The return of the trade winds

05/30/2018 Let’s see if I can pick up where I left off. Hmmm. Nope, no can do. It was way too long ago and I apologize. I’ve been distracted and busy. And hot and sweaty, OMG. If I could market and sell under boob sweat I would be a millionairess. If there only was a need for it. Sad times.

It’s been a super hot month. It was very miserably hot while Trace was visiting, too hot almost. The heat made afternoon siestas a part of the day. He took a lot of photos of the homes we’re looking after and built a website for us. It’s not up and running yet, it’s very involved and detail intensive using a website like this for a novice like me. Being Miss OCD does nothing to lessen the frustration. I will say I get pissed and want to give up and maybe do give up for that particular moment, but I’m back figuring it out some more in no time at all. It’s taking me a long time to get things the way I want them, which is all the same, but different. Some of you get that.

We did manage to have some fun on a few short boating trips. One day Trace and I “boated” to Calabash Bight to check out some guests. While there Trace took some photos but not the ones for the website, he took those later. He and I went snorkeling with Daniel and Stephanie at the Sloth farm, awesome snorkeling in the protected waters of the marine preserve. Another day Trace and I went to West Bay by way of a water taxi from West End because the actual road is so bad.

We ate at Cal’s a number of times just because it’s excellent and it’s 3 minutes away. Who can say no to that? Not me.

Our friends Liza and Mike came from Oregon to spend some time here. They own land in Sandy Bay, about 40 min west of us. The day after they arrived they came down to hang out around the pool and eat some pizza. They brought me some things I ordered and also a bulk foods bag of HOT TAMALES. I have not had them for 5 years. I caught Trace eating them and yelled at him. I told him he could buy them in Seattle, I can’t get them here and dammit! I was being stingy and not sharing. I hid them and allotted myself a certain number (12) each night before I brushed my teeth. They lasted from April 13 to me savoring the lonely last one on May 16th. It was a very sad night.

When they were plentiful
When there was only one.

The the next day Trace and I met Liza and Mike at Pineapple Villas, mainly so they could meet Nidia. She is kind of famous around these parts. After that I took them to the Monkey and Sloth Farm where we held sloths, let monkeys look for bugs in our hair and held macaws and yellow naped parrots. 

These monkeys are named after the cast of Jersey Shore. You know, J Wow, Snookie, Vinnie and Pauly D. Here one is sitting on Trace’s neck.
They are insane, so much fun.
Might be picture of the week. Trace trying to get his camera lens cover from the monkey.
Spying on us, planning his attack.
I so love this photo. Mike is just like, OK, there are 2 crazy monkeys on my head.
She’s found her calling, Liza the sloth snuggler.
My favorite bird. The colors are intense.

Trace took this video while we were snorkeling in West Bay. The fish didn’t even seem to notice the camera on the broom handle (improvised selfie stick). They swam all around it and then pretty much had Trace in the middle of their school. He got some awesome footage. These are mostly Blue Tangs, in different stages of development. Some other fish join the school, there’s even a nice sized Barracuda towards the end on the left.

Having a visitor in the house seemed to confuse the dogs. They got a little panicked (Lola) a few times when Trace would come upstairs. She would have barking fits, carrying on like a velociraptor was coming up the stairs. One time they were so freaked out that Barrio was shooting pheromes out his butt. I’m serious, it was gross and it squirted on the walls. It was like he emptied his anal sacks by himself. Sorry, is that TMI? He was so afraid of Trace that he didn’t go near him during the whole time he was here. Gringo and Max and Lola and the idiot (Highway) were fine with him, not Barrio.

Trace holding Lola, who is a showgirl.
Lola, see? She’s crazy.
Max, Lola and Highway

Our electric company is called RECO. I went in to the office and signed a form to get access to their online bill payment system. They said I would get a password in a few weeks sent to the email address I gave them. A month had passed when I emailed them and said “what’s up, where is my password?” A few days later I was in the pool and my phone rang. Caller ID said RECO emergency number. I answered it and they said, “this is RECO calling to say that we got an email (from me) stating that you (me) never got a password for the online payments.” I said correct. She said, “could I get your email address so we can send the password to you?” I was like, but but, you are calling because you got an email from me, you HAVE my email address. Remembering where I lived, I gave up and told her the address and one month later I have still never gotten a password. I later found out everyone got the same password to sign in with and you then had to change it immediately and sign in with the new password that you created. I signed on with my friends temporary password. It worked. You can’t make this shit up.

I recently had a bug night. My husband was sound asleep and a gorgeous moth with a 2″ wide wingspan landed on my nightstand. I couldn’t hurt it so I captured it and threw it out the window using a cup and a piece of paper. But it didn’t work, I threw air out the window. The moth was on the wall when I went back to bed. Damn! I used the same maneuver but used something hard below the paper. It worked, I carried it outside and set it free. Came back to bed and there’s a beetle on my reading light. I tried to capture it until it flew at me three times. I swatted it down and slammed it with a bottle of allergy pills and mortally wounded it and gave it a proper water burial in the toilet. Then I had to pee and was afraid it was still alive and was going to fly at my ass. I thought of my friend Megan who lives on the other end of the island. She went to the bathroom one night and there was a good sized crab in her toilet. She removed it with tongs. Now I look every time. One of the teachers at Froylan School (where we help out) woke to find a huge boa constrictor in her bed. Honestly, I would have died right there on the spot. Dead as a nail. Just roll me off a boat. I live in the jungle.

There was another beach concert right down the road from us. Trace and I went and ate dinner and stayed for the music. I’m sure he wished he had been an ostrich so he could have buried his head in the sand, totally ashamed that his old lady mother danced almost every song. It’s good exercise. And dancing and wine go well together. I’m sure he doesn’t agree that wine makes me an excellent dancer. .

Trace was photographing kids at the beach before the concert started.
They love cameras and cameras love them. Beautiful kids.
This is Ephrain, Alexi’s little brother.

My high school friends donated money early this year to help do some work at the Froylan Turcios School. Bill re-did the bathrooms and they got the building painted and a door installed. They have working toilets and sinks. My friends also bought the school a volleyball net. Bill gave them a long metal pole they can cut in half and cement into tires to make holders for the net. A few weeks ago I got a friend request from someone named Chris. I looked at his profile, he does stuff like we do so I accepted. Then he contacted me to say he had some groups coming down to do missionary work, could I suggest a school. Well, yes, Froylan Turcios. I told him a bit about the school and introduced him to the Principal, my friend Marlon. After Chris spoke to Marlon for awhile he realized he was the real deal. Being the Principal was not about him, it was about the kids. Now Chris and his organization have stepped in to finish the roof, using the stuff we bought to repair the leaks, they are building Marlon an office, he does not have one and they are building benches and tables and a playground for the kids. I still have about $210 left from the money my class donated, plus another 25 was donated and I’ll put in to make it 250 which is enough to buy the 3 toilets and one of the 3 sinks for the first new school EVER in Pandy Town. The kids have never had a school, let alone a new one. They are in a 3 room building behind the church. It’s crowded and hot and dark. They deserve this. I’m thinking $250 would buy the sinks and all of the materials needed to plumb the bathrooms. I have a new goal.

This is the new school. A very exciting event for everyone in the community.

Update: The Rotary club has said if the school puts in a formal request they will present it to the board and possibly buy the toilets. I have been in touch with Miss Iris and told her if that falls through, I will buy them. If that works maybe we can supply the lights or the ceiling fans for the school. We are on hold but will be doing something for the school one way or another.

A little comic relief. The boys going for a swim.
Barrio and Lola sharing a kennel. They love being in their kennels.
Rainy late afternoon, rainbow producer. See the size of the deck to the back left of the stairs? Well, it’s bigger now.
This is how much bigger. Two days and it was done.
I’ve ordered a 10X16 sun shade for this area, more shade for the dogs and a place to nap out of the sun.
The shaded eating area
Enlarged seating area, soon to be shaded.
North shore view
South shore

Trace and I did a few snorkel trips and saw great stuff each time. Actually, anytime I can get my head underwater is a good day.

Saw this beautiful French Angelfish snorkeling. I swear it was following me.
Quite an overbite
White common feather duster worms
Christmas tree worm
Beautiful healthy coral
A pea or baby porcupine
These tangs encircled us, it’s like we weren’t there.
Blue striped grunt
Stunning evening sky over the south shore.
North shore sky.

Trace and I went snorkeling with Daniel and Steph from Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. Always excellent snorkeling because it’s in a protected marine reserve.

Common feather duster worms
Spaghetti worms, amazing to watch them move. I’m very curious what they feel like.

They are so fascinating, here is a video on them.

This was a large porcupine pufferfish, it started to come out towards us but changed it’s mind.
Googly eyes on the porcupine puffer fish
This was an awesome find, some type of burr fish. This thing had big spikes sticking out of it.
Four eyed butterfly fish
A live beautiful conch. See the eye sticking out on the left of the shell? It’s a tube. They have 2 eyes, just like us. Sort of.
Beautiful protected harbor of French Caye.
The son..
Daniel and Steph, two of my favorites..really, I love these 2.
Daniel’s grandfathers shrimp boats.

The dogs were going absolutely crazy one afternoon. Highway was jumping straight up, a few feet off the ground every time he barked. The 3 brothers were non stop barking. {I seriously pity a thief coming here, they have no chance.} Bill spotted this guy in the Gumbalimba tree by the deck. He was kind of hidden but I did get a few shots. So gorgeous.

I love iguanas.
They are such beautiful creatures. I think they were eating the berries on the tree.
Their skin looks like the hand beaded animals they sell in Mexico.
Cruise ship passing.

I interviewed Lauren who owns The Roatan Wine Room for an article I wrote for Incomes Abroad, an International Living publication spin off. Lauren recently opened her business in West End. I look forward to making a trip there soon, who doesn’t love wine?

Nidia and I are planning to go to the Mosquito Coast of Honduras for 3 days. The poverty is extreme. We have free shipping for all of the donations to the mainland so we will be able to buy a lot of stuff, like 200 bars of soap, 200 toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes. We take so much for granted. I got an amazing generous donation from some new friends, Nidia and I started planning how to spend it as soon as I called her. Our trip to the coast will not be a vacation. We are going where there is no electricity or running water. I’m a snoopy eater so I’ll have to take enough peanut butter sandwiches, potato chips and hard boiled eggs to last several days. It will not be GLAMPING. It will be an experience that I should get to have. I’m very excited.

The rag tag gang. I’m a sweatball, Bill’s shirt has a hole in it so he tucks it in under his belt to hide it. Poor Trace.

The wind has picked up, it’s crazy windy after no wind for a week. I was making a sandwich and it blew the cheese off the sandwich. Score for the dogs. Great sleeping weather and no bugs.

Today I had a much needed girls day with Jonna. We ran errands, went to the labor board, went to the municipal, found Roatan Provisions where we bought (split) a $52.00 jar of kalamata olives went to lunch, had mojitos. Little more shopping and then home. I saw dishes I wanted but didn’t buy because they were pottery and I will break/drop them. I thought they were the lightweight melamine. Oh well. I got olives.

Trace helped us get the counters downstairs finished with epoxy resin before Chance, Alecia and the girls come on the 12th. So excited to see all of them!

This is in the kitchen
Turned out really nice but now I don’t like the tile at all.
The bar, Trace added some orange to it. Again, that awful tile.

I would say I’ll try to be better about blogging but we all know that’s a lie. I started this Monday night and it’s Friday. I’m done. We’ve had a guy here installing the back splash tile in my upstairs kitchen ALL DAY and the whole place is a mess. There is stuff all over the floors, hoping the counter tops are still OK. Not very thrilled with the tile job, I will be going to see them tomorrow.

I’m publishing this sucker before another week passes. Happy FriYay everyone.

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.

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
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.

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
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.

Another year, another birthday



01/13/2017 To me, the New Year means another birthday. Having my birthday on Jan. 3rd has always been sort of lackluster. Everyone is still in the NYE hangover phase, struggling to write the correct date when they go back to work, worrying about taking down the tree and putting all the decorations away. Me? I’m over here going, yep, another year bites the dust. I don’t feel my age most of the time but there are days when it’s a neon sign right on the WTF lines between my eyes.

Just in case you didn’t already know this.
Google remembered my birthday.

A couple weeks ago the klutz in me resurfaced. I was going down the back steps, they are wooden and shaded and slippery as hell, just like ice. Yep, all 5 dogs around me and I fell. My left leg was under me and I landed on it. Cue knee replacement pain. OMG. I finished what I was doing and came in and had a time out with a bag of frozen peas. I’m sure it’s OK, it’s metal to begin with, I’m damn near bionic. I must have cursed a blue streak because two of the dogs were terrified.

We finally had some sunshine and I totally absorbed every ray I could get. I read a book the first day, front to back, then I started another. This was pretty much my rhythm for the week, the dogs and I were in heaven once again.

Lola, Gringo and Barrio, working on their tan lines.
My handsome boy Barrio. He was the only pup I was going to keep. See how well that worked out?
The jungle guards, Highway, Gringo and Maxillicious

I was introduced via FB to a vet from California who brought HeartGard meds to donate. Dirk and his wife Patti came over to give me the meds and meet the dogs. Bill knows a lady who loves her pets but can’t afford to get veterinary care so once the road down to her house is fixed we will start dispensing the meds there. Thank you Dirk and Patti, we’ll be able to help several dogs with the meds you donated.

On Tuesday the 3rd I went to see my orthopedic doc @ Cemesa Hospital about my re-sprained foot (from the slip on the stairs) and to talk about removing the alien. When I got there and checked in they said he wasn’t coming. WHAT? Obviously he had an emergency surgery at the other hospital so they rescheduled me for Wednesday. I arrived early Wednesday and he was ready and waiting for me. He said to remove the alien from my ankle that he can give me a local, slice the ankle, remove the screw and sew it back up in 15 minutes, I just have to schedule that with a days notice being necessary. Yes, a DAY. He also gave me an anti-inflammatory shot in 5 different places where my leg meets my ankle to see if he could settle this down. It finally is feeling better and I can walk without a limp.

Thursday our friends from Kentucky (who arrived on Sat. and were staying in West Bay) were heading down to this end of the island and they stopped by. It’s really funny how we met. I was working at the airport, walking around chatting with people and I had a name tag on. I spoke to this woman and she said, “You’re Mermaid on a Raft aren’t you?” From that point on we were friends. John and Lizeth are wonderful people and we can’t wait until they finally make the move. Last time they were here John’s sister and brother-in-law were with them. We all went to La Sirena for the afternoon. This visit they brought their son Philip who is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology, super nice, handsome, sweet and obviously very intelligent young man. Lizeth brought 2 bags of school supplies for the kids and the cutest little REI raincoat for some lucky little girl. I’ll start passing things out when school begins in Feb.

They did a mangrove tour in the morning and afterwards we met them at Cal’s for lunch. Always a good meal at Cal’s. As soon as I got home from Cal’s I called the Duchess, Jeanie, and she was at Nancy’s so I made myself a big vodka fresca and drove the 4 minutes to Nancy’s. There were a few other friends there doing some art projects. Chuck and Nancy have a fabulous art studio in the tower of their home. I stayed for almost 2 hours and then came home and laid on the couch for the rest of the evening.

A young girl who just moved here did this henna tattoo on herself.
She did the mermaid on the Duchess. The extra lines are charcoal and will wash off.
Chuck helping Valerie

Yesterday I dropped off some other supplies (that people brought to Because We Care from the US) at Nidia’s store then went to see my friends at Blue Island Divers. They have been SUPER busy and I’m so happy for them, they are good people, they have an excellent dive op and they work really hard. The Doc said I can dive in a week. YAY!

After that I went to West Bay to see my friend Mario who was staying at Bananarama. I met Mario on a flight from San Pedro to Houston, he was on his way to start college @ Midland University in Nebraska. I was so impressed with this young mans demeanor and attitude that we became FB friends right away and have stayed in touch. He messaged me that his family and his girlfriend were coming to Roatan for a few days so we decided to get together. I got to meet his girlfriend, parents, both sisters, brother in law and adorable 2 year old nephew Mathias. We talked for about 30 minutes, his parents are both college professors on the mainland and they want to build a house here. They asked me if I could help them find land, I said I would try.

Mario and Sharon. I borrowed this photo from FB.

In the meantime, my friends John, Lizeth and Phil had just gotten back from a dive so I met them at the dive shop, we grabbed lunch at Bananarama (no ranch dressing Liza) and then we went and looked at their property.

Their view is amazing
They are so close to the water!

After that we went back to where they were staying and laid on the rafts in the water and had a beer.

No cruise ships meant a deserted beach
It felt so good to be back in the water, floating. I love the Caribbean.

It was really nice to spend an afternoon with John, Lizeth and Phil. I am still overwhelmed by the amazing friends I have met through Roatan FB pages or my blog. I’ve been very blessed.

The sky last evening
It was a pretty night

Last night when we went to bed it was a semi calm evening. I woke in the middle of the night to huge winds and heavy rains, both bedroom windows, bathroom windows and closet window were open and everything was soaked. Again, thankful for concrete floors.

I got up this morning, sliced the dogs banana and sat down at my computer.  I asked Bill why he had closed it and he said my hard drive was running. I opened it and tried to boot it up and this is what the screen looked like.

What he didn’t realize when he closed the laptop was, there was a pen laying in it. The pressure of the screen on the pen ruined my display. I’m now using my laptop hooked up to an old monitor while a new screen is ordered for my laptop.

The next morning the weather had turned downright ugly, winds up to 40 MPH, raining sideways and zero visibility, we have a full blown nor’easter bearing down on us. I feel sorry for the people who arrived on Saturday for a weeks vacation, at least it’s not snow and 5 degrees. I still went to Mega Paca. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these shoppers from the swift competition of the newly marked down.”

I just read on crime watch (a Roatan FB page) that there is a diver missing on the south shore, 5 boats and a helicopter were looking for her. She was a skilled 72 year old female diver and was last seen by her DM @ 200′. WTH? 200′, who goes 200′ besides a technical diver?? The divemaster tried to get her to go back up but she didn’t respond and he had to turn around. If she was at 200′ and still going down she was either unconscious or dead. No recreational diver would do something that insane on purpose.  Always a terrible thing to read about, I feel sorry for the family, the DM, the resort, just sucks.

The sky this morning, crazy winds. This was taken later this afternoon when the rain stopped.
Earlier this morning you could see nothing but gray, the shores were not visible. It was like living in the clouds.

I have vowed to make these blogs shorter and to post more often and that’s exactly what I am doing, ending this one here and now.

Check back soon, I’m not done yet.

Beep Beep


06/06/2016 Obviously my absence indicates that I’ve been busy living the island lifestyle. And, oh what a life it is. I am so happy I figured out how to live this life I have been blessed with.

My BFF from WA. arrived the 19th, it is her 5th trip here with us. I went to Nadia’s in Sandy Bay to do something about my wretched roots (I went brown with blonde highlights, we’ll see what this looks like when it grows out) and when I was done there I had a meeting at the airport and was there to meet Teri when she arrived. We made a few stops before we got home. Teri was tired so we hung out here and just chilled. She had not see the house yet so we had a few (sic) drinks and caught up on life.

Teri is a cancer survivor and a tough lady. I have not seen her since her diagnosis and surgeries. She has been through a lot in the last 2 years and I feel bad I wasn’t closer so I could have been there for her. She does have a great family and lots of friends so she didn’t go through the cancer and surgery alone. Still. She is now cancer free so this trip was a celebration for sure. Celebrating seeing her and the fact that she is cancer free. Like I said, tough lady. A survivor.

Teri was staying in our downstairs condo for guests and along with the condo you got a dog for a companion. Frito was living downstairs because she wanted to rip Lola’s face off. Frito is a survivor too, pregnant, found by me and rescued, leg amputated and 1 month later has 7 healthy puppies. Survivor to the max. They bonded instantly and Bam! Frito was sleeping with Teri. OK, back to the other story, this one will be competed in another blog. (you know you’ll have to see what happens)

On Friday morning as soon as Alexi got here we went to the soccer field at Froylan Turcios, a school in our area. We had 2 sets of soccer jerseys to pass out to the kids there. We had been in touch with the coach and he was very eager to have them. Many thanks to Dave and Trish Symons for ALWAYS bringing things to the island for the kids and the clinics. They have brought (and given to me to distribute) so many soccer uniforms, many of the island kids have been blessed with their gifts. They also gave me some soccer balls, almost new. Brand new compared to what these kids have.

Their eyes got huge when Alexi kicked the new ball onto the field.
Starting to pass out the uniforms.
Teri B with the kids
Me passing out goodies.
These kids were so excited, I got several hugs.
The 2 teams, nice kids, very appreciative.

We took Alexi with us because the coach doesn’t speak English, always nice to have an interpreter. The coach was extremely grateful for the uniforms and said that he would keep them in his possession and only pass them out at games. There was even a coach’s uniform for him, I doubt he has ever had one. Thank you Trish and Dave!

I am a firm believer that if kids are involved in extra-curricular activities, such as soccer, they are less likely to go down the wrong path that seems to be the easiest path on this island to follow. We are keeping a close eye on Alexi, the 17 year old who has adopted us. He would much rather be here than home (I tell myself it’s not just because of the wi-fi) and has told us that many times. I am always buying him clothes at Mega Paca and he is very grateful for anything we give him. We spend time with him, encourage him, support him in his school endeavors and tell him all the time that he must learn to read and write English (that’s what he is going to school for.) He speaks English and Spanish but can barely read or write Spanish and has no English reading or writing skills, he is another lost soul due to the inadequate education the island kids receive. What the hell will these kids do when they finish school? Where will they ever find a job? Manual labor is their only option, we want more for Alexi. We are encouraging him to learn to read and write English in the hopes he can get a job on a cruise ship and do some traveling. It’s much better than the job situation here and the only way he will ever get off of this island.

Recently my car horn has begun randomly beeping. It happens mostly when I’m coming up our driveway. The other day there was a good sized Monkey LaLa lizard running up the drive and I stopped so I wouldn’t hit it. Every time I started to go, my horn honked. I felt like the damn road runner, beep beep beep beep. By the time Teri and I made it home we were laughing our butts off. Bill can disconnect the fuse but then I won’t have a horn and driving on Roatan requires a horn, turn signals and brake lights are optional.

Friday afternoon Teri and I made our way to BJ’s, of course. Marilyn’s daughter was there and she was singing with the band. She was very good! We hung out there for a few hours and visited and danced. Well, I danced but I didn’t take any pictures.

We got home in time for Teri to go to Cal’s Cantina with Mr. John. Bill and I stayed home because the pool was being delivered and I didn’t want to miss another grand island ingenuity episode. I was not disappointed.

The truck arrives. I see it, I see my pool.
The other one is for our neighbor’s, they got the same as us. They backed this big truck up to the base of our steep hill.
How many men does it take to lift a 1000# pool?
A lot of muscle.
They flipped it over onto the bottom so they could drag it up the hill.
Heave ho!
Really, this happened. The guy in the orange shirt is Leo Arch, cousin of my friends at the Iguana Farm. He is the boss.
And this is where it hung out for a few days which on the island equals mañana.

Yes, we are the only people on the whole damn island with a 20′ pool tied to a stump on our hillside. Really, that sets us apart from the others. No slouches here, we go for the opposite of ordinary.

Saturday Teri and I were meeting my friends Mike and Liza at their rental in West Bay and spending the day together. We snorkeled and then went to Bananarama for lunch and snorkeling. It was a gorgeous sunny day in West Bay and the beach was empty.

When you stick your head in the water and see this. Awesome, love starfish.
Tangs galore
French Angelfish swimming with the Tangs
One of the most amazing fish
Teri B taking it all in
well hello Mr. Fish
fish lips
Lloyd Bridges aka Mike Clark
I think this is a coney fish??
Parrot fish eating algae and coral and then they poop sand.
French Angelfish
Beautiful living coral
Neon gobey on brain coral
My favorite, a Christmas Tree worm.
Beautiful Bananarama
Teri B chilling
This dude on the flyboard was amazing. He must have been a rep for the company or something because I’ve never seen anyone that good before.
Mr. GQ. (Mike)
Teri and Mike floating at West Bay beach

We had a great day with them and didn’t get home until dinner time.  I had planned to take Teri to Mega Paca on Sunday morning but she was sick, as was Liza and they both had the same dipping sauce with their meals at Bananarama. Not pointing fingers, just saying. Teri was pretty much down and out on Sunday. I messaged my friend who is a nurse and she said to start her on Zithromax, which I had on hand. She felt better in the morning. Liza was sick too and she was traveling. UGH…

We spent another one of our days at Parrot Tree pool and got eaten alive by the bugs there, it was as bad as being at their lagoon. It was still a good day because a day in the water is better than anything else.

Still beautiful despite the bugs
Teri floating
Under the falls

I’ve been trying to help Nidia finish the TOM’s shoe deliveries. Teri and I went to Alexi’s English school in Politilly and I measured the kids there. We also got the list of sizes needed at El Higuero, a kinder near me and I measured all the kids at Miss Norma’s school in Jonesville.

This is the kinder in El Higuero.
We donated the blue desks a little over a year ago, thanks to Linda Edwards, who bought them.
The kids in Jonesville at Norma’s school.
Then we had to go to where Nidia and Live Again Ministries were fitting shoes in Barrio Los Fuertes. This is the school where I rescued Frito March 10, 2015. This is also where I got the name for Barrio.
They had a supply of shoes there so we took what we needed but still had to go to the storage unit to get the rest.
Luckily my friend Dave from Live Again Ministries went with us because neither Teri nor I could have opened this door.
I brought all the shoes home and separated them so they could be distributed to the 3 schools.
Checking my list..And when I was done, I went down to John’s pool.

Teri and I spent a lot of time in her future pool (Mr. John’s, the neighbor), it felt so good and immediately lowered our scorching body temperatures. I think we were in there almost daily because the temps have been HOT! In between dips we delivered the shoes to the kinder and to Alexi’s school. Marcia and Dennis picked up the ones for Jonesville and delivered them since they live out that way.

Teri and I got a little pre-occupied the last few days before Olivia came, in fact Wed. and Friday mornings we were taking care of business. (to be disclosed later) Once business was done we went to BJ’s again Friday and visited with the gang and ate some french fries, yums. There was a good crowd there and we danced a little bit and got a little crazy.

Jonna on the left, then Casey, Tara and Marilyn. Casey and Tara are Marilyn’s kids.
Marilyn and family (and Jonna)
Gail giving her husband Mike (second from L) his birthday cake.
Terry’s shirt
BJ giving a little speech and thanking people.
Kids sitting next door waiting for a boat ride home.

Sunday Olivia arrived so Teri and I headed to the airport to pick her up. We took Frito with us. She was the center of attention and she ate up every second of it. She is such a good dog and is so easy to have around. Frito was great at the airport, very well behaved, she let a few kids pet her and even some adults wanted to visit with her. She is an attention monger for sure.

Frito getting some head pats from this cute little girl.

It was nice to have Olivia join us, it’s the third time the 3 of us have been together on Roatan. Never a dull moment.

Olivia, Teri and I headed to West Bay beach on Monday so we could have a beach day together. We parked ourselves at Bananarama again but this time, no dipping sauce for anyone.

Our chairs at Bananarama
Beautiful beach, beautiful day
The water was so warm and the beach was deserted. Just the way I like it.

While at the beach we saw the crowd of people out on the boats watching the Caribbean Cup Freediving Championship. After West Bay we stopped in West End so Teri could do a little shopping before she went home the next day. We even made a stop in Shawn Jackson’s gallery, always a pleasure.

After we got home and washed the sand and salt water off of our bodies we had dinner and sat on the roof talking and thinking of fun things to have on up there. Like an ejector bar seat that would catapult you into the pool, unless we didn’t like you, then it would set you down on the main road to get a taxi. I need this in my life.

On Tuesday Olivia and I took Teri and her companion (not telling you yet) to the airport and said a tearful good-bye. After that we ran some errands, stopped at Mega Paca and then came home and floated in John’s pool. Again.

It is absurd to me that I have a pool that can’t be used. It’s like a big freaking tease.

After hammering out 2 blogs in a few days, I’m going to go chill and watch them hook up the pipes for the drains and skimmers and jets on the pool. It’s getting closer, I can’t wait to be the first one in.


It’s a sweet gig


03/15/2016 My niece’s daughter Jillian and her friend Caeli arrived on Saturday afternoon. Since I was tied to the airport I had Bill pick them up and take them to the grocery store before they came back here. I got home around 5 and de-stressed for a bit before we got the girls some dinner.

Sunday morning we were all awake bright and early for another day of adventure on the Radical Catamaran EXPAT day. There was supposed to be a full boat but approx. 10 people cancelled due to the weather. Both of the girls were really excited and looking forward to the day. I have to say I was very lucky to be able to go two Sundays in a row. We started out sitting outside, enjoying the scenery until just outside of Oak Ridge, it started to rain. And it rained hard for a little while. Most of the people were under cover, eating cookies and muffins. The sea was a little rough then too. As we neared the first snorkel spot the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. I told the girls the guys from the boat would pick up on them right away and as soon as we hit the water, they had personal tour guides.

Jillian and Caeli at the start of the 7 hour day.
Snorkeling the cow with the guys from the boat.
Tube coral, this same shot may be in my last blog too.
Christmas Tree Worms
You can see the actual worm in these photos. It’s the flat thing closest to the coral, the trees are appendages on the worms back.
Intermediate blue tang
A cluster of feather dusters
More flamingo tongues. The Flamingo Tongue (Cyphoma gibbosum) grows to an inch (25 mm) long. Its shell is cream-colored, but can only be seen when the animal is disturbed, as under normal circumstances it is covered by a fleshy, yellow-to-orange mantle decorated with numerous irregular, black-edged spots. If the Flamingo Tongue is disturbed or stressed, it withdraws its mantle tissue. Only then does its attractive cream-colored shell become visible. (Coral Magazine)
weird coral
Not a clue but I think it was alive..
Feather dusters, they retreat into the little hollow tubes when disturbed.
Banded Butterfly fish
Coral is so fascinating, I could (and have) snorkeled for hours.
Sea Rods
red coral
A Flamingo tongue on a sea rod. I usually see them on sea fans. This looks like the covering is partially retracted.
Barrel Sponge, I think??
A smooth trunkfish, it was so gorgeous!
Another barrel.
Spiny blue seastars on the tube coral
Everyone else was back at the boat, hanging around in the water or on the boat. I was still snorkeling around the south side of the cow and decided to swim out to sea more. I am so glad I did. It was a different world out there. The coral was bigger and more dense, there was a larger variety of fish and I saw this guy lurking about. I started to swim closer to look, not wanting to get too close and he started to move so I moved too, quickly. I knew it wasn’t a green moray, duh, because the damn thing had spots. But I’ve seen spotted morays before and this looked different. Then again, who am I to say, I’m not an expert. It was a gorgeous eel, probably around 2′ long.
People vacation here. I live here.
Caeli, about as big as a minute..
So, story is, when Capt’n Ron comes on the Radical Cat, Ed brings him a nice big chair. Someone (Rob B) changed Ron to Rob. However he used the incorrect color of marker. The evidence was blatant.
Really Rob?? Too funny!
It was dark and ominous that morning and again coming back at night. We did get dumped on for a little while but then it stopped, the sun came out and it was gorgeous.
A fun group of people!
Jill talking with a group of ladies who came to Jazzercize on the beach, or something like that.
My friend Kathy
Rain cells off in the distance
Didn’t realize how dark the sky was until looking at these photos!
Coming back into Oak Ridge/Pandytown.

Monday was the day with the least amount of cruise ships on the island so we headed for West Bay Beach. I was able to snag chairs at Bananarama for 1/2 price because I sweet talked the guy. They are all so nice there anyhow. It wasn’t very sunny and we kept hoping for the sun to break through the clouds and bless us with sunshine but that didn’t happen until we were half way home. Jill and I snorkeled, I took her out through the channel and to the deeper water then swam up towards black rock and along it. Great array of fish but what was the best was the huge parrot fish that was almost posing for me.

Parrot Fish
Parrot Fish are a recycling machine. They turn coral and rock into fine sand in the process of grazing algae from them. This particular one is called a Stoplight Parrotfish.
Gorgeous fish! The colors were brilliant.
Parrot Fish and a blue head.
Under the sea
Not sure of the fish here, blue is a blue tang, I think the one with yellow is a spotfin butterfly fish, the other may be a brown chromis.
Bluestriped grunt
Stoplight parrotfish in the red phase.
An elusive Doctorfish
Mr Parrotfish showing his denture like teeth, all the better to graze the coral..
Caeli was exploring the beach while Jill and I snorkeled.
I think this is a schoolmaster snapper, but not positive..
Another stoplight parrotfish
Sergeant majors. These guys nibble on you because the stupid tourists feed them. Fish don’t need fed, they have their own eco-system. Feeding them is not cool.
Caeli and Jill at Bananarama
The sea as far as you can see
Jill’s chilling..
Bye bye United # 1434
Perfection in blue

When we were done snorkeling we drove to West End and parked. I wanted to go to the Shawn Jackson Gallery and the girls wanted to do a little shopping. I bought the coveted Faces of Roatan book at Shawn’s gallery. After that I called Lisa and Rob to see if we could stop and see Bandit and Sable on our way back down island.

Bandit, he’s the swimmer and spends his free time swimming around the pool.
Getting some loving from Bandit.
Sable got in on it too. These two pups were meant to be together, they are side by side 24/7. So grateful Rob and Lisa gave them good homes.
Sable baby!
Double loving. Bandit is marked like Barrio and Sable looks like Max, except my two have floppy ears and these two have pointy ears.
I was in dog heaven.

The next day we went to Mega Paca where Caeli scored a Burberry sweater for 28 LPS, about $1.00 and Jill got some cute tops. Then we went to the Iguana Farm. We went down to the water and checked out the huge tarpon and other fish and admired the stunning view of French Cay.

Big old male
Enjoying the sunshine.
Another lizard on the wall of Sam and Chelsie’s house.
Coco drinking some gatorade.
Jill and Caeli

After there we went to Parrot Tree and hung out at the 320′ long pool. It was pretty nice, very few people around at all. We swam, floated, napped and ate there.

Jill under the waterfall.
Caeli and Jillian
Me and Jillian
I love this pool!

On Wednesday we picked up Nidia and two guys and then met Rosalie and Bob and Bill and Alexi across from the airport. We were taking the new picnic table that Kelly Flowers built for Doña Maria to her. The table he so kindly made will last her for the rest of her life. Until now, she had no table to grind her corn on or to sit and have a cup of coffee.

The hired muscles practically ran up the path to Doña Maria’s house.
Nidia and Doña Maria
Nidia’s brother, one of our muscle guys looking at the food Bob and Rosalie brought for Doña Maria.
Nidia’s brother, Nidia, Caeli, Jill and Maria
Showing her the goodies Rosalie and Bob brought her.
A hug from Rosalie
Caeli, Maria and Jill
Baby chicks
Doña Maria’s one room home. Bob said he wouldn’t spend 1 night there. Me neither.
Alexi went along in case we needed more muscle. He is teasing the chickens here..
Bob and Rosalie with Maria. It’s kind of funny, she is always smiling but when you take her photo she’s not..
The girls and I with Maria. I took photos of her when we took her to get her hair done and this trip I gave her the pictures. She couldn’t stop looking at them, I’m sure they were the first photos of herself that she has ever had.
Nidia, Abuela (what Nidia calls Maria, it means grandmother) and Nidia’s sweet brother.

What a rewarding day, everyone enjoyed meeting Doña Maria and are all ready to go back and see her. My next visit I am taking corn for the chickens, some chicken meal and of course, cold coca cola. My friend Ann has some chairs and cushions for her so I’ll more than likely get her to go along with me. It’s so sweet how people want to help Maria, she has so little and when we give her things, we benefit more from the giving that she does receiving. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Thank you Kelly for making the table, a perfectly honorable gesture from a pirate like you.

Thursday we were planning to snorkel with Eduardo, my friend the cop. Wednesday evening he messaged me that he was on the mainland and wouldn’t be home until Saturday. The girls and I went to Barefoot Cay anyhow. The plan was to snorkel and float in the calm protected area near the palapa. With the wind blowing, there was NO calm protected water. The winds were howling and the sea was churning. The current was so strong that we would have been swept to West Bay in no time, maybe even off to Utila or Belize. We stayed at the pool the majority of the day, it was so peaceful and relaxing.

View from the pool, there was a huge boat anchored there too.
Seating area by pool
The pool is amazing
The walk out to the palapa
So pretty but look at the hammocks! They were upside down from the wind.
Waves breaking on the reef
Getting some strong waves
Fabulous table made with hand made tiles.

Friday was the last full day on the island and we were planning a trip to the school in Pandytown, then going to Camp Bay to eat at La Sirena and ending up at BJ’s of course. We drove out to Pandytown and stopped along the way when we saw little boys playing by the road. I had a full bag of Hot Wheels cars that were brought down by my friends John and Lizeth Fowler. The first place we stopped the boys were sitting along the road. The one looks like he was going to cry but he was happy, honest! Next stop there was a small boy standing on the table while his mother scrubbed clothes in a basin. He was very excited to get a car.

Spanish Hill going into Oak Ridge
Cute cute cute!! So cute, he got 2.
How can these little boys be so darn cute?
This little boys mother was doing laundry when we stopped. She was really nice, spoke perfect English.
These 3 came from the blue house in the background.
The girls at La Sirena
Caeli eating Jill’s rum punch laden pineapple.
Wall art
I really love la Sirena. EXCEPT, I went there for onion rings and they were out of onions. I cried, well almost and the waiter magically got an onion from somewhere!!
We met this dog is 2012, he was a puppy and looked like Highway did as a pup. His name is Diego and he is much bigger than Highway is now.
The pristine end of the island
Another friendly dog
La Sirena has a new sign
The girls with Miss Piggy
We were on the beach when someone said, I’ll take your picture Deb. It was my friend Jill, so thanks Jill for snapping this photo of the 4 of us.
The turn off to Camp Bay
We made it to BJ’s while the band was still playing. My sandals broke at a school in Pandy town so I was barefoot the rest of the day which isn’t a big deal except I hate having dirty feet. I think the girls had their fill of Rum Punches, laying on the dock is not a normal adventure for BJ’s. Now planking, that is normal for BJ’s.
Next thing I know, they are going for a boat ride with Keri and Doug’s neighbor in their boat. Caeli left her sandals on the dock, luckily Evereld picked them up and took them to the bar.
The Banditos, missing Alex
Kathy, doing an Irish jig.
Evereld’s rasta boat.

All in all, I think they had a great time, they met a lot of people, went a lot of places and saw things they have never seen before. We came home Friday evening and miraculously found stuff to eat. The girls did some packing and we all went to be early.

I had to work at the airport again on Saturday so they rode in with Cindy and I. It took them forever to get checked in and by the time they were done I had to go inside to get ready for the first flight. I hugged them both good bye and they were off, until the next time.

Before I close, I met a new friend at the airport, her name is Chris O’Dell. She is not just ANY Chris O’Dell. She used to work for Apple Records in London and personally knows / knew all of the Beatles, Yoko, The Stones, Dylan, Clapton. She sang in the chorus of Hey Jude, she was on the roof for the Beatles last ever concert as a group, she is the real deal. George Harrison even wrote a song about her called Miss O’Dell. She wrote a book by the same name, I am slowly reading it, absorbing and processing every word she utters. I get to see this woman every Saturday. I am in utter awe. Check it out:

Since I have nothing that tops that, I’m outta here..

A tree glows in Calabash Bight


12/11/2015   I went up on the roof and had a Dos Equis the other night, it was a beautiful evening and the view was as amazing as ever. We really have the best of both worlds, being able to see the N and S shores of the island. Sometimes the weather can be completely different if I turn around.

The dogs are having some issues running around up there, it’s much more slippery than when it was regular old concrete. But it looks so much better, they will just have to chill the hell out..

roof view, looking Northwest
Guess who this is? She is famous in Camp Bay, a Duchess of sorts.
The wind blew her glass onto her shirt so I suggested she wring it back into the glass..
She even brought her own vino, she’s a fussy Duchess…
On Sat we went to Sandy Bay to pick up a friends new mattress. We stopped at the gas station and the guard in front of the former Banco Lafise was holding a phone to his ear with his right hand and he was holding his rifle with the same hand while the gun was balanced with his left hand which is HOLDING ANOTHER CELL PHONE. Surely he has no idea what is going on around him.
We were picking up the mattress in Sandy Bay. and needed to do it earlier in the morning because the seller had to be at the airport by late morning. It was kind of a stormy, iffy day, Brett and Carmen brought a big tarp.
Deserted beach
coral display
quartz tower
The sea looked angry
Sorry this is all the closer I could get of this place. The building on the far right has a chute to slide your kayak into the water. Pretty cool..
Wee wees, or leaf cutter ants. We do not like the wee-wees.
Bad wee-wees, die wee-wees
A house that our friend is doing some work on. It was right across the street from where Mike and Liza were staying in West Bay Village.
The people who bought this place made it bigger and it’s pretty darn close to the neighbor’s stairway.
Bill, Liza, Carmen and Mike. Brett is just behind Carmen.
Christmas tree at Bananarama. We walked up the beach from Mike and Liza’s and had lunch there. It was great!!
Mike, Brett and Carmen.
The sea was rough, we had a semi-nor’easter come through here.
Bananarama had the shade sails down and rolled up. I imagine the wind would get those things flying and send these lamp posts off with them.
It is a hard way to make a living, selling ice cream on the beach, especially on a severely overcast day.
I was warned not to step on the gurgling sand as it was akin to quicksand and would gobble me up. I played it safe and just snapped a pic.
Weird this pic turned out like this, I was walking when I shot it. The day wasn’t that dark.
This shows how dark it really was.
lonesome pier
Mike and Liza’s place, lower level, just a few seconds walk to the beach.
Sports court (or a football arena if you’re Nathan W) Flowers Bay, right on the sea
This photo looks like a painting, not sure why a few of them turned out like this. Also shot while sticking my hand out the window w/ the camera and snapping away.
Same situation
Nothing surprises me, I just like to document things for you all to enjoy
Big ship in port, Columbian Navy Vessel.  The video in this link was shot by Daine Etches as the ship was coming in to port.
It’s beautiful!!
Yes, I have seen pretty much everything.
This is the ark looking nightclub El Boske is building in Politilly.
This is the front of it
Bill and Brett loading the mattress and frame on the boat.
Some Baaaaaa’s on the way home
They are always wandering around the same spot..

A friend sent me this video, it’s pretty amazing, especially if you are a skier. Check it out here. I think I have watched it 11 times already, it mesmerizes me… not much does.

Sunday morning it freaking poured buckets. It was raining so loud it woke me up. Usually when I get up I can get 1 minute before D O G S happen, this morning they were inside and there was no escape. It’s ok though, they’re not a bad thing to wake up to, unless they are barking incessantly. Which they sometimes do. I ran to Mega Paca and grabbed some baby toys for the upcoming Christmas party then went and got groceries too. It was a crappy day earlier but it cleared up enough that I was able to walk 4 of the 6 dogs, Bill walked the other 2. Nothing like making 4 trips down and back UP our driveway.

Monday came and went and I did nothing except clean up the kitchen and cook eggs for the week for my breakfast. Bob and Rosalie stopped by so Bill could see if he was able to fix their generator. (He did)  Rosalie and I visited while they were doing guy things. Tuesday was another do nothing day, the concrete bags were delivered and stored in the downstairs living room. Come on, isn’t that where YOU store your concrete too? Cement mixer and drill press in the kitchen, dog meds in the 1 bedroom, soccer jerseys in the other and a couch for a friend. I will fall down on my knees and praise the Lord when Bills’ shop is done. Just an FYI, it’s not started yet..Need to get our permit and to do that they want hair from your first born during it’s first 2 weeks of life and 3 sets of scorpion pinchers, other than that, no big deal..

Wednesday I met my friend Jan at the bottom of her road. She was going to Ceiba Thursday for her residency and was going to check to see if our cards are ready or not.  If not, I have a friend going next week who will also check for us. Super pain in the ass. They sure don’t make it easy to live here or do business here.

We had a visit from Dave Symons, he brought me a gazillion candy canes for the Christmas parties Nidia is doing, along with a bag of toys that I picked up earlier. Thank you Dave and Trish!!  I was going to take the canes the day I took the toys except I had errands to do and they would have turned into peppermint syrup in my car, and yes, it is December. Dave, Bill, 2 other guys who were here and the neighbors worker hoisted the couch over the deck railing and onto the porch, then inside. YAY, my couch is inside. AND THE DOGS THINK IT’S FOR THEM. They are not allowed on this or the other couch, especially not this one. It’s a game, they think. So happy to have the couch inside!

One of the people I met through my blog was Sean from Canada. Sean and I messaged/emailed often about Roatan and many things on the island. He and his wife were here over Easter last year (busiest week of the year) and decided to come again this Dec. They arrived, along with 2 of Sean’s wife, Caralee’s friends. Sean travels like Bill does and like Mike does, with sister wives. Kinda, but not. Anyhow, Sean and the group arrived on Monday. We were hoping to get together so we could at least meet. He messaged me today, “We are going to Parrot Tree, may stop at Cal’s for lunch.” I responded, “I’ll find you.” I ran and met Jan, then went to the ATM, which was down again. damn banks.  I had to go inside and to me that is a hateful experience. I got done with that and then went to Parrot Tree to look for Sean. They weren’t there so I went home. I had a yogurt, loved the dogs and went back to look for them. On the way I noticed an X-Terra that could have been a rental (Sean’s car). I got to Parrot Tree, walked down to the water, no Sean. So I drove over to the other side of PT and checked out my friends house, looked at a house that has been being built for a long time and went back to the lagoon. I noticed the X-terra from Cal’s was there. I thought for sure that was their car. Seriously, I should have been a detective, I really like looking into things, getting to the bottom of it.. Anyhow, the super sleuth in me knew I was onto something. I saw a guy that looked like Sean with several women on the other side of the bridge that goes over the lagoon. They started to walk alongside the south side of the lagoon, thinking there may be beach on the other side of the wall, but there isn’t, it’s ironshore. By this time I knew it was them. They were walking W towards the N shore of the lagoon. I started walking W towards the S shore. When we were close enough to be heard I yelled, “You must be Sean, you’re the only guy on the beach with 3 women following you.” He gave me a big hug as did his wife Caralee. I liked them instantly. Caralee’s friends were very cool too. Funny thing is, all 4 work together in IT in a big bank in Canada. Bankers to Bankers..

We hung out along the lagoon for awhile talking. Then I thought I would let them relax and come home to see what the dogs were up to. They said they had some toys for the dogs and would come over when they left PT. Now when these people say they have a few toys, prepare to be floored. A FEW TOYS??? My dogs got a whole aisle of a dog toy store. All super tough, chew resistant (really a myth) toys. Actually, these look like the strongest toys the dogs have ever had. I’m keeping all the toys inside and only giving them a few for now, although I did give them an adrenalin rush and gave them all of the toys at once. They freaked out.

The goods, these are not just regular toys, they are made for dogs like mine. Dogs that have an insatiable chewing desire..Oh wait, that’s every dog I’ve ever owned, except Frito. She has never destroyed anything.
Max, Barrio and Highway
Highway has choices
They all picked a toy and ran to their spots to play with it.
Highway was a little testy, like, don’t screw with my toy young pup. He was all growly and acting macho.

Needless to say, these toys are a huge hit, they are loving them.  Thank you again so much Sean and Caralee!! Hope to see you on Friday @ BJ’s.

On Wednesday I got a call from my hairdresser to see if I wanted to come in the next day. Did I need my hair done. Turns out she was leaving the island for a month and wanted to do the people she knew would need to have color. Poor Nadia, how selfless of her, her brother was murdered in Italy and she was trying to take care of her customers..Love that woman so much. She is off to Italy tomorrow, safe travels my friend..I went early Thursday to get my hair done and to hug on Nadia.

After I left Nadias’s I went to Plaza Mar to buy rice and beans for the Christmas bags and then went to Nidia’s to drop off the toys and candy canes from Dave and Trish, my super awesome friends from Canada. They are also the people who brought 2 suitcases full of new soccer uniforms. We hope to pass those out while they are here this visit..they also donated 3 bags of syringes for Clinic Esperanza, I dropped those off when I took Mike and Liza there. Mike and Liza brought a few dozen bottles of OTC pain relievers for the clinic. Liza said when she bought all the meds in Walmart the guy really looked at her strange, like, “are you really sick?” Mike and Liza are going to gather medical supplies while at home and start bringing them on their future trips here. Dave and Trish always bring something to benefit the people of the island. Thank you Mike and Liza and Dave and Trish. .

I got my errands done in Toxic Hole and headed home to pee, kiss the pups and get more ice water. Then I drove to BJ’s and was picked up by Carmen with the ever dashing boat guy Brett of the long eyelashes, (Carmen’s husband), escorting us to Miss Marilyn’s place on Calabash Bight. We helped Alex get the stuff out of their attic. Honestly, I had no clue people had attics on Roatan, interesting. Marilyn had a freaking shitload of Christmas lights. I mean, a SHITLOAD. Some worked, some half worked, some didn’t and were crap and we wanted to crush them. Well, I did, Carmen was more reserved and Marilyn kept pulling bags of lights out of I don’t know where, a secret light storage closet that she didn’t tell us about. Some were brand new, in the box AND THEY DIDN’T FLIPPING WORK. Let me state this: Christmas lights that don’t stay lit if one bulb is missing are shit. Lights that flicker are shit. Lights that don’t work are total shit. LED lights are the way to go.

After 2 bottles of wine the tree was up and decorated, it took a 3rd bottle to finish talking about it, have a yummy salad that Alex made and wonder why the hell Marilyn was still bringing out ornaments for the tree.

Pandytown, water side. On the way to Calabash Bight.
Santa’s chair
The tree, fresh out of the box and leaning
Carmen,”I got this.”
We had an issue with the male female plugs and had to start over once. Only once..
Random non-superstitious dog
lights and then some
So Marilyn pulls this out and I am speechless. It is bedazzled amazingly well.
A most fabulous piece
I couldn’t stop looking at it
Such gorgeous pieces
I covet this
up close and personal
The piece that looks like a planet is one of my favs..
The finished tree
3 broads, 3 bottles. I eased up on the last bottle, I still had to drive home after my boat ride to BJ’s
Alex honey and his tree
riding back to BJ’s w/ Brett and Carmen
we went through the little tunnel, across Oak Ridge bight to BJ’s..

Friday was the gift wrapping party at BJ’s. We had Spanish class at 12 and then right right to the bar. Several of us took tables so we weren’t wrapping on bar stools like last year. The tables worked perfectly..We got all the gifts wrapped, re-bagged beans and rice into individual ziploc bags to be passed out, gifts sorted by boy/girl and age group. While I was wrapping I noticed my friend Woudsin from Helene sitting at the bar. I went over to talk to him, give him a big hug and condolences for his Dad passing away. We chatted for a bit then I went back to wrapping.. A little bit later he called to me and I went over. He introduced the guy he was with and it was someone I knew from 40 years ago in Williamsport, my home town. Small freaking world..When I was walking in the door he was going out and I thought, he looks familiar..Nice to see Rick Benedict,  I knew his wife Marika better than I did him, but still, to run into someone from home is random. He was here finalizing the sale of the property he owned with my friend Perry Adelson on the island of Helene.

Let the wrapping begin
Rice and beans, the mainstay of the local’s diet here.
Santa will be busy. Thanks to Beth and Aaron, Judy and Walt, Cathilee, Ralph and Ginny, I was able to contribute a LOT of nice gifts for the kids.
So the guy in the hat on the phone is Woudsin, a good friend from Helene, the guy next to him in the hat is Rick, haven’t seen him for decades..Then to run into him at my Friday hangout, pretty cool.
Wrapping and drinking..
Lots of paper
gifts and more gifts
sorted age and gender
each bag of toys will get beans and rice

I love Fridays at BJ’s. I love my east end friends, everyone is so chill. It was muy caliente in Spanish class, {no electricity} and hot hot hot wrapping inside BJ’s, lots of bodies, lots of activity. I was sweaty in my Christmas Story t-shirt. It was appropriate for the holidays but it was hot.  Really good to see some people, like Kathy and Marcia. Hopefully I’ll be snorkeling with Marcia soon..

A virtual dog carpet
I cleaned the dog hair off the ottoman Barrio is on, laid a clean blue towel down then one of my sarongs to protect it from dog hair and dirt. I can clearly see now that I need to nail the freaking thing on..Barrio, Lola and Max, (L to R)

It’s Friday night, I got home around 4 from the afternoon festivities and laid down on the new couch. I knew I had to meet Jan at 5 to get our temporary residency papers back. Somehow my mind woke me up and I jumped off of the couch at 4:57, I grabbed my keys and ran to Cal’s to get our papers. Grateful to Jan finding out about them. I think I was still in a sleep stupor when I went down to Cal’s. Day drinking, even 2 glasses of wine, does me in.

Sometimes my age shows..

In memory of Laura


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

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

The view out into Neverstain Bight from Media Luna resort. We can see this bight from our house quite well but we can’t see the resort, it’s tucked back in.
Stunning, all inclusive. Mainly French Canadians I believe as the people don’t arrive through the US on Saturdays.
Amazing vistas at every turn
An unusual way to shade a beach area..
Looking towards mainland Honduras
The inside of the dining hall. Have heard food is typical buffet food, nothing spectacular but adequate.
This is the new nightclub being built near Oak Ridge, thankfully not close to us. It’s going to be a big boat. It looks much more “boat like” now, will get some updated pics
The view from the road to Media Luna. It’s a good distance from the road, most of the road you drive on is newly paved so it’s quite nice.
X marks the spot of our friends home. It’s on Caribe Point Bight, lovely place and a nice kayak to the reef from there.
View of the bight and Jonesville to the right

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

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

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