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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With visions of whale sharks

weird

1/16/2016 My 3 legged dog licks rocks. I’m not lying, she does. She loves it, I’m not overly enthusiastic about the whole thing. For some reason this satisfies a particularly intense need that she has. She drools when she does it, maybe she has a deficiency? Yes, this is the same insane dog who ate between 40 and 50 heart worm pills at once. I still don’t know how she got them out of the suitcase. They smelled like beef, that’s all that mattered: they were hers. We gave her a bottle of liquid charcoal by the syringeful to make her puke. She never vomited but she quickly developed a taste for Charcoal. She did shit pure black the next day, but puke? Nope..

We have had dog collar issues this past week. I was given some dog collars so I changed the boys collars for sturdier ones. The next day Barrio brought me Gringo’s collar, chewed in half. WTH? I put another older used collar on Gring and found it in pieces on the porch later the same day. I put his older collar on and IT WAS CHEWED OFF TOO. I ended up putting the thin cheap Wal Mart collar back on him, it’s been 2 days and all is well. The pleasures of raising 3 male pups can’t ever be put into words. It’s mystifying to say the least.

I have watched again for the billionth # of times a show on Netflix called Iris.  Go out of your way to watch this movie, it’s about an amazing woman. She makes me think of the times when I worked at Lynn Hayes in Williamsport, just a young 18 year old girl working in the fanciest, most expensive clothing store in town. I fell in love with fashion. I didn’t follow the norm though, I always wanted to be different. That was my deal. Ladies, do yourself a favor and find the show Iris and watch it, she is an upscale, bohemian fashion icon.

I moped around here on Monday, depressed about Bowie’s death.  I think I moved everything and cleaned off the shelves, listening to Bowie. Later on I ran to the store to get stuff to make something to take to the 2nd Annual Port Royal Bash and am glad I went with options in mind because Eldon’s had nothing, again.  I was reduced to broccoli salad, which turned out yummy. I ran to Mega Paca and saw 3 friends there, it’s really my favorite store, ever. I can find Banana Republic plain colored t-shirts for around $1.00, dresses for $3.00. I get my shopping fix, spending under $10.00 and come home w/ a bag of stuff. I saw an ugly but large cooler bag there on Monday, didn’t buy it b/c it was orange and green. After I got home it’s all I could think about. This is the story of my life. This is what I did buy though.

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A pig watering can

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It was less than $1.50 USD

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I bought it because of this tail. It doesn’t leak either!!

I got up early Tuesday and ran to Mega Paca and bought the damn cooler bag. It’s ugly and I love it, it says Tropicana on it. Bob and Rosalie picked me up Tuesday morning around 11, we were meeting other people at BJ’s at noon to get a ride to the party on the Islander . I believe there were about 40 people on the boat on the way over, most with chairs and coolers. It was the usual crowd, most everyone was there and the ones that weren’t, like Bill and my un-named girlfriend, well, we decided they all had hemorrhoids.

Mel and John have recently started building on their gorgeous piece of land on the water in Port Royal. They are doing it building by building, all the while living on their big boat docked right there. It’s really beautiful and serene out there. The easiest way to get there is by boat and it takes close to 30 minutes from Oak Ridge. There is a road but I guess it’s pretty long and not in great shape.

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Their living roof.

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the bodega and the wood oven will be in this building area.

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More partiers arriving!

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Morena, she likes beer and pina coladas.

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Llyn and Betty

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Sitting around a small campfire, it helps to keep the bugs away. At least, that’s what I assumed because it sure as hell wasn’t cold.

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Kelly, strutting his stuff.

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Thanks Keri for the pic of Jeanie and I, although curious why you named it Double Trouble???

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Group discussions

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Obviously Keri’s color!

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Food, fun, drinks, games, what more do you need?

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People still arriving

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Sophie, what a sweet dog. (The dogs were only tied up for the party.)

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Custom wine bag

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Spigot and all.

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Good thing they have a big dock.

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Lots of boats

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Their boat is on the left, Diamond Lil. Mel has written several books in the Diamond Lil series.

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Kathy and I goofing around with the camera.

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Our captain said it was time to leave so we all boarded the boat. Then he decided to play another game of cornhole!

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Mike and Gail and friends leaving.

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Gorgeous view on my ride home..I love Roatan!

Wednesday I cleaned again, this time I moved all the furniture and sucked up 736 pounds of dog hair. No lie. It took forever and then I let the dogs back inside so they could shed some more. I’m a sick sick person.

I read online that whale sharks were spotted in the waters in front of our house so I contacted the dive shop and begged them to call me because I can be there in 10 minutes. Thursday I got up, dressed in my swimsuit and a skirt, had my snorkel bag all packed and they didn’t call. I decided around 1 I had to go to the bank, not a lempira in my pocket, so I reluctantly got dressed and left. I got a call from Holly at the dive shop saying the whale sharks were still in the area and maybe tomorrow. Maybe just became a HUGE word.

Thursday night we went to Chuck and Nancy’s for dinner and were home late and had 6 hungry dogs. I got the dogs fed, watched Modern Family and went to bed. I had visions of whale sharks in my head. Friends, this is at the top of my bucket list, it’s something I REALLY want to do. My dream is of me slipping into the water next to one of these giants and hoping I don’t die from a heart attack due to uncontrollable excitement.

I awoke Friday morning, whale sharks still on the brain. I dressed in my swimsuit again and had all my gear ready to go, but no call and it was time for Español escuela so I had get myself ready. I showered and got my stuff around for class.

On my way to Spanish classes (which is always followed by wine at BJ’s) I encountered the following: a young boy thrusting a live chicken, held by the legs, at me as I drove by. Like I’m actually going to stop, grab the chicken, give the boy a few lempiras, strap the sucker into the front seat belt and go on about my day. What reasons could he possibly have come up with in his mind that I was going to stop and take a live chicken from him? Do I look like a chicken lady? Isn’t there a law about dangling a live chicken in front of car windshields while the car is moving?

Then around another corner were 2 Brahman bulls standing in the middle of the road. These things are BIG evil looking cows. Shortly after the cows I came upon a TukTuk, a 3 wheeled vehicle like they use in Indonesia. It was filled to maximum capacity with what looked like a bunch of candy and it had a maximum speed of 7 MPH. What I could see through the back window was all colorful foil packets. Maybe they were all condoms and not candy but seeing all of the pregnant women girls on the island I’m placing my $$ on candy.

Power went out a few times last night, not for very long though, thankful we have battery back up for the WiFi! It reminded me that power was out a week or two ago on the West end of the island because someone shot the lines with a bullet. I don’t make this shit up, I don’t need to.

I was asked to be in charge of Saturdays at the airport, making the schedules, finding subs if someone can’t make it. Last Saturday night I was making spread sheets again, good for my brain. Thank you Amanda B.

My friend Amanda Walkins, who is a blogger and also writes for several well known publications, Huffington Post, International Living to name a few, has her own blog.

In her most recent post, she talks about leaving the island and now living in Scotland. She also gives mention of my little blog. Thank you Amanda!!

From Amanda’s blog: Mermaid on a Raft: Debbie retired to Roatan and has been documenting all of her island shenanigans over the last several years. Her humor is hysterical, and her life will make you jealous if you’re still plugging away waiting to retire. She posts tons of photos from snorkeling adventures, her regular social outings with other expats, and the many volunteer activities she does all around the island. She’s incredibly helpful if you’re thinking of retiring to Roatan – be sure to reach out!

Also, Amanda’s handsome Irish Colombian boyfriend said the grape looking things I saw underwater are indeed Sea Grapes..who knew?

I hustled my butt at the airport today. It was a zoo again. Maybe I’ll only mention it when it’s slow because I’m sure everyone says why does she do it if shes going to whine about it. I’m not whining though, just remarking how freaking busy we were. I love mass pandemonium and chaos for short periods of time; therefore, the airport gig is well suited for my personality type. I love it. I worked with my friend Caroline again, we make a great team! I really enjoy meeting the new people, having them look at me with wonderment when I tell them my story of how we ended up here.

As soon as we got home, I had my daily crack.

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I am so addicted. They think I’m a freak at the grocery store b/c I buy 10 at a time. My body physically craves this daily. It’s not real pretty.

While at the grocery store I saw Woudsin (my friend from Helene). I gave him a big hug and a kiss. Then some gringo came up and asked me if I lived here and I said sure do. He said we just bought a place, I asked where, he said Helene. He then asked if I knew Perry or Rick and I said yes, that I knew both of them but have known Perry most of my life. I put two and two together,  and realized he was w/ Woudsin. He then said to me, did you spend the night at Perry’s and do you blog? I said I sure do and my overnight at Perry and Kay’s blog was called Serene Helene. He said, I read your blog and have the photos you took at Perry’s on my phone. Small island and I’m always happy to meet people with the weirdest connections to me. I told Woudsin to show them where I lived on their way up island and told them to come visit. Welcome Terry and Cal to Helene, Roatan.

The extended dog fence is moving along slowly. As expected. EVERYTHING moves slowly here except taxi’s and $$. The fence they ordered and delivered was 8′, ours is 6′. Damn. Just got the estimate for the gate and windows for the shop and plan to get them started ASAP.

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Columns going up for the gate.

When I finished my yogurt after work (airport) we grabbed a suitcase and a bag, both full of soccer jerseys and shorts and socks. We met our friend Miguel (who just came for dinner last week) with several guys from 2 different teams in Oak Ridge and Pandytown. They were very excited to be getting soccer stuff. The leader is a coach and a minister and his mission is to get the kids off of the street and playing basketball, soccer and volleyball. Our friends, Trish and Dave, from Toronto were given these uniforms by a league back in Toronto. Many thanks to the donating league and to Trish and Dave for carrying all the extra luggage down here. they made so many people (kids and adults) so happy! I will get more photos when the season begins again mid February.

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Sorted into piles of colors

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Some of these guys have never worn a jersey. They were given shorts and socks also. The shorts were all black so they matched all the tops.

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It was nice and controlled. Nobody starting going through the uniforms they just stood there and looked at them, anticipating…The little boy in the left corner plays soccer also. He was with his dad. I gave him 2 jerseys, shorts and a pair of soccer socks. He had an ear to ear grin.

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Same little boy, second to left.

It was fun to see the guys smiling and excited about having jerseys that matched. I gave the teams 2 of the soccer balls Trish and Dave brought also. I feel really good that the uniforms were given to men who still play soccer and who encourage the kids to play as well.

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The Ark nightclub, down the road a few miles, is coming along. This baffles my brain.

When I finally returned after being gone most of the day the boys were extremely happy to see me. Funny how much I miss them as well.

I still am dealing with the bruised/broken, disintegrated rib from 2 weeks ago. It hurts. I always thought my Mom was exaggerating {when she fell in the big huge green garbage bin trying to retrieve something she threw away by accident} about her ribs but I understand now that she wasn’t. Lesson learned the hard way, again.

Hasta Luego..whale sharks still on the brain.

Urine trouble

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01/11/2016 RIP David Bowie.  (please click on the link to listen to Let’s Dance) When I read the news this morning tears involuntarily began streaming down my cheeks, dripping onto my lap. It was not a good start to my day. When it hit me that Ziggy Stardust was no longer, I decided today was not going to be a beach day for me.

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I struggled several times during the morning.  We have lost lots of rockers before but the majority of them screw up and kill themselves by OD’ing and then we make a huge deal over their deaths. Freddy Mercury died from AIDS, John Lennon at the hands of a madman and David sang his last song because of Cancer. All fabulous talents, I’m just terribly sad.

Friday I attempted to pay our 2016 taxes, naively assuming I could go there and do this within 30 minutes. LMAO, where do I think I live? Ridiculousness followed. After waiting, chatting with the Mayor, Aaron, Clifford and Bernie, who all work there and my friend Gus who I met at the vet clinic, I left. Spanish class was waiting. Once we were out of Spanish class we all went to BJ’s to party and party we did. They ran out of wine soon after I got there and Marilyn would have none of that shit so she Jeanie and I jumped in Marilyn’s boat and went to her house to get 3 bottles from her personal stash for the bar. That’s just how we do it here. After a few glasses of wine we decided to plank someone’s boat. Thanks for the photo Melanie Wood!

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Melanie is always there to help document these events.

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Thanks again Melanie Wood. We were dancing fools!

I spent my Saturday at the airport with Caroline, Miss Peggy, Lisa and Linda. It never fails to happen, the first flight was due in at 12:18, it came at 12:55. Fifteen minutes before the next flight and 20 before the next 2. It was crazy again, some man said to me very surprised, “You don’t get paid to do this?” Nope, volunteer. We were notified Friday eve that there was a passenger on one of the planes who was not to be allowed into the country and was to be put right back on a plane to the states. We spotted him before he even entered the building, he was apprehended and somehow talked his way out of the situation, was put through immigration and allowed to stay for the week. Very odd..I was exhausted and still had to go get groceries. The grocery store had nothing, no Blue Harbor lettuce, no jalapenos, no grated cheese, none of my fav yogurt, nada. (update: I went today, Monday, still nada..wth?)

Sunday morning I got up early, walked all 6 dogs, showered, then got things around here and was out the door at 8:30 to be in Oak Ridge for the Catamaran Boat trip. Radical Catamaran Adventures is an absolute blast!! This was my third trip and I’ll be going again Feb. 28th with the vets too! It’s 7 hours on a huge catamaran in the calm clear waters of Port Royal. We stop and snorkel at the cow and the calf, another spot and then a wreck. The boat is non-stop food and drinks, all included in the price, plus music, dancing and craziness. I was with a bunch of friends, and had an absolutely incredible time.

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Sea fan with a feather duster at the base, surrounded by coral

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More anemones

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Tube coral

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Different angle

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two different patterns in the coral, notice the lower band is different from the top

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love the colors

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The Duchess of Camp Bay AKA my BFF Jeanie.

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Damn I wanted this. What a fabulous vase it would make, too bad it’s not touchable or attainable..

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Black spiny sea urchin

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A couple white ones

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Clam shell

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Not a clue what kind of coral this is

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This was amazing

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What looks like the eye of the feather duster is actually the tube it withdraws all its feathery things in to when startled.

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Can’t get enough of the Christmas Tree worms. It just fascinates the hell out of me that the white foot thing in the bottom of the pic is the worm and the trees are on it’s back. They can also instantly hide in the worm.

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Here the worm is yellow and on the bottom

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thousands of these little fishies

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Still waiting to find out what this is, looked like grapes.

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A pod of feather dusters

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tiny neons

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The SV Free Radical. The people, Ed and Julie, who own this have sailed around the world. Not on this catamaran, but it took them 5 years to do it.

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This was incredible, it had little clam like things that were growing on it, they looked like they had teeth.

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Spotted this on the way back to the boat. Keri and Jeanie and I snorkeled around the cow then I snorkeled around the calf.

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Jeanie AKA The DOCB

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Barbara, Caroline (my airport buddy) and me

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My friend Judy, she looks stunning sitting there!

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Rosalie and Bob, Jeanie and Nancy

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Kathy

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Judy and I

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Barbara, Judy and Caroline

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Judy

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Floating and drinking and laughing! Me, Keri, Kathy, Jeanie, Barbara and Judy

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We added more women, always a good thing. Me, Keri, Kathy, Rosalie, Judy, Caroline Barbara and Trish

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I do not know why, but I have used meat skewers in my hair.

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When I took them out at home they still had meat on them. gross.

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Judy is gorgeous!!

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I don’t remember what Dave was doing but I don’t think it was dancing..

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I can’t believe the amount of fun I had!!

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Love these 2, Trish and Dave, from Toronto. They own a house down here and will be moving here not soon enough.

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Chuck and Nancy, Rosalie and Bob, Jeanie starting her pole dance, I was trying to stay upright and no clue what Caroline was telling that little boy. Poor kid, only one on a boat of rowdy adults.

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Keri (from Snohomish Wa but lives here full time now) and Kathy. Pretty in peach and pretty in pink..

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Jeanie and I beginning our act.

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We tried to hang upside down but were reprimanded for hanging on that rope..

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Miss Innocence

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Dave and Trish

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Sky on the way home

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Seriously, who does she belong to??

Needless to say, it was a beyond fabulous day on the Radical. It’s definitely something to look forward to when they have their ex-pat specials. A full 7 hours of majestic scenery, warm clear water and a boat full of friends. So blessed to have these people in my life and to get to live the life I am.

When the boat trip was over I stopped and picked up Miguel, our former worker. They were coming for dinner. He was going to bring his brother Winston but he had to leave Sunday so just he and his girlfriend and baby came. We had pizza on the roof. Miguel is such a fabulous, honest, trustworthy person, I’m so glad we have stayed friends.

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Their baby, Valerie Giselle, who is 8 months old is absolutely a doll. I couldn’t stop kissing her. In love with this baby girl.

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Miguel and Estefany and baby. Stupid orange lights make it hard to take pics inside. It was nice to see them, just difficult to communicate with her due to my inability to grasp Spanish, I’m trying though.

Update on a few things. I may have mentioned that I fried the extra batteries to my good camera when I dumped the kayak. Well, I tried to use one of the batteries after it dried out and I got an error message on my camera. I then tried the battery that was dry and charged and my camera would not turn on. I charged the battery more, still nothing. I was so flipping bummed because I take pics every single day of my life. I quickly posted on a FB page to see if anyone was coming down in the next few days to bring me a new charger and 2 new batteries. Luckily my friend Linda was arriving Sat. so I sent them to her and she handed them to me when she walked into immigration. I was very doubtful they were going to work but they did. My camera is functioning and I was so damn happy that I didn’t ruin it. Thank you so much Linda!!

Also, my friends from Williamsport that I was going to hang with on Friday at BJs messaged me and said they had to go back to the states immediately. My friends Mom had taken a turn for the worst and they needed to return home. They got there one day before she passed. RIP Mrs. Daniele.

I asked my friend Amanda Walkins to ask her handsome Irish Colombian fiance’ who knows a lot about marine life and the jellies we encountered. This is her response:

This is what the Irish-Colombian says, “Comb jellies do not sting. Moon jellies can sting, but not badly. They were not the ones stinging you though, it was all the siphonophores that you can’t really see, but they’re long strands (did you read Rika’s latest post about the blackwater dives at West End Divers? Courtney took a photo of one – it’s the second-to-last picture in the blog: http://www.cubiclethrowdown.com/). They show up when it’s more stagnant because they’re feeding on the bacteria that accumulates with all those nutrients from the runoff, especially on the south side. It happens there more frequently, but happens on the north/west side, too. That photo of the French Angelfish – you said it was bad viz. That’s the runoff with bacteria and nutrients that the siphonophores and all the comb and moon jellies were feeding on.”
These are some stock images of siphonophores:
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Photo credit ocean.si.edu

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Photo credit: http://www.wired.com

Tomorrow is a beach party in Port Royal. I had 3 different things planned to make, knowing that the grocery would not have all of the ingredients I needed so there had to be choices. Thankful that I planned ahead with a few ideas..broccoli salad it is.

My friend Julie (of Robby and Julie, who will be here for a week March 26th) posted this on one of my Catamaran pics;  You have more fun in one week than some people have in a decade! Thanks Julie, I sure try!

My parting thought:

If you’re ever sad, just remember that the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.

(instagram photo by @stevendouglas)