Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

a deadly combination

It was 'Accomplish Nothing Day' yesterday.

Except for hiding from gunshots echoing throughout the village.

I feel like I've gotten used to the sound of guns going off, but yesterday was a completely different story.

There was a lot of partying going on in the village.

In the whole country for that matter.

On the DR1 Forum, there was a lot of chitting and chatting about the drinking that is going on.  I thought maybe it was just in my village, but it sounds like my folks are not the only people self-medicating.

Things should be quiet until about 1pm today, when everyone goes for a bite of the hair of the dog.

Then the gunshots will probably resume.

Guns and alcohol.

A VERY deadly combination.

Scary enough, that it prompted me to keep mine close by, just in case one soul who's alcohol gave him more courage than usual were to come into my space and threaten me.

I was alone, because Papi was out trying to find propane for our stove and shower.

Old school.

Drive to the station and fill it up.

But of course, nothing was open, because it is Semana Santa.

Hopefully we'll find something open until noon today to make sure we can cook our food tonight.

As I listened to the gunshots, I would look out to see the guard next door standing on the property wall like a banshee.

It was either him shooting, or he was making sure whomever else was shooting knew he had a shotgun.

Not much unlike myself.

I walked around boldly with my gun in hand, holding it how I've been taught so as not to have any possible accidents, but obvious enough that anyone peeking through our gate would see it.

I would call Papi periodically to see if he was ok.

Sometimes, it was to appease my paranoia that he'd joined the country in the drunk fest.

However, he wasn't drinking.  It was just that it took him 3 times as long to get home, because everyone was driving 10 km/hr to make sure they didn't hit the staggering people all along the road.

When he returned, it was time to pay the Housemaid and Dominican Daddy.

They thought he was really there to join the party.

Poor love.  Pulled in every direction in the village, every person showing them how their party was better than the next, and each one of them begging for money.

All he wanted to do was gift our working family with some fiesta rum, and their paycheck.

Unfortunately, if you give a gift, it just means you're a target for non-stop begging.

It really is a drag.

I will be giving a gift of time soon.

That has no financial value to anyone, just 'time' to teach kids music.

Maybe it will be different then?

Maybe that gift won't prompt anyone to beg for more money?

It's honestly draining.

Day in, day out.

The moment someone sees your white skin, all they see you as is money.

It's hard to make friends.

I'd like to just have some friends.

I feel like in just a short, not quite 3 months, a lot of my friends back home have slipped away, just like the old adage: Out of sight, out of mind.

I feel like I have to hold on a little tighter to the ones who actually make an effort.

I'm feeling a little desperate for love.

It's kinda lonely and scary out here.

i keep my heart open to the possibility of new friendship

Friday, March 29, 2013

Semana Santa

One thing about living in the Caribbean is the storms.

Good storms!

Perhaps that's why I haven't been able to get internet long enough to write a blog for the past few days.

I hope none of you were worried?

No.  No worry.  We were out of our minds with how busy we were, and the internet was so intermittent that I couldn't get on for more than a few minutes.

Which is sometimes good.  We had a little more time to just be together and be happy once more.

I'm gaining trust every day.

Now, in my yard, there is a mango tree, a lime tree, and a 2nd avocado tree.

Make no mistake, I'll still be waiting for a few years for avocados.  One of them is only a stick that was destroyed when the wall was built.

The other is about the same height, only it actually has leaves.  Regardless of the state they're both in, within a few years, I will have my own avocados.

My veggie garden is built and if the internet permits, I'll be ordering my organic seeds from Canada today.

This weekend in the Dominican Republic, there is a celebration called Semana Santa.

It's a holy weekend menat to celebrate Jesus, not much unlike Easter in North America.

For us, it means we get to have a break from workers for a few days, before the next job of landscaping and a new roof begins.

However, here's what I don't understand about the celebrations here.

They have a festival, or party, or celebration every few weeks it seems.

Most of them are about religion, and they celebrate their g*d by getting rip roaring drunk.

You can't drive around during these times, because you'll be sure to hit someone staggering in the streets.

Not to mention, during this week, the celebration starts at noon each day and people are drunk by 1 p.m., then doing donuts in the streets on their motorcycles, without helmets or a care in the world that a truck could be coming around the corner.

This seems to be the same for every Sunday as well.

Here, Sunday is g*d's day and nobody works, leaving Papi and I in a lurch if we need anything, because we're so used to 7 days a week availability in Canada.

Instead, of working, or observing their religion however, people just get drunk.

My question is, why the hell is every celebration just about getting hammered?

Is this really what is intended for these days of religious reflection?

There doesn't seem to be any spirituality surrounding any of these holy days.

To me, it just looks like an opportunity to get drunk and fuck, making babies for people who already can't afford more.

Not to mention, they can't afford condoms, but even if they could, their religion would say it's wrong to stop the making of more babies.

But hey, it's ok to not have enough food to feed their children, then accost me every time they see me, begging for money to feed the children they can't afford.

To the poor we are definitely rich.  They don't realize we're living off credit cards right now.

I'm sorry, but I wasn't the one drunk and couldn't keep my pecker in my pants.

You made your choices, and how the hell can I be responsible for every person who is pregnant?

And there are a lot.

Everywhere.  Everyone is pregnant.  Including all the dogs.

This weekend for me, means I get a break from stuttering through my Spanish while trying to communicate with workers about what I am hiring them for.

This weekend for me means nobody meddling in my business, nor people asking for money.

This weekend for me means some alone time with Papi, training for puppies and maybe a dip in the pool with The Donkey.

That's how I'll celebrate it.

Maybe, because everyone else is getting drunk in the country, it means the angels will have more time to chat with me?

Maybe I'll practise meditation again and see how far I get with my short attention span being pulled by psychotic puppies chewing EVERYTHING they can get their razor teeth on.

Instead of getting drunk in the name of Jesus, Papi and I will have some well needed quality time.

the company of strangers teaches me more about what i like and what i don't like

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

nowhere to hide ...

I feel a little speechless, but I'm sure that will end once I start to type a few words.

Before the motorcycle accident, I would use music to hide from the problems of my world.

I don't have my music system set up yet.  I still need a few pieces.  There are so many other priorities that get attention first, that neither of us gets to play.  It's all work.

Today we deal with the electrician, carpenter, car mechanic, the person for rocks, and the security system people.  Those are just the things that I have to buzz around and watch people do.

Then there's the dogs who need serious training, Papi needing to put handles on all the doors and finish putting our security cameras through the concrete walls, and somewhere in there, I try to make a healthy meal to counter attack being in a constant sweat from running up and down stairs, and in and out of the yard all day long.

This is a typical day.

There's a reason we're both feeling stress.  This is how it has been since the day we arrived.  As soon as one thing is done, another zaps us of our energy.

After all of the above is finished, then we need to get all new shutters for our house, because the sea air has completely destroyed what is currently here, then after that is completed, we need a new roof for the house and carport.

It may seem like that is all someone else's job, but it's not really.  We are in need of constant communication with people, and mostly that's my job, because I'm the one who speaks Spanish.

So, when I look at how Papi had difficulty dealing with the stress of it all, the guilt of leaving G'ma behind and just wanting to escape reality, I can understand the 'why'.

One thing I can't understand, is people who have NEVER been in Papi's situation of leaving behind G'ma, judging him.

If they knew how much love and how many years of care he put into helping her, and just how much work it is dealing with someone with Alzheimer's, they'd shut their trap and tell Papi it is indeed time to live his life.

They add to his already debilitating guilt when they say, "How can you leave her?" making Papi feel even worse.

To all of you who would judge: walk a fucking mile in my love's shoes and you'll see.  Until then, shut your fucking traps.  She's in a care facility that cares for her WELL beyond what we could ever do for her.

We thought of kidnapping her and bringing her here, but she doesn't want to be here.  She wants to be with her church people.  So there she stays.

Anyway, yesterday seemed as though things may be getting better.

I trusted that he wasn't going to drink, but only because there was no more alcohol in the house.

We keep beer here for the workers.  Their eyes light up at the end of the day when we pass them a can.

My love got that generosity from his G'pa.  Workers get a beer at the end of their day, in a small effort to say, "Thank you," beyond the paycheck.

So, alcohol is in the house, but it's just not a good idea right now.  Papi is in a weak place.

Yesterday, the last can was distributed, and our car was taken away by the mechanic to complete the repairs.

So, I guess to be fair, it wasn't really trust that had me relaxed yesterday, it was more like we were stranded and there was no mischief for him to get into.

But still, I felt lighter yesterday.

I still can't help but think the best and feel that Papi is serious when he says he 'doesn't want to be another Whitney Houston' dying by being drunk and drowning in the pool.

Since the last few days, I look at that pool and all I can see is my love, bobbing around in the floaty seat in the middle of the night, passed out with a beer cradled on his stomach.

It will take a while for that image to get out of my head.  The pool looks like the enemy right now.

That is of course, with the exception of when The Donkey goes in for a dip.

She walks right in, heads out to the middle, paddles around for a while with a massive smile on her face, then returns and sits on the top stair to chill.

Right now, it's HER pool.  I like it.  It takes away from the bad memory I see every day.

Maybe one day, there won't be any more workers in my yard, and I can enjoy the pool and make better memories for myself.

However, for right now, I look at that floaty seat and think how close I was to the possibility of losing mi esposo to alcoholism.

That disease will get you one way or another.

There is no escape.

I wish I could make some music to take myself away.

Far, far away.

i believe in my ability to unlock the way and set myself free

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm a fucking wreck.

Here's your weekly YouTube show:



Yesterday, a Blogger Friend asked me why I'd need a vacation, if i live in a house on the beach with a pool.

I didn't even have the energy to tell him how much work this was, but I tried.  How could I explain to someone that this is not easy?

Everyone out there believes we've moved to paradise, because we believed we moved to paradise.

We didn't.  We moved to a gorgeous view and wonderful weather that heals my wounds, but it's more work than I've ever experienced in my life.

More work than I had before, and healing from, my motorcycle accident.  More work than Papi has ever experienced as well.

We try to convince each other that it will get better.  He reminds me that my Eternal Friend told me to give it three months.

Supposedly, it will calm down after that.  I feel like it will never end.

It is part of the reason Papi drank.  Again.

I found him on a floaty in the pool, beer in hand.  I screamed his name but he didn't hear, because he was too drunk.

I pulled his floaty to the front where I could pull him out, then smacked him in the face until he woke up from his drunken stooper.  I then convinced his drunk ass to get out of the pool before he killed himself.

I tried to get online to book a ticket home, but there was not enough money in my bank account, so I asked him to book it for me from the credit we had in his JetBlue account.

He said he wouldn't.  Right.  Then if you aren't going to help me leave, we're going to talk.

Every single time he started to doze off in bed, I sprayed his face with the spray bottle intended for disciplining the animals.

"Stop it!!!!  Why do you keep doing this?!?!" he begged.

"Because, if I'm going to be awake, crying and miserable all fucking night so are you.  Then you're going to tell me why you think it's ok for me to possibly find my husband dead in the pool?  I'm not sticking around to watch you die.  You can be alone to do that."

But he was dozing during my monologue again.  So I sprayed.  "Stop it!!!  I'm awake!!!  Why do you have to keep spraying me?!?!?!"

"Because I feel like hitting you, and this is the only other option."

"Well, why don't you hit me then if it will make you feel better!"

"It wouldn't make me feel better, that's why I'm spraying you," as I sprayed him again.

That must have woken him up enough to talk.  He cried violent tears from the guilt leaving the G'ma alone in a home with Alzheimer's, and how tired he is from everything we have to do here.

Between the guilt and the exhaustion, he's wanting to escape reality.

I get it.  I would love to as well.  Reality is, nothing comes for free.

There is no paradise without a cost.  Our cost is a stress level every minute of every day, that is beyond belief.

It is waking up every day to work that doesn't quit until we actually sleep.  Even then there's work to do, because when you hear a gun shot in the middle of the night, Papi is up stalking the grounds with our gun, and I'm chasing after him to see what's going on.

Nothing is free.  Even our relationship.

He has vowed to start going to the only AA meeting there is here, and I've decided to find the spouses of these folks and start an Al-Anon meeting, or perhaps some reasonable facsimile thereof.

We all know how I feel about the 'g*d' word in these rooms, but still, I need it.

I'm crazy with running around, sniffing him to see if he has drank again, checking the garbage for ber cans, hearing him open doors and running out to find out where he's going (because obviously he's going to go to Cabarete and drink again, not let the dogs out to pee, right??!?!), begging him not to drink when he's up past my bedtime.

Seriously.  I'm a fucking wreck, but I can't leave the relationship yet.

He has promised to work, not that you can EVER trust an alcoholic's word.  Not ever.  I'm just going to have to have some faith that he does want this relationship to continue like he says.

Trust comes with time and every time he rolls his eyes at the evidence of my paranoia of him drinking again, I tell him to cut it out, because his drinking the reason I'm in this position of hyper-triggered P.T.S.D.

I see every ex who has harmed my trust and faith, I see my father who cared more for his addiction than he did for his children, I see no good endings.

I don't believe in good endings with addiction, because I haven't experienced any, and losing the greatest relationship I've ever had makes me feel like life isn't worth anything.

So, I stay, and I work, hoping that he will too, in every other corner of our lives.

We need a vacation.

i must know what awaits me at the end of this rope, so i do not give up

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Vacation - Part 5, The Big Ending

It was time to drive home, after spending 3 days in the capitol, and finally feeling like I'd forgiven Papi for drinking, albeit, not trusting that it wouldn't happen again.

You can never trust an active alcoholic to tell you the truth.  That trust is built with time.

Upon leaving the hotel, we were told of a new route.

It was a new road that was straight, safe and not many people traveled, so not many chances of an accident.

It was barren alright.  It had us worried about the possibility of breaking down, as there wasn't a store, a person, nor any help anywhere.

We had a little anxiety about cars breaking down since we traded in the jalopy, even though this newer car worked well.  We were still gun shy.

At the first of 3 toll booths, we found the ONLY gas station on the highway.  We filled our tank full, and at that same time, I also filled up on the best tasting ribs I'd ever experienced.

When I'm nervous, I gorge.

Oh, I ate those scrumptious delicacies and even shared a little with Sir Bark-A-Lot, forcing us to suffer the wrath of his bowels assaulting us with his stench 30 minutes later.

After a few hours, we got to the end of the stretch of highway with not a soul in sight, but then had the daunting task of finding our way home.

We were hours away.

We didn't take the turn off we needed, because true to any developing country, most people driving know the roads and know which donkey to turn left at, hence there are no signs.

We were now driving for another hour, realizing we were probably lost.

Stopping at a gas station to fill up again, we had hopes that the guy could tell us how to get home.  It seemed like we had someone who knew what he was talking about.

He told us to go back the way we came and take the Las Terrenas exit.

We found it, then realized all roads led us to nowhere, in circles, winding back up where we started from, further from our house.

We decided that the guy obviously didn't know what he was talking about and headed back toward him to pass him by and carry on for a while.  It was now 2 in the morning as we passed familiar landmarks we had already seen, but we needed to find someone to help us.

Papi was way too tired, and needed me to drive.  No problem.  There doesn't seem to be anyone who will stop me to check if I have a license.

We wound up in a city called Samaná.  It was a mind fuck.  Every street was a circle and we couldn't get out.

We kept winding up in the same place we started, just like in Las Terrenas, even though we tried every avenue we could find.  The only one left was the one we came in on, and that wasn't an option.  We weren't driving 5 hours back to the capitol.

There were some people drinking at the side of the road, and I did my best, 'I'm tough don't fuck with me, but I need your help' attitude.

They were indeed good people and we followed them as they drove their motorcycle out of the city to help us leave.  Again, we were heading back to the capitol, but with a switch.

We had to turn off at a city called Nagua.  Oh, I drove.  For another hour.

By the time we reached this city, Papi had been snoring for at least 30 minutes, and the car started to overheat.  As it just reached red, I put the car into neutral, hazard lights on and coasted for a while.

It seemed to do the trick.  The arm lowered.  But I was scared shitless that we were going to be stuck, and had I started to get bleary eyed and tired, so I woke Papi.

"Can you drive?  I'm starting to fall asleep at the wheel."

It was 4 a.m. when he looked at his watch, slurring tired words, "Pull over, we're sleeping at the side of the road."

We've been told NEVER to do this, but what was our option?  To fall asleep at the wheel and kill ourselves?  At this point, we'd been driving for about 9 hours and didn't care if someone robbed and beat us.  We just needed to sleep.

We found a nice little graveyard and across the street was a gate that looked like it belonged to people with money.

They would understand two gringos passed out in their driveway, I'm sure.

6:30 a.m. came, I woke up with neck and back pain from hell, then looked behind our car, noticing that the gate was open, and the owners allowed us to keep sleeping.  We definitely chose the right house.

We actually made it home an hour later to the Dominican Daddy and the Housemaid both petrified as to what had happened to us, both wide awake waiting for us to return and release them from their job of protecting Casa Paraíso.

Return we did.

From now on, we take The Moca, even if it is the most terrifyingly treacherous road in the country.

We need a vacation from our mini-vacation, but true to our adventure here, that is not going to happen.

i follow my dreams no matter what

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Vacation - Part 4

This was my opportunity to replace all the clothes that the Housemaid destroyed.

I needed pants, shorts, shirts and definitely needed new shoes.

Not that the Housemaid destroyed my shoes.

It is just that I only have one pair of flip flops and a 2nd pair of fancy little forest green sandals that will only go with about 2 outfits.

What I need is a sturdy pair of walking sandals.

Leather, with a durable walking sole.

We actually asked for directions this time and guess what?  It only took us 20 minutes to get to the mall.

This was going to be a dream!

We brought along Sir Bark-A-Lot, because we didn't want to leave him in the hotel room.

This is where the trouble started.

We knew that Sir Bark-A-Lot's carrying case was broken, but we didn't expect him to try to escape consistently.

When people would see the little case jerking back and forth, they'd ask us if there was a dog in there.  We admitted it, thinking about all the restaurants in our area that allowed dogs to freely walk around, so why wouldn't a mall?

Besides, he was in a carrying case and couldn't destroy anything around him.

It wasn't allowed in the Argon mall.  The capitol was more like Vancouver with it's rules and regulations.

We were told we'd be kicked out if security saw him.

So, now it was a race against time to get everything we needed without getting caught with the dog.  We couldn't put him in the car.  He would die from heat.

We had to separate, and store by store we ran around with panic, looking for the items we needed.

Then I got the phone call from Papi, "They saw him and they're making me leave the mall now.  But they're making me leave at a different exit, and I don't know where the car is!!!"

THIS was where the adventure began.

We now own a car that looks like every single other car out there.  Not to mention, it's so new that we didn't remember our license plate number.

We couldn't remember our floor or how to get to it, and this truly was a large mall, being one of the biggest in the capitol.

As much as security wanted us out, we also needed their help.  Every exit, we told each guard what our car looked like and that the only distinguishing marks were that it had a tiny sticker on the back window of a hand and a cracked front windshield.

Oh, also that the license plate had three 9's in it.

They said they found it, but when we went to see 'our car', it of course was a different car of the same make and colour, with a few 9's in the plate.

For two hours, we came in and out of exits, with security shaking their heads at us, some shaking for 'no' we couldn't go into the mall with the dog and others with 'wtf' is the matter with you two?  Why can't you find your car?!?!

At the end of two hours, it was close to the mall's closing time and close to our tipping point, and Papi had an idea.

"Let's hire a taxi to drive us around the parking lot until we find our car.  I don't care how much it costs."

So, off we went to the front door, found our help and put all our items in his trunk.

He drove us to the entrance we came in, in hopes that it would spark memory as to where we parked.

Amazing.

Within one turn in the mall, we found our car and almost kissed the guy.  Papi tipped him big time.

Then the security guard who was standing by our car told us he remembered us and if we had've come out that ONE door, he would have shown us where our car was.

I guess it was the ONLY door we didn't manage to leave through, because we sure as hell tried every other one.

But we left with a few items and decided the next day we'd return with a better dog concealer.  There was still so much more we needed and it was our only opportunity to shop, being that we are not able to find the time to leave our house with all the repairs we need to be done.

We did return the next day, bought a better carrier, and then it was time to get home.

Another adventure ensued.

This time, in the dark streets of the Dominican Republic, with absolutely no idea where we were going.

But at least we had our car and a full tank of gas.

i kindly ask for help and guidance if i cannot see a better way

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Vacation - Part 3

That alarm went off way too early.

It was time to go to the immigration office.  The real reason we were here.

We were smart about it.  We took a taxi.

This was a REAL taxi.  No sitting on laps.  We had our own seat.

When we were dropped off, we waded through at least a hundred people in the front door.

It seemed this would have been the busiest area of the building.  Wrong.  We had to meet the lady in the cafeteria.  So did everyone else.

We were lucky that we snagged a seat for my aching feet, as I was wearing a suit with a jacket and heels in Dominican heat.

When our person showed up 20 minutes late, we were happy we would be able to go into the building.

There MUST be air conditioning, no?  No.  This is where the real fun was.

At least 500 people crammed into a room, all waiting for one teller to start their proceedings.

This is when we realized we paid a good chunk of money to the lawyer for a damn good reason.

SHE stood in our lineups.  SHE dealt in Spanish and just had us sign papers without any problems.

It gave Papi and I time to talk about all that had gone on over the past few days.

I told him, "The scariest part for me is that you keep saying you don't think you're an alcoholic.  You will continue to get drunk until you realize you can't have just one drink."  He begrudgingly admitted to me that he knows he is.  That he just wanted to be like everyone else and have a drink at the side of the pool.

"But we're not 'everyone else'," I told him.

Then he asked me about my part in this, "You seriously didn't enjoy having a drink?"

"Nope.  It was too much like being on pain killers and I want to be as far from that feeling as possible.  I like feeling coherent, alive and awake."

Lucky for me.  Not so for Papi.  He likes it.

After 3 hours of waiting in really uncomfortable seats in a really hot room with 500 people, it was finally time to go to the medical office.

This was the real reason Papi has had so much anxiety.  We were told they watch you pee.  My love was terrified that someone was going to notice he had no penis, and the transphobia would set in.

Turns out, he had nothing to worry about.  They really didn't stare at his crotch.  He went in, did his business and he was done.

However, then it was my turn.

I had performance anxiety.  I can't pee on demand, unless I really have to go.

I sat there for a while and finally said, "I can't!"  She sent me out to the hall to drink 2 litres of water.

Papi told everyone my problem and everyone laughed because I couldn't pee.  We had a good chuckle getting to know the family waiting along side us.

Then the devil lady who stood in all our lines was angry.  "I have to go pick up my kids!!!  What is the problem?  Why can't you pee?!?!?"

Sure.  Yell at me.  That will make it come out faster.  Why don't you just come kick me in the box?  Maybe that will help too?

Swearing in Spanish, pacing back and forth, she finally left and Papi tried to calm her down.

Then I felt it!  I can pee!  I told the woman I could, but she wanted me to wait a little longer to be sure.

Oh great.  Devil lady will be really happy about this.

When she finally let me in and I did my deed, I felt like I won a prize.  I strutted out of that office like a queen, even though everyone else there didn't know why I was so proud.

The family we had a chuckle with was long gone.

Now we had to go to the hospital for our X-Rays and we were done.

Devil lady yelled, "Take this taxi and go by yourselves.  I have to leave.  He will take your papers and give them to me later."

Really?  We're just going to give some dude our personal information to give you later?  I guess if we have to we will.

The best part about it was, after we were done, he drove us straight home and we didn't have to sit on laps again.  Twice in one day was a true treat!!

The day didn't end there.

There was still time for shopping.  Necessary shopping.  It was time to replace all the bleach bombed clothing the Housemaid destroyed.

Off we went, the chihuahua in hand to get in a little retail therapy.

We just didn't know what we were in for.

We were famous among security guards, that's for sure.

i accept responsibility if my anger has hurt anyone

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Vacation - Part 2

Google maps.

They SUCK here on the island of the Dominican Republic, even in the capitol.

We decided to follow the Google instructions and drive the route given.

No, we didn't ask the hotel for help, because that would have made sense.

We weren't making anything easy for ourselves.  We never seem to do so.

Off we went, driving back through the streets we just came through, thinking we'd figure out the way to get back to Ikea, because we saw it when we first drove in to the city.

What I'm learning, is that even though there is realistic terror of people who could harm us, there are an overwhelming amount of good people.

Good people who want to help us, who seem to be guided by angels to cross our path, tipping the scales toward positivity, allowing us to feel great support here.

Ikea should have only taken 20 minutes to drive to, but not for us.

2 hours through insanity of no driving rules, cars that have bumps and dings in them that make them look beyond a beater, and darkening skies that threatened our shopping time.

We could have given up, but we were so desperate to get the items we need for our home, so we kept driving the streets of the capitol.

I yelled out the window at people to ask for where Ikea was, but dammit, it didn't even occur to me that the reason they didn't understand me was because they don't say Ikea the way we would in English.

Of course they would say it in their own accent: Ee-kay-a, not: Eye-kee-a.  Hence, not a soul could understand what the hell I was asking for.

Finally, we stopped at a gas station and dammit if there wasn't the absolute sweetest woman to help me.

I told her I wanted to go to Ikea, and again her head cocked as if to say, "What?"

I said it was a big store with tables and chairs and beds on the main street of John F. Kennedy.

Her eyes lit up! "Si!  Ee-KAY-a!!"  She then told me we were very far away.

She did give us instructions, however, between the language barrier, the sun going down and lack of signage in the city, we wound up driving toward the airport on the other side of the city, instead of our shopping destination.

Person after person, we stopped and asked, now pronouncing the name properly, and eventually our weaving in and out of traffic we found John F. Kennedy, and within minutes, we found Ikea.

We only had one hour to shop for bedroom furniture and other odds and ends we really needed that we just can't find on our side of the island.

Never in my life have I been the LAST person out of a store, escorted by guards with guns and employees giving us the stink eye, because we were taking way too long and they just wanted to go home.  Completely understandable.

They, however, don't understand how far we are from home and that we only had these few moments to get what we needed.

Well, we made it back to our car, the only one in the lot, accepting there was so much more we didn't have time to get.  Maybe the next day we could go back now that we know how to get there?!?

Fortunately, the drive home was much easier, with those 4 lanes of traffic becoming clear that they're really only 3 lanes, because it was late at night and there weren't cars stuck in the road like a parking lot.

Having left the hotel before dinner time, we were absolutely starving, but it was now 10 p.m.  We hoped we could eat at the hotel, even if it was room service.

When we arrived back, we very meekly asked if anything was open.

"Of course!  Right now the baseball game is on!  In the bar there is food.  It is the true Dominican experience!"

Excellent!  In we went to the restaurant to eat watch the Dominican Republic play against the Nederlands.

I had been told that Dominicans are CRAZY about their baseball, but I never expected to see what I saw.

Every time there was a home run, or the Dominicans gave the Nederlands an out, people ERUPTED!

People were jumping on tables, blowing horns.  Men were kissing one another, while women gyrated each other, waving their flags high and proud in the air, as the percussive instruments infused the airwaves with beats that melted my heart.

Every time it happened, people turned to look at my face, as I was so happy to see so much joy and giggled at their antics.

It was an opportunity to finally have the 'fun' that Papi and I needed after such a stressful few days.

The night ended with Papi admitting he can't drink just one drink, and me being grateful that we had time to be loving toward one another, not to mention, absolutely NO desire within me to drink.

Good thing it ended on a good note, because for day 2 of our 'vacation', we would need more patience than we could ever know.

i feel the love of those not physically around me

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Vacation - Part 1

I can't tell you how hard that first day was.

Nothing like being stuck in a car with someone who has just ripped your heart out, and knowing that you have to spend at least 3 hours in the car with them.

True to my suicidal nature, I was not mentally well.

I don't know that I would ever take my own life, but I'll tell you, I will beg the angels to do it for me.

Every car that Papi passed on the left, I would say to the angels, "Do it now while there's a car coming at us.  Head on collision.  Take us out together.  We're both suffering."

We could go together and live in a place where the pain would stop.

I didn't wear my seatbelt, because I thought for sure I could will an oncoming semi-trailer to do us in.

When Papi finally asked me why I'm not wearing it, I was honest, "If I get into another accident, I don't want to suffer through the pain again.  I just want to die in an instant.  I want this all to end."

Let it be known that when Papi relapses, we both suffer.

He has to live with the pain of a spouse who becomes suicidal.

I've lived with way too many alcoholics and drug addicts to know that this disease doesn't allow for love.

It robs all inklings of love.  I can't lose my soul mate to this.  Losing Papi to alcohol would be the final straw of my life, that seems to have so much goodness, but seems to be balanced out with so much pain at the same time.

He begged me, "Please, I don't want you to be unhappy.  I don't want to drink anymore."

"But you will.  You can't help it.  You're an alcoholic."

In frustration, mi esposo replied, "Can you just trust that I won't drink during this trip to the capitol?  You can go back to not trusting me after, but we're going for a mini-vacation.  Let's try to enjoy it and you can hate me when we get home."

He didn't get it.  "I don't hate you.  I couldn't ever.  I don't think you have any idea how much I love you.  But how do you expect me to just 'let this go'?"

I couldn't.  I didn't.

Until we actually hit the city.

We had pulled over so I could drive for part of the highway, while Papi slept off the effects of the alcohol the night before.  It was getting too dangerous for his bleary eyes to keep looking at the road, and besides, it was a really good highway with very few insane drivers.

That was of course, until we hit Santo Domingo.

I was slapping Papi in the leg, pushing him, as I begged him to wake up.  "We're here!  This is it!!"

He told me to pull over, but I decided that I'd had enough stress and wanted to drive myself, so that I know what's around me and I was in control.

I haven't had enough control over the the past few days.

So, no, I would drive.

I scared the shit out him as I found my place in 4 lanes of traffic where there were no lines, nor were there any rules.

I cut off people without a care in the world.

... hit me ... go ahead ... i don't fucking care anymore ...

But somehow, while being scared shitless in this driving chaos, I managed to get us to the malecon.

Then Papi had enough.  "Pull over.  I can't take it anymore.  You're going to give me a heart attack."

So, I did.  Then all of a sudden I noticed that the traffic was calm.  There were no more crazy drivers.

While we drove along side the beautiful Caribbean Sea in awe of it's beauty, we were actually talking for the first time since his drunkfest the night before.

We arrived at the hotel, illegally snuck in Sir Bark-A-Lot, who doesn't make a peep when he's in his carrying bag, and up to the hotel room we went.

This is when the adventure really began.

A trip to Ikea was in order to finally get our bedroom suite started.  The day was not over yet.

This little trip took us to adventure, where our Vacation began, and our communication followed suit.

It was at that point that I apologized to the angels for asking them to wipe me off the planet.

I felt bad that I had asked them to help me die, after all the love they'd given me.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a child, but this was the first time I had ever apologized for them.

I do want to live, but I'm so tired and all I want is for my emotional pain to stop.

i love and honour myself

Monday, March 18, 2013

life changed yesterday.

I don't know how this is going to end, but I know how it began.

I tried an experiment.

It went well.  I realize I don't feel like drugging my body with alcohol.

Papi started drinking again, and I decided that I didn't want to be the only sober person in the relationship, because I'd be stuck on the island of the Dominican Republic, isolated with an alcoholic and I'm not sure if I can handle it sober.

I felt I wanted to close my eyes to what was about to happen.

Well, I didn't really like the effects.  It reminded me too much of being on pain meds and that is not how I want to live.

It was the main reason for moving here.  To live better, and get off pain meds.

Papi looked at me, "I can't believe you're drinking.  Aren't you upset that you just lost 14 years of sobriety?"

I didn't feel that way.  "I didn't lose anything.  I gained 14 years of a better life."  It was at that moment that I knew I didn't really want to have the old life I had.

I suppose I had what they call a slip.  I'm not interested in continuing with drinking myself silly to avoid the problems I'm about to face.

I love my life the way it is, and everything I've gained.

Papi on the other hand, well, it looks like he would like to live his old life that is 'fun'.

I told him, "You can't drink just one drink.  Don't you remember how it ended with you crying at the side of the road in the DTES, crying on the curb?"

Because I sure as hell remember.

So, we shared 2 beers to begin the experiment.

I didn't even finish the 2nd beer.  I went to bed, to get ready for our trip to the capitol today, Papi stayed up then drove after those 2 beers to our neighbouring city, Cabarete, and drank some more.

He was drunk enough that someone drove him home.

I woke up at 5:15 to a very drunk spouse, staggering around the kitchen defending himself, "I'll be fine to drive in 5 hours."

No.

No you won't.

Looks like I'll be driving illegally for 3 hours to a strange city that is twice as dangerous as the one we're in today.

Looks like I'll be stranded on an island with none of my friends here to support me, and a bunch of people back home who won't even know the hell I'm going through, because they've dumped me emotionally, hiding my every word from Facebook.

Looks like I'll be living with an active drunk, hoping I don't become a victim of his alcoholism.

Looks like I'll be brainstorming ways to survive with 8 animals, living without support, and a person who will be drunk every day.

Looks like I'll be worrying about my spouse being beaten by locals as he goes out drinking with strangers who will take advantage of him when he's hammered.

Looks like our lives as we know it changed as of yesterday and I'm terrified of my future.

I've had thoughts that when it gets to be too difficult, there are options.  Some that are not a good idea to share here, lest I scare my readers and people who love me.

I got some footage of him passed out on the couch at around 6 a.m.

Food uneaten, dogs picking at the carcass of the remains, hopping all over him, fighting over the food.

He just lied there, completely unaware that they were even in his space, then finally tried swatting them away when The Donkey used his chest to lunge toward the littlest ones in defence of the piece he got first.

Mi esposo opened his blurry eyes, looked at me filming him, then handed me the dirty plate like I was his maid.

No, I'm not your maid, I'm not your keeper, and I'm not your drinking partner.

I am not supporting this.

I want the clean 'n sober life I built for 14 years.

I want the sober person I married to be back, but something tells me, life changes today.

Something tells me my life just got a hell of a lot more difficult.

I feel so alone I can't even tell you.

If I thought I had trouble with The Guard and the Housemaid and every other issue we've had here, I was wrong.

I feel hopeless.

i may not understand the good in this situation yet, but it is there

 (if you'd like to enjoy a happier day, you can watch our latest YouTube Show)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

money, money, money

Ah, the gringo tax.

So nice.

When people here don't put price tags on things, it is simply so they can look at the colour of your skin and charge accordingly.

Seriously people.

Have you seen the truck we drive?

We are not the 'rich' gringos.

All we want is an affordable car that will return us back home.

We're searching for a car lot that isn't near the tourists now, as they may have price tags on them.

It's the same with anything here, really.

If they give you a really high price, you say, "We're not tourists, we live here," and even if it's in a really bad Spanish accent, most of the time, they'll give you a better price.

Yesterday, we were looking for dressers and end tables for our bed that will be here in 3 more weeks.  They went crazy trying to charge us $1,000 for them.

We just said, "We're going to Ikea."

They actually have one here in the capitol, Santo Domingo, and we'll be there next week to work on our residency.  They'll deliver it as far as Santiago, where we can hire someone to pick it up.

I'm not driving The Moca again until we have a new vehicle.

We got the carpenter started on our bed frame.

We're getting the bed built tall enough that puppies can't get up and pee all over the place.

That is of course, with the exception of The Donkey.  She can pretty much go anywhere she pleases.

Like the roof.

Have I told you about the new roof we need?  Now we need it even more.

The balcony roof has been used for a litter box.  It's that grass roof style.  Perfect for piddling on, no?

The Mrs. figured out that she could just walk on out there and do her business, and not have to dirty her paws in the stink pit that would be shared by her two smelly cohorts, The Bastard Prince and Psycho Kitty.

And now, this means that the puppies are following suit.  And by puppies, I also mean The Donkey can fit through the barrier as well.

As much as she's very tall, she's quite thin, true to her breed.

We keep feeding her more thinking she's starving, but we'll have to get a handle on how much is enough, or we'll go broke feeding this girl.

Imagine a massive donkey/goat/dog on your roof, along with 2 naughty side kicks.

Thinking of it, I can see vet bills rising from broken limbs.

So, not only do we need a new roof, but we need a better barrier so those buggers don't get out there anymore.

I am now considering concrete and tiles, like the house, instead of grass.  As much as the grass looks cute, it has to be replaced more often.

Not to mention, The Mrs. will just pee on the new grass too.

She also has found another nice place to pee.

Our main bathroom shower.

We don't use the upstairs shower while we're living downstairs in the guest area, until we get our bed.

So, I guess The Mrs. decided it was for her.

I have 3 weeks to un-stink that shower.

I've already scrubbed twice.

If you're ever feeling bored, come to our house.

You will be grateful for your boredom and I will explain to you what it is to have 'down time'.

I would love some.

And a little more money for a new roof, rocks so we don't wash away, and a car that will get us from A to B.

i visualize myself having abundant wealth.  that is who i am.

Friday, March 15, 2013

'The Guard'

So, yesterday, as we were working with the carpenter on the bed frame specs, we of course had a visit from the Housemaid.

I forgot to lock the front gate.

I was a little perturbed at myself, to say the least.

She likes to meddle in our financial business and I kept asking her what it was she needed, while at the same time, trying to speak to the carpenter about the bed.

She would keep telling me, "No, finish with him and we'll talk."

Right, so you can find out how much he's charging us and get him to ask for a little more for you?

No thanks.

Seriously, Papi, you need to learn your Spanish so I'm not the only one chatting!!!

Finally, I isolated her downstairs, turned on Google Translate, who happens to be my best friend since arriving here, and began to ask what she specifically needed.

She pulled out a letter from her husband, the Dominican Daddy.

I typed it into the translator and found out some information that scared the hell out of me.

You see, we had 'The Guard' outside our house while the wall was being put up.

I suppose she trusted him to be there, because we were inside and he was just staying outdoors.

I trusted him, because he was the Dominican Daddy's cousin, and thought he was trustworthy if they were telling us to have him work for us.

Anyway, I had asked him to come watch Casa Paraíso while we are at the capitol next week, working on our residency.

Bad move.

First, he came to our house asking for an advance, because he was out of baby formula.

I paid him in advance for one day, then told him I'd pay him for the 2nd day when we returned.

The letter from the Dominican Daddy asked me if what I had paid 'The Guard' was for both days in advance, then went on to explain why he was asking in much more terrifying words.

He explained that even though he is his cousin, that we can't trust him.

The Housemaid then explained he's been in jail for robbery, not to mention is currently being investigated for robbing the last place he worked at as 'security'.

He sets up people for going away, then while they're gone, he and his fellow bandidos rob the person who he is supposed to be 'protecting'.

We've learned it happens a lot here, via the Pool Man and the DR1 Forum.

The Dominican Daddy told us he and his wife, the Housemaid, would watch the place.  I can trust them, as they don't overtly steal.  They just do it in the sneaky way, where they think we're not going to notice.

If they take a little toothpaste, tampons and soap while we're gone, it's much better than our computer, TV et al.  So be it.

Not to mention, he knows he would lose monthly income if he didn't take care of our place.  Plus, I really do believe that even though these two are opportunists, they have our protection in mind.

We told him we'd give him both our guns and asked the Housemaid if she could find a way to tell 'The Guard' we don't need his services.  I asked her to tell him in such a way that won't make us a target for his anger, making us his next victim.

We also asked her to tell him that we'd find another way to have him work off the money we paid him for baby formula.

Or not.

Maybe with a dude that terrifying, we want to just tell him it's a baby shower gift and leave it at that.

He has already begged us for money each and every time he sees us.  It's not like he's going to stop.

How does he think WE responsible for HIM not keeping IT in his pants?

He's not our dependent, yet somehow, he feels that we owe him, just because we're white and don't live in a shack.

Dude.  If you can't be responsible enough, and have 4 babies all over the place, honestly, it's nobody's fault but your own.

Keep your pecker in your pants!

Somehow, we have to keep the guy on our side though.

Maybe formula here and there will buy us some peace?

Or maybe it will set us up for more extortion?

All I know is, I'm a little scared of 'The Guard', and very grateful that the Dominican Daddy is on our side.

i trust in my ability to keep us safe in our future

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Muumuu.

We were all ready to take my baby sister & crew to Ocean World so they could swim with sting rays, sharks and get cuddled by 500 lb sea lions.

We hopped into our decrepit car to start praying we made it to point B and back, and that's when it happened.

At first, I thought I sat on a match, but that thought was squashed when I wondered where a match could have come from.

OK.

Scratch that.

I thought perhaps, I pinched my ass cheek on my undies, but I quickly realized the type I was wearing wouldn't pinch my butt.

Which is the whole point of why I wear them.

It was at that moment that the true pain set in.

I can't blame the little fella.

If I saw a giant, human orb coming to squish me, I'd bite too.

We still don't know what it was that I sat on.

Papi seems to recall a VERY large 'fly' exiting the vehicle a moment later.

I've seen those large 'flies'.  They look like a combo of a bumblebee, fly and military drone.

Whatever it was, the stinger packs a punch, and it definitely got his revenge on my ass.

The pain began to trail down the veins of my leg to my knee, sometimes feeling like it pulsed as far as my ankle.

Then my heart began to pound.

I wasn't sure if it was pounding from the adrenalin, pain or if it was some venomous poison that was increasing my heart rate.

True to my overly dramatic mind, I started to panic a little.

Papi just laughed, "There are no bugs here that can kill you!  You'll be fine."

OK.

Maybe I'd be fine, but I sure as hell was having troubles sitting.

There was no pain like this I'd encountered before.

It was nothing like a wasp sting.  Those li'l bastards hurt, but the pain has never seemed to travel throughout my body, nor did my heart pound.

And of course!

The sting was right where my one butt cheek would touch the other, so every step I took was agony.

Papi asked me, "Are you limping from your back or the bite?"

I tried to walk normal, but that meant that I just kept falling behind the herd.

I would wince in pain while nobody was looking, because it seemed too silly to be hurting that much from a bug bite on my ass!

My baby sister kept offering me 'After Bite', but we were in public.  I wasn't too keen on stroking my ass in front of a bunch of strange men.

I just leaned to the right when I sat.

Today, that bitch is itchy.

It woke me up at around 6 a.m., reminding me of yesterday's agony.

Itch, scratch, itch, scratch, itch, scratch, "No please!  I wanted to sleep in!!!

Then of course, I couldn't get back to sleep because my over-active mind began obsessing about what the first song is I'm going to teach the village children in April.

From there, I quickly was reminded me of The Donkey and I was wondering why she was so quiet.

I didn't realize Papi put her out in the middle of the night, because she just kept crying while she was inside the house last night.

I was certainly happy not to wake up to a new pool in my kitchen.

Anyway, my ass is not impressed with the antics of yesterday's mystery bug.

Maybe I'll stick that overly swollen side of my butt in those waves that are in my front yard to heal it with salt water?

It looks like I'm one part Kim Kardashian.  On the inner, lower, left cheek.

It's definitely a g-string and a muumuu kinda day.

i love and accept all parts of myself


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THE DONKEY!!!!

Well, it looks like I got the donkey I always wanted.


THIS IS THE DONKEY!!!!


And yes, I had to yell that and make it as big as possible, just to get the point across as to just how massive this girl already is.

Seriously.

She's only 4 months old.

I didn't realize Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest dogs on the planet.  I suppose I was confusing them with another dog.

I actually thought Papi was wrong.  Even though I saw him googling the shit out of our new Fuzzy Family member.

I guess reality is, I didn't want to really believe it, because I just wanted a rottweiler.

I don't see the rottweiler in her, except for her eyes and forehead.

But, here we have the tallest dog on the planet.

Imagine being a puppy with no training, and already being able to just grab things from the counter?!?!?!

I wanted a goats.  I heard they were a lot of trouble and non-stop destroying things.

I have the feeling I got my goat, donkey and guard dog all mixed in one.

Old Ghost Face likes her, which is great.  It's bringing her out of her shell.  She walks up and bumps noses with her tail straight in the air!

She runs from me, as she sees me as the human who cleans her wound, and that's not a good dynamic.  I'm sure that will change once I stop.

I could go on about how The Donkey is crying non-stop, because she doesn't realize this is home, but I feel the need to talk about how worried I am about those waves out there.

Our quote for the rocks was really high of course, being from the Housemaid, she probably tacked on a little for herself, which is why it was so expensive.

We're going to price compare for a few days and see what we come up with.

Regardless, no matter what we pay and who we get them from, we need them, or our property will be washed away.

I feel like something is going on out there.  They've been INSANE for the last week!!  A little scary.

I can see one day here or there where they're aggressive, but damn, they're seriously right up to our property and pounding our sandbags.

The wave angels are playing with our stress levels, that's for sure.

Irony would be building our safety wall, and having it smashed down by waves within a month.

That would be Murphy's Law to the extreme, however, it's not actually too far off.  It could happen.

Anyway, now I have to go stop the puppies from scaring The Donkey.

She's terrified of the smallest one, the Jake-A-Like.  Who wouldn't be afraid of a Dominican Chihuahua?

If I'm really lucky, today I will have the energy AND the time to exercise.

At least I'm getting my cardio chasing after puppies.

And now, The Donkey just peed on the balcony.

Jeeeeeezus.

Looks like we have a new pool.

everything works out for the higher good

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

dog mania

I need a vacation from my baby sister's vacation.

We're quite busy.

Not to mention, I'm eating the worst foods.  All my allergy foods, and now I'm kinda in addiction mode.  No problem.  Veggie day today.  All day.  Only veggies.  That will take care of that!

So, it wasn't a surprise to me when I found there was a bit of a Hurricane Andréa sighting in the house this morning.

It didn't help that I had the Housemaid come trying to get more money out of us this morning.

We had made the mistake of feeling sorry for her, and decided we would use her to get the rocks we so desperately need for our front area to protect us from those waves.

Those waves are CRAZY today!  Our yard will be washed away if we don't get a barrier.

But again yesterday, she tried to tell us we need to pay off the authorities in order to do it.

I just looked at her and said, "Fine.  No more money.  No more Marina.  No rocks."

I find it 'interesting' that she returned this morning, saying there was no need for Mr. Extortion now.

Somehow, she got 'permission', which was explained to me while I was trying to do my morning routine today.

I think I need a sign on all the doors.

"Do not disturb the gringo while she's eating breakfast.  There will be swift consequences.  It is her blog time."

So, I'm doing my blog after the fact, but, like I said, makes for a bitchy, Pissy Face.

Anyway, I'm also a little tired from trying to keep up with my baby sister and family.

Today, they're on an excursion, so we're going to pick up another dog.

I mean, what else should we be doing other than picking up another dog?

She's only 4 months and should prove to be a GIANT hound.

She's an Irish wolfhound crossed with a rottweiler, so, imagine a really tall, bearded rottweiler.

She's another rescue.  Well, here in the Dominican Republic, almost all the dogs are rescues.  Not too many people buy their dogs from breeders.

Except Mr. Richy Rich next door.  He OBVIOUSLY got his 3 rottweilers from a breeder.

Fine dogs those ones.  They walk like a school of fish.  Their rottweiler asses switch back and forth, in an equal, graceful gait, with every gargantuan step they take.  Mouths open in a half smile, heads turning in tandem from any noise that might be grabbing their attention.

Gorgeous!!!

Anyway, we're good with mutts and Dominican dogs.

So, while my sister is out giving candy and school supplies to the Haitian village kids, we'll be bringing home another dog.

The people at AAAS were grateful that we tried out Mr. Majestic.  Now they have excellent information about him, so that they could market him for the right family.

It made me feel so much better.  It felt like we weren't just dropping off a dog because we gave up.  We were giving some family the proper information so that he could be placed in a home where he gets the right attention, and perhaps doesn't have to feel like he's failing all the time.

How horrible it must be to always be told you're doing the wrong things?!?!

He'll go to a family where he'll be the greatest guard dog, be told he's wonderful and live happily ever after.

Old Ghost Face is doing so much better now!  She's come up for cuddles, and even came into the house for 10 minutes.

Well, not really on her own.

Papi sorta 'lovingly' dragged her in to let her know she's allowed.

The visit didn't last too long.  I don't think she's ever been in a house.

But here we are.

Dog mania.

Dogs.

Nothing but dogs.

I'm in heaven.

healthy foods taste better

Monday, March 11, 2013

scary ocean!!!

When we say we're living on the ocean, we really mean it.

On a stormy, windy day like today, the waves are actually pounding our property.

Time to buy those massive rocks we were told to get.

And those waves are honestly are so high, they look like they're going to come into the pool.

It's a little scary actually!

I keep looking out expecting there to be a shark in the yard.

I went out for a minute to film for you, and the damn waves were so strong, they got me in the face and pants, and I was standing behind the gate!

If there's a tsunami here, you can be sure we're gone.  But hey, we had a really good time, so don't feel sad if it happens.

We would get to go together, and we get to go looking at paradise.

But seriously, one little tsunami and we're dead.

Anyway, enough of that.  Now I'd like to tell you how bad I feel for my poor baby sister!

She came to the Dominican Republic for a vacation, and it's been horrible weather so far.

To be fair, they came from -15 and it was snowing, so this HAS to be nicer than that.

But still.

When you go to a tropical place, you at least want a tan for chrissakes!!  She says she tanned before she came to make sure she didn't burn.  So now she's afraid she'll go back whiter than when she came!

Well, regardless, we had fun at the Monkey Jungle.  Well, again, except for my baby sister.

Poor thing had a little case of travelling tummy trouble on her trek, so she gave me her ticket for zip lining.  She was afraid she'd be running into the bushes to relieve herself, and there was a group of guys that would probably be a bit less than sympathetic toward her.

I guess Papi didn't have too much fun just filming us and waiting around, either.

Well, today, the family are just going to come and watch the waves.  Perhaps, go into the village and give all the kids candy.

When it rains here, the kids have no school.

Very much like a snow day back home.

Can you believe it?!?!  They don't get rainy days like this too often, but they cancel school because all the kids have to ride in on the 'taxi' motorcycles, and they get too wet.

Lordy.  These li'l critters would be horrified at the conditions they'd be forced to live with in Vancouver.

Anyway, because of the rain, there should be a ton of kids around for them to give candy to.

That will make them happy.

So, today is the sad day to say goodbye to Mr. Majestic.  We almost thought that perhaps we'd just muzzle him and he could be safe here with the other animals.

However, that wouldn't be much of a life, would it?

Not to mention, the cats wouldn't understand that there is a steel barrier between them and they would still be cowering in fear.

It's not fair to them that they can't go outside, and we only get to see them at night when Cujo is outdoors.

Outdoors crying.

Crying man!

He's such an intimidating, ferocious guard dog, but when we put him outside he cries.

It's a bit much I have to say.

But he is an emotional dog, very sensitive and needy, if you can believe it.

... yeah. needy of blood! ...

Anyway, he just needs a one family home, with at MOST a new puppy introduced to HIM.

That would work.

I'm so sad.

I hope the angels listened when I asked for a perfect home for this guy.

i know this situation will work out for the higher good

Sunday, March 10, 2013

cujo must go.

Here's your Sunday YouTube Show.



I'm quite sad today.

We have to bring Mr. Majestic back to the AAAS.

He attacked old Ghost Face.

Even when she retreated, he went for her again.

I was quite grateful we have a wall to make our space private, as I stripped my shirt off to cover his face and get him off the old girl.

She was doing so well.

She had finally come to greet us when we returned back to the house.

She gave a little jump of joy that we were home.

Then Cujo went and attacked her, and it was quite scary.

All the animals have been lunged at now.

Nobody is exempt.

The poor critter just needs a home where there's no kids or animals.

He's the GREATEST guard dog ever!!!

He's just not a family dog that we can trust with the rest of our Fuzzy Family.

I am feeling like I failed a little bit.

I am so sad that we have to bring him back.

I'm feeling like I'm going to cry.

I'm going to have to talk to my angels and ask them to find a great home for this guy.

I fell in love with him a little bit.

OK.

Not a little bit.

A lot.

Anyway, I have some distraction from the sadness, because we're having fun with my baby sister and the crew.

Today, we're taking them to the Monkey Jungle!

Monkeys will jump all over you when it's feeding time, and all the proceeds go to helping the Haitian immigrants. 

The Haitians don't really have much support here.

They're kinda stuffed in villages, not much different than the way our ancestors treated the First Nations in Canada.

This project puts the proceeds towards giving Haitians medical attention when they need it.

Otherwise, they would go without, because the Dominicans don't want to help their neighbours.

Please decrepit old car.

Get us up the hill to the monkeys!!!!

We can always coast back down.

my family is a gift

Saturday, March 9, 2013

we made it alive

Yesterday was probably the most terrifying experience we've had here.

We drove to Santiago to get some necessities we've needed for the almost 2 months we've been here.

When we got into town, our heap of crap car broke down.

No problem!  My angels were looking out for us and we had a guy come repair the problem with an old tire inner tube.

He was amazingly crafty and so sweet.

The alcoholic swiggin' out of his rum flask was not so sweet.  I had to keep walking away, because he kept getting way too close.  I had cars honking at me because I was walking on to the road, but it was the only way to escape the guy sometimes.

I thought he was friends of the sweet mechanic.  So, I asked him and he said, "No, he's just crazy."

That was good enough for Papi and I to practise our stern voices.  He went away eventually.

That wasn't the scary part though.  That was merely entertainment.

It was the drive home that almost had me puking with fear and my hands falling asleep from gripping on to the car so hard.  White knuckling it all the way.

We're not supposed to drive at dark because it's VERY dangerous.  But we wound up in the city much too long.

Off we went to The Moca, and it got darker and darker and darker.  Our headlights barely lit the road, which of course has no lighting.

This road is treacherous to say the least.  It's the kind of road that could be in the Guinness Book of World Records, because it's so windy and dangerous, and there we were driving in the dark.

Not to mention, our windshield wipers don't work, so our windshield has about an inch of sand and dirt on it, making lights from approaching vehicles blind us.

No point pretending we could see.  We could go over the cliff if we moved an inch too far.  We just stopped the car every time headlights came toward us.

Then there was the noise that was coming from our car that was threatening to break down again.

Tickity-tickity-tickity in super high speed, like a woodpecker had taken up residence in our engine.

We had filled the radiator before we left the city, which was one of the reasons it took so long to get the hell out of the darkness, but the hill over the Moca is so steep, that our poor car had to work double time.

I actually prayed and kept repeating to myself what I always tell everyone else, "Everything always works out.  One way or another, it works out."

I spoke to my angels, "Please, just let us get out of The Moca."

If we were stuck at the side of the road, the first thing that would happen would be our items we just spent $2,000 on to FINALLY get set up in our house would be stolen.

Next?  We'd be physically harmed, and I could possibly be raped.

It was Friday night.

Inhibitions were down because everyone was drinking, staggering along the road and ready to party.  It was not a place for 2 ignorant Canadians to be broken down and left to the wolves.

When our car finally limped out of The Moca, we sighed relief.  If we were stuck between the Moca and our village, at least we could call our electrician/plumber and ask for him to send us someone he knows with a taxi.

We'd pay anything for that help, but someway, somehow, we made it home.

When we stopped the car and were safe, we looked at each other without words, "Holy shit, we're alive and home."

The dogs were kept company by the Dominican Daddy, who should have just gone home after his gardening shift, but instead, stuck around because, "No!  Perros y bandidos!"

Even though Mr. Majestic is horribly scary to him, he wanted to make sure the dogs were ok.

We gave him an extra week's pay just because he's so lovely and cares for us so much as to take care of our property and dogs.

Long story short of it, we need a new car.

First of all, this damn thing is 6 cylinders.  We can't afford that kind of gas!!!

Second?  It's a heap of shit that is so unreliable, we never know if we're going to make it to point B, never mind back to point A.

But we made it alive and safe, even if that trip aged us both an extra 10 years.

And today, in that heap of crap, we get to pick up my baby sister and crew from the airport for their visit!!!!

Shhh ... don't tell them about the adventure they're in for.

there is a good reason i am paired with this perfect family

Friday, March 8, 2013

friendship. a few forms.

The Housemaid came by.

The gate was open because we're still getting so much work done on the house to make it liveable.

Sheepish, terrified of Mr. Majestic, she called me over without taking one more step, because she didn't want to lose her life to the massive brute who was at the end of his tether, warning her not to come any closer.

But she had a real need.

Something that a friend could help her with.

In battling languages, I figured out what her urgency was.

She was being stalked and harassed by a creep on Facebook.

She didn't know how to get rid of him.

She hasn't delved into the settings, privacy and deleting of people.

I found him, deleted and blocked him, then told her, "He will never see you here again."

I can't promise her about real life, though.

She was grateful.

It was a friendship moment when she hugged me in thankfulness, adding that her husband, The Dominican Daddy, was really angry about this guy.

I had another friendship moment this morning.

I went around to the back of the house where Old Ghost Face hides in terror of her new surroundings and humans that she doesn't think she can trust.

I've been bringing her cheese.

She likes cheese.

Yesterday, she actually took it from my hand.

Today though?!?!?

She stood up and I couldn't believe it, there was the slightest little tail movement of happiness.

Really slight, but there.

Just a once back and forth, but a wag none-the-less.

She took the cheese again and I dragged away Mr. Majestic who seems like he's still a bit too in her face.

Not to mention the Pathetic Puppy.

She's too young yet to know that when those teeth are showing, it means buzz off.

But the big news is, she wagged!

We may be earning her trust now.

I actually thought it would take a lot longer, being that she's so damaged.

But it has begun.

Poor old thing.

Anyway, it's been a great 24 hours for friends.

Including the friends we bought our 2nd gun from.

The first one was just too big for me.

I now have a pretty li'l 9mm.

I shot it off last night, and I'm pretty sure the neighbours who are a vacationing family from somewhere in America were wondering what was up with the gringo loco next door.  And possibly wondering if they were safe.

Trust me.  I know that feeling.

We got friends.

Good, bad and stinky.

Oh, Mr. Majestic, where did you come up with such a smell?

Being tied to my waist non-stop, it wafts along with me.

Or wait.

Is it because I've just been too busy dealing with 5 dogs to get in the shower?!?!

Could it be me?!?!?!

Nope.

That's definitely dog.

My stink is a little more offensive.

i now make friends easily

Thursday, March 7, 2013

the greatest day of all

Wow what a day.

Indeed, something to write home about.

Let's start with Mr. Majestic.  The new guard dog.  AKA: Cat Killer.

So, as per instruction from my friend, The Super Googler, I've been keeping Cujo on a leash, tied around my waist.

Everything I do, I do it with him.

He's lovely, other than the cat killing thing.

I've had to put him into submission already, but I learned that I've lost a lot of strength since my motorcycle accident.  I couldn't quite wrangle him to the ground, but still, the intention was felt and he understood I am alpha.

So, yesterday, the Housemaid came and we were ready for our deed, pay out and papers in hand.  The moment I saw her, my fearless protector started barking and scared the shit out of her.

Mission accomplished!

She will not be the person to come sneaking on to our property unannounced anymore, and word will get around about our scary guard dog.

I was shocked, amazed, and so damn grateful, you wouldn't believe.

He didn't like her and he protected me.  He hadn't even been here 24 hours and he protected me.

Then it was time to do the nasty deed, and we did it with love and hugs and everyone was happy.  Of course she wanted to work for free like I knew she would, but I told her, "You are my friend, not my employee."

Then something magical happened.  That friendship grew yesterday.

She invited us to her house.  Of course we saw the fresh white paint, but we didn't say anything.  We're swallowing our pride.

Then she invited us to sit in her garden area.

It was beautiful.  Spacious.  Fresh.  Cool.  Kids were in abundance, playing with 'guns' made out of wood someone had specially crafted for them.

I met the Dominican Daddy's cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, mother, and anyone else who was remotely related by way of babies.

Oh, there was also a parade of everyone's chickens, roosters and dogs, and did we meet babies!  All that was missing was a donkey and a goat.

Our guard's baby was placed in my lap without even asking.  He was so damn sweet and looked just like his papa.

Then more ladies brought another baby, children squealed all around us, people came and said hi and I'll tell you, THIS is what I expected in moving here.

THIS was getting to know the village and becoming part of the community.

It was the nicest time I've had here.

I was welcomed, I was grateful for their congeniality, I was made to feel like I wasn't a stranger.

I felt love, and the possibility that we could have our DR Family.

I was invited back anytime, and I will take her up on it.

Probably the most beautiful part of the experience, was when the little critter who comes to our yard unannounced saw me in his house.

His mouth gaped open from the surprise, and I said, "Now I'm in YOUR house, my friend!!"

He ran over to me and gave me the biggest hug, so filled with love and respect, I almost cried.

It was the most amazing feeling ever.  Love from a child who has accepted me whole heartedly.

Prior to this day, I felt that I was only seen to the village as money on legs.  Now that we told the Housemaid that we don't have anymore, we were looked at differently.

We felt we were actually looked at by the Housemaid as a friend, and that this is the start of a new dynamic.

We're still not going to be stupid.  Everyone is an opportunist, but we definitely can have friendship and get to know our neighbours.

I had a thought last night, that with the amount of children who are back in our village, I'm going to start a children's choir!

I'll start small, by just learning some songs and the solfege scale, then I'm going to create a monster!  I'm going to have the children be the voices of instruments and song and make a vocal children's band!

It will keep me happy, keep the kids busy, and allow me to give music to their community.

It was a day to write home about.



i know that i have a choice in the work that i do in this world

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

the circus is in town

NOW we are in for some work.

If we thought that dealing with repairs nonstop and thieving maids was work, we were sorely mistaken.

We went to pick up the mama from AAAS, but when we arrived, the Canine Quarterback told us that she had many emails of discussion about our rat bastard chihuahua, Sir Bark-A-Lot, and how he may be lunch for the girl.

This is because he's an asshole, and she may not be able to deal with him.

So, we were told about a rottweiler who needs rescuing and the Canine Quarterback made a phone call to go see if we could visit her and say hi.  AKA, bring her home.

While we were waiting for her to make that call, we walked around and looked at more dogs.

We found a big boy barker and he struck us as a fantastic guard dog.

And cute too!


We kinda fell in love.

The call was made, we were hailed to the front of the property, we waded through gads of needy dogs, then off we went to see the rottie stray.

She is in really bad shape.  Obviously abused, definitely used for breeding and a hole in her back from where worms had eaten in.  Not to mention, her Ghost Face tells us she's about 100 years old.

Of course we were taking her home!  The guy who found her was keeping her in a tiny utility room and feeding her Alpo and some kibble that looked like Fruit Loops.

She needs us.

We packed her into our Dominican SUV, then headed back to drop off the Canine Quarterback.  Yet, someway, somehow en route, we both just blurted out that we wanted the other one too.

Now the other one.  Here's where it really gets interesting.

When we brought him home, we found out that he has a really high prey drive, and the prey was our cats and Sir Bark-A-Lot.

Basically, anything that ran.  And his objective is to MAKE them run.  He was pretty scary how he lunged at the cats.

He is really good with the puppies, but only because they know he's trouble and have instantly bottomed to him the moment he came in.

Belly up, head down.

I've spoken to someone regarding help I need for the dog to train him, and I'm just waiting for her infinite wisdom to be returned to me.

I've read enough internet pages to get me started.

Oddly enough, the least amount of information I got was from Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer.  All his clips for training were really for the basics, but I emailed him anyway.

I've learned many things that tell me we are in for some work.  Some non-stop, 24-7 work.

The old rottie cross is still hiding in the corner of the property and won't even eat in front of us.  She's so scared.  I've never been in the presence of a dog so terrified.


Psycho Kitty is looking rough again and the puppies have their noses out of joint, because the focus isn't on them.

The chihuahua has met his alpha match.  I've actually never seen him run and squeal like a piglet before.

Too bad we're too busy to film.  THIS is when we need a film crew following us.

And today, we have the contract and buy out ready for the Housemaid.

Today will be a day to write home about.

Not to mention, I had to put a sweater on!  OH!  The horrors!

i succeed with ease