The return of the trade winds

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

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

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

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

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

When they were plentiful

When there was only one.

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

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

They are insane, so much fun.

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

Spying on us, planning his attack.

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

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

My favorite bird. The colors are intense.

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

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

Trace holding Lola, who is a showgirl.

Lola, see? She’s crazy.

Max, Lola and Highway

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

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

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

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

They love cameras and cameras love them. Beautiful kids.

This is Ephrain, Alexi’s little brother.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The shaded eating area

Enlarged seating area, soon to be shaded.

North shore view

South shore

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

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

Quite an overbite

White common feather duster worms

Christmas tree worm

Beautiful healthy coral

A pea or baby porcupine

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

Blue striped grunt

Stunning evening sky over the south shore.

North shore sky.

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

Common feather duster worms

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

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

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

Googly eyes on the porcupine puffer fish

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

Four eyed butterfly fish

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

Beautiful protected harbor of French Caye.

The son..

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

Daniel’s grandfathers shrimp boats.

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

I love iguanas.

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

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

Cruise ship passing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is in the kitchen

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

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

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

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

Three years of destruction and mayhem

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

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

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

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

Before of the school bathrooms

After the new paint, looks so much nicer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intermediate French Angelfish

Anemone

Southern sting ray

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

Another sea biscuit

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

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

A little too much party?

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

He was gone the next day.

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

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

Bouganvillea, Lobster claw, red ginger and shell ginger.

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

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

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

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