The Planking Sisterhood

bruises

01/31/2016  Saturdays have become a blur to me. This past one was no exception. The weather on the eastern side of the US was causing a major upheavel to the flights arriving from and departing to the US. Many passengers did not make it off the island on Sat., therefore missing all of their connections in the US.. That’s just the way it goes when you travel, Mother Nature is the Ultimate Bitchacha. She wins all the time.

Monday Bob and Rosalie and Marilyn picked me up for our Mondays Don’t Suck days in Camp Bay. We had a great turnout because Franklin and Francie’s kids were here. (3 of them were to leave but couldn’t due to weather) We played some volleyball with the young ones putting us to shame. We forget they can run and we’re old. Well, I should speak for myself, I can NOT run, not even if Channing Tatum was at the finish line. But believe me, I can crawl really fast.

After Volleyball we all cooled off in the angry sea. The waves were pretty high and there was a strong current pushing us westward, it still felt marvelous. We had food, drinks and music. At one point I began a congo line and the women joined in. We danced down around the volleyball net and back up the beach. We plan to do a synchronized version tomorrow that will be filmed.

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Beautiful Barbon Beach

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The Duchess of Camp Bay got a wild hair to climb a tree.

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Unfortunately for her she ran out of wine once in said tree. Franklin came to her rescue.

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She managed to get the wine from her foot to her hand with no spillage reported.

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The Duchess was happy once again. We all strive to ensure the Duchess is always happy.

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She peacefully finished her wine, surrounded by branches.

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I am so serious. MONDAYS DO NOT SUCK.

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Foreigners to our beach. They were rather rude and ignored us when we spoke. Obviously he never got the memo, no mixing vertical and horizontal stripes.

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The duchess wore this shirt to the beach. I think that’s her on the front.

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A tense volleyball game.

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Francie and the Duchess doing their toe thing

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Yes, she poured wine on herself.

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squished Noni fruit

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Another lost ZORIE. We thought it may belong to David Groatan but he marks his with a R and an L.

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Pity us that we have to play volleyball in such an ugly spot.

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perfection

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Part of the gang..

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Leave only footprints.

Wednesday I went to Coxen Hole muni to attempt to pay the property taxes for my friends. The place was packed. Nidia followed up on it and we need more info than I had because it’s their first time paying. We’ll get this figured out yet.. After that I went to my hair gal Nadia to get my roots corrected.

Thursday Carmen and I had a day of fun in the sun planned, however, there was no sun. We went to Mega Paca looking for accessories for the upcoming Pirate party and actually scored some cool stuff. After that we went to Arch’s Iguana Farm and ran into Mr. Arch himself. I also got to meet my friend Gale’s (Sam Arch’s sister) daughter, Derricka. Oh my, what a doll she is. After that I gave Carmen a tour of Parrot Tree, we checked on my friends home for her and then went to Cal’s for garlic bread and wine. It was a wonderful day spent with a good friend! While taking Carmen home we saw an unusual sight and I was fortunate enough to catch up to the guy.

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The only way this photo could be better would be if someone was sitting in the rocker.

Friday was the last Spanish class for awhile. After that, it was off to BJs with my newest Mega Paca score, a brand new Woozie (wine glass koozie).

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Perfect design and everything..Just be sure to put it on the glass before the wine goes in.

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I got the girls to plank again, front to back: Keri, Llyn, me, Marilyn (grabbing my ass) and Jeanie grabbing Marilyn’s ass

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Then we posed for a group photo and it looks like I am choking Kathy but I’m not, she’s just being dramatic..

Bill wasn’t working at the house so he planned to come to BJ’s also. When I got out of class Roger said Bill called and there was a dog fight and he got bitten separating the dogs. I didn’t have my phone so I used Rogers to call him back. Apparently Frito got loose and went right for Lola’s throat, for no reason other than hate. In the process of breaking it up, Lola bit him pretty hard on his thumb. I convinced him a beer would make it feel better so he came over for a little while. Frito just hates Lola’s guts because the puppies (Frito’s pups) adore Lola.

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When I left for class it was cool, in the 70’s here. I had on leggings and a short dress/top. Obviously before we planked I was hot because I took these off in the bar and tied them around my bag strap.

When I got home around 3:30 I was so tired I laid down on the couch and slept until 8:30. I woke up, ate yogurt and went to bed. In the morning I was kind of surprised to see my leggings where they were. Oh well, it is what it is.

Saturday I was at the airport until 4:30. The Delta flight was 2 hours late leaving Hotlanta (Atlanta) because the galley oven wouldn’t turn on. What a shame, without it the 5 first class passengers would just have to go without their reheated previously cooked bland nasty food.

Sunday we took the boys swimming @ Parrot Tree again. My new friend from Canada, Diane and her husband Andy are staying there so they walked over to the lagoon and met us. The boys played for about an hour while we chatted. They slowly started to get tired and once they reached the point of groveling in the sand, it was time to leave.

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Gringo, Barrio and Mad Max

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3 stooges

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They were really good but still explored every area they could.

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So lucky we can take them there to swim. Once Diane and Andy get their home built, it’s beachfront and they said we can bring the boys there to swim too. They are fellow dog lovers.

We came home and I bathed all 3 of the dogs, did some laundry and we all napped for awhile. At 4 we had to meet our friend Miguel in Oak Ridge. We found another bag of soccer jerseys buried in the spare room so we ran them over to him. This is the progress on the Ark disco/casino/nightclub. It’s going to be quite the place.

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You can see the masts from a distance

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They have all the rigging up

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They are adding waves and sea creatures

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from the rear

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Octopus, crabs, sailfish, turtle..

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amazing

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and a dolphin

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And the obligatory skull. I wonder if I could borrow it for the Pirate party this week??

Last, but certainly not least, my poor 90 year old Mom fell and broke her wrist. She was at the computer, the desk chair is armless w/ wheels and they have a mat under it so it rolls easily. Obviously it rolls too easily and got out from under her. She went down on her wrist and broke it in 2 places. They don’t want to operate so they put her in traction and set and cast it. She’s in a lot of pain right now and her knee is bothering her too. I imagine she wrenched that when she fell. So thankful for my sister who got down there as soon as she could safely drive. Hoping things get better and her wrist heals up quickly.

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Next week is action packed; hopefully I am not too tired to blog about it. Being retired and having this much fun every day is hard work..I’m trying like hell not to be boring.

They found me

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01/25/2016 There she went just walking ‘cross the floor, singing do wah diddy diddy down diddy do

snappin’ her fingers and shufflin’ her feet, singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do

She looked good, LOOKED GOOD
she looked fine, LOOKED FINE
she looked good, she looked fine
and I nearly lost my mind
Before I knew it she was walkin’ next to me,
And then she was dead.
Squashed by Bill’s shoe. A big assed scorpion, upstairs, in the kitchen and we’ve never had them upstairs before. Not happy about this, I want scorpion barriers. Good news is the big ones don’t have as much venom as the little ones. So the natives say.
I didn’t take a photo of the squashed scorpion because I’m gross, but not that gross. The last time we found a big scorpion, it was the same scenario but it was in the rental house, not ours. The first one was bigger. After the first one met its demise, it laid dead on a paper towel on the kitchen table for 3 days before someone finally threw the damn thing out.

So began my week on the rock.

 Sunday morning we took the 3 boys to Parrot Tree for an early morning swim. They were so excited to be there! Not much makes me happier than seeing these 3 guys running and jumping in the water, chasing each other, over and under the beach chairs, up the steps and jumping off the wall. They were exhausted after 30 minutes.
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Gringo is ready

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They love the water

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My otters

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They climb on each other’s backs all the time. Bottom pup usually goes under..

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L to R, Gringo, Barrio and Maxillicious

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Barrio and Gringo

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After their swim we ran to the grocery store. We saw another car flipped over. By the time Bill ran into the store to grab just a few things and we passed by again, the car was upright, ready to be driven home.

Monday I went to Mondays Don’t Suck with Gypsy Rosalie and Bob. There were only a handful of us there but my favorite Cookie Monster, Roger is back on the rock. We didn’t have the volleyball net so we just ate and drank. A few brave ones went in the water, it was a rough sea for sure.
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Doesn’t matter what the weather is, being on the beach with friends is the best.

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AArrgghh matey!

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Barbon Beach, Camp Bay

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Foamy surf

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whip it, whip it good.. Kathy with her noodle..

I was invited to a spa day at Francie’s this past week. I met Jeanie at the top of the hill in Oak Ridge (her husband dropped her off). We met our badass girlfriend Marilyn at BJ’s at 9:30 and she took us by boat to Big Rock, Franklin and Francie’s utterly fabulous home. (click on Big Rock and check out this property, it is for rent and it’s top notch)

There were 3 ladies to do massages, mani’s and pedi’s. I passed on the massage due to still sore ribs and had a nice relaxing pedi. We had a great lunch, bowls of fruit and some adult beverages. Franklin came home from golfing and made us some specialty drinks with fresh grated nutmeg on top, oh my yummy!!

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The pool at Big Rock.

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Badass Marilyn getting her mani

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The outdoor kitchen at Big Rock, Francie and Jeanie

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The man of the hour, grating nutmeg for our Pussers Pain Killer drinks!

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This woman makes me do bad things. She looks all innocent and shit, but she is NOT…

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Our drinks

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Another pool view

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Turquoise toes

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A massage with a view..wish my ribs weren’t so sore, I would have loved this!

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Their new baby Rocky. I was in love..

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Francie’s slutty Pirate toes

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The view from the steps going down to the boat.

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Darkness was descending upon us..

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Pudens bringing Marilyn’s boat around for us

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Big Rock

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I love this badass woman

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Big Rock sits up on the hill above the beach.

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Through the mangroves and back to BJ’s

It was almost totally dark when I got home, a long day away from the babies..What a wonderful way to spend a day with friends. So lucky.

This island is divided into 2 parts, Roatan and Santos Guardiola. I am very thankful to say I live in Santos Guardiola. Each part has their own mayor, ours is Carson Dilbert and I know him well enough to always get a hug and a kiss every time I see him. He is a good man who is trying to do what is right. The mayor on the other end of the island is not quite an upstanding person. When the DEI came in here toting guns and closing businesses, he left the island. He was not here to stop them. Just recently he proposed a new tax plan that is discriminatory, ridiculous and illegal. He thought in his nonfunctioning brain that this was a smart way to get some new $$ for raises for many of the people who work at the municipal. The business people were up in arms over this, taxing foreign dive instructors and other ridiculous things.. Anyhow, my friends on the other end of the island decided to have a march against what he is doing. Ironically, as soon as he got wind of what was going to happen he supposedly rescinded the cruise ship tax and the raises. he thought the march was cancelled. Surprise.. we were still marching.

I got to the airport where the march began at 8 AM. My friend Daine was there and Nidia’s oldest son Franklin. I helped pass out t-shirts and by 9 AM we had passed out 500 of them (purchased with $$ Daine and Nidia raised) that said Roatan United on them.

At 9:15 we were off, the march had started.

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Yes, I am aware that my boobs make the shirt look distorted..They said Roatan Unidos on the back.

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Just the beginning, the banner asks what happened to the 500 million Lempira budget, where was it spent?

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I took a pic of my sweet friend Ana taking a photo of me.

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Coming into town, photo by M Tejada

Aaron

600 people strong, photo credit, Aaron Etches

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In front of the municipal office, photo credit Aaron Etches

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They were peering out their windows

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Our tax dollars hard at work paying the municipal employees.

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Cops guarding the entrance, one of them was my friend Eduardo who hugged me and wanted to know when we were going snorkeling.

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People from all over the world who call this island home, along with people born and raised here attended this march. I walked with my friends, Ana, Daine, Eric and Carly, Milesse and Nidia. Ana, Daine and Nidia are Honduran.

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I was proud to be a part of this. Do these new taxes directly affect us, not directly, more like a trickle effect, but they affect my friends and their businesses and the tourism dollars that this island depends on to support the economy. Our infastucture is in need of a major overhaul yet the Mayor is spending money on Municipal restaurants, an invisible hardware store, a farm on a neighboring island and quartz crystals that will generate electricity. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. This is a poor country, money needs to be spent intelligently.

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My gorgeous friend Nidia in the middle with the head wrap on. I love this lady!!

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This says it all.

Of course, the illustrious Mayor was nowhere to be seen. His minions took to Facebook afterwards and claimed we were all disgruntled people with a political agenda and not business owners. Bullshit. There were MANY business owners there.

I left downtown Coxen Hole at 11:15, buzzed by the house, Bill gave me a cup of ice water and my books for Spanish class and I drove like the local taxis do so I could get to class on time. It had rained a little while we were marching so I was semi wet, semi sweaty and really needed wine. I made it through my fun Spanish class taught by Francie and immediately headed to BJ’s with the gang afterwards. Luckily I got there before Jeanie and got the biggest wine glass.. Bitchacha!!

Saturday I was back doing my airport gig. The poor people traveling to the east coast were doomed. Francie’s family didn’t leave as planned, they were headed to the Northeast and decided to wait until Monday to even try to make their connections! It was a long day at RTB. The plane that was supposed to be there at 12:20 arrived at 3:20, we didn’t leave the airport until 4 PM, exhaustion set it, however I still made chicken noodle soup for dinner, it was just what I needed. That and vodka. AND, I just talked about the airport again, oh well, it is a part of my life.

This letter was received about us, the Volunteer Airport Greeters, it is the very reason we do what we do.

In my line of business I travel internationally quite frequently and lately, work with Vegas Electric has been bringing me to Roatan on a more regular basis.

As a frequent traveler in the Americas, I usually know what to expect – a short flight from Houston that may or may not be on time, the signature Roatan warmth as we deplane, and a long line with an air conditioning system that may or may not work. As mentioned, that is more or less what I expect when arriving in Roatan, and to be fair it is not very different than similar destinations in the Americas I travel to.

During my last trip to Roatan however, something was different. We were a little bit late, and the warm embrace of the breeze was unchanged as we deplaned, but something was different with the line at immigration. It was the group of mostly ladies from the Roatan Tourism Board (or Chamber) uncertain of the actual name. They were smiling, they were engaging, they were speaking to every person in line, quite a welcoming sight and experience. It made the usually tedious nature of waiting for your turn go a lot faster, a lot easier and in the end, entirely changed the disposition of the passengers, the immigration officers and the room in general. What a great way to arrive.

The excellent initiative of establishing a formal island welcome in this fashion, makes a difference to new arrivals to Roatan. I can tell you it made a difference to me, and that I also saw it in the faces of other passengers. This is an excellent initiative that in my view should continue as the ladies warmth, smiles and positive energy made a big difference in the arrival and ensure the Roatan difference is felt from before immigration.

As you continue to work towards strengthening and differentiating the Roatan tourist experience, I think this should be an element retained and when possible, extended.

Regards and very nice to meet you.

I love my airport gig and the people I meet there. It’s lobby leading, just not for Bank of America, although they did teach me well.

It was a blustery weekend on the rock. It looked like a battlefield when I walked the dogs.

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Gringo, (R) is 9 months old and towers over his momma Frito the seal. She stops dead when I’m walking her, then runs like hell and face plants. She only has 3 legs, guess she forgets that.

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Neighbors pool, I can use anytime I want. It’s a bit chilly now, maybe 60’s..if it gets really hot or I’m just really hot, it may happen. I’m used to cold water swims, I lived in Washington, I swam in a river and a lake that were both fed by glaciers.

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Trumpet tree leaves littered our driveway. A certain part of these trees are a preferred food for sloths. There is a sloth farm here. No lie.

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These are huge leaves!!

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Gringo on the R is so much bigger than seal lips (Frito).

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Such a gorgeous boy.

The locals were freezing their butts off, wearing sweaters and layers of long shirts. It was mid 70’s with a cool wind from the north. I wasn’t cold. I’m still not cold, except I do have on socks with my flip flops..

A couple more photos before I proofread this 19 times and publish it. This is our granddaughter Alexah, she is 13.

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Maybe I’m partial but I think she is gorgeous!

This is Chloee, she will be 10 in February.

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Look at her dimples, she just got about 4″ cut off her hair, this is the new do. I think she’s a beauty too!

We are so excited for July to come so we can spend some time with the girls and Chance and Alecia. I can’t wait to take them snorkeling and show them around this gorgeous island!!

Signing off this cool breezy January night, going to watch some American Horror Story. I’m wildly fascinated with it.

Get your socks and velour sweatsuits out tonight, it’s going to be a brisk one..it’s 73 degrees at 9:20 PM..

With visions of whale sharks

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1/16/2016 My 3 legged dog licks rocks. I’m not lying, she does. She loves it, I’m not overly enthusiastic about the whole thing. For some reason this satisfies a particularly intense need that she has. She drools when she does it, maybe she has a deficiency? Yes, this is the same insane dog who ate between 40 and 50 heart worm pills at once. I still don’t know how she got them out of the suitcase. They smelled like beef, that’s all that mattered: they were hers. We gave her a bottle of liquid charcoal by the syringeful to make her puke. She never vomited but she quickly developed a taste for Charcoal. She did shit pure black the next day, but puke? Nope..

We have had dog collar issues this past week. I was given some dog collars so I changed the boys collars for sturdier ones. The next day Barrio brought me Gringo’s collar, chewed in half. WTH? I put another older used collar on Gring and found it in pieces on the porch later the same day. I put his older collar on and IT WAS CHEWED OFF TOO. I ended up putting the thin cheap Wal Mart collar back on him, it’s been 2 days and all is well. The pleasures of raising 3 male pups can’t ever be put into words. It’s mystifying to say the least.

I have watched again for the billionth # of times a show on Netflix called Iris.  Go out of your way to watch this movie, it’s about an amazing woman. She makes me think of the times when I worked at Lynn Hayes in Williamsport, just a young 18 year old girl working in the fanciest, most expensive clothing store in town. I fell in love with fashion. I didn’t follow the norm though, I always wanted to be different. That was my deal. Ladies, do yourself a favor and find the show Iris and watch it, she is an upscale, bohemian fashion icon.

I moped around here on Monday, depressed about Bowie’s death.  I think I moved everything and cleaned off the shelves, listening to Bowie. Later on I ran to the store to get stuff to make something to take to the 2nd Annual Port Royal Bash and am glad I went with options in mind because Eldon’s had nothing, again.  I was reduced to broccoli salad, which turned out yummy. I ran to Mega Paca and saw 3 friends there, it’s really my favorite store, ever. I can find Banana Republic plain colored t-shirts for around $1.00, dresses for $3.00. I get my shopping fix, spending under $10.00 and come home w/ a bag of stuff. I saw an ugly but large cooler bag there on Monday, didn’t buy it b/c it was orange and green. After I got home it’s all I could think about. This is the story of my life. This is what I did buy though.

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A pig watering can

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It was less than $1.50 USD

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I bought it because of this tail. It doesn’t leak either!!

I got up early Tuesday and ran to Mega Paca and bought the damn cooler bag. It’s ugly and I love it, it says Tropicana on it. Bob and Rosalie picked me up Tuesday morning around 11, we were meeting other people at BJ’s at noon to get a ride to the party on the Islander . I believe there were about 40 people on the boat on the way over, most with chairs and coolers. It was the usual crowd, most everyone was there and the ones that weren’t, like Bill and my un-named girlfriend, well, we decided they all had hemorrhoids.

Mel and John have recently started building on their gorgeous piece of land on the water in Port Royal. They are doing it building by building, all the while living on their big boat docked right there. It’s really beautiful and serene out there. The easiest way to get there is by boat and it takes close to 30 minutes from Oak Ridge. There is a road but I guess it’s pretty long and not in great shape.

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Their living roof.

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the bodega and the wood oven will be in this building area.

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More partiers arriving!

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Morena, she likes beer and pina coladas.

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Llyn and Betty

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Sitting around a small campfire, it helps to keep the bugs away. At least, that’s what I assumed because it sure as hell wasn’t cold.

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Kelly, strutting his stuff.

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Thanks Keri for the pic of Jeanie and I, although curious why you named it Double Trouble???

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Group discussions

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Obviously Keri’s color!

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Food, fun, drinks, games, what more do you need?

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People still arriving

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Sophie, what a sweet dog. (The dogs were only tied up for the party.)

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Custom wine bag

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Spigot and all.

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Good thing they have a big dock.

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Lots of boats

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Their boat is on the left, Diamond Lil. Mel has written several books in the Diamond Lil series.

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Kathy and I goofing around with the camera.

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Our captain said it was time to leave so we all boarded the boat. Then he decided to play another game of cornhole!

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Mike and Gail and friends leaving.

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Gorgeous view on my ride home..I love Roatan!

Wednesday I cleaned again, this time I moved all the furniture and sucked up 736 pounds of dog hair. No lie. It took forever and then I let the dogs back inside so they could shed some more. I’m a sick sick person.

I read online that whale sharks were spotted in the waters in front of our house so I contacted the dive shop and begged them to call me because I can be there in 10 minutes. Thursday I got up, dressed in my swimsuit and a skirt, had my snorkel bag all packed and they didn’t call. I decided around 1 I had to go to the bank, not a lempira in my pocket, so I reluctantly got dressed and left. I got a call from Holly at the dive shop saying the whale sharks were still in the area and maybe tomorrow. Maybe just became a HUGE word.

Thursday night we went to Chuck and Nancy’s for dinner and were home late and had 6 hungry dogs. I got the dogs fed, watched Modern Family and went to bed. I had visions of whale sharks in my head. Friends, this is at the top of my bucket list, it’s something I REALLY want to do. My dream is of me slipping into the water next to one of these giants and hoping I don’t die from a heart attack due to uncontrollable excitement.

I awoke Friday morning, whale sharks still on the brain. I dressed in my swimsuit again and had all my gear ready to go, but no call and it was time for Español escuela so I had get myself ready. I showered and got my stuff around for class.

On my way to Spanish classes (which is always followed by wine at BJ’s) I encountered the following: a young boy thrusting a live chicken, held by the legs, at me as I drove by. Like I’m actually going to stop, grab the chicken, give the boy a few lempiras, strap the sucker into the front seat belt and go on about my day. What reasons could he possibly have come up with in his mind that I was going to stop and take a live chicken from him? Do I look like a chicken lady? Isn’t there a law about dangling a live chicken in front of car windshields while the car is moving?

Then around another corner were 2 Brahman bulls standing in the middle of the road. These things are BIG evil looking cows. Shortly after the cows I came upon a TukTuk, a 3 wheeled vehicle like they use in Indonesia. It was filled to maximum capacity with what looked like a bunch of candy and it had a maximum speed of 7 MPH. What I could see through the back window was all colorful foil packets. Maybe they were all condoms and not candy but seeing all of the pregnant women girls on the island I’m placing my $$ on candy.

Power went out a few times last night, not for very long though, thankful we have battery back up for the WiFi! It reminded me that power was out a week or two ago on the West end of the island because someone shot the lines with a bullet. I don’t make this shit up, I don’t need to.

I was asked to be in charge of Saturdays at the airport, making the schedules, finding subs if someone can’t make it. Last Saturday night I was making spread sheets again, good for my brain. Thank you Amanda B.

My friend Amanda Walkins, who is a blogger and also writes for several well known publications, Huffington Post, International Living to name a few, has her own blog.

In her most recent post, she talks about leaving the island and now living in Scotland. She also gives mention of my little blog. Thank you Amanda!!

From Amanda’s blog: Mermaid on a Raft: Debbie retired to Roatan and has been documenting all of her island shenanigans over the last several years. Her humor is hysterical, and her life will make you jealous if you’re still plugging away waiting to retire. She posts tons of photos from snorkeling adventures, her regular social outings with other expats, and the many volunteer activities she does all around the island. She’s incredibly helpful if you’re thinking of retiring to Roatan – be sure to reach out!

Also, Amanda’s handsome Irish Colombian boyfriend said the grape looking things I saw underwater are indeed Sea Grapes..who knew?

I hustled my butt at the airport today. It was a zoo again. Maybe I’ll only mention it when it’s slow because I’m sure everyone says why does she do it if shes going to whine about it. I’m not whining though, just remarking how freaking busy we were. I love mass pandemonium and chaos for short periods of time; therefore, the airport gig is well suited for my personality type. I love it. I worked with my friend Caroline again, we make a great team! I really enjoy meeting the new people, having them look at me with wonderment when I tell them my story of how we ended up here.

As soon as we got home, I had my daily crack.

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I am so addicted. They think I’m a freak at the grocery store b/c I buy 10 at a time. My body physically craves this daily. It’s not real pretty.

While at the grocery store I saw Woudsin (my friend from Helene). I gave him a big hug and a kiss. Then some gringo came up and asked me if I lived here and I said sure do. He said we just bought a place, I asked where, he said Helene. He then asked if I knew Perry or Rick and I said yes, that I knew both of them but have known Perry most of my life. I put two and two together,  and realized he was w/ Woudsin. He then said to me, did you spend the night at Perry’s and do you blog? I said I sure do and my overnight at Perry and Kay’s blog was called Serene Helene. He said, I read your blog and have the photos you took at Perry’s on my phone. Small island and I’m always happy to meet people with the weirdest connections to me. I told Woudsin to show them where I lived on their way up island and told them to come visit. Welcome Terry and Cal to Helene, Roatan.

The extended dog fence is moving along slowly. As expected. EVERYTHING moves slowly here except taxi’s and $$. The fence they ordered and delivered was 8′, ours is 6′. Damn. Just got the estimate for the gate and windows for the shop and plan to get them started ASAP.

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Columns going up for the gate.

When I finished my yogurt after work (airport) we grabbed a suitcase and a bag, both full of soccer jerseys and shorts and socks. We met our friend Miguel (who just came for dinner last week) with several guys from 2 different teams in Oak Ridge and Pandytown. They were very excited to be getting soccer stuff. The leader is a coach and a minister and his mission is to get the kids off of the street and playing basketball, soccer and volleyball. Our friends, Trish and Dave, from Toronto were given these uniforms by a league back in Toronto. Many thanks to the donating league and to Trish and Dave for carrying all the extra luggage down here. they made so many people (kids and adults) so happy! I will get more photos when the season begins again mid February.

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Sorted into piles of colors

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Some of these guys have never worn a jersey. They were given shorts and socks also. The shorts were all black so they matched all the tops.

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It was nice and controlled. Nobody starting going through the uniforms they just stood there and looked at them, anticipating…The little boy in the left corner plays soccer also. He was with his dad. I gave him 2 jerseys, shorts and a pair of soccer socks. He had an ear to ear grin.

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Same little boy, second to left.

It was fun to see the guys smiling and excited about having jerseys that matched. I gave the teams 2 of the soccer balls Trish and Dave brought also. I feel really good that the uniforms were given to men who still play soccer and who encourage the kids to play as well.

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The Ark nightclub, down the road a few miles, is coming along. This baffles my brain.

When I finally returned after being gone most of the day the boys were extremely happy to see me. Funny how much I miss them as well.

I still am dealing with the bruised/broken, disintegrated rib from 2 weeks ago. It hurts. I always thought my Mom was exaggerating {when she fell in the big huge green garbage bin trying to retrieve something she threw away by accident} about her ribs but I understand now that she wasn’t. Lesson learned the hard way, again.

Hasta Luego..whale sharks still on the brain.

Urine trouble

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01/11/2016 RIP David Bowie.  (please click on the link to listen to Let’s Dance) When I read the news this morning tears involuntarily began streaming down my cheeks, dripping onto my lap. It was not a good start to my day. When it hit me that Ziggy Stardust was no longer, I decided today was not going to be a beach day for me.

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I struggled several times during the morning.  We have lost lots of rockers before but the majority of them screw up and kill themselves by OD’ing and then we make a huge deal over their deaths. Freddy Mercury died from AIDS, John Lennon at the hands of a madman and David sang his last song because of Cancer. All fabulous talents, I’m just terribly sad.

Friday I attempted to pay our 2016 taxes, naively assuming I could go there and do this within 30 minutes. LMAO, where do I think I live? Ridiculousness followed. After waiting, chatting with the Mayor, Aaron, Clifford and Bernie, who all work there and my friend Gus who I met at the vet clinic, I left. Spanish class was waiting. Once we were out of Spanish class we all went to BJ’s to party and party we did. They ran out of wine soon after I got there and Marilyn would have none of that shit so she Jeanie and I jumped in Marilyn’s boat and went to her house to get 3 bottles from her personal stash for the bar. That’s just how we do it here. After a few glasses of wine we decided to plank someone’s boat. Thanks for the photo Melanie Wood!

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Melanie is always there to help document these events.

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Thanks again Melanie Wood. We were dancing fools!

I spent my Saturday at the airport with Caroline, Miss Peggy, Lisa and Linda. It never fails to happen, the first flight was due in at 12:18, it came at 12:55. Fifteen minutes before the next flight and 20 before the next 2. It was crazy again, some man said to me very surprised, “You don’t get paid to do this?” Nope, volunteer. We were notified Friday eve that there was a passenger on one of the planes who was not to be allowed into the country and was to be put right back on a plane to the states. We spotted him before he even entered the building, he was apprehended and somehow talked his way out of the situation, was put through immigration and allowed to stay for the week. Very odd..I was exhausted and still had to go get groceries. The grocery store had nothing, no Blue Harbor lettuce, no jalapenos, no grated cheese, none of my fav yogurt, nada. (update: I went today, Monday, still nada..wth?)

Sunday morning I got up early, walked all 6 dogs, showered, then got things around here and was out the door at 8:30 to be in Oak Ridge for the Catamaran Boat trip. Radical Catamaran Adventures is an absolute blast!! This was my third trip and I’ll be going again Feb. 28th with the vets too! It’s 7 hours on a huge catamaran in the calm clear waters of Port Royal. We stop and snorkel at the cow and the calf, another spot and then a wreck. The boat is non-stop food and drinks, all included in the price, plus music, dancing and craziness. I was with a bunch of friends, and had an absolutely incredible time.

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Sea fan with a feather duster at the base, surrounded by coral

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More anemones

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Tube coral

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Different angle

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two different patterns in the coral, notice the lower band is different from the top

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love the colors

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The Duchess of Camp Bay AKA my BFF Jeanie.

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Damn I wanted this. What a fabulous vase it would make, too bad it’s not touchable or attainable..

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Black spiny sea urchin

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A couple white ones

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Clam shell

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Not a clue what kind of coral this is

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This was amazing

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What looks like the eye of the feather duster is actually the tube it withdraws all its feathery things in to when startled.

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Can’t get enough of the Christmas Tree worms. It just fascinates the hell out of me that the white foot thing in the bottom of the pic is the worm and the trees are on it’s back. They can also instantly hide in the worm.

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Here the worm is yellow and on the bottom

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thousands of these little fishies

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Still waiting to find out what this is, looked like grapes.

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A pod of feather dusters

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tiny neons

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The SV Free Radical. The people, Ed and Julie, who own this have sailed around the world. Not on this catamaran, but it took them 5 years to do it.

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This was incredible, it had little clam like things that were growing on it, they looked like they had teeth.

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Spotted this on the way back to the boat. Keri and Jeanie and I snorkeled around the cow then I snorkeled around the calf.

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Jeanie AKA The DOCB

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Barbara, Caroline (my airport buddy) and me

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My friend Judy, she looks stunning sitting there!

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Rosalie and Bob, Jeanie and Nancy

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Kathy

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Judy and I

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Barbara, Judy and Caroline

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Judy

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Floating and drinking and laughing! Me, Keri, Kathy, Jeanie, Barbara and Judy

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We added more women, always a good thing. Me, Keri, Kathy, Rosalie, Judy, Caroline Barbara and Trish

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I do not know why, but I have used meat skewers in my hair.

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When I took them out at home they still had meat on them. gross.

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Judy is gorgeous!!

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I don’t remember what Dave was doing but I don’t think it was dancing..

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I can’t believe the amount of fun I had!!

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Love these 2, Trish and Dave, from Toronto. They own a house down here and will be moving here not soon enough.

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Chuck and Nancy, Rosalie and Bob, Jeanie starting her pole dance, I was trying to stay upright and no clue what Caroline was telling that little boy. Poor kid, only one on a boat of rowdy adults.

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Keri (from Snohomish Wa but lives here full time now) and Kathy. Pretty in peach and pretty in pink..

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Jeanie and I beginning our act.

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We tried to hang upside down but were reprimanded for hanging on that rope..

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Miss Innocence

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Dave and Trish

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Sky on the way home

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Seriously, who does she belong to??

Needless to say, it was a beyond fabulous day on the Radical. It’s definitely something to look forward to when they have their ex-pat specials. A full 7 hours of majestic scenery, warm clear water and a boat full of friends. So blessed to have these people in my life and to get to live the life I am.

When the boat trip was over I stopped and picked up Miguel, our former worker. They were coming for dinner. He was going to bring his brother Winston but he had to leave Sunday so just he and his girlfriend and baby came. We had pizza on the roof. Miguel is such a fabulous, honest, trustworthy person, I’m so glad we have stayed friends.

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Their baby, Valerie Giselle, who is 8 months old is absolutely a doll. I couldn’t stop kissing her. In love with this baby girl.

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Miguel and Estefany and baby. Stupid orange lights make it hard to take pics inside. It was nice to see them, just difficult to communicate with her due to my inability to grasp Spanish, I’m trying though.

Update on a few things. I may have mentioned that I fried the extra batteries to my good camera when I dumped the kayak. Well, I tried to use one of the batteries after it dried out and I got an error message on my camera. I then tried the battery that was dry and charged and my camera would not turn on. I charged the battery more, still nothing. I was so flipping bummed because I take pics every single day of my life. I quickly posted on a FB page to see if anyone was coming down in the next few days to bring me a new charger and 2 new batteries. Luckily my friend Linda was arriving Sat. so I sent them to her and she handed them to me when she walked into immigration. I was very doubtful they were going to work but they did. My camera is functioning and I was so damn happy that I didn’t ruin it. Thank you so much Linda!!

Also, my friends from Williamsport that I was going to hang with on Friday at BJs messaged me and said they had to go back to the states immediately. My friends Mom had taken a turn for the worst and they needed to return home. They got there one day before she passed. RIP Mrs. Daniele.

I asked my friend Amanda Walkins to ask her handsome Irish Colombian fiance’ who knows a lot about marine life and the jellies we encountered. This is her response:

This is what the Irish-Colombian says, “Comb jellies do not sting. Moon jellies can sting, but not badly. They were not the ones stinging you though, it was all the siphonophores that you can’t really see, but they’re long strands (did you read Rika’s latest post about the blackwater dives at West End Divers? Courtney took a photo of one – it’s the second-to-last picture in the blog: http://www.cubiclethrowdown.com/). They show up when it’s more stagnant because they’re feeding on the bacteria that accumulates with all those nutrients from the runoff, especially on the south side. It happens there more frequently, but happens on the north/west side, too. That photo of the French Angelfish – you said it was bad viz. That’s the runoff with bacteria and nutrients that the siphonophores and all the comb and moon jellies were feeding on.”
These are some stock images of siphonophores:
s1

Photo credit ocean.si.edu

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Photo credit: http://www.wired.com

Tomorrow is a beach party in Port Royal. I had 3 different things planned to make, knowing that the grocery would not have all of the ingredients I needed so there had to be choices. Thankful that I planned ahead with a few ideas..broccoli salad it is.

My friend Julie (of Robby and Julie, who will be here for a week March 26th) posted this on one of my Catamaran pics;  You have more fun in one week than some people have in a decade! Thanks Julie, I sure try!

My parting thought:

If you’re ever sad, just remember that the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.

(instagram photo by @stevendouglas)

A tree glows in Calabash Bight

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12/11/2015   I went up on the roof and had a Dos Equis the other night, it was a beautiful evening and the view was as amazing as ever. We really have the best of both worlds, being able to see the N and S shores of the island. Sometimes the weather can be completely different if I turn around.

The dogs are having some issues running around up there, it’s much more slippery than when it was regular old concrete. But it looks so much better, they will just have to chill the hell out..

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roof view, looking Northwest

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Guess who this is? She is famous in Camp Bay, a Duchess of sorts.

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The wind blew her glass onto her shirt so I suggested she wring it back into the glass..

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She even brought her own vino, she’s a fussy Duchess…

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On Sat we went to Sandy Bay to pick up a friends new mattress. We stopped at the gas station and the guard in front of the former Banco Lafise was holding a phone to his ear with his right hand and he was holding his rifle with the same hand while the gun was balanced with his left hand which is HOLDING ANOTHER CELL PHONE. Surely he has no idea what is going on around him.

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We were picking up the mattress in Sandy Bay. and needed to do it earlier in the morning because the seller had to be at the airport by late morning. It was kind of a stormy, iffy day, Brett and Carmen brought a big tarp.

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Deserted beach

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coral display

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quartz tower

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The sea looked angry

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Sorry this is all the closer I could get of this place. The building on the far right has a chute to slide your kayak into the water. Pretty cool..

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Wee wees, or leaf cutter ants. We do not like the wee-wees.

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Bad wee-wees, die wee-wees

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A house that our friend is doing some work on. It was right across the street from where Mike and Liza were staying in West Bay Village.

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The people who bought this place made it bigger and it’s pretty darn close to the neighbor’s stairway.

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Bill, Liza, Carmen and Mike. Brett is just behind Carmen.

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Christmas tree at Bananarama. We walked up the beach from Mike and Liza’s and had lunch there. It was great!!

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Mike, Brett and Carmen.

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The sea was rough, we had a semi-nor’easter come through here.

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Bananarama had the shade sails down and rolled up. I imagine the wind would get those things flying and send these lamp posts off with them.

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It is a hard way to make a living, selling ice cream on the beach, especially on a severely overcast day.

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I was warned not to step on the gurgling sand as it was akin to quicksand and would gobble me up. I played it safe and just snapped a pic.

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Weird this pic turned out like this, I was walking when I shot it. The day wasn’t that dark.

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This shows how dark it really was.

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lonesome pier

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Mike and Liza’s place, lower level, just a few seconds walk to the beach.

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Sports court (or a football arena if you’re Nathan W) Flowers Bay, right on the sea

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This photo looks like a painting, not sure why a few of them turned out like this. Also shot while sticking my hand out the window w/ the camera and snapping away.

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Same situation

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Nothing surprises me, I just like to document things for you all to enjoy

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Big ship in port, Columbian Navy Vessel.  The video in this link was shot by Daine Etches as the ship was coming in to port.

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It’s beautiful!!

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Yes, I have seen pretty much everything.

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This is the ark looking nightclub El Boske is building in Politilly.

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This is the front of it

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Bill and Brett loading the mattress and frame on the boat.

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Some Baaaaaa’s on the way home

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They are always wandering around the same spot..

A friend sent me this video, it’s pretty amazing, especially if you are a skier. Check it out here. I think I have watched it 11 times already, it mesmerizes me… not much does.

Sunday morning it freaking poured buckets. It was raining so loud it woke me up. Usually when I get up I can get 1 minute before D O G S happen, this morning they were inside and there was no escape. It’s ok though, they’re not a bad thing to wake up to, unless they are barking incessantly. Which they sometimes do. I ran to Mega Paca and grabbed some baby toys for the upcoming Christmas party then went and got groceries too. It was a crappy day earlier but it cleared up enough that I was able to walk 4 of the 6 dogs, Bill walked the other 2. Nothing like making 4 trips down and back UP our driveway.

Monday came and went and I did nothing except clean up the kitchen and cook eggs for the week for my breakfast. Bob and Rosalie stopped by so Bill could see if he was able to fix their generator. (He did)  Rosalie and I visited while they were doing guy things. Tuesday was another do nothing day, the concrete bags were delivered and stored in the downstairs living room. Come on, isn’t that where YOU store your concrete too? Cement mixer and drill press in the kitchen, dog meds in the 1 bedroom, soccer jerseys in the other and a couch for a friend. I will fall down on my knees and praise the Lord when Bills’ shop is done. Just an FYI, it’s not started yet..Need to get our permit and to do that they want hair from your first born during it’s first 2 weeks of life and 3 sets of scorpion pinchers, other than that, no big deal..

Wednesday I met my friend Jan at the bottom of her road. She was going to Ceiba Thursday for her residency and was going to check to see if our cards are ready or not.  If not, I have a friend going next week who will also check for us. Super pain in the ass. They sure don’t make it easy to live here or do business here.

We had a visit from Dave Symons, he brought me a gazillion candy canes for the Christmas parties Nidia is doing, along with a bag of toys that I picked up earlier. Thank you Dave and Trish!!  I was going to take the canes the day I took the toys except I had errands to do and they would have turned into peppermint syrup in my car, and yes, it is December. Dave, Bill, 2 other guys who were here and the neighbors worker hoisted the couch over the deck railing and onto the porch, then inside. YAY, my couch is inside. AND THE DOGS THINK IT’S FOR THEM. They are not allowed on this or the other couch, especially not this one. It’s a game, they think. So happy to have the couch inside!

One of the people I met through my blog was Sean from Canada. Sean and I messaged/emailed often about Roatan and many things on the island. He and his wife were here over Easter last year (busiest week of the year) and decided to come again this Dec. They arrived, along with 2 of Sean’s wife, Caralee’s friends. Sean travels like Bill does and like Mike does, with sister wives. Kinda, but not. Anyhow, Sean and the group arrived on Monday. We were hoping to get together so we could at least meet. He messaged me today, “We are going to Parrot Tree, may stop at Cal’s for lunch.” I responded, “I’ll find you.” I ran and met Jan, then went to the ATM, which was down again. damn banks.  I had to go inside and to me that is a hateful experience. I got done with that and then went to Parrot Tree to look for Sean. They weren’t there so I went home. I had a yogurt, loved the dogs and went back to look for them. On the way I noticed an X-Terra that could have been a rental (Sean’s car). I got to Parrot Tree, walked down to the water, no Sean. So I drove over to the other side of PT and checked out my friends house, looked at a house that has been being built for a long time and went back to the lagoon. I noticed the X-terra from Cal’s was there. I thought for sure that was their car. Seriously, I should have been a detective, I really like looking into things, getting to the bottom of it.. Anyhow, the super sleuth in me knew I was onto something. I saw a guy that looked like Sean with several women on the other side of the bridge that goes over the lagoon. They started to walk alongside the south side of the lagoon, thinking there may be beach on the other side of the wall, but there isn’t, it’s ironshore. By this time I knew it was them. They were walking W towards the N shore of the lagoon. I started walking W towards the S shore. When we were close enough to be heard I yelled, “You must be Sean, you’re the only guy on the beach with 3 women following you.” He gave me a big hug as did his wife Caralee. I liked them instantly. Caralee’s friends were very cool too. Funny thing is, all 4 work together in IT in a big bank in Canada. Bankers to Bankers..

We hung out along the lagoon for awhile talking. Then I thought I would let them relax and come home to see what the dogs were up to. They said they had some toys for the dogs and would come over when they left PT. Now when these people say they have a few toys, prepare to be floored. A FEW TOYS??? My dogs got a whole aisle of a dog toy store. All super tough, chew resistant (really a myth) toys. Actually, these look like the strongest toys the dogs have ever had. I’m keeping all the toys inside and only giving them a few for now, although I did give them an adrenalin rush and gave them all of the toys at once. They freaked out.

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The goods, these are not just regular toys, they are made for dogs like mine. Dogs that have an insatiable chewing desire..Oh wait, that’s every dog I’ve ever owned, except Frito. She has never destroyed anything.

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Max, Barrio and Highway

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Highway has choices

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They all picked a toy and ran to their spots to play with it.

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Highway was a little testy, like, don’t screw with my toy young pup. He was all growly and acting macho.

Needless to say, these toys are a huge hit, they are loving them.  Thank you again so much Sean and Caralee!! Hope to see you on Friday @ BJ’s.

On Wednesday I got a call from my hairdresser to see if I wanted to come in the next day. Did I need my hair done. Turns out she was leaving the island for a month and wanted to do the people she knew would need to have color. Poor Nadia, how selfless of her, her brother was murdered in Italy and she was trying to take care of her customers..Love that woman so much. She is off to Italy tomorrow, safe travels my friend..I went early Thursday to get my hair done and to hug on Nadia.

After I left Nadias’s I went to Plaza Mar to buy rice and beans for the Christmas bags and then went to Nidia’s to drop off the toys and candy canes from Dave and Trish, my super awesome friends from Canada. They are also the people who brought 2 suitcases full of new soccer uniforms. We hope to pass those out while they are here this visit..they also donated 3 bags of syringes for Clinic Esperanza, I dropped those off when I took Mike and Liza there. Mike and Liza brought a few dozen bottles of OTC pain relievers for the clinic. Liza said when she bought all the meds in Walmart the guy really looked at her strange, like, “are you really sick?” Mike and Liza are going to gather medical supplies while at home and start bringing them on their future trips here. Dave and Trish always bring something to benefit the people of the island. Thank you Mike and Liza and Dave and Trish. .

I got my errands done in Toxic Hole and headed home to pee, kiss the pups and get more ice water. Then I drove to BJ’s and was picked up by Carmen with the ever dashing boat guy Brett of the long eyelashes, (Carmen’s husband), escorting us to Miss Marilyn’s place on Calabash Bight. We helped Alex get the stuff out of their attic. Honestly, I had no clue people had attics on Roatan, interesting. Marilyn had a freaking shitload of Christmas lights. I mean, a SHITLOAD. Some worked, some half worked, some didn’t and were crap and we wanted to crush them. Well, I did, Carmen was more reserved and Marilyn kept pulling bags of lights out of I don’t know where, a secret light storage closet that she didn’t tell us about. Some were brand new, in the box AND THEY DIDN’T FLIPPING WORK. Let me state this: Christmas lights that don’t stay lit if one bulb is missing are shit. Lights that flicker are shit. Lights that don’t work are total shit. LED lights are the way to go.

After 2 bottles of wine the tree was up and decorated, it took a 3rd bottle to finish talking about it, have a yummy salad that Alex made and wonder why the hell Marilyn was still bringing out ornaments for the tree.

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Pandytown, water side. On the way to Calabash Bight.

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Santa’s chair

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The tree, fresh out of the box and leaning

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Carmen,”I got this.”

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We had an issue with the male female plugs and had to start over once. Only once..

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Random non-superstitious dog

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lights and then some

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So Marilyn pulls this out and I am speechless. It is bedazzled amazingly well.

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A most fabulous piece

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I couldn’t stop looking at it

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Such gorgeous pieces

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I covet this

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up close and personal

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The piece that looks like a planet is one of my favs..

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The finished tree

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3 broads, 3 bottles. I eased up on the last bottle, I still had to drive home after my boat ride to BJ’s

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Alex honey and his tree

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perfecto

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riding back to BJ’s w/ Brett and Carmen

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we went through the little tunnel, across Oak Ridge bight to BJ’s..

Friday was the gift wrapping party at BJ’s. We had Spanish class at 12 and then right right to the bar. Several of us took tables so we weren’t wrapping on bar stools like last year. The tables worked perfectly..We got all the gifts wrapped, re-bagged beans and rice into individual ziploc bags to be passed out, gifts sorted by boy/girl and age group. While I was wrapping I noticed my friend Woudsin from Helene sitting at the bar. I went over to talk to him, give him a big hug and condolences for his Dad passing away. We chatted for a bit then I went back to wrapping.. A little bit later he called to me and I went over. He introduced the guy he was with and it was someone I knew from 40 years ago in Williamsport, my home town. Small freaking world..When I was walking in the door he was going out and I thought, he looks familiar..Nice to see Rick Benedict,  I knew his wife Marika better than I did him, but still, to run into someone from home is random. He was here finalizing the sale of the property he owned with my friend Perry Adelson on the island of Helene.

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Let the wrapping begin

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Rice and beans, the mainstay of the local’s diet here.

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Santa will be busy. Thanks to Beth and Aaron, Judy and Walt, Cathilee, Ralph and Ginny, I was able to contribute a LOT of nice gifts for the kids.

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So the guy in the hat on the phone is Woudsin, a good friend from Helene, the guy next to him in the hat is Rick, haven’t seen him for decades..Then to run into him at my Friday hangout, pretty cool.

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Wrapping and drinking..

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Lots of paper

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gifts and more gifts

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sorted age and gender

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each bag of toys will get beans and rice

I love Fridays at BJ’s. I love my east end friends, everyone is so chill. It was muy caliente in Spanish class, {no electricity} and hot hot hot wrapping inside BJ’s, lots of bodies, lots of activity. I was sweaty in my Christmas Story t-shirt. It was appropriate for the holidays but it was hot.  Really good to see some people, like Kathy and Marcia. Hopefully I’ll be snorkeling with Marcia soon..

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A virtual dog carpet

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I cleaned the dog hair off the ottoman Barrio is on, laid a clean blue towel down then one of my sarongs to protect it from dog hair and dirt. I can clearly see now that I need to nail the freaking thing on..Barrio, Lola and Max, (L to R)

It’s Friday night, I got home around 4 from the afternoon festivities and laid down on the new couch. I knew I had to meet Jan at 5 to get our temporary residency papers back. Somehow my mind woke me up and I jumped off of the couch at 4:57, I grabbed my keys and ran to Cal’s to get our papers. Grateful to Jan finding out about them. I think I was still in a sleep stupor when I went down to Cal’s. Day drinking, even 2 glasses of wine, does me in.

Sometimes my age shows..

Friends make the world go round

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11/18/2015 Life is strange. It’s strange the way we meet people in our lives and what influences or doesn’t influence that a friendship ensues. What traits do we look for in a friend, is that how we do it, looking for “traits”? I don’t think I look for traits or tendencies, like oooh, are they OCD like me or not? Do they eat peanut butter with a spoon? If my friends were like me I would not like them much.

Last Monday I rode with Marilyn and Alex to Barbon beach for Mondays Don’t Suck. shortly after we got there it rained, then the rain stopped and it was semi sunny. Only a few people showed up but it was fun nonetheless. The women floated for awhile on our matching rafts and the men prepared the fire for lunch.

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Marilyn’s wine glass

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Perfection

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Boaters

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Norm and Jeanie

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The story behind this is hysterical. This is Bob and this is what his wife Rosalie posted on the pic I took. “Last Monday I neglected to actually look at Bob until we were shopping at Bay Island Electric. Yes he dressed himself. I had to apologize to the gang at the beach for his attire. Note to self…never let him leave the house without giving him the once over. I softened the insult by telling him that I was sure he wasn’t the worst dressed man on the island that day!”

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Beach gang

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Marilyn and Bob

It was a fabulous day on the beach. The next day I was meeting my friend Milesse at the resort she owns, Barefoot Cay. As soon as I got there the sky opened up and it poured. I had to take a barge across to the Cay, so I waited until the rain let up a little bit before I crossed. We went to Milesse’s house and ordered lunch from the restaurant menu. Let me just say this: Milesse has a fabulous home and Barefoot Cay is amazing. The grounds are spotless, the bungalows are decorated elegantly, it’s really an amazing small boutique resort. and you are very catered to when you stay there.

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from the palapa over the water

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The water is so clear

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Stunning pool

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Serenity

I had a great time with Milesse, we discussed the airport gig and what needs to be done to make it an even better experience for the arriving guests. {Milesse is the one who started the volunteer greeter program at Roatan airport}. After a great lunch I got a tour of the resort, it really is a beautiful place away from the hustle and bustle of the popular beaches.

Friday found us back at BJ’s, of course. Out of nowhere and after a few glasses of wine, Jeanie said, “lets plank here.” So I grabbed Marilyn and Bill and my camera and we planked. It’s funny but nobody really pays any attention when you are being crazy. It’s obvious that insanity is what I look for in my friends.

I go right for the craziness, the impulsivity, the we’re ready for whatever attitude. They are the people I like to hang out with. The adventurous ones. I like true friends, people who you can hang with so comfortably that they feel like home. What blows my mind is the life situation that we have on this island that gives us this type of friends. The people we are friends with here are ready to go to the beach with 7 puppies, tie up a kayak and snorkel to the reef, take a boat to Helene for the day, eat dinner standing around our kitchen island when we had to come home because our dogs were barking so much. There are women who will plank with me and those who will spend all day passing out shoes or an afternoon downtown providing fun for the kids. And their men look and watch without passing judgement. We are expressing ourselves.

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Jeanie in front, me in pink, Marilyn, in black and white. Planking BJ’s!

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Then Jeanie says, “Take our picture” to Bill, “DO SOMETHING” to Marilyn and I. So Marilyn and I cracked up!

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ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!! Marilyn in her throne.

Actually, Bill made the chair for Santa Claus’ arrival at the Christmas party in Fiddlers Bight next month. Marilyn was taking the chair home to paint it. She may have it permanently affixed to the boat because she looks pretty freaking regal sitting there. Get that lady a crown.

My fabulous lady friends and I are going to start having Adult Coloring sessions. I got a few books online and I told Jeanie to buy one also. We plan to get together and color and drink wine and solve every issue in our little island world. During these times we may also vote people off the island..You know, like Survivor but without money. These are the coloring books that I bought.

Friends. I love my old friends, the group of people we partied with in the states. So many years with those people and so many memories. I love my new friends too. We are making memories here every day. Crazy fun memories. My good friend just returned home last Saturday, back to her island home. I was so happy to see her walking into the immigration building I wanted to turn cartwheels across the tarmac. I refrained because they would frown on that and I’d more than likely kill myself with a cartwheel. Faceplant much? However, I would like to try one. Just to see, without anyone else seeing.

I find it very interesting that people from my previous life are now a part of my current life because of FB. People that I used to hang out with when I got out of High School or after my sporadic college career {that spanned way too many years) and resulted in nothing being learned except life lessons. Hard taught life lessons. I haven’t seen some of these people for 25+ years. Some WAAAYYY longer than that. Friends I’ve know since 4th grade.  Friends from my past, from the life I led before I became a Mom. Even after having the boys many of these people stayed in my life. Some went in other directions, some I haven’t really “talked” to in decades but we are in touch via Facebook. I love that I am able to be a part of my friends lives, to be able to see photos of their children/grandchildren growing up, to know what they are doing and to comment on each others daily happenings. It’s a good thing.

My friend Dolli just posted this photo of me on Facebook. I think it’s 1968?

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Umm, yeah, I was a Hippie chick! I’m top left, with a cig in my hand. This photo is amazing..

One of my friends, Keri, from Snohomish, WA., sort of started the Pastafarian religion on Roatan. When a few of our friends went to visit Keri, they wore colanders on their heads. This article tells about a girl who is allowed to wear a colander for her drivers license photo because it is part of her religious headwear.  My friend Llyn has to get her license renewed here on the island and I’m going along for the ride because she is going to wear a colander on her head. I’m going to take pictures and laugh my ass off.

Sunday we picked up Nancy and Chuck and they rode along with us to deliver Jeanie’s new cupboard to Camp Bay.

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Dog toys come in handy

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getting it in place

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Ready to mount

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We didn’t take the doors because there wasn’t any room for them to travel safely, they will go this week and Bill will then mount and adjust them.

Once Bill and Roger got the cupboard hung we all went to La Sirena and had lunch and rum punches. Always fun to hang out there and Jeanie and I even planked, again. This time it was my idea.

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We planked on the overwater table.

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Very odd for the water to be so muddy, all the rain and resulting runoff makes it like this.

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Jeanie Bill and Jimmy. Jimmy owns La Sirena

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Not much to look at but fabulous food and the view is the best!

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The end of the world

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Jeanie Jimmy and Roger, Jeanie’s husband

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The place is covered with signed money

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Bill, Nancy, Jeanie and Roger

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Chuck, Nancy’s husband, surveying the property

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Porky

We got home late afternoon and hung out with the dogs for the evening. At around 1 AM I woke sick to my stomach and spent most of the night awake and feeling like shit. It wasn’t the food from La Sirena, but some turkey breast I made a sandwich out of. I know this for sure because Bill had a sandwich Monday night and was sick all night long. When I woke Monday morning I had a headache, fever and was coughing, the start of a mysterious island illness. This is day 3 and I am beginning to feel human again, although I think Bill may be getting it now. Time will tell.

The guys are here fiberglassing the roof, finally we have had some dry weather so they can get this done. Sam said it will take about 4 days to do and then we will be waterproofed.

I have given up fixing dog toys and resigned myself to the fact they can not have stuffed toys period. The only toys they don”t decimate are Kongs, Nylabone and Skineeze.

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This toy lasted 2 hours.

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The pain these critters endure

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I have become quite the surgeon

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Stuffing be damned.

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A blast from the past for all of my Seafirst/BOA friends.

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My new couch!!

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One of our critters that Alexi caught. We of course let him go unscathed after talking to Alexi about not killing them. Iguanas are so beautiful!

The pups are seven months old and weigh: Gringo, 49#, Barrio 45# and Maxillicious 39# and Lola who is 1 year old weighs 44#. Highway will be 3 Dec 1 and weighs 51#. I’m thinking Gringo is going to be our hefty one..He is solid as a bull..I bought bananas for the dogs, sliced them and put Xylitol free peanut butter on the slices for them. They love them. Then they stole 2 whole bananas from the counter, they ate 1 banana, skin and all. I only found a part of the other banana peel. Nice healthy fiber. Damn them. They eat everything. I did not take a picture of their latest destruction because I was disturbed that they did what they did. They ATE the heavy wooden cistern cover. Yes. No joke. You could see down into the cistern. Really, honestly, they were that DAMN bored that they ate the cistern lid. Needless to say, this did not make Bill’s day. I’m sure it was all 3 boys and Lola. I think Highway watched with dismay. Dogs, man’s best friend.

I haven’t mentioned this next thing because I didn’t want to jinx it but these people are coming to visit us this summer.

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Our oldest son Chance and his wife Alecia and the girls. I am BEYOND excited to see them and am already planning lots of fun things to do while they are here. Neither of the girls have flown before and Alecia doesn’t like to fly so I really appreciate her willingness to put her fears aside and come to the island.

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Alexah’s school pic. What I love most about this photo (aside from the fact it’s of Alexah) is that she isn’t afraid to smile with her braces on. She is a gorgeous girl!

Chloee

Chloee, another beauty, she is growing up so fast. They both have their mother’s beautiful blue eyes!!

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Chance and his girls being goofy

One last thing, I am also helping out with the kids Christmas Party in Fiddlers Bight, a community accessed by boat. Last year Bill and I bought toys for the party and I helped wrap the gifts one day at BJ’s. We also went along with Santa to the bight for the festivities. This year Bill made a sturdy new chair for Santa which he desperately needs because so many women want to sit on his lap AT THE KIDS CHRISTMAS PARTY. This group is different from Because We Care. This is a smaller group of children, but still kids in need. If anyone wants to donate, $10.00 gives an island child a Christmas gift. Believe me when I say it’s the only gift they will get. You can donate for free to my PayPal account, just be sure to mark the money as a GIFT. I promise, 100% goes to the kids..my email for PayPal is ledfutt@gmail.com

And, I am off to bed, this cold/flu has kicked my butt. I really do not have time to be sick!

Two years down

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

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

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The bank eats another truck

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

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

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

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

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

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5 dogs in the backseat

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

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

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

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South west edge of the mouth of Calabash Bight.

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

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

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The mouth of the bight.

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What a glorious moon.

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How do I caption this? Perfection??

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1 full moon, coming right up.

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

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

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

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

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

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