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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Back to the Love

Love’s Delicate Wings

A butterfly fluttered by,
one of life’s tiny miracles,
a rainbow all within itself,
riding the wind,
peaceful and free.

It reminded me of love.
If you find it,
hold it gently
to your heart.
Squeeze it tight,
or chafe its wings,
it too will die

and so it is with me.
Hold me close
with open arms.
Only then, will I feel
free to be with you.

~ copyright CJ Heck, reproduced with her kind permission ~

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reproducing Oneself

Something I've often been asked, is about my 'choice' to not have children. In my Eight post, I mentioned that my only regret in life was not having had children, or even a child. And while I wouldn't change anything in my life, for to do so would take me to a place I'm not at now, there is still a tiny pang of guilt within me.

This is going to be a painful post, but one so much a part of me, that to not write about it would be to almost misrepresent myself.

It's not that I haven't been pregnant, I have been. Twice. The first time I was in my early thirties and it was totally unplanned. Not only unplanned, but forced upon me. Not in some ugly violent attack, it wasn't as 'horrible' as that. But in its own way it was a violent abuse of power over me, by someone I trusted. Not quite date rape, but work colleague rape. To explain, I have to go back a little bit.

As I've written about before, I've had some bad experiences in life. Too early in life. Trusts were broken and I was abused. Those experiences damaged my understanding of intimacy for too long. I was unable to be touched without thinking back to the darkness of my childhood when my brother and his friend were too interested in my prepubescent body. I blocked out so many things just to survive. I tried in childlike ways to explain, to those around me, what was happening to me, but seemingly no one could interpret my tears, my tantrums, my fits.

And the blocking-out continued for so long, for so many years. After freaking out the first time I was touched 'there' in my adult years, I relearned to block it out, to just let it be done to me. I didn't know how to stop it from happening, how to remove myself from a situation that I didn't want to be in. I didn't know how to stop someone touching me, whom I didn't want to touch me. So I found a coping mechanism by transporting myself mentally from the situation. I did that way past my childhood. And that's how someone I worked with managed to impregnate me.

He came to my room one evening during a conference, on the pretext that he wanted to go over his presentation and get me to make some last-minute changes to the handouts. I tried to make him stop by using the word 'no', but he wouldn't. My mind went onto auto-pilot and my childhood coping mechanism kicked in. I was there physically, but I felt myself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, disappearing from that room, from what was happening to me. All I remember, even to this day, is lying on the bed in the hotel room, silently staring at the ceiling, blocking out all physical sensations, with my arms held as tightly as I could across my chest, believing that would stop him from touching my soul.

How ironic that such an experience would leave me pregnant. And this was three months before I was to be married. To a man who hardly touched me and chose to never consummate our relationship either before or after the marriage (but that's another story for another day). In the dark recesses of my mind, perhaps that's why I chose him and he chose me. But what I knew was that the marriage wouldn't go forward with me being pregnant and so, after an agonising six weeks, I had a termination. Alone, with no one there by my side, in fact no one even knew about it for many, many years afterwards. I really just didn't feel I had any choice and I didn't know any other way out. I thought I could make my marriage work, even though we clearly both had issues in the physical side of our relationship.

A few years later, after my divorce and thinking I was in a relationship that was finally going to work out for me, having given a man unlimited access to my heart and body at last, I got pregnant. Something we'd discussed and both wanted. I was totally overjoyed. Until several weeks later, he left me and went back to his ex-wife, simply because she asked him to. And my world caved in around me. I thought long and hard about being a single parent and decided I would go ahead. Unfortunately, Andy's ex-wife decided that my having a child would pose too much of a threat to her hold on him and she spent the next two months abusing me with phone calls day and night. I'm ashamed to say I didn't change my home number (she was calling at work too, and anyway I couldn't change that one) because I didn't want to remove any avenue for Andy to call and tell me he was coming back. That's how desperate I was for him to be in my life, even after he'd done all these awful things to me.

Well, it got worse and worse and I was stressing about it all. Hearing her words, replaying conversations over in my mind. Remembering things he'd said to me while she coaxed him on in the background. Recalling him saying to me once during a rare conversation when she wasn't there, that if I could let him say these things to me, let her hear him say them, it would make her feel better. My blood pressure was through the roof. It was too much for my system and I let the child growing within me, down. I didn't keep her safe, I didn't make sure she was in a place she could thrive. At almost four months, after one particularly evil phone call, I lost her. And with her I lost any chance of having a child. I didn't know it then, but I would never again become pregnant.

Relationship issues got in the way. Even though Andy came back almost a year later, he was drowning in the bottle by then and showed little interest in me physically. Partly it was me, as every time he initiated anything, after the lights had been turned off at his request, his ex-wife's words rang in my ears 'Andy says going to bed with you was like going to bed with a pig'. And he was there when she said that. He let her say that to me. He never loved me, he used me. And I was just as bad, because I let him use me. Never again will any man do that to me. I have since taken back my life. It's mine.

So, today, here I am at 48 with excellent ovaries and still ovulating, but with absolutely no desire to have a child so late in life. Do I sometimes let myself dream of it? Yes. Do I know it will never be? Yes. I have hopes for my future, to be with a man who already has children and I would never want them to feel threatened by another family. I want them to know that he will be their father, and only their father, always. They deserve that from him.

When I see babies or young children, I do still feel a tightness in my throat. And for the longest time after I lost my baby, I couldn't bear to be near a baby or touch a baby. I just couldn't. I'm getting much, much better. I can now see the joy in a child, I can now witness a woman's pride and happiness in being a mother, without tearing up. I do sometimes wonder if I was being punished that second time around. Probably most women in the same position do.

I'm where I am, today. And I'm happy being here. This is where I'm meant to be. For me and for the man I want to grow old with. Had any little aspect of my life been different, chances are I'd not have met the man I'm in love with. And that, for me, is unimaginable. I want him and I need him. He brings out the best in me. I celebrate his fatherhood and I adore the fact he is such a wonderful father. I will always support that. And I will always cherish him with every fibre of my being.

A sad path at times, but I'm where I need to be, today. And I have learned so much along the way. About myself, most of all.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kellie Lim - Inspirational

**(I'd credit the writer but it wasn't noted on the site where I found this)
Kellie Lim knows all too well what it is like to be a very sick child.

Struck with a ravaging bacterial infection that destroys limbs, she became a triple amputee at age 8 and soon faced a life of prosthetics, wheelchairs and often-painful rehabilitation.But from that suffering, Lim forged a life of achievement. On Friday, she will graduate from UCLA's medical school and then will begin a residency program at the medical center there.

Her chosen specialty? Pediatrics, with a possible concentration later on childhood allergies and infectious diseases."Just having that experience of being someone so sick and how devastating that can be — not just for me but for my family too — gives me a perspective that other people don't necessarily have," the 26-year-old Michigan native said recently.

And of all the topics she sampled during medical school, only her work with children left her "smiling at the end of the day." Lim carried out her medical training with a determination that awed her professors and fellow students and won her the school's top prize for excellence in pediatrics.

Opting not to use a prosthetic arm, she showed that she can perform most medical procedures with one hand, including taking blood and administering injections. She lives on her own in a Westwood apartment with no special features for the handicapped and drives a car with only one adaptation: a turning knob on the steering wheel. She is learning to swim, is trying horseback riding and even went tandem skydiving recently.

Lim, whose legs were amputated about 6 inches below her knees, gave up her wheelchair years ago and walks so well down the long and crowded hospital hallways — with a slightly bouncy stride — that new classmates and patients often don't have a clue for weeks that artificial limbs fill her shoes and pant legs. She reluctantly will accept a seat during hospital bedside rounds when painful ulcers erupt on the skin that touches her prosthetics. (She has undergone grafts and additional surgeries over the years to help with the fittings.)

Colleagues say Lim's calmness in a hospital's hectic environment puts others at ease."With Kellie, at first you notice her hand is not there. But after about five minutes, she is so comfortable and so competent that you take her at face value and don't ask questions so much. She has an aura of competence about her that you don't worry," said Dr. Elijah Wasson, who supervised Lim during a rotation in internal medicine at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar.

Lim attributes some of her gumption to her dreadful childhood bout of bacterial meningitis. The resulting toxic shock, with internal clotting and bleeding, wrecked her extremities, leading to the amputations. When she went back last year to the Michigan hospital to read her voluminous medical file, she found an evaluation stating that 8-year-old Kellie Lim had an 85% chance of dying of the meningitis.Her parents urged her not to give up during her four months of hospitalization and the following years of rehabilitation. Just five months after she became sick, Lim returned to regular school in suburban Detroit.

Previously right-handed, she learned to write and do chores with her somewhat diminished left hand, having lost three fingertips on it to amputation, along with her entire right hand and forearm. She has been fitted with prosthetic arms, but does not wear one in public anymore and uses it at home just for rare tasks, such as assembling an IKEA desk by herself."
I hate failing," she said. "It's one of those things that's so ingrained in me."That view was intensified by another disability in the family. Her mother, Sandy, went blind in her 20s and, except for not driving, sought to continue as normal a life as possible in raising three children. She cooked, cleaned and walked the youngsters to school."

She definitely was a great role model for me," Lim said. "It was hard for her to overcome her blindness, and I think she definitely instilled a strength in me." Just before her mother's death three years ago, Lim promised her that she would finish medical school — a pledge she will fulfill when she and her UCLA classmates take the Hippocratic oath."

She wanted me to be a pediatrician," Lim said, "and I know that somewhere out there, she knows I am going to be one."Lim is a soft-spoken, gracious woman, but she can be fierce in resisting being typecast as a disabled doctor who should focus just on rehabilitation medicine. She also is reluctant to accept what she sees as unnecessary assistance, even if it sometimes takes her longer than others to get things done.Neil Parker, senior associate dean of student affairs at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, recalled how Lim resisted some of his early efforts to adapt or substitute medical equipment for her. "

I think at the beginning we were perhaps a little at odds because I wanted to help her a lot with what I felt she needed," he said. " She wanted me to help her, but only with what she was willing to use."In some cases, that meant finding older equipment, such as blood pressure cuffs that seemed better for a one-handed person, or practicing IV insertions.

One hurdle involved percussing, the lung exam done by placing one hand on a patient's chest and using the other hand to tap on it. Parker suggested using a hand-held ultrasound machine, but Lim declined. Instead, Veterans Affairs experts in Westwood designed a short metal-and-plastic extender that Lim straps onto her residual limb to help with the tapping. It is not pretty, but it works fine.Of course, Lim is not able to perform surgery or intubate a patient by herself. But those skills probably won't be needed much in her likely fields. "There are certain things she can't do, but there are a million things she can do," Parker said.

Lim was assigned, on her final medical school rotation, to the pediatric allergy and immunology division under the supervision of Dr. Robert L. Roberts. On a recent Monday afternoon, she did the preliminary interviews and examinations by herself, deftly taking notes, pointing a light into ears, listening to hearts with a stethoscope.

She made no attempt to hide the residual limb, which she skillfully maneuvered to hold down papers; following medical protocol, she briskly washed the right limb and her left hand before touching patients or instruments. First came a 14-year-old boy, who despite severe asthma, allergies, nosebleeds and migraines wants to play more baseball. He displayed the closed-mouthed shrugging of boys his age, but his concerned mother detailed his middle-of-the-night breathing emergencies. Lim soon spotted evidence in his nose of inflamed tissue and recent bleeding. After a consultation with Roberts, the youth was prescribed a trial of new asthma medicine. The boy's mother, Karen St. Louis, said she and her family talked about the doctor during the drive home as a "phenomenal" role model: "The conversation was that you can do anything you put your mind to."

Lim's next patient that day was a heartbreaker: a 5-year-old girl born with severe immunodeficiencies and numerous other medical problems. The tiny child, wearing a green pantsuit, white-and-pink sneakers and thick glasses, is not toilet trained and does not speak, though she seemed to understand what her mother told her in Spanish and English. Her parents, clearly devoted to her, worried about seizures she suffered during a recent vacation. The girl whimpered a bit while Lim examined her but did not resist. Roberts and Lim scheduled more testing.

With everything else going on, the girl's parents seemed almost oblivious to Lim's missing hand.Out in the world, Lim's partial arm sometimes attracts odd comments and stares, but her patients have shown overtly negative reactions only a couple of times, she said. Some small children were frightened by it and had to be soothed. Lim said she knows that some parents may be wary of her and that she will have to prove her competence.

"I'm not going to force myself on them in any way, but it still affects me personally," she said. "It kind of wears you down a little bit." Still, Lim clearly identifies with the struggles of families with very ill youngsters."It is amazing to see family dynamics like that," she said a few minutes after the girl left. "It's very tragic, but the parents love their kids and will do anything for them and know so much about them."

Her own parents, immigrants from China, loom large in her life. Besides stressing her mother's influence, she thanks her father, Norman, a chemical engineer who kept the family going — financially and emotionally — through its unusual burdens. Lim also credits her older sister, Nellie, who was protective of her and supportive of her moves toward independence, such as attending college away from home, at Northwestern University in Illinois. Nellie Lim, now an attorney in Michigan, recalls the family philosophy: "It wouldn't do you any good to sit and cry about it. We just went on and kept doing what we had to do like any other family. You need to make dinner. Go to the basketball game. Go on vacation."

Kellie Lim recently completed the last assignments for her medical degree and took a four-day pre-graduation celebratory Mexican cruise with classmates.

And this spring she began taking swimming lessons at a public pool in Westwood, even though she had been afraid of the water. During a recent session, Lim took off her prosthetic legs and was lowered into the water on a mechanized chair.

At first, Lim relied on a blue Styrofoam "noodle" to help her float. Then her coach took it away so Lim could practice a dolphin-like propulsion that used her torso, her one full arm and the remnants of her legs to move up the lane with a force that had some other swimmers doing double takes. It was tough work, but most of the time Lim was smiling.

Monday, May 28, 2007


A few pictures from our last trip together. We managed to catch some time at the waterfall just as dusk was settling in, and stayed until after dark. It is such a beautiful place and the colour light show on the falls was just amazing (sorry about the quality of the pics, I don't have a camera for night shots, but I think the water came out looking so beautiful in these!)

The falls from the lookout area - there's an elevator built into the mountainside, thank goodness, otherwise it's a 200+ step access

back down at the base of the falls, for a close-up of the light show

The mountains retained their dusting of winter snow

I named this 'Nipple Hill'

And so that you know we didn't spend our time eating only breakfast while we were there, here's a picture of Joe's Crab Shack where we had a delicious late lunch:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

In The Beginning

In the beginning
there was empathy

The empathy
led to interest

The interest
led to affection

The affection
led to togetherness

The togetherness
led to adoration

The adoration
led to cherishing

The cherishing
led to sharing

The sharing
led to appreciation

The appreciation
led to respect

The respect
led to love

The love
will lead to forever

And forever
there will be

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fear and Promise

Every time, beyond the joy and love, I'm afraid. Of the what ifs. What if this doesn't go where I want it to go? What if it turns out I'm not quite good enough for him? What if he doesn't choose me? What if I show him parts of me, he can't bring himself to love? What if the gods are merely laughing at me again? But all I can do is love him.

Why do I stay? Because I love him with an intensity I've never known before. Because I believe in 'us'. Because we deserve each other and the happiness we can bring to one another. Because he is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me and he says the same about me. Because I know we appreciate each other. Because we are truly who we are, when we're together. Because I've been in enough relationships to know that he is 'the one'. Because I can't breathe without him. And all I can do is love him.

I know, only too well, that there are no guarantees. And that even promises can vanish into thin air. But I believe in the promise of our togetherness, without there being any promises. Yes, I have fears and most of them are in my mind, because he's never given me anything but his love. When our eyes meet, when our hands clasp together palm to palm, when I see his smile and I know who he really is, I believe. I believe way past any obstruction or barrier.

I will do everything I can to be with this man, to love him the way he should always have been loved. My most fervent wish is, he will do the same.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I've been tagged by Fusion.

The Rules: Players start with eight random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their eight random facts. Players should tag eight other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

I'm going to try and steer clear of a similar post a little while back, so as to give you additional insights into Fiona.

1. I'm horribly anal when it comes to consistency. I changed the '8' to 'eight' in two places on the rules I copied, above. And the reason for going for 'eight' instead of '8' throughout is because technically one through nine are always expressed in words while 10 and above are expressed in numerical format. See what I mean?

2. I love wood. Now, now drop those eyebrows! Tree wood. I love the scent of it freshly sawn. I love to see it worked. I love to have it around me. I especially love it aged and rubbed to a fine patina. Okay, let me reiterate. TREE WOOD.

3. My only regret in life is never having had children. And although my gynaecologist remarked on my excellent ovaries recently and told me it wasn't too late, I will never have children. At 48, it's now a life choice for me. And life turns out a certain way for a reason and sometimes we don't realise what that reason is until we're quite far down the path. I may have regrets but I wouldn't go back and change anything. I now understand the reason.

4. I can't pass a dog without remarking on it. Something stirs inside me when I see a hound. But it has to be a certain size as I just can't bring myself to want to get cuddly with a hairy rat. Wherever possible I'll stop and pet him/her. But again, only if I can reach the head without bending down. I know, there are some lovely chihuahuas out there, but small dogs just don't do it for me.

5. I only like coffee in the morning, or if I'm really tired and need a pick-me-up. I've recently changed to my latte's being soy-based and I'm really enjoying that. Apart from coffee, the only hot beverage I enjoy is hot water. Odd but true, and for something that is basically 'tasteless', it's actually really delicious. An acquired taste perhaps?

6. I don't think I've ever met a fruit I didn't like. Even durian. I love veggies too and will pretty much eat them all. Oh and meat as well. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I love my food and wear the fact proudly on very ample hippage...and boobage...and thighage...and chinage...and bellyage. And yes, I do make up words sometimes.

7. I bite my nails (and my cuticles), sometimes quite badly. I think the last time I grew them out was about four years ago. I really should do that again because it looks horrible. I don't like them long or red. I do like them neat and short and squared off, with a french tip manicure, if anything.

8. As a child, I had a fascination with fire. Apparently I'd lock myself in the bathroom and just strike match after match after match. As both my parents smoked and this was before the advent of the disposable lighter, there were always matches available. I still love to look into the flame of a candle, or even better, a log fire, but I've thankfully grown out of the matches-in-the-bathroom phase.

Now I have to tag eight more. Steve, Sunny, Jac (if you email me, I'll post yours for you), Sally, Ian, Sophie, Anna, Freebird. Consider yourselves notified, but without any obligation, and really, anyone who reads this can take it and run with it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I'm back. I can't even call it 'home' any more.

This visit has totally floored me.

A part of me is missing, he carries it with him.

I don't even see the same person any more, when I look in the mirror.

The tears are ever-present in my eyes and keep spilling over.

I am so in love it hurts, physically hurts, to be this far from him.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another American Icon

Today, I wanted something I'd only heard about, something that has intrigued me, something I knew I'd only get while over here.

So off we headed to Denny's....for biscuits and sausage gravy. I searched the menu and found it under 'side dishes' so I thought I'd better add a little to it as a side dish might not be enough to feature as my breakfast. Boy was I wrong!

That's my breakfast, as it arrived at the table, two biscuits and this heaping big bowl of gravy. I admit that I had to seek advice as to how to tackle consumption of this delicacy as I wasn't sure if I was supposed to dunk my biscuits into it or take some other approach. My love very kindly split my biscuits and poured the gravy over them. Mmmmmmm much much better than I expected and a whole lot better than it looked. Tasty!!! But there was no way I could finish it all, not with the sausage links as well.

I'm amazed that is a side dish, to be added onto other main dishes???!!! Holy hell.

We had a great time, listening to some poor dude in the booth behind us trying to get into the pants of some gal he'd never met, but apparently 'knew' her sister and asked if her sister thought it would be ok for them to see each other. There he sat, as he told her, holding a table at Denny's (maitre d', table for two please) and obviously there were some wires crossed as she had no intention of making the trip over. But he wasn't giving up, got so excited that he ended up pacing the restaurant floor in front of us while we watched and listened and finally wore her down into giving him an address to jet off to. He even grifted his iced tea by asking a server not assigned to his table, for a take-out cup to pour it into and then just walked off without paying!!

I think Denny's on a Sunday morning is a great place for people watching / listening!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I had my first ever IHOP adventure on Thursday morning. After a bit of a lie-in, though without much sleep involved, he took me for a quintessential American breakfast experience.

After examining the menu back to front, but I was never far removed from this being a pancake experience, we both settled on the Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n Fruity combo.

I had the pancakes with cherry compote for the Fresh n' Fruity part of the combo and I guess the Rooty Tooty bit is the poached eggs and bacon and sausages and toast:

while he had the pancakes and blueberry compote with poached eggs and bacon and sausages and toast (we both love poached eggs on toast):

One thing I was exceptionally glad about was the use of multiple plates. I was afraid it might all come on the one plate, which might have taken some negotiating around, and as an added plus, it seemed to look like less food all spread out like this.

There was a bunch of army dudes seated behind us and we both reckoned they were taking the piss about us squished into one side of the booth being all lovey-dovey and him ordering his Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n Fruity combo in a deep voice. I said, well it DID sound like a chick breakfast.

Nicole, our server-for-today, was a character, one of those higher than a kite sorta gals who seemed even more excited than I was about having an IHOP experience. At the end of the meal she couldn't find our ticket in her ticketfold that was crammed with EVERYTHING except our ticket. She was leafing through it, mumbling: Nope that's from yesterday....now where is it. In the end he had to say: How about reprinting it for us. Everyone else had a slim ticketfold, no doubt with only their current open tickets in them. But Nicole's was bursting at the seams and there were numbers and notes all over everything crammed into this four-inch thick ticketfold.

I'm still not sure what value yesterday's tickets have to an IHOP server-for-today. I suspect she has her entire career with IHOP in that leather folder. Nicole was short and very round, and reminded me a bit of an oompa-loompa. Or perhaps it was more of a caution as to what might become of one after too many Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n Fruity breakfasts!

Today there will be a Red Robin adventure for lunch.

Oh, and last night, at 10pm, we visited Cold Stone Creamery for a couple of these:

I had the Apple Pie a la Mode (orgasmically good) and he had the Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip (which we both decided tasted like toothpaste).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Of Dodge Caravans, Dove Bars and Meerkats

The Dodge Caravan passed with flying colours. Well, after a bit of a to-do with getting the seats all sorted when we picked up the car. The back row folds down flat into the floor while the second row is a bench-seat which disconnects from its docking hooks and the back folds down, but then it just kind of sits there. So we pushed it right up against the front seats and rearranged our baggage and lo and behold, there was certainly adequate space for our planned activities.

I was treated to a Dove bar on the journey. What can I say, when I was offered the full range of items in a convenience store, the ice cream cabinet beckoned me. It was yummy, although I did discover that once the chocolate covering cracks, big bits of it just slide off, so there's now a chocolate stain on the carpet on the passenger side of the vehicle.

We were driving along, enjoying being this close to each other again, holding hands and talking, leaning over for a kiss when there was a nice straight bit of road, watching the miles tick by, when suddenly we take an off ramp. I thought maybe he was hungry or needed another soda or something...until we drive into the parking lot of a shopping centre and the lightbulb goes on in my head. Aaaaaaaaaah. I laughed and he just said: I can't wait any longer. So off we went to the furthest, most deserted corner of the large lot, way at the back. We climbed over our seats into the back so as not to alert anyone to the illicit activities that were about to commence.

He spread out the towel and in one swift action removed all my lower body garments - honestly that guy can get the clothes off me just by looking at me! Considering there was a fair amount of luggage in the back and the benchseat only folded and pushed back, there was a decent amount of space back there. Certainly enough to do the horizontal tango. Details aside, yes he did and yes I did. And if you have to ask 'what', you shouldn't be reading this!

The funniest part was his meerkat impression. He was convinced that someone was going to spot us, not helped by the fact that two teenagers passed close by right at the start. I reminded him that they are tinted windows and I doubt anyone could have made out that there were two people making mad passionate love in the back of a parked Dodge Caravan, but he kept popping his head up and looking around just like a meerkat. I didn't know his head could turn like it did! I was just cracking up every time he did it.

Suffice to say we are no longer car virgins and that we were incredibly pleased to see each other. While we did enjoy the experience, there's a lot to be said for the king-size Doubletree Sweet Dreams bed with an abundance of pillows and double-wrapped duvet. Though something tells me that on the drive back next Tuesday, the car might be in for another round of fun. Now that we're 'experienced' perhaps we'll just use the backseat in situ.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Introducing Fiona, The Eejit*

I blame lack of sleep or too much excitement or just plain stupidity, but there I was on Tuesday morning, very early. Final check to make sure all my windows are closed, the gas is turned off at the main, and I put out the rubbish. Then I close my door (it is an auto-lock), take the elevator down, and get into a taxi which my wonderful doorman has already got waiting for me (he saw me on the elevator cctv) Happy, happy me. But as he was about to engage his meter I yelled out STOP. Something wasn't right and it suddenly occurred to me that I was sitting there without my backpack. Yes, it was in my locked apartment. And guess where my keys and passport and wallet were. Uh huh, inside my backpack.

Surprisingly, I didn't panic. Mind you I don't tend to. Already I was wondering what other flights would get me to Tokyo in time to make my connection. With a two-hour connection time, there was still that possibility if I missed my flight. But thank god for my doorman. He rang around the locksmiths he knew and found one willing to get out of bed and rush over. Within 25 minutes I was inside my apartment again, grabbed my backpack and was off to city check-in. Got there as it closed. Damn, mad run to the train, just got on one that was about to leave. Every minute counted and with 12 minutes between trains, it was a make or break situation. I called my love and told him what an idiot he's in love with and he just laughed and said it will all be okay. That's what we're like together, nothing, just nothing, fazes us, and if we do start to stress over anything, we calm each other down. We maintain such an amazing balance, he and I.

At the airport, I was first off the train and ran to the check-in desk at the airport as it was closing. The check-in agent gave me 'a look'. I gave her one right back, tenfold, and she checked me in. I was thinking, Missy this really isn't the time to start messing with me and abusing your little area of influence over whether I fly or not. I think as retribution, though, she put me onto the extra security check list which, to be honest, is getting a bit ridiculous as I had it two times in the States on my last trip and this time I wasn't even through to the departure area and I'm being questioned!!! And then another complete search before I boarded (in addition to one to get into the departure hall). At the final search, she asked me to raise my arms so she could cop a feel. Well, I can't do that too well with my right arm, so I explained to her that I have a medical problem and wouldn't be able to raise it to a right angle to my body. At which point she of course took an unnatural interest in my right armpit. Honestly, all I was hiding in there was a very liberal application of Rexona White Linen. Anyway, after everything was swabbed (not me personally, thank goodness) and I was cleared off the suspected terrorist list, I finally was allowed to board.

I was still cursing the check-in agent for swallowing up the crucial 15 minutes that would have allowed me to get a cheeseburger, as I hadn't eaten since lunchtime the day before and with the food on NW, you need to find alternative sources of nutrition. She really mucked me around, I've never seen anyone examine a passport with such scrutiny and she even tried to tell me I wasn't eligible for the visa waiver programme as I didn't have an e-chip in my passport. That I needed a visa before I could travel. I calmly told her facts to the contrary and with a very sweet smile said: You really should know this in your job or perhaps you're delaying me unnecessarily? The important thing was that I made it though. I made that flight and the next and the next and ran into my love's arms at the airport. We were inseparable for a good 10 minutes. Then it was off on our Dodge Caravan adventure. Which in itself is worthy of a separate post.

*Eejit - Scottish vernacular for Idiot.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

I've had my share,
Of life's ups and downs,
but fate's been kind,
the downs have been few,

I guess you could say,
I've been lucky,
Or I guess you could say,
That it's all because of you.

If anyone, should ever write, my life story,
for whatever reason there might be,
you'd be there,
between each line of pain and glory,
cos you're the best thing that ever happened to me,
Oh you're the best thing that ever happened to me.

There have been times,
when times were hard,
but always somehow I made it, I made it through,
But for every moment that I've been hurtin',
there's been a moment, that I've spent.....
Oh just loving you,

If anyone should ever write my life story,
for whatever, for whatever reason there might be,
you'd be there, between each line of pain and glory,
Cos you're the best thing that ever happened to me,
Oh you're the best thing that ever happened to me,
don't you know, you're the best thing....
Oh that ever happened,
to me.

He is...he really is. Off I go!!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stow 'n Go

Look at all that space!!! The Dodge Caravan's Stow 'n Go feature. Given our plans for the vehicle, I've renamed it the Fold 'n Fuck feature. This is going to be a first for us both and so far we've decided to pack a towel (him) and wet wipes (me).

Last chance people, to give two car-virgins some tips. We've made sure we have the space, any last minute pointers for us?

And So, Here We Are

Monday dawns bright and beautiful and it's my last day at work before my break. It's going to be a busy one here with lots to do apart from the usual quick catch-up before an absence from work. I worked damn hard last week to get down to bare bones of things to do, knowing that there's always the unexpected which is bound to arrive on my desk before the day is through.

Also, today is the day that our prospective new head of HR comes into town for 'getting to know you' meetings and an orientation to the company and the surrounds. As I'm the co-ordinator as well as a meeting participant, it will be a long drawn out day. The plan is to get an absolute commitment prior to her departure this evening. I need to get her to 'yes'.

Updated 6:45pm....I got her to 'yes'!!!!!!! Yippppppppeeeeeeee. And I like her - suddenly the prospect of a new boss doesn't feel quite so worrying. Tis all good.

But, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, the joy of this evening rolling around and going home to relax, sleep and close my case. I actually packed yesterday, which is so unlike me to be this organised, I do believe it's a true sign of my eagerness to get on my way. At 8:30am tomorrow, I'll be sitting on a plane about to take off over the South China Sea on my first leg to Tokyo.

As the song goes....on the wings of love, up and above the clouds, the only way to fly, is on the wings of love. I want to be there that badly, I could probably flap my own way over the Pacific!!

Update: Nope, as of 1:15pm I couldn't flap my own way over the Pacific. This damn
shoulder is still causing me grief and I completed my last round of anti-inflammatories on Friday, so I went to the doctor for something to take while I'm away. I thought I'd get away with some medication, but he decided to give me another injection as well, as I'm travelling.

Oh.My.God. This time it hurt like the dickens and I actually shed a couple of tears (not something I do easily when I'm in pain) and I right now feel quite nauseous. I'm struggling through a helping of sushi for lunch but it's sinking like a rock. I just hope the injection fixes it up for a few days so that while I'm away I'm not in constant pain and we have to adjust every position to accommodate a sore shoulder. One thing's for sure, it's not going to stop us!!

Friday, May 11, 2007


It's already Friday and I'm fairly chirruping with excitement as, once the weekend is past, one more working day and I'm off on Tuesday morning. Flying to my beloved.

Chirrup chirrup...not the sound these beautiful parakeets would make but I fell in love with the pics! Just look at this little face.

I then found this through a google search for parakeet sounds:

Ack-Ack-Ack : Every parakeet owner I know says that the Ack-Ack-Ack is a form of Parakeet Talk. It's sort of a parakeet's way of saying "Hah hah!" or "Look at this!" or "I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!"

Contented Warble : The most common sound heard by most good parakeet owners is the contented warble. Parakeets do this while they are falling asleep, while they are listening to music, hanging out on your shoulder, preening themselves. This is sort of like a cat purring.

OK, truth is, I'm ack-ack-acking over contented warbling undertones.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I don't just crave his kisses.
It's not only about the pressing together of warm lips, the electricity of tongue on tongue.
I crave what those kisses do to me, awakening every cell of my body, making my mind race, holding such promise of things to come.
I crave them so much that I can't bear for them to stop, once we start.

I don't just crave his smile.
It's not only that he expresses spontaneous happiness and joy, when he's with me.
I crave the way his mouth moves into a smile as he catches me watching him, drinking him in.
I crave the sound of his laughter, its intensity, the glimpses he allows me of the little boy within his soul.

I don't just crave his touch.
It's not only the tenderness with which he touches me, the caress of his fingertips on my warm flesh.
I crave the way my skin feels at the mere contemplation of his touch.
I crave that moment just before he touches me, as memory blends into anticipation, and his desire reveals itself to me.

I don't just crave his body.
It's not only the sight of him which drives my excitement, heightens my passion for him.
I crave every inch of him, every texture, every taste, every scent, the warmth of his entire being.
I crave the beauty of his form and each and every curve, angle and plane of his surface.

I don't just crave his voice.
It's not only the tone, pitch, inflection and timbre of the sound of him.
I crave the breath beneath his words and the silence between his thoughts.
I crave the sound of his excitement and his pleasure, the gasps, moans, sighs of desire and delight.

I don't just crave his sexual heat.
It's not only the way he enters me and touches me where no one has before.
I crave how he feels too, at that exact moment when he can penetrate no further.
I crave that look in his eyes when he gazes deeply into mine as he pierces so deliberately into my warmth, just holding himself there, no longer wanting to thrust, needing only to feel surrounded by the centre of my being.

I crave him and everything about him. Always and in all ways.

~ Art courtesy of Gustav Klimt ~

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I Miss Sunny!

One of the first people I made friends with, when I started blogging, was Sunny Delight.

Right now, she's making some monumental life changes and won't be able to blog as conscientiously as she has been, at least for a while. In the meantime, she's got a wonderful legacy of her thoughts in her archives. If you're not yet a reader of hers, I hope you become one. Sunny has an incredible way of sharing and of putting a spin on things that you might not have considered. On top of all this, she writes beautifully, possessing an ability to enthrall with her compassion and insight.

I admire her and am honoured to be called 'friend' by her.

And I miss her right now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

There Was A Time

There was a time, I thought myself unworthy of love.

There was a time, I was told so.

There was a time, I believed my lovability had expired, like a can of soup which had sat on the shelf too long. Constantly being shoved to the back as the nice new supplies, with their bright pristine labels, faced the world in front of me.

It's so damaging to be told that you can't be loved, that you don't deserve to be loved. That you're not beautiful enough to be loved. People who say those things to another should not forget that this can mutilate a person's spirit. They should realise that a person's life, and all its potential, can be destroyed just because they don't want to love you. Don't do that to someone. Just let them go, let them find what they need and want, when you don't want them any longer. Let them have hope. Don't destroy it with words and actions. Don't strip them of their possibilities in life. Don't, just don't.

Now, I know I'm worthy of being loved. Not just loved, but loved in a grand and wonderful way. Someone reached up onto the shelf where I sat and not only accepted my slightly tattered label, the lustre of my aluminum now faded, but he found beauty and substance in me. And it turns out, I was just what he's been looking for too, and wanting and hoping to find.

And you know what, all those years at the back of the shelf, helped me develop into a sumptuous soup, better than anyone could have imagined. They just didn't care to find out. I'm glad they didn't, because the man who brought me from my solitude is the man who was born to love me. As I was born to love him. It's as deep, and as simple, as that. I am blessed by his love.

*I did warn you this would be a mushy week!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bear With Me

It's going to be a mushy week. I'm seven days from liftoff. Quite literally.

The plans already include the renting of the sort of vehicle where the back seats can fold down flat. Because we don't think we'll last the two-and-a-half hour drive from the airport to the hotel.

Giving me the opportunity to see a bit of the country by flying into an airport a little distance from our final destination, seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, we could have flown right into the airport closest to where we'll be staying, but that would have meant we were kept apart another three hours. Right now, we might not even get out of the car rental bay without a quickie!!!

It's called being REALLY pleased to see each other. I've never done 'it' in a car before. Any tips apart from making sure I have some wet wipes handy?

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I've seen many things on blogs. I've seen a lot of emotions poured forth. I've seen positive and negative. I've seen brilliance and hatred. I've seen hearts melt together, hearts break apart. I've seen pictures of people's bits and pieces.

Usually, the bits are the bits they want seen and, more often than not, they are not the whole 'thing'. Selected pretty posed bits. Pictures carefully crafted to enhance. Well cropped and staged. Well, I supposed HNT is a form of a stage.

On Thursday, I witnessed an act of supreme courage. Real, raw courage. A picture that says: This is me. It took an incredible amount of it for her to post this, more than I'd ever have.

Standing up and applauding Trueself for her honesty.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Despite and Because

1. in spite of; notwithstanding.
2. contemptuous treatment; insult.

1. for the reason that; due to the fact that.
2. because of, by reason of; due to.

The occasion arose in a conversation the other day, when I wanted to reassure someone that his perceived 'faults' do not in any way put me off. And I say perceived because they are his perception not mine.

Without thinking too deeply on it, I said: "I love you despite and because". Not despite. And because. But, despite and because. No separation of the two. I cherish the complete package. And I do. I love him despite everything and because of everything.

There are a lot of other things in our lives where the same applies.....despite and because. That wonderful balance of the two. And sometimes their boundaries are blurred to the point that they overlap and become interchangeable.

Despite not having heard from her, I reached out to contact her.
Because I hadn't heard from her, I reached out to contact her.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Moment of Reflection

I was sitting at my desk yesterday and my eyes settled upon the pictures of my Dad, which keep me company here at work. As I reflected upon my life as this wonderful man's daughter, I realised there were so many things I never thanked him for. So I shall now. I hope he is close enough to hear me, it feels like he is.

Thank you, Dad, for:

= Quietly supporting me, even when it was hard for you

= Passing on your mum's green eyes to me

= Helping me see the power of being principled

= Teaching me how to sail

= Making sure I knew how to wire a plug and adjust a ballcock

= Letting me build a thing of beauty with you

= Forcing me into secretarial college

= Forgiving me when I made some really stupid choices

= Providing me with so many opportunities in my life

= Honouring me by choosing me to lean on, during your darkest hours

= Giving me your wicked sense of humour

= Making sure I knew you were always there for me

= Imparting to me, the gift of integrity

= Just being MY Dad. I was so very, very blessed.

And then last night, in a conversation with my guy, I was telling him about something that had happened at work:

Him: you have integrity, my love....pure and simple
Me: a gift from my dad
Him: an excellent gift my love
Me: i'm working on a blog post that will include that
Me : it was...he did give me so many
Him: good
Him: he gave me you....

"He gave me you....". He continues to just knock my socks off. I never thought that the process of growing in love with someone would be such a constant, daily thing. A love so deep, rich, intense, fierce.

My Dad would have been so happy to know I'm loved this much, and this purely, for just being me.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oral Cavity Panacea. And Guilin, PRC

Recently, I developed a little sore on the inside of my mouth, just below my bottom lip. I've been doing the usual hydrogen-peroxide-on-a-cotton-bud trick, but it's proving hard to budge and isn't healing, probably because the location is too damn convenient for constant nibbling. I think I might have burned myself there as a result of over-eager consumption of lava-like molten cheese from a weekend pizza. So today I purchased this:

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you "Sanjin Watermelon Frost Insufflations" (and the following is a quote from their website):

Watermelon Frost, is panacea of Chinese traditional oral cavity and throat diseases.

"Watermelon Frost is used to treat swelling and pain in the throat and mouth, tonsillitis and pharyngitis ect. Will be effective in a moment"which was recorded in the book 《Treatment For The Ulcer collection》 written bythe well-known doctor Gu Shicheng in the Qing Dynasty. Its preparatory method is"To put a watermelon in a yellow earthen bowl, after filling the watermelon with Gluer's salt, cover and fix with the base of watermelon and bamboo prod,again cover with a yellow earthen bowl as the big as the above, seal the yellow earthen bowl with bark paper and mud, put it in a cool place for numerous daysuntil its outside appears white frost, collect the white frost with a goosefeather broom, still put it the cool place for its outside appears white frostagain and again until it cannot produce white frost.

…." As a traditional Chinese medicine expert of China, Mr. Zhou Jieming, on the basis of ancient prescription, integration of the good points of ancient prescription, secret prescription and proved effective rescription,thirtyyears'clinicalpharmaceutical experience, has improved and created the newgeneration oral cavity and throat panacea ---- Sanjin watermelon Frost which is also on the basis of the exclusive approved Compound Watermelon Frost (has beensold in overseas market for 30 years) of "Guifeng" brand and "Elephant Hill"brand in P.R of China. Sanjin watermelon Frost contains necessary 18 amino acidsand 8 micro elements for human body, makes its curative effect and qualityimprove markedly, makes the treasure of Traditional Chinese Medicine ----ancient watermelon frost bloom, and display extraordinary splendor again.

Instant effect, downbearing fire, clearing heat, diminishing inflammation and relieving pain fast. Normally the pain may be relieved in 5-10 minutes after spraying the product. After spraying for numerous times its symptoms may be cleared, the signs of body around the affected part may be recovered normally.

Yessiree, after the downbearing of the fire, I'll be displaying extraordinary splendor again very, very shortly. Basically this 'frost' is a green/black powder you apply with a sort of puffer, onto the sore. And in the meantime I'll also be taking a vitamin supplement and some echinacea. Got to boost my immune system and be firing on all cylinders for events which will be unfolding in 12 days...and will continue unabated for six days thereafter.

As an aside, this magical panacea is manufactured in Guilin in China, one of the most extraordinarily beautiful places I've ever visited.

They still practice the ancient art of cormorant fishing on the Lijiang River.

A snare is placed around the neck of the bird to prevent them from swallowing any of the larger fish they catch (they still get to eat the smaller ones and therefore are kept well nourished). Upon the bird's return to the boat, the fisherman removes the larger fish which are caught in the bird's throat.

And yes, I did have fish for dinner when I was there. A big fish.


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