Equalize, equalize, equalize. My new mantra.

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09/07/2016  I’ve been in a fog or lost somewhere. Not sure which. Wednesday was 2 weeks that I have been home and I don’t remember what I’ve done.

I got home Wed. and on Friday my cleaning gal came and cleaned downstairs and upstairs in preparation for our guests arriving on Saturday. After cleaning all day Friday (I do everything upstairs and let her do the floors) I decided Saturday was a day of rest. As was Sunday and Monday and and and..

Saturday before the guests arrived I met my friend Trish and her husband Fred in Brick Bay to visit with a monkey who is tied to a tree. My friend has been visiting this monkey for awhile now and contacted me while I was in the states to see what I knew about it. (Nothing) I agreed to go see it. I’ve been told the monkey has been there for years and is taken care of. She’s not skinny, she had fresh water and shelter; however, she has a dog collar around her belly and it is sewn together so that she can’t remove it. It’s sad.

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Meet Mona. She belongs to the decrepit old derelict hotel across the road and is fed by a guy who lives there.

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She carries her rope with her tail.

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She hates the dog collar and points to it all the time.

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She is adorable. I was told she is mean but she has been very sweet to my friend and never bitten her.

I sent some people messages inquiring about her and from their responses, she is not up for grabs and belongs to someone. Bummed.

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I saw this on my way home.

Our guests arrived, dropped off their luggage then went and ran some errands. They just bought a home not too far east of us, our friend Alex was their agent. They plan to move here in Nov. and recently got an HGTV offer to film, pretty exciting!

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Chris and I on the roof

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Bill and Jimmy and Highway and Max

On Monday I pulled out the 4 bags of soccer uniforms that were donated by the Hillcrest Village Soccer Club in Toronto (and brought down by my friends Trish and Dave) so that I could sort by size. I was AMAZED at the amount of stuff donated. The shorts were all new, tags still attached and brand new soccer socks too. There were jerseys, goalie jerseys and gloves along with 60+ small soccer balls. It’s an incredible gift for the island kids.

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Dozens of pairs of shorts

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Jerseys of every color

I got them separated and ready to deliver. On Tuesday morning Dave and Trish came down to our house and we drove down to Juticalpa loaded with soccer uniforms and soccer balls. The director was really excited, but not as much as the kids!

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The director (to the L of the pillar) getting the students to line up.

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Clearly not a student. Many of the mothers bring their small children with them when they walk their kids to school, (most don’t walk them) and they stay while their child is in class rather than walk home. Still don’t have that figured out.

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Checking out their gear.

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Trish in light purple, her husband Dave, with the black ball cap, and me passing out stuff. It was pandemonium for a few minutes.

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Trish, Dave, the director and I looking at sizes. My cleaning gal Carla is on the far right in a purple tank. She lives near there and came down to translate.

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Me with a few of the boys. We got so many hugs when we got there and before we left. These kids love to hug you!

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The uniforms made the day for these boys.

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We all fell in love with this guy. Everything was too big but he didn’t care, he had a uniform. I see a few more pairs of TOMS shoes.

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Bill and I (L) and Trish and Dave (R) with the newly uniformed kids.

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This little boy took off his TOMS shoes that we (Because We Care) fit him with this spring and played soccer in his bare feet.

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I love seeing girls playing soccer!

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Their bleachers

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Rumor has it this little girl kicks a$$ on the field.

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The field is very rough, barely any grass, rocks, cans, glass, trash. Nothing like the fields the kids in the US get to play on. The director allowed the students to play against each other and then the winners played each other. We couldn’t stay for the whole thing but I guess new uniforms trump class any day.

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Bill was in the process of lifting this little girl up, I tried but she was too heavy!

I’m really happy that Dave and Trish were able to come along and meet the kids and see how happy the uniforms from Hillcrest Village mean to these children. Nice uniforms make it a whole new game. Many thanks to Hillcrest Village Soccer Club!

On Thursday my friend Caroline and I went diving with Ernesto @ Blue Island Divers. It was an insanely HOT day and all I wanted to do was get underwater. We hung around BID until Ernesto was ready to go. We got on the boat, got geared up and tumbled overboard into the sea. It was my first time with my new camera case, still a bit of a learning curve.

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Beautiful sponges

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These are so fascinating, I can’t swim by one without looking inside it.

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Love the blue color

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Caroline took this of me

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Sea fan

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Caroline, she has been diving for years and had a business called Scuba Diving Divas.

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The coral and sponges were amazing here. We were at a spot called DD’s.

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Ernesto spotted this Scorpion fish, very poisonous. He also took the photo with my camera because he can control his buoyancy better than I can. I will be working on that. It’s eye is the yellow dot on the R.

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Ernesto also spotted these cleaner shrimps. So cool.

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They attach themselves to whatever needs cleaned.

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A Nassau Grouper

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Ernesto pointed up, when I looked this is what I saw.

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There is something down there but I have no clue what.

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Stunning blue sponges

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Coral

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This was huge, over 3′ tall

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There is something down in this one also.

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I don’t know what this is called but it’s beautiful.

We had an excellent 50 minute dive. I realized after this dive that I need to hone equalizing my ears and my buoyancy so I plan to get my Advanced Open Water certificate which will address both of those issues. Once I got home from the dive I had an earache in the ear I screwed up when diving in Akumal many years ago. After reading online about equalizing I figured out what I am doing wrong. I should be equalizing with every breath during my descent through the first atmosphere (33′), I was not doing that. I was trying to do it when I got almost to depth, which is wrong.

By Friday morning I had an earful of fluid and when I swallowed it sounded like I was underwater. I was trying to get into Dr Rafael at the clinic but couldn’t get through on the phones to verify he was in. I messaged my friend Andrea, who is the nurse at CocoView dive resort and she said to come see her. I met Andrea when I first moved here alone, we both lived at Pineapple Villas. She has been diving for years so I drove there and she picked me up on the boat and we went over to her office. She looked in my ears and yes, I had water behind my eardrum. She has these small ear vibrators called Ear Docs and said vibration was the best way to open the eustachian tubes. She took me back to the dock armed with what I needed to do and some Sudafed. I took a pill and used my large back/neck massager on the front of my ear and behind it and by the next morning my ear felt better. But I didn’t. I was getting a wretched airplane cold.

I was down most of the day Friday and Saturday. Sunday we had company coming. We were all going to a party at the Reef House then coming back here for pizza. I decided instead of not going, to just go and relax and see my friends. I’m glad I did.

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My diving buddy and dinner company Caroline and my BFF Marilyn.

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Bill and I, thanks Keri for the photos.

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This is me with 2 hats on my butt cheeks. Thanks Ann for encouraging me.

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Ann took this also with David floating in the background. If you’re wondering where we are with such an amazing view, we’re at Trish and Dave’s. And yes, Ann has a bubble gun and is blowing bubbles.

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A photo of the western tip of Roatan taken by Nixon Oneal. Fabulous.

My friend Linda posted on FB that she had limes to give away. I was all over that. Bill and I were there at 8 AM Tuesday morning and I got 2 colanders full of limes. Some were huge Key Limes, never seen them that big.

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I sat on the porch and squeezed them all.

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So juicy

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Picture perfect

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I threw all the skins over the bank so the lizards, watusas and whatever else could feast on then.

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I filled up 4 ice cube trays with lime juice.

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Once frozen, I pop the cubes out, put in a zip-loc and use them for cooking or throw one in my ice water. Yummy!

The other day on FB I got a friend request from a college friend. I haven’t heard from Kathy since we moved. She said she didn’t have my correct email so I sent it to her. Then she emailed me saying: Sounds like you are enjoying your life in Honduras. I was just reading an “ISLANDS” magazine a couple of days ago (searching for a new vacation destination—we usually go to the Bahamas Out Islands)  and came across your name (shocking!!) in an article about living in Honduras. So I decided to try again to find you and am so excited that I finally did!

What article?? Then I remembered I was interviewed for an article but had no idea it was for Islands magazines. Click here and scroll down to Roatan. Actually the best part of this article is that Kathy and I are in touch again!

It’s past my bedtime. I’m going to publish this, give the dogs their treats and go to bed. Buenas noches amigos.

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The “after company” let down

13179325_1264685736893509_4469429168352604729_n06/29/2016 Having company is wonderfully amazing, I really enjoy it, but it’s also a lot of work. I always go out of my way to show my guests a good time, making sure they see the highlights of the island, the must sees and must dos. Sometimes, more often than not, I am successful. I previously had company for almost 3 weeks, then they left, I had a 10 day break and then my youngest son and his friend Maureen came for 10 days. To say I was excited to see him is a bit of an understatement. I stood at the doors to the immigration building on high alert, waiting to catch a glimpse. I told Kevin, an airport employee who was at the door with me, that I was waiting for my son and he kept asking did I see him yet (at least I think that’s what he was saying, my Spanish sucks, as does his English)? I said, when you see tears (pointing to my cheeks) you’ll know it’s him. And yep, I cried when I saw him.

Trace and Maureen had traveled all night to get here, leaving Vancouver, BC, to Calgary, Alberta, spent a good part of the night in the Calgary airport, then Houston to Roatan. It was Trace’s second visit, Maureen’s first. Trace came in Jan 2015 and I think it rained almost every damn day he was here. This visit was the opposite. It was H O T. And H U M I D. Crazy humid.

Our plans were to go to West Bay Beach on Sunday to do some snorkeling and beach it for awhile. We got to the beach around 11 and started snorkeling right away. The first things of interest that I saw were some squid, I think there were 7. They are so cool, they change color if they feel threatened and they do a little “posturing.” Trace and Maureen were not very close to me, the squid were in the sandy shallows, Maureen was putting on her fins and it was just enough of a distraction to ruffle their tail feathers. Just a little bit, they didn’t move so they obviously were not threatened, which is good. I don’t make a habit out of threatening anything, in the sea or on land. Except Scorpions.

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They are Caribbean Reef Squid. They change color and camouflage quite well.

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Seriously, I could float there and watch them forEVAH!

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This was only the beginning of a great discovery day.

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A Christmas Tree Worm farm.

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Blue Tang. This is not Dory.

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Always a great find, this stunningly gorgeous French Angelfish. The yellow flecks almost glow.

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Hanging with the Tangs.

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Mr. Lips, Rainbow Parrot Fish

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Banded Butterfly Fish

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Can you find the Scorpion fish? His tail is black and white and his nose is in the middle left of the photo. Yes, poisonous if you step on him. Another damn good reason to keep your feet up and not stand on or kick the coral.

In all my years of snorkeling and the years that I dove, I never saw a Scorpion fish, they are so well camouflaged. And isn’t it odd that at my age I can find something like that WITHOUT corrective lens. The mysteries never end.

After we snorkeled we went to Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort and hung out, had lunch there too.

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Trace and Maureen

Nights were spent on the roof or the porch. We mostly hung out, ate and talked.

Monday eve there was a Full Moon, Summer Solstice party at Wendy and Andrew’s lovely home situated high on a hillside overlooking the azure North shore in Punta Blanca. There was a large crowd there, nice to visit and chat with everyone. They served Greek chicken and pork souvlaki’s. Excellent. There was a huge variety of other foods there and then Wendy made to TO DIE FOR FLAN CAKE. It was about 24″ in diameter and absolutely perfect. Perfect, not a crumb out of place. I could have laid down on the floor and had someone feed me ALL of that FLAN. You know it must have been good because I rarely speak of food. It doesn’t interest me. We had an excellent meal, hung out until we had to leave to come home and feed the dogs. Yes, I’m the one that leaves the party because my dogs are hungry. It’s their dinnertime. No, they can’t wait.

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Wendy and Andrew’s large porch, it’s beautiful. Trace and Maureen in the lower left.

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Marilyn and I, photo by Maureen, I believe.

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Roger, Jeanie’s husband, and Bill.

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Their view and pool. Pretty nice…

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Francie and Franklin sitting down by the pool. Lovebirds.

The next day we went to the Iguana Farm and checked out the lizards. There were lizards everywhere. Sam said it’s still mating season so they haven’t stopped fighting over the women. Some looked rather battle weary.

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This is a Black Spiny Tailed iguana. They are indigenous to Roatan. This one and all the ones they could find were tagged by National Geo, they are studying them. They have a blue chip in their necks. The Roatan spiny tailed lizards are endangered and protected.

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This is a female Iguana. I’m so excited, I can tell which is which. Every time I go there I learn something new about the Iguanas.

After we left there we went to Little French Key. This is somewhere I stopped going for many reasons but I did want Trace and Maureen to enjoy it. I’ll be going again with Chance and the girls. I was obviously un-enthused since I only took 1 photo while there.

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Maureen jumping off the Bottom’s Up Bar ledge.

That evening we went to Isery, the closed nightclub that was owned and financed by a big shot with the Sinaloa drug cartel. We planned on just taking pics but the guard gave us the grand tour. And I mean tour, we saw every inch of that place. A freaking mazing.

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ISERY, the club that never was.

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In the US something like this rigging would never be allowed, especially at a bar. This is an insurance nightmare.

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And it was easy to get to if you wanted to climb it. I could very quickly have accessed it. I didn’t.

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Authentic right down to the portholes

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Mural in one of the several bars

We were given tickets to opening night, which never happened, shot glasses and maybe a turtle.

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a ticket

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I blocked out the guy who gave it to me, don’t want him shot by anyone over a partially rotted turtle. Hence the name is Sinaloa.

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They obviously had a load of fireworks. Good thing they are illegal here.

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Trace

It was really interesting inside of there, I think this place will end up vandalized to the point that it collapses. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. It’s an eyesore.

One morning Trace, Maureen and I walked out on Oak Ridge Bight, the kids walked to the end and I stopped and chatted with Sandy Byrd. After that we went and found Everald for a Mangrove tour.

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen of our guide Everald.

Wednesday eve we all went to Cal’s for dinner. Haven’t been for a few weeks, although, we stopped earlier that day and I cleaned his cats ears. The view was great, a beautiful night, I am such a slacker lately with photos, I apologize. I think I get burned out.

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My only photo at Cal’s

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Thursday we rode out to La Sirena. Trace and Maureen rode in the back like rednecks on their collapsible chairs. We stopped at Roger and Jeanie’s on the way out. I wanted T & M to see their house, named Hell with a View. It’s so cool! We won’t mention the sunburned tops of their feet from riding in the truck. Their idea. .

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Barbon Beach

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La Sirena, the sign is right. Also, the BEST onion rings.

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T & M

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This beach girl needs some TLC. I planned to go out Monday but we ended up laying low and keeping T & M out of the sun. She is starving and has a sore ear and recently had puppies. She needs spayed desperately.

Friday was BJ’s and the day before my friend Marilyn left the island for 2 months. I had to go to see her before she went to the US. Trace, Maureen and I drove out to Pandytown to see if school was in session, it wasn’t, so we just headed to BJ’s. They had quite a good crowd and as usual, it’s always fun to be there.

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Trace and Maureen taking pics.

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Marilyn

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Selfie by Maureen, love this photo of the two of them.

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Marilyn, Me, Trace and Maureen. Thanks Andrew for taking the pic.

That evening Trace and Maureen had Bill drop them at Cal’s for dinner. They ended up getting their food to go because the flies were so bad and they walked home and ate here. There must have been a hatch, they’re not usually very bad.

Sunday was funday at The Reef House resort. We got to BJ’s around 1 and were waiting for a boat to take us over when John and Debbie passed by. They stopped and picked us up and we were off for a day of fun in the water. I was extremely happy because my partner in crime has returned to the island, the Duchess of Camp Bay is back!

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Franklin, Mike and Francie. Nice legs Francie!!

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If ever there were sirens, we would be them. Francie, Jeanie and me.

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All with matching rafts

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Trace, chilling

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Scotty C (who provided the music for the day) and Jeanie doing yoga with Kathy looking on.

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And we planked, of course. Karen, Barbie, Kathy, me and Jeanie

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Yep, the water is that blue.

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If only I knew what the hell Gail and Francie were doing.

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Serious trouble in the tie dyed shirt with more trouble looking over his shoulder. Kelly and Terry.

Monday was Mondays Don’t Suck but the kids had enough sun and wanted to just hang out here instead of going anywhere. Since it was their last day here, that’s just what we did.

The day guests leave is always a drag. You sit around and wait for the time to take them to the airport. Their flight was at 1 so we got to the airport around 11 and the United line was long, as was the immigration line to leave. Once they were checked in we ran into Coxen Hole to the meat market and got dog meat. Well, meat for the dogs, 3# of heart and liver. That should keep the boys and girl well fed for awhile.

We then took the kids back to the airport and through tears I said good bye. More than anything in the world I hate saying goodbye to my kids. I wish they were here or I was there, I never ever get tired of being with them and miss them so damn much.

We were in Madeyso waiting to buy screws and bolts and stuff when I heard their plane fly over on it’s way back to the USA.

In 2 weeks Chance and his family will be here, I am so excited for that. We can’t wait to see the girls. It will be their first island visit, hopefully the first of many!

I’ll leave with a few pics of the water dogs. Oh my gosh, they LOVE the pool.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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Barrio and Max, they fight even when they are swimming.

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If you’re not going in the pool, you have to stay out. Highway loves to swim but has a hard time getting up the steps so he stays out. And whines.

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Otters

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A lucky shot (no skill involved) of Barrio

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Barrio and Gringo

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Barrio

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Fabulous mangoes, thanks Jaw!

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Some dogs sleep with stuffed toys, mine sleep with coconuts.

I’ll leave you with this post I found on VRBO about a house that is for rent here on the island. Seriously? You post this on VRBO? Obviously this homeowner has a serious issue with prostitutes. My question is: How do they determine if someone is a prostitute? Medical exam before you can rent? Police record? I died laughing a few times over this. What if their grandmother WAS a prostitute but stopped hooking, is she allowed to stay there?

Only guests disclosed to us are eligible to stay on the property. If the property is already at the maximum, the guests will be asked to leave by security no exceptions. If the property is not at its maximum, and “additional” guests arrive, the per guest fee changes from $55 to $100/per night per guest. Prostitutes are not allowed to be at the property at any time. No exceptions.

I’ll be back soon, I’ve got more to say about something very ugly.

Bolivia invades Roatan

friends06/10/2016 As I stated in my last post, Olivia (Bolivia to us) arrived on Roa on 5/29. It was not her first time here, it was visit #4. She and I came in 2010 and then she, Teri, Bill and I came in 2011 & 2012. However, it’s been awhile since she has been here. Teri has been here twice since the last time O was so she has seen much more of the island. This time I wanted to make sure Olivia got the grand tour, especially now that I am no longer an island virgin, so to speak.

The day Teri left Olivia and I ran some errands, then stopped at Mega Paca (of course we did) and got some groceries at Eldon’s. Once home we went down to John’s pool to cool off. Gee, I wish I had a POOL.

Wednesday morning we were headed to Barefoot Cay for the day. On the way we stopped at Arch’s Iguana Farm so Olivia could meet my pet dinosaurs. They aren’t actually pets but if you have a big leaf in your hand to feed them, they will follow you anywhere. Preston gave O and I each a leaf, she held it down to the iguanas but when they got close she dropped it and backed up. That was close enough for her. I finally overcame my fear and loathing of them crawling all over my bare feet and just let them have at it. At one point there were two laying on my feet, if felt weird because their bellies were so warm from laying on the concrete sidewalks. I did it though, Gail will be proud of me because she teases me that I have been there so many times, I should be used to the iguanas crawling on me. Is that something people normally get used to??

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Lizard lady in my new Mermaid on Duty top that Olivia brought me.

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They are on my feet

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Taking my pet iguana for a walk (thanks Olivia for the pics)

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Olivia kept her distance.

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Just a few of the 3000+ that live there.

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Coco has her tail wrapped around Olivia’s wrist.

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We saw these guys going at it when we came up from the water. No, it’s not iguana sex..

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It’s two males fighting, it is mating season. You can tell they are males by the large sacs on the sides of their faces. That is muscle used to control their jaws. If one of them wanted to lop off your finger it could, but they aren’t aggressive, except to each other when brawling over a female. I’ve seen them with bloody faces, missing tails, missing toes, rips on their heads. If their tail gets ripped off where it is tan, it grows back all tan, if it gets ripped off in a black area, it grows back black. Easy way to tell if they have lost their tail recently. See, I’m learning about the dinosaurs iguanas.

After the iguana farm we went to Barefoot Cay, a perfectly gorgeous boutique resort that my sweet friend owns. This resort is the ultimate in luxury, every detail has been thought out and planned for. To get to the resort you have to take a barge across a small waterway to the exclusively private and stunningly decorated cay.

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The pool

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The walkway to the palapa, great snorkeling there.

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Olivia getting her gear on

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Sunken vehicle, artificial reef

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Butterfly fish

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Gorgeous creamy white star coral.

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Under the palapa

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Zillions of tiny fishies

I was having a bad goggle day. It seems there was something on my lens, after spitting in it 50 times, I was too frustrated to keep going. I couldn’t see anything. Olivia and I hung out by the pool for awhile and had a yummy lunch at the restaurant. It was a perfect relaxing day on Roatan, surrounded by such beauty, BFC just amazes me.

The next day we headed east to Oak Ridge. I pulled into Lulu’s lot looking for Emerald, the Rasta boat tour guy but he wasn’t around. O and I met another tour guy so he picked us up at BJ’s and took us for an hour long mangrove tour. The mangroves are pretty special here on the island. Many many years ago the waterways were cut in the mangroves by the Paya Indians as a way to travel from place to place without venturing out into the open sea. It’s really beautiful in the mangrove tunnels.

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Leaving BJ’s, the boat tied up there belongs to friends.

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Twitter is everywhere.

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A parrot at a house along the water.

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Czech Village, Jonesville Point

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Through the tunnels we go

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The boat’s roof was like an old psychedelic light show..

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There are 3 different types of Mangroves, red, white and black. Honestly, they all looked the same to me.

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Natures finest swimming pool

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Close to my friend Marcia’s

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Headed back

We were dropped off at the Reef House by the tour guy. Olivia and I had drinks and hung out chatting with Davey and Keith. Then we had some lunch and floated in the water. There is a nice shallow pool there too, lots of little fish and I’ve found a few sea urchin shells there.

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Another beautiful Roatan day spent with friends.

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What a view

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The two white houses in the center of the mountain, (on the ocean) belong to 2 friends. They have spectacular locations.

We had Jimmy take us back to BJ’s around 4:30. Bill and I were going to Alexi’s 1st Q graduation that night. It started at 6 and like everything else here, it didn’t begin on time. We were standing out front with him before it began and I asked if his mom was coming. He said no, she doesn’t care. We told him that wasn’t true, she was just busy. His mom and step dad opened an illegal bar in their home and have drunks hanging around all night long. Not a great environment to have a 4 and a 6 year old kid in. UGH.. Alexi was very excited that we were there to see him recite his poem in English. He had to memorize it and was struggling pronouncing the words. . It was only 4 sentences but that’s a big deal for him. He nailed it. I wanted to jump up on the church pew and yell yeehaw, but I stopped myself from embarrassing him, and Bill.

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The church was beautiful, all white inside, nice big ceiling fans, spotlessly clean. I went up to talk to Alexi’s teacher afterwards and thanked her. I was surprised she remembered my name from passing out TOM’s shoes a few weeks ago.

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Our un-adopted son, far left. He told me on Tuesday that he would rather be here than anywhere else. I said it’s the WiFi isn’t it? He laughed and said “not really”..

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Alexi reciting his lines

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These 3 guys got perfect attendance rewards, Alexi on the R

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Showing his graduation certificate. His report card was really good too, lowest score was 94.

That lasted until 7, luckily it was close to home because we had hungry dogs and we were starving too. I noticed at the ceremony that Alexi needs black socks and a new white shirt. We will be going shopping before school begins again.

Friday is of course BJ’s. I mean where else do you go on a Friday afternoon to see your friends and listen to some music? Olivia and I went to John’s pool in the morning and swam for awhile, it was another blistering warm day on the rock. We left for BJ’s around 1:30. I was bummed that Marilyn wasn’t there, I wanted to introduce Olivia to her. During the band break I asked Alex where she was. He said he would take us over to see her when he was done, we were up for it. Then he decided to quit early so we paid for our drinks and fries and jumped in his boat, bound for the Calabash Bight Yacht Club epicenter.

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View from the Calabash Bight Yacht Club AKA Alex and Marilyn’s home.

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Boat ride to get there, no road, water access only.

Poor Marilyn was not expecting company but she was as gracious as always. We had some wine and chatted with her for awhile before Alex ran us back to BJ’s to get our car and go home.

Bill made pizza on Friday evening, so yummy. I could eat it every week, too bad it’s a pain to make the crust! Luckily we had leftovers for dinner on Saturday night.

Olivia’s time on Roatan was drawing to a close, last full day on the rock. We decided to make it a West Bay day and went to the beach early Saturday morning. There were very few people there. We snorkeled as soon as we got there. I scrubbed my mask before we left with soapy water and got whatever it was off the lens that was clouding it up, visibility was restored. We were amazed at the number of fish in the water. In my 9 years of snorkeling here I have NEVER seen so many fish. {My friend Marcia snorkeled by her house on Sunday and said the same thing, must have been a hatch or bloom of something drawing the fish out} It was like being in a huge aquarium, simply amazing. There was a lot of little stuff in the water, seemed like someone poured a giant can of fish food in the sea. Maybe Amanda’s handsome Irish Colombian knows what it was???

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Barracuda, always think of the song by Heart when I see a Barracuda.

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Christmas Tree worms

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Feather duster

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Spanish Hogfish

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One of my all time favorite fish, Parrotfish

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Sea scene

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Stoplight Parrotfish

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The sea was alive with fish, hundreds everywhere we looked. Lots and lots of tiny fish.

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Each speck is a fish

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My own aquarium

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Blue Tang

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Olivia

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Blurry but lots of fish

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You can see all the particles in the water

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A group of grunts, lower left

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Coral

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Tangs, must have seen 4 schools of them. Note the one with fish lips left center.

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More tangs

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And they are off..

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So awful to have to spend a day here. NOT.

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The crowds were annoying. NOT

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We watched several people on the fly boards. some were good, some sucked..

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O chilling and watching the Parasails and flyboards

We stopped at Rusty Fish art on our way home and Olivia bought some stuff. I thought it was for her but the wall art was for my Rusty Fish wall. Pics to follow soon, Bill still has to hang one on the concrete. Thank you Olivia.

Sunday we hung around here until it was time to take Olivia to the airport. I was sad to see her leave but I didn’t cry like I did when Teri and Frito left..

I forgot to mention that Teri tried to take Frito’s favorite rock with her on the plane. they confiscated it at security. Hysterical! Sure someone could use a rock as a weapon but they could also use a 4″ stiletto. Poor Frito had to fly to Washington state, rock less.

So ended my 3 weeks with good friends. I stopped at Mega Paca on the way home and found a S’well water bottle for $2.00. They normally sell for $40.00. Score.

Monday I cleaned off the shelves in the bedroom, reorganized and re-folded everything. Then Alex and Marilyn came over so I could give Alex some help starting a blog for his Roatan Buyers Agent information. Unfortunately, they brought wine and we somehow drank 2 bottles in no time at all. That could be the reason Alex’s blog link wasn’t working properly.

I was a blogging fool last week, publishing 3 blogs in 3 days and here I am at it again. I had lots to talk about and have been really lousy lately at keeping things up to date.

The construction around here will be done soon. The garage is almost done, patio is poured and pool is in the works. Its been a long grueling 6 months of dirt, trucks, piles of sand, cement dust, cinder blocks, noise, workers {at one point there were 25 men working here} and blocking the dogs off so they don’t terrify the workers. Maybe once it’s done and we get stone in the driveway and then it rains, the dust will be minimized and I will be less stressed because of it. Maybe.

On Thursday Marcia, Jan and I went to Cattleya to help organize books. I totally thought we were doing the books for the kids at school there but what needed done was emptying a store room of books and boxing them. It was rather overwhelming. We pulled all the kids books that we could find and boxed them. I told Connie I would come back and do the rest when she got all the boxes of books out of the room, currently it’s too crowded to even work in there.

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Marcia, me and Jan. Thanks Ladies for your help!

Here it is Friday already. I’m not going to BJ’s, too much happening here and I need to keep an eye on the dogs. I work at the airport tomorrow and again Wed and next Saturday. Trace arrives next Saturday on the last flight. Once he gets in and through immigration we will be on our way home. I’m so excited to see him. A month from today Chance, Alecia and the girls come. It’s going to be so much fun to see them and to show the girls around the island, to take them snorkeling for the first time, I think they are going to love it here!

We have been blessed with so many friends and family visiting us, the icing on the cake is seeing the boys. In August I am going to Maryland to see my folks, looking forward to that too, except for the traveling through San Pedro Sula and El Salvador..Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far, I sure am!

P.S. A shout out to Teri B for replenishing my Damiana Liqueur stock. If you’ve never tried Damiana, go to the liquor store and get it. You’re welcome.

 

A long 2 weeks

13076871_1012531292173947_6991698614228400295_n05/14/2016  My sweet friend Ann and I were discussing twitisms on FB messenger and she started sending me jokes from a “Broomstick” FB page. This photo: Ride it Like You Stole it, resonated. Thank you Ann, you saved me countless hours searching for what I wanted to convey.

Ann and I were obviously meant to be friends, we seem to share the same humor, we speak on FB often. We have secrets. We make plans, cheer each either on. We drink wine together, virtually, because you see, we have never met. The power of FB. I know when we meet it will be like planets aligning. Things may even be momentarily right in the universe. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Dammit Ann, see what you did?

I’m amazed that it has been this long since my last blather blog. I haven’t been busy, have I? Maybe I have and it’s all been a giant blur.

Well, except we had sweet boy Barrio neutered on Wed. That kept me busy for a good week.

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So stoned…..

He did not do as well as his brothers and ended up with an infected incision, (probably from licking it every time I looked away). He also got a cone. He was a cone klutz. I have had many dogs wearing cones before but none at clutzy as Barrio. I don’t know if he is mentally capable of “getting even” but he did. He would ram the back of my calves and lower thighs with the damn cone. It was like jet propulsion except there were no rockets shooting up my ass. Damn. Anyhow. It hurt like a mother. He was capable of moving me along at the speed of light, I have scars on the backs of my knees to prove it.

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Barrio AKA Conehead with his bone from Linda and Mike.

Doc always gives Cephalexin and says use iodine, for everything, but it is really not a broad spectrum drug and in the case of Barrio’s oozing incision, it was the wrong medicine. And Iodine, well, I won’t even go there. I contacted a vet friend and she concurred with me and said to put him on Clavamox (dog amoxicillin) for 10 days and to use antibacterial cream. She said it probably got infected by him licking it and introducing dirt into the incision. Two days on that medicine and he was a new dog, except for the &%$*#@^ cone of shame. He slept with us for a week, I would wake up with his conehead laying by my pillow. I felt so bad he had to wear it and am so happy we are done with it.

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Bananas out the wazoo. Too bad I’m too lazy to bake.

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Yes, Gringo slept like this.

For those of you familiar with my Orca shoes. They died. These were the coolest shoes, the left one fit my foot perfectly and it was very comfortable, the right one, not so much. I spent the 10 years I owned them trying to alter my right foot so that shoe felt good and I could wear them. (My opinion is they were seconds when I bought them at Ross). I recently cleaned out my closet, 2 garbage bags later, it was down to the final shoes, this was one pair I decided to just wear. After about 2 hours with them on my feet {remember I’ve only worn flip-flops since Nov. 2012} I took them off. It was then I noticed that they were disintegrating before my very eyes. I was devastated but I tossed them in the trash.

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The elements here are nasty

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Rot took over

Last week I dog sat while Bill ran countless errands acquiring things for the myriad of shit we have going on. Construction on the garage, patio, deck. it’s everywhere. Construction=DIRT. Obviously I am too stubborn (stupid) to admit defeat. I don’t remember a thing from that week except binge watching Project Runway while I kept the dogs from eating the workers outside. So much fun, I kid. Really, I do. It was sheer hell.

Awhile ago I met Marcy on FB (I was determining whether to admit her to a closed Roatan group that I am an admin on). She was coming to Roatan and arrived this past Saturday. The rest is, well, as they say, history. We are friends. Friends enough that she stayed with us this past week in the guest condo. She owns a doggie day care in Mass. so she was very comfy with the dogs. She looked at properties and decided on a piece of land not far from here and made an offer on it. While she was looking at property all day Tuesday with Alex, I worked at BJ’s with Marilyn and the crew. Then Marcy came with me on Wed. and Thurs. to work at the bar.

The day after Marcy arrived we went to Mega Paca and met Pam who needed some ground rules for shopping there. After we were done shopping we met my friend Melissa and drove down in to Juticalpa. I had 2 giant bags of clothes for her and Marcy had coloring books, crayons and shoes for the kids.

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Cutie

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New shoes

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Shoes for both the girls

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She brought her little sister

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I love this photo

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And then there was this pup, starving.

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Marcy feeding another one

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The cat was so hungry it was eating the dog food.

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We had no more pink shoes in her size, she didn’t care, she loved her black Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crocs.

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Passing out the last of the books

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Keon, my friend Melissa’s son. He is well cared for and a real sweetheart.

We actually put food out for a few dogs who were starving and they ignored it, which is a bad sign. They are past the point of being able to eat and are waiting to die. What they need is to have IV’s with fluid and stuff pumped in to them, but this is Roatan and that doesn’t happen. Very sad and depressing not to be able to help.

As you know (if you read my blog or saw me in the last week or so) that we, as a community, lost a good friend. I am still dealing with that. I did not know them as well as others did but that doesn’t mean I didn’t care a great deal about the two of them. A small group (10) worked this past week in the bar, cleaning up, sorting, re-arranging, recovering bar stools, painting, just little things, and we did it for BJ, so she would have a place to come home to after what she went through losing Carmen. I only helped 3 days but I worked really hard. So hard that I couldn’t stand up straight, my back was protesting. Even my house guest helped 2 days and she busted it, painting, scrubbing, cutting contact paper, hard work. Thanks Marcy! There were only a few others and those few individuals worked their asses off, they did the majority of the blood sweat and tears to revamp BJ’s. It’s still BJ’s, it always will be, only better!

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The new bodega, we moved the freezers and extra frig in there. We also had shelves added and put pots and pans on them. The floor was painted, as were the walls and the shutters.

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We cleaned and cleaned. We scrubbed refrigerators, thawed freezers and cleaned them.

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Marilyn, passed out. Really, she was giving her back a break, it was hard work!

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New bar stool covers, we tacked them all down. The old brown ones can be seen laying on the bar.

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Me holding them down while Marilyn staple gunned them.

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Yep, it’s how we roll. It was a labor of love and for the nay-sayers and people who are bitching because we did it, go away, find something constructive to do instead of finding fault with everything. Dig a hole and crawl in it.

After working 3 straight days at BJ’s we decided Friday was fun day so we set off for the Reef House at around 1. When we got to BJ’s a few people were still busting butt, finishing up the place so it would be presentable when BJ arrived. Jimmy picked us up in the boat and took us over. There was a small crowd but some of the usual suspects were there so it was a good day.

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The Banditos minus Alex were playing

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Marcy and me

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It was Larry’s birthday

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So pretty there

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I found this in the water, there was nothing living in it.

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The Reef House Rockettes, Charlene, me, Marcy, Marilyn and Pam

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Pam and Marcy

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Me and Charlene, who was swimming in her bra

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Charlene, Pam and me

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Keri

We had a great time there, wandered home around 4’ish. Marcy and I both ate there but Bill threw something together for dinner anyhow. It was an early to bed evening for us all.

I had airport duty in the morning and Marcy was moving to the Calabash Bight Resort for the second week. Bill took her to meet Pam, who was boating Marcy to CBR and I met Kim at the bottom of the driveway and we went and did our thing at the airport.

Sunday morning is my Mega Paca day and this past Sunday was no different. I got there at 9 AM and noticed the generators were running in the mall, meaning, no power. Our power had gone out but it came back on very quickly. I went in the store and the power was on, then it went off. I’ve been there before when this happens and it usually comes right back on once they get the generator working. Well, it didn’t. So I did what any normal obsessed shopper would do, I used the flashlight on my cell phone and shopped. Soon after I turned my flashlight on, others did too. Soon the store was lit by cell phones. The power came off and on many times, mostly off. I had a few dresses I wanted to try on so I did and an islander shined her cell phone on me and said yes or no to the dress. I did the same for her.

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The light you see is the light from outside and a small light from someone’s cell phone. Total darkness. It was fun.

I bought 2 beach towels, 2 bath towels, a nice red bucket, a Banana Republic dress for $2.30 and an awesome skull shirt, along with a few other things. It was a good day shopping in the dark.

My cleaning gal came today and is coming back tomorrow to do the downstairs. The garage will soon be ready for the roof and windows, the huge concrete patio is poured out front and more exciting news to come out back.

Everyday is an adventure, and I’m trying to live it to the fullest. Tomorrow we are setting up for the senior luncheon that happens on Wednesday @ Turquoise Bay Resort. We expect about 300+ seniors for lunch. I’m looking forward to it and will take lots of photos for my next post.

On Thursday one of my BFF’s from WA is coming for 2 weeks and while she is here another BFF from Maryland is joining us. Lots going on in the next few weeks.

The excitement never ends…

 

 

 

 

In the blink of an eye

 

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05/01/2016 This is an old post that I hid for almost a year due to a request from someone. I’m not hiding it any longer. Sometimes the  truth hurts.

Fridays the gang usually meets at BJ’s Backyard but BJ is in the hospital on the mainland so the festivities were held at The Reef House.  The Reef House is just a short boat ride away from BJ’s. Dave and Trish came to our house and we rode to BJ’s together. From there Jimmy picked us up and took us to The Reef House. My friends Davey and Dilcia own The Reef House but they were in Atlanta, returning the next day. They missed the fun!

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Just beautiful

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My own private pool

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crystal clear and super warm

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Playing cornhole

All the usual suspects were there and then some. The Reef House is situated right on the water and unlike the water at BJ’s, this is nice and clean and swimmable. We ladies got in the water and floated around, it was fabulous, felt like it was 90 degrees. I just wore a swimsuit and a cover up, I was amongst friends, who cares. Trish and I were in the water for quite awhile, just hanging out and chatting.

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Trish and I enjoying the water. Photo by Melanie Wood.

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In heaven

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Trish and me

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Awaiting Marilyn. She was slow because she had precious wine in the glass..

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Marilyn, me and Trish

After 1 too many glasses of wine I gathered the ladies for an epic plank on the concrete dock.

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Bill is the picture taker

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Then we got more people to join us. I think this photo is Melanie’s too

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People thought we were looking for fish

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For a moment we considered a pyramid but then we remembered we were drinking and we were on a concrete pier. Thanks Melanie for the photo!

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My friend Kelly, he so rocks this hat!!

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Bill and Terry talking.

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Dave, Grizzly the dog and Bill.

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Marilyn and me, photo by Gail.

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Keri and I, maybe we were dancing, not sure. Photo by Gail.

I am pretty sure I had a blast there. We left around 3:30-4, came back here, Trish and I showered off the salt water and we went to Cal’s for dinner. Mr. John, our neighbor was there eating alone so I drug him over to our table and then my friend Mitch came, so he joined us. We had a great meal at our favorite food hang out on the island.

Saturday was airport day and I had a fabulous group of ladies working with me. Marilyn and Cindy rode in with me and Laine, Kimberly and Jill all worked too. We got 539 PAX in and out of immigration in 2.5 hours. It was super smooth. I came home and fell asleep on the couch. Woke up, ate something, and went to bed.

Sunday is my Mega Paca day, I was there at 9 AM. My new friends Erik and Jan (they went to Guanaja with us) were meeting me there. We shopped until after 11 and then went to my house to grab some onions before we went to La Sirena for lunch. I really wanted to show them more of the island since they so graciously give their time volunteering here, doing whatever they can to benefit Roatan. Bill decided he wanted to go with us, he’ll never turn down a meal at La Sirena.

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It’s a good thing I took onions because when I went inside to hug Jimmy, the owner, he said, we’re out of onions. I said, no worries, I brought 2. No way was I NOT having onion rings.

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Love this place

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While we were sitting there Betty and Joe and Llyn and John and Lucy came for lunch too. Plus there were friends inside when we got there.

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Diego. We first met him when he was a little pup (July of 2012).

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Bill, Llyn and Jan

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We stopped at our Mondays Don’t Suck beach so Jan and Erik could see it. There were a lot of locals and a considerable amount of trash.

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So gorgeous!

We dropped Jan and Erik off at the mall and they got a taxi back to Sandy Bay. The dogs were happy to see us when we returned, it’s like we’ve been gone for years! Of course, we had “other” dogs smells on us so we were in trouble for that.

This past week has been a slow hot week. Monday Bill and I ran some errands but didn’t really do too much. The temps keep creeping up and the humidity is a killer. Once again, I cleaned, then let the dogs in. I don’t know why I even bother, if I allowed the dog hair to accumulate we could be transported back to the 70’s with a shag rug look! It’s never ending.

On Tuesday we  took Alexi home, armed with new soccer uniforms for the guys he plays soccer with. They play on the beach right next to the water in Politilly. He was so proud to be able to be the one handing out the uniforms, it made him feel important.

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Alexi, first row, right

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The guys were happy with matching jerseys and shorts, the other teams don’t have them.

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Their field

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Guys kitesurfing! Pretty awesome to watch.

Thanks again to Dave and Trish Symons for bringing all of these uniforms from Canada. There are still a whole teams worth to take to the school down the road from us @ the Froylan Turcios school. There is a soccer field right across from the school and Bill already spoke to the director, she would love to have them.

Wednesday was snip snip day for my baby Max. I normally would have had him neutered a long time ago but shit happens and I was busy many Wednesdays. I am super protective of these pups so I wanted him to be done when I could spend time with him and keep an eye on him to make sure he was eating drinking, peeing, AND, not licking. Of course, my vet didn’t have any cones to discourage that.

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I hated watching this but wouldn’t/couldn’t step away.

We had taken Gringo with us because he has two lumps on his chest. I was afraid they were hematomas like the one he had before but Doc said he is fat, and they are fat deposits. Gringo is on a diet. Bill took Gringo home while Doc removed Max’s family jewels and then came back to get us, poor little guy was wiped out.

I sat with him all day and kept him in front of and under a fan. I fed him ice chips and kept rousing him to wake up but he wouldn’t. Finally, later in the day he began to come to. Bill carried him downstairs and he wobbled around, {looked like me last Friday at the Reef House}, and then he peed. We brought him back upstairs and let the rest of the crew inside with him.

We wanted him inside with us at night so he got the luxury of sleeping with us. I spent most of the night awake making sure he wasn’t chewing his stitches out. The next morning he had an appetite so I gave him some eggs and yogurt. He was still either stoned or felt the loss of the testosterone, he was just off. I had a hell of a time keeping him from licking. I did find a place that has cones so I’ll get one for Barrio for next week when he gets snipped. The real feel temperature yesterday was 108. Hot as hell.

We have guys here working in the backyard so the dogs can’t be out there running loose and Bill is pouring concrete out front. This means I am running a poorly funded, barely functioning version of Deb’s Doggie Daycare for Dysfunctional Dogs. And I wonder where all the dog hair comes from.

Last evening we had just finished dinner and the power went out. It was weird. We have 2 feeder lines coming in here, don’t ask. First one went out, which meant part of the lights, then the other one did. I am so thankful my new laptop battery works and we have battery backup for the internet. I posted on the electric company page that our power was out and saw that friends from one end of the island to the other also lost power. It was island wide. One whole island in the Caribbean sea was dark. I laid on the couch and aimed a flashlight at Max’s man parts so I knew what was going on there and dozed off and on. Very grateful we live where we do and that we usually always have a breeze because last night and all day yesterday I was sweating uncontrollably and I did NOTHING. I couldn’t, I was too damn hot. With no fans when the power was out the breeze was appreciated.

While I was on Guanaja I saw a dog that was hurt, sick and bleeding. When I took Max to my vet on Wed. I talked to him about the vet there and he gave me her phone number. Bethany, Doc’s assistant told me, “you know who she is Deb.” I said nope, I don’t. Bethany said she is the lady who was caught with 63K in cash traveling to Belize. Turns out the $$ was properly accounted for and she was charged with nothing, however the government, being as crooked as all others, kept 1/3 of her $$. She does a lot for the island of Guanaja, which is more primitive than Roatan is. I called her on Wednesday and explained the situation to her. I told her I had a photo of the school and the dog so I posted them on her vet clinic FB page. She owns the clinic and said she would have the vet go get the dog and they would take care of it. Aside from being a dog rescuer, she has a very distinguished past, she is uber famous. While alone in South Dakota she discovered the largest T-Rex skeleton in history, it is named after her. Read her article hereclick on Highlights at the top of her page for the T-Rex story.

I spent almost 30 minutes chatting with this lady on the phone. I’m telling you, this island life is so freaking amazing. I love my rock!

I made the dogs some new treats, no bake because who can bake when your boobs are melting off?

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Peanut butter oatmeal balls

3/4 c peanut butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 water
Mix well, add 1 1/4 c oats, 1/4 c at a time.
Shape into balls, freeze on cookie sheet w/ wax paper on it. Once frozen store in ziploc in freezer. My dogs prefer them slightly thawed when eating them and they LOVE them. Well, Highway won’t eat them because he thinks there is a pill in them. He’ll eat the pumpkin ones though. And he thinks he’s so smart!

Friday is my day to misbehave with my friends, however, I spent it at home, dogsitting. Bill poured 1/3 of the concrete garage floor and his back was killing him, he was done for the day.

Friday afternoon Nidia called me. She had been in Oak Ridge at the school when she heard a shot. Not thinking too much about it, she went to BJ’s to see if I was there. She realized when she got there that the party must have been at The Reef House again because none of the usual misfits were there and BJ’s was closed. She saw the lady who sells pineapple cookies every Friday and she told Nidia that Carmen, BJ’s husband, had shot himself. He was dead. Nobody is really sure what went down other than the week before, on my way to the Reef House, I went in and hugged Carmen and asked about BJ. He was upset, saying he didn’t know how BJ was and he was told he had to move out. He was 78 years old and he felt he had nowhere to go. (My friend recently told me that three different people offered him options. She also said, most suicides in elderly are successful because it’s not a cry for help, it is their choice of a solution.) She’s right. What happened was Carmen’s choice. Knowing that helps, but it doesn’t make me any less sad.

A week later (Friday) the lawyer and the cops came to evict him and he got a gun and killed himself. We are all in shock, profoundly hurt, not sure why someone didn’t recognize that he was desperate. There is a big black cloud of anguish hanging over the east end of Roatan. Oak Ridge and BJ’s will never be the same. BJ is out of the hospital but none of us have seen her, she is in Sandy Bay, hasn’t returned to Oak Ridge yet. She is doing much better, the internal bleeding has stopped. I hope she makes it through this. I hope we all do and that at some point we can accept what happened. Blink, and your life changes.

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BJ and Carmen at the Pirate Party Feb 4th. He was pointing his finger at me (I was in the pool) and saying, “girl, you better behave.”

RIP my sweet friend Carmen, you will never be forgotten. Oct 2, 1938 to April 29, 2016.

Carmen’s obit was just shared on FB so I am sharing it here so that those of you who never knew him have an idea of what the man was like. This is the best written obit I’ve ever read, it’s like Carmen wrote it himself.

He was born Feb. 12, 1938, in Pascagoula to Floyd and Ava Byrd, passed away in Roatan, Honduras on April 29, 2016. Carmen was a graduate of Pascagoula High School Class of 1955 and University of Southern Mississippi. He was a beloved brother, a prodigal son, a well-intentioned father and probably a better husband in theory than in practice. Carmen loved women–probably too many–and was loved by them in equal measure. As a young man, he dove from the Pascagoula Bridge at midnight and swam home to Gautier, was rumored to be the first to waterski jump barefoot, and taught Elvis how to waterski. His career spanned days as a proud Marine in Oki Nawa, where he once played a trumpet solo for the Emperor of Japan; as an orderly in the psych ward of a hospital in California; ups and downs as an elevator repairman in his then father-in-law’s business; a successful general contractor in New Orleans (until he wasn’t); an owner of a dive resort and marina in Roatan, and most recently, as the chief entertainer at his wife’s restaurant, BJ’s Backyard in Roatan. His suspected career was imagined by some to include stints as CIA operative, DEA agent, drug smuggler, jungle guide and exotic fish consultant. We may never know which were true and which were someone’s fantasy, but we do know Carmen thoroughly enjoyed the speculation. Hearing issues caused by firing deafening artillery in the Marine Corps led to the title of his as-yet unwritten biography, “Consonants and Context Clues; the Life of Carmen Byrd.” And when that book is written, it will tell the story of an adventurous spirit, a teller of tales that seemed tall but always rang true, a debonair rake, and a lovable scoundrel. His ego was large, his heart was larger and he could strike just the right pose for any occasion. He has left a throng of heartbroken survivors, including his wife, BJ Ebanks of Roatan; his devoted sister, Carolyn Byrd Norton of Washington, DC; his children, Kimberly Erwin of Louisiana, Ashton Byrd of Phoenix, AZ, Shannon Byrd of Roatan, and step-daughter Tracy Ebanks of Roatan; his nieces Amanda Norton Miller of Alexandria, VA, and Julia Norton of Washington, DC; his grandchildren Amy Harris Schwendimann and JJ Harris, James and Maegan Byrd and his great-nephew Ryan Miller. –

Smells like dead lizard

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02/17/2016 Today I went to my local bank to withdraw $$ from the ATM but it was down, AGAIN. So I used the blank check in my wallet to get money out of the account. I made the check out to myself and signed the back of it. It was for Tres Mil, 3000LPS or about $150.00. I handed the teller my Honduran resident card and my debit card for this account. He started filling out paperwork and on the back of my check he wrote my account number. Then he flipped the check over, looked at it, at the back of the check, then at me again and said DEPOSIT? OMG, NO. Why would I deposit a check drawn on my only account into the account it is written on?? This was after waiting 35 minutes..seriously??

I haven’t been in a blogging mood lately, sorry about that. I’m depressed. My house in the US was always clean, windows, floors, curtains, clean. I am physically unable to keep this house on the hill clean no matter what I do. I dust and the next day it looks like I invited the Sahara desert over for a freaking windstorm. I shit you not. You can write your name on any and every piece of my furniture. My window tracks are disgustingly gross, filled with dead critters and mud. I just cleaned them again yesterday and as soon as it rains they will be muddy again. Does it rain dirt on this island? Cleaning my window tracks is an all day job, I have 16 windows on the second floor that open. They are filthy all the time. Add to that a husband who is not Mr. Clean and 5 dogs and a cat and it’s a lose lose situation.

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Before

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I use a screwdriver and small wire brushes and pine sol.

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After, clean until it rains again.

Last week a few nights in a row when I crawled into bed I smelled dead animal. I was convinced there was a dead lizard somewhere under the bed. Bill looked all over for it but didn’t see anything. We pulled the mattress up and looked under it, nada. I opened my nightstand drawer and found a pile of stuff that smelled like dead something. Whatever it was it was disintegrated into a mound of pulp in the drawer. I took the drawer in the bathroom, emptied the contents, scrubbed it out and put it back. Then I went back in the bathroom to clean up the mess and was assaulted by the SAME DAMN SMELL. I finally realized it was the bag of cat treats still setting on the counter that smelled like dead lizard. That’s what the mound of stuff was in the drawer that smelled.

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Seriously, I thought this was a decomposed lizard.

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It was decomposed Temptations…

Last Sunday we had no power due to the rain and winds. So, what do we do when the power is off, go to Mega Paca and shop. Marilyn, Carmen and Carmen’s parents picked me up on their way to town. First thing I scored was a Kate Spade wallet. It was $1.50.

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In love with this

We all had a blast shopping except it was hot in there with no A/C (power was out island wide). We made a few stops before they brought me home. I think power came on later in the day but it was off for a loooong time.

Monday was another beach day. I picked up Carmen and Brett and Karon and Ron (Carmen’s parents) and we drove out to Camp Bay beach. We had a pretty good turnout, we floated, played volleyball and had a few drinks.

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Kathy, Karon, Carmen and Brett

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The second round of volleyball

Then the 5 of us went to La Sirena for rum punches, well I didn’t drink any because I was driving and they are STRONG. I just devoured my onion rings, so yummy!

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Selena’s pig @ La Sirena

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Brett and Ron

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Brett and me

We had an epic Tuesday, really we did. Marilyn, Carmen and Karon picked me up and we went to Coxen Hole to get Nidia. We were on our way to see Doña Maria. I had sheets and a blanket, shampoo and conditioner and 2 bags of coffee for her. Marilyn had a new pillow, more sheets and a roll of chicken wire that a friend of hers donated. After we got Nidia and the chickens that Daine gave us we went to the grocery store where Carmen and Karon bought Doña Maria all kinds of things, cereal, milk, oil, salt, sugar and coca cola. Then we went looking for feed for the chickens (that were in a pillow case in a box in the back of the car), got that at the 2nd store. We then drove around some more looking for a corn grinder for her. Marilyn had gotten one before but turns out it was a meat grinder. After looking several places, we had one more place to look. That was the golden ticket, Nidia found a beautiful grinder there for Doña Maria.

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Nidia with the corn grinder

We headed back to the path that treks through the jungle and started walking up to her house. When we got there we were disappointed because she wasn’t home. Martha Stewart  Marilyn, in her pink Polo wellies, started building a chicken coop for the new chickens.

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Marilyn building the coop

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We named them, Marilyn, Carmen, Nidia and Deb.

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The hinges on Doña Maria’s house.

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Her oven, stove and microwave all bundled into one handy energy saving unit.

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There is water in the bucket to wash her dishes with.

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This looked like a chicken coop but we realized she was drying her bananas in here.

Rather than leave and not get to see Doña Maria we decided to hang around until she came home. We wandered around checking things out, waiting for her when all of a sudden she comes walking up the path with a cardboard box balanced on her head. In the box were scraps of wood for her fire that is always burning. She had walked all the way into Coxen Hole carrying a hand of bananas to sell. Doña Maria weighs all of 75# soaking wet and she carried the bananas down the path, walked along the highway into town, they must have weighed 30# at least. She found a buyer for her bananas, the lady took them and then said she didn’t have the $$ to pay her. All of that for nothing, she came home banana-less. Doña Maria was so excited to see us. We made her close her eyes and then Nidia walked her to the chicken coop, she was thrilled that we got her chickens. Nidia showed her the gorgeous corn grinder that Marilyn bought for her, I know it’s something she will really use a lot. We gave her all the things we bought for her, I think it may have been overwhelming. Carmen had a padlock with a key for her door and a variety of food stuff. Doña Maria showed us her sugar came press that her son made for her.

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This photo has Flat Poppy on the press. I’m doing a Flat Poppy story for my friends granddaughter.

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Doña Maria’s one room home.

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Nidia climbed up the hill where they planted corn and took this pic. There is a chicken coop behind Carmen and I, but the chickens belong to someone else.

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Carmen, me, Karon and Nidia

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Her water bucket wheel barrow. In the back of the wheelbarrow you can see a pile of dirt. The Live Again Ministries went there and dug holes so they could put in a bench for Doña Maria. They came back the following week with the wood and built it for her.

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Bags of treats for Doña Maria

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She didn’t know what to say when she was given the corn grinder. What a difference it will make in her life.

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The entrance to her one room, bed only, home. She does not own a chair.

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Doña Maria, me and Flat Poppy.

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Carmen, Doña Maria and Karon (Carmen’s mother)

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Her entryway and Flat Poppy

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This is where a little 83 year old lady lives alone. She is unable to lock the door from the inside.

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Nidia sharing a glass of coke with Doña Maria.

She wants to get her hair done again so Nidia will follow up on that. After I posted some photos on FB I had a friend here on the island who wants to pay for and build her a table and bench to use as a kitchen table. I’ll probably get her a few plastic chairs too. We are also inquiring about building her a better home. She doesn’t own the land so we have to get permission from the landowner.

After we said our good byes to Doña Maria we dropped Nidia off in Coxen Hole and headed home, sort of. We got diverted and went to Romeo’s in French Harbor for lunch and wine.

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French Harbor

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We were going to sit outside but it was pretty windy and cool so we moved indoors.

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I could eat 10 plates of this bread. I only had 1 slice, I shared.

I don’t recall what I did the next few days, one of them I tried, again, to pay my friends property tax, only to be told this time I needed copies of their RTN’s. They did not say I needed them the last time I tried to pay, each time I go there, it’s something different. You would think that they would make it easy to pay your taxes, especially since the many on the island don’t pay theirs. UGH!

Friday was BJ’s and on the way there, I paid our taxes. The last 2 times I tried to pay them I couldn’t wait any longer because of Spanish class. This time I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Then I was off to BJ’s with the crew. It was anther rainy shitty day but we still had a good group of people.

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The Banditos rocking the place.

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Some of the die-hards coming by boat in the pouring rain.

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This is BJ’s husband Carmen. He likes his rum.

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My favorite Bitchacha who will probably give me hell because I posted this pic!

And the rains continued. When I got up Saturday morning and looked out the windows, first the south shore and then the north shore, I realized I couldn’t see either. We were socked in with no visibility and a very low cloud cover. The tower at the airport is not equipped to do IFR landings so unless the pilots can see the runway (Visual landing as opposed to instrument) they can’t land.

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Seriously, I’ve never seen it like this.

I got to the airport at 11:15 and we were told it was closed. No flights coming in or leaving. Really? We had 2 AA, 2 UAL and a Delta flight coming in and an airport full of stranded delayed passengers. I got the PAX counts and ETA’s from the desks and we waited to see what was going to happen. The first flight was due in at 12:30 but it was “late.” We stood outside the back of the airport facing the runways and watched the Delta and the 1st United circle overhead. Then we heard that the United diverted to San Pedro Sula. Soon after that, out of seemingly nowhere, the Delta plane landed. The runway at RTB is right smack next to the water and we could barely see the water. As the PAX were de-planing and I was welcoming them at the immigration door I saw the American jet come in, almost land and abort at the last minute. OMG, the passengers were probably freaking out. It went to Belize instead. We were told the other American also went to San Pedro Sula. After waiting around the American from San Pedro and the United finally came over from the mainland and landed. The 2nd United flight was cancelled and we heard the American wasn’t coming. I went into the office and signed out and was getting ready to leave when the airport guys said the American that went to Belize was due in at 6 PM (only 5 hours late). I signed back in and 4 of us went to wait for the plane to come in.  The runway lights were on, waiting for the flight from BZE @ 6 but at 6:10 PM it was cancelled, still in Belize. As it turns out, there was no room in Belize for the plane so they refueled and took those poor passengers back to Miami and they were bringing them the next day.

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It’s rare that a plane lands at night in Roatan, as it turned out, one didn’t land this night either.

It was an exhausting 7 hour day at the airport, the only good thing I can say about it is, I love meeting the new people coming to the island and I love the ladies I work with.

A few shots of random stuff before I wrap this up and go read.

This is the ARK they are building in Politilly. It is going to be a nightclub??? I’ll snap some more pics on Friday when I go to BJ’s, they have done a lot of work on it. I don’t remember who took this photo but I did not.12671619_1697270283861936_4166679552789434544_o

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This is my niece Devon, my brother PJ’s daughter. She is at the Night to Shine event at a church in Montoursville, PA. This is an event sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation and it is worldwide..Devon had a blast at the party, I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

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We had a visit from an Amazon Parrot yesterday. It sat up in the trees calling. I looked around for more but didn’t see any. I know, it just looks like a bird but believe me, through the binoculars I could tell it was a parrot.

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Max and Barrio snoozing on Highways bed.

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Gringo and Barrio. I finally took the chairs off the couch, the boys seem to know it’s off limits.

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Dog origami, on the roof.

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Trace took this pic of his sweet girlfriend Maureen. I love it! We are anxiously awaiting for them to come visit us soon. (Hint hint Maureen)

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My friends Jill and Rick Jackson own Las Cabanas de Loreto ( a fabulous vacation spot) in Baja, Mexico. Rick, as you can see, is a professional photographer. He snapped this photo while they were camping in Baja on Valentines Day. To see more of Rick’s work go to http://www.soulcatchingimages.com

Yes, we have bananas, lots of apple bananas. The dogs are still enjoying them every morning with peanut butter, I’m eating them and Bill makes a smoothie every night. Sure hope we have some when our guests arrive in March.
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And that my friends is a wrap. I’m off to the couch. If any of you have any hints or tips for my house cleaning woes, I’m ready..
Signed:
Disgusted with the dirt in Paradise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misfits and Mayhem

pirate202/06/2016 The front of the house is finally fenced in; however  the fence was not yet concreted to the cinder block base and we are still waiting on the metal sliding gate to be finished. Bill made a temporary fence gate to keep the dogs in. The other day the pups were outside running around playing and next thing I hear is Bill yelling, “the pups got out!” They pushed the fence away at the bottom where it wasn’t finished and escaped like greased pigs. Luckily they ran down through the woods and not down towards the main road. Alexi went chasing after them and I ran down the driveway (well, fast walked, I can’t really run) and they were all running back up to me. Highway was the only one who didn’t escape, well, he and Frito, who was inside. Bill finished the fence the next day so they can no longer escape through the bottom. That was a little excitement that I didn’t need, I would freak if anything happened to any of them.

Brett and Carmen rode with me to Mondays Don’t Suck. I’m so glad they came because it was an awesome day on the beach. We had a huge group of people enjoying MDS. The Duchess of Camp Bay’s friend (and my friend) Skip arrived on Saturday and was there for the day along with so many other people, some I didn’t even know. We played volleyball, swam and floated AND we did a conga line on the beach. I think it was going on 5 PM by the time I got home. I was exhausted from all the fun.

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Game 1, Carmen displaying her perfect form. I too played a round of volleyball but, for some damn reason, I couldn’t stand still, I had to dance. There was music playing and it was dancing music..Once I start I have a hard time stopping. Dancing that is, not playing volleyball. While looking at this photo, please imagine that I have the same ultra perfect form that Carmen does. I’m sure I do. Really.

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Cute beach dog who may now belong to the Duchess.

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Carmen displaying her 2 favorite beach things, wine and a Bengals cup..

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Francie showing off her technique..she’s our sexy player..

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So many people and so many different levels of being upright. What a group!

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Skip was really excited for Mondays Don’t Suck!

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Volleyball is hard work..so is partying all the time!

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View of our beach area..

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Roger looking for some good Conga Line music.

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A small gathering of misfits

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The Duchess

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The Duchess and Skip

So many fun people, it was an awesomely amazeballs day.

There are 2 videos of the conga line..I was going to post one of them but then decided that nobody really wants or needs to see my boobs almost popping out of my suit. So, you’re welcome, I saved you from the retina burner. Skip, thanks for the TIME and People magazines w/ Bowie on them. Prized possessions..I still owe you a drink or 3.

Tuesday I went to Mega Paca to get some bedding stuff for Doña Maria. We are planning to go see her on Sunday, weather permitting. I got her a few nice things then went to the store and got her some staples like coffee and shampoo and conditioner. The group from Live Again Ministries are on the island and paid her a visit last week, they are building a bench for her. More on that in the next blog..On the way home from shopping I stopped at the Stihl chain saw place to  get a new wiper and ended up sitting there pulling ticks off their puppies eye and out of her ears. {I bought some worm medicine and stopped the next day to worm her.}

I came home and did some laundry and was sitting here at the computer reading something when I heard a loud rumble. I thought it was a severe wind gust. Then the whole damn house shuddered, TWICE. The dogs freaked out, Barrio cried, and it was over. Earthquake!! At first they said it was 4.7 and upgraded to 4.9. It was so weird to hear the rumble, thinking it’s something else but then realizing just what the hell it was. No injuries or damage reported on the island. I have a big art piece that needs realigned, but that’s it.

I don’t work at the airports on Wednesday, but I was there. I went to meet a new friend who is active in animal rescue and was coming to the island for vacation. She brought along a donation of many collars and leashes for the upcoming vet clinic and I offered to meet her at the airport to get them. Thank you Brenda, I know they will be appreciated! I also got to meet Carmen’s parents who arrived the same day. I spent most of the afternoon Wednesday trying to decide on a costume for the Pirate party. I’m not much for costumes but having gone to the party last year and seeing the way people were dressed, I had to give it a shot. I tried on so many damn black dresses, red bra on top of tank tops (looked like a poor hooker), swimsuit cover-up (fat), skirts, back to dresses, started feeling like a nitwit and thought maybe I should just go to the party and not worry about a costume. I decided to make rum balls and have a drink instead.

Thursday morning I got up and all I could think about was a pirate wench costume. I somehow managed to go from pirate girl to wench overnight, funny how that shit happens. All of a sudden I had an epiphany. My boots, I still  had my boots. Never forget that a good pair of boots can make you into a slutty pirate in no time. These boots took me months to decide on, the boots that I may have bought 9 or 10 different pairs, only to return them all. The boots that I finally had to special order. It became a joke with my friends back in the states, especially Teri B who happened to be with me for many of the search, buy and return scenarios.

I’ll admit it. I used to have a very serious addiction. To black shoes and boots. Truth be told, moving to the island was the only way for me to escape the chains of my addiction and get on with my life. I only brought 2 pair of black boots and probably a dozen pair of black shoes, 10 pair which I have not worn since I’ve been here.

Anyhow, so I have these kick ass black knee-high, heeled boots. They’re not a spike heel so they can go dressy or slutty..I chose the latter. By 10AM I had my outfit chosen and I was feeling pretty good. Only issue was MY FEET. They thought they were dying in properly enclosed shoes, it’s been a few years since they have seen anything like boots. I sucked it up and pulled those suckers on, zipped them up, grabbed a Stronghold headband, my wine and wineglass and we were good to go. Oh yes, I also had on a pirate shirt and my tutu, of course. All slutty pirate wenches wear tutus.

For all of you curious souls, no Bill did not wear a costume, but he did go with me. Alexi, our helper was here and when he saw me he got this big shit eaten grin on his face and said, “you look cool.” I knew I did something right. We got to BJ’s around 10 to noon and were picked up by boat to get to the party. I believe we may have been the first guests to arrive. Francie was already a gorgeous slutty pirate wench but Franklin wasn’t in his Johnny Deppish clothes yet.

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Big Rock (If this looks familiar, it’s is the same place that we had spa day recently)

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flying that flag

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The fabulous slutty pirate hostess with the slutty pirate toenails and me.

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Pirates pirates everywhere..

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Alex and Joe, pirate banditos

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We had parrots everywhere

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The outdoor kitchen/bar area..

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The fabulous host Franklin with their new, adorable puppy, Rocky.

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Francie eating some of the firecrackers I made..

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Roger and Mike

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Skip and the Duchess Jeanie

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2 slutty pirate wenches, Francie and Marilyn

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The sword that Kathy is wearing is real, and it is sharp.

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For some reason I thought it was a good idea for Brett to use the sword to slash up the neck of my t-shirt, while I was wearing it.

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Yep, more piratey shirt for sure.

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The divine pirate wench Kathy.

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Kathy and Carmen

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Keri (from Snohomish WA), BJ and me

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I wore my tutu in the pool and the tag was still on it, $198.00

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Franklin and Bob

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Francie, Gail and I dancing. You can see the water droplets on my skirt. It did very well in the water. I would get out of the pool and shake like a dog and it would be almost dry. Thankfully no pics of the dog like shaking..

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Carmen and I decided to grace everyone with a beautifully choreographed synchronized swimming special. Thank you Davey for capturing these moments on film.

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We are so good, our timing was spot on.

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Keri and Gail, wenching it up. Gail is my dancing girl, she loves to dance as much as I do.

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Photo by Rosalie Dickson Boileau. Rosalie took this photo of her husband Bob (L) me and Joe.

Funny thing, at the semi end of the party they announced the winners for best costume and Bob won for the men and I won for the women. We each got a Pirate shot glass. Francie said I won b/c of my boots, Bob won b/c he had cute red lips..

This was seriously the best party I’ve been to since ever..the food was spectacular, as is the location, superb hosts and an amazing cast of fellow pirate friends..an epic pirate party!

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Rosalie posted this on FB the day after the party. It’s so perfect.

Brenda, who I met at the airport (collars and leashes) on Wed. messaged me Friday morning to see if I was going to BJ’s. I was debating because I didn’t have the energy. I knew that excuse would not cut it with Jeanie so I fed the dogs a late breakfast, showered and dressed for the day. I got to BJ’s a little after 1 and there were only a handful of people there but soon the place began to fill up. Francie and Franklin came so I ran to my car to call Bill to see if he was on his way. He made an enclosed bulletin board for Kat’s Rise Up Roatan center and he was going to help Franklin hang it.

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This is the building where our Spanish classes were held, coincidentally, it’s right across the road from BJ’s parking lot..

I hung out at BJ’s, got involved (sort of) in a meeting with PIER (Partners In Education Roatan) and some friends, then went back to BJs. Brenda and her friends were  there, Jeanie, Roger and Skip had arrived, the place was packed. I got an order of fries, finished my wine and went home. Before I left I told Brenda about Cal’s Cantina. We were going there for dinner with Jeanie, Roger and Skip. We got to Cal’s around 5, a perfect time because there was already a table of friends, more came in, then another table, then Brenda and her friends, then our neighbor John came, before long, the place was crowded. We had a good meal, as always, and then came back here for Skip to meet Frito and we did sips of Damiana.

I woke this morning to a chilly cloudy rainy day. My mind went to the people coming in for vacation, on a dark, damp, cool dismal day. You know most of the people just left somewhere very cold and were hoping to arrive on a bright sunny island. Not happening. I didn’t realize just how bad the weather was until I got to the airport and heard it was closed due to a low ceiling. Avianca going to the mainland sat there, fully boarded for over 90 minutes waiting to take off. AA from Miami was late due to mechanical issues, United arrived first, after circling for 15 minutes. Soon after that 3 more planes landed, (one of which aborted their first landing here and went around again), at the same damn time almost. It was a long day but I did get a guy to sing to me and then he kissed me, all to get in the express lane..Some people will do anything…and I’m just the girl to make them.

TV tip, just watched Twinsters on Netflix, I really enjoyed it. True story about twins separated at birth who find each other 25 years later. Great story and the real twins are the stars..

It’s past my bedtime, stay tuned..I’m hoping we don’t get blown off this hilltop, it’s pretty damn windy out there.

P.S. I was going to post this blog this morning but I woke at 5 AM to no power. It just came back on around 4:30 this afternoon. Island wide outage, always happens when a Norther rolls in..