06/25/2020 By the time I get this posted it will be 6 months that I’ve lived in Arizona. I never thought I would feel stranded in my new hometown, but I do. Not to the extent that Bill and my friends on the island are feeling, only allowed out one day every 2 weeks, but stranded nonetheless. I can go to the stores when I want to, mask-wearing is required, but I am allowed out.
The idyllic, previously non-covid infected island of Roatan has more cases than they can currently handle, Honduras as a country, is a shit show. The country is/was very unprepared for a virus like this to hit an already besieged, impoverished place. My heart aches for everyone there, ex-pats and islanders alike, they’re all living in a strange new time, cut off from the rest of the world. The Governor and the congressman, Dino and Ron, have been working nonstop dealing with a very unstable main government, very trying times.
Nobody knew in January that mid-March would become a house of horrors for the world. Bill was here visiting for a week and left the 12th of March, the island, and the world as we knew it shut down soon after his return to Roatan. We are all hoping and praying that the virus can be contained and that the people living there can soon start making some money. Remember, there is no unemployment or welfare. If you’re out of money, you’re out of money. Nidia (BECAUSE WE CARE, SOL, ROARESCUE, LIVE AGAIN MINISTRIES) and MANY MANY other organizations have been supplying food as fast as they can get money to buy it. Food is a continual need, it’s gone in 5 days. If anyone is interested in donating please email me at email@example.com.
So, it’s been the boys, me and my sucky injured ankle. My ankle has not healed so I went to a new foot doc. He took Xrays, nothing broken (good) but he thinks I may have torn a tendon(s) so I had an MRI on Saturday. I see the doc again on Thursday. I’m still walking the dogs 3 miles a day and many days end up with 5 or 6 miles a day after cleaning or going shopping.
I got my sewing machine out to do some alterations to the waterproof covers I got for the chairs the dogs sleep on and the tension was all screwed up. I posted online and was given a name so I called and got their address and took my machine over.
The day after I got it back, I decided to fix my swim skirt and the chair covers. I did the swim skirt, tried it on, it was ok, then started on the chair covers but ran out of elastic. I put the dogs in their kennels and ran to Joann’s and then to Michaels to get elastic and some other stuff. I also stopped at the grocery store. After I got home I realized I had gone all of those places in my SWIM SKIRT. OMG.
The last time I took the dogs to the vet my A/C stopped working on the way home. I called a local garage and scheduled an appointment. They said my condenser had a leak and I needed it replaced, $500.00. I knew we got an extended warranty on my car so I called the dealer and they said it if was indeed a bad condenser, it was covered. I drove it up there and dropped it off. They gave me a 2020 Honda Civic loaner car. Nice car but it was so low I practically had to get on my hands and knees to get out of it.
That was a Tuesday. They called the same day and said it was covered. PHEW!! The following Monday they called and said the car was ready. I was so grateful to have my car back. For Honda to do the work it was double what the local shop would have charged. When the warranty expires, I will not be going to the Honda dealer for repairs.
I’ve been cooking/baking a lot more than I did the last 7 years. I made 2 pans of 5 cheese lasagna (no meat), almond biscotti dipped in chocolate, blueberry zucchini muffins. Problem is, I’m eating it too.
My friend Laura gave me 2 pork sirloin roasts so I cooked them and made pulled pork. I have a lot of it in the freezer, it will last for awhile and is so good. Yes, I eat pork, it’s white meat.
I’ve also been cooking for the dogs. Beef liver is cooked in the crock pot in the garage because I can’t stomach the smell. Then I cook spinach, peas and carrots, beans, lentils and zucchini in a huge pot and add the liver when it’s cooked. They love it and all of their skin issues are clearing up.
I have a huge cactus in front of my bedroom window. I was not particularly fond of it until it did this:
I want to give a special shout out to my friend Cole. Cole was working at Blue Island Divers on Roatan when I did my refresher course. I got to dive with him several times, he is an absolute fish and has a great love for the ocean. He is now in Boca Raton, Florida running a camp for kids called Bubble Blowers Kids Camp. They are learning all about snorkeling, diving and caring for the underwater environment and making sure the beaches are kept in a pristine condition. If you’re in the area and have kids, this is a great thing for them to do. Cole is a PADI certified dive instructor and will instill in your kids his love for the ocean. Check him out HERE
So, here we are 6 months out, not a damn thing has changed. I have done nothing really exciting at all and I’m bored. My only guilty pleasure is Amazon and I have really cut down on that because I don’t NEED anything. I’m hoping Chance and his girls will be able to come visit this month, that will at least be some company. Things aren’t looking good for Bill getting off the island anytime soon, which really sucks, especially for him. One day out every two weeks is pretty damn sucky and there is nothing he can do about it. Keeping fingers crossed the island can get a grip on this virus and figure things out so the people can get back to their lives and welcome visitors again.
July 7, 2019 Blogging has been the last thing on my mind, it’s just been too damn hot. We had temps in the 90’s with a real feel of 131. I did nothing but float in the pool or lay in front of several fans. My house is a disaster and I really don’t care, I can’t so anything about the dog hair. Well now, that may change soon. I bought a used Roomba from someone leaving the island. It is designed for DOG HAIR. The battery on the one I bought is not holding a charge (I knew that when I bought it) so my friends are bringing me a new battery down, they arrive today. Then I’ll let the Roomba loose on my floors. My fear is it will grow legs and run away at the sight of the atrocious amount of dog hair we have. I can’t wait to try it.
UPDATE: Roomba works pretty well except one of the brushes that grabs the hair and pulls it into the vac broke. My friend Ryan is bring some new brushes when he comes down.
My friend Tammy and her husband Ryan came down for a visit. I still can’t believe she came down, it was so great to see her and to get to know Ryan. Tammy and I worked together at Peoples Bank in Lynden, WA for 5 years and we had so much fun that sometimes it didn’t seem like work at all.
The day after I went back to the chiropractor who fixed my foot (8 months of foot pain, surgery, a cortisone shot and no relief, one visit with the chiro on the island, I felt better), was the day before Tammy came. I was trying to clean my car out that morning and became extremely light headed. Earlier that day I had some dog obedience training with my friend Amy for Highway and Lola and I could hardly stand up. I laid on the chaise out front in the shade and felt like I was going to pass out. Now, I do have moderately high blood pressure and take medicine for it daily and that keeps it normal. Bill got my BP cuff and I took my BP, it was 73/55. Never in my whole life has it been that low. I laid around for quite awhile while the girls were cleaning my house. Later in the day I started to feel better and was able to meet our friends for dinner that night. The day after my friends arrived I had another appointment with my favorite chiropracter, Dr. Mary Mason at Tranquility Spa. She is seriously the best chiro I have ever been to. I dropped Tammy and Ryan off in West End to do some shopping and I went to see Dr Mary. I told her about my BP and she said, Oh yeah. When she did the pressure points behind my ears she actually fixed my foot and lowered my blood pressure. A chiro lowered my blood pressure. Doctors must not know this and I’m sure big pharma companies don’t want you to know this. I now take 1/2 of my normal dose and my BP is fine, I check it on a regular basis. Who the hell knew?
That night we went to Cal’s with Tammy and Ryan. It was a fabulous meal, as usual. We are so lucky to have a restaurant as good as Cal’s so close to our house.
I tried to keep my friends busy with my regular outings that all my guests get to enjoy, Arch’s Iguana Farm and Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. These are two of my favorite places to take guests, they are each unique and offer something that you don’t normally get to experience. Plus, the Arch and Johnson families are my favorite people on the island.
On Sunday there was a Roatan Marine Park Fundraiser at Beach Club Roatán, just a mile or 2 away from us that we were going to go to later in the day. We hung out by the pool for awhile, then Trish and Dave, Trish and Fred and Liza and Mike came over. We had some snacks and drinks before heading to the beach. There were a few bands playing but we went mainly to see Brion James and the Scallywags. Unfortunately, as things often happen here, Brion didn’t start playing until after 5:30, which is about the time most of the people left, including us. Oh well, it was a nice day sitting around people watching, there was even a girl fight, first for me.
I took Tammy and Ryan on the mangrove tour and then out to see Captain Ed @ Hole in the Wall.
We spent most nights down by the pool, having a few cocktails and watching the dogs and their antics.
I felt a trip east was a good idea with Tammy and Ryan. We stopped by Barbon Beach and then went out to La Sirena for rum punches and some lunch.
One evening Tammy, Ryan and I went down to Kristi’s for drinks and to listen to Brion James play. It was just Brion and another guy doing percussion. It was excellent, really enjoyed listening to him and hearing much different music than he usually plays.
Their last full day here we went to West Bay Beach for sun, swimming and snorkeling. It was a non cruise ship day and the beach was pretty empty, perfect, just the way I like it.
The last day they were here was Mother’s Day. I was sitting by the pool with the dogs when Tammy came down. She had a canvas bag that said, “Actually, I’m a Mermaid” in her hand and when she gave it to me she said, “Happy Mothers Day.” In the bag were all kinds of mermaid gifts for me.
And all of these gifts were in the cute canvas bag. Thank you Tammy!
My sister sent me a few photos of Dad. He wanted to go out to eat so Miss and Mark took him to the Ale house. Dad really wanted a burger, fries and a coke, so that’s what he got. While waiting for the meal he and Missy did some coloring. When the meal came, he would not touch the hamburger, they tried everything and he just was not interested in it. He did eat his fries though.
Missy and Mark were in Rochester NY for a friends son’s wedding and stopped at the Savoia Pastry Shoppe. Uncle Don, (Dad’s brother) used to always bring these cookies when he came to visit. They picked some up for Dad.
I just received a private message from my friend Marlon. He’s come across a grandmother who needs food. I asked him to please find out if she needs anything other than food, he said he would go see her tomorrow. Hopefully I get my car back tomorrow (bad radiator fan) and can go get groceries for her. I’m also going to Mega Paca tomorrow and buying a mattress for my friend Soila’s hubby. I met her years ago when we cleaned the police station and made all the beds and arranged the kitchen before their grand opening. She was there scrubbing out a donated refrigerator. Then I ran into her again at a vet clinic I was working. The following vet clinic she came back and I ended up taking her home with her dog and several kids with their dogs. I was with our friend Miguel a few months ago in Oak Ridge and I saw Soila, she works for the municipal cleaning the roadside of trash. She and 3 other ladies work their tails off in the heat. I often take them Cokes. I stopped along the road to hug her and just then Miguel said she was his aunt. She was so surprised to see Miguel and I together. Anyhow, her husband hurt his back and they have no mattress. The mattresses at MP are not brand name but they are new and clean and 6″ thick, I’m sure they will enjoy having it.
UPDATE: Soila has the new mattress for her husband and I bought a bag of groceries for the elderly lady.
I’m currently collecting donations for food baskets for the Senior Luncheon the 24th of this month. We expect 350-400 seniors for a day of music, food and gifts. We are helped in this endeavor by Live Again Ministries.
This group of wonderful people does so much for the island of Roatan, it’s really amazing. They distribute buckets with water filters so people have potable water, they bring boxes of dictionaries, bibles. sandals, dresses, handkerchiefs, hats, reading glasses, so many things. They also pay for the bulk of the luncheon, without them, we could not do what we do. Pastor Ronny and his group are people I am proud to call my friends. This is the 5th year in a row that Because We Care has put together this luncheon.
We finally had a rain day and it was glorious, we so need rain. I woke this morning to another dark day. I never turn lights on inside until around 7 at night. This morning it was so dark I had to turn them on so I could make breakfast. It’s sunny again so lights out and going to the pool with the crazies.
I’m currently re-watching seasons 1 and 2 of Stranger Things so I can remember what happened before I watch season 3. I have been reading a lot. Currently reading Fly Girls, just finished Little Fires Everywhere. I’m also in a Property Brothers rut. I hate the show but I love it.
Chance went back east to see my Dad and family. He took his girls with him. They had a great time. My sister took them to D.C. then Chance and the girls drove to Williamsport and saw friends, then to Hershey Park, back to Maryland, then back to South Dakota.
We were lucky and had a very quiet 4th, didn’t hear or see any fireworks/firecrackers. The dogs were happy.
I’m going to wrap this up and get it posted before another month slips by. This is for you squeeze.
04/14/2018 My boys are 3 today. Barrio, Gringo, Max, and their siblings, Tank, Duke, Bandit and sweet Sable (the only girl) have been blessing us humans for 3 years. Tax day puppies! Thank you Frito for the best gifts ever! Three years of three boys, teething, destroying beds, toys, chairs, shedding 497 kazillion pounds of dog hair (including Lola and Highway) eating 3 bags of Kirkland a month, pooping all over the yard multiple times a day. Killing everything that crosses their path, luckily no iguanas have been harmed, I can’t say the same about Anoles or geckos. In their (the dogs) defense, I don’t think they mean to kill them. They catch them and in the process hurt them then spit them out because they taste like crap. No matter what these boys do, even through the bad times like when they fight, they are loved. My favorite dogs ever and I have had dogs since I could walk. That’s a long freaking time ago. I don’t remember a time in my life without a pet.
We have been busy, boring and busy some more. It’s all good. In the past few weeks we have met some wonderful people and look forward to growing our friendships with them. Meeting people is my thing anyhow, I love it. Always have. I used to be shy but I doubt anyone would use that word when talking about me now. The times they have changed.
Nidia and I are hoping the TOM’s shoes come in soon, we want to get them passed out. I just spoke with the principal at Froylan Turcios school, the one Bill’s been working on the toilets and sinks. They are all now functioning. We are trying to find a source of water to run a pressure washer to clean the roof of the bathroom, then Bill and the guys will paint the roof with something to stop the leaks, we already have it, just waiting to get it clean. One of my fabulous friends from high school is sending me $25.00 a month to help feed a needy family. Marlon, the principal and I are going to talk about this next week. I don’t want to do the same family every month, I would like to switch it up a bit. More to come with photos soon.
We were having Kevin and Claire over for dinner one night before they left the island. I made the “Natasha” special rum cake and had just injected the rum into it. I pushed it away from the edge of the counter, then realized it was dripping syrup all over. After I wiped the plate clean I failed to shove it to the back of the counter and Barrio took full advantage of that. Little sneak, he was gobbling like he hadn’t eaten in years when Bill caught him in the act.
With Kevin and Claire leaving the island they had to find homes for their 4 dogs. Since Tank was one of Frito’s pups I said I would find a home for him. I wanted him so badly but knew that 4 brothers in the house was not a good idea.
I finally found a home for him on the beach in an amazing location with my friends G and Robert. They had tied him out one day and they went golfing. He had never been tied so he chewed through the rope and ran away. When I found out he was gone I said, “we’re on our way.” I was frantic, wondering where Tank was, if he was hurt, caught in barbed wire, I was a nervous wreck. Bill and I drove around for 90 minutes looking for him, no sign of him at all. We came home depressed and just sick to our stomachs. Twenty minutes after we got home G messaged me that he was back. Relief filled my heart. Now he has figured out that he needs to stay home. They went golfing and left him home. He was on the porch sleeping when they returned. I think he will really bond with G because she runs 3 miles every morning and she takes him with her, he loves it. I’m so happy he has a good home.
My sister Missy had Easter at her house. Mom and Dad, my brother PJ and his daughter and my handsome nephew Eric and his wife Sofie were there. I wish we could have been there too! The main downfall of living on an island is missing family.
Bill went out to the outside bodega to get something and saw a head peeking out from under the door. When he opened the door, he was greeted by Miss Boa. As soon as he saw her he called me and told me. I was inside the house and had not one speck of desire to go look at the snake. I said, “take pics.”
My friend Ryan has been coming to Roatan for years with the Live Again Ministry. They do so much for the island, painting schools, feeding the hungry, they bring clothes and shoes and toys, school supplies, things for the teachers, supply water filters for the areas that have no safe drinking water and provide the funds for the always highly anticipated East End Senior Luncheon. They are really an amazing group of people, led by Pastor Ronny. I love them all and appreciate their love for the island. Talk about giving from the heart. Ryan had never been snorkeling so it was my mission to take him this trip. I called my friends at the Sloth farm and they said come on down. Dustin took us out on the barge in the marine park protected area to snorkel. It was a really windy day and the waves were high and the current was strong. We decided to go for it, despite the less than ideal conditions for a first time snorkeler
I was trying to get a photo of Ryan snorkeling but there was so much sargassum floating in the water that every time I took a shot, it had floated in front of my camera. Then my battery died. It was still a great day in the water and I’m hoping to take Ryan and his sister Susan snorkeling on their next trip here.
We were driving past the grocery store the other day and saw this dude crashed on the sidewalk of the bank.
A few hours later we drove by again and he was laying flat out.
Cal’s Cantina was our dinner spot two nights this week, once with Denise and Michael and again with Julie and Brian. I really could eat there nightly.
We met some new friends from the UK. They live in Politilly. Like us, they are dog lovers and have 2 rescues at their home here and dogs at their permanent home in England. They came over to our house the other day to meet our pack. Highway fell in love with Mandy and kissed her to death. She said they had cut flowers for me but forgot them. We hung out by the pool and watched the dogs swim, had some snacks and chatted. After they left, they went home, got the flowers and brought them back to me. They are beautiful!
This is the view from another friends home on the south shore, beautiful place right on the iron shore. Great pool to sit in with cocktails and watch the sun set and the stars twinkle.
My laptop died in the middle of this post. I was sure I lost my blog post but was actually amazed when I finally got my laptop up and running again, I hadn’t lost anything. Save draft needs to be imbedded into my brain, you would think by now I would have that figured out.
Tonight is the last Brion James beach concert before he goes on tour for 9 months. Planning to feed the dogs and head down there around 5. Hopefully I’ll get my life together soon and be able to get a few more blogs out. Thanks for following!
03/14/2018 Just saying, we do NOT change our clocks here in Honduras. We are on perpetual Island Time and most of the time, that is a good thing. Except when you’re trying to get something accomplished. I thought the limit of bad things was 3? We’re on #4.
It seems Bill and I are playing tag with our cars being at the mechanics. I was without a car for a few days, then he was without a truck. He got his truck back and it still is not fixed, it’s going back to the mechanic today. It’s always something.
Bill decided to add another filter to our water filtration system, he bought all the parts, laid them out so he knew exactly what he was doing, got it all hooked up and the UV bulb wasn’t working. He went to the place where he bought the new UV bulb and told them it was flickering again. They said he must have moisture in the glass tube that it is in and that will burn out the bulb. Bill called the manufacturer and they said no, that will not burn out the bulb, they even laughed and said more than likely a part was bad. Bill figured out which part was bad and went back to the store to get it, $350.00. It’s $137.00 online. So we ordered it.
Our hot water heater stopped turning on automatically. Now you have to go turn the hot water on in the shower, then go outside and flip the switch, go shower, then go turn it off. The guy came and fixed it, worked for 2 days, doesn’t work any more. He’s coming back tomorrow.
And the pool, oh the pool!
The idiot who installed our pool did not properly back fill it, causing little bubbles and then the coating would chip off and you could see the fiberglass. This happened in several places. We decided to wait a year and see how many more we got. Ends up we waited 2 years until we contacted the company. They sent a young guy by the name of Dylan out here. Turns out he’s related to Sam Arch (iguana farm) and good friends with Daniel from the sloth and monkey hangout. Dylan has been a blessing, he knows what he is doing and is meticulous with his work.
We also found out that the deep end was not properly back-filled however the factory said if we haven’t had any issues in 2 years, it would be fine. The steps were another issue. The factory repair guy was going to come over here and stay and fix the pool. He would need a place to sleep and he spoke no English. Bill said he could stay downstairs and I said OH NO HE CAN’T. First of all there are the dog issues, Bill is gone most of the day usually and who is going to feed this guy? There are no baleada stands in walking distance. Reminds me of when Bill said the workers from Asia were going to move into the 3 spare bedrooms in our house in Everson and again I said OH NO THEY’RE NOT. Not a fan of having non English speaking people sharing my living space. Life is difficult as it is. Now if it were 20 Honduran kids, that’s different, maybe, for a night or two. Or 50 dogs..
The guy from the pool company suggested we remove the blocks from behind the steps and try to pack dirt in underneath them. So we did. We had poor Devon come out and chip the covering off then use a hammer drill to bust the blocks out. It was an awful job to do.
Once it was done, we found out we didn’t really have to do that. We could have (and did) drill holes in the steps and fill them with concrete. Then Dylan will fill them all in, re glaze all the fixed areas and we’ll be calling Brown’s (yes, that’s the name of the water company) to fill the pool. The dogs will be so happy.
The guy doing the work is also a tour gide on cruise ship days so he is a very busy person. We appreciate his help a lot!!
The east end (more mid island) got lucky again. Brion James and The West End Players returned to Beach Club Roatan, just down the street from our house. Needless to say, I HAD TO BE THERE. I had so much fun that evening, I think I danced to 96% of the songs he played. My feet were sore the next morning because I was dancing in my bare feet. We danced like nobody was watching. It really is the best way to dance. Most all of our friends were there too, making it a rocking good time. It was over at 8 pm, we’re all old.
Brion is going on a world tour again with the Dan Reed Network in April and will be playing his last show back at the beach club by us. You know where I’ll be that night. When he plays Purple Rain, I turn to jelly.
I was fortunate enough to be asked to join Nidia and some friends of Pastor Ronny (Live Again Ministries). Pastor Ronny is the real deal, his life is lived via his heart, he’s a very special man, to many many people. He was being joined by the Jensen and Riddle families. The Jensen’s had their 3 amazing children with them. It really makes you step back in amazement when you see these kids so confidently walk into a classroom and start saying hello to all the students.
It’s so enjoyable to give to the kids and the teachers. There is no government funding of the schools, sad but true. The majority of them are in a state of disrepair.
Mom now says Dad doesn’t have any memory issues (he’s 97), he is just choosing what he wants to talk about. Not sure where that came from but I’ll go with it for awhile.
We are finally going to do the roof, well, we are having someone do it because the reality of Bill having time is non-existent. We will have the same guy do the extension on our deck. Bill did these drawings.
No drawings for the deck by the pool yet. That will be pretty simple.
There was a huge music festival this past weekend on the other end of the island. Unfortunately we did not get to go as we had two people working here at various times. The band I have been going to see recently is often joined by musicians traveling through the island. There is one famous guy who continues to visit the island and play with Brion and the boys and that’s Stu Cook, the bass player for Creedence Clearwater Revival. People my age know who and what CCR is, other generations do not. Sad for them.
Movies I’ve watched recently:
Three Billboards in Ebbings Missouri
I see why both Frances McDormand and Allison Janney (Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding was meh..) won awards for their amazing performances in these movies.
Tomorrow it will be 3 years that Frito came home from the mainland after having her leg amputated. One month to the day she blessed us with 7 puppies, 3 of which I still have, Max, Barrio and Gringo.
Everyone else in the house is sound asleep except me. I imagine the chocolate bar at 10:30 didn’t help. I’m still going to bed.
My friend Annie said to not end with adiós but with hasta luego..which means, until later, so