Three years of destruction and mayhem

04/14/2018 My boys are 3 today. Barrio, Gringo, Max, and their siblings, Tank, Duke, Bandit and sweet Sable (the only girl) have been blessing us humans for 3 years. Tax day puppies! Thank you Frito for the best gifts ever! Three years of three boys, teething, destroying beds, toys, chairs, shedding 497 kazillion pounds of dog hair (including Lola and Highway) eating 3 bags of Kirkland a month, pooping all over the yard multiple times a day. Killing everything that crosses their path, luckily no iguanas have been harmed, I can’t say the same about Anoles or geckos. In their (the dogs) defense, I don’t think they mean to kill them. They catch them and in the process hurt them then spit them out because they taste like crap. No matter what these boys do, even through the bad times like when they fight, they are loved. My favorite dogs ever and I have had dogs since I could walk. That’s a long freaking time ago. I don’t remember a time in my life without a pet.

Three years ago today, 2 were born at the vets, one was born in my car on the way home. Another as soon as I got the crate out of the car. Then she had 2 more and acted hungry. I fed her and she proceeded to have # 7. Healthy beautiful pups. At that point I had 11 dogs.

We have been busy, boring and busy some more. It’s all good. In the past few weeks we have met some wonderful people and look forward to growing our friendships with them. Meeting people is my thing anyhow, I love it. Always have. I used to be shy but I doubt anyone would use that word when talking about me now. The times they have changed.

Nidia and I are hoping the TOM’s shoes come in soon, we want to get them passed out. I just spoke with the principal at Froylan Turcios school, the one Bill’s been working on the toilets and sinks. They are all now functioning. We are trying to find a source of water to run a pressure washer to clean the roof of the bathroom, then Bill and the guys will paint the roof with something to stop the leaks, we already have it, just waiting to get it clean. One of my fabulous friends from high school is sending me $25.00 a month to help feed a needy family. Marlon, the principal and I are going to talk about this next week. I don’t want to do the same family every month, I would like to switch it up a bit. More to come with photos soon.

Before of the school bathrooms

After the new paint, looks so much nicer.

We were having Kevin and Claire over for dinner one night before they left the island. I made the “Natasha” special rum cake and had just injected the rum into it. I pushed it away from the edge of the counter, then realized it was dripping syrup all over. After I wiped the plate clean I failed to shove it to the back of the counter and Barrio took full advantage of that. Little sneak, he was gobbling like he hadn’t eaten in years when Bill caught him in the act.

The worst part is, we cut the dog eaten parts off the cake so guests would not have to eat it.  We ended up eating the chewed gnawed on cake ourselves, what’s a little dog slobber in your life?

With Kevin and Claire leaving the island they had to find homes for their 4 dogs. Since Tank was one of Frito’s pups I said I would find a home for him. I wanted him so badly but knew that 4 brothers in the house was not a good idea.

Bill and I took Tank down to the beach where Miguel lives to see if he may be a good fit with Bonnie and Bella. After seeing how many ticks Miguel’s dogs had on them, I decided against that as an option for Tank.

He’s such a handsome boy. He looks like Barrio but has no white on him at all. He remembers Bill and I and is so excited to see us. I find it amazing that I was able to imprint on these dogs when they were puppies and they all remember me. Island dogs rock, well, all dogs rock.

I finally found a home for him on the beach in an amazing location with my friends G and Robert. They had tied him out one day and they went golfing. He had never been tied so he chewed through the rope and ran away. When I found out he was gone I said, “we’re on our way.” I was frantic, wondering where Tank was, if he was hurt, caught in barbed wire, I was a nervous wreck. Bill and I drove around for 90 minutes looking for him, no sign of him at all. We came home depressed and just sick to our stomachs. Twenty minutes after we got home G messaged me that he was back. Relief filled my heart. Now he has figured out that he needs to stay home. They went golfing and left him home. He was on the porch sleeping when they returned. I think he will really bond with G because she runs 3 miles every morning and she takes him with her, he loves it. I’m so happy he has a good home.

My sister Missy had Easter at her house. Mom and Dad, my brother PJ and his daughter and my handsome nephew Eric and his wife Sofie were there. I wish we could have been there too! The main downfall of living on an island is missing family.

Missy and my 97 year old dad coloring eggs. Missy is so good to them, it makes me feel really bad that I’m not there to help more.

Eric, Sofie, Mom, Dad, Missy, PJ and Devon. Love them all!

Bill went out to the outside bodega to get something and saw a head peeking out from under the door. When he opened the door, he was greeted by Miss Boa. As soon as he saw her he called me and told me. I was inside the house and had not one speck of desire to go look at the snake. I said, “take pics.”

She was big and strong, he tried to grab her with the snake tongs but she was too strong for them so he shooed her out the door.

She made her way back to the jungle. She could come back and live here if she started eating the dog poop. It could be a win win for both of us, except snakes don’t eat dog poop.

My friend Ryan has been coming to Roatan for years with the Live Again Ministry. They do so much for the island, painting schools, feeding the hungry, they bring clothes and shoes and toys, school supplies, things for the teachers, supply water filters for the areas that have no safe drinking water and provide the funds for the always highly anticipated East End Senior Luncheon. They are really an amazing group of people, led by Pastor Ronny. I love them all and appreciate their love for the island. Talk about giving from the heart. Ryan had never been snorkeling so it was my mission to take him this trip. I called my friends at the Sloth farm and they said come on down. Dustin took us out on the barge in the marine park protected area to snorkel. It was a really windy day and the waves were high and the current was strong. We decided to go fot it, despite the less than ideal conditions for a first time snorkeler

As soon as I stuck my head underwater I saw this sea biscuit.

Intermediate French Angelfish

Anemone

Southern sting ray

Another shot of it. We saw so many that day.

Another sea biscuit

I was trying to get a photo of Ryan snorkeling but there was so much sargassum floating in the water that every time I took a shot, it had floated in front of my camera. Then my battery died. It was still a great day in the water and I’m hoping to take Ryan and his sister Susan snorkeling on their next trip here.

We were driving past the grocery store the other day and saw this dude crashed on the sidewalk of the bank.

A little too much party?

A few hours later we drove by again and he was laying flat out.

He was gone the next day.

Cal’s Cantina was our dinner spot two nights this week, once with Denise and Michael and again with Julie and Brian. I really could eat there nightly.

We met some new friends from the UK. They live in Politilly. Like us, they are dog lovers and have 2 rescues at their home here and dogs at their permanent home in England. They came over to our house the other day to meet our pack. Highway fell in love with Mandy and kissed her to death. She said they had cut flowers for me but forgot them. We hung out by the pool and watched the dogs swim, had some snacks and chatted. After they left, they went home, got the flowers and brought them back to me. They are beautiful!

Bouganvillea, Lobster claw, red ginger and shell ginger.

This is the view from another friends home on the south shore, beautiful place right on the iron shore. Great pool to sit in with cocktails and watch the sun set and the stars twinkle.

This is Far Tortuga and it is for rent, if you’re interested, let me know.

My laptop died in the middle of this post. I was sure I lost my blog post but was actually amazed when I finally got my laptop up and running again, I hadn’t lost anything. Save draft needs to be imbedded into my brain, you would think by now I would have that figured out.

Tonight is the last Brion James beach concert before he goes on tour for 9 months. Planning to feed the dogs and head down there around 5. Hopefully I’ll get my life together soon and be able to get a few more blogs out. Thanks for following!

 

 

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It’s a small small world

 

26/02/2018 On a warm Sunday eve, on the edge of the Caribbean, away from all the tourists, no ambient light, there was a concert. Not just any concert, a Brion James and the West End Players concert at Roatan Beach Club, 5 minutes from our house.  It was an amazing evening under the stars. Bill didn’t want to go, my car was in the shop (I don’t drive the yuck) but I was determined to go so I hitched a ride with Dwight and Karen. I hung out with Karen and Susan and the gang while they ate at Lionfish Louie’s and then the band started at 6. My friend the Duchess and her husband soon joined me. The Duchess and I danced along the waters edge, after dark. We danced up the walkway and down the pier to Buck and Amy’s boat that was docked there. It was the best, I felt 20 years old again for a few hours, that seldom occurs.

Brion plays all over the Caribbean and the world, he is a well known musician. And he lives here, on Roatan. A friend, Dave Barons is the drummer and Mike McGuire is the other guitarist. Fantastic trio. They are playing again in March, I will be there and I may wear bells.

 

Dave the drummer, chilling while they move a tree behind him

Brion playing, crappy pics, cell phone

The beach before sunset

Brion doing some sound checks as the sun begins it’s dip below the horizon, on to another land.

Nidia messaged me the other day to see if I wanted to go to Miss Norma’s, the Luis Bogran school in Jonesville Point with her. I sure did, one of my favorite schools. Nidia was apprehensive about my driveway so I said I would meet her at the bottom. I got in her car,(first time I’ve ridden with the new driver and new car owner). She introduced me to the people in the back seat, Rick and Melissa. Melissa said to me, you’re the Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you? Small world, she reads my blog. They are from NY and brought school supplies for each of the kids and some things for the teachers. It’s a 2 room school and Miss Norma runs it. She’s a saint of a lady, I admire her.

They were given ice cream first, it was melting..

Rick and Melissa setting up the bags with school supplies

Waiting. again, taken with my phone b/c my good camera’s batteries died as soon as I got to the school. GRRR

Getting their bag of school stuff, construction paper, sharpener, pencils, erasers..and notebooks donated by my friend John and Lizeth.

They always ask me to take their photo and I always happily agree.

Yes, Nidia uses her vehicle hard. She is the only person I have ever known to carry a Pinata and 2 boxes of shoes and a box filled with bags of school supplies.

Impromptu fitting for some of the bigger kids who needed shoes

Two of Roatan’s finest ladies, Nidia and Miss Norma. Miss Norma is the teacher/principal of this little school. She is a mother to all of these children, sometimes giving the most loving the children get all day. She gives it freely.

The dock that many of the kids use to get to school, they come by boat from Lucy Point, across the bight.

After Nidia dropped me off at home I got in my car and left to go feed Sexy, the dog who lives at the Pirate ship. The owner drives a red tuk tuk from Punta Gorda. He says she is his dog and that’s her name. And then to emphasize what her name was he sexy strutted for me. My life should be a comedy but it’s all true. We (my friend and dog lover Pam) and I have been feeding her but she seemed pretty well taken care of. Or so we thought. Pam stopped to see her, as she passes that way on her way to town, and messaged me that she didn’t look good. She got some wormer and wormed her. I went two days after and she was happy to see me, she came running, but she was a finicky eater. She never was before. There were 2 other dogs there and she placed herself between me and the food and them. I went over and fed them and got her back to the dish but she was too upset that the other dogs were there, at least I think she was.

Sexy..what an awful name for a dog. I call her Pirata since she is at the Pirate ship.

This is one of the other dogs, there is a brown and white one that is identical but they are both spooked, scared of people. Sexy is very territorial with them.

For those of you who haven’t been along for the ride very long, you may not be familiar with the Pirate ship. This was intended to be a disco, complete with disco ball, light show, terraced inside around a large dance floor. You could walk around the boat, get right up by the ropes to the crows nest (non OSHA approved) There were three bars, gift stores, VIP seating, reserved areas (I was given a Reserved sign from there). It was a big deal and the neighbors were not happy, not in their backyard. I don’t blame them, they moved to the quiet end of the island and this monstrosity opens. Well, it had it’s soft opening but before they could do their GRAND opening night, the head of the whole thing was carted off to prison. He was a big dude with the Sinaloa drug cartel. The disco was a money laundering op. So, it closed. We stopped with friends one day to look at the outside and the guard offered us a tour. We gave him 100L, about 5 bucks. He then gave me 2 carvings, a turtle and another of monkeys and birds. Then we stopped with some other friends and he gave me a seahorse and her a fish. After that Bill saw him there and went and got him lunch and we ended up with the rest of the carvings. I kept the seahorse, turtle and another one with a monkey and bird. Our talented friend Kevin painted the turtle and the seahorse and now I don’t want them outside, I like them too much. Recently the club is supposed to be re-opened on the weekends, not sure about that though.

After I fed the dog I drove to Oak Ridge, parked up on the hill behind the muni and walked down to the bridge and over the inlet to my friends home. The people who adopted one of the 3 pups Bill found live there. I had some movies for them and some toys for Bailey the dog.

I love these buildings, on my walk to my friends.

Walking over the inlet

Miss Bailey. She’s adorable and she’s loved. Her friend Alice the cat is lurking above her. If Bailey is ignoring Alice, Alice goes after her tail, quite the pair. They will be great buddies.

I came home the other day and Max was inside with Highway (so Max and Barrio don’t fight) and Max chewed up 4 hardback books downstairs. I was pissed and had the books in my hands asking who did this??? Like he’s going to say, me???

He ran in the downstairs bathroom and hid. He thought he was invisible. That face though.

The pool has been in use, by the dogs..last year I swam all year. I haven’t been in since the end of September. Ridiculous. Hoping tomorrow.

Our friends Dave and Trish are leaving for freezing Toronto in a few days so we had them over for pizza. The Duchess (Jeanie) and Roger came too. It was a nice day but windy. So windy the tablecloth wouldn’t stay down. Bill fixed it with 4 clamps.

Gringo has a new thing for the table. It’s why I always use tablecloths now.

Cal’s is open 4 days a week, I ate there 3 days last week. And once this week, it’s too damn easy. And so good. Bill and I went there with friends Dave and Lynda. They own a home down here but permanently live in brrrrr Minnesota. Teri, Olivia and Bill and I  rented their home in 2012 for a vacation, before we even knew Dave and Lynda. Always nice to visit with them when they’re here. I also met some new friends from Bellingham, Elaine and Jeffrey. They are friends of my jeweler Bill and his wife Gina, who were on Roatan last year with their daughter Mackenzie. They gave their friends my info and I helped them get island info, places to go things to do. Finally we got to meet one day at Cal’s, then I brought them up here to meet the pack and see the views. They brought some NW Salmon, Bill is beyond thrilled. We also went to dinner at Cal’s last Friday with friends, that was my 3 times in 4 days. He probably gets tired of seeing me.

I think I totally missed mentioning some new friends I met in January. Scott and I met awhile ago on FB and became friends. I was giving he and his wife Linda info about moving here from Tennessee, moving a dog here, just trying to be of some help. I knew they were coming on my birthday, that was their move down here day. We ended up finally meeting at, where else, Cal’s for lunch. We had a nice visit and they followed me home and met Bill and the dogs. They also brought me a bottle of vodka and some fresca. The vodka turned out to be a lifesaver one rainy windy night while Bill was gone and I realized I had no vodka. I have now become Linda’s favorite person to butt dial, Inside joke but funny nonetheless.

I have been social media friends with David through my friend Amanda and her blog. David and I have been chatting off and on via Instagram. Recently he messaged me he would be here with his Mother, who plans to live here soon. We began communicating more and chose a date to meet. I picked him and his Mother Isabel up at Pineapple, we went to feed Sexy (she ate 2 cans then) and then went to Cal’s for lunch. After lunch we came up here to meet the dogs. We went down to the pool and of course, all of the dogs went swimming. David brought me mermaid things, of course. He works for a company in LA that does hand painted wallpaper called Gracie. Seriously, it’s a thing, a very expensive thing. Check it out, it’s amazing. So anyhow, David recently started working there and told his boss he already had plans to go to Roatan. She freaked out because she comes here all the time to dive. He mentioned my blog and she said she reads it. OMG, (now the stupid Disney song, It’s a small world after all, it’s a small small world is stuck in my head). She ended up coming while he was here and went with him on a discover scuba dive with Roatan Divers. He’s hooked.

This is one of the gifts

And a lightweight Mermaid Tail blanket is another. It came with a a Mermaid charm. He also bought me a Mermaid sticker for my car, which is of course, already on my car. I’ve used the blanket already too, it was chilly the other night.

This sign was at Cal’s. Hole bean coffee. Yum, makes me happy I hate coffee.

Four, Highway is on an ottoman. They all have beds too.

Mr. Hunka Hunka Burning Love decided that he prefers sunbathing ON THE table.

Monkey see, monkey do. Lola joined him, Highway is behind her. Honest, she’s not malnourished. She eats a lot and is wormed regularly. She’s just hyper as shit and never sits still.

Gringo laying, Highway standing. You can see how much his hip is out in the photo and Lola the Dominatrix is under the table. So is Barrio but he’s hiding.

Last evening we had dinner at a friends and tonight Bill got take out chicken and we ate, well I did, in front of my laptop. I actually laid in the sun today, it felt good. That’s the first in a long freaking time. If only I had some Bain de Soleil. I’m seriously thinking of ordering two tubes of Bain de Soleil just for the memories. I could have Liza bring them with her. Liza?

It’s a very windy evening, it’s just howling out there. We have not had local phone service all day, that’s OK, I hate phones anyhow.  Thankful for messenger and email and seeing people in person.

I’m off to la la land..

AAAAAANNNNNNDDDD, it’s the next day. LaLa land snuck up on me last night and when that spell was cast, it was curtains for me.

Simply stunning day today, again. I spent it all outside reading a new book called: Tips for Living. So far, excellent. I have a tub of coconut oil in the fridge but it’s hard. I was in dire need of some moisturization for my skin so I came in and slathered Olive Oil on my legs and face and neck. The dogs thought I was dinner. The other night I allowed some coconut to melt and rubbed it on my arms and legs and feet. I became a giant oil lick for 5 dogs. Not a fun experience.

So today, I ate breakfast, had tea by the pool and then gathered my “pool” stuff in my Gracie bag and hung by the pool with my tablet and all 5 dogs. They swam many times throughout the day and kept trying to steal my chaise lounge by the pool…they have their own chairs. We all had a great day in the sun.

A few weeks ago I got a FB note from my friend Sue. Sue and I have never met but were introduced on FB by our mutual friend Cathilee. Sue had something for me and wanted my address. Well, we don’t get mail here so I said I could give her a friends address and they would bring it to me. Then another friend chimed in and said she would be here in a week and was willing to bring it. I met my friend Kristi today and got the envelope Sue sent to me. This is the note that was in it:

And this is what she sent me. I LOVE it, the colors, the saying, it’s just perfect. This is a close up of it, made by Vicki McMahan @ Pewter Lane.

Full size and it is so cool! Thank you so much Sue!

 

I spent another day by the pool reading. I think it burned me out so much yesterday that I went to bed before 8 PM. I have to get tan again, this white girl crap isn’t cutting it.

I’ve finally given up the “being a blonde ruse.” I had a hairdresser in Williampsort tell me it was a genetic mistake I wasn’t born blonde. I adapted that and made it fit my life quite well. After all these years the blonde has tarnished so I’m giving up the ghost and going gray tomorrow. Probably with a hint of purple underneath. Shit happens when you get old(er).

I’m going to go make a drink but before that, this is getting published. Adiós amigos.

Earthquakes, Dementia and other stuff

01/24/2018 Home alone and left to her own thoughts. Will she go stir crazy or not? Answer is, NOT. I’ve kept myself busy, getting some things done that I’ve wanted to do but was too lazy and reveling in the fact that my kitchen and house can stay clean for days on end. It’s amazing. You’re wondering why I have a clean house?? Bill is in the states, he’s been there a week so far and isn’t sure when he’s returning. He’s going to help a friend with a project, but first, he got to spend some time with Trace in Seattle. They went to Everson, where we moved here from, and Bill visited a friend and also went to see our 3 legged dog that Teri adopted. Frito didn’t remember Bill and he was sort of hurt by that. I get it, but I’ll take it to mean she’s happy in her new life and has forgotten the miserable life she had until I found her and had her leg removed. Not really as gruesome as it sounds, if she hadn’t had the surgery, she would have died and the 7 pups she was carrying would have died too. Then I wouldn’t have the dog loves of my life, Barrio, Gringo and Max.

Speaking of dogs, they know Bill is gone and are overly attentive to me. They wait for me to come upstairs when it’s night time, they lay outside the door when I go in the bedroom. They are tuned in. Pretty amazing creatures.

The day after Bill left, the hot water heater stopped making hot water. I am so not a cold shower girl. I went to ACE and bought new batteries for it and changed them but I could not get the door that holds the batteries in to latch. I had to have Kevin come over and do that for me. After several tries I finally got the igniter to light and voilá, hot water! Later that day I dropped my favorite sweeper in my whole life and broke it. It still works but doesn’t stay together. I used some green masking tape but that didn’t hold for crap so Bill said to get some GORILLA tape. That shit works. I think I can live with my McGyver fix.

Other than a few outings, I’ve been at home. The day I took Bill to the airport I stopped at Mega Paca and bought 2 new mattresses for Miguel’s kids. You should have seen the guy and I getting them in my car, hysterical.

Miguel came to get them on Tuesday, on his motorcycle. It was windy out, not just a breeze. WINDY. He tied the mattresses (that were wrapped in plastic so they were slippery) together and wore them home like a back pack. Now, this is not a normal feat accomplished by anyone.

Never saw anyone wear two mattresses as a back pack.

He had to go down our steep drive, get on the main highway for a short distance, then go down a 2 mile mud/dirt road that we can’t get down because we don’t have a huge 4X4. He called once he got the mattresses unloaded.

You have to be a “badass’ as my friend Sue said. And he is, but in the nicest way. We both feel very lucky knowing Miguel, he’s a good man.

He already built his kids bunk beds for the mattresses. The kids were thrilled and so was Miguel, he didn’t have to sleep on a lounge chair any longer. We are waiting for him to get their school records so we can get them enrolled in Marlon’s school, Froylan Turcios. It’s one of the more productive schools I’ve been to. Marlon, the principal and soccer coach is a good guy. He tries and he cares, that’s a pretty big deal. You’ll see pics of Miguel’s kids when the weather clears and I can get down there and go snorkeling with them. Kimberly, Michelle and Miguelito. We’re beyond excited he got to have them for a few months, it’s been years, they are really happy with him, spending every nice day on the beach and in the water. (those nice days have been very few, it’s still ugly here)

So, earthquakes. Yep, on Tues Jan 9th, at 8:53 PM I posted on FB, Umm, Earthquake?? We were all in the living room, Bill on his chair, me on the couch. The boys were all sleeping, Lola was pacing. I leaned over my laptop to do something and all of a sudden everything was undulating. Weird freaking juju..the cool thing is, it lasted so long we were talking about it while it was “quaking.” I had quite a long response to that post as the island felt it but had no damage. The quake itself was very shallow, which is what saved us because it was a 7.8, which is a pretty good shaker. Lucky this time.

We are the blue dot on the map.

I know I’ve spoken about the increasing difficulties my poor sister and brother-in-law are dealing with keeping an eye on my parents. In less than a month my Dad will be 97 and he still dresses as sharp as he did 40 years ago, always a well dressed man. His mind is failing him and he is aware of it and it bothers and angers him mercilessly. Mom on the other hand is 92, 93 this summer, and she is not a picture of health, she has lung issues and a bad knee and certainly not a candidate for surgery, a live with it kind of pain. Her mental acuity is failing also. Not a real capable pair. I was worried about my dad and him not being the man he wants to be. I can’t imagine how he must feel, he was always such a proud but quiet man, this is a terrible thing for him to be going through, and for my sister and Mark.

I recently started watching a show on YouTube called A Mother and Son’s Journey with Dementia. It’s so good, I binged 53 episodes of it. The woman in the show, Molly, is younger than I am and she is way way worse than my Father. He is 30 years older than her. I have been pounding that into my head consistently because I worry so much about them, me being here, them in MD but then I realize, holy shit, he’s almost 97. He can be crotchety and nasty if he wants to. Still doesn’t make me feel any better about my sister and Mark having to do so much for them. After seeing that show though, it really put things into perspective for me. If anyone is dealing with dementia check out the videos, they are very well done.

While Bill is gone I have been watching movies. I was without internet all day one day so I watched a few. I have seen, The Florida Project, The Greatest Showman, Lady Bird, Call Me by Your Name, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Hacksaw Ridge. I’ve also watched Little Big Lies twice. I’m almost caught up on Modern Family and This is Us, the only other TV I watch besides HGTV HHI, and Netflix. I enjoyed all the movies except Call Me by Your Name, it was confusing to me.

Bill took this pic of the pack, L to R Gringo, Highway, Max, Barrio and Lola. What a crew.

Gringo hovering on the corner, Max zzzz’d out.

Chance took this photo of my parents on January 4th, he had such a good visit with them. It meant a lot.

We finished the counter tops in the kitchen. I am in love with the sink, turned out really well. We want to do our bathroom and the kitchen downstairs. Maybe the back porch too.

My camera takes crappy indoor photos. We had everything covered, or so we thought.

Doing to the L of the stove. First some black and white

Smear it around

Mix a little more

Never sure what it will look like. I’m sure with practice and developing a technique, you could somewhat get what you want.

Then you torch it. After it’s torched then you can start spraying 90% alcohol mixed with different powders. Then after you do that you can torch it again. The alcohol makes all the strange effects. It also makes air bubbles, not cool.

We had no clue how to do the sink but wanted it to look like a whirlpool sort of. It turned out awesome.

In the process of doing the sink, drain and garbage disposal were pulled. Bill thought he had enough covered area under the drain hole. Not so much, epoxy resin everywhere under the sink.

It turned out pretty cool.

My favorite part of the kitchen is the sink.

We took the boys swimming early one morning to a beach nearby. They had a blast.

But it started raining

Dog butts

We need to take them swimming more often, not so much to swim but to run. Once the road to Miguel’s is fixed we’ll be going down there with them.

There is a new recycling initiative on the island. Many restaurants have stopped selling single use water bottles and plastic straws are becoming a thing of the past. I cut up 6 yogurt containers and stuffed them all into one bottle along with a big plastic bag and 3 laundry detergent bags. Bill made the stuffing stick for me, helps to really cram the bottles full.

A lot of single use plastic can be stuffed in to a bottle. The SOL Foundation is building a wall with the stuffed bottles.

With these well stuffed bottles and some concrete they are building walls, flower beds and other things. They also are cutting wine bottles and using the bottoms in concrete to make a wall. The tops are then broken up and used as colorful drain catchers at the bottom of drainpipes.

So my 4 year old Google Nexus tablet died a slow death. It won’t recharge. Sad because it was almost an appendage on me. I broke down and bought a BIG 9.6″ Samsung tablet, I love it but hate the cover I got for it and have ordered a different one. Bill bought a new battery for the dead tablet, if it fixes it we’ll either hang on to it or sell it.

When we still lived in PA the boys and I spent a lot of time on the Loyalsock Creek. Almost every day (before we got a pool) was spent there. On my high school class page they posted a contest to vote for the favorite creek. Loyalsock creek won, but it wasn’t for the best creek in PA, it was for the BEST RIVER. How can a creek win the best river contest? So insane. Only in PA.

I’m planning to call my parents this morning. Every single time I call and Mom answers she hangs up on me, usually 2 or 3 times before we actually connect. She says the on off button is on the side of the phone but I don’t think it is. Kind of funny. My neighbor Mr John called me on Friday and wanted to know what time it was. I told him, then he asked what day it was. Then he asked me to call him at 9 AM the next morning so he would know when to go somewhere. Obviously he only has a watch for a clock and the battery must have died. Poor guy.

There are political marches on the mainland as the President prepares to take office. He is hated by many and loved by many. I just wish they would get their crap together and quit fighting so I could go to the mainland and get tile for the kitchen back splash. I’m hoping the madness will soon be over.

Just an FYI for those of you who get email notices for my blog. GMAIL has changed their sorting of mail and it may go in your promotions tab. Part of the new algorithm they are using. Why can’t they leave well enough alone?

It’s a sunny day which is a rarity here, I’m going to head outside and read for awhile. I’ll leave you with a few pics of the bed with all 5 dogs on it. It rained really hard one night so I kept them all inside.

Barely enough room for me

Max is upside down on the right

L to R, counterclockwise. Barrio’s ear, Max, Highway, Lola and Gringo. The cat jumped up, looked around, hissed, said OH HELL NO, and left.

Off to hang by the pool, have a fabulous day wherever you may be.

Planes, boats and fins

04/30/2017 First of all, I apologize to those of you who received an email yesterday saying that a new blog was published, only to have me take it down. Somehow the post got published and wordpress wouldn’t allow me to get it back to a draft so I had to trash it and do a shabby copy and paste into a new blog. Our internet has been shit so that may account for it.
Saturday afternoon was the first I stopped and relaxed in a solid week. Remember, I’m O L D. Very old. Don’t misunderstand me, I had a blast entertaining Jillian and Justin this past week. Jillian is my great niece (well, Bill’s really, but I claim her as mine) and Justin is her boyfriend. It was Jillian’s second visit and Justin’s first. In fact he had to get a passport to come visit. We’re happy that he made it to Roatan. So are the dogs, especially Lola, she really liked Justin.
I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. I’m a weirdo who loves to go to the airport to pick up friends. I see so many people I know that it’s like a big party, this Saturday was no different.
Once Jill and Justin got through the insane immigration lines, we headed east, stopping at Eldon’s for them to get some food. After getting settled we all retreated to the pool, it has been so flipping hot that being in the water is all you can do.
Sunday we made the routine Mega Paca shopping trip then came home and got ready to go to the Reef House on Oak Ridge Key. We parked the car and went by boat for the short ride there. I was excited to see my dive friend Caroline there, haven’t seen her for months. We spent some time in the water then I got out and wandered around talking to friends. Tim Blanton, who lives on Roatan and is an exceptional photographer was there with his drone. He made a short video of the Oak Ridge area and hovered over the porch where we all were posing. Check it out HERE. Beautiful video of the area.
Monday we went to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. I didn’t know until Justin and Jill got here that Justin’s favorite animal was the sloth. It was a no brainer that we would go there first. When we got to the farm Preston was waiting to give us one of his exceptional tours.
One of my favorite animals is the Coati. They are a part of the raccoon family. Two of them live here.

The first cage we got to go in was the monkey cage. The white faced Capuchin’s are named after the cast of The Jersey Shore, AKA, Snookie, Vinny, JWow, Pauly D etc.  These monkeys are very friendly and love to interact with people.

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

They are like kamikaze monkeys. They vanish and then out of nowhere come flying onto your shoulders. They were so much fun.

Next we looked at the spider monkeys but they are not very friendly so guests don’t interact with them.

When we were ready to leave Justin walked over to look at the water again and the monkey grabbed his sunglasses. He finally managed to get them back, all in 1 piece.

Next stop was the parrots, the Red and Green Macaws. These birds are so stunning. There is only 1 green one, Fiona, from Shrek. Her colors are so intense that she doesn’t seem real.

I think the red macaw is named Rose from the Titanic and the other is Fiona.

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

We saved the best for last, the sloths. These are all 3 toed sloths and are all rescues.

Quite literally, just hanging out.

Jillian and Olivia the sloth. The sloth is adorable but Jillian is gorgeous! Love this young lady!

Justin’s dream come true

The sloths mostly live in the trees and venture down to the ground once a week to poop and pee. Their only defense is camouflage, they do not use their claws except to climb and grab leaves.

Just an FYI: Daniel does not buy animals, every animal he has is a rescue and they are treated very well.

After we saw all the animals and were getting ready to leave, Daniel arrived. He invited us to go on his maiden snorkel trip on his new snorkel barge later in the week. We said sure, something else fun to look forward to.

We went straight to the Iguana Farm, critters to critters. It was a hot sunny day and there were iguanas all over the place. Jillian and Justin fed them, Jill wasn’t ready to get up close with them though.

Feeding from a distance

This is a black spiny tailed iguana, indigenous to Roatan. This one is molting, shedding it’s skin. Black spiny-tailed iguanas.

This dude just chased another male out of his tree. Sam (Arch) said they are very territorial, especially during mating season.

So magnificent.

Look how long the spines are on this guy’s back!

We had a great visit at the iguana farm, especially because we got to see Sam. Sam and Daniel (sloth farm) are 2 amazing young islander men (and cousins) who work very hard and are quite successful. I am blessed to have them as good friends.When we left the iguana farm I called my friend Marcia to see if we could come kayak and snorkel and she said sure. The 3 of us went home, changed, ate and left for Carib Bight and Marcia’s house.
An extra bonus of going to Marcia and Dennis’s home is I get to see one of my puppies, Duke and their other 2 dogs, Shay and the new rottie, Luna. Puppy breath is the best.
Justin, Jillian and I went down to the water and got the kayaks down and set off for the mangroves. It was a little later in the day so there wasn’t much boat traffic. We kayaked all the way through the tunnels and back.

Justin and Jillian

We then tied the kayaks up to the broken down dock and snorkeled out to the reef. For some reason it was extremely murky and stirred up and the visibility was not very good. And, my camera battery died. bummer.
Once I got more puppy kisses we came home, all got showered and went to Cal’s for dinner. We had an excellent meal, as usual. It was a busy day and we were all tired so it was early to bed that night.

The view from Cal’s and my friend Linda’s house.

Jill and Justin

The next morning we stopped at Jessica’s school to see why she was absent Monday. The teacher said her mother’s lame assed boyfriend kept her home from school because they all overslept. I’d like to lynch him.
From there we drove through Punta Gorda to hand out some of the toys that Liza and Mike brought down for the kids. Once again, it got crazy. The kids were grabbing out of my car, the ones I gave toys to hid them and said they didn’t get any. It became bedlam so I did what I had to do; I closed the trunk and left, no more for them. We passed out a few more along the way, choosing wisely where we stopped.
Jillian wanted to go to La Sirena in Camp Bay, it’s pretty much a must see spot. We all had onion rings and rum punches. My friends Don and Janice were there so we sat near them and chatted for awhile while watching the wind surfers. {side note, I bought a new camera, a Nikon CoolPix B 500 with a 40X zoom lens on it} I am still learning to use the camera and did not have it on the correct setting so these photos aren’t the best.

It must be so amazing to be wind surfing at Camp Bay, it’s one of the more pristine spots on the whole island.

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

Alligator Nose, just seeing it makes me miss the Duchess of Camp Bay and her husband.

Almost every day when we came home from our activities we jumped in the pool to cool off, rinse off the salt water and visit with the dogs. On Wednesday I thought we could go to The Buccaneer in French Harbor for something different. If I had known they charged $5.00PP entrance fee I would have stayed home in my own pool.

It’s a nice place but it isn’t worth the entrance fee.

They have an area roped off from the sea and pretty much protected from the waves. There are huge decks, swings in and out of the water, hammocks, floats. It’s just not the beach to me.

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

Unicorns, flamingos, swans and penguin floats. I can’t imagine what it looks like with all of them floating around,

Hammock row

Very colorful and somewhat tropical. I liked the ceiling at first but then I didn’t. It’s trying too hard.

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

I think the painting would have been enough without having fake flowers and dried up leaves on the ceiling.

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

Jillian was interested in seeing Cattleya school so I made arrangements with Connie to go there after lunch. When we arrived the students were with Kamille learning ASL. Afterwards they split into groups and did various projects.

Cattleya is a school for physically emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It’s an amazing school.

We watched the 3 different teachers conduct their classes and learned what each one was doing. The little girls flip-flops on the floor in the photo are some of the ones I donated to Cattleya, thank you Kelly. I’m still passing them out. I also donated the 3 games that Kelly brought to Cattleya.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our pool at home. We had big salads for dinner and drank some wine on the roof.

Beautiful evening.

Thursday morning we hung around the house, in and out of the pool, waiting to hear from Stephanie and Daniel. We were going snorkeling with them this afternoon. As soon as they called we went over to the sloth farm. I sat and chatted with Daniel’s Mother until they arrived. Stephanie’s parents were here visiting and they had been touring the mangroves, zip-lining and then going snorkeling. We were fortunate to be invited and very excited to go. Daniel just built a new snorkel barge with The Steelers (as in Pittsburgh) and Big Ben stenciled on the sides. Nice boat with an easy access ladder.

We went out in front of CocoView and snorkeled there. It was beautiful.

Daniel had my camera for a few minutes and snapped a pic of me.

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

Four eyed butterfly fish, Daniel may have taken this photo.

These are amazing Spaghetti worms  (click on the name for a fascinating video on the worms). They are alive and move along the sand getting food to take back to their hole.

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

They can puff themselves up to 3 times their normal size by drawing water into their abdomens. Once inflated their spines stick out and they are quite long and very sharp. They do this to protect themselves from being eaten by other fish. Then we moved to a different spot to snorkel, looking for lobsters.

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

Love to hate, hate to love. The Lion Fish. Beautiful but poisonous if you get stung by them and they are decimating the reef by eating all the small fish. They are the only fish you are allowed to spearfish (with a permit). Kill them all.

A conch slowly trucking along. I swam past him on the way out and on the way back he had barely progressed.

Daniel and Dustin (red shirt) wrestling underwater trying to pull each other’s mask off.

Beautiful day with our heads underwater with friends, can’t beat that.

I dropped Jillian and Justin off at Cal’s at 6 so they could have a nice dinner together, then Bill went down to get them when they were finished. They were done in less than 45 minutes, I thought something was wrong but they said it was all good, he just wasn’t busy.

The next morning we left here at 8:45. We stopped and got Ann then took Jillian and Justin to zip-line at South Shore. Ann and I sat and watched them zipping along under the canopy of trees.

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

As soon as they were done we went to West Bay Beach, grabbed some chairs at Bananarama and waited in the water for Sean (my friend from Canada) to meet us. Soon as he arrived we walked down to Infinity to snorkel.

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

I love when I see an opening out into the deeper water. Really feel like a mermaid then.

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

I was swimming around in the shallows looking at little things and hoping to find this big Parrot fish. I swam around a coral chunk and there he was in all of his magnificent glory. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with him for several minutes, watching him do his thing.

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

You really can’t tell the size from this photo but this guy was almost as big as my dogs.

He had several fish following him as he gnawed on the coral so he could then poop sand. I know the best facts!

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

Such a beautiful beach. After snorkeling we ate at Bananarama then floated our cares away.

Ann walked up to a restaurant called Nice and Spicy to get her husband some dinner so we ran Sean over the hill to the place he is staying, then went back and got Ann and took her home. We went inside so I could meet her new kittens and I wanted Jill and Justin to see her place and her view. After that we made the long drive home. As soon as we opened the gate to come in the driveway the power went off.

Wonderfreakingful. Bill was making pizza. He got the dough rolled out and partially cooked on the grill before it got dark. Then we put the stuff on the pizza with the LED’s for the lightsource. It was so windy that Bill had to cover the pizza with another cookie sheet just to carry it out to the grill.

Nothing says romantic better than glaring LED’s. I lit candles several times, only to have them blown out by the wind.

The pizza master

Miraculously, the power came back on just as it was time to eat. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen and all ran to take showers while we had water pressure. Not long after that, the power went out again. It wasn’t only us, it was island wide. Just a 36 mile strand of darkness in the Caribbean. It really wasn’t a big deal because there was a very strong wind blowing through the house, keeping temps cool.

We hung out here the next morning, watching Flightstats to see what was going on with Jillian and Justin’s delayed flight. Once we saw it was airborn we went to the airport and got them checked in. The line for departures was long so I took them for a tour of Coxen Hole, the “downtown” center of the island. We drove all along the waterfront and stopped to take a photo of the new sign by Petro Sun. I dropped them off at the airport with time to spare before their flight. We enjoyed having Jillian and Justin and look forward to them returning.

I started talking to them about diving. I suggested they do the course work at home, then get their certs with my friends @ Blue Island Divers when they get here. I need to get Jillian’s sister to do this also, she will be here the end of June.

It’s been unusually HOT. 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Despite the insane temps the wind has been blowing hard and steady, keeping the air moving and keeping it cool inside. If there were no breeze we would either have to remain in the pool 24/7 or melt. The wonderful wild and crazy wind is blowing so much dust and dirt around that my screens are filthy and everything is covered in an inch of dust. Lola is sneezing and Barrio has goobers in his eyes, I think it’s allergies for both of them. Tomorrow is Max’s last day of meds, keeping my fingers crossed.

I have a busy few weeks coming up. A friend is coming for a few days to sign the papers on the land she is buying, another friend is coming to stay with us for 2 weeks while she sorts things out with her house building project. I am helping at a fundraiser for Cattleya for Mother’s Day and am also helping Nidia with a Mother’s Day luncheon on the 13th. TOMS shoe delivery will start in June, super late start this year due to some customs snafu.

Off to find something to watch on the computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend, it’s kind of quiet around here. Jillian and Justin, maybe you should come back.

Almost a century

 

beach-body

02/22/2017 I have been lost in space the last several weeks, seems like months since I blogged. I’ve had company and a sick dog but all is now well and we are enjoying day visits with new friends. I’ve been to Calabash, Camp Bay, West Bay and West End, even made a few stops in Sandy Bay to see friends.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t filled you in on the Pirate party, it was held at a different spot this year because Franklin and Francie sold their fabulous home where the previous parties were and set sail for a year or more (boo) in the Caribbean. This year it was in the Calabash area again, on the water @ Andy’s home. I was “picked up” by Franklin and Francie for the ride out to Calabash. The road left a lot to be desired, although the location was very nice, right on the water, it did make up for the lousy road. It was a fun party but was not quite as epic as last year’s.

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Llyn reading a farewell poem to Francie and Franklin. She was followed by Rosalie who also wrote them a poem. Sad, I had tears in my eyes.

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Cindy Macy is flipping me the bird.

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Carmen, enjoying herself as usual. I love this girl.

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Jeanie, Carmen and Cindy who is hiding in the tree.

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Brett, Carmen’s husband, and me.

Lots of my friends were there and the Bobby Reiman band was playing tunes. Needless to say, we partied, danced and planked. Of course we did. What’s a party without pirate plankers?

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Martina, Marilyn, me, Francie and Jonna

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Carmen, Jeanie, Pam, Marilyn, kissing me and Francie.

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Jonna, Marilyn, Francie, Martina, Karen and me on the dock

I’m not sure who I handed my camera to when we planked, it was one of those moments, “here take a pic of us being awesome.” It may have been Brian Boyer.

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Me, dancing my way down the dock.

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Front to back, and I’m guessing because I can only see butts and arms. Me, Marilyn, Pam, ? Jeanie, Cindy, ? Wendy and Heather. Maybe. It was fun anyhow, always.

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We danced.

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The most famous and well loved Pirates of Calabash, Franklin and Francie. Their faces sure are missed. Love you both big time.

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Having just lost a pair of prescription sunglasses I was very cautious not to forget these. It was a perfect resting spot while we danced.

Nothing beats hanging out with your friends and being crazy. I’m so thankful for the friends here on the rock, such a great group of peeps.

I was invited to a luncheon at my friend Milesse’s. She is the one who owns Barefoot Cay. Since the place changed ownership she gave up her condo there and moved into a friends guest house in Sandy Bay. This is no ordinary guest house, it’s AMAZING. The place is decorated perfectly, everything about it is stunning, which is no surprise. Milesse’s previous place was pretty stellar also. There were just a few of us there, we enjoyed a great lunch and wine, of course. Then we had dessert and some more wine down on the palapa over the ocean.

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The vaulted ceiling

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Kitchen

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I fell in love with the wall sconces

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Sunroom

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View from the palapa

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Drinking some water that was poured over the spilled wine

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Tidepools

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The guest house, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Every bedroom has a private porch and an amazing bathroom.

It was a fun day spent with some of my favorite ladies.

A friend and I met at Cal’s one afternoon, and over a glass of wine we discussed how to best help Alexi and his family (not mother). Alexi is living at the Bomberos (fire department) and he said they didn’t have much food. My friend donated a big box of food for them and I went to the store and bought them all sorts of food items and powdered drink mixes. Their fridge was well stocked and the guys were very grateful.

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This is the kitchen at the fire station

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Some of the food for them.

We were hoping they didn’t eat all of the food in one sitting, Alexi reassured me they didn’t.

I met Jessica at her school, paid for the matriculation fee and the first Q. After we were finished there we went to the store and bought backpacks for her and Osman. When I was taking her home we saw Ephraim, he was on lunch break.

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I gave him his new backpack that was given to me for him. I was also given bags of clothes for him, Osman and the girls.

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Osman with his new backpack. Both of the packs were filled with school supplies brought by John and Lizeth! Thanks you two!

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This is Alexi’s mothers home. She and her idiot boyfriend and Ephraim live upstairs. Jessica, Julianna and Osman live in 2 rooms downstairs. The lower level has no windows, breaks my heart that children live like this.

Osman was not in school when I gave him his backpack. I asked why. Jessica said he didn’t have shoes. We bought his clothes and backpack and gave him donated supplies. His mother has internet on her phone, her mom’s boyfriend got a new motorcycle but nobody has $15.00 to buy the boy shoes. Bill and I decided we had to step away, we will continue to take care of Jessica and Alexi but the whole situation with the mother is just too much. We are afraid she sells the things we give the kids, it’s happened before. We were told to be careful. Sometimes helping can backfire and with a mother as evil as theirs is, we need distance.

My friend Teri came to visit, she is Frito, the 3 legged wonder dogs Momma. The day after she arrived we went to Mondays Don’t Suck, of course. There was a small crowd there, always fun.

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The beach dogs. The black one was very sick looking. I didn’t see the pups the last two times I was there. I hope they are OK. These beach dogs are so sweet, I always take them food.

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What a gorgeous place

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Looking west towards Alligator Nose.

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I could photograph this forever.

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She claims she didn’t have a glass. As far as I’m concerned, a bottle is a glass.

The next day Teri and I went to Marcia and Dennis’s home to go kayaking. It was a nice day but pretty windy. Going to the mangroves required some effort on our part, coming back was a breeze with the wind at our backs.

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Entering the mangroves

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So pretty. The tunnels were made by the Paya indians a long time ago so they could go from place to place without going out in the open sea.

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Teri floating along

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On our way back

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Marcia and Dennis have one of Frito’s pups, Duke. Isn’t he handsome?

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Duke and his big sister Shay. Both sweet dogs and very loved.

That evening Teri and I went to Cal’s for dinner, yummy as usual. International Living asked if there was a local hangout that I would like to write a little blurb about, so I did one for Cal’s. It was just published in their March issue. I’m going to print it and laminate it for Carl.

cals

Teri and I hung around the house for a few days, pooling it with the dogs. On Saturday eve I was in bed and Bill came in and said Max puked. I came out and he had puked 2 puddles about 3′ in diameter, all over the floor and the one dog bed. We got it all cleaned up, hosed bed cover off to wash the next day, and I went back to bed.

Sunday Teri and I went to the Reef House for a party. The sky was looking ominous on our way there, I called Keith and Jimmy came to get us. It was starting to drizzle as the boat docked at the resort. I said to Teri, we better run it’s going to pour in minutes. 30 seconds later the sky opened and it poured. All of the people went into the dining room where it was nice and dry. Alex was playing outside so he moved all of his equipment inside. It was kind of crazy for ten minutes, the rain must have made everyone realize they needed a drink because Keith was slammed. Teri and I finally got drinks and settled into chairs. Soon after that, the rain stopped and the sun came out, people slowly migrated outside again.

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After the downpour

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The “pool”

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Not a huge crowd but a good one due to the weather.

When we got home Bill said Max puked again, a lot. Now I was worried, he wasn’t eating or drinking and we hadn’t seen him poop. I was giving him pedialyte and water with a syringe and we held back food for 24 hours to give his stomach time to settle. He was having difficulty walking and had no energy. My vet doesn’t come until Wednesdays. Tuesday morning I took him to Doc Calderon’s office, my friend was going to start a saline IV to keep him hydrated. When we got there, he actually seemed better and we decided not to do the IV and I would just see doc in the morning.

On Tuesday afternoon Teri and I ran to West End, she needed to get a few things to take home.

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Loved this piece of a man in a Speed-o.

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Awesome floor

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Nidia scored some of these awesome maps. They are on canvas, plan to get mine stretched and mounted.

We stopped and saw my other family at Blue Island Divers, love all the people there, really amazing group. After that, I took Teri to the sloth farm. Now she wants a monkey and maybe a sloth. Daniel Johnson has such a fabulous place for his animals, they are so well taken care of.

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Monkey talk

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These two jumped on Teri from up high, causing her to scream.

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Male sloth hidden in the trees.

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I love sloths, so amazing. Their only defense is camouflage.

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One of the sloth whisperers. The sloths are not caged, they just stay in the trees.

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Gorgeous parrot

I was at the vets at 6:30 Wed. morn with Max. Doc called Bethany around 7 to translate for my friend KJ (who was there w/ her dog) and me. He drew blood and checked him to make sure he wasn’t bloated, checked for hard masses/lumps, took his temp, all ok. I took the blood to the lab to get it tested, making sure they knew it was for a perro, dog. I then came home and waited until Teri was packed and ready to go and I drove her to the airport. She was headed home to see Frito, who she missed terribly. Then I drove towards home, stopped at the lab and got the results from the blood test. I went back to my house, picked up Max and drove back to Doc’s. He read the test results and said Max is anemic and has ehrlichia, which is a tick borne disease. I don’t get it because they all get monthly flea and tick meds and heartworm medicine, like clockwork. Max was given 2 shots by Doc and he is on doxy and prednisone. He is slowly feeling better.

I stayed home the rest of the week and read by the pool with the dogs, keeping an ever vigilante eye on Max.

On Monday my friend Ann came down to our house and rode with Carmen, Brett and me to Mondays Don’t Suck. It was a fabulous day on the beach with a great group of people. The water was crystal clear with small waves. It was postcard beautiful.

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AMAZING

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My twin Ann, strolling down the beach

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Boundless beauty

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Flags proudly flying

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Beach dogs. I put dry food on the big leaves, the pups were not around this time.

I gave more school supplies to Eddie’s brothers, Milton, David and Lester.

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Such cute boys. Being raised by their grandparents

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The one in red is a year older than the one in the skull shirt. Thanks again Lizeth and John.

I still have crayons and pencils and that cute raincoat to give out. I’ll do that soon.

I have been in touch with Jessica’s teacher and she has been going to school daily. I’m anxious to talk to her and see how it’s going. I’m so happy she is back in school, it gets her out of that horrible environment for a few hours a day.

I expect we will soon be delivering TOMS shoes, it’s that time of year again. The people from Live Again Ministries are coming as are our good friends Brian and Addy from Canada. Looking forward to seeing them all again. It’s always a pleasure to have Pastor Ronny and the gang come to help, fantastic group of people.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy summer, visitor wise again. Three of the people are repeat visitors, three of them are new to the rock. I always love showing newbies around!

My last thought for the night; my Father just turned 96 on Feb 17th. NINETY SIX YEARS OLD. He has lived on this earth almost 100 years. I see the subtle changes every year when I visit, see him slowly, mentally slipping away. He was always such a strong figure in our family, someone you could always go to and get the best damn advice ever. He was always right. I was, and still am so fortunate to have this amazing man as my Father. I wish him many more happy birthdays!

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Victor @ 95

It’s time for me to stop typing and go to bed, going on 8 PM, close to bed time. I will make a conscious effort to be more timely with my blabbing. I still have a lot to say. Life is never boring.

 

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.

 

 

Another year, another birthday

life

 

01/13/2017 To me, the New Year means another birthday. Having my birthday on Jan. 3rd has always been sort of lackluster. Everyone is still in the NYE hangover phase, struggling to write the correct date when they go back to work, worrying about taking down the tree and putting all the decorations away. Me? I’m over here going, yep, another year bites the dust. I don’t feel my age most of the time but there are days when it’s a neon sign right on the WTF lines between my eyes.

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Just in case you didn’t already know this.

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Google remembered my birthday.

A couple weeks ago the klutz in me resurfaced. I was going down the back steps, they are wooden and shaded and slippery as hell, just like ice. Yep, all 5 dogs around me and I fell. My left leg was under me and I landed on it. Cue knee replacement pain. OMG. I finished what I was doing and came in and had a time out with a bag of frozen peas. I’m sure it’s OK, it’s metal to begin with, I’m damn near bionic. I must have cursed a blue streak because two of the dogs were terrified.

We finally had some sunshine and I totally absorbed every ray I could get. I read a book the first day, front to back, then I started another. This was pretty much my rhythm for the week, the dogs and I were in heaven once again.

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Lola, Gringo and Barrio, working on their tan lines.

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My handsome boy Barrio. He was the only pup I was going to keep. See how well that worked out?

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The jungle guards, Highway, Gringo and Maxillicious

I was introduced via FB to a vet from California who brought HeartGard meds to donate. Dirk and his wife Patti came over to give me the meds and meet the dogs. Bill knows a lady who loves her pets but can’t afford to get veterinary care so once the road down to her house is fixed we will start dispensing the meds there. Thank you Dirk and Patti, we’ll be able to help several dogs with the meds you donated.

On Tuesday the 3rd I went to see my orthopedic doc @ Cemesa Hospital about my re-sprained foot (from the slip on the stairs) and to talk about removing the alien. When I got there and checked in they said he wasn’t coming. WHAT? Obviously he had an emergency surgery at the other hospital so they rescheduled me for Wednesday. I arrived early Wednesday and he was ready and waiting for me. He said to remove the alien from my ankle that he can give me a local, slice the ankle, remove the screw and sew it back up in 15 minutes, I just have to schedule that with a days notice being necessary. Yes, a DAY. He also gave me an anti-inflammatory shot in 5 different places where my leg meets my ankle to see if he could settle this down. It finally is feeling better and I can walk without a limp.

Thursday our friends from Kentucky (who arrived on Sat. and were staying in West Bay) were heading down to this end of the island and they stopped by. It’s really funny how we met. I was working at the airport, walking around chatting with people and I had a name tag on. I spoke to this woman and she said, “You’re Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you?” From that point on we were friends. John and Lizeth are wonderful people and we can’t wait until they finally make the move. Last time they were here John’s sister and brother-in-law were with them. We all went to La Sirena for the afternoon. This visit they brought their son Philip who is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology, super nice, handsome, sweet and obviously very intelligent young man. Lizeth brought 2 bags of school supplies for the kids and the cutest little REI raincoat for some lucky little girl. I’ll start passing things out when school begins in Feb.

They did a mangrove tour in the morning and afterwards we met them at Cal’s for lunch. Always a good meal at Cal’s. As soon as I got home from Cal’s I called the Duchess, Jeanie, and she was at Nancy’s so I made myself a big vodka fresca and drove the 4 minutes to Nancy’s. There were a few other friends there doing some art projects. Chuck and Nancy have a fabulous art studio in the tower of their home. I stayed for almost 2 hours and then came home and laid on the couch for the rest of the evening.

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A young girl who just moved here did this henna tattoo on herself.

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She did the mermaid on the Duchess. The extra lines are charcoal and will wash off.

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Chuck helping Valerie

Yesterday I dropped off some other supplies (that people brought to Because We Care from the US) at Nidia’s store then went to see my friends at Blue Island Divers. They have been SUPER busy and I’m so happy for them, they are good people, they have an excellent dive op and they work really hard. The Doc said I can dive in a week. YAY!

After that I went to West Bay to see my friend Mario who was staying at Bananarama. I met Mario on a flight from San Pedro to Houston, he was on his way to start college @ Midland University in Nebraska. I was so impressed with this young mans demeanor and attitude that we became FB friends right away and have stayed in touch. He messaged me that his family and his girlfriend were coming to Roatan for a few days so we decided to get together. I got to meet his girlfriend, parents, both sisters, brother in law and adorable 2 year old nephew Mathias. We talked for about 30 minutes, his parents are both college professors on the mainland and they want to build a house here. They asked me if I could help them find land, I said I would try.

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Mario and Sharon. I borrowed this photo from FB.

In the meantime, my friends John, Lizeth and Phil had just gotten back from a dive so I met them at the dive shop, we grabbed lunch at Bananarama (no ranch dressing Liza) and then we went and looked at their property.

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Their view is amazing

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They are so close to the water!

After that we went back to where they were staying and laid on the rafts in the water and had a beer.

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No cruise ships meant a deserted beach

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It felt so good to be back in the water, floating. I love the Caribbean.

It was really nice to spend an afternoon with John, Lizeth and Phil. I am still overwhelmed by the amazing friends I have met through Roatan FB pages or my blog. I’ve been very blessed.

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The sky last evening

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It was a pretty night

Last night when we went to bed it was a semi calm evening. I woke in the middle of the night to huge winds and heavy rains, both bedroom windows, bathroom windows and closet window were open and everything was soaked. Again, thankful for concrete floors.

I got up this morning, sliced the dogs banana and sat down at my computer.  I asked Bill why he had closed it and he said my hard drive was running. I opened it and tried to boot it up and this is what the screen looked like.

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What he didn’t realize when he closed the laptop was, there was a pen laying in it. The pressure of the screen on the pen ruined my display. I’m now using my laptop hooked up to an old monitor while a new screen is ordered for my laptop.

The next morning the weather had turned downright ugly, winds up to 40 MPH, raining sideways and zero visibility, we have a full blown nor’easter bearing down on us. I feel sorry for the people who arrived on Saturday for a weeks vacation, at least it’s not snow and 5 degrees. I still went to Mega Paca. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these shoppers from the swift competition of the newly marked down.”

I just read on crime watch (a Roatan FB page) that there is a diver missing on the south shore, 5 boats and a helicopter were looking for her. She was a skilled 72 year old female diver and was last seen by her DM @ 200′. WTH? 200′, who goes 200′ besides a technical diver?? The divemaster tried to get her to go back up but she didn’t respond and he had to turn around. If she was at 200′ and still going down she was either unconscious or dead. No recreational diver would do something that insane on purpose.  Always a terrible thing to read about, I feel sorry for the family, the DM, the resort, just sucks.

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The sky this morning, crazy winds. This was taken later this afternoon when the rain stopped.

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Earlier this morning you could see nothing but gray, the shores were not visible. It was like living in the clouds.

I have vowed to make these blogs shorter and to post more often and that’s exactly what I am doing, ending this one here and now.

Check back soon, I’m not done yet.