Tuesday, January 28, 2014



So.  Many.  Bags.

Not only do stores in this fine country have an obsession with plastic bags, they also encourage their employees to do 2 of the most horrible things ever: tie the handles and bag many of the items separately if they can.

Bags, doubled, for 36 eggs which are already in plastic encasings to deliver them to the market.  Triple plastic.

Seriously.  That's not going to stop them from breaking!

Or, doubled for any kind of meat that is also already in it's own layer of plastic, making sure it's separated in another bag from vegetables (of which you're going to wash anyway) that couldn't possibly be near meat, or you will die a slow, suffering death with the devil itself.

But what makes it worse, is the fact that Papi always rips the handles to open them, rendering them useless.

Papi is too impatient to delicately open the plastic knot.

Sometimes, you can find me in the kitchen with a fork trying to pry open the bag, with the most utter care, to salvage those handles so that I can use those bags again.

I won't let go of the environmentalist in me, even if I live in a country considered un-environmental.

However, most of the time I have my reusable bags, that I brought all the way from Canada, handy.

When they see me coming, they know now that I have my bags, because I am the crazy bag gringa.

Occasionally, I find someone who hasn't encountered the eco-queen, who looks at me like I'm from another country.

Yes.  Judging me by my olive skin, I am.

But the other day, someone asked me, "Why?"

Why do I have my bags?  Well, because of the turtles, of course.

So, they had an answer for my answer as well.

"But the bags don't go into the ocean, they get burned."

Yes.  Burned.

That's how they dispose of garbage here; burning.

There are so many differences here than in Canada, so I could say there are many differences in Canada than in the DR.

I recently found out that there actually IS recycling here.  You just have to find it.

People will collect your plastic bottles, but you have to search them out.  So now I will.

Unfortunately, our dogs will eat the bottles before we can find someone to recycle them.

Speaking of dogs ...

... because of course i couldn't go 2 posts without talking about dogs, could i? ...

... the neighbour I thought would never speak to us again was all smiles as she drove past me while I was at the 'Baby Chower'.

Did I tell you about the 'Baby Chower'?

It's a baby shower, only with someone trying to spell in English on a cute-as-can-be, hand-made invite, about as well as Papi can spell in Spanish.

While we were there, the family asked us to be the baby's godparents.

I told them that we had to tell the last people we couldn't do it anymore, because they were lying to try to get money out of us.

We don't have any.  We have a house.

Anyway, I have no idea where this rant came from.

Right.  Bags.

We went shopping on our fancy shopping cart, 'the quad'.

But this time, I brought my reusable bags.

The woman in charge of collecting pesos asked me, "Where are you from?" followed up by, "Welcome to the Dominican Republic."

I told her we are from Canada.

She asked me, "How long have you lived here?"

How long have I lived here?

I guess I've lived here long enough for someone to recognize I actually live here and am not just visiting.

I am home.

i have the power to change my world

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

a new enemy.

Well, Papi and I have been living here for a year.

And even in our new abode, we really know how to win friends and influence people.

We now have a neighbour that may not like us too much anymore.

We have bad dogs.

Well, one of them anyway.

The Thug is a bit of trouble, but not as much trouble as the 3 rottweilers behind that flimsy wooden gate.

They are absolutely gorgeous, massive dogs.

If I knew they were friendly, they'd be my first stop every day for slobbery kisses.

But, they have a job to do.

Apparently, so does The Thug.

His job is to rip your lips off.

We have been putting the dogs on leashes since The Donkey got too close to them.

The dogs along the beach run to each others gates and torment each other.

Other dogs do it to ours, and in turn, ours do it to them.

As a dog, your turn on the beach with your people means you get to flaunt that you're free and tease the dog behind the gate.

However, these 3 rottweilers don't get to leave the yard, nor do they have a sufficient gate.  They can stick their head through the wood.

Fair enough that her property is so huge that they don't really need to leave to get exercise, but still.  I've never seen her walk them.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, The Donkey being full of puppy pep, ran up to torment them and got her paw bit all the way through to the other side.

It was terrible!

So, we now leash the dogs to get them past the 3 headed monster, that rivals 'Fluffy' in Harry Potter.

All was going smoothly until the other day.

Without a chance of reversing his decision, The Thug doubled back and ran to defy our leash rules.

Unfortunately, one of the dogs got a hold of The Thugs lip and The Thug wasn't backing down.

There they were, each trying to rip one another's lips off.

Blood was staining the wood.

The owner, whom I've never heard anything good about from the village, was screaming and beating her dog with a pool pole.

I released a weird high pitched squeal that involuntarily comes whenever dogs fight.

I yelled for Papi to get a stick so I could pry The Thugs locked jaw open and get him off the other dog.

Both of them have battle wounds.

They had so much blood on their muzzles, that they looked like lions who'd just finished eating their kill for the week!

But the worst part was how the woman started yelling at ME, as if it was all my fault.  "Por favour, nunca mas!"

I really don't think it's only my fault.  I'll take the blame for unleashing my dog too soon after passing her massive property.

Our gate does not allow for our dogs muzzles to get through.

When other dogs come running, all ours can do is run back and forth and bark.

Not to mention, the wood holding back these dogs seems pretty useless.

If she was the friendly sort, I'd recommend putting slats of wood there so that she doesn't have any more troubles.

But so far, we've learned she's not very nice, and now we're a little worried that she may get someone to poison our dogs.

She's definitely not going to be our friend.

Papi and I have an awesome gift of either winning people's hearts, or pissing people off to the extreme.

I suppose, having that information, I should really stop giving a shit about people who hate us.

We have enough of the 'love us' side to make me happy.

Not giving a fuck commences in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

No fucks given!

today i choose me

Friday, January 17, 2014

out to pasture

The cows are in abundance.

The thug thinks they're a toy to play with.

It's a little upsetting.

I'm sure the cows are going to win that game.

The fridge ticks and tacks.

Apparently it's 'doing it's job'.

We should have had cabinets built around our inverters.  Now they are water logged because of the ocean air being full of salt water.

We are without power a lot of the day, every day, but after a year, we're starting to get used to it.

"Oh, you should have the same cabinets around your inverters as your neighbours, then you wouldn't have to buy new inverters."

So, you couldn't have told us that before we went into the hole for 2 new ones?

Ya know?

But back to the cows.

I sing a lot of songs about cows.

Not that I put any away in that locker of music to record.

It's just cow songs.

Like a musical.

While on the road.

Because we're always on the road.

And there are always cows.

So, what else would there be to sing about?

Or for that matter, write about.

So, it's only natural that when we're walking the dogs, after the first river, we'll find a pasture of cows.

Then, being the tyrant he is, it's only natural for The Thug to go torment them.

Off runs Papi.

"Run faster!" I scream.  I don't want our neighbours putting a bullet in our dogs.

I don't want our dogs hurting the cows.

I can now see all the cows running away from The Thug.

But what's worse, is now The Donkey thinks it's time to play too.

She's about as tall as a calf.

Earlier that day, there were the puppies.

It's possible we'll take one.

We miss Pathetic Puppy so much.

It's nice that we have her reminders.  Like my fancy wedding purse with a very special chew hole, courtesy of the baby girl.

It's like she came in the form of a cyclone, destroyed everything, then went back to her angels.

We have her reminders.

But we'll never have that little one eye.

We may have a new little girl to make our lives crazy for a while.

One can never have enough crazy.

Except for the fact that I feel so heartbroken that so many hearts have left my life.

I can live without THAT crazy.

But then, I guess they were never really friends to begin with.

I will keep moving forward.

i choose love

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Haven't been here for a few days.

Over a week I think?

Well, I suppose I've been a tad busy.

I've found it very difficult to stop and chat.

Then Papi got sick.

I tried putting us on a semi-raw food diet.

He's trying to blame the 'healthy' food on his sickness.

"Can't do that!  It's healthy!"

He has eaten the odd salad here and there, so I'm pretty sure that's not what's going on.

Today, I felt something coming on, but it isn't anywhere near my stomach.

All in my sinuses.  And it's not dairy.  Haven't had any.  No, it's some flu bug-ish thing.

But I'll still be eating the healthy stuff.

I went out and bought fruits and veggie galore!

I was all set!  All ready to make Papi & I healthy food so that we would feel healthier.

Except right now, he's eating crackers.

For his 'upset stomach from eating healthy food'.

I'll be sucking on a green smoothie shortly.

I don't care how sick I'm feeling, I'm going to lose this ankle weight I'll tell you.  It hurts my knees, back and ankle.  Begone bitch!

My rowing machine is almost here!!!  I'll row my way to skinny again.

Then there was a conversation about a sandwich.

Or rather, a sandwish.



There's a café kiosk down the road.  They sell sandwishes.

I'll have to try one.

I wonder how the wish comes true?

Do you make the wish when you chew?  Or when you swallow?  Or just mantra the whole wish the whole time you eat the sandwish?

I dunno, but whenever I want to type the word sandwich, I type sandwish, because of the kiosk.

I've been influenced by my surroundings.


I walked on the beach this week.  My ankle is being a bitch about it, but I'm sure I'm getting stronger.


Then we rode the ATV along the sand for as far as the tide would allow.

We found 3 different river hangouts.  We're going to go try one far down the beach next.


I wish, I wish, I wish ...

... to always feel happy in this life.

i enjoy the process of reaching a healthy weight

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Years Eve in the DR!

So, I was invited to celebrate New Year's Eve with the village.

Instead of just staying right in the village as per usual, everyone was up at the street bar.  You know?  The one where I'm going to have my first piano gig?

There was much dancing and screaming and children running around.

Oh, not to mention the bar chihuahua barking.

It was also someone's birthday on this night.

I don't bring anything with me other than my camera for filming, so I couldn't buy the birthday boy a beer.

I went home to get some money to do so.  120RD pesos will get you the JUMBO beer.  That should do him good.

However, when I returned, I realized that somewhere on that dark, puddled, rocky path we walk to get to the street bar, I lost 100 of the 200 pesos I had brought.

Upon stating this, out loud, it seemed the entire bar emptied.  I suppose to go find my 100 pesos and get themselves their beer.

Finders keepers!

I wasn't about to do that night time trek through the paths of the village to look for the equivalent of $2.50.

I still don't know who the lucky person is who found it, but shortly thereafter, everyone decided to go to the Party At The Gas Station!!!

Sounds like a great place to have the New Years countdown, no?

I went home to get my purse and use the washroom, and dammit, I locked the padlock on the iron gate, but had left my keys inside!!!  For fucks sakes!!!

Let me tell you, that lock is STURDY. Nobody will get through it with difficulties, and it made me happy to know we're in such a secure house.

It took 3 people and 40 minutes to get the iron gate open.  They finally just had to break the iron that the lock was on, because that lock wasn't budging.

I fully recommend the Yale lock we have.  100%.

By the time they opened it, we had 20 minutes to get to the Party At The Gas Station!!!

All the cabs were full, so I did what I said I would NEVER do.

Take a moto.

There I was crammed between Housemaid and our driver.  Terrified.  I was thinking, "This may be the day that I die."  However, our driver wasn't a drinker, so I felt a little safer.

Honestly, we got to the Party At The Gas Station!!! with 5 minutes to spare and my Honky 'Fro looking like a street cat had nestled in it.

I didn't care.  I only wanted to film their countdown.  Problem is, they don't countdown.

One person yells it's time and the rest of the party erupts in a fiendish jumping, screaming, bottles clanging, motos tooting and engines revving.

By the time I realized what was going on, I had to turn my camera on as fast as possible!!!

I still caught the mayhem, because it went on for about 15 minutes.  I only wish you could have seen the initial wave of screams as it neared us at the far end of the bar!

But then!  All of a sudden the people we met there left to go to bar #3!

There I was following along like a lost puppy to the new one that has just opened up down the road.

It was time for some serious dancing.  And boy did the men there want to dance with the gringa.

I tried to tell one guy, that was a tad touchy-feely, that I was married, but the word 'married' (casada) and 'tired' (cansada) are very similar, so after he was groping I merely had told him I'm tired.

Good one.  Yeah.  That will do the trick.

Thankfully, I had Housemaid there to watch while they tried to lure me to the back of the club (I don't want to know the reasons), but Housemaid would pull me back to the front where it was safe.

It was my FIRST Bachata dance!  Bachata music is a native music to the Dominican Republic.  I learned the moves really fast and damn, if I do that once a week I'll have thighs like a tree trunk!!  Now I know how all the girls have such plump round butts here!!!

I was also pleased that my ankle could do it.  More than pleased if you want the truth.  I wanted to dance all night!

But now it was 3 in the morning, and everyone we knew left to go to bar #4 in Cabarete.

Not me.  It was time to go home in a cab with drunk locals, which was also party in itself.

I wish Papi were here for the entertainment.

Only 2 more sleeps!

my life is filled with joy