Sunday, December 29, 2013

the gift

Papi is gone.

So is our electricity.

Tomorrow, I'll go see about buying a newer, used inverter.

I spend most of my day running to do things while I see the city power on.  "Quick!  Practise a set while you can!  Throw in a load of laundry!  See if Papi sent a message!"

Then in between, I try to find things to do without electricity: a little exercise, fold laundry, clean up dog poop, or just practise those Spanish lyrics over and over.

Today, the water gave out on me.

Back to flushing toilets with a bucket of water from the pool, not to mention a pool bath.

I'll be getting a super duper special 8 a.m. visit from our plumber tomorrow morning.

Maybe there will be electricity so I can get an extra couple of hours practise in.

I definitely need it.

This whole 'translating to Spanish' thing is consuming my days.

My obsession.

It's so lovely to sing all day, but when your memory leaves as MUCH to be desired as mine does, it's a little frustrating.

I feel like I'm forever going to be tied to a sheet of paper with words on it.

Anyway, while I was practising yesterday, I had a special visit.

No, not 20 children at my gate screaming my name in unison to be sure I heard it.

... you think i'm kidding ... don't you?? ... nope ...

It was Housemaid.

It never really occurred to me just how much it meant to people here that we played Santa.

But there she stood, with a bouquet of flowers in hand.

Beautifully wrapped in a pink mesh type paper infused with lines of sparkly gold, and a gold ribbon bow to tie it all in a grand package.

Never have flowers ever looked so beautiful.

2 bright sunflowers, with gads of purple daisies, surrounded by little yellow buds peeking in from the not so empty spaces.

Oh, and a card, which read, "On behalf of the children and families in the village, Blessings."

This bouquet would be a VERY nice gift for someone, when you go to their birthday or any other time people want to bring some love to you, but this one?

It took about 15 people to scrape together the money to buy this gift.

I am floored.

They were so grateful for what we did for them for X-Mas.

When I was worried about dipping further into the credit cards to do this, I didn't really know that it would be as appreciated as it was.

I cried a couple of tears from the pure love I felt.

Papi wasn't here to receive this love, but he felt it from afar.

He could really use love.

His trip hasn't turned out so well.

The family he was staying with didn't quite treat him with much respect.

Imagine being alone at the house of part of your 'family' for X-Mas because your 'family' said you weren't invited to be with them where they were having dinner?

Then get kicked out on X-Mas night with no warm clothes and nowhere to go because you told this 'family' how you feel?

Yeah.  Merry fucking X-Mas to you, too.

Anyway, Papi will get to come home to love.

And hopefully electricity.

One thing is for sure, by not having any electricity, this house is sure tidy.

I've also managed to slim down a little from the ankle fat, as well as strengthen my ankle so much that I can almost get up and down stairs without pain!

Anyway, I better upload this before the electricity goes again!!

i choose to consciously surround myself with positivity

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

silent day

i just realized i never shared episode 38 with you!  here's your sunday sillies a little late

After a few days of grieving heavily for the loss of our little baby-dog, Harley, my time got very busy to help me move on from the sadness and get shit done.

We had to prepare for the village.

It's been an intense week and I have had no time to tell you about everything.

We started off with playing Santa to the children in the village.

But first, we had to drive almost an hour to Puerto Plate to buy the toys.  It was a store Housemaid told us about where the toys are inexpensive and we can get a discount.

That was of course, after the boss finished his chicken.  No talking until his chicken was done.

On the day of giving, we walked out of our yard door to see the entire village of children jumping up and down, arms to the air with tight little fists pumping upon every bounce off the ground.

Of course, Papi and I had Housemaid to help us with wrangling the kids.  As we approached the excited horde of short people, she yelled, "You don't get your presents unless you are at your house!"

Immediately, they ran home to wait eagerly for our arrival.

Later that same day, we were going to give out rum to the adults.  The adults were very insistent about us giving them presents as well.

We also realized we couldn't just give to a few people, that we needed to give a lot more to the rest of the village.

Off we went, credit card in hand and bought a box full of bottles of rum.  Let me tell you, the kids were easy to get back to their houses to wait for their gifts, but the adults?  It was a very insane time.

Grabbing, yelling, frantically wanting their share and trying to get more than we had allotted for for everyone.

Next year, we will be giving out food and care packages instead.

That night, there was quite the party in the village, as we listened to sounds of gunshots.

Well, we thought they were gunshots.

It wasn't until being invited to the party last night that I realized what it was.

Housemaid and Dominican Daddy invited to me the Fiesta de Navidad.

My DR Family fed me a meal, in which they were so generous as to buy special Dominican chicken and rice.

I brought a huge salad, which we topped with the Dominican dressing.

I also brought the grapes, which are like a tradition for the dinner.

Oh, and a few bottles of red wine.

Another tradition is lots of apples.

People are lucky to be able to eat healthy, local, organic produce here, whereas in Canada, these foods are the more expensive of the choices.

Not here.  Instead, junk food is expensive.

Anyway, back to the 'gunshots' I heard.

They have what looks like a bazooka, that is filled with some kind of explosives and they put all kinds of chemicals in and "BOOM!!!" it goes, as I startled with every firing.

Last night, people danced and drank, ate apples and grapes, while sharing their beer with children.



It seems normal to everyone here, but when I saw a father giving beer to his 8 month old baby, it really disturbed me.

What can I do though?  I'm not here to preach about anyone's culture and it seems this is what everyone does with their children.

The party then moved up to the street, where we found the village bar.  Lovely woman serving, who's house is below the establishment.

She invited me in to see her house and while she walked I spoke to her about playing and singing at her bar, reminding her that it would be for free.

It'll be my practise gig when I'm ready in a few months.

Anyway, that has been my week, and rest assured that it was all on video!

Today I settle in for a quiet day, while I wait eagerly to hear from Papi who is somewhere in Vancouver.

And it's a silent day in the village.

The dogs have had nothing to bark at.

i am grateful for the time shared with those who have left to be with angels

Thursday, December 19, 2013

with the angels

Her body is gone.

It was not the easiest choice, considering she was only a year old.

She just started being the best guard dog.

But her body had shut down and she stopped eating, yet was vomiting bile.

From the tests Dr. Bob did, he deduced that she only had a few days left, so it seemed like the best idea would be to allow her to go before she wound up suffering.

I cried so hard.  I'm pretty wiped from it.

But I do have to tell you about the people who were there at Dr. Bob's.

It seemed like this girl was a little clueless when she came in.

When she saw that I was in tears, she asked, "Is she OK?"

I told her she wasn't, that she was in renal failure, but I guess she doesn't really grasp what that means.  She replied, "We have some herbs to help that.  We saved a dog from a heart attack with our herbs."

Really?  So, when you saw a dog having a heart attack, did you just run screaming, "This dog is having a heart attack!  Quick!  Grab the herbs!"

Now, I'm all about the natural remedies.  I'll take natural over pharmaceutical any time there's an option.

But renal failure?  Her body had simply shut down and she was delirious, which was why she would just walk somewhere and stare into the nothing-ness.

We had suspected that she was not 'right' for a long time.  As in, since a few months after we rescued her.  We always thought that she was an 'odd' dog.

I can't tell you how many times we've said, "She's not like other dogs."

Dr. Bob's tests didn't show any actual poisoning, but that her body just did this on her own.  Her kidney has been failing for a long time and her body finally gave in.

I would have tried anything if I knew a year ago that her little body wasn't producing like it should.

We just didn't know.

But back to Flower Child.

Her mother was there and Hippy-Dip was telling her mother about a motorcycle accident and how the doctors are making the victim have surgery without pain killers.

I guess this is their first experience with the fact that this country refuses pain killers under every circumstance.  Yes, even surgery.

So, what was the mother's response?!?!?  "Oh, that's horrible!  She needs a new doctor!  I'm going to have to bring her my healing mat!"

Really?!?!?!  What fucking planet did you people come from?!

Oh, but the finale was when Dr. Bob's blood tests proved their dog had tick poisoning, and the girl's response was, "But, he doesn't have ticks!"

That was enough.

Through all my sobbing and dying from grief, I had to retreat outside to be alone and cry without all the stupidity.

Since coming home, I've slept away the tears and The Donkey has been acting out of control.

She also won't stop sniffing Papi's shorts.

It's as if she's saying, "I can smell the death.  Why can I smell the death!"

She keeps walking around searching for Pathetic Puppy.

The Thug is coming for hugs and won't stop talking.  He seems to be saying, "Where's my toy.  I liked that toy."

Jake-a-Like is needy.

Papi and I are so sad.

Her little spirit was more than alive, even if her body had been dying for a long time.

I whispered in her ear to come with me.  That she didn't need that sickly body any more.

That she could still be with us every day.

Amongst the angels.

i let go of sorrow, while holding on to love

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

she's stealing my heart.

I'm having a hard time playing today.

Every song I play makes me cry.

Normally, playing is like prozac that seeps from the piano through my fingers and takes away emotional distress.

Not today.

Every word I sing, every melody I play is making me cry.

Pathetic Puppy is probably not going to make it.

She is in renal failure.  Her blood is at less than 7% in her body.

We've given her some stuff to piddle like crazy and try to flush her out, but honesty, renal failure can't be reversed.

She's so heartbreaking.

When Papi and I first saw her, she had a hole in her head and had just lost an eye.

She's had a lump grow in that eye after we healed the hole in her head.

Every medicine we give her to help with the ticks has her puking and she's definitely the runt.

She's only a year old, and the little woeful girl is more than likely on her way out.

I was alone when I spoke to Dr. Bob this morning.

I only had Dominican Daddy to talk to about my sad news, and when I told him, he looked like he might cry.

Later, Housemaid told us that he's grieving because she was his favourite dog.

I have to say, she was my favourite too.

You can't help but make her your favourite.

She's so pitiful.

I always go for the underdog.

My heart is very heavy and I can't stop holding her.

Normally, playing would take away the pain.

Not today.

It's pulling every tear out of me and making it hard to continue.

I'll try to play again tomorrow, I suppose.

Or perhaps I'll only work on some chord progressions.

That will keep me from listening to words in a song.

It's the words and melody that get me.

Every song had something that I could relate to this little girl.

She's going to be with the angels soon.

They're so lucky to have her.

We were so fortunate to be the people to have her in our life.

How lucky we have been!

She was only granted one year of life, and we got to spend it with her.

Still, I'm so sad.

I know the angels will allow her to visit us.  I know, but I'll never get to hold her skinny little muzzle with that underbite.

Her one soulful eye will never be able to sway me into letting her have my seat in the La-Z-Boy while I suffer on a wooden chair.

She will soon be only a memory.

Soon, she will be a spirit and I'm sure she'll be taken care of by all of those before who have left and taken a piece of our hearts with them.

I'll hold you until you go, little girl.

i embrace the rhythm and the flowing of my own heart

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

time warp!


All of a sudden it's Tuesday.

I kinda fell into a piano pothole.

I'm working on a piece, transcribing it into Spanish: Tori Amos, 'Winter'.

I have been torn as to whether I should just leave it in English, but I think I've figured out my niche for my piano gigs.

I've started transcribing all my songs into Spanish.

It may take me longer and a little more work, but it will help for both languages.

People know a popular song in English, so they'll be able to enjoy the song in their mind in English, but all the folks here will be able to understand the song in Spanish.

So, that's kinda where I've been for the past few days, because this is a HARD one to work with.

Oh, there are a few other things we've been doing in between hiding in my dungeon.

Fixing parts of the car, and helping sick Fuzzy Family.

The car is mobile now, though I have to slide in from the driver's side to get to my seat when Papi is driving.

It's really classy when you're wearing a skirt.

And it's so nice to have people looking at our car and shaking their head, wondering what the hell happened.

Oh, you know, just my drunk husband texting while driving.  No big deal.

Then there's the sick animals.

The Bastard Prince has some strange inflammation from eating some strange plant that's in season right now.

Apparently, it's like catnip for them and they keep going back for more, but the problem is it creates a bladder issue and he hasn't been able to take care of kitty business for 24 hours.

He's spending the night at the hospital.

Also, the Pathetic Puppy is really living up to her name.

We don't know if she got poisoning from raiding the garbage, or has poisoning from a rat.

Dr. Bob is banking on garbage.  He has seen the end results of other things she's gotten into.

She's like a ninja!  Black as the night so you can't see her slipping into the corners and getting into trouble.

She's been lethargic and hiding under the piano while I play.  She just wants to be left alone.

When Dr. Bob drew her blood, there wasn't too much to take.

It's going to take her a few weeks to get back the blood she's lost from her body trying to fight off the poisoning.

We're going to have to really watch this li'l bugger.

She can barely move right now, and within a week she's lost a lot of weight even though she's been eating, albeit, not as much.

Anyway, back to 'Winter'.

I thought that my bitch of a back was not healing as fast because it happens to be 'winter' here in the Dominican Republic, but I realize now that it's because my ankle has hindered me from exercising.

I've gained weight and that hurts my back as well.  Not to mention, my ankle has put me out of alignment.

I started yoga a few days ago, in between practising.

It's been hurting too much to sit and practise for hours at a time, so I had to start stretching in between, which led to getting back to yoga.

All of a sudden, my ankle is healing faster, I'm sleeping through the night without pain in my back, and lo and behold, I've started to take off the weight.

This is going to take a little while.  I put on so much weight, that a skirt that is normally too loose is too tight to wear.

No problem.  While I work on my piano sets, I'll keep exercising.

It's all coming together.

Now, if we can just get some healthy animals and stay away from Dr. Bob, I might have more time to work on these sets.

I've got 2 weeks to get some serious work done before I go back to Dream Project.

So, no wonder I lost a few days there.

I am a 'tad' busy.

i exercise because it makes me feel good 

Friday, December 13, 2013


I am pretty sure my fairy godmother visited last night.


Maybe it was a firefly.


Maybe it was Tinkerbell!!!!

Well, I'm going to just go with my fairy godmother.

Yesterday, while feeling like my world was imploding, I thought perhaps my angels had left me again.

There is a saying, about how they don't leave, but we are the ones to do the walking.

It it so empty when I don't feel their energy around me.

But just as I was thinking this, Eternal Friend dropped me a text and I was immediately drawn into her positivity.

She's not the fairy godmother.

It was a little flicker in my room last night.

It gave me good vibes.

Then I woke up lighter, feeling like my angels were here.

So it couldn't have just been a firefly, could it?

It's the first one I've ever seen.

Seriously, I've never seen a firefly, so how am i supposed to know if it was actually a firefly or my fairy godmother?

It was dark, I was reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame on a tablet, because you can't get English books here.  And it was free.

No lights were on, so there's no telling what it really was.

All I know is I felt a hell of a lot better today.

I felt the angels again.

I believe in that thought, that it's we that do the leaving.

Dogs never have that problem.

They just cruise through life with their angels no matter how hard life is for them.

They always have their crew with them.

Perhaps, it also felt good that we have a motorcycle ride yesterday.

Not just a motorcycle ride, but a ride without helmets.

I don't condone riding without helmets.

My helmet DID save my life in the motorcycle accident.

I was wondering if maybe, perhaps, I've just said 'fuck it'.

Death wish?

Or am I just enjoying the freedom?

I'm not sure, but I do know it felt good to be on a bike and not be afraid.

Today was a little more scary, as we rode through one of the most hairy parts of our highway.

None-the-less, it was beautiful.

Maybe the beauty helped me regain my angels.



All I know, is I feel like my heart is lifted.

I always bet back up.

And tomorrow, I get to see the kids for our music.

I have their sweetness to rely upon for good energy.

I also have my fairy godmother.

Bright light.


i deserve sublime happiness

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Perhaps it's possible I'm becoming acclimatized.

When in Alberta, land of the ice and snow, my bitch of a back was in agony.

Utter agony.

I had no pain killers, but those that my lovely brother in law gave me.

They made me puke all over the place.

Plan B: No pain meds at all.  Limp about with a scowl on my face like an angry troll.

I took it out on my niece who has a sugar addiction and gets wired on the substance.

It hurt her.  It hurts me that I even hurt her feelings for a second by jabbing at her about the amount of sugar she eats.

I should know better.  I'm the same way with sugar addiction.  How can I expect a child to control it?

I do know that by eating horrible sugary, wheat induced foods, my troll face was definitely a little more than extreme.

Anyway, I came back home, to depression, and to find that my body isn't responding to the heat quite like it did last time I came back from the utter BRRRRRRR.

I came back to the Dominican Republic 'winter'.  It's still warm, but occasionally you need a sweatshirt or heavy t-shirt.

When the sun does come out in all it's glory, I'm like a child running to the ice cream man.

Screaming out to the yard to capture a few moments of heat.  "Please sun.  Please warmth.  Take away the pain."

I know it can help with both physical and emotional pain.

But last night I was up most of the night with the throbbing icy pain that shoots down through my leg.

I woke up to a little bit of a bad mood due to lack of sleep and the stress of coming home to creeping fear.

Papi admitted to the Facebook world of his wrongs.

Deadly wrongs.  Drinking and driving, while texting at 4 in the morning and driving off the road is nothing to take lightly.

True to the nature of Facebook, or rather FecesBook, Papi was greeted with less than desirable comments.

Zap!  A few more 'friends' deleted.  Neither of us needs bullshit right now.  I won't tolerate it anymore.  Life is hard enough without crap from people.

After speaking with a few friends about my feelings of this, I'm greeted with a resounding, "But I'm worried about YOU too!"

I'm only worried about Papi.

He has vowed that the drinking will not be coupled with driving, and that there will be no more texting while on the road either.

I've been harping on him for years about the texting.  He is finally seeing the results.

All I have is the gratitude that mi esposo didn't die while I was gone.  It's all I have to stay in the now.

I hold him, because we just never know when someone we love will be snatched from us, either by a bad choice, or life and all it's daggers it throws at us.


Sometimes, I am just so tired of trying to get through it.

I know where suicidal tendencies come from.

This place where we are just so exhausted from what's handed to us that we feel we just can't endure another day.

Then we do, and we continue.

Some of us don't make it out alive.  Some of us give in to the voice that says, "That's enough.  Let's just go now, OK?"

Yesterday, the only thing that got me out of bed was the fact that 8 little creatures are depending on me.

I lied in bed shaking.

Stomach turning.

Blood curdling.

Toes curling.

Muscles buzzing, feeling like they're separating from my body.

Today, there are tears, but I know I have obligations, like the children's Christmas celebration at Dream Project.

I'm so grateful for these things that get me out of bed.

I'll endure another day because I'm in a never ending fucking ring match with life.

I'll just get up and keep taking the fucking blows.

i know i am braver than i can see

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

emotional upheaval

The greeting.

It was tremendous.

It was stupendous.

The Donkey jumped all over me, crying, "You're back!  I missed you!  I love you so much!"

It was the greatest greeting I've ever had.

Of course, the rest of The 6-Pack wanted a moment of a greeting as well, but they didn't have a chance.

It was a nice welcome after hearing some news that disturbed me.

I can't talk about it publicly yet.

I have to wait for him to speak about it first.

He's told a few people who are close to him, but that's his choice as to who he tells.

Funny, isn't it?

Mi esposo usually tells the world everything about himself.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who would worry too much if he said anything, and a lot of people who would come down very hard on him, which is not the answer right now.

Still, it is something to worry about.

Oh, I worry.

I worry and worry and worry.

You know how you can tell someone something that is bad, and they don't listen to you?

You know how you can always say, "I told you so," much later?

Well, that doesn't really matter when shit happens and you're terrified.

Like for instance, the car accident where I asked him to slow down around the corners, because he was going to fast, then he ignored me and we did a wipe out seconds later into the brush?

But we don't listen to people we love the most.

I'm not saying he's the only one that doesn't listen.

I don't listen to him a lot either.

Anyway, I suppose I can only talk about how I feel about this.

It could really be put into other topics for anyone else out there with these feelings.

I'm worried that there will be more disastrous repercussions.

Still, I'm worried there may be difficulties.

I'm scared of what could be worse.

There could have been a way worse outcome.

He is very lucky.

Really, we both are.

Both of us.

I don't sit in the present very much.

I jump to the future and freak out there.

That's my deal.

I spoke to a friend about it recently, and my friend has the opposite problem, they only live in the now and can't look to the future.

I so wish that I could have that problem, then I wouldn't see this as a problem.

I'd just see that right now, here, I have my love.

Right now, I am fortunate to have him as my other half.

Right now, is not the future and the fears I have.

Worrying will not change anything or make anything better for the future.

All it will do is give me more wrinkles and grey hair.

OK.  So, I suppose that's what I have to do right now: remember where I am and that everything is OK right now.

Everything is OK right now.

I'd like to stay here and be alright.

Right now is very good.

i am exactly where i need to be

Thursday, December 5, 2013

seriously, pass the wine


So, maybe the 'rules of etiquette' are that you only pour 2 mm of wine in a glass, but why?

My mother is Miss Manners to the extreme.

Right up there with Martha Stewart.

Not sure where this debutant social grace came from.

She really is just a Yukon child raised in East Van.

Did they have this protocol in the land of flannel?!?

She was a single mom who really had nothing and had a mother who didn't really help her out much, because she chose a family over school.

Yet somehow, she got this fancy pants personality.

So, when I said I'd like to indulge in the red wine, she poured me 2 sips in a glass.

2 sips.

I asked my baby sister as to why so little, wondering if maybe it's because she's worried because I'm experimenting with drinking like a 'normal' person.

Which kinda confuses me.

When I drank many years ago, she told me I had a drinking problem, in a not so sweet way.

Then when I was clean 'n sober, she asked why on earth I'd want to do that because I never had a drinking problem.

But now that I wanted to experiment with drinking in a sane manner, she pours me a millimetre of the bevvie?

She might as well have put it in a plastic sippy cup.

Anyway, mother left after a few days here in the blistering cold and I spoke to my baby sis who explained that it's what charm school people do.

If you drink white wine, you get a half glass, if you drink red, you get a couple of sips.

Are we who like red automatically labeled the wine-o-s?


Apparently, it's because red you sip and white you gulp.

So what!

Gimme me half glass of red wine just like your white!

You really want to keep getting up and refilling my glass until I drink my allotted amount?

That seems like a lot of work!

And besides, I want my half glass of wine goddamit!

Now, mother has left the building, back on her flight back to Vancouver, my baby sister poured me my half glass.

I don't need more than that.

It's all I want.

It's my only evil for crying out loud!

Except for the sugar I've indulged in over the past few days.

I have pimples that are rivalling my nose.

Not sure where my chin starts and my pimples end.

Really sexy.

Not the greatest femme look.

Pizza face.

But I only have a few days left of the bad food.

This size of jean is not going to be my permanent size folks!

Things are going to change when I get back.

Except for my half glass of wine.

Fuck etiquette.

Fuck manners.

Gimme my half glass of wine.

I know Papi will pour it properly.

i know i am loved by family

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

All hail the baby sister!

The pain kicked in.

It's amazing how much of a relief I get from the weather in the Dominican Republic.

All I can say is, I am so very grateful my brother-in-law shares his pain meds for his own horrible chronic pain.

Although, I will be suffering through the pain instead of utilizing his offer from now on.

I've had 2 rounds of awesome upchucking, and the bags under my eyes make me look like I am 100 years older.


I haven't had to deal with my bitch of a back for 10 months, so it was a shocking reminder of how much pain I was in for all that time.

I really understand the need for morphine, codeine and all the other little pills I took all those years.

Yesterday, I had my family there to push me around in a wheelchair in the snowy streets of Banff, which was an amazing X-Mas gift from the family, not to mention the flight out here they helped pay for.

My 10 year old niece did a good job of pushing me into walls and into the middle of street intersections against the red light.

She loves me.

I think.

My baby sister is so very thoughtful.

She understands my food allergies and tries her best to accommodate me, while at the same time, taking care of her entire family.

She's a good sis.

I can't do too much while I'm lying around, so I just watch my teenage nephew go through the cupboards and fridge non-stop.

Since writing this, he's opened the fridge about 12 times and never really taken anything out.

Now the pantry.

Now back to the fridge again.

Of course, all of this is in between playing on his phone.

He hides in his phone and when he gets in trouble for it, he simply walks over to the fridge and pantry to pretend he's looking for 'something'.

With all the effort it takes to try to fool his parents into believing he's busy, he could actually do something with his time.

Most of the footage I have here is of him: "Look who's on his phone again!"

My baby sister has her hands full.

When she's not yelling at my nephew, she is repeatedly yelling, "No!" to my sugar addicted niece, as she incessantly begs for more candy.

Oh, there goes my nephew again.

He's switching things up and opening both the freezer AND the fridge at the same time.

Moving things around, sniffing something to see if it's any good, and now, putting it right back in again when it was not an odour he was impressed by.

Now, back to the pantry, staring at nothing, picking things up, putting them back down and walking away again.


He actually took something out of the pantry!


Not that he's pouring himself any.

He just took it out and left it on the counter while he investigated what's on the stove.

And now, he just put the cereal box in the fridge.


I don't think Papi and I would be able to handle a teenager.

We would lose our minds.

Then again, it seems my sister already has.

i love my family for who they are

Saturday, November 30, 2013

winter wonderland


Oh, so very cold, and it's not even the cold spell yet.

Everyone is talking about the cold that is supposed to come through.

Off to Value Village we went, me in my super duper special pajamas that are the only thing warm I have for pants, and layer upon layer of t-shirt and sweatshirt.

Some of my baby sister's friends lent me a pair of boots and a jacket.  So sweet!

At Value Village I got 2 pairs of jeans and a sweater dress, new socks, leg warmers and a toque.

I can't believe the size I am now.

Well, I won't be losing any of my ankle weight on this trip.

Wheat free, dairy free cheesecake!  Jeeeeezus it was good.

After all the chocolate I've eaten in the Dominican Republic, I am officially tired of it.

It sits in the cupboard winking at me when I open the cupboard door, but I immediately look behind it for other food.

Can you believe it?  I'm tired of it?

But yesterday, I saw a rice milk chocolate bar!  I had to have it!

No, I will not be losing weight on this trip.

I'm up so early, because I'm still on Dominican Time.  I thought I'd chat with Papi, then I realized, he won't be getting up for some time.

So, I'll tell you about my flight.

When we got to the airport, I was whisked away with a tiny peck from Papi.

They threw me in a wheelchair and stole me.

The people at the counter didn't understand I had a temporary Visa and over charged me for my 'extra time' spent in the Dominican.


Then they had to pull me out of the waiting area to watch them search my bag, because I had coffee.

Perhaps, I was smuggling something, not just bringing the best coffee ever to my baby sister and family.

Squishing every bag, it was important to feel every inch of those plastic casings to be sure it was only coffee.

Done, back I go up to the top to speak with someone who lost their leg in a motorcycle accident.

Even though our injuries were different, we had similar therapy to learn to walk again.  It was quite fascinating to speak with him.

The plane ride was uneventful, but catching my connection?

Something out of the movies.

I swear to mother of baby Jesús that I need a camera crew to follow me for the thrills life hands me.

They were going to make me miss my flight because my first plane came in late, until Adam O. saved the day!

He ran me around the airport, pushing my wheelchair like we were in a chariot race.

Sternly telling everyone I needed to catch my flight, we budged in front of every dirty look there was to receive.

No matter how much I realized that his co-workers had a lot of animosity towards this guy, I kept telling him he was giving me the best customer service, and that the company would hear about it.

I'll tell you, he got me back to my flight, when his boss said it couldn't be done.  On I went.

Then when I got to my sister's house, she washed my clothes and washed the business card I got from him to give him a rave review with his company.

At least I know he's Adam O.

I'll do some digging and figure out how to do this.

Man deserves a commendation.

When I got off the 2nd plane I was the last one off, of course, because they wanted me in the wheelchair again.

My poor baby sister and family were waiting for me at what was 2 in the morning my time, but late enough for them.

This morning I'm over the jet lag and my baby sister is dragging my mother and I to Banff.

Even colder than it is here.

But I'll see moose!!!!!

i feel good about myself

Thursday, November 28, 2013

no steak for you!

edit!  cows are not grain fed, but grass fed in the DR ... thank you for the correction véronique!  i was writing without thinking :)

I'm heading into the cold.

Kinda crazy isn't it?

But it's to see my baby sister, her family and my mother, so it's worth it.

My mom is going to visit my sis in Alberta, so they are helping me with a ticket to have a mock/early X-mas along with them.

It will be so nice.

But it is going to be cold.

I'm going from heaven to hell just to be with them.

I actually don't have winter clothes, so everyone has scraped up some boots, jackets and pants to lend me while I'm there.

Going to be a winter fashion queen I'm sure!

... that was sarcasm btw ...

I'm grabbing my last few moments of warm and sun, drying my hair on the patio, watching the waves.

I giggled this morning when I realized I'll miss the sound of roosters in the village.

Apparently I'm going into -15 or some kinda crazy temperature like that.

My hair better be dry before I get there or it will freeze off.

No point washing my hair while I'm there.

I gave it the good scrub so that it will last the 10 days of mini-vacation.

I'm going alone, leaving Papi to tend to The 6-Pack and workers.

Oooooooh, but how much fun is he going to have with his Spanish!!!

Fortunately, we have my tutor here painting, so maybe Papi will get some lessons here and there.

Poor Prince Papi will have to get up early now.

He will be suffering.

His usual 1 or 2 in the afternoon sleep in is going to be disrupted.

The greatest task he'll have is to deal with the irrational behaviour of dogs missing me.

When he left, they were lunatics.

Well, it could have something to do with the fact that I was in a cast and couldn't move much.

I had to segregate them outside or they would bowl me over on my crutches.

Papi is NOT allowed to hurt himself while I'm gone.

I've made him promise.

No more drunk dog tripping concussions.

No falling of ladders and tearing apart his shoulder.

No spraining of fingers leaving him digit-less.


He is not allowed to hurt himself while I'm gone.

I'll have the greatest task of trying to walk in snow with crutches.

Maybe they have some of those pointy things for the bottom to grasp the ice?

Good thing I can sorta walk a bit to help with the balance issues I have.

And do you know what I'm going to have when I'm there?


A fucking steak.

The people here don't really know how to cook a steak.  It's really overdone and hard as leather.

Could have something to do with the fact that they're healthy cows that are grain fed.

And no chemicals to plump them up.

Oh wait.

I think I talked myself out of having that chemical, hormone fed steak.




When I get there, I"ll have wheat free cake or some fucking thing like that.

My sister informed me that this trip is an exercise and diet free zone.

i am the perfect weight for me

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

testosterone pageant

It was the testosterone equivalent of a beauty pageant.

They flaunt their machismo.

Before there were really musical instruments, men would sing and dance to show their strength and sex appeal to attract the ladies.

Their peacock tail feathers in full display.

Who was the fairest of them all?!?!?

Now we've got men in panties, flexing their muscles, along with their mouths.

Flaunting their machismo, winning the hearts of boys and girls all over the world.

They have different levels of belts, so they work their way up to the tiara and catwalk strut with roses.

Walking down the aisle to the ring with their fashion advisory's suggestion for costumes, you know they practised their own 'walk' in front of the mirror, just like the pageant contestants.

I saw a man in panties with a t-shirt that was provocatively covering his man bits.

At first glance, I thought he was wearing no pants, and thought I might be triggered.

I guess it's the equivalent of the high side slit with low cleavage.

Where the women stand with their duck faces in a form line, these guys flip around their hair, furrow their brows and throw their fists in the air for the most ultimate of bravado possible.

It's really no different.

Testosterone pageant.

So, when I look at it that way, it was a little easier to watch the 'show' of wrestling with Papi when I'd finished my practise for the day.

The production was brilliant for it's purpose.

They have quite the choreography.

I'm sure there's a lot of man stink up in that ring, even though there is NO body hair to be found.

I wonder how many are actually gay?

I'd love to know.  They stuff their heads in men's crotches on a regular basis.

Just like when the women lose their outfits and don their swim suits, they strip down from their cloaks and bare their skin, pointing their sinewy breasts toward the camera.

There's even a panel like judges.

They are there to give commentary, perfectly groomed to be sure that when the camera is on them, they are just as primed as the contestants.

They definitely are contestants.

Who's going to win the crown?!?!

Just like working your way up to Miss 'enter your city here', you get your banner with 1st, 2nd, 3rd Princess and of course, Miss Congeniality.

Which I'm sure are the announcers.

"He is very upset."

Thank you for clearing that up for me.

I was a little confused, because they were beating each other.

Are you sure they're upset?

"The 400 pounder, like a junkyard dog."

Yup.  The guy is big and he won his belt.

Banner.  Tiara and roses.

Oh, then there were the 7 on 7 women.

I don't have to much to say about that, because I was too busy watching them.

I remember a few Vancouver nights with my 'rough around the edges friends' that looked something like that.

How many times do some of these girls pop their silicone?!?!!

At least these girls eat and take care of their bodies.

It's much nicer to see than the anorexia fueled ritual.

It gave me permission to eat more last night.

This battle with the Anorexia Monster is heavy on my mind.

From now on, when someone from this country tells me I am fat, I'll just put on my SuperGirl Panties and tell them I'm a wrestler.

It's kinda true, only I wrestle The 6-Pack.

And sometimes Papi.

i build lean muscle and i burn fat

Sunday, November 24, 2013

the calm is coming ...

Do you get hay fever?

I had hay fever every Spring for years.

Then, one day, it seemed to calm down.

Well, here we are in another part of the world and the equivalent of Spring is now.

In Autumn.

And the pollen is different.

I'm sneezing so much, that sometimes, I have to fight to catch my breath.

I thought that the ocean spray ruined all our flowers, but we had flowers start coming in when the really bad heat wave finally subsided.

Flowers are in bloom and so is my nose.

Full, red and shiny.

Looking around at the beautiful land flourishing here, I realize that I really like the country.

I love the chickens, cows, goats, horses, donkeys, and the abundance of dogs.

Oh then there's the great big pig that I had to wait to cross the road yesterday so that I could drive out of the little road of our village.

They were herding him with a branch.

He was not impressed.

Eventually he walked past me with his snout raised high, smelling the scent of my dogs on my car tires.

I love living in the country.

It's beautiful.

The air is clean.

Well, with the exception of too many cows in one lot of land.  Then it's a bit funky.

But they still bring a great smile to my face.

I did grow up in Vancouver, when Vancouver had the spacial feel of the country.

Until the 80's when things boomed.

Then we lost the Vancouver I loved.

At first, I thought it would be good for this country's people if it had that kind of financial boom, but I don't any more.

It's lovely the way it is.

Cows and all.

Space between neighbours, so that I can play my piano, croon and not worry about anyone hearing me.

When I was in Vancouver, I was always so worried about people hearing my voice, judging me and saying I suck and banging on the wall to tell me to shut the fuck up.

Rats in a cage.


I can sing as loud as I want and even Papi can't hear me when he's upstairs.





I realized today, while speaking to Jersey Girl, that the battle Papi and I have fought for quite some time to be here, is coming to an end.

We're worse for wear, me the Limping Lesbian and Papi with his new concussion he's donning.

Oh, I didn't tell you about that, did I?

'Someone' took the drinking experiment a tad too far, fell, hit his head and has been recovering from a concussion for the past week.

I guess we all have our experiments.

Anyway, only now, after 10 months, finally making friends, and playing my music to my heart's desire, am I finally seeing that this is the romantic part of the life I wanted.

It's coming.

We're almost out of battle.

We have the trophy of scars.

i am redefining what is important to me

choices, choices

Drummer Boy once told me, "That will make a great song."

He would enjoy a new song that I would write and say, "I knew a good song would come from that shitty experience."

There's always music from tragedy, stress, heartache, ad finitum.

I've been working on so much music and I am half way through my goal of 3 sets of covers.

As I'm playing, I hear the beginnings of new songs.

Only problem is, if I go hog wild and start writing my own music, I'll delay the current goal I'm working toward.

I'm bad enough when I'm learning someone else's music, I get a level of obsession getting inside what they've written.

But when I'm writing my own music?

It's a whole other level.

But, as I'm practising covers for work, I hear my songs coming out.

It's like they're brewing at that spot before the kettle boils.

You hear it's ready to blow, but you want to catch it before the scream offends your air space.

It feels like that.

I just want to jump into writing my own lyrics IN ENGLISH because my biggest obstacle is memorizing the Spanish lyrics.

I feel like my brain is on TurboLearn.

All the damage that happened from the accident is being rewired in the most beautiful, amazing ways.

Learning Spanish through music is probably the very best decision I've made for re-wiring my brain, and helping me on the road to speaking fluently.

I fall in love with the melody, then because I love the song so much, I actually remember the lyrics.

Then, I am able to speak to people with the words I have learned from music much faster, because they have meaning.

More like speaking.

Anyway, it was an accidental good decision.

Bad decisions?

Oh man, how do I even begin here?

How about eating comfort foods while I was healing from the ankle.

No exercise, and comfort foods.

So, I went to the last appointment at the hospital and the guy that pushes us around on the wheelchairs said, "You are fat now," well, I got a tad freaky deaky.

Everyone tried to say he was a joking, but I've noticed people go on about weight here.  No beating around the bush.

Not to mention, I went shopping at the cheap clothes market that I could wear for work clothes, and I would normally be able to hold up a dress and think it fits, so I bought a few.

No, I didn't fit those clothes.

I paraded them in front of Papi, mocking my utter muffin top that has invaded my mid section over the past 5 months and damn, I have some work to do.

I just kicked into high gear of trying to take care of this 'situation'.

I won't go into that.  My eating disorder can take up a whole month of blogging.

But eating really bad foods for 10 months,  5 of those months I've spent on my ass, eating the most fattening possible foods I could to get me through the mania, was not the best of decisions.

I'm going to try chair cardio tomorrow.

If I can tear my ass off the piano bench, that is.

We'll see.

I have a lot of work to do, and I have a ton of music simmering before the kettle blows.

I don't want to lose all my steam to a rolling boil.

I certainly don't want to break the piano bench either.

i am motivated by both successes and failures

Friday, November 22, 2013

nice try

So, there I was, trying my first day of actual meditation.

I've been told that it's something I need to do for a long time.

I do find a place in music that is akin to meditation.

It really is the only time that nothing else enters my mind, other than the song I'm working on.

Maybe that's why it makes me so happy and peaceful when I play.

It's actually meditation!

But still, I had a friend give me some pointers on what I can do to start my journey into this new world.

So.  I sat outside on the table.

Yes, the table.

It's pointless to sit in chairs, because we happen to have massive oafs who will stop at nothing to be lap dogs.

The entire 6-Pack at one time.

Now, maybe someone who's been meditating for a long time can still do so with a Donkey, a Thug and others perched on their laps, wrestling for their attention.

But this is not a task for someone who's new at this gig.

So, I sat on the table.

Those waves, that happened to make me feel like I was listening to white noise while I was healing from the ankle, were going to be my focus.

In ...

Out ...

In ...

Out ...

Be sure not to pass out!

You see, I kinda have troubles with lightheadedness when I breathe too deeply.

Anyway, there was a moment that I started to only hear the waves!

Then it happened.

The MOMENT I got into the calming of the waves, there was Mr. Extortion outside the gate.

Waving, "Hola!!" with a sneaky, sly smile that tried to say he's a friend.

Sweet mother of baby Jesús, what the fuck do you want?!?!  I'm trying to fucking meditate here!!

Off I limped to hear his speech, "This is not sufficient for the waves.  You need big rocks."

Yes, the ocean gets VERY high in the winter, but we can't really afford the rocks right now, and decided we'd do a temp job with concrete bags.

But really it had nothing to do with his 'concern'.  Really he was saying, "We'd like more money from you, so if you could get those rocks, we could extort from you, if you don't mind."

I simply looked at him with a less than sweet gringa pan face, telling him this was temporary until we could afford the rocks.

He continued to go on about it, so I made it simple by turning into a broken record.  "We have no money."

More he went on about the rocks, thinking we're rich like our big house neighbours, as I repeated, "We have no money."

Then the little bugger was going to delve into an old extortion tactic of trying to get money out of us for the garbage pick-up by asking who takes care of it.

I now looked at him with Pissy Face and reminded him that we already told him that the gardener takes care of it and, "We have no money."

No, sir, you are not going to pull that one on us.

We've been here for 10 months.  We're hip to your game.

I was ready to lose the last ounce of spirituality I was trying to grasp with meditation and give this guy a piece of my mind.

Instead, I excused myself, leaving him standing at the gate, limping a little more excessively than I needed to to let him know that he REALLY disturbed my peace.

Papi says this was a test to see how well I could take on the task of meditation.

I'd say I didn't do so well.

I went back and hid in the house, playing my piano.

Nobody can see me when I'm in there, and I can pretend I don't hear people screaming my name at our gate.

I might try meditating again.

Or maybe I'll just stick to playing for hours on end.

i focus on the present

Thursday, November 21, 2013

an apology

I'm sorry.

I left this place, but I came to realize, that was selfish.

I came to 'you' for your support a few years ago.

Some time later, I felt I needed to move away from this place.

I have since found that 'you' needed me, too.

After all that time you were there for me, I took myself away from 'you'.

I've had people tell me they miss me.

They miss my words.

They miss my stories.

They miss me.

So, I'm not retiring this blog.

I'm coming back.

Papi, too, told me it's good for me.

He also told me that no matter what anybody says, no matter how anybody judges me, this space is MY space with MY perspective.

I spent some time going through other social media sites and removed any bad energy, negativity and those who have hurt my heart.

I felt bad about it, for others' feelings, because people may feel slighted.

However, I do have the right to have my space be positive and lord knows how my emotions can be swayed I can be by mass ostracization.

I allow myself to focus on the love now.

This is a public space, but it is also an honest space.

A place where people can relate.

A place where 'you' can read my words and allow my honesty to help you realize 'you' and I are not much different.

I have a secret to tell you.

I didn't quit the blog because I felt it was time to move on.

I quit because I felt that I had nothing good to speak about, and that judgement from so many had finally taken it's toll.

Well, I know now that I have VERY much that is worthy to speak about.

I very much have greatness of life to share, balanced by moments of dire honesty.

I am able to walk on my ankle now, and am not in pain 24-7.  This helps lighten my moods, that's for sure.

I have one set ready for piano gigs, and am working on my next sets.

I've been spending countless hours playing my piano enjoying myself.

It has been really good for me.

Good for my heart.

A good break from everything.

I can't promise I'll be writing to 'you' every day, because my music must take precedence right now.

Which is OK.

But I want you to know that I am sorry for leaving you.

Your emails, notes, comments, words through Papi have all allowed me to realize that 'you' need me just as much as I needed you all those years.

I am grateful for you, and grateful for those of you who spoke up and made me realize I'm wanted.

'You', are awesome.

'You', are great.

'You', made me feel loved.

Thank you.

i am motivated by peace

Monday, October 28, 2013


All good things must come to an end.

I believe that time has come for this blog.

It started out I needed it.

I needed 'you', the reader I didn't know.

I needed support from those who have walked the same path as I.

I needed to see my counter go up, up, up, every day from readers I don't know from here to Russia, in hopes that they would show me how to love myself and be proud of who I am.

I needed so much love.

I believe I've found that love, for myself.

I've fought through the tears of those in an entire 'community' who intentionally hurt me.

I've fought through the tears of losing my butch.

I've fought the good fight with anorexia and depression, and I still continue to give my chemical imbalance a work out, only now it's with a machete instead of boxing gloves.

Still, none of that changes the fact that I've needed a life change to change me.

Oh, how I got it.

It's time to move forward.

It's time to finish writing those novels I started.

Maybe on the balcony with my morning coffee as I look out at the white noise.

It's time to get up in the morning and turn on my programs to compose music just like I did before the motorcycle accident.

Which is really why we are here.

To have a life beyond the suffering I was dealt from my bitch of a back.

I'm almost at the 5 year mark of healing from that disaster.

My Living Day Anniversary.

It can't heal my brain injury and subsequent memory fail and loss of balance, but I can strive for the life I once led.

As a different person.

I have changed.

We all change.

We all grow, if we try.

I grew.

It's time to put that growth to music now that I have the ability, with the help of loving tropical heat, to sit to do so.

I'm not saying I won't return.

Of course I need my soapbox every once in a while.

My opinions are strong and I lead them with conviction, regardless of how many people try to silence me.

Perhaps it's time to start a wave here?

Power to women?

Power to those with cancer and chronic pain who are denied the simple, ethical relief from that hell I know so well.

To not give local anesthesia to a child who needs stitches in his head is barbaric.

I've suffered 4 months of pain of a torn ankle ligament without meds.

Perhaps I need to make some pain relief in the form of cookies to help those who need it.

There's a lot in this country that could use a voice.

I may keep my voice for here.

Or, I may just knowingly live with the 'rules', then break them.

I don't know.

What I do know, is it's time to step away from my morning ritual of blogging.

I'm not saying goodbye to 'you'.

I'm just saying it' time to start that New Life List.

i am the only 'sign' i need

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Yeah, it's been a few days since I've posted.

I'm not sure why, but I needed to be silent for a bit.

I am having a rough time at the school.

I completely understand the lack of respect toward women in a developing country, but it doesn't make it any easier when the people who give me a hard time aren't even from the Dominican Republic.

You think the boys club in Canada is bad?

Yeah.  No.

Like for instance, this one cretin bought all the teachers a coffee, except me.

Guess who's the only female music teacher?

After our performance for the teachers in the school, the mother of one of the girls I teach named and thanked every music teacher for all they do.

Except me.

Even though I am the one who teaches her daughter, being the only female at the school I am not worthy of acknowledgement.

I work hard for these kids and I don't ask for anything more than my happiness and some gasoline to get there, which the woman who runs the place STILL hasn't given me.

But she pays all the men.

Still, Papi and everyone else says, "Just leave the school."

But I can't leave these girls.

Oh, did I tell you?  the only instrument they let the girls play is piano?

So, if I leave the school for this reason or that, guess who suffers?


There is a school here that is solely for girls: Mariposa DR Foundation.

I'll write an email to ask if they have a program there for music.

One thing I am grateful for, however, is MusicMan.

He constantly and consistently thanks me for my work.

When the dude with a Jesus Fish tattooed on his arm bought everyone a coffee except me, MusicMan got a cup from the kitchen and shared his with me.

MusicMan is lovely.

It almost made me cry from the love.

He has no idea what he did for me that day.

Knowing that everyone was thanked for their teaching except me, at the end of the class he said, "Thank you for your work with the children."

When I texted him to tell him I needing a day away from the school to go back to the doctor in Santiago for my ankle this week, he chose the best day for me to be away, then again texted, "Thank you for your work with the children."

He is a special man.

He is not Dominican, he is from Peru.

Maybe they have more respect for women there?

Or maybe he's just one of those gems in this world that makes everything better and worth the pain.

That lovely example of Christianity, JesusFishMan, doesn't even make eye contact with me, and he's not from the DR either.

He's American.

He treats me like I'm some kind of abscess.

I've come the the conclusion that anyone who flaunts their JesusFish is an asshole.

I am not feeling the love.

We all know how much I need love.

I am however, sticking by these children who appreciate my leadership, and MusicMan, because I definitely feel the love from them.

They are the reason I stick around.

Their joy of getting through a song makes up for the misogyny.

i seek a new way of thinking about this situation

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

your choice

I take every opportunity I can to practise my piano technique.

My left hand is not like it was before the motorcycle accident.

It's slow.

It's confused.

It's like it just won't communicate with me.

There's some kind of divide between my left hand and my injured brain.

So, while I'm waiting for class to start, I quietly, secretly, practise my technique.

Nobody want to hear that.


Well, except for the children.

It's all cool to them.

They like to watch my fingers move across the keyboard in tandem.

They try to emulate me in the upper register, mockingly playing notes at random, hands flying off the piano just like Liberace.

Then one little boy was alone with me.

He's our drummer.

The only drummer.

When there's a performance, he's the man.

He plays with every group, perfecting his chops.

He's pretty enthralled by the piano and I'm pretty mesmerized at his almost perfect timing on the drums at such a young age.

Still, we all want more.

He asked me if I could teach him, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star'.

Only, in he asked me in Spanish.

I had no idea what he was talking about, so he sang the song and I instantly lit up.

"Of course I can teach you this song!"

He placed his miniature hands on the piano and I started to really look at this child.

He has scars on his face, and I can only imagine it's from a rock throwing incident, or 10.

The children love to throw rocks in anger here.

Then looking at the skin on his arms, I noticed more.

His perfect little body was marred with many tiny scars, removing the beautiful dark sheen from his skin that from a distance, seems utterly perfect.

It reminded me of The Thug.

So many scars with so many memories.

But there was one scar I just couldn't keep my eyes off.


On his right hand.

The letter 'B' carved in, never to leave his existence.

5 lines in a fierce formation to create the letter that his name begins with.

I tried to take notice to see if possibly he's left handed, and branding could have been done by himself.

It's possible.

He started by playing the piano with his left hand, so instinct may have said that's the dominant.

But still.

I couldn't imagine this child etching his skin so deep that he has a forever reminder of the first letter in his name.

Such a sweet soul.

But we all have scars, don't we?

His demeanor speaks of so much happiness, but all the children here do.

Including the little tyke in the village who can barely speak, yet he's been taught how to ask for 5 pesos.

Happy child.

He makes me smile when I see his eyes light up upon seeing me.

No matter what, we all have the ability to be happy with our lives.

It's our choice.

i consciously choose love above all else

Monday, October 21, 2013

move that body!

Don't know what got me.

Since last Tuesday, I've been rather sick.

Enough so, that I've seen a slight decline in the weight I put on after the 3 months of lying around like a bloated manatee from the whole ankle 'thing'.

Virus?  Food from a foreign country?  Parasite from the water?

The sick part of my brain, that good old Anorexia Monster, is telling me this is great, because I'll get back to feeling my normal weight!

But the healthy person in me would rather eat better and exercise to take it off the right way.

However, up until yesterday, every time I tried to move was an immediate invitation to run as quickly as possible to the bathroom.

My phone has been glued to my hands.  You don't want to be stuck in there for half an hour with no puzzles to play.  Ya know?

Yesterday, I just stared out at our beautiful yard we are fortunate to have and fell into an anxiety attack like I haven't had in a long time.

Looking outside.  Stuck near the washroom.  Feeling so weak.

Frozen, because the anxiety had immobilized me.

Like I said before, I am NOT good at staying dormant.

Today I feel a little more strength.

I feasted on an entire bag of Dorito's throughout the day yesterday, minus the scant amount I shared with Papi.

That and all the lime juice I could drink.

For the tail end of the ankle 'thing', I watched to the end of Breaking Bad.

For this stomach 'thing' that got me, I've started on The Walking Dead.

Never really been a fan of zombies, because they don't scare me.

It's reality that scares me.

Yet, everyone seems to like the show, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Love it!


I go back to Dream Project tomorrow.  In the next 2 weeks we'll be driving the children full speed toward a performance at the DR Jazz Festival.

They're pumped!

I'll just fill myself with plenty more Pepto to make it through my 4 hours of teaching.

MusicMan told me that he'd be asking the BigWigs for my gas allowance.

I was so grateful that he said that on his own accord.

I wasn't going to ask anymore, but he brought it up, so I feel a little like he really is happy with me being there helping with the kids.

He got a real kick out of me telling him the story about how I thought he no longer had a job there.

Funny enough that he decided to tell more people the silly story.

Oh, how I make a name for myself everywhere I go.

Now I'll be the silly gringa at the school.

Which is OK.  I know who I am.

I've really have nothing more to prove to anyone.

I'm just spinny Andréa, and it makes me a much more approachable person when people know that, and we all know I just want to be loved.

I remember being the Andréa that had a permanent cloud of doom hanging over my head.

I'm just grateful I can laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously anymore.

I have meds to thank for that.

I'm looking out at the ocean today.

I'm sitting at the table, instead of the La-Z-Boy, my favourite tool of the Pit of Doom.

My ankle doesn't hurt from sitting in an upright chair anymore.

The ocean doesn't sound like white noise when you're actually watching the white caps crash against the shore.

It's beautiful.

I am strong enough to walk to that ocean now.

Perhaps today I'll allow the feeling of that gorgeous salt water to wash me clean of these past 3 months of stagnancy.


With the waves.

Ebb and flow.

i am willing to change my eating habits and i do so easily

Friday, October 18, 2013

lost in translation


I think my life's mission is to embarrass myself as much as possible.

So, yesterday, I thought there would be no program for the children at the school.


I'm really not good at understanding Spanish.

I speak it much better than I hear it.

It could be that MusicMan tries to dumb down the language, to make it easier for me, but I still had troubles yesterday.

I don't know what it is.

I just don't understand the language.

I can communicate very well on my own part, so people think that I am able to understand the words.

But I need people to speak




to understand what the hell they're saying.

Or else I run into troubles.

Like yesterday.

So, I show up and I'm worried that MusicMan wouldn't have a job to feed his baby.


Everything was fine.

Turns out he has the other job right now, as stage manager for the DR Jazz Festival.

He was trying to explain to me that he wasn't going to be at the school, because he has another job.

What I got out of it was that he needed to be at another job.

As in, there is no job at Dream Project and the reason I had to wait to hear back from him was because he didn't know if I would need to be there if he wasn't.

I'm a fucking nutburger.

I embarrass myself on a regular basis.

But today, when I explain to him how embarrassed I am, I better get down the word for 'embarrassed', because it sounds an awful lot like pregnant and he'll be congratulating me.

Papi and I have been here 10 months.

When will I start to understand what everyone is saying?!?!?!?!

One poor little soul yesterday came in to class and I had just been practising for an hour doing scales, arpeggios and broken chords, so my mind was really elsewhere in piano land.

She sat down and I rattled off in English what we'd be working on today.

She looked at me with big eyes and asked if I could say it in Spanish.

It was pretty funny and we had a good laugh.

Then at the pharmacy, the woman kept asking me for 50 pesos, only, I kept hearing 500.

I tried every combination I could to give her the 500 thinking she wanted certain denominations for change for her register.

Finally, she stopped me by looking me in the eye, touching my hand, and taking a 100 peso bill and proceeded to give me change.

"Ahhhhhhhhh.  50 pesos!"

I finally got it.


When do I get better at this?

Good thing they don't have a 'Tea Party' here in the Dominican Republic.

They'd have my ass on the next plane out of the country.

People are much more patient with expats here.

i have the ability to persevere 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

their loss.

Oh dear.

I asked MusicMan if he wanted to practise our beginnings of a set list and got word back from him that there may no longer be a role for him as music director at Dream Project.

I'm waiting to hear from him as to whether or not I'll be teaching today.

Maybe the school is feeling the pinch of no money like the rest of the world.

I suppose that's the reason they couldn't afford to pay my gas to get there.

That just makes me feel selfish for asking for the pittance of travel allowance.

They need MusicMan for those kids.

Those kids need music.

To a lot of people, music is one of the first extracurriculars to go.

But people have that all wrong.

Music is so important in this world.


So is math, although the majority of people don't use half of what they learn post secondary.

Grammar is definitely important.

I'd like to start a 'down-south' school for members and followers of the tea party, but for now I'll leave that up to Teabonics to spread the word of their lack of the English language.

Makes me giggle when they tell immigrants to speak English.  Perhaps they could take classes along with them?


Music is so important.

It actually helps your brain process other tasks.

It is another language.

A universal language.

MusicMan and I don't have the best communication because we both lack the knowledge of each others language.

However, when we play music together, it doesn't matter.

When I sing Spanish songs to the loitering kids waiting for their class at the school, they sing with me, even if I don't clearly understand every sentence in the music.


We have magical, intuitive communication through the heart.

I sing with grown men who have a moment of innocent tenderness when I hear their angelic voices sing every word to a ballad normally sung by a woman.



I really hope they are not going to lose MusicMan.

Those children need him to guide them through every performance.

Right now, they need me to teach piano to the girls.

Maybe if they lose out on him, we'll start our own non-profit school together.

Lord knows we're not out to make money.  We need enough to feed our family, and the rest is payment of the happiness brought by working with children spreading the joy of music.

I already have the meagre beginnings of a school.

Papi says I must enjoy it, because there's nothing else that would get me out of bed at 6:45 a.m. on a Saturday.

The Garage Band is getting better at their beats, with the exception of one poor soul who doesn't seem to play nice with others.

I guess you could say he dances to the beat of his own drum.

But that doesn't matter.

What matters is that he shows up every week, sings and smiles along with us while we struggle through learning the ins and outs of music.

It's not just an extracurricular activity.

It is what feeds the heart.

That is mandatory.

every one of us deserves greatness

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

only happy when it rains

Everything is in Dominican Time here.

Including my healing.

But my steps are getting stronger, and yesterday, I made my first home cooked meal in 3 months.

Nothing special.

Canned diced tomatoes stewed with onions, garlic and red pepper, over top quinoa.

These past few months of the Papi diet, aka: eating wheat and sugar every day, have taken a toll on Bubble Girl.

My food allergies definitely add to my chemical imbalance.

My obsessing and anxiety are out of control.


A lovely Blogger Friend, and amazing writer at Lesbians In My Soup!, really got the essence of what I was trying to say yesterday.

I'm only happy when I have something to bitch about.

I bitch about anything.


So, when I'm happy about something, you really know it's genuine.

I'm generally a happy person, and on a regular basis, I catch myself off guard thinking to myself, "I really love my life," but I was brought up to bitch and complain.

It's the way I remember my family as a child.

I think the reason the waves have made me crazy, is because I haven't had enough of anything else to focus on.

Lying around like a bloated manatee will do that to me.

I'm not very good at staying still.

I'm also not very sane when you take music away from me.

It's my meditation.

I also need regular exercise to release the endorphins that help me stay on top of my mood swings and eating disorder.

All of a sudden, as I was making healthy food yesterday, followed by playing my piano, I realized I didn't hear those waves all too often.

The white noise disappeared with the crackle of onions and garlic sauteing in my cast iron pan.

The action of cooking drowned out the drone.

Playing my piano, doing my best to memorize lyrics to the 3 Spanish songs I know, really took me away from everything.

Hell, I didn't even hear The 6-pack barking.

And I know THAT never ceases.

So, moral of my story is, this has been a tortuous 3 months with this ankle from hell.

But I'm making healthier meals as of yesterday.

I'm playing my piano as of this week.

I'm taking baby steps without my crutches.

I even started teaching as of Friday that just passed.

No, I am NOT good at sitting still.

This I know.

Maybe now that I'm literally getting back up on my feet and eating healthier I'll stop obsessing as well.

That would be nice.

I can only handle one obsession at a time.

It's time to search for my SuperGirl Panties again.

I know they're in here somewhere.

I suppose I'll have to do the laundry to find them.

I also need a little more music, healthy foods and some gentle, seated yoga.

That should bring me closer to them.

developing healthy eating habits becomes easier every day

Monday, October 14, 2013

rust and white noise

Did'ja miss me?

We had intermittent power for 3 days, hence, I haven't showered for 3 days.

The pool is a slimy mess, but that was my makeshift bath yesterday.

I'm pretty sure me going in there and bathing is the majority of the dirt they're vacuuming out of the pool right now.

Plumber Friend is teaching Dominican Daddy how to clean the pool again.  He needed a refresher course.

Papi resisted having anyone else clean it, because he's as O.C.D. about his pool as I am about my dishes.

I would rather have my dishes pile to the ceiling, waiting for me to wash them, than have Housemaid clean them.

I can do without the chunks of food left on the plates when she 'cleans' them.  I'm pretty sure it's because Housemaid needs glasses.  That's just not something people can normally afford here.

But as for the pool, Papi has given in and allowed Dominican Daddy to have the lessons and be the cleaner.  Besides, Papi is honestly dying from heat.  He could barely move when we had the heat wave last month.

Not to mention, Dominican Daddy will need to know how to clean it when we move, because the next people won't know how to deal with it.

If they're anything like us, this will be their first home and they'll have this dream about living on the ocean, just like we did.

We don't ever want to live on the ocean again.

When we move, I'll have to buy all new instruments and computers.

Even my clothes are disintegrating from the air here.

Seriously!  My sarongs are falling to pieces.

When we first heard the ocean non-stop, it was pleasing.

However, there comes a point when you'd like to just have a word with mother nature and say, "Would you mind turning off the white noise?  It's kinda making me crazy.  Thanks."

It was so beautiful when I first heard it.

I remember opening my door that first day.  I thought the sound was wind pounding against the house in a 'welcome to the DR' storm, but it was just the waves I was hearing.

I enjoyed every morning doing yoga to the sound of the waves crashing.  Papi enjoyed lying in the pool at night listening to the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Here we are, 10 months later, and that sound has become similar to living on a busy street in the city.

You know how you hear continuous cars, honking, sirens, people talking really loud, and all you want is just to have quiet time?

Oh, you get quiet time in the middle of the night.  There is a silence from the drone of the city for a brief moment if you're up that late, or early depending on how you look at it.

But waves?  They never stop.  Ever.  White noise.

They've become white noise!

So, our stint on the ocean has become our temporary home.

In about 5 years, we'll probably move up into the mountains, where the rust won't find us on its daily regimen.

Not to mention, this house is old.

Living without electricity, leaving us with no shower for days on end is really frustrating this femme who is used to being pristine and fancy.

Now I'm stinky and dirty with holes in my clothes.

I lost it the 2nd night of no power and took my anger out on Papi.

There just comes a point where you want the niceties of a developed country.

I just wish the cold of Canada didn't hurt so much.  We would have never left if I could handle it.

Yesterday, when Plumber Friend got our power back on, I took the opportunity to play my piano for an hour without any back pain.  That's the whole reason for being here.  The ability to really live.

For Papi, it's the ability to really relax after so much hard work in his life.

It's fitting that the day we lost our power was our 1 year anniversary of buying this house, and beginning the journey of moving to this beautiful country full of lovely people.

I love it here.  I don't ever want to move back to the chill of Canada.

This is home.

Rust and white noise included.

i am led by my dreams

Sunday, October 13, 2013

sunday sillies

your sunday sillies ... no blog, but a short flick this week ...

lotsa chaos, as per usual, and a few hot babes thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

death, dying, doom

I possible I'm going through Dexter withdrawal.

I keep watching movies and documentaries on serial killers.

I've always wanted to see these shows, and nobody else has ever wanted to see them with me for video night.

So, instead of watching repeats of NCIS, Law & Order, Criminal Minds and Friends, I now have Netflix and I found some of the movies I've wanted to see from the past.

Not that Netflix had Dexter.  Bastards.

Yet, these serial killers are not like Dexter.  I loved Dexter.

These guys are really wacked and really real.

Anyway, Papi and I noticed months ago, that it would be so easy for someone to be a serial killer here in the Dominican Republic.

I searched as much as I could, googling every way I though of, to find if there were serial killers here.

They have had them, however, they're from other countries coming here to do their fucked up deeds.

Why?  Because it would be so easy.

There have been assholes that kill a lot of people, but that's not a serial killer, that's just an scum thieve or drug dealer who killed people that got in their way.

No, there really are no serial killers here.

Most of the people deported for serial killing are from the US.

Not a stretch, eh?

What is it about the US that breeds serial killers?

Australia has quite a few as well.

It is possible that the DR doesn't keep statistics on their own people, or they're buried deep in some vault where they don't have to show anyone their secrets.

I've looked for statistics on how many people die each day on motorcycles, because they don't use helmets and literally drive while drinking.


It is not uncommon to see, at any time of the day, some young guy guzzling a Presidente Jumbo beer while careening through traffic.

I also want to know how many babies are born every day on average.

It seems you can't walk a block without seeing at least 5 young, pregnant girls.

I mean YOUNG.

But living in a country that is predominantly Catholic, people are not supposed to use condoms.

Isn't there something in the Catholic religion that talks about no sex before marriage too?

Hmmm ...

Both the Dominicans and the Haitians are dying in droves, because nobody uses condoms.

Not only because they can't afford them, but because they are told by religion not to use them.

Thank you, oh pedophile priests!

The leading cause of death between people here aged 15-49, is HIV/AIDS.

I suppose the 2nd leading cause of death must be motorcycle accidents.

I don't know, because they just don't show stats online here.

It would be interesting to see if there was somewhere I could go to get this information.

And really!  Come on!

There has to be a serial killer in the Dominican Republic!!

Not that I want to meet them or anything.

And I do know that the majority of serial killers on this fucked up planet are white males.

Maybe this country really just doesn't breed serial killers.

And that is my lovely topic for the day.


i am interested in other people