Roatan ramblings

05/28/2017 I haven’t been into blogging lately, actually, I haven’t been into much of anything. Seems I spend more time with the dogs that with anyone else. We communicate endlessly.

A friend I met on FB and then caught up with twice while she was here visiting came down and stayed with us for 2 weeks while she was finalizing some things with her house build. They plan to be in their new home by the end of the year, it’s going to be awesome and they have a fabulous view. The beach is at the bottom of their land and they sit up on a hill overlooking the sea. Anxious for them to move down here. Diane is a dog lover so she was perfectly comfortable with our pack, Lola took a special interest in her and seemed to gravitate to Diane’s side.

Diane and I helped Connie with the Mother’s Day event to benefit Cattleya. It was held in Loren’s studio above their restaurant, Romeo’s, in French Harbor. The kids paid to make Mother’s Day gifts and when the gifts were completed they each got a pizza and a drink. Diane and I helped at the first station. At our table the kids drew on coffee filters, that had been opened and flattened, with markers.

The coloring station

The one little girl was very pensive, it took her a long time to do 10 filters.

These two were awesome, Jazmin and Matthew. They are the grandchildren of Miss Valerie who runs the Charmont Bilingual Academy (it’s an amazing school) for children who come from families affected by AIDS.

After they each colored 10 of them, they were individually spritzed with water until the colors bled. Then they were dried with hair dryers at the next table.

The ladies helping here are all teachers at Cattleya.

Once dried they were folded, twisted at the bottom and then opened into a flower shape. After that they went to another station where they added things to the bouquet.

Annie helping to make the bouquets beautiful.

Sweet brother and sister.

This is Matthew, he gave me a big hug before he left, what a sweet boy!

The final table was glitter then wrapping the bouquets up like a real flower bouquet. After they were done we all had yummy pizza, courtesy of Romeo’s restaurant.

This is the outside area of the art showroom.

Love the painted seating

I’m not sure what type of paint they used but I really like this artwork.

This was one of my favs.

It’s great fun helping Connie with an event, she is always so appreciative!

Diane and I also helped Nidia with the Mother’s Day event at Infinity Bay. It was held the day before Mother’s Day. The manager of Infinity Bay is always willing to give back to the community and he did it in a big way. The event was in their banquet room, tables were set very nicely, the food spread was incredible, they offered free 5 minute massages and all the ladies got a gift. Nidia planned for 120 ladies but several brought friends and children. I fast counted 135, we think there were 140+ people there.

These ladies came dressed in their Sunday best.

Many of them have never been to Infinity Bay (it’s quite a posh resort right on the beach) or West Bay beach.

Gifts for all

Nidia (in red) leading a game on the porch. The ladies weren’t playing by the rules so Nidia didn’t give out the prize.

Free massages

Nidia and one of the ladies dancing. The lady in black had the music in her, she danced while she waited in line for her food. She was a total joy to watch!

Diane and I were both tired when we got home. I really have to praise Nidia, this woman hass the drive and the power to get things done. It’s nothing for her to throw together a shindig like this, bringing ladies from the far reaches of Roatan to have a fun day. She’s totally amazing.

I’ve had some problems with Jessica, (the young girl I got back in school) she hasn’t been going to school. I had her over here one afternoon so we could talk about the situation. She was unusually quiet while she was here though and I couldn’t get more than 2 words out of her at a time.

She was picking dead leaves off of a plant.

The week after she was here she missed 2 out of 4 days of school. The first time she said she had to babysit. I told her she didn’t have any children that she was responsible for and that I was paying for her to go to school, not to babysit. The second day she missed I called her and asked what was going on and she said she was sleeping. She does nothing all day (school is 8:30-10:30 AM, M-Th) , stays out late with boys at night and can’t get up for school. I give up. She doesn’t want this for herself, if she did she would be like Alexi and not miss school. I even paid extra for her to attend a class trip the following Friday which included lunch at Bojangles.

I told her I was done and not to go to school anymore. I called Sister Judy and explained the situation and told her Jessica was done and that they could use my money as a donation. I felt awful doing it, it still haunts me, but if she doesn’t want a better life, nothing I say or do will change that. No different than getting rehab for an addict. She will be pregnant soon, Alexi agrees with me. He is furious with her as is her older sister Juliana. She told me she wished she had someone like me who cared when she was young. I am still stressing over this. A good friend who lives near the family and has known them for years told me not to waste my time, that Alexi is the success story from that family and to lavish our attention on him. He needs and wants it. Sad that their mother, who lives above Jessica and Juliana, doesn’t care. It’s so frustrating. I wanted better for Jessica, I thought she did too. I was so looking forward to helping this young girl. I am crushed that this happened, I had big plans for Jessica. Maybe she will come around, I can only hope.

We started adding onto the pool deck. The girl who was cleaning for me while my other gal was on maternity leave happens to have a very skilled craftsman for a husband. Enter MoMo. Thank you Andrea!! He is here everyday early, works non-stop all day long. He has expanded the deck, built a pergola, deck railings, a table, 2 benches and 2 chairs, a large counter with shelves and doors and 4 side tables. ALREADY! He is now building a box to hide the hideous hot water heater that Bill insisted on hanging where everyone can see it on the back porch. Then he is building doors to cover the storage areas on our back porch. After that it’s a pergola and furniture for the roof. I would really like to adopt him, he’s awesome and such a nice guy. He’s so good that Bill is allowing him to use his tools, BILL NEVER ALLOWS ANYONE TO USE HIS TOOLS. MoMo is in heaven. I’m in heaven because things are getting done here.

You can see by the stained/not stained what we added.

He made the table and chairs. The 2 benches are still waiting to be sprayed with finish and I have to have cushions made for everything..

Nice storage area, the tile for the counter is in, I have to pick it up tomorrow. I asked my friend Trish to paint a mermaid on the wall behind the counter.

The tables he made are so sturdy they can be used as seats too.

I love the table. We can’t have a glass table down on this deck, the wind is wicked strong, it would either be in Parrot Tree or shattered.

Fabulous views and some afternoon sun protection.

I’m quite pleased that we are getting all of this stuff done, my honey do list was stagnant and it was pissing me off. Our whole house needs repainted, inside but especially out. The sun is a killer on paint down here, it’s only been 3 years and the paint looks like crap.

Good lord, I love these dogs. Max (l) and Barrio

Max is on the table, Highway is doing his lap dog thing.

Bill had a small bag of Cheetos, the dogs were starving to death, as you can see.

Tres hermanos

Whoa, serious blues.

They must want my wine.

5 dog protection. Nobody, 2 legs or 4, gets by these dogs. Highway is a flipping idiot. When he barks it sounds like all 3 Stooges making their weird woop woop woops all mixed together. I HATE IT! Not a man, child, watusa, dog, duck, cat or motorcycle/car/truck gets by these guys. They are freaking relentless. It’s why Highway sleeps inside at night. Much easier than getting up 10 times screaming, shut the hell up, during the night.

Look at these boys, Barrio, Max and Gringo on the steps. They do a few laps several times a day. Max runs and jumps in. Do they know they are brothers?

Mr. Gringo, he thinks it’s a big water dish.

Bill went to Diane’s to check some measurements at her home that is under construction. It is in Politilly, not far from where Alexi’s family lives. (Glad he doesn’t live there anymore). Bill stopped to see Osman and Ephrain. (Alexi said Ephrain’s name has an N, not a M on the end). I stand corrected.

Osman (l) Alexi’s nephew and Ephrain, Alexi’s brother. They adore Bill and throw themselves on him. They get no attention from anyone, no father figure at all, no male in their lives, no mother either, really.

Odd looking Hummingbird. Mr. Anole crawls right up, doesn’t matter if there are Hummers there or not.

The other night the dogs had just eaten and were outside playing when all of a sudden they went bat-shit crazy. I could tell by the sound of Highway’s bark that he was jumping up in the air with every bark. I went down to the pool deck to see what was going on and the neighbor boy, Eddy was outside the fence. Eddy lives with several family members in the colonia below us. His Mother is not one of them, she lives in Coxen Hole, 30 minutes west of here. His grandparents are poor and do not treat any of the boys well. The 6 and 8 year olds come up here barefoot with machetes chopping firewood. Eddy is the oldest, 15 years old, he works every day as an unpaid bag boy at Eldon’s, the only money he makes is from tips. Weekdays he only works until noon, then he goes to a school to learn tourism. It costs him 2000 ($85.00) lempira a month for school, plus he has to pay for his transportation to and from school and work every day. Tonight he came up here very upset, he wanted to talk to Bill. His grandparents said he has to quit school and work full time because they need the money. We are pushing for him to stay in school, his future is grim if he stops going. It’s so sad to see a young boy in this situation. He’s another soul who gets no attention from anyone. No parental figures in this young boy’s life. WTH is up with the mother, why does she not see her child? How can she do that? I’m not judging, I just have serious questions. Sometimes it’s so hard to wrap your brain around things that you see. We will try to help Eddy and keep him in school, if we can. Ultimately, it’s not our decision.

Alexi is doing well, he’s here on his days off from the Bomberos, either working / hanging out and falling in the pool on occasion.

Mr. Muscle laying in the sun after he “fell” in the pool after cleaning it. He’s using his phone for eyeshade, this was before I gave him glasses.

He has to go to the mainland for the month of August, if he does well there he will hopefully become a paid Bombero. (firefighter/rescue) Currently, we are his only income.

We are so proud that he received this.

Our friends Kevin and Pam brought 2 bags of nice t-shirts for us to pass out. We gave Alexi, Miguel and MoMo first choice, what was left I took to the station and gave to the Bomberos guys, It always makes Alexi look good to his peers when someone close to him donates to the team. Alexi on the L.

If (praying he does) he gets in he needs to buy his own uniform and boots and 20 white undershirts. WTH? 20? He said yes, that’s what they have to buy. We need to revisit that and have him talk to the boss, that seems excessive. Thursday he told me he needed a white single sheet  on Friday. I didn’t have one so I went to Mega Paca, no white sheets of any size. I wish he had told me before so I could have found one for him. The big General from the mainland is checking out the stations this weekend while he is here for the Bomberos competition on Saturday. Alexi is so funny, he was telling us he’s not even going to try to win the competition, he’ll enter but he’s just going to go slow and be chill. HAH! He plans to win that thing for sure. I was on his case all day, he loves the back and forth banter.

We had a conversation today about the amount of water he DOESN’T drink. I’m a water chugger, I drink minimum 90 oz a day. He drinks coke. Many times Alexi will come here and his legs hurt, he says they feel like he can’t stretch them out. I give him 2 ibuprofen and make him drink water. I told him one of the main reasons he’s getting these cramps is dehydration. He promised me he would drink more water. He also never wears sunglasses or a hat, except when he’s in uniform, then he must wear a hat. I had a pair of sunglasses with polarized lens that I bought but they weren’t prescription so I never wore them (not a clue why I bought them). Once I found them again (he actually told me where they were) I showed them to Alexi. He really liked them so I gave them to him. He couldn’t believe what it looked like when he put them on, he said colors were different. Umm, yeah, they are. I also bought him a dark pink (his favorite color, because some girl told him he looked good in pink, he does) t-shirt that says Fire and Rescue on it.

He LOVED it. He was showing Bill the glasses before he left and he said to Bill, “she loves me.” Bill said, “yeah she does.” I won’t get into the fact that he clogged our toilet and it overflowed all over the floor, thankful for concrete floors and for the fact he knew where everything was to clean up his mess. UGH. I wondered what the heck was taking so long.

Because We Care is proud to be associated with Live Again Ministry. These are groups of people from different churches in North Carolina who have fallen in love with Roatan and the people here. These wonderful people have chosen this island to bless with their love and kindness. This visit a few of the things they did were; donate water filtration buckets to 150 people in Esperanza and El Higuero, painted the inside of a school, painted a medical clinic, passed out toys and sandals and dresses, toy cars and trucks and lunches to children in Oak Ridge. I know they did many other things this visit but unfortunately, I’ve been housebound because we have a worker here. Bill’s busy, so that means I hang at the house.

Pastor Jim in the green, he led the group this visit. I’ve met him, his son Josh, Dave and John before. It’s so cool that they keep coming back several times a year.

These are Sawyer water filtration buckets. If maintained properly they will filter at least 250,000 gallons of water, making it potable. Maintenance is easy. If used properly, this could change lives, providing fresh drinking water to people who have been getting bottles of water from the stream.

Some of the many recipients

Milton is one of the children who lives in the same home that Eddy (who has to quit school) does. He’s one who comes here barefoot with a super sharp machete. He is so cute; a nice boy with not a snowball’s chance in hell to succeed in life.

Little girl with her new dress.

They were posing.

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

This is the inside of the school they painted. The teacher / principal picked the color.

Passing out gifts, dresses, toys and flip flops

Many thanks to the people from LAM, your smiles and open hearts are making a huge impact on the people of Roatan.

I took one of my 5 dogs to the vet on Wednesday. Barrio’s been digging his ears a lot. The vet was doing a complicated repair surgery so I waited and chatted with other friends who were there. We sat in the same room as the vet doing the surgery, the operation was happening 3′ away. You can watch if you want, I do off and on. After about an hour of waiting I went to wipe the sweat off my face with my dress and realized I was still in my nightgown with a swimsuit top on underneath. Total island girl.

And here it is almost June. Class reunion in Penna. in September, trying to make flight arrangements has been ridiculous to say the least. There are very limited flights. In the time it takes me to get home I could have flown to Australia and back. Almost. Insanity.

Last pic is of my gorgeous granddaughter Alexah. She posted this on FB and said, Last day of middle school. Ever. 

How did she get so old?

And….I’m done. Peace out.

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Oh what a week!

 

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1/2/2016 Where do I begin?? Holidays in the tropics are pretty darn amazeballs. Last Thursday was, of course, Christmas Eve. I cooked a Mexican Chicken casserole and made a loaf of beer bread for the party. Alex picked us up in their boat at BJ’s at 4:30 and whisked us off to Carmen and Brett’s who live on Calabash Bight Key. The evening plans were dinner at Carmen and Brett’s, then some boat caroling, then drinks and dessert at Alex and Marilyn’s.

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A few of the boats on Carmen and Brett’s beach, there were also boats tied up to the dock. Only way to get there is by boat.

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Runaway boat, this boat was just drifting past. It belonged to some people east of where we were. Obviously they didn’t tie it up very well.

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so gorgeous

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setting sun

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Night time on the water. I apologize in advance, these photos are shitty. I have not found an easy setting for my camera in these type of light situations. I need to research this issue. Sorry for lack of everything but a little color..

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I seriously don’t think I saw anything that vaguely resembled this. I think my camera was shitfaced.

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A stop at the Reef House, Martina and Alex in the photo.

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Another stop on the bight. Talk about a simple Christmas.

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Divas, Marilyn and Francie. Francie hysterically ad-libs the songs and Marilyn was sick and sang til her voice was gone.

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We got beer @ this stop, thanks Ed and Julie!

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Puden’s (Francie and Franklin’s worker) Mom lives here..

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A night on the bight

When we stopped at BJ’s dock (the place everyone hangs out on Fridays) she and Carmen (her husband) came out and we sang for them. Let me digress here for a second. THEY, not we sang for them. {I can not sing. I have known this for years. Others say they can’t sing but they can, I am physically unable. I wish I could but I can’t so I don’t. You should thank me.} In my mind I was singing, loudly and as on key as Adele. Rosalie recently sent me the words to BJ’s version of Rudolph called AMBROSE THE AMOROUS ANTELOPE:

Ambrose the amorous antelope had a very shiny ass. And if you ever saw it, you would say it was made of glass. All of the other antelope used to laugh and call him names. They wouldn’t let poor Ambrose play in any antelope games. Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, Ambrose with your ass so bright, won’t you be my backup light. Then how the antelope loved him, and they shouted out with glee, Ambrose the glass assed antelope, you’ll go down in history!

That was pretty much the best thing ever! After all the treats for the people were gone we went back to Marilyn and Alex’s. The other 2 boats came and Bill and Brett (they didn’t go caroling) came over from Brett’s also. Marilyn had a variety of desserts and of course, more drinks. FYI: I was at the water point, that’s all I drank. We hung out for awhile and chatted with people. We were the only ones headed west for the night and didn’t want to keep Alex up by having to taxi us home at O dark 30 so we got a ride while he was still up and moving. It was a semi wet, salty for sure, beautiful ride over to BJ’s and our car.

Christmas came and went, not much fanfare here. We talked to the boys and to my parents and wished everyone a Merry Christmas! Around noon we headed down to Sandy Bay to have Christmas dinner with Dave and Trish and Bob and Rosalie. We sat down in Dave and Trish’s new area for drinks, then moved to the dining room for roast chicken, mashed potatoes corn and other goodies. After dinner we had dessert on the front porch. The dessert was pretty spectacular itself, chocolate rum cake. Ohmygosh, decadent. It was a wonderful Christmas day spent with good friends!

Saturday I was back at the airport and it was a freaking zoo. Four major airline flights came in within 30 min. max. It was chaos but we had it controlled so it was all good. Good chaos is the best. I got out of there a little after 2:30.

On Sunday I was brave and took Max and Barrio swimming to Parrot Tree. I did not take Gringo because he had a hot spot on his leg and contrary to what people say, I don’t like open wounds in the sea..too much chance for bacteria. He had to stay home. I was stressed about taking the 2 of them, together they weigh 100# and are strong boys. They were much better than I expected.. I didn’t take beach pics of them because my friend Susan came over and I was chatting with her. These pics are before I turned them loose.

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I was hoping they would jump off the dock but after I unhooked them they didn’t, they ran over the bridge to the other side and went it.

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Barrio in front, Max is the smaller darker one. He’s also the instigator of all bad things.

I stayed for over an hour floating and chatting with Susan while the boys ran all over. They were really good, when they started to go where they shouldn’t, I called to them. Barrio came right away and Max has to push it, he goes for a minute, then he comes. Need to break that habit. I brought them home, bathed the 2 of them, fed all of the dogs and took a shower myself. Susan and her friend Gayle picked me up for lunch. We went to Herbie’s and ate. It gets loud in there on Sundays, a football day. Every football game in the whole world is on one of their hundred TV’s. A loud place to be on game day, we sat outside.

Monday I was going to Monday’s Don’t Suck. I rode out with Trish and Dave. There were only a handful of people along that day and it was so much fun. We ate, drank, swam, floated and played volleyball. I have not played volleyball since high school and despite the fact I can’t run b/c of my knee, I had a blast and wasn’t as totally sucky as I thought I would be. I look forward to playing again!

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Mondays Don’t Suck

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Francie and The Duchess of Camp Bay

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Foggy view from my raft

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Floating our cares away

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Dave and Buck making a Tortuga

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good job guys!

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Dave and Trish. Love these two and no Michelle, she is very sweet and funny and has that kind of beach bod in the dead of winter on a Caribbean island.. I would hate her too but I like her too much.

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Let the games begin

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We play very similar to the hard body VB players on the beaches of Cali, we could be Olympic contenders for beach volleyball.

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Next time I’m wearing a damn hat. One time the ball was coming right at me, I couldn’t really see the ball, all I saw was the sand storm swirling around it.

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After we were finished we washed the millions of grains of sand off our bodies in the warm clear blue sea.

We actually played VBall twice, that’s how GOOD we are. Afterwards we all packed up our stuff and headed home. Dave and Trish dropped me off around 4’ish. I was exhausted from all the fun of the day. Jeanie brought me some new coloring books when she came to the beach earlier so I started coloring that evening to help me relax. I love my coloring books, the new favorite is called Lost Ocean. Right up my alley.

One of the gals who works on Tuesday at the airport was sick so I volunteered to take her Tuesday afternoon gig. There was only one flight coming in, 118 people and it took FOREVER to get the passengers through immigration. I felt sorry for the people in line.

My friend Nancy who has the Balinesian home 4 minutes from us has been bugging me to come over spend the day to meet her friends who are here visiting. I had lots of stuff to do Wed. afternoon so I popped by unannounced in the morning. I met her 2 friends plus Nancy had invited Maggie, Jeanie and Susan too. I only hung out for awhile, I had too many errands to do that day. One of them being the bank and I totally blew it off on Wed. Thursday morning I had no options other than go to the bank, ugh. I got there and there were no lights on but the guard let me in and there were many other people in there. I saw my friend Ven in line so I was talking to her when I realized Carmen was in there too. The bank said they couldn’t give out any $$ so Carmen and I went outside to chat. While standing out there, the lights came back on. Obviously they were having a generator issue..I finally got my money and came on home.

I was trying to decide if I was going to the NY Eve party or not. Bill was opting out because he doesn’t like the house empty so I decided rather than stay home and do nothing, I was going. I got ready and left for Jeanies, who lives on the north shore, around 3. Once I got to her house we gathered our shit and headed back over the mountain to Calabash Bight Resort on the south shore. There were a few people already there but soon after we got there people started to come. For 400 LPS (about 20 bucks) you got roasted pig, chicken and shrimp with many sides for the meal and they had an open bar. I had already decided early in the evening not to drink much so after a glass of wine I hit the wine glass with water thing..We danced and laughed and watched tremendously fabulous fireworks, á la the Christophers. They were some of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen, all out over the water, gorgeous evening with wonderful fun friends!

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Mr. Pyrotechnics himself setting up the display. Excellent job!!

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The ugly venue view.. obviously I’m being facetious, it’s gorgeous there.

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The resort grounds

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Lots of visiting going on.

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The Banditos

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Brett and Carmen.

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Francie’s 91 year old mother Carol dancing; she reminds me of my Mom so much!! Francie and Duchess Jeanie in background.

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Best light show!! Francie and the DOCB Jeanies’ legs were aglow..

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everyone is shimmering

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Trish and Bob all aglow.

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Trish

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Trish, Rosalie and me

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A photo op with the DOCB, Jeanie.

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Tarty poses.. There is actually quite a long story surrounding this photo and because most of you don’t know Jeanie, I won’t go into it. For those of you who do know her, let your imaginations run wild. You’re probably right.

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we even had duppies (ghosts) in the trees

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What can I say about this photo? OK, lets start with the fact that Francie’s dress was brush burning her arms when they were down alongside the rough sequins so she opted to do this. We are inventive intelligent women. Gail is having a party for 1, she was hysterical all night long. Loved her.

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BJ snapping shots

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Francie getting her Mother and her guy pal situated for the fireworks display.

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Francies Mom Carol and Tom

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Who do these legs belong to?

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PARTY ON!!

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If everyone had as much fun as I did then it was a huge success!!

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L to R: Francie, Marilyn and Jeanie, the DOCB

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Marilyn is adjusting the girls..

I have no photos of Martina, the hostess who always goes out of her way to make things pretty damn perfect!! Such a fun party, I’m so glad I went. Amazing shindig Martina, thank you!

What would my blog be without some dog photos. I find it amazing that my dogs match the floor so well. It’s almost like I knew they would and that’s why I have them. In my mind I often rationalize things logically that way. It’s one of my gifts. Singing is not.

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5 dogs in this photo, top to bottom: Barrio, Lola, Max, Highway and Gringo. It’s like a damn minefield.

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Maxillicious

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Gringo the dude.

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The ADHD boss man Highway

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Lola laying down and Barrio

Jeanie had a watchie at her house for NYE so we had to leave at a reasonable time. I went back to her house and crashed there rather than drive another 30 minutes home alone from the eastern boundaries of the rock. I awoke this morning at her fab house to the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks below. What a fantastic sound to hear when you wake up, nothing better. New Years Day I came home, walked ALL 6 dogs, fed them and slept for 3 hours, tomorrow back at the airport for the day. I’m ready for bed, again.

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