The return of the trade winds

05/30/2018 Let’s see if I can pick up where I left off. Hmmm. Nope, no can do. It was way too long ago and I apologize. I’ve been distracted and busy. And hot and sweaty, OMG. If I could market and sell under boob sweat I would be a millionairess. If there only was a need for it. Sad times.

It’s been a super hot month. It was very miserably hot while Trace was visiting, too hot almost. The heat made afternoon siestas a part of the day. He took a lot of photos of the homes we’re looking after and built a website for us. It’s not up and running yet, it’s very involved and detail intensive using a website like this for a novice like me. Being Miss OCD does nothing to lessen the frustration. I will say I get pissed and want to give up and maybe do give up for that particular moment, but I’m back figuring it out some more in no time at all. It’s taking me a long time to get things the way I want them, which is all the same, but different. Some of you get that.

We did manage to have some fun on a few short boating trips. One day Trace and I “boated” to Calabash Bight to check out some guests. While there Trace took some photos but not the ones for the website, he took those later. He and I went snorkeling with Daniel and Stephanie at the Sloth farm, awesome snorkeling in the protected waters of the marine preserve. Another day Trace and I went to West Bay by way of a water taxi from West End because the actual road is so bad.

We ate at Cal’s a number of times just because it’s excellent and it’s 3 minutes away. Who can say no to that? Not me.

Our friends Liza and Mike came from Oregon to spend some time here. They own land in Sandy Bay, about 40 min west of us. The day after they arrived they came down to hang out around the pool and eat some pizza. They brought me some things I ordered and also a bulk foods bag of HOT TAMALES. I have not had them for 5 years. I caught Trace eating them and yelled at him. I told him he could buy them in Seattle, I can’t get them here and dammit! I was being stingy and not sharing. I hid them and allotted myself a certain number (12) each night before I brushed my teeth. They lasted from April 13 to me savoring the lonely last one on May 16th. It was a very sad night.

When they were plentiful

When there was only one.

The the next day Trace and I met Liza and Mike at Pineapple Villas, mainly so they could meet Nidia. She is kind of famous around these parts. After that I took them to the Monkey and Sloth Farm where we held sloths, let monkeys look for bugs in our hair and held macaws and yellow naped parrots. 

These monkeys are named after the cast of Jersey Shore. You know, J Wow, Snookie, Vinnie and Pauly D. Here one is sitting on Trace’s neck.

They are insane, so much fun.

Might be picture of the week. Trace trying to get his camera lens cover from the monkey.

Spying on us, planning his attack.

I so love this photo. Mike is just like, OK, there are 2 crazy monkeys on my head.

She’s found her calling, Liza the sloth snuggler.

My favorite bird. The colors are intense.

Trace took this video while we were snorkeling in West Bay. The fish didn’t even seem to notice the camera on the broom handle (improvised selfie stick). They swam all around it and then pretty much had Trace in the middle of their school. He got some awesome footage. These are mostly Blue Tangs, in different stages of development. Some other fish join the school, there’s even a nice sized Barracuda towards the end on the left.

Having a visitor in the house seemed to confuse the dogs. They got a little panicked (Lola) a few times when Trace would come upstairs. She would have barking fits, carrying on like a velociraptor was coming up the stairs. One time they were so freaked out that Barrio was shooting pheromes out his butt. I’m serious, it was gross and it squirted on the walls. It was like he emptied his anal sacks by himself. Sorry, is that TMI? He was so afraid of Trace that he didn’t go near him during the whole time he was here. Gringo and Max and Lola and the idiot (Highway) were fine with him, not Barrio.

Trace holding Lola, who is a showgirl.

Lola, see? She’s crazy.

Max, Lola and Highway

Our electric company is called RECO. I went in to the office and signed a form to get access to their online bill payment system. They said I would get a password in a few weeks sent to the email address I gave them. A month had passed when I emailed them and said “what’s up, where is my password?” A few days later I was in the pool and my phone rang. Caller ID said RECO emergency number. I answered it and they said, “this is RECO calling to say that we got an email (from me) stating that you (me) never got a password for the online payments.” I said correct. She said, “could I get your email address so we can send the password to you?” I was like, but but, you are calling because you got an email from me, you HAVE my email address. Remembering where I lived, I gave up and told her the address and one month later I have still never gotten a password. I later found out everyone got the same password to sign in with and you then had to change it immediately and sign in with the new password that you created. I signed on with my friends temporary password. It worked. You can’t make this shit up.

I recently had a bug night. My husband was sound asleep and a gorgeous moth with a 2″ wide wingspan landed on my nightstand. I couldn’t hurt it so I captured it and threw it out the window using a cup and a piece of paper. But it didn’t work, I threw air out the window. The moth was on the wall when I went back to bed. Damn! I used the same maneuver but used something hard below the paper. It worked, I carried it outside and set it free. Came back to bed and there’s a beetle on my reading light. I tried to capture it until it flew at me three times. I swatted it down and slammed it with a bottle of allergy pills and mortally wounded it and gave it a proper water burial in the toilet. Then I had to pee and was afraid it was still alive and was going to fly at my ass. I thought of my friend Megan who lives on the other end of the island. She went to the bathroom one night and there was a good sized crab in her toilet. She removed it with tongs. Now I look every time. One of the teachers at Froylan School (where we help out) woke to find a huge boa constrictor in her bed. Honestly, I would have died right there on the spot. Dead as a nail. Just roll me off a boat. I live in the jungle.

There was another beach concert right down the road from us. Trace and I went and ate dinner and stayed for the music. I’m sure he wished he had been an ostrich so he could have buried his head in the sand, totally ashamed that his old lady mother danced almost every song. It’s good exercise. And dancing and wine go well together. I’m sure he doesn’t agree that wine makes me an excellent dancer. .

Trace was photographing kids at the beach before the concert started.

They love cameras and cameras love them. Beautiful kids.

This is Ephrain, Alexi’s little brother.

My high school friends donated money early this year to help do some work at the Froylan Turcios School. Bill re-did the bathrooms and they got the building painted and a door installed. They have working toilets and sinks. My friends also bought the school a volleyball net. Bill gave them a long metal pole they can cut in half and cement into tires to make holders for the net. A few weeks ago I got a friend request from someone named Chris. I looked at his profile, he does stuff like we do so I accepted. Then he contacted me to say he had some groups coming down to do missionary work, could I suggest a school. Well, yes, Froylan Turcios. I told him a bit about the school and introduced him to the Principal, my friend Marlon. After Chris spoke to Marlon for awhile he realized he was the real deal. Being the Principal was not about him, it was about the kids. Now Chris and his organization have stepped in to finish the roof, using the stuff we bought to repair the leaks, they are building Marlon an office, he does not have one and they are building benches and tables and a playground for the kids. I still have about $210 left from the money my class donated, plus another 25 was donated and I’ll put in to make it 250 which is enough to buy the 3 toilets and one of the 3 sinks for the first new school EVER in Pandy Town. The kids have never had a school, let alone a new one. They are in a 3 room building behind the church. It’s crowded and hot and dark. They deserve this. I’m thinking $250 would buy the sinks and all of the materials needed to plumb the bathrooms. I have a new goal.

This is the new school. A very exciting event for everyone in the community.

Update: The Rotary club has said if the school puts in a formal request they will present it to the board and possibly buy the toilets. I have been in touch with Miss Iris and told her if that falls through, I will buy them. If that works maybe we can supply the lights or the ceiling fans for the school. We are on hold but will be doing something for the school one way or another.

A little comic relief. The boys going for a swim.

Barrio and Lola sharing a kennel. They love being in their kennels.

Rainy late afternoon, rainbow producer. See the size of the deck to the back left of the stairs? Well, it’s bigger now.

This is how much bigger. Two days and it was done.

I’ve ordered a 10X16 sun shade for this area, more shade for the dogs and a place to nap out of the sun.

The shaded eating area

Enlarged seating area, soon to be shaded.

North shore view

South shore

Trace and I did a few snorkel trips and saw great stuff each time. Actually, anytime I can get my head underwater is a good day.

Saw this beautiful French Angelfish snorkeling. I swear it was following me.

Quite an overbite

White common feather duster worms

Christmas tree worm

Beautiful healthy coral

A pea or baby porcupine

These tangs encircled us, it’s like we weren’t there.

Blue striped grunt

Stunning evening sky over the south shore.

North shore sky.

Trace and I went snorkeling with Daniel and Steph from Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. Always excellent snorkeling because it’s in a protected marine reserve.

Common feather duster worms

Spaghetti worms, amazing to watch them move. I’m very curious what they feel like.

They are so fascinating, here is a video on them.

This was a large porcupine pufferfish, it started to come out towards us but changed it’s mind.

Googly eyes on the porcupine puffer fish

This was an awesome find, some type of burr fish. This thing had big spikes sticking out of it.

Four eyed butterfly fish

A live beautiful conch. See the eye sticking out on the left of the shell? It’s a tube. They have 2 eyes, just like us. Sort of.

Beautiful protected harbor of French Caye.

The son..

Daniel and Steph, two of my favorites..really, I love these 2.

Daniel’s grandfathers shrimp boats.

The dogs were going absolutely crazy one afternoon. Highway was jumping straight up, a few feet off the ground every time he barked. The 3 brothers were non stop barking. {I seriously pity a thief coming here, they have no chance.} Bill spotted this guy in the Gumbalimba tree by the deck. He was kind of hidden but I did get a few shots. So gorgeous.

I love iguanas.

They are such beautiful creatures. I think they were eating the berries on the tree.

Their skin looks like the hand beaded animals they sell in Mexico.

Cruise ship passing.

I interviewed Lauren who owns The Roatan Wine Room for an article I wrote for Incomes Abroad, an International Living publication spin off. Lauren recently opened her business in West End. I look forward to making a trip there soon, who doesn’t love wine?

Nidia and I are planning to go to the Mosquito Coast of Honduras for 3 days. The poverty is extreme. We have free shipping for all of the donations to the mainland so we will be able to buy a lot of stuff, like 200 bars of soap, 200 toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes. We take so much for granted. I got an amazing generous donation from some new friends, Nidia and I started planning how to spend it as soon as I called her. Our trip to the coast will not be a vacation. We are going where there is no electricity or running water. I’m a snoopy eater so I’ll have to take enough peanut butter sandwiches, potato chips and hard boiled eggs to last several days. It will not be GLAMPING. It will be an experience that I should get to have. I’m very excited.

The rag tag gang. I’m a sweatball, Bill’s shirt has a hole in it so he tucks it in under his belt to hide it. Poor Trace.

The wind has picked up, it’s crazy windy after no wind for a week. I was making a sandwich and it blew the cheese off the sandwich. Score for the dogs. Great sleeping weather and no bugs.

Today I had a much needed girls day with Jonna. We ran errands, went to the labor board, went to the municipal, found Roatan Provisions where we bought (split) a $52.00 jar of kalamata olives went to lunch, had mojitos. Little more shopping and then home. I saw dishes I wanted but didn’t buy because they were pottery and I will break/drop them. I thought they were the lightweight melamine. Oh well. I got olives.

Trace helped us get the counters downstairs finished with epoxy resin before Chance, Alecia and the girls come on the 12th. So excited to see all of them!

This is in the kitchen

Turned out really nice but now I don’t like the tile at all.

The bar, Trace added some orange to it. Again, that awful tile.

I would say I’ll try to be better about blogging but we all know that’s a lie. I started this Monday night and it’s Friday. I’m done. We’ve had a guy here installing the back splash tile in my upstairs kitchen ALL DAY and the whole place is a mess. There is stuff all over the floors, hoping the counter tops are still OK. Not very thrilled with the tile job, I will be going to see them tomorrow.

I’m publishing this sucker before another week passes. Happy FriYay everyone.

Island style Christmas Magic

miracle

12/22/2015  Aaaah, yes, holidays on the island. It’s so different from what I am used to, from what was brainwashed into my head for so many years, the unrealistic expectations of Christmas. Here it’s different, people don’t get new cars and big trucks for Christmas or another diamond necklace, people are happy with a bag of rice and beans and the kids take a jump rope or a stuffed animal and they smile. In the states kids want Wii, Xbox and iPads, here a truck or a frisbee or a Beanie Baby is wonderful! No excessive gift giving on this rock.

On Thursday we had the kids party in Fiddlers Bight, an area with water access only. The kids from Calabash Bight came also, we think there were around 175 kids total, more than the previous year. When our boat arrived at the party spot the kids were busy making and flying paper airplanes with this cool set Marilyn and Alex bought for them. They were having fun with that, seeing who could throw theirs the farthest. A few of the girls were drawing with chalk on the macadam. It was a calm, hot as hell day, my shirt was soaked by mid afternoon and Francie was glistening.. At one point I thought my calves were melting. Too bad the sun can’t melt your ass off, or your gut..

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The coolest paper airplane kit that Marilyn and Alex brought

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So bizarre, part of a doll hanging on the fence. Random

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Santa’s new chair, made by Bill, painted by Marilyn

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I love DUBAI?? The country?? HUH?

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Kat, BJ’s gorgeous daughter, explaining the folding process for the airplanes

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Frosty in a box

The kids played for awhile, then the story lady told her version of the birth of Christ and Kat translated it to Spanish and rearranged some of the story to keep it on track. Lets just say the story lady has a slightly different version. Kat was great though, she told the story in a very animated way, the kids were really paying attention to her.

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Story lady on the right holding up a picture.

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gorgeous little girls

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really, could she be any cuter??

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Derek, my favorite

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Marilyn and her jester hat

After the story lady was done we gave the kids a stick and let them take turns beating the candy out of poor old Frosty the Snowman. I kept getting freaked out, afraid they might whack Francie a few times, the boys were slammimg the crap out of Frosty. Once they got a hole torn in it, it was all over. The kids dove on top of one another for the candy, as always, some get a lot some get a little.

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My new friend Judy staying WAAAYY back from the stick.

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Yes Carmen has on 2 sets of antlers.. It’s a look.

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Bashed Frosty

Then someone spoke the magic words, “here comes Santa”. Sure enough, standing up in the boat that was coming across the water was Santa Claus. Pandemonium. In all reality, for as little as these kids have, seeing Santa is a big deal and they were exceedingly excited. Second year in a row I’ve had tears running down my cheek when Santa arrives. You can feel the excitement.

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Waiting for Santa

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You can see by this little boys face that he sees Santa’s boat coming

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The one and only, SANTA!!

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Kids of all ages

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Even Santa’s boat captain is a reindeer.

Santa (we have a fabulous Santa) insists on wearing the full outfit, boots and gloves too, despite the 90 degree heat. He spoke to every child and when they left he told them “Santa loves you”. How cool is that? Mrs. Claus, chief elf and organizer Francie did a fab job too, hoisting the kids from their Mom’s arms to Santa and then back to Mom when they were done. She was the one glistening. Elf Joe helped keep the gifts flowing, Dave did crowd control, Melanie was the main photographer while Rosalie marked their hands, indicating they already got a gift. Smooth as clockwork.

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Twins were having none of this Santa stuff..

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Love the little boy’s look

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Such gorgeous kids

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He looks a little shy

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This kills me

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Anxiously waiting

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No Santa for this boy either

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This is the first little boy I ever fit for Tom’s shoes. He’s the one who hugged me before I even fitted him. His name is Derek

Mom must have a busy night planned. All the Moms want to sit on Santa’s lap too, that’s why he needed a sturdier chair.

Melanie took 465 photos in a few hours. For over an hour she knelt on her knees, on a piece of cardboard, on the dirt ground, taking photos. Amazing.When Santa had seen everyone the ladies there (many mothers) served the kids food.

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This little girls hair is so long, just beautiful.

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The most gorgeous kids

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Nice looking young boy

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Another good looking boy

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These kids are all cute

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Pensive

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So pretty

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With her new doll

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Family rowing home after the party

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Party is over, time to go home.

We left shortly after that and went to Alex and Marilyn’s house for dinner. She is so phenomenal in the kitchen, she can whip up an impromptu meal in no time and it rocks. Tonight was no different.

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Brett AKA Cute Boat Guy and Carmen

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The guys chatting

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Kathy and Judy

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Marilyn’s recycle bin

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Lounging in the living room

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The tree looks great

Great meal, yummy salad (Carmen).  There were quite a few friends there, we sat around and chatted for awhile. I met a new lady from Cali that lives here too. She had further to drive than I did and it was dark so we had Alex deposit us back at BJ’s and we each drove back to our homes.

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Ride home

Friday was BJ’s, I went there after my fiasco at the municipal. Late Saturday morning we took the dogs to Parrot Tree swimming. They haven’t been for a while and they knew exactly where they were and they were uncontrollable. Once they got to the other side of the lagoon, we set them free.

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My babies

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Barrio chilling on the chair

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They are water dogs

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Handsome Barrio, out of the 3 pups he has the sweetest demeanor and is the calmest, also the most skittish.

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Sweet boy Barrio

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L to R, Max, Barrio and Gringo in the front, he is the biggest by far, pushing 55# of solid muscle.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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Gringo, I’m not positive but he might have been taking a whizz..

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Barrio in front, Gringo, Max

These puppies have a serious hold on my heartstrings. I can’t really describe the depth of the emotions but I feel so responsible for them, even responsible for their happiness. I worry that they are bored, maybe they need exercised, maybe we need a bigger enclosed area, how about a pool for them to swim in?  Is their food good enough, do they eat enough? It’s an issue for sure. I truly feel like I gave birth to these dogs but obviously I didn’t, and I do know that, but it does not lessen my feelings of motherhood to these 3 pups. Plain and simple. They own me.

Saturday afternoon we went over to our friends, Chuck and Nancy’s for drinks and dinner. It was a nice break from our daily busyness and it’s always nice to visit with them and see the progress on the building they are working on. It is almost done and it looks fabulous, amazing…I could live in that space.

Sunday was the first of Nidia’s Because We Care Christmas parties for the kids. I arrived too early, as is my damn style.

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The Ark is taking shape..

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Just the view going into Punta Gorda. I make sure to NEVER take this view for granted.

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A house in town

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The party was held on this beach.

Nobody was there so I turned around and drove back through town, called Nidia and then decided she wouldn’t be there for 45 min. so I went home, (10 min.) and kissed the dogs for awhile. On my way home one of the boys who was dressed in shorts and nothing else, his body covered in black oil, wearing a mask  and brandishing a wooden spear, walked up to the front of my car and shook his belly. Then he came over to my open window and said ‘gimme 5 dollars. ” I said No, I’m not giving you 5 dollars, now move. And he did.

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They call themselves something in Spanish that roughly translates to Barbaric Indian. I guess I was supposed to be scared.

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So beautiful

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You can see forever

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Photo op

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I want this boat

When I went to Punta Gorda the second time things were starting to happen. Nidia and her two daughters and one of her sons were there, Santa was there and Nidia had lots of helpers. They brought the tables so we put the gifts out on the tables, which maybe is a mean thing to do. Mixed emotions on this one. After 2PM the kids and parents started to arrive.

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Getting the toys out

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Hats and jump ropes

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Nidia arranging the dolls, mouse ears, cars, trucks and assorted other gifts

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Flip-flops

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quite a variety of toys

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These kids are so cute

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Nidia in the center, her 2 daughters, Krista in red and Janisha. Love them all.

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A little bit of everything

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They delivered chairs and all the kids sat on them while the adults stood. Finally Sully (Santa) stole 2 for us.

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She posed for me, OMG!!

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Blowing up a balloon

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Cutie

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She was also trying to blow up a balloon.

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Kudos for him even trying. They were long curly balloons, not easy to blow up at all.

Once there were lots of kids there, most all in Santa hats, Nidia had the kids play musical chairs for a while, the DJ was rocking the tunes. It always blows my mind to see kids playing this game and wondering, do kids in the US still play musical chairs, like ever??

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Musical chairs using the chairs from the restaurant

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Pretty girl in her Minnie Mouse ears

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Couple more cuties

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Her dress, her barrettes, her ears and the balloon..

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Kids in Santa hats were everywhere…

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Once they were done playing musical chairs, Santa came.

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Such a doll!

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Getting organized into lines

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These kids are so gorgeous…

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This is my friend Gail in the pink. I met her the day I picked my friends up at the cruise ship, she was hanging in my friends store. She is from eastern Canada. She is with 2 Barbaric Indians. The kids all ran and screamed when they saw them.

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The little girl in the pink frilly dress had 2 balloons stuffed in the front of her dress.

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hmm, one of everything please

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And here he is, Santa. Sully (Santa) also helped out last year with some toy and food delivery. I believe he has helped Nidia many times, really a nice guy. This Santa was a tropical one in flip flops!!

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He was swarmed by the kids

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It was a sea of Santa hats

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Ho Ho Ho

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Adorable

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Santa and the kids

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My friend Miss Linda from Camp Bay and her grandson

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Santa, in between passing out gifts..

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Feet

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I always find the shoe choices interesting

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Gorgeous

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Sweet boys eyeing the goodies

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Santa passing out candy bags, then I passed out toothbrushes..

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Lunch, hot dogs, juice and ice cream

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Kids waiting for their gifts

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you could cut the tension with a knife..they wanted gifts

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The gift guarders

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How do you keep a few hundred kids in lines and quiet when all they can see is gifts?? Answer: YOU DON’T

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Please, something for me…

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Gorgeous twins. I walked over later and gave their dad 2 toothbrushes for them and 1 for their little brother. He thanked me in perfect English.

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He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

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eating ice cream

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Then something happened and he started crying and there was no adult with him. We kept trying to find out why he was crying but could make no sense of what he was saying. Poor little guy.

It was a long afternoon,  5.5 hours there and I was done. I headed towards home around 5:30 and became a vegetable. Sheer exhaustion set in. I tried like hell to get this blog out that night and just COULD NOT DO IT.

I did some stuff around here this morning, ran to town, got groceries, brought them home and went to Oak Ridge to pay for the permit. I did the Pay To line on the check before I left home b/c it’s long and with my shitty hands, I have a hard time writing legibally. I did NOT make out the written dollar amount, I wanted to wait. I also took a SPARE check, just in case. Well, it’s a damn good thing I had that extra check because I did the Payee name in blue and the amount in BLACK, dated and signed in BLACK and they would not flipping take it b/c it was in 2 colors of ink. They said Davivienda Bank is very fussy. WTF? At that point I wished I had a sharpie because I would have written the damn check out on his forehead. Good thing I didn’t because when I left the office I saw the Mayor and got a hug and kiss before I left the Muni. He was sitting out in the waiting room watching TV. He’s a really nice guy and I do like him and, I think he tries his best.

When I left today, this was in the road. Bill took the photo. Not a soul around, no glass, no signs of blood, no bodies. Really, nobody came to investigate this accident??

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I got home and was working on the blog and picking up around here when Trish called. They were on their way home from Mondays Don’t Suck (I missed it again, too busy) and stopped by here for a drink on the roof. It’s the first I’ve seen her since she arrived last Monday! Looking forward to hanging out with them while they are here.

The wonders of Facebook continue to thrill me on a daily basis. It allows me to be in touch with people I used to see daily while working for Bank of America. Believe it or not, you make friendships with those people and being able to maintain those friendships via Facebook is incredible. One of those friends is Chris Castle, Chris was in the bank daily and he and I became friends. I knew he and his wife had 2 sons and that Chris was a soccer ref. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Chris and his boss Phil. After I left the bank I would run into him every now and then but when we moved, we lost touch. Until I saw him on my friend Katy’s FB. The rest is history, except for the fact that Chris’s wife is a very talented artist. I really enjoy seeing Julie’s work that Chris posts. He recently set up an Etsy shop for her. Please take a few minutes to look at her work, she is really good. The web address is https://www.facebook.com/Sand-Castle-Shack-Studio-448528448665578/?fref=ts  and her Etsy address is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SandCastleShack?ref=hdr_shop_menu. Merry Christmas Chris, Julie and family!!

It’s 10 PM, I have to get 4 dogs outside and drag this tired old butt to bed. I have the one big BWC Christmas party on Wednesday then it’s fun and games and partying with our friends this Christmas season.

To all the amazing people who follow my blog, thank you. Bill, Highway, Lola, Frito, Gringo, Max, Barrio, Emmy and I wish you a fabulously Merry Christmas and an enchanting New Year..XOXO

JINGLE BELLS, ISLAND STYLE. Thanks to Jeanie for this one..(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

We sit with drink in hand
Without a hope of snow
Under spreading palms
A hurricane’s sure to blow
Santa Claus will find
That things can turn to shit
He won’t be riding eight reindeer
He can’t get his permit
      Oh, hells bells….coconut shells
       Cervezas all the way….oh what fun it is to ride….in a pick-up truck today

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Twenty eight little paws

life she loved 04/23/2015 What a week it’s been. I have not had a full nights sleep since the dwarfs puppies were born. The first night Frito woke me several times to go potty. At that time we had her and the pups downstairs. I thought being away from the other 3 barkers would be better for the first few days. After running up and down the stairs hundreds of times a day my knee begged us to move her upstairs. OMG, so much easier. While they were downstairs I had to follow her down, take her out the front door and wait until she went to the potty. Then, back to bed for both of us. Me? Once I’m awake I don’t go back to sleep very easily, it’s the curse of an overactive mind. I spent the last week functioning on a few hours sleep and several hours long naps during the day. Sometimes only 2 hours after I first woke up I found myself back in bed. Having 7 puppies is not easy.

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Frito, after the 7 dwarfs were born. Nice and slim with boobs that are saggier than mine!!!

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Feeding frenzy

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Gorgeous pups

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Sleepy

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Tiny toes

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Frito is such a fabulous dog

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Bandit with milk on his chin

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Bandit and Sable, these two are spoken for already

Now that Frito is upstairs with the kids we are wondering if we are going to have problems in a week. When these 28 feet decide they are hungry, all HELL breaks loose. They are so loud, screaming and crying and making all these weirdly amazing noises, a few of them can already crawl out of the bottom of the dog crate they are in. They are now blocked in by cardboard and clamps. Bill will soon need to build a structure to contain them.

We were afraid Frito had mastitis, a common problem among nursing females, human or dog. It’s an infection in the milk ducts so we put her on Amoxicillin, a very low dose so it won’t affect the pups. I was also doing warm compresses and wrapping the swollen teats in soft red cabbage leaves. YES, I was doing that. If she had it, and I don’t know for sure (I am a hypochondriac animal owner) that she did, she is now fine. Saggy teats and all. I’m so freaking happy I don’t have 8 boobs. OMG, I would cut them off.

Aside from  the puppy incident we have been busy with friends coming by. Sam and Chelsie were here for dinner the day Frito gave birth. These two are really special to me, just love them. On Saturday evening Brian and Addy from Canada came for dinner. We met them doing Because We Care with Nidia @ Camp Bay. We have worked together several days doing TOMS shoes too. On Saturday night after they left Bill didn’t feel good and he went to bed. He felt awful most of the morning on Sunday, causing me to cancel our plans for Sunday company. He was feeling better late on Sunday so we rescheduled our company to Monday. Lynda and Dave came on Monday but the dinner we served was blah., less than stellar, blech. It wasn’t good. Need a pizza dinner do over.

I am trying to get the downstairs cleaned up before my friend K.P. comes from Sydney Australia on Sunday. I keep thinking that being here won’t be any different for her than Australia, I mean, they’re both islands, right?? Totally forgetting the fact that Sydney is a hugely modernized developed city in a very large educated prosperous country. So unlike Roatan.. We are going to do desk delivery on Monday to Pandy Town and also school supplies to Pandy Town and to Calabash Bight. Bill and K.P. and I will deliver the school supplies and desk and whiteboard (and cupcakes) and new TOMS shoes for the kinder down in the valley near us. I recently was given a lot of brand new school books, math, science, health, workbooks, reading books, teacher manuals, all in English. Nidia and I are deciding which school will benefit the most having these books.

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Cute little tongue

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This is Bandit

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out cold

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Bandit using his sister Sable as a pillow

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Sable on Bandit

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I can’t stand it, they are so cute.

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Poor Frito.

We were supposed to go to friends for dinner tonight but Frito has been weird all day, kind of freaking me out. She keeps taking one pup and trying to carry him downstairs. The problem is, he’s too fat for her to get him in her mouth. She seems very panicky about him and has tried numerous times. I even carried him downstairs and she once again tried to get him in her mouth. She seems distraught and has been under all 3 beds at one point or another today. I don’t know if it’s because Alexi is here helping Bill or not but she is not the same dog she was yesterday. Maybe it’s hormonal. So, we are staying home to keep an eye on the family and they are happy to reschedule too because they have workers there and don’t know when they will be done. It all works out just fine.

Last Sunday we took Highway and Lola to the lagoon for a swim. Highway starts whining as soon as we turn off the main road and head to Parrot Tree, he knows where he is. Lola doesn’t like the water. This has not changed. She hates it!!

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Parrot Tree lagoon

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Not having fun

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Highway rolling

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They love to run on the beach

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The Urine Queen

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We don’t even have to coax Highway, he runs and jumps in.

Bill got one of the upper cupboards done and hung, still a few more to do. I didn’t want doors, I like the simplicity of not having to open them. Sheer laziness? Maybe. Who cares?

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easy

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Now one for dishes, glasses and pans.

I apologize that this post is centered on puppies but that has been my life for the past 10 days. Next weekends’ post should be more exciting because I’m sure KP and I will be on the move once again.

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Frito can jump on her hind legs, almost walking.

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Mad puppy love

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I get to smell lots of PUPPY BREATH!!

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He is a porker

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My puppy planks!!

I have a few more things to do before I can call it a day, I pick KP up tomorrow @ noon and plan to pick up school supplies before I get her. This saves me a trip in to Sandy Bay on Monday to get the school stuff we’ll deliver out here on the east end. I hope the weekend is good to all of you. I’ll be back next weekend when I recover from another week of puppies and fun!

A little soundtrack for you, this is what our days sound like.

https://youtu.be/zW2pQP3jF4I

Before the wench got drenched.

Pirate

04/05/2015 Happy Easter everyone. Thanks Cheryl for the blog title. I’m going to attempt to finish the adventures of Cicily, Cheryl and I in this post. One thing I forgot to mention was that Friday evening, after a day on the beach we went to Cal’s Cantina for dinner. Not only is it right down the road from us, it is also the BEST food and restaurant view on the island. I had to add that because what kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t take our guests to Cal’s?

OK, back to the adventures. Sunday was an off and on rainy day. We decided to go for it and headed east. So far the girls had only been west of our house, except for the boat trip with Sam and Chelsie. We stopped at the store in Oak Ridge for drinks and munchies then did a road tour of Oak Ridge and stopped by to see Miguel and Winston.

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Narrow road past BJ’s and on the way to the taxi stand.

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Boat in the harbor

From there we headed east to Camp Bay and Roger and Jeanie’s house. It cleared up on the way and turned out to be a nice day. We visited with Roger and Jeanie for awhile, ooohhed and aaahed over their view and the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks. Bill discussed some cabinets that Jeanie wants for the kitchen and took some measurements of the wall space.

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Roger and Jeanie

After that we went further east to La Sirena, AKA Jimmy’s. Just as we got there we saw our friends Francis and Karen. We stopped to chat with them and I recognized the one guy from the previous day at Pigeon Key. Turns out he is Francis’ brother. Small world, small island. We had rum punches and lunch at La Sirena.

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Good food, cold beer

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Fish lunch. I had Onion Rings!!!

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Cis and Cheryl @ La Sirena

We covered new ground by driving the road over the mountain (sic, this is Roatan, they are big hills compared to where I come from) to Port Royal. It was a really pretty drive, during parts of it you forgot you were on an island, it looked like any other forest. Sort of.

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It is, after all a National Park

Next stop was Punta Gorda, actually, we just drove through there to show them the area.

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Punta Gorda

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These columns were very intricately carved. The road alongside them leads back to one of the schools we did the TOMS show drive.

We made our way home and went down to John’s pool for a late afternoon dip. The pool water felt great, not cold at all.

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On John’s deck

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The sunset was stunning.

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Cheryl

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Cicily

On Monday morning we drove down to Sandy Bay to check out Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum. This is the place that hydroponically grows the fabulous lettuce that we eat here on Roatan. They also grow a variety of herbs that are also sold in the grocery store. FROM THEIR WEBSITE:  “Welcome to Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum, Roatan’s working ”Tropical Eden” covering over 160 eco-friendly acres.  Here you will find uniquely spectacular tropical displayed gardens, seasonal fruit and nut orchards, the only tropical botanical “Conservatory” with a 12 ft waterfall in the Caribbean and over 70,000 heads of lettuce and herbs in a working hydroponic produce and herb farm.” We did the self guided tour and it was amazing. You can take your own tour by clicking HERE.

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Heliconia’s

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Noni fruit is known to be used for a variety of illnesses, including cancer and Dengue.

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Close up of Heliconia’s

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Ornamental Pineapple

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Inside the conservatory

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Shell Ginger

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Colors and textures

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Orchid

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Inside the conservatory

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Cheryl, me and Cicily, at the fruit tasting

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First we were served a plate with 7 different types of fruit on it. We all liked the brown fig looking one of the left the best.

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Then we were given this and told to each eat a lime slice first, then put the seed of the Miracle Fruit in our mouth and clean all of the stuff off of the seed until all you had left was the black seed itself. Then we were to each eat a slice of lime again. The first slice of lime was bitter as hell, normal for a lime. However, after eating the Miracle Fruit, the second slice of lime was sweet. It wasn’t tart at all. That sensations stayed in your mouth for about 20 minutes. We each bought some cashews and other stuff and were on our way to West End to do some shopping.

West End wasn’t very crowded, people were just starting to make their way to the island for the Semana Santa festivities/craziness. We shopped for a few hours and on the way home stopped at the Bulk Gourmet for lunch, which was delicious as always! Once we got home I gave Nancy a call to see if they would be home. They had just gotten there and she said to come on over. I really wanted them to see their house.

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View from the great room deck. The pool isn’t fiinshed but once it is it will be gorgeous.

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From the bedroom looking out over the property to the entertainment building.

We had a nice visit with them, toured their gardens and looked at the awesome flowers and plants they have. I’m going over once Sebastian returns and get some cuttings!!

The next day was the Pirate Party out in Calabash Bight. We were making rum balls in the morning to take, seemed fitting for a Pirate Party. This is the link for the Rum Balls, they were a huge hit. I made a sign and amazingly even had little pirate swords to stick in them. The sign got wet along with everything else on the ride to the party. Nothing like being at a party with a soaking wet ass. Oh well, once I got some Bandit in me (and yes Nathan and Scott,) I was drinking out of the BOX, I forgot I was wet.

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They were so good

We got to BJ’s around 11;45 for a ride to the party. The first boat came and went, we said we would wait for the next one, big mistake. BIG BIG mistake. Pudens son came soon after the first boat left and we climbed aboard. Part way to Big Rock the sky opened up and it freaking POURED BUCKETS!!

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I am the wench who got drenched!!

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The party in full swing. Photo by Cindy Darby Macy

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Brenda and I chatting, Marilyn and Alex next to me. Photo by Cindy Darby Macy (I think)

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The fabulous hosts Francie and Franklin Chrstopher. Note the Pirate Flag flying in the background!

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Cheryl and Llyn and ?? Photo by Cindy Darby Macy

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The outdoor kitchen

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Awesome wooden fish

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Franklin’s Pirate Pizza menu

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The pizza oven

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Their luxurious guest casitas

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The food pavilion

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Looking up to the Casita from the food pavilion

They made so many different kinds of pizzas and they were all fabulous. There were other foods too that people brought, it was all delicious! I took a box of Bandit wine with me. Jeanie noticed that it perfectly matched my ZORIES. (AKA sandals)

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Yes, Jeanie calls them ZORIES. It’s a fine name but to me they are flip flops..

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Did I mention the girls brought me BANDIT???

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Jeanie took this photo of Cheryl, me and Cicily as we were waiting for the boat to take us home.

The boat ride home was mesmerizing. At least it mesmerized the 3 of us into a trance like state, which was fine except I had to still drive from Oak Ridge home. It was interesting for sure and a whole lot calmer and drier going home. I think we all went home and passed out.

Their next to last day here we were going to Little French Key. Before we went there I gave them a tour of Parrot Tree Plantation, such a beautiful spot on the island.

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Cheryl posing on one of the beds around the pool

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Gorgeous flower

I had told Cicily and Cheryl (and everyone else) so much about Little French Key that I held good on my promise to take them there. Personally, I will not go there anymore, too many things bother me and I won’t get in to them on my blog but it’s not someplace I will visit again. It was overly crowded on Tuesday, crazy busy and the prices were jacked up, even for local admittance. Enough said, I won’t go on and on but I could easily.

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The Jaguar enclosure, this is a new structure.

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Such a gorgeous animal, too bad it is in captivity.

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It rained a little early in the day but cleared up and the sun was out the rest of the time there.

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From the 2nd floor of the new building

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Assessing the situation

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A swing in the water by the one bar

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Cis chilling

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Nice swing but it was all slimey, grossed me out.

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floating

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looking pretty comfy

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Cheryl, drink in hand

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Watching some young girls jump off of the Bottom’s Up bar.

We wrapped up out day at LFK and headed for home and a last dinner at Cal’s Cantina. Once again, we were not disappointed in our meals, it was superb!

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Notice Cheryl has on her Umbul Umbul dress.

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WE are so lucky Cal’s is less than 5 minutes from our house!

The next morning the girls were packing up their stuff to get ready to head to the airport for their trip back to the land of the cold.

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The dogs were hanging out, even Frito bean. Lola and Frito on the bench, Lucky and Highway on the ground. Frito is a little FAT.

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Bad but pretty, Lola, TUQ

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We could see the mainland.

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nose to nose

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I sure hope Cicily and Cheryl come back, I still have places to show them!!!

They made it home but it was not uneventful. Cheryl decided to wander around in Houston and ended up missing her flight to Newark. Cicily was on the plane, Cheryl was not in sight. They were arriving in Newark late so they planned to stay overnight at a hotel and drive back to PA in the morning. Cheryl was lucky enough to get on the next flight and made it to the hotel at 2:30 AM. Crazy girls!! They are now back in Pa, freezing their butts off and both wishing they were still here.