Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Doggy Dilemma

 So, there's this dog.... He belongs to my neighbor and, up until about two weeks ago, this poor guy was constantly tied up on their verandah, 24/7. (again, if you liked me on Facebook you would already know this part)

There's a long story about what's been going on with him lately, but none of that really matters, so I'm just going to jump right to what's going on now. 

THIS is what's going on right now:
He's chilling at my house... For the past four days. 

His name is Prince, I mentioned him in my Mellow Days and Why I'm Afraid of Tourists post, and I think he has adopted me. 
He sleeps in my house during the day, outside by the door at night, follows me to the dock every time I catch a water taxi, and then comes back to my house and waits for me to come home. I love him.

The neighbor doesn't seem to care, either. I heard from someone else who lives on our property that he (the neighbor) doesn't want Prince anymore and is planning on giving him to a family in San Pedro.. but I really think he might be my dog now.
I really have to talk to the neighbor soon - if he IS my dog, I need to start looking for a way to get him to SAGA at 9am Saturday morning to get neutered, and his name will be Cheech (he doesn't seem to recognize "Prince, so no biggie) 

So - the dilemma...
I think both cats have ditched me because of the dog situations recently., and I'm really, really upset about it.
Poquito left three days into Ginger's stay with us, and Grande never came home last night. The cats are clearly pissed, and the only way to find out if they'll come back is to get rid of Cheech and see if they show up. I'm pretty sure if they come near the house and see a dog, they'll go the other way and I have to believe that they honestly just ran away.... otherwise, something killed them - and I can't deal with that.

The other dilemma is that I've been off from work for almost 2 months now, and I don't go  back for another 2+ weeks - so there's no extra money laying around for me to buy dog bowls and food, a harness and leash, flea shampoo and a flea collar - like, I just can't afford a dog at this exact moment in my life.
When I DO go back to work, I leave for at least a week at a time - right now i have someone around who can watch pets for me while I'm away, but what happens if i don't have that person around any more? Then I have to either pay someone to stay at my house with him while I'm gone, or pay to have him stay at Pampered Paws - which he would probably like, but come on now... there are extra expenses that come along with having a big dog, and I'm not ready!

He also farts in his sleep and it smells soooo bad.

I don't know what to do - who wants to step up and be my decision maker today?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Yet Another Place to Find My Musings

I forget sometimes that I have people who read my blog, but don't follow me on Facebook. I don't know why that is, but it's annoying... and even more annoying is not getting followed on Instagram, because that's where all the good pictures go first...

Anyway, if you did "like" my Facebook page, you would know that I'm now a credited contributor to a super fun blog called WomenWhoLiveOnRocks.
I only have one post up with them so far, but I plan on submitting more just as soon as I'm out of the writing rut that I'm currently in at the moment.

Check out my post: Moving to a Rock: Things You'll Lose VS Things You'll Gain
and let me know what you think. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mellow Days and Why I'm Afraid of Tourists

There's reeeeaaaally not much going on in my life at the moment - things are pretty mellow, pretty quiet.  I've been down to town a few times since bringing Ginger home last Friday, but there isn't a whole lot going on down there, either.

I went to the Palapa Bar on Tuesday afternoon to meet up with my x-husband's first x-wife for a few drinks. She was there with one of my friends from back home's husband's x-wife (did you follow that?) and my people (Cori, Kainie, Keith and Wayne) came out to play, too...

                 Ginger !!!

We stopped at Jolly Rogers after that, which now has new owners and is called Tengo Cocos (I have coconuts) We weren't there long, but it seems ok... I'm pretty sure the drink prices went up, which is a bummer, but I'll probably check it out again.
We all parted ways in town and it was really, really quiet. The busiest establishment I saw, for example, was an outdoor church back by the lagoon.. 

If you don't feel like churching it up, I hear Legends Burger House is still the place to go on Tuesday nights, and it'll only get better as the road gets paved and busy season picks up.... which brings me to Ebola.
Ok- I don't care how it started - whether it comes from bats or apes or other African critters, or the Red Cross purposely infected people  - none of that really matters now, right? What matters is that it seems to be spreading somehow, right?
And if it's true that there is a case of Ebola in Guatemala City, then I'm a tiny bit concerned about it hitting Belize... All it would take is one tourist who was exposed unknowingly on the flight to show up here on the island....
Just sayin'

Hopefully it's just another big media scare to distract us from something truly evil that's going on... like the government taking away more of our rights or something totally normal and common like that.

So, yeah, other than reading just about every article with an Ebola headline that pops up in my Facebook feed and hanging out with friends a few times... there's just not much going on.

I lost one of my cats... Poquito took off a few days after Ginger got here and I'm hoping she found herself a nice, new, dog-free family to adopt until she feels like coming back here to see if it's safe.
Grande is still around, and I get to hang out with my neighbor's big-headed dog when he sneaks over to say hi...

  She supervises the laundry process

 Prince - aka: Big Head, Big Feet, Dumbo, or Cheech

                      Where I spend most of my time these days...

Oh, by the way, if you aren't afraid of catching the Ebola while traveling and you need a 12 room rental for a wedding group, dive group, family reunion, yoga retreat, or any other group island excursion, let me know - this is a great location and reasonably priced.

Please feel free to leave your opinions about Ebola to freak me out. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dog Sitting Ginger, the Croc Fighter

I'm hanging out with one of the worlds coolest dogs this week - Ginga, Croc Fightah!

Back in 2009, a few months after she moved here from Canada and just about a week after her little brother Oskar disappeared, Ginger got out of her yard and went exploring at the "lake" nearby... I don't know how it all went down, and Ginger is being quiet about the whole situation, but she ended up being attacked by a crocodile and getting her stomach ripped open and her little head crushed!

After being found and rushed over to the San Pedro Animal Hospital, she went through surgery for over 5 hours and, thanks to the lovely Dr Laurie, Ginger recovered and earned herself a cool nickname. You can read the article by Ambergris Daily right here

I only met Ginger and her human, Cori, about a year and a half or so ago, and I'm so glad I did, and that I get to be her pet sitter this week :)
She is such a good, mellow little sweetheart, and I can't believe Cori actually paid me to hang out with her all week. (Which makes this my third or fourth paid pet sitting gig, so I'm adding it to my extensive resume)

Ginger is up north with me at my house (the cats aren't happy about it) and we don't have much to do this time of year with most of the resorts being closed for slow season - so we've just been going for daily walks on the beach and chilling out at home.

Here are some pictures from our first few days, and five reasons why you should totally hire me to take care of your pets in Belize the next time you leave - I'm not a "cat person" or a "dog person," I'm an "animal person."

If your pet is down with boat rides, I can pick them up
I was waiting on the dock for the 1:30 water taxi on Friday when one of my neighbors came out and offered me a ride to town on his dive boat

A free ride with no other stops - only took us about 12 minutes to get to town.

I ran some errands and picked up a few things, and then went and got Ginger and we hung out at Cholo's until it was time to take the taxi back up. 

When we got home I showed her where her food and water bowls would be, made sure she had a bit to drink, and then followed her while she walked around the property for a while. 

I spoil the hell out of them
I was worried that Ginger was too upset or stressed out to eat when she didn't dig into the food I put out for her. She sniffed it on the verandah, then just walked away and laid down on the sand.
I drizzled some coconut oil in it, brought it down to her, and fed her one morsel at a time until she decided to finish the bowl by herself. 
Then I brought her water bowl to her.
I also mixed up some coconut oil with tea tree oil to dab on her face to help prevent a mad mosquito attack.

I went inside to use the bathroom for a hot second and when I came back out, Ginger was gone!! Luckily, I have some common sense and I know how smart she is, so I knew where she would be - I found her on the dock, waiting for a water taxi to come pick her up and take her home. 

I won't sleep unless they're comfortable
My house gets super hot inside so unless you're directly in front of a fan, it's a bit uncomfortable. I blocked the steps to the verandah with my couch so I could keep Ginger secure and allow her to enjoy the outdoor breeze, but at one point in the night I woke up to check on her and she had moved the couch and was sleeping on the sand.
I slept on the couch outside so I could keep my eye on her without disturbing her sleep. Every time she got up to scratch, I got up and invited her back to the verandah, She eventually came back up and I still stayed on the couch.

I like long walks on the beach
I'll go for a two hour walk on the beach by myself, but it's better with a dog. Ginger gets a little pep in her step every time we leave the property, and she makes little doggy friends everywhere we go

An uncared for stretch of beach and one of Gingers new friends joining us

I'm glad I took this picture- the next day the sideways one was gone 

Shade pit stop at MataChica - one of the many resorts that are closed right now. Looks like they're building more cabanas.

          Shade and water pit stop

I tried to get her in the water here but she wasn't havin it

So we just went to this dock to hang out in the shade and enjoy the breeze

         Look at that happy face!!

She helped me get this picture of the angry looking heron who's always flying away from me..

It's super hot this morning - all we've done, so far, is go to the store, but Ginger made more friends and we'll be heading over to the beach to get out of this heat in just a bit

 Two friends from the store following her

       Napping by the fan right now

I'll sing to them
Ginger has at least five new (altered) songs about her right now.... "Ginger is so beautiful," (a Joe Cocker rip off) "Hey there Gingina," (a Plain White T's rip off)... You get the idea. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Trending in Belize right now: Wayward - Belize (Official Video)

This video has popped up on my Facebook news feed at least 13 times in 2 days, so I figured I'd share it with ya'll back home - great song and video of Belize.

I live here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cooking Without a Kitchen - Beach BBQ Style

I don't want to jinx myself, but it *sounds like* I get to stay in home number nine for longer than originally planned (so stoked!!)

The only thing that isn't cool about it, though, is that it has no kitchen...
It has space for a little kitchen area - I do have a small refrigerator, I have a coffee maker, there's room to add a sink, and I can totally go out and buy an electric stove top range..  but for now, I have no kitchen.

No worries, though! Luckily, I hang out with someone who can cook up a bangin' beach barbecue..

Step 1
Peel and de-poop shrimp. Marinade chicken breast. Cut up barracuda fillets, peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic. Remove husk from corn on the cob.
Seal everything (except chicken and corn) in tin foil packages.

Step 2
Go look for coconut husks, dried out leaves and other things for your fire. Stay on the beach taking pictures of pretty flowers and lizard tracks while di man go into the bush looking for necessities.

Interesting flowers (haven't figured out what they are yet) just growing wild on the beach

  The beach is striped with lizard tracks

Di man, dealing with mosquitoes and looking for husks

Step 3
Make a grill using two cinder blocks and a borrowed grilling surface. Get the fire going, lay down packages of potatoes, barracuda with veggies, and shrimp with veggies and scream like a little girl when a scorpion runs out of the fire and towards your feet

               Gets the job DONE

            They still freak me out 

Step 4
Throw the chicken on the grill once everything else has cooked for a while, then the corn and tortillas. Take random pictures of the cats and the yard while waiting for dinner to finish up. 


Step 5
Eat delicious food that tastes better than anything you can go out and buy in town


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nicaragua - Part 4 - San Juan del Sur and back to Managua

I was almost tempted to leave out this last post about Nicaragua, due to the fact that I found San Juan del Sur to be slightly... disappointing.
Since I don't have much else going on at the moment though, I decided to get'er done.

Getting to SJDS from Granada was interesting - we were picked up from our hostel with two guys from Israel and driven about forty minutes out of the city, where we then pulled to the side of the road and waited for another van to come bring us the rest of the way. The second van was bigger, had air conditioning, and was more comfortable... probably very comfortable for 8-10 people... but they had about sixteen of us shoved in there and Kathy and I got stuck sitting on little, wooden, fold out stools wedged in between the seats.

We had planned on following a fellow traveler to her favorite go-to hostel just outside of town when we arrived, but, since it was Independence Day weekend, we quickly found out that pretty much all of the hostels in the entire area were already booked. Luckily, we just went for a walk to look around, saw a cute hotel not far from the beach, went in, and were able to get a room for two nights - Friday and Sunday... (We aren't even going to talk about Saturday night - just know that you should never, ever stay at the Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. Trust me)

This was a cute hammock area, when it wasn't raining

Lots of space to sit and hang out inside

Cute little botique area with soaps, bags, towels, and jewelry 

        Fountain in the dining room

After getting settled in to our room (no picture, sorry, but it was perfect and could have slept four people comfortably) we went out to find some dinner and drinks and to get a feel for the town....

I had been told by many different people that I had to go to San Juan del Sur. They assured me that I would love it - "cute little surf town," "awesome beach," "people with 'your kind of vibe'...." 
Maybe my expectations were too high, but.... meh. 
Just wasn't feeling it. 

We had dinner at one of the multiple beach restaurants that all look exactly the same and have, basically, the same menu as one another. 

View from the restaurant - that's Jesus up there on the hill. (Christ of Mercy)
One of the touristy things to do here is to walk up to the giant Jesus statue, but other than being able to take a sweet picture of San Juan del Sur from there, the idea just didn't appeal to me. 
Maybe if it was a giant leprechaun statue or an enormous ball of twine.... 

That night's sunset, which looked prettier through my knock-off Raybans. 

We walked around town a bit that night and ended up drinking at an American style sports bar with a  bunch of old, retired American dudes. It felt like home...Kathy and I, once again, got giggly and banged shots of tequila along with our beers and had our own little party in the corner. 

We went back to the same bar the next morning and the bartender was surprised that we weren't hung over. (He told us we were there for almost three hours and had at least six shots- we told him that's nothing.)

I really don't even have many pictures of San Juan, now that I'm looking through them for this post. We were there for three nights and these are all the "town shots" I took :

The tide is so far out during the day..

Really... that's all of them. 
This was supposed to be a surf town, yet, I didn't see one person surfing the entire time, and only a handful of surf shops.

Town was quiet during the day - absolutely no one in the water except for a few small kids on boogie boards, no one laying out on the beach, no one doing anything. 
At night, though, holy crap. 
There were so many people - the bars were all loud and crowded (except for our favorite sports bar) and the streets were packed with cars and pedestrians.
This was THE town where I felt the most likely to get pick-pocketed or mugged on the beach at night. It was a total party scene and party scenes are not my thing. 

Enough about SJDS now - just a heads up that if you want to leave San Juan del Sur by bus, there is only one that heads to Managua, and it leaves at 6am (we found this out around 1pm the day we needed to get to Managua) Also, no shuttle buses run on Independence Day, and a private taxi will end up costing you $75us. 

We were supposed to stay with Carlo again for Kathy's last night, but I think we talked too much about wanting to watch Tommy Chong on Dancing With the Stars at his house, so he changed his mind and we ended up getting a condo at a hotel in Managua for $70us. 
(Most expensive day of the trip, by far)

This place was nice, though...

RDG Hotel

Kathy left the next morning after we walked to the MetroCentro (mall) for breakfast - an actual mall. I honestly can't even remember the last time I was in a mall - with escalators and everything...

I only had one day on my own before coming home to Belize, and I was perfectly content with catching up on some nap time and taking a warm shower. I did wander out to go find something for dinner eventually and ended up at an Irish pub called The Temple Bar.
I must have gotten there right around the time they opened because I was the only one in there for a while. The bartender was super sweet and we were able to have a decent conversation with his broken English and my limited Spanish.
Two other guys had come in while I was ordering food to go and we started talking. We must have hung out for another hour or longer, until the one had to leave to get to a birthday party. They offered me a ride back to the hotel but... c'mon now. They said they were attorneys, but I know very well they could have been part of a big human trafficking ring and I just didn't feel like getting stuffed in the back of a van with another 15 people again - been there, done that.

I had a quick trip back home the next day - take off from Managua was at 12:40pm, we had a 50 minute layover in El Salvador, and we landed in Belize at 3:55pm.

Ooooh, yeah, El Salvador is now high up on my Bucket List - it looks beautiful...