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.

Coming into the Holidaze

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12/07/2016   It was a dark and pissy 2 months ago yesterday that I fell and hurt my foot and today is also my granddaughter’s 14th birthday, Happy Birthday Alexah!

I am walking but it’s painful, standing, well, forget it. I think my issue is tendinitis but I’m not a Doc so I’m guessing, and being optimistic that there isn’t a fracture. I have not done any diving or snorkeling yet because I enjoy being able to walk and the pain is enough to still be a deterrent to any new aggravation.

Our company arrived on a semi sunny Saturday, Nov 19th. Early that morning we took Gringo to the vets from Tegus who come to Roatan monthly to find out what was going on with his skin. Dr. Diana did a skin scraping and took some blood from him. The skin scraping showed a bacterial infection and I was positive it was fungal. So much for my veterinary degree. After 2 weeks of new meds he is 95% better and we are thrilled with that. We still bathe him often and have decided to keep him on meds for another 2 weeks. Keeping our fingers crossed.

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Mr. Handsome Gringo was not happy about being at the vets

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We had Bill’s truck (the dog food is in my car) so I couldn’t feed this poor dog.

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Talk about long lunches and crazy hours. Lunch is from 12PM to 2 AM and then they work until 5:30PM. Really Honduras?

We took Gringo home and I drove back into the airport to pick up Julie and Robby. Unfortunately 3 planes landed at the same time and it took them FOREVER to get through immigration. They were happy to be here and hungry, it was probably a bad choice to take them to the grocery store after they landed.

On Sunday morning Julie came with me to Mega Paca. We stayed as long as I was still able to stand. Afterwards we met Bill and Robby @ GiLei’s for coffee and food. Not that I drink coffee, nor does Julie and Robby isn’t a huge fan, but Bill is a coffee guy and the food we had was excellent, we’ll be back for sure.

The weather kind of sucked the first week Robby and Julie were here. It’s been an incredibly rainy winter so far. There’s been so much rain it killed some of my flowers that are in pots. Obviously I’m not keeping a very good eye on them either.

Monday Robby wanted to help Bill who’s helping out a friend and I have no clue what Julie and I did. It may have been a decent day and we may have laid in the sun.

The sun made an appearance on Tuesday so I took R&J down to BJ’s where they got a boat over to the Reef House to do some diving. They only did 1 dive and were waiting for me when I got there to pick them up. They said the viz was mediocre at best. Tuesday eve we went to Cal’s for dinner, excellent as always.

On Wednesday we all started prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Julie and I baked, peeled and chopped most of Wednesday, even Robby was cooking. Carmen and Brett and Jeanie and Roger, and my friend and Divemaster Guru Eric all joined Robby and Julie and Bill and I for dinner. We had way too much food. I had enough damn mashed potatoes for everyone in this valley. Really I did. I suck at estimating how much food. I was worried a 22# turkey wouldn’t be enough. HA freaking HA! Eric stuck around and we chatted about diving for awhile. I sent him home with a box of food (his wife and kids are in the states and due to his dive business here, he had to miss out on family time). If you plan to learn to dive on Roatan, I can highly recommend Blue Island Divers.  Do your SSI course work in the comfort of your own home and then go see Eric and do your water certification. Diving done right.

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Preparation

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Those 2 big pans, full of potatoes.

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Robby, Julie, Roger and The Duchess (Jeanie)

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Carmen

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He has their attention with turkey scraps.

I tried to do the dishes that night and partially succeeded. Friday was another day.

It rained like hell off and on Friday, just gloomy as crap. Sam and Chelsie and Daniel and Stephanie were coming for dinner. When they got here it wasn’t raining but it was absolutely pouring when they left. It’s the first Stephanie and Daniel have been around the dogs. She and I were out on the porch and they were all excited and barking. Daniel asked if the dogs all had their teeth. Umm, yes they do. Sam’s family owns the Iguana farm and Daniel owns the sloth sanctuary, and they are cousins, and Sam’s wife and Daniel’s girlfriend have been friends for 10 years, Chelsie got Stephanie to move down to Roatan, they are both teachers at the Nuna Academy. We had a really nice evening with all of them, Robby and Julie enjoyed seeing Sam and Chelsie again and well, we always enjoy them and just love Daniel and Stephanie.

Saturday it was semi sunny so we hung out around the pool. Our other friends from Oregon arrived yesterday so they came down today to say hello. I was hoping to be able to dive with Robby and Julie and Liza and Mike but not this trip. Next one for sure.

Sam Arch was in a Wahoo fishing tournament over the weekend at Barefoot Cay. On Sunday they were having a BBQ and the prizes were being awarded. I wanted Robby and Julie to see Barefoot so we went down there around 2. As luck would have it, Sam won the Grand Prize for the largest Wahoo and the first place prize for the most amount of fish caught, weight wise. Everyone except me ate lunch/dinner there and had a few beers. Beautiful day by the water and really happy that Sam won.

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The eating area, we sat under a palapa to be out of the sun.

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I was looking for Sam’s boat but he had already taken it home.

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Chelsie and Sam

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Robby and Julie

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Sam, second from L, Haydee (works at Barefoot) Sam’s fishing buddy and Mr Sherman Arch on the R, Sam’s dad.

Monday was a gorgeous day and that only means one thing, MONDAYS DON’T SUCK at the best private beach on the moon. (It’s a secret and I get shit if I mention where it is) FED Duchess. We packed up some chairs, some food and some booze, a few rafts and headed to the moon. What an incredible place filled with friends all looking for the same thing, an uncomplicated day, minus all stress and hassles of life spent with good friends on our little island paradise on the moon.

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Robby and Roger raking

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The group is in the shade, the sun goddesses moved to be in the sun.

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Carmen, Pam, me and Martina and Dan-o and Molly the dogs.

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The Duchess and Molly

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Some people even came by boat and swam in.

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Julie, Pam and Carmen going for a walk on the beach.

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Proudly flying our flags

Since the weather was co-operating on Tuesday, I offered to take Robby and Julie to Blue Island Divers for some diving. Eric wasn’t their DM that day because he was flying home the next day so they dove with Cole. Cole is awesome, I dove with him a few times, he’s a fun Dive Master. While they were diving I went to Nadia and got my hair colored then went and hung out with Ann until it was time to pick them up. The plan that day was to have Alexi and his sisters, brother and nephew come over and swim and have lunch. Bill picked them up and we ran in the store on the way home and got what we needed. When we got home the kids were in the front yard playing with Bill and Alexi. They came inside and went out to the pool and before you knew it, the young boys were in their undies and in the pool.

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Efraim, Alexi’s little brother and Osman on the raft, (Alexi’s sister Juliana’s son)

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Efraim wringing out his undies

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Juliana and Efraim

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Jessica and Osman

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Alexi

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Efraim using Julie’s camera

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Efraim. Notice his shoes, they don’t fit. His nephew Osman is 2 years younger and bigger than he is.

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Juliana and Jessica hanging out the window

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Yep, Max jumped on the truck hood. Lola joined him but I missed that shot.

Bill made his famous infamous pizza on Wednesday night for dinner, it was yummy as usual. Maybe he should open a pizza joint here.

Thursday I took Julie and Robby back to Blue Island for some more diving. While they were diving I ran and got Gringo more meds then went back and sat at the dive shop and talked to Maria and Elton and the new Dive Master teacher from Greece. When they got done diving we went to the Salty Mango and had lunch, then ran down to see my puppies at Lisa’s house. I haven’t seen Bandit and Sable for several months but they remembered me for sure. Man, I love these puppies.

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Bandit looks so much like Barrio I had to do a double take on this photo.

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Sable, the only girl in Frito’s litter and she’s a feisty one.

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Bandit and Sable. They look different from the other pups because their ears stand up straight and they have smaller bodies than my guys do. Gringo weighs double what Sable does. I’m so glad Lisa has them, she loves these two so much.

Robby and Julie and I headed back east after visiting with Lisa and the pups. Little did I know, Julie had chicken and dumplings cooking in the crock pot, nice surprise and another great meal.

On Friday we all went down to the Buccaneer, a place that recently reopened. There are a few small retail shops in there and they are hoping to get more. They said a restaurant and bar will be opening soon, you can have parties there, meetings or go hang out by the water. Bill and Robby had coffee there and they both thought it was excellent and cheap. Me, I don’t give a rip about coffee, now if it had been wine I would have been all over it.

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The natural swimming pool that Julie and I floated in. However, on Sunday I was told not to swim in that water due to the poor disposal of sewage in that area. UGH.

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Nice long pier.

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Floating in the yucky but clear water.

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Huge swim area.

Friday night we went to Cal’s to eat. He was so busy we hurried and got our orders in before the 2 big tables did. When we got home we sat out front and talked and let the dogs play and tire themselves out. Hah, like that ever happens.

Robby and Julie’s flight was scheduled to leave at 1:30 on Saturday but it got delayed, then delayed more and delayed again. I don’t think they actually got out of RTB until close to 3. Since we had so much time to kill we ran to Blue Island Divers so they could buy shirts. Then it was off for a sweets run to Fresh Bakery. I had the banana chocolate chip cake and ohmygosh it was excellent. I decided to take 2 pieces back to Maria and Elton at the dive shop. We then made our way to RTB. The day I was there to pick them up the line for security leaving was all the way through the airport, this day, not so much. I saw Roger and Jeanie, Liza and Mike and a hundred other people I knew while waiting with them. Once they were in the security line and almost through, I left for home. After a quick stoop at the grocery store I came home and jumped on a raft and floated for awhile.

Of course, Sunday morning was Mega Paca day. I meandered through there for what seemed like hours, then ran to Eldon’s to get peanut butter, which I forgot the day before. I was invited by Milesse to Barefoot Cay to meet the new general managers wife Trisha. Milesse served an excellent lunch along with bottomless mimosas. Very nice afternoon and I met some new friends to boot.

I’ve had a quiet week so far, spent most of it hanging with the dogs, floating in the pool and reading. Today we are going to Brett and Carmen’s so Bill can help Brett with some plumbing {ended up unable to reach the pipes to replace the faucets and showerhead without a demo job}. Tomorrow it’s back to Barefoot Cay for a get together for the airport greeters, should be a fun time, I’m going with Cindy and Cathey.

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Marilyn stopped by Carmen’s while we were there, she is making some curtains, then we rode to her house to look at her pool installation that is happening on Honduras time.

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On the way back to Jessie’s dock.

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Marilyn’s dogs

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At the entrance to one of the mangrove cuts

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Going through the mangroves

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Kids fishing

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And playing

Pretty soon we will be having the Because We Care Christmas parties, there will be at least 4 of them, probably more, depends on how many toys we get donated. Stay tuned for us spreading holiday cheer on this gorgeous rock we call home.

 

 

Equalize, equalize, equalize. My new mantra.

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09/07/2016  I’ve been in a fog or lost somewhere. Not sure which. Wednesday was 2 weeks that I have been home and I don’t remember what I’ve done.

I got home Wed. and on Friday my cleaning gal came and cleaned downstairs and upstairs in preparation for our guests arriving on Saturday. After cleaning all day Friday (I do everything upstairs and let her do the floors) I decided Saturday was a day of rest. As was Sunday and Monday and and and..

Saturday before the guests arrived I met my friend Trish and her husband Fred in Brick Bay to visit with a monkey who is tied to a tree. My friend has been visiting this monkey for awhile now and contacted me while I was in the states to see what I knew about it. (Nothing) I agreed to go see it. I’ve been told the monkey has been there for years and is taken care of. She’s not skinny, she had fresh water and shelter; however, she has a dog collar around her belly and it is sewn together so that she can’t remove it. It’s sad.

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Meet Mona. She belongs to the decrepit old derelict hotel across the road and is fed by a guy who lives there.

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She carries her rope with her tail.

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She hates the dog collar and points to it all the time.

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She is adorable. I was told she is mean but she has been very sweet to my friend and never bitten her.

I sent some people messages inquiring about her and from their responses, she is not up for grabs and belongs to someone. Bummed.

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I saw this on my way home.

Our guests arrived, dropped off their luggage then went and ran some errands. They just bought a home not too far east of us, our friend Alex was their agent. They plan to move here in Nov. and recently got an HGTV offer to film, pretty exciting!

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Chris and I on the roof

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Bill and Jimmy and Highway and Max

On Monday I pulled out the 4 bags of soccer uniforms that were donated by the Hillcrest Village Soccer Club in Toronto (and brought down by my friends Trish and Dave) so that I could sort by size. I was AMAZED at the amount of stuff donated. The shorts were all new, tags still attached and brand new soccer socks too. There were jerseys, goalie jerseys and gloves along with 60+ small soccer balls. It’s an incredible gift for the island kids.

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Dozens of pairs of shorts

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Jerseys of every color

I got them separated and ready to deliver. On Tuesday morning Dave and Trish came down to our house and we drove down to Juticalpa loaded with soccer uniforms and soccer balls. The director was really excited, but not as much as the kids!

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The director (to the L of the pillar) getting the students to line up.

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Clearly not a student. Many of the mothers bring their small children with them when they walk their kids to school, (most don’t walk them) and they stay while their child is in class rather than walk home. Still don’t have that figured out.

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Checking out their gear.

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Trish in light purple, her husband Dave, with the black ball cap, and me passing out stuff. It was pandemonium for a few minutes.

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Trish, Dave, the director and I looking at sizes. My cleaning gal Carla is on the far right in a purple tank. She lives near there and came down to translate.

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Me with a few of the boys. We got so many hugs when we got there and before we left. These kids love to hug you!

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The uniforms made the day for these boys.

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We all fell in love with this guy. Everything was too big but he didn’t care, he had a uniform. I see a few more pairs of TOMS shoes.

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Bill and I (L) and Trish and Dave (R) with the newly uniformed kids.

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This little boy took off his TOMS shoes that we (Because We Care) fit him with this spring and played soccer in his bare feet.

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I love seeing girls playing soccer!

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Their bleachers

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Rumor has it this little girl kicks a$$ on the field.

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The field is very rough, barely any grass, rocks, cans, glass, trash. Nothing like the fields the kids in the US get to play on. The director allowed the students to play against each other and then the winners played each other. We couldn’t stay for the whole thing but I guess new uniforms trump class any day.

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Bill was in the process of lifting this little girl up, I tried but she was too heavy!

I’m really happy that Dave and Trish were able to come along and meet the kids and see how happy the uniforms from Hillcrest Village mean to these children. Nice uniforms make it a whole new game. Many thanks to Hillcrest Village Soccer Club!

On Thursday my friend Caroline and I went diving with Ernesto @ Blue Island Divers. It was an insanely HOT day and all I wanted to do was get underwater. We hung around BID until Ernesto was ready to go. We got on the boat, got geared up and tumbled overboard into the sea. It was my first time with my new camera case, still a bit of a learning curve.

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Beautiful sponges

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These are so fascinating, I can’t swim by one without looking inside it.

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Love the blue color

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Caroline took this of me

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Sea fan

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Caroline, she has been diving for years and had a business called Scuba Diving Divas.

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The coral and sponges were amazing here. We were at a spot called DD’s.

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Ernesto spotted this Scorpion fish, very poisonous. He also took the photo with my camera because he can control his buoyancy better than I can. I will be working on that. It’s eye is the yellow dot on the R.

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Ernesto also spotted these cleaner shrimps. So cool.

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They attach themselves to whatever needs cleaned.

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A Nassau Grouper

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Ernesto pointed up, when I looked this is what I saw.

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There is something down there but I have no clue what.

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Stunning blue sponges

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Coral

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This was huge, over 3′ tall

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There is something down in this one also.

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I don’t know what this is called but it’s beautiful.

We had an excellent 50 minute dive. I realized after this dive that I need to hone equalizing my ears and my buoyancy so I plan to get my Advanced Open Water certificate which will address both of those issues. Once I got home from the dive I had an earache in the ear I screwed up when diving in Akumal many years ago. After reading online about equalizing I figured out what I am doing wrong. I should be equalizing with every breath during my descent through the first atmosphere (33′), I was not doing that. I was trying to do it when I got almost to depth, which is wrong.

By Friday morning I had an earful of fluid and when I swallowed it sounded like I was underwater. I was trying to get into Dr Rafael at the clinic but couldn’t get through on the phones to verify he was in. I messaged my friend Andrea, who is the nurse at CocoView dive resort and she said to come see her. I met Andrea when I first moved here alone, we both lived at Pineapple Villas. She has been diving for years so I drove there and she picked me up on the boat and we went over to her office. She looked in my ears and yes, I had water behind my eardrum. She has these small ear vibrators called Ear Docs and said vibration was the best way to open the eustachian tubes. She took me back to the dock armed with what I needed to do and some Sudafed. I took a pill and used my large back/neck massager on the front of my ear and behind it and by the next morning my ear felt better. But I didn’t. I was getting a wretched airplane cold.

I was down most of the day Friday and Saturday. Sunday we had company coming. We were all going to a party at the Reef House then coming back here for pizza. I decided instead of not going, to just go and relax and see my friends. I’m glad I did.

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My diving buddy and dinner company Caroline and my BFF Marilyn.

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Bill and I, thanks Keri for the photos.

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This is me with 2 hats on my butt cheeks. Thanks Ann for encouraging me.

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Ann took this also with David floating in the background. If you’re wondering where we are with such an amazing view, we’re at Trish and Dave’s. And yes, Ann has a bubble gun and is blowing bubbles.

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A photo of the western tip of Roatan taken by Nixon Oneal. Fabulous.

My friend Linda posted on FB that she had limes to give away. I was all over that. Bill and I were there at 8 AM Tuesday morning and I got 2 colanders full of limes. Some were huge Key Limes, never seen them that big.

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I sat on the porch and squeezed them all.

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So juicy

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Picture perfect

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I threw all the skins over the bank so the lizards, watusas and whatever else could feast on then.

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I filled up 4 ice cube trays with lime juice.

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Once frozen, I pop the cubes out, put in a zip-loc and use them for cooking or throw one in my ice water. Yummy!

The other day on FB I got a friend request from a college friend. I haven’t heard from Kathy since we moved. She said she didn’t have my correct email so I sent it to her. Then she emailed me saying: Sounds like you are enjoying your life in Honduras. I was just reading an “ISLANDS” magazine a couple of days ago (searching for a new vacation destination—we usually go to the Bahamas Out Islands)  and came across your name (shocking!!) in an article about living in Honduras. So I decided to try again to find you and am so excited that I finally did!

What article?? Then I remembered I was interviewed for an article but had no idea it was for Islands magazines. Click here and scroll down to Roatan. Actually the best part of this article is that Kathy and I are in touch again!

It’s past my bedtime. I’m going to publish this, give the dogs their treats and go to bed. Buenas noches amigos.

A long 2 weeks

13076871_1012531292173947_6991698614228400295_n05/14/2016  My sweet friend Ann and I were discussing twitisms on FB messenger and she started sending me jokes from a “Broomstick” FB page. This photo: Ride it Like You Stole it, resonated. Thank you Ann, you saved me countless hours searching for what I wanted to convey.

Ann and I were obviously meant to be friends, we seem to share the same humor, we speak on FB often. We have secrets. We make plans, cheer each either on. We drink wine together, virtually, because you see, we have never met. The power of FB. I know when we meet it will be like planets aligning. Things may even be momentarily right in the universe. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Dammit Ann, see what you did?

I’m amazed that it has been this long since my last blather blog. I haven’t been busy, have I? Maybe I have and it’s all been a giant blur.

Well, except we had sweet boy Barrio neutered on Wed. That kept me busy for a good week.

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So stoned…..

He did not do as well as his brothers and ended up with an infected incision, (probably from licking it every time I looked away). He also got a cone. He was a cone klutz. I have had many dogs wearing cones before but none at clutzy as Barrio. I don’t know if he is mentally capable of “getting even” but he did. He would ram the back of my calves and lower thighs with the damn cone. It was like jet propulsion except there were no rockets shooting up my ass. Damn. Anyhow. It hurt like a mother. He was capable of moving me along at the speed of light, I have scars on the backs of my knees to prove it.

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Barrio AKA Conehead with his bone from Linda and Mike.

Doc always gives Cephalexin and says use iodine, for everything, but it is really not a broad spectrum drug and in the case of Barrio’s oozing incision, it was the wrong medicine. And Iodine, well, I won’t even go there. I contacted a vet friend and she concurred with me and said to put him on Clavamox (dog amoxicillin) for 10 days and to use antibacterial cream. She said it probably got infected by him licking it and introducing dirt into the incision. Two days on that medicine and he was a new dog, except for the &%$*#@^ cone of shame. He slept with us for a week, I would wake up with his conehead laying by my pillow. I felt so bad he had to wear it and am so happy we are done with it.

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Bananas out the wazoo. Too bad I’m too lazy to bake.

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Yes, Gringo slept like this.

For those of you familiar with my Orca shoes. They died. These were the coolest shoes, the left one fit my foot perfectly and it was very comfortable, the right one, not so much. I spent the 10 years I owned them trying to alter my right foot so that shoe felt good and I could wear them. (My opinion is they were seconds when I bought them at Ross). I recently cleaned out my closet, 2 garbage bags later, it was down to the final shoes, this was one pair I decided to just wear. After about 2 hours with them on my feet {remember I’ve only worn flip-flops since Nov. 2012} I took them off. It was then I noticed that they were disintegrating before my very eyes. I was devastated but I tossed them in the trash.

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The elements here are nasty

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Rot took over

Last week I dog sat while Bill ran countless errands acquiring things for the myriad of shit we have going on. Construction on the garage, patio, deck. it’s everywhere. Construction=DIRT. Obviously I am too stubborn (stupid) to admit defeat. I don’t remember a thing from that week except binge watching Project Runway while I kept the dogs from eating the workers outside. So much fun, I kid. Really, I do. It was sheer hell.

Awhile ago I met Marcy on FB (I was determining whether to admit her to a closed Roatan group that I am an admin on). She was coming to Roatan and arrived this past Saturday. The rest is, well, as they say, history. We are friends. Friends enough that she stayed with us this past week in the guest condo. She owns a doggie day care in Mass. so she was very comfy with the dogs. She looked at properties and decided on a piece of land not far from here and made an offer on it. While she was looking at property all day Tuesday with Alex, I worked at BJ’s with Marilyn and the crew. Then Marcy came with me on Wed. and Thurs. to work at the bar.

The day after Marcy arrived we went to Mega Paca and met Pam who needed some ground rules for shopping there. After we were done shopping we met my friend Melissa and drove down in to Juticalpa. I had 2 giant bags of clothes for her and Marcy had coloring books, crayons and shoes for the kids.

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Cutie

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New shoes

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Shoes for both the girls

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She brought her little sister

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I love this photo

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And then there was this pup, starving.

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Marcy feeding another one

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The cat was so hungry it was eating the dog food.

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We had no more pink shoes in her size, she didn’t care, she loved her black Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crocs.

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Passing out the last of the books

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Keon, my friend Melissa’s son. He is well cared for and a real sweetheart.

We actually put food out for a few dogs who were starving and they ignored it, which is a bad sign. They are past the point of being able to eat and are waiting to die. What they need is to have IV’s with fluid and stuff pumped in to them, but this is Roatan and that doesn’t happen. Very sad and depressing not to be able to help.

As you know (if you read my blog or saw me in the last week or so) that we, as a community, lost a good friend. I am still dealing with that. I did not know them as well as others did but that doesn’t mean I didn’t care a great deal about the two of them. A small group (10) worked this past week in the bar, cleaning up, sorting, re-arranging, recovering bar stools, painting, just little things, and we did it for BJ, so she would have a place to come home to after what she went through losing Carmen. I only helped 3 days but I worked really hard. So hard that I couldn’t stand up straight, my back was protesting. Even my house guest helped 2 days and she busted it, painting, scrubbing, cutting contact paper, hard work. Thanks Marcy! There were only a few others and those few individuals worked their asses off, they did the majority of the blood sweat and tears to revamp BJ’s. It’s still BJ’s, it always will be, only better!

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The new bodega, we moved the freezers and extra frig in there. We also had shelves added and put pots and pans on them. The floor was painted, as were the walls and the shutters.

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We cleaned and cleaned. We scrubbed refrigerators, thawed freezers and cleaned them.

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Marilyn, passed out. Really, she was giving her back a break, it was hard work!

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New bar stool covers, we tacked them all down. The old brown ones can be seen laying on the bar.

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Me holding them down while Marilyn staple gunned them.

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Yep, it’s how we roll. It was a labor of love and for the nay-sayers and people who are bitching because we did it, go away, find something constructive to do instead of finding fault with everything. Dig a hole and crawl in it.

After working 3 straight days at BJ’s we decided Friday was fun day so we set off for the Reef House at around 1. When we got to BJ’s a few people were still busting butt, finishing up the place so it would be presentable when BJ arrived. Jimmy picked us up in the boat and took us over. There was a small crowd but some of the usual suspects were there so it was a good day.

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The Banditos minus Alex were playing

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Marcy and me

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It was Larry’s birthday

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So pretty there

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I found this in the water, there was nothing living in it.

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The Reef House Rockettes, Charlene, me, Marcy, Marilyn and Pam

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Pam and Marcy

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Me and Charlene, who was swimming in her bra

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Charlene, Pam and me

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Keri

We had a great time there, wandered home around 4’ish. Marcy and I both ate there but Bill threw something together for dinner anyhow. It was an early to bed evening for us all.

I had airport duty in the morning and Marcy was moving to the Calabash Bight Resort for the second week. Bill took her to meet Pam, who was boating Marcy to CBR and I met Kim at the bottom of the driveway and we went and did our thing at the airport.

Sunday morning is my Mega Paca day and this past Sunday was no different. I got there at 9 AM and noticed the generators were running in the mall, meaning, no power. Our power had gone out but it came back on very quickly. I went in the store and the power was on, then it went off. I’ve been there before when this happens and it usually comes right back on once they get the generator working. Well, it didn’t. So I did what any normal obsessed shopper would do, I used the flashlight on my cell phone and shopped. Soon after I turned my flashlight on, others did too. Soon the store was lit by cell phones. The power came off and on many times, mostly off. I had a few dresses I wanted to try on so I did and an islander shined her cell phone on me and said yes or no to the dress. I did the same for her.

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The light you see is the light from outside and a small light from someone’s cell phone. Total darkness. It was fun.

I bought 2 beach towels, 2 bath towels, a nice red bucket, a Banana Republic dress for $2.30 and an awesome skull shirt, along with a few other things. It was a good day shopping in the dark.

My cleaning gal came today and is coming back tomorrow to do the downstairs. The garage will soon be ready for the roof and windows, the huge concrete patio is poured out front and more exciting news to come out back.

Everyday is an adventure, and I’m trying to live it to the fullest. Tomorrow we are setting up for the senior luncheon that happens on Wednesday @ Turquoise Bay Resort. We expect about 300+ seniors for lunch. I’m looking forward to it and will take lots of photos for my next post.

On Thursday one of my BFF’s from WA is coming for 2 weeks and while she is here another BFF from Maryland is joining us. Lots going on in the next few weeks.

The excitement never ends…

 

 

 

 

In the blink of an eye

 

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05/01/2016 This is an old post that I hid for almost a year due to a request from someone. I’m not hiding it any longer. Sometimes the  truth hurts.

Fridays the gang usually meets at BJ’s Backyard but BJ is in the hospital on the mainland so the festivities were held at The Reef House.  The Reef House is just a short boat ride away from BJ’s. Dave and Trish came to our house and we rode to BJ’s together. From there Jimmy picked us up and took us to The Reef House. My friends Davey and Dilcia own The Reef House but they were in Atlanta, returning the next day. They missed the fun!

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Just beautiful

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My own private pool

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crystal clear and super warm

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Playing cornhole

All the usual suspects were there and then some. The Reef House is situated right on the water and unlike the water at BJ’s, this is nice and clean and swimmable. We ladies got in the water and floated around, it was fabulous, felt like it was 90 degrees. I just wore a swimsuit and a cover up, I was amongst friends, who cares. Trish and I were in the water for quite awhile, just hanging out and chatting.

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Trish and I enjoying the water. Photo by Melanie Wood.

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In heaven

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Trish and me

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Awaiting Marilyn. She was slow because she had precious wine in the glass..

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Marilyn, me and Trish

After 1 too many glasses of wine I gathered the ladies for an epic plank on the concrete dock.

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Bill is the picture taker

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Then we got more people to join us. I think this photo is Melanie’s too

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People thought we were looking for fish

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For a moment we considered a pyramid but then we remembered we were drinking and we were on a concrete pier. Thanks Melanie for the photo!

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My friend Kelly, he so rocks this hat!!

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Bill and Terry talking.

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Dave, Grizzly the dog and Bill.

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Marilyn and me, photo by Gail.

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Keri and I, maybe we were dancing, not sure. Photo by Gail.

I am pretty sure I had a blast there. We left around 3:30-4, came back here, Trish and I showered off the salt water and we went to Cal’s for dinner. Mr. John, our neighbor was there eating alone so I drug him over to our table and then my friend Mitch came, so he joined us. We had a great meal at our favorite food hang out on the island.

Saturday was airport day and I had a fabulous group of ladies working with me. Marilyn and Cindy rode in with me and Laine, Kimberly and Jill all worked too. We got 539 PAX in and out of immigration in 2.5 hours. It was super smooth. I came home and fell asleep on the couch. Woke up, ate something, and went to bed.

Sunday is my Mega Paca day, I was there at 9 AM. My new friends Erik and Jan (they went to Guanaja with us) were meeting me there. We shopped until after 11 and then went to my house to grab some onions before we went to La Sirena for lunch. I really wanted to show them more of the island since they so graciously give their time volunteering here, doing whatever they can to benefit Roatan. Bill decided he wanted to go with us, he’ll never turn down a meal at La Sirena.

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It’s a good thing I took onions because when I went inside to hug Jimmy, the owner, he said, we’re out of onions. I said, no worries, I brought 2. No way was I NOT having onion rings.

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Love this place

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While we were sitting there Betty and Joe and Llyn and John and Lucy came for lunch too. Plus there were friends inside when we got there.

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Diego. We first met him when he was a little pup (July of 2012).

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Bill, Llyn and Jan

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We stopped at our Mondays Don’t Suck beach so Jan and Erik could see it. There were a lot of locals and a considerable amount of trash.

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So gorgeous!

We dropped Jan and Erik off at the mall and they got a taxi back to Sandy Bay. The dogs were happy to see us when we returned, it’s like we’ve been gone for years! Of course, we had “other” dogs smells on us so we were in trouble for that.

This past week has been a slow hot week. Monday Bill and I ran some errands but didn’t really do too much. The temps keep creeping up and the humidity is a killer. Once again, I cleaned, then let the dogs in. I don’t know why I even bother, if I allowed the dog hair to accumulate we could be transported back to the 70’s with a shag rug look! It’s never ending.

On Tuesday we  took Alexi home, armed with new soccer uniforms for the guys he plays soccer with. They play on the beach right next to the water in Politilly. He was so proud to be able to be the one handing out the uniforms, it made him feel important.

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Alexi, first row, right

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The guys were happy with matching jerseys and shorts, the other teams don’t have them.

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Their field

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Guys kitesurfing! Pretty awesome to watch.

Thanks again to Dave and Trish Symons for bringing all of these uniforms from Canada. There are still a whole teams worth to take to the school down the road from us @ the Froylan Turcios school. There is a soccer field right across from the school and Bill already spoke to the director, she would love to have them.

Wednesday was snip snip day for my baby Max. I normally would have had him neutered a long time ago but shit happens and I was busy many Wednesdays. I am super protective of these pups so I wanted him to be done when I could spend time with him and keep an eye on him to make sure he was eating drinking, peeing, AND, not licking. Of course, my vet didn’t have any cones to discourage that.

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I hated watching this but wouldn’t/couldn’t step away.

We had taken Gringo with us because he has two lumps on his chest. I was afraid they were hematomas like the one he had before but Doc said he is fat, and they are fat deposits. Gringo is on a diet. Bill took Gringo home while Doc removed Max’s family jewels and then came back to get us, poor little guy was wiped out.

I sat with him all day and kept him in front of and under a fan. I fed him ice chips and kept rousing him to wake up but he wouldn’t. Finally, later in the day he began to come to. Bill carried him downstairs and he wobbled around, {looked like me last Friday at the Reef House}, and then he peed. We brought him back upstairs and let the rest of the crew inside with him.

We wanted him inside with us at night so he got the luxury of sleeping with us. I spent most of the night awake making sure he wasn’t chewing his stitches out. The next morning he had an appetite so I gave him some eggs and yogurt. He was still either stoned or felt the loss of the testosterone, he was just off. I had a hell of a time keeping him from licking. I did find a place that has cones so I’ll get one for Barrio for next week when he gets snipped. The real feel temperature yesterday was 108. Hot as hell.

We have guys here working in the backyard so the dogs can’t be out there running loose and Bill is pouring concrete out front. This means I am running a poorly funded, barely functioning version of Deb’s Doggie Daycare for Dysfunctional Dogs. And I wonder where all the dog hair comes from.

Last evening we had just finished dinner and the power went out. It was weird. We have 2 feeder lines coming in here, don’t ask. First one went out, which meant part of the lights, then the other one did. I am so thankful my new laptop battery works and we have battery backup for the internet. I posted on the electric company page that our power was out and saw that friends from one end of the island to the other also lost power. It was island wide. One whole island in the Caribbean sea was dark. I laid on the couch and aimed a flashlight at Max’s man parts so I knew what was going on there and dozed off and on. Very grateful we live where we do and that we usually always have a breeze because last night and all day yesterday I was sweating uncontrollably and I did NOTHING. I couldn’t, I was too damn hot. With no fans when the power was out the breeze was appreciated.

While I was on Guanaja I saw a dog that was hurt, sick and bleeding. When I took Max to my vet on Wed. I talked to him about the vet there and he gave me her phone number. Bethany, Doc’s assistant told me, “you know who she is Deb.” I said nope, I don’t. Bethany said she is the lady who was caught with 63K in cash traveling to Belize. Turns out the $$ was properly accounted for and she was charged with nothing, however the government, being as crooked as all others, kept 1/3 of her $$. She does a lot for the island of Guanaja, which is more primitive than Roatan is. I called her on Wednesday and explained the situation to her. I told her I had a photo of the school and the dog so I posted them on her vet clinic FB page. She owns the clinic and said she would have the vet go get the dog and they would take care of it. Aside from being a dog rescuer, she has a very distinguished past, she is uber famous. While alone in South Dakota she discovered the largest T-Rex skeleton in history, it is named after her. Read her article hereclick on Highlights at the top of her page for the T-Rex story.

I spent almost 30 minutes chatting with this lady on the phone. I’m telling you, this island life is so freaking amazing. I love my rock!

I made the dogs some new treats, no bake because who can bake when your boobs are melting off?

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Peanut butter oatmeal balls

3/4 c peanut butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 water
Mix well, add 1 1/4 c oats, 1/4 c at a time.
Shape into balls, freeze on cookie sheet w/ wax paper on it. Once frozen store in ziploc in freezer. My dogs prefer them slightly thawed when eating them and they LOVE them. Well, Highway won’t eat them because he thinks there is a pill in them. He’ll eat the pumpkin ones though. And he thinks he’s so smart!

Friday is my day to misbehave with my friends, however, I spent it at home, dogsitting. Bill poured 1/3 of the concrete garage floor and his back was killing him, he was done for the day.

Friday afternoon Nidia called me. She had been in Oak Ridge at the school when she heard a shot. Not thinking too much about it, she went to BJ’s to see if I was there. She realized when she got there that the party must have been at The Reef House again because none of the usual misfits were there and BJ’s was closed. She saw the lady who sells pineapple cookies every Friday and she told Nidia that Carmen, BJ’s husband, had shot himself. He was dead. Nobody is really sure what went down other than the week before, on my way to the Reef House, I went in and hugged Carmen and asked about BJ. He was upset, saying he didn’t know how BJ was and he was told he had to move out. He was 78 years old and he felt he had nowhere to go. (My friend recently told me that three different people offered him options. She also said, most suicides in elderly are successful because it’s not a cry for help, it is their choice of a solution.) She’s right. What happened was Carmen’s choice. Knowing that helps, but it doesn’t make me any less sad.

A week later (Friday) the lawyer and the cops came to evict him and he got a gun and killed himself. We are all in shock, profoundly hurt, not sure why someone didn’t recognize that he was desperate. There is a big black cloud of anguish hanging over the east end of Roatan. Oak Ridge and BJ’s will never be the same. BJ is out of the hospital but none of us have seen her, she is in Sandy Bay, hasn’t returned to Oak Ridge yet. She is doing much better, the internal bleeding has stopped. I hope she makes it through this. I hope we all do and that at some point we can accept what happened. Blink, and your life changes.

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BJ and Carmen at the Pirate Party Feb 4th. He was pointing his finger at me (I was in the pool) and saying, “girl, you better behave.”

RIP my sweet friend Carmen, you will never be forgotten. Oct 2, 1938 to April 29, 2016.

Carmen’s obit was just shared on FB so I am sharing it here so that those of you who never knew him have an idea of what the man was like. This is the best written obit I’ve ever read, it’s like Carmen wrote it himself.

He was born Feb. 12, 1938, in Pascagoula to Floyd and Ava Byrd, passed away in Roatan, Honduras on April 29, 2016. Carmen was a graduate of Pascagoula High School Class of 1955 and University of Southern Mississippi. He was a beloved brother, a prodigal son, a well-intentioned father and probably a better husband in theory than in practice. Carmen loved women–probably too many–and was loved by them in equal measure. As a young man, he dove from the Pascagoula Bridge at midnight and swam home to Gautier, was rumored to be the first to waterski jump barefoot, and taught Elvis how to waterski. His career spanned days as a proud Marine in Oki Nawa, where he once played a trumpet solo for the Emperor of Japan; as an orderly in the psych ward of a hospital in California; ups and downs as an elevator repairman in his then father-in-law’s business; a successful general contractor in New Orleans (until he wasn’t); an owner of a dive resort and marina in Roatan, and most recently, as the chief entertainer at his wife’s restaurant, BJ’s Backyard in Roatan. His suspected career was imagined by some to include stints as CIA operative, DEA agent, drug smuggler, jungle guide and exotic fish consultant. We may never know which were true and which were someone’s fantasy, but we do know Carmen thoroughly enjoyed the speculation. Hearing issues caused by firing deafening artillery in the Marine Corps led to the title of his as-yet unwritten biography, “Consonants and Context Clues; the Life of Carmen Byrd.” And when that book is written, it will tell the story of an adventurous spirit, a teller of tales that seemed tall but always rang true, a debonair rake, and a lovable scoundrel. His ego was large, his heart was larger and he could strike just the right pose for any occasion. He has left a throng of heartbroken survivors, including his wife, BJ Ebanks of Roatan; his devoted sister, Carolyn Byrd Norton of Washington, DC; his children, Kimberly Erwin of Louisiana, Ashton Byrd of Phoenix, AZ, Shannon Byrd of Roatan, and step-daughter Tracy Ebanks of Roatan; his nieces Amanda Norton Miller of Alexandria, VA, and Julia Norton of Washington, DC; his grandchildren Amy Harris Schwendimann and JJ Harris, James and Maegan Byrd and his great-nephew Ryan Miller. –

The Ninja Vets invade Roatan’s East End

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08/05/2015 I spent the better part of Saturday the 25th at the airport waiting for the majority of the Helping Paws Across Borders vets and vet techs to arrive so I could help Kathy shuttle them and all of their gear to Oak Ridge. Bill got to the airport at 3 to help also, there were a lot of people and lots and lots of luggage (medical supplies, etc.) After some shots of tequila @ BJ’s (trust me, there’s the same amount of tequila in each of these glasses, even though some were shot glasses and some were drinking glasses), they got a boat to the Reef House Resort where they are staying. The Reef House is very close to Oak Ridge where the clinic will be.

On Tuesday I loaded Lola into my car and we were off for the vet clinic at 7:40 AM. Lola was getting spayed and I was volunteering at the clinic. We were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO busy. I was trying to check people in and I had no clipboard to lean on to even write. My friend Mac came with his 2 gorgeous well behaved dogs and he gave me his clipboard, Damn, where is Bank of America’s BIG BLUE when you really need it??

It was a scorchingly hot day, I felt sorry for the animals and people waiting. When Lola came out of surgery we had a hard time rousing her. Some dogs handle anesthesia differently than others. I, myself, used to be a puke fest with it until I started telling the docs and they put anti nausea meds in it. What a difference. We got some ice packs for Lola and I was rubbing her tongue with ice, she was starting to come around. I called Bill to come get her but it was still awhile after he got there until they were comfortable to let her go. She took a few days to get back eating but seems to be doing fine almost 1 week after. We kept her away from the pups the first day and that only upset them and her. They adore her and were missing her terribly. Once we let her back out with them they didn’t stop licking her face..They love them some Lola.

I spent Tues, Wed and Thursday there from 8-5 everyday except Thursday when I got there at 9. (I was busy making the vets rum balls for their after work treats). The vets took a much deserved day off on Friday and we were all back at it again Saturday. I love working with this group of people!

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, here are the pics..

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Setting up in the “far from ideal” conditions. Not much air moving, 90+ degrees, dust blowing around the parking lot, barking dogs and kids everywhere.

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Some of the early birds

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They came in trucks, cars, taxis, on motorcycles and on foot.

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Brenda loving on a pooch

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My friend Mac with his 2 gorgeous dogs. Dr. Allison Kean is talking to him and Amber Stickel, a volunteer tech on the right.

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Kathy and Jenn in the prep room. This is where the anesthesia is administered to knock them out.

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People waiting and we were waiting too,  for our other tables and chairs to be delivered..Cleo, sitting on the table and Shannon on the right are talking to a man who brought his Great Dane in to have a hematoma removed from his ear.

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My Lola girl, out of it. She was getting spayed.

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Dogs everywhere

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Nina, Morgan and Susan working on Lola in recovery

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Joe and his dog Jetty with Susan, in recovery also.

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We put colored tape with a number on everyone .

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Adam, Nina’s hubby with a cat in recovery.

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GATOS!! (cats)

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A cute little puppy I was warming up. Despite the hot temps, this guy had a bath and was shivering when he arrived.

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Shannon, Morgan, Tiffany and Susan with Shannon’s cats in recovery

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Treating the Great Dane’s hematoma.

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After surgery. I have since been in touch with the owners and he is doing fine.

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Saturday morning and it was pouring.

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Joe and Jetty on Tuesday

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Cleo and I checking in dogs on Thursday.

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Me, trying to check in dogs on Tuesday

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They all had a pet!

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Dr. Chante Wildgoose from the Bahamas, Tiffany, Dr. Allison Kean and Amber Stickel.

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This poor guy needed some serious treatments.

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My friend Shannon and her cats

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Dogs of all sizes and in all kinds of conditions, some good some really bad. The important thing is, these people took the time to bring their pets to see us.

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Gorgeous little girl.

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This guy had his dog run alongside his motorcycle..

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More kittens

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This poor dog was skin and bones

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Cute all around!!

It is hot sweaty work for me, I can’t imagine what it’s like for the vets working with the animals. The temperature was over 90 everyday, the tents were hot, the people and their pets were waiting, it was stressful all around. We saw some very poorly cared for animals but they did take the time to bring them to us so they must care a little at least.

The first day was chaotic as always, the second day we were SLAMMED.

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This is Luis, he runs the gas station in Oak Ridge

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If it works..it’s good.

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waiting with her dog

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The vets and vet techs hard at work. The vet techs spent all day kneeling on the ground working in recovery with the pets.

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Lots of big dog were seen

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Paca, in the blue striped shirt kept bringing us animals like he did in February. We found out they are all the animals in his neighborhood. He is developmentally behind but a nice boy who love animals; they love him back and he has a firm grasp on that reality.

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sweetie

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A big boy

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Sometimes people brought in 2, 3 or even 4 dogs.

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Paca again. We all love him. I ended up taking him and a dog and the young girl and boy who are actually the owners home. The dog had surgery and he couldn’t carry it that far.

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Another boy and his dog

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People and pets all over

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Prep room

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trying to keep the animals hydrated while they waited.

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foot bath

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Douglas, our interpreter and honorary vet tech assistant.

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Every dog got a new collar and leash

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Out of recovery and on the way home

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A huge mastiff

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Laura and Paca

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My boy Duke, Marcia brought him in to get his skin rash checked. Love this guy so much..

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This guy took 3 dogs home this way, one at a time.

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Kathy holding Buddy, he was a sweet boy. Kathy is the Dog Whisperer (really animal whisperer) on the island. She is the driving force that makes this all come together. She has a huge heart and will go out of her way to help an animal in distress.

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Big rottie

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A little girl with her kittens, their Momma was spayed. She was brought to us in an empty rice sack bag.

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School girls with their pets

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Kitten love

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At the end of the day the vets started passing out toys and candy to the kids. It was fun to watch their reactions!

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Checking out their loot.

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They all waited patiently.

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Helping Paws Across Borders ROCKS!!

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Then crazy Jennifer put on the glasses with the nose and everyone wanted them.

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These kids are so gorgeous.

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Paca couldn’t get his nose adjusted right so he came over to get me to help him. After I took his photo I showed it to him and he smiled.

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Smiling faces

All in all it was a fabulous experience to help so many animals. some were well cared for, well fed and healthy, others were teeter tottering on the verge of death. That’s when it really gets to you. EVERY SINGLE VET AND VET TECH ASSISTANT in this group is madly passionate about animal care. They raise money to buy supplies, they pay for their own flights, their own rooms and food, all because they want to help the animals. If you are interested you can donate to this group, they are a legitimate 501C  and would be grateful for any donation, no matter the size.

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This guy is as happy as a pig in shit. The pig is neutered…

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Smiling Ninja Turtle Vets

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The one and only Dr. Chante Wildgoose. Can you say GORGEOUS??

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These 2 are scary Ninja Turtle Vets, especially the one on the left. She has skills..

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Jennifer and Jenn with Buddy..

If I was mentally and physically exhausted after 4 days of vet clinics can you imagine how the vets and the techs felt?? I am in no way complaining, I am so grateful they came and that I got to know them all a little better. They are compassionate, committed and an absolute blast to be around. It’s nice to see a group of people, (some who met for the first time the day they arrived) with a common cause come together to try to make a difference. They were like a well oiled machine, I can’t say enough about them.

HELPING PAWS ACROSS BORDERS ROCKS!! Love all of you guys and thanks so much for what you did for the animal population on the east end of the island. Many thanks to Kathy Shupe, the absolute ultimate co-ordinator…

I apologize that I lost track of who took what photo. The main contributors are: Morgan Rivera, Nina Stively and Susan Neas and myself. If I missed you, I’m sorry, I was just grabbing photos whenever I could so I could show what actually went on at the clinic..

P.S. Any vets or vet techs needing a vacation are welcome to stay in our guest condo, anytime…warning though, we have 7 dogs.