I can’t get rid of the alien

Oct 1, 2019 I think the 3 blogs about La Mosquitia drained my brain, I have had absolutely no desire to write anything. Instead I binge watch TV shows I have seen before, like Weeds and Friends. Next will probably be Seinfeld. Mindless TV for mindless me. Bill is usually watching something on the big TV (yes we have one but no cable) so I am watching on my Samsung Galaxy Tab e tablet, which for the record let me say, I HATE IT. It’s the most poorly functioning despicably designed tablet I have ever owned. Several times a night I say, I hate this damn tablet. And I researched it and read reviews, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision.

Speaking of electronics, I used to have a Moto G 4 phone, I loved it, except the camera on the phone is awful. Photos look like a drunk 93 year old person took them. I love Instagram and like to be able to take a pic and post it immediately. I finally broke down and bought a Moto G5 which one step up from my phone and the same phone Bill has. The photos are so much better, still struggling with the thickness of the phone, my Moto G4 case was boxy, this is slim and trim. Changes are hard when you are old.

So, what have I been doing since I got back from La Mosquitia? Not much. We did some TOMS shoes to several schools on the east end. Still have 1 school and a kinder to do. I’ve been staying home with my dogs, hanging out by the pool or afternoon napping, which has become a very decadent past time of mine. Me, a fan, a few dogs, I’m good to go. A champagne chocolate truffle from the UK helps too. OMG. Pure and absolute decadence.

These things are oh so damn good, thank you Mandy and Darren!

As if truffles weren’t enough, Mandy and Darren brought flowers. Brightened up the kitchen for a week.

The dogs and I still have tea every morning by the pool. They bark and chase each other, the boys swim, they pretend it’s the biggest water bowl in the ‘hood. It’s a morning ritual.

Brotherly love, or tolerance. These two have some issues with each other, I can tell by their body posturing..scares me.

Luckily we keep the chlorine level VERY low. Just enough to keep it from getting green.

I took the covers off the dog beds to wash them. This was on top of one of the kennels. I KNOW for a fact that Gringo did this. He has had a foam fetish since birth. I keep forgetting to take the cover of this destroyed piece to Waldina to have her cut me the 18th piece of foam for a dog bed. My dogs should be called the Destroyers.

My morning tea spot.

When we came back from La Mosquitia we took a week off and then started fitting TOMS shoes again. We did the Froylan Turcios kinder, Juticalpa kinder, Politilly kinder, Barrio Lempira kinder and the older kids, Marcos Aurelis school in Oak Ridge. We still have a few to do. All the shoes are in my guest condo downstairs. Along with soccer balls, school supplies, clothes, 4 bags of dog food because it’s been hard to get so we are stockpiling and paint for the house. We are repainting the exterior of the house, same color. The verde (green) fits in with our surroundings. Lots of prep work before painting. Plan to do the outside, then the inside during rainy season.

I am not going to caption all of these photos because I would be saying the same thing, cute kids.. just enjoy these faces, the best part of doing TOMS is taking photos of the kids.

Our fitters, Chase, Diane, Leila and Mac.

 

Handsome, AKA Nidia’s son Franklin.

I love how she is leaning on Franklin’s back,

This is the extent of the playground.

This pair made it one year. Old TOMS for new TOMS

How do they sleep? It must be like the “old” days when we went to bed with curlers in our hair.

S H O E S TOMS S H O E S

Chase, Gail, Leila and Diane sweating like crazy while fitting shoes.

The kinder class

Pastor Bill and his daughter. He helped us for the whole day, great guy.

I think he needed new TOMS shoes.

Many times it’s absolute insanity.

Clarence and the kids.

Chris and Franklin

The red hat gang. These guys work so hard and are always happy, really a joy to be around.

Clarence fitting a lone blonde boy.

We also went to Punta Gorda and fit the kids there. Some of the students wear the traditional blue and white and others wear the Garifuna clothes.

The children in the royal blue are Garifuna.

We had some of the older students help us to fit.

Because We Care strives to give new shoes to as many school kids as possible. TOMS shoes rock!!

Childrens Day was Sept 10th, Independence day was the 15th.  All of the schools get dressed up and march. The school we help a lot was marching from below our house, past the driveway and up to their school. We went out to watch.

This is Osman, Ephrain’s nephew. He goes to a different school in Politilly. You can see our driveway behind him.

The stilt walkers. We watched these guys practicing at Jonesville last year. They actually tie themselves on to the stilts. I guess if you fall, it’s going to hurt.

Little girls all dressed up.

Ephrain, in the hat with the white X on it. He was the only one not wearing sunglasses so he asked Bill for his. Of course, Bill gave him them but I doubt Ephrain could see a thing as they are prescription. Bill told Ephrains lousy excuse for a mother that he needed the glasses back. Now she says she lost them. She sold them, I bet you $$. I can’t even speak to her I dislike her so much.

Little girls and boys so dressed up!

I saw this praying mantis on my porch, it was less than 3/4 of an inch long, just a baby.

I was paying bills and running errands on Sept 6th, wearing a pair of comfy Dr Scholl’s sandals. When I got home later that day my right foot was bothering me. By Friday morning it was full on limping. Oh well, figured I had strained something and it would get better. On Saturday morning I went to my friend Linda’s house and picked limes, so many limes it’s not even funny. It was killing my foot to walk around on the uneven ground but I wanted limes!!

I came home and started juicing. I have 2 plastic ice cube trays and filled them each 4 times over the next few days. I now have bags of lime ice cubes in the freezer, ready for a recipe or some ice water.

I could sit here all day and juice.

The rinds got thrown into the jungle for the animals to feast on.

If I am at the pool, so are the dogs.

Getting ready for company, Barrio checking things out.

Barrio taking a swim, happens many times a day.

Max and Gringo getting out, Max shakes before he gets out of the water.

All I need is an IV tube and needle, I would be all set to go.

I was trying to lay in bed, Barrio had other plans for me.

Max and Barrio do not get along, sibling rivalry over me.

More Hot Tamales from Oregon, thanks Steve! This makes 23# of Hot Tamales people have brought to me.

Bill had food, despite the fact they already ate, they put on their starving faces.

Gringo has no shame.

So, flash forward three weeks from Sept. 6th, my foot is still killing me. Bill thought I had plantar faciitis, so did I. I googled it and couldn’t find symptoms similar to mine so I joined a PF group on FB. Once I was admitted I posted my symptoms and several people said it’s not PF. Great.

On Friday I messaged my friend Andrea, the nurse at Coco View. She said I needed to have it looked at and she texted Dr Izaguirre, the orthopedic surgeon. She made an appointment for me for Saturday morning.

Bill took me down to the hospital. The Doctor wanted me to get an X-ray, but there was nobody there to run the X-ray machine. He examined me and said I have a fracture of the 5th metatarsal and I am not allowed any weight on it for 3 weeks. In reality, I should not have been walking on it the last 3 weeks, must be why the pain was so bad and I was too stupid to realize that. I’ve also had issues with a screw in my left ankle since I had surgery March 31, 2013. My ankle gets a hard calcified thing that comes out of it, I’ve called it my alien for years. Doc said he could remove the screw for me and Bill said, you’re already going to be laid up, why not. I’m pretty convinced he hates me. So the Doc got me in a surgery room and did a local on my ankle. Once he cut me open he realized the screw was right below the skin and he also realized it was a special screw and he didn’t have a screwdriver to remove it.

This is the alien trying to come out of my ankle. It’s actually hard calcified skin. If my ankle gets bumped by the vacuum or a dog, it’s instant pain. Sometimes I can dig the calcified skin out and then there is a little hole in my ankle but the callus always regrows.

The doctor trying every single tool he could find. I could feel him trying to turn the screw but it wouldn’t budge using the tools he had available. No wonder the insurance and medical stuff in the US is such a mess when doctors have to use screws that require a (ridiculously priced) special screwdriver to remove it and that hospitals in other countries don’t have access to.

So, after digging for an hour and the local wearing off, when I told the doc I could really feel what he was doing he decided to quit, stitched me up and said he’ll remove the stitches in 2 weeks when he checks my broken right foot.

Did you know you can not use crutches if you can’t put weight on either of your damn feet? I am a crutch spaz anyhow, I detest them so I have been using my desk chair to scoot around on, using my left foot that’s not broken and a crutch. That was working well until the chair tipped over this morning and I fell out. Believe me, I am grouchy as hell and not having fun with this at all.

Friends donated 2 trumpets to me and I knew which school would want them. Froylan Turcios is the school we help the most and Marlon the principal has been wanting to acquire instruments.

One of my high school friends has been donating money every few months for me to use as needed. I decided to use some of it to help families who are raising their grandchildren. Marlon from Froylan Turcios found the needy families for me and Bill delivered the food to Marlon, SINCE I CAN’T WALK. This lady was a recipient.

Bill with bags of food.

Another man that received food for the family.

This is Don Lorenzo, he said, “thank you, thank you for your help. Blessings!”

A little bit of food goes a long way for these sweet people. Having someone hand them a bag filled with $25.00 worth of non perishable foods (they don’t have refrigerators) is a big deal.

We have had a lot of company recently. Just last weekend John and Lizeth came from Kentucky. We first met (when I was volunteering at the airport) in the immigration room. She recognized my name on my name tag from reading my blog. We’ve been friends ever since and we can’t wait until they finally move down here. They offered to bring stuff for us so they “muled” down my new phone, repaired jewelry, eye glasses and 8 jars of hot peppers that I ordered from Tony’s Deli in my hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They also brought a lot of donations for the kids and a box of these;

MMMM, good stuff.

Gringo, Max and Barrio laying on me

Max and Barrio’s face.

My boy Gringo..

I’m going to have dinner, pour a glass of wine and go back to bed to watch TV. I’m sure I’ll have some dogs with me. I’m hoping to be back in action soon.

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Planes, boats and fins

04/30/2017 First of all, I apologize to those of you who received an email yesterday saying that a new blog was published, only to have me take it down. Somehow the post got published and wordpress wouldn’t allow me to get it back to a draft so I had to trash it and do a shabby copy and paste into a new blog. Our internet has been shit so that may account for it.
Saturday afternoon was the first I stopped and relaxed in a solid week. Remember, I’m O L D. Very old. Don’t misunderstand me, I had a blast entertaining Jillian and Justin this past week. Jillian is my great niece (well, Bill’s really, but I claim her as mine) and Justin is her boyfriend. It was Jillian’s second visit and Justin’s first. In fact he had to get a passport to come visit. We’re happy that he made it to Roatan. So are the dogs, especially Lola, she really liked Justin.
I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. I’m a weirdo who loves to go to the airport to pick up friends. I see so many people I know that it’s like a big party, this Saturday was no different.
Once Jill and Justin got through the insane immigration lines, we headed east, stopping at Eldon’s for them to get some food. After getting settled we all retreated to the pool, it has been so flipping hot that being in the water is all you can do.
Sunday we made the routine Mega Paca shopping trip then came home and got ready to go to the Reef House on Oak Ridge Key. We parked the car and went by boat for the short ride there. I was excited to see my dive friend Caroline there, haven’t seen her for months. We spent some time in the water then I got out and wandered around talking to friends. Tim Blanton, who lives on Roatan and is an exceptional photographer was there with his drone. He made a short video of the Oak Ridge area and hovered over the porch where we all were posing. Check it out HERE. Beautiful video of the area.
Monday we went to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. I didn’t know until Justin and Jill got here that Justin’s favorite animal was the sloth. It was a no brainer that we would go there first. When we got to the farm Preston was waiting to give us one of his exceptional tours.
One of my favorite animals is the Coati. They are a part of the raccoon family. Two of them live here.

The first cage we got to go in was the monkey cage. The white faced Capuchin’s are named after the cast of The Jersey Shore, AKA, Snookie, Vinny, JWow, Pauly D etc.  These monkeys are very friendly and love to interact with people.

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

They are like kamikaze monkeys. They vanish and then out of nowhere come flying onto your shoulders. They were so much fun.

Next we looked at the spider monkeys but they are not very friendly so guests don’t interact with them.

When we were ready to leave Justin walked over to look at the water again and the monkey grabbed his sunglasses. He finally managed to get them back, all in 1 piece.

Next stop was the parrots, the Red and Green Macaws. These birds are so stunning. There is only 1 green one, Fiona, from Shrek. Her colors are so intense that she doesn’t seem real.

I think the red macaw is named Rose from the Titanic and the other is Fiona.

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

We saved the best for last, the sloths. These are all 3 toed sloths and are all rescues.

Quite literally, just hanging out.

Jillian and Olivia the sloth. The sloth is adorable but Jillian is gorgeous! Love this young lady!

Justin’s dream come true

The sloths mostly live in the trees and venture down to the ground once a week to poop and pee. Their only defense is camouflage, they do not use their claws except to climb and grab leaves.

Just an FYI: Daniel does not buy animals, every animal he has is a rescue and they are treated very well.

After we saw all the animals and were getting ready to leave, Daniel arrived. He invited us to go on his maiden snorkel trip on his new snorkel barge later in the week. We said sure, something else fun to look forward to.

We went straight to the Iguana Farm, critters to critters. It was a hot sunny day and there were iguanas all over the place. Jillian and Justin fed them, Jill wasn’t ready to get up close with them though.

Feeding from a distance

This is a black spiny tailed iguana, indigenous to Roatan. This one is molting, shedding it’s skin. Black spiny-tailed iguanas.

This dude just chased another male out of his tree. Sam (Arch) said they are very territorial, especially during mating season.

So magnificent.

Look how long the spines are on this guy’s back!

We had a great visit at the iguana farm, especially because we got to see Sam. Sam and Daniel (sloth farm) are 2 amazing young islander men (and cousins) who work very hard and are quite successful. I am blessed to have them as good friends.When we left the iguana farm I called my friend Marcia to see if we could come kayak and snorkel and she said sure. The 3 of us went home, changed, ate and left for Carib Bight and Marcia’s house.
An extra bonus of going to Marcia and Dennis’s home is I get to see one of my puppies, Duke and their other 2 dogs, Shay and the new rottie, Luna. Puppy breath is the best.
Justin, Jillian and I went down to the water and got the kayaks down and set off for the mangroves. It was a little later in the day so there wasn’t much boat traffic. We kayaked all the way through the tunnels and back.

Justin and Jillian

We then tied the kayaks up to the broken down dock and snorkeled out to the reef. For some reason it was extremely murky and stirred up and the visibility was not very good. And, my camera battery died. bummer.
Once I got more puppy kisses we came home, all got showered and went to Cal’s for dinner. We had an excellent meal, as usual. It was a busy day and we were all tired so it was early to bed that night.

The view from Cal’s and my friend Linda’s house.

Jill and Justin

The next morning we stopped at Jessica’s school to see why she was absent Monday. The teacher said her mother’s lame assed boyfriend kept her home from school because they all overslept. I’d like to lynch him.
From there we drove through Punta Gorda to hand out some of the toys that Liza and Mike brought down for the kids. Once again, it got crazy. The kids were grabbing out of my car, the ones I gave toys to hid them and said they didn’t get any. It became bedlam so I did what I had to do; I closed the trunk and left, no more for them. We passed out a few more along the way, choosing wisely where we stopped.
Jillian wanted to go to La Sirena in Camp Bay, it’s pretty much a must see spot. We all had onion rings and rum punches. My friends Don and Janice were there so we sat near them and chatted for awhile while watching the wind surfers. {side note, I bought a new camera, a Nikon CoolPix B 500 with a 40X zoom lens on it} I am still learning to use the camera and did not have it on the correct setting so these photos aren’t the best.

It must be so amazing to be wind surfing at Camp Bay, it’s one of the more pristine spots on the whole island.

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

Alligator Nose, just seeing it makes me miss the Duchess of Camp Bay and her husband.

Almost every day when we came home from our activities we jumped in the pool to cool off, rinse off the salt water and visit with the dogs. On Wednesday I thought we could go to The Buccaneer in French Harbor for something different. If I had known they charged $5.00PP entrance fee I would have stayed home in my own pool.

It’s a nice place but it isn’t worth the entrance fee.

They have an area roped off from the sea and pretty much protected from the waves. There are huge decks, swings in and out of the water, hammocks, floats. It’s just not the beach to me.

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

Unicorns, flamingos, swans and penguin floats. I can’t imagine what it looks like with all of them floating around,

Hammock row

Very colorful and somewhat tropical. I liked the ceiling at first but then I didn’t. It’s trying too hard.

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

I think the painting would have been enough without having fake flowers and dried up leaves on the ceiling.

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

Jillian was interested in seeing Cattleya school so I made arrangements with Connie to go there after lunch. When we arrived the students were with Kamille learning ASL. Afterwards they split into groups and did various projects.

Cattleya is a school for physically emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It’s an amazing school.

We watched the 3 different teachers conduct their classes and learned what each one was doing. The little girls flip-flops on the floor in the photo are some of the ones I donated to Cattleya, thank you Kelly. I’m still passing them out. I also donated the 3 games that Kelly brought to Cattleya.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our pool at home. We had big salads for dinner and drank some wine on the roof.

Beautiful evening.

Thursday morning we hung around the house, in and out of the pool, waiting to hear from Stephanie and Daniel. We were going snorkeling with them this afternoon. As soon as they called we went over to the sloth farm. I sat and chatted with Daniel’s Mother until they arrived. Stephanie’s parents were here visiting and they had been touring the mangroves, zip-lining and then going snorkeling. We were fortunate to be invited and very excited to go. Daniel just built a new snorkel barge with The Steelers (as in Pittsburgh) and Big Ben stenciled on the sides. Nice boat with an easy access ladder.

We went out in front of CocoView and snorkeled there. It was beautiful.

Daniel had my camera for a few minutes and snapped a pic of me.

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

Four eyed butterfly fish, Daniel may have taken this photo.

These are amazing Spaghetti worms  (click on the name for a fascinating video on the worms). They are alive and move along the sand getting food to take back to their hole.

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

They can puff themselves up to 3 times their normal size by drawing water into their abdomens. Once inflated their spines stick out and they are quite long and very sharp. They do this to protect themselves from being eaten by other fish. Then we moved to a different spot to snorkel, looking for lobsters.

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

Love to hate, hate to love. The Lion Fish. Beautiful but poisonous if you get stung by them and they are decimating the reef by eating all the small fish. They are the only fish you are allowed to spearfish (with a permit). Kill them all.

A conch slowly trucking along. I swam past him on the way out and on the way back he had barely progressed.

Daniel and Dustin (red shirt) wrestling underwater trying to pull each other’s mask off.

Beautiful day with our heads underwater with friends, can’t beat that.

I dropped Jillian and Justin off at Cal’s at 6 so they could have a nice dinner together, then Bill went down to get them when they were finished. They were done in less than 45 minutes, I thought something was wrong but they said it was all good, he just wasn’t busy.

The next morning we left here at 8:45. We stopped and got Ann then took Jillian and Justin to zip-line at South Shore. Ann and I sat and watched them zipping along under the canopy of trees.

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

As soon as they were done we went to West Bay Beach, grabbed some chairs at Bananarama and waited in the water for Sean (my friend from Canada) to meet us. Soon as he arrived we walked down to Infinity to snorkel.

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

I love when I see an opening out into the deeper water. Really feel like a mermaid then.

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

I was swimming around in the shallows looking at little things and hoping to find this big Parrot fish. I swam around a coral chunk and there he was in all of his magnificent glory. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with him for several minutes, watching him do his thing.

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

You really can’t tell the size from this photo but this guy was almost as big as my dogs.

He had several fish following him as he gnawed on the coral so he could then poop sand. I know the best facts!

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

Such a beautiful beach. After snorkeling we ate at Bananarama then floated our cares away.

Ann walked up to a restaurant called Nice and Spicy to get her husband some dinner so we ran Sean over the hill to the place he is staying, then went back and got Ann and took her home. We went inside so I could meet her new kittens and I wanted Jill and Justin to see her place and her view. After that we made the long drive home. As soon as we opened the gate to come in the driveway the power went off.

Wonderfreakingful. Bill was making pizza. He got the dough rolled out and partially cooked on the grill before it got dark. Then we put the stuff on the pizza with the LED’s for the lightsource. It was so windy that Bill had to cover the pizza with another cookie sheet just to carry it out to the grill.

Nothing says romantic better than glaring LED’s. I lit candles several times, only to have them blown out by the wind.

The pizza master

Miraculously, the power came back on just as it was time to eat. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen and all ran to take showers while we had water pressure. Not long after that, the power went out again. It wasn’t only us, it was island wide. Just a 36 mile strand of darkness in the Caribbean. It really wasn’t a big deal because there was a very strong wind blowing through the house, keeping temps cool.

We hung out here the next morning, watching Flightstats to see what was going on with Jillian and Justin’s delayed flight. Once we saw it was airborn we went to the airport and got them checked in. The line for departures was long so I took them for a tour of Coxen Hole, the “downtown” center of the island. We drove all along the waterfront and stopped to take a photo of the new sign by Petro Sun. I dropped them off at the airport with time to spare before their flight. We enjoyed having Jillian and Justin and look forward to them returning.

I started talking to them about diving. I suggested they do the course work at home, then get their certs with my friends @ Blue Island Divers when they get here. I need to get Jillian’s sister to do this also, she will be here the end of June.

It’s been unusually HOT. 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Despite the insane temps the wind has been blowing hard and steady, keeping the air moving and keeping it cool inside. If there were no breeze we would either have to remain in the pool 24/7 or melt. The wonderful wild and crazy wind is blowing so much dust and dirt around that my screens are filthy and everything is covered in an inch of dust. Lola is sneezing and Barrio has goobers in his eyes, I think it’s allergies for both of them. Tomorrow is Max’s last day of meds, keeping my fingers crossed.

I have a busy few weeks coming up. A friend is coming for a few days to sign the papers on the land she is buying, another friend is coming to stay with us for 2 weeks while she sorts things out with her house building project. I am helping at a fundraiser for Cattleya for Mother’s Day and am also helping Nidia with a Mother’s Day luncheon on the 13th. TOMS shoe delivery will start in June, super late start this year due to some customs snafu.

Off to find something to watch on the computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend, it’s kind of quiet around here. Jillian and Justin, maybe you should come back.

10,000 pairs of TOMS shoes

 

reason to help

04/13/2016 The TOMS shoes arrived and the shoe drive began. We started at the east end of the island. The first week we had volunteers here on a medical mission at Clinic Esperanza and the people from the Hogar Emanuel Orphanage in SPS.  I also rallied some ladies from the east end to help out.

We all met at Barrio Lempira in Oak Ridge and split up into groups. My group (Marilyn, Gail, Cathey, Kathy and Marcia) went to Pandy Town. Pandy Town is one of my favorite schools, I like the teachers and the kids there. It’s the school I went to the very first time I helped with TOMS shoes.

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A truck load of shoes, truck courtesy of the Municipal of Santos Guardiola. Thank you Carson and Clifford!

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He needed new shoes

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Kathy and Gail

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Sorted and sized

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Kids waiting in line

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Old TOMs for new ones

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Me fitting a little boy with new TOMS. Photo by Marilyn

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Pam and Cathey Photo by Marilyn

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Cathey, me, Kathy and Gail all fitting. Photo by Marilyn

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He thought he was getting a shot. Photo by Marilyn

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Nurse volunteers and also volunteers from the orphanage in SPS that is instrumental in us getting shows for the island kids. Photo by Marilyn

My helpers left after Pandy Town and the rest of us finished up at the other school in Barrio Lempira.

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These are students at the kinder in Barrio Lempira

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waiting to get new shoes

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Anxious faces

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such cute boys

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These are the students from the orphanage fitting shoes at the high school.

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The High School

After that we went to Punta Gorda to fit the kids there. Since the schools have 2 shifts we missed the younger students the first day at Punta Gorda.

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Students helping us unload box after box

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Soon to be replaced

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This is the school “cafeteria”

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One of the Garifuna drums

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These drums sounded really cool

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Punta Gorda school and a boy in the traditional Garifuna clothes.

The next morning I met my friend Llyn and her 2 friends and we went to Punta Gorda. From there we loaded shoes into my car and went to a small kinder that I never even knew was there in Lucy Point and fit some kids with shoes. I think that was the most hugs I’ve ever gotten at a school.

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These kids were too cute

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They all love cameras.

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Adorable

It didn’t take long to fit those kids so Llyn and her friends headed home and I went back to Punta Gorda. The power was out so they moved the shoe fitting outside. It was stifling hot in the rooms. Two people stayed inside and handed the needed sizes out the windows to the fitters.

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The swings and seesaw need fixed here too.

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There were a lot of students.

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She was a volunteer at Clinic Esperanza.

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Really? This is in the garden walkway that the kids use??

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These volunteers deserve a huge thank you. It was super hot with no breeze at all.

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Garifuna kids

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The girls look so pretty in their dresses.

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This little boy was putting this toy together, except he didn’t have enough pieces to finish it.

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He was still pretty proud of his accomplishment. What a handsome young man!

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Dusty TOMS shoes on the playset

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His eyes

After they were done there they went to Barrio Los Fuertes. That’s where I rescued Frito. Nidia said not to go because 1) Frito and 2) driving west to the school, then driving all the way back east to home. I came home.

My friend Marcia volunteered to do another day with me on Wednesday, along with Bob and Rosalie who wanted to help. We met them at the 1500+ student Modelo school in Sandy Bay. Wowsa, what a huge school bustling with activity. There is a sports court on the roof, nice and hot up there in the blazing sun, but at least there is somewhere to run and play ball. We had a lot of volunteers this day. We even had a family who helped us last year.

Once we got all the shoes in the room we had at least 15 fitters and the rest of us were runners and fitters too when needed. I know I fit a LOT of shoes that day. Christa (AKA Cookie, who is Nidia’s daughter) did the kinder class at that school, about 100 students. We had around 1500 that we did in 3 hours. We rocked it!

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The Modelo school in Sandy Bay, right where the tumulos (speed bumps) are

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Not camera shy

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Bob and Rosalie walking up to the school

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Little beauties, waiting for shoes

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Take my picture!

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So pretty

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Fitters. The girl in the red hat got dizzy from leaning over and then sitting up so many times. I took her place when she left to get some fresh air. People think it’s a simple process, hand them the shoes and go. Nope, doesn’t work that way at all.

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They are all wearing their new TOMS except for one little boy who is holding his new prized possession.

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Loved his hair

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Old TOMS for brand new ones

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The mayhem in the room. The runners were tossing the shoes to the fitters. It was kind of chaotic, but fun.

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Another old pair of TOMS being replaced with new TOMS

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What a great smile..

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The two young boys were brothers and they were super nice boys.

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Rosalie running with shoes for the fitters. The fitters use the size chart to get an idea what size, then they yell out the size. The runner grabs the size shoe they need and gives them to the fitter. If the shoes don’t fit the runners put that pair back in the right box and grabs another size to try. It’s a process..

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Marcia helping out. I’ve discovered that I need to check my camera settings while I’m doing this. I keep my camera in my pocket and in the process of pulling it in and out, the setting gets changed, therefore my pics are blurry.

After we finished that school we were taking a lunch break. Marcia, Bob, Rosalie and a lady we met who was helping named Jan all went to The Salty Mango restaurant in Sandy Bay for lunch. It was excellent.

After that Marcia and I went to a school in Flowers Bay. That wasn’t a very large school. The rooms had no lights or ventilation/fans at all so we fit the kids outside.

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The school

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I just love these kids..

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The smiles they get when you show them their photo makes me wish I had an instamatic camera so I could give them all pics of themselves.

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It was just the girls at first but the little boy photo bombed them.

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Nidia giving her speech about getting new shoes. The girl on the right in the gray t-shirt is from Maryland, she volunteers at the Orphanage in San Pedro Sula.

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Marcia being a runner for the fitters.

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Nidia’s daughter Christa aka Cookie (in the blue shirt) fitting.

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The fitters, hard at work.

After that school was finished we called it a day. We planned to meet at another large school in the same area the next morning.

I arrived just as Faber and a few other people did and we waited for the shoe truck to come. Once they came we had the students carry the shoes into the school yard.

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They actually had a fruit cart but the girls were all adding sugar syrup to the sliced mangos. There were 2 other food stands within the school grounds.

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Loved this bike

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not a clue what this is.

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Students carrying in shoe boxes

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Inside of the school yard.

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Cynthia, me and Nidia.

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Girls waiting for new shoes

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The fitters

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Old TOMS

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New TOMS

We took a lunch break and then had to wait for the next shift of students to arrive. Instead of waiting, Cookie and I took several pairs of shoes and went to Miss Valeries Charmont Academy and dropped off shoes there and then we went to Las Brisas kinder. It is out a road called Steel Pan Alley.

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This is the kinder

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Cookie with the students..

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The inside of the school. There are no windows and there are cinder blocks and bags of cement in the class room.

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Sweet young girl

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Cookie fitting

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The kinder teacher. She is expecting another baby.

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Last year we were able to drive up alongside of the building in the background. This year there is a large drainage pipe and they built a concrete bridge over it. Seems odd, only a few homes back there.

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This is an old boat but it looks like there is someone living in it to me.

After the other school was finished we called it a day. I didn’t help out on Friday because I had to volunteer at the airport for the United Flight.

Friday before the airport I stopped to get meds for a dog at a little store that we stop at. Bill sent me the photo asking if I could help the dog.

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Covered in mange.

I got some Ivermectin and also took some flea and tick drops for the dog. On my way home from the airport I stopped by Cattleya School. Cattleya is the school for mentally and physically disabled children. There are Autistic children, Down’s kids and some who can’t walk very well. They have 2 teachers and are in dire need of another Special Ed teacher. The teachers do the best they can but are for the most part, overwhelmed.

I had cleaned out my scrapbook stuff, since I no longer do it, and I decided to donate the bulk of it to my friend Connie’s school. I got a tour of the new school (they recently moved) and saw some of the students who I know, like Terren and Stephanie. Connie was very appreciative of the things I took there. She has some of the mothers of the students decorating empty wine bottles to sell to make $$ for the school. I offered to help show them some different things they can do to the bottles. I plan to stop by there next week and help out.

When I got home from there we ran over and gave the dog a shot of Ivermectin for the mange and I put some Fipronil on him for the fleas and ticks. How someone can allow their dog to get in this condition, I’ll never understand that. So sad that the dog has to live like that.

It was a busy week with a lot of smiling children and a lot of exhausted volunteers. I am so glad my friends volunteered to help out, at least they got to see what is involved and how time consuming it is. Many people are familiar with the TOMs one for one program but until you actually see it in action, you have no idea what is involved.

I am so grateful that I am able to be a part of this, it makes me feel so good knowing that the kids have a new pair of comfy TOMS shoes. Many thanks to all the volunteers, the group from Clinic Esperanza, the families, my friends, The Municipal of Santos Guardiola for donating their truck and especially to Nidia, her family and the amazing volunteers from the Hogar Emanuel Orphanage in San Pedro Sula, this wouldn’t be happening with out you!

I actually missed a Saturday at the airport (first in 3 months) and a party at a friends house on Sunday due to a damn toothache. My dentist was on vacation so I had to wait until he returned to be seen. It’s odd because it hurts, then doesn’t hurt, then hurts again. It comes in waves but what bothers it most is hot or cold, eating can be painful. I had a low key weekend and after the previous week, I really needed that. I was beyond the point of exhausted. (dental update, need to go to mainland to see an endodontist)

Sunday morning we took the boys for a swim in the lagoon. We go really early, like 7 AM, before anyone is there. They had an absolute blast running around.

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Barrio in the front

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Barrio, Gringo and Max

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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I can’t even begin to describe how much I love these dogs.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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No clue what Barrio was doing, he just stood there and stared at me.

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Gringo and Max

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Max is lightning fast, Barrio is pretty fast too but Gringo is such a hulk of a dog, weighing in at 65#, he doesn’t move that fast but if he runs in to you, look out. It would be like having a steamroller run you down.

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They LOVE the water..

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Like little otters

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I love that they are all marked differently.

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Barrio, Gringo and Max

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3 tired boys on the way back to the truck

We brought them home, I bathed them, fed them scrambled eggs and yogurt and we all took a nice long nap.

That was my week in the tropics, hope yours was as fun filled and fulfilling as mine was. Until the next blog..

 

 

Walking the 3 stooges

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06/30/2015 A day of leisure has managed to evade us for quite some time. For the last 2 months our lives have been sheer pandemonium with puppies. Sunday June 21st was the first time before pups, without guests from the states and without a puppy sitter that we dared to leave home together.

I got up and visited with the puppies at a decent time this morning, it was Bill’s morning to get up at 5:30 and let them off the porch, I got to sleep until 7:00. I covet sleep, not having gotten much of it in 8 weeks.

After some smooches on the 3 remaining pups and feeding them their breakfast with yogurt, I made myself breakfast. I decided to wash our bedding so I enjoyed my cup of tea on the deck looking out over the north and south shores while the washing machine did it’s thing.

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My boys

The pups all went down the steps to the yard to potty so I followed, tea cup still in my hand. I was greeted by umpteen numbers of dog poop piles, 4 big dogs plus 3 pups=massive poop. I chugged the rest of my tea and grabbed the shovel. It’s funny but these boys are like a chain reaction, one poops, they all poop, sometimes in two different spots per poop. Let’s spread the poop around. I am obsessed with cleaning up the poop IMMEDIATELY. I decided against training the pups to poop on the shovel after I considered the emotional ramifications for them so I am still following their hunched over backs and puckered poopers just waiting for the next pile to be expelled.

I got the yard all cleaned up, they had played and were passed out so I came back inside to do some chores. I threw the sheets in the dryer and washed the dishes, dried them and put them away, just in time to make another mess. I had to make rum balls for a party we were going to. I realized we were running late after I got the rum balls ready so while I was making the bed, I used a depilatory on my legs. Except I forgot to time it.

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Oh well, may have to shave a bit too..

I am the queen of multi-tasking. I got the bed all made, jumped in the shower to wash the stuff off my legs and use a quick razor where I missed..

I still had to feed the puppers before we left, dry my hair and brush my teeth. I got the pups fed and by then I was sweating like a chased pig. I managed to use my Sonic Care toothbrush and my hair dryer at the same time. I was semi successful with both. Do you know you can’t stand a Sonic Care toothbrush up and hover your mouth over it? It DOES NOT work. Trust me.

All of a sudden it was noon and we were leaving with our friends to go to a party, boat access only, and they have a boat!! We had our cooler with some beer and wine and rum balls and we were ready to go.

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One friend’s porch

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View from the other friends porch

We made it there in just a few minutes from Oak Ridge, tied the boat up and walked over to the party. There are 2 couples who live in 2 pink houses on this spit of land and it is a perfectly pink paradise.

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Their private beach

We got to see friends, ate some fabulous food, had some drinks and enjoyed the surroundings. It is absolutely gorgeous over there and I will be headed back soon with my fins and camera for some serious snorkeling..resident eel and octopus here I come.

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Can anyone spot my drink for the day?

This was a superb break from all the hectic things that have been going on in our lives and while I would like to say everyday spent on this glorious island is this tranquil and this much fun, it would be a lie. However, amongst all the pain in the butt things, the difficulty of doing somethings, we are still surrounded by beauty and calm in each direction we look. How we chose to appreciate it is up to us.

On Monday the 29th I went with Nidia and many of the ladies who will be preparing the food for the first ever Senior’s Luncheon to celebrate the residents on the East end of Roatan. It will be held in Punta Gorda, on the grounds of Spy Glass Hill, a beautiful but unused, vacant resort. We met today to have a look at the kitchen, assess what will be needed, plan the menu and figure out how much of everything they will need to buy, down to the spices, sugar and salt. One of the major things is determining if the big gas stove still works, nobody knows how long it’s been since it was last used. Cooking for 400 people is a big job for these ladies who are volunteering to help out.

Each of the different communities represented will have a prize for the oldest person in their community. I’m very confident that a room full of senior residents will have some fabulous stories to share and the amount of island history that they have stored in their heads will unfortunately never be recorded in any history books for generations to come. Many of these people don’t get to see their friends who live in other communities because of the travel involved. This will be a significant social event for all of them, and for all of us fortunate enough to be involved. 

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The dining room

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Looking into the bar area

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Bar to dining room

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Resident cat on the stamped concrete

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Entrance, office to the right

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Second floor atrium

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Beautiful light in this area

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Long hall to 6 rooms going from each side of the atrium

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Superb pool area

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Big pool

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walkway to pool from rooms

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Resort

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the grounds are gorgeous, goes right down to the water and a beach

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Under the deck off of the dining room

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Dining room to left, big deck overlooking the grounds

The people who built this place did it right, it must have been a fabulous retreat for the guests who stayed there. It was purchased by someone else and nothing has been done with it since.

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burner on the old stove

Our main concern is, does this stove even work?

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Big old industrial gas stove. We need it to work. Bill said he would take a look at it.

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Good size workable kitchen

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These are most of the fabulous ladies who will be doing the cooking. Nidia is second from right, top row. She is the brains and the power behind Roatan Because We Care.

Soooooooooooooooooo, we still have 3 puppies and for the most part they are good dogs. Still a few accidents on the porch but not too bad considering there are 3 of them and I’m not sure that some of the puddles don’t belong to the Princess of Pee herself. Speaking of Lola, she and Frito are having “these puppies are mine” fights and it is getting out of control. I’m afraid the pups will get in the middle of them. I’m so tired of separating dogs, Lucky hates the pups, actually I think he is terrified of them because he won’t even walk past them so we have to keep him away since he previously grabbed them a few times, then Frito and Lola sparring daily; it’s a little much..and frankly, I’m ready to be done with it.

I’ve been trying to walk the pups, what a circus. These photos really need no captions, they pretty much tell their own story.

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Barrio in blue collar, Brindle in red and Max in green.

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Yes, I am still in my nightgown. Many days it is just what I wear.

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I survived the walk.

I finally have some Heliconia growing, or Lobster Claws, only one flower so far but hopefully I’ll have more soon.

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Lobster Claw

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The hillside is starting to look good, have to keep it chopped every 2 weeks or it grows into a jungle..

That’s it for now folks, off to see Nadia @ Glam Salon and get my roots recolored to the color they should be and not the color they continually grown out as…What is up with that??

Before the wench got drenched.

Pirate

04/05/2015 Happy Easter everyone. Thanks Cheryl for the blog title. I’m going to attempt to finish the adventures of Cicily, Cheryl and I in this post. One thing I forgot to mention was that Friday evening, after a day on the beach we went to Cal’s Cantina for dinner. Not only is it right down the road from us, it is also the BEST food and restaurant view on the island. I had to add that because what kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t take our guests to Cal’s?

OK, back to the adventures. Sunday was an off and on rainy day. We decided to go for it and headed east. So far the girls had only been west of our house, except for the boat trip with Sam and Chelsie. We stopped at the store in Oak Ridge for drinks and munchies then did a road tour of Oak Ridge and stopped by to see Miguel and Winston.

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Narrow road past BJ’s and on the way to the taxi stand.

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Boat in the harbor

From there we headed east to Camp Bay and Roger and Jeanie’s house. It cleared up on the way and turned out to be a nice day. We visited with Roger and Jeanie for awhile, ooohhed and aaahed over their view and the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks. Bill discussed some cabinets that Jeanie wants for the kitchen and took some measurements of the wall space.

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Roger and Jeanie

After that we went further east to La Sirena, AKA Jimmy’s. Just as we got there we saw our friends Francis and Karen. We stopped to chat with them and I recognized the one guy from the previous day at Pigeon Key. Turns out he is Francis’ brother. Small world, small island. We had rum punches and lunch at La Sirena.

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Good food, cold beer

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Fish lunch. I had Onion Rings!!!

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Cis and Cheryl @ La Sirena

We covered new ground by driving the road over the mountain (sic, this is Roatan, they are big hills compared to where I come from) to Port Royal. It was a really pretty drive, during parts of it you forgot you were on an island, it looked like any other forest. Sort of.

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It is, after all a National Park

Next stop was Punta Gorda, actually, we just drove through there to show them the area.

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Punta Gorda

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These columns were very intricately carved. The road alongside them leads back to one of the schools we did the TOMS show drive.

We made our way home and went down to John’s pool for a late afternoon dip. The pool water felt great, not cold at all.

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On John’s deck

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The sunset was stunning.

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Cheryl

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Cicily

On Monday morning we drove down to Sandy Bay to check out Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum. This is the place that hydroponically grows the fabulous lettuce that we eat here on Roatan. They also grow a variety of herbs that are also sold in the grocery store. FROM THEIR WEBSITE:  “Welcome to Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum, Roatan’s working ”Tropical Eden” covering over 160 eco-friendly acres.  Here you will find uniquely spectacular tropical displayed gardens, seasonal fruit and nut orchards, the only tropical botanical “Conservatory” with a 12 ft waterfall in the Caribbean and over 70,000 heads of lettuce and herbs in a working hydroponic produce and herb farm.” We did the self guided tour and it was amazing. You can take your own tour by clicking HERE.

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Heliconia’s

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Noni fruit is known to be used for a variety of illnesses, including cancer and Dengue.

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Close up of Heliconia’s

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Ornamental Pineapple

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Inside the conservatory

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Shell Ginger

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Colors and textures

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Orchid

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Inside the conservatory

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Cheryl, me and Cicily, at the fruit tasting

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First we were served a plate with 7 different types of fruit on it. We all liked the brown fig looking one of the left the best.

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Then we were given this and told to each eat a lime slice first, then put the seed of the Miracle Fruit in our mouth and clean all of the stuff off of the seed until all you had left was the black seed itself. Then we were to each eat a slice of lime again. The first slice of lime was bitter as hell, normal for a lime. However, after eating the Miracle Fruit, the second slice of lime was sweet. It wasn’t tart at all. That sensations stayed in your mouth for about 20 minutes. We each bought some cashews and other stuff and were on our way to West End to do some shopping.

West End wasn’t very crowded, people were just starting to make their way to the island for the Semana Santa festivities/craziness. We shopped for a few hours and on the way home stopped at the Bulk Gourmet for lunch, which was delicious as always! Once we got home I gave Nancy a call to see if they would be home. They had just gotten there and she said to come on over. I really wanted them to see their house.

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View from the great room deck. The pool isn’t fiinshed but once it is it will be gorgeous.

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From the bedroom looking out over the property to the entertainment building.

We had a nice visit with them, toured their gardens and looked at the awesome flowers and plants they have. I’m going over once Sebastian returns and get some cuttings!!

The next day was the Pirate Party out in Calabash Bight. We were making rum balls in the morning to take, seemed fitting for a Pirate Party. This is the link for the Rum Balls, they were a huge hit. I made a sign and amazingly even had little pirate swords to stick in them. The sign got wet along with everything else on the ride to the party. Nothing like being at a party with a soaking wet ass. Oh well, once I got some Bandit in me (and yes Nathan and Scott,) I was drinking out of the BOX, I forgot I was wet.

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They were so good

We got to BJ’s around 11;45 for a ride to the party. The first boat came and went, we said we would wait for the next one, big mistake. BIG BIG mistake. Pudens son came soon after the first boat left and we climbed aboard. Part way to Big Rock the sky opened up and it freaking POURED BUCKETS!!

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I am the wench who got drenched!!

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The party in full swing. Photo by Cindy Darby Macy

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Brenda and I chatting, Marilyn and Alex next to me. Photo by Cindy Darby Macy (I think)

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The fabulous hosts Francie and Franklin Chrstopher. Note the Pirate Flag flying in the background!

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Cheryl and Llyn and ?? Photo by Cindy Darby Macy

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The outdoor kitchen

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Awesome wooden fish

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Franklin’s Pirate Pizza menu

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The pizza oven

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Their luxurious guest casitas

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The food pavilion

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Looking up to the Casita from the food pavilion

They made so many different kinds of pizzas and they were all fabulous. There were other foods too that people brought, it was all delicious! I took a box of Bandit wine with me. Jeanie noticed that it perfectly matched my ZORIES. (AKA sandals)

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Yes, Jeanie calls them ZORIES. It’s a fine name but to me they are flip flops..

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Did I mention the girls brought me BANDIT???

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Jeanie took this photo of Cheryl, me and Cicily as we were waiting for the boat to take us home.

The boat ride home was mesmerizing. At least it mesmerized the 3 of us into a trance like state, which was fine except I had to still drive from Oak Ridge home. It was interesting for sure and a whole lot calmer and drier going home. I think we all went home and passed out.

Their next to last day here we were going to Little French Key. Before we went there I gave them a tour of Parrot Tree Plantation, such a beautiful spot on the island.

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Cheryl posing on one of the beds around the pool

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Gorgeous flower

I had told Cicily and Cheryl (and everyone else) so much about Little French Key that I held good on my promise to take them there. Personally, I will not go there anymore, too many things bother me and I won’t get in to them on my blog but it’s not someplace I will visit again. It was overly crowded on Tuesday, crazy busy and the prices were jacked up, even for local admittance. Enough said, I won’t go on and on but I could easily.

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The Jaguar enclosure, this is a new structure.

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Such a gorgeous animal, too bad it is in captivity.

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It rained a little early in the day but cleared up and the sun was out the rest of the time there.

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From the 2nd floor of the new building

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Assessing the situation

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A swing in the water by the one bar

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Cis chilling

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Nice swing but it was all slimey, grossed me out.

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floating

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looking pretty comfy

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Cheryl, drink in hand

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Watching some young girls jump off of the Bottom’s Up bar.

We wrapped up out day at LFK and headed for home and a last dinner at Cal’s Cantina. Once again, we were not disappointed in our meals, it was superb!

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Notice Cheryl has on her Umbul Umbul dress.

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WE are so lucky Cal’s is less than 5 minutes from our house!

The next morning the girls were packing up their stuff to get ready to head to the airport for their trip back to the land of the cold.

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The dogs were hanging out, even Frito bean. Lola and Frito on the bench, Lucky and Highway on the ground. Frito is a little FAT.

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Bad but pretty, Lola, TUQ

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We could see the mainland.

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nose to nose

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I sure hope Cicily and Cheryl come back, I still have places to show them!!!

They made it home but it was not uneventful. Cheryl decided to wander around in Houston and ended up missing her flight to Newark. Cicily was on the plane, Cheryl was not in sight. They were arriving in Newark late so they planned to stay overnight at a hotel and drive back to PA in the morning. Cheryl was lucky enough to get on the next flight and made it to the hotel at 2:30 AM. Crazy girls!! They are now back in Pa, freezing their butts off and both wishing they were still here.

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!