happy to be here and hungry, it was probably a bad choice to take them to the grocery store after they landed.

On Sunday morning Julie came with me to Mega Paca. We stayed as long as I was still able to stand. Afterwards we met Bill and Robby @ GiLei’s for coffee and food. Not that I drink coffee, nor does Julie and Robby isn’t a huge fan, but Bill is a coffee guy and the food we had was excellent, we’ll be back for sure.

The weather kind of sucked the first week Robby and Julie were here. It’s been an incredibly rainy winter so far. There’s been so much rain it killed some of my flowers that are in pots. Obviously I’m not keeping a very good eye on them either.

Monday Robby wanted to help Bill who’s helping out a friend and I have no clue what Julie and I did. It may have been a decent day and we may have laid in the sun.

The sun made an appearance on Tuesday so I took R&J down to BJ’s where they got a boat over to the Reef House to do some diving. They only did 1 dive and were waiting for me when I got there to pick them up. They said the viz was mediocre at best. Tuesday eve we went to Cal’s for dinner, excellent as always.

On Wednesday we all started prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Julie and I baked, peeled and chopped most of Wednesday, even Robby was cooking. Carmen and Brett and Jeanie and Roger, and my friend and Divemaster Guru Eric all joined Robby and Julie and Bill and I for dinner. We had way too much food. I had enough damn mashed potatoes for everyone in this valley. Really I did. I suck at estimating how much food. I was worried a 22# turkey wouldn’t be enough. HA freaking HA! Eric stuck around and we chatted about diving for awhile. I sent him home with a box of food (his wife and kids are in the states and due to his dive business here, he had to miss out on family time). If you plan to learn to dive on Roatan, I can highly recommend Blue Island Divers.  Do your SSI course work in the comfort of your own home and then go see Eric and do your water certification. Diving done right.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Preparation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Those 2 big pans, full of potatoes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robby, Julie, Roger and The Duchess (Jeanie)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carmen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He has their attention with turkey scraps.

I tried to do the dishes that night and partially succeeded. Friday was another day.

It rained like hell off and on Friday, just gloomy as crap. Sam and Chelsie and Daniel and Stephanie were coming for dinner. When they got here it wasn’t raining but it was absolutely pouring when they left. It’s the first Stephanie and Daniel have been around the dogs. She and I were out on the porch and they were all excited and barking. Daniel asked if the dogs all had their teeth. Umm, yes they do. Sam’s family owns the Iguana farm and Daniel owns the sloth sanctuary, and they are cousins, and Sam’s wife and Daniel’s girlfriend have been friends for 10 years, Chelsie got Stephanie to move down to Roatan, they are both teachers at the Nuna Academy. We had a really nice evening with all of them, Robby and Julie enjoyed seeing Sam and Chelsie again and well, we always enjoy them and just love Daniel and Stephanie.

Saturday it was semi sunny so we hung out around the pool. Our other friends from Oregon arrived yesterday so they came down today to say hello. I was hoping to be able to dive with Robby and Julie and Liza and Mike but not this trip. Next one for sure.

Sam Arch was in a Wahoo fishing tournament over the weekend at Barefoot Cay. On Sunday they were having a BBQ and the prizes were being awarded. I wanted Robby and Julie to see Barefoot so we went down there around 2. As luck would have it, Sam won the Grand Prize for the largest Wahoo and the first place prize for the most amount of fish caught, weight wise. Everyone except me ate lunch/dinner there and had a few beers. Beautiful day by the water and really happy that Sam won.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The eating area, we sat under a palapa to be out of the sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was looking for Sam’s boat but he had already taken it home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chelsie and Sam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robby and Julie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sam, second from L, Haydee (works at Barefoot) Sam’s fishing buddy and Mr Sherman Arch on the R, Sam’s dad.

Monday was a gorgeous day and that only means one thing, MONDAYS DON’T SUCK at the best private beach on the moon. (It’s a secret and I get shit if I mention where it is) FED Duchess. We packed up some chairs, some food and some booze, a few rafts and headed to the moon. What an incredible place filled with friends all looking for the same thing, an uncomplicated day, minus all stress and hassles of life spent with good friends on our little island paradise on the moon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robby and Roger raking

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The group is in the shade, the sun goddesses moved to be in the sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carmen, Pam, me and Martina and Dan-o and Molly the dogs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Duchess and Molly

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some people even came by boat and swam in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Julie, Pam and Carmen going for a walk on the beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Proudly flying our flags

Since the weather was co-operating on Tuesday, I offered to take Robby and Julie to Blue Island Divers for some diving. Eric wasn’t their DM that day because he was flying home the next day so they dove with Cole. Cole is awesome, I dove with him a few times, he’s a fun Dive Master. While they were diving I went to Nadia and got my hair colored then went and hung out with Ann until it was time to pick them up. The plan that day was to have Alexi and his sisters, brother and nephew come over and swim and have lunch. Bill picked them up and we ran in the store on the way home and got what we needed. When we got home the kids were in the front yard playing with Bill and Alexi. They came inside and went out to the pool and before you knew it, the young boys were in their undies and in the pool.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Efraim, Alexi’s little brother and Osman on the raft, (Alexi’s sister Juliana’s son)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Efraim wringing out his undies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Juliana and Efraim

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jessica and Osman

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alexi

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Efraim using Julie’s camera

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Efraim. Notice his shoes, they don’t fit. His nephew Osman is 2 years younger and bigger than he is.

img_20161129_163559

Juliana and Jessica hanging out the window

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yep, Max jumped on the truck hood. Lola joined him but I missed that shot.

Bill made his famous infamous pizza on Wednesday night for dinner, it was yummy as usual. Maybe he should open a pizza joint here.

Thursday I took Julie and Robby back to Blue Island for some more diving. While they were diving I ran and got Gringo more meds then went back and sat at the dive shop and talked to Maria and Elton and the new Dive Master teacher from Greece. When they got done diving we went to the Salty Mango and had lunch, then ran down to see my puppies at Lisa’s house. I haven’t seen Bandit and Sable for several months but they remembered me for sure. Man, I love these puppies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bandit looks so much like Barrio I had to do a double take on this photo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sable, the only girl in Frito’s litter and she’s a feisty one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bandit and Sable. They look different from the other pups because their ears stand up straight and they have smaller bodies than my guys do. Gringo weighs double what Sable does. I’m so glad Lisa has them, she loves these two so much.

Robby and Julie and I headed back east after visiting with Lisa and the pups. Little did I know, Julie had chicken and dumplings cooking in the crock pot, nice surprise and another great meal.

On Friday we all went down to the Buccaneer, a place that recently reopened. There are a few small retail shops in there and they are hoping to get more. They said a restaurant and bar will be opening soon, you can have parties there, meetings or go hang out by the water. Bill and Robby had coffee there and they both thought it was excellent and cheap. Me, I don’t give a rip about coffee, now if it had been wine I would have been all over it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The natural swimming pool that Julie and I floated in. However, on Sunday I was told not to swim in that water due to the poor disposal of sewage in that area. UGH.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nice long pier.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Floating in the yucky but clear water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Huge swim area.

Friday night we went to Cal’s to eat. He was so busy we hurried and got our orders in before the 2 big tables did. When we got home we sat out front and talked and let the dogs play and tire themselves out. Hah, like that ever happens.

Robby and Julie’s flight was scheduled to leave at 1:30 on Saturday but it got delayed, then delayed more and delayed again. I don’t think they actually got out of RTB until close to 3. Since we had so much time to kill we ran to Blue Island Divers so they could buy shirts. Then it was off for a sweets run to Fresh Bakery. I had the banana chocolate chip cake and ohmygosh it was excellent. I decided to take 2 pieces back to Maria and Elton at the dive shop. We then made our way to RTB. The day I was there to pick them up the line for security leaving was all the way through the airport, this day, not so much. I saw Roger and Jeanie, Liza and Mike and a hundred other people I knew while waiting with them. Once they were in the security line and almost through, I left for home. After a quick stoop at the grocery store I came home and jumped on a raft and floated for awhile.

Of course, Sunday morning was Mega Paca day. I meandered through there for what seemed like hours, then ran to Eldon’s to get peanut butter, which I forgot the day before. I was invited by Milesse to Barefoot Cay to meet the new general managers wife Trisha. Milesse served an excellent lunch along with bottomless mimosas. Very nice afternoon and I met some new friends to boot.

I’ve had a quiet week so far, spent most of it hanging with the dogs, floating in the pool and reading. Today we are going to Brett and Carmen’s so Bill can help Brett with some plumbing {ended up unable to reach the pipes to replace the faucets and showerhead without a demo job}. Tomorrow it’s back to Barefoot Cay for a get together for the airport greeters, should be a fun time, I’m going with Cindy and Cathey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marilyn stopped by Carmen’s while we were there, she is making some curtains, then we rode to her house to look at her pool installation that is happening on Honduras time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the way back to Jessie’s dock.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marilyn’s dogs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the entrance to one of the mangrove cuts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Going through the mangroves

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kids fishing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And playing

Pretty soon we will be having the Because We Care Christmas parties, there will be at least 4 of them, probably more, depends on how many toys we get donated. Stay tuned for us spreading holiday cheer on this gorgeous rock we call home.

 

 

‘Twas a dark and stormy morning

shit

11/15/2016 I wanted to get a quick blog out before my company comes, bear with me, I’m mentally disjointed lately.

We went to Alexi’s “graduation” ceremony a few weeks ago. It began 35 min late and seemed to be so drawn out and disorganized. There was a question contest, boys against girls. For instance, which doesn’t belong: apple, mango, banana, legume, but she couldn’t say legume. I almost stood on the bench and hollered, “the word is legume, it’s a f@*king bean.” The contest went on for about 40 questions, 10 would have been sufficient. The teacher read each question twice, once in English and once in Spanish. I wanted to pull her tongue out of her mouth and run screaming out the back door of the church, still holding on to her tongue. I’m not real good in these situations, my mind takes off. Spirits? Alexi got an award for only missing one day of school. I got his report card, checked it out and handed it to him. He said he wanted me to keep it. Well, alrighty then, I guess his Mom isn’t interested in it. Alexi had the last of his dental visits, all of his teeth are filled and we have talked to him many times about the importance of his teeth and how he needs to take care of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alexi getting his attendance certificate

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alexi reciting his poem, he said it so fast I have no idea what it was.

On one of my first outings after I hurt my foot, I met Annie, my twin, at Cemesa Hospital. She fell while standing on her bed and hurt her back, she wanted to get it checked out. I was on my crutch and she had a walking stick 3′ taller than her. We were chatting in the hallways at Cemesa and they tried to get us to sit down, we probably looked bad for business. When she was done we walked from Cemesa to Mega Paca, she with a big stick and me with a crutch. I really hope everyone I know saw us cause we were flipping hysterical. We shopped for awhile, she’s little and disappears but I looked for her big huge staff to find her.  Now that I’m thinking about it, we should have had photos. Then we lugged our bags back to her car and she took me to my car. I went to Eldon’s, 1 month after the accident, first time out. I was whooped by the time I was finished there. I grabbed a soft drink and took a few swigs at the check out, then stuck it in my bag. While backing out of the lot I heard a loud fizzzz, my bottle of Fresca fizzled (lid not tight) all over the inside of my Keen bag. The damn bag is watertight. I could pour a bottle of wine in that bag and carry a crazy straw. Food for thought.

I have not been doing much in the way of fun wise. I did go to a Mondays Don’t Suck, Francie and Franklin picked me up in their chariot. It was fun seeing everyone but I hated having to sit in the damn chair the whole time, I’m usually leading the conga line! We got stormed on while there but it cleared up and was nice again. I’m happy that all the regulars are back on the rock.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Franklin getting ready to twirl until he gets enough air in his beach lounger.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Francie lounging in 2 of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Franklin and The Duchess

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marilyn let me use one of her awesome wine glass holders that Francie bought her.

On the foot front, it’s a slow go. I saw the doc again last week and he said he feels I am doing extremely well, considering. I feel I should be 100% by now and able to frolic on the beach with my friends. He said I can dive but he doubts I can wear my fin, I plan to try it in the pool soon. I have recently come to the realization that I have not (can not, will not) accepted the fact that I severely injured my foot and that people my age don’t snap back like a 25 year old, no matter how badly we want to. Today I pressure washed the concrete deck out back, moved furniture and cleaned up dog hair, vacuumed all the dog hair off the furniture, cleaned the dog hair off the screens and cleaned out all the window tracks in the living room. Then I washed the walls going down the stairs (dirt from the dogs) and cleaned the banisters (dog hair) and the stairs (more dog hair). After that I was exhausted and my foot was screaming. Like I said, I still don’t accept the fact that I’m not “good to go.” No-one ever said patience was one of my virtues.

I just wrote another article for International Living. It required me to finally visit my friend Daniels’ Sloth and Monkey Hangout. Let me say, holding a sloth has been on my bucket list and to know I can go hold one anytime is simply awesome. I talked to Daniel and Stephanie for awhile about how he got the sloths to begin with, met a lady and her daughter who are US missionaries living in Guatemala. She was sweet and took photos of me holding the sloth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A new favorite place of mine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seven 3 toed sloths live at the Hangout, none are ever caged.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So fascinating.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Only the males have this unique stripe down their backs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love these creatures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can go in the cages with the parrots and they will sit on your shoulder and eat out of your hand.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Believe it or not, this was on my bucket list. My arms look really weird, must have to do w/ my sports bra and side boob.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On my way to the Sloth Hangout I had to stop so the Egret could cross the road.

We have been deluged with rain, so much so that I am freaking done with it. Everything is moldy and mildewed. I’m attempting to get the house ready for guests. My cleaning girl came last week and spent 6 hours in our closet and bedroom. I told Bill he can NOT touch his clothes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Four days later and it’s still neat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My way of folding is similar to pulling taffy, same hand motion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This picture is only in here for Trish.

I bought a nice flat sheet at Mega Paca and another duvet cover to make dog beds. I took the duvet cover apart one evening and the next day I had Bill put my sewing machine on the porch. I used an old thin quilt and some polar fleece blankets I bought and made 5 new dog beds. Two are for the  kennels because they like sleeping in them and three others for the floor. The morning after their first night of use Gringo (I know it was him, he’s the destroyer of beds), chewed a hole in one. Dammit, I spent all day making them and broke at least 5 machine needles in the process. I hand stitched the hole closed and the next night he ripped a hole bigger than 2 of his heads. I made these beds out of cool cotton, hoping they would use them and reduce the calluses on their elbows but nope, not happening. They can have them during the day if we’re home, otherwise they are put away. They just don’t get it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Barrio and 2 of the beds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gringo, the bed destroyer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lola doesn’t like it so she pushes it to the front.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New breakfast food, eggs and zucchini cooked in coconut oil with a spoonful of tuna on top. The dogs devour it. I go through over 60 eggs a week.

My cleaning girl comes again Friday to do the downstairs before Julie and Robby get here on Saturday. Of course, the fabulous island power company has chosen Friday morning for our end of the island to have power shut down while they do some maintenance. Should make cleaning interesting, especially if it’s as dark and gloomy as it has been. We actually turned the lights on the other morning, that is a rare event for sure. We have had a bazillion inches of rain, the dogs are moldy, the concrete is growing fuzz and Gringo is still having skin issues. He is going to the vets that come over from Tegus on Saturday morning. I plan to not leave there until they tell me what the hell is wrong with his skin and how I can fix it. I’ve been trying for 3 months now and it’s no better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

During a torrential downpour yesterday.

So there you have it, not much interesting going on but I’m sure they will be a lot to write about coming up. Company arriving Saturday, Thanksgiving dinner (hopefully on the roof) with 6 of us and then more company the next evening for dinner. After that we’ll be getting into the swing of the holidays and the Christmas parties for the kids.

Wishing all of you a great Thanksgiving, surrounded by friends and family. I always miss our families a lot this time of year.

Like you’re under sedation

eyes

10/31/2016 This rain is getting tiring, I feel bad for the dogs being cooped up inside because of the torrential downpours. Actually I’m feeling bad being cooped up myself but the weather has nothing to do with my interment.

I woke this morning to a tropical monsoon outside and 5 dogs anxiously waiting for the Momma to get up. Maybe they thought my mystical powers would make the outside more to their liking but alas, it was not to be. The rain has been non-stop the majority of the month, raining almost daily, at night or late afternoon, which is cool. Recently, however it just flipping rains and rains and hard rain too, not any little Seattle like drizzle that people still mow their lawns in. Oh no, this is stay in and stay dry. The roads become like black ice during the rainy season due to all the malfunctioning, poorly maintained vehicles. They leak oil all over the road and as we all know, oil and water don’t mix. Not one bit. I normally drive rather swiftly but when it’s raining, not so much.

That being said, I have not driven since October 6th. I have been out of the house 2 times since then, only to see the doctor. My new physical therapist came to the house on Friday, super nice guy. He was trained in the US and he and his girlfriend will soon be moving down this way on the rock. Mario talked to me about my injury and pointed out the ugly bruises on the bottom of my foot (I didn’t even know it was still bruised). He suggested I wear sneakers because, as we all know and hate to admit, flip flops do $hit for your feet. I have new sneakers, I have worn them once in 5 years and I hated every step I took down and back up the driveway with the dogs when I wore them the one time. I have been trying to wear them around the house if I’m cleaning up the kitchen or on my feet for longer than 15 seconds, but they hurt. They hurt too much to even wear for a short period of time and I’m thinking if they hurt that is not good. I’ve also been doing the exercises Mario gave me and can do one pain free but after I do the other one I’m hurting for certain. I posted a photo of the bottom of my foot on FB just because I didn’t want people to think I’m a sissy and a whiner and my sister-in-law who was a radiology tech for a long time thinks they missed something and that there is a break. I guess I’ll be going back for another x-ray this week.

14650629_10154241526103533_9115237379602976490_n

Colorful and painful

I realized I had another alien growing out of my ankle hole so I decided to extricate the thing the other day. After yanking and pulling, something that appeared to be rubber band like was holding the alien in my ankle. With enough pulling and twisting I was able to get it off. Now my ankle is painful to the touch, can’t let it lay on that side on the sheets or anything. Damn, this leg has to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The alien begins to emerge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is what comes out of the hole, it’s a hard callus stringy like thing.

I can’t let the alien alone because it hurts like hell if I bump it or the dogs run into it. It feels like it sticks out of my ankle a good foot and is just waiting for contact with something to remind me it is there. So much for any sense of normalcy on this blog. Sorry.

We went to the docs on Tuesday to see what he had to say about my ankle and it was no walking for 10 more days without a crutch and to start Physical Therapy. This is the mess we came home to, Barrio had managed to find my calendars and chew them up plus he got on the table where I set the trash can to keep it out of his way and he emptied  it all over the floor, shredded.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Part of the mess and yes, all the furniture is covered because, dog hair lives here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hiding

He got smacked with the calendar and yelled at and he ran and hid alongside the refrigerator for an hour at least. I had to baby and kiss and love him to get him to come out of hiding. First time he ever got in trouble and it didn’t go over well with him at all.

Sitting here in the house looking at things has my mind going a million miles a minute. I see all the things that need done but that I can’t do, at least right now. I had Bill take all 4 of the orange ceiling lights down and I scrubbed them and he sanded the metal poles holding them together, repainted them and rehung them, big difference. Now I want  to clean out the closet and re-do the shelving, I want a bi-fold door on it, pronto. I’ll have Carla come and clean it, I heard she makes it look like a store. We have had so much rain that the closet/laundry room floor was soaked the other night. We assumed the rain came in the (closed?) window. Bill mopped the floor then turned the ceiling fan on to dry it out in there and water flew out of the fan as the blades circulated. OOPS. Not supposed to happen like that. It had rained so hard water got in the conduits on the roof and down into the fan. That was fixed yesterday. I also let the bomb drop that I want to repaint the upstairs, the blue is really getting on my nerves. I already know what color I want, it’s finding the time to prep the walls and do it, and we have company coming in 3 weeks.

Martha Stewart, I mean Marilyn and Carmen came over last Thursday and brought a lunch feast and a sewing machine. Martha made a cover for my dog torn futon so Robby and Julie will have a decent couch to sit on while here (when they’re not upstairs hanging out with us). After that was done we came upstairs and had lunch and just hung out for awhile, so nice of them to stop by and visit. Miss hanging out with everyone.

We were going to a get together at Carmen and Brett’s Sunday but I felt pretty crappy all day Saturday and didn’t eat much. Bill made spiralized french fries for dinner (I know, not your normal meal) and they were so good and I ate so many I was dutifully ill on Sunday. We stayed home and between naps I prepped some food and Bill made 2 loaves of zucchini bread and a big pot of carrot soup. It tasted so good.

I just got off the phone with my folks. They finally seem to be adjusting to life in the new place, at least I think they are. They have stopped complaining all the time to me about it so that’s a positive sign. My sister sent me these pics of them a few weeks ago. It looks like the grocery store Olympics, note Dad has beer and plenty of it on his cart. I’m a chip off the old block.

img_7856

img_7860-1

This is outside their apartment door. They look pretty damn good for 95 and 90!

I am still fighting the never ending skin battle with Gringo, and I am not winning this at all. I have removed all grains, all vegetables that are hi- glycemic, no peanut butter, no bananas no pumpkin oatmeal balls. Instead he is getting scrambled eggs, yogurt, spinach and tuna for breakfast and Kirkland dry food, no grains but brown rice with zucchini, spinach and lentils in it for dinner. He is on medication for what I have diagnosed him with: Malassezia Pachydermatitis. I am not a vet and there is not a vet on the island that can check him for an auto immune disease which I believe he has. When Pro Vets come I am having his thyroid checked (they nor the other vets on the mainland do auto immune issues) but that’s not until Thanksgiving, and on Wed. he is going to Doc for an erlichia test. He is bathed every other day (weather permitting) with 2 different shampoos and a friend just brought me some Lime Sulfur dip for him. That has to be done outside because it stains and we have glass tiles in our shower. The rain hasn’t let up enough to use it. He’s not sick, eating well, playing, happy, loving, he just scratches and digs and claws at himself constantly. With 5 dogs, it is always something.

As I sit here the sky is rumbling with thunder and the winds have picked up a little bit, think we have more storms coming. For the first time today I can actually see both shores so something is changing quickly. I’m ready for some sunshine and pool time.

Happy Halloween everyone, we’ll be home today and tonight I am watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show and maybe I’ll even do a little Time Warp too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My island pumpkin