Thursday, May 30, 2013


In an attempt to be optimistic; I'm pleased to report that my immune system is quite strong.  So strong, in fact, that it has managed to fend off 2 rounds of antibiotics, and the infection in my ear/head is still here.

This is what my kitchen counter looks like

The only thing that is keeping me sane is knowing that I'm going to home for a visit in 12 days.

I returned to the Dr. on Tuesday, and explained to him that I was growing concerned that with this severe infection hardly healing, I'm getting worried about flying.  Not that I can board the plane, take off and then decide whether or not I can handle it.  It's sort of a risk that you take I'm guessing.  But still, it's entirely too painful right here in my office chair, so I'm guessing the answer to flying is NO!

My inspiration

He put me on 2 types of antibiotics, which I'll take simultaneously until close to my departure (that is our hope).  And of course, no diving, no snorkeling, no swimming.  I can't even get the ear wet in the shower.

It's amazing to me my body has been so resistant to the previous drugs.  I rarely take them, so I assumed there would be no problem with the initial intense round of 'Z-pak'.  Wrong!

Anyway, there has been lots of other things going on for me to try and focus on.  It's end of month at both of my jobs, so there are lots of deadlines to meet.  I'm thankful for that!  I've also been working on a few other projects; Upon my return to the island, there are some big changes in store.
 I'm really excited, and can't wait to share with you all!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


In exactly 17 days, I will be boarding a plane back to my homeland for a much-craved visit with my roots.

About 3 weeks ago, it finally hit me, and I was homesick.  After watching one of my best girlfriend's wedding ceremony via Facebook (THANK YOU Renee!)  And reading email after email about all of the exciting things happening in Portland this summer (Outdoor concerts, Wine tastings, Camping, Rivers & Lakes, more concerts, Dog parks, Green Grassy Parks, Festivals, BBQ's, etc)  Plus a little space of emptiness for all of my family and friends.  It hit me.  Smack in the face.  I think it may have even taken my breath away.

I figured I was in the clear, after 9 months of living in Roatan, 6 months of it solid.  I'm not sure when I expected it to hit, but I certainly didn't think it would take this long!  I admitted it to my mom first, who immediately told my brother, and then one of them I'm sure told my Dad as well; but it felt good to just be honest.  Typically, I would put on my big girl pants and pretend like everything is fine, because showing signs of weakness has never really been a forte of mine.

My brother started sending me messages about how terrible and cold and rainy Oregon is, and reminding me how long and miserable the winters are.  It helped a bit.  My mom on the other hand, started sending me pictures of my dog.  I think she was trying to show me what I have to look forward to when I'm home, but it didn't seem to help so much.  Dad didn't say much.  He tries not to unless solicited. (most of the time!)

So you can all guess what a letdown it was to hear I wouldn't be diving from awhile!
Update: The infection is STILL there, going on almost 2 weeks.  If it's not cleared up on showing positive signs of me back in the water next week, I will be going to the Dr.  I guess.  Let's hope I can at least fly, if nothing else!

But enough of the sad, wah wah wah's.  I'm going to tell you all what I'm looking forward to when I come home!!!

In no particular order:

Starbucks Green Tea Frappucino

Deschutes Brewery

SIP 47 (Oregon Wine Tour)

Mom & Kerry's back deck

Dad & Barb's Backyard


Coors Light Baby!

My Sweet, sweet Frye Boots!  Muah!

Enough Said.

Frozen Yogurt

Hillbilly Deluxe

Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee Latte coffee coffee coffee

The beautiful City of Portland

My little Lu Lu


Beautiful Scenery


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet Zach Sobiech...

I just finished watching this short documentary of Zach Sobiech's life.  His approach on life is quite admirable; he's touched so many people's lives, and I find it amazing, that he's continuing to touch many, many more.

Take 20 minutes to watch this video. It will change your day, if not your life.

Thank you Zach.  I've never met you, but I want to say thank you, for reminding me that you only live this thing we call life one time; So make it count.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

'Stay out of the water'

These five words are like fingernails on a chalkboard to a scuba diver.  It's like beginning your under water descent without turning your air on.  It's like a jelly fish wrapping itself around your neck.  It's like hearing the motor of your dive boat turn over and over, but insist on not starting.  It's like getting ready to take a picture of a shark and realizing you forgot the memory card.  It's like getting the signal to head to the surface when you've still got 1600 psi.

They've all happened, and they all suck.  Big time.


I sat quietly, trying to listen to the words I recognized in Spanish, as the doctor explained to Alex the prognosis for my unbearable ear/face/jaw pain.  The words I understood were inflamed, antibiotic, alcohol and water.   Alex turned to me and said 'you have a very bad infection, it is badly inflamed, so she is giving you antibiotics and painkillers'.  pause... pause... pause... 'Oh, and no alcohol and NOOOO DIVING!'  My heart sank, even though I knew this was the case.  I think I actually got sick to my stomach when he said no diving.  A year or two ago, I would have been distraught over the alcohol part, but I can live without that.  It's the diving that's I've grown so very fond of.

I don't dive near as much as I'd like, but I dive more than your average Jill, so I'm not complaining.  Typically a once, hopefully twice a week, I walk down to my favorite dive shop ,West End Divers,* on my lunch hour and go for a little cruise along the reef.  It's become my meditation, my getaway from reality, my peace and quiet, and actually, my social time as well.  Working at home has a tendency to leave you feeling a bit isolated from the rest of the world, so it's fun to jump on the boat and chit chat with the group, the visitors and the regulars, dive masters and instructors about what they've been up to, where they're from or what they saw on their last dive.

Chit chattin after a dive @ West End wall
(there was a hammerhead sighting this day, so lots of 'chit chat' going on here!)

Often times my friend Joe, who owns the bar in front of my house, and I will sign the other one up and send a text or Facebook message 'we're on the board for 11:30 tomorrow, can't wait!'.

*Check out their live web cam here!

I feel a little lost without my diving.  Partly because I was told I can't, not because it just so happens that I'm really busy with the construction season in full swing and gears changing at the marketing gig.

The thing is, that is what this island is built around.  The diving (and the drinking, but that's certainly behind in the lineup)  It's the one common denominator between almost all of the people here.  We all gossip about who saw a hammerhead or who found the seahorse first (and who snuck out in the middle of the night and moved it)

But my #1, all time, favorite thing about diving is...  We Are All Equal.

Beneath the surface it doesn't matter what race you are, what language you speak, what your sexual orientation is, where you attended college, if you did, or how much money is in your bank account.  Beneath the surface there is no race to the finish line, no competition for material possessions or debates about who is smarter.  There is no pecking order or language barrier.  There is simply one thing you share with the others around you, and it's a passion for diving, no matter what it means to you.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I want to hear from YOU!

Hey everyone!

I love checking the stats on my page, to see where my readers are popping in from.  (Israel, Germany, Greece, Spain, Canada, France, China, Ireland, Honduras and US!)

It's really amazing, the internet, and its 'chance meetings'.

So I'm asking you, yeah YOU, right there, yes... you;

to drop a comment below this post, and let me know where you are.  You don't have to give specifics if you don't like (but they sure do make things interesting)

Tell me what you do or where you live, what your favorite hobby is, something interesting about yourself, how you know me or what catches your eye on this blog.

By the way, thanks for reading.  Thanks for all of your support, friendly comments and kind words.  Cheers everyone!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Anniversary! El Numero Tres

Where I'm going...

Country roads back home

If you were to have asked me that a week ago, I could have told you.
If you ask me that today, I have no idea.
If you ask me in 2 weeks, there is a chance I might know.

That is the way things seem to operate around here; and even though it's not always ideal, you adapt to your surroundings.  That's a life coping mechanism, we're born with it.

Adapting has its pros and cons too.  In some ways, I love that I've adapted to the laid back style of island life.  If something doesn't happen today, it will still be there tomorrow.  And most certainly the next day if something comes up.  I've always been a planner, and feel a little out of control when I don't at least have an idea of what's coming.  (I have to admit, I am pretty good at planning for things that most people don't think about, Which is why I managed a commercial construction office successfully for 8 years!; so when I try and let things flow, and something I could have planned for gets overlooked, I have a hard time accepting it.  )  BUT, I feel I've certainly improved my sense of urgency to have all hands on deck at all times.

Occasionally I fear that if I ever return to what we on the island call 'The Real World', what will happen then!?

Which brings up a another good skill I've learned; Worrying about the future.  I've always maintained that worrying about things you have no control over are simply a waste of time and energy.* Especially here.  Things are ever changing and adapting to the resources around us, and planning for something a month down the road is possibly the most wasted effort you can make.  Unless you plan it as a rough sketch with lots of room for change.
(*Note: A new page I've added to the main menu above, titled 'Sunscreen'*) 

Ok, ok.  So you get it.  Where I'm going is a loose term.  It's not easy to tell from one day to the next.  And Frankly, I've only tried to change the subject 1.2.3 times in the last 5 paragraphs.

When I thought about writing a 3 part post, I had it all set up in mind.  At the time, my marketing job was/is morphing into something a little different which I'm excited about.  It's taking longer than anticipated to iron out the final details, but when it's all done, I've been asked to start writing a bit more.  Some content writing and blogging for now.  I'm excited to start this to see where it might take me.  I'm ready for a new challenge here on the island.

As for the non-work life, Alex and I are doing really well.  We have taught each other a lot over the last few months; we're learning together a lot of things about growing up in different cultures.  It's not all bad, mostly good, even though it typically takes a disagreement of sorts to arrive at that conclusion.  We grow closer and stronger every time we do, so there's always a plus to the challenge at hand.  He has also revealed to me recently that he can cook!  The first couple of times I was a little scared, because he was just pulling things out of the cupboard with no real plan. (hear me?  no plan!?  ha!)  All I know, is as far as I'm concerned, the boy can cook all he wants without a plan, cuz it's delicious!

When our (opposite) schedules allow, we like to go diving together.  He is a fantastic diver with excellent buoyancy and air consumption, so I sometimes feel a bit nervous.  I have improved a ton since I first came here though, so the angst is getting better, and I worry less and less about my performance, and more about having fun under the water.  Diving with your partner can be kind of romantic sometimes.  I know it sounds strange, but it's just another form of adventure you both share with each other; except only with eye contact and hand gestures.  The rest of the time, you're just there, together, with a special bond between you.  A couple of weeks ago on a dive, he was messing with me, so I waited a few minutes before approaching him while his back was turned & grabbed his butt, (it's always a bit of a surprise when something touches you under water) just as I looked up to see someone trying to get our attention that they were leaving the group to surface with a student.  Oops! 

Underwater Photog. Update:  Yesterday was a big turning point for me; and I had the opportunity to take probably the most unique picture yet!  I'll leave you with a few shots of my recent 'sightings'.


Correction: NOT a jelly fish, but a Pelagic Tunicate.

Sharp Nose Puffer - I love their eyelashes and designs


Hermit Crab Thing

My friend Pete, visiting from Oregon

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy Anniversary! Part Deux

Part 2: What I am doing

You already know a lot about what I am doing here on the island.

Lounging on the beach, tanning and sipping umbrella drinks all day and attending swanky cocktail parties at the country club near the marina.  

Keeping up on my running and workout regimen that I worked so hard to discipline myself into following over the year prior to my departure.

Laying in a hammock strung between palm trees on the beach, 'working' on my laptop.

Learning that working from home is a LOT harder than it sounds.
Learning that it is actually possible to sweat profusely via my eyebrows and upper lip, even if I am a lady.
Learning that I love 'freezies' as much now and I did when I was a kid.
Learning the reason why the expats that have been here awhile don't warm up to me right away.  Because saying goodbye it not a fun fact of 'island life'.
Learning how to pick the good fruit off the fruit truck.
Learning that rushing for a taxi is silly.  It's never the last one.
Learning that I take a lot for granted.
Learning that every little tickle on my skin is NOT a bug.
Learning that living on an island is, well, not as glamorous as people think.
Learning that submerging myself in water and breathing canned air for an hour at a time is my 'happy place'.
Learning that I have a lot to learn!

I could go on... for days about the skills I'm gaining and the opportunities I've found within myself to grow.

As for making a living, I'm working with a Marketing firm as the on site liaison with the clients they have here on the island.  This has been a great way to meet people, and I am so thankful for having that perk. Especially when I first arrived and knew almost no one!!

When I'm not taking pictures at the resorts or coming up with marketing schemes to set them apart from their neighbors, I'm still working with my previous employer back home.  It's on an entirely different level than when I was managing the office, but it's great.  I will get to interact with the guys every now and again, and stay involved in the construction world, which I enjoy.

I try my hardest to balance work and fun, and not indulge in too much of either.  If I miss work hours during the week, I'm pretty hard on myself about making up the time before the weekend comes.  However, when an opportunity for a little fun in the sun arises, I try my best to make it work.  After all, that's why we're all here right?  To live the life you love!