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.

The “after company” let down

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

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

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

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

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Seriously, I could float there and watch them forEVAH!

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This was only the beginning of a great discovery day.

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A Christmas Tree Worm farm.

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Blue Tang. This is not Dory.

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

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Hanging with the Tangs.

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Mr. Lips, Rainbow Parrot Fish

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Banded Butterfly Fish

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

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

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

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Trace and Maureen

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

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

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

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Marilyn and I, photo by Maureen, I believe.

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Roger, Jeanie’s husband, and Bill.

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Their view and pool. Pretty nice…

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Francie and Franklin sitting down by the pool. Lovebirds.

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

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

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

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

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Maureen jumping off the Bottom’s Up Bar ledge.

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

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ISERY, the club that never was.

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

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

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Authentic right down to the portholes

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Mural in one of the several bars

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

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a ticket

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

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

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Trace

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

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

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen of our guide Everald.

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

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My only photo at Cal’s

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

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Barbon Beach

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

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T & M

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

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

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Trace and Maureen taking pics.

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Marilyn

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

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

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

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

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Franklin, Mike and Francie. Nice legs Francie!!

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

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All with matching rafts

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Trace, chilling

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

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

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Yep, the water is that blue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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

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

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Otters

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A lucky shot (no skill involved) of Barrio

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Barrio and Gringo

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Barrio

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Fabulous mangoes, thanks Jaw!

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

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

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

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

Beep Beep

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06/06/2016 Obviously my absence indicates that I’ve been busy living the island lifestyle. And, oh what a life it is. I am so happy I figured out how to live this life I have been blessed with.

My BFF from WA. arrived the 19th, it is her 5th trip here with us. I went to Nadia’s in Sandy Bay to do something about my wretched roots (I went brown with blonde highlights, we’ll see what this looks like when it grows out) and when I was done there I had a meeting at the airport and was there to meet Teri when she arrived. We made a few stops before we got home. Teri was tired so we hung out here and just chilled. She had not see the house yet so we had a few (sic) drinks and caught up on life.

Teri is a cancer survivor and a tough lady. I have not seen her since her diagnosis and surgeries. She has been through a lot in the last 2 years and I feel bad I wasn’t closer so I could have been there for her. She does have a great family and lots of friends so she didn’t go through the cancer and surgery alone. Still. She is now cancer free so this trip was a celebration for sure. Celebrating seeing her and the fact that she is cancer free. Like I said, tough lady. A survivor.

Teri was staying in our downstairs condo for guests and along with the condo you got a dog for a companion. Frito was living downstairs because she wanted to rip Lola’s face off. Frito is a survivor too, pregnant, found by me and rescued, leg amputated and 1 month later has 7 healthy puppies. Survivor to the max. They bonded instantly and Bam! Frito was sleeping with Teri. OK, back to the other story, this one will be competed in another blog. (you know you’ll have to see what happens)

On Friday morning as soon as Alexi got here we went to the soccer field at Froylan Turcios, a school in our area. We had 2 sets of soccer jerseys to pass out to the kids there. We had been in touch with the coach and he was very eager to have them. Many thanks to Dave and Trish Symons for ALWAYS bringing things to the island for the kids and the clinics. They have brought (and given to me to distribute) so many soccer uniforms, many of the island kids have been blessed with their gifts. They also gave me some soccer balls, almost new. Brand new compared to what these kids have.

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Their eyes got huge when Alexi kicked the new ball onto the field.

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Starting to pass out the uniforms.

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Teri B with the kids

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Me passing out goodies.

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These kids were so excited, I got several hugs.

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HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY

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The 2 teams, nice kids, very appreciative.

We took Alexi with us because the coach doesn’t speak English, always nice to have an interpreter. The coach was extremely grateful for the uniforms and said that he would keep them in his possession and only pass them out at games. There was even a coach’s uniform for him, I doubt he has ever had one. Thank you Trish and Dave!

I am a firm believer that if kids are involved in extra-curricular activities, such as soccer, they are less likely to go down the wrong path that seems to be the easiest path on this island to follow. We are keeping a close eye on Alexi, the 17 year old who has adopted us. He would much rather be here than home (I tell myself it’s not just because of the wi-fi) and has told us that many times. I am always buying him clothes at Mega Paca and he is very grateful for anything we give him. We spend time with him, encourage him, support him in his school endeavors and tell him all the time that he must learn to read and write English (that’s what he is going to school for.) He speaks English and Spanish but can barely read or write Spanish and has no English reading or writing skills, he is another lost soul due to the inadequate education the island kids receive. What the hell will these kids do when they finish school? Where will they ever find a job? Manual labor is their only option, we want more for Alexi. We are encouraging him to learn to read and write English in the hopes he can get a job on a cruise ship and do some traveling. It’s much better than the job situation here and the only way he will ever get off of this island.

Recently my car horn has begun randomly beeping. It happens mostly when I’m coming up our driveway. The other day there was a good sized Monkey LaLa lizard running up the drive and I stopped so I wouldn’t hit it. Every time I started to go, my horn honked. I felt like the damn road runner, beep beep beep beep. By the time Teri and I made it home we were laughing our butts off. Bill can disconnect the fuse but then I won’t have a horn and driving on Roatan requires a horn, turn signals and brake lights are optional.

Friday afternoon Teri and I made our way to BJ’s, of course. Marilyn’s daughter was there and she was singing with the band. She was very good! We hung out there for a few hours and visited and danced. Well, I danced but I didn’t take any pictures.

We got home in time for Teri to go to Cal’s Cantina with Mr. John. Bill and I stayed home because the pool was being delivered and I didn’t want to miss another grand island ingenuity episode. I was not disappointed.

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The truck arrives. I see it, I see my pool.

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The other one is for our neighbor’s, they got the same as us. They backed this big truck up to the base of our steep hill.

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How many men does it take to lift a 1000# pool?

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A lot of muscle.

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They flipped it over onto the bottom so they could drag it up the hill.

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Heave ho!

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Really, this happened. The guy in the orange shirt is Leo Arch, cousin of my friends at the Iguana Farm. He is the boss.

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And this is where it hung out for a few days which on the island equals mañana.

Yes, we are the only people on the whole damn island with a 20′ pool tied to a stump on our hillside. Really, that sets us apart from the others. No slouches here, we go for the opposite of ordinary.

Saturday Teri and I were meeting my friends Mike and Liza at their rental in West Bay and spending the day together. We snorkeled and then went to Bananarama for lunch and snorkeling. It was a gorgeous sunny day in West Bay and the beach was empty.

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When you stick your head in the water and see this. Awesome, love starfish.

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Tangs galore

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French Angelfish swimming with the Tangs

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One of the most amazing fish

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Teri B taking it all in

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well hello Mr. Fish

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fish lips

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Lloyd Bridges aka Mike Clark

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I think this is a coney fish??

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Parrot fish eating algae and coral and then they poop sand.

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French Angelfish

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Beautiful living coral

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Neon gobey on brain coral

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My favorite, a Christmas Tree worm.

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Beautiful Bananarama

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Teri B chilling

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This dude on the flyboard was amazing. He must have been a rep for the company or something because I’ve never seen anyone that good before.

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Mr. GQ. (Mike)

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Teri and Mike floating at West Bay beach

We had a great day with them and didn’t get home until dinner time.  I had planned to take Teri to Mega Paca on Sunday morning but she was sick, as was Liza and they both had the same dipping sauce with their meals at Bananarama. Not pointing fingers, just saying. Teri was pretty much down and out on Sunday. I messaged my friend who is a nurse and she said to start her on Zithromax, which I had on hand. She felt better in the morning. Liza was sick too and she was traveling. UGH…

We spent another one of our days at Parrot Tree pool and got eaten alive by the bugs there, it was as bad as being at their lagoon. It was still a good day because a day in the water is better than anything else.

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Still beautiful despite the bugs

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Teri floating

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Under the falls

I’ve been trying to help Nidia finish the TOM’s shoe deliveries. Teri and I went to Alexi’s English school in Politilly and I measured the kids there. We also got the list of sizes needed at El Higuero, a kinder near me and I measured all the kids at Miss Norma’s school in Jonesville.

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This is the kinder in El Higuero.

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We donated the blue desks a little over a year ago, thanks to Linda Edwards, who bought them.

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The kids in Jonesville at Norma’s school.

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Then we had to go to where Nidia and Live Again Ministries were fitting shoes in Barrio Los Fuertes. This is the school where I rescued Frito March 10, 2015. This is also where I got the name for Barrio.

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They had a supply of shoes there so we took what we needed but still had to go to the storage unit to get the rest.

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Luckily my friend Dave from Live Again Ministries went with us because neither Teri nor I could have opened this door.

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I brought all the shoes home and separated them so they could be distributed to the 3 schools.

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Checking my list..And when I was done, I went down to John’s pool.

Teri and I spent a lot of time in her future pool (Mr. John’s, the neighbor), it felt so good and immediately lowered our scorching body temperatures. I think we were in there almost daily because the temps have been HOT! In between dips we delivered the shoes to the kinder and to Alexi’s school. Marcia and Dennis picked up the ones for Jonesville and delivered them since they live out that way.

Teri and I got a little pre-occupied the last few days before Olivia came, in fact Wed. and Friday mornings we were taking care of business. (to be disclosed later) Once business was done we went to BJ’s again Friday and visited with the gang and ate some french fries, yums. There was a good crowd there and we danced a little bit and got a little crazy.

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Jonna on the left, then Casey, Tara and Marilyn. Casey and Tara are Marilyn’s kids.

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Marilyn and family (and Jonna)

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Gail giving her husband Mike (second from L) his birthday cake.

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Terry’s shirt

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BJ giving a little speech and thanking people.

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Kids sitting next door waiting for a boat ride home.

Sunday Olivia arrived so Teri and I headed to the airport to pick her up. We took Frito with us. She was the center of attention and she ate up every second of it. She is such a good dog and is so easy to have around. Frito was great at the airport, very well behaved, she let a few kids pet her and even some adults wanted to visit with her. She is an attention monger for sure.

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Frito getting some head pats from this cute little girl.

It was nice to have Olivia join us, it’s the third time the 3 of us have been together on Roatan. Never a dull moment.

Olivia, Teri and I headed to West Bay beach on Monday so we could have a beach day together. We parked ourselves at Bananarama again but this time, no dipping sauce for anyone.

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Our chairs at Bananarama

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Beautiful beach, beautiful day

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The water was so warm and the beach was deserted. Just the way I like it.

While at the beach we saw the crowd of people out on the boats watching the Caribbean Cup Freediving Championship. After West Bay we stopped in West End so Teri could do a little shopping before she went home the next day. We even made a stop in Shawn Jackson’s gallery, always a pleasure.

After we got home and washed the sand and salt water off of our bodies we had dinner and sat on the roof talking and thinking of fun things to have on up there. Like an ejector bar seat that would catapult you into the pool, unless we didn’t like you, then it would set you down on the main road to get a taxi. I need this in my life.

On Tuesday Olivia and I took Teri and her companion (not telling you yet) to the airport and said a tearful good-bye. After that we ran some errands, stopped at Mega Paca and then came home and floated in John’s pool. Again.

It is absurd to me that I have a pool that can’t be used. It’s like a big freaking tease.

After hammering out 2 blogs in a few days, I’m going to go chill and watch them hook up the pipes for the drains and skimmers and jets on the pool. It’s getting closer, I can’t wait to be the first one in.

 

In memory of Laura

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12/03/2015 The crud is gone, we are both still coughing and Bill still overheats anytime he does anything but we are better.

Last Sunday I met a new friend who found me through my blog. She was on the island looking at land because she and her husband have decided to retire from Canada to Roatan. She invited me over to Media Luna where she was staying so we could talk. I couldn’t stay very long because we were taking the cupboard doors to Jeanie so I invited Diane to ride along to Camp Bay. We drove over here, loaded the doors in my car and headed out to Jeanies. It didn’t take Bill as long as he thought it would to hang the doors, once hung, we headed back home.

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The view out into Neverstain Bight from Media Luna resort. We can see this bight from our house quite well but we can’t see the resort, it’s tucked back in.

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Stunning, all inclusive. Mainly French Canadians I believe as the people don’t arrive through the US on Saturdays.

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Amazing vistas at every turn

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An unusual way to shade a beach area..

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Looking towards mainland Honduras

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The inside of the dining hall. Have heard food is typical buffet food, nothing spectacular but adequate.

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This is the new nightclub being built near Oak Ridge, thankfully not close to us. It’s going to be a big boat. It looks much more “boat like” now, will get some updated pics

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The view from the road to Media Luna. It’s a good distance from the road, most of the road you drive on is newly paved so it’s quite nice.

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X marks the spot of our friends home. It’s on Caribe Point Bight, lovely place and a nice kayak to the reef from there.

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View of the bight and Jonesville to the right

On Wednesday my friends Mike and Liza came for 11 days. They flew in on Avianca from the mainland. We met Mike and Liza when KP was here and we were visiting La Sirena in Camp Bay. Then Mike found my blog via my friend Amanda Walkins blog, his wife emailed me and the rest is history. After being in contact for months via FB and email, it’s like we were best friends already. I offered to pick them up at the airport at 10 on Wed. morning. Once we got the car loaded with their stuff (Orlando was sweet and went and got their bags for them and took them out to the car) we went to the Re-Max office so they could get their property deed. Yes, they are land owners on Roatan!! After that we went to Eldon’s and got some food and drink stuff, then I took them to Cabana Lana, the place they are staying in West Bay for 4 days, then they moved down to a place by Infinity Bay. A little variety this trip.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and we were meeting Mike and Liza at the Beach Grill at 3:30. I had to meet Cristiana (our lawyer) in French Harbor to pay her for our residency papers, then I met Sam to pay the balance on the roof job. When I was done with that I ran into Lady Lee for the big Black Friday sale that started on a Wednesday. I spent $180.00 and got over $350.00 worth of toys. Thank you Beth and Aaron and Walt and Judy, Ginny, Cathilee and Ralphie! Another friend of mine from Williamsport sent me money for the kids, thank you Rick, I donated all of your $$ to Because We Care and Nidia is buying toys for over 1000 kids with the money we are able to raise. When my errands were completed, I hustled back home and got ready for turkey dinner.

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Photo by Lisa Blythe, mama to 2 of our puppies, she and Rob own the Beach Grill. Mike and Liza and Bill and I, 11/26/2015

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The only girl of the litter, Sable. I adore this dog.

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Bill with Bandit & Sable. I am so blessed that Rob and Lisa took these 2, they were meant to be together, they have been inseparable since birth.

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Sweet boy Bandit, biting my arm exactly like Barrio does. He and Barrio look like twins.

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Beautiful and oh so loved pups, Sable and Bandit.

On Thanksgiving @ the Beach Grill, I introduced myself to Madison Keith, the owner of Roatan’s radio station, Blue Wave Radio, 101.1 FM. We have been friends on FB and comment back and forth. I had tuned in earlier in the day while running errands and he was playing Alice’s Restaurant. IT MADE MY DAY. Today after we chatted and I met his lady Greta,  he had me say on air, “Hi this is Deb, broadcasting on 101.1 FM, Blue Wave Radio, Roatan”. It’s a fab station, he plays music that makes me go, “wow, it’s been years since I have heard that song”. That’s what good radio stations do.

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Sable has a girl crush on Jefferson, one of the wait staff at the Beach Grill. He seems like a really cool guy and I can tell he really loves the dogs.

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Handsome Bandit

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Liza getting kisses from the pups

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View from the Beach Grill

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This is where we had our fantastic turkey dinner with no clean up for me!!

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Our friends Rob and Lisa own this place. It’s very popular with tourists but mainly it’s an ex-pat hang out. Olivia and I stayed at the resort attached to the restaurant, Blue Bahia, in 2010. It had different owners back then.

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I love this photo

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Driving down the beach after turkey dinner

Friday and yay!! BJ’s. Mike and Liza came over around 11 and we headed to Oak Ridge for our Spanish lessons at noon. They wandered around Oak Ridge while we learned about conjugating verbs. When class was over we all (as in the whole class) went to BJ’s and hung out for a few hours. After we left there, we came back here for toilet break and then went to Cal’s for dinner. Yummy as usual! Mike and Liza headed back to the other end of the island after dinner. Mike said the headlights of their rental were both pointed in the ditch along the side of the road, makes for a challenging drive because the roads here are pitch black.

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The Banditos

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Bill and Dennis. Dennis and Marcia have another one of our pups, Duke.

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My BFF Jeanie standing in the background, and L to R, Kathy, Mike and Liza

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L to R, Llyn, Betty, Gail and Kathy, fun loving ladies..

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Our friends Keri and Doug’s boat. They just moved here permanently from Snohomish, WA

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Love the boat name, Calabash Biter..

Saturday we cleaned around la casa. (I had Melissa over on Tuesday and she did all the windows and the tracks, it took her 5 hours to do the windows. And guess what?? They’re dirty already. It freaking rains dirt here.) Alexi came over and helped Bill clean up outside and I swept and dusted inside because friends were coming for pizza and they were bringing another one of our puppies, Tank, the big handsome brute that I had a terrible time parting with. Kevin and Claire own Blue Reef Properties . We had a fabulous evening with them, and the boys and Lola got along quite well by the end of the evening. Except Highway, who was a total freak and was banished to the bedroom with the cat.

I met another guy on FB via my blog, via Amanda’s blog. He contacted me on FB also. Sean and I have been emailing and FB’ing for a few months. He and his wife decided to come down again this Dec. from Canada and he asked me for info on where to stay; I hooked him up with Kevin and Claire and he is thrilled to be renting from them and will be here the 7th. I’m looking forward to meeting him and his wife and friends. Sounds like Sean travels like Bill used to, with my 2 girlfriends..his wife is also bringing 2 friends. My friends Mike and Liza travel with 2 other ladies, they call them the sister wives, what do you think Teri B and Olivia?? You 2 into being called sister wives??

Sunday morning we went down to Oceano to get my new couch and then made another trip to pick up one I got for my friend.  We had to get Alexi to help us because they are too heavy for me to even begin to help, they are sleeper sofas and obviously well made. We also brought home the new dog bed. Well, it’s not really a dog bed but a floor pillow, however, the dogs love it and we bought it for them.

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It matches the pillows on the new couch that we can’t get upstairs.

I had a fretful Sunday afternoon. I was really nervous because we were both flying to the mainland the next day and what if something happened, who would take care of the dogs, what would happen to them? would they be fed and spoiled and loved. And the boys, who would contact them? I frantically was making arrangements the night before thinking to myself how damn unprepared I really am. The Queen of Preparedness, the ex Girl Scout, the person who separated their rubber bands by size AND thickness. SO unprepared. I have made it a priority to do this by the end of the month. There, I’ve said it..out loud to the world, I have to do it. And girlfriend, you know who you are, let’s get on this..

Monday morning we arose at some flipping ungodly hour to ALARM CLOCKS. I hate alarm clocks. We had to get to the Roatan airport by 6. Bill sucks with airport arrival times, we were there before THEY OPENED THE DAMN PARKING LOT. And I forgot my book. Boohoo. (reading the Glass Castle) We were bound for the mainland, La Ceiba and it was currently (almost) cheaper to fly than to take the 1 hour plus Ferry. Bill is not a boat fan to begin with. We flew. I fell asleep probably before take off and I woke when the gear went down to land in Ceiba. We had 3 empty suitcases for shopping after we did our residency. Our lawyer had gotten all the papers for us and a letter from the Chamber of Commerce and we had a cabbie who spoke English (and was referred by many friends) pick us up right on time and whisked us off to the residency office. He took us in, told us what line to go to, talked to the ladies there, he had it down. I had the temporary residency papers for 4 of our friends also so Pablo took them and got their cards for me! We got our card stuff done and then we hit WALMART. Yes, a brand spanking new store too. However, it was a huge let down for me. Let me say right off the bat, I am not a Walmart woman, B U T, they do have good prices on so many things like shampoo and paper towels and soap, necessities that are so expensive here I thought I could stock up. I got a few things, like new heavy rubber floor mats for my car. Bill said they are so heavy they will decrease my mileage. hah. We left there and went to DIUNSA. They were having a big sale and we ended up buying a mattress and box springs for the guest room downstairs (Robby and Julie, Merry Christmas) and Bill got his outdoor cooktop.

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It will be nice to not have to heat up the kitchen cooking dog food and other stuff. Really, why not use it all the time?

It’s easy to get stuff shipped over, our stuff came the next day. Our driver in La Ceiba could not have been any nicer and should the need arise to go to the mainland again, we’ll be hanging with Pablo. Thanks Joe and Betty, Cindy and John and Heather and Ron.

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Brand spanking new

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This is something I’ve not seen in Roatan. Yet.

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Pablos’ seat belt lacks a hook to fasten into the part alongside the seat so he just loops it over his head.

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He got his wife Poinsettias @ Walmart

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It was a rainy drizzly gray day in Ceiba but Pablo took us to the waterfront. It looks like they have a nice Malécon too.

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Right next to the beach

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The walkway to the beach

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The benches and trash cans (and there were a lot of trash cans, unlike Roa where there are NONE) all looked very Fred Flinstoneish to me,

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They definitely decorate their trees differently, it was really pretty.

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Pablo said this place is owned by a cajun and he makes some mean gumbo.

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Nothing but the best when it comes to a boarding pass

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Cayman Airways at the La Ceiba airport

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Good sized mountains along the runway

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Yep, that’s a John Deere

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Flying over Ceiba, almost to the coastline

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Cayos Cochinos in the distance.

When we were coming in to Roa, I could see the runway and thought there is no way in hell he’s going to land, he’ll have to go around and get lower. Nope. This guy dropped the plane from a good altitude and set it down nice and smoothly on the runway. Blew my mind. He’s done this MANY times before. When we finally got home the dogs were very happy to see us, Bill ran Alexi home and I loved on the pups.

I had been dying to go to Mega Paca the last few days but they had been closed down by the DEI. They are like the IRS on steroids with flak vests and machine guns and a Terminator demeanor. I was going to write a whole blurb about it but my friend Jeanette Gartner already did so here is her link,  check it out, it’s amazing what they have done and are still doing on the island. We do not feel threatened, it just shows how very corrupt and backward this country is. However, we do NOT have mass shootings like the US is experiencing on a daily basis (it seems). People think Roatan is an unsafe place to live and some have even left because of that. Honestly, I do not feel unsafe here at any time. I use precautions just like I would in the US, I drive all over the island, alone. Are there places I won’t go? Yep. Were there places I didn’t go in Bellingham or Seattle? Yep.

Rumor was Mega Paca would be open Tuesday and to my utter delight, it was. I strolled through the housewares and my favorite color of green caught my eye. I ran around to the other side of the shelf and grabbed it. I immediately flipped it over and it is a brand spanking new green Chantal baking dish. It was $10.00. It was also going to be mine!! Score.

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So excited, the color is actually brighter, more of a lime green.

The next few weeks are going to be busy, BJ’s, Mondays Don’t Suck, a gift wrapping party and then 3 Christmas parties for the kids on various locations on the island, plus friends come in on a cruise for the day and I am picking them up and hanging out with them. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the month. Tomorrow is Spanish class, then BJ’s, Sat we are taking our friends to West Bay to get a mattress they bought then going to meet Liza and Mike, maybe snorkel, have lunch on the beach and visit with them before they head back to Oregon.

We have been dealing with foot issues with the dogs. Gringo has a sore between his toes, he was limping, Lola has her back feet licked raw and Highway’s one paw was swollen to twice it’s normal size. They are on a variety of meds right now. My concern is the meds are a band-aid because we don’t know the cause of any of this. If we stop the meds, the issues return. We may end up taking all 3 to ProVets and that will be super expensive. They come once a month from the mainland and they do testing, skin scrapings, etc.,but they charge just like the vets in the US. OUCH! 3 dogs at once..

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Highway’s foot

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Lola’s paw

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Maxillicious

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Gringo, my love..

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Barrio, Bandit’s twin

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Lola, the dog without a brain

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All of them playing on the newly fiberglassed roof. Now we have to repaint the sides of the walls because they fiberglassed part way up to keep any water from getting underneath.

I need to get something accomplished today besides organizing my closet. I have too many clothes and don’t wear half of them. I gave Melissa, my cleaning girl, a big bag of stuff and I have more for her.

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Dresses

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Skirts and tops

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Sleeveless tops and more skirts. I really am a skirt girl, I prefer them over shorts any day..

This time of year is hard down here, I miss my boys a lot. I wish I could be with them and my parents and brother and sister and Bill’s sisters for the holidays but I can’t. I get involved in so much stuff down here trying to help the kids on the island that it’s difficult for me to leave now, I’ve already committed to these things and I want to be a part of them so here is where I’ll be.

As I was surfing the net I came across this hysterical story. It’s about a man who borrowed his son’s GoPro camera to take a trip to Vegas. His son didn’t give him any lessons on how to use the GoPro, so the poor guy used it the whole vacation but had it backwards on the selfie stick. His vacation photos of Vegas are actually photos of him with some of Vegas behind him. Check it out, it’s pretty funny. Definitely a blonde thing, in other words, I could have done that.

I’ll attempt to do a better job at blogging, when I don’t have a lot of readers it almost seems like a waste of time and I get discouraged and grumpy. If there are subjects you would be interested in knowing about, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fill you in with the down and dirty truth.

This photo is my cover pic on FB. I did not take it, it was taken by a friend of my friend, Laura Osterloh. I got to know Laura because her husband worked at Grizzly. Bill and I were the first people to visit their first 2 children when they were born. Jack is the oldest, then Ellie, who was born with Cystic Fibrosis and then sweet Ava. Early September Laura got sick and was sent down to Seattle where they discovered she had pancreatic cancer. She was not able to eat or to go to the bathroom due to blockages. They put stents in, did procedures that were very painful, all in an attempt to get her ready for chemo. The first few rounds of chemo did not go well and after her condition worsened the doctors decided there was not much they could do for her. She wanted to go home and be with her children so Hospice was set up in their home on the Bellingham waterfront. Her multitude of friends in Bellingham knew she loved Glassybaby candles so they made this tribute to Laura on the dock outside of the window where her bed was set up.
laura

Her husband posted today that she passed away this morning, she was 45 years old and leaves 3 children behind. My heart is broken. Please say a prayer for her family. Rest in peace Laura.

It’s been awhile

vit sea06/22/2015 Our much anticipated guests have come and gone, we wish they had stayed longer than a week. We had semi decent weather while they were here so that was a bonus. Their flight was delayed arriving, then all 3 flights landed {American, Delta and United} within minutes of each other which turns the small immigration room into a virtual circus. Luckily Kathy was old enough to get in the resident line and she took Jen with her; then my friends at the airport grabbed them and put them in the front of the line. Perks…

We, unfortunately had to take a puppy with us to the airport. Max was sick all day Friday with a variety of symptoms. I managed to get in touch with some vets who came from Tegus for a weekend to set up shop here. We had an 11:30 appointment. Max was sick beyond sick on Friday all day and into the night but we gave him a little Pepto Bismol and in about 45 minutes he rallied. We still planned to go to the vet to get to the bottom of this. They were busy and behind schedule and with the plane being late and 3 planes arriving at once we made it to the airport in time to see them get taken to the front of the line. Our friends Kevin and Claire were there. Claire has wanted to see the pups for weeks but Kevin kept saying no more dogs. He saw me with Max, grabbed him and went down to where Claire was standing. When he came back he asked if Max was the biggest, we said no Tank is at home. He said we’ll probably take him. Happy, but so sad.

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These are all that are left 😦

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Before Tank left

We came back here and got Jen and Kathy situated then went up on the roof for awhile. After dinner it was early to bed for everyone.

Sunday morning looked ugly, it rained, then cleared then rained some more. We had planned to have Alexi dog sit while we were entertaining our company so Bill went to get him. I’m not sure what good it is even having him here because all he does is surf the web on the Kindle I gave him. This too confuses me because he barely can read or write..

We left for Camp Bay around noon, final destination La Sirena. Right before we left we got a call from a friend who wanted to give us some mangoes. We stopped by on the way and got a BOX of yummy fragrant delicious fresh picked mangoes.

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OMY OHMYYUMMY

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I also was given a loofah filled with seeds. I shook the seeds out, peeled off the rind and have 2 new shower sponges.

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So big I cut it in half! Can’t get more natural than that.

After that we made a detour through Punta Gorda and then to Oak Ridge where we pointed out the highlights on the way. We then headed to Heaven. Well, that’s what the sign says and I think we’ve been there many times.

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If there’s a sign, it must be close by

Jen and Kathy could not believe the condition of “the road” to get to Camp Bay. I guess I’m just used to deplorable roads. We had a great time at La Sirena, had some lunch and the waiter thought I ordered a Port Royal AND a rum punch so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and drank both.

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La Sirena

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On the dock, we should have planked.

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Bill and his sister Kathy

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Me and Jen, love this girl. She is studying for her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

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Such a sweetheart

Jimmy was there so we talked to him for quite awhile, always interesting conversation.  By the time we got home everyone was tired and not hungry for a big dinner. We picked at food, ate some mangoes and went to bed.

Monday was a semi sunny day and I thought we should head west, all the way west, to West Bay beach. We took the scenic route through Coxen Hole and made it to West Bay in under 40 minutes, not bad. We settled ourselves at Banarama and went in the water to float on the rafts. It felt so good and has been too long. DAMMIT, I live here…

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So stunningly gorgeous

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Jen and Kathy

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beautiful

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Jen

Jen and I walked down past Infinity Bay  to snorkel. She said she was cool with deep water so we went for a swim and saw some pretty cool stuff.

white sea urchin

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Brain coral with polyps of some sort

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Ribbon coral??

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Yellowtail Damselfish Intermediate

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Parrotfish

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First time snorkeling for Jen, this girl has no qualms, no fears, just, “let’s do it.”

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Some kind of coral

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More Christmas tree worms

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Jen the fish

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Lunch @ Banarama

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Swinging on the beach

After lunch we floated for a bit more, then headed home. Bill was making pizza tonight so I had to get veggies cut up. That night we gorged ourselves on grilled pizzas. It was (and has been) so windy it blew the pepperoni right off the pizza into the waiting mouths of 8 dogs. Luckily we had more pepperoni, damn wind.

The pizza was yummy as usual and we were stuffed. Being at the beach in the fresh air, water and wind PLUS snorkeling for awhile is tiring stuff. I think we watched some “Whose Line is it Anyway” and went to bed.

We realized on Tuesday that Max was sick again, same symptoms but getting worse. He was throwing up but there was nothing there, just stomach bile. I messaged my friend to see if Doc was coming on the ferry that evening. She said he was and I said we would pick him up at the ferry for an emergency visit Tuesday eve. Normally he doesn’t start work here until Wed. morn.

Earlier in the day Kathy, Jen and I went to Parrot Tree to float in the pool for awhile. It was empty, we were the only people there. I came home a few times to check on Max so Bill went and picked up Kathy and Jen around 4.

We left for the ferry terminal at 5:30 to pick Doc up and take him to his clinic. Bethany was there waiting to help and translate for us. Max was so dehydrated they couldn’t find a vein for the IV. After about half a dozen times I was pleading saying I could make him drink, don’t stick him anymore. Just about that time they got a vein, they taped it to keep it in place and then administered some shots via the IV. We let him get a good bit of the fluid and then left to take Doc to Brick Bay where he stays while on island. After we dropped him off we had to get gas and realized that Max had gotten the full amount so we took the IV needle out at the gas station.

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IV to go

Only in Honduras. We took Bethany home and got back to the house around 8. Kathy and Jen had to fend for themselves but made out just fine. Max seemed lively and he was hungry again so we fed him a light meal. He had to be on Metronidazol for 2 more days.

Wednesday was deemed a West End shopping day. We got a good start on the day and sauntered around West End, checking all my usual haunts. When we were done there we were off to Umbul Umbul, it’s just somewhere I always take company. For lunch we were going to the Beach Grill to see Lisa and Rob and of course my babies, Sable and Bandit. When Lisa and Rob pulled up I couldn’t wait, I had to go see the pups. Lisa said they are doing really good, they are spoiled and sleep on the couch and they even get in the shower on their own when Lisa is in there.

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Bandit and Sable

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View from Beach Grill, Blue Bahia

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She wasn’t sure of me but then she recognized my smell and gave me kisses galore.

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Oh I love this sweet boy. Sable and Bandit really get around. They go with Lisa and Rob to Tranquil Seas on music night..

After we left there we went to the Iguana Farm to see all of the iguana’s. They were surprised that there were so many running loose..

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They are everywhere

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Jen feeding them

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In the trees

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close up

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Mani/pedi anyone??

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Amazing creatures

We were going to Cal’s that night for dinner and we were hungry!! Cal’s wasn’t too busy, food was fabulous as always.

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Group shot at Cal’s

I’ll finish this post another day, too many more photos to post and my mind is fried. I drove into Coxen Hole today to inquire about my NON EXISTANT license plate for my car. Three weeks ago I was told 2 weeks and THEY WOULD CALL ME. hahahahahahaha! Today they told me to “keep checking back.” Sure I will, it’s real convenient to drive all the way to Coxen Hole and try to find a spot to park, just makes my day. So, no license plate yet, it was made May 19th, why the hell it hasn’t gotten here yet from the mainland 36 miles away I’ll never know.

One thing I do know is that come hell or high water I am going to go to the beach at least once a week from now on, I NEED IT..It does wonders for my soul..

Vitamin Sea, I love you….

And they called it puppy love….

bacation from05/04/2015  Click here if you want to listen to Paul Anka croon Puppy Love while you read. Thanks Marilyn for the blog title.

We are living in Puppy Central. It’s a special kind of neighborhood, one where you don’t get shit done all day long because all you do is PUPPY STARE. Yes, we sit for hours and watch these little creatures develop before our very eyes. Their eyes opened and they are all a milky blue color, they really can’t see very well yet but that is coming. Cuteness abounds in this household, so does puppy pee and poop. We have lots of both!

My friend KP arrived on Sunday, she had been bumped to first class so she was off the plane immediately and in line. It only took her about 5 minutes in immigration, a record for anyone I’ve picked up at the airport! We haven’t seen each other for at least 20 years but once together, there was no time space. We went to our house, unloaded suitcases, visited puppies then went to Parrot Tree to float in the lagoon and drink some beer.

It was an oppressively hot few days with the “real feel” temp well over 100 degrees. The sweat was abundant on every square inch of the body. We didn’t get out of the water except to get more beers. Bill had dinner ready when we got home and we had drinks on the roof.

The next morning we got up early and waited for Nidia’s call. We were headed to Pandy Town to deliver desks and school supplies. We met the crew at 8 and followed them down into Pandy Town. School wasn’t in session but they had the students from Pandy Town and Calabash Bight waiting for us to arrive. This is the school we went to the first day I helped with the TOM’s shoe delivery. The classrooms are in bad shape, there were desks with sharp pieces of rusted metal sticking up in the air still being used! Desks were very needed here. There were only 6 in a room that has 23 students.

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Kids reciting things in Spanish and English for us.

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Nidia telling the students about the Desk Drive and about the people who generously donate the desks. She also always tells them that they have to respect the desks and take care of them or they won’t get any more.

 

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The desks in the school

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twisted rusted metal

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They are in bad shape

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students sitting outside on their new desks

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school doorknob

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Happy students. The chairs were taken inside after Nidia told them about taking care of them. We were all done passing out school stuff when a teacher came out with a little boy. He had been in the classroom taking care of his desk.

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Getting toothbrushes and school supplies. Karen (KP) in pink.

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I remembered several of the students from fitting shoes

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Nidia with the students

This was the last time I was going to see Addy, Brian and Nancy before they headed back to Canada after being here 3 months working in the schools and the clinic. Actually those 3 worked almost every day of their 3 months here. So happy we became friends, hope to see them again!

Later on Monday, KP and I went to Lady Lee and bought some toys to take to the kinder. We got a set of big Lego blocks, a few puzzles and a small interactive toy set. That evening we made cupcakes for the students in El Higuero, we were going there Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday we went to Big French Key for a few hours. There were several cruise ship people there but it wasn’t too crowded. We spent the majority of our time there on rafts in the water. It was just too dam hot to get out.

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Looking towards LFK from Big French Key. I prefer BFK because they respect and protect the reef.

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There was an Asian guy snorkeling while wearing his FLIP FLOPS. The red is the sandals.

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No, BFK isn’t as fancy as LFK but it’s better for me, and it’s the same water..

We got home about 2 PM and Bill and Alexi loaded the desk and the whiteboard up, we grabbed the cupcakes and the juice packs KP bought, the school supplies and toys and TOMs shoes and went down in the valley. The teacher was in the midst of a lesson but was very happy to be interrupted by us. The students were excited to get new shoes. One of the little boys needed a smaller shoe and we didn’t have any but luckily I had a pack of new socks and put a pair on him and the shoes were fine. There was no way we could leave one little boy without new shoes. KP brought little Koala pins from Australia for all of the students, They loved them and were excited when she clipped them onto their shirts. We had Alexi tell the teacher about the donations, (she doesn’t speak any English) who paid for the whiteboard and toys and they showed the teacher which markers to use on the whiteboard and how to flip it over. When we left the kids were digging into the cupcakes and juice. These students are so sweet and it felt really good to give something to this (pregnant) teacher who volunteers her time. Thank you again Walt and Judy Kaiser, I still have lots of $$ left to spend, just finding the biggest needs.

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The students getting ready to be fit for new shoes!

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This little girl is so cute, I have a photo of her carrying her new desk in the day we delivered them.

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The whiteboard in the background. They had to move some things to make room for it and the desk.

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The little boy in the blue shirt is the one I had to use socks to make his new shoes fit.

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KP fitting shoes

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Finally, socks and they fit!!!

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cupcakes

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This is the classroom. Really, it is. There were chickens and dogs running all over.

When we got home we rushed around getting showers before Dave and Lynda came for dinner. They were leaving on Thursday and we wanted to get together one more time. I’m so happy we finally got to meet them!

 

On Tuesday afternoon I got a FB message from a friend. She and her husband have the Free Radical catamaran that I’ve been on a few times. They had 28 backpacks and several bags stuffed full of school supplies and needed to get it out of their boat. I said I would come and get it so Wednesday morning KP and I met them at BJ’s. They were not kidding when the said they had A LOT OF STUFF. OMG!! It’s like an office supply store in the downstairs living room.

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A bag of pencil sharpeners

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Leaning tower of crayons

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Pencils, notebooks, rulers, erasers

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Colored pencils

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new backpacks

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Construction paper and water colors, toothbrushes, kleenex

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over 50 glue sticks

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We emptied the backpacks, sorted the stuff, then put one of pretty much everything in each pack. We had so much stuff left over that will be given to teachers.

That was a hot sweaty job that required wine and lots of fans. It’s so exciting to get all of this stuff for the kids. Thanks so much to all the teachers who took the time to buy and transport this to Roatan and thanks to Ed and Julie for storing it.

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KP and I also checked out the clothing store in Los Fuertes. I was amazed at how much stuff they had. I’ve found somewhere to buy clothes!! I got 3 tops and a skirt for $13.00. Only problem was it was so hot in there that I couldn’t get some things on because I was a sweat ball. Next time I’ll go on a cooler day.

Wednesday eve we went to Cal’s for dinner. Fabulous meal as always, never disappointed there!

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Headed to Heaven, AKA La Sirena

On Thursday it was raining and gray, not much to do outside so we headed to Camp Bay for lunch. It was drizzling on and off, not pouring by any means. There were 6 people there when we arrived, Joe and his brother were 2 of them. We had a good lunch, talked to the other people and Joe and Pete. We always run in to interesting people at La Sirena.

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Our friend Joe and his brother Pete at La Sirena.

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Me and KP

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Leaving La Sirena

Friday KP and I were beach bound, gloomy or not. It was Labor Day here on the island which meant that a lot of places were closed and there was a big riot  parade in Los Fuertes. We knew before we left that traffic would be ugly and that we would have to take the Bahia road. It was ugly on the Bahia road but we really didn’t have to wait all that long.

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House on the Bahia road. The water/shoreline is not very far behind these homes.

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Store

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Brightly painted buildings

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traffic jam on the Bahia Rd.

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Traffic jam headed east into Las Fuertes, glad we were going the other way.

KP wanted to do some shopping so we went to West End, hoping that the stores would be open. There weren’t many people in West End, not like there usually are. We wandered around, went in a few stores. I bought some things for the house (downstairs.)

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3 more metal sea creatures for the wall

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And additional hanging space for the small bedroom, (thanks Cheryl for the idea)

When Cis and Cheryl were here we were looking for a place called Eataly in West End to grab lunch. We walked way down the road, but not far enough. Today KP and I found it and we fell in love. Their pasta is home made, sauce is too and it was a delicious and filling lunch!

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Pasta with sauce and black olives, $8.00. It was A LOT of food.

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Definitely going back.

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Looks out over West End road and the water.

After our stomachs were full we went to West Bay beach and parked our butts on chairs at Banarama and drank beer while watching people on the Jet Boards. Looks like fun but extremely hard work to actually stand up.  We made a quick grocery stop on the way home. KP had to pack tonight as she was leaving on Saturday.

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Dude on a Jet Board, $75.00 for 15 minutes.

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The beach was empty and the water was rough. Usually this beach is smooth and calm but there was a storm headed our way.

Saturday I took KP to the airport for her 1 PM flight on United to Houston. I left the airport and went home to get Bill, we were doing free skin cancer checks at Barefoot Key. We got there @ 1, left around 2:30, got groceries and came home. I started making my breakfast for the week, got that all cleaned up, washed all the dishes and decided to sit down and relax. Just as I did I noticed a message from KP, she was STILL at the airport, flight canceled. I put my bra back on and drove as fast as I could to the airport. We left there at 5:30 after realizing it would be easier and faster to call United from the house and get the flight re-booked. Plus, it was going to get dark soon and I have NO HEADLIGHTS still. She got booked on Avianca, leaving Roa @ 11AM on Sunday. Bill was going to have to take her to the airport because I was headed to Helene with Nidia and Because We Care.

The Helene trip will be another post because this is too long and I don’t even have any puppy photos, so here we go. PUPPY CENTRAL! You may want to play Puppy Love again, just saying…

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Bandit in the middle, Sable on top of him

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KP brought the dogs chew sticks. We didn’t think about how hard it would be for Frito to hold hers in her front PAW so KP held it for awhile, then I did. Frito thoroughly enjoyed it. She also enjoyed the beef jerky she stole out of KP’s suitcase. Damn potlicker dogs!

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2 week old acrobats, Sable and Bandit

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Unfortunately their poop blends in nicely with the floor

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Lots of puppy breath too

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It seems like these two are always together, it’s really cool because they are going to be together when they get adopted.

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I covered them up, so sweet!

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poser

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Convention at the boobs

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Highway meeting his Niece and Nephews

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Lola decides to climb on in

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Frito didn’t even care. I thought she would rip their lips off.

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Eyes are open but they still can’t see.

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smelling each other

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Mosh pit

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busting out

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We love this guy, a little too much.

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Rob holding Bandit. They came to visit and kept switching puppies.

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I think Lisa dressed to match Sable.

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Bandit in his daddy’s arms.

So there you have it, cutest puppies ever. Funny, none of them look like Frito and they don’t all look alike.