The good, the bad and the ugly.

awesome

01/31/2017 When the weather has been crappy for so long and then it gets nice, $hit starts happening and it gets downright exciting here on the rock. We had Francie and Franklin over for Bill’s signature pizza, which he had made the day before while I was running around with Jason and Alex. We sat by the pool and sipped wine for awhile, then went up to the porch to have salads and pizza. As usual, the pizza was the bomb, there were only 2 small pieces left from 2 big pizza’s. Old Kentucky Bourbon chocolates from our Kentucky friends were dessert. Thank you John and Lizeth for the yummies. I am eating the last one right now. And Francie and Franklin, you are missed already. {They took off last week to spend some time on their new boat  yacht. They’ll be cruising around wherever they want to for the next year or so.}

I met Jason (IL) at Barefoot Cay on Thursday morning for a tour with my wonderful friend Milesse. Milesse is one of the founding owners of this exquisite small boutique resort on it’s own private cay.  We started with a tour of the resort. Having been there many times before, I thought I knew the resort rather well, I didn’t. Milesse pointed out so many things, took us into the rooms, behind the closed doors, laundry, food storage, into the villas and into the condos above the dive shop. I wrongly assumed the places above the dive shop were nice, clean little rooms for divers. So wrong. They are elegant condos overlooking the water that separates the dive shop from the cay. There is nothing plain about any of the rentals. They all emanate subdued elegance.

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From there we went over to the palapa where you can enter the water to snorkel or lay on the hammocks and swing in the breeze.

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The color of this water is why I moved to Roatan.

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Not sure what this is.

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Very nice villa with a kitchen, 2 nice bedrooms w/ AC and baths, and this porch, overlooking the 3 steps to the beach. Paradise.

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Your private beach!

We walked all around the cay and saw where they will do a few more rentals. They won’t overpopulate or change the atmosphere of the resort, they have a lot of unused land. BFC has become Barefoot Luxury and will seek out new locations in the Caribbean to open dive shops or a new boutique resort or both.

When we were finished with our tour we went to the second level of the restaurant and had watermelon smoothies. They were extremely refreshing! It’s always pleasant spending time with Milesse,  getting to do it at the resort is like icing on the cake.

From BFC Jason and I went to French Cay to Arch’s Iguana and Marine Preserve. My friends own the iguana park and I am blessed to have become family with the Arch’s.  They are a very cool, well known and respected island family. The Arch family patrols the Marine Park Reserve which is right off of their docks, 24/7. It’s all protected waters with no fishing allowed and people still poach at night, stealing small conch and baby lobsters. It’s a never ending thankless job. People that do this stuff either don’t care or don’t understand that they are ruining the future of these sea critters. Kill the babies and you’ll have no adults. such bad behavior.

Jason and I got to visit with the iguanas, see the babies and let the big guys crawl across our feet.

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So many baby iguanas. They are caged until they are around 18 months old. If they weren’t caged, the chickens and birds and black spiny tailed iguanas (carnivorous) would eat them, few would survive.

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Yep, I allow warm iguana bellies on my feet.

Just as we were finished looking at the babies, Sam came. He took us out on his boat (that he and his father built) Miss French Cay. We were in the area that he protects, down to Fantasy Island, CocoView and back. It was simply gorgeous on the shimmering sea.

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Some of the boats in the cay. The water in the cay is protected by the reef,  many boats safely anchor there.

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CoCo View. The most returned to dive resort in the Caribbean. My friend Andrea is the nurse there.

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Under the bridge

We left there and drove straight to our house. I wanted to show Jason the view from our roof, which is amazeballs. We, along with all 5 dogs, went up there, he took some photos and then we left for the quick drive to Cal’s for lunch.

When we got there I told Carl (owner of Cal’s) who I was with. He actually smiled. If you know Carl, a smile is a big deal. Jason and I had a great meal, I saw some friends there and we also saw Paul, a gringo who Jason interviewed on Tuesday. When we went to pay, Reynaldo said Carl got the bill. Super nice of him, not necessary, but appreciated.

Feeling satiated, we went straight to Daniel Johnson’s Sloth and Monkey Hang-out. Daniel wasn’t there when we got there, they said he was just at lunch. Stephanie (Daniel’s GF) had our name on the sheet and we were given a guide and taken in. It was later in the day so the sloth’s were sleeping in the trees but we could easily see them. Some of the monkeys were running helter skelter on the roof, sounding like rhinoceros. The monkeys all get 2 hours a day out of their cages (in pairs, not all at once). The guide took us in the cages with the huge Macaws. These birds are magnificent. Now, let me say, I’m not a bird person. I used to lock myself in the bathroom when my mother let her damn parakeets out to fly around the kitchen. Here I am in a cage with birds bigger than my head. Just then Daniel came and he stepped into the cage with us. They held a sunflower seed over my head and the freaking bird landed on my head, 2 TIMES. I ask Daniel if it was going to poop on me and he said, you never know. Great, thanks.

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Monkeys climbing high

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Beautiful bird

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The colors are brilliant

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These birds were all rescued

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Jason holding one of the macaws

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Not what I imagined doing that day

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Walk like an Egyptian

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A sleeping sloth

Daniel talked to us about his next project which is to make his cages much larger and taller than they currently are and to move a few things around. He has a nice operation and he takes impeccable care of the animals. He is Sam Arch’s cousin, small island.

Jason had another appointment in West End at 3ish and I had volunteered to drive him back to the other end of the island. Once I dropped him off I called my friend Ann and ran up and said hello, she’s my twin, in case you didn’t know that.

On Saturday Jeanie and Roger came here and we all rode together to Trish and Dave’s home in Sandy Bay. Trish and Dave were headed back to Canada the 23rd. We had a nice dinner, enjoying the amazing view. Once it started to get dark, we left for home. I never had the tint removed from my windshield, it’s pretty dark and makes a night drive similar to driving at night with almost dead flashlights. Plus, the Duchess and husband still had to drive to Hell with a View in Camp Bay.

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We ate dinner out here, gazing over the north shore

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Beautiful

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Never ending beauty

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The Duchess having a chat with Santiago, her watchie man.

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My twin Ann’s house is partially visible from Trish’s deck. She lives the next hill to the east.

This is part of the mess we came home to. Barrio and Highway were left inside. Aside from the bottle of Black Seed Oil that Barrio chewed up on top of the ottoman, he also destroyed a styrofoam egg carton. This really isn’t a big deal, but I never buy eggs in styrofoam, only in a cardboard flat of 30. I then transfer them to the styrofoam containers because they fit in my fridge so much easier.

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I found the GLASS dropper from this 2 days later. So happy he didn’t get hurt but not sure how he got the screw top lid off.

Sunday was a day at home. I did go to Mega Paca in the morning but then stayed here all day, we had several workers so I stuck around and made sure things I wanted done were getting done.

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Alexi finishing the barbed wire top of the fence. he also wrapped the rubber tree branches in barbed wire, it will thwart any would be thieves for sure.

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One of the things Bill and Miguel did was put the top forms on the concrete gate posts. Now to get them finished. The gate does open with a remote now, no more getting out of the car and opening or closing it. SO MUCH BETTER.

The school bells are once again ringing for the island kids, they are on break Nov-Feb. This year Alexi will be going to a different school, one he needs to go to for the Bomberos (fire fighters) that is held every Sunday in Punta Gorda. He needs new school shoes, we are taking some of his pay every week and holding it for him so he has some money to buy things he needs. If he has money, his mother “borrows” it and never repays him, of course. We are going to open a bank account once he gets ID. He has never had any because it requires his mother to actually do something to get it. Jessica, his younger sister is going to go to the English school that Alexi went to the last 2 years. She needs everything for school except undershirts and socks which Julie and Robby brought for her already. Alexi’s brother and nephew both need school clothes also. I don’t know if it’s me and my attitude or what but it pisses me off that Alexi’s lazy assed “mother” will not spend one penny for her kids to go to school. If someone else doesn’t cough up the money, so sad, too bad, they don’t go. This will be Jessica’s first year back to school after not going for a couple years because her mother wouldn’t buy the uniforms and supplies that she needed. In her defense (and believe me, the last thing I would ever do is stick up for the lousiest mother of the year award winner) the uniforms are expensive. We spent $100 USD on 2 pair of dark blue pants, 2 white short sleeved shirts, a pleated skirt for Jessica and a pair of slip on black shoes for her and socks for the boys. We also got them each writing notebooks that they needed. $100.00. A hundred dollars to get kids almost ready for back to school is nothing for people who have a little money but for the majority of people on the island, it is a LOT of money. Now remember, many families have MANY children (hello birth control?) and they can’t afford the uniforms so the kids don’t go to school. In a country with such an overpopulation of children and extreme poverty in the majority of the communities, why the hell do they have to wear uniforms? How does that change their  learning capabilities?

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Jessica and Efraim, he’s trying on a shirt for school.

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Bill bought the boys each a bag of peanuts.

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Osman on the L and Efraim on the R. Efraim is Alexi’s brother to a different father and Osman is Juliana’s 5 year old son.

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We bought local and went to Oak Ridge to Clifford’s store. he is the Vice Mayor of Santos Guardiola and a really nice man. He helps Nidia out a lot.

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A motorcycle coming down the hill and 3 guys on horses. It’s the wild wild west.

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Efraim

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Osman

We dropped Juliana and the boys off at a seamstress in Politilly. The boys both needed their pants shortened and tucks put into the waist. Hopefully they will get 2 years out of the pants. We didn’t buy them big on purpose, they were the 2 smallest pair they had.

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This door is on the second story of a house by the seamstress.

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Jessica and a friend’s baby.

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Efraim and Osman on the porch where the seamstress lives.

When we were leaving Politilly we had to slow down to go around a motorcycle on the road. When we got right up to it Bill said, “well, look who it is.” It was Alexi’s poor excuse of a mother and her boyfriend who beat Alexi. She probably knew the kids were with us and that we were buying them school clothes but she never even said thank you. We should have knocked them over. Or run them over. I turned my head, I was afraid of what I would say. If she cared at all, just one tiny little speck of care, I wouldn’t feel so upset by her, but she doesn’t. She just does not give one $hit about the kids she brought into this world.

It’s all about the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m trying to make peace with it, I struggle.

 

 

You can visit but you can’t leave

OK

03/06/2015   I arrived at the Roatan airport a little after 11 last Saturday morning. The crowds were unlike anything I’ve recently seen there. I was told that United ticketing computers were down, all over, not just Roa. They were checking people in by hand and it was taking a LOOOONG time. I saw some people waiting almost 1.5 hours to get their boarding pass, then they had to wait to pay their exit fee if it wasn’t already included in their ticket. Yowsa. We did crowd control, telling everyone what was happening, assuring them they would NOT miss their flight off the island. It’s walking a fine line trying to keep the economy passengers out of the First/Premier line. Even though that line was shorter we couldn’t put other people in it, it’s not fair to the people who paid higher prices for the convenience of no lines. Add to that problem the Delta issue. That plane was to land at noon and take off around 1:30 back to Atlanta. It was late to leave the gate in ATL and then had to make an emergency landing in Tampa where it was delayed even longer. At 4:15 PM it still had not landed and wasn’t due to land until 7:05. There was a plane full of people waiting to leave Roa on that flight. A few people asked me if this was how the island makes more money, by stranding the tourists. They can come but they can’t go home. I saw a family in the main part of the lobby with 2 big dogs and dog crates, they didn’t want to go through security until they knew the flight was ready to leave because of how long the dogs would be caged. I left for home around 4;45 and never heard the Delta flight land but I did hear it leave Roatan at 8:40 P.M. {while I was sitting on the bathroom counter soaking my aching feet in Epsom Salts and drinking wine.} Daine, Milesse and Monique went to dinner and then went back to the airport and welcomed that flight when it arrived.  I was in bed by 9 PM.

On Sunday Nancy and Chuck were coming for an early dinner. Once again Bill was making his pizza from scratch. They came over around 3:30 and hung out until well after dark. We had a great time visiting with them. Nancy brought some margarita’s but I did not allow one tiny drop of it to touch my lips. I might be dumb blonde and old but I’ll never forget a hangover from hell.

Monday found me back at the Physiotherapist’s office for another treatment. I’m not sure why but I seem to be regressing. My arm and shoulder hurt more now than they did after the first session. I was to go back this week but have not had the time.

We have B A N A N A S (thinking of Gwen Stefani when I type BANANAS) growing on our hill. Finally. The tree was planted a year ago and is producing fruit for the first time!

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My new job may be selling BANANAS down at the end of the driveway. I possibly could make $2.00 a day.

There is a Ladies Lunch group that meets monthly for lunch at different restaurants all over the island. I rarely go because it’s really not my thing but I went this time for a few reasons.

#1. It was at a new Italian restaurant that I wanted to try because, well, I’m Italian.

#2. It was across the street from Umbul Umbul, my favorite store where there is always something I want/need.

I was thoroughly disappointed in the service and the meal, just not a fun experience except for meeting new friends and seeing old ones. The pasta reminded me of Play Dough. Not good. I’m not naming the place because they recently just opened and maybe they need more time to get their shit together.

Highlight of the day, I  FINALLY got to meet my friend Amanda Walkins. She is as cute, if not cuter in person than in her photos! They always have raffle drawings at the luncheon and I won a free pizza from the restaurant we had lunch at. It was only good for a month and there is no way Bill and I will drive 45 minutes for a pizza when he makes killer ones right here at home, so I gave it to Amanda.

On Wednesday I was back at the vet clinic in Oak Ridge. They were supposed to do the last 3 days in Punta Gorda but their reception there was not as it should be so they moved it back to Oak Ridge. I got there around 11:30. It wasn’t super busy right then but Kathy kept making runs in her truck to pick up dogs from outlying areas. One man came in with his dog that had been attacked by 3 other dogs. She was a mess. She had been seen by a vet but needed more medical care than what she was given. Several of the vets worked on her, got her medicated and cleaned up her wounds. They made sure she was comfortable before she went home.

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Kathy’s pet taxi

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The big dog is so skinny you can count his ribs

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I’m a sucker for puppies

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Love his face. This is my friend Brendas dog’s brother. Her dog is 4 times the size of this guy.

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Brenda was having a hard time with her dogs brother. She wanted to take him home and feed him.

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The majority of these dogs come in with chains or ropes around their neck. I even saw one with an extension cord around the neck. They all leave with a collar and a leash and flea and tick meds, heart worm meds and worm meds are given as are routine shots.

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Surgery room

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A girl and her dogs. The scruffy one has TVT and had to have surgery for that along with neutering. TVT is very prevalent on the island, 70% of dogs are carriers and if not treated, the dog will die. TVT is Transmissible Venereal Tumor. It’s very similar to aids in humans. Maybe Mother Natures way of controlling the number of dogs in the world but the dogs that get it will die a painful death if not treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Most people can’t afford to spay their animals let alone pay for surgery and chemo.

Brenda and I did our damnest to talk people into neutering/spaying their dogs. Most of the females got fixed but the men act like it’s them getting snipped and not the dog. Many times they would say it wasn’t their dog so we would give them our phone to call the owner and tell them they needed to “fix” their dog. Sometimes we were successful, most times we were not. Next time I am printing some of these signs.

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The founder of Helping Paws Across Borders, Angie Cherry, in the green scrubs.

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The dogs laying on the ground are recovering from surgery.

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A one week old puppy. It’s eyes were not even open. The mother dog won’t feed it. I assume she is starving herself and has no milk for the puppy. The owners are trying to feed it with a dropper but I doubt this little guy will live.

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skin and bones

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Poor guy

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Nice leash

When I was working at the Police station in Oak Ridge last year I met a sweet lady who was there helping out. We talked while we were working and when I left I gave her a big hug. On Wednesday I checked in a lady by the name of Solia, she brought her dog Pauna to be spayed. Pauna was healthy and well fed. Soon after I checked her in I realized who she was. I said you’re the lady I worked with at the Police station and she said she knew that she had met me before. I ended up taking her and her dog and a man and his daughter and their 2 dogs home to Lucy Point. Sweet sweet lady, so happy I finally know her name.

I was exhausted when I got home and filthy dirty. The shower and a glass of wine were screaming my name. I told Kathy I would be back the next day at the same time. I wanted to make something for the vets to have to eat so I made a quick run to the store Thursday morning.  When I got to the clinic it was pretty quiet but it picked up again after lunch. For dessert for the vets I sliced up apples, spread peanut butter on them and dipped them in granola and chocolate chips. MMM Yummy! They ate them all!

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Cute puppies who had fabulous PUPPY BREATH

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This dog was gorgeous, would have taken him home too.

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Doing a spay/neuter

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recovery room like none you’ve seen before

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These vets worked non-stop

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This was the prep area where the dogs were taken before surgery to get knocked out and shaved if needed.

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They all are related

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These two were adorable, very similar to the ones the day before.

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This is Fire. He belongs to the Bomberos (fire department.) He was getting snipped. The guys didn’t come back until late in the afternoon for him. I had already decided if they didn’t return, he was mine. I was mad when I saw them come back for him.

So Lola is not only still T.U.Q. [The Urine Queen] she is also freaking JAWS. She started chewing on my nice patio furniture chairs and table. I sprayed them with vinegar, that didn’t help. I added hot sauce to the vinegar and by damn, she has a taste for hot sauce. I did the only logical thing I could do. I tied her mouth closed with duct tape. I love that stuff. Just kidding. We brought the nice furniture that she chewed up inside and we now have a white plastic table on the porch. It looks like hell and she may chew the legs off it of. Who knows? The other morning I had her out twice to go potty. Neither time worked, not even a tinkle or a drop. However, right before I left she did a “screw you” pee right in front of the back door. I went outside, picked her up and carried her downstairs to the potty area. I have a 20′ leash down there tied around a pole and I fastened her on there, gave her water and left. She had shade, a place to potty and water. Bill thought he would be home around 3 so I figured a few hours down there wouldn’t hurt her. Well, he was later than he thought he would be and I was at the clinic until after 5. We had a torrential rain storm come through here and I was freaking out about Lola being down there. When Bill came home he went to look for her. She wasn’t where I left her. WTH??

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Of course she wan’t down there. She gnawed through the leash and was happily cavorting with her man Highway on the porch again. She may be the reason I never own a dog again.

Emmy is rather thrilled that the patio furniture is inside, she is digging her new spot.

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She will be confused once this gets moved downstairs into the guest condo.

Speaking of guest condo. Ughfreakingugh. This is what it looks like mid paint job. I have guests coming the 26th. I am working next week helping to deliver 2300 pairs of TOM’s shoes to needy kids. This may just put me over the edge.

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View from bedroom to living room. No, the fridge normally doesn’t sit in the middle of the kitchen.

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Back bedroom

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MESS

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The new color looks good

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New bedroom behind wall that hasn’t been painted yet on the left

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only 3 weeks

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Bill the Tool Man Crofutt has a lot of tools to put away

The language barrier caused some walls to be painted blue when they weren’t supposed to be. Just a little pissed about that. We just ordered 2 more gallons of a light mandarin orange to finish off the downstairs and cover up some of the blue.  We have 2 guys coming tomorrow to work and paint, please painting Gods, let this be finished tomorrow. Please.

One last photo that Connie took of Paola and I at Cattleya last Friday. I love this young girl, she is so special!

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Janice on the right rear and Cynthia front right.

I have been extremely lazy and my house reflects my lack of initiative or interest in rectifying this situation. I mean, I hang up my clothes and still make the bed but the kitchen, sometimes it just gets out of control. Sometimes there are dishes stacked and it goes against the way I was raised. I was taught that the kitchen is always cleaned after dinner, everything put away, counters clean, the works. It’s not happening here much any more. The island in my kitchen is a pet peeve because it’s humongo and EVERYFREAKINGTHING gets put on it. Right now there are;

2 different kinds of NSAID’s for Highway and his joint (joint as in bone, not marijuana) issues

a rag with Clorox on it

a slingshot

my sunglasses

my water bottle

a screwdriver (my bad)

my recipe box

a wine cork that Bill needs

the hook part of the leash JAWS chewed

and I have 2 black handbags hanging on the same stool.

Well, that didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would, most of the crap is mine. I presume tomorrow will find me putting away all of the stuff I have so carelessly let lay on the island. My hope is that I get my act together and sort out my small little OCD brain and actually DO something around here. That is my hope.

We have deemed tomorrow a work day but come hell or high water, I will be either pool or beach side on Sunday!