The difference between living and existing

04/28/2019 I’ve struggled with the thoughts rumbling in my brain, putting them down for others to read is difficult. I was recently back in the states visiting with my 98 year old Father. I’m so happy that I went, despite the fact he may not even remember I was there. He does not remember that I moved out of the country 6 years ago, he does not remember that my Mother, his wife of almost 70 years has passed away. He does not remember going flying with Bill in his plane, he does not remember time spent with the boys in the Outer Banks. The only thing he seems able to recall is WWII. Something he never spoke of when we were young.

My Dad was always a strong, intelligent hard working, well respected business man. He taught the 3 of us to be responsible, to be honest and kind and to always work hard. He (and Mom) taught us to be good parents, they led by example. To see him like this is so hard, my proud Father reduced to this man who doesn’t remember if he ate breakfast. What a horrid disease dementia is.

My trip there was uneventful, I got bumped to first class on the way to Houston.

Wine and apple pie..

I realized on the way to Houston that my AT&T sim card did not fit in my new phone which meant I had no internet when I arrived at Reagan International airport near DC, my final destination. This posed a problem because this was the first time I ever flew into there AND I had to find my way to my sisters house in the dark with no GPS. I was stressing. I tried to find somewhere to get my sim card cut at Houston but had no luck. They called my flight and had us waiting to board when someone (thank you whoever you are) noticed that the plane had a flat tire. We had to wait until they changed it. Fine with me, it would really suck to take off in a plane with a flat tire.

Thank you tire Gods.

Finally, @ 10:30PM we landed at DCA in Washington DC, well, really Arlington Va. My foot was throbbing in my always super comfy Skechers that I wear to travel. I could not find where I was to go to get the rental car and walked the length of the empty airport looking for someone to ask. Finally, I was told I had to go outside and get a bus to the rental facility. When I got there I was number 9 in line with 2 agents and it was 11 PM. I was a little stressed. When it was my turn I poured my heart out to the agent and he said he would fix me up with a car with a nav system in it for 11 million dollars more. At that point, after paying for insurance (because I no longer have insurance in the US) I didn’t care if it was 15 million dollars. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I found the car in the deserted parking garage, the kind you see on movies that muggers and rapists lurk about in. I didn’t see any keys for the car but noticed a push button start, which didn’t work. I had no clue, I’ve never driven a key less car, remember, my car is 13 years old. I found an attendant who reached to the very front of the dash, over the lip, grabbed the key fob and told me; hold this in your hand, step on the brake and push the button. I’ll be damned, it started. Then I had to program the route to my sisters. Once I was on the road I was OK but still really stressed. I was driving on the poorly lit, riddled with potholes, George Washington Memorial Parkway, then I was on I 495 and I saw signs for Rte 200, which I know is a toll road. I’ve driven on it before and ended up being charged $45.00 each time because I don’t have one of those pass things. I pulled off the road and figured out how to set the GPS for no toll roads and was back on the highway again. I don’t know what time I made it to my sisters but I was frazzled.

FRED, my Ford Flex. I actually liked this car a lot. It reminds me of something Fred Flinstone and Barney would cruise around in, hence the name.

I went over to see Dad the next day. He was sleeping and I tried to wake him but he didn’t stir. I decided to go take care of my phone and buy a new sim card for it. Once I had that I felt a whole lot better. I realized that on my drive from the airport to my sisters, I couldn’t even call anyone if I needed to, it was like 1970 with no cell phones.

I had a foot doctor appointment at noon that day so I did a few things then went to see the podiatrist. The unusual thing was, my foot has been so much better since I went snorkeling a few times, I was barely limping. The Doc was very nice, read my list from the 5 previous orthopedic surgeons and their thoughts on my ailment. He said he wanted to take his own X-Rays, I said OK. He took the X-Rays and came back in to see me. His opinion was I had severe arthritis in my big toe. The one that was operated on Dec 3rd. He gave me 3 choices: a cortisone shot, orthopedics to wear in my shoes (flip flops 24/7) or surgery. I told him I would think about it and call him back. When I checked out they said my medicare number was not correct so I told them I would follow up on that.

I left there and went back to see Dad and decided to wake him up. He was so surprised to see me, he recognized me right away and sat up. His socks were tucked into the nightstand drawer, far be it for my Dad to ever throw anything on the floor. His shirt was hung up and his dress pants were over the chair. He got up and dressed and we went out to the main room where people congregate. He is on the top (3rd) floor in a memory care center. None of the residents can operate the elevator, for their own safety. They have a key pad by the elevators for the workers to use. There is a lady named Shirley who thinks it’s a phone and uses it to call her Mother every day. She also tries to get on the elevator to go downstairs and escape to freedom, so you need to tell her it is going up.

That afternoon they had a nice man come in to play some music. I recognized a few of the tunes, obviously Dad did not and quite loudly said, many times, “well, he’s trying but he’s not very good.” I could have crawled under a chair.

Dad and I sat for 3 hours in this room and as happy as I was to be with him, it was heart wrenching to see my strong intelligent Father sitting there wondering what was going on around him. I saw a younger man who seemed very with it, I assumed he was a visitor but he was a resident. There were a few couples where the one partner was mentally fine but their spouse was not. One couple in particular, I really admired the man who was there because of his wife. The sacrifices he made to be with her. I wondered if he would leave and move out if and when she passed. My sister said there are many people who she never sees anyone visiting and she would know as she is there almost daily. She and her husband Mark are my Father’s angels, and sometimes he is a very difficult man to deal with. They know it’s not him, it’s the disease, it was something I had to learn again. Despite the fact of knowing that, it still hurts.

When I got back to my sister’s I got online to the Medicare website, turns out I never got the “new” medicare card. I didn’t know because I’ve never used it. I called Medicare and of course, they could not give the number to me over the phone. I decided to go to the Medicare office that was close by and get the number. I waited almost 2 hours in the most confusingly numbered system I’ve ever experienced. When I finally got up to the window the girl said she could NOT give me a new Medicare card. I assured her that I knew that but could she give me the correct number pretty please? Yes, she could and did. I was in there so long the weather went from cool and sunny to cold and rainy. I think I may have gone shopping to ease my pain. The following morning I went back to the Dr and got a cortisone shot in my big toe. It didn’t hurt but by the next day I had developed a new pain in my foot and I had a hard time walking. Great. From bad to pretty darn good to a new kind of bad.

This was my first trip to TJ Maxx where I believe I set a world record for filling a cart the fastest. Don’t even ask me what I bought, I know there were dog toys and a pair of shoes. ONLY 1 PAIR OF SHOES THOUGH.

I went back there a few times with my sister. We share the same shopping skills, inherited, passed down from our Mother. Our wallets thank her.

My sweet adorable nephew’s wife came over to see me and she and Missy and I went to Target in Gaithersburg. O M G. I miss that store. I wanted one of everything. Missy, Sofie and I did a substantial amount of shopping, I was feeling good, I love to buy new stuff. We got back to Missy’s and Eric, Sofie’s hubs and my favorite (only but still favorite) nephew came over to see me. He made some kick ass guacamole and we had another amazing meal.

I’m sure I’m getting my days mixed up but I’m allowed to, I’m not on a schedule. My BFF Olivia lives in Bel Air, MD and we have not seen each other for too damn long. She took a sick day and met me at TJ MAXX in Columbia, MD. We did some shopping and then went to a fabulous place for lunch. We were debating going in when a cop walked by us and said, “have you eaten here?” We said no, he said, “try it, it’s fabulous”, so in we went. My BFF Olivia is a foodie, she lives to eat. I eat to live but we have found common ground and it works for us.

Everything was fresh, made to order right in front of you. It was delicious.

I made sure my nephew Eric and his wife knew about this place since they just bought a new home in Columbia.

I called Dad late one morning to see if he wanted to go to McDonald’s. He has always loved a plain cheeseburger with fries. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. So I repeated myself. He started shouting that he didn’t know what I was saying and why was I bothering him with this. He didn’t know what I was talking about and didn’t want to go. I said, “Dad, why are you yelling at me?” He said you are talking crazy talk and he hung up on me. My brother in law heard the conversation and came out and said, give him an hour, he won’t remember a thing. I waited until after lunch and went over. Mark gave me a can of Coke for him and a straw. He did not remember talking to me and he guzzled that Coke down so fast. I got him to go out and walk around a little bit. Not for long though, he wanted to go nap. He came to Missy’s one night for spaghetti and meatballs. He ate a good meal but was ready to go home before we even ate.

 

Dad and I.

Missy, Dad and I. Sorry these are smaller, can’t make them any larger.

Dad taste testing the spaghetti to see if it’s done.

Missy had some cards made for him with photos of family and flowers and other things. Two cards of each photo and he tries to match the cards. He really enjoys playing it but can not, for the life of him, remember where the matching cards are.

Mark, Eric, Missy and I went out for dinner one evening to Cava. It looks very nondescript from the outside, it is in a strip mall, but once inside, OMG.

More bar seating but we were at the actual bar, of course we were.

My first ever Moscow Mule made with Vodka, Ginger Beer, crystallized ginger and lime juice. These things are dangerous.

Eric and his dad Mark. So much fun to hang out with them. I love that Eric wanted to spend time with me.

Me, Eric and Mark at Cava.

They serve Naan bread and some hot spicy dip and oil and tzatziki dip, we got chicken skewers, fries, grilled brussel sprouts and lamb sliders. I did not eat Mary’s Little Lamb. The rest was delicious.

Missy, Mark and I outside of Cava.

The next day my brother and his daughter Devon came down for Easter. They came a little early so they could see me too. We all went over to see Dad one afternoon. Missy and Devon found a puzzle so we helped Dad put it together in the dining room. He was very upset because we were in the dining room and people didn’t usually hang out in there.

Dad had a difficult time with the puzzle but Devon helped him.

Yep, I look like my Dad.

Dad and his kids.

PJ and Devon. She is such a happy girl, always smiling, unless PJ is making her do something she really doesn’t want to do, like turn off the computer. I’m so glad they came down and I got to see both of them.

We were sitting out on Missy’s deck when I got an alert from United saying they were expecting severe thunderstorms in the afternoon on the day I was leaving. I called Bill and he said to call them and reschedule. They put me on a 10:10 AM flight, which meant I had to leave at 7 to return the car and find my way. I went over to the memory care center at 4:20 that afternoon to say good bye to Dad. He was in bed and would not get up. I wanted him to go eat dinner but he said he wasn’t hungry. I gave up, didn’t want to upset him so I hugged him, kissed him good-bye and left with tears in my eyes. It sucks to leave, you don’t know if that’s going to be the last time you see him or not. He still doesn’t understand that I am not close and can’t pop over for lunch on a whim.

Missy took this of me on her deck.

Me, Missy and PJ

That night we all (minus Dad, he doesn’t do trips more than 10 minutes very well) went to Eric and Sofie’s new house for dinner. They just moved in a few weeks ago and were excited for us all to see it. It’s a great house, lots of room and a beautiful back yard. They made parmesan chicken and stuffed shells. Missy made a salad and I took wine. It was delicious.

Sofie has hit the ultimate coolness factor with me. She has a T-Rex sippy cup. I was in love.

Devon took this of Missy and I. The first one she took was hysterical, it was of her thumb. This is a picture off of a phone.

Eric, Sofie, PJ and Mark, waiting to dive into a fabulous meal.

Getting ready to dig in.

PJ, Devon, Sofie, Me, Eric and Mark.

We helped them clean up and then headed for home. I still had to pack. UGH. We sat around and talked for a short time after we got home but I had to get up early and get on the road so I said good night.

I was out the door at 7 AM, stopped to fill up the tank and then got lost in VA trying to return the rental car. I was pulled off the road cursing at the Nav system because it just stopped and I was clearly nowhere near the rental return. Just then a cop pulled up and asked me how I was. I was stressed and lost. He was so nice, he told me exactly where I needed to go, repeated it several times and said, don’t take this turn…I finally found it, dropped off the car and made my way to the airport. Once I was checked in I got something awful to eat (donuts) and went to my gate. My foot was hurting so much I could hardly walk. Once I got on the plane to Houston I was able to sit back and relax. I arrived in Houston much earlier than scheduled due to my flight change times. I was spending the night at the Marriott at the airport. You have to get your luggage then go down a level and catch the subterranean subway to the hotel. I made it to the hotel a few hours before check in, they said no problem. I got checked into my room, took my shoes off and opened my suitcase only to realize they had ruined my suitcase, the zipper pulls and the TSA lock were missing. Now that it was opened there was no way to close it. I called United and she told me to take it back to Terminal C and they would replace it for me. My foot hurt so bad I asked if there was anyway they could deliver it. She said no, but she had just been in Roatan on vacation and loved it. YAY. I emptied everything out of it and trudged back over to Terminal C. I spoke to a man at the United luggage desk. I expected it to be a lot more difficult than it was. He got some info then walked me over to these glass door closets filled with NEW suitcases. He asked if I wanted a hard or soft side, I said hard please. He gave me a brand new 28″ suitcase and sent me on my way. As I got on the subway to go back to the Marriott a girl said, “you must have come from somewhere warm.” I said, not really, I’m going home, I live on Roatan. She said, OMG, I just got back from there and am going again in August. Then she proceeded to pick my brain for the short 4 minute ride to the hotel. I got back to the room, re packed, took a bath, called room service and ordered a chicken ceasar and opened my box of wine.

Brand spanking new and I adore new suitcases for some odd reason.

Cracked open the box before I even got home!

I couldn’t figure out how to work the remote in the hotel room, (it had 300 buttons on it and was more than likely handled by very germ laden people) so I went to sleep. I was up by 7 and at the airport by 7:30 and checked in. 10 minutes later I was at my gate for the almost uneventful trip to Roatan. All was fine until we got ready to land and the pilot could not see the runway. He was way too high to even bring it in if he could see it. We flew over the ocean for awhile and he came in for another landing. This time I could see the runway, phew. I just wanted to be home. I was waiting for Bill when he walked up behind me. He had Max with him, once Max saw me he went crazy. He missed his momma. We came home and when I unpacked I realized the TSA agents stole my damn Skechers. I couldn’t wear them because my foot hurt so much, so I hid each in a separate travel cube. My cubes were open, clothes strewn all over and my shoes gone. Another call to United, they are taking care of it.

The dogs were so happy to see me and to get their new toys. When I got home my foot was way worse than it was when I left and I didn’t know what to do. I called the podiatrist in Maryland and he said it didn’t sound like a cortisone flare (I had googled that and it was not the issue), he suggested I see an ortho doc. Thing is, I’ve seen 5 and none of them helped me at all. Wonderfreakingful. I was talking to my friend about her results from seeing Mary Mason, a chiropractor from Austin TX who has a practice here. She suggested I go see her about my foot. So I did. My friend Steph and I went together, she is having neck/back issues. Dr Mary has a much different approach to chiropractic work than I am used to, I’ve seen chiropractors for 50 years. She worked on some bones behind my ears, the backs of my legs and my hips. She had me go out for a walk while she worked on Steph. Then she gave me another adjustment before I left. I was really sore (and still am) but I can walk without a limp. I’m going back to see her again tomorrow, hoping that one more treatment is all I will need.

Boys having a swim.

Lola getting comfy.

I wanted Dra Diana, the vet from Tegus who gave us the miracle cream for Max’s wounds, to check Max’s ear, he seems to be shaking his head a lot and we wanted to get both he and Highway tested for heartworm and erlichia. Max and Highway were in the back of the truck, Max sat there perfectly quiet and Highway howled the whole damn trip (25 min) to the vet. I was losing it to the point that Bill threatened to turn around or let me out. I had him drop me at the vet and he went to the plumbing store. After they were tested and Dra Diana tested the goop in Max’s ear, we were ready to go. Bill suggested I sit in the back with Max and allow Highway up front. UGH. Fine, whatever. Can you believe this idiot dog didn’t howl once on the way home? He must have called SHOTGUN in dog speak and I didn’t catch it. He was howling BECAUSE I WAS IN THE FRONT SEAT. He really pushes my buttons..

Highway, the howler. This dog is lucky he didn’t get thrown out of the car when we went to the vets.

Max was perfect, as usual.

I have company coming on Thursday and I can’t wait!! I haven’t seen Tammy since 2013, looking forward to catching up with her and showing her around the island. I have a zillion things to do so I should probably post this thing and get moving.

It’s hot and humid, my weather app says: OMG, It’s so hot and humid. Who the frak even needs clothes today. Forget clothes. It’s 9:45 AM and already 86 but feels like 97. Luckily, we’re up on the hill top so we have a nice strong breeze blowing through the house.

Happy Monday everyone!

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In memory of Laura

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

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

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

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

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Amazing vistas at every turn

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An unusual way to shade a beach area..

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Looking towards mainland Honduras

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

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

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

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

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View of the bight and Jonesville to the right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beautiful and oh so loved pups, Sable and Bandit.

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

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

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Handsome Bandit

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Liza getting kisses from the pups

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View from the Beach Grill

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

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

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I love this photo

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Driving down the beach after turkey dinner

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

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The Banditos

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

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

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

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

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Love the boat name, Calabash Biter..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brand spanking new

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

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

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He got his wife Poinsettias @ Walmart

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

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Right next to the beach

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The walkway to the beach

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

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

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

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Nothing but the best when it comes to a boarding pass

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Cayman Airways at the La Ceiba airport

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Good sized mountains along the runway

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Yep, that’s a John Deere

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Flying over Ceiba, almost to the coastline

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Cayos Cochinos in the distance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Highway’s foot

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Lola’s paw

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Maxillicious

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Gringo, my love..

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Barrio, Bandit’s twin

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Lola, the dog without a brain

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

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

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Dresses

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Skirts and tops

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

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

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

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

This photo is my cover pic on FB. I did not take it, it was taken by a friend of my friend, Laura Osterloh. I got to know Laura because her husband worked at Grizzly. Bill and I were the first people to visit their first 2 children when they were born. Jack is the oldest, then Ellie, who was born with Cystic Fibrosis and then sweet Ava. Early September Laura got sick and was sent down to Seattle where they discovered she had pancreatic cancer. She was not able to eat or to go to the bathroom due to blockages. They put stents in, did procedures that were very painful, all in an attempt to get her ready for chemo. The first few rounds of chemo did not go well and after her condition worsened the doctors decided there was not much they could do for her. She wanted to go home and be with her children so Hospice was set up in their home on the Bellingham waterfront. Her multitude of friends in Bellingham knew she loved Glassybaby candles so they made this tribute to Laura on the dock outside of the window where her bed was set up.
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Her husband posted today that she passed away this morning, she was 45 years old and leaves 3 children behind. My heart is broken. Please say a prayer for her family. Rest in peace Laura.