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My Best Friend

28 Jul

As I was driving my snazzy rental car, along a very busy multi-lane highway today in Ontario, Canada, I had the music turned up enjoying (most of) the songs playing on the radio. At the end of one song the DJ shared some stats and a newly released survey… who did the survey I don’t know, why they did this survey I don’t know, but the fact that this survey was even considered as one that would have merit to conduct and the results are what caught my attention:

“Fifty-six percent of the people polled said that their computer has replaced their dog, as their best friend.”


Think about it… if my computer died… I would probably: swear, complain, whine, and be really perturbed… but it wouldn’t break my heart…

My Best Friend Mona - May she rest in Peace

St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market

24 Jul

Huh? Yes, this is the Roatan Vortex website, the place where I share stories about life on a tropical island, nestled in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Honduras, Central America. Thing is, I’m not there right now, I’m in Ontario, Canada for a whole bunch of reasons, but I’ll be back to my home on Roatan by the beginning of August.

Five years ago, July 23, 2006, when I still lived in Ontario, Canada; I had planned to go to the St Jacob’s Farmer’s Market… I never did get there that day.

I always loved going to the Market, the fresh local fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, baked goods and breads, handicrafts, music, and so much more. I was fortunate to grow up in a community surrounded by family farms and craftspeople. The St. Jacob’s Market was only one of many to choose from (when I was a kid), Saturday was Market Day, we’d usually stop at a few: St. Jacob’s for just picked asparagus, sweet corn and peas in the pod, the Kitchener Market for summer sausage, cheese, and crafts, and the Waterloo Market was my favourite for a big box of broken cookies from the Dare Cookie Company; yeah, sure the cookies were a little uneven around the edges, and they didn’t come in a fancy package… but that just meant I got a lot more cookies for the same price as a store pack.

It wasn’t just what foods we would take home with us, it was also the food we ate while there. Lunch choices included Oktoberfest sausage on a bun (with sauerkraut and fried onions), pork schnitzel, perogies with sour cream, cabbage rolls, fresh cut fries from the chuck wagon; yummy! For dessert: fresh fruit pie, a massive fritter smothered in fresh strawberries and whip cream, homemade fudge, candied apples, or my favourite maple candy. St Jacobs Market on Roatan Vortex Facebook Album

I went to the St. Jacob’s Market today, July 23, 2011, and let memories envelop me. I strolled from one booth to the next (as best as I could, the Market was jamb packed with visitors), marvelling at the selection of goods, the variety of choices, the scent of spicy meats melding with the sweet earthy goodness of fresh maple syrup and homemade apple pie. With every step I took, I was transported back to another era… a former chapter so completely different from my life now.

Going to the Farmer’s Markets was a part of me that I thought I had to give up when I moved on to a different country and culture. And while I love my life on Roatan, I used a lot of my energy missing what was familiar and cherished by me. As time progresses forward (as it will do, whether I want it to or not) it may be another five years before I visit the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market again, or perhaps fate will decide that I never physically see it again, but that’s okay—I’ve come to an understanding and acceptance that those experiences, those encounters, those moments in my life are not lost to me—they are tucked snugly in a special place in my heart—ready to be recalled whenever I want.

House Hunters Int (sort of)

18 Nov

My favourite TV series is House Hunters International. I started watching it when I still lived in Canada, scrutinizing every exotic (to me) location. I was looking forward to continuing the trend when I moved to Roatan, but, initially, although we have cable TV on Roatan, a channel broadcasting that show wasn’t available.

When I went to visit family and friends in Canada this past Christmas, in-between watching re-runs of Classic Christmas movies (without Spanish dubbing or sub-titles, a real treat) I caught up on some episodes of House Hunters International. I got to visit homes for sale in Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, and even one in Vancouver British Columbia. Thing was though, I knew there had been some filmed on Roatan and I was anxious to see one, especially now that I lived on the Island. Heck, I’d probably recognize the actual house or at least the community (in the grand scheme of things Roatan is a fairly small Island.) No such luck, I returned to my Island home not having seen an episode highlighting a property on Roatan.

About nine months ago, the cable company switched things up again (they do that fairly often) and some channels were lost, replaced with different ones. To my surprise and pleasure one of the new channels broadcasts House Hunters International, Mondays and Wednesdays, two episodes each of those nights.

Lawson Rock

So now I’ve seen the ones that were filmed on Roatan! I enjoyed seeing inside homes that I recognized in West Bay, West End, Sandy Bay, Flowers Bay, and one on the east end of the Island. The most fun was one of them in West Bay that was directly across the road from where the Roatan Radio station used to be. I could see that house from the “crow’s nest” when I was DJ Genevieve on the Roatan Vortex radio show. Another one was at the Lawson Rock Condos, Sandy Bay. An easy walk on the beach, and visible from my dock where I live in Sandy Bay.

Turn left to go to Lawson Rock

As well as enjoying watching TV shows like House Hunters International, it also (about every two years when I lived in Canada) inspires me to want to sell my home and find a different one to transform into my own. I thought I got over that habit when I moved to Roatan, but obviously not! Mind you, I did hold out for three years instead of just two. But the time has come to move on. I’ve added all the finishing touches, including a few faux painting techniques that I’m real happy with.

Hand Painted Reverse Aquarium

Faux Painted Backsplash

Sunset from Dock

And for those of you who have seen the MLS listing at Roatan Life Real Estate you have expressed concern that we are leaving the Island. I assure you we are not, there’s even a good chance we’ll continue to live in Sundancer, Sandy Bay. I may be in need of a new home project but I’m not giving up these sunsets and sunrises!

Sunrise from Loft Balcony

Oh, and to the couple who came to view the cabana a few days ago…as you walked through you commented, “I feel like I’m on House Hunters International!” YOU SOOOOO MADE MY DAY!

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