You can visit but you can’t leave

OK

03/06/2015   I arrived at the Roatan airport a little after 11 last Saturday morning. The crowds were unlike anything I’ve recently seen there. I was told that United ticketing computers were down, all over, not just Roa. They were checking people in by hand and it was taking a LOOOONG time. I saw some people waiting almost 1.5 hours to get their boarding pass, then they had to wait to pay their exit fee if it wasn’t already included in their ticket. Yowsa. We did crowd control, telling everyone what was happening, assuring them they would NOT miss their flight off the island. It’s walking a fine line trying to keep the economy passengers out of the First/Premier line. Even though that line was shorter we couldn’t put other people in it, it’s not fair to the people who paid higher prices for the convenience of no lines. Add to that problem the Delta issue. That plane was to land at noon and take off around 1:30 back to Atlanta. It was late to leave the gate in ATL and then had to make an emergency landing in Tampa where it was delayed even longer. At 4:15 PM it still had not landed and wasn’t due to land until 7:05. There was a plane full of people waiting to leave Roa on that flight. A few people asked me if this was how the island makes more money, by stranding the tourists. They can come but they can’t go home. I saw a family in the main part of the lobby with 2 big dogs and dog crates, they didn’t want to go through security until they knew the flight was ready to leave because of how long the dogs would be caged. I left for home around 4;45 and never heard the Delta flight land but I did hear it leave Roatan at 8:40 P.M. {while I was sitting on the bathroom counter soaking my aching feet in Epsom Salts and drinking wine.} Daine, Milesse and Monique went to dinner and then went back to the airport and welcomed that flight when it arrived.  I was in bed by 9 PM.

On Sunday Nancy and Chuck were coming for an early dinner. Once again Bill was making his pizza from scratch. They came over around 3:30 and hung out until well after dark. We had a great time visiting with them. Nancy brought some margarita’s but I did not allow one tiny drop of it to touch my lips. I might be dumb blonde and old but I’ll never forget a hangover from hell.

Monday found me back at the Physiotherapist’s office for another treatment. I’m not sure why but I seem to be regressing. My arm and shoulder hurt more now than they did after the first session. I was to go back this week but have not had the time.

We have B A N A N A S (thinking of Gwen Stefani when I type BANANAS) growing on our hill. Finally. The tree was planted a year ago and is producing fruit for the first time!

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My new job may be selling BANANAS down at the end of the driveway. I possibly could make $2.00 a day.

There is a Ladies Lunch group that meets monthly for lunch at different restaurants all over the island. I rarely go because it’s really not my thing but I went this time for a few reasons.

#1. It was at a new Italian restaurant that I wanted to try because, well, I’m Italian.

#2. It was across the street from Umbul Umbul, my favorite store where there is always something I want/need.

I was thoroughly disappointed in the service and the meal, just not a fun experience except for meeting new friends and seeing old ones. The pasta reminded me of Play Dough. Not good. I’m not naming the place because they recently just opened and maybe they need more time to get their shit together.

Highlight of the day, I  FINALLY got to meet my friend Amanda Walkins. She is as cute, if not cuter in person than in her photos! They always have raffle drawings at the luncheon and I won a free pizza from the restaurant we had lunch at. It was only good for a month and there is no way Bill and I will drive 45 minutes for a pizza when he makes killer ones right here at home, so I gave it to Amanda.

On Wednesday I was back at the vet clinic in Oak Ridge. They were supposed to do the last 3 days in Punta Gorda but their reception there was not as it should be so they moved it back to Oak Ridge. I got there around 11:30. It wasn’t super busy right then but Kathy kept making runs in her truck to pick up dogs from outlying areas. One man came in with his dog that had been attacked by 3 other dogs. She was a mess. She had been seen by a vet but needed more medical care than what she was given. Several of the vets worked on her, got her medicated and cleaned up her wounds. They made sure she was comfortable before she went home.

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Kathy’s pet taxi

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The big dog is so skinny you can count his ribs

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I’m a sucker for puppies

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Love his face. This is my friend Brendas dog’s brother. Her dog is 4 times the size of this guy.

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Brenda was having a hard time with her dogs brother. She wanted to take him home and feed him.

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The majority of these dogs come in with chains or ropes around their neck. I even saw one with an extension cord around the neck. They all leave with a collar and a leash and flea and tick meds, heart worm meds and worm meds are given as are routine shots.

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Surgery room

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A girl and her dogs. The scruffy one has TVT and had to have surgery for that along with neutering. TVT is very prevalent on the island, 70% of dogs are carriers and if not treated, the dog will die. TVT is Transmissible Venereal Tumor. It’s very similar to aids in humans. Maybe Mother Natures way of controlling the number of dogs in the world but the dogs that get it will die a painful death if not treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Most people can’t afford to spay their animals let alone pay for surgery and chemo.

Brenda and I did our damnest to talk people into neutering/spaying their dogs. Most of the females got fixed but the men act like it’s them getting snipped and not the dog. Many times they would say it wasn’t their dog so we would give them our phone to call the owner and tell them they needed to “fix” their dog. Sometimes we were successful, most times we were not. Next time I am printing some of these signs.

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The founder of Helping Paws Across Borders, Angie Cherry, in the green scrubs.

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The dogs laying on the ground are recovering from surgery.

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A one week old puppy. It’s eyes were not even open. The mother dog won’t feed it. I assume she is starving herself and has no milk for the puppy. The owners are trying to feed it with a dropper but I doubt this little guy will live.

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skin and bones

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Poor guy

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Nice leash

When I was working at the Police station in Oak Ridge last year I met a sweet lady who was there helping out. We talked while we were working and when I left I gave her a big hug. On Wednesday I checked in a lady by the name of Soila, she brought her dog Pauna to be spayed. Pauna was healthy and well fed. Soon after I checked her in I realized who she was. I said you’re the lady I worked with at the Police station and she said she knew that she had met me before. I ended up taking her and her dog and a man and his daughter and their 2 dogs home to Lucy Point. Sweet sweet lady, so happy I finally know her name.

I was exhausted when I got home and filthy dirty. The shower and a glass of wine were screaming my name. I told Kathy I would be back the next day at the same time. I wanted to make something for the vets to have to eat so I made a quick run to the store Thursday morning.  When I got to the clinic it was pretty quiet but it picked up again after lunch. For dessert for the vets I sliced up apples, spread peanut butter on them and dipped them in granola and chocolate chips. MMM Yummy! They ate them all!

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Cute puppies who had fabulous PUPPY BREATH

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This dog was gorgeous, would have taken him home too.

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Doing a spay/neuter

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recovery room like none you’ve seen before

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These vets worked non-stop

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This was the prep area where the dogs were taken before surgery to get knocked out and shaved if needed.

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They all are related

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These two were adorable, very similar to the ones the day before.

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This is Fire. He belongs to the Bomberos (fire department.) He was getting snipped. The guys didn’t come back until late in the afternoon for him. I had already decided if they didn’t return, he was mine. I was mad when I saw them come back for him.

So Lola is not only still T.U.Q. [The Urine Queen] she is also freaking JAWS. She started chewing on my nice patio furniture chairs and table. I sprayed them with vinegar, that didn’t help. I added hot sauce to the vinegar and by damn, she has a taste for hot sauce. I did the only logical thing I could do. I tied her mouth closed with duct tape. I love that stuff. Just kidding. We brought the nice furniture that she chewed up inside and we now have a white plastic table on the porch. It looks like hell and she may chew the legs off it of. Who knows? The other morning I had her out twice to go potty. Neither time worked, not even a tinkle or a drop. However, right before I left she did a “screw you” pee right in front of the back door. I went outside, picked her up and carried her downstairs to the potty area. I have a 20′ leash down there tied around a pole and I fastened her on there, gave her water and left. She had shade, a place to potty and water. Bill thought he would be home around 3 so I figured a few hours down there wouldn’t hurt her. Well, he was later than he thought he would be and I was at the clinic until after 5. We had a torrential rain storm come through here and I was freaking out about Lola being down there. When Bill came home he went to look for her. She wasn’t where I left her. WTH??

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Of course she wan’t down there. She gnawed through the leash and was happily cavorting with her man Highway on the porch again. She may be the reason I never own a dog again.

Emmy is rather thrilled that the patio furniture is inside, she is digging her new spot.

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She will be confused once this gets moved downstairs into the guest condo.

Speaking of guest condo. Ughfreakingugh. This is what it looks like mid paint job. I have guests coming the 26th. I am working next week helping to deliver 2300 pairs of TOM’s shoes to needy kids. This may just put me over the edge.

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View from bedroom to living room. No, the fridge normally doesn’t sit in the middle of the kitchen.

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Back bedroom

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MESS

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The new color looks good

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New bedroom behind wall that hasn’t been painted yet on the left

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only 3 weeks

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Bill the Tool Man Crofutt has a lot of tools to put away

The language barrier caused some walls to be painted blue when they weren’t supposed to be. Just a little pissed about that. We just ordered 2 more gallons of a light mandarin orange to finish off the downstairs and cover up some of the blue.  We have 2 guys coming tomorrow to work and paint, please painting Gods, let this be finished tomorrow. Please.

One last photo that Connie took of Paola and I at Cattleya last Friday. I love this young girl, she is so special!

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Janice on the right rear and Cynthia front right.

I have been extremely lazy and my house reflects my lack of initiative or interest in rectifying this situation. I mean, I hang up my clothes and still make the bed but the kitchen, sometimes it just gets out of control. Sometimes there are dishes stacked and it goes against the way I was raised. I was taught that the kitchen is always cleaned after dinner, everything put away, counters clean, the works. It’s not happening here much any more. The island in my kitchen is a pet peeve because it’s humongo and EVERYFREAKINGTHING gets put on it. Right now there are;

2 different kinds of NSAID’s for Highway and his joint (joint as in bone, not marijuana) issues

a rag with Clorox on it

a slingshot

my sunglasses

my water bottle

a screwdriver (my bad)

my recipe box

a wine cork that Bill needs

the hook part of the leash JAWS chewed

and I have 2 black handbags hanging on the same stool.

Well, that didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would, most of the crap is mine. I presume tomorrow will find me putting away all of the stuff I have so carelessly let lay on the island. My hope is that I get my act together and sort out my small little OCD brain and actually DO something around here. That is my hope.

We have deemed tomorrow a work day but come hell or high water, I will be either pool or beach side on Sunday!

Rocking the Radical Catamaran

bangs02/20/2015 What an epic week this has been! Last Thursday Jeanie and Roger brought their BBQ grill to our house and cooked dinner here. (yes we have a grill but Roger is a BBQ Nazi and must use his own) I made a big salad and we had roasted baby potatoes and RED MEAT. Now I haven’t eaten RED MEAT in years, don’t like to chew the stuff but this was good RED MEAT brought from the states and covered in pink peppercorns before grilling. The smell was wafting past my nostrils and when Roger sliced it and I saw how perfectly done it was all thoughts of my chicken breast that he cooked for me went out the window. I wanted RED MEAT. OMG, it was delicious. This does not mean I am a carnivore by any means. I don’t think eating red meat once in 3 years makes me a meat eater. We finished dinner with rum cake and some Mango Rum. Yummy meal but even better was the company, it was fabulous. It was so much fun to hang out with Roger and Jeanie!!

I picked Nancy and Chuck up on Saturday at the airport, we stopped and got Nancy some snorkel gear @ Barefoot Key in preparation for our Sunday excursion on the Radical Catamaran. I dropped them off at their house Saturday afternoon only to pick them up again at 8:30 Sunday morning to go to Oak Ridge to get on the boat. We set sail soon after 9 AM and were off to the eastern end of the island. It was a gorgeous sunny day, made even better by warm pineapple muffins served by the crew.

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The best adventure!

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Jeanie and Chuck

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Llyn and Kathy

I know I’ve said it before but this is a first class operation, Ed and Julie provide an exceptional day onboard their gorgeous boat! After sailing for awhile we stopped to snorkel again at the Cow and the Calf. I told myself prior to getting there I was going to snorkel the calf but I went right to the cow again.

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Sand diver on coral

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Christmas tree worms, you can see the bodies of both of the worms coming out from the bottom of the tree

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Tube sponges

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Looking down on tube sponges

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Conch

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Close up of worm coming out to eat

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More Christmas tree worms, these fascinate me.

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Coral with white banded coral disease

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Jeanie and Nancy

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Needlefish

After snorkeling the Pina Coladas came out in full force. Sun, boat, gorgeous water, crazy people and booze…

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Llyn and Jeanie attending to Kelly’s every need. I won’t mention someone drinking out of his navel.

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I wanted to plank so Rosalie and Jeanie did their version, all the while Kathy is saying, THAT’S NOT PLANKING!!

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Finally, planked the cooler. Kathy is still saying, THAT’S NOT PLANKING.

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Nancy and Jeanie

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Jeanie made me do this.

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Bob and Rosalie, just love these two!

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Martina

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Nancy and Chuck relaxing the day after they arrived, still unwinding and not yet unpacked!

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Jeanie dressing Kelly. Don’t even ask. Can you say too much rum??

We stopped for another snorkel at the Horse shoe. It was a swim over there but worth it.

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Black sea urchin

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Bolder of coral

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Cool sandy area in the coral.

After snorkel stop number two we broke out the wine and lunch was served. People were perching all over to eat their yummy lunch consisting of salad, rice and beans, chicken and shrimp skewers, home made rolls and dessert. All washed down with some chardonnay. After lunch we stopped at a wreck for snorkeling but I lacked the energy required to get my gear on again so I stayed on the boat and had some more wine. That took way less energy. The day was drawing to a close and nobody wanted it to end. Seriously, this is the most fabulous way to spend a day on the water with a group of friends. I would do it weekly if I could.

We all drug our weary butts off the boats and back on to shore for the drive home. I dropped Nancy and Chuck off and headed home to pass out from all of the excitement.

Monday morning once again and we were off to Mondays don’t suck at Barbon beach in Camp Bay. Today I picked Nancy and Chuck up at 11:30 and we started the 30 minute drive east. We were there before most everyone else but they all began arriving soon after we did. There was some Sargassum weed in the water so we moved further down the beach to avoid it.

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Barbon beach, Camp Bay

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simply fabulous beach day

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Proof

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Skip and Jeanie

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Chuck warming his bones after being on Long Island in the frigid temperatures for a month.

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Jeanie Nancy and I went out with rafts in the crazy surf. I got my butt kicked once I got back to shore and tried to get out of the water.

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Nancy and Jeanie floating

I still have sand in my suit after washing it twice. I think I still have sand in various parts of my body also. I pulled my camera out the other day and sand fell out of it too. It was rough and crazy and so worth it. We hung out on the beach until around 3:30 and then made the difficult drive home. Anytime you are driving west in the afternoon prepare to be blinded. Between the sun and the shadows you can see nothing. Luckily there isn’t much traffic! Another fun day, another day I went home and crashed.

Tuesday morning I had my teeth cleaned, the first since I’ve been here. I know, that’s way too long to go without doing it but I hate going to the dentist. They said my teeth were in good shape, not much plaque at all. I didn’t tell them I use the sonic care twice each time, sometimes maybe 3 times because I FORGET WHERE I HAVE BRUSHED so I do it again. and again. Lack of focus on my part.

Bill got his truck back but something weird happened. I know, weird and on Roatan, how unusual. Prior to the head gasket blowing the alarm never worked. Never. Now it does, WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING OR STARTING IT OR JUST ANYTIME. Nice feature to have. Needless to say it is back at the mechanics, something about the glow plugs and the alarm issue? Well, they are disconnecting it. When in doubt, disconnect.

There have been lots of police stops lately and I seem to be quite lucky. I pull up with a big HOLA!! The other day I saw my buddy Ronald. I pulled up alongside him and he came over to shake (hold) my hand. He said he needed to come to my house. I said REALLY? He smiled and said yes. I slapped his hand and told him he was bad. He just smiled. I saw another road block this morning on my way to French Harbor and I pulled up and said Hola and the one cop said Hola Sweetie!!I don’t even have a license plate, there aren’t any in Honduras. Rumor has it that there will be some available this year. HAH!! No license plate and the papers for my car are still in someone elses name, hopefully I’ll get a proper registration for my car soon. Speaking of cars, I still LOVE mine!!

I’ve been having a pain in my upper left arm for over 8 months now. It hurts to get dressed, dry my hair, roll over in bed, just hurts all the time. I finally decided to do something about it and went to a physiotherapist here on the island. He is very good and for the first time I am able to lift my arm up without it hurting. He has an office in Coxen Hole. For a 60 minute treatment it was $60.00. He taped my shoulder like the therapists used to do in Everson for my knee.

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This will make weird tan lines

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My arm feels so much better. He said not to use it, no lifting, no swimming,  just let it relax so the tendonitis settles down.

I was supposed to go to Cattleya school yesterday to help with an art project but the one lady who was doing it is sick and it’s been postponed until next week.

We have banked with Banco Lafise since 2011. I’ve wired money to them from BoA since 2012 with no issues, until a few months ago when they returned my wire TWICE because my name wasn’t first. It’s been coming with Bill’s name first for 2 years but they decided this one time they didn’t like it. I had to change the way the wire was being sent. Aside from the fact that they are the slowest tellers on the face of the earth, things usually go smoothly. Last week I went in and a new teller asked for my passport. I don’t carry my passport, I am a resident. She then took my residence card and my passbook (yes, they use them still AND carbon paper) and turned {with her back to me} to the supervisor who began doing stuff online. I said is there a problem? The teller shook her head YES. Well, WTF is the problem? This infuriates me to no end because you never take someones ID without telling them what the issue is and what you are doing. I left the teller window and went over to a girl I knew at the bank and asked WTH? She said there was a new system and they had to update. I went back over to the window and finished my transaction but then had to go fill out a form.  Once the form was filled out I asked the girl “will my husband have to do this too?” Yes, when he comes in. Bill ran to the bank to get some cash and they told him HIS NAME WASN’T ON THE ACCOUNT. F’ing idiots. He just took $$ out last week so they must have screwed something up. He came home and got me and we went down to the bank. I told the girl I knew what happened and she looked on the computer and said he wasn’t an “owner” of the account. Then why the F did they give him $$ last week? Yes, he is an owner, always was. So she was fixing that and I went to withdraw money. The teller told me it didn’t show we had an account. By that time I was going to murder the next person I looked at. They finally got a manager out there who was LOOKING IN TO IT. All this time there was another gringo couple in there having the same issues. Only idiots are allowed to work at Lafise. They got things straightened out, I got my money and paid my light bill. We left there and went to Davivienda Bank and opened an account there. The young man, Noe, who helped us was polite, professional and knowledgeable. We now have a Lempira checking account and got a debit card and checks in 20 minutes. The next day we ran some errands and went in to Banco Lafise to close the account. I went up to the idiot teller and said I want to take all the $$ out of my account and close it. There was several thousand dollars in it. She got the deer in the headlights look on her idiot face and I almost punched her. She once again turned her back to me and she and 2 other women and 1 guy started talking. That really pissed me off. I told her that the least she could do was tell me what she was doing. The guy next to her said to me, “she needs to know why you are closing your account.” I said, “BECAUSE YOUR SERVICE SUCKS.” LOUD and with a big smile on my face.. He smiled and I heard someone giggle. It took them awhile but finally I walked out of there, cash in hand and happy because I never have to deal with those f’ing idiots again.

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This little boy was selling peeled oranges outside of Davivienda. We bought a bag and gave him some extra cash for himself. He was so damn cute!!

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Highway and Lola watching Bill

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she puts her paws over the rail

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This was last night. We are having strong NE winds and Lola was doing her Titanic scene.

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pretty windy

I am one of 4 women on this island who write for Women Who Live on Rocks. Another is Amanda Walkins. Amanda has her own blog, Awalkontherun which I follow regularly. Amanda also writes for International Living and The Huffington Post. She recently did an article for The Huffington Post and used some photos from people who live on the island, me included. Check out the article @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-walkins.

My friend Nancy brought me some Chai Green Tea that I sent to her in NY. I am addicted to STASH green and regular chai tea. I wanted a cup the other night but it was after dinner so I looked on Amazon to see if there was caffeine in it. This is what it said:

Enjoy this calming and stimulating tea with milk and sugar

Kof-K Kosher certified, contains caffeine, ships in Frustration Free Packaging

Calming and stimulating at the same time? No wonder I’m a whack job!