I’d rather dodge bullets than potholes

 

 

1/4/2018 First time typing or even thinking 2018. It’s here and I’m already another year older (yesterday)! I haven’t been doing much except for a few Christmas parties for the kids and a couple get togethers with friends so I thought I would share some island revelations. Instead of NY resolutions, I mean, really WTH are they? Does anyone REALLY do them? I think not.

Revelation #1. So, how many of you check the toilet before you sit down on it? We are a lid down family. Always down, I like it that way except for the one or two times in my life that I had too much to drink and forgot. I lift the lid and I check the bowl. Every. Single. Time. You ask why? Well, I’ve read about snakes coming up the pipes and being in toilets and I read about a lady that sat down to pee and a frog jumped up and hit her in the butt. I’m telling you if I ever saw a snake in my toilet or a frog touched my butt, it would be the last time I ever peed. EVERRRR. I would just blow up in a weeks time and explode all over creation. I did not make that a NY resolution. Actually I don’t think I ever in my life made one (well, one that I kept anyhow).

Revelation # 2. I hate, detest, abhor Geckos. I don’t care how cute anyone thinks they are, I hate them. Honest, given my choices and I know I’ve said this before, I would prefer a 4′ iguana in my house rather than a 4″ gecko. They give me the major creeps. They can all die or relocate to a different island and I’ll be cool with it.

Revelation # 3. I do not handle having no internet or a non or poorly functioning laptop/tablet well. It’s my boiling point. It makes me crazier than I already am.

Revelation # 4. I no longer am a shopper. Living on Roatan has put an end to that. My needs are little, my wants are nil, it’s so simple and easy. I never was one for designer handbags, personally don’t like them, just not my style. My handbag is a Keene that I got at Mega Paca for $3.00 and it’s perfect. It’s waterproof and I can wipe the mud off of it with no worries of stains.

Revelation # 5. I wear my day clothes to bed. ALL THE TIME. Usually a dress and undies, that’s my go to at home wear and many days I crawl into bed in the same clothes I wore all day. The epitome of laziness. That’s me.

and last but not least: #6. I blow dry my razor. If I don’t it’s good for one shave only. It turns into such a rust heap that it’s a definite source of lockjaw. So towel dry, blow dry, cover and store out of the shower.

OK, done with revelations, I could go on but it may get disturbing to some so I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

Nidia and I did 2 Christmas parties for the kids this year, back to back. The first was in an area we went to the very first year we helped Nidia, in 2014. It’s called Brass Hill but Bill thought she was saying Brazil so we now refer to it as Brazil. It is a very very poor part of the island. The majority of the children do not go to school, most of them don’t have shoes.

Our very own tropical flip flop wearing Santa, AKA Sully.

Everyone got a Santa hat

One of the local homes

Fridge/ bench, it’s versatile.

The Queen Bee, Nidia, getting the group organized. Sort of.

These children are so beautiful. This one loved Santa, she was beside him all day.

Checking the list..naughty or nice. Not really, we had a list of kids that would get gifts.

Happy kids, toys and candy

My idea of a selfie.

Our motley crew, Nidia, David, Nicola and Charlie (David’s sweet kids) Sully and me. And my antlers light up!

Me with a sweet young girl. Francie, I have on our top.

Santa going back to his sleigh, errr, truck.

This was on a Friday and the next day we were having the big party in downtown Coxen Hole. It was held at The Merry Inn Seaman Club. I had seen the signs but never been inside the building. I had to park a couple blocks away and luckily brought my rain coat, even though it was a sunny day. It was a wise move on my part. Usually I let things like that, or my umbrella in the car.

At one time this was a well known and busy establishment. They are still open, random hours though.

The inside was a museum, the artwork was amazing. I couldn’t believe it. It saddens me that it is being destroyed by the elements. It really should be preserved.

The Pirate history of Roatan was painted on some of the walls. I met the lady who’s uncle did the artwork, he has since passed.

There were 2 cruise ships painted on the walls, fantastic details on them.

Roatan has a huge pirate history.

The bar had all kinds of fish painted on it.

Don’t know what the hell this fish is but I don’t want to meet it.

These were some homes along the building. The far one has an outside sink, which is very common.

There was a cruise ship in port that day

We blew up balloons to make streamers and sliced all the hot dog buns, got the toys ready, waiting for the arrival of Santa. Word got out that he was there and he was mobbed before he even got in the room.

The kids were very excited.

More Santa hats

Santa was swarmed like bees on honey

He could barely walk

This face

Santa gave everyone toys and candy

Me and Nidia

It was getting dark and was pouring buckets and I had to walk to my car. I put my raincoat on, hood up and left the party at 5. It’s an hour drive home, even more in the rain and my windshield is very tinted, making it difficult to see in the dark, I was so exhausted when I got home that I just vegetated on the couch before I went to bed.

The kitchen view on Thanksgiving day.

Newly re-upholstered couch. The ottomans have covers on top of it (it looks wrinkly) to keep the dog hair off of the new upholstery, I can take the cover off to clean it.

I took my curtains down and gave them away. I hated them. I don’t want curtains but Bill does. I haven’t taken the brackets down yet but will before we paint. Once the counter tops are finished, we’ll do the tile back splash and then I’ll choose a color for the walls. One thing at a time.

On Christmas Day we went to our neighbors (a mile away) and had Christmas dinner with other friends. They had their tree decorated.

My friend Yvonne being bartender. Not really, I think she was just getting something to drink.,

Part of the group

Lots of excellent food, turkey and ham and every side dish imaginable.

Dessert table, chocolate rum cake, Italian Cream cake, key lime pie

And Yvonne’s decadent Reese’s bars. I think I ate 8 of them.

The parrots have been around a lot lately. Just the other night a flock of them flew overhead, so noisy. It’s the first I ever saw a flock of them around here.

These two perch in this tree often. They are wild yellow naped parrots.

These two are babies, no yellow on their necks yet.

This is why I can’t have nice bedding, the dogs and the cat. The cat has a thousand tiny holes in the spread from jumping up on the bed a zillion times a day. And the dogs, well, hair..

A friend noticed this dog down by the abandoned pirate ship, she had been feeding her. I went and fed her a few days and started looking for a home for her.

Found out the second day she has an owner and she’s not covered in fleas or ticks so maybe she is OK.

Mom and Dad with the Harry and David cookies I sent them for Christmas. It’s so hard to buy for them at 96 and 92. I just sent them 100 photos of things around the island via Walgreen’s. I type on each photo what it is so they know what they’re looking at.

Currently Chance is visiting them. He arrived last night and is staying with my sister. They are very excited that he is there.

Our eating space the other night for pizza when our friends came over. It didn’t even rain until the rum cake dessert was finished. Lucked out that night.

The other evening the power went out around 6:20. My friend Ann messaged me and said she wonders what the cruise ship people think. They are leaving the island around 6, just getting mid island and the whole island goes dark. Maybe they think we turn the island lights off after the cruise ships leave.

Life has been pretty much stay at home, I honestly do NOT want to go anywhere because the roads are so bad. I have never seen them like this and with the rain we have been having they continue to deteriorate. It’s just not worth it to even go out. Today I’m going in to town because Nidia is finally getting a vehicle and I’m going to meet her at Island Shipping when her new to her car arrives and take photos. She is 40 and has never owned a car and if anyone needs one, she does. A Go Fund Me was started by a friend and raised enough money to buy her some wheels. She is beyond excited, she said never in all of her life did she think she would own a car. I hope she can avoid the damn potholes for awhile until the new Mayor takes office and things change around here.

I’ll end this with a video of an every freaking day occurrence at our house. Barrio always takes this toy and shoves it in Highway’s face while whining, crying, singing, who knows. Watch Gringo’s face (bottom right) at about 20 sec. Highway is the one laying upside down on the dog bed. Click HERE.

Happy New Year everyone.

 

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Roatan ramblings

05/28/2017 I haven’t been into blogging lately, actually, I haven’t been into much of anything. Seems I spend more time with the dogs that with anyone else. We communicate endlessly.

A friend I met on FB and then caught up with twice while she was here visiting came down and stayed with us for 2 weeks while she was finalizing some things with her house build. They plan to be in their new home by the end of the year, it’s going to be awesome and they have a fabulous view. The beach is at the bottom of their land and they sit up on a hill overlooking the sea. Anxious for them to move down here. Diane is a dog lover so she was perfectly comfortable with our pack, Lola took a special interest in her and seemed to gravitate to Diane’s side.

Diane and I helped Connie with the Mother’s Day event to benefit Cattleya. It was held in Loren’s studio above their restaurant, Romeo’s, in French Harbor. The kids paid to make Mother’s Day gifts and when the gifts were completed they each got a pizza and a drink. Diane and I helped at the first station. At our table the kids drew on coffee filters, that had been opened and flattened, with markers.

The coloring station

The one little girl was very pensive, it took her a long time to do 10 filters.

These two were awesome, Jazmin and Matthew. They are the grandchildren of Miss Valerie who runs the Charmont Bilingual Academy (it’s an amazing school) for children who come from families affected by AIDS.

After they each colored 10 of them, they were individually spritzed with water until the colors bled. Then they were dried with hair dryers at the next table.

The ladies helping here are all teachers at Cattleya.

Once dried they were folded, twisted at the bottom and then opened into a flower shape. After that they went to another station where they added things to the bouquet.

Annie helping to make the bouquets beautiful.

Sweet brother and sister.

This is Matthew, he gave me a big hug before he left, what a sweet boy!

The final table was glitter then wrapping the bouquets up like a real flower bouquet. After they were done we all had yummy pizza, courtesy of Romeo’s restaurant.

This is the outside area of the art showroom.

Love the painted seating

I’m not sure what type of paint they used but I really like this artwork.

This was one of my favs.

It’s great fun helping Connie with an event, she is always so appreciative!

Diane and I also helped Nidia with the Mother’s Day event at Infinity Bay. It was held the day before Mother’s Day. The manager of Infinity Bay is always willing to give back to the community and he did it in a big way. The event was in their banquet room, tables were set very nicely, the food spread was incredible, they offered free 5 minute massages and all the ladies got a gift. Nidia planned for 120 ladies but several brought friends and children. I fast counted 135, we think there were 140+ people there.

These ladies came dressed in their Sunday best.

Many of them have never been to Infinity Bay (it’s quite a posh resort right on the beach) or West Bay beach.

Gifts for all

Nidia (in red) leading a game on the porch. The ladies weren’t playing by the rules so Nidia didn’t give out the prize.

Free massages

Nidia and one of the ladies dancing. The lady in black had the music in her, she danced while she waited in line for her food. She was a total joy to watch!

Diane and I were both tired when we got home. I really have to praise Nidia, this woman hass the drive and the power to get things done. It’s nothing for her to throw together a shindig like this, bringing ladies from the far reaches of Roatan to have a fun day. She’s totally amazing.

I’ve had some problems with Jessica, (the young girl I got back in school) she hasn’t been going to school. I had her over here one afternoon so we could talk about the situation. She was unusually quiet while she was here though and I couldn’t get more than 2 words out of her at a time.

She was picking dead leaves off of a plant.

The week after she was here she missed 2 out of 4 days of school. The first time she said she had to babysit. I told her she didn’t have any children that she was responsible for and that I was paying for her to go to school, not to babysit. The second day she missed I called her and asked what was going on and she said she was sleeping. She does nothing all day (school is 8:30-10:30 AM, M-Th) , stays out late with boys at night and can’t get up for school. I give up. She doesn’t want this for herself, if she did she would be like Alexi and not miss school. I even paid extra for her to attend a class trip the following Friday which included lunch at Bojangles.

I told her I was done and not to go to school anymore. I called Sister Judy and explained the situation and told her Jessica was done and that they could use my money as a donation. I felt awful doing it, it still haunts me, but if she doesn’t want a better life, nothing I say or do will change that. No different than getting rehab for an addict. She will be pregnant soon, Alexi agrees with me. He is furious with her as is her older sister Juliana. She told me she wished she had someone like me who cared when she was young. I am still stressing over this. A good friend who lives near the family and has known them for years told me not to waste my time, that Alexi is the success story from that family and to lavish our attention on him. He needs and wants it. Sad that their mother, who lives above Jessica and Juliana, doesn’t care. It’s so frustrating. I wanted better for Jessica, I thought she did too. I was so looking forward to helping this young girl. I am crushed that this happened, I had big plans for Jessica. Maybe she will come around, I can only hope.

We started adding onto the pool deck. The girl who was cleaning for me while my other gal was on maternity leave happens to have a very skilled craftsman for a husband. Enter MoMo. Thank you Andrea!! He is here everyday early, works non-stop all day long. He has expanded the deck, built a pergola, deck railings, a table, 2 benches and 2 chairs, a large counter with shelves and doors and 4 side tables. ALREADY! He is now building a box to hide the hideous hot water heater that Bill insisted on hanging where everyone can see it on the back porch. Then he is building doors to cover the storage areas on our back porch. After that it’s a pergola and furniture for the roof. I would really like to adopt him, he’s awesome and such a nice guy. He’s so good that Bill is allowing him to use his tools, BILL NEVER ALLOWS ANYONE TO USE HIS TOOLS. MoMo is in heaven. I’m in heaven because things are getting done here.

You can see by the stained/not stained what we added.

He made the table and chairs. The 2 benches are still waiting to be sprayed with finish and I have to have cushions made for everything..

Nice storage area, the tile for the counter is in, I have to pick it up tomorrow. I asked my friend Trish to paint a mermaid on the wall behind the counter.

The tables he made are so sturdy they can be used as seats too.

I love the table. We can’t have a glass table down on this deck, the wind is wicked strong, it would either be in Parrot Tree or shattered.

Fabulous views and some afternoon sun protection.

I’m quite pleased that we are getting all of this stuff done, my honey do list was stagnant and it was pissing me off. Our whole house needs repainted, inside but especially out. The sun is a killer on paint down here, it’s only been 3 years and the paint looks like crap.

Good lord, I love these dogs. Max (l) and Barrio

Max is on the table, Highway is doing his lap dog thing.

Bill had a small bag of Cheetos, the dogs were starving to death, as you can see.

Tres hermanos

Whoa, serious blues.

They must want my wine.

5 dog protection. Nobody, 2 legs or 4, gets by these dogs. Highway is a flipping idiot. When he barks it sounds like all 3 Stooges making their weird woop woop woops all mixed together. I HATE IT! Not a man, child, watusa, dog, duck, cat or motorcycle/car/truck gets by these guys. They are freaking relentless. It’s why Highway sleeps inside at night. Much easier than getting up 10 times screaming, shut the hell up, during the night.

Look at these boys, Barrio, Max and Gringo on the steps. They do a few laps several times a day. Max runs and jumps in. Do they know they are brothers?

Mr. Gringo, he thinks it’s a big water dish.

Bill went to Diane’s to check some measurements at her home that is under construction. It is in Politilly, not far from where Alexi’s family lives. (Glad he doesn’t live there anymore). Bill stopped to see Osman and Ephrain. (Alexi said Ephrain’s name has an N, not a M on the end). I stand corrected.

Osman (l) Alexi’s nephew and Ephrain, Alexi’s brother. They adore Bill and throw themselves on him. They get no attention from anyone, no father figure at all, no male in their lives, no mother either, really.

Odd looking Hummingbird. Mr. Anole crawls right up, doesn’t matter if there are Hummers there or not.

The other night the dogs had just eaten and were outside playing when all of a sudden they went bat-shit crazy. I could tell by the sound of Highway’s bark that he was jumping up in the air with every bark. I went down to the pool deck to see what was going on and the neighbor boy, Eddy was outside the fence. Eddy lives with several family members in the colonia below us. His Mother is not one of them, she lives in Coxen Hole, 30 minutes west of here. His grandparents are poor and do not treat any of the boys well. The 6 and 8 year olds come up here barefoot with machetes chopping firewood. Eddy is the oldest, 15 years old, he works every day as an unpaid bag boy at Eldon’s, the only money he makes is from tips. Weekdays he only works until noon, then he goes to a school to learn tourism. It costs him 2000 ($85.00) lempira a month for school, plus he has to pay for his transportation to and from school and work every day. Tonight he came up here very upset, he wanted to talk to Bill. His grandparents said he has to quit school and work full time because they need the money. We are pushing for him to stay in school, his future is grim if he stops going. It’s so sad to see a young boy in this situation. He’s another soul who gets no attention from anyone. No parental figures in this young boy’s life. WTH is up with the mother, why does she not see her child? How can she do that? I’m not judging, I just have serious questions. Sometimes it’s so hard to wrap your brain around things that you see. We will try to help Eddy and keep him in school, if we can. Ultimately, it’s not our decision.

Alexi is doing well, he’s here on his days off from the Bomberos, either working / hanging out and falling in the pool on occasion.

Mr. Muscle laying in the sun after he “fell” in the pool after cleaning it. He’s using his phone for eyeshade, this was before I gave him glasses.

He has to go to the mainland for the month of August, if he does well there he will hopefully become a paid Bombero. (firefighter/rescue) Currently, we are his only income.

We are so proud that he received this.

Our friends Kevin and Pam brought 2 bags of nice t-shirts for us to pass out. We gave Alexi, Miguel and MoMo first choice, what was left I took to the station and gave to the Bomberos guys, It always makes Alexi look good to his peers when someone close to him donates to the team. Alexi on the L.

If (praying he does) he gets in he needs to buy his own uniform and boots and 20 white undershirts. WTH? 20? He said yes, that’s what they have to buy. We need to revisit that and have him talk to the boss, that seems excessive. Thursday he told me he needed a white single sheet  on Friday. I didn’t have one so I went to Mega Paca, no white sheets of any size. I wish he had told me before so I could have found one for him. The big General from the mainland is checking out the stations this weekend while he is here for the Bomberos competition on Saturday. Alexi is so funny, he was telling us he’s not even going to try to win the competition, he’ll enter but he’s just going to go slow and be chill. HAH! He plans to win that thing for sure. I was on his case all day, he loves the back and forth banter.

We had a conversation today about the amount of water he DOESN’T drink. I’m a water chugger, I drink minimum 90 oz a day. He drinks coke. Many times Alexi will come here and his legs hurt, he says they feel like he can’t stretch them out. I give him 2 ibuprofen and make him drink water. I told him one of the main reasons he’s getting these cramps is dehydration. He promised me he would drink more water. He also never wears sunglasses or a hat, except when he’s in uniform, then he must wear a hat. I had a pair of sunglasses with polarized lens that I bought but they weren’t prescription so I never wore them (not a clue why I bought them). Once I found them again (he actually told me where they were) I showed them to Alexi. He really liked them so I gave them to him. He couldn’t believe what it looked like when he put them on, he said colors were different. Umm, yeah, they are. I also bought him a dark pink (his favorite color, because some girl told him he looked good in pink, he does) t-shirt that says Fire and Rescue on it.

He LOVED it. He was showing Bill the glasses before he left and he said to Bill, “she loves me.” Bill said, “yeah she does.” I won’t get into the fact that he clogged our toilet and it overflowed all over the floor, thankful for concrete floors and for the fact he knew where everything was to clean up his mess. UGH. I wondered what the heck was taking so long.

Because We Care is proud to be associated with Live Again Ministry. These are groups of people from different churches in North Carolina who have fallen in love with Roatan and the people here. These wonderful people have chosen this island to bless with their love and kindness. This visit a few of the things they did were; donate water filtration buckets to 150 people in Esperanza and El Higuero, painted the inside of a school, painted a medical clinic, passed out toys and sandals and dresses, toy cars and trucks and lunches to children in Oak Ridge. I know they did many other things this visit but unfortunately, I’ve been housebound because we have a worker here. Bill’s busy, so that means I hang at the house.

Pastor Jim in the green, he led the group this visit. I’ve met him, his son Josh, Dave and John before. It’s so cool that they keep coming back several times a year.

These are Sawyer water filtration buckets. If maintained properly they will filter at least 250,000 gallons of water, making it potable. Maintenance is easy. If used properly, this could change lives, providing fresh drinking water to people who have been getting bottles of water from the stream.

Some of the many recipients

Milton is one of the children who lives in the same home that Eddy (who has to quit school) does. He’s one who comes here barefoot with a super sharp machete. He is so cute; a nice boy with not a snowball’s chance in hell to succeed in life.

Little girl with her new dress.

They were posing.

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

This is the inside of the school they painted. The teacher / principal picked the color.

Passing out gifts, dresses, toys and flip flops

Many thanks to the people from LAM, your smiles and open hearts are making a huge impact on the people of Roatan.

I took one of my 5 dogs to the vet on Wednesday. Barrio’s been digging his ears a lot. The vet was doing a complicated repair surgery so I waited and chatted with other friends who were there. We sat in the same room as the vet doing the surgery, the operation was happening 3′ away. You can watch if you want, I do off and on. After about an hour of waiting I went to wipe the sweat off my face with my dress and realized I was still in my nightgown with a swimsuit top on underneath. Total island girl.

And here it is almost June. Class reunion in Penna. in September, trying to make flight arrangements has been ridiculous to say the least. There are very limited flights. In the time it takes me to get home I could have flown to Australia and back. Almost. Insanity.

Last pic is of my gorgeous granddaughter Alexah. She posted this on FB and said, Last day of middle school. Ever. 

How did she get so old?

And….I’m done. Peace out.