Thursday, February 28, 2013

my padded room ...

Do you have troubles understanding what an eating disorder is?

Here.

Let me help you with how insane it can be.

I have an allotted amount of chocolate for each day in my cupboard.

That right there is part of an eating disorder.  Limiting how much I allow myself.

Anyway, it gets MUCH more entertaining.

Then there's the fact that I won't allow myself to eat it before 5 o'clock.

If I eat it before 5, then I will just obsess for the remainder of the day about the rest of the chocolate that is in the cupboard and will eat everything else I can get my hands on, even though all I really want is the chocolate, so I try to fill myself up with other things until I'm bloated and sick to my stomach to fill the void that which is the chocolate.

So, I try to eat super healthy until it's chocolate time.  After that, all hell breaks loose.

However, having said that, I have to eat it before 6, otherwise the caffeine will keep me up.  There's this magical 5 - 6 pm time that is like my happy hour.

Seriously, I might as well just stick to the rules and all will go much smoother.

Furthermore, I don't allow myself any more than the allotted amount of chocolate, or I will:
1) have too much sugar in my system creating Candida, then,
2) obsess about what I see in the mirror, then,
3) get on the 'wtf, I already ate that much, I might as well eat the whole damn thing' wagon, then, 
4) eat all the chocolate in the cupboard and have no happy hour the next day, which just sucks, then, 
5) get sick from too much so that I'm lying in a tub like a beached whale, calling my friend to say, "Omg.  I'm so sick.  I just couldn't stop eating it!  And now I can't move from the tub or I'm going to hurl."  (true story)

Anyway.  Among all of the above is also the incessant nattering, the worst of which starts around noon.

"We get chocolate in a while!"  It says.

Then around 1 o'clock.  "I can't wait until we get chocolate!  Here!  You better eat some veggies, brown rice and tahini to calm yourself."

Then around 2, "Oh man.  I don't know if I can hold out much longer!  Here!  Have some goat cheese!  Stat!!"

Around 3, I can be rational and say to myself, "You know, if you eat that chocolate, you're going to be really tired from a sugar crash and you won't get anything done."  That curbs me for a while, because the reality of the mid-day crash is enough to not allow me to make it worse.

But at 4, I seriously start to lose it.  "Omg!  I can't wait much longer.  How about we just eat it now and 'behave' for the rest of the day?!?!?!"

It's at this point that I start to snack on whatever I can find that is snack-able to try to convince my brain that the chocolate has to wait, or make the biggest plate of veggies in the world to keep my mouth busy.

At 5, I RIP THE PACKAGE OPEN AND GORGE IN A PANICKED STATE THAT LOOKS LIKE A COUGAR WHO JUST CAUGHT HIS PREY AFTER NOT EATING FOR A MONTH!!!!!

By 5:10, it's done, and I'm sad that I have to wait another 24 hours before I get to have more.

For the rest of the evening however, I must fight my brain off about the chocolate and remind myself that it just isn't going to happen.

Not to mention, my sugar crash usually keeps me down for the count, and I don't much feel like moving anyway.

This is how I live.

Every day.

This is only part of an eating disorder.

The obsession is manic and I have no control over telling it to shut the fuck up.

I could stop the obsession by abstaining from chocolate all together.

Yes!  I could!

Which I've done in the past.

But I'm in the Dominican Republic people!!!!  The best chocolate and coffee in the world!!!  Why would I want to deprive myself?!?!?!?

So, I obsess.

It must be worth it.

I keep doing it.

i learn from my mistakes

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

got bugs?

Well, that some some weird strange bug.

I'm not talking about this one:

 or this one:
 or this one:
 or this one:
 or this one:
... which was probably the one that was on my head the other day.

... shudders ...

I'm talking about a virus.

We're not used to the viruses and bugs here in the Dominican Republic.

Papi had it first.

I thought it was just the fact that he was brushing his teeth with dirty well water, but it was a flu type thing.

Then I got it.

It started out like heartburn.

I never get heartburn, so that was odd enough in itself.

Then the headache came, and finally the nausea, fever and weakness.

Ouch.

I was afraid to get up today, because I didn't want to face the sickness, but somehow, I feel better.

My Eternal Friend had told me that when she moved to Guatemala, she was sick the first year non-stop and not just ordinary sick.  REALLY sick.

We're not used to the viruses in other countries.

Papi was down for the count for a good 3 days.  Looks like mine only lasted a day.

Perhaps it's because I exist on more than pop and Pringles, my love?

Also, it may have been the fact that I'm eating raw garlic non-stop.  That will build your immune in a jiffy.

I also wasn't sure if they had vampires here, so garlic was a good idea for that as well.

The bats are in abundance here.

Papi hates bats.  I LOVE them!!!!!  They're so damn cute!  Those little noses, eyes and ears are too much!!!

And the males will open their wing to cover up their mate when an intruder comes near.

Such chivalry!

Reminds me of Papi.  Always the gentleman.

Except for last night, while I was sick and asked for my favourite, white trash, gross out Papi meal; rice pasta with pretend butter and bacon bits.

He was too busy being engulfed in Facebook chats and left my food cooking until it was a pile of rice pasta sludge.

"I'm sorry honey!  I'm having 2 important conversations at one time!!!"

I ate it anyway.

It's not like I had the energy to get up and do anything for myself.

Besides, I was so hungry after not eating enough all day that it tasted like a delicacy at a fine restaurant.

Amazing what you'll eat when you're hungry, no?

i fill all physical appetites in physically healthy ways

Monday, February 25, 2013

no bleach for you!

Well, yesterday, I swam in the pool.

'Swam' is kinda my own interpretation of the action, but the point is, I went in and didn't singe from the chemicals, because I am bubble girl.

I didn't dunk myself, because didn't want to get my hair wet.

I just did it yesterday, and it's all about my hair.

I treaded water, floated Papi around like he was a raft and let him lie with his mouth gaping open in relaxation.

I sat on the little custom seats the Pool Man built us, and then BLAMMO!!!!!!  It hit me!!!!!!

I have a new obsession.

Catching things in the net.

Little things.

Tiny leaves, dead bugs, chunks of dirt, you name it, I was in there catching them.

I couldn't relax and enjoy myself, because I was too preoccupied with catching things.

That pool is going to be clean I tell ya.

Because not only was I catching things in the net, but I was engrossingly scrubbing the water line.

Too much dirt.

I know when I want to have a bath, that damn thing better be sparkling, or my body isn't going in.

There won't be much of that here.  We have no bath.

But there is a pool.

I scrubbed, I caught.

I bounced around like a loon.

I saw another thing to catch, I caught.

I saw a spot that could use more scrubbing, I scrubbed.

O.C.D. has it's place in life if it's not ruling your life.

Here's to hoping this is just a phase because it's a new pool.

Otherwise, I may not ever be exercising or relaxing in it.

I'll be cleaning it.

You would never know I have O.C.D. from the state of my house.

Last night, I dreamed that my house was so messy, the Housemaid couldn't clean it.

Which is just a silly dream.

If there's things lying around, she'll either wash them (even if it's silk) or throw it away (like the camera lens cap).

I had to learn a lot of new words really quickly to salvage our items.

Remember that conversation we had about no bleach?  Some way, somehow, one of my remaining T-shirts that didn't get hit on the first round, now has a nice big bleach blotch in it.

It's supposed to be a black shirt.

It WAS one of the last faves that I was so grateful she didn't give the bleach blast to that first week.

Well, she blasted it Friday.

Now I have to talk to her.  Again.

Actually, I'm asking her to remove the bleach from my house.  She can bring it to her house, and never, ever, ever will it be in my house again.  That should take care of it.

It's like taking a Game Boy away from a child.  You're grounded.  No more bleach for you.  Go destroy your own things.

Anyway, we do have a yard keeper, the Dominican Daddy to clean the pool, but he may not have a job there.

It's mine.  All mine.

Don't you touch my net and scrubby thing.  They're mine.

So are the leaves, dirt and bugs.

Except that one that was crawling on my head this morning, so I flicked it off, then it was then crawling on my arm and I couldn't identify it, so I panicked and did the creepy crawly dance while flailing to get it off my arm.

He can have that one.

today i focus on loving myself and trusting the universe

Sunday, February 24, 2013

living.

your Sunday YouTube show:



Goddam it's the little things.  Seriously.

I found tahini.

Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me.

It means I'm one step closer to eating on my food plan.

It means that even though I can't steam my veggies yet, I'm still making veggies and brown rice and having my damn tahini sauce that I love so much, giving me an extra boost of iron, calcium and protein.

I have to tweak the sauce recipe a little, because I haven't found wheat free soy sauce, but I'll get there.

Yesterday, I ate massive plates of veggies and brown rice with tahini sauce without any care in the world.  Between the good veggies I'm seeking out and the yoga, I can safely say the Anorexia Monster has flown back to Vancouver.

Yoga.

Looking at the ocean.

That'll heal ya good.

Then there's the freedom to drive our car and get necessities.

Like tahini and Dominican chocolate.

I'm still on the Dominican chocolate.

Life's to short to not eat Dominican chocolate.

I still need to find baking powder so I can make fresh corn meal muffins instead of buying $10 loafs of 15 slices of very thin wheat free bread.

Once I've established the perfect corn meal breakfast muffins, I'll practise making bread out of brown rice using flour I've made from my very own 'ridiculous' Vita-Mix that Papi laughed at me for bringing.

This week, my raised veggie garden gets built.  Then the fun of learning how to grow my own veggies begins.

I also have been able to play my bass for 3 days.  This is making my brain function better.

Like everything else that was in the Sosúa storage, my practise bass caught a little of the mould.  I haven't opened my performing bass yet.  I'll get there.

I boiled the strings, cleaned her off and put WD-40 on every shiny piece possible.

I lovingly stroked them with a wand of a Q-Tip and then lubed up the strings a little too.

This sea air is going to kill all my instruments, but I'm searching for preventative tips and WD-40 is a great one.

Then I played.

Then my heart filled.

Then I remembered why we're here.

Then I realized I no longer sit and watch TV as my entertainment, because I'm free to move around and be active.

Then I realized, that after 4.5 years of struggling through the after effects of my motorcycle accident, I'm finally living.

Then, all the stress, fear, anxiety and culture shock just flew away, being lifted by the ocean air into the mountains, where the leaves from those luscious trees would clean it and recycle it back into clean, positive oxygen.

Music, yoga & healthy food.

Oh!  And Dominican chocolate and coffee.

It's taken a month, but I'm now feeling like I'm at the cusp of living the life I wanted.

I'm living without pain killers.

I'm living without crippling pain.

Living.

I am living.

Everything else is just gravy.

i am encouraged by every success


Friday, February 22, 2013

always a solution

Yesterday, a sweet Blogger Friend left a comment that I'm strong and loved.

Well, maybe not strong enough, but resourceful?

YES!

You see, I chickened out.

I got ready, preparing for my adventure, then had a thought.

There's a man here who made our wall, fixed a bunch of stuff in our yard and I've grown to trust him over the past month.

... yes folks ... it's already been a month!!!!!! ...

He has a truck.

His truck is just like the truck the last man drove us in, a Toyota 4 cylinder, although circa 1980.  A little more modern.

I realized, hey, we had hired him to build the new well, and if I'm paying him to work, I'll ask him for help.

I asked him to drive me to Cabarete, because Papi was sick.

I told him I needed phone cards, to talk to the car dude and get to the bank to get his money.

He agreed!

I filled his tank with gas and off we went, 1st stop to talk to the car dude.

Well, all I wanted to do was tell the car dude we couldn't go to the lawyer today to get the papers, because Papi was sick.

However, he's a bit of an alpha and told my chauffeur to drive us to Sosúa, which was another 20 minutes south.

You could see my chauffeur wasn't happy about it, and I tried to say I don't want to bother him because he's working at my house, but the car dude wouldn't hear of it.

Off all 3 of us went in the little truck, that didn't seem to want to drive beyond 20 km/hr, but I got to my lawyer, I got my phone cards, I paid the chauffeur after a stop at the bank, AND we got our placard for our car.

Done!

Now it was time to head home and I said in very broken Spanish how thankful I am for his help and could I put more gas in his truck.

Right after we left the gas station, there was a sound in his truck that didn't sound like a healthy bang.

Oh, but the truck was NOT happy.

We drove 8 km all the way home.

A normal 30 minute drive with Papi was now taking more than an hour, but I'll tell ya, it was sure nice to let everyone pass us as I looked at the view.

When I'm with Papi, I'm so busy holding on to the 'holy fuck handle' above my head, white knuckling it while fighting off panic attacks, and saying, "OMG!!!!" so many times that I really don't have time to enjoy the view.

I'm too concerned with oncoming traffic as we pass car after car and think this is the end.

Yesterday was beautiful.

I got to look at goats, cows, kids, donkeys, chickens, stores that seemed like it was just a house with a few clothing items on hangers on the balcony, and people being hard workers.

I had the best time, and I had a body guard.  Hell, at one point I had 2!

2 men that I could trust to get me where I need to go without trauma.

I have to say, Vancouver has scarred me for life with the amount of times I've been attacked and worse.

I'm terrified of people and like the comment yesterday reminded me, predators can smell fear.

How do you just stop being afraid, though?

After spending the majority of my life with P.T.S.D. brought on by the hands of rancid monsters, I just don't know how not to be afraid of strangers.

I suppose it will take time, and hey, we almost have our car, which I'll drive without a license before I take a 'taxi'/'bus'.

I really think that horrible experience in India has really had an impact on my fear, and considering the amount of times I've been attacked on a bus, I'm not just being paranoid.

I don't want to die like that.

I've already lived through enough in this life and reality is, in this world people can be terrifying.

I'll take that solo 'taxi' ride some other time.

In the meantime, I'd rather drive my car illegally.

Apparently, I'm good with illegal actions now.

every problem has a solution and i seek my solution with resolve

Thursday, February 21, 2013

more than scared. way more.

This could prove to be the scariest day I've had here.

I have to go into town in a 'taxi' alone.

It's one thing to sit on Papi's lap, or be in a car with Papi while I sit on someone else's lap, but by myself is a whole other story.

We have no more time on our archaic, pay as you go 'phones' (circa 1990), and we have to see the lawyer whom I can't call to cancel the plans with, because we have no time on the phones!!!

Then there's the person who is taking us to get our placard for our car.  I can't call to cancel him either.

Lastly, we need to pay the man who's building us 2 new wells, and Papi is sick.

SOMEONE didn't trust me that the water is bad.

Yesterday, they showed us just how bad the water is.

Have you ever seen a septic tank that is full?

No?

Trust me, there's no need.

It will make you gag just as bad as I did.

"Andréééééééa ... come heeeeeeeeere ..." in a tone of Lost Boys 'come out to playyyyyy'.  I should have known by the way they called me.

I strolled up with caution, unsure of what I was about to face.  They were all smiles as they lifted the lid off.

The stench hit me and my gag reflexes kicked in.

Then the sight of sewage piled high to the top of the well was the next wave of nausea that floored me.

I ran away trying to compose myself and everyone thought it was funny.

Yeah.

Real funny.

Make the city slicker sick.

Buggers.

We had to pay some dude with a hose to come and suck it all out, and now we're told the well is much too small for our house, so we're building a 2nd reservoir to take up the slack.

Not to mention a 3rd well for clean water.

I was correct in thinking that we were showering in shit.

Now, Papi has been brushing his teeth with the water for the month we've been here and guess who's got the trots?

Poor thing.

I'm pumping salted lime juice into his body, as much as he grimaces.

However, the point is, now I'm alone in this day of doing the deeds.

I'll ask the well man to drive me to the bank, because I really don't think a li'l gringo femme should be coming back home in a taxi all alone with RD $31,000 pesos in her pocket.

However, that still doesn't change the fact that we need contact with the outside world and we have plans to get a placard via our lawyer.

Someone has to do it.

That someone is the person who isn't currently attached to the toilet.

I'm terrified!!!!!

Alone!

I'm going to look as homely and unassuming as possible.

Hair back, hat on.

Glasses, no makeup.

Capri pants and a t-shirt that will cover me up best as possible, along with hiking sandals.  No cute little pink sandals with a slightly raised lift to make my calves stand out.

Terrified.

Alone.

If there is no blog tomorrow, I didn't make it home.

That or the internet isn't working again.

I'll just let you have the drama in your head as to why I'm not here.

It's good for entertainment.

i bet today will be a day to remember.  let us go greet it

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

waiting is the hardest part.

Oh, our car.

So, we waited a few weeks for it to get fixed and then yesterday, were very excited to hear that it was actually on it's way!!!

It was coming from the city of Santiago, which is about an hour drive from our tiny, rural village of Las Canas, which is so small, it isn't even Google-able.

At around noon, we were told it was on it's way.  We waited the hour, then waited a few more.

We couldn't leave until they got here, not to mention, the plumber/electrician was coming back with our goodies to fix our sewage leak and our stove, so we were stuck here for that reason as well.

Plumber/electrician dude never showed up.  We're still waiting.

If we weren't waiting, we would have gone into town in a cab/bus to get some food, but instead we just stayed put with no working stove to make even rice with.

We thought that maybe, perhaps, they had just stolen our car and all the money we'd given them so far.  We've run out of a trust, and were starting to think the worst, like maybe they were just selling our parts of our car while we wait.

It was about 5 pm when they finally showed up, and we realized all the drama we were making out our car to be going through was wrong, and that we could actually trust our new mechanics, who come as a duo.

Poor guys were halfway up the Moca when they ran out of gas.

They had to call friends to help them get enough gas to get it to the shop, which is much closer than our house.

Now it was time to go pick it up from their shop/house.  Off all 4 of us went, crammed in the little 4 cylinder Toyota pickup, circa 1970, three in the front, one in the cargo area.

By the time we got to our car, it was dark.

I had learned it's not safe to drive in rural areas when it's dark, but I didn't realize just how terrifying it really was going to be.

It's black on those roads with no street lights, and you can't see the edge of the concrete where it dips off into creeks, cows and donkeys.

Not to mention, people walk on the side of the road, with no care of how close they are to traffic, and you don't really see them until you're up their asses.

Furthermore, people drive without headlights, including motorcycles and scooters, so they too are a target for your vehicle.

Oh, then there's the people who just trust you not to hit them as they cross from one side of the street to the other.

Don't even get me started on the dogs who wander aimlessly.

We hadn't driven very far before we realized our radio was gone.

We could've sworn there was a radio in that car when it left our house, as it was tied to a scrawny rope behind that little Toyota pickup, to be towed to the mechanics house/shop.

However, we thought, if that was all that got stolen from the car, so be it.  At least we found the rear view mirror in the armchair console.

There is no outside door handle for me to use, so Papi has to open it from the inside.  Oh, and the window doesn't work from my side either, so I'll be asking Papi to roll and unroll as I please.

The good news is, our car no longer smells like a rancid polecat.  They cleaned it up really nice.

The better news is, it is so rough looking that we will not look like tourists.  We'll fit in quite nicely now.

Papi has never owned a vehicle so meager.  As I giggled at Prince Papi's dismay, he asked, "Well, have you ever owned something so ghetto?!"

I smiled, "A few times."

It's a rite of passage.  Every person in this lifetime gets to drive a beater.  It's law, unless you're rich.

He'll soon get used to it and he'll see that it doesn't have to be shiny and pretty for it to get us around.

Anyway, today, we were supposed to go get the placard to drive it legally.  You need some kinda little sticker that shows it's your car, or the police will pull you over and extort you for money.

In came the mechanic at the Dominican Time of 10:30 (he did say he'd be here at 9 a.m.), and we were all set to go get the placard, when he told us we needed a particular piece of paper in order to do so.

We don't have that paper.

Why?  Because the original owner hasn't gotten off his ass to send it to our lawyer.

But hey!  Our new honest mechanics told us they have our radio in the shop, so that nobody would steal it while they worked on our car.  They said they'll put it back in later.  We have found some good people.

So, Papi went back to bed and I'm chasing puppies around while we spend another day in forced relaxation.

Damn good thing the view is so beautiful.

i never know what amazing, incredible person i will meet next

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

some hope and no grope

Well, we chose to call the vet and ask if he does house calls.

Poor Psycho Kitty was just too sick to bring in a hot car with 8 people.

He doesn't do house calls, but he told us what to buy at the pharmacy.

The vet could hear in my voice that I was close to despair.  He told me not to give up hope.  That there may be one more medicine that will help.

I've been calling on my angels like never before for Psycho Kitty.  So have a lot of my lovely friends.  I need him to stay for a while.

I know it's selfish, but I just wanted him to have a fun life.  He needs to enjoy this.

He actually looks like he's feeling a little better today.

By the sound of him talking, it seems he has more energy.

His head doesn't feel as hot and there's not as much blood coming out of his mouth.

Off we went and we were lucky that the ride there we got a bus.  No lap sitting.

Not to mention, now that we know the actual cost, it's so much nicer to give them correct change and they seem to know that we're not fools any more.

After filing out of the cab, we were walking through town to the pharmacy, quite sad and stressed about the state of Psycho Kitty.

We waded through tourists with bright shiny faces who looked around at the wares with awe.  You could see the looks in their eyes, "Ooh!  Look!  I need that!"

All we did was keep our heads down and carry on forth to our destination.

Then, true to Papi's incredible nature, he made me laugh harder than I had in days.

He looked at the tourists, then looked at me and said, "This is the worst vacation I've ever been on."

The joke was only for us.

Nobody else would get it.

Nope.  Not a vacation.

Our new life.

We wouldn't have time to work, I promise you.  I wanted a goat.  There is no time for that either.  I'll just find a local to buy their milk off of.

Then there was another moment of silliness when we stopped at the taco stand to have a snack.

We looked at all the people cramming in and out of the 'bus' or 'taxi' and Papi said, "Can you imagine commuting every day like that?"

I snorted at Papi, "We DO!"

Seriously.

Every day we cram in to the cab like clowns and get to our destination.

We DO commute like that.

Papi wouldn't step foot on a bus in Vancouver, like the West Side Prince he was, yet here we are sitting on laps and being humbled for it.

I would never be so close to strange men, but here I am, carrying my money in my bra and keeping close tabs on Papi's stun gun, just in case I may need it for an overzealous local, who make think my blonde hair and blues eyes are an invitation to a free grope.

All I can say is, I'm so damn grateful I went to Spanish classes before we got here.

As much as I don't remember very quickly, and need lots of repetition, I'm really beginning to be able to at least communicate in little short sentences.

But it's enough to make my head hurt.

Every day, the focusing and thinking as hard as I can gives me a headache.  I suppose I'm wiring new routes and eventually, I'll be better than I was before I got here, and who knows, maybe I'll heal from most of my brain injury and give me some memory skills!

... wishful thinking eh? ...

Today's task is to get the plumber/electrician to look at our well and oven.

We're pretty sure that we're showering in sewage water.

Something smells and there's a leak outside that shouldn't be happening.  All our water is brown, except for my handy dandy water from the reverse osmosis machine I brought.

Papi laughed at me and told me I was ridiculous, but who's laughing now as I drink water right from the machine's tap, without getting sick!

i remember what i learn and when i forget, the words come to me quickly

Monday, February 18, 2013

even the waves can hear our sadness ...

I hope one of the 'taxis' will take us with a cat crate today.

They should.

They took a lady with her big basket of wares.

Besides, he's not very talkative right now, so he won't disturb anyone.

He has a fever.  He's so hot, and his mouth is so swollen that you can visibly see the infection growing in a short 2 days, never mind feel the bulge.

He just looks at me with eyes of pain.

His mouth hasn't stopped bleeding all weekend.

True to Murphy's Law, he got at his worst on the the days the vet isn't in.

What is that about?  Why do they always have to pick Saturday and Sunday to be at their worst?

Neither Papi or I slept all night worrying about how uncomfortable he was, not to mention, feeling the pang of unwarranted guilt because we can't do anything to help him.

I cried a few tears and stroked him, allowing him to head butt me like he loves to do, regardless of how much infection or blood got on my head or face.

It may be his day.

I'm so heartbroken, because he was supposed to kill more geckos and chase more butterflies and tear apart more cockroaches.

He was supposed to live the life of a Dominican cat.

He had a few good days, but the majority of his time here has been really miserable.

Feeling how hot his head was last night made my sorrow all the more pungent.

Then there was more death outside, by the hands of The Bastard Prince.

There was a dead mouse sitting on the patio furniture when I first got up.

However, there is no more.

The Pathetic Puppy, our new one eye, disappeared about the same time the dead mouse did.

Not too much later, she showed up licking her chops and there seems to be mouse intestines on the newly laid grass in front of my seat with an ocean view.

The reason I know it was The Bastard Prince who killed it initially, was because it was bigger than The Mrs.

She wouldn't take someone that big on.

But The Bastard Prince would.

Then there's the Jake-A-Like.

He's our fearless cockroach hunter.

Dominican animals really know how to take care of business.

Maybe our cats are bucking up because they see the competition.

That is of course, except for Psycho Kitty.

He's not moving too much, as he stays under the bed to feel sick all alone.

The vet had told us the reason he's not healing is because he's just too old to do so.  His body can't do it, and that if he doesn't get better on the heaviest duty drugs we just gave him, it's the end of the line.

I'm just so sad.

I want to bury him in the sand at the end of the pool, where we look out to the ocean.

I want to allow his little body to be the gate keeper of our home.

Forever our protector.

A space for us to think of him every day as we look out to the freedom he's soon to have.

I know I'm having troubles getting going today.  I've been up since 1 a.m. and Papi wasn't too far behind me.

I don't want to wake Papi up to say, "Ok my love, it's time to say goodbye."

That is just such a bad way to start a day.

It's a sad day, and even the waves seem to be lamenting in such a way that they feel my ebbing of happiness.

They seem slower today.

There are clouds in the sky.

The brightness of the Dominican morning is not as sweet as it has been most days.

with love, i listen to this inner conflict, and reflect on it until i find peace around it

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ep. 4 & the ride

It's Sunday.  YouTube show day.  

And if I don't get the video up on a Sunday, send help to the Dominican Republic, because there may be something drastically wrong!!

Like the stove won't work.


But I do have to tell you about our cab rides.

You know how in your cushy life in your 1st world city, you have a cab all to yourself?  And that you just pay for the trip no matter how many people are in the cab?

Not so here.

We still don't have our car.  Every day they say, "Mañana."  Every day.

So, we've resorted to taking the cab.

Now first of all, it's hard to get one, because they're always full.

2nd?

They're always full, but if they let you in, it means you're sitting on a strangers lap.

So far, I've been lucky in that I've only had to sit on Papi's lap or a woman's lap.

But laps it is.

Yesterday, I felt like a dog.

There we were, us 3 ladies in the front along with the driver Papi in the back with a big lady sitting on his lap and two more ladies with their wares to sell on the beach for the day.

My instinct was that the door wasn't going to hold me, because the door handle didn't really work to let me in to begin with.

So, I held on to that door with all my might, in hopes that if it flew open, I'd at least have something to hold on to so as not to fly into the fields beside us.

I clenched my jaw as my head was hanging out the window.

I closed my eyes to prevent the sand and dirt getting into my contact lens and I felt like a dog.

You know that face they get out the window?

Chin up.

Eyes closed.

Lips flapping.

My ears didn't flap, but dammit if my hair did.

Then the driver pulled a piece of my hair that flew on to his lap and showed me.  I was mortified!!!  "I'm so sorry!!!" I giggled.

He laughed too, but from that point forward I held my hair down so as not to disturb anyone else.

I was also quite grateful I was wearing deodorant, even if I could smell someone in the back didn't have any on.

When we finally do stop to let someone out, it honestly feels like those clowns tumbling out of the car, and you can't believe so many people are crammed in one little Toyota.

You pay per head, not for distance.

We found out we'd been overcharged when an honest cab driver gave us change for our ride yesterday.  Now we learned something new.  Buggers.

It's no different than the cab drivers in Vancouver though.  If you're new to the city, those bastards will drive you around all over the place taking the long way to get more cash out of you.

We're hoping tomorrow is the 'mañana' that we get our car.

Our Psycho Kitty is not so well.  We have to bring him in.

He had surgery the first week we were here, but he's not healing, and he's losing weight and strength.

It seems that we may be losing him.  He didn't last very long here.  We're heart broken.  Truly.

It is a sad day.

Every time we look at his body language, we want to help, but now we have to find a cab that will take us to the vet with our kitty tomorrow.

We'll find a way, even if it is to say goodbye.

all my attitudes are positive now

Saturday, February 16, 2013

leave me alone.

The puppies are free.  The doors are closed.

We have one man coming back to fix the filter on our house water, but that's really it for today.

I woke up and opened every window and door in our house and smiled at Casa Paraíso and it was a bright shiny day.

It was at that moment, that I realized just how uncomfortable I am with strangers in my space, and just how much I've learned not to trust people.

I know that when I had roommates, it was hard for me to keep Hurricane Andréa under wraps, and the demon horns from sprouting up every time I didn't like something.

Maybe it's because I grew up in small spaces with my mother and sister?

I remember the first time I was the happiest was when I lived in a dark, dank, mouldy basement suite in East Van.

I didn't care how awful it was and that there were mushrooms growing out of the walls in the bathroom.  I was happy because I had my Dearly Departed Gypsy, my piano and my very own space.

Now I see it.  I can live with Papi and animals, but that's about it.

Can you imagine what a crabby old bitch I'm going to be in the old folks home?  I'll probably be that old fart hiding in my room yelling, "Get the hell out!" when someone knocks on my door.

That's if I make it that far without doing myself in with all the stress I put myself through.

Yesterday, I obsessed all day long about the rest of the chocolate that was in the cupboard.

It called me.

I kept ignoring it until the little voice in my head said, "You know, if you eat the chocolate, it won't be here anymore and you can stop obsessing about it!"

So I ate it.  Then berated myself.

However!  I did exercise and that made me feel stronger and gave me hope that I will feel good in my skin once more.

There was also one image that I remember seeing in the past that came up on Facebook yesterday.  It seems to help me every time, and somehow, comes along at the moment I need it.


Leave it to Marilyn to save my brain from insanity.

She reminded me of a time when I was close to 150 lbs and I was completely made of mighty muscle.

I was boxing then.  I was strong.  I had such big biceps that the sleeves of my t-shirt were tight against my arms, yet I had no unnecessary fat on my body and loved myself for working so hard at being so sturdy.

My friend asked me very sweetly, "Just curious, but how much bigger do you need your arms to be?!?!"

I had a reminder from one of my great Blogger Friends yesterday, that he loves his lady no matter what size she is and that nobody really likes to look at a skinny old bag.

All the strangers are gone from our yard.  Our doors and walls are up.  Our pool is still being treated for the mud water, but soon, very soon it will be functional and my life will be filled with exercise.

Today, I stare out at the ocean as I write every word in this blog in my serene space.

Today, I felt like we were actually going to have the life we desire here.

Today, I woke up with a new beginning, and more silliness to continue editing on our YouTube show for its Sunday airing.

I keep being reminded of who I am and what I need to be comfortable.  I'm learning so much about myself in this move.

I am grateful for the lessons, and the fruit ice that I made yesterday to keep my sweet tooth curbed.

What a difference a day makes, how amazing is it to be reminded by mi esposo and my friends that being loved has nothing to do with my size.

it is easy for me to stay on my food plan to maintain a healthy weight

Friday, February 15, 2013

a VERY unwanted visitor

How do you say, "eating disorder" in Spanish?

I don't think they really get it here.  Mental illness is not on the docket.  It's not spoken of.

Oh, you can go into Google Translate and find the direct translation, 'trastornos de la alimentación', but it doesn't mean they're going to 'get' it.

Why would anyone who's starving from lack of money have a 1st World problem so silly as to cry about not being perfect?

I've been stress/depression/anxiety eating.  Corn chips.  Chocolate.  Pasta.  Gads of rice with butter and bacon bits.  All things I would normally eat sparingly as a treat, I've been gorging on, with the back of my mind begging to stop the madness.

When I eat like this, it's like I'm on autopilot and my hand won't stop going to my mouth.  I haven't even swallowed the last bite and I'm stuffing more in my yak with fervor.

I barely taste the food, other than 'salty', or 'sweet'.

Well, the other day, I went to put on a pair of my cozy pants, and dammit they were uncomfortable.  That evening, I was almost in tears, because it was confirmed that I had put on weight.

Papi knows better than to be honest with me if I have put on weight, "I don't notice anything.  You still look good to me," is his usual response.  Sweet of him, but I can't trust those words, just like I can't trust anyone else who tells me I'm thin.

I don't use the mirror to tell me, because no matter what size I am, that reflective demon always tells me I look bad.

But my pants?  Yup.  Direct indication.

I had troubles sleeping because I was obsessing about the fact that I can't stop eating and I'm putting on weight.

Then probably the worst thing possible could have happened yesterday morning.

Let me just set this up by telling you that the first week we were here, Our Translater told me what a beautiful body I had and that she really likes it.

It was a very sweet compliment.  It gave me confidence and was nice to hear, even though it was hard to believe.

Well, yesterday morning she said, "You look like you have more fat."  When my face turned into something akin to the devil, she added, "It looks good."

Good?!?!?!  Really?!?!?  This is my own personal hell!!!!

Oh, but it definitely was worse when the Housemaid chimed in, "You were much more fat in November when you were here."

Good fucking g*d people!!!!!  Have you memorized my every curve?!?!?!

Can I tell you what that has done to me?

I immediately started obsessing about limiting my food, putting on clothes that would hide my body and last night it was very difficult to get to sleep without feeling like I would go into a crying fit.

I kept venting to Papi about it and his response?  "You're obsessing about this!!"

My response to my sweet esposo who worked with mental illness as his career in Vancouver?  "You do know what an eating disorder is, right?"

Pure obsession.  100% demented thinking about nothing but food and my body.

Our Translator and the Housemaid have thrown me into a tailspin.

This is not good.  The whole day all I did was think about what I would eat next that would help me lose weight.

All I did was think about how much I would exercise to fight off the Anorexia Monster.

Going to the bathroom was torture, because I had to see the horrible image in the mirror that seemed even more distressing than it was the day before.

It's hell, and all because I got so over-stressed that I ate non-stop to deal with my emotions.

But the most horrendous part of this experience, is that now I KNOW people actually pay attention to my figure.

This will have me paranoid every second of every day as to what they're thinking about me.

It's ridiculous, because I shouldn't care, but an eating disorder is an eating disorder.

A fucking disorder of thinking.  I'm not in control of my mind.

I CAN be in control of what I put in my mouth, and yesterday I didn't harm myself, but ate as close to my food plan as possible, only a little more limiting.

How do you explain an eating disorder to people who don't really have this absurd dilemma of mind fuckery?

My only mission today is to continue to eat so as to not harm my body, and get some exercise.  Now there are no more strange men in our space today, because everything is done.

Yoga, fruit, vegetables, water, and loving, gentle talk to myself with as few tears as possible.

i see myself at a healthy weight and i achieve it

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gun Slingin'

I didn't really want to get out of bed today.  I was afraid of what this new day would bring, as over the past couple of days, we've had more stress and anxiety from more li'l fuckers to deal with.

Let me tell you about Mr. Extortion #2.  He decided that he would stroll on to our property and demand we pay him to remove our garbage.

Fortunately, the Housemaid and the Our Translator (aka the Pool Man's wife), were here to tell him to piss off.

The Housmaid's husband, the Dominican Daddy, takes our garbage as part of his yard care taking we pay him for.

Mr. Extortion #2 shows up with a fancy document that he demanded we sign, and those ladies gave him a piece of their mind and then some.

I'm telling you, I couldn't be more happy to get that damn wall finished.  All you bitches fuck off and don't come back to my property again!!!

Then there was the water delivery.

You see, we didn't want to fill our pool with water from the house, because it's well water and it is very dirty.

So, the Pool Man hired someone to go to a river and get us some nice, clean water.

They filled the pool while we were sleeping and we woke up to a concrete tub of mud.

They just grabbed it from the bottom of the river bed.  They didn't want to work for the clean stuff.  They just wanted a quick buck.

There was our the Pool Man, Our Translator, Papi, and our temporary evening guard, all telling the guy to return it and get the clean water we asked for.

He wasn't budging.

So, I filled up a clear plastic container with our house water, marched over with Pissy Face and said, in very broken Spanish, "This is our house water and it dirty, so we to ask you to bring clean water, but you to bring water that is more dirty of our house water.  Why I to pay for dirty water, when I to have free dirty water in my house?!?!?!"

Still wasn't budging.

So, I tried the next offer, "I to pay your gas and no more."

It was around that time that our Translator, the Pool Man and his son were clocked out for the day, so they left us to haggle with the dirty water brute.

Good luck!  The guy was body blocking them from getting into their car!!

We don't have any more bullets for our gun, as we used them up when we were test driving it, but dammit if I wasn't ready to go get it and fake the guy out.

Oh, did I tell you how funny it was to give that gun a whirl the other night?

There we were on the balcony, and POW! it went into the ocean.

Right afterward, the 2 guards with the rich man next door were on top of their wall with their gun and POW! they shot theirs off too amongst the laughs and arms in the air.

Gun slingin' in the Dominican Republic!  It felt like I was in a segment of the Beverly Hillbillies with all the 'woohooing' and cheering that was going on.

It was like a regular night in Alberta!

Anyway, I digress.

After much scuffling and yelling, the Pool Man's son came back and said, "Just pay the guy.  This isn't worth it.  We'll just make sure everyone knows he's a crook."

So, yet again, we were bamboozled.  We paid $250 for dirty mud water that is currently being soaked to the bottom of the pool by way of chemicals.

Now, we all know what a bubble girl I am.  I'm afraid to swim in that water after all is said and done, but not because of the dirty water.  Because of the chemicals.

I'll probably singe.  You know me.  Allergic to everything.

Anyway, the water is starting to clear after 3 treatments, but the next problem is that we have no electricity to get it to move around.

We have a 2nd electrician here today, who we're hoping will fix everything the first one didn't.

It seems every 'professional' person our Housemaid has recommended has had to come back to double dip and 'fix it' again, then she indignantly asks why we won't hire her friends to paint our wall.

We learned.  All the workers here will say they can do anything you ask them, no matter if they've never done it before.

People are really gung-ho to work, so they say, "Yup!  I can do that!"  But they can't, and they don't.

We're slowly learning to trust a professional to recommend a professional.  Not to mention, this new electrician today is giving me Spanish lessons on top of doing the electrical.

It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.  The waves are crashing and inviting me saying, "Come!  Let us tickle your toes!"

But I'm too afraid to swim in that rip tide from hell on our segment of the island.

nervousness is only a sign from my intuition that i will listen to 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

bossy boots in da house!

The pool is being filled with river water!

By tomorrow we should be swimming.  I was hoping for today, as I kinda put my back out yesterday and I'm in a little need of some exercise, pain free floating and fresh blood to pump into the spasm.

I forgot we have a walkway with a step now and I went down jarring my bloody back.

Of course it was because I was distracted.

This damn injured brain can't do two things at once, or there's trouble, and its balance is so horrific that I'm a permadrunk.

I was distracted because was angry about the Housemaid meddling in our business again and telling the workers what we wanted, when we have told her, and them, 20 times what we've wanted.

She wants to keep more of the money she wrangled from us.

Nope.  You steal that amount of money, you're giving us what we paid for.

But she kept on telling the workers, "No door.  Just a concrete wall."

Right.  We just moved to paradise on the ocean to look at a fucking concrete wall.

I don't think so.  We're having our wooden slats in front so that we can still look at the ocean, and that is the last word.

I had to get stern with her and tell her she is not in charge, that she works for me and that if she's going to talk about this, she talks about it with me and nobody else.

Then I had to remind her of our contract of what we agreed upon, and that we WILL be getting what we agreed on.  Period.

This exchange of hardheaded communication was while Papi was yelling at the entire neighbourhood.

You see, we came home from a quick shopping excursion to practically all our neighbours having a party in our yard.

Everyone was hanging out on our deck, sitting in our furniture, hanging out pool side, and kids and dogs were running around the yard.

I have to keep telling the kids to stay away from the pool to set up the ground 'rules', because I'm not being responsible for a drowning accident on my property.

But this was ridiculous.

So, Papi lost it after hearing that the Housemaid was trying to talk to someone in Spanish saying something contrary to what we agreed on.

He yelled at everyone, "If your'e not working get the hell out!  This is our damn home!  This is not a public park!  Go on!  Get the hell out!"

Oh, they didn't understand what he was saying literally, they just knew they should leave, NOW!

From that point forth, the kids stayed on the perimeter and just looked in.

It was then that the Pool Man's wife said, "You're a strong man now.  Now everyone will respect you. You won't have any troubles anymore."

The funniest part was, everyone just went on like nothing happened.

I know that in Canada, if Papi yelled like that, there would be much hostility, glaring of eyes, exchanges of hurtful words and perhaps even a fist fight.

Like I learned from my Spanish teacher back home, it's the way people communicate here.

You fling your arms about and puff yourself up, speaking louder than the one before you, and it's just the way it has to be if you want someone to listen to you.

I have to say, I was a little taken aback, because I'd never seen Papi that angry!

But then, I've never seen myself be so strict with someone who is trying to take advantage of us either.

When the Housemaid and I were finished communicating, I found a place in myself that was stronger than I'd ever seen.

I say that I have to teach the Housemaid how to clean, because from living in a shack her whole life, she doesn't really know what North American clean means.

But honestly, she's training us how to be firm, and the nicest part was, there was no disrespect involved.  It was just hard-nosed heart.

This morning when I let the puppies out to pee, ...

... not that they needed to, the floor was covered in puppy art for me this morning ...

... the workers just waved like they do every morning with a smile.

And you know what?  There were no kids running around our yard.

We're closer to the peace of Casa Paraíso we came for.

That light at the end of the tunnel is shining very brightly as I watch the last of the river water getting poured into our pool, and that damn wooden door is finally getting put up so that I can let the dogs run free.

Shine bright, light.

I can see you now.

i feel good about the way i do my job

Monday, February 11, 2013

attitude adjustments

Argh.  My favourite scarf.

It wasn't actually in the wash, but the house maid saw it on my bed and took it upon herself to the best job ever and clean it for me.

You don't wash this scarf in a barrel washing machine, or it will ruin.

Between the puppies and the house maid, they're in competition to see who can destroy my clothes the fastest.

I suppose I now have to stop being attached to my clothing.

I loved all my pretty things, but they really are just things.

I'll try to adapt to the attitude I had when I lived years ago as a starving artist.

Everything was 2nd hand, there were holes in most of my clothes and I wore nothing sparkly, except for the items I wore on stage.

Maybe I'll borrow the house maids clothes.  Her's are still pretty, sparkly, brand new and in one piece.

It occurred to me last night that I'm so depressed, it sounds like I'm hating it here.

It occurred to me, because Papi told me that's how I appear.

Well, I've never moved away from my city, never mind to another country, where I don't have my comfort and ease.

I never realized how much I need stability and comfort before.

I'm learning more about myself in these 3 weeks than I have in a long, long time.

So, yeah, I'm sorta out of joint right now, but like my Eternal Friend told me, it will take about 3 months to adjust, then you're good.

Papi thought I was saying, "I'll give it 3 months then if I'm not happy, I'm outta here."

Nope.

We're here for the long haul, and I wouldn't change anything, except my attitude.

I'm going to try to find as many things I can to be grateful for today, instead of focusing on the negative.  I'll ask my angels to guide me and help me out of my Pit of Doom.

I realized that I allowed the judgemental people back home to play too much of a part in my emotions and set me off into depression, because I was triggered by being hurt by a group of people.

I can handle one person at a time disliking me, because that's just life.  Not everyone can like me.

However, since I was a young girl, I've had cliques of people bullying me, and I believe I have a lesson to learn that I've not learned to my best ability yet.

Never, ever, ever trust a group of people who move like a school of fish.

I had a moment of letting them go yesterday.

Today, I will work at it even harder, though I still hurt and have the urge to cry over loss of friendship.

My Trust List has changed again.  It has dwindled, and what I've learned is that is ok.

Quality vs. Quantity.

Besides, we're making new friends here.

They're all a lot older than Papi and I, but none-the-less, they're friendly and know what it's like here, so they don't judge us as horrid beings for wanting to protect ourselves.

I found a bread maker!!!

I'm going to commission him to make me wheat free bread.  Then I'm going to BEG him to teach me how to do it.

The pool is almost done.  We were told that perhaps today, we could be swimming!

We probably could without them putting in the river water they promised us.

The torrential downpour has almost filled the damn thing up!  But there's nothing like swimming in water when it's warm and raining.  I'll enjoy it just as much.

Did I tell you we got our gun?

Fired it off a few times to check it was working, and spread the aural rumour that we're not going to be easily violated.

Go bug someone else.

We're getting so much closer to having our dream space, and every minute that it gets closer, my heart nears the life I wanted.

Quiet, serene, pain free paradise.

With the exception of the puppies.

They are trouble on paws, but they keep each other entertained.  If you ever want a puppy, get 2.  Seriously.  It's not much more work and they don't use your arm for a chew toy, because they have each other.

And now, I'm starting my first moment of gratitude for attitude adjustment.

I am grateful to be so very lucky to be living in a climate which eases my physical pain.

i see the perfection in all my flaws, and all my genius

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Episode 3

No internet today, so all you get is our YouTube show.

Enjoy Episode 3 - La Casa!


i make new friends with ease

Saturday, February 9, 2013

our day

We went on an adventure.

We had to return our rental car.  We were spending way too much money on renting a vehicle.

All we have to do is hope for no more sick animals until our car is fixed.

True to 'Dominican Time', our car that was supposed to be looked at a week ago finally got looked at 2 days ago.

They said our car would be done yesterday, so off we went to return the rental.  Then when we spoke to them later, they said, "Tomorrow," which should mean today, but now it looks like we'll be waiting another day.

Hence today, we're trapped in our little house.

Anyway, to get back from the airport where we returned it, we had to make it back what would be a normal 45 minute drive to our little village.

First, we saw the price of taxis at the airport, that would get us home from Puerto Plata; $70 U.S.

Yeah, I don't think so.

We decided to walk to the main road and catch a bus.  The buses kinda pick you up anywhere, but we knew we'd seen one stop here before.

As we were walking, we were stalked by a taxi who wanted to haggle for our business to get us to Cabarete.  We finally got a price we wanted and chose to hop in.

When we got to Cabarete, we decided to have lunch and spent way too much because it was a tourist trap.  But I'll tell you, it was worth it to sit amongst the tourists and pretend we were on holiday for an hour.

I shared my chair space with a shy crab, who was half burrowed in the sand beside me.  He thought I couldn't see him, but I was watching him.  Every 2 seconds.  I didn't need to lose a pinky toe.

Luxury was over and it was time to head home and see how the fighting was going between the pool people and the house caretakers, so we went try to catch a cab home.

Each cab we saw was filled with about 7 people, not including the driver.

No room for gringos.

We just kept getting drivers wave their finger at us, "Nope.  Not this one."

We found what looked like a normal bus stop in Vancouver, which was housing the motorcycle taxi driver's asses.  I asked them if it was a bus stop that would take us to Las Canas, and we'd hit the jackpot!  Indeed it was!

While we waited for the bus to arrive, we had every motorcycle cab in the city asking us if we wanted to hire them, but everyone of them I said in Spanish, "Sorry, I'm too scared."

Especially when you see 99% of the motorcycles no longer have side view mirrors, because they all take them off to look 'cool', not to mention nobody wears a helmet.

They would just laugh at us, but no thank you pal.  I have a secret about life.  I like it.

We waited patiently and then we saw it.

Looking at the shape it was in, I was hoping it would make it to our place.  If the fender hanging and cracked windshield were an indication of how well they took care of it, anything could happen.

We tried to ask how much it cost, but he just waved us on to the back of the bus.

It's my worst nightmare to cozy up to some strange man beside me who had no idea that he was squishing me into a pancake, taking up more and more space the smaller I got.

Not to mention, it seemed like he was looking down my top.

Then a seat came open for two at the front.  I made my move, but a girl closer got it.

This happened about 4 times until I finally barrelled through and took the primo seat.  Got it!!!

It was our turn to get off the bus and we had seen every person giving 50 pesos, and prepared to do the same.

We handed him a $100 and he looked at us, gave us the finger movements that said, "More," and I indignantly said, "No way man!"

He shrugged his shoulders and curved one side of his lips in a mouth squint, and looked to the side with a nonchalant eyebrow lift as if to say, "Hey, I tried," and left it at that.

When it was our turn to leave, we alerted the door keeper and he let us out less than half a block from our road.

Customized bus stops.

It was fun to finally walk down our little dirt road, because we're always so busy running back and forth to the vet or the hardware store in our car.

It was nice to say hi to our neighbours instead of just waving our hellos.

After our little adventure from Puerto Plata to get to our home, it really felt like we were living a day just for us.

Until we came home to a yard full of strangers and children invading our space, and people entering our yard trying to sell us their family dogs.

i choose friends who love me and approve of me


Friday, February 8, 2013

we saw g*d

I guess that was all we needed to forget about all the grief we've been receiving.

A field trip.

We were taken by the Pool Man, his wife and son to Santiago.  They were talking about how wonderful this 'Price Smart' was.

In Vancouver, we have 'PriceSmart'.

When spoken, sounds identical because you don't hear the space between words.  I never thought the one in Vancouver was anything special, but it's a hell of a lot better than the dimly lit little stores here where I try to find something, anything to eat.

Off we went over the Moca, which is so treacherous that it puts our Sea to Sky highway to shame.

We rolled past hills of green grass that looked like something out of The Hobbit, gorgeous, space seeking trees and too many cows to count.

When we got into the heart of the city, we saw a massive store being built.  It seemed like perhaps we would find something I could eat.

Then we turned into the 'Price Smart'.

The moment we walked in, it was like we saw that g*d really existed.

It was their version of Costco.

I'm not a material person, but I am definitely someone who looks for comfort when shopping.

This was it.  We found it.

A store we could relate to that had so much of what we need that it was like we'd seen snow for the first time.

A microwave!  Big batches of salted cashews!  Honey!  Mixing bowls of stainless steel!  Knives that will actually cut our food!  Papi was thrilled because he was able to get his treat like he always would at Costco; a big cup of fountain pop.

Then we were escorted through town to be shown a few more grocery stores with so much to choose from, we were content in thinking that we'd never miss Vancouver now.

The one store that got my attention was one that actually carried my favourite wheat free pasta, Tinkyada, and a $10 loaf of Glutino, wheat free bread.

Papi was as bit dismayed that I'd be buying a $10 loaf of bread, but I assured him it would be my once a month treat.  Kinda like his once a month junk food binge in the big city at McDonald's or any other fast 'food' joint.

After returning from our shop and it was time to go home, back over the Moca, I saw something I wasn't looking forward to seeing.

I'd already seen a dead dog, a dead cat and a dead horse at the side of the road.  I knew it was only a matter of time before I would see what I didn't want to see; a motorcycle accident.

Someone in the middle of the road who didn't look like he'd be moving any time soon, flat out like a pancake.

He had obviously been one of the hooligans who drive too fast and reckless, not to mention, there wasn't a helmet to be found.

Of course I went into full panic attack, but we were with people we didn't know very well, so I had to do my best to suffer in silence with tears being concealed, doing my best not to hyperventilate.

We were told before we went out on our venture that if there is an accident, you don't stop.

If you stop and help bring someone to a hospital, because you are a foreigner, they will blame the accident on you when you bring the person in, and you will get sued for hospital costs and more.

In this instance, I was extremely grateful that we didn't stop, because it was too much for my P.T.S.D. to deal with, but the sadness was so overwhelming for my morality.

I would stop in Vancouver, no matter how bad my flashbacks were, if I saw this guy and only one person helping.

I've learned that there's no point in trying to prove anyone wrong that has been here for 20 or so years.

We have to start believing people.

It was pretty clear our new friends were scared enough of the repercussions, when both the Dominican wife and son said, "Don't stop!  Go!  Go!" in such a panicked voice that it sounded like there was a gun pointed in their direction.

They assured us that many Dominicans will come to the aid of the only person helping this man.

They assured us that a Dominican taxi will drive him to the hospital if he's still alive, because the ambulances here will not take you without money up front.

This is a life like nothing I would ever expect in Canada.

I knew I'd be in for some new ways of living, but this truly is a day by day shock to my emotional system.

Good thing my Friend of the Angels sent help to us last night.

I can feel them with me now.

i focus on breathing and grounding myself

Thursday, February 7, 2013

lessons learned.

One thing I've learned over the past few days, is there is definitely a purpose for paper towels, and that I should never skimp on how much I use when picking up little gifts the puppies are leaving for us in the middle of the night.

Oh how lovely it is to wake up to first thing in the morning.  You really have to watch your step.

Yesterday, I used a tactic to speak to the house maid about theft.

I informed her that I know how some people will steal a little bit at a time, and, "I trust you are not going to do this to us."

I told her that as long as she's a good person, she can work here.

She really stepped up her cleaning and after speaking to her about how food should not be on dishes when they've been 'cleaned', we are grateful to have her.

There was a big blowout between the Pool Man, his wife and the caretakers of our house.  So much so, that even the Dominican Daddy and his mother from down the road got involved.

We weren't here.  We were on yet another venture of bring yet another animal into the vet.  It's become a daily occurrence.

While we were gone, emotions boiled over and everyone was fighting.

I came home to hearing both sides and with one side, I said, "I told her what I want done, so she understands now."

With the other side I said, "Don't worry about the pool people being bossy, because they're just being over protective of us and they won't be here for very long.

With close to tears in her eyes, she gave me a hug for understanding and I spoke to her about honesty in our home.

We are considering keeping her now, and at one point, she told me that if we ever don't have money, she'll come to clean anyway.

I told her that if we ever had no money, I would find a way to exchange services.

Then the funniest thing happened.

After speaking badly about the Pool Man's wife, she told me, "All Dominican women talk bad about each other."

Within 10 minutes of this happening, the Pool Man's wife said the same thing to me, "All Dominican women talk bad about each other."

I told them both with a giggle that it's not much different in Vancouver.  This week has been proof of that.

We actually thought the drama would be better once we moved out of the city.  Turns out we couldn't have been further from the truth.

I suppose when you move away and aren't in people's vicinity, it makes it easier for them to attack you because they know you won't run into them on the street.

I suppose when you move away, you can find out the truth of how people feel about you.

That's fine.  We've learned more in 3 weeks than we would have ever expected.

Learning is good.

I've learned that not speaking my mind is no longer the way for me to work.

I've learned that I know more about myself than I did before we left the big city.

I've learned that I don't need too many beautiful private emails from people, who understand because they've been where we are, to make my heart heal.

I learned from a woman of colour, who moved from a developing country to Vancouver, that she too was robbed and taken advantage of.

Like I've maintained before, a thief is a thief no matter where they come from.  Even people who nickel and dime their friends are just as greedy.

We were warned by most that we would be taken advantage of financially by someone we know back home, and I didn't want to believe it, but it's true as well.  Both Papi and I tried so hard to say, "No, you're wrong about that.  You'll see."

Well, we see now.

I'm grateful for being a kind person, even if I'm taken advantage of by people and even if I make mistakes.

I doesn't mean I need to stop being generous.

I can give my time and my love and if someone can't give it in return, the generosity stops with that person only.

I'll just move it on to someone else.

I feel better about the house maid and I talking.

I'm grateful to have her help us, while I'm running around chasing after escape artist puppies and cleaning up their business on the floor.

It's nice to return from the vet to a clean house.  We'll just go with that for now and be grateful for what have and what we've learned.

As the rain comes down in torrents, the workers are all hiding from it on our deck, singing their songs to pass the time.

It's a beautiful thing, even if I don't know what they're saying.

Oh great.  Mr. Extortion just showed up again.

i have no right to compare myself to anyone else, because i don't know their whole story

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

self-loathing.

Sometimes, my emotions get too difficult to bear.

Sometimes, I can't handle it.

Sometimes, I really don't like myself.

Sometimes, it would be easier just to die than not have to deal with my feelings, because they're just so big they're hard to overrule.

I've fucked up so much in the past little while and last night was the worst one, because Papi was so angry with me.

I can't multi-task since my brain injury.

I can't retain anything in a conversation if my attention is on something else.  I need to focus on focusing if you want me to know important information, and when I'm stressed, it gets even worse.

When I'm stressed I can get lost in the city I was born in.  When I get stressed, I only get the first words and if I'm lucky, the last words of instructions.

We moved here for a better life, and I'm so grateful I have so much less pain, but all the sun in the world is never going to fix my injured brain.

I feel stupid and worthless.

I was already angry with myself for all my errors, and this emotion was made more challenging because I didn't get the full story from what Papi was needing me to understand.

I didn't hear everything he said.  I heard, "Here is money for the plumber."

I didn't hear the rest of the monologue, which was that he didn't actually know how much it would cost,  and to ask the man.

I was busy cooking, so I couldn't listen very well, not to mention, I was upset with myself for not checking the jar pasta sauce properly in the fridge and used up the next jar.  It was supposed to be for Papi, the plumber and I, but Papi had to go out to buy more and driving at night here is not very safe.

He put the crumpled wad of bills in my pocket as I cooked and ventured out to the store in fear of every minute the sun was setting.

I didn't hear anything Papi said past the money for the plumber is in my pocket, and even if I did hear it, I didn't remember.

I gave the guy the whole fucking roll of bills.  It was beyond the amount Papi meant me to give.

Papi was so mad at me that I couldn't handle the energy that was exuding from him.  I felt I had to go hide in the guest bedroom alone.

My alone place.

We can't be in the same bed right now, because the master bed hurts my back too much and cripples me.

We can't sleep in the guest bed together because there isn't enough room for the 2 of us and dogs, even if they are small.

Alone I cried self-loathing tears.

I hate myself sometimes and wish I could just be my normal self again instead of telling myself I'm a moron.

These are those times that I feel it would just be easier to die.

I'm hurting from people attacking us online.

I'm hurting from a lack of trust in our space.

I'm hurting from being in survival mode and needing to protect ourselves from so many people.

I am sure this will get better.  I believe it will when there aren't 30 strange men in my yard watching my every move.

I am sure once we don't have every child in the neighbourhood trying to play with our puppies and asking for food and money, we'll feel it's our home.

I am sure once we don't have a security guard begging for more money every night after we give him his earnings for his job, we'll feel less guilty for protecting ourselves.

I told the house maid that everyone thinks that just because we're white that we have a lot of money, but that it is not true.

I informed her that all our money is now taken from the wall, the pool and Mr. Extortion and we're living off credit cards.

I'm hoping she gets the picture.  It seemed like she did.

This morning, I'm feeling a little less on the suicidal side, but I'm pretty depressed.

This week's online attack of Papi and I, combined with exhaustion, begging from so many people, being taken by those we thought we could trust and the frustration of never have a functioning brain like I did before the motorcycle accident have taken their toll.

I am sure, once I can get back on my food plan, exercise in the pool and do my yoga, my body will compliment my brain and I will feel better.

i am intelligent

Monday, February 4, 2013

you don't know me.

Can I tell you how much I hate thieves without being called names for it?

Any colour, age, class, gender, nationality or any other difference someone has from one another, I hate thieves.

To me, 'they' are only one step below a sexual predator.

Yet somehow, Papi and I were called racist because we referred to the thieves here as 'they'.

I'm back in fucking pronoun hell just like I was a few years ago when I struggled with my love going through the male transformation.

I'm so fucking sick of the Vancouverite, uber politically correct people and their finger pointing.

We got nothing but trouble from the 'community' in Vancouver for NOT being perfectly dishonest.  We thought we escaped it by coming here.

Well in the world of social media, 'they' just attacked us on Facebook instead.

We are supposed to keep our mouths shut about everything and anything that we don't like.

If we don't, we're called racist, transphobic, selfish, you fucking name it.

'They' stole from us, the thieves, yet we're called racist for being upset, because 'they' are of colour and from a developing country.

For fucks sakes.  The Pool Man's wife is Dominican and she's the one telling us how almost all the people will scam us here and how we've already been robbed.

Yet we're being racist by calling thieves 'they'.

I came here with so much love.

I poo-poohed anyone who said it's not a good idea give to the people here.

'They', who poo-poohed me, said, "If you give, they'll take too much and rob you."

I didn't believe it.  We wanted to give, give, give.

Give, give, give we did.

We brought gifts and every day we unpacked them we gave it to people we thought would be family.

What did we get for it?  Robbed.  I've now noticed my toiletries have dwindled in only 2 weeks of being here.

I wanted to bring my favourite treats to the people in my village when we got here as a 'hello' and 'thank you for letting me be here in your space'.

Now I won't.  Instead, I'll give my time to an organization where I can leave afterward without anyone knowing where we live.

We have a security guard in which we are overcharged for, but we keep paying it until the pool and walls are done.

Yet still, every time I go out to bring him water, juice, pop, beer, snacks he asks for more money, because he says his baby is starving, then turns around and tells me his baby is drinking lots of milk from the mother.

Sorry, but we are paying you fairly for your job.  We are not stealing from you.  We are giving.  We are not being selfish, but we are not responsible for the well being of every person we know.  We are dependent only upon ourselves.

We really can't afford to pay him, the house maid and gardener and are running out of money, but we hired people because we were told it helps the 'community'.

Yet we're called selfish because we don't want to be broke and living in a shack.

I received a settlement for my motorcycle accident, and we're selfish because we chose to give ourselves a dream life with the money.

Instead, we were basically told we deserve to be robbed because of it.

Let me tell you, if a white, Canadian asshole robs me, I hate them just as much.

Yet because we've come to another country where we're the foreigner, if we vent our feelings about things we worked hard for being stolen, we're called racists and selfish.

One person thought that because 'they' were stealing and are so broke, we should wrap up our things in a gift with a nice big bow, as to say, "Here.  You need this."

To thieves it will say, "Here.  Thank you for stealing from us.  You're welcome to take anything you like because we are just weak, stupid pushovers."

To some people, we're supposed to just take it and give them chance after chance.

I'm sorry, but there are no second chances.  I won't be fooled again.

Today, no matter what the uber politically correct say, I will not allow myself to eat in anger.  That was 2 nights in a row that I used food as a drug to soothe my emotions and both nights wound up nauseas, feeling crappy and having visits from the Anorexia Monster.

Go ahead.  Call me what you want.

I don't fucking care what you think about me and who you think I am.  You have no fucking idea.

I know in my heart I'm a good, generous person who came here with loving intentions and got fucked over for it.

i am aware of my eating habits and how they affect my moods

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mr. Extortion was back.

The roosters are crowing.

The sun is shining.

I'm moving from this lying down place to the outside to watch the pool get built.

It's my new TV.

Here's yours: episode 2.


Yesterday, Mr. Extortion showed up in our yard again.

At first I was thinking to myself, "What the fuck are YOU doing in MY fucking yard!?!?!" and was about to ask him such.

Then I remembered I can't take the guy on.  He's corrupt and fucking scary.

But that didn't stop me from having Pissy Face.

My Pissy Face wasn't as covert as Papi would have liked, prompting him to say, "You are looking really upset.  Stop it."

To which I replied, "It's my fucking house and my fucking yard.  I can have any fucking face I want on MY fucking property."

The reason I was mostly angry, was Mr. Extortion just showed up unannounced and was hanging out with our house maid, all best buddy, chatty chatty.

Smiles wide.

You know why?

They both had on beautiful new clothes.

Other than his designer jeans and fancy man top, dude had on a brand new pair of gorgeous white Doc Martins.


Hell.  I can't afford that.

Know why?

BECAUSE HE TOOK ALL OUR FUCKING MONEY!!!!

So, there they are, all decked out in brand new duds and I'm sitting in an 2nd hand dress that is destroyed by way of her fucking bleach.

They sure looked nice in their new clothes.

Apparently, he was here just to 'make sure nothing NEW was being done'.

They are not the suffering developing world people I thought they were.

Nor are they are ever using Papi or I for any more cash.

Then she crossed the line.

When it was time to talk to our plumber, who is my biggest hero in the world right now, ...

... damn it's nice to have a warm shower again!! ...

... the house maid decided that she would follow Papi in to eavesdrop on their conversation about how much we're being charged for our water to be fixed.

Fortunately, he told Papi he'd tell us tomorrow, so she didn't get the inside scoop.

But damn.

She's really making herself at home here.

She lived here for 11 months while the house sat empty, so she feels like it is hers.

It's not anymore.

And bringing in strangers who's husbands are in jail, not to mention Mr. Extortion is really not cool.

There will be some changes around here, because now I'm so fucking angry that I have no qualms about telling her what I expect out of an employee.

We will never be giving her any more than the money we give her while she's employed.

Which isn't for much longer.

Her family is not our DR Family any longer.

Let me tell you.

I am so angry, that after all was said and done and there was nobody left in our yard, I ate an entire bag of corn chips in seconds flat.

I hate it when I have an angry eating episode, but even more horrible is the fact that I was so nauseas from eating all the crap!!!

OK.

So, I got that off my chest.

Now I'm going to go outside and watch the concrete dry.



i let go of my anger so i can see clearly.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

trust is broken

I couldn't write to you yesterday, because our internet was out in the morning.

Welcome to a developing country!!

So.  What we've now learned is we were overcharged for our wall.

By our house maid.  Who took a cut.

And she is the one who told the authorities to come extort cash from us about our wall, in which she took a cut of also.

This has disheartened me greatly.

Not to mention the fact that I have to rewash every dish she cleans, because they're not up to my cleanliness standards when they still have chunks of food dried on.

I've already had to talk to her about the bleach that ruined the only clothes I brought, all my favourites from Canada, and now I have to talk to her about the dishes.

I'm not paying someone to rinse them off and throw them in the rack.

I can do that, but I won't, because I'm a germaphobe.

Anyway, I now know that I need to be harder and tell her to clean things up to par.

I fucking hate this!  I'm not a 'boss' like that!

Unless, of course, you're on four legs and have an abundance of fur.

However, now I have to be with her.  I can't trust her, and I have to teach her.

Papi goes on to the DR1 Forum and chats with expats there.  They told him we have to train our house maids because they are not very good.

How can she not be?  She has been a maid forever!!!!!

I guess nobody wanted to tell her.

I also noticed that she does the bare minimum and then is 'done'.  She doesn't clean for the 5 hours we hire her for.  She sweeps, throws a mop around, rinses the dishes then does a load of laundry and leaves.

I had to wash the counters off because of the grease that had accumulated over the years that she never properly cleaned.

I'm so frustrated and I don't want to be a 'boss', but we're not paying her for fun people!!!  We're not so rich that we can give money away for free.  We could do without paying someone to be here, but she guilted us in to hiring her when we bought the house!!!

You see, the last people were guilted into hiring her and the people before them were, and so on and so on.

We also learned we have to get her to sign a document stating when she started working, because the other scam is that people will say they've worked for 7 years and sue for severance pay, even if they only worked for a month.

Now that we are learning about how people operate because of the colour of someone's skin, I understand how it becomes 'us' and 'them'.

It's NOT what I wanted.

I wanted to be part of the DR Family.

I wanted to have love from our new neighbours.

I wanted to immerse myself into their 'community'.

I wanted to be accepted for 'me', the loving, giving person.

I don't get to have that.

The Pool Man and his Dominican wife are teaching us all about how people operate their scams, and it has really saddened me.

The Dominican wife told us not to trust her.  That she is the one calling the authorities who extort money from us.

I wanted so bad to believe that she was trust worthy and have faith in her.  I was wrong.

We've been taken.

I didn't want to believe it, until I realized something about the temporary guard we have.

The first day we hired him, she told us he was $1,000 pesos.  The next night when we were going to pay him directly, she told us it's now only $700 pesos.

Why?  Because she took a $300 pesos cut the first night.

She wants us to hire her friends to do 'this' and 'that' all over the place here, even if they don't know how to do it.

No more.

I'm not hiring one more person from her, because I don't need to pay a finder's fee for every job that needs to be done, plus I need the job done by a professional.

Like the Dominican wife says, "They'll never tell you that they can't do a job."

Now, I have to be a 'boss', and I don't like it.

my confidence reigns in any business setting