Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I read this somewhere and besides being comical, it was really true!

"As I mature: "

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in!

I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.

I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better have huge boobs.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare youself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.

I've learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you're finished.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and that you better have some talent, like being a good cook, or have a lot of money to take its place.

I've learned that 99% of the time when something isn't working in your house, one of your kids did it!

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.

----------Of course I've also learned by experience that -------

A friend is, as it were, a second self; someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart.

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. And, growing old is inevitable, but growing up is optional.

Laughter is the medicine of life.

Pets are a necessity!

No matter how many times you proof read something, there will always be mistakes!

That just when I was getting use to yesterday, along came today!

No word in the English language rhymes with the words: month, orange, silver or purple (and burble does not count!)

"Typewriter" is the longest word that can be typed on one row of the keyboard!

And, no matter what Swedish people tell me - "Uffda" is a Swedish word cause my Grandma said so!

So, try to have a "good day" when someone wishes you one!

A Lime by any other name is still a Lime

When we first visited Honduras back in the early 80’s we were introduced to the Limón.

It is pronounced “leemon” and since that word sounded like “lemon” we thought that was what it was. After tasting said limón we advised the individual that this was a lime not a lemon. However, since the word in Spanish for lime is limón which is also the word for lemon there was no way we could make the people understand! So we accepted the fact and forgot about the discrepancy.

Well, we moved to Honduras and ever since then have tried to explain to people here what the difference is. Why no lemon trees grow in Honduras is a mystery. We have 2 lime trees in our backyard and a friend of our is attempting to grow a lemon tree however it is too early to tell if the tree will produce lemons! We have the feeling that if there are no other lemon trees around when the tree ultimately flowers it will not have a neighbor lemon tree to pollinate it. Since there are only lime trees are present, thn the result will be more limes! But, this is just my theory and only time will tell.

In the meantime, our lime trees are in full fruit and producing copious amounts of limes. It would be great if we could sell them as they are key limes and juicier than the limes that get shipped to the island from the coast. But, about the time our limes come into season, the market is flooded with limes from all over so we do what any generous individual would do - we give them away!

I also make tons of lime juice to freeze and limeade to drink. I mix it with cranberry juice or orange juice to change the flavor a bit and drop pieces of lime into my coke for a change of pace. I make Key Lime Pie, Key Lime Mousse, Lime cake and use limes on fish. I freeze lime ice cubes to be used in drinks, I use it to deodorize my cutting board, am told it can be used as a relief from mosquito bites, is great for a sore throat and one can even lighten your hair with it! Of course it is great for eliminating odors and I've read there are many other uses for it, all which include the word "freshness." We have all used cleaning products with the scent of lemon, so why not lime I ask?

But, all these uses do not eliminate the many limes I have now dropping from my trees! The other thing that they produce are the little fruit flies. I think they can detect the smell of overripe limes from another continent! The minute one of the limes goes bad sitting in a bowl in the house, bang, the fruit flies appear! Where they come from when none were present before is a mystery, but they are there and in full force! My husband calls them "dog peter nats" and by any name, they are pesky. They don't bite but they fly around ones face and area where the offending fruit is and I'm constantly trying to rid my kitchen of them this time of year!

So, my husband continues to bring in bucket after bucket of limes into the house and I do what I can, with as many as I can and then I'm at a loss! At least I'm getting a lot of refreshing limeade to drink and as a boost to a coke, beer, margarita, or any rum, vodka or gin drink, it is an added improvement! So, in spite of the overabundance, I look forward to my new crop next year!

Sorry - mail orders for free limes cannot be filled!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Medical Techniques

I just recently returned from making a trip to San Pedro Sula with my friend, Bonnie. It was intended to be a shopping trip with a short visit to the doctor for a consultation concerning bone spurs in both her heels! For more details, see: http://bonnbob.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html for a full report by Bonnie on the result of the visit to the doctor.

I have been to San Pedro to either be a patient or a nurse to someone else and I learn something new every time. Unfortunately, most of what I learn is not useful on subsequent trips because things never stay current in Honduras and what one discovered, did or accomplished on one trip will be completely eradicated on the next visit because, well, things are constantly changing here. And, it is not that they are changing to be improved upon. No, things change because they no longer either order them because of a lack of interest or price, stores close and move and leave no forwarding information, methods of doing things are changed because people do not have on-the-job-training and, therefore, every new person does things in a different manner! All this just makes life an adventure when going to the Mainland.

Needless to say, Bonnie had the surgery on one foot, recovered and is well and functioning back on Guanaja. What she failed to say in her Blog was the strain involved on the return to the island was; i.e., the flight back! What does this have to do with "medical techniques" you say? Well, since she was in a wheel chair and/or crutches, I wanted to make sure that we took a larger plane making it easier for her to fly home. I booked a flight on Sosa from SPS to Guanaja with a stop, naturally, in La Ceiba. Little did I know that Sosa planed a side trip to Roatan from La Ceiba before going on to Guanaja. The Sosa plane was picked because 1) it was larger and more accommodating for a person with crutches, 2) there would only be two changes of plane (SPS to La Ceiba and La Ceiba to Guanaja) and 3) the plane would be roomy enough to accommodate her getting on and off with easier access to stairs for boarding!

Sosa had something else in mind entirely. They knew we had a woman who needed wheel chair assistance so it was no big secret. When to got to La Ceiba, we made the change and after a very short wait the plane boarded for Guanaja. I should have known something was up when we left BEFORE the regular schedule from La Ceiba. It was announced, on the plane, that we were making a stop in Roatan.....nothing was said about changing planes. We arrived and lo and behold we were told we had to get off and continue the trip (with 9 people) on a smaller 10-seater plane! I was not a happy camper. Bonnie had to disembark and hobble over to the other plane (of course they had no wheel chair ready for her). Then to our horror, and just what I wanted to avoid, there were no steps up to the plane plus it had very cramped seating and would provide her with no comfort whatsoever once she was on board. They attempted to bring the stairs from the larger plane but they would not fit the door to the smaller plane. The seats were bench seats and so it was a real scramble to get everyone on board before they attempted to get Bonnie in. After several tries and failures, Bonnie said if they could help her up, she would sit on the edge of the door and then, somehow, boost herself up into the seat! I was so angry. First, the men stood around like they had no idea how to assist her and we had to force them to give her some help. Bonnie is a trooper - she got herself into the plane and sat, very uncomfortably and crammed into her place on the plane.

Then the real fun began. they had to get luggage into the plane for 8 people including two large ice chests that we had brought with us! They loaded and unloaded the plane 3 times trying to make the items fit! They just have no sense of how to pack a plane and were throwing in all the small items first and trying to cram in the large ice chests last. At one point they mentioned leaving some of the luggage and/or ice chests behind and everyone loudly protested. We said that the real solution would have been to simply take the same plane we came into Roatan on to Guanaja. Of course, once they had made up their minds, they were not admitting they had made a mistake. So, finally, everything was crammed/pushed/packed/loaded/jammed into the plane and we took off. My biggest fear was that we were overweight and would not be able to take off! But, we did. We did manage to fly a lot lower than normal over the sea, but made it to Guanaja.

As to advanced "medical techniques", ten days later, my husband and I went out to Clark Cay to remove Bonnie's two stitches. Mike has removed stitches from me, our dogs, our friend's dogs and now another human! So, he is qualified - right?!! He has all the tools to complete the task. Maybe not the fancy tools of a doctor, but sufficient enough to get the task done and painlessly. Of course he had to joke with Bonnie and tell her he was bringing his garden shears to get the job done!

Above, you will see the "wound", the procedure and one of the stitches finally removed.

Bonnie felt a lot better after the "procedure" and we celebrated by eating the lunch I prepared and brought along with an added bonus of Rice Krispie Squares for desert! Yummm. We then played Mexican Train Dominoes (Bob won of course) and had a couple of drinks to relax!

Mike is getting more confident about his medical abilities and has tried to convince people to let him perform a lobotomy or, if they are not agreeable he will do vasectomy or a castration if one wants to go that way. With the little practice he has had doing this procedure, one could start as one thing and end up as the other. So far, no takers!

Meanwhile, he proudly wears a T-Shirt with this logo:

Any takers?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Games People Play

Bocce Ball, which originated in Ancient Rome, goes by the name of Bocce (Italy), Bochas; Bolas Criollas (South America) and Bocha (the sport in Brazil), Balinanje (Yugoslavia), and Boule Lyonnais (France).

Traditionally, it is played on natural soil or even asphalt courts approximately 20 to 27 meters in length and 2.5 to 4 meters wide. The Bocce ball can be made of metal, various types of plastic or even wood. The balls are spherical, of two colors having squares on one and circles on the other to tell them apart. The game is conducted between two players, or two teams of two to four each. The object is to get your Bocce ball as close to or to hit the “jack,” a small white ball that is thrown out into the playing area. The rules of playing are set for who throws the “jack,” who goes first to throw and the point system. From what I have read the only indication given regarding points was that the ball closest to the jack gets a point and the game can be concluded at the end of accumulating 7 to 13 points.

BUT, since we are on an island, and things are more relaxed here and generally games are meant for fun rather than heavy competition (except when football is concerned), the island version, I believe, allows for more challenging area playing.

I had never played the game and knew little about it but during a recent trip to Bonnie and Bob’s temporary home on Clark Cay to teach her how to crochet, I was offered the chance to participate in a game. Now, I love games. Card games, board games, Sudoku puzzles, dominoes, some participation sports; anything to pass the time and enjoy oneself.

At home my husband is not into games. He will play a hand of Rummy with me and if I knew Poker better I might get him interested in playing that now and then. For the most part, games, such as Scrabble for instance, go to slowly as far as he is concerned and, therefore, he has little interest in games. He likes limited outdoor activities so we do not share in this activity too often.

As he was not with me on this particular day, I wanted to learn the game. Now, I’m terrible at throwing a ball. Just have no control or little idea of how to control a ball and I do fairly lousy in horseshoes as that is another throwing game. But I was willing to give it a try and off we went.

We had two teams of two people each and went down to the beach. Now, unlike the “formal” game of Bocce with its measured court and often times boxed in by a wooden boarder, we had the whole beach to pick from! The idea is to throw the “jack,” or, as they referred to it on the beach “the puck,” into an area where you may stand a chance of getting your Bocce ball close to or hitting it but hard enough so that quite possibly your opponents have a more difficult time of it. In other words, the whole beach area is open and all obstacles are left where they stand! Trees, rocks, coral, depressions in the sand, beer bottles, pipes, all become part of the game and make interesting obstacles.

I was informed of the complicated playing order. The first person to throw the puck out is the last one to play and the person who hit’s the puck or gets closest and wins the round gets to throw the puck out. The first round is complete when both teams have thrown one ball. After about an hour or so we had thrown the Bocce ball all over the Cay and had a great time laughing and trying to figure out how to throw around a tree to hit the puck. Of course my score was very low, but at least I made some points.

About a month later my husband and I returned to visit Bonnie and Bob’s and the four of us had a game of Bocce Ball. Again, we were all over the Cay having a good time trying to throw the ball into the most difficult spot we could find while allowing ourselves a chance to hit the puck. I made more points this time, but was still the low man on the totem pole so to speak.

We returned to the house, had our lunch and then moved on the Mexican Train Dominoes which provided us with an hour or more of fun and laughter learning that game. I have since been to the States and purchased the game and am looking forward to having Bonnie and Bob over to play and maybe introducing other people on the island to the game.

Of course, now that I’m on this “game” kick, I also bought “Power Yachted” while in the states where I enjoyed playing with my friend JoAnn and her husband. We had lots of fun and I looked forward to bringing the game back to the island. I have even managed to entice several people to play on a Saturday at Manati after dinner.

All in all, games lead to fun, laughter and a camaraderie that cannot be duplicated. It is a shame that more “adult” games are not available for sale on the island to give some of the islanders a means of enjoying relaxation and fun in a stimulating and, yes, educational manner, instead of relying upon discos, drink and wandering around getting into trouble.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bee or not to Bee

Just today my husband and I observed something we have not seen before. During the last few days I have heard swarms of bees flying around our house at various times if the day and as suddenly as they appeared they would disappear. This morning we found out where they had gone to.

We have an older lime tree outside our back door and there, out on a limb so to speak, was a living swarm of bees, one on top of another. At first we thought maybe they were beginning to form a living cell to create a hive. For brief periods part of the swarm would break away from the "living nest" and fly about only to return and be absorbed into the crawling live nest. This happened over and over again during a few hours.

My husband approached and photographed the swarm and took a close up of the actual bees.

As you can see from this photo, there are literally thousands of bees, each climbing over the other. Several hours passed and then, suddenly, as quickly as they appeared they started dropping to the ground apparently dying. In less than an hour all the bees had dropped off the branch and were laying on the ground.

My husband picked up a few bees, held them in his hand and took this close up photo.

We have no idea what their final goal was or if they were in fact honey bees. The honey bees of the island were decimated by Hurricane Mitch and it has only been recently, due to the diligence of some of the foreigners and islanders, that honey bees have been reintroduced onto the island. Those bees that were introduced, however, are at the Northeast end of the island so we were surprised to see this swarm so far from their actual nests.

Maybe someone out there has insight into this phenomena and can shed some light on this strange behavior.

Food Frenzy

Of all the things I miss on the island, and I believe I have said this before, it is a variety of food; specialty food, good meat, great cheese, deserts, etc. that I miss the most. Most foreigners here would agree with me on this point.

My trip to Germany/Europe rekindled my interest in food and I came home wanting to try out new recipes on my husband. Unfortunately, 75% of the items called for in various recipes cannot be found on the island. I have found many ingredients on the Mainland, mainly in San Pedro Sula, but getting them here is not very cost effective. When I do go to the Mainland, and I had the opportunity to go to San Pedro Sula last week, I stock up on items that I have been wanting for my new creations.

Meanwhile, while in Europe I tried many new things: squid, octopus, Ostrich, deer, pizzas, marvelous bread, cheeses, various wines and beers and wonderful deserts! The food was amazing and varied. Especially good was the cheese, bread and ice cream! I had a double scoop of Almond Kirsch Ice Cream with Chocolate Ice Cream in Salzburg, Austria and had to return an hour later for another one. It was the best ice cream cone I've had in my life!

My friends and I did a beer garden tour of Munich where I finally tried a Radler (lemonade and beer combination). This is enjoyed by many and is a low-alcohol way of enjoying beer over an extended period of time. I had a rich hot chocolate in Kundelzau topped with whipped cream, some crisp wine in the Wine Cellar there and sampled many fine pieces of chocolate from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia.

Restaurant Herzl

I had an interesting Pizza at La Stella in Salzburg along with an interesting beer. The shopping district is along Getreidegasse Road and one finds everything imaginable.

My pièce de résistance was dinner at the Goldener Hirsch one evening. The restaurant is located in the Hotel Goldener Hirsch on Getreidegasse Road and was tastefully decorated. It is a casual, top-notch restaurant with low ceilings and wood paneled walls creating an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of bohemian times. The restaurant was once a ferrier's shop, where locals brought their horses to be shoed and which has become Salzburg's most illustrious restaurant, favored by government officials, world-class performers, and members of the international social set! A Maître d and three waiters tended to my needs and I was offered a wonderful variety of choices. I had a beautifully presented salad, onion soup and a shoulder of lamb, polenta with egg plant, a lovely wine and an after dinner drink which was a 95% chocolate liqueur. It was one of the highlight eating experiences of my trip.

I took a bicycle tour of Salzburg and upon completion I stopped at a wonderful little cafe called "What I Am" which served"fresh "feel good food;" salads, soups, sushi and the like. I had a bowl of soup with egg noodles that was spicy and very tasty. It was certainly what was called for as the day had been overcast with some rain and slightly cool and I wanted some nice soup to warm my body.

Of course, the reason for my trip was to attend the wedding of Judith Rumm, daughter to my friends, Claus and Annette who run Manati Restaurant on the island. The reception was held in a cozy little restaurant and was a German food delight.

We had champagne and pretzels after the wedding ceremony outside the Municipal building where the vows were exchanged.

We proceeded to the reception where we toasted the Bride and Groom and, before the dinner (which was a surprise to me), we were served coffee and the wedding cake. The cake was really special as the bakery had somehow superimposed a photo of the Bride and Groom onto the frosting of the cake, which was edible.

Later in the afternoon, after photos and visiting, we were served a typical German meal with Snitzel, sausage, potato salad, Spaetzel (a German homemade noodle) and a green salad. We were entertained by a band lead by the Father of the Bride and his friends. Champagne, wine and beer flowed and a good time was had by all.

Of course, as all German celebrations seem to go, the die-hard Germans keep partying until the wee hours of the next morning. I could not keep up with that and managed to hail a cab with some friends and return to my hotel.

<span class=Veltlinerstübli Monstein">

In Davos, Switzerland my hosts took me to dinner at the Veltlinerstübli which was in the small village of Monstein (established in 1717) tucked away corner of the Alps. Here, for the first time, I ate venison which had been prepared as a sauer brauten along with red cabbage, potatoes, salad and a red wine chosen by my host. It was an interesting meal in an enchanting setting. As with the Goldener Hirsch, the restaurant was cozy with low ceilings. We shared a wonderful desert but, unfortunately, with all the food I had enjoyed thus far, what type of desert it was escapes me! It was very tasty, as was all the food served in this quaint restaurant.

I have more wonderful meals to report on but will save it for the time when I blog about my trip to the seaside of Croatia.

Needless to say, as a gourmet experience Europe is my choice!