Friday, May 31, 2013

the place of 'health'

There's not too much that can entice me out of bed these days.

The Carpenter has a key now, so I allow my body to sleep until it needs.

Right now, for some reason, it needs a lot.  Nighttime.  Daytime.  So much.  I just want to sleep.

However, today, Little Angel needed to see a doctor.

There was a problem with his eye and Our Fave's Mom was very worried, as any mother becomes when something doesn't look right.

His eye had some redness.  Maybe an infection?

There are free medical clinics for those who have the proper Dominican Republic identification.  No Haitians allowed, never mind Canadians.

Upon entering, I realized, it's not the best place for someone who has a low immune system to be, but I waited with them for 2 hours for their turn.

Mama fussed about the Little Angel while I kept his WeeHeart sister filled with love and attention.

She hugged me non-stop, then held my hand, walking me over to where her imagination said, "I'm jumping off a HUGE cliff!!!  Look at me!!"

She climbs up my body like a creature with suction hands and feet akin to Spiderman.

Then she tells me I smell.

Yup.  You got that right.

I got outta bed for your brother, our Godson, and didn't shower.  So nope.  I don't smell too nice.

But it's funny for a kid when I lift my arm to expose my armpit, waving toward her a waft of the Andréa Special.

Well, SHE thought it was funny.

Not sure how funny the adults who were staring thought it was.  Poor child, having to sit with such a dirty, stinky gringa.

Signs hung that explained how to keep from getting Cholera and how much bleach to use in the drinking water.

Drinking water.  This is not Canada.

A sign explaining that if you have a cough for more than 15 days, you may have TB.

All the while I looked at people coughing, sneezing, children with more than their share of mucus being expunged from their bodies.

Not a good place for a weak immune system, but a hell-uv-a good place to have love.

WeeHeart was enthralled that she had my utmost attention, where in the village, it seems she only gets a moment of my time before another child gets a ride on the jalopy that is the Hector-Brown Amusement Park.

There was more entertainment for our ride home, when we were stopped by the police, again.

It seems to be a daily occurrence for me now.

Papi was reading that our car is a target.

Crappy cars have no money.  No point pulling them over.

Expensive cars have connections.  No point pulling them over.

But mid-cars?  Like a Toyota Corolla?

Always.  We're the ones they target for extortion.

Immediately, when she saw Mr. Extortion wave us down, mama threw the baby in the back seat to lie on his own.

And I mean TOSS.

They would have taken a lot money from me if he was in the front, safely on his mother's lap.  It's a huge ticket.

She saved me, by putting the baby in an unsafe place to lie where he could roll off into something not so nice, like one of Papi's empty pop cans.

Good thing she was fast acting, because I didn't have peso to pinch.

Then she told me her husband's boss (also a gringo) was recently extorted and now has no money to pay the Little Angel's dad, that they need money for formula because her breasts no longer give milk.

At the moment I was saying we didn't have anything, because we used everything that came in for The Carpenter and Mr. Lumpy, the gas gauge went to empty and the dreaded gas light came on.

No matter.  We were close enough to coast if we needed to.

We'd probably just get someone to push us to our street where I could run and get more credit out of our barely coping credit cards.

And then I wonder, "Why am I so tired all the time?"

Because every day is an adventure.

i rejoice in the love i encounter every day

Thursday, May 30, 2013

donkey. you dog me.

Oh, The Donkey.

So many antics from one canine being.

She's healing up fine from both being spayed, and her little abnormal thumbs being removed, but it was time for a check up anyway.

The vet had told us he'd never seen anything like her before.

That she was a drama queen after her surgery and wouldn't move.

Well, you should have seen the drama in returning for a check up.

There she was, enjoying herself on our drive to Sosúa to see Dr. Bob.

Head hanging out the window, sometimes, trying desperately to get her head out MY window, which was troublesome, as I was the one driving.

I drive illegally now without any care in the world, but that still doesn't mean I want to go killing anyone on the road because The Donkey has chosen MY window to drool out of.

However, when we turned onto the rocky road that leads to the vet, all sense of 'fun' went out the window.

Quite literally.

Suddenly, she whimpered, both paws were out the back seat window, followed by her mammoth body.

I then saw her roll a few times on the ground and I wasn't sure if maybe, perhaps, I'd driven over her legs!

Good thing we were at the right place for broken legs if the problem arose!

I stopped the car in drive with the emergency brake on, not really realizing it, and jumped out to chase her as she was galloping back home.

On the main street.

Where we see at least one dead dog a day now.

Or cat.

Or horse.

But there she was, "Goin' home!  Nope!  You can't make me go back there!"

Fortunately for me, she loves me enough that when I call, she can't resist the cuddles and she came back, I snapped that leash on and in we went to Dr. Bob.

When I told him of her buffoonery and that he should check her body out for troubles, his reaction was not what I expected, "I'm so offended!  Why wouldn't you want to see me?" he asked her.

I almost asked him if he was from the west coast of Canada and upper U.S., where people seem to be personally offended at the change in weather, never mind someone speaking openly and honestly about their feelings.

Oh, don't get me off track on that one.  I'll be here all day bitching.

Back to The Donkey.

Last night, I brought in some small stairs for Sir Bark-A-Lot and Jake-a-Like, so that they could get up to the bed with ease.

Actually, they made it easier for ME to get into the bed too.

Turns out, they also made it easier for The Donkey at 5 a.m., when she decided to go against the rule and hop on top as well.

Both Papi and I looked at what was happening, then merely shrugged our shoulders and went back to sleep.

Well, TRIED to go back to sleep.

Have you ever tried sleeping with a donkey in the bed?

Then I was supposed to drive Our Fave's Mom and the Little Angel to the doctor at 8 a.m.

Needless to say, I am quite tired and am going back to sleep, even though I've driven people around after having had my coffee.

This time, The Donkey is on the floor.

With the other cretins who are too big for the bed.

I've informed all the children in the neighbourhood that I will not be around, because I'm going to be sleeping.

Still, it probably won't stop them from yelling at my gate.

It's yet ANOTHER day of fiesta in this country, where we can't keep up with all the 'days off' everyone gets.

No school for the kids and they'll be coming the the Hector-Brown Amusement Park for sure.

My earplugs are firmly placed in both ears.

life is a joy filled with delightful surprises

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

and down i go ...

How do we wake up with faith and hope, then slide into despair and the Pit of Doom by the end of the day?

Or rather, how does my chemical imbalance continue to pillage my mind, stealing my light?

I don't know about you, but my emotions can change for the worst with one phone call.

That's what happened yesterday when that one phone call represented loss.

It has nothing to do with Mr. Lumpy, because of course, true to Dominican Time, the week wait has come and gone and there's no word.

In Canada, if it was serious, they would have called right away, but I have to remember where we live, and their idea of 'prompt'.

No, this phone call was a long awaited one that I didn't want to make, but bit the bullet and did it anyway.

It's my former recording studio/engineer mentor.   He had given me books to use for studying, and during the sewage flood in 2011, they were destroyed.

I suppose he has another person to mentor, as he had called 4 days into us moving here asking for them back.

I had tried to call him when the disaster hit and we had word about the loss of his books, but he's not too good at returning phone calls.

So, I left it, a few years past by and here he is calling me looking for them.

Well, we chatted yesterday.  I finally put some money into Skype and use that as my phone to talk to people back home, and called him.

But there was so much strain in hearing his voice and the reminder of all that is withdrawn from my life now.

The pain of knowing that the motorcycle accident took away so many possibilities, is sometimes too immense for my weak spirit.

He said, "You sound scared," but I couldn't tell him why, I just replied, "I am."  I flippantly blamed it on how hard things are here in this new world.

He didn't need to know I'm fretting over Mr. Lumpy, nor that I was on the verge of tears for having to hear the voice that helped me so much that I had to let go after my accident.

Letting go.  Asking my angels for more support.

My angels were so abundant in the morning, and by the evening, I was asking them to take me with them.

"Why can't you just take me now?  Why can't I go to a new life and try again, because seriously, what the fuck am I here for anyway?  Can't you just take me?  I want to be with my Fuzzy Family that are so lucky to have moved on to a new hemisphere."

When my emotions were submerging me under that colossal blanket of agony, I stared at the gun that lies on my bedside table for a little while.

I touched it with curiosity, thinking about how easy it would be to make it my last and final friend.

I won't do it, not because it's cheating myself of a life I was handed, but because I know how much pain I would bring to those who love me.  I would never intentionally harm anybody who loves me.

I need them too much.

To put them through that pain would be the worst act I could ever inflict upon another.

Instead, I cried until I couldn't breathe, then asked Papi for one of his magic 'put me to sleep' pills.

I guess, when I asked my angels to help me 'let go', they gave me a doozy.

I don't know why yesterday was the day I decided to call him, it just kinda happened.

Letting go of loss, people who have moved on, my prior life.

I had moments yesterday morning where I felt that I was really here for something, that I was here for benefit to this world in some way.

Then the night came and with the darkness brought the shadow in my heart that tells me there's no goal in my life.

Papi woke up late in the day, and told me all the things I'd done wrong while he slept to add to my already shattered state.

He even got mad at me for crying.

The way he speaks to me right now is unbearable, but he says the same about me.

Maybe he's really serious about trying to cut down on the pop and his withdrawal is making him mean, or maybe it's because he's in pain from falling off the ladder and has no more pain killers.  This also means he cut them cold turkey.

Maybe it's many things that I don't know about, but his tone made it all the worse.

I need love and trust from myself and from him if I'm going to make it through this life.

all my relationships are loving and harmonious 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

you get what you ask for

I have to find that magical place of 'letting go'.

Too many friends have let me go and it hurts, but I have to find a way to let them go as well, or Mr. Lumpy will come back with a vengeance in another place of my body.

Poisoning me with black masses.

Rotting me from the inside, to equal the pain that my heart is exuding.

Today we're going to get the biopsy results.  I know it will show nothing, not only because everyone has convinced me it is only a cyst, but because the doctor missed the mark by an inch when he did the biopsy.

No matter.

July 1st we get insurance and if Mr. Lumpy is still kickin' around, which he is right now, we'll be getting a 2nd opinion at the cancer hospital in Santo Domingo.

Anyway, to keep Mr. Lumpy from moving to another part of my body and possibly causing much more trouble than he already has, I need to forgive.

I need to understand that there is no room in my life for the people who have left me, or I won't be making any room fo the new friends I need here.

Yesterday, the man who started out as merely our DoorMan did the BIGGEST favour for us.

He's kinda a big deal here in the business world, with his electricity options, like our inverter, and later on he'll be fixing us up with our solar energy.

He buys a lot of items from the crappy store called PriceSmart we bought our washing machine from.  They wouldn't return it, and everything we've ever brought from them has broken down.

We still haven't done our own laundry.

Anyway, he TOLD them that if they treated us like that, they they would surely treat him like that.  And if that was the case, he'd take his business elsewhere, because he doesn't want to do business with a company that would treat a newcomer to the country as such.

We got our money back and will be buying a machine that works.  HUGE favour.

He invited us to his house for when he has a housewarming with the big mansion he just bought.

He is becoming a friend, because he WANTS to be.

Every friend who has, for whatever reason they need to tell themselves, let me go in Canada, will gain me a new friend here.

I used to do that with my clothes; in with the new, out with 2 of the old.

Now I have to do it with my heart.

Those who I never wronged, yet still, they block me from their virtual life with an obvious, 'do not disturb' sign as they join ranks with the 'mean girls'.

Those who just stopped talking to me because of their beliefs, but never asked me what the real truth was.

Those who jumped on the 'hate the Hector-Browns' bandwagon, because they're now in with the cool kids in the 'community'.

Hey you know what?  If they did it to me, they'll also treat you as such.  You'll get your turn too.  Don't come to me when it happens.

I'll forgive you, but I will not forget how badly I needed you, yet you disappeared at a very dark moment.

I'll forgive you, but I will not allow another opportunity for you to hurt my way too sensitive heart.

I'll forgive you, but I will move on and one day, you'll think of me.

You'll remember that I never did anything wrong, and that I could have been a really good friend to you.

I'll run across your mind that pang of, 'damn I'm sorry' will have to be kept to yourself, because I'll forgive you, but I will not forget.

The DoorMan is making it clear he wants to be our friend.  He's told us not to pay a dime until we are confident that it is working and we have no problems.

No charge until we're happy.

He wants to be our friend.  I'll take him up on that.  So far, he's acted in a more loving way than those who have left me back home.

All I want is love and trust.  It's how I thrive.

Those friends who stuck by me, have been the only reason we're still trudging forward.  There are so many of you that have truly kept me going.

The only thing those who have hurt me are giving me is more depression.

I have to forgive and let go.  I let you go now.

I gain new friends.  I do what's right for me.

I'll ask my angels to help me say, "Goodbye."

forgiveness is a gift you give yourself

Sunday, May 26, 2013

i hide.

blogger still isn't being nice with uploads, so HERE is this week's youtube show.

I'm hiding.

There are no workers here today, they start the last of the renos tomorrow.

But this morning, the moment I let the dogs out, I saw Our Favourite at the gate just waiting to see me.

I do enjoy some time with the kids, but for chrissakes I haven't even had my coffee yet and the amusement park that is our house has kids lined up waiting for it to open.


The sign doesn't work.

Words don't work.

I was told by the Jersey Girl that she has a crotchety husband who told the children to never come unless they've been asked to.

She has a heart like mine.

She can't do that.

But her husband can.

I know Papi couldn't do it either.

I'm looking at the clouds forming with their grey, ominous ambiance, the wind coming in with trees swaying their coconuts and am thinking, if it rains again it will mean another day of quiet.

When it rains kids don't even go to school, so they won't bother the gringos.

I entertained Our Favourite and his sister, and Our Unadopted Child yesterday.

We planted more veggies, we watered the garden, we made our homemade mini gardens out of juice cartons, we played with dogs and we babysat the Little Angel.

Today, I need space.

Today, I need quiet.

I never invited people over to my house all too often when I was in Canada, that's not going to change now, but it seems I'm forced to have company nonstop.

I suppose when people would tell me I was a closed off person, or that I didn't open up very much, they were right.

I do like solitude, but sometimes I want to be with friends, when I have good energy.  Not this 'hanging by a thread' energy.

When all the workers are gone and we have our space all to ourselves, the weekdays will be good because there is guaranteed times that the kids will be in school.

Only problem, is they only go for half a day, so there will be half of them at our gate in the morning and half of them in the afternoon.

I can hear the dogs barking at them.

I'm hiding.

I'm tired and I deserve to rest.

If it means I have to suffer by not looking out at the ocean or our pretty fruit trees, so be it.

It sometimes feels like we're prisoners in our house.

If we step foot out the door, we belong to the village, so in the house we stay.

And this house is not what we bargained for.  It's a lot of work.

So, here I hide, no coffee, no view, but no children.

I'm so tired.

Somehow, I have to accept the love of the children and be at peace with having them around 24-7.

I don't know how I'm going to do that.

So for now, I hide.

I think I'll go back to sleep.

i know that i deserve love and i accept it now

Saturday, May 25, 2013

digging in the dirt

I'm learning, that the best way for me to snap out of dismal depression, even if it's only for a few minutes, is to spend time with those vibrant living beings that are immovably planted in the ground.

I went for my morning visit to my veggie garden and I couldn't believe it!

I was unrestrainedly thrilled!!

I had TWO heavenly heads of lettuce popping up!

I watered them with love and told them how positively delicious they're going to taste with my great tahini basil salad dressing I invented.

I just HAD to tell the Dominican Daddy, as he is the person who is teaching me how to garden.

I felt the need to show my mother nature mentor what a good job I did and get my acknowledgement of achieving something!

He saw them, gave me the sideways look of, 'oh gringo', then laughed, "These are not lettuce.  They're weeds."

I just about collapsed laughing, with the possibility of joining Psycho Kitty who was trying to be at rest 6 feet beneath my feet, if it weren't for my cackling.

I WAS going to take a picture of them for you.

When I told him that and he laughed even harder.

Then the sweetest thing happened.

Around the corner came Our Favourite, huffing a MASSIVE avocado tree.

He saw that mine were only avocado sticks, and because he has so many avocado trees, he gave me one.

I honestly don't know if he asked his mother first.

You never know with a child, so I'll ask her later.

But now I have 2 avocado sticks and one fat, full avocado tree!

Needless to say, my veggie garden isn't doing so well.

We're going to empty out the current dirt and put in some really good soil from the village and try again.

Digging in the dirt.

Feeling new life.

Seeing the living soil beneath my fingernails.  Forget about the gloves.  I want to feel that clay.

Searching for growth to prove that life still goes on, no matter what happens in our tiny little worlds with our insignificant problems.

Watching the healthy growth that is more than living.  Not letting the growth that threatens our demise to echo.

I feed the fruit trees with water as I touch their strong skin, inviting their strength and energy.

They can't speak, but I know they hear me.

It's much like how I know the angels hear me, even though I don't audibly hear them.

They remind me they are here in silly ways that are too much of a coincidence to not believe it was their answer.

I am at peace with the possibility of a nasty outcome, and last night, Papi and I spoke about how it really could be best case scenario.

It would mean I would just get everything taken care of much faster and there will be no need for a 2nd opinion.

No need for further testing to see if I hold the gene.

No more worry, because those funbags would be history and Mr. Lumpy would have no place left to live.

Or to hide.


So, today, I'll dig.

Further into the ground.

Speaking to my angels, to Psycho Kitty, to the fruit trees and anyone else who cares to listen.

Then I'll clean a little more.

There's something about cleaning that keeps my mind off matters that I don't know the outcome of, as well.

You should see my sparkly kitchen wall and cupboards!

Dirt is my best friend right now.

i give out love and it is returned to me multiplied

Friday, May 24, 2013

what do you call the stage past 'fuck it'?

Papi and I needed a plan.

We waffled back and forth as to what to do.

When they did the biopsy, it seemed that the spot he made for taking the specimen wasn't where Mr. Lumpy was.

So, we're obviously going for a 2nd opinion, albeit, I'm bored of this game and have surpassed the 'fuck it' stage.

What do you call that stage?  What comes after 'fuck it'?

Well, whatever it is, we still had to talk about the plans and Papi wanted me to go back to Canada.

That caused me more stress than the new native to my body, Mr. Lumpy .

Couch surfing?

Living off take out?

Stress of getting around by bus with my bitch of a back that will inflict me with pain?

No thank you.

Then I called all the cancer places I could to see if there was any point in coming back or just staying put.

After calling 20 numbers, I finally got a human being who would speak to me at Willow Breast Cancer Support.

You want support?  Call them.  Because obviously, everywhere else could care less unless you're wanting to donate to 'the cure'.

We all know there won't be a 'cure' because they make too much money off the 'disease'.  But I'll get off my soapbox now.

So, after speaking to the absolutely lovely woman, she suggested my mother get the gene test, because she's already had ovarian cancer and it would be free for her.  If SHE has the mutated gene, then it would be free for me, too.

Sounds like too much work for someone who has surpassed the 'fuck it' stage, no?


So, I spoke to my baby sister who became the big sister and had the plan set out for us:

1) Wait for results.
2) If the outcome is positive for cancer, off I go to live with her in Canada to get shit done.
3) If the outcome is benign, get a 2nd opinion when our insurance kicks in here July 1st.
4) Wait for results
5) If the outcome is #2, off I go to live with her in Canada to get shit done.  If the outcome is #3, ask my mother to get the gene test and make new plans.

Well, now that I've surpassed the 'fuck it' point and have calmed the fuck down, my gut instinct tells me there's nothing to worry about.

Mr. Lumpy is merely a part of me.

It now remains a little annoyance that my hand will go to day after day, with resentment for all the tears and worry it inflicted upon me.

Another story to add to the never ending drama that is my life.

So now?

We get on with things.

The garage is almost finished and ready for a door and window.

The trees around the casita are being hacked down to prepare for the last stage of renos so that we have an extra space for whatever we decide to do with it.

My veggie garden is budding and today, I will be planting more of my greens that I WILL be here to enjoy, because Mr. Lumpy is nothing but a speck of a nuisance.

The dogs have successfully destroyed more of my underwear.

I, too, have destroyed my underwear because of the Dominican valium.

Here's a forewarning for you.  Opt for the clonazepam and stay away from the valium.

However, if you choose not to listen to me and you have mass anxiety and panic attacks and desire to take the Dominican valium, don't fart.

It won't be a fart.

It will be a shart.

And that shart will be the biggest mess up your ass crack that you'll ever clean up in your life.

Maybe next time I take it, I'll wear some Depends.

Or perhaps just feel the emotions and hyperventilate.

Cleaning up a few tears is much less of a job.

i trust in the process of life

Thursday, May 23, 2013

if i could pop you like a zit ...

Communication in the Dominican Republic doesn't need to have a language barrier to make it difficult.

It just isn't their strong suit.

Mind you, it's not the strong suit of some friends who seem to have gone dorment since this all started, echoing the experience after my motorcycle accident, when people just didn't know what to say, so instead of supporting me, they merely vanish along with their awkwardness.

All I can say is, I'm grateful for the few that have said words of strength.  YOU lift me up.

"Come back on Monday for the biopsy, the doctor will be ready," said our attending.

So, I freaked out all weekend, having never had a biopsy before.

I had panic attacks.  I cried.  There were more than a few Hurricane Andréa sightings as I was at the bottom of the Pit of Doom once more.

No matter how hard I tried to calm down, my mind just whispering, "Monday, you're mine.  Monday, it all comes down.  Monday ..." like some stalker calling me on the phone every hour to torment me.

Only, I couldn't hang up.

Well, Monday came and I was a mess.  I had done so well the day before with everyone telling me it was just a cyst and I actually felt that I believed it, but the day came and I was hooped again.

Off to the hospital we went, and after 2 hours of waiting the appropriate Dominican Time to see the doctor for our 2:30 appointment, he asked us, "So, what can I do for you today?"

Really?  You're for real right here?  Papi and I looked at each other with disbelief, like he'd just barfed shards of glass through our already thin skin.

We started from the beginning of the story, sounding monotonous, because the story now FEELS tiresome.

He had me disrobe right there, felt Mr. Lumpy for a moment then said, "It's probably benign, but we should do the test anyway because it's on the lymph node.  Come back tomorrow after fasting for the blood tests and after the results we'll book you a biopsy."

You're fucking kidding me, right?  I panicked all weekend for you to push around Mr. Lumpy and tell me to go starve myself?

Now I have to deal with this bullshit for a few more days?

Well, we did what we were asked, and the blood tests were ready for that afternoon and he went over them and told us to come back tomorrow for the biopsy at 9 a.m.

We were there, he wasn't.

He showed up around 11.  Dominican Time.

The biopsy was finally done at about 12:30.

It really didn't hurt all that much, so really, I was afraid of nothing.

Again, he said, "It's probably benign."  The only problem is, there's a mark on my mamm where the needle went in, but that's not where Mr Lumpy resides.

Mr. Lumpy is about 3 cm lower, and my damn tit is still just as itchy as it was the day I started complaining about it.

Now we wait for a week to find out that the results say, 'benign', then we go for a 2nd opinion.

After that, I carry my ass off to Canada to get the cancer gene test, where I get to go be in pain from the temperature difference.

I'm so sick of all this that I just don't even care anymore.  I honestly don't.  I'm done crying, I'm done being afraid, I'm done worrying.

I'm fucking pissed off.

This was not what moving here was about, but all of a sudden it's all about Mr. Lumpy.

Well, you know what Mr. Lumpy?  You can just fucking sit there and do whatever you have to do for a week.  For a month.  I don't care.

Grow if you want to, go away if you get bored now that I refuse to be entertained by you anymore, but Mr. Lumpy, I'm done.

The depression Mr. Lumpy has put me in has robbed me of all strength and energy.

This is not living.  If you're going to kill me, get it over with.  If you're not, then fuck off.

If I could pop you like a zit, you'd be MY victim.

Go bug someone else your own size.  Like a cockroach.

At this point, I feel if this really was something sinister, I doubt my angels would put me through the wringer to find out.

I'm through with your pestering.

loving myself heals my life ... i nourish my body and soul

Monday, May 20, 2013

pass the clonazepam

Today is a lovely day for a biopsy, no?

Sound like fun?

Massive needles stuck into my boob.


I did really good in the fear departement yesterday until bedtime.

What is it about bedtime that makes my mind crazy!?!

Since I was a kid, I've had anxiety galore before going to sleep.

When I was a kid, I was afraid I'd go to sleep because I thought I would forget how to breathe and die.


I'm a well trained drama queen.

I didn't know that our bodies were just equipped with the know how to continue breathing.

Well, that is of course until you have a panic attack.

Then there is no breathing.

Which is what would happen when I was a kid, when I worried about not breathing when I slept.

Or when I'd get overwhelmed with learning that the universe just kept going on and on forever.  I think that was the day I blew my mind and the rest of my insanity is history.

Then there were the times I wouldn't breathe when I was a teen, worried about the next predator that was hiding behind garbage cans and bushes as I walked home alone from the bus stop after a shift at McDonald's.

And the big ones?

They really started coming after the motorcycle accident when I had flashbacks of smashing into the car ... over ... and over ... and over ... echoing as if edited in a loop, blinding me with a movie screen that drops in front of my eyes, hindering me from seeing any beauty in life.

I've been having panic attacks since finding Mr. Lumpy.

And now?

As I write this, I just gave myself another one thinking about all the panic attacks I had and from what.


I know there's going to be nothing wrong with whatever Mr. Lumpy has in store.

I know that it's all going to be OK, because everyone else's intuition says it will.

I'm going with everyone else's intuition, because mine is so fucked up right now.

I had a very successful pajama day with Papi yesterday.  The kids didn't find us until much later when they realized they could see us up in our bedroom, then the chorus of, "Andréa!  Andréa!  Andréa!" began.

I just didn't move from my spot, pretending I was asleep.

I did my best to distract myself with editing, trying my hardest to get my new keyboard to work so that I could at least make some music to help ease my mind, and then there was that daunting task that we all hate but need to do; cleaning up my computer files.

There came a point, however, that all of that had to stop and I needed to try to sleep.

That's when the thoughts of today came.

Terror for the pain they will inflict upon Mr. Lumpy, who will in turn, bite my nerve endings having me jump to the heavens.

Papi said to take some pain killers before we go in.  He's always thinking, my love.

They don't really give you pain killers here like they do at hospitals in Canada.

If you need them, the doc comes, gives you a prescription and whoever is your caretaker has to go and get them from the pharmacy.

Seriously.  So odd.

So, having that information after seeing it happen with Our Fave's Mom after her C Section, we at least can take matters into our own hands and take the pain killers BEFORE he starts the torture chamber proceedings.

Am I scared?  Hell ya.

Then there are the two days I have to wait for results, even though, like I said, it's all going to be OK because all my Eternal Friend tells me so.

Still, she's not here in my brain.

Mr. Lumpy is.

I think I'm going to be sick.

every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health

Sunday, May 19, 2013

OK Mr. Lumpy. Bring it on.

... your sunday sillies are HERE as blogger just wont let me share them on my damn blog ... but they can't stop me from linking them mwahahahaha!!!  um ... yet ...

Sometimes, when you're worried about a health ailment, the WORST thing to do is Google information about it.

However, in this case, some of it was a good thing.

80% of breast lumps are non-cancerous.

94% of women who get biopsies find the bastard offender to be benign.

So I'm going with that.

I'm also going with positive thinking for the worst case scenario.

'They' keep trying to kill me.

Whomever 'they' are.

I can't tell you how many times in my life I've been inches from death, but I never die.

Only the good die young.

You can't kill me.

So, I won't die.

That doesn't mean I won't agonize.  Sometimes, I feel that my lot in life is to suffer and show other people how to do it.

Never-the-less, I haven't really spoken about this because there's never been a need to, but since I was a budding adolescent, I've never wanted my breasts.

I've wanted them gone.

If this little bastard on my lymph node is sinister, the presence of my fat sacks will be dismissed and the Hector-Browns will be on round two of The Great Breast Disappearance.

I'm perfectly happy with that.

Get rid of them.

Because of the cancer in my family, they've been nothing but a fear trap anyway.

I guess that's why I'm so good at giving myself self-examinations.  I learned young and have been avid enough that I found a lump that wouldn't even show on the mammogram.

They had to use the sonogram to see it, even though they could clearly feel it's inhabitance beneath my tissue.

Ladies, check yourselves.  Every day.  Every goddam day.  Thoroughly.


Off my soap box.

So, with knowing that nothing can kill me, and that worst case scenario I finally have the reason to lose these dumpy duffels, really, is there anything to worry about?

I slept without too much help last night.

I used the natural stuff; Rescue Remedy.

When I woke up in the middle of the night and my first thought was that bastard leech on my pouch, I zotted myself with another dose and quickly fell to sleep again.

So, I'm feeling much less afraid today, and tomorrow is the biopsy.

Then I have to wait 2 days for results.

What's the point in freaking out?

It won't change any outcomes.

Every time I start to get scared, I'll just think, "Bring it on bitch.  I've been through enough in my life that you don't scare me for a second."

I'll also think, "You can't kill me.  Many have tried."

I've already moved into joking about it, as if Mr. Lumpy is a separate living being.  If Papi isn't doing something I want, I say, "But I have a lump."

From now on if I want him to do something he doesn't want to do, "Mr. Lumpy says to do it."

Fuck it all.

I've cried, I've been nauseas, I've been depressed, I've obsessed and none of it has changed anything.

You can't kill me.

But damn, this headache and exhaustion can certainly take me down a few notches.

i have abundant courage

Saturday, May 18, 2013

this is me trying

I didn't want to get out of bed.

Damn that bladder anyway!!!!

I tried to ignore it, but there was no option.

I actually had to rise.

Once I move, the dogs all know they get to relieve their bladders too and I become the rock star of the house with my mobs of groupies hounding at me.

I didn't want to get out of bed.

But I also promised Our Fave's Mom that I would drive her and the baby carriage we got her to her sister's as she stays there more now than here.

So, I would have had to eventually anyway.

I didn't want to get out of bed.

But the clonazepam had worn off and I was truly awake to think about the day.

In 2 days I get a biopsy.

My stomach is reeling.

My head is pounding.

I'm more tired than I ever was with anemia.

The moment I opened those doors to let out the tribe, the workers were there and The Carpenter needed me to go shopping for more wood with him.

Now, I have to go and face people, pretending like nothing is going on in my brain.

Like I'm not obsessing about Monday.

Like I'm not reliving the results yesterday that confirmed there was a lump on my lymph node in the upper right side of my breast, and that the doctor said it's a bad place for it to be, but not to worry.

Like I'm not freaking out, wondering if it will be the easy route out, a double mastectomy, or the hard route, chemo.

Like I'm not doing my best to just say, "Hey, it might not be anything and we won't know until the biopsy is done."

Silent hell.

Nobody needs to know of my silent hell.

It could be nothing, then I'd be spreading drama amongst everyone else around me.

I didn't want to get out of bed.

I wanted to lie alone and cry.

There's too much to do.

I'm up.

I'm here.

I'm about to drink my coffee and enjoy every sip of it.

No crying now.

Just have to try to look presentable to the people out in that world.

Yesterday's clothes are just fine.

That's the best they're getting out of me.

I'll put deodorant on, just to be nice.

Maybe I'll even brush my teeth.

Maybe I'll just live this day as best I can.

I didn't want to get out of bed.

But here I am.

 this day will come and go whether i participate or not.  i'll participate

Friday, May 17, 2013

thermo-nuclear meltdown


Not because of the lump in my breast, per se.

The doctor relieved a bit of my fears by telling me that a lump wouldn't hurt to touch, plus it can move around, so it may be ok.

However, it is RIGHT on my lymph nodes, so it's worth investigating.

Calmed my fears a bit, but still, the stress is difficult.

It's not just the stress of the breast.

There's just so much to deal with and sometimes, it's overwhelming.

I can only do so much and with Papi having debilitating depression, I'm kinda left holding the ball.

When I have enough energy and time to clean the house, it's still a disaster no matter how hard I try.

I have people calling my name at all hours until the sun goes down.

We've got people trying to make our lives miserable by threatening to call the police on us for cutting down some trees that are impeding our electricity lines.

The land isn't theirs, but they saw the banana tree first, so they claimed it.  The land belongs to an American who hasn't done anything with his acres, but they decided the banana tree was theirs.

Bananas grow like weeds here.

I'm not kidding.

I just removed 5 from my yard that popped up and already there's two more to get rid of.

Did you know they are actually weeds?  Yeah.  I didn't either until now.

I'm constantly running around pulling them out of the ground as fast as I can.  I don't like bananas, and if I let them grow, they'd push out my mango.

I am in love with my mango tree.

You don't fuck with my mango tree.

Anyway, when our 'friend' threatens to call the police on us about a tree that ISN'T on his land, it makes us a little more than upset.

We apologized profusely, stating that we didn't know the tree was his, because it's not his land, then bought him a beer of regret, and told him I'd give him MY bananas when they're ready.

Then he went ahead and cut down more stuff in the lot that doesn't belong to him and told us WE have to pay for it.

When his family and friends got involved in supporting him that we needed to pay, we caved and gave him the money to keep the village from forming a mob attack.


This is living with the people that my one 'friend' judged then dissed me about for putting up a wall.

Well, she's not really a 'friend' anymore.  She's part of the cool kids now.  On the 'hate the Hector-Browns' bandwagon.

Put that all together with never ending work and the fear about how we're going to eke through with what little money we have, and you have Hurricane Andréa.

It's not just the lump in my breast, but I'll tell you, that definitely put the cherry on top.

I lost it last night.

I rib Papi for taking too much clonazepam, but sometimes, I'm just so happy he has it in his possession, because when I can't stop crying out of fear, exhaustion, anger and frustration, those little gems just knock me out and I sleep through the night.

Well, after my sleep and my meltdown, today all I'm left with is depression.

That's a little better than all-out, hysterical, hyperventilating crying.

After 2 pm, we'll find out how everything is with the mammogram I had yesterday.

Which, I might add, was VERY uncomfortable having a male nurse push my little teets all over the place.

I know he's a pro, but damn, can't they find a woman for these sensitive times?

He was nice enough, but I'll tell you, I was grateful I was stinkin' to high heaven with smelly armpits so that I didn't have an ounce of 'sexy' in me and he ran for the door when finished.

Since my visit to the doctor, I'm pretty sure it's just a cyst.

It's just that until I get final word, all I do is obsess.

Obsession is bad for my brain.

Not much I can do about it until we get this day over with and hear the good news from the doc himself.


hardship helps me grow into a better person

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Say it isn't so.

Well, I'm back on the drama buggy.

You know how sometimes, you say things out loud and they don't come true?  You jinx it?

Well, I'm hoping that by writing this, that happens now.

I'm hoping that it's just 'nothing' and will be taken care of swiftly, because I needed to take one of Papi's clonazepam to help me stop obsessing about the tissue issue and actually sleep last night.

Sleep I did.

Then resumed thinking about it the moment I awoke.

My breasts have always been a little on the lumpy side, so I've had to get used to that when I check myself out on a regular occasion.

However, upon itching and scratching my boob a few days ago, there was something that didn't feel like my normal tissue.

Last night, I felt it again and it definitely didn't match the rest of my breast and it's nothing I've felt before.

One thing I wasn't completely honest about with my itchy boob post the other day, is that it's only the right side that's itching.

I sorta didn't want to say that out loud, when I coupled it with the fact that there is something there that doesn't feel 'normal'.

I asked Papi, "Please, can you appease my paranoia?"

When I told him what for, he felt the problem and when he touched it, it really hurt, because he wanted to get in there to make sure he was feeling what I was feeling.

He immediately started crying.

My dearest Papi went into trigger mode, from memories of having to watch his mother suffer from cancer, only to lose her in the end.

We calmed ourselves down by trying to remember that if this is a problem, they do great things now.

Great things other than just cure that damn disease.  But then the cancer industry is too big to do that.  They'd lose a lot of money if they cured it.

Anyway, off my soap box.

A lot of women have a lump and they get it removed to find that it's really nothing.

Well, yesterday, we didn't get to the hospital for my ear that isn't hearing properly, but today, we'll be going for a mammogram, no matter the cost.

We'll be accompanied by Visa, MC and Amex, our good buddies as of late.

If there is an actual problem, I'll be getting back to Canada pronto, again, regardless of the cost.

So, there.  I said it out loud.  Now it won't be true.


One of the reasons we never made it to the hospital yesterday was because our neighbours (you know?  the people everyone judges about me back home, because they're supposed to be allowed to steal from us?), called Mr. Extortion to say we were doing work in our yard.

They cut a kick back for tattling and they do everything they can to get money out of us.

No matter how hard we try to be friends, even after we see them steal our concrete and our cement blocks, steal our wood, paint, they still only want MORE money from us.

They don't want to be friends.

I told the Housemaid, who has the biggest gossip problem in the village that they are not our friends, because friends wouldn't do that.

... friends also honour their contracts ... sigh ... say goodbye to another friend back home i loved ... you've officially put a stake through my heart ...

They don't WANT friendship, they only want our money.

So fuck it, I'm done.

Judge all you need to North America's West Coast uber political.

Call me racist if you need to make yourself feel superior and try to put me down, but from this point forward, congeniality will be the name of the game, not giving.

I'll still teach their children music, because those little innocents didn't do anything wrong.  Their parents haven't taught them the best ways to steal.  Yet.

As for Mr. Extortion, I don't care HOW big his fucking gun is, I'll be telling him I know the 'rules'.  You can only take from us for a new building.  It's not new.  It's a repair of the old.

Go away.

Shoot me if you have to, but you're not stealing anything more.

I have much bigger things to worry about than your non-stop theft.

i replace my anger with compassion and understanding

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

scratch that itch.

Being the drama queen I am, I thought there must have been something sinister going on.

Cancer!  Of course!  Because a lot of my family have been afflicted with it, it must be!

I'd heard that day about Angelina Jolie removing her breasts in a preventative measure against the cancer gene.

Not to mention, sure enough, while I'm in a country that doesn't really make me confident with their medical system, it would be now that the horrible things happened, right?!

I went online to search for proof of my demise, googling, 'itchy boob' and found a lot of women with the same problem.

There are a few different diseases, but I didn't have the 'burning' that accompanied, nor do I have any lumps or swelling.

Other than the fact, of course, that I've been scratching it so much that my nipple is a little angry.

But I kept looking and searching and blammo!  There it was.


I'm so allergic to chemicals and while we don't have a washing machine and while I don't want to rub the skin off my knuckles anymore, we bring it in to the hard working women 20 minutes away in Cabarete.

I remember picking up my items and that awesome pretty smell was just wonderful!

Putting on my clothes, I found it to be refreshing, instead of the stink that accumulates from wearing the same clothes over and over.

But that pretty aroma is the problem.

It's no wonder it's my privates that are so damn itchy, when clothes are smack dab against them, rubbing in the heat, releasing all the chemicals onto my skin.

Even yesterday, when I told Papi of my silent drama that was going on without his knowledge, and upon finding the result with relief, he told me, "Yeah, these clothes feel heavy with whatever they use."

No kidding.  Weighed down with chemicals.

So, now the problem is, I wait.  We're back on Dominican Time as we wait for word about what happens next with that damn machine.

The washing machine tech came and finally gave me the answer we needed.

The machine will not work here, because it is digital and the sine, square or whatever else wave it runs on isn't working with our electrical system.

He told me he would write them an email and ask if we could exchange for a good old dial system that won't fail us.

I'll probably have to call and nudge them for an answer for another month.

We have had this damn machine in our house for 2.5 months now.  Nada.

No laundry, and two visits from the tech, not to mention an upgrade of our electrical, not just for the machine, but what we needed to do to get electrical working should have worked for the machine if it worked for Papi's air conditioning he desperately needed to sleep.

Anyway, at least the Google search relieved me of the drama and now I can just ask the angels to perhaps, maybe get this Dominican Time to speed up a bit?

That and from this point forward, until I get that damn machine, at least my bras and undies will be washed by hand.

I'm not going through this much longer.

Sometimes, I can't wait for the workers to leave so that I can strip down and scratch.

One thing I did learn about while going through my boob drama, was that in order to get a doctor here, it's much different than in Canada.

You don't just 'go get a doctor'.  First, you go to the hospital and there you will be given a specific doctor for your ailment.

Then, it's up to each individual to keep a medical record of the results, dates, doctors seen etc.

They don't keep a file on you here.  No paper trail or records to show any history that a doctor might need for symptoms etc.

You must be accurate in your records, or clues could go missing, and you won't have the support you need.

Well, I have to go get my ear looked at and I'm a little afraid of the system here.

I can't really hear out of my right ear, because I have 0% pressure in it from my jaw moving during my Brace Face expedition for 2 years.

I know in Canada, they said to wait until the shrapnel was off, then they'd put a little tube in my drum, release the pressure and I'd have my hearing back.

It scares me with the language barrier as to what might happen here.

Well, today we go to see if we can fix my ear without losing my hearing permanently.

Wish me luck.

i make intelligent choices

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's a bad day for The Donkey.

The Donkey goes in to see Dr. Bob to get fixed today.

She will look at us with the saddest face when we leave her, "You're abandoning me?!  What did I do?!"

Then when we pick her up, while she's depressed and lying in a cage, the face will say, "Whatever I did, I won't do it again."

I wish they spoke English so I could explain what's going on.  Hell, I'd settle for learning their language, if I could.

Old Ghost Face is in heat, but she's much to old to get fixed, so we'll just hide her from the other horny males in the 'hood who keep impregnating all the bitches.

So many pregnant dogs.  So many puppies killed because of it.

Why can't I be that rich person who could pay for all the animals to get fixed and stop the reproduction problem they have here in the Dominican Republic?

Not to make this into a billboard for promotion of the local program or anything, but if you feel like giving anything this year, here's the AAAS, their tax exempt donations, along with their wish list.

Anyway, back to Old Ghost Face.

When we went to the beach the other day, we left her in the yard for a short amount of time, as we didn't know what she might do.


Find a stud to take care of business?

After the mob calmed down, we let her out to join the masses to see what happened.

She stayed close by, because she loves her pack and her humans.  There was nothing greater than seeing that smile on her face.

First, there was trepidation that looked like she was thinking, "Is this a trick?  Are they trying to tell me to leave?  But I get 2 meals a day now!  WITH Alpo gravy!  I'm not leaving this yard."

Then, she took the brave slide down the sand that is slowly disappearing from our front area, as we need those massive boulders PRONTO before we wash away.

Next came the smile.

The, 'I'm so happy I could shit' smile.

I'll spare you the details on that one.

Never-the-less, it was successful, and as soon as she's out of heat, we'll take her on those treks to the beach, along with the pack who will also be exempt from making more puppies in this country.

Totally un-related, let's talk about how much love I received yesterday, when Our Fave's Mom and his sister came by to invite me to go play in the ocean.

The sweetest thing ever is when a child who isn't born to you, loves and trusts you enough to ask you to her hand while you go both go wading in the water.


It makes me so proud that the innocence of a child understands my heart.

Even if adults don't, a child and their intuition know that I'm here for good and I'm here for love.

Because of this sentiment, and the affection of friends who keep making an effort to remain in my heart, I can safely put aside all the politics, judgement and people who have dumped me because they're now part of the 'cool kids' who are on the 'hate the Hector-Browns' bandwagon.

... again ... my heart needs so much healing from the henpeckers ...

When a child wants to play with me in the ocean, doesn't see colour as a barrier, and asks for nothing but joy?

That trumps all.

Then we came to the pool, I pushed her around on the Princess Floaty Chair and she giggled and smiled while her mom had just a few moments to rest and watch.

She had time to just do 'nothing' but watch us in the ocean, in the pool, because the Little Angel was sleeping and Our Favourite was at school.

Rest, for the mama, for at least 30 minutes.

Probably felt like more to her, considering she goes non-stop because her husband is always working.

I keep offering us to babysit so she can have rest, but she hasn't taken us up on that yet.

However, she did say she was moving to Gaspar Hérnandez without her husband, to be closer to her sister, who is a HUGE help.

That made me sad, but until she actually goes, I'll appreciate the time with my DR Family and play with the little ones in the ocean as much as I can.

That child, and the friends back home who haven't left my side, make me stronger every day.

Truly, love is all that matters.

i know i am important

Monday, May 13, 2013

well, we tried ...

We had a full day off.

Both of us were wiped and wasted, but we had a day to be alone.  We couldn't really go anywhere to do errands, because we have a spare tire on that should be used sparingly until we get a new one today.

At first, I thought our day off would be spent sleeping.  I know that's really what I wanted.  You know when I'm eating chocolate at noon, that all I plan on doing is lying around.

But the puppies were being MORE than rambunctious, so we decided to try them out at the beach.

We haven't up until now, because there needed to be some training in place first, and there hasn't been any 'time' to get them out to the water.

The Donkey and Pathetic Puppy don't have all their shots, but we had to do it anyway.  They were using us as launching pads to attack one another in what seemed like their version of rock star body surfing in a mosh pit.

The waves looked pretty tame compared to most days.  We decided to give them a whirl.  I guess it's true that in May the water calms a bit.

What we realized, is only one of us can go in at a time, because the puppies were all over the map.

I thought they were going to run next door to Haiti, so Papi watched out for them to begin with, walking them further down the beach to tire them out.

I went in the water.  The sand in front of our home is amazing!  No rocks at all!  A couple of little dips in the earth that had me losing my already fragile balance, but nothing major.

Out I went allowing every crash of waves to body slam me, occasionally removing my bikini bra.

Arms raised in a vee, I welcomed the power of the water, and giggled with glee every time one would make an attempt to throw me over.

One did.  The undertow pulled me down before the wave smashed me into the sand, turning me over a few times.

... just roll with it ...

That was a little scary, as I concurred with the vast ocean, "OK, point taken.  That is as far as I go."

I kept it to thigh level from that point on, especially because The Donkey didn't like it that I was in the water.

She didn't want to stick with the pack.  She was too afraid that I was going to die.

She whimpered and cried, swimming out to 'save' me, but it was her I had to be careful of with those undertows.

Papi came back and it was my turn to watch the dogs and allow him his water time.

Kids came to watch us play, so I put the dogs back in the yard because of their limited training.  They still jump and some of those kids are tiny.

Papi and I enjoyed the ocean 'alone', even though people watched us from the shore.

We were together.

Nobody else but waves, because if you talk to anyone in our village, they'll tell you it's MUCH too dangerous and nobody ever goes in the water.

We were playing like children, body surfing the crests, and when there was a calm spurt between the pinnacles of surging water, "Quick!  Float on your back!!"

We decided we wanted some solitude at the house, so I made a sign out of wood that said in Spanish, "Please, do not bother us, thank you."

It didn't work.  Nobody cares.  It's not like that in our village, as boundaries are constantly crossed and people just come on in as they please.  When the door is locked, children run to our beach gate and yell my name, or just stare until I notice them, manipulating me into talking to them.

I was grateful for the gift of fruit The Carpenter brought by, and he felt bad that he didn't see the sign first.  He had called my phone to say he was at our house, then came to the door afterward and apologized upon seeing my wooden appeal.

Then, as Our Favourite came to the gate yelling, I tried to tell him that we wanted alone time.  That we would see our friends tomorrow.

It didn't work.  He came back 4 times and the 4th time it was the whole family including the Little Angel.

I went to our front door, and lovingly as possible, explained that we have people here every day and we just need a day to ourselves.

We were only asking for one day, but the look on their faces was horrifying and I'll have guilt over it for all my days, as I've never set a boundary like that with anyone here.

In 4 months, we haven't had that time alone at our home, but it still felt horrible to ask for one day to ourselves, and really, we didn't get what we asked for anyway.

I suppose if we want true alone time, it will have to be done away from Casa Paraíso, or we'll just have to go play in the waves.

It was easier back home to be in solitude, but still, we're looking for paradise more and more within ourselves and not in our abode of beauty.

Still, we had our day at the beach.

i give up the right to criticize myself

Sunday, May 12, 2013


... your sunday sillies are HERE as for some reason, blogger can't find them.  i'll update later when it's behaving ...

I have 3 ways to beat the garbage problem so far, but it looks like I found a fourth.

First, I found a local who can use all my glass.  I've been saving the jars we use from pasta sauce, or ready to drink juices that we seem to drink aplenty in this heat.

The Housemaid knows someone who could use them to sell their wares, so with ABSOLUTE glee I put them into a bag and handed them over.

Then, I emailed the 4 people I know here who are also fortunate enough to have the money to buy ready made foods and drinks from a store, sold in glass jars.

I'll be collecting them for these folks, even I don't know who the vendors are.

Hopefully, I'll find enough people to do the same, that word will spread and other vendors will want them as well!

The second way, is after the fiesta, I learned that Our Favourite's family has pigs.

Pigs like veggie scraps.

So, I have eliminated produce scraps from the garbage, as I save them and bring them over to the pigs.

It also gives me an excuse to visit those little sty dwellers.  How I love them!  It will be a sad day when I notice one 'missing'.

Anyway, I don't have a composter here, and I'm still getting used to plain old watering of plants!

Maybe one day I'll have one, but for now, it doesn't fester in my garbage, becoming a watery mess, seeping through the bag into the bottom of the can, and the pigs get more food.

Third, I've been saving all of Papi's 1/2 gallon orange juice cartons ...

... again ... boy do we go through a lot of juice here ...

... and cutting an opening in the side, and saving them for more veggie garden space.

I'm a little afraid I now have more garden boxes than I can think of what to do with, so perhaps I'll give them to people in the village for their own little gardening projects?

I dunno.  But I keep saving them.

Then!  I had the problem of Papi's plastic pop bottles.

What to do with those gargantuan piles of trash that took up half the casita because my love has a soda addiction?!?!

Well, I thought I'd put them outside our door in a box and see if someone would take them.

Someone did!  So, I'm saving my garbage from a lot of stuff right now.

There's one problem.

We're not changing our garbage as quickly as we were, so the throw aways from that damn fish I cooked yesterday are festering in the garbage, and it's only half full.

It will take a few more days to get through this garbage bag before I can remove it from our space, unlike how we were going through one bag in two days prior to now.

I'm terrified to throw anything new away, as when the trash can opens, the stench of fish remains permeate throughout the house for a good 10 minutes.

I didn't have the time to ask Our Favourite's dad if pigs eat fish before I chopped that bugger up, so in my can it went.

I'm saving on garbage space, but stinking up the whole house.

Something that I realized as I went to cook that fresh fish from my Pescado Pal, I've never prepared a fish before.

I've seen it done a few times, but without hands on training, well, I'm definitely less than a pro.

I went through 3 knives before I found a suitable one to cut the head and tail off.

Never mind the spiky things on it's spine that were jabbing me every move I made.

Definitely good to ward of predators in the ocean.

Warding me off just fine.

I didn't do a very good job of removing the meat from the bone, but after all the trouble I went to with that food, I had a nice little meal and felt so good for having the fresh protein in my blood system.

But of course, I ate chocolate while I cooked it.

Now, I just need to find someone who wants used paper, wet animal food tins and pop cans, and plastic containers, like that of the cashews we buy every time we're in Santiago.

Bit by bit, I'm at the start of something.

Maybe one day it will be big.

i am filled with success

Saturday, May 11, 2013

blame it on the rain

This week, we haven't been able to keep up our 'excursion to the beach' bargain.

It seems that when our friends back home in Vancouver have a lot of sun, we get all their rain.

I don't mind so much.

The rain here is warm.


When it rains it means our lazy asses don't have to go water the garden.

That saying, 'When it rains it pours', is MORE than true here.

A lot of the time, Vancouver's bad weather is that horrible misty rain, which floats up and under people's umbrellas.

No point in an umbrella when it's that fine mist.


No such thing.

Never fine mist.

When it rains, it literally pours.

Everyone runs for cover.

Our Favourite was here yesterday, to find out what time we could drive Our Fave's Mom to her sister's house.

She has a best friend in her sister.  Her sister will make her happy.

Even though we eventually went for that walk on the beach yesterday, I know that a best friend always makes us much more content.

We are her personal chauffeur, as we gather all her, our godson, and the kids' belongings and pack them into our little Carolla.

I always make Our Fave's Mom sit in front, even though every time she tries to sit in the back, because it's the rule in our car.  Visitors in front.

Most folks have motorcycles, so as we drive along that narrow street of her family's village, people look in at her like she's something pretty fancy, and I feel like all she's missing is a tiara.

Anyway, it was raining and Our Favourite was here to find out when we'd be leaving.  I asked him to go tell his mother that we'd be there in 10 minutes.

20 minutes if you count in that everything is Dominican Time.  Even ex-pats get stuck in that time warp.

He told me he couldn't go tell her until it stopped raining.

I thought maybe my lack of Spanish was hearing the wrong thing, but nope.

He couldn't walk to his house because it was raining.

The kids here don't go to school when it rains and even shops shut down.

But it wasn't until his mother said that the rain hurts her and gives her a headache that I finally understood.

In Vancouver, the rain debilitated me, as every injury I had from the motorcycle accident was inflamed and I would lie writhing, unless I was whacked out on pain meds.

Here, the rain is warm, and to me it's lovely, but when you've lived here from birth, well, the rain is cold and it hurts.

It's pretty amazing how one woman's pain is another's joy.

It's so true to everything in life.

It's all relative.

Like my Big Sister reminded me, even though I see our house as the size of an average abode in Vancouver, here it is a mini mansion.

Everything is relative.

All I know is, here, I am grateful for the rain, and people look at me like I'm nuts as I walk around in a tank top and shorts, smiling, because I know once the sun comes back out, I'll be dry in 10 minutes.

I put my most admired, heaviest sweatshirt on Our Favourite, and off we went to drive around our royalty.

Indeed, I did my best to make her feel comforted yesterday.

Even if our lack of Spanish somehow had us buying her sister's chicken their feed for the month.

OK kids.

The buck-buck-BUCKAW stops here.

... did you get my chicken joke? ...

Time to put up some more boundaries.

And learn some more Spanish.

i love my family and friends, even if they don't understand me completely

Friday, May 10, 2013

help me help

My heart was reduced to shattered debris.

I was in the kitchen, getting ready to make a meal after running around all day, when Our Favourite appeared at the door.

"My mom wants you to come."

Oh, but I'm hungry.

You don't want me to visit when I'm hungry.

I was a little perturbed.

As I get when I'm hungry.

But I went anyway, because you never know what kind of help Our Fave's Mom might need.  She's really trying to do a lot of this on her own with our godson, as her husband is working a lot.

I've told her to always come when she needs something.  Anything.

She tends not to take me up on that, and has told me in the past she likes to be alone.  I don't want to be in her face all the time, as I know I would with that Little Angel in this world.

I followed Our Favourite and his mini-me sister.

When I got to their house, I felt rude just walking in to her private space, but she wasn't coming out.  I suppose I had to go against those feelings of awkwardness to see what she needed.

I pushed back the curtain to her tiny room, and saw that they were using the carriage we gave them as a crib.

Yay!  It makes me so happy when people use what I give them.

But as I looked at her, underneath the veil of a mosquito net, I knew there was a heaviness I hadn't seen in her before.

At first, it could be confused with exhaustion.

I sat down and asked her how she is doing.

"I'm sad," she said, as I finally saw the tears rolling down her face.  "I'm alone."

She is alone.

I get it.

I have felt it.

I know that emotion all too well, but I haven't had the double whammy of postpartum depression to go along with it.

Her body is reeling in chemical imbalance as it gets used to no longer being a host.

I touched her leg and said, "I am very, very sorry.  I understand.  I don't visit your house every day because I think you want to have your space."

I told her to come to my house ANY time she feels she needs a friend.  That she can watch me run around like a lunatic as I'm being called one way to the next from workers.

I said I would come by more often to see her if she'd like that.  She said she would.

I told her that we could go for a walk.  She needs to get out of the house.  Being in a house alone just makes it worse, you need fresh air and change of scenery.

I asked her if she likes to exercise.  She does, so in 3 months, when her body is healed from the invasive surgery of giving birth without going through the natural canal, we could do some yoga.

I told her how it helps my brain, my heart and that exercise is good for depression.

In my limited Spanish, I did my very best to explain that I have depression, so when she needs to talk or cry, it's not hard for me to see, because I understand.

Papi came after a while to see if everything was OK.

I had been there for quite some time consoling her, consoling the Little Angel from gas, and consoling the little sister who was being berated by Our Favourite every minute or so.

Papi was worried that something was terribly wrong.  He showed up with pistol in hand.  Well, in underwear.

Yes.  Something is wrong, but not gun worthy.

Our Fave's Mom needs a friend to help her through postpartum depression right now.

I could use a physical friend too.  I am grateful to my friends who give love virtually, but there's something about a physical hug that makes me stronger.

I asked my angels to help me do everything in my power to be as selfless as possible, in hopes that I could help her through this.

It's hard enough when I'm depressed, but when I see someone else depressed, it's as if the pain goes through me, because I can't handle to see people suffer.

Like Papi is suffering right now.

I know how it feels, and I am dying watching him be in the pain he is experiencing.

Help me to help them both.

i see myself as the gift i am to people, community and nation

Thursday, May 9, 2013

looking to the future

There's a small possibility that we'll have a washing machine soon.

I'm not getting my hopes up, though.

Hopes for what Papi and I know as 'normalcy' get crushed here pretty quickly.

The women 2 towns down do a really good job, and I don't rub the skin raw off my knuckles trying to do it by hand.

No chloro.  No destroying of clothes.  They fold it super wonderful and they really smell good too.

If we never have a washing machine, we'll just live like we have been.

Clothes don't get brought in for cleaning until they start offending people's nasal cavity.

Mine tend to do that faster than Papi.

Not sure why I'm such a stinky girl, but I never used to smell like this years ago.

Too much info for ya?

Ok, let's talk about The Donkey and her first trip to Dr. Bob yesterday.

There's a double edged sword of reality here.

First of all, the people we adopted her from lied to us.

Now we know they just wanted to get rid of her, even if it meant lying about her, and it always aches when I think about unwanted animals.

I knew they were lying about her being part rottweiler, even if they did show a pic of the 'mother'.  Pictures don't prove anything.

The moment I saw her, I knew she couldn't have any rott in her, because she is so thin in the hind quarters.  Any hound that is part rottweiler would have that rottie bum.  No choice in the matter.

Anyway, I said it all along, but Dr. Bob confirmed it for Papi, and Papi believed him over me.

But the other part they lied about?  She was not 4 months when we got her, she was around 7 or 8 months.

Which means she's not going to grow any bigger.  That to me was the best news EVER!

As much as it's cute and all to have a novelty like the world's tallest dog, the fears I had about her just strolling up to the counter and eating everything off it without her paws leaving the ground have been calmed.

She'll fill out a bit, but no taller.  Phew!!!!!

So, she's around 8 or 9 months now.  Ready to be fixed so we're not inundated with donkey pups from the un-neutered dogs in the hood.

Next week is her day, and it's just as hard for us!

Dropping her off and seeing that face that says, "You're leaving me?!?!"  Then picking her up when she's in a kennel with the eyes that say, "Whatever I did, I'll never do it again!!"

But it's better than having unwanted puppies.

It's better than her puppies being in the hands of the same type of person who would just give her away when she got too big.

There's another really difficult part about dogs in the Dominican Republic that absolutely kills me.

People can't afford to get their dogs fixed, so there's pregnant dogs all over the place.

But the puppies?  When there's too many puppies, people kill them.  That's the animal control, because spaying and neutering is not a financial option.

It absolutely cuts my heart into pieces and I can't handle thinking about it sometimes.

I want to make a difference here and help to start raise money for the spaying and neutering of dogs here along side the AAAS.

As things calm down, I have 2 projects that have to be started pronto.

Make some kind of promotion to help get animals fixed, and get the choir going with the kids.

Then there's the PanMan!

He stopped by yesterday and told me as SOON as we're done here, he wants me to get working with him to help promote his ecotours and land for people to live on.

Oh, hey!  I get my keyboard today!!!  I get to start making music again!!!

So, it looks like I have a lot of good things coming up.  Let's just find me some down time to do it, OK angels?!?!


And how about that washing machine?

(oh hey ... if you like the sunday sillies of our YouTube show, maybe you could join up on the Facebook page and help spread the word about it?)

i engage in work that impacts the world in a positive way

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the oil of oregano dance

Oil of oregano is SO good for a virus.  It'll kick that bugger right outta there.

So, when Our Favourite was complaining that he had a cold, I decided to give him some.

I'm going to make some ginger tea for him today to keep up with the immune boosting and get him healthy, but last night I just didn't have the energy, so oil of oregano it was.

I warned him and Our Fave's Mom.  I made sure they both knew it would taste horrible so they were prepared for his reaction.

I had the eye dropper all poised and said, "Ready?" with a partial giggle, knowing that this would probably be the most horrid tasting medicine he would ever experience.

Buckley's ain't got NOTHIN' on oil of oregano.

Anyway, tongue up, drops in and blammo!  There it was!!  The oil of oregano dance!

Hopping around trying to spit it out.  Arms flailing as he tried to put his shirt up to his mouth to get the excess out.  I think I even saw an evil eye glare at me!

He could try and spit that stuff out all he wanted, but once it's under your tongue, the burn just has to work it's way out.

Our Fave's Mom laughed and laughed.

We know that sometimes, the best things for us are things that hurt, leave a bad taste in our mouths, or have us learning big lessons.

I had another lesson this week.  I was called racist again.

I understand a lot more about why people of colour would hate white people.  I see it in the workers here, when I see how white people treat them.

Even though I know I'm judged, I do my best to maintain a smile with the men in our yard, as I give them water all day long to keep them hydrated while they do good for us.

One of them absolutely despised me.  He just saw me as another white asshole.

One night, he was working late and alone, and the sun was going down.  He hadn't stopped for a dinner break, and we had some delicious pasta in the fridge, and I thought he was probably hungry.  Maybe he'd want it?

My dinner was chocolate, and I don't share that with anyone.

I didn't even think he would accept my offering, and battled with whether or not I should try to feed him, because he probably wouldn't want anything from me considering how much he abhorred me.

However, I meekly went out and offered, and was so pleased he took it.

Ever since I gave him dinner, he has been nice to me.  I suppose he's just like me; the way to his heart is through his stomach.

Now, he says hello in the mornings, and he has been the biggest help with giving me gardening tips.  Every time he sees me doing something wrong, he comes over and shows me the right way.

It's the greatest gift of all to me, a city slicker, who has only kept one plant alive in my life.

That was of course, until my motorcycle accident, and Papi was in charge.  That poor plant didn't last very long, but I'm keeping things alive as I get a lot of tips now.

Anyway, I understand how people of colour would hate white people.  It just hurts that there's absolutely NOTHING I could ever do right, because I was born white and am judged not by my actions, but by the colour of my skin.

An article I read, as I was trying to learn more about how people of colour hate us, was talking about a room full of white people who were there to learn more about racism.

The woman looked out amongst the mostly white crowd and said to herself, "It's still all about you."

Why?  Those people are doing their best to try to change things by learning more, but still, they're bad for being there.

Why is completely OK to be hated and put down because of being white?

I don't intentionally do anything to harm another person, no matter what colour they are, unless of course, you're an asshole to me, then you're fair game.

Yet, I'll never be able to do anything good enough and will always be hated by some because of my colour.

Lesson learned.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  Just accept being hated.

Every time someone from the 'community' calls me racist on that toxic social media site I call Fecesbook, they're added to the 'mean girls' list, and are hidden so they can't see anything on my wall.

I'll just be invisible to the haters, and take away their opportunity to attack me to look cool to the other assholes in the 'community' who yes, happen to be white.

I've learned that all that matters is that I know I try my best to help people in ways I feel are good for both of us.

All that matters is Our Favourite and Our Fave's Mom trust us to be part of the DR Family, no matter what colour we are.

I'll keep on doing my best, no matter how much people try to insult me.

i value and honour myself as i am

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dirt under feet.

If you had have asked me 5 years ago what I would want to be doing right now, I honestly never would have banked on the fact that I'd be walking around barefoot as part of that plan.

Certainly, Vancouver is not a city where you want to walk barefoot.  It's even dangerous on the beach.

Remember when you were little?

It almost seemed you could walk on glass!

You did everything barefoot and all those little rocks that jabbed into the arch of your foot never even phased you!  You just kept running.

It felt cool on your feet and the feeling of the earth beneath you gave you energy.

The feeling of mud between your toes was extravagant as you watched it fill the crevices between your digits, then up over the knuckle, then finally your toenails would disappear.

It's so much easier to walk barefoot here, because the sand just gets in your flip-flops anyway.

Then it grates along your skin.

At least when you're on the true ground, it feels soft and doesn't feel like sandpaper waring away the years of callouses on the soles of your feet.

There are no intravenous drug users in my village, I don't have to worry about needles, or broken glass from drunks who like to smash their bottles in a fit of alcoholism.

However, I do have to worry about the neighbourhood drunk.  At least there's only one:  Mr. Gummy.  He touches me again like he did yesterday, he's not going to have a friend anymore.  And, no, Mr. Gummy.  I'm not giving you money for more beer.  Go sleep it off.

Other than Mr. Gummy, the most I have to worry about when I walk shoeless are land mines from the dogs.

Those bonus dumps from The Donkey wouldn't feel too sexy between my toes.

This morning, as I tried to chase down the lettuce man to no avail, I realized that I walk barefoot more than I walk in shoes.

My feet are adjusting.

They seem stronger.

They seem as though they hold me more stable.

I still wobble about, but I can correct myself much faster.

Dirt under feet.

It feels so good.

Who knew I was missing this in my life?

I never knew what I was missing.

Today, Papi and I are supposed to go play in the the water at Sosúa Beach.  It's our day.

We were going to try for yesterday, but the water wasn't working again, and we had to wait for my Plumber Friend to come fix it.

Apparently, we're supposed to 'jiggle this little thing right here'.


We missed out on our beach day to find out we had to jiggle something.

We have to go today, because it did so much for us last week.

This is the month they say that the water calms down at our house.

When it calms down, we won't have to go too far to float and be grateful for the beauty.

Those waves today?

They do NOT look like they're calming.

I'm listening to them right now.

It almost sounds like a storm outside, but it's just waves crashing.

Last night, I heard my first thunder here!

I love thunder.  It's so beautiful to me, and May is supposed to be storm month.  I just might get a lot of thunder love in this month.

All of this beauty of nature is the first thing I need to put on my list of new things that make me happy.

The New Life List.

Much different than that of Vancouver.

New life.

New ways to find happiness.

Dirt under feet.

i attempt all possible ways to get unstuck

Monday, May 6, 2013

new world

2 beds.

That's all they have in the emergency room in the city of Gaspar Hernández that our village borders.

All the new mothers with their babies are lined up for their immunization, and when they're done with immunization, everyone waits in the hallway with about 40 other new mothers.

Everyone thought the baby was mine, but I was only there to be part of the Little Angel's very first immunization.

They all laugh when I tell them I'm the godmother.

I suppose it's just a novelty to most to have a gringa for a godmother.

But the Little Angel is quite comfortable with me, and Our Favourite keeps offering for us to take him home for good.  Make him OUR baby.

I tell him, "I want to!  But your dad needs him."  Papa is VERY proud of his boy.

2 pediatric doctors tag team with all the mothers who need them.

There are signs everywhere that say to wash your hands with soap and water to ward off disease, but obviously that only applies to your own home, because there is no soap with which to do so in the hospital.

Newborns are everywhere, and dirty hands are touching them.

Not that we have it much better here at Casa Paraíso.  We have soap, yes, but no water.  However, we have electricity.  It seems we get a choice of one or the other.

Today, I'll be the smelly gringa who tries to cover up my BO with more pit shit.

I've given up on trying to feel fresh and pretty.  I'll leave that up to all the other lovely ladies here.

I might as well become a hippy.  My hair is definitely long enough now.

I just tie it back all the time, or up in some kinda do with my hair rags.  What's the point if I can't shower?

Anyway, Our Fave's Mom is in Gaspar Hernández with her sister who cares for them with all the love of the mother herself.

She's a great help.

They're grateful when I come, because they get a break and pass the Little Angel off to me.

I fawn over him as they clean and giggle at me speaking to him in English.  Baby doesn't care.  He can't understand Spanish either, so I'm good.

The people in the tiny little dwellings where Our Fave's Mom is staying are starting to get to know me and vice versa.

A few of them make sure I'm safe.  They watch over me as I walk, talk between people for me and surround me with their presence.

When they're not there, I have to say, it's like putting a young, pretty, naive girl in the pit with a gaggle of construction workers back home.

The leers, ogling, cat calling, attention sucking sounds and words I don't have to understand to know what they mean, really make me MUCH more than uncomfortable.

I know how to handle those creeps back home now, as I'm not the spring chicken I used to be, not to mention, not being the spring chicken, they leave me alone now.

There are good things to be said about aging for this femme ridden with P.T.S.D.

Still, I have visions of the poor woman who died from a gang rape in India.

I try my best to put on the 'don't fuck with me' face, but just like my intuition doesn't work here, neither does my Pissy Face.

I keep my stun gun in my purse.  I don't carry any cash.  I dress down.

It's a new world, and it's not MY world.

It's not the same when Papi is with me.  The men don't bother me as overtly.  But today was too early for mi esposo to play The Godfather.

It's a world that I have to adapt to, learn how to survive and most definitely, seek out the better hospitals.

No matter how bad off I am, I won't be visiting the one in Gaspar Hernández.

No toilet paper or soap, and only two beds with every sick person in the city lined up against the wall.


I come home and clean myself pronto after a visit to that building.  Today, with water we bought from the local store.

New world, new dangers.

New life.

i maintain my self-confidence at all times in all places