Words that fell out of my head

July 11, 2017  I lied. I said I would blog more and I haven’t. I hung around the house while we still had a worker and once he was done we started the TOMS shoe drive. My friend, the Duchess of Camp Bay’s husband was returning back to the island and I offered to pick him up. Once we got his 6 ton bags loaded into my car we did a quick stop at the grocery store for him and then met his neighbors in Cal’s lot for the remainder of his ride home. It saved me a trip to the east end of the island.

I decided to take Max with me on Monday to his first beach day at the beach on the moon. There were only a few people there and he was super good, loving running the beach and swimming in the waves.

My water baby

He loved it!

A kitesurfer came all the way down the beach but he got it back in the water and headed east.

Max had a fabulous time and was so well behaved until the beach dogs came begging for the food that was being grilled. Our dogs live a quiet pack existence, they are not mean with other dogs but I’m afraid they will follow them and not come back.

The moon the other evening, love my new camera.

Bill’s sister Kathy, niece Missy and great niece Jen were all coming from Williamsport so I had to get my rear in gear and get things done. Kathy and Jen were here 2 years ago. Karla, (my cleaning girl who just had a baby) came and gave the downstairs a good cleaning. The following week we began passing out TOMS shoes. I had to bake and clean the upstairs too. Karla to the rescue again. She came the morning before they arrived, I baked and cooked and she cleaned. That evening we joined our friends at a new Indian restaurant called Aroma. There were 15 of us in the group. It was a great meal and fun to be with our friends again.

The week prior to our company arriving, Nidia finally got the TOMS shoes from the mainland. She had a hard time getting them this year, we are usually done with the shoe drive by now but due to several different issues, the shoes were delayed.

The very first day I was joined by several friends who helped with the shoe sizing and fitting. I picked up Carly and her sons, Garret and Grant (her hubby Eric is my dive guru @ Blue Island Divers) and my friend Annie. We set off for Barrio Lempira in Oak Ridge. When we got there other friends of mine had come to help, Pam, Gail, Kathy, Kim and Paul. We took some shoes in Pam’s truck and went to Pandytown, one of my favorite schools in Oak Ridge. We don’t just do a mass handout, each and every child is personally fit with new TOMS. We measure their feet the best we can and go from there determining size. The shoes all need stretched toe to heel and throat, which takes time, before you even attempt to put the shoe on. They are supposed to fit snug because they are cotton and they stretch. A lot.

Kids moving the shoe boxes inside the school room.

Crew of fabulous volunteers who helped for 2 solid days. Thank you!

They couldn’t be any cuter!

Old TOMS, new TOMS

Fitting the shoes. With the bigger kids I stretch the shoes out and let them put them on,

Garrett and Grant and Pam taking a break.

Cuties with their new TOMS

The old TOMS, I think he really needs a new pair.

This was day 2 in Punta Gorda. Another student who wore his shoes from last year.

This young girl is Garifuna, her school outfit is different from the other students.

The students at Juticalpa waiting for TOMS shoes on day 3.

My friend Melissa’s son, Keon.

Melissa helped fit the students at the Juticalpa school. I couldn’t. My back was killing me from 3 days of leaning over.

At Froylan Turcios in the air conditioned computer room. Day 3

Day 3 (Thursday)  at Froylan Turcios. I took a group of friends there to fit the kids. Thanks to Bill, Alexi, Marcia and her worker Christian, Doug and Susan Geddes and Maya and Brian. We got those kids fit in record time.

Friday I took the day off so I could be here when Karla cleaned and I could get my cooking and baking done before guests arrived.

I picked them all up at the airport on Saturday, made a fast stop at Eldon’s and came home and got poolside. It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed it to the fullest.

Sunday morning we left for Mega Paca at 8 AM and were there 3.5 hours. My great niece Jen was in retail heaven. By the time we left there, we came home, ate and it was time for us to leave for my friend Marcia’s to kayak through the mangroves. Kathy was going to hang out by Marcia’s pool since she doesn’t kayak. It was quite a workout getting to the mouth of the mangroves because the tide was coming in and the current was quite strong. We had a great paddle through them, we only met one boat.

Entering the mangroves

Jen, she is a natural at everything. And photogenic, geeze louise.

Boat crash (not really), perfect time for a pic of Jen and Missy.

No filters, no photoshop, this is the color of the water.

Coming out of the mangroves. The water was too rough to snorkel out to the dive buoy so we paddled over to the sandy bottom, set anchor and tried to find the reef. We did not succeed.

Afterwards we all cooled off in Marcia’s gorgeous pool then headed home to our pool for the rest of the day.

What a view!

Marcia’s olympic (almost) sized pool. It’s gorgeous.

The next day we set off for the east end of Roatán. First stop, La Sirena for onion rings and drinks.  After that we went to the beach on the moon and hung out for awhile with my friends.

La Sirena

Jen and Missy on the beach on the moon.

Jen, Jeanie, (the Duchess) and I floated for at least 30 minutes. We walked against the current, floated back, and did it again and again. It was a great day to be at the beach on the moon.

The next day there were no cruise ships so we were headed to West Bay beach. We stopped at Lisa’s to cut Bandit’s toenails. She has Bandit and Sable, 2 of Frito’s pups.

Sable would not stop kissing me. I love her, she was the only girl of the litter.

And Lisa holding Bandit.

We were some of the few people on the beach. It was deserted, just the way I like it. Jen and Missy and I went down to Infinity to do some snorkeling, Missy just wasn’t in to it so Jen and I went out into the deep blue.

Tangs and more tangs and a HUGE parrotfish

Cool coral. You have no idea how badly I want to touch this but I don’t. I’m just dying to know what this feels like.

Look at his mouth, giant Rainbow Parrotfish

Smaller rainbow parrotfish. You can see his teeth.

So many tangs

Wish I had been diving to do this swim though

We ate lunch at Bananarama and then floated in the gorgeous water for awhile.

Paradise

After we had enough sun and sand and food we headed home. I decided to stop and see my friends at Blue Island divers.  They are like my other family, love them all and wanted Kathy and especially Jen to meet them. (She and Jill both want to get certified) We sat down and had some drinks. My sweet friend Maria makes a damn good Monkey La-La! After that it was the loooong drive home.

On Wednesday we decided to go to Milton Bight and fit the kids for TOMS there. It was just  Missy, Jen, me and 2 mothers. The kids were really cute.

The kids had to wait outside while we set the room up. They were all eating pastellitos.

Drinking her sugar laced colored water

The group eating and waiting.

Jen and a young boy at Milton Bight school

This guy fell in love with Missy and Jen and didn’t want to leave.

Missy stretching the shoes, you really have to stretch them before you even try to fit them.

Missy and Jen with some of the kids from the school.

Thursday was another non cruise ship day so we went to West Bay beach again. We picked up my twin Ann on the way, then went to the Grand Roatan. They allow us to sit at a table if we eat and snorkel, however their beach chairs are forbidden. So lame. That’s why I like Bananarama.

Jen, Ann and I went out snorkeling. I ended up in the deep blue, seems I always do. Then when I turned around to come back I went to look for the parrot fish and found the biggest of them all. I was so close I could have touched him, but I didn’t. Don’t touch the sea life. EVER. No matter how damn bad you want to, don’t. (Thinking of you my friend, Rika)

And this dude. My friend said he was the size of a German Shepherd. He was big, look at his lips. He was also within 5″ of me. I so wanted to pet him and say, “you are a damn gorgeous fish.”

Christmas tree worms. These fascinate me so much, just the way they have evolved. I mean really, how did some of this shit come to be? Like Christmas Tree worms, who thought of them? They are utterly fascinating.

I love the sea

Wonder what tooth whitener he uses?

Beautiful Queen Angelfish

Sergeant Majors and there are a lot of them because the idiot tourists feed them. I kept saying, “Please don’t feed the fish, they are not your pets.” My words fell on deaf (another language) ears.

Friday Jen, Missy Alexi and I ran down to the small kinder in the valley below us, TOMS shoe delivery. We had enough shoes for everyone but we needed 2 larger sized pair so we ran home and got them. I passed out trucks and dolls and ponies that Liza and Mike brought down awhile ago. The toys were a huge hit. I doubt there was much reading or writing going on that morning.

The school has a dirt floor. The whiteboard that Bill made is in the back right (thanks to Judy and Walt for the donation) . This school is more or less ignored by the government (actually most schools are). My theory is they want to keep the people uneducated because if they get smart they will toss all the idiot politicians out on their asses. Just my theory.

This is the whole reason I do this.

I believe after the shoe thing we had another marathon at Mega Paca and Jen did get some awesome stuff. Three hours worth of stuff. We also took some thing to Froylan Turcios school that Missy and Jen brought down. The teacher was very happy to have them. They are doing a great job at that school and it’s nice to support them. It’s also where Bill built the handrail for the treacherous steps.

Missy, Jen, the profa and some of the students.

Friday was their last night on the island so we went to Romeo’s for dinner. It’s a great place on the water, except, the Roatan Aggressor is parked at their dock every Friday and ruins the whole view. It’s a 120′ live aboard dive boat that travels the bay islands. Yeah, it’s a cool boat and all but it makes the view non-existent.  Bummed. The meal was good as usual but the atmosphere certainly changed.

Not the normal view

Missy, Jen and Kathy at West Bay

And on our roof

My favorite butts. Max, Barrio and Gringo

Sad to have them go but so glad I wasn’t sick while they were here, that would have been awful! They brought some cool stuff for me, I’ll share in my next post. This is bordering on novella length.

The day our guests left I was feeling kind of yucky so I asked Bill to take them to the airport. I wanted to lay down for awhile as we had dinner plans that evening. By the time we needed to leave, I was full on sick. We had a fabulous dinner at our friends who live in a yurt. I’ve never been in one before and I was very impressed. It’s a really cool home. They are building a real house in the near future. It was a fun evening, just wish I had felt better.

Sunday morning I missed Mega Paca. OMG, I never miss going at 8 AM. I was too sick to get out of bed. And I felt the same way Monday and Tuesday. Pure crap. It felt like a tractor trailer had parked on my forehead and I couldn’t bear the weight of the load. My head was near exploding.
My remedy? Sudafed and valium. Swear, I didn’t die and I felt good enough Wednesday to take my dog and cat to the Florida vet clinic. If you have something specific that the Wed. vet can’t diagnose/treat, these guys are great. I left home at 6:30, got there at 7:30. They had massive amounts of people in line already. I said I would wait as long as my exploding brain would allow. Finally, I could wait no more and went to tell Daine. She said, wait, I think you are going to be seen soon. I walked Barrio and carried Emmy up to the check in table, within 5 minutes, we were seen. Emmy has had for almost a year a vitreous blue looking eye. The vet here said she was blind, she’s almost 12. I wanted a second opinion. The vet at the clinic said she had a corneal abrasion and gave me some drops. OMG, 3 days and I saw a difference in Emmy’s eye. And she is coming out of hiding, chasing the dogs, wandering the house so much more. I am still using the drops, hoping her eye will clear completely. I can actually see her eye and the color of it. Before it was a blue blob. I’m so glad I went to the vets and waited. Barrio is having some skin issues so he is on a special whitefish dog food, AND, we are no longer cooking for the dogs. I know, we suck. But OMG, life is easier.

One of the days I felt like crap I wanted to nap. These guys can’t let me alone. Love them so.

At the vet clinic, Ems actually likes Barrio. She even lays next to him.

We were seen, got lots of meds for both of the animals and headed home. I thought I would be nice and allow Em to roam the car, even though Barrio was in his seatbelt harness. Emmy kept trying to get on my lap and look out the window. I’m not driving like that here, so I put her on the passenger seat.

And she shit. I had to drive somewhere that I could pull off so I could open the window and toss the turds out.

Why me?

I was literally down and out for a week. Saturday we had appointments for free skin cancer screening check-ups at Barefoot Cay. After that Bill and I hit the grocery and hustled home to get things ready. Chef Carl from Cal’s Cantina and his boys were coming for the day and then home made pizza. We had a great day, Cal and Miles played in the pool, nice boys.

Sunday morning I went to Mega Paca but was only there an hour or so, I was still so worn out. The sun has been shining, a light breeze, very comfortable out. Spending as much time possible poolside.

A few thoughts just fell out of my brain, so I’ll share them before I wander off.

My parents: Mom is 91, VR 96. She told him he doesn’t give her enough money to spend to buy who knows what. Last August I cleaned out her cupboards and closets and threw away YEARS of shit that she bought. She thinks she needs more. VR told her to get a job and earn her own money.

The other night I had bacon with a vodka chaser for dinner.

I get a crown this week. Finally. No emeralds or diamonds though and 2.5 years overdue.

TOMS shoes began again this week, school was on vacation last week. I am joining in on Wednesday, still about 85% health wise.  Thanks to all of my friends who volunteered to help!

Off to the couch to watch Netflix, into a show called Gypsy with Naomi Watts. I won’t lie and say I’ll do better blogging next month, we all know how that works.

 

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Giving thanks to the island elders.

 

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06/05/2016 Between getting my house ready for company and helping to host the East End Senior luncheon, time has flown by. The last I blogged was before my company came, May 19th. I have been busy entertaining and having fun with Teri and Olivia, I’ll fill you in on that in another blog or two.

The senior luncheon was held at Turquoise Bay on the 18th of May. It was a glorious sunny (hot) day with a nice breeze on the beach. I couldn’t go as early as I wanted to because Bill had to run errands and I had to stay here until he returned so the dogs didn’t harass the worker guys. I got there around 10:30. The tents and tables were all set up and I was amazed, there was already a group of people there from Helene. The party didn’t start until 2 but they were there before I arrived. When you boat from Helene you want to give yourself enough time to arrive.

The seniors were being driven right out on the beach so they didn’t have far to walk in the blazing sun on the steaming sand.

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It was a beautiful venue

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Trying to keep everyone in the shade

The food was not scheduled to be served until 2 PM and the staff at Turquoise Bay was preparing all of it. They brought the cake out quite early and I was sure it was going to melt but it didn’t, it stayed nice and chocolately and yummy looking.

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It was so big they brought it on a sheet of plywood.

The Live Again Ministries provided financial support and helpers for this event, as they did last year. They brought hand fans for everyone, nice handkerchiefs for the men, a colorful assortment of wash cloths for the ladies, bracelets that said Live Again Ministries on them and small key chains. We had many pairs of reading glasses donated by Jan Walkeden and Trish Nixon and friends, thank you for those also, they were a huge hit!

Many thanks to all of my friends here on the island and in the states who donated money to buy the food baskets. We were hoping to get enough $$ for 25 baskets and ended up with enough for 32 so we raffled off the extra ones and made several people happy.

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A vast array of colored washcloths

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Nice men’s handkerchiefs and gllasses

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All the pretty baskets lined up in a row.

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Pastor Ronny Russell of Live Again Ministries helping to pass out baskets. This is the second year in a row this group has been instrumental in helping Because We Care make this luncheon happen.

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Daine’s granddaughter learning about giving to the elders. She was a great help.

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I was worried that this gentleman was sitting alone. Nidia went up and talked to him and he was enjoying the view and waiting for his buddies.

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So nice for these people to be together and have time to chat and catch up.

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Auntie Clara in the pink. She is 100. I went to her 100th birthday party last year. Across from her is Miss Catherine Wood. She turned 90 the 23rd of May. Her daughter Daine is a friend of mine. Miss Catherine is an island gem.

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The royalty table

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This sweet lady was so into the music she was clapping and moving to the beat.

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Nidia giving Auntie Clara a lightweight fleece blanket made by the industrious ladies on Brass Hill.

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Miss Catherine, isn’t she beautiful?

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After the people had eaten they did a traditional “maypole” using a tree. There were assorted fruits tied to the tree branches and everyone danced around the tree. They took turns getting in the circle and dancing.

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So much fun, music was supplied by Jimmy Connor, but he was in this circle dancing.

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Jimmy is the guy on the left with his arm up.

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Nidia and Jimmy dancing

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Then the music stopped and someone yelled Rob the Tree and everyone ran and pulled the treats off of the tree.

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One of the men with his new handkerchief.

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My sweet friend Carly helping to pass them out.

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No cake left, it was delicious.

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Miss Catherine, Daine and Daine’s granddaughter Maddie.

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This lady was leaving and even though she had a cane she was dancing to the music as she passed the band.

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Nidia getting Auntie Clara in the swing of things.

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Then there was the clean up.

Many thanks to those who donated:

Kevin and Claire Bloor, Robert McNeill, Marcy Schwartz, Franklin and Francie Christopher, Walt and Judy Kaiser, Eric and Carly White, Alex and Marilyn Poirier, Trish Nixon, Pam and Pete Peters, Wendy and Andrew Flood, Kathy Shupe and Leif Shaver, Janice Carter, Lisa Blythe and Rob Baker, Ana Svoboda, Brian Harris, Jeanie and Roger Moore, Infinity Bay Resort, Turtle Beach, Bob and Debi Cowan, Made in Roatan, R Church, Peggy Stranges, Nicole Brady, Erika Galindo McNab, Ron McNab, Theresa Renee Arriaga, Steve Hasz, Milesse Kennedy and Duane McNab. And a huge thank you to Pastor Ronny Russell and the Live Again Ministries group, you are all amazing people, we couldn’t do what we do without your help.

I really wish you all could have been there to experience these amazing people. I get so much more out of these events than the people who they are for. This is a big social event for the island elders, they only get to see the people who live in their communities every now and then. For them to get to see relatives and friends they haven’t seen for years, it’s a big deal. It makes me realize how much we all take for granted, the ability to hop in your car and go see a friend, or to have lunch with a group of friends. This is not in their realm. They don’t have transportation nor the money to go and do these things. There is no Social Security for you when you retire, you’re on your own. It’s the main reason one of these events is so important, just acknowledging that we know they are there and that we care enough to bring them together, to raise money for gifts and to have people like the Live Again Ministries be there for us at each and every step of the way.

Would any of this happen without Nidia? She has the biggest heart on this island and in the few years I’ve known her I have seen her bring smiles to so many people, just doing little things and letting them know she cares. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most..

 

 

 

Bonacca and Guanaja, we have arrived!

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04/25/2016 Two weeks ago on Monday morning I was trying to get in to see my dentist because I had a miserable toothache. I could see his assistant but not him until Thursday so I said I would wait until Thursday. About a year ago he put a temporary crown on a tooth but won’t put the permanent one on until I go see an endodontist on the mainland. I was to do that last year. OOPS. What can I say, the tooth didn’t hurt until now. So, I waited.

Monday my cleaning gal came and did the upstairs. It stayed clean for a while. Well, until I let the dogs back inside. I’m a walking oxymoron it seems. Pay a cleaning lady to clean up the dog mess and when she’s done, let the dogs in. What makes sense about that? Nothing.

Our friends were coming over for a long overdue pizza dinner that night. We had a great evening, drinks on the roof, pizza on the porch, back on the roof for after dinner drinks. They don’t mind the dogs, they have one of ours so they were cool. Even the dogs got treats.

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Peanut butter and yogurt whipped, put in Kongs and frozen.

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Siamese twins

It was a fabulous evening with good friends and great conversation.

I started to help deliver shoes again on Tuesday at the Juan Brooks school in downtown Coxen Hole. It was hot and humid, sweat was the word for the day. When I got there they had just started fitting shoes. We had a family from CA. and a group of young women from The World RaceTake the time to click on the link and see what these ladies do. They travel 11 months a year to very remote places and do mission work, strong, amazing young women. They spent their second week here on the island at my friends home.

When I got to the school, the fitting was in full swing.

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The 3 girls seated on the left and the girl on the left standing were all part of The World Race.

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This is a big school in the center of town.

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Nidia, checking her list.

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It was just the boys in the photo but the girls photobombed.

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So many kids

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Doing school work in the cool breezeway.

Once we finished Juan Brooks we went to a small school by the airport.

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The school

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The fitters and the fetchers..our helpers, The World Race ladies had to leave part way through the day so we got teachers to help fit, and my friend Jan, in blue scrubs. She is a volunteer nurse at Clinic Esperanza and is from Park City, Utah.

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Old for new

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There was a never ending stream of kids.

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Waiting

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The sink at the store by the school. I got to see it close up because I LOCKED MY ONLY KEY IN MY CAR. Bill had to drive 40 min to where I was, get a mechanic on the way, so he could break into my car. UGH!! Need to get a new key made, soon.

I made it to the dentist on Thursday and he was shocked I hadn’t had my tooth taken care of. He doesn’t know me very well. It didn’t hurt, why bother, except he reminded me, I still have a temporary crown. He once again said I need to go to the mainland so I need to fit that in to my schedule soon. After that I took my car to get the part fixed where the guy broke it jaibreaking my car and also got the oil and filters changed. Good to go, again!

On Friday Nidia came to my house and we headed east to BJ’s. We hung out there for awhile visiting and then we left to go do a soccer equipment delivery at a field near Pandy Town, could be considered Fiddlers Bight. Pastor Ronny Russell and the Live Again Ministries and Theresa Renee Arriaga helped with the money for this donation. The coach took the stuff to the field but the kids didn’t know what was in the box.

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The coach had the box on the back of his motorcycle. The kids were beyond anxious with anticipation.

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Nidia talking to the kids

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Silly boys

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Huge field in the middle of nowhere. I think this land separates Pandy town and Fiddlers Bight.

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Nidia asking the boys if they know what is in the box..

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Who wants new soccer stuff?

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What an assortment of stuff, shoes, balls and uniforms.

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Could he have a bigger smile?

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Nice shoes

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Happy kids with new uniforms

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This little guy was adorable

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Exciting, soccer shoes.

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WOW! Soccer shoes are rarely worn here, nobody can afford them.

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New soccer balls!

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A goalie uniform

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Sent from Diunsa on the mainland.

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Perfect timing!

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The coach and 3 boys standing near their community water supply.

After there we scouted out another potential place for the senior dinner and we think it’s a great spot. More on that later.

I did my airport gig on Saturday, fast and furious as usual. The next morning was my usual foray at Mega Paca and let me say, I got the PERFECT Pirate Party dress. Can’t wait!!

We were going to go to Bonacca and Guanaja to deliver shoes on Monday but that fell through so we were shooting for Tuesday. I met Nidia in Oak Ridge Tuesday morning. Let the adventure begin. OMG, it’s a good thing I’m pretty much game for anything.

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We were going in the big boat. The OLD slow boat. The boat with few seats.

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Nidia found a perfect seat..

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It was rough on the way over, took 4 hours, I was sitting on my butt on the boat floor and I was soaked. FOUR HOURS!!

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Some people slept, or tried to.

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You can tell which way the wind blows

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Getting off the boat in Bonacca.

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The Venice of the Caribbean

Bonacca is a small town made of home on stilts connected by waterways and walkways. There are no cars or motorcycles on Bonacca. To read more about Bonacca and it’s history, click here. It was really amazing. Clean, very narrow streets, everyone smiled or spoke to you, education is at about 97%, which is amazing. We got to meet the mayor, a very young guy, progressive thinker, he seems to be doing quite well. We also met the director of all the schools on Bonacca and Guanaja.

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View from the restaurant.

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Bonacca springs water.

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Not sure why the clothes were out on the roof, my guess was to dry them?

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Kids on the street

After we had lunch we gathered the shoes from the Municipal office where they were stored and went to the first school on Bonacca. It was a medium sized school and it was spotlessly clean. There was no trash laying in the schoolyard, outside, in the rooms, NONE. How impressive that the Mayor has set these standards and the teachers and students are held accountable.

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Schoolyard. These boys were playing soccer with a ball of paper wadded up into a ball shape.

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New shoes, thanks TOMS shoes!

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D, Jan, Tony and Erik waiting for the next class to fit at the school.

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These boys had big feet!

 

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Bonacca is so cool!

After the 4 hour boat ride, fitting the kids with shoes, most of the people wanted to shower and chill for awhile. Nidia, Cookie (her daughter) and Nidia’s sister Rose Mary and I wanted to go on a boat tour so we found a guy to take us out. It was so beautiful. He took us east, around The Villa on Dunbar Rock and through the little stilt homes built off the shore of Guanaja.

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I have wanted to see this place for years. It is magnificent!

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The Villa must have cost a fortune to build, all the steel and concrete beams sunk down into the rock, what an incredible place. You can rent all or part of the house. There are 10 bedrooms!!

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There was a small village of stilt houses off the shore. In the background of this home you can see Bonacca.

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These two homes have a bridge between them. Of course, we went under it.

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Bonacca

We were asking the boat driver where to eat and all of a sudden he manuevered his boat into this small space, tied it up and we got out.

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We followed him down this narrow hallway, up some stairs and there was this cool little restaurant! We decided to eat there.

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Many evacuation signs posted all over.

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We meandered back through the maze of streets to our “hotel” to find the rest of the gang. They were scattered all over.

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Internet cafe??

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This sign is classic.

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These boxes were stacked in every nook and cranny in Nidia’s room.

Some of the guys were down on the dock so I walked down to get them with a wine bottle and a plastic cup in my hand. I really wanted some wine but couldn’t get the cork out. (it was uncorked but I stuck the cork back in it). Erik to the rescue (all the while Tony is saying he has pliers) but who needs pliers when Erik’s teeth work just fine. POP came the cork. I had VINO!!

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We gathered the group, 12 of us, and went to the restaurant. It was a really nice place, cool breeze and they were very busy. It was aptly named Sea View.

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I happened to take some cars with me and gave a few to the owners son. Thanks again John and Lizeth, I’m still passing them out.

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This sweet little guy was there with his family, the littlest one and the only boy. I gave him 2 cars and he was immediately busy running them up the chairs, on the table. I think he was occupied for the evening.

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On the way to the restaurant we grabbed another bottle of wine. It’s a good thing because Nidia, Rose Mary and I drank 2 for dinner. This is Nidia leaving the restaurant.

After that we meandered through the streets and back to our hotel where we all crashed. We were meeting at 7 for breakfast and 8 to do shoes.

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Jan put this back on but the shower still sucked and it was cod water.

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Maybe the rubber band was to hold the shower head on.

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Expert air/co installation

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Good thing we didn’t need drawers!

I slept very poorly that night, even w/ the air conditioning I was still hot and the pillow felt like it belonged to Wilma Flintstone.  I was happy to see morning!

Some of the people went to breakfast, I had packed a week long supply of food. (I know, odd for the girl who doesn’t like to eat) so I had a bagel. We started carrying the boxes downstairs and loading them in the wheelbarrow or carrying them to the school. This school was right next to the one we were at the previous day. It seems like the schools on Guanaja are much better equipped, the library was full of books, world globes, pencils, crayons, impressive.

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Well stocked library

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Fitting shoes

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Yes, they all want new shoes!!

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Nice classroom

When we were done with this school we loaded the boxes onto the same tired old boat and set off for Savanna Bight on Guanaja.

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We even fit kids on the boat!

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The locals call this the egg house. It has 3 bedrooms, a bath, full kitchen , living space and a deck all around it. It is for sale and it’s built well enough that it withstood Guanaja getting hit by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

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Leaving Bonacca for Savannah Bight, Guanaja

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Another view of Dunbar Rock

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Karl, Nidia’s son, King of the World. He just left for Germany, by way of Miami, to go to college.

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This is what drew me to the Bay Islands!

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Getting ready to dock at Savannah Bight

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Carrying shoes from the boat to the school.

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Beauties

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The girls were sweeping but as soon as they saw the camera, they were posing.

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So cute

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I love their responses when they see their photos!

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They spoke English also, at least the majority did.

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Nothing better than smiling kids

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View from the school

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Cleaning the classroom before we set up

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All handsome, the boy on the left had beautiful eyes!!

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Not camera shy and silly as anything.

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Waiting their turn

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These kids were so darn adorable!

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A school desk

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Cookie (Nidia’s daughter) Tony, a volunteer with the Roatan Marine Park and Rose Mary, Nidia’s sister on the left fitting shoes. I was sitting next to Cookie.

When we were done there a truck came and we loaded the boxes and ourselves onto the truck bed and set off for another school.

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Rose Mary on the top of the truck, she had to watch for low hanging branches.

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There are very few cars but a fabulous concrete road. This is the service station.

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School # 4

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Another nice school. There were kids from 4 schools here to get shoes. I spotted the dog right away and called it to come over to me. It looked sickly. I noticed a few ticks on the dogs eye so I pulled them off and squished them with my finger nail. I was petting the dog when my friend said blood was dripping off of my hand. I looked at the poor dog’s ear and it was lacerated and infected. I immediately went to the director of schools and requested that he have the principal take this dog to the vet. (There is a vet on the island.) I told him if the dog didn’t get help it would die. If Guanaja wasn’t so far away I would go back and take care of the poor thing. I reminded the director 3 times. He more than likely thinks I’m crazy but I don’t care.

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Kids from 1 school in pants, another school (dressed like the girl in the plaid skirt) was there too.

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Yellow shirts are another school and kids in white and blue are a 4th school.

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My friend Erik, the pharmacist from Michigan. He is here volunteering at Clinic Esperanza.

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What adorable kids they were!!

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Leaving the school heading back to the boat dock. The man on the right is the school director.

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The director of the schools, Dennis, D and Rose Mary, on our way back to Bonacca.

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It was a smooth ride, we were inside the reef so some people sat on the roof of the boat.

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This is Graham’s Place.

Grahams Place has quite a following. I’ve not been but it’s on my list. It is a tiny tiny island surrounded by gorgeous calm waters and beautiful deserted beaches. Sound inviting? Click on the link and check it out. Truly a one of a kind place.

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Our boat was old..

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Handsome Karl, what a great guy. He and Cookie will do well in Germany and make their mother even prouder than she is now! Fabulous kids!

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It was fun watching this guy off of a little cay.

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Back to Bonacca. The building on the right is where we had dinner the previous evening.

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Nidia was exhausted.

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When we returned to Bonacca we planned to get our stuff from the room and head back to Roatan; however we were greeted by kids wanting shoes. We had them go back to the hotel (sic) lobby and we fit them there. Then more kids came and more and more. We were there for quite a while. Since there were only 4 seats in the lobby it was mostly stand up fitting.

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Jan and Tony fitting. Jan is from Park City, Utah and Tony is a journalist from British Columbia. Jan and I shared a room.

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Rose Mary doing some stand up, sit on the floor fitting.

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The line stretched down to the corner and then some.

Once we were done here, we consolidated shoes so we had fewer boxes to take back with us. We were hoping to get a faster boat and after about 45 min of waiting, we did. It was a much smaller boat though, no top on it and it barely held all of us. Several times when we were out in the open ocean, all you could see were the swells of the water on either side. We were all pretty soaked when we finally returned to Oak Ridge. It only took about 2 hours to get home and we took a really cool cut through mangroves on the island of Guanaja. It was an interesting ride home to say the least.

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The neat and tidy streets of Bonacca

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Taken from the second floor of the visitor center

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Boats..everyone has a boat!

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Lots of kids with their new TOMS shoes on.

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Black spiny sea urchins in the water by the docks.

A lot of our view on the way home was big waves and salt spray. The sea calmed once we got along side of Barbareta Island and was pretty calm the rest of the way. When we were out in the open sea in that small boat though, it was super rough. We would drop down in between the huge swells. Very exciting.

We got home around 6 PM. I was whooped and just wanted a hot shower and couldn’t wait to wash the layer of salt off of my skin. I got free exfoliation on the way there and back, a perk for sure.

I never quite know what to expect when I go on these escapades with Nidia but I do know that all of the kids (except for less than 6 who didn’t show up that day) on Bonacca and Guanaja have new shoes. ‘

TOMS shoes really does rock and I’m so blessed to be able to be a part of it. It’s tiring leaning over all day, carrying boxes, fitting and sizing but when you see the smiles or get the hugs you forget about any discomfort you may have and revel in the joy on the kids faces.

That’s what it’s all about.

Tickalicious

 

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11/09/2015  I know why I missed my left knee when I shaved. The thing is NUMB. No feeling. I either skim over top of the knee hair or slice a divet in my knee, no feeling. Well, except for the blood, that would be a give away that something was screwed up. So yeah, maybe I need to shave with Nair.. Ugh, leg hair, when does it go away?

This past week didn’t turn out to be as busy as I thought it would be. Nidia had her weeks mixed up. Renee came Saturday and is leaving this Wednesday. She is here working on the sewing machine project. I offered to help on Sunday but they are not doing anything until Monday and I have plans Monday and Tuesday, so I am no help at all.  This past Monday I went to West Bay beach, despite the fact that everyone else went to Barbon (Camp Bay) beach. I had a nice day on deserted West Bay with Lauren. It was D E A D. and stunningly gorgeous.

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our view

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West Bay Beach, in all it’s glory and gorgeousness.

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Their new lights, want these for the roof

Lauren and I were in the water most of the 4 hours we were at West Bay and I have peeling skin on my forehead to prove it. I saw my friends Celeste and Milos, they own West Bay Lodge, while we were there. We stayed @ WBL the first 2 times we visited Roatan in 2007 & 2008, in fact, we were sitting on the front porch of their office waiting for our realtor to come. When he got there he shared the news that our offer was accepted and we were going to be property owners!! First visit ever to the island and we bought land. Yeah, I know, insane.

Lauren and I had lunch at Bananarama and then floated some more. As Lauren and I walked back to my car I recognized Shawn Jackson, a local photographer and his wife Maggie and their son. I stopped him and introduced myself (we have been FB friends for over a year but never met). I was so giddy after meeting them, it was like meeting royalty. Check out his work in the link on his name, he is phenomenal!!It was 2:15 when we left West Bay. I took Lauren home and went in and saw her apartment (the cat scratch post Bill made was sitting front and center), she’s pretty nestled in the jungle. When I left there and walked down to my car my phone was ringing, it was Lisa, Sable and Bandit’s mother. She wanted me to stop by and see the pups so I jumped on that opportunity. Sable is doing great, she looks good, her eyes are nice and clear and bright and she is all spunky again. Lisa said Bandit was beyond excited to have his sister back. I love these 2 puppies so much and I think they love me too.

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Bandit, oh so handsome.

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He looks like Barrio but Barrio has floppy ears.

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The initial attack

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It gets a little more serious

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He wasn’t humping me, honest!

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The only girl in our litter of 7, Sable. And this girl kicks ass.

We are still picking ticks off of our dogs. I gave the boys Heartgard (with the advice of a vet ) 10 days after I used the Frontline Plus, which clearly did not work. De-ticking since last Friday. Fun shit.

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I hate ticks..however, I can pull them off with my fingers and squish them with a fingernail. I am an island girl. Gross huh?

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An Anole in the dog food dish??

On Tuesday morning we picked up Nidia (Because We Care) at the entrance to Mud Hole Rd. From there we went to the school in Corazol. Our friend  Linda and her daughter Brittany were being filmed by House Hunters International and Nidia wanted us to go with her to help out. Linda brought school supplies for the kids and supply bags for all of the teachers, along with 4 new swings for the school. Bill came along too and helped with removing the old swings and hanging the new.

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The school yard

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Boys in class

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Curly headed cutie in Kindergarten

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These kids love the camera

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Boy on top of swing set helping Bill

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Corozal school. The classrooms in this school were some of the neatest and most organized I’ve seen.

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The windows were in bad shape

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Well, that’s one way to do it!

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For some strange reason the top of the toilet tank was laying in the yard

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Pretty obvious the refrigerator doesn’t work, except for a place to hang a garbage bag

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This is where they wash their hands, it’s a mudhole..

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House Hunters van on the left, Linda and Brittany with Bill checking out the new swings.

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Camera gear

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2 of the boys

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Linda always brings stuff for the kids and she thought incorporating some of this into her HHI show would encourage others to do so too.

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Nidia (in the white dress) jumping rope with the kids.

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A truck bed is a kid magnet

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Tug of war

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Take my picture…

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Yes, the boys were on the peak of the roof. This would never happen in the US..

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Glad we had the truck, it helped reach the sky high swing set top.

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Cute boy

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He’s a ham..

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Nice bright clean classroom

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Brittany passing out bags of school supplies

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Kids swinging on the new swings. Bill has some modifications to do on them.

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Balancing act on the tire fence

Nidia and Linda getting hugs

It was super hot and humid that day, I would have killed to jump in a crystal clear blue body of water. We hustled home, took care of the dogs, I took a nap and at 3:30 we were at our friends home. We were introducing some friends who recently bought a home in Politilly, very close to our friends who just returned from the states for 3 months. We were there until after dark. We came home to barking (of course) hungry (double of course) dogs.

Wednesday we planned to get the remaining 2 dogs neutered but I just didn’t have the energy. Instead I went to Mega Paca and wandered  shopped for a few hours and found some great deals. Having this store to shop in is the best thing ever, I’ll need to be heavily medicated if they ever close. On Thursday I drove to French Harbor to get Bethany. She is our vet’s assistant and she and I have become good friends. She came out and hung out with the dogs and I. She hasn’t seen any of them except Max when he was so sick.

Friday morning we took the pups swimming again at Big Bight.

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They run and jump right in

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See how murky it is??

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Playing chase on the little key

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tres’ hermanos

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They get in the water and then climb on each other.

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Barrio and Gringo

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Barrio in the back

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Barrio, Max swimming and Gringo.

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I love these boys so much!

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Barrio strikes a pose

There was a dead bird in the sand but they didn’t even drop and roll on it.

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It is really pretty but the murky muddy water freaks me out. I don’t think we’ll take the dogs back there.

They had a good time there but I got really nervous because something kept blowing bubble circles in the water and the clarity is worse than murky there (decayed mangrove). I got all freaked out and thought it was a crocodile so we left. The pups were tired anyhow, 15 minutes of swimming and running non stop will do that. We brought them home, all 3 got showers, a huge brunch and they passed out.

Friday afternoon we went to BJ’s, of course. Rosalie and Bob are back on the island, it was so great to see them! I had 2 glasses of wine and some downright delicious french fries (addicted after one order) before we came home. Saturday I was back at the airport. They changed things up there and it went so much faster for the guests coming in, however Daine and I were discussing the fact that the new way doesn’t allow us as much time to visit and chat with the people. What a difference a small change can make though, they whizzed through everyone, the wait was minimal. Many of our friends returned today so I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Nelson, our mechanic, came for pizza brunch. He is the one who gave me Lola, I’m not sure how she will react when she sees him, she is such a space case, it’s hard to tell. Sometimes she barks at Bill or me when we come upstairs. She acts like she has no idea who we are, weird. Maybe that fall she took off the roof as a puppy made her brain come loose in her head, maybe she never had a brain. She’s a beauty but dumb as a stump.. Oh well, can’t have beauty and brains..

Here it is, Monday again and I’m headed to Camp Bay beach (Barbon) with the Mondays Don’t Suck gang. Looking forward to visiting and floating in the sea. Just another day in Paradise!

 

Two years down

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10/26/2015  Two years ago today we arrived in Roatan with 2 dogs, a cat, 5 suitcases and 3 carry-ons, making one of the biggest life changes ever for us. It was a big move, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve learned a lot living here for 2 full years and I can honestly say I love Roatan. I love the people I have met, the Ex-pats and the Islanders. Now that the house is completely livable and the pups are rather self sufficient I’ve been able to really get involved with many different groups and doing that has given me the access to meet some fabulously wonderful people.

Earlier in the week we had another delivery truck stuck in the driveway. I “think” this is # 10. I could smell the clutch burning up before I even knew there was a truck down there. They were bringing building supplies to people living down in the valley and had too much weight and poor brakes {a very common problem on the island, we don’t need no stinking brakes}. They reach a point where their load is too much and the no brakes/poorly maintained vehicle issues rears it’s ugly head. They tried and tried to make it but in the end they chose slamming into the bank instead of dropping off into the ravine. Bill had been out running errands and came along while they were figuring out what the hell to do. They actually pulled the truck out with a chain hoist, which is usually used to move engines. Not trucks. (Bill had previously told me they used a come-a-long, that’s why I posted that on FB). It worked and they somehow managed to get backed down the driveway. It amazes me the condition of the vehicles on the island, bald tires, no brakes, bad clutch, insanely crazy alignment where the trucks actually look like they are going down the road sideways.

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The bank eats another truck

Friday afternoon we again went to BJ’s to see our friends. It’s a great way to begin the weekend and make plans for the upcoming week. After we left BJ’s we came home, grabbed my car and headed to the grocery store. Grocery shopping after a few drinks is never a good thing.

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This is the only one of three I could post. In the other 2 photos I clearly was, whatever. Thank you lovely Marilyn. I forgot that you took these but when I saw them on my phone I remembered you asking how to do the camera. So I did remember. I am with a friend, Kelly.

I worked at the airport again on Saturday, 5 weeks in a row. On the way in I saw my friends Rob and Lisa. They have 2 of our puppies, Bandit and Sable. Sable was the only girl in the litter. Sable had been having some eye problems and one of the numb nuts in the pharmacy gave them some eye drops which they said would be fine. Not knowing, they used them in Sables eyes. They were steroid drops and sort of ulcerated her corneas. Rob was flying her to La Ceiba to Dr. Bueno’s animal hospital. When I saw that sweet little girl, she knew who I was right away and gave me so much loving while I stood there crying. Her eyes hurt her so badly she kept them closed. Lisa said she is still at the hospital, waiting on some more tests but they said her eyes were open and she seemed to be doing better. I am very anxious for her to heal and come home. Please keep Sable in your prayers. I cried the whole way home from the airport just thinking about her.

The airport, I do love being at the airport. I have so much fun meeting people.  This week as I meandered  through the lines chatting to people a man said to me, “Good thing you don’t have a problem with shyness.” Nope. Not me. Several of my friends arrived this weekend, either coming back home or coming for a few months or for a vacation, it was so fun to welcome them with a big hug. I even met some people who remembered me from when they were here a few months ago. The flights were all screwed up with arrival times, from what we were told, all 3 would land within 15 minutes of each other. Delta surprised us and landed 35 minutes early, then American and United landed within 15 min of each other. Craziness. We kept it under control and got everyone through immigration and in a good mood to start their vacation. Carolyn and I seriously think we should be serving cocktails in Immigration.

Sunday we (I) made a huge mistake and decided to take 5 of the dogs swimming to Paya Bay. Highway whined the whole 25 minute drive there, he’s ADHD and can’t control himself. You could cut his lips off with a chainsaw and he would still whine. Physically, he can not stop. The boys were in the front and in the back, changing seats every time we hit a bump, which was every 5 seconds. Lola was terrified, she does not like cars. Or water. Or food. Or us. When we got there the first thing we saw were 2 stray dogs on the beach. SHIT. There weren’t supposed to be dogs, just sand and garbage. Lots of trash on this beach. . They did run off when we parked so we let the herd loose with leashes still attached so we could grab them easier. They weren’t interested in the water, they wanted to run. Then the other dogs came back and my fear was the boys would chase those dogs and we would never find Barrio, Gringo or Maxillicious again, so we left. It was a piss poor trip.

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5 dogs in the backseat

After we came home, it was still early so I crawled back in bed with Emmy {after I bathed the 3 pups}. I slept until 11:40, it was a nice sleep, kind of light and dreamy.  We got ready to go to our friends home for a late lunch. They live on Calabash Bight (Bay). When I say on, I mean ON. Alex picked us up by boat from BJ’s and we were at their place in 5 short minutes. I always love riding through Pandy town on a boat and waving to the people along the way. We hung out for a while on their superb deck talking, having some wine and enjoying the view. Marilyn made a delicious Caesar salad with home made croutons and home made dressing. I could have made a meal out of that. She also had chicken for the 2 of us (I don’t eat red meat) and steak for Bill and Alex and a great potato casserole. Yummy 5 ***** meal in a beautiful location with great friends, doesn’t get much better.

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Yes, I know, their view is kind of sucky. Especially when the sun is setting and the moon is out. The colors are very defined. The huge blue house in the background on the hill is my friend Kathy’s home.

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Ummm, yeah, their deck. Water on 3 sides.

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South west edge of the mouth of Calabash Bight.

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A better view of Kathy’s. She just painted her roof, it was darker before. I like it.

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Skipper. What a love. Skipper and Scruffy and the neighbor dog that thinks it lives there.

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The mouth of the bight.

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What a glorious moon.

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How do I caption this? Perfection??

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1 full moon, coming right up.

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Water splashing, love sticking my camera off the side of the boat and snapping away. Good lord, I love digital photography.

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Pulling in to BJ’s to begin our drive home.

The dogs were all wild and crazy when we got home. Frito was doing her damn seal thing. I can’t believe Bill doesn’t think she sounds like a damn seal. It drives me up the wall. A few glasses of wine in the afternoon and I fade F A S T. I was in bed early.

This morning I had to meet our friend Sam to give him money to get the fiber glass to start doing our roof. It’s flat and we thought it would be a good idea for water damage prevention. The roof will be like the deck of a boat, non slippery and it won’t mold or mildew. I pulled into the Iguana Farm and parked my car. As soon as I began walking down the ramp, I looked at all the iguanas and said to myself, ” Do I have a cool life or what? Walking through the iguanas to meet my friend Sam.”  Yes, blessed indeed, especially to have Sam as a friend. Sam showed me his new boat and his fiancee’s house that he is building for her, all the while there are iguanas wandering everywhere. So darn awesome! After that I ran to ACE  and grabbed a few glow sticks for tomorrow night, knowing full well with the full moon at the Daughters of the Island Moon party, that I probably won’t need them. The party is on the beach at a very secluded place, so looking forward to a night with some crazy island sisters.

So yeah, 2 years here on the rock. Did we make a mistake moving here? I don’t think so. Our life is so different from what it was 2 years ago. When we first moved here we knew some people and got to do some fun things but the longer you are here, the more people you meet. Whether it’s in the process of finding homes for our puppies, meeting people on FB and then becoming friends once they get here, handing out TOM’s shoes, delivering desks, helping at Cattleya, volunteering for Because We Care or at the airport, the people I have met are fascinating. They are all different, come from different ways of life, live differently at home and here, had different former lives, have different points of view. However, the one thing they all have in common is: THEY CHOSE THIS ISLAND TO CALL HOME. It’s an unspoken bond. Island Insanity. We all have it.

I have loved my last two years on this rock and am pretty much ready for whatever comes next. No hurry. It’s called Island Time.

 

 

One hundred years young

double vodka

10/18/2015 Many of you probably wonder what the hell I do all day? I mean, I can’t shop, I no longer have a scrapbook room or a garden, what do I do? Sometimes I asked my self the same damn question. Many days it will be 4 PM and I’m still in my nightgown. That’s not to say I’m in bed, I’m not. I’m just not dressed and especially DO NOT HAVE ON A BRA. YAY for any time with no bra.

Every morning the first thing I do is feed my cat her daily scoop of wet food. If I don’t feed her right away she attacks me if I walk by her.  Yes, attacks is the right word. She bolts out from under the bed and swats or bites my ankles. Depends how badly I’ve pissed her off. Once the demon is fed I go out on the porch to see the 5 dogs who are all waiting at the back door for me. This door is open all day long, we close it when we go to bed, there is a screen door, but due to the succession of 4 legged creatures in my house, it is a P.O.S. It does however keep the dogs out. Which lately, they are in WAAAY more than they are out. The pups idea, not mine. I am just putty in their hands paws. Speaking of which, yes Jeanie, I am your insane dog friend. My life now revolves around these 3 boys, I feel like I’ve given birth to triplets. To say I’m a “tad” attached would be a hugely gross mis-representation of facts. I ADORE these pups. Well, @ 40# each, they’re really not pups but 6 month old eating machines. They are eating 14 cups of dry food a day, along with yogurt at breakfast, 3 scrambled eggs at lunch and chicken rice and veggies at dinner. They get sweet potato slices, home made cookies and their frozen popsicles too. They eat better than Bill does, ask him, he will agree. He does make their chicken gruel, I just chop the veggies for it.

Once the pups are fed, I eat breakfast in front of the computer. I check a few sites daily, read what I want to read in the news, check face book and answer emails. Breakfast is the same thing every morning for 2 years now, scrambled eggs with red and green peppers and a jalapeno in them, with salsa and shredded cheese on a soft tortilla, maybe a cup of tea. Remember, I’m the weirdo that doesn’t drink coffee, ick.

Sometimes I peruse the internet sporadically during the day, other times I am gone or cleaning, baking (dog treats), cleaning up dog poop, walking dogs, watching the puppies don’t eat the couch, all of those fun things that I know make you really jealous you don’t live my life..

This past Friday I gave up my party afternoon with my tribal friends and went to a birthday party for a 100 years young woman that I met at the senior luncheon.  I went to meet my friend Nidia at her store in Coxen hole, we were joined by our friend Mac. He’s the guy who danced with Aunty Jane at the senior luncheon. He and Nidia and I were walking to the event, carrying ice cream and deviled eggs. We made a quick stop in a store so I could get Aunty Clara a gift. I had no idea what to get her but Nidia knew. I bought her a nice lightweight housedress. That is a word I have not heard or used since my grandma passed away in 1977. The lady at the “store” didn’t have any bags or wrapping paper so I bought a gift bag that said Baby on it. I mentioned that to Nidia and she reminded me that Aunty Clara is blind, she won’t know. We got to the party and before the rest of the people came we went up to see Aunty Clara. Mac had a very generous gift for her and I gave her the dress. I pulled it out of the bag and described it to her. I told her my grandma used to wear them all the time and this was just like hers with 2 pockets on it. She seemed very happy.

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The pins for Aunty Clara’s party. 100 years young!!

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Aunty Clara in the middle

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My gorgeous friend Nidia. This beautiful woman has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I adore her!!

Mac and I hung out for awhile as Nidia got things organized. I asked Nidia where Aunt Jane was and she said home and we were going to get her. She, Mac and I walked to the corner of Coxen Hole’s main drag, went through a gate and up some steps to her apartment.

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The wires outside of Aunt Jane’s home.

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Her porch and stairs to outside and her all important gadget, a tortilla maker

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The wall in her home. It was immaculate but very sparsely furnished, a bench and an old TV.

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relatives, neighbor kids?? playing in the mango tree

Her hair was all dishelved and she was in her house clothes when we arrived. Mac and I waited while Nidia got her all spiffed up. She looked fabulous when she came out. She is 99 and a little spitfire with gorgeous blue eyes.

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Look at this sweet face, 99 years old. This lady is a hoot!!

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Nidia walking her to the corner to get a cab

We put her in a cab to go the few blocks to the party and we walked. Once we got back there, the place was filling up. Aunt Jane was sitting with Miss Catherine, 2 beautiful ladies!

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Miss Catherine and Aunt Jane

They were passing out plates heaping full of food and cups of soda to everyone, there were people inside and out.

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Nidia with Aunty Clara

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Aunty Clara singing for us

We stayed for her to blow out the candles on her cake, then made our way back to Nidia’s store and our cars. Nidia had to go to Pandytown that evening for another concert to raise the rest of the money for treatment for Ursula

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Nidia with Aunty Clara

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Aunty Clara blowing out her candle. She told Nidia to save the rest of the candles for her cake next year!

Saturday found me back at the airport again. It was sheer insanity, all 3 flights landed within 15 minutes of each other. American was over an hour late, Delta and United beat them by 5 and 10 minutes. Imagine 400 people trying to fit in the tiny immigration building. It got chaotic but we handled it and people, for the most part were happy. Odd as it may seem that 3 airlines from 3 different departure cities would land in the same 15 minute time frame, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. It is what it is. I just allow my Bank of America training to kick in and as my friend Nathan W says, “I’m leading from the lobby.”  Some of you will “get” this. Chaos or not, I LOVE being there.

On Wednesday, a day before his 6 month birthday Gringo lost his family jewels. He will be fathering no island babies. 1 pup down, 2 pups to go. We got to Dr Calderon’s at 7 and were out of there by 7:30.

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My sweet boy Gringo getting neutered.

It took over an hour for Gringo to wake up and when he did, he peed all over. Another hour passed and I got him downstairs and out for a little fresh air and monitored movement. He was a peeing machine that day. Finally by dinner time he was getting back to normal but still had the “WTH did you do to me” look on his face! I felt guilty.

On Thursday Marilyn and Carmen came here and we all took off in my car to run errands, maybe do lunch and go to Cattleya to paint Christmas ornaments. We ended up going in Mega Paca (a big Value Village, Goodwill, second hand store). We were all in the skirt aisle and I saw a black tulle tutu looking skirt. When I pulled it out I noticed it was a BCBG Max Azria, then I saw the price tag was still on it. It was originally:

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OMG! It’s a little big but it’s OK, it hides things. It will be great for Halloween, Pirate Party or NY Eve!!

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Evocative of Betsy Johnson, Cyndi Lauper or Debbie Harry. I was so excited I tried it on under my skirt right in the aisle!

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115L = a little over $5.00 but because of the color tag (blue) it was 50% off, I paid about $2.50 for it. SCORE!

We all made out really well there. I even bought some wine glasses for BJ’s. {They only have a few and I prefer my wine not to be in a juice glass}. After we left we were going to have lunch but only had 45 minutes until Cattleya so we went to the grocery store grabbed some stuff and ate in my car in the parking lot of the grocery store. Cattleya  is the school that a friend started years ago to help mentally and physically disabled kids of all ages. There are autistic children, Downs children, children with motor skill deficiencies, it’s a fabulous school because otherwise these students would get no specialized help. The students made and colored lots of Christmas ornaments and the majority of them were decorated but we helped get the rest of them finished and another lady was there adding the strings. They sell the ornaments to raise money for the school.

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Marilyn, Carmen and I. Photo courtesy of Connie Silvestri

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Marilyn on the right, Carmen and I. Photo courtesy of Connie Silvestri

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Some of the finished ornaments

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Ornaments, paint and glitter..

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Carmen painted a reindeer to match her headband. If you like her headband (she’s bringing me a few when she comes back to the island) check out: http://strongholdheadbands.weebly.com/solids.html

Friday we went to BJ’s again. It is always fun to have some wine and visit with friends. It is the hang out for the east enders and every now and then people from West End make it down too. We didn’t used to go but have been in attendance much more lately. It’s a good group of people and there is always someone new to meet.

I worked at the airport again, 4 Saturdays in a row, I’m on a roll. I met a cool couple from Maine, they just moved here. Their home that they built was finished and the snow was going to start back home, so Roatan, here they come. I hope we get the opportunity to meet up with them again. Two other friends from Snohomish, WA., near where we used to live moved down today too. They have owned a house for a year or so, had to sell their business, cars and house in the states and, they’re here! We met them here, never knew them in the states. Weird how that happens. I was elated that I got to say Welcome Home to them as they walked in the building.

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Such a stunning view from our roof

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My friend Cheryl named this cloud Puff, the Magic Dragon. After all, he did frolic by the sea…

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Handsome Highway, the nut case..

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Maxillicious

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Lola and Max

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I love our roof top deck

Well, it’s late, I’m trying to get this done so I can edit and post tomorrow. I’ll leave you with this little tidbit. Don’t pass this up, it’s too unbelievable, click on tidbit and be amazed. Then try to answer one question. WHY?

 

The Bean is back

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09/18/2015 Yes, Frito Bean was returned to us, well actually Bill went to get her. The people who adopted her didn’t feel she barked enough. Seems that someone stole her food dish off the porch while she was there and she didn’t bark. I don’t know if she barked or not, all I know is she must not have felt at home yet. Whatever the reason, Bill went to get her on Monday and she cried like a baby when she saw him pull up. Obviously she is happy enough being here, even if she is separated from the others and we’ll just keep it like that, if she’s happy, we’re happy. And, we’re back to 6 dogs. YAY.

Tuesday was Independence day in Honduras. There were parades and marching bands from all of the schools out in full force, clogging the already clogged up roads. It’s really kind of insane that they march on the main streets, as there are no other roads, not an alternate route and traffic is stopped. What if there were a fire in one of the old wooden buildings in downtown Coxen Hole and the streets were filled with thousands of people, I don’t know what they would do. The whole block would be gone in minutes. I guess that’s how they do things here.

The parade was to be over at 11 so I planned to pick up a friend and meet some other friends at a specific location downtown. Marilyn got to my house around 10 and we left for Coxen Hole, not knowing whether we would be stopped for a parade or not. We encountered no parades (if I had not allowed time for them we would certainly positively have been stuck in one) and made it to Eldon’s where I was meeting Lauren.

Lauren is a new friend I met on Facebook. She posted that she needed to buy a cat scratching post. I told her she would not find one here but my husband could make her one. I’m so good at volunteering him for things. Well, the cat scratch pole was a challenge, but he was up for it. She wanted it 3′ high and weighted and covered with sisal rope. The only place we could find sisal was ACE and it was .25 a foot.

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the cat scratch post

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The small piece of sisal is all that was left out of 175 FEET!

Lauren and I became friends on FB and through messenger I invited her to the all consuming craziness that is a Honduran celebration of any type. I said I would pick her up at Eldon’s grocery store. We met there and I drove into town so we could park (hahahaha) and meet Chris and Shannon and their kids for the Children’s Celebration. {I met Chris and Shannon on FB and was at the airport to greet them the day they moved here.}

We drove down the main street and the closer we got the more impossibly ridiculous it looked. Most of the cars in front of me were doing 19 point turns in the middle of the 2 lane road with cars assaulting you from every angle. I followed suit. I ORIGINALLY planned to meet Chris and Shannon at the parking lot across from Carrion; however, you could not get within 20′ of the entrance. I turned around and went to a small parking lot by a sort of hardware store. There was a dirt road alongside the building and we wondered if it might take us where we wanted to be. It did not, however it took us to a dead freaking end with no place to turn around. My option was backing up with a 3′ drop off on my left and buildings on my right on a quasi dirt path. Those who know me know that backing up is not my forte’. Garage doors, tractors, etc. I made it back to the original spot and parked the car to go talk to a guy on the other side of the fence. He spoke English and was very nice, he said I could park there and he would keep an eye on the car. We gave him a few bucks and set out for town. I was carrying 2~ 30 packs of raw eggs and 12 big spoons. Once we got into the crazy crowds, I reached for my phone to call Shannon and realized I had left it in my car, WAY back there through the crowds. DAMN. We watched a few marching bands as we pushed and shoved our way through the crowds, I really enjoy watching them, except when in the hot sun surrounded by 300,000 other people. The kids were in full dress uniforms, long sleeves, long pants, hats, capes and gloves. Sweat much??

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OMG, look at all the wires crossing the street. No wonder we have power issues here.

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Full uniform in 90 degree weather

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This group was good

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So were these guys but most of them have on black gloves, how hot they must be!

Click here to watch the bands and pay close attention to the kids moving, they are into the rhythm.

We walked down to the lot where the Children’s Celebration was to be held with a quick stop off so I could hug Miss Catherine (Daine’s Mom). We found the lot where the party was to be but it was locked and there was nobody around. I left my eggs with Marilyn and Lauren and I walked back to my car so I could get my phone to call Shannon. Lauren was hot and not being used to the insanity of these things, she was ready to grab her cat scratch pole and get a cab home. After I tried to return Shannon’s missed call, I decided to move my car closer to the party; except the lot I was going to park in was all of a sudden closed. I thought I was screwed until I found a spot across from Woods Clinic in a small lot. I had seen Nidia on the way to get my car so I knew things were happening soon. When I got to the lot they were setting up tables and starting to put the sandals and toys and gifts out for the kids.

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Sandals were donated by Live Again Ministries. They are the big donors that made the Senior Luncheon possible.

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Books, The Judas Bird, which is a voluminous book about Roatan written by David Evans, and some Roatan DVD’s, Beanie Babies, fans, Sheriff badges, key chains, some fun jewelry and lots of small jars of bubbles.

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Signing the kids in and giving them name tags

Nidia talking to one of the boys

She had all the kids line up before we started any of the activities. What she really was doing was PUMPING THEM UP. And it worked.

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These kids were playing in the street before the races began

They did a foot race, literally, one guy ran in his bare feet and another in his socks. We had traffic blocked off (again, on the main road).

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These boys had to run to the main intersection and back.

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Then there was the sack race. Do they even do sack races in the US??

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Only a few of them wiped out, I would face plant on the first jump.

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cute young boy

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They then each claimed a horse and rolled the dice to determine how many times they moved the horse.

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The girls did an egg carrying contest, spoon held in mouth, egg on spoon.

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Most finished without smashing the egg

 contest

Then the older boys did an egg THROWING contest, I honestly thought that would get out of hand and turn into an egg throwing frenzy, but it didn’t, Nidia was in charge!

After the races we moved the crowd inside the parking lot and had some other contests there. First they did a spaghetti eating contest. The plates were heaped with spaghetti in tomato sauce.

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The girl in the white top gave up after a few bites and watched.

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The girl in green won. Earlier the girl in the pink came over and put her arm around me and asked my name. I told her and she hugged me. Before the spaghetti contest she asked Marilyn to take our photo, which Marilyn of course did.

Next up was the chugging contest with a 1/2 liter bottle of warm Pepsi. The boys all got up on stage and once Nidia blew the whistle, they started chugging. Some of them started coughing and had it coming out their noses, some were burping while others were pacing it, not guzzling. One boy got a little carried away and puked all over the stage and on the kids standing right up front. It was so gross. Obviously, he lost.

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Ready, set, chug…

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The boy in gray lost his lunch

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The winner!

We were going to leave after this but the Plat Pole was going to be next so we stayed so Marilyn could see it (and of course, I wanted to watch it again).

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This parking lot sits right on the water and looks out over Maya Key which is at the western end of the airport runway.

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Getting out the knots

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Platting the pole

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On my bucket list: learning to dance the plat pole

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There is a rhythm to it

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These girls were good

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Dancing and weaving

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Take my picture, no, don’t take my picture. Silly girls..

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Kids throwing rocks, a favorite thing to do no matter where you are.

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These kids had the right idea, if I had worn a suit I would have been in there with them. Swimming as the sun sets.

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Boat going out to sea

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Such pretty girls

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This hair do must have taken a long time to fix.

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Her feet hurt her..

We didn’t stay for the whole plat pole dance because Marilyn’s car was at my house, from there she had to drive to Oak Ridge and then jump in her boat to get home. I was hoping to have her make the trip while it was still light out, but, this is Roatan and that didn’t happen. We had smooth sailing until we got to Los Fuertes, right before the BIP gas station traffic came to a STOP. We barely moved for 45 minutes. I asked some guys passing by what was going on and they said marching band. Just when you least expect it…foiled again. It was dark by the time we got to our house. I was so exhausted all I wanted to do was shower and go to bed!

The guys have been here working on the roof rails so someone had to be here to put the dogs in or out, it’s been a week of sticking close to home. Wednesday morning I was meeting Brenda and Toni to pick up the stuff that Helping Paws Across Borders left here. I got to BJ’s around 8:30. Once we had my car loaded and I mean loaded, it was packed so full that only the 2 front seats were open. Brenda got in and Toni squeezed on her lap with his head out the window. We drove like that to my house so we could unload all of the stuff. Then the 3 of us went to town. She had to get paperwork from Doc C, go to Carniagro and Eldon’s. After Eldon’s they were going to Bojangles for one last time. I had milk, eggs and cheese in my car so I decided to come on home and they would taxi it back to their boat. I’m sad because they are moving back to Germany, I’m really going to miss them. Vet clinics won’t be the same without them.

They stopped the next day on their way to the ferry to give me one last bag and to say our final goodbye. I was crying..

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Goodbye Brenda and Toni and Matjes and Winter, you will be missed.

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Brenda and I. Damn, just looking at this makes me cry. Safe travels my friend and keep in touch.

Bill has been working on the cabinets and a security system for the house. The cabinets are finished and hung and now I have much more storage and several empty drawers. Next is the cameras for the security stuff.

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Just what I needed.

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Puppy popsicles, banana, peanut butter and yogurt.

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Gringo on the table..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lola and Gringo, these two love each other

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King Highway

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Barrio

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Lola and Highway

The dogs have been spending way more time inside and they love it. I’m OK with that except I have to clean the floor everyday, well, I should clean it everyday, but I don’t.

This morning I was going to walk the pups and Frito, one at a time. I attempted to let 1 pup out but 2 managed to scamper outside and run down the driveway and back up, ears blowing in the wind. Bill and I were trying to catch them but they were too busy running. I was just about to grab Barrio when they both went running to the bank along the house. One side is steep but manageable and planted with trees and bananas, the other side is a sharp drop off onto a barbed wire fence and weeds. Gringo hit the weeds and disappeared. I screamed and Bill came running. I got Barrio back inside and went to help Bill rescue Gringo. I could hear him crying and see him but could not get to him. It’s all itch weed and briars and thorns down there. Bill went one way over the bank but couldn’t get to him so he tied a rope around a pillar and lowered himself down over the cliff. Once Gringo saw him he went to him. Bill shoved Gringo up to me and pulled himself up by the rope. Bill immediately went inside to take a shower to get the itch stuff off. I checked Gringo and he wasn’t hurt, no barbed wire cuts or anything. I’ll be so glad when that is fenced off and we can let them out there and not worry about them falling down into the abyss.

Our roof rails are done, finally. Bill went up there with the vacuum and actually cleaned up the metal fragments on the roof. We are looking forward to being able to go up there and watch the sunset tonight, with the dogs. Especially now that we know they can’t fall off.

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View of North shore

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View of the South shore

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Bill running the vac on the roof, looking NE

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Almost clean

Dog and drunk proofed

Next we are having the roof fiber glassed (since it’s flat it will guarantee no leaks) and then the pergola goes up. Bill still has to puppy proof one area because the other night Max jumped right out to the roof and took off running. Not cool Max, not cool at all.

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It’s worse than having kids.

I’m out of here, but let me first say, always WASH the damn knife after you have chopped up a jalapeno. Rinsing it does not remove the hot, therefore the lime you cut for your Dos Equis will be spicy as shit. Lesson learned.