Friday, August 30, 2013

dear sir, you are loved.

So, there I was, amongst a bunch of people from our village at the Party At The Gas Station!!! the night I was practicing drunk crutching, and there was a moment that was more than a little difficult.

Homophobia is rampant here on this island of Dominican Republic and Haiti, and people can be killed for it.

Well, there was a young, flamboyant, out gay man out at the party.

The folks from our group looked to me to joke about this sweet soul with them.

I finally figured out what they were laughing at, realizing it was this lovely person whom I had greeted with a very friendly, "Hola!!" the moment he came in.

I thought he was a rock star for putting himself out there, and thought the girls he came in with were the best friends to have.

Real friends with real love.

The danger is very real, but he chooses not live in fear for whom he is.

He was splendid.

So, when I realized they were looking to me to join them in the belittling, I exclaimed, "You mean that beautiful man?!?!" I placed my hands on my heart to emphasize just how much admiration I had for him, continuing with as much zeal as I could, "He's SOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!"

Then, with as perky a positive attitude I could, I added, "He is wonderful and I LOVE him so much!" Hoping this would squelch the temptation to include me in the ritual of spitting out hateful comments.

I continued, "We have so many homosexuals in Canada.  It's wonderful!" not going into the truth of the matter, which is that there are plenty closeted gays here.

They all stopped and looked at each other, not quite sure what to say, or do, as they don't normally get this kind of reaction.

Then one of them said to the others, "Ohhhhh!  Canada."  They nodded, knowingly to one another that we think differently.

Papi said he didn't know how he'd deal with that.

However, Papi is in fear that they will figure out his secret.

It could be equally as dangerous.

I know that people are seriously in danger on this planet for being who they are, and it's a serious topic, but getting angry to teach people is not the answer.

With hate in their heart, people tried to accuse me of being racist and classist, and did it in such a mean hurtful way.

Their actions will never leave my soul.

But I do know, you don't have to be angry and hateful to teach people.

The people I was with that night got to see that there is a different way to react, even though they've been taught to react to adversely.

I wouldn't be able to teach anyone anything about homophobia in one night.

All they get to know, is that one person out there thinks that young guy is wonderful, special, and is loved.

That there CAN be a different reaction.

There is so much to be angry about in this world.

There is so much to take away from beauty, if we let it.

I certainly wouldn't be leaving myself approachable to anyone asking questions about the topic if I was an angry asshole.

I certainly wouldn't be influencing anybody if I treated people here the same way people I thought were 'friends' back home treated me.

Those expelling bad vibes are expunged from my life, and if any of them thought I had something to learn, and wanted to teach me, well, it's too late.

My spirit is closed to their negativity.

They were trying to spread more hate.

So much can be done with love.



You can't fight hate with hate.

Only love wins.

Dearest beautiful, gay man, you are SO loved!

i choose to stop apologizing for being me

Thursday, August 29, 2013

heartbreaking ... fearful

I can handle seeing people being hurt.

I can't handle seeing, or for that matter, even hearing about, an animal being hurt.

I've always been like that.

And as one of the most recent haters, who considers me a HORRIBLE person, so crudely put it, "You have dogs you pamper, while people are starving."


I do.

And if I could save the world, I would.

But I can't.

So, I love my dogs and I teach music without charge because children can't afford it.

It's about all I can do.

But the point is, I heard such horrible news about some animals here.

I try to understand.

It's cultural.

It's survival.

About a 45 minute drive from here is a gated community in Sosúa.

This is a place expats go to live to feel 'safe' from the murders, robberies, and to be amongst people who 'understand' you, because they came from your own culture.


We don't live there.

We live with people who are really from here.


This 'safe' place had a horrible experience.

All their dogs, as in ALL their dogs were poisoned.

The entire gated community's dogs, deceased.  Cats deceased.


Obviously, their armed guards, who are the ones supposedly keeping them safe, couldn't do much to help this.

Besides, here, The Guard is usually the one to rob you.

Here, thieves poison your dogs, returning while you're in agony from grieving, and rob you.

There is an entire community grieving over Fuzzy Families.

I'm heartbroken over this.

I'm also seeing that we really have to pay CLOSE attention to the possibility that anything could be thrown into the yard.

We have to diligently look for 'treats' thrown our babies' way.

We seem to be getting quite complacent.

We seem to feel quite protected by the wonderful people who live in our village.

The other day, the whole village came running when they heard a few gunshots go off.

They thought it came from our way, but it was a cop shooting at a drug dealer down the road, but still, they all came running to make sure we were OK.

We know, that with the exception of a couple of people, that those in our village are not the ones we're needing to protect ourselves from.


They are good people, but they have friends who don't look at us as people to protect.

We are simply white people who have things they could sell to support themselves and their family.

We have beautiful fuzzies that we would be in utter despair if someone took their lives.

Another world.

Another culture.

To me, it's heartbreaking what desperate people need to do to survive.

I'm afraid for my babies.

As horribly behaved as they are, I love them.

i choose to live in freedom over fear

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

guess what day it is?!??!!?

Papi comes home today.

Not a moment too soon.

There is going to be some serious training.

The Donkey is out of control.

Now she doesn't even bat an eye at having the water squirt her in the face for jumping up on us.

She is massive.

She is strong.

When she jumps on you, she is staring you eye to eye.

You're the same height with an animal that, if she didn't like you, could do some real damage.

She REALLY needs work.

I would love to find someone on the island who could help us.

My regular obedience training I do is just not good enough.

Papi is coming home to trouble.

Papi is coming home to some dogs that don't know how happy they're going to be.

Yeah, they're acting out because I am locked away in my cage.

I don't go outside.

I just tell them I love them through the bars.

I don't open the windows.

I sit at the table yelling at The Donkey to stop beating the shit out of Pathetic Puppy.

I sit and look at the pool, wishing, swearing at my cast, while sweat is dripping from my body because I don't open the windows.

I don't open the windows, because what's the point?

I have to ask for help to close them again before I retreat to my castle tower.

I just can't do it.

So, I lie upstairs with the fan trained on me, while I listen to the dogs beat the shit out of each other, barking.

Going downstairs to eat is too much of a production.

I do the once in the morning for my coffee, because we all know I wouldn't survive without it.

Then I sit there, drinking it, sweating profusely.

I'm not exaggerating.

When those windows are closed in this house, it is a sauna.

I come upstairs and strip my fully soaked clothing, then sit on the edge of the tub to shower what I can with my cast resting on the toilet.

Papi comes home today.

Windows will be open.

Papi comes home today.

Dogs will get attention.

Papi comes home today.

I get love.

Papi comes home today.

i have much to celebrate

Monday, August 26, 2013

here comes the fight ...


All day yesterday, all day today.

Shots of pain in my foot and leg, and it didn't help that The Donkey did her best to knock me over again today, and I tried to save myself by using my ripped ankle to get her off.

Furthermore, I suppose going out Saturday night wasn't the BEST thing for me.

Housemaid looked at me like I was a wimp and kinda laughed at me when I said I just couldn't come by for the invite for a Sunday party in the village.

Yeah, well, my body isn't quite as strong as it used to be.  I gave up being strong after the motorcycle accident.

I accept these shots of pain as a warning.  I allow them to tell me I've done 'enough'.

I had told her I wanted to lie down for a few days until Papi got here, and I should have followed my intuition instead of allowing for someone to persuade me otherwise.

I feel so bad for the dogs.

I hear them acting out.

I read the sadness in their eyes that they can't be near me.

I sense the confusion.

"Why are these other people feeding me, but we're in the same house?"

It's OK my little loves.

Papi comes home in ONE MORE SLEEP and you'll feel things are back to normal.

I'LL feel things are back to normal.

The cats will be miserable again, because the dogs will be in the room.

That's OK.  They had a lovely week with some isolated time with me.

The inverter went out last night.

It wasn't the best sleep, listening to the white noise of the fan to try to keep me cool.

It was pretty hot, but Papi comes home in ONE MORE SLEEP to fix everything.

Papi's coming home tomorrow!!!!!  TOMORROW!!!!!!

At least I'll have my love to take care of me.

I'm staying in bed another day.

I think it finally hit me, after I realized that I truly have a nasty injury last night.

I can't just up and run about with a cast on my leg.

Housemaid will just have to find someone else to party with.

I know that she enjoys my time, as does Our Fave's Mom, as she called me a total of 16 times yesterday.

I understand, she's back in town and would love me to see Little Angel, but when you're tired and hurting, you kinda just want some quiet time.

I'm just too exhausted to even try to speak Spanish, so I studied it instead.

I spent the entire day filling out flashcards in the awesome new flashcard program I found: StudyBlue.

When I switched from iPhone to Galaxy, I had to make a whole new batch, and that's still considered studying.

An entire Sunday, filling in flashcards, instead of talking.

I'm tired.

I hurt.

I have a lot of healing to do.

I didn't even go downstairs for a healthy dinner.

Chocolate was on the menu, as I didn't have to get out of bed for that.

The novelty of my first cast has worn off and now I'm into the injury depression.

Chronic pain will do that.

I anticipated it, but hoped I could stay busy enough for it not to hit me.

No matter how much Housemaid tried to entertain me, there's just no escaping the injury depression.  It really is unavoidable.

It has arrived and Hurricane Andréa is just around the corner.

Time to mope in my bed, just in time for Papi to return.

You poor soul, Papi.

I am grateful for prozac.

Oh, but I'll fight that bitch tooth and nail, all the way down to the Pit of Doom.

i have the ability to choose happiness

Sunday, August 25, 2013

drunk crutching.

... your sunday sillies ...

I didn't think it out too clearly.

Well, the party I was invited to was actually a hang out with the entire village at the Isla Gas Station.

Party At The Gas Station!!!!!

It happens every weekend.

Only this time I was on crutches.

Some people were helpful, some people would just stand in my way, while staring at the out of place gringa.

Then there were the washrooms.

Remember when I told you about thighs of steel from not being able to sit on the loo?

Alright.  So, now that I only have one thigh ...

... ummmm ...

It was something short of a comedy routine.

This time, it was a task for my triceps.

They were shaking about while I tried my best to balance and hover over a toilet, all the while keep the crutches from slipping under the neighbouring stall, then falling on the urine infused floor with my shorts around my ankles.

At least, they were giving out napkins for toilet paper this time.

Not that it mattered.

By the time I was able to balance on one foot, reach in to my shorts pocket for the paper with the one hand that WASN'T holding me up with the other crutch, and hover just a little less to be able to do a functional reach around, piddle had dribbled down my leg.


I was wearing white shorts.

Next came the task of wobbling back through all the people on the dance floor.

Now, this is hard enough for someone who has two feet.

Now, add in crutches.

Now, add in a pint of beer in my system.

Now, add in the assault of the speaker in your ear as you try to get past the distortion as quickly as possible, but not so fast that your crutches come out from underneath you, because the floor is slippery from spilled beer, and you have a frantic femme.

My balance is not so great at the best of times.

Alcohol will make that worse, crutches will make it even harder.

But I did it.

I finally made it back to my seat, sweating once more from the task I accomplished.

I was quite exhausted from the whole scene, and it made me not want to put any more liquid into my bladder.

Every single person who asked what happened immediately says, "Moto accident?"

Seems about right.

With the amount of people who drink and moto, there are so many of them who lose a limb on an average day.

To have a broken ankle from a moto accident isn't unheard of.

No, I do special stunts.

I like to fall off a wall, tearing a ligament in my ankle.

Now I just have to be sure that while I'm on crutches, I don't incur any more injuries.

The humiliation of piddle dribble was enough.

I don't need my 2nd cast of my life time on an arm because I slipped and fell because of crutches.

No, I stopped drinking quite early to be sure I didn't have a rebound injury.

Drunk crutching.

I don't recommend it.

i know how to adequately fuel my body

Saturday, August 24, 2013

what to do?

All I want to do is sleep.

Pain meds will do that to you.

However, Housemaid has other plans for me.

After it took ALL DAY just to get downstairs, make breakfast, pay a bill and buy more pain meds, I told her, "I think I'm staying bed for a few days."

My intention was that I would just stay in bed until Papi came home.

She was shocked and said, "No!  Andréa!  My friend invited us to a party!  You HAVE to go!"

I'm not too good at these crutches.

My balance is bad enough with 2 legs.

I've tried to shower, but having that one leg out of the shower doesn't make for a completely clean body.

I feel like a sticky mess, and now I'm supposed to look pretty for a party?

Plus, I'm sweating so much from working these aluminum gizmos.

At least I got a lot of Spanish studying accomplished over the last few days.

I really was meant to slow down.

When I'm better though, I need to work hard.

We just figured out how much we owe for all the bills we incurred from Casa Paraíso, and damn, it's NOT good.

We're going to be living QUITE frugally for quite a while.

No problem.

Prince Papi will have a crash course in how it was for me for all those years when I lived EastSide.

I had MANY years of practise, and here, it's just part of life.

Most people live dangerously on the edge, yet still have enough money for beer.

I can get a sugary treat for 10 pesos when I'm jonesin' for it.

Or make a chocolate bar last 6 days by only having one chunk a day.

Then Papi told me that the wife of the creep has begged me to come back to teaching.

Part of me wants to go under the conditions that he's not there.

However, no money in the world can make up for the possibility that something could happen with this guy.

Yeah, I need the money, but is there a chance that I could get raped for teaching?

Or suffer more disgusting comments that he somehow thinks are appropriate?

Wife says he would never hurt anyone.  Of course she says that.

All I know is, I responded to the wife and explained that I would not be in a safe environment, but she asked if I could teach her child in a different house.  Like maybe a neighbour's house.

What if the creep sees me?

Do I continue, because I need the money, and trust that he will leave me alone if he sees me?

Or do I continue on, looking for other students, eating less chocolate?

Would I be doing the wrong thing by going against my word of keeping myself safe?

Or would I be empowering myself by attaining an income under my terms?

All I know is, the creep never told her what it was he did.

She said he mentioned 'something about my skirt flitting up with the wind'.



You left out the part about your pecker standing at attention, pointing to it and telling me that was 'my fault'.

What to do?

I could really use the money.

i know my inner self will guide me to the right decision

Thursday, August 22, 2013

taking care ...

Doggy guilt.

Worst guilt out there.

They cry at the door.

But I can't be around The Donkey.

Man.  She is strong.

Yesterday, she jumped on me, knocking the wind out of me for 20 minutes.

But not only that, if there wasn't a wall behind me, myself and my crutches would have been down on the ground with a possible concussion.

Nobody better fuck with her.

She's strong, tall, and fast.

I just can't be around her.  She's too much for me right now, and she knows I'm vulnerable, so she's taking advantage of the fact.

I stay locked behind the iron door, and she stays outside crying.


How can I live with myself!?!?!

Well, Papi comes back in 5 sleeps.

In 5 sleeps they get to come back upstairs because Papi can let them out.

You know what's really funny?

Before Papi left, I told him, "When you come back, I'm taking a week off and not doing ANYTHING!"

He was saying I didn't do much more than dishes and laundry here.

The best way to show him how much I actually do would be to not do anything and he can see everything I do then.

Well, would you look at that.

I wasn't kidding.

I won't be doing anything.

He'll be stuck with it all.

So sorry, my love, it's like the motorcycle accident all over again.

Only this time, I'm more aware of my surroundings and can have a decent conversation.

Like for instance, "Papi, can you bring me water?"

Or how about, "Papi, can you make me my salad?"

Or better yet, "Papi, can you please wash my back?"

I have had a few showers since the cast, but having a cast means I have one foot out of the shower.

I'm not feeling as clean as I would normally.

Today, I decided I'm staying in bed with my ankle up.

I've been taking pain killers for a few days, and today?

I'd rather just lie here and allow gravity to help with the pain today.

I need rest.

Rest is what heals us.

The Housemaid took me out to see some beautiful sights yesterday.

I think she's trying to keep me occupied.

She knows how it feels.  The same thing happened to her.  She refused to go to a doctor and limped on a bad ankle for a week and wound up in a cast as well.

So, she's really taking good care of me.

However, today, I need to rest.

I'm so sorry, dogs.  I really am.

It's so hard to see them so depressed.

5 more lonely nights for them while Dominican Daddy takes care of them.



Definitely nap.


i am learning the art of self love

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

no bueno.

I remember sitting outside a hospital on a rock, waiting for a 'short bus' to come bring my crippled body home after the motorcycle accident.

I felt so vulnerable.

Me with my cane, still very fragile and needing some assistance to walk a short distance.

I was weak.

I was compromised.

I was afraid of the potential people had to prey on an easy target.

I feel it again.

The other day, I went to the hospital, just to 'check out' my ankle, as the swelling and pain weren't going away.

Sure enough, I was told I'd torn the ligament in my ankle, not enough for surgery, but enough that they had to put a cast on it to immobilize it for 3 weeks.

It kinda feels like the 'behave yourself' punishment, for having limped about on a fucked up ankle for a week, ignoring my intuition.

I honestly thought it would just go away on it's own.

I also honestly thought I was over-reacting to the pain.

Turns out, I was under-reacting.

I guess that comes with 4 years of chronic pain from a bitch of a back, and comparing the level of pain.  I suppose I figured, if the pain wasn't as bad as my back, then it's not so bad.

Anyway, now I feel VERY insecure about my safety.

I am not feeling like I can protect myself.

Yesterday, I had to go shopping.

I needed the Housemaid to help me.

Her and Our Unadopted Child were so amazing.

They were my saviours.

Helping me in and out of the car with my crutches, grabbing the items I needed, opening doors for me.

I can't even tell you how grateful I am to have had them help me out.

The Housemaid and Dominican Daddy are now the dog guardians.

Dogs are NOT impressed with this turn of events, and are destroying every single thing they can find in revolt against my inability to be their everything.

They are banished from the bedroom, so that Dominican Daddy can let them out all night.

They are being fed by Housemaid.

Our DR Family is happy because all their help is earning the family a little bit more money.

I have my own assistant.

Oh man, she's more than an assistant.

Seriously?  She's my everything right now.

But the best part is that I have constant companionship while I feel I need it.

Normally?  I'd be cringing at the fact that someone is around all the time.

Not now.

Now I'm grateful.

Only if you've ever been on crutches do you know how hard the simplest task is.

Like bringing a glass of water up a flight of stairs.



I've put it in a bottle and thrown it into a bag I carry non-stop, thanks to a lovely tip a very sweet Facebook friend gave me.

She also tipped me off about the rolly chair.

Yes!  The rolly chair is a great way to get around in the middle of the night.

Especially now that there are no dogs in the room to roll over.

6 sleeps until Papi comes home.

i know that putting myself first is not selfish, but rather self-care

Monday, August 19, 2013


Well, I guess I'm taking a trip to the doctor after I teach today.

Still swollen.

Still in pain.

I concede.

I was supposed to rest it all day yesterday, but dammit if I didn't go to feed the dogs to find that there was not enough food for the next day.

I had to take a trip to Santiago to buy more.

These are big dogs with big stomaches.

Holy shit!  We are going to go broke feeding them.

At THE MOMENT I realized we didn't have enough food, I had someone else come to the door to try to sell us another one.

And damn, he was CUTE!

But, honestly, we can't afford a 7th dog.

Besides, that poor thing probably wouldn't do so good with The Donkey and The Thug.

He's much too frilly and fluffy, and the way The Thug gives a beat down?  No.  I don't think he'd fare so well.

Not a tough one.

Anyway, no.  No more fucking dogs.

So, I invited Housemaid to go with me for the hour and a half drive to the city.  I really didn't want to go alone.

If something happened, leaving me hobbling around with a fucked up ankle, I would not be happy.

So, we went, and we talked.

I don't know if you really get it, when I say, "We talked."

As in, we had conversations in Spanish all the way there and back.

I was shocked at myself.

It didn't dawn on me until when I was home later, trying desperately to grab a moment to rest that fucking ankle, when Little Angel's dad came to the door interrupting my opportunity to put my foot up.

He was asking for money.


Do you know we have 6 dogs and they go through a jumbo Costco size bag in a week?


We can't give you money.

But as he was speaking, I was understanding him so much better than before.

It's finally happening.

I'm seeing the switch into deciphering what people say.

It is taking me so long to interpret, that I thought I'd never hear words.

I'm hearing!

I'm so grateful for all the work I've done.  I'm much slower than others, because I have so much difficulty with my memory, but it's happening.

Did I ever tell you I'm one of 'those' who talks to themselves?

Hey.  I make great company.  I'm just grateful I have dogs, so that when someone catches me, I can make it sound like I'm talking to the hounds.

Anyway, I spoke to myself IN SPANISH!

That made me giggle.

Well, only 8 more sleeps until Papi does the doggy night shift.

Bastards were up at 2 a.m. last night.

I'm so tired.

I miss my love.

i believe in all of my abilities

Sunday, August 18, 2013

i need my love ...

... your sunday sillies ...


So, if it's not bad enough that those of us with O.C.D. check our alarm clocks non-stop, what happens when that damn thing doesn't work?!?!?!

Well, then, we with O.C.D. are going to be EVEN MORE frantic about checking the time throughout the night.

I had mine set.  All ready to go.

My new Samsung Galaxy actually tells you, every time you save or make a change, that the time is set for 'X' amount of hours and minutes from now.

Great for someone with O.C.D.  Unless that fucking thing doesn't go off.


It's possible the alarm isn't loud enough to wake me up.  That may be the case as well.  I might download something REALLY obnoxious to wake me up.

Never-the-less, as per my usual checking of the time all night long, I looked at my clock, only to realize I was supposed to be out for The Garage Band kids 5 MINUTES PREVIOUS!!!!!!

Seriously.  I woke up 5 minutes after 8.  I was supposed to be up at 7 to prepare for the niños!

I limped out as fast as I could, because when I woke up in the morning, my damn ankle had ballooned again.

I suppose I did something to it the night before when I went to the birthday party in the village for the Housemaid.

You see, I brought the birthday girl some red wine, and of course, I indulged, as it seemed myself and the birthday girl were the only ones they were pouring it for, and everyone else drank beer.

I wasn't out to get snapped, as I had to get up to teach the next day, and besides, the object of the game isn't about getting corked anymore.

It's just for pleasure of some relaxation.

No pain.  As in, no fucking hangovers!

Surely, I wouldn't want to have a Buffalo Breath while singing for the kids.

Nor would I like to have a llama shitting in my mouth the night before teaching, as I wouldn't have the time to shave my tongue before class.

Alas, the wine I brought ran out.

People just kept sending children off to buy more beer, and I just stuck to sipping my wee glass of red wine, giggling at the drunken antics of others.

Then someone showed up with a bottle I'd never seen before: Dominican wine.

"Try some!" they said.  So I did.  I thought they tricked me into drinking some kind of whiskey.

I had to ask them a few times, "True?  This is wine?"  They explained that it is made from apples.  Who knew apples could be so evil!

I just kept saying, "This is strong!" as they laughed at the lightweight gringa.  I didn't need to tell them who I used to be in a former drinking stage of my life.

I only needed the one glass, even though Mr. Gummy kept prodding me to drink more to match his own level of alcoholism.

They kept asking, "But who will drink all this?!?!"

I'm sure you did fine without me, folks.

Off I went to my house, and as the wine wore off, with the help of time and a lot of water, that damn ankle began its wailing of disdain of my treatment toward it.

I guess I walked around too much, not realizing it, because I had that magic elixir that took away all pain, allowing me to walk MORE!

I thought little sleep would take care of that!  I'm in the land of healing, no?!?!

I guess it doesn't count when you've done something 'new' to yourself.

So, I lied in bed all day yesterday, trying to get the swelling down with my legs up, doing my best to ignore my throbbing toes.  It is bloody angry.

I listened to dogs fart and snore all day, and I suppose that's my lot again as I rest it today.

I have the feeling I did something a little ominous to my dear wee ankle.  Oh, how I wish I had pain meds.

Come home Papi!!

9 sleeps left.

Oh, how I need you, but how I miss you even more than that.

i believe i can be kinder to myself

Friday, August 16, 2013

calgon, take me away ...


I've been playing too much piano in a short period of time.

Not a bad thing to be playing so much, but ouch.

My left hand still hurts from the dog bite, ankle is still swollen and even hurts to roll over in bed ...

... never mind those fucking stairs!!! ...

... and now I have tendonitis in my right hand.

I believe I am at war with myself.

No matter about the tendonitis.

I have a foolproof method to get rid of it.

I used to have it for years.

At one point I couldn't even play an instrument for a few years because of the pain.

Then I learned how to heal it and I could spend hours in the studio with no problem.

I just forgot that I have to do that when I play a lot.

Now I remember.


At least, I have the song down now.

I'm over the top thrilled!!!

I think I'll record it because I like it in Spanish so much.

Did I tell you The Donkey learned how to drink out of the water cooler from Pathetic Puppy?



I want my own machine.

Nothing like nose mucus all over your water source.

Then there's a new trick Jake-a-Like has learned.

Every night, as I'm falling asleep reading my book, I put in my bookmark.

Every morning, when I wake up, I see the bookmark is out.

I just figured I really was too tired and didn't put it in properly, then rolled over on my book and it fell out.

Until this morning.

After a quick visit to the loo, I came back to Jake-a-Like holding it in his mouth, as if he was handing it to me like a prize.

"Look what I did for you!!!"

You know, it's bad enough that they ate my last favourite pen yesterday.

Oh, excuse me while I stop The Donkey from chewing up the floor ...




.. Ok, I'm back.

Anyway, as I was saying, what was I saying?

Oh, yeah.

Demon dogs.

I've figured that The Thug really doesn't want to beat the crap out of Pathetic Puppy, but when The Donkey gets out of hand and bullies her The Thug thinks it's beat down time.

So, I have to be on high alert when the play gets out of hand and calm the crazy play down to make sure nobody draws blood.

Yesterday I had to hose him down to get him off Pathetic Puppy.  Jeeeeeeezus!!!!

This morning, I got invited to the Housemaid's birthday party.

It will be so nice to just sit with all the kids, then struggle to speak to the adults.  No dogs to train.  No beat downs.  Just a birthday gathering.

Furthermore, I'll give the hand a little rest so that it's not so angry with me.

I only have 11 days until I see Papi again.

How I miss you, Papi.

i will accomplish whatever i choose to accomplish

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The dogs slept through the ENTIRE night!

As in snoring, dreaming of chasing cane toads, and letting out the stinkiest farts, due to the hotdog nibs I've been giving them for training rewards.

Do you know how I KNOW they slept the ENTIRE night?

Because I didn't.

Not a wink.

Full on fucking insomnia.

It may be a double coffee day.

I'm not good at having naps in the day then trying to sleep at night.

It has never worked for me.

But what could I do?

Those little pills Dr. Bob gave me knocked me out.

And they really worked.

My ankle is very close to being deflated and boney once more.

Anyway, all night long, I had the pleasure of running a song through my head that I worked on all day yesterday.

You know the song.

There's no way you wouldn't, unless you live in a time warp bubble of some kind.

Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful'.

I'm trying to find as many positive, inspirational songs for the kids as possible, because the songs they choose are just about sex.

This whole country is all about sex.

As much as they are songs I am drawn to as well, with their contagiously characteristic beats of the Dominican Republic, I can't have them singing that for people from other countries when it's time to perform.

I know it's culture here, but I just can't chance that there's a Canadian predator in the audience who speaks Spanish, getting off because my little innocent children are singing suggestive lyrics.

So, I am translating 'Beautiful' into Spanish.

The translation was already online, but not the pentameter.

I've had to go through every single syllable and beat, to try to figure out the placement of each word.

I'll tell you, my brain has not had this much stimuli since the motorcycle accident, and that includes rewiring from brain injury.

It's so good for me.

Like, REALLY good.

Except for the obsession part.

Before the accident, I would have sheer infatuation with whichever song I was working on.

It was just part of my everyday breathing, that reverence.

Before the accident, I felt emotion with music and would frequently cry when a song I was working on moved me in the right way.

Yesterday, while working out the piano part for the song, that grace returned.

I was singing the English lyrics to get my singing/playing coordination down for the Spanish parts, when all of a sudden, I felt my heart being overtaken with elation.

The instrumentation, the melody, the words, they all came together to give me that feeling of the real reason I make music.

It actually happened.

I wiped the tears of joy away, thanking the angels for that moment.

I've been working towards that feeling since the accident.

I honestly thought I was broken.

I accepted that I would never feel like that again.

I felt I would just fake it for the rest of my life, but the real thing happened.

I spent 4.5 years rehabbing my body and mind from the accident.

Now it's time to rehab my musicianship.

And it is something beautiful.


i fully approve of who i am, even as i get better

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

i have a racist dog

I thought my week off would be relaxing.

So far, I'm more exhausted than when I was working.

I didn't even have a moment to write yesterday.

Furthermore, I now need to add having a few catnaps into the mix.

Remember those little pills the vet gave me for the dog bite on my hand this week?

I had some left over.

They came in hand-y ...

... i know ... so cheesy, eh ...

... as I've sprained my ankle, while trying to MANUALLY open the 'automatic' garage door.

We put up a higher wall to keep those damn dogs out of the garage, but it didn't work.

They just get up on top, emulating the goats I've always wanted.

Anyway, as I was pushing that enormous, heavy, wood garage door closed, I fell off that damn wall and sprained my ankle.

Oh, my lack of balance.  Thank you brain injury.

I tried to just tell myself I'm being a wimp about it, ignoring it, and going on with my meagre time I seem to have.

I guess that was a really bad thing to do.

It swelled up and was MORE than enraged with me.

Guess I chose the wrong day to go limping around Puerto Plata to shop with Housemaid.

We stopped to for lunch at a Chinese Dominican restaurant, and as I ate my chicken fried rice, I noticed my ankle was a little more swollen for my liking, so I took one of the pills Dr. Bob had given me.

The drive home was quite chancy.

I thought I'd fall asleep a few times, and I envied the boys in the back who were in a Chinese Dominican restaurant, fried chicken and french fry coma.

None-the-less, when I got home I passed out on the couch from taking the pill while we were out.

Then I heard it.

If you've ever had a water cooler, you'll know the sound.

That 'glug, glug, glug' it makes as you press the lever to get your coveted, cold, clean water.

Oh, I heard it, and looked over to see Pathetic Puppy pushing the lever to help herself to water.

The bowl water just isn't good enough for her.

No, she watched and learned.

I noticed that every single time I was getting myself water, she was right by my side.

Oh, but yes, she was studying.

Now she can help herself to her own cold, clean water, whenever she pleases.

No more sharing spit with those others, who are OBVIOUSLY less than her.

No, she is her own dog, and she is not like 'them'.

She will drink from the fountain of humans!

I knew she was a smart girl, because she's the one who figures out how to piss me off the most.

I never imagined she was capable to study and learn from me.

As soon as this ankle is finished with it's hissy fit, I'm going to do some special training with her.

I think she needs a little bit more than a 'sit' and 'down'.

Even though she won't do them for me.

I can read her thoughts as I ask her to do my bidding, "That's what those other Dominican dogs do!  I'm so much better than them!"

She's so racist.

Speaking of 'sit', The Thug is at least now allowing me to force him into a sit, whereas before, he would starfish and I couldn't even make him budge.

He's still attacking Pathetic Puppy, but I'm getting better at pulling him off by the neck.

Even with a sprained ankle.

i am healthy, healed, and whole

Sunday, August 11, 2013

i'm back!

your sunday sillies ...

Hallelujah I am healed!

Well, mostly.  Enough to type anyway.  I'll try playing piano today.

Just bumping it on something brings great pain, but the swelling is down.

When we brought in Old Ghost Face to see Dr. Bob, because of the fight, he saw that I was wounded as well.

He gave me some anti-inflammatory pain meds and they REALLY helped!

Sad news is, The Thug has attacked Old Ghost Face once more, then attacked Pathetic Puppy.

I'm trying to get that damn dog obedience trained, but he's a wee bit thick in the head.

Or perhaps, with all his abuse he endured, he has a little bit of brain injury from being hit in the head too much.

He's very sweet most of the time, it's just he gets a little over excited with the 'play' and he reverts back to his old days of fighting.

He didn't attack long enough to take a chunk out of Pathetic Puppy, though.  Forget about grabbing his collar.  This time, I grabbed the fur at the back of his neck and lifted him off the ground.

I tried leaving The Thug out with Dominican Daddy, while he was The Guard for the night.

I felt too guilty to do that to this sensitive dog.  I had to bring him in.

Oh, why do we have a guard?

Papi has left me all alone for a few weeks.  He's gone back to Vancouver to see g'ma and tidy up some of our loose ends.

It's really creepy being here all alone sometimes.

Then other times, I'm so damn busy that I don't have time to fret.

I thought I would get a lot of sleep while Papi was gone, because he makes a lot of noise in the night while he's on his graveyard shift.

But I realized now that it's not really him making the noise that wakes me up.

It's those damn dogs.  They have a 3 a.m. pee clock.

However, when I get up at 3 a.m., some dog, or rather, shall I say dogS, as in plural, have already relieved themselves on the floor.

How nice it is to mop up piss and pick up shit in the middle of the night.

I'm sure Dominican Daddy gets a kick out of me coming out all bleary eyed, frog voiced, saying, begging, "Go pee."

Of course, why would they?  They don't need to.  They already did.  All over the fucking floor.

Puppies.  Big puppies.

It's a bit much for one person to handle all day every day.

I know Papi is busy with a lot of work in Vancouver.

I think we are both working very hard, except his life isn't being surrounded by masses of children ringing the doorbell to bring me more plants as a thank you for lessons.

Masses of children interrupting me as I edit or practise, asking if they can have their turn in the pool at the Hector-Brown Amusement Park.

Masses of children screaming my name as I quickly shut the doors, hide in the designated music area and unplug the doorbell.

The other day someone was ringing the doorbell that I had unplugged.

When that didn't work, he yelled my name for an hour.

When I saw him later, I told him that I can't hear him when I'm practising and that the doorbell is broken.

I think the doorbell will conveniently be broken every Sunday.

Maybe I'll put a sign on it.

'Go away!', but nicely.  Still.  Go away.

As much as it's hard to be alone without Papi here, even if it's just to stare at him while he sleeping off the Graveyard Coma, still, I want to be left alone.

Lord knows I don't have time for children while chasing around 5 hairy mongrels and trying to convince the 6th that she really, really needs to go out to pee some time.

Old Ghost Face is a bit afraid to go anywhere near The Thug now, and holds it in.

It's only been 2 days.  I want Papi back now.

He really needs to take over the puppy graveyard shift so I can sleep.

i embrace the peace and quiet of the night

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Dog fight.

Old Ghost Face and The Thug.

They haven't figured out who is top dog yet.

The adrenalin I had caused a lapse of judgement in my brain.

I couldn't handle the brawl.

Hence, I tried to grab an available collar.

Instead, my hand got bit.

I knew it was going to hurt when I saw the blood, but I didn't feel it at the moment.

Now, because of the bruising, I can't use my hand.

I'm typing with the other.

It doesn't make for a good flow of story telling.

So I'll keep it short.

Dog fight.

All 3 of us are hurting.

Old Ghost Face isn't moving.

She's limping.

She may need to go see Dr. Bob.

Both dogs have nasty cuts on their faces.

The Thug also has one on his belly.

He was supposed to be here to heal from his wounds and fade his scars, not create more.

He's so gentle when he plays.

MY swollen paw knows his potential strength.

I won't be writing for a few days until the bruising subsides and my pinky can push the letters of this keyboard down.

Not to mention, I wan't be playing music with this hand.

Papi leaves me alone for 16 days tomorrow.

It will be just me and a few dogs that want to kill each other, when they're not looking to kill the cats.

More rest so we can heal now.

i heal quickly

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Papi likes to give them a show now.

Now, when they're looking over the wall, the only naked body they're donned with is my bare assed, neon white esposo.

Of course they avert their eyes, because they wouldn't want to be caught watching a naked man.

They might be called gay!

And here, that could get you killed.

Here, we don't have peeping Toms.

We have peeping Juans.

And they are always looking over the wall.

They sit back and watch Doggy TV, while waiting for the gringa to come on out in the buff.

No more.

I have 3 bathing suits.

They're in rotation.

It seems I live in them now.

In Vancouver, at the end of a long day, I would come home and get into warm, cozy pajamas.

Here, I come home, strip down and throw on a bikini.

I dip in the pool, not to cool myself there, but so that when I come straight back out, I'm refreshed while I'm soaked.

Sometimes, I put a sarong on, if it's not too hot, otherwise, I just allow myself to walk around in my bikini and ignore my body.

We don't have many mirrors here.  It's good for me.

Two days ago it was 100!!!!

Yesterday was a little cooler.

I could tell it was cooler as we all walked to the restaurant.

I've been going to lunch with the kids at Dream Project while we're on the end of season music intensive.

The kids are having a lot of fun, but then again, so am I.

They were so thrilled to hear me play and sing Vivir Me Vida.

A gringa!

Playing salsa music!

MusicMan has been leaving me alone with the kids here and there.

He's easing me in slowly, allowing me to dip my toes in, preparing me for September, perhaps.

However, as SOON as he'd leave the room, they'd erupt into nutbars, singing and dancing, jumping on the ceiling, doing back flips off the chairs, asking me, "Play the song, again!"

Alas, it's time to get firm with the little buggers.

Up until now, I've just been the 'nice gringa'.

They're finally using my name now instead of 'gringa'.

I've been 'gringa' for them, for kids in the hood and anyone who doesn't know me.


All the time.

With the occasional tiny tot who looks up and says, "Blanca!"

I think it's funny.

Anyway, for a few days now, I've been eating Dominican food, and damn, it's good.

But not good FOR me.

It's already taking it's toll.

I went home after teaching yesterday and tried to accomplish something, but passed out in a wheat and rice coma.

Now I feel like a bloated manatee.

One more day of music intensive and Domincan food, then it's back to eating salad and exercising.

And more music to learn.

i stay on a healthy eating plan and maintain my healthy weight easily

Monday, August 5, 2013

you win a car!

Sad, really.

We trusted you.

We said, "Sure, you're a single mom.  We'll let you have the car and you can pay us later when your case is settled with The Beast."

We had many people we could have sold it to and had money before we left, which we could have used, but we cared for you and trusted you.

Now, even with a contract you signed saying you'd pay us, you're not following through with it.

I guess because we're far enough away, it's easy enough to get away with it.

Does it feel right driving around in a stolen car?  If it does, you may want to check your morals again.

We considered small claims, but sometimes, letting people have their karma ...

... no pun intended ...

... is enough.

At a certain point, I walked away from the ex we share when I was suing her as well.

I didn't need the stress in my life and I just wanted to smile, not have a knot in my stomach from fighting.

We don't need that now either.

We'd rather let fate seal itself.

We are good people that you fucked over.

We were silly enough to trust someone that was that new in our lives.

Yes my dear, you did a good acting job.  I really thought you were a friend.

Turns out I am proven wrong and you're not the 'Sweet Ex' I thought you were.

My question really is, why?

And to the angels, I ask, "Why do good, generous people always get fucked over?"

Does it really pay to be generous and trust someone?

I'm not so sure.

I'm not hurting from the loss of friendship anymore.

It stung for a bit.

It made me feel sick.

But I've lost so many friends since our change of life, that you don't matter now.

You're now lumped in with all the other negative cretins, who tried to take away our happiness.

We had enough difficulty in this life change that we really don't need that kind of crud in our lives.


We're walking away.

You can have your free car and all your 'friends' who seem to think that what you are doing to us is OK.

Think about it.

If 'they' think it's OK to steal from a friend, can you really trust 'them'?

I suppose someone like you doesn't care.

Don't worry.  You will get yours.

We may have lost money, but at least we didn't lose our generosity.

Maybe the fact that you don't know what a friend really is, is your suffering already.

But hey!  You win a car!

There is always a cost for every action we choose.

What will you pay?

i draw abundance to myself today, and every day

Sunday, August 4, 2013

a full plate

sunday sillies...

I need to manage my time a little better.

Papi will tell you this is an understatement.

This actually has nothing to do with my brain injury.

I've been like this forever, but still, WITH a brain injury, it makes things really tough.

I forget what I'm supposed to do all the time and then at the last minute, I'm scrambling to get things done.

Then I'm stressed.

Then I'm a nightmare to be around.

I stressed myself out so bad that I didn't sleep all night Friday and couldn't teach the kids on Saturday.

I got Papi to put a 'no class today, Andréa is sick, sorry!' sign on the garage.

Sick is one way of putting it.

When I'm in that state of not being able to sleep from anxiety, 'sick' doesn't come close to describing it.

Then I spent all day yesterday frantically editing the YouTube show, and today, my panic is to get a song prepared for the kids at Dream Project tomorrow.

That one was sprung on me yesterday by MusicMan.

I'm not really responsible for that procrastination.

When a musician asks me to prep something, I never say no.

I just pull my hair out all day trying to show the world I'm good enough.

I feel like I'm always hanging by a thread.

I've always felt that way.

I see other musicians carry on with their jobs and I never see them sweat.

Mind you, they don't see me sweat.

I do that alone.

Then I show up and try to act like I'm a pro.

Perhaps that's what everyone else does too?

I don't know.

All I know is, today's mayhem will be learning the Marc Anthony song, 'Vivir Mi Vida' on the piano.

Thank g*d I know all the lyrics and the main themes of the song from teaching The Garage Band for the past month.


At least I have a leg up on that one.

But the other night, I realized, I'm supposed to be having fun here.

This morning, someone asked me if I could teach them bass.

I actually said, "Not until September."


I admitted I was too busy!

I'm proud of myself.

However, it does have a lot to do with Papi.

He repeatedly tells me what he's learned from other expats; that here, you have to choose one thing a day.  You can't possibly do more than that in this country.

It's true.

I'm learning.

I'm here to enjoy my life, not be stressed!!

Alas, off I go to fret over a song for the kids tomorrow.

My only thing today.

Of course, that is other than washing my hair, toasting my coffee, cutting up the pineapple before it rots, doing the dishes, paying attention to the dogs, and more.

What's Papi doing?

His one thing a day.


i do well in all my assignments and i love learning

Friday, August 2, 2013

more than i knew ...

The Garage Band students are beginning to all line up with plants now.

I don't have enough room for them!

Now I'm making up places for plants that weren't intended for it.

But you see, word got out that some of the boys swam with me in the pool after they gave me plants.

I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere, so I had the time for some play.

5 boys in the pool whoopin' and hollerin', doing back flips off the ledge and enjoying the swimming antics of The Donkey joining them.

But later when more children came, I didn't have the luxury of watching them.

These were little ones.

I definitely couldn't take my eyes off them in the water.

The cable guy was here, and being in my house, I definitely couldn't take my eyes of him either!

I assured them that another day I would have a little more time to watch them in the pool.

Tomorrow, we sing.

I'm quite lucky to have these teen boys who sing in the choir.

You see, last night at 9 p.m., the doorbell rang, and I was a little more than afraid.

Nobody rings the doorbell here at 9 p.m.

I thought maybe it was the predator, having finally tracked me down, coming for his revenge.

I don't think I'm that far off.

He calls me non-stop.

He scares me.

And it's not hard to fathom that he'd be able to find the 2 tattooed gringos near Gaspar Hérnandez.

I was grateful to have all the hounds follow my lead and swarm the door.

However, it wasn't the predator.

It was the teen boys telling me my garage door was open.

I couldn't figure out how that could happen, until I realized, I had picked my keys up off the ground when I looked for them to open that door.

How would they end up on the ground?

Gee.  I wonder.

Maybe something to do with 4 legs and a lot of fuzz.  Perhaps with one eye?

Then I realized that after they pulled them to the ground, they must have stepped on the automatic door opener.

I was very grateful the boys came to tell me.

They're looking out for me.

I feel like I have a lot of protection.

I think that if the creep does find me, he'll have to make his way through the boys, Dominican Daddy, and the guards next door who keep looking over the wall to make sure they're not missing a skin show.

Dominican Daddy will be The Guard while Papi is visiting Vancouver.

He, and all the teen boys will be sure nothing happens to me.

I have more support than I ever knew I would.

Oh, and would you look at that.

Just like clockwork.

The creep is calling again.

I'd be careful, scumbag.

I have a lot of protection, and I'm not only talking about the angels.

i commit to listening to my intuition

Thursday, August 1, 2013

the sweetest thing

It almost made me cry.

The doorbell rang, and in all my bitchiness, I stomped to the door wondering who the hell would be here to bother me?

There were 4 boys standing at the door.

One being Our Unadopted Child, and the other 3 being some more boys from The Garage Band.

They all were standing at the door with plants.

They came to bring me gifts.  One in each hand.  Plants!

It doesn't sound like much, but in this country, the generosity is more than I have ever experienced in Canada.

I invited them in with so much gratitude.

Honestly, it was THE sweetest gesture I have ever experienced.

They were so proud to plant these symbols of life.

I had so much fun swimming with them in the pool afterward.

Their eyes.  The light in their eyes with the feeling of giving me the plants.

It's hard for me to take gifts, but the joy of seeing them give was so amazing that to 'take' meant so much for me.

Then to Dream Project I went.

One sweet girl was new.  She seemed nervous to be in a music class.  I adored her eagerness.

The I hope I get to work with her more.  She isn't really signed up for the class, but she took the place of a child who happens to be in the hospital.

It's like she could FEEL that her time was limited in learning.  Maybe I can persuade her to come in during lunch time for lessons?

I'd go in an extra half hour to work with her.

Again.  The light in her eyes.  It's that light that draws us in.

I know that when I'm feeling like I'm surrounded by my angels, I have that light as well.

While I waited for students to show, I took the opportunity to play the piano.

Electric, but honestly, happy enough to play any piano.

Within 5 minutes, I had written the beginnings of a song.

My heart opened and the angels allowed me that moment of creativity.

Today my own electric piano arrived.  Now I get to have my creativity whenever it strikes me.

There is so much in me to share.

I am grateful to teach children who couldn't otherwise afford lessons.

They are making my life here so much more than worthy.

I asked them which songs they'd like to sing in the choir, and it was the ones that I tend to be drawn to as well!

But when I translated the words to English, I realized that it may be a bit too suggestive for these young kids to sing.

I'll explain that we can sing them in our time for fun, but perhaps, it may not be age appropriate for performing.

Maybe I can morph parts of it to be a little more wholesome?  So they still feel like they're having fun?

I'll do anything to make these kids happy.

They make me happy.


i am deeply fulfilled with my life